My husband and I purchased a fixer-upper cottage a couple of years ago. It was built as a cabin near the mountains in a desert area. The first time I saw it, I fell in love with it. Actually, it looked like the ugly duckling in the neighborhood. In fact, the ugly duckling was hidden by its own little forest. When we began clearing the forest, neighbors expressed how they had never seen the house because it had been hidden by the trees. When you buy a fixer-upper to flip, you can't get sentimental. Ah, but I did. We signed the papers the week my mother died. So I sought refuge in the vegetable garden I attempted a couple months later. Digging, planting, and watering helped me through the grief. Truthfully, I was no pro at gardening. That didn't matter, however. The therapy of tending to the garden was what really mattered. I found solace in the garden and in planting comfort foods that my mother used to grow in her garden like yellow squash. That was the beginning of my southwest cottage designs. Come along with me on my journey while fixing up the southwest ugly duckling cottage.