Social distancing is my uber skill

03/20/2020 I am not going to say I’m practicing social distancing because I have it mastered already. I do not like crowds or large groups of people. This is not new, it’s my normal. The older I get the more I realize I don’t have a need to be with a lot of people, I chose who I want to be with rather than be thrust in a group of 20-30 or more people that I really don’t know or care to know. I have a few years left in my life and only want to spend it with the people I like, not once a week or once a month friends. I have no need for that.

Bill was here for 10 days, I told the dogs he was coming but all they heard was blah blah blah. I took Max to pick him up in Phoenix. Max was super excited. When we got home I had Bill let the other two out of their crates and they went batshit crazy. He sat down on the chair and was totally mauled. Gringo even added the special loving touch and humped his shoe.

Bill is the tan pants under 200# of dogs.

He got all of the Honey-Do list done which was fabulous. He: put the dresser together, put the trundle bed together, fixed the lights, took down the saltwater pool box, hung 2 huge Cool-a-roo curtains, figured out the accent night lights in the yard, added new timers to them and to the filter. Moved the desk which weighs 11 tons, hooked up the batteries for the electric couch since we have no outlet close by. He moved the washer and dryer out so I could scrub under them and replaced the guts in the master bath toilet and added some RAM to my slow laptop.

Dog loving while hanging the blinds.

This made my computer so much better, it was booting up so slow I hardly used it.

I found a local nursery online that wasn’t far from the house so we went one afternoon. It was huge but it was also a mess. There was trash everywhere, broken pots floating in with the koi, totally overgrown with weeds, buildings falling down, I was not impressed. Most of the cactus looked good but the other stuff was pretty much dead. They did have some interesting things laying around but I didn’t buy anything. Doubt I will return, I can’t stand places like that.

Cactus fence posts

Becoming part of the landscape

This was the cleanest building that we saw.

An old cash register.

Cholla, these things can stick in a dog so easily.

This is the same type of cactus we have. Ours is huge and a bird is nesting in it.

Reminded me of sea creatures.

Innovative hose holder

I almost bought some Rosemary but didn’t feel like dealing with it.

While he was here I decided I needed some houseplants so I bought 2 nice pottery pots at Lowe’s and got a Dracena and a Sansevieria (snake plant). Bill helped me pot them and bring them inside. I would like a few more indoor plants. At one time when I lived in a cabin on the Loyalsock Creek in PA, I had over 80 indoor plants. I spent all my time at greenhouses, I was obsessed.

Sansevieria

Dracena

Bill took a LYFT back to the Phoenix airport. His flight was at 12:40AM and I detest driving in the dark. He got home just in time to be on a small island that has shut down. Many tourists are stranded there, the Canadian flights came empty to take the Canadians home but the US carriers haven’t done that yet, I read that they will soon begin to pick up US travelers that are stranded. People think being stranded on a tropical island would be the shits. Well, it’s not. Granted they have not run out of toilet paper and eggs like in the US but they have the island on lockdown right now. People are to stay at home. It amazes me how many people don’t pay attention to the rules and have their own little pool parties. Stupid. The craziest thing to me is the government saying there are no reported cases on the island. REPORTED is the keyword here. A few weeks ago, when this was just getting to the US but was all over Europe, 20,000 people (from all over the world) came on cruise ships in one day. They shopped in local stores, they were picked up by locals who do tours, they went to the beach and bought from locals working there. You tell me none of those 20000 people were asymptomatic. HAH. The virus was more than likely passed on to a local and then taken back to the colonias where the majority of the homes have no running water and rarely have soap and never have hot water or hand sanitizer. These are the people who don’t have rolls of toilet paper stacked in their pantry. The colonias are where many elderly people live and Roatan also has a very high number of diabetics on the island, they are more prone to this disease. The Corona Virus is there and anyone who thinks it isn’t is just kidding themselves. No cases and no reported cases are two entirely different things. I hope for the best for the island, I have many gringo and island friends there and Bill is there too. I am constantly telling him to stay home as I watch on FB the gringos having parties and ignoring the orders to close their businesses down. I hope I’m wrong about the virus but realistically, I find it so hard to believe it’s not on the island. 

I’m still walking the dogs daily, my tendinitis is pretty much healed. I swear using the kinesiology tape helped me, YouTube videos showed me how to apply it. YouTube is amazing. I couldn’t get the front mats out of my car (kind of dark in the garage) so I YouTubed how to get them out, duh. It was so easy, even in the semi-dark when I realized what to do.

I alternate which dog goes first on our walks and figured out the easiest way to remember. When I walk one, the other 2 go in their crates. When I return I put the leash in the front, middle or back of the crate so the next morning I can figure out the order.

Gringos crate, he was first this morning. He’ll be last tomorrow.

Max was second, he’ll be first tomorrow. He always poops on his walk, just love carrying that steaming bag around.

Barrio was last today.  He’ll be second tomorrow. See, there is a method to my madness.

Being my OCD self, I decided to change from all the colored scrapbooks I have to plain black binders. This was more of a task than I thought it would be as I had to punch holes in all of the page protectors so they would fit in the new 3 ring albums.

I had 17 12X12 scrapbooks full of memories.

Now I have them in 7 new books. I just ordered one more because one is overly full. I also ordered some binders for my 8.5X11 books and my 8X8 scrapbooks. All black, all the same except the 8X8 isn’t available in a 3 ring so I just ordered black. I posted on one of the local pages that I had 17 scrapbooks free for the taking. They were gone in 15 minutes.

I saw my first Arizona scorpion on the wall above the dog food dishes. It was dead as soon as I squashed it. I called the pest control right away and they came and sprayed.

Me 1, scorpion 0.

Things are beginning to bloom, spring is on the way. I can’t wait to be able to get into the pool, it’s still 64 degrees.

New growth on the trunk

Growth all the way up the tree, can’t wait to see what it looks like in a month.

New shoots all over.

Cactus babies

Palms

different type of palm

My oldest granddaughter Alexah was to come and stay with me for 2 weeks but I doubt that is going to happen. She was coming on April 1st. I had all sorts of things planned to do with her, even bought tickets for an event in Scottsdale but I’m pretty sure it will all be canceled.

The boys were all in dog training classes. Max went Saturday, Gringo Friday eve and Barrio on Not helping much at all. The classes have been postponed but at the last class, Max sat with his back to the room and stared at the wall for the full hour. The teacher cracked up every time she looked over at him. Maybe he was social distancing, who knows?

And there you have it. I’m going to take the dogs outside for a while then curl up and read.

If you know anyone interested, here’s a link to our house. It’s a really crappy time to be trying to sell a house! https://www.youtube.com/embed/Mx1HH2FLC3I

 

 

Sixty days later, I’m still alive.

02/26/2020 By the time this gets finished and posted, I will have been here alone for 2 months. I’m fine. We’re fine. I’ve done things that I never expected to do at my age, (like today, maneuvering the auto pool vac somewhere close so I didn’t have to get in the frigid water but still be able to switch from auto vac head to manual, all the time keeping the hose submerged to keep suction and holding the 15′ pool upright with one hand while the other held the part from the manual vac that gets inserted into the pole) but here I am. I did it. And yes, that was a 3 Stooges episode I’m sure. And my big pool is clean. It’s MUCH more difficult to clean than the pool in Roatan. So much stuff blowing in it that comes from outer space.

He swims from the shallow end and up onto the ledge to get out.

It was pouring. For like 10 minutes.

I’m much stronger than I gave myself credit for and smarter. I actually can be a man. You know, figure out how to put things together without looking at the instructions, because really? Who needs instructions? Not this girl. I carried an 8X10 rug on my shoulder from the back of Lowe’s to the check-out and then carried it out to my car. I weeded the whole back yard by hand. TWICE. I’m feeling a little independent. Luckily, Bill is used to this part of my personality.

Living on Roatan alone for 4 months was interesting but not difficult, even though I was living in a foreign country, didn’t speak the language and knew nobody. I managed. I do believe it prepared me for what was to come.

Bill and I really needed to get away from our jobs. My job had ruined my hands. Bill had to get out due to stress. His job was way more stressful than mine and mine was stressful. Life is so short, how long can you keep doing the same crap every day? How long DO YOU WANT TO? I was done, physically mentally done, Bill was the same. Roatan was our escape.

And now here I am back in the US but not working, which is great. We’re (me and the dogs) usually up by 6:30-7, sometimes 7:30. They rarely wake me, just patiently waiting for me to wake up and put my feet on the floor. Then they start swarming. I let them out first thing and decide how many layers I will need for our walks. Sometimes I’ll have on 3 tops. After the first mile with one dog, I’ll remove my jacket. After dog # 2, I usually take off my sweatshirt and am down to a long-sleeve Coolibar shirt. It’s not really been too cold but we have had a crazy cold wind coming from the east that stings your eyes and dares you to wear hair spray. Today I did not remove any layers, it was chilly. I have a route measured out. I walk one dog, the other 2 are in their crates. Then I come home, switch dogs and walk again, three times EVERY day. Today my foot was feeling better so I made the walks longer, almost 1.5 miles per dog. I usually pass the same people walking in the mornings, they often ask if this is dog 1, 2 or 3. If it’s #3, I am excited and exhausted all at the same time.

My garbage can. The guy who I bought the house from had 2 swimming pool poles and neither of them extended. I threw them out and bought a new one.

Max started doggie school last Saturday. He HATED  it. I’m not taking them to learn to properly walk, they all know that. I’m just going for socialization and last week Max flunked with flying colors. He was able to do all the things she wanted him to do but he was giving a sweet 4-month-old female shepherd the evil eye. I don’t know if he is scared because he certainly is not an aggressive dog. Gringo, my hard-headed boy starts class Friday eve and Barrio starts in March. For 3 weeks I will have 3 dogs in class, Wed eve, Friday eve and Saturday. AGGGHHHH. These dogs own me, mind body and soul (and pocketbook). I have to work with Max at home but I have to either put the other 2 out or go out with Max because all 3 follow me around like the clowns that they are. Update: class one for Gringo, he was not a happy boy at all. He snarled at a cute puppy a few times. When it was time to leave I wanted to take advantage of the freebie coupons so I went to get a few things, he was a wreck, he needed OUT of there. That was Friday night. I took Max on Saturday for class # 2. I went in early (more coupons from Gringo’s first class) and Max was having a hissy fit. I took the stuff out to the car, he mistakenly thought we were leaving and was so stressed that we went back inside. The same puppy that Gringo snarled at got in Max’s face and he snapped at her. I was horrified but the teacher said it was OK, he was telling her to get out of his face. I have never seen Max be aggressive. He was more than ready to come home.

L to R. Max, Barrio and Gringo. I did buy a quilt and pillow shams and the dogs know they can’t get on the bed until I take them off every evening.

Friends that I met on Roatan came to visit last week. I picked them up at Gateway Mesa airport. They were here for a week. We pretty much hung out here except for one day we went to the Casa Grande ruins and then to Creative Cafe for lunch. The afternoons were gorgeous with plenty of sunshine. While they were here my Amazon obsession was slightly curtailed. Only slightly. I’m trying really hard to not shop, but now I have a candle thing. UGH, this is like a cold that gets worse until you have bronchitis.

Brett and Carmen told me the secrets of doing a puzzle, Brett’s mom is a whiz. He got the whole frame done and I haven’t touched it since they left.

We drove to Coolidge to see the Casa Grande Ruins.

History & Culture Compound A Drawing The Casa Grande in Compound A NPS A Brief History of the Casa Grande Ruins This is an artist’s depiction of the Casa Grande (“Great House”) and its surrounding compound as it may have appeared around 1350 C.E. One of the largest prehistoric structures ever built in North America, its purpose remains a mystery. Archeologists have discovered evidence that the ancestral Sonoran Desert people who built the Casa Grande also developed wide-scale irrigation farming and extensive trade connections which lasted over a thousand years until about 1450 C.E. Archeologists call a site where there are earthen buildings, red on buff pottery, and extensive canals “Hohokam” but this is not the name of a tribe or a people. Years of misunderstanding have confused the ancestors of the O’Odham, Hopi, and Zuni people with the name Hohokam, which is not a word in any of their languages nor the name of a separate people. KinoAnzaKearney artworks Padre Kino, Juan Bautista de Anza, and Stephen Kearney. The Casa Grande was abandoned around 1450 C.E. Since the ancestral Sonoran Desert people who built it left no written language behind, written historic accounts of the Casa Grande begin with the journal entries of Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino when he visited the ruins in 1694. In his description of the large ancient structure before him, he wrote the words “casa grande” (or “great house”) which are still used today. More became known about the ruins with the later visits of Lt. Col. Juan Bautista de Anza’s expedition in 1775 and Brig. Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny’s military detachment in 1846. Subsequent articles written about the Casa Grande increased public interest. During the 1860’s through the 1880’s more people began to visit the ruins with the arrival of a railroad line twenty miles to the west and a connecting stagecoach route that ran right by the Casa Grande. The resulting damage from souvenir hunting, graffiti and outright vandalism raised serious concerns about the preservation of the Casa Grande.

Amazing what the people were capable of so many years ago. Have we really evolved to a better place?

I complained to Carmen and Brett that the umbrella was broken and I couldn’t even get it out to replace it. While I was walking the dogs one morning Brett opened it. It took HOURS before I noticed and we were all out back and I still didn’t see it was open!!

One day before Brett and Carmen came I was sitting on the floor in the kitchen making my way around the edges under the cabinets and scrubbing them. I cleaned the drawer on the oven and then opened the oven and saw this.

It was burned inside, the guy must have had a fire in the oven. No way I was using that thing.

Unfortunately, there is no gas in the neighborhood so I had to buy a new electric range.

Bill picked this one out on Lowe’s site and I went in and bought it. Now I’m waiting for the guy to come and cut the granite for the backsplash. Luckily we have 2 big pieces left.

Everyone wanted to see photos of the house so here you go. I still don’t have most of my artwork and I detest the colors of the walls but am not willing to pay over 7K to get the interior repainted. I’ll wait for Bill to get here or find someone more reasonable.

Master, oh yeah. I hate the carpeting too. That’s going to go soon.

Master bath

Entrance, and I don’t like the front door either. UGH. The dresser was bought for the guest room but is too big so Cindy and I moved it to the foyer and I bought a tall one for the guest room. It still sits in the garage. I need a mirror on the wall.

Barrio and the island. I love this granite. All of my windows have sunscreens on them. You can see out but it keeps the sun from warming up the house and bleaching your furniture. It’s actually quite cool inside.

Living room, new couch, tables, light and rugs. Brown leather chairs and ottoman belong to the dogs.

Bill picked out this dark gray leather couch with electric recliners on each end. We don’t have any nearby electrical outlets so we had to buy a battery-operated rechargeable unit to power the chairs.

This room is cavernous, hard to hear people talking to you, at least it is for me.

I was so tired of people knocking on my door and driving the dogs crazy that I bought a sign. Let’s hope nobody makes it weird. They’ll be running and this song will be blasting in their ears.

At first, I thought these were cool hawks or something but they’re just regular old vultures looking for some fast food from their local Desert Dive Through.

Beautiful morning sky

Goofy Barrio.

Chilly morning walk.

Kind of obsessed with these shadow photos. The desert is at the top of this little hill.

Crazy birds building a nest in this extremely pokey cactus.

BILL, DO NOT READ THIS.

So far I have placed 49 orders at Amazon in 60 days. Yikes. I swear I am going to stop. Today I woke up wanting some nice candles so I drove to Marshall’s and bought a few (after looking on Amazon but I was missing the smell factor, had to buy in person). I love the smell of a good candle burning.

I binge-watched Schitt’s Creek. I’ll probably binge it again soon, it was THAT good. I love Daniel Levy, I want to be his BFF and hang out with him all the time. I also rented Judy on Prime. Renee Zelwegger won an award for it. I’m not sure why, she was good but the movie itself was mediocre, in my opinion. Says the person who has watched the whole series of FRIENDS at least thirty times.

This morning I was attempting to weed under the gnarly cactus again.

I started yesterday but found a decomposed dead bird. That kind of grossed me out so I threw it in the trash and quit for the day. I tried to finish under the cactus this morning. I was down on my hands and knees weeding when all of a sudden I spotted this.

I am not an arachnophobic (unless it’s a scorpion) so I didn’t really freak out. I nudged it with a twig and it didn’t move so I picked it up.

Someone’s leftover Halloween ring.

I lived in a third world country for seven years, I am used to anything not cemented down being stolen. When I first began to walk the dogs I was amazed that my neighbors had cute things in their yards that were not chained down and/or guarded by a vicious rottweiler. I passed this surveyor’s set up a few weeks ago and thought to myself, that will be gone tomorrow. It’s still there, NOBODY STOLE IT. I am amazed!!

I am going to run to the store, I forgot something yesterday and then hope to come home and work on the puzzle (lol, I doubt it). Brett and Carmen, you’ll probably need to come back and finish this damn thing. No amount of wine will make me puzzle proficient.