Life in the dustbowl.

03/20/2021 I actually typed 2020 in error and nobody in their right mind would want to go there again, We have had an unseasonably warm March, at least much warmer than last March was. I’ll take it. I just told Bill we’re going to need to start getting out the door earlier because as it warms up, it’s too hot for Max. He has a coat like a Malamute, double layer and thick enough to make a rug. This morning we walked them before we fed them, Then around 9 Am as I was cleaning out the refrigerator I noticed they were all swarming around my feet, I forgot to feed them! It doesn’t take much, get me off my schedule and my brain goes out the door. I have stopped feeding them liver, I think it was the cause of Barrio and Gringo’s skin issues, too much protein. I’ve been cooking the remaining packs of frozen veggies and giving them that. If we have leftover fresh spinach and some apples I chop that up with their zucchini and they get fresh veggies. We/ve recently discovered they LOVE red cabbage and grilled Brussel sprouts. I need to be growing vegetables and unfortunately, it’s too hot here.

Dog kibble with chopped fresh spinach, zucchini and apples on it.

We went to the Avocado Nursery and bought plants, a Mediterranean Palm, another kind of palm, 2 rosemary, 2 oleanders, 2 artemesias, 3 ground covers and a really cool pillar cactus. We had a crew come in and cut down the 3 dead Queen Palms, They chopped them up and hauled them away. They also dug the old stone out from between the patio and the pool. Then we ordered 6 tons of Arizona Gold stones and had them redo between pool and patio and spread new stone on the whole rest of the yard. It looks so much better. They also planted all 13 of the new plants. I decided I needed succulents so I went to Lowes and bought way too many and another terracotta planter. They’re all planted and growing well.

Dead Queen Palm. The gal at the nursery said that a lot of people had problems with them this past summer. I blame COVID.
Two more. Such a shame. I had new drip irrigation installed so they were getting watered properly. They’re quite costly to replace so we decided on other greenery.
I didn’t realize how nasty the dead trees looked until they were gone.
Barrio is showing you how deep they had to dig to get the old stones out.
It’s about a 40′ section between the patio and sidewalk. The paver stones are set in the other stones.
This was at the nursery. The nursery was probably a really cool place a long time ago but it is so run down, so many neglected plants and everything is very overgrown. Seems like the owners lost interest, however, their plants are all grown in AZ, unlike the ones from Lowes and Home Depot.
Some of my haul.
In love with this cactus, she said it grows fast.
I have 2 pots filled with small succulents.

The new stone makes such a difference, I’m glad we did it. Hopefully we’ll be spending more time outdoors now that we have a table.

I put a coat of polyurethane on the bench and table, well, actually two coats. It really brought out the color of the wood.
We had company over for pizza made with Bill’s homemade mozzarella.
The Mozzarella making process.

We (Bill) painted the guest bath and the office. I’ll take photos once I have it set up for the company that arrives the 3rd. Yes, company. A guy I worked with at 2 different banks, Kevin, and his wife and 2 kids are coming to visit. Kevin is one of the funniest people I know, I dearly love him and his wife. His wife also worked at the last bank we were both at. I met their daughter soon after she was born and then again at a party before we moved to the island. I have never met their son. We’re both really excited to have them come to visit. Addison will be 9 the end of this month and Bryson is 5 1/2. I bought ladder golf for them to play and look forward to them joining us on morning dog walks. The pool is 66, if it stays as warm as it’s been at night it should be over 70 soon,

They love grilled brussel sprouts
Bill & I are addicted to these with wasabi paste.
Butt brothers, butt heads.
70# lap dog. Max.
Teasing them with brussel sprouts.
Max and an empty bag of dog food. This bag was paper and he totally destroyed it. Similar to me with an empty bag of popcorn, trying to get all the deliciousness on the inside of the bag. (Sue Morrow)

I got the brilliant idea to recover all 6 of the dining room chairs. Sitting on them was like sitting on a wooden bench. I went to Joann’s and found some green pleather material, it’s pretty much the same color as our island house. I figured it wouldn’t attract dog hair and wet swimsuits weren’t a big deal. I bought it and came home. Then we decided we needed new foam, well, we kind of knew it, but I wasn’t in a foam shopping mood. I ordered a 2″ foam mattress pad from WalMart. It, of course, was delayed. The pad finally came and was just big enough to do all 6 chairs. We got 3 chairs finished and decided we needed some dacron or whatever it is they cover all the staples on the bottoms of chairs with. Back to Joann’s.

The ugliness that started it all.
Thankful for Bill the tool man. The dogs did not appreciate the air compressor in the kitchen.
Corners ARE THE WORST.
The Walmart foam pad came vacuum packed in a box, which was in a box, which was in another box. Ridiculous. We do recycle all of our cardboard.

Let me say, the first chair was easy. We did a good job on it. From then on out it was curse city, calling the stapler and the material that didn’t form around a corner nasty names. The second and third chairs were not easy. We saved the last 3 for the next day. We swore while doing them too. THEN, we had so much green material left, I suggested we make a nice big pad for the wooden outdoor bench. It’s really too low to sit and eat at the table, well, unless you’re Michael Jordan. I drove back to Joann’s and bought the foam, 3″ thick. I almost had a stroke when they said how much it was. Thankfully it was 40% off but it was still expensive for foam. Bill cut the wood for the bottom (he cut all new bottoms for the chairs also) and we did the bench in 2 sections, otherwise, we didn’t have enough material for the whole bench. The 3″ foam is very hard to work with, especially when you have no skills and are using a non-compliant material. We got it done and while it’s not perfect, it’s really comfy.

We were working on seat #5.
I got the dacron stapled on the back then Bill realized he failed to drill holes in the wood so the air could escape. Not too big of a deal, He took care of that.
And they’re done. Just like that.

I’ll start baking and cooking on Thursday. I plan to make blueberry zucchini muffins and banana chocolate chip bread plus some broccoli salad. Bill is going to hard boil eggs so the kids can do their Easter egg dying here. I got some things to entertain them plus I have an Easter “bag” for each of them.

Yesterday I took all 3 dog crates apart and drug them outside. They were gross, so I scrubbed them. Then I bathed all 4 dogs. Since the dogs were all clean I had to wash the towels we throw on the leather chairs if they are wet. Clean dogs, clean crates, clean towels.

My friend David posted about his windchimes. It made me realize that I missed my windchimes, which are still at the island house. I decided to order some and found these: WIND CHIMES FOR PEOPLE WHO LIKE THEIR NEIGHBORS, Soothing Melodic Tones & Solidly Constructed Bamboo/Aluminum Chime. They are not obnoxious sounding at all, however as I carried them to the back porch, they were really loud. Much better now that they are hanging.

Today I cleaned the dog hair out of the cracks on the back patio then hosed the patio off. I’ll tell you, this is a dirty place to live. The air is so dusty that things are covered in dirt 2 days after you clean them. I also vacuumed the yard because there was so much dog hair from bathing the dogs that it looked gross. My vac is torn apart, drying in the sun. It will be clean until I use it once, then it will be filthy again. This is serious dirt, like living in a dustbowl. It’s getting hot quickly, we’re going to need to walk the dogs earlier now, getting too hot for them at 8:30 AM. Actually, I look forward to the heat of the summer when I walk them in the dark, kind of nice to be out before others are even awake. I was never much of a super early riser bit if it means the dogs get to walk, then early rising it will be.

I hope spring is happening wherever you may be. I think we skipped it and moved right on to summer. Until next month. XOXO

By Ledfutt

Living on an island was a life long dream of mine. In 2012 I moved to Roatan and lived there for 4 months, went back to the US, packed up our belongings and sold our house. In Oct of 2013 we moved there permanently. Our house was completed in July of 2014 and we moved in. After 6+ years, I was ready to go back to the US. I made the move in Dec of 2019 and my husband came a year later. Here we are in Arizona, waiting for our island house to sell so we can sell this place and move on. I guess I'm more like a traveling mermaid.

9 comments

  1. Seriously is there anyone in the world as productive as you—and Bill, too!!
    FABULOUS update!

    1. Thank you, sometimes I feel like we’ve gotten nothing done, but when I can’t stand up straight because my back hurts so badly, I’m reminded that we actually did accomplish a lot. Especially for 2 old farts. XOXO

  2. The chairs and bench look terrific! Love reading about the dogs and your life. I’m amazed that the dogs like brussel sprouts though!

    1. Thank you Jeanette, it made such a difference, visual and comfort-wise. My dogs will eat anything I do.
      It amazes me they love red cabbage, raw spinach and Brussel sprouts. I could probably make them a veggie dish
      for dinner and they would be happy. I hope you and Don are doing well.

  3. Deb, loved the blog and the pictures, can’t wait to see it in person one day! Happy Easter to you guys

  4. Spring is sort of here. We live at 1300 feet above sea level so the last of the snow melted only a week ago. Now they’re calling for more tomorrow!
    You’re upholstering looks nice! Enjoy life while we can!

    1. Thanks Tim, the reupholstering taught someone as old as me a few new curse words. Pretty sure it’s the first
      I’ve ever called a stapler names. We got it done though and that’s what matters!

  5. Gee, Just love what you have done! My favorite pic is the Dogs looking up at you. Of coarse I love the plants. Thanks for the interesting post. Happy Easter!
    Susan and Rose-E

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