The snapping turtle puppy

11-2-2020 The boys and I have lived a very quiet life the past 9 months. Carmen and Brett were here for a week and Bill was too, but that was in March. Since then it’s been just them and me. I feel as though I am finally part of the pack, not sure, but I hope licking my butt isn’t a huge prequalification to establish pecking order within the pack.

The boys seem happy with their living situation. We have our routines. I was getting up at O dark 30 to walk them before it was 174 degrees, many times walking all three before the sun even breached the horizon. On those days, we came home and went back to bed for a few hours, otherwise, it made for a hellishly long day. Now that the mornings don’t heat up until after 8 AM we can walk after the sun is up. Quite honestly, I prefer walking in the dark except for when Max poops. Then I have to use my phone as a flashlight while I turn the poop bag inside out and scoop up his steamy pile. I even make him poop before we leave the house in the morning. They all go out, and with me encouraging them to go poopy, they do. (And I wonder why they follow me to the bathroom.)

Max

Barrio, dripping wet as usual

Max and Gringo. They like to lay on the bed in the front bedroom and bark at everything that they see.

Both of my sons came to visit, AT THE SAME TIME!! I was beyond excited. Chance and Trace have not seen each other since 2011 when Chance and I met Trace for the day in Seattle.

Trace was bringing his girlfriend and they were taking a week to drive down so they could stop and climb the highest peaks in Idaho, Utah and Arizona. They arrived on Monday afternoon. We hung out poolside, they ate and we just sat around and talked. Chance was due the same day, driving from Rapid City with his 3-month-old pup, Kylo, AKA, Snapping Turtle. I was worried how the dogs would react to an unknown dog in the house so I had Chance message me when he got close and I grabbed Gringo, put a harness on him and we went out front to wait. I got the surprise of my life when Chance pulled in and Chloee (my youngest granddaughter) was with him. Gringo would have nothing to do with Kylo, he was freaked out and Kylo was so happy to be out of the car. I took Gringo inside and took Max out. He was even more terrified of the pup. I put my 3 in my bedroom and got Chance and Chloee and Kylo situated.

The next week was interesting to say the least. I tried everything to get my dogs to not be terrified of Kylo. Nothing I did worked. We (minus my dogs who hid inside) spent most of the following week around the pool as it was still 100+ degrees daily. Kylo wasn’t too sure of the pool but after a few days swimming with Hilary, he was an Olympian. The dog never stopped. He loved Hilary and her endless energy. I think she dove in the pool at least 100 times a day with Kylo right beside or sometimes on top of her. He often went after her butt with his razor-sharp teeth.

Kylo loved Hilary, well, we all loved Hilary, she’s a great match for Trace.

He’s going to be a big boy. Chance made the comment that Kylo was half-grown. I said you are sooo wrong. He’s 3 months old, he will continue to grow for another year. He’s going to be a big boy.

The kids drove over to Casa Grande Ruins in Coolidge one afternoon. Nothing super exciting but it is pretty cool.

At the ruins.

Along the way they stopped for pics of the Saguaro.

My cactus was blooming for the 4th time this summer. Trace got some cool pics of the bees inside the flowers. In total this cactus had over 350 flowers on it during the 4 blooms. Yes, I kept track, I counted the blooms each morning in the dark and entered it on my phone. By 9AM the blooms are closed and die within a day or two, then fall off.

Trace has such a good camera.

Bees everywhere and Trace is allergic. Luckily honey bees rarely sting.

My crazy cereus.

Trace and Hilary playing with Kylo.

Chloee, my youngest granddaughter.

Hilary is a dog lover, and that was a good thing. Max was afraid of Kylo.

This was the scene until I took the remote control away and made Trace go outside. The struggle is real. STILL!!

Pool lights.

Trace and Barrio

Trace watching Hilary and Kylo

Chance. He wasn’t too mobile, he just had surgery for a ruptured Achilles. Ouch.

Chloee, she’s so pretty, and Kylo.

Kylo and Hilary

A constant every day, all day scene.

He loved this floaty toy.

He even used the raft that my dogs are too fat for.

We took a ride downtown to the small neon sign park. Not much to see there. Photo @ Trace

Trace took all of the neon photos, my camera sucks at night. Photo @ Trace

Some more signs. Photo @ Trace

On the way home we saw the moon coming up and stopped so Trace could snap a few photos.

Kylo trying out for doggie Olympics. Photo @ Trace

Flying through the air. Photo @ Trace

OMG, he was so funny. Photo @ Trace

Going for it.  Photo @ Trace

He’s copying Hilary’s form. Photo @ Trace

In two days Kylo went from sort of liking the water to being a total water maniac. We had to leash him to keep him out of the pool when he got tired. Photo @ Trace

Photo @ Trace

Photo @ Trace

Crazy boy, he was so much fun. I wish my dogs could have enjoyed Kylo as much as we all did. Photo @ Trace

It was a great week spent with family. I so wish Bill had been here too, he would have enjoyed a week with the kids and he would have loved Kylo. I hope we can get the boys here again soon and the granddaughters too.

I was sad to see them all go the following Monday. I hope they left with full stomachs and happy thoughts. We had fun and it did my heart so good to have both Chance and Trace under one roof again, it’s been a long time.

Max had to get in the photo too. Photo @ Trace

Trace and Hilary left here and climbed their way back to Seattle. In the week spent driving down and the week going back, they managed to summit 50 peaks. They’re both animals.

Chance and Chloee and Kylo went to Vegas for a few days then Salt Lake then headed home, stopping for the last night in Wyoming before reaching Rapid City.

It was a long drive for both of them and they only drove because of the dog and mountains to climb. Next time they will fly. Chloee already wants to come back and Alexah has been messaging me saying she wants to come soon. Looking forward to seeing the girls much more.

Chance just bought another house. This one is in the country and is big and has a huge yard for Kylo and Dallas. Chance is going to take Alexah’s dog, Dallas, he and Kylo get along well.

While the boys were here I had cataract surgery. Geez, talk about easy, I had no discomfort at all. I’ll do the other eye when Bill gets here. I no longer need to wear glasses to drive. I needed a pair of non-prescription sunglasses so I ran over to Marshall’s. They had T W O pair in the whole entire store. One pair was semi ok so I got them. Two pairs of sunglasses in a store located in a state where the sun shines 360 days a year. I still need to get my foot fixed so I can be up and running once again.

It looks like Bill will make it for Christmas. We haven’t had a Christmas tree since 2011. Christmas 2012 I was living alone in Roatan and we moved in October of 2013. All I had on the island was a small fiber-optic tree that I bought in 1997. This year I want a tree but will need to buy an artificial one. I have NEVER in my life bought an artificial tree, this is a first. I’m hoping it will brighten my shitty mood until Bill arrives. It’s been a LOOOOONG 10 months and I have learned so many things that were never necessary to know because I had Bill to take care of it.

And with that note of JOY, I’m outta here.

The week with the Haboob and Monsoon.

09/02/2020  Here it is September and it’s still over 100 degrees every damn day. I can get Max out in the morning and not again until after dinner, too darn hot for him.

The face I get when I say, “Max, want to go out?”

Barrio and Gringo on the other hand will go out and lay on the sidewalk around the pool, it must be 100, I can barely walk on it. I haven’t been in the pool since Sunday, no reason other than I’ve been busy doing nothing. I am planning on a pool day tomorrow, I have a book I want to finish. I picked up 6 books at Goodwill a few weeks ago, they are much easier to read than my tablet while sitting in the pool. The tablet gets so hot and the sun is so bright, no matter how I adjust the screen, it’s tough reading. Much cheaper if I drop the book in the pool and not the tablet, so there is that.

Last week I noticed my Cereus cactus had over 110 new buds on it. I stopped counting at that point. It’s finally blooming again. I wish they lasted longer than one night.

Covered with buds. I think there are a total of 3 bird nests in this thing. One is used by the creepy bird but there are no eggs.

She’s H U G E.

When we get home from walking, around 6:15 AM the cactus is a buzz with bees pollinating. There is a bee in this flower.

Another cactus in the ‘hood.

About an hour after the sun has risen in the sky the blooms close up. They last one night only.

Then they turn into these things and fall off and look like small piles of dog poop.

I keep count every morning of the # of blooms. This is the third time she’s bloomed this summer and this is the most flowers ever, so far we are at 102 with a lot of buds left to open.

I noticed this cactus flowering the other day, they lasted a few days.

I didn’t plant this, the previous owner has a few cactus in a terracotta pot.

The other day I was coming home and noticed the neighbors that recently moved in had these huge crates in their yard. My friend Paula was convinced there were wild animals and short necked giraffes in them. In less than a week they were emptied, broken down and gone.

I dug my underwater camera out and snapped a few photos of Barrio swimming. He spends more time in the pool than the other two do.

They are all such strong swimmers. Barrio is the only one of the 3 that is smart enough NOT to drink the water as he goes. The other 2 drink and then get out and gag and cough. They haven’t figured it out yet.

My swimmer boy, headed for the steps.

A few weeks ago I got an alert on my phone a dust storm was possible that evening, UGH, my first HABOOB. Just a few days prior I ran to the grocery, I was gone maybe 20 minutes. As I was pulling in the driveway I noticed my blue Agave looked weird. I parked the car and walked out to look again and the thing had exploded, like there was a bomb in the center and it detonated. I have never seen anything like it. I took some photos and posted in the Casa Grande FB pages. Several people had the same thing happen. I guess it’s the extreme heat, they just can’t take it. Seems weird because they are a desert plant.

This is what I came home to.

After pulling all the leaves off this is what the center looked like.

I put on long sleeves and got heavy gloves to clean this mess up.

This piece I couldn’t even lift, Laura was going to come help me with it.

Once I got notice of the dust storm coming I went out to move the trash can and my neighbor was out there cleaning up the rest of my plant. He got the heavy piece in his trash can and took my can down to the curb for morning pick-up. I noticed the sky and he said, yep, a HABOOB is coming.

The whole light area is sand and strong winds.

The house across the street was barely visible.

The wind was howling and stuff was blowing everywhere. I walked out back and had to run back in, you could not breathe the air was so thick. It lasted about 30 minutes. After it was over I went out to look at my sparkling clean pool. I almost cried. I keep this pool spotless, ALL the time.

The Baja shelf

UGH, the dirt.

Tree branches, leaves and dirt, so much dirt.

It was awful. The morning after the storm, I let the dogs out back when we were finished walking. Barrio jumped in the pool before I could stop him. I had to bathe him.

My patio. I cleaned the patio and all the concrete around the pool before Wayne tore the filter apart.

Front entryway, Bougainvillea leaves and I don’t even have a Bougainvillea.

My friend Paula lives three houses away and they used to have a pool business, so her husband Wayne came down the morning after and started helping me clean. The one thing I don’t know how to do is tear the filter apart to clean it. Unfortunately, Wayne was covering his son’s pool business while his son was on vacation and they were inundated with calls. He didn’t have time to do my pool until Friday morning so I vacuumed it in the morning, brushed the walls down and vacuumed it again in the afternoon, every day. Once the filters were clean on Friday, we vacuumed it again and by Sunday it was clean enough to swim in.

I decided to freeze some basil because I am tired of watering it every darn day. I washed the sand off all the leaves, dried them and used the food processor with some oilve oil. Once they were mushed up I put them in ince cube trays and froze them. I’m not sure it worked. I’m going to try another way with the basil that is still growing.

I have a ton.

They really didn’t freeze well, maybe not enough olive oil?

Once I saw the blueberries at the market, all I could think of was blueberry zucchini muffins. Naturally, I passed them out to the neighbors.

I found this scary thing on my front porch, turns out it’s a Sun Spider and is harmless. Now I know.

My yard was a mess after the HABOOB so I vacuumed it. I can’t believe how nicely it cleaned up.

Have you vacuumed your yard lately?

This is how Barrio sleeps next to me. Butt in my face, feet on my pillow.

A few days after the HABOOB, we had a monsoon. It was awesome, first real rain since I’ve been here. The green spaces in the hood were flooded for a few days. It allowed me to skip adding water to the pool for a day or two.

I got my hair seriously chopped off and it feels so good, I love it. I should have done this a long time ago, it’s so much easier with the pool and all, no more pony tails.

Tomorrow I am going to get the orthotic that I had made for my ankle. I’m hoping it reduces the pain in my ankle until I can get the surgery I need.

About 6 weeks ago I started having bad pains in my stomach, had no clue what it was but I was sure it would go away. After a week I was still in pain so I went to the Dr. She sent me for an Xray, that was fine so she had me get a CT scan and then she referred me to a gastroenterologist. When I saw him he checked me out and looked at the CT scan and said I had diverticulosis. Great. He said cut back on dairy, ugh, I live on cheese. He wanted me to get a colonoscopy since it had been 8 years + since I had one. I started the prep for the procedure on a Monday, so Sunday I ate a second dinner at 8PM, just because I am stupid enough to think that would help hold me over until Tuesday afternoon. From Sunday night until after the procedure I could eat nothing but clear broth and jello and was allowed to drink water until midnight Monday. On Monday afternoon I took the laxative pills, they did nothing. At 3 I started drinking the Golytle poison. I was to drink an 8 oz glass every 10-15 minutes. Yeah, right. I was also supposed to drink a lot of water. Once the poison kicked in I was running back and forth between the living room and the bathroom, dodging 3 seventy pound dogs that thought this was a new game. After a few near misses I decided to take a zero gravity chair from the patio into the bathroom and set up shop there. The dogs were so confused. I had my computer and some magazines and the poison plus my water. I was going to watch some movies but decided to Google colonoscopies. Oh boy, that was a mistake.

The dogs were so confused. Barrio slept beside me in the bathroom, the other 2 were in bed but kept checking in to see what was going on.

By 10 PM I still had about 5 glasses to drink but said screw it, I’m done. After all, I read so much about colonoscopies that I was now ready for the gastroenterologist final exam and was convinced I had cleansed myself thoroughly. I was only interrupted once after I got in bed for a speedy jaunt to the bathroom, after that I laid in bed worrying that maybe I didn’t drink enough poison and would have TO DO THIS OVER AGAIN.

The next morning I woke feeling nasty, hungry and thirsty as hell. I got up and walked all 3 dogs separately, came home and laid down again. My appointment was at 11. I showered and then my friend Laura came to get me, she was the designated driver. I don’t know what was going on at the Dr office but they didn’t take me until 1PM. I had not eaten since 8 PM Sunday night. I was famished. I was out of there by 2. I noticed on the paper they gave me that it says, “The quality of the bowel preparation was excellent.” NO SHIT. I already knew that.

At what point does a gastro Doc realize he’s made the wrong career choice? How many colonoscopies does he do before he says, “shit, I should have been a plastic surgeon?” I had the procedure done, all is well, but honestly, you could have tied a string around my ankles and flown me in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

I’ve said this so many times, but will say it again, I don’t know what I would do without my dogs. Talk about being alone, I am totally alone. I go for 5-7 days without talking to another soul except for saying good morning to the people I see while walking the boys. These dogs are so in tune with my life and me with theirs. When I leave the house I tell them how long I’ll be gone, like they can tell time. I worry if I’m gone too long and will skip doing things just so I can get home to be with their slobbering barking faces. They give me a reason to get my butt out of bed before the sun comes up, they have contributed to me getting the exercise that I so badly needed. I love walking when it’s still dark out and the moon is full in the sky, it’s so quiet and usually about 10 degrees cooler than when the sun rises. We start and end our days together, my best friends.

I’m looking forward to October, Trace and his girlfriend are going to drive down to visit. They will stop and climb some mountains on the way, then come spend a week with me. Chance was going to come in October also but he tore his Achilles tendon and just had surgery on it. He will be laid up for 2 months, hopefully he’ll heal and still be able to come visit. I really am bummed I didn’t get to spend time with my granddaughters, I was so excited for it to happen. One of the reasons I wanted to move back to the states was to see the boys more, then Covid screwed up everything. Speaking of, oh, never mind.

Off to the foot doc, have a great September everyone.

 

 

 

Instead of shoes, I collect masks.

08/28/2020 Holy crap. Five months (thanks Jeanette) and Christmas will be over. This year has sucked for the whole world. I’m so over all of the political stuff, the riots, the protestors trashing the cities. I’m just done with it all. When does it all end? I have made a conscious effort to stay off of FB and anyone posting political BS I unfollow them immediately. It’s poison, social media will ruin the world, if it already hasn’t. I could go on but then I would be like everyone else, shoving their political views in other people’s faces, so I won’t. It’s just too much.

I have done pretty much nothing this last month. It’s been hotter than the gates of Hell here. I am up before the sun to walk the dogs. I am looking forward to 80 degree days in a few months.

Bill is still stuck on the f%$#ing island. Roatan is closed to the outside world. The people living there are only allowed out one day every 2 weeks, still going by your residency or passport number. For some idiotic reason, the people in power in Tegus believe this is the way to handle the COVID crisis. What they don’t understand is that the people in the villages are carrying on life as usual, people are still getting together, having parties. It’s ridiculous. This is another sore subject for me, another reason I have distanced myself from FB.

I had the MRI on my foot. Unfortunately, I have a ruptured tendon that is like a C shape below my ankle. If a tendon tears in half, many times it will self-repair. When they rupture they split in the middle and need to be surgically fixed. The doc said I would be off my feet for 2 months. HMMM. Not an option for me right now. Soooo, he fit me for a brace (it’s being made) that I will wear in my shoe. He knows I HAVE to walk the dogs and has given me a 3 mile a day limit. I usually end up with more miles, due to cleaning pool, vacuuming and scrubbing this big assed living/dining/kitchen/hallway room. I hate to even type those words as I am ignoring the filthy floors for a bit. I just scrubbed 2 weeks ago and you would never know it.

Getting the brace cast

I am still making dog food about every 3 weeks. I started wearing plastic gloves because I JUST CAN NOT TOUCH THAT LIVER. I am terrified of what it feels like. The rest is easy but the meat grosses me out. They love it and their skin is all cleared up, hardly any scratching or digging at all. They are each getting about 1.5 cups of dry food and 1 cup of liver and veggies (split peas and lentils cooked first, then add frozen peas, green beans and spinach and fresh carrots and zucchini) daily. The vet wants them all to lose some weight. I recently took Max back to get his T4 levels checked for his thyroid. Max weighs 75# and he jumped up on my lap and sat there for 45 freaking minutes. My legs were dying.

Chance and the girls are not coming this summer. I am so bummed but it’s probably for the best. I want to see them all so badly but I want to do it safely. He took the girls down to Denver for a few days to hang out and have a change of pace. He’s such a good Dad, Chloee pretty much lives at his place, she’s his hockey buddy too, they love the Rapid City Rush team. Chance has a cat named Luke and he just got a puppy (he’s KILLING me with photos) named Kylo. He’s an Australian Shepherd and a Lab mix. I swear I can smell puppy breath in the pics Chance sends me. It is T O R T U R E. There is nothing I love more than puppies.

Kylo and Luke. They are getting along really well.

Trace is back in the mountains again. He recently completed the Bulger List, which is summiting the 100 tallest peaks in Washington state. He is the 77th person to complete this feat. Pretty cool. He took some awesome photos that I shared on FB. He is happiest way off in the mountains with the goats and the fog. He’s still living south of Seattle, which is a political mess and he’s working for REI.

One of the photos Trace took while completing the last two summits.

I took the boys (individually) to Villago Park to walk around the lakes, It’s 1.01 miles around both of them. It was pretty early in the morning. Max whined the whole mile, Barrio looked over his shoulder, he doesn’t like anything (ducks) or people behind us and Gringo whined most of the time too. I’m not sure why I bother, maybe it’s just a change of scenery for me.

Barrio is terrified of the ducks.

Reflections on the lakes are so pretty.

One-handed cell phone shots.

I’m not much of a TV person. Bill and I stopped getting cable in 2003 and never started again. I never turn the TV on until after 7 PM, sometimes it never gets turned on. Recently my friend Laura told me about a show on Hulu called The Biggest Little Farm. It’s a true documentary that has won many awards. Take the time to watch it, such an amazing show. I’m still into Schitt’s Creek and can watch it over and over again if I can’t find anything else to numb my brain for an hour or two. Trace messaged me last night and told me to watch The Last Dance, a show about Michael Jordan. Trace and I were huge Bulls fans and watched every game. Michael Jordan is the best BB player ever, his professionalism and hard work made him a great role model for many young athletes. Another show I started watching is called The Business of Drugs on Netflix. I knew the Sinaloa Cartel were a rich bunch but I had no idea just how rich they were. A real eye opener.

I’ve been trying to find things to do besides haunt all the Goodwill stores in Chandler, Az. I have found some awesome stuff there but really don’t need more “stuff.”

I found this kit on Amazon and ordered it. It’s tiny plastic diamond cut pieces that you stick to an adhesive color by number picture. I counted the number of dots in the first one that I did and it was 11,070 dots. I had to go buy readers to see to even do it. It was tiring to do but fun at the same time. I got one done and have one to go.

Just getting started

Almost done

Now I need to figure out how to frame it. I’ve already started the second one.

I also finally finished my first scrapbooking project in years. I bought the cinch machine a few months ago and lacked any motivation to finish what I started. Today I decided was the day to get it done. I’m not sure the binding is correct but it works and I’ll learn from my mistakes.

Cover. Kind of lame, I just don’t want to spend a fortune on scrapbook stuff, it is so expensive.

Binding

A few inside pages

This is the Cinch machine that I bought. It puts holes in the pages. Then you hang the spine on the side and load the pages.

Once the pages are loaded you put it in the back of the machine and press the lever, that “cinches” the wire binding.

I’ve been taking on some manly projects around here, like cutting the branches off the palm trees out front. If they get too low to the ground, besides not looking nice, they attract scorpions. Speaking of, they are coming to spray for them again tomorrow morning, so far I’ve killed 2 inside and found a dead one in the garage. I detest scorpions.

See the pokey parts on the stems? They are so sharp!

Full can of palm fronds.

Olivia bought me 2 Starbucks Christmas mugs at least 10 years ago. I used them year-round because they made me think of Olivia. While still on Roatan, the dogs knocked one off a chair arm and it broke. Just the other day I hit the other one on the side of the sink and it broke. These 2 mugs have been used every day for over 10 years. I was devastated that I broke it, ruined the whole damn day.

The dogs all had a swim today and are napping. I think I might just join them for a bit. Haircut is at 10 on Friday, can’t wait. I’ve decided I’m going short because many times I don’t get in the pool because I don’t want to deal with my hair. I’m looking forward to a new do, I hate wearing my hair the same for years on end. No more ponytails for me.

A few sunset, sunrise photos. The sky is so pretty.

Cotton candy colors

Partial rainbow??

Thought for sure we would get some rain this evening. We didn’t.

I even did a rain dance. Not a damn drop.

I look forward to the US returning to some normalcy so my friends can come and visit and I can see my boys and the girls. It’s been way too long.

Fingers crossed for Roatan, they are still hurting, no income for most of the islanders which means no food for their families. It’s a bad situation. Nidia is trying, but she can only do so much.

I’m honestly afraid that the rest of this year will last for 341 months. I’m so over everything.

Peace out and stay safe.

Half a year bites the dust.

06/25/2020 By the time I get this posted it will be 6 months that I’ve lived in Arizona. I never thought I would feel stranded in my new hometown, but I do. Not to the extent that Bill and my friends on the island are feeling, only allowed out one day every 2 weeks, but stranded nonetheless. I can go to the stores when I want to, mask-wearing is required, but I am allowed out.

The idyllic, previously non-covid infected island of Roatan has more cases than they can currently handle, Honduras as a country, is a shit show. The country is/was very unprepared for a virus like this to hit an already besieged, impoverished place. My heart aches for everyone there, ex-pats and islanders alike, they’re all living in a strange new time, cut off from the rest of the world. The Governor and the congressman, Dino and Ron, have been working nonstop dealing with a very unstable main government, very trying times.

Nobody knew in January that mid-March would become a house of horrors for the world. Bill was here visiting for a week and left the 12th of March, the island, and the world as we knew it shut down soon after his return to Roatan. We are all hoping and praying that the virus can be contained and that the people living there can soon start making some money. Remember, there is no unemployment or welfare. If you’re out of money, you’re out of money. Nidia (BECAUSE WE CARE, SOL, ROARESCUE, LIVE AGAIN MINISTRIES) and  MANY MANY other organizations have been supplying food as fast as they can get money to buy it. Food is a continual need, it’s gone in 5 days. If anyone is interested in donating please email me at ledfutt@gmail.com.

So, it’s been the boys, me and my sucky injured ankle. My ankle has not healed so I went to a new foot doc. He took Xrays, nothing broken (good) but he thinks I may have torn a tendon(s) so I had an MRI on Saturday. I see the doc again on Thursday. I’m still walking the dogs 3 miles a day and many days end up with 5 or 6 miles a day after cleaning or going shopping.

I got my sewing machine out to do some alterations to the waterproof covers I got for the chairs the dogs sleep on and the tension was all screwed up. I posted online and was given a name so I called and got their address and took my machine over.

I figured I was at the right place when I saw this by the mailbox. The man was so sweet, he fixed my machine and got it running great again.

The day after I got it back,  I decided to fix my swim skirt and the chair covers. I did the swim skirt, tried it on, it was ok, then started on the chair covers but ran out of elastic. I put the dogs in their kennels and ran to Joann’s and then to Michaels to get elastic and some other stuff. I also stopped at the grocery store. After I got home I realized I had gone all of those places in my SWIM SKIRT. OMG.

The last time I took the dogs to the vet my A/C stopped working on the way home. I called a local garage and scheduled an appointment. They said my condenser had a leak and I needed it replaced, $500.00. I knew we got an extended warranty on my car so I called the dealer and they said it if was indeed a bad condenser, it was covered. I drove it up there and dropped it off. They gave me a 2020 Honda Civic loaner car. Nice car but it was so low I practically had to get on my hands and knees to get out of it.

That was a Tuesday. They called the same day and said it was covered. PHEW!! The following Monday they called and said the car was ready. I was so grateful to have my car back. For Honda to do the work it was double what the local shop would have charged. When the warranty expires, I will not be going to the Honda dealer for repairs.

I’ve been cooking/baking a lot more than I did the last 7 years. I made 2 pans of 5 cheese lasagna (no meat), almond biscotti dipped in chocolate, blueberry zucchini muffins. Problem is, I’m eating it too.

My friend Laura gave me 2 pork sirloin roasts so I cooked them and made pulled pork. I have a lot of it in the freezer, it will last for awhile and is so good. Yes, I eat pork, it’s white meat.

I’ve also been cooking for the dogs. Beef liver is cooked in the crock pot in the garage because I can’t stomach the smell. Then I cook spinach, peas and carrots, beans, lentils and zucchini in a huge pot and add the liver when it’s cooked. They love it and all of their skin issues are clearing up.

Olivia thought it was Italian wedding soup, whatever the hell that is. This will last 3 weeks maybe. I made it June 14th and I only have the big container left in the freezer.

I have a huge cactus in front of my bedroom window. I was not particularly fond of it until it did this:

It’s a Cereus hildmannianus QUEEN OF THE NIGHT. Below the flower you can see the bird nest that has been there for several months. No eggs, no babies. However, it has a resident evil bird.

This bird sat there while I took flash photos.

I get all Alfred Hitchcockish with this bird and it’s spooky eyes. I make sure to have glasses of some sort on so this bird doesn’t peck my eyeballs out.

Then last night there were two, just glaring at me. They’re ganging up, I know one night there will be a flock of Angry Birds attacking me.

This only bloomed once, no birds either.

Beautiful sky, too bad I’m way too lazy to use my real camera.

5 AM sky

The deserts’ answer to bubble wrap. I have so much fun cracking all of the seed pods on the sidewalks and roads. I’m 7 years old again. This is Max on his morning walk.

Butt brothers getting a drink

Max is so obnoxious. When he wants something, he wants it NOW. He wanted inside and I was ignoring him. He hits me too, full-on hauls off and cracks me with his paw. He is so spoiled, I’ve started grabbing his paw and telling him no but he’s persistent.

My friend Lowanna saw this card and sent it to me, I love it, can’t wait until she can come visit!

Another friend Paula made these 2 bracelets and sent them to me. I love them because the colors resemble the desert colors. I don’t know how she can do something so intricate. I love them.

Barrio taking a swim,

They like the ledge on the pool. We’re having a guy come and run the pool water through a reverse osmosis system to get some of the calcium out and make the water better. The water here is so hard and so much calcium in it that everything gets marked. Especially my skin.

The photo isn’t hung crooked, I was too lame to stand up to take the photo. I ordered this “Pulp Fiction” print off of Red Bubble. I love it!! (I listen to a radio station broadcast from a prison here in AZ, KCDX. Best station I’ve ever listened to, NO talking, just music. They just played the song John Travolta and Uma Thurman danced to in the scene in my picture ^^^, The song is You Never Can Tell by Chuck Berry.)

I want to give a special shout out to my friend Cole. Cole was working at Blue Island Divers on Roatan when I did my refresher course. I got to dive with him several times, he is an absolute fish and has a great love for the ocean. He is now in Boca Raton, Florida running a camp for kids called Bubble Blowers Kids Camp. They are learning all about snorkeling, diving and caring for the underwater environment and making sure the beaches are kept in a pristine condition. If you’re in the area and have kids, this is a great thing for them to do. Cole is a PADI certified dive instructor and will instill in your kids his love for the ocean. Check him out HERE

So, here we are 6 months out, not a damn thing has changed. I have done nothing really exciting at all and I’m bored. My only guilty pleasure is Amazon and I have really cut down on that because I don’t NEED anything. I’m hoping Chance and his girls will be able to come visit this month, that will at least be some company. Things aren’t looking good for Bill getting off the island anytime soon, which really sucks, especially for him. One day out every two weeks is pretty damn sucky and there is nothing he can do about it. Keeping fingers crossed the island can get a grip on this virus and figure things out so the people can get back to their lives and welcome visitors again.

Stay safe everyone.

What the world needs now is P E A C E.

May 2, 2020. (let me start by apologizing, this blog makes no sense, just like everything else right now. If you manage to read the whole thing, thank you)

It’s been Arizona hot for a while now and my drip irrigation isn’t working, I had a new drip control meter installed but now there is no water coming out and with these temps, the trees need to be watered. I have been watering everything myself for the last few days and it’s a pain in the butt with this boot on my foot. My friend Cindy hooked me up with her guy Manny quite a while ago. Manny came out and looked at the yard and suggested some things but said to wait until the end of March to do anything. He came last week and gave me an estimate and will put in an all-new sprinkler system next weekend. I want to get more plants but can’t until they are properly being watered.

I can’t believe I’m having foot issues again. Too much walking for an old lady.  I did not ease into it, just went full throttle as always. (don’t have boot on yet)

And the BOOT: I have severe tendonitis in my right foot and some tendonitis in my left. The right foot has a nice lump below my ankle that is bigger than my ankle bone, AND IT’S ALL MY OWN FAULT. My feet were crying, no matter what shoes I wore, less so with the cheap Skechers because they don’t lace up over the high part of my foot above my instep, so I wore them and kept walking. Until I could barely walk anymore. I just could not stand the dogs staring at me wanting to go for their walks. The guilt was awful. I limped them on short walks on Thursday morning before I went to the Doctor. She said no walking for 2 weeks, then I go back. Hopefully, the swelling is down so she can re Xray the right foot. I still have my lovely boot from when I broke my ankle zip-lining in Roatan in 2011. I went over to my neighbors after the foot doc appt because he goes to the same Doctor. George, my awesome neighbor, gave me his electric scooter to use for however long I need it. So, now I walk the dogs as I ride along on a scooter. They hate it, it’s tough for Barrio the Bloodhound to sniff everywhere he goes, Max, the public pooper is on the road next to me so no scoping out perfect poop spots and Gringo, the Venus Flytrap gets yanked along if he stops too long to snap at flies (or else my shoulder gets dislocated). Me? Crazy scooter lady. Hey, it works, I can still walk the dogs.

This morning we left the house at 6:30 AM, late start. I get so many smells walking through the hood. This morning I smelled BACON, French toast and fabric softener. The boys were all dragging tongue on the last leg of the walk. I got Max to sit between my feet and I moved the scooter a little, freaked him out, he jumped off. Same with Barrio, not into riding on it at all. Pretty much all of the people I see every morning walking have asked me what I did. Damn Damn Damn. At least I can appreciate all the beautiful flowering trees.

Palo Verde, gorgeous but really a messy dirty tree.

Looking from under a Palo Verde tree.

Purple desert Willow

Pink desert willow

And here we are, a week later. Still hot as hell here, 104-106, grateful for the pool and air conditioning. I’m still scootering the dogs and they are NOT fond of it at all. It’s obviously too hot for Max to even go swimming, he’s figured out if he gets in the pool he must dry off before he can come inside so he refuses to go in. Next week there is a cold front coming in, temps will be in the 90’s. Maybe he’ll go in then.

I got a new TV in January but Bill was gone before the internet was hooked up. I programmed the TV myself and in the process cultivated several new curse words and shed some tears, but I did it. Recently I started having streaming issues. Since my phone could stream I decided it was the TV. After an hour plus online I finally figured out how to put in a service call with Samsung. They were to come a certain day at a certain time. I planned around their visit. Then I started getting calls from a service guy who I could not understand what he was saying, wanting to come different days. I said no. They kept calling and I kept saying NO. Their scheduled date to arrive was here and they showed up a few hours early. They put booties on their feet, gloves and a mask before they came in. They took the TV down, laid it on the carpet and took it apart. I felt like I was in a sci-fi/alien abduction show. I could hardly understand a word they said. They fixed it and said I needed a wi fi booster, actually, he wrote it on a sheet of paper. I figured they were wrong because my cell gets full signal but at that point I wanted them to leave. What they did, they claim, was put a new brain in the TV.

I still had streaming issues so I bought a Roku and hooked it up. It’s much better now. Well, most of the time.

I’ve been reading a lot. I get free books via Amazon Prime that I buy to read electronically. For some reason I bought a real book, and I loved it.

Great book!

Olivia told me to read All the Light We Can Not See. I started it and was having a hard time getting into it but it’s getting much better now.

Bill is still STUCK on the damn island. They just decided the island residents could only go out 1 day EVERY TWO WEEKS, which is ridiculous. Bill’s day out was Tuesday and this is what he found at the grocery store. He did go back later in the day and they had a better selection but not as much as normal.

He is so ready to leave there but he can’t. No flights out, at this time the island is still closed for business. The people on the island have no income, they depend on tourism and there is NONE. They have no money to eat, robberies are up, home invasions are up, all this is happening despite the fact there is a curfew and police are doing roadblocks checking ID’s to see if it is your allotted day out. Monday Bill helped Nidia distribute food down in the colonia below our house. He said so many people were waiting for food, it was heartbreaking. We bought enough chickens for all the families in El Higuero.

Bill with two of my friends, Kirsty in the blue shirt and Cindy with the pink mask.

I so wish I were there to help Nidia, she has been working non-stop since the island shut down. I believe she has raised over 75K to buy food. The thing is, the food doesn’t last, it’s enough for a family for 5-6 days, then they are out. No food, no income. Such a crappy life situation.

UPDATE on the Roatan situation: The island has been under lockdown. No ships allowed to dock on Roatan. Well, the other night 9 people snuck in on a boat, landed in Jonesville in The Santos Guardiola municipal, where we live. It’s still unclear how they were caught. They were placed in quarantine for 14 days. One of the guys snuck out, got a motorcycle and was headed to his home mid-island. There was a huge manhunt. No clue if they caught him or not but the brilliant minds that run the country decided to place the whole east end of the island in lockdown for another 2 weeks. Previously people were allowed out one time every two weeks, Bill’s day out was May 5th. The whole lockdown on the island was to end tomorrow and people would again be free to move around the island.

{Island update: 5/25/20 They allowed the people on the east end to circulate freely last week after there was a major protest, which was great. They could go to the beach, visit friends, shop any day they wanted, until one of the guys who came from the mainland tested positive for the virus. He had been on the run for a week I believe, who knows how many he infected. Now the island is locked down again. The government is so screwed up. If they had handled the people trying to get back to the island properly, this would not have happened. Now people have to sanitize their shoes before entering a store and in some gated communities they are sanitizing car tires.} The past week saw many changes for the island. The authorities built spray booths that people had to walk through to cross the line into the other municipal and also to enter the hospital and grocery stores. What they were spraying people with nobody knows. They also were spraying cars and the tires with the thought process that people who may be infected spit on the ground, cars drive over it and their tires are infected. I guess that means there are a lot of tire lickers on the island because that’s the only way Covid could be spread from a tire. The booths lasted a day or two. Another waste of money by the people making decisions. The island is still on a number system, Bill is allowed out Tues this week, first in a few weeks. It really sucks that he is stuck there, trying to sell the house and confined to it. No tourists allowed on the island still, who knows when it will open up again.

After I scootered (new word) the dogs last night we all went out back so I could water the Queen Palms. It’s 7:20 and Max jumps in the pool, then the other 2 do also. I know it felt good and they wanted to swim but it was time to go inside and relax and they were soaking wet. I sat down on the chair and dried each of them as well as I could. I have to keep big beach towels on the leather chairs and stool in the living room because they are always damp even after I dry them. (Just ordered some waterproof covers for the two chairs)

Added bonus of the scooter, no carrying the poop bag.

The hoodlums in the hood set fire to the trash can.

I’m bored enough that, even though I gave 95% of my scrapbook supply to Kirsty @ SOL on Roatan, I’ve decided to start scrapbooking again. Let the Amazon orders begin. I got a Cinch machine to make little books. I got chipboard to make the covers and the wire that goes in the holes that the machine punches in the pages. Then you use the machine again to close the wires and make a wire-bound scrapbook. Looking forward to using it, in fact, I’m going to go play around with it today. When I shipped stuff back to the US I only shipped one of two containers of scrapbook stuff. Of course, the one I didn’t ship has all my pens and ink pads and stamps in it. Hopefully Bill can fill a suitcase with it if he ever can leave the island.

I saw the Doc after 2 weeks and she said I could walk the dogs wearing the boot. Well, I did 2 miles the first evening and was hurting. (My neighbor wanted his scooter back so it could sit in his garage and absorb cigarette smoke, they don’t use it.) Whatever, it’s theirs and I’m grateful I could use it for two weeks but one more week would have been super. I walked them again the next morning, only 2 miles total for all 3 and my left hip started hurting.The third time walking them and my hip started hurting more than my foot so I’m down to one walk a day for now and they are not happy dogs at all. They stare at me and make me feel like a wretched pet owner. I’m not wearing the boot anymore and I have a whole new appreciation for people with a peg leg. The unevenness walking did me in. I’m just going slow and not doing 7 miles a day. (I only skipped evening walks one night, my guilt was too much for me). I am back walking 3 miles in the morning and 1.5 in the evening. My foot still hurts but I can walk and the boys are happy. Lord knows, that’s ALL that matters here.

Boredom is a thing. Some stores have been open, we have the freedom to go where we want when we want, but many things are still closed. Tomorrow I’m venturing out to the scrapbook/craft stores and then stopping at the grocery store for more fruit. That will probably be the highlight of my week. If I can find enough scrap stuff that I want, I’ll start working on a new book, if not, I’ll be poolside, chugging 60-90oz of water a day and vodka or wine at night.

We are in the triple digits here. My weather app said it was so hot that the birds were using oven mitts to pull worms from the ground. I walk the dogs around 5:30 and am home around 7:15. They still are walked separately. My poor ankle.

I’m wrapping this up, I started it May 2nd, it’s like a damn albatross. So over it. I’m ready for company but my state has not fully opened, in fact, they just imposed an 8PM curfew. No worries for me, I am never out after 8, unless it’s in my own back yard.

My wish for all of you is P E A C E. It’s what the world needs now. XOXO

It’s a strange new world.

Quote found on Instagram, no idea who to give credit to.

04/14/2020  It’s now 7:20 Tuesday night. The TV is on the YouTube dog channel. Last night the boys were actually watching the TV. There were a few dogs on a beach and they ran off to the left, off the screen. Gringo ran to the left of the TV and looked behind it for those dogs. He was so confused.

I’m at my laptop rubbing olive oil on my hands, arms, neck and face. Also on the ends of my hair. Feeling my Italian heritage tonight.

I’m using olive oil because I’m too lazy to get the coconut oil on the back porch. Twenty steps away and I’ve already walked 5.42 miles today, 12,294 steps. L A Z Y  Olive oil smells just as good, maybe more delicious than exotic, but good nonetheless.

Seriously, who would have thought that we would experience something like this in our lifetime? Not me for sure. I moved here to see my kids more, for a change of scenery, to explore new places, visit new cities and here I sit at my house, looking at the same walls every day and wondering when the world will run the hell out of toilet paper. WHO KNEW??

I’m not complaining. I have a house, I have food and everything else that I need. I’m OK alone, I’m bored and continually spend $$ but I’m OK, so far. I lived alone on Roatan for 4 months, left Mar 2013, with a dog I resued while there, Highway. I’ve been here in AZ since Dec 29, 2019. Carmen and Brett were here for a week and Bill for 9 days. Other than that, it’s the dogs and me.

Our days consist of: waking up around 6:30. The boys don’t move until I actually get up. They go out to potty. I get dressed, brush my teeth, grab a drink of water and we leave. Walking one at a time, so I walk 3 times in a row every morning and afternoon. I’m currently averaging 6 miles a day. In $40.00 Skechers.

Trace just talked me into buying some Altra shoes, they will be here this week. I bought an expensive, not necessarily good, pair of shoes in Feb. I can’t wear them, they’re Abeos. Don’t buy Abeos.

They came super fast and are so ugly but they are comfy. I walked 7 miles today wearing them. I have some new aches and pains but that’s to be expected since I’ve walked in shoes not meant for walking long distances.

My best day so far. 710 calories is equal to how many glasses of wine?

It’s going to get too hot to walk pretty soon, unless we go really early. I don’t want to go at dusk because I see what the coyotes kill laying along the walkway by the desert every morning, I’m not into a coyote meeting with any of my dogs. I’ve seen enough rabbit parts for the year already. My neighbor messaged me tonight to watch for rattlesnakes while walking by the desert, he said they’re coming out. GREAT NEWS.

My dogs are still idiots when they see another dog. Total idiots. Sometimes I think, why am I even walking them? It’s tiresome. I still am not convinced they know they are dogs.

Many flowers are in bloom along the paths of where we walk. Bottlebrush and Coreopsis are everywhere.

Coreopsis

Bottlebrush

I’ve noticed that many cactus are starting to flower. Even the one in my backyard has buds on it and the barrel cactus out front has flowers.

Pretty sure this will be flowers.

Barrel Cactus

I’m waiting for a landscape guy to come. I have 3 miscanthus shrubs (thank you Stan for identifying them for me) that I want gone. They’re dirty and ugly during the winter. The guy that I bought the house from planted a tree in the front yard, after much googling, I figured out it was a Jacaranda. As pretty as they are, I thought it looked stupid there and they are messy dirty trees anyhow so I advertised it, for free. Had a ton of people want it. Some guy came and dug it out and took it home to plant. That was easy. Gee, maybe he wants my miscanthus.

Jacaranda tree. The metal cactus behind it will be a new project for Bill. I think it would be cool if it were lit from inside.

The dogs consume most of my life. Max had a tooth pulled a few weeks ago. The vet said he would be very groggy for a few hours. He came home and jumped in the pool. Groggy my butt. He did get spoiled and had wet dog food for a week, it didn’t seem to bother him and his teeth are sparkling now. He’s such a lazy butt. He fell asleep the other day in the chair, an everyday occurrence.

Yep, he’s comfortable.

Then Barrio had a sneezing fit and startled Max.

So he slept with his feet in the air for the rest of the afternoon.

Notice the towel in the background? Yes, I’m peeing and Barrio wants to make sure I am OK. I HAVE NO PRIVACY AT ALL.

I was brushing my teeth and went back in the bedroom to go to bed and had 77# of fur laying where my body usually goes. I have to smoosh into bed and keep gently nudging him, in 15-20 minutes he will eventually move.

Max the maniac

I have been baking like crazy, coconut oatmeal cookies, choc chip banana bread, choc chip cookies and then 2 loaves of apple bread. Funny thing is, I have no desire to eat it. I walk some stuff over to Nick and give to George and Stella, my super awesome neighbors. I even froze cookies because I didn’t want to throw them away and I didn’t want to eat them. Stella has bought me about 8# of flour, I am unable to get it when I order groceries. I still can’t get yeast. Maybe it’s a good thing, I start baking bread, I’ll never stop. Speaking of baking, I got a new apron. I haven’t had one for years.

This is my apron, if you haven’t watched Schitt’s Creek then I don’t think we can be friends any longer. Best show EVAHHHHH.

I also bought a sticker for my water bottle (yes, I’m a teenager again).

More Schitt’s Creek

I got a wild hair and had to change all of my scrapbooks to black albums. DO NOT ASK WHY. I just did. I bought 7 12X12, 6 6X6 and 3 8.5X11.

In front are the 8.5X11

8X8

What I NEVER thought of was that the page protector holes may not line up with the rings in the binder. They didn’t. So I had to order a hole punch and punch new holes in 95% of the page protectors. That was a hateful job.

This bowl of guac cost me $35+ dollars. All because I forgot to order a red onion when I ordered groceries. Can’t make guac without one. I wasn’t going to order from Fry’s again, $10.00 delivery fee + tip. WalMart has $30 minimum order but the WM close to me didn’t have any pickup openings for a week so I ordered $35+ worth of groceries from Coolidge, a town 25 miles away. The dogs and I went and picked them up. ALL FOR GUAC.

Barrio at grocery pickup

Gringo (L) and Max.

So who has watched this train wreck of a TV show? Joe Exotic, the Tiger King. Craziest show with an absolutely unbelievable WTH cast. I’m almost ashamed to say I watched it. Don’t be like Joe, Joe is nuts. Bill messaged me that he had watched some of the Lion King and the guy was nuts. I responded, Tiger King. LOL!!

Boredom and wine= odd photos

A Queen Palm shadow

The gnarly cactus that has already poked holes in my head is outlined nicely behind the Coolaroo shade.

Barrio, he’s so easy to walk, I probably don’t need a leash. Except, Rattlesnakes.

On our walk.

Max likes to go for a few swims, then he wants to go inside and sleep on the leather chair. I try to make him stay out to dry off, he’s a freaking wooly mammoth. He is very insistent when he wants something. The other day I was ignoring the fact that he wanted inside so he jumped on my chaise and started whacking my butt with his paw. I was ready to smack him back but instead got hysterical that my dog was this demanding and that I give in because he is so difficult to deal with. HE’S A DOG.

I was on my last walk of the morning with Gringo, who had pooped along the way, causing me to carry a bag of dog poop, when I saw two friends. They stopped me and gave me a bouquet of flowers, a bag of salad, a container of Kiwi, a dragonfruit, carrots and potatoes. My hands were totally full, I could barely unlock the door. I kicked it closed with my foot and ran to the counter to drop everything. Once I began to put things away, I realized the BAG OF DOG POOP was laying on my counter too.

Dragonfruit is delicious.

After careful research I have determined that different colored M&M’s DO taste differently. Now to do blind test tests.

Bill, Highway and Lola are still stuck on the island. The Mayor issued a statement that some businesses could reopen but had to maintain safety measures, then the Honduran govt said oh no they can’t. Who knows, it is Honduras after all. I’ve read that the island won’t be reopened to tourism until September, if that’s true it will have a devastating effect on the local economy. It is already a poor island, I don’t know how it can get much worse, but it will. Bill is still confined to home, allowed to go out only on Mondays, determined by the last digit of your residency card. He’s bored beyond belief, luckily he’s brewing beer, that gives him something to do.

I’m grabbing a kiwi and the other half of the dragonfruit and going back outside. It’s too damn cold in this house. I hate air conditioning, but I bet I will learn to love it in a few months.

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.

And here I am.

 

 

Jan 31, 2020  So there you have it. Starting a new decade in a different house, in a state I’ve never lived in and somewhere that I don’t know anyone in the city I’m in except my cousin, who I have not seen for 30 years. It’s just me and the boys. Roatan was just not where I wanted to be anymore and I’m fortunate that I was able to leave.

We had a rather difficult trip here with the dogs, American Airlines suck, to say the least.  After filing 5 complaints and getting zero responses I just posted on their FB page, Yelp, Twitter and Trip Advisor. I’m not done either, going to get some more email addresses and send them off later tonight.  I won’t go into the details except to say when we made reservations on the phone, they would not allow me to pay to take my elderly cat on board. When we got to the Roatan airport the American agent said we were given incorrect info and could take her on board but I did not have the proper carrier.  As a result of that, she died the day we arrived.

Bill, the dogs, cat and I spent 10 hours in the Dallas Fort Worth airport. We could have gotten 2 hotel rooms (2 pets per room) but with 3 dogs and their crates and a cat and a crate, three big suitcases and 3 carry-ons it would have been more stressful getting to the hotel than staying at the airport.

Imagine me trying to do this alone. 3 dog, 1 cat crate, 3 checked bags and three carry ons PLUS 3 dogs and a cat.

Max, always a lap dog.

Bill was desperate for sleep.

Me. I just wanted to charge my phone so I could order a mattress and other stuff on Amazon. These three dogs were so well behaved at DFW. All night long in an unfamiliar place with random people and big floor polishing machines. They were excellent.

DFW rules says if you have an animal that was traveling with you they must be on a leash. My dogs were perfect angels the whole night. I took them outside across to the parking garage at least eight times, begging them to go potty but it smelled too much in the dog relief area and they wouldn’t go. I even found an area with grass in it and crawled up on the wall and got the dogs to come up too, still no potty. And it was COOOLLLDD out.

While back in the airport I had Barrio with me and went in to the bathroom to fill up their water bowl. It must have been 2 AM, I had nothing to eat and was cranky as hell. A homeless woman came into the bathroom schlepping all her shit in cardboard boxes and bags. She yelled at me to get my dog out of the bathroom. She yelled at the wrong person, I explained that my dog had a paid for ticket and he had every right to be with me. Then later on I was sitting on the floor, charging my phone while ordering a new mattress on Amazon (isn’t that when you order mattresses?) and she came by again wanting to go into the bathroom. The boys were laying down, nowhere near the entrance. She yelled at me to get my dogs out of there, I suggested she find another bathroom if she couldn’t fit in the entryway to this one.  Later I saw her sleeping in a chair and was tempted to have the dogs go wake her up but she looked pretty insane and I didn’t want anything to happen to the dogs. Crazy assed people.

The agent who wouldn’t allow Emmy to fly in the cabin booked us on the 7:15 AM flight out of DFW to PHX. Dogs being allowed to travel is very dependent on ground temperature at all airports. We NEVER should have been booked on that flight. The nice AA agent in DFW put us on the next flight and did not charge us the $200 fee per ticket to change the flights because it was an AA agents error.

We ended up on the 9AM flight but the damn plane had a mechanical issue so we sat for 50 minutes before the freaking maintenance crew came. It took them 3 minutes to fix the plane. The whole time I was freaking out about the animals. I was in an aisle seat and the young man next to me really needed two seats, as he took up most of mine. I was unable to have my left arm in the natural position, I had to hold it in front of my body, there was nowhere else to put it and there was not an empty seat on the plane. The young man could not fasten his seat belt either, none of the flight attendants even checked. Thankfully we had no turbulence or I would have been flattened.

We arrived in PHX an hour later than scheduled. We were in constant communication with our friends (we met them on Roatan but they live in PHX). They graciously offered to meet us and take us to our house AND to let us use their extra car for the week Bill was here. We were headed to the baggage claim when they met up with us. Bill and Dave went to over sized cargo and got the dogs, Kerry and I waited for the luggage. Once they got the dogs out of their crates they took them to the dog relief area at PHX and I guess they all exploded their saved up waste and were very relieved to do so. Emmy was not doing well at all. She was almost limp, the trip was too much for her. We made it to the house, Bill had 2 of the boys, I had Barrio in Kerry’s car. Once Dave opened the gate and I took the dogs leashes off they were in the pool in a heartbeat.

First swim in their new pool.

The realtor came with all of the keys for us. Soon after that Kelly came. She planned to be at the airport but I didn’t see any reason when we could fit everything in the 2 cars we had. Kelly came to the house with everything you could think of that we would need. She brought towels, paper plates, water, wine, snack trays, fruit, garbage bags, screwdrivers, you name it, she brought it. She also brought a queen sized blow up mattress because my mattress wouldn’t be delivered for a few days.

Kerry and Dave left their second car for us to use while Bill was here, Dave even brought tools along in case Bill needed to put things together or whatever. So thoughtful. What a blessing, we didn’t have to rent a car.Kelly was still here. I kept checking on Emmy and she was not getting any better, she couldn’t stand up. I just had a gut feeling that she was not going to make it. A few minutes later I went in to get her, thinking we could take her to a vet but she had passed away. Just what I needed, two days of travel from hell and my cat dies the day we arrive. We found a vet and took her there, they said she had passed and could handle the remains for me. Poor Emmy cat, she was 13 years old and had a good life. I miss her.

So began my life in Arizona. Bill was here with me for the first week, we had to find a car for me and get furniture. I don’t remember any of what we did the first few days. One day we drove to the Phoenix area and looked at cars. We saw a few but one I really liked, a  2015 Honda CR-V.

The car is perfect for the dogs, good shape, 78000 miles. We bought it. It seemed like we were gone for so long I wanted to get home to the dogs, they were still stressed being somewhere new.

My new wheels.

Barrio and Gringo. I bought them new beds for their crates, first time they used them Barrio ripped a hole in his. Stressed I’m sure. I got some material and patched it.

Max, dead to the world, having doggy dreams.

I had to call the furniture store and verify the time they would be here on Sunday. We still had no internet at the house and neither AT&T nor Verizon work in the area we live. I had to drive to where I got a signal and call them. While I had them on the phone I ordered a bedroom suit for the guest room too, why not, as long as I was already paying a delivery fee. I sat by the Cowboy Church and had a great signal.

In front of the Cowboy Church.

I had Bill change all the smoke detector batteries so that I wouldn’t be trying to silence one going off on the 18′ ceiling in the middle of the night. He also changed the bulbs in the fans and I washed the glass covers, new filters on the furnace and hung some hook things in the laundry room. I was struggling to keep the kitchen island clean. A battle I did not easily win. We were taking turns walking the dogs. Bill did most of the walking until he left, then I took over.

Bill was here a week, he went home on the 4th. It was me and the dogs, a new TV and new laptop but no internet to use either. The furniture was delivered Sunday and the internet guy came Monday. Finally, things were moving along. All I had to do was figure out how to use a smart TV. Remember, I have not watched TV on a TV since 2013. This was a whole new world getting signed into all of my accounts on the TV. Yikes! It took lots of curse words, a few Whatsapps to Bill and a call to Amazon, but I got it.

I was walking all 3 dogs at the same time, three times a day. After being knocked down twice by them getting all excited and strangling my legs with the leashes I realized something needed to change. At my age I’m just one fall away from a broken hip and I don’t have time for that! I took the boys to be evaluated by a dog trainer in the area. She evaluated them individually and said they were all suffering from anxiety. Probably. She also said NOT to walk them all at once because I had no control over anything and also to stop using a choke chain. I bought 2 harnesses from her (Gringo and Barrio share). They are made by Canine Equipment and have a leash hook on the chest and one of the leashes fastens on to the Martingale part of the harness on the top of the neck. They don’t choke the dogs, they can’t get out of them and it gives me the control. So now I’m walking each of them individually two times a day. I did not sign up for her classes though because her website says $100/ dog for 4 training sessions but because my dogs are older it’s $250/ dog. I would visit with her an hour a week and she would evaluate what the dogs learned and tell me what to work on. So I was paying her to train me, which I understand is the actual thing that is done but I didn’t want to be trained by a piece of paper, I wanted a trainer watching. What if I’m training the wrong way? So $750 for 1 hour +/- for 4 weeks. No thank you.

Suicidal dog walking.

I bought one of these for 3 dogs. It didn’t work at all. I should try to resell it on Amazon.

My new mattress came on Thursday. It had a very dirty cover on it so I drove to the cell phone reception area and called Amazon. The rep said no problem, put it back in the box and we’ll issue a call tag for it. I said, “wait, what? Put it back in the box, that’s impossible.” He said maybe a neighbor can help. Twenty neighbors could not get a mattress that came compressed to 6″, wrapped by a machine and put in the box by a machine. The mattress was now 10″ thick, 20 if folded in half, the way it came. He could not understand that. He suggested I put it in my car and take it to UPS. I said NO. He got a UPS rep on the line and I explained to her and she said, “it is impossible to get that back in the box,” Thank you. The Amazon rep suggested I get a bigger box from UPS and ship it that way. I thanked him and hung up. The next morning I went out by the field (cell phone reception area) and called Amazon again. Rico realized there was no way to return the mattress and offered me a good credit. I took the credit. Seriously, stuff it back in the box, hysterical. Now that we have internet my google voice number works but AT&T, Verizon and TMobile do not work here.

Bill wrestling with Max.

I’m the blue speck. Luckily the furniture came two days later.

I like the mattress, it’s comfy and not too soft. The dogs seem to like it too, they are all sleeping with me. They are all also following me to the bathroom. All 3 of them get in the little “toilet room” area. Barrio always knocks the TP off the holder.

My toilet buddy. Every. Single. Time.

My feet are killing me, walking 5-6 miles in my $40.00 Skechers. After my last walk of the day when I take my shoes off, I can hardly walk, my calves and ankles hurt a lot. My friends said to go get good shoes so I drove to Chandler to The Walking Company and got fit for new shoes. I ended up with Abeos. After a quick trip to Costco to see how much money I could spend in 10 minutes flat, I came home.

Seriously, I could have spent more. Four bags of dog food, towels and 3 bags of cheese, all for less than 3 bags of dog food on Roatan.

I came home, changed shoes and we started walking. By the end of the day on Thursday I had clocked 6.6 miles. Not bad for a formerly sedentary old lady. My ankle pain was still very violently protesting my walking, even with new shoes. Friday I cut my trips short, just under 6 miles, Saturday even shorter, just over 5 miles. Today, Sunday, we are not walking. I have to give the feet a break and allow my ankle to heal, new shoes won’t fix an old injury. The dogs were bummed but I am happy to report they are all using the ledge at the deep end of the pool. They have it figured out.

Max is not eating very well, he misses Highway and Bill. A LOT. Highway was his Alpha and Bill is his daddy. He’s depressed. I have been doing everything possible to get him to eat, buying canned and freshly made dog food at the store, scrambled eggs, cheese, yogurt. He eats half and then lays by his dish and drives Barrio and Gringo crazy because they want to eat his food. Tonight I actually SPOON FED him. Yes I did. He ate it too.

This is a Palo Verde tree. They are all over the neighborhood. The name is Spanish and means green stick. The bark of a palo verde tree is green because it’s filled with chlorophyll. Unlike most trees, this plant gets a lot of photosynthesizing done through its bark. It is the state tree of Arizona.

Agave or century plant. They are called century plant because they are thought to take 100 years to bloom. This is not true, they bloom in about 20 years.

Caught this when I went out with the dogs to pee. Wait. I went out with the dogs while THEY peed, I did not.

Morning sky over the desert.

Me and my shadow.

A back path behind our hood, it backs right up to the desert. I’ve never seen anyone walking here. There are 2 nasty dogs in a yard (high block wall), can’t see them but can tell by their barks one is small and one is large. The other day Gringo and I were walking like normal and the dogs were both barking like crazy, Gringo was getting all freaked out. Then the dogs started fighting. Believe me, I know what the sound of a dog fight is. I was freaking out but there was nothing I could do.

I’m not a fan of walking in the hood, especially when the kids are all out and about. The dogs need more socializing. I found a lady 30 minutes south of here who has great references and is reasonably priced and I am with her for the whole lesson. She will work on socializing all of the boys so they’re not afraid of everything. I keep telling the kids in the area to NOT run up to the dogs, they don’t like it. I ask them to stand still and let the dog sniff them, most are respectful but there’s always an asshat kid in the bunch, like the one who zooms back and forth past Gringo with his scooter. He can see it terrifies Gringo. I’d like to knock him on his ass but I won’t. I’ve decided to walk early, once the kids are on the bus and again before they get home. Sundays are going to be no walking days. When school is out the only time I can walk them is really early because of the heat. I always try to get them to poop before we walk because I don’t particularly like carrying a bag of steaming dog shit with me on my walk. I was getting pretty good at pooping them prior and then all hell broke loose. When Gringo goes to poop here it takes him a freaking fortnight. I know this because I hold a flashlight for him to go. However, when out on a walk he can make a colossal pile in less time than it takes for me to realize he’s squatting. All of the dogs recently started sneezing, a LOT!! I talked to my friend Kelly who lives here and has dogs and she said, oh yeah, allergies. They were doing a lot of grass sniffing last week, normally they don’t do that, they stay on the sidewalk. Then Barrio started with the sneezing and soon they all were. I find myself saying Bless you to my dogs. I’m hoping it’s only temporary. Five days later, they are still sneezing but not as bad, Gringo and Barrio are much better, Max seems slower to get over it so he has a vet appt. on Friday. I have them all on Zyrtec. [Update: Max is on antibiotic and a cortisone drug for his allergies and they are doing a complete CBC checking for tyhroid, diabetes, erlichia, any and everything. He walks 2 miles a day and he’s gained 10#’s. something isn’t right. I sure hope for the insane price I paid for these tests (I’m sure not in Honduras anymore) that they find something.]

Friends of mine in Pittsburgh asked for my address, I was hoping they were coming to visit. They weren’t but they did send me 3 gifts: They sent me Maldon salt so the house would always have flavor, bread (gift certificate for a great bakery) so the home will never go hungry and wine so the home will always have Joy and Prosperity. Thank you Andy and John. Now come visit.

I had never heard of this salt until I got it as a gift. You do not use it to cook, only on the finished product. Read about it, it’s fascinating. Each salt piece is like a tiny pyramid. I’m hooked!

My friend who allowed us to use her car for a week came down from Phoenix and had lunch with me. We went to a great spot called Creative Cafe. Excellent fresh food. Today my island friend, Cindy Darby, who now lives in Nevada came to visit me and I took her to the same restaurant. She loved it too. My crates from Roatan are arriving tomorrow at 8 AM. My neighbor will help me open them and then Cindy is coming back down on Thursday to help me attempt to set up house. I have no idea what is even in the crates, guess I’ll find out soon. (update: crates arrived and are open. I have to wash every piece of clean clothes that I packed because it sat around so long in the humidity, then being on the boat, disgusting mildewy smell.) That had the dogs and I all gagging yesterday. I have 75% of it put away. Still lots of laundry to do.

When I moved back to the states I was looking forward to real recycling. Well, guess what? They don’t recycle here, there isn’t even anywhere to take my recyclables. That totally sucks.

Just a few final photos and I’m off to visit with Dr Teal and a bathtub.

I HAVE A BATHTUB!!! First tub bath since 2013. What a luxury.

Saw these on Amazon so I got some, they are fabulous and have all different kinds.

I ordered some Croc felt slippers. I just wanted something to slip on my feet when I was done walking. Well, they are like walking on cardboard but Barrio seems to enjoy carrying them around.

This was the tag on the Croc slippers. Do you wear your bedroom slippers specifically on escalators? Really? WTH is up with this tag?

Since this has taken me almost 2 weeks to write, I’m going to wrap it up. Update on American Airlines, they refunded half of the fee for us transporting all 4 animals, almost $500.00. The squeaky wheel does indeed get oiled.

AND, I’ve been here one month already, I have not cleaned up any gecko poop nor have I had anyone come head on at me on a curve on a hill while driving. I hear no compression brakes, I got my AZ drivers license in 10 days, it cost $10.00 for 5 years, I did not have to go to the Sudan for testing and my license plate arrived already, No more manana.

 

 

 

 

Don’t ask me where I’ve been, I don’t know.

11/10/2019 It’s been awhile, actually longer than awhile. So long that some people have contacted me to see if I’m OK. I am, just doing the daily living taking care of the dogs stuff. In fact, that’s pretty much all I do anymore. Since Max was attacked by his brothers and our female dog in February, I have had a hard time leaving the dogs alone. Granted, we separate Max, he stays upstairs, Highway is downstairs, Barrio and Gringo are each in a crate on the back porch and Lola is loose on the back porch. She hates the pool so we don’t have to worry about her getting in there and she can’t get out front and even if she could, our yard is Fort Knox. They can NOT get out. The reason they are fenced in is because at the end of our driveway, a fast romp for the dogs, is an insanely busy road filled with people who have no right to be behind the wheel of a car. Many of the taxi drivers try to hit the strays and if someone hits a dog, 95% of the time they won’t even stop. That is why my dogs live the secluded life they do. I freaking hate it, I hate that I can’t walk them because the road is so busy and there are so many stray dogs everywhere. My dogs are sheltered, may not be a good thing, but they are not around other dogs. They are not socialized. I recently went to get my hair cut and was taking Max with me to get groomed. I had him in a harness as we crossed the busy road to the hairdressers. There was another dog sitting outside the bakery with it’s owner and I assumed that’s where it would stay. Once we got across the road the dog came running towards Max. Max freaked, got out of his harness and ran across the busy road. I totally freaked out. Once I got over to my car Max came to me. I was a wreck. I tightened his harness and yelled to the guy to please restrain his dog. I got Max into Nadia’s and she locked the door so nobody could open it and have him run out. He was panicked, I think he thought that dog was going to attack him. It was an awful experience. Him being attacked has changed me, I’m not sure I’ll ever get over that.

As many of you know my Father died Sept. 6, 2019. He was 98. I foolishly thought he would live forever. I never envisioned a world that he was not in. It’s here now. It’s my reality and I’m not ready. He lived the last few years of his life tormented by Dementia. I swear it is the most awful thing ever to watch your parent turn into a child again. My sister and her husband were so amazing to Dad, I can never thank them enough for what they gave to him, and gave to my Mother before she passed in 2018. It takes very special people to care for loved ones suffering from dementia, it’s a hateful disease. I miss my Father daily, he was my rock. I have not had him mentally for about 4 years but at least I could hear his voice. I am my Father’s daughter, there is no doubt about that.

As I said before, I mostly stay home with my dogs. I’m not a party person, hate themed parties like Halloween, etc. I just feel that I’ve been there and done that and it’s not my thing any longer. I go to the beach when we get company but my preferred snorkeling is at Daniel Johnson’s Monkey and Sloth Hangout in French Cay. I think the snorkeling is much better there, the coral isn’t dead from all the tourists walking on it and I always see a ray of some sort. Plus I get to hang with Steph and Daniel or Dustin, always a good time. I took Chance snorkeling while he was here. I was having camera trouble (my stupidity, thought the camera was broken when it was actually bad batteries). Chance and Steph and Daniel ventured off to the west but I stayed in the area I was because I was finding all kinds of cool stuff, until my camera battery died.

Coral

Massive coral

Coral with Christmas Tree worms

This is a spaghetti worm, it’s actually alive and feeding.

Giant puffer hiding

Anemones

Spiny black sea urchin

As I was checking out the puffer that was hiding, all of a sudden this Lionfish was right in front of me. I moved away very quickly as their spikes are venemous and can pack a punch. They are the only fish here that you can legally spear and there is no limit. (You must have your Lionfish license and be certified by the Marine Park). Lionfish eat all the small fish on the reef, thereby decimating our reefs. They are not native to the Caribbean and many places are doing their best to eradicate them from the sea.

It’s impossible to not have a dog by you at our house. Chance is loving on Max and Highway the idiot.

Our back porch. The dogs hang here a lot. There are steps down to the pool and steps up to the roof. There is usually a lot of activity on the porch. Gringo on the left and Barrio in the crate, AND, Highways butt.

I took the Live Again Ministry group snorkeling at Daniel’s also. They all had shirts made with Minions on them and they say Nidia’s Minions. We posed for this picture just for Nidia, the Boss Minion.

A group of local artists got together and painted 2 concrete walls in Brisas de Valle, a small community near Coxen Hole. Julie and I went there to see it and to visit with Nidia. It’s gorgeous and I hope it has the intended effect that they hoped for.

Mahi Mahi and some jellyfish.

The artists hope was that by beautifying the area maybe people would stop throwing trash around. Many of the paintings are about getting rid of plastics.

Trash in the ocean is a huge problem. Turtles mistake the plastic bags for jellyfish.

Sadly, you can’t go far on the island without seeing trash. Above and under water.

Eels and a barracuda.

Whale Shark

This was my favorite, the Octopus.

Sad that so many turtles die from humans polluting the sea.

This was one of the walls.

We had the 5th annual East End luncheon for the people on the east end of Roatan. Nidia and Pastor Ronny from Live Again Ministry started this in 2014 and it was so successful that we just can’t stop doing it. The islanders look forward to this event because they get to see friends and family that they rarely see. This was the second year it was held at Fantasy Island Resort.

This is the group from St. Helene. They traveled the furthest to get to the luncheon. Since there are no roads connecting Helene with Roatan, they must come by boat.

We had over 350 people attend the event this year. We had nurses checking blood pressure and also doing diabetes testing.

The oldest from each community got a huge basket of food. The rest of the baskets were raffled off.

These were gift bags filled with toiletries.

It was a full house!

Nidia, the head of Because We Care holding the microphone for one of the men from the ministry group.

This is the pool at the resort. Fantasy Island was one of the first resorts on Roatan. It was beautiful in those early days I’m sure, but now many of the rental units have fallen into a state of disrepair. It would take a lot of $$ to bring it back to it’s glory days.

This is Auntie Clara, she is 103. She always sings at the luncheons. I was lucky enough to get to go to her 100th birthday party.

I have been asking Bill to build a pergola on the roof for 4 years. The views up there are tremendous but you can’t be up there during the day for more than a few minutes because you will fry. Finally, we have a pergola.

The dogs love it on the roof, they can survey their domain.

Bill also made a giant swing and I had cushions and pillows made for it. It’s a fabulous spot to relax with the dogs and watch the sun set.

This is before the swing.

You can see in the next photo that we repainted the walls all gray to match the newly re-fiberglassed floor.

Much better gray.

The view, the water was crazy flat. My friend told me that sailors use the stripes on the water to tell them info about the wind. Not sure if that is true or not.

These 3, the brothers, are in the pool ALL the time. Especially Max, the dark one in the middle. It’s not unusual for him to go in a dozen times in one day.

Lola and Emmy. They stare at each other for a long time, have no clue why.

I was closing windows one night to go to bed and the dog toys were laying on their ottoman like this. Are they messing with me?

We have had a lot of lizards around the house lately. The big ones drive the dogs crazy. This guy walked across the hill below the pool and all five dogs were going into cardiac arrest. By the time I got my good camera he was about 50′ away. Grateful for a good zoom.

This is a male green iguana. I can tell it’s a male because of the large jaw muscles, the females don’t have the jaw muscles that the males do.

And babies, we have had tons of babies.

Another photo of the big guy.

This is a male anole. We see so many of these daily that I no longer notice them, except when I see a good size dead one laying on a dog bed. Gross.

Another baby iguana, looks like it’s eating a bug.

I decided to get off the island for a bit, I was getting stir crazy. I booked 2 separate trips. One from Roatan to San Pedro Sula (mainland Honduras) then to Houston and on to Phoenix. I spent the night in a hotel in Phoenix and caught an early flight out of Phoenix to Chicago and then on to Wilkes Barre, PA. 6 airports in 2 days. It’s no wonder I arrived sick. My destination was Williamsport PA, where Bill and I were both born. Some of my high school friends who live in the area have a get together once a month. My friend Stan from New Hampshire came down and we crashed the party. It was great fun except I was sick.

Stan and I have been best friends for over 55 years. In that time frame we have always stayed in touch.

The class party was Sunday and Monday I was at the doc’s. I had bronchitis. Great. After a few days on meds I felt good enough to go meet some friends. My brother (where I was staying) and his daughter Devon and I went out for dinner on Saturday evening. On Wednesday I met some friends for lunch. I saw Mary when I was in town for my last class reunion but I have not seen Sue Stroble in 35+ years. When I was a wild and crazy, no longer in college person, who was too much for my parents to handle I moved out. Both Mary and Sue’s parents welcomed me with open arms. I spent my time between their 2 homes.

Mary, Sue in the back and me. Long time friends.

Before I met Mary and Sue for lunch, I had tea with Bill’s sister Kathy at an old home from the great lumber baron days in Williamsport. There are many of these grand mansions that have been restored and are used as homes or restaurants. This one used to be a dentist’s office. It was donated to the Historical Museum who sold it to the people who own the Backhouse Coffee and Cafe’. It has been lovingly restored and is absolutely gorgeous.

Fabulous old mirror.

The wallpaper was incredible.

Even the woodwork detail on the door was gorgeous. I could have spent a few hours in there looking at all of the cool restored parts of the home.

I had breakfast with another friend on Friday morning. I had not seen Francie since before we left PA in 1995. On my way to get her I saw the Stoned Dog. This dog was painted back in the late 60’s and someone is still keeping it nicely painted. This brings back MANY memories.

My brother’s back yard. He lives in a valley with a mountain in front and behind of his house, I couldn’t make calls on my cell phone and had a hard time opening photos or attachments unless I stood by the bird feeder.

I forgot how beautiful Pennsylvania was.

The trees were all changing, something I’m not used to at all.

Devon and me

Devon and my brother PJ. Oh, and Lily too. She adores Devon and doesn’t let many people get close to her.

I went out to eat with Bill’s sister Kathy, her husband Mike and daughter Missy. We went to a place called Boom City. Food was excellent and they had a beer selection Bill would have loved.

My last night there I met some friends at the 505. It’s a restaurant/bar that I worked at before Bill and I were married. It was great to see Cicily and Mary, Ruth and Tim and Darri, Dave and Chuckie. It’s been a long time.

I was up early the next morning and drove back to Wilkes Barre for my flight to Phoenix by way of Dulles. Going a round a bout way to get there. I arrived in Phoenix on time and my friend Kelly was right outside the door where I got my luggage. We went to a fabulous wine bar, I grabbed a salad and then we split a humongous dessert. After that we went back to Kelly’s home. She lives in Chandler, AZ. Let me say, her home looks like it’s from Architectural Digest. I could move in and change nothing. Stunning house. And she has 2 dogs and was watching a third for her friend so I got plenty of dog loving.

These are Kelly’s two, Daisy is the little one and Payson is the big black boy. The other one was named Sadie, she was a sweetheart too.

No, this is not a photo from a magazine, it’s Kelly’s backyard. No words.

Her pool is gorgeous but it was coooold.

She had a table made in the pool. Genius.

We went to a place called Oregano’s for lunch. It was great food. The waiters shirts said Legalize Marinara.

My good friend from high school who rescued me when I got stranded in LA has a daughter I have not met. She lives in Chandler, about 20 minutes from Kelly’s house. I ran over one morning to meet Katie and Jon and of course this adorable little nugget, Dane. He is the only brown eyed grandchild out of 5 for Tim and Cathilee.

I’ve been home for a little over a week. When I arrived in Roatan I was getting my luggage and my friend who works there said Bill was there with a dog. When I walked out and said Max he almost jumped in my arms. I could NOT wait to get home to the other ones and give them their toys and lots of loving. Barrio, my shadow really missed me.

Barrio was sound asleep, I had about 4″ of bed.

We have not had rain for months and months. People’s wells were drying up, plants and trees were dying, it was getting bad. Well, lo and behold, I brought rain. I took this photo outside my back door and it looks like snow. It was really pouring.

This was the next day. We have had thunder storms at night and hard rains during the days. The island needed it badly.

Usually after a long dry spell we have termites, wood lice, whatever they are called. They are black bugs with 4 wings. They are attracted to light and swarm. They mate and drop their wings (or vice versa, never watched) and then they leave. Behind is the massive mess of wings. They are like Christmas tree needles, you find them months later.

These things were brown instead of black, probably a mutated bug. There were so many the birds were at the back door eating the bugs.

This is my outdoor concrete sink, full of wings. They are disgusting.

So, I’m back, haven’t done much, other than getting some work done on my car and staying home with the dogs. I can’t guarantee that I will be any better about blogging but I do promise to try.