RV living is NOT the life for me.

09/06/2021 Well. Here we are, we made it. We left Casa Grande, AZ on Thursday morning at 9:20. We drove amongst 3 zillion semi-trucks and every time they whizzed by Walt, he shook. Sometimes a lot, enough to blow him off to the berm of the road.

We spent 3 nights in campgrounds in Texas. Damn, that’s a BIIIIG state. I foolishly thought we would be through there in a day. I should have paid attention in geography class. Once out of Texas, we drove through the NW corner of Arkansas. Why is it pronounced Arkansaw? That makes absolutely no sense at all. I’m calling it Ar Kansas. That’s correct, in my mind at least. We spent the next night in Hazen, Ar Kansas. It was a very low-budget campground, they offered nothing. From there we drove to Bowling Green Kentucky. We planned to only spend one night in Bowling Green but Ida paid us a visit so we hung out for another night due to the heavy rain. The KOA had a fabulous dog area, the boys had a great time playing on the playground stuff for dogs. The RV next to us was a year older than Walt but very similar and they were from Az also.

Goodbye Arizona house, you will be missed.
Leaving Avalon, headed to the Interstate.
First stop, somewhere in Az.
Barrio and Max were excellent travel companions. They didn’t talk, want food, have to pee or ask if we were there yet.
This was at a campground. I think Gringo missed me.
New occupation?
He loves it up there, Highway is giving him the side-eye.
This was at the second campground, it was in a sand dunes park.
Reminded me of the Outer Banks.
This was a nice place but no doggie park area.
Highway joins in on the dashboard dancing.
Yay for doggie play areas, they poop much better off-leash.
This boy…
Bill is going to build the boys a playground, they loved it.
My loves, Max, Barrio and Gringo.
Perfect balance.
Hurricane Ida

We got showered Wed. morning, packed up and hit the road, final destination, Kentucky. We made it to our driveway but it was totally grown over with weeds. We blazed a trail with my poor car. It was covered in pollen. We were able to get up so we went back down to the RV and Bill drove that up and I followed in my car. We let the dogs out but didn’t let them wander because the weeds were super high and probably full of ticks.

The better part of the driveway.
Walt got stuck at the top of the driveway. Good thing there were a few piles of stone. Bill shoveled them in and Walt crawled right out.
Max wasn’t having the sunshine.

Bill called Aaron, the guy who was going to clear the road and put in the septic for us and he came right over with a brush hog and cleared the driveway and flattened an area for Walt, then he spread the pile of stones around the area. It is a nice level spot for Walt to sit. We got hooked up to electricity and water and have a temporary septic for the RV.

Just like Green Acres…
Property, we own through the trees and down to the road.
This is all our field, we want to find someone to farm it. They are burning the thorn trees. These trees have 2″ long hard thorns, nasty things. We want all of these trees removed, the dogs could get hurt, they’ll flatten a tire in a swift heartbeat.
Al Fresco dining for the boys.
These limestone rocks were here. They will be used for something.
This is a random building in a random round-a-bout that serves no purpose, there is no traffic. I went to the Mennonite store, then to Burkesville to Ace and to IGA. This is in downtown Burkesville.
This is close to the house.
Nice old barn.
Our driveway.
Max saw his first cow. He was captivated. We walked them on their leashes over to see the cows. We don’t want them over there because of the barbed wire fence. They didn’t see the turkeys, there were at least 5 of them.
The view of Walt from the lower field.

I’m not thrilled with the grocery store option we have. I’ll obviously be making trips to Glasgow to get food, once we have a house. Cooking in an RV is not fun at all. Last night we actually had baked potatoes and chicken but the night before I had black licorice, spicy hot pickles and kettle corn. I have absolutely no desire to cook or wash dishes in this contraption.

I know I shouldn’t complain, so I won’t. This life could be a lot worse. We are on our property, the boys have room to run and we have nothing but blue sky and green trees. And no neighbors, the ultimate gift.

Stay tuned, I’m sure this ride will get exciting.

 

Hit the road Walt.

08/12/2021 I thought I would hop on here and do a quick update since I’m not sure I’ll be able to post when we get to Kentucky, at least until we get internet on the property.

Things are moving right along. Today was the bittersweet closing of our island home, La Casa de las Olas. The wave house. I’ll never regret moving to Roatan and experiencing that kind of life. I honestly thought I would live there forever but it just was not meant to be. While there, I met some fabulous island people, ones I feel blessed to know and call friends. They are the epitome of the island, they showed me and taught me things most gringos don’t get to experience. My week-long trip to La Moskitia was the most impactful week of my whole life. Being with the people in La Moskitia taught me something I could never learn in any school. I am forever grateful to my BFF on the island, Nidia, for taking me along with her. It will always be the highlight of my years living on the island. I also made gringo friends there, friends I will have for a lifetime. It was a good choice to move there, I’m happy we did it. Our house wasn’t fancy schmancy but it had killer views, a 24/7 strong breeze and it was so peaceful being in the jungle. I’ll miss that, and moving to the damn desert was sure a stark contrast to the dense jungle. I knew the desert house was not a permanent move but I enjoyed living here for the most part. I like sunshine and warm temps but 112 degrees for days on end is too much.

La Casa de las Olas. We lived upstairs, the downstairs was for guests, it was a full apartment. The house was purchased by 2 couples from Texas. They have 6 dogs. It’s the perfect house to live if you have 6 (or 11) dogs.

We have been packing for about a month. It’s almost done. It’s so stressful trying to figure out what we’ll need for the month it takes our stuff to arrive. I’ve pretty much got the pantry empty, next will be to clean out the chest freezer, put it in the fridge freezer and pack stuff in the freezer that we are taking. Not having to deal with furniture is a huge bonus but also daunting, because we’ll have to buy all new furniture, ceiling fans, lighting, plus all appliances. UGH. Yes, it’s fun buying new but it’s also a chore. The closest store will be 45 min away. I know that sounds like not much but here in AZ everything is within 30 min. So easy it’s made me incredibly lazy.

We had boxes in the closet, office, and 3 corners of the halls.  Bill moved them to one place to see how much of the U-Haul trailer it would take up. The visual difference of them all in one place makes the whole move seem less overwhelming.

This was a pile last week.
It’s all in this corner.
Now Bill wishes we had boxes that were all the same size. TOO LATE. I actually have one box that I wrote, I have no clue what is in here.

The house is still a flipping disaster. This too shall pass.

Getting some rays on a 90+ degree day.

We got the exhaust fixed on Walt, he is so much quieter now. Currently he is getting all new tires. The tires on it had a lot of tread left, but they were 10+ years old, sitting in the AZ sun. I am so thrilled we got new tires, it will be much safer to travel cross country with. A blowout on an RV can cause structural damage to the RV. We do not need that. Plus he’ll be pulling a trailer with tools and his motorcycle {that I hate} on it.

We took the boys for a ride in Walt. They all wanted to sit up front. NO WAY, too unsafe for dog and driver. Bill bought a cargo net to keep the dogs back.

This should work, more than likely Highway will have his nose stuck in it at some point.

Once I told Gringo he could, he got up and laid on the couch. Max insisted on sitting by Bill and I kept pushing him back. Barrio was terrified and panted heavily and Highway. Damn Highway. He howled and cried, a very high-pitched consistent whine. It’s like having 7-grade school teaches right behind your head, scratching chalk on the chalkboard. If I were capable of removing a voice box, his would be long gone and donated to dog science.

HIGHWAY THE HOWLER
Barrio and Gringo, who is being chill. Isn’t the upholstery lovely? It’s already covered with a sheet.
The brothers. This photo pretty accurately depicts them. Max is leaving, Barrio is strung out and Gringo is cool. I love these boys so damn much.
Gringo and Max, Barrio on the floor.
Bound and determined to sit there.

I’ve been cleaning up the mess from my gorgeous cactus. When the flowers die and dry up, they fall off. It was a lot to clean up this year because the flowers were so plentiful. If I don’t clean it up it looks like dog poop on the fake grass, and that’s where they all end up. I just noticed today that it is getting more buds so I imagine another flowering session will occur soon. There was a huge mess, I had to take my vacuum out there again. I’m over cleaning the fake grass.

We’re leaving soon to go visit our friend Nick at the rehab center. He’s still trying to regain muscle after his fall and getting second-degree burns. It’s been a long road for him, he’s been in a wheelchair since 1979  but has always been active and very social. Now he can’t do any of that. Heartwrenching. We go every Thursday to visit with him.

UPDATE:Nick is now home and not doing that well. Physically he is unable to do much of anything for himself, like get in and out of bed, cooking a meal, not sure he can shower alone. Mike goes 3 times a day, gets him up and has breakfast with him, he takes him his dinner and eats with him and he goes back later to get him in bed. I just can’t stop thinking about Nick and how his life has changed and it’s not a welcome change.

Ever since 2012, I have worn sandals. I wear sneakers when I walk the dogs, otherwise, it’s usually flip-flops. I’m pretty sure the pair I’m currently wearing are more than 4 years old. I just bought a pair of boots and I am soooo excited. This is what I got.

I can’t believe how excited I am about these boots. We went to Tractor Supply to see what they had, only one pair in my size and they were knee highs, didn’t want that high.

I had a pair of muck boots in WA. but gave them to Kailey before we left for the island. I look forward to wearing them again, while traipsing through the woods with the dogs.

Today after we walked the dogs and kind of woke up (I swear sometimes I am sleepwalking the dogs) we worked in the RV. I finished cleaning the drawers and lined them with cheap-o contact paper. Remember, we are not keeping Walt. We managed to get 95% of the art in the storage under the bed. The freezer in the RV  is Lilliputian. That will be interesting, getting all of my many bags of shredded cheese in the freezer.

UPDATE: 08/20/2021 Walt has new tires and probably will get new batteries this week, Bill has not been successful charging the ones in there. I have a lot of stuff moved into the RV.

The U-Haul crates were delivered this morning and Bill and I completely packed one. I’m dead and I’m sure he is too.

Reassuring that Shrek is helping.
They dropped off 4 crates, we’ll only need 3. They pick the full ones up on the 25th and also take the empty. It will take 3-4 weeks for them to get to Kentucky. By then the shop should be finished and we can unload and store stuff in there.
This pile is gone.
It was monumental.
We packed this clear full, hardly room for a broom.
Should have packed this fool too.
Bill’s damn stupid motorcycle.
Of course, he had to buy a trailer to haul it. UGH.
Max has an affinity for tables. Maybe it’s the food.

Our plan is to leave the day after the closing, hopefully, that is the 25th. We should know by now but we don’t. We’ll drive a longer day the first day because it’s fresh and new. By day 2 we should both be tired of driving and will take shorter days. A lot will depend on how the dogs are doing also. We’re allowing 5 days but may make it in 4. I called the Post Office and asked them to hold our mail until we can get a mailbox up. I asked if Ace was right in town. Arlene’s response was, “oh honey, it’s right at the intersection of the only traffic light in town.” I’m thinking I won’t need GPS in Burkesville.

I’m done for the night, going to chill before I crash. Bill has help loading his tools tomorrow so I can try to organize what’s left in the kitchen.

We plan to leave Thursday morning.

Next time you hear from me I’ll be saying “you all” and have a twang to my dialect.

Like a rolling stone.

7/29/2021 What was I thinking? It’s almost like an out-of-body experience. Moving again. I knew this Arizona gig was not forever, but I did try to ignore that. I like Arizona, I love the conveniences we have living where we do. It’s a nice change from Roatan. But. It’s HOT. DAMN HOT. It’s a dry heat, which means absolutely nothing. It’s a blast furnace. Dry doesn’t even enter into this heat. It DOESN”T MATTER. Wet heat would be better I’m sure. Give me some sweaty under-boob.

So, the house is 3/4 packed. That does NOT include any of Bill’s garage stuff, which is not packed. That just gives me a little anxiety. There are boxes everywhere. When I pack I’m in overdrive, panic mode. I packed all the damn dental floss (bought more) and I had to send the Water Pik back, it flipped the breakers and wouldn’t work. I’ll order another once we get settled. I do miss that thing though, it really cleans your teeth.

I got all the empty boxes in the neighborhood a few weeks ago. I even went to other ‘hoods and picked up boxes. Having other people’s boxes is like a glimpse into their lives, kind of strange.
The master closet looks like this too. This pile has grown considerably.

The boys know something is up. They follow me like they are glued to my ankles. It’s really a pain in the butt, cute as it is, they are a “trip” hazard. I turn around and Highway is sprawled right in my path. ALL DAMN DAY. It’s frustrating.

I have watermelon. They LOVE it and they also love strawberries and blueberries.

So. Bill and I went to Tucson to look at an RV. It’s a 2000 Fleetwood Bounder, 30′ long. It has 2 slideouts which help to make it much bigger for continued (egads) living. It is totally NOT my style but it’s really clean inside. The people took good care of it. The carpet is worn from people getting into the front seats but we’re going to have 4 dogs in this thing. We were gone a long time the day we went to look at it.  On the way home, we could see rain to the north. Highway was locked in our bedroom and the 3 boys were in their crates. There was a thunderstorm while we were away. When we got home, Highway had tried to dig his way out through the carpet, in the master bedroom of a house THAT IS SOLD. The carpet is pitiful at best, Bill did not want to replace it in the 3 bedrooms so we had it cleaned and dealt with the ugliness of it. Now we have to get it repaired. DOGS!

We’ve named the RV Walt because as Olivia pointed out, it is the same kind of RV that Walter White and Jessie Pinkman used to cook meth in Breaking Bad. I guarantee there will be no cooking meth in this. Right now Walt is at the repair shop, there is a bad exhaust leak and we want other stuff checked out before we head east.

Meet Walt.

If we lose some bucks selling it, it was worth it not having to look for an apartment or house rental for a few months. The dogs can run and we can get some things done. Hopefully a garden so I can grow veggies and flowers. I can’t wait. It’s been a long time.

The last visit to the foot doctor happened, he discharged me. My foot is getting better, not great, but better. The Doc thinks the water aerobics and the 50 laps I do with my fins on has helped it get more flexibility. It still hurts, most of the time but I’ve kind of grown used to that. It will be a year until it’s feeling better, if that happens.

I could do more than 50 laps but I get bored, there is nothing to look at. It takes me 15 minutes to do the laps.
And then I float, not every day, but often. I can float for an unusually long period of time without moving. If you noticed in the pic the 2″ white line directly below my top, that is the shaded area that doesn’t get much sun when I sit on a chair in the pool and read.

My cactus has been going crazy lately. I’m not sure why but I have never seen so many flowers. Last year it would have 8 or 10 per day, now there are way more than that. The bees are in pollen heaven.

Hundreds of buds.
Bee Orgy.
Using Google lens, this is identified as a Cereus Jamacaru. It sure looks like it.
This was Saturday morning, flowers galore. I could hear the bees while I was still on the porch. The dogs are keeping away from it.
It’s really a sight to behold.

We had allergy tests done on Barrio and he’s pretty much allergic to every damn thing there is, except Salmon, Turkey and Duck. No peas or flax or rice. It’s really hard and really expensive to find food he can eat. We have stopped cooking liver and veggies. Doing that did nothing to make his skin better so why bother? His armpit is clearing up. Isn’t it odd that it’s just ONE armpit and not both? AND, Gringo has the same thing in the opposite armpit, although not as bad. Max has never had skin issues. It’s very frustrating.

I took Barrio to the vet to chat about his skin. I let the dogs out before I left, then put 3 in their crates and had Barrio jump in the car. We got to the vets and checked in, sat down and I noticed Barrio had a cactus thorn sticking out of his nose. I tried to pull it out but was afraid to tug on it so I had the vet do it. I know exactly where he got that cactus thorn, from the blooming cactus. A dove built a nest in there and it’s within reach of the dogs. She recently abandoned the nest with 2 eggs in it. It was not a wise thought on the doves’ part to nest there. I kept Barrio away as much as I could, he was the only one interested. He’s lucky he didn’t get one in his eye. They hurt and luckily, I’ve never had one break off in my skin.

Crazy dog.

We had a Haboob 2 nights in a row. They were not as bad as the one last year.  Many areas had more severe weather than we did this time.  Then the rains came, they started Thursday night with a wild thunder and lightning storm. The dogs were not thrilled. It rained off and on, sometimes really hard, until Sunday afternoon.

This is the park we usually walkthrough. Totally flooded. Mosquito city.
My fake grass was drowning.
Saturated. The dogs wouldn’t walk on it.
Yep, it p o u r e d,

It’s finally dried up out there and is back to being hot. It’s weird when it rains. In the jungle, it always felt so fresh and clean after a downpour. Here, it is a wet dirt smell that hangs in the air, not a breath of freshness to be seen.

And that’s why we’re headed back to the mountains.

The time we bought land for the dogs.

Just in case you are so inclined, you can sing along with Neil. Click HERE

June 27, 2021  I’m sitting here thinking of everything I have to get done in the next 60 days. August 27th is the last day in the Arizona house. I’ll more than likely begin making to-do lists for the next several weeks.

Let me first say, it’s not that I don’t like neighbors, I just don’t like the fact that they live next to my house, on both sides, in front, and in back. I never feel alone at my pool because there are 3~ 2 story homes towering over me. I can see them, so they’re close. I prefer to not see another house, I just want to see woods and green and sky. Our neighbors are very nice as are the friends we have made here, we will miss them. It was a great easy place for me to live alone for a few months, that turned into a year. It just was not the best for the dogs, not at all.

I am looking forward to being able to walk the dogs in the woods. They won’t know what to think. I am so excited for them to see snow too, Barrio will probably be afraid of it. Change is good. It helps that these dogs are so chill when it comes to change, it will all be for the best.

Land starts to the left of the white route sign at the top and follows the road and goes west. Burkesville, KY.
Entrance to property
View going up the driveway
our field
The building that will be Bill’s shop
Almost 40X60. Close enough to the size the shop was in Everson.

I can not wait to be in the woods again. We left 28 acres in Everson for the jungle in Roatan. The jungle was gorgeous, simply an amazing place to live. If you have not seen the video of our island house, click HERE. It was a very secluded home, despite the fact there was a house down the hill from the entrance to our driveway, we couldn’t see them and they couldn’t see us.  Leaving there and moving here, I feel like I’m in a fishbowl. I don’t like it. Nor do I like the fact that my dogs can’t bark here, I try to keep them quiet because “neighbors.”

We really lucked out with the selling of the AZ house. Bill met a lady at the gym and after a few weeks they started talking. She’s a realtor and he mentioned that we were hoping to sell our place. She was interested in knowing more so Bill asked if she would give us a suggested selling price for the house. She said sure, she was happy to do it. In 2 days she came back with a price and we were shocked. THEN, she messaged Bill and said she had a buyer for our place. Her husband is a broker and he is working with the guy who will be managing the Texas Roadhouse restaurant here in Casa Grande. He’s been trying to buy and kept getting in a bidding war with all of the properties. The market here is on fire. He was excited to get the opportunity to make an offer and have it accepted without it getting on the market. We were thrilled because we didn’t have to deal with making the dogs vanish when people were viewing the house. He came and looked, (after he made the offer that we accepted) and 2 hours after he left we had the full price offer and he bought ALL of our furniture. I just bought all of the furniture new in Jan 2020. This will be the 3rd time since Oct 2013 that I have moved to a different house with zero furniture. I’m sort of looking forward to buying ALL new furniture again, sort of. Not really.

Finding the land in Kentucky was a fluke. I was haphazardly looking on Realtor.com and came across this land in Kentucky. Originally we were looking in Tennesee but as soon as we saw something we liked, it was already sold. I decided to see what Ky. had to offer. I saw this listing and thought it was too good to be true. I called Bill in to look, he was very interested and called the listing agent immediately. Even though we have never been to Kentucky, we made an offer on the property and the next morning found out it was accepted. It’s out in the boonies, sort of, not nearly as many conveniences as there are here, but it’s also not 110+ degrees every damn day. The dogs will be much happier.

The land has a newly built concrete foundation that was going to be for a house. It’s almost 40X60. It needs a concrete floor poured, the walls made higher and a roof, it will make a great shop for Bill. There is already water and electricity there, we have to put in a septic system, it’s been perk tested and approved for one. There is a gravel road also. The land is heavily wooded, lightly wooded and cleared, a little bit of everything. The dogs will not know what to do with no fences around them. Next spring we will put in a pool.

So, now the plan is to buy a motorhome here and Bill will drive it and I’ll drive my car, each with 2 dogs. We’ll go to the property and get the shop done and the house built. And, we’ll live in the motorhome. We initially planned to buy a camper to pull with my car; however, the weight limit really made it a no-go. The trailer would be the size of a postage stamp and if it were just 2 people it would be fine, maybe, but add in 4 big dogs and it’s guaranteed to make me insane.

Blame ALL OF THIS on these guys. We could have bought 5 acres but we wanted more for their running pleasure.

Barrio
Gringo
Max
Highway

They don’t appreciate me taking their photos.

I took some evening photos for the buyer. The pool lights are on in this shot.
The Cereus cactus is HUGE.
So peaceful. Except for the houses all around.
Tip Top of the Cereus.
The bees love them.
This is on a type of prickly pear cactus (I think), second time it’s bloomed this season.

I went to get my teeth cleaned the other week. The hygenist started talking about the Water Pik flosser and how great it is. Of course, she had a captive audience, before I left the chair I had one ordered. She gave me one significant tip, lean over. Probably the 2 most important words ever spoken when having a water pik conversation. It came the next day and I was eager to try it. O  M  G.     Seriously, O  M  G. And I thought the Sonic Care toothbrush was tricky to use. [I learned quickly that you can not set the Sonic Care on the counter and position your teeth over the brush (that is vibrating at 30K cycles per minute) while using your hands to apply mascara]. It doesn’t freaking work, don’t even waste your time trying it to see if you can do it. It’s a no for sure. The WaterPik is a similar challenge. The first time using it I thought I was going to drown. I had, what was surely 11 gallons of water in my mouth, drowning for sure. Then I realized I could open my mouth and just let the water run out. That seems so uncouth though. There must be a proper way to use this thing. Another thing, do not use the flosser pik on a high speed. This is important if you wish to retain the gums that are on your teeth. Do you know how hard it is to aim that damn thing at the gum line when you can’t look up because your mirror and sink area will look like they made a trip over Niagara Falls. It’s not easy, but my teeth do feel well cleansed after using it and each time is getting easier.

Barrio. He owns me, just ask him.
Gringo likes to lay next to my pillow when I’m reading in bed. If another dog gets that position before Gringo does, he sleeps alongside the bed, squashed in against the wall.
He may as well talk, he is the bossiest dog we have ever had. Max rules.
The grocery store sent free coupons, one was for this ice cream. It was excellent but $4.99 a PINT.
Right hand side of display, by green box. 107 degrees. That’s a normal here, that was at 10AM also.
We cleaned for 2 days before the buyer came to see the house he was buying. Bill is using the floor steamer. The dogs aren’t fond of any floor tools.
Clean
The sky actually dripped for less than 5 minutes. It smells so weird here when it rains, a real wet dust smell.
Every bag of dog food must be inspected by Max before we throw it away.
I did a foot doc and Costco run the other day. Bill is cutting one of their rotisserie chickens up and the boys are drooling.
My handsome lawn ornaments. Just wish they pooped in the toilet.
Sold to the first person.

I have been spending my mornings in the pool. I sit on a chair on the shelf and read for 30-45 min, then I get in the pool with my hand weights and do water aerobics for 30 minutes, then I swim a few laps and get out and lay on a chaise until I’m dried off. I try to be back inside by 11:30-12. After that, it’s just too darn hot.

I am going to start packing my heavier winter clothes, things I won’t need until the end of October. We’ll probably have our stuff shipped to us, except Bill will trailer his tools that he will need with the motorhome. The motorhome we still don’t have. We’ll get one, no super hurry, we can’t park it here anyhow and will just have to pay for storage.

I think I will go in my closet and box some winter things. It will feel good to actually start packing, make it seem like it really is happening. And it is.

Arizona, it’s a dry heat.

06/04/21 How is it June already? May went by as a blur, more than likely attributed to the fact that I was stationary and staring at the same damn walls for almost 6 weeks. Actually, May 19th the doc gave me the go-ahead to walk with the boot. When my ankle was broken in 2013 I spent 6+ weeks in the boot, but it was my left ankle so I could drive. I saw my doc 6/2 and he said I could start walking the dogs and could drive, which means BOOT free. Finally. I don’t know where I needed to go but just knowing I could not drive there myself was irritating as hell.

I started physical therapy the 25th of May and went again on June 1st. That was it. Our insurance only accepts certain providers and it looks like they scraped the bottom of the barrel when choosing. The guy was great the first time, second time he spent 15 min with me, said to continue doing the exercises from the first visit and then he walked away. I was not a happy camper, they also made me wear a mask. I did not the first time and refuse to do so any longer. I talked to my doc and he said as long as I stay active and do the exercises my great-niece sent me, (she just got her doctorate in physical therapy) I would be fine.

We left the doc and dropped off lug nut things that were supposed to go with the old car when we traded it in. In my haste, I took them in error. (We traded in my CR-V, story to follow)

Last Saturday we drove north to look at some cars but only saw one we liked. We came home and started looking online and found one at the Honda dealer in Chandler. Bill drove up on Monday and came home with a Honda Pilot. We seriously just bought a bigger car for the dogs. It’s not new but is the limited edition, full leather, sunroof, all the goodies and only 60K miles. I would love to have a new one but it’s ridiculous when we’re going to use it to haul the dogs cross country. Next up is to buy a small camper then we’ll head east to look for property.

My new ride, Honda Pilot. The color is Black Forest Green. And the dogs will be very comfy. I took this pic while we were at Joann’s buying pleather to cover the back to attempt to keep the dog hair from embedding in the carpet. HAH!
This was my ride from Apr 23 to May 19th. It served me well. My friend crashed on her bicycle and is pretty banged up so she is buying it from me.

I was so excited last night that I could walk the dogs. It was at least 100 freaking degrees at 7 PM so we just went for a short walk. When I got home my ankle was dying and my right knee, which is my good knee, felt broken. I iced my ankle last night and this morning I felt a lot better.

I’m in the pool daily and loving every minute of it. I exercise my foot and swim some laps. The first few days when I was diving in I could really feel it in my shoulders and arms but it’s all good now. Water is so soothing to me.

My neighbor that brought me tulips last month brought me roses this month. So sweet of her to do that, I really must buy a vase or two. I cut off the top of a plastic water jug and used it. Lame, I know.

My friend Nick who is disabled had an accident a week after I had my surgery. He was on his motorized scooter in his backyard doing some work. I don’t know for a fact he was shirtless but I’m 95% sure he was. He backed up and hit a rock and his scooter tipped. He could not get back up and laid on the hot pavers wearing only his shorts and shoes for almost 3.5 hours. It was in the high 90’s that day. When the neighbor found him he was having seizures. The ambulance rushed him to the hospital and they life flighted him to the burn center in Tucson. He had 2nd degree burns on his legs, arms, back and chest. He was in the hospital in Tucson for several weeks and is now up here at a rehab center. I guess his burns are still not totally healed and he lost so much muscle strength from laying in a bed and being so severely dehydrated, that they are keeping him a few weeks longer. I have been sending him cards that I make with photos of the dogs and my cactus. He loves the dogs, he calls them his babies. (shout out to Sue Morrow for sending me a card for Nick, that was so thoughtful) We look forward to him coming back home, I plan on baking and cooking things for him.

The boys are doing great except Barrio and Gringo are having allergy issues. Barrio has a sore under his armpit, Gringo has one under the opposite arm pit. We have spent over $400.00 dollars just trying different dog foods. After dealing with this for a few years we took Barrio to the vet to get blood drawn. They sent it to a lab for dogs and cats. They came back with his being allergic to these foods: pork, tomato, flax, chicken, peas, corn, pumpkin, oats and rice. The list of environmental things is insane, I think he’s allergic to every grass or tree ever grown. I’m concentrating on the food. Once again we cooked liver and added veggies like broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes and zucchini. Yesterday I bought a vat of coconut oil at Costco and am giving that to all of them along with a fish oil pill daily. The allergy place recommended food for him, the cheapest was $109.00 for a 24# bag, all Royal Canin. HELLO? Are they out of their minds? I searched online for hours yesterday and found decent dry food with no allergy-inducing ingredients and it was half the price of the Royal Canin. I went back and checked the allergy site and this food was on the 2nd page, of course. So it is on the way. Since we’re feeding 2 the special diet, liver and veggies will still be cooked. I just peeled 7 huge sweet potatoes and cooked them. I’ll throw them in the next batch of dog food.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but I will again. I started giving the boys Pedigree denta chews after Maxs’ expensive dental bill. The last time they were to the vet Dr. Bob said Gringo’s teeth were the cleanest teeth he has ever seen on a 6 year old dog. His teeth were nasty also. Huge huge difference, they will not need dental work in the near future, that’s for sure. Maybe I should eat them too.

I just saw my dentist for a cleaning and he recommended the Water Pick, it’s in my cart to purchase.

The boys are still not liking the heat here, it’s just too much. They go for a swim and then want right back inside to bask in the A/C. And you know what, I don’t blame them at all.

This is how they chill. Highway is always an upside down sleeper.
However, Max wins the total chill prize. He’s ALWAYS like this.
Barrio likes to curl up by my pillow, but Gringo thinks that is his spot. No matter how small of an area is between Barrio and the headboard, Gringo lays there. These boys.
My Cereus is starting to bloom. This one bud opened and closed before I got a photo of it. There are tons of other buds now.

Sorry I’ve been such a lousy blogger but I’ve not done anything exciting for quite some time now. Hopefully things will pick up over the next few months.

Enjoy your summer anyway you possibly can. XO

 

 

I am a Flamingo school drop-out

04/26/21 We had a great start to April, temps were in the high 90’s and we had company arriving Sat., the 3rd. I worked several days getting the spare bedrooms ready and baking. I made 3 doz zucchini muffins and realized I forgot to add the blueberries so I made 3 doz more with blueberries and I made a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread, broccoli salad and some guac.

Main guest room
Guest bath
Overdose of baked goods
3 of the boys out back

The dogs were of course terrified of the little people but they chilled because the kids were pretty cool with them and ignored them for the most part. Addison and Bryson were so excited to swim in the pool but had to wait until Sunday when the Easter Bunny brought them new swimsuits! We had dinner the evening when they got here and then sat around the table talking and sipping on some Damiana and Bill’s homemade beer. The kids were playing on the shelf of the pool, the water was barely 70 degrees.

The next morning we walked the dogs, Kailey and the kids came with me and Kev went with Bill. Once we got back to the house the kids checked out their Easter loot and then had an Easter egg hunt. I had a bag of stuff for each of them and of course, Kailey did as well. After breakfast, the kids headed right to the pool and pretty much stayed there most of the day. I forgot how much fun it is to have young kids around, especially these two. They were both so easy and chill, didn’t really matter what was going on, they were cool with it.

Nighttime swimming
Opening Easter “baskets”
Egg coloring
This kid is a hoot. He has half of the big plastic egg on his head.
Bryson crashed.
Addison is the dog whisperer. Highway loved her.

Most of the time here was spent around the pool, the kids are fish. I wish the water had been warmer but they didn’t seem to mind.

Addison is a good swimmer, Bryson is getting there.
He is so much like his father, a laugh a minute.
Sun baking
Addison is such a boho chick, she dresses so cute and is very laid back,
I love his curls.
I bought them each bubble wands, Bryson had a blast with them.
Happy we finally have outdoor dining.
Kevin, my favorite accomplice in all things bad. We’ve known each other since 2000 when we worked at BofA. We have had some crazy fun together, he’s a great guy. I always knew he would be a good Dad and he is.
Kevin, Kailey, Addison and Bryson the morning they left. It was so great having them visit us!

After the company left we just chilled for a few weeks, anticipating my upcoming foot surgery. I saw the Doc the 14th and we decided on the 23rd for surgery.

The boys celebrated their 6th birthday April 15th. They each got their regular kibble, zucchini and a can of tuna. We count our blessings daily that we have these dogs, they are the best ever!
I started walking Highway and Barrio together, mornings and evenings. They are pretty easy to handle.
All of the flowers we got from the nursery are doing well. The Oleander has been flowering for a few weeks. I did not know that Oleander is poisonous. Luckily the dogs have no interest in dried flowers.
The cactus is going crazy with blooms. Some are pink and others orange and they are FILLED with bees. The bees roll around inside the flower getting as much pollen as they can. Unfortunately, the flowers last just one night.

We invited our friend and neighbor over for dinner the week before my surgery. I met Nick soon after I moved here. He was born in 1942 and in 1979, while working at his landscaping company he fell from a tree. He hit all the branches on the way down. He was taken to the hospital. They could find nothing wrong with him so they sent him home. He woke up the next morning paralyzed from the waist down. He also had a stroke so he is very hard to understand. He is such a nice guy, I’ve been taking him baked goods, lasagna, all kinds of food for a year now. When he came to eat he was unable to spread the tapenade on the foccacia bread. It took me a few minutes to realize why he wasn’t using the tapenade so I put some on his plate for him. Turns out, he is from Philadelphia and he used to be a dancer on American Bandstand.

We made a chicken, pineapple, peppers and onion dish on the grill and I made a large fruit salad for dessert. I gave him dishes of both to take home.

I spent the week before surgery getting stuff done around here, knowing I wouldn’t be dusting or vacuuming for a while. I had to be at the hospital in Mesa by 6 AM. We got there before it opened. Bill just dropped me off and drove home to take care of the dogs. When he got home and the boys realized I wasn’t with him, they searched the house for me. He walked them and fed them and turned around and came back to get me.

When I saw the doc the 14th I had asked him to allow me to stay awake for the surgery, he said ok. They had to put me to sleep for the nerve block, he said it’s quite painful and burns very badly. Once that was over, I woke up and was talking to the nurse and the anesthesiologist. They had Johnny Cash music playing, which was great. I could feel the doc doing something to my heel, it kind of hurt but not enough to scream or anything. Then I felt him sewing me up.

I was taken back to the area I was previously in and got dressed and called Bill. He was almost at the hospital when I called. Once he got there they went over some things with him. The doc stopped by and said, “by the way, your tendon was destroyed.” It had adhered to my heel and he had to extricate it from there (that’s what I felt), plus I had a huge calcification that he removed. The 45-minute surgery ended up taking 90 minutes.

We were home by 11 AM and the dogs were insane. They were so worried that I was gone. They spent most of the day in bed with me. My foot is feeling fine, no pain to speak of. We bought a new wheelchair and crutches so I can motor around the house. Crutches and 4 dogs who are constantly at your feet is not a good combo, plus I really suck on crutches. Our toilet is in a small room, it’s so crazy. I use the crutches to get in there, then stand on one foot (Flamingo), hold onto the doorjamb to sit down, hold onto the doorjamb to get up, rest my bad leg on the toilet seat until I can get my clothes situated, flush, then go for the crutches again. I freaking hate being laid up and would like to moan and whine and complain in general but I won’t because my friend Nick has it much worse than I do and he doesn’t complain at all.

Amazing, state of the art hospital in Mesa, AZ
My new splint
Barrio and Gringo love watermelon
They also love brussel sprouts, which is what they are begging for.
Check this soap out on Instagram

A long-time friend of ours from PA recently messaged me and said his wife was making soaps and candles and to send my address so they could give me some to try. Check them out on IG, @Mountain_Elk_Soaps_and_Candles. I got black raspberry and vanilla, Blueberry Thyme, Oatmeal honey and Lemongrass. So far I have used the black raspberry and vanilla and it is wonderful soap. It smells so good and makes your skin really soft.

My friend Galina is an artist, you can see some of her work at DrawingBlueberry.com. We worked together at Horizon Bank. I will be forever grateful to that place for introducing me to some of my fav people. I sent Galina a photo of me that my friend Stan took at our last class reunion. Galina did a drawing of me and sent it to me. I LOVE it. Galina’s clients include: Salvatore Ferragamo, David Yurman, Neiman Marcus, Seattle Magazine, Kendra Scott, Nordstrom, Seattle Bride, The Bellevue Collection, JCrew. If you have a special event or a favorite photo, contact her for a drawing to display in your house.

Check out Galina’s work @ Drawingblueberry.com or on Instagram @drawingblueberry.

One last thing. I know I’ve commented about our love for Brussel Sprouts, well, I just found this recipe on a pinch of yum. Try it, you will love it. https://pinchofyum.com/house-favorite-brussels-sprouts.

I’ll check in again next month, hopefully, I will be walking and no longer doing knee stands on the toilet seat.

 

Life in the dustbowl.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And just like that, it’s spring.

 

02/25/2021  Two months into 2021 and I’m still having a difficult time writing the year correctly. Last year February was brutally cold. I can remember walking the dogs wearing three layers and my Columbia windbreaker with a scarf around my neck to keep the hood up. The wind was arctic-like. Having recently moved from the island, I was sure I was above the arctic circle and this was all a cruel juxtaposition of my life. This year it’s so different. It’s still windy but not frigid and I’m usually overdressed by the time I get home. I’m only walking one dog because, my foot is being a jerk.

The foot situation has gone from not great to bad. The last doc said it wouldn’t get worse, he lied. It’s worse and I don’t know why. I found a highly recommended doc in Gilbert, about 40 minutes north of here, I’m going on Tuesday. I already got a CD of the MRI so I’m prepared. If I like him better than the first guy, I may have him do the surgery. Yes, the surgery I wasn’t going to do. Fingers crossed. I also planned the Dr appt so that it was on a Tuesday, senior day at Goodwill.

I’ve been wanting patio furniture for a long time and didn’t buy any because I didn’t want to put it together. Since Bill is now here, I bought some and I really like the set. It’s a long table, 4 chairs and a bench. It is so nice to have breakfast and dinner outside.

Bill had a hard time putting this together. The holes didn’t line up on the metal or on the chairs. I complained nicely to the company and they refunded a portion of the cost.
I love being able to eat outside again.

I saw an ad for Third Friday’s in Florence Az. It said music, food trucks and shops were open. They had me at shops were open, so we went last Friday. It is 30 minutes away, easy drive. As we were driving through town we saw this car.

It was an old Packard and it was gorgeous. I’ve always loved old cars.

Third Fridays were kind of lame but it was nice to be out in public with a lot of other people AND NOT WEAR A MASK. While walking around town we saw a flyer in a window for a car show, the next day in Florence. We decided to come back again, figured there would be a few cars here and why not? What else did we have to do?

We were hugely shocked when we arrived and realized this was a BIG classic car show. There were hundreds of cars and well over 500 free-breathing people. There were a few with masks on and that’s their call. not mine. Our biggest mistake was taking Max with us. For some unknown reason, we thought he would enjoy it. In our defense, we had no idea there would be hundreds of people there. He was not having a good time. I was taking pictures so Bill had Max. Because Max was antsy and jumping on me when he could, Bill didn’t get close to the cars for fear of Max jumping on or in one.

Paint jobs were incredible.
Metropolitan. My Mother had an all red Metro when I was in 5th or 6th grade, She used to pick all the neighborhood kids up and take them home. I don’t know how we all fit in that car. It must have been a clown show.
My brother P.J. and I on Mom’s Metropolitan @ our house, 2450 Edercrest Rd in Williamsport. Looks like I had on flip-flops. My love affair with them started at an early age. It’s a damn good thing people can’t see my glasses, they were really stylin’!! Just noticed Mom’s car had a hood ornament too.
Super classy
How low can you go? I don’t believe this car can even go over a speed bump.
This was one of my favs.
Spotless inside and out.
A Citroen. I have loved these cars since the late 60’s.
I would need a proper hair scarf to ride in this with the top down.
I think the older cars were so much classier than what we now drive.

It was a great day, despite Max’s whining. Bill has started brewing beer again. Oh, joy. He prefers making it to buying it, he likes his homebrew better. His recent batch is called Shallow Grave Porter. Sounds freaking delicious.

Cooking up the brew on the burner.
No clue what is going on here. He has his temperature gun out though. I bet that is a special beer temperature taker thing. Bill gets very into this stuff.

I’m not much of a beer drinker except on rare occasions and also when we go to Anaya’s restaurant to eat. They have BIG mugs of Negro Modelo. It’s a lot of beer and I’m proud to say I can finish it. We’re lucky there is a great Mexican restaurant less than 10 min. away. We can do indoor dining like normal. You’re supposed to put a mask on to leave your table but I don’t. I’m not sick and if someone coughs on my back as I’m walking by, I’ll be fine.

Bill recently told me he ordered stuff to make mozzarella cheese. Oh, more joy.

We (Bill) finally made a wood frame to staple a piece of tie-dye art I bought online. I’ve had it for months and didn’t want to pay to have a frame made because I knew Bill could do it. We hung it and while I like the colors, it bugs my OCD that the lines in the tie-dye are not perfectly horizontal.

We couldn’t staple the material straighter due to the design not being straight on the Muslim. It’s bugging me.

I sold some of the metal yard art the guy left behind when we bought the house. Totally not my style. I started a new collection with this piece that I got at my local pool store.

A nice change for sure.
I love to browse at Goodwill. My friend and I went north to a few of the stores last week and I spotted this a few aisles away. I made a mad dash for it. I may have even been reaching while moving as fast as I could to get it. Less than $8.00 and in perfect shape with a $59.99 price tag on the back.                                 

The finger that I cut with the sharpest bread knife in the world has finally healed. I noticed it sliced through almost 1/2 of the nail also. I imagine it will have to grow out or fall off.

I bought a new hummingbird feeder from Amazon. Neither Bill or I could get the bottom off to clean it and it’s no good if it gets dirty, it makes the hummingbirds sick.  I returned it on Amazon and took it to the UPS store to be sent back. The guy at the UPS store was printing my receipt, the feeder was sitting on the scale. He asked me, dead serious, IS IT EMPTY? You have no idea what colorful responses went through my brain. I replied, of course. You idiot, but I didn’t say idiot, I just thought it. I got a much nicer glass-blown one and the hummingbirds have returned.

We have still not decided on the motorhome route. It could be a real pain with 4 dogs, if we want to go do something during the day and not take them, which would be hard to do to begin with, we can’t leave them in a hot vehicle. Traveling is hard, especially considering that Highway is ridiculous in the car with his whining. Bill needs to work on that situation. Maybe we could do short trips with them in the motorhome. We’ll see. Bill went to look at some property at an airpark in Overgaarde, AZ. He said it was gorgeous there, with tall evergreen trees and some snow, and it was 17 degrees. The temp is a little cooler than I would like and there is nothing around there. No big grocery stores, in fact, no stores at all. It’s kind of a touristy place and the small grocery stores open in the summertime when all the visitors arrive. Not our idea of a good place to move. The quest continues and I imagine we’ll decide on the motorhome soon.

We (Bill, just know when it involves doing something that is not in my skill set, I’ll say WE but mean Bill) got the automatic leveler on the pool working again. Water evaporates so quickly here I was putting water into the pool twice a week during the hot months. The leveler keeps the water level correct so the filter can function properly. Bill is now building a paver walkway so we can easily wheel the garbage can out to the street for pick-up. We have one more guest bedroom to paint and the guest bath. Then we’ll do the master. We as in Bill. He makes me do the shitty jobs like paint the closet.

We had friends over for lasagna a few weeks ago. We initially met them walking the dogs. They have a little dog, Taffy. She is not intimidated by big dogs. She and Gringo hit it off first and now all the dogs are cool around her {Barrio may have a different opinion, he’s still terrified}. I got a little carried away with the lasagna, it had 8# of cheese in it, ricotta, mozzarella, provolone and a parmesan romano blend. It was slightly fattening. They enjoy getting together so we’ll be doing it more often. We’re having other friends over for pizza soon, especially since we now have a table on the patio.

Just a few dog pics before I go because what would a blog be without dog photos.

What a life these guys have. Barrio, Max, Gringo.
Alien invasion.
F O O D. Highway lays on the stool like that all the time.
Barrio and Gringo on Bill’s lap. These dogs. It’s hard to get a decent photo because there is a big window right beside where Bill is sitting.

It’s getting to be dinner time for the dogs and for me. I haven’t eaten anything since 9AM and my stomach is growling.

If you’re bored looking for TV shows, check out Life Below Zero and Dr. Pol. Below zero is about people living almost 200 miles N of the Arctic Circle. Just a little too remote for me. Dr. Pol is a Vet. After watching several of his shows I now feel confident I can castrate a bull and stick my arm inside a cow and help her have a baby cow. Let me know if I can help with either of these.

Winter in the desert.

1-30-2021 Wow, 2021 and it’s almost February.  How did that even happen? Where did January go? We have not done a whole lot this past month except paint the giant room in the house with 12+ foot ceilings. It’s a foyer, living room, dining room, kitchen, and it’s huge. The house is all one color, silly putty diarrhea brown. I detest it. I wanted to go with a light cream but after we (when I say we, I mean Bill, he doesn’t appreciate me painting) painted the wall around the door we realized it looked terrible with the off-white ceilings. We didn’t want to use a crazy color because we hope to sell this place once the island house sells. Having colors can be a deterrent to a prospective buyer, so we went with a gray. I know, I know, gray is the most overused color right now but it’s clean, calming and looks a hell of a lot better than the silly putty diarrhea color. We (Bill) still has the big hallway to paint and then I would like to do the bedrooms and bath, in other words, the whole damn house.

This is the silly putty diarrhea tan color the whole house was painted.
The foyer and the boys with the new paint.
The small hallway back to the master and the laundry room got painted.
It’s just a humongous room.
Super high ceilings. Luckily we have sun shades on all of the windows, which helps keep the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Sorry for the crappy photos, too much light coming into the room, but you get the idea of the size of this room.
We were going to do a tile backsplash but decided we didn’t want to put too much money into a temporary home so we went to Tempe and had a piece of stainless steel cut for the backsplash. The old stove had a back on it which is why there is no granite there. The new stove has controls on the front so we needed to do something for a backsplash. This works for me.

We bought a big shelf to use in the laundry room for all the small appliances, Kitchen Aid mixer, Cuisinart, Instant Pot, Crock Pot, etc so it was time for me to do my most favorite thing. Organize. Once I got the laundry room all finished I started on the pantry. I pulled everything out and organized it. Once I had it all put back together, I realized the pantry was never painted. (Bill doesn’t like painting in closets, he thinks it’s stupid, I disagree). I pulled everything out again and had him take the shelves out. I scrubbed the wire shelves and then started painting. There was a real mess on the counters with all of the pantry stuff stacked up until it was dry enough to put stuff back in it. I swear it’s the smallest pantry in the universe, WTH were they thinking?

All organized and Barrio gives his seal of approval.

Bill’s crates arrived early January, all 5 of them. He opened a few and got out the art and the rest of the house stuff that I packed but couldn’t fit in the crates we shipped when I moved.

Unloading from the freight company.
OK, so now where do we put all of this stuff?

The garage has been a semi disaster since the crates arrived. He recently began building cupboards to put some of the things away. Hopefully, there will be some order in there soon as it really messes with my OCD.

We have had some cold and windy days recently. Dog walks in the morning are sometimes downright cold, although I’ve only worn gloves once or twice. The other day it was starting to rain while I was walking so I revved up to Mach 2 and made it home before the clouds burst open.

I love the windy chilly mornings, they are invigorating.

The other day it was raining sideways, then sleeted, then we actually had some hail.

They had snow in the higher elevations.

My friend, who I have never met but know we would get along like long lost buddies, sent me a card for my birthday. Wrapped around the card was a Mermaid tiara. I love it, I often wear it while sitting on my computer. It makes me feel cool. Thank you Sue!

Yep, one of a kind. Maybe I should wear it to walk the dogs.
Many years ago Olivia gave me these birds on a wire. The birds have big paperclips on them. I used it in Washington and took it to the island but never used it there. Since I have set up my scrapbook stuff and computer in the extra bedroom, I found it again and put it up. It’s well-traveled.
I managed to nicely slice my pointer finger on the sharpest bread knife known to man. It bled for a long time. I was sure I needed stitches but Bill said not. He hates me. 10 days later and I’m still wearing a band-aid and when I bump it I wince in pain.

Speaking of pain, we were taking the dogs to Valley Humane Society to get micro-chipped. We loaded all four of them in the back of the car and started on our way. Not far from the house Highway started his damn high pitched whining and crying. He would NOT stop, this is not the first time he has done this. I grabbed him and tried to get him to shut up but he just howled longer and louder. In the process, my finger started bleeding again, 3 days after the cut. I keep the dogs tethered on leashes in the back of the car. I’m afraid if there were an accident they would get out and run away. With Highway howling the boys were all stressed out, Max’s leg was wrapped with someone else’s leash, it was insane. (I now have 4 short leashes so less chance of them getting tangled, they just have to stay where they are.) I had Bill turn around so he could take Highway home, I couldn’t take it. I dropped him at the mailboxes with the screeching idiot, I untangled Max and then took the boys to get chipped. The lady who took them back to get the chips remarked how well behaved they were. I’m happy to have the boys chipped, you just never know.

We do get some pretty skies here, sunset is better a block up the road where there are no houses.
This Queen Palm was dead when I moved in here. After I had the drip irrigation installed 3 more died. This one Bill was able to push over. Now we need to get it cut up and disposed of. Still not sure what happened to the Queen Palms. I read that there was a problem with the drought conditions in Arizona and many of them were dying. However, I had new drip irrigation put in and it was working. My friends’ husband was a landscaper and he said they can get a disease in the top of the tree from bird poop. This makes more sense because the tops of the trees kind of rotted.

The other day I was reading Fakebook while I had a cup of tea, pre dog walk. Someone posted that there were 2 pitbulls loose in the neighborhood. This made me really nervous because my friend and his dogs were attacked by 2 pitties a few months ago. There are leash laws in Arizona, people are NOT allowed to let their dogs run loose. I was nervous even though I have a walking stick with a taser on the end. I had Bill walk Highway first then I walked Barrio and he walked Max and Gringo with Barrio and me. Normally we don’t walk together because the ones not walking with me cry and whine and jump up because they want to be with me. This is still the case. We didn’t see any loose Pitbulls, luckily. I wish the people who see them would call animal control BEFORE they post it on Fakebook. Posting there does no good, especially when you don’t even say what part of the development you saw them.

This is in the park where the sidewalks are wide enough for them to walk together. Max on top, Gringo in the middle and Barrio at the bottom. Where we go one, we go all.
Smiling for the camera. I love these dogs so much!

Since I went way overboard with dog toys for Christmas, it seems all I do is pick them up off the floor. The usual count is 13, although it has gotten up to 21 a few times. No sooner do I put them away than someone decides they need the toy at the bottom of the toy box.

I have changed my mind and am NOT have the surgery to repair the ruptured ankle tendon. I just can’t stand the thought of not being able to walk for 2 months. I went to the foot doctor on Thursday and discussed it with him. He said that it for sure will not heal itself due to the nature of the rupture. It didn’t tear in half, it split in the middle. To repair it he has 2 choices and would not know which he was going to do until he got in there. One is to cut the tendon away on one side of the hole, that is if the remaining piece looks good, otherwise, he sews up the hole in the center, repairing the tendon and keeping it whole. He said it more than likely will not get any worse and it definitely will not get any better. I’m just going to go with it as it is and deal with the discomfort as opposed to being immobile for 2 months. He suggested I wear the torture device he made for my ankle. I laughed and told him that it will never be on my foot again. Pretty sure he wishes I would find a new foot doctor.

It’s really sunny out again today, it’s supposed to be in the 70’s next week. I’m sure that does not indicate that spring is on the way as February is usually a cold and windy month. We have had more rain in the last 10 days than we had all of 2020. It’s not bad enough having 4 big slobbery messy drinking dogs, now with the wet ground my floors are a mess. I have 2 large towels in front of the door hoping it will catch some dirt off of the 16 paws as they enter the house 10+ times a day. I should probably scrub the floors again but really, why bother?

I’m going to go make a cup of chai and read for a while, hopefully, I can stay awake. Happy February everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A year in the desert.

12/27/2020 One year ago today I was a stressed mess. I was leaving Roatan the next day with 3 big dogs and my cat, moving to Arizona. It was a tough decision to leave the island, somewhere I thought I would be forever, but, it just didn’t fulfill me like I thought it would. I was bored and unhappy. There is more to life than going out to eat and Mega Paca. I helped Nidia and Because We Care for several years and enjoyed every minute of it but I needed more.

I traveled to the states over Halloween, 2019. I spent a week in Pennsylvania with friends and family, then flew back to Phoenix. I met with a realtor there, I think we looked at 20+ houses in 1 day. I didn’t like any of them. Then I drove to Tucson and rented an Air BnB and looked at properties there for 2 days. I saw one I really liked but it was at the tip-top of our budget and needed soooo much work. I knew I would not be happy there because things needing to be done is a constant mental battle for me. I would have been crazy there in two months. I wanted someplace that was one level and had a pool and a fence for the dogs. I found nothing in Tucson. I stayed in Tucson and drove to Casa Grande, about 90 miles N of Tucson, and looked for 2 days at houses there. The first day I saw a house that I liked a lot. It checked all the boxes, beautiful pool, one floor, move-in ready. I looked at several more that day, nothing. I met the realtor the second day and we looked at some more, but I didn’t find what I was looking for. I asked if we could go back to the house on Castle Dr again. One more look and I knew that was the place. I talked to Bill, made an offer (I had already been pre-approved before I even went house hunting), we went back and forth over the price and mutually settled on an offer. It was happening.

I flew back to Roatan and started packing. That was pretty crazy. I went through stuff for the next month and a half, packing everything into boxes and plastic tubs to be shipped by Hyde. The plan was Bill would fly with me to get me situated, plus only 2 animals per person, he would stay for a week, then he would go back to Roatan and start fixing up the house to get it on the market. In the week he was here we bought a car, new living room furniture, 3 new bedrooms sets with mattresses, a computer and a TV. We didn’t have internet yet when Bill left to go home, nor did I have any furniture. The furniture came the day after he left, as did the internet.

After that I started ordering pots and pans, raised dog food dishes, patio furniture, rafts, anything I could think of that I knew I didn’t ship. It was starting to come together. The dogs were loving the pool and I was walking them daily, sometimes twice a day, 7 miles total. All the walking in improper shoes killed my foot and ended up rupturing a tendon, that I still have not had surgically repaired. And it still hurts, a LOT. Since Bill arrived I got a cortisone shot and took a few weeks off from walking to give my foot time to rest. The tendonitis has settled down, but I still have the ruptured tendon to deal with.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I do NOT know if I would have made it almost a year alone without the dogs. Yes, they are a lot of work and expensive to properly care for but I would not change one minute of my life spent with them. They totally own my heart.

Bill came again in March and we got some things taken care of, he fixed things, put a bed together and lots of other little jobs that were awaiting his expertise. He left on March 12th, arriving back on the island the 13th. Two days later the island shut down and remained closed until October. Thank you COVID. No tourism at all, totally killing the economy of Roatan. The people mainly work in tourism and they had nothing. There was no government help for them, no welfare, nothing. And Covid rapidly spread through the island. Mid October the island opened up to flights from the mainland and some small flights from Miami on American. Bill was still stuck there, with a dog.

In the meantime my kids came to visit, it was great seeing them. My dogs were not thrilled with Chance’s pup Kylo, but the rest of us loved him. We were a little crowded but we made it work and it was fun.

The boys eagerly awaiting their nightly treats, a Pedigree dental stick. Max does circles and jumps he gets so excited. Amazingly, they have really helped clean the dog’s teeth.
Blow up Christmas decorations are something I struggle to wrap my brain around. Especially when the whole neighborhood looks like a mass murder took place.
This is Mary, Jesus and Joseph.
Dead. All of them.
Murdered in broad daylight.
Max always makes sure there is not a speck of food left in the bag.
Bill giving them their dental treats.
I was laying in bed reading. Highway got a little close.

Bill found some great people to rent our house until it sells so he started cleaning out his stuff for his move to Arizona. We were planning on him being here by Thanksgiving but that came and went. I had Thanksgiving with my friends. Bill was busy crating his tools and the remainder of the stuff we didn’t ship when I moved, all the while the island was getting hammered by rain and the poor mainland was flooded by the two super hurricanes that both hit close to the same spot. Villages washed away there, they will never know how many people perished.

The plan was for him to leave December 5th with Highway in tow. The big problem was, none of the airlines were transporting dogs in cargo. We had no choice but to make him a service dog and bring him that way. There was no other option. It worked out well but it was a hard trip for Highway. He’s 8 years old and is missing a hip joint. When I saw him get hit by a truck on the island on Jan 19, 2013, (and picked him off the road and took him home) it obviously destroyed his hip joint. We moved him back to the states in March of 2013 and had him neutered. They did blood work, knowing they would need it for his soon to happen hip surgery. However, his white blood cell count was so high they had never seen anything like it. They did it again and also tested him for Leishmaniasis, Ehrlichia, Cushings disease. Negative for all diseases but the WBC count was still off the charts. They sent his results to a vet school in Spokane, one in Texas and Florida and I sent them to my niece who was studying to be a vet at Virginia Tech. Nobody had any answers, they were shocked just like us. Our Vet referred us to Seattle. It was a specialty vet clinic. They did more tests on him, nothing showed. The next option was a bone biopsy. They said it was a very painful experience for the dog, it was not definitive and it was over $2000.00. If we had done that, we were close to spending 5 grand on him. He could walk and run like the wind, he limped occasionally but when he was tearing in circles he was not hurting. We decided he had been through enough, we were getting ready to leave the US and decided to let him live the rest of his life in peace. Eight years later, he is still an idiot but can run, spin in circles and walk a mile with no problem. We made the right decision and there was no way he was staying behind.

I picked Highway and Bill up at Phoenix at 10:30 PM on Dec 5th. Bill had a nasty Honduran cold. Believe me, they are different than a regular cold. I don’t know why but they are, maybe the mold and mildew, the jungle atmosphere, who knows but they are a badass cold. Bill slept in the guest room because I did not want to get sick. Our oldest granddaughter was supposed to come Dec. 14th for a week. That didn’t work out because our youngest granddaughter, Chloee, got covid, so no traveling for Alexah. I was really bummed out, I had so many things planned for Alexah and I to do. But as usual, things happen for a reason. I got Bill’s crud. After a week of feeling nasty I started myself on some cephalexin and prednisone. I am finally getting over it, a few more days of weaning off the prednisone and I’ll be good to go. Thankful you can buy all kinds of meds OTC on Roatan.

I had my dogs in crates when Highway arrived, not knowing how any of them would react. They had not seen each other for almost a year. Highway smelled each crate, not very excited but the boys were. Their tails were slapping the crates and they were crying. I let them out one at a time. Highway was snarly and snippy with them but he had just endured a very long day. The next day things were much better, he even started humping poor Barrio again. Luckily, that has stopped.

So here we are, Christmas has come and gone, the dogs made out like bandits, as usual. I went way overboard with dog toys, because I could. They’re still dragging them all over the house.

I baked 3 different kinds of cookies and yesterday Bill and I cooked a huge turkey with all the fixings. We took a plate of cookies to my friend Nick, he’s a disabled Vietnam vet, confined to a wheelchair so I am always taking him cookies, bread, soups and salads. We invited him to dinner but he was going with some other neighbors. He’s a super nice guy.

The day we arrived in Casa Grande, Dec 28th, 2019, the realtor brought a bottle of Champagne. We’re not champagne drinkers by any means but I was tired of it being in the fridge so we had pineapple pancakes and champagne Christmas morning.
Max doesn’t know what to play with first.
An abundance of toys. Highway on the ottoman, Max, Barrio and Gringo (L-R)
Gringo making a decision. NOT.
Barrio and his bone. He sat here like this for 20 minutes because I yelled at him for carrying my hand weights around. Barrio does not like it if I raise my voice or scold him at all. He’s a total Mommas boy.
His favorite thing is to carry a toy. When I let them out back he grabs a toy before he goes out the door. EVERY TIME.

The dogs are still swimming, which drives me crazy because they stand outside the glass door and shake. Our water is so hard that the door is always covered with water spots. Bill plans to put in a water softener and a reverse osmosis. I’m sick of buying bottled water, I drink a gallon a day and hate the tap water. And yes, I pee a LOT.

Arizona is not our final resting spot. It’s too hot here and we want more land for the dogs. We plan to buy a motorhome and go check out some areas, dogs in tow. Once the house in Roatan sells, we’ll get rid of this place and move on. Places to go, things to see.

We wish you all a happy healthy and less panic-driven, non-restricted 2021.

 

P.S. If you want to continue to read my blog, please subscribe. If you’re not sure how to do that send me a private message with your email and I’ll email you a link. I plan to stop posting on FAKEBOOK very very soon.

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