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 having 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.


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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.)

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 olive oil. Once they were mushed up I put them in ice 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.
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

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.


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

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.


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
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!



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.


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.

Eclectic Twist

Design And Live Outside the Lines