Arizona, it’s a dry heat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your summer anyway you possibly can. XO

 

 

And just like that, it’s spring.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A year in the desert.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

.

The snapping turtle puppy

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

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

Max
Barrio, dripping wet as usual
Max and Gringo. They like to lay on the bed in the front bedroom and bark at everything that they see.

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

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

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

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

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

At the ruins.
Along the way they stopped for pics of the Saguaro.
My cactus was blooming for the 4th time this summer. Trace got some cool pics of the bees inside the flowers. In total this cactus had over 350 flowers on it during the 4 blooms. Yes, I kept track, I counted the blooms each morning in the dark and entered it on my phone. By 9AM the blooms are closed and die within a day or two, then fall off.
Trace has such a good camera.
Bees everywhere and Trace is allergic. Luckily honey bees rarely sting.
My crazy cereus.
Trace and Hilary playing with Kylo.
Chloee, my youngest granddaughter.
Hilary is a dog lover, and that was a good thing. Max was afraid of Kylo.
This was the scene until I took the remote control away and made Trace go outside. The struggle is real. STILL!!
Pool lights.
Trace and Barrio
Trace watching Hilary and Kylo
Chance. He wasn’t too mobile, he just had surgery for a ruptured Achilles. Ouch.
Chloee, she’s so pretty, and Kylo.
Kylo and Hilary
A constant every day, all day scene.
He loved this floaty toy.
He even used the raft that my dogs are too fat for.
We took a ride downtown to the small neon sign park. Not much to see there. Photo @ Trace
Trace took all of the neon photos, my camera sucks at night. Photo @ Trace
Some more signs. Photo @ Trace
On the way home we saw the moon coming up and stopped so Trace could snap a few photos.
Kylo trying out for doggie Olympics. Photo @ Trace
Flying through the air. Photo @ Trace
OMG, he was so funny. Photo @ Trace
Going for it.  Photo @ Trace
He’s copying Hilary’s form. Photo @ Trace
In two days Kylo went from sort of liking the water to being a total water maniac. We had to leash him to keep him out of the pool when he got tired. Photo @ Trace
Photo @ Trace
Photo @ Trace
Crazy boy, he was so much fun. I wish my dogs could have enjoyed Kylo as much as we all did. Photo @ Trace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The week with the Haboob and Monsoon.

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

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

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

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

Covered with buds. I think there are a total of 3 bird nests in this thing. One is used by the creepy bird but there are no eggs.
She’s H U G E.
When we get home from walking, around 6:15 AM the cactus is a buzz with bees pollinating. There is a bee in this flower.
Another cactus in the ‘hood.
About an hour after the sun has risen in the sky the blooms close up. They last one night only.
Then they turn into these things and fall off and look like small piles of dog poop.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is what I came home to.
After pulling all the leaves off this is what the center looked like.
I put on long sleeves and got heavy gloves to clean this mess up.
This piece I couldn’t even lift, Laura was going to come help me with it.

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

The whole light area is sand and strong winds.
The house across the street was barely visible.

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

The Baja shelf
UGH, the dirt.
Tree branches, leaves and dirt, so much dirt.
It was awful. The morning after the storm, I let the dogs out back when we were finished walking. Barrio jumped in the pool before I could stop him. I had to bathe him.
My patio. I cleaned the patio and all the concrete around the pool before Wayne tore the filter apart.
Front entryway, Bougainvillea leaves and I don’t even have a Bougainvillea.

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

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

I have a ton.
They really didn’t freeze well, maybe not enough olive oil?
Once I saw the blueberries at the market, all I could think of was blueberry zucchini muffins. Naturally, I passed them out to the neighbors.
I found this scary thing on my front porch, turns out it’s a Sun Spider and is harmless. Now I know.
My yard was a mess after the HABOOB so I vacuumed it. I can’t believe how nicely it cleaned up.
Have you vacuumed your yard lately?
This is how Barrio sleeps next to me. Butt in my face, feet on my pillow.
A few days after the HABOOB, we had a monsoon. It was awesome, first real rain since I’ve been here. The green spaces in the hood were flooded for a few days. It allowed me to skip adding water to the pool for a day or two.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Social distancing is my uber skill

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

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

Bill is the tan pants under 200# of dogs.

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

Dog loving while hanging the blinds.
This made my computer so much better, it was booting up so slow I hardly used it.

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

Cactus fence posts
Becoming part of the landscape
This was the cleanest building that we saw.
An old cash register.
Cholla, these things can stick in a dog so easily.
This is the same type of cactus we have. Ours is huge and a bird is nesting in it.
Reminded me of sea creatures.
Innovative hose holder
I almost bought some Rosemary but didn’t feel like dealing with it.

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

Sansevieria
Dracena

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

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

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

Gringos crate, he was first this morning. He’ll be last tomorrow.
Max was second, he’ll be first tomorrow. He always poops on his walk, just love carrying that steaming bag around.
Barrio was last today.  He’ll be second tomorrow. See, there is a method to my madness.

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

I had 17 12X12 scrapbooks full of memories.

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

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

Me 1, scorpion 0.

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

New growth on the trunk
Growth all the way up the tree, can’t wait to see what it looks like in a month.
New shoots all over.
Cactus babies
Palms
different type of palm

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

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

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

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

 

 

And here I am.

 

 

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

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

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

Imagine me trying to do this alone. 3 dog, 1 cat crate, 3 checked bags and three carry ons PLUS 3 dogs and a cat.
Max, always a lap dog.
Bill was desperate for sleep.
Me. I just wanted to charge my phone so I could order a mattress and other stuff on Amazon. These three dogs were so well behaved at DFW. All night long in an unfamiliar place with random people and big floor polishing machines. They were excellent.

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

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

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

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

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

First swim in their new pool.

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

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

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

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

My new wheels.
Barrio and Gringo. I bought them new beds for their crates, first time they used them Barrio ripped a hole in his. Stressed I’m sure. I got some material and patched it.
Max, dead to the world, having doggy dreams.
I had to call the furniture store and verify the time they would be here on Sunday. We still had no internet at the house and neither AT&T nor Verizon work in the area we live. I had to drive to where I got a signal and call them. While I had them on the phone I ordered a bedroom suit for the guest room too, why not, as long as I was already paying a delivery fee. I sat by the Cowboy Church and had a great signal.
In front of the Cowboy Church.

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

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

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

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

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

Bill wrestling with Max.
I’m the blue speck. Luckily the furniture came two days later.

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

My toilet buddy. Every. Single. Time.

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

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

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

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

This is a Palo Verde tree. They are all over the neighborhood. The name is Spanish and means green stick. The bark of a palo verde tree is green because it’s filled with chlorophyll. Unlike most trees, this plant gets a lot of photosynthesizing done through its bark. It is the state tree of Arizona.
Agave or century plant. They are called century plant because they are thought to take 100 years to bloom. This is not true, they bloom in about 20 years.
Caught this when I went out with the dogs to pee. Wait. I went out with the dogs while THEY peed, I did not.
Morning sky over the desert.
Me and my shadow.
A back path behind our hood, it backs right up to the desert. I’ve never seen anyone walking here. There are 2 nasty dogs in a yard (high block wall), can’t see them but can tell by their barks one is small and one is large. The other day Gringo and I were walking like normal and the dogs were both barking like crazy, Gringo was getting all freaked out. Then the dogs started fighting. Believe me, I know what the sound of a dog fight is. I was freaking out but there was nothing I could do.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I HAVE A BATHTUB!!! First tub bath since 2013. What a luxury.
Saw these on Amazon so I got some, they are fabulous and have all different kinds.
I ordered some Croc felt slippers. I just wanted something to slip on my feet when I was done walking. Well, they are like walking on cardboard but Barrio seems to enjoy carrying them around.
This was the tag on the Croc slippers. Do you wear your bedroom slippers specifically on escalators? Really? WTH is up with this tag?

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

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