Half a year bites the dust.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This bird sat there while I took flash photos.

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

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

This only bloomed once, no birds either.

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

5 AM sky

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

Butt brothers getting a drink

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

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

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

Barrio taking a swim,

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

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

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

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

Stay safe everyone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Palo Verde, gorgeous but really a messy dirty tree.

Looking from under a Palo Verde tree.

Purple desert Willow

Pink desert willow

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

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

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

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

Great book!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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