Like a rolling stone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meet Walt.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crazy dog.

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

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

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

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

The 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.