Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Happy 16th Skittlez

AJ, AZ   High 85  Low 52



On March 30, our little girl turned 16 years old. She has been with us since she was 8 months old and is as goofy now as she was as a puppy.  We were pretty naive back then and did not realize we were buying from a backyard breeder. But I am glad we got her out of that situation. Jim picked her out and we took her home. Boy did she need a bath. We didn't take many pictures back then, so we have very few pictures of her as a puppy.

This one is of her and Scooter playing.


I've always said that Skitz is an agoraphobic. She hates to be outside. She wants to be in her house where she feels safe and secure and where the food is. She is not a good traveler so we have had to listen to her complain for a lot of the thousands of miles we have covered over the years. And it's gotten worse as she got older.


She has always been a Mommy's girl. I was the one she always wanted to cuddle with but as she has aged she no longer wants to sit on my lap, or cuddle, or sleep in our bed. She wants to be in her bed on the floor and in front of the fireplace if it is cold.






When we lost Scooter, she was inconsolable. She was not ready to be an only dog. She cried and cried if we left her alone.  We lasted six months and then realized that we had to do something for her and us. So along came Rocky. She was really patient when we got Rocky as he snapped and snarled at her. But eventually they became almost inseparable. He always wanted to climb in the same bed with her.


 Skitz is deaf and almost blind with a little bit of dementia thrown in but she is doing really great. She sleeps a lot and doesn't seem to mind being an only dog. I don't think she realizes that she is. 



Some days she bounces around here like a puppy and then the next day she can hardly move from the arthritis. Her back legs frequently don't work very good so we have to help her get up on them. 



Hopefully we have several more years with her. We love you little bit.




Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Another Tough Day

Image may contain: drawing
We picked up Rocky's ashes yesterday. He is now on our shelf with Scooter. Once again tears were shed. 

 Other than the trip to the vet's office, Jim and I have hunkered down. I know, some folks think I am overreacting, but I am taking social distancing extremely seriously. Jim is 80 years old. He has heart issues, he's diabetic, and he lost part of a lung to cancer. So we will not be visiting with anyone except on the phone. 

All activities have been cancelled here in our park. Some folks are thinking about heading home to family and their own doctors. Can't say I blame them. Our Canadian neighbors are not leaving til the middle of April. They checked with their insurance carrier and they will be covered. That's good news.

We stocked up on foods that we like  and other necessities before the panic hit the shelves so we are good for at least a month. Paula made a COSTCO run and picked up three big boxes of puppy pads for us. Skitz prefers to use them inside rather than go out into the big bad world. But I figure, if things get desperate she can share them with Jim and I.

We also used Fry's (Kroger's) pick up grocery shopping. You order online, they pick out your items for you, and then bring them out to your car for you. You don't need to go into the store which is a plus. But you do need to sanitize everything. We are still having problems remembering to do that but we're getting better.

We've recorded several movies and our favorite shows. I read and listen to books checked out from our library online. Jim has lots of projects that he will be working on. We will keep busy. Oh, and I need to work on our taxes. I know we got an extension but I want to get them done and over with. 

Our friends, Ray and Cindy, are hoarding M & M peanuts. Now that kind of hoarding I can understand.

I hope and pray all of you are taking good care of yourselves.

Friday, March 13, 2020

ROCKY JOE - JIM'S BEST BUDDY

Gotcha 01-14-2017 to 03-11-20


Our hearts and lives are shattered.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

A Nightmare I Never Saw Coming

AJ, AZ   High 80  Low 49

On Thursday, Jim and I went to Sky Harbor Airport to pick up a friend of ours who was flying in from Maine. We made sure we got there a little early so we could find short term parking. We even got a parking spot about as close to the door as you could get. 

While we were waiting I glanced up and saw some interesting things on the walls. I also noticed that most people getting off the plane didn't even see these things because they were headed for baggage claim and just wanted to get out of that airport. 

These two pictures are part of the Phoenix Airport Museum. I'm sure there are many other items that we didn't see.

This picture is of the Bright Angel segment of the Grand Canyon as seen from the North Rim at sunrise. The artist, Merrill Mahaffey, wet the canvas and applied acrylic washes of color with a big brush. After the washes dried, he projected slides onto the canvas and laid in the details with small brushes and an air brush. The painting took four weeks to complete.




This one is called The Aviators and was done by Donald Lipski. The artwork celebrates Arizona's abundance of sunshine and rich aviation history. The 29 foot wide steel frames weigh more than a ton and feature chromed fiberglass lenses. Details include full-functioning hinges and vinyl nose pads. The sky is hand-painted on a 90 foot wide canvas.




 On Friday, Jim and I headed out to do some grocery shopping. I wanted to add to our food supply so we would be a little more prepared if things get really bad with the coronavirus stuff that is wrecking havoc around the world. We also stopped to have lunch at Papa Kelsey's. Great sub sandwiches.

We were gone about three hours which is about as long as we dare to leave the old dogs alone. I got out of the truck and climbed the steps and went in the door. It wasn't until I actually got inside that I noticed something was horribly wrong. All three of our slides were pulled in. My first thought was for the dogs. Rocky met me at the door so he was okay, but Skitz was not there. When our slides come in you can't get to the living room area unless you climb over the island counter. My thoughts went into overdrive and I was scared to death that Skitz had been trapped under a slide and had been killed or was badly hurt. Jim was outside in the truck and I screamed for him (I'm sure the whole park could hear me). 

He climbed up onto the island and was able to see that Skitz was still in her bed and was just fine. I'm not sure she even realized that anything had happened. Once I knew the dogs were okay, I was able to breathe again and Jim could focus on figuring out what had happened. Skitz was able to squeeze her chunky body between the slide and the island and get over to the kitchen where we were. 

Jim called a 24 hour technician from Camping World (where we bought the trailer) and between them and our neighbor, Pat, they were able to finally figure out what happened. It seems that water got in the hydraulic pump compartment and shorted out and blew a fuse and kicked the circuit breaker. This caused the slides to come in all by themselves. It took the guys about two hours to finally get the slides back out again. Jim drilled a couple of holes in the bottom of that compartment so this can't happen again.

This was truly a nightmare experience.


 You spend all this money for beds and they just want to lay on the floor.


 

 

Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Heard Museum


Paula to my rescue once again.  She just won't take no for an answer when I whine about getting out of the house. This time she had gone to the library and checked out two tickets to the Heard Museum. Did you know that your local library offers free tickets to certain museums and attractions in your area? Check it out.

I took this from the Heard Museum website: The mission of the Heard Museum is to be the world’s preeminent museum for the presentation, interpretation and advancement of American Indian art, emphasizing its intersection with broader artistic and cultural themes.


The Heard Museum was founded in 1929 by Dwight and Marie Bartlett Heard. Today the museum has grown to over 130,000 square feet.  There are many exhibits and we did not have time to see and appreciate them all. Think we'll be making another visit in the future. 

The following are the exhibits we did explore.

David Hockney’s Yosemite and Masters of California Basketry

David Hockney is a British artist who, in 1982, took beautiful photos of Yosemite. In 2010 he revisited Yosemite Valley and used his iPad to draw pictures which he printed on paper. 










These next two are much smaller iPad pictures.





During the early decades of the 20th century, production of baskets in the Yosemite Valley was at its zenith, fueled by a newly established tourism-based economy. Miwok and Mono Lake Paiute women began expanding their practice of making baskets as traditional functional objects, evolving them into objects designed for artistic consumption. 


In the Sandra Day O'Connor Gallery we found the Grand Procession: Contemporary Plains Indian Dolls.

The dolls provide a figurative reference to Indigenous peoples from the Great Plains and Great Basin regions who lived in those areas during the late nineteenth century. 








This art fence represents the Southwest and the organic fences built by Native people from adobe, ocotillo or saguaro cactus. The fence begins with darker colors and then continues with brighter colors representing land and sky.


These next two pictures are close ups of some of the glass work on the fence.




 This mural was created by Tony Abeyta, Navajo, in 2008. He calls it "A Place Where We Emerge" and is India ink and charcoal on the gallery wall.



One exhibit that I would have liked to explore further was Away From Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories. Next time.



 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Out and About

Jim and I finally got out of the house to do something. That something was a car show. A small car show which is just my speed. The Apache Junction Animal Shelter was holding a fund raiser at the ELKS club.




This is a1940 Chevy. Pretty car.





But this was the most unique car at the show. It's a Camaro. There were only 80 of these produced and in all of Jim's years dealing with cars and going to car shows, this is the first time he had ever seen one.


We've also been out to eat with friends from the park and also got to meet up with Jeff and Tina who are RV friends from our years on the road. Always good times.

Portillo's for dinner.



Our weather has been fantastic. In the 70's during the day and down to the upper 40's at night for perfect sleeping weather. Lots of sunshine and blue skies with beautiful sunsets. No complaints here.

But - next week our night time temps will get down to freezing and day time temps only in the 50's. So I can go back to whining. Hope our winter is short.

The flowers definitely think its Spring. This is just down the road from us here in Apache Junction.




 Hope everyone is enjoying February.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Blogger Fest 2020

The very first Blogger Fest was held in 2015 on Plamosa Road in Quartzsite, AZ. We had over 50 bloggers and friends attend. You can read my post about it here: https://wherearethedixonstoday.blogspot.com/2015/01/blogger-fest-2015.html

Jim and I haven't camped in Q for a few years now and I blog so seldom, I had no plans to attend this year. But Paula asked me if I would drive over with her Saturday morning and then come back to AJ that afternoon. I said that would be fun and so Saturday morning off we went. 

We got there early enough that we were able to visit with some of Paula's friends camped at La Posa South and grab some lunch at Carl's Jr in town. A word of advice - do not try to order just a plain chicken sandwich there. They don't know how to handle that. All I wanted was a piece of chicken, some lettuce and a bun. No mayo, no cheese, no sauce, no tomatoes nothing. Took two people to take my order and what I ended up with was a whole bunch of lettuce and a piece of BBQ chicken. No bun. Guess I didn't need that bun after all.

Paula and I weren't sure if anybody was actually going to show up at Blogger Fest but Doug (https://missadventuretravels.blogspot.com) had said he would be joining us with Yuma. He also invited friends of his and we ended up with 11 people and three dogs. I really do like having a smaller group because it's so much easier to get to know people. I didn't know most of the people so I asked everybody to introduce themselves. That really helped me to put names and faces and blogs together. Thanks everybody. 

I took a couple of pictures which sort of turned out. In this one of Doug and Yuma, I missed most of Yuma. 





No, John is not asleep. I'm just really lousy at taking pictures. John and Brenda blog at http://johnbrendasincredibleadventure.blogspot.com


In this next picture we have Deb, Bill, and Ken. Ken and Kim's blog is found at https://journeywithkenandkim.home.blog 
Bill's blog is http://clembillpat.blogspot.com 
Deb and Tom's blog is http://tdcelebratingthedance.blogspot.com/
 





My last picture is of Patsy, Kim, and Tom

 
Patsy's blog is http://patsyischillin.blogspot.com/

Forgot to get a picture of Paula but you can check her out at http://shadowmoss.blogspot.com/

We reminisced about George and Suzie of our awesome travels at https://geosuzie.blogspot.com and the impact they had on our lives. They are truly missed. Some of us also knew Retired Rod and we got to talking about his Roomba post. One of the funniest posts ever. Check it out here http://retiredrod.blogspot.com/2014/03/roomba.html

I had a good time meeting some new people and I want to thank them all for coming to Blogger Fest. Hopefully we'll see you again next year.

Paula and I headed back to AJ and both of us were pretty exhausted by the time we got home. We'll probably do it again next year.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Rocky Joe's Third Gotcha Birthday

AJ, AZ   High 71  Low 44



Three years ago today, Jim picked up this aggressive little dog out of his pen at a dachshund adoption event. Since that day he has been velcroed to Jim 24/7.

Rocky was not an easy dog to love (especially for me since he didn't want anything to do with me for almost a year). However, he has somehow managed to worm his way into even my heart. Scooter's death six months earlier had left such a hole in our lives and hearts and Rocky has filled that hole with love and "devotion" (to Jim). 

Rocky was aggressive with other dogs but in a pretty short period of time, Skittlez won him over and now he torments her by wanting to sleep in her bed with her. 




They had told us he might be diabetic because he drank so much water. We found out that he was hungry and was drinking water to fill up his empty stomach. He only had four teeth so he could not eat the kibble they put out for him. We got him started on some good quality canned food and the excessive water drinking stopped. He had a large hole in his mouth which took two surgeries to fix. At that time we had them pull his last four teeth since they weren't doing him any good. He also had a cancerous mass on his side that they were able to remove. 

It took him a year before he would let me pick him up without being aggressive towards me. And he did not like other people trying to pet him. However, with time and patience and lots and lots of love, he is now a complete love bug. His kisses are few and far between so when he does dole one out it really is special.



He has serious heart problems and we know that big heart is going to give out on him way too soon for us. He will be sixteen next month and we celebrate every day he is with us.

Don't get me wrong - he's still a difficult dog especially for me. If Jim goes off without him, he whines the entire time he's gone. So the other night when Jim went to the races, he carried on for 5 1/2 hours. Maybe some people (Paula) can tune it out but I can't and it gets really hard at times. He is also one of the pickiest eaters - definitely NOT food motivated. He only weighs 9 1/2 lbs so keeping his weight up becomes a challenge. Because he is on a diuretic, he needs frequent trips outdoors and he can no longer walk up and down stairs, so Jim really gets his exercise carrying him in and out. 

We love him and that is all that matters.

Friday, January 10, 2020

2020 Is Here

AJ, AZ   High 68  Low 44

Hopefully by now everyone has recovered from all the celebrations for the new year and new decade. Jim and I and the pups celebrated by going to bed. No resolutions made at our house because they wouldn't make it to the second week of January.

We have had some rather cool weather. The snow level dropped and the Four Peaks were covered with snow which made for this absolutely fabulous picture taken by Zach Testa and posted on Fox 10 News. Zac takes incredible pictures and you should check him out on Instagram.  (We can see the Four Peaks from here in the park but I didn't get a picture of them.)


However, I did get this picture of our fabulous sunrise Wednesday morning. No touch up needed.


Saw my doctor yesterday and I am now on a gout preventative pill and a bone builder pill. The older I get the more pills that I have to take. Hopefully I won't see her again for a long time.

We really don't do very much and a lot of that has to do with having old dogs. Rocky had a horrible night last Sunday and I did not think he was going to make it another day. But he rallied a little on Monday after I increased his furosemide which removed a lot of fluid from around his heart. His appetite is still good - picky picky picky though. By Tuesday he was breathing better but Jim and I had some errands to run so Paula agreed to stay with the pups. 

Today he is doing as good as a dog with a greatly enlarged heart can do. However, we know his time with us is limited so we are loving him for every minute. Skittlez is still doing really good. Very few problems other than not being able to see or hear. Food is still her great motivator and she always knows when someone is walking into the kitchen. 



I really do hate blogger. It does strange things when I'm trying to type and so I never know for sure what my post is going to look like. I guess everything is centered now.

Like I said, not much news from here. However, the sun is shining and that makes for a beautiful day.