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.


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas

This will be my last blog post for 2019. Hopefully 2020 will bring me something besides medical problems to blog about. Both Jim and I are doing good. I'm still battling gout but hopefully my next doctor's appointment will give me some relief.

We have gone out to eat a couple of times. Wanted to see the tumbleweed Christmas tree in Chandler. We asked Paula (Shadowmoss) if she would like to check out the tree and get some dinner.  She has moved into our park so we get to see her a whole lot more often. 

The tumbleweed tree dates back to 1957. It takes about 1000 tumbleweeds to create the tree each year and as the population of this area grows, the harder it is for the city employees to find enough tumbleweeds. The results are beautiful.

They also have a large Christmas ornament.

I picked Murphy's Law Irish Pub for dinner. Sometimes I pick good, sometimes I don't.  This was a don't pick. The food was good but the noise level was just incredibly loud and the service was really slow. We should have left but we hung in there.

We went to Sal's Gilbert Pizza with Jayne and Steve. This is the place that Bob and Jo introduced us to and where I get my very favorite Italian sausage, onion, and pepper sandwich with marinara sauce. It did not disappoint in any way.

We are not going to have a white Christmas but its going to be a wet one. Rather dreary. We did get out our few Christmas decorations. So here's a few pictures (well probably more than a few). 

I just had to have this shower curtain.

They both love their fireplace. The pups are doing about the same. Still with us and we are thankful for that.

This wagon is a new addition to our outdoor decor. However, Mr. Grinch is not waterproof so we had to bring him inside to keep him safe and dry.

Our fisherman Santa

The Nativity Scene that my Mom made for me years ago.

We had a beautiful Christmas program at church Sunday and it really helped to bring the Christmas spirit home.  Jim and I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas.

Many of our friends and family are struggling with life threatening illnesses and we are praying that 2020 will bring us good news for everyone.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Blogging Coma

Our good friends used that comment, blogging coma, and it perfectly fits where I've been.  Can't believe it's been two months since I last posted. 

Almost everybody is back in the park and I didn't realize how noisy it is with everybody here. The summer is so quiet. But it's wonderful to see all of our friends return and the park get back into it's winter swing. 

Jim has been fishing a few times. No catching but that's just fine. At least he's out on the water and having a good time.  Other than that we really haven't been doing too much. Wendy went with Jim and Marv one day to take pictures. She is an amazing photographer.

We had thieves hit the park a month or so ago. We have an area where we park the Bungalow along with the other RV's that people use for traveling. Most of them were gone at the time but Tom's trailer got hit hard. He lost a propane tank and his batteries as well as most of the stuff in his bays including sewer and water hoses. We were much luckier. We have a good lock on our propane tanks and on our battery box. Trying to get to them is too much work for thieves who just want to get in and out. But they also broke into our bay and got our surge guard. They weren't interested in our hoses or maybe they got interrupted by something. Jim thinks something else is missing but until we need it, we're not sure what it is.

We went to Webby's house to celebrate Marv's birthday. They used to live in the park but bought a house just a few blocks away. I love  how they fixed up their front yard.

I have a really bad case of gout and can't walk. It's settled in my foot and I can't put any pressure on it without screaming in pain. I finally got to see the doctor on Wednesday.  Hopefully the pills help me. I spend most of my time sitting in the recliner with the foot elevated and not letting anything touch it.  

However, last Saturday I ventured out of my chair. We joined Jan and Bill at the Chandler Chuck Wagon Cookoff. It was so much fun to see them again. There were several groups doing the cooking and after checking out their menus (see picture), you pick the one and buy your ticket for your lunch. We chose E-Z Cattle Company. Chicken fried steak, mashed taters, gravy, beans and apple cobbler.

Lots of little cowgirls and cowboys around.

The cooking is all done authentically in dutch ovens and over campfires.

The food was okay but like Bill said, "after a hard day working on the ranch, you would really appreciate a meal like this." 

We had a good time but I was completely wiped out when we got home. My foot really hurt and I ended up going to bed at 7:30 that night. 

We saw this vehicle on our way home.


And no post is complete without pictures of the pups. They are doing good. Just old like us.

Skitz waits like a vulture for Rocky to finish eating so she can lick his plate clean for him. He really likes to curl up with her but she only puts up with it for a few minutes and then she switches beds.

We have several friends and family who are fighting cancer. It is such a horrible disease so if you would say a prayer for them, it would be very welcome.  Steve, Al, George, and Patti.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Middle of September - Already!!

My blogging mojo has left the building. Or the heat melted it into a puddle of nothingness. I've also taken a sort of break from social media. I took FB off my phone and only check into it occasionally on the computer. I'm not on any of the other social sites. I've been reading blogs but seldom comment. Maybe when the sun quits shining so brightly and warmly I'll get back in the groove again.

Loved this cloud formation at the end of our street.


Our monsoon season has been a bust. There have been a few storms around us but the only thing we've seen is wind and more wind. We had one storm at the beginning of the season that came through while we were at dinner and we missed it. We sure could use the rain. But the good news is the super heat seems to be gone. The forecast is showing temperatures below 110 and even only in the upper 90s on occasion. We actually have had a couple of nights that got down to 78. Love it. I told Jim today that I'm going to freeze to death this winter if it gets below 70. 

Jim is doing really great. Back to normal or whatever normal is for him. We both had some good news. Last May when we saw Jim's oncologist, he told us that Jim had a couple of nodules in his right lung that hadn't been there before. That is not good but the doctor thought that maybe they were caused by all the problems Jim had with his health. So he wanted to wait for three months and see if they grew or changed. When we went back for the three month follow up both nodules have disappeared. Great news. Don't need to go back for six months.
When I saw my kidney doctor three months ago my potassium levels were really really high. I had to go on a low potassium diet which meant that I had to give up all the foods that I loved. I can't have chocolate, peanut butter, whole grain bread, chocolate, nectarines (but peaches are okay), cantaloupe (but watermelon is okay), chocolate, ice cream, potatoes, sweet potatoes, apricots, potato chips, and on and on - oh and did I mention CHOCOLATE.!!! But I behaved myself and when I saw the doc this week, my kidneys are stable and my potassium level is back down to where it belongs. So I can now occasionally have some of those things on my do not eat list. 

Another beautiful sunrise


Jim celebrated his 80th birthday on September 8th. We had cake and ice cream at the club house for everybody who was around. It was a good time.

He got this tee shirt for his birthday.  It says - Personal Stalker - I will follow you wherever you go - bathroom included. And you can see two little heads at the bottom of the picture because they followed him down the hall so I could take the picture.

Paula (Shadowmoss) stopped in to see us the other day. She was really really bored and came down to the valley to go to Costco to get coffee. We're making plans for some sight seeing when she moves back down for the winter. 

People are starting to return. I figure by the middle of October things will really be in full swing here in the park. 

I saw two new critters this summer that I've never seen before. I had heard on the news about the Palo Verde Beetle and that it was their mating season. They are harmless but they are really ugly. They look like a giant cockroach. One morning I took Skittlez out about 5:00 a.m. and one of them is walking across our patio. I'm sure glad I had heard about them on the news or I would have woken the whole park with my screaming.

I also saw my first scorpion. It was actually in the women's bathroom at the clubhouse. Somebody said it was dead and then it moved. Nobody could believe how fast I could move.

 So that's about it from here in AJ. It's been a really good summer and it has given both Jim and I a chance to recover from the tough winter we had.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Gail in Buckeye

Wasn't sure how to get hold of you so I'm hoping you will see this post.

Rocky had his cataract surgery done by Eye Care for Animals. They have three locations - Scottsdale, Gilbert and Phoenix. They are specialists for both eyes and teeth. And I think dermatology. They also did Rocky's surgery for the fistula in his mouth.

Hope this helps. He has done really good with the surgery. We have to give him eye drops every day and I get them at Costco.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

This, That, and Nothing

Apache Junction AZ - hot, hot, hot

Mostly nothing.  The hot Arizona summer keeps us inside in the air conditioning most of the time. We hit 115 yesterday but cooling down to 110 today. It really isn't as bad as it sounds because our humidity has been really low. We also haven't had any monsoon storms yet but the weather people keep telling us that they are coming - someday. 

Fluffy clouds are pretty scarce during the summer so we really appreciate them when they do show up.

They also make for a pretty sunrise over the Superstition Mountains. 

Jim has made great strides in his recovery. He is almost back to his old self. Makes me very happy. He's riding his bike around the park every morning and I'm walking. We get it done early in the morning before the heat settles in. (I just want everyone to know - I HATE WALKING!!) I have always hated it even when I was young and spry. It is so boring. I'm looking into getting some ear bud thingies so I can figure out how to listen to a book or music or something. 

There are still 9 of us who meet every Tuesday morning for treats and company. We have a few people returning to the park in August so our little group will grow. It really helps to break up the week and gives us something to look forward to.

The pups are definitely showing signs of old age. Skittlez's back legs give out frequently and she is deaf. This picture shows how she stands most of the time. She spends most of the day sleeping. 

Rocky is going blind and deaf. It really is sad to see him get stuck in a corner and he can't find his way out. But he's learning to cope and is still a lot more active than Skittlez. He loves his Dad but doesn't feel the need anymore to spend all his time in Jim's lap. Which is a good thing since it is so hot. (Our air conditioning really works great in our trailer but all of our front windows face west and it still gets a little warm about 4:00 p.m. with the sun beating down on us.)

We've really been enjoying all the coverage on the moon landing 50 years ago. It's still amazing to me when I look up into the sky at night and realize that man has actually walked on that moon.

The moon setting this morning.

Our talented daughter-in-law, Michaela, painted a mural in the cat room at the vet's office where she works.

She has an Etsy account showing her work.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/GreenIsWhatILove

That is the news from here. We are doing just fine. Life is good.