Giving Tuesday

I could use your help. My nonprofit is called the Desert Nature Alliance. We support our community by providing nature based #STEAM education support , wildlife awareness and field study support, desert safety information and by volunteering to clean up and adopting part of the highways.

There are so many people out there that wish they weren’t so alone or lost in learning or just trying to live life. Once we opened our new space and could reach more if our community, the needs became varied. It wasn’t just the need for some help learning , it was a lot more. The disconnect our society has faced caused a lot of hidden damage. One by one , hugs and tears and talking, we have started to make a difference in our community.

When you are not known for retail, it is extremely hard to make a go of a nonprofit. I am funding it all with the help of my Math teacher husband. We are not wealthy. We just believe change can and should happen. I don’t know if I will ever take a paycheck but I am ok with that.

Our state, Arizona, ranks #47 in education. That’s appalling. Why there isn’t a serious call of action I do not know. For years now Arizonas education offered has been #47 places away from the best there is to offer.

We built a YouTube channel full of animals and education. We offer classes and support. We are using one wall as a Gallery to showcase local art. With our license, we help remove fallen birds from the roads.

Please take a moment to go to our website and see just how much we have dedicated ourselves. Grants haven’t happened yet but the rent continues to need to be paid.

Help me by sharing our story. Follow us online. Watch our videos on YouTube.

Support when you give everything you have means so much. It’s what keeps the fire alive

Thank You Sincerely


Invasive Species

I am going to challenge YOU.

Are YOU an invasive species?
Have YOU moved far from YOUR basic area of origin only to forcibly try to recreate where YOU came from in an entirely different environment ?


Did you adapt to your new environment or did you move there and simply continue your habits and behaviors and even disrupt the ecosystem by building homes with concrete walls to stop that awful wildlife from entering??? Did you poison “weeds”?

Do you suggest to anyone who will listen that shooting a native animal to the area you plopped yourself in is the answer to all problems ???

DId you seek out your new community when you arrived ?

How is it any different when a human does this and causes harm to an area they are not remotely from by their attitudes and bad behavior but when an animal does it ….

Well, we know how the animals get treated .

Compare Contrast Videos from the DNA

Next Educational Video Coming SOON From The
Desert Nature Alliance
“Compare and Contrast:
Coyote vs Your Spoiled Dog”
In this video we will explore some obvious and not so obvious ways we treat these two canine relatives SO differently. Get ready. I’m not going into this one with soft gloves.
If you haven’t already, head over to YouTube to our channel ( oh so Stace and the Desert Nature Alliance) and watch a few of my education conversations. All are designed to be used in conjunction with classroom learning,#stem and #steam education. the DNA has created lessons to help you follow along.

You can find lessons on our website Not designed for small children or sensitive viewers due to the graphic nature of some of the discussions and examples shown, yet entry level so all of us who are interested in science, nature, biology ect. can share ideas, learn and grow. Use our videos for your own lectures or classes ! Please contact us with ideas or topics we could cover. Videos from us directly to your classroom are available. Please support our mission by donating today 💚🌵☀️ #compareandcontrast #coyote #domestic #wild #canine #dog fund us now on tik tok, Instagram, FB, WordPress, Linkd, and our YouTube channel.

The Black Keys, Band of Horses at Ak-Chin a Review

There are very few bands that, when my phone alerts me Monday morning tickets are still available for Monday night half the state away, I hit buy now. The Black Keys are one of those bands.

My introduction to the Black Keys came from my husband Jay years ago. He always find the best new music. For me “Howling For You” seemed like my theme song , being born raised desert and loving coyotes. But it was “Gold on the Ceiling”and “Lonely Boy” when the Black Keys became one of Stacys favorite bands.

I live out in Gold Canyon, East side of the Valley of the Sun. Roughly an hour drive to get to Ak Chin for a concert starting at 7pm on a Monday night. For those of you who might be unaware, our freeways on the West Coast are massive ( picture 7 lanes, one direction, driving into the setting sun, going 65 mph minimum if it’s not dead stopped, full of cars and trucks ) Deciding to jump into that nonsense and danger to drive 100 miles round trip when you work from home is a big deal.

Opening for the Keys were the Velveteers and Band of Horses. Arriving late due to the heavy traffic, I got to listen to what was a very energetic and bombastic ending to the Velveteers set from the Ak Chin ladies bathroom. Therefore I can not give a review of their performance.

However, we were present for Band of Horses and we both said Neigh! I want to blame their sound tech for a chunk of it. We truly could not hear one word lead singer Ben Bridwell sang clearly. For a “Band” who has been together producing music for as long as they have ( formed in 2004) I expected better sound quality and a better live performance.

The bands “logo” makes zero sense with what looks like a Coyote with the words Band of Horses around it. Boring, flat uninspired, trying to make it big sounding band is the best I can say. Not worth the drive in the least. Two fans of theirs stood behind us and seemed excited for at least one song. If there was rhythm to dance or move or sway to trust me, I was in the mood to do so, I came to see the Keys, but the horses let me down. I took the lag in entertainment as my opportunity to go check out the merchandise and grab a shirt.

The intro for the Black Keys was a silly video

Keys Lead Singer Dan Auerbach sounded great. Drummer Patrick Carney pounding away. Of course it was hot, 80 at night, it’s Arizona, but the fans overhead blowing helped a bit. Only complaint I really had was the smells wafting around Ak Chin. Sewer? I don’t know but it had moments of pew.

I will admit that during the show, while they indulged themselves playing a jam type session of old music along with old friends they rolled out on stage ( KB!) my mind wandered off to the gossip and drama surrounding Pat and his baby momma and soon to be ex Michelle Branch.

Pat’s a good sized guy. He pounds on drums for a living. Though I’m not attracted to him, plenty of folks are attracted to guys in bands. There has never been any secret that guys in bands are far from faithful given the smorgasbord of offerings nightly. Michelle is also a singer and performer. She must tour once in awhile though I’m not sure females get sex tossed at them in the same manner or as much as a dude in a band or even hanging around near a band. So staying home, having babies with a drummer, is literally a recipe for being cheated on. No surprises there. The surprise is hearing she tried to kick his ass! He’s huge Michelle, but I feel ya girl! I’d smack my man too for cheating but yours is in the Black Keys! Shoulda figured he was bad.

Overall the Black Keys sound and performance was on point but I felt like there were times they had the crowd up dancing and singing only to slow everyone down to sitting. If I had my way we would be dancing and Howling for you all night.

The Keys stalled us out until the encore for our Lonely Boy dance along. Was well worth the 100 mile round trip drive to exercise my demons dancing and singing on a Monday night. Been too long since I let my hair down and flung it around. I gotta love that keeps me waiting …

Guided Tour of Our New Storefront for the Desert Nature Alliance

As a newly developed nature based nonprofit who devotes itself to loving this desert here in Gold Canyon AZ and keeping us all safely enjoying it, I would like to invite you to follow me on this tour and experience what we have to offer. Being small and brand new, any support you can offer is greatly appreciated.

Come Visit Me!

Open Thursdays and Fridays 12-8pm Saturdays and Sunday’s 9-6pm.

We’re Painting The Roses Red….

Question time.
Put your nose to the photo and these roses have the same smell they do in the store , zero!

In 2022, roses no longer have fragrance!! Go to any grocery store , stand by the flowers and tell me what you smell . Go grab a dozen in plastic and stuff your face into it and take a huge deep breath in! Nothing . Why?!? Oh if you Google it, growers are going for “durability” and looks at the cost of fragrance. Purposely growing roses that don’t smell . Wtf????? Why? Durability? Nothing screams romance like a good non fragrant durable rose I tell ya. Or is it to keep the cost down so more and more cheap non scented red roses can flood the markets for made up holidays like Valentines Day? True Romance❤️

How much water, land, resources, trucks, distribution… for flowers that don’t smell at all! Then are we to “keep” them in more water till they “die”
and throw them away? Over fill our homes with dozens and dozens of wildly elaborate bouquets Kardashian style just to brag and post online? What the hell are we doing as a society?!?

If you come visit my @desert_nature_alliance shop, I sell Wild and Dried Flowers, and as part of the larger conversation, dried long stem roses. At least in dried gothic form they can “live” on much longer and no one expects them to smell anymore. I don’t make “potpourri”. That’s a weird old term and brings up images of odd smelling, fake colored, artificial plant parts. Sorry, I have better taste than that. None of the Wild and Dried or pressed flowers at the DNA have any artificial anything added. You add your own scents or oils or sparkles if you choose. So is it ok with you that we as a society that struggles with drought and climate changes, continue growing flowers that have zero fragrance?

Your thoughts below : #paintingtherosesred #roses #fragrance #arosebyanyothername #whatdoyousmelllike

She Works Hard For No Money So You Better Treat Her Right: the story of one female’s nonprofit startup journey

Part 1

I pull my truck into the small empty parking lot and park. Tears staining my cheeks. One argument first thing in the morning too many. I’m running out of options. I sit and stare at the empty spaces in the old plaza. The location is great but there’s little life or foot traffic. Is it even worth the effort to get out and peek in the windows? How am I going to afford this?

For some reason I’m drawn to an open space on the end near locked, but for public use bathrooms. I peak in. Immediately my creative brain wants to decorate. I can’t take this as a “sign” because my brain does this with any empty space it sees. But I do see the possibility.

I look around and notice there is a Uhaul rental in this plaza so I head over. It’s early and by the posted sign they aren’t even open but dogs run up to the door then a women answers. Nice enough she lets me in and finds the contact information for the plaza rentals.

Back in the truck heading home I just want to throw up. Nothing I had planned for the last few years was really going to work the way I had hoped or dreamed. It wasn’t falling into place. If anything it was falling apart and I needed to make some serious life decisions. But at this point, not counting my husbands keeping me fed and a roof over my head, I was broke.

Once Covid hit I made the decision, stayed home and put my life and soul into the tiny non profit I had created, the Desert Nature Alliance. My DNA, literally blood, sweat and too many tears. Mine. Though making videos and keeping up with my online presence was starting to gain traction, money was not . YouTube wanted thousands more subscribers than I had. Instagram didn’t find me influencing. My friends and followers were solid and truly encouraging me to grow but they aren’t millionaires.

The gravel driveway gives away my return. The tension in the house still lingers. A lot of it is my fault and I know it. My frustration at life in general had turned me into a growling, sharp toned bitch blaming him for breathing. Mad, angry, burning inside from a life of hard work that never got rewarded but instead came with bosses, customers and clients insults and abuse. Forcing my way out of the employee role and into the Queen Boss Bitch was my goal. Money had never been the pinnacle, but to actually make a difference was where I was headed. A true Nonprofit.

Filling my detached garage and multiple sections of my home were parts of the bigger picture. Half of the garage had become my museum, housing my collection of bones and skulls, my workshop, home to making all of my YouTube videos. Inside my house were pieces of furniture and items I dreamed one day I could house altogether museum style with my collection like the old wooden organ from the 1800s, a style clash with our actual personal tastes.

But my dreams of people coming way out to visit the DNA on our property weren’t coming true. It was not convenient. It was awkward. Sure, I had really cool things to see and learn from and the view is to die for but the reality was I needed to meet my audience half way. But how? I had no income.

I walked into the house and tried my best to stammer out where I had just been and that maybe I had been very wrong. By forcing my dreams into one location (safe at home) I limited so many possibilities to really grow. But the right timing and finding myself needed to happen. Stripped of all but pride, I asked for help. Was there anyway in the world he could give this awful woman who he claims to have loved for the last 25 years enough money to pay first and deposit on a public space? Did he believe in me like that? Did I believe in me like that?

Trying Korean Corn Dogs in Arizona because of British 8th Graders

One day while mindlessly scrolling through YouTube latest suggestions I landed on a video who’s title alone sucked me in immediately. “British 8th Graders try Korean Corndogs for the first time”. Intrigued, I had to find out what made a corn dog Korean.

I am desert born and raised. I live in Gold Canyon Arizona. Tucson is known for a Sonoran Dog but that’s an entirely different meal altogether and it definitely wouldn’t stay on a stick very well. I’m very familiar with Hot Dog on a Stick, the 1980s style mall food famous for young pretty girls in goofy uniforms doing crazy pogo like moves while making buckets of fresh lemonade. They made really yummy fresh coated, fresh fried corndogs I would dip into half ketchup half mustard. They also made “cheese on a stick” but rarely, if ever, did I eat one. I don’t tend to go to the fair but on those occasions that I have I didn’t enjoy the oversized over coated over priced semi warm ones I bought.

As I watched the video I could tell immediately the coating on these Korean corn dogs came with a really nice crunch. Being a big fan of fried foods, they had me at that irresistible crunchy sound. The British boys with their cute manners giggled realizing these magic corn dogs were covered in sugar! Personally my brain exploded at the thought that someone finally heard my prayers and put salt and fried and sweet and meat and hot sweet dipping sauces all on a stick! Hallelujah sugar coated corndogs!!! Genius!

I grew jealous as I watched the boys devour their corndogs with delight. My last corndog from Sonic was so awful and misshapen from what looked like they put it in a panini press I didn’t eat it. I refuse to buy the frozen ones. There is no Weinerschnitzle around here and they don’t put sugar on their corndogs anyways. No, these special sugary hotdog on a stick treats were something I needed to try!

Maybe it’s an American thing, I don’t know , but my brain was pretty confident that even though I was in the middle of one of the hottest deserts on the planet, no where even remotely near Korea, I would be able to find a legit Korean Corndog if I Googled it.

In Mesa!

I might be in Arizona but yes of course the Valley of the Sun has Korean Corndogs in multiple locations! We chose Mesa for our first try.

We stood at the outdoor sign for a minute trying to decide but figured let’s just go inside and look around.

Dipping Combos

Cheese Mustard. I can say it over and over but it still doesn’t seem to make sense. Cheese Mustard.

I tend to chat with whoever is helping me either at the counter or the server who takes the order when it’s my first time and I’m really not sure what to get. I want to enjoy my experience. Sometimes just hearing what is or isn’t on an item helps me decide. The young lady that helped us was great. Obviously it was our first time by our gawking at the menu but she didn’t call us out on it! I truly hate staff that condescendingly ask “is this your first time?” No, I eat daily. I am at fault for being too preoccupied with corndogs and fillings to catch her name so please excuse the random ways I’m referring to such a sweet girl. She aimed us at the ones that were half cheese half hotdog, one original, one with potatoes on the outside, so we could get a sample of quite a few varieties and dipping choices. A great way to get started! We chose bottled water as our drink. Keep the liquid simple so all the new flavors could shine.

Where to start first ?

I decided to try my first bite with no sauces. Hot gooey cheese comes stretching out of the crispy sugary coating nothing like a standard corn dog coating at all. My mouth is at first confused then wants to smile. Textures and flavors seem to go together when they shouldn’t? The Siracha and Mayo dipping sauce made the most sense to me so I went for it. Sugar, Siracha, Cheese, Salt, Crunchy , Chewy Cheese… eyes close.

I yank the stick out and flip my sugar coated wonder over to get to the hot dog side.

Next up was the corndog with the potatoes and sugar on the outside. I really liked the potatoes and hotdog combo. The stretchy cheese becomes too much for me but I also didn’t have a beer. That might be the game changer for me and the cheese.

One Korean corndog was more than enough to fill me up. The prices were very affordable. Would I go back to Myungrang? Absolutely. The staff were friendly, the place was clean, the food was fun and yummy at a price you can afford. Next door a new dessert place is going in! That’s reason enough to make a trip back over to Mesa.

Entertainment while you wait for your corndogs!

Emotionally What It’s Like to See a Rattlesnake

I would love it if you popped over to my YouTube channel Oh So Stace and the Desert Nature Alliance for this video and more. I started making videos to work on my public speaking at first but started to enjoy it more and more. The education I can share for free and in my own style with no editing feels liberating! My channel has over 400 videos now. Some are of me sharing my desert love and safety tips, but most are of the wildlife living here in Gold Canyon Arizona.

Is there Something in the Water? The Rise of the Full Bellied Man

Is there Something in the Water? The Rise of the Full Bellied Man
— Read on

1 dead peacock, 2 rattlesnake encounters, 3 bearded dragons and more. A look back at my strange 2021.

1 dead peacock, 2 rattlesnake encounters, 3 bearded dragons and more. A look back at my strange 2021.
— Read on

Is there Something in the Water? The Rise of the Full Bellied Man

If you ask anyone currently living on this planet “whose body has had the most influence on women?” before you could finish your sentence, answers starting with a K would come flying at you! And I would argue rightfully so. Whether it is Kim or Kylie, Kendall, Khloe or Kravis (🖤) they all can easily be identified as influential bodies. Tiny waists, full curves. Magazine cover worthy bathing suit bodies that women across the globe envy and pursue at all costs.

But when it comes to men, who would you say has their attention? What male form is thrust at the young men of Instagram or Tic Tock destroying their self esteem? Who has the body men are starting to emulate en masse?

Real Store Mannequins

Shape wear for women is nothing new. Pain is part of beauty right? Corsets to shrink your waist, push up bras, padding here and there, women have been amateur contortionist since the dawn of time . Foot binding anyone?

Foot Binding. Remember this photo always ladies. Never. Again.

All for one main purpose of attracting attention, sexual attention. To be considered wanted, desired, the ultimate female. Modern science has given us ways to make our boobs bigger or smaller, bubble that butt, suck out fat and move it else where, insert, lift, tuck , you name it ladies, if you got the cash or are willing to travel, we can get it done! Bathing suit worthy body baby !!Just in time for summer! If you are especially brave enough to order a K bathing suit made with the sheerest fabric ever, god love ya 👑👍 I’m sticking with more industrial strength supportive material! I ride water slides, I don’t wear heels to the pool.

Pool worthy 🖤👑 me

Most of us women come no where near K level of air brushed photo enhanced hotness but we try. Look around and you will find no shortage of fake eye lashes, excessively long dagger nails, high heels or overly lined lips in the general Walmart shopping female population. No matter the height weight age color, ladies are giving us looks👑

But men have gone a different direction it seems. No shape wear brand flooding the male market. No sir! Men have gone aggressively the opposite direction from fit and fabulous!! Stretched t shirts, bellies hanging over the belt, flip flops with toes that can climb a tree. We won’t call this latest look “grunge” , no that was an actual style , attitude and music all it’s own. I’m not sure who is leading this latest sloppy, pregnant looking male effort.

I guarantee it’s not Chris Hemsworth nor was it his name who you shouted out!

Though Chris ( can I call you Chris ?) is obviously putting in the same amount of effort and dietary restrictions any K does in making his body as close to perfection as he can, he is not being emulated anywhere near to the same degree by his fellow man . Why not boys? His body is million dollar Hollywood budget movie star worthy. Find a flaw. Go ahead, let’s all scan his photo for the next 5 minutes and see what we find!

Lately when I go anywhere, more often than not, there is an abundance of men with what appears to be a pregnant style belly! The complete opposite of what Chris has! So if he or his body is NOT what the average male is striving for, who’s body is it? Shouldn’t this full bellied leader be out and proud and have the same spotlight and scrutiny any K has? Is he some hidden secret? Where are his magazine covers? When did he start making this kind of influence on the male form? The Dad Bod was no longer good enough??? Apparently a fuller male belly is now the trend.

Sorry bro your Dad bod is no longer cool

Maybe I don’t have a large enough social circle, but none of my girls or guys who enjoy guy, have told me they think a flat butt combined with a hard, round, hair covered, protruding belly so big they can’t see if his penis is hard, is sexy as hell and quite the turn on. Haven’t had that conversation yet.

I can remember growing up watching TV and seeing “Rerun” Fred Berry and his suspenders on What’s Happening. He was the “big one” on the show. When I rewatch Rerun now he doesn’t seem so large at all. He also danced!!!! A lot! And had a fun personality that people wanted to be around.

Nowadays when I see one of these full bellied bros out in public they are proud and they are angry. No dance moves here. Just outwardly trying to antagonize anyone with an ill fitting slogan shirt of the flag or even by decorating their vehicles. Having the full tight belly is not enough. Are the suspenders making a comeback?

Look, if a T body is what you want your body to look like, I say go for it! By all means you don’t have to hide your want! Us women fully understand wanting KKs body! If you, as a man, want to choose a T body with extra belly button lint then I think you have every right to do so! If covering that shape with red white and blue makes you less angry then by all means please flag it up! Shorten that life span! No one is stopping that.


Being perceived as having an “attitude” comes with the focus on your looks. Women get accused all the time of being superficial, snotty, petty etc. She’s a bitch. She doesn’t smile. If you are too nice as a pretty female it’s taken as flirting. Too serious you are bitchy. “Emotional female” is the favorite slur of a certain brand of over due men.

As a man, why hide the fact you think the 70 something year old T man has a great body and you are actively pursuing one of your own? It’s ok to have a crush. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. If you enjoy a T body in a pair of shorts and no shirt plus a stiff, dumb, never been in style red hat, have at it. I say order up a supersized fast food meal with extra ketchup and a side of blue pills, Diet Coke. Grease is the word ….

There are plenty of hard bodied men on the big screen that could and should be used as the every man’s goal to the delight of women and gay men everywhere! But our American men seem to have said NO to that idea all together.

Yes please

In the original movie Top Gun, Val and Tom play beach volleyball shirtless to the delight of millions. For the most recent Top Gun remake, they also included a beach volleyball scene that most of the men stayed on a strict diet to film. For the Baywatch remake, Zac Effron showed us a spectacular washboard. Magic Mike has amazing male dancers… No one got an award, just saying. On the flip side, if a man gains a tremendous amount of weight or muscles ( Matthew , Christian?) or loses a ton for a “serious” role he is up for awards by the film academy.

ALL of these male actors have openly spoke about what it takes, what they could not eat, what is does to their bodies , how hard they work out in order to be on screen, cheat days and huge amounts they eat afterwards. Yet there is zero written about what these men are doing is as bad an influence as any K. Men manipulate their bodies or not and still expect to be considered award winning leading men. Of course us women should find them attractive no matter what! Money fixes all male shortcomings right?

K lost weight to fit into a dress and got the full attack from the press , the internet, the pope. How dare she get that waist any smaller! How dare she look good wet! Jealousy is a bitch.

I find it odd that men with such large bellies believe so strongly in their superiority over women .

Across the board, any subject, the man belly holds all wisdom. Born that way I guess. Otherwise I have no clue where this supposed man only be best knowledge comes from. Silly mansplainer, our phones are light years smarter than you and un like your small penis, in a woman’s hand constantly. Realize I can out run you! I’m in great shape! One hundred percent know I will use you and your belly to hide behind as needed in the event one of your friends starts shooting up the place.

Sure boss, anything you say….

What? Am I not allowed to say I don’t find men who should use suspenders to hold up their pants attractive? Sorry, I don’t. I find it gross. You can take one look at me and go throw up in a trash can if that’s how you feel. Write about it. It’s a free country, for now.

The Inflatable Escape

No Relief in Sight

The sun had not officially come up yet and it was already too hot. Out on the patio trying to wake up, hoping for a gentle breeze to help cool me down, my coffee tastes lukewarm compared to the 90 degree morning start. Our heat wave has backed off for now but our local news promises the triple digits will return. Sleeping has been rough. At night I wake up, neck sweaty from hot flashes. The only sleep I get lately comes when I lay next to a fan blowing directly at my face.

Mindlessly I scroll through ads on my phone. Ads for pools. Above ground pools. Escape from the heat I could order now and have delivered to my door or I could pickup in a few hours.

I close my eyes. I picture me, three inches taller, two sizes smaller, my butt is firmer, my skin is flawless and golden. I look amazing in my tiny swim suit, huge sunglasses and hat, effortlessly gliding on clear tropical water. A palm tree swaying nearby. Big blue sky. The smell of coconuts in the air. Instagram Perfection.

I open my eyes and squint.

Obviously weeks of Arizona’s triple digit heat has brought on hallucinations of grandeur. There is no water anywhere in sight. No pool. No palm trees. Just sweaty me in cut off shorts, sticking to my chair on a hot patio with morning sun rays now piercing through my eyes.

There is a saying “Crazy from the heat.” I believe it is true. I just might go nutty if I don’t cool down soon.

I see it. The ad I’ve been hoping for. A 7ft. White and blue inflatable pool with two seats, head rests and cup holders! I am only 5 foot 6 so that leaves plenty of room for my feet. On sale now at Big 5 marked down from $50 for $29.99! My heart raced! I knew if I could get my husband to agree, I was positive I could create a relaxing vacation type environment somewhere on the side of our house and it would not cost very much at all.

But it wasn’t going to be as simple as buy it , inflate it, flop it down and grab a hose. I was going to need his help to make this happen. I head inside and walk over to Jay’s desk and slide my phone to him. He looked at the advertisement then looks up at me and smiles. The answer is yes. Let’s go get you a pool.

Deal Breakers

Our house is old and small. According to the paperwork at least some part of it was built in the 1940s. It sits on 3 acres including a hill, giving us incredible views of the Superstition Mountains and the surrounding valley. However,6 years ago when we first came to view this well priced, one bedroom home we were informed it had no tub, shower only and no pool to go along with all the other quirks old, privately built homes come with. Due to the type of solid granite like ground, putting in a pool would be costly. The home uses its own well for water. A built in pool would require truckloads of water to be brought in and steep $$ to initially get set up. A full bathroom remodel would need to take place for me to have a tub.

In my mind, as someone who was born and raised in the desert, you need to have water nearby not only to cool off but for the mental health it provides. No pool or tub to soak in had always been a major deal breaker when it came to where I could live happily. So there I was, faced with the real possibility of owning an adorable little old home, on a hill with a million dollar view, in an area I should not be able to afford to live in, only if I was willing to live without a pool or tub. To ease this minor setback I bargained with Jay. He would need to keep me semi sane during the very real heat of AZ by taking me away semi regularly to a hotel to be able to fulfill my strong desire to simply float in water. He could go golf or hang with me or do whatever he wanted to but just let me float in a pool. He agreed. It seemed very doable at the time. I signed the papers.

Reality set in fast as our work schedules, pets, timing, bills, etc. life in general kept getting in the way of my pool getaway.

The Cost of Doing Business

A hotel stay is expensive. Period. Room fees, fees for pets, food and drinks, entertainment, tips, it all adds up. Oh I’m sure if you are fan of a particular large fancy hotel chain you would argue that there are plenty of perks and free vouchers that make the cost seem minimal. Convince me. I’m a freelance writer. I call it as I see it and experience it. I would love to write all about how I got spoiled rotten by your hotel for free.

But going to a hotel also requires getting there in the first place. Freeway driving comes with stress free of charge. Gas prices, even for a local staycation, can now cost well over $50 in your tank and forget about driving for hours to stay overnight somewhere. Consider the wear on your vehicle, and what road/travel stress does to your mind body and soul. By the time you unpack and truly relax it’s time to turn around and head back home.

Flying? The “cost” of todays flying experience can’t truly be measured in dollars alone. From arriving at the airport and either trying to find parking in a maze or getting dropped off without getting run over by a bus, to your full body cavity and luggage search, to sitting snuggly on your plane next to a snoring stranger, to actually safely landing at your destination unharmed by a fellow passenger or flight attendant to navigating a city style transportation drop off system to search for your luggage on rotating carousels could only be described somewhere between terrifying and laughable and in an entirely different article I can write about later.

In Jays defense he would randomly offer to take us away somewhere but I would shut him down giving this list of practical reasons why we shouldn’t even though I’m the one who really wants to go cool off in a pool in the first place.

Down Time

In 2020 the plague hit. COVID stopped the world in its tracks. No longer was it even a question of when we could get away from this intense desert heat, travel everywhere was restricted. The entire nation now ordered to stay home . For some, being “stuck at home” or even working full time from home isn’t too awful. For others it was their worst nightmare coming true. At first I felt the isolation. Working from home I had no one to talk to besides my husband and I didn’t want to drive him nuts. For a long time in my life I would have said I was very social, a “people person” . However, given the forced time away from “it all”, it didn’t take long for my creative brain to enjoy quiet.

My wants and desires started to change too. Oh I still daydreamed of a pool but now I wanted less people around it. Now that I can hear it, silence is lovely. The idea of going to a hotel for a loud pool party with DJs pumping dance tracks , lined with hot girls in high heels and bros spilling drinks seemed exhausting. Privacy and the sounds of birds in nature has moved up higher on my list.

That’s Not Hot?

There has always been this weird stigma about an above ground pool or an inflatable pool, not being a hip thing to have. I’m not exactly sure why. There are actually quite a few practical reasons for owning one.

-The Cost.

-What if the ground you have available is unsuitable for digging into?

-Not everyone can or wants to make long term commitments like a built in pool, that require long term maintenance, on their property for a few months of “fun in the sun”.

-Some folks don’t own the property they live on so making permanent decisions like digging out a pool isn’t an option.

-Unlike a built in pool, if you move you can take it with you.

-You can easily incorporate an above ground or inflatable pool into your yard with a deck or patio furniture if image is an issue.

Still, above ground pools get little respect. It will take Internet Influence to switch the image around to Instagram Worthy.

Dose of Reality

To be honest, I had no understanding or care what a few thousand gallons of water looked like, how it arrived somewhere or what it costs until I owned a home with a water tank containing all the water my home would use. As a young adult I had always lived with city water and the supply seemed endless. Now, not as young , owned a home with a built in pool and sold that home, I know a bit more. Selling a home with an older pool can be a struggle. Everything seems to focus on the surface of the pool and its equipment and zero focus on the actual house. Luckily our pool was still in good shape but the deck would need repair. I now know better about all of it now. Water is a valuable resource we here in Arizona and other nearby states are running out of. Water Conservation in the desert is crucial.

A real life rumbling tanker truck comes to fill the water tank for our small house. How often he comes depends on our usage. When my husband explained to me that some of the metal sided above ground pools I had been looking at would require multiple trips from our tanker truck driver I felt my chest tighten. Size does matter. Simply affording the initial lower cost of an above ground pool wasn’t the only thing to consider. Just because the pool is above ground doesn’t mean the water wouldn’t need a filter or chemicals. Where I wanted to put a pool mattered as well not only in terms of convenience but also safety. A large above ground pool holding thousands of gallons of water, if punctured, would certainly destroy parts our hillside.

I asked myself the honest question “What did you really want or believe you needed out of a pool to make you happy? Is it to cool off? To tan? Swimming? To float? To relax? Use it for exercise? What would this pool need to give my soul peace?”

My answers:

-100 percent it was for my mental health. A pool helps me to relax.

-Not having the ability to go soak in a hot tub for awhile when your body parts ache sucks.

-I want to just lay there. Do nothing. That’s all.

-In enough space to not feel silly.

-Bigger than a standard tub.

-Long enough my toes couldn’t reach the side.

-Large enough for water to cover me.


-A pool to myself. No need to question “is there pee in the pool?” The answer is NO

-Low to no maintenance.

-Inexpensive but built to withstand this intense AZ sun.

– Cheap enough to replace if a wild animal destroyed it.

-Bathing suit optional.

Blow Time

Once we got back from Big 5 we still needed to go get sand from the local fire department. You can shovel sand bags to your hearts delight over there for free. We didn’t need much so we figured 5 sand bags worth would do the trick. To set up our pool we cleared the rocks down to the hard ground and then put sand. The biggest hurdle we now faced was how to blow it up. We used a small air compressor, a hand pump and our mouths. It wasn’t the fastest way but still we got it done. Threw the hose in, turned on the water and before we knew it our pool was ready for action! Grabbed two bright beach towels, a couple of chairs and small table from the patio, and a grass pad we had from our daughters recent baby shower and VOILA!

I slid into the warmish water and let out a sigh. Then I giggled. My husband slid in next to me. He sighed. Then we both giggled. What took us so long?!? This inflatable pool literally was doing everything we needed it to do and more! For $30 and a days worth of work, we had what felt like the impossible, the perfect place to soak.

Thank You Bestway and Big 5. So far our pool has held up a solid week in this intense AZ sun. We have used it daily if not more than twice a day. Every time I climb in, I still let out a huge exhale, and a giggle.