Yes, I know, we’re already two weeks into 2016, so I’m a bit late in posting this ;) But, as usual, I’ve been rather busy and just haven’t taken the time to sit down and blog.
2015 was a very good year indeed. The garden did quite well, and for the first time (since I’ve been in Arizona anyway) I started the seeds indoors and allowed the seedlings to mature a bit before moving the trays out to the greenhouse. This strategy worked very well and resulted in strong healthy plants that thrived once they were transplanted into the garden.
There were some insect issues, as usual, but the regular applications of Neem seemed to keep the squash bugs and cucumber beetles somewhat under control. We’re considering getting Guinea Hens this year and allowing them to free range in the garden. I’ve heard they’re excellent at insect control and not as destructive to plants as chickens can be. If anyone wants to share any info on Guinea Hens with me please leave a comment below- I’d certainly appreciate it!
In March we got 7 new chicks to replace our older chickens who were no longer producing many eggs. We gave the older chickens away to a lady who wanted them for bug control in her yard, so no chickens ended up in the soup pot ;) I’m not sure if I could actually slaughter our chickens- I do tend to get attached to them, so I’d much rather just find them a new home when we get new chicks. And our chicks have been very happy and healthy little critters!
And now these cute little things are full grown and giving us delicious fresh eggs every day :)
Then in April we found out that Sal’s daughter, Christina, was pregnant :) Anna was born in September and both she and her mother seemed to appreciate the gifts I made for her.
The kitty was named Miss Kitty and Christina used the booties and hat and blanket the whole time she was here visiting in early December. We spent a very enjoyable 5 days together and I had a chance to get to know Christina even better, as well as spending some quality time with Anna. Such a beautiful girl!
In June Sal and I spent 5 glorious days relaxing on the beach in Mexico. His friend has a beach house in Rocky Point and let us use it for our vacation :) We played in the ocean, had dinner on the beach, and chilled out by the fire at night. Of course Ziggi was with us and he just completely wore himself out chasing sea birds up and down the beach and swimming in the ocean.
The trip to Mexico was one part of my 40th birthday gift. The second part of my gift came in July. We’d been discussing getting another dog for almost a year and Sal decided that the time was right this summer. And so we adopted the sweetest, most wonderful German Shepherd/ Rottweiler mix ever <3 Dewey Dude has been such a joy and has brought even more happiness into our household. And I finally have my own dog, which is something I’ve desired for years. This is what my little guy looked like when we brought him home at 2 months old.
How cute is he?! And this is what he looks like now at almost 8 months old.
He’s grown into such a handsome dog! Of course he’s still got a lot of growing left to do ;) I love this guy so much!
One sad thing this year was that Calcifer got sick and I had to take him to the vet where they put him on antibiotics for an infection. He hadn’t been eating well and had dropped to just 8 pounds. I started feeding him kitten chow, which he loves now, and once the antibiotics cleared up the infection his appetite really came back. Now he’s up to 11 pounds- more than he’s ever weighed! He looks great and seems to feel as good as he looks. He’s still eating Kitten Chow (it’s the only dry food he’ll eat) along with his canned food, and he has a good, healthy appetite now. So what started out as a worrisome thing ended well.
In October we took Dewey Dude to Beaver Creek for the first time and had a blast watching him romp and play with Ziggi. This was also the first time he was allowed off leash on a hike, and he did very well when it came to sticking fairly close to us and coming when called.
Since then he’s been on several more hikes with us and I feel confident about allowing him off leash when we’re out in the wilderness. Of course when we’re around other people or dogs I keep him on a leash. Sometimes he can be a little too friendly, and not everyone appreciates that ;)
In November Ziggi was the one headed to the vet when he cut his leg. We think he was running past some sheet metal Sal has in the yard and sliced his leg open. He had to get about a dozen stitches then had to wear the cone of shame for about a week. The cats couldn’t figure out why the dog was wearing a lamp shade on his head :D
He’s as good as new now, although he does sport a very macho scar on his front leg. And the incident did prompt Sal to go around the yard and try make all his scrap metal as safe as possible so this wouldn’t happen again. The dogs just tear around here at breakneck speed, so we have to try to eliminate or safeguard as many obstacles as possible.
And then there was December, and December 23rd, which turned out to be a very important day in our lives (and not just because it was Calcifer’s 6th birthday ;)) That was the morning that Sal proposed to me! I love this man with all my heart and have had every intention of spending the rest of my life with him, with or without being married, but I really did want to be his wife, rather than just his girlfriend. And yes, I did cry when he slipped that diamond engagement ring on finger, tears of the utmost joy. And the days that followed were filled with even more joy. Later that day we headed out (with the dogs) to the Embassy Suites where we had a room booked for two nights and Sal had arranged a banquet for his birthday (which was on the 24th) that night. And the birthday banquet ended up doubling as an engagement party :) There was so much love and laughter in that room that night! Sal’s family is wonderful and I am thrilled to finally become a true part of it. Most of them have considered me part of the family already, but this makes it official ;) On the 24th we got engagement pictures taken and then headed over to his brother’s house for the annual Christmas Eve dinner and party- always a fun time!
Oh, and when I was planning my outfit for the Christmas Eve party (before I knew we’d be getting engagement pictures taken), I picked out Gramma’s necklace, bracelet, and earrings to wear with my dress. Not only did they go nicely with the engagement ring, but it felt like Gramma was there with me, at least in spirit. I wish she could have lived long enough to meet Sal- I know she would have liked him, and I know she would be so happy for me.
We headed back home Christmas day, taking our time and stopping a few times along the way to let the dogs out to run and play in the desert. We had a very peaceful Christmas day, and enjoyed being back home.
Then to start off the New Year we put our Christmas gifts to use. Without planning it his aunts gave us gift certificates for dinner at the historic Hassayampa Peacock Room and his daughters gave a gift certificate for an overnight stay at the hotel. We had a wonderful time and I think the best dinner I have EVER eaten! Life is so good, and I am thankful beyond words for all the many blessings in my life!
Here’s to more of the same in 2016! :)