Monday, August 30, 2010

The Honey Heart Attack


We had one of the most terrifying experiences last night. Josh, Honey and I were at the new house. Josh was cleaning our paint brushes with a brush cleaner and the smell was overwhelming. Honey started to sneeze a little so I suggested that Josh let her go outside in the fresh air. The cable guy had been to the house that morning. He left the side gate open. Only a few minutes after she was let out, I wondered if I had closed the gate that led to the alley (a different gate entirely). I was sure that I had closed it (and I had) but I decided that I'd go check on her and see if she was still sneezy. I walked outside and realized quickly that she was no longer in the backyard and the side gate was wide open. I went into instant panic mode. She never wanders off. Normally, she doesn't hardly leave my side. I've never had to worry about Honey getting lost. Josh and I both walked down the nearest streets yelling her name. No Honey. Our new neighbor pointed in the direction he saw her go. No Honey. I jumped in my car and slowly drove through the neighborhood. No Honey. Josh couldn't stand to sit around at home so he jumped in his car too. Finally, I looped back by the house and saw my neighbor looking into the backyard behind our house. He said that he had seen her. I parked and ran around the corner. No Honey. I still have no idea where she went. All of a sudden, she came bounding toward me in our backyard.  I cannot describe my relief. Mostly, my biggest worry is how near we are to 44th St. I was terrified that she'd wander into traffic. It was so nice that several of our new neighbors jumped in on the Honey hunt almost immediately. Our new neighborhood is so great! Josh and I were so happy to see her that we couldn't even be mad at her. Ironically, we just celebrated National Dog Appreciation Day. If you have a doggy, give them a treat and tell them how much you love them.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Projects, projects and more projects


We've been working hard on the house. Josh and I spent about 2 full hours in Home Depot last night. I'm pretty certain that we walked up and down every single aisle. We have lots and lots of projects and need lots and lots of supplies.


My current project is removing the old contact paper from the shelves and drawers so that I can paint. I have to say, my new heat gun has worked pretty well so far. I can't wait to see how these turn out.

Josh's project is to tear down the faux wood panels in the third bedroom and patch the walls to prepare the room to be painted. Last night he was testing to see if the "Ready Patch" would work.



I love tools. One of my favorite parts of beading is the tools. I should have known that I'd love collecting tools for diy home projects too.


No story is quite complete without a cameo from Honey. Today after work, she and I did our first yard work. And boy was it work. We picked up fallen grapefruit from about 5 or 6 trees. Those things are heavy when they get piled into a bag. It was a pleasure to meet a few neighbors. It really is such a nice neighborhood. Everyone has been so friendly.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

New house update




We got into our house for the first time this week, Wednesday at lunch. We have a lot of work ahead of us to update this house and get it ready for us to move in. The room that we feel is the worst is pictured above. Word to the wise, if you choose to make your third bedroom a "tv room", please do not use fake wood paneling and nail crappy spongy tile stuff to the ceiling. Even though there will be a lot of work, we are both enjoying the process. We look forward to making this house ours and we'll take you along for the journey if you follow along on our blog.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hotel Valley Ho


We spent 2 nights this week at Hotel Valley Ho in downtown Scottsdale. I wish that it had been under better circumstances. Unfortunately, our air conditioner in the town home broke down and due to it being covered under warranty, it takes a few days to get a new compressor ordered and installed. Thankfully our landlord helped us pay for a place to stay. This was especially important for me because I not only live at home, I work there too. So the Valley Ho turned out to be a perfect solution. They not only allow pets for free, they also treated Honey to a water/food dish with "just in case" food. The hotel is really, really, really cute. They describe it as "mid-century modern". I said "vintage - modern". Is that the same thing? Regardless, it was very comfy and I was able to work with very little noise or distraction. We hope to be back at home sometime this evening.


Honey seemed to really enjoy her stay-cation. She is not one to get on beds, but apparently this bed was too good to resist.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bridal shower


I so enjoyed Jaime's bridal shower. Jenn made the BEST food. Jaime was glowing. A good time was had by all. I just love my friends. :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Home owners


Today was closing day. We had to get up pretty early to sign all of our paperwork and transfer our funds to the title company. It looks as if we will have the keys early next week and are just so excited for this new chapter in our lives. It isn't every week that you get engaged and become first time home owners. Finally reaching the closing day has allowed us to really sigh a breath of relief and start planning for the move into our new home. Yay!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Down at the ranch

On Saturday, we headed down from Mt. Graham and spent the night near Josh's parents house so that we could spend some time with them. It is a great time of year to visit their ranch, there were tons of flowers in bloom.  I went on my usual hunt for the perfect butterfly photo.  Chasing butterflies can keep me occupied endlessly. 




I love the ranch dogs. As with all dogs, each one has their own unique personality.  

Sonny
Cher
Merle
Sparks "Barks"
Chubbs

Monday, August 9, 2010

Engaged

Josh and I decided to spend a few nights camping on Mt. Graham again this summer.  We haven't had much time for vacation since we've been house hunting. So it seemed like a nice way to get away, enjoy some fresh and cool air but not have to go too far.




Honey did much better in the tent this year, in fact I think she liked the tent. She seemed much more comfy. The first night, Josh was sure that he heard snorting in the middle of the night.  We are fairly sure that there was a bear in the campground. Honey shook like a little leaf. Thankfully, the bear never came too close. We made quite a bit of noise so that he or she would know where we were and walk away.  That seemed to work.  We are pretty conscientious about keeping all of our food locked up in the car and never bringing it into the tent.



The creek by our campground was flowing in full force. It was quite pretty.  Josh enjoyed wading through it.


Honey, not one for water, enjoyed laying next to the creek. She went in only to cross and follow me up a trail but resisted going in any more than that. I really love this picture of her.




On Friday August 6th, Josh, Honey and I decided to hike a trail that we had found last year. It leads up to an old abandoned fire tower that has a spectacular view in every direction. On the way up, we saw a bear cub take off running down the mountain side. I think that we must have scared it. We were on high alert for Mama bear the rest of the way to the top.  She never appeared, thankfully.


At the base of the fire tower, we found an amazing sight, millions of lady bugs.  They were in piles on rocks, tree branches, just everywhere.  I've never seen anything like it.  


I looked up ladybugs online and found out that they often gather in high country to enter diapause in winter.  It is sort of like hibernating. "Diapause is the delay in development response to regular and recurring periods of adverse environmental conditions," according to wikipedia. It was beautiful. I love ladybugs. I was in awe.




Little did I know that I was in for an even bigger shock, Josh planned to propose to me on top of the fire tower. After he patiently waited for me to take photos of the ladybugs and comment a few hundred times how amazing it was to see a sea of ladybugs, he started to climb the tower. I told him that I didn't feel up to climbing it with him.  He gently urged me to follow. As I watched him climb, I decided that I'd follow. The thing is that the this fire tower is OLD and TALL. It is sturdy, but it just makes me so nervous.


Here I am at the first level.


Here is a picture of the Mt. Graham observatory from the 3rd level. I called up to Josh from there and said that I'd gone far enough and was heading back down. He said that he questioned whether or not he should make me come up to him but decided that it was better to not try to get me to do something that I didn't feel like doing.

I lay down on a big rock under the fire tower next to Honey and closed my eyes for a little siesta. After he climbed back down, I decided to take a few more pictures of ladybugs before we headed back down the trail. He sat and patiently waited for me again (he is so very patient). After I was all done, we stood under the fire tower instead of on top and he proposed. It was perfect.


I think that I was in shock for about the first 10 minutes. Although I did have the wherewithal to say "yes" immediately. I really did not expect him to propose and it was really thoughtful that he chose a place that is so absolutely beautiful.


The engagement ring needs to be a post all to itself. It is very special. We don't have it yet, but it is in the works and all I have to say is that it is different than I imagined but absolutely perfect for me and for us.


And after a long day of excitement, mother nature offered us a lightning and thunder show to put any 4th of July fireworks extravaganza to shame. Honey was hopelessly frightened of the thunder but eventually we all slept, curled up together in our tent as one happy, little family.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Josh's birthday


Josh's birthday was this past Friday!  Josh's favorite cake is angel food with rainbow chip frosting, so that is just what he got.


We had dinner from Ajo Als, one of our favorite local mexican food restaurants. 


Josh enjoyed opening up cards and presents, as well as lots of nice phone calls and online messages from his friends and family.  He is very loved.  It is easy to see why, he is pretty terrific.


Mother nature even presented a gift in the form of a huge monsoon storm.  It was quite lovely.

Happy Birthday Josh!!!!

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