It has been brought to my attention recently that a great deal of time has passed since I last posted to my blog. For a change I have happy news that doesn't involve packing up our house and moving yet again. The charming gentleman that I mentioned in my last post is now my husband as of March 16. His name is Steve Shaw and he has become the light of my life. He makes me laugh and smile constantly. I can't believe how much we have in common and how well we are suited to each other. Since we both have homes and neither is large enough for the extended family that I live with, we are dividing our time between the two houses. My cousin will be moving into the Sarasota house shortly and I will then be spending more time at the house in Englewood. We haven't combined the animals in our households yet and I am inclined to leave them separated - not that I have any doubt that the mastiff boys would accept the schips with no problem. The schips, however, are not the most hospitable critters when it comes to a breed that isn't the same size and color as themselves. My cousin is great with the schips and they are very fond of her so once she arrives they will be spoiled rotten and I won't feel so guilty about being gone for a few days at a time without seeing them.
The Englewood house seems like a quiet retreat from the city noise. The yard reminds me of a tropical setting from Better Homes and Gardens or a scene taken from Sarasota Jungle Gardens. There are two ponds with a waterfall and beyond the property is a small lake. The yard is set with tropical and semi-tropical plants. Native birds put in an appearance on a daily basis. Even though the house is in a residential area with neighbors all around, the property is landscaped and fenced so that it is very private and seems secluded. I truly enjoy the time I spend there and look forward to being there more often. I love the mastiff boys and they seem to be very fond of me. If you can imagine a 200 pound dog galloping towards the door to greet you - that would be the scene at the house when I open the front door.
I also just returned from a week in New Mexico. I felt I needed the trip back to make sure there were no lingering ghosts and that I had closed all the doors behind me. I had a very good visit and left with high spirits and hopes of being able to return soon for another visit. I didn't get to the Santa Fe area, but I made several trips to Ruidoso Downs where I had worked as a dispatcher. It was great seeing everyone that I had worked with. I had missed saying my goodbyes to some of them when I left last year. I really hope to go back with Steve and show him all the places I have seen and introduce him to my friends and former co-workers.