Meet Tucker

March 11th, 2022

As we mentioned in our comments from last month’s post about losing Bay Bay, we were going to look for another dog to rescue. Well, today the Humane Society of Wickenburg had an adoption event at our local Tractor Supply store and just like that, we adopted Mr. Tuxedo whom we will call Tuck Tuck for short. He is a long haired Chihuahua with mostly black fur and a bit of white here and there. He is about a year old and was found wandering around in Wittman, about 20 miles southeast of Wickenburg.

He has only been “home” for a couple of hours, but is fitting in nicely with our activities and with the other dog. He is a very affectionate little guy and seems to demand a little attention which we happily have given. He has a good appetite, can be frisky at times, is leash trained and mostly housebroken. We are looking forward to taking care of him for a long time. In the (clickable) image above, he is resting his head on Damsel’s leg while getting rubbed. Just now, as I was typing in the story, he came into the office jumped into my lap and is resting as I finish this. I think we’re all happy about our new mutual relationship.

UPDATE 03-16-22: Since the adoption last week, we decided to dump the “Mr. Tuxedo” name and just call him “Tucker.” He is already recognizing and answering to the new moniker.

Return of the Turkey Buzzards

March 7th, 2022

buzzard.jpg

We know that spring is about to begin when we see cactus flower buds starting to form and the migrating Turkey Buzzards return from their winter repose down in Mexico.

Despite the cooler weather we’re currently experiencing due to a cold frontal passage, we see new cactus flower buds on our Beavertail and Hedgehog Cacti as well as seeing Turkey Buzzards soaring in the skies above. It should start warming up soon probably towards the middle (Beware the Ides) or the end of March. By June, we ought to be in our “dry heat” season during which the Buzzards remain and will so until after October when they again depart for Mexico’s warmer climate.

The photo above is an old one which I took in May of 2011, soon after we made the permanent move to Arizona. That was before we assimilated. Now, after nearly a dozen years, we can foretell seasonal changes via flora and fauna indicators. Click on the image to enlarge.

So Long, Beethoven

February 15th, 2022

“Beethoven” A.K.A. “Bay Bay,” sadly, is no longer with us. He passed last evening (Valentine’s Day) at the Vet who performed the euthanasia. The poor little guy had acute kidney failure and had lost most of his appetite and finally stopped eating last week and he stopped hydrating on Sunday. We had little choice but to take him in for the procedure. He had lost nearly half of his body weight since a month ago. Damsel and I are devastated and miss him terribly.

We adopted him when he was a year and a half old on September 29, 2011 and he had been our constant companion for over ten years, so we can’t complain about having been with him for quite a long time, as dogs go. Bay Bay’s 12th birthday would have been in a couple of weeks on March 2nd.

So Long, Little Buddy – See you on the other side …

Imbolc Cross-Quarter Feast

February 4th, 2022

Imbolc, also called Saint Brigid’s Day, is a Gaelic traditional festival. It marks the beginning of spring, and for Christians it is the feast day of Saint Brigid. It is held in early February, which is about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox (i.e. Cross-Quarter Day). Our ancestors (both of us) are western Europeans, many of whom were Celtic, Scotts or Irish. Thus, we are going to celebrate by having a traditional (in America) Irish Dinner Weekend feast. Our timing is a little late since the actual Imbolc occurrence is on the 3rd of February, but we don’t mind holding off the feast until the weekend.

The planned faire includes Corned Beef Brisket (flat cut) with boiled veggies of the low-carb varieties (cabbage, turnips, squash and a carrot or two). Both of us have to watch the carbs and I have to watch the sodium although this meal is borderline low-sodium-friendly with the cured beef brisket and horseradish cream sauce.

Damsel will use the leftover corned beef, along with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and a special sauce go into a casserole the next day that has all the flavors of a Reuben Sandwich but without the bread. Recipe here. We’re in for a feasting weekend for sure.

Disclaimer: Our celebration of pagan holidays in no way implies that we are of those sects that originated them, but rather we are indeed Christians who celebrate some of the traditions of our ancestors. Observation of Cross-quarters is merely an extension of seasonal events observed by most societies (equinoxes, solstices).

Almost Done! – 2021 Tax Return

January 20th, 2022

UPDATE: Filed 01/26/2022

I used strikeout tags above on the “Almost” in the title because we’re now filed and waiting for the refund.

UPDATE 2: Refund deposited 02/03/2022

This is the fastest we have ever seen a refund deposited. It took the IRS only eight out of the advertised 21 days to deposit our refund. Last year, we similarly filed our return in late January and it took the IRS 23 days before the refund showed up.


The current tax season will soon be over for us since we are completely done with everything except for one consolidated 1099 form from our brokerage; this investment account is always last for some reason, but it has previously been in our (electronic) possession before January is over. We’re expecting it to be available next week. We get a handful of 1099s from several sources including IRA RMD, SSA, pensions and financial institutions. Everything is already input to this year’s tax program except for the one mentioned above.

When the IRS changed the standard deduction under President Trump to be greater than our usual itemized deductions, it made our return so much easier to manage, given our financial particulars. We almost used to be like the dude in the photo on the left, but now we’re relieved of all that tedium under the revised standard deduction. We were happy to see that the current administration left things intact (albeit futzing around with other IRS functions). After we receive that last 1099 form, we will then be just a few clicks away from filing. This year, we are happy to say, that we analyzed our tax situation early and managed our withholding such that we will be receiving a small refund (<1K) from the Feds and, because of our charitable support for Arizona Private Education, we will be paying no state income tax at all.

Winter Lemon Crop

January 2nd, 2022

Knowing that there was to be freezing temperatures overnight, Damsel and I decided to start picking the ripe lemons from our “orchard” yesterday – yes, we did it on New Year’s Day. We picked about an estimated three hundred of them before we knocked off for the rest of the day.

We stored the lemons in the wheelbarrow (image above – click to enlarge) in the garage overnight due to the probable freezing temperatures, but, as it turned out, the low was just about exactly the freezing point which wouldn’t have damaged the lemons. The forecast was for a “hard” freeze but the only effects were to freeze the top layer of water in the birdbaths and in the rain bucket. Dogs water dish under cover in the patio and in their wading pool did not freeze.

Despite having picked a couple gross of lemons from the tree, there are dozens more to pick (image below). I checked on the unpicked lemons this morning and none appeared to be damaged, which is a good thing. We plan on using many of the lemons for our annual batch of Limoncello and give the rest away to neighbors and the local food bank.

Since there are a lot of lemons still to be picked, we will probably not get to that until later this week. I have a couple of appointments, one for lab work and another with the dermatologist for my usual skin problems, but we will likely be able to work around those and get the pickin’ into our routine.

Visitors to our humble abode are likely to be presented with a complimentary bottle of our custom Limoncello.

2022 – Happy New Year!

December 31st, 2021

Wishing you a very happy and prosperous New Year in 2022! We don’t have a lot of news to report for the past year and, at our ages, that’s a good thing, I expect. In the coming year, we are hoping to resume some travel in the big RV which has been sitting for way too long. Meanwhile, we’re biding our time until the traveling weather gets here, hopefully sooner than later.