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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Indoor/Outdoor Enhancements

We had our first meal at our new dining room table last night. Of course, grilled beef (rare), veggies and a nice salad. Some bubbly from Trader Joe's made it festive. It was so nice to sit at a table on a sturdy chair and enjoy a lovely meal together.
Yesterday and today Doug spent time putting together some book cases. We will have one more of each of these to hold some of the library that is set to arrive around March 30. The date is getting pushed back due to the port strike which has made clearing customs a nightmare. Apparently our stuff is in LA. I'm OK with waiting a bit longer. We're not quite ready for the avalanche of goods to come pouring in just yet.
Today Doug assembled the counter stools. I LOVE THEM. They look adorable facing our kitchen with the gray sofa behind them. They will really pop once the dark countertops are in. While Doug worked with a wrench, I worked on a wrenched task: Our taxes. For a myriad of reasons we had to file our taxes in a totally different manner than we've been able to for the other years of living in Sweden. For the first time ever we were subject to paying US taxes (yes, even though we've already paid taxes on our Swedish income) and so I needed to pull together deductions. Thankfully we have an excellent tax man. My dad's taxes were filed by his accountant who has been immeasurably helpful to us since the time of my father's death. Still, there was so much paper work to compile. At last it's done! Hurray. We will file Swedish taxes in May. I do it by email and it takes about 10 minutes because we have no deductions. There are plusses to a flat tax even though I know there are ways to avoid paying your rightful amount in Sweden just like there are ways to do the same in the US. But I digress from the beautification of our home.
Last night we took the dog for a nice walk as we do most evenings after the sun goes down. Doug had made a lovely little sitting area in the front yard and we sat our and enjoyed the evening there last night. Tanner likes it too. He digs around, snorts around, then lies down in the sand. He's truly a desert dog now.
Today I noticed that several of the plants in our yard were blooming. Desert blooms are so fantastic and who would ever have thunk that roses thrive in the desert? I love the rose bushes in our yard and love watching the new crop of roses spring forth. The hibiscus are gorgeous as well. We had no idea these were hibiscus plants until the flowers appeared. 
In the front yard, a bottle brush plant is showing off. The tall ocotillo cactus, majestic in its own right, has sported these gorgeous orange stalks. I am enjoying watching the barrel cactus get ready to burst forth in a blaze of color.
So while spring isn't quite the same in a climate where there has been no winter, even so, the blooms that the desert yields produce that feeling of new life coming forth. We are now
happily enjoy lots of beauty both inside and outside of our home.