Where has Lori been? Some of you already know. But I couldn’t just come back to Mutt & Chops with no explanation.
If you follow the blog, or just read back through the last few posts, you know that we moved from the Phoenix, AZ area back to Steve’s hometown, Newton, KS, in December of 2017. After all, our children lived in different states and had careers that might take them anywhere. We intended to eventually retire in KS. We found a beautiful home, settled in with lifelong friends, and started a new life.
But the picture above sure does not look like KS, does it?
Towards the end of 2018, several things happened to explain why I’ve been gone
- One son (who did and still lives in Phoenix) announced that he was expecting our first grandchild.
- Our other son (who had been living in Utah) changed careers and ended up back in the Phoenix area.
With Steve on the road all the time, it seemed like a good idea to invest in a small place in Phoenix where I could spend extended periods of time to be closer to the kids and grandkids. And then Steve’s company indicated that it would be better if we moved back to Arizona. So, that’s what we did.
Meanwhile, I was dealing with some health issues. Sciatica pain has, on and off, been a problem during my adult life. Just before our trip to New York, it started to act up again. But unlike previous occurrences, this time the pain did not subside. It became increasingly worse until by February, I became almost completely debilitated with excruciating back and leg pain.
Long story short, I went away for a bit because:
- November of 2018, right after our New York trip, I helped Matt move out of his apartment in Utah.
- December, I started physical therapy for my back.
- By February 2019 doctors discovered a severely herniated disk in my lower back.
- March, I had back surgery.
- April, we listed and received an offer on our home in KS and made an offer on a home in the Phoenix area.
- Early June, we moved back to the Phoenix area, and I began post-surgical physical therapy for my back.
But wait…that is not NEARLY all of what happened
- Early May, our beautiful granddaughter Lillian Grace was born.
- Mid-July, her parents were married in the back yard of our new home. A day that gave us a new daughter, Shania, and a 3 1/2 year old granddaughter, Bella.
- I now watch our infant granddaughter 3 days a week while they work.
And now it feels like we’ve established our new normal.
Our new home
Several of you have asked, over this time, when I planned to get back to blogging. I think I’m finally ready to share recipes and stories again.
I’ll start the sharing by including pictures of the beautiful views I have looking out the back of our new home. Since it is an open concept layout, I get to see this while cooking in the kitchen. I feel very fortunate. The previous owners did a wonderful job with the backyard landscaping.
Notice the herb pot. This one has parsley and onion chives. If you look at the feature image at the beginning of this post, you can see that I also added pots with sage, thyme, oregano, mint, and rosemary. I’ll have to wait until next Spring to plant basil. Temps are cool enough at night now to discourage basil.
My followers will have noted two hummingbird feeders. I hope to befriend these new guys to come when called like the ones in our last Phoenix home did.
Temps have settled enough for Steve and me to have enjoyed our first dinner al fresco. We are looking forward to many more outdoor meals over the next few months.
And finally, our evening chill and relax area.
So, there you go. This post answers the question of where Lori has been. I can’t express enough how excited I am to be back to Mutt & Chops. I so look forward to posting new recipes and telling you about our little adventures. I hope you continue to enjoy the blog!