Thursday, November 29, 2018

Furniture and Christmas

Greetings Earthlings!  How has your post turkey coma been for you?  Its been pretty good here.  As I previously mentioned, we got the new furniture for the TV to sit upon.  It wasn’t quite ready for photography until the hideous outlets and wires were camouflaged.  That engendered the great basket hunt.  Home Goods – they have the goods when it comes to inexpensive decorating stuff.

The furry looking thing in the left basket is a rolled up throw I got at Walmart that completes the hiding of the outlet.  We like the piece, it’s Acacia wood.  The gray panel slides so you can reveal or hide what’s behind it.  This pretty much concludes the furniture acquisition phase of owning a home again.  The rug in front of it is one of the Navajo weavings my Dad acquired while working in AZ.


I will say that Santa Fe style homes in the south west do not readily lend them selves to Christmas decorating.  We have done a little, and I think we’re calling it good.  Actually, the whole thing about Christmas in the desert gets weird because it’s not cold and there are palm trees, and we’re wearing shorts.

Check out the price on the box of hangers.  They’re old.


So are these.  Old, really old. 


We do not often see “R.O.C” anymore. 


Behold the tree.  Yes, it’s artificial.  Real trees on the tree lots have already started dropping their needles because it’s so dry.  We decided to get a narrow white tree that no one would think was anything other than artificial.  Narrow is good because the house is not all that large.  I kind of like it, it’s like a decorated night light.


Vintage ornament with indent.  Look out through the window – climate and the holiday advertisements give me cognitive dissonance.


The village.  I used to have acres of this stuff.  All we kept was the starter set and it’s really enough.  The large man foreground is holding a teddy bear behind his back, to give to the little girl.  Cute, so very cute.


Less good weather is working its way to us from the GPNW.  They got walloped by heavy rain and high winds.  We’re going to get light rain and a drop in temperatures.  I may have to put on long pants.  The horror….  Anyway, it made for a pretty stunning sunset.

So that’s what’s shaking in the south west.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Deep Watering in the Desert

The soil in our area is somewhere between concrete and a glacial moraine.  It’s difficult to dig in and it’s also difficult to get water to soak in, rather than just running off.  Our neighbors told us to do this.

Get a five gallon bucket at Home Depot or Lowes.  Drill a hole in the side at the bottom with a 3/64 inch bit.  Place bucket near the thirsty plant, fill with water.   Walk away.

Look at the bottom of the bucket, you can see the tiny stream of water shooting out onto the new bougainvillea.  The slow release allows the water to soak in rather than running away.


The lemons are becoming ripe.  Well we think they are.


The oranges are still green, so it’s pretty definite that they are not ripe.


Gratuitous palm tree picture with blue sky.


The TV stand came yesterday and is a vast improvement over the glass table – for one thing the cables are much less visible!  We also got a Breville counter top oven which arrived before Thanksgiving and is very nice.  The oven we have is large enough to cook a small ox, and it seems stupid to heat it up for two rolls or whatever.  The Breville comes to temperature very quickly and holds it.  It was good to have on T-day.


Other than this, we have not too much to offer. Watering and acquisition – that’s it.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  We both hope it’s the best one ever for you.


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Trigger Warning: Coyote Poop

So, we were visited in the night.  With the ENTIRE DESERT available to the coyote, this is the location chosen.  Guess we’re going to have to stock supplies for this sort of thing.


Monday, November 19, 2018

Sorting the Garage Out and Coyotes

Greetings Earthlings.  It’s been five days since my last communication.  We have had contractors in to fix stuff.  Tomorrow there will be more of them.  For you house holders, ever so often go listen to your hot water heater.  If it’s popping, that means you have water boiling under a layer of sediment.  Fixes for this are either flushing or replacing the water heater.  Ours was installed in 1999, is way out of code and is being replaced. 

There has been garage organization.  Sometime in the past, a previous owner took pieces of two by four lumber and nailed them to the wall at the head of the garage.  Worse, they were not level.  We pried them off Friday and used nail hole spackle to fix the damage.  That stuff works really well.  It’s in a tube, comes out purple and turns white when it’s dry.  The consistency makes it easy to fill the holes.  We decided to get rid of most of the plastic storage bins from the storage unit.  We’ll only need these when moving in or out of the bus, and we don’t need this many.  On the right you can see some of the scrap debris created by the project.  We were going to put it out for the trash truck and see if they would take it.  Fortunately we hauled it to the curb yesterday afternoon, and someone came by and took it.  Problem solved.


I’m down to five boxes of Christmas stuff.  I used to have about five times as much.  Much time was spent distributing it across the house.


Coming back in the truck yesterday we saw this coyote sauntering up the road.  He was not in a hurry.  They’re cell phone photos, so sorry about the poor image quality.


Now he is in the neighbor’s yard.  Look lower right in the photo.  A couple of weeks ago, there was a pack of them in the wash, howling and yipping.  They sound like demented creatures.


There was a sunset tonight.


Other than that, we have nothing of any real interest to offer.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

It’s Cold!

Well, actually it’s not, it’s in the upper 50s, but it feels cold.  Maybe it’s just me.  The last two days have been really windy.  Hopefully what ever is causing the wind and the chilly temperatures will move on through soon.

I took this on the 11th – it was kind of cool seeing the sliver of moon over the agave flower spike.


Tonight we had a pretty good sunset.






Other that this I have nothing to report.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Some Pictures of the House That Aren’t Very Good

So here is a previously posted picture of the house from across the street.  It’s pretty good.  I like this picture.


Jim was up one calm morning with a gallon of glyphosate attempting to eradicate the bunch grass growing on the side of the wash.  This is going to be an ongoing project.  After two weeks, it’s pretty much dead, but it’s still standing.


There have been deliveries from Amazon right and left.  This is the office chair we bought for cheap at an estate sale.  They had a Sunbeam mixer I was interested in, but they wanted full boat retail for it, and would not come down very much on that price.  They’re sill available new, so if I decide I really need a mixer, I can get it on line.  The red rug is new – from Amazon.  On sale!  It makes it easier to move the chair about on the tile floor.


I think house photography is a skill, and it’s a skill I do not have.  I’ve taken multiple photos and they’re all pretty terrible.  That window in the front is definitely not helping with the lighting.  Anyway, here is the living room.


Looking right from the living room to the server.  I got that in North Carolina.  The reason the pictures are like that is because there is a giant nail in the wall holding up the top water color.  That server weighs about 400 pounds and we can’t move it, unfortunately when the movers placed the server, I didn’t notice that it needed to be centered under the giant nail.  This is our workaround to hide the nail and be symmetrical.


Moving further right, looking in to the kitchen.  The piece on the left is one that we had made locally.  It provides an amazing amount of storage for light bulbs, napkins, kleenex boxes and stuff like that.  It’s also pretty.  Bookcase on the right is courtesy of Ikea.


There is something about cabinets that don’t go to the ceiling that demands that you put stuff on them.  The flowered flour sifter was my Grandmother’s.  You can still see the 35 cents written on it in grease pencil.


My fetishes are seeing the light of day after being packed away for 10 years.  They’re happy to be out. 


THIS is the current bane of our decorating existence.  The TV needs to be on that angle to be visible to the two love seats.  Wouldn’t you think you could just scroll through a couple of websites and buy something to corral the cords and look better than this?  No, no you may not.  The router is 8.5 inches tall, and to get a low console, you don’t get a tall enough shelf.  We found one console that was OK, but it’s sold out.  I pretty much have the inventory of Overstocks and Wayfair memorized. 


So, progress is being made.  We’re happy with the kitchen, nothing else is needed in there.  It’s amazing how many plates two people go through in a day when you give up the paper plate habit.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Armistice Day

In his address in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron said the following:
"Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism.  Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying our interests first, who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential: its moral values."
"I know there are old demons which are coming back to the surface. They are ready to wreak chaos and death.  History sometimes threatens to take its sinister course once again."
Meanwhile, in Poland, the nationalists were marching, chanting their wishes for a whites only Europe.

It just never ends.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Bike Hike

We’ve been outside a time or two recently that did not involve yard work.  I incorrectly equated “desert landscaping” with “low maintenance.”  That would not be the case.  Currently we are trying to kill off an invasion of Buffel grass on the other side of the wall.  If it would stay over there, we’d let it be.  However, it’s invading the hopseed hedge, which is very hard to weed, so chemicals are being used.  The grass is sick, but so far it’s not dead.

This is along the Santa Cruz trail.  Everywhere we go recently, there is a significant trail closure.  This does not really impact us, as we have to drive to the trail from the house, but it’s such a bummer for the people at Rincon Country West RV Resort.  Their spur to the trail was paved late last season, which was just wonderful.  Now, the underpass at Ajo is closed until 12/2019, which means they all have to ride down Mission Road (very busy road) to Silverlake to get to the trail.


I love the look of this rusting pole against the very blue sky.


There has been hiking among the cacti.


Look at the low point of the saddle, about mid picture.  That trail is accessible from the house.  We’ve been up there twice.


The orange flowers are normally spring bloomers.  They’re still in flower after the rains a while ago.


Look dead center.  There are three mule deer there.  They have a unique gift of standing so that I am forced to shoot into the sun.


We now have sun shades for the western facing patio.  The light fixture over the table has been replaced with a smaller, simpler fixture.  I’m really happy we outsourced the activity.  We could have done it, but it would have taken all day per each.

Thursday, November 8, 2018


I did not think that things could get worse than Brian Kemp’s disenfranchising of thousands of Georgia voters, his inability to provide functioning voting machines with power cords, and his failure to recuse himself from the job which allowed him to oversee the election in which he was running.  However, I was mistaken.

The Arizona Republican Party has filed a lawsuit.
County officials were still counting more than 600,000 ballots when four local Republican parties filed the lawsuit Wednesday night. The suit challenges the way counties have allowed voters to fix problems involving signatures on some mailed-in early ballots.
The lawsuit singles out the state's two biggest urban counties, which are the base of Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema's support. She and Republican Rep. Martha McSally are separated by only a few thousand votes.
So, if we don’t think we’re winning, we file law suits and alter the results of an election.

Yesterday the president fired Attorney General Sessions, and elevated his chief of staff to acting AG.  This would be the same person who is on record calling Mueller’s investigation a witch hunt and suggesting the best way to stop it would be to cut all funding.  No conflict here!

On the bright side Dino Rossi lost to Kim Schrier in Washington.  Dr. Schrier will be going to the House of Representatives.

Tomorrow a handy man is coming to do tasks that require standing on a ladder, which is something we no longer enjoy.  Progress on the house continues.

Update to post 11/13/2018.

On November 9, the AZ Governor tweeted this:

The RNC lawsuit was denied, the votes were counted and Kyrsten Sinema won.  Yea Kyrsten Sinema!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Arizona Sunsets

Tonight was another gaudy sunset.




The western skies have been pretty spectacular as of late.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

A Very Good Day

Today was an excellent day. We were up and out early to go to the Social Security Office.  I was there to file a restricted application for spousal benefits.  Were you born before January 2, 1954?  Is your spouse receiving SSN?  If so, I think you are eligible to file for spousal benefits (50% of spouse’s payment at full retirement age), and let your SSN grow until you’re 70.  This is a limited time offer that ends in 2020.  Here is a link to a fairly understandable Forbes article on the subject. 

We got there when the doors opened at nine.  Last week I waited 90 minutes on the phone to make an appointment, and thus was able to go in first.  I was directed to window number 15, and low and behold, the gentleman working that station had pulled my paperwork, knew why I was there and proceeded to process me and my documents in about 20 minutes.  The person I spoke to when I made the appointment asked many questions and generated a file on me that allowed much of the work to be done before I got there.  The visit truly exceeded expectations.

If you’re going to do this, form SSA-10 lists the documents you need to bring.  In my case, since Jim is still living, I did not need a death certificate.

On the way home, we followed signs in the neighborhood for a moving sale.  There is a business here that runs sales for people who must empty the house.  We bought an office chair – cheap!  I’m so excited after pricing them at Office Depot. 

After lunch there was hiking.  There is a trail that starts across the street from the house.  We walked up to the top of a saddle.  While we were standing there, two Blackhawk helicopters flew by.  They’re from a special operations unit at Davis-Monthan. 


A mountain whose name I do not know.


This is our community.  Look at the houses closest to me.  We’re around the corner in that neighborhood.


This is amazing.  These flowers generally only bloom in the spring, and they’re pretty scarce.  At present, they’re all over the place.  It’s amazing what a little rain will do.


Have you ever seen such a juicy ocotillo?


When you exit the trail back into the neighborhood, this is what you see.  This is our house.


Progress continues.  It’s starting to look and feel more like home than a collection of rooms with furniture in them.