Saturday, January 12, 2019

Hike, Cook, Stain

Greetings Earthings!  How have you been?  We have been busy.  Between the wretched staining project, trying to get some exercise and spelunking through our past using old backed up photos and emails, I have neglected the blog.  It seems like there should be more pictures to support my claim of busy-ness, but alas, there are not.

We’ve been out in the desert a couple of times.  On one of the trips we saw this muley buck with horns!  I have not seen horns before in Tucson.  He was with two females.  They looked at us for awhile and we looked at them.


On the 7th of January, the guys who own Copper Standard Landscaping came.  They distributed nine tons of gravel through out the yard.  I’m really glad we outsourced that.  Back in the late 80’s Jim and I moved 28,000 pounds of rocks with shovels and wheel barrows, but those days are over.


David moved the irrigation head so the bubbler head will be in the saucer surrounding the Pygmy Date Palm.  He dug a nice trench.  It took him very little time, that would have been half a day for us.


The wall is made of concrete blocks that were mortared together.  Then they were covered with stucco.  The blocks and the mortar are full of lime.  When it rains, there is efflorescence.  According to the internet this should stop after a couple of years.  So far, we’re still seeing it after rains.  Oddly enough, when we got back in October there wasn’t any on the walls, and there was a pretty good monsoon.  Jim is spraying it with 50% vinegar, which does take it away, until it rains again.


Thursday we crock potted chicken thighs.  It’s not a simple recipe, there’s about an hour prep and half an hour clean up, but it’s good.  Plus there is food for two nights and a lunch.  Jim is shaking chicken pieces in a bag of flour.


Here is the recipe.  It should be big enough to be legible.  If you don’t have a crock pot you could put it in a dutch oven and put it in the oven for 3 or so hours.


Speaking of which, I got one of these for Christmas.  It’s a Lodge enameled cast iron.  After pricing Le Creuset, I just could not get past how expensive they have gotten.  They get good reviews and are about 25% of the cost.


When we last owned a house, we had yard work clothes.  Old sweats with holes in them, terrible looking shorts, like that.  Now we have none of those things.  After being in the RV for awhile, we had no need of clothing like that.  Thus I am staining in my pink fuzzy bunny pants, because they are my least favorite, and they became the sacrificial pants.  We did good, no stain hit the patio or us.


I watered some of the new gravel today.  On the left is how it looks covered in dust.  On the right is how it looks with the dust removed.  It’s a good match to the rock we already had.


Pre-rain gravel.  Eventually it will be a better color.


So, the house continues to provide us with hours of entertainment. 


  1. Allison, you are still young and stalwart. Or perhaps it's upright and stable. So much work. But its looking good.

    1. Some days I'm pretty happy with "sitting up and taking nourishment."

  2. Lots of work being done Alison. I think that chicken thighs taste better than breasts, far more flavour. Spelunking...... a new word for me. Were you a caver?

    1. No, I never understood that hobby. Too scary. I just like the word, it sort of rolls off the tongue.

  3. I love seeing deer in the Sonoran desert.

    I hear you on the hours of entertainment! This new house is keeping us in shape. But, like you, when we have 15 tons of rock delivered we intend to have someone else spread it!

  4. Looks like you are making lots of progress on the house and yard. Chicken dish sounds good, but we have neither a slow cooker or dutch oven (or even an oven!) at the moment, so I will just have to imagine it. I had to laugh about the yard work clothes. I had the same problem in the RV when doing painting or other messy tasks. I had exactly one pair of old/crappy shorts and same for t-shirt. As a result, I wore this particularly unattractive outfit every single time we did any kind of messy project. At times, I am sure our campground neighbor wondered if I had any other clothes! I considered throwing them into the trash when we left the RV world behind but decided I better leave them at my mothers, as they were also my gardening outfit when visiting. :)

  5. What is efflorescence? Is something bleeding through the stucco?

    1. It's lime leaching through the paint from the concrete blocks and the mortar.