Friday, April 12, 2019

Cactus, Snakes and New Construction

Happy Friday to you all.  Remember the yearning we had for the weekend?  Now all days are pretty much alike to me.  Except of course for today's news that while in Calexico, the president told Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan he would grant McAleenan a pardon if he were sent to jail for having border agents block asylum seekers from entering the US in defiance of US law. Think about it!  A sitting president is actively encouraging breaking the law.  This is US law as well as international law, by the way.   I keep thinking it can't get any worse, but it does.

Jim and I were productive today.  We took three cans of old paint to the hazmat drop off, and then went to Costco to get my new glasses adjusted.  The guy at the other Costco did a terrible job on them.  Afterwards we went to the gym.  We joined Planet Fitness.  It's new, and lightly used.  We hated LA Fitness when we went there, it was full of body builders grunting and moaning and dropping their weights.  That behavior is forbidden at PF.  They don't have classes, but for $10 a month, I am not complaining.  This afternoon, we took a restorative walk through the neighborhood.  There is a house under construction I wanted to see.   On the way we saw these.

This is in our front yard.  He continues to bloom.

This is the house on the corner.  Their prickly pear is really blooming.  It's a darker pink which is very pretty.

This is a less common color.

This would be a Diamondback Rattlesnake in someone's retaining wall.  One of the neighbors walked by and he rattled at her and scared the snot out of her.

While we were looking at him he did this.  Normally they do not roll over.  He's either sick or maybe was hit by a car.  The black and white bands are the rattles.

This was later, he's back on his stomach.  Even if you know he's there, he's hard to see.  He's below the big rock, center photo.

This house has been the subject of a fair amount of conversation at happy hours.  In the past, 14 feet was the height limit for houses.  Then, without discussion or notice, the HOA board raised it to 16 feet which is what we have here.  The house to the right (out of frame) is a manufactured home which has been there for 20 years or so, and whose view is now totally blocked by the new house.  The lady who lives there is understandably upset by the whole thing.  Anyway, a different neighbor drove by and we asked him why on earth had such a high and short garage been constructed?  The woman whose house this will be has a pickup truck with a camper on it which is fairly high.  So this is what they designed.  I think it was stupid, campers are not all that tall.  Anyway, the builder went out of business, so now the owner has taken over as general contractor.  The house was sited too far back on the property, the forms for the foundation slab were not where they were supposed to be, so more concrete had to be poured.  All in all, this project has just been cursed.  Heaven help her if she has to sell, this house is pretty specific.  I would not want something that has a garage like this.

So, that's what's shaking in the 'hood. 


  1. I really and truly hope to never see a rattlesnake. I'm getting so hard of hearing I probably wouldn't hear him rattle. Sorry you're stuck til the middle of June but just 5o make you feel better we aren't going anywhere this summer. There is no way Jim can go and his doctor pretty well said hell no. So wish us luck

  2. it surprises me that the house owner has no killed the rattlesnake. I don't mind snakes but I don't think I'd tolerate a rattler in my retaining wall. that said I saw my resident coral snake yesterday evening, actually flushed it out twice, once clearing away some weeds and then later watering a different part of the flower bed. the prickly pears are gorgeous.

  3. My first, only and last involvement with a rattlesnake was in the Wyoming mountains, while my brother changed a tire and I amused children along the roadside. I didn't see the snake until it rattled in warning. I got the children back on the right side of the guard rail in a flash, and me too, and that is the only rattlesnake of my life.

  4. Nice flowers, and very strange snake behavior. Maybe he was sunning his belly? I agree about the garage. That's going to curse that house when it comes time to sell.

  5. I remember when we built our final house in North Carolina, we wanted to make a taller garage for my husband's big pickup truck with cap, which would just barely fit under a standard garage door. Our builder guarded us against doing anything that specific. Not only would it look weird, it would be bad for resale. She was right, I know. With a standard door, the truck made it under the garage door with an inch or two to spare. Love your cactus flower photos!