Dismantled.

Our home is being slightly dismantled as water leak remediation is taking place. The company is doing a phenomenal job at keeping the messes contained and the water damage is not as bad as we feared. It’ll take a little while to get everything fixed but when it’s done it should be done for decades.

Unless Global Climate Change boosts up the monsoon season to even further unprecedented levels.

While the crew was working, they took out what we call the “$30,000 closet” the previous owner had installed to sell the house; she wanted to call our solarium a bedroom and put up some sheetrock and cheap shelves across the entryway to the room so it would be considered a bedroom. Then she bumped the selling price of the house up $30K. We didn’t pay it, and the closet looked fairly bad. We’ll take the cheap shop light out later this week.

Dry?

Move to the desert where it’s dry, they said. A severe thunderstorm just blew through, taking its sweet time moving north to south at 10 MPH. According to the National Weather Service, winds associated with the storm were over 60 MPH.

Our patio furniture has been retrieved from the land out back. There are electronic devices beeping all over the neighborhood, but we have power. A transformer exploded near the homes on the other side of the wash. The wash has about three feet of water rushing through it (great for tubing). And the Eucalyptus tree in front of the house is now in front of the garage. During it’s relocation it missed the house by about 18 inches.

But it’s a dry heat.

Wet.

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It rained for much of the weekend. Folks that have lived here longer than us have told us this amount of rain is not normal. The ground is saturated and several of our saguaros (cacti) behind the house have become water logged and lost an “arm” or two. We have a few leaks that need to be tended to; a call to the roofing company again tomorrow is in order.

Monsoon season!

Storms.

The blue dot/cross hairs shows our location. We had a very impressive thunderstorm come through last night. The lightning show was wild, the rain was driving, and the wind was rattling all sorts of things. Surprisingly, we never lost power.

However, the house did display its vulnerabilities in this type of storm.

Today we have the roofing company out. They did work for the previous owners of the house and assured us the roof is still under warranty. We had a couple of leaks in the hallway, a leak in Chris’ office, and a leak behind the piano on the upstairs landing. The roofers went through and patched things up and hopefully this will help with the leak situation.

We still love the house very much and we knew it needed some work. So no surprises there. When the roofers were here they pointed out a few things they had recommended to the previous owners, but the owners declined the expense. We’ll probably have these things done soon. While everyone has their own reasons for the decisions they make in life, I’m wired to do what needs to be done to make the investment of a home last a long, long time.

I feel like we’re ready for the next round of storms coming in this weekend.

Rose.

I am very tired. Here’s a photo of the roses growing in our greenhouse/pool room. Chris has the greenest thumb of the family.

Storm.

A very impressive storm came through the area yesterday evening. It’s rather fun getting to know what Monsoon Season is like here in southeast Arizona.

Some reports showed wind gusts around 75 MPH. We had a couple of cactus skeletons behind the house come down, as well as one of the trees. None of this did any damage and this morning we cleaned up the mess, as well as swept debris off the porch and gazebo.

This was our first test to see how water tight the house really is. The leading window into the storm leaked a bit but that’s already been recaulked. Otherwise the house held up very well.

The National Weather Service is predicting thunderstorms all week for our area; perhaps we’ll continue to be treated to Mother Nature’s show.

Across The Desert Flat.

My husband and I decided to go for a ride. We headed to the northwest and once firmly outside of Tucson, we exited Interstate 10 and started driving west. There were some pretty mountains in that direction so we pointed the car that way and started playing a game we used to play back in Illinois. Find our location on the car GPS and start following the “yellow” roads. (Our GPS shows main roads as yellow, back roads as white). Soon we were out in the middle of nowhere along a road that followed an irrigation ditch through a lot of desert land. The road quickly turned to dirt and there were no longer signs of any towns close by. We continued our trek. We had plenty of water, we were feeling good, and having fun.

We passed through a wash that had a trickle of water in it. It wasn’t a problem, we made a splash and on we went. It was about five minutes later when a yellow light lit up on the instrument panel and a chime was to be heard. The message said, “Check Tire Pressure”. It showed the left rear tire had lost about 15 pounds of pressure. We spotted a grove of small trees. I pulled near the trees, well of the road, and together we watched our tire go flat.

Luckily, we are two resourceful men and through solid teamwork, we had the tire off and the donut in place in about 20 minutes.

The directions accompanying the jack and “convenience tire” indicated we should not exceed 35 MPH. So we made our way through the desert at this speed and finally gained cell service. The closest service station was 20 miles away but guess what! Service stations don’t really do the service station anymore. We finally made our way to the closest Walmart. They squeezed us in, and 2 1/2 hours and $15 hours later, we were on our way home from Casa Grande back to Tucson.

We still really enjoyed our day.

Yes, We’re Here.

As we venture out more and more in this kind of post-pandemic world, I still have a hard time believing that we see mountains, cacti, and palm trees when we’re driving home from the city. I still haven’t completely wrapped my head around the fact that we live in the desert southwest now. I love it and I fully embrace it, but it’s still feels a little startling to me that we live one mile from a National Park near the mountains.

Folks back East ask, “but isn’t it hot”? It is. We apparently picked the best season ever to move here as we’ve just been through a record-breaking heat wave. And from what I can ascertain from the National Weather Service, we’re going to see the beginning of this year’s monsoon all next week. Excitement! It’s hot, but it’s not sweltering. It really isn’t. I’m more concerned about the intensity of the sun than the heat. Sitting on the patio or in the gazebo when it’s 105ºF is not a big deal, as long as we’re in the shade. We still drive around with our windows down, though we’ve been closing them a little more often with dust blowing around and the like.

We live in the desert. I’m getting used to that. But I know I already love it.

Float.

As a road geek I’ve noticed ADOT has installed these reminder signs advising motorists not to drive into flooded washes, gullies, and other low lying areas of the desert. Apparently they’re a reminder of the “Arizona Stupid Driver Law” or something of that nature. I guess there’s video of a Volkswagen being swept away as the driver tried to navigate through six feet of water or something.

It would never occur to me to drive through water rushing across a roadway. The road approaching our house has some pretty impressive dips passing through washes. I can’t wait to see what this year’s Monsoon brings.

Gardening.

I do not have a green thumb. I’ve never really had a green thumb, though I am quite appreciative when people make things grow. Grandma City had us plant some radishes and cucumbers in her little garden when I was in elementary school. I don’t know whatever became of the vegetables. We probably ate them. Grandma City was good at growing things.

Chris has planted a fresh herbs garden on our back patio. He bought the setup pictured above; it keeps things up and out of reach from the wildlife that makes its way to the area on a daily basis. Things are sprouting up quickly. Apparently we’ll have some fresh herbs on salads soon.

I’m appreciative of anyone that grow things, especially when it’s part of my meal plan.