Friday, January 19, 2007
Winter in Tucson
Some years most people can't really tell it's winter in the Sonoran desert. After you've lived in the desert awhile you begin to notice the subtle differences that signal the changing of the seasons. The angle of the sun, different smells in the air, a slight dip in temperatures and sometimes water falls from the sky. Rain!-in a location that averages 11 inches of rain annually, rain is an event.
On the negative side for us this year is the fact that the lower tempreatures and damp air have significantly slowed the drying process for the interior plaster. On the plus side, it should be a great year for wildflowers. Even though many people think of the desert as a barren wasteland and some are even surprised to see things growing here, the desert has seasons, you just have to pay more attention. But in years with good rain, there is no missing spring as wildflowers literally burst forth and paint the desert with yellow, orange, blue, purple and white. It's an amazing site. It's such a big deal that there are Wildflower Hotlines and sites dedicated to keeping the public advised of the wildflower situation.
The other thing that bursts forth in Tucson this time of year is the Gem Show which draws people from all over the world. It's also an amazing site as all motels/hotels and any open areas around the I-10 corridor become the venue for sales of gems, minerals, rocks, jewelry, beads, jewelry making tools and supplies, rugs, furniture, clothing-you name it, someone there is selling it. The Show is quite an adventure and has to be seen to be believed. There is something for everyone.
But, back to the plasterwork.
Working in the bedroom. This wall had some really deep holes and took a lot of mud. Some areas I had to fill in as much as 3 inches! No wonder it's taking so long to dry.
This is an attempt to show the depth of the second coat but that's only an inch or so.
This is the window in the dining area. If you ever do a strawbale house, come up with some other way to finish the top of the window. Filling that area in is so tedious and half the mud ends up on the floor, 1/4 of it is on you! I'm using reed mats on the other windows and will slather on some mud and then sponge it back for a more textured look and a lot less frustration, I hope.
This is the living room west wall, the light areas are unfinished niches. This room is drying more quickly but gets more sun and took less plaster.
We now have a fully functioning toilet at the house and the little blue outhouse went away. Hooray!
The solar water heater is on the roof.
I've chosen some paint colors and tile for the shower.
Adobe veneer goes on the LR wall next week.
Will the details never end?
But then I recall the Chinese proverb: He who finishes house, dies.
And I won't complain about the weather cause it could be this:
This is the house of our former neighbors in Colorado taken just last week!