Friday, June 29, 2007

It's HOT!

104 today (but it's a dry heat).

This is Gen, the other member of the family trying to get cool. He gets as many parts as possible on the cool concrete.

In our attempt to get cool we trekked up to Mt. Lemmon again to camp for a night. Getting away for even one night is relaxing. I finished one book and started another. It had been so long since I had actually read a book I was worried that I might no longer be able to sustain my concentration for long periods. Glad to know that's not the case.

No Touch Monkey by Ayun Halliday was the book I finished-a very funny account of her travels as a "dirty backpacker". If you can while away hours reading Lonely Planet guides and have traveled in that mode or wish you had, check this book out. (She'd probably rather you bought it) It is, as they say, laugh out loud funny.

I had pictures of our new tile front porch but somehow managed to lose them in my picture files. I'll take more but it's too hot right now-maybe in the morning when it's only 71!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Desert Person

I was doing some computer housecleaning today and found a poem I'd forgotten. It's by an author who just happens to live in southern Arizona, Byrd Baylor. My favorite work of hers is Yes Is Better Than No- a wonderful story for those working with people from a different culture.

Desert Person
by Byrd Baylor

Like any desert creature,
I build my own

safe shelter
with what the desert

I make thick walls
of mud and
With my own hands

I shape the earth
into a house.

But when I say,
"This is my home,"
another desert person
always knows
that I don't mean
the house.

I mean
the farthest mountain
I can see.

I mean

that fill the whole sky
and the colors
of the cliffs
and all their silences
and shadows.

I mean
the desert

is my home.

And now, my home.

This is the view from the bedroom into the bathroom and on into the shower. I love this view, it feels so calm and peaceful.

Then there's the other side of the room...

which actually looks better now that the tile is grouted and the sink works. Now to finish the backsplash.

We're still working on details. Got handles on the kitchen cabinets and drawers and shelves in my office. I'm getting organized!

This week we get an estimate on the wall for the back lot and we'll get started on the front patio.

Until next time.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun. ~Ralph Nader, quoted in Linda Botts, ed., Loose Talk, 1980

Things That Make You Go Hmm

On mornings I don't have to go to work, I walk the dog. 5:30-6:00 is the best time during the summer months but that is just a little
too early for me. I need to have at least 2 cups of coffee before I start. Others are up and out at that time and I usually meet up with several dogs and their people on the walk. On the weekends I see many people. I walk from the neighborhood down a dirt road into the wash and then under the powerlines near where Pulte is building their watered down version of Civano. (For more on the history of that controversy see Simmons Buntin's article here). Long story short; the developers always win. And now the housing market is flatter than a fritter and all these houses are being built. Just have to scratch your head-hmm

The houses being built to the right of the walkway shown in the photo are another bone of contention. I will have to say the models are quite mmmmm, what's the word....ugly. But the problem is not the aesthetics but the number of houses, the size of the houses, the wall around the development, segregating them. They're mostly 2 story, which Civano has its fair share of already. A 2-story house in the desert just sort of flies in the face of energy conservation. After our
Vail Experience, I've had all the developer controversy I can handle but the builder hype found in this article is just over the top. I guess it's better than Pulte.

On with the walk. These are crosses erected in remembrance of someone killed in an accident on this little dirt road. Roadside crosses are prevalent in the southwest and I've started to see them in other regions. There used to be more information written on a piece of paper there but that has disappeared. There are flowers in the wash bed which is about 15 ft below the crosses. Hmmm

In Memory of John Roman Voytas
June 18, 1956-June 3, 2006
There were fresh flowers there on 6/3/07

Freshly mined urbanite-could be my patio! Hmmm

General, with Civano in the background.

Back in the neighborhood, 7 Generations Way.

Houses along Civano Blvd.

Walkway in the Desert Country neighborhood.
(There are houses on either side)

Just before crossing the bridge to our house at the end of our walk this day.

The only thing missing is the sound of the birds and the darting quail and rabbit families that are abundant this time of year. The bunnies drive Gen crazy, he would so love to take out after one but, he ain't nuthin' but a hound dog, even off leash.

Upadate on punch list items. The solar hot water is now connected and working. It's a Copperheart and keeps the water heater filled with preheated water decreasing the constant heating and reheating of water that just sits in the tank awaiting our use at the turn of the tap.

We can now get a car in the garage. Yeaaa!!

We have the landscape plans and have started some preliminary work.

Examine each question in terms of what is ethically and aesthetically right, as well as what is economically expedient.

~Aldo Leopold