Sunday, March 27, 2016

Permits Issued! Almost Underway!

The house is starting to feel real now! The building permits were issued last week and we met with John Herder to do final placement on the lot!

Thursday 3/10

Skipped Tucson Yoga this morning as Nancy did not feel up to it and I still have a nasty cough. Fired up the truck first thing to air up the right rear inner dual that we had deflated yesterday afternoon, had to do that to be able to fit the bolt into the spring hanger. Aired it back up, no problem with the largest air compressor in the park!

Then checked my trailer pigtail output and sure enough, I apparently fried the Hoppy that controls my trailer lights when I was reinstalling the batteries last month. No output at all now. Have to dig into it and probably replace the Hoppy - bummer.

Went to move the bikes back in place by the front tripod and my bike had a flat tire! It was fine when I moved it yesterday! Things not going well today.

While I was doing that Nancy did some laundry in spite of still feeling punk. She spent the rest of the day studying.

I started working in earnest on our summer schedule yesterday. We plan on leaving here May first and going up to Fool Hollow Lake State Park near Show Low for two weeks. Then we plan on going East across US 60 to Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas just South of Amarillo.

Then we will work out way back to the Kane County Forest Preserve campground at Big Rock, IL and stay there two weeks. Doctors appointments and visits with friends. 

Since there is a two week limit at Big Rock we will move to Cedar Lake Bible Camp and RV Park in Cedar Lake, IN for the rest of June.

We then have reservations at Timberline Campground just West of Des Moines for the holiday weekend. Folks on the road sometimes have problems finding places to stay on holiday weekends, so we made reservation there June 30th through July third. Then we have a regular stop in Nebraska that has zero amenities, so space should be available on the evening of the 4th. We will be at Cherry Creek in Denver for two weeks starting July 5th. 

After Denver we will take a 8 or 10 days working our way back down to Desert Trails so we can see how progress is going on the house before we take off for the last Prairie Home Companion cruise to Alaska the last two weeks of August. 

Then back to Desert Trails in Tucson for the fall and then the move into the new house! Whew, a fairly busy summer!

Friday 3/11

Nancy and Karen went over and checked out the craft sale at the Rec Hall, then they went into town to have pedicures. I decided to double check the wiring on the truck before I ordered a new Hoppy and sure enough - there was a fuse missing in the power line to the Hoppy! Well DUH! (Head slap here.) Why I took to out is beyond me, but when I put it back in everything worked fine! Yeah!

When we store the truck in The Foothills next winter there will be no place to plug in a Battery Tender, so I ordered parts to put together a solar charger. Ordered a 6 amp solar panel from Walmart, which came yesterday. Very nice appearance and quality. This panel alone will put a constant 6 amps in the batteries, which is not good, so I also ordered a Battery Tender Solar Controller from Deltran. This will regulate the charge from the solar panel just like a Battery Tender that is plugged in to 120 house current.

Going to hook it up and see how it works over the next six weeks.

Just about dinner time Karen called and asked if we could take Margo for the night due to a family issue. We went over and picked her up. She happily jumped into the back of the car. I mention that as later on, about 10:30 Karen called and said we could bring her back and she would not get in the car! It must have taken us a half hour to persuade her to jump in. Maybe she was afraid because it was dark - who knows.

Blackhawks looked really bad against Dallas tonight!

So we were late to bed and we have to be up at 6 AM to get going to the book festival.

Saturday 3/12

Tucson Festival of Books weekend. As volunteer liaisons this year we are committed to spending all day Saturday and Sunday (8 AM to about 5 PM) in the volunteer headquarters coordinating the “Surprise Me” volunteers. This is a group of volunteers who are willing to do any job and they are used as back-ups and fill-ins for all the other groups who need extra help due to no shows or overcrowding.

Interesting day. Neither of us made to any of the events. I was still feeling the remnants of my cold with a constant cough. We were fairly active, although there was a fair amount of down time between shifts while all of our people were assigned. The rest of the liaisons are a nice, friendly group of people, so overall it was an enjoyable day.

Stopped at Beyond Bread for dinner and then home and early to bed, we were both exhausted.

Sunday 3/13

More of the same at the Book Festival. Neither of us felt much like going to any of the events. I was feeling better, but now Nancy is starting to feel a bit punk. Back home for pizza and watched the Sunday AM TV shows.

Monday 3/14

Nancy is really sick this morning, upset stomach and a fever! She spent all day in bed, so we skipped the Monday bike ride. I did not accomplish mush either!

Blackhawks stunk up the Untied Center with their worst home loss in 10 years! In a serious slump. Hope they can get their act together before the playoffs start! They dropped from 1st to 3rd in the division just this week. Of course, we were worried that they would not even make the playoffs at this time last year and thought that if they did they would not get past the 1st round - so they won the Cup!

Tuesday 3/15

Nancy still taking it easy today. I packed up some stuff and took it down to the storage unit. In the afternoon we took a ride by Newcomb’s house to check on progress. Cabinets and countertops are all in, looks really nice. We really like the roller shelves in the cabinets, the soft close drawers and doors, all of which we will have. Confirmed space measurement between full size refrigerator and island, no problem.

Drove by our lot, the prickly pear cactus plants along the street on our lot are covered with purple flowers!

Wednesday 3/16

Finally got back out into the desert for our early morning walk!

Nancy went off to Spanish class this AM. I did some house cleaning and puttering around. She had a dentist appointment in the afternoon. 

I spent some time locking down RV Park reservations for the summer. We wanted to be in place for the holiday weekends in May and July and wanted to have a firm reservation near Joan for most of June.

Blackhawks lost again tonight, but at least they made a competitive game of it. 

Thursday 3/17

Morning walk in the desert, then Nancy went to the yoga class here at the park. I went over Gates Pass into town. Made a stop at the grocery store and Auto Zone to pick up some connectors I need for my solar battery charger project. 

Just for yucks I drove by our lot and set my GPS, then drove to Albertson’s grocery store. 12.6 miles and 23 minutes! Nancy says that is going to take some getting used to after 20 plus years in Geneva where the grocery stores (and everything else) were within a couple of miles!

Back home I put together the pieces of the battery charger, now I just need to mount the solar panel and figure out length of wires needed from there to the battery box.

Headed over to Karen and Gary’s this evening for corned beef and cabbage dinner to celebrate St Pat’s. Practice for the first F1 race of the season tonight!

Friday 3/18

Morning walk, then some clean up and fix up. Finished assembling the solar battery charger and it works! This will solve a potential issue with truck batteries once we store it in the RV lot over at the Foothills.

Nancy did some studying and late in the afternoon we joined some of our neighbors for a farewell cocktail party. A lot of people are heading out in the next week or so. Some of them want to get home for Easter.

Blackhawks finally put together a good game tonight, hopefully they are back on track.

Saturday 3/19

Morning walk in the desert, then watched F1 qualifying from Australia, what a farce! The new qualifying format is a joke! Qualify was the most exciting part of an F1 weekend and now they have screwed that up - a sport in serious need of help! Later Nancy and Carol went over to the Oasis to work on their Spanish homework, I did a bit of cleaning.

Into town to Beyond Bread for lunch (and dinner!), a stop at the big Ace hardware for a few things, a couple of shopping stops for Nancy and then we stopped at Lowe’s to pick up a chandelier for the great room and bath room lights. Got the chandelier and hardware for the master bath, but we could not come up with lights that we liked, actually we were unsure if we want brushed nickel or chrome - can’t remember what the standard faucets are!

Watched the start of the F1 race before we called it a day.

Sunday 3/20

Headed out to Sahuarita for the Green Valley Gardener’s/Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society spring sale. Lots of interesting cactus plants and stuff for sale. Excellent seminar by Chuck Parsons: Taking the Mystery Out of Sonoran Desert Gardening. We are getting more confident all the time about doing our landscaping. 

Back home we watched the balance of the F1 race and the Sunday AM programs.

Monday 3/21

Out in the desert first thing, then we loaded the bikes and went over to the Foothills to do a short ride around the neighborhood with Gary & Karen. Decided not to join the bike group today as they don’t even leave the park until 10:30 and that means it’s 11:30 by the time they get going and it was over 90 degrees by mid-afternoon!

Later in the morning we went into town and stopped at a couple of lighting stores to look for lights for the bathrooms. After a lot of looking we settled on a couple of fairly expensive LED lights for the master bath. Hopefully a rather unique look, but functional at the same time. Still wondering about one for the guest bath.

Tuesday 3/22

Took our regular morning walk in the desert, then met John Herder over at our lot to do the final positioning of the house! Permits have been issued and they will start soil treatment (for insects) and moving dirt  this week! Probably pour the foundation the first week in April - starting to become real now! Stopped by the house under construction to get some measurements in the master bath. 

After lunch we met with Paulette Herder at the model in Starr Ridge to look at Mexican tile samples for the header over the garage door. Most of the houses in the Foothills have wood beams over the garage, maybe 10% have tiles. We like the look of the tiles better than the wood beams and there are no others on our street with tile, so we are putting in tile! Picked out one that we like, so now the only thing left to choose is the light for the guest bath - everything else is done!

Wednesday 3/23

Took our morning walk and then Nancy went to her Spanish class while I did my weekly house cleaning. We went to Ajo Cafe for lunch with Carol and Jack. Nancy had called them Monday and ordered a lemon meringue pie, which Nancy and Carol had for desert, taking the rest home.

Made a quick stop at Camping World, which is right around the corner from the Ajo Cafe, to pick up some blue stuff for the holding tanks. Then we went back up North to one the lighting stores we visited on Monday, Illuminations, and ordered three fairly expensive lights. Hopefully the quality and uniqueness of the lights will be worth the investment.

We bought two of these for the master bath. The color is copper/bronze, which goes really nice with our granite counter tops and the three lights are LEDs:  

This one goes in the guest bath. It is kind of hard to see from the picture, but it is a 5/8” thick flat panel LED array that rotates through 330 degrees so it can put light straight down for maximum lighting or be faced toward the wall oo the ceiling for indirect lighting. 

So all of the selections are made! Colors, appliances, fixtures, position on the lot, etc. Now we get to watch it being built!.

Thursday 3/24

Our usual walk in the desert this morning, then Nancy went to the yoga class here in the RV park. After her class we drove way, way east on Speedway to B&B Cactus Nursery to look at plants for sale and pick up as much more info as we could. Somewhat encouraged by the fairly reasonable prices on a lot of the cacti.

Worked our way back across the city to BK Tacos for lunch. A stop at Walmart for groceries then drove by our lot to see if they had started moving dirt. Nothing happening yet. John had said they “might” get started this week. He hopes to pour concrete the first week in April.

Friday 3/25

Morning walk in the desert as usual, starting to see some flowering cacti. Not a great year for wildflowers, we never got the rain they need in January and February. Nancy did a bunch of laundry, I did a few little jobs around the house. Not much going on. A really beautiful day, in the 70’s with a light breeze.

Saturday 3/26

Stayed home today, two days in a row for a change! After our morning walk we pretty much took things easy. Nancy did a lot of Spanish homework while I relaxed and read.

Blackhawks finally won a game tonight. Maybe they can build on it from here!

Sunday 3/27

Headed into town first thing in the AM to the Rillito farmers market, fingers crossed that the were open on Sunday AM and they were. Picked up some cod and salmon tails from our favorite Alaskan fisherman - White Cane. Wanted to get some grass fed beef, but that vendor was not there today.

Then we ran by Costco only to find that they were closed. Thought we would hit Culver’s for lunch, but closed as well. Back home by 11 AM! Traffic was light.

Relaxing afternoon and early Blackhawks game. Not pretty, but they won. 

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