Whole lot'a nesting, and cable management, go'n on.

Like SWITBO's been working my butt off. Her own too. But we seem to be settled in. Everything's clean and seems to work. The layout appears to be excellent. On an 800 square foot adjusted scale. Cooking has taken place. We even entertained D of DnT for a couple of dinners. All good!

The day after Christmas we loaded the trusty Volvo. To the gills. As the pile grew, we had grave concerns. How much could we actually fit in there? It looked like The Grapes of Wrath but we got pretty much everything we wanted to bring down this trip stuffed in. The passenger door behind the driver was off limits for opening. That's four bikes you can see plus a Power Tap wheel and an extra front wheel zip tied to one of the mountain bikes. Careful observers will note the bed rails bungee wrapped (heavy rubber bungees) to the rack just outboard of the tandem. You can kind of see the plastic wrap they used to keep them together for shipping. The rest of the bed (for the master) is the base for all the rest of the crap we stuffed into the car. It fit with about a quarter inch to spare... 

There was enough room for Sweetie and your musist to fit into the front seats and pilot this thing. Not one thing more would have fit. One of my favorites is the bike rack we stuck on top of one of the mountain bikes and then tied to the car rack with a nylon strap. That baby rode perfectly all the way down. Like I said, Grapes of Wrath...

We drove down starting at 0 dark 30 on Saturday. Snow packed roads made the trip down to about Raton (NM) a little sporty. After Raton, we noticed a vibration. Seemed to be coming from the roof. Opened the sun roof and sure enough one of the (good) front wheels was vibrating like a mother. These racks are at least 10 years old in this configuration and never had that happen before. Stopped and looked at it, but could not see anything obvious. So drove on.

About this time a guy pulls along side us and starts gesturing wildly. I didn't remember pissing anyone off. He points at the car. Looked like he was pointing to the roof. I gestured back that we new about the wheel. He kept at it so we took the next exit. He follows. I'm thinking this could get ugly so am keeping an escape path in sight. He pulls up. Turns out it looks like something is wrong with the front wheel and he's afraid of a blow-out. Hummm, been handling fine. My first thought is shit. It will take most of the day to get to the spare. Located under all the crap stuffed in the back of the car... Take a look and a plastic bag had gotten sucked off the pavement and looped itself perfectly between two of the spokes in the wheel. Give a tiny tug and out it comes. Problem solved. It surely must have looked like a tire de-laminating. Would have been real ugly if that was in fact what it was. Good fellow traveler! And I suspected him of being an ax murderer.

Your musist being an engineer continues to ponder the vibration. What we need is a dampener...what to use? A bungee cord would be perfect. Have lots of those. In the car. Under all that crap. Pulled up into the next gas station. They had exactly what we needed. Climbed up on the windshield to strap it on, only way to get to the middle wheels. Must have REALLY looked like The Grapes of Wrath. Old grumpy guy climbed up on his Volvo. But. Problem solved.

We spent our first night in the Quail Manor on Sun, 28-Dec-2014. Used the Study/Guest Room (from where your musist is writing his first the Quail Manor based muse BTW). It was the only available bed. Worked swell. JUST enough room to wheel out the trundle and have a passage to the bathroom. Tried it with doors open and doors closed. Liked it both ways.

The next day, the proper mattress arrived for the master. Slept there Monday night. Even better! 

Don't know where the time went, but it was non stop the whole time "she" was here. She'd nest. I'd manage some cables. Then we'd be off to the store for more nesting (or cable management) material. Repeat until done. Which we're not. But the stores ran out of stuff...

A word on curtains. I have a newly developed loathing. Frequent readers may or may not have noticed that in Denver we have no window coverings. Except for simple blinds in the bedrooms. In the Quail Manor we kind of need them since we're up on a hill with as yet very limited cover. Seems like I mentioned this, but after what seemed like way more work than should have been necessary we (Ann) chose some simple (and cheep) curtains from Bed Bath and Beyond. On sale. And we had plenty of 20% off a single item coupons. Blue for the living room and study. Coral (I now know that is a color too) for the master.

Upon unpacking in Tucson, we discover a couple of the blues have some rust stains from the grommets that the curtain rod goes through. I now know these are called "Top Grommet Curtains". So off we go to return them at the near-by BB&B. Well, they don't have enough blues, that are also sufficiently long, to replace. So we go to a way far away BB&B. They don't have long blue either. They do have long coral. Coral it is then. For all the windows. 

Study/guest room is now good to go. But, we need two more panels for the living room. Wider than we thought. Had to get a longer curtain rod too. Wider than we thought. Back to the near BB&B. Maybe I'll get lucky. Nope. Somehow I remember the address of the far away BB&B. I can't remember what day it is and several days have passed since the getting of the coral instead of blue curtains. But I remember. So off I go. They have the rod. After much searching I find two more long coral panels.

They're up.

Living room furniture came on Wednesday (New Year's Eve). An added bonus, the courtyard furniture which was back-ordered until the end of January came too. We like it. Very, at least sufficiently, comfortable.

Still need to sort pictures and bric-a-brac, but close enough to call it settled. Only hick-up was the oven. Mom suggested baking some cookies to be sure it worked as expected. As a Navy wife she's an expert at settling into new houses, and who's going to say no to cookies. So we baked some cookies. Now I know you're thinking, "we baked cookies"? We'll I won't mention where the dough came from but let's just say it was embarrassing at the Safeway check-out line. Mom always said if Ann starts baking store bought cookie dough, get a lawyer. So somehow we came in possession of cookie dough. I'm involved since I'm using a knife to portion it so she can place it on cookie sheets. But before the portioning and placing, we had some issues.

The oven display said "PF". Though OK. PF must be what it says. Maybe it means "ready" or something in Swedish. Best I can tell IKEA mostly makes-up words anyway. But the oven won't come on. I do computers, so I figure reboot it. I hit the breaker. Still nothing. So now I have to find the instructions. As you can expect, they are the next to the last instructions in a very tall pile of instructions (now it's CtC's fault!). Ann starts reading about using the oven looks straight forward. Still nothing.

Well, see if it says anything about PF. Turns out PF means Power Failure. It makes you set the clock, or at least pretend to set the clock, before it will work. I guess it started saying PF when CtC installed it. But got tired of waiting for the clock to get set so ignored me when I did all the things it says to do to start setting the clock. When I rebooted, I did not try the correct things a second time. So I killed the power again, did the things. The oven works as advertised.

We'll have detailed instructions if you're ever here and the over says PF.

The cookies were adequate by the way. I do have an attorney on deck if she ever comes home with cookie dough of questionable provenance again!

The cistern did not seem as full as it should have been. CtC had already identified a drip, but the tank should have been directionally half full. I'm walking back to the house and notice one area of ground that looks wetter then the rest. Now, I'd walked past it going the other way and not noticed. Anyway I noticed it now. I look around and what do I notice but an open hose bib in one of the lines that happens to be at one end of the wet spot AND at about the same level as the level of the tank. So. For most of that inch or so of rain we had gotten a week or so before we got here, the system did what it was designed to do and then immediately emptied right back out onto the ground. Fortunately it was emptying near the new citrus trees. So, technically it was doing what it was designed to do, but not quite in the way it was designed to do it.

We've since gotten another half inch of rain. Below, SWITBO demonstrates how we measure how full the tank is.

She also planted some new plants. Who knew plant planting could generate the action shots that everyone seems to love so much.

  • In the first couple, she is planting the vines that will grow up the dead tree and eventually cover the cistern.
  • Note the severed branch that has been leaned upon the wall so the vine will go that way too. I don't know what kind of tree this is, technically was, but it's dense. That limb probably weighed 100 pounds. 
  • Then you can see her filling and then using a watering bucket with "free" water - that only cost about $5K to collect (plus the cost of the metal roof that was installed to facilitate efficient collection) - to water in a couple of quail habitat friendly shrubs.
  • I threw in a picture of the quail bait (kind of like duck decoys) that Ann's favorite sister has provided.

I'm running out of gas. And it's warmed up enough that I just may be able to ride in shorts. So, I'm going ride'n. BTW, should be in the 70's all week, so plenty of ride'n in shorts!

Here are the pictures. Note:

  • DtW has been busy building fence. Looks wonderful.
  • The (I think) tangerines are ripe. We've eaten several and they're great. Took five years to get apples off The Yard Mahal espaliered apples, we get tangerines in Tucson after a couple of months. Go figure.
  • Also a couple of shots of Dan fixing the roof of their ramada. And of the ramada floor DnT built over the holidays using bricks salvaged from the Quail Manor when it was Sister Murray's so I figure they belong in the muse. Note well how the brick rows are PERFECTLY parallel to the walls. They had enough left over for a place to put the trash cans. Interestingly, when he built the landing for the trash cans, the space seems WAY bigger than it used to...don't know why?
  • You will notice a chair free two top table in the front courtyard. We actually bought chairs. At IKEA. Bought a bunch of other stuff too. Loaded all the other stuff. Left the chairs on the loading dock... Fortunately it was IKEA and they didn't cost much. Going to go back up and get a full sized table and six chairs. Seemed adequate for the dining table in the pergola. So what the hell.