Desert Dispatch

So it's been awhile. We decided to sneak a trip in between annual doctor type visits that got deferred from the winter. There is a bunch of well crafted and thoughtful fussing and then a bunch of pictures at the bottom. I'll leave it to the reader to decide you're level of interest.


First. I must complain about the spring temperatures. Or. I must complain about becoming soft from a winter in the desert. We go back to Denver. It goes to snowing. I think we got on the order of 3 feet in April. So far in May it rains a lot. May as well live in Fishers. You know who you are Fishers peeps...

So more bad days than good back in Denver. At least compared to a desert winter.

And went to the docs to have blood drawn, one of my favorite things, in advance of the physical. Good news is blood is excellent. SWITBO has the same doc. He tells her she has the body of a teenager. I think he means how health she is. Or, she may be flirting to line-up an upgrade. Time will tell. Anyway, he was happy with my blood work, but no mention of body of a teenager. I get a pretty good for a not quite 62 year old...

Meanwhile back at the blood draw. Caught a freaking cold. My policy is to limit excersions past the driveway anyway. Should have made sense to steer clear of the doctors office to avoid disease. I ponder if I should defer the physical so I don't carry germs back to the doctors office. SWITBO puts me in the car as says drive. Of course the disease is a topic of conversation with the nurse. Who is unsympathetic. And the doc. Who is unsympathetic. Ann was already unsympathetic. Could have called mom, but I was a little concerned about the trend...

We have a drive down here. Ponder a delay. But figure I'm going to be holed-up somewhere self-medicating. The buttery soft leather of the Volvo is as good or better than any of our couches. Ann drives. I manage the comms and rest. Ann catches the cold.

So we've been down here baking, self-medicating, going through copious amounts of Kleenex and doing precious little. Kind of like it! On the way into town we stopped at the grocery. Bought like three food items and 8 cold medication items. The check out lady perfunctorily asked us how we were. Then she saw the avalanche of cold meds. Held one up, shook the box and said that she too felt like this. She has three kids that are human lightening rods for disease.

Avian News

Meanwhile. Turns out the bird population has suffered mightily from our absence. I ventured out alone the day after we got here, Ann would not leave the driveway, to get bird seed. Figured it would take a few days. Hell, they were circling waiting for me to place the feeders. They're putting a nice dent in the supplies already.

And. Frequent readers may recall the bird of type I don't recall that the female of which has the male of which build multiple nests of which she will choose one into which she will lay her eggs. Well, one of those nests was built in one of the palo verdes in the back yard. It's a cool nest. Globe shaped with the opening through a tunnel that faces down. Can't really even see inside. Well the bird of type I don't recall that the female of which commissioned the nest in our yard; chose ours. Very exciting. Except we can't use the table and chairs on the stone patio Ann built. Annoys the hell out of (presumably) the female of which if we sit down there in the shade. There is a picture of the nest in the Quail Manor batch at the end of this muse.

We also have a dove nest adjacent to CisternCam. Every time we went over there a dove would fly off in a hurry. Big pile of sticks down behind the pump which sits under the CisternCam, so we suspect some poor construction technique. They seemed to have abandoned the nest. No sign of eggs.

And. A steady stream of what I think she said are Cactus Wrens into a nest in the big cholla in back. Can't get close enough to see what if anything is going on in there. From experience - cholla's - are best steered clear of...

Her Sweetness is on the lookout for baby quail. We have yet to see a baby quail on the Quail Manor grounds. She spots one over at DnT's. We have a gate, so DnT's is technically part of the Quail Manor Grounds Compound. Would rather see one on The Grounds proper, but this will have to do. They're elusive little buggers so there may be some here too, just REAL hard to see.

We may have gotten on a Road Runner's circuit. Seen one everyday we've been here. So hopeful. Yesterday it was over by the cistern. I happened to walk by so it jumped up on the wall and clacked at me. It jumped on the north wall. There is a colony of rock squirrels burrowing away over there. We like rock squirrels WAY better than Denver squirrels. They eat at the seed blocks, but then leave. Well behaved on a squirrel adjusted scale. So road runner knows about the rock squirrels. Since it's up on the wall anyway, may as well hunt one. This all happened pretty fast, and I don't know if road runners hunt and eat rock squirrels, but that road runner jumped/swooped head first into a rock squirrel hole after the rock squirrel occupant. Didn't see the road runner come away with a rodent. But it was very cool to see! I understand that road runners sometimes eat baby quail. So. There may be a correlation between the baby quail and the road runner circuit. Time will tell...

So Ann is over at DnT's spot watering some container stuff. Comes face to face with a dove hanging out in the sconce container pot thing. Of course I am summoned to take a picture. We forgot to bring down a proper camera. She has a perfectly good camera smart phone. But habits are hard to break. By the time we get back the dove has skedaddled. So we took a picture of the egg. Later we got a shot of the dove at work. Looked like she would have preferred not to be photographed and would prefer if we moved along... 

Legacy Chairs

the Quail Manor is more or less Southwest Craftsman Modern Loft style. On a budget. Some may quibble about the budget, but we tried. A staple of Mid-century Modern is Butterfly Chairs. Splenda and Super Sweet (Dad and Mom respectively) have a pair of ORIGINAL butterfly chairs that I grew-up with. Figure it can't hurt to hit them up. With a little persuasion I conceptually separate the chairs from my folks. Dad/Splenda was thrilled to get them out of inventory, I think he was afraid he was going to have to paint them again. A subsequent archaeological review of the paint layers suggests they have been repainted, a lot. Mom/Super Sweet on the other hand used to be in real estate and negotiates. I had to promise to buy her two new chairs. She had lost enthusiasm for the new chairs by the time I went out to physically claim them. So time will tell.

People who know us, know Dad was a Naval Aviator. They are not pilots in the Navy, but Aviators. Kind of like no such thing as a ex Marine. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Anyway, as I said, I grew-up with these chairs. I know I moved every damn summer until high school when we only moved every two years. So I can deduce that the chairs moved too. What I did not realize is that the chairs are a pain in the ass for movers. Weigh nothing, Which is how they get paid, but take up a lot of room so they can not fit in something that IS heavy. Somehow fitting the legacy chairs have fallen into my curmudgeonly care.

There are some, problems:

  1. What I come to find out is that after a certain age, you can get in but not out of butterfly chairs. We are on the cusp of being at that age. I suspect post-cocktail, we may already be beyond it. Which means my mom was playing me, she was not using the chairs anyway. They were decoration. So birthdays will be verified before sitting in the butterfly chairs.
  2. Shipping them will cost more than buying new reproductions. I'm heading out to my folks anyway. Measurements suggest they may fit inside the Volvo. Worst case I zip tie them to the bike racks. Will look a little Grapes of Wrath, but hell I went to school in Oklahoma... Probably less wind resistance than a bike anyway. Turns out they fit. Barely.
  3. The covers are shot. And the wrong color to please SWITBO. To the Internet Batman. There is an industry dedicated to butterfly chairs and butterfly chair covers. Hell, you can get them on Amazon. But I find a site that makes them to order. In sizes. In your choice of material. Somehow I remember, and it is confirmed by my folks, that these things fill up with water when it rains. So I had some concern with canvas. Seems I'm not the only one. So the folks at Circa50 make a cover in some kind of woven poly that drains water AND breaths. My cover research also suggested the canvas can get hot. Ordered a pair of the Circa50 suckers. Fit like a dream. We had them on in Denver. Did I mention it has been rainy in Denver? Drain rain like it never happened. 
  4. Brought 'em down here and installed in the front courtyard. It got windy. I was working at the computer, not musing, and see a reflection in the TV on the wall. Of a butterfly chair cover flying through the air. Seems they have sail characteristics and are low mass. They'll either get a rock in the seat (we have plenty) or be taken in like the pigs (frequent readers will recall our wind pigs) when the weather forecast includes strong gusts.

We ordered a Murphy Bed.

For those intrepid enough to venture into The Barrio and stay overnight, this should be welcomed news. Did not have any complaints about the day trundle bed per se, but it was a universal pain in the ass. Would actually prefer to put a sofa bed in, but much research yielded nothing that would fit properly. Murphy Bed research ensued. Called CtC to get him on-board. He said, call Off-the-Wall. Seems Tucson has a Murphy Bed company doing custom Murphy Beds since the early 70's. And. They are CtC certified. The web site looks like hell. So we make an appointment and took a meeting with some trepidation. As all things Tucson and CtC certified, exceeded expectations. We have a deposit on a custom bed to be installed around the 4th July.

It'll go on the wall where the desk is now. The desk will move to the opposite wall under the window. Creates some electrical work, but we suspected something like this could happen so during construction we pulled what we needed. Will have to cut and patch some holes. More on that when it happens. Somehow nothing is ever easy...

The cabinet will look kind of like this. With the shelves on the left side and no drawers or shelves on the right side. This is the Quail Manor. There's no room for shelves on the right side! We did away with the crown molding. This is the Quail Manor. Crown molding would be too showy. And. The trim on the bed part when closed will match the three panel doors throughout the Quail Manor. Except, the top two thirds will have a built in white/dry erase board. This is the study/guest room after all and your musist has missed a whiteboard down here. 

As all things the Quail Manor much research preceded the whiteboard design. Turns out melamine makes a perfectly fine whiteboard. And is cheep and readily available. But depending on quality is susceptible to ghosting if it does not get erased promptly and correctly. Seemed a little risky for a semi-permanent piece of cabinetry. Thought a whiteboard is kind of like Formica, wonder if they have anything. They do, in several styles and colors. As does Wilsonart who seems to compete with Formica on all things and must be easier to deal with because that always seems be be what gets ordered. So the Off-the-Wall guys took the Wilsonart datasheet and will be applying that for the Quail Manor Murphy Bed Whiteboard (henceforth, tQMMBWb).

If you are still reading, you really came for the pictures. If you actually read this far, you will know we forgot the proper camera, so I used the iPhone. I know it probably takes better pictures than the proper camera, but somehow I like the proper camera mo betta. There is a set from DnT's and from the Quail Manor. Just a bunch of wondering around random pictures.

No rain since early April. Whilst it's be snowing, chilly, and wet in Denver; its been hot and dry here. So things are pretty crispy.