When we got to Arizona, the first project had to be in the kitchen. We have a couple who look after the home when we are not here. They had told us about the leak from the hose that feeds the ice-maker. Because it had been discovered early, we didn't expect catastrophic damage as we'd had two years before.
Once Ranch Boss pushed out the stove and refrigerator, it turned out to be worse. Mold went part way up the wall. Some of the cabinetry wood had been ruined by the water and mold. So began a week and a half of tearing apart and then rebuilding. The stove and refrigerator had to be moved, cabinets emptied of pans and food, then taken outside, wallboard cut away, a working mask to be purchased, and plastic sheeting used to wall off the working area.
Although this mold did not look like the toxic black mold, it was black, and the only way to discern the difference is with microscope; so better to be extra careful than to take the risk when scraping away mold with spores in the air.
Next step was a paint that destroys and blocks mold returning. Every step took time between for drying. With the stove and refrigerator out of there, it was discovered the previous owners hadn't tiled the floor all the way to the wall. So that was done.
Finally wallboard was replaced, plastered, painted and destruction could turn into construction. Between tearing down and then replacing, this was a week and a half of unexpected work.
It won't happen again as we removed the ice maker. First leak we could say just one of those things. Second leak-- not worth having a third. The humorous part is when I thought-- how will we get ice for our vacation renters... before I remembered ice trays. Duh! I bought some of those and began making ice the way we always did before the modern advantages that aren't always advantages.
This amounted to a week and a half of work for Ranch Boss, but when finished, it looks as good as ever and is actually better because when he tore out the walls, he discovered there had been old mold there from the previous owners before we bought the house in 1999. Ice makers might be convenient, but they do have a risk attached especially for people like us who aren't always there.
Regarding Toyota and our Highlander (read previous blog if you are not sure what I am referring to-- and be sure to read comments where two engineers discuss what might have led to the malfunction), it's a long drawn out process to find out if they will accept any responsibility for the near disaster. We are going through their formal process of filing a complaint, but doubt it will end up with much satisfaction-- beyond ours in never buying another Toyota of any model.
What I want to emphasize here is if you have a vehicle with the modern computerized systems, and that turns on the cruise control-- on its own-- quickly push it into neutral. Do not turn off the key unless you are stopped as that turns off power brakes, steering and if you can believe it, even airbags. Just push it into neutral. It will slow it, and you can then get safely off the road. When in neutral, rev the engine and that can get the computerized system to reset. Then get it to a repairman as this is not a safe thing to happen even if you know what to do-- and how many of us would!
Because Casa Espiritu is both a second home for us and a vacation rental for snow-birds, we routinely do some improvements-- ones we plan. This year it is a fence that will enable cats and small dogs to safely be outdoors. Our piece of desert is home to predators like coyotes, javelina, and bobcats. We love that it is natural desert and that so many animals live here, but it doesn't make it safe for small pets.
For now, our two cats are inside and not pleased as in Oregon they have two fenced yards to be outside a lot. Here the fenced yard is with the pool, not connected directly to the house, and that isn't the safest thing for small animals who might fall (or jump) in and not be able to get out.
The new enclosed patio, with an attractive metal fence, will allow us to be outside with them but not require it. We didn't want a wooden one because we like being able to see the desert beyond. No fence is ideal in my mind, but sometimes they are the best option.
We've been increasing the amount of walking we are doing to try to get back in shape. It's amazing how long that can take when you are old. But by adding a few minutes each day, I believe it will happen :)
Below are photos from one of our favorite spots to do this hiking because it's nearby and easy walking-- Catalina State Park with a variety of trails.