Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane, co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about ideas and creativity. Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments, relating to the topic, are welcome as it turns an article into a discussion, but must be in English and not include profanity or threats.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Projects in process

by Rain Trueax

On a personal level, about the only exciting news for this week is we saw the first of the wildflowers. This is not supposed to be a spectacular wildflower season due to not enough rain in the fall. We will take them in whatever small quantities they appear.

The project for the week, besides getting my fourth in the Hemstreet Witches series ready to be published, involved the arrival of the last pieces for the king-sized bed (frame, head and baseboard, mattress, etc.). This was good but also complicated. The house has three bedrooms but one has been a den for Ranch Boss's engineer consulting and publishing work when here (he is my editor and publisher). 

The original goal was turning the shop (outside the living room wall and under the same roof as the house) into a den/library. We would then have three bedrooms with two having queen beds. The king was for our master bedroom (not very master sized but it has a second, tiny bathroom off it). It would be a nice addition but still keep it a small home with maybe 1600sqft or so.

We just got the estimated cost for the addition. Way over our budget. Except, now what do we do with that extra queen bed? After much work for Ranch Boss in disassembling it, it's stacked in the second bedroom but that can't stay that way (although one of the cats likes its elevation for her sleeping). 

Our time here has been one project in progress after another (as a writer I am used to those). This one may take another year to get it to fruition.

One problem with spending more to do the addition than we had intended is that it'd not be a good investment, as either a rental or sale, unless we intend to make this our permanent home (that has not been ruled out eventually). The
United States has some areas (Oregon is one) where housing costs are skyrocketing. Tucson is not in that situation. With so many homes being built, more desert scraped off for developments every time we get down here, it keeps housing cheaper comparatively. There are some ritzy areas, of course; but even the more expensive sections in the Santa Cruz river valley (Tucson has several rivers and streams but most only flow after storms) are far less than they'd be in parts of California. 

Our home is in a nice little suburban feeling area where homes were built in the '70s on an acre or two of desert. It has a covenant protecting it to stay as it is. The reason we have so much wildlife is this isn't where they scraped off the desert, as they too often do today. These homes were set into their desert. Wildlife in Tucson has less and less of these places. 

Another reason for more wildlife here is we aren't far from the La Cañada Wash, which comes out of the nearby mountains. Fortunately, washes are places that they don't allow development due to flash floods after storms. That leaves them also conduits for the critters that many desert lovers don't desire or respect-- sadly. 

A lot of those who come to Tucson only want the golf, swimming, shopping, restaurants, bicycling, hiking, and endless sunshine. Nothing wrong with those activities, but it leaves the original residents just in the way-- unless being viewed in a zoo...

The photos of the bed being put together are because of how a process like this amazes me as to what Ranch Boss knows how to do. If he didn't, we'd have to pay someone who did, as no way could I do it. These projects are never without glitches. The end result though is a very nice bed with room for us and four cats if they so desire :). Through the window, you can see where we store our vacation trailer when we are here.

View out the bedroom window. We do have a wall that is mandated around the pool (does not keep out rabbits or birds). This one is to fence our cats in and let the wildlife have the rest. There is a neighbor at the back of our acre that we can see their porch light at night. The little sculpture garden is new with herbs being added. I don't how they'll do when we are not here, but we are hopeful the drip system can keep them growing. Having an herb garden off the kitchen is one of the many sensual pleasure that this place provides.

Another new addition this year is a hummingbird and loose seed feeders on poles. In the past, we only put out quail blocks but this year we decided to add seed intended to bring in cardinals. It has along with many other songbirds we hadn't regularly seen. When we are gone, the summer has more lushness for them to get feed and some, of course, migrate north to avoid the extreme heat-- snowbirds ;).


Diane Widler Wenzel said...

I am happily amused thta you are considering Tucson as the primary home place. Sounds like you would have room for guests.

Rain said...

We have been coming here since 1973 on vacations; our kids grew up with Arizona as their go to place. I know I wanted to leave when in 1966 but I was expecting a baby, who I wanted born in Oregon. Also, let's face it, swamp coolers and pregnancy don't go well together lol. I doubt we will settle down here permanently given the kids and grandkids in Oregon.

The home will be better for guests when we get the addition. I am disappointed it doesn't look likely this time but we have to be practical and there are some needed repairs still out there. The Oregon home is less appealing the older we get considering how far it is to everything-- except it :)

Brig said...

It's wonderful that you have homes in two beautiful places.

Rain Trueax said...

That may be temporary, Brig. We are trying to work that through right now :)