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A haircut for the palm and other adventures in suburbia

This time of year, in southern Arizona, early rising isn't just a virtue, it's an imperative if you want to get work done outside. So Jesus, the palm tree trimmer, showed up at 6:15 to get started on the single palm tree we own.

It's strange that a week ago we didn't own much of anything, and now we can claim a palm tree and a house to go with it. Stranger still, I hardly even know this palm tree and here I am paying someone to give it a haircut. It now sports a sort of palm tree fade, short on the sides and shaggy on the top.

Tucson palm trim.jpg

In Anza Borrego the fan palms have never been trimmed and they look very nice in their shagginess. But our tree has been trimmed in the past and so we decided to stick with the clean-shaved look that is more common to suburban areas. Besides, falling palm fronds are heavy, even dangerous sometimes. I don't know enough about palms to be sure if ours will fall or hang on.

The first phase of the concrete floor test has been completed. Toby finished the floor today, but we had a snag. A last-minute addition of turquoise stain didn't fully dry, and when he put the sealant on it created undesirable whitish rings. You can see a big one at upper left. That will have to be sanded out and repaired later. Still, we have enough of a sample to base further decisions on.

Tucson concrete floor.jpg

This photo does not do the floor justice. It looks better than this, but I had a tough time capturing it without glare. The colors are rich and varied, but in the photo it looks muddy.

Eleanor loves it. Personally, my take is that the floor is too dark. That's an easy change. I'd also like to keep the deep brown and reds to minimal streaks rather than large patches. We both like the turqoise patches (lower left) and the little variations in pattern and texture that you may not be able to see in the photo.

The area by the door wasn't sealed, so you can see how the color pops out in the final stage of the process. Until then, it's very hard to visualize how the product will appear. Now that we can see it, we will take some time to consider it, before we commit to the rest of the house.

At this point, however, we are exhausted by home ownership already. Too much, too fast. We'll all be glad when this renovation phase is over, and we can just treat the house as a place to live rather than as a project. It governs our days, our schedule, and our dreams at night. Just a few more contractors and repairs and we'll be free again ...

Tucson clouds palms.jpg

This afternoon we got a tiny taste of the upcoming monsoon season. A back-door front swept down through New Mexico and our temperature dropped (to 85 degrees), the humidity spiked, and thunderstorms rumbled past. By Florida standards it was still a low-humidity day and hardly enough rain to mention, but here it was a real event. We had to run out of the house and get soaked by the fat raindrops, and take pictures of the clouds. How much our perspective has changed since we came to the desert ...


We will take your "paltry" rainfall here in Florida if you're willing to send it to us. We're desperate!

You said you liked 70's airstreams.

No more house stuff - let's get back to the Tour of America!!! More Airstream stuff too please! When you getting back on the road Rich?

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