May 14, 2006

it's done!

...choosing the appliances, anyway! Yesterday we picked out a refrigerator, washer, and dryer. We got a "package deal" with "locked in" prices... I felt a little like we were at a car dealership, not an appliance store. We decided to go with a front-loading washer- we've heard lots about them, water-savings being the major benefit, as well as larger capacity and a longer life for your clothes... 15-20 gallons of water per load vs. 50 gallons for a top-loading: a pretty persuasive argument, even with a higher initial cost.

We drove down to the house yesterday with our friend Mike Nejedly- he agreed to look over the house prior to the drywall being installed, to give his opinion on the framing. He feels they've done a pretty good job, which is nice to hear- someone actually in the trade, who knows what he's looking at with a more expert eye, giving it a thumbs-up.

I'm getting excited about doing the landscaping- Mike designed a beautiful desert landscape for his yard, and offered to help us do the same for ours- cactus, yucca, and agave for the yard, which will certainly have to include a saguaro cactus for the authentic desert feel! I don't know exactly how to plant them, but heavy gloves are sure to be in order...

We drove down again today, to check out some room dimensions and electrical wiring placement. Tom is going to do some additional electrical work after we move in, to add spotlights for the paintings, as well as possibly a ceiling fan and stereo speakers for the patio... it will be a bit tricky, since the ceilings are vaulted- not much attic space- but he thinks he can do it. We also found out that our closing date will probably not be in June, which is a bummer, but we'll have to just be patient.

After we got back, we grilled out and had a nice dinner... one of my co-workers is a very good cook, and he gave me his "secret-ingredient marinade" for chicken. I know it had fruit juice, lemons, limes, onions and garlic- I'll have to get him to tell me the rest of the recipe, so I can make it myself. His recipe called for marinating the chicken overnight, grilling it, then serving it topped with a slice of bacon, a roasted chili pepper, and a slice of white american cheese melted over the whole thing. It turned out great! We had the chicken, southwest mashed potatoes (out of a package, but still good), and fresh corn on the cob.

Sedona must have thought it would be good, too... Tom fixed himself a second plate, melting the cheese onto the chicken breast using the microwave. He sat down at the coffee table with his plate, went to change the channel on the TV, looked back at his plate, and there was no cheese, chili pepper, or bacon!!! Somehow, she made off with it in those few seconds- she got put to bed right away, for being bad; we let her out a little while ago. I think she might regret it now, though- she put herself back to bed a bit ago; maybe she has a stomach ache to pay her back for her thievery!

It was officially 105 F today, only 2 degrees away from the record set in 1927, and 12 degrees higher than normal for this date. It's definitely taking some getting used to; it saps my energy and makes me tired, and I am sure I don't drink enough water, although I'm trying to do better at it. It's sort of opposite from the Illinois weather, similar to winter in the midwest... keeping the windows shut, not spending much time outside, only going back and forth to the car. It's definitely different, too- a nighttime low in the mid-70s is normal now for here, where back there, that would be a pleasant daytime high! And, in the height of summer, the nighttime lows might only be in the 80s to 90s... but, it's a dry heat, after all- the humidity is probably only 7-10% which actually does help to make it not feel quite so hot.

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