Archive for the ‘Desert Survival Guide’ Category

Recovering from storm damage

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted but I’ll be back in town for awhile and will try to pick up the pace.

What’s new with me? My roof!

Remember the storm at the end of last August? Those 85 mile-per-hour winds removed the roof of both my office and parts of my house.

But it may have been for the better. The storm did damage to the roof and the inside of the house. I was already planning on re-carpeting my the living room and replacing the 70’s style wood planning in the large room at the back of my house.

Some of the damage to the room with wood paneling:

Sample of wood paneling:

Because my contractor could not match the 70’s style wood paneling with anything from the 21st century, I’m getting a break on replacing the wood paneling in the entire room! Goodbye 1976!

I’d like to recommend my contractors and insurance adjuster on Metblogs but I’d like to ask their permission first. Both were fantastic, especially considering how busy they were following the storm. I did use a tool online which gave me a pretty good perspective as to the quotes I would be receiving from contractors. Build Centric gave me free online quotes for both the interior paint job I’ll need completed and carpet installation.

You Can Hear the Excitement Brewing…

The local news stations are all a-buzz. Conversations are happening around the dinner table and at the water cooler. People are stopping each other and asking if they have heard the news.

What is the event that has people so interested? Not politics, not the economy, but…

Other desert regions may be similar, but in my experience Phoenicians reaction to the promise of rainy days is fairly unique.

Rain is rare enough that we take pictures

Rain is rare enough that we take pictures


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Scientific proof that absolutely nothing happens in Mesa.

SustainLane’s study of cities in harm’s way lists Mesa and Milwauke as having the lowest risk for natural disasters. I guess evil heat and beer slobs are not considered natural disasters.

Number two at risk is New Orleans. I have been following trials and tribulations of our friends at MetroBlogging New Orleans and a year later the struggles continue.

Heat fight

Just gotta talk about windows and my eternal battle with Arizona’s heat. I have a small patio home, circa 1984. I secured a home equity loan with the idea of making improvements to my house. I can be a real form-over-substance girl when it comes to aesthetics and a mad desire for new flooring conflicted with more practical replacement windows. The house has cheezy, single pane windows which provide absolutely no insulation. Even in shade, the glass feels hot from the inside. After agonizing and hand-wringing, the pocketbook won out and I contracted for aluminum, double pane, low-E windows.windows_main.gif

Well . . . yesterday, the first of the new windows were installed and oh what a wonderful improvement already. With the strong mid-morning sun streaming in, there was no heat coming through the glass. The low E was doing its job, reflecting and rejecting. The biggest surprise was the appearance from the outside. Being clean, surely helps, but there’s a very subtle effect created by the low E glass. It’s not tinted and yet it might be. I figured they would look better, but didn’t realize how much they upgrade the appearance of the house. If you’re wondering what you can do to lighten your utility load and add a bit of bling to your house, think replacement windows.

Life without Aircon

When we lived up north, we never had air conditioning – not in the house and never in the car. We had heaters and heated seats but not A/C. Hard to imagine what that was like now. But, I feel for the rest of the nation, 164 dead in California alone. Flip side is, I never thought I would need a heater here in the desert…

Did you see this new invention? Would this work in our humidity or lack thereof?

Number 9 – Our Canal System

Do not laugh. The number 9 thing I love about Phoenix is our canal system. We use well over a 100 billion gallons of water a year and growing. On the hottest days, our water use nears 500 million gallons. Almost all of it comes from either the Salt, Verde, or Colorado Rivers and it arrives through our canal system. The Central Arizona Project canal runs from Lake Havasu to Tucson. It is an open aqueduct system. Avereage loss due to evaporation is estimated at around 4%. This stuff really does fascinate me.

Number 9 – Our canal system, really.

Counting down the top 30 things I love about Phoenix, can you feel the excitement?

Number 15 – Detour Dan Beach


No one else can be so cheerful and giddy when describing our horrendous traffic. He does help me navigate and that is why I love him. He is Presh’s favorite radio personality. I actually get “shushed” when he is on the air. Until the light rail is finished, I have Detour Dan to show me the way.

Number 15 – Detour Dan Beach, now really, can any of us make it through the commute without this guy?

Counting down the top 30 things I love about Phoenix as we head to our first BDay party here at MetBlogPHX.

The 122 turns Sweet Sixteen.

It was sixteen years ago today that the temperature hit 122 at Sky Harbor. A friend remarked the other day the last time we had so many days in a row above 110 was that summer sixteen years ago. I am worried. What was that like? Anyone not totally in denial want to share a story?

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