If you use the right ingredients and don't burn it, chicken soup is a cure-all they say. My problem is it's usually not substantive enough to keep me from being hungry an hour later ... kind of like Chinese food.
I tried to duplicate the soup I had down town and it came out pretty good, if I do say so myself!! It took quite a bit of tinkering, but Rotel tomatoes with chilis were the star of the show, along with triple the amount of spices I would normally use. I just kept adding until it tasted right. Chicken soup success!!
We then moved to the back yard to discuss the huge expanse of grass. There are several options, all of which were terribly expensive. Since my life doesn't revolve around upscale parties or a swimming pool, expanding the patio into something akin to a skating rink just isn't in my budget.
Since water is at a premium, even though I have my own well, being conservative would be a really good thing. Not only could I save 40-50% in water use, but half the electric bill by changing to a new efficient system with three sensors that control the watering based on the environment. That's an interesting concept I haven't heard of before. It involves changing out the sprinkler heads and installing a new controller box. This would be much less expensive, but a big selling point should I decide to move in the future.
The Architect calls my gardeners Mowers and Blowers. They mow the grass and blow the clippings everywhere, but have no idea about irrigation, as evidenced by several large dead-grass areas. A new mow strip along the front flower beds will keep the weed-eaters at bay and he will make all future adjustments to the system.
Hopefully I will have an estimate in a couple of weeks. Turns out he used to purchase sand and gravel from our construction company many years ago and we know a lot of the same people. It's a small world. I'm hoping that connection will relieve any chance of a heart attack when I read his proposals, which include all the front lighting, front sprinkler renovation, mow strips and back yard sprinkler renovation. I can have them do all or just some of the work, depending on how much my wallet screams. Once all that is complete, I could even have him revamp the drip system.
It all sounds wonderful, but will come down to cost in the end. At this point, my $2.00 solar path lights, most of which didn't work after three months, just aren't fitting the bill!!