Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Desert Shade

I know I've said this before, but it can get pretty hot in Tucson.  That wouldn't matter if it cooled down overnight, but in the summer months, you can kiss COOL goodbye!

One of the things that will help this situation is to provide more shade.  Lucky for me, the power situation is SO much cheaper than in California that I run the AC unit all day and night with my thermostat set at 81 degrees.  To help even more, I'm providing more shade at the front of the house.
The crew of one arrived a tad late, but started to work immediately.  After discussing the location and pitch of the roof, I went inside.  I've been known to stand around and watch every bolt installed, but decided this time to let him do his work without someone watching over his shoulder.  Maybe I should have taken a peak a little more often.
When I finally checked on the progress, wasn't I surprised to see it out three feet further than what we measured.  There are two mesquite trees to the right I was trying to keep outside the cover.  I was again surprised to find two limbs cut from the tree.  So much for symmetry!

I didn't get to think about that much when he told me his second in command who showed up late, had just cut my irrigation line in half ..... not once, but TWICE!!  Oh I know they will fix it, it's just irritating.  If you know you broke it once, why did you dig six feet away in the same line and do it again?
Come to find out, the walkway and retaining wall (really just a pile of rocks on the side of the hill) are not straight and even with the house.  Meaning I have enough room on this end for a dance floor and living room furniture!

My two mesquite trees will require a little more trimming today, but I can handle that.    
In the end, it's strong and beautiful and will shade that side of the house, possibly lowering my AC bill even further!!  There is still some molding to be wrapped around the outside edge and some cleanup, but otherwise she's done.  Now it's on to the back yard and gutter installation.
My new porch got her first run-in with the weather last night and stood up well.  I know I keep talking about the thunderstorms, but I'm telling you ..... you have never experienced lightning and thunder like the Arizona desert provides.

About 11:30 Jessie climbed on top of my head, waking me up.  I heard a distant rumble.  In a matter of minutes, there was a lightning flash that almost blinded me, followed instantly by a crack of thunder that made me jump out of bed!!  I'm not kidding folks ..... I'm sure that hit in my back yard.

Good grief Charlie Brown!!!!  Fifteen minutes later it was still going strong, with flash after flash lighting up my bedroom like strobe lights.  Thunder vibrated the entire house right down to the foundation, rattling the windows worse than any earthquake I've experienced in California.  Another ten minutes went by and the rain came down like a waterfall.  

The whole thing lasted about 45 minutes before the thunder moved on down the valley.  It took another hour before Miss Jessie Belle quit shivering, in spite of being rolled up in the blankets and squeezed tightly to me.  Her breathing shook the bed almost as much as the thunder did.  

As usual, there won't be any trains for awhile as they check the tracks.   Apparently a few weeks ago there was a big derailment in Marana (about 45 minutes northwest) due to flooding.

I had plans for today, but since construction began a little late yesterday, I've cancelled them all to keep an eye on the gutter situation.  I'm pretty sure I'll be asleep on the couch anyway, trying to catch up on lost zzzzzzzzz's.


  1. Nice looking porch shade you have now, keeping cooler there in the summer anyway at all is good.
    This sure would be amazing storms to witness, but not likely for us in the summer there.

    1. It's an awesome shade cover. As much as you love the outdoors, you would love the storms here!!

  2. You KNOW the lightning is close when you can feel the hairs on your arms stand up. Once in Arkansas the flash and boom were with lights going hit the telephone/power pole in the backyard. YIKES

    Awning looks nice and probably will help with power bill, and when the hail comes, the sound will drive Jessie right up your leg.

    1. Hahaha you are right about Miss Jessie, Dave. Although we got some crazy rain already and it didn't seem to bother her. It's the thunder that gets her. I hope never to get that close to lightning again!!

  3. Do you have ceiling fans in every room thats one of the best ways to keep your bill lower can you move a lot of air around the house
    The awning that you have installed. what wind load factor did they build it to
    Is it code approved and a permit pulled .
    If your answer is no to the last two questions don't tell your insurance company you got a fancy new porch cover
    If the answer is yes you want The highest wind mitigation factory you can get
    I think the Irish lawn sprinkling goblin is cursing you
    When they put the gutter on. leave one End of the gutter off
    When it rains just take your bar soap out there that's an Arizona outdoor shower .
    Or you could let it fill up a big old horse trough, let it sit a day in the sun and you can have a Jacuzzi.. but please don't hook up the shop vac to it

    1. Hahaha Arizona shower!! Might just work!! Yup ceiling fans are spinning every day and I bought the heavy duty version of shade cover, plus it's set in concrete. I was thinking a kids swimming pool, but a horse trough will last longer!!!

  4. Your shade cover looks great Nancy, it should do a good job at keeping that side of the house cooler.

    1. Thanks Bill. It's already making a difference.

  5. Awesome porch cover! Just let me know what time the dance starts!!
    After seeing your place last winter, we're figuring out where your porch is. :D It's a great idea and should help keep the house cooler.

    1. Did you even see the front? Hahaha my friends always come in the back door!!! You can check it out this winter maybe.