Thursday, August 17, 2017

Ciudad del Alimento

Don't have time for a trip to the lovely and lively country south of the border? Going to Food City is like shopping in Mexico. Norteño music greets you as you enter, and all the signs are in Spanish and English. You can get a piñata or a statue of La Virgen de Guadalupe or a memorial candle. The produce is cheap, but never organic. 

It's really pretty amazing. Many of the customers and cashiers are speaking Spanish. 
You'll find the usual assortment of dulces, principally made of corn syrup, sugar and food coloring. But it's fun to be dazzled by all the colors. 
They even have a health supplement section to counteract the effects of los dulces. 
I was amazed to see giant bags of chia seeds, a staple of my vegetarian diet. I make chocolate chia pudding, flavored the Mexican way with cinnamon and chili powder. It reminded me of how delighted I was to find chia seeds for sale in Pátzcuaro a few years ago. I thought I just got lucky, but the shelves at Food City suggest chia seeds are staple of Mexican cuisine. It's got me hankering to head south again. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Free Water


If you have central air conditioning, and you're not harvesting the condensation, you're missing out on free water. Many air conditioners have a condensation line that dumps water out of a pipe right next to the house. Water near the house is a problem for a few reasons. It could cause land subsidence, which could damage your foundation. It can also attract termites and other wood destroying organisms like mildew. 

So grab that water! Buy a garden hose fitting like the one in the photo at a hardware store. Attach a garden hose, and put the other end on a thirsty plant. 

Being the geek that I am, I got to wondering how much water this system produces. A few days ago when the temperature was 97 and the humidity was only 17%, I collected the water from the condensation line in a measuring cup. I was impressed to find I collected 0.7 gallons per hour! 

Someone pointed out that this water doesn't have a lot of minerals in it, which is true, but it also doesn't have the nasty chlorine that comes out of the hose that's attached to the hose bib. It doesn't seem to hurt the plants. Here's my new Mexican Honeysuckle, about to get a nice drink. 


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Staying Cool When It's 107

When you have to wear a fur coat all summer, you look for any opportunity to cool off. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

'S Wonderful! 'S Marvelous!

Lovely, light and spacious two bedroom, two bath townhome in the perfect foothills location close to St Phillips Plaza and the Rillito Riverwalk. End unit offers privacy. Two car carport with storage rooms.
Cheery eat-in kitchen with stainless steel appliances. Ceramic counters and backsplash. Beehive fireplace in living room, which is over 16' x 27' and includes the dining area.
Diagonally scored concrete floors. Smart neutral color scheme.
Lovely northeast-facing back patio is a relaxing spot for admiring the beautifully landscaped and well-maintained common area. More storage out here.
Here's your community pool.
Guest bedroom could be a fine office, with its custom shelving, outside entrance, bathroom and recessed ceiling lights.
Gorgeous remodeled master bathroom with travertine-look ceramic, walk-in shower and generous granite vanity top.
Huge master bedroom is over 12' by 22' with two windows to the back porch.  The interactive floorplan is here. This lovely home sold for $215,000 on August 15, 2017.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

2716 N Warren Ave


This is the front unit in my pair of duplexes, and it's the fanciest one. I call it my Bag Lady Back Up Plan. I made this place so nice that if the second Great Depression wipes out everything I have, I could happily live here myself. It has high, open beamed ceilings that make it feel larger than its 900 square feet. Two bedrooms and one bath. The floor plan is here. The decorative (non-functioning) fireplace has a cozy bench in front of it. Walkscore.com calls this location "Very Walkable. Most errands can be accomplished on foot".

Kitchen has pretty blue counter tops, gas stove, maple cabinets, refrigerator and dishwasher. Tile floor through out.
The bathroom tile and color are a knock out. The dining room has floor to ceiling windows and a ceiling fan. You have exclusive use of a washer and dryer in your small storage shed. Covered carport plus off street parking for another car. Central air conditioning and gas heat. I pay for the water, you pay for the gas and electricity.
To rent it, you must have good credit and landlord references. No first time renters, and no co-signers, please. No smoking and no pets. The rent will be $785, but if you pay it early, you can pay $770. Deposit is $785.
I am the owner/agent and property manager. Equal Opportunity Housing. This apartment is leased through June 30, 2018.

1415 E Seneca St

I have owned this sweet little University-area home since 1995. I invested almost $25,000 in 2016 in flooring, new kitchen, plumbing, electrical, fence, HVAC and painting.
Only four blocks to University Medical Center. Its desirable Jefferson Park location can't be beat. This little two bedroom, one bath house is like a mountain cabin with its high, open beamed ceilings and wood paneling. Ceramic Saltillo look-alike tile throughout. 
The operative word is little. At only 750 square feet, it is tiny, but my tenants happily stay for years because of the comfort and convenience of living here. The floor plan is here

I really got carried away with the bathroom. Adorable hand painted Talavera tile in the shower. Beautiful calla lily ceramic mirror. Too cute.
The sweet new kitchen has a dishwasher, gas stove, microwave and refrigerator. 14 SEER air conditioner and gas furnace were installed in June 2016. Ceiling fans in kitchen, living room and bedrooms. 
There are hookups for your washer plus gas or electric drier on the back patio. Grey water goes to the gorgeous mesquite. New corrugated metal fence on west side of the fully enclosed back yard.
Gigantic yard and enormous 12' x 26' storage shed. 
I am the owner/agent. To rent it, you must be self-supporting, and have good credit and landlord references. No smoking and no pets. Equal Opportunity Housing. Shown with 48 hours notice to tenant. Rent is $975 per month. Available for the next resident to move in June 2, 2017. Lease through June 30, 2018. Renewable in one year increments after that. If you pay the rent early, you can pay $960. Deposit is $975.

This property is rented through June 30, 2018.