Thursday, April 30, 2009

I have no projects to share today...

This week has had some breaks in the routine. The Mister and I decided to see if we could refinance our home and take advantage of low rates and get rid of the specter of an adjustable rate mortgage that looms down the road a few years. The only problem - we are upside down, underwater, possessing of negative equity, or whatever term you want to use for "we owe more than our house is worth"! (remember, we live in the lowest pointy point of the national foreclosure morass and bought our home at the tippy top peak of the market run-up in 2006...)

But, we decided to see how much underwater/upside down we are.

In order to do that, we had an appraiser come.

Before that, we had to make our house looks it's very best.

Not quite "on the market, looking for buyer, best", but we had to give some attention. So, for the last several days, we have been tidying, organizing, cleaning, stashing and sprucing up the place. Then, after the appraiser came and did her looking around, measuring and taking notes, I have been looking for all the things that were stashed in drawers, under the beds and in the car (yes, in the car!)

Anyway that is to say that I have not been able to work on any stitching projects, because I have been busy pretty-ing the house.

And, I have been driving to work, instead of walking as a security measure after a discharged employee exhibited some erratic behavior. (The downside of the "HR" business!)

I have been trying to get 30-40 minutes of walking in each day, so this week, I have been walking in the evening. The Mister goes with me on his scooter and we explore the neighborhoods surrounding ours, on foot.

Many neighborhoods nearby are walled and we just have never had the occasion to drive through them. On foot, we are able to pay more attention to details that we would miss in a car, anyway.

I am fascinated with the variety of cacti in the local landscapes. Many are blooming, or beginning to bud and some are really stunning.

I began carrying my camera with me on our walks and this evening we saw these:

I don't know the varietal names of this one, but I see it blooming in this yellow and sometimes a very hot pink.

This is a little cluster of buds that I will have to check on in a couple of days!

This yard caught my attention after I investigated the iris in the yard next door. (right side of the photo)

Love the purple in this one!

Lots of folks have replaced grass lawns for desert landscape to save water (and because the water company will pay you $10 per square foot of grass that is removed....)

I don't think the folks that live in this house have ever had a grass lawn!This cactus is the whole yard! I would guess it has been growing for 10 or 15 years to get this big!

They never have to mow, but I hope the delivery guy never throws the newspaper in the middle of it!


Anonymous said...

Who knew that cacti could be so varied and beautiful! I look forward to further posts and pictures. Love, WS

Lynne said...

Cacti can be so interesting! Too bad their spines say "stay away"! They look very different from yards here in NJ but the good thing is they don't require mowing! ;)

My last tea towel was completed the day before yesterday and now my hands feel bored. Pics either today or tomorrow. They were so much fun to do and it's all because of you!

Iron Needles said...

Prickly pear, I am pretty sure.

Glad to have a post to read from you. I was missing it, even though we email almost daily!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the cactus pictures Jan! I love cactus! This is scary, my 1st blog comment. Love, Ironman

Martha said...

The cactus gardens are beautiful -- so different from our wet Pacific NW. Good luck on the appraisal -- I'm afraid to Zillow my house these days.

jan said...

Welcome, Ironman! Do not be afraid, this is a safe place!