So far, so good

My husband is recovering from Omicron. He’s up and around — but not anywhere near me. I’m hanging out in the casita. I discovered things the casita needs to make it truly a separate living space from the rest of the house. I’m enjoying setting it up.

cat on a dresser with ceramic cat
Olive in the casita.

Amazing that you don’t realize what is lacking until you live in a space for a few days. For example, the casita now boasts dish towels, oven mitts, real dishes, a bath mat, condiments, laundry soap, trash bags, aluminum foil and clear wrap. Lots of little things to make it functional.

My apologies to previous guests who’ve stayed in our casita. It was really more of a glorified bedroom. Now, it’s a complete living space — and we’ll never even have to interact with our guests again. Just kidding.

I’ll be in this space for the next five days while my husband is quarantining. I didn’t want to traipse into the kitchen whenever I needed something, because he’s been in and out of the kitchen for a week with COVID. Something I’ve heard about Omicron is that it stays on surfaces. I have no idea if this is true or not. Have you heard that? But, thanks to my sister-in-law’s suggestion, I bought Clorox wipes. I got those at Target along with everything else.

I was fighting myself on the first night to not go into the master bedroom to check on my husband, and to stay out of the kitchen. He was so sick and in so much pain, I decided it wasn’t worth it to get it, too. So, here I sit in my own little space. The casita was a life-saver when we moved in because we bought the furniture from the prior owners. Our furniture didn’t arrive with us, so at least we had a place to sleep!

The casita is connected to the rest of the house by a hallway. It has it’s own vents, heat and air, so I’m not being infected with my husband’s germs. Kitty Olive has decided this is a good place to be, so I got her cat food, litter box and cat grass and she’s hanging out with me.

Have you or family members quarantined with other people in the house? How did you manage? Have you thought about preparing a place for someone who gets sick to be separated from the rest of the family? Why do you think some people in the same family get COVID, while others do not?

kitchen with yellow oven mitts and dishtowels.
Getting the casita stocked and organized. Like the oven mitts and dish towels?

When guests know more than you

Saguaro cactus with arms
A saguaro we encountered on our hike in the preserve with guests. It must be at least 200 years old.

Leave it to out-of-town guests to show us what’s what in our new area. This past weekend we had friends, who are also former work associates of my husband’s, stay with us for the weekend. They insisted we go with them to the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM.)

This was after a big hike in our preserve and me preparing my spinach avocado quesadillas because we were famished.

Our guests wanted five hours in the museum. My husband said two hours tops. He thought he’d get bored and he couldn’t stand for much longer than that. It turned out to be amazing. It’s the number one attraction in the Phoenix area and one of the top 15 museums in the country. And I had never heard of it.

It turned out that in two hours we didn’t complete two galleries. My husband picked up a brochure to become members! We’ll be taking guests to MIM and spend countless hours there on our own. There is so much more to explore. Unfortunately, I left my phone at home, so I’ll put up some links instead of photos.

Here’s a short video showing the Artist Gallery that we spent the most time in. It gives a good idea of how the exhibits are set up.

You wear a headset and it automatically plays music when you stand in front of a screen at displays. For example, at Woodstock I listened to Joan Baez and Carlos Santana. The exhibits had original instruments played by the artists, gold records, grammy’s, costumes, hand written lyrics or music. Fascinating stuff.

A list of displays in the MIM Artist Gallery.
From the MIM website: a list of displays in the Artist Gallery.
This is from the visitor’s brochure to give you an idea of the exhibitis.

They also have concerts. I am so thrilled to learn of this place, even though my husband cut our visit short. At least we can go back whenever we want and it was our guests third or fourth visit there.

What are your favorite places to visit where you live? Have guests helped you explore your area? What artists on the list above are your favorites?

Working on the Guest Room as the Guests Arrive: A Horror Story of a Small Remodel Job

A finished guest room I  had envisioned.

A finished guest room I had envisioned.

We started a remodel over a month ago. We told the contractor that we needed the guest room done, finished, completed no later than March 10th.

WELL. It’s March 12th and it’s not done. The guests arrive for spring break mañana.

Not that I’m stressing or anything. YIKES!!!!

The room today with guests on their way.

The room today with guests on their way.

It was a simple job really, too small I guess for a contractor to take seriously — sprucing up one room with attached bath. They said, “no problem.” They started off with gusto, a handful of workers spending from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. working away.

I believed that the work would be done. I was excited and happy.

Then there was no one showing up. For days on end.

What’s with that? I have guests arriving tomorrow, and we’ve seen neither “hide nor hair” of workers — except for two separate, brief occasions.

One was to paint the gorgeous wood beams, which my husband (who has absolutely no taste whatsoever — except for his taste in women) had determined needed to be a deep chocolate brown rather than left alone in their natural beautiful state.

He didn’t take into account that the French doors and ceiling fans were a natural color — and they all matched perfectly!

The beams in the natural glory.

The beams in natural glory.

The other occasion we’ve seen a worker was when one came back to undo the chocolate brown and try to return the natural wood to a close resemblance of it’s former self.

Natural wood beams painted chocolate brown. Seriously?

Natural wood beams painted chocolate brown. Seriously?

Honestly, after this experience, I wonder how married couples make it through remodels. I refuse to update my kitchen.

As for the houseguests, I guess we will have to make do with things the way they are, and I have to relax about it.

I've got some cleaning to do.

I’ve got some cleaning to do.