Thursday we had guests for lunch, but there’s a lot of background to cover first.
You may remember that we inherited a dumpy shed when we signed up for this Lot #299 at the SKP Saguaro Co-op Park in Benson, Arizona. It looked OK from the outside, but inside it was a mess. Some of you have actually been brave enough to step inside. It's been nearly four years, and Suzy and I have been haphazardly trying to turn that shed into a mini-casita that we could use as a den / office / entertainment center.
That has not been easy, nor has it been smooth. This year, however, we found that we could HAVE IT DONE for us by a professional licensed contractor, locally respected and recommended, at a reasonable price. So we contracted with Salomon Gonzalez to come in and finish the job. This is what the place looked like, including an open ceiling (most of it just foam insulation panels), patchwork plastering of the bare sheetrock, and tacked down area rugs.l
Salomon, with his son-in-law Paco, started Monday, but we had to start earlier. We moved everything out of the main room of the building, either into its already crowded storage room or into our motorhome or into our trailer. You should see our living room right now. No, you probably shouldn’t.
Our living room has also become Suzy’s work office, as she is up to her ears in accepting registrations for the upcoming Chapter 21 rally (Suzy is the Treasurer of the Chapter). So our dining table is covered with Chapter paperwork, and we are back to eating meals on a little folding table as we have done from the start in the motorhome.
At any rate, Salomon and Paco are busily repairing the lousy wallboard job the previous leaseholders had done, as well as the amateurish patching I had done. They are installing a vaulted ceiling where before there had been only foam insulation tacked loosely to the rafters.
The job will go on for several more days as they texture and paint the walls and ceiling, frame the windows, and replace to totally inadequate front door (made of rough two-by-fours and lined with more foam insulation, all painted gray), and which also is very short – I have to duck going in and out or experience a severe headache. The new door won’t be any taller, but at least it will be a DOOR – with windows!
Because we are so pleased with what these guys are doing for us, and because we picked up a real bargain at Safeway with large trays of chicken drumsticks (13 in a tray for $1.50!) we told them we were going to do a drumstick barbecue on Thursday, and that’s how we had guests for lunch.
Suzy made a big batch of her special potato salad, we bought chips and pickles and cookies and genuine full- sugar-full-caffeine Coke. (We drank Crystal Lite lemonade ourselves.) The chicken was superb! Lemme tell you about it.
It’s easy – just sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the drumsticks, put them on the grill at medium heat, and cook ‘em for about an hour. During the last 10 to 15 minutes, brush them with jalapeno jelly (or jam) that has been heated until it liquefies. That's it! Well, you can add a dipping sauce, if you want (which we did), made of a pint of sour cream, some finely shredded lime peel, a quarter cup of lime juice, a quarter cup of snipped fresh cilantro and a shake or two of salt. Man, that was good chicken!
Now we know how to do chicken on our barbecue grill. Of course, we still want to do more “beer can chicken” now and then.
Stay tuned for more of the casita progress. When it’s all done we’ll put together a web album showing the full history to date of our casita from our first work in 2006 to the completion. In a week or so, we’ll send you a major invitation to come to Benson!
Friends and family, thanks for sharing … Our Life on Wheels.