The pool is officially complete.  Minus the inch of sand the wind has blown in this last crazy winding week, we are happy with it! Our in-floor cleaning system has cleaned up most of the sand but it is playing catch up.  NOW it’s time to landscape and keep the sand out of the pool.

There is one thing we didn’t think of… a light in the spa. Hmmm who would of thought 4 walls would block light from the rest of the pool…not us 🙂 It’s one of those mess up we are kind of bothered by, but easily remedied by adding a floating solar spa light.  NBD

I’m not sure what to do about the existing fence.  If money wasn’t an issue I would probably have a block fence built. BUT that is way too expensive.  I have about 50 ficus we bought about 6 months ago for a killer deal sitting in my yard…I could use them to create a living fence but then there is the fact we live in the desert and that is a lot of water which also equals $$.

At some point I am going to run water over to the equipment wall for a shower.  With that in mind I want to plant a tree/s nearby to catch the grey water from the shower. The other day I had mentioned to Kat I only wanted to plant things we could eat. Which brings me back to the ficus and how wrong it seems to plant them. I could go on…what isn’t obviously wrong…pool, water, massive amounts of salt for the pool, ridiculous amount of electric used to run the cleaning pump and waterfall, gas fire-pit…








Brief Pause

Family has headed back north and we are recouping from a long visit, two months              L     O        N         G.

It seems like everytime I go on vacation there is this clarity I don’t normally have. It’s the same thing that happens when relatives leave. Some self reflection happens. One of the things I realized is the house restoration in Palm Springs is way larger than I wanted. I’m looking forward to getting done and getting back to work on lil homesteaders of the hi-des. I love Palm Springs, but there is somthing about the lil mini cabin crack shacks. I get so much more out of taking the infested, teatering heap of desert dots and filling them back with life. So many dreams from 60 years past…left to the wind and suns harshness. They are just sitting there with their doors and windows open waiting…


The pool is heading towards the finish line…at least I hope. The tile is up, raised pool wall, concrete poured, water fall fountain, block wall built in front of pool equipment… Electric, gas and plastering just needs to happen. Since the pool is almost done, the reality of the rest of the yard mess is around the corner.





Oh…one other thing, time I get back in the studio-

Where do I start?

The Sunny Dunes house is starting to shape in to something more than a mess. It still has a million things that need to be done, but our vision is finally taking on a physical form.

Even though Kat and I wore protective equipment, and legally removed up to 200 sqft of asbestos tile as home owners, it was one of the dumbest things we (I) have ever done when it comes to home rehab jobs. I WILL NOT ever do this again!! I was locked in an air tight room for 8 hours scraping and scraping and scraping. We used a spray bottle to keep down the fibers, taped off the room with plastic, boxed and double wrapped the removed tiles, took it to the proper dump in LA, used Bean-e-doo mastic remover (which is non toxic soybean based product), and mopped and mopped and mopped our new floors. The end product is worth it in my opinion (if we paid someone to do it). There is nothing better than concrete floors. Unless there is an earthquake that rocks Palm Springs, we are planning on polishing up these babies.






The guest bath was (is) a mess. The whole house is one big cover-up on top of covered mess. After many days of stripping away the years of mess ups, I think we are finally getting to the point of bringing it back. In the beginning we were blown away by what had been done (glued 2×4’s, plastic bags stuffed in the walls, gobs of plaster warts to patch holes) but now close to nothing surprises me. The other day I was pulling down an old fence that had been glued to a concrete wall and the 4×4’s were maybe 4″ into the ground. It made it easy to pull out!







Since the heat of the summer is around the corner we shifted gears and started working outside.  Normally this would be very exciting but the amount of work that needs to be done in the yard is overwhelming!

After a day of building the concrete forms for the front walkway, I finished setting and leveling them. The next day was hell day. 45 bags of 90lb Quickrete Concrete later, walla! Insta-wakway! The morning after, I made sure to drop in at the local Chinese message stop for some much needed muscle relaxing. For what ever reason I decided to hand mix 4.5 tons of concrete in the the wheelbarrow instead of renting a concrete mixer. Next time I will be renting a mixer.



The pool is taking shape. We ran into a little problem with grade and had to take down the backyard a few inches, about 6. I am not sure how the calculations work out exactly but the further out from the house you get, the lower the grade gets. In the end, we have to add a raised wall onto the pool to act as a retaining wall. Since we are doing this, we decided to add a spillway to help cool the water off in the summers 120 degree heat.

The tile at the water line is a simple white. We wanted the extended pool wall to be concrete  giving it very monochromatic zen zero space feel.   Since it will be over the water, it has been suggested to tile it so the harsh chemicals won’t eat away at the concrete. So the solution was to go with a grey tile that has a similar concrete look but will  be porcelain tile.

After running around to 4 different tile stores, we found a overpriced tile we thought would work great. Amazingly enough we found the same tile but in a larger size for quarter of the price by the contractors desk!






The 1954

So we did it again. We bought another place built in 1954. Only this time this 1100 sqft mid century mess is in Palm Springs. We were looking to buy up in Joshua Tree but there was nothing worth buying at the time.

The 1954 Sunny Dunes house is a little bigger than we like but we bought with the idea of restoring it back to its original roots and then selling it or turning it into a vacation rental.



It’s a horrible mess. I’m not sure what the previous owners were going for prior to us or if they were even aware themselves. They were either inexperienced DIYers or what their story is. Long story short pretty much everything has to be redone.

Since the old gas heater was not in existence, we put Fujitsu AC/ heat inverter (mini split) in the house. After owning the Gree mini split, I don’t think I will ever own another form of heat or Airconditioning. They are so efficient.