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high desert. small house.

Days 26-30 – Door jamb work & Las Cruces

This week has seen a continuation of productivity and interesting bugs.  As the house development photos aren’t all that interesting at this stage, this post will feature our recent animal discoveries.


  • Started removing masking tape
  • Started trimming the door opening
  • Chased Sydney down the driveway when she sprinted to (aggressively) bother our neighbor when she returned with her four dogs; all of whom are much larger than Sydney.  Sydney, being Brian’s biggest admirer, ignored me and only returned when he came running.
Giant spider outside our apartment

Giant spider outside our apartment.  This orb weaver was featured in a previous post but was difficult to see.  If you enlarge the photo (click on it) you can see his markings.


  • Finished tape removal
  • Sawed more at door opening; determined it is now big enough for the jamb but the floor is too unlevel to install the door
  • Purchased nail set to drive nails further into wood
Bug eating bug on the north side of our house

Bug eating bug on the north side of our house


  • Started to level the threshold with a pull saw.
  • Widened a joist to catch the edge of a board where the floor was not solid.  It feels MUCH better
  • Decided that a belt sander (which we will also need to level the rest of the floor for the addition of the second layer of subfloor) was needed to fix the threshold and scheduled a visit to Las Cruces to purchase one from Harbor Freight
  • Decided on shower enclosure (Sterling Ensemble) and plumbing fixtures (Delta Windemere) so we could grab them from Lowes while in Las Cruces
Trooper accumulating sawdust on his coat because his refuses to rest more than 3 feet away from me.

Trooper accumulating sawdust on his coat because his refuses to rest more than 3 feet away from me.


  • Drove to Las Cruces for supplies.  Purchased a die grinder, a belt sander, an oscillating tool, accessories for the tools, and the bathroom faucet.  We also spent a considerable amount of time pretending to shower in the shower enclosures to make sure we had enough elbow room.  This experiment may have changed our mind about the shape of shower we want – we might be switching from a 60″x30″ to a 48″x34″.  Con – not long enough to lay down in (but that probably won’t be a problem because we’re nearly certain we’re not going to install a bathtub).  Pro – More elbow room and 12″ freed up outside of the shower to install a shelf
  • Saw a fun bumper sticker while en route to Cruces (featured above at top of post).  It reminded me of another one I saw earlier in the day that said, “Trust your neighbor but brand your cattle.”
  • Awoke in the car on the way home to the sensation of a huge beetle/cockroach climbing around on my upper arm, only a few inches from my face (and likely wide open mouth).  Freak out?  Ummm, yes…he/she/it is now somewhere under the dash.  Hopefully, he decides to move his residence elsewhere over the course of the day.
Cicada nymph, likely at the fourth instar stage.

I found this dead bug while feeding the dogs dinner.  I initially thought it was an exoskeleton but realized it was a dead larva of something once I picked it up and felt its weight.  It’s a cicada nymph, likely at the fourth instar stage.


  • Today – Brian may not know this yet but we aren’t doing ANYTHING today.  After getting home last night at midnight and only sleeping for 4.5 hours, I am in the mood for some R&R.  Maybe we’ll hike the dogs on the property and call it an early night.
  • Generator – we found out that if we rent the generator today (in order to sand the subfloor), we can have it all weekend for the price of one day.  Sounds like a plan!

For a full summary of our experience with Arched Cabins, please read Arched Cabin Summary.

One Comment

  1. Looks like a locust to me for sure.

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