CS #717 - The New Normal

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Hand soap is Number One agent in this household, too, but in the past several months I've had to have plumbers in here -- early on, in March and again in April, a problem with kitchen sink backing up with contents not my own (an unfortunate aspect of living in a multifamily dwelling), but finally after the second visit they were able to (I hope) resolve whatever the blockage was way out in the pipeline. Then in September I had to have them in here again, this time to replace my hot water heater, which was on its last legs after about fifteen years, and each time after their visits I felt it a good idea to do a careful cleaning/wiping down of surfaces, etc., since they do, of course, go from home to home as part of their daily responsibilities. When it's just me around here, not so much of an urgency to disinfect all surfaces beyond the usual general basic cleaning. In the beginning of the Pandemic I wore not just the mask to the grocery store but also disposable gloves and after I got home with my purchases wiped down jars and cans before putting them away, but now I don't feel that this is as necessary. Trips to the store involve a disposable mask, yes, but no gloves, just a good application of hand sanitizer prior to entering. When I've arrived back home with everything, after I've brought bags into the house, I toss the mask into my trash, wash my hands and then put things away and that seems to be sufficient. Knock-on-wood, I still seem to be healthy!

I don't go out and mingle with people much, and my closest associates these days seem to be Alfred, a few ducks and some geese, along with the sparrows and squirrels while I maintain safe social distancing behind my long camera lens...... LOL!
 
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As the cost of living rises in California/Arizona, people with money and transportable jobs, buy comparatively cheap land here and build (by local standards) monstrous houses ("Starter Castles" or "Hill-Top McMansions") and drive up the cost of regional real estate. These are built just outside city limits, (what we call leap frog development) and lead to fragmented farmlands.

This one, smaller than most, has a 3 car garage in the main house, room for 3 more plus a tractor for winter plowing, in the shop building) and the poor RV lives outside. Yup, the new normal in the west, sigh!

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As the cost of living rises in California/Arizona, people with money and transportable jobs, buy comparatively cheap land here and build (by local standards) monstrous houses ("Starter Castles" or "Hill-Top McMansions") and drive up the cost of regional real estate. These are built just outside city limits, (what we call leap frog development) and lead to fragmented farmlands.

This one, smaller than most, has a 3 car garage in the main house, room for 3 more plus a tractor for winter plowing, in the shop building) and the poor RV lives outside. Yup, the new normal in the west, sigh!

View attachment 1671369
Yep! It's the new normal here, too!! Three of my daughters have sold houses in the past year and all three were to Californians.
 
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As the cost of living rises in California/Arizona, people with money and transportable jobs, buy comparatively cheap land here and build (by local standards) monstrous houses ("Starter Castles" or "Hill-Top McMansions") and drive up the cost of regional real estate. These are built just outside city limits, (what we call leap frog development) and lead to fragmented farmlands.

This one, smaller than most, has a 3 car garage in the main house, room for 3 more plus a tractor for winter plowing, in the shop building) and the poor RV lives outside. Yup, the new normal in the west, sigh!

View attachment 1671369
Wow! Looks huge.
 
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As the cost of living rises in California/Arizona, people with money and transportable jobs, buy comparatively cheap land here and build (by local standards) monstrous houses ("Starter Castles" or "Hill-Top McMansions") and drive up the cost of regional real estate. These are built just outside city limits, (what we call leap frog development) and lead to fragmented farmlands.

This one, smaller than most, has a 3 car garage in the main house, room for 3 more plus a tractor for winter plowing, in the shop building) and the poor RV lives outside. Yup, the new normal in the west, sigh!

View attachment 1671369

That's an excellent photo, Nick, and illustrates your point well.

There was a similar phenomenon in Los Alamos, NM, when I was on sabbatical there in the early '90s. But it was scientists transferred there from the California labs who sold homes in CA and built in NM. They built huge mansions on ridge lines on the edge of town. It was called "Livermore Row".
 
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That looks like a normal sized house by today's standards.
Our "monster" homes tend to go over 10,000 sf. This type of living is mostly cultural and prevalent among South Asian families that have a strong family bond and like to pool their resources together.
 
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The new normal... On the first day of my retirement, I did some coloring with Theo, instead of working on the computer...
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