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18 July: Saturday

La Quinta, California: Sorry, no new photos of the new abode tonight. So busy. So tired.

Dave and I had made some-sort of agreement to only work at the house three-or-four hours in a day. We have yet to keep to this plan. Once we start opening boxes, there is no end to our curiosity... no matter I have a detailed spread-sheet, so know every single item in every single box!

I finished-up the media room in the "guest wing" of the house today. The media room joins the two en-suite guest rooms (one with a King bed; the other with two twin beds). There is a sofa and a TV... but I will also needlepoint in this room, and store my stitching supplies here as well. Most of the time, it will just be me, my needlepoint canvas, and my audio books. Oh, and probably a glass of wine. When we have guests, this room can be an additional quiet space, TV-watching area or play room. Just in case, I ordered a sofa than is also a sofa bed. Who knows?

Then we started on the Master bed and bath. Not too much to unpack there, as most of our clothing, toiletries, etc., are in the motorhome. Our bedroom may have to be referred to as the "SE Asian Room" as we have a Chinese wedding bed, a Thai elephant chair sofa/daybed and a Filipino cabinet in the room. May I also add, this room... with all the above mentioned furniture, seems practically empty. Huge room. Super tall ceilings.

While unpacking our master closet items today, we came across several "over the door" hooks. The doors in our new house are 8 feet tall. I will be sending these hooks to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Next, we unpacked our living room items, mostly items from Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. A lot of blue and white pottery. Paintings. Carvings. And a scepter. Doesn't everyone needs a scepter? When we die, Lisa will kill us. So. Much. Stuff. (And, we downsized.)

Then, the paintings, prints, framed art. This is going to be our biggest issue. Our new house is half the size as our old house, but this house has so many walls made of glass. Not a lot of places to hang art. eBay!

By the time we left today - at 5p - we had only the kitchen and Dave's office to unpack. The kitchen will take the longest time of all, but by 5p, the new drawer dividers, nor liner paper, had not been delivered as promised. (I just checked and it was all delivered at 6:15p.)

Sorry Amazon, we have better things to do tonight! Dave's college roommate, Red, was celebrating his Medicare Birthday tonight and we were invited to the party in Chicago - via Zoom. So much fun to see Red, Marcia, and all the roomies. Dave first met Red in 1973, in the dorms at the University of Oregon. In 1973, these boys all had "ones" in front of their ages. Now they have "sixes" and are all retired. So much fun tonight, chatting with Red, and all their long-time college friends/roommates. Happy Birthday, Red!

Before we left this morning, I popped Beef Barbacoa Tacos in the slow cooker (recipe below), so dinner was ready for us after our unpacking and Zoom Birthday Party.

Beef Barbacoa
Make-your-own Taco Bar

Really delicious and quite spicy tonight. Perfect with our Birthday margaritas.

Tomorrow: I tackle the kitchen. Remember me in your prayers.

Until my next update, I remain, your moving correspondent.


I'm putting this out front: in no way is this recipe authentic. Barbacoa is a dish requiring an entire critter to be roasted in an underground pit. Depending upon the region of Mexico, the critter could be a cow, a goat, a sheep, or even a pig. This dish, translated by a RV cook, requires a few spices, a chunk of beef and a slow cooker.

Barbacoa is made with smoked jalapenos - Chipotle - but my RV version is downsized further by using spicy dried Chipotle Chile Flakes (I like The Spice Hunter brand). Less messy than using canned or jarred peppers. (We are camping.) Plus the dried flakes are great on all sorts of things... eggs... baked potatoes... soups and stews... grilled fish and veggies. The fact the meat braises for six-to-eight hours in a slow cooker (while you are hiking moving) just makes it all so easy.

The beef is just a bit spicy, so use only one teaspoon of the dried chiles if cooking for non-fire eaters, or bump it up to a full 3 teaspoons if the Devil Hisownself sits at your table. The tacos are traditionally served on warm corn tortillas, but I usually use flour "street taco" tortillas these days - with only diced onion and cilantro. Add a bit of hot sauce or fresh tomato if you choose.

NOTE: I use boneless chuck roast in this recipe, but you could use a small brisket. Choose any marbled piece of beef that can be easily shredded. Enjoy!

One large onion, chopped fine, divided (see below)
2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
One jalapeno pepper, seeded (if desired) and minced
2 teaspoons dried Chipotle Chile Flakes (or to taste)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
pinch of cloves
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about two limes)
2.5 pound boneless beef chuck roast
1 Bay leaf

warm flour (or corn) tortillas
chopped onion (see above)
fresh cilantro leaves
hot sauce, such as Chulula (optional)

Chop the onion. Reserve about one quarter of the onion to serve with the tacos, and place the remaining 3/4 of the onion in the slow cooker. Add the minced garlic and jalapeno, dried Chipotle flakes, cumin, oregano, cloves, salt and pepper to the onion and garlic mixture to the slow cooker. Pour the fresh lime juice over all and stir well.

Remove any large fatty bits from the beef roast and slice the roast into three or four chunks. Bury the chunks of beef into the spicy onion mixture, turn to coat well with the spice mix, and tuck a bay leaf into the slow cooker. (Do not be alarmed the mixture is so dry - it won't be in a few hours.) Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

After six-to-eight hours, remove the beef from the slow cooker to a large cutting board, rimmed baking sheet, or plate. Use two forks to shred the beef and keep the shredded meat warm under a sheet of aluminum foil.

Discard any liquid from the slow cooker.

Serve the shredded Barbacoa in warm flour or corn tortillas with chopped onion and cilantro.

This is a great meal. Serve the tacos with chips, guacamole, and a fruit platter. The recipe will make over a dozen tacos.

4 thoughts

  1. Terry, You made us laugh out loud “When we die…Lisa will kill us” You have no idea of the gift your downsizing is. My mom, a retired HS school teacher, left for a semester assignment in Australia several years ago, wanting to rent out her home (furnished). Her start date was suddenly moved up, so it was up to us to get the house ready. I vividly remember cleaning out the large closet under the stairs – graded papers not returned, mixed with clippings of events, recipes, old HS text books…and my parents marriage license! It took us over a week, starting after we got off work until past midnight and all weekend. And when she got back a year later, she didn’t even notice. Lovely Lisa is a very lucky girl!

    1. Thank you, but it seems we still have a lot of stuff. The movers said we had practically nothing compared to most moves.

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