Monday, June 28, 2010

Just another day

It’s just another Monday here in our little corner of the world.  I remember how hard it used to be to get out of the bed on Monday mornings knowing I was facing another full work week.  My, how that has changed since retirement!  This morning I again woke at the crack of dawn and was anxious to get up and start enjoying the day.  It’s still quite pleasant in the mornings so I can enjoy a nice bike ride around the park or just an extra cup of coffee on the patio. 

I’m not the only one that rises early.  Most everyone that resides here gets up to enjoy the cooler temperatures.  I can hear the plink plunk of the pickleball players, neighbors out blowing and sweeping off their patio from all the palm tree pollen and fallen petals, the maintenance and landscape crews scurrying past on the way to the day’s chores.  Pet owners are out walking their dogs while the pavement is still bearable for their puppy paws. 

Don and I have returned from our morning housewatch chores and I’ve emailed a quick message off to our customers letting them know their homes are safe and secure.  We do a few houses each day and truly enjoy the time together with the project.  My camera gets a good work out as I try to take occasional photos of each home we’re watching.

Today we took some leisurely time to watch the landscape crew at work.  The back nine looks VERY nice right now with its lucious green rich color.  It is certainly not an easy chore to keep it looking this nice in our hot dry climate.

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The front nine is “under construction” being aerated along with some drainage repair issues but has still been playable.  I figure it gives the golfers a good excuse for a higher score and also gives them something to complain about.housewatch course 002

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summer has arrived!

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Here is a photo of the thermometer on my patio…and yes, it is in the shade well protected from the hot sun.  I’m afraid this will be a typical picture for the next couple months.  With daytime temps this high, the ground doesn’t have enough time to cool down at night so evenings remain in the 80s or 90s.  We’re still on the patio for EARLY morning coffee, but that too will disappear before too long.  The swimming pool is certainly inviting each morning and evening though.  Afternoons are perfect for a nice secluded siesta in the cool air conditioning.

We set a new weather record this week when the humidity was at an all time low of 2% (that’s TWO percent).  Those of you suffering from the 80s and 90s back east with your 60-80% humidity will be envious.

Another fun way to spend an afternoon is to head up to the Zuni room and decorate bags for the cancer drive luminary project.  Volunteers will try to decorate 5000 bags for this worthy fund raiser.  Decorating sessions are sorta like Girl Scout and summer camp projects with lots of laughter and camaraderie. 

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Our two Bingo “officials” were on duty last night to set up and conduct a summer bingo session.  While we only had 20+ players in attendance, we still had a good time.  Summer bingo includes free popcorn!  (Thank you, Diane)

With so few people in attendance, the game payouts weren’t huge, but its still always fun to be able to win and yell BINGO!  Kelly Kearns and I both won the final blackout game so split the $40 jackpot. 

As we were setting up for the event, I took a picture of the ballroom as it sits in the summer season.  We leave the tables set up so they’re ready for whatever occasion comes along.  It looks nice and festive with its red, white, and blue theme.

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Flo Fillipi and Linda Berry were on hand to take care of the funds and Loren was our caller for the evening.  Thank you!

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Another Pleasant Morning

Did you know we have a turtle living in the big pond by four-way stop?  He can typically be seen basking in the sun out on the water fountain station at the center of the pond but Sandy was able to capture a photo both on the station and on the shore!  Thank you, Sandy, for sharing this Kodak moment.
P1030396 P1030398No, I don’t know how old he/she is…I don’t know how long he/she has been living there, I don’t know how he/she got there, I don’t know what kind of turtle he/she is…..and I obviously don’t know if it is a HE or a SHE.  If any of you readers know the answers, send them my way.  Its always fun to scan the pond to see if “Turtle” is present.
Speaking of turtles and interesting characters found at our lovely resort…I came across this group this morning while out on our morning errands.  Say Hello to “the boys”.
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 Have a GREAT day!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Father’s Day

More good food to talk about!  The park held a dinner to honor Father’s Day and treated all of us to a delicious spaghetti dinner!  The spaghetti was awesome and we certainly had large portions to fill us up along with the variety of breads, rolls, salads and desserts brought by all who attended.  A large screen was set up and showed some very amusing video of old Red Skelton shows.  It was another successful event. 

Thank you Diane Gaines and Linda Balzan for cooking the spaghetti!  It was GREAT!

fathers day 002 fathers day 001 fathers day 003 The palm trees are still doing their blossoming thing.  The bud stalks on the tree at our site burst open over night so we were treated to the pretty white flowers at morning coffee.  The new flowers are covered with buzzing bees to collect the abundant pollen.  Thank goodness the trees are tall and keep the bees up high.

The photo below shows three stages of the growth.  Green stalks on the left, brown stalks as they dry up, and on the far right are the stalks that have split open and show their flowers.  As summer continues on, the bottom fronds of the trees die and hang down waiting for their autumn hair cut.  It is a never ending landscaping chore to keep the trees in prime condition for our winter visitors to enjoy.

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Have a GREAT day!popcorn

Saturday, June 19, 2010

New restaurant coming

This article and photo appeared in today’s paper.
The ever-so-popular chicken chain is said to make a debut in Casa Grande, Arizona. The new location will be in the Promenade Mall at 893 N. Promenade Parkway. According to an announcement made by Chick-fil-A, the new restaurant is set to open in September.

Chick-fil-A specializes specifically in chicken, making it a healthier alternative to other fast food chains. The restaurant offers only fresh and nutritious meals ranging from their original chicken sandwich to chicken salad. Nevertheless, they even have something for those with a sweet tooth as they prepare their rich and decadent ice cream and shakes on the premises.
The chain will offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner - all including chicken. However, they may be more well known for their famous advertisements featuring “the cows” and their signature “EAT MOR CHIKIN” slogan.
Prepare to bring the kids too! This 4,227-square-foot Chick-fil-A will include a large indoor play place for the children and offers great kid's meal deals, according to TriValley Central. Now you can join the new location’s Facebook page here.
To read full menu and learn more about Chick-fil-A visit Chick-fil-A's Site.

Friday, June 18, 2010

From Rosemary Reese (pickleball blogger)

Hi Sue:

Larry Peterson passed away - I put it all on the pickleball blog.  Possibly you could put a note on your blog to see the PB blog as both Larry and Joan had various interests at Palm Creek. 

I am in NY


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Continued cool temps in early morn

Yup, triple digits are finally here in the afternoons so we hide inside for siesta and household chores but we’re still fortunate to cool down in the evening and our mornings are perfect!
We have summer reciprocity with Robson Ranch and Mission Royale for pickleball so the seasoned players have enough people to keep up some good games.  It seems to be working well as the courts are active in the early morn and cool temperatures.   See any familiar faces?
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blog 003 blog 004 While out doing house checks this morning, I came across Avis and Harriet on the golf course.  It looked like a good photo opportunity.  Smile!  You’re on camera!  Send these pics to those poor folks up in the northern states where they’ve had nothing but rain, overcast sky, and high humidity for the past two months.  Just to rub it in a little more, remember that our golf is FREE in summer months!
blog 008 blog 011 Afternoons are HOT so we all seek shade to avoid the sun’s burning rays.  This poor killdeer, however, chose a hot hot hot place to build her nest out in the gravel and hot rocks.  Nature caring residents took pity on her so provided a lean to shelter for her.  I think she really appreciates their handy work as she has not abandoned her nest and seems to be resting comfortably on her four eggs.  I ride by each morning waiting for the cute little chicks to be running around.
housewatch 006 I came across more wildlife this morning as I discovered this stray cat and her three kittens comfortably resting atop an air conditioning unit.  I felt bad when I got too close and they all scattered into the bushes.  I didn’t mean to disturb a comfy nap.  There are mixed emotions about the stray cats in the park.  Yes, they howl and fight at night….sometimes outside our bedroom window….but on the other hand, I’m sure they help keep the rabbit and dove population in check.  Just the same, I hope no one decides to feed the wild cats or they’ll stop hunting and just multiply. 
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That’s all the time I have today folks.  Must hurry up to the club house for an afternoon of cards with “the girls”.  Enjoy your day.
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Another Hummer of a Story

Back on April 13, I wrote a cute blog entry about a hummingbird that had built a nest on a string of lights at Arden & June Griepp’s home.  I thought it was amazing that the bird would build so close to us gigantic humans and it was such a thrill to see them up close.
Just when you think you’ve seen a once in a lifetime thrill, along comes another to top it.  Just down the street from Arden & June, Mama Hummer builds another nest on a string of Easter egg lights at Steve and Sandy’s house….only this time it was TWINS!
Sandy, being an avid photographer, has about 2500+ photos of the nesting experience so be careful if you ask to see a picture.  LOL  Thank you, Sandy.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Flag Day

Whoops…..I did a bad thing yesterday.  I went to the Flag Day hot dog dinner without my camera.  Dang!  I hate it when that happens.  Sorry I don’t have a photo to share with you.  Sometimes I think it’s boring to see these dinners because it’s just pictures of people sitting around tables…..but then I hear from someone who got a laugh out of seeing themselves on the blog or says they heard from a relative or friend who spotted them in a photo.  Guess I’ll just make the camera a permanent part of my attire.

The guys cranked up the grill and cooked us some delicious hot dogs yesterday to celebrate “Old Glory” and give us another opportunity to mingle with friends.  Of course, the tables were loaded with delicious salads and awesome desserts that people brought with them.  Now we’re nagging Diane to get some kind of a recipe collection started.

Today is the first day of the OFFICIAL monsoon season!  June 15 has been designated as the day but our sky is still crystal blue with no sign of any rain or storms in the forecast.  We’ve been a LONG time without any sign or hint of rain.  Oh yes….and our humidity was all the way up to 14% yesterday.  I LOVE this DRY heat.  My sympathies to those of you suffering in muggy humidity. 

After the hot dog dinner, some of us headed out to the pool for water volleyball while others gathered in the card room for Texas Hold’em games.  Life is good.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Just Chatter

Greetings to all blog readers:  I don’t have any big news or announcements but it’s time to post “something” or folks start to complain that I don’t write often enough so I’ll tap dance with tidbits from around the park. chickdncOn the afternoon of June 9 we had a park pizza party with delicious pizzas from Papa Murphy’s.  I was one of the volunteers helping with preparation so got to observe the kitchen in action again.  We were able to bake 7-8 pizzas at a time plus we chopped up all the lettuce for great Caesars salad.  We had 50 people in attendance and everyone seemed to have a good time chatting with friends and meeting newcomers.

In order to estimate the amount of food needed for these events, pre-purchased tickets are required and there is a cut off date with no sales after that deadline nor any sales at the door.  If you didn’t plan ahead, you miss out on the event.  Some folks complain about that but it works like a charm as there were very little leftovers from the last several events.  It’s a great way to keep the food budget in line.  I’m sorry, but I don’t have a lot of sympathy for those folks who complain about having to plan ahead.

Our weather this spring is phenomenal.  Yes, we have some triple digit days where we just hide away in the afternoons (I personally love the siesta tradition) but our evenings and early mornings are wonderful.  It is bright daylight at 5:30 so Don and I are out on the patio for coffee to greet all the folks who are out riding bikes, walking their dogs, or just out for morning fresh air and exercise.  There are quite a few puppy dogs who know we have treats waiting for them when they visit so we’ve become a regular stop on their morning tour.Groups (16) On these quiet mornings, it is quite common to see balloonists and parachutists floating over the palm trees.housewatch 003 housewatch 006 To add to our daily activities, Priscilla and Suzette sponsored a Movie Day for us.  Friday afternoon, we gathered in the San Tan room and watched “It’s Complicated” with Meryl Streep.  I think its more fun to watch these movies here than it is at the theatre because we’re with such a good group of friends and we can laugh out loud without fear of disturbing others.  It was fun and I really enjoyed the movie.  Thanks Priscilla and Suzette for setting it up for us.  MovieDay I see quite a bit of park model construction around the resort so folks are still building sheds and room additions.  I chatted briefly with the gent from Mobile Upgrades the other day and he said he has 8 jobs lined up here at Palm Creek.  John Sturgeon has projects scheduled also.  Here’s a plug for Mobile Upgrades.  He has a nice friendly crew of hard working guys and is quite proud of their work.  1897 (1)Don and I stopped to chat with Eddie from the maintenance group this week and I noticed the cute decoration on his golf cart!  Very clever.Eddie (2)  If you get an opportunity to talk with Eddie, you’ll realize immediately that he’s from New York with that heavy “New Yawk” accent.  He, like the rest of us, moved his family out of the snow and ice and enjoys the Arizona sunshine.  Here’s a thank you and a salute to our maintenance crew for keeping our resort so beautiful.white smiley faceEddie (1)

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Donut Day

Don and I spent another beautiful morning having coffee on the patio and enjoying the wonderfully cool 70+ degree temps.  These cool mornings will soon cease, however, as the weatherman is predicting the triple digit temps for the next few days.  When it heats up that much, it doesn’t always cool down at night.  The moral of the story is to enjoy them while we have them!

Today was “Coffee and Donuts” at the club house at 8:30.  It’s always fun to join these events and chat with the other folks who stay here year round.  blog 006I plunked the plate of leftovers in front of Diane so she would pose for a photo.  Thanks, Diane, for organizing the event!  These activities are always a pleasure.

blog 005After “breakfast", we stopped at the office to say hello to the staff at the front desk.  Today is Valerie’s birthday.  Happy Birthday, Valerie!

blog 008On the way home, we saw some heavy duty digging on the front nine of the golf course.  They’re extending the drain from the swimming pool so the water will drain into a dry well instead of forming a swampy area on the golf course.  There’s always lots of work to keep our resort beautiful.  When you all come back this fall, you’ll never detect that this kind of work was done.  That’s why I like doing this blog cause it keeps you informed of activity while you’re away.

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blog 003  I’m “borrowing” this next photo from Mary William’s website because it’s so interesting to see how they manage to trim all the oleanders along the wall of the park.  Mary and Tom keep a great website of their travels and post a lot of fun stuff while they stay here during winter. 

2010-05-18-trimming-oleanders-305x231The wall is at least 8 feet high and the landscaper just walks along with a long hedge trimmer.

I’ve also taken a couple photos of some palm trees/plants in the park as I find them fascinating when they flower in spring and summer.   Thought it might be interesting for you “snowbirds” who don’t get to see the floral activity.

 housewatch 004These pods seem to rapidly grow near the top of the plant.  Then they dry up and burst open.  These two photos show all three stages as the pod at the lower right is just drying and opening. housewatch 002

I tried to tip the open bloom for a better view but what you can see is the HUGE amount of pollen it produces.  My hand was instantly covered with a thick yellow coating of pollen.  No wonder palms love windy days as that’s how they pollinate (along with the help of the bees and probably doves too).  (Ahhh….choo!!!)

001 The different palms have different blooms.  I have no idea of names or varieties….and I don’t care to study them….I just enjoy them.  Here are some more photos from around the park.

housewatch 003housewatch 008This tree is loaded with some kind of fruit…are they dates or figs??  housewatch 006 The drive north on Cole Circle is gorgeous with all the bushes and trees in bloom and mountains in the distance.

To most of us, this is a common sight but there are many readers of this blog that haven’t been here before or who will be joining us for the first time in the upcoming season so I post these here for their enjoyment …… and because I have fun doing it. 

housewatch 009Ya’all have a great day!