Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday Update

Priscilla Chafin joined us for cards yesterday afternoon.  It is always nice to see her out and about.  (Diane Reese, Priscilla, Suzette Taylor, Connie Morin, and me behind the camera.)

While we are out on house watch rounds, we keep our eyes peeled for wildlife as well.  A pair of roadrunners scooted across the road in front of us this morning and one of them stopped on these rocks.  He is certainly in his habitat.  Makes for a nice photo.

Much much action up at the north gate this morning.
Now it is time to reconnect the electric lines they had to sever in order to dig the sewer trench.  Gray pipe represents electric lines.  I never stopped to think about all the color coding for piping.

 We briefly chatted through the fence with these gents while they were busy at work and gave them the address for the blog.  It should be fun to share this site with their family tonight.  Thanks, guys!
Here are the connections to the transformer.
Back out in the field we could see the purple pipe being laid out for the sprinkler system at the ballfield.
Off in the distance we can see stacks of concrete blocks being brought in to construct the wall.
Photos taken from the patio of Site 22 again.  Will be able to show you more the next time Jim Dawson takes me along in the truck.
Have a great day folks.  Keep those emails coming my way.  I love hearing from you and you keep me motivated to spend all this time at my keyboard.
P.S.  Out of curiosity, I looked up the grammatical spelling for the word "gray".  Very interesting so thought I'd share this tidbit:
Gray and grey are different spellings of the same word, and both are used throughout the English-speaking world. But gray is more common in American English, while grey is more common in all other major varieties of English. The phrase grey area/gray area, meaning an area having characteristics of two extremes, may be spelled either way. Graybeard/greybeard, referring to an older man with a beard, is also spelled both ways. So is gray squirrel/grey squirrel. But greyhound—the breed of dog—is always spelled with an e.

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More Monday News

We had another truck tour onto the construction site this afternoon.  This is a massive project with so much happening every hour.  Today Ernesto and our crew were finishing off the trench where they poured the footers and rebar for the wall that will surround the pickleball courts.

I eavesdropped while Ernesto and Jim Dawson compared notes about the concrete delivery.
See the purple paint line along this road?  Purple is the universal international code for gray water lines or nonpotable water.  I learn something every time we go out on the field.  This line extends from the golf course to the new softball field for irrigation.
Purple pipe for gray water lines.
Here's where the trench connects to the golf course system.
Green pipes are for sewer lines.  Because the sewer installation is such an immense project, they decided to bring in more equipment to hurry things along.  This crew is starting about midway and will connect with the crew that started at the north gate.
This trench is about 7 feet deep.
Outside the perimeter on Cottonwood, a crew is pouring the footings to support the new concrete water channel that will run along Cottonwood.
In addition to the huge construction project, more maintenance is happening around the park.  All the satellite buildings have been painted and fixed up including the laundry rooms, showers, and restrooms.  They've all been painted inside and some rooms have new flooring.  Now it's time to paint the outside.  All the concrete walls are being patched for painting.
The oleanders and shrubs must be trimmed way down to allow access to the walls.  Don't worry though....those oleanders are FAST growing and will be back in bloom before long.  Everything will soon look fresh and new.
Another HUGE project is to redo the swimming pools.  They'll start with the big pool first by draining it, resurfacing the entire bottom, retiling, painting, etc.  Then the kool deck area will be redone around the pool.  When that pool is completed, they'll start at the north pool.  Sure am glad we'll always have access to a pool or my summer wouldn't be near as complete.  It's too hot to swim during the day but it is perfect just as the sun goes down.
Here's Louis with the daily chore of washing the pool filters and keeping the water crystal clear and clean.  The daily dust storms keep this job a real challenge.
We also spotted one of the mailroom volunteers as she was stuffing the mailboxes this morning.  Thank you, Helen.
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Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Progress

Progress continues on the sewer line.  Now you can plainly see where the concrete silos were lowered into place and the manhole entrances are left. 

The trench will gradually get shallower as it continues.
Here are some photos from the back patio of Site 27 (permission granted from Earl Maxon up in Alaska).  The two blue shirts are Jim Dawson and Fernando out to inspect the progress.
Looks like part of our landscape crew has the honor of digging the trench for the concrete wall that will parallel the water ditch.
Rebar is already in place for the concrete wall. 
It is HOT out there in the sunshine but I'm sure Faustino could work circles around any 10 of us. 
That purple pipe out there is for the sprinkler system for the softball field.
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We're having quite a nice monsoon season here this year.  You can set your clock almost every afternoon as it nears 3:00.  That's when the wind picks up.  Many times it brings a little dust and dirt with it but it helps to circulate the hot air.  Occasionally the wind brings some rain too which we always appreciate.  We had some measurable amounts lately.  Never a whole inch at a time but every drop counts out here in the desert.  Beautiful sky yesterday.

It was a quiet Sunday so Don puttered at his computer learning how to edit videos with Windows Live Movie Maker.  Here is his first attempt showing in 30 seconds how the sewer sections were installed.  Good job, Don!  Never too old to learn new tricks.  :)
On a more serious note:  I received an email from a friend alerting the fact that the grandson of one of our Palm Creek Quilters was tragically shot in that Aurora, Colorado theater shooting spree.  Here is the message I received: 
"I have some bad news to let you know. Rae Iacovelli's grandson, Alex Treves, was one of the victims of the theatre shooting. He was 24 and shielded his girlfriend from the shot. He had just graduated from college. I thought maybe you have the list of Palm Creek Quilter's and would consider getting the word out to them. I am sure a word from them to her would mean a lot.. her email address is: sewzalot@aol.com"

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Casa Grande News Report

The city of Casa Grande just sent out this news release.  You folks will have lots of new stuff to see when you return this fall.

P.S.  Tomorrow is Sunday so I'm taking the day off.  Ta Ta for now.

P.S.S.  We had a beautiful rain here tonight.  Not very long but precious.
As usual, areas north and south of us received more.  The heaviest rains always seem to go around us. 


Construction Update: Downtown Streets Project

July 25, 2012
High temperatures and monsoon rains have not put a damper on construction in downtown Casa Grande. City officials say construction is right on schedule to revamp Florence Street from Florence Boulevard to Main Street and rebuild the intersection of Second and Florence Streets into a plaza design.

The trees that once lined Florence Street have been removed and are being replaced with new trees that will help define parking spaces and provide adequate shade. The sidewalks are also being expanded to make them more pedestrian friendly. They are being replaced with gray, gold and brown strips of concrete. At intersections, the sidewalks will be deep red. The color pattern on the sidewalks is meant to reflect the Pueblo Deco style, which is similar to the style of the 1939 Southern Pacific train depot, which burned down in 2009.

"What we're really trying to do here is remake downtown," said Mayor Bob Jackson. "Downtowns historically need to be kept up. When potential businesses come to Casa Grande they always want to see what our downtown looks like. This project will show prospects that we have a vibrant downtown and a vision for the future."

Judy Kieser, owner of Terminus Antiques in downtown, agrees with Mayor Jackson. "I think this project lets people know that we do have viable businesses here," she said. "I believe this shows that the city does care what happens to the small business person because that's what's down here on Florence Street."

Betty Whitely, owner of Faust Training Post, believes the changes being made in downtown will encourage people to come down. "It's exciting to see people get excited about this project. The city has helped encourage the positive by wanting to reinvent the downtown area. Once the project is complete, downtown will be a great place to visit, sit and chat, it's going to be sweet. There is so much down here for people to see."

Downtown Casa Grande is home to many shops and restaurants, an Art in the Alley monthly event from September through June, an annual Street Fair/Car Show in January, and a year round Farmers Market held every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

"One of the biggest advantages to downtown shopping is the personalized service you get from merchants that you don't get any place else," said Mayor Jackson. "If you've not been in downtown lately, I encourage you to visit and see the renovations being made."

All businesses in downtown remain open during construction. Streets also remain open for most of the project. Construction crews primarily work over night but on occasion are out in the morning until about 11 a.m., depending on how hot the weather is.
"The investment we're making down here right now is going to pay dividends as we go out and recruit new businesses and industries for the community, and that's why it's so important to maintain and update the downtown from time to time," said Mayor Jackson.

The downtown streets project is scheduled to be finished in the Fall of 2012.
Click on this link for a city video:  Casa Grande News Release

Taco Dinner plus how to build a manhole cover.

Yesterday was our first ever Taco dinner at Palm Creek.  It was GREAT!  Congratulations to Diane Gaines for another VERY successful event.  These dinners and outings are so fun in the summer because we have a small crowd and get to know just about everyone who stays here during the summer heat.  We're tough!

It was fun to discuss "how to build a taco".  Which ingredients do you layer?

It is Saturday but this crew is busy at work on the sewer line.  This is the first time Don or I ever saw an installation of this kind so it was truly fascinating to watch.  Luckily there was cloud cover this morning so we didn't have to stand out in the full sun. 
He is obviously an experienced crane operator as he made it look so easy. 
  They applied some thick adhesive strips around the circumference of each concrete piece.

Yesterday they poured concrete around the ends of the two sewer pipes.  Today the man is down there spreading some heavy adhesive around the edges.
Then the crane lowers the concrete silo into place.

Each section gets lowered and placed just perfect....ending with the manhole cover at the top.

I should have a great video of this process in another day or two.  Don is learning video editing (we think). 
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