Monday, December 25, 2006
First guests were Gigi and Murphy.
Rally, the wonder dog.
And Macey wearing her "Who's Your Doggie?" t-shirt and sporting a collar of jingle bells.
This afternoon we headed up to the ballroom for a Christmas feast. I didn't think the park crew could possibly be as successful as they were in preparing our Thanksgiving meal, but they did it again. They managed to serve over 400 people in just 20 minutes and each table received hot delicious home cooked food. It was great! Thank you to all the volunteers and kitchen elves who made it possible. We had a happy hour at 3:00 with dinner following at 4 and lots of laughter
through the whole afternoon.
Even the weather cooperated to give us a great day with temps in the high 60s and plenty of Arizona sunshine. Folks were out golfing, playing pickleball, riding bikes, playing tennis, and just having a fun time.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Bev and Mike Connolly hosted their famous "Love Thy Neighbor" Christmas party last weekend. What a great time! This year's bash was held in the San Tan card room here at the resort so we could eat, drink, and be merry indoors. We all brought a nice gift to place at the front table. After a delicious potluck happy hour, we opened the packages via drawing numbers from the hat. When your number was drawn, you could open a gift from the table or steal one from someone who had already opened theirs. What a riot! Highly envied gifts like booze, vibrating chair cushions, beverage blenders, etc. got traded back and forth like hot potatoes! Lots of raucous laughter emerged as some folks chased after coveted stolen gifts. Bev finally had to limit the number of trades so the party could continue. I'm sure we all went home with a plethora of happy memories. Thank you, Bev and Mike, for a wonderful time.
We not only celebrate the Christmas season at this time of year, but some of us have wedding anniversaries to honor as well. Bob and Bev Carte celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on December 18 plus Don and I hit our 38th on December 21. We joined forces and went out to dinner at Picacho Steakhouse for a super evening of good food, great friendships, and awards for putting up with each other so many years. I'm posting some casual photos of the happy couples.
Bob and Bev received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from their daughter, Susan.
This blurb about Mexico isn't really related to Christmas, but I neglected to post this earlier so you get the info today. Better late than never.
Don and I are avid Mexico shoppers when it comes to dentistry, drugs, eye glasses, etc. as the service, prices, and adventures are well worth the trip. If any of our Palm Creek friends are interested in going and want detailed information or recommendations for specific doctors, etc., give us a call. Just a word of advice for visiting south of the border during winter season: Be prepared to face a long line when returning through customs...and be sure to have your passport handy as new regulations are effective January 2007. Just allow yourself some extra time when planning to leave as the line will be long but moves along rather quickly. We usually start up a friendly conversation with other folks in line and before you know it, you have new stories to share and have met some great friendly people from other parts of the country (or Canada!). Here are some pics of the exit line on our last trip.
Remember the story I posted about Donna and Larry Kraft and their new puppy named Blanco? They were here for a nice visit yesterday so, of course, we have updated photos of our "godpuppy". This was Blanco's first real experience at "socializing" with so many different people and other dogs. She did really well and as you can see, she wasn't intimidated by Rally's large size.
Our little godpuppy loves shoestrings so be careful when you get up to walk around.
Here's Donna proudly showing her newest family addition to Bob and Bev.
It was so nice to see our cluster of friends together again.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
You'll notice some icons at the bottom of each update. You can post a message at each one to say hello or to add your two cents to my comments. (Be kind!) Feel free to post a message.
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Neighbors assist with the decorating. That's George helping Mike...and Don keeping Frank in line.
The biggest chuckle this week came from my friend Char. We were invited over to Jan's for a "girls night" to just goof off, relax, and have a good time watching a DVD of Desperate Housewives. Char topped the cake, however, when she showed up in her finest regalia.
Construction around Casa Grande continues at a rapid pace. The bulldozers and construction equipment at the new mall location are busy and active.
An article appeared in the local paper about the location for the new high school. It will be located on the southeast corner of Cottonwood and Arizola. Rumor used to be that it would be adjacent to our Palm Creek but now we can lay that rumor to rest.
The city is going to build its first dog park and hopes to have it open by August of 2007. It will be located on approxmately four acres at Ed Hooper Rodeo Park located at the northwest corner of Rodeo Road and Pinal Avenue with an initial budget of $60,000. Should be interesting to see and a fun place to visit with our pets. Our community continues to expand.
No other big news this week. Just getting ready for all the upcoming holiday parties and festivities plus scurrying around with Christmas shopping. If the resort's Christmas dinner turns out half as good as the Thanksgiving party, we'll have another wonderful event.
Monday, December 04, 2006
I must also share an email I got from Jan this morning. Our weather has been windy and cold the last three days. Well...cold for Arizona anyway. The rest of the country is in low teens with ice and snow so a cold day for us means 40-50. Anyway....the pet owners are bundled up and shivering as they walk their puppies in the brisk mornings. Thus this email from Jan today: "Must tell you about my morning. Went to walk Rally for his morning constitution. It was really chilly and windy out!! He pooped and when I picked it up in a little plastic baggie, it was nice and warm and kinda squishy. I thought to myself, "You might be a redneck if you use dog poop as a hand warmer."
Thank you, Jan for a good laugh. You should send that one to Jeff Foxworthy on Comedy Central. P.S. Jan is also famous for winning the hula hoop contest on stage at the Welcome Back dinner this fall.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
The event was well coordinated and organized so everyone had a reserved table that was clearly marked for easy seating. There was plenty of room between tables which allowed us to mingle and socialize with other guests before dinner. We had access to the tables an hour before serving time so we had the opportunity to have a glass of wine and chat before the meal. Diane did a fantastic job as hostess to the event and kept us entertained and on time. I believe her specific title is "Special Events Coordinator" and she does a terrific job. Thank you, Diane. Your friendship and enthusiasm is appreciated by all.
After dinner we had an option of watching football with the big screen TV or playing games or bingo. Quite a few people did opt to stay for more social time which proved to be a lot of fun. Those of us who stayed for bingo and managed to win got to take home one of the nice table decorations or potted plants. They made for some very nice prizes. After bingo some of us stayed to play a fun round of Mad Gab. What a crazy game! It was really fun and I may have to go out and buy a game to keep around for some hilarious happy hours.
Thanks again to Palm Creek for a great day of beautiful sunshine, great food, fun entertainment, and most of all for the warm friendships.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Today Don and I drove up to Sun City to visit Donna and Larry Kraft. I put up some darling photos of their new puppy on my "Hepler Journal" website for you to view if you're interested. The puppy is just adorable at the ripe old age of 6 weeks and she's a full two pounds of pure love. It was so good to see the Kraft's with smiling faces once again.
As we approached Interstate 10 coming from Casa Grande, I snapped a few quick photos of the beginning of the new mall. There are scads of bulldozers, tractors, and various digging machines out there in the field. The ground is all plowed up and is being prepped for the new mall. How exciting! I'll try to get a picture every few weeks so you can watch the progress. New stores anticipated are Dillards, Target, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, a 14 theater complex, Applebees, Michaels, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, etc etc etc. It will be awesome! All you can see in these pics is open dirt so the progress will be great to watch.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Saturday was the first "patio sale" day of the season where everyone can put out those white elephants for sale, clean out the closets, or sell those no longer needed items. Since Don and I are planning to sell our new Class C RV, we cleaned out a lot of items. I even put out some of my beaded jewelry items I've been making as I seem to have created more than I'll ever wear. While George got stuck staffing our booth, Bev, Jan and I scurried about the resort visiting everyone's patio sale to see if we could find new goodies or great bargains. See the next photo for our great results! Folks said we looked like the Beverly Hillbillies with our cart full of junk as we drove around. One family was even handing out free Mimosa drinks (orange juice and champagne) in fancy fluted glasses to anyone who bought something from their booth. Couldn't pass up that offer so I purchased a box of nails as my contribution. How fun!
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Larry and Donna bought a lovely home and moved to Sun City this fall, leaving Palm Creek after five seasons here. They are conveniently located in a beautiful subdivision near several golf courses which, unfortunately, are occasionally frequented by wild coyotes.
Chi was very popular here at our resort. Many may remember last February when Chi won the award for the cutest dog at our first annual dog show. She was cute as a button and would perform tricks on command. One of our favorite memories is when she would come to our house and eat Hiway’s cat food. She was such a dainty little dog that she would carry two little pieces of cat food over to the carpet and munch it away, then return for two more pieces at a time. Little pieces of chicken were her favorite treat which we always tried to keep in the frig should Chi come for a visit. She was a real sweetheart and will be missed by one and all. Our hearts reach out to Larry and Donna for their loss of a very dear pet.
Monday, October 30, 2006
We left the nest in its spot and VERY slowly drove the RV over to our park model so we could get it loaded for our trip to Mexico. When we got here, mama was gone but baby was still in the nest so we very gently took baby and nest and placed them behind a tree across the street where it would be somewhat protected. We anxiously watched from the kitchen window and sure enough, about a half hour later, mama showed up and took care of her baby. Later that day, they both flew away with baby fluttering his best to soar. We don't know for certain that he survived, but our conscience was clear in that we did what we could under the circumstances. End of story.
Speaking of bird stories: Our burrowing owls across the street from the park entrance are still there, alive and doing well. The construction has edged even closer to their burrow, but no one has harmed them or scared them away yet. Linda Balzan and I have been in touch with a Wildlife Foundation that will be in charge of moving the owls should someone buy the land for improvements. The Foundation promises to let us know when moving day comes so we can be there to take pictures. Before the owls can be moved, there is a mountain of paperwork and expenses to be paid by whoever owns the land. It will be interesting to watch and see how things develop. Will keep you posted with any updates.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
The village homes are still the highlight of conversation since so many of them are being installed. Folks are anxious to move in and I hear that sales are strong.
Happy hours abound for furry friends as well as humans. Here are a few shots from yesterday. Don and I sat out on our patio to have a happy hour drink. The fun part of living here is that everyone is out and active at this time of day and it's great when folks stop by to say hello. Good thing we have a lot of extra chairs.
Halloween is in the air and there are some nicely decorated houses for the holiday.
The golf course is in the process of being reseeded and beautiful colored flowers are being planted. It's amazing to watch how the new green grass springs back to life. Golf is closed for now as the new lawn emerges. Sure makes for a pretty sight.
We had a short rain storm a couple weeks back that brought out a beautiful double rainbow for our enjoyment. Unfortunately, the photos sat in my camera as I've been lax at my updates again, but they're still worth posting.
We have more news about the coming mall construction. We're going to have a 14 theater complex, Olive Garden, Applebees, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy....and I can't remember the other stores that were listed but it sounds exciting. Anticipated completion is for late fall of 2007. That remains to be seen, of course, as we all know how construction plans can get delayed along the way, but we'll be waiting with open arms. Especially for that theater!!
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Work set on mall next week
Staff Reports, Casa Grande Dispatch
October 21, 2006
The first turning of dirt for The Promenade at Casa Grande regional shopping center should begin next week, one of the developers said.
The million-plus-square-foot center will be at the northeast corner of Florence Boulevard and Interstate 10. It is being constructed as a partnership between The Pederson Group and Westcor Development Partners.
"Our contractor is preparing to pre-water the site and is mobilizing to start moving dirt next week," Gary Pederson, vice president of The Pederson Group, said Friday.
Pederson said a WDP representative would have more details next week.
The initial fact sheet for the project said, "The developer is currently attempting to keep the project on an aggressive schedule to commence construction in the summer of 2006 and open the project in the fall of 2007."
A major portion of the work was widening the Florence/I-10 overpass, which city officials said may have caused some delay because of its complexity.
Shortly before the Pederson/WDP announcement of the major center, a group known as Palm Creek Development said it would build a 264,000-square-foot center along Florence Boulevard in front of Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort.
In February 2005, shortly after the Pederson/WDP announcement, Rick Horwitch, principal partner of Palm Creek Development, said his group was not afraid of the competition from a larger project.
"By the time they're ready to operate, we're going to be up and out of the ground and full," Horwitch said.
More than a year and a half later, dirt has not been turned for the Palm Creek project. City officials said they had not heard from Horwitch's group and presume the project is dead.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
The monsoon season is officially over so the weather is back to absolute perfection in the 60s at night and high 80s or 90s during the day with clear beautiful sky and very low humidity. The windows are now open and the overworked air conditioners are at rest.
The biggest news in the park is, of course, all the construction of park models and village homes. I heard from a reliable source that they'll be bringing in 30-35 new models. The holes are already being dug and 2-3 homes are arriving daily. About 8 village homes have been sold and there are quite a few smaller two-section park models coming in as spec homes. Folks won't have to wait for construction of add-on rooms cause these models come in two parts and will fit on most RV sites. We're all anxious to see what they look like once the concrete gets poured and awnings go up. I'll be sure to post photos as soon as one is completed. Right now they're all in various stages of basic installation as you can see from photos posted below. Statistics as of today: There are 5 of the smaller two-part park models installed with three more holes dug. There are 16 village homes installed with 26 more holes dug for village homes!! Wow!
At first we thought these new homes were pretty small, but once you go inside and look around, they're really a nice size and very pleasant. Some have two bedrooms or at least one bedroom and a good sized office of spare room.
Here is half of a park model being set in place.
These three spec two-piece park models are new spec homes. Each has a slightly different layout inside. It will be fun to watch the concrete get poured and awnings put in place.
Here is another style with a built-on shed/laundry room.
Look at this!! A whole long street full of village homes! The area will really look nice when all construction is done and owners come down to add the finishing touches. It's really exciting!
Of course...there is a LOT of construction underway and the bulldozers are busy digging holes for more homes every day so some of the area looks like a war zone. Big piles of dirt and gravel abound. The place is buzzing with activity during a work day. Some of the neighbors get kind of crabby about all the noise...especially the early morning beeping of the bulldozer at work every time he backs up but that's the sound of progress and we know it's only temporary.
Here is another recent arrival waiting to be put together. There's lots of work to be done once they arrive as they have to fit together the house itself, the plumbing, wiring, sewer, etc etc.
Here is a model in progress.
Here's a couple village homes with concrete and patio.
I believe some of you saw the very first two village home models that were installed. The house on the left is the first home that was put in as a spec model. Whoops....someone really liked it, bought it, and has already moved in. They installed some sunscreen shading along side their driveway and it looks very nice. These corner lots are really nice with all the pretty landscaping the park installed along Cole Circle. The most activity seems to be centered along Shadow Rock Lane and Mountain Mirage Lane.
And then there are the regular one-piece park models being installed along the golf course on Coyote Trail. Each one is getting a huge stick-built add on room and some of these units look huge when completed. At the end of last season, I think the last house on Coyote trail was just past the north pool. Now, as you can see from these photos, there are homes installed all the way up to the north wall and around the corner right up to Oasis. It's amazing! I heard that the Add-On Guys are booked up through next November.
Although the golf course lots are "rather pricey", they certainly offer a lovely view. I walked out on the course this morning and found the view so peaceful and beautiful. It's very surprising that our landscape crews can keep the course looking so nice during Arizona's blast furnace summer temperatures.
The only other construction I've seen so far has something to do with the old volleyball court. They took out the sand and replaced it with concrete. I haven't heard what the plan is but I would guess perhaps converting it to a basketball court??
That's my post for today. Must hurry off now as we have a big Hand and Foot card game coming up this afternoon. Must get ready. Busy Busy Busy.