Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
The November activity calendar is published and the season has officially begun. It seems many folks are returning early this year and the Arizona sun is staying warm to welcome everyone back. I've heard so many nice comments about this blog site. Thanks for the warm kudos....your compliments keep me at the keyboard.
It's hard to find time to write now though because there is so much happening. I guess MY big news is that I've arranged to drop back to part time at work so I can enjoy some of the park activities this year. I attended the first line dance class Monday and had a great time! It's a really fun way to exercise. Love it.
No new news about the owls. They're still sitting out on their perch each morning when I go by so no one has been out to trap them yet. It will be sad to see them go, but happy that they will be given a good home. If you haven't checked out the websites I published in my last post, be sure to do so as they're very informative regarding the move.
I'll try to be a good reporter by dragging out my camera this week and get some more current photos. All the pretty flowers have been planted now and the lights are up on the palm trees. The park is back in its splendor. Stay tuned for updates.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
The park is getting ready to plant the beautiful flowers again! Truckloads of flowers arrived this week and are waiting to dig their roots into our many flower beds throughout the park. When you look at these pictures, it seems over whelming to be able to plant that many flowers. The landscape crews have been busy tilling up the flower beds in preparation for planting. Love those flowers!
Other news: … the big white tent is gone. There’s a nice big open space there now that will be the site of a new fitness room, computer lab, and mail office. At least that’s the most recent word I’ve heard. Don’t know when construction will start….I’d guess they’ll wait till after the snowbird season.
The season kicks off on October 26 with a Fall Harvest. I guess this is the equivalent of the Welcome Back party we used to have. The “theme” this year is about a Mediterranean cruise so the Fall Harvest is where we’ll have the taste of Italy with wine tasting tables and “hot and delicious Italian specialties”. Don’t forget to pick up your event tickets at the activities office when you arrive. I was pleased to see how organized they were with all those tickets and seating arrangements. Someone put a lot of work and thought into that massive project. Hope it works out well for everyone.
The Senior Olympics are in full swing up in St. George, Utah so our avid pickleballers and softball teams are up north representing us in style. I hear they’ll be bringing home some gold medals!
The Casa Grande Dispatch had a picture of the ground breaking ceremony for the new high school that will be located at Arizola and Cottonwood. Estimated completion is two years from now. Must be a BIG school.
Our new Promenade Mall is coming along nicely. The Target store is open and is a strong favorite. Their flowers from their garden shop are sooooo nice and LOW prices. Those stores open so far are Target, Penneys, Kohls, and Staples. The area is huge and will be amazing when its all finished. We’re sooooo excited at having that kind of shopping available so close to home.
Stay tuned for more updates.
Monday, October 01, 2007
JC Penney’s opened its doors this weekend along with Kohls. Found some great bargains at their first day opening. Target should be opening soon along with several other of the stores. It’s really exciting to have that kind of shopping right here in Casa Grande. If you’ve been away all summer, you’ll really be amazed when you see the Promenade Mall area at the 194 exit. It’s awesome! Need a part time job to earn some extra Christmas bucks?? ALL the stores will be hiring for the holiday season.
The weather has finally dropped below triple digits and the nights are finally cool. I actually had to turn on the hot water heater for the first time in weeks. Yahoo!!
Saturday, September 15, 2007
The outside of the house and patio looks great. They even took down all the screens and washed them plus the windows. They (without being asked) included all the patio furniture and the golf cart! Don’s greasy grimey grill looks practically new again. I can’t compliment their service high enough. What great people to work with. I highly recommend their service to everyone.
Those of you who have been away for the summer….I warn you now that your park model is a mess. When we do our house checks, I have to take a broom along to sweep away the cobwebs before I’m willing to unlock the doors. Some folks have “layers” of dove doodoo all over their patios. If you would like, Don can call Malonado about a week before your return and have them do the outside of the house before you come back. Jolene and Bob Palmer did that last year and said it made their return a LOT nicer. I don’t know what they charge to just wash the outside but here’s their number if you want to call them. Malonado Power Wash 520-560-3374. There….that’s my blog commercial for the day.
The park is preparing for your return. Crews have been trimming bushes and trees every day and this week they repaved the entrance and repainted the crosswalks so everything looks nice and fresh. There’s really a ton of time, labor, and money to keep the place looking as nice as it does.
Last week a group of us took a fun excursion to “Easy Dinner Solutions” here in town. I’ve heard of the place a number of times but had never stopped in. Verna invited a bunch of us (and our spouses) to go down there one evening to check it out. They prepared two major entrees for us to sample and then explained how their service works. I’ll have to take my camera along the next time we go down there cause it’s kind of hard to explain…or maybe I’m too lazy to type that much. It was a fun evening and it’s a service that Don says we’ll try from time to time. He made three take home meals that night and so far we’ve been very pleased with the results.
Speaking of good meals….we stopped in at Macayos this week. It was very good and all went well. It will be a fun place for you to try when you get here. Great margaritas!!
Must sign off now as I have to get ready to play cards at Bob and Bev’s. Can’t miss our weekly games of Hand and Foot. We’ve been keeping track of our scores for the last two years. After all this time, total matches are almost tied. The girls won 21 and the guys won 23……..BUT the girls lead by 14,715 points. It makes for a fun afternoon.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Photo 1: All is calm. A typical summer late afternoon.
Photo 2: You can tell that the trees aren’t moving at all. No breeze…but a distinctive dust cloud off in the distance.
Photo 3: My camera is working fine. The picture looks cloudy because there is so much dust in the air. What you see is actually dust particles.
Photo 4: This particular storm brought some much needed wonderful rain but it certainly came with a fury.
Photo 5: Quite a change in temperature in a short time. I love Arizona!
Exciting news from Jan and George Waters: They have a new puppy to fill the void in their hearts left from losing Rally. Welcome “Soccer”. Soccer is a Chinese Crested PowderPuff. That’s a strange sounding breed, but he looks pretty cute in these pictures Jan sent from Show Low.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Other big news is that the Toltec Tavern in Eloy burned down last night. Many of us have gone there especially for their great Friday night fish fry. Guess we’ll be looking for a new stomping ground now.
Speaking of restaurants…Macayos (in the old Johnny Carinos building) is supposed to open this weekend. Think we’ll give it a few weeks before we try to get in as I’m sure it will be packed for quite a while.
We broke a long-standing heat wave record today marking this as the 29th day of summer where temperatures have gone over 110 degrees. Yup. It’s hot. Cooler autumn temps will be welcome.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
It’s still hot and a tad on the humid side so monsoon season remains with us. We just had to get the car washed today because it was getting hard to see out of the windows through all the dirt from recent storms. Wonder how long the clean car will last.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
My star reporter (Verna Sheppard) is back in town with her handy camera after a long summer vacation. She forwarded these photos of some of our park damage. Here’s the 5th wheel that was blown over in the storage area plus a park model minus its patio awning. Thank you, Verna. I’ll see you up at the pool one of these nights.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
On my way to work Tuesday morning, I saw plenty of downed trees and tree limbs as I drove down McMurray Drive. Folks at the store talked about all the downed power poles out in the country. Some back roads were totally blocked due to fallen poles and hot wires. One school was closed due to damage and a mobile home park south of town had heavy damage. Las Casitas mobile home park had quite a few homes damaged where people had to move out to shelters. Some of the mobile homes were actually moved off their foundations. Parts of town were without electricity for a number of hours Monday night till the crews could get out and help with some of the downed lines.
City crews (and Palm Creek crews) were out in force Tuesday morning to clean up the debris and return to normalcy. There wasn’t a lot of rain but what we did have came down all at once and completely sideways in the strong wind. The weather channel says Casa Grande had over 2000 lightning strikes within two hours. At times the street lights would go out because they were tricked into thinking dawn was approaching with all the steady lightning.
Summer is moving along rapidly. We’re now rather tired of the heat and are waiting for cooler temps.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
29% of respondents answered: "Yes, it is a serious problem."
71% of respondents answered: "No es una problema seriosa."
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Crews have been tarring all the little cracks and seams in the miles of streets inside the resort and have had to make some major road repairs or water line repairs in some areas. There are a number of places where holes have been drilled through the streets and water lines or repairs take place. That type of work is seldom seen by most of our residents.
Landscaping chores are endless. All those bushes and trees along the roadways need trimming plus every palm tree in the park gets pruned annually. I took a picture this morning so you could see how fresh and perky the trees now look with their recent haircuts.
I also passed a couple striking and unusual plants that I think are noteworthy. This cactus dwells in front of a house along Coyote Trail. It is quite different in that its stems are a different shape and color than the norm. Notice their graceful pretty flowers! I had to smile because the color of the stems matches the shutters on the house. Was that planned??
This photo shows a really cool palm tree along Cole Circle down by the village homes. I think its really neat how it grows in a cluster. Very attractive! Hats off to the landscaper who came up with such a lovely variety of plants for us to enjoy.
There is good news waiting for those of you who use the park cable for television. The number of channels has been increased so you will now have 71 channels available....including the golf channel. Those of you who are buying new HiDef televisions....beware that they require two lead in lines so if you want to continue to receive the park cable (including the park channel 3), you will have to make special arrangements with your DirecTV or Dish installer.
Monday, August 06, 2007
The new Promenade mall continues at a rapid pace. Check out the website at www.promenadecasagrande.com for all the latest news and some nice photos.
The landscape crews are hard at work trimming all the palm trees in our park. The bucket truck drives around while a worker saws off the dead branches with a chain saw. Then another crew comes with the dump truck to pick up all the debris. It’s quite an efficient operation and this year (after the hard winter freeze) there is a lot of trimming to be done.
I had a chance to chat with Diane Gaines the other day and she is really excited about all the fun ideas she has for the upcoming Palm Creek golfers this season. Diane is now in charge of the pro shop and has great events planned. I don’t dare spoil her fun by sharing her ideas but her enthusiasm is contagious.
My little part time job at the print shop has turned into 9-10 hour days this summer. That’s a good thing though as I really enjoy it there and it’s a great way to stay cool and busy for the hot summer days.
Char and Terry stopped over last week so little Mollie could show off her new cuddly toy. Mollie is a trooper and loves to go through her repertoire of tricks when treats are offered. Isn’t she a cutie??
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Don and I do a walk around each of the houses we’re watching after each storm and are happy to report no damage at any of them. Not everyone is that lucky. Bill and Joann at Site 671 had their metal awning torn off and their heavy patio table with a glass top blew over and shattered into a jillion pieces. The storms are very isolated and it must have been a small microburst that raised so much chaos in their area as no one else suffered damage. Just wasn’t their lucky day I guess.
Saturday night we went out to dinner with Char and Terry at Francisco Grande to celebrate birthdays. Don and I have birthdays in the same week so one nice dinner takes care of two celebrations. We can’t talk highly enough about the food and fun at Francisco Grande. We always have a great time there and the food is outstanding. It rained heavily while we had dinner so when we left and headed for the car, Char and I couldn’t resist the puddles. Off came the shoes and we splashed around in the ankle deep puddles in the parking lot. Great fun!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Don’s handy dandy weather station says we had 37 mile an hour wind gusts and we noticed a few tree limbs split on the way to work. I heard that a few awnings were lost in the storm but I didn’t see any damage myself. Don’t know whose houses were affected. Don and I did a walk around each of the homes we’re watching and didn’t find any damage. We saw a lot of dirty patios….but no damage.
We also had some RAIN with two of the storms. Each storm dropped less than an inch but in Arizona, that’s a downpour as everything drains off the hard packed earth into the ditches…or washes as they’re called here. Up near Phoenix and down in Tucson there were some washed out roads due to the rushing water. Nothing serious but as usual, a few dummies would attempt to drive through the flooded area and get carried away so they had to be rescued.
The good news is that the storms lower the temperatures. Last night it was down to the low 70s. We sat outside to watch the lightning for a while but Don actually got cold and went in the house. The lightning just fills the sky and is awesome to watch.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
I’ll always remember how Rally would immediately hop in our golf cart and go for a ride to our house so he could relish a treat of ever ready chicken for our furry friends. He was a joy to have around and was one of the prettiest Australian Shepherd dogs we’ve ever seen. Our hearts reach out to Jan and George at their loss.
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Last night was the first “storm” of the summer season. It started with 112 degrees and very calm. We could see the sky turning yellow off in the distance so we knew DIRT was on the way. As predicted, we watched it descend upon us….always an awesome sight. After a lot of wind and sandblasting, came the rain. In 10 minutes or so, it was all gone and the only evidence of the rain was the caked dirt that covered EVERYTHING. Our patio is just thick with dirt so it’s time to spray it all down with the hose. At least it rinses off easily. I’ll still take this weather over a Wisconsin winter anytime! Arizona is awesome! I think it’s variety of weather, vegetation, scenery, etc. is just fascinating.
The new Promenade Mall is progressing rapidly. Some of the big store signs are now visible from the highway. Penneys and Dillards are already advertising for employees so they can get a head start on training. How will they ever find enough people to staff the stores??????????
Char and Terry Eicher now have a lovely hole in the ground where their new village home will soon perch. Char is soooo excited over her new home…which is due to arrive sometime this month. She and Terry go on shopping expeditions for new furniture and fixtures and are truly enjoying the adventure.
Dick and Caroline Stone are also close to closing on a new village home. Should have final details in the next week or two.
Rumor has it from the mail room that our park currently has around 230 active mailboxes. That’s the closest we can come when people ask…”How many people live here year around?” Folks still come and go from short mini trips or month long treks to go see family, but active mailboxes is a pretty sure count of how many crazies, like us, choose to stay here for the summer.
The following story is strictly swimming pool rumor so how much is fact….I can’t verify. I’ve heard that park rentals are booming and the resort does not have enough rental homes to satisfy the growing market. Again…rumor…Dennis Powell has sold 18 of his park models so those rentals are no longer available. The park “supposedly” is going to furnish six of the unsold village homes…or villa homes…and use them for rentals to entice another market to join Palm Creek. So far, most of our residents are past RVers, but there is a strong potential market for non-RVers to enter the village home group because of the larger size accommodations. Again…rumor says that all six of those rental homes are taken for at least three months this coming season. I have no way to verify any of this as fact so maybe I shouldn’t print it….but…it makes for fun reading, yes? Maybe some of it is true anyway. At any rate, I hope the park continues to do well.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Every night about this time, the puppy run is the place to be. The folks with the small dogs seem to gather there about this time of evening to visit and let the four-footed critters run and get some exercise. To name a few people I chatted with tonight: BJ Rasmussen, Will and Barb Utley with the two miniature pincers, Linda and her new poodle puppy, Bill Wrightson with Cookie and Lily, Nancy and her boisterous white Amy….and a couple other folks I can’t name. They seem to have a nice social hour with their furry friends.
Congratulations go to Will Utley who is now our new Maintenance Manager for the park. Will’s position allows Chuck to move up to Facilities Manager. Our park is growing and so are their responsibilities. It’s good to know we have strength in those two positions.
That’s my only news for now. I still go up to the pool several nights a week in time to watch the sunset. By day I enjoy my job at the print shop. The longer I work there, the more I like it. It’s practically a full time job now which is just fine since the days are too warm to spend outside anyway. More later.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Saturday, June 09, 2007
The pickleball and tennis folks still hit the courts each morning and again some evenings. After the morning round robin, the sun climbs higher in the sky and people seem to disappear for the heat of the day. We journey out again for happy hour in late afternoon and you can always see folks out for an evening stroll or bike ride…..or as they come and go from the pool. Average afternoon temps are around 100 to 103.
We drove out past the new mall tonight and snapped a few pictures while being amazed at how fast the building is progressing. Once the project started, it has really zoomed into high gear. There are signs on the JC Penney and Target stores that say they’re opening in October. (Be sure to click on each photo to get a close up and examine things closely. Then use your "back" button to get back to the blog.)
Sunday, June 03, 2007
I first heard about the theft as I was driving our cart to the pool Thursday. I came across a man riding a moped and he was obviously looking for something on the golf course as he would slow down after each park model to look between the buildings. I thought perhaps he had lost a pet so asked if I could help him. He told me he was looking for a stolen golf cart and the police were on the property looking as well.
Later that evening, I started chatting with a man and woman who had just arrived at the pool and they started telling us that their golf cart was the one that had been stolen that night so we got this information directly from the source. The woman was on her patio (facing the golf course on Oasis) and through a sun screen shade saw someone ride a bike between the homes. She told her husband who had been inside. (The bike was stolen from someone’s patio earlier). A few minutes later when they got ready to go to the pool, they noticed their golf cart was missing. They immediately alerted the front gate and the guard called the police. Everyone was very impressed at the fast response from the police as three or more cars arrived almost immediately. They all started looking around the golf course for the cart knowing the cart could not get out of the north gate now that it is locked and secured. Once the culprits were spotted, they drove the cart and crashed it into the south wall near the hotel and used it to help them climb over the wall. The police apprehended them at that point.
The golf cart was quite damaged from being run into the wall. I asked the man how the kids could get the cart started. He said they evidently ram a screwdriver or something into the ignition because his key would no longer fit into the slot.
That’s all the information we have at this point. Sure am glad to hear that the kids were caught this time.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
The pickleball folks play mornings and evenings. There were several courts going strong when I rode home from the pool tonight.
We went to McMasher’s with Char and Terry for dinner last night to enjoy the great hamburgers served there. Don and I had never eaten there before. We walked in a couple times in the past but turned around and left again because it was so blue with cigarette smoke. Now with Arizona’s new non-smoking laws, we can go in and enjoy the place. It’s really very nice with numerous TV screens on every wall, a couple pool tables, and a friendly atmosphere. Don and Terry (shy guys that they are after a few beers) started chatting with a table of six men seated next to us. It turns out that the guys are all from New Zealand and are here as contractors to harvest wheat. It was a real surprise to find out that Arizona (and Casa Grande) had that much wheat that they would bring in contractors for harvest. It was fun to chat with the “bloaks” and listen to their Aussie accents. You never know who you’ll meet these days…..it’s a small small world.
Construction at the north doggie park is progressing slowly. They’ve poured footings and have started a nice brick wall to enclose the area. I’ll get some pictures soon. The new maintenance shed is nearing completion over by the woodworking shop. The big white tent is due to be replaced sometime in the next year. The new building to be erected in that spot will house a new mail room and a new exercise facility. It may be another year before that starts though so don’t look for it this coming season.
Do you recognize these two colorful characters? It’s Bob and Kelly taking GiGi and Miss Murphy out for their morning constitution. Many a morning, the puppies will bring Bob and Kelly over to our house so Don can give them a chicken treat. The dogs actually drag the guys here as our house is a regular stop on their route. Kelly’s new park model home is coming along nicely and they should be able to move in this summer. Will keep you posted.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Friday my boss, Vicki, was out of town so I had to work a full day 8-5. As soon as I got home, we left again and picked up Terry and Char to go to Francisco Grande for Friday night fish fry. Delicious!!! Highly recommended. I took a few pictures to share since so many folks have never gone out there to eat. It’s quite nice and the food is terrific thanks to their new Chef, Ed. You’ll notice that Char is her ever bashful, ever quiet, ever sophisticated self in these photos….bless her fun-filled heart. Terry turned his better side to the camera.
Service got a little slow for a while during our meal and the table next to us was anxious for some service too so on a dare, Char let out with an ear splitting whistle that turned every head in the restaurant. Needless to say we had prompt attention and lots of laughs from staff and customers alike. The head Chef even came out to say hello and personally brought Char a sample bowl of his special lobster bisque to taste. It was a fun evening. So much fun that we made a date to return the next morning for brunch. We wanted to come in when Kim Kimberly was on duty as bartender so she could serve up some of her famous bloody mary drinks. They’re hot and spicy with her own special blend of goodies. Brunch was awesome so we’ve been well fed several days in a row.
Saturday night I went down to the pool for a swim. There were just four people there and they left after a few minutes so I had the whole place to myself. What a wonderful experience. I swam a few laps and then leaned back on my raft and just floated around the pool while watching the pretty sun set behind the palm trees. It was a very memorable moment as I reflected about how fortunate we are to live in such good times and in such a beautiful park. Every day is a treasure in these golden years.
This morning (Sunday) Don and I joined the group of pickleball folks out on the courts. We had 12 players so held a fun round robin of games. Don and I haven’t played since my last knee injury so we’re both quite out of shape but we managed to survive the morning. Advil is a wonderful drug. After a quick shower, Char and I took off for the Ak-Chin casino to play bingo. I was sooooo darned close to winning about five different games. It was exciting….but no cigar. Sure was fun though.
Upon returning home, we found Jan and George Waters. They came to town to pick up a few items from their home here and will return to Show Low in the morning. Back in the car and off to Francisco Grande again for another great meal. Jan says the salmon is wonderful!!
Now I’m tired, full of good food, and ready for a good night’s sleep so I’m fresh and ready for work again in the morning. Hasta Luego. (see you later)