Saturday, July 31, 2010


Hallelujah!  Hurray!  Yahoo!  Eureka!  It’s RAINING in Casa Grande!  And a beautiful rain it is!  No wind…just a nice steady refreshing rain and a cool 78 degrees.  It’s WONDERFUL!!  I just couldn’t resist kicking off my shoes and going for a stroll with my umbrella.  All that was missing was the vocal sound of Gene Kelly. 
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rain 011rain 002rain 009Even the hummingbirds were happy for a cool shower and a cold drink.  Have a GREAT day everyone! 

Friday, July 30, 2010

Meat Casserole Dinner

Eureka!  Another night of friendly chatter and wonderful food!!  Thank you again, Diane Gaines, for scheduling our summer activities. 

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Diane and Linda Balzan whipped up the salad for all of us…..romaine lettuce, cranberry/raisin thingies, walnuts, mandarin oranges and a delicious dressing to top it off.  It was a great start to the main food line where participants brought delicious casseroles to share.  These dinners are frustrating because I want to taste each of the dishes.  Even taking a very small spoonful of each is overwhelming……..and so delicious.  We all keep saying that we wish we had the recipes.  Diane has volunteered to make up a summer recipe book but I’m afraid we’ve all been too lazy to take her up on the offer as she announced  that not many cards have been submitted.

casserole night 001 Then for dessert, Linda created a masterpiece of a razzleberry cobbler accompanied by a scoop of ice cream.  WOW….was that awesome!  I don’t know what razzleberry really is….but I loved it!

You’ll always see familiar faces in these photos because of the dedicated volunteers who help with the set up, clean up, and dirty dishes.  Rex and Peggy Fetzer, Linda and Roger Balzan, Diane and Jim Gaines, Gladys and Bob DeBonville, and oft times Connie Morin, Bonnie Rode, and ME. 

casserole night 005 Name tags are required at all events….even in the summer.  Bill Wrightson forgot his so was assigned the job of clearing tables and helping with clean up.  I bet he remembers the badge next time!  (Actually, working at these events is FUN.  It’s a great way to meet more people and get involved in the activities.)

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Believe it or not…..I actually dug out my umbrella to carry along last night in case it rained.  The sky was full of ominous clouds and we got enough rain to get the streets wet but still no gushing cloud bursts.  I saw on the news that Phoenix got wet but our storms seem to be so isolated in Arizona that you never know who gets the rain and who stays dry.  It’s really weird. 

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Changing the appearance of the blog has been FUN.  At least I’m getting good feedback from readers and I always enjoying seeing a flood of messages in my email inbox.  So far the votes are exactly TIED as to your preference.  Some say the new brown format is easier to read and others like the older version saying it has more personality.  I’m going to wait another week or so for more votes and comments to come in before I make a decision.  Speak up now or just live with whatever I come up with.
I’ve had several recurring questions from readers this week so will randomly answer them here rather than writing all those separate emails. 
1.  Owls.  Our owls that nest across the street from our main gate entrance are doing just fine.  They can be seen any early morning or early evening which means they’re smart enough to stay under cover during the heat of the day.  The big yellow construction signs are down which means the nursing home that was scheduled on that lot has disappeared for now probably due to the economy.  I haven’t seen or heard any other news on that subject.
The owls on the north side of the wall are still present also.  One or two can frequently be seen roosting on the over hang of the house on site 1160.
2.  Fire.  There has been no further development in the investigation of the fire that occurred in the storage area… least nothing that I’ve heard about.  An ad ran in the newspaper offering a reward for information but that’s the last I officially heard.   My personal opinion:  That night was prom night in Casa Grande so I’m venturing a guess that it was a car load of juveniles out on a malicious vandalism adventure.  Nothing was stolen from the rigs prior to the fire which leads one to believe the vandalism theory.  The vandals never gave a thought to the heartache and problems and expense that their evening of excitement caused.  Again that is MY opinion based on stories I’ve heard.  I probably shouldn’t even post it here, but folks keep asking….so that’s my response.
3.  Is the hotel by the south wall open yet?  No, not yet but soon will be.  It is a Holiday Inn Express. 
4.  Computer tips.  I was quite surprised at the number of readers who benefited from the tip about increasing the size of font on their computer!  If you folks are interested in learning more tips like that, be sure to attend our Computer Club meetings this fall…starting November 3 at 9:30 in the San Tan Room.  We’re going to try to cater to all levels of computer users….from beginners to more advanced so stop in each Wednesday and/or watch the board in the activities office to see what the next program will feature.
Today’s tip:  To get immediate access to your desktop regardless of how many windows you have open at the time, just press the “windows” key and D.  The windows key is that cute little key at the lower left of your key pad next to the control key…..the one you probably never used before.   Hold down the Window key and press D to get to the desktop. 
5.  Weather.  No change in our weather….just hot every day.  Some days hotter than others.  A few promising clouds pass by but no significant rain or storms have descended. 
6.  How many people are here?  The only way to answer that question is by interviewing the folks who work in the mail room.  They tell me we have about 190 open mail boxes.  That means there could be as many as 350 or more people that live here year round.  Folks come and go all summer….a week or a month at a time to visit family or get out of the heat for a while.  Why don’t we see more at the summer activities??  I don’t have an answer for that one…..I just know they’re missing out on some fun and great camaraderie. 
I think that answers most of the questions I routinely receive.  Keep sending me those emails so I know what you like seeing posted here. 
email friends

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New design??? Computer tips.

So I was bored this morning and played with the settings for the blog.  Does this make it easier to read??  Here's your chance for some input.  Do you like the original design or do you prefer this new one?  Let me know.  Readers:  SPEAK UP


Another computer tip:  To increase the size of font for easier reading, you can use the control key and + or -     OR some of you who have a wheel on your mouse can hold down the control key and just scroll the mouse button to increase or decrease the size of the print.  These tips are not restricted to the can use them on any sites or programs.

At the end of every posting, there are some little check boxes.  All you have to do is click on the box of your choice to let me know if you are interested in that type of info.  If you click on the pencil icon, you can post a message or read messages left by other readers.  If you want to send the blog to another friend or family member, just click on the little envelope.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sam’s Club

This article made the front page of today’s Dispatch!!!  Finally we have some answers.  (Remember to click on the article to enlarge it.  Once it opens in another window, you can enlarge it even more by holding down the control key and hit the + sign.  Hold control and hit – to make it smaller again.)  Then use your browser back button to return to the blog.
sam1 sam2 Most of you have seen the Ashley Furniture store that opened in the plaza by Fry’s supermarket.  The old Wal-Mart store in that same plaza has been converted into the ROOM STORE and is now open for business also.  Many of us used to  travel up to Ahwatuki  (forget trying to spell that word)….to the Chandler area to shop for furniture.  Now with these two stores plus Sam’s on the way, we can avoid a lot of that ugly Hiway 10 traffic and just stay in Casa Grande where everything is conveniently located. 
While you’re shopping in that plaza, be sure to stop in at McMashers sports bar for a delicious hamburger.  I know the owners and think they’re great community minded people! 
We “almost” had some rain last night.  We could see the rain on the horizon but again…it didn’t arrive in Casa Grande. 
I haven’t been to Eegees yet to see what their menu is like but did visit their cute website at  It looks like another Subway or Quiznos type of place.  Here’s a photo from their website menu.
The Culver’s Restaurant the newspaper article above refers to is another same type of menu.  I wonder when we’ll finally get a good Outback type of place where we can get a good steak!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

News in today’s Dispatch

Here are a couple articles from today’s Casa Grande Dispatch..  Remember to click on the photo to enlarge it.  Then hold down your control key and click the + key to make the print larger.  Hold down control key and – key to reduce it again.

Eegee’s Restaurant opens this Sunday.  I’m not familiar with the chain, but it sounds like an Applebees type of place.


Remember a day or two ago when I commented that the outlet mall was becoming desserted?  Liz Clairborne was about the only store left.  Now they’re closing too!


I don’t know if the bus station will affect anyone, but there’s news about it moving to Florence Blvd.


Hmmmm….looks like the Paramount Threatre in old town is going to try something new.  A wine bar??  Sounds interesting.  Will keep my ears on alert for more news as it is released……just in case you know of any wine drinkers that may be interested. 


Employee & Volunteer Luncheon

Linda Balzan outdid herself yesterday when she prepared the food for the Employee/Volunteer luncheon!!  We had a tuna/noodle salad and chicken salad wraps.  The secret to those wraps—raspberry chipotle!!  Not being a cook myself (Don does ALL the cooking at our house) I wouldn’t know a raspberry chipotle if it walked in the door….but the wraps tasted fantastic and Linda said that was the secret ingredient.  (I don’t even know how to spell that word…but that’s what spell check gave me.)

Again I have a collection of photos with people at tables eating which I was afraid would be boring but I’ve heard from so many readers that enjoy seeing familiar faces so will continue to post them here.luncheon 009


First a THANK YOU to Linda and her loyal kitchen staff.




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I wish I would have had time to interview Will’s new crew of maintenance staff.  They’ve been very busy this summer!



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Here are folks from the golf course and landscape staff.  They have a never ending job of keeping our park beautiful.  A great deal of time was spent trimming and cleaning all the trees, shrubs, and plants on the outside perimeter of the wall this summer.  It was a huge undertaking and they did a fantastic job. (All 2+ miles of it!)  Be sure to check it out when you return this fall.  It all looks fresh, clean, and new.  It was no easy chore in the HOT temperatures we’ve had!!!!

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The good looking gent at far right is our fearless leader….Wendell Johnson (General Manager of the resort).  Hats off to you, Wendell, for doing such a great job & handling the HUGE responsibility on your shoulders.


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Seated at left is Dora—head of our housekeeping unit. Dora and staff play a vital part in keeping our resort in top shape!



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Kathy, Valerie, and Gary Lambert make up our front desk work force.  It is a monumental task to keep everything organized up front!


The remaining guests play important roles as well.  It may be volunteering at special events, working in the mail room, kitchen help, rangering, proshop, bingo, decorating luminary bags, library work, hostessing, or any number of other jobs that benefit the park.  Thank you one and all for making our life here so pleasant.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Today’s Front Page

LOL  (stands for “lots of Laughs” for those of you who don’t speak computer lingo)
You know we’re desperate for rain when .02 makes the front page of the local newspaper.  I find it amazing that this appears on our paper the same morning I received an email from my cousin in Milwaukee where they had 8 inches of rain yesterday. 
picstory**Here’s another computer tip that may help you with this blog.  To read an article or to see a photo up close, just click on the photo.  It will open in a separate window.  To go back to the blog, click on the “back” button in upper left by the address bar.   If you still find it hard to read, then hold down your control key and hit the plus + key.  Each time you do that, the image will increase in size.  To go back to normal size, hold down control key and hit the minus key – .  You can do that in almost any computer program.  Works great for those of us with vision problems. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Rainy Day!!

I must mark this day on my calendar…it is 10:44 am, it is only 84 degrees outside,  the bright sun is NOT shining, the sky is overcast, and it is actually sprinkling some RAIN.  Hallelujah.
It was such a welcome relief to go outdoors without the triple digit blast of hot air this morning so I took a nice long cart ride around the park.  We had a little bit of wind with the “storm” last night so I went around to check all our houses.  All I found was one tipped over flower pot that was easy to fix and make sure the sprinkler hose was back in and secure.
It is so amazing to me to watch our landscape crew in action.  There is an endless plethora of trimming and weeding and sprinkler maintenance to tend.  I took a few pictures this morning to share with you readers so you realize how much work goes into keeping our park beautiful.  The bushes get whacked down in the summer so they are all perky and bounced back when our winter folks rain 005
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Weeds are a major problem with all the acreage to cover.  The little spray trucks have been very busy day after day keeping troublesome growth under control. 
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This was my favorite photo of the day as I captured this white-winged dove on our new statue by the rose garden.  
Did you know that a dove is the only bird that can drink straight from a puddle without having to tip its head back to swallow? 
Did you know that we have basically two different kinds of doves here?  The typical one is the mourning dove with its real soft cooing sound.  The white-wing dove, however, has a different call and sorta sounds like an owl.  In “people speak” it sounds like “Who cooks for you, who cooks for you” as opposed to the mourning dove that sounds like “ooahoo oo oo oo”.    Okay….stop laughing…I copied that out of  my bird book!  The mourning dove has black spots on its upper wing.  The white-wing dove has a black ring or mark by its neck, plain light gray-brown wings with a conspicuous white line along the edge of its closed wing.  It also has conspicuous white patches across the center of its wings when it flies.

Mourning Dove

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White-winged dove

Park Bingo

Last night was BINGO night.  Thank you Flo Fillipi and Linda Berry for volunteering to make sure we had a good time.  Doug Welch was our caller and Ellen Fandrich did call backs.  Only 16 players showed up but that increased our odds for the excitement of getting that Bingo!  I was lucky enough to bingo THREE times but Popkorn and his gang threatened to throw me in the pool for winning so often.  (Actually it would have felt wonderful because it’s so blooming HOT outside.)

Our prizes were a roaring $4 per game but the final blackout jackpot was $33 and there was only one winner.  Congratulations Larry Burke!bingo 003Big prizes or little prizes…it makes no difference.  We’re there for the camaraderie….and free popcorn! bingo 002bingo 001

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Shuttle Service

Need a ride to or from the airport?  Call “Casa Grande Airport Shuttle”.
Dick Guarisco sponsored our ice cream social today (thank you, Dick) and introduced the new business he is starting.  His motto is “Senior Helping Seniors”.
Dick said he didn’t care for full retirement so decided to get licensed and start driving a shuttle service to and from the Phoenix and/or Tucson airports.  Dick’s service is unique in that regardless if it is one person or a van load of people, he only charges $50.  That is a fantastic deal and I believe he is the ONLY shuttle service with that kind of bargain. 
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, pets ok, checks or cash only

Dick Guarisco, owner/driver
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Tell Dick you read about him on my blog!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


We haven’t had any rain in Casa Grande since March.  We’re over a month into the “monsoon” season and haven’t seen a single storm or even a threat of one.  Ho Hum.  I suppose I should be careful what I ask for but it would be nice to get some fresh cleansing rain for a change. 
Don and I both burst out laughing at the weather report on TV last night as they were showing some streets in Phoenix that had small water puddles on the pavement.  You know you’re well into a drought when a puddle brings prime time news but at least they got a little rain up there…including one small microburst that took down a couple trees.  We could see a little flash of lightning now and then last night, but no cigar.
Our humidity and dew point are on the rise making our triple digit temps quite uncomfortable………that’s certainly typical for this time of year so can’t complain as we know that’s what we can expect if we choose to live here.  It just means that we turn to our indoor hobbies.  This is a great time to curl up with a good book or (like me) spend endless hours at my computer.  I have a plethora of fun and intriguing computer games to keep me occupied plus reading my friendly emails from you readers.  Thanks for writing!
My friend, Connie, is having a shed built on her lot so is happily out shopping for a washer & dryer.  We hopped in our cool air conditioned car yesterday and headed down to the Outlet Mall to visit the Sears Store only to find that it is closed and had a sign on the door saying they moved to 1275 Florence Blvd.  The Outlet Mall is almost empty as most of the stores have moved out. 
Oh…..more news….the Tuesday Morning store next to Beals is also closed and two of the Payday Loan stores in town are gone.
Bill Wrightson was out with his camera the other day and found a killdeer nest by the RV storage area.  The fun characteristic of the killdeer is how mama tries to sacrifice herself to lure away any predators who approach her nest as it is always out in an open area on the ground or gravel.  She flutters around as if she has a broken wing and would be easy prey while she lures predator away.  She had good cause to protect her nest that morning as the first egg just hatched.  No……Bill didn’t get too close……but he has a powerful lens to capture some great photos.
Here’s mama luring him away.
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New baby just hatched that morning.
Billl 003  Mom and chick the next day.
Billl 016Thank you, Bill, for sharing your great photos!
It goes to show that you need the right camera to fit your hobby.  Bill has a larger camera and lens to get these wonderful bird photos.  When I try for a bird photo with my little pocket size camera, it doesn’t work as well.  Evidenced by this photo I tried to take of a road runner cruising down the street.
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Well, that’s my news for the day.  I leave you with this parting shot of the comrades I hang out with at the pool almost every evening.  It’s how we keep cool, socialize, and enjoy the great outdoors.
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