Sunday, April 28, 2013

New Page - Notes from Readers

I thought I'd try an experiment and add notes from readers who are traveling around on adventurous journeys or who have arrived at their 'other' home safe and sound.  Send me an email or photo for posting.  Let's give it a try.  Click on the link at the top of this page: "Notes from Readers & Fellow Residents".

Friday, April 26, 2013

Another Day

Hello again.  Thank you to Tom and Elaine Moore for another fantastic fish fry at their home Thursday night. Many of the remaining poker players were invited for the feast.  Thought you'd like to see photos of the folks that are still here enjoying our beautiful spring weather.

Couldn't resist another quick cactus photo from Site 1833 (Greg & Shirley Nelson).  The orange/yellow flowers are just perfect and feel like heavy wax.  The buds surrounding the blossoms should be open soon.  

Remember that hole in the ground at Site 166?  Today the two piece villa home arrived and a small crowd gathered to watch it come together.  Dick Reitz said I needed permission to post his new house on the blog...........but I'm doing it anyway.  He was just joking (I hope).  
Later on our rounds, we spotted mama duck and her young ones in the creek.  They certainly grow fast!
We stopped to say howdy to Avis and while we were there we spotted mama killdeer with one of her chicks.  Avis said there are normally 4 following around behind but we only spotted one today.  Uh Oh.
Isn't he cute!!??  Look at those big feet for such a little chick.  Looks like a little golf ball with legs!
We're at the end of the season.  Summer triple digit temps should arrive soon and we know the annual flowers will not survive the heat and blazing sun so the water has been shut off and we watch the blossoms fade before the plants are pulled.  No sense watering the softball field either as it gets replanted in fall anyway.  Will have photos sometime next week.

Till then...........adios amigos.  

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday News

Now that so many people have vacated the park, our friendly owl is back at his pre-season roosting spot.  Say hello to this little guy.....a fierce predator for his size.

Jim and Rosemary Hoyle at 1026 received a lovely gift from Mother Nature this week when all their cactus buds opened on the same day!  Everyone that walked down their street had to stop to take photos.

I find it FASCINATING to watch big machinery in action.  This big crane came in today to move that truck trailer into its new home.  The trailer will be for special events and activities to use for storage.  There are always signs, decorations, float supplies, etc. that need storage space.

Later this summer, the room will be painted to match the walls so it blends in better.

After the Alpha rally, we celebrated with a thank you luncheon for all employees and volunteers out on the patio.  

Summer chores are underway.  The palm trees at the north end of the park are getting their trunks trimmed.

Many of you readers know Bob Herinck.  He has painted many many many of the park models here in the park....both inside and out.  I caught him in action again this morning.  Hi Bob!!

All the metal gates around the north pool are being upgraded so they open and close easier without that loud metal bang when they close.  This is another of the many improvements we'll see coming our way.

It looks like Site 166 has a new owner.  Hole being dug for a new home at the corner of Cordia and Desert Willow.  I think it is about the last corner lot in that section of the park.

Thank you to all the folks that send us a note when you reach your home destination.  So sorry you have to leave us during such beautiful weather.  Your yard may look like this (sent by Joe and Bev Guidinger in Saskatchewan Canada).....

but our yard looks like this!
Life is good!!

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Alpha Rally + More

Today was the final day of the week long Alpha rally.  We served them a "to go" breakfast this morning (coffee, juice, muffin, yogurt, and a banana) and waved goodbye as a long parade of rigs left the park.  What a joy it was to chat with folks as they stopped to say farewell and hear about the wonderful time they had at Palm Creek.  The park (and staff) received rave reviews........especially about the great meals that were served up by Marilyn Goeken and her crew.  Congratulations to all for a very successful event.  Many of the visitors said they already had reservations to come back next year and some are coming for 3-5 month stays because they enjoyed this rally as an introduction to our resort and the many activities that are available during full season.

The rally brought in over 100 white Alpha rigs.  Their agenda included several maintenance seminars, a Dillards fashion show, vendor displays, fire safety, microwave cooking classes, a ladies luncheon, craft classes, an ice cream social, an Alpha club meeting, wine & cheese tasting, and even a pet parade.  They certainly had fun!

Meanwhile, our April weather has been gorgeous!  We had a few windy days but certainly can't complain when we listen to the nasty storms that raced across the rest of the country.  We spent yesterday relaxing on our patio watching the pretty flowers in our yard.

Our side yard looks like a full-fledged nursery with all the plants we're babysitting for the season.  These potted beauties were left behind by their owners hoping they'll survive the summer heat.  At least I can give them a good easy watering.  No guarantees that they'll survive but we'll give it a try so the owners have some greenery for when they return in the fall.
A few plants require some shade and protection from the sun so they'll reside on the patio.

Cactus plants all around the resort are in full bloom.  Aren't they beautiful!!  I'll get more photos this week.

Poker games are still in session albeit a much smaller crowd of 3-4 tables.  We're die-hard fans.

Here is a VERY interesting story about one of our very special residents!  Do you know Maurice Parobec?  Maurice (called Mo by many friends) is an avid softball player, wins medals at pickleball and tennis, plus is a challenger at the duplicate bridge table.  His special story is that he is the recipient of a full heart transplant.  That's why you'll see him wear a chest protector out on the softball field.  

Maurice is living proof that organ donation is a true gift of life.


In 2012 I heard about the Canadian Transplant games in Calgary.  I registered and participated in volleyball, floor hockey, tennis, badminton, table tennis, shotput, ball throw and 4 x 100m relay.  I got six gold and four silver medals.  More importantly, I met 150 transplant recipients from all walks of life who had gone through the same process of almost dying and because a donor was available, we survived.  The stories we shared were all too familiar.  It was like a reunion of people who went through similar near death experiences to be alive and healthy.

This summer from July 28 through August 4, I have registered for the World Transplant Games in Durban South Africa.  I consider Palm Creek as my training ground in preparation for the games.  The five sports I am participating in are team volleyball, team golf, singles tennis, singles badminton and singles table tennis.  There are 69 countries that have participated in these games with between 1500 and 2500 athletes.  I cannot wait to meet these athletes and embrace their stories and energy.

The cost of this trip is quite expensive.  In order to receive any support from the Canadian Transplant or BC Transplant association, I must show that I am actively promoting organ donations.  I urge everyone to register to become an organ donor.  Talk to family and friends about the benefits of organ donation.

You can also email Alicia Young at to tell her how I am promoting organ donation at Palm Creek not only for BC residents but for Canadians and Americans alike.  I am living proof that organ donation works.

Read Maurice's full story and follow his blog to the World Transplant Games in Durbin, South Africa.  Keep this link in your favorites:  Maurice Parobec

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Composting & More

The large shredding - chopping - mulching machine is here again for a few days while they chop up the big piles of green waste we've accumulated during the last couple months.  Our composting operation is a lot bigger than most folks realize.  I remember a few years ago when my hubbie drove the garbage truck from the park to the landfill during palm tree trimming time.  It required 2-4 trips to the landfill every day because of the volume of palm fronds, bush trimmings, etc that we hauled out of here.  Now all that greenery is taken to the back 40 and stored there until this shredder operation comes in.  

A big clam-shell bulldozer grabs a big mouthful of the debris and drops it into the tub grinder where it instantly gets shredded and spewed back out all chopped up nice and fine.  Jim Dawson was kind enough to take me out there to watch for a while yesterday.  It's awesome to watch as tree trunks, bushes, and tons of palm fronds and bush trimmings get chewed up and turned to fine mulch.  

The big round tub grinder is controlled by a worker on the ground as he controls the direction and speed of the grinder as the debris goes through.  That keeps the machine from clogging up or getting stuck as a big tree trunk may be tossed in.

All our compostable material gets ground up in here including old pallets, sawdust and scraps from the wood shop, and all the bush and tree trimmings.  A huge magnet in the machine pulls out any nails that may be in the pallets.  

After this initial grinding, the pile sits for a year while it breaks down into a finer grade.  Then another machine comes in to grind it even further.  We not only save huge dumping fees, but we save wear and mileage on our garbage truck also.  Once the green waste is chopped up, we water it and turn it and then mulch it through another big machine that turns it into a fine compost that we use for many different occasions.  

After a two year period, this compost is a rich clean soil that is ideal for planting.

So the next time you're trimming your bushes or dumping out old flower pots, be sure to use the green waste containers that are available.  You can ask for one to be brought to your site or you can drop the stuff off near the trash dumpsters in these barrels.  Do NOT dump any concrete or rock or steel that could damage the big shredder or the park gets charged for the damage!!

We save thousands of dollars again when it comes to reseeding the golf course.  We used to purchase tons of steer manure that was used on the golf course to cover and fertilize the new seeding but now we use our own composted mulch for a huge financial savings.  (This clean mulch also smells a LOT better than the old manure!) 
Our landscape crews can use this new mulch for all our landscaping needs when we redo the flower beds or residents need new plantings, etc.  

Our gardens love it!
When it comes to our nation's landfill problems, it is nice to know that Palm Creek is doing its share to minimize our footprints.