Thursday, April 17, 2014

Say goodbye to the flowers

Sad to say that as our residents and guests do the flowers we enjoyed all season.  The Arizona hot temperatures just scorch our flowering annual plants and they won't survive the summer season so away they go.  No sense in wasting precious water on plants that can't survive the heat. 

On behalf of all residents, I do want to say a special thank you to the deadheader crew that worked so hard during season to keep our flower beds fresh and beautiful.  Theirs is truly a labor of love.

Wow....check out the huge 30 ft tall posts that were installed by the softball field this week.  I understand that we'll be installing some safety nets to prevent foul balls from escaping the field.  Will keep an eye on their progress.
In that same area, we saw some beautiful brick work being done along the dog agility fencing.  Very nice!!
We next drove over to the landfill/recycling area to check on progress.  All the grass clippings we've been collecting this past year are soon to be mulched in with the 2-year old shredded material we've been nurturing.  This clean pleasant smelling mixture will replace the very unpleasant mixture of manure we used to spread on the golf course as seed cover at reseeding time.  I'm guessing we save "bunches" of money with this recycling program as we avoid the landfill and can reuse the material that grows in our park.  Congrats to the team that works hard in this area.
While our crews are working, our residents are still playing.  The golf course was quite busy this morning as we drove around.  Glad to see folks still here enjoying this BEAUTIFUL weather instead of going to the snow back home.
I always smile when I see the visiting grandkids feeding the fish in our ponds.  I know residents are not supposed to feed the fish because then they'll get lazy and not keep the pond clean but I'm sure there's an exception for the kids.  Besides's FUN to watch the fish struggle for their treats.
Y'all have a great day!  Keep watching for updates as it's going to be another BUSY summer here.
I was always taught to respect my elders,
but it keeps getting harder to find one.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

After Alfa

This past Sunday we watched the end of the Alfa rally.  They had a GREAT event and praised our park, staff, residents, AND the beautiful sunshiny weather.  The "tram" did regular transports from the sites to the front clubhouse on a regular basis.

On the last day as the rigs pulled out, there was a "weigh in" for the RIGS....not the people.  LOL  The Escapees provided portable scales so those who wanted could weigh each axle to determine even weight distribution, tire inflation, and height of their rig.
Knowing the exact height of your rig may be valuable information!
Safety is a priority for RVers so they really enjoyed their fire safety talk and their two day seminar presented by the Freightliner chasis folks.
Here is a view down my street on Saturday.
Here's the view on Sunday afternoon.  What a difference a day makes!  We remaining residents all commented on how we enjoyed watching the Alfas depart like a line of white lemmings.  I hear there were at least 117 rigs all departing that day.
Now we see some of the summer maintenance work beginning.  Loads of gravel are being brought in to level out some of the sites.  The gent at the far left is spraying for weeds.  Of course, that's not just a 'summer' job as I've seen them doing this all year round to keep the weeds under control.  Keeping our park beautiful is a constant job.
Update:  Loyal mother-to-be still baking in the hot sun.
Now I must take a moment to brag about one of my star computer students.  Darlene Stevens took my class at the Alfa rally on how to create a blog.  Her first posting is excellent because it describes a bit of our Palm Creek lifestyle.  We truly do become a family!!  Thank you, Darlene, for sharing.
Johns Hopkins Weight Study

The National Institutes of Health has just released  the results of a $200 million research study completed under a grant to 
Johns  Hopkins.

The new study has found that women who carry a little  extra weight live longer than the men who mention it.   


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Alfa gals, ducks, and flowers

I was invited to the Alfa gals luncheon as a thank you for holding a computer class for their group last week. Thank you to Jerri Sedio for the invitation.  Congratulations to Marilyn Goeken for another successful dinner.  Salads and desserts were top notch and there were many compliments.  It seems our Alfa group is very impressed with all the meals and they're truly enjoying our lovely park.  We've already talked several into staying longer and coming back for time next season.
The speaker for lunch conducted a hilarious session of "Laughter Yoga". 
The whole group was on their feet with cheers and laughter.  It was contagious and we all had a great time.  They're a great fun-loving group!
Later in the afternoon, I received a phone call from Diane (Davidson??) asking if I had already seen mama duck and her new hatch of 13 babies.  Yes....13!!  We hurried over to the creek just south of the pond on #13 and got some great photos.  This is really a recent hatch as the chicks are still fuzzy.
Another mama duck is hatching her nest right on the front lawn/gravel of a house on Oasis.  I'm amazed that she chose a nesting spot so close to a busy street but she's kind of hidden behind a bush and a big flower pot.  We felt so sorry for her today as she was out in the direct sun and was panting with her bill held open.  She was hot!  We saw this nest a few days ago and there were six eggs at that time.  No way to know how many are there now until hatching time. 
 I also spotted some baby killdeer running around on the golf course but there's no way to get a picture as they're way toooooo fast!  They look like little balls of feathers with long legs.  Cute!  I copied a photo from the internet so you could see them up close.
Internet Photo
Be sure to check the beautiful cactus flowers that are opening around the park.  These yellow blossoms are over on Sandy Desert by the west wall.
Here's the batch on Coyote.  There are plenty of buds still ready to open so they're putting on quite a show this year.

Safe travels to all of you who will soon be out on the road again!!

Monday, April 07, 2014

April Already!

Where did the season go??? 

I have a couple things to share today and if this internet connection will allow me to post, I'll give it a try.  Sure hope Dish is working on a solution for the SLOW speeds and intermittent disconnects.  Very frustrating for us heavy users.

Paul and Rose Neuman sent me these fantastic photos about the Washington mudslides.  The site just requires you to hover or slide across the photo for the "before and after" shots.  Hope this link works for you.

I've also received several emails with photos from friends who are returning to their frozen homes.  This first one is Lyndsay Beck at home in sunny Nova Scotia.
This photo is from Lucie Bourque from Quebec.  At least her driveway is clear!  She's not complaining too much though because she says the skiing is great.
Mark and Cindy Nelson at Site 1324 have to leave before their cactus plants explode into blossom.  It looks like they may all open at the same time so should make a fantastic display.  Watch for them in the next day or two at the corner of Sandy Desert (west wall) and Mountain Mirage.  I may see you there with camera in hand.  Also.....this same type of cactus is about to bloom again over on Coyote Trail. 
You may have seen this photo of a table top I took at the spring Woodworking Show.
Dave was gracious enough to call me and offered to show the OTHER table tops he has made from that same gigantic tree.  The Forest Service gave Dave access to the tree.  He salvaged this part of the trunk and the rest of the tree was burned in a forest fire.  Dave imprinted a time table into the table showing its origin in 1550 where it first grew between Boise and Sun Valley in Idaho.
These other pieces are from a tree with a double trunk.  Looks like two grew together.  With such an unusual shape, Dave went to a friend Arden Greipp who is a well-known artist here in Palm Creek.  Arden painted pictures of Dave's son working on his ranch.  What awesome gifts!
Joyce was an integral part of the table process as she had to help with the finishing layers of preservative.
The season is definitely drawing to a close.  Many folks have hit the road headed to their other homes and others are SLOWLY taking their time waiting for the snow to melt before they hurry off.
The Alfa Rally is in full swing this week so our rangers and staff have been VERY busy getting them settled.  I have a whole line of Alfa rigs right across the street and so far they're all very pleased with our resort and the accommodations.  There are going to be 120 rigs here for the event.
Now that the hustle and bustle of season is ebbing, I should get back to the keyboard more often so stay tuned for more frequent postings.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Here come the desert flowers

Spring time is in the air.  The snowbirds are starting to pack up for their migration to the north and the cactus flowers are starting to bloom.  Our weather has been FANTASTIC all winter and today was another perfect example.  I went for a nice long bike right this morning and stopped to admire the flowers along the way.  This might be a boring post to some, but I certainly enjoyed the ride.

The first point of interest was this cluster I found at Site 1331.  I never saw a succulent plant like this before.  I'll have to stop back later to catch someone at home so I can get more info about it.

LOL....check out this cute planter. 
These are some awesome blossoms for such a small plant. 
This cactus is really showing itself off!  So many pretty blossoms. 
As I drove down Oasis, I couldn't help but notice a couple houses in a row that had these gorgeous baskets of hanging flowers on their palm trees.  It really looks nice!
Look at these flowers!
The cactus flowers are amazing.  I just stare into the big blossoms and admire the soft colors.  Such huge blossoms for such a small plant.
Even the white ones have soft tints of green and yellow.
The common bottle brush plants are in bloom now too.  The finches sure love the taste of their sweet nectar.
ohhhhhh....this yellow one is a beauty!
No pictures of people today but there were lots of folks out enjoying the sunshine.  I especially liked seeing so many neighbors out just gathering in small groups to chat and say hello.
Thank you to one and all of you who plant flowers while you are here.  All the potted plants, hanging baskets, and small garden lots really add to the beauty of our resort.
Remember to "take time and smell the roses".