Off to the printer. Dogs to grooming.

Finally, the newsletter went to the printer – UPS on E Dunlap Ave – this morning. I felt sorry for the manager, though, because he was alone in the shop today and my newsletter project was complex. In addition to the normal routine (inside and outside covers in color, all else inside in black and white), I also had a two sided insert (one side color, the other black and white), another two sided insert (both sides black and white), and a one sided insert in black and white. It started out OK, but then his main computer locked up and would not handle the project. He switched to his secondary computer and got one copy of everything printed OK. I left at that point. Continue reading Off to the printer. Dogs to grooming.

Coup des Tartes for lunch.

gang at restaurant
Pete Petersen, Sharlene Froberg, Elaine, Dave at Coup des Tartes restaurant

When Sharlene Froberg invited us to try a new (to us) restaurant we said “yes” without hesitation, even though we had never been to this one before. I had seen recently that Nancy and Bill Schuling had been to Coup des Tartes and seemed to like it, so that made it even more attractive. Sharlene made the reservations and today was the day.

Coup des Tartes is a French-inspired restaurant at 1725 E Osborn here in Phoenix. It is housed in an old 1920s era home converted for restaurant use; the rooms have been preserved and turned into several attractive separated eating areas that will each hold 6-8 people. There is also a much larger banquet area. They also have an outside eating area that would be very nice evenings this time of year; we would have eaten out there today had there been some shade.

My Proscuiutto Sandwich

The menu offers items that are unique to Coup des Tartes. Each item seems to have their own flair. I had the Proscuiutto (sic) Sandwich (House Made Fig Jam, Pesto, Mozzarella and Arugula, baguette) accompanied by a Taleggio Salad (Mixed greens, fresh raspberries, apples, red onion, sugared pecans and Prickly Pear Vinaigrette topped with melted Taleggio cheese on toasts). Both were delicious. I used their spelling of Proscuiutto above, though I know it is not the customary one. I was especially intrigued by the Fig Jam addition to the sandwich and the Prickly Pear Vinaigrette dressing for the salad. Those are examples of the unique touch Coup des Tartes adds to their dishes. I also had a Four Berry Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream for dessert. All was great!

Elaine ordered coffee at the start of the meal and after she commented on how good it was (unusual for her – she seldom likes restaurant coffee) I ordered a cup myself. I quickly agreed with her and ordered a bag of their custom blend coffee to take home, as did Sharlene.

We each had something different: Elaine had Lobster Salad Croissant (Tomato, Avocado, Tarragon Citrus Aioli) and pronounced it okay but light on lobster. Pete had the Moroccan Lamb Sandwich (Braised lamb, mix greens, gruyere, Mango chutney) and Sharlene had the Roasted Chicken Sandwich (Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions, Gruyere, Spicy Mayo, Baguette). I believe they both liked their choices. Pete and Sharlene each had a different tarte for dessert.

This was proofreading day for the newsletter so there was not much for me to do on that.

I did some additions and cleanup to the Royal Palm Alert List. Until I am able to get back to programming for the upgraded utility I am forced to maintain two parallel lists. One will be used for the new system, the other is a simple email group list in Thunderbird. I had several to add and a few to delete because the last alert showed their address to be undeliverable. Then I sent out an alert to a water outage in a section of the Park tomorrow using the group list method.


A busy craft day. Newsletter being proofread.

craft ladies
Marvelyn Spangler, Joanie Filyaw, Nina Page, Elaine Violette, and Chris Nugent at table. Peg Glidden, Nellie Celaya, and Mary McDougale standing. Also John Koch.

Elaine and a group of ladies meet late every Tuesday morning and do their crafts and share ideas for 2-3 hours. I dropped by for a visit today to see what was happening and found more than just the ladies. There were a couple of men as well, but I did not see them doing anything crafty! Each woman works on her own project, though they sometimes share ideas and sometimes even have projects they do together. Whichever, it’s a great time. Continue reading A busy craft day. Newsletter being proofread.

Newsletter delay. Great party. Record temps again.

Two days ago (on Saturday) I reported that the April newsletter was almost done. I only had, I thought, one or two pages to complete with info and photos from the Friday and Saturday events. Well, little did I know! Since then I have received FOUR pages of additions plus several ads to prepare and insert. What was to be a 22-page newsletter will now be a 24-page newsletter with several inserts. This requires reformatting about one-third of the newsletter layout as well as working in the new content. And there are still three ads that are “maybe” coming. Continue reading Newsletter delay. Great party. Record temps again.

96 degree record. Spotlight interview.

Our 7-day forecast here in Phoenix. Tomorrow is the first day of Spring.

Normal temperature for this date is 78°, yet our high temp hit 96°! This was the last day of Winter – Spring starts tomorrow and it looks like we will cool down some at the start. Such is life in the Sonoran Desert! We have enjoyed the recent hot spell, since we like the heat. It is very comfortable to be outside on these days and even better in the pool. One drawback is that we can’t take the boys on shopping trips because it is too hot to leave them in the car.

I did some more work on the newsletter layout and content today and also delivered some ad payments to Jo Elmore, our Treasurer.

This afternoon I interviewed the Royal Palm Spotlight subject for this coming issue. I have been selecting a person of interest each month and devoting a page or so to them in the newsletter. It has been a well-received feature and people look forward to see who the spotlight will shine on each month. Except for two months when I interviewed the outgoing and then the incoming managers the interviewee has been a person who has lived in Royal Palm for some time, and the same is true for this month. I plan to follow that pattern for the foreseeable future.

Another thing I worked on today was research on Park history. I have two conflicting sources of information: one says the first residents moved into Royal Palm in April 1968, the other says April 1969. Since that will be the 50th anniversary for Royal Palm I thought it would be good to lead up to it with a series of articles starting a year out. But that means I have to resolve the date question. I started some research at the Maricopa County web system today, looking for historical maps and aerial photos. The only photos I found there were from 1969-70, so they represented either date. Now I have to continue with this search to tie down the start year.

St Patrick’s Day Dinner. Newsletter.

The crowd at the Dinner

We attended (and enjoyed) tonight’s St Patrick’s Day Dinner at the Clubhouse. Corned Beef, Cabbage, and Carrots with Yeast Rolls and Dessert for $5 per person. It was a great value, as a tasty meal. And lots of neighbors and friends to visit with and enjoy the meal – at least 90 of them, in fact. Continue reading St Patrick’s Day Dinner. Newsletter.

Paramedics Raffle and Party. Pei Wei.

presenting check
Cheryl Ringer and Betty Stroh with the check for the Paramedics. Capt Jeff in the background.

$1,753 – that is the amount of the check for funds raised by the Royal Palm Women’s Club and donated to the Phoenix Fire Department Paramedics this afternoon. The funds were raised by selling raffle tickets for items donated by residents. There were well over 100 items raffled off this afternoon, one at a time. The tickets were sold door-to-door by a group of volunteers over the last couple of weeks. This event has been going on for over 40 years and Royal Palm Community has donated around $50,000 to the Fire Department in that time. Continue reading Paramedics Raffle and Party. Pei Wei.

Bingo Cushion. Allergies lessened. O’Reilly Auto Parts. Web work.

Bingo cushion
The Bingo Cushion Raffle flyer I made this afternoon

Gail Brazell called this afternoon and after apologizing for the short notice asked if I could make a flyer for her. She and others who run the Bingo operation here at Royal Palm had done some shopping this afternoon and they found seat cushions for sale. The one that caught their attention had Bingo sheets imprinted on it. These cushions would be good for stadium seats but also for typical folding chairs such as are found in Bingo parlors. While the folding chairs in our Royal Palm clubhouse are much more comfortable than others, I am sure they can get tiring after a time. So the Bingo team will raffle off the first one they bought today and, if successful, may purchase more for raffling in the future. Ticket prices are shown in the flyer. The proceeds will go to the Social Club, which sponsors the Bingo operation here. Bingo runs every Thursday evening and Elaine is a regular. Continue reading Bingo Cushion. Allergies lessened. O’Reilly Auto Parts. Web work.

More allergies. Women’s Club elections. Working on new web features.

Still suffering from seasonal allergies today, but not as bad as yesterday. I took one loratadin early this morning, another in early afternoon, and another after supper. That has kept things in check, though I am still having trouble breathing and I tire very easily. This too shall pass!

Elaine went to the Women’s Club meeting this morning; it was the annual elections meeting. Chris Nugent is the new President, Valerie Grotefend the new Secretary. Elaine, Vice President, and Mary Espinoza, Treasurer, were not up for election. The terms of office are two years and they elect half the officers each year. Elayne Stettmeier is the outgoing President, Cheryl Ringer the outgoing Secretary. The women are busy getting ready for the Paramedics Raffle and Party coming this Friday.

After she came home from the meeting we headed out right away for grocery shopping at Fry’s. Then after lunch we headed to Walgreen’s to pick up some prescriptions and a couple of other items and then headed over to Jared’s in Paradise Valley Mall area to pick up some earrings Elaine had left for repairs. That got us back home around 2:45 and Elaine went to the pool. I was so tired by that time that I laid back in my recliner and slept for about an hour.

I have been working over the last three days studying how to incorporate member management into my web sites. The site as well as the site both need some aspects of member management, though the need for the Violette Family Association is much  greater and more complex.

The previous Violette Family site had a Member Profile page where members could log in and update aspects of their member info and had a similar function in the admin area. This was a robust system that I had written over the years and had used in several different sites. But when I moved from my SitePower system to WordPress this feature did not come right away. As evidenced by a woman who commented on one of my recent stories, there is a need for Violettes to join online as well as to maintain their info.

I have researched several plugins that provide member management functions for WordPress sites and found aspects of a couple that might do some of the job we need. But the needs of the Violette Family Association go beyond what all of them offer, so I will need to do some additional custom programming. My decision at this point is which will provide me the best base from which to start. I will also be able to use whichever system as a learning opportunity to see how various operations are carried out in WordPress systems.

For the Social Club, I just need a function to store info about members who have signed up to receive alert messages by email and/or text message and to then send the alerts when needed.

Elaine and signs. Irrigation system. Bad allergies.

Paramedics Party sign Elaine made
St Patrick's
St Patrick’s Day Dinner sign Elaine made

Elaine has been busy for the last week or so making signs for two upcoming events here in Royal Palm Community. The first is the Paramedics Raffle and Benefit coming up this Friday, the second the St Patrick’s Day Dinner on Saturday. Continue reading Elaine and signs. Irrigation system. Bad allergies.