Colorful season. New tool for Elaine. Newsletter work.

Bright bougainvillea in front of the office in Royal Palm

With cooler temperatures the plants and flowers here in Royal Palm are starting to put out more blossoms. They don’t have to defend themselves from the heat as much, so can put more energy into blooming. I especially noted the bougainvillea shrubs in front of the office this morning; they are covered with bright blossoms. Continue reading Colorful season. New tool for Elaine. Newsletter work.

Rescuing dying plants. More shopping.

new plants
Elaine put some new plants in the gap left when some of the previous died.

Last weekend Elaine bought some plants to put in the planters in front to replace some that had died. I had planned to have Andy do the planting but he would not be able to do it until the end of next week so tonight Elaine dug in (so to speak) and did the planting herself. As it was, one small flat of plants did not survive the wait. But now our planter boxes look more full again, with the holes filled. Great job, Elaine! Continue reading Rescuing dying plants. More shopping.

Doggy maintenance. Shopping at The Home Depot. Leftovers.

It was time for Kerby and Gizmo to have their three-week session with Danielle, this time for maintenance only. That’s bathing and minor clipping where needed. She also checks and clean Kerby’s ears; the latter is needed lately as he has some ear mites. We also treat the ears with an otic solution provided by his vet. Three weeks from now they will return for a full grooming. Continue reading Doggy maintenance. Shopping at The Home Depot. Leftovers.

Lantana blooming more. Breakfast in and out. Sorting photos.

Lantana plants
Our Lantana shrubs are putting out more blossoms now that temperatures are cooling.

I have noticed over the last few days that our Lantana shrubs are putting out more blossoms, and suspect that it is due to cooling weather. Our temps have been as much as 12° below normal the last week or so, down into the 80s and low 90s. I think our Moss Rose plants are putting out more blossoms as well. When I mentioned it to Elaine this afternoon she mentioned that it may be time to plant some pansies, petunias, and other annuals. Here in Phoenix we plant those flowers in October and they thrive through the winter, unlike in northern climes where they are planted in late May. It is too hot for them in May-October. Continue reading Lantana blooming more. Breakfast in and out. Sorting photos.

Plants planted, post set. Dental work done.

Andy Goodhart was here after lunch and dug the hole for the eighth post in the front yard as well as for several of the plants we bought recently. So the last post is set and three plants are planted. Elaine and I worked out the start of the plant arrangement for the front yard, which includes the two lantanas, the sweet pea, and the ruellias. He’ll be back tomorrow to plant the remaining items and to spread the excavated dirt smooth to make it ready for fabric and new stone cover. Continue reading Plants planted, post set. Dental work done.

Mother’s Day lunch. Shopping at The Home Depot. Front yard work.

at Smashburger
Elaine at Smashburger. She’s talking on the phone with Destry.

It was her choice, so we had Mother’s Day lunch at Smashburger. Smashburger is Elaine’s favorite burger place, and she especially likes the Avocado Club Burger (Fresh avocado, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, ranch dressing & mayo on a multi-grain bun) with Veggie Frites (Fresh green beans & carrot strips, flash fried). I had a Buffalo and Blue Cheese Burger (Frank’s® RedHot® Buffalo Sauce, blue cheese crumbles, lettuce, tomato & mayo on an egg bun) with Fried Pickles (Garlic pickles battered & fried). The was our first time trying the Fried Pickles; they were OK but not an outstanding choice for me.

new plants
A hanging basket of portulaca and some new plants in the planter beyond.

Earlier this morning Elaine, Kerby, Gizmo, and I had gone shopping at The Home Depot for some front yard stuff. We needed some additional plants for one of the planter boxes and Elaine also wanted some for the ground level. She picked out a couple of purple lantana pots for ground level; these shrubs grow well in Arizona and will expand and spread. You can see them in the photo below.

white chain
My first try on attaching the white plastic chain to the black posts. There will be two runs of chain between each pair of posts.

We also got the base hardware for the eighth post, and bought the white chain and hardware to attach it to the posts. We bought screw eyes for one end of each chain segment and screw hooks for the other end. The chains will be permanently attached to the eyes but can be removed at the hook end for whatever purpose. When I first experimented with the attachments I was not happy with the screw hooks because of their length; they stood out to far from the post face. But I realized later that all I have to do is screw them in further! Duh!


Go for a walk. Bridge down, temporarily repaired. Pretty posies. Painting posts.

time for a walk
Kerby and Gizmo loudly telling me it is time for a walk

Twice a day the boys and I get to go for a walk. In the morning I usually wait until they tell me it is time to go; it is usually Kerby who first goes and stand by the front door, looking at me. Gizmo soon joins him. In the evening I often initiate the walk process as part of our schedule just before dinner. But tonight I waited until after dinner. Gizmo was sitting with Elaine on her recliner and Kerby was on the floor between us when Elaine asked about our w-a-l-k, spelling it out. She commented that it would not be long before they understood the spelling and, sure enough, Gizmo hopped down and went over near Kerby. I looked at them and spoke the walk word and you can see the result in the photo! Continue reading Go for a walk. Bridge down, temporarily repaired. Pretty posies. Painting posts.

Kerby and Gizmo groomed. Plants in the planter.

Kerby after grooming
Slick Gizmo after grooming

Danielle is back in business, and Kerby and Gizmo are now clean and groomed. We have been taking them to Danielle at the Pet Club store at 19th Ave and W Northern, but a couple of weeks ago the store suddenly shut down. Danielle had no notice; she showed up for work on Apr 14th only to find the store being emptied! She scrambled to find another place and was able to. But at this new location she can only do grooming; they want her to be able to do more groomings a day and they have others to do the washing. So for a few of her older customers she will take them at her home, and that is where we went today. We are happy for her and for our boys, because they love Danielle. Continue reading Kerby and Gizmo groomed. Plants in the planter.

Shaggy Gizmo. Breakfast in the Park. More on planters.

Our shaggy Gizmo.

Gizmo is really shaggy, because we have let his hair stay longer in the winter, but it is time to go shorter again. That will happen tomorrow when they both go for grooming with Danielle. The photo of Kerby I included a day or so ago showed how dirty he has gotten, in addition to being shaggy. With Gizmo’s color we don’t see the dirt, but we sure can see the shaggy! And Elaine has commented the last few days that when he gets close she can smell his doggy body odor. Continue reading Shaggy Gizmo. Breakfast in the Park. More on planters.

Record 108 temp. Planters progress.

What a change in spring weather in Phoenix!
108 temp
A record 108 temp today in Phoenix

Yes, it is spring in Phoenix. And as in other places, the weather can be variable. Witness today’s record high of 108° with the forecast of 74° on Tuesday! That’s a 32° difference. With relative humidity at 9%, that’s a dry heat of course. I worked outside a lot during midday and did not feel uncomfortable, even with those temps.

My work turned into a lot of frustration, however. I was working on our new planters. I needed three more 5″ corner braces to finish the job and had bought them a day or so ago at Barry’s Ace Hardware on W Glendale, not wanting to drive the extra distance to The Home Depot on W Thunderbird. I also bought some 5/16″ stove bolts to attach the planter facing boards to the brackets. Well today I discovered that the hole pattern on Ace’s braces did not match the pattern on Home Depot’s braces, so they did not fit my system. Then I drove to The Home Depot only to find out they were out of that item! On to The Home Depot at Cave Creek Road and Thunderbird, where I was able to find plenty.

Back at the house I then discovered that the 5/16″ bolts that fit Ace’s braces were too large for Home Depot’s. Back to Ace and I exchanged the three braces I bought plus all the 5/16″ bolts, nuts, and washers for 1/4″ bolts, nuts, and washers. They only had 20 bolts, so I will have to go to a different store to buy the rest I need – another 20.

face panels
I have the first face panels in place on our planters

I installed the new brackets to finish that part of the job, and then turned to the facing boards. I was able to use the bolts I did have to mount the board on the south side as well as one of the boards on the front side. You can see the partial result in the photo. I think they will look good when done; I still have to paint the bolt heads, touch up the boards, and do some minor tweaks.

Elaine braved the heat to wash down the porch floor. It had gotten quite dirty and was well in need of cleaning. It sure looks good now!