High temp. Work on planters. Newsletter delivered.

folks in pool
When the temps get up like this, the pool’s a good place to be

106° today – about 8° above normal – and a good day to be in the pool. We’ve had a couple of 100+ days this week and will have at least one more according to the forecast. When the temperatures are up there we still do pretty much the same things we would have at lower temps, however. After all, this IS Phoenix! Continue reading High temp. Work on planters. Newsletter delivered.

Sierra Mist selected. Halibut from Costco. Newsletter done.

We selected the Sierra Mist white stone for our front yard today, from Pioneer Sand‘s plant on W Northern Ave. This is the whitest stone we could find here in the Valley, though I think we could have bought some white quartz in Tucson. Just not practical to get it here from Tucson! We saw some here in the Park that we thought was Sierra Mist, but took a ride out to the plant this morning to see it for ourselves. They will deliver it when we are ready to place it. Sorry – I forgot to take a photo while we were there.

Elaine went to Costco this afternoon to get some prunes and some tuna. She came back with those and much more, including some fresh halibut which we had for supper tonight. Pete went along, and while he did no shopping for himself he did select a cheese he thought I would like (I did). She also found a pair of stainless steel vacuum containers in which to carry her iced tea and other drinks. The plastic ones she has been using have not done a good job, but it looks like this new steel one will work well. She took it to the pool this afternoon to give it a test.

newsletter cover
Cover of the June issue of The Palm Press. Click on the image to download the file.

I got the newsletter completed this morning and took it to UPS to be printed, then picked it up this afternoon. You can download the newsletter in PDF format by clicking on the cover image at the right.

Elaine heart doctor. Newsletter done.

Elaine visited Dr Kaufman this afternoon as a follow up on recent testing. She has been having rapid heart beats on occasion, and wildly varying blood pressure. When a rapid beat episode comes on she has to sit and relax until it passes. The doctor reported that her heart is strong and there are no blockages, which is good news. He will start her on a beta blocker to see if that will eliminate or reduce the problem. It may take some time to get the correct dosage and she may even have to make future medication changes. She goes back in a month. Continue reading Elaine heart doctor. Newsletter done.

Working on newsletter.

No question about it – today HAD to be newsletter day. So that is what I spent most of the day doing. I still have some uncertain and missing content which I will have to wrap up tomorrow, but most of the rest has been completed. I had a good session this afternoon with the subject of this month’s Royal Palm Spotlight, so  that interview is done.

It looks like I will be removing two pages from this issue, making it 22 pages compared with last month’s 24. I will know better when I get the final content tomorrow.

Boxed into a corner. Rock shopping. Social Club meeting. Breakfast at Denny’s.

Once again I have boxed myself into a corner! My schedule calls for the Royal Palm newsletter to go to the printer on Monday and to be distributed on Tuesday. I still have several pages not complete and have a couple of ads to get, and I need to give the reviewers a day for their work. Why did this happen (again)? I simply lost track of time and spent my efforts on something else instead (our front yard project). Grrrrr! I will again have to move the printing and delivery days one day forward.

We want white rock for the ground cover in our front yard project. But can we find it? No! I have searched a number of web sites for local landscaping supply firms and have talked with 2-3 companies directly. Today we drove to the yard of Pioneer Landscaping Materials on N 7th Street, out near Deer Valley Airport. They did not show any white stone on their web site but I thought it was worth a try to ask; perhaps they had something that was not shown on the web or could help us locate what we are looking for. The young men on duty were very helpful: no, they don’t have any stock there but they knew of a material called Sierra Mist that might meet our needs. One got on the phone to another of their locations in the Valley and sure enough, they do have it. The other fellow texted a photo over to the caller so we could see it. It was not exactly what we were looking for – it seemed to have too much grey in some of the stones in the mix. But we can at least drive to that other location to see it. Tonight when walking the boys I noticed that a neighbor four lots down from us has a stone in her front yard that looks very much like the Sierra Mist, and it seems to have less of the grey than in the photo, so perhaps we can use that material. At minimum we could pick out any grey stones to leave more white. Once the newsletter is out we can work on the project again.

Our monthly Social Club meeting was held this morning, and we both went of course. Elaine is Secretary of the Social Club and I am Editor of The Palm Press, so we are on the agenda. The meeting was short – about 30 minutes or so – since there was not a lot of business or issues to discuss. While usually lasting for about an hour, some have gone for 1½ hours.

Our Saturday morning breakfast out was at the local Denny’s today. Elaine had suggested that we try the Breakfast Sandwich at Schlotzsky’s, but though the sign on the door said they opened at 7:00 AM and it was about 7:45, the door was locked. Denny’s is next door. We were not happy with the Denny’s, though; the table was not clean, the menus were dirty, the floors had stuff on them, and there was a napkin on the windowsill beside us. I will register our complaint at their web site.

Front yard and planter work. No stones. Board meeting.

I worked on a lot of little things today related to our front yard project.

I cut some 1×1 pieces to use for corner reinforcement on the planter and to use to mount a sign we will attach to the center of the planter, and I painted them to  match the planter color.

I modified the drip system for the hanging pots on the front of our awning. We added a hanging pot so I added a tee for a drip line to that pot.

I attached the post cap on the last post recently installed. Continue reading Front yard and planter work. No stones. Board meeting.

Plants done. Crash Plan. Card class. Fire Storm outdated.

Andy Goodhart got the remainder of our plants set in the ground this morning and did some smoothing and leveling of the excavated dirt. Since we had to add water to soften the ground for digging, much of the excavated material was wet and lumpy so he spread it out to dry and will do final smoothing another day. At this point, our next step is to lay the landscaping fabric and put the stone layer on top of it. That will happen next week. Once the fabric is down, I will expand the irrigation system for the new plants before the stone is added. I added the white chain to the post put in yesterday, so that part of the project is done.

The recent cyber attack over the weekend made me check to be sure my Code42 Crash Plan software was up to date and working, so I was dismayed to find it wasn’t! Apparently it became disabled when the Geek Squad did the work on my computer last week. This is the program that does data backups for my laptop; one backup regime goes to an online backup store with Code42, another does a backup to my local external hard drive. Should my computer data become held for ransom it would probably affect both the internal and external hard drives but would not affect the online backup since it is kept on a remote server and does not show up as a drive letter on my computer. Once I made this discovery I immediately went to Code42.com and looked for a fix, and ended up doing a regular uninstall and a reinstall. Everything was working at that point.

Elaine headed over to The Paper Collage in Sun City West today for a card class, and came home with some good projects. She also went to the Scraps of Love store in Peoria to do some shopping, and found the paper she was looking for along with some other items.

I started to cut some aluminum angle for part of our planter project only to find out the only metal cutting blade I had for my Black & Decker Fire Storm reciprocal saw was too dull. I went to Ace Hardware this morning to get a replacement, only to be told they do not stock them. Back home I did some web searching only to find out that none of the other stores (Lowe’s, The Home Depot) carried them either. But I was able to find those blades on Amazon, only they were listed as Black & Decker Navigator, not Fire Storm. Further searching at the Black & Decker site showed the only Fire Storm results were the 14.4 volt batteries that system uses. The Navigator blades are for a corded saw, not cordless. However, as long as they fit my old Fire Storm I don’t care, so I ordered a package. If they work I will order some more. I hate to have to replace my old Fire Storm 14.4 volt cordless tool set; I bought it back around 2003 when it was the latest thing. I have that reciprocal saw, a jig saw, a sander, and a drill from that system.

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.

Plants, chains, and caps.

Three lantana plants for our front yard garden

So as to keep me from continuing in an untruth, Elaine today bought another purple lantana plant! Yesterday I had reported that she had bought two, but it was only one. I was fooled because she had set it next to the one we already had that had been blooming in whites, yellows, and oranges, but has now started blooming in purple! Trying to fit in, I suppose. You can see them in the photo: the one in back and the one to the right are the new ones, while the one to the left and in a square pot is the old one. Continue reading Plants, chains, and caps.