Happy Birthday, Agnes. Stamping show. Shelves.

Agnes and cake
Agnes Volk and her birthday cake. Donna Volk in upper right

Happy Birthday, Agnes Volk! She is 93 years old and a lively, wonderful person – a real asset to Royal Palm. Her daughter-in-law, Donna Volk, organized a surprise birthday party for her and invited a lot of people from the Park – there were 23 of us at North Mountain Brewing Company for dinner tonight. We all enjoyed a great dinner and then shared a birthday cake with Agnes. I don’t know how Donna did it, visiting in Agnes’s house, but she made tons of decorations for the tables and had lots more for the walls. She and husband Glen, Agnes’s son, arranged for him to take Agnes out on some pretense and they “just happened” to end up at North Mountain where we were all gathered. It was a total surprise for Agnes! Continue reading Happy Birthday, Agnes. Stamping show. Shelves.

Shelve it. Great weather. Newsletter.

shelving materials
Shelving materials for our shed addition, bought at The Home Depot today. The 2x4s and standards are on top of the seat backs, the shelf brackets on the floor.

I started the next step in our new shed addition – adding the shelving system. I decided to use the ClosetMaid 60-inch twin track standards and the shelf brackets to match. I attached 2x4s on the back wall, which was the outside wall of the original shed, and attached standards to them. On the front wall I simply attached the standards to the 2x3s Marv had used to frame the addition. I will only have deep shelving in two of the three bays and will leave the other bay available for taller items. Tomorrow I will get the shelving material and finish the job. Continue reading Shelve it. Great weather. Newsletter.

Newsletter panic. Golf cart decorating.

Nov 17 newsletter cover
Cover of the November 2017 The Palm Press. Click to download the newsletter

Our great volunteer crew gathered at the Clubhouse at 9:30 this morning to fold and stuff the newsletters. This month’s issue is 24 pages, and four of those are inserts. There is a back-to-back color insert and a back-to-back black-and-white insert. The inserts are necessary because the newsletter is printed in four-page folios; the outside front and back inside and outside pages are in color and the other pages are in black-and-white. If the other four pages were all black-and-white they could have been printed and bound with the rest, but since two pages are color ads they have to be separate. Continue reading Newsletter panic. Golf cart decorating.

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.

Box for Copic pens. More office organizers. Hotter.

smaller box
This is one of the smaller boxes in which Elaine stores Copic pens

Elaine has been keeping her Copic pens in some plastic boxes that will hold about 144 pens. She has two and they are mostly full so she needs more storage. She recently found and ordered a larger box, about 11×15 inches in size, that will hold ALL her Copic pens plus more that she hasn’t bought yet. This new box will hold 406 pens. She thinks it will be easier to carry the single box and have all her colors available when she goes to a class. And she has A LOT of Copic pens – more than 250 of them, in fact! Continue reading Box for Copic pens. More office organizers. Hotter.

New permanent bridge. John is off. Sorting parts.

Finally, my permanent bridge is in place. The dentist told me to not bite with those teeth for another 24 hours, while the cement is curing. But after that I should be able to eat as normal. The new bridge has none of the roughness and edges the temporary one had. I must have been good, because the last temporary did not break and did not come loose. The tech had to work hard to remove it. Continue reading New permanent bridge. John is off. Sorting parts.

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.

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!


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!

On with the project. African Violets.

We received approval this morning from the office for our front yard project, so after Elaine was back from crafts and we had lunch we headed to The Home Depot to purchase the items for the posts. I needed post bases and post material. We had decided on 4×4 wood, and I looked for redwood but there was only 4×3 so I bought two. I also bought the metal post bases to set in concrete. I was a little concerned that the bases are for 4×4, but I figured they would still work. Then on the way home I thought also about the post caps we want to use and they will look strange with a 4×4 cap on a 4×3 post. So I will return the redwood and get 4×4 Douglas Fir instead.

Elaine reported that there were only 2-3 people at the craft session this morning. While most of the RVers have left for the summer, there are still several who attend crafts who are here year-round. Some have left on trips, and the others may have been busy with something else. But things sure do quiet down noticeably when the winter visitors leave!

African violet plant in bloom

Elaine has bought several African Violet plants and has them on the the kitchen bar. They have been there for a few weeks now, and all the plants look healthy. But only one has started to bloom and it is going crazy with blossoms! It is strange. They have all been treated the same EXCEPT that the blooming plant was accidentally dropped and its pot broken a few weeks ago. Elaine repaired the pot right away and repotted the plant. She has looked for some African Violet food in a couple of stores but has not found any yet. She’s hoping she can persuade the others to bloom as well.