Saturday, 17 February 2018

Saturday, Feb 17th

  Happy birthday Kenney, happy 17th.  Sorry we missed you when we called.
The nights are noticeably cooler these days, so it takes a bit longer for the day to warm up.  The daytime highs have also been cooler, although we did reach 70F today this cooling trend is expected for much of next week.
  Rather than go out for breakfast, I made oatmeal this morning, well for me anyway, as Marg passed on it in favour of coffee & yogurt.  We had a commitment to go to the parking lot flea market again today.  It was the same one as last Saturday but it turned out to be a larger version.  Lynett's daughter and grandson arrived yesterday and they wanted to go as the young fellow is interested in coins and rocks.  They took their own car as he had not been feeling well just in case they had to return early. There was lots of interesting stuff, but the only thing I bought was 3 Canadian coins from the same guy as last weekend.  He recalled my earlier purchase so I got them for $15, he was asking $28.  On checking their value when I got home, they appear to be a pretty good deal.  The young fellow got a couple of U.S. coins for $8 each that also seem to be a good deal as well as an assortment of rocks.  The two coins he paid $8 each seem to be worth $70.   He seemed really pleased with the geode he got.  There was a real variety of objects, something for everyone.  I liked some of the old knives/swords, but the good ones were pretty expensive.  Old bayonets & swords must be real popular from the asking prices.
  Our next stop was a coin shop recommended to us by the vendor, he said they had fair pricing and were negotiable.  As it was close by, we both went to check it out.  The entrance had a heavy wire cage so the operator could check us out before buzzing us in.  I guess we passed the test.  They had a wide selection, some high dollar value stuff like gold and silver bullion.  The coins and bills were mostly U.S., but we did find a reasonable selection of foreign stuff.  From his clearance stuff, I got some good coins, the best of which was an 1880 quarter that I paid $30 and condition rated as VG.  It was marked as regular $60, asking $35.  When I got home I checked it and it is worth between $110 - $230, depending on condition, the upper end being if it really is VG.  It is somewhere between G & VG, so time will tell.  It is easily the oldest Canadian silver coin I own at 137 yrs.  I also got some other stuff, the best of which are a Cdn penny & dime on which I got a couple bucks off.  Lynett was picking through a bin for me and I picked up 9 coins from her efforts for $2.25 and they turned out to be well priced, so a successful day.  They have current coins thrown in with old ones in this area, so a person has to be careful, especially in the English coin.  By my reckoning I am up on my day by something in the order of between $100-$250, largely on the quarter.
  When we got back we had a bite of lunch and then I went to see if anyone was playing pool.  There wasn't so I worked on a way to put an advertising message on the new bingo machine.  They installed it yesterday and it will be an interesting change.  I think I have something that will work, but it might take a bit of trial and error.
  Marg had some visitors and then she went around the park on her cart, checked the mail, etc.  Then we went to happy at Kenny & Doris' place.  There was a pretty good sized crowd today.  Marg left a bit early as she had some prep work to do for supper as we were having company.  When she got home our two mini-visitors from across the road came to see her - for a hug.  Well that and a chocolate.  She allowed it cautioning them to save the chocolate for after supper.  They just come right in now, really funny.  Anyway Mason said hey Marg, why is there an unwrapped chocolate in here, to which she replied oh, those are for Dave.  They are about to be disappointed as the bowl is nearing empty.  Jenn came running over to see if they were causing a problem, saying she could hardly wait until the parents go home as the kids are better when it's just them, something her and Marg seemed to agree on.  Oops did I say that.  Kenny and Doris came for Reuben sandwiches we had at supper and Doris brought a coconut cream pie she made.  Her pies are as legendary as Marg's Reuben's, so it was very good.
  I almost forgot - Skunk update.  Today Gary caught the 3rd skunk, still using marshmallows.  The pest control guy thinks pet food must be attracting and sustaining them.  This time Gary was not so fortunate and got Skunked a bit.  Glad I wasn't there for that.
  By my standards a busy day in the valley of the sun.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Friday, Feb 16th

  A bit nicer day as the rains have ended.  I am certain the locals would like them to continue, but I think most snowbirds would be fine if it's over. The daytime high still got to about 70F, so it was a pleasant day.
  We went out early in the morning for sticky buns at the park managers place.  Aggie is legendary for making them and I guess they were actually sponsored by Gary & Patti to thank all the people who helped them over the past year as well as the new tenants assoc. executive.  It was quite a large group and everyone enjoyed it, especially those attending for the first time. There were lots of buns an coffee and it was great to be included.
  After that I went with Gary to take a picture of the skunk.  He caught his second one today and told me he would help me get a photo.  Well when we got there he told me to get close for a good picture, yeh right.  I might have born in the night but it wasn't last night, so I told him that's what telephoto lenses are for.  He also told me it was a little skunk, but to me it was pretty darn good size, I would say an adult.  I had given him a tarp to cover the cage as they are more placid in the dark and don't like the light.  Between the two he has caught, they have pretty much torn it to pieces, so he is now using a green garbage bag to cover the trap.  The animal control folks came and took it away, probably release it to spray again.
  Then we went out to check out some sales, one estate sale and a couple of park sales all of which turned out to be a bust.  We never bought a thing.  Our next stop was the Ranch market at Superstition where Marg loaded up on vegetables.  Everything is so fresh there and the prices are unbeatable, how good well 10 pounds of potatoes for 99cents, or bell peppers 8 for a dollar.
  A  sandwich for lunch and then I went to play pool.  There was a bluegrass jam session on in the hall, so only a few pool players.  I ended up playing on the A table, but they are good guys whom I have played in prior years.  I played reasonably well and not certain of my statistics, but I was on the winning side enough times to keep from being embarrassed.  I don't think I was the weakest player at the table, probably second weakest, LOL.
  Marg went for groceries and got home about the same I did, so I helped her unload her purchases.  We don't really stock up here like we do at home, so more like the European style shopping more often for fresh stuff.  She put the stuff away while I messed with the wiring for the lights in the breezeway and think I have it working better now.  Just about then one or two people came around asking whether we knew where happy was, so Marg invited everyone to come here.  Just about then a couple from the park were involved in a collision at the intersection nearest our entrance.  It was Lorraine and Jerry, they were rear ended while turning onto our road.  The other vehicle must have been travelling at a pretty good rate of speed, even thought the road is posted at 35mph.  They are OK just shaken up.  It was a small group at happy as quite a few people went to check on them to see if they could help in any way.
  During this process we agreed to go out for supper to the German Gasthaus down Main in Mesa, so when the group left we went in to change.  Well I heard a small knock on the door and it turned out to be Olivia, the four year old across the road.  She had her cousin Mason [about a year older] with her.  She said they were here to give Marg a hug.  Apparently Marg had given them a bag of Cheetos and they wanted to see her. While they were waiting she spied a dish of Ghirardelli chocolates and asked if she could have one, then Mason asked for one, then one for her grandmother [our neighbour], then one for her mother.  It all made for a pretty funny event, so after giving Marg a hug, they ran skipping across the street to grandma's place. 
  There were 3 couples for supper, so Jerry [not the one having the accident] drove as we all fit in his van, to the German restaurant.  It is one we have gone to before, for a few years now as they have a salad bar and the food is usually good.  We were not disappointed, Marg had the Roulad & I had the Veal Weinerschnitzel.  They only serve German beer and it was very good as well.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Thursday, Feb 15th

Woke up with the rain still lightly falling on the roof.  The news media was full of talk about the weather and the rain storm.  The measured the rainfall in just about every area of the state it was such a big deal.  In this area around Phoenix, they pretty much tracked it by neighbourhood, so it took quite a while to report.  This is the 6th largest city in the U.S., so lots of neighborhood's.
  I was able to drive the cart right under the canopy beside the truck, so the seat was reasonably dry.  It was a first as I had just thrown a tarp on it before.  It also makes it easier to put the charger on.
  We got up early and made it for coffee and donuts in the hall.  We had a group promoting the use of their facility for full body medical assessments.  It seems they are covered by most medical plans here, but on a cash basis to Canadians [$1,000].  This happens once in a while, but we all sit there and eat our free donut.  LOL.  This was an important meeting in the election process for the tenants association.  The 3 incumbents whose seats were being contested withdrew, so the process consisted of nominations and then a declaration they were elected.  Marg was one of the nominators, so she stood to nominate Doreen for the Secretary position.  I also learned that she has been recruited to the entertainment committee.  I found out that Gary had caught one skunk last night, so I made a security announcement at the end of the meeting.  I started out saying I was surprised there was no mention of a security issue then that the park had their best man originally from Skunk Hollow on the job, having caught one already using marshmallows.  Then encouraged anyone seeing a skunk to let Gary know. The funny part was he really did grow up in a community known as Skunk Holler in Ohio.  It struck the funny bone with lots of people.
  After coffee we had visitors for a bit and made plans to go out with them after lunch.  I started on a project, I got a string of LED rope light from Costco the other day and installed them on the carport support beam.  The new porch lights are LED as well, but are more task lighting, so don't illuminate the breezeway as well.  It didn't take very long and I had them installed.  The electrical connection is thru the motion light on the Az room, but that is not working out, so I will need to re-wire to get a constant power source.  These lights have some neat features that are more for decorative lighting and are controlled by a remote.
  After lunch we went out with Kenny & Doris to the Mexican grocery store down on Stapely.  It is the largest one that we are aware of.  It was their first time to it so a bit of an experience and Marg picked up some stuff including Chicharoni that she took to happy hour.  It was kind of amusing to see the reaction to it as many of the people at happy had never heard of it, but most seemed OK with it.  By the time we got back it was happy hour.  We had it over in the storage lot where the skunk trap is because Rita's sister Lorraine and her husband bought a new 5th wheel and it was stored over there for a couple of weeks.  There are no available camp spaces in this park until then.  Supper in the house tonight.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Valentines Day 2018

The day started off cloudy and a bit cooler, cool enough for long pants and a sweatshirt for me.  The forecast rain did not start until later in the day.  Just as we got off the golf course as a matter of fact.  I just have to keep reminding myself, this place is in drought conditions and needs the rain, so it is really a blessing.  Even if it is raining on my parade?
  I caught a ride with Allan this morning and went out with the Calloway clubs.  Time to put the regular clubs in the penalty box and perhaps they will get it together.  I never check the bag closely enough before going.  On looking through it, I recalled Daniel had used these clubs last and that explained the few balls in the bag, I think there were about 8 or 10, mostly pretty beat up, although I did manage to find 3 or 4 good ones.  I played with 3 guys from the park, one from Alberta.  I have played with them before and they are fun on the course.  The game started off poorly and didn't get much better for the first 3 holes, so I was really second guessing my decision on the bag.  The last 3 holes were good, so they will be the ones I remember, the ones that keep a guy going back after I burn the score card.  LOL
  Marg washed the floor in the trailer and steamed the clothes from the laundry tis morning while I was away.  Even after the floors were vacuumed, they still had quite a bit of dust clinging to them, just one of the undesirable things in the desert.  I guess the swifter pads were pretty much garbage when she was done.  By the time I go back it was starting to rain, up until then it had been more of a mist.  A pleasant surprise when I got back she had corn bread muffins and soup ready to go.  She knows I like these or biscuits with soup, so it was a very nice lunch.
  When I was returning home I took note of the trap in the storage yard in our area of the park.  On checking with Gary to see if he got skunked, it turns out he did catch a small one this morning.  It's a catch and release trap, you really don't want to kill a skunk in a place like this if you can help it.  That is never good, it means a female and they can have good sized litters.  Anyway he did manage to get the animal control people here to pick it up.  Somehow they got it out of the trap so he could continue trapping without anyone getting sprayed.  It did eat all the marshmallow he put in the cage, so it might have been in a good mood.  He has some lights shining under the building to encourage any others still in there to get out, as there is at least the mother under there.
  It rained pretty much all day, although at times only sprinkling.  Oh yes, the desert needs it, did I mention that already, well I have to keep reminding myself this is a good thing.  Although we didn't have a lot of time on our hands we hung out at home.  Our commitment was to be at the hall for 3 o'clock to help with the Spaghetti Dinner.  One of the couples who are regulars on the kitchen crew were away and Marg just can't refuse some of the people here when they ask for help.  My job today was Water Boiler and sauce/sauce with meatballs stirrer.  Marg was a plate filler and pasta taster.  With the quantities of pasta we were making [for 100 people] we wanted it to be cooked right, not al dante even if that is fashionable in some circles.  As it turned out Gary does most of the cooking at this function and this was where he needed me.  It was a bit of an experience.  The food was good [we ate after everyone was fed] and we had lots of compliments.  The I did some meals on wheels, taking a couple of dinners to people in the park.  Oh during this something funny happened.  Our neighbours were there for dinner and they have their 4 yr old granddaughter staying over. When Jenn pointed Marg out in the kitchen serving, she said and Dave. Olivia had given Marg and I valentines today, so when I saw her went over to the window and thanked her for the valentine.  During dinner she kept looking over at Marg and they had a running thing going.  Cute little thing, very chatty.
  By the time we cleaned up and got out of there, we just wanted to go home and put our feet up.  One of us with a nice glass of Macallan

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Tu8esday, Feb 13th

It rained a bit during the night and the day started out cloudy.  Well they called it rain, but it barely wet the pavement, at home I don't think they would even have reported that amount of rain.  Further north in the high country they got quite a bit of snow in some places, like Show Low, but lesser amounts in places like Flagstaff. 
  The temperatures have cooled off quite a bit, I think I saw 19C on the truck readout today.  It wasn't cold enough to warrant a jacket, but I did wear long pants.  Marg did about 3 loads of laundry today and although the machine is quite a bit smaller that is still a lot.  She had a visitor today asking her to take on a new role with the tenants association but she declined.  Then Gary stopped by to tell us about his pursuit of a skunk in the park.  When we returned from dinner on Friday night a lot of us thought we smelled skunk.  Anyway he is trying to live trap it to remove it from the park.  I gave him a tarp I have to use in covering the cage both to make it dark and to protect against any unplanned discharge by the skunk.  It's down in our end of the park in the storage yard, not far away, so anything I can do [short of pursuing it] is in my best interest.
  After that we went out to Costco.  I wanted gas and Marg a few other things.  The gas price there is about 20 cents a gallon less than anyplace around here.  Marg got some facial cream, frozen peas and some teriyaki chicken she plans to take to the block party on our street.  I wasn't looking for anything but got some rope lighting for the breezeway.
  We got home and had lunch, then I went to play pool for a while.  Had some good games, I think I won more than lost, so a good day.  Marg continued to play the laundry game.
  When I got back I vacuumed the trailer.  There isn't a lot to it, but that seems to be one of the worst things for Marg's back.  There is a lot of dust here, even after I put caulking on some of the windows to seal them.  Then I used my shop vac to clean up the house vac as the filters get too much dust/lint/hair in them.  Marg had a couple of visitors again in the afternoon.  I think that is how the women in this park know more about what is going on than the guys.
  Supper was bbq and was very good.  We had a tinfoil pan of chopped potatoes, turnip, carrot, onion and then pork chops.  It was a bit of a hurried affair as there was bingo in the hall Tuesday night.  We tried the bingo backdrop I made and it is a work in progress with some adjustments required. The focal length of the camera lens is the main cause of the re-work, but it should be better next week.  I had the hot cards tonight and was close on most games, winning two games.  Nothing in the order of the dollars Marg won, but hey a win is a win.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Monday, Feb 12th

The day started cloudy and windy, it seems a weather system is moving in for the next few days.  We may get some rain, they are expecting up to 4 inches of snow in the high country [over 6,000 ft].  With the area in a 20 year long drought, people in the area are really looking forward to the moisture as well as the desert plants. 
  Marg went to the Fort with the gals, I think there were 4 of them today.  It was a good day for her as she had some coupons to $10 off her bingo, then the cashier she always goes to gave her extra coupons, then best of all she won at bingo and was very close on several others.  Her net result financially was very good and she always has a great time when she wins.  She had to split this one so it was $150 in her pocket.
  I had some breakfast and then went to the Food Bank.  No we are not in desperate straits here, I donate my aluminum cans to them.  They really appreciate it even though they primarily deal in food, as the cans help them financially.  Then I went to the hardware where I bought some glue traps.  I use them mainly to catch spiders, crickets and similar critters.  I needed to replace the one in the shed after the snake got all wound up in it with the other critters.
  When I got back I made a sign for the bingo machine and did some posts on the tenants association FB page.  To support the sign I made a wood bracket to sit in front of the camera and hold it.  Then I cleaned up some emails.
  By then I had to make lunch, yes you are hearing correctly. It was leftovers, yes again.  I warmed them up in a frying pan and it was pretty darn good.  It was the pasta and shrimp Marg made the other night.  Well after that I was left with a sink of dishes.  So another domestic chore for yours truly I rolled up the sleeves and did dishes, even put them away after.  I must be in the running for husband of the year award with a performance like that.  Marg was so impressed she even mentioned it.
  I read a bit and then it was time to go pick up Marg at the front gate.  When they get here, she gives Lynett a ride home while I stand on the back, but I get a seat the rest of the way home. 
  A bunch from here went out in the desert today and were just getting back around that time, so we invited them to our place for happy.  It was chilly, so I put out our gas fire pit and it made for a very comfy place to sit out.  Even though I bought it last year, it was the first time we have used it and were happy with it.  The guys all wanted to see the snake I found in the glue trap, the girls not so much.  Anyway I dug it out the trash to show them the fierce 4 or 5 cm snake all dried up.
  Supper tonight was Ihop and Marg had a salad while I went back to my old regular 2x2x2.  The traffic in restaurants is noticeably lighter this winter.  I'm not sure whether there are fewer people eating out or fewer snowbirds period.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Sunday, Feb 11th

The day started out a bit cool & windy so I wore long pants & a jacket to the church service.  The Mexicans and me are not accustomed to this cold weather. LOL.  We joke about the workers at the golf course in their heavy coats & toques while we are in golf shirts and shorts, but maybe the joke is on me now?
  The service was good and the music was good, well what I stayed for.  I left after the sermon as we had a scheduled facetime with Charlene, Phil and all the family.  As a result of a mechanical failure at Anna & Craig's everyone went to Char & Phil's for supper and then baths for the kids. It was great to have the opportunity to talk to everyone this morning, wouldn't have missed it for the world.  What a wonderful start to our day, even if it was supper time for them.
  After we went out to the Mesa market so I could exchange my pocket books.  It was nice to see the old gal I get them from still in business.  She always explains why some are worth more and others less.  When she paid me out on the books I turned in, as always I tell her as soon as I get replacements she'll get it and more back.  It generally amounts to about half or less of what I owe her.  I needed a new golf glove, the kind suited to hot weather that are only in golf shops.  While there I got a head cover to replace the one that disappeared on the course a week ago.  I don't think Marg got anything.
  Then we went to Popeye's for lunch.  A new one opened on Crismon and it was close to where we were.  Their specialty is chicken and it had been quite a while since we ate at one.  It is chicken on the bone, so I had shrimp and coleslaw.  She said her chicken was very good, my dish was OK, the shrimp was Creole, so a bit spicy.
  After lunch we went up to a flea market out neighbour Mark told us about.  He had a few tables at it as he deals in old stuff.  When he introduced us to his son and grandson yesterday he mentioned it and Marg committed to going to see it.  There were about 40 or more vendors and only a few things of interest.  I ended up buying some silver half dollars from a friend of Marks and a couple of coins from another vendor.  It was funny the other vendor had a bunch of knives.  One filleting knife priced at $55 that is exactly like one I own.  That really made me suspect as I would gladly sell mine for that much.  He said he had a bunch of foreign coins but didn't bring them because they are slow movers, but would bring the Canadian ones next week if I was interested.  He said he would be prepared to make a deal on all of them, so we will probably go back to take a look at them. He had a few English coins, but they were not priced well.  He had his grandson price them and they were not realistic, he had a 10 pence coin dated 1970 for $10 and I told him it was worth at most 25 cents.
  After we came home and put our feet up for a bit.  Shortly after Kenny came by to tell us that happy was at his place, so we packed up our chairs and went down there.  It was a pretty good sized crowd, but it turned in to a fun event.  Back home for a supper of salad and some fresh made biscuits.  Didn't want to eat too much as I was saving room for dessert.  Dessert was the ice cream social and I had a banana split while Marg had sherbet.
  When we got home we had a nice facetime with Brennan and Jess.  Nice of them to think of us and we had a nice visit with them.