October 2008
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As we started the month of October we often felt quite alone here at Palm Creek.  It was rare that a vehicle drove down our street, and almost as rare for us to see others as we walked or road around the park on our bikes.  But, if we knew when and where to go, we did find people to talk with.  A few tennis players gathered at 7 am at the courts and there was usually a steady stream of golfers ready to tee off at about the same time.  The front-nine was closed down for re-seeding, but the back-nine continued to offer its challenges to us. As the days heated up, we retreated into the air-conditioning.   A new month also offered us a new sport.  We didn't actually get involved, but we enjoyed the antics as we watched others play "badwater."
 
 

By dawn's early light...approaching the 18th hole around 8 am...its getting a little brown...but what can you expect after weeks of 100* temperatures?
And in the late afternoon sun...It's harder than it looks....standing waist deep in water, trying to play our version of badminton we call "Badwater"

For some diversion, we ventured outside the park.  Something we'd been meaning to do for several seasons was to tour the Queen Creek Olive Mill which is about 25 miles from us in Queen Creek, AZ.  It is a small operation with its own olive tree groves and pressing mill.  The owner gave us a guided tour as we learned about the different types of olives and the oils they produce.  A tasting station and a small cafe on the property allowed us to taste the many varieties of olives grown and oils produced at the Olive Mill...quite yummy!           Another stop was at a Health Fair held at the Del Web Sun City development.  We toured their gorgeous community center and participated in fitness testing, blood screening, blood pressure tests and gathered information about services in the area.  While at Sun City, we stopped by the homes of some of our former neighbors here at Palm Creek.  They are all getting settled in their new homes there, and we're quite impressed with the whole project.         We didn't win any money, but we had fun and a free lunch on a trip to Harrah's  Ak-Chin Casino to play their version of "Let's Make a Deal."  Maybe another time!  Tom has participated in some on-line seminars for his coming Head Start Review projects and Mary has been training to volunteer a few hours a week in the park Activities Office and at the Welcome Station...so our days will be getting busier soon.
 
 

Olive trees grow well in Arizona without pesticides.  Harvesting is done by raking olives from the branches when the majority of the oives on the tree appear to be ripe.
Perry demonstrated how the olives go through the mill and the oils are gathered and refined.
This shows you just a portion of the Community Center at Anthem...we got our vitals checked and gathered some goodies at the health fair.
Let's Make a Deal....we tried, but didn't come home with any big prizes!

Finally, towards the end of the month, more of our neighbors began to arrive.  It has been great to catch up on what everybody did over the summer and to make some plans for the coming season.  The days got a little cooler  -  into the 90's instead of the 100's  -  and we managed to get motivated enough to get outside and, a little at a time, get the coach washed and waxed.  We're looking bright and shiny for a while, at least.  And, we put out the salad bar for the local bunnies...it was cool enough to plant some flowers on the patio.  We'll see how long they last!
 
 

 
The "old gang" is getting back together..grab a chair and a drink and come join us...any day around 4:00.
Our neighbor, Ranger Bob, is a big Phoenix Coyotes fan.  But we do see an occasional real live one.  We also adopted "Pookey" a scorpion found in our living room this month.

We're looking forward to the arrival of more and more friends each day, and getting into our seasonal routine as the next month begins.