January, 2012
Happy New Year!            New Year's Day was a bright, sunny and warm one here in Arizona.  Our good friends and former neighbors in Toledo, Dick and Liz, were in Phoenix
visiting their daughter.  We were invited to Tricia and Ethan's home for a delicious pork and sauerkraut dinner and a great visit to their new apartment.  The next day, Dick
and Liz came down to Palm Creek and the guys played golf at Francisco Grande while the gals did some shopping and went to lunch.  We enjoyed their visit and look forward
to seeing them again when its time for Spring Training.
We had completed the repairs and installation of new equipment on our tow car and the motor home after our fateful trip through Texas last fall.  It was time to give it all a
good test, so on Sunday, January 15th we hitched up the Escape to the Dutch Star and took an overnight trip to Deming, New Mexico.  We chose to go to Deming because it
was the distance of one of our "typical travel days"...about 280 miles and between five and six hours on the road, including stops.  We drove at our usual pace of about
62 mph towing the car and stopped for lunch at the beautiful Texas Canyon rest area on I-10.  We arrived at the Escapees Dreamcatcher RV Park just in time for their Sunday
afternoon ice cream social and enjoyed visiting with some of the folks there.  We purposely did not unhitch the car overnight because along with testing the transmission
performance of the Escape, we were giving the new battery charging and disconnect system a challenge.  We retraced our route to Casa Grande the next day and gave all
the equipment a passing grade!  We did, however come up with a few questions for our friends at the Ford dealership about exactly how things were supposed to work
and/or appear, which they were happy to answer.  It looks like we should be in good shape for our next long distance trip.
Meanwhile, back at Palm Creek, the population of the park was picking up and activities were getting crowded.  The warm weather of the New Year's weekend disappeared
and we had some quite chilly days.  Mary was "under the weather" for a couple weeks.  After repeated trips to a couple of doctors, a bunch of X-rays, various medications
and treatments due to a variety of conflicting symptoms, it was finally decided she probably had a couple of problems but the major one is that she has "shingles."   Luckily,
once that was determined, she was fairly quickly back to almost normal...a mild case of the nasty affliction.
January 20th was our second monthly neighborhood dinner and game night.  This month about 30 friends munched on delivered pizzas while we caught up on everyone's
news.  After dinner we broke into two groups for some rousing games. We were glad we had reserved a room in the activity center as it still wasn't quite warm enough to
comfortably enjoy dinner outside.  But, by the end of the month, our daily happy hour gatherings were held in the warm sunshine.  The park held its annual "Welcome Back
Party" and we visited the booths of the various park organizations and downed a free hot dog and ice cream.  One Sunday we walked the streets of downtown Casa Grande
while attending the annual Street Fair and Car Show.  We "killed three birds with one stone" another day by taking a trip to the Phoenix area once again.  Tom has enrolled
in a series of weekly golf lessons being held at the Sun City Country Club especially for people with Parkinson's Disease. It's a long drive, but he is enjoying the classes and
is getting a few tips each week that are useful.  Mary went along to the first lesson and after dropping Tom off, went to visit at the Happy Trails RV Resort near Surprise, AZ
where former Palm Creek neighbors Linda and  Bob are staying.  She had a good visit and enjoyed seeing the difference in the parks and hearing what's up with Linda and
Bob. On the way back through Phoenix we stopped long enough for Tom's regular checkup with the neurologist....a busy day!
The Sewing Club here at Palm Creek is a very active one with about 250 registered members.  Mary has been attending the weekly meetings and has worked on several new
projects this year.  There are always new classes and community projects as well.  After several delays, the ladies finally moved into their new sewing room this month.  But
the line that "If you build it, they will come" proved ever so true.  Its a busy place and even with 42 individual sewing stations, its hard to find a seat during the day.  
Evenings are only a little less crowded.  Mary attended a "Quilt Till You Wilt" evening and with the other ladies there that night, made 150 pillowcases for the local abuse
shelter.
Our final big activity of the month was the Lion's Club sponsored "Minute-To-Win-It" evening on January 31.  Some tennis club members had recruited Mary to participate in
the evening of games modeled after the TV show.  A good time was had by all using skills we didn't know we had.  Their team came in at 4th place....maybe next year!
As the weather got warmer it was a lot easier to get outside to go on with our usual activities. Tom even pulled out the big ladder and has been washing and waxing the
RV...its looking pretty "spiffy."  As we head into February we're hoping the nice weather continues, as our schedule is certainly picking up.
return to our "home page"
return to "What we've been doing..."
Management has installed some new traffic signs in the
park in an effort cut down on speeding cars.
Dick and Liz have visited us quite a few times now, and we always
enjoy our times together and look forward to the next one!
On the road back from Deming, we saw several huge rainbows.  
The RV was moving too fast and my camera was not able to catch
both ends that we could see.
These are the "high rollers" in the neighborhood...they
played with green money...
...while the rest of us played with the shiny silver stuff.  
But we all had a good time!
We had lots of choices of arts and crafts as well as food
at the downtown street fair.
The golf cars were all lined up and guarding the
practice greens at the Sun City Country Club when
Tom arrived for his lesson.
Mary and neighbor Gail set up their work stations
together for the "Quilt Till You Wilt" night.
Some of the ladies cut fabric on the custom built cutting
table for the others to sew.
After five hours of sewing, some dinner (and a little wine)
Suzanne taught the ladies how to Hula Dance. (The
evening had a Hawaiian theme)
One Hundred Fifty pillowcases were completed for the
local abuse shelter where each new resident gets a new
pillow to keep.
"The Acers" team ready for "Minute to Win It"..Hank and Glady,
Mary, Penny M, Penny J and Vern.
We had to roll and ping pong ball down the measuring tape
ramp into a cup.
Can you and your partner pick up a pickle ball using a piece of
dry linguine held between your teeth?
Making a pyramid with paper cups using only one hand was
one of the easier tasks for the team.
Soda cans filled with various amounts of pennies had to be
lined up in order of their weight.  The Acers did pretty good on
that one.
Have you ever tried to get a 'hole in one' using a pool cue with
your golf ball?