Karl to the rescue

old spanish style house
My dream home of 28 years in Palm Springs, built in 1937.

What have your neighbors done for you when you needed help? Do you play that role with any neighbors?

The bite

Waffles, my daughter's pug, at the Utes pool.
Waffles, my daughter’s pug, made it on “We Rate Dogs” a popular “pupper” site on Twitter and Instagram. Waffles got 13 out of perfect 10 rating — and more than 75k likes for this photo taken by someone on my daughter’s college team.

What would you have done in our place? Would you report the dog and/or ask the HOA board for restriction of some kind? How do you think the owner should corrected Star?

Happy Fourth!

We went to a Fourth of July pool party on Sunday, so today will be a quiet day, me and hubby, going for a walk and grilling burgers.

I spotted two interesting sights during my last walk.

First was this lovely pink blossom in one of our pots in our courtyard. Because our temperatures are well over 100 degrees, most of the blooms have faded away.

Then I saw two desert kingsnakes. They aren’t venomous and they eat rattlesnakes, so I guess that’s a good thing they’re hanging around our neighborhood.

I hope you all have a Happy Fourth of July!

What are your plans today?

Our wild neighborhood

We saw two mule deer on our morning walk.

Unfortunately our nest of quail eggs did not hatch. It makes me sad, because I was looking forward to our own hatchlings. We do have a couple families of quail visit our backyard. I also was thrilled to see deer yesterday morning.

I’m not sure what to do with the nest of eggs. I’m leaving it alone for the time being, but think I should throw them away?

I never get tired of the wildlife in our neighborhood. Across the street we have the McDowell Nature Preserve with more than 130 miles of hiking trails. That’s probably why we get deer, coyotes, javelina and bobcats waltzing through our backyards and streets. There’s so much building going on in Arizona, it’s reassuring to know the 30,580 acres of Sonoran Desert across the street will not be developed.

Here is one of the quail families that visit our yard. The babies look like teenagers.

Another deer in a neighbor’s yard.

Here’s a video of a mule deer walking across a neighbor’s driveway.

What is your favorite thing about your neighborhood?

Have lemons? Make lemonade!

A cup of lemonade I bought on our morning walk. I did take one sip, before I took the photo. I have to say it wasn’t a generous serving!

We have friendly neighbors who apparently have an abundance of fresh lemons. Note to self: I need to plant a lemon tree! In Palm Springs we had 15 citrus trees and we have none here.

On our morning walk, we passed the friendly neighbor’s house spotting a young boy sitting outside, alone at a folding table, with a hand painted sign, “Lemonade.”

We asked how long he’d be there and he said another hour and a half. It was 6:30 a.m. I wonder how early he set up his stand?

“We’ll be back after our walk,” my husband promised.

This is a grandchild of our neighbors. We first met them when their grandkids were visiting at Christmas the year we moved in. They had a lemonade stand then, and we thought it was so sweet. It brought back memories of my childhood when we had a Kool-aid stand.

We haven’t seen these neighbors since December 2020 until sometime in April this year when we were out for a walk. We stopped and talked and talked about our kids, who all live in California. They told us about their grandkids and asked if we wanted to go to church with them. The husband promised us his homemade limoncello.

Again we haven’t seen them around. I believe the husband works a lot throughout the country and is rarely home.

Then last week, the day before we left for Mexico, we saw him in his garage.

He said, “Wait!”

He ran to get us two bottles of limoncello. We declined, but he said, “Please take them. I don’t drink, but I like to make it.”

This morning after our walk, I returned to the lemonade stand.

“You’re certainly out early,” I said.

“I try to do my best,” the young boy answered.

“What are you going to do with all this money?” I asked.

“Half goes to charity. I’m not sure yet what I’ll do with the rest.”

I gave him money for two lemonades. He asked what color cups I wanted and poured me a few inches of lemonade in each cup.

It gave me a bit of joy to see a child working his lemonade stand. It’s a rare sight indeed.

What are your memories of lemonade stands growing up? Do you see them today?

Views from my week

Yellow blossoms on a beavertail cactus
Yellow blossoms on a beavertail cactus.

A common theme this week is the color yellow. There are yellow blossoms on trees, cacti and bushes.

A juvenile Cardinal

My week included enjoying my Bird Buddy. This is a juvenile Cardinal. His coat is getting hints of red. Males are brilliant red while females are brown.

Blooming yuccas at our neighborhood park.

staghorn cactus in bloom

This staghorn cactus is bursting in blooms.

Morning dove
Mourning doves have been dominating my Bird Buddy.
view of blooms in the desert
A view of yellow blossoms in the neighborhood.

Palos Verde trees are common in our neighborhood. They are in their full glory of yellow blossoms.

I can’t help but remember my daughter who loved the color yellow but called it “lallow” as a toddler.

Our house guests are gone, we have friends visiting from Seattle who arrive today. We swam and walked, I cooked, I was productive in my new space. We made it to breakfast last weekend at our favorite cafe and I had a delicious latte and bagel with lox and cream cheese. It was a good week!

latte at Carefree Coffee Roastery
My latte at Carefree Coffee Roastery.

Happy Friday!

What are your plans for the weekend?

Fun times in the neighborhood

The entrance to our neighborhood.

In spite of my solar craziness that I wrote about HERE, I had some fun last week.

A friend who does the neighborhood newsletter with me, invited me to go to the driving range. I got a new five wood for my birthday and was anxious to try it out. It was a warmish day with blue skies and a slight breeze.

This is our second trip to a driving range in two weeks. The first time, I was so nervous I could barely hit the ball. I’m not sure why? Maybe it’s because it’s been since my knee surgery that I’ve golfed and I doubted I still could. I wrote about my golf adventures growing up HERE including racing golf carts in the woods.

I calmed down on my second trip. I hit some good shots and that’s what brings golfers back to play. I was smiling the rest of the day. We’re going to play a round of golf in the near future.

Saturday, we played pickleball on the tennis court which is two blocks from our house. We had to measure and lay down vinyl lines to make the tennis court pickleball-sized. Our neighbors had never played before, but they learned from Youtube videos and picked it up quickly.

My husband and I have only played a few times, but we had fun hitting and chasing after balls. We’ll try to get out a few times a week. It is fun to play.

I guess that’s why I had fun this week. I played! Playing is joyful.

I found an article about the benefits of adult playtime. Here’s an excerpt:

Play helps:

Relieve stress. Play is fun and can trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

Improve brain function. Playing chess, completing puzzles, or pursuing other fun activities that challenge the brain can help prevent memory problems and improve brain function. The social interaction of playing with family and friends can also help ward off stress and depression.

Stimulate the mind and boost creativity. Young children often learn best when they are playing—a principle that applies to adults, as well. You’ll learn a new task better when it’s fun and you’re in a relaxed and playful mood. Play can also stimulate your imagination, helping you adapt and solve problems.

Improve relationships and your connection to others. Sharing laughter and fun can foster empathy, compassion, trust, and intimacy with others. Play doesn’t have to include a specific activity; it can also be a state of mind. Developing a playful nature can help you loosen up in stressful situations, break the ice with strangers, make new friends, and form new business relationships.

Keep you feeling young and energetic. In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Play can boost your energy and vitality and even improve your resistance to disease, helping you function at your best.


What are your thoughts about playing? What do you enjoy playing that makes you happy?