Friday, February 3, 2012


Many of you know our friends Vertriece and Jim, excellent Pickleball players out West.

Last week we were saddened to learn that Vertriece had lost her long battle against ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease. She was at their home in Washington with their large family nearby.

Jim said he will be staying in Washington for a while longer but he hopes to get down to Indio soon.

For your information, Jim's E-Mail address is:

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jim at this very sad time. We will miss you, Vertriece.


Feb 02 - Yesterday I ran into a long-time RV friend of ours at TT Palm Springs. Gail said she really wanted to go to the HITS Horse Shows in the Sun being held in our area. I had read a blurb in "Things To Do This Week". HITS is a six-week hunter/jumper horse show circuit. The Desert Circuit is the winter show home to some of the most accomplished equestrian riders in the world, including the Grand Prix Circuit! And admission was FREE!! I was all ready to go!!

This morning we drove over to the HITS Desert Horse Park near the Airport in Thermal. The weather was perfect. The Horse Park was a beautiful setting with, I don't know how many rings for practice and competitions. It was like a 10-ring circus with a lot more rings!

We started out browsing around and asking where we might have the best view of some of the competition. There were horses and riders everywhere! We were close enough that we could pet the horses, or to be run over by some of them!!

This rider passed in front of us headed for the ring.

We were told where we could sit to see a couple of rings at one time. At first we watched the Jumpers competition. We knew this because another spectator told us.

As I said earlier, the setting was absolutely beautiful! Bronze statues in the VIP only area.

We thought we were VIPs.

We next went to watch the Hunter competition. More jumping but the ring was larger with more and higher jumps. In addition to these modifications, we noticed that the riders would complete the course, pause and then ride a slightly different course at a much faster speed than before. We did figure out that apparently the first part of the course was judged for skill and the second part of the course was judged for speed.

When the Hunter class competition was over, we wandered around the Horse Park a bit and ended up at a ring on the other side of the Park. Here the Amateur and Junior Classes were in competition.

What the heck was the difference in all these classes?? To us they all looked the same!! After we returned I went on line and discovered -

Hunters are judged subjectively on degree to which they meet an ideal standard of manners, style, and way of going. Hunters have meticulous turnout and are tightly regulated. See the HOT Hunter below!

Jumpers are scored objectively, based entirely on a numerical score determined only by whether the horse attempts the obstacle, clears it, and finishes the course in the allotted time. Jumpers are not scored on turnout and are allowed a wider range of attire and equipment. Courses are colorful, creatively designed and more complex and technical than the Hunter class.

Juniors are riders under 18 years of age.

Amateur Owner. Divisions restricted to non-professional adult riders who ride horses owned by themselves or members of their immediate family.

And, The Grand Prix Circuit is a higher level of competition. It presents more technical and complex courses with a greater degree difficulty. Unfortunately, the Grand Prix competition did not start until 3 PM. Our day ended at about 1:30.

Thank you so much Gail, for a wonderful day at the Horse Show!! You know, we are really fortunate to have such an event as this to come to our area!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


What a bummer!!! Right in the middle of Pickleball season the courts are closed for a make-over!!

First, All the grass around the edge of the courts was removed!!

Then, some fill-dirt was shoveled in.

For weeks there has been this pile of stuff covered with a tarp right next to the Pickleball courts. Now, it is being hauled over to the Pickleball courts.

Next, it is spread around the outer edge of the Pickleball courts. I discovered the "stuff" is actually "DG" Decompressed Granite or "Desert Gold"!! It is used in eco-friendly landscapes as ground cover. Chicken wire was laid on the ground before spreading the DG to keep the gophers out.

Hurray!! One court is now open. First match on the "new" court with Larry and Paul!! Notice the neat trim!

Cindy and Phil help to open the new court!

The court looks great!! And the DG did not track on the court! Thanks to all who helped!!

Monday, January 30, 2012


Jan 28 - Saturday. My brother Nelson, from Chester, VA near our hometown of Richmond is working for a company that is in the process of performing inspections of the buildings on Air Force bases around the country. Next week they will be working in the Los Angeles area near LAX. He drove over to spend the weekend with us here at TT Palm Springs. He stayed nearby at the neighborhood Motel 6. It was really great to have him here!!

The first thing we did, after lunch, was to take him over to the Pickleball courts to hit a few balls and show him a little of what Pickleball is all about. He thought it was pretty neat! Had great fun hitting some balls.

Ooops! Oh well, it happens to the best of us!! Don't give up Nelson!!

Nelson commented that the area did not look like a desert. So after Pickleball we drove over to Coachella Valley Preserve Visitor Center and took the hike to McCallum's Pond Oasis. He had his taste of the desert!! It was only one mile to the Oasis but it seemed like much further than that because it was all desert hiking!!

We finally made it to the Oasis -

My brother, Nelson at McCallem's Pond. It was beautiful!! But then we had to hike back!!

After the hike, we took him for a drive through Indio. Showed him Wal-Mart, Costco, Home Depot! We stopped at Shields Date Farm and sampled all of their date varities!! He passed on the Date Shake, even though I warned him that Everyone would ask him, "Did you have a Date Shake?"!!! Then we had to take him to WinCo!! He won't see that chain of stores back home!!

The day was over but not the fun!! Nelson had said he wanted to take us out to dinner. We choose the Elephant Bar, of course. We have been to the Elephant Bar many times for Happy Hour, but have never been there for dinner. What a treat!!

The meals were magnificant!! I choose the Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi over rice with fruit salsa! YUMMM!

Nelson choose the Bar-B-Q Salmon with Corn and Black Bean Salad!

Ken had a Shrimp Platter -- Fifteen Shrimp prepared in three different ways!! He had already dug into the Terrieki Shrimp before the picture!

Since it was a birthday celebration, The Elephant Bar treated Nelson to an Ice Cream Pastery! And we gave him a Ninty-Nine Bottles of Beer birthday card! What a fun and delicious evening!!

So glad you got out here to visit us Nelson!! See you in the morning!!


Jan 29 - Sunday. Nelson had stayed overnight at the nearby Motel 6. He came over to have pancake breakfast with us on Sunday morning. YUMMMM!

After breakfast we walked over to the Pickleball Courts to hit a few more balls. Nelson was much improved from yesterdays' workout!

In a little bit a nice young couple we had not met before (Phil and Cindy) came along and played a few games with Ken and Nelson. The foursome had some really fun games! Phil played with Nelson.

Nelson served.

Cindy and Ken are worthy opponents!

Nelson is ready to return the ball.

Oops! Oh well, you can't get them all!!

Nice game!! Thank you so much Phil and Cindy! See you on the courts!

Later in the afternoon I took Nelson for a drive around the area. We went over to Cahuilla Hills to see the Pickleball courts there (where the heavy players play). We went to the Santa Rosa Mountains Visitor Center and drove about 5 miles on SR74 into the mountains. Nelson loved the view of the Valley.

After that we drove East on Hwy 111 to downtown Palm Springs. Don't know why we didn't get pictures of that neat town!! Next was Cathedral City and the Cinemark theatre where we go to the $1 movie!!

Nelson was fascinated by the cell phone towers disguised as palm trees!!

We hated to see Nelson leave that evening! Looking forward to seeing you again real soon, Nelson!! Thanks for coming!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


We posted an article in our Blog last June that we had seen Harold at TT Verde Valley. We learned that his former wife, Althea, had died in February. In June we met Marion, a friend and neighbor to Althea and Harold in their home park in Mesa.

It seems that Marion has become more than a friend to Harold and they are now much more than neighbors!! In fact, we received an e-mail that they were married at the end of 2011. Later, in January they had another wedding ceremony that their families could attend.

Marion and Harold exchange vows.

And the traditional eating of the cake! HA HA

Marion is a really nice lady. We are very happy for them both!! They seem really, really happy together!!