Week twenty one @ BTA

Sunday April 10th 2022

Sunday morning and another six o’clock start, Mr. Sam heard me stir and I heard him leave his cat bed and run to the bedroom to greet me, to be real honest I am moving a little slow today, too many activities over too many days, and it seems to be taking a toll. After Sam’s treats, I’m allowed some lap time, and with the Wordle complete it’s on to the blog, as I watch the sun rise over the mountain range. This is our Friday, and I’m looking forward to a busy day in the admissions booth, sitting on my butt, followed by a happy hour at Tom & Kathleen’s coach, before some YouTube videos and back to my bed.

So now that I have my day all planned out, let’s see how it actually plays out, HoneyNut Corn Flakes for breakfast, of course my Irish blessed fresh perked coffee with my old fart vitamin as a chaser. We are watching Willie Geist, as we prepare to venture off to the admissions booth, 7:45 coach departure seems to work the best, the five minute walk, and ten minutes to get prepared, and ready to accept visitors by the eight o’clock opening time. Well it was a busy day with just over eight hundred and fifty visitors, and although I do get tired of saying the same greeting over and over again, we still get excited when someone exits the arboretum, and you can see that they have fallen in love with this magical place. We regularly get people that have been to many, many, gardens and then we hear them singing the praises of this arboretum.

The arboretum just celebrated its 98th year on last Friday, and today I bet at least twenty five percent of our visitors have never been here before. I’m back to calling it “Arizona’s best kept secret”, word of mouth is our best form of advertisement, and still with as many growing pains as the arboretum has right now, most visitors never see those issues. This is without a doubt the best deal for a arboretum or garden in the State of Arizona and I’m thinking maybe any where west of the Mississippi.

Oh our days are not always as smooth as they may sound, like today a rescued greyhound escaped from its owners grasp and ran into the arboretum, so Miss Laurie went to try to help wrangle the dog, it made it well into the arboretum before it could be captured. The fear of what could happen is just so great, as people get off the designated pathways to help, and most things in Arizona either want to stab or bite you. About fifteen minutes later the owner and the dog make their way back up the path, and no one seemed any worse for the experience, we like pets, but way too many of the dogs brought to the park are not well enough trained or mannered, it is not a dog issue, but actually a owner issue.

I finished the long shift today, Miss Laurie went to the coach for a short nap and to prepare some snacks for happy hour with the Andersons, today was just about perfect at 75°F (24°C), nothing but sunshine, and a light southerly breeze, a great temperature for a beverage or two. Followed by dinner and American Idol before a well deserved rest.

Monday morning and the first of our three days off this week, our workdays are shifting again to Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Miss Lynnea has a injury to her knee and she needs to be off of it, which has proven to be a difficult ask, so she is going to work the admissions booth on Sundays, forcing her to stay seated for most of the day. So our work schedule has changed, but obviously not mine because I’m awake again at six o’clock, and while Mr. Sam did get his morning treats, I did not get any lap time today, I guess he had a better offer somewhere else.

The overnight low was 52°F (10°C) which is not too bad at all and by 8am the temperature is up to 64°F (16°C) with the forecast high today of 81°F (27°C) by 2pm, todays humidity is 26% with a WSW breeze of 8 mph. We went for a walk in the arboretum this morning at seven o’clock and got some great photos today’s blossoms, below are a few of the blooms.

After our walk we had breakfast on the patio, as the U.S. Air Force jets streaked across the cloudless blue sky. A regular event, I’m assuming there is a base in Tucson, and we are only a little more than an hour north of Tucson by car. Mr. Sam is stalking his little gecko friends, Miss Laurie is pulling weeds (I know that is hard to imagine) and I’m in one of the anti-gravity chairs typing away on my iPad. We are surrounded by blooming aloes, so lots of hummingbirds, there are a couple dozen buzzards circling over head, so I don’t want to fall asleep.

We have been invited for dinner and drinks on Wednesday by the staff at the arboretum, all the host volunteers are invited, this should be somewhat interesting, as some of the hosts have been off sick for a couple of weeks, and others are barely speaking, so like I said it could prove to be very interesting, my money is on the sick ones being there, and there being a splinter group that separates away from the main group. Now I hope I’m wrong about this but I’m usually not.

A toasted tuna sandwich for lunch, and I may have had a small nap in the antigravity chair on the patio, and as luck would have it I think we got a preview for Wednesday night. Lincoln’s parents flew in yesterday, so he is planning a happy hour in the common area and has invited all the host volunteers as well as Mary to meet his folks. And while it was an honour to meet Lincoln’s folks, this was not a warm and friendly group, but everyone did make an appearance, which was nice. After the happy hour, I barbecued pork chops for dinner, along with some rice, and we settled in to watch American Idol, then caught up on YouTube videos, before turning in sometime after nine o’clock.

Tuesday morning and another six o’clock start, treats for Mr. Sam, lap time for me and all is good, Wordle was not too bad today, and my steak is up to fourteen days, an Irish blessed cup of coffee, before heading out to the arboretum. Miss Laurie and I walked for two hours again today and while quiet and beautiful, we are a day or two till the next bunch of cactus blooms, that big white cactus bloom only lasts for one day, all that intricately and complexity for just one day.

Breakfast this morning was a green chilli omelet, and by ten o’clock we were on the patio under the shade of the awning, Mr. Sam is again on gecko watch, and I’m poking away at this keyboard on my iPad, Miss Laurie is working on laundry and as we close in on eleven o’clock we are well up into the seventies (upper twenties), with sunshine and not a cloud in the sky.

Today was just a relax day, it’s too warm to finish off the couple of roof projects, there are a couple of cooler days forecast for next week. With only three week till departure I need to start preparing, and if our schedule stays the same, we work the three days before our departure. I’m starting to map possible routes, as well as look for overnight spots along each route, there is the I-5 route, the I-15 route and something up the middle, which is a combination of many highways some federal, some state, and having never done this trek, I may have look to some YouTubers for their ideas, fuel prices will be a contributing factor, as I-5 runs through California, which has the highest prices.

Just reflecting on our morning walk

Tom & Kathleen stopped by for happy hour, they had a school trip class today, and I understand it went well. There had been a rumour of a lady getting bit by a rattlesnake, on her foot, apparently she stepped on it, so I’m thinking maybe she was not on the pathway, but no confirmation yet one way or the other. We are all looking forward to the thank you dinner tomorrow evening (nudge, nudge, wink, wink), and are planning going over early to maybe pre-drink just a little, we heard that is a thing. Kathleen and I discussed some books, I had lent Kathleen a couple of books, one written by a Canadian explorer, the other was about technical diving on a sunken passenger ship that sank in the St. Lawrence River, possibly sank by a German submarine at the time of World War Two.

After happy hour, dinner was tacos, for Taco Tuesday, a little world news, followed by an episode of Outlaws on Prime, and then we caught this week episode of This is Us on NBC, we are finally caught up, then off to bed at around nine o’clock, we shut the air conditioners off and opened the coach windows, as the evening temperatures drop and a nice breeze picks up.

Wednesday and I’m awake a little earlier this morning, it’s just after five o’clock, it was still dark out, but Mr. Sam was ok with an early start as long as his treats were on the agenda, didn’t get as lucky with Wordle today, my eclectic list of starting words either mays me a hero or a zero, but so far more wins than losses. Another walk through the arboretum this morning after Miss Laurie rose, a two hour wander that brings us in each day with around 2.5 miles (4 kilometres) the temperatures are around 60°F (14°C) when we leave the coach and are near 70°F (18°C) when we finish.

Today was a good wildlife day as Miss Laurie seen a coyote as well as some javelins in the arboretum on our hike today, no photo of the coyote and only one photo of the javelina. I got some decent photos this morning as well, below is a few snaps from today.


Now I could tell you how it is almost too hot here today, but not wanting to annoy of the folks back in Canada, let’s just say I’m sitting in the shade with a cold beverage in hand as the mercury pushes past the 80°F (24°C), and we are still well before noon. I see a little drizzle in the forecast for our friends back at LHR (Lake Huron Resort) is on the way, but it’s these April showers that bring on those May flowers, or at least that’s how the rhythm goes. I’m sure everyone back at LHR is chomping at the bit, for May the first to roll around and the start of the Ontario camping season.

This evening is our volunteer thank you dinner, and it is being held at Porter’s in Superior, there are only five host couples left here at the arboretum, and we were hosted by Lynn, Lynnea, Shelbi, John, and Emily. Porter’s is a beer and burgers kind of place, we have visited there before, and the food is good, but the service has never been the quickest, and with fifteen sitting down and ordering all at once, some body is going to be last, so tonight it was my turn, my burger eventually got there as everyone else was finishing, the burger was fine, but of course no one down here in the States makes French fries well, I assume that is why every place has some type of loaded fries on their menu. It was a good evening, but a very noisy one with everyone talking over everyone else. But after three drafts it all seemed ok, again the Superior burger with green chili that I ordered was ok, but not spectacular enough that I would order it again.

We had driven Tom & Kathleen over to Porter’s to save one vehicle, I found that it said a lot when no one else car pooled, like seriously we all live within a hundred feet of each other … quite an eclectic group of volunteers. We had enjoyed a beverage with Tom & Kathleen before the the dinner, and when we returned Kathleen and Miss Laurie went for a walk in the arboretum while Tom and I decided we had our fill of excitement for one evening and retired to our coaches.

Thursday morning and it is six o’clock, just day break and Mr. Sam is up and ready for his treats, the Wordle today ended up being a last chance guess but the sixteen day streak is still in place. Being a work day a bowl of cereal, a vitamin, and a cup of coffee with a little blessing of Irish cream. As I mentioned earlier our shift has changed again to Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Lynnea is working the Sunday shift, with the idea being to keep her off of an injured knee.

Today was not busy at all, and a glance at the week’s attendance shows just over four hundred visitors a day, definitely not the numbers we used to dealing with last week. I got tapped around ten o’clock to water all the sale plants at the visitor center, and lets just say, there are still a lot of potted plants that need to be watered, with record high temperatures and a humidity of only 5%, daily watering will be required until further notice.

This is Masters Week, questionably the most important week on the golfing world calendar, this is one of the Major tournaments, that is held on a very exclusive and remarkable course in Augusta Georgia, designed by Bobby Jones (a legendary armature golfer) and Alister Mackenzie (a legendary golf course architect) on the course that opened for play in 1932 with the first Master’s tournament being played there in 1934, and I could go on about all the crazy fact and figures about the golf course, and the changes that have been made over the years, but let’s just leave it that it is a big deal in the golfing world.

In case you haven’t been able to figure it out yet, I’m a real Masters golf tournament fan. We are normally on out trek north when the Master’s is being broadcast, and we are usually stopped somewhere with the satellite dish up so I can watch. This year I have to work so I’m only able to catch an hour or two each day after work, although I will be watching all day Sunday. It is a shame that it has being turned into yet another Tiger Woods, comeback part (I have lost track of which number this comeback actually is) whatever, and the broadcasters are of course blowing this way out of portion. I wish Tiger no ill, but there are eighty nine other players that all have a story to tell as well, so let’s show the leaders of the tournament at least as much as the drama king. Anyway I got to the coach this afternoon to see the last hour of play, and thank goodness Tiger played earlier so they had to show the actual players on the course, who were the actual tournament leaders.

Friday and I roll out of bed at 5:30, we actually left the air conditioner on over night, it did cool off, but it was still very warm when we went to bed last night. Wordle today was only three guesses, and Mr. Sam did grant me some lap time this morning, with this heat all the sale plants need lots of water, so I’m heading to the resale greenhouse area to water this morning before the admission booth. A bowl of cereal, a blessed cup of fresh perked coffee with a vitamin chaser and I left the coach at seven o’clock to start my watering.

The water pressure in the arboretum this morning was good, and it still took a full two hours to water all the potted plants in the nursery, so it was nine o’clock before I made it to the admissions booth, not our usual busy Friday morning, you can tell that spring break is over and that the snowbirds are headed north. There was a high school trip in today, a very well mannered group, and there are still lots of first timers to the arboretum, so the joy of upgrading them to members is still happening.

I watered part of the sale plants at the visitor center before lunch today, only the leafy needed to be done so it took around three quarters of an hour to complete that task. The admissions booth was slow after lunch so I cashed out the overflow till and headed back to the coach around two o’clock, the second round of the Masters is on and I’m hoping to catch the last couple of hours of play. And to everyone’s heartache Tiger had not scored as well today, so every announcer had to explain why, over and over, meanwhile a new tournament leader emerged from those same terrible conditions to turn in the best round of the day.

A catch up on some of the news, dinner was a pork fajita with a couple of adult beverages, followed by shark tank, a YouTube video, and an episode of Outlaws, before turning in at 9:30. The temperature was still 75°F (22°C) and the air conditioner was still cycling occasionally so we opened a window in hope of the cool from the desert night, our forecast overnight temperature is 60°F (14°C) which is ideal for sleeping.

Saturday and Mr. Sam was pretty insistent that I should get up and get his treats, it was just a few moments after five, but I knew I had a lot of catching up on the blog with the publishing time less that 24 hours away, so he got his treats and I got to work. First the Wordle challenge, a second guess day, now up to an eighteen day streak, Mr. Sam is on my lap as I find myself in a small rant about the Masters announcers, sorry it just happens. It is looking like another beautiful sunny Arizona morning, and that just never gets old, especially as we watch another snow storm in the northeast, so I will try not to complain about the warmth here in the desert.

A bowl of cereal, and of course a cup of our special coffee with my vitamin, and a little local news as I prepare to start watering at resale greenhouse, at seven o’clock again this morning. Today was just water the leafy plants today so just a hour long task today, then to the visitor center to water the leafy sale plants there as well, I was in the admission booth by nine o’clock to assist Miss Laurie and we were over 150 visitors by nine, the day was much busier which makes the day roll by much faster. The attendance ended up being well over seven hundred and below are a few photos that I snapped today, before I cashed out to watch the Masters tournament at two o’clock.

The couple hours of the golf tournament that I watched showed that it was a chilly, blustery day in Georgia, it also showed that Tiger Woods, should never have played, as he looked like a crippled old man struggling up the hills of Augusta National. Way to early to try to stage a comeback, after almost loosing a leg in a car accident a little over a year ago. I hope that he withdraws tomorrow before he hurts himself and can’t ever play competitively again. The field is separating it self from the leaders, and it looks like a good race between about five or six players that are possible green jacket winners.

Tonight’s dinner was barbecued burgers, always a hit in our house, so after the local news, it’s looking like an evening of mindless television before turning in. Well I also have to edit this blog for publication later tonight.

Stay strong, be safe & respect yourself

Blog 412

Day 1650

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