One of the things I like about this time of year is the blooming of the agave plant. They are so unusual, with those tall stalks topped with round balls of flowers. They are sometimes called Spanish Bayonets because of their tall stems, or Century Plants referring to the length of time it takes for them to flower. Actually, it does not take the plant 100 years before it flowers; that depends on the hardiness of the plant, richness of the soil and amount of moisture it receives. Once done blooming, the plant dies but new shoots emerge from the original plant. Surprisingly, agave is not a member of the cacti family. Aside from its most famous harvested use of making tequila, agave also produces a sweetener similar to sugar cane, which is sold as agave nectar or syrup. The leaves may be eaten in winter or spring when they are rich in sap.
Another bonus of the season is the fresh fruit and vegetables right from the garden. We’ve been enjoying Small Girl tomatoes from our container mini-garden. There’s nothing like tomatoes freshly picked, is there? The sweet corn this year is exceptional, as are the peaches. I wish I had space for a “real” garden, but then, there’s always the Farmers Market.
Payson Senior Center and Thrift Store
There will be a free country/western dance at the Senior Center, 514 W. Main St., from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 3. Bob and Helen Hughes will provide the music. Tacos, beverages and light refreshments will be available at a nominal cost.
Helen Tennent teaches all mediums of art from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays at the Senior Center, 514 W. Main St. She has 45 years of experience in teaching and creating art. There is no charge for the classes. Call (928) 474-3996 for information or to register.
Cool movies and warm muffins are on the agenda at 9:30 a.m. Fridays in the Senior Center Dining Room. Everyone is welcome and reservations are not required for this free event.
Speakers from Rim Guidance will have helpful information for seniors at 11:40 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 10. For information, call (928) 474-4876.
An AARP Driving Safety Class is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 12. Call 1-623-696-8992 for information or to register.
Try your luck at bingo at 10 a.m., Monday, Aug. 16 in the Senior Center Dining Room.
Roger Metz is Volunteer of the Month for August. He is the Center’s Johnnie on the Spot to take care of any problem from changing light bulbs to all kinds of repairs.
The Senior Thrift Store, 512 W. Main St., will be open until 8 p.m., Aug. 6 for First Friday on Main Street events. There will be refreshments, door prizes, live entertainment by Wayne Todd and a 10 percent discount on merchandise.
Pine/Strawberry Senior Center and Thrift Store
A potluck dinner is planned for 5 p.m., Friday, Aug. 27 in the dining room behind the Thrift Store at 3916 N. Highway 87 in Pine. Call (928) 476-4633 for information. The P/S Thrift Store has all electronics for $1 each through Aug. 7. New clothing is being displayed on a boutique rack and will sell for $5 each unless otherwise marked. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday.
A new reading group is forming to discuss ideas and suggestions for book clubs. Possible choices include mystery books, exclusively for lovers of mystery and suspense, general fiction, non-fiction reading, theme groups and books by favorite authors, cooking and travel. The first meeting will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 4 at East West Exchange, 100 N. Tonto St.
Also at the East West Exchange, Anne James performs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursdays. She is a singer/songwriter from Payson, playing guitar, mandolin, ukulele and harmonica.
Dee Dread and Sister Care-i will entertain from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 6.
There will be a book signing by Mitzi Boles at noon Sunday, Aug. 15. Boles will read from her children’s book “Mom, I Found a Bunny.” Proceeds from the sale of her books will be used to establish a non-profit wildlife sanctuary in northern Arizona.
All the above activities are free and open to the public. They take place at East West Exchange, 100 N. Tonto St., Suite 102. For information, call (928) 468-2435.
Think about it: Wine does not make you fat — it makes you lean (against the wall, the lamppost, the chair ...).