Many of you may remember Jeff Foxworthy’s comedy show with Larry the Cable Guy, Ron White and Bill Engvall. Bill’s no1 line was always that stupid people should have a sign………

Well, after Saturday’s Pool session where I once again finished 3rd we came home around 1800 and I immediately put on the TV and of course fell asleep.

Some time just after 2000 I wake up to an horrendous wind coming from the East ! With trees bending and debris blowing past, I would estimate the wind speed to be around 70 mph, and even that could be on the low side!!

15 minutes later there was an almighty  crashing noise as a major fir tree just up the road split in two and ripped down the power line plunging us into near darkness  ……… then the garden swing gets hurled across the driveway and the seat becomes detached in the crash.

At 2027 Brenda take a picture and another at 2030 as yet another almighty crash happens as the gale rages on. Getting dark, and far too dangerous to even venture out of the building I elect to go to bed!

So up early and survey the damage which is extensive with branches everywhere from that “gift that keeps on giving” the Cottonwood, plants toppled over and debris in all directions.

Branches everywhere

Blown over plants

Not good

Here’s Your Sign!!!

Better start the clean up!

Fortunately the sign is covered by our insurance, but as we have seen so far this summer nothing is quick or easy. Eventually an assessor comes out and of course he agrees its toast. Now we need estimates for demo and removal, and for the rebuild. 2 weeks on and still waiting.

Just down the road at Aerie apartments a giant fir came crashing down crushing cars and boats in their parking lot and just missing the building.

Just missed!

While we are waiting another monster branch gives way in the park and takes me a full afternoon to saw up and clear away.

This all takes  place on 12th July so yet another day of no riding as the clean up takes priority. I do finish up the week on 2880.55 and at pool Brenda buys another pool stick by Judd, a local well renowned cue maker, which was owned by “Bell Bottom Bob”, one of our old friends who died a few years ago. Brenda gets a 3rd place with her new toy while I finish in 2nd.

By Tuesday we get the approval for the sign demo and I have to start the work on Wednesday which takes 6 days to complete as the project is somewhat dangerous due to the precarious position and huge amount of lumber involved! Where to start???

First step, those 3 big legs

I saw off the three major support posts first as its one less thing to stop walking into!  Then bust up the concrete on the bottom of the legs and pick up the obvious other pieces that broke off in the fall.

Legs off

First load of debris

A lot of thinking and minor experimentation to see what will fall where without involving me as the object in the dead fall trap. Take out the lower of the two roof assemblies and the left side sign board.

With this lot out of the way saw through the cross braces and it should all fall flat …… we hope!

It drops nicely

That goes to plan, and now its time for the other roof piece and sign lights which, with its shingle covering reminds me of a bar of Toblerone!

More big pieces of lumber and the lower sign board get removed and then its on to the big  Chocolate Bar.

Enough for today

Chunk after chunk is sawn off and I’m nearly ready to expose the rocks and waterfalls.

A chunk of Toblerone anyone ?

Getting down to the last few pieces, should complete this today.

Almost there

My ever present friends throughout the operation ….. WASPS!

Finally its done and time to look at the last bits of damage including my ceramic frogs.

You will be missed

My frogs didn’t fare too well ….. and they don’t taste like chicken!





Aujourd’hui  nous desherbons et plantons. Yes, its back to the Rose Bed for round 2 of the weeding and then some planting of the plants I bought yesterday. In case you were wondering its also July and that means “Tour de France” or as Bob Roll  always says “Tour Day France”

The day does not get off to a great start as Brenda tells me that one of the boat trailer tires is flat. Next problem, the Jack is becoming difficult, but I soldier on, and eventually the wheel is off and the spare is on. Looks like a valve problem to me.

Start the morning with the new “Tom” and arrange drippers etc while softening up the hanging basket toms that were getting the yellow leaf problem.

Good looking Tom !

Now for the seed planting of lettuce and radish which is one of those things I’ve been trying to get to but have been running out of puff before I’ve made it to the veggie bed.

Seeds planted at last

With seeds in and a quick check on all the veggie drippers time for another attack on the rose bed where all the thistles have migrated to after all the early season weed spraying. The poor old wisteria that had sat on the stump is now lying on its side as the stump has rotted through.

A bit sad for the Wisteria

With the rose bed complete the afternoon becomes another gardening session and the planned cycling gets ditched in order to complete the mission. Two hydrangeas that have become toast in the side Scuffy bed get hauled out and a happy Mr Wisteria is in place along with some companion dianthus.

Mr Wisteria happy again

Now its the 4th! time for a ride, then plant all the dianthus and salvias and cut those edges……. and we do have the new blue umbrella for the shade garden which matches the dragonfly cushions perfectly.

Planting goes well but Brenda is not enjoying the “4th” as nothing is happening anywhere, no parties, no music, and hardly anyone out and about.

Planting gets finished, the afternoon monsoons are here, but morning riding continues and the week finishes on 2739.43 as I don’t get a ride on Saturday as its Day 1 of the Tour and I’m not looking too good having had a Bee hit me on the head at about 20 mph and as a last resort it must have stung me on impact! I think I’m becoming allergic to these little devils. Being on top of the skull the sting had nowhere to go and started moving down my face swelling up any flesh it could find on the way.

It was dark glasses to hide the disfigurement for Saturday pool where I added yet another 3rd place before the GT took over!




As Henges go Stone Henge is one of the best!

21st June and the Summer Solstice is here? Will there be nude maidens dancing in the Shade Garden tonight ? I rather think not and some of us can’t stay up that late anyway!

Brenda is ordering the much needed replacement bed, thanks to Farm Bureau for the generous settlement.

Next on the day’s menu is to move the Safari as we have a regular couple coming for a week and we are full. Brenda has been doing a lot of work on the bus and its looking really good. Jacks are retracted, TV cable disconnected, water lines turned off and stowed and the motor fires up immediately and warms up. Rather than leave the bus in the road Megan has said we can park it on her parking lot. We move off and as we come out of the park loud RV horns are sounding!!! Yes, I’ve done the “Robin Williams” and driven off with the power cord still connected!!!

……. and then it gets worse! I drag the power cable back to its bay and come back to the bus and before I can get back in the engine stops. No, of course its not going to start again is it ? Turn the key and the engine is racing round …….. back in the dim past I remember this happening and after much research and hours of b…sh.t the final result was that one battery was dragging the other down and not giving any power to the fuel pump thereby the engine had nothing to compress and was spinning like crazy.

Get 4 gallons of diesel just in case, but no, still spinning at warp speed so call Jack the School bus tech. Jack concentrates on the fuel system and is convinced that that’s the problem. Eventually I recall the story of what happened last time and we duly check the batteries and of course 3 are up there in the 12.6 and the other engine battery is at 1.74   ……. back from Walmart with a fresh battery so wish me well and fingers crossed. Battery fitted no real sign of improvement so back to town and buy one filter and order the other. Jack is sick so maybe the whole thing will be on hold until Sunday.

The other filter made it to Cortez on Saturday morning and Jack had them fitted in 30 minutes flat. Safari now running well and topped up with fluids for it’s next trip.

Sunday is very windy and becomes a rest day and gardening day and the start of weeding the main bed. Its hard work and that dreaded arsebine is everywhere and choking other plants.

Arsebine removed!

On the cycling front I crack on and by Tuesday I’ve cracked 2600.6 miles. A little weeding over the last two days but now the decision is to finish this big bed which takes another 3 days with NO RIDING! A quick ride on Saturday (30th June ) finishes the first half of the year on 2617.83 compared to last year’s effort of 1876.79

Well the weeding is complete save for recuts on the edge and some replanting with salvias and dianthus.

Ready for some color on that front bed

June was also a great month on the pool tables with 2 first places at 8 Ball along with 2 third finishes. 9 Ball went equally well with a first and 2 second places.