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With Chemo 6 behind me time to get back to what I was doing on the rockery and waterfall section of the garden. Well the waterfall flows are about where I wanted them.

Final gnomes get unpacked this morning, but my hands are suffering from the pins and needles effects from the last chemo! Seriously annoying but other than that pretty good for a Saturday.

Time for some “gallery” shots of the new boys before deciding where they go.

My favorite, and the biggest, “Sage”, ponders life smoking his pipe

The new head of “Wreck Restoration”,  Silus Mariner, and we have Mary Rose, Titanic and Bismark all awaiting repair, greets a new frog worker

Gnomes from “that” game

Smoking Joe

The Drunk

NEW head of Waterfall Security …. The Gnominator !

More rude Harley Bikers

A better gesture

Well now that everybody is here we can allocate some new placings and re-read the “Rules of the Rockery”. With  gnomes, frogs and turtles you know this won’t go well!

Merlin, King Midas, Death’s Head and Escalante Days Mushroom are all in their slots along with the Walmart Greeters and Travelocity Gnomes. Workers on the falls also stay put.

As Sage’s advice is constantly required he sits with the King

The Grumpy Gnomes of “Team Bigmouth” take their seats under the Elephant Man skull

Swinging Frog gets a new location facing the road

Gnominator takes up his position behind Merlin who will read the rules!

Say No, and Hear No, don’t like the rules any more than last time!

The motorcycle gang don’t like “the NO riding on the Rockery” clause and show their dissent with a Harley wave.

All looks good from where Sage is sitting

With everybody in place time for the Montezuma and some pool. Seems the Championship is NEXT week but the practice will be good after all this time off the tables.

It looks like I’ll be in the money this week as I knock up 2 good wins with some pleasing shots. Round three goes really well and my last 4 shots, and if you win this frame you can’t be worse than third. With some very pleasing cue ball control I’m on for a longish range cut at the black……… and with just the right amount the black rolls in …….. however, the cue ball travels back up the table and barely touches the 5 ball but manages to scratch for a loss. Needless to say I’m not pleased with the result but the series of shots were good.

Two more wins and I’m back in third place for the day. Hope it keeps going for next week.

Comments are invited on the layout






Here we go again

Wednesday and after the morning drive over to Durango for Session No 6 of the poison including the new one which takes 1 hour on this go around. First we get to see the Scans and their written reports.

The tumors were initially about 4-5 cms in size and after 4 sessions they have been shrunk by about 20% which is good and pleasing to know that the plan is working. The new drug, they tell me will cover the cancer cells and block their way to their food source which was explained as some sort of glucose.

The dark spots are cancer (not mine) 

The side effects from all this poison seem to be worse with weeping eyes and a non stop runny nose along with pins and needles in the finger tips and lips if you drink or touch anything cold. The tiredness and general lack of energy are fairly constant which each session and debilitating nonetheless, but reduces after the weekend.

Now its “dressing gown Thursday” when nothing happens as I’m dragging the infernal bag and pump around all day. Still I do have the last of my gnomes to unpack and plan their resting place among friends on the rockery.

Friday at last, just another few hours of the bag and pump and then recuperate over the weekend with side effects hopefully reducing. Better than being dead! …… but its a fight and on current information the body is winning although some days it doesn’t feel like it.

Only three hours left

Bag gone and I’m a free man again! Seems we might be playing pool again tomorrow as its a Championship Final which I didn’t even know I had qualified for ?




Looks like a nice day

With the waterfalls completed time to get back into the “Ings” starting with some fishing, a little mowing, and now some cycling and of course the weeding!

A bit of fishing ….. missed the only bite I had while setting up rod 2

Couldn’t resist some extra gnomes for the rockery, should be here soon. Weather seems to be changing, cooler down in the 70’s, and some cloud build up and no doubt some showers coming in!

This mornings plans got curtailed as my bag was  becoming very uncomfortable so that had to be changed and plans for a ride got sidelined as wind and cloud moved in.

Wednesday and another “ing” joined the club as it has been raining and raining with nearly non-stop showers. Decidedly chilly as the temp has shot down from the mid 80’s to high 60’s ….. not in the big plan!

Thursday and Friday it warms up again, with Friday another no school day although I’m planned to take High School Football to an away game and don’t gt home till nearly midnight.

Saturday nice enough for another Lake day and I do manage to catch two small trout but then it gets very windy which makes fishing very difficult as we keep drifting towards the shore.

Capt not too happy with the “drift rate” but I caught two!

Not quite so nice this morning and rain in the forecast this afternoon. Might get a ride if I can get the mojo going again. Weight seems to be pretty steady at 175 and as time slips by I’m not making any progress on my cycling total despite all the good intentions …… maybe today?

Considering selling the NO Excuses Tiger Cub and then just maybe buying a NEW Bianchi E Arai road bicycle….. this cost is about the same as any new sport motorcycle which seems quite absurd to me but they are selling. There is also another really good road bike similar to my Roubaix but it might be a little small for me but without consulting a fitting expert I really don’t know.

Also in the thought process were strangely in consecutive  ads a Range Rover Sport and a Triumph Bonneville, both of which have a lot of appeal!  ……. its all in the mind at this stage ……

The “Bianchi” with the motor in the rear hub

Not a bad looking tool

A lot of appeal but the frame may be too small

Its very pretty!

The “Bonnie” in BRG and cream  ……. similar to my last one which got swapped for a Tiger Cub circa 1963!

The RR which has ME written all over it!

ME ME ME ME  ………yes 4 ME!

Back to reality and yes I finally got out on the Roubaix and clocked another 15.30 on my global run. Didn’t fall off or get dizzy so might try it again this morning before the blood session pre Chemo 6 which is on for tomorrow.

All set to go ……. and it starts pouring down. Wait 30 minutes and its dry again but then the next set of stair rods arrive …. not my day!

Into Cortez and the pre- chemo blood flows freely so all set for yet another session.






Arrive in Durango for Chemo No5 and meet my new Doctor who tells me about another drug that he wants to add to the chemo cocktail. This takes another 90 minutes which makes it 4 HOURS in the chair and on the drips. Can’t say that I’m pleased but if it helps then it has to be done. He tells me the scan was GOOD and the treatment is working. I’ll see the scans next time for my benefit.

Thursday, and my least favorite day as I’m on the bag and drip for the full 24 hours and it knocks the crap out of me as I really can’t do anything .

Maybe at the weekend I can get back and finish my layout. This is where I left it after the flow checks on Monday night.

First try with some of the sandstone

Russian vine cut back and upper pieces more or less in situ 

Flows about right ….. subject to minor adjustment

Getting there

Need to finish the backside and add a few more smaller rocks in the holes on the front.

Friday 1300, only about 30 minutes left on this tiresome bag and drip which drives me mad lugging it round. Hopefully I can spend the rest of the afternoon doing something useful.

Nice 86F to keep me warm and time to get on with it before I start feeling tired. Afternoon goes better than I expected. Some flows adjusted and pleasing rocks found for suitable holes in the structure and placement begins.

Somewhere along the way by moving various rocks the water loss rate, which was becoming alarming has been markedly reduced.

Anyhow, by 1830 I’ve done all I can do, and while I’m not saying everything is in its final place at least they are all on the edifice which is now about 18″taller …….. lets see how it looks?

The Walmart Greeters are in place

“Doofus” the lifeguard,  resting in the lily pads

Work continues on the “Mary Rose” but it should be renamed  HMS WASP !

The Travelocity Team monitor security

Good flows on the Bismark Falls

Flowing well

Inspection work continues

Colored rocks to fill in

“Merlin” under the umbrella tells the crowd the new rules

“Hear No, and See No” not happy with the rules

“King Midas” turns all into rock

Death’s Head in place with the Escalante Mushroom

Not a HARLEY section!!!

Turtle checks out last year’s dead fall

Views from the new summit

The Death’s Head…… reminds me a bit of “Elephant Man”

Well that’s it for the first attempt, I’m sure there will be some revision especially as the Dollar Store keeps selling off it’s frogs at a 75% discount.

Saturday, feeling better after the last round of chemo and all set for an afternoon on the lake.





















After weeks of stating I’m working on the rockery and the last of my frog layout still nothing has been achieved!

A start was made and in the process of shifting rocks I managed to lose one of my rings! The rockery is a now a GOLD mine! With some rocks removed the plans get a little clearer as I see a “Y” split has sheared off caused by either freezing or the fall of the sign. Need to get into town and buy some irrigation parts to redirect flow and beef up the volume.

Went everywhere in town, totally unsuccessful, ended up buying some heavy whipping cream and good looking strawberries and completely forgot to try some 32×30 jeans from Walmart!

Looks like I’ll be making the flow adapters myself. First I’ll try a dry mock-up of the rock structure and then add the water and see if the flow is pleasing before installing on the upper section of the falls.

I found a new access hole for the mini pool pump hose so now just rebuilding of the storm damaged area and fill in all the holes and cracks.

Replaced the broken “Y” and now easy to see where the flow needs to go. Going to deal with this area first then load up the upper level with some bigger rocks before my sandstone flow pieces and not forgetting the unusual “Death’s Head” rock.

Most unusual rock that looks like a skull when upright

Saturday and it seems we are playing pool ? Well that’s a pleasant change and as we had a 5 day break from school I still have 3 days left to get some more work on the rockery. Once I complete that task it will be back to some biking which has been in the doldrums since the cancer took over.

Sunday September 1st and today I’m at last on the Rockery!!!Finally some progress as various gaps and holes get filled in where the sign fell down. Redesigned flow pattern completed in stage 1.

The backside gets cleaned, another load of usable rocks get hauled up from the Brewery, and as Labor Day arrives I’m ready to finish the top level.

Redesigned top and sign damage repaired

A long day! plenty of trial and error with a “jig-saw” of rocks to select from as only the right one will do!

The jigsaw …… only the right one will do!

By 1800 I’ve had enough and with the last test of flows it pleases me and now I’m left with the final phase of placing the remaining pieces of rock and figurines tomorrow.

Last of the jigsaw pieces

An early ring on the bell this morning, 0645, and I’m thinking a bit early to be ringing ….. its the Director who has misinformed me about today which IS a School day after all…… no matter I’ll be there this afternoon!

Now its Chemo week again so I’m off to hospital for yet more blood work and the CT scan to see if there is any progress.




Nearly done

Very true

The title very much says it all as we arrive at post chemo Friday. Just the morning to get through without those post poison drip side effects and then hopefully enjoy the upcoming weekend.

Friday, 1000, and thankfully no side effects, only another 3 hours on the pump and bag! Another nice day and maybe rock moving or a ride this afternoon.

1430, bag free, time to get outside, 90F, look at the pool and make some plans. The arsebine is back and taking over again so an afternoon of intensive weeding begins and some areas are cleared but its not as easy  task. The “Death’s Head” skull like rock was taken of the rockery and giving a good cleaning … most unusual formation and very heavy.

Pool rescues from the mud in the bottom

Two more rescued frogs get repainted and now its too late to go for a ride but I WILL get a few miles this weekend and try and creep up my world circumference ladder.

Don’t think I could do it in a day!!!

Saturday, no side effects so maybe some more weeding and then work on the rockery. Despite 10 hours in bed I still feel tired but I suppose that’s just another chemo effect. Being over the half-way point I now need the CT scan to see what progress this poison has made. My surgeon, Dr Mattison tells me “its a blunt instrument” which means they haven’t made much progress in enhancing the definition. Well that’s a wait and see prior to Session No5 at the beginning  of September.

Weeding takes priority  and a good session is completed and then the tiredness creeps in and another nice chemo side effect of “pins and needles in the lips” if you drink or touch anything cold so its a beer through the straw.

Sunday, and if I don’t get sidelined by weeding I might actually get on the rocks which is my plan A . Plan B will be a 10 miler this afternoon to remind the legs WE are about to get back into it! Weight seems steady at around 175 lbs and clothing pretty loose. Might have a slow leak in the back tire of the Roubaix. Also a chance of some fishing?? now that might be fun!

Summit Lake

Fishing won, and we visit Summit Lake where I’ve always had a lot of success in the past. They have restocked with more types including Walleye, Bass, Rainbow Trout and Perch. I catch 3 table size small Trout and a couple of small Perch which go back in.

So a Trout dinner tonight with peas and bread and butter!I think I need to eat earlier such that I can sleep better without all the side effects of a running nose, the chemo cough and congestion which goes away at about 0300 for some reason ……..but I can tolerate it although it would be nice to have a pill for that!

Still no work on the rockery…… promises, promises!




A chemo thought for the week

With the Safari repairs all done and all the overhanging branches around the RV park cut down and trimmed I can at last devote more time to pleasure pursuits on the Rockery.

This week is a 2.5 driving day week as its Chemo Session Four and there is no way to drive with the bag and pump on Thursday and Friday.

“Lancaster House” in Andover

Daughter Sally sent some “memory pics” of the old house in UK and it was nice to see the new owners had not removed the sign I made, but they could have polished it.

Hand carved in the wood and a brass Lancaster cut out of a sheet of same  ….. some of my finest work.

Monday annoying small cold, the joys of being with small children, but not really a problem. An hour of weeding but the temp is about 90F so too hot to do much, but every little bit helps.

Wednesday morning and the morning drive is completed and I’m home and ready for the Durango run for another delicious round of Chemo! This one is Round 4 of the planned 8 so hoping for the best in terms of side effects. The bags keep dripping and no need to worry about dehydration as I’m rapidly overflowing with all the drips coming aboard. Seem to be peeing like a racehorse with 4 drips going in. They have to be individually blended as one works with saline and the other with some sugar mix.

It just keeps coming!

Thursday morning, reasonable night’s sleep and not feeling any of the chemo side effects so far…….. not even sleepy? Might actually get something done today if I can get past this annoying bag thing. Only side effects today are tingling lips and finger tips if you drink or touch anything cold. Can’t keep the chemo bag on my shoulder so I’ll watch some worthless TV.

There will be only ONE Winner here!

I feel a need for more of this!














Since Escalante Days the weather has been absolutely gorgeous and a real delight to be outside. With all my repainted frogs and gnomes, not forgetting the new ones, plus my craft fair purchases, Sunday became Day 1 of the layout.

Travelocity and friends

Of course these things take time and plans tend to get a bit more ambitious as the mind sees all the possibilities.

The “Mary Rose” is full of wasp’s nests!

Came very close to being stung

The week kicks off with a rather dull presentation at the High School which perhaps is one of the worst I have seen! Projected back light with a single bulb, softly spoken teachers and no microphone and very dry boring material.

School bus driving begins on Tuesday and as this is a “non chemo” week I can drive which is something to look forward to and enjoy.

Need to redesign the top of the waterfalls that took a battering when the sign blew down in the gale. I feel the need for a higher volume of water coming over the top and I do have some nice sandstone flats that have been water carved over the years and should give some classic pool to pool natural drops.

Just the right shape for “flow” on these sandstone pieces

Some rebuilding required

Not forgetting those lost in the sign “deadfall”

I do have an extra pump but I think a bigger one with more flow and outlets is where I’m heading but before that I need to see how I can route it to achieve the desired effect.

A bit more on the layout with some of the birthday frog and turtle team on the backside of the rockery

Meanwhile the lovers are enjoying the sunshine below the Hilary Step and should see the more refreshing waters in the near future.

Ideal for sunning and topping off the green tan

The “Guide” shows how to get to the summit

Frog, Salamander and birthday Turtle

The week comes to an end, delightful weather, and 2 trips a day on the School Bus to get back in the swing with a record number of 48 kids going home Thursday night!

Friday and time to deal with the bus battery problem!!! yes, Safari batteries won’t hold the charge so its disconnect everything, taking a drawing of where all the wires go, ……… into Walmart and get them checked ……. 3 other batteries ahead of mine (4) and each one takes 1-2 hours to check!!!

Ok everybody, its off to Walmart for you 4 !

Saturday, back to Walmart, NO! they are all toast including the new one that was fitted last year. Well they replace that one free of charge (pun) so now I have 4 new ones all with a 2 year warranty!

Well hello, 4 new batteries

Back home and try to decipher my diagram of the wiring. Trays cleaned of dirt, mud, and rust. Push/pull greased and functional so time to be bold and fit set No 1. All in, so far so good, and only one wiring repair to some miscellaneous earth wire?

Hope I have this correct

1st set in place ….. stay lucky!

Second pair go in and cables arranged in what I hope is the correct sequence. ……. the acid test! Yes, FULLY CHARGED and with one turn of the key the massive CAT engine bursts into life!! YIPEEEE!

Now down to Dolores River RV Park and get 12gallons of LP gas to see if the generator will fire up. Yes, fully working GENERATOR!! This really is turning out to be a GOOD DAY……… now try and start the Fridge which switched over to Electric when the LP ran out and dragged the batteries down. Holy Moly, it STARTS!!!!

OK, you deserve this ONE!

More on the Rockery …. soon I promise.












Our 1st Escalante 2 day Trial (2013)  …. all lined up for the parade

After yesterday’s rainfall a bit cooler this morning but the forecast says a nice 80F and not much wind so fingers crossed.

Champers Time under the big fir at Carol’s

First stop is at Carol’s down on 9th Street for some early morning champagne as the parade goes by. Carol is bright and bubbly and seems to be recovering very well from breaking her hip. Even, George makes it out to watch and is also looking a lot better now they have changed a lot of his medications.

Here come the mountain bike racers on their multi distance runs based on ability, desire and age. With them on their way for  the next few hours popular local Sheriff, Steve Nolan, leads the parade in the other direction.

With the parade over time to move to our next liquor hideaway down at the Brewpub. Some more champers and then onto my drink combos of the day

Beer for fun, the red thing for hydration ….. hey don’t knock it, it’s working!

Lunchtime, and time for the Chainsaw Competition, and as you could predict Bill Ragland at 84 years old wins AGAIN in another record time.

The “Master” wins again!

A really nice afternoon bumping into lots of old friends including Travis who used to own the Hollywood before selling out to what is now the Montezuma. Travis now has a 200 acre ranch over at Summit and a 5 year contract working on Oprah Winfrey’s new resort home at Mountain Village, Telluride!!!

More drinking and talking back at the Brewery and after a  visit to the craft fair back there again for lunch.

Another “must have” Mushroom

Lizard or Salamander ?

Couldn’t resist the honey and it’s cute pot

A few more beers and a “4 Cheese” completes the day


…….. and what a lovely day it was!




Drip on again, its round 3

Not the best way to start your birthday but at least its 1 less session of that chemo poison. Different Doctor this morning who answers all my questions re the last session.

He also changes the nausea medicine and gives ME the all clear to drive if I feel up to it. Now many of you may think that’s a little pig headed but let me assure you when you have Cancer anything that gives you a chance to look forward to something really feels like progress and some forward momentum.

Some nice presents in the form of frogs and turtles and a super winter cycling thermal jacket which would have been too small for me last year but now, 40 lbs lighter, it fits perfectly.

A couple of really nice chocolate cakes  ….. yumeee!

More frogs arrive today in the post, layout will have to wait as I’m still connected to bag and pump.

Big Bertha for the top of the “Falls”

Harley Frogs

Luv ’em

Tiny the pot hanger

Mr T

I already have them “planned” in my mind’s eye.

Friday, and time to get the bag off and get some semblance of normality back in life.  Might even get to phase one of the layout later this afternoon. On the good news front NO nausea or vomiting this week so maybe the change in medications was on point.

The day progresses, the bag is off, and time to do things. Start Safari and aim to get some LP gas for the generator.  Local station STILL broken so a drive into town to the big Maverick …… NO LP !  Well no matter a few more days to wait but the drive was good.

Back home, finish a bit of weeding I had started and the plan is now a ride down to the brewery as its the start of Escalante days ….. but it starts raining and does so through until 2000 …. annoying! Still no sickness after this round of poison and not so tired … time to be thankful.

Bit of Nostalgia from those Escalante Days Trials 2014

Under the 4th Road Bridge before the rain!

Sunday in Lost Canyon Creek

The Graded Hill they hated!!!

THREE Cleans for ME !!!!