Sunday, April 1, 2012

Friends and Rocks and Cactus

Busy week for the LeRoys!
We had a nice visit with Larry and Gerri Clark, of Road Runner. We've been following Larry's blog for some time, and he had followed ours as well, so it was time to sit down over a meal and get better acquainted. After a mid-afternoon lunch at the Horseshoe Cafe in town, they joined us for a gabfest at our park. Nice folks, and we're planning at least one more meal together before they head back to their east coast home.

Last Sunday after church, Suzy and I took a run east to the tiny town of Dragoon. One of our SKP Saguaro leaseholders had told us about an abandoned rock quarry near there, and we wanted to pick up a few specimens for our garden. We drove out a dirt road as far as our relatively low-slung 4WD Suzuki felt comfortable.

At this point we stopped, had a picnic lunch, and gathered rocks. For her countless fans who have been asking, here's a picture of Suzy, 60 pounds lighter, backed by a view of the distant town of Dragoon.
Suzy is looking and feeling so much better these days! 
On the way home, we took a little tour of Dragoon, and found this neat old building, apparently being renovated. It has it's wooden Indian standing out front, either to call travelers in, or perhaps just to look pretty.

Back at home, we unloaded this small collection of rocks, and vowed to return to Dragoon after I make a little more room in the back of the car for additional treasures. 

Mid-week, I grabbed a trowel and replanted some small cactus plants and a little agave into these two bowls. Some of the small cacti had been living perilously close to our feet as we worked in our garden, and they needed protection.

Then this Saturday the big project began. A couple of years ago we planted a nice little agave in our cactus garden along the eastern edge of our property. It grew and I feared for the safety of our neighbor as he got into and out of his truck. That agave has extraordinarily sharp spines at the end of each sturdy leaf, and each leaf edge is lined with cat-claw hooks. If anyone should stumble and fall into it, they'd never get out unaided, and would be bleeding from dozens of deep punctures. It was time to move the agave.

For weeks we've been watering the plant, trying to get water deep into the soil around the roots. We also began digging a new hole in the backyard to receive the plant.

One of the small hazards of the job was a cholla that had volunteered to stand right next to the agave. I had to prune back the cholla in order to get a line around the agave.

I knew I'd never be able to dig up that agave, so I looped a noose around the base, tied the other end to our golf cart, and fired up the cart. No movement. More digging around the base, try again. After several runs, the agave began to loosen, and finally came free.

While the trusty line was still attached, Froggie (that's the name we have given our golf cart) towed the plant to the back yard. Our neighbor Ken, the one I had been concerned about impaling, popped over and helped me install the plant in its new home.

Was that enough? Oh no! Several weeks ago while daughter Kathie was here, she and her Mom brought home three golden barrel cactus from Costco. The cacti have been waiting ever since to be planted, and today was gardening day. Again we'd been providing water to the planting site to make the dig easier, so it didn't take a lot to get this sharp trio into the ground. While the barrel cactus looks good as a single specimen, they display exceptionally well in a threesome once they get larger and have a degree of togetherness. We'll show you that in another post in a few years.

Did I say the week was busy? A Board of Directors meeting Tuesday and an open meeting with the leaseholders on Friday, followed by our regular Friday Fish Fry filled up the otherwise quiet moments in this week of ... Our Life on Wheels.


  1. Suzy - you are looking fantastic. 60 lbs. That is just so wonderful for you. So much easier to get around. Got a text from our son in Montana and he was out planting and transplanting flowers this week-end too in beautiful weather.

  2. Good job Suzy! Is one of your goals to not have to use the scooter?

    That agave sure was being stubborn about moving. :)

  3. Nice rocks, Jerry. Suzy rocks, too! Glad you got that work done around the cholla without it attacking you! I love the pictures we have taken of them in Joshua Tree NP. You've done a lot of work there, and it really looks great! Congratulations, Mr. Secretary.

  4. Suzy you look wonderfully fit!

    Your post today made for fun and interesting reading. We really enjoyed the cactus discussion and photos.

    John and Ellen

  5. I was thinking you were going to get out the turbo golf cart for that plant;)

  6. Suzy,
    You look sooo much better and healthier. The cacti look great too! I hope to see them the next time that I'm in your area.

  7. Looking good, Suzy! And no Big Red in the picture, either!

  8. Oh my girlfriend....You look MARVELOUS! 60 lbs lighter and years younger...great job!
    I love the garden. Beautiful job! ~wheresweaver

  9. You look amazing, Mom! The garden looks good too.

  10. Suzy, you look terrific! Jerry, you look pretty good for a young fella as well.

    I'll be joining you with a lot of yard work now that I'm back home.

  11. Suzy!! Way to go!!! Neat isn't it? to have things that actually fit!! or getting really too big.
    Wondered how those plants were going to get moved w/o getting stuck & noticed the gloves. Hope that worked!

  12. What a beautiful lady! Congratulations to Suzy on the weight loss progress. Love what you're doing in your garden, Jerry. Wish you were available for hire!

  13. Suzy looks great!! Love the garden.

    Donna (

  14. Just want to say Suzy looks FABULOUS!!!!! Congrats on the weight loss. What an amazing transformation for a beautiful lady.

  15. Hi Jerry and Suzy, Its nice to see you out with friends enjoying the day together.
    Suzy, you look wonderful and Jerry, I like your gardening style.
    You to stay well and happy.
    cheers :)

  16. Happy Easter to you both. Hope the sun is shining on you, and you are both having a good day.

  17. Thanks for stopping by.. hope all is going well with both of you.


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