We’ve lost three saguaros since we’ve moved here. The fourth one went down last week.
I was sitting by the window in the casita and glanced outside as a huge saguaro crashed to the ground. I was glad I wasn’t standing in the way! That was the first one we lost.
We called a cactus doctor and he walked around our yard diagnosing saguaros.
He found one with a disease and he recommended having it removed or the disease would spread to our other saguaros. That project included not only paying the cactus doctor, but getting a permit from the city. An inspector came out to look at the saguaro and signed off on the permit. Then we had to hire another company to cut down the saguaro and remove it. That was saguaro number two that bit the dust.
The third was in the front yard and one of our only ones with arms. It was turning brown from the base that was slowly creeping up. The cactus doctor told us we’d need to brace it if we wanted to keep it. A neighbor told us that the previous owners had that saguaro treated for something a couple times. One day we walked out the front door and it was down.
Then last week after all the rain and a big wind, this smaller one was laying on the ground. The cactus doctor told us that once they fall they are traumatized and can’t make it if they’re replanted. In spite of his words, I wish we would have tried to replant the first one that fell.
We asked our gardener to try to save this guy. There’s a crack along the crown but we hope it lives.
This saguaro has been given a chance to live.
What special plants or trees do you have that need attention?
It’s official. We left California for Arizona two years ago! I can’t believe how quickly our years flew by — and in some respects how long it has seemed.
Here’s what I thought about moving two years ago today:
Friday was moving day. Our movers arrived at 9 a.m. and we thought it would be a couple hours and we’d hit the road. No, we were wrong. By 5 p.m. the movers realized their truck was full and we still had a bunch of stuff in the garage like bikes, a wheelbarrow and my daughter’s desk. Plus the STORAGE UNIT where we’ve been squirreling away boxes and stuff for months.
Yikes! The movers had to rent a U-Haul and we gave them the keys to our storage unit. Of course there weren’t any U-Hauls in town and they had to drive to San Diego or some place to find a U-Haul. They said they’d come back to our California house the next morning and pick up the rest of our stuff in the garage when our housekeeper and dear friend Delia would be cleaning.
We drove to Arizona and our new home, minus our furniture that night. We thankfully packed suitcases and bedding. Our fellow swim team parents and close friends drove one of our cars packed to the hilt, plus their car complete with all the stuff from our freezer and fridge. Now, those are true friends who volunteer to drive an 8-hour round trip to make our move easier!
I have driving anxiety and panic attacks driving on freeways. I couldn’t face the four-hour drive on Interstate 10. Our daughter promised to fly down from SFO and drive one car and help us unpack. Then California went into lockdown. Our daughter didn’t feel good about flying. So our friends volunteered to help us out and meanwhile our daughter’s supposed flight was cancelled. It all worked out in the end.
We got to our Arizona home at 10:30 p.m. We unpacked our suitcases, settled into bed around midnight exhausted beyond comprehension. Thank goodness we bought the furniture in the casita from the sellers. Otherwise, we’d have been on the floor. We never saw our friends who drove our car for us. They not only drove our car, but they filled our fridge with all our condiments, frozen foods and perishables — before heading back to California.
The next day, the moving van and U-haul arrived at 2 p.m. We worked throughout the weekend to get the kitchen in order and our closet organized. Kitty is stressed and hiding under the bed in the casita, where we’ve been living.
I don’t recommend moving after living in one house for 28 years. It’s an unusually hard task, mentally and physically. But, when we’re more settled the sunsets will make it all worthwhile.
What’s the longest you’ve lived in one place? How did you handle packing and going through years of stuff when you moved? Did you think of moving during the COVID shutdowns? A lot of people did move.
This is the sidewalk outside our development where we walked.
On Saturday, my husband and I walked outside our neighborhood development on a sidewalk that took us two miles to the end of the road. It’s not a very busy road and across the street is the McDowell Sonoran Preserve with 130 miles of hiking trails. It’s a beautiful view looking out across the pristine desert.
But we noticed it wasn’t so pristine. We kept spotting trash. Beer bottles, coke cans, styrofoam cups and eventually a plastic grocery bag. My husband picked up the bag and began to fill it with trash as we walked.
Soon, the trash bag was full. On the way back home, I spotted a full grocery bag on the side of the road. Somebody had picked up trash but left the bag on the ground. I picked that one up and we took the trash back to our garbage can.
The next day, we decided to take the same walk and pick up trash. I wore latex gloves and we each carried a trash bag. We filled up our bags and got most of the trash.
I want to know who litters like that? I’m sure it’s not coming from our neighborhood. Next door is a country club with huge homes. I’m pretty sure it’s not coming from there. The road is a hot spot for cyclists. I’m also convinced it’s not the cyclists tossing trash. Are the litterbugs people driving through or workers like gardeners, repairmen and construction workers? Or is it kids? Who does that?
Do you notice trash where you walk or live? Who do you think litters?
We’ve had a busy weekend — post vacation. We picked up friends from the airport Thursday and they invited us over to their house for dinner the next day to repay us for our trouble. They lived a stone’s throw from us in Palm Springs and we both moved within a mile from each other in Arizona — without prior knowledge we were both doing that. Our kids went to school together from kindergarten through high school. Now our kids live near each other in the Bay Area.
We had neighbors over for appetizers, wine and games. We played my favorite card games, Demon and Texas Hold ‘Em. Our friends brought over a game they thought we’d enjoy. My husband and I laughed when we found out it was Catchphrase. That’s a game our kids played endlessly at swim meets with their teammates under the pop-up tent. We’d be at meets for at least four hours and they’d swim a few minutes. Downtime was spent playing cards or Catchphrase.
It’s been years since I’ve played games and it was a hoot. We laughed and had fun. it was a perfect thing to do with people we’ve only known for a few months.
For appetizers I made deviled eggs, stuffed shishitos with honey goat cheese and sweet Italian sausage chunks on toothpicks with honeycrisp apples. Also a veggie platter that was barely touched.
What card games do you like to play? Did you play lots of games growing up? Do you think kids today play games or is everything on screens now?
We’ve had a hot week and I’ve been swimming rather than walking each day. Our pool in the backyard is a nice temperature so I jump in and kick or swim. I swim laps at the Y a couple times a week too.
It’s weird not to walk every morning after not missing a day since I recovered from knee surgery.
The other morning I woke up at 4:45 a.m. and got out the door for a walk at 5:15 a.m. It was beautiful with birds singing, but I felt a little unnerved with coyotes howling nearby. It sounded like a large pack. I almost turned back to the house, but courageously kept moving on. I actually turned back momentarily only to discover the coyotes howling sounded near my home. Onward and forward seemed like the prudent choice.
Here are the photos I took during my early morning walk.
If I wake up early enough to beat the heat, I go for my walks at sunrise. If I wake up later and it’s too hot — I jump into the water. Thankfully our pool gets a lot of shade during the day, so the water temperature is still cool.
What is your favorite way to start the day? How are you getting exercise?