Tag Archives: monsoon

The Week in My World 7-30-11

Knowledge and growth are born of adversity. Writer Josephine Hart said, “Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.”  I know this is true. The shock fades and new skills emerge. It’s a weird sort of relief to know there will be no relief, so there’s no need to fake optimism. It forces one to deal with reality in less emotional ways. Lower your standards, expect nothing.

Mexican Drug Cartels Coming to a Street Near You!

My passion is animals and my cause is spay/neuter. It’s very hard to get people here to spay/neuter, but I never give up. After many years of working in animal rescue, I know that spay/neuter education is the single most important effort that can be made to stop the flow of stray dogs and cats. It would be easy enough for schoolteachers to give a lesson on it once in a while, but they don’t.

I’m currently trying to help neighbors get their dogs fixed for free. I’m all about free. If poor people consent to it (the first hurdle), they should get help. Some organizations make the pet owner pay the money back, but I don’t believe in that. Pay the vet bill for them, and DON’T spend thousands of dollars on a sick or crippled animal because you can’t stand to put it down. (They do that here, they’re all anti-euthanasia in Bisbee. It’s not realistic. In Douglas the pound puts them down too fast, within a couple days.  In Mexico the methods of euthanasia are medieval, I can’t talk about it. I seek sane case-by-case judgment but can’t find it anywhere.) But for the people who want to spay/neuter and can’t afford it,  I write emails, make phone calls, collect information, make appointments, coordinate funding, beg and plead. Works pretty good.

A lady I’m helping in my neighborhood has a fifth-wheel camper for sale in her yard. She told me Mexican drug cartel members have come to her house three times wanting to use the camper for a drug smuggling drop-off point. She said no. I asked her if she reported it, she said no, because they told her they had relatives  in the local border patrol and she’s too scared. I don’t believe that. I can’t believe that—that the border patrol, the one line of defense between us and them, is corrupt. They don’t let agents work in their own neighborhoods for this exact reason.

Since I no longer believe we have a functioning government, I am armed at all times. I’ve been practicing, spending money on bullets because I think it’s important to be prepared to defend yourself. It took living on the border, a collapsed economy, and an arrogant and clueless “leader” to come to this conclusion—I sound like a nutcase in a bunker—but Americans need to wake up to reality. The America we knew and loved, the one where I could walk into an employment agency and have a decent job in a week, is gone. The banks, corporations, and politicians who run this country are pure evil. War, money, oil. Yesterday in Egypt tens of thousands of hardline Islamic fundamentalists demonstrated, killing Christians and calling for strict Sharia law—as we send them billions of dollars to fight a hopeless cause. What did you think would happen?  Isn’t it kind of embarrassing to belong to such a stupid species?

RIP Amy Winehouse

Amy, Amy, Amy. Amy was a freak with the voice of a fallen angel. I have not read all the tributes to her online because my feelings are purely personal and I don’t want them tainted. I loved her music and her voice and her attitude. She was an outcast from the Hollywood rockstar mold and didn’t care. People made fun of her, she was an easy mark. Her “You Know I’m No Good” is my favorite song by her and gives me chills and makes me cry every time I hear it. I haven’t been this affected by the death of an artist since Janis Joplin, another member of the “27 Club.”

Coco and Chico

The two chihuahuas (see Help) got adopted and then sent back. The couple didn’t want them because they did not immediately bond with the husband. They only gave the dogs five days. Chico hiked on the guy’s clothes on the floor and he gave up on them way too fast. They’ve been shuffled around for months now—and after all, they were just neutered in June at age five years. Don’t expect miracles. We adore these loving, funny dogs. We’ll continue to work with them until they learn. They are a good project for someone with a lot of love to give. The dogs will love you right back.

Stormy day today with lots of rain, lightning and thunder.

Sonoran Desert toad, Bufo alvarius. I picked him up in a tupperware and gently carried him to safer ground, away from pets. These toads secrete a poisonous milky substance from glands on the side of their heads that can paralyze or cause seizures in animals and humans. He was big, about 5 inches long, about as big as my hand, and solidly heavy.

Canyon tree frog, Hyla arenicolor. There are variations among this species.

Another tiny canyon tree frog, even smaller, about an inch long. These frogs and toads are only seen during monsoon.

Caterpillar or larva of pipevine swallowtail butterfly, Battus philenor. There are lots of them in the yard. They are toxic and their bright scarlet color is a warning to birds.

Chico on way to new home

Chico coming back after being kicked out of new home

Coco and Chico coming back. They love, love, love to ride in cars.

Two car-lovin' chihuahuas need good home in southern AZ. Will deliver. Neutered, loving, funny. Do not want to split up. They don't bolt. Open a car door and they jump right in and settle down.

Met some people carrying goats. They had just picked up this mother and daughter whose owner couldn't keep them. This couple makes goat cheese which they sell at the Farmers' Market, and also uses them for meat...of course I asked if they get attached to the goats...yes, but they grew up on a farm and are used to the slaughter. Not very nice to think about, is it. Please don't ever throw meat away, give leftovers to your dogs.

Helicopter repair shop in Elfrida, AZ. Who knew?

Helicopter graveyard, Elfrida, AZ

The Week in My World 7-13-11

It’s been exactly one disturbing month since the Monument Fire began. Monsoon has started and instead of being the joyful respite we all wait for, new horrors have just begun for the people in Hereford Valley as their homes fill with ash and sludge. Everybody’s busy sandbagging their properties and buying flood insurance, which is really expensive.

I’ve received mail from very uninformed people calling me all kinds of nasty names simply because I tell the truth regarding the origin of the Monument fire. I HATE political correctness but I find that many Americans accept it like sheep. I usually trash those comments, but from now on I’m printing them, and trust me, I will make a fool of you. Insult me at your own risk. Go write your idiot opinions on your own blog, or better yet, come on down here.

But, life goes on. I’ve been highly motivated to clean up my property. I bought this house “as is.” The man who lived here worked in the mines but was completely self-sufficient when it came to taking care of his house and family. Maybe today he would be considered a hoarder. The barn and house were jammed full of every kind of scrap imaginable. We cleared much of it a few years ago, but a lot of it remained exactly where he left it when he died. He saved everything. Literally tons of metal, tires, wood, old refrigerators, half-empty bottles and cans of gooey unknown substances, thousands of parts from obsolete machinery, fencing and rotting hoses for his vegetable gardens. I’ve made countless dump trips and given stuff away. Since I’m scared to death of fires now and have illegals (yes, illegals, not immigrants) passing through my backyard on a daily basis, I’ve cleared all the brush. The monsoon will bring new grasses and create new brush, but from now on I’m going to keep up with it. It’s a lot of work but I trust no one. And if the opportunity presents itself to blow this town, I want to be ready.

Something good happened—Gracie, the little tabby I rescued from a foreclosed home, was adopted. I still have the two chihuahua mixes and can’t wait to find a good home for them. I have nine dogs in my little house and it’s too much. People call and make appointments to see them and don’t show up. Other people call and want them for free. Others call with their phone set to “Private” and don’t leave their number. Little kids call. The stupidity, rudeness, and bloody waste of my time is so discouraging.

Two confused chihuahuas after returning from the vet to get neutered. Coco and Chico, whose owner died and whose wife dumped the dogs the same day, need good home in southern Arizona. Will deliver.

"WTF? I thought you said we were going to get TUTORED!"

First brood of swallow babies on my front porch light. The parents come back every year and have two broods. I do what I can to keep them safe.

One died in the nest, I don't know why. The parents couldn't get it out, so we got a ladder and a pair of tongs and removed it.

If one more person tells me the prickly pears lost in the February freeze will come back, I'm gonna smack 'em.

Damn it's good to have the Border Patrol back on my street. They were all at the Monument fire for two weeks, now they're back in business. Look at this agent on horseback....HOT. I would have liked to move around him and take better pictures, but they're kind of busy.

Border Patrol bringing in group of illegals less than 100 ft. from my back door. The concept of the BP being ruthless dicks couldn't be further from the truth. They save lives every single day. I have never seen groups of illegals handcuffed or abused in any way unless they threaten the BP. They are given fluids, taken to hospitals, then returned to Mexico. It's expensive and we pay for it. PS—all this brush is now gone!

Poor old guy at the gas station, empty tank and no money. He asked me for a dollar. I gave him my last five bucks.

Our friend Hogan (see Hoarder of History) finally retires his boots.

Monument Fire + Monsoon = Mudslides

Monsoon started about a week ago and so far it’s a strong one. There are various scientific methods used to predict the strength of an upcoming monsoon, but it turns out to be whatever nature decides.

But one thing is certain, and that is when mountain forests suffer major fire damage, natural waterways are not enough to absorb the heavy rains. The water has no place to go but down. On my way home today from Sierra Vista, mudflow had closed roads and I learned after stopping and asking that once again the people who live at the base of the Huachucas were told to evacuate.

Everybody here knows how the Monument fire started, but it has yet to be made official, and likely never will. I honestly can no longer see myself having a life here.

This is what Rt. 92 looks like all along Coronado National Park where the Monument fire burned for two weeks.

Monsoon rain is not like a normal rainy day. It comes in heavy bursts with high winds that can last for hours, stop, then start again. It's usually the best time of the year.

Miller Canyon Road off Rt. 92 was closed and the homes that firefighters saved will be in danger again for the next two to three months.

With the trees gone, mud comes down the mountains.

Natural waterways, called washes, are unable to contain the flow.

Streets flood with mud and debris.

We live near several prisons and often see "cons" doing various work around town. Today they had them making sandbags. The sandbags are loaded into trucks and placed around houses. I asked a con who helped me at the dump the other day what he was in for—two pounds of pot. What a waste of taxpayer money.

Update 7-12-11. Picture from KGUN 9 News. The mudslide was worse than I knew. It ruined homes and this is just the beginning.

The Week in My World 9/25/10

I have written about how jazzed up people get during monsoon season—well this one has continued much longer than usual, and people are still talking about it. It was raining up until a few days ago, and the locals revel like pagan bacchanals. For now, everything is blanketed under a thick quilt of leaves, vines, grasses, and flowers.

In other news, I have work, my shoulder is inflamed and winces and whines, our swamp-cooler pump blew and had to be replaced, and I had a rescue cat spayed to the tune of $120. The money trickles in torpidly, in little slivers of hope.

Concrete-mixing trucks in the mist

Safeway parking lot...we live not under the clouds, but in them.

It rained so hard that hundreds of snails were washed across our driveway. Some snails were actually climbing up the back door! I gently swept them all up and put them out in the grass. I think they stay underground, fairly dormant, until it rains.

Half of a fat rainbow, backyard. Couldn't find the other half!

I had to have a mammogram at the Copper Queen Hospital. There are almost always Border Patrol trucks here---illegals who get hurt are brought here and the BP agents wait while they are treated in the emergency room.

Little house in my neighborhood with vintage Airstream permanently parked in yard. Old Airstreams can be restored and have a loving following, with clubs, meet-ups, etc.

Parish viguiera, or goldeneye, along sidewalk in Bisbee

Lush pomegranate bush in full September fruit

The Border Patrol uses trucks, ATVs, helicopters, and horses. These five horses were parked outside of the local Mexican take-out place that the BP agents and sheriffs frequent. The BP takes good care of their horses, I have seen the stables up close on my walks.

One of the various "art cars" of Bisbee. This is a popular art form here.

A Jewel in the grass

Matilda, one of my outside cats, in a prime napping spot on the lawnmower seat. Matilda does not allow anyone to touch her, but she sticks around the yard---therefore she lives.

A grumpy Maxi after a bath. Look at those little alien feet. Maxi was found on the highway and turned in to the local pound while I was working there. I had to wait five days before I was allowed to take her home. This is in case someone calls looking for the dog, or the dog is sick---but mostly because the animal control guy likes to throw his weight around. He gave me a big hard time about this dog because he knew how bad I wanted her.

Maxi on guard

The Week in My World 9/18/10

It’s still hot, but the rain keeps falling, though now in short bursts that don’t amount to much.  But the high desert still basks in the fluid infusion. Gush…lush…drip…grow, thrive, morph, prepare for sleep.

The ubiquitous hackberry bush in its September glory

Bisbee is tucked in under the cover of purple or red morning glories, transforming the town into linear shapes under a living blanket

"Perfection Bread" vintage advertisement, Old Bisbee

This is all you need to see to know it's a Bisbee girl. Farmers' Market, Saturday.

This guy lives in Bisbee and drives around with his two wolves.

Maxi at a jobsite this week

Heading south toward home on my street, I saw this little squall over Mexico. You can see where it's raining for hundreds of miles.

Lochlin Street, Old Bisbee

One of the many "art cars" of Bisbee. It's an art form here.

Close up of art car---Our Lady of Guadalupe icons are common here.

My friend Janice and I went to the Farmers' Market today and took some pictures of the animals for our local rescue group. We don't like breeders, we have too many strays as it is. We especially resent pitbull breeders, as the dogs end up in the desert, the road, or the pound, or the most obvious and vile, the fighting pit. This little guy is part pug and will be easily adopted because he's small and adorable.

The Week in My World 9/10/10

It’s finally slightly cooler but the lushness of summer still abounds with prominent profusions of wildflowers at every turn.  The fruits of the various local cacti are huge due to a strong monsoon—it rained steadily until a few days ago, but today the humidity dropped about 30 points to 36%.  Locusts are crossing the roads, probably for mating.  The “lawn” is knee-high again—they’re not kidding when they tell you the Arizona lawnmower is the weed whacker.

Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons.

Look at the size of those prickly pear fruits

Pretty house and painted wall in Old Bisbee

Maxi is mad because we put her in these flowers and made her stay. Look at that pout.

A friend stopped by towing his "Sprint car," built for quarter-mile races.

Morning glories growing out of a drainage ditch in Old Bisbee

Tiny red morning glories overtaking a desert broom

These wildflowers are growing out of a crack in the pavement in Old Bisbee

Today's bandanna somehow ended up on Maxi's head, making her appear to be a tiny alien wizard