The Week in My World 5-26-11

What a week. I’m tired and discouraged. I’m no longer able to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, like roofing or unclogging drains.

BUT…Find an Outlet scores a double! The two dogs my friend Janice rescued from a foreclosed house (see Collateral Damage) got adopted! A lovely woman from Tucson saw the pictures on my blog and drove up here three times. She was only going to take the hound, but when she brought her 11-year-old overweight dog and watched the three dogs romp in the yard that did it. She adopted both dogs and they are living happily ever after in Tucson. I couldn’t be there to see them off so I begged Janice to take a few pictures of the dogs getting in the car and leaving. She promised she would. This is what I got:

Janice doesn't get electronics. She gets dogs. I was so excited when she gave me her camera to take the pictures off...until I saw them—this and two more just like it. My disappointment soon turned to hysterics.

Thank you Janice for all you do. She did all the work, all I did was photograph the dogs. Thank you to Border Animal Rescue for funding the spays.

ARIZONA IS so weird. Every liquor store has a drive-thru window, but I have to park my car and walk to the bank and have meaningful interaction with the tellers to cash a check.

I’M TAKING A BREAK from fiction because the sheer amount of it on the blogosphere is overwhelming me, but here’s an idea for a story:

A Pile for Charlie: About a man who develops an itch in an unmentionable region but becomes intolerable to his family because he refuses to purchase the ointment.

I have a fish story…

It was just a fluke that I met Marlin at the sand bar. He wore his hair in a mullet, but it smelt like scrod. He claimed to be a sturgeon but I never saw him operate on anything but a blowfish. He was such an angler—he reeled me in when he said I was as cute as a sea urchin. He tried to get me to perch on top of him but I told him I had a haddock and he accused me of playing koi. We smoked a salmon and floundered around for a while but he insisted on showing me his pike. I started laughing, you mean your minnow? Good thing he was hard of herring—but he tackled me, got a little roughy and wouldn’t leave my dorsal fin alone. “Don’t clam up on me baby!” he snappered, then told me I was a crappie date. What a crab. What did I expect from bottom fishing? I’m not going to be a grouper to some backwater slippery eel with no sole. Basshole. Give me a tuna-casserole type guy who knows the meaning of the word chum.


Border Animal Rescue is one of the saving graces of our town. They often take in more animals than they adopt. They don’t have a physical shelter and it’s almost impossible to find foster homes, so most of the animals end up at a few devoted volunteers’ homes. These puppies are at Dee's house, the heart and soul of BAR. She fosters many cats, kittens, and dogs. It's extremely hard to say no to people who are about to dump their animals.

The Mexican bird of paradise shrubs are blooming along roadsides everywhere.

The cholla (pronounced (choy' a) bloom in May and they're everywhere. The flowers then turn into those yellow pods.

Cholla buds about to burst.

The top of a century agave that looks like a giant asparagus in the spring. They don't really live 100 years, more like 25. After the stalk grows and dies, the plant dies. But the base sends out runners called "pups," so they have a chance at immortality.

The ocotillo (pronounced oco tee' yo) are in bloom too. They're about 20 ft. tall, I had to stand on top of my car to get this pic!

Yuccas are very common here. This plant has last year's stalk and a brand new one beside it.

The other day I was craving water. All we have is the San Pedro River, which only swells during monsoon. An earthquake 100 years ago turned this once serious river into a trickle. To think there used to be barges on it during the mining days!

I could barely wait to wade in the "river." I'm trying to catch tadpoles, there were thousands of them. It only takes a small amount of water to bring profuse life to the desert.

Tadpoles, which turn into frogs, aren't that easy to catch! Most will be eaten though before they reach adulthood.

Saw these perfectly preserved set of raccoon (I think) prints in some mud.

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35 responses to “The Week in My World 5-26-11

  1. OK, I was taking a sip of water as I started reading and spurt it out in laughter over that “dog” picture! Thanks for a hearty laugh, I needed one tonight!

    Congrats on their adoption and oh, I so wish I was closer to take one of those adorable puppies!

    Loved the story, and the story idea, as well as all the pictures. Funny, I guess I just at the typical idea of Arizona being nothing but sand and rocks for a desert. Thanks for opening my eyes to its beauty.

    • Hi Indigo, everybody thinks Arizona is just sand and wind! Lots of life here, especially in the high desert. Lots of people too but still plenty of wilderness, so far.

      Thanks, and I wish you were closer too! I know you work with feral cats in CT and people like you are so needed. Those puppies are so stinkin’ cute. The mother is a Jack Russell mix, the pups don’t look anything like her!

  2. This story about Janice & the dogs made my day, life is sucky right now and this gave me some, uh, hope. I dont use this word lightly, so I do thank you again and again. Yes, Janice came through and did the adoption work, but thanks to you for the photos and blog that told the dogs’ story.. Don’t sell your efforts short.

    PS- the agave looks like something other than asparagus to me. I sometimes think after I die, my libido will live on.

  3. Hi Ann, ha ha leave it to my favorite cougar to point that out! It’s hard not to think about that when you see them all over the place! Told y’all Arizona is magical!

    Still many more needy dogs and cats, but every one that finds a loving home will make your day. Thanks for writing, and feel better. You can always commiserate with me.

  4. Again, fabulous photographs. Just beautiful.

    If it’s illegal to drink and drive why is there driveup windows at liquor stores? For that matter, why are there parking lots at bars? I remember in Sheridan, Wyoming, where I grew up, you could order a cocktail at the driveup window at Coffeen Liquors. What were we thinking?

    • Thank you Leonard, and those are some good questions! I never heard of being able to order a cocktail through a drive-thru, wow. I thought it was illegal just about everywhere to have an open container of alcohol in a car, in CT they were so strict people were even afraid to bring a bottle of wine to a party that had been opened.

      Also very different from CT here is that you can buy alcohol just about anywhere, any day, anytime (though they are strict about carding). In CT they had strict “blue laws.” Not that it made a difference, still plenty of drunks on the road. I guess if people want it, they get it, just like everything else.

      Crazy.

  5. Love the concept of drive through liquor stores especially in this day and age when the authorities are so on top of driving under the influence.

    Very funny story, you are the master of spinning punnies! Read it twice to make sure I had used every laugh.

    Wonderful asparagus! Amazing this plant can do well in the desert too!

    And the happy ending for the two dogs, how wonderful, I’m sure to think of it all day and it will bring a smile to my face.

    • Hi Bill, thanks—I knew a fisherman like yourself would get every pun!

      The drive-thru liquor stores were a major culture shock when we first got here. Couldn’t believe it. They probably have them in other states too, just not on the east coast. But I sure did know tons of alcoholics there!

      The lady took the two dogs two days after they were spayed because she wanted to baby them and bond with them. We just loved her. I’m sure they’re being treated like princesses as I write!

  6. Love the desert cacti and flowers. We have so much water here in western Washington everything is covered with moss. I love living in the rain, but appreciate the beauty of the desert. Thanks for the pics.

    • Hi Janet, I LOVE moss, and miss it. I used to make these moss gardens back east with pretty stones and little stone figures, I sometimes wonder what happened to them.

      I love the rain, too, which is why monsoon is such a Big Deal here. But it can never just be a nice gentle rain, it always has to be a major assault!

      Thanks for writing.

  7. Love your fish story. Your way with words always come through!
    And your pictures…I love the glimpses into your area. Thanks!
    Drive-thru liquor store. A defininte new thought to me. I don’t know why I think of it as funny. It actually isn’t!
    Glad the dogs have their forever homes.

    • Hi Char, you probably know a lot about fish coming from Maine! People here understandably don’t get fish! I miss fried clams, wah!

      The dogs are doing great. I still have the cat that came from the same house, as soon as she’s out of heat and spayed I’m going to post her on Petfinder, but not with high hopes. There’s a lot of competition out there.

  8. Great pics of the desert in bloom. I used to camp in the Anza-Borrego desert in California back in the day during the spring, and your post brought back a lot of fond memories.
    Drive-thru liquor stores brought back some memories too. When I lived in Florida in the mid-80’s, they were still in full swing. Could pull up, order a bottle, and “set ups” – a plastic cup with ice. Could have an open container while you drove.
    People thought this was normal.

    • Hi Harry, thanks! You’re the second person who’s written who has seen drive-thru cocktails! I sure do hope it’s outlawed, though really, most hardcores just drink from the bottle.

  9. There’s a lot in this one, Debra. The century agave looks like one of our ubiquitous ‘stobie’ poles, peculiar to South Australia. Your Border Rescue does a great job and would be I think the pride of Arizona. And I concur there is an awful lot of fiction out there in the blogosphere and I certainly don’t intend adding to it.

    • Thanks JLeo. Is the stobie pole a cactus?

      Border Animal Rescue is a small organization, just operates here in our area. I wish they could somehow score a real shelter so it wouldn’t put so much pressure on the foster homes. I wish I had a million dollars and could buy a nice building for them.

      Thanks for your comment about the surplus of fiction, which overwhelmed me. I like much of it, but was disappointed in the lack of discussion, it was mostly praise, which all writers need of course, but damnit I want to talk about stuff.

  10. Lives with Dogs

    Hello everyone, this is Debra’s friend Janice, and I want everyone to know that Debra is such a wonderful friend and ally to both myself and animals that without her I could not accomplish anything needing technology, as my parting shots of Kona and Shotsy are just an example of my total dysfunction where technology is needed! I am blessed to have a friend like her, as she is very important to my mental stability! I am very thankful to everyone taking time to care about commenting on the girls! They are doing great and Buddy, the adopter’s dog, is getting exercise from following the girls!

    • Awww, Janice. You take my teasing so well, I knew you’d see how funny that picture “of the dogs leaving for their new home” is! But look at you, leaving a comment on my blog on the INTERNET! I’m so proud of you!

  11. ‘stobie poles’ are wooden structures with steel and concrete reinforcements that hold up the powerlines. For some reason they are peculiar to South Australia.

  12. I don’t know what you meant by this:
    ARIZONA IS so weird. Every liquor store has a drive-thru window, but I have to park my car and walk to the bank and have meaningful interaction with the tellers to cash a check.
    But it means a hell of a lot to me in all sorts of ways.
    I love happy dog stories. One happy dog story a day and I might become happy.

  13. “playing koi” – priceless.

    I know of a couple drive-thru liquor stores here in Texas, but we also have open container laws.

    Adorable puppies! I’m sitting here next to my lab/dalmatian mix, wondering how anyone can live without pets.

    • Hi Stephanie, thanks!

      A well cared for pet is the soul of a home. Janice just picked up two chihuahua mixes yesterday whose owner just went into hospice. Wanted his family to care for the dogs, but THE SAME DAY he left his home, the family dumped the dogs. Shitheads. I’ll be photographing them soon.

      PS—to anyone who reads this, we can deliver, if you live in southern AZ or within a 100 miles or so. I drove a cat to El Paso last year.

  14. Glad the dogs have a good home; and those puppies are adorable. Loved the fish story, and the scenery; not to mention the dog-less leash! Sorry to hear you were feeling tired and discouraged, hope that is no longer the case. Hugs!

    • Hi Patti, thanks. Nah, I’m always tired and discouraged. The laws of imbalance dictate that every instance of something good happening, two bad things happen. And that doesn’t even include the dreaded news.

  15. Don’t worry, keep the faith. Am sure the toilet will overflow or the septic system will back up into the house to put that beautiful smile back on your face.

    You can never trust them blue-eyed redstripes, they pull up beside you with Dean Martin playing in the 8 track ‘thats a Moray eel’ and say “hey baby wanna take a ride in my Cutlassfish”.

    I always say there is no such thing as bad picture, but Janice pushes envelope!

    Big “Grunt!” for the pictures.

  16. Great news about the dogs getting a new family, I love happy endings 😀
    Something fishy about that tale though, I may flounder to express my feelings about it 😉

  17. I love those puppies, I don’t understand how anyone can abandon animals. The photos of the red flowers that you had to get onto your car to photograph are amazing! At first glance they looked like bottlebrush.
    How tall does the Cholla grow? Beautiful flowers on it.

  18. The adult chollas range from waist-high to way over your head, plus there are many different species, all beautiful, all unique.

  19. Time for a new post, Debra? I should speak. I had planned to put one up tonight —- it is 10 pm Adelaide time —- but it turned itself into a short story so now I have to find something else to blog about — but it can wait till morning. Cheers.

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