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 uninformed people calling me all kinds of nasty names, but I write from the perspective of someone who lives here, not a couple thousand miles away. I hate political correctness but I find that many Americans accept it like sheep. It’s a really bad idea to troll blogs and leave aggressive negative comments. Much better to write your opinions on your own blog. If I see a post I don’t agree with, I leave, not start trouble.

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, I’ve cleared most of 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.

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 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.

The Border Patrol were all at the Monument fire for two weeks, now they’re back. 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 a group less than 100 ft. from my back door. The concept of the BP being ruthless dicks isn’t true. They save lives every day. They are given fluids, taken to hospitals, then sent back.

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.

30 responses to “The Week in My World 7-13-11

  1. He sure does look good on that horse. Had to make the picture bigger so I could see it better. LOL Glad they’re back on patrol in your neighborhood. The way our economy and government is going, those illegals are going to want to go back to Mexico. Have you had a normal monsoon season? Or has it been weird like the rest of the weather this year. Sure wish I knew somebody who could take those cute little ones off your hands. I keep asking.

    • Hi Sandie, yeah he does look good. They all do. I would love to photograph them more, but they really don’t like it and you can’t blame them. Monsoon has been pretty strong so far, which is good or bad depending on where you live. Times are tough for animals who need homes, more people are dumping them than adopting them. Thanks for asking around!

  2. Debra Darlin –

    Always enjoy your photos – they all have that personal flair that makes them unique and provides a real perspective of your surroundings.

    Sounds like you’re doing the best you can to make yourself ready to take the opportunity to leave there if it does present itself. Being prepared for a life changing event is half the battle. Of course, I know all to well how hard it is to make drastic changes with animals in tow. Often we’ll stop and visualize for a fleeting moment just how much easier it would be if we didn’t have the animals – but , that vision goes away and we realize if it weren’t for our animal friends, we might be blubbering idiots wandering aimlessly through the desert!

    Love the pic of the boots and the guy at the gas station – he looks so much like the many people who have asked me for help at gas stations. I never knew when I should help and when they were just full of BS. Something like that does remind you that we are all just 1 financial disaster away from being in the same boat.

    Giddy~Up~Go ! – Take care

    • Hi Cowboy, it’s true the animals can put a leash on our lives, but they help keep us alive too. Can’t imagine not having them, or leaving them.

      I know what you mean about people scamming you for money, I guess you just have to use your intuition. I went in and paid the $5 for this guy’s gas, he was such a sad case I felt bad for him. I can easily see how life crushes people—not everybody is able to recover from their struggles. Wish I could help people more. Thank you for your beautiful comments.

  3. If they’re illegals they’re illegals and that’s that, to call them immigrants is insulting to everyone who has come here from elsewhere and gone through the citizenship or resident alient procedures. I don’t have a problem with some political correctness but when it gets to lunatic proportions I do. I recall when feminism first began in the late 60s and early 70s and all of a sudden the words “man” or “men” became obscenities. Some of the screaming femmies in the church were actually attacking the verbiage of the Lord’s Prayer and wanted to change “Our Father” to “Our Sustainer.” Then there was the revamping of profession names (i.e. “newsperson” instead of “newsman” etc.) and the best of these was “mailman” to “personperson.” Aagggh! “Girl” became an insult. Why? Call me “girl” now and I will fall down, embrace your ankles and sob for joy.
    Stick to your guns and “non permittere illegitimis carborundum!”

    • Hi Ann, a woman once got mad at me for calling her a seamstress. She said she was a tailor. Actresses do not like that word, they prefer actor. Get over it, and yeah, call me “miss” or “girl” any time! Our Sustainer is funny, I never heard that. Ha ha, I feel I’ve been ground into a pile of dust but with the help of friends like you I know I’ll recover…thanks girl, for all your support.

  4. You said it. HOT. And that’s all I have to add because that picture has turned my mind to that of a giggling girl.

    • Hi Kay, they seem to have that effect on a lot of girls! They’re usually all business, but when I see cashiers flirting with them in stores it’s just so cute. It’s kind of hard to take your eyes off them! But let’s not forget the female agents, they’re hot too.

  5. I’m with you. Illegals are illegal.


  6. I’m glad you’re back writing again, Debra. I always learn things from your posts that I don’t from any newspaper or magazine. Those illegals sure seem a nuisance but those swallowtail chicks are cute. I could write a poem about them.

    • Hi JL, thank you. You should definitely write a poem about the swallow chicks, because once a reader wrote to say how ugly they are! But they grow into the most beautiful and graceful creatures, are attentive parents, and are a joy to watch skimming through the air catching bugs. All summer long I won’t even turn the porch light on because I’m afraid it will disturb their broods—a small sacrifice for their presence and usefulness.

  7. You are right on the money with “Americans accept it like sheep.” May I just add to that….’North Americans.’ We have the same herding afflictions here in Canada & if one wants to take it a step farther, herding is rampant throughout the world. Always has been & with the brainwashing that goes on in society, always will be.. People have a habit of believing whatever makes them comfortable & comfortable is not always very comforting in a realistic world. We’ve been fortunate enough to have spent time in southern Texas, New Mexico, Arizona & California & have an understanding about the border problems. People who have never been there, as a rule do not. Easy to sit a few thousand miles away & quarterback the border problems based on heresay & biased media coverage but until someone has been to the area & spent time there, they are basically misinformed. Keep up the great opinionated writing, I respect your courage to truly speak your feelings…

    • Hi Al, I think political correctness not only circumvents the truth, but is actually destructive for our countries. When people are afraid to speak the truth because someone might get offended, everybody pays for it in the end. The truth is hardly racism. People should look the word up. Thanks for your comments and support.

  8. Love all the pics, Debra. The swallows are adorable. What big mouths they have. The better to feed them with!

    The middle part of your prickly pear picture looks like a cowboy to me, cowboy hat tipped to the side of his head. His knapsack is hanging from the wire. 🙂

    Sounds like you have been busy getting everything ready ‘just in case’. Good for you!

    • Hi Char, bird babies must aggressively seek food from their parents, I’ve read that bird parents do not play fair but actually feed the strongest chicks. It’s all part of “survival of the fittest” in the animal kingdom.

      I thought the dead prickly pear looks like an alien semi-human body!

      Thanks for your comments and encouragement.

  9. Animals do keep us moving forward and give us a reason to get up. My cats stand between me and the Kevorkian Express.

  10. These photos really caught the pace and culture of what you are going through in border Arizona. I’m guessing you’re are correct about the prickly pears, they look done-in for sure. Congrats on getting all the old refuse out of your yard (I assume an ongoing project), that must seem good to get rid of some of that stuff left behind by the previous owner. Sure sounds like you’re busy Debra. Take a breather for some good times. You certainly deserve it.

    • Hi Bill, thank you. Yes there are still several more tons of scrap to be hauled away but I put a dent in it. The yard is clear so it looks better from the street, next I tackle the barn. My partner’s 18-year-old son is here for a visit and I plan to put him to work! Busy is good. Busy is progress. Thanks for writing.

  11. Good Morning Debra 🙂
    Just wanted to drop you a note to say I LOVE your opinion. I am finding quite a few down here in Texas that feel the same way, gosh we should all get togather and have a beer at the border, maybe our pretty voices would be enough to keep the illegals off your property.
    I don’t know how you do it. I’m not a huge gun person, but a bird shot over their heads, or warning shot in front of them ??? But then again, the coyotes would probally would harm you. What a tough situtation to be in.
    But at last I have a solution, but the damm govt won’t listen to me…….
    Bring our troops home, ok, they will need a job, cuz we just don’t seem to have 100,000 jobs laying around, so lets create them. Put our troops all along the border, with their M-16’s 🙂 have them live there, so that way we have to have towns for them and their families to spend money in, that creates more jobs, they buy goods and services, spending their money IN THIS COUNTRY 🙂 That helps our economy. I am also including the Navy in this, as our ships, etc can patrol AMERICAN waters to keep the drug smugglers away, all of this will help curtail the drug problem in the US, and create jobs at the same time.:)
    Ok, thank you for letting me rant on your blog page 🙂

    • Hi Joy, your comment hit home because I think of that all the time, bringing our troops home and putting them to work on the border. You took it a step further by reasoning out how doing that would help America in other ways. Someday the government is going to have to address this problem or lose America for good. Unfortunately there are an alarming number of people who would love to see exactly that.

      Thanks for writing—come rant anytime.

  12. Girl, I love your pieces. You capture LIFE, and that’s not an easy task! Up here in PA, we hear NOTHING about the fires or the Border Patrol, except, of course, when the WASHINGTON idiots get involved. Everything is “Casey Anthony” here … like I care! Glad you’re living your life … involved! Kudos!

    • Hi Barb, we were talking today about Casey Anthony and that she’ll probably start a babysitting business now.

      Readers tell me all the time how little they hear of our border crisis in their local news. That’s so sad because it’s much more serious than people realize. Thanks for writing and your support. Appreciate it.

  13. As to people howling for pointing something out, the louder the howl, the closer the arrow has hit to the mark.

  14. Hi expat, I never thought of it that way. Wow that’s so true.

  15. I cannot agree more with ‘inaformerlifeanexpat’, for the obvious.

    Sorry for being so late in leaving a comment ‘D’, but it is kinda nice here at bottom, plus you get to read all the comments of others.

    As always, I leave informed, mindful of how others live and with this post assured. With previous post I was getting concerned for your safety. This post made me think, how we, while on a trip drive through unfamiliar places, remark, “oh this beautiful”, “this is quaint”, yada yada yada. But we really don’t experience a place at all, while driving at the speed limit or faster. Here at ‘Find An Outlet’ you get the reality of the moment. No sugar, whisky straight up!…………thanks Cowgirl

    • Hi Hudson, ha ha I’ve been living on the bottom so long now I wouldn’t know any other way.

      At first I thought life here was just harsh, now I know it’s dangerous as well. I live with locked doors now, never used to. I shut my blinds as soon as it gets dark. I take note of my dogs barking. I now “carry.”

      No sugar from me, that comes from my awesome commenters…thanks hon.

  16. It’s painful to hear that one has to live in fear, fear is the detriment of many a community in your state and along the border am realizing from your post, and my own reading into it. So I have to listen hard to you. As I don’t lock my doors, I don’t own firearms any longer. I don’t feel your fear, but that said I can not ignore that you and your neighbours are forced to live in fear and feelings of neglect from ‘THE MAN’ in control. It would be easy for me and others, I suspect, to just pass you off. But you keep asking the important questions. I can only hope that someday someone will answer and resolve this. Though from what I read, the end is distant, and that is a sad sad reality. You’ve got to wonder if the government responsible for the health and welfare of its people are waiting for the likes of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood to come riding in and take care of business. Sorry, that’s a silly thought and musing on my part, but it does feel they are just waiting for a solution to just appear from the heavens. Waiting will only prolong the agony. You’re tougher than I. I think I would have melted down long ago and put Dodge to my back.

    • Hudson I’m not tough, I’m stuck. You’re right that solutions are distant—even if someone comes along who really wants to do the right thing for the country they will find opposition at every turn. Sometimes people say America’s best days are behind her. I hope this isn’t true but I fear that it is.

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