Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Wind is a little bit scary at times.

The weather forecasters can be counted on to predict a 10% chance of showers, and then have a four-day downpour cause massive flooding.

When they call for a week of complete sunshine, the dark clouds begin to move in immediately.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a job where you are consistently wrong and still be employed?

But wind - how can they predict so exactly something that you can't even SEE?

They seem to get it close to the MINUTE it will begin, the speed down perfectly, and how long it is going to last.

It's always amusing to hear the forecast for "hurricane-force" winds here in Arizona, where we are pretty far from any ocean.

Anyone know the secret?

Monday, March 29, 2010


The body of a rancher, a Rob Krentz outside of Douglas, was found yesterday morning. The last contact with him was a phone call to his brother, telling him that he was helping out some illegal aliens on Saturday afternoon.

It's not that incredibly close to my house - Apache is about 50 miles east of me, NE of Douglas - so I shouldn't be shocked.

But I am appalled - or perhaps horrified is a better term - by the outpouring of e-comments in reaction to this murder... National Guard, armed and ready to shoot, on every inch of the border. Army, ditto. Complete closure of the border (which anyone who has been down here realizes is logically impossible). Everyone armed - militia roaming the border..... geesh.

I am extremely sorry rancher was murdered. It was a horrible, tragic event.

But I am also painfully aware of how many illegal immigrants have died right around where I live during the past ten years - exposure, dehydration, robbed, killed by drug dealers, by the coyotes (human smugglers) who bring them to the border. Sometimes their bodies are found right away - many weeks after their death. Many are never identified - their families never know what happened to them.

Sorry, guys, I am fully aware that there is no easy solution down here at the border  - but please, let us acknowledge the loss of not just U.S. citizens lives, but the people so desperate for a better life that they lose the one they have.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


My husband has severe sleep apenea.

He snores - and then stops breathing - and then gasps for breath, waking himself up - and then begins snoring again.

His doctor prescribed a CPAC machine for him a few years ago, but he was uncomfortable enough with it after just a few mintues that he never used it.

My second daughter has sleep apenea.... ditto.

I just got a CPAC machine... and I love it. But I don't look anything like the lady on the right - however, the photo on the right is almost a perfect representation.

I don't have sleep apenea, but after undergoing two sleep studies (see my blog from 1/26/10), I had low-enough oxygen intake that hey, it couldn't hurt. My doctor was very much, "hey, if it helps, great, if it doesn't, you don't have to stay with it."

And it's only two nights, but I now know how much of my regular day was ruled by feelings of sheer exhaustion - all of it.

Right now, after six hours of sleep with the stupid, loud, sputtering CPAC machine right by my head, I feel WONDERFUL.

Please, may it continue.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Haven't you heard people say, "Oh, I learned such-and-such from my mom."  (Well, the "such-and-such" part isn't something you have normally hear, right?)

But you know, like "My mom taught me how to make the best cakes," or "My mom was the one I'd call whenever I needed advice," or "My mom showed me the best way to kick a guy in his testicles." 

I didn't ever have that kind of relationship with my mother - I learned to cook from college room-mates, I called my dad when I needed advice, and I learned how to knee someone on my own.
 But I do have this kind of relationship with my oldest daughter.

It's just flip-flopped.

Earlier this week, I was wearing Harmony's jeans jacket, wearing her brown shoes, doing "the loop" in Target, with a not-quite-iPhone-but-almost in my pocket and her iPod in my ears. I went home and made the chicken salad recipe she gave me. And called her that night to ask advice.

Is this healthy?

Sunday, March 21, 2010


The word, antidisestablishmentarism, was taught to me at an extrememly young age by my older brother as the longest word in the English dictionary.

It has since been superceded by pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.

But one of my favorite all time words is anthropomorphic, meaning ascribing human characteristics to animals and/or objects.
This descibed my actions perfectionally.
Every car I have owned has been given a name, and has had a personality. I have had Charlie (whose real name was Charlene, but she was sort of a tomboy, and hated being called that) - The Blue Goose (VW van - guess which color) - Grey Ghost (an extremely reliable Honda that was traded in for a new car by accident - I meant for them to take my husband's red Honda instead of mine) - and most recently my pickup, Blanca.

Today driving my new (new to be,albeit a used vehicle) Ford Ranger 2003 Extended Cab home, her name was obvious.
It's the first automatic transmission I have had in years and years and years - the tag on it says it's green, although I think that is a stretch of some male imagination (it's a beyond grey dark but not black) - and the interior is almost EXACTLY the same as my now-demolished Mazda pickup.
I feel almost as though I have Blanca back - does anyone know of a word that combines  anthropomorphicism and reincarnation (Google only comes up with a link to, so your guess is as good as mine).

Friday, March 19, 2010


I might be sexist, but I did expect to find at least one female car salesperson.

I approach car lots with sheer dread, thinly veneered by a bravado of a no-nonsense attitude. I literally tell the first person I see, "Can you find me someone who wants to sell me a pickup today?"

I walked around a lot of lots - I sat inside quite a few cabs - and I drove one truck I may actually end up purchasing, if I can talk them down to a reasonable APR rate (by sheer misfortune, the Toyota Tacoma is selling well enough that they don't need to offer the 0% they have on almost all of their other vehicles).

But why can't they just put them on a shelf (theoretically, of course) with a price, and you pick them up, put them in your cart (still figuratively), and check out? Yes, people make money the way it is done now - and I don't live outside a large-enough town to do the bargin-comparison-who-can-make-me-a-better-deal.
Okay, girlfriend, take a deep breath, and just get ready to make the plunge. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


When does a murder become an assassination? Do you have to be at a certain level of political influence?

And why do assassins always have three names? ("David Berkowitz, Ted Bundy, Richard Speck... . Serial killers only have two names. You ever notice that? But lone gunmen assassins, they always have three names. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, Mark David Chapman..." - can anyone tell me where that quote is from... and is it a little bit sad that I know?)

Today I was involved in two deaths... well, symbolic ones, perhaps, but extremely emotional ties. I had to sign the death certificate... er, well, "Total Loss" insurance agreement, for my truck. I could console myself that it was at the very least an organ donar (it's parts will be recycled), but I was also abandoning my constant (and completely paid-off) companion of the past seven years.

I also have invested a (conservative estimate) $450 in bumper stickers over the years.

The other was a sudden but not completely unforseen termination - I opened my cell phone not five minutes after ratifying my poor truck's decease, and it, quite literally, fell apart.

Now, some people can do okay without a cell phone - but it is my only phone. I don't exactly live and die by it - but I count on it.

And, just like my truck, I have invested a lot of time and energy in this phone - individual photos, ring tones, short-cuts, background.... and a WHOLE lot of phone numbers.

So this period of mourning may go on for a while; I will need time to recover.... as well as a new truck (I've already replaced the phone - have you seen the ads for the new "Android"? I got one!!!).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


AP: Tuesday, April 16, 2010: Sierra Vista, AZ: HEADLINE NEWS: A national day of mourning has been announced to honor the demise of Hope Wiltfong's 2003 Mazda B2000 Pick-Up Truck, affectionately nicknamed Blanca.

Officials representing GEICO insurance this morning declared the vehicle "not worth the repair costs" following a low-impact collision with the official Little Old Lady of Pasadena (no, wait, that should be ME, not the other driver, right?). Family members were contacted, and will be with the truck when it is officially taken off life-support early tomorrow morning.

Known county-wide as "that stupid pick-up with all those asinine bumper stickers," Blanca provided years of casual reading for all behind her at traffic lights, the drive-through at Dairy Queen, and the parking lot of Target. Her owner, Hope Wiltfong, insisted that "I will continue to cover her with bumper statements until you can no longer see any white truck" while also categorically denying that it was intended to be any sort of racial statement.

Black armbands will distributed at Mazda dealers nation-wide, with one minute of silent tribute to be paid at 12:34 p.m. Arizona non-Daylight Savings Time. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the American Motor Engines Nation-wide (A.M.E.N.).

Monday, March 15, 2010


There are fictional examples of cross-species love - Beauty and the Beast - the cat and the fiddle had something going on - King Kong was willing to do a lot for Fay somebody - and Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog, of course

So... hey, who knows.

Well, there is Sally, my mare, is old - old enough that she can't chew hay, and needs to be fed a special senior equine meal. However, she still regularly comes into heat, and believes, in the exact same manner that all of us hold an image of us in our best teenage-or-early-20's years in our heads, that she is a young mare prancing around attracting all the stallions that exist... at least in her fantasies.

And today her stud-radar was up and running about something directly east of her pasture - and enough dancing was going on that I actually walked out to see if there was possible a loose horse out there... or a cloud shaped like a horse... or signs of any possible performance-enhancement drugs that Sally is taking....

And guess what she was fixating on?

A pig. In the corral on the next property. A big, white sow.

Ah, true love, at last.


Last night I was blogging (defined as Hope's late-at-night randomings) about my truck and bumper stickers....

... and then this morning at least eleven of those gummed labels need to be replaced.

As well as the passenger door of my truck.

But that, of course, is secondary.

The accident was almost poetic - a little old lady (literally - probably in her late 60's or early 70's) drove out a church parking lot directly into the side of my truck.

She wasn't hurt, I wasn't hurt, but of course we had to have the police come and make a report - and because of her age, I asked that the EMTs also come and make certain she was okay.

Know what? We've got a lot of cute fireman, EMTs and cops here in Sierra Vista.

The only problem, really, was that the one car rental place in town closes at noon on Saturday... and the accident happened at 11:50 a.m.

The truck made it home -- but only after I made certain the insurance company wouldn't have any problem towing it if we couldn't make it all the way.

Rental car on Monday - what fun!

Friday, March 12, 2010


"Look me in the eye, boy!"  "He met my gaze unflinchingly."  "Their eyes locked the moment she walked in the room."  "All eyes turned obediently to page 56 in the textbook."

So why don't people want to make eye contact anymore?

I tried one time to explain to a friend the difference between looking and staring, and it really is just a matter of time. So when passing another shopper in aisle A28 of Target (cosmetics, by the way), a glance is fine, a nod of the head is almost forward, but actually LOOKING STRAIGHT AT THEIR FACE.... OMGNO!!!!!

I have a couple of theories as to why. We as women have unwittingly allowed ourselves to view each other as competitors in some sort of ultimate Survivor episode, vying for attention from each other, scouting out others' weaknesses, and inwardly laughing at women who dress unfashionably. And this happens regardless of is we  are happily married, content with our present boyfriend or enjoying being single - - 'other' women are our enemy... at least in casual, public interactions.

So I, of course, am a source of immense satisfaction for almost all women I pass - I'm usually in baggy jeans, an old sweatshirt torn (not tastefully) at the shoulder, no makeup, and my old-lady reading glasses perched on my nose, and my hair looks like I just rolled out of bed (which 95% of time is true).

And since I am the grandmotherly age now, it's easier for me to strike up conversations because "oh, this nice confused old lady is talking about something; I should be polite and pretend to listen to her."
What's that expression, age over beauty, right?

So, the whole reason I am babbling about this subject is I am constantly bewildered by the number of people who walk by my truck when it is parked, glance at it, obviously notice it is literally covered headlight to tailgate by 153 bumper statements (well, maybe they can't tell at one glance that it's 153 unless they are some sort of math savant).

But then, just like in the store aisles, they immediately look away and walk past it without another glance.

Now, I could be much more accepting of this behavior except that when I am on the road, driving my moving billboard, without exception EVERYone reads the stickers. People driving behind me - people who get right in my blind spot to read - in my rear-view mirror at traffic lights, I can see their lips moving (did you know a whole lot of people do that when they read?).

I wonder if it is because someone might notice them reading, and they are afraid they will get beaten up by association - could anyone think I put them on as secret bumper stickers that no one else is supposed to read?

It confuses me - and I already am more than enough confused.