Sunday, June 27, 2010

A friend posted the following on-line today:

"There are lots of injustices in the world. We must have faith to realize that one day justice will prevail and all we suffered will be made up to us ten-fold. In the meantime...patience."

I beg to differ.

All that we suffer in this world will not be "made-up" to us - in the next world, it simply won't matter.

Somehow the image of suffering 'patiently' the prejudices, the unfairness, the sheer wrong  which occurs again and again in this mortal sphere...

...all for "I'm gonna get payback for this TEN TIMES!" just seems... well, WRONG.

This corporeal reality is a test - and it's only a test.

It's not a balance sheet, with our good deeds and everyone else's bad deeds on a set of scales.

It's not a check-list of "well, I did this good thing, and then this one... and then I got one negative...."

It's a test.

We are all asked to do the best with what we have. Some people get major handicaps - some seem to get every possible advantage - but most of us muddle around the middle somewhere.

And we try - that really that is all we are commanded to do.

The atonement of Jesus Christ makes up the difference.

And not just for "us" (whoever you think "us" is) - the atonement is for every single human beings.

It's for the ones that checked off everything on their list -- because they could.

But it's also for those that couldn't check off a single one -- because they couldn't.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Desert rains are usually so definitely demarked that the story of the man who washed his hands in the edge of an Arizona thunder shower without wetting his cuffs seems almost credible. ~State of Arizona, U.S. public relief program, 1935-1943

You know you're an Arizona native when you take rain dances seriously. ~Skip Boyer

Arizona looks like a battle on Mars.

A three-inch rain in Phoenix means three inches between drops.

Welcome to Arizona, where summer spends the winter, and hell spends the summer.

The Grand Canyon is carven deep by the master hand; it is the gulf of silence, widened in the desert; it is all time inscribing the naked rock; it is the book of earth. ~Donald Culross Peattie

You know you're an Arizona native when... a rainy day puts you in a good mood. ~Marshall Trimble

I am enamored with desert dew because it's usually the closest thing we get to rain. ~Linda Solegato

Once, it was so damned dry, the bushes followed the dogs around.

In Arizona, shade trees are your best friends. (And occasionally the basis of small civil wars over parking.)

You know you live in Arizona when the cold-water faucet is hotter than the hot-water faucet.
It's so hot even my fake plants are wilting. ~Linda Solegato

Each season of adventure reality television gets more and more challenging. I'm waiting for them to come out with a Survivor: Phoenix in July edition. ~Linda Solegato

You know you live in Phoenix when you are willing to park 3 blocks away because you actually found shade from a palm tree imported 300 miles from California and nurtured with water piped 250 miles from Nevada.

A hundred ten in the shade is sorta hot, but you don't have to shovel it off your driveway.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I am feeling a great sense of peace and relief because I have (once again) moved into a realm of assent and acquiesce by acceptance of reality.


I hate acknowledging things which are NOT going to change no matter how much I detest, resent and despise them.

Because, like most of us, I waste so much time and energy wishing that something was not what it is, waiting for it to become some else, and worrying about why it doesn't.

And today I came to terms with a couple of things.

First the new ones:

- In order to cope with dirt from two dogs coming in and out all day, my son's greasy boots from his employment (which he 'forgets' to remove) and my own residue  I myself track in every couple hours after going out to visit with Najale and Sally, I hereby recognize and acknowledge that I will sweep, mop and spot clean my (thankfully) very small kitchen floor at least once if not twice each day.

- A similar surrender to vacuuming the carpet (which is every square inch of floor that is NOT in the very small kitchen) at least once and probably twice every single day. I live where dust is simply part of your minute-to-minute existence,

And the old ones that I keep having to relearn and relearn and relearn.

- I am not a bad person, and I do not intentionally hurt people. And when people surrounding me repeatedly smash their heads into brick walls, I am not responsible for their bruises and cuts, no matter how much they blame me.

- Eating when you are depressed helps nothing other than weight gain. Tonight is one of those that if I had a ten-gallon container of ice-cream in the freezer, I am certain I would have devoured the entire thing by now.

- No matter how much you doubt it, things will always feel better in the morning.

Unless, of course, you are drunk, which means it will be much, much worse in the morning.


Today I threw out enough stuff from my bedroom alone to fill the back of my truck and take to the county landfill.

This was the best therapy I've had in years.

And it only cost $6.

I threw out things I had purchased because they were on sale - or were a shade of green I liked.

I threw out clothes for when I get down to 145 lbs. again (yeah, like that's ever going to happen again).

I threw out probably 97 lbs. of empty FedEx boxes alone.

I went through enough folders, dividers, notebooks and colored paper to stock one Office Depot alone.

I got rid of old toys (yes, I know, I'm 55), containers, storage bins, pillows, bedspreads, blankets and one box filled entirely with random electric and/or computer cords.

So now I am ready to write a self-help therapy book, open a website and offer counseling for only $85 for a half-hour session.

Would you like a brochure, or perhaps pre-order the book for only $29.95 plus shipping?


My husband emailed me this as part of a much longer joke this morning:

You can retire to Phoenix AZ where

- You are willing to park 3 blocks away because you found shade.
- You have over 100 Mexican recipes
- The 4 seasons are tolerable, hot, really hot & ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!
I live as far away from Phoenix as I possibly can and still be in Arizona, and as far away from a city as my husband's daily commute to Ft. Huachuca will allow (and believe me, if gas was cheaper it would be further still).
And as a 'rural" resident of Southern Arizona, I'd like to add a couple for being down here:
You can live in rural Arizona when you are willing to...
-- Drive ten miles for a gallon of milk.
-- Sleep through Border Patrol arrests in your front yard at 2 a.m.
-- Dust your bookcases and furniture each and every day (honestly) and then the very next day and the next...
-- Learn to take 45 second showers when your well gets really really low
And I need to add one more.
-- When you call 911 for a coyote.
I like coyotes - the animal type - they keep the rabbit population down, as long as I keep the garbage bagged and covered, they don't bother me or mine.

(It also may be because my dog Murray strongly resembles a coyote)

But there are certain behaviors you can count on with a coyote:

-- You won't see them in broad daylight unless there is a very, VERY long period of drought.

- Coyotes will run away as soon as they spot you.

So when you see a coyote, late morning, standing in the middle of a fairly busy (by rural Arizona standards at least) highway acting extremely confused and befuddled, it's a good idea to take note.

I chased him off the highway, at least, and called 911 to warn of a potential rabid coyote.

Can you think of any way I can call in more of the human coyotes we have down here?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Dogs have gotten a bad name. For example... 

A barking dog never bites -- barking up the wrong tree -- gone to the dogs -- to be in the dog house -- sick as a dog -- dog-eat-dog life -- mean as a junk yard dog -- a dog's life --  can't teach an old dog new tricks -- work like a dog.

My dog, Murray, is the best example of Christ-like love that I can imagine (outside of Marcia Price, of course). He loves me totally and completely no matter what - he is always willing to do anything I want -- he will wait for me forever.

And I feel almost the exact same way towards him.

Delilah is my husband's greyhound, and he has been gone the past week to our niece's wedding. So I paid extra attention to her in his absence - petting her, brushing her, and simply spoiling her.

And how rapidly her alliances changed.

When someone is regularly ignored, the slightest attention is almost overwhelming by comparison. The sunflower will follow the brightest image without any prejudice. And the neglected will respond to the smallest gesture.
I find myself relating to the greyhound.

And that's more that a little pathetic.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I am an optimistic. Well, most of the time. I'm going through a rather dark period right now, but I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

It's just still an extremely long tunnel at the moment.

But I mean, how you live with my name and be a pessimistic? Just doesn't work.

My husband's job for the past 30+ years has been thinking of horrible, terrible events that might occur, and then making the preparations to prevent them from actually occurring. Security, including physical, intelligence, computer and any other means that bad guys can make bad things happen.

So he is minute-to-minute bombarded by all the rotten, evil, and nasty stuff that is or even could be happening all around the world.

This must be one of the few jobs in the world where being clinically depressed and a natural pessimist are a great advantage.

But even when going through some dark times myself, there are so many incredible, wonderful things occurring each and every day, and I wanted to share some that have shown up lately:

- You may not like Obama, but isn't it incredible cool that we have a BLACK president? I mean, I can remember civil-rights protests and segregated schools. Even in the LA suburb where I went to high school, the real estate prices mysteriously suddenly got higher up when a non-white family came house-hunting.

- And in the same vein, I love the fact that no one (at least in my family) mentions anymore if a friend/work acquaintance/etc. is Hispanic/ Asian/ Black/ Samoan /Jewish/ From-New-York (okay, okay, maybe that last one, I'll admit).

- Why is it that some words sound exactly like what they  mean and some sooo don't? Succulent - I mean, I hate that word, but it sounds moist. But flatulence - doesn't that sound like the scrolled wire legs on those garden chairs?

- You know that story about some dude who pulls a thorn out of a lion's paw, and then years later when the guy is thrown to the lions to get eaten, the lion 'remembers' and does not tear him into pieces? I pulled a huge thorn out of my dog's paw tonight... and he still expects me to feed him before I go to bed. Geesh.

- And if by any chance you have actually read this all the way to this last paragraph, bravo! You are one in a million (or probably more!).


Confession is good for the soul, right?

It was one of the few things I loved about Catholicism when I was growing up. I wasn't raised Catholic, but my best friend in elementary school was, and since my dad taught in parochial schools for years, there was some spiritual influence even with my strong atheist childhood.

And going into a quiet little private closet, acknowledging all of your wrong-doing from the past week to an anonymous unseen father figure, and being cleansed of everything by reciting a couple of Hail Marys and O My Fathers... pretty sweet.

But since I'm Mormon, we don't do priests (well, we do, but ours are the 16-19 year olds who are trying to remain virgins), we don't have small dark cubicles, and we only do confession for like serious mistakes like extra-martial affairs, murdering someone or being addicted to Diet Mt. Dew.

So most of the time when you do something wrong, it's just between God, you, and your conscience.

On to the abuse of my horse.

Najale, although chronologically eight years old, is in his heart always a flashy young stud who loves kicking up his heels, dancing and prancing and showing off at every opportunity. He is a pretty boy, and man, does he know it.

Tonight, on our regular evening stroll (which alternates between rooting for grass among the yucca trees, freaking out at flocks of small butterflies, and trying to bolt across every open space possible), I felt in the mood to pretend, at least, to do some actual training instead of my normal indulgent momma attitude towards the spoiled Italian/Greek heir.

So when Najale went into one of his bucking, rearing and ain't-I-just-the-cutest-damn-thing-you've-ever-seen routines, I got MEAN - snapped his lead rope and made him back up for about half a mile while SCREAMING at him.

He was reduced to a quivering mass of jelly.

Well, not really, but he wasn't showing off at all by the time we got finished.

Unfortunately, the metal on his halter rubbed his poor face OPEN on both sides of his face.

Should I be preparing my defense to the SPCA?

Will any of you on in the Internet be willing to testify on my behalf?