It is late afternoon and as I sit here, I am keeping a hopeful watch of the sky. The weather folks are predicting a severe storm ... but the weather folks have been known to be wrong. Way wrong.

A few days ago, I needed a break.

My work has been nonstop and extremely stressful for weeks and weeks, perhaps months, on end and I find myself working 10-12 hours a day without taking breaks and working through the weekends.

I needed to recharge my mental and emotional batteries, so I attempted to do the one sure thing that makes my spirit rest quietly ... allows my brain to slow down ... and permits me to simply breathe.

Just after dawn on Monday morning, I drove northbound though the empty streets of the city ... crossing parts of Scottsdale ... and heading north towards Cave Creek/Carefree.

An early morning drive through the Arizona desert normally soothes my weary soul and the smell of mesquite, juniper and morning cactus acts as a balm of relaxation.

I needed the desert to refresh me ... but I had work to do, so the closest "unfettered" desert is a drive north out of Scottsdale up to Carefree and then west through Cave Creek and south back to Phoenix.

I drove with childlike anticipation.

However, there was no rest to be found in the quiet of the desert ... no balm in the sights and smells of cactus.

Instead I found nothing but an odd shade of taupe. Taupe everywhere. The olive green of the cactus was taupe ... the soft shades of yellow and green of the mesquite ... taupe. The desert grasses were so dry that they no longer were white but instead burnt to taupe.

It was a dry, ugly ... desolate ... monochromatic reminder that we are destroying our environment somehow, someway. The droughts of the West and the floods of the East ... the waters off Africa warming unnaturally to become waves that eventually turn into devastating storms like Katrina.

I am not one of those often mistaken meteorologists.

I am simply a woman who loves the desert but is disheartened to see it so dry ... scorched by the relentless sun ... and dying.

As Arizona enters what is referred to as "the monsoon season" ... I will keep a watch of the sky.

Watching ... waiting ... and praying for rain.

[5:30PM PST] [Permalink]


I already wrote an entry today (see below) but read/saw this story on MSNBC.com and had to comment about it.

There's no need for me to explain what happened ... just read it.

And if you have time, watch the video from the "Today Show" with Matt Lauer.

All I can say is that angels come in all forms ... this one is balding, with a quiet demeanor and wears athletic shoes with a business suit. He is grace personified.

Dan Mazur is a hero. God bless him.

[1:30PM PST] [Permalink]


Ugh, summer is upon us.

Why do I live in this gawdforsaken place in May-September?

Well, one ... I am not wealthy enough to have a summer home somewhere in the northen Arizona cooler climates.

Two ... Phoenix is the hub of my business. Sure, I can work from Payson or somewhere up north in the Rim Country, but getting to the airport or to Phoenix would be a wee bit of a hassle.   Expensive too, with the price of gas.

Three ... I have an aging parent who is obstinate and would not move from Hell ... er, Phoenix ... for anything.

I am just not comfortable moving away from my Mom. She is not comfortable with me moving either.

So, I simply must accept what is ... hot, dry temperatures for the next 3-5 months.

Yeah, I know ... it's a dry heat. Uh-huh ... sure. Dry like a blast furnace!

Our humidity is 4-5% ... yes Virginia, that is 4% - 5%. Dry ... itchy skin dry ... plant shriveling up dry ... bloody nose dry.

Don't get me wrong, I do not like humidity but come on Mother Nature ... maybe 10%-15% humidity simply to keep our eyes from drying out in moments after venturing outside.

Such is life in the desert southwest. Yes, I still love the desert and its majestic beauty ... but living in a city of steel, concrete and asphalt that never cools down in the wee hours of night ...

... one tends to forget how beautiful the desert can be.

By the way, did any of you see the Weather Channel or cable news coverage of the most recent "haboob" (dust storm) here in metro Phoenix? The local NBC affiliate has some video and photos of the massive haboob ... I think the photos are incredible.

Mmmm... nothing like adding a wee bit of sand to one's hot, dry eyes!

[12:00PM PST]

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