opinions                                                                  Noltze's Perspective

Kathy Noltze                                                   



September 30, 2020:  Wish I could unsee and unhear last night's debate.

September 28, 2020: California wildfire smoke is visible from my front patio. Sometimes at dawn it presents itself as an orange blanket on the horizon.

September 7, 2020: Soon, the heat will be over. Soon, the election will be over. Soon, the pandemic will end.

August 1, 2020: We just came through the hottest July since records began. In the higher elevations where we get a little rain, it's not as hot as that seems.
     I finished Mary Trump's book. Now I know why he is the way he is; it doesn't make me like him any better. Remember the Peter Principle where you can only go so far before it is all downhill for you? I think Donald reached his in about the third grade.

July 18, 2020: I was given the Mary Trump book as a gift today. I'll let you know what I think...

June 28, 2020: It was like a moonscape: blackened earth for miles. A car had pulled off to the side and a woman was outside taking pictures of the burn. As I passed her, I thought of how she could contribute to the moonscape with her hot muffler parked in the tall weeds.

June 14, 2020: Arizona burns. Route 67 is closed due to a wildfire and so is Route 88 north of Payson. Tucson also has a human-started wildfire in the Catalina Mountains. How do firefighters do their jobs while social-distancing?

May 12, 2020: Just sheltering in place...

April 28, 2020: Air pollution is clearing due to the stay-at-home directive and now we have evidence that the ozone hole is almost closed. There is a silver lining to this covid virus crisis after all.

April 24, 2020:     Barbara Lee (Noltze) Bates, 7/8/1951 - 3/23/2020.

April 14, 2020: If there is a good side to this shut-down, it is that there is far less pollution and noise now that folks aren't driving as much.

March 26, 2020: Social-distancing hasn't impacted me too much as I usually stay away from crowds anyway.
 Arizona hasn't been ordered to shelter in place, but I have enough room and enough food to last quite a while if orders change. It is quieter and the air is cleaner now that people aren't out and about so much. I do feel sorry about cancelled sporting events, concerts and such, especially for the children.

March 13, 2020:  As I look out a second-story window, I see that yesterday's rain washed up a chicken bone onto the garage roof. The man in the family who knows better says that it probably is remainders of a buzzard meal, washed down from the peak. That may also explain the rabbit entrails on the balcony.

February 29, 2020: I used this Leap Day to restock the pantry shelves. Election news dominates the airwaves, so I spent most of my free time on the internet. There, I can at least control the subject of my read. I had to decline another winter visitor's suggestion that we "catch up" at my place. No one ever wants to "catch up" in August. I haven't seen this particular would-be visitor since high school.

February 21, 2020: Rain!

February 7, 2020: I'd know winter back east is especially harsh this year even if I didn't follow weather reports: the number of winter visitors is up. I've had to turn down several requests. One acquaintance who mentioned the offer he received of reciprocity said that it's not as if he wants to vacation in Dubuque.

January 27, 2020: There is a parade of wildlife that paases my window every dusk. Gambol quail, cactus wren, and mourning doves are common. (For whom do mourning doves mourn?) Coyotes, javelina, cottontail rabbits, and jack hares all traipse through my yard. Last night it was a bobcat.

January 13, 2020:  I am stepping back from my royal duties.

January 2, 2020: I didn't buy any new holiday ornaments, so why doesn't the old stuff fit in the containers from which it came out? Aarrgg...

December 24, 2019: On this Chistmas Eve in the morning the earth is sodden and it still rains nonstop. I love the diversity of nature in the desert. Many houses are decorated with cheery lights; I drove through neighborhoods last night to enjoy the decor.

December 14, 2019: It was sunny and warm today, which might account for the lack of shoppers at Stagecoach Village: it didn't feel like Christmas.

December 3, 2019:  We've got most of my holiday decorations up and most of my gifts wrapped. I am overcome with nostalgia at times, remembering my youngest brother, age 5 at the time, saying  "Code aside!" and how I grew too tall for the cold weather bus stop my father built at the top of our driveway.

November 18, 2019: National news is depressing.

October 28, 2019: I went to the pumpkin display in Carefree today. The pumpkin displays and pickled pumpkin displays surpassed last year's.

October 8, 2019: My 32-year-old car passed emissions test today. Only in Arizona can you drive a car that old. (Kudos to the mechanic in the family.) They called over the only inspector they had who knows how to drive a stick shift.

October 6, 2019: You don't have to be a cannibal to be fed up with people, people such as our president. He seems to know the price of everything but the value of nothing. Mere proof does not alter his opinions.

September 18, 2019: Another wrong-way driver was stopped yesterday on a valley freeway. As usual, the driver was impaired. The wrong-way drivers are usually in the fast lane because, wrong-way, they think it is the slow lane. Could we not put impediments to wrong-way driving on the exit ramps where they enter? Meanwhile, the rest of us should stay out of the fast lane.

September 1, 2019: Happy First Day of the Month and Happy Labor Day Week-End. It feels like the first day of fall.

August 30, 2019: You could hear the weatherman's excitement when he reported that parts of Arizona had rain.

August 16, 2019:  The Cornwalls Are Gone is the latest tome by James Patterson that I've read.  It is co-authored by Brendon DuBois. A lot of military protocol was researched to write this. It's a fast read and very entertaining.

July 9, 2019: I'm opposed to reparations to slave descendants because my ancestors would have fought on the side of the union. They were farmers in the north. Should we all figure out whose ancestors did what to whom and decide compensation?

June 22, 2019: Nicholas Sparks never disappoints me with his romance stories. I finished an old one (2003); this time, he incorprated a story about a dog. Very entertaining.

June 12, 2019: I must have read David Baldacci's Redemption too slowly. I read a couple chapters every few days as I had time. By the end, I didn't care whodunnit nor did I identify with any of the characters. He's a good writer, so it must be me.

June 10, 2019:  Does coconut cream pie count as a fruit?

May 27, 2019: There was a traffic jam at the Veterans Cemetery this Memorial Day; I am glad there are so many of us grateful for the sacrifice these troops made.

May 21, 2019:  There is excitement permeating weather reports as forecasters have something to report other than "sunny and dry."

April 29, 2019:  I just finished reading Wolf Pack by C. J. Box and it is up to his usual high standards. If you read this column regularly, you know that I don't do book reviews but I make recommendations. The author paints a vivid picture of Wyoming and the reader learns a lot about Fish & Game law. The plot is good. I enjoyed it.

April 13, 2019: This is April in the desert and I needed the furnace last night, the air-conditioning today.

March 28, 2019: Our president is making noises about a border wall again. Arizona is a border state. I would support building a wall on our western border to keep out those whacky Californians.

March 17, 2019: Happy St. Patrick's Day to all who celebrate.
     The Bookshop of Yesterdays, a novel by Amy Meyerson, is okay for a first novel but should not have received the accolades it did. If you've followed my blog for a time, you know that I don't do book reviews. I will suggest, however, that you give this one a miss.

March 13, 2019: I'm German, Welsh, and Canadian, so I'm all mixed up. Actually, I used to be Irish Catholic but now I'm American. The Irish grow grapes for raisins of their own.

March 5, 2019: Jeremy Vine has interesting interviews on his BBC2 radio show. Some of his gurests are experts in their fields and I get good health tips. He's on internet radio from 7-9:AM Arizona time, so I can check overnight news and email while I listen to his show.

February 22, 2019:  Snow covered Cave Creek when I woke this morning. Up in Flagstaff, they had the highest snowfall in the history of records there. My summer haven is enirely cut off in all directions by road from the rest of the state. I'd say winter has arrived in Arizona.

February 20, 2019: There is excitement in the voices of news and weather people on television when they talk about the current weather: they have weather to report.

January 30, 2019: Snow is what I expected in the high country yesterday, but all I got was sunshine. The polar vortex that is moving across our nation skips most of Arizona and bits of Southern California.

January 23, 2019: Authorities have incarcerated an employee who impregnated an incapacitated patient of a care-giving facility in Phoenix.I doubt if he'll breathe free air again in his lifetime.   

January 14, 2019: Perhaps we bring back heroes like Captain "Sully" Sullenburger to the limelight because we need someone to look up to at the national level, someone to emulate. ***
Has the president not heard of ladders and tunnels? I live in a border state that has miles of border walls that get breached every day.

January 7, 2019: Nicholas Sparks is known for writing romantic novels set in North Carolina and his Every Breath doesn't disappoint. It adds much about countries in Africa, which makes it seem like a travelogue. Sit before a roaring fire with your favorite beverage and this book: you won't be disappointed.

January 1, 2019: There was frost on the balcony and snow on the mountains when I got up this morning. Most of Arizona's high country got at least a dusting of snow, but in Payson, it was heavy enough to shovel, which is why I stayed cosy inside, snuggled up with a new book and good snacks. I can't start the fire in the fireplace because it is a "no burn" day.

December 30, 2018: This is always a bittersweet time of year for me. I'm lost in nostalgia, wishing I could see the people and pets that were important to me and are no longer here, but I also look forward to the clean slate of a new year and the endless possibilities (well, I'll never be a ballerina or an astronaut, but you get the idea).

December 23, 2018:  The Grand Canyon is open during this government shut-down.

December 21, 2018: On this shortest day of the year, I am reading a classic novel on Kindle and preparing some baked goods for the season. Enjoy the winter solstice.
Perhaps we would be better off if the government didn't interfere; maybe we shouldn't dread a government shut-down.

December 10, 2018: We have our tree up (room smells lovely) and house decorated inside and out. Happy birthday to all who celebrate today.

December 6, 2018:  Robert Galbraith is the pseudonym J. K. Rowling uses for her Cormoran Strike books. She of course is the author of the Harry Potter series. I recently finished reading her Lethal White book and I was disappointed. The author says in 650 words what she could have said in 300. The plot was not interesting to me, either.
     I confess to binge-watching British tv however.

December 1, 2018:  Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent this year.  When I was a child, this day signaled the beginning of the Christmas season with Santa on his way. Today, the meaning to me is much deeper but I still light a candle on the Yule log.

November 6, 2018: I voted early with a mail-in ballot.  VOTE.

November 5, 2018  We do not spring forward or fall back with Saving Time, a fact which sometimes baffles airlines. Think of us as a separate time zone: Arizona Time.

November 4, 2018:  Not to wish away the days of my life but I do wish elections were behind us this year; it seems to me the negative advertsing is particularly contentious this year.

October 27, 2018: Arizona Game and Fish Department prohibits fishing at the hatchery or I could have caught some big ones. Tonto Fish Hatchery was on my itinerary as I leaf-peeped yesterday and they were jumping (the fish, not the leaves).

October 25, 2018: Only in Wisconsin do they know what a schaum torte is.

October 15, 2018: We have had the wettest October this year since records were kept and we are only half-way through the month. Please drive carefully, especially through washes: it's faster, cheaper, and safer go go the long route than to be pulled out of a raging stream.

October 13, 2018: The life-cycle of windshield wipers in Arizona is typically that they are replaced because they were found at the last rain to be dry-rotted; then before it rains in the desert again, the replacements dry-rot.

October 2, 2018: There's excitement in the voices of weather reporters as they report something other than "warm and dry" in Arizona. We've had two days of rain and are in for more. It's a nice change even if wild critters don't keep me entertained because they are hunkering down. Drive safely and don't cross any flooded washes.

September 29, 2018: There was a car on fire today as I drove south on the Beeline Highway. There didn't appear to be any human injuries but the danger is that it'll start a brush fire. Northbound traffic was backed up for about a mile as fire engines tried to get through.

September 26, 2018: A bobcat strolled around my front patio (caught it on camera) and a coyote ran across my back patio in hot pursuit of a rabbit. It seems that wild creatures are coming down from the mountains now that autumn is in the air. My home is at a higher elevation than Scottsdale-Phoenix and the blistering heat is not as high or long. We're used to wild animals in our neighborhood but once they traipse through the Valley, they are on the six o'clock news.

September 19, 2018: Another wrong-way driver was apprehended on the Loop 101 yesterday after an 8-mile pursuit. Impairment was implied by the media. No one was injured.

September 1, 2018: Flags are flying at half-staff everywhere I go. Senator McCain touched many lives. My own flag, permanently anchored at the top of the pole,was made "half-staff" by putting a pipe at the top end.

August 30, 2018: Tributes to our late Senator John McCain are very touching and it is good to see long lines of people paying their respects. Nevertheless, I will avoid valley traffic today.

August 22, 2018: If the laws of slander and libel were enforced, I bet we would cut way down on the dissing that goes on via social media. Even the president might stick closer to the truth. He'd have no more claims of fake news if we applied the law.A few high profile cases would go a long way; we already have the laws: let's enforce them.

August 21, 2018: I awoke to a washed world today and more rain is forecast tomorrow. Meanwhile, parts of this country are sodden and can't take any more moisture but still it rains. National news is too sad to comment on; I wish we could hold our heads up with pride when we're overseas but it feels shameful to be American.

August 3, 2018: A baboon rolled over the desert today. A local weather reporter said his spell-checker changed haboob to baboon when he was writing the news. Here in the foothills, we are not immune to dust storms but are somewat insulated from the worst ones because of topography.

July 11, 2018:  It had been 4 months without rain before the monsoon yesterday. I could actually see cacti absorbing moisture from the air. As to be expected, I suppose, is that ordinary citizens had to jump into a canal fully-clothed to save a woman who drove into it. Law enforcement does not enforce the Stupid Motorist Law (actual name) because people hesitate calling for help if they know they're going to be held financially responsible for the rescue.

July 7, 2018: While much of the country is drenched, we are still waiting for the first monsoon storm. Neither Cave Creek nor Payson has seen a drop in months. Wildfires burn across the state.

June 27, 2018: I-17 was closed in both diections north of Carefree Highway yesterday due to a wildfire. I'm too quick to blame smokers for these fires but yesterday's and the other big one recently were both caused by trucks dragging chains.

June 25, 2018: Arizona is a border state that was handling our own immigration condition before the federal government got involved. We stopped Joe Arpaio from racial-profiling before President Trump pardoned him. We live with the situation and know better how to deal with it than do Washington bureaucrats; presidential directives on the matter are baseless. Both of our senators are in the same political party that Trump is; both are having their best moments now that they are not runnung for re-election and both are vocal critics of the president.

June 23, 2018: It's a mystery to me how rain barrels can be full but rain gauge shows no precipitation. I checked for leaks in the gauge but there were none.

June 21, 2018: At least one news station is reporting that the Stupid Motorist Law is not being enforced because some stranded drivers are not summoning help because they are afraid of the costs.
     Happy first day of summer.

June 18, 2018: A reminder about Arizona's Stupid Motorist Law (actual name): If you go around road barriers to cross a flooded stream, you will be responsible for the cost of rescuing you and your passengers from the flash flood; often this is by helicopter.

June 9, 2018: I was too quick to blame smokers and campers for human-caused wildfires. One human-caused wildfire in Arizona was triggered by a vehicle dragging a chain which created sparks that ignited dry brush along the roadside.

June 3, 2018: The wildfires burning in Arizona right now are human-caused. A reminder to everyone: campfires are prohibited. Smokers: shame on you. Our triple-digit temperatures and lack of rain make our forests into tinderboxes so we all must do our bit to prevent further devastation. At least we don't have any active volcanoes.
May 20, 2018: With a cell phone in one hand and possibly a gun in the other, the driver in front of me swerved back and forth in the outside lane, his head bobbing as his attention moved between phone and traffic, which was heavy. A few weeks ago, as I drove in the slow lane on a long upward incline, a wrong-way driver appeared in the fast lane, coming my way. In my rearview mirror, I saw that every car behind me saw her too and moved to the slow lane. No accident was reported on the Beeline Highwat that day, so apparently she survived to drive again. It is incidents like these that make me want to travel with a cell phone. Being a traffic warden is not a good reason to bother carrying one, though. You'd think by now that I'd be used to the peculiarities of Arizona motorists.

May 14, 2018: A name your poison moment: I was in Wisconsin's Northwoods one summer evening when I decided to go for a walk. Because I've lived in Arizona so long, I was carefuuly watching out for snakes. My mother-in-law said I should have been watching out for bears.

May 13, 2018: You won't hear from me every day because sometimes it's hard to write on a moving planet.

May 10, 2018: The season is called spring because that is when the temperatures bounce back and forth. We're in for a great week temperature-wise; locals are hoping for a little rain, though, while tourist are saying "we like it just fine."

May 2, 2018: There is a squall going on as I write this, the first rain we've had since early March. I travel the Beeline Highway weekly and hope the moisture is enough to put out the forest fires that closed it.

April 20, 2018: The President's peccadilloes tire me. I felt sort of bad for Melania until I realized he was a well-known womanizer before she married him. At the moment, I am more concerned about when it will rain here to clean up the air and refresh the desert.
    April 11, 2018:  Well, Phoenix got its first 100-degree day yesterday, so we don't have to enter any more guessing contests. It's about 5 degrees cooler in Cave Creek and 25 degrees cooler in Payson.
     From my view, Mark Zuckerberg deported himself well before Congress yesterday. Facebook stock went up.

    April 4, 2018: Maricopa County is the fastest growing and most populated county in the nation, according to The Arizona Republic. My neighborhood stays rural because of deed restrictions, town building codes, and topography.
     I grew up in Wisconsin, where an hour's drive could take you through four counties. An hour's drive in Arizona could keep you in Maricopa County. Arizona has a larger land mass than Wisconsin but only 15 counties; Wisconsin has 72 counties.
     If you live in Wisconsin, you pay for government.

    March 26, 2018: During Clinton's presidency they were called bimbo eruptions.

    March 25, 2018: Mark Zuckerburg lost $10billion last week on Facebook, the media reported. He seems like a nice guy, but Facebook had become a cult and I'm glad it is scaling back. I've never subscribed to social media, so perhaps I don't know what I'm missing, but it seems to me that people miss out on real-life experiences in favor of fake friends when they spend so much time on smartphones.

    March 23, 2018: So, Arizona is going to build a border wall between us and...California? Now that I could go for.
     Happy birthday to everyone who celebrates today.

    March 7, 2018 I saw a coyote chase a rabbit today. They showed up at the watering hole at the same time and the coyote had an easy snack. Nothing is as entertaining, though, as the sharks circling in Washington.

    February 26, 2018: Out-of-state license plates aren't the only indication we have a tourist in our midst: it's the summer attire that gives the person away. We locals don't wear shorts and halter tops in February even if the temperature tops seventy. I have to applaud the motorists though for their driving skills; local drivers seem to think that a posted speed limit is only a suggestion.

    February 25, 2018  There is so much occurring that I can't keep up with the national news. The president's popularity tied its own hisoric low; I don't believe we should govern ourselves by popularity. The flu is still raging. NRA fights back after losing many major endorsements. Ivanka Trump was not well-received at the Olympics.

    February 24, 2018: In the wake of the Florida school shooting, it appears our president is going to recommend a ban on assault rifles, or age or other restrictions. Too little too late.

    February 23, 2018: Team USA is making a good showing at the Olympics. Whether or not they medaled, each deserves a shout-out.

    February 21, 2018: So, Melania Trump's parents from Slovenia have received permanent resident cards in the US. Is this an example of chain migration that the President rails against?

    February 19, 2018: Our founding fathers never thought weapons of mass destruction, like assault rifles, would be invented, much less used against our own people. I don't believe a law restricting ownership of these weapons is contrary to our constitution.
    We make our own fortune, then call it fate.

    It's amazing how much I learn after I think I know it all.

    The president's secrets circulate faster than money. Washington, D. C. needs more people raising beans and fewer people spilling them.
    Lack of planning does not constitute an emergency.

Copyright 2019 Kathy Noltze