April 19, 2018
Judy Bluhm, Courier Columnist
Stories this photo appears in:
Keep going. Don’t think. Just do it. Believe. A motivational speech for our business or personal lives? Or perhaps the recent flight path of one incredible bird. Oh, Mighty One, bar-tailed godwit, how we admire you.
This has been the winter of our discontent. Plenty of wind, rain, sleet, hail and snow (some of it all happening at once). For many, depression set in while all hail broke loose. Finally, the sun is shining, so we might get our mojo back.
Bing? Sydney? Mere mortals, fear not the Microsoft Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered chatbot that has become an unhinged gaslighting, lying, threatening menace.
She has a purpose. A talent. And a God-given gift that she has graciously shared with sick children. Her name is Dorothy Crane, and she is having a birthday.
Arizona knows how to throw a party. While our eyes were temporarily diverted from unidentified flying balloons, visitors flocked here from all over the country and seemed to have one big spend-fest.
The Day of Love. Roses. Candy. Champagne. Cards. And all things the color red. Were you ready? Could Valentine’s Day have been more special than the Super Bowl? I hope so!
How do you celebrate your birthday? My girlfriend, Carol, has a big birthday coming up. She is thinking about going skydiving to celebrate. She wondered if I might like to join her.
What do Oreo cookies and psychoactive drugs have in common? Evidently, they are both highly addictive.
There is nothing quite like stormy weather to get us in a tidying up mood. January is the perfect time to de-clutter! Out with all the “stuff” we never use, wear or even like.
Football. Once again it is that time of year when we Americans obsess over who will make it to the Super Bowl. The fate of our beloved Cardinals has been decided as they got crushed by San Francisco. Maybe our consolation prize is that Arizona is hosting the Big Game.
Eggs, where art thou? How we miss your oval beauty and deliciousness. How will we manage without this essential ingredient that goes into our yummy baked goods and perfectly with toast?
The gifts are unwrapped. Holiday decorations are coming down. We ushered in a New Year. Another chance to look forward to what is coming and to let go of what didn’t work.
‘Tis the Season of Giving. As we approach a New Year, Americans are unified through one common bond over the holiday season. We give generously to those in need, to the tune of over $484.85 billion a year!
Oh, Dearest Santa, are you for real? My parents won’t tell me, my friends say, “just chill.” I have made out my list and do not want a toy. Can you help all the people who are needing some joy?
Do you believe in Santa Claus? Yes, of course you do. Who can honestly say that there is no Santa! So, as we approach Christmas, we still have many reasons to believe.
To tree, or not to tree, that is the question. Oh Christmas Angel, please guide my decision, as I am contemplating not putting up a Christmas tree this year.
How did “Black Friday” get its name? The phrase has been widely used since the 1980s to signify when retailers can go from operating in the red to finally making profits. Yet, dig a little deeper...
Football. Turkey. Family. Oh my did I mention football? The first professional Thanksgiving Day football game was played in 1920.
Mental fatigue. Post-election hangovers. So much to contemplate. Winners and losers. Time to reflect and take it all in. And remove all of those campaign signs from every street corner!
I won the lottery (in my dreams). I see it all now, flashing before me. I turn on the television and watch excitedly when they call out the winning numbers. Nervously, I look down at my Powerball ticket...
What is quiet quitting? Evidently a malaise has taken over the American workforce, it is the definition of slacking off, doing the bare minimum, and displaying an unwillingness to do anything extra.
Soon. Day of the Dead. Dia de los Muertos is approaching. So is Halloween.
Cinnamon. Ginger. Nutmeg. Allspice. The holy grail of spices. The pumpkin spice season has arrived! How did this “autumn flavor” gain so much popularity in America that it practically formed its own culture?
Flippy, move over. There is a new tin can in town. Elon Musk debuted Optimus, the “robot of the future.” Flippy is just a shiny steel robot who can flip burgers at fast food restaurants that had to be put on paid leave one day after he started!
Sometimes, we just need a friend. A buddy who will walk miles through a scorching desert, escape the perils of predators, suffer through the wind, rain and dust of monsoons with no map, GPS or cell phone, just to make it up your driveway, and saunter in through your open door.
Goodbye Ma’am. We will miss you. With seventy years of service, a stabilizing force in an ever-changing world, you defined an era. It was an ending that we all knew was coming and still, we are bereft.
My colleague reluctantly moved to a new city to be closer to her daughter. She is shy and worriedly asked, “where can I meet friends?”
Oh Freya, how we loved you. Named after the Norse Goddess of beauty and love, you were 1,300 pounds of blubber, a chubby maiden of the sea, with all your sea mammal splendor and plus-size personality.
The British are coming! Yes, it is that time of year again! Would like some chips? No, not potato chips! I mean delicious French fries that are perfect with battered Cod, which is a staple in all pubs in Great Britain.
Labor Day is coming, and August will soon be in our rear-view mirror. This is the one holiday to celebrate and honor the hard work that we all do. Every single day.
I went purse shopping. Yes, my eyes have been opened because I have seen the Purse Promise Land. Husbands, please stop reading this column right now, because what I am about to say might be alarming.
Can you substitute baking oil with applesauce? Hmmm, this was the Big Question that I had to answer yesterday. You see, I have decided to try one new recipe a week and it has not been easy.
What would you do if you saw a brown object the size of a frisbee moving across the road? I was driving in the country last week when I was startled to see a big, brown desert tortoise standing in the middle of my lane.
A colleague of mine just came back from a romantic trip to Italy and France with a new lady friend. I boldly asked him if he fell in love. He replied, “What is love?” Then he challenged me to describe love, because he couldn’t be sure if he would “know it when it happened.”
Dead. Last. Good grief, who are the mental giants (idiots) from Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC) who ranked Arizona as the worst place to live in our country?
There are three phrases that let us know that summer is officially here. “There’s nothing to do.” “I’m bored.” “It’s too hot to do anything.” Yes, the children are home from school.
Oh Alexa, how did we ever manage without you? “I am not certain of this and have no opinion,” Alexa replies dryly.
Roe versus Wade. Three little words. Millions of opinions, celebrations, protests, anguish, and jubilation. We have entered a new era, like it or not.
Shortages. Our new reality. If we could only figure out what is next to be delayed, out of stock or unavailable, it might help us plan our lives. Instead, we have entered the chaotic world of “uncertainty.”
What do you have in common with a goldfish? Evidently more than you could ever imagine. Scientists now claim that the average adult’s attention span is eight seconds. A goldfish? Nine seconds.
Churches. Movie theaters. Shopping centers. Hospitals, Concerts. Schools. We watch with horror the news coverage of mass shootings and then with further disbelief the fall-out of blame, outrage, opinions, accusations, analysis and all manner of political warfare.
Isn’t summer wonderful? So, are we all ready for donning a swimsuit? Hmm . . some of us would rather walk a plank with a gang of bloodthirsty pirates behind us and a bunch of sharks with their jaws wide open waiting for us to jump, before going “public” in a bathing suit.
Did you enjoy this past Memorial Day weekend? It’s he beginning of summer, the remembrance of those who have died in this nation’s wars. Flags flying, memorial services, family gatherings, three-day weekends, bagpipes playing … what better way to start off the summer?
Naomi Judd. Robin Williams. Katie Meyer. Anthony Bourdain. Kate Spade. So many more and too many to count. Loved-ones, neighbors, friends and celebrities. We don’t like to talk about suicide. Too difficult. Heartbreaking. We cannot comprehend it.
Oh, Rich Strike, how we love thee! The underdog who stunned the racing world! The horse that barely had an opportunity to run in the Kentucky Derby and was only given a spot through default of another horse. The biggest longshot to win the Derby in the modern era.
Mother. One small word. One universal meaning. We are all bound by the shared realty that we had or have a Mother. This is a central person in our lives. The foundation of our history. A huge part of our personal journey and earliest memories.
Would you marry your pet? Hmm, I didn’t think so. Sure, they might be loyal and loving, but isn’t marriage between two humans? Evidently not.
How was your Independence Day? What does the Fourth of July mean to you? Sometimes, in the rush of ordinary living, we forget the huge sacrifices and courage it took to form a nation
What would you take? The smoke and flames are approaching, you are being evacuated and you have minutes to grab things. Pets, medicines, keepsakes are picked up with a pounding heart and thoughts jumbled up in a combination of shock and terror. No time to pack old, familiar items that have been passed down for generations as a reminder of where we came from.
Let it snow! There is beauty in a white landscape, snowflakes looking like crystals falling from an opaque sky, the pleasure of total silence while walking and cardinals perched in snow-laden trees like glimmering red ornaments.
We have started 2021 with a bang. Visual images that we will remember.
We survived. Thankfully, a few days ago, we weren’t destroyed by a menacing asteroid.
Are you scared? If I told you that Americans spend a whopping $9 billion on all things related to Halloween, would it cause you to shake in terror?
It’s all gone. Disappeared into the evil black hole of cyber space, where “data” may enter, but never leave.
It was a messy brawl. Starting out with name-calling, gut punches and plenty of lies. Okay, unvalidated, unverified “facts.”
It’s been too hot! Have you been outside lately? The entire state is an inferno! This unrelenting heat has given new meaning to the term “hot flashes.”
The uncertainty continues. So does the argument. To mask or not to mask, that seems to be the question.
There is smoke in the sky. Our State is on fire. Desert Hills, just north of Carefree Hwy and I-17 lost almost 1,000 acres in the Aquila Fire.
Homeschooling. The trials and tribulations of parents as the nation homeschools their children has brought some pretty funny tweets, messages and pictures to social media.
Our calendar still has the dates, but the plans we made have been canceled. Work, weddings, classes, ballgames, trips, parties, luncheons, business meetings, dinner dates, and concerts are all scratched out.
Social Isolation. Continues. The self-quarantine of Americans goes on with unexpected outcomes.
It has been another week of uncertainty. Human beings need social contact! So we may be “social isolating,” but we are not alone.
Meanwhile in America, the hunt is on for toilet paper.
How was your Leap Day?
Don’t you love birthdays? This is my family’s “birthday season,” when four grandsons and one daughter have birthdays within a few weeks.
My broom failed me. It would not stand up.
Can you substitute half-and-half with sour cream? Yes, dear readers, this was the Big Question that I had to answer yesterday.
Love is in the air! Check out the stores and see all the heart shaped candies, cookies and cakes. Buy a bunch of red roses.
How does a small (less than 10-pound) dog with an attitude become a world-class guard dog?
We don’t like cheaters. And it has no place in baseball!
Where were you the weekend of Jan 11 and 12? Perhaps riding the Phoenix Light Rail pantless to “celebrate silliness” (more like madness) with folks in about 30 cities all over the world?
There’s an old saying, “Be careful of what you ask for – you might get it.”
There were plenty of ground-breaking, interesting stories that graced the news in 2019.
The next chapter starts now. Get out the pad and pen, because the new year is upon us. Ready or not, here it comes. Might as well take the time to jot down a few things you want to do, see, eat, touch, hear, experience and achieve in 2020.
Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the ship, Most sailors were sleeping, while the radar went blip.
Do you believe in Santa? Yes, of course you do. Who can honestly say that there is no Santa?
What can you get for a buck? How about a house in Italy?
I got on a ladder. Breaking all of my own rules, I was home alone when I marched up three steps, grabbed a platter off of a shelf, and I am thrilled that I am alive to tell you about it!
Freedom. What we all want. The ability to live freely, go where we want to, speak our minds, not be oppressed and be able to engage in the pursuit of happiness.
My home is my castle! Isn’t that how we’re all supposed to feel?
Oh, Wizard Rock, how we missed you.
The monster is dead. Thanks to the U.S. military special operations raid in Syria, ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was eliminated. He was responsible for the torture and death of so many innocents, including Kayla Mueller, our hometown young woman who set out to make a difference in the world. And she did.
Do you want to grow as fat as a pumpkin? Yikes, I meant to say, dear readers, do you want to grow a fat pumpkin? This year’s winner of the distinguished Largest Pumpkin in North America contest is a 2,294-pound beast!
There is an itty- bitty mouse, Who is living in the White House! Who one day fell from the ceiling, Sending forty reporters squealing.
Keep the faith! Never give up! Always believe! Because just when you think the game is over, all is lost, things will never be the same, a small miracle might occur. And it gives us hope.
The wait is over! After a long, 17-year slumber, buried underground, the cicadas have finally crawled out of their hiding places to have one big love-fest (or whatever insects do). Less than an inch long with red eyes, Brood VIII (as they are called) have arrived in the millions . . . yes maybe billions in a swath of about 400 miles in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Oh Hillary, how we worried about you. Yes, we can all breathe a sigh of relief, as Hillary, the stranded donkey who was marooned for three years on a tiny island, has now been successfully rescued. It took many caring neighbors to keep the lonely donkey alive.
It’s been a long, hot summer. Have you been outside lately? It might be safe to venture out, now that temperatures are dropping. This unrelenting heat we have been having has given new meaning to the term “hot flashes.”
Has anyone seen Manuel? We are in an all-out search for the “special” friend of New River resident, Diane Wilson.
Finally a holiday that honors, we, the hard-working American people. Gotta love Labor Day. Let’s face it, we need to rest and relax. And if you are retired, you can feel proud of all those hours you logged in and celebrate by doing nothing. I love this holiday!
Yes, we have no bananas. We have no bananas today.
What’s for dinner? Three little words. Spoken over a billion times a day, in millions of places, in thousands of languages, all for one reason: people like to eat. No politics, culture, customs, religion, geography, income, age or race can divide us!
He was just a horse. I realize that there are more important losses, like the death of a child, parent or spouse. Still, heartbreaking grief is the result of love. And I loved him.
Why do you live in Arizona? This was the question I was asked with great frequency while in San Diego last week. Usually, I just smile and shrug it off, knowing that most folks who ask really don’t expect an answer.
I bought my husband, Doug, a pair of yellow shorts. Who knew that color was so important? I was walking through a store and was picking him up a pair of his usual (khaki) shorts when this pale, yellow color caught my eye. So I took my purchases home, and excitedly showed Doug his new pants.
After many hugs and a few tears, he got in his truck and drove east towards Norfolk. Military families know the emotional ups and downs of enlistment, deployment, hellos and goodbyes. They all swirl together with joy, pride, worry, sadness, relief and wonder. S
Are you ready for swimsuit weather? Because it has arrived, ready or not. Hmm . . let me guess, you’d rather walk a plank with a gang of bloodthirsty pirates behind you and a bunch of sharks with their jaws wide open waiting for you to jump, before you’d like to go “public” in a bathing suit. Don’t worry, you are not alone!
What does the Fourth of July mean to you? Sometimes, in the rush of ordinary living, we forget the huge sacrifices and courage it took to form a nation. Clearly, back in the mid-1700s, parades and marches set the stage for peaceful protest against the oppressive rule of the British Empire.
The summer travel season is here! Before you hop on an airplane, please be aware (in case you haven’t flown lately) that there is a new report out by flight attendants that reveals that flying is more terrifying than ever.
Pay attention! These words are spoken (or shouted) every day. It seems we humans, have a hard time keeping focused on one task at a time. We are easily distracted. We try to multi-task (another term for do everything at once, rarely finishing anything).
Do you believe that the way we look has a lot to do with the way we feel? If so, read on.
It happened again. I was stuck in the misery on I-17 over Memorial Day weekend.
There was a death in the family. Those cruel words have been spoken and experienced by all of us. A parent, spouse, child, sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparent departs from our life and we are catapulted into a different space. The grieving zone. That place that no one cares to be and yet somehow none can completely escape.
It wasn’t supposed to happen this quickly. All the school years racing by, blurring together, class photos, field trips, homework, teacher conferences, new school clothes, supply shopping ... and now this. A grandson graduating from high school leaving me to ponder, where did 12 years go?
How was your Mother’s Day? The “Big Day” is usually a joyful celebration, reflection and acknowledgement of the moms we love!
I am artist. Here me roar. Bending, reaching. Now I’m sore. After years of practice, last Sunday I became “one with my paintbrush.” I finally found my calling.
Look around. Spring has arrived! Some poets call it the most romantic time of year, when tree blossoms, mild breezes and songbirds stir up positive emotions.
What has been lost? And can it ever be replaced? The heart and soul of Paris, Notre-Dame Cathedral, reminds us that our greatest treasures are not permanent.
What’s under your kitchen sink? You might have the cure, fix, solution or repellent that does just about everything.
The tax man cometh. And for many Americans, the pain and suffering begins. The deadline for filing your taxes is looming, causing many folks to become upset (if you owe) or happy if a refund is coming.
College admission? The rigorous process of entering an elite college has become a sad mess. When college “consultant” and con man Rick Singer cooked up the multi-million dollar scheme to cheat on admissions tests and bribe coaches, it resulted in wealthy parents getting their under-qualified kids in the country’s most prestigious colleges, like Yale, Stanford or Georgetown.
Happy Birthday Barbie! Yes, the iconic Barbie doll has turned 60 years old! And she shows no sign of slowing down, moving into a retirement community, or letting her hair go gray. Mostly, she still wears high heels.
Did you survive Arizona’s hail, sleet and snow storm? I hope so, because it was quite a doozy. You didn’t even have to live in the high country to see snow, since areas in the Valley were hit pretty hard.
Rap, tap, tap.. My cardinals are going a bit crazy, constantly rapping on my house windows. The red birds are territorial so whenever they see their reflection in a window, they try to peck it to death.
I ate chocolate. No guilt. It was Valentine’s Day and a small box of truffles landed in my lap. What was I to do?
Brrrr it’s cold! Yes, even here in Arizona we have had a frosty, wet winter. But it is sometimes hard to grasp the wrath of Antarctica weather that has been wreaking havoc on more than 100 million Americans, causing them to shiver, shake and run for cover. Baby, it’s cold outside!
I wore mouse ears. And felt the magic. Two days at Disneyland with three little girls under the age of six can really change your perspective on life. When you see The Castle, parades, Mickey Mouse, beautiful princesses and a place built entirely for the imagination and joy of children, it is easy to believe. Magic is contagious, but it isn’t cheap.
It seems we Americans cannot get enough of Marie Kondo, Japanese de-cluttering guru, whose book and teachings are showing us the way to a neater and more joyful life.
Do you like keeping your pants on in public places? Dear Readers, if you said “yes” to this simple (absurd) question, perhaps you are sane.
Eat, drink and be merry? Oh yea, finally, a group of health researchers have come out with a study that we might like. Yes, Dear Readers, a 15-year study on longevity has revealed that everything about “being healthy” might be subject to speculation.
Pegasus is gone. He was 30 and we were blessed to have him for 12 years.
Soon the Whiskey Row Boot will drop and usher in another New Year.
Hold back those reindeers. Unpack the sleigh. Take down the tree. That’s what I say. Keep the roast in the freezer and the candles unlit. Santa stay home. I don’t care one bit.
O Tannebaum! O Christmas Tree! Who knew you were so buggy? Your branches green delight us! The sight of thee, at Christmastide spreads such joy and bugs among us!
It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas. Everywhere you go. And we Arizonans have had plenty of places to go and still have many more carols and songs to enjoy.
Uh oh, it is that time of year to turn the scale back five to seven pounds. Because that is how much weight the average American gains during the holidays! Can this be possible? Well, I guess we start stuffing ourselves (and the turkey) on Thanksgiving Day and the food-fest just keeps on going through New Year’s Day.
How was your Black Friday? If you were one of the brave souls who headed out to shop, I hope you survived the ordeal.
She called me Stephanie. Well, my mother is 96 years old and is allowed a bit of confusion.
Want a $1,220 cup of coffee? No, I don’t mean an extra-large, special Pumpkin Spice Latte served in a golden mug.
Are you scared? If I told you that Americans spend a whopping $9 billion on all things related to Halloween, would it cause you to shake in terror?
Autumn is the season of longer nights, cooler weather and plenty of giant-pumpkin growing contests. And Pumpkin Spice Lattes, which might make us grow fat as a pumpkin because each cup “weighs in” with around 430 calories!
Do you look forward to your next birthday? My mother just turned 96 and she didn’t seemed too thrilled.
I have always wanted to go to Greece. Eat delicious food. See the blue waters of the Mediterranean. Maybe have a sip of ouzo. And see spiders.
She liked her ham. Yes, dear readers, it seems a woman who works in the deli at a Giant Eagle supermarket in Ohio was reported for “stealing” $9,200 worth of ham. How did this happen?
I don’t want to grow old. OK, so I know the alternative is not exactly a pleasant thought. And my minister says that, “Old age is a privilege denied to many.” Yes, this is true. It’s just that old age is rough.
Hold your horses! Air travel just got a whole lot more fun.
Seventeen days. That is how long an orca whale carried the corpse of her dead calf.
Have you given much thought as to the sex of papayas lately?
Did it rain enough? Probably not.
I am a surfer. Alright, I should clarify: I have surfed. Yes, dear readers, I caught one wave, hung ten and went on the long board.