Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Sumer is y-cumin’ in

Spring has done all the sproinging it’s going to do around here, and now temperatures are in the low 100s every day. The pool is decidedly warm enough to swim in, though most of the yard’s flowers are fried. I need to pull out the remains of the winter garden, which has gone to seed, and decide what to put in there for the summer.

A few hardy characters are thriving, though. I was delighted to find the emerald green paloverde has burst into bloom, weeks behind all its coreligionists. Paloverde trees drape themselves in vibrant yellow flowers in late spring. Most have already come and gone, and, because in past years the one in my yard hasn’t blossomed much, I figured that because the thing is a hybrid it likely will never flower. Wrong!

The ground beneath this amazing shade-maker is carpeted with golden flowers, and the canopy hums with small solitary bees and big, bumbling black carpenter bees. The Sonoran desert is the richest habitat for bees in the world, they being nourished by insane trees like this.

Creatures alien to the desert are coming out in the early summer heat, too. A pot in back has sheltered three bulbs donated to my cause by SDXB. They’ve sat there for years, soaking up water and giving nothing but long strappy leaves in return. A couple of weeks ago, though, suddenly one of them sprouted a huge, club-like stalk:

Yesterday the stalk produced this:


It’s VAST, a good six inches across. Not only that, but there are two more of them on the same stalk! It looks like a strangely colored amaryllis. 

The usual suspects are around, especially the roses. In the summer heat, freshly blossomed roses blow in minutes. Nevertheless, I managed to capture this one before it fricasseed :

Gourds love the desert heat, and so do many melons. The butternut squash seeds I took out of a grocery-store purchase have produced three husky plants in their giant pot, and they’re already blossoming. Last time I counted, there were six or eight flowers in there.


The plant wilts in the heat but springs back every evening after the blasting sun goes down. I guess wilting is a survival technique. The cantaloupe, which grows much slower and has yet to produce a flower, doesn’t do that, at least not yet:

Don’t know how well it will do in that pot, which in the first place is probably not large enough for a chunky vine and in the second was cracked at the outset—tying it together with a length of clothesline rope had dubious results.

Then of course we have the usual suspects, bougainvillea that never seem to know when to quit flowering—they’re been at it since February, since the risk of frost disappeared, and all of them will continue to blossom until it gets cold again. I love bougs…

The Easter lily cacti bloomed a little early this year. They’ll be back soon, though: they normally blossom on and off throughout the summer.

Outrageous-looking thing, isn’t it?

Four-thirty in the morning… {sigh} Is it early or is it late? Nothing like sitting in front of a computer to pass the wee hours. I’ve been here since 3:30. Woke up after a weird dream—I was working, under the same annoying soon-to-be-canned conditions, at a much nicer and more professional venue than GDU, someplace that looked a little like Central Arizona Project’s sylvan offices. In this dream I walk out after dark in a rainstorm to go home, only to discover my car has been stolen. So I go back inside the building, followed by a small, very wet chihuahua-like dog that has decided to allow itself to be rescued.

Returning to consciousness, it struck me that my sidekick, who does a large slab of the work our office performs, can’t possibly be letting any grass grow under her feet. 

She’d be a fool to wait to look for work until December, when the office is being shut down. Unlike me, she’s highly employable. If she gets a job anytime in the near future, we are screwed, screwed, ge-screwed. The minute that woman goes out the door, we’ll have to shut down a third to half of our operation.

If we do that, will the deans just close us down altogether? Can they? I do have a contract, and my only surviving RA has a far more convincing contract to the effect that GDU will provide her graduate-student support for the duration of her tenure in the Ph.D. program. It won’t, of course: the history department ended up with nine support lines for twenty-six graduate students. Several people who were in the middle of their programs found themselves suddenly without assistantships.

It remains to be seen whether they’ll dump my RA out in the snow come the end of December. By then there should be some stimulus money, but given the callousness we’ve seen from the deans’ office, if I were her I wouldn’t be expecting to see any of that money.  She’ll be ABD in the fall, her comps coming up in August. If she has to go out and get a fulltime job somewhere, probably answering phones or greeting WalMart shoppers, I can’t imagine how she will finish her dissertation.

Well, thank God for the natural riches of this world, for we certainly have little enough of the manmade variety to go around.

Author: funny

This post may be a paid guest contribution.


  1. I hope you were able to get some additional rest. Your flowers and veggies are lovely. Here is a website you may find useful concerning your dream. If not useful, at least entertaining! : )

    Take Care,

  2. um, here is the website : )

  3. @ Cathy: What a hoot! Somebody went to a lot of trouble to build that site…very entertaining, indeed.

  4. Your flowers and plants and fruits look so lovely 🙂

    It is hot, hot, hot here in Florida again. Mid-90s with 90 percent humidity! Yuck!