Joshua trees!

I love the sight of Joshua trees. When we first moved here, Mike and I were both enchanted with them and, almost 31 years later, we still are. A drive through the desert with Joshuas surrounding us is our idea of time well spent.

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Joshua trees are formally called Yucca Brevifolia. Early settlers thought they were palm trees, but studies of the trees pointed to them being in the lily family. Recent DNA testing found them to be in the Yucca family. Whatever classification they fall under, they are a very unique plant with VERY SHARP leaves (been pricked a few times myself – OUCH) and some awesome, surreal shapes.

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And here is our Joshua tree:

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Ruby’s Baby Shower


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Blue Angels

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The Professor and Mary Ann… and Jeff

Yesterday, when I heard that Russell Johnson had died, my first thoughts were of the time we met him and Dawn Wells – The Professor and Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island.

Jeff with Dawn Wells & Russell Johnson

Many years ago I was the editor of a local newspaper and as such was regularly invited to the Hollywood Collectors Show in North Hollywood. Jeff went with us the day that Russell Johnson and Dawn Wells were at the show and they graciously allowed me to take a photo of Jeff with them. It’s one of my favorite photos.

Atlantic City Marathon 10-13-13

Jeff, Vanessa and Maya ran the Atlantic City Half Marathon on October 13. You’ll notice in these photos that they were smiling all along the way. That, to me, is amazing.

Waiting for the marathon to begin. Smiling!

ready to get going

Jeff and Maya at Mile 8 – still smiling!

Jeff and Maya at mile 8

Vanessa at Mile 8 – still smiling!

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Jeff crossing the finish line. Such a look of determination on his face!

Jeff crossing finish line

Here are the best marathon runners of the day (in my slightly prejudiced opinion).

Best of the AC Marathon runners

What an exciting day it was!

Cousins, cousins everywhere – part two

Auntie Sandy came to visit a couple of weeks after Lisa was here, so there was another gathering of the cousins.

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And, yes, Quincy was still sitting on Chuck’s lap.

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Cousins, cousins everywhere – part one

We wandered out to Chuck & Larie’s for a cousins get-together in mid August when Lisa came to visit, and then we did it again in early September when Auntie Sandy came to visit. I haven’t seen so many cousins at one time in years. Visits include lots of photos, so I’ll just quit typing and post a bunch of them. This post will be Lisa’s visit. Auntie Sandy’s visit will be the next post.

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This is Chuck’s lap dog.

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Oh, yes he is! This is such a hilarous sight – Quincy sits on Chuck’s lap every chance he gets.

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Jayson had Wilbur doing his famous Saying Prayers trick. Aren’t they both adorable?

Jayson & Wilbur composite

And I can’t end this post without introducing you to Cousin Lizard. 🙂

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Family & Friends Get-Together – August 2013

family at veggie grill

Steven, Steve, Jeff

V in pool

Steven Leslie Steve

J&V in El Segundo

Stan & kids

Stan & Isabella

shopping in Manhattan Beach

J&V at C&O


Leo & Leslie

Alfred & Michelle

Steven & Leslie

Leo's birthday cake

J&V & bottle of wine

Steve photobomb

a walk on the pier

Stan & Mike


karina, vanessa, jeff

the whole gang

…and that was our weekend in Manhattan Beach.

HM3 Mathew Petersen, USN

In a town nearby, local residents who are serving in the military get special recognition in the Hometown Heroes program. Beautiful banners with the service person’s photo, name and rank are attached to lampposts along the main boulevard. My nephew, Matt, is one of those being honored.

Matt's bannerHM3 Mathew Petersen, United States Navy

Matt's banner2Thank you for your service, Matt. We’re proud of you, and I’m especially happy that you chose to serve in the Navy.


First four bell peppers

Finally! This past week I’ve been watching four bell peppers getting a little bit larger each day. Today, I couldn’t stand it any longer; I had to pick them. They’re going to make a tasty addition to an omelette tomorrow morning. (I included the latest batch of tomatoes in the photo, too.)

bell peppers & tomatoes