Featured Family #5

If you travel to Costa Rica, down a red clay road, to the remote, outpost Avellanas, you will find a fine dining restaurant, where this man is one of the waiters. You will be greeted with a luminous smile and a genuine “pura vida“.

Needless to say his family is the same. 

Natalia is another surfing mama.

What a beautiful life. What a beautiful family.

*None of the photos are mine. The restaurant is the famous, Lola’s.

Featured Family #4

~Every picture tells a story, story~

I woke up this morning THINKING. I just hate
it when I think so much, so I decided to get up and write.

My husband’s brother, was the first to live in our little slice of nature, Camp Tobacco. When I met his wife, I was amazed. She is a bow hunter. She is a hog hunter, as the picture above exemplifies her success in this endeavor. I was impressed. Not everyone can track down a hog and kill it with a bow and arrow.

I became unimpressed, when I stopped by the house and saw sixteen pit bull dogs in the front yard. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous. She had a three year old child, at the time. I was soon to find out that mama dog had a litter of puppies in the bathroom of the cabin and there was a birthday party planned for her (my husband’s sister-in-law)  daughter. I wonder to this day, who would bring their child to a party where there are sixteen pit bull dogs. Continue reading Featured Family #4

Featured Family #3

No Prom Queen I have this picture in my mind ~ as I lay in my bed of comfort. Like a soldier-years gone by-the war is over.

Having flashbacks.

What happened to Vietnam? Where are all of the naked babies, covered in flies?

Where are the dead bodies, scattered, limbs askew?

Where are the exploding buildings, silent, in flames?

Did Saigon fall hard like a rock into a pool of charm and drift like an empty raft on to a shore of safety?

Or did it run away in Nikes?

I see two visions~no, three~no two~

Beer and marijuana-Hair of the dog

Shaklee vitamins-Dreams of School



Thank You Mama

       Snapping peas in harmony

long rows of squash

walking lines of berries and straw

life was good

Growing balanced watermelons

under the waves of clothes

they baked dry in the sun

life was good

Now I have an orchard

I reap and I sow

here a while~there a while

life is good


Featured Family #2

                           I have a friend that swears, this is the happiest man on the planet. I’ve never met anyone happier than Nestor.

He invests in his children’s lives. I heard someone on the radio putting it like this~many father’s don’t want to talk to their children or drive to their events. They make excuses. If they could look at it as if they were engaging in efforts, that would make them a thirty thousand end-of-ear bonus; and that bonus relied on having conversations they didn’t really want to have, and driving to places they really didn’t want to go-we all know most men would do those thing for the money.So, if you treat your children as if they are your greatest investment you will surely reap a treasure of great magnitude.

He treats his wife like the queen of his castle. His enchanted humble abode is 400 square feet. The table for this cake was the washer and dryer. The dryer seconds as a storage bin, so critters won’t be feasting on the weekly staples.

This picture has technical problems, but you can’t out do it, for the expression of love.

Is she straightening his collar? That sure is a funny outfit he had to wear to school.

What are little boys made of?

She’s sugar and spice.

In my life, I am fortunate to have this example of~how to~in the realm of family experience.

Featured Family #1

 This is the first of my new series, Featured Family.

This is my trainer and his family. If you don’t think you have the best trainer in the world, then you don’t have the right trainer.

This is Chris’s son, surfing grommet style.

This is one of my favorite shots. This little girl loves her Daddy.

Who says American values died in the fifties?

They look alive and well to me!

*I didn’t like any of the definitions of grommet~in the manner that I have used it So this is my definition. Surfers started calling kid surfers, more or less, 15 and under, groms. Grom is short for grommet, which is a mechanical term for a small steel ball.  

Detecting Sound

Radar could hear the choppers delivering the wounded to the MASH Unit in the Korean War. He had that sense.

Old timers on the trail west could put their ear to the ground and hear the hooves of approaching horses, be them friend or foe.

What do I hear?

I hear the chatter of distant cyber antics. I hear the past and the present.  I mean the future.  I mean the present.  Those two just won’t stay still.

I also hear the fan running.

A Sprinkle of Chemicals

I was asked to share about my old life. I care enough about the person that made this request, to do so. 

 I have journaled for many years. This particular page, Chemicals was written in May, 2011, on a day of reflection.

Chemicals in me. Chemicals in others. The ones I took. The ones they are on. The ones that become upset in our bodies due to our emotions.

From time to time, I still have the image of the LA bathroom flash in my mind. I can remember how I wanted to capture the moment. I wanted people to know about the intensity of that bathroom; as if it wasn’t me that was there. And everyone needed to know. I would be the liaison of information. I wanted pictures. I wanted to paint. I wanted people to know.

It was probably a 3 by 5 space. Entering into that bathroom to shoot heroin with people who I didn’t know. People I had never even seen before. How crazy is that? How desperate is that? What was I thinking? It seems like there was a bare bulb that hung over my head. I know there was. I would feel that feeling and feel the rush in my head. And I wanted everyone to know what it was like to be a junkie. I wanted them to know that it was not what they thought. I was just a regular person.

There was nothing regular about me.

Living in East Los Angeles has to be one of the more crazy things that I have ever done in my life. It was colorful, fast and explosive. We moved  to Echo Park, my husband, myself and my daughter, along with our dog named Fido, in July, 1985. We found an apartment for three hundred dollars, which was an outrageous price for a tiny downstairs room. The landlady’s son lived on the top floor and we soon learned that he was on methadone and had been in prison for killing his father.

It was the summer of the Night Stalker. My husband and I, both got jobs right away and my daughter went to Elysian Elementary. He would go down to Echo Park and fish in the lake. My husband is an avid fisherman, no matter where he lives. There were dead rats floating on the surface of the water. A dead body was dragged out of the lake the day after he had caught a few fish from the bank. Only someone in the euphoric state of heroin can accept this as an average daily occurrence. We didn’t eat the fish.

We bought two cars from a Mexican man down the road. One was a 62 Impala and one was a 63 Ford Fairlane. We ended up losing the Impala in Vegas, but kept the Ford and drove it all the way home back to Florida. What a great car. We pulled a trailer carrying our treasured washer and dryer that we had acquired from the side of the road in Hollywood Hills. They have the best trash there.

We were there from July to September, but it seemed a lot longer than that. Everyday was action packed.Over the course of those three months, which seemed like three years, I became a light weight junkie and knew I had to flee. We had gone to LA, running from a Mexican coke connection. I was always running. He wasn’t after us, like we owed him anything. We had become guinea pigs for quality control and I had lost it. With a Mexican drug dealer pumping your veins full of coke on a daily basis, you can become toxic pretty quick. My poor kid. In both Texas and California we lived in Mexican communities and we experienced the other side of prejudice. It was hard.

When we ran from California, we returned to the Island, where we discovered, we had escaped the influx of crack. I was filled with gratitude for my good luck. B E and K had come to town, filling all of our old friends pockets, just long enough to turn it over to the crack dealer. I always felt like I escaped the tragedies and hardships that so many others stepped in to. I escaped them by being “out of town”. I escaped them by being smarter than the average; independent person that I was.

It was all in my mind and in my perspective. My outlooks saved me and they were killing me at the same time. I was just a short time from death. A death that I would survive. Lucky me.