Joshua Tree And Other Stuff


Joshua Tree, California.


A long time ago my grandparents had a weekend place up here in the high desert. It started out as a small one room cabin.  No indoor plumbing.  We, in addition to all their guests I’m sure, were ‘enchanted’ by the outhouse.  I remember us kids thought it was the coolest thing ever

They roughed it as they added on to that little cabin.  And on.  And on, till they decided to live in it full time after my grandfather retired from his business, Surety Electric, back in the late ‘70’s.


I have some faint but wonderful memories of this area when I’d get to go out there with them on the weekends, before we moved to Idaho that is.  And we moved to Idaho when I was nine.  So that could explain why they’re faint memories.1desertviewIMG_2970web

Memories like helping Grandpa or Grandma water shrubs around the property and when there were lots of people around, all kinds of card games.  I have memories of making pop-top chain necklaces and bracelets.  Somehow, I don’t think it was all pop that was being consumed.

I have one vivid memory of the time I flew my Yogi Bear kite till the kite string broke cause I had it so high up in the sky I needed Grandpa’s binoculars to see it and then the tension on the string was too much and it broke, then it flew away to Nevada.  

Memories of swinging on the porch swing, smelling that dry desert smell or the grease wood after a rain and the scent of Grandma’s “Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion” on her hands.

I just remembered there was one TV in the house and they got maybe one snowy channel, so the radio was on a lot.  Lots of Big Band music.  There’s not a time when I hear that neat music now that I don’t think of Joshua Tree and Grandma and Grandpa’s.



This is the property right across the road from what was once theirs – no fence back then.  I didn’t take a picture of their old place.  Wasn’t worth getting a picture of.  Bummer too that the windmill my Grandfather transported from his childhood home in Nebraska and reconstructed with the help of friends and neighbors is no longer standing.  I so wanted a picture of that.

Those rock hills always impressed and scared me.  Snakes and scorpions you know.  Certain times of the day anyway.  I remember a few times being allowed to climb on those rocks.  It was in this general area that I last saw my kite.

My sister and her little family now live in this neighborhood.  Not more than a 1/2 mile away and down the same sand-dirt road where we once went as children.


This thing here, well, it’s just the coolest thing ever and it’s in my sisters backyard.


It’s obviously an old satellite dish and my brother-in-law, with the help of his friend, are in the process of inventing something with it.1sunsetdishIMG_2985web

I’m not entirely sure what it is they are trying to invent.  But…


I do know that they’ve cut and glued small squares of mirrors to that old dish…


Strung come cooper wiring…


Mounted a bucket and some brackets and a few other things.  Honestly, I wasn’t really sure what I was seeing. 


I do know one thing for sure.  I know that once this thing is pointed towards the sun it gets smokin’ hot!  Thank you Ansen for the demo!


Oh, and it makes lovely reflections on and IN the house! 

I know my Mom is freaking out right now.  Aren’t you Kayo?


Would you not love one of these in your backyard?! 

I tell you what,  if I had to have an old satellite dish on my property, I’d want my favorite brother-in-law, who I now believe can make power plants out of ants and sand, to come over and give it a make-over like this one. 

(By the way: I think B.I.L. has the patent on the phrase “can make power plants out of ants and sand”.)

It’s awesome thing to look at, anytime of the day.


Oh, little FYI that I’d not thought about till later when my sister said something about how they ‘don’t leave it pointed up towards the sun all the time’…I guess it bugs the neighbors down in Palm Springs.  Well, maybe not that far but close.


I need one of these.  Bad.


I also needed, wanted, had to have Jack In The Box for my birthday lunch.

We don’t have Jack out here in Michigan. 

Yah, and we don’t have Jack In The Box either.  I was craving their Sourdough Jack.  Oh yum.  It was excellent. 

See the grease on the bag?  Evidence of Excellence.


My Grandma got me a cake.  Been a long time since I had a birthday cake, especially with so many stinkin’ candles. 

For me candles used to be about the highlight of a birthday, but now?   It just seems mean somehow.  There’s too much light.  Too much smoke. 

I liked it though.  It was awful pretty and sweet! 

Speaking of sweet, Emma Dorothy helped me blow them all out – Thank you Miss Em.


Birthday tea …it was real nice – no smoke.


I really wanted this for my birthday.

But what I got when I arrived home the next day was a new big girl camera.

So far I’m coping.


8 thoughts on “Joshua Tree And Other Stuff

  1. Yes, I do love the mirror reflections! I bet they can see this invention from SPACE when the sun hits it! Looks like a neat way to heat water or what ever.
    Love the photos!!! Love the first cacti photo too with the sun shining through!!! You are going to have so much fun with your bi girl camera! You are already a true artist!!!


  2. Very neat! I love all of the old memories of my grandparents houses. Especially now that they are all gone… Just tonight I walked in to the smell of dinner in the crockpot. It smelled exactly like when my Grandma Babe made roast! It is funny how a smell can bring back so many memories! Can’t wait to see the pictures your Big Girl camera will take, especially since the Little Girl one takes some great ones!


    1. Thank you Nicole and you are right about the smell and memory reflex!
      FYI: A little while ago you were looking for a small camera…I emulated Hilly and got one about like her little one, Canon Powershot A540, though that was four years ago, I know they have more pixels now. I love that thing and won’t give it up. It will be perfect in my pommel bags or pocket when the bigger one is too much.


  3. A real big girl camera, this is going to be great fun. I can’t imagine your photos getting any better. I’ll be anxiously a waiting, but no pressure.


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