San Rafael Valley, AZ ~~ Photo by Bill Haas

Friday, July 30, 2010


My second cousin, Sara Gonzalez is getting married. Matt Scott is the lucky guy!
The Bride

The Groom
The Grandmother of the Bride
Suzanne, the Mother of the Bride
Court, the Father of the Bride
Cousin Jesse and Mother of the Bride
The Bride again --
can't have too many pix of the Bride!
Boris (may he rest in peace)

Sara and Matt met at the Ion Theatre in San Diego, California. No, they are not ushers. They are actors in a unique, "bold, uncompromising theater" group.

The group is so "uncompromising," that, a mere two years after establishing an experimental home base called "The Lab," it DE-installed the "Lab" when the company learned that the property's owners were the largest in-state supporters for the passage of Proposition 8. Committed to its mission of inclusiveness and diversity, the landlord's support of Proposition 8 became a major obstacle for the company. You can definitely say that ION talks the talk and walks the walk. Hooray for ION!

(If you're not a Californian, or if you are not familiar with Proposition 8, you'll find some excellent background here:)

And a discussion of the subsequent lawsuit filed in Federal District Court, here:

But I is the link to ION THEATRE. Should you wish to explore the site, may I suggest you start by clicking on "COMPANY" on the top menu bar, then scroll through the "COMPANY 1..." options at the bottom. BEHOLD! In the first view, there's Sara and Matt sitting on the stairs, bottom right. A handsome couple indeed.

Also at the top of the menu bar, click on "ON STAGE" to learn about Ion's productions, (ESPECIALLY THE ONE DIRECTED BY SARA!), then at the bottom of the page, find "Back of the Throat," to watch Sara's synopsis of the play she directed and how, in the present climate, it is a highly affecting post 9-11 allegory.
Dear Sara and Matt, I wish you a fulfilling life together, brimming with joy and adventure, and, as you grow old together, with happy surprises and challenges within reach. Oh be still my heart!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Actually, I don't think this is a tree, but rather, a bush on steroids! And I just made up the name for it! I don't know what kind of plant, small tree or large bush, it really is! It's simply stunning in person!
It has an oak-like leaf, and I was just surprised to find it covered with luscious, juicy berries this time of year --late July.
It's the only specimen I found in my new neighborhood (approximate elevation of 1200'). I can't wait to see what its blooms look like in the Spring.
It's readily apparent I need to get a regional tree identification book to augment my wildflower tomes. These mysteries are tormenting me!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


...homeward bound from Washington, along the Columbia River Gorge.

Cool, refreshing...........blinding rain!
Misty, mysterious forests...
Lots and lots of flowering weeds, otherwise known as wildflowers...
and cool green hills.
Oh why oh why couldn't I have appreciated that weather?!!
And when the sun comes out and finishes melting this snow,
Lake Shasta may have absolutely no red dirt shoreline showing. I haven't seen the lake this full in decades. It was absolutely stunning.
And in today's sweltering heat (no, the grass is never greener, for very long, at least), I have those lovely memories of Pacific Northwest Rain to keep me cool(er)!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Devils Postpile National Monument

Monday, July 19, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010


This proves it, once and for all! The moon really is made of green cheese! Looks like a Roquefort to me. Well, more Roquefort than bleu anyway.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I detest this feckless war, America's longest war, and its attendant siphoning off of our country's future leaders. Our men and women in uniform, thrust in harm's way daily, make incredible sacrifices. For what? I grieve for them and for their families who fearfully and proudly watch and wait and hope and pray their loved ones don't come home in a flag-draped pine box.
Go ahead and call me names, but flag-waving and firecrackers and meaningless "support our troops" bumper stickers have no impact on me. Yet finding this poignant, personal affirmation on a California country road was gut wrenching and heart breaking. I just want Major Burroughs and his fellow heroes to come home safely to their loved ones so they can get on with their lives in peace in THIS country.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


...a diurnal subspecies of gecko.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


or HERALD-TO-SUMMER. Whatever you call it, Clarkia (not sure of species) is a stunning, graceful wildflower that blooms when the hills start to dry out, and is one of my favorites.
When I lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains, hillsides were covered with these nodding, delicate beauties in May. Traveling Highway 49 in the Sierra Foothills in early July, there were miles and miles of Clarkia to heighten my pleasure of this back-country California road.
And here I thought I'd already seen California's wildflower peak.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I'd like you to meet my favorite niece, Heidi Lynn Gonzalez Orr. OK, sure, she's my ONLY niece, but one is all you need if your only niece is Heidi Lynn Gonzlez Orr! She used to be known as "Snaggle Tooth." Not any more! Heidi, who specializes in Trusts and Estates, is a partner in a big shot Seattle law firm and carries her great, great grandfather's (a Mexican Supreme Court Judge under the Porfirio Diaz regime) legal torch.
My niece was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, but that hasn't slowed her down much at all. She teaches at Seattle School of Law on the side, she volunteers, she's active in local professional and MS activities. I'm proud of my courageous, optimistic niece. She's beautiful inside and out, don't you agree?
This is her adorable, loveable Neufie puppy Sophia. (She's still a PITA but thankfully, she's smart and trainable and will grow out of her puppyness. Soon I hope!)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010


...what used to be here. I wonder how they sunk the pillars. I wonder how long ago. Do you suppose the structure burned down?
Astoria, Oregon - May, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010


Another unknown discovery, found in mid-May in Washington's Belfair State Park on the Hood Canal. It sure looks like it could belong to the Columbine family...

THIS is a Columbine!
Hmmmm. OK, I give up. Mark or Darice, are you there?!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


At first, I thought this was a hangin' tree. But then, SUDDENLY, in a flash, I swear I spotted Ichabod Crane fleeing the Headless Horseman in broad daylight. DON'T BLINK! You might get lucky too!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Meet The Big Kahuna, my favorite brother-in-law, Joe. Actually, he's my ONLY brother-in-law, but even if I had more than one brother-in-law, Joe would STILL be my favorite. Everyone should have a brother-in-law like MY brother-in-law! I guess I was behind the door when Joes were being doled out. My sister got really really lucky. (I did get great hair though!!!)
Today Joe is going to pressure wash Washington green mossy goop off of his yard toys, and then he's going to bake some beans. I mean ROAST some beans. As in coffee beans.
To get his MOJO jump started, first he cranks up Jesse Cook to the max, shoos the dogs out of the way, hooks up the propane to a born-again barbeque...and
then measures his bean of choice, Kenya Peaberries...
...into a custom made (by Joe, of course) rotating drum (note the recycled colander) that's been welded onto the original BBQ spit.
Mount the "drumspit" ...
...set the temp to "high," and fire up that sucker.
When the "griddle" is red hot...
Close the lid...
...and wait...
...and watch...
...and let that pervert take more pictures!
After a few whiles, the beans start to change color...
...(journey's end is about 500 degrees)...
...and when the beans start to smoke, they are just about ready for prime time. Wait for the smoke!
But first, they need to be emptied into this custom made (again, by Joe, of course) sifter/strainer that allows the beans' hulls to fly into the breeze.
Oh! That tantalizing aroma! But we're not through yet.
The beans now require a gentle cool-down before they can be packaged, stored, ground or gifted to his dear, darling, sweet, adoring sister-in-law! So, naturally Joe has manufactured the PERFECT cool down apparatus...
et voila! Peet has nothing on my brother-in-law! This is coffee just the way I like it. And this "Joe's Best Kenya Peaberry" most certainly doesn't get any fresher!
My brother in law ROCKS even when he's not roasting Kenya Peaberries!