Thursday, June 16, 2016

Organic Glitter

Since I'm growing tomatoes for the first time, I've been obsessed with inspecting the plant daily to make sure I'm not killing it. Today, as I was doing a little pruning, I realized the leaves seemed to be shimmering in the sun. 

As I looked closer, I couldn't get over how beautiful the leaves were.  It looks like someone dusted them with gold glitter.

PS - I know he looks thirsty. It was noon and almost 100 degrees.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

June 12, 2016

Today will be marked in history forever.

Forty-nine innocent people were killed in a venue some may have considered the only place they felt safe.

I was traveling today and didn't learn of the tragic event in Orlando until I made it to my airport gate. So until then, my day felt pretty normal. Breakfast with family, chit chat on the way to the airport and then a moment that made me smile.

As I was standing on the curb, re-shuffling my luggage and searching for my ID, I noticed a Lyft car pull up to drop off a passenger.

The driver - a 20-something, adorably awkward man - stepped out to help his passenger with her luggage.  She appeared to be in her late 40's, dressed for business and kind. As he removed her luggage from the trunk, she walked around to meet him finishing a sentence she had already started in the car.

They smiled at one another and I could tell they were saying things like, "Lovely meeting you" and "Have a nice trip." The driver extended his hand to shake her's goodbye and as she reached out and grabbed his hand, she quickly pulled him in for a hug. It was ever so slightly longer than an average we-just-met-hug and I couldn't help but wonder what conversation they had to inspire a hug between strangers.

It made me proud to be human.

Thursday, February 4, 2016


I was running, head down, cursing today's workout when I realized a girl in my class had stopped running ahead of me.

When I looked up, my fellow Crossfitter was carrying groceries behind a very short, lovely elderly woman. I watched as the woman opened the gate and lead her into the yard and then her house.

As I turned to make my loop back toward the gym, the young woman was coming out of the house kindly waving good bye to the elderly woman. I could sense her get back into step behind me and as we ran back to the gym, I wondered if she could sense the smile on my face.

Friday, January 15, 2016


Almost home for my daily walk with June, my neighbor (whom I've never seen after living here for a year) came hurrying out of his gate, "Excuse me, miss.  Excuse me."

I slowed down and met him half way as he approached me.

"Is that your car parked in front there?"

He was pointing at my un-driveable car I've had parked at the end of the block for almost a year. I smiled and nodded my head and waited for him to complain about it being there.

"Well, I just wanted to make sure you knew your registration is expired. And they can tow it if it's just sitting there."

I was shocked.

And then he continued, "I've been keepin' an eye on if for you though. Even shoed away some young people trying to make love on it. So, don't worry, I'm watching it for you."

I thanked him profusely and explained I was waiting on my new stickers in the mail. We chatted for a few more minutes about dogs and wives and the desert.

I walked away grateful for his kindness and excited to prove to my boyfriend there ARE nice neighbors in Mojave.

Friday, October 9, 2015


Welp, I got robbed.

I didn't get mugged or come home to windows broken with a huge mess to clean up. The thieves were fast, clean and it took me hours to realize it had even happened.

Basically, I took the dog for a quick 15 minute walk and, best I can tell, they watched me leave and snuck in knowing the dog was gone and they had a few minutes to grab whatever they could find.

There is more story that gets you from walking the dog to realizing we'd been robbed - but that's not where the sunshine lives.

Later that night, after I realized what had been taken, it felt like the perpetrator must have known me. Known exactly what to take to break my heart a little: two of my grandmother's rings, a necklace that was a gift from my dad to his mother and my high school ring.

All so personal.

And they left my laptop, my TV...even some not-so-well-hidden cash.

I cried a little as we waited for the police to show up. But the next day, I hit the ground running like a wanna-be private investigator. I gathered what pictures I had of the items and created a document with photos and info. I headed to Staples and made dozens of copies.  I couldn't help but feel a little bit like Helen Hunt in Girls Just Want to Have Fun - and I liked it.

I made a list of every Pawn Shop in Lancaster, Palmdale and Bakersfield and headed out to save the day.

After visiting the first few, turns out there's a lot to learn about Pawn Shops:
  1. Most thieves don't try to sell items for at least a couple weeks.
  2. All pawn shops have to report everything they buy to the police.
  3. Pawn shops are really busy - I waited in line a lot.
  4. In general, pawn shop owners want to help people who've had items stolen, but there's a consistent sigh and head tilt that basically means - "Don't get your hopes up."
Each pawn shop felt pretty much the same - bars on the window or a buzzer to get in, a faint smell of cigarette smoke, jewelry cases, a guitar or two and always a line of people waiting to sell something. But as I entered each one, I realized this was a great research mission for Yelp! reviews - so I started taking notes.

I have officially visited every pawn shop (that has a searchable address) in Lancaster and Palmdale and am working on a massive Yelp! review in case you need to know where to bring your pawnable items.

Just as all the pawn shop owners silently suggested, I'm not keeping my hopes up. Especially because return visits to check for my stolen items just make me sad all over again.

So I may be giving up on the search, but I am now your go-to person for advice on pawn shops in the Antelope Valley. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Look Up

Today, during my lunch break from jury duty, I was sitting in a coffee shop with my head buried in my phone - a position I'm never very proud of.  Mostly because it's not a welcoming invitation for someone to come talk to you.

But today I realized there are generations who know nothing different and perhaps having your head down doesn't necessarily mean "leave me alone."

As I sat there shuffling through work emails (aka: checking Instagram and playing Words With Friends) I could feel someone in my space.

"Do you play chess?"

I looked up and met eyes with a little girl about 10 years old standing in front of me with a wide smile on her face and a portable chess board under her arm.

I slumped my shoulders and said, "Actually, no I don't."

"I can teach you!"

"You know what, I'd love to learn. But I actually have jury duty today and I have to be back in 15 minutes.  Do you know what jury duty is?"

"Sort of. People hate it, right?

I smiled and explained that was mostly true and then tried to explain it was important as a citizen, and wasn't SO bad. She nodded and seemed slightly interested.

"Well, I can teach you a little bit right...," she paused and looked out the window toward an outside table where a 20-something year-old girl - with awesome bright green hair - was reading a book.

"Hey! That's the girl who plays with me sometimes." She leaned over me and knocked on the window repeatedly until the girl looked up.  The green-haired girl smiled, closed her book and gestured for the girl to come sit at her table.

"Well, I'm going to go play with my friend. Maybe I can teach you some other time."

I said thank you and wished her luck on her next game.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

My Mom Would Be Proud

A dog can teach a human a lot of lessons.

For example:
Pick up after yourself. (Or your belongings will be chewed.)
Don't over stay your welcome at a party. (Or your most expensive belongings will be chewed.)
If you have expressive eyebrows and a cute face, forgiveness is easy.

We have a hose in our backyard I have now repaired three times because I haven't learned these important lessons. Ms. June loves the challenge of chewing through what is supposed to be an industrial, indestructible hose.

Today, after I turned the hose on and received an unexpected shower directly in my face, I begrudgingly went to the shed to gather tools to repair it once again.  As I tried to remove the plastic connector from the torn hose, I was impressed with how well I had installed it last time June was left home alone for too long.

No matter how hard I pulled and twisted, I couldn't get it out. I tried cutting little slits in the hose to make it loose so I might be able to pull easier. This seemed to work, but my fingers couldn't quite hold on to the cut pieces to tear them further down. 

So I used my teeth. 

As I started pulling and biting at the hose, I realized there was a thin strip of see-through yellow rubber running the length of the hose and it seemed to be easier to tear than the rest. I caught myself feeling excited about this discovery and started to bite and tug harder, concentrating on the yellow strip.

Then I realized I was pretty much my dog. 

And I had a new appreciation and even acceptance for what she does to entertain herself while I'm gone.