Unusual Bloom

This year the Joshua Tree’s are blooming, something rarely done in such large numbers. Last week, Jeff and I drove to Joshua Tree National Park to see them in bloom; although the bloom may represent the plants distress at being without rain this year, a sort of last-ditch effort to procreate, it was beautiful, and a reminder of the fragile ecosystem of the desert and this planet.

DSC_5444 DSC_5458 DSC_5467 DSC_5474 DSC_5484 DSC_5757 DSC_5583 DSC_5586 DSC_5513 DSC_5497 DSC_5495 DSC_5697 DSC_5712 DSC_5714 DSC_5784 DSC_5790 DSC_5491 JoshuaTree_HDR_DSC_6190_1_2_3_4_tonemapped JoshuaTree_HDR_DSC_5848_49_50_51_52_fused JoshuaTree_HDR_DSC_6221_2_3_4_5_6_7_tonemapped DSC_6260 DSC_6236 DSC_6076

Thanks to Jeff for the majority of these beautiful photographs. Happy Earth Day, everyone. (PS – here are some more!)

everybody has their reasons/and one is always where they’re from

Happy Spring, y’all. Here in Los Angeles, plants are blooming, my sunflowers are sprouting (as is my cilantro, chives, basil, dill, and aloe) and we’re on our way to sunshiny days and long afternoons winding into cool, short nights.

Soccer has started for another season, causing me to reflect on the last 11 seasons. I’ve been coaching since 2009, coached numerous sports since I was 17, I have been refereeing soccer since I was 15, and playing soccer since I was four. When people ask me why I started coaching soccer out here, I usually come up with a reason, but the real reason is that it’s all I’ve ever known. It’s who I am. It’s where I came from. Soccer runs deep in my veins, and life without soccer just doesn’t make sense.

This past week, the kids showed up on the field to learn the rules, play the game, and have some fun. Rule number one as a coach for me has always been “no hands.” Rule number two? Listen. Three is hustle, and four is “you’d better know the other kids names. Otherwise, how can you ask them to pass to you?”

These kids keep me young. Every season they ask me my age, question my choices for positions, and beg me to watch over and over again as they learn to punt, or throw the ball in, or simply learn to pass. They make friends (and somehow, always enemies) on the field, and someone always scores a sweet goal that ends in high-fives and consoling the goalie of the other team.

This week, we learned the word “abbreviated.” And “hustle” and what to do when the whistle bowls. We ran five laps. We played five minute quarters, and everyone wanted to play offense or goalie. There were tears, there were laughs, and everyone is excited to meet Coach B next week. I learned a few new names, and learned how to explain midfield in a way a five year old understands.

Every season I learn something new, learn how to teach things differently, and look forward to different smiling faces each week when I ask, “How was school this week?” and remind them, “I’ll see you next weekend. Good game, guys.”

Here’s to a 12th season, kids.

solvang: sunny fields

These girls are my favorite. They were with me through thick and thin when we traveled abroad, through countries where we didn’t speak the language, when we had two dollars to our name, when we couldn’t find a bathroom…they are my  kindred spirits, always up for an adventure. And of course, Corelyn and I have been adventuring in the kitchen for years, and in 2011 traveled across country…so it was only natural we enjoy a day trip with the crew to relieve the old days…this time, with a few extra bucks.

Last weekend we adventured in Solvang, where we enjoyed bookstores, coffee, jumping photos, and a whole lot of laughter. So, so much laughing. And delicious food, of course. These girls keep me happy through highs and lows, and are always in for a hilarious photo or two.

girls1 girls3 girls2


I am so glad I have such lovely friends to travel around with…more photographs here! Thanks ladies, for being such lovely friends!