Monday, October 6, 2008

Photo Hunt ~ San Juan Capistrano Mission

The historic architecture of the Mission made for wonderful photo subjects...

The Mission gardens provided magnificent subject matter too....

Gone Snap Happy; blog happy too.

Has been a while since checking into this Desert Diva blog; during the interim from my last post in July,built two blogs to document & commemorate some great happenings this summer:

~> ~ the gathering of 17 of our precious and fabulous friends over 4th of July, 2008.
~> ~ The celebration of Rick and Lori Roger's 25th wedding anniversary celebration.

Mostly have been out & about being a student of photography; learning a lot by joining our friends Betty & Bruce Ashley & attending the OC Photo Society monthly photo hunt. They are both long time members of; this group plans the most interesting photo hunts. Here's a sample of what I shot in August during our visit to Rancho Los Alamitos; best of:

See next post for best of San Juan Capistrano Photo Hunt.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Yellow Delicious Apples

On the Apple tree in the back yard of our Indian Wells, CA house and yes they are very delicious !

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fun times at the Mc'Craribbean

Woo Hooo! Harrison's first slide!

Perfect sliding form, from Campbell ...keen eyed Russian judge gives her a 9.2...very good score, with this degree of difficulty!

Yesterday we had the great pleasure of a visit from the bodacious * Brent family from Baltimore, MD.
Master Harrison, age 8, will be entering 3rd grade this fall; Miss Campbell, age 4, will continue to delight us, with a variety of activities appropriate for a young lady of her standing in the community.

*bodacious; from The American Heritage Dictionary:
bo.da.cious adj. slang from Southern U.S.
1. Remarkable;
2. Gutsy.

Looks like a good time was had by all; enjoying fabulous Uncle Rick's Award winning %(award given by us, of course) re-purposed, re-engineered, portable Pool Slide.
The award winning feature, of Rick's slide, is it's ability to be rolled away on wheels back-stage so as to not detract from the beautiful Mc'Craribbean when play time has concluded.
~> Kid's, please do not try this at home!
All of the Big Kids volunteered their own personhoods as crash test dummies to assure said Pool Slide's saftey, before usage was approved for any darling precious small kiddos.
No film was produced to submit to America's Funniest Home Videos during these prototype test activities!
Why, who are these sun bathing Stars of the back yard?

Harrison Brent or Harrison Ford? Perhaps the Paparazzi will know...

Esther Williams?

...again, we'll have to consult with the Paparazzi for positive ID.

We are not equipped for a full array of track & field events here at camp Mc'Craribbean, though Harrison (and many others) were doing the Long Jump over Aunt Lori and into the pool!
And while Aunt Lori, did not come prepared to participate as both line judge & the actual line in the this spontaneous Water Word ~ Track & Field event: Long Jump Into Pool, she was bravely game for both!
Master Harrison's Long Jump form is already shaping up nicely, wouldn't you say?

Based on these outstanding results, am quite certain the Olympic Committee will want to add Water World ~ Long Jump as an exhibition sport on to their slate at the London Summer Games, 2012. Everyone ... keep practicing and get ready to pack your bags!

Aunt Lori, you are a trail blazing Super Trouper**, every niece & nephew's dream!

Folks, the Paparazzi has confirmed these stars are our own Campbellina & Hairball, The Magnificent.

Thank heavens, as we won't have to pay them S.A.G. daily rates for their good company! These sweet kiddos continue to work for food & pool far .... ha, ha!!

** Super Trouper; speaking of ABBA, can't wait to see Mamma Mia!with our girl posse. Opens this Friday 7/18/2008!

And where is Uncle Rick?
Now that his Super Slide has been placed successfully into action, he has transition into his role as Coach Rick, training athletes (Campbell & Bex) for Cirque's next Aqua Ballet; whose show name is top secret!

Our Beautiful Southern California Peaches

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Getty Villa ~ vacation in our own back yard

Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Saturday drive up to Malibu and we arrive at the Getty Villa.

The Getty Villa in Malibu California houses J. Paul Getty's collection of mostly Greek and Roman antiquties from 500 B.C. to 300 B.C. ~ Modeled after the Villa dei Papiri, a first-century Roman country house in Herculaneum, Italy, it was first constructed in the early 1970s by the architectural firm of Langdon and Wilson. ~ The Villa closed in 1997 for renovations and re-opened for visitors May 2006.

Inner Peristyle Atrium

Columns at entrance to Triclinium room

Outer Peristyle


Word is, the landscaping details are based on elements from ancient Roman houses in the towns of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae. What I can tell you is the water features and gardens are absolutely beautiful!

Later that afternoon, we're at the overlook above Newport Harbor watching boats return from a day at sea; making final notations in their Captain's logs. The red boat is the Harbor police, so hopefully those folks are ship-shape.

Photo Hunt ~ with Bruce & Betty

Enjoyed a fantastic day with our friends Bruce & Betty. Joined their Photography club for a Photo Hunt on the Crystal Cathedral campus, located in Garden Grove, CA. A location rich with subject matter.
Betty is a professional ~ portrait - Photographer, also a wonderfully patient and gifted teacher. How fortunate am I? Bruce was giving me pointers as well; however we segued into telling funny stories ~ correction: Bruce has the funny stories, I was his audience, with ready laughter.
At one point, Betty turned to us and asked "Are you two going to take any pictures, or are you going to chat all day?", our collective response was school children-esque giggles!

I followed Betty around, listening and watching what she chose as subject matter. Not any surprise, she's a popular mentor of other club members too. I picked up a lot, listening and observing; the ever happy apprentice!
While the Crystal Cathedral's gardens and architecture had lots of interest; the water features provided a sense of depth and textural energy that I just really enjoy...hope you do too!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Parent's ~ 50th Wedding Anniversary trip

Pirates of the Mc'Craribbean ~ Sunday Part 2

They say pictures speak louder than words...and these say it all. By the way, the big boy (my sweet husband "Captain Kirk Sparrow" ) in all of the king of the raft shots, told me he slept really well that night. Taking on 3 teenagers the better portion of the afternoon, humm, no kidding! The only things he has "on them" are:
1) height:6'3"/ which they are quickly catching up ( Richard 5'11", Becca 5'5"; Missy 5'7"); and...
2) age: as the ole adage says: "age will over come youth with it's skill & cunning" As they are all A+ students & are on to his wily game, they will soon catch up here too; unfortunately!
He did admit to me "they (now 13-14) are all much stronger this summer!".
Needless to say the Pirates of the Mc'Craribbean all had a wonderful time, on this fine June Sunday afternoon!

Parents ~ 50th wedding anniversary trip

Sunday part 1 ~

When my family arrived, Kirk was attending a guys-only wilderness event in Joshua Tree National Park: rock climbing; zip lines;' orienteering' (huh?); cooking out doors; etc...(bad coffee, lots of sand & dirt; sounds fab?!)
He slept in the back of the Yukon, poor darlin' ~ we are not campers!
He drove in from the desert for church with the crew Sunday am. Following (& because Kirk had missed "mom birthday celebration #1") we all gathered at one of our all time fave OC restaurants, Maggiano's, to once again get our party on. Knew mom would love it: food, atmosphere & they play her beloved Rat Pack music.
What family meal would be complete, at Maggiano's, without their divine Profiteroles for dessert.
Oh my stars, yes, if you're counting ...that's 2 meals + desert back to back.
Where is the Muu-muu shoppe? Thank heaven's, we're next door to South Coast Plaza!
~> It is true, everything does sound better in French: e.g. ~> le grands derrière, vrs:
"... ah, pardon me, Miss Shoppe Girl, what swim suits do you have in stock that will fit a '57 Buick !".
Make the substitution in the request & let me know what you think.
A 1957 Buick: