Desert view

Desert view
Living Desert Reserve, Palm Desert

Saturday, July 2, 2016


Monsoon season has begun here in our Southern California desert region.  I don't ever remember it being this early, but who knows?  I know Arizona has been getting some storms and clouds have been coming up through the Coachella Valley the past several days.  We had one storm this week and another one the last few days.

I looked up about 3:30 p.m. yesterday and the sky to the south of us (over the Santa Rosa mountains) was completely dark.  I could see rain pelting down, so I hopped into the car with my camera and off I went!

Turns out, Pinyon Pines got nearly 1/2 inch of rain!  I missed the downpour on Highway 74, but it was still raining up in Deep Canyon.  I drove around and took photos of all the running water, and there was a LOT!  I even saw a faint rainbow!

It was a good day to get out.

 Storm clouds and palm trees in Palm Desert, on Highway 74.
 Nice clouds
 Parking lot at the trailhead in Pinyon Pines
The aftermath...

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Monsoon season has arrived!

Monsoon season seems to be arriving earlier and earlier each year.  We rarely had it during June.  Now it is quite typical.  It used to be just July and warming?

Anyway, for the last 3 days we've had monsoon clouds and downpours.  I actually took these photos a couple of weeks ago.  I hit some sprinkles out on the freeway yesterday as I was driving to north Indio, to babysit the 8 week old grandson while his sister and parents went to swim lessons at the Palm Desert pool.  They didn't want to take him along with them, out in the heat.  I don't blame them.  It was 114 here yesterday and more of the same for today.  I'm guessing that thunderheads will once again appear over our mountains in the afternoon.

Ugh.  It's one thing to have the HEAT, but when you throw in humidity, it just wears me out!

Monday, June 27, 2016

On the road to Temecula

Our son and his family moved to Temecula last December.  He got a job near there and off they went!  They sold their home here in the desert, but can't afford a home there, so they are renting.

And, now, this next weekend, they are moving to another house because their current owner wishes to sell his!  Oye!  It will be a small house, so it will be easier to keep cool and that's a good thing because last weekend it was 107 in Temecula.  And, our grandson will have to change schools.  His old school only had 2 desktop computer per classroom and NO ipads!  Eh?  In this day and age?

Anyway, there is a really neat place along Highway 79, on the way to Temecula.  It is a metal sculpture garden and folks stop to admire all the metal work.   Here are some pics that I took the last time I drove through there

Saturday, June 25, 2016

I've been AWOL and I RETIRED!

I've been AWOL for quite a while, and part of the reason is that I've retired!  I actually retired 6 weeks before the end of the school year, right before testing.  I realize that sounds like a cheap shot, but I was so completely burned out that there was NO WAY I could stay and handle testing for my students.  I prepped them as best I could, but it is difficult when, out of a class of 22, you have 7 TOTAL NON-READERS in 3rd grade!  How are they supposed to handle common core?  They can't even read the math problems!  Plus, I had very little administrative support, and a principal who was openly hostile.

Finally, our daughter had a new baby, her first boy, on April 29, so I took that day off and retired the next day.  I've been busy babysitting the little bundle of joy.

We haven't traveled far.  Our dog, Ripley, is now nearly 9 years old, and she doesn't handle staying home alone well.  Last summer she got OUT of our front yard (she clawed her way through our fence), and a neighbor down on the corner, down the street, found her and called me in Arizona.  Thank GOD I picked up the call!  He stuffed her back inside our fence and plugged it up as best he could, and we cut short our vacation and got home from eastern Arizona (we were up on the Mogollon Rim) the next day.  There she was, panting at us...

Actually, this Memorial Day, we were able to take her with us up to Idyllwild to the Silver Pines Lodge.  We had our own little cabin there and our daughter and her family had a large one with a full kitchen. Their neighbors also went up a day later.  They have a son who is 18 months younger than our granddaughter, who is 3, and the two get along very well.  We all had a good time and Ripley behaved very well.  She was good with ALL the people and the 2 dogs on premises.  I took her out for some long walks and she was very interested in the squirrels and blue jays!

We're thinking about staying around here for the summer, but taking a trip to the Sierra this fall, when the leaves change colors.  We can do that now that we are BOTH retired!  Hubby actually retired 6 weeks after I did.  He still works from home a couple of days a week, but it is less pressure for him.  We are both finding that our bodies are exhausted and we are both taking LONG afternoon naps.  Most desert dwellers do that anyway here in the desert, as do the animals!  I'm finding that it has really taken me 6 weeks to de-stress!  Hubby is finding that out, too.

Here are some photos I took recently...

Thank you for stopping by!
~Cheryl Ann~

We visited Joshua Tree in May.  We went mid-week, something which we could NEVER do while we were both working.  We almost had the part to ourselves!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Desert Wildflowers 032616

I'm still around.  I have two other blogs:  my Deep Canyon one and my desert horses one and, with working full time, I haven't had the time (or energy) to maintain 3 blogs!  I'm on spring break for the next 9 days, so maybe I'll have time to come back and "massage" this one?  I miss all of you.  I'm actually retiring as of April 30, 2016, so I'll have more time for things at home.  Frankly, I CANNOT wait to retire!

I went out a couple of weekends ago and took some photos of the verbena and sand dunes down by the Coachella Valley Preserve.  I took a tumble on some rocks up in Whitewater Canyon, fell on my left knee, and stumbled on my right leg.  My camera (my good Canon) fell to the ground, but it wasn't damaged (THANK GOODNESS!).  At this time, I would NOT have been able to replace it!  In fact, I drove out to the preserve to take photos after my tumble and, as you can see, the camera worked just fine.  I DID go to urgent care the next day as my left kneee and my right ankle were BOTH throbbling.  Turns out, I sprained both of them.  I got 3 days off work to rest! :-)

There is NO WAY I can finish this school year.  I am both physically and mentally EXHAUSTED.  I was actually off school today (Good Friday), and I slept for 12 hours last night.  I'm tired every afternoon.  I'm coming home at 4:00 p.m. and by 6:30 p.m., I'm ASLEEP each and every night!  That just isn't right.  I'm taking an early retirement and I've sent in all my required forms.  With 3 grandchildren and another one due late April/early May, I also wish to spend more time with the grandkids.

Take care.
Cheryl Ann

Monday, January 19, 2015

Whitewater Preserve~Whimsical Windows and Delirious Doors~011915

Hubby and I headed over to the Whitewater Preserve yesterday morning.  There was a beautiful sunrise, thanks to the high clouds, and I knew it wouldn't be cold up there.  In fact, once we got there, I took off my jacket!

It's always such a different world there.  From the desert, you take Interstate 10 and exit at the Whitewater exit.  You follow the road until it dead ends at the preserve, which is open daily, unless the Whitewater River has shut down the road.  There are ponds of trout up there (NO fishing!), a ranger station, picnic tables, and nice, clean bathrooms!  There are also lots of hiking trails.  We often see bighorn sheep up on the cliffs and if you get there early in the morning, a hawk goes screaming by!

These were taken in and around the ranger station.  They have lots of useful information there, so DO stop by and talk to the volunteers and rangers!

Saturday, January 17, 2015


Do you ever have days like this?  I'm having one today...sigh...just don't want to do ANYTHING!