February 11, 2020

 PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Tucker

Trained as a painter, Mary Addison Hackett also practices in photography, video and other time-based projects.

Mary Addison's first experience with desert was on family vacation – three of them – from her hometown of Nashville to the Grand Canyon, Tucson, Mexico and other natural desert wonders along the way.  Even then, Mary Addison had a camera and to document her trips.

Though impressed with the natural and cultural aspects of these desert trips, Mary Addison doesn’t recall having any aspirations of moving to the desert.

Mary Addison’s next desert encounter came in the late 90’s while working for a post-production house out of Chicago. A project with a director in Santa Monica, brought Mary Addison west...

January 28, 2020

 Born in New Jersey and raised in New York's Hudson Valley, Cynthia Marie loves to drive cross-country - she's done it six times.  On one of those trips, she found herself nearly out of gas and calling Roy's in Amboy, CA, asking them to keep the pumps open for just a bit longer so she could gas up and make it to Joshua Tree for the night. As is the desert way, the obliged.

Still working in graphic design, Cynthia went to art school to study Printmaking. The school required their sophomores to take one class that felt out of their comfort zone - Cynthia chose metal fab(rication) sculpture and fell in love. Cynthia has worked in both the artistic and production sides of welding. Starting making furniture and then moved over to the...

January 14, 2020

Here we are at the start of another new year where, as with life, change is the only constant.

And it snowed in the desert!

A quick 15 minute episode welcoming you back and highlighting what to look for as the podcast launches into it's third year.

Happy 2020!

December 10, 2019

For this episode of the podcast, listeners were invited to send in one question they wanted me to answer. 

Here's a sampling of some of the questions answered in this episode:

"What makes Dawn Davis produce the Desert Lady Diaries?"

"When and how did you become a voice over artist?"

"Would you talk about the process of how each episode gets made from start to finish?"

"Why do folks here keep the hood of their car raised while it's parked?"

"Did you move here to be close to the park?"

And several more. I hope you enjoy it - and if you ever have a question, you don't need to wait for an episode like this to get it answered. Send an email to and I'll answer.

December 3, 2019

It was a lunch hour trip to the California Museum of Photography in Riverside, where Julia first experienced Joshua Tree. The exhibit was the result an annual photographic expedition to Joshua Tree National Park. Finding out it was an annual event, Julia put it in her heart to attend and take photos the next year - and she did.

During that weekend, Julia says her soul shifted and, “I felt really connected to the area for reasons I couldn’t explain.”

After a number of trips back and forth to visit from her home in the Corona area, Julia moved to the desert in 2010, at a time when the local housing market was in decline. She and her then partner found a three bedroom, two bath house for $50,000. The downsides were Julia was still wo...

November 26, 2019

Cheryl's first experience with desert was in the early 80’s, driving to Palm Springs for Spring Break with a friend - and her friend’s grandmother drove them around Palm Springs to see the sights.

After that, Cheryl started coming out to the desert on her own, not really knowing about Joshua Tree until a former boyfriend suggested they visit a place he used to rock climb. On arrival, Cheryl was so taken with the place, she asked him to stop the car, so she could get out and take in the unique landscape and wide open space.

Eventually, LA traffic and other factors began to wear on Cheryl and she decided to come out and try living in the desert for a year.

From an early age, Cheryl was told she was creative and remembers always work...

November 19, 2019

Kathleen Lowndes is proof that attitude is everything.

Kathleen's first experience with desert was on a family move from Upstate NY to Inglewood California via the infamous Route 66 – Kathleen was eight years old. She recently found a black and white photo from 1955 of her family under a Joshua tree in Kingman AZ.

After Kathleen's mother died in 1998, Kathleen grieved for a year - sitting in bed, knitting and crocheting. After grieving, her roommate had a stroke and decided to take their recovery in their homeland of Sweden to take advantage of the lifetime healthcare.

Having been invited to stay with friends in Banning, California, Kathleen gave up the apartment in Laguna Beach, put her things in storage until she decided how she...

November 12, 2019

Imagine driving into the desert, a place of wide open spaces where you can see for miles, and not being able to breathe. This was Mary Sojourner's first experience with desert, somewhere between Parker, AZ and 29 Palms.

Mary had moved west in 1985 from Rochester NY ‘to write and fight for the earth'. It was Edward Abbey’s ‘Monkey Wrench Gang’, which spoke to  her loud and clear.

In 2007 Mary felt Flagstaff changing – gentrification as we know it today was happening. Mary was living in a small cabin with a wood stove, no running water, sharing a shower house and outhouse with other cabin dwellers. The landlord cashed in and rents were to be raised significantly.

At the same time, a chance encounter with a representative of Mojave De...

November 5, 2019

Dawn Rowe's first experience with desert was driving to Las Vegas for a Marine Corps Ball. Alan, her late husband, needed something for his uniform and decided they would drive the back way to Vegas, passing the Marine Base in 29Palms where he would pick it up at the PX. Driving up the Morongo grade and then down into the valley, Dawn remembers her first thought was "Who lives out here?”  And now she does – falling in love with a community where she's become a very involved and active citizen, all the way to her current position as San Bernardino Third District Supervisor.

Prior to coming to the desert, Alan’s military career found them spending a lot of time in the San Diego area, then Virginia and on to 29 Palms. After landing...

October 28, 2019

Janelle Pietrzak's first experience with desert came while driving cross country from Philadelphia, to a new job in LA. Traveling with her partner, Robert, it was July and they made a stop in Marfa, TX, then on to Joshua Tree for two nights  – most of which was spent at an aquatic center in Palm Desert (40 miles away from Joshua Tree) to escape the heat.

Janelle has always working in textiles and even though she spent 10 years in the fashion industry doing fabric sourcing, she knew as soon as she began working in the industry, it wasn't for her – the roles in which she found herself were did not allow her to be hands-on or a maker of things – except coffee and files.

Janelle started weaving as a hobby and became obsessed, making m...

Please reload

​© 2017 by Desert Lady Diaries.