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April 7, 2020

Cathy Snodgrass was born and raised in Freeport, Texas, a small town down the coast of Galveston, Texas. Her first experience with desert was watching western movies. 

In 1976, driving through what was then Joshua Tree National Monument, Cathy rounded a mountain and found herself looking down on the 'quaint' town where she and her then Marine husband would be stationed. Cathy knew immediately this was home and made it a condition of her second marriage that they never leave 29 Palms – that was 40 years ago. Cathy will tell you, “I’m very heart bound to the area”.

In this episode, Cathy describes a time she went back to Texas to visit, she says she couldn't wait to get back to the desert, feeling "smothered by all the green."

Over...

March 24, 2020

Artist and founder of Earth House Studios, Sharon Davis creates colorful art and installations at her home in Morongo Valley.

Sharon and I bonded as two Jersey girls, so you might get hungry listening to the beginning of this episode.

Sharon left NJ for the first time in in 1974 and came to California, landing in Huntington Beach, moving on to Moreno Valley, then Palm Springs. After that she's moved between the east coast and Texas, Virginia and Maryland, with a few stops back to California in between.

Her first desert experience was in Palm Springs, which Sharon found to be way too hot. When she did decide to come back west, having some pretty specifics requirements for her property, she thought she'd land in Pioneertown, but fou...

March 10, 2020

Like the roots of the honey mesquite and creosote, Robin Kobaly's desert roots go deep. Her immediate family moved to Morongo Valley when she was 2 years old. At six, Robin had an extraordinary experience with desert wildflowers - an experience she was hesitant to share, being part of a scientific community, fearing her work would not be taken seriously. 

In her studies of plants, Robin also came to appreciate the ways in which Native Americans used plants dyes for basket-weaving, textiles and ceremonial paints and tells a story about the dye found in prickly pear cactus.

Studying plants with her mother in the Morongo Valley, they would collect and sometimes serve them for dinner. "My brothers were always petrified about what the...

February 25, 2020

Carol 'Dusty' Seddon's first desert experience was in and around the Mojave near Apple Valley in the mid-90’s accompanying a group of friends from an Orange County college, who were coming out to perform archeological digs.  Dusty immediately fell in love with the feel of the desert – the dry air, the quiet and so much different than what she’d know in the suburbs. On these digs they mostly found tools, stones used in cooking, and maybe bits of pottery.

In October of 2005, returning from a Mitchell Caverns trip, Dusty was looking for a more adventurous route back home to Orange County.  She pulled out a map and found a route that would bring her through Amboy, to a place she’d heard of called, Joshua Tree.

As dark fell, Dusty foun...

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 desertladydiaries@gmail.com 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...

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