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Volume 4531
Photos by Bill and Sue-On ~ Captions by Sue-On

A Fantastic California Desert Retreat
Hosted by Robin Maxwell and Max Thomas

We were greeted by our two loveliest friends and hosts: 
Robin Maxwell, well-known novelist and 
her husband, yoga master and healer Max Thomas
- a very talented couple! 
This was our home 
for three glorious days of relaxation 
after a fun-filled busy 4 days at the 
Centennial Edgar Rice Burroughs Dumdum in Tarzana.
A Joshua tree sentinel...
The sleeping porch at the back of the casita. 
There is a large bedroom inside 
as well as sofa beds for more guests.
Who would not want to sleep in this porch?! 
The nights were cool but required only a sheet for covering. 
It was so quiet, with only the sound of crickets,
the night breeze, 
and the lovely fragrance of the desert and the plants.
Six years ago, there was a devastating fire
that ripped thru' the area, 
killing hundreds of the ancient Joshua trees and critters. 
Max and Robin escaped only by driving thru' walls of flames.
Their artist friend Tom Ellis built this waterfall after the fire, 
to encourage them to stay and rebuild. 
Thankfully, they stayed.
This is such a soothing sound, day and night, 
a sign of hope and renewal.
Max keeps stocking the pond 
with gold fish in spite of hawks...
In the distance, rolling hills and more. 
Max and Robin took us to the top... incredible...
Max readies the BBQ for supper.
Sue-On was envious of the unit...
and the interesting metal bench on the side. 
It felt cool and surprisingly comfortable.
It was clouding up a bit over the hill 
where the windmill and solar collectors are. 
The area had a major rain a couple days ago. 
It poured for over an hour, 
and the desert vegetation was coming alive!
Robin asks, 
"Got the BBQ fired up yet? 
I'll pass the food thru' the other window."
Sue-On could not resist trying out the BBQ...
Salmon steaks, grilled vegetables, prepped by Robin...
Is this the olive oil to use? 
Love the kitchen!
Max thought I did pretty well with supper. 
Robin's dishes belonged to her aunt. 
They are of my favourite colour! 
The shape is a leaf. 
To stack then properly, 
you have to match up the stem vein on the leaf - 
so clever!
The three amigos enjoying first meal together in Eden.
Grilled salmon, red peppers, squash, pasta 
with Robin's homemade pesto. 
She added an ingredient I have never heard of before: 
a non-dairy parmasan cheese...
must find out the name of the ingredient. 
The grilled salmon and vegetables were 
accompanied by pasta dressed with 
Robin's delicious basil and brown rice parmasan cheese pesto. 
Max and Robin are on the same wave length as Bill and I. . .
THREE kinds of ice cream and yogurt for dessert :-)))
The view from the main house back porch. 
It doesn't matter from what room,
there is a beautiful view through the windows.
I'm in love with this chair!
It wouldn't fit in the Honda... : (
A ficus THIS size in the house! 
Max and Robin brought this baby with them 
when they moved from their Topanga Canyon home. 
That was a beautiful area to drive through - 
lots of gorgeous homes, but also many rustic artists abodes...
Through out Eden, Max has set up seating areas. 
These are all well thought out,
for the best vantage point or for meditation.
Ahhhh...I have arrived - casita kitchen! 
It was well equipped, but we mainly did brunch here. 
All four of us "worked" in the morning,
leaving the afternoon for play ;-)
Posh, you think? 
We never cracked open the TV cabinet at all...
The main bedroom...
Lovely door, isn't it?
I'm set for my bedtime coffee...
Yeah...I know...crazy, 
but coffee helps me sleep!
One last check for emails before bedtime. 
Bill giving the solar and 
wind power batteries a real workout.
So, what better substitute than a good book - 
The Wild Irish by Robin Maxwell. 
She keeps her book shelves well-stocked 
with quality reading material ;-)
 Soon, the sun is behind the hills. 
All's quiet except for the gentle whirrrr of the windmill, 
the tingle of water in the fountain, 
and the distant bark of a neighbor's dog...
Bedtime came gently at the end of our first night in Eden.

Hillmans' High Desert Eden Adventure

ERBzine 4529  or  HillmanWeb
1. The Journey
2. Arrival
3. Explorations
4. Pappy and Herriot's
5. Adventure Continues
6. Departure
7. Pioneertown
8. Route 66 


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