Laura Luna P

Community Builder, Cultural Curator, Facilitator & Bon Vivant

West Adams, Band of Vices Art Gallery & Chelle Barbour’s “You Is Pretty!” Surrealism and The Black Imaginary curated by Angela Bassett

A few weeks ago on Friday afternoon, I took a drive down the 10 from my NELA (Northeast LA) neighborhood to visit the Band of Vices gallery located in West Adams to view Chelle Barbour’s first solo exhibition “You Is Pretty!” Surrealism and The Black Imaginary curated by Angela Bassett.

 Band of Vices Art Gallery - West Adams

Band of Vices Art Gallery - West Adams


Band of Vices gallery is located on the corner of West Adams and Burnside Ave in the beautiful West Adams neighborhood. I admittedly don’t get out NELA or Downtown much these days. The amount of new restaurants and shoppes popping up in my own neighborhood makes it so easy to stay in my hood. I grew up in the Inland Empire and don’t know very much about the history of West Adams so I consulted not only the internet and some folks I know for more info on this beautiful neighborhood full of Craftsman homes and public art. After some research, I found out that West Adams is not only one of the oldest neighborhoods in LA (most buildings were built between 1880-1925) but also was one of the wealthiest districts in the city. Its streets are lined with Craftsman and Victorian homes that once housed some of the wealthiest people in LA. At around 1910, when Beverly Hills and the Westside started developing, West Adams saw a shift. By the mid 20th century, white flight was in full effect and West Adams became a hub for affluent Black Americans. The area was home to notable Black celebrities such as Ray Charles, Johnny Otis, Marvin Gaye, Hattie Daniels, Paul Williams and Sugar Ray Robinson.

Band of Vices co-owners Melvin A. Marshall and Terrell Tilford opened Band of Vices in May of this year (to a sold our show by artist April Bey, no less). In its first year, Band of Vices has committed to showing emerging and mid-career women artists of the African Diaspora (April Bey, Sharon Louise Barnes & Chelle Barbour). Tilford and Marshall are not at all newcomers to the art world, Tilforld holds a Masters from Rutgers and Marshall is currently on sabbatical from a PhD in Art History (he is the former Chief Curator at MoCADA in Brooklyn, NY). While Band of Vices is the first gallery they’ve co-owned together, they have worked together curating exhibitions in LA, NY and Oakland for almost two decades.

 Melvin A Marshall

Melvin A Marshall

 Terell Tilford

Terell Tilford

The intentionality of the space is palpable upon walking into the gallery. Tilford grew up in this neighborhood and has spoken before about the importance of pushing back against the gentrification happening in West Adams. Two Black gallery owners intentionally installing shows by artists who are Black women in their inaugural year makes a strong statement of that intentionality. Especially when so many people of color are currently being displaced from their neighborhoods here in Southern California.

 Free Your Mind, Chelle Barbour 2018

Free Your Mind, Chelle Barbour 2018

Currently on view in the gallery and what I intentionally went to visit the gallery for is work by artist Chelle Barbour. Ms. Barbour’s work for You Is Pretty takes images of Black women in print and re-configures them, using collage to create beautiful Surrealist and Afrofuturistic images. In her work, we see Black women centered, elevated, armored and adorned. The show is guest curated by the Matriarch in the record setting film Black Panther, Angela Bassett.

Chelle Barbour has the rare artistic gift of being able to elevate a people, in this case, the Black woman, to heights of majesty an complexity that is so often overlooked in society and our everyday lives
— Angela Bassett
 Don’t Get It Twisted, Chelle Barbour 2018

Don’t Get It Twisted, Chelle Barbour 2018

My first thought while interacting with the work in You Is Pretty, my first thought was “Octavia Butler!”, then my thoughts went to the work of folks like Ayana A. H. Jamieson & Moya Bailey for the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, adrienne marie brown and Kim Katrin Milan. The common thread for me in the work of the folks mentioned (based on my own interaction with their work) is that they invite us to not only imagine but work towards a world where we are all free. In that work we MUST center the freedom of Black women.

What ‘cyberpunk’ author William Gibson does for young, disaffected white fans…Octavia Butler does for people of color. She gives us a future.
— Vibe Review of Octavia Butler's Fledgeling

Ms. Barbour’s work for You Is Pretty, gives us a visual for that future that Vibe spoke of. Textures, adornments, joy, fierceness, love, rage, protection and metamorphosis. Each piece in the show commands respect. It pulls you in to interact with it daring you to step closer to take in the details and intricacies. The body of work flows together without competing with each other. A visual representation of the saying “Queens see Queens”.


”….Thus, says Kimberle Crenshaw in “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex”, ‘Black women’s Blackness or femaleness sometimes has placed their needs and perspectives at the margin of the feminist and Black liberationist agendas.” Barbour has had enough of black women being relegated to the sidelines, thus she has placed them as the main protagonists.”

Melvin Marshall

 Becoming, Chelle Barbour 2018

Becoming, Chelle Barbour 2018

In her video On #Selfies, Shame, Self & #Community Love, Kim Katrin Milan states: '“There's so many different reasons why artists throughout history have chosen to record people. And you know if we look around in museums all over the world, we'll see the people who normally get represented. And they're normally not womyn of color, they're normally not trans womyn, they're normally not men of color...they're normally the same kinds of people that get to be commemorated in museums, in art galleries, in film, on most magazines, in most books.” Other than interacting with the pieces in You Is Pretty, what was the most refreshing to me was being in an art space for an afternoon and not having to interact with whiteness. The gallery is Black owned in a historically Black neighborhood and the art on the walls featured all Black subjects. When going to other art institutions in the city, I am forced to interact with whiteness in order to get to the few pieces that include people of color and/or Black folks and even when I find BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) in the art, rarely are they relegated to positions of royalty and strength as they are in Ms. Barbour’s work.

In the exhibition essay for You Is Pretty, Melvin Marshall writes “…In these collages, Barbour is arguing on behalf of black women for their genius, their humanity, their beauty, their dignity, their intellect, their independence, their curiosity, their imagination and the endless possibilities that these qualities engender regarding their very existence.” It is time for those of us who are NOT Black women to take a step back, listen to Black women, let them lead by giving them positions of power and trust their brilliance. Our existence literally depends on it.

Support Black Artists * Support Black Galleries* Support Black Businesses



Extra!!!! In much gratitude with Mr. Melvin Marshall from Band of Vices for this very last minute interview which he graciously granted me the day I went to visit the gallery. I apologize in advance for the sound quality and the fact that it’s unedited. I really wanted to make sure it accompanied this piece. Let me know what you think!


Chelle Barbour’s “YOU IS PRETTY!” Surrealism & the Black Imaginary With Guest Curator Angela Bassett currently on view at Band of Vices through October 25, 2018 (with an artist talk on Saturday October 6, 2018)

Band of Vices, 5376 W. Adams Blvd.; (323) 480-4220, bandofvices.com; Wed.-Sat., noon-5 p.m.; free

Many thanks to Alyssa Hernandez-Navarro & Allison Simon for research assistance on this piece.

Coloring Butch Lesbians at Bookshow

Last night was a perfect night in NELA.  After yoga, I headed over to BOOKSHOW for their Coloring Night.  On deck last evening was a selection of pages from Stacked Deck Press Butch Lesbians Coloring Books. These coloring books (there are two of them, broken down by decades 20's, 30's & 40's and 50's 60's & 70's). The books are jam packed with beautifully handsome butches spanning the decades.  You'll definitely want to get your hands on a copy. 

butch coloring book.jpg

The organizers had snacks, wine, pages from the book, colored pens and created a great environment. It was lovely to see stories being exchanged and some really great inter-generational dialogue happening that was sparked by the pages/butches in the books.  Bookshow even raffled off a coloring book for one of the attendees!  I met some really great folks and got invited to one of Bookshow's many monthly events Collage & Cry! Collage & Cry is a donation based community night where you can make a collage (materials provided!) and crying is welcome.  Sounds like a great night for this emo Pisces gal.  

Check out the pics below from last night's event and if you're in LA, check out Bookshow's website and facebook page for info on all the happenings.  Support your local feminist and woman owned space! 

 

 Lynn Ballen giving an impromptu herstory lesson to one of the attendees

Lynn Ballen giving an impromptu herstory lesson to one of the attendees

 Event Organizers L to R Tara Avery (Publisher),  Pamela Brooks, Lynn Ballen, Angela Brooks & Bookshow owner Jen Hitchcock (bottom). 

Event Organizers L to R Tara Avery (Publisher),  Pamela Brooks, Lynn Ballen, Angela Brooks & Bookshow owner Jen Hitchcock (bottom). 

Coloring Party

National Meditation Day + My Personal Mindfulness Journey

May 31st is National Meditation Day and I thought I'd celebrate by reflecting on my personal mindfulness journey and share some tips and tricks that help me in my personal practice so hopefully they'll be helpful to you too! 

Throughout my 20's and early 30's I always had a "mini" on and off meditation practice.  I was never super consistent with it. My late 30's brought some amazing folks into my life (IRL) and those folks really changed the way I think about meditation, self care and SLOWING DOWN as a mindful living practice.  Check out their links and mini bios below and give them a follow! I'm so honored to know these folks in person and also thankful for their support in my mindfulness practices. If you're in the Los Angeles area, check out their sites for info on how to work with them (some of them also offer virtual offerings, so if you're not in the LA area, you can work with them from anywhere)! 

OMGirlAlli

1. Alli Simon - Alli (She/Her) is a 200RYT certified yoga & meditation teacher (Black | Queer | Femme) from Los Angeles who believes that holistic healing can be used as a tool for individual and community transformation. Her heart-work is focused on meditation, mindfulness practices and increasing access to alternative self-care rituals for marginalized bodies, people & communities for healing and becoming more present. Alli currently teaches regularly at EveryBody Gym and at Crenshaw Yoga & Dance Studio in South LA.

Alli was the first person I met who I witnessed having a VERY SERIOUS meditation practice.  Being able to witness the ways that mindfulness had helped her through some seriously traumatic times in her life and seeing her now flourish and help others find peace in their own practice was such a beautiful example to me. 

 

Sofia Rose Smith

2. Sofia Rose Smith -  Sofia (She/Her) is a certified community counselor through the Southern CA Counseling Center. She has received advanced training as an intuitive channel. She has been facilitating groups for twenty years, and is gifted at creating a safe container for all beings. She is also an attuned Reiki and energy healer, and has  many teachers from various indigenous and spiritual traditions. She is passionate about serving communities on the margins: queer & trans folks, women and femmes, people of color, and those moving through various challenges that are not only personal but political.

Sofia is a beautiful soul and very powerful bruja.  The way she incorporates mindfulness into her ceremonies and circles is so beautiful.  I love her attention to detail, open heart and love of nature.  Her voice is also super soothing and very conducive to a beautiful meditative practice. 

 

 Photo by:  The Well Media

Photo by: The Well Media

3. Charlotte Nguyen - Charlotte Nguyen (she/her) is a multilingual (Vietnamese-French- English) human rights worker, trauma sensitive meditation instructor, radical life coach, educator, and proud Asian-American queer.

I first encountered Charlotte through her Mindful Revolution FREE on-line workshop she hosted where she got together some amazing thought and spiritual leaders from around the country and when I say I learned A LOT. She opened each session with a short but sweet meditation moment and to be honest I looked forward to EVERY. SINGLE. SESSION. I got some really valuable tips that helped my personal practice and was introduced to some really brilliant folks. Charlotte is as sweet, loving and peaceful in person as she is online and I am honored to know her. 

Another thing that really gave my meditation practice was going to my FIRST silent meditation retreat.  I'd heard about silent retreats from my homegirl Sheena and Alli. Both of them were people in my life who had participated in Vippasana. I was always in AWE of their 10 FULL DAYS in silence.  I think the only time I was ever in silence for more than 10 min was when I was sleeping lol.  I didn't have 10 days to commit to a retreat because work and life. Cut to Agape. I'd recently started to attend Agape International Spiritual Center in the fall and I was falling deeper and deeper in love with the teachings there and of the healing I felt when I attended.  They announced a 4 day silent meditation retreat for New Years in Joshua Tree and I felt not only super called to attend but also knew that 4 days felt super doable. So, I signed up. 

 

 Reminders from Michael Bernard Beckwith 

Reminders from Michael Bernard Beckwith 

I'm going to be honest.  The process wasn't easy.  I went by myself, knew NO ONE and was going to be meditating for HOURS.  There were lectures and yoga/tai chi and some delicious vegan meals in between but this was definitely out of my comfort zone.  The silence, the food, the not knowing anyone and even the accommodations (they weren't HORRIBLE but as I said before, my idea of "Camping" is the Marriot lol).  Also, if you know me personally, you know that I'm NOT a morning person.  The first meditation was at 6am. THAT. WAS. HARD. 

 No Shoes and No Talking During Practice 

No Shoes and No Talking During Practice 

While I'm NOT a morning person, there was something very beautiful and spiritual about waking up before the sun came up and walking out and seeing sunrises like this:

 I don't know if I could ever describe my love of the desert. 

I don't know if I could ever describe my love of the desert. 

By day 2, I'd written in my journal more than I had in the last 6 months COMBINED.  The free time to walk in nature was a salve for my soul and the time we spent in silence and chanting really cleared my mind and brought so much healing to my heart.  I missed my friends but I was so thankful to be able to spend that time coming home to myself.  Especially at the end of the year/beginning of a new year. 

 La Luna Meeting Me Outside <3 

La Luna Meeting Me Outside <3 

I put my phone on airplane mode the whole time I was at the retreat. I don't remember the last time I was away from social media and texts for that long. 4 whole days of silence. As scary as it was, it was so beautiful, freeing and healing.  I'm definitely looking forward to doing it again and would recommend it to anyone looking for a little reset. 

 Last Day Glow&nbsp;

Last Day Glow 

Currently, my practice fluctuates between 5-20 min a day. I try to meditate first thing in the morning (I find it to be the best time to practice). If I practice in the morning I like to pair my sit with a visualization exercise of visualizing and affirming how my day will go.  If I don't have time to practice in the morning, I'll practice in the evening right before bed. The upside to practicing before bed is that the breathing helps your body slow down and get ready for sleep mode.  If I'm going through something challenging, I try to up my sits to 30min to 1 hour.  I really feel going the extra time kicks me into "clear head" gear and helps my response to the difficult situations that come up.  

In honor of National Meditation Day, I've compiled a mini list of tips from me to you <3.  I hope you find them helpful.  Let me know in the comments what you think or shoot me an email or DM. Happy Sitting. 

 

Laura Luna's Meditation Tips

  1. Start SMALL! If you've never meditated before, be gentle with yourself.  Our society is notorious for GO GO GO and doesn't encourage us to SLOW DOWN.  Start with 1-5 min and see how that feels then keep adding more time as it feels right for you.  This is YOUR practice. Make it personal.  
  2. Set the MOOD. When time allows, I like to set the meditation mood by sitting on my cushion in front of my altar, lighting some candles and/or incense. Having a multi sensory experience really helps me go deeper. 
  3. Get a little help from technology. If you're reading this, you probably have a smart phone. There are several amazing meditation apps that have FREE components to them on the market.  My all time fave is Insight Timer. I love that you can search by teacher, you can do guided meditations based on mood or issue and you can also just use the "Timer" setting and set it to whatever time you'd like and add ambient sounds (my fave is Deep Om".  There are also amazing meditations on YouTube and Soundcloud if you don't want to download any of the apps. 
  4. Be gentle with yourself. Treat yourself like you would a bestie. Don't beat yourself up if you skip a day (or 5, like I have). One thing Alli always tells me is that meditation is a PRACTICE. We're not always going to be perfect or meditate 2 hours a day Every. Single. Day. (if you do, you are a super human and I applaud you). It's so important to just come back to ourselves when we are ready to and get still.  In that stillness, I promise you'll find some peace. 

 

LANDWHALE Book Tour LA Stop at The Plus Bus- Panel Recap

Hi babes! Last Thursday I was invited to sit on a panel at The Plus Bus with Bevin and Saucye West for Jes Bakers LA stop for her newly released book Landwhale 

 

 they gave me a mic, y'all lol&nbsp;  photo by  Angelia Luciana

they gave me a mic, y'all lol 

photo by Angelia Luciana

I had such a great time! We talked dating while fat, finding our way back when we're having "bad" days, community, how being vulnerable can change our lives and how Fat Tumblr has literally saved so many of our lives <3 We also shared and crowsourced some ways to deal with the (mostly) fat phobic Medical Industrial Complex.  Special thanks to Bevin for moderating such a great conversation! 

I loved being in community for the evening with cute fat babes and our allies. 

 The brilliant and beautiful crowd at The Plus Bus&nbsp;  Photo by  Angelina Luciana

The brilliant and beautiful crowd at The Plus Bus 

Photo by Angelina Luciana

It had been a while since I've been in a space that intentionally centered fat folks and to be honest, it felt super amazing and beautiful. I'm so glad I was able to share space and hear folks stories and bring some of my own.  Thanks to Jes Baker for inviting me and for writing this book. Books by and for fat people are needed! MORE PLEASE! 

 

 Living a life full of JOY&nbsp;

Living a life full of JOY 

 my soul sister, Lana and I.&nbsp;  photo by:  Jessica Hinkle

my soul sister, Lana and I. 

photo by: Jessica Hinkle

 happy happy&nbsp;  Thanks to  The Plus Bus  for this lovely dress &lt;3

happy happy 

Thanks to The Plus Bus for this lovely dress <3

Thanks to the folks at Dia & Co, Jess has a few more stops on her Landwhale book tour! Check out the tour dates that are left HERE. 

I LOVE LOVE LOVE being on panels, hosting workshops and doing interviews/podcasts! Get in contact with me HERE to book me! 

You can watch the video of our full conversation below and let me know what you think! 

City Girl Adventures: Joshua Tree Edition

Joshua Tree, CA.

I feel like everyone in my life has been there but I've always cast it to the side.  Nevermind that it was one of my first loves' favorite place or that all my witchy friends love it or that all the hipsters in my life also love it. NAHHHHH I always thought I was too bourgeois/High Maintenance for the place.  WHY would I go there? I'd rather spend the money and go to the Bay Area. 

Well.  When someone (heyyy Allison)  decides to do all the planning (and the days happen to fall between her Splendid Mola writing + yoga retreat  in Idyllwild and her 3 day meditation retreat at Vippassana) and you're already going to be in the area (shout out to my BFF Alexa's AMAZINGLY LUXE birthday plans at PGA West this year), you pack all your "Desert Looks" (Literally, ALL. You should have seen how packed the trunk of my car was -______-) and say YES to LIFE!

I left La Quinta to head to Joshua Tree early in the afternoon.  The drive there was a little over an hour.  Not bad.  The scenery was cute.  Your typical Desert Vibe with some windfarm windmill action. Cool. I drove into the main drag in Joshua Tree. Small town feel mixed with hipster and overpriced vintage shoppes. I'm an adventurous gal, so hey, lets do this! 

I was hungry so we decided to meet up for lunch at Crossroads Cafe. I was actually excited to try it since during my very limited Joshua Tree internet research this was one of the main places that came up. Walked in, there were tons of folks with Tattoos and some people of color. and then there was Alli sitting at the bar waiting for me. Good. I had the Pioneer sandwich, a side of Mac n Cheese (which was delicious!!!!) and an IPA. Delish. 

After our meal, we got into our cars and headed to our Homestead for the weekend.  Ok, here's where it gets interesting. The place is about 10 minutes from the main street in Joshua Tree and is accessible via DIRT ROADS. It's like you live in the city for so long you don't remember what driving on a non-paved road is like until you're rocking & rolling.  For the most part it was fine. I just had to literally slow my roll BUT IT WA ALL WORTH IT BECAUSE OMG the place was amazing!!! The name of our home away from home in Joshua Tree was Mojave Green.  Mojave Green is owned and operated by Leafe and Katherine of Joshua Tree Vacations. Alli booked it on AirBnB and wow what a find. 

 

 The lovely welcome Mojave Green gave us.&nbsp;

The lovely welcome Mojave Green gave us. 

We walk in and WOW. All the details.  This place is decorated so perfect. I immediately walked around and Snapchatted the whole thing (because social media).  The kitchen was so cute. The outdoor shower made from recycled bottles was amazing (don't worry, there's an indoor  shower too!) and THE HOT TUB!!! Yes. the outdoor hot tub.  I couldn't wait to get in it.  

 Look at that sky!&nbsp;

Look at that sky! 

 Outdoor lounge chairs + Chimenea with pre-cut wood ready to fire up

Outdoor lounge chairs + Chimenea with pre-cut wood ready to fire up

 Driftwood Dreamcatcher over the bed&nbsp;

Driftwood Dreamcatcher over the bed 

 Vintage Canned Water - Usually these were donated by Anheuser Busch to victims of natural disasters. A great design touch by the folks at Mojave Green&nbsp;

Vintage Canned Water - Usually these were donated by Anheuser Busch to victims of natural disasters. A great design touch by the folks at Mojave Green 

After exploring the homestead, I settled us in with some vodka tonics (extra lime!) and we changed into our swimsuits and got in the hot tub to watch the sunset.  I felt so free since there wasn't any neighbors super close so I took this pic (hello can we talk about how we should all be able to be topless? I mean, it felt so freeing!!) 

 Feeling Free - photo by Alli&nbsp;

Feeling Free - photo by Alli 

 Beautiful Sunset on Day 1&nbsp;

Beautiful Sunset on Day 1 

Day 2 was Joshua Tree National Park Day!!! We got up, made breakfast (well, Alli made breakfast because she's the best cook), got ready and headed out! I was determined to get the best Desert Witch outfit because I just KNEW the photo ops were going to be ABUNDANT. I was taking forever to get dressed, because if the photo ops are going to be abundant, you MUST look your best.  I could tell Allison was getting annoyed because she had that "wrap it up and get it together!" look on her face -______- I think she may have lost it when she saw I was wearing boots and asked where my hiking shoes were. I said I forgot them (lol).  I opted for  Jeans (Forever 21), a black flowy top, a printed poncho, faux-leather short boots (Forever 21) and one of the hats available for use in our homestead. The best part, all my outfit (minus the jewelry + boots) were either thrifted or obtained at a clothing swap. YAY for recycled clothing! 

 Ready to hit the park&nbsp;

Ready to hit the park 

 Boots because desert

Boots because desert

We decided to stop to grab a bite (and I needed a strong cut of coffee) in town to take into the park with us for lunch. We stopped by Natural Sisters Cafe and I picked up a coffee, carrot ginger muffin and a warm curried rice wrap with avocado and sprouts which they packed up nicely in a perfect to-go container to take into the park.  Alli got a few things as well including their famous vegan carrot cake which I will say was pretty delicious and tasted JUST LIKE it's non-vegan counterpart.  While my food was being prepped, I walked into  Grateful Desert Herb Shoppe & Eco Market  they had some lovely incense, soap and natural body items in stock and also had an array of leather goods and some crystal stone jewelry.  Definitely worth a peek in if you're in the area. 

After we got our food, we headed into the park. It was just a short 10 min car ride into the main entrance.  The fee to enter is $20 per car and you can get a yearly pass for $30, so for $10 more you can come back whenever you'd like in a year.  That's a good deal. PLUS you'll be supporting our National Parks which is awesome as well. If you purchase the $20 per car pass, it's good for 7 days, so if you're in Joshua Tree for the weekend, you can go without having to pay multiple times for in/outs. 

Once we were in the park I just couldn't believe my eyes. It's literally so gorgeous. The pictures below really don't do it justice.  I had many moments while in the park where I would look over at Alli and say "How can people look at this and not believe in a Higher Power, Spirit, Universe, God...SOMETHING" (no shade to the Atheists) I just was so in AWE of NATURE and these beautiful CREATIONS. 

 

 

 Kissed by a Joshua Tree - Photo by Alli&nbsp;

Kissed by a Joshua Tree - Photo by Alli 

 Skull Rock Trail&nbsp;

Skull Rock Trail 

 Stone Balancing&nbsp;

Stone Balancing 

Did you know that Stone Balancing (pictured above) is a thing? It's an actual meditative practice! Somehow it felt like a little hug knowing we found these stones this way and that someone who came before us felt compelled to create this and leave it up to share and meditate on. Sweet. 

 

 Lovely Day&nbsp;

Lovely Day 

Overall, I would say that the park was gorgeous and full of amazing views. If you're a total city person who isn't open to your phone not having service and/or not seeing buildings, this is probably not the place for you to spend a day.  Or maybe it is? Live a little! 

Ok, so we leave the park and this is where things get a little dicey. 

We get back to our Homestead just in time because there's a little rain coming down.  Not too bad. We get there and within a few moments notice that there's no electricity. I low key start to panic because my brain starts filling up with all these ideas of how this is basically my worst nightmare.  Allli tries to calm me down and succeeds for the most part. We had some food left to eat for dinner that didn't require the hot plate so we settled in and started playing some games that didn't require our phones/laptops.  As the sun started setting, I started to get more and more apprehensive. I called Edison to see what the status was on the outage and they were giving an ETA of 7:30am THE NEXT MORNING.  I couldn't. I was trying to be calm but now the charm of the place (not having super close neighbors, it being off a dirt road) was turning into a NIGHTMARE!!!! I had thoughts like "where is my xanax?".  The light was fading and I started to panic. We played a few rounds of 20 questions and then decided it was time for bed.  There's the 2 sliding glass doors that are across the bed that I JUST KNEW were going to be stormed in by a Texas Chainsaw Massacre person just waiting to KILL the Black and Brown women in the Homestead. I tried to chill but instead I created a PLAN and my plan included the empty glass kombucha bottle next to the bed. It included me breaking it and then slicing the intruder's leg and while he or she was down getting the potted cactus near the bed and smashing it on the head of the intruder.  It was a good plan, que no? 

Well, I finally got to bed and got a little sleep.  Morning came and I was blessed to witness THIS 

 

 

 Sunrise

Sunrise

The lights finally came on around 8am.  Our hosts were lovely enough to give us a bit of a late check out so we lounged a bit, made some breakfast and got our stuff together to part ways. My drive back was not too bad (made it back to LA within 2 hours).  

 Alli + Luna&nbsp;

Alli + Luna 

Overall, I would say that I'm glad that Alli got me a bit out of my comfort zone and even though the no electricity thing was pretty anxiety inducing, I had a great time and was able to relax which was nice! Pro tip: don't put on tanning oil if you want to lay out because the flying ants will try and stick to you -______-.

Are you a total city person? Have you been to Joshua Tree? What was your experience?  

 Guest book at Mojave Green&nbsp;

Guest book at Mojave Green