Donna Crawford
Redondo Beach, California


I was born in North Carolina and lived there until I was about 2 or so.  My father was in the military, so we moved every year or two.  We lived up and down the east coast, in Arkansas, Germany and Kansas, before he retired in 1980.  I attended Manhattan High School (in Kansas) and college and law school at the University of Kansas (Go Jayhawks!!).

I've lived in Alabama, Georgia, Texas and California since leaving my parents' home.  I currently live in California with my husband Kirk (even while we were on our RTW, we considered California as home). My family and friends are scattered all over the place, as you can imagine.

My husband and I are highly involved with our church, locally. I have lots of hobbies, including cooking, HAM radio, reading, travelling, bzflag, and sports/outdoor activities. Although I love to watch Jayhawk Basketball, I generally prefer to participate. Some of my favorites are beach volleyball, scuba diving, cycling, rowing, swimming, snow skiing, tramping, surfing, off-roading, etc.

My travels over the last few years have taken me to Costa Rica, Hawaii, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and most recently, on a 15-country, 1-year round-the-world trip.

Feel free to drop me an email to let me know how you're doing, or any other suggestions you have for these pages! And be sure to sign my new Guestbook!

Recent Articles

Tuesday, December 5


Holiday Cheer

The executive pastor at my church sent this to me. :)

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Friday, October 6


Airhead Update

Since I was at the airport picking Kirk up anyway, we went over to the airline we were supposed to be flying on tomorrow. Using the "divide and conquer concept, Kirk went to the ticket counter and used me as the scapegoat (which was totally appropriate since it was entirely my fault). Ultimately, we had two choices - leave on schedule but come back after only 1 day or reschedule. The cool thing about rescheduling is that the ticket agent agreed to let us reschedule for no change fee, AND no additional charge on the tickets (as long as the seat was the same class and fare code, I think), as long as we did so right then. We started looking at our schedule and realized that we probably were going to need to go over Thanksgiving. We gave the agent some dates to work within and quickly discovered even that needed adjustment.

So, now, we leave the Monday before Thanksgiving, and return home the Tuesday after. The cool thing is, that will give us an opportunity to visit my mom AND my dad. Subject to their schedules, we will visit with my mom from Monday to Friday, and then go see my dad on Friday. We'll head back to KC on Monday, as our flight out is rather early Tuesday morning.

So, as my friend Daniel pointed out, I guess there WAS some good in this.

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Monday, July 4


4th of July BBQ

We went to a bbq at the Jones' and who did we see? Our good friends, the Harris' with their 4 month old fost-adopt child, Ryan. He's a cutie!

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Monday, February 14


Valentine's in Berkeley

We drove up to Berkeley today. Kirk has some work up here this week. We had a wonderful dinner at a little restaurant we hadn't tried before, the Albany Bistro. I give it 2 thumbs up! I had a wonderful special fish plate they had for Valentine's Day and Kirk had ostrich! They were both excellent!

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Sunday, December 26


A month of Sundays - the final installment

Yesterday was Christmas - it was both busy and surprising. We had a great time in the morning with Kirk's family. Kirk's mom got a kitten for Christmas! It is soooo cute, I played with it a good bit of time. Kirk's mom, however, wasn't feeling very well - she had trouble breathing and had sharp pains whenever she tried to move.

Kirk and I drove her back to Seal Beach - he in her car and I followed in the Jeep. After we got there, we made her call a doctor. He told her to go to the emergency room. Off we went. While we waited for hours for them to see her and then figure out what was wrong, I sat in the waiting room (they wouldn't let us both back to her room) and played with my new game, Bop It Extreme 2, trying not to annoy everyone in the waiting room.

Eventually, Kirk came out and said we should go grab some dinner while they waited for some test results to come back. He started out looking for a fast food place that was open. It was Christmas night. Kelley had cooked lamb for dinner, but there was no way we had time to go all the way up there for dinner and come back. Nothing was open! Eventually, we found a Dave & Buster's that was open and we sat down and had dinner there. The food was not bad - certainly it was better than fast food!

When we returned to the hospital, Kirk's mom had been discharged a few minutes before, and instead of waiting for us, she drove home! Eeek! We went to the house and beat her there. We waited and eventually she showed up.

The doctors had told her she had bronchitis and pluracy. Ick! We put her to bed and went home (we found out a couple of days later that she also had a broken rib - from coughing too much - that they missed the first time around).

Today, we played with Kirk's ipod and started ripping our CDs. It's going to take a while and I suspect we'll be well over the estimated 10,000 songs it holds.

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Saturday, December 25


Surprise surprise!

We managed to surprise Kirk with a party to celebrate his 40th Birthday Guess who got an ipod for Christmas?! This ipod was specially ordered, thanks to our bz friend, Jim (who works for Apple) and came straight to our doorstep from Shanghai!

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Saturday, December 18


Traversing South

Some of you know (or would know if you've read any of our blogs before) that Kirk and I play on online game called bzflag. We've met a number of people that we play against in person over the last few months. Puppy Power, Dodge_This, High Karate Kitty, Mozul, SportChick, ChincillaWell, it turns out there's a fairly large contingent of bzflaggers in Arizona. On our way to Tucson, we had agreed to meet a whole family of them outside of Phoenix. So, we stopped for lunch and met up with High Karate Kitty, Dodge_This, Chinchilla and Puppy Power. The whole family plays (although not all at once - that would require a LOT of computer power AND a really fast connection. They were very very nice! It's always so fun to put faces to names. After lunch and a lot of chatting, we headed out. We got all the way down to Tempe (where we stopped for some more Costco gas) when we realized Kirk's ATM card was missing out of his wallet. After much searching, we called the restaurant and they had it. We drove all the way back.

Kirk and Donna with her grandfatherNeedless to say, we arrived in Tucson a bit later than we originally planned. But it was no problem. We went straight to my grandfather's house. We hadn't seen my grandfather since before we left for our RTW. An awful lot has happened since then! We hung out and chatted and caught up and then...oh yeah, we went to dinner at Los Margaritas, a great little Mexican restaurant. It was really good to have some time to hang out with him.

Donna & her grandfather in front of Mission San Javier del Bac, which is under renovationOn Thursday, we hung with him around the house for part of the day. He took us out to Mission San Javier del Bac (also known as the "White Dove of the Desert"). I had been there once before with a friend of mine from Dallas; at that time, the interior was closed, as it was being renovated. This time, the interior was open, but portions of the exterior were being renovated. The interior was quite pretty. It was interesting to see a Spanish mission with such influence from Mexican and Native American culture.

On the way back home, we drove by the airplane graveyard. My uncle had taken me there once before, and I figured with the interest Kirk has in airplanes, he might find it interesting. Hundreds (thousands?) of airplanes dating back to WWII to present have been retired in Tucson, and are resting there in a variety of forms of disrepair. For dinner, we went to Chad's, which is a favorite of my grandparents. After Chad's, I talked my grandfather into driving through Winterhaven. Winterhaven is an entire neighborhood where they put up crowd-stopping Christmas lights! It was technically a little "early" in the season to be driving through there (which was probably better - often it's so crowded, they block the streets off to all but foot traffic), but there were plenty of displays up!

Trev & Hannahmarie (she's looking at Donna)The gang takes a photo op at a little overlook on the mountainOn Friday, Kirk and I went over to see Trev & Kristi, his cousins. We got to meet their new addition, little Hannahmarie. She was really sweet! It's so fun to meet a happy baby! After a yummy lunch that Kristi made for us, and a good deal of catching up, we decided to go out for a drive. We all piled into our jeep and we headed over the mountain near their house. Hannahmarie fell right to sleep as we started driving. When we hit the off-road stuff (not REALLY offroad - just a dirt/gravel road, really), she woke up. We stopped on the way back over the mountain at an overlook. It was beautiful, but very windy and cold!

After a quick stop, we all headed down to meet my grandfather at yet another Mexican restaurant. At this one, they made your salsa fresh at your table - made to order! The food was delicious! I was quite glad my grandfather came out to meet us! I felt bad not hanging out with him the whole time we were there. After dinner, we drove Trev & Kristi back to their house. Shortly after we arrived, some Christmas carolers came by! They sounded great and were collecting canned goods for disadvantaged families.

When we got back to my grandfather's, we had a comical series of telephone calls. I wanted for us to stay at my cousin, Marty's, on Saturday night if possible. My great-aunt (my grandfather's sister) was flying down on Sunday and Marty was going to have to drive up to Phoenix, pick her up and then drive her down to Tucson to my grandfather's. I really wanted my grandfather to come to Marty's with us and stay the night. But he didn't seem to want to. I must have talked to Marty and my grandfather 3 times each. Finally, Marty called my grandfather, and voila! He was going to drive up to Arizona City in the afternoon and spend the night with us.

The next morning, Saturday, we had brunch plans up in Phoenix. We packed everything up and headed up there. It's not a bad drive. We met some more bz-friends up in Phoenix at "The Good Egg". This time, we met up with Justin (who is not a bz player), Scipio, Nidhoggr & Theropod. Nidhoggr owns the server that we play the most often on (and assist by admining on). Justin, Scipio, Nidhoggr, SportChick, Mozul & Theropod, digesting their delicious brunch Brunch was delicious. The conversation was wildly diverse and entertaining! In addition to the great conversation and brunch, Nidhoggr gave me a wonderful homemade (by him) collection of soaps and hand creams.

After a great brunch (and another trip to get Costco gas), we headed back south to Arizona City. I had only been to my cousin's house once, but it wasn't hard to find. Marty & Robin have an amazing house. As a California convert, I have no hope of ever having anything so roomy or nice. But it was great to visit with them too. They have several children (the youngest is now in High School) and the place is always bustling with activity. Marty & Robin were actually going out that night to Robin's company Christmas party, but, once my grandfather arrived, they served us a wonderful late lunch (thank goodness) of lasagna and the fixin's. We chatted for a long while until they had to start getting ready to go out.

Kirk & Donna with Marty & his familyAfter they left, we sat around and played games with their kids - like Word Thief and Upwords and speed Scrabble. We had a great time until it was sufficiently late that we really HAD to go to sleep. We were leaving first thing in the morning!

To be continued...

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Sunday, December 12


A month of Sundays - Part 2

December can be a truly exciting month, with all the Christmas decorations, parties, etc., or a truly stressful one. It's all in your attitude. But when your BIRTHDAY is in December on top of everything else, well, that's just fun!

No, my birthday is not in December, but my husband's is -- 6 days before Christmas. And this year, he had a MSD change (as he likes to put it). You know! MSD...most significant digit? Like changing from 20 to 30 or 30 to 40 or 40 to 50! So, last summer, I started plotting. I wanted to surprise him with something that would help him remember this MSD.

The plans started coming together and I had to figure a way to pay for everything without him figuring things out. With joint bank accounts and a husband who (thankfully) tracks every penny, that wouldn't be easy. So, I told him I wanted to surprise him with something - I wouldn't say where or when and was letting him know that I needed to spend the money. Whew. That worked. But THEN, I found out that if I put the charge on the credit card, the exact thing I had planned would show up on the statement - that's no good! So a friend from work let me put it on his credit card and I turned around and wrote HIM a check. Yay!

Next, I wanted to throw Kirk a surprise party. First, I had to locate a host. Well, generally, the only time we aren't together is when we are at work. That makes it hard to work up an invitation and start mailing them out. There is also the challenge of getting the names and addresses of friends of his - I wanted to invite his family, church friends, work friends AND friends he grew up with. Fortunately, I bumped into Rod (one of the guys he grew up with) a

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Tuesday, December 7


A month of Sundays - Part 1

Hooray! It's December! One of my favorite times of year! A month or so ago, I asked Kirk to hold Sunday (December 5th) open for a "date". We haven't been doing much in the way of dating lately, so it seemed like a good idea.

Unbeknownst to him, a group of girls (we are married and all our husbands hang out together too) had decided to take our husbands to the Mission Inn to see their Festival of Lights. The Inn is pretty cool - it was initially built in 1876 (and no, it was NEVER a mission - only a boarding house). I'd never been there, so I was excited.

The day we picked turned out to be quite rainy! I was hoping the rain would quit by the time we went out there. It's about an hour drive from here. I herded Kirk out to the car, dressed in warm clothing. Then we drove across the street and picked up some friends (they were hiding in the Von's parking lot). Neither of our husbands knew where we were going. The other two couples drove out in a separate car. James & Gia (who rode with us) are hilarious! And it was really fun listening to James & Kirk spout off a steady stream of guesses as to where we were going!

The Gang at the Mission Inn Coffee Co.When we arrived, it wasn't quite dark yet. When I said surprise, Kirk said "This is IT?!" Ha! we walked around the entire place and decided to stop into a coffee shop and have something to warm up (and wait for the other 2 couples to show). Kirk was definitely happier when the lights went on and Mike & Anita and Garret & Ambre showed up. The Inn was beautiful! There were lights everywhere on the city-block sized inn - even on the palm trees surrounding the it! Kirk loves photography and took pictures practically every where we went (if you're surprised, don't be - check out our RTW page and you'll see!) The Mission Inn was all lit up!We could hear carollers, but they seemed to be somewhere else at the time. We stopped in a little gift shop that led through to the inner courtyard. Once in the courtyard, we actually got to see a boy propose to his girlfriend while we were in there! It was soooo sweet!

Carollers at the Mission InnEventually, we headed inside the hotel. Much of it was not open to the general public (apparently, it's quite a tourist attraction during the holidays. While inside, we finally caught up with the carollers. They sounded fabulous! It made me miss the days when such thing was rather common in neighborhoods.

Finally, we headed back outside. We had all decided to grab dinner together somewhere. We had not made reservations at the inn and it looked to be rather pricey anyway. We decided to head over to the Old Spaghetti Factory, which was just down the street. The gang at the entrance to the Mission InnAfter a quick photo op at the Inn entrance, we headed over for dinner!

Dinner was wonderful and we even closed the place down! All in all, it was a great date (can I say that even though I got to plan it?).

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Thursday, November 11


Veteran's Day Thoughts

So, today is Veteran's Day. I don't believe I've ever had the day off before. But yesterday, around 2:30, my employer told me that we would be off today! Hooray! There is a temptation to just play around and have some fun.

But today is a holiday for a reason. For the last 228 years, our country has been defended by people who are willing to step up and sacrifice themselves, their time and their family for the ideals that this country was founded upon. Although Veteran's Day, specifically, was created to remember those who fought in World War I, it was later amended (after WWII) to just refer to "veterans", which now includes everyone from WWI to the current Iraqi conflict (although technically, they won't be veterans until they have left the conflict or the conflict is over). So, today, I will remember people like my grandfather (a former Brigadier General in the U.S. Army - he was in action in WWII, Korea and Vietnam), my father (a former captain in the U.S. Army - he was in Vietnam), my uncle John (also US Army), my father-in-law (who flew as a flight engineer in the Korean War), various other friends (like Wes Cochran, Julie Dietrich, Cameron Mandrake, John Schowalter, etc.) and family (like Chris Reid) who are currently serving or have served in the U.S. Military. It is so easy to focus on what's wrong with our military and/or policies (I hear this from folks daily). But don't forget what is right - the sacrifices these young men and women make to protect our nation.

So, I challenge you on this day to think of and pray for those who have served and are serving our country. I can't imagine that there would be any person out there who doesn't know at least one person who falls into that category. It's not about whether you agree with the policies and programs of our government. It's about remembering those who have given their time, talents and even their lives.

Thank you, Veterans! You are our heros!

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Monday, July 5


Independence Day (Weekend)

We had a fabulous day on our little holiday! After spending the morning at church, and the middle of the day watching our newest series from Neflix, Alias, we held an impromptu barbeque at our house. We had planned to go to a friend's house, but they went out of town at the last minute.

Mike, Anita, James, Gia, Kevin, Diane, Kirk and DonnaWe had 3 couples come over to barbeque - a BYOM (bring your own meat) kind of affair. It was really nice to have folks over to our apartment.

Just as Kirk was getting our little barbeque going and the meat all laid out, the gas ran out! Uh-oh! He and Mike walked to the grocery store across the street to get more, but they didn't have any! (I got a call from Kirk when they were on their way back, "Fire up the broiler"). Notwithstanding that little glitch, the food all came out great and it didn't spoil anything (except, perhaps, Kirk getting to barbeque OUTSIDE).

Afterwards, we headed down to the beach to watch the fireworks. It was a beautiful display! And we had the added pleasure of being able to see another display just down the beach from us in another town! (Two for one!) All in all, we had a great day!

Last Friday, we also got to go see Spiderman 2! For the record, it was MUCH better than the first one, in my opinion!

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Donna in Austria
Click for larger image Austria, August 2003