Gardening Issues

Surely, I am not the only person with a garden that is confused by the strange weather this season? I’ve got seedlings in the ground that have succumbed to the dip in temperatures and flowers struggling to grow. Leaves and stalks reaching up toward the sun, but falling short of exploding into a blossom of color. (Except for one Iris, she managed to proclaim her presence to the world)


Iris “Here I am!”

It’s kind of sad…and anti-climactic.

I’m not the most patient of souls. I dig the holes, plant the seeds, and give them some water. The least my garden could do is yield a crop worthy of winning a shiny ribbon at a county fair. I want results and I want them today.


Only a few of these seedlings have survived

Instead, I’ve got only a few seedlings that have managed to survive and are steadily pushing their way into this world. Perhaps, this is a good sign.

Now that the sun has been shining and the ground has been heating up, things will get back on track. Maybe, these plants will be the hardiest of vegetables. Maybe…

Ah, well. If not, I guess this means there’s a trip to a Farmer’s Market or a Fruit Stand in my future. ;-)

Fruit Stand

Fruit Stand

Categories: Uncategorized | 4 Comments

All Procrastinators Unite! … Tomorrow

It’s that nagging “procrastination” word. credits
Everyone says do what makes you happy. And if procrastination had a useful and monetary outcome, I would be queen of the hill. My husband does not own any procrastination genes; he keeps busy after work until the sun goes down. He’s also my first person who asks me what I did that day. I feel unfulfilled. In my mind I’ve accomplished a lot.

Me, I could get up late, think about the stuff I should be doing, “putz” around the house doing a load of laundry, moving this or that, stopping to watch TV, eat some lunch, even pay some bills, without getting a lick of writing work done. I do believe it’s my “mulling over it” phase. Other writers have said that, more than half the time, a writer is simmering on what to write. Yeah, that’s me. I simmer, and mull, and procrastinate.

When I am productive I need to set a timer to remind myself to take breaks. Someone said that the best work environment will be your most productive zone. So I do what makes me happy and listen to my wind chimes while I type, or play native flute music (I have an extensive collection) or play a few computer games to allow simmering before writing.

The bottom line is that procrastinators are always working… you just can’t see the outcomes physically until the mental work is done. Knowing that makes me feel better about myself …  and happier.

So how do you do the mulling in your mind before you write? Are you an early riser with a load of writing to get on paper? Are you typically a reader-researcher and then a writer? Are you feeling guilty for not committing to a 1,000  words a day? Who said that was a reasonable amount to set? Are you guilty for thinking you’re guilty?

Rusty LaGrange

Rusty is a guest blogger and life-long procrastinator, who knows just why she does what she does, and enjoys being happy in mulling. Read her other blogs at and




Categories: Blogging, High Desert Writers, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Shake, Rattle, and Roll Out–Apple Valley Emergency Preparedness Fair

file000990621742As I was sitting down with an evening cup of of hot chocolate 0n Friday night, my house began to tremble around me as the light fixture above my table swayed back and forth and my windows rattled.  I, and my fellow High Desert residents, were experiencing, from a distance, the 5.1 magnitude earthquake that struck La Habra.  For those who have grown up in California,  earthquakes are nothing more than some inconvenient shaking.  For others, not accustomed to earthquakes, the shaking of the ground, produces some rattled nerves.  A displaced Midwesterner actually commented that she would rather have tornados because “at least you can see them coming.”  I’m not sure that there are “better” natural disasters, but I am sure of one thing.  If we are prepared to take care of ourselves in the aftermath of natural disasters, we can rest easier.

The American Red Cross encourages that “people should prepare now for the next disaster.”  When disaster strikes, it’s too late to prepare.   Being prepared is our best defense against disaster because if we are prepared, we can meet our immediate needs and the needs of our family in the event a disaster should strike.  Are you and your family prepared for a potential disaster?

On Saturday, April 12, 2014, the Annual Shake, Rattle, and Roll Out Apple Valley Emergency Preparedness Fair will be held from 9;00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 15500 Tuscola Road in Apple Valley.  This annual event is free to attend, and it a truly a community based and community building event with presenters that include:

  • American Medical Response
  • Apple Valley Fire Protection District
  • Community Emergency Response Team
  • California Highway Patrol
  • Emergency Communication Services,
  • Lowes
  • Purofirst
  • San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department
  • Sheriff’s Posse Search and Rescue

At this year’s event, you can expreience the “BIG SHAKER” which allows people to feel what it’s like to ride out an 8.0 magnitude earthquake and see what couldh happen to an un secured household.    In addition, you can learn about:

  • First Aid and CPR
  • Fire Prevention
  • Outdoor Survival
  • Water Purification
  • Emergency Utilities
  • Disaster Restoration
  • Emergency Budgeting
  • Emergency Animal Care
  • Alternative Fuel Sources
  • Gardening and Food Storage
  • Dutch Oven and Solar Cooking
  • Using Social Media in an Emergency

This preparedness fair, which is hosted in conjunction with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is free to attend,  but everyone who attends is encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to benefit the Victor Valley Rescue Mission.

My family has attended on two previous occasions, so I can tell you that the event is  not only educational; it’s lots of fun, too.  Bring the whole family.  There will be fire trucks, police cars, puppet shows, and free hot dogs.  Come learn  how to be better prepared should “The Big One” strike.  I look forward to seeing you there.

If you aren’t able to attend the Emergency Preparedness Fair, check out the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s “Are You Ready Guide?”  All of us should put together at least a basic disaster kit to have in our homes and our vehicles.


Categories: Food, Gardening, High Desert Living | 1 Comment

Drought Tolerant Shrubs for High Desert Gardening

Drought Tolerant Shrubs

Mirror Plant, Coprosma

Coprosma - Mirror Plant

Mirror Plant, Coprosma










There are different variations of Coprosma. Copper Shine, Evening Glow, Kirkii, and Pink Splendor are some of the different ones. The one in the photo shown above is called Tricolor Mirror Plant, one I’m going to plant this month. It makes a beautiful shrub and can be planted in sun or partial shade. When researching Coprosma, I read that it is tolerant in cold and drought (once established). However, Jeff Wortham says otherwise in his video on Coprosma. His experience is that the hedge needs some water.

Oleander shrubs grow well in the High Desert. I have friends who would never plant them, expressing how poisonous the oleanders are. Other friends love them, grew up around them, and have no problem planting them in their yards. Linda Marie at Linda Marie’s Enchanted Treasures has them at her shop. She said she grew up around oleanders. Like James Nicholas from says, so what! So are Daffodils, English ivy, azaleas and others.
Nandina, or Heavenly Bamboo

Nandina is considered drought tolerant and requires low to moderate water. It makes a good screen plant and grows well in sun or shade. I haven’t planted Heavenly Bamboo, but I have a friend who has had great success with the evergreen shrubs. They change colors through the spring, summer, and fall. It’s most gorgeous during fall with deep red foliage.
Italian Cypress

The Italian Cypress is a thin, tall shrub often used in the High Desert as border screens. It requires only low to moderate water and is drought tolerant and can be planted in full sun or part shade.

Look in your local nursery for other good drought tolerant shrubs and plants to grow in your high desert garden. Ask the nursery how much you should water the shrubs at first. I’ve planted drought tolerant plants before that didn’t make it past the “once established” stage.

What drought tolerant shrubs have you planted with success? Share your gardening expertise in the available comment section.

Categories: Gardening | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Drought Tolerant Plants for High Desert Gardens












Lavender has made my recent weed-digging worthwhile. It’s received very little watering yet looks vibrant and healthy.

Lavender is grown in fields of southern France and as perennia shrubs and garden landscaping in North America. This aromatic herb also grows well in the high desert’s heat and drought. Grow it in an herb garden, make lavender crafts, or look for lavener lotions and bath and shower gels like my favorite lavender scent, Savannah Gardens, from Crabtree & Evelyn. They used to carry several products in this scent. One I liked was a sachet drawer liner.

Read the blog post, Scents: Do You Have a Favorite?, by Susan on Susan mentions how scents affect our moods. For instance, lavender is “soothing and relaxing; helps to relieve stress, depression, anxiety, and nervous disorders.” Geranium, jasmine, rose, and sandalwood are relaxing. Plant these in your garden, or find their scents in candles to enjoy in your home.

It’s no wonder that I love gardening. We garden for reasons of scent, childhood memories, comfort, crafts, food and more. Furthermore, tending to the garden gives us a workout. That’s better than going to the gym in my opinion.

Evergreen Fire Retardant Groundcover and Hedges

If you’re looking for an evergreen groundcover to use in your high desert landscaping, try the evergreen Dwarf Coyotebrush or Coyotebrush. This evergreen groundcover or hedge has dioecious white/cream flowers from summer to fall. It attracts songbirds and butterflies and is thornless.

California Fuchsia is another good hedge to plant that grows large and that hummingbirds love. The Fuchsia can be planted in the ground or pots and is drought tolerant. It flowers from mid-spring to winter.

Drought tolerant Fuchsia

Fuchsia Plant










Autumn sage is another aromatic evergreen that attracts songbirds and butterflies. Its red flowers bloom from mid-summer to mid-autumn.

The Copper Shine Coprosma, better known as the Mirror Plant, makes a beautiful glossy hedge. It’s wind, sun, and frost resistant and can be planted in full sun or semi shade.

Categories: Gardening | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Hiking for the Couch Potato (Part 2)

Ridge of Inselbergs in High desertMarch has come to an end. The theme this month for the High Desert Bloggers was inspiring change. Have you been inspired to change your activity level? Are you inspired to discover new territory? I know it can be difficult, but you can do it.

They say it takes 21 days to break a habit. On the flip-side….it also takes 21 days to create a habit. Have you created a habit of walking, now that you’ve been at it for a month? Are you reading blogs about it? Or are you blogging about it? Habits are interesting behaviors. For example, you might be in the habit of drinking only 8 cups of water a day. However, as you become more active, particularly as you plan to hike in the High Desert, your body demands that you drink more water, even at this point in the game.


It can be argued that water is essential to living.  It helps us process food, move nutrients, keep our electrical impulses flowing and, of course it cools us off when it is hot outside.  The high desert presents a unique challenge to individuals participating in physical activity.  It is both hot AND dry. Both of these conditions increases our water needs by a factor of 2.  Think of it like this, if you are walking or hiking in the desert in full sun, at the hottest time of the year, you will lose 2 quarts of water in 1 hour – that is just walking!

If you are RUNNING or jogging at a reasonable temperature, your body averages this same usage. Thank goodness we have the sense to stay indoors during full sun. But that does not change the fact that it is dry. As a general rule, most hikers will bring at least 1 liter of water per each hour they hike. I say, that is a pretty good rule of thumb even just walking around the neighborhood. Most hikers will NOT walk during the hottest part of the day.

The PLAN (Month 2)
You have been walking three times a week for 4 weeks now. You might have added a day if you were feeling great, and hopefully you have been consistent with paying attention to how your body feels after a walk and even the day after a walk.

You may have been walking for about 20 minutes, and if you have been feeling good, you may have been going up in duration to about 30 or 45 minutes.That is great. This duration is somewhere between 3/4 mile to 1.5 miles – depending on how long you are walking and how fast you are walking. Let’s add some frosting to this cake.

For the most part, we will walk the same 3-day per week, but we will add a 4th day. This day will be the day that you will increase EITHER your duration OR your distance. Since the high desert is relatively flat, we don’t really have to worry about elevation gain or challenging terrain – for the most part. If you lived elsewhere, you would consider this as a third factor. We will call this extra day, your “Long Day”.

Here is how this will work:
Again, you choose you schedule. If you choose MWF, your 4th day would be Saturday and your rest day would be Sunday. If you choose T-Th-Sat, your 4th day would be Sunday, and your rest day would be Monday. We are resting on the day after so that your muscles can recuperate. Then back to the first day (Monday or Tuesday depending on your schedule). On this first day, you should take it easy. Walk a little slower and see how your body reacted to the increase of time or distance.

Week 1:
If you are walking 45 minutes on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s, on Saturday or Sunday and you are walking about 2 miles in that 45 minutes

  • if you increase your duration, you would add 15-20 min during this week.
  • if you increase your distance you could add on another 1/2 to 2/3 mile.

Week 2:
You are already walking 45 minutes. Take an easy walk for 45 minutes on your Day 1 (Monday or Tuesday). How do you feel?
On Day 2 of the week (Wednesday or Thursday), increase your 45 minutes ONLY if you are feeling energetic. I would only increase about 10 or 15 minutes, or if you did distance, maybe 1/4 mile. The rule is that you do NOT want to increase your time or distance on this middle day by the same distance or duration you did on your “long day”. By the third day of the week (Friday or Saturday), you will do your regular distance or time but at your normal pace. As a matter of fact, your body should feel back to normal. If it does, let’s increase our time or distance on the long day. If not, let’s repeat what we did for week 1 in time and distance.

On the long day, if we walked for an hour the previous week, we should increase by 1/4. So if you walked for an hour on your last long day, you will walk 75 minutes. If you walked a mile (distance as opposed to duration) you will walk 1 1/4 mile.

Week 3:
Again, rest the day immediately following your long day.
Day 1: Moderate walk
Day 2: Regular pace/distance
Day 3: Regular pace/distance
Long day: Increase previous long day duration or distance by 1/4

Week 4:
This is the week we call a rest week. Again, we will rest the day immediately following your long day.

Day 1: Moderate walk
Day 2: Regular pace/distance
Day 3: Regular pace/distance

Long day of the 4th week we will cut our distance or duration in half and just walk that. This is called cycling and it allows your body to rest and repair itself. It helps to prevent injury. By the time you reach the next long day, you will be READY to and well rested to increase the duration or distance.

What are the benefits of following this plan?

  1. It let’s your body recover. Any running or activity article that your read these days stresses that rest period are just as important as periods of activity. We must allow our bodies to rest. That is why we sleep every day. It is a rejuvenating and replenishing process. In this plan, the first cycle is weekly. We stress our bodies one day out of the week, to increase our stamina. The remaining days, we allow our bodies to recover from the stress. On a monthly basis, we all our bodies to fully recover for one full week after 3 weeks of stress.
  2. Allowing your body to recover prevents injury. Rest days does NOT mean go to the gym and work out on weights in order to make up for the reduced mileage – especially if you are not in the habit of going to the gym. That will just lead to muscle fatigue and injury. We need to patient with ourselves and learn to respect our bodies and not punish ourselves.
  3. Less muscle fatigue means more energy to do other things. Like encourage your friends, neighbors, co-workers and fellow commuters to walk with you. Having more energy means being able to focus on other things instead of putting one foot in front of the other.

When you put a plan on a longer scale like this, you will be more likely to keep going with the program, because you won’t use the excuse that you’re too tired.
You’ve got the baseline on building mileage. Next time we will talk about choosing a trail.

Beverly Familar is a blogger and hiker dedicated to encouraging and supporting well-balanced dogs through mental and physical activities. She shares her love of nature and dogs with others through her hiking group: Hiking with Fido. If you are in the Southern California, consider joining a pack hike. You can follow the pack’s furry adventures on the Hiking with Fido Google+ Page; via Twitter @hikingwithfido; via Hiking with Fido on Instagram; and on the Hiking with Fido Facebook page. Visit the pack page at

Categories: Blog Networks, High Desert Living, Hiking | Leave a comment

Race Across the High Desert … on Foot

racers support   runners at stage 01    It takes nearly 10,000 volunteers to make the Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay a real challenge, and yet not many people even know about it. To cover the grueling 120-mile foot race through some of the most desolate stretches of high desert, runners must create their 20-member teams with physical endurance, perseverance, and ability to support their participants within a 24-hour time frame.signin volunteers

The Challenge Cup is a relay pitting runners not against each other as much as against the worst the desert can toss at them. Scores are based on times for the legs of each section — some only four to five miles in length and the toughest  with 10.7 miles — but must be completed by the 24-hour maximum deadline. In the past some teams were disqualified because they couldn’t keep up. Extreme weather, heat strokes, and blisters take out many.timing table recorder

What makes this race unique is the fact that only law enforcement personnel can race and you must be invited to help in the support roles. Not everyone can enter; not all can help. LA Police Officers Chuck Foote and Larry Moore created this crazy race 30 years ago, based on the format laid by LAPD Metro Division´s “Death Valley Relay” ending in 1985 – a seven-year stint of running through the Devil´s Graveyard.

Strong interest has grown each year to include not only California and Nevada divisions but other states and even other countries. Japan, Sweden, Germany, UK, and Canada coordinated their teams and flew in for the honor of racing. For more details visit:

The foot race begins in Baker, California, at 8 am, climbs through the higher elevations to Shoshone, the Gateway to Death Valley, then veers right through a narrow canyon, across Chicago Valley, and into Pahrump, Nevada. Once passing through town, racers then begin the long climb up the grade toward Las Vegas. In this section,Volunteer Sandee in Comm Center all runners are in the dark wearing flashing vests to warn motorists that they are sharing the road, their added protection is provided by their follow support vehicles. As they clear the crest of Mountain Springs Pass, the lights of Las Vegas prod them on to the finish line at the Las Vegas Hotel Convention Room.

Just looking at one Stage, where a baton is handed off to the next team runner, as many as 200 people can swarm there. They stand in excitement waiting for their runner to arrive, prompted by a trained team of Amateur Radio communicator volunteers who announce each runner coming in. The support teams also include the registration of current teams, a medical contingency, race officials, and the growing numbers of team race supporters and their families. Once the current racers have moved on, all of the support volunteers move on to the next Stage. Volunteer Virginia in Comm Center

Volunteers who are assigned to man one stage for the complete 24 hours, will have been awake throughout the evening, well into the early hours of the next morning. My husband and I have helped in several of the assignment teams, whether it was in Shoshone, or race headquarters, or camped long the highway offering our radio support. We are now Lead Ham Radio assigned support for Stage 14. We’ve be involved for more than 17 years.

As old-timers we still find it fun, tiring, exciting, and enthusiastic to see all the teams milling around waiting for their teammates to break through the chute and hand over their batons. We even recruit new volunteers to invest their time so others can take breaks or even skip a year of service. The race officials also make it more efficient at stages by promoting the newest timing gear and computer-assisted scoring to make our jobs much easier.Friends at dinner

Although the dates of the race tend to shuffle from March to April, next year’s race is now set for March 28th. Reservations in motels and camping resorts are already filling, and surely the teams are gearing up for the 31st year. It’s just another one of those strange desert traditions — one in which we are honored to assist.

Rusty LaGrange

Categories: Attractions, Blogging, High Desert Living, Hiking, Southwest, Uncategorized, Volunteering | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Getting Rid of Weeds for Spring Gardening – High Desert Arid Zones

Spring planting in the garden

Spring has arrived!

Spring has officially arrived, and so have the weeds! The last good rain that the High Desert had made the weeds grow a foot higher it seemed. Pulling weeds is no fun though it does give one a good work out.

Planting is made easier when the weeds have already been pulled. When Spring arrives, gardeners get anxious to add favorite flowers, herbs, and vegetables in the garden. However, getting rid of the weeds is a must lest they take over the garden.

Hula hoe-ing is much easier when the weeds are small. If they aren’t taken care of then and a rain comes, you may need more than a hula hoe. Weed Eater trimmers can be a great help as well. George C. Ballas, Sr. in Houston, Texas came up with an excellent idea when he invented the Weed Eater trimmer. He got the idea from the spinning nylon bristles used at an automatic car wash.

Once the weeding is done, you can place newspaper (black ink) or plastic down as a covering to keep out the weeds when putting new flowers, fruits and vegetables, and shrubs in your garden and landscaping. Wet the newspaper first. I’ve read that the paper keeps the weeds away better than the plastic does.

Dorothy Stainbrook, on the other hand, hates black plastic and pulls it up from every bed she finds it in. She has a small farm and specializes in heirloom tomatoes and blueberries.

A Southern California gardener who always plants strawberries said he always uses plastic to cover the ground, and small critters and ants stay away from the strawberries.

Hula-hoeing may be impossible in tight spots like near rocks.  Sometimes you just have to pull the weeds with your hands. Wear gloves that foxtails won’t go through.

Killing the weeds can also be done with other simple ways that are chemical-free. Try boiling water, vinegar, or  cornmeal.

What other solutions have you tried in ridding your lawn of weeds?

Categories: Gardening | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Guest Posts: Community Blogs

Advertising Your Community Blog

When was the last time you drove by a sign twister in your community? What was the sign advertising, or could you even read the sign? The obvious purpose of a human directional is to draw attention to the advertisement of a business.

Two bloggers noticed a sign dancer  in Apple Valley, California recently. Sitting in traffic, the blogger in the passenger seat was able to catch the action on video. When you watch the video, you’ll notice that all you see is the back of the sign until the end of the video when the word “buffet” becomes visible.

You could say that guest posting on a blog is like a human directional. A guest post can draw attention to both the blog of the person writing the article and the blog where the article is published. Top priority is the theme of the blog post. A blog post theme merits a title. The title advertises what the blog post is about. Pretty simple concept – just like the business advertising the buffet sign. Good idea if people can see the advertisement.

Benefits to Guest Posting

  • Increases traffic to your blog
  • Brings more subscribers
  • Blog Exposure
  • Increases back links

Check out a blog’s guest post guidelines before submitting an article. It could save you some time. If you’re interested in guest posting or wondering what type of guidelines to include on your own blog, read You’ll find helpful hints about the pros and cons of guest posts.

Finding Guest Post Opportunities

Find niche blogs similar to your own. Contact the blogger. Look for blogs who allow guest posts like and Check with community blogs. Even Google’s Matt Cutts believes that community is still one of the good reasons for guest blogging.


Categories: Blogging | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

The Blog Life: Cloud-Style (Part 1 of 3)

The last time I met with the High Desert Bloggers, we talked technology. I realize that just because we’re all bloggers doesn’t necessarily mean that we have the same perspective about how to use existing technology. Technology that could make our blogging life easier. As for me, I am a mobile person. I know this about myself. I write about hiking; I love to get out of the house and I need to be mobile and not feel bogged down. This philosophy affects the choices I make where technology is concerned. As a blogger, hiker and avid road tripper I like to be able to create and write posts on wherever I end up. So for the next couple of installments, I’m going to write about blogging and cloud computing and the tools I use to in my on-the-go lifestyle.

The Cloud is HOT right now! I will discuss the technology/platforms that I use to keep myself mobile. As I write and post, I am able to access ideas, jot down new ones, access websites to spark ideas, and view/share pictures that I have taken on previous or current stops. What I don’t want to do is trudge around with a laptop and an external drive as store and access info on the go. My main modes of writing are my tablet, maybe a wireless keyboard and my mifi (in the event I am not in an area where there is a Starbucks on every corner).


Have you used this tool? Have you seen it? To me, it’s a notepad in the cloud. I create all my blog drafts in Evernote. I can work on them from home, on the train, at Starbucks, anywhere I can get good wifi. I can take pictures with my phone (using Skitch, an Evernote complementary app), save and then tag to a blog entry. Once I am ready to post, I just open my Evernote app on my notebook, grab the text and related picture and post. Pretty simple.

5 Key Features for bloggers:

1. Save and Search Cloud-style
Evernote is an online note repository. You can type, take pictures, annotate those pictures, and lately, they have added a feature where you can actually draw on a canvas. If you are a Windows user, it is like using Wordpad and MS Paint in a single application. The difference in Evernote is that you can save the notes into different file folders, then TAG the notes with keywords so that you can search for them and locate them for later. The search feature is great, because what happens if you have 99 notes in a single folder? You wouldn’t want to scroll through each of them to find the one you need? That would just be too inefficient. The best thing about it, is you can access these notes anywhere you have internet access and hardware. You can use your smartphone, tablet, netbook, notebook or desktop computers (even at work ;-D).

2013-01-21 08.00

2. Attach or Mark up Pictures

Evernote complements an app called Skitch. This is an app that allows you to mark up photos or other types of
compatible graphics, on the go. I have used it to mark up graphics that I want to blog about. It helps me remember what I want the audience to focus on as they read my piece. Here is a sample of Jake…Groucho Marx-style

3. Attach and Mark up a pdf
Evernote allows you to attach a pdf document to a note and then mark it up. This is effective if you have a tablet or some other type of mobile device like a smartphone. You can dictate a note into Evernote, then attach an assocated pdf and mark it up and save it for later.

Handwriting4. Draw/handwriting

This feature is was just added to the mobile app (tablet or iPad) and I love it.  If you are in the middle of taking notes, from a lecture or an interview, you can scrawl illustrations to your heart’s content. The scrawl may or may not be related to the lecture.  My secret is that I am a doodler. At meetings, I generally listen to what’s being said, but when you look at my notes, you’ll see swirls or flowers or some other doodle that doesn’t resemble anything related to the meeting.


5. Web Clipper

I find this browser extension to be the second best feature of Evernote. This feature allows you to save articles, web pages or web addresses to Evernote. You can save the item in a notebook and then apply the appropriate tag, so that you can find it later. I love using this feature because I can quick research at work, and save the article or page to read during my commute. Definitely comes in handy.

Tell me about what writing/editing apps you might you to help keep your writing on schedule.

Next time: Cloud Banks – where to keep your files online!


Beverly Familar is a blogger and hiker in California’s Inland Empire.  She strives to remain tech savvy in an constantly-changing tech world. When she is not in front of a computer or behind a tech magazine, you can find her out on the trail. She is dedicated to encouraging and supporting well-balanced dogs through mental and physical activities. She shares her love of nature and dogs with others through her hiking group: Hiking with Fido. If you are in the Southern California, consider joining a pack hike.  You can follow the pack’s furry adventures via Twitter @hikingwithfido; via on the Hiking with Fido Facebook page and at


Categories: Blogging | 3 Comments