Trends in Writing, The Arts, Regional Events, and High Desert Living

Posts in category Entrepreneurs

Blogging — It’s What We Love

So many of us love to blog, to share our insights, to learn from others in the High Desert, and to develop a network of friends. It’s the networking that makes some of our goals attainable. For instance, if you don’t know about a specific subject, you can Google it, go to the local  library, check a resource book you might have, YouTube search, or call a friend.


With a large network of blogging friends who love to research on nearly every subject, it’s like having a revolving door to a never-ending list of friends “in-the-know.” Our bloggers at High Desert Blogging have learned how valuable the network of writing friends are: we cover a variety of subjects from Spring gardening to drought watering,


Happy Bloggers at Starbucks

Happy Bloggers at Starbucks


attractions for the family to attend, where some of the best vintage and antique shopping can be found, and where the High Desert’s business people offer the best — customer service, products and produce, home-made crafts and goodies, and without “the-big-box” competition.




Another aspect that bloggers love here is the camaraderie of our blogging network. We don’t just sit at home blogging, we get out and meet our members at


regular blogging Meet-Ups.

Face-to-face is one of the best benefits.

*we share ideas

*point out new sources

*give each other pointers for making money

*develop business-owner friendships

*and more



But the best is knowing that you are not alone in the blogosphere. So many of our members have, at times, felt isolated, unwanted or unappreciated, and need some face-time. We try to meet at least once a month. The meetings recharge our batteries with the spirit of enthusiasm and inevitably enrich our writing. And it shows.

Face to Face friendships



So, to start out the New Year, High Desert Blogging will be working on some new concepts to develop more blogger training, support more think-tank ideas, offer give-aways & contests, and be  the gateway to new business blogging opportunities.

It’s a new year, so stay tuned…

 Rusty LaGrange

Learn Tole Painting at the High Desert’s Kreative Klutter in Apple Valley

A little hide-away spot in Apple Valley’s Old Town on outer Hwy 18 is a treasure trove of boutique goodies. It’s Kreative Klutter. Once you walk through the doors your eyes are mesmerized by all the holiday décor, figurines, glassware, crafty tole designs, and much more.

Kreative Klutter Halloween 2013 _01

My favorites are the deep tone wind chimes.

Debbie Ragains, owner of Creative Clutter here for six and a half years, is also a tole painting teacher with new classes forming. Ask her about the next class taught by Barbara Putnam Underwood on November 9th from 11 to 5. Paint a Santa and Polar Bear motif. Call 760-247-2600 to join the class. If you love what you see in her shop, and wish to learn how to craft your own tole and decorative paint items, then taking a class is the easiest way to begin. Be sure to call Debbie, 760-247-2600, to learn about class arrangements.

Local shopper in blue speaks to Owner Debbie on left

Photos of her extensive store inventory pales in comparison to actually being there. She displays her collectibles and new items in inviting niches and small rooms, having recently expanded her store’s square footage to accommodate more craft students. Halloween items are now deeply discounted while she makes room for more holiday-themed decor. 

Many items to enjoy as you browse

Many items to enjoy as you browse

Store location is a short ways east of Navajo Road at 21810 Outer Hwy 18. The entrance is toward the back of the store complex but there is ample parking in the rear. Debbie “plants” festive garden stakes, signs, and flags in the lawn to mark her entrance.







Rusty LaGrange

if you like what you read here, you can also gain more exposure for your business through this blog.

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Good News — Blogging And Business Trends

 During the rise of blogs, (can you believe it’s been nearly ten years) they were largely a personal medium for idealistic stream-of-consciousness communications made by young writers, moms at home filling time, and a few entrepreneurs who saw the potential connectedness … accessible worldwide via the web.

Today, blogs have morphed into a legitimate business-to-business (B2B) marketing tool rich in content. It took awhile before corporate blogs rose through the clutter to become online powerhouses in their own right. Most are often ghostwritten by paid freelance or staff writers under the direction of the blog owner, usually a company executive. And most savvy business owners, who once posted a large business card as their website, are now seeing the benefits of interactive blogs and posts, chatroom and newsletter engagement, and sending instant sales and coupons without the large print expenses.

Crafters Sales from a Home Business

 The thing about blogs is that everyone is on equal ground when it comes to using the tools and following the trends of blogging. A new business owner, looking for exposure, and an inexpensive way to gain a following, can start a blog from home or office. A blogger can choose how much to write, the topics, and the quantity of posts. He can use it to keep in touch with old clients and entice new customers. She can post a catalogue of items, whether handmade or purchased, and be in complete control. They can run a business from home while nurturing  young, active family.



Here’s the Good News

A study of 2,531 small and medium-sized businesses found
that those that blog have 55% more web site visitors – and 92%
of companies that blogged multiple times a day acquired a
customer through their blog.

That’s encouraging to know. If you continue blogging, keep your content interesting and fresh, entice your followers with sales, contests, or freebies, your growth potential can only go up.

Those with blogs who drop out, lose interest, or never saw the benefits in the first place, will resume their positions in the largest, undisturbed, muddy, web puddle on the Internet.tadpole

Even tadpoles know when to climb out.


Rusty LaGrange

Home Based Business Part 2

In my previous post I spoke about modern day Americans needing to have a Plan B.  We need to put away for a rainy day, or as SciFi Channel would suggest, prepare for the Sharknado.  Expect the unexpected.  And definitely know that when push comes to shove, you have to be able to support yourself when economy shifts have shoved you out of that “safe” job.

More and more people are turning to home based business than ever before.  Not just being an independent distributor for larger well-known corporations like Pampered Chef or Tupperware, but many people are becoming entrepreneurs and starting their own brands from clothes, ribbons and bows, to foods and cakes.  If necessity is the mother of invention, then it is evident that there is a whole lot of necessity in this day and age.  I follow several Facebook pages like High Desert Sellers and High Desert Women’s Business Group, all of which have the same running theme: supporting the small businesses in the High Desert.  With the hiring drought people are turning to working from home as a means of survival.  And guess what? They are loving it.

As most of us have heard of The Avon Lady and the Tupperware Girl, I have had to ask myself: why get into the business? Now I, like many, have tried direct sales in the past from the timid Avon products to the risque Passion Party bounty.  I have heard of distributors making enough to support their family, but I never had that kind of outcome.  Maybe it was because I got in after the bandwagon had long  since forged a trail, or perhaps it was due to my lack of motivation and direct sales skills.  These points must be considered when looking into a home based business, and you must eventually ask yourself this question: am I ready?

Loss of income is a huge motivator for many, it can make the quiet become loud and the unmotivated become sparked.  So here is a list of questions to ask yourself before signing up to be your own boss.

  • Am I looking for extra income or the ability to support my family?
  • How much can I afford to invest?
  • How much time can I invest?
  • Do I have the support of my family?
  • Where will I sell?
  • Is there a demand for this product?
  • How much competition is out there?
  • Do I believe in what I am selling?
  • How long before I turn a profit?
  • Am I paid in items or money?
  • What types of perks are there? Incentives? Bonuses?

All of these questions must be addressed and seriously considered.  To the person looking to make some extra money it may not matter how much they sell or how much competition is out there.  To the person who is looking to support their family it would mean more to be paid in cash rather than items to add to a kit.  And for someone looking to get their own line of ribbons and bows out there, they need to look at how long it would take to turn a profit and what the demand for such items are.

Go in with a realistic outlook not with rose colored glasses.  If you are outspoken you will fair well.  If you are a quiet house mouse then some kind of internet sales may work better.  Also realize the importance of social media; much of my sales have been directly related to social media outlets. I’ve made more sales through Facebook messaging than through phone calls.  Know your strengths and your weakness and base a business off that.  If the best you can do is drop a catalog off in the lunch room then maybe something simple will do.  If you want to host in-home parties and set up at events then you need something with more pizzazz than the average catalog of make-up left in the lunch room.

And if you are selling something that is pricier than $10 per item, you better believe in your product.  The best way to sell is to love and believe in your product.  Also keep in mind that your biggest sales group will likely be family and friends and you don’t want them coming back at you because of a shoddy product.  Just as much as you should know your weaknesses you should also know your strengths: direct marketing, online marketing, large groups, small groups and more.  All of these will help you in choosing a route to venture into, but don’t go into something lightly because a friend or distributor says you can earn thousands; a lucky lottery ticket can give you the same outcome.  Remember, distributors are trying to make money too and the best way to do that is to get other distributors.  Do not be blinded by the promise of big bucks, it takes work! Research the company, know the payouts, and know your own limitations.

Part 3 next week.

Tania L Ramos, Author, RN, and Indep Distributor for It Works!

Want more info on my amazing body wraps and facial wraps? Ask me how you can earn one free.


Home Based Business Part 1

As I look around and listen one thing has become distinctly clear.  The change in the job market is affecting millions.  One recent report would state that the rate in  fulltime employment has seen a rugged drop, meanwhile the rate in part time employment made a tremendous climb.  As nurse who has been working as an on-call status–yet working fulltime hours over a year now–I get the implications.  It really is simple: why buy the cow when you get the milk for free.  I rely on my wages to support my household, and nothing short of a fulltime paycheck will do.  However, when the employer chooses to cut the fat, or drink low fat milk from their free cow, I feel strangled and run into  frenzied panic.  I do not get benefits nor do I get accumulated paid time off, so a loss in twelve hours is a complete loss.  I won’t  get into my political views about the entire thing as I am not a political commentator, more of a satirist when it comes to government.  But there is a definite change on the horizon and I realized that relying on some corporation’s budget left me as more of a pawn in a financial game of Risk.

When the world around me is intent on finding their bottom line and peaking the profit scale at the expense of expendable employees, I realized it was time to reevaluate my strategy for survival.  Now, I have a fire escape strategy in place at home, I have a burglary strategy, I have a stranger-danger plan, I’m working on becoming on a Ninja for my own safety net, and my zombie apocalypse plan is multi-tiered.  What I am lacking is an economic plan for survival. Sure I’ve acquired some savings, but only enough to get me a few loaves of bread.  What I needed was something that I would be in control of during these times of economic flux.  I needed to be my own boss and take charge of my own destiny, and believe me, this isn’t the first time the thought has hit me.  I am definitely not built to be a link on someone else’s chain and thusly decided it was time to make my own chain, but I didn’t know how or where to look and knew that trying to start my own business was a bad idea in the current market and in the small desert communities.

This left one option: home based business! Yikes. I’ve tried that one before and lost more than I made, plus I really needed something I could stand behind.  And low and behold, like a beacon of light, my friend asks me to try her body wrap thingy. As a nurse I was skeptical and would say no or just ignore it all together.  Then she said she was trying to get a bonus and needed some people to try her wraps, and trying to be a supportive friend, I said I’d try her confounded concoction.  Guess what? That little piece of paper that smelled like the spa really did work, and within a month I was now part of one of the fastest growing home based business companies in the states. Why? Because it was a product I believed in.  I believed in it so much that I showed everybody my before and after pictures, and I have never been so excited to show my stretchmarks, cellulite, and large belly . . . until I could show after pics with it.  Selling something you love is easy and I found that within a month I had already hit several bonuses and was well on my way to being able to put money away for a rainy day (ie, cut backs at the hospital) or to pay for publication of my next book.

In this day and age when people are so starved for income that they will take a part-time position working fulltime hours with no benefits or paid time off, I say this: I know how it feels.  I also know this, that many people are now turning to home based businesses, because with the proper motivation even a shy and quiet person can become a home business success.   I never though this was true, and being somehwat of a numbers and research nerd, I read a million (or a dozen) articles before committing to this business and I learned oh so much.  Too much for one blog, so I’ll write a part two on how to shop around for the business that suits you best, what to look for, and the pyramid scams versus the pyramid to financial independence.  The first part of picking a home based business is this: sell for money or sell for love a product? It really helps if you can have both, but if selling for big profit you must research the payouts.  If selling to make some pocket cash then make sure this is something you love,because the more you love the product the easier it is to sell.  Make a list of popular products you know and do a little research, know your start up budget, but do not invest just yet. There is more to know.

If you’d like to know more about the company I am working for feel free to contact me via email at or set up an appointment by phone at 909-896-2494 or visit my website at (my indep. site). And please have a look at my books which is still my biggest passion in life

Tania L Ramos, RN, Author, and on the road to independent wealth in the high desert


Curiosity Tickled by High Desert Nostalgia at the Fair’s RelyLocal Business Expo

God Bless America

God Bless America










High Desert Bloggers were honored to participate in the RelyLocal Business Expo of San Bernardino County Fair on Memorial Day weekend. It was a weekend for fun at the fair but also a time of honor while we reflected on our U. S. Armed Forces and their service to ensure that our nation is safe. It’s a time of nostalgia and remembering soldiers who have served or given their lives for our country.

A time of nostalgia

Meeting Nina with Photography by Hart brought that nostalgic feeling closer to home for me. Nina described some of the High Desert’s enchanting and historical sites that Photography by Hart has used as portrait backgrounds for pin up and boudoir beauty clients. The vintage shop, Linda Marie’s Enchanted Treasures, and the amazing Bottle Tree Ranch in Oro Grande are two of my favorites. The historical Harvey House, a former train depot in Barstow, makes the perfect backdrop for those who love nostalgic World War II portraits. Contact Nina’s Photography by Hart to schedule your very own enchanting portrait. Going to these sites with Nina for portrait shoots would be like taking along a historical guide as well – she loves and knows her High Desert history.

War Stories

Listening to Nina tell about the history of the Harvey House reminded me of war stories my dad, a World War II veteran,  has told me. He remembers the GI’s decorating their barracks with pictures of pin-up girls. Recording nostalgic heritage and war-time stories handed down to us by our families and war veterans is important to me, so much that I published a collection of World War II veterans’ stories in the book, Phantom Seven. You can find this book and several others by local authors at Oasis Book Store on Jacaranda in Hesperia.

A true book oasis

Incidentally, have you visited the Oasis Book Store lately? Owner Donna welcomes her customers with a cozy atmosphere of books, Wi-Fi, tables and chairs, coffee, and tea. You might even discover a delightful cookie or other snack as an additional treat. If you are able, take a moment to bless Hostess Donna with a tip to show your appreciation for her generous hospitality (hint: there’s a cup for such blessings near the coffee). High Desert Bloggers, a FREE group that meets at least once monthly at Donna’s bookstore, has fallen in love with Donna and her fabulous book oasis. The tables and chairs make the perfect spot for our bloggers to gather and discuss current blogging needs and events. Visit and the events page at to find out planned events our bloggers have scheduled for Hi Desert Book Oasis.

RelyLocal Business Expo Alyssa








Special thanks to High Desert’s RelyLocal Team

Another thing I’ve especially noticed about Donna is her genuine smile. Beaming smiles run in the family. Donna’s daughter, Alyssa, has been particularly blessed with an amazing personality that draws people to her – especially all of the business owners connected to RelyLocal Victorville. A special thanks to all of High Desert’s RelyLocal team – Alyssa Penman with RelyLocal-Victorville, Tari Blalock with RelyLocal-Hesperia, and Willis Whitlock with RelyLocal-Apple Valley. Their joint efforts made the RelyLocal Business Expo successful.  .

Willis Whitlock, RelyLocal-Apple Valley

Willis Whitlock, RelyLocal-Apple Valley

Spent the Day on “RelyLocal Row” at the Fair and Look Who We Met!

Rainbow Colored Pinwheel by ausbar at morgueFileOkay, our row of tables just to the right of the Fair’s main entrance wasn’t officially dubbed RelyLocal Row, but it should have been. The organization spearheading the Shop Local Movement in Victorville was gracious enough to invite a very diverse group of local business owners and non-profit organizations to have a presence at the 66th Annual San Bernardino County Fair. I’m honored to be a part of the High Desert Bloggers Meetup, which was invited to share a space on RelyLocal Row at this weekend’s event. Not only did our presence allow us to tell the community about this blog and the High Desert Bloggers, but we also had the opportunity to make a few new friends in the community in the process.

Going With the Flow Was a Gift

While we’d advertised that we’d be live-blogging from the event, fate said otherwise. We didn’t have WiFi access and even though two of us have wireless hotspots, which multiple devices can connect to, neither one of our gadgets would cooperate. In retrospect, this was a good thing, though. Without being tethered to our laptops, we were able to learn about some of the most awesome indie businesses here in the High Desert. Such as:

Real-life private investigator, Rick Luginbill, from Luginbill Investigative Services, Inc. in Victorville.

Having just yesterday finished reading the latest mystery solved by the great but fictitious private eye, Easy Rawlins, I was thrilled to meet a real P.I. in the flesh. I’ve always admired the profession and after talking to Rick for a few minutes, I was impressed by his friendly, laid back demeanor and his open invitation to give him a call in relation to his services which we briefly discussed. While I’d originally imagined that a P.I.’s services would be expensive, not only did Rick quote me a very fair price (no pun intended), but he even offered a discount for being a RelyLocal member present at the Fair today. How cool is that?! Folks, if you’re trying to locate a missing person, need a background check on an individual or even need someone to go undercover to get intel on your behalf, know that we’ve got a professionally trained, licensed and experienced P.I. right here in our own backyard.

Personalized Gifts and a Local Opportunity

If you’ve got a baby shower, wedding, birthday or any other special event coming up in the near future, you owe it to yourself to pay a visit to Meredith Lilly, Inc’s website. There, you’ll find all sorts of unique gifts, which can be personalized for your special occasion. During my afternoon visit, I had the pleasure of meeting Independent Founding Consultant, Inge Schon-Valdez, and learning that not only does Meredith Lilly, Inc. offer everything from beautifully embroidered tote bags to monogrammed iPhone cases to ruffled aprons and more– but the company also offers a really nice business opportunity which is free to join. New consultants don’t even have to buy a kit to get started!

A Photographer With an Unforgettable Style

Directly across from the High Desert Bloggers’ table were two ladies who I just knew were models of some sort and I was right…sort of. One of the elegant young women was none other than Nina Hart of Photography by Hart and the second was one of her stunning models. I have to tell you that I was very impressed with Nina’s work, which was very nicely displayed at her table. But I was even more impressed with the styles and themes that she specializes in, which is boudoir and pin-up photography. The latter being equal parts unique and nostalgic, I found it quite fitting that this style of photography was so nicely represented on Memorial Day Weekend, particularly since the niche was so wildly acclaimed during World War II (pin-up models were quite popular with American soldiers). Of course, Nina also does wedding photography and more, so be sure to check her site out and be on the lookout for her work around the High Desert and beyond!

Nina Hart Photography


The Coolest Invention…Ever!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve never seen a 3D printer in action– that is, until meeting the fine folks at Windy Ridge Innovation today. For those of you who don’t know, a 3D printer is one which takes a digital rendition of an object and produces a three-dimensional copy of it. The possibilities here are seriously endless, but here are a few trinkets which were placed on display today:

Windy Ridge Innovation


The technology, itself, is proving to have promise above what most of us can think or imagine. Why, just last week a child’s life was saved by the creation of an airway splint which came from– you guessed it– a 3D printer! Seriously, what is cooler than that?

Many thanks to Steve and Debby Kurti of Windy Ridge Innovation for allowing us all a front row seat (Okay, I stood in front of their table, but you get the point) as we peered into the future at today’s Fair!

Lots of Local Sparkly Bling

Irene Gaulke is one of the first people that I met when I arrived in the High Desert nearly a year ago, so it was really nice to reconnect with her at today’s Fair. Irene is an independent distributor for Premier Designs Jewelry. Seriously, the pieces displayed at her table were simply elegant. Take a look:

Irene Gaulke Jewelry


Premier Designs Jewelry Irene Gaulke


Now, of course Irene sells jewelry, but she also offers two most outstanding opportunities, as well. One involves winning jewelry by hosting a party and the other involves starting your own business as a Premier Designs Jewelry independent rep. When I first met Irene a year ago, she was working part time on her new venture. Today, she is a full-time businesswoman in charge of her own enterprise while representing a brand that she truly believes in. Sweet, right?

More Local Goodness Coming Soon

Tune in later in the week to read about the rest of our adventure at the Fair while meeting some of RelyLocal’s finest indie business owners. A couple of our other bloggers will be logging in soon to bring you their unique impressions and interesting finds. And I’ve got a lot more to share with you about some of the community based organizations who were at the event and who are on the ground every day working to bring attention to some very important causes which exist right under our collective noses. Until then, please be sure to visit the websites of all of the businesses mentioned above. They’re all locally owned and operated by YOUR NEIGHBORS here in the HD, so remember to support them as much and as often as you can.

Once again, a huge thank you to RelyLocal for allowing High Desert Bloggers to be a part of this weekend’s event. RelyLocal, the High Desert Bloggers and every small business mentioned above will be at the Fair from its opening hours to closing tomorrow (Monday), too, so be sure to stop by and say hello!

High Desert Small Businesses Rely on Buy Local Shop Local Marketing with RelyLocal

RelyLocal First Mondays at Oasis BookstoreWhether you’re a new small business owner just getting started or an established entrepreneur struggling for a stable market, your marketing power is networking with the local community. RelyLocal can offer wider exposure and more marketing power in your sphere of shoppers than some larger online businesses that cater to major companies with larger pocketbooks.

Why would that be beneficial?

The focus of RelyLocal and its growing cadre of business owners is to bring local buyers to local sellers without the large overhead.

“We work specifically with independent, small businesses who want marketing clout,” said Alyssa Penman, speaking to a group of bloggers at a recent meet up in High Desert Oasis Bookstore. “Small businesses find it hard to compete with Big Box stores and long-developed franchises. A small company, family-owned and operated can invest in a proven plan through RelyLocal.”

RelyLocal pumps up exposure

Still having the advantage of online marketing while gaining recognition through a close-working network, RelyLocal pumps up the exposure. High Desert entrepreneurs can enjoy a broader reach in their local region. Small businesses often have to stretch their advertising dollar too far to do much good. It’s pick and choose; sink or swim; either way, it can be expensive.

And yet with the downturn of printed advertising in magazines and newspapers, and increase of online businesses diluting the market shares, local business owners must look for other ways to compete. RelyLocal seems to be a great option to consider.

Alyssa Penman brought RelyLocal to the High Desert about three years ago. It now is expanding to Hesperia, Oak Hills, Phelan, Adelanto, Helendale, Summit Valley, and soon Apple Valley and Lucerne Valley.

With a nominal fee of $300 a year, much less than any start-up franchise, High Desert businesses see the benefits of this grassroots plan. “We use grassroots marketing strategy, ‘First Mondays’ where shop owners can meet and mingle, networking, linking online with a staff of marketers who know the High Desert, special events and even a free ap for cell phone access,” Alyssa explained.

RelyLocal Alyssa at Oasis Bookstore











Working eye-to-eye

RelyLocal can be considered similar to other SAASs (software as a service) like HubSpot, SalesForce and varied designer companies with online marketing strategies. The one big difference is its local focus. Can it be? Working eye-to-eye at a local level? The concept of getting back to basics in sales and marketing is being accepted as “refreshingly honest.”

Most small businesses sign up with their cities’ Chambers of Commerce. However, with RelyLocal, the focus is on networking and having an active staff of marketers can enhance the entire positioning package. According to some of the company’s objectives, it is to promote regularly, bring shoppers to their local stores to preserve the High Desert economy, and open new techno strategies to the business climate.

What does that mean to small business?

“Small business entrepreneurs have so many options to them beyond printed ads, flyers, and mixers. They can add online business tools with SEO (search engine optimization), linking, web page content focused for them, online coupons and specials, blogging or finding a business blogger for them … the list keeps growing.” Although the parent company is in Oregon, the ability to laser focus on local marketing makes the growth potential of RelyLocal expanding across the entire High Desert, a perfect example.

“High Desert Business Expo” at Fairgrounds; Meet the Bloggers, May 25, 26, 27

Alyssa is also happy to announce that the High Desert Business Expo will be featured at the Fairgrounds during its regular schedule. “Look for our special event tables. You’ll find our RelyLocal member businesses, self-published authors, bloggers from High Desert Bloggers Meetup, Oasis Bookstore, networking ideas, and more,” she said.

The Fairgrounds will open

  • Saturday, May 25 – Monday, May 27, 2:00 pm to 11:00 pm
  • Tuesday, May 28 -Thursday, May 29, 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm
  • Friday, May 31 – Sunday, June 2, 2:00 pm to 11:00 pm

The High Desert Bloggers Meetup group will be at the Expo May 25, 26 and 27 blogging live about the fair and its marketing potential for all small business owners.


Rusty LaGrange

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There’s a reason why traditional works

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day

It’s Mother’s Day weekend and all over the high desert you can see vendors selling their wares for those who haven’t already purchased a gift for that special person. As for myself, I go with the standard gift, flowers. They’re a traditional way to say I love and appreciate you.

There are quite a few locally owned florists, such as Allen’s Flowers & Plants and Fairy Tales Flowers & Gifts (both have been serving the High Desert for many years) with a variety of bouquets and plants to choose from and helpful staff members ready to assist in finding the right gift.

Another couple of options for fresh flowers would be going to local Farmers Markets or reating a bundle of posies from your own garden.

Simple Bouquet

Simple Bouquet

We have Farmers Markets during the week (Hesperia – Wed, Victorville – Thurs, and Apple Valley- Fri). Unfortunately, I missed them all and quite frankly, I was worried about the flowers not staying fresh till Sunday.

Yes, flowers have become the stand-by gift for Mother’s Day but there’s a reason why.

They’re a handful of joy, a rainbow of colors, and nature’s own perfumes being bestowed upon someone as a token of affection.

Should an arrangement of flowers be considered a trite gift?

I think not.

For more information or to get to know Just a HD Mom you can follow me on Twitter @MGEdwardsWrites and/or join my blog

Sushi, please

This past Saturday, the 11yo and I went out for sushi. One would
assume, as I did years ago, finding good sushi in the High Desert wouldn’t happen. Not true, my friends. There are quite a few Japanese restaurants in the area with more opening their doors all the time. (If only someone would open an authentic Ramen Noodle House, I’d be ecstatic.)

Lately, we have a particular spot we always go to. Samurai Sushi,
it’s on 7th street near the downtown area. When you walk through the
doors, you’re greeted with a resounding “Irasshaimase” and cheerful smiles from the chef and waiters/waitresses. (The chef sends each table a free appetizer and a dessert, we love this place.)

As a family, sushi is one of our favorite choices for a family night out on the town. Usually, our son sticks with teriyaki chicken and a few pieces of sushi. This particular night he decided to branch out and get a sushi roll instead.

We did big things. Sushi rolls, miso soup (seaweed, tofu, and broth), and sashimi (that’s raw fish without the ball of rice underneath). Oh yes, the boy eats raw fish. He’s been eating sushi since he was in preschool.

Times seems to be speeding up and the 11yo is getting older, he’ll be 12 next month. I pray our small family stays close and we don’t forget to treasure these moments. It seems like only yesterday he was eating his first bowl of miso.

I remember the waitress added ice cubes because it was hot. He was so small he couldn’t reach the table so he sat in a booster seat, clutching the spoon in his chubby little hands and carefully aiming it toward his pursed mouth.

Sigh…great, now I’m depressed. I might need another sushi night.

For more information or to get to know Just a HD Mom you can follow me on Twitter @MGEdwardsWrites and/or join my blog

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