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

Posts in category High Desert People

High Desert Author’s Film “Norman’s in Love”

Roberta Smith

“Norman’s in Love”

Lights! Camera! Action!

submitted by Nevermore Enterprises

Author Roberta Smith writes in the horror/paranormal genre. To promote her books and the genre, she decided to film a scene from her novel, “The Accordo.” The short film is called, “Norman’s in Love.” Photographer Ryan Brewer signed on as the cinematographer, and she hired professional actor, Micky Shiloah, from LA to bring her strange, egocentric character to life. Husband, Chuck, helped her build a set (drywall, molding, nails, paint . . . the whole nine yards) in a large room in their house. Chuck also played the security guard in the scene. Filming was done in one day and lasted until2:30 in the morning.

“Never thought I’d try to produce my own film, but that’s what I’m doing,” Smith said. “It has been an eye-opening experience. I’m excited for the rough footage to be turned into something fun to watch.”

The film will debut at the upcoming 2015 Horror Book Fest she and marketing collaborator/fellow horror author, Michael Raff, are presenting October 3, 2015 at the Courtyard Marriot. Check out to learn more about that.

New Basket Give-Away at Cadillac Antiques in Lucerne Valley

We just heard the news! Cadillac Antiques is gearing up for their first year anniversary with a Blog Basket Give-Away in July. It’s been nearly a year since the shop first opened in the Pueblo Building in Lucerne Valley. To celebrate, owners Patty, Ralph, Charlene and Dave have decided to fill a huge basket with everything donated from the store, its consignment vendors, and High Desert Blogging members.

Cadillac Antiques has Car-lectibles and furniture, glassware, and paintings and great gifts

Cadillac Antiques has Car-lectibles and furniture, glassware, and paintings and great gifts

Watch here for the latest news as the basket begins to fill with collectible goodies, new and used gifts of all sorts, plus a few re-purposed “car-lectibles” — auto parts with a new lease on life as chromed gadgets, and what-nots. We don’t know what surprises are inside. READ MORE »

Cadillac Antiques Calling Lucerne Valley it’s High Desert Home

Small towns, like Lucerne Valley, can seem to move at their own pace — too slow for the younger generation, too fast for those entering their retirement years. Then there’s the working folk who want a slower pace.

Stylish Glass and Vases

Stylish Glass and Vases

Meet Patty Muldoon of Cadillac Antiques. She’s slowly moving up to the High Desert one weekend at a time. The new shop, open just a year ago come July, is a long-term investment for two couples. Patty and her husband, Ralph, are co-partner/owners with good friends Charlene and Dave Guertin.

“The High Desert offers so much of what we want: less noise, wide open spaces, blue skies, and at night you can see the stars,” says Patty.

When they made the choice to find the perfect place for an antiques shop in 2014, they all fell in love with the two-story Pueblo Building in Lucerne Valley. The building was once owned by Tom and Arla Daugherty and their daughter, Karen. Over the years, ill health took both Tom then Arla. Karen owned another business out-of-state so she began placing the large Pueblo-styled shop on the market.


A Few Dolls & Crafted Toys

A Few Dolls & Crafted Toys

The Muldoons and Guertins  made the move and the commitment to see their business grow, while the Muldoons are gradually moving to the less stressful lifestyle of the desert.

“We made some remodeling changes that exposed the wood rafter ceilings, then we painted and changed a few more things. I was a bit nervous when the current owner came by to check on us,” said Patty. “But Karen was pleased with the facelift, too. And I think her mother would have loved it.”

Men with find Car-lectibles and repurposed auto parts

Men with find Car-lectibles and repurposed auto parts

Settling into the new community has been much easier than they thought. Patty reports that so many people like to just come in and browse, talk to us like we’ve been here a long time.”

With the ideas of expansion, Patty explained that they’d like to add a “Cruising Cars & Coffee” event maybe once a month, and eventually a café next door. “In a small town people need something to do,” said Patty.

Snowy Curio Family

Snowy Curio Family

It’s the antiques and collectibles that draw new customers. You can stroll through a selection of mid-century art and icons, repurposed car art what Dave and Ralph call their ‘car-lectibles”, dolls, jewelry, paintings, kitchen gadgets and cut glass — all lovingly displayed in curio cabinets, and bookcases. Some items are on consignment, or offered through quality vendors, but most items are managed by the owners.

Two Young Girls

Two Young Girls

This past Saturday Patty hosted a bloggers brunch and shopping event with members of She provided breakfast croissants, fruit, pastries, and coffee. Bloggers will be posting here about their experience visiting with Patty and shopping among the vintage and antique items.

Meet Patty Muldoon

Meet Patty Muldoon

“Maybe it’s the small town attitude, the easy pace, that let’s us know that Cadillac Antiques is home. So we’ve decided to purchase the building in July.”


Cadillac Antiques, in Lucerne Valley’s historic Pueblo Building, is at 32090 State Hwy 18. They can be reached at (760) 248-2829. The store is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm; Sunday 11am-5pm; and closed Mondays.

The Pueblo Building now Cadillac Antiques store

The Pueblo Building now Cadillac Antiques store

Rusty LaGrange

High Desert Hosts Its First Harmony Circle

Participants in the first harmony circle of Ellie Drake's 2015 Harmony Circle TourA group of women gathered in Victorville Saturday to meet with Braveheart Women’s Ellie Drake and participate in the first Harmony Circle of the 2015 Harmony Circle Tour.  According to event host, Donna Mass of Victorville, the purpose of  a Harmony Circle is to bring women together to connect in a better, deeper, and more meaningful way.  This deeper connection is the mission of Ellie Drake.  In fact, the mission statement of Braveheart Women is “To connect the Women of the world together in order to receive and give Inspiration in the areas of Self-Esteem, Empowerment, Purpose, Passion and Personal Prosperity while enhancing the world by being Brave Women who live from the Heart.”

The high desert's first harmony circle was hosted by Donna Mass

Saturday’s event began with the group of women introducing themselves and sharing one or two details about where they were in their lives at that moment.  Afterwards, Ms. Drake explained to the group about two very different hormones that are present in the body.  Oxytocin and Adrenaline.  Most of us have heard of Adrenaline, the hormone secreted by our bodies in conditions of stress which increases circulation, breathing, and prepares muscles for exertion.  This is referred to as the “flight or fight” hormone.  Ms. Drake described Oxytocin’s effect on the body as the exact opposite of adrenaline.


She further explained that, for men, the anxiety, and adrenaline rush that comes with it, actually helps to push them forward so that they can accomplish the task.  For women, however, this is not the case.  Women do not work at their best potential under a high stress, adrenaline filled, weight.  As a group, we were instructed how to do “Oxytocin Breathing”.  According to Drake, this type of breathing stimulates the release of the hormone oxytocin and helps us to be more receptive to connecting with one another on a deeper level and helps us to move beyond our inclination toward mistrust.


The next component of our experience included a brief introduction to Dybo.  Dybo is a dance that stands for Dance Your Buts Off.  This does not refer to the butts on which you are sitting.  Instead, it refers to getting rid of the excuses that keep you from accomplishing all that is within your potential to achieve.  The Dybo process consists of 5 parts–recognizing, unraveling, releasing, restoring, and rejoicing.  It was high energy and very fun.

Finally, the afternoon concluded with the Harmony Circle where two concentric circles of women faced each other as the outer circle rotated slowly around the inner circle.  Afterwards, one participant stated that she hadn’t felt such a deep and sincere connection with other women in a very long time.  The whole experience was very different than what I had expected, but it was very educational and extremely worthwhile.  I look forward to the High Desert’s next Harmony Circle.

For more information about BraveHeart Women click here

For information about free Dybo Classes in your own home via Skype contact Donna Mass at (760) 308-0404

**Patti can also be found at where she tries to limit her blogging to stocking a pantry, budgeting, and recipes.  She isn’t always successful.

Last Blog Basket of the Season Draw at Suger Shack

As we sneak up on the last days of December, I represented High Desert Blogging com’s Basket Give-Away drawing Saturday, Dec. 20, at Sugar Shack. This shop is always festive and the owners — mother -daughter team — Debbie and Tonya, always have the coffee brewing.

Tonya and Debbie Got the Sweet Treats at Sugar Shack

Tonya and Debbie Got the Sweet Treats at Sugar Shack

One of the largest baskets of our seven-week drawing, Sugar Shack was so enthusiastic to try the basket give-away that they barely had time to get sign-ins. As people began coming in to get out of the blast of wind at Oro Grande’s new face lifted vintage shops in Old Town, they shopped and sipped and warmed up. Everyone was in such a cheery mood.




I placed all of the Basket Give-Away names in a bag and drew Joel Esparza! Congratulations!!

And the Winner Is...

And the Winner Is…

He only gave an email address so we are hoping to hear from him soon.

In the meantime, I hope shoppers remember that if you’ve stuck for a gift for a teen or a gentleman, candy is always a great selection.



Sugar Shack Antiques, Collectibles, and Candies will have modified  hours for the holidays so be sure to call (760) 646-0562 or check their Facebook page for updates.


Sugar Shack _tonya_02_12202014


Our winner, Joel, picked up his basket and enjoyed a great and very sweet collection of goodies from Sugar Shack.

Keep watching for our next basket give-away for Valentine’s Day!








 Happy Holidays!

From Angie and Rusty












Only 6 Days Left for Sugar Shack’s Basket Give-Away

With only 11 days before Christmas, shopping ideas might be just what you’re looking for. A gift of a bygone era — as in collectibles and small antiques —  can brighten anyone’s holiday. We have so many vintage and antiques in the High Desert to choose from.


Vintage, Antiques, and Candy

Sugar Shack

What if you are searching for a gift for children or teens and venturing into an electronics store is a bit overwhelming? Why not try candies and confections instead? I don’t know of anyone who would turn down candy!

Right now Sugar Shack, one of the newest candy shops  on Route 66 in Oro Grande, is stocking its shelves with the scent of peppermint and chocolate. There’s more, of course, but those are my favorite flavors. They offer sugar-free candies, too.

Even better is the Autumn Blog Basket Give-Away continuing with the latest entry basket at Sugar Shack. It’s crammed with everything: some candy, a number of collectibles, handmade and crafty items, and I think I saw an antique, too. Their basket drawing is set for Dec. 20th. Nothing to buy. No tickets. No charge at all. Just stop by and sign up. Winner will be notified by phone and email. Winner doesn’t need to be present. it’s High Desert Blogging’s way of thanking our High Desert community for supporting our efforts for the past 3 years.

Some of their regular shoppers at Sugar Shack come in just for their morning coffee and a pastry. The shop also offers a collection of antiques and handmade crafts, and collectibles — I saw “Betty Boop” collection looking at me from the shelf. As Sugar Shack grows, mother and daughter owners, Debbie Justice and Tonya Edwards, will expand their line of goodies. They currently house three vendors who offer the handmade goods.

Betty Boop is alive and well and living at Sugar Shack

Betty Boop is alive and well and living at Sugar Shack

Sugar Shack collectibles, candies, and antiques open early 6 am Monday through Friday and close by 5 pm. On weekends they open 10 am until 5 pm. Their new store number is (760) 646-0562.

You can find out more about them and some daily specials on Facebook. Go To:

Stop in and say “hi” to Debbie and Tonya, get a hot mug of coffee, and let your sweet tooth do the shopping.


Rusty LaGrange


Desert Cottage Joins Autumn Basket Give-Away


Grace and elegance are the best words to describe The Desert Cottage, a home repurposed into a fashion plate for vintage and antique pieces. It was such a pleasure walking slowly through what seemed like endless shops in one. Each room and cozy niche was tastefully decorated in vintage style with different themes. With 20 vendors, the mix is a true adventure.

A little bit camera shy, Yvonne and Anna, share a silly moment while showing the holiday decor

A little bit camera shy, Yvonne and Anna, share a silly moment while showing the holiday decor


Too many wonderful things… so little time. I think that’s my motto.


Anna at Desert Cottage

Anna at Desert Cottage

The Desert Cottage has also joined High Desert Blogging’s “Autumn Blog Basket Give-Away.” Their donor basket is filling fast with yummy foods, collectibles, and more, added daily. The drawing is scheduled for Saturday, December 6th at noon. A winner will be drawn from those who have signed in at the shop. Stop by and enter. There’s no charge, no tickets. It’s just the way that High Desert Blogging is giving back to High Desert  communities for their support these past three years.

Flower Arrangements by Yvonne

Flower Arrangements by Yvonne


For your visit there, be sure to talk to Anna, the owner and her long-time friend, Yvonne. They love to greet new visitors and cater to the many requests they receive from hunters looking for gifts and collections. Yvonne specializes in flower arrangements while Anna has a creative eye for vintage goodies. Her creations are placed throughout the main section. Christmas décor is beginning to fill in, so most vendors will have something for everybody.


The Desert Cottage can be found on Facebook and Instagram with latest sale items listed. Their hours are 10-5 daily with Sundays and Mondays closed, located at 15451 Bear Valley Rd near 11th Street, (760) 948-7225.


Basket Winners Announced for “Enchanted Treasures’ and “Salvaged & Tattered” Vintage Shops Held Nov 16

Surrounded by her Enchanted Treasures, Linda Marie gathered a basket full of goodies for the drawing.

Surrounded by her Enchanted Treasures, Linda Marie gathered a basket full of goodies for the drawing.


It was a beautiful day in the High Desert for a Autumn Basket Give-Away. The first vintage shop Angie and I traveled to, out in Oro Grande on National Trails Highway, was Linda Marie’s Enchanted Treasures. Old Town Oro Grande has several old whitewashed brick buildings that are receiving facelifts and new tenants. But Linda Marie’s has been an anchor store for many years, and the first to sponsor a basket in her shop.

If you haven’t made the trek out there, it’s filled with outdoor imagination. Wander through little mazes of amazing stuff. Booth owners make changes often so the inventory moves. Here, patio furniture and almost anything get a new upcycled life. At the front is an antiques and collectibles shop housed in an old adobe turned showcase. “It’s a solid building,” says Linda, “even when the trains go by, the glass items may ring and jingle, but nothing falls.”

Linda Marie’s Enchanted Treasures is just down the street from these new shops. In fact, she opened a second shop, Salvaged & Tattered, with the assistance of vendor Virginia Martinez and others. This shop is flaunting a white and cream, lacy vintage theme. It makes you want to stop and gaze  around at the many designs and sparkly jewels, lamps, and bric-a-brac that make vintage shops so charming.

                                                                                               Owner of Linda Marie's Enchanted Treasures

                                                                                  Owner of Linda Marie’s Enchanted Treasures

The drawing for the winner of the basket sponsored by Enchanted Treasures was held at 11 am. And the winner is Ceily Highburger from Colorado, who happened to be on vacation out West! What a surprise.

 Sponsored Basket Winner Announced

Sponsored Basket Winner Announced at Salvaged & Tattered

We walked down the street to see how Salvaged & Tattered was doing. In only a month, since their doors opened, manager “Vee”  agreed that the traffic into the shop has been very steady. And that’s understandable with the lure of many shops in one convenient location.

Victorian Cream and Lace
Victorian Cream and Lace


Our Autumn Blog Basket Give-Away was also planned for this Saturday drawing, so with a faux drum roll please …

Ruth Guffey from the High Desert was drawn as the winner of a beautiful wire basket full of vintage goodies, some food items, and little secrets stuffed inside. Congratulations, ladies!

 Vee Martinez greets shoppers at new store

Vee Martinez greets shoppers at Linda Marie’s newest store



Another door down is Silver Trails specializing in native Indian jewelry and antiques. Engaged couple Patrick Morton and Maddie enjoy collectibles and hunting for antiques that shoppers will love. Just open 30 days ago, traffic and sales are encouraging. It’s early yet, so vintage shoppers can find some new goodies at Silver Trails. They also offer lay-away. They are another one of our newest basket sponsor for our Bloggers Basket Give-Away. You’ll find them at 19248 National Trails Hwy. Their number is (760) 484-6300.

Young Couple, Maddie and Patrick, open Silver Trails antique shop
Young Couple, Maddie and Patrick, open Silver Trails antique shop
                 Shopping in Silver Trails  Shopping in Silver Trails

Besides the fact that Angie and I will be returning December 6th for our basket drawing at Silver Trails, another store opening in December promises to fill our sweet tooths. An old-fashioned candy store with sodas and other goodies is tempting us. Can’t wait to see what’s inside!

 Open! Open ! Open!

 Later, we’ll meet another newcomer to High Desert’s sudden bloom of vintage shops.



Women’s Escape to Catalina Writers’ Retreat

file0001149784476Several others have already weighed in with their opinion of the first women writers’ retreat.  What many of you may not know is the story of how this all came to fruition.  It started with a conversation between two members of the High Desert Branch of the California Writer’s Club.  They were discussing how other responsibilities often kept them from pursuing their true passion, writing.

“Wouldn’t it be great if we could go away to an island where we could write without all of the distractions?” one of the women mused.

Apparently, one of them realized that it is possible to go away to an island, and the Escape to Catalina was conceived.

This women-only weekend was a truly unique experience because it was planned for each of the participants to also be one of the presenters.  There were five women, and this translated to 5 sessions that ran from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours long.  Each presenter was allowed to choose her own subject which, in retrospect, could have been a recipe for disaster with no one overseeing the overall plan.  Instead of a disaster, the instructional sessions, which included lots of writing, fit together nicely.  It came together so well, one would have thought much more time went into the overall organization.

The first evening was spent learning about the anatomy of a story and all of the components that need to be present in order for a story to come to life.  The second day’s first presentation was about character development and what was required to truly bring them to life on the page.  The instruction in creative non-fiction which followed helped us all realize that non-fiction writing didn’t have to be boring and technical as we learned how to write a recipe as creative non-fiction from the example of a grilled cheese sandwich recipe that was embedded in the description of the first time a future chef climbed onto a chair in her mother’s kitchen to make a sandwich.  A subsequent session spent on voice and style was time well spent because as writers, we need to find our own voice so that we will stand apart from other writers.  The conference closed with Blogging 101, which included excellent instruction about building and maketing your blog.

Between all of these sessions there was time to explore and/or write.    It’s been nearly a month since the return from our weekend retreat, and I am still carrying around the notebook full of notes and ideas that came together from that weekend.  In fact, I began the outline of my NaNoWriMo project during that weekend.  Perhaps it was the presence of  my local area’s NaNoWriMo coordinator that helped to propel me toward that goal.

I am very glad that I was able to escape with my fellow female writers to Santa Catalina Island.  It was time well spent, and I returned feeling refeshed and with my muse reawakened.  The real challenge will be to prevent it from slipping back into a coma now that we have returned to the demands and distractions of daily life.

**Patti  can also be found at where she tries to limit her blogging to stocking a pantry, budgeting, and recipes.  She isn’t always successful.

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