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Posts in category Apple Valley

“PoemSmiths” Gain new Audience at First Fridays Event

On First Fridays when the Historic Apple Valley Inn opens its doors to open-air vendors, booths, walk-through visitors, and gallery viewers, you’ll often find different events at Hi Desert Book Oasis used bookstore.

Shoppers Concentrate on Book Sales

Shoppers Concentrate on Book Sales

This time, owners Donna and Allysa, hosted a poetry reading event to celebrate their third year of business.

Mary Langer Thompson leads PoemSmiths event

Mary Langer Thompson leads PoemSmiths event

Members of the newly-organized PoemSmiths gathered to read a variety of poems from each member. The PoemSmiths are a critique group sponsored by California Writers Club – High Desert Branch.

Mary addressing the group of poets

Mary addressing the group of poets

Elizabeth Pye shares a poem

Elizabeth Pye shares a poem

“There was so much interest in poetry that we branched out to share our poetry and support poets within the branch,” said Mary Langer Thompson. She’s also a former California Senior Poet Laureate, and retired English/poetry teacher. Break-out groups are common within the CWC organization.

Other featured poets were: Linda Boruff, Loralie Kay, J.P Newcomer, Rusty LaGrange, and Elizabeth Pye, and a guest reader, Davida Siwisa James.

A Personal Space is Prime for Poems

A Personal Space is Prime for Poems

Donna, the owner of the bookstore, often encourages different events in the bookstore: from book signings by local authors, to painting displays, poetry readings, and craft booths. But First Fridays remains the featured evening when shoppers can stroll the entire Apple Valley Inn complex to see what’s happening.

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

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Today I heard a beautiful teaching about actions. I looked at some of my actions and understood that not everyone would be impressed at my actions.   Everyday, awareness of those around us and how we relate to them in the long stream, is something we consider as trivia. Honestly the things I find important sometimes are so insignificant compared to other’s problems. When I got home, I looked up some trivia information about actions and these are the ones I found on a trivia website Here are some notable quotes about action:

I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts. John Locke

Well done is better than well said. Benjamin Franklin

After all is said and done, a lot more will have been said than done. Anonymous

I got to thinking about everything I say I’m going to do on a daily basis and how much of that is just wishful thinking. Thinking of what I do being more important than what my neighbor does or the person around the corner. Then I say, get over yourself and know what you do is better than what you say you’ll do. Action a word to ponder.


If you’ve ever had to look for employment, or if you are looking now, times have changed. I’m a little too old because I remember how it was done in the past. When you wanted to look for a job, you got out the newspaper, looked in the want ads for employment, circled the ones that applied to you, got in your car and drove to the destination to put in an application. If you got lucky, or made friends with the secretary you might just get an interview on the spot.

Well, it’s a whole different ball game today. Today, you can’t just waltz into an establishment and fill out an application. Today it’s all about the computer. Look up a job online with a keyword, an establishment, or an agency such as Monster or

Some of the plus sides of online submission is that you can apply for as many jobs as you can sit through in one day. I mean sit through, because many application processes are lengthy, more than an hour of psychological questions asked the same way, over and over.

I see the downside of today’s application process as being very sterile. There is no interaction between humans during this process. You will receive an e mail that they have your application. Who has your application? Where does the application go? How long will it be before you get a response? These are all very valid questions.

All I can say about this new way of job hunting is apply for as many jobs you can apply for, every day! Happy job search.


Today is Sunday. Most Sundays you might find grumbling that work is the next day but not this Sunday. This is a Sunday filled with joy and happiness and reminders that joy is a gift that is given to us freely and we ought to enjoy it. As of late I’ve seen grumbling before me and I’m reminded of the saying my mother says still today, “Get glad in the same pants you got mad in.” In other words no one really cares what you are mad about.

Today was a day full of peace in my high desert world. I got to spend time with great people. I got to spend time with my mother and sister. I got to enjoy another beautiful blue skied day in the desert. Fluffy white clouds dotted the horizon and made the sky look like an inviting pillow. There was a calm over the desert. Even though the weather is hot, it’s not as hot as it was yesterday or the day before.

What more can a person ask for, blue skies, good people to mingle with and an assurance of the Sunday Joy that surrounds the day. Tomorrow is a work day, but if I look around I will find joy in that day too. No one, no one person in this world can take joy from our hearts. Joy is a feeling and even in the midst of a crises, joy can be found.

Thank you for a great ending to a fourth of July weekend. Thank you for joy in our hearts.


Father’s day has arrived.  It’s Sunday, it’s the day to remember father’s and to love them unconditionally the way they have loved you.  In my last Father’s day post I gave all of us some easy, inexpensive tips to honoring our father on Father’s Day.  It’s 7:52 a.m. so maybe you can start cooking that breakfast.

My father was an early riser and it didn’t matter what day of the week it was he still loved the morning hour.  He cherished that quiet time and didn’t care to interact until he’d read his paper and drank coffee.  He’d come alive about 8:00 a.m. which tells you how early he got up.

In his later years he couldn’t drink coffee, due to a heart condition.  He’d still get up, read his paper or a good book and then he’d check his blood sugar and see what he could have for breakfast.  He liked making his own breakfast because then he could get his eggs exactly the way he liked them.  Two pieces of bacon and two eggs, easy over, and one piece of toast.  He was not really a bread fan; he just needed something to sop up his egg yoke.

Sometimes I look at myself and I smile at how much I’m like him.  I love rising early and enjoying the quiet.  No little grandchildren saying, grandma, grandma and no responsibilities except to myself.  I love spending that time, meditating, writing, blogging, or reading a good book.  I’d  add doing my homework, college, but who really wants to do homework?

My father loved the high desert.  He always called it God’s country.  We lived down the hill all of my growing up years but when he moved up here he said this is the place to be.  The sky is clear and blue and a small community is better than a large one.  We are a small community but there is a lot going on in the high desert.  More than we think about.

On this Sunday, Father’s Day Sunday, we reminisce and cherish our Father’s.  Many of us will go to church and we will hold our father’s hand, happy that they are by our side.  Many of us will go home and we will celebrate with food, laughter and family and make Father’s Day memories that we will long reminisce.



Tomorrow is Father’s Day.  That’s the day we honor those father’s and all that they do for us.  Yep, they are amazing.  Hey, contrary to what the news tells us everyday, the economy is still not flourishing.  I listen to those words everyday as I travel the three hours one way to work and I wonder who has money, extra money?

We can still give our fathers a great day.  Here are ten very reasonably priced presents we can give him:

1.  Breakfast in bed.  (Cost, price of breakfast, the same price you would spend anyways.  A little pampering is appreciated.)

2.  Before breakfast, bring in a pan of hot water and a washcloth.  Give his face a wakeup washing, gently now, he’s not all the way awake.

(Cost, a small amount of water, an item added to the regular washing.  Loving gesture appreciated).

3.  After he eats his breakfast, lead him to his favorite chair and hand him his newspaper.  Make sure he has thirty minutes at least uninterrupted

with his reading.  (Cost:  Quiet time cannot be measured especially if his children are toddler age.)

4.  When you look over and see that daddy has fallen back asleep, let him.  He’s done reading the paper, gets up every day at four to go to work

almost never gets a nap.  (Cost: Zero.  Benefit:  A less cranky dad.)

5.  Get out the lotion and see if he wants a back rub.  Yes, use the lotion because we want it to feel good.  (Cost:  A handful of lotion.)

6.  Make him his favorite peanut butter sandwich.  Don’t forget the jelly.  Present it on a paper plate, he hates dirty dishes. (Cost:  You’re mom

already bought the ingredients.)

7.  Let him watch, what he wants to watch on TV.  No nagging about yard work, housework or daddy work.  Even if you detest golf, or any other

sport, he likes it.  (Cost:  A little extra electricity.)

8.  Make him his favorite dinner.  Yes, his favorite dinner, not what you think he enjoys, what you know he enjoys.  (Cost:  Arbitrary, what you

have already incorporated in the grocery price this week).

9.  Give your dad a hug, pretend to hear the interesting story he has to tell you.  (Cost:  A little ear wax.)  Remember don’t turn up your Ipod to

drown out his words.

10.  Keep a smile on your face all day. No whining, no complaining, no yelling, no hitting your brother or sister, no tattling, and no crying. (Cost:

peace of mind for your father.)


These are some tips that can make a better day for your dad.  He works hard to make sure that we are clothed, that we are properly nourished

and that we have all that we need.  Most of all a simple I Love You can go a long way!

California’s Old West Route 66 Antique Shopping

Source: via Angela on Pinterest


Antique shopping in So Cal’s High Desert should definitely be added to the things-to-do list for visitors to southern California. There are antique and vintage shops to keep one busy for a day or two at least. When a road trip between Los Angeles and Las Vegas is on a traveler’s vacation agenda, shopping in the Victorville, Hesperia, and Apple Valley area will be worth the stop.

Owner Linda Marie of Linda Marie’s Enchanted Treasures often meets visitors from all over the world that travel the famous Route 66 who stop by her quaint vintage shop. Her shop is not far from I15, and Antique Station is next door. P’s & Q’s Antiques is not far from these two shops, and Vintage Gypsies vintage shop is on Highway 18 in Apple Valley located in the Historic Roy Rogers Apple Valley Inn. Carriage House Antiques in Hesperia only takes minutes to get to from these other shops and definitely is worth seeing.

High Desert Blogging’s featured antique shop this week is Linda Marie’s Enchanted Treasures. Last weekend one of her new vendors held a grand opening, the Deadwood Mercantile. Browsing the vendor shops outside is what one could imagine taking a shopping trip back to the Old West or to the 1950’s would be like.

A visit to Linda Marie’s shop on Facebook makes it easy to keep up with current vintage finds. The photo collage below captures vintage variety finds the day of March 16, 2013 Deadwood Mercantile grand opening. Guests signed up for giveaway prizes near the gate entry where Nerium Oleander anti-aging treatment cream was displayed by Brand Partner Angela Horn.


Vintage Shopping at Linda Marie's Enchanted Treasures

Linda Marie's Enchanted Treasures, Oro Grande, CA

High Desert Antique and Vintage Shops:
Linda Marie’s Enchanted Treasures
19222 National Trails Hwy
Oro Grande, California 92368
(760) 484-6300
Antique Station
19176 National Trails Hwy
Oro Grande, CA 92368
(760) 951-2421
P’s & Q’s Antiques
15080 7th St, STE 11
Victorville, CA 92395
Carriage House Antiques
11370 Hesperia Rd
Hesperia, CA 92345
(760) 948-5577
Vintage Gypsies
20601 Hwy. 18 Cottage 302
(Located in the Historic Roy Rogers
Apple Valley Inn)
Apple Valley, CA (760) 221-4600

Places to Go in the High Desert

Word-of-mouth advertising still works in the High Desert. Either you like a place and want to tell all your friends about it, or you dislike a place and tell all your friends not to go there. Local online communities such as Yelp, Citysearch, and Angie’s List are popular places to write and read reviews of local businesses. Some online communities are free, and others charge a fee. Read individual blogs and blog networks, also, to learn about local entrepreneurs, network marketing opportunities, and brick and mortar businesses.

Hospitality is important to any business. Awhile back a certain business owner and I were discussing the hospitality (or lack of) scenarios that customers experience. A negative opinion had been voiced to her about a particular business. The customer had walked in and instead of receiving a welcome, was ignored by the young person that was working. The youth was busy texting and watching a movie on a laptop. A similar experience happened to me since then. I walked into a small shop and observed a lady carrying her items to the checkout counter. Two young people, probably in their late teens or early twenties, were working. In a way it was comical to me because the lady was treating them like customers should be treated. She kept saying positive things about the store and asking the youths’ names, commenting on how she liked the names. She even mentioned that the store was a place you could meander around, that there was so much to see, and that she would like to bring her friend back with her. The young people gave somewhat of a little laugh as though they weren’t sure how to answer her. The lady left, and I looked around for a bit. Before I walked out, the young guy and girl were watching a movie at the counter. I’ve visited the place before, but this time I left with a feeling of not wanting to go back.

Let me tell you about two businesses in the High Desert where you’ll be welcomed with great hospitality.  A few people  I know from the High Desert had suggested to me that I visit the Hi Desert Oasis Book Store on Jacaranda Road in Hesperia and the Vintage Gypsies on Highway 18 in Apple Valley.

First, I visited Hi Desert Oasis Book Store. You walk in and are immediately greeted with a welcome and offer of coffee, hot chocolate, or tea. You don’t have to wonder which direction to take to find your favorite book niche either. There’s even a patio for those who favor the outdoors. It’s a top-notch bookstore where you’ll find great customer service.

The Penman family became new owners of the bookstore in June 2012. It’s close to Victor Valley College but isn’t a textbook bookstore, though textbooks might occasionally be available there. The Penmans plan expansion in the near future which will make a great place for bloggers (and yes, there’s WiFi, bloggers, so you’ll be able to bring your laptops), authors’ groups, or anyone who loves books and loves to write. Mark your calendars, seniors, for their two-hour “Happy Hour” starting February 26th, at 10:00 a.m.

The Vintage Gypsies “where everything old is new again” is a vintage store at the Historic Apple Valley Inn. This was another place of warm hospitality and welcome.

Vintage Gypsies, Beckie and Kathy, have been friends for over 20 years and welcome their customers as they walk in. They encourage you to browse through the lovely vintage store and are there to offer assistance should you have questions. If you love antiques and vintage things that have been upcycled, you’ll love it here. I purchased a birthday gift, the cutest little drawstring bag and soap made by vendors.

Vintage Gypsies Beckie and Kathy

Handkerchief Drawstring Bag and Soap, Vintage Gypsies

Drawstring Bag, Vintage Gypsies

Drawstring Bag from Vintage Gypsies shop









The Vintage Gypsies invite you to their outdoor vintage sale scheduled for Saturday, March 2, 2013 from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. Spaces are available for only $10.00. The store is located in the Historic Apple Valley Inn, 20601 Highway 18, Cottage 302, Apple Valley, CA. If you have questions, call (760) 221-4600.

You are also invited to attend the anti-aging NeriumAD discovery Real Results party on the porch at the Vintage Gypsies shop on the day of the outdoor vintage sale, Saturday, March 2nd. People, including me, are having amazing results since finding out about this anti-aging discovery.



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