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Posts tagged Apple Valley

Take the Time to Read a Book

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High Desert, CA bookstores

Hi Desert Book Oasis

Digital or Paperback?

Digital books may be easier for you to read because of convenience. But when is the last time you read an actual paperback or hardback book? Allow yourself the pleasure of spending an hour browsing in a bookstore. Notice the different sections instead of gravitating only to your favorite interest.  READ MORE »

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 hdsurfgirl@hotmail.com or set up an appointment by phone at 909-896-2494 or visit my website at TightenAndToneTheWorld.MyItWorks.com (my indep. site). And please have a look at my books which is still my biggest passion in life  BeStillNovel.com

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

myshirt

Ways I Celebrate July 4th, Independence Day

One of my favorite songs in my fifth-grade music class in Center, Texas in the 1960’s was Yankee Doodle. Did you know that the song was meant to mock the American soldiers by the British? But the American soldiers proudly sang the song as an anthem back to the British during the American Revolution. I’ve been singing the song since I got up at 5:30 this morning to go to a 5K run with my husband and our friends.

Our friends, John and Karen, had planned to run the 5K at Brewster Park in Apple Valley. I had no intentions of running the 5K with John and Karen but went to support them. Went because my husband asked if I wanted to go. Went for the fun of it. Okay, I admit waking up at 5:30 a.m. is not what I consider fun. But today is July 4th. Independence Day. Just being able to run (or walk) and having the freedom to go support friends who are running in a 5K is reason to celebrate.

5K at Brewster Park

5K at Brewster Park

We arrived at the park, and I saw all the dedicated runners waiting to go on a 5K and a 10K. I can do this, I thought. I was wearing my good walking shoes. No way was I going to run, though. Then I heard the instructions to those participating, the runners – and the walkers. Yes, I could do this. And I did. I walked the 5K, my first one ever.

The first mile seemed easy. Then I heard someone’s electronic device that said “1.3 miles, 18 minutes.” I thought surely we had gone further already. I kept moving. I set a goal three times to jog to a certain landmark. I thought maybe that would help me speed up some. But the last mile on a dirt road in addition to the sun getting hotter was just too much. I walked the rest of the way – and made it. Meeting a gentleman named Ben who was walking and running with his beautiful four-year-old daughter, KK, made my last mile a pleasant walk. I was amazed at little KK braving the 5K.

5K Run at Brewster Park

5K Run at Brewster Park

 

So now I have added a 5K walk to my history of how to celebrate July 4th. How do you and your family celebrate this holiday? Here are some ways I’ve celebrated with family and friends through the years:

  1. Make homemade ice cream
  2. Have a picnic
  3. Fireworks (in Texas)
  4. Church camp meeting
  5. Grill hamburgers and hot dogs
  6. 5K walk

Add more to the list in the comments section below.

Any history buffs reading this? Did you know that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826–the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence?

Looking for Live Red Worms For Your High Desert Garden?

I had the pleasure of meeting Greg Anderson of WorldWideWorm Farms in Apple Valley, California recently and I must say that I was extremely impressed with his breadth of knowledge with all things pertaining to high desert gardening. We’d only intended to pick up a pound of worms for composting, but we ended up getting an awesome tour of Greg’s farm in the process. To say that I was fascinated by Greg’s use of space, land and recycled materials is an understatement of the highest degree.

No Master Gardener Here…Yet!

Now, I’m just going to be honest with you– I’m no gardener. Having never been successful in cultivating anything green, I’ve always fancied the talents of others who can. And if you can literally grow your own food, you’re nothing short of a rockstar in my mind. I bow down to the master gardeners of the world, which is why meeting Greg was such a delight.

At this point, I’m sure you’re all wondering why on earth I’d be at a live red worm farm if I can’t grow so much as a dandelion, right? Well, since moving to the desert, my husband’s been learning quite a bit about green living from Neville Slade of the Sustainable Learning Center (in fact, it was Professor Slade who originally introduced my husband to Greg Anderson). Anywho, I’ve always been sorta interested in greener lifestyles, too, and as a freelancer I’ve learned a little here and there about things like composting, repurposing old things and the like. So, I may not be a high desert gardener yet, but I think I’m heading in that direction and am happy to learn from people like Greg Anderson as I go. Just don’t be too surprised when the day comes that I blog about my own square foot garden or cabbage patch or something really cool like that, ok?

WorldWideWorm Farms

But back to the WorldWideWorm Farms in Apple Valley. When we arrived, Greg took us around back to show us his worms in action. While en route to his composting areas, however, we got to tour his property where we saw a bunch of cool things like the greenhouse he built with his bare hands and a few recycled materials.

Homemade greenhouse at worldwide worm farms in Apple Valley, Ca

The entrance to Greg Anderson's handmade greenhouse.

 

The following are a couple of shots from the rear as well as the interior of the greenhouse:

 

Plenty of shelving and room for Greg's plants

 

Greg also has a full on garden filled with fruits and veggies. He jokes that the only thing he ever needs to go to the grocery store for are his favorite candies, since he can’t grow them, lol.

Here are some of the grape vines, which we can see are edging towards producing delicious edible grapes very soon– check it out:

One of the things that I loved about Greg's garden is how organized everything is. High desert gardening takes a bit of planning, which this guy makes look oh so easy.

 

Tiny grapes are beginning to bud at the WorldWideWorm Farms in Apple Valley, Ca.

 

Just beyond the greenhouse area, Greg showcases a square-foot garden. Here, you can see what I mean about being organized. Each square features its own vegetable like kale, cauliflower,  onions, garlic, etc.

Square-foot garden filled with a variety of veggies and fresh herbs.

 

Notice the worm tube Greg uses to insert live red worms into his square-foot garden. The worms create vermicompost, which fertilize his vegetables.

 

Greg also sells worm tubes and vermicompost at his WorldWideWorm Farms. Above is a photo of one of the tubes he uses in his garden. Here’s a photo of what they look like brand new just to give you an idea of their size and how deeply they’re inserted while providing many of the nutrients a garden needs:

Brand new live red worm tubes for sale at WWWFarms in Apple Valley, Ca

 

Greg’s chickens love fresh vegetables from his garden. While we were there, they followed him around like crazy begging for a bit of kale, collards and other greens that they regularly feed on. His chickens all have names, they are never slaughtered for food and they’ve pretty much got the run of the yard (with the exception of the areas he’s had to fence away to keep them from eating the live red worms and fresh veggies. We were the ones fenced in on this photo, not the lady birds).

These girls love kale! The grey striped one is named Zebra (pronounced like Debra, lol). I don't recall the white one's name, but she's a Leghorn and the other one produces beautiful blue eggs.

 

No dye for these eggs. Featured in blue, tan, brown and white, each chicken produces a different colored egg.

 

She's happy to dine on her veggies all alone while the others are preoccupied with their kale feeding.

 

Once again proving that High Desert gardening doesn’t require a lot of space (even though he’s got plenty), Greg crafted ths “salad pyramid”. Even if you’ve got little more than a patio, there’s no excuse not to grow your own fresh vegetables if you’re so inclined to do so.

This salad pyramid is one of my favorites. Lettuce, radishes and anything you need for a delicious salad are right here for the picking.

 

Greg was kind enough to send us home with a few fresh-picked radishes. They were soooooo delicious, too!

 

No real ick factor like I would have expected at a live red worm farm. I mean, really, besides a little bit of an earthy scent (which I rather like), Greg’s worms and compost are very well maintained. Here are a few photos of his worms and vermicompost areas:

 

Just what we came for...live red worms!

 

Live red worm beds at WorldWideWorm Farms in Apple Valley, Ca

 

And lest you think that it’s all worms, chickens and veggies at Greg’s place, he’s pretty handy with recycled items, too. You’ve already seen the greenhouse featured in his High Desert garden, but take a look at what else he’s built with using items that most others would consider trash:

Bat shelter

 

BTW, did you know that bat poop is an excellent fertilizer, too? Greg’s been studying this stuff– first as a hobby, then as a business– for years. His passion for High Desert gardening has led him to build a bat shelter, which is positioned just above his square-foot garden. The plan here is to regularly attract bats, which will eat gnats and other insects that hang around the garden, and, in return, Greg hopes the bats will leave him a little “something” for his garden.

Greg keeps track of the climate in his High Desert garden with this handmade weather vane.

 

Zebra, Dog (these are actual chicken names, folks) and about 7 other feathery residents of the WorldWideWorm Farms rest here when the sun sets.

 

Greg says he makes the best homemade bread in the world inside of his handmade outdoor brick oven.

 

Greg admitted to being most proud of his latest creation, a windmill that he made using discarded pipe, metal, a treadmill engine and other materials that were going to end up in a landfill.

 

Handmade windmill

 

Pretty nifty, huh? And this windmill doesn’t just get points for its cool factor or for being a good conversation piece…it actually works! Greg’s hard work will more than pay for itself in the form of electricity powered by this incredible device.

A close-up of the windmill's handcrafted blades.

 

Last, but not least, a few snapshots of the gourds that Greg grew. Note all of the interesting shapes and sizes:

 

Gourds Galore!

 

 

 

 

To purchase live red worms or to learn more about high desert gardening, give Greg of WorldWideWorm Farms a call at 760-792-9660. And for more photos and information on vermicomposting, visit Greg’s blog at WorldWideWormFarms.WordPress.com. And be sure to tell my friend that Laura from the High Desert Blogging network says hello!

Let’s Hear It

Have you interested in High Desert gardening? Are you already well on your way to being a master gardener? What are your thoughts on live red worms, vermicomposting and all that jazz? Your comments are more than welcome in the space provided below.

Join a Free Blog Meetup in the High Desert

High Desert Bloggers Meetup, Bodacious Bundts, Hesperia, CA

Network for free when you attend a Meetup with High Desert Bloggers. This group meets to discuss blogging topics such as network with bloggers, get answers for blogging questions, learn about increasing blog traffic and make money blogging. This opportunity is made available for bloggers, whether they blog for money or for hobby.

Where? Apple Valley, Hesperia, Victorville, and other High Desert cities and communities. We meet at coffee shops, bakeries, or facilities equipped with Wi-Fi, electrical outlets for laptops, and available seating for a group. Join us at Meetup.com. Enjoy networking and connecting  with other bloggers in your area.

Entrepreneurs, grow your business through blogging and networking with other bloggers in the High Desert. Meet like-minded bloggers who, like you, want to get the word out to the High Desert about a unique service or product available. The High Desert Bloggers meet at various places in the High Desert – and it doesn’t cost you a thing (except coffee or pastry you purchase for yourself perhaps).

 

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