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Posts tagged High Desert Living

High Desert Fall Flowers and Pumpkins

Autumn Basket Giveaway by High Desert Bloggers

Pumpkin Autumn Beauty

Autumn begins September 23, only five days away. High desert temperatures will start lowering, morning air will be crisp, and nights will be chilly. It’s a refreshing season.

Fall is my favorite season. Days are cooler for one thing. Leaves change colors, and gardening becomes more enjoyable because the days aren’t so hot. Gardeners plant new flowers that will last through fall and winter.


Yellow Pansies

Purple Pansies before Spring

Purple and White Pansies


Yellow Snapdragons

Some of the best annuals to plant in the fall are snapdragons, pansies, sweet alyssum, petunias, and nasturtiums. These flowers grow well in high desert areas. Plant them at the beginning of the season. You can enjoy them up until the first frost and some even into the winter. Pansies seem to perk up more the colder the weather is.

Annual Flowers to Plant in Fall











Decorate your garden with colorful flowers and pumpkins of all sizes. Go all out with color. Paint an old chair with multiple bright reds, oranges, blues, yellows and greens. It will surely brighten someone’s day.

Fall Gardening

Fall Garden Color

Pumpkin patches attract families this time of the year as festivities are planned for Halloween. When my daughter was little, my husband and I would take her to a pumpkin patch and let her pick out a pumpkin. We would take it home, and I would bake pumpkin bars and top them with cream cheese frosting.

Find a pumpkin patch in your area, and create autumn memories with your children and grandchildren. Make pumpkin fruit dip, pumpkin bars, and fun crafts for the whole family.

Fall garden decorating with seasonal colors is fun. It offers a warm welcome before entering the home, setting the mood for comfort.


High Desert Snapdragons

Visit High Desert With Eyes Wide Open

Visiting the High Desert of Southern California — PART ONE

When new visitors arrive in the High Desert they are often surprised by how stunning the wide vistas are, they wonder where the real desert is, and seemed confused by the abundant wildlife and scenic beauty of field flowers.

Summer Thunderstorm graces the desert with a pink cotton candy sky

Summer Thunderstorm graces the desert with a pink cotton candy sky

That’s the real High Desert. The other is Hollywood generalizing the desolate sand dunes, the miles of waterless expanses, and those “dead cow heads” scattered across trails once traveled by wagon trains.

Come and Visit the Desert with Eyes Wide Open

Among the lies and twisted history that film often portrays, lays the foundation of a countryside that is endangered and often under attack by development companies who think that these dry desolate places can accommodate a new housing sub-development, a strip mall, or a flood of solar and wind projects.

Goldenrod in High Desert

Goldenrod in High Desert

If they don’t live here and know the desert, then it’s okay to rummage about for a place to use and abuse. So, as more visitors arrive and see the entirely different picture of the High Desert, they wonder if other stories they’ve heard are also lies. You could call us a “melting pot of diverse uses” and you’d be right. The desert can accommodate quite a bit — but not abuse.


Cannon High on the Canyon Bluff

As a desert dweller for over 40 years, I can attest that, yes, we do have sand dunes, we have artesian springs, we have areas where you can find skulls bleaching in the sun, snakes, scorpions, and other scary critters, and bugs wandering day and night. We also have defendable tracts of land that are preserved, protected, and being studied. Other tracts are open to development to bring economic variety to a long list of “bedroom communities” with potential growth in their populations.

Visitors should assume that all open land is not public land. We have large expanses that are privately owned or controlled. Areas of critical concern are quilt-patched all across the desert. So a visit to the High Desert should be a time for learning and respecting what is and isn’t here.


A desert sunset holds its own magic

A desert sunset holds its own magic

One lady I ran into said to me that she didn’t know there were different growing regions that accept willows, barrel cactus, and pine trees all in one. Another lady said she decided to live here because the LA area was too crazy and dangerous for her family. Another one found out that we have snow almost every year. Other visitors, who have dropped their tailgates to offload their ATCs, were shocked to find that we had rules for destroying private property that had no fences or posted signs.

With all these many views of the High Desert, you can see why some folks have said, “The desert: you either love it or hate it.” And in resort cities like Palm Springs, they once campaigned against visitors unless they took a hotel room. An old bumper sticker once said: We love Palm Springs, now go home.” Yet, years later another one was: “PS — We love you.”

Hedgehog Cactus with lemony blooms

Hedgehog Cactus with lemony blooms

So, what is my point? Come visit and take in the sights, bring a camera, learn about the area through its people and places, events, dive into its history through museums and one-day road trips, sample our food, go hiking but wear a hat and bring plenty of water, enjoy your visit.

A roadrunner attacks a snake for lunch

A roadrunner attacks a snake for lunch

Then, once you get home, unpack, and begin to relive some of those special moments, vivid pumpkin-colored sunsets, fields of purple Desert Lupine, seeing a roadrunner really running across the road — only then will you know whether the High Desert is a place you loved or hated. If you loved it, then you’ll understand why residents are fearless defenders of its right to be respected.

Rusty LaGrange

High Desert’s Cadillac Antiques’ July 4th Anniversary

Antiques, Lucerne Valley

Cadillac Antiques, Lucerne Valley


Have you been out to High Desert’s Cadillac Antiques yet? The address is 32090 State Hwy. 18 in Lucerne Valley. Owners Ralph and Patty Muldoon and David and Charlene Guertin will be celebrating the shop’s first anniversary on July 4th.

High Desert Bloggers, a group, met at the antique shop on May 2, 2015. Beginning the morning meetup over a grandeur breakfast provided by co-owner Patty, the bloggers were eager to find out about the vintage store’s beginning. Patty was a gracious hostess and was happy to answer all of our questions.

High Desert Bloggers at Cadillac Antiques Meetup

Rusty, Joey, Patti

Lucerne Valley Vintage Shop

Co-Owner Patty Muldoon

“What made you want to open an antique shop?” I asked.

“We were all collectors,” she said. “Really it’s about the building. The past owner passed away. We just loved the building and talked to the owner’s daughter and decided to buy it and turn it into an antique store.”

Ralph and Patty are from LA and are new to Lucerne Valley (and love it), and David and Charlene are from Victorville. Patty said, “We wanted to come out to Lucerne Valley to live.”

Cadillac Antiques in Lucerne Valley Giveaway

Cadillac Antiques Front Rooms

The Cadillac Antiques building is beautiful. Spotting an antique car in the spacious parking lot, you’ll know you have arrived. Greeted by the friendly owners as you enter the shop, there is a feeling of cozy ambiance.

Cadillac Antiques Building

Cadillac Antiques

This is an antique store the ladies can bring their husbands to. It’s definitely a vintage shop for both ladies and gents. There is a man cave!

Cadillac Antiques for the Gents

Cadillac Antiques Man Cave

More exciting things are on the horizon for this vintage shop in the desert. The owners have plans for vintage car cruises, “Cars and Cruises” with coffee and cinnamon rolls.

Exciting things are on the horizon for this vintage shop in the desert. The owners have plans for vintage car cruises, “Cars and Cruises” with coffee and cinnamon rolls. Even sooner is the big first-anniversary July 4th celebration. Go by for a visit, and sign up to win the July 4th holiday basket is co-hosting with the owners.


High Desert Bloggers Meetup



Are you a High Desert entrepreneur? Ask us how you can advertise your business or service on Contact Rusty or Angie at

Photos by Angie Horn



Freebies in the Desert–Part 1: Activities for Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers

file3211347375852Everyone loves a good bargain, especially in our current economy, and there are some great activities available right here in the High Desert Community.  All of the activities featured in this article are provided through a very surprising place–your local branch of the San Bernardino County Library.  Before anyone groans, rolls their eyes, and moves on to something more exciting,  let me tell you that libraries have changed.  No longer are they only for students and intellects.  In fact, you might be surprised at just what goes on at our local libraries.

Do you have a child or grandchild between the ages of one and three years?  Are you looking for a program you can attend with your toddler that will allow you to interact in a fun environment, while focusing on developing gross motor and listening skills?  You might want to check out Tiny Hoppers or Toddler Boot Camp where the focus of the program is on developing gross motor and listening skills while having fun.   These programs promise singing, moving and  finger plays to keep the little ones interested.  They finish up each group with story time.   Toddler Boot Camp is held at the Apple Valley Branch Library on Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m.  Tiny Hoppers is held at the Adelanto Branch Library on Wednesdays at 12:00 p.m.

The Phelan Library has a Little Artist program for children aged zero to five years.   During this program, your burgeoning artist will make art projects that are sometimes messy but always fun.  This program is held on Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m.

If you share your life with a preschooler, there is preschool story time at almost every high desert library branch.    Story time is more than just someone reading a book–the library promises songs, rhymes and puppets, as well as the letter of the week which will introduce your preschooler to the letters of the alphabet as well as the sounds they make.  Preschool story time might just help to promote a love of reading in your child that will last his or her whole life.

According to the Library website, preschool story times are as follows:

Adelanto:  Thursday, all day

Apple Valley:  Thursday, 10:30 a.m.

Barstow:  Thursday, 10:45 a.m.

Hesperia:  Tuesday, 11:30 a.m.

For those who wish to instill both a lifelong love of books as well as good fitness habits, the library also offers Movers and Shakers for children ages three to five.  Each class has a story, as well as the letter of the day, and is filled with active songs and props.  The purpose of the course is to promote health through physical activity, develop gross motor skills, promote a sense of rhythm and improve body awareness as well as to help them learn how to follow directions and improve listening skills.  This program is held at the Hesperia Branch Library on Monday at 11:30 a.m. and at the Phelan Memorial Library on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

So gather up the preschoolers and toddlers in your life and head to the library.  You might just have some fun.

Come back next week for Part 2:  Activities for School Aged Children, Tweens, and Teens

**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.


I am Liquid!

Had to borrow this from my private blog page, but thought you all might get a laugh out of it.  It is all about my new purpose in life: becoming a cat! All my best thoughts come after a lovely High desert stroll.

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


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?

Electrical Math

I should come with a warning sign: Leave alone when temperatures reach higher than 90 degrees.  It’s not just the heat that gets me, but knowing as the temperature is rising so is my electrical bill.  There goes the work retropay for over seven months.  Just in time to pay the summer electrical bills.  So correct me if I am wrong, but does it make sense to anyone else that the time when we use electricity most is the time it nearly triples in cost? What kind of convoluted math is that?

My son says its supply and demand. I say it’s pure evil and some red horned minions must be sitting behind a desk laughing at my expense. They don’t even take into account how many people are in the home. There has to be a better system other than everyone is charged the same.  This isn’t IRS math.  Heck, it isn’t even phone company math, and even they give you a break when adding phone lines.

Last year I called the electric company because I just knew my bill had to be wrong.  The woman on the line says, “they [Edison] consider A/C to be a luxury,not a necessity.”  My brain just went blank at that.  It was over one hundred degrees, but cool air is a luxury.  I clearly advised her that this isn’t some third world country and that in the realm of things electricity is the only thing we can actually create without much effort. We use the wind, water, hamsters on spinny wheels . . . it’s a generated resource unlike fossil fuels.  She remained silent.

“How hot is it where you are?” I asked.

“One oh nine,” she answers.

“Is your air on?”

“Yes,” she says.

“Is it a necessity or luxury?’

“When it’s this hot its a necessity,” she answers.

And I couldn’t help but wonder what temperature differentiated the line between necessity and luxury? I’d ask them, but I don’t disturb the powers that control my physical thermoregulation.  Iced tea and walking around nearly naked not caring who or what sees me . . . it must be a high desert summer again!

Tania L Ramos, RN, Author

Competing for Air

Think it’s just people who get hot in the desert, think again? All the critters in the house have been shaved down for the summer, since many of them are long haired critters.  We left some fur, enough to protect against the sun, but do they still get hot? Yes! How do I know? Because I am not only competing for the glorious cool flow from central A/C, but the animals are also.

I walk into my room on the second floor where it is nearly ten degrees hotter than the first floor.  The first thing I think is, “I wanted a one story house, but nooooo, someone had to have the two story.” As i’m peeling off the first layer of clothes not particularly caring if anyone is watching–because in sweltering heat, I don’t care–I kick open my bedroom door.  Yes, I kick it open, because my shirt is currently being pulled off so I have to use my feet to gain access to my place of semi-solitude.  I’m desperate to roll my chair under the vent until I’m so cold I need a sweatshirt.  Then and only then will I be content.

As I run into the room, shirt finally being tossed on the floor, I am met by not one set, not two sets, but three sets of sleepy and content eyes lounging under the A/C.  What? Can it be? My hard worked for income is going to Edison to pay to cool off the pets? All sets of eyes blink and then lazily lower until they are lost beneath fur.  The cat is not shaved, her fur carelessly flows under the forced air and she lets out a long yawn and stretch as if she deserves this siesta under my paid for air.  The moochers!

“Oh no you don’t,” I yell out.  But they don’t move.  They don’t even bat an eye, and the cat’s fur is still blowing in the cool breeze.  My eyes squint until I can barely see through them.  This is my air and I will take it back! I pick up the cat and place her on the bed, which she is obviously not pleased with.  The dogs pretend to not see me and curl into tighter balls.  I give the first one a gentle nudge, but he does not budge.  The second dog opens one eye and then quickly closes it.  “Ah ha,” I call out and push him across the carpet into the bathroom a few inches away.

He isn’t having it and walks back over to the solstice under the A/C vent.  I pick up the first dog, but she lets out a concerning and throaty yelp, as if I have somehow hurt her.  My daughter rushes into the room and scolds me for hurting the beasts.  I try to explain I need cold air to survive, but she waves a finger and says animals can’t fend for themselves and how we become responsible once we take ownership of pets.  Yes, the six year old said responsible and ownership.  And now there is a six year old, two dogs, and here comes the cat laying under MY A/C.

I’ve resorted to placing ice packs under my armpits, for however many minutes that will last, and laying down sprawled out on my all too hot bed.  Who knew I would be competing for air with our four legged family members? Next issue: who gets the bed at night?

Tania L Ramos, RN, Author, It Works Independent Distributor

suicide cat

High Desert Accident and a Sunset

sunset 8-22-12

Well, things could be worse. Angie was in an auto accident yesterday. She was rear-ended by another car on the 15 S. She is doing fine just a few sore areas here and there, and the car is drivable. So instead of detailing every little thing that happened I think a few sunset pictures would be nice to see and get at lest my mind off of what happened. Enjoy.

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