Friday, March 27, 2015

Hi-Desert Star Column #217

Our little Community has been sweltering the last few days and the wildflowers are loving it!

Dandelions in bloom on Winters Road at Border, March 2015.
Carpets of yellow and mallow orange along the road and in the washes, soon to be followed by all the other colors of the blooming Desert. It’s a beautiful time of the year to visit Joshua Tree National Park and the flowers are just glorious. Watch out for snakes; they’re going to be out in abundance after all the rain we’ve enjoyed. Lots of flowers and seeds bring oodles of rodents and sssnakes! I must admit, even after all my decades of Desert living - as much as I love and value them - I still startle when I see a snake.

You may run into some wild and crazy Copper Mountain College students while you’re out and about this week. We are on Spring Break and we’re ready for some fun in the sun. It’s been a tough semester for most of us; we’ve just survived midterms and last minute papers due, so we’ve earned a little R&R, methinks!

I would love to spend my week partying like a college student, but I have a wee cataract surgery planned for Monday! Everyone tells me it’s a piece of cake and I’m going to be amazed at the results. Well, I hope so because I must admit that the thought of having someone poking around in my eye with a series of sharp instruments, freaks me out just a teensy-weensy!

The monthly Potluck Party is happening today, March 28th, from 4pm. Mary Koval and her daughter Chris are planning a St. Patrick’s Day theme, so come one come all: green beer anyone?

Our fabulous Thrift Room is always open during our Events, so you can plan a lovely shopping trip around your Potluck Supper. Susie Gardner does such a wonderful job in the Thrift Room. She’s got everything clean and organized, with lots of great clothing, kitchen items, books: I could go on and on! She also has 3 cases of adult diaper-briefs, in size Large, at a real bargain price. Stay well!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hi-Desert Star Column #216

Our little Community has been floating along in the most glorious weather: warm days and cool nights. There’s a whole lot of yellow on the ground and in the creosotes, as wildflowers and Larrea burst into bloom. Yellow flowers always seem to show up first, closely followed by all the other colored blossoms. Spring is officially here: Happy Vernal Equinox everyone!

Columnists for the “Neighborhood News” section of the Hi-Desert Star were honored at the Soroptimist International 49th annual awards luncheon, last Wednesday. We all gathered at Sizzler’s on the Highway and, as always, the food was utterly YumE-licious! We were each given a special, framed Award, a personal poster and a gorgeous Orchid, from Gubler’s Orchids, in Landers. Stacy Moore, editor-in-chief of this newspaper, wrote a wee blurb about each of the Columnists and as each story was read aloud to the audience, I was touched by the time and care she put into choosing her very kind words about us all. Thank you, Stacy.

It was a wonderful event, specially arranged for us by President Sarann Graham and Vice-President Linda Paino; along with the skills and talents of this amazing group of  women from Soroptimist International of Yucca Valley. This organization is specifically oriented towards the betterment and encouragement of women and girls worldwide: a goal I can wholeheartedly wrap myself around. Thank you all so very much. 

It was lovely to meet all the other Columnists who write about their Community’s news and events. I was also absolutely delighted to see Crystal, Lahni and Vicky from the EOPS department at Copper Mountain College; as well as Sandy from Copper Mountain Foundation. These super women were all there to support our very own DeAnn Brunelle, who won a special award as first-Runner Up in the Soroptimist International “Live your Dream” scholarship. WhooHoo: you go, Girl!

Phew: it’s been a whirlwind week for me! Psychology midterm, draft paper and library paper due last Monday; Sociology paper due Thursday and Biology midterm on Friday. By the time you read this, I shall be relaxing and taking a breather: stay well!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Hi-Desert Star Column #215

Our little Community was rocking last weekend during our first Saturday of the month Breakfast. We served 60 people even though we were severely short-staffed. Kip Fjeld, our most eggcellent short order Chef was out of town for the weekend, while Ken Sitz, our other leading Egg-man was away with his wife Teresa, who usually works as cashier. Fortunately, Kip trained Neighbor Steven Carthy, who was a fabulous egg-dude, thank you! So, Patrick Whalen and I raced around taking orders and serving the food, while Katherine Quinn, handled the cashiering end of things. Steve Tuttle ran the grill as usual, while his lovely wife Mary Helen wo-manned the dishes and Jay Babcock played “kitchen-wench”!

Ruth Denison
Jay and I spoke about the recent passing of long-time Copper Mountain Mesa resident, Ruth Denison. She was an amazing woman, who ran her Vipassana retreat center up here for decades. I worked for her several times through the years: yardwork; housekeeping; taking care of her husband Henry until he died and massaging Ruth on a weekly basis. She told me some harrowing stories about her concentration camp experiences and her subsequent immigration to the U.S. Her most frequent advice to me was: “You must be flexible”! The Vipassana Center will be kept up and running by Ruth’s devoted staff and followers. Thank you, Ruth and Bon Voyage!

Our monthly Copper Mountain Mesa Community Association Board meeting is on this morning, from 10o’clock. Sadly, this is Katherine Quinn’s last meeting as a Board member for a while, as she is moving back to San Diego to take care of her ailing mother. Thank you for all the different Hats you have worn: cleaning lady, Madame President, Cashier, waitress and trusted Friend. We’ll miss you Kathy, please come home soon!

Jim took the bed off the truck because it was all rattled apart. Sadly, B&B wrecking yard in 29Palms did not have a suitable bed for our ‘96 Chevy S-10 pick-up, so now we’re just driving around bedless! If you know of a truck bed for us, please contact me at 760-362-5248. Stay well!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hi-Desert Star Column #214

Our little Community Breakfast is happening this morning: Saturday, March 7th, from 8-11am, at the Center on Winters road. Please check out our awesome website; then join us for a jolly good Brekkie and hang out out with all your favorite folks; hope to see you there!

Our PTSD group is gathering this Tuesday, March 10th at 6pm. Starlyn Eckerman from Pacific Clinics facilitates this group and those of us attending find these gatherings enormously helpful. It’s interesting how many people don’t know they are affected by Post-traumatic-stress disorder and actually come to this realization during one of our group gatherings. Neighbors respecting each other and truly listening; being vulnerable and trusting, as well as trustworthy: good stuff!

Our son Erick visited the Mesa last weekend; some Neighbors may remember him from the school bus stop on Border? Blond, tall, smart, last name Thacker? At the last moment, the visit was on and he arrived from San Diego for a whirlwind double-Pisces birthday celebration with his stepdad Jim. Erick rolled through like a Pacific wave and we got to ride it with him for 15 hours. It was so awesome to revisit stories and memories the three of us share: a truly wonderful experience. Our local Code Enforcement Officer, Sherry Rotruck stopped by and got to meet Erick, before he took off: back to his most excellent Life in SD.

Desert wildflower at Border and Winters
We had another chill-wind, rainy couple of days earlier this week: those Desert Wildflowers are going to be magnificent this Spring! Speaking of which, this a perfect time of year to reinvent oneself: go on a trip, take a class! Word is there’s a great Tai Chi class, led by Byron Miller, over at Desert Hills Presbyterian Church, every Wednesday and Friday morning, from 11am. Call Pastor Wayne (760)365-6331 for more info. I wonder if Byron would teach a class up here on Copper Mountain Mesa?

Watch “Southwest Stories with Steve Brown” on PBS KVCR, showing every Monday from March 16th at 6:30pm. You may notice a few clips with my Kenya-accented Voice: stay well!