Copper Mountain Mesa NEWS
By Bob DeLoyd
My personal Journal at Blogger
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or write to 874 Border A-9 JT, Ca. 92252
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Our little community had a small but enjoyable potluck last Saturday! I cooked up some Stoffers Stuffing and arrived at potluck right at 4pm. Only a few cars were in the parking lot and that’s the way it remained. There was Lee and Marcie Hines, Dyane Carroll and her mother Dorothy Robinson, Rose Matich, Bob Seeley, and me. I told everyone that it doesn’t matter that only a few showed up but that we did show up. There was plenty of grub for all. Marcie brought lasagna, Bob Seeley had his fresh fruit plate, Dyane made a broccoli and cheese casserole, Dorothy cooked up some fantastic sweet potatoes, and I supplied the stuffing and a bunch of cookies that Stoney made. Stoney wasn’t feeling well, Chris Jonas was down with a cold and both stayed home.
Dyane and Dorothy told us about a harrowing accident they had on HWY247 coming home from a family visit on Dec. 20th at 9pm when their car hit black ice. The car suddenly veered into on coming traffic as Dyane fought to gain control. She cranked the steering wheel hard over and managed to maneuver it towards the side of the road but unfortunately the car was still sliding and smacked into a mound of dirt just three feet from hitting a telephone pole. Everyone was okay but Dorothy had some hurt ribs from being thrown around with her seatbelt on. Lee is letting them borrow his Jeep while their car is in the shop. I thought that was mighty nice of Lee!

Thought for the week: Another new year and a fresh beginning. If you can dream it you can make it come true.


Our little community has been just dang cold lately. So I decided to pay a visit to Bob Stonebraker’s home, which he keeps warm with a woodstove. He was in the kitchen cutting down and sewing some trouser legs that were too long. We sat for a spell him telling stories while I listened. Stoney is 89 years old and has lots of stories.
When he was a kid he and his younger brother would go harvest sorghum planted on their family farm to take down to an old farmer who had a press that squeezed out the juices to make molasses powered by a mule going around in an endless circle. Stoney and his brother had to keep the mule moving my tapping it with a stick. The farmer would take a portion for his cut and the rest would be taken to Stoney’s Mom to use in cooking and on pancakes. Someone had taken Stoney’s harmonica and hid it in a jar of molasses for a year or so, and after he found it he said it played really sweet.
I took a nice hot shower while I was there. It’s been fairly cold these last few days and I’ve been chilled to the bone and the hot shower felt mighty good indeed!

Thought for the week: I’ve been trying to train my Fat Cat to play without biting or scratching me. I’ve come to the realization that you can’t use a “guilt trip” on a cat, a dog yes, but a cat just doesn’t care and will turn guilt right around to use against you.


Our little community has some of the darkest skies around and on one such January night, I took out my binoculars to watch the Moon set behind the mountains to the west. I started looking for the Andromeda Galaxy when the phone rang. I ran inside, grabbed the phone: Seimi Shiba wanted to know where the Andromeda Galaxy was! Back outside with the phone, found the pointer stars I use, and once my night vision came back, I was able to find and direct him to where it was. Then I had him look for the sword in the constellation Orion. The middle star in the sword looks like a star to the naked eye but isn’t a star at all; it’s the Orion Nebula, a stellar nursery where stars are born, some 1500 light years away. Seimi thought that was kind of cool.

On Thursday 8th, an earthquake rattled San Bernardino and our area. Joel Levy woken by the quake called a little after 8pm to ask if I felt it, I didn’t. Out here, we are so use to bombings at the Marine Base that we ignore such tremors of the earth, so I probably did the same for the quake. I turned on the TV News which said it was a 4.9 quake about ten miles deep just outside the city of San Bernardino. One woman called into the station saying she was watching the TV when it hit and the set rolled from one side of her room to the other.

Thought for the week: Banks that we taxpayers bailed out are justifying giving out big bonuses and benefits to their top-level management by saying they need to keep these employees from going elsewhere. Given the state of our economy and the job market, my question is; where would they go?


Our little community: I was about to go on my morning run last Wednesday when Mac McDermott came by for a visit. We were out front by the street yakking when a lady, Candy from Twentynine Palms, drove up to tell us about a headless animal that was off to the side of Winters Road a mile east from us. Candy thought it could be a Bighorn Sheep, which reside in the mountains of the Joshua Tree National Park. We followed her to where it lay and sure enough, its head was gone, yikes! Someone had cut the head off and just dumped the body there. We looked around but couldn’t find the head. When I got back home I called the sheriff‘s office and told the dispatcher all about it. She said they would send somebody to check it out. I cannot imagine of what kind of person would do such a hideous deed.
A few hours later, I was over at Bob Stonebraker’s house outside jawing with him and Roger Smith when Stoney saw the Animal Control vehicle drive by going in the opposite direction of where the dead animal was. I quickly jumped into the Gross Polluter, caught up with the truck, and showed the woman officer where it was. Officer Mary Fitzgerald, a good-looking blond, got out of the truck to approach me and the body. Mary said that it was a pygmy goat and not a Bighorn Sheep. I helped her pick it up and bag it, and then she was on her way.

Thought for the week: If you don’t know, ask. If you think you know, look it up. If you do know, share.


Our little community: Jimmy Stonebraker, his wife Clarice, daughter Angela, and their Grandma Mary had arrived at my neighbor Bob Stonebraker’s home Sunday for an overnight visit, and invited me over for dinner. Jimmy, a 4-H Rifle Trainer, said he had already setup cardboard targets in front of a thick metal barrier, and I decided to beat feet over there with my own 22. We would be firing to the northwest where there wouldn’t be any neighbors for many miles and we deemed it safe enough. Jimmy and I shot at the targets for a while sighting in our rifles. Angela, who never fired a weapon before, finally came out to fire her first shot, and with a little coaching from her dad, hit the target dead on!
Clarice thought that she was only going to be a bystander but we got her to fire the rifle. She and Angela shot better than us guys!
We had an hour before dinner so I went back home to change clothes and feed the Fat Cat. I got back to Stoney’s just before we all sat down for dinner at 5pm. Roger Smith was there too. We ate pork steaks; rice with vegetables, and for dessert, there was Grandma Mary’s famous pecan pie. After dinner, we sat and jawed well into the night, and I was the last to leave at a little after 9pm. It’s great to have nice friends like these and makes ya feel kind of warm deep inside!

Birthdays for February are: Dennis McDermott, Stevie Villarreal, Pamela Waddey, Marcia McKinney, Stuart Watson, John Waddell, and Earl Wilbert.

Thought for the week: The only thing good about leaving is coming back, but sometimes the only thing good about coming back is leaving again.


Our little community: My friend Bob Vandenberg arrived from Temecula with his camper that he’s going to store here for a while. He replaced a drainpipe to my kitchen sink with one that had a trap to keep the critters from getting inside. Bob must have scoped it out the last time he was here in November, because who drives around with a sink trap.
I made some stuffing with chicken for potluck and we arrived there at 4pm. We had quite a turnout- 21 folks showed up! Dorothy Jacobsen cooked up some fabulous Swedish meatballs. Dyan Carrol made a tasty chili. Chris Jonas made up his famous macaroni salad. Donna Myers prepared a yummy taco bake. Newcomers William Treas and his wife Elizabeth and their two young sons Josue and baby William III brought a wonderful zucchini cheese dish. Susan Bonani let us enjoy her black bean and corn salad. Rose Matich had peas and corn. Marcy Hines concocted a delicious whipped cream fruit salad. Bob Seeley had his fruit plate eaten all up. Ruth Tuttle came late with a big bowl of mac and cheese.
The big surprise to all of us was what Karen Van Noort made; it was stuff pears. Nobody could guess what the ingredients were, especially the white creamy part. The guesses ranged from cream cheese to sour cream, and it turned out to be only mayonnaise!
We all had a mighty fine time eating, jawing, and just hanging out. Everyone helped cleanup at the end, and my friend Bob was on his way back home.

Thought for the week: I wouldn’t trade places with anyone else on earth even if I could because of all these wonderful folks I call my friends!


Our little community: Last Saturday I was off to Lee and Marcie Hines’ to watch the Super Bowl. What a game! I was rooting for Arizona but the Steelers were an awesome team to watch. That 100-yard return by Steelers Linebacker James Harrison was a Super Bowl record. As we watched the game, Marcie kept feeding us. With all the excitement going on I was absentmindedly stuffing my face and I swear if I ate anymore I’d explode. The game was close right down to the last 15 seconds! Even though my team lost, I think that this was the best Super Bowl I have ever seen.

A nice lady, Sandra Smith, from Joshua Tree donated a propane stove to our little community’s thrift room. She had it tied in the back of her truck and drove it down during Tuesday night’s Bingo. We found a needy family who needed a stove and all of us would like to thank Sandra for the donation.

Thought for the week: Checking my credit card statement I found that a fraudulent charge that was taken off last December was put back on! I called the card company and was told that they had mistakenly given me double credits and that was why the $495 charge was back on. I told them that I never received such a credit. They said a check was recently mailed to me. So what you’re saying, I said, is that you had mistakenly given me double credits and that to correct the error you’re sending me a check for $495 that I can deposit into my checking account so that I can write a check to you to pay the $495 on my credit card. She said that was correct. No wonder our economy is in such dire straits!


Our little community lost one of our longtime neighbors; Bill Morrison had passed away in his sleep a week ago Monday at 84 years. We were all sorry to hear of his passing. Bill was a friendly sort whose arduous occupation as a Santa Fe railroad switchman for some thirty years showed in his face and his mannerisms; he was a rugged, honest individual. After retiring Bill and his wife Marie moved to our little community which he loved so much. Bill helped out at the community center in many ways; cooking at our community breakfasts, served as a board member, distributing gifts to needy kids when we used to have the Toys for Tots during Christmas, and doing other behind the scene labors that made our little community center function. Bill leaves behind two daughters, four grandkids, six great grandkids, and his beloved wife Marie. Bill will be dearly missed!

Thought for the week: I watched “60 Minutes” last Sunday. They were discussing the “Buy American” provision in the stimulus package. I can understand the reasoning for folks who want this added to the package, but I also recall what brought on the Great Depression in the 1930s, too. Back then after Wall Street took a nose dive, to make a bad situation worse America added high tariffs to imported products from other countries to protect American jobs, and these other countries followed suit and did the same to our products. Well what followed was a domino effect: nobody was selling anything to anyone else. And this protectionism put a lot of people out of work worldwide, thus bringing on the Great Depression. No, I guess we haven’t learned our lessons from history! Here we go again?


Our little community: Bill Morrison’s memorial was at the Joshua Tree Memorial Park last Wednesday. I found Steve Tuttle and his mother Ruth sitting in their car waiting for folks to arrive. We chatted for a spell and decided to wait inside. Folks started to arrive and were greeted at the door by Chaplain Grover Fletcher and Karen who works for the Park. We all got seated and the Chaplin gave a nice eulogy for Bill. Then he asked if any of us would like to make any comments. Mary Kobalt gave an elegant talk of when she first met Bill and Marie when they first moved into our little community. Bill used to help her and her family out, having Thanksgiving dinner at the Morrison’s, how stray dogs would always end up at Morrison’s home, and how Bill was young at heart. Mary Helen Tuttle Reminisced about their good friendship and the plants that the Morrison’s gave her have grown. Seimi Shiba spoke of Bill’s helping at the USDA food distribution to the end. Bill’s daughter Darcy McCarthy told us all how her father loved to dance and taught her the Jitterbug. It was a small but loving group of folks that showed up and I think Bill would have liked that!

Last Monday Comet Lulin was to the southeast of Saturn about three degrees away! Mostly all I could see was a fuzz ball with what seemed to be a faint tail that extended to the east. This Saturday it will be just below Regulus in Leo. You will need binoculars!

Thought for the week: It puzzles me that someone who ripped folks off for $56 Billion dollars is under “house arrest”, while someone who shoplifts a loaf of bread ends up in jail!


Our little community: I cooked up some stuffing with chicken and headed on over to our community’s potluck last Saturday. There weren’t many folks when I arrived and we were all wondering if it was going to be a small group of us, but more folks started turning up. There were almost twenty five who finally showed. The new folks Denise and Michael Myers brought some mighty delicious baked beans. Sue Bonani and her brother Tim Atzei cooked up an eggplant “Sue”preme. Diana and Bruce Rosique made rice pilaf. William Treas and his wife Elizabeth mixed up a fabulous crab salad. Danna and Karen Van Noort concocted their famed “stuffed” pears. Donna and Cal Myers brought a corn thingy (that’s what she called it!). Marcie Hines, who couldn’t make it, left us some whipped marshmallow fruit salad and a meat and cheese plate. Chris Jonas made his fantastic macaroni salad. And Bob Seeley had his fruit platter for us all to enjoy. Marie Morrison showed up and all were glad to see her after the passing of her husband Bill, and everyone gave her a hug. Mary Hodges came too, after being absent for a few years. I got to say that we all had a mighty fine time. It’s nice to live in our little community!

Don’t forget to come on over to our Community Center for the “Fabulously Fine” Breakfast this Saturday at 8:30am and goes to around 11am.

Thought for the week: Another thing that puzzles me is that as our incomes and bank accounts dwindle, and folks go unemployed; that the cost for food, health insurance, and taxes, go up!


Our little community: I decided that I’d better go to town and get the Gross Polluter smogged. It is a very stressful thing for me; two years ago it didn’t pass the first time and I spent somewhere over $300 to get it to pass. I called up Autosmiths to make an appointment, and they had an opening at 3pm.
I drove to Auto Zone in Yucca Valley to purchase some Pass-or-don’t-Pay for the smog test. I dumped it into the tank and was off to Juffy Lube in Twentnine Palms to get an oil change and give the Pass-or-don’t-Pay time to clean things up. While I was sitting waiting for the work to be completed I heard them laughing at my truck. I popped my head outside and saw that one of the mechanics was stuck inside. I forgot to tell them that to open the door they’d have to pull on the rod that goes to the handle that ain’t there.
Arrived at Autosmiths on time and sat in a small reception room worrying if my truck would pass while a guy named “Squirrel” tested my vehicle. I heard voices in the background saying things like “it failed” or “waste of time” which only heightened my fears. As the twenty minutes it takes for the test wore into thirty “Squirrel” then appeared and I was expecting the worst, but all he said was “you’re good to go”. I asked “did it pass”? He said “yup”. With a happy heart I left Autosmiths and headed on home.

Thought for the week: If you plan for the worst you’ll never be disappointed.

03/21/2009 Last Sunday I decided to get out of the house and go for a hike over at 49 Palms. It’s about ten miles from my house on Canyon Road off of HWY62. I don’t like going on hikes by myself but there isn’t anyone around here I know that goes hiking. I realized that I can make friends along the way, just like my trip to Europe way back in 1979 when I went alone but made many friends while traveling there. The three mile hike into 49 Palms really seems like six; there are plenty of switchbacks going up and down hills. The flowers are just starting to bloom and I believe that in another few weeks 49 Palms will be covered heavily with them. I met a lot of folks from different states.

Karin and Larry form Massachusetts and vacationing in Palm Springs. They make the trip every year to our gorgeous desert. Caleb Murphy was taking his parents from Colorado for the hike before he and his wife are deployed to Afghanistan. Caleb is an artillery specialist in the Marine Corps. I wished them well!

There was young Mike and Jenna Masters from Philadelphia traveling with all their belongings in a big U-Haul Van to Pasadena where they’ll be going to college. I met Mike and Carol Lovy at the end of the trail where the springs and palm trees are nestled between high canyons with large rock outcroppings. They just moved to Pam Springs from Seattle and are really excited to be living in the desert. She spotted a desert tortoise making its way eating through the flora.

Chastity and John Murphy were hiking with their two young kids. They were the only locals I met on the trail. They plan on making hiking a habit on their family outings. Well I’m not as athletic as I thought and I was mighty tired once I got back down the trail to my awaiting truck. My knee hurt a bit from an old skydiving accident, but with a little rest I’ll be going back in a few weeks to see the flowers.

Thought for the week: Television can be a wasteland for individualism and dreams. Get off the couch and do something stimulating and original!


Our little community invites you, the kids, and a dozen hard-boiled eggs to our Community Center on Saturday, April 11 at 1pm. There will be an Easter Egg Coloring party and a Prize for the most Beautiful Egg.

Looking through my mail I came across a small pamphlet that fell out of my Verizon telephone bill. I don’t usually read these but the title caught my eye: “Area Code Overlay Approved for 760 Area Code”. What this boils down to is that there are going to be two area codes in the same area: 760 and 442. This means that on October 24 you will have to dial a 1+the area code, instead of the seven digit phone number, to call your neighbor. I wonder why the “Powers that Be” didn’t just split up area code 760 into two separate code areas instead of this stupid area code overlay. They sure didn’t ask for my input on this.

I was told by Chris Jonas and Lee Hines that there were 91 folks who came to the USDA Food Distribution instead of the usual 70 or so. They expect more folks to show as more workers get laid off and times grow even harder.

Thought for the week: Watching the nightly news lately to see what incompetence and hardships our government and Wall Street are bestowing on us poor taxpayers. It seems that we all have to lose our jobs, homes, and retirements to keep greedy companies afloat. They say it’s to stop a total collapse of our financial system, but at what expense? Ours I guess! And to pay big bonuses to the very ones who brought this mess about. Kind of makes me upset (to put it mildly).


Our little community invites you to an Easter Egg Coloring Party Saturday, April 11th ‘09 @ 1p.m. at our Community Center at 65336 Winters Road, Joshua Tree (4 miles East of Border - 5 miles West of Lear) Phone 760 362-5212. BRING THE KIDS And a DOZEN hard-boiled EGGS! Win a Prize for the most Beautiful Egg! yum yum! FUN FUN FUN!

We had our potluck last Saturday with about seventeen folks showing up. Everyone brought something so there was plenty of grub to go around. Dyan Carrol made a white cake that we all gobbled up. Donna Myers mixed up a pea salad and baked a German chocolate cake that was mighty good. Marcie Hines brought a macaroni dish. Chris Jonas had his famous macaroni salad. Bob Seeley arrived late with a big bowl of Jell-O. Susan Bonani made a green bean salad. And last but not least, Dorothy Jacobsen cooked up this fabulous Mexican lasagna with jalapenos mixed in to give it some zing!
We were sitting outside afterwards jawing when we noticed Dyane and Donna staring at the trees that run along the center. I asked what they were looking at and Donna said that they were waiting for the sap to fall. “I suppose you gals sit around to watch the grass grow and paint dry,” I said. Donna came back with “only after I’ve had a couple of drinks”. We all had a great time!

The wind blew so hard last week Dale Knoll lost his roof, and the power in our area was out from 4pm till 2am Monday. I wouldn’t have known about the outage unless someone calls me because I'm on solar and my power never goes out.

Thought for the week: Did you know that since 2007 the Spring Equinox falls only on March 20 and not sometimes on the 21st? It's due to Precession; the wobble of the Earth that takes about 26,000 years to complete. Precession even changes what star will be at the north celestial pole. On 2044 the Spring Equinox then will start sometimes falling on March 19th!


Our little community: I drove my neighbor down to Palm Springs for a test at the Desert Medical Center. It's a huge maze of corridors, offices, and elevators easy to get lost in, which we did. The small waiting room was really claustrophobic with eight chairs for ten patients. While my neighbor filled out paperwork I chatted with a lady sitting across from us, Dorothy Church who lives in Landers. Dorothy, like me, drove a neighbor down. She volunteers at the Senior Center there as a Sunshine girl who writes thank you cards and letters to folks that are ill. I had my portable computer with me and was able to get online through an open WIFI connection! Dorothy thought that was just amazing! She doesn't use computers and was surprised at how easy it was done.
I got hungry and left the hospital grounds headed out into the community of Palm Springs to find food. On one street I walked past row upon row of small shops and boutiques that were recently closed down and out of business. It looked like a ghost town except for all the cars driving by on the four lane road. Every closed shop is someone's lost dream. So sad!

Bob Stonebraker had this utility shack in his backyard dismantled and sent into the atmosphere by the high winds of last week. He said that it was alright because now he can glance at Roger Smith's house to see if he is home.

Thought for the week: I was going to write about nominees for the President's Cabinet owing back taxes because of "unintentional errors" but instead I have something a little lighter while you fill out your tax forms: As the river of time flows by, sometimes we need to dip our oars into the water and navigate to solid ground.


Our little community had an Easter Egg Coloring Party last Saturday, but I couldn't make it because my friend Wessel, visiting from Holland, called needing help retrieving a truck that broke down in Juniper Hills. I contacted Annelies Kuiper, who is going to be at the party, to write a story for my newspaper column. So here's what Annelies wrote:
We held our first annual Easter Egg Coloring Party at the Community Center last Saturday. There were a dozen of us: kids of all ages, creating works of art, using bright, vibrant colors. While some liked one-shade pastels, others preferred the tie-dye and controlled drip effect. We had stickers too and came up with funny combinations to make silly faces. We enjoyed cookies and apple juice while we worked and there was much giggling and good-natured teasing. After about an hour, it was time to judge the most beautiful eggs. We had three grand prize winners: Brooke, Brenda Zimmer's great-niece, for the under twos; Slade, Brenda's great-nephew, for the under eights and Phoenix, another of Brenda's great-nieces, for the tween age-group. As you can see, Brenda's family was well represented! They each received a prize, kindly donated by the Thrift Room. Then everyone received jelly beans and colored eggs to take home and show off to their families. We had a great time!

Birthdays this month are: Carol Lane, Patty Bradley, Mary Helen Tuttle, Marie Morrison, Bob Stonebraker, Bill Bonner, Ruth Malton, Roger Toomes, and Brenda Zimmer.

Thought for the week: Sometimes the best handout you can give someone is good advice! And sometimes that's all we have to give.


Our little community: I remember the first Earth Day way back in April 22, 1970. There was a rally held in a park next to the college I was attending at the time. The main speaker, a young well dressed bearded scholar, was lecturing us poor uninformed folk about how bad pollution and our way of living was destroying the world. After the rally I had some questions to ask this knowledgeable leader of the environmental movement. So I followed him out to his car and tried to ask my questions, but he said he was in a hurry and couldn't spend the time with me. He then drove off leaving me in a cloud of black smoke billowing out from the tailpipe of his Mercedes diesel.
I learned a good number of lessons on that day. Practice what you preach. Even back in 1970, as it is today, it was hard to find anyone who does. And another lesson learned was “Experts” don't know crap! You just got to keep an open mind and evaluate what knowledge you accumulate, because you're responsible for what you do and how you live. Oh and by the way, the electrical in my home is powered by solar panels. I hope you had a wonderful Earth Day and actually did something to lower your carbon footprint. Every little bit helps!

Thought for the week: Isn't it strange how we get hit with increases on sales tax, car registration fees, and higher credit card rates when our economy is in a rut and we are all trying to make ends meet. Seems to me that the folks we put in office aren't looking after us at all.


Our little community had another wonderful potluck! I cooked up some baked beans and called Bob Stonebraker "Stoney" to see if he was going, he was, and I asked him to pick me up so we could ride together to save gas (well mine anyways).
We arrived to the center a little after 4pm and were surprised to see so many cars in the parking lot. I saw Rick Seeley's golf cart, it's been a while since he's been to our potlucks, and we're glad to see he is doing well.
We had over twenty hungry folks show up this time! There was lots of food: Dyane Carrol cooked a fabulous sea food lasagna we all enjoyed. We devoured Dorothy Jacobsen's chili relleno casserole. Marcie Hines made a great meat lasagna. Lisa and Elizabeth Treas brought scalloped potatoes, marble cake, and a lemon and apple pie. Marie Morrison baked some delicious brownies. Bob Seeley had his fruit platter. I was wondering out loud if Ruth Tuttle would show when I turned around and there she was with a tossed salad.
We're supposed to start at 4:30pm but the food looked so good that everyone started getting in line to eat at 4:15! What a great bunch of folks!

Birthdays for May: Tim Herrera, Jackie Johnston, C. Myer, Karen Van Noort, and Mary Moowea.

Thought for the week: Despite the affairs of human kind the flowers still bloom and that in and of its self is a wondrous thing.


Our little community: I sometimes go over for dinner at my friend and neighbor Bob Stonebraker's home. We call him Stoney; he turned 89 last month. One day we had some macaroni with meat sauce along with a salad made from lettuce grown in his garden.
Roger Smith was also there yapping about some rabbits he found dining on his own garden after leaving the gate open while he was away for a week.
After dinner we all sat around the kitchen table jawing about when we were in the military service. Stoney told us a story when he was being shipped over to the Philippines during WWII. He traveled down the Sacramento River on a paddlewheel to the Liberty Ship that would take him there. Once onboard a shipmate told him to eat lots of bread to avoid seasickness. He got two loafs in the mess hall and hurriedly ate it all!
Needing to keep his hands busy Stoney was always asking his Sergeant for something to do on the long voyage, but there was nothing the Sergeant needed done. Later a notice went up on the bulletin board stating that if you didn't keep your area clean you would be put on extra duty. So Stoney left his area in a mess: bed unmade and clothes lying around. He was quickly put painting the Officer's quarters. One Officer liked Stoney's painting job so much that he offered Stoney a drink and asked if he wouldn't mind continuing painting around the ship. Well Stoney was glad to take him up on that and painted his way over to the Philippines.

Thought for the week: Coming home from a long journey I feel that I am almost home only after I pull into my driveway.


Our little community is starting to heat up and it is a good time to get the old swamp cooler back in working order. My friend Sherry stopped by one day last week to chat for a spell, she sitting in her car and I standing outside without a shirt getting sunburned; which I only discovered the next morning. So yes those days of carefree cool weather are gone and we need to be a little aware and take precautions from the heat of the Sun.

There is a little dog named Scruffy that has lost his way from his Family. He is an older white mixed Terrier with a red collar with his name and home telephone number. If you find or know where this beloved dog Scruffy is please call the number on the collar or call me and we'll reunite him with his Family!

Last Saturday coming over a hill on my morning run there was a white truck with its engine idling parked in the middle of the dirt road. I spotted a guy holding some kind of long stick with a saucer on the end, so naturally I ran up to him to see what he was doing. His name was Frank, a surveyor from Orange County working for Edison, trying to find these little round surveyor markers that are placed here and there in our desert, some going back as far as1944. Frank said that Edison is replacing some electric poles that run to the Marine base.

Thought for the week: I've heard that gravity is the weaker force compared to the strong and weak nuclear forces, and electromagnetism when dealing with particles at the smallest scales. But I believe gravity is the stronger force when a star collapses into a singularity. Gravity sucks everything into a singularity, squeezing electrons and protons into neutrons and beyond, while ripping away space time. And a singularity is as small as you can get. Just a thought I had.


Our little community doesn't want you to forget that Potluck will be next Saturday at 4pm! So cook up some grub and come on down to our community center where nice folks are waiting to gobble it up.

Mynor, a very good friend of mine called to say hi. We both worked together at the Portofino Inn and Yacht Club in Redondo Beach back in the early 90s. I was security and Mynor worked the front desk. He's come a long way from his humble beginnings as a refugee from a Central American country not knowing a lick of English. Mynor is now the head honcho at some computer firm doing networks and traveling all around the nation! I am mighty proud of him! We talked about old times and our supervisor named Louie. Louie always wanted me to make cheeseburgers for him on the graveyard shift and I was getting mighty tired of doing this. So on one occasion I soaked the buns in bacon grease until they were saturated, added three hamburger patties, four kinds of cheeses, six strips of bacon, a sausage patty, fried egg, double on the mayonnaise, pressed it altogether and presented it to him thinking that this "Mighty Bob Burger" would finally discourage him in asking me to make him hamburgers anymore. The sucker pigged the whole thing down! With grease running down his chin and grinning he said it was the best cheeseburger he'd ever had! Mynor and I were waiting for him to collapse from clogged arteries.

Thought for the week: Sometimes when inspiration is lacking; imagination and hard work will get the job done.


Our little community is a wonderful place but sometimes there're no good vermin lurking around: my neighbor Ginger called telling me that someone had stolen the tires from her trailer and broke into it and made off with an air conditioner after trashing the insides. Ginger, a single mom, has fallen on hard times recently, like a lot of folks. I hate thieves! They take what we work so hard to acquire and leave us feeling violated. I hope there's a special cell in hell reserved for them. I could only tell Ginger I didn't see anybody on her property and offer my sympathies.

I put on my good clothes and headed out to Twentynine Palms. It was my day to see the Doctor and get a prescription filled. I only go to see him once a year because that's about all I can afford. I first stopped to get gas for the Gross Polluter which was near empty, then over to the post office to mail a few letters. I got to the Doc's ten minutes before my appointment at 2pm. The nurse took my weight and my blood pressure, and I sat in the examination room for another twenty before the Doc showed. It wasn't my regular Doc but a nurse practitioner. He said that he could do everything the Doc can do except admit me to the hospital. I told him I don't need no admitting and to get on with the examination. I advised him of my ills and he checked this and that and wrote me a few prescriptions and I was on my way.

Thought for the week: Sometimes it's the simple things that turn a day's work into a calamity.


Our little community's Thrift Shop gladly takes donations of used items but it's not a dumping ground for old stinky couches, broken computer monitors, or stained bed mattresses, yuck! So please keep this in mind when you donate.

I called Stoney to see if he was going to Saturday's potluck, he was and would pick me up at 4pm. I got to cooking my stuffing with raisins and was ready to mosey on down there when he showed up.
We had about twenty-five folks show up! Mary Reeves and her son Mason brought chocolate cake, Rose Matich peas and corn, Dyan Carrol cooked up a Lemon cake and popcorn salad (which was delicious), Dorothy Jacobsen made a Mexican casserole with red lobster rolls, Susan Bonani had beans with hamburger mix, Marie Morrison brought baked beans and a Bundt cake, Marcie Hines made a fruit salad and chip tray, Donna Myers prepared a taco bake casserole, and Bob Seeley had his fruit platter.
We have two new members: Faye McAdams and Mike Jacobsen who live in Landers. Faye has volunteered to help out in our Thrift Room.
Marvin and Sharon Gottfried showed up! They've been weekenders up here since 1976! I've never met them before this potluck. They live down in Long Beach. What a great potluck!!!

Birthdays for the month on June: RaeLynn Herrera, Sherry Rotruck, Lee Hines, Mary Riggio, ILA Foyil, and Karen McBurney

Thought for the week: Women may lose their attractiveness when age grows unkind, but retained with the utmost of clarity, her youth and her beauty, for all of eternity, in her true love's mind.

P>Our little community has been having wonderful weather lately! I don't believe I have ever seen June weather this cool in the desert during the twelve years I've lived here! I'm not complaining, but usually it's into the hundreds by now. During this time of year I leave the windows open at night to let in the cool desert air, and then shut them before I go to bed, this keeps my cabin cooler throughout most of the day. But lately it's been getting too dang cold and I've been closing them early and pulling on a sweater. I went for a night run one night this last week and it was breezy and cold. When I got back I checked the temperature which read 58 degrees! By the time this goes to print I bet the temps will be back to normal, but then again maybe not.

Thought for the week: Life can be a challenge even in the best of times. We live out our lives on a speck of dirt on the outskirts of a galaxy, one among billions of galaxies, in a universe so vast that it boggles one's mind. Yet we strive for an understanding of our place in it and search for answers to the unknown and the unknowable that makes our lives much more interesting to live.


Our little community is still having wonderful cool June weather! I wrote about it last week saying, "By the time this goes to print I bet the temps will be back to normal, but then again maybe not". Well it stayed cool all week! It does look like the National Weather Service is forecasting temps in the high 90s and maybe into the 100s this weekend. So make sure that your swamp cooler is primed and ready to go!

The membership committee is having a barbeque on Labor Day the last Saturday in August at the Community Center. There will be hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, chips, and hopefully fun stuff for the kids. They're also trying to find some folks who like to play musical instruments to join them. The cost of the barbeque is free but donations will be greatly appreciated!

Thought for the week: I took an art class at El Camino College once back in the 80s. The teacher, Mr. Suzuki, would come around checking our drawings. When he came around to mine I'd ask him if it was done and he'd answer no. Several times he came by and I'd ask and he'd say no. Finally I asked him when he thought the drawing would be finished, and he replied, "When you stop asking".


Our little community had a power outage on Tuesday 16 which lasted for about two and a half hours. I was visiting Lee and Marcie Hines who told me the electric power had been down since noon. While we were yapping (me eating cookies) the power came back on and everything went back to normal, or as normal as it gets up here.

This is the five-hundredth column I've submitted to the Hi Desert Star! My writing of this column was only to have been temporary until the Community Center found someone else to take it over; I'm still waiting!

There will not be Bingo or First Saturday Breakfasts for the months of July and August. There will still be Potlucks!

From the Membership Committee: Sorry about the outdated information you were sent concerning a Labor Day B-B-Q at the end of August: this will not be taking place. Instead, the Membership Committee has decided to hold the "End of Summer Blast" on Saturday, October 10th, 2009. We still have to work out all the particulars and will let you know as the Party draws nearer, but we can promise you good food and lots of fun. I also wanted to let you know that Board- and Membership Committee member Brenda Zimmer, has resigned and moved off the Mesa. She has been replaced by Rob Reese; a fellow writer and good friend, who has lived in our area since 2006. Have a great summer! Annelies Kuiper.

Thought for the week: We have our good days and we have our bad days, but we can only hope that we have more good days than bad!


Our little community had a wonderful "Last Saturday of the Month Potluck" at the Community Center. The temp was around 108 and it was nice to enter the pleasantly cool environment of the center's main building. There was pert near twenty hungry folks and enough grub to satisfy everyone. Rose skipped her peas and corn and surprised us with German style cucumber salad. Marie Morrison made her Mom Pearl's Pineapple coleslaw. Dorothy Jacobsen cooked up some chicken and fried rice with Spam. Donna Myers whipped up a tuna casserole. Chris Jonas brought his famous macaroni salad. Marcie Hines made her tasty meat lasagna dish. Dyane Carrol couldn't be here because of her relatives were visiting but she made a lemon trifle that was to die for and had Dorothy bring it for us to enjoy; I thought that was mighty nice of her! Tim Atzie baked up cinnamon rolls. Chris Fergie who has lived up here for over ten years and she finally came by for a visit to see what it was all about and came prepared with a turkey/cheese dip with chips. And Bob Seeley had his fruit platter; we saw him rush by on his way to town to pick it up which made him a little late. We all sat down to eat and then silence fell on the great hall.

Birthdays and such for July: Rose Matich, Dana Van Noort, Bob Beggs, and Karen and Dana Van Noort's 15th Anniversary

Thought for the week: My mind has a mind of its own! Now that may sound weird but it's the truth, honest it is.


Our little community smelled like it rained somewhere on July 1st, you could just sniff out the fragrance of the greasewoods when the raindrops fell on them. But it didn't rain here, not today. It looked like it wanted to. That big old cloud hung around all day long trying to squeeze out what water droplets it could muster but it all evaporated before hitting the ground. The day at least was pleasant, not hot, and I did a lot of sitting outside on the bench in front of my home. There is a small pond just a few feet away and these small desert birds would cautiously approach to drink if Fat Cat and I were very still. There was about fifteen of them little critters that drank all at once, Cool! Good cat too! Just another fine day in the high desert!

Thought for the week: I read this science article: "Device Makes Radio Waves Travel Faster Than Light." If this is true it has great consequences in the world of science, because according to theory anything traveling faster than light goes backwards in time. So my question is: does that mean if I had the intent of sending a message would it get to its destination before I've even sent it? Interesting! I think I've been listening to too many Quantum Physics lectures lately!


Our little community: Bob Stonebraker picked me up for Independence Day fireworks at the Marine Base. I called him earlier to remind him to bring his camera. We drove to the place where we watched it last year down at the end of Poleline on a dirt road that runs in front on the west side of the base. There were lots of other folks with their kids parked here and there on the streets around the base. I think it's a lot better than going onto the base and having to deal with the traffic and such. We got out our chairs and sat waiting for the show to begin. He remembered to bring his camera but I had forgotten mine, dang! Last year's show lasted around twenty minutes but this one lasted for half an hour or more! There was lots of "rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air" (just like in the song) and you could hear the oohs and ahs from kids as well as adults. Halfway through the show Ron Dehart called me on my cell phone while he and his wife Linda watched the fireworks from their backyard. I kept saying to Ron "here's the finale" but every time it kept going on and on. It was a great show!

Thought for the week: When your nightly dreams seem more appealing than your waking life you had better get off your duff and go out and do something interesting!

Thursday 23- I have been in a funk all this past week and I came to realize that this is the day; I've have now given up all hope for Fat Cat's return. It’s been seven days now and a hot desert with its many predators is no place for my little kitty to have survived. Today I've given away all his food to friends who own cats, cleaned all his dishes, emptied his water bowl that I"ve been keeping filled just in case he came back, cleaned out his hair brush, and folded and put away his bedding. I reluctantly must move on with my life. I will miss Fat Cat knocking on my front door when he needed to be let in; he learned that from when Stoney came over for a visit and knocked on my door. The first time Fat Cat did it I opened the door and nobody was there. Then the knock came again and I opened the door and there was Fat Cat! He’s been doing it ever since. One night he knocked and I let him in, he had a kangaroo rat in his mouth and let it go in the house so he could eat his food. I spent almost an hour before I cornered and captured the poor rodent and set it free! He liked sleeping on the roof. On one night I could hear him running all around up there and I came outside to see what he was up to. He came down and we were sitting on the bench as an owl flew overhead. He was trying to catch it! He was a very good mouser; when I first got him he killed four kangaroo rats everyday for over a week. I knew because he’d left the tails on the front steps that lead into the house. I am sorry to say that he killed one fox, and four rabbits that I know of. And once chased off two dogs that got into the yard; I heard the ruckus and rushed outside thinking that the dogs were attacking Fat Cat, but it was the other way around, one dog was so frightened that he banged into the fence as he was trying to get away; there were lots of yelps! One time Ron Dehart brought his dog over when he visited and Fat Cat came down off the roof with his hair all puffed up walking sideways. I told Ron he'd better put the dog back in the car because I didn't like the way Fat Cat looked. Ron said that maybe they'll be friends and let his dog go and the dog walked over to Fat Cat for a sniff and got swiped on the nose very quickly. The dog jumped up into Ron's arms with a bloody nose. Ron said that his dog never jumped into his arms like that before. But Fat Cat was friendly to people and would greet them at the front gate. Fat Cat preferred to stay outside except in the winter where he’d sleep by my feet on the bed. When I’d drive up to the front gate after being to town, he’d be always there to greet me. I will miss that! When I’d go outside at night to look through my telescope he’d be there waiting till I sat down so he could jump up on my lap. When I watched sunsets he’d do the same. I will miss that too! My kitty is gone and it makes me feel old; there are more days behind in my life than there are ahead. I must continue on without him but I’ll miss him dearly! Good bye my dear kitty, my Fat Cat!


Our little community: One night a few weeks ago I took out my telescope to watch the Moon set behind the mountains to the west. It was kind of neat because of far away little clouds that were low on the horizon floating about in our Earth's thick atmosphere were drifting across the shimmering Moon.
I then turned my scope towards the constellation Cygnus the Swan that lies amidst the wisps of dust and stars of the Milky Way. In Cygnus shines a double star 380 light years away called Albireo. One star appears blue and the other gold. I had it in my eyepiece and was held fascinated by its splendor.
I caught Jupiter just rising out of the east and could make out a few bands on its surface. I'm still waiting for Jupiter to rise higher above the horizon so I can look for Neptune that should be very close by.
I found M13 "The Great Globular Cluster" in Hercules. Hercules is sometimes very hard to find- it's between Vega and the Northern Crown. It was directly overhead and Fat Cat kept jumping on my lap wanting attention and making it impossible to keep my eyes trained on anything. What a wonderful night!

Don't forgit Potluck is today, Saturday, at 4pm!

Thought for the week: Life is a precious gem that some casually toss away never learning its true value.


Our little community had potluck last Saturday with fifteen hungry folks showing up. There was plenty of vittles to go around. Dyan Carrol made apple dumplings and teriyaki with rice, yum! Rose Manish brought her peas and corn. Marcie Hines brought a macaroni and hamburger dish with baked beans. Chris Jonas whipped up his famous macaroni salad for us to devour. Bob Seeley came by with his fruit platter. Dorothy Jacobsen cooked up this marvelous surprise casserole dish with a side of corn bread! And I cooked up my turkey stuffing with raisins. There was ice cream, too! We want everyone to know that potluck is open to one and all. So don't be shy and come on down the last Saturday of the month at 4pm and bring something to share.

Thought for the week: One day, if you live long enough, you will be awaken by some tragedy or event to realize that there are more days behind in your life than there are ahead.


Our little community will be gearing up soon for the month of September's starting of Bingo on Tuesday first and the First Saturday Breakfast on the fifth. Bingo and the Breakfast were closed during the summer to let the good folks who worked so hard and put a lot of effort into these events have a well deserved vacation.

The Perseid Meteor Shower is coming to a night sky near you on August 11-12 when our little tiny planet passes through the thickest part of a debris field left by comet Swift-Tuttle. For the best of viewing look towards the northeast and overhead on the 11th after 9pm before the gibbous Moon rises too high and washes out the smaller meteors. There should be a few earthgrazers and dozens of meteors an hour! Happy meteor hunting!

Thought for the week: Having a good time is when everyone is included.


Our little community doesn't have much to write about especially in the heat of summer. All I see during the day is a battered old pickup truck rattling down the dirt roads driven by a hairless old man with a long beard looking for scrap to sell. I would stop to ask his story but he don't look none too friendly.
Road runners zip into my yard dodging in and out from under the greasewoods looking for some unsuspecting lizard to munch down. I like watching them!

Some days ago I got together with the Activities Committee to put together the Spring/Summer newsletters and sent them out. Unfortunately all were sent back for a variety of reasons and I went to Steve Tuttle's home to pick them up. I spent an hour or so there jawing with Steve while he gave me the grand tour of his property. I have to say that I was pretty impressed with what he had done. As I was leaving we started talking astronomy. We decided sometime in the future to have a sky party at the community center, cool!

Thought for the week: A good friend is one who can pick up a conversation where it was left off ten years ago.


Our little community's USDA Food Distribution doesn't happen by magic. There are some dedicated folks that rise early with the Sun, drive down to Joshua Tree where a big tractor trailer sits waiting to be unloaded of its contents that will be distributed to communities in our area. Sometimes Lee Hines, Cal Myers, Roger Smith, and Seimi Shiba have to wait a few hours when it's late. They then drive it up to our community center where Katherine Quinn and her two daughters Brigit and Rachel, along with Patrick Whalen, and Rick Monzo are waiting to sort and bag it all up under the supervision of Chris Jonas.
This last Monday there were pert near one hundred bags made up and sent out. This supplies over two hundred folks with needed food. I asked Chris why only one bag per residence instead of providing for how many folks at that address; a single person gets as much as a whole family. He said he recently asked the main office the very same question and was told that with the economy as it is they are lucky to send out what we get. Well the tractor trailer was late that day and these fine folks didn't go home till late afternoon. We are mighty grateful for their service.

Thought for the week: In the storms that run through our lives, friends are the tillers that guide us to calmer waters.


Our little community wants you to know that our Tuesday night Bingo (6pm) and First Saturday Breakfast (8-11am) will be starting back up the beginning of September and everyone is welcome to come! Also our Potluck is today, Saturday at 4pm, so bring whatever your cooking skills can come up with; my skills are not very good so I'm depending on you!

On the night of August 11th I set everything up for the Perseid Meteor Shower but some dang high cirrus clouds moved in to spoil the show. I took out my telescope before Saturn slid behind the mountains to our west to watch its rings disappear! Saturn looks much like Jupiter now for a short spell! This won’t happen again for another 14 to 15 years. I stayed outside hoping to see meteors through the clouds until sometime after the Moon crept up into the eastern sky. I only saw a few meteors, two satellites, and mostly jet aircraft from the Marine Base buzzing around, but it was still fun!

Thought for the week: Poems are like that you know: We reflect our souls into them and they shine right back at us in words of rhyme and reason to comfort us in times of despair, to enlighten us in times of doubt, and to give us joy in these times of uncertainty. Poems are our way to express the inexpressible emotion!


Our little community had over twenty-five folks showing up for the Potluck. That was more than I expected on a hot day like this, but the community center is air conditioned and cool inside and it was a relief to get indoors and out of the heat.
Ruth Malron brought a jello fruit salad. Marie Morrison's goulash was a healthy dish. Tom Felix baked a German chocolate cake. Tim Atzei shared his coffee cake. Bob Seeley fetched a mixed fruit plate that was mighty good. Dana Van Noort cooked up this delicious chili verde that wasn't too hot. Elizabeth Treas had this wonderful zucchini and cheese casserole that everyone enjoyed. Rose Manish had her peas and carrots. Marcie Hines beef stroganoff was mighty tasty. Chris Jonas made up his famous macaroni salad. And Lisa Treas homemade bun cake was everyone's favorite! There was a bunch of kids running around inside and out playing games which only kids understand, while the older folk sat inside jawing about this and that trying to outwit or out story each other like only adults can do. All in all it was a fine Potluck!

Thought for the week: On a warm starry August night I just sat for a spell looking at the night sky. I felt connected to the universe in a mellow kind of way that's hard for me to explain. It now seems so familiar and I am part of it, always been part of it, and will continue to be part of it; it is so vast and I accept that.


Our little community looks to be cooling down a little bit now from the heat of summer. Last Sunday the air was crisp, clean, and clear without the smoke from the Los Angeles County fires. Nice weather for walks, hikes, and bicycle rides. I spent some of that day outside exercising and watering my plants. A neighbor, Ron Monastero, came to my home for an evening walk. We ended up over in front of Ron's house when another neighbor, Adrian on his own evening walk, joined us. The Sun had set as dark silhouettes of birds outlined against the graying sky overhead winged their way home to roost. We talked as darkness closed in and stars emerged where they were previously hidden from the Sun's glare. It ended up being a beautiful perfect Labor Day weekend!

Birthdays for September: Randell Herrera, Mike Villarreal, Donna Myers, Kimberly Herrera, Marcie Hines, and Ed Drzal.

Thought for the week: You can spend more time in preparation for a small job than it actually takes to do it.


Our little community's Membership Committee will host an "End-of-Summer-Blast B-B-Q" on Saturday October 17th, 2009; with $1.00 Hotdogs, $2.00 Hamburgers, $2.50 Cheeseburgers plus all the yummy Fixins. We'll also have coffee, water and our trusty soda machine; or bring a cooler. Gather your Friends and Family and come on down. The Party - which also commemorates the 40th anniversary of Phone service on the Mesa - starts at 2p.m. and we'd love to see you there- Annelies Kuiper

Thought for the week: Did you see the double flyby of the International Space Station and Shuttle a week ago on Tuesday? They came out of the southwest with a magnitude of -3.1 which rivaled Venus! It looked to me as if the Shuttle had just departed the Space Station as they whizzed overhead. I had them both in the telescope for a bit but decided to use my binoculars as the separation grew. I watched them flyby and thought to myself that these are folks just like me (well sort of) protected from the harsh environment of space by being encapsulated in cylinders as they orbit our planet. Wow!


Our little community wants you to remember that during the "End-of-Summer-Blast B-B-Q" on Saturday October 17th, 2009 our Thrift Room is having a special Yard Sale from 2-4p.m. on that day! Please call the Center at (760)362-5212 if you'd like more information.

The family of Marcie Hines held a big surprise party for her two weeks ago in Apple Valley; she thought she was going to her daughter's baby shower! The party was attended by sixty people including Marcie's four children, nineteen grandchildren, and nineteen great grandchildren. Marcie told me that it was a great surprise for her and she thanks them all!

Don't forgit that Potluck is today, Saturday, at 4pm! So bring your vittles to share with yer friends! Also, come on down to our Fabulous First Saturday Breakfast next Saturday: Starts at 8:30 until 11 or so.

Thought for the week: Time passes us by. We all grow old. Nothing lasts forever. Even the memory of a baby’s smile fades away with time. An old picture of friends and family can bring back that spark of remembrance which gives us that pleasant feeling of continuality for which we all seek.


Our little community had pert near twenty hungry folks show up at last Saturday’s Potluck and all the food was first-rate! Karen and Danna Van Noort brought chicken parmesan that was to die for. Marie Morrison baked a carrot cake. Marcie Hines made lasagna. Dorothy Jacobsen cooked up some chili relleno that wasn’t too spicy. Dyan Carrol made my favorite lemon truffle and a chicken casserole. Bob and Angela Rainstar visiting from Yucca Mesa brought some London broil. Tim Atzei made a delicious lemon poppy seed cake. Chris Jonas whipped up his famous macaroni salad. Rose Matich had her peas and corn. And Bob Seeley’s fruit platter was mighty fine! Oh yes, I brought my barbecued beans.
Last Potluck Dorothy and Dyan couldn’t make it because they traveled to Riverside for a visit with their Grandson/Nephew Chris Iverson, his wife and new baby. Chris is in the Navy and stationed in Virginia.

September’s raffle for a beautiful wall clock was won by Mary Helen Tuttle.

Birthdays for October: Larry Catron, Colleen Schweitzer, and Scott Lane.

Don’t forgit our “End-of-Summer-Blast B-B-Q” on Saturday October 17th, 2009; with $1.00 Hotdogs, $2.00 Hamburgers, $2.50 Cheeseburgers plus all the yummy Fixin’s.

Thought for the week: Don’t need a journey to find one’s self, though it’s a good excuse to travel.


Our little Community: Last Saturday I drove the Gross Polluter over to the Dhamma Dena Desert Vipassana Center where Ruth Denison is celebrating her 87th birthday with her close friends. We all assembled in the Meditation Hall where Ruth gave an elegant talk about life and being one with yourself and one with all life.
We then went over to the main building where food is prepared and served. All of us were asked to dedicate the meal to what we thought was important to us, and each and every one came up with something pleasant; I came up with the night sky, the stars and planets. The meal was very good! There was a salmon platter, different kinds of salads, fruits, and rice dishes. The eating room had low tables and we sat on pillows while talking and enjoying the food.
Ruth got everyone dancing to Beethoven; at 87 she dances very well. The time came for her to blow out the candles and we sung two versions of Happy Birthday to her; one was her own version that was hard for me and a few others to follow. These are wonderful happy people and I am mighty grateful to have them as friends!

Don’t forgit our “End-of-Summer-Blast B-B-Q” next Saturday October 17th!

Thought for the week: Have you ever put something in a safe place only to discover that it’s even safe from you finding it?


Our little Community: Got a call from my neighbor Ginger, she and her kids were at my back gate and wanted me to look at some animal bones they found while exploring. One skeleton was from a snake and the other was a small skull from some dog or coyote. The Sun had just set and I walked them back to their home as her two dogs ran and played with each other and her kids explored the desert. While we walked Ginger told me of an incident she saw while driving back from town. The occupants of an old blue truck towing a trailer were dumping mattresses and old tires as they sped down Coyote Valley Road. The trailer had no license plate so she tried to get the license number off the truck but it was just going too fast. We don’t take too kindly to folks who dump trash on our beautiful desert and neither should you!

Don’t forgit to come on out to our “End-of-Summer-Blast B-B-Q” today, Saturday October 17th, from 2-4pm. I’ll be there taking pictures and jawing with folks.

Thought for the week: Ever notice when you go to fix something simple another component of what you’re fixing breaks.


Saturday 17-According to the National Weather Service: “Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 92. West northwest wind between 4 and 7 mph becoming calm. Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 62. South southeast wind 6 to 9 mph becoming west southwest.”
Our little Community’s “End of Summer Bash” was a complete success! The volunteers were kept busy; Annelies was doing a book signing of her best seller “Kenya Cowgirl” and donating the proceeds; Rob Reese selling tickets; Steve Tuttle and Ray Foyil hard at work barbecuing; Kathy Quinn keeping tabs on the money; Marcie Hines was selling items at the Thrift Room; and Mary Helen was just all over the place making sure that everything went off smoothly. Kathy and Mary Helen brought a potato and bean salad, and Rob made some desert cookies. All this came with the meal when you bought a hot dog or hamburger and all the food was mighty good.
I met Doug and Marlene Marren who had a cabin out here since 1985. They got the cabin from their parents who bought it in the fifties. Their thirty year anniversary is next month! I never met Doug before but he knew all about me from my column in the newspaper and also reading my journal and website online; it’s nice to know that somebody reads it!
I also talked to Dan Baker a CHP officer who has recently moved into our community. His wife Tammy is starting a nail salon in their home and he was passing out her business cards. I told him I’d put a little ad on our community website for her.
It was nice to see Raphael Cervantes and his wife Maria. I haven’t seen them for a few years since they moved with their daughter to Yucca Valley so that they would have more room for their grandchildren. They still own the property up here and told me that they are considering moving back soon. That would be nice because they are mighty fine folks.
We’d all like to thank Ruth Tuttle for her generous contribution she made at the barbecue and all of the other fifty some odd folks that came on over to eat and enjoy our company and our community center!

Thought for the week: Some folks spend as much time trying to understand the meaning of life than living it.



Our little Community gets visitors up here who ask me what is that bright cloud that runs across the night sky! Well that there is the Milky Way I tell them. The night skies here are pretty dark but we have more folks moving into our area bringing their city habits with them; lighting up the night sky with unshielded outdoor lights and wasting precious resources; these unshielded lights waste 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide per year in the USA. During the Christmas season there’s one house with so much lighting that it’s a wonder airliners don’t try to land there. We have a Casino being built in Twentynine Palms and I hope they love the night skies too and use shielded outdoor lighting. I moved here to the High Desert because of the dark skies to do astronomy and it would be a shame if it went away.

Thought for the week: A friend wanted me to setup an account at a Canadian online drug store for him. Now he gets the same prescription at almost half the price! It really sickens me that we Americans need to go to other countries to get a break on prescription drugs while our representatives in congress sit on their hands and get campaign contributions from these same pharmaceuticals that reap the rewards from congress’s inaction. Yeah our government is really looking out for us they like you to believe.


Our little Community is sad to say that our neighbor and friend Donna Myers had passed away Friday night October 30th. I heard that she wasn’t well but I didn’t know that it was that serious. Last time I saw her was at June’s potluck where she whipped up a wonderful tuna casserole. Donna was a fine lady and our community will miss her!

There weren’t many folks at potluck last Saturday but we didn’t mind. We figured that it was Halloween and folks had places to be. We heard that Dyan Carrol was down with the flu; a good reason not to come. Marcie Hines made some mighty fine enchiladas. Marie Morrison brought a lemon cake that was mighty tasty. Chris Jonas spent all day cooking up his famous macaroni salad. Ruth Tuttle brought some cookies her daughter baked. Bob Seeley had his fruit platter that is everyone’s favorite. And Rose Matich boiled up some yams. The mood was a little subdued because of the passing of our friend Donna Myers.

The CMMCA Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday 14th, at 2 P.M. If you’d like to run for office or just want to vote you must be a member. There will be refreshments I’ve been told to entice you to come on down. Like always please check all weapons: chains, knives, and brass knuckles, at the front door.

Thought for the week: The closer you build your walls the less of the horizon you will see


Our little Community paid our last respects to Donna Myers who passed away October 30th. The viewing was at Wiefels Funeral Chapel in Yucca Valley. There were a number of folks including three ex-Fire Chiefs where Donna and her husband Cal used to live and work before coming to retire here in Copper Mountain Mesa eleven years ago. There were lots of family and friends to say their goodbyes to Donna. We will deeply miss Donna’s quick wit, dry sense of humor, and sweet smile that brightened our community and our lives!

The Leonid Meteor Shower will be raining down upon us the night of November 17 thru the morning 18th during a new Moon which will make for some nice dark skies to see even the faintest of these meteors!

Thought for the week: Well it was ten years ago today I began writing this column for our little community in the Hi Desert Star! That’s about the longest I’ve ever stayed put in one place and interested in what I was doing. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes but have learned a lot about the wonderful folks who live in our beautiful desert. Thanks for reading all these years!


Our little Community’s Annual General Membership Meeting was held at 2pm last Saturday at the Community Center. It was a pleasant meeting and everyone participated. During the meeting we elected board members who are basically the old board members whose terms were to expire: Mary Helen Tuttle, Bob Seeley, Lee Hines, and Ron Reese. They are doing such a great job that we all thought we’d give them another go at it. The “New” Board then elected its officers: Katherine Quinn is the new President, Steve Tuttle is VP, and Rob Reese is 2nd VP.

Our monthly Board Meetings will now be held on the second Monday of the month at 7pm instead of on the second Saturdays making the meetings more accessible to folks and it will free up weekends for the board members.

Our Thanksgiving Day Potluck at the Community Center is on Thursday 26th at 1pm. It’s for members only and their guests. New members are welcome but they have to purchase their membership at the door. All members who want to attend should bring a dish that can feed at least eight folks. Call 362-5212 if you have any questions.

Thought for the week: Maybe someday we will respect all life and become the caretakers of our little planet and all its creatures. But maybe we have to respect ourselves first before we can.


Our little Community hopes that everyone had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving! Now Christmas is just around the corner; seems like it arrives sooner each and every year. We have to get those cards out in the mail to Family and Friends, buy gifts, atted parties, and scurry about like mad hatters trying to put everything together for the holidays. But in the end it is usually well worth the effort! While you’re shopping think of those less fortunate and try to give something back to the community like: dropping by and saying hi to a shut-in neighbor, donate to a charity, or just being pleasant with a big smile. Please drive safely!

Don’t forget that our monthly Board Meetings have changed to the second Monday of the month at 7pm. Our next meeting will be on December 14 at 7pm. All are welcome to attend!

Thought for the week: Sometimes we just have to suspend reality and just enjoy the show.

Thanksgiving at the Community Center 2009!!!


Our little Community’s Third Annual Thanksgiving Potluck at the community center was the best ever! Steve Tuttle and Ray Foyil had started cooking four turkeys at the ungodly hour of 4am about the time I go to sleep! Mary Helen Tuttle was directing everyone and giving orders. There must have been fifty hungry folks showing up, many I didn’t know because they were guests of members. I was so overwhelmed meeting folks and taking pictures that I didn’t get the names of dishes that they had brought; sorry. There was a whole lot of food! I didn’t eat any breakfast and was so hungry I filled my plate to the max with turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied yams, and other items. Phyllis Lyte from Yucca Valley tapped me on the shoulder as I was wolfing down my food and said, “You don’t know me but I read your column in the Hi Desert Star.” She went on to explain that she came down to spend her Thanksgiving with us after reading about our potlucks and was impressed with our community spirit! She even signed up to become a member of our association, wow! She then went in front of everyone and told them the same thing she told me and everyone clapped, double wow! She honored me and our little community and I was quite taken with that along with everyone else.

Thought for the week: The future is a blank canvas which we use the palette of our experiences to paint.


Our little Community wants to inform you that our good friend, neighbor, and community leader Lee Hines had passed away on Friday December 4th at 5:45PM. Lee had a massive brain hemorrhage and the hospital was waiting for all his family members to arrive on Sunday before disconnecting the life support system, but Lee just went out early on his own with Family close by. It was such a sad day for our little community.
The next day I visited Lee’s wife Marcie and paid my respects. She was understandably very distraught over Lee’s passing. I told her if there was anything she needed that the community was there to help her. We sat and reminisced for a spell: how Lee kept us entertained with his wit and crazy jokes, always there to help a neighbor, and that one occasion some years ago when Marcie and I caught Lee, who was supposed to be sick in bed, lying on his side with his back toward us. “Go away I’m sick”, he said. Concerned we went to check on him and found Lee hiding and eating a whole Sahara Lee creamed pie. We had a good laugh, all of us, and I would bring it up every now and then just to see Lee smile.
Lee will leave behind a large loving family and many friends who think the world of him. Take care our old friend; we shall deeply miss you down here!

There will be a memorial potluck held at 1:30pm Saturday the 12th at the Community Center to celebrate Lee’s life.


Our little Community held a potluck memorial at the Community Center last Saturday in honor of Lee Hines who passed away on Friday the 4th. There were over a hundred folks there to pay their respects to Lee; his Family and many of his friends from our area and beyond. There was tons of food and all of it was mighty good; Lee would have loved it! It was a nice way for all of us to say our goodbyes to him! Lee’s family remained at the center long after everyone else left. What a fantastic bunch of folks we have in our little community!

Mike and Stevie Villarreal had an after Thanksgiving dinner at their home a few weeks ago. Their house is nicely decorated like a western movie set with old oil lanterns, antique furniture, stuffed dolls, and horse gear. I saw many of my friends and neighbors there. After dinner Mat Villarreal’s daughter Lauren sang a lovely song and did a mighty fine job of it. She is twelve and will be in the Hemet Valley Star Search Contest later next year- we all wish her success! You can hear Loren on her YouTube site called Katspcittin.

Signup deadline for the Copperettes Christmas Dinner for needy families in our area is Dec. 22. Call Rob Reese to get a certificate at 362-4546.

We will be having our potluck on the 26th, but no Bingo on the 29th or Breakfast in January at the Center!

Thought for the week: It’s not that I’m losing my memory it just takes me longer to recall stuff- sometimes a lot longer!


Our little Community hopes you had a wonderful Christmas and wishes you a happy New Year!

Thought for the week: Some would like to forget the last decade; the sweet promise of a new millennium and a new beginning was ruined by the 09/11/01 attacks on our nation and brought us to war. Just like Pearl Harbor these images will forever be burned into our minds and culture. Then greed of a few brought us the Great Recession. And Global Warming has been an ongoing concern. The Earth right now is at a cusp, a point of transition, where what we do as a nation and as individuals in the next ten years is crucial to our survival. We begin this new decade next Friday, and I for one am trying to figure out what I can personally do to make the world a better place. Here are a few: forgive your imperfections and those of others, leave as small a footprint on our environment as possible so others may follow, try to set a good example. I have many faults but I, like you, have a little kernel in that thick scull that tells the rest of the body what to do: tell a truth or a lie, lay in bed or exercise, play video games or get an education, do the right thing or the wrong. No one else has that much power over you! As of right now there are close to seven billion citizens on this small planet of ours and hopefully each and every one will start using their little kernel to create a better world and a new beginning!