Copper Mountain Mesa NEWS
By Bob DeLoyd
My personal Journal at Blogger
Call me with news at (760) 362-5203
or write to 874 Border A-9 JT, Ca. 92252
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By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community is enjoying some of the most splendid weather in the Nation. We are so fortunate to live here; are we not? Hope everyone had a marvelous New Year’s Eve and now we’re off and running into 2014. Starting with our monthly first Saturday Breakfast; going on right now, from 8-11am, at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center on Winters Road. Join us for some jolly good fare and sparkling conversation with your friendly Mesa Neighbors.

On Tuesday, January 7th Barb Beneville and her Crew will be ready for You at our monthly first Tuesday Night Bingo Party. This used to be a weekly affair and included Supper provided by Steve Tuttle, Ray Foyil and Earl Wilbert. Unfortunately, attendance dwindled until there just weren’t enough players to keep the doors open.

We are returning to our old Board Meeting schedule: second Saturday of the month at 10am. Here’s a word from our CMM Community Association Treasurer, Mary Helen Tuttle: “The January Meeting will be on Saturday, January 11th at 10 am. It will also be a General Membership Meeting as we need to fill several board seats. Perhaps having a meeting on Saturday morning will be more convenient for folks to attend. We are in desperate need of volunteers to be on the board and to be active in promoting programs that bring money into the center.” Thanks MH.

In case you missed the Potluck last week, here’s an excerpt from Bob Deloyd’s report:

“I cooked up my special mystery rice and Mexican bean thingy and got it ready for potluck. About twenty folks attended, including Gordon and Linda Ficke. Dyan Carroll made fresh tacos cooked right there on the spot and brought a cherry tart pie that disappeared very quickly. Mary and Chris Koval prepared their Holiday Cupcake supreme, orange jello and enchilada casserole which was mighty tasty. Not to be outdone Dorothy Jacobsen made a Sauerkraut Christmas Salad from a family recipe predating the neolithic era and kept in a vault in the basement…”

! Haha; thanks Bob!

May 2014 be a most excellent year: Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community continues to enjoy ridiculously balmy weather! Of course, when one sees what the rest of the Country has to deal with, one can’t help but feel a bit guilty!

Last week, our monthly Breakfast felt like old times now that Steve and Mary Helen Tuttle are home from their travels. Those two are just so organised and splendid! With Steve on the grill, Ray Foyil as the Eggman and Mary Helen on dishes: they create beautiful music and delicious food together! Patrick Whalen and I worked the floor, while Kathy Quinn took care of the Cashier end of things.

We were all so sad to learn that John Boyd died. His was a much loved face at our monthly Breakfasts; which he always attended with his lovely wife, Martha. He was such a kind fellow; with a wry sense of humor and a strong commitment to Community and the Arts. John and I had been discussing doing theatrical and musical productions at our Community Center: I am so sorry we won’t be able to work together on this project. He will be sorely missed by many of us and our heartfelt condolences go out to his Family and Loved Ones. Bon voyage, John: all the very best.

Inevitably, Life goes on. Tuesday Night Bingo went off without a hitch; although attendance was disappointing once again. Barb Beneville and Mary Helen Tuttle held down the fort, but unfortunately Chris Jonas called in sick. Our hero, Patrick Whalen stepped up to the plate as he always does and called the numbers: thank you, Dahling! Hope the Jonas Family gets well soon.

Our Copper Mountain Mesa Community Association Board Meeting is going on today at 10am; followed by the Annual General Meeting. We have a number of seats available on the Board and now is your opportunity to choose your representatives wisely and vote for the Candidate you feel will best address the Community issues that are important to you. Hope to see You there.
Spring Semester begins at Copper Mountain College on Monday: I’m excited and motivated. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community held the financial year-end Copper Mountain Mesa Community Association Board meeting last Saturday morning. I mentioned the meeting in this Column; sent e-mails out to well over a hundred “Neighbors” and reminded everyone I ran into that this was an important meeting and their attendance was vital.
Bumping down the dirt road last Saturday morning, on my way to the meeting, I imagined rounding the corner and seeing cars spilling out of the center’s parking lot because so many people showed up to support their beloved Community. Yeah, well, haha; not so much: less than ten vehicles, including the Board Members’, were scattered around the huge area.
The Board wrapped up last year’s business and approved the Treasurer’s Report. The Annual General Meeting followed. Even fewer people attended this meeting. Six seats had to be filled on the Board, as four terms were up and the seats that Ray Foyil and I resigned from last year had not yet been filled. Daniel Gray, Tim Atzei, Patrick Whalen and Mary Helen Tuttle kindly volunteered to represent their Community again. The handful of meeting attendees were asked to step up and fill the remaining seats on the Board. We all stared at Kip Fjeld expectantly. He has been terribly ill recently and still looked quite fragile, but he raised his hand bravely. Now all eyes were on me. I turned around and looked at the “hordes” of attendees, pretending to count the imaginary raised hands clamouring to be honored with a seat on the Board! Yeah, well: did I mention haha? With a deep sigh - because what with college, work etc., I have so little time and I reeeeelly wanted someone else to take on this responsibility - I raised my hand. We were all summarily voted in and that was that.

USDA food-giveaway was held last week on the 2nd Monday of January as this Monday is Martin Luther King Day. Predictably and as always: the “hordes” did manage to show up for free food and clothes.
Hope you have a great week: stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community was sunny and warm these past several days. So warm, in fact, that hiking through the rocks on the south side of the highway the other day, I found myself watching out for rattlesnakes sunning January! We are so fortunate to live here in our beautiful Desert. On the other hand, we are in a catastrophic drought apparently. Isn’t that odd? L.A. and the Big SoCal Cities are gasping for rain while our Desert looks lush and well

-watered thanks to those unexpected Rains we enjoyed late last year!

Well, 2014 has taken off at a gallop! Next Saturday it’s February 1st already and we will be holding our monthly Breakfast: yay! Please join us, from 8-11am, at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center on Winters Road, about a mile beyond the pavement. We would love to see you and it’s always such a joy to see your Neighbors and catch up on all the news and gossip!

Wow: that must mean today is the last Saturday of the month. The Potluck Folks are getting together at the Community Center today from 4pm and sharing their culinary deliciousnesses with friends and neighbors. I haven’t been attending lately. It’s just too tempting and difficult for me with my food allergies: all those wonderful sights and smells and I can’t eat anything except Cal Myers’ fruit platter! Our Bob Deloyd usually reports on the grub end of things for us. Hope you can join the Party today.

There’s a big Shindig at The Palms in Wonder Valley tonight, from 8pm. Way down Amboy Road, this oasis in the middle of nowhere has been attracting musicians from all over the world; who want to get away from it all and really feel their music. Tonight, Professor Gall; Bugs Salcido and The Sibleys will be entertaining us with their brilliance: show starts at eight.
On Saturday, February 8th, syndicated radio show host, Ben Vaughn, will be hosting the Wonder Valley Musicfest: also at The Palms, starting at 6pm. I’ll fill you in on that later. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community has been gorgeous this last week. Apparently, Winter - apart from a few Arctic nights last November - has decided to skip over us this year. I know, I know: ssshhh! Don’t speak the words lest Grandfather Winter should hear and decide to envelope us in snow!

The doors are open right now at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center, where our monthly Breakfast is going on until 11 this morning. Pop on over for a bite to eat and a spot of decent conversation: we’d love to see You!

Neighbor Ray Graham died last week. He was quite reclusive, but a few select people got to know him well and he will be missed. Bon Voyage, Ray!

The monthly Potluck Party was held last week and our own Bob Deloyd reports: “...around fifteen hungry desert folks showed up. Dyan Carroll and Dorothy Jacobsen pushed the limits of culinary art with their delicious spread. Chris Jonas made his world famous macaroni salad. Newcomers to our little community Susie and John brought a marvelous chile relleno casserole. Mary and Chris Koval cooked us up a feast, including mounds of cake that tasted mighty fine.” Sounds scrumptious, Bob!

“Desert Stories”; an annual event at Joshua Tree’s famous Blakbox Theater, is happening tonight. I attended last year for the first time; with Kip Fjeld, his Dad Jack and Stepmom Dotty. Our beloved Laura Sibley is amongst the Storytellers tonight: I can’t wait!
Speaking of which: the Wonder Valley Musicfest is on next Saturday, February 8th. Hosted by syndicated Radio host Ben Vaughn, this should be a really good show and starts at 6pm. Featuring: The Modern Skiffle Quartet; The Sibleys; Rachel Goodrich and the Grrrls; Tommy Santee Klaws; Dan Montgomery and...the amazing Ben Vaughn. We have enjoyed listening to a number of these Performers, who are all accomplished and talented Musicians. I know it’s a long way down Amboy Road to The Palms Restaurant, where all this is happening, but it’s definitely worth the trek. Plus, bartender/Drummer James Sibley, makes the best cocktails, ever! Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community is bracing for the winter storm headed our way. Thanks to the San Bernardino County HEAP program, Bun Warmers from Apple Valley just delivered a magnificent load of wood for us: looks like we’ll be warm and toasty for a while. That is, if the wind doesn’t take out the windows and the roof doesn’t leak: fingers crossed! We are oh-so-very grateful to our County officials for keeping this low-income program available to all us po’ folk out here: hats off and big smiles!

Our monthly Copper Mountain Mesa Community Association Board meeting is going on this morning, from 10a.m. The meetings used to be on the second Monday of the month, from 7p.m., immediately following the Neighborhood Watch gathering. Now that the Board meetings are back on the old schedule of every second Saturday of the month, from 10a.m.; I am not sure when the Neighborhood Watch meetings will take place. I will let you know as soon as I know! The USDA food give-away is this Monday, February 10, from 8:30am. It falls on the second Monday this month, because the third Monday is a holiday: Presidents Day. It’s Valentine’s Day on Friday: that’s this upcoming Friday; reminding all of you with novios and honeys! The last time I received a Valentine’s card was when my now almost twenty-six year old son made me one in elementary school! I know, that’s just sad, huh? My honey doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body, I’m afraid! Sigh.

Speaking of bones: Jim and I were felled by that bug that’s been hitting our Community so hard lately. Congestion; hacking cough, aching bones; with no appetite or energy, for days. I’m back in the saddle now, but Jim’s still under the weather. I received an e-mail from a concerned neighbor recently: “What’s with the grading at Sunfair and Morgan road? Is it a solar farm in our community? Are they aware of the tortoise habitat in this area?” Bayleydog, I have no info; anyone out there know what’s going on? Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community is sweltering in unseasonably warm temperatures. We were in a bit of a chill for about half a second and then, poof: off we trundled into shorts weather again! Thankfully, this warm spell is helping Jim and I reclaim our normally healthy selves. We were sick for almost ten days, which is unheard of for us and I’m happy to be on the mend. Just in time for Valentine’s Day and a four-day weekend: yesss!

We held our monthly Copper Mountain Mesa Community Association Board Meeting last Saturday morning. Neighbor and retired CDF Captain Mike Dowd joined us and was able to fill us in a smidge, on the recent attempted grand theft auto on Winter’s road and Copper Moon. Horseman Jack’s (the kids’ nickname for him) old red and white Volkswagen bus was abandoned up against the gate post and stranded there for days. It looked like someone had broken into the property and attempted to tow the VW bus out; the vehicle hasn’t been operational in decades. Anyway, lots of excitement: the police were up here and everything; but I don’t think we’re any closer to finding out who tried to pull this one off!

I have a bit of info on the graded 10-acre parcel on Sunfair and Morgan. Complaints have been filed with building and safety, citing the graded area as a health and breathing hazard. The owner, who is a Frenchman living in France, was contacted. He e-mailed the County, pleading ignorance about permits and grading laws. He was granted an extension to apply for permits, but the place is already graded, so there doesn’t seem much point to that. Apparently, the bare piece of property is to be an agricultural site in the future, according to the owner. Really? Lowering whose water table and growing what, pray tell?

Next Saturday, February 22nd, the Potluck Party starts at 4p.m. This month, we’re also hoping to revive some of the interest in the Community Garden Project. So, please join us and bring your gardening enthusiasm along. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community was certainly wonderful to come home to after a short vacation in Anaheim, with Jim’s son and family.
They came down to treat their three children to a rip-roaring time at Disneyland and California Adventure Park. As they live in Seattle, Washington, it had been seven years since we saw them all last and we had never met the youngest Grandbaby, who is now three. Jim survived the amusement parks and came through like a trooper. He thoroughly enjoyed his three-day vacation in Orange County and his son is so like Jim, it’s so cute. Well, it would be cute, except they’re both well over 6’3” and ex-football players! The two grandsons are also strapping, young men and it was wonderful to see Jim with his blood and bones descendants. I had to come home after one night because I didn’t want to miss any college classes and fall behind. Two days later, Jim was chauffeured to Banning, where I picked him up and brought him home.
A splendid time was had by all; except for one thing: we had a horrible flat tire by Riverside, in that one area where there’s no shoulder. I was driving and had to go for several miles on the absolutely shredded rubber, before we could pull over on the teensiest off-ramp you’ve ever seen! Jim valiantly proceeded to change the tire, while I desperately tried to alert drivers to our plight, so they’d move over. We were almost hit five times and I felt I was staring death in the face as vehicles and trailers thundered past, missing our dusty old truck by centimeters. Well, it would have been a quick, if somewhat messy death, I suppose, but I’m rather glad to be alive and well! Adding insult to injury: I suffered another flat tire last Wednesday night after class! What is going on here?
Our Potluck party and garden get-together are going on today from 4pm and our monthly breakfast is next Saturday from 8am. I’ll see you bumping down the dirt roads; hopefully on inflated tires. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community was so sorry and sad to hear about the death of our beloved Neighbor and longtime resident: Violet Jonas. Surrounded by her Family and Loved ones, she slipped the bonds of Earth early Sunday morning, February 23rd, 2014. Her husband, Chris, is a much loved and familiar face at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center, where he has volunteered at the USDA Food giveaway, Bingo and Potluck parties for years; as well as whipping the Thrift Store back into shape. Chris and Violet were together fifty-four years and lived most of those decades up here on the Mesa. They have a whole herd of descendants together and Violet loved her Grandbabies. The whole Family would show up to any Events we organised at the Center; including Barbecues, Potluck parties and the monthly Breakfasts. Last month’s Potluck was cancelled but the last Saturday in March, we will be holding a Memorial Potluck Party in Violet’s honor.

Speaking of which, we are holding our monthly first Saturday Breakfast this morning from 8-11, but it won’t be the same without you Violet. However, we shall all do our very best to serve great food with big smiles on our faces. Bon voyage, Love!

Relentlessly, Life presses onwards and we are bound to follow our course. Our monthly Tuesday Night Bingo is on this Tuesday, March 4th, from 6p.m. Please join us: it’s always fun and the pot’s not bad either. That’s moneypot, you naughty hippies out there! Next Saturday, March 8th, we will be holding our monthly Community Association meeting, from 10a.m.

Hold on to your hats out there: it’s been rather blustery! Hopefully, our beautiful Desert will receive a good, steady rain over the weekend and we will all enjoy the extra special display of wildflowers in a few weeks.

If the roads haven’t washed away by the time you read this, you might want to head over to The Palms on Amboy Road in Downtown Wonder Valley. I know The Sibleys are playing and Laura’s been creating some truly spectacular dinners. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community is gathering as we speak, for the monthly Copper Mountain Mesa Community Association’s Board meeting, starting at 10 o’clock this morning, at the Community Center. Garden Enthusiasts will gather about 30 minutes earlier for a quick update, regarding plans, plants and plantings. Please join us for a chance to participate in - and contribute to - local goings-on.
Also, our Neighborhood Watch Meeting will be held this Monday, March 10th and starts at 6pm. This group has been instrumental in improving our Community in so many ways over the last few years. Founder and President, Linda Sibio, is unable to continue her excellent and much-appreciated service, due to a severe shortage of hours in her day. We will be discussing her successor and other important Neighborhood concerns at the meeting.

Our very own Becky Jennings, Yoga Teacher and most-excellent Neighbor, is starting up Yoga classes at the Joshua Tree Community Center. An “interested-list” is being gathered and Becky hopes to get enough people together very soon. Please call Tammy or Kim at (760)366-8415 if you are interested. By the way, I was very fortunate to be invited to Becky’s Yoga Retreat at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center 18 months ago and I recommend her with flying colors and bells on too. She is really unique; so kind and humble. I’m sure her beautiful daughter Jhulana will be in close attendance as well. Can’t wait; hope to see you there!

Last Saturday night, Jim got a ride out to The Palms on Amboy Road, deep in the heart of Wonder Valley, with our dear friends Roberta and Billy. The Sibleys played four new songs - each one utterly amazing - and I wasn’t there! Apparently, it was a wonderful performance and I’m so sorry I missed it. I was in Ocean Beach, celebrating my son Erick’s 26th birthday; on an unbelievably stormy weekend. I had such a good time; thank you to all the Family members who participated in our golden one’s cumpleanos! Happy Birthday Erick: I am so happy to be your Mum. Stay well all!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community held two important meetings last week: the Copper Mountain Mesa Neighborhood Watch and the CMM Community Associations monthly Board Meeting. The Board met last Saturday morning at 10 and the important matters at hand were dealt with efficiently by vice-president, Steve Tuttle, who was filling in for our Madame Prez, Kathy Quinn. Treasurer, Mary Helen Tuttle gave us some wonderful news: the Rotary organization donated food and funds to be distributed to the Needy in our Community. We reeaally appreciate that: Thank you very much indeed: go Rotary, whoohooo!

The Neighborhood Watch meeting was held last Monday evening at 6. Now that Linda Sibio will be stepping down as President, a discussion regarding her successor commenced. Bob Deloyd and Peggy Lee Kennedy were suggested, but no final decision was made. It was decided, however, that the NW meetings should be moved to every second Saturday of the month, immediately following the Board meeting which begins at 10am.

We certainly are fortunate to have good radio reception out here on the Mesa and Sunday afternoons from 3 to 5 have become favorite moments for us. Whether at home, or zippin around in our rattly old truck, we tune into Z107.7, ready to hear some splendid sounds. The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn starts us off, as syndicated radio show host - and resident of our spectacular Basin - Ben Vaughn treats us to a variety of Music, often by familiar artists, that youve never heard quite like this before; all tunes are original and captivating. Ben is very knowledgeable about the songs and the artists performing them. Definitely worth a listen, so curl up with some munchies and a drinkie-poo: enjoy!

Pat Michaels show comes on right after that and focuses on local Musicians. Wow! We have so much extraordinary Talent right here in the Morongo Basin! Its like a haven; a mecca for Artists, Writers and Musicians from all over; along with Science, Computer and Math Wizards!

USDA Food Give-away is this Monday, March 17th, from 8:30a.m. Happy Saint Patricks Day; Stay well!


By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community is lovely and warm in these first few days of Spring. The cool nights and chilly mornings, with glorious sunny days...yup: Spring is springing in our beautiful Desert. Evidence of wildflowers preparing to burst forth in extra-splendid blossom this year; thanks to the rains we received. Jim and I are so excited to show this splendid display of local Flora to our Grandson, Tucker. He is arriving in early April, with his mother Jamie (Jims daughter) and her husband Dan. Driving all the way South from Coeur dAlene, Idaho, they will be visiting us for several days.Tucker is two-and-a-half and we are very much looking forward to meeting him. Judging by the photos, young Tucker is the spittin image of his Grandpa Jim!

The USDA food give-away was last Monday: on St. Patricks Day!

Our special, in memory of Violet Jonas, Potluck party is next Saturday, March 29th, starting at 4pm. Violet was a very special Neighbor, who lived up here on the Mesa well over three decades. Our sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to her husband Chris and the entire Jonas clan. So, gather around, Neighbors: cook up something special and head on down to the Community Center on Winters road.

Several readers have pointed out that my name is spelled two different ways in this newspaper column. One way under my photo and another at the end of the column. I spell my name Annelies; just like anne lies; but I dont. Actually, Ive been told Im painfully truthful sometimes! Anyhooo, thanks for pointing that out: I hadnt noticed the error. Now were going to find out if this column actually gets read before its printed in the newspaper: tee hee!

Its Veggie planting time: yay! Jim and I sowed a bunch of seeds recently and the radishes, beets, carrots and onions are sprouting all over the place. We also have several flats of tomatoes, peppers, chiles and herbs, which I hover over everyday, in excited anticipation of that first sighting of a new plantling. Whee: I love the Spring; stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community is holding our monthly Potluck Party this afternoon at the Community Center, starting at 4 oclock. Neighbors will be gathering to share good food in memory of Violet Jonas. So come on down and bring your favorite culinary concoction to share.

After the Potluck, the Garden Group is planning a planting at ye olde firehouse. Board members Kip Fjeld and Tim Atzei have been instrumental in keeping the Garden idea alive and Kip built us an amazing critter-proof plant cage. Constructed of wood and aviary wire top-to-bottom and all-around, this should keep most veggie-marauders out! Jim and I have a compost pile going and we have just been assured of a constant supply of chicken manure to add to our magical soil heap, so the veggies are going to taste mighty fine this year! We have little onions and we intend to plant these inside and outside the cage, as pest repellers. We also have lavender and rosemary shrubs for similar pest repelling duties. Weve got tomatoes, peppers, chiles and an assortment of herbs coming up in flats right now and we hope to transplant some of those into the cage in the next few weeks: yay!

Its been a week full of drama for us and Jim came through like my knight in dusty armor! Last Monday, we heard the unmistakable and sickening sound of the rear-end severing at the differential on the truck. We got towed home and Jim unbolted the rear end. He spent the following day at B & Bs auto salvaging yard in 29Palms, who have helped us out many times. He found an excellent 2003 (our truck is a 1996) rear-end with brand new brake shoes, but he had to remove it first! We hope to be back on the road by the time you read this. Our grateful appreciation to Roberta and Billy for loaning us their truck so I could get to college.
Big Rock Formations party at The Palms in downtown Wonder Valley tonight. The Sibleys are playing and the music starts at 5pm. See you there; stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community is holding the monthly first Saturday Breakfast this morning; from 8-11a.m. We look forward to serving you and your Family. Join us for a superb breakfast and a pleasant rendezvous with your friends and Neighbors. Patrick, Katherine, Mary Helen, Steve, Kip, Ray, Daniel and I are eagerly awaiting your arrival! We received an unexpected dowsing last week, as an errant cloud doubled back over our neck-o-the-woods. During Algebra class on Wednesday afternoon, we cowered in our chairs as a big rain pocket stalled overhead and the heavens opened! Fortunately, the rain did not last long, but it was cold and windy. A classmate told me that her son says ...the weather is drunk! An excellent analogy of last weeks storm, which followed unseasonably warm weather in March. Looks like beautiful days have returned and the wildflowers are glorious.

Upcoming Friday, April 11th, the Digital Photography Class - under expert guidance of the amazing Spelman E. Downer, Art Professor - is putting on a Multi-media show at the Bell Center, on Copper Mountain College Campus; from 7-9p.m. I will be presenting my show that evening, along with a dozen-or-so, gifted classmates. There are some really excellent productions: startling and remarkable. Weve been stressing out big time; its a huge undertaking, requiring much careful consideration, sensitivity, brutal self-honesty, learning-on-the-fly and hard work. I am eager to see the big Show on Friday. Id love to see you there and you must come and say hellooo! Im the tall, gracefully-aging blonde with the British accent. La-di-da!
We, the grateful and appreciative Students of Copper Mountain College, are on Spring Break the week preceding Easter. I am so tired, I can hardly wait. Im desperately slogging with mid-terms, important essay deadlines; along with Photography and learning mind-boggling computer software. Exhausting, yet rewarding!
Big Musical Shindig at The Palms next Saturday and The Sibleys are playing: yay! Cant wait to hear their four new songs! A band named Dog will be playing too; no really! Sibleys lyrics enthusiasts will get the enormity of that. Show starts at 5. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community is bursting at the seams with Wildflowers. The yellow ones blossomed first, as usual, but Im seeing red everywhere now too; especially Mallow, Beavertail Cactus and Ocotillo.
Jim and I had the honor and pleasure of welcoming daughter Jamie and her husband Dan, with their two-and-a-half year old son, Tucker, for a two-night visit to our Home and Neighborhood. Wow! What a whirlwind of joy, as we filled every moment with memories. Naturally, we visited our world famous Joshua Tree National Park; which was utterly splendid. The Park is gorgeous right now, with fields of wildflowers. We were so impressed with how well everything is managed and taken care of. Hats off to Park Personnel and Volunteers: Whoo-oot! Thanks and jolly good job!
Unfortunately, Jamie, Dan and Tucker did not arrive in time to enjoy a scrumptious breakfast at the Community Center last Saturday morning. They missed out: Steve Tuttle and Ray Foyil were in fine form: turning out over 50 yum-E breakfasts! We were happy to welcome such a good crowd and a wonderful time was enjoyed by all. We saw several new faces at the Breakfast last week: always a joy to behold. Welcome Neighbors: so happy to see You!
Our Copper Mountain Mesa Community Association Board meeting is going on at the Community Center this morning, starting at 10. We, the elected officials, continue to search for new and innovative ways to attract people to the Center for neighborly gatherings; in hopes of keeping the doors open and the bills paid. Our Community Center is not owned or operated by San Bernardino County. It belongs to us: the members of this Community. We need to appreciate and take care of it. Pioneering Neighbors built our Center with their own hands, sweat and blood; in order to benefit all of us who are so fortunate to call our beautiful Mesa, Home. Any practical ideas, do-able thoughts?
Theres a big Music-pollooza going on all weekend at The Palms Bar and Restaurant on Amboy Road, in downtown Wonder Valley. Hope to see you there; stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community is crawling with reptiles and rodents, emerging from their winter hibernation, now that Spring has definitely sprung! Jim and I have lived here so long now, we recognize old friends who re-emerge every Spring. That big Gopher snake Ive mentioned in previous Spring columns, is now at least five feet long and as big around as my wrist, or even my ankle.
Our golden Desert dog, Abigail, had a wee encounter with the big Gopher in our driveway. She doesnt bark unless there really is an impending intruder close to our property lines. I heard just one bark, but there was a tone to it and I rushed outside. She was just beyond striking range, but the snake was all coiled up, head off the ground; behaving very threateningly. I called Abigail off; told her it was a big ssssssnake and oh what a good girl she is. Honestly, I enjoy having these non-venomous serpents around. We have King snakes; Gopher snakes; Red Racers; Glossy Desert snakes; burrowing sand snake and a few more I cant recall right now. We havent seen a Rattlesnake or Sidewinder on the property since the mid-nineties; although they are all around us.

Life is all about sowing and transplanting right now. Onions, tomatoes, peppers, chiles, etc. The Garden Cage over at the Community Center, by the Firehouse fence; is coming along nicely. Tim Atzei sowed Beefsteak Tomatoes and Bell Peppers; theres a pea-plant in the northwest corner of the cage; a border of Marigolds and onions are in for pest control and several varieties of Tomato seedlings will be ready to transplant within the week. Yay!

Jim and I donated corral panels to local Feathers n Fur Animal Rescue, non-profit facility. Our beautiful Appaloosa mare, Candy, died in 2005 and we never took anything down. It was sad to see her Home being dismantled; but a lovely closure that Candys Corral would be helping other horses.
Absolutely loved the Sibleys Matinee performance at The Palms in Wonder Valley last Sunday. Perfect way to kick off my Spring Breakation; stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community was very populated this past Easter Weekend. Copper Mountain College was on Spring-breakation the week before Easter and the Morongo Basin School District the week after. Motorcycles were buzzing around morning, noon and night and we were in the throes of gale force winds: it was all most unsettling. I know these bikes arent supposed to be ridden on our dirt roads unless theyre street legal. If theyre not properly licensed, the bikes are supposed to be transported, not ridden, over to the BLM land by the Sunfair Dry Lake; which is the only area around here where off-roading is actually legal. I know I have the right to call code enforcement at any time and get them all cited. I just remember how much my kids loved riding around here, in days gone by. As long as riders stay on the roads, I guess theyll be tolerated; but woe betide anyone I see riding willy-nilly through our beautiful desert!

We have new neighbors moving in on the corner. They seem nice enough: weve waved a few times, as theyre up fixing their roof. They play that head-banging, techno music very, very loudly, however. Bothersome; like seriously disturbing my peace! As I sit writing this - inside my house; doors and windows closed; fan on high - my head is bobbing to their bass and theyre hundreds of yards away! I may have to tootle over there and introduce myself. Welcome them to the Hood. Remind them how far sound carries out here and how much we all enjoy our peace and quiet.
Anyhooo, I mustnt be unwelcoming. Besides, I enjoy seeing younger Neighbors moving in and this is such a beautiful place to live and raise a Family. The future of our Community depends on the younger Crowd joining in and sharing all their fresh, innovative ideas and solutions, bringing Neighbors together. A little head-banging seems a small price to pay!

The monthly Potluck Party is happening this afternoon, from 4pm. Next weekend, its time once again for our First Saturday Breakfast, from 8-11am. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper
Our little Community is dark in the middle of the night and a bit nippy too! I was so swamped last week, I completely forgot about writing this column, until just now at two-thirty a.m on Friday, when I awoke out of a dead slumber and realised, with a sinking heart, that Id better get my butt out of bed and get to typin! By the time you read this, it will probably be Saturday morning and you may want to trundle your wee self down to the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center on Winters Road, for a spot of jolly good Brekkie. Steve, Mary Helen, Patrick and the whole Breakfast Volunteer Crew await your arrival with smiles and hugs. Southern California Edison warned us about possible power outages, from 9pm Friday, until about noon on Saturday. Not to worry; the Breakfast will go on, thanks to our trusty back-up generator. I missed the Potluck last week, but fortunately our friend Bob Deloyd sent in his report: About thirty pleasant desert folks showed up to share food and swap tales of this wondrous land. Cal Myers brought his fruit tray. Kip Fjeld and Gloria Beetle came bearing Swedish chocolate balls and guacamole and chips. Mary and Chris Koval whipped up orange and key lime pies, strawberry jello, macaroni and cowboy casserole and cheese bread. Dyan Carroll made two kinds of lasagna - one was veggie - as well as garlic bread, stuffed tomatoes, chips and dip. Dorothy Jacobsen served up a Coca-Cola cake and sweet potato salad. Yvonne Frances made a delicious salad. Chris Jonas brought his award winning world famous macaroni salad. And finally Teresa and Ken Sitz brought some homemade bread and bean salad that was mighty yummy! Thanks, Bob! I actually enjoyed a lovely chat with Teresa and Ken Sitz at The Palms Bar and Restaurant in Wonder Valley, later that evening. I really like these two: theyre a welcome addition to our Neighborhood! Bingo enthusiasts gather this Tuesday May 6th, from 6pm and next Saturday morning is our monthly Board meeting. Stay well!
By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community held a memorable first Saturday Breakfast last weekend. We were warned by Southern California Edison that our area was scheduled for a planned power outage and sure enough: at 9:16pm Friday, our Neighborhood was plunged into darkness. In last weeks Column, I mentioned the no-electricity possibility, but quickly reassured everyone that there was no reason to worry: the Breakfast would go on, thanks to our trusty Community Center Generator. Well; when I walked into the building last Saturday morning, it was immediately apparent that the power was Off!
The all-volunteer Breakfast Crew was hurrying around in the dim light; efficiently organizing and preparing, in readiness for the hungry Crowds. Why dont we have lights? I enquired. Whats up with the generator?
We thought you were bringing one, answered Mary Helen with a twinkle in her eyes. When your Column stated there would be a generator, we figured you must be providing it, because the Community Center generator was stolen years ago!
I was aghast, outraged! I didnt know that! I cant believe someone would steal the community generator; talk about low!
Suffice to say; we pulled it together. With humor, compromise and flexibility, Breakfast was served to over 50 people. Patrick Whalen had brewed up several carafes of coffee the previous night, before the outage, but by the time morning came around, the coffee was lukewarm at best. I joked about cowboy coffee, with silt and eggshells! Neighbors giggled and were very understanding. Fortunately, the power came back on at 9:16am and everyone perked up when a nice, hot cuppa java steamed forth stimulating aromas under their noses.
Later, we learned that while most Neighbors lost power, there were a few who did not. Dotted about, apparently on a separate grid: neither Earl Wilbert on Olsen, nor Mary and Chris Koval just north of Winters road lost power the entire time. Do you guys have a direct line to the higher-ups or something?!

Our monthly Copper Mountain Mesa Community Association Board meeting takes place this morning, from 10a.m. Enjoy this splendid weather: stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community is getting a taste of what is being predicted on the weather forecast: an extremely hot Summer. Although, these past few days its been hotter in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, than here in the Mojave Desert. Weve been enjoying blue skies; pleasant breezes and manageable temperatures up here on the Mesa. Fortunately, with these dry conditions, our swamp cooler is working great, keeping it pleasantly moist and cool inside our humble abode.

I hope all you Mummies had a perfectly wonderful Mothers Day! I was very happy, as by 6:30pm, every single one of my biological, step and foster Children had checked in, or shown some sign of life to wish me a happy day! Yay: I am loved!
Jim and I attended a deliciously laid back, Margarita Mothers Day Party at Ken and Teresa Sitz beautiful Saturn Sands cabin. Quite a number of Neighbors squeezed into a comfy circle and discussed all things Desert: snakes; water conservation; super, drought-resistant fruit trees; you name it! Oh and the Margaritas were utterly YumE, with just the right kick!

Patrick Whalen and I were honored to welcome a group of American and International Students to the Community Center last Monday. These enthusiastic, curious young Artists were in Joshua Tree attending the annual Workshop/Desert Experience put on by world famous, local Artist: Andrea Zittel; along with her Amazing team of fellow-Artists and Crewmembers.
Patrick and I shared some of the History of Copper Mountain Mesa and how our Community formed. We displayed the aging photographs, showing how the all-volunteer, Neighborhood Team built this amazing Community Center back in the seventies. Still representing the beating heart of our Mesa Paradise, the building has stood proud, surviving every torture this harsh Desert plateau could muster!
It was a most enjoyable experience for Patrick and I to share our Neighborhood stories and we were genuinely touched by the enthusiasm and admiration with which these young Humans responded. Thank you for visiting our little Community! Our USDA Food Giveaway is on Monday, May 19th, from 8:30am. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community is so calming; reassuring and kind for me this glorious morning writing this Column. Its my first day of Summer vacation; after completing my second semester at our very own - right there on Highway 62 - Copper Mountain College. Congratulations Graduates! I finished my English and Digital Photography classes last week. I have spent every available second since then, studying for my Spanish and Algebra finals. They were both really hard: Im so grateful its over. I feel good knowing I did my best and studied harder than I ever have. So, now I wait for my Grades: at home; on the Mesa: a beautiful place to wait!

Our personal Garden is flourishing this year; although, as always, we have to wrestle with the critters over every single leaf! They are relentless and have no respect for our hard work or our needs. Some callous creature chomped off our prized tomato, grown from seed: we were utterly devastated for hours. If we leave so much as a hairs breadth available for critters to crawl through and reach our precious babies, it will happen and we will cry over yet another dust-biting vegetable, because Jim and I become ridiculously attached to our plantlings!

There was a huge fire over at Wolfman Rickys place, north of Saturn, last Wednesday morning. Our Neighbor, retired Fire Captain Mike Dowd, raced over there, but the mobile home burned to the ground. So sorry Rick; hope youre OK?

Its Memorial Day Weekend: a time to remember those who gave their lives for our beautiful Lady America. Our heartfelt Thanks go out to all our Mesa Veterans and active duty Military. Also wanted to send our condolences out to Bob Deloyd who lost his biological father recently. We love you, Bob; were so sorry for your loss.

Our monthly Potluck is next Saturday from 4pm at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center on Winters Road. More and more Neighbors and their Friends are joining us for this fun event and the variety of delicious food is astonishing. Hope to see you there: stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community has been hot and a tad muggy these last few days. The Garden cage over at the Firehouse - East side of the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center - is absolutely thriving in this sticky heat. Theres a couple of pea bushes, some onions, marigolds and beefsteak tomatoes; as well as an enormous were-not-quite-sure-what squash or melon, which is threatening to take over the entire cage! I hope it turns out to be a zucchini squash, because Mary Helen Tuttle really likes those.

Weve been busy in our little Home Garden as well. Jim has built us another cage, which houses the unknown vine (were hoping English Cucumber) and tomato; both of which came up as volunteers in our compost pile. I moved the potted cilantro and dill plants into the new cage as well. We have so many tomatoes its just ridiculous: Im hoping to be chopping up mammoth batches of home-grown Salsa come harvest time!

Its the monthly Potluck Party over at the Community Center, this afternoon at 4 and I hope to put together a dish which includes homegrown carrots, onions and herbs. The carrots are gorgeous and taste so sweet; just like they used to, back in the day before the Corporate World took over our food production and bred out all the flavor! More and more neighbors are gathering for the Potluck lately and with Folks being so health-conscious and careful with gluten these days; my culinary world is becoming safer. Of course, the Regulars bring the stock favorites - like Chris Jonas Famous Macaroni Salad and Mary Kovals Cowboy Casserole with yummy desserts. So come on over; sample your old favorites; try some new tastes and bring your favorite culinary concoction to share.

Keeping busy paid off: the week flew by and yesterday I found out my grade for Intermediate Algebra. I got a fat B! My heartfelt thanks and unfailing gratitude to Professor Brad Berger: the best Math Professor ever; whooohooo! I have As in 2 other classes and Im hoping for an A in Spanish 2. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community first Saturday Breakfast is going on this morning from 8-11am. Weve been getting a great turn-out and, as always, the food is wonderful; carefully prepared for You by our loving, all-volunteer Crew! Come and have some fun and a good meal; in our most beautiful location on Winters Road, North Joshua Tree. Later today, Wonder Valleys Glass Outhouse Art Gallery, just off Hwy 62, is holding their 5th Anniversary Party: great local Artists make this well worth a visit.

We held a splendid Potluck at the Community Center last Saturday afternoon. Jim and I brought carrot, onion and dill melange, fresh from our Garden and gently pickled. Such flavor: mmm-mmm! I made mesquite-smoked, turkey-breast roll-ups, filled with cream cheese and sweet pickles. I also baked gluten-free pecan squares, which turned out so gooey and delicious, but I decided not to include them in the food spread. You see Shy-Onna, Chris Jonas Grand-daughter, was turning 13 that very day and brought an enormous birthday cake! I figured my ooey-gooey pecan squares would pale in comparison and go unappreciated, so they stayed in the cooler to be eaten later! Besides Mary and Chris Koval rose to the occasion, as usual, bringing pea salad and cowboy casserole; as well as lemon chiffon pie, raspberry pie, strawberry and orange saucy jello, so desserts were covered! Dorothy Jacobsen made coleslaw and carrot salad, while her daughter Dyan, brought Beef Stroganoff and Trifle: wow! Roy and Rosa made potato salad and Chris Jonas served his world-famous concoction: so much good food. Cal Myers brought his fruit plate, while Kip Fjeld prepared his famous and oh-so-delicious, fresh Guacamole. Teresa and Ken Sitz brought cous-cous and a variety of particularly tasty sausages, including South African Boerewors. Happy Birthday Shy-Onna and what a gorgeous cake; everyone was very appreciative! A big Thank You to all who attended, with such excellent Cuisine to share: hope to see You at the next Potluck: Saturday, June 28th.

Our Board meeting is next Saturday at 10am. Gay Pride Festival all-day Saturday, June 14th: The Sibleys are playing: WhoooHooo; Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community held a well-attended Breakfast at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center last weekend. We served just under 50 people, which is a splendid turn-out. We are experiencing a steady stream of Neighbors moving to our beautiful Mesa; who seem very conscious about the well-being of Mother Earth. People seem very frugal; aware of reusing, recycling, repurposing in a most Planet-friendly way: eager to learn how to survive and thrive out here on the Mesa.
A large group of these Neighbors joined us for Breakfast. Many regulars also showed up and it was lovely to see Dyan Carroll and her Mum, Dorothy Jacobsen, sitting with their friends Mary and Chris Koval. Chris Jonas had breakfast with Earl Wilbert who is our most well-aged Elder! A seasoned wine (rather than a stinky cheese) kind of aged, I hasten to say! Love You, Earl!

We are keeping the Community Center running this Summer and will be holding First Saturday Breakfasts in July and August this year: whooohooo! We are looking into ways to hold more Neighbor-attracting Events this Summer; focusing on good food, drink and conversation. Most especially, we hope to create activities benefitting Veterans and the Elderly. Theres also talk of movie nights, featuring Desert sci-fi, horror films, to be shown outside, at the Community Center, under the Stars! Keep these great ideas coming, Neighbors: we love it! We have our Board meeting this Saturday, June 14th, from 10a.m. Should be an interesting meeting, as we work on how to benefit our beloved Community Center. Please join us.

The Glass Outhouse Gallery enjoyed the best turn-out ever at their 5th Anniversary last week. Local Artists Tami Wood and Snake Jagger were showing - as well as other local Artists. It was a wonderfully creative display, enjoyed by colorful local Folks. Hope there were some generous wallets there too!
The Joshua Tree Gay Pride Festival is going on all day today, June 14. Theres an impressive line-up for our entertainment and enjoyment; including The Sibleys! Check out Joshua Tree Gay Pride Festival on Facebook for more information. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community, Copper Mountain Mesa, is part of a larger Village, which seems to stretch all the way from the top of the Morongo grade to the very Easternmost end of Wonder Valley; with Pioneer Town, Rimrock, Flamingo Heights, Johnson Valley and Landers rounding off the North-western flank and Copper Mountain Mesa, Desert Heights and the Marine Base rounding off the North-eastern flank. Our whole extended area is a Village of Artists, Musicians, Poets and a whole range of Performers and Entertainers. This incredible variety of Morongo Basin Villagers and their amazing Talents was once again in exuberant evidence at the Joshua Tree Gay Pride Festival last weekend.
We met up at the new venue, south of Coyote corner and the J.T. Saloon. Jim and I set up our chairs by Neighbor Friends Ken and Teresa Sitz; Kip Fjeld and Gloria Beetle; as well as Roberta Myers with her son, Billy and two Granddaughters staying the weekend with Grandma. We sat in the front row, just in time to catch The Sibleys; Shari Elf; and Jessika von Rabbit, among others; who all put on a marvelous show! Children danced and cavorted to the music; closely supervised by parents of every persuasion: in an endearingly kind, accepting and loving atmosphere. If you werent there; hey, you missed out, big time!
We met our amazing new friends Ken and Teresa Sitz again the next morning, at The Palms in Wonder Valley, for breakfast. We are being uncommonly sociable these days: feels good!

Theres been numerous snake sightings. Recently, Jim was sitting on the porch, when he noticed a huge Gopher snake. He watched it for a while, until it disappeared under a pile of gardening stuff. Later, Jim noticed a firm hug around his lower back and right leg; at the same time he saw the Gophers head and a quarter of its body length, appearing affectionately close to Jims left leg as it slid down towards the floor. Yes: Jim received a hug from a Gopher snake!

Next Saturday, June 28th: Potluck Party, from 4pm. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Communitys Potluck Party starts at 4pm today, at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center on Winters Road. Please join us. The ranks have been swelling lately and the food Neighbors bring, is often quite extraordinarily YumE! I understand that the end of the month is nigh and cupboards may be bare, but this is when we innovative Desert Dirt Kids come up with some of the best grub! And if you really cant think of a thing to prepare; come on down anyway! Theres always plenty of food to go around and for a wee donation, you can arrive at the party bare-handed and leave full-tummied for two bucks a pop: cant beat that!

This afternoon from 2 until 6, Eric Quander and the Joshua Tree Shakespeare Guild, are holding a general casting call at Radio Free Joshua Tree in the Tortoise Island complex, downtown JT. I played the title role in Qs Zombie version of Shakespeares Julius Caesar, at the Blakbox Theater during the Ides of March last year. You can visit my interpretation of the Ghost of Julius Caesar at: Caesar's Ghost: JTSG's "JULIUS CAESAR"

Later this afternoon, local super-celeb Artists: Tami Wood and Snake Jagger wind down their exhibition at Wonder Valleys Glass Outhouse Gallery. WhoooHooo my friend Tami Wood: classmate at Copper Mountain College; whose artwork I just love! I want that I Can piece, Tami! And Snake Jagger? Soooo talented and yet so personable and humble. Hope to see you there for the seasons end Party: Glass Outhouse will be closed for the Summer; scheduled to reopen in September.

Theres a big, rolling motion towards joining the Dark Skies Alliance out here; spearheaded by our amazing Neighbors Teresa and Ken Sitz; with Lucha Rodriguez and Cal Fortuna and much support from numerous Neighbors; myself included! The CMM Firehouse already turned its back light off recently and surrounding Dwellers are rejoicing!

Happy Birthday, Lady America: Fifth of July Breakfast at the Center next Saturday, from 8am. Were scheming on a red, blue and white special drinkeePoo in celebration: sshhh; stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community held another memorable Potluck Party last Saturday, June 28th, which around 20 Neighbors attended. Dyan Carroll brought Salmon patties with Tartar sauce; her Mum, Dorothy Jacobsen treated us to Zucchini Casserole and dear friend Cal Myers provided his wonderful tropical Fruit Tray. Mary Koval and her daughter Chris dazzled us with their generous display of desserts: key lime and strawberry banana pies, plus a Peach Pudding Cake; along with everyones favorite Cheeseburger Casserole and Carrot Fruit Salad.
Not to be outdone, Chris Jonas and his Family showed up with an enormous bowl of Macaroni Salad; while Ken and Teresa Sitz brought Cucumber Salad, German Potato Salad and Hungarian Sausage with Cabbage! Wow; did we mention Feast? Kip Fjeld prepared his extra-special Guacamole with chips; Gloria Beetle brought Chickpea Salad and Pat Horwath had Coleslaw, along with Tomato, Cucumber and Feta Cheese Salad. I came up with an Albacore Goulash: complete with red, green and yellow peppers, lots of paprika and various kinds of squash. Some of us brought beer or cider to enhance the flavors and the atmosphere!
Mary Helen Tuttle generously dropped off a chiffon Pie for us much earlier; but could not stay. Actually, more Neighbors would attend the Potlucks, if the Party started at 5pm instead of 4. Some attend Church on Saturday afternoons; others like to snooze during the heat of the day.
So, I called for Neighbors attention and opinion on having the Potluck start an hour later. The show of hands - yay or nay - were split pretty much down the middle. Some people were adamant that times shouldnt be changed, however; even threatening not to attend the Potluck anymore! Sorry Neighbors, I wasnt feeling strong enough to take on such self-righteous vehemence: Potluck starting time remains 4pm!

Mesa Pioneer, Stevie Villarreal, will resume her monitoring of Neighborhood Health at the monthly Breakfasts: with her blood-pressure clinics. Yay Stevie: Breakfast is going on today from 8-11am! To honor Lady Americas Independence, we have a celebratory hair of the dog in patriotic colors surprise! Good for the blood pressure: Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community saw record-breaking attendance at last Saturdays Breakfast. Sixty-five people joined us in our celebration of Lady Americas Independence. Apparently, many attendees had read about the hair of the dog in patriotic colors surprise and decided to come over and party with us! The dog hair consisted of a delicious mix of extra coconut milk, pineapple juice etc., for the white; Blueberries and Strawberries for the patriotic red and blue: with or without a shot of Rum! Ken and Teresa Sitz, Jim Martin and I ponied up for the surprise and shared it with our Neighbors. We were a little worried about breaking liquor laws, but were reassured that it was OK to share a surprise with the Neighbors once in a while, as long as theres no charge involved. We all had much fun and hey, if sharing a little spirit breaks attendance records, who are we to argue?
With such a crowd, we began to run out of food and by the time Andrea Zittel arrived with her friends and parents, just before 11am; we were all out! Kip Fjeld - who received compliments on his superb egg-cooking skills all morning - took off his apron and whisked the Zittels and their Party off to his house for a Waffle Breakfast! Way to change hats and rise to the occasion, Kip! You saved the day...again, Dude!
We had thunder clouds gathering all morning during the Breakfast - courtesy of Tropical storm Douglas breaking up overhead. Much excitement ensued when large drops of rain began to hit the ground. Its going to rain six inches at my house, declared Yvonne Francis, grinning. One drop every six inches! We all roared with laughter, but, indeed, that was the extent of our rainfall: the humidity was simply appalling all week.

The CMMCA Board meeting begins at 10 oclock this morning at the Center.

Lifelong Mesa resident, friend and loyal companion; loved by all who knew her: our splendid Golden Pup, Mbwa Kali Wumpus, died last Wednesday at the age of 95. She is sorely missed: sleep well, Kali.

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Communitys Copper Mountain Mesa Association Board Meeting took place last Saturday. It was short and to the point, as three Board Members were unable to attend the meeting. We had a no-show on the Public too, which is really not surprising since this is the first time in years that weve kept the Community Center open and all Events going, during the Summer months.
We will be open during August as well and all the usual Events will take place, including: First Saturday monthly Breakfast on August 2nd, from 8-11am; Tuesday Night Bingo on August 5th, from 6:00pm; CMM Community Association Board Meeting from 10am on Saturday, August 9th; USDA Food Giveaway on Monday, August 18th from 8:30am and the monthly Potluck Party is on Saturday, August 30th from 4pm.
Our July Potluck Party is next week, Saturday the 26th, from 4pm. We had a great turnout for the June Potluck party; with some truly delicious dishes from exceptional recipes. Hope to see you at the Party next Saturday. The humidity has settled down a bit: finally! Its been hideously humid for weeks and, as much as I like the curl in my hair and the moisture for the skin on my face and neck: Im done with this tropical moisture, thank you very much! Ill just be leathery and wrinkled, I dont care!
We worked in that humidity for days, fancying up the gravesite for our beloved Golden Pup, Kali; who is buried in the very bottom of our half-underground Sweat Lodge; leftover from the years when our Apache foster-daughter, Mary, still lived at Home with us.
Jim and I planted a splendid Mesquite Tree on the Grave: then spent back-breaking days filling the huge hole with good soil and sand. Were absolutely exhausted, with sorely aching muscles; but the Tree is beautiful and our heartbreak is eased by our efforts. Kali died peacefully at home; her suffering is over; we did our very best: now the River of Life moves on.
Love and Condolences to all who have lost Loved Ones: stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community has been sizzling Hot these last few days. Im grateful to add that its been a dry heat and our trusty swamp cooler is doing the job keeping us comfortable. The air is so still; not a rustle in the Tamarisk trees. These are the days when we need our coolers and fans to survive out here; Im utterly grateful for Electricity and just hope theres no power outages!
Speaking of which, I had an experience with Southern California Edison! You may remember, a few years ago, I chose to opt-out on the new Smart meter installations going on in our neck of the woods. Sub-contractors of SCE, who were installing these meters, came to my Home on several occasions, basically trying to bully me into allowing them to install one on my premises. It was all worked out amicably with SCE and my dumb meter, which is inside my garage, had orange opt-out stickers put on it and was conveniently read remotely from the road.
Last week, one of those big SCE trucks pulled up in my driveway. The driver informed me, in most unfriendly and patronizing terms, that my meter could no longer be read from the road due to some recently installed computer program and I had to get a new one. I objected, explaining that I dont want a smart meter. I wanted to verify that this new one I was obliged to accept, was a dumb meter, like my old one. The man was rude, interruptive and argumentative. I stamped my foot and declared that I wanted to speak with his management and would make an appointment to have the meter renewed, at my convenience! Later, I spoke with his Supervisor, who was very apologetic and kind to this hornery Desert Woman! We made the appointment and a much nicer employee exchanged my old meter for a spankin new dumb meter. Thank you, SCE!
Our Potluck Party is happenin today at the Community Center from 4pm; hope to see you. Next Saturday is our monthly Breakfast from 8-11 am. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community is devastated by the death of long-time Mesa Resident: Chris Jonas. Chris died last week, just five months and one day after his wife, Violet passed away. He was a Volunteer Extraordinaire and ran the USDA Food Give-away, Tuesday Night Bingo, the monthly Potluck Party and the Thrift Room. Chris, Violet and their enormous Family were regulars at every single Event held at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center.
In 2010, I interviewed Chris; this was published in the Newsletter I used to send out, before I started writing this weekly Column. Here it is:

Chris Jonas was born on a 450-acre ranch in North Dakota, on February 26th, 1942. In 1949, his parents moved Chris, his 4 brothers and one sister to apple country: by the Yakima River in Washington state. The family moved to Monterey Park, California, in 1955. Chris met his lovely Wife, Violet a registered nurse from Ohio - in 1959, at Duffys Drive-Inn restaurant and they were married in December 1960. He worked for an electronics company in Temple City for 20 years; before becoming a home delivery Milkman. He said the stories you hear about ladies wanting to pay the milkman in creative ways, are true! Quickly, he added that he never accepted anything but cash! Chris, Violet and their two sons and two daughters, moved up to Copper Mountain Mesa in 1979. They camped out on their property, until they moved a mobile home out here. He ran a second-hand store, called Chris Treasures for a number of years, until he grew tired of code enforcement restrictions from the City of 29 Palms, in the late eighties. Chris worked as a Cook in the Kontiki Restaurant at the Bowling Alley and as a dog groomer for Head to Tail, before retiring in 2004. Chris and Violet have 12 Grandchildren and 13 Great-Grandchildren. Both enjoy the Desert Silence and watching the Stars. Now, youre Dancing with the Stars: R.I.P. Chris and Violet Jonas.

Julys Potluck Party was melancholy without Chris. Monthly Breakfast: this morning from 8-11am. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community enjoyed a record-breaking first Saturday Breakfast at the Community Center last weekend. Sixty-six adults and 6 children enjoyed a most delicious breakfast, served by friendly Neighborhood Servers: Kathy Quinn, Patrick Whalen and yours truly. Every meal was expertly and individually prepared by Chefs Steve Tuttle, Kip Fjeld and Ken Sitz. Kip was training Ken to be the reserve Egg Chef and they both did a marvellous job. With his wonderfully enthusiastic expression and cheerful manner, Ken proved himself to be a quick learner and a delightful addition to our all-volunteer Crew. Mary Helen Tuttle was in the back room, working hard keeping up with the enormous amounts of dishes we kept bringing her: clouds of steam billowing around her, thanks to the super-hot water! Daniel Gray worked the kitchen wench spot, while Jay Babcock manned the biscuits and gravy.
Jay also brought a copy of a German Magazine: The Weekender, which featured Jay and his lovely Lady, Stephanie Smith, on the front cover. Glorious photos of our Mesa and a very well-written article, beautifully illustrated their Earth-friendly, innovative approach to living in the Desert. We have some real Stars living out here, thats for sure!
Teresa Sitz was our cashier and with her friendly personality, pretty face and gorgeous smile, she extended a warm welcome to all our customers lining up at the front desk to pay for Breakfast. We are so proud and pleased to have this delightful Sitz Couple as Neighbors and theyre coming up with splendid suggestions for the benefit of our Community and the Center.

One of the new Events theyve created is Movie Night under the Stars, featuring classic movies with a connection to the Desert. The first Movie, Monolith Monsters, plays next Saturday evening, August 16th, . Wed love to see your happy face at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center - located at 65-336 Winters Road, North Joshua Tree. Bring a chair, beverages, snacks and hang out with your Community to enjoy some great entertainment.

Our Community Associations Board of Directors meeting is taking place today, from 10am. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community helped a very special Birthday Girl celebrate her 90th year. Ruth Tuttle honored us by having her Birthday Breakfast with us at the Community Center. The head table was decorated with flowers and party items. Ruth sat in the middle, looking very regal; surrounded by her children and grandchildren; obviously thoroughly enjoying the attention, hugs and kisses. Her son, Chef Steve, created an exquisite breakfast, including mini-pancakes made specially for her: followed by a scrumptious Carrot Birthday cake!
In December 2010, I interviewed Ruth. Heres an excerpt: Ruth showed me to her room and proudly pointed out the Family photos on the wall: her late husband, their four daughters and son and all their Grandchildren. Ruth told me she was born in Bakersfield, CA, on August 2nd, 1924. She was 4 when her parents divorced and she and her mother moved to Duarte, where they lived with Ruths paternal grandfather Chappelow. She graduated from Duarte High School in 1942 and married in 1944. Her husband was a Navy man, stationed in Los Angeles and they lived in Monrovia. Sadly, he died in 1965.
Ruth retired to the Desert in 1986. She soon became involved in the Community Center and was part of the famous Copperettes. She wrote the quarterly Newsletter and this column in the Hi-Desert Star for many years.
Before city water was piped up to the Mesa around 1997, Pioneer Woman Ruth was often seen driving to and from Surprise Valley water well, in a huge, yellow, water-hauling truck, which proudly displayed the license plate: Queen Tut
! Ruth is a delightful Lady, with a naughty twinkle in her eyes; while a ready smile displays all her own, beautiful teeth! We love You Ruth; Happy Birthday from All your Neighbors!

Tonights the Movie under the Stars night, at the Community Center on Winters road. Check our website for more info.

Our Neighbors Sherry and Mike Dowd found a sweet, well-behaved chocolate lab/pit. She appears to be around 3 years old. If this sounds like your lost dog, please contact us. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community held an epic Movie under the Stars Night at the Center last Saturday. Everyone gathered around 7pm, watching cartoons until it was dark enough to see Monolith Monsters on the large, outdoor screen. Scores of Neighborly People showed up: some with Friends; others with their Children; Bob Deloyd brought his beautiful Dalmation, Cassie: it was a grand gathering indeed! Congratulations and kudos to Creators and Co-Founders of the whole Movie Night idea: Ken and Teresa Sitz, as well as our amazing Kip Fjeld: who all did a marvellous job with the Public Relations, special equipment, research, production and organization. Thanks to all of You who made the effort to tootle down the dirt road to join us at this record-breaking Event! Rave reviews have been appearing on social media: everyone agreed it was a great get-together; with a memorable movie, lots of great snacks and other refreshments. Including the little bags of chocolate, pebble-looking candies, labelled: Copper Mountain Mesa Rocks: everyone loved those! Next Movie under the Stars Night at the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Centre, is on Saturday, September 20th. Mark your Calendars!

The first USDA Food Give-away since our beloved Chris Jonas died, ran smoothly last Monday. Thanks to Bill Treas, Chris daughter Kerrie, Patrick Whalen, Chris van Nortrick, the Thrift Room Ladies and all the Volunteers for making the transition so smooth.
We are constantly reminded of the extraordinary Service the late Chris Jonas gave to us, his Neighbors and the entire Community. He organized and ran the USDA, Potluck Party, Bingo and the Thrift room and we are scrambling to fill his magnificent shoes. Next Saturday, August 30th, we are holding a special Potluck Party in Memory of Chris Jonas. Please join us and bring photos of Chris if possible. Create recipes that remind you of Chris, or you remember him liking in the past; anything we can do to honor his memory.

Big Shindig at The Palms in Wonder Valley today: Live Music begins at 4pm with performances by Jessika von Rabbit; amazing trio The Sibleys and other great Bands. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community will be holding our monthly Potluck Party, in the Copper Mountain Mesa Community Center on Winters Road, this afternoon at 4oclock. This Potluck is in memory of Chris Jonas, our super-hero Volunteer, who died last month. Chris, who was known throughout the Community for his mischievous sense of humor, caring heart and the best hugs on the Mesa, is deeply missed by all of us who had the privilege of knowing him. Please join us in celebrating Chris life; as well as enjoying some of the best and most delicious culinary creations from around these parts.

There was huge excitement on the Mesa recently, when a local pot farm was paid a visit by local and federal constabulary! Very close to the border of the Marine Base, on Daisy Lane, a large, outdoor marijuana grow was raided and arrests were made.
Jim and I saw the convoy of white Sheriffs SUVs and black, unmarked trucks proceeding east on Daisy, at a pretty fast pace. We were very curious about the goings-on, but decided not to mosey on over and be lookie-loos! When we read the headlines in this newspaper, we realised what we had partially witnessed. Who knew there was a pot farm just over the hill from us? I walk over that way with our dog every morning and never noticed a thing!
What really irked us more than anything, was the fact that the growers arrested werent even from around here. They were from Sacramento and other distant cities; even Mexico. How dare they use our pristine Desert Paradise for their enormously profitable, clandestine operations; without even paying taxes, offering local employment opportunities or in any way sharing their wealth with our Community? Phaw, I say!

Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone: its the unofficial end of Summer and a welcome day off for College students, yay!
Our first Tuesday of the month Bingo evening is this week; come and have some fun: the party starts at 6pm. Next Saturday morning from 8-11, please join us for our monthly Breakfast at the Center. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community Center was jam-packed during last Saturdays Potluck Party, which was held in Memory of Chris Jonas. Chris, who passed away in late July, was a longtime Mesa resident and extraordinary Volunteer! So many Neighbors, Friends and Family showed up for the occasion that every seat in the Center was occupied. At least one third of the attendees were part of Chris enormous family.
Two long tables were required to accommodate all the food people brought. A huge, expertly roasted beef brisket; enchiladas; casseroles; countless Salads; vegetable dishes: too much food to name! Then the desserts: oh-my-gosh! Pies; cakes; trifles; puddings; jello; fruit salad - you name it, somebody brought it! I ate some of everything; tossing my gluten intolerance worries aside for this monumental occasion. Phew: we have some great chefs on this Mesa, thats for sure.
Mary Helen Tuttle welcomed us all to the Party and asked everyone to introduce themselves and say a little something about Chris; perhaps share a story. It took a long time, as 80+ Loved Ones and Neighbors introduced themselves and shared their memories of Chris. Many of us were tearful, as the love and emotion in the room was overwhelming at times. Some of us shared humorous memories about Chris; laughing through our tears. One thing everyone agreed on: Chris Jonas was a wonderful human and we all loved him very much indeed. Its so hard to believe that this vibrant, generous mischievous, hard-working, loving man is no longer here with us. Many of us remarked that Chris left some huge shoes to fill and we will all miss him terribly. Bon voyage, to our dear Friend.

Relentlessly, Life moves on. This morning, from 8-11am, we are holding our monthly, First Saturday Breakfast, in the Community Center. For just 5 bucks you get: eggs, bacon or sausage, home-fried potatoes, pancakes, biscuits and gravy or toast and all the coffee you can gulp! Augusts Breakfast was a record-breaker; help us set a new record this month!
Note: Wonder Valleys Glass Outhouse Gallery reopens today; exhibiting local artists work. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community enjoyed another well-attended first Saturday Breakfast at the Center last week. We served 65+ folks, including several children. It was lovely to see all the familiar faces and welcome a few new ones; among which: Jasmine and Linda, who we were privileged to welcome to our Community Gathering. These amazing Women and their colleagues at Pacific Clinics in Yucca Valley, reach out to so many people in the Morongo Basin. With the help of Pacific Clinics and under their expert guidelines, we are organizing a bi-monthly support group, at our Community Center, to help people who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; both military and civilian. We are still in the planning stages and the Board has not quite given final approval, but everyone seems to think its a marvellous idea. Thank you for joining us Jasmine and Linda, yay for all your good work!
The Copper Mountain Mesa Community Associations Board Meeting is going on this morning from 10am. We will be discussing the PTSD group, amongst many other exciting topics and Teresa Sitz has promised to be there with bells on. Teresa and her husband Ken are so excited about being part of this Neighborhood and they are very knowledgeable, organized and action-oriented. Teresa is now on the admin panel with me, contributing her talents and skills to our Facebook page : Copper Mountain Mesa Community. Check out the photos, blog and stuff: then Like us to receive all the updates and News from our neck-o-the-Desert!

Teresa and Ken, along with everyones favorite Neighbor, Kip Fjeld; will be putting on another Movie under the Stars night at the Community Center, next Saturday, September 20th, around sunset-ish. This month, we get to watch Inferno! Neighbors are all excited about it, because last months Movie night was such a brilliant success, receiving rave reviews from around the Morongo Basin!

Tonight, Copper Mountain College is holding the annual Taste of Morongo event, put on by the Rotary Club, from 6-8pm. Tickets are $20 per person and delicious food is provided by some of the Morongo Basins finest Restaurants. Stay well!

By Annelies Kuiper

Our little Community Board Meeting lasted a whopping 2 hours last Saturday morning! Longest in my living memory and Ive been on the Board since 2007. We had so many excited people, eagerly participating in the ongoing discussions about what we can do to keep our beloved Copper Mountain Mesa moving forward in a positive and beneficial way for all of us.
Susie Gardner, a relative newcomer to the Neighborhood, was very excited about the Thrift Room and all the possibilities to be explored for the good of the Community Center. Everything has been cleaned out and rearranged recently. Great job Kathy, Yvonne, Patrick and Susie; thanks Neighbors!
One big favor to ask of donors to our Thrift Room. Please do not dump old mattresses or box springs at the Community Center. Last Saturday, when we all arrived for the meeting, there was a stack of very used mattresses by the Thrift Room door and a large pile of stuff by the main entrance. If you have donations, please attend the monthly Events when the Store is open, or call one of the phone numbers posted outside, for an appointment.
Next Saturday, September 27th, our monthly Potluck Party will be followed by a Suicide Awareness presentation by Jasmine Gutierrez, from Pacific Clinics. We are excited to welcome Jasmine, who will also be leading our Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder Support Groups, on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month at 6pm; starting in October: military and civilians welcome.

Im so sad to tell you: our beloved, long-time Neighbor, Ila Foyil died recently. She was a beautiful Lady, inside and out; always impeccably groomed and a friendly, welcoming face at many Community Events over the years. We miss you, Ila: bon voyage!

Tonight (Saturday), at sunset, we are holding our second Movies Under the Stars evening; featuring Inferno! There will be food, refreshments, novelty items like Copper Mountain Mesa Rocks! chocolate candies and other yummies brought by your favorite Neighbors. Last months Show brought rave reviews from around the Morongo Basin. See you there, bring a chair: stay well!