The High Deserts Social Network Blog…

Is it too hot to leave your dog in the car?

 Check out this great web resource and help us spread the word.

This dog Safety Tip brought to you by Smith Veterinary in Lancaster, CA

 661.948.5065 @ Smith Veterinary Hospital, we are dedicated to taking care of your pets and animal friends. Our veterinarians are some of the finest in the area.

May 11, 2011 Posted by | lancaster dogs, lancaster family pet, lancaster kittens, lancaster puppies, Lancaster Veterinary | , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking for Love….

Hi Everyone, Are you looking for a new friend?

This guy would love to go home with you.

Male (neutered) 1-2 years of age

Call the office and set up a time to come adopt this cutie. 661.948.5065

No Fee !

We just want him to have a great home.

May 11, 2011 Posted by | adopt cats lancaster, lancaster family pet, lancaster kittens, Lancaster Veterinary, pet adoption lancaster | , , , , | Leave a comment


At the conclusion of another Mother’s Day, I have a few thoughts…. 

I miss my mother, she’s been gone for 25 years now. She was a fun-loving, no-nonsense, great mom to have when I was a kid. To those people who still have their mothers -APPRECIATE them!

I love my kids, who are now twenty (soon to be 21) and twenty-five. They were great kids growing up (most of the time-hah!), did fantastic in school and are just really nice human beings. What’s interesting to me is this: I was NOT going to have children. As a young woman, I loved my life as it was and had no desire to change it. My “plate” was full with a fantastic husband, family, many friends, a great job, and continual joy in all! I had no “biological time clock” that was ticking or anything remotely like it. I thoroughly believed I was not going to have kids and I was happy with that decision. I went through my twenties and up to my 31st year of life and something happened that turned the earth on it’s axis. I unexpectedly and shockingly became pregnant. OMG! I had spent years and years avoiding just that. How did this happen? OMG!!!

I became a mother just two weeks shy of turning 32. I LOVED my little baby. She changed mine and my husband’s life totally. I loved holding her and feeding her. She was a sweet baby that turned into a sweet child. Well, we couldn’t let her go through life being an only child as we both came from large families (I’m the middle child of five kids, my husband is the youngest of eight). When she was nearly four years old, we thought O.K., let’s have another. This time – on purpose!  We had fun making that happen. We had never done that before, TRY to become pregnant! It was always the opposite – NOT to become pregnant. Weird…

When I was 36, I became a mom for the second time. Wow, two kids now. A lot more work. A lot more joy. They grew older and occasionally would have nasty fights, as most siblings do. I always remembered my father telling me “When you have one kid, you become parents. When you have two, you become a referee.” It’s true. So, I became a very busy mom. Working, child care issues, school assemblies, being a “band mom” for four years for one child, going to volleyball games for seven years for the other child, all of those things and more. Living 25 miles out of town didn’t make it any easier. When I turned 45, I had a 9 year old child and a 13 year old child. I never, in a million years, thought that’s where I would be at that age. WOW.

Now that my kids are young adults, I cannot perceive my life any other way. We are a tight family of four to this day. I sometimes still can’t believe I gave birth to two children. Every Mother’s Day, I’m reminded of how LUCKY I am…

Chris Calaba

May 11, 2011 Posted by | antelope valley local art, av best framing, frames lancaster, lancaster art gallery, palmdale custom framing | , , , , | Leave a comment


Even though my wife Shirley had been in failing health, I was surprised when she broke her hip and died of pneumonia seven days after a hip replacement.  It was probably the most devastating and traumatic experience of my life.  I had been taking care of her the previous year, but luckily Wheels On Wheels delivered our meals, as I didn’t know how to cook.  She wasn’t functioning well and had trouble remembering the recipes, even her favorite dishes, but was able to show me how to use the microwave oven, and the washer and dryer.   I was grateful for that.  After Shirley passed away, our son David cooked a couple of chicken dinners while I observed, so at least I wouldn’t be totally destitute with my newfound knowledge.  I was a complete stranger to the kitchen.  I do much better now, I know where to look for the sugar.


About a week after Shirley passed away, I went to the Senior Center in Palmdale to eat, where I found the seniors and employees to be very pleasant people.  I would spend a couple of hours there, and when I went home, the rest of the day was long and lonely.  To fill in the gap I picked up my trombone after not having played for 50 years.  When I was playing professionally, I had a serious case of Bells palsy that caused a partial paralysis of the muscles around my lips.  Luckily, I had a teacher’s degree and became a school band director.  Holding the trombone in my hands after all those years was like being back with an old friend, but it turned on me and wouldn’t cooperate.  For three months I spent hours trying to play but to no avail.  I sadly put the trombone away.  At the same time I was trying to sell my books on the Internet with the help of my publisher but with little success.  I craved to do something creative to fill in the void, and for some strange reason I chose the chromatic harmonica to be my new partner.  As I soon found out this type of harmonica with a lever on the side turned out to be incredibly difficult to learn.  It took me about six months of hard practice to find out if I could really play the instrument.  When my playing began to flow more naturally, I concluded I could.  I then set goals for the next six months, and that included upgrading my harp, as the harmonica is called.  I played ballads well, but I wanted to play jazz.  To acquire the technique needed to play good jazz, I had to be patient, even at my age.  I’ll continue to set goals and hope I’ ll eventually play jazz again.


I found that I still had too much time on my hands to think about Shirley, so I began going to different schools to read my books and talk to kids.  Being a kid myself I loved doing that.


To learn how to sell my 38 children eBooks and my novel “Diary of a Young Musician, Final Days of the Big Band Era,” on the Internet, I began studying Socialnomics.  Socialnomics is social networking that increases my Internet footprint and reach, in order to drive more traffic to my websites (, and  Jim Greenleaf, owner of ilivetodayav where I took my lessons, is located in Blvd Today Café, a part of King’s Photo Supply in Lancaster, CA.  My studies have been a success.  Part of the course is what I’m doing right now, writing blogs.


Mario Grossi, a former band student from years back and close friend, owns Grossi’s Musical Instrument Repair Shop in Lancaster, CA ((661) 618-7718).  He asked if I wanted to be his partner in selling and renting new and used band and orchestra instruments to children beginning in school music programs.  I agreed without hesitation, as it was right up my alley.  I love it and it’s working out well.  Besides, it gives me a chance to hang out with Mario and John French, both hilarious.


The most relaxing time the past 20 months has been my weekly visits to Shirley at Desert Lawn Cemetery.  I carry a folding beach chair in my car and talk to her for about a half hour, where I relate the events of the week.  There are times I sense she’s with me, and advises me about problems or decisions that confront me.  More than once I’ve changed my mind right on the spot.  The location is so relaxing I hate to leave.  The cemetery workers recognize my car and wave at me as they pass by or talk to me.


I begin my day by praying for a while, and then walk almost three miles after breakfast.  Shirley had us begin this routine the day after we returned from our honeymoon and continued for 50 years.  I highly recommend both.

May 11, 2011 Posted by | AV Best Children's Books, Children's Author, Children’s Stories with Morals, Exciting Children’s Stories, Learning Children’s Stories | , , , , | Leave a comment