Friday, August 7, 2020

USDA Food Distribution -- August 18.

PLEASE read below carefully.

The USDA Food Distribution will begin at 10:00 a.m. on TUESDAY, August 18, at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-½ Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277. The Community Center is next to the Fire Station. The event continues until noon, or until the food runs out, which has been happening lately, about 11:00 a.m.

This food distribution is for Wonder Valley residents only. Please wear a mask and stay in your car.

We will be taking PRECAUTIONS to protect YOUR and OUR health.

Please enter the access road at the WVCC sign and continue driving around the building until you stop behind the car in front of you. Stay to the inside of the curve (left) in case someone has to leave. Do NOT get out of your car. We will come around, take your name, give you a ticket(s), and then bring your box(es) to your car. Please be patient and follow all instructions from the volunteers. This is to insure your safety and the safety of our volunteers and staff. Thank you.

The WVCC is CLOSED. The park is closed.

Low income Wonder Valley residents self-certify on site. No ID or other documentation is required. You may pick up ONE (1) box for a neighbor, or they may pick up ONE (1) box for you, IF a signed pick up form is presented. One pick up per person. Pick up forms are available online at They are also available at the WVCC on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., and at the kiosk outside the WVCC the week before the event.

For more information, call Teresa Sitz at (760) 367-9880.

The text below is required.

Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Desert Trail Column - August 5, 2020

Drive-in church services are once again being held every Sunday at Godwin Christian Fellowship, 6389 Godwin Road at Highway 62, starting at 7:30 a.m. All attending are required to wear face coverings and to remain in their vehicles at all times. Contact Pastor Max Rossi at or 831-234-6848 or Brother wally Currie at 760-449-8683.

We send out Rainbows-of-Peridots-and-Gladioli to Cris Buskirk who celebrates his special day this week. Happy birthday, Cris!

Karen’s Commentary:  Recently I came across a March 1990 issue of Reader’s Digest. The first thing that struck me was the weight of it! Upon examination, I noticed there were 246 numbered pages, compared to my July/August 2020 issue which consists of 126 pages – that’s almost half the number of pages and this is a DOUBLE issue! There were 18 main articles, a book section and 17 smaller articles in the old issue; 7 “features”, 12 “departments”, 4 “humor” articles and 4 “genius” sections in the new one. So just as I was convinced that Reader’s Digest is now a giant rip-off, I decided to count the advertisement pages. The old issue has a whopping 84 pages of ads plus several multi-page inserts (totaling another 30 pages) that were not numbered as regular pages; the new issue had just 21 pages of ads, no inserts. I’ve always loved Reader’s Digest. I’ve been a subscriber for many years and read other people’s copies for many years before that. But one thing I will never be able to forgive them for is taking their table of contents off the cover! To me, that was a unique feature that they should never have messed with. The time span of thirty years has certainly made a difference in this magazine, but not enough to stop me from continuing to subscribe to and read it. If losing the cover’s table of contents feature didn’t stop me, I guess nothing will.

 We have a certified wildlife rehabilitator who specializes in birds right here in Wonder Valley! Her name is Susan Doggett and her phone number is 714-637-8355.

 Handy Hint:  Chocolate and Xylitol (the sugar substitute in many sugarless gums) are both poison to your dog. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous. If you suspect your dog ate either one of these or any other toxic substance, call your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680. Do not induce vomiting unless told to do so. The Helpline will tell you how to induce vomiting with ordinary hydrogen peroxide, so keep some in your house for emergencies. (By the way, full-strength hydrogen peroxide also kills the coronavirus!)

 Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Cathy Allen interviewed by the Desert Sun.

Small Wonder
In Twentynine Palms, artist Cathy Allen has created Sunvale Village, a community for the small, which repurposes materials and throwaway toys into an artistic expression.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Desert Trail Column - July 29, 2020

We have a correction for last week’s column. In Today’s Thought, the second sentence should have read “According to Merriam-Webster, the following words FIRST APPEARED IN THE DICTIONARY in 1940.” Sorry for any misunderstanding.

 The drive-thru USDA food distribution ran very smoothly as usual. We thank Friends of Wonder Valley and all their wonderful volunteers.


If you’re tired of sitting in the house and just want to go for a short drive, head on over to the Glass Outhouse Art Gallery, 77575 29 Palms Highway at Thunder Road, to visit the tiny little Wayside Chapel out in front. If you’ve never been there, you have a pleasant surprise in store!


Drive-in church services will be held at Godwin Christian Fellowship, 6389 Godwin Road at Highway 62, starting at 7:30 a.m. All attending are required to wear face coverings and to remain in their vehicles at all times. Contact Pastor Max Rossi at or 831-234-6848 or Brother wally Currie at 760-449-8683 for further information.


We send out Rainbows-of-Rubies-and-Larkspurs to Lilah Margaret Fairweather who turns nine this week. Also, since the birthstone for August is the peridot and the flower is the gladiolus, we send Rainbows-of-Peridots-and-Gladioli to Mandy Root who turns 36 this week. Happy birthday, Mandy and Lilah!

Handy Hint:  How to make a child’s (or adult’s) time capsule. Pick a special day like the first day of school or a birthday, or just any ordinary day, to put it together. Decorate a container such as a large mason jar or coffee can or other sturdy container with a good-fitting lid. Fill it with meaningful small objects; a list of favorite songs, movies and colors: a list of personal goals for the coming year; and anything else important to that person that may change during the coming year. If the capsule is for a child, include a piece of yarn or ribbon equal to the child’s height. Add letters or notes from family and friends, plus a letter from the person to her- or himself as well. Seal the capsule and write on it in permanent marker the “open on” date – one year from the date of sealing. Hide the capsule in a dry place like on a high closet shelf. You might want to write a note to yourself with the location of the capsule and the date it is to be opened and put it in a secure place or give it to someone who will keep it safe. And do not forget to write the all-important opening date on next year’s calendar!

 Today’s Thought:  Don’t judge people by their relatives.


Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Desert Trail Column - July 22, 2020

Here are some interesting facts about Joshua trees taken from a recent newspaper article written by Ruth Nolan who teaches at College of the Desert. The Joshua tree isn’t really a tree, it’s actually a member of the asparagus family. Native Americans living in the Mojave Desert traditionally ate Joshua tree buds, flowers and seeds; used the roots for basket-making material, shampoo and soap; used fibers to make cordage and nets; and used the sharp point at the ends of the leaves as an awl. The name Joshua tree is attributed to the Mormons who thought the outstretched limbs resembled the outstretched arms of Joshua directing them on their journey. Other early explorers viewed the Joshua tree in a different light. John C. Fremont said, “Their stiff and ungraceful form makes them to the traveler the most repulsive tree in the vegetable kingdom.”  J. Smeaton Chase described the sight of Joshua trees as “having a nightmare effect even in the broad daylight; at the witching hour it can almost be infernal.” Edna Brush Perkins called them “grotesque  … covered with matted, gray hair …” and “distinctly unpleasant.” But beautiful or ugly, the Western Joshua tree is currently under consideration for further legal protection under the California Endangered Species Act.

 Godwin Christian Fellowship, 6389 Godwin Road at Highway 62, has gone back to drive-in church services every Sunday at 7:30 a.m. Everyone is asked to wear a face covering and to remain in their vehicle. Contact Pastor Max Rossi at or 831-234-6848, or Brother Wally Currie at 760-449-8683 for further information.


We send out Rainbows-of-Rubies-and-Larkspurs to Isabel Austin, Star Javier and Mary Anderson who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday, Mary, Star and Isabel!


Here are some phone numbers you might find useful. San Bernardino County Code Enforcement 760-995-8154, SBC Environmental Health Division 800-442-2283, SBC Fire Hazard and Weed Abatement 909-884-4056.

 Handy Hint:  Up to 20 per cent of your electric bill charges come from “vampire” home electronics that are plugged in but not in use. By using smart outlets, you can power your electronics on and off automatically with a voice command.

 Today’s Thought:  Our friends Rick Smith and Judy Taylor were both born in 1940, so this item is dedicated to them! According to Merriam-Webster, the following words were first used in 1940:  anti-smog, Bermuda shorts, bomber jacket, burnout, crib sheet, disc jockey, dunk shot, inductee, K ration, Mae West, penny candy, shotgun seat, shutterbug, sloppy Joe, swing shift, touch-type and vibes. Also, the median annual income was $956 and the federal minimum wage was 30 cents an hour.


Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Crime Stats -- June 2020

I missed recording 6 days in June, from June 10 to June 16, and that data is now irretrievable. Sorry about that, it's been a tough month.

This data is taken from the SBC Sheriff's Department media reports. We have no data for 2019. As you can see, even missing 6 days, activity was within the range of previous years.

There were a couple of calls for fireworks, and a couple of search and rescues related to the woman who went missing -- her car abandoned at Shelton Road and Highway 62.

Stay safe out there. And remember, if you call the Sheriff's Department, always ask for an incident number.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Desert Trail Column - July 15, 2020

The drive-thru USDA Food Distribution will take place on Tuesday outside our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road at Blower Road, beginning at 10 a.m. Enter at the dirt driveway just east of the community center parking lot and follow on around the building. The food will be placed in your vehicle as you’re coming back out into the parking lot on the west side of the building. Face coverings and staying inside your vehicle at all times are required.

Since the birthstone for July is the ruby and the flower is the larkspur, we send out Rainbows-of-Rubies-and-Larkspurs to Jayden Root (16) and Ron Rush. Happy birthday, Ron and Jayden!

Darlene’s Commentary: On our way home from Stater’s on Saturday night, my dear friend and I were talking about not being able to see fireworks this year and saying “Oh, well!” with a big sad sigh. As we were getting out of the car to unload groceries, a giant display went up into the air! I jumped and thought, “Oh, boy! Somebody’s in BIG trouble – and where did someone get giant fireworks like THAT?” About then, a second one went off, then a third. We quickly discovered we had a beautiful “ringside” seat for the gorgeous display put on by the Base. Thank you

Karen’s Commentary: Wowee! On Sunday at 3;30 p.m., one of our outdoor thermometers read 123 and the other showed 123.3!! What happened to the predicted high of 112??? Also, my commentary in last week’s column got cut short, so I would like to restate what was missing as I think it’s important. When asked if we can develop a universal vaccine for different strains of the coronavirus, Dr. Birx replied, “ . . . The hope is a vaccine that is made today against COVID-19 will work tomorrow and will work a year from now.” And when asked how we can learn about the search for a vaccine, she replied, “Any American can go to the NIH website ( It lists every single trial that is going on, every clinical trial for COVID-19, whether it’s vaccines or therapeutics, so Americans can stay informed.”
Coronavirus pandemic or not, our roads are still being maintained! And that means that Dylan still has a job and we residents can still drive on our roads without getting stuck. Some things are still good in Wonder Valley! For questions, comments, requests, complaints or compliments, go to or call 760-367-9880 or 909-387-5940.

Handy Hint: Potato chips stay fresh when wrapped and stored in the freezer – and don’t worry, they won’t get soggy!

Until next time..., remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.