Sunday, August 28, 2016

Wonder Valley Community Meeting for September 10, 2016

Everyone is invited and welcome to attend and participate in the Wonder Valley Community Meeting, Saturday, September 10 at 10:00 a.m.

The meeting will be held at the:

Wonder Valley Community Center
80526-1/2 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277

We hope to introduce the new WVCC coordinator at that meeting. Refreshments - French roast coffee and Cuban pastries from Porto's will be served.

Agenda posted online September 5, 4:08 p.m.:

Meeting Notes:

We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

San Bernardino County's changing marijuana laws

If marijuana is legalized in California, it would remain mostly illegal in the unincorporated communities of San Bernardino County, the only areas over which the County has the power to make and enforce those decisions.

"Under the proposed county ordinance, an exemption would apply to specified, state-licensed health care and residential care facilities, and qualified medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers with no more than five patients would be allowed to cultivate, indoors, a maximum of 12 plants per patient and a maximum of 24 plants per private residence."

Read more:
What steps San Bernardino County is taking to regulate marijuana

Monday, August 22, 2016

Desert Desolation Decor

For more information.
7 p.m. - 1 a.m., Saturday, September 17
This is not a ticketed event.

Palms Restaurant
83131 Amboy Rd, Wonder Valley CA 92277

Hosted by son of the velvet rat
Son of the Velvet Rat celebrates their seasonal return to the high-desert with a very special evening of live music and art in collaboration with fellow Austrian artist and friend, Gilbert Bretterbauer and sponsored by the Austrian artists association INTRO-GRAZ-Spection.

The outdoor stage at The Palms will be transformed by Bretterbauer’s fabric installation entitled Desert Desolation Décor creating a unique acoustic effect and an extraordinary spatial feeling featuring live sets by Son of the Velvet Rat (Georg Altziebler and Heike Binder) with a performance by The Sibleys and a line-up of other special musical guests to be announced.

Desert Desolation Décor is a spin-off of a stage installation designed by Gilbert Bretterbauer and used at a live appearance by SotVR in 2014 (ephermeropterae tba 21/Augarten). This multilayered fabric construction enwraps the musical performance in an external shell consisting of decorative elements meant to evoke an open-ended form of existence and an intimate nomadic retreat beyond the realm of the traditional urban backdrop. Signed copies of an adjunct publication containing lyrics of SotVR’s songs along with drawings and photographs by Gilbert Bretterbauer will be offered for purchase at the performance. The limited edition book elaborates on the tense, complex interrelationship between transience and sustainability permeating every aspect of the creative, artistic experience.

Son of the Velvet Rat ( is the project of Austrian songwriter Georg Altziebler and his wife Heike Binder who now make their home in the California desert. With an impressive band history, their catalog includes award-winning collaborations with luminaries such as Lucinda Williams, Ken Coomer and Peter Jesperson. Their lyrics are purely poetic and their sound intersects and intertwines the genres of garage punk with French chanson and European folk-noir in a spectrum of style that seems to both surrender to and defy gravity. This special performance event highlights the couple’s return from a six-month tour in Austria, Poland and the U.K. on the heels of a newly-recorded and yet-to-be-released album produced by Joe Henry (whose most recent collaborators include, Billy Bragg, Bettye LaVette, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell).

Gilbert Bretterbauer is an Austrian artist whose works span a range of visual, architectural and interior design. In addition to being an artist in the fields of textiles, painting and installations, he also writes using his autobiographical experiences and circumstances to create his own words of interwoven language texts. To present his textile collections and limited furniture editions to a broader public, he started the company Bretterbauer also teaches in the Department of Textiles.Art.Design at the University of Arts Linz, AU. His work is shown at the Harry Bichler Rauminhalt Gallery in Vienna, AU.

INTRO-GRAZ-Spection is an Austria-based art initiative producing interdisciplinary projects and international public offerings in the form of visual arts, literature, theater, music, film, architecture, photography, etc. with unusual, new perspectives and possibilities. With its oscillation between music & art, permanence & elusiveness, and its international implications, one senses that Desert Desolation Decor perhaps embodies the complete archetypal essence of IGS.

The Sibleys ( are a rock trio comprised of James Sibley – drums and vocals, his sister Laura Sibley – guitar and vocals, and bassist Thom Merrick. Their music sounds like how the land looks, with a good harmony sung on top of it. They live out east of the town of 29 Palms in Wonder Valley, way beyond the sign that says “Next Services 100 Miles.” The Sibleys write about the desert and people they know and perform in a roadhouse called The Palms, that they own and operate. Their album “The Sibleys / Live Music Saturday” was released in 2011 by Amboy Road Records and produced by Ben Vaughn.

Special Guests: Stay tuned for a full line-up of high-desert musical talent to be announced.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Local artist in Highway 62 Open Studio Tour

From Chris Carraher.
"The show for the new collection 'Additional Dimensions' is on Sunday, Oct. 9, and I'll also be participating in Open Studio Art Tours on Oct. 22-23. Thanks for the interest and support."

For more information visit: Additional Dimensions

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Desert Trail Column, August 18, 2016

The Salvation Army Food Distribution will take place from 11 am to 1 pm at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road at Blower Road, on Wednesday, August 24. Please bring a picture ID or proof of residence address.

We send out Rainbows-of-Peridots-and-Gladiolas to Dominick Bruxer who celebrates his special day this week. Happy birthday, Dominick!

Darlene’s Commentary: I’ve always wanted to read a book about the history of Wonder Valley. I want to know what the terrain looked like 10,000 years ago. What kind of climate was here? Hot like it is now, icy cold, tropical and humid? What animals were common here? What kinds of plants and trees grew and thrived? Did any humans live here 10,000 years ago? Going forward, I would like to know what it was like when the miners and settlers first arrived. I also would enjoy the history of the homesteaders and how they struggled to survive here. I would love to read a book about the different families who made their homes in Wonder Valley, similar to the stories about Twentynine Palms families depicted in “Sand in My Shoe.” Unfortunately, there is no book about Wonder Valley. Is anyone out there interested in writing one?

Karen’s commentary: I would like to write today about the dummy who wrote in our column that the He Provides Ministry would be at the community center on August 15. That dummy would be ME! I am so sorry if this caused anyone any inconvenience. I made the same mistake in July – you’d think I could remember it correctly two months later! The right information is that this wonderful group comes to our community center at 9:30 am on the days of the USDA Food Distributions to give out free clothing and household items to those needing them. They do this each month from September through May, but they do NOT come in June, July and August because of the heat. Hopefully, I will get this right by next year! Again, I apologize.

Animal Action League, located in Joshua Tree just west of the dinosaurs on Highway 62, will spay or neuter pets that live in Wonder Valley at a big discount. They also do low-cost microchipping, nail trimming and vaccinations. Call 760-366-1100 for further information.

Handy Hint: Put ¼ cup of white vinegar in the final rinse cycle of your washer for a great fabric softener. (And no smell.)

Thought for Today: “I have wondered at times about what the Ted Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress.” – Ronald Reagan

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

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Desert Trail Column for August 11, 2016

On Monday, August 15, it will be busy at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road. At 9:30, the He Provides Ministry will be there with free clothing and household items for those needing them. Then from 10:30 to noon, the USDA Food Distribution will take place.

We send out Rainbows-of-Peridots-and-Gladiolas to Alexa, to Chad Fairweather and to Cowboy, who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday to all of you!

Karen’s Commentary: Our son Joe has lived at Sagewood Manor Apartments in Twentynine Palms since 1997. It is a very nice apartment complex, with about 65 units. About three months ago, Crown Contracting, Inc arrived to do some “sprucing up” for the new owners. So far, they have painted the exterior walls, doors and trim; installed over-the-range microwaves; replaced the bathroom sinks with sink/cupboard combinations; painted the linen closet fronts; and replaced all windows, kitchen cabinets, kitchen sinks and countertops, refrigerators, stoves, AC/heating units, water heaters, toilets, flooring throughout and lighting throughout. They are now working on enlarging the dumpster area openings and making more curb-cuts for wheelchairs and scooters. And every single worker I’ve interacted with is so friendly and helpful. Needless to say, the new owner’s idea of sprucing up is my idea of having an entirely new place to live!

Darlene’s commentary: I enjoyed breakfast Sunday morning at The Palms Restaurant in Beautiful Downtown Wonder Valley. While I was eating, a new edition of the Desert Oracle caught my eye. There are always intriguing stories and interesting articles about desert creatures and desert plants. In this Spring 2016 issue, I found an article entitled “Farewell, Bigfella!” about a huge saguaro that had lived about 200 years or more. I have always loved saguaros and am fortunate to have one growing right in my own yard. It measured less than three feet tall when my parents, Louise and Jerry Borquez, bought the property, and it towers over 20 feet tall now and sports five arms. Every June, the top of each arm displays beautiful white flowers that open one day and close the next.

The Godwin Christian Fellowship is getting mighty close to being able to hold services in their new building at 6389 Godwin Road. In the meantime, the Home Group is still meeting on Sundays on Bonny Dunes Road. Call Pastor Max Rossi at 831-234-6848.

Handy Hint: When traveling with your pet, take along some empty, washed butter tubs. They’re lightweight and make great resealable water, food or treat containers.

Thought for Today: The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.

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

A group of 45-50 white faced ibises take off during last Thursday's storm.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

August's storm

White-faced ibises brave the storm in Wonder Valley.
Wonder Valley residents living within earshot of Highway 62 took the brunt of last Thursday's monsoonal storm. It came from the west led by a huge sandstorm and followed with wind, lightning, thunder, and rain - torrential, sometimes horizontal, rain.

Highway 62 was closed for awhile and crews were still clearing the roadway on Friday.

Residents living north of Amboy reported high winds, ripping off parts of roofs and scattering yard art, but little rain.

As I sat out the storm down by the highway I noticed a flock of about 45-50 large black birds sheltering among the creosote. At first I thought they were vultures because they were big and I'd seen one in the area that morning. But as I crept closer they took off and I realized they were some sort of water bird. I shared my photos with local birders and the general consensus is that they were white-faced ibises. Note the long, narrow, curved beak.

It's these kinds of surprises that make living in the desert such a delight.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Gallery 62 - Saturday, August 13

Enjoy Second Saturday in Twentynine Palms from 6 - 8 p.m. on August 13 at Gallery 62, 61607 Twentynine Palms Highway.

I don’t know all the artists, but Wonder Valley artist Jaymie Arquilevich is showing, along with Brian Baltzar, Penelope Benson-Wright, Tracy Roberts, Jesse Rodriguez, Miguel Criado, CHeryl Kandel, Peggy Lewis-Toney, Kathleen Johnson, John Greenfield, Michael Eiden, Marcia Geiger and Catherine Barksdale.

Gallery 62 is open Fridays from 2 - 5 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m, and Sundays from noon to 3 p.m.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Desert Trail, August 4, 2016

Since the birthstone for August is the peridot and the flower is the gladiolus, we send out Rainbows-of-Peridots-and-Gladiolas to Mandy Root (32) and to Cris Buskirk who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday to you both!

Darlene’s Commentary: This is a story about smartphones, tablets, I-phones, I-pads and I-can’t-figure-this-darn-thing-outs! I need guidebooks or manuals with paper pages that don’t suddenly turn off! Is there somewhere in the electronic tangle that a human being can be called on a landline that actually pugs into your wall? We oldsters need to get it together and get rid of those rotary dials – upgrade to a house phone with buttons to push so you can “press one.” If not, we’ll just continue on in a whirlwind of PTAs, EMFs, ATMs, FBIs, CDs, WPAs, ABCs, BLTs, GMOs, PPOs, URLs, BBCs, VCRs, HMOs, AM-PMs, CBSs, EBTs, GPSs, DVDs, FDRs, AC-DCs, NBCs and even CIAs! In the meantime, I’m looking for wicks for my kerosene lamps – maybe I could cut up that flat half-inch-wide cord thingy that goes to a computer to make some.

Karen’s commentary: The USDA Food Distribution is heavily attended by Wonder Valley residents, but the Salvation Army Food Distribution is not. Why? Granted, the volume of food isn’t as big, but the quality is great, plus the distribution is so smooth and efficient, with no waiting. Normally, they bring only boxes of non-perishables, but this time they also brought fresh potatoes and apples. And the price is certainly right – free! I would hate for them to give up because of a lack of interest on our part. They are putting forth a big effort to help out our community – the least we can do is to show them how much we appreciate that. They are here on the fourth Wednesday of each month from 11 to 1 or later.

The Wonder Valley Thrift Store, located on Godwin Road, just north of Highway 62, has many great bargains. The Wonder Valley Community Center was the recipient of one of those bargains this week when we purchased a used Black & Decker coffeemaker with a brand new glass pot. Stop in and see what they have to offer! Call Olympia at 831-227-1948 for further information.

Handy Hint: An empty tissue box can serve as an excellent mini-trashcan for your vehicle. Attach the rough side of a Velcro strip to the bottom of the box, and stick to the corner of the carpet by the passenger seat.

Thought for Today: Have you heard about the guy who’s addicted to brake fluid? He says he can stop anytime.

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