Thursday, September 29, 2016

Desert Trail Column, September 29, 2016

Another Wonder Valley Music Festival will take place at The Palms, 83131 Amboy Road, on Saturday, October 1 from 6 to midnight. Artists include Ben Vaughn Ensemble, The Sibleys, High Noon Whiskey, Dan Montgomery, Michael Starr, Insect Surfers, Mister Paradise and Helene Renaut. Admission is free, and onsite camping is available. Call 760-361-2810 for further information.

Ben Vaughn
Since the birthstone for October is the opal, and the flower is the calendula, we send out Rainbows-of-Opals-and-Calendulas to Ron Root who turns 54 this week. Happy birthday, Ron!

Karen’s Commentary: If you have a pet emergency when a vet’s not available, you have two destination options. The animal urgent care (Banning Veterinary Hospital) in Banning is open until 11 pm and is located on Ramsey, west of Sunset. Call 951-849-6234. The VCA Animal Emergency Hospital is open 24/7 and is located in Indio at 46920 Jefferson Street, across from Home Depot. Call 760-289-5578.

Darlene’s Commentary: What a lovely rain last week! I wouldn’t be surprised if we had a fall bloom of wildflowers. (All you need is water.) Thank you, Mother Nature! Now, about that wind. I’m pretty sure that we had gusts here in Wonder Valley that clocked around 70 mph or better. Hour after hour wind screamed like a cyclone, and whatever items in the yard that were creaking and banging out there in the pitch-dark, sand-blasting wind were sure to be found somewhere down the road, maybe with an Arizona address! 
Next morning, I walked out into warm sunshine with clear skies and a gentle breeze. When my eyes had adjusted to the brightness I surveyed my yard . . . and everything in sight had a thick layer of fine sand-like dust, undisturbed, covering car, trucks, trees, cacti, chairs and table. The ground looked like no one had been in this piece of desert for a hundred years! (Twilight Zone music, please.)

Reach Out Morongo Basin will provide a free ride to the Twentynine Palms Nutrition Site for lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Pick-up is at The Palms at 10 am and return is at 2 pm. If you have a transportation problem and cannot get to The Palms, they will go to your residence. Call 760-361-1410 for further information.

Handy Hint: Television and PC screens are electrically charged, which causes them to attract dust. Since dryer sheets are designed to reduce static cling, they’ll remove dust and prevent it from resettling for several days. Polish glass screens with the sheets after they’ve been in the dryer, for a softer texture.

Thought for Today: “It is better to be looked over than overlooked.” – Mae West

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

Wonder Valley sunrise the day after a dust storm.

Wonder Valley Community Meeting, October 8, 2016

Everyone is invited and welcome
to attend and participate in the 
Wonder Valley Community Meeting 
Saturday, October 8 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

French roast coffee and Cuban pastries from Porto's will be served.

Agenda posted online September 29, 8:33 a.m.:

Meeting notes posted online November 10, 2016, 12:50 p.m.:

Meeting Materials:

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

HOWL is accepting submissions

HOWL Art & Literary Magazine is accepting submissions for its 2017 edition. The deadline is January 27, 2017. The Copper Mountain College literary magazine is accepting submissions of poetry, short fiction, photography and digital images of artwork.

  • Everyone is eligible and encouraged to submit to HOWL.
  • All submissions MUST include author's name and word count.
  • Written submissions must include a biography of 100 words or fewer. Note: Biographies may be humorous and creative.
  • Art work resolution must be 300 dpi or greater and suitable for a 4x6 or 8x10 .jpg.
Email for more information.

HOWL is funded through the CMC Foundation.

If you've never been published, do it now. Write something, send it in - it's as simple as that.

Glass Outhouse Gallery in October

The Glass Outhouse Gallery is featuring Wonder Valley artists in October:
  • Cathy Allen
  • Luther Broome
  • Robyn Goudy
  • Suzanne Ross
The show statement reads,

“Utilizing the contemporary tradition of going beyond the usual limits of Art, with experimental vision and cunning application of materials, four Artists from Wonder Valley take us into the future of aesthetic seeing; proof positive, that the creative imagination has no limits!”

The opening is from 5 - 9 p.m. on Saturday, October 1.  The Glass Outhouse Gallery is at 77575 Twentynine Palms Highway at Thunder Road. Look for the Bicycle Ranch!

There will be live music and a potluck and all the usual suspects, so come have a great time and enjoy some great art.

Leslie Mariah Andrews will perform.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ben Vaughn | Another Wonder Valley Music Festival

Ben Vaughn is back with Another Wonder Valley Music Festival, on October 1, 6 - 11:59 p.m., at the Palms Restaurant, 83131 Amboy Road. Admission is free. Camping on site.

Performers include:
Insect Surfers
Mister Paradise
Ben Vaughn Ensemble
The Sibleys
Dan Montgomery
Michael Starr
High Noon Whiskey
and Helene Renaut.

Don't miss it!

Kip's Desert Book Club - Mary Sojourner

KIP'S DESERT BOOK CLUB is reading 29, by Mary Sojourner, for the October 3 book club and potluck. This will be the second anniversary of the club. Kip says, "This book chronicles a woman's transition from the urban corporate world, to life in the Morongo basin." I'll take his word for it. He hasn't steered me wrong yet.

Bring a flashlight so you can walk across the highway to Laura's Wonderland Bookstore, the only book store in Wonder Valley open 24/7.

The Palms is located at 83131 Amboy, or is it 81313 Amboy? Well, you'll see it - it's on the south side of the road and has palm trees and a big buffalo on the sign.

Wonder Valley Artist takes First Place

Wonder Valley artist Jaymie Arquilevich won a first place award for her piece A Meeting of Trees in the Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition 2016.

You can see Jaymie's work, and the works of all the other artists, at the 29 Palms Art Gallery, at 73950 Inn Ave, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277, through October 1.

Call (760) 367-3505 for hours and days of operation.

Congratulations, Jaymie!

Desert Trail Column, September 22, 2016

The Salvation Army Food Distribution will take place on Wednesday, September 28 at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road at Blower Road, from 11 to 1.

We send out Rainbows-of-Sapphires-and-Asters to Bernice Barcott, Eddie Kim, Les Lindsley and Orville Fangmeyer who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday to all of you!

Karen’s Commentary: Pastor Max Rossi gave my husband Ted a little tour of the new Godwin Christian Fellowship building on Godwin Road. Ted was very impressed with the size and layout inside, plus all the thought that has gone into the overall design. He says this church is obviously very family-oriented, with several rooms or areas specifically dedicated to use by or for children. He was very impressed with the nearly-finished building, and we are certainly looking forward to the “grand opening!”

Darlene’s Commentary: As we started writing this week’s column, I said to Karen, “I think I’ll write about being on time.”
After the hysterical laughter subsided, she handed me June’s issue of The Reader’s Digest. It was open to a paper-clipped page with an article entitled “Art of Living . . . Sorry I’m Late” by Tim Urban. Above the title is an illustration that is obviously of a Tardy Person’s clock. The glass is broken and only the number 5 remains on the face. In place of other numbers are the handwritten phrases “Almost Late,” “Late,” “Really Late” and “Not Worth It.” I immediately knew why the 5 had been left on the clock. If it’s a.m., it’s the time I get up (with the help of a very loud and annoying alarm) in order to try to make a 10 a.m. appointment. If it’s p.m., it’s the time I GIVE up because the business I’ve been trying to access by either vehicle or phone has just closed for the day!

The Food For Life Ministry prepares delicious hot meals every Saturday at Church of the Nazarene in Twentynine Palms. The meals are free, and if you have a transportation problem and cannot get to the Church in town, Reach Out Morongo Basin will deliver these meals free to your home. Call 760-361-1410 for further information.

Handy Hint: Simple things like using strainers in all your sink drains and changing or cleaning filters in all your appliances can save you bundles of money. Dirty filters and/or clogged plumbing can result in having to replace costly items.

Thought for Today: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than the ones that you did do.” – Mark Twain

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

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Desert Trail, September 15, 2016

Our WIFI Control Center
We now have free wi-fi available at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road! If you have a portable device capable of accessing the Internet that you’d like to donate to the community center, it would be very much appreciated. Call 760-367-9880 for information.

The Wonder Valley Community Meeting was very informative, as usual. These great monthly meetings are organized and moderated by our MAC Representative Teresa Sitz. During the meeting, Teresa introduced our new Special Districts Coordinator Ric Figueroa, and County Fire Captain Mike Bilheimer gave a presentation and answered many questions from the audience.

Image result for bar brawl vintage

Don’t miss the unique live music and art collaboration Desert Desolation D├ęcor Festival at The Palms, 73131 Amboy Road, on Saturday, September 17 starting at 7:30pm. Artists include Son of the Velvet Rat, Gilbert Bretterbauer, The Sibleys and Special Guests. Call 760-361-2810 for information.

Our community center will be busy on Monday, September 19. At 9:30am, the He Provides Ministry will return from their summer hiatus to give out free clothing and household items. From 10:30 to 12:30, the USDA Food Distribution will take place. The community center will remain open until 4 pm.

Karen’s Commentary: Monday was my last day as the Interim Wonder Valley Special Districts Coordinator. It was fun, but tiring. My personal goal was to get the building straightened out and organized, and I achieved that goal, but boy, am I pooped! I’m more than ready to be a lazy retired bum again. I’ll still be a volunteer at the Book Program and the food distributions and will check in with Ric now and then to find out how things are going, but I can see that he’s very capable and will do a great job. So thank you to everyone who helped me out in the last four months . . . I hope to see you at our cool – and organized – community center!

Darlene’s Commentary: Our Wonder Valley Community Center has a new Coordinator, Mr Ricardo Figueroa (also known as Ric). He is very nice, easy to talk to and has a great smile. I do believe that Ric will fit right in with we Wonder Valleyites. Welcome, Mr Ric!

Handy Hint: The perforations on the ends of your aluminum foil box are for creating end locks that are meant to keep the roll secure inside the box. Many similar products, such as plastic wrap, come equipped with the same feature so you’ll never rip the whole roll out of the box while attempting to tear off just a single piece.
Image result for funeral urn
Thought for Today: Death can stunt your growth.

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

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

New cell tower in Wonder Valley

I was handed this note from someone at the MAC meeting in Joshua Tree last night. Verizon has applied to erect another cell tower in Wonder Valley, across from the Glass Outhouse Gallery on Highway 62.

Last spring Land Use Services let me know that they were going to demolish the house at Marilane and Highway 62, and they had already spent some time cleaning the property which was a mess. It seems they may have done all that in preparation for this project.

I don't know how everyone else feels about this, but it will mar the vast and desolate viewscape along Highway 62. From what I've heard all of these permits are supposed to go before the MAC and this one hasn't.

At last night's meeting we heard from three residents of Friendly Hills complaining about the cell tower that went in there, on the property of SkyView Church. It's 55' tall and residents complained that it was railroaded because they didn't have time to address the issue before construction began.

Please contact me with your thoughts on this issue - for or against - and I will convey them to the Supervisor's office. Email me at

And, they cannot even get our name right - we are Wonder Valley, not Morongo Valley.

Highway 62 Open Studio Art Tours

Well, I'd love to let you know which artists in Wonder Valley will be participating in the art tour but this year they're selling the catalog so I can't access it.

From what I can tell it may only be Chris Carraher on weekend 2, October 22-23rd.

Chris Carraher is a local treasure, having lived here more than 20 years, and has been involved in homestead preservation. From personal experience I'd say that Chris is a most agreeable person and an accomplished artist.

Please plan to attend and maybe even buy something.

For more information visit

Water Tender is gone

"A" water tender, not "our" water tender
For the first time in 50 years Wonder Valley is without a water tender. The old one that we had was on its last legs with more than a million miles on its odometer. It was a behemoth and with a gear box that made it nearly impossible to drive, but it was OUR water tender.

We learned that we lost the water tender at last Saturday's Community Meeting. I talked with Assistant Chief, South Desert, Tom Marshall at last night's MAC meeting and he said they are replacing the water tender with a newer, better one that will be housed at the Twentynine Palms Fire Station. The water tender should be able to get to a fire in Wonder Valley within 10 minutes. Assistant Chief Marshall affirmed that he was doing the best thing for the Community of Wonder Valley.

It is important to consider that we have a 2-person fire station with one captain and one firefighter/paramedic at any one time. These two take the brush patrol truck to any event - fire or medical. It takes two people to operate the brush patrol at a fire. We do not have the manpower at Station 45 to respond with a brush patrol and a water tender. We have depended on Twentynine Palms and the Base to back us up with a water tender.

Residents at the meeting were very upset to hear that we no longer had a water tender. James Copeland, a former assistant fire chief of the Wonder Valley Volunteer Fire Department, described the water tender as our portable fire hydrant, and said that without it we are basically without fire coverage.

If you get a bill for paramedic service from County Fire

A Wonder Valley resident recently wrote that they called 911 for ambulance service. The ambulance was accompanied by County Fire. The resident later received a bill from County Fire for service and the resident's insurance company refused to pay it.

I brought the issue up at the MAC meeting in Joshua Tree last night. Assistant Chief, South Desert, Tom Marshall told me that the resident should call him about the bill at his office: (760) 228-6380.

This bill is most likely a "paramedic stabilization" bill intended solely for the resident's insurance company. Bills for paramedic stabilization are not meant to be sent to customers and we were told that County Fire will not attempt to collect payment from individuals.

Please bear this in mind and call County Fire if you get a bill for service.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Desert Trail Column, September 8, 2016

A correction from last week’s column: We sent out peridots and gladiolas to the birthday people when we should have sent sapphires and asters, which are the birthstones and flowers for September! Sorry, Scott and Cheryl.

The well problems at our community center turned out to be easily fixed, so with a prompt repair by Jacob from DP Drilling, we were able to reopen on Saturday, September 3.

Ted and Karen Meyers need to give away some fish! They are alive and well and swimming in their pond – too many of them. These goldfish range in size from three to ten inches long, and they are all free to a good home. They were raised in an outdoor pond, so may not do well in a fishbowl. If you don’t have a pond, but know someone who does, please pass along this information to them as this fish population needs to be downsized quickly.

There will be a Wonder Valley Community Meeting at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road, on Saturday, September 10 from 10 to noon. Come and meet our new Wonder Valley Special Districts Coordinator Ricardo Figuroa. Refreshments will include French roast coffee and Cuban pastries from Porto’s.

The Glass Outhouse Art Gallery reopens this Saturday, September 10 with an Artists Reception from 5 to 9 pm for Anna Houghton Plus Friends and Craig Schoenbaum. Come meet the artists, enjoy the refreshments and music by the Luminators, and admission is always free! The gallery is located at 77575 Twentynine Palms Highway at Thunder Road. For more information call Laurel at 760-367-3807. See you there!

The Basinwide MAC meeting will take place at the Joshua Tree Community Center, 6171 Sunburst Road, on Monday, September 12 at 6:30 pm. Everyone is welcome.

We send out Rainbows-of-Sapphires-and-Asters to Sherry Hague who celebrates her special day this week. Happy birthday, Sherry!

The Wonder Valley Book Program is like a little library right here at our community center. There are lots and lots of books of every kind, plus movies and audio books to check out for a whole month. Come in and look around.

Handy Hint: Last week we added some information to the hint of using vinegar as a fabric softener, and today we need to add some more. It has been brought to our attention that essential oils can be toxic to a cat, specifically its liver. They should not be allowed to inhale, consume or touch essential oils, or anything containing essential oils, to avoid the possibility of harm.

Thought for Today: Where there’s a will, there are relatives.

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

Another Wonder Valley sunrise.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Desert Trail, September 1, 2016

The Big Blazing Back2School Sale at the Wonder Valley Thrift Store, located on the paved section of Godwin Road, is going on until September 3. Stop in and see what they have.

Our big wooden sign in front of the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road, got a complete face lift thanks to Cyrilo Martinez and the Joshua Tree Park and Rec crew. They also have the palm trees looking better than they have in many years! Lots of thanks to all the “JT Guys.”

And speaking of our community center, it was closed on Monday, August 29 due to problems with the well. As we write this, we do not yet know if the problems are major or minor, so are not sure if it will be open or closed the rest of the week. There will be a sign on the door regarding any closures.

We send out Rainbows-of-Peridots-and-Gladiolas to Scott Kelso and Cheryl Davies who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday to you both!

Karen’s Commentary: We’ve had trouble with our air conditioner for the past few years. It would throw the breaker at random for no apparent reason. We had two different AC companies out, plus an electrician, and each one did what they thought would solve the problem, but nothing actually solved it, and all the “fixes” cost us money! Then my husband Ted came up with the idea of putting some solid shade over the unit, as the current shade was provided by trees and plants that moved around with the breezes. Guess what – that did the trick! So if you’re having trouble keeping your AC unit running, you might try this inexpensive or free solution.

Darlene’s Commentary: I happened to open a Reader’s Digest (May 2016) and found a very interesting article entitled “You Are When You Eat” by Emily Laber-Warren. The article states that researchers studying metabolism have found that WHEN you eat makes a difference in your weight and health. Even though food is processed most efficiently when eaten during daylight hours, the best schedule is to eat dinner and breakfast 12 hours apart, with nothing in between except water. Also, breakfast should be your big meal, lunch moderate and dinner small. If you can follow these guidelines as much as possible, you should see a big difference in your health and weight.

Handy Hint: Vinegar will help keep stainless steel utensils and appliances spot-free.

Thought for Today: “Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare. They are consumed in 12 minutes. Half-times take 12 minutes. This is not coincidence.” – Erma Bombeck

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