Thursday, December 29, 2016

New Year's Eve at The Palms

Charlie Limousine and The Sibleys at 9 p.m. - FREE

Desert Trail Column for December 29, 2016

Karen’s Commentary: Have you taken a really good look at your phone bills lately? We have a landline and cellphones, so we have two bills to scrutinize. For our landline, we are paying $9.99 for inside Wire Maintenance, $1.99 for a Carrier Cost Recovery Surcharge, $8.93 for Federal Taxes and Charges and $2.51 for State Taxes and Other Charges. For our cellphones, we are paying $1.45 for Federal Universal Service Charges, $.42 for Regulatory Charges, $2.46 for Administrative Charges, $.05 for California State PUC Fees, $.26 for California State 911 Fees, $.26 for California Teleconnect Fund Surcharges, $.07 for the California State High Cost Fund (A), $1.09 for Lifeline Surcharges – California, $.10 for the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) and $.10 for the California Relay Service/Communication Device Fund. Whew! That is almost $30 in addition to the actual phone bills!

Darlene’s Commentary: I hope everyone out there had a warm and cozy Christmas. I think this December might have been one of the coldest; wind, rain and snow on the mountains . . . brrr! I remember quite a few Christmas days that were shirt-sleeve weather. I’m just going to stay bundled up and wait for the wildflowers to bloom. I always can tell that we have had a real soaker when my house phone stops ringing its regular ring, and the only sound it makes is one soft little “ding!” As the ground dries out, I get more and more of a ring until it’s back to normal. My phone is old, with a rotary dial, and has been here since the early 70’s. I really like the sound of that ring; I guess I’m just sentimental.

If you have issues, questions, comments, complaints, compliments or anything else concerning road maintenance, please call 760-367-9880 to leave a message for our grader operator Tim. He really had his work cut out for him after the rainstorm, and did an excellent job on our road. Thanks, Tim!

Handy Hint: Better brushes are the key to good application of paint or polyurethane. For water-based products, a synthetic brush (such as nylon or polyester) is best. For oil-based products, use a natural-bristle brush. A good quality brush will hold more product, lay it on smoothly and is less likely to leave bristles in your finish. If you clean your brush immediately after use, it will last a long time.
Thought for Today: Items sold on eBay include a chunk of Mars for $450,000; one of Albert Einstein’s handwritten letters for $3,000,100; the original “Hollywood” sign for $450,400; and the town of Bridgeville, California for $1.25 million.

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

Pop-Up Poetry

Pop-up Poets
"Your Most Humorous Poem"
Sunday, January 22, 2017

Brunch at 11:30 a.m. for $5
The Palms, 83131 Amboy Road
Wonder Valley CA 92277

Poetry at 12:30 p.m.
All poets welcome to sign up
for a 3 minute spot.

Wonder Valley Sand Paper

Just this once, posted online, because I couldn't get my printer to work.

Enjoy the BONUS 2nd page of really bad jokes pertaining to the desert.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Cinnamon Pete An Accomplished Burro.

Cinnamon Pete An Accomplished Burro.
A Pet of the Miners in the Virginia Dale District - He is a Cunning Thief and a Foe of Dogs.

“Cinnamon Pete” is a brown-black shaggy-haired burro, possessing all the natural traits common to burros in general, as also some traits which he has picked up on his own account, and which clearly distinguish him from the burros in common. He was born and brought up out on the desert in Virginia Dale mining district, San Bernardino county. He is fat and round and brown like a cinnamon bear, hence his name. Pete is a cunning thief. He is too lazy to forage in the brush and makes a show of getting his living from the refuse of kitchens. But in reality he filches many a rich meal, much to the annoyance of people. He goes through their tents, crawls in and out of corrals after dark, breaks open boxes and eats sugar, bacon, dried fruits and coffee. He watches out for teams coming in and steals hay and grain, always looking out to do it when the teamster is out of sight.

One day he rushed up to a wagon and grabbed a half a sack of barley in his teeth and started off. Someone saw Pete take the barley and yelled: “Hi, there! Pete has got your barley!”

The teamster started after Pete. The burro ran, with the sack in his mouth, but saw that the teamster was gaining on him, so he put the sack on the ground, got on it with his feet and tore the sack open with his teeth, then gave it a shake a scattered barley all over the ground. The teamster could not gather it up, so went off cursing Pete. When the teamster went off, Pete gather up enough barley to make a good meal and went back to the sunny side of a powder-house, looking as if nothing had happened.

Another day Pete heard the distressful mewing of a kitten and went to investigate. He found that the kitten had in some way got into a tub of water at Baird’s well, and that a dog was preventing pussy from getting out. Pete tenderly lifted the kitten out with his teeth and placed it in a sunny place to dry. He then took the dog roughly by the nape of the neck, soused him in the tub and held his head under water until he was drowned.

Pete can whip the ugliest dog that ever strikes the camp. If a new dog comes into camp, Pete goes for him, grabs him with his teeth, and almost shakes the life out of him. All dogs coming into camp learn to respect Pete. Old miners love to sit around and relate the smart tricks of this uncommon burro. They really have a great deal of affection for him, and will not let any one abuse him. Yet they say that Pete is the plague of their lives.
-- Los Angeles Mining Review
From The San Francisco Chronicle, 21 Aug 1899

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Desert Trail Column, December 22, 2016

The Salvation Army Food Distribution will take place on Wednesday, December 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road at Blower Road. They are only able to transport 50 boxes, so be sure to get there before they are all gone.

We send out Rainbows-of-Narcissus-and-Turquoise to Teresa Sitz, Laurel Seidl, and Glenda Berndt who celebrate their special days this week. Happy, happy birthday to all of you!

We also send out best wishes to Mary and Les Lindsley who celebrate 35 years together this week. Happy anniversary to you!

Darlene’s Commentary: How about that wind last Friday?? I think that had to be one of the strongest windstorms in the last 30 years. I had an appointment in Yucca Valley, and had expected wind and dust, but boy, howdy! When I was halfway home, the sandstorm had lowered the visibility to less than a mile. Then it started to clear a little here and there, and I thought it was almost over. But Instead of seeing the familiar mountains where we live, we could only see a huge dust cloud so dense and brown that it looked like a giant mud pie hovering over our valley. Finally reaching Amboy Road, we slowed to a crawl due to not being able to see five feet in front of us. Whew! Dorothy and Toto were right – there is no place like home!

Karen’s Commentary: If you have old hearing aids, eyeglasses or mobility equipment that you’d like to donate, here is some information for you. For hearing aids, contact the Starkey Hearing Foundation at or (800) 328-8602, the Lions Club Hearing Aid Recycling Program at, or Hearing Charities of America at
or (816) 333-8300. For eyeglasses, look for Lions Club donation boxes at City Hall, the post office and other places of business, or contact New Eyes at For wheelchairs, walkers, canes and shower chairs, contact the ALS Association at, the Muscular Dystrophy Association at, or Wheelchairs of the World at Usually these donations are tax deductible.

Reach Out Morongo Basin will give you a ride to and from the 29 Palms Nutrition Site on Tuesdays. Pick up is at The Palms at 10 a.m., drop off is at 2 p.m. If you have a transportation problem and cannot get to The Palms, ROMB will pick you up and drop you off at your home. Please call (760) 361-1410 for further information.

Handy Hint: WD-40 cleans piano keys.

Thought for Today: Love is blind, but marriage opens your eyes.

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

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Another magazine spread on the area

See that little innocuous headline, "Move to the Desert"? Well, it's a 5-page spread spearheaded by some of the desert's most avid self-promoters, life-stylers, and be-the-brand enthusiasts. I'm going to go pick up a copy later and will regale you with the hyperbole.

If you're reading this from your desert home, you're part of the "first wave" of pioneers (don't tell the Native Americans, or the WWI or WWII vets), and not part of the "second wave" of hipster pioneers lining up to rehab cabins.

Sand Storm

Yesterday's sand storm was captured by Jeff Perry as he drove out to his cabin.

Visibility was worst north of Amboy, and at times in Twentynine Palms, but not too bad along the east portion of Highway 62.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Holiday Potluck 2016

About 60 people attended the Holiday Potluck at the Wonder Valley Community Center last Saturday, which ran from noon to 3 p.m.

Bob Rowell and
Kevin Bone
Volunteers Kevin Bone, Monica Shaw, Lisa Manifold, Steve Reyes and his wife, and Bill and Bob, helped Community MAC Delegate Teresa Sitz host the event. Ricardo Figueroa, the WVCC coordinator helped, too, setting up tables and cleaning up. DaShon made sure everyone had a name tag.

The staff from Pacific Clinics came and joined in the festivities.

Many thanks to everyone who came, and made such lovely dishes to share.

Jan and Columnist Karen
Diane, Mary and Diane help Kevin set up the dessert table which Jerry samples.

Al, Jill, and Santa (Ken) at the big kids table

Little Jackson grooves as Bill and Bob play for the crowd. Bill and Bob often play at the 29 Palms Inn. It was much easier hearing them at the WVCC and their music was the perfect backdrop for a community gathering.

There had not been a community potluck in the two years I've served as the MAC Delegate. I was unsure how many people would come and was very pleased to see so many people attending. Others, who couldn't make it, dropped off contributions, which were gratefully received.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Desert Trails Column, December 1, 2016

The time of Lorelei Greene’s yoga classes has been changed to 8 to 9:15 a.m. on Thursdays.

Since the birthstone for December is the turquoise and the flower is the narcissus, we send out Rainbows-of-Narcissus-and-Turquoise to Cambria Fairweather who celebrates her special day this week. Happy birthday, Cambria!

Karen’s Commentary: Awhile back we gave you a handy hint regarding using vinegar with lavender oil in your washer to soften clothes and give them a nice scent. Since then, our cousin Annie, who submitted the hint, has quit using this for two reasons. First, we put in a subsequent column that cats can get very sick from coming in contact with lavender oil, and she has a cat in the house. Then she read that vinegar can deteriorate the hoses to your washer. The article said that repairmen can tell immediately if someone is using vinegar in their washer.

Darlene’s Commentary: Want to hear about a dumb thing I did? Well, a week ago I awoke to the pitter-patter of rain on the roof, opened the door and noticed two bags of chicken feed sitting on the sidewalk getting rained on. Knowing that I couldn’t lift either sack, I came up with a brilliant idea:  tug one sack at a time while walking backwards (barefooted), dragging them into the house. I remember thinking, “Gee, that was easy, and it didn’t hurt my back!” Well, about an hour or so later, I noticed a tingling and weird sensation on the top of my right foot, and it looked kind of swollen and red. I spent the next day trying to avoid going to the ER, but finally gave in when my foot swelled up to a huge size and I couldn’t walk on it. After x-rays, I was happy to know that it wasn’t broken, but did find out it was badly sprained. So my brilliant idea resulted in a full week of not being able to put any weight on that foot!

The Food for Life Ministry provides delicious free hot meals every Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. at will deliver the meals to your home at no charge. Call (760) 361-1410.

Handy Hint: For almost effortless oven cleaning, fill a bowl with ammonia and leave it in an UNHEATED oven overnight. By the next day, the ammonia’s fumes will have loosened the gunk so you can wipe it off with a wet sponge or paper towel.

Thought for Today: “Welcome to the Palm Springs retirement home for genteel musicians.” – Mick Jagger, on stage at the Desert Trip music festival, fondly nicknamed “Oldchella.”

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

Winter HEAP Workshop

Propane and Firewood only! First come, first served.
Monday, December 12, from 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Wonder Valley Community Center
80526½ Amboy Road, Wonder Valley

Do you need financial assistance to pay for your heating fuel?
Come to the FREE
Home Energy Assistance Program Energy (HEAP)
Education Outreach/Workshop

You may receive this allowance ONCE a year, so if you received it in the summer you may not also receive it in the winter.

Please bring the following required documentation.
  1. An ID and Social Security card for the applicant.
  2. A social security number for all household members.
  3. Current income for the last 30 days from the day of the application for all adult residents (since October 13, 2015).
  4. Current award letter for the following benefits if you receive any of them.
    a. Social Security award letter for 2015 benefits or a bank statement showing the benefit deposit.
    b. A current Notice of Action if you receive cash aid or food stamps.
    (If you don’t have a current Notice of Action you must go down to the county office and ask for a form called Passport to Services showing the benefit amounts.)
  5. Rental agreement or mortgage statement, or property tax
  6. Copy of Propane Invoice for the last time it was filled, or if you have an open account with a specific vendor you can request a quote letter.
NOTE: You are not required to provide proof that you can use firewood, or have purchased firewood in the past, to qualify for assistance with FIREWOOD.