Sunday, December 30, 2018

Friends of Wonder Valley

Dear Wonder Valley Neighbors,

Last July I founded a tax-deductible 501(c)(3) charity called the Friends of Wonder Valley. Its mission is to enhance the lives of those who live in Wonder Valley. 

I’ve been a volunteer in Wonder Valley for nearly 4 years, serving as your MAC delegate. I also started the NextDoor Wonder Valley website, and this site:, and write and publish the Wonder Valley Sand Paper along with my husband and board chairman Ken Sitz. A group of us have been putting on events over the past year and need funds to continue doing this. We also sponsored the Thanksgiving turkey give away and hope to sponsor more food programs in the future.

We just finished an online fundraiser. To date, 68 people helped us raise about half of what we need to fund our programs next year. If you have a tradition of year-end giving, might you consider adding the Friends of Wonder Valley to the groups you support?

We could really use your help. I’m sure you’re aware of how much need there is in Wonder Valley. We’re planning to put together another monthly food distribution, and were able to partner last month with Community Action Partnership to deliver 60 Thanksgiving turkeys to needy Wonder Valley families. And, when we reach our one year anniversary on July 5, 2019, we’ll be able to apply for a Bingo license.

Might you consider giving what you can to show support for the work we do? Even $5 or $10, so you can be counted among our supporters? Or, $5 a month, recurring on PayPal? Every little bit helps.

If you’d like to give online, please go to and click on the [DONATE]  button. If you’d like to send a check, please make it out to Friends of Wonder Valley, and mail it to PO Box 1704, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277. Friends of Wonder Valley is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. We are listed on GuideStar at: All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Giving is confidential.  We will never say who gave or who did not, or how much they gave, if they did, without their permission.

Thank you for your support,

Teresa Sitz
Board Secretary
Friends of Wonder Valley

PS If you want to give, but not to us, please consider giving to the two organizations linked below. The both directly benefit many folks in Wonder Valley.
Reach Out Morongo Basin
Twentynine Palms Food for Life

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Sign up for HEAP

CAPSBC Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Energy Education Workshop & Utility Bill Assistance
From 9:30am - 3:30 pm,
Monday, January 7, 2019

At :
United Methodist Community Church
6213 E. Parkway Road, Joshua Tree, CA

By appointment only - call: 909-723-1500

Dawn Rowe appointed as new Supervisor

On December 18, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors appointed Yucca Valley resident Dawn Rowe to be the new Third District Supervisor. She follows former Supervisor James Ramos who won a California Assembly seat in the November 2018 election. Rowe will leave her current position as a field representative for Congressman Paul Cook.

The selection process was delayed due to accusations of a Brown Act violation. The process of narrowing the 43 candidates was occulted from the public and took place through serial meetings, a violation of California State law.

Rowe has hired Mark Lundquist as a field aide. Lundquist was a former field aid to James Ramos and the Chair of the Ramos's Municipal Advisory Committee, or MAC. It is not known if Rowe will consitute a new MAC, but it is hoped by many that she will.

Third District voters will be able to elect a Supervisor in two years.

Constituent services are available at (909) 387-4855 or by email at

Yucca Valley's Dawn Rowe named San Bernardino County supervisor

Friday, December 28, 2018

California Property Tax Postponement Program

Do you or a loved one need help keeping up with residential property tax payments?
The Property Tax Postponement Program allows eligible homeowners to postpone payment of property taxes on a primary residence.

To be eligible for PTP, you must:
  • Be at least age 62, or blind, or have a disability;
  • Own and occupy the home as your primary place of residence;
  • Have a total household income of $35,500 or less;
  • Have at least 40 percent equity in the property; and
  • Other requirements.
The interest rate for taxes postponed under PTP is 7 percent per year. A lien will be placed on the property until the account is paid in full. Funding for the program is limited. Applications will be accepted from October 1 to February 10 each year, and will be processed in the order received. Only current-year property taxes are eligible for postponement.

Repayment under the PTP Program becomes due when the homeowner:
  • Moves or sells the property;
  • Transfers title;
  • Defaults on a senior lien;
  • Refinances;
  • Dies; or
  • Obtains a reverse mortgage.
More details are available on the State Controller’s website.

Download and print: 19%20PTP%20Application%20and%20Instructions.pdf

The filing period for the 2018-19 tax year is October 1, 2018 to February 10, 2019. Please call (800) 952-5661 or email if you prefer to have an application mailed to you.

Questions? Contact the Controller’s team at
(800) 952-5661 or

California State Controller Betty T. Yee

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Desert Trail Column - December 27, 2018

New Year’s Eve at the Palms will be held of course on New Year’s Eve from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Palms is located at 83131 Amboy Road at Thompson Road. Call 760-361-2810 for further information.
We send out Rainbows-of-Turquoise-and-Narcissus to Glenda Berndt who celebrates her special day this week. Happy birthday, Glenda!

Darlene’s Commentary:I’ve been reading an excellent book entitled “Emotional Intelligence” written by Daniel Goleman. This book and its contents are set out in clear understandable English. Today I was immersed in a chapter about stress and anxiety and learned that anxiety signals high levels of stress. Our immune system fights viruses and such, but the stress I’ve been feeling lately seems to be making me physically sick. Because I have some thyroid issues from long ago, my immune system is not up to par. Different doctors recommend different things, including herbs and medications, but none of them have proven to be too great. I was hoping I could find out more from a neurologist about how to improve my immune system, so I have made an appointment.

Karen’s Commentary: The little elves are gearing down tonight and so am I. As our mom used to say, “Ah’m tarred an’ wored out!” I love Christmas. Too bad it’s tarnished by shopping and wrapping! Of course I know there is an alternative – don’t buy gifts. Hey, that sounds like a great idea, although I’m not so sure how well it would go over with our kids, grandkids and great-grandkids! We have 13 stockings hanging over the fireplace this year – it’s getting pretty crowded up there. But I love looking at all those colorful stockings just waiting for Santa to arrive. By the time you read this, Christmas 2018 will be past. I hope you had a joyful day, and I hope we all have a great 2019.

Susan Doggett is a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator specializing in migratory birds. She is a graduate biologist and lives in Wonder Valley. To contact her, call 714-637-8355.
Handy Hint: Container shape is key when it comes to reheating food in the microwave. The corners of rectangular containers usually attract more energy than other areas, leaving the food in those spots overcooked. A round container, on the other hand, allows food to reheat more uniformly. And don’t add seasonings until you’re done. Microwave energy is drawn to salt, so a seasoned top will collect heat and leave the outer layer of your food dry. If you’d rather add salt first, stir it in thoroughly.
Today’s Thought: The University of Alaska spans four time zones.
Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Desert Trail Column - December 20, 2018

Please note that our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, will be closed for the holidays from December 20, 2018 to January 4, 2019. We’ll see you next year, Teresa!
We send out Rainbows-of-Turquoise-and-Narcissus to Teresa Sitz and Laurel Seidl who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday to both of you!
 Also, Mary and Les Lindsley celebrate 37 years of marriage this week. Happy anniversary, Les and Mary!
Karen’s Commentary: Besides our weekly Handy Hints, there are a couple things I’ve done around our house for years that really work. One is to put a “collar” on drippy bottles like cooking oil and dish soap. Fold a paper towel lengthwise a few times until it’s a long strip about an inch-wide, then wrap it around the bottle, securing it with 2 or 3 rubber bands. This catches all the drips! Another is to leave the “almost empty” roll-on deodorant bottle standing upside down between uses. That same bottle that was “running out” now lasts for several more WEEKS!
Darlene’s Commentary: I would like to share a recipe called Wacky Cake from our beloved mother Louise Borquez who always enjoyed something creative and different. Here it is! Dry ingredients: 1 ½ cups sifted flour, 1 cup sugar, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 3 tablespoons cocoa and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir all dry ingredients into an UNGREASED 8”- or 9”-square cake pan. Make three holes. In the first hole, put 1 tablespoon vinegar. In the second hole, put 6 tablespoons cooking oil. In the third hole, put 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour 1 cup cold water over it all and mix with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
If you have complaints, compliments or comments about our road maintenance, leave a message for our grader operator Tim Candelaria at 760-367-9880. Our compliments go out to Tim about the great job he does on our roads.

Handy Hint: For an easy way to know which cord plugged into a power strip goes to which device, use bread closure tabs. They’re perfect for labeling cords because they’re sturdy plastic, big enough to write on and easily clip around the plug end of a cord.
 Today’s Thought: The following events took place in 1962: Glen Bell opened his first Taco Bell Restaurant; The Beverly Hillbillies debuted; Johnny Carson took over as host of The Tonight Show; Yo-Yo Ma, at the age of 7, performed for the president; West Side Story won Best Motion Picture; and “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” by Tony Bennett won Record of the Year.
Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Wonder Valley in Vogue

Wonder Valley was included in an article titled 7 Hotels That Will Help You Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions in Vogue Magazine's Living and Travel section.

The cabin above belongs to artist Andrea Zittel. The copy reads,

"If you want to learn to live with less—and be more comfortable alone:
The Wonder Valley Experimental Living Cabins - Wonder Valley, California
Taking away creature comforts might be the ticket to starting fresh in the year ahead. Andrea Zittel, an artist based in Joshua Tree, has two 400 square foot homestead cabins that challenge visitors to 'reevaluate assumptions about needs, values, and social norms.' They’re intended for people who want to spend time in extreme privacy, and the minimum stay is one week. The space provides only the bare essentials: there’s no running water or electricity. The luxury is a chance to live totally with yourself—and experience a few gorgeous desert sunsets along the way."

Friday, December 14, 2018

Emergency Food at 29 Palms Pantry

If you need food, there is emergency food available to the people in Wonder Valley at:

Twentynine Palms Community Food Pantry
Apostolic Lighthouse
6450 Star Dune Avenue, 29 Palms, CA

HOURS for emergency food:
Monday - Friday, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m,
1st Saturday from 9 -11 a.m.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Desert Trail Column - December 13, 2018

Please note that the USDA Food Distribution will be held on TUESDAY, December 18 at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road. Sign ups will begin at 9:30 a.m., with distribution from 10 to noon. From now on, the USDA Food Distributions will be on Tuesdays instead of Mondays. Call WVCC Coordinator Teresa Sitz at 760-367-9880 for further information.

We send out Rainbows-of-Turquoise-and-Narcissus to Diana Akins, Elsilynn Foster (12), Wyona Hipple-Sandoe and Ken Sitz who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday to all of you!

Karen’s Commentary: Once again I want to thank Bob and Joey for manufacturer’s coupons. They have been sent to U.S. Air Force, Army and Marine bases in Germany, Italy, Japan and Guam. Our military families overseas use and appreciate these coupons. On a completely different subject, have you gone to the DMV lately? My last visit there was the best ever. It seems as though they’ve finally worked out the kinks. Of course, you MUST make an appointment in order to be kink-free. And don’t despair if you have no Internet access – phone calls work just fine, too.
Darlene’s Commentary: Here’s a dream for the book. I step outside and see a city in the distance with buildings that sparkle like a metropolis. I look in a different direction and my jaw drops because a massive airplane is flying toward me! It turns toward the city and there is no sound from the airplane or anything else. The plane banks and heads straight down. When the nose is centered over the tallest building, the wings and tail disappear and the fuselage instantly morphs into a gigantic dome that sparkles and gleams. Any dream analyzers out there?
If you would like to read more about Wonder Valley, go to Ken and Teresa Sitz do a great job keeping this website up-to-date and interesting.
Handy Hint: For just over $20 you can store open chip bags easily. Mount a magnetic strip (approximately $15) underneath a shelf in your food cabinet. Then use magnetic chip clips (approximately $7 for four) to close the bags and attach them to the magnetic strip.

Today’s Thought: In 1951, New York Yankee Mickey Mantle hits his first home run, Walt Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” premieres and is initially considered a flop, the first direct-dial long-distance telephone call is made, “I Love Lucy” premieres on CBS, “Too Young” by Nat King Cole wins Song of the Year, and best of all – Karen is still an only child! (Darlene would arrive the following year, and Donna two years later.)

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

Sunday, December 9, 2018

USDA Food Distribution

Please note the CHANGE OF DAY and DATE.

The USDA Food Distribution will take place TUESDAY, December 18, at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-½ Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277. The Community Center is next to the Fire Station. Sign up begins at 9:30 a.m. Food boxes will be given out between 10 a.m. and noon.

From now on the USDA Food DIstribution at the WVCC will be on the 3rd Tuesday of each month.

There will be no Salvation Army Food Distribution in December.

Low income Wonder Valley residents self-certify on site. No ID or other documentation is required. You may pick up a box for one neighbor, or they may pick up a box for you, IF you present a signed pick up form. One pick up per person. Pick up forms are available online at The forms are also available at the WVCC on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., and on the door of 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.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Desert Trail Column - December 6, 2018

Ted and Karen Meyers celebrate 58 years together this week. Happy anniversary, Karen and Ted!
Darlene’s Commentary:
Brrrr! Maybe Mother Nature heard me grumbling and complaining all summer. I’d better make a note to watch what I say about her! I should be thankful for our desert’s weather. Fall brought some beautiful warm days with gentle breezes, and cool, comfortable nights without the hum and rattle of the swamp coolers and air conditioners. Most nights you can look up into a sky that looks like black velvet sprinkled with diamonds of all sizes and shapes. We have amazing sunrises and sunsets that sometimes cover an entire section of sky with the brightest colors imaginable! And then we have the Sheephole Mountains that in winter can quickly change from beautiful purple to magenta to brilliant pink. We are so very lucky.
Karen’s Commentary:
I’ve purposely not mentioned the little Christmas elves, hoping they’d go away, or at least lower their personal volume controls! I already know that I’m way behind, that Christmas is less than three weeks away, that I have a ton of OTHER stuff to do besides getting ready for the holidays. So why do those cute little elves feel compelled to remind me daily? Or hourly?! I absolutely love Christmas, but it’s undoubtedly the most stressful of all the holidays for me. I thought when I got older, this love/hate relationship would end, especially since I don’t have young-uns living in the house anymore. But that apparently wasn’t the problem. I guess it’s just me. Anybody got some elf-sized pieces of duct tape?
If you would like to go to the Twentynine Palms Nutrition Site for lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Reach Out Morongo Basin will provide free rides. Pick up is at 10 a.m. and drop off is at 2 pm., both at The Palms, 83131 Amboy Road at Thompson Road. If you have a problem getting to The Palms, ROMB may pick you up and drop you off at your residence. Call 760-361-1410 for further information.
Handy Hint:
If you’re thinking of tossing a lamp that flickers when it’s on, first check for frayed wires. If there are none, then it’s probably only the bulb, which is a common cause of flickering. And remember, even a new bulb can be a dud. If the bulb isn’t at fault, try plugging it into another outlet. If that isn’t the cause either, it needs to be rewired or replaced.

Today’s Thought:
Adult rattlesnakes only eat about once every two weeks, and it’s not unusual for a rattlesnake to live 30 years.
Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

TSS - Sunrise with the Moon and Venus

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Gayle Covery Interim Staff for 3rd District

The San Bernardino County Third District Supervisor’s office is being staffed by Field Representative Gayle Covey until a new supervisor is appointed to succeed James Ramos, who began service as a member of the State Assembly on Monday.

Covey, with support from the County Administrative Office and the Office of Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert Lovingood, will be the Third District Office contact for constituents, county departments and agencies, and municipalities and other public entities in the Third District.

The Third District includes all or portions of the cities of San Bernardino, Grand Terrace, Colton, Loma Linda, Highland, Redlands, Yucaipa, Barstow, Big Bear Lake and Twentynine Palms, the Town of Yucca Valley, and surrounding unincorporated communities and areas, including Lucerne Valley and Johnson Valley.

The Third District office can be contacted by email at, by phone at 909-387-4855, or through its website at

Property taxes are due

San Bernardino County property taxes are due on December 10, 2018.

It's possible to pay onine at:

Senior Services in Twentynine Palms

Bob Dougherty, from SBC Adult and Aging Services, will meet seniors, 60 year of age and older, from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., on December 12, at the Twentynine Palms Senior Center, 6539 Adobe Road, in Twentynine Palms.

He will be answering questions and distributing bus pass es. HEAP still has funding for 2018 wood and propane if someone has not applied already this year. HEAP for 2019 funds will start probably in mid- to late-January 2019.

Call Bob for a HEAP appointment at (760) 228-5219

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Desert Trail Column - November 29, 2018

Last week, the Great Turkey Giveaway, sponsored by Friends of Wonder Valley and San Bernardino County Community Action Partnership provided many Wonder Valleyites with a turkey dinner that they may not have had otherwise. Thank you to all who were involved in making this happen.

 Being given away along with the turkeys were “X-Mas with the Kroms” CDs that we wrote about last week. Kroms Dominic and Naomi Bruxer have also produced a three-CD set comprised of their albums Desert Sands, Scorpion Dance and Black Widow. These are instrumental songs composed by Naomi, telling about desert insects, wildlife, terrain, environment and occurrences. The stories are told through music with Naomi playing different instruments and Dominic on percussion. One example of the music telling a story is when the tambourine represents the sounds of our local rattlesnakes! Call or text 760-413-8227.
The annual Get Loud Holiday Party will be held at The Palms, 83131 Amboy Road at Thompson Road, on Friday, November 29 and Saturday, December 1 starting at 6 p.m. both nights. Admittance is free and entertainment will be provided by more than a dozen bands from Austin, Denver, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Joshua Tree and Wonder Valley.

 On Saturday, December 1, Redlands Pilots Association members will fly their planes to Twentynine Palms Airport, 29 Palms Highway at Godwin Road, with donated Christmas gifts for Twentynine Palms area people in need. The gifts will be handed over to the Marine Corps Reserves as part of Toys for Tots. Santa himself will lead planes, pilots and crews to the airport to meet the Marines at approximately 10:45 a.m. Everyone is welcome to come and watch this once-a-year event. Last year, 24 airplanes landed at the airport, delivering $1100 and 2500 toys.

 The Glass Outhouse Art Gallery, 77575 29 Palms Highway at Thunder Road, will host a special artists reception on Saturday, December 1 from 1 to 5 p.m. for the 2018 High School Student Art Show. The featured artists will be from Twentynine Palms High School and Yucca Valley High School. Come enjoy the free refreshments along with music provided by Damien Tiner. Come and meet these talented and creative students whose works will be on display through December 9. Many of the students’ creations can be purchased at very reasonable prices. Call Laurel at 760-367-3807.

 We send out Rainbows-of-Topaz-and-Chrysanthemums to Carson Bevins (7) and Cambria Fairweather who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday to you both!

 The Wonder Valley Lending Program has lots of books and movies available for loan at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road.

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

Saturday, November 24, 2018

2018 Get Loud Holiday Party, 11/30-12/1

This year's annual Get Loud Holiday Party will be in Wonder Valley at The Palms Restaurant Nov 30 - Dec 1, 2018. Tons of bands, booze, laughs and gifts. Free entry all weekend.

Appearances by :
Roselit Bone (Portland, OR)
Danny Dodge and the Dodge Gang (LA, CA)
Felix Rose (Sacramento, CA)
Chelan (Joshua Tree, CA)
Ghost Ring (Portland, OR)
Grizzled Mighty (Seattle, WA)
Kinky Fingers (Denver, CO)
Firebug (Joshua Tree, CA)
The Needs (Wonder Valley, CA)
Chief White Lightning (LA, CA)
Merciful Heavens (Austin, TX)
Acid Tongue (Seattle, WA)
Sibleys (Wonder Valley, CA)
+ special jams sessions all weekend.

Friday November 30, 2018, 6:00 pm
Roselit Bone, Acid Tongue, Chief White Lightning, Felix Rose, Sibleys, The Needs + more

Saturday December 1, 2018, 6:00 PM
Grizzled Mighty, Danny Dodge & the Dodge Gang, Firebug, Kinky Fingers, Chelan, Merciful Heavens, Ghost Ring + more

The Palms Restaurant, 83131 Amboy Road in Wonder Valley, 92277

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Desert Trail Column - November 22, 2018

Dominic and Naomi Bruxer, also known as The Kroms, have recorded a CD of Christmas music entitled “X-mas with The Kroms.” Dominic did the original artwork on the CD, and Naomi did the digital artwork.There is nothing like Christmas music to get people in a holiday mood!
 The Salvation Army Food Distribution will take place on Wednesday, November 28 at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, at 11 a.m. The food is from Trader Joe’s and bags will be provided. For further information, contact our WVCC Coordinator Teresa Sitz at 760-367-9880.
We send out Rainbows-of-Topaz-and-Chrysanthemums to Sharon Fangmeyer who celebrates her special day this week. Happy birthday, Sharon!
Darlene’s Commentary:  Giving my space to Karen today!

Karen’s Commentary:  In 1998 we lost our 37-year-old son Danny. In the months following, I came up with one way of coping that I’ve passed along to many others who are having a hard time with their grief. I keep a diary or journal, and in the past 20 years I’ve “talked” to Danny almost every night and told him all about my day, my thoughts, fears, funny moments and even embarrassing ones! Some nights he gets a couple sentences, some nights he gets a whole page full! I “talk” to him just as if he were sitting across from me, and it’s very comforting. If you are dealing with grief, this might help you.
Food for Life Ministry prepares and serves free hot meals at the Church of the Nazarene every Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. The church is located at 72603 Juanita Drive. If you have difficulty getting into town, Reach Out Morongo Basin may deliver these delicious hot meals to your home free of charge. Call 760-361-1410 for more information.

Handy Hint:  A good rule of thumb is “Skip organic when you peel it.” Experts say you want organic fruits or veggies when you’re eating the whole thing, but skip it for bananas and other foods that you typically peel.

Today’s Thought:  Over 41 million Americans, including over 5 million who are senior citizens, do not know when or how they’ll get their next meal. Local food banks need three things:  money, your time and food. If you plan on donating food, here are the non-perishable items needed most:  Applesauce, boxed meals, canned beans, canned chicken, canned chili, canned fish (tuna, salmon), canned meat (Spam, ham), canned vegetables, cooking oils, crackers, dried herbs and spices, fruit (canned or dried), granola bars, instant mashed potatoes, nuts, pasta, peanut butter, rice, shelf-stable milk, soup, stew and whole-grain cereal.
Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Friday, November 16, 2018

New mural

If you're traveling west toward Twentynine Palms on Highway 62, just before you get to the airport gate, you may see this little white cinder block cabin with a cool new mural on it of two coyotes sitting on an old car. What a nice surprise this was to see!

Does anyone know anything about the artist?

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Desert Trail Column - November 15, 2018

The Great Fulgurite Hunt that took place last week at Wonder Valley Community Park was attended by around 40 people! Following a show-and-tell by Darlene Parris and Teresa Sitz, many fulgurites were found. Fulgurites are formed when desert sand, rocks and pebbles are fused at approximately 10,000 degrees during a lightning strike! The best times to find fulgurites are just after sunrise or just before sunset, with the sun at your back.
On Saturday, November 17, local author Catherine Connors will be reading from, and signing copies of, her book “The Feminine Revolution,” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road. Sponsored by Friends of Wonder Valley, there is a $2 suggested donation for this event, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Also on November 17, Harmonica Bob’s Art Show and Open House will take place at 3855 Meriwether Road, from 4 to 10 p.m. There will be paintings for sale, refreshments and a great hat exhibit. Don’t miss it!

The USDA Food Distribution will be held on Monday, November 19 at our community center sometime after 10:30 a.m. when the truck arrives.
Free turkeys will be distributed on Tuesday, November 20 at our community center by the Friends of Wonder Valley in conjunction with the San Bernardino County Community Action Partnership. Wonder Valley residents only are allowed to sign up starting at 9 a.m., and the turkeys will be distributed between 11 and noon. It will be first come, first served for the sign-up, and up to 60 turkeys will be given away.

For any of the WVCC events above, call our Coordinator Teresa Sitz at 760-367-9880 for further information.
Since the November birthstone is the topaz and the flower is the chrysanthemum, we send out Rainbows-of-Topaz-and-Chrysanthemums to Karen Meyers who will be 76 this week. Happy birthday, Karen!

Also, a big “Happy Anniversary” goes out to Sherry and Bill Hague this week!
Animal Action League will spay or neuter your pet at a low cost. They also do vaccinations, microchipping and nail trimming, all at reduced prices. They are located at 62762 Highway 62, just west of the dinosaurs in Joshua Tree. For further information, call them at 760-366-1100.
Handy Hint:  To remove blood stains, soak stain in cold salt water for two hours, then dab with a half-and-half solution of ammonia and water.

Today’s Thought:  When you plan to get even with someone, you are only allowing the person who has hurt you to hurt you longer. (But then again, per Karen, revenge is sweet!)
Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Godwin Christian Fellowship Thanksgiving Dinner

Godwin Christian Fellowship at 6389 Godwin Road in Wonder Valley will host a free hot Thanksgiving Dinner Luncheon open to the public on Sunday, November 18, 2018 right after the 10:30 am service. Everyone is welcome!

Please contact Olympia Rossi with any questions at (831) 227-1948.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Turkeys for Wonder Valley

Friends of Wonder Valley, a new tax-exempt 501(c)(3) with a mission of enhancing the lives of those living in Wonder Valley, is SUPER EXCITED to announce that we’re partnering with SBC Community Action Partnership to give away up to 60 Thanksgiving turkeys to Wonder Valley residents on Tuesday, November 20, 2018. Sign up starts at 9 a.m., at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526½ Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277.

The turkeys will be distributed at the WVCC sometime between 11 a.m. and noon. There will be UP TO 60 turkeys. Turkeys average 12-14 pounds. You are not guaranteed a turkey. This event is first come, first served.

You must be a Wonder Valley resident to receive a turkey. No more than one turkey per parcel. You must be present to pick up your turkey. The Wonder Valley Community Center will be open at 9 a.m.

If you have any questions, please call Teresa Sitz at 760-367-9880.

Friday, November 9, 2018

StickyFest at the Palms, Saturday 11/10

StickyFest 2018, Saturday November 10th, 2018, 12 Punk/Metal/Alt bands at the outdoor stage at The Palms, 83131 Amboy Rd, Twentynine Palms, California 92277. Show 1 pm to 12 midnight+

All-ages, and free camping. Military and Under 16 free with ID.

Live performances, starting 1 pm till midnight:
The Wastedeads, Instigator, The DirtBays, Ormus, Satanic Johnny, UU, Karr, Drop Mob, Mega Sun, Throw the Goat, Sticky Doll, and Sleazy Cortez.

Local artists, vending, and fundraising for Morongo Basin Humane Society.

There is a 50% discount admission for attendees donating something from the MBHS list (see poster).

STICKYFEST Facebook Event | Online Ticket Sales

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Desert Trail Column - November 8, 2018

There will be a Meet & Greet to introduce Pastor Lonnie Casper and his wife Jo on Saturday, November 10 at the Wonder Valley Community Church, 82575 Amboy Road at Kuhns Road, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free hotdogs will be served. Come to welcome Wonder Valley’s new pastor! Call 760-401-6128 or 760-391-0480 for further information.
Darlene’s Commentary:  This is a two-parter. 
First, I’d like to commend fellow-columnist Bobbie Flint for her excellent column in the Hi-Desert Weekend Star on Saturday, October 20. Thanks go to Bobbie and the many people who drove clear to San Bernardino to protest the fire tax, only to find standing room only, IF they were even among the people admitted. For most of the people from our area, this would be a 200-mile round trip. Shame on the County for not providing a larger location! 
Second, I want to say that this year’s Weed Show was exceptional, with many beautiful entries, lots of imagination and creativity. I especially liked to see categories with people of years past that have helped shape our desert area being honored for their accomplishments and history. What a great idea! Hats off to our wonderful Historical Society and their volunteers, visitors and donors who support our Weed Show each year.
Karen’s Commentary:  This is a five-parter!
First, I made a mistake. I know this is hard for anyone to believe since I’ve made so few mistakes in my lifetime – Ha! I thanked Jean Blackburn for stamps when I should’ve thanked Olympia Rossi – so thanks, Olympia!
Second, I’m now correctly thanking Jean for a huge amount of greeting cards she sent over. 

Third, a great big thank you to Jennie from Blessed Sacrament Church for lots of neatly cut and packaged stamps. Used stamps help to provide funding for Boys Town.
Fourth, thanks to Bob and Joey for loads of coupons that went to U.S. Marine, Air Force and Navy bases in Japan, Guam, Korea, Spain and Sicily. 

Fifth, hubby Ted did it again! He won six more ribbons at the Weed Show! But he wasn’t the only Wonder Valleyite winner – Marina McClay, Kate Brandt and Becky Slane all came away with ribbons! Congratulations to everyone!
The non-profit 29 Soaring Club meets at the Twentynine Palms Airport, Highway 62 at Godwin Road, every Sunday from 11 a.m. to sunset, weather permitting. The club owns two gliders and a tow plane and provides glider rides for $20 to $50 each, depending upon altitude desired. They also have gift certificates with no expiration dates available for cash only. Call Mike at 760-464-2835 for information.

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

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Locals put the "Won" in Wonder Valley!

     Wonder Valley locals Becky Slane (pictured) and Kate Brandt entered six entries in this weekend's Twentynine Palms Annual Weed Show.
     The first-time entrants walked away with FIVE ribbons including BEST OF SHOW!
     Kate Brandt won 1st place in the transportation engineer category, and 3rd place in the homesteader and miner category. Becky Slane also placed 3rd in the athletics category.
     Becky and Kate learned from the best. Ted Meyers, a Wonder Valley local who has won 33 ribbons over the years, gave a presentation on how to create winning entries earlier in the year. Someone took some awfully good notes!
     Congratulations Becky and Kate!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Finding Fulgurites

After going on the last fulgurite hunt, last April, I saw them everywhere and started a good-sized collection.

So we're doing it again!

Darlene Parris, one of the sisters who writes the Wonder Valley column in the Desert Trail, will show us fulgurites that she has collected and tell us all about them.

Meet at the Gazebo in the Wonder Valley Park, at the corner of Amboy and Blower Roads, next to the Old Fire Station, at 11 a.m., on Wednesday, November 7, 2018. There is a $2 suggested donation.

A fulgurite is formed when lightning hits wet sand. The sand melts and turns into a melded conglomeration of tiny rocks and sand. The average temperature at creation is 10,000 degrees. 

Then Darlene will take us walking in the nearby desert behind the park and show us how to FIND fulgurites. We won't be walking far -- maybe 20 feet, or so. Everyone will go home with at least one fulgurite.

You can't miss the 80' tall cell tower palm tree.
Bring a hat and water, a collection bag, a small digging implement (like a garden trowel), and anything else you need to be comfortable (folding chair, gloves, sunscreen, snack).

This event is produced and sponsored by Friends of Wonder Valley. A $2 suggested donation helps us continue creating these kinds of events, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Desert Trail Column - November 1, 2018

The presentation by Wildlife Rehabilitator Susan Doggett was interesting, educational and fun. The presentation was well-attended, with much interest in seeing three live owls and a live hawk up close and personal! Thank you, Susan.
The Farewell Potluck Luncheon for Pastor Garry Brooks and wife Diane was well-attended by people savoring delicious food. Garry and Diane will really be missed in our community, but we wish them lots of happiness in their new home in Arizona.

The new Wonder Valley Community Church Pastor Lonnie Casper and wife Jo attended the Brooks’ Farewell Luncheon. Pastor Casper will officially take over church duties on November 1. The church is located at 73131 Amboy Road at Kuhns Road.

If you missed seeing the play “Final Ed.It” by local celebrity bartender Kevin Bone, it will be performed on Thursday, November 1 at The palms, 82575 Amboy Road, at 6 p.m. Donations will be accepted. For further information, call 760-361-2810.
The Glass Outhouse Art Gallery, 77575 Twentynine Palms Highway at Thunder Road, proudly presents the 2018 Copper Mountain College Student Art Show on Saturday, November 3 from 1 to 5 p.m. Come and meet the students, see their unique works of art, enjoy free refreshments and listen to the music of Hunter and the Wick’d. This show runs through November 25. Call Laurel at 760-367-3807.
Enjoy the music of Kaz Murphy and Lauren Weedman on Saturday, November 3 at The Palms, beginning at 7 p.m.
The Dale Basin Well Owners meeting will be held on Sunday, November 4 at Godwin Christian Fellowship Church, 6389 Godwin Road near Highway 62, at 4 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend. Contact Max Rossi at or 831-234-6848 for further information.

If you missed the last Great Fulgurite Hunt, or if you just want to do it again, be at the Wonder Valley Community Park, corner of Amboy Road and Blower Road at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 7. Our local “Fulgurite Expert” Darlene Parris will have a show-and-tell session, then lead everyone out into the desert for a distance of about 20 feet where you will FIND some! You will never walk in the desert again without finding fulgurites. This eventis sponsored by the non-profit Friends of Wonder Valley( There is a suggested donation of $2, but no onewill be turned away for lack of funds.
Godwin Christian Fellowship holds Morning Worship servicesevery Sunday at 10:30 a.m. They also have Bible Study from 9 to 10:20 a.m., and Children’s Church (for eight years and younger) from 11:30 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. every Sunday. Contact Pastor Max Rossi.

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

Monday, October 29, 2018

Wonder Valley German Bike Tours

Created by Wonder Valley's own Tom Murtagh.

JORGBIKETOUR_29PALMS_2.8.2 from Tom Murtagh on Vimeo.

Dale Basin Well Owners

Karen Meyers writes, "The Dale Basin Well Owners meeting will be held on Sunday, November 4 at Godwin Christian Fellowship Church, 6389 Godwin Road near Highway 62, at 4 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend. Contact Max Rossi at or 831-234-6848 for further information."

Friday, October 26, 2018

Desert Quackers

Get ready for this one! Kaz Murphy will serenade you with his guitar and voice, followed by  Lauren Weedman , who will be getting back from a tour of her highly acclaimed solo show to give us a taste here at the Palms. Don't miss this.

7 - 10 p.m., Saturday, November 3, 2018
The Palms, 83131 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277

Final at The Palms

From Kevin Bone:

By popular demand, we're bringing back the crazy little ol' play called "Final Ed.It" to its home, The PALMS! As a bonus, "Bill and Bob" will be tossing some tunes at us to start the night off right. Show starts at 6 p.m., for you early birds. If you missed it last time, or if you saw it and want to come back for seconds, this is your chance!!!

No cover, but there will be a big, empty jar that will accept any donation, even if it's a Post-it with the words "Break a leg".

6 - 7:30 p.m., November 1, 2018
The Palms, 83131 Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA

The Ski Club | Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the High Desert

From the copy at High Desert Test Sites:

High Desert Test Sites is pleased to present an event by The Ski Club, a contemporary art space in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This event—curated by Mark Klassen, director of The Ski Club, and Jesse McLean of Microlights Cinema—will present works by nineteen Midwest-based artists between three different sites in Wonder Valley, California. The exhibition will be on view October 27–28 with a poetry reading and film screening slated for October 27 at the Palms Restaurant.

Artists include: Matt Cook, Laura Davis, Richard Galling, Alex Herzog, Thaddeus Kellstadt, Mark Klassen, Chris Larson, John Riepenhoff, Edra Soto, Oli Watt and Allison Yasukawa. Jesse McLean of Microlights Cinema will screen works by: Zachary Epcar, Sky Hopinka, Nazli Dinçel, Alee Peoples + Mike Stoltz, Beny Wagner and Michael Robinson.

Sited artworks:
Saturday, October 27th, 11:00 am–5:00 pm
Ironage Rd. and HubbyCo Far East

Sunday, October 28th, 11:00 am–2:00 pm
Ironage Rd. and HubbyCo Far East

Saturday, October 27th, 8:00 pm
The Palms Restaurant

Driving Maps, directions, event information, and ephemera will be available Saturday, October 27 at the HDTS HQ at Sky Village Market Place, 7028 Theater Road, Yucca Valley, CA 92284, from 9:00 am–1:00pm.

Curator’s Statement:
In 2014 The Ski Club opened with an exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist and cofounding organizer of High Desert Test Sites, Lisa Anne Auerbach, who that same year, showed her work American Megazine, at the Whitney Biennial.

In those days, The Ski Club was heated by a small space heater built into the wall that was woefully inadequate for the harsh Milwaukee winters. When temperatures dropped below freezing—which is prone to happen five months of the year—the two, eight-foot, single-pane windows at the entrance become a canvas for crystal nucleation as the subzero temperatures outside collided with the accumulated humidity inside produced by breathy musings of viewers and artists. The window frost would grow to a thick sheet of ice, making it impossible to see any detail of the Riverwest neighborhood outside. But it’s no bother to Milwaukeeans. They don’t mind watching their breath and wearing gloves to drink an ice-cold beer—just think ice fishing.

It takes some humility to live in a place like Milwaukee. Not only can the weather be cold, dark, and bleak but our geographic location often deems us a “flyover state”. It’s as if we have a crystalized nucleation dome over us. But Midwesterners don’t much care—it’s this insulation that creates a uniquely rich space to work.

High Desert Test Sites (HDTS) is a nonprofit organization based in Joshua Tree, California that supports immersive experiences and exchanges between artists, critical thinkers, and general audiences. HDTS is dedicated to challenging preconceptions of art and "learning from what we are not."In this instance, The Ski Club represents “what we are not.” Joshua Tree bears little resemblance to Milwaukee—culturally, climatologically, and visually—however, The Ski Club and HDTS are similar in that they both work within the context of extremes.

Joshua Tree’s blistering heat, and dry, dusty environment can be fatal if ignored, just as the cold, lake-effect wind chill of Milwaukee cannot be ignored. These extreme environments are what connect us. HDTS looks to “insert art directly into a life, a landscape, or a community where it will sink or swim based on a set of criteria beyond that of art world institutions and galleries.” This resonates with the audience, to see artworks that are sited within an actual place, environment, and landscape—this is not an incubator.

This exhibition, curated by The Ski Club director, Mark Klassen, brings together a group of artists for a High Desert Test Sites event on the far western edge of Wonder Valley, California. This diverse group of Midwest-based artists make work ranging from painting to sculpture, poetry and filmmaking. They are connected through their relationship to The Ski Club programming and they will all be exhibiting work in an environment that is completely foreign to them, except for its familiarity as extreme and fringe.

[editor's note: "eastern," not "western" edge of Wonder Valley]

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Local Authors Event : The Feminine Revolution

Come meet local author, and Wonder Valley resident, Catherine Connors, who will be reading from her book 'The Feminine Revolution: 21 Ways to Ignite the Power of Your Femininity for a Brighter Life and a Better World.’ She will also be signing books.

‘The Feminine Revolution’ leads to an understanding of the stereotypes behind ideas of femininity, how rethinking those stereotypes can have practical benefits - for women and for men, and new ways of thinking about how we characterize women's - and men's - behaviors.

The reading will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, November 17, 2018, at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-½ Amboy Road, in Wonder Valley.

A suggested donation of $2.00 insures we’re able to continue programming events like this. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Catherine Connors is the co-founder and CCO of Maverick, a social network for girls and young women. She's the former Editor in Chief of Babble and head of content for Disney Interactive's Women and Family portfolio. She has been featured in media like The New York Times, CNN, NPR, and Good Morning America. She lives in Los Angeles (and Wonder Valley!)

"Nothing could be a more critical conversation than the one women are engaged in now, trying to connect our femininity with our power in a way that delivers us to our highest selves. Kudos to Amy Stanton and Catherine Connors for exploring issues--often hidden, sometimes painful--that pave the way to genuine deliverance from the forces that hold us back."
--Marianne Williamson

This event is sponsored by Friends of Wonder Valley. Please visit us at

New pastor at WV Community Church

Lonnie Casper and his wife Jo will hold a meet-and-greet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at the Wonder Valley Community CHURCH, 82575 Amboy Road at Kuhn's Road. You'll see it. There's a bell tower that kind of looks like a smiley face.

I ran into Diane Brooks, whose husband Garrett Brooks, is the current pastor, at Staters the other day and she said the Lonnie and Jo have become like family. The Caspers also stopped into our last WV Community Meeting and introduced themselves. Please, if you can make the time, stop by and meet our new neighbors.

Desert Trail Column - October 25, 2018

Wonder Valley’s own certified Wildlife Rehabilitator Susan Doggett will give a presentation on birds of prey on Saturday, October 27 at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road near Blower Road, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Susan will be bringing three live owls with her for the presentation. Everyone is welcome to attend and see these beautiful birds up close. For further information, contact WVCC Coordinator Teresa Sitz at or 760-367-9880.
A Farewell Potluck for Wonder Valley Community Church’s Pastor Garry Brooks and wife Diane will take place on Sunday, October 28 at the church, 82575 Amboy Road at Kuhns Road, at 1 p.m. Everyone is welcome and is asked to bring a dish of your choice. Pastor Brooks and Diane have done so much for our community and will be sorely missed. Call 760-600-0687 for more information.
And mark your calendar for a Meet ‘n’ Greet for new Pastor Lonnie Casper and his wife Jo coming up on Saturday, November 10 at the Wonder Valley Community Church.
No birthdays this time, but we do have an anniversary. Sharon and Orville Fangmeyer will celebrate 56 years together this week. Happy anniversary, Orville and Sharon!

On a sad note, we have lost a 27-year Wonder Valley resident. Steve Badders passed away in his sleep on October 1. Our sincere condolences go out to wife Cathy, daughter Breann and son Kyle. Steve will be missed in our community. 
 We want to thank Tim Candelaria for jumping on our impassable roads so fast after the recent storm. You did a fantastic job, Tim, and we all really do appreciate it. If you have any issues, comments, questions, compliments or complaints about our roads, please leave a message for Tim at 760-367-9880.
Handy Hint: If you’d like to hide some rolled-up cash for emergencies, pop the end cap off a marker and remove the ink cartridge – or take apart the spring bar that holds your toilet paper roll – and stash the cash inside.
Today’s Thought: The year 1973 was an interesting year. The Miami Dolphins had the NFL’s first perfect season, CBS sold the Yankees to George Steinbrenner’s syndicate for $10 million, the final episode of “Bonanza” was broadcast, Emilie Howell Warner became the first female commercial airline pilot, the first handheld cellphone call was made, Federal Express began operations, the U.S. launched its first space station, the first CAT scan took place in the U.S., the Concorde flew from Washington DC to Paris in three hours and 32 minutes, “The Godfather” won Best Motion Picture and “The Waltons” won Outstanding Drama Series.
 Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Guess WHO's coming to the WVCC!

Susan A. Doggett, a Wonder Valley resident specializing in birds of prey and migratory bird rehabilitation, will present from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, October 27, at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-1/2 Amboy Road, in Wonder Valley.

She will present on local raptors (birds of prey), including owls. She will be bringing 3 LIVE OWLS for you to see!!!

Susan has 40 years experience in bird rehabilitation, and is the official wildlife care center for the Marine Base.

Suggested DONATION: $3 adult, $1 child, no one turned away for lack of funds (and no attitude at all if you can't pay).