Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Desert Trail Column - May 27, 2020

The guidelines are not set in stone yet about when churches will be allowed to reopen, but both of our local churches are tentatively planning to reopen this coming Sunday, May 31. Wonder Valley Community Church, 82575 Amboy Road at Thompson Road, will begin regular services at 9 a.m. At  Godwin Christian Fellowship, 6389 Godwin Road at Highway 62, services will begin at 10:30 a.m. For further information on Godwin Christian Fellowship, contact Pastor Max Rossi at or 831-234-6848. For further information on Wonder Valley Community Church, contact Pastor Lonnie Casper at 760-401-6128 or 760-391-0480. If churches are not allowed to open on May 31, Godwin Christian Fellowship will still be holding services in their drive-in church format at 10 a.m.
Karen’s Commentary:  Well, today’s subject is MASKS. I would never have dreamed a few months ago that this would even be something to think about, let alone write about! I started out with a large handkerchief, but I had trouble with it slipping down all the time, although it’s great for a back-up that’s easy to carry in the glove compartment or console of your vehicle. I reluctantly graduated to the plain old Styrofoam (or whatever they’re made of) dust masks. These were confiscated from husband Ted’s garage where they’d accumulated a pretty good layer of dust over the years! But they worked, although the elastic band kept getting caught in my hair. Next, Ted discovered some more masks in the garage, but with elastics that go over your ears – much better! In the meantime, I had ordered some pleated masks online, but they weren’t due to be delivered until some time in June. Well, lo and behold, they arrived early, so I now have a few choices, including my latest purchase of one made of a real pretty flowered knit material! (Thank you, Bill Jones.) So I’ve gone from plain white handkerchief to pretty – I think I’m set.

 Hopefully the 29 Soaring Club will be meeting again soon at the Twentynine Palms Airport on Sundays. Normally they are there from 11 a.m. to sunset. The Soaring Club is a non-profit organization that offers gift certificates from $20 to $50 cash, depending on the altitude desired. Call Mike at 760-464-2835 for further information.

 Handy Hint:  Dead or dying phone batteries can be replaced for about $50 online. This is a lot cheaper than shelling out the big bucks for a new phone.

Today’s Thought:  “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my little apple tree and pay my debts.”  -- Martin Luther

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

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Desert Trail Column - May 20, 2020

If you would like to attend church, but feel you can’t because of the coronavirus guidelines, Godwin Christian Fellowship, 6389 Godwin Road at Highway 62, has the answer! They are holding Drive-in Church services every Sunday beginning at 10 a.m. All people attending remain in their own vehicles throughout the service, which will last no longer than one hour. For further information, contact Pastor Max Rossi at or 831-234-6848 or Brother Wally Currie at 760-449-8683.

 Since the birthstone for May is the emerald and the flower is the lily-of-the-valley, we send out Rainbows-of-Emeralds-and-Lilies-of-the-Valley to Curtis Johnson and Barbara Finnegan who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday, Barbara and Curtis!

 Besides our local birthdays, some celebrities celebrating this week are actor Bronson Pinchot (61); former U.S. Senator, comedian, actor and writer Al Franken (69); former baseball player Tommy John (77); and actress Joan Collins (86).

 Karen’s Commentary:  My allergy symptoms this year are the worst I can ever remember. But I think I say that same thing every year. I normally take one over-the-counter oral medication pretty much year-around, and a second nasal-spray medication whenever the first one doesn’t do the job. And when things get REALLY bad, with no relief from either medication, I take a trip to my doctor’s office for an injection that finally does the trick. But this year, it’s a bit different because injections can’t be given over the phone! So I called the office and spoke to a very knowledgeable P.A. who works in the same office as my P.A. and she prescribed some eye drops. I had very little faith that they would work, but lo and behold, they really are helping! To sum things up, I may be griping, but I am very, very grateful that I do not live in the last century when these and other medications weren’t even available. I can’t even imagine just having to suffer through all kinds of medical problems with no chance of any relief at all. Guess I’m really spoiled, as we all are nowadays.

 Don’t forget to check our Wonder Valley website every now and then to find out of any happenings in our area. Granted, there is not much going on right now anywhere, but you never know what you’ll see on the website. Ken and Teresa Sitz do a great job of keeping people informed!

 Handy Hint:  To prevent eggshells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling.

 Today’s Thought:  I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.

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

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Desert Trail Column - May 13, 2020

Drive-in Church services will be featured at Godwin Christian Fellowship, 6389 Godwin Road at Highway 62, on Sunday, May 17 at 10 a.m. Sing along and worship in the comfort of your own vehicle! The service will last no longer than one hour. This is a wonderful opportunity to attend church while still following the coronavirus guidelines. For further information, contact Pastor Max Rossi at or 831-234-6848 or Brother Wally Currie at 760-449-8683. 
The USDA Food Distribution will be in a drive-thru format beginning at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 19 at our Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526 ½ Amboy Road at Blower Road. Please wear a face covering and stay in your vehicle. Enter the access road at the east end of the community center and continue driving around the community center in a counterclockwise direction. Someone will come to your vehicle, keeping a safe distance, and ask for your information. Another volunteer will place your box of food into your vehicle at whatever location you indicate. Please be aware that the community center itself is closed and the park is closed, so there are no public restrooms available.
 Karen’s Commentary:  Well, I’m now pretty used to wearing a face mask and keeping my distance from every living soul at the grocery store and doctor’s office. My big concern is that many people are going to hear and read about things beginning to open up and assume we’re suddenly back to normal! I sure hope this doesn’t happen because it could mean a very big setback that would actually prolong all the undesirable rules and regulations of what is right now our everyday lives. I think from now on most of us will be pretty reluctant to get close to strangers or shake hands with everyone or cough or sneeze in public. That is probably a good thing! Since the public guidelines have made such an impression on us, I hope it has also made a big impression in other ways such as pulling together with our fellow humans, no matter where their home is, to make things better for all people everywhere. This whole situation is something none of us has ever been through before and we certainly should contemplate on what each of us has learned from it. I personally am so grateful to still be on this Earth along with my entire family.
 Handy Hint:  To prevent thread from tangling, run the threaded needle through a sheet of Bounce before beginning to sew.
Today’s Thought:  When she saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she’d dye.
 Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

USDA Food DIstribution -- May 19, 2020

PLEASE read below carefully.

The USDA Food Distribution will begin at 10:00 a.m. on TUESDAY, May 19, at the Wonder Valley Community Center, 80526-½ Amboy Road, Wonder Valley CA 92277. The Community Center is next to the Fire Station. The event continues until the food runs out, which has been happening lately, about 11:00 a.m.

All the boxes are the same, so there is no need to arrive before 10 a.m.

This food distribution is for Wonder Valley residents only. Please wear a mask and stay in your car.
We will be taking PRECAUTIONS to protect YOUR and OUR health.

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

The WVCC is CLOSED. The park is closed.

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

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

The text below is required.

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

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

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

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

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

(3) email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Desert Trail Column - May 6, 2020

Godwin Christian Fellowship’s Drive-in Church has a slightly different format due to the summer-like heat that is suddenly upon us. Church services will now begin at 10 a.m. and will last no longer than one hour. Pastor Max says to be sure to bring at least one bottle of water per person. Godwin Christian Fellowship is located at 6389 Godwin Road at Highway 62. For further information, contact Pastor Max Rossi at or 831-234-6848 or Brother Wally Currie at 760-449-8683.

 Karen’s Commentary:  I am a definite string cheese-a-holic, and consider myself pretty much of a connoisseur since I’ve purchased and taste-tested every brand in Stater Brothers Market and Walmart. I am a fan of the “dry” kind with less moisture, rather than the “wet” more-moisture kind. Because it would be good for me to lose a little weight (okay, a lot), I always buy the “light” string cheese. For most people it probably wouldn’t be a factor because they would eat string cheese only once in a great while. But for me, it’s a major factor because my almost-every-single-morning-of-the-year breakfast consists of string cheese and a banana. Yes, you read that right – cheese and a banana – Breakfast of Champions! So now for my expert opinion on the very best brand. For many years, it was Weight Watchers brand at Stator Brothers, but they have now stopped carrying that brand, and their own Stater Brothers brand is a very distant second choice. As for Walmart, they carry the absolutely best string cheese on the planet – Sargento. It comes out way ahead of all the other brands and is totally consistent in quality. And one more thing about Sargento, even their packaging is superior. If you’ve ever tried to open a single piece of string cheese, you know how difficult it can be, trying to get ahold of those two little pieces of plastic  so you can pull apart the covering – only to then have it tear crooked most of the time, causing even more frustration. Well, Sargento has that under control by simply crimping the edge of one of the two plastic “opener” pieces, making it so easy to pull them apart. And Sargento’s plastic packaging never tears crooked – I’m assuming that’s because it’s better quality. So now you know everything you ever wanted to know about string cheese but were afraid to ask!

 Handy Hint:  Become a pizza chef and a money saver at the same time! Buy pre-made pizza dough at the store, add tomato sauce from a jar, cheese, herbs and toppings for a total of about $4 per pizza.

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

Monday, May 4, 2020

Congratulations, Miri Hunter!

May 4, 2020
Acquisition International Announce the Winners of the 2020 Business Excellence Awards
United Kingdom, 2020 – Acquisition International Magazine has announced the winners of the 2020 Business Excellence Awards.

Whilst it is certainly a challenging time for businesses of all shapes and sizes, there are still causes for celebration to be found in every industry and sector. Indeed, even now, we endeavour to recognise those that are, and have been doing, incredible things. After all, success can be found anywhere – whether a large international conglomerate or single-person firm. That was really the goal of the Business Excellence Awards when they were launched over half a decade ago: to shine a spotlight on some of the quiet achievements of entrepreneurs, managers, owners and founders around the world.

Awards Coordinator Steve Simpson took a moment to discuss the success of the winners: “Now in its sixth year, the Business Excellence Awards are the cornerstone of Acquisition International’s annual celebratory programmes. Once again, it has ben an absolute pleasure to speak to you all and find out how you continue to innovate and create in your respective industries.”

Acquisition International prides itself on the validity of its awards and winners. The awards are given solely on merit and are awarded to commend those most deserving for their ingenuity and hard work.To learn more about our award winners and to gain insight into the working practices of the “best of the best”, please visit the Acquisition International website.

Project Sheba
Most Innovative Performance Arts & Education

PROJECT SHEBA was started in 2002 in Los Angeles California by Miri Hunter,Ph.D. It began its non profit work in 2007.

She moved to the Hi-Desert in the Spring of 2013. The desert gave her time and energy to focus on her main work of developing programming for Project Sheba. Since then she has produced concerts, spoken word events and theatre events. Most notably, she is the Artistic and Producing Director of Thought Theatre and Co-Producer of The Hi-Desert Fringe Festival. In addition, she is also part of the musical group Hunter and Wick’d. She also teaches theatre arts at Copper Mountain College and is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at St. Mary’s College in Moraga CA. You can find out more about Project a Sheba and its innovative work by going to the website:

Photo by Hilary Sloane

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Wonder Valley Sand Paper.

The Wonder Valley Sand Paper is a hard-copy paper usually distributed at The Palms Bar and Restaurant. The WVSP is designed to get people out of their cabins at least once a month to come pick up a paper, and for the last 5 years that has worked really well.

Now that we have the COVID19 we've had to go online, just like everyone else.

Pick up your May 3, 2020 copy.

This week's copy covers:

  • last weeks County Fire / Adult and Aging Services Food Distribution last week
  • how to get your stimulus check
  • how to fill out your census form
  • how to get your road repaired
  • continued limitations on evictions
  • Covid19 cases and deaths to date in San Bernardino County
  • April 2020 Crime Stats
  • and how to sign up to vote by mail. 

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Crime Stats -- April 2020

The Sheriff’s Department stopped providing us data on their service in October of 2016. Our former MAC Delegate, Teresa SItz, combs through the media reports each month and sifts out the crime stats for Wonder Valley. These are unofficial statistics, subject to a small margin of error. We have no data for 2017 or 2019.

The 2020 statistics include 10 calls for burglary -- an uptick; 6 calls for various kinds of theft; 4 calls for trespassing; 8 calls for illegal off-highway vehicle activity, among others. One of the burglary victims noted OHV tracks on their property.

Please keep an eye out on your property. Report crimes to the Sheriff’s Department, and always ask for an incident number.