Friday, December 29, 2017

Healthy New Year

As the New Year approaches I always want to see how I can be a little better, a little kinder, a little more conscientious of others and certainly a little healthier. Many of our LoCaLs have joined Weight Watchers group leader Theresa Phillips in changing their lifestyle for the better. Here’s what Theresa said about our LoCaL group~

"On May 15, 1963, Weight Watchers founder Jean Nidetch, invited a group of her friends to her New York home to discuss how they could support each other in their efforts to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. From that group of friends grew the Weight Watchers we know today.

The current Susanville Weight Watchers group was organized early this year when my friend and co-worker, Karen Rollings, said to me, “I wish there was a Weight Watchers group in Susanville, we should see if we can start one.” Even though I may be the “face” of our local Weight Watchers group, Karen is the driving force. It was her determination to bring the group back to Susanville that got me motivated.

During our first meeting, we had nearly 50 people enroll in the program. Since then, more have joined, and our group is now about 70 strong. Our meetings are held each Monday, at noon and at 5:30pm in the Susanville Mall community room.

The “community” of the meeting room is key to success in the Weight Watchers program. The support and accountability that the members provide to each other is amazing! Our motto is, “If you want to fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together!”

“When I heard that my friend Theresa Phillips was starting a local Weight Watchers group I thought I'd give it a try. I wanted to lose about 15 pounds,” says member and local health guru, Kristen Volberg. “Our first meeting was March 15, 2017. I have been very pleased and rather amazed at how well this program works for me. Tracking the food I eat has been key. Our members are all so motivating and supportive. Everyone has been quite successful. I was able to achieve my goal weight in five months and have maintained it since then. I highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to lose weight and be healthier.”

The basis of the Weight Watchers program is tracking food, incorporating exercise and increasing self-awareness. No food is “off-limits.” Members eat what satisfies and nourishes our bodies. There are no requirements of pre-packaged foods or dietary restrictions. The Weight Watchers web site is full of recipes, tips and success stories. One of my favorite recipes is a southwest breakfast scramble.

¼ cup frozen corn kernels

¼ cup black beans

1 cup fresh spinach

A handful of grape tomatoes

2 eggs

Spray frying pan with non-stick cooking spray, add the corn, beans and tomatoes. Sauté until warm, add spinach, sauté ingredients until they are well mixed. Mix eggs in a cup until blended, pour over mixture and stir until the egg is done. Remove from pan, sprinkle with ¼ ounce of shredded cheese and a splash of taco sauce or salsa. All of this is only 1 Weight Watchers Smart Point! (I get 23 Smart Points a day!)

We have several members who have hit their goal weight, and at least four members who have lost in excess of 50 pounds! Whether you want to lose 15 pounds or 150 pounds, Weight Watchers will work for you!”

HaPpY New Year everyone! Your Susanville Super family wishes you success in all your 2018 endeavors!

Friday, December 22, 2017

HaPpY 90th Birthday Dick Bendix

I’ll never forget my first time at the Susanville Symphony. I had no idea we had so many talented musicians in our community but clearly I was just about the only one that didn’t know! It was held in the Methodist Church, we all sat surrounded by the lovely stained glass. The music hooked me right away but it was even more than that, there was humor and stories and LoCaL folks filling every pew. Part of the humor is just fun camaraderie and a big part of that seems to emanate from the percussion section.

In that percussion section you’ll find Dick Bendix, sometimes in a hat reflective of the piece being played. Sometimes it’s even a gladiator helmet? You just never know. This uber talented timpani player is also a retired Brigadier General who spent the last 8 years of his career at the Pentagon. I was lucky enough to get to know him a little bit better recently when I was invited to his 90th birthday party! 90! You would never guess this. He attributes it to “good genes and living right”. Prior to his party most of my contact was on behalf of the Symphony, which he tirelessly devotes his time to. He is loved and respected (rightfully so) by so many.
Brigadier General Bendix also LOVES to dance. He can Rumba, Samba, Waltz, ChaCha, and a matter of fact, years ago he and his wife went on a cruise to Bermuda and were asked to teach the dance class! Maybe the Susanville Symphony can have a demonstration of his skills one day.

If you’re still looking for that special gift why not give tickets to an upcoming Susanville Symphony or even a season pass!

HaPpy Birthday General! Seems someone else has a birthday soon too~

Merry Christmas everyone!


Let’s face it. Fruitcake is a Christmas tradition but it certainly isn’t for everyone. My husband LOVES the stuff. Years ago our neighbors were Hugh and Tilly Green. though they were retired owners of Ben Franklin, involved in numerous service organizations. Tilly would sometimes call Rick to change the basement lightbulb, or other various chores. Tilly always gave him a fruitcake from the Trappist Abbey Monks as a ‘thank you’. They were such kind people we would have done anything to help out BUT she had Rick at “do you like fruitcake?” :)

Since I like to give you a story with a recipe (and since you may despise fruitcake)…. Hugh would do the grocery shopping, maybe because he was super social and could visit at the market, it was a pleasure to stop and chat. One day I was at their house when Hugh came home from my store and Tilly said “Hughie, where is the romaine lettuce?” He looked at her straight faced and said “they don’t make it anymore.” She laughed and said “you know that’s not true.” He assured her it was and that he had even asked. Funny, adorable and always looking out for each other, that’s how they were, and I’m grateful to have known them.

Tilly was the first thing I thought of when my friend Laurie Pass asked if I wanted to make fruitcake with her. Cooking is just more fun with a friend soooo.. YEAH. Laurie makes the bomb fruitcake so I was surprised when she showed up with the same cookbook I’ve been using for decades. That being said, just like the rest of us, she adds a few tweaks~

3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp each, nutmeg, allspice and cloves
16 oz mixed candied fruit
15 oz pkg golden raisins
8 oz pitted chopped dates
8 oz red candied cherries (or green)
1 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup chopped candied pineapple
4 eggs
1 3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup apple juice to soak cheesecloth in. 

Stir together dry ingredients. Add fruits and nuts. Mix well.
Beat eggs until foamy, add brown sugar, orange juice, butter and molasses. Beat till well combined. Stir into fruit mixture. Fill 2 greased large loaf pans 3/4 full ( you may have a little left over for a little bitty pan).
Bake in 300* oven for 2 hours. After 1 hour cover pans loosely with foil. Little bitty pan will be done after one hour.
Wrap cooled loaves in apple juice soaked cheesecloth then overwrap that with foil. Store in the refrigerator. Remoisten cheesecloth weekly and they will last for like ever :) Unless Rick is around.


I’m sorry to say I couldn’t find any pictures of my friend and neighbor Tilly but thanks to Cindie Tamietti at Lassen County Times I have a couple of photos from January 2000 of Rotarians at a Paul Harris dinner including Judge Bradbury, Sheriff Jarrell, Tom Smith and Hugh Green.

Good people, good food, that’s what Hometown Holidays are all about.

Chapman's Sour Cream Tacos

 PaRtY season is in full swing. For me it all starts in October with a visit to Wemple’s Pumpkin Patch. This year I was fortunate enough to visit twice, the food and vibe kicks off my holiday spirit, they even have Christmas decorations in the shop. Then on Halloween Jim and Marilyn Chapman have their annual open house, this year was the 27th but Rick and I have only been going a little over 20 years ;) . This party is as Norman Rockwell as it gets, friends stop by mid trick or treat with their kids and have a bite to eat, a neighbor drops by to use the oven, LoCaLs strewn from the kitchen to the living room eating, laughing, watching baseball… So fun, so small town. I love it. 

Chapman puts together a delicious do it yourself taco bar complete with his sister’s recipe for salsa known as ‘Barbara Sauce’ (I would ask for this recipe but Jim makes it for me and I don’t wanna mess that up!) AND he makes this wonderful little casserole called Sour Cream Tacos. IT. IS. MY FAVORITE! This is just right to take to events, have on hand when family comes, you can even make it ahead. The really big bonus for me when I asked if he would share the recipe Jim made another one and brought it to my house! Have I told you I love my job? I do. As a matter of fact Marilyn says she know Jim loves her when he makes this dish for her. I get it.


"This recipe a neighbor gave my mother about 50 years ago and one she made often as we were growing up. It’s simple to make. These are similar to a cheese enchilada or a fat quesadilla. ~ Jim Chapman


1 package of 12 soft flour tortillas

1 16 oz. container of sour cream (or IMO works well as a substitute)

1 16 oz. package of cheddar cheese (your preference, Longhorn, Medium Cheddar or Sharp Cheddar all work well)

1 16 oz. package of jack cheese (Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack work well, depending on how spicy you prefer the dish)

1 cup shredded cheese (from remainder of cheese not used for slices)

Optional: use diced green chili or diced olives to add color, texture and flavor

Heat oven to 375º.

Spray the bottom and sides of the pan with a non-stick spray. Depending on size of pan take four or five tortillas and slice in half, fold in one stack and trim the outer edge for a strip that is 3½ to 4 inches wide. Then slice ¼” thick pieces of both cheeses, to match the number of strips of tortillas. Spread each strip with a generous layer of sour cream, lay one slice each of the two cheeses in the middle. Optionally, you can add diced green chili or olives on one side. Then roll the strip wrapping the cheese slices and lay in the pan. Repeat the process until all strips are used and the pan is full. Then spread a generous amount of sour cream on top of the dish. Sprinkle shredded cheese and unused diced olives or green chili on top of the sour cream for color, texture and flavor. Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on how well done you like the cheese. Let cool and then slice and serve."

Thanks for sharing your recipe Jim!

* I couldn’t find any past party pics so I included one from the San Francisco bike races with Bob Dale, Jim Chapman, Me, Ruth Darling, Marilyn Chapman, Dennis Darling. And a Rotary Photo with Mike Kirack, Jim and Marilyn and Todd Eid and one of Rick and Jim at the Masonic Lodge.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Butternut Squash Soup

"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Mohammed Ali
We have tons of examples of folks living by this right here in the Ville. Service organization galore, individuals that are constantly giving of themselves. Our own Carla (now retired), Hope and Toni have invited crew, that would’ve otherwise been alone for Thanksgiving, over for dinner. This warms my heart. What if we all did just one small thing for someone, anyone, on Thanksgiving? I bet the return would be astronomical. Or not just on a holiday but any day. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, start small. Make eye contact, smile, ask how someone’s day is and really listen to the answer. Be sure to say please, thank you and you’re welcome. I decided a few weeks ago I was bringing ‘you’re welcome’ back. It seems to have gotten lost along the way.

I have a real thing about feeding people. When I offer food to someone my daughter and husband always say “just say yes, it’s easier” :) . Yeah, maybe I’m a little too insistent about it. So for those of us that love to cook we can share some food with a friend or bring it to work. Who doesn’t appreciate coming to work and finding cookies? Or soup? All my soup recipes make enough to feed several people. Produce Manager John has started cutting veggies and fruit for our convenience, even hard squash! I decided I needed to make Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup since he did the most difficult part of the recipe! Great for Fall especially with all the FrEsH hard squash grown right here in the Honey Lake Valley! Here’s the recipe~

3 Leeks, white part only, halved and sliced thin.
3 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a knife and minced.
1 tbs olive oil.
2 containers FrEsH cut butternut squash.
1 32oz chicken broth (I’m sure veggie broth would be yummy too)
Optional 1 14oz can coconut milk
Optional 1 tsp curry powder.
Salt and Pepper!

Saute leeks and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until leeks are tender and garlic aromatic, salt and pepper. Dump leek/garlic, broth and squash into slow cooker. Salt and pepper. Cook on low for 4 hours or until squash is tender enough to mash. Place half at a time in blender without center in lid. COVER HOLE WITH A TOWEL and hold on tight or it’s going everywhere! Honestly if I had any idea where my immersion blender was this would be the perfect time to use it. Return it all to slow cooker to heat through. It will be delicious right now or you can add coconut milk and curry or a little cream if you like.

I have much to be grateful for, family, friends, work, good health… I could go on and on. I’m confident we could all come up with a list of our own. Even when times are tough, I know I am blessed. My Hometown Proud Community is a HUGE part of that.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Type 1 Diabetes

You see people every day and never really know what they deal with. Like Susanville Market Produce Department’s Clinton McGill. This young man is friendly, hard working and active but in 2009 Clinton started losing weight, throwing up and noticed his eyesight was terrible. He was diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes at 12 years old, now 21 and on an insulin pump rather than injections, Clinton has to input his carbs and blood sugar, to a pocket size meter he carries, 4 times a day. He says the pump is awesome. Today he has energy, he can see clearly and says he can participate in everything unless it was "like a cake eating fest”.

Or owner of Belle en Vie Salon & Day Spa, Erin Clausen. Such a vivacious and hard working woman who would guess she suffers from an auto-immune disorder? Erin was diagnosed at 42 years old with Type 1 Diabetes after becoming seriously ill. Since Type 1 has long been known as Juvenile Diabetes she said “But I thought mostly babies and children got Type 1” The doctor told her that about a quarter of all Type 1s were diagnosed after the age of 25. Many are diagnosed in their 40s and 50s. Erin also uses a insulin pump but in addition has a continuous glucose monitor implanted under her skin that sends a reading to her phone and Apple Watch every 5 minutes.

Type 1 Diabetes is an auto-immune disorder. While great strides have been made for Type 1 diabetics it remains an incurable disease. Here are the early warning signs from the JDRF website~
*changes in vision
*fruity smelling breath
*extreme hunger and unexplained weight loss
*unusual behavior

To learn more about it and how you can help find a cure check out and I urge you to read Erin’s full story, in her own words, at ~

Hometown Health Awareness.

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