Friday, May 31, 2019

Quilts of Hope

"The old lady's crack shack." That's what Laura Robert's kids call her quilt shop because there is so much traffic surely something nefarious is going on. Quite the contrary. I can't believe how much goodness is happening at Country Pines Quilt Shop. Over 475 quilts have been made and donated to Paradise fire victims so far, they come to Laura from all over. Some quilts are completed some just the tops. Once quilt tops are made they need to be put together and all that beautiful stitching added. A very gracious donation of the machine that is capable of doing this was made to the quilt shop. That would cost about $18,000 to purchase.  Finished quilts are then distributed by a woman who is a survivor herself and now lives in our community. She takes them to people, some living in tents and the warmth this provides is so evident in the photos. Stacks and stacks of photos. Much more than just a blanket, Laura says they are like magic to those that have lost everything. 

Want to do some good but maybe feel like a quilt is too big an undertaking? How about a pillowcase? Ryan's Case for Smiles donates hand made cases to children in hospitals battling life threatening illness and injury but they too made an all out show of support for the fire victims. When the folks distributing quilts run out that day they hand out cases too. Each year at the Lassen County Fair quilters, their families and friends join in for a marathon week of sewing, last year they made 324 pillowcases! 
So what brought this story to mind for a girl that can barely sew a functional button? My dear friend of a couple of decades Marilyn (Suzi) Chapman makes the most fantastically beautiful quilts I have admired for years. One day I got a text with a photo of a colorful farmhouse quilt with roosters (I love roosters) Suzi had made like 20 years ago, she asked if it would go with my decor... I will cherish it forever. So many things are replaceable, the effort made to do good is not. 

Thank you to our local quilters, to so many, you have become Hometown Heroes. 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Quickie Potato Salad

Choose a mate that likes the same potato salad as you. Maybe it's more of a guideline than a rule, but still. When I met Rick I was so surprised to find his grandma had the same recipe as my mom, which is kinda rare. My mom always used sweet pickles, it gives the dish a whole different flavor profile. That's how I like it and, fortunately, Rick too. However it is a pain to make ANY potato salad. Two pots, one for potatoes, one for eggs, dicing said sweet pickles, onions, eggs, celery, potatoes. Big mess and since I'm going to all this trouble I usually make enough for a small army. This isn't helpful. So last week when Rick and I decided to take the tandem over to Indian Valley for a ride (more on that in a minute) I was craving Mom's potato salad. If you know me you know I like home cooking in a hurry. I cut a few corners and guess what? Delish!

First of all I made a small batch which meant I could toss the eggs in the boiling water WITH the potatoes the last few minutes. Bam, one pan. Then I used our Produce department's fresh cut red onion, pickle relish and celery seed, waaaay less chopping. Here is the express version of my Mom and Rick's Grandma's Potato Salad:
4 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes
1/2 to 1 ( however much onion YOU like) small container diced red onion
2 eggs
1/3 cup Best Foods Mayo
1/3 cup Del Monte sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon mustard, I used Inglehoffer stoneground
1 teaspoon celery seed
Enough juice from a jar of sweet pickles to just sprinkle over potatoes, save pickles for another time.

Wash and boil whole potatoes until tender, 20ish minutes, add eggs to water last 3 minutes, turn off heat, cover and let cool a bit. Mix together mayo, relish, mustard, sprinkle with salt and pepper, remove eggs from pot and chop, add to sauce and mix again. Taste sauce to be sure you have enough salt and pepper. Drain potatoes and peel (skin should easily slide off) dice and lay out flat, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, drizzle with sweet pickle juice. Combine everything in a bowl, salt and pepper again and refrigerate.

Now you can spend the rest of the day doing something fun. Like going to Indian Valley, one of the most gracious, beautiful road bike rides around. Cars, the few you will see, give a full lane as they pass and most of the time a friendly wave too. Greenville hosts a 30-60-100 mile bike ride for Memorial Day each year. This is where I first rode 100 miles with Rick, Jim Chapman and Kristy Allen. Many years later it's still a favorite as is Mom's Potato Salad. For today at least, both are a condensed version :)

Have a safe Memorial Day everyone!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Our Hometown Proud Crew

Sometimes I just have to brag. You know that old adage when the cat’s away the mice will play. It simply isn’t true at Susanville Super. Recently Rick and I had to be in Sacramento for WIC training and an IGA board meeting, at the same time Assistant Store Director Jessica Miller went into labor which also pulled Store Director Todd Eid (aka Jessica’s dad) out. All this just two days before our Wholesale Meat Bonanza. How'd that work out...

PERFECTLY. We have a team that rises to every challenge. While we're away I receive texts frequently showing what's happening now so I can share it on our Facebook page. Stuff like~ Patti had visitors she's known her whole life, Marie FrEsH cut all these gorgeous peppers and one was heart shaped. On this particular day Chris and Kailie were decorating as many cakes as possible to get ready, Ann was whipping up fabulous Deli Trays and our team even participated in a Lassen Family Services Denim Day! Seriously, do you guys need me? We frequently get asked when we're out "Who's running the place?" Our top notch team of Head Clerks of course! The HCs are versed in opening, closing, ordering, maintaining equipment, handling crew scheduling issues. In short, THEY ROCK. 
When we all returned the day of the big meat sale (all except Jess, she's gonna be off for a bit :) The store conditions were fantastic! Maybe I need to spend a little more time in the woods, I do love it there...

Thanks to our Head Clerks and our whole IGA family for making us the Hometown Proud Market we are!

CONGRATULATIONS to Cammo and Jessica Miller on their beautiful baby boy!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Randy Robbins

I can't help it. Every time I see one of Randy Robbins photos I have a visual of him in camo, hiding in the bushes trying to get a shot of the elusive Bobcat that taunts him on his game cam. He posts updates to this story on facebook. It cracks me up but his photos are no joke. He seems to be at the right place at the perfect moment to capture Lassen County at it's finest. One of his photos was even used for the cover of the Lassen County Visitors Guide last year. I frequently hang out with another exceptional local photographer and I know it takes a whole lotta dedication, natural ability and actual studying to get this good. Always a pleasure to see our home through someone else's lens. 
But that's not all, (I always feel like a infomercial salesperson when I say that) for 15 years Randy taught Special Ed at Lassen High but now has a full time position at Community Church as the Worship Pastor AND is the current President of Susanville Area Bicycle Association (SABA), he says that's because he missed a meeting. ALSO Randy is the Event Director for the Mile High Century, a road bike ride held at Lake Almanor on Father's Day weekend. Busy guy with a beautiful family to boot. 

So now I need to digress to tell you about our cycling community. Susanville's Fast Frank Winters just cleaned up in the World Senior Games and Niner Mark took Sea Otter Classic by storm. These are serious events, Sea Otter in #1 in the USA Cycling Championship, #3 in the series is SABA hosted Ridin High at the Ranch mountain bike race held in Susanville Ranch Park! Since Randy is SABA President he just happened to have flyers to share with us. 
You can check out and even purchase many of Randy's photos on his website

We thank Randy for capturing so much of what Lassen County has to offer!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Eastern Sierra Road Trippin'

The first time I saw Iron Man (aren’t Marvel movies just the best?!) I knew they filmed on the Eastern Sierra. specifically the Alabama Hills. It is one of the prime locations for movies, commercials, TV shows. Among the many films are Iron Man, Django, Tremors, Star Trek, Man of Steel, not to mention TONS of old westerns and we all know why. The backdrop of our side of the mountain range is steep and rugged, I read it’s because of the way it was formed and forced out of the earth 100 million years ago and each peak was scrubbed by glaciers revealing the white granite. It is spectacular.

When Rick and I couldn’t take one more cold rainy/snowy weekend we decided to head south on 395. Traveling the backside of Yosemite and the Ansel Adams wilderness there are numerous places you really gotta see but in our quest for warm we chose to head all the way down to Lone Pine. We left after work and spent the first night at Topaz Lake just 2 hours from home and cccccold at night the next morning we set off, taking our time and stopping along the way. Roadtrippin is not to be too planned out :) Oh. My Gosh. I wanna tell you all the places you NEED to go! For now I’ll stick to our destination, the Alabama Hills, about 5 hours from Susanville and an incredible sight. Rock formations, arches, hiking trails all against the backdrop of Mt Whitney’s granite peaks. Whitney is the highest summit in the contiguous United States and a hot bed of activity in the summer, in Spring not so much. Spectacular scenery. Sounds expensive to stay in such a cool place right? It’s FREE! That’s right, no entry fee, no camping fee. No. Fee. Tons of camping spots with rock fire pits beautifully maintained. Here you can: drive through, bike, hike, climb, ride horses, atvs and camp all thanks to BLM, always keeping our public lands…well, public. At night Rick headed out to Mobius Arch for some night photography of the Milky Way, he was not disappointed. As for me and the dogs, after a peek at the stars we slept right through it.

The good folks at BLM are always happy to share all their info with enthusiasm, or you can just check out their website for maps to our public lands!

Some of the photos are mine but the really good ones are Rick’s~

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