Category: Holidays

Quilter’s Piece With Val Bourque

By Val Bourque With the holidays upon us, there are always a project or two to complete before Christmas. If you need a quick project for a gift why not try a door panel.  This year there seems to be a panel for every holiday.  From the patriotic panels for  4th of July to Halloween, Thanksgiving and of course Christmas.  These are quick and easy for any level quilter.  My favorite from a few years ago, is the Christmas tree where you add the twinkling light kit to the panel. Now you can even add a music box to make the panel you made last year play holiday music while the lights glow. As...

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Treasures Of Christmas Past Antiquing For Christmas

By Melissa Wynn Christmas is possibly the most nostalgic time of year. We spend tremendous time, energy and money ensuring that our loved ones experience the same kind of Christmas magic that we enjoyed throughout our family histories. It’s those deeply engraved memories of sitting in a pile of wrapping paper building a new train set with Dad that inspire us to sift through the local antique shops looking for that same train set to build with our children. A favorite toy from days gone by can be as touching a gift for an adult as it is for a child. It could really take Mom back to get an...

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Behind The Music Christmas Time With The Yule Logs

By Molly Barber The days are getting shorter, the air is colder and that really only means one thing… Yup, the holiday season is right around the corner. Now as you might have guessed one of my favorite parts about this time of year is the music. I mean come on now, who doesn’t love those Christmas classics? Growing up at my house, the Big Guy (my dad), loved the classics- Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Gene Autry- you get the picture. My mom enjoyed a little more beat in her Christmas tunes, some Brenda Lee, Jose Feliciano, The Ronettes, and then her favorite, The Carpenters. Now my brother is...

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Give The Gift Of Giving For The Holidays

        by Molly Barber, Photo by Paula Watts The holidays are a special time of the year and while many of us enjoy them, this particular season can be rough for others. But there are ways we can all do our part to share the love and spread the kindness this year. I’m here to share some organizations with you whether you are looking to give locally, nationally or internationally. Let’s start at a local level. Most counties have local Soroptimist International organizations. This is an amazing club who’s mission is “to better the lives of women and children locally and...

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$10 Christmas Trees Choose Yours In The National Forest

By Melissa Wynn One of my favorite family Christmas traditions is spending the day wandering the forest in search of the perfect Christmas tree. Memorable adventures are created by simply packing a picnic and making a day of choosing and cutting the tree as a family. Whether you prefer a majestic blue spruce or a spindly “Charlie Brown”  style tree in need of rescue, you can usually harvest it from your nearest National Forest with the proper permit. Prices and limits can vary by forest so here are a few of our favorites near you. Lassen National Forest – (530) 257-2151 (Supervisor’s...

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Bringing Nature Indoors For Holiday Decor

By Christy Milan Nature can offer us a variety of decorations for any season. We find that the foliage of evergreen boughs brings the aroma of fresh pine. Dried blooms can add an array of seasonal color. Even seedpods add “spice” and personality to any design project. A simple evergreen wreath invites the season indoors when embellished with dried teasel, milk thistle, coneflower heads or other locally harvested plants. Even something as simple and easy as a bundle of ornamental grasses can make a dramatic and classy display. Gathering things in your yard like grasses, pine cones, evergreen...

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Westwood Museum +1.530.256.2233,

The Westwood Museum, located in the little mountain community of Westwood, contains the artifacts of a once thriving logging town that was founded in 1913 by the Walker Family. During the time the town was owned by the Walker family, the nation experienced the Industrial Revolution, two World Wars and significant societal changes. The Red River Mill was the largest operating mill in North America. The town had a state-of-the-art hospital, a theater and opera house, the largest sawdust pile in the world and an indoor mall, said to be the first indoor mall in the United States. The people who...

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Lost Trail Lodge Truckee, Ca

Turning onto the dirt road headed into Coldstream Canyon, you would never expect to find the sort of accommodations that await you at your destination. My first time headed to the Lost Trail Lodge in 2011, I was on my way to the annual Blue Grass Festival they hold the first week of June each year.  We parked the pick-up truck by the railroad tracks and hiked our way in. Crossing swollen streams overflowing with melted snow run-off, we balanced on makeshift log bridges and were ferried across by a boat and pulley system. When I first saw the Lost Trail Lodge, I felt as though I had finally...

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Unique Trees for the Holidays

Snowman Trees By Melissa Wynn Step outside the tree decorating box this year. Snowmen are everywhere during the winter holidays so why not as the Christmas Tree? There are many variations of this fun and festive theme, have fun with it. I opted to do a tiny, cowboy snowman tree and the materials were very inexpensive. I used a 2’ artificial white tree ($3.00 online), 1 set of miniature snowman ornaments ($3.50 online auction), 1 styrofoam ball ( under $2.00), a doggie  Halloween costume for the hat and boots ( about $7.00), a silk napkin for the scarf, the pipe is two pieces of a stick, cut...

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Homemade Old Fashioned Stuffing

Few dishes speak to us of the holiday season like stuffing. Whether you have turkey, goose, duck or ham, stuffing is sure to be involved with your holiday feast. This simple and timeless recipe has been pleasing families for generations.Ingredients: 12 ounces dry bread cubes 2 cups chopped celery 2 cups chopped onions 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley 2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 8 tablespoons butter 2 1/2 cups turkey broth or 2 1/2 cups chicken broth Directions: Saute...

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Give a Box of Treasured Memories

I treasure many things in my home, most of those came to me from those in my family who have now departed. I sometimes feel like my home consists only of memories, as I have collected many throughout the years. I realize how valuable these items might also feel to the younger generation in our family. Memories of ‘Grandmas house’ or, for some, memories of their mom or dad. I have decided to create memory boxes with a few specially chosen items in each one. Ideas for things to put in the box can include a dish, perhaps an old tea cup or something they might remember from a special place and...

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Our Trip Down Candy Cane Lane

  By Melissa Wynn Joy Lyn’s Candies Our first stop on our last day in Paradise was Joy Lyn’s Candies at 1183 Bille Rd. The scent of warm caramel invited us in to this classy little cottage filled with sweet delights. Several years ago I discovered my new favorite candy treat, salted caramel. I had heard that Joy Lyn’s made the best so I couldn’t leave Paradise without giving them a try. Made with a touch of Sierra Nevada Stout and topped with coarse Hops Salt they were a melt- in -your- mouth, creamy delight. Just big enough for two decadent bites and covered in dark or milk chocolate...

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