Living Columns & Blogs

Sue Langley

How I save money in the garden

More than anything, here in our foothills, I wanted a beautiful garden and though I had no experience gardening in deer and snow country and a small budget, I just began digging and let experience be my teacher.

Cathie Campbell

Eggs, those little devils

It’s been about four years since I focused on deviled eggs, and in fact, I haven’t prepared any at home for quite some time. Right around Easter or just after, I always used to make pickled eggs and beets, probably because I always had lots of leftover hard-boiled eggs and there are usually some pretty decent sales on eggs due to their popularity at that time.


For the Kids

We were happy to learn recently that all schools in Eastern Madera County have recycling programs. The future lies in our children’s hands, so let’s engage them in activities that will increase their awareness of being good stewards of the earth.

Cathie Campbell

Everything’s green

St. Patrick’s Day is a time when a lot of folks like to wear something green. Word has it you are likely to get pinched if you don’t. I don’t have any green clothes, but I just pin on a crocheted shamrock made out of green yarn. Since green is the traditional color of this holiday, I got to thinking that it might be fun to enjoy some green food. Not green eggs and ham, and certainly not anything that turns green from being in the refrigerator too long. Just some tasty, attractive and fun things we can serve and eat on that day when we all turn Irish.

Cathie Campbell


After 17 years, Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart are saying goodbye to the X-Men roles of Wolverine and Professor Charles Xavier, respectively. And I truly believe that this is it for them.

Cathie Campbell

Are you ready for spring?

I have mixed feelings about spring, as I have been thoroughly enjoying all the rainstorms we have had, and even the snow days as long as I don’t have to go out on the roads. Luckily, I have not had to deal with any rain damage. Also, spring means allergy season, and I am not too fond of that. But aside from pollen, I must admit I love the blooms and blossoms, seeing all the birds coming out of hiding and the warmth of a sunny day. Spring time also means the arrival of many seasonal local foods and farmers markets. There are so many delicious things one can do with fresh produce. Here are some recipes you might like to try.

Cathie Campbell

Wearin’ o’ the green comes again

So here we are, into our third month of 2017 already. Can you believe it? Time really does fly. Every year at this time I eagerly await the arrival of packaged corned beef in the meat departments of our grocery stores. I almost hate to admit how much I like corned beef and cabbage meals, but here goes the truth: a few years ago I prepared that meal nine times. Yeah, you read it correctly, nine times. I figured that since I loved the meal so much, why limit the enjoyment of it to just once a year (although I can see the wisdom of that). Even my cat went through a period of yowling to be fed every time she knew we were about to eat corned beef, but I’m sure something like that is not good for her (or me).

Cathie Campbell

Love those sweet taters

February is National Sweet Potato Month and I am happy about the recognition sweet potatoes and yams receive. They are both tasty and full of healthful nutrition. If you ever wondered what the difference is between a sweet potato and a yam, in this country at least, they are both technically sweet potatoes.

Cathie Campbell

National Almond Day

February 16 is celebrated as National Almond Day, so why not join in the fun and make something with almonds? Not that we need an excuse, of course. Every day is a good day to cook with and eat almonds. I am fortunate that my sister gives me some almonds from an old but productive tree on the ranch she lives on. California is famous for its abundant almond crop. They are also very healthful snacks, especially for someone like me who happens to be a diabetic. I love to eat them raw without any salt or other seasonings. Join me in celebrating the California almond, and we don’t have to limit that enjoyment to just one day of the year. I hope you’re all keeping safe and warm in this winter weather.

Cathie Campbell

Sugar cookie hearts for your loved ones

If you go by the displays in stores, or the television commercials and magazine ads, Saint Valentine’s Day is all about romantic love, hearts and flowers, expensive gifts, blah, blah. Not that I am against all that, but the celebrations and observances many of us practice every February 14 are also about children and the fun of trading those little paper cards. I thought I’d share some recipes you might want to prepare. Pre-decorated cookies and cupcakes also freeze well, in most cases.

Cathie Campbell

Something other than sweets

I wanted to recognize that Valentine’s Day will soon be here, but got to thinking that recipes for sweets might be a little too, well, too common. We are bombarded with sweets for the occasion, in the form of boxes of chocolates and other candies, plus cookies, pies, cakes and cake pops. Even sweet beverages. So why not throw some non-sweets into the mix, such as for brunch, lunch or dinner? As delicious as candy is, there comes a time, even on Valentine’s Day, when we just crave some real food. Here is a selection that might include that “just-right” recipe for your special day. You are all my valentines, because you are so sweet.

Living Columns & Blogs


Split is a movie that could have easily gone very wrong. Thrillers about people with psychological conditions like amnesia, autism, or in this case multiple personalities tend to be clumsy, with the films rarely having any interesting ideas outside of the conditions.

Living Columns & Blogs

Take control of your electronic entertainment budget

It seems like every few weeks there’s a new “must-watch” movie or show. Competition between traditional and new production companies is driving the wave of high-quality content. I can’t complain, but it’s also hard to keep up. I have an ever-growing list of binge-able things to watch, read and listen to, and in the meantime, I’m paying bills for multiple bills month.

Cathie Campbell

Game day finger foods

Even if you are not planning to watch this year’s Super Bowl on Feb. 5, you might still enjoy some delicious snacks. Luckily, we don’t need a reason or a celebration to enjoy good food. So football fans and non-football fans alike, here are some recipes for tasty finger foods that I hope will be to your liking. Enjoy your game, enjoy your company and by all means, enjoy your snacks.


Apartment complex in Oakhurst floods

An apartment complex on River Park Road in Oakhurst, located on a portion of Fresno River known as China Creek, was flooded out on its lower level on Tuesday, Feb. 7.
Mark Evan Sierra Star
Apartment complex in Oakhurst floods 1:17

Apartment complex in Oakhurst floods

Yurt floats away in Fresno River flooding 0:53

Yurt floats away in Fresno River flooding

Most babies should be exposed to peanuts earlier, according to new guidelines 1:39

Most babies should be exposed to peanuts earlier, according to new guidelines

Female cat owners benefit most from stress-reducing effect of a pet 1:04

Female cat owners benefit most from stress-reducing effect of a pet