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Lisa Lucke
6 days ago

So far this November, I’m thankful that Facebook (at least on my newsfeed) hasn’t been deluged with that tiresome habit of people posting one new thing every day that they are thankful for. My eyes were sore from rolling them last year. I finally stopped reading when I saw, “I’m thankful for the love of my turtle.” Say what? Your turtle loves you? But even the obvious thank-you posts, like, “I’m thankful for the love of my children,” or “I’m thankful for clean air to breathe,” get a little old.

I’m not suggesting that we should...

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Copyright © 2014 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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Brent Parsons
2 weeks ago
Wolf Hein
I was once a used bookstore junky. I lived in Santa Cruz where they, along with used record stores, fit in nicely. I could ride my bike downtown and enjoy the weirdness, along with the stores. A good bike lock was a necessity that sometimes only saved the frame. Wheels, seats and handlebars might be missing, depending on location, time and quality of components. When we had our first child, I pushed a stroller or carried a lively backpack. My store visits decreased when I had to spend time in the children’s section, and when we moved... [Read more]
Copyright © 2014 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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Lisa Lucke
2 weeks ago

I’ve noticed lately that when I read certain stories in the news, my first reaction isn’t always — typical. In fact, I guess it could be called ironic. Like, for instance, the other day I read a story about a dad who kidnapped his 9-year-old son in Seattle instead of returning him to his ex-wife, and sailed away for a tiny atoll off the coast of New Zealand.

As I read the story, I thought, “Some people get all the luck.” (Note: the kid was eventually found unharmed and having a great time.)

That story reminded me of another...

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Donna Kelley, CNC
3 weeks ago
Donna Kelley, CNC

What do you grab when you are hungry?

Pumpkin seeds are an amazing small food that has many nutritional, healthy benefits to the human body, as well as being “fun” to eat as a snack. I simply love them. Pumpkin seeds are a “whole” food, something recognizable, not like a sugary/floury snack. I would like to encourage those of you who are constantly on the run to stop and consider a healthier snack choice, such as nuts and seeds, especially pumpkin seeds, instead of grabbing a highly processed sugary/floury snack that creates the...

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Via Press Release
4 weeks ago
Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

A quick-and-easy addition to pumpkin pie ingredients results in a pie that just may become your go-to recipe. A bit of molasses added to the filling brings a note of caramel and spice.

Molasses is derived from sugar cane juice. The first boiling makes a light syrup that’s perfect for pouring over pancakes and waffles (or with the addition of live yeast and a little age, for making rum). But it’s the second boiling that we love — a darker, thicker, slightly less sweet syrup with a signature flavor that’s ideal for baked goods, glazes...

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Via Press Release
4 weeks ago
Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

NSF International survey findings reinforce the need for international water quality standard

A vast majority (82 percent) of consumers report they are concerned about trace levels of emerging contaminants in drinking water, such as pesticides and herbicides (87 percent), prescription drugs (34 percent) and detergents (24 percent), according to a new survey from NSF International, a global public health and safety organization.

Emerging contaminants include some prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, flame...

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Lisa Lucke
4 weeks ago

It’s not every single day, or maybe it is, when a moment presents itself to us that just stinks of importance. That is, if one is interested in taking their human experience to the next level. It is in these moments that people could benefit greatly from a little reflection, and time to allow the words, “I think I could use a little adjustment here” to bubble up.

For all you lovers of remaining exactly the way you are, consider this: Unless you are seriously deranged, you are not the same person with the same beliefs that you were...

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Via Press Release
10/24/2014 10:41 AM
Are you confused by expiration dates on food items? Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

NSF International Survey Reveals How Confusion About Food Expiration Dates Can Impact Health and Wallets

Expiration date labeling on food products is a source of confusion for consumers according to a new survey from NSF International, a global public health and safety organization. The survey found that people are confused about how to interpret dates on food packaging such as expiration, “best used by” and “sell by” dates, causing many to keep some food dangerously long or prematurely throw away good food.

One in four...

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Via Press Release
10/10/2014 9:12 AM

Last week, I wrote about how several companies have been making changes to their employees’ pension plans by freezing them (not contributing to them anymore) or terminating them all together. To help address this issue, I wrote about and discussed on my radio show some options that we can do to minimize the effects of this and try to maximize our retirement without a pension plan. One of the key ways to do this is to maximize out our personal retirement plan accounts.

Since the defined benefit pension plan no longer controls the...

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Via Press Release
10/10/2014 9:03 AM
Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

When last we met, I had just spent the first night of my weekend alone in my mountain cabin, mostly reading, writing and trying to keep up with my hound’s extreme neediness, including sleeping in the exact center of the bed and needing to go outside in the pitch blackness to pee.

8 a.m., second day: Determined to stick with my new workout regimen even at the cabin, I scavenge around looking for something to serve as a dumbbell. I settle for a cast-iron Dutch oven. After my lunges, tricep raises and bicep curls, I make a mental...

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Lisa Lucke
10/09/2014 1:23 PM

When last we met, I had just spent the first night of my weekend alone in my mountain cabin, mostly reading, writing and trying to keep up with my hound’s extreme neediness, including sleeping in the exact center of the bed and needing to go outside in the pitch blackness to pee.

8:00 a.m., second day: Determined to stick with my new workout regimen even at the cabin, I scavenge around looking for something to serve as a dumbbell. I settle for a cast-iron Dutch oven. After my lunges, tricep raises and bicep curls, I make a mental...

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Brent Parsons
10/09/2014 12:55 PM

I began attending Sutter Creek City Council meetings in 1990. I was new in town, had a business on Main Street and hoped my family was here for the long run. Fortunately, we were. My two little toddlers are off 25 years later planting roots of their own. It wouldn’t surprise me if they end up back in the town of their childhood. It was a great place to raise them and they realize that now.

The late 1980s and early 90s were times of significant change in once-remote Amador County. Subdividers saw opportunity in these golden hills....

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Tessa Marguerite
10/10/2014 11:33 AM
Anna Belfrage's latest time-traveling, romance and adventure novel. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
“Revenge and Retribution” travels back in time to an era of superstition, religion and love in the 17th century. “The Graham Saga” continues in Anna Belfrage’s newest book. We catch a glimpse of the beginnings of American history through the eyes of a modern-day woman, Alex, who has no other choice but to adapt to her new surroundings. “After all, while time traveling itself is a most rare occurrence, time traveling with a return ticket is even rarer.” Follow the dramatic lives of Matthew Graham, a 17th century man, and his... [Read more]
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Brent Parsons
10/02/2014 4:03 PM
I bought Pioneer Hardware in 1994. That was before Meek’s and Lowe’s, when little independent stores had a fighting chance. My big competitor was down the road seven miles, in Pine Grove. We were both Ace stores and Fred Hall, Pine Grove Ace’s owner, and I had a cordial relationship. Occasionally, but not often, I would have something in stock that he was out of and he would send a customer up. The good relationship ended shortly after he sold the store. The calls I enjoyed the most from Pine Grove were made by Connie Hudson. When I... [Read more]
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Lisa Lucke
09/25/2014 12:29 PM

Within a few hours of arriving at our mountain cabin this past summer for a weekend alone with my thoughts and to do a little writing, I realized something: without my kids around, I didn’t have much to write about. Or did I? Not more than a couple of hours had gone by when it became clear that I had something to share. So I decided to do a timeline — a moment-by-moment chronology of what it’s like to be me in a cabin in the woods.

7:30 p.m., Friday: I arrive just in time to unpack the truck and make my way around in the fading...

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Brent Parsons
09/25/2014 12:04 PM
I am not a car guy. The reasons are several, one being I do not have a garage, which is a minimum requirement. I also realized long ago that all I want in a car is functional dependability. Those early years of non-starts and breakdowns shaped my goals. My first car was a 1960 VW beetle with a sunroof and the mighty power of 36 horses. I bought it after graduating in 1969. It was a fine machine and I showed it off by driving from my home in Half Moon Bay to a sunny campground on the Yuba River with three friends. On the way home,... [Read more]
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Via Press Release
09/21/2014 1:45 PM
Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by B. Huston-Fisher

The Mt. Aukum Center is under new ownership and is announcing retail space availability. Located at 8171 on E16, between Plymouth and Pleasant Valley, the shopping plaza is surrounded by 70 wineries and offers prime parking and accessibility. The current anchor tenant is the U.S. Post Office, serving approximately 1600 residents with the 650 post boxes, and more than 11,000 residents within a ten mile radius.

Cosmetic renovations and updates are in the works, and the new owners are willing to redesign suites to fit the clients’...

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William Peterson
08/28/2014 11:37 AM

We work and save over many years to build a nest egg for the ultimate reason in retirement, and that is to provide ourselves an income throughout our retirement years. Thus, it can be said that income is the outcome of retirement planning. Unfortunately, most people, financial advisors included, are simply clueless as to how to set up their retirement plan properly for providing this lifetime income.

The retirement objective and focus changes as we enter our pre-retirement and retirement years, shifting from an accumulation mode...

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Lisa Lucke
08/28/2014 11:35 AM
Despite regular threats to throw myself off the porch, which actually means grabbing a beer out of the garage fridge and heading to the front yard for a time out, I’m in no hurry to die, or overly curious about what happens “on the other side.” I’m just reminded of the topic now and then, like when my uncle died unexpectedly last year. His family found some letters outlining his last wishes in the event of his death. Keep in mind, he was 74, and while he wasn’t in poor health, at that age, one never knows. Unfortunately, he left the... [Read more]
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Brent Parsons
08/28/2014 10:27 AM
I served a 16-year tour of duty in local public government. The experience was rewarding and I recommend it to anyone without thin skin, visions of grandeur or an ax to grind. Two observations made during that time on the Sutter Creek City Council impressed me: citizens continue to volunteer for what is usually a thankless task and a core of observers continue to attend the meetings, which routinely must be a bore. Some of the regulars rarely said a thing and others always did. Certain hot-button issues would attract a crowd, but the... [Read more]
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