Labor Day Tales: Blood, Guts, Gift Wrap and Daycare

(Editor’s note: This is an encore column that was originally published in 2013.) When asked to name some of my most challenging jobs, I tend to recall employment of my youth, before I turned 30. I’ll leapfrog over my earliest… Continue Reading


Whiskeytown Falls – No Longer Whiskeytown’s Best Kept Secret

Editor’s note: Renae Tolbert was a frequent contributor of writing and photography to aNewsCafe.com. She died on March 26 following complications from cancer. ANC will publish some of her work in the coming months in memory and honor of Renae.… Continue Reading



If I have learned nothing else in my 81 years of living, I’ve learned that beauty is most certainly in the eye of the beholder. However, I also believe that the eye for beauty can certainly be enhanced, honed and brought to life by exposure and appreciation. In that light, I really believe the human desire for beauty is inborn. Continue Reading


Not a Great Housekeeper? Rosie the iRobot to the Rescue

Despite the fact that I work online, the truth is that I’m not that much of a techie. I don’t do Instagram. I don’t own a Kindle or an iPad. I don’t do even do online banking, or reserve campsites… Continue Reading


Speaking of Dogs: The Fight Before Christmas

Some of the most cringe-worthy phone calls I receive are those from desperate pet owners describing how their two dogs have, “started fighting out of the blue.” I cringe because 99.9% of the time, the call comes long after the… Continue Reading


Not Tough Enough For Pink At The Red Bluff Round-Up

I’ve been hearing a lot of Merle Haggard on the jukebox lately. “Swingin’ Doors,” “Mama Tried” and especially “Fightin’ Side of Me.” Merle, world-famous country western musician and longtime Shasta County resident, passed away in Palo Cedro earlier this month,… Continue Reading