Thursday, November 29, 2012

Meadow Vista Christmas in the Village

Saturday, December 8th • 4-6pm
Several local merchants will host open house celebrations and extend shopping hours with tasty treats, food, drink and festive goodies. Participate in the Treasure Hunt for a chance to win $$$!
Then, here comes Santa!
Stick around because Santa makes a stop in Meadow Vista to hear what’s on your wish list this holiday season!

A Gift of Thanks...

As the year comes to a close, we tend to anticipate the newness and change waiting around the corner. A new year filled with new adventures! The Meadow Vista Merchants Association is embracing 2013 with hopes of change sprinkled with a dash of tradition. We look forward to a new Board and a new format to our meetings. If you are a local business - we invite you to join us! Shopping and supporting small business is increasingly vital to our local economy and we encourage everyone to continue this tradition. We need YOU!

 As an association built upon volunteerism, we are enormously proud to bring you this publication. Blood, sweat and tears go into our little magazine. The struggling economy has made it rough but we have consistently been able to deliver over 3000 magazines to Meadow Vista and Applegate residents every other month - fully funded by our local advertisers. To our members and our community, thank you for supporting the View Magazine! We could not do it without you and we hope to continue the tradition for years to come!

 We hope you have a joyous holiday season and a hopeful new year. May you enjoy the gifts of living in our beautiful community all year long!

The Meadow Vista Merchant's Association

Oktoberfest 2012 - A Success!

Then & Now - Lending Has Changed

By Toni Ryan, First Priority Financial

If you have you tried to get a purchase or refinance mortgage loan recently - you might have noticed a new trend: It has gotten MUCH harder. Lenders are growing increasing picky and demand more out of borrowers today than every before to secure home financing. Why? It is important to understand that the lending market has changed since the financial meltdown. Prior to the recession, there were many institutions and small banks who negotiated loans and retained them in their portfolio as investments.  What’s changed? Today almost all loans are sold to one of the top FOUR banks: Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Chase, and Bank of America - Each with specific requirements which change frequently (sometimes DAILY!).  Just like in any industry  the fewer the players, the tighter the rules.

Added to fewer options are the new regulations coupled with the high incidence of fraud. It has become more costly for most institutions to keep and service a loan.  The profit is made by packaging a loan and selling it (to one of the above banks) within10 days of that loan closing. This profit is greatly reduced when a file is held longer than 10 days due to documentation issues. Profit decreases further if the institution must keep the loan because an issue with the file cannot be resolved. 
 To avoid delays when selling the loan, companies require more documentation that is as current as possible. This requirement, which often changes as new issues arise, is the primary reason most borrowers experience frustration.  Social security numbers are verified with the government as well as the filing of two years of tax returns.  Gone are the days of just giving copies of your documents.

The second issue is the turn around time to close a loan.  Interest rates are low so lenders are busy.  The lender will prioritize a purchase loan over a refinance because there is a deadline - this means refinances always take longer.  Once all documents are gathered and verified and the appraisal has been competed, the loan file is then placed in underwriting.  This can be take 4 to 7 business days.  Often a request for more information is received with the approval which adds more time as well.  Then when all items are satisfied, documents are drawn, prepared, signed, sent back for review and then funds are sent to the escrow company. Be wary of promises of “10 days to close” - this usually means 10 days AFTER all documentation is collected upfront and all verifications are completed

While it is a difficult process, the rewards are great as we experience the lowest rates in 50 + years.  It helps to know the process so you are prepared. The investment in time is a fact in today's market and you are not alone. Connect with a knowledgeable mortgage professional to aid in the process. Then sit back, take a deep breath and BE PATIENT!

4 Steps to Handling Negative Online Reviews

Visit for a high
quality version of this guide. Note: You do not
have to join Pinterest to view it.
By Ashlei Jackson, Qlixite

If you work with small businesses like us you start to recognize the cries for help when a usually spotless reputation shows the dark mark of an almost unspeakable villain...the unhappy customer.
"Yelp! I've Gotten a Bad Review - Now What?"

We understand your plight. Used to be that when you or your employee had a bad day that affected a customer or a product malfunctioned - you only had to worry about who that individual could tell in their circle of friends. Now with the advent of the internet and jumbo review sites like - you have to worry that one bad experience could haunt you for the rest of your career (or worse lead to the end of it)

 So what do you do when your business gets a bad review on user sites like Yelp?

Step 1 - Breathe & Step Away
If you're an entrepreneur, it's only natural that you will take a negative review personally. This is normal however it can make responding the right way more difficult. Even if the review is completely wrong or overly hurtful - this is not the time to get into an argument online. This is why we recommend stepping away for an hour or a day to cool off . You'll feel much more in control and prepared to respond properly.

Step 2 - Review Your Customer Service Policy
While you're cooling off, you might review your policy for handling issues that come up during face-to-face service issues. How would you handle an unhappy customer who asks to speak with the manager? What would you say? Apply this same logic to how you want to handle an unhappy online reviewer.

Step 3 - Respond Diplomatically
Now that you're ready to respond. Be civil and professional. Remember they reviewed your business, not you - therefore your business is responding. You may not care about what people think of you but what others think of your business will have reprucussions.Try to show empathy and concern for the reviewer's feelings and show you care. Offer a solution when appropriate. Review sites like Yelp offer free review response tools to allow public or private responses. A private message is akin to sending a direct email to the reviewer whereas a public comment will be posted directly under the user's review and is visible to everyone.
 Responding with a public comment can be a great option to shed light on the specific situation or show your willingness to rectify the issue.

Step 4 - Continue to be Engaged
Actively read and respond to future reviews, both positive and negative. People like to know that their comments are heard and appreciated by a business. Remember that you will grow as a business as you consider criticism and make changes that improve your customer service. Continue to tell your clients and customers to share their positive experiences on sites like Yelp and soon the good reviews will outweigh the bad ones.

Meadow Vista Friendly Neighbors Holiday Fundraisers

Submitted by Etta Gross

THANK YOU for your support of our 5th Annual Christmas Pancake Breakfast.   A Special THANK YOU to Meadow Vista Area Lions for their excellent cooking abilities.    Without the Lions this event would not have happened. 

 There is still plenty to do for the Christmas Baskets since Christmas just around the corner.   Ornaments are available at Wells Fargo Bank in Meadow Vista.  Each ornament represents a child in our community that could use some JOY at Christmas by unwrapping a present that a kind resident in the community has chosen for them.   Please remember that the Friendly Neighbors ask that your toy donation (wrapped with the ornament attached) be returned to Wells Fargo Bank in Meadow Vista by December 12, 2012.  Physical help is needed with sorting and packing the food boxes.  This will give you the opportunity to see your community working side by side to help their neighbors, please join all of us on Friday, December 14, 2012 starting at 4:30 p.m. in the Sierra Hills School Auditorium.   This evening is just so heartwarming to witness.  It is like watching Santa's elves hard at work!  Cash donations are always greatly appreciated. 

 Checks should be mailed to The Meadow Vista Friendly Neighbors Club or TMVFNC, P.O. Box 764, Meadow Vista, CA  95722.  You will receive a receipt for your tax records since the club is a non-profit 501 c 3. 

 It is not too late if you know of someone, or should you need assistance with food during the Christmas Holiday, please call Etta Gross at (530) 637-5359 or Gerry at (530) 878-6117 to register for a Christmas Basket. 

Stress-Less Holidays

By Joel Curry, MSW, CMT, Pathways to Health

It is one the ironies of our age that many people dread the holiday season.  A time that is given to communal and religious celebration evokes a dreaded response in many of us: STRESS! How can we approach this holiday season and avoid the negative effects of this dis-ease of modern times? 
 The key to avoiding stress may lie in a combination of activities that either prevent tension, i.e., planning, budgeting, to-do lists for gifts and projects; or involve direct tension relief methods like receiving a therapeutic massage.   Massage therapy is proving to be a first-line form of treatment for holiday stress related conditions.

 Under stress muscles can become chronically tense, knotting and going into spasms, causing pain receptors to be triggered and severe pain to be felt.   Fascia, which begins just beneath the skin and continues in layers throughout the system, is the web of elastic connective tissue that holds muscles, bones, and organs together.  Stress and tension dehydrates, thickens, and shortens fascia and contributes to discomfort in the body. 

 The action of massage further helps restore the elastic texture of fascia and the fluidity of muscles, relieving pressure on pain receptors, and generally bringing about a feeling of well being in the body. The reduction of stress is a proven benefit of massage therapy.

 A number of physical symptoms can be a result of  chronic stress.  Controlled studies now show that there is an increasing amount of scientific verification of the beneficial effects of massage therapy for stress related symptoms. A study reported in the  Journal of Clinical Rheumatology on the effect of massage on fibromyalgia found that massage improved mood and sleep, and levels of substance P, a neurotransmitter in the pain fiber system, decreased, along with the number of tender spots in the bodies of participants.  The massage sessions combined Swedish massage and shiatsu done with moderate pressure and stroking of the head, neck, shoulders, back, arms, hands, legs and feet.  Subjects received 30-minute massages twice a week for five weeks. 

 So, this season, besides thinking ahead and getting organized, consider massage therapy as an effective way to counter the effects of holiday induced stress.

Brush & Spit - DON'T Rinse!

By Dr. Scott Thompson, DDS, Winning With Smiles

Since 1999, when John Featherstone PhD published his new data on the mechanisms of Fluoride in oral health, I and many prevention oriented colleagues have promoted the concept that one should not rinse after brushing one’s teeth.  Just spit the excess foam out and leave the residual toothpaste on your teeth.  After all, don’t we tell you the same after your dental appointment where we give you a fluoride application and tell you not to eat or rinse for 30 minutes?  Many folks will use a fluoride mouth rinse after brushing for the express purpose of leaving fluoride on their teeth.  The same concept can be accomplished by merely leaving the residual toothpaste on your teeth.

 If you like to rinse with a mouthwash for other than a fluoride based reason, then I would recommend waiting at least 30 minutes after brushing if you are going to use a non-fluoride mouth rinse.

 Despite long term recommendation of this concept by those of us in the prevention oriented segment of oral health, there has been surprisingly little formal research to verify the concept.  It was great to see an expert panel convened to review all the available research to date.  Their expert opinion of the evaluated research supported the recommendation to “Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste and spit the excess foam, but do not rinse afterward.”  Published in the British Dental Journal April, 2012.

Meadow Vista Community Center Update


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Exercise Makes the Grade

By Richard Peatman, Pharm D, Meadow Vista Pharmacy
Want your child to do better in school? Make sure exercise doesn't get the short end of the stick. A review of 12 exercise studies recently reported in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine underscored how important exercise is for the brain, not just the body. It found that children who regularly exercised tended to do better in school.  These were a few of the research findings:
• Middle school kids who exercised vigorously for at least 20 minutes, three days a week, achieved higher grades over two semesters than students who did not intensely exercise.
• Elementary school children with good aerobic fitness were more likely to excel in reading and math.
• Overweight children who exercised 40 minutes every day for 15 weeks scored better in tests of executive function – the "conductor" of cognitive skills – than overweight kids who only exercised 20 minutes.
 Researchers point to several possible reasons for these promising findings. For one, physical activity increases the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain. And, as you may already know, exercise boosts endorphins. These are hormones in the brain that improve mood. They may give kids an extra lift for tackling academic challenges. Exercise also promotes development of a protein that acts a little like Miracle-Gro® for your brain. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is found in areas of the brain that are critical for learning, memory, and higher thinking.
  Unfortunately, many children today aren't getting the physical activity their bodies and brains so desperately need. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that children and teens need a minimum of 60 minutes of mostly aerobic, physical activity each day. Aerobic activities are the ones that get your heart beating faster, such as fast walking or running. 
 What if your child isn't into sports or shuns the idea of physical exercise altogether? Then, it's up to you as a parent to help make exercise become a habit. Here are some ideas:
• Do what you can to set a positive example.
• Find fun activities you can enjoy together as a family. Hike, go bike riding or play hide-and-go seek.
• Give gifts that promote physical activity, not just sedentary ones.
• Help your child find physical activities he or she enjoys. Remember: it's not the same for everyone. Some like team sports. Others enjoy individual activities such as swimming or skating.
• Set up an electronics-free time each week.4
 With teens, exercise may be an even tougher sell, but remember that exercise doesn't have to be just for jocks.  There are countless ways to hook a kid into being more active. Think of potentially more popular activities like the video game, DanceDance Revolution. Or maybe hip-hop, martial arts, or mountain biking is the way to go.
 Want to learn more? Check out the fitness articles in our online Wellness Library at
Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.
1. Singh, A. et al. "Physical Activity and Performance at School: A Systematic Review of the Literature Including a Methodological Quality Assessment." Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012;166(1):49–55.  Available at: Accessed March 21, 2012.
2.  Edutopia: "A Fit Body Means a Fit Mind." Available at: Accessed March 21, 2012.
3. CDC: "How Much Physical Activity Do Children Need?" Available at: Accessed March 21, 2012.
4. CDC: Available at: "Making Physical Activity a Part of a Child's Life." Accessed March 21, 2012.

Recipe: Christine's Salty Toffee

From Christine Schlittenhart's Kitchen

1 c. brown sugar
2 sticks real butter
12 oz. chocolate chips
6 oz. package of sliced almonds
Saltine crackers

1. Line a large jelly roll pan (one with sides) with foil.
2. Cover with soda crackers.
3. Boil brown sugar and butter together 3 minutes (start timing when it starts boiling).
4. Pour over crackers.
5. Bake 6 to 7 minutes at 375 degrees.
6. While hot, pour chocolate chips on top. Smooth over, then spread almonds. Let cool, then freeze for several hours.
Break into pieces to serve. Perfect for Gifts Too!

Home Selling Insight

By Fred Eichenhofer, Sierra Pacific Real Estate

Why do some homes sell in days when others take months or don’t sell at all?
 When sellers or their real estate agent overlook any of the important ingredients of a successful sale, a home can linger on the market. Here are 3 reasons why a home doesn't sell quickly:

1. Asking Price is Too High.  When a home first comes on the market, the list price should be at or near the market value so buyers see it as a good value and put in an offer. The first 30 days are crucial! Pricing a house is very important even with low inventory. When buyers do not see the value in the home at the current listing price, or it’s priced far above a reasonable price range for the current market, buyers usually will not look at the house or write an offer.

2. Poor Marketing. Most real estate agents will do nothing more than put the house in the MLS (Listing system). You want an agent that will be aggressive with their marketing especially within the first 30 days. It is amazing how many agents will place a house on our listing system with no photos for days, thereby missing potential buyers that have already viewed the listing (without a photo), drastically losing potential buyers interest.

3. Home is not staged properly. A buyer wants to buy a home they can imagine living in with their family. Get the facts on how to stage your home properly. When buyers walk in the home, they should be able to envision themselves in the house as their new home.
 It is important to hire a Realtor you feel comfortable with, and a Realtor experienced to deal with all of the intricacies of a real estate transaction.
 Many times we see sellers select an agent that said their house would sell at a far higher price than the market would bear, only to sell months later at a price lower than other agents suggested. Be careful not to base your decision solely on an agent that gives you a price range higher than others, or one who will instantly cut their commission…keep in mind the old saying “You get what you pay for”.  There are a lot of expenses a listing agent incurs in order to market your home properly, other agents may not do because of the expense involved.  Lack of marketing to the public is a disadvantage for a seller, as well as initial pricing of a home. Marketing and pricing are very important aspects for a successful sale of a home.

Trick-or-Treat Trail Candids


Upcoming Christmas Fair in Meadow Vista!

The Meadow Vista Christmas Fair

Saturday, December 1st, 2012
9am - 3pm
@ The Beda Place

990 Meadow Gate Road
Meadow Vista, CA 95722

 FREE to the Public!! Christmas Basket Food Drive, vendors/crafters...alot of great seasonal items, jewelry, unique art, wood works, home decor, vendors like Cookie Lee, Tupperware, etc. , fun crafts for kids! Don't miss out on a chance for a one-of-a-kind gift, or something for yourself!!

Unfortunately, due to the "ugly" weather we have made the executive decision to postpone the fair until next Saturday, December 8th, 9am-3pm. Our decision was made with the vendors and the public's best interest in mind, we want to give the best experience possible here at The Beda Place.
I hope you can understand why we came to this decision and we hope to see you next Saturday, December 8th.

Please call or e-mail if you have any questions.
Thanks again to everyone I hope you have a wonderful day.

Amy Ugalde
Meadow Vista Christmas Fair Coordinator
(530) 878-2332
The Beda Place
990 Meadow Gate Road
Meadow Vista, CA 95722

From the Meadow Vista Lions Club

Submitted by Etta Gross, MV Lions Club Secretary

Santa is coming to town! Rudolph has assured the Meadow Vista Lions that he will safely deliver Santa Claus in Meadow Vista at the field next to the Post Office on December 8, 2012.  For Santa's visit to town the area Girl Scouts will be serving up those delicious and nicely decorated cookies they have baked.  The Lions will be serving up coffee and hot chocolate.  The bond fire will be going to help keep everyone warm while they are visiting with Santa.  Should there be unfavorable weather condition look for Santa to be at Placer Hills Auditorium.  The Meadow Vista Lions look forward to seeing everyone at dusk on December 8, 2012!
 Come support your local Meadow Vista Area Lions Club CRAB FEED
 The Lions Crab Feed will be Saturday, February 2, 2013 at Gold Country Fairgrounds (Placer Building) starting at 6 p.m.  Tickets are $35.00 each.  The menu will be salad, bread and CRAB!  No host cocktail start at 6 p.m.  Tickets are available through a Meadow Vista Area Lions member, Meadow Vista True Value Hardware, Meadow Electric, Meadow-Walker Law Group, or Dr. Hensley.  Prize drawings will be done though out the evening, with the music by Runnin 4 Cover (live band).    The sole door prize winner will walk away with $200.   All the proceeds from this event will allow the Meadow Vista Lions to continue with the community projects and events.  Some of our more special projects are The Mother's Day Breakfast, Santa Comes to Town, Easter Egg Hunt, assist financially challenged resident with eye care, school day hot dogs and many other community projects! 

 Do you want to put your expertise to good use in helping your community?  Residents are welcome to visit a Meadow Vista Lions meeting.  There are held on the second and fourth Wednesday night, starting time is 7p.m. at Meadow Vista Grange. PLEASE contact Mark at True Value Hardware about the possibilities of becoming a Meadow Vista Area Lions! 

DIY Tips to Maintain Your Furnace

Submitted by Jeff Spoor, Spoor’s Heating & Air Conditioning
Winter is here and while you're well aware of how well your heater is performing, let's talk about how you can keep it running in top shape. First of all, if you do not feel capable of handling any of the following steps on your own, hire a heating and air conditioning professional. 
Preventative  - Keep it Clean!
Like all appliances and home machinery, you want to keep your furnace clean.  A build up of dirt and dust can mean a breakdown the efficiency of your heating system.  Nowadays, who can afford to waste anything, let alone fuel?  These steps apply whether you are doing gas furnace maintenance, oil or electric furnace.

 There are three areas you want to pay attention to when it comes to furnace maintenance.  They are the furnace filters, the blower and the motor.
Maintenance - Filters!
This is a critical step in furnace maintenance, but how often you clean or replace your furnace filters will depend on a few factors.   Hold a dirty filter up to a burning light bulb.  If you can see a clear outline of the bulb, your filter is still good.  When it gets to the point you can't see the bulb, it’s time for a new one.  If you have pets, or are a smoker, you'll need to change the furnace filter more often. 
 Changing the filter may not seem important but when your furnace's blower motor burns out because your clogged filter restricted too much air flow you’ll find that a new motor is going to cost you a lot more than a filter.

Maintenance - Blower & Motor:
Clean the blower assembly.  Check to make sure the belt isn't loose or damaged. Assuming your furnace doesn't have a sealed blower motor, put a few drops of oil in the motor.  Now the blower motor is running smoothly and efficiently, and your heating system should keep you warm this winter.

 A few furnace tips worth noting. Your heating and air conditioning vents are there for a reason.  Neither your return air vents nor your supply registers should be obstructed by furniture or anything else.  Air needs to circulate through them freely.  And that includes filters that are used at the vent.  Are they trapping lots of junk?  They're likely trapping lots of air too. If you absolutely must use thick filters of any sort, have the static pressure tested at both the return and supply vents to make sure you're getting the required minimum airflow for your furnace.    

 Does your furnace room double as a storage closet?  Bad idea.  No kind of flammable material should be stored anywhere near your furnace or water heater.  And speaking of your furnace room.  Did you know that your furnace and water heater need a lot of combustion air?  Unless your furnace has a fresh air vent installed and piped to the exterior of your house--and no, that does NOT mean your chimney--you need to have a vented furnace room.

Meadow Vista Troop 6 Scouts Give Back

 For more than fifty years Troop 6 of Meadow Vista has been helping many area boys mature into young men through various activities and countless hours of community service. The next major community service project is the pickup and recycling of Christmas Trees, this upcoming January. More information will be delivered to Meadow Vista residents through the Mail in December.  Please watch for it.

 In recent years Troop 6 has served as Color Guard for the Pioneer Day Parade, Colfax July 4th Parades, served many Mothers and Grandmothers at the annual Mother Day Breakfast,  helped clean their meeting place and supported the Lions Club Christmas adventure when Santa arrives in our town. 

 “I really enjoyed giving the Mom’s flowers and seating families at the Mothers Day Breakfast,” said David Hunt, 15 year old Star Rank Scout. “You get a good feeling giving back to the community.”
 Scouting is exciting, fun and rewarding. Everyone knows the Boy Scout Motto “Be Prepared” but through various activities a scout also learns to be, “Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.”  Scouts learn these values through activities such as, camping, hiking, backpacking, compass navigation, overnight trips to Alcatraz Island, USS Hornet and Pampanito Museums, plus exposure to Science, Crafts, Trades and Business merit badges to mention a few.

 “The very best part of being in Scouts is the serenity of the woods when we camp together as a group,” said Jeffrey Holt, Life Scout currently working on an Eagle project for the fire department.  “Thanks to Scouting I have learned more skills than would have in any other setting such as Wilderness First Aid and Wilderness Survival, to mention my two favorites.”

 As a Scout progresses through various ranks, he shoots to earn the highest and most respected possible leadership rank of “Eagle,” the pinnacle award in Scouting. To achieve this rank, the Scout demonstrates his learned leadership skills and completes a major community service project.  To date our Scouts have provide thousands of hours to the community.  Eagle Projects you may have seen include the large Meadow Vista Park and Pool shade structures, Equestrian Trail picnic tables, Placer and Sierra Hills Nature area planter beds and irrigation systems, Placer Hills School and Methodist Church Signs, and expansion of address markers for residents to ensure that emergency services promptly  find locations, to name a few.

 If you are a young man ages 11 through 17 and being part of Scouting is interesting to you, we welcome you to join us on Tuesdays’ at Faith Lutheran Church (Combie Road, Meadow Vista), 7:00pm – 8:30 pm.   For more information please call 878-3798 or to support BSA Troop 6 write care of P.O. Box 754, Meadow Vista, CA 95722.  Thank you for the ongoing continuing support.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Meadow Vista Halloween Trick or Treat Trail

The Meadow Vista Merchants Trick or Treat Trail will be held in downtown Meadow Vista on Wednesday, October 31st from 3pm to 6pm. Children & Adults can visit the participating downtown merchants displaying this poster for a treat.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Trick or Treat Trail 2012 in Meadow Vista

The Meadow Vista Merchants Trick or Treat Trail will be held in downtown Meadow Vista on Wednesday, October 31st from 3pm to 6pm. Children & Adults can visit the participating downtown merchants displaying a pumpkin poster for a treat.

Kiwi's Shark Hunt Game Answers

Game Answers:
Bat - pg 4
Candy Corn - pg 15
Black Cat - pg 6
Cauldron - Back Cover
Pumpkin - pg 9
Skull - pg 3
Spider - pg 10
Shark - pg 14

5 Ways to Recession Proof Your Holiday

By Ashlei Jackson, Qlixite

Worried about funding your holidays because of the recession? Thinking about cutting back? While saving for the rainy day might be smart in a tough economy, it definitely doesn't make for a fun holiday season. Therefore, it's important to take action now and learn how to recession proof your holidays so you can enjoy them.
Tip #1  Potluck your holiday meals - When getting together with family, friends or co-workers for holiday meals and parties, don't take on the burden of paying for the entire meal. Let your guests bring their favorite holiday dish. Make it fun by having a contest or making it a recipe swap.
Tip #2  Raid the Local Dollar Store or Goodwill - You will be surprised by the kinds of holiday items they sell including wrapping paper, wreaths, ornaments, table runners and stocking stuffers. These small items can really add at major retailers so saving here can allow you to spend more on bigger presents for your loved ones.
Tip #3  Cash in those Coupons - Stores like Safeway and Walgreens are really into giving out coupons that are based on your shopping habits. These could be printed on the bottom of your receipt or emailed to you so be sure to look before you shred. Stock up on dry goods as they go on sale ahead of time to spread out the expense of holiday meals and treats.
Tip #4  Budget now, Enjoy later - Figure out what you plan on spending for gifts, parties and events now and figure out how much you need to save between now and then. Use this extra time to cut back on Starbucks trips, lunch outings, movies or excess purchases. The you save by cutting a few things over the next few weeks will add up and feel less like a sacrifice.
Tip #5   Sell your junk on eBay - Ebay is like a garage sale that reaches every corner of the earth  someone might want your stuff! This is the perfect time to get rid of that stuff you keep but never use. You'll get the best bang for your buck if you do a little research to see if people are looking for your particular items by searching eBay. All the money you make can go towards funding your holidays or paying the credit card bills.
Bonus Tip   Focus on the Positive of the Holidays - Whatever you do, don’t focus all of your thoughts on the negativity of the recession. Doing so will cause you needless worry and self sabotage. Approach any money saving efforts with a light heart. If you take them too seriously, it will make it feel like a “dreaded” chore. Spend time talking with your family and visualizing a happy holiday season so that everyone is working together. Prepare your kids and family members if there are gifts or parties you won’t be able to participate in or make it a group goal to save now to be able to enjoy later. Good Luck (You can do it!)

The Switchback Challenge Race 2012

The Switchback Challenge race will be taking place on Saturday, October 13, 2012 with all proceeds going towards the Meadow Vista Community Center. Event registration is at 7:00 am and race time begins at 9:00 am. at the parking lot of the Foothill Christian Fellowship on Surgarpine Road just off of Placer Hills Road. This year’s race is designed to coincide with the Oktoberfest taking place in downtown Meadow Vista that evening.

With challenges being issued to the CHP Team winners of last year’s Silver Cup Trophy, Placer High School Cross Country Team believes they will relive the law enforcement agency of the coveted award. Cheerleaders from Bear River High School have allegedly challenged the Cheer team from Colfax and rumors continue to stir the foothills with challenges being issued daily to various law enforcement teams and athletic teams, including Colfax Varsity Football Players, as the excitement builds.

“This course is my favorite training run. Think of it as a 10K on steroids, clearly brutal if you race it but pleasant and remarkably scenic if you take your time,” said Dr. Gordon Ainsleigh DC, age 64, Founder of the Western States 100 mile run.
The course is nestled in the Sierra Foothills, featuring 6.6 miles of a variety of topography ranging from gently rolling hills to 3 steep hills. The race course itself has been set up to be 100% trail course with the exception of the first and last 200 meters. In a unique twist, event organizer's are changing the direction of the run to be in the clockwise direction.

On-line registration is encouraged with categories for Adult Run/Walk, Under 18 Run/Walk and seniors, age 55+, Run/walk. Standard entry does include gender specific Sport Tec or similar athletic short sleeved sport t-shirt, commemorative bib number, finishers ribbon and eligibility for awards. In line with the events credo, taken from Romans, “We rejoice in our suffering knowing that suffering produces endurance and produces character.”
Together let’s get the Meadow Vista Community Center finished that is the result we want to produce! If you would like to donation please make check payable to Switchback Challenge- MVCC, P.O. Box 598, Meadow Vista California 95722. For more information and specific details please visit

The Silver Switchback Challenge Trophy

John Arrabit on Sugar Pine Mountain Trail, Event Organizer and member of last years winning team. Will 2012 be the year that the coveted Trophy will go to another team, say Placer County Sheriff's Department - come out to cheer your team on!

Mortgage Trends: Rates Going Lower?

By Toni Ryan, First Priority Financial

Rates are low and there are many programs to allow homeowners the opportunity to lower their monthly payments and buyers to buy homes.  So that's good right?  Yes, but be prepared to spend some time to get the rate you want especially if you are refinancing.
 You are not alone, many borrowers are trying to accomplish their dream of a rate in the 3+% range  lenders, title companies, appraisers, inspectors, etc are all busy.  It is important to note that the priority is to close the loan for a purchase above the loan for a refinance.  Having said that, many of the low rate lenders are quoting 20 day turnaround  times  that is 20 business days.  The file must be complete and have the finished appraisal to be submitted.  Turn times change daily as the work load changes so be patient.
 The fear is often that rates will increase and one will “miss out”.  Most experts are predicting lower rates or no change in rates until mid 2013.  Often times, files placed in underwriting are seeing lower rates than they would have, if they had locked loans at two to three weeks ago so “time is on their side”.
 It is important to note the trends over the years.  Just like gas prices go up right before Memorial Day and Labor Day, rates go down in the fall and early winter.  The best advice  Now is the time to complete the loan file to be prepared to take advantage of the trends as well as the daily lows that occur each week.  Good things come to those who are patient and observant.

News from Meadow Vista Friendly Neighbors

It’s that time of year again.  Your Meadow Vista Friendly Neighbors Club (TMVFNC) will be at work on Saturday, November 10, 2012 with a Pancake Breakfast to benefit the Meadow Vista Christmas Basket Program.  The Meadow Vista Lions will be doing the cooking of those delicious pancakes, sausage and eggs.  All proceeds will be used for the Meadow Vista Christmas Baskets.  The surrounding communities of Applegate, Clipper Gap, Christian Valley and Weimar are included with Meadow Vista for this Christmas Basket Program. Donation of cash, canned food or a new toy will be happily accepted at this Pancake Breakfast event.   A suggested amount or value of $5 in exchange for a breakfast plate would be greatly appreciated to support the Meadow Vista Christmas Baskets.   Come visits your neighbor plus help those neighbors that need some assistances during the Christmas holiday.

Here is how the Meadow Vista Christmas Basket program works; families that are in need will complete an application.  Starting in October applications can be picked up at the local post offices and bulletin boards throughout the communities and various other ways.  The completed application is mailed to TMVFNC, P.O. Box 764, Meadow Vista, CA 95722 to begin registration.  Another way is families in need, or should you know of a family in need, may call Etta Gross at (530) 637.5359 to register for the Christmas Basket Program.

Thanks to the community and Wells Fargo Bank in Meadow Vista, every child signed up will receive a gift to open on Christmas.  This happens by residents selecting an ornament from the basket at Wells Fargo.  The ornament will have the child’s gender and age.  Once you have purchased, wrapped your donation with the ornament attached, please return the package to Wells Fargo Bank in Meadow Vista by December 10, 2012. 

Along with a present for a child there will be food baskets containing items for Christmas Dinner and other donated canned food.  Our goal is to supply enough food to last for two weeks during the Holiday season.  This allows the children in the household food during the school Holiday break.  Cash donations assist us in purchasing large quantities of canned foods, fresh vegetables, and other items to complete Christmas Dinner and fill in where the donated canned foods may need some additional support. 

The assembling of the food baskets will take place at Sierra Hills School auditorium on December 14, 2012 starting at 4:30 p.m.  Please note this is a new start time!  WE invite you to come see how the community works together on helping their neighbors that are having difficulties during the holiday season.  Once you have helped with food box assembling, it really gives you the feeling of what Christmas is ALL about. 

If you would like to financially support the Meadow Vista Christmas Basket Program, check payable to The Meadow Vista Friendly Neighbors Club (or TMVFNC) should be mailed to P.O. Box 764, Meadow Vista, CA  95722. 

For more information please contact Etta Gross at (530) 637-5359, or Gerry Hinkle at (530) 878-6117.  

THANK YOU Community for year after year of making this event so SUCCESSFUL!

Oktoberfest 2012 in Meadow Vista

What to Expect from a Massage Session

By Joel Curry, MSW, CMT, Pathways to Health

What happens in a massage session?  You and the practitioner will discuss what you want from the session and this will determine which parts of the body will be the focus of the massage and what form of bodywork will be used.  If basic relaxation and stress relief are the focus of the work, Swedish massage will be employed.  If  you are experiencing pain to the point of discomfort while lying on the massage table, pressure point applications may also be used.

 Swedish, the most prevalent form of bodywork, relaxes muscles, reduces stress and eases minor aches and pains.  It involves broad, flowing strokes and the use of oil, which requires some disrobing. You, as the receiver decide the extent to which you disrobe.  The practitioner will leave the room while you undress. You will be properly draped at all times with a clean sheet or towel. Only the area worked on will be exposed. At the end of the session, the practitioner will again leave the room while you dress.  
 For chronic or acute pain, Acupressure or Shiatsu may be called for and can be incorporated with Swedish massage.  Bowen Therapy may also be used but is not usually combined with other methods. Pressure point work is done to relieve pain or areas of tension. Reflexology is another pressure point system where the feet and hands are worked to stimulate corresponding areas of the body.
Communication is a key in getting what you want from a massage or bodywork session.  Do not hesitate to let your therapists know how you are responding. Throughout either relaxation or pain relief sessions, it is recommended that you give your therapists feedback regarding your response to the work.  If the depth of the work is causing you to tense in response, this can be counterproductive and it  is important that you tell the therapist to ease the pressure. 

PHEF: Press Release

The Placer Hills Education Foundation Grants $91,250 to

the Placer Hills School District!

The Placer Hills Education Foundation (PHEF) is a 501(c)(3)nonprofit organization that formed six years ago to build support and provide resources to preserve and enrich education in the Placer Hills School District which includes Sierra Hills School, Sierra Hills Arts and Science Charter School in Meadow Vista, Weimar Hills Elementary School and Weimar Hills Arts and Technology Charter School.  The 2011-2012 fundraising season proved to be the best yet.
Each year PHEF holds a dinner auction as their primary fundraiser.  This year the auction raised over $70,000 for the schools!  As part of the auction this year, SunPower© donated a residential solar system to be auctioned off for the schools.  In addition, the foundation was awarded a $5,000 grant from the United Auburn Indian Community to help support library services in the district.  Numerous donations from parents, community members and local businesses raised the total award to the schools to $91,250.  The largest grant PHEF has ever awarded to the Placer Hills Union School District.    In total, PHEF has raised half a million dollars for their school district since 1995!

The money granted to the school district this year will be used to support library services, technology and counseling programs in the district.  In the past, PHEF grants have supported art, music, physical education, field trips, new curriculum, computer software, hardware, art docent, and many other areas of education that most districts have seen suffer in the tight economy.

Meadow Vista Community Center Update

Upcoming Fundraisers to Help During the Holidays

Submitted by Etta Gross for the Meadow Vista Lions Club & Friendly Neighbors

Meadow Vista Lions See's Candies fund raiser will start on Nov. 16, 2012.  We will be in front of Holiday Market on the weekends after Thanksgiving.  Making purchases early allows the opportunity to get your FAVORITE See's Candies!
 You will find the Meadow Vista Area Lions club helping out Santa on Saturday Dec. 8, 2012. Our local Girl Scouts will be assisting Ms. Claus with baking all those tasty and gorgeous cookies.  The Girl Scouts will be serving those cookies too! 
 Your Meadow Vista Friendly Neighbors Club (TMVFNC) will be at work on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 with a Pancake Breakfast to benefit the Meadow Vista Christmas Basket Program.  The Meadow Vista Lions will be cooking delicious pancakes, sausage and eggs. Donations of cash, canned good or a new toy ($5 value) are happily accepted.
 Holiday ornaments will be available at the M.V. Wells Fargo starting in November. Please return your ornament with wrapped gift by Dec. 10th.
 We will assemble the Christmas Food Baskets at Sierra Hills School on Dec. 14 at 4:30pm. We invite you to come out and help. Baskets will be delivered needy families in our community. See an extended version of this article online at for more info.

The Positive Energy of 2012

By Tonya Elliott-Walker, LMFT, University of Phoenix Lead Faculty Area Chair I, Morningstar Counseling & Wellness Center

There has been so much media attention focused on the doom and gloom of 2012 and yet it is Fall and we are still here and relatively intact. The Mayan and Hopi prophecies suggest that time will end as we know it. Many people thought this meant that our world was coming to a violent end.  Indeed, there have been natural disasters and difficult economic and political climates, however, our planet still spins. So what did the ancients mean when they said that time would end as we know it?  Perhaps the key phrase here is “as we know it”.
 Maybe what the ancients meant was that our relationship with time would change. Does your life feel as if you are going 90 miles an hour with no way to slow it down? With cell phones, computers and the speed of information, people feel like they are “on” all the time. They are texting or emailing colleagues, family and friends. They have very little down time.  Maybe the ancients understood that our relationship with time would become imbalanced. Just because we have better technology and can accomplish more in less time doesn't mean we should. What about quality of life and relationships? What about our health? We know that stress is the number one common denominator in all major life threatening diseases. Think of the word:  disease. Our global health is a reflection of our consciousness of dis-ease, being ill at ease, or completely stressed out on all levels for way too long. 
 Maybe the ancients knew that there would come a time when we, as a human race, would have to choose to slow down consciously to avoid becoming worker drones living to pay off our credit card debt and slaving at work so that we can support our shopping habits. Maybe they knew that there would have to be a tremendous shift in consciousness as a mass collective to avoid some of the doom and gloom scenarios that are associated with those types of lifestyles that bring dis-ease to ourselves and our planet.  Maybe they understood that we would need to choose to attend to our spiritual values and family values again on a mass level to rebuild the foundation.  Love, connectedness, peace, tolerance, faith, trust; these are the qualities of a sustainable world and the energy that 2012 brings.  A wise spiritual master once told me that just before the attribute manifests the counterfeit shows up to be healed and released. Maybe all of the war and economic crisis and political tension is the counterfeit showing up. Whether we respond in love or fear is the real determiner of our future.

Events: Placer Hills United Methodist Church

Used Book Sale at Meadow Vista Library

The Friends of the Meadow Vista Library Winter Book Sale will be held on Tuesday December 4th from noon until 4 PM and on Wednesday December 5th from 2 to 6 PM at the library, 16981 Placer Hills Road, Meadow Vista.  Great used books to give as holiday gifts, used CD's, VHS tapes, audio books and DVD's will be offered at bargain prices all $1.00 or less.  On Wednesday shoppers may fill a bag with paperback books for only $1.00.
 The Meadow Vista Library is one of the community's jewels.  Years ago, if one wanted a library book, a trip to Auburn's Carnegie Library on Almond Street was required.  As Meadow Vista grew in population the county saw the need for a branch in Meadow Vista, so in 1951 a small library was opened on Placer Hills Road in what is now a real estate office.  Space was limited and circulation low.  In keeping with the community's rural nature, a hitching post provided a place for the children who rode their horses to the library.  This small library closed in 1964.
 In more recent years the county's Book Mobile had scheduled stops in Meadow Vista until the current library opened in December 2002.  The library is located in the lower floor of the Holiday Market.  The library is open Tuesday through Saturday with varying hours of operation. 
 In 2003 the Friends of the Meadow Vista Library, a non-profit fund raising organization, was founded.  This organization solicits gifts of used books from the public and then sponsors twice-yearly book sales in the spring and fall.  Monies raised support library programs such as the summer reading and craft programs and to purchase needed library materials. Contact Virginia Parker 878-7804 for information.