Now we are “set” for spring: daffodils have bloomed, we have had some rain, the time has sprung forward. Not time to put in a garden yet, but maybe start some seeds to get ready. Our forsythia bloomed gloriously this week. Iris probably next. Such fun to watch redbud, then dogwood fill our woods. Keep those tomatoes under cover, though.


            There are several Peddler’s Fairs planned for the up coming months. Below is a list of the dates, times, locations and set up fees, if any, for each event. There will be reminders and updates as each individual event draws near. #1. April 11th, 9 am – 4 pm, Brownsville Mercantile & Books and More parking lots, Brownsville, no set up fee. #2. May 23, 9 am – 4 pm, Brownsville Mercantile & Books and More parking lots, Brownsville, no set up fee. #3. July 4, 9 am – 4 pm, Brownsville Mercantile & Books and More parking lots, Brownsville, no set up fee. #4. August 1, 9 am – 4 pm, Forbestown Community Park, Forbestown, $35.00 set up fee for support of park and community center up keep. #5. September 5, 9 am – 4 pm, Brownsville Mercantile & Books and More parking lots, Brownsville, no set up fee. If you are interested in setting up a booth at any or all of these events please contact Christine at 530-675-9225 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


        Look Back in Time – in 1900 the Challenge post office building was moved with horses, cables and willing hands to a new, much more convenient location west of the hotel (that would have been a sight to see).


            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon.    Christine and Yvonne

        Have you been to Stone Soup lately? It is approaching its fourth year, pretty amazing. We have

special days, like a birthday cake and a song every 4th Thursday. On the second Thursday of the month, we have a Souper Sale with lots of goodies that helps support the program. Now on the fourth Thursday we plan to have games after lunch. Colleen Jarboe will plan this and get it started. This week it will be Mexican Train; who knows what next month will bring. Of course, there is always a jigsaw puzzle to be worked on and checkers and other games available. We are glad to have friends and neighbors gather at the community center around 11:30 to visit, then eat together at noon. Come join us.


        The elections will be over by the time you read this: the Yuba Feather Community Services board of directors as well as Super Tuesday. Will there be any changes? What will the effect on our lives be? We hope you took the time to vote. We are pretty fortunate to be able to cast our votes.


            Here we go again! Time to move those clocks ahead. Daylight saving will be upon us on March 8th, so be sure to “Spring Forward” your clocks before you go to bed on the 7th.


            Weather permitting, there will be a Peddler’s Fair at Books and More, in Brownsville, on Saturday, March 14th from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Space is free and first come first serve. Come on down, set up your booth and sell your wares. If you want more information contact Christine Mills at 530-675-9225 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Look Back in Time – Only the organ and the teacher's desk were saved when the Upham School burned in 1917. All students got out safely, led by teacher Mrs. Mary McMillan (I always wanted to go up the Upham road, maybe next time).


            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon.    Christine and Yvonne

         Theodore Seuss Geisel was born in Massachusetts on March 2, 1904. Better known as Dr. Seuss, he has had a terrific influence on children's reading for many years. His first book,  And to Think I Saw  it on Mulberry Street, was published in 1937 and about 60 books followed that one over the years. Many of the books suggest lessons we could all learn from: The Grinch, The Lorax, The Cat in the Hat, and others. He passed away in 1991 at the age of 87.


In honor of his contribution of helping children celebrate the joy of reading, March 2 has been declared   National Read Across America Day. Many schools celebrate that day with special events. Consider reading one of his books on his birthday.      


            Is it going to be a month before we can shop at Gold Eagle? It has been a long year and a half having to go elsewhere for groceries and gas. We also miss our bulletin board and visiting with neighbors. Thanks to Tony for filling the gap for so long.


            A Peddlers Fair is being planned for Saturday, March 14, starting at 11:00 am, to be held in the parking lot of Books and More in Brownsville. If you have items you wish to sell just come on down and set up your booth. All space is first come first serve. There is no fee for space. You can call Books and More at 675-3275 for more information. Books and More is located on Willow Glen Rd. in Brownsville.


            Look Back in Time  - In 1901 during a severe thunder storm in Dobbins lightning struck the telephone wire, destroying the instrument in the telephone office (spring storms can hurt).


            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon.    Christine and Yvonne

On March 3 there will be several elections, some local, some not so. In order to have things working well, it is important to stay involved, take part in making decisions, or not complain. At Yuba Feather Community Services that annual election of board members will take place soon after 7 pm at the community center. On the board of nine members, each year three come up for reelection or replacement. In addition, there have been a couple of members resign. It is important to take part in the organization that operates the community center, park, amphitheater and fields. Come cast your vote.


The plans for 4 Peddler’s Fairs are in the works for this summer. Three in Brownsville and one in Forbestown. The three dates in Brownsville will be May 23, July 4 and September 5 and will be held at the Brownsville Mercantile and Books & More parking lots. The date in Forbestown will be August 1 and will be held at the Forbestown Park. If you are interested in selling at any or all of these events please contact Christine mills at 530-675-9225 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to reserve your space or for more information.


The weather sure has been spring like. But don’t be fooled, winter is not over yet. It’s just hiding, waiting to leap out again. My daffodils have bloomed and I have seen snow on their little heads more than once.


            Look Back in Time – In 1906 forty pupils attended Forbestown school (now you can visit the Yuba Feather museum in Forbestown and see a replica of Forbestown school).


            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon.    Christine and Yvonne

Have you ever had a “dream”, the kind that you could really work on if you wanted, one that could come true? I was thinking about Bill and Alice Rodenburg who moved here and dreamed of having an airport with houses you could actually “drive” your plane home to. And it happened! How many people moved to our small area of the world and worked at making their dream come true? Only a half dozen people managed to start a bank here. The doctors started our health clinic in the middle of nowhere. Bud and I dreamed of having a book store and we did it. Now I am dreaming of creating a Senior Village of small cabins that one could rent when you no longer want to live alone. Can we make this happen? A group of people in Next Step are working on the idea that we could make it happen. We are not sure what our “next step” might be, but we are looking into it. Any ideas?


            Valentine’s Day is Friday. Make those dinner reservations, buy that box of candy, and purchase the Valentine cards now. You surely don’t want to tell your Valentine, “Oh, Honey, I forgot!” We wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!


            Look Back in Time – in 1902 the Gold Bank Mine was running. It was music to the ears of those living in Forbestown and the miners looked happy on pay day (wish there were more small businesses that made money in our areas today, we need jobs).


            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon.    Christine and Yvonne

The annual election for Yuba Feather Community Services Board of Directors is coming up. This nine person board works hard to make sure maintenance is kept up in the building, at the park and ball fields and the amphitheater. It keeps track of all groups that meet there, makes plans for fund raising and more. We can always use more input from the community. The election will be held on March 3 at the community center starting at 7 pm. Hope to see you there.


            Hill Top Breakfast is being held, as usual, on February 9 from 8 am until 11 downstairs at Ponderosa Community Center in Brownsville. Come join your friends and neighbors with an “all you can eat” breakfast of eggs, ham, sausage, biscuits and pancakes. This is a great volunteer group that manages our medical transport vehicle. This breakfast helps pay the insurance, maintenance and other need for the car. Come by and help out.


            It’s Leap Year! Each year is actually 365.24 days, so, every four years, all those quarters add up to almost one and we get an extra day. Leap year is known for a few things. It’s the year presidential elections are held. Ladies, if you want to be traditionally untraditional, it’s a leap year custom for women to propose to their boyfriends on Feb. 29. People born on Feb. 29 are known as leaplings or leapers. This leap year offers an extra bonus. 2020 will be the year of celebrations. Valentine’s Day will be on a Friday, so you may want to get your reservations now. Cinco De Mayo will be on Taco Tuesday. Fourth of July and Halloween will both fall on Saturdays and Christmas Day and New Year’s Day 2021 will both be on a Friday. So 2020 should be a great year!


Look Back in Time – In 1904 Mrs. Knotwell had her store and post office in Forbestown lighted up with gasoline lamps, a great improvement (if power goes out we will wish we still had them).


            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon.    Christine and Yvonne

            The Next Step Group has a couple of projects in the works and hope to have some definite news soon. One is a van that can be taken to local happenings as well as to the valley. There will be a central phone number to call to organize the trip. Up to six passengers can call for a ride to Stone Soup or Farmer's Market, several people can organize a ride to town to WalMart or another central spot. Perhaps we could arrange a trip to the movies or to a casino sometime. Now to get the van insured and ready to use. The next project is further down the line. What do you think about building a village of small cabins clustered around a lodge that can be used for potlucks, games or community gatherings? So many details have not been worked our, but it is under discussion. How can we get Yuba County involved, can we use solar power, should we rent, lease, or buy cabins?  Should we build from scratch or buy modular houses? There are many people in and around Brownsville that would benefit from some sort of cooperative village living. Keep watching for more details as we make plans.


            Look Back in Time – In 1909 we had fifty inches of rain during the month of January (wonder what it will be this year).


            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon.    Christine and Yvonne

On Saturday, January 25, there will be a Yuba Feather Community Services membership dinner at the community center in Brownsville. Spaghetti dinner will be served free to YFCS members. You can obtain a membership at the door or pay for your dinner. Desserts are requested for a dessert auction and there will be a raffle. Come join your friends and neighbors for dinner.


            It looks like we will be shopping at Brownsville Gold Eagle before too long. The siding is going up and who knows how far the inside has come. It’s been kind of fun watching the progress. Can’t wait to see the finished product, wander through the aisles and gas up my truck!


            Haven’t see much going on for the Dollar General to be built on the old Cathy’s Corner in Brownsville. Should be some activity over there soon. Keep watching!


            Look Back in Time – In 1913 The first mail in LaPorte in 10 days was delivered when Eveline Bustillos, age 16, carried it 25 miles through on snowshoes (one tough gal).


            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon.    Christine and Yvonne

Welcome to the new decade – 2020. What changes will affect us? Let's meet the new year with confidence, we can handle the challenges. Hang in there.


            The Yuba Feather Community Services is up and running, trying to keep heads above water, financially. There is a membership meeting at the end of January (not sure of the date), so consider joining or keeping your membership up as part of your community commitment. This group manages the community center, amphitheater, park and ball fields for the benefit of our communities, so getting involved is important. Several groups use the facilities regularly: Stone Soup on Thursday at noon, Hill Top Gang for monthly breakfast, Historical Association for quarterly meetings, the Quilt Guild every Wednesday and probably others. At other times the facilities are rented for special occasions. All of this gives us a great place to come together, so let's work to keep it running.


            Look Back in time - In 1898 Julie Kumic sold one-tenth interest in the Red Ravine Mine at Indiana Ranch to L. T. William Crane of Sharen Valley (wonder where Red Ravine is).


            See you in Brownsville soon.             

                Christine and Yvonne

We are in full celebration mode, so we want to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. We will also be skipping the December 31st column and want to thank all of our faithful readers for their continued support as we look forward to 2020.


Hope to see you around Brownsville soon!         Christine & Yvonne


We hope you really enjoyed Christmas in the Foothills. All of the businesses put out an effort to have something special to help you enjoy the season. Shopping locally helps us all as these small businesses can't compete with the box stores down town, but they do have unique and one of a kind items. Many second hand items make great gifts. You put a “basket” together with related items. Get a good glass pie plate from the thrift store, buy a secondhand cookbook, and put a new utensil in the package. Children's books make good gifts, and we can always find useful items at the hardware store.


            Now is the time to look around and enjoy all of the work you have gotten done so far this month. Each family has unique customs and traditions; to each his own. Enjoy what you can as you get ready for the holiday. Some decorate the tree, some send out cards, some bake cookies. No one can do it all, pick and choose and enjoy.


            School will be out for the Christmas break from December 23 until January 6. The excited little munchkins will be out and about. Keep an eye out for them as they have been known to not pay attention to traffic. We wish them all a wonderful break from school and a Christmas filled with surprises..


            Look Back in Time – In 1927 Charles Adams' car went down the road with a large Christmas tree on the running board (I remember recognizing who went down the road because I recognized their car).


            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon.    Christine and Yvonne

Several people are enjoying various arts and crafts at Books & More on Saturday mornings. Jani Beckwith is offering Art From the Heart on alternate Saturdays at 10 am. She will work with mandalas, collages and card making. This will be more of a graphic design project. A knitting group meets once a month. Their next meeting is Dec. 28 and then again on January 11. Please call for more information (675-3275).


            Many thanks to all those who helped make the 27th Annual Christmas in the Foothills a success. From putting out signs, posting on the Facebook page, making phone calls, designing the map, and all the other many details that go into putting the event together. But we don’t want to forget all the businesses that participate. There would be no Christmas in the Foothills without your participation.


            Look Back in Time – In 1885 Colonel Rackerby sold the finest Mental Invigorating from his store. He also carried food and clothes for men and beasts. Oyster suppers were served (we wonder how many people actually used a Mental Invigorating).


            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon.    Christine and Yvonne

Books & More and the Thrift store usually close during the week between Christmas and New Years. Books & More and the Thrift Store will be closed from Dec. 22 through Jan. 7. .  Hope you have a good holiday. Please stop by both stores and buy some holiday items.


            December 7 is Pearl Harbor Day. This is the day that Pearl Harbor was bombed, bringing the U.S. into war with Japan. The U.S.S. Arizona was sunk with all on board and still lies in repose as a graveyard for the crew. I have been to Pearl Harbor and to the U.S.S. Arizona memorial, built over the ship. It is a truly memorable place. Remember those who have given their all for our freedoms.


            Christmas in the Foothills will have a wonderful kickoff with the Tree Lighting on Friday, December 6th at the Foothill Fire House. The tree will be lit at 6:30 pm, but come early because there will be craft projects for the kids, cookies, cocoa, tea, coffee, cider and music. Santa will be there to greet the kids and light the tree. This is a fantastic way to start Christmas Cheer with the whole family. Then on Saturday and Sunday, the 7th & 8th, hop in the car and shop, wine and dine your way along the Christmas in the Foothills trail. With 28 stops you are sure to have a fun day and complete your shopping list. Check out or

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a copy of the map and list. The Foothills will be filled with the scents and sounds of Christmas!


            Look Back in Time – In 1910 the Rackerby Shakespeare Club met at G, A. Devol's home. While the men played Pedro and Cribbage, the children played games (we guess Shakespeare's work was being read by the women).


            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon.    Christine and Yvonne

A special Thank You note came from the group that organized Farmer's Market this past summer. They appreciated the effort made by the several volunteers that organized activities for kids. It is so nice to be thanked. We hope Farmer's Market goes as well next year. Consider getting involved in this community effort.


            Books & More and the Brownsville Mercantile are planning a special tamale lunch and yard sale for Nov. 30. You will be able to get a full tamale lunch or purchase individual tamales to go. It would be great if we had other people involved. How about a plant swap,  bake sale, crafters or other vendors. Come join in.


            The FVFDA Thrift Store, Books & More and Brownsville Mercantile will be closed Thanksgiving day. We hope the Thrift Store did well on their Christmas Bazaar. All of it helps support the Foothill Volunteer Fire Department.


            Don’t forget to pack up the clan and head to Hometown Christmas in Forbestown on Saturday, November 30th. Crafters, food vendors, people dressed in period clothing, Father Christmas, carolers and so much more will be happening in the museum / replica gold mining town, located on New York Flat Rd., from 10 am to 6 pm. A family fun day to start the Christmas Cheer.


            Look Back in Time – In 1927 a radio set was installed in the Forbestown residence of Mr. and Mrs. Cooney (like our tower coming into range for cell phone reception).


            We wish you all a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!


            Hope you come to Brownsville soon.    Christine and Yvonne

Some of our readers have come by Books & More on Saturday mornings and joined a art/craft group. Usually people enjoyed the project as well as the camaraderie. A new workshop is being added to the mix. Every two weeks Jani Beckwith is leading a workshop called Art From the Heart and has more to do with graphic design, color choices and having a personal message than actual drawing or painting. Her first workshop will be held on Nov. 23 starting at 10 am. Come by and check it out.


            Hometown Christmas is Saturday, November 30 from 10 am to 6 pm. Yuba Feather Museum’s Gold Rush Town will be filled with shops and tents full of crafts and an array of Christmas shopping items. Come stroll along the boardwalks and enjoy the spiced cider, Christmas carolers and Father Christmas. There will be elegant ladies and gentlemen dressed in their finery and fur trappers. The Gold Rush Town is located at 19096 New York Flat Rd. in Forbestown.


            Country Christmas Faire is held at the fair grounds in Grass Valley and is an event you should not miss. It will take place on November 29, 30 & December 1 from 10 am to 5 pm. Each building is filled with crafters, artisans, and vendors all offering a wide array of Christmas gifts. There is music, Holiday themed characters roam the grounds, food and much, much more.


        Look Back in Time – In 1898 Mrs.Spiers of Gridley displayed the latest fall and winter millinery to the ladies of Dobbins Hotel parlor (probably some beautiful dressy hats).


            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon.    Christine and Yvonne

        Don't forget the Thrift Store Bazaar, it will be held on Nov. 22 – 23. This is a good chance to open the holiday season buying a few baked goods and checking out their gift selections and Christmas decoration items. In addition, of course, it helps support Foothill Volunteer Fire Department.


            Watching the Gold Eagle Market go up is exciting! Are there any guesses as to when the opening day will be? It sure has been missed.


            Look Back in Time – In 1914 Challenge Hotel, owned by by Dr. J. Van Male, burned to the ground in the early morning hours, a great loss for the town and travelers (fires are still one of our most feared disasters).


            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon.   


            Christine and Yvonne

The general meeting of Yuba Feather Community Services will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12. This group organizes the use of Ponderosa Park and Community Center. The public is welcomed to get involved in the various activities, helping bring our communities together on various projects. The meeting will start at 7 pm downstairs at the community center.


            Monday, November 11th is Veteran’s Day. We should always keep our veteran’s and current military personnel in our thoughts and prayers, but Veteran’s Day is a great time to make an extra effort to show our appreciation for their sacrifices with a handshake or hug. Without them all, we would not be able to live our life of freedom.


            Books & More has craft sessions each Saturday from 10 am to about noon. The knitting group has become quite popular. Call Books & More at 530-675-3275 for the list of crafts being offered and to sign up.    


            Look Back in Time – In 1900 stage driver C. A. Smith was driving a flashy, newly painted coach, done by the local artist C. F. Harvey of Sharon Valley (love a flashy paint job on pickups).


            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon.            Christine and Yvonne

            Stop by Books & More on Saturday, November 5 to purchase one of the delicious soups being offered by Loretta’s More than Soup. All soups are frozen so you can warm and enjoy at your pleasure. She will be set up from 9 am to about noon so get there early.


            Thursday is Halloween and Brownsville, Forbestown and Loma Rica all have Trunks with Treats events happening. Bring the little goblins out for an evening of games, food, trick or treating, haunted house, bounce house, and much more. Brownsville and Forbestown event will be 5:00 – 8:00 and Loma Rica will be 6:30 – 7:30. Brownsville: Foothill Fire parking lot on Willow Glen Rd, Forbestown: New York Flat Rd., Loma Rica: Foothill Lions Club, Fruitland Rd. All three events will be Spooktacular!


            Well, here we go again, changing the time! Daylight saving time ends on Sunday, November 3rd so don’t forget to set your clocks back before you go to bed on Saturday. This whole changing the time back and forth twice a year is irritating and ridiculous! There, I’ve had my rant.


            Don't forget the Brownville Thrift store's Bazaar happening on Friday Nov. 22 and Saturday Nov. 23. Great bargains await you and lots of desserts to tempt you. This event makes money for our Foothill Volunteer Fire Department.


            Look Back in Time – In 1914 Challenge Hotel, owned by Dr. J. Van Male, burned to the ground in the early morning hours, a great loss to Challenge residents and to travelers (wonder if it was his fireplace that started the fire).


            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon.    Christine and Yvonne

Foothill Thrift Shop plans to have a major half-price sale from Oct. 30 through Nov. 9. This clearance is necessary as they get ready for the holiday season. They will be unable to accept donations from Nov. 1 to January 1. Come by and take advantage of a real bargain.


Our communities often come together with great volunteer programs. The Thrift Shop and the Fire Department are just two examples. Farmer's Market was a brain child of a few people and did a lot of good through the summer. Books & More had a hot dog lunch a while ago and the number of people working to set it up was impressive, about six people working together, were enjoying each other's company. Our next volunteer effort will be a community van. We have the van, donated by a local couple, and now to work out the plan. We will be looking for drivers as well as people needing rides. There will be a charge for rides that will help cover gas and insurance. We plan to offer rides to Stone Soup, local businesses as well as a ride to town. Perhaps the van will be available for group field trips. Sounds good; now to get the Van Plan together.


The Foothill Pantry will be serving up their annual Fall Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser on Saturday, October 18 at the Alcouffe Center from 8:30 am to 11:00 am. Breakfast will include all you can eat pancakes, 2 each of bacon and sausage, fresh fruit salad and beverage. Tickets can be purchased at the door. Adults are $6.00 and kids, 11 and under are $3.00. Stop by and check out the bake sale table. The Alcouffe Center is located on Marysville Road in Oregon House.


Look Back in Time – In 1926 LaPorte cattlemen A.L. And A. A. Bustillos drove their cattle out of the mountains to winter range near Durham (now we transport them in trucks).


Hope to see you in Brownsville soon.            Christine and Yvonne

Stone Soup is planning another unique interesting lunch menu. About once a quarter the soup pots are put away and a new dish is planned. This one will happen on Halloween, Oct. 31, at noon. We hope you will come join us at Ponderosa Community Center.


            The annual quilt show in Brownsville is coming up soon. Put November 2 and 3 on your calendar and plan to come see the beautiful quilts that have been made this year. The show will be at the Ponderosa Community Center from 10 to 4 on Saturday and 10 to 3 on Sunday. Lunch will be served. The wares from many interesting vendors will be available so we hope you make it and bring friends and neighbors.


            The YES Charter Academy in Oregon House will be holding their 7th Annual Harvest Festival on October 11 from 5 pm – 7 pm. There will be a raffle, auction, games, hay ride, face painting, live music and a chili cookoff dinner. Free entry. Sounds like great family fun! YES Charter Academy is located on Texas Hill Rd.

            Yikes! Seems like we were just cleaning up the Christmas decorations and here it is Halloween already. Gold Eagle Markets and the Foothill Volunteer Firefighters Association will be sponsoring a Trunks with Treats event in the parking lot of the Foothill Firehouse. There will be games, food, bounce house and more. Other local businesses will also have treats available in there parking lots. Please bring your vehicles and candy so the ghoulies can trick or treat along the parked vehicles. There will be space at the parking lots of the firehouse, Brownsville Mercantile and Books & More. The event will be 5 pm – 8 pm.


Foothill Lions Club will also have Trick or Treat Street, for kids 12 and under, from 6:30 – 7:30 at the Lions Club at 5667 Fruitland Rd. in Loma Rica. Bring your decorated vehicles and candy for the kids to trick or treat.


            Look Back in Time – In 1925 Challenge students had transportation to Dobbins High School

(it would be great to have the choice to not go all the way to Marysville).


            Hope to see you in Brownsville soon.            Christine and Yvonne