What I Love About My Job! (In 60 Seconds or Less) – Dustlight Productions

Movies.  I love them.  Especially those that capture the “3 Es”  (enlighten, educate AND entertain).  It naturally follows that one of my favorite genres is the documentary. With a lifelong fascination of the movie making process, I am one of those people who always stays until the end of the movie.  And by the END, I mean the REAL end, after all of the credits have stopped, we’ve been assured no animals were harmed in the making of the film, and the popcorn sweepers are storming the theater.

In considering whom I should approach for my next “What I Love About My Job!” 60-second interview, my friend Jeanne Rawlings immediately came to mind.  A beautiful, talented filmmaker (who also happens to love and live in Chico), Jeanne’s impressive 30-year background includes being honored with TWO Emmy Awards (nominated for SIX) and working with the likes of National Geographic Society, Discovery, ABC, and the Army National Guard,

Jeanne’s company, Dustlight Productions, also offers commercial production, writing and editing services.

And what does Jeanne love about her job?  Take a 51-second listen:



If there is one thing I love more than documentaries, it’s animals.  Check out Jeanne’s promotional video for Butte Humane Society’s recent fundraising gala:  https://vimeo.com/56798436

Like big tractors and earth-moving-type machines?  Check out the interesting story of “Linetrac 1“: https://vimeo.com/31985086

Click here to view Jeanne’s impressive portfolio and here for her contact info.


Chico Food Project

It’s that time of year, when we tend to be a bit more aware of (and giving toward) those less fortunate than ourselves. But what if we could easily make a difference year round?

That was a question local Chicoan Wendy Smith asked herself one day, when she read a statistic about the number of people in this country who don’t have enough to eat (many of them children).

According to the “Feeding America” website, in 2011, 50.1 million Americans lived in “food insecure” households (33.5 million adults and 16.7 million children).

Wendy Smith and Francine Kenkel of CHICO FOOD PROJECT

Very troubling indeed. But what can one person do?

Wendy shared a wonderful program with our Soroptimist of Chico club this week. Called simply “Chico Food Project,” it is an amazingly simple concept.

1. The first step is to sign-up on the white card included in The Chico Food Project brochure. The Food Project volunteers will then give you a blue, reusable grocery bag.

2. Whenever you shop, buy one extra non-perishable food item to put in the bag.

3. On the 2nd Saturday of every other month, a volunteer picks up the bag from your front porch and leaves a replacement bag.

4. The food is delivered to LOCAL food pantries, to be distributed to those in need.

That’s it!  Such an easy way to help others throughout the year, rather than just during the holiday season. And no worries about how much of your donation is going to some nefarious  “fat cat” at the top of some “charitable” organization. All food donations go straight to people truly in need, right here in Chico. And the program is overseen by the awesome North Valley Community Foundation.

For more information about this simple and worthwhile project, please email ChicoFoodProject@gmail.com or call 530-230-7232.  While you’re at it, ask for a BLUE BAG!

Wine Time!

The Secret is out!   There is a very cool new place to nosh and natter after work, and–lucky me–it is JUST UP THE ROAD from our W. M. Campbell Real Estate office!  Wine Time made it to Henri Bourride‘s restaurant review column in today’s Chico News & Review, where it earned a four-star rating. (Based on my several recent visits, I’d give it a FIVE, but hey, I’m pretty easy to please.)

This gem is hard to find but worth the search.  Located in a big, ancient refurbished barn at 26 Lost Dutchman Drive (behind Roots Catering at 3221 Esplanade, across the street from Philadelphia Square), it truly is a tucked-away Shangri-La.  Owners Gay and Bob James (whom I know from my previous life as a Butte Creek Canyonite) have created a little oasis where art meets gastronomical delight; more Napa-like than your typical Chico eatery, in my opinion.

How great to have another venue for patio dining, complete with pond/stream and colorful umbrellas.  The artsy barn interior features Gay’s amazing mosaic and stained glass art, painted concrete flooring, and original hand-hewn beams dating back to the structure’s hog barn days. (During our first visit, I dubbed it “Swine Time,” in honor of its beginnings…don’t think the “pet” name will catch on, though.)

Thus far I have sampled several very nice wines as well as two “small plates”: a mushroom appetizer that was pretty much to die for, and the Greek antipasto plate with a delightful array of olives and cheeses and a generous helping of “ahmonds” with undetermined-but-tasty coating.  Apparently the menu is ever changing, with many ingredients from local sources (which is always a big plus in my book!).


During a recent visit, I noticed work being done to the adjacent building and inquired about it.  Apparently an art gallery of sorts will be housed there, for local artists to display their work.  Looking forward to the opening!

Wine Time is open 3 – 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.  “Like” the Wine Time page on Facebook for fun updates.

MonCA’s first “Pop-Up” Exhibit!

I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of MonCA‘s first “Pop-Up*” art exhibit on April 6th at 325 Broadway  (one of those cool old brick storefronts that is just “so Chico”). 

Waif Mullins (right) poses with his painting, “The Collector (Portrait of Reed Applegate),” and its subject.


If the works of art on exhibit (just a fraction of the collection) are any indication of the quality of art that has been purchased for decades by local collector Reed Applegate, Chico is in for a real treat as these “pop-ups” continue.  (Mr. Applegate has generously donated his collection so that the public may enjoy the fruits of years spent investing in Northern California art.)  Click here to view some of the wonderful works.

My friend Trudy Duisenberg (along with the other MonCA Board members and volunteers) has put in countless hours working to bring this collection out into the open for all to enjoy.

Trudy Duisenberg at the Soroptimist of Chico Home, Garden & Leisure Show, 3/12

MonCA is currently working to raise funds to purchase a van (Mobile Museum) to share the art with  schools, retirement communities and other local organizations.  Donations can be made here.  (Ultimately they hope to find a permanent location for the collection.)


(*Pop-Up museums are temporary art installations in nontraditional settings.  The Pop-Up at 325 Broadway continues through the month of April, Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (open till 8 p.m. April 12, 13, 19, 26).   Where will the next one be?  Stay tuned…)

2012 Home, Garden & Leisure Show!

Rain or shine, the 2012 Home, Garden & Leisure Show is HAPPENING this weekend, March 17 & 18, at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds!  Over 300 exhibitors, and 100% of the proceeds from this show benefit LOCAL causes.  This is THE major fundraiser for Soroptimist International of Chico, so please come out and support the show and your community! (Admission:  $5 adults, kids 12 and under free.  $2 parking)

Cheerful Soroptimist volunteers - "All About Food"

Unique creations for sale!

Whimsical displays in the Horticulture Center

Wonderful antiques for sale

What’s A Chico Soroptimist? from Jeanne Rawlings on Vimeo.

Next Page »