Mountain Views News, Pasadena Edition [Sierra Madre] Saturday, December 1, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:5


Mountain View News Saturday, December 1, 2018 

WALKING SIERRA MADRE.. The Social Side By Deanne Davis


“As we struggle with shopping lists, 
to do lists and invitations, plus our 
own unreal expectations for all we 
expect ourselves to do, it is good to 
be reminded that there are people 
in our lives who are worth this 
aggravation, and people to whom 
we are worth the same.” Donald E. 

 Thanksgiving is behind us, 
except for the leftovers we are 
getting kinda tired of. Actually, I 
could eat creamed spinach and 
Jane’s Eggplant-Zucchini Casserole 
(recipes for which are in my book: 
Tablespoon of Love, Tablespoon of 
Laughter) every day for a month 
and not get tired of them. There 
is one slice of pie left, which I am 
hoarding. This was the best pie, 
pumpkin-cream cheese. Got it off the internet and 
was really happy with it. Of course, how can anything 
with cream cheese in it be anything but wicked good?

 I’ve started doing Christmas. The lighted houses 
are up and look great. I finally succumbed to buying 
an artificial tree. Got it online from Michael’s. 
Multicolored lights already on and all I had to do was 
put together the three parts, plug in their cords and 
there it was, seven and a half feet of lovely that I don’t 
have to worry about catching fire or drying up because 
I forgot to put water in the stand. I’m putting stuff on 
it but in a leisurely fashion, which includes actually 
throwing out all the really tired looking things that 
I’ve kept for the last fifty years. I’m not stressing over 
all the stuff that isn’t Christmas cards. A 
brief aside: Why do we send Christmas cards? Mainly 
to find out if everybody we send them to is still alive 
and married to the same people they were married to 
last year.

 One of my favorite authors, Michelle Griep, 
who describes herself as, “an author, blogger, and 
occasional super-hero when her cape is clean,” at one 
time published a daily blog, Writer Off The Leash. 
Here’s what she shared a while back and it’s so good I 
want to pass it along, with many thanks for this good 
advice, to all of you dear friends and neighbors.

Five Ways To Slay Holiday Stress

Change Your Perspective

 Sometimes all that needs to be slain is your 
mindset. This season take a good, hard look at all that 
you’re doing and then question everything. You could 
be stressing yourself out because of expectations 
and values that aren’t really yours. Examine what 
your core beliefs are and live those out, not some 
goofy-butt Hallmark Christmas movie ideals.
Let Go

 Who says you need to 
do it all? Unless you’re Martha 
Stewart, you don’t have to. 
Choose 1 item to cut from 
your must-get-done-before-
Christmas list and just say no. 
I’m not talking simply crossing 
it off your list. I’m saying cut 
it out and throw it away for 
good. Maybe you’ll decide not 
to do cards anymore or give 
up baking 6 different kinds of 
cookies. Whatever. The point 
is to stop doing 1 activity.
Plan Ahead

 Obviously you’re not 
going to cut everything from 
your holiday season. Decide on 
what you’ll keep (remember, 
you’re being proactive by 
choosing what you will keep and what you won’t) then 
whip out your calendar and plan those things into your 
schedule. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Putting 
things off until the last minute causes undue anxiety.
Shop Online

 Books make great gifts and are just a click away. So 
is just about everything you can imagine. You’ll avoid 
the crowds and save time driving to and from the store. 
Yeah, you might end up paying for shipping but in the 
long run if it saves you time, it’s totally worth it. Unless, 
of course, you happen to be an Prime 
customer, then you pay no shipping ever! Woo hoo! 
Say No

 This one is the hardest of all because you want to 
have fun as much as the next guy, right? Or your heart 
is big and you want to help everyone who has a need. 
Or you just plain old don’t want others to think badly 
of you. Well, Bucko, in order to lessen your stress you 
just might need to let someone else stress out in your 
place by saying no. And if you do, guess what? You’ll 
find that your “yes’s” have a whole new meaning. Life 
is short. Live intentionally, whether it’s Christmas or 

 There now, don’t you feel better? Take a breath, or 
two or three, drive ‘round town and enjoy everyone’s 
lights and decorations and remember this old saying: 
Jesus is the reason for the season! Go to a Christmas 
concert. Watch one of the Christmas movies on the 
Hallmark channel. Go out to lunch with somebody 
nice. Tell someone you love them. Hug a lot of people. 
Then hug a bunch more! And smile. A lot! 

 “Christmas! It’s almost here! My favorite, favorite 
time of year!” 

 My book page: Deanne Davis


 “A Tablespoon of Love, A Tablespoon of Laughter” is 
available there.

The Sierra Madre City Council, at the request of 
residents, weighed the pros and cons of having 
a volunteer, citizen-led code enforcement group 
to report on Municipal Code Violations and ease 
the workload of the one official code enforcement 
officer in the city. The issue was addressed during 
the regular meeting on Tuesday, November 27. 

 Mayor Denise Delmar and Council Member 
Rachelle Arizmendi were contacted by resident, and 
Preserve Sierra Madre member, Anne Chesterman 
who requested the Council consider a citizen-
led code enforcement group for the city. During 
the City Council meeting on November 13, 2018, 
staff was requested to provide Council with more 
information about the present situation with code 

 Greg Silva is the current code enforcement officer 
for Sierra Madre. His duties include making sure 
there are no violations regarding development and 
construction projects and yard sale permits, to 
name a few. According to City Manager, Gabriel 
Engeland, Officer Silva was able to respond to 100% 
of complaints and requests for service with regards 
to construction, development and yard sales, but the 
bigger issue is that the city doesn’t always enforce 
the codes. Officer Silva works Monday through 
Thursday and occasional Fridays. There is no 
coverage on the weekends, when most yard sales 
take place. 

 “We don’t want to be vigilantes, but we don’t feel 
informed,” says Chesterman “We’d like to have a little 
more hands-on involvement with what happens to 
our environment.” Chesterman, who noted that she 
wasn’t aware Sierra Madre had a code enforcement 
officer, hopes for more education on local codes. 
Judy Gold , another Preserve Sierra Madre member, 
Judy Gold pointed out that the Mills Act was one 
code put in place that is often not enforced. The 
Mills Act was established to ensure residents are 
keeping up on maintenance of historic properties. 
“If we can have an active group of volunteers that 
have a set job to help the city…(The Mills Act) is 
another job for them. Maybe a couple of volunteers 
can drive by and look occasionally…see if their 
doing what they’re supposed to do,” Gold suggested. 

 Council Member Arizmendi recommended a 
meet-and-greet between Preserve Sierra Madre 
members, the City Manager, and Code Enforcement 
Officer Silva so issues can be discussed and questions 
can be asked. Chesterman agreed that would be a 
good start. Other cities have used citizen-led code 
enforcement commission, but they often handle 
minor issues such as lawn care. The two sides hope 
to meet next month and report on their progress 
during a future Council meeting. 

KATIE Tse..........This and That


I hope you had a great 
Thanksgiving! And now that it’s 
December, we only have a few 
precious weeks until Christmas. 
Don’t know about you, but I’m 
not ready. Heck, I’m not even 
ready for Thanksgiving, and it’s 
already passed!

 I’ve been trying my hardest lately to be a good 
columnist and not recycle old stuff. That being said, 
I don’t have anything particularly earth shattering, 
hilarious, or insightful for you this week. Sorry. We 
can’t be perfect all the time (I’m not even perfect some 
of the time! You can feel better about yourself by 

 So this week I’m going to tell you all about my new 
pet, Fibs! Actually, Fibs isn’t my pet, he’s my parents’ 
pet. But I see them everyday, so that pretty much makes 
him mine by extension.

 Talking about your pets is kind of like talking about 
your kids, no one really wants to hear about them in 
great detail. However, everyone, except the super evil 
people among us, loves animals. If you’re going to talk 
about your pets, you better have a seriously cute picture 
to accompany whatever you say about them. Sharing 
one of two photos is good, three is pushing it. This is 
why I have a photo of Fibs in place of my usual rabbit 
cartoon. (I was going to try to draw rabbit ears on him, 
but I’m not that technologically advanced. Please use 
your imagination.)

 If you find yourself in a situation where you’re 
compelled to talk about your pet, such as when you have 
a column to fill and nothing else interesting to write 
about, it’s best to keep it short and sweet.

 So here goes: Fibs crashed into my parents’ lives, 
literally, when he fell from a 50 foot palm tree in their 
neighbors’ yard across the street. My dad was out 
spraying for ants when he heard a ruckus, went over to 
investigate, and relieved their neighbor of a fledgling 
parrot the neighbor had managed to secure in a cage.

 For a while Fibs seemed a bit catatonic and sluggish. 
My parents had had two of the same kind of parrot 
before and those birds were LAZY! One wasn’t even 
caged, she was so averse to flying that she could be 
trusted to lounge on her perch the whole day. We 
think their sedentary lifestyle contributed to their 
early demise. Amazon parrots are basically flapping 
potatoes, when they do flap enough to fly. So, I made it 
my mission to make sure Fibs got enough exercise.

 He couldn’t fly yet, but he could walk, and I sat at one 
end of the kitchen, holding a syringe of baby bird food. 
Fibs walked toward me, got a taste, I moved back, he 
waddled forward again, and so on --the “Walk to Eat” 
program, I called it. My plan was that he would graduate 
up to a “Fly to Eat” model, when old enough.

 However, that wasn’t necessary. Since he’s learned to 
fly, Fibs has kept busy, if not downright troublesome. 
One of his favorite routines is to land on the static 
blades of the ceiling fans, then the top of the fridge, then 
the curtain rod, and repeat the sequence over and over 
again while we chase him from place to place. Maybe he 
has us on the “Walk to Eat” program!

 Although Amazon parrots aren’t as talented talkers 
as African Grays, they can whistle, so my Dad taught 
Fibs the Dodger cheer. (Not that any of us are sports 
fans.) Fibs particularly likes it when I whistle “Perfidia” 
or “Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White” to him. 
(Check out the former out on Youtube, the Perez Prado 
version.) Fibs joins in, though he hasn’t quite mastered 
the opening slide yet. He gets an “A” for effort.

 That’s about all I can say about Fibs for now without 
completely boring the socks off you. He has a love-hate 
relationship with Spike, my parents’ Red Whiskered 
Bulbul (wrote about him, too, in a previous article, such 
a character!).

 Oh! Last somewhat interesting note before I leave 
you. My mom named Fibs after Fibonacci, the race 
horse, who in turn was named after Fibonacci, the 
mathematician. My mom weaves, and one of her 
weaving/fiber groups did a project on the Fibonacci 
sequence a while ago. 

 Fibonacci (the horse) won at Santa Anita (last year?). 
On any given racing weekend, my husband and I can be 
found at Santa Anita. We’re counting the days till racing 
returns to the “Great Race Place” December 26th. Once 
that happens, I might actually have something to share 
with you in this column.

 So I’ll leave you with that. Take care and good luck on 
starting your Christmas shopping. I’m sure you’re way 
ahead of me!

Jewelry for the Ages 
612 W. Las Tunas Drive 
626-284-9444 San Gabriel 
December 4 th through 8 th 
Come in NOW for that perfect gift! 
The holidays are almost here!!! 
Since 1929 

Happy Holidays! When you think of the holidays, 
what comes to mind? The holidays to me mean 
quality time with family and friends, laughing until 
my abs hurt, festive cocktails, homemade cookies 
and pies and tons of savory and sweet foods. It is 
ok to enjoy the holidays and your favorite foods, 
but if you are trying to lose weight or balance your 
blood sugar, think about doing this in moderation. 
We are programed to always think that if we indulge 
we should wait until the next day, next week, next 
month or in this case next year, to get back to 
healthy eating, but this is always detrimental to 
our success. The average person gains 5-8 pounds 
during the holidays because there is no balance, a 
great strategy to combat this is to focus on the next 
meal and not the next day or the next Monday to get 
back on track. 

Mindfulness and balance are essential when it comes 
to staying on track with your wellness goals. The 
best way to approach holiday parties is to use the 
crowding out method. The practice of crowding out 
consists of filling up on the healthy options first so 
that you don’t have a lot of room for the processed, 
high sugar and really fatty foods that can throw you 
completely off course. 

Follow these tips to have a more balanced holiday 

 - Eat something before you go, do not show up to 
a holiday gathering hungry because appetizers are 
usually the worst option at the party. 

 - Start your meal with protein and vegetables 
first, this way you fill up on the nutritious foods 

 - Put your fork down between bites, this will help 
prevent overeating. 

 - Chew properly this means 20-30 times per bite 
to ensure proper digestion

 - Bring a dish that is nutritious to share with 
everyone so you know you have at least one good 

 - Stay hydrated, for every alcoholic beverage you 
have, drink a glass of water

 - Try to avoid family members that are critical of 
you, they might trigger you to eat or drink more

 - Think of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner as 
a one day pass but not a season’s pass or a weekend 
pass. Enjoy and savor everything and start fresh the 
next day. 

 Are you looking for a better way to stay balanced, 
have more energy and feel your best? I would love 
to help you. Here at Personalized Overweight and 
Energy Management, I empower my patients to be 
the best versions of themselves. I teach them how 
to improve their mindset, work through blocks 
that they may have, lose weight properly, and most 
importantly keep it off by replacing bad habits 
with good ones. I have successfully helped patients 
lose weight, gain more energy, get off high blood 
pressure and cholesterol medication, reverse Type 
2 Diabetes, eliminate PMS and much more. If you 
have been thinking about changing your lifestyle 
please reach out to me at or 
at 626-403-2400 to schedule a consultation today! 

Your friend in wellness, 

Courtney Titus, Certified Holistic Health Coach

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