Barbie Butz is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email her at barbiewb@hotmail.com.

For those of us who write, being “published” is a thrill, whether it’s in a newspaper, a magazine, or a local club’s newsletter. My column-writing began in 1959 with Glen Annie Way, that appeared in the Goleta Valley Gazette and was very much like this column I write today for the Atascadero News and the Paso Robles Press. I enjoy connecting with my readers and letting them know what’s going on in North County and what’s cookin’ when I share recipes.

My dear friend, Dyann Shepard, a currently retired CPA, has been journaling, writing, blogging, and submitting articles to faith publications for several years. She has now been “published” in not one but two popular faith magazines, and she shared her thrill with me.

The copy of the magazine Dyann presented me with is JUSTbetweenUs, Encouraging & Equipping Women For A Life of Faith, the Summer issue, and her article appears in the section: Your Story. The title is Little Places.

She writes about one of her grandmothers and tells how that woman influenced her life. When her grandmother passed, Dyann “found little notes wrapped around some of the few earthly possessions she had. Her journal was a ragged beat-up binder, but inside were treasures of her prayers and thoughts.” It’s from those prayers and thoughts that Dyann created her story. It’s a lovely, thoughtful piece of writing. Congratulations to Dyann.

Getting through this together, Atascadero

For more about the magazine, email jbu@justbetweenus.org or call (800)260-3342.

Last week several of us gathered to surprise Jeannie Malik with a “retirement celebration” from the Greg Malik Real Estate Group. We did a little pot-luck luncheon at the home of Grenda Ernst and enjoyed her patio-garden setting and the fresh air. It was a beautiful way to celebrate with a gathering of friends.

Jeannie, producer of Dancing With Our Stars, will now be able to spend even more time on that event, among all of the other projects and activities she’s involved in! 

Knowing Jeannie, she’s certainly not going to sit still. We all agreed that retirement means you are busier than when you worked.

Speaking of busy people, members of Quota of Atascadero are once again sponsoring their Bunco Night, Jul. 1, from 6 to 9:30 p.m., at the Atascadero Grange Hall located at 5035 Palma Avenue. 

Tickets for the popular night of fun are $20 and include munchies, soda, and wine. There will also be a silent auction for guests to bid on the many special items donated by local businesses.

To make a reservation contact Pam Meyer at (805)466-1588.

Quota of Atascadero is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Proceeds from the event will be used to continue the community philanthropic work of the organization.     

I’ve been hearing lots of talk about the SLO Grilled Cheese Festival, and I understand that “the skillet is hot and the cheese is melting,” and that makes me yearn for a chance to vote for the Best SLO Grilled Cheese 2021, Most Ooey Gooey Cheesy Sandwich, and Best Twisted Grilled Cheese!

There’s definitely excitement about Restorative Partners’ 3rd Annual Grilled Cheese Festival, where restaurants countywide are participating all of May and June 2021. The competition is free and open to all SLO County restaurants who have a great grilled cheese on their menu or have added a grilled cheese as a special for the time of the event.

It’s simple, just visit participating restaurants, order and try their grilled cheese, take a picture, post a Yelp review, then go to the website to vote for the categories I mentioned above. 

To share on social media, use #SLOGrilledCheeseFest.

This Restorative Partners’ festival is in support of local restaurants, many hard hit by the pandemic. The mission of the organization is to transform lives impacted by crime through healing services and relationships. It does so through facilitating programs in juvenile hall, through their five sober living homes, and through other community programs and services.

To learn more and to find a list of participating restaurants visit restorativepartners.org.

This Memorial Day, we have many people and events to remember. Let’s all do just that and remember to be grateful for their service, whether it’s essential workers, our military, or just someone in your family who influenced your life…

Have a great weekend. God Bless America!

Cheers!