Here are 16 little things to remember to follow to maximize your mental and physical health!

1. Look deeply at what you value and what you believe about God, mankind, truth and reality. It’s your world view! Make it your own foundation because it will affect every decision you make.  Because life has a way of picking you up and tossing you around, you always want to nail the landing but having a firm foundation.

 2. Seek healing. Don’t imagine that the trauma of your childhood has been left in the past. It simmers under the surface. And it will surprise you at how suddenly it can boil up or suck you under. The work of healing those hard places might involve reading books or finding counseling. Don’t be too afraid or too ashamed to ask for help.

3. Remain teachable. More specifically, find a mentor—a parent, a pastor, a teacher, a spiritual guide. Or just a person who is living as you would like to live. Spend time with them. Look and listen and learn. And, most importantly, become different because of them.

4. Choose your community carefully. Your friends will give shape to your life. They will either stunt your growth or spur you on. And when you find good friends, keep them. They are like gold. Treasure them. Invest in them. Strive to be the kind of friend that you would like to have.

5. Feed yourself. Feed your body, your mind and especially your soul. When your soul is starving, you can’t see straight.

6. Foster good habits. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” So don’t wait until tomorrow to get up early, go to bed on time, exercise enough, save money and so on. The patterns of your life today are the person you will become.

7. Learn to rest. Don’t ignore your health as it will make a huge difference in how you live the rest of your life.  Busy is not necessarily better and your worth is not measured by the length of your to-do list.

8. Take sin seriously. There is no such thing as “getting away with it.” Even if you don’t “get caught,” sin does still stain. And the spot will undoubtedly spread further and sink deeper than you can initially see.

9. Be patient. Learn to wait well. You are used to getting things in an instant and on demand. But life doesn’t always work that way. Patience pays off in the long run.

10. Don’t worry. It’s a waste of time, energy and emotion. Worry will tie you in knots and keep you up at night, make you cranky and crazy. Worry is fear for the future, but worry does nothing to actually change it. So instead of worrying, make the best decisions you can right now. That’s all you can do. Then let it be.

11. Evaluate your emotions. They are tricky and they can be trouble. Often, they are not based in reality.  Know your feelings and evaluate them carefully.

12. Adjust your expectations. So much of our disappointment and frustration—with people, with life, with God—occurs because we presume that life should go our way.

13. Take risks. Don’t be afraid to explore new things. As a wise friend advised me, “Do what you won’t regret.”

14. While no one wants to experience pain, you will. Don’t be shocked. Don’t run from it. Don’t ignore it. Don’t fight it. Let it burn. Let it melt your heart. But never fear that God has abandoned you.

15. Realize that your life is not all about you. Be considerate of others and take their needs into consideration.

16. Finally, prepare to be amazed. Your life may look something like you envision. Or it may take you to places that you never imagined. Regardless. Hold on tight. Because Life is in the business of blowing your mind.


Heads UP!


Sue Stauffer

"Food Attitudes!"

Type your paragraph here.

As the Class of 1958 gathered to celebrate their 60th anniversary of graduation, I want to reflect on this exceptional group of individuals who were my classmates and friends during my teenage years.  We were, in my opinion, a very unique class, diversified in interests, backgrounds and talents, but united in our loyalty to our school, Charles Francis Adams High School or Clarkston High School as we called it.  (I admit that having a bantam rooster as the school mascot was a bit odd, but nevertheless, we proudly cheered for our teams in all athletic competitions without giving it much thought.  “Go Bantams!” )  

Clarkson was a small community with a population numbering in the low 6,000 in 1958.  We were a small class but we were distinctly different and unique.  We were an intelligent group  of individuals with one valedictorian, Dennis Knudsen who became a doctor and four salutatorians and thirty five classmates on the honor roll.  That was pretty outstanding for a total class population of 120. 

Our teachers were a talented and dedicated group of educators who pushed us toward excellence and tried to prepare us for successful futures.  Who can forget the wonderful English teachers, Mary Garner, and Mr. Jack Watkins who inspired us?  The science teachers, Mr. Vern Morman, Clyde Manis and Mauno Saari who challenged us?  Or, Mr. Dalquist who made us really learn the principals of mathematics?  For a small school we had a wonderful band under the direction of Jack Corporan and a good size chorus directed by John Jordon Who knew that typing  would be one of the most important skills we would ever need? Phillip Poole and Dorothy Altman made us memorize the keyboard . (Frustrating at the time but now I am so grateful to have learned as it is a skill I use every day on the computer)  We also had the opportunity to learn practical skills with mechanical drawing, auto shop, woodshop, home economics, and basic farming principles with agriculture and FFA.  Our physical health was impacted by requirements for physical education under Martha Howe and Coach Bob Morris.  Our teams, both boys and girls, were competitive with other schools in basketball, football, baseball, volleyball and track. We also had art classes, modern dance, and public speaking classes as electives.  We were very fortunate to have available such a well- rounded curriculum from quality teachers.

Outside of our school activities, which dominated our social lives, we had the “Hut” for dancing and socializing on Friday and Saturday nights.  This was our youth house and Fred Poole was dedicated to chaperoning us and enabling us to have a wonderful place to “hang out” and enjoy.  We danced, played pin pong, and dropped in for the “action” on most weekends.  It was our place and we treasured it.  Across the river in Lewiston, there was the Yak, Lewiston High Schools answer to our Hut where we frequented as well.  When we weren’t at either the Hut or the Yak, we were enjoying burgers at Tom Smith’s, A & W Root Beer or  Tiny’s Drive In (I used Tiny’s as a model for Arnold’s in televison’s  Happy Days when I was writing for Garry Marshal). There was also the popular Outdoor Movie Theater.  Or course, the football and basketball games were our dominate sport events with baseball and track popular in the spring. Life was good and I do not remember being bored for lack of things to do.

The spring brought the Prom and we decorated the old gym for the event with lots of crepe paper and props to turn it into the theme fantasy.  It was a big event with many memories of the fun decorating, planning and attending.  We had other dances throughout the school year, but Prom was the most important. 

 Another memorable event every spring was the Asotin County Fair with food booths and carnival rides. It opened with a pancake breakfast in the Asotin Park to start the long day off right. Everyone loved this event and planned on spending the entire day on the carnival rides or taking chances at the gaming booths. Winning a stuffed animal was the  goal, especially if your significant other accomplished this feat and gave it to you as a trophy.

  As summer came, many of us worked at Snow Crop packing peas or other production jobs. That was a summer job I will never forget!  I worked as a “caser” with long hours and back breaking labor. It was hard work but it really taught me how important it was to get an education and find a career!  Off to the University of Oregon I went, ready to accept the new challenge that lay ahead with the confidence that I was ready for the next step in my life, thanks to the teachers at Clarkston High School and a summer spent at Snow Crop.

  Of course, graduation was also a big event each year.  In 1958 when we said good-by and good luck to each other it was a bitter sweet event in our lives.  Some of us were off to college out of the area, others off to serve in the military and some opted to stay at the local community college  or work on the family ranch.  Some of us went on to became teachers, college professors, medical doctors, business men and women and farmers and ranchers…We found our successes in a variety of opportunities and careers.  I am still impressed that so many of our classmates married their high school sweethearts and have stayed together all these years, while others moved out of the area, married and raised their families in a variety of locations.  I can’t thank Ann Soper McCarthy enough for holding us together all these years with emails, photos and monthly coffees. It is something that those of us who don’t live in the area, welcome when she sends out her little “updates” on what is happening to members of our class both in the area and out of the area with notes and happenings.   A special thank you to Ann!  Keep the messages and photos coming so we can feel connected even though we are so many miles away.

I am so sorry that I couldn’t attend the reunion and I know that everyone had a great time catching up and reminiscing about our high school days. I was with you in spirit and hope that you enjoy reading my little tribute to my great class of 58’…I will never forget you as some of my most favorite memories are of the happy days spent growing up in Clarkston, Washington.




I recently had a situation where I experienced the action of a “good Samaritan” personally.  If you recall, the story of the good Samaritan is a parable told by Jesus in the Gospel of Luke. It is about a traveler who is stripped of clothing, beaten, and left half dead alongside the road. First a priest and then a Levite comes by, but both avoid the man. Finally, a Samaritan happens upon the traveler. Samaritans and Jews generally despised each other, but the Samaritan helps the injured man without prejudice. The Samaritan shows mercy to the injured man and helps him without knowing him or his background.  This parable has inspired painting, sculpture, satire, poetry, and film. The phrase "good Samaritan", refers to  someone who helps a stranger in need and many hospitals and charitable organizations are named after the good Samaritan.

We had driven to Calabasas on a Sunday morning to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary of longtime friends.  They were having a private party with a few friends and family at a favorite restaurant in the beautiful shopping/restaurant area called “The Commons.”  It was a glorious morning and the parking around The Commons was very crowded.  The Commons is a very popular area that is beautifully landscaped with water features and lovely gardens.  People come to stroll around the area, visiting the boutique shops and ice cream parlor or attend the theater.  Several popular restaurants are busy attractions with patio dining. 

 We were lucky to find a parking spot near our destination restaurant. I had been the driver so I carefully locked the car and put the keys in my small purse before walking to the restaurant entrance.  We gathered with our friends in a private area to toast the honored couple, visit with friends and their families and enjoy the celebration brunch.  We were exchanging photos on our mobile phones when I suddenly realized that my car keys were not in my purse.  At first I thought I had dropped them on the floor under the dining table.  Everyone looked around carefully, but the keys were nowhere to be found.   I felt panic begin to seize me.

 Jim went out to retrace our trail back to where the car was parked.  I told him to look around the ground on the driver’s side as that was probably where I dropped the keys while trying to put them in my purse.  I was greatly relieved when he returned smiling and said, “You won’t believe this?” He handed me a folded note that had been left on the front windshield…It said, “Your keys are on the floor mat inside. They were on the street!”  No signature, but obviously who ever found them was able to figure out which was the correct car by using the remote control tab and unlocking the car.

What a kind and considerate thing to do!  I truly don’t know what we would have done, had the keys not been found and returned.  In this age of so much anger, criticism, hostility and selfishness, my faith in the kindness and goodness of mankind has just been restored.  I am relieved that people still can respond appropriately and be helpful to others when presented with dire situations were assistance is needed.  Just like the parable of the good Samaritan, my “good Samaritan” came to my aid and saved me in what could have been a terrible situation. It also could have been a dreadful ending to what was supposed to be a festive celebration with our dear friends on their important day.  Thank you again for your incredible act of consideration and human kindness whoever you are.  You earned your gold star today.


“Heads Up!”

"Let There Be Color in Your Diet!"

By Sue Stauffer


Last night we were having a discussion with my husband’s sister and her spouse on food preferences. It was interesting to note that my husband and his sister, who both really love vegetables, were raised in a family where “healthy eating” was emphasized.  They were the product of parents who were both physicians and understood nutrition and healthy eating choices.  My brother-in-law and I prefer food that emphasizes “flavor satisfaction” as opposed to what is considered nutritious or “healthy”. We were both raised in homes where more gourmet cuisine and stylish presentations were the norm.

 I was curious on how food attitudes develop, so I did some further research. First, it has been discovered that children’s attitudes toward food are based initially on body need, but as they grow up, food choices become more and more influenced by social cues taken from those around them.  This is partially the reason our nation is having a problem with obesity both for adults as well as children.  Research has shown that infants seem to be good self- regulators and are able to adjust how much they eat to maintain a particular caloric intake. As they grow older parental preferences begin to influence what and how much they eat. Also, portion size increases with age so therefore, food intake increases as well.  The love of sweets and salty tastes also develop early in childhood.  From the time of birth, babies seem to prefer sweet foods and reject sour and bitter flavors and they will show a preference for salty tastes at 4 to 6 months. 

 Even well-meaning parents can unknowingly encourage unhealthy eating habits in their children.  Forcing or encouraging a child to eat a particular food can increase the child’s dislike for that food.  I can really relate to this in regards to asparagus.  My mother served canned asparagus frequently because she believed it was a healthy vegetable choice.  I hated it! She would make me sit at the table until I ate at least half of the asparagus that was on my plate. To this day I can hardly eat fresh asparagus unless it is grilled and then I really don’t enjoy it and I consider canned asparagus the most horrible tasting thing on the planet!  I believe the same is true for parents who love sweets and high calorie foods who inadvertently, by example, send the signal to their children that indulging in sweets and high fat foods is preferred.  By the time the child has learned what good nutrition vs bad nutrition is, their individual taste preferences are in stilled.

Children who see their parents on and off of diets also pick up the message that dieting, rather than learning to eat nutritiously and maintaining a healthy weight for a lifetime, is the norm.  It is universally believed that most young people don’t develop a sensible nutritional approach by eating more fruits and vegetables, but are much more likely skipping meals or drinking diet milkshakes in an attempt to maintain a reasonable body weight.  Daughters are also targeted by parents for food restrictions more than sons, especially when the mother has  her own weight issues. Social pressures on girls to be slim and trim and therefore attractive, plays a major role.  Being a “big” girl is unacceptable while being a “big” guy is OK.  These represent habits and attitudes that are ingrained early at the family dinner table. Television also plays a significant part influencing children’s food attitudes.  There has been a 


Heads Up!

16 Little Things to Remember!

    Summer is here and nature is in full bloom. There are flowers everywhere you look at this most colorful time of the year.  Even our clothing appears lighter and brighter which elevates the mood of most people.  This is a happy time of year as we await summer and more out of doors living.  Of course, we perceive the world through colors and color is closely related to the appeal of various foods. In fact just the sight of food fires neurons in the hypothalamus.  Multicolored meals are not only more beautiful, their pleasing aesthetic actually helps us appreciate and enjoy our food more.  Studies of people eating under different conditions show that those who eat in the dark report not enjoying the food as much when they can’t see what they are consuming, so if you want romantic ambience, be sure to light enough candles that you can really see what’s on your plate as well as the person who is dining with you.

     An attractive multicolored meal is not only good for your health and digestion, it also brings you pleasure.  Chinese medicine recommends eating across the color spectrum.  In the five Elements philosophy, foods are associated with different elements (water, wood, earth, fire and metal), seasons, colors, flavors, directions, organ systems, and environmental influences.  For instance, green/blue foods are typically linked to the wood element and relate to the liver and gallbladder function; red foods are associated with fire and energy and relate to the heart; yellow foods are associated with the earth and the stomach, spleen, and pancreas.  These five elements can be a helpful way of thinking about balancing your diet as they spread across the nutrition spectrum. 

     Various colors indicate the presence of different vitamins and minerals as well.  Eating the full spectrum guarantees you’ll get a wide range of the necessary nutrients your body needs to maintain good health.  This may seem simple but there is a tendency to gravitate toward certain colored meals—often white or brown.  A mental pre-dinner scan of your plate to see if more than two colors are represented will tell you what you need to add.  This is why restaurants often garnish with sprigs of kale or parsley or wedges of tomato.  Even if people don’t eat them, their vibrant colors add life to an otherwise monochromic presentation.

     Have you ever wondered why blue M&M’s were the last color to be added long after red, green, yellow, and brown had been melting in your mouth not in your hand for years?  Until the advent of artificial colors and flavorings, blue foods just didn’t seem right to most people?  Maybe there was an associated with mold, but other than blueberries and blue-purple potatoes, there are very few naturally occurring blue foods on this planet.  To our ancestors, blue was a color warning that something might be wrong or harmful or spoiled.  Interesting that today we carry some of the same food color biases and generally eat in accordance with them, whether we are aware of it or not.  As we have become more health conscious with the popularity of the cooking shows and Food Network, more and more people are expanding their palates and choosing new and more nutritious cuisine. Restaurants are expanding their menus to include such vegetables as kale, arugula, eggplant, leeks, fennel, to name just a few.  More and more menu combinations include side dishes of vegetable or fruits to accompany the main entrée. Most of these changes are driven by the need to encourage more healthful eating habits.  In fact, some of the newest food trends include vegan and vegetarian restaurants only.  The American is also consuming much less meat and more chicken and fish.   

      With the new food trends, color on the plate is even more important and the old saying “we eat with our eyes” hold true even more today as we demand eye appeal in even the most simple cuisine.  We love our color in everything we do and see, so gaze at your dinner table with appreciation for what food is set before you and appreciate the artistry of the chef as well as his concern for your health and well-being.



Heads Up!

“A Modern Day “Good Samaritan”

By Sue Stauffer


Heads Up!

By Sue Stauffer

“Beware of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning!”

Heads Up!

By Sue Stauffer

“A Tribute to the Clarkston High School Class of 1958!


Three guests died in the same room within three months at a hotel property in Boone, North Carolina back in 2013 as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning which led to the charging of the business executive managing the hotel property with involuntary manslaughter; and prompting the family of two of those people to file a lawsuit against Best Western International. 

     Two of these guests were high school friends of mine who died on April 16,2013!   Shirley and Daryl Jenkins were on vacation in Boone, NC visiting relatives in nearby Todd.  Shirley’s family was from Todd and many of her relatives still lived there and in the surrounding communities.  This journey was part of the Jenkin’s retirement plans to travel around to other states and spend time with friends and family.    At first the medical examiner did not have enough information to make a ruling on the cause of their deaths.  Initial observations led the Boone Police to explore coronary disease, suicide and overdose of medication.  Both of the Jenkins were in good health and very active. Finally the coroner concluded that death was caused by carbon monoxide poisoning from a severely corroded and ill maintained pool heater exhaust system located directly below their room.  The hotel had no carbon monoxide alarms installed.  A few weeks later an eleven year old boy was killed in the same room and his mother permanently injured due to carbon monoxide poisoning still leaking from the same pool heater exhaust system.

     Following these deaths, the Jenkin family learned that most hotels in this country do not have carbon monoxide alarms.  In fact, only 14 states require hotels to have them and of those fourteen states, most only require them in newly constructed hotels.  Unfortunately, the American Hotel and Lodging Association has publicly stated that not enough people die to warrant the cost of installing carbon monoxide alarms in all hotels and motels.

Carbon Monoxide poisoning is known as the “silent killer” because  you cannot see, smell or taste carbon monoxide, which means you will most likely not realize that you are even breathing it. This accentuates the importance of recognizing the symptoms as soon as possible, as saving even precious seconds can mean the difference between life and death.  The symptoms include: Headache, Dizziness  and Nausea. 

         As carbon monoxide builds up in your blood, symptoms get worse and may include: confusion and drowsiness; fast breathing, rapid heartbeat, or chest pain; vision problems; and seizures. This accentuates the importance of recognizing the symptoms as soon as possible, as saving even precious seconds can mean the difference between life and death.  If you keep breathing the fumes, you may pass out and die. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur suddenly; or it can occur over an extended period of time, depending on the amount of carbon monoxide which may be present.  Breathing even  low levels of carbon monoxide over a long period can cause severe heart problems and brain damage.   If you have symptoms that you believe could be caused by carbon monoxide poisoning:  Leave the area right away, and call 911 or go to the emergency room at the nearest hospital.

What are your chances of becoming ill, or even dying from carbon monoxide poisoning in your hotel room; and should carbon monoxide alarms be required in hotel rooms?  “There were at least 30 reports of high levels of carbon monoxide in hotel properties between 2010 and 2013, resulting in eight deaths, as well as the evacuation of more than 1,300 people from hotel properties,” according to an article written by Gary Stoller and published in USA TODAY.  Like so many situations in our country, positive action and regulations are often not enacted due to the fact that only small portions of our total population have been seriously affected. This is precisely why, the Daryl and Shirley Jenkins Foundation gifted carbon monoxide alarms to all the members of Clarkston High School class of 1958.  Kris Jenkins Hauschildt, their daughter, encouraged all classmates, to include the alarm in their luggage and always use it whenever they planned on staying in a hotel or motel.  It is her gift to the classmates to prevent them from becoming another tragedy like her parents. 

       The Daryl and Shirley Jenkins Foundation continues to work to promote awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide and the lifesaving value of the alarms. The Foundation actively advocates for a federal mandate requiring carbon monoxide alarms in all hotels and motels; carbon monoxide education for hotel staffs; and standardized emergency protocols and evacuation procedures in the event of carbon monoxide exposure throughout all fifty states.  The hospitality industry has known about the dangers of carbon monoxide for over 50 years and now needs to become more actively involved in requiring detectors in all rooms before there are any more related tragedies.