Page 1

Ardent content food

& flavor 18. BACON WRAPPED MUSHROOMS Carole Morris 20. SILVER LININGS Cindy Della Monica 24. MUSHROOM RISOTTO McConnell Estates Winery





24. education 38. WHAT I’VE LEARNED CT Morris 40. LEARNING STYLES 42. A PLACE OF CREATIVITY FOR ALL AGES School of Rock Elk Grove


48. BOOK REVIEWS Sacramento Public Library

finance 34. PREPARE FOR THE “NEW RETIREMENT” Edward Jones

health 52.YOU’RE DOING YOUR BEST Anna Osborn 54. ANDROGRAPHIS Elk Grove Vitamins 58. ACCESSING CARE CONVENIENTLY FROM YOUR HOME Kaiser Permanente 60. TOXIC BURDEN Rejuvenation Wellness 62. EXERCISE & YOUR MENTAL HEALTH Switch Fitness


34. 6. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020

64. HISTORY OF OUR TELEPHONES Elizabeth Pinkerton

Community Cornerq a &

Neisha Fulton Bellus Photography Story on page 30.

What’s your must-do fall activity or activities?

Going to wineries and sipping wine by a fireplace. Taking walks through my neighborhood and looking at all the beautiful fall colors on the trees. Lighting a bunch of pumpkin spice candles around the house. Because I'm not someone that loves the heat, me and my husband tend to camp more in the Fall (in an RV of course) and take our electric bikes for long rides along the coast or in the Lake Tahoe area. What was the best Halloween costume you've ever worn?

My all time favorite is this beautiful mermaid custom my mom made for me when I was in 3rd grade. If you could go anywhere during the fall season where would you go?

I would go (and often do every Fall) to the Florida Keys where my best friend lives. The weather is perfect that time of year!

Halloween scary or autumn cozy?

Definitely Autumn Cozy!!

Pumpkin Spice Latte or Apple Cider?

Pumpkin Spice Latte!

What's your favorite Autumn Scent?

I love the smell of a first rain and a fire burning in the fireplace. What is your favorite movie to watch during the Halloween season?

I don't have a favorite and don't like watching the same movie twice, so I usually watch the newest scary movie that comes out around Halloween every year.

Community Cornerq a &

What’s your must-do fall activity or activities?

My friends and I get together every year to go to the pumpkin patch, pick out pumpkins, eat pie, and then carve the pumpkins while watching a movie! What was the best Halloween costume you've ever worn?

I was Hermione Granger from Harry Potter every year for about 10 years! Halloween scary or autumn cozy?

I love cozy autumn vibes!

Pumpkin Spice Latte or Apple Cider?

Does mulled wine count?

What's your favorite Autumn Scent?

Amanda Perry Marketing Manager McConnell Estates Winery Story on page 24.

I love anything pumpkin scented!

What is your favorite movie to watch during the Halloween season?

No Halloween is complete without watching Hocus Pocus!

Contributor’s Corner Justin Azevedo

Justin has been a Youth Services Librarian for Sacramento Public Library since 2010, and is currently the Youth Materials Selector for the system.

Jason Brennan

Music Director at School of Rock Elk Grove

D’Lee Daleo

Switch Fitness Owner with a passion for life, family, friends and fitness. She's never met a stranger, loves the movie Elf and is living proof that fitness can be fun.

Neisha Fulton

Neisha has been shooting weddings in Northern CA for more than 15 years. She offers a variety of romantic, playful and candid images while capturing every detail of the wedding day. She is married with three fur babies, enjoys the outdoors, and loves traveling around the world.

Aaron Andrew Grove

Serial Entrepreneur and Owner of Purely CBD of Elk Grove

Dr. Dayle A. Imperato

A Board Certified physician, she has served the Sacramento community for the past 20 years. Owner of Rejuvenation Wellness & Aesthetic Medicine in Old Town, Elk Grove.

Jamie McCalman

Switch Fitness Owner and Mom to Braden, Kyla and Lea. Some Moms can juggle a lot, Jamie can literally juggle her three kids; yeah, she’s that strong.

Cindy Della Monica

Cheesemonger and Owner of Cheese Central in Lodi, Ca.

Carole Morris

Instructional Specialist, Author and Adjunct Professor. She is married to an outstanding, brilliant man and the mother of two grown aweinspiring children, and grammie to three flawless grandchildren.

Josh Myer

Is a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones, he has a passion for coaching families and individual investors to achieve their financial goals. He loves being part of the Elk Grove community and spending time with his beautiful wife Molly and their two kids Riley and Jackson.

Anna Osborn

Anna lives in Elk Grove with her husband and school aged twins. She owns Life Unscripted Counseling in Midtown Sacramento.

Amanda Perry

Marketing Manager at McConnell Estates Winery

Elizabeth Pinkerton

Teacher and Administrator for 40 years, she is now a historian and author.

Susie Franklin Roeser

Owner & full time employee of Gifts From The Heart Of Elk Grove. Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mom x2, Carpool Minivan driver, 4-H Leader and lover of all things creative.

Dianna Singh

Owner of Elk Grove Vitamins for the past six years.

Brendle Wells

Is a librarian and lifelong reader who has a passion for sharing books with pretty much anyone she meets. She currently works as the Adult Materials Selector for the Sacramento Public Library and asks, “What have you read lately?”

14. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020



Bite into this rich flavorful mushroom recipe on page 18.

creative director

executive editor

business manager




Sara Pinnell

Carole Morris

art & production


Justin Pinnell



View Ardent for Life online at WWW.ARDENTFORLIFE.NET

Copyright Š 2020 Mrs. and Mr. Publishing Published by Mrs. and Mr. Publishing six times a year Want to know about great events, open houses, and more? Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/ardentforlifeelkgrove Ardent For Life is distributed in Elk Grove, Sacramento, Lodi, and every point in between. Have a great story idea, or know someone that we should feature? Email us with your comments & suggestions at info@mrsandmrpublishing.com Interested in increasing your business and partnering with Ardent For Life? Check out www.ardentforlife.net. The information in this publication is for informational purposes only. Mrs. and Mr. Publishing Inc. (DBA Ardent for Life) assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The information contained about each individual, event or organization is not necessarily the views of the magazine.

ARDENT f o r

Checking In

l i f e

Well, my dear friends I could be all depressed and glum as I write about fall 2020. I could say, “Welcome to our New Normal” or become even more morose and write as a heading, “Fall after Covid 2020”. I refuse to mimic the media’s miserable headings that ALWAYS highlight the worst case scenario, because there are so many amazing things about “just living” that I can highlight. We know that sunny skies and warm temperatures that we have in the fall offer some very substantial benefits to our well-being and happiness. The mere fact that sunlight helps adjust pretty much all our bodily processes, as well as acting as an emotional boost improves our quality of life. There are other facts that you may not know such as… There are less heart attacks when we are out in the sunshine. Why? Because of the higher levels of Vitamin D (synthesized by sunlight) that play a protective part in those who suffer heart attacks. The mild fall sun relieves many skin problems—the sun’s ultraviolet rays can have a therapeutic effect on skin complaints such as acne, psoriasis and dermatitis. Last, but not least, fall sunshine helps in regulating sleep disorders. Sunlight helps the body’s internal biological clock reset itself. In fact, sleep experts endorse exposure of one hour of sunlight between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. each morning. It has been proven to help those who have difficulty going to sleep at night. A perfect opportunity to sit in the sunshine and read the marvelous, uplifting articles to be found in this issue of Ardent—truly a win-win!

executive editor

Carole Morris

WHAT DID WE LEARN AFTER READING THIS ISSUE? This issue has an amazing article written by Elizabeth Pinkerton about the History of Our Telephones. I will humbly say that I had NO IDEA that there was such a thing as a barbed wire phone. Can you imagine having a big box telephone hooked up to the barbed wire fence? That is exactly what they had in the “old days” in Elk Grove. The barbed wire phones were very simple, but they worked. After reading the article, you will want to kiss your smart phone, because it has made your life so easy! We have some wonderful recipes that will motivate you to put on your cooking shoes. McConnell Estates Winery in Elk Grove has a mouthwatering vegetarian dish that is hearty enough to stand up to a full bodied wine like their 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon! It is paired with a delectable red wine and mushroom risotto—this meal is perfect as either a main or side dish.

Cindy Della Monica ALWAYS has amazing recipes and in this issue we have lip-smacking comfort food. As your family smells the baking powder biscuits or the homemade flour tortillas cooking, they will do a happy dance…guaranteed!




18. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020

Lovely mushrooms, how I adore you! I adore you for your aromatic flavor and unmatchable texture. When I add the knowledge that mushrooms have medicinal properties—a substantial dose of protein, potassium and polysaccharides (which support a healthy immune function) what is there not to love? Thank the heavens above for the French who introduced mushrooms into their haute cuisine; because by the 19th century Americans started cooking mushrooms in their own kitchens. So, here we are… going crazy with “Bacon Wrapped Mushrooms”.

Bacon Wrapped Mushrooms Ingredients 1½ lbs. large cremini mushrooms cleaned (remove stems)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese 1 tbsp. thyme 2 tbsp. garlic (minced) 1/4 cup green onion 2 tbsp. fresh parsley (chopped) Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional) 2 tbsp. olive oil 12 slices bacon (uncooked) 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper


Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.

1. In a medium bowl mix in parmesan cheese, thyme, garlic, green onion, parsley, and red pepper. Stir everything together and set aside.

2. In a large skillet, add the olive oil and heat it over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook on both sides for about 2 or 3 minutes per side, just until the mushrooms start to brown a bit. 3. Add approximately 1 tbsp. of the cheese mixture to each mushroom. 4. Wrap 2 pieces of bacon around each mushroom (wrap the bacon so that the ends are underneath the mushroom). 5. Place the mushrooms in the oven and bake for approximately 5 minutes. 6. When the cheese has melted, salt and pepper the top of the mushrooms.

As they say in French… prendre plaisir (enjoy)! ardentforlife.net   19


Silver Linings By Cindy Della Monica, Cheesemonger and

Owner, Cheese Central

I’m sad…life during pandemic has my five-year-old granddaughter asking what day WILL she get to go to school? My question is how will anyone virtually teach a kindergartener the social skills, playground interaction, new teacher authority and classroom rules on a Chromebook? She can already write her alphabet and numbers, spell names and certain words. However, I’m afraid the shine of the “new penny” will wear off before she can experience the joy (and a little fear) of new school dresses, freshly sharpened pencils, and communally decorating HER classroom with the paper leaves of autumn, turkeys made of painted hand-prints, and paper chains of red and green to show off at Back To School night! 20. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020

Okay, I’m off my soapbox now. Let’s focus on our temporary lifestyle that brings a silver lining—more time with immediate family. Take advantage of it… As we are limited to the number of available “away from home” leisure activities, our home lives can be made richer with the unlimited interaction we have with each other. Have some of those phone digital photos printed, and produce together a coffeetable scrapbook to elicit stroll-by smiles! Get out that 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle and (while putting it together) learn something new about each other by posing some fun questions: Rearrange the letters of your name—what does it spell? If you were a potato, what is the best way to cook and serve you? What kind of reality show would you like to be in? If money was no limit, what is your dream holiday? Take three things to a deserted island with you—what are they? And so much more… A weekend painting party will refresh bedrooms with a spirited activity in “new”

surroundings that helps everyone’s mood! GOOGLE creative paint finishes, get the kids in there to help “rag roll” a design, or handpaint borders of fanciful flowers, bugs, fish, and birds. Repurpose strips of unused fabric and learn to make a macramé hanger for houseplants—a retro project if there ever was one! Transform a garage sale bookcase or dresser with fresh finishes and hardware. Claim your interior space with a new face! When leisure time is done, back to work! So, having the kids home for virtual school is challenging, but it can be made interesting. After the assigned homework is completed, reinforce the lessons in a subtle way…together! As my adult children will tell you, reading and math skills were practiced in “the olden days” by cooking with me. I ran a catering business while the kids were home. I assigned one day of the week to each child to decide what kind of dinner he or she wanted to make for the family. House rule was this: YOUR day to cook,


food} and the other two kids couldn’t even be in the kitchen…you had MY full attention. The non-cookers had to follow the rules that the family dog was given—stay on the other side of the kitchen threshold, be quiet and don’t beg! They could listen, but not speak. The kid cook of the day would have previously chosen the dinner menu, eliciting my lessons in geography, culture, math, reading, organization, and safety with each meal. First, read the full recipe aloud to me. Then go back, gather all of your supplies, including your equipment. WASH YOUR HANDS before preparing ingredients, called mise en place. Completing mise en place required reading comprehension and math skills (how many ¼’s in 1 cup, etc.). Conversation progressed about culture based on ingredients—i.e. the same ingredients that make baking powder biscuits from the American South also make flour tortillas in Mexico. As we continued to read, measure, and WASH YOUR HANDS again, the kitchen/office computer would have appropriate music playing. Waiting for dough to rest or liquid to reduce was the perfect time to have a dance party—the two of us on the business side of the kitchen threshold, and the other two and the dog on the OTHER side of the threshold! Loud music, crazy dance skills, and giggles all around! If cooking a Father’s Day meal, the non-cooker kids would be making and decorating a “crown” for Dad—keeps everyone busy and Dad felt like the King of the castle come dinnertime. Now, after WASHING YOUR HANDS again, time to set the table. An important social skill, thinking ahead to all the parts needed for presenting the food we worked so hard to make. AND, fun with the meal theme might be a significant artful centerpiece, or individual item for each place setting. Proper placement of fork, knife, spoon, glass is a must. Don’t forget the salt and pepper (fill them, if needed—yes, YOU). After washing our hands before coming to the table and our prayers over the food, we “cheered” with our glasses in the language befitting the meal theme—maybe Slainte, Proost, Sante, Cin Cin, or Salud!

The pride that comes from food prepared with love, served to those you care most about, and breaking that homemade bread together is another silver lining to cherish, and to continue. Cooking together as couples, parents with children, or grandparents with the grandkids—there is so much we can learn from each other during this household “chore.” Better than any virtual schoolwork, or remote workplace, experience can offer! Don’t forget to wash your hands…..

BAKING POWDER BISCUITS 2 C all-purpose flour 1 T sugar, if desired 1 T baking powder 1 t salt 1/2 C shortening 3/4 C milk Heat oven to 450°. In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in milk until

dough leaves side of bowl, which will be soft and sticky. On lightly floured surface, gently roll dough in flour to coat. Knead lightly 10 times. Roll out ¾” thick. Cut with floured 2½” biscuit cutter. On ungreased cookie sheet, place biscuits about 1” apart for crusty sides, touching for soft sides. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Serve warm.

ardentforlife.net   21


Having the kids home for virtual school is challenging, but it can be made interesting. After the assigned homework is completed, reinforce the lessons in a subtle way‌together! As my adult children will tell you, reading and math skills were practiced in “the olden daysâ€? by cooking with me.

HOMEMADE FLOUR TORTILLAS 3 3/4 C all-purpose flour 1 t sugar 2 t baking powder 1 t salt 1/3 C lard (or shortening)

1 1/3 C hot water

22. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020

Place flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lard in food processor. Pulse several times until the mixture becomes coarse crumbs. Add the hot water. Pulse again until a sticky dough forms. Remove the dough from the food processor and knead on a flour dusted board several times. Add a little flour on your hands while kneading, just until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Divide the dough into 15-20 dough balls. Dampen a cloth towel and cover the dough balls. Let them rest for about 15 minutes. Heat dry cast-iron skillet over mediumhigh heat. Roll out each dough ball with a rolling pin. The dough should be about the thickness of a dime. Turn the dough 90* often while rolling to get a circle. Once the skillet is hot, place the rolled dough into the skillet and let it cook for 15-20 seconds on each side. Line a plate or tortilla warmer with damp paper towels. Place the cooked tortilla on the warmer or plate and cover with another damp paper towel. Use immediately, or store the tortillas in the refrigerator. To reheat, wrap the tortillas in foil and warm them in a 350* oven until they are heated through.


Mushroom Risotto & Red Wine

A Cabernet Pairing Recipe and Photo by Amanda Perry, McConnell Estates Winery

24. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020

food} Everyone knows that Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with meat based dishes like steak, but did you know that it can go just as well with a vegetarian meal? The challenge is to find something hearty enough to stand up to a full bodied wine. We recommend mushrooms because they are savory and have a similar texture to meat. Cheese is also a great addition because it adds a beautiful richness and creaminess that helps balance the tannins often found in a Cabernet Sauvignon. McConnell Estates Winery in Elk Grove just released a 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, so we decided to pair it with a delicious meal! With dark chocolate notes on the nose, flavors of blackberry and dark cherry, and just enough tannin to give it some structure, this wine is sure to be a crowd pleaser! We paired it with a delectable red wine and mushroom risotto—while this recipe does take a little bit of time, the most difficult thing about it is making sure you don’t drink all of the wine before dinner! This meal is perfect as either a main or side dish. Prep takes a mere 15 minutes (or less, if you buy the pre-sliced mushrooms like we did!), while the risotto takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete. You can feed up to 6 people if you serve it as a main dish, or more if you choose to use it as a side!

Mushroom Risotto Ingredients

2 tbsp. Calvirgin Garlic Olive Oil 1/2 large yellow onion, diced 1 clove garlic, minced (or more, if you love garlic!) 12 ounces of mushrooms, sliced (we used Baby Bella, but Baby Portobello would also be delicious!) Salt and pepper to taste 6 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 3/4 tsp of dried thyme if you don’t have fresh available) 2 cups arborio rice 1 cup of red wine (we used McConnell Estates Winery’s 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon!) 6-7 cups of vegetable stock, divided 1/3 cup unsalted butter 3/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

Instructions 1. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat

2. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes

3. Add your garlic and mushrooms to pot, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes until mushrooms are soft and have reduced in size 4. Pull the thyme leaves off the sprigs and add leaves to mixture. Salt and pepper to taste

5. Add arborio rice to pot and toast, stirring frequently until any liquid is absorbed

6. Add red wine to pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until rice has absorbed almost all the wine, about 10 minutes

7. Add 1 cup of vegetable stock and continue stirring frequently until almost all the stock has been absorbed by the rice. Repeat, adding 1 cup of stock at a time, until rice is al dente. Make sure that the stock is almost completely absorbed by the rice before you add any more! We ended up using 6 cups of stock, but it can vary from batch to batch. 8. Once the rice is cooked, remove the risotto from heat

9. Stir in your unsalted butter and Parmesan cheese and stir until they have melted into the risotto. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. 10. Top with more parmesan and serve immediately, paired with 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon from McConnell Estates Winery!

ardentforlife.net   25

House Plants

Q&A Written by Candice Pardue

26. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020


House plants are beautiful for decorating indoors. They bring life and fragrance to the air in your home, while adding a touch of color. If you're thinking of adding house plants to your home decor, you'll find the questions and answers below helpful. Use these tips to spruce up every room of your home. Q: What types of plants are considered house plants?

Q: Which plants should be used in each room? Does it matter?

Q: What type of pots should I use to contain my house plants?

A: There are many different types of house plants.

A: Yes, it does matter. Some plants will need more

A: There are three most common types of pots

Below is a categorized list of some of the most popular types of house plants and their characteristics.

1. Foliage House Plants l l

Survive all year round inside. Have foliage all year also.

2. Flowering House Plants

Can be stored inside all year, but flowering (and normally foliage) only occurs seasonally. l

3. Cacti

Have small patches of woolly aureoles on its stems. Leafless and most have spines. lLive all year round, and some will flower. l l

4. Indoor Aquatic l

Plants to place inside an aquarium.

moisture and/or sunlight than others. Once you decide which room you'd like to decorate with a plant, take note of the atmosphere, moisture and sunlight availability within that particular room. Then, use these features to find the perfect plant. For example, a bathroom has more moisture than others, as well as the kitchen. However, the bathroom may or may not have an abundance of sunlight. Therefore, you would take this into consideration when searching for the perfect plant for your bathroom.


Listed Below are Some Very Interesting Plants:

There are a few plants that will clean the air in your home and keep it fresh!

How often should I water the house plants?

These are listed below:

A: Adhering to a set schedule

- Aglaonema sp. (Chinese evergreen) - Aloe barbagensis (Aloe Vera, burn plant) - Chlorophytum (comoseum, spider plant) - Chrysanthemum Mums - Dieffenbachia sp. (Dumbcane) - Epipremnum sp. (Golden Pothos) - Hedera sp. (Common English Ivy) - Philudendron sp. (Heart Leaf philodendron) - Spathiphyllum sp. (Mauna Loa) - Gerbera sp. (Gerbera Daisy) - Fecus sp. (icus)

Popular Plants for Everyone:

Some of the most popular plants that are also easy to grow are Spider Plants, Japanese Bonsi, English Ivy, Dumbcane, Chinese evergreen and Aloe Vera.

used for house plants. These are plastic, unglazed clay and glazed ceramic. The type of pot to use is a matter of preference, however, keep in mind that the type of pot you choose will affect how often you will need to water your plant. Water evaporates quickly in unglazed clay pots, which would result in more frequent watering. Glazed ceramic pots and plastic pots hold water longer, and you won't have to water as often. The only other difference in the three is the price, obviously!

of watering may or may not be sufficient for some plants. Each plant absorbs water differently, therefore, testing the soil is a good way to tell when it's time for water. Place your finger two inches down into the soil to feel if the soil is dry. If it is dry, then water the plant. Also, you can keep an eye on the leaves of the plant to see if they're wilting. You can "over" water plants. If you sit a saucer underneath the pot to drain the water, empty the saucer when finished. Don't allow it to sit with water in it. This may cause your plant to receive too much water and die.

ardentforlife.net   27


Q: Is the location of the house plant in each room important? A: Yes, the location is important. Be mindful

of drafts (such as from windows, doors and even heating and air vents). Drafts can affect the temperature surrounding your plant tremendously. Also, you'll want to select locations based on sunlight availability. Remember to read the care instructions for each particular plant.

Q: What's the best time of year to purchase house plants? A: House plants can be purchased any time of

the year, but you do need to be cautious when selecting a plant. Examine the foliage carefully for insects, damaged leaves or stems and also excess pruning. The plant may have a disease which resulted in the store owner pruning away the damaged areas. Purchase healthy plants that have all of their foliage if possible. Depending on what time of the year you purchase the plant, the plant may or may not be ready to bloom. Helpful Hint: Each plant will have to adjust to the new environment in your home. Be patient. The leaves may wilt for a while or even fall off temporarily as it adjusts. Don't panic. Care for the plant as usual and watch it for a couple of weeks.

Q: Does the temperature of my home affect house plants? A: The temperature requirements vary from plant

to plant. An average of 65 to 75 degrees will be a suitable day temperature for many foliage plants. During the winter, be very careful about where you place your plants during a freeze. Placing the plant in a drafty area or near a window could expose it to outdoor temps. 28. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020

Q: Will house plants last all year, or are they seasonal only? A: Most house plants will survive year round if proper care is given. Flowering plants will lose their blooms just as if they were outdoors, but the blooms should reappear each season. Some plants lose leaves also during the winter, so don't discard them, just put them in a safe place until next time.

Q: How can I extend the life of my house plants? A: Water them as needed, but not too much. Carefully examine your plants often for signs of insect infestation or possible sickness. Catching things early enough could save your plant's life! Carefully follow each plants requirements for sunlight, temps, humidity, watering, etc. Q: If planting seeds myself, what supplies will I need? A: Some of the most common supplies used for

successful planting are seed starter kits, plant labels on a stick (to keep up with which is which), soil tester, peat strips, peat pots, potting soil (fertile), window greenhouse for multiple growing, handheld seed sower and tender loving care. You'll also need larger pots as the plants grow if you start out with small pots. If you have a question that's not answered above, a great way to find answers is to ask your local "farm and garden" retailer, or the Internet is also a great place to research information about house plants. House plants can bring delight to an ordinarily dull room, and can become a key item in your home decor.



ardentforlife.net   29 ardentforlife.net   29




Megan Thomas WHO ARE YOU? Megan Van Steyn (formerly Lomazzi), Elk Grove, CA Thomas Van Steyn, Elk Grove, CA

How did you meet?

We worked at the same company in San Francisco and one day we realized that we grew up 15 minutes away from each other in Elk Grove. We quickly became friends and joined various recreational sports leagues with our coworkers. After a year of friendship, we developed feelings for each other and decided to give dating a try!

The Proposal?

Thomas planned a dinner date one evening and as Megan was getting ready, Thomas proposed in their San Francisco apartment. Megan was not expecting it and had just taken a bite of an apple as Thomas got down on one knee.

30. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020

What is love?

Megan: Love is supporting each other through the ups and downs of life.

What is love?

Thomas: Love is when you get excited to watch Netflix on a Friday night with the person you are spending the rest of your life with.

What do you love most about him?

I love his sense of humor and how he makes me laugh every day.

What do you love most about her?

I love how easily she gets along with everyone and how thoughtful she is.

When did you know you were in love?

Megan: We were good friends before we started dating, so I knew I was in love pretty early on. I think what sealed the deal was when he

Photographed by Bellus Photography www.bellusphotography.com

met my family for the first time and they all had such a great time with him. After that weekend with family, I decided to say “I love you” for the first time.

When did you know you were in love?

Thomas: I knew when she surprised me for my birthday by inviting my friends and family to an A’s game. I didn’t have a clue it was happening, and she knew all the people to invite.

Fun facts

-Thomas lost his wedding ring in the sea during our honeymoon in Bali. -Megan’s Matron of Honor and friend from high school, Katie, was a family friend of Thomas before she even met Megan.


We honeymooned in Bali, Indonesia at the Kamandalu Ubud Resort.



is supporting each other through the ups and downs of life.




I love how easily she gets along with everyone and how thoughtful she is. Wedding details

We got married at the Old Sugar Mill, in Clarksburg, surrounded by our family and friends. The ceremony was on the lawn, and Thomas’s sister sang with the string quartet as our family and bridal party walked down the aisle. We were married by Thomas’s childhood pastor in a beautiful ceremony filled with laughter and tears. Our reception was held in the Boiler Room where we enjoyed a delicious dinner and danced the night away with everyone that we love. The Old Sugar Mill staff, and our other vendors, worked hard to make sure we had a fun, stress-free wedding day. It wasn’t until the next day that we found out our guests received a tornado warning alert on their phones right after the ceremony! Our wedding was a magical day that we’ll never forget, and we’re grateful for everyone that helped make it special.

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Photographer Bellus Photography Videographer Scrap Media Films

Wedding Coordinator Daisy Magsuci, Daisy M Productions

Venue The Old Sugar Mill Rentals Furniture provided by the Old Sugar Mill; Linens and dishware provided by Hannibal’s Catering

DJ DJB Carrion Musician Camellia String Quartet Hair All Dolled Up

Caterer Hannibal's Catering

Make up Dayna Lauren Cabrera

Desserts/cake Above and Beyond Cakes

Florist Picture Perfect Petals

Tux Rentals Generation Tux Bride's Dress Justin Alexander Sweetheart Bridesmaid's Dress Birdy Grey Rings Brilliant Earth Transportation API Global Transportation helped us shuttle our guests from the Citizen Hotel to the Old Sugar Mill



“New Retirement”?

A generation or so ago, people didn’t just retire from work – many of them also withdrew from a whole range of social and communal activities. But now, it’s different: The large Baby Boom cohort, and no doubt future ones, are insisting on an active lifestyle and continued involvement in their communities and world. So, what should you know about this “new retirement”? And how can you prepare for it?

For starters, consider what it means to be a retiree today. The 2020 Edward Jones/Age Wave 34. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020

Four Pillars of the New Retirement study has identified these four interrelated, key ingredients, along with the connected statistics, for living well in the new retirement:

Health – While physical health may decline

with age, emotional intelligence – the ability to use emotions in positive ways – actually improves, according to a well-known study from the University of California, among others. However, not surprisingly, retirees fear Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia more than any physical ailment, including cancer or infectious diseases, according to the “Four Pillars” study.

Family – Retirees get their greatest emotional

nourishment from family relationships – and they’ll do anything it takes to help support those

family members, even if it means sacrificing their own financial security. Conversely, retirees lacking close connections with family and friends are at risk for all the negative consequences resulting from physical and social isolation.

Purpose – Nearly 90% of Americans feel that

there should be more ways for retirees to use their talents and knowledge for the benefit of their communities and society at large. Retirees want to spend their time in useful, rewarding ways – and they’re well capable of doing so, given their decades of life experience. Retirees with a strong sense of purpose have happier, healthier lives and report a higher quality of life.

Finances – Retirees are less interested in accumulating more wealth than they are in having

Almost 70% of those who plan to retire in the next 10 years say they have no idea what their healthcare and long-term care costs will be in retirement.



sufficient resources to achieve the freedom to live their lives as they choose. Yet, retirees frequently find that managing money in retirement can be even more challenging than saving for it. And the “unknowns” can be scary: Almost 70% of those who plan to retire in the next 10 years say they have no idea what their healthcare and longterm care costs will be in retirement. So, if you’re getting close to retirement, and you’re considering these factors, how can you best integrate them into a fulfilling, meaningful way of life? You’ll want to take a “holistic” approach by asking yourself some key questions: What do you want to be able to do with your time and money? Are you building the resources necessary to enjoy the lifestyle you’ve envisioned? Are you prepared for the increasing costs of health care as you age? Have you taken the steps to maintain your financial independence so that you avoid burdening your family, in case you need some type of long-term care? Have you created the estate plans necessary to leave the type of legacy you desire? By addressing these and other issues (possibly with the help of a financial professional) you can set yourself on the path toward the type of retirement that’s not really a retirement at all – but rather a new, invigorating chapter of your life. Josh Myer, Edward Jones, Elk Grove. 9401 E Stockton Blvd Suite 250, Elk Grove. (916) 685-6753

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What I’ve Learned About

Children and the Pandemic By CT Morris - BS Elementary Ed., MS Ed.

This year, teaching the 26 third graders in my class “remotely” has given me an overwhelming concern for their wellbeing. They don’t act like the 3rd graders who were in my face-to-face class last year (before “COVID 19” changed their lives). They are subdued and unengaged, there isn’t a sparkle in their eyes from all the new possibilities they are embracing… a new school year, a new teacher and new friends. The sheer delight I’d see on the faces of my students every year as they used new pencils, highlighters, crayons and third grade textbooks isn’t there. Even though I wanted to start this year with my students in the classroom, teachers’ voices were unheard because of the loud clamor raised by the governor, the media and “experts”. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics' guidance advocated that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school. Why? They know that schools are fundamental to child and adolescent development and well-being. It is a “no brainer” to know with certainty that remote learning is going to result in severe learning loss and increased social isolation. Social isolation, in turn, can breed serious social, emotional and health issues: such as depression, and suicidal ideation. The big question that has evolved is “how do we identify depression in our children?” Children feeling down in this time of forced inactivity and constant uncertainty is unavoidable. We will always hear the “I’m bored” exclamation coming from children of all ages…however, it doesn’t mean that they’re depressed. 38. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020

Rather, depression is more than just feeling sad or having bad days. When a child is stuck in a negative mood, feeling despondent and doesn’t find joy in anything… that is the textbook description of depression. Symptoms of depression include:

·Unusual sadness or irritability, persisting even when circumstances change, loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed, changes in weight, shifts in sleep patterns, sluggishness, harsh self-assessment, feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and thoughts of or attempts at suicide. However, there are ways to help them bounce back. As a parent, this is the time to take action and help your child feel comfortable talking about their thoughts and feelings. Just the simple act of sitting down and asking your child how they are doing, will encourage them to start talking. When checking in with your child becomes a habit, they will let you know what’s going on. Asking specific questions can give both of you more insight into what’s happening, and how you can help. Validating your child’s feelings by listening to them

without judgment and letting them know you’re there for them is the best antidote for depression.

In addition, staying active is a great way to give your child a sense of accomplishment (whether it’s a game they enjoy or activity that can be done together as a family). Also, keeping a sense of perspective and avoiding obsessing over terrible things that could happen or focusing on the worst possible outcomes. Encouraging your child by going through the facts: realistically, this pandemic will not go on forever. Making plans with your child…together… and coming up with plans or activities that will help them feel more engaged. Just the act of making plans, completing fun tasks, and coming up with strategies, can make them feel less helpless and disheartened. Finally, just focusing on gratitude and encouraging your child to list things they are grateful for. Sometimes, just reflecting on all the “good” people and “good” times they have experienced will put a song in their heart and a smile on their face.


ardentforlife.net  39 ardentforlife.net   39


The Significance of


STYLES By CT Morris BS Elementary Ed., MS Ed.

Whether your child attends a public school, private school, or is homeschooled—it is extremely important to know their learning style. Many times parents and teachers wave the importance of "learning styles" away as if they were shooing away an annoying fly. They place people that explore learning styles in a circus act with the snake charmer and the clairvoyant crystal ball carrier. The truth of the matter is... the concept of learning styles has greatly influenced education.

Sadly, instructors assume that the children they are teaching learn exactly as they do. If the instructor is an auditory learner, they assume everyone is an auditory learner. When in actuality only a small percentage of people are auditory learners. We are all unique individuals, possessing a learning style that is different from our parents and our siblings.

This leads us to the question, "what is the best environment for people to learn?" Traditionally, it was thought that a classroom should be quiet—with school desks and chairs in neat rows. However, some children learn best in a more chaotic environment. Music, a dimly lit room, and clusters of chairs around a table may be the best learning environment for them. Experimenting with different environments may improve each child's All people show a preference for one of the accomplishments and their success. In addition, trying following learning styles: visual, auditory or diverse techniques of learning may stop them from kinesthetic. Learning styles group common feeling discouraged.

ways that people learn. While everyone has your child's learning style is painless. If a mix of learning styles, we usually have a Determining the child is too young to take a learning styles quiz, the dominant style of learning. following steps can help you to identify their learning

style. As you observe the child watch how they express themselves. If they use facial expressions, they are a visual learner. A child that expresses themselves through their words is an auditory learner. On the other hand, if they express themselves through their body language they are a kinesthetic learner. When your child solves problems, a visual learner will use their eyes to find the Auditory learners can have problems reading, solution. Contrariwise, if they are auditory they will Therefore, as an educator, I believe there are many because they do not visualize well. They learn want to discuss a solution. A kinesthetic learner will reasons why it is mandatory for all instructors to know by listening and remember facts better when use their hands to find a solution. each child's learning style. The first and foremost reason is the fact that if you understand the learning styles of they are in the form of a poem, song or melody. If your child is school age, a free learning styles inventory taken online will clarify how they learn. The the children you teach, you will be able to instruct them effectively and connect with them. Moreover, your Kinesthetic learners have difficulty learning in link to a free inventory is classroom can be adapted and the best methods used a traditional setting. They like to find out how www.tryinteract.com/quiz/what-is-your-learning-styles/ to fit each student's educational needs. In addition, you things work and learn best through movement In the next issue, we will discuss the various will be able to interest them in new material and help methods and curriculum that will support your and manipulation. child's individual learning style. them to communicate better. By using brain-imaging technologies, researchers Visual learners picture the way things look in have been able to find out the key areas of the brain responsible for each learning style. Remarkably, each their head. They call up images from the past learning style uses different parts of the brain. A when trying to remember facts and informarecognized fact in education is if we involve more of tion. the brain during learning, we remember more of what we learn.

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Creativity for all Ages School of Rock Elk Grove By Jason Brennan, School of Rock Elk Grove Photos by Matt Spolidoro, Highflier Productions @mattspoli @highflierpro

Tell me a little about yourself and what music means to you?

My name is Jason Brennan, I am the Music Director for School of Rock Elk Grove. I am a Bassist and Multi-Instrumentalist with a degree in Music Performance from Musicians Institute LA. I spent many years’ gigging in Los Angeles and Touring the US and Europe playing many styles of music. To me music is many things, but most importantly it is a life skill that can help people cope with the struggles of daily life and give them a personal outlet to express their emotions, ambitions, frustrations, and joys.

to multiple instruments so they can make an educated decision on their favorite instrument before diving in. There is really no “best age” to start. Anyone can start at any time. It’s really about how much time the student will spend getting better at the instrument they choose. This is the reason we offer Free Trial Lessons to any new students coming in. So, they can meet our staff and take a lesson on the instrument they think they will like. The real answer is about ownership. No matter the age, the student has to take ownership of the instrument and spend time getting better at it. As long as the student does that, we can help them achieve their goals.

What Ways have you seen music cause growth in children?

What age do you believe is best to start lessons?

At School of Rock Elk Grove we start students as early as four years old with basic music instruction that is not focused on a specific instrument. I believe this is the best way to start students on the path of musicianship. Giving them exposure 42. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020

Music Education has a multitude of developmental properties. Learning an instrument helps with dexterity development, cognitive function, and problem solving skills. We have seen students overcome social anxiety issues, improvement in grades, and generally improve overall happiness and satisfaction in their lives. Our Performance Programs, which is split into different age groups at School of Rock Elk Grove also has a no cell phone policy… which helps students put their phones away and interact with each

other. We give them a place that they are required to unplug from the internet for a few hours a week and interact with each other both musically and socially. Having an activity that is both creative and interactive helps students develop communication skills, and build friendships with other students who are already mutually interested in music.


Music is many things, but most importantly it is a life skill that can help people cope with the struggles of daily life and give them a personal outlet to express their emotions, ambitions, frustrations, and joys.

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Music Education has a multitude of developmental properties. Learning an instrument helps with dexterity development, cognitive function, and problem solving skills. In short, we are helping our students’ development in a myriad of different ways—while also giving them a social support network that is real and tangible. In addition to giving them tools to “Rock on STAGE and IN LIFE.”

In this time of isolation, how do you believe music lessons from school of rock helps a child’s psyche?

I think that we have provided something for students to look forward to each week. It is a place for them to come and be themselves away from their parents and the worries of their lives. Additionally, it is a place for them to learn a skill that lets them escape and be creative. School of Rock Elk Grove is a place for anyone who needs an outlet that is more productive than anything the internet can provide. A life skill that they can share with their loved ones, or an escape to their imagination without feeling like their activity is fruitless. We provide a safe place and second home, and are committed to improving the well-being of our community’s children and parents.

What have you done to ensure safety for kids taking lessons during this COVID-19 epidemic?

Luckily, we have been able provide a safe environment for students to come and participate in person. We have multiple layers of protection for students and teachers from social distancing, masks at all times, temperature checks on students and staff, hand washing in and out of the building, and constant cleaning of surfaces between lessons and rehearsals. We are committed to providing the safest possible environment for our community. In this way, we have been able to give our students a safe activity that gets them out of the house and away from the computer. They are getting a chance to practice both music and interactivity every week; which is a welcome break from day to day internet activities.

Can anyone learn how to play an instrument?

Yes! Learning an instrument is about ownership not natural talent. Most of the best musicians you can think of would tell you that they didn’t think they were naturally gifted. In this way, it is really more about effort. The amount of time the student spends practicing and how they are using the skills and techniques they are learning (in their lessons) guides their progression. Sure, some things come easier for some people… but, at the end of the day, everyone starts out at the same place. That’s where we come in! Our staff helps students improve at their speed and the pace they are setting for themselves.

Can’t I just learn Guitar on YouTube? What is so important about in-person lessons?

There is a lot that anyone can learn by watching instructional videos on YouTube. But, at some point you need a skilled musician to show the path to improvement. That is something that will never be replaced by YouTube. Every student that started out learning online reaches a point where they just need someone to sit across from them and show them an easier way to play, or a new scale that will make that guitar solo make sense. Using the tools available online is a part of todays’ music lesson. A good teacher will also help the student navigate online tools and use them more effectively. We also use School of Rock Method App and Method Books that pair with each instrument we teach. So we are fully set up to help every student learn with every tool available for every learning style. Some people just learn better from a person and some don’t… either way, our staff can 44. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020

Learning an instrument is about ownership not natural talent. Most of the best musicians you can think of would tell you that they didn’t think they were naturally gifted.

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Music is meant to be made with multiple people; different instruments coming together to craft a song. Learning how to communicate musically (with others) is a huge part of the skill set that can’t be learned without developing the communication tools of person to person musicianship.

help anyone improve their experience and ability. In addition, music is meant to be made with multiple people; different instruments coming together to craft a song. Learning how to communicate musically (with others) is a huge part of the skill set that can’t be learned without developing the communication tools of person to person musicianship.

Where do you suggest new students start? We always start students out with a Free Trial Lesson that lets them meet a teacher and see the school. But, I always suggest that even the shy46. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020

est students start out in a performance group… regardless of skill level or previous performance experience. In this way the students are offered a different experience in playing their instrument. Making the socially anxious equate playing their instrument with the group, and removing the initial hurtle of playing in-front of others that some people never overcome. That’s one of the greatest parts of our program. Students have the chance to play real shows right from the beginning of their musical journey. Also, the classical model of playing alone in your bedroom for hours and hours is somewhat removed. Letting students try out what they are practicing at home with other students who are learning the same material they are learning. This helps break down social barriers, and gives them a community of like-minded musicians with a common goal. Instead of playing alone for months or years, our students are instantly applying the concepts they are learning in the lesson room which accelerates their ability to play their chosen instrument.

any instrument that can be tuned or works can be used to start; we can help students make the best of whatever equipment they may have access to.

What are the programs you offer at School of Rock?

We offer Live Performance groups for students starting at age seven. Rock 101, Performance and Adult Bands are divided by age so students are learning with other students in their age group. We also offer Little Wings (3-5) and Rookies (57) so we can assist any student who is interested in learning music, at any stage in their journey— while providing opportunities to play on stage!

Do I need an instrument to get started?

Nope! We can provide students an instrument at their trial lesson. But students will need an instrument of their own, once they have chosen an instrument they would like to play. Luckily there are plenty of cost effective ways to get started on any instrument. We can also help parents order instruments and have some cost effective options available through School of Rock! We want to make it as easy and affordable as possible. Really,

9045 Elk Grove Blvd, Elk Grove, CA 95624 Phone: (916) 500-7625

Reviews brought to you by the art} BOOKS


By: J. Ryan Stradal Book Reviews by BRENDLE WELLS

Amongst other things, the ongoing and unanticipated stresses and strains of the quarantine have brought about a strong desire for comfort reading. This can mean different things for different readers, but for me it means a book with characters I can care about, things I can laugh at, and a story where I know that everything will work out okay. The second of Stradal’s Midwestern tales, is just such a book. Centered around family, food, and beer, this multigenerational story alternates between narrators in the past and the present. In the 1950’s, Helen stole her sister Edith’s inheritance to open a brewery and since that day, she and her sister have not spoken. Helen ultimately commands a brewing dynasty while Edith becomes locally renown for her outstanding pies, but the good times do not last for either woman. Enter a new generation, Diana, Edith’s granddaughter, who in a twist of fate becomes a skilled beer maker herself, opening a door for the possibility of connection. Filled with vivid, empathetic characters who persevere through serious adversity, this is an entertaining and rewarding story that is rich with the flavor of the Minnesota setting. More than anything else, it is story of the great strength and determination of women who follow their passion. And beer. It’s a story about beer, which even non-drinkers will come to appreciate in Stradal’s telling. This is a story any reader will savor. Viking Press, 2019

M a y b e Yo u S h o u l d Ta l k t o Someone: a therapist, her therapist, and our lives revealed

By: Lori Gottlieb

The past weeks and months have brought an unforeseen set of situations and stresses for each of us. Be they the pressures of dealing with illness or confinement, or just the more nebulous grief and anxiety for the difficult situation we have all found ourselves in, the strain on our mental health has been significant. That’s why I found this book to be an excellent choice for this moment in time. In the book, Gottlieb, a psychotherapist and columnist for The Atlantic, discusses not only her professional experiences, but also her personal decision to seek therapy while struggling with the fallout from a bad break-up. She alternates between the two perspectives, sharing some of the techniques therapists use to help patients see themselves clearly through the mental barriers constructed against difficult emotions and situations. Her tour through the experience of therapy becomes all the more profound when she shares her experience as a patient through the dual personal and professional lens. Even with all of her awareness, it was sometimes difficult for her to see where her struggle truly lay. Readers will walk away with a solid understanding of the therapeutic process, certainly valuable for anyone considering treatment. But the real value here is in the stories of human experiences and emotions as related by Gottlieb and her patients. There is humor, wisdom, compassion, and beauty here, making this a powerful and heartwarming read of self-discovery. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019

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WWW.SACLI BRARY.ORG For details, telephone the Sacramento Public Library at (916) 264-2920 or visit www.saclibrary.org.

art} BOOKS

WWW.SACLI BRARY.ORG For details, telephone the Sacramento Public Library at (916) 264-2920 or visit www.saclibrary.org.

How to Solve a Problem

Author: Ashima Shiraishi Illustrator: Yao Xiao Children's Book Reviews By JUSTIN AZEVEDO

Kent State

Author: Deborah Wiles

At nineteen years old, Ashima Shiraishi is already one of the most accomplished rock climbers in the world, having racked up multiple records for both youngest and first female climber to conquer a variety of notorious boulders. In the climbing world, boulders are referred to as “problems,” and in this autobiographical picture book Shiraishi lays out how she solves her problems, boulder or otherwise. Facing one particularly huge problem, she maps it into easy-to-understand steps: a question mark here, a sheet of glass there. One part looks like her father’s elbow, another like a stack of her mother’s fabric. In attempting solve the problem step by step, she faces a momentary setback as gravity asserts itself. After a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with her dad and some time processing what her failure had to teach her, she remaps the problem and tries again, and yet again, until she finally surmounts it. The story features spare, easy to understand prose that nevertheless brilliantly presents rock-climbing as a universal lesson in resilience, buoyed by Xiao’s clean-lined, comic-style illustrations. The backmatter features a timeline of Shiraishi’s accomplishments, while the endpapers sport depictions of stretches and climbing positions. The result is an accessible biography of a young, storied athlete that can inspire young readers, but also a poetic picture book perfect for reading aloud and teaching any child, athlete or otherwise, how to tackle a problem and bounce back from failure. Recommended for ages 5 to 9.

In the spring of 1970, ongoing protests of the Vietnam War culminated in a clash between protestors and the National Guard at Kent State University in Ohio, resulting in the shooting deaths of four students and injuries to nine others. This novel in verse explores the days leading up to the shooting, told in an imagined conversation between multiple people from different perspectives and the reader. The narrative begins several days before the incident, chronicling the rising tensions between the university and the small town around it. Initially welcomed into the retelling by two former students who have differing opinions of why the shooting occurred, the reader is eventually introduced to other voices: angry and scared town residents, a weary and knowledgeable representative of the Black United Students group, and a National Guardsman, desperate to explain that he isn’t a monster. The bickering, placing of blame, and insistence on reframing the story by each narrator echoes the chaos leading up to the tragedy itself, making for a taut, suspenseful read despite a relatively slim page length. The conversation itself has little in the way of resolution, other than a shared agreement that none of it should have happened; this underscores the gravity of the events the book depicts, and lends real power to what could be a simple historical recounting. The author’s note at the end provides fascinating context in the form of further reading and research. A gripping, important piece of historical fiction, recommended for ages 12 and up.

Make Me a World, 2020

Scholastic Press, 2020

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You’re Doing Your Best By Anna Osborn, LMFT, owner of Life Unscripted Counseling

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health} To say these last few months have been challenging is an understatement. I’ve had to learn how to bob and weave in every aspect of my life. From being a mom, a wife, a business owner, and a therapist...literally all of it has been turned upside down and sideways. I’ve grown increasingly aware of how my mind and my heart navigates change versus uncertainty and how acutely different these two things are. I’ve realized I can manage a lot of change if I have a few “knowns” and that uncertainty can turn me into a “what if ” monster who has a limitless imagination. I’ve also realized that being a frontline worker or first responder is not necessarily a term only reserved for hospital workers and law enforcement. To be honest, I’ve never thought of myself as a frontline worker or first responder; and yet I’ve become more and more aware that each one of us has become one in our own uniquely different ways. You see frontline workers and first responders are the ones that receive the first wave of impact, the emotional harshness of what is usually trickled down to the rest of us in a watered down version. They see it first, they feel it first, and they experience it first. And I see so many of you doing that without even realizing how overwhelming it is to be called into the line of duty, with little to no training and zero preparation. But, you’re doing it!! Whether you’re being called to step up in leadership (within your work environment or home environment) I have no doubt that you are being challenged to manage the front lines in a way that you may have never understood before. Or never knew you would have to. As a mom and a wife who is also a therapist, I often forget that I take on a lot of the emotional frontline work for my family. I don’t mind it, I swim in feelings and emotions all day, so it’s not too hard of a stretch to also be a softer (depending on the day) landing place for those close to me. With that being said, I have never in my life stepped into a role where I’ve felt so ill prepared for what it means to be swimming in feelings with my family, friends, community and clients…on a daily and hourly basis. And I don’t, by any stretch of the imagination feel that my story is unique. I KNOW that so many, if not all of you, are being required to step up in a way that you never imagined you would have to. Whether you are trying to calm the fears of young hearts in your household, stabilize a rocky relationship with a co-parent, or keep your head above water with the ever growing demands at work (which oddly may

now be in your PJ bottoms in front of a not so flattering angled computer screen). In a million different ways…on what feels like a million different days…you’re doing it. You’re on the frontlines my friend, and I see you. I see how hard you’re trying to navigate a path you never agreed to go down. I see how hard you’re trying to breathe deeply and give a more patient response to the same question that’s been asked of you 100 times over. I see you trying your best to not let fear make all of your decisions. I see you buffering the impact on those around by working to absorb the emotional intensity of uncertainty. And you’re doing your best. You’re doing your best every day. Even if your version of “best” looks different every day. Sure you may see those around you using SIP (sheltering in place) as a time to learn a new language or dive back into crocheting. And that’s okay for them. It also doesn’t have to be what you’re doing and it certainly doesn’t need to be the same standard or expectation you need to hold yourself to. You’re doing your best. It’s completely okay if you come out of this time with a more organized garage, a refreshed exercise habit and your emotional health in tact. It’s also even more completely okay if you come out of this packing a few extra pounds, with your kids knowing a few more choice words and your emotional health feeling like it’s hanging on by a string. You’re on the front lines, and you’re doing your best. There is no shiny award or giant blue ribbon for the person that comes out of this madness the “best”. You’re already doing your best and how

There is no shiny award or giant blue ribbon for the person that comes out of this madness the “best”. You’re already doing your best and how you’re managing all of it is okay. you’re managing all of it is okay. Take a breath, be gentle on yourself (and those around you) and remember that hard things are hard…and usually more temporary then you can ever see in the moment. You may have not signed up or realized you were going to be a front line worker and first responder (with zero time to train) and yet you’re rising to the challenge on a daily basis and doing what you can to manage. I’m proud of you and I hope that you’re proud of yourself too.

Anna Osborn, LMFT, is the owner of Life Unscripted Counseling. You can reach out to her by calling 916.955.3200 or visit her website at www.lifeunscriptedcounseling.com

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Written By Terry Lemerond Sponsored by Dianna Singh, Owner of Elk Grove Vitamins

The Ayurvedic Answer For Overall Health

When talking about effective natural medicines with a rich Ayurvedic history…an herb that does it all is Andrographis. Here’s the short list—supports energy and resilience, strengthens immune defenses, stops viruses and resistant bacteria, protects the liver, prevents tumors and cell damage, and the list goes on and on. Find out why it’s so important that you take Andrographis for optimal health.

TERRY'S BOTTOM LINE Ancient medical practices, many still in use today, form the basis of our own holistic health practices. They are founded in wisdom that heals, transforms, and brings balance to the body and mind. One of the premier herbs of the Ayurvedic tradition is Andrographis paniculata. Also known as “The King of Bitters,” this remarkable natural medicine has many talents: lProtects

the liver immune defenses lStops viruses and resistant bacteria lPrevents tumors and cell damage lSoothes digestive disorders lPrevents pain, inflammation, and arthritis symptoms lSupports energy and resilience lProtects heart and arteries lStrengthens

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Ayurvedic Wisdom and the “King of Bitters”

If you’ve noticed a common thread that binds together some of the world’s most effective natural medicines, it is that they have been tested in real life by practitioners and patients for thousands of years. Andrographis (Andrographis paniculata) may not be well known to some, but this herb has been widely used in Ayurvedic medicine in India since ancient times, where it is known as the “King of Bitters” because of its bitter taste in traditional preparations. Like boswellia, or curcumin from turmeric, andrographis is one of nature’s great multitaskers. While it is often associated with fighting colds and flus (and rightly so), it is another “do-everything” herb that may open new paths toward fighting cancer, heart disease, arthritis, Lyme’s disease, and more. While andrographis provides a full spectrum of compounds that prevent or stop disease, andrographolide is considered the most beneficial. You’ll find that research on the herb – no matter what disease it is studying – focuses primarily on that compound.

Here are some of the attributes and research surrounding andrographis. You may find that it’s the most exciting herb you’ve never heard of. Protects the Liver

Andrographis has been widely used for treating liver diseases in both traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese practice. Current scientific study bears this out. Research published in the journal PLoS One shows that andrographolide from andrographis extract can be as effective as silymarin from milk thistle at reducing the damage of toxins in the liver. When a liver is continually damaged, its own efforts at wound healing can cause fibrosis (scar tissue) as the liver kicks up production of connective tissue to an unhealthy level. Andrographis stops the over-proliferation of cells that can lead to cirrhosis. Extracts of andrographis have been shown to boost the activity of glutathione and superoxide dismutase – two of the most powerful antioxidants generated by the body. It also increased the activity of Nrf2, a protein that can slow aging and cellular damage.

Andrographis is probably best known in the West as a botanical that boosts your immune system’s ability health}

to defend you from viruses and bacteria.

Interestingly, earlier research found that andrographolide alone – separate from the plant’s other compounds – was not the only effective component that protected the liver – the entire leaf extract provided its strongest effects.

Strengthens Immune Defense & Fights Bacteria and Viruses

Andrographis is probably best known in the West as a botanical that boosts your immune system’s ability to defend you from viruses and bacteria. And no wonder: andrographis helps you get over colds and flu faster and reduces the intensity of symptoms without causing side effects. We have a great need for effective immune boosting interventions that don’t create side effects. Plus – and just as crucially, we need alternative, effective ways of protecting ourselves than antibiotics, which are quickly becoming obsolete and ineffective after decades of overuse. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, andrographis relieved key symptoms in just two days, including fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, and sleeplessness. By the fourth day, the andrographis group saw a significant decrease in all symptoms, including headache, earache, phlegm production, and coughing. Another clinical study of individuals with upper respiratory tract infection showed similar results. In this case, 223 patients either received andrographis or a placebo. By the third day, there was a dramatic difference in cough, headache, sore throat, and disturbed sleep. Andrographis also stops dangerous bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus by preventing it from replicating. Considering how resistant bacterial infections have become as a result of antibiotic over-prescription, this botanical could be a much more effective form of treatment. And, the abilities that andrographis shows for strengthening the immune system have made it an increasingly popular herb for treating Lyme disease. Transmitted by ticks, infection by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria first manifests itself in “bull’s eye” pattern skin lesions, but can later progress to muscle dysfunction, arthritis, facial palsy, and more. However, antibiotic treatment doesn’t address the need for the body to help heal itself. In fact, Polish researchers found that patients using antibiotics to treat the skin lesion phase of the disease, still had heavy free-radical activity. Even though antibiotics in this case are standard medical procedure, the resulting oxidative damage simply weakens the system more, creating a greater opportunity for the disease to spread and do more damage.

Over the past several years, the use of andrographis as part of a multi-herbal treatment for Lyme disease, or in conjunction with conventional methods, has grown. Other research has found that andrographolide from andrographis may also inhibit the immune-weakening actions of HIV and fight the herpes virus that causes cold sores and fever blisters.

The immune system is a vastly complex network that affects multiple pathways in the body. Any threats to your defenses can result in some extremely difficult to treat conditions. But andrographis appears to rise to almost any of these challenges.

Stops Tumors

Cellular damage throws our DNA replication process into chaos and triggers tumors. Scientists have linked andrographolide from andrographis to stopping the cycle of melanoma cancer cell growth. Based on past statistics and the fact that the rate of melanoma has been growing for the past 30 years, the American Cancer Association predicts that over 90,000 Americans will be diagnosed with this form of skin cancer in 2018 alone. This is a prime reason for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors to arm themselves with supplemental andrographis. Similar results have been seen in studies of pancreatic cancer cells and in glioblastoma cells, an aggressive form of brain cancer. Andrographis has also been shown to stop the growth and formation of pancreatic tumor cells, and suppress the ability of glioblastoma multiform cells to migrate. In each study, andrographolide worked along different pathways, showing the versatility of this compound. Overall, a recent review showed that this one component of andrographis stopped tumor replication in virtually every type of cancer tested and addressed virtually every mechanism, including inflammation, oxidation, cell replication, and cancer cell invasion. The report concluded, “After careful consideration of the relevant evidence, we suggest that andrographolide can be one of the potential agents in the treatment of cancer in the near future.”

Soothes Digestive Disorders

Andrographis works along a variety of inflammatory pathways to soothe the effects of digestive disorders and prevent more serious conditions. In fact, it is still very popular in India for soothing digestive complaints. The scientific research surrounding andrographis is beginning to discover why it works so well. Ulcerative colitis (UC) can increase your risk of colon cancer because of the damage caused by chronic inflammation. But andrographis can reduce that risk and has the potential to alleviate the symptoms of UC.

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Andrographis stops inflammatory triggers that can destroy joint cartilage and protects cartilage components, including hyaluronic acid and collagen. health} bring our mental and physical health into a state of homeostasis, much like rhodiola and ashwagandha. There is leading-edge scientific research that shows that andrographis (in some cases combined with eleuthero) may reduce the symptoms of brain fog in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Andrographis may also work with chemotherapy drugs in reducing breast cancer cells, so it has potential as a cotreatment with conventional medicines. Other laboratory research has found that andrographolide over time can decrease reactivity to stressful situations. Clinical research also shows that andrographis reduces fatigue in individuals with multiple sclerosis. Overall, the actions of andrographis – lowering stress levels, helping brain cells communicate more clearly, and boosting energy levels – makes an excellent adaptogenic herb.

An Ayurvedic Answer for Complete Health Scientific research found that its key compound, andrographolide, lowered levels of inflammatory markers and prevented further reactions in colon cells. Andrographis may also protect the stomach lining against gastric ulcers. Scientific research has shown that pretreatment with an extract of the herb increased pH balance and made the environment of the stomach less acidic. This, along with a boost in gastric mucous production and direct antioxidant action, reduced the risk of forming lesions in the stomach wall. Andrographis has shown similar protective abilities for intestinal ulcers. It preserves mucin – a protein that helps create the mucosal lining in the duodenum – and stabilizes the balance of healthy glutathione, our own powerful antioxidant that prevents cellular damage.

Fights Inflammation and Preserves Joints

Andrographis stops inflammatory triggers that can destroy joint cartilage and protects cartilage components, including hyaluronic acid and collagen. It also inhibits cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), relieving pain. Scientific research has shown that andrographis stops inflammatory triggers that set off an overexpression of enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases or “MMPs” that would otherwise destroy cartilage between the joints. When MMPs are active at normal levels, they help keep cartilage and other joint structures supplied with fresh material, while pulling out the old. They are like bricklayers replacing mortar. But if too much mortar is removed – and 56. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020

not enough replaced, as is the case with many joint diseases, you run the risk of arthritis and a great deal of pain. Andrographolide appears to set that process back in balance by stopping IL-1ß inflammation, and protecting the healthy components of cartilage, including hyaluronic acid and collagen. Other work shows that andrographolide from andrographis has a direct action on cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme activity, so it relieves pain in much the same way as other strong natural medicines. In a clinical study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, andrographis reduced joint swelling and tenderness.

Andrographis shows astounding abilities to enhance your life. It is simply one of the most impressive herbal multitaskers in the world, and can help prevent or potentially reverse a multitude of diseases. For the best results, look for a blend of extracts that concentrate andrographolides. I believe that andrographis, like curcumin, boswellia, and grape seed extract, is a botanical that can save lives, and I thoroughly encourage you to discover it for yourself. When in doubt, always consult your physician or healthcare practitioner. This article is intended to provide you with information to maintain your health

Protects the Heart and Arteries

Andrographis inhibits cholesterol oxidation, directly lowers cholesterol levels, and stops artery-blocking platelet aggregation. It also relaxes blood vessels – which could help prevent high blood pressure. And, in scientific research, andrographis reduced heart and blood vessel damage within an hour after myocardial infarction. Additionally, a clinical trial found that andrographis extract was just as effective as gemfibrozil, a drug that reduces the amounts of fat produced by the liver in patients with elevated triglycerides. Overall, this botanical is a powerful medicine for the cardiovascular system.

Mental Health, Energy, and Resilience

Andrographolide from andrographis is also being studied for its adaptogenic properties –its ability to

Terry Lemerond has over 45 years of experience in the health food industry as an owner of several health food stores and dietary supplement manufacturing companies. He has researched and developed over 400 nutritional and botanical formulations that continue to be top selling products on the market today.


Accessing Care Conveniently From Your Home The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way we do many things in our lives. Much of our daily routine looks different than it did at the beginning of 2020… from wearing a mask in public to working from home.

Written By Thao Huynh, MD, Internal Medicine Physician

with my patients, while also getting a glimpse into their daily lives and natural environment.

Even going to the doctor may be different. Care is not only being provided inside the hospital. Video visits are helping patients get the care they need from the comfort of their home.

I recently had a video visit with a patient who had suffered from knee pain. After she discussed her symptoms and showed me areas of her knee that were causing pain, I was able to provide treatment recommendations that helped to resolve the problem. During the video visit, she also showed me her garden thriving with beautiful flowers. This special insight into her hobby, further strengthened our bond in what was already a meaningful doctor-patient relationship.

Although you may be familiar with video chats, talking to your doctor online may be a bit different.

Other advantages include: not having to take time off work, finding childcare, or navigating traffic and parking.

Video visits are live, in person consultations with your doctor done securely on your smart device or computer. In many cases, video visits provide a convenient and easy way to get care. As a physician, it’s a safe way for me to connect 58. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020

All types of care provided through video appointments

Many health plans are offering video visits. For example, nearly 65% of Kaiser Permanente outpatient appointments in Northern Califor-

nia are done through video and telephone visits. Reducing foot traffic in our medical offices helps keep our patients and our communities safe. We also want to ensure social distancing, because the safety of our patients is our number one priority. Some of the most common conditions we discuss and treat through a video visit include: skin concerns, eye problems, review of test results and management of chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. We can treat conditions such as neck or back pain or joint-related issues, and we can even care for patients who have coronavirus. If you don’t speak English, we can add an interpreter to assist. We can also invite other family members to help relay important medical information. Discussing your health concerns through a video visit is often the first step, but we want

Many health plans are offering video visits. For example, nearly 65% of Kaiser Permanente outpatient appointments in Northern California are done through video and telephone visits. to assure you that if you prefer an in-person appointment, we can do that too. Severe and rapidly changing symptoms need to be assessed in person.

Those issues should be evaluated and treated in an emergency room as soon as possible.

You should call 911 with any urgent medical issue including chest pain or stroke symptoms.

If you make an appointment for a video visit, there are some things you can do to prepare.

Accessing a video visit is easy


your health and the health of our communities. Whether we see you in person or virtually, we want to make sure you get the care you need when you need it.

It’s best to access a video visit through a smartphone, computer or tablet with a reliable Internet connection. Smart devices usually offer the most convenient means of connecting with the best audio and visual quality. When connecting through a laptop or desktop computer, make sure you have a microphone and camera. If you are a Kaiser Permanente member, you can access video visit information through kp.org/ mydoctor/video. Even during these difficult times, your doctor wants to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to protect

Thao Huynh, MD, is an internal medicine physician with Kaiser Permanente in South Sacramento.

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Toxic Burden How much is too much?

By Dr. Dayle A. Imperato, Rejuvenation Wellness & Aesthetic Medicine

Today’s lifestyle of a poor diet, lack of exercise, polluted environment, and high stress, subjects our bodies to more toxins than ever before in history. Where do these pollutes come from? The air that you inhale into your lungs, the water you drink to hydrate your cells and that gets absorbed through the skin, the food you eat to nourish your body, the soil where that food is grown, and cleaning products (to name the more obvious sources). Toxins can also be produced by our own bodies during the process of digestion and metabolism. Your liver processes these toxins and they are eliminated from your body. When they build up, serious health effects can develop. Why would they build up? Because we are continually exposed to toxins throughout our lives and the liver can only handle so much. When the liver becomes overloaded, by exceeding the capacity of the liver to process the toxins, or the depletion of the required substrates that are needed for the conversion of toxins into the intermediary neutralized compounds, that's when your body has developed a "toxic burden". Your liver cannot keep up with the toxins and they accumulate. Toxins are then stored in your fat and what is not stored can wreak havoc in your body. Possibly causing cancer and other diseases. Examples of required substrates can be Vitamins (B, C, A), glutathione (a potent antioxidant), selenium (deleted if you are taking a statin drug), copper, zinc, CoQ10 (severely depleted if you taking a statin), and many more. Regardless of the cause, and usually it is a dual issue, the results are the same and the treatment is a detoxification and possibly a change in lifestyle. 60. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020

Each year we are exposed to over 14 pounds of pesticides, herbicides, food additives and preservatives. Each year seven million people die prematurely from illnesses related to air pollution alone. It takes only 26 seconds from exposure for a chemical to enter the bloodstream. We are exposed to this environment even before we are born.

Toxin Overload Could Be Impacting Your Overall Health

How do you counter this onslaught of tissue damaging effects of everyday life? How do you eliminate the incoming burden of the toxins that surround us? Few of us live at 10,000 feet, in a rural environment, with little pollutants in the air from cars and manufacturing; drink water that is clean and purified (containing no chemicals or plastic residue); eat organic food grown in clean, nutrient rich and organic soil; or clean and disinfect using chemical free pure water. In other words, in the current world, we cannot avoid exposure to toxins. We can help the situation by eating a well-balanced, nutrient dense, chemical free diet with plenty of fresh, clean air, drink clean water and exercise. But even the most ideal life cannot avoid exposure to chemicals. A good and simple option is to do an occasional, once or twice a year, medical grade detoxification, designed to support your liver and maximize its ability to optimally to its job.

2. Fatigue

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SIGNS OF A TOXIC BURDEN? 1. Muscle aches and pain 3. Difficulty Concentrating 4. Excessive Sinus Problems 5. Gas and Bloating 6. Trouble Losing Weight 7. Puffy, dark circles under the eyes 8. Unusual sensitivity to drugs, foods or environmental agents 9. Recurring nausea 10. Worsening hypoglycemia 11. Anxiety, dizziness, light headedness

What can be done if you suffer from any of these?

Many traditional “detoxification” programs are often simply colon cleanses and purges by flushing out the colon. While this may be beneficial, they do not enhance the true detoxification process, which occurs in the liver. Detoxification involves two phases… known, remarkably enough, as Phase 1 and Phase 2. In Phase 1, enzymes change toxins into intermediate compounds. In Phase II, the intermediate compounds are neutralized through the addition of a water-soluble molecules. The body can then easily eliminate these through the urine, bile, or stool.

What is the Goal of a Detoxification Program?

health}TOXIC BURDEN Even the most ideal life cannot avoid exposure to chemicals. A good and simple option is to do an occasional, once or twice a year, medical grade detoxification, designed to support your liver and maximize its ability to optimally to its job.

It would be an unrealistic goal to think that one could rid their bodies of ALL toxins. DDT, for instance, is found in the entire world. No safe place from that chemical. The goal is to optimize liver function by decreasing the various toxic load and to replenish the intermediate substrate needed to convert toxins into neutralized water-soluble products that can be harmlessly eliminated from the body.

At Rejuvenation Wellness & Aesthetic Medicine we have two detoxification programs available for you. One is a tenday program, which is more aggressive, and is used by most individuals. The other is a twenty-eight-day program, better suited for those who need a gentler, slower approach to detoxification. If you are interested in finding out which one would be best for you, give us a call at 916 670-7601 and set up an appointment today. Dayle A. Imperato, M.D. Rejuvenation Wellness & Aesthetic Medicine (916) 670-7601 9180 Elk Grove Blvd, Elk Grove.

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Mental Health Written by D’Lee Daleo & Jamie McCalman, Switch Fitness

You already know that exercise is good for your body. But, did you know it can also help combat feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, and more? You may or may not have seen this spot-on statement that’s been floating around social media and self-help books for a long time; so, just in case you haven’t seen it… I want to shout it out loud for all to hear.

EXERCISE is the MOST UNDERUSED treatment for mental health. And FOOD is the MOST OVER-ABUSED substance It’s time we all wake up to the reality of the power of exercise. You don’t have to stand in line at the pharmacy, because it doesn’t come in a prescription bottle. Exercise can be a no cost way to fight off the feelings of sadness, stress, anxiety and depression. In fact, there is research that supports the theory that exercise can be just as effective as anti-depressants in treating mild-to-moderate depression. As if we didn’t have enough things to worry about, enter Covid-19 Global Pandemic. There were plenty of people with mild to moderate, diagnosed and undiagnosed, mental health issues before Covid-19. Sadly, improvements in mental health related symptoms is not a Covid-19 side-effect I’m familiar with. If you were one of the lucky people who was going through life feeling like you had life by the 62. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020

horns; always happy, great job, lots of friends to hang out with, and places to go—well, welcome to the new life changer…the Covid-19 party. An incomprehensible number of people have lost their livelihoods and are struggling financially. Tens of thousands have lost loved ones, and hundreds of thousands (who have been infected with the virus) face the very real prospect of serious illness or death. The health and financial costs of COVID-19 have resulted in widespread feelings of helplessness and overwhelming anxiety—in response to circumstances where we have little or no control. Chronic exposure to severe stress (in the absence of control) is a perfect storm for increased rates of depression, anxiety, suicide, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Running concurrent to the virus, many people lack the typical outlets for coping with such stressors, including workouts, vacations, office talk and outings with friends — because, of course, exercise,  regular sleep,  healthy eating, social contact and a routine can help mitigate feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety and stress.

So now, I hope we can all agree that some level of exercise can do our physical and mental state a lot of good. Just in case anyone needs a little more convincing, let’s compare the three methods most people use to help fight off those feelings of sadness, anxiety and depression.

Exercise can be a no cost way to fight off the feelings of sadness, stress, anxiety and depression.


Moderate Exercise

Aside from the improved physical health, weight loss, improved sex life, and the extra years added on to your life; exercise improves energy levels, promotes better sleep, improves memory and mood and raises self-esteem. Exercise also boosts the brain’s dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, levels -all of which affect focus and attention.

Prescription Meds

If effective, they will mask your symptoms. If you’re lucky, you won’t suffer any of the countless side effects that fill the mini booklet you’ll get from the pharmacist.


A lot of people when sad or depressed will self- medicate with food. Overeating can lead to a number of things including: weight gain, low energy, low selfesteem, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and stroke. We are not doctors and we would never contradict anything your doctor has told you. However, we are real women who enjoy good food, an occasional adult beverage, and once in a while too many cookies or way too much ice cream. We’re also woman in the fitness industry, who have come in contact with a wide range of people are motivated and rewarded in many different ways. We’ve seen what prescription medications and over-eating can do—on the other hand, we’ve seen the positive impact on mind, body, and soul when people realize the power of exercise. Switch Fitness - (916) 883-BFIT - 9632 Emerald Oak Dr. Suite K, Elk Grove

ardentforlife.net   63



History Of Our

Telephones By Elizabeth Pinkerton Photos courtesy of Louis Silveira, Elk Grove Historical Society

We really do take our phones for granted, don’t we? And they are truly superb, because these days as we have smart phones that we can carry with us. And, we even have phones in our cars! But can you imagine having your big box telephone hooked up to the barbed wire fence? That is what you might have had in our early days. We in Elk Grove have a very unique story of our first telephone system. It was known as the farmer’s telephone because it was set up for rural folks. The barbed wire phones were very simple and they worked! Florence (Polhemus) Markofer, who knew quite a bit about the Barbed Wire Telephone Exchange, told me that two lines were run to Elk Grove from Sacramento, just before the 1900’s. The two companies were called Sunset and Capitol. Dr. Briggs and his son, George, strung a line along the barbed wire fence on Grant Line Road. He set up a switchboard in his house, and his wife (and family members) acted as Central. It was a wonderfully innovative way for a doctor to save lives, and a way to keep him from making unnecessary trips with his horse and buggy. There were about 16 families in the beginning, but the use of the telephone grew. In 1910, the members named their company the Elk Grove Union Telephone Company. The Exchange moved around a bit in its first decade to Tom Keller’s daughters, Mrs. Adams, a widow with two daughters, and Mrs. Emma Coons. The operator at her switch board on Main Street always knew where people were. If you called Mrs. Jones, the Operator would know she was at the post office or the grocery store, and she could connect the call to wherever Mrs. Jones was.

The Elk Grove Historical Society has a collection of old telephone books from 1921, 1947, 1950, 1951, and several from the 70’s.  

Henry Javins published the first telephone directory between 1915 and 1919, and I have a copy of the one from 1922. It lists 351 names; of which 179 are from Elk Grove, 42 from Florin, 22 from Sloughhouse, 20 from Wilton, 14 from Bruceville, 13 from Franklin, six from Arno, four from Sheldon, four from Galt, and 47 others without a town listed. The company name changed several times in the next 20 years—the Elk Grove Mutual Telephone Association, the Public Utilities Company of California Corporation, and the Citizens Utilities Company (in 1940).

64. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020



Norm Stewart & Dr. Briggs buggy

“Have you seen those big, old fashioned telephones? The big boxes? Well, he was so anxious to talk to his girlfriend that he didn’t take the time to hook it up right. He just leaned that box up against the house right by the chimney. I thought it was the most wonderful thing in the world.”

This barbed-wire fence was taken at the present-day Mahon Ranch in Elk Grove.

Along with my students at Joseph Kerr Junior High in the 1970’s, I interviewed several residents who told us stories of their first telephones. John Alltucker’s story is one of my favorites. He grew up on a large ranch west of McConnell Station toward Bruceville on the Cosumnes River. “I was about nine or 10 years old in 1898, when I first remember the telephone on the barbed wire fence. My stepbrother was older than I was, and he was going with this girl who lived way up the River. So he and another fellow got together and rigged up the barbed wire. They connected the single line and wire to our little house down at the ranch." “Have you seen those big, old fashioned telephones? The big boxes? Well, he was so anxious to talk to his girlfriend that he didn’t take the time to hook it up right. He just leaned that box up against the house right by the chimney. I thought it was the most wonderful thing in the world.” Displayed on the back porch at Mosher Ranch in Elk Grove there is an old telephone and a small switchboard. These may have been the first ones used at the ranch.

Ida Hawley was another person who had experience with the barbed wire telephone. This is what she told about living on the ranch near Sheldon with her husband, Charles in 1910:

“When we came here, a lot of telephone lines were on the fences. We didn’t realize that. My husband went out one day to fix our fence. He had a man working for him, and they were up there fixing the fence along the road. A fellow came along, somewhat upset and asked the men what they were doing. My husband told him that they were fixing the fence. ‘You have wrecked my telephone,’ the man said. My husband was startled and could not figure out how the fixing of the fence had wrecked a telephone." “What the neighbor explained was that around Sheldon, the telephone ran on the barbed wire fence. And sure enough, we saw that there was a big post on each side of the road as you drove into our place from Bader Road. It had a wire across it that we thought was to keep the posts from falling, but that was where the wires met the barbed wire. What a surprise!” Mrs. Hawley explained that there were about 14 people on the line and nobody had a chance to use the phone. Every time they wanted to ardentforlife.net   65



“You see,” she said, “when that one long and two short rings was heard, not only did you know it was your call, but so did everyone else on the party line. Anyone could pick up the phone and listen in—and they did." "The Party Wire" by Rockwell, Norman. use it, there would be somebody on the line or they would come on the line to listen in on the conversation. Birdie Mitchell Esser also remembered the barbed wire exchange of the early 1900s. She described those first phones as big and bulky wall telephones with crank handles that folks ordered from mail order catalogs. They were carefully connected to the top wire of the fences.

Each family had a combination of rings, some long, and some short. For example, your signal might have been one long ring followed by two short ones. When you heard this combination, you knew the call was for you. This allowed the use of somewhat private calls, although in reality, there was nothing private about them. “You see,” she said, “when that one long and two short rings was heard, not only did you know it was your call, but so did everyone else on the party line. Anyone could pick up the phone and listen in—and they did." It was called rubbernecking or listening in on the conversations of others. Though it was pretty much frowned upon, and no one ever admitted to it, many folks could not control their curiosity. For people whose lives had no daily newspaper, no radio, and no television, the shrill ring of the telephone was their call to the drama and excitement of the day.” 66. ardentforlife.net - Autumn 2020

Mrs. Esser told about the telephone for their oncea-week entertainment. "People sang, read poetry, told tall tales, and shared the news. Picnics, hayrides and dances were planned and arrangements made. At the end of the social hour, a favorite song was sung by all: Good Night Ladies, Good Night Gentlemen.”

Kay (Pudge) Barnes, Elk Grove HS Class of 1960, shared this story with Elk Grove High School graduates on Louis Silveira’s Elk Grove High School UPDATE: “Walking down Main Street memory (Elk Grove Boulevard) reminds me of when my mother would go the post office or pharmacy we would go to the window of the telephone company and watch the women placing the calls on the cord board. We did not have dial telephones then. Our number was 306. Virgie Schutlze was one of the ladies and my memory fails me at this moment of the names of the other women.” Our first telephone company was known as Elk Grove Mutual Telephone Association in the early 1900s. Citizens Utilities was our phone company for many years, and now we have Frontier Communications.

Remember this story about the Barbed Wire Telephone the next time you connect to Frontier or call someone on your CELL phone. The times, as they say, have been a-changing quite a bit for the past 100 years! And, for younger readers who may not know what a barbed wire fence was, I may have to do another story!

BOOKS By ELIZABETH PINKERTON History Happened Here, Book 1 – River, Oaks, Gold Book 2 – Fields, Farms, Schools We the People, a Story of Internment in America

All book proceeds go for student scholarships, and I thank the many purchasers who have made possible the 75 scholarships with each one $1,000 – Make your check for books payable to Laguna Publishers and send to me at 9227 Lamprey Drive, Elk Grove CA 95624. Books are $20 apiece and California sales tax is included. Add $3 for shipping of one or two books; $5 for 3-6 books. Call me at 916-685-0606 or email me at elizabethpink@gmail.com.

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