Ardent For Life Holiday 2021

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Ardent content food

& flavor 16. Pear Maple Tarte Tatin Carole Morris 18. the Italian Piedmont Cindy Della Monica 22. Holiday Pull Apart Bread & Oysters Rockefeller Bogle Vineyards 26. World Spice at Home World Spice Merchants 28. Spanish Style Paella McConnell Estates


30. anna & Tyler

22. design 34. Holidays & Gifts with Annie Sloan Red Door Antiques

profile 36. Louis Silveira Elizabeth Pinkerton

education 40. What I’ve learned CT Morris


42. Book Reviews Sacramento Public Library

health 52. Healthy Holiday Living and Giving Elk Grove Vitamins 54. Being Present this Holiday Season Switch Fitness 58. Relationship Resolutions Anna Osborn 62. Coping With Holiday Stress Kaiser Permanente

community 46. The Great Read Book Faire

26. 4. - Holiday 2021

48. What a New Zoo can do for Animals and our Community 64. Civil War Days

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy No doubt you’ve heard a lot about Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy lately. What is it all about? How does it work? Who needs it? Is it something you could benefit from? Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy, also known as BHRT, is exactly what it sounds like. Your declining hormones are replaced with hormones that are structurally identical to the hormones produced by your own body. Why is this important? Hormones that are not structurally identical to your own (for example, Premarin, which comes from horse urine) do not act the same on your body, may contain hormones that your body does not make and has no receptors for these hormones, so you waste energy by giving incomplete messages to cells which then fail to produce a balanced hormonal response. Also, your body cannot effectively metabolize these foreign hormones, which may have long term unknown, potentially, negative effects on your body.

MYTH: Our hormones levels are

declining because we are growing older.

FACT: We are growing older because your hormones are declining. The goal in BHRT is to turn back the hormonal clock to around age 35, or around 20 years younger than your chronological age. Anti-aging medicine is a personalized, metabolic medicine. We now have the science to individually customize your care and we can look at the cause of the problems, instead of just treating symptoms. If you are basically healthy, we can look at how your body breaks down things to help you be healthier and stay healthy. All the patients in my practice have a totally different treatment regime, there are no protocols. It is a very personalized approach.

So is Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy right for you? Do you find yourself wondering……? Why am I so tired? Why am I gaining weight? Why do I have mood swings? Why do I have a low sex drive? Why am I not able to sleep well? Why am I having memory lapses? Why do I have frequent urination and/or incontinence? Why do I have migraine headaches?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, bio-identical hormone therapy may be just what would benefit you.

How does the process work?

After obtaining lab testing of saliva, blood or urine, you meet for a consultation with Dr. Dayle A. Imperato, an American Anti-Aging Academy trained physician for evaluation of your unique bio-identical hormonal needs. You are prescribed the specific hormones that your body needs! We use a quality compounding pharmacy and carry a high pharmaceutical grade of supplements for your use.

Your hormones are a symphony of interactions. All of your hormones are designed to work together and if one is altered, or deficient, it will affect the actions of all of the other hormones in your body. It is an interactive balance and as unique to an individual as a fingerprint. One size does not fit all. Treating even “mild” hormonal deficiencies can dramatically improve quality of life. Longevity medicine is aimed at the early detection, prevention, treatment, and reversal of age related decline. We are not prisoners of our genetic destiny. Chronic inflammation is the cause and the effect of most illnesses and the diseases of aging. Balanced hormone optimization and a balanced life style decreases chronic inflammation. Hormone optimization is the finishing touch of an anti-aging lifestyle of good nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, anti-oxidants and nutraceuticals

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.

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.

Aaron Andrew Grove

Serial Entrepreneur and Owner of Purely CBD of Elk Grove

Natalie Hawkins

McConnell Estate's Tasting Room Manager

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.

Jason Jacobs,

Director of the Sacramento Zoo

Nan Mahon

Is an author and journalist. She is a member City of Elk Grove Committee for the Arts and received the Elk Grove 2011 Mayor’s Award for volunteerism in the Arts.

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 awe-inspiring children, and grammie to three flawless grandchildren.

Anna Osborn

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

Elizabeth Pinkerton

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

Justin Pinnell

Justin is not just another pretty face in Real Estate. He enjoys long walks on the beach and high mountain sunsets.

Louis Silveira

Newsletter Editor, Webmaster, and Archivist at the Elk Grove Historical Society

Dianna Singh

Owner of Elk Grove Vitamins for the past six years.

Dave Soto

Award Winning Photographer & Videographer. Has produced work for NBC Nightly News and Good Day Sacramento.

Scott Spalding, MD

Scott is a Psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente, Elk Grove Medical Offices

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?”

Liz Zimbelman

Owner of Liz Zimbelman Photography & full-time photo ninja. Wife, Mom x2, Carpool Minivan driver, 4-H Leader, and lover of all things creative.

10. - Holiday 2021

For full bios of our contributors, please visit


you do, do it gently and unhurriedly; because virtue is not a pear to be eaten in one bite. -Seraphim of Sarov

creative director

executive editor

business manager

Sara Pinnell

Carole Morris

art & production

Justin Pinnell


View Ardent for Life online at

Copyright © 2022 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 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 Interested in increasing your business and partnering with Ardent For Life? Check out 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

What is there not to love about winter? We get lots of holidays and focus on the importance of each member of our family. Additionally, we get to hear wonderful stories that helped shape who we are. You know those delightful ones that always begin with, “remember when”. The icing on the cake is sharing the past with family members who “were there”. Moreover, retelling the good things that have happened in our lives is a gift that we can pass down to our children and grandchildren. Included are the unique stories that reflect our families’ culture and help convey specific elements that apply to that culture. In fact, research shows that children who have a solid family narrative have a healthier emotional well-being. Retelling the good things that have happened in our lives (and past generations’ lives) is a gift that we can give freely, because the words we share are free. Edith Sitwell says it best, "Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is time for home."

executive editor

Carole Morris

What did we learn after reading this issue? The article in this issue by Cindy Della Monica is a delight because you can travel a 1,200 mile/18-day road trip to Piedmont and Provence, without leaving your home! You will be able to take in Venice Italy, France, and Barcelona, Spain. Cindy alway includes inspiring recipes that are amazing.

Elizabeth wrote a historical article about Louis Silveira – Mr. History, that dates back to 1949. Elizabeth gives us a glimpse of Elk Grove’s history and the changes that have evolved with the help of residents who have lived in Elk Grove since its infancy. As always, we have some great recipes that will inspire you to “get cooking”. This is a delightful edition of Ardent that I know you will enjoy during this blustery season. So, put your slippers and jammies on and immerse yourself !


Pear Maple Tarte Tatin By Carole Morris

16. - Holiday 2021

food} This recipe is a beauty that you will not want to pass by; it will lead you to create the perfect chilly day dessert for your family and friends. The history of the Tarte Tatin is as unique as the recipe! It all began when two French sisters created this tarte in 1888 (Carolina and Stephine Tatin). They lived in a small rural town in the Loire Valley of France and owned and ran the hotel called l’Hotel Tatin. The elder sister, Stephine’s specialty was an apple tart, served perfectly crusty, caramelized and which melted in the mouth. One day during the midday scramble, Stephanie placed her tart in the oven the wrong way round. The pastry and apples were upside-down but, nevertheless, she served this strange dessert without giving it time to cool. The dessert was such a hit, the famed Maxim’s Restaurant of Paris, France snuck a spy in to steal the recipe from the ladies…it’s been on their menu ever since. We are using pears in the recipe to switch it up a little!


Serves 8 lucky dinner guests

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (thawed) 1/2 cup butter 2/3 cup brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon allspice 1/3 cup maple syrup 3 pears (firm) peel and core, then halved

Carolina and Stephine Tatin

Directions 1. Preheat oven to 375° F

2. Roll out puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to approximately 1/4-inch thickness, then put in refrigerator. 3. In a medium cast-iron skillet, melt butter (over medium heat). Next, stir in cinnamon, brown sugar, and allspice… cooking and stirring until sugar the dissolves. Then, stir maple syrup into mixture cooking and stirring until mixture begins to bubble. Remove the skillet from heat.

4. Next, place the pear halves (cut side up) into a circle in the middle of the skillet, on top of brown sugar mixture. 5. Put the skillet back onto burner and cook over medium-low heat, basting pears with syrup mixture, until they begin to soften (approximately 5 minutes). Remove the skillet from heat.

6. Take the rolled puff pastry from refrigerator and place the pastry over the pears. Tuck the pastry around the edges of the pears so the brown sugar mixture and pears are sealed inside the pastry.

7. Bake in preheated oven approximately 20 minutes, (until pastry is puffed and golden). Cool for 5 minutes, then place a large plate over skillet and invert to remove tart. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.   17


The Beauty of the

Italian Piedmont in Autumn, and Then Some By Cindy Della Monica, Cheesemonger

and Owner, Cheese Central

18. - Holiday 2021


Italian Piedmont

For three years, we planned to go back to Europe. First Paris, then a few days visiting Loire chateaux yet to be seen, and a leisurely drive to Provence, bringing a new view of France into our perspective. And then covid hit. Our September 2020 trip was cancelled. Bah!!

Cheese shop at the farmer's market piazza - Venice, Italy

So, also as cruise enthusiasts, when our favorite cruise line offered fantastic discounts on Mediterranean cruises scheduled for October 2021 (to draw vacationers) AFTER covid issues, we jumped at that chance to book a Venice to Barcelona adventure. AND, then they cancelled the cruise this past spring. We were terribly anxious to travel, tired of looking at our living room walls, and ready to get safely out of Dodge! As seasoned road travelers abroad, we merely switched from cruising on water to “cruising” on land! Flying into Venice was new for us, as were many of the areas that we then planned to drive through. Serendipity was on our side. Much of what our advance planning focused on—Point A to Point B in each country--were sights that might never have come up on our radar if the cruise hadn't been cancelled.

We found that Autumn in the Piedmont and Provence is just lovely, very similar to our foothill wine region and countryside, so our 1,200 mile/18 day road trip took us to the following places: Venice, Verona, Lodi!, Lake Como, Turino, and Canelli, Italy. Leaving Italy, Antibes and Monte Carlo; Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Uzes, the Pont du Gard, and Gordes, France; and Barcelona, Spain. We maximized our health safety by utilizing our car for travel vs. public transport, and airBnbs instead of hotels. Outdoor activities abound, and we found farmer’s markets daily. Though we took advantage of shopping local ingredients and cooking in our accommodations (which we LOVE to do!), the rest was dining in small restaurants and enjoying local specialties. The Venetian farmer’s market at the Rialto Bridge was so big and colorful, with many piazza storefronts open air. I bought a Lodigiano cheese that is included in the Slow Food Ark of Taste in Bra, Italy, and delightful mainland local favorites I had not ever seen. In Lodi, Italy, I found a crisp pastry “Prodotto tipico della gastronomia italiana della zona di Lodi,” a product typical of the region of Lodi! My freshly cut pasta in Lake Como was dressed in a warm “wild ragu,” which was made of local venison, wild boar and rabbit. My companion’s pizza was covered in—no tomatoes!—but almost see-through layers of prosciutto, a fresh burrata and balsamic of Modena. There is just nothing like eating the fresh loup fish from the lake or river you are looking at, enjoying

moule e frite on a Provencal harbor, bouillabaisse on the shore in Marseille, and paella at the yacht harbor of Barcelona.

Which brings to mind other foods of the Piedmont: the cheeses, rice, garlic and white truffles, and confections like nougat, which are so well known here. Garlic is huge in the Piedmont, where the aromatic dish called Bagna Cauda was originally created, and a great glass of local red wine would be served alongside the myriad fresh vegetables and bread to be dipped into the warm sauce.

Cow’s milk cheeses are the norm in Piedmont, where they produce 50+ types. Only ten of them have earned the European Union’s Denomination of Protected Origin, or DPO, which indicates to the consumer that the cheese has been produced to the exacting standards of that cheese recipe. Taleggio and Gorgonzola are two of those cheeses, both earning their DPO in June of 1996, and we carry both in our shop all of the time.

Above photos from left to right: Venice, Italy farmer's market display... lots of mushrooms, chestnuts, the last of the figs (don't know where they got strawberries!), Market produce on the sidewalk stand - Canelli, Italy. Market owner weighing fresh truffles, Canelli, Italy. A misty morning view from my Airbnb bedroom window, Lake Como.   19


Italian Piedmont

We travelled from Point A to Point B—never knowing if that line will be straight or if something will catch our eye to take us off course. Taleggio is a lovely square “pillow” of smooth and creamy cow’s milk cheese, aged at least 40 days. The rind is thin and leathery, with a light gray-green and pink coloring indicative of washed- or smear-ripening. Some pungency in the aroma leads the way into a paste which is earthy and slightly fruity. Of course, spreading Taleggio on fresh crunchy bread at the table is a wonderful appetizer, but I love to use this cheese as the finishing touch to a sautéed mushroom and baby spinach risotto.

Gorgonzola is another favorite. The soft, young style called dolcelatte makes perfect pasta sauce. Served with a big garden salad afterward, and washed down with Lodi-produced Barbera complete the illusion that the mountains of Piedmont are cradling you while you dine!

Weather for our whole trip was spectacular, shorts and sandals, maybe an evening light jacket. Two nighttime rainstorms gave us some beautiful misty mornings, and bright green fresh grass offsetting the rich burnished colors of the vineyards and hills. Our photos of the Piedmont show the changing colors, and our shopping in the teeny local markets reflected the season as well. Persimmons, the last of the southern Italian figs, chestnuts, crazy-sweet grapes from the last of the harvest, gorgeous mushrooms that made a spectacular risotto in the apartment, and pears and apples. The aroma of fresh bread with the cheese, along with the boutique red wines that aren’t exported here, made our local experience even better. The market in Canelli, about the same size as my cheese shop, smelled of freshly dug truffles that were being weighed for a customer. The pasticcerie and cheese shops welcomed guests, one or two at a time for social distancing, and even the village pigeons or the leashed dog-shopper, unlike the shopping experience in the US. We travelled from Point A to Point B—never knowing if that line will be straight or if something will catch our eye to take us off course. As it happened this time, a chance yummy restaurant bottle of Bosca Winery prosecco in Torino, made in Canelli, gave us an opportunity to visit this tiny town. Though the timing of our arrival didn’t allow us to join the last winery tour, it is worth your online research to see what we missed! Bosca’s “cathedral” aging cellars became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014! And, trust me, the bubbles are fantastic.

Though still observing covid rules, each of these countries were welcoming and safe (the pickpockets in Barcelona were worse than the virus!). I hope that you dream of a visit to lands far and wide, and GO, safely, but go! You won’t regret using this time wisely. Ciao!

As always, our staff at CHEESE CENTRAL is ready to help you with samples of our 100+ cheeses at the counter. Visit us at 11 N School St, Lodi, CA 95240 or visit our website at Above photos: Burrata and Prosciutto pizza, Lake Como. Cheese shop at the farmer's market piazza... look at the "Lodigiano'' cheese! A Lodi, Italy, local product THAT is a Slow Food movement "keeper" recipe in the Presidio Ark of Taste! Yay, Lodi! 20. - Holiday 2021


Autumn Mushroom Risotto Recipe by Cindy Della Monica,

Cheese Central

Ingredients 4 T olive oil 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 6 C vegetable or chicken broth, simmering 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms 1 C reserved porcini liquid 2 C arborio rice 2/3 C red wine, Nebbiolo would be nice 1 shallot, diced 8 crisp crimini mushrooms, sliced 1 T chopped fresh thyme 1 T butter 1/2 t truffle oil, optional 1/2 C cubed Taleggio, rind removed before cubing salt and pepper to taste

Instructions Place the dried porcinis in a bowl of hot water for 30 minutes to reconstitute them. Drain the mushrooms through a sieve lined with coffee filter, and a bowl underneath to capture the mushroom liquid. Coarsely chop the porcini and set aside along with a cup of the liquid. In a medium skillet, add 1 T butter to melt, and then saute the fresh mushrooms and shallot together until the mushrooms are firm but soft. Add the fresh thyme, cook for 1 minute. Turn off heat, set aside. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute or so. Add the rice, stirring to coat with the fats. Add wine, cook until it is absorbed. Add a ladle or two of broth to the rice, stirring slowly and cook until the broth is absorbed. Add another ladle of broth and repeat the process. Rice will be tender, but with a bit of al dente grain, and will retain a creamy saucy consistency. Stir the mushrooms into the cooked rice, then stir in the cheese and the truffle oil. Serve at the table with a red wine from Italy’s Piedmont region!


Holiday Pull Apart Bread Add the taste of Bogle to your holiday table By Bogle Vineyards -

This holiday season, let Bogle Vineyards put the extra sparkle on your table with these two delicious appetizers.

First up is a festive pull-apart bread baked with Brie, cranberry sauce, sage, and bacon. It’s an explosion of holiday flavors in every bite. We suggest pairing this baked goodness with Bogle’s Chenin Blanc. Our second appetizer is the perfect starter for a New Year’s Eve celebration. This quick and easy appetizer can be prepared with store-bought spinach and artichoke dip. We suggest pairing this with our Blanc de Blancs. Both our Chenin Blanc and Blanc de Blancs are available in our tasting room or e-store. You can visit our online store by scanning the QR code at the end of this article or through our website 22. - Holiday 2021

Ingredients: Serves: 6 Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes 1 cup prepared cranberry sauce 1/2 cup butter, melted 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage

Substitute 2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary or finely chopped thyme for sage if desired.

1/4 tsp salt and pepper 1 large round loaf bread 6 oz Brie cheese, thinly sliced 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

Cooking Instructions 1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Stir together cranberry

sauce, melted butter, sage, salt and pepper; set aside.

2. Using a sharp bread knife, cut crosshatch pattern into bread by slicing at 1-inch intervals in both directions, without slicing all the way through to the bottom.

3. Brush top of bread and inside crosshatches with cranberry mixture. 4. Stuff Brie and bacon into crosshatches. Wrap bread in foil; place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

5. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until cheese melts and bread is heated through and toasty. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.



Oysters Rockefeller By Bogle Vineyards

Ingredients: Serves: 6 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 2 tbsp bread crumbs 2 tbsp butter, melted

For extra-zesty flavor, substitute garlic butter for regular butter.

24 fresh oysters Rock salt

1/2 cup prepared spinach and artichoke dip Lemon wedges, for serving

Cooking Instructions 1. Preheat broiler. Toss together Parmesan

and bread crumbs; toss with melted butter until well combined. Set aside.

2. Shuck oysters, reserving the liquor. Nestle oysters in a shell on bed of rock salt in an ovenproof baking dish.

3. Stir spinach and artichoke dip with re-

served oyster liquor; spoon evenly over each oyster. Sprinkle Parmesan mixture over top.

4. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbling. Serve with lemon wedges.

NOTE: Both our Chenin Blanc and Blanc de Blancs are available in our tasting room or e-store.

You can visit our online store by scanning the QR code or through our website

24. - Holiday 2021


World Spice at Home 26. - Holiday 20211

Recipes by World Spice Merchants, Photography by Stephanie Jean Hamilton and Charity Burggraaf

Warm Winter Sangria


Spiced wine? Mulled cider? We say “choose both” with this Warm Winter Sangria. Mulled wine alone can be too harsh, and mulled cider too sweet. Put them together with a touch of honey and orange, and the drink comes out just right. Choose a full bodied wine whose shelf-talker boasts of black or red cherry flavors that will complement the mulling spice, but with a price that won’t break the bank. Mid-shelf Pinot Noir or Cabernet are good choices, and an unfiltered and unsweetened cider is the perfect complement. We were lucky enough to have one straight out of the press and it made this Warm Winter Sangria all the more flavorful. Don’t forget the mulling spice!


Advieh Baklava

Baklava is wonderful in any and all forms, but for some of us, it can be too sweet. Sacrilege to sweet-tooth’s everywhere, I know, but when we added our Advieh spice blend to the mix it came out juuuuuust right. It is still a very sweet pastry, but the spice blend combines hints of savory cumin and coriander with roses and true cinnamon to make a well rounded flavor that complements the nuts and plays very well with the honey. Layered in a springform pan and allowed to set overnight, this dazzling dessert is as beautiful as it is delicious. Ingredients

1 16 oz. package phylloh dough 1 1/2 cups pistachio nuts 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts 1 cup chopped hazelnuts

1 cup unsalted butter 2 teaspoons ground Advieh 1 cup water 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup honey

1 bottle Pinot Noir or Cabernet, 750 ml 3-4 cups unfiltered apple cider 2 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons Mulling Spice 1 orange, zest and juice Cassia-cinnamon sticks, for garnish Combine the wine, cider, honey, mulling spices and orange juice and zest in a non-reactive saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boiling point and immediately lower the heat. Simmer ever so gently, 10-15 minutes. Strain and serve.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

6. To finish, add a final 8 sheets of 1. Butter the sides and bottom of phylloh to the top, brushing butter

a 9" Springform pan and then melt between every 2 sheets. the remaining butter. 7. Using a sharp knife, cut the baklavah into the pattern of your 2. In a medium bowl combine the choice, making sure to score all the chopped nuts with 1 teaspoon of way to the bottom of the dish. the Advieh and set aside.

8. Bake 45-50 minutes until the 3. To begin building the baklava, baklava is golden on top.

unroll the phylloh dough and cut the stack of sheets in half. Immediately cover it with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out. Return the damp cloth to the phylloh in between each use.

9. Wile the baklava is baking, make

the syrup. Combine sugar and water in a heavy bottomed pan and heat until the sugar is melted. Add the honey and remaining teaspoon of Advieh. Simmer over very low heat for 10-15 minutes. 4. Place two sheets of dough on the bottom of the pan, trimming corners as needed, and brush with 10. As soon as the baklava comes melted butter. repeat 4 times until out of the oven, drizzle with the syryou have 8 sheets laid as a base with up. Allow to cool completely before serving. butter between every two layers.

Notes:You can substitute your fa5. Add a thin layer of nuts, followed vorite nuts for the ones we chose,

by 2 sheets of phylloh dough topped with butter. Repeat the layers until the baklavah is built nearly to the top of the pan.

and switch up the spices! Cinnamon works well by itself or try Ras el Hanout for another exotic sweetsavory flavor.

The sky is the limit on creativity with this drink! Try blended ciders like cherry, blackberry or pear, or add a splash of brandy to make it extra boozy.

Shop online at

Family owned and operated for over 25 years, World Spice provides superior quality herbs & spices, handcrafted blends, and estate teas to flavor lovers everywhere.

We ship nationwide   27


Spanish Style Paella and McConnell Estates Tempranillo By Natalie Hawkins, Tasting Room Manager at McConnell Estates

Winter has finally arrived and it gives us the perfect excuse to start cooking warm, peppery dishes to serve up to the family and an even better reason to pull out some of our bolder wines from the cellar. Here at McConnell Estates, Tempranillo is one of our most cherished wines. This Spanish grape varietal thrives in our California sun, and offers the perfect little taste of vacation from home. Our Tempranillo has the perfect balance of vibrancy, with bolder, darker fruit tones that we crave when the weather gets chilly. We love to pair our 2017 McConnell Estates Tempranillo with Spanish Paella. While cooking, we open up a chilled bottle of our 2020 Vermentino, a light white wine that helps refresh the palate while cooking and cools you down while working above a warm stove! While the paella is cooking, we recommend opening up the Tempranillo so that the aroma evolved from the extended oak aging has time to reach the perfect pitch with the red pepper in the paella.

NOTE: Our McConnell Estates Tempranillo is available in our tasting room or e-store.

You can visit our online store by scanning the QR code or through our website

28. - Holiday 2021

food} Spanish Paella and Tempranillo (for 5 people) Perfect for large, diverse families, this meal can be scaled for any quantity and substitutions put in as needed, without detracting from the flavor! INGREDIENTS

1 large lemon

2 tbsp Wild Grove Olive Oil

2 cups of heirloom tomatoes

7 garlic cloves 1 tbsp smoked paprika (look out for Spanish paprika) 12-20 saffron threads (can offset with turmeric in a 2:1 ratio) 2 tsp salt

½ tsp white pepper Cayenne pepper to taste 1 bunch of fresh parsley 1 large, yellow onion

1 large, red bell pepper 1 cup of fresh green peas 2 cups of Arborio rice 4 cups of rich, chicken stock Meat

½ lb of spanish or

vegan chorizo and

½ lb of shrimp and/or ½ lb of mussels and/or ½ lb of clams

Directions 1. Drizzle oil over a large pan and place over medium heat. Remem-

ber this is a one-pot-meal so pick a big pan! Add the chorizo once the oil starts to run quickly, and break up the sausage using a wooden spoon. As the chorizo cooks, you may choose to remove some of the fat, but leaving it be will also make for tastier paella! Once the chorizo is done, remove it and place aside.

2. Cube the onion and add it to the pan. While the onion browns, rehydrate the saffron in 2 tbsp of lukewarm water. After 2-3 minutes, add the garlic, paprika and saffron (including the water) to the pan.

3. Add the cubed tomatoes to the pan and while they cook, roast the bell pepper on an open flame (till the sides begin to blacken). Cube the bell pepper and add to the mixture.

4. Add the rice to the pan and stir to evenly coat in spices. Then, add

the chicken stock and raise the temperature to high. Once it begins to simmer, reduce the heat to low to maintain the simmer. Stir the top of the rice around in two full circles, every 5 minutes for 15 minutes. Let the bottom of the paella form a crunchy rice layer.

5. Add the other meat of choice and simmer until cooked, about 5

minutes. Add the peas and mix the chorizo back in. After 2-3 minutes, when the peas look bright and full, remove from heat. Have a celebratory sip of Vermentino!

6. Add slices of lemon to the top and sprinkle generously with chopped parsley and perhaps a couple pinches of cayenne. Serve with a glass or a bottle of McConnell Estates Winery Tempranillo.   29




& Tyler

Photographed by Liz Zimbelman Photography

30. - Holiday 2021


Who are you? Anna Grahn (legally changing my last name to Privette is

next on my to-do list). I'm a Registered Nurse Case Manager for an inpatient hospital in downtown Sacramento. I grew up in the Bay Area and later moved to Sacramento for my Master's degree in Nursing where I met my now husband, Tyler. Tyler Privette. I am a Corporate Finance Recruiter from Sacramento CA. I went to college at San Diego State and lived in SD for eight years prior to moving back to Sacramento and meeting my future wife.



is sharing your french fries with your partner when she says she isn't hungry.

How did you meet? We met on Bumble! I was instantly drawn to his profile picture of him and his- now our- dog, Frank, and how adorable he is/was. We decided to meet for drinks at Iron Horse Tavern and met up with some friends afterwards. We instantly hit it off which led to another date and the rest is history.

The Proposal? We planned an overnight trip to Bodega Bay for Tyler's 30th birthday and had a picnic in a small cove on the beach. About an hour into our beach day, we set up a self timer so we could take a family photo of us and our Boston Terrier, Frank. To my surprise, he set up his phone to record a video of him getting down on one knee to propose, instead of a self timer picture. It was the most perfect day and there was no one on the beach, which made the moment even more special. I was completely caught off guard because I would have never guessed he would propose on his birthday.   31




is showing up for one another and aligning your weaknesses while reinforcing each other's strengths. Love is growing and learning together.

Little did he know, I was also preoccupied with a surprise of my own. The next day, we headed to Tahoe where I had planned a surprise birthday party/cabin trip with our family and friends. The weekend was full of surprises to say the least. What is love? Anna: Love is laughing at your partner's dad jokes. Love is giving back tickles even when you don't want to. Love is spending your Sundays watching the Chicago Bears, despite not having a clue what's going on. Love is showing up for one another and aligning your weaknesses while reinforcing each other's strengths. Love is growing and learning together.

Tyler: Love is sharing your french fries with your partner when she says she isn't hungry.

What do you love most about him? His capacity to accept me on my best days, and on my worst days. How he remains true to himself and his values. His passion for his family, friends and community (big neighborhood watch guy). His love for our fur baby, Frank. What do you love most about her? Her loyalty. And not just as a partner, but as a friend. She will be there when you need her and have your back no matter what, even if you are in the wrong.

32. - Holiday 2021

When did you know you were in love? Anna: I knew I was in love with him when he asked me to be his girlfriend while sitting on a curb, over a shared paper plate of taco truck nachos.

Tyler: I knew I was in love the day I introduced her to my parents (at their house) for a Chicago Bears football game. I had a little bit too much to drink and took a short nap leaving her to fend for herself with my family. I woke up not remembering that I dozed off in my parent's spare bedroom and next to me Anna was smiling... as I panicked in embarrassment. I left her in a house full of strangers and she explained how much fun she had while I was absent. At that moment I knew she would be in my life forever. She passed the test. Fun facts We both went to San Diego State at the same time but never met until we later moved to Sacramento. We were each other's first, and only Bumble dates.

Honeymoon We originally planned to go to Italy and Portugal in 2020 but had to cancel due to COVID. After re-planning our wedding, we decided to do a mini honeymoon and spent four days in Santa Barbara. We ex-

plored the beach and spent a day wine tasting in Los Olivos. It was the most perfect balance between fun, and much needed relaxation after wedding festivities. We're still planning to travel to Italy and Portugal next year in 2022, and can't wait to finally check it off our bucket list. Wedding details We originally planned to have our wedding at the Vizcaya in Sacramento but after rescheduling twice in 2020 due to the pandemic, we did not want to risk another postponement so we re-routed and decided to plan a smaller backyard wedding instead. Our best friend's sister owns a beautiful home in Granite Bay and she graciously offered her home as our venue. We downsized our guest-list from 120 to about 35 which was a bummer; but we wanted to ensure the safety of our loved ones during the pandemic. We were able to keep all of our vendors that we had originally booked and they were all incredible. We really hit it off with our wedding coordinator from the Vizcaya, Rachel, and she graciously offered to be our day coordinator. She absolutely killed it! We highly recommend her if she ever takes on wedding planning outside of the Vizcaya, as well as all of our chosen vendors. The day/night was absolutely everything we could've ever wanted and more.



Photographer Liz Zimbelman

DJ Extreme Productions

Venue Private residence

Florist Sammy Hironaka

Rentals Celebrations

Groom & Groomsmen Suits Men's Wearhouse

Caterer Bella Familia Wood Fired Pizza

Bride’s Dress Made with Love by A&Be Bridal

Cake By the Mother of the Groom

Veil By the Mother of the Bride

Desserts Carrot cake donut holes from Babes

Bridesmaid’s Dress Show Me Your Mumu

Wedding Coordinator Rachel Ryland Makeup Vanessa Luna Hair Noelle Radosevich

Rings Shane Co. Rehearsal Dinner The Red Rabbit Officiant Our best friend, Marc Nuevo   33


Holidays & Gifts

with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint


Sponsored by David Hipskind, Red Door Antiques

Give the gift of creativity. These kits collated by Annie provide you with the tools you need to create your own painted masterpiece and would make the perfect gift for any paint lover, from amateur to expert.

Chalk Paint® Wax Brushes Mini Project Pack

It's easy to brighten up an old bedside table or make your favorite chair feel more you. Just a little bit of paint and a quick lick of wax goes a long way. Inside our Mini Project Pack, you'll find everything you need to create your own Annie Sloan masterpiece. Perfect for small projects like a chair, stool, or small table

Annie Sloan’s bespoke Chalk Paint® Wax Brushes are made of predominately pure bristle with natural split ends. They feature ergonomically shaped handles for the effortless application of finishing coats of wax onto painted surfaces. They are shaped to a point to assist with working wax into intricate, detailed areas and tight corners.

Detail Brushes

Annie Sloan’s Detail Brush set is designed to bring a no-fuss approach to mark-making and decorative paint effects. Ideal for painting fine details and dynamic shapes using Chalk Paint® and Gilding Waxes, the four brushes give great control, amazing precision and ensure an even spread of colour thanks to their soft, durable bristles.


Let the helpful staff at The Red Door help you put together the perfect Annie Sloan gift set.

Annie Sloan Apron

The soft, grey sand washed cotton linen of the Annie Sloan Apron, with contrasting green tie backs, makes for both comfortable and practical wear. The large double front pocket is the ideal place to store tin openers, mixing sticks and brushes, and the adjustable neck length means it will suit any height of painter. 34. - Holiday 2021

Annie Sloan Tin Opener

The perfect addition to any painter’s toolbox and the ideal partner to Chalk Paint® and Wall Paint by Annie Sloan. The Annie Sloan Tin Opener is made of 100% stainless steel and is on a handy keyring for safekeeping.

-featured colour-


This deep, dark green Chalk Paint® colour takes inspiration from the painted shutters and doors of Amsterdam. It works particularly well with whites and creams and botanical imagery and plants, as well as looking brilliant with earthy yellows and reds – try teaming it with Primer Red, Arles and Old Ochre. It also makes a great backdrop to cool blues, such as Provence, Giverny and the purple tones of Emile.

My name is Dave Hipskind, owner of Red Door Antiques. As certified “Stockists” for Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan, we can help you with any of your paint projects. We have new colors and a new and improved formula that assures you the finest results. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is the “Original” (don’t settle for imitations). There is only ONE Chalk Paint. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® was introduced over 30 years ago. I have been painting for more than 50 years. With that kind of experience, we can assist in answering all your questions. We also offer monthly workshops. We offer the Annie Sloan Method. We focus on four techniques for a more rounded approach. Plus, we apply those techniques to repurposed frames that you get to take home when the workshop has concluded. Call the store for more information and to register. (916) 714-0619 - 9056 Elk Grove Blvd, Elk Grove -


Louis Silveira Mr. History By Elizabeth Pinkerton Photos courtesy of Louis Silveira

Louis Silveira, Elk Grove High School Supergrad, 1967, is well known in Elk Grove and our surrounding communities. He is very active and supports a variety of groups in the City of Elk Grove and Sacramento County. He is an amazing finder and saver of history, and we appreciate all that he does for us. He has played a large role in the Elk Grove Historical Society for many years; and he communicates with hundreds of Elk Grove High School graduates on a regular basis. He assists at many gatherings and events, and he is always there to help! This is his story.

Louis, at three years old, on the Bud Jones ranch in 1952. 36. - Holiday 2021

“I was born in Woodland, California in 1949. My dad brought his dairy to Elk Grove in 1951 and we leased the Bud Jones ranch on the Laguna side of the Bond-Laguna overpass and Highway 99. BJ’s Brewery is now the location of our previous two-story house. Home Depot is just west of the intersection where the dairy barn and two houses for hired hands were. I remember walking with my mother down a long lane to a country road called Stockton Road where our mailbox was located on the other side. That is now Highway 99. At that time, Bond stopped at Elk GroveFlorin Road and there was only a huge field in between. “Our family was there for three years before moving to Galt for two more. My Dad gave up the dairy business and we returned to Elk Grove where he bought a 40-acre ranch. The name of the road where we moved to had just been renamed. It was originally called California Vineyard Road but, when they put a white line down the middle and raised the corner street signs, California Vineyard Road was too long to fit on the sign. So, they shortened it to Calvine, which it still is today. “When we returned to Elk Grove, I was in the second grade and graduated from Elk Grove High School in 1967. I was an athlete and very

proud to be the school’s Senior Class President. The class built our senior Homecoming float in the hay barn on Calvine.” “I grew up there where we mostly raised hay. We brought 6-8 cows with us and had a couple of horses, dogs, and later chickens. My Dad then drove heavy construction equipment, built many freeways through Sacramento, and worked on several Dam projects. When I was eight years old, and my Dad was working away during the winter, I would milk cows every morning before school and every evening by hand! Of course, there was always hay to haul, fences to fix, and always something to take care of 24/7.”

Louis, on his third Birthday, at the Bud Jones ranch in 1952.


Louis Silveira

Louis received a grant and was included in One of The Most Outstanding Americans in 1972 for the research. He found out many years later that the research was (in part) ultimately one of the initial building blocks in forming the diagnosis for Post Trauma Stress Disorder, PTSD. After high school, Louis joined the Navy for four years. He became a Hospital Corpsman (medic), specializing in the operating room and later research. He developed a micro-surgical procedure and did stress studies on rats where he ran assays on liver parenchymal cells. He received a grant and was included in One of The Most Outstanding Americans in 1972 for the research. He found out many years later that the research was (in part) ultimately one of the initial building blocks in forming the diagnosis for Post Trauma Stress Disorder, PTSD.

Louis continued his education and was heading to Medical School when he graduated from a nursing program, thinking it would help his chances for medical school, be able to support himself in school, and stay in the related field. “But one day,” Louis tells us, “it occurred to me that being a nurse eliminated many more years of schooling, and student loans and offered more home time with family. So, I went to work, got married, and had a son. I went on to develop the Laser Center and Mobile Laser Service at Mercy General Hospital for 15 years. I was then hired as the Resource Nurse and Team Leader for Orthopedics at the UC

Davis Medical Center and Medical School in Sacramento. It was a wonderful career and I had many accomplishments along the way. “I retired 20 years later (2013) and searched to volunteer. Continuing to help is what nurses do! My roots were in Elk Grove, and it just seemed logical to expect that the Elk Grove Historical society would be a good fit. My plan was to just put-up tents, collect money for events, clean up, fold chairs, etc.—no more management! But as is the case with most non-profits if they find someone that is hard working and interested, they add more opportunity. I ultimately became the Stage Stop Gazette Newsletter Editor, the Webmaster, the Archivist, the Assistant Director and Scheduler for the Rhoads School. I scheduled 80 living history classes yearly, taught by several schoolmarms, and then assisted with any needed historical society activities. I have since lessened the load and concentrated on the mission of the society and that is to gather, preserve, and share our history.

“I feel history teaches lessons, helps to root a community, while gathering and protecting it. No matter when you became a member of the community, whether you are part of a pioneering family or recently moved here, our history connects us all.”

Louis Silveira lives near Elk Grove-Florin Road, north of Calvine, with his wife Sherri. He tells us that growing up in Elk Grove was one of the luckiest things that ever happened to him. It gave him a good foundation and filled him with great memories and great people and taught him, guided him, and set him off on some great experiences.

Louis and the UPDATE –

“One last accomplishment that I am extremely proud of is the inception of my EGHS Update. Sadly, in 2008 a very popular classmate/athlete from Elk Grove High School Class of ’67 passed away and a life celebration was planned for him at a church on the Jackson Highway, so I alerted our classmates by email. Afterward, I re-emailed the class and shared the events of the day, who came, and what was said., etc. This started a rash of emails, and of course classmates have brothers and sisters and the EGHS UPdate was born. This little newsletter has grown over the thirteen years, and I now have over 1,000 classmates and teachers, from any year, on my email lists. I just share EGHS classmate information, i.e., class reunions, birthdays, anniversaries, obituaries, classmate adventures and memories, and I share Elk Grove history that I think the classmates would be interested in. It's light and fun. Many old connections have been re-established. I am just

Above photos from left to right clockwise: US Navy -1969, Operating microsurgery procedure he developed -1972, Resource Nurse and Team leader in Orthopedics at the UCD Med Center - Louis wearing friend's (Eric Heiden) Olympic gold medal for speed skating. He was an ortho resident, and I was responsible for Sports Medicine Orthopedics in Surgery - 2000   37


Louis Silveira

“I feel history teaches lessons, helps to root a community, while gathering and protecting it. No matter when you became a member of the community, whether you are part of a pioneering family or recently moved here, our history connects us all.” trying to keep us all connected. If you want to be added to the email list, just email me at lssilveira@ and you are on. No cost or obligation, it’s just an email.

Jesse and Loraine Silveira - 2007

Louis’ family has deep roots in Portuguese ancestry. Both sets of grandparents were born on different Azores Islands, and they came to California for a better life. His mother’s parents had a service station then a dairy in Ignatio. They got into the refrigeration business, repaired and owned appliance stores, first in San Rafael, then Healdsburg. My dad’s parents had a dairy in Valley Forge (in the vicinity of Petaluma) that my dad started managing in high school.

Louis continues with family information: “My sister Janie graduated from EGHS in 1969 and started working as receptionist/secretary for Eastman Lumber on Elder Creek. Unfortunately, on a rainy road on her way home a year after graduation, she was involved in a head-on collision. She was the kindest, prettiest, most wonderful person I have ever met and I miss her deeply. “My brother John graduated from EGHS in 1975 and was a talented athlete. He has held many jobs, can talk to anyone about anything, and still lives in the area.” Louis went to Galt Elementary for kindergarten and 1st grade. When the family moved back to Elk Grove, he attended Elk Grove Elementary for 2nd grade. The new Anna Kirchgater Elementary was built near the family ranch, and Louis transferred there through the 6th grade. He went back to Elk Grove Elementary for the 7th and 8th grades. He went to the old high school that is now Joseph Kerr for one year until the new high school was built, graduating in 1967. He has great memories and had great classmates.

Louis continues his story –

“Louis’s parents, Jesse and Loraine, met in San Rafael at a Portuguese dance, married, and had three children. They started out in the hay hauling business in Woodland, until they bought a dairy and moved it to Elk Grove. The Portuguese community in California, especially in Elk Grove, is a wonderful and welcoming group of people, so the Silveira immediately had an extended family.

“My wife Sherri and I have been married almost 30 years. One of the best decisions I have ever made. I had been married before but divorced. We had a son, Mathew who developed a disease and died at 13. When I met Sherri, she was a property manager and managed many commercial businesses, even small shopping centers. She was really in demand, but unfortunately, she developed medical issues and we decided it was best for her health to stay home and manage the kids and finances. She is awesome! “Beside Matt, I have two other children. Josh is a well-known local artist and does construction work to supplement his art passion. Jenny lives in Moorpark (Santa Clarita-Ventura) with her husband John and two children, John and Justice.

John manages a Kaiser in Ventura and Jenny was a Dental Hygienist and has gotten her Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology. “They are all great human beings… I am blessed!”



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 82 scholarships with each one $1,000. More will be awarded each year. Books can be purchased by contacting me via email, – or call me at 916-685-0606. Thank you, Elizabeth Pinkerton.

Above photos from left to right: Louis & Sherri - 1992, Sherri, Louis, Grandma Barbara, son Josh, and pups Sophie and Caroline at Thanksgiving - 2020, Daughter Jenny and husband John with grandchildren Justice and Johnny - 2020

38. - Holiday 2021


What I’ve Learned About

Fact and Opinion By CT Morris - BS Elementary Ed., MS Ed.

The importance of deciphering fact from opinion has never been more crucial than it is today. Since time began people have had opinions…you know the old “the world is flat” theory. In yesteryear, opinions were proven true or false by facts. Explorers sailed around the world, philosophers and mathematicians calculated the earths circumference and together they proved that the earth is not flat. Today, however, because of the tsunami of information on our phones (and other devices) we can become easily swayed by other’s opinions without knowing the facts. Many times, we are too busy with life to line up “facts” and instead we listen to individuals who don’t have any facts to back up their opinions. An example of this is Wikipedia, anyone can add to or delete information on a whim or “opinion”. As an educator, I always teach the difference between fact and opinion to my students. I have taught this important lesson whether my students were college-age or elementary-age. It is crucial that individuals can weigh what they hear and know if it’s someone’s opinion or if it is a fact. We know an opinion is an expression of a person’s feelings that cannot be proven. While opinions can be based on facts, they are meant to deliberately mislead others or sway them. On the other hand, fact is something that exists—it’s reality or truth. Sometimes, an author lets the facts speak for themselves and allows the reader to make up their own mind…after they have read the facts without the author’s opinion. As the author of this article, I would like to state facts about the highly volatile discussion taking place in our country regarding Critical Race Theory (CRT). I’m going to lay out the facts for parents and educators about what CRT is, without stirring in my opinions or slanted language. Just the facts, for those of us who 40. - Holiday 2021

really don’t know where it came from or what it stands for. CRT was officially organized in 1989, although its origins go back much farther, to the 1960s. The fundamental idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies. The theory states that today racism is part of everyday life, so people—white or nonwhite—who don’t intend to be racist can nevertheless make choices that fuel racism. In the classroom, the supporters of CRT believe there are current manifestations of racial inequality in education such as:

The predominance of curriculum that excludes the history and lived experiences of Americans of color and imposes a dominant white narrative of history. Deficit-oriented instruction that characterizes students of color as in need of remediation.

School discipline policies that disproportionately impact students of color and compromise their educational outcomes (such as dress code policies prohibiting natural Black hairstyles) School funding inequities, including the persistent underfunding of property-poor districts, many of which are composed primarily of children of color, and the persistence of racially segregated education. I’ve listed the foundation of CRT, as it’s described by the American Bar Association. Taking the facts, do you (in your opinion) see any of the manifestations of racial inequality happening in your child’s school?

As we navigate all the changes taking place in our country, it is so important for us to separate people’s opinions from the facts. Moreover, as we weigh the facts, we must focus on being optimistic in negative situations. Always remember, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storms to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” (Vivian Greene)

education}   41 41

art} books

Reviews brought to you by the

L .A . Weather

By: Maria Amparo Escandón Book Reviews by Brendle Wells People often describe a good book as something that takes them away. But what about a book that is set in a place you know intimately? LA Weather is such a book. It absolutely oozes its southern California setting, capturing the essence of daily life in a state that always seems on the edge of a precipice. The central characters are much the same—a tight knit Jewish Mexican-American family which appears successful on the surface but underneath is a cauldron of bubbling upheaval. The book starts off with a near tragedy and then careens from one crisis to another in near telenovela fashion (in fact one character calls it such). But this is not a sad story at all. Because no matter the problem, no matter their feelings, the various members of that tight knit family are always there to catch each other. It is warm and funny in parts, and the reader is always secure in the knowledge that while things might not be okay, the love and support necessary to endure will be there. All in all. L.A. Weather is a familiar and comforting read, especially for California residents. It’s a family drama perfect for fans of authors like J. Courtney Sullivan or Elin Hilderbrand, and would be an excellent choice for book groups. Flatiron Books 2021

Gold Diggers

By: Sajena Sathian It’s not family drama, but family obligation, which at the heart of this debut novel. Set within an Indian American community in Georgia and California, this book looks at the ambitions which move generations forward, and examines the forces behind the great sacrifices immigrants make in the name of familial success. High school student Neil Narayan feels overwhelmed by the societal pressure to succeed and fulfill the hopes and dreams of his parents. He is stalled deep in mediocrity, lacking the focus of his seemingly perfect older sister. His friend (and not so secret crush) Anita Dayal, however, is quickly moving up the success ladder. When Neil discovers the secret behind her success, an alchemical potion, he wants in on the game so as to impress his parents and finally fit in with his classmates. But this magical cheating has tragic results, altering the course of everyone’s lives. A decade later Neil is even less motivated than before, but when he runs into Anita in the Bay Area, he is pulled into a scheme and once again left wondering what exactly he is willing to do to get the life he desires. Alternating between humor, pathos, and introspection, this coming of age tale is an engaging, magical read. It would be a good choice for book groups and readers of His Only Wife or The Bad Muslim Discount. Penguin Press 2021

42. - Holiday 2021

art} books

Pahua and the Soul Stealer

Author: Lori M. Lee

Author: Lilliam Rivera

Children's Book Reviews By Justin Azevedo 11-year-old Pahua Moua already has trouble making friends at school, which is why she hides the fact that she can see the everyday spirits that surround everyone. Perhaps her invisible cat-spirit best friend, Miv, is the only friend she needs. But then, a friendly new girl in class invites Pahua to hang out by the old bridge, where she meets an unnerving new spirit she’s never seen before. Soon afterward, her little brother falls into a deep sleep and won’t wake up, and a young shaman-in-training named Zhong suddenly appears, accusing Pahua of awakening an evil spirit that may have taken her brother’s soul. Determined to save him, Pahua sets out with Zhong into the spirit realm, where her own shamanic powers begin to awaken and she learns some powerful truths about her hidden heritage. This action-packed portal fantasy is notable for deeply integrating Hmong culture and folklore into the story. It also leaves plenty of room for universal themes of family and self-discovery, and has the kind of humor and just-scary-enough adventure that is perfect for school-age readers of the genre. A rollicking read with the kind of representation we should see more of in middle-grade books, good for readers ages 8-13. Rick Riordan Presents, 2021

We Light Up the Sky Luna is a popular girl who goes along to get along within her circle, but secretly chafes at her inability to express her consuming grief for the beloved cousin she recently lost, and seethes at her “friends” for not allowing her the space to try. Pedro is a loud, confident influencer with a host of acquaintances and thousands of social media followers, but a deeply painful home life thanks to an uncle who won’t accept him for who he is. Rafa is self-assured, but retiring and quiet, intent on avoiding everybody’s attention so as not to unintentionally reveal that he and his family are unhoused. The three of them are barely aware of each other, until the day when something in the stars lands near the observatory, takes the form of Luna’s cousin, and starts sowing death and destruction. As the city descends into the chaotic beginning stages of alien invasion, the three teens are thrown together and are determined to keep each other safe as they try to warn everyone else about what is coming. Despite the thrilling premise, there are plenty of understated, introspective moments in this somewhat slim novel with a particular focus on grief, along with pointed social commentary and timely references to the COVID-19 pandemic and racial justice protests. All of these elements rest on a gripping science-fiction plot that raises the stakes very quickly. An engrossing book for ages 13 and up. Bloomsbury YA, 2021 For details, telephone the Sacramento Public Library at (916) 264-2920 or visit

community} happenings

The Great Read Book Faire and Elk Grove Writers’ Conference The Great Read Book Faire and Elk Grove Writers’ Conference showcased many local authors. These talented authors presented their individual work along “The Avenue” at District 56. This was combined with a Writers’ Conference held in the Center's Main Hall. The day-long conference featured Joey Garcia as the keynote speaker, additionally there were classes on the craft of writing. Also, writers had the opportunity to schedule an interview with an editor and/or publisher about their work in progress. Visitors to both locations were able to meet the authors, ask questions, and purchase their books. This day of celebrating our literary community (with good books and great authors) was brought to us by the Elk Grove Arts Commission and Elk Grove Writers’ Guild. For more information about the Guild, please visit their website at

46. - Holiday 2021

community} happenings


What a

New Zoo can do for

Animals and our

Community By Jason Jacobs, Sacramento Zoo Director

poaching. Just as important, lesser-known species are in critical need of our help, too.

There is so much more to a modern zoo than you might expect, including what a new zoo would mean for wildlife, education, nature, Northern California, and you. Sacramento Zoo’s mission is multi-faceted, and we are among accredited zoos and aquariums that are essential to the survival of animal species that face challenges in the wild. Well-known species, including lion, tiger, giraffe, and rhinoceros are facing enormous pressure from habitat loss and 48. - Holiday 2021

Those species include the thick-billed parrot, the only remaining species of parrot native to the United States. Sacramento Zoo houses the largest flock of these colorful birds under human care. We are a leader in the husbandry and successful breeding of this endangered species. Another zoo conservation program supports the Western pond turtle, a terrapin native to our area that are being aggressively outcompeted by the invasive red-eared slider. Our zoo’s animal experts work to successfully hatch Western pond turtles in a head-start program for potential release of this species into the wild. Our team also supports protection of the shy okapi, a rare and endangered giraffe-like, chocolate colored mammal found only in the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa.

Zoo conservation programs work because of public support by people who care about animals and nature. For example, zoos helped bring several species back from the brink of extinction including the California condor and the black-footed ferret. Zoos helped in reintroduction programs that played a key role in saving the American bison that once numbered in the millions, before nearly going extinct. And our work is only increasing in urgency. Saving animals is core to our mission, but so is the Zoo’s impact on people. Zoos serve as important educational and recreational institutions for visitors of all ages. We take responsibility for helping foster a meaningful and inspiring connection with animals and empathy and care in people, including the Sac Zoo’s more than half a million guests annually. For many visitors, especially children, their visit to

Sacramento Zoo Director Jaso n Jacobs,

with Mo the Okapi.

Saving animals is core to our mission, but so is the Zoo’s impact on people. Zoos serve as important educational and recreational institutions for visitors of all ages. the zoo is an introduction to the wonderful wildlife with which we share our planet. Zoos provide safe, outdoor educational activities for the entire family and build an appreciation for nature, including the diverse wildlife that lives in Northern California. The popularity of zoos nationwide is quite impressive, with more people visiting accredited zoos within the U.S. than the combined attendance of all professional sporting events.

The challenge to meet the needs of all animals in our Zoo and to fulfill our mission of engaging people to help save wildlife requires more than our current, and aged, 14.7-acre zoo. The Sacramento Zoo's current footprint does not allow for adequate space for the animals in our care. Our region needs a new, expanded zoo that can increase its capacity to care for populations of rare species such as rhinoceros and many others, as well as provide a truly unique and wonderful educational experience for visitors for the next 100 years.

Please stay tuned. Over the next few months, you will hear more about the proposed new zoo in Elk Grove as we explore plans for a new zoological park that will give our animals and our community the zoo they deserve. Please visit for updates and more information.   49

50. - Holiday 2021   51


Healthy Holiday Living and Giving Sponsored by Dianna Singh, Owner of Elk Grove Vitamins

December is the season of giving; while January is the season of self-improvement. Elk Grove Vitamins offer you the power to give unique quality gifts in December that will benefit those you care about in January. Dianna Singh

In addition to shopping for someone you love, take some time to review your lifestyle and start the new year with a health boost for yourself... both physically and mentally. Dianna and her staff are eager to help you navigate through both seasons, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year from Elk Grove Vitamins.

Mud Pie Drip and Sip

2-piece set. Hand-painted ceramic drip filter with coordinating ceramic mug.

Guinevere's Candles

Guinevere's Candles creates delicate handmade pressed flower candles from high quality ingredients.

Mud Pie Apron Sets

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Butter Bistro Dish Set 52. - Holiday 2021

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†Occasional inflammation due to exercise or overuse

MycoBotanicals® Greens Powder

The MycoBotanicals product line combines two complementary strategies to offer an expanded spectrum of benefits tailored to your needs. “Myco” represents the use of mushroom mycelium known for specific health benefits, and “Botanicals” indicates the use of various beneficial herbs included in each blend. Experience the system-specific support of each MycoBotanicals formula!*

Adaptogen Formula Featuring Ashwagandha and Rhodiola

Adaptra is a potent, herbal adaptogen formula that improves your mental and physical resilience to help you get through your day with ease.* This amazing all-herbal formula provides the key compounds from extracts of Ashwagandha and Rhodiola that help you meet everyday challenges: Manage Stress† Be in Control Maximize Energy and Stamina Revitalize Adrenal Function Sharpen Focus and Concentration* † Occasional stress or fatigue

Reishi Powder

Used for more than two millennia in Asia, Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum s.l.) has been respectfully called the “mushroom of immortality.” Reishi grows throughout the world, primarily on hardwood trees, and is well known for supporting general wellness and vitality.*

Lion's Mane

This beautiful species, appearing as a white waterfall of cascading icicles, is found on broad leaf trees and logs. The subject of recent studies, Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) is renowned for providing support to the brain and nervous system.*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Find these products and more at Elk Grove Vitamins!

Stop by Elk Grove Vitamins to find out more about the these products and many others. We have knowledgeable staff that can answer your questions and get you started on the path to health. As we’ve said before “Let’s Start the Talk.” Let’s get Elk Grove energized and healthy. Visit us at 9647 E. Stockton Blvd. Elk Grove or visit our 2nd location at 3342 Coach Lane, Cameron Park, CA.   53

Being Present this Holiday Season Written by D’Lee Daleo & Jamie McCalman, Switch Fitness

The holiday season can be a time of fun, family, friends, and food. It can also be a time for anxiety, loneliness, and sadness. Possibly, it can be a combination of it all; because this time of year tends to be busy for most. Planning parties, time with friends or family, kids out of school, and vacations can mean you spend the days between November and January constantly going and doing.

no to things that may take away from your inner peace. Staying mindful can help manage some of the stress during the holidays, but it takes a conscious effort.

While many of the activities are enjoyable, it can lead to feeling overwhelmed. One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and our loved ones is to stay mindful. Mindfulness helps keep you present and able to enjoy the moment. It can also help you prioritize your time and even say

So, what are some things you can do to stay present this holiday season?

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Making the effort to stay mindful during the holidays is also a great way to enter the New Year. Many use the New Years as a time to reflect on the last 12 months and set goals for the upcoming year. Going into the New Year in a state of mindfulness can help you see clearly all the things you have to be grateful for and also helps set a positive tone for the upcoming year. The more you practice mindfulness the easier it is to stay in that state.

Practice non-judgement. This non-judgement applies to those around you and even more importantly towards yourself. Remembering

that everyone experiences the holiday season differently can help take away judgement. Taking away your expectations of how others should act or be during this time of year, can help reduce frustrations on both sides. Showing a little extra grace towards others can go a long way. Showing yourself a little more grace is even more important. It is very likely that you won’t get everything done as you had hoped. You may have to turn down an invitation or say no to traveling. It can be easy to feel guilty for not being able to do everything or be everywhere, but for your mental health and happiness, show yourself some grace. You do not have to go to every event or party if you think doing so will take away from your inner peace or cause more stress. Saying no or leaving tasks undone is okay and learning to not judge yourself when these things happen can help you stay in a more mindful state. Your time and energy are some of your greatest assets, treat them accordingly.


Being Present

Breathe. So simple, yet so important. Your breath can literally change your mood. When we get upset or stressed, the breath increases. It's often short, shallow breaths. This can trigger our body into flight or fight mode. By taking as little as two minutes to breathe slowly and consciously, you can help calm your body and mind and put yourself into a much more positive place. Learning to control your breath is such a powerful tool that most people overlook it. Take a few moments to notice your breath. Pay attention to what happens as you inhale and exhale. Then start to bring a little more mindfulness to each breath. Inhale for a count of three, exhale for a count of three. Then try to increase to a count of four, five, maybe even six. You may also try to make your exhale twice as long as your inhale. Focusing on nothing but your breath is a surprisingly easy way to relax and adjust your mindset. Movement is another powerful tool. Often when we get busy, one of the first things that gets taken off the to do list is exercise. While it may be hard to fit in the longer workouts you may be used to doing throughout the year, any movement can be beneficial. When you least have time for movement is usually when you need it the most. HItting the gym, taking a class or going for a walk can help you relax and reset. The endorphins

Q&A with Switch Fitness featured instructor, Gabby What are your favorite ways to enjoy the holidays? Some of my favorite ways to enjoy the holidays are to spend time with my friends and family! My guilty pleasure is shopping for holiday decor and decorating every inch of my house. I also love holiday baking and trying out new recipes for my family to enjoy. How do you take care of yourself during this time of year? During this time of year, it is necessary for me to move my body and stay active, while also finding balance in my day to day life. I make sure to treat myself often and do things that bring me joy. What are your favorite ways to stay mindful when you have a full schedule? As we all know, the holidays can be a crazy, hectic time. One of my favorite ways to stay mindful (when I have a full schedule) is to wake up just a little bit earlier than usual to give myself time to enjoy my morning coffee and journal. I also love to make sure I’m fitting in acts of self-care, because life is all about balance and finding it within yourself and your schedule! How do you stay motivated to stay active during the holiday season? As far as staying active goes, I’m a big believer of routine, so I do everything I can to stick to that. Every day, I have a list of non-negotiables and that list always includes getting in some sort of physical exercise. Maybe it’s a workout class at my local gym or maybe it’s just a walk with family, but physical activity is an important part of my day. Therefore, I try to do something to satisfy that need for myself!   55

Going into the New Year in a state of mindfulness can help you see clearly all the things you have to be grateful for and also helps set a positive tone for the upcoming year. health}

Being Present

released during exercise can help improve your move and give you more energy. Our bodies crave movement. Stepping away from the busyness of the day, even for 20 minutes, can help you stay more mindful and less stressed. Unplug. Stepping away from technology can help you actually enjoy the moment and pay more attention to what is happening right now. Technology allows us to stay constantly plugged in, and constantly distracted. Setting the phone down and giving 100% of your energy to what and who is right in front of you, can help you really enjoy the moment and stay mindful. It is really hard to fully enjoy the moment if you are constantly checking your phone, social media or emails. While it may not be possible to unplug for long periods of time, commit to realistic time frames with no technology. Take note of how the experiences feel when you are not distracted by a phone or computer. Being mindful is challenging enough without the constant distractions of technology.

Take time out of everyday to practice gratitude. You may not have everything you want, but you have plenty of things to be grateful for. Focusing on all the things and people you have, helps keep you in a more positive place. The more you focus on gratitude the more things you will attract to be grateful for. Practicing gratitude puts you in a positive mindset and allows you to again be more mindful in your interactions. While this time of year is supposed to be about gratitude and giving thanks, it doesn’t mean it's easy to do that. Journaling is another powerful tool for those that enjoy writing or like to get their thoughts on paper. This can be very therapeutic because getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper can change how you feel. Seeing your feelings in writing can also change how you see your problems or stressors. In your head things can seem so much worse or bigger that they really are. Staying mindful means you need to clear your mind of the negative and writing things down can be a great way to do that. Journaling can be used to help practice gratitude or set intentions. Find what works for you and use it to your advantage. Donate time. Giving the gift of your time to those that need it can be another great way to mindfully enjoy the holidays. There are many people in need of so many things and taking time out of your day to give back can keep you in a place of mindfulness. During the holidays it can be tough to make time to volunteer but seeing the difference your time can make to other people can help shift your mindset.

Being and staying mindful doesn't just happen. It takes work and a conscious effort. There are times where it can be especially difficult, but those are usually the times we need it the most. Give yourself and those around you the gift of mindfulness this holiday season. Switch Fitness (916) 838-1456

9632 Emerald Oak Dr. Suite K, Elk Grove   57


Relationship Resolutions…

Should They Even Be A Thing? By Anna Osborn, LMFT, Relationship Therapist and Coach

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Well, I’m actually a big fan of resolutions. And I realize that’s a statement that is likely met with multiple groans, but stick with me for a second and let me tell you why. You see, resolutions are different than goals. When you set a goal, it usually has a clear end: • Trained and ran a half marathon… check…completed. • Went to college and graduated… check…completed. • Saved $1000…check…completed. Goals are specific, they have a clearly defined end point and you pretty much know when you get there. But resolutions are different than that, because resolutions are all about intentionality. Sure they may seem a bit more vague or broad, but the energy behind them is clear intention. And putting clear intention towards solving an issue you’re struggling with is fantastic! And it’s exactly why I love resolutions so much. When you set a resolution, it creates clarity about how you’re going to show up and where you’re going to direct your time and energy…so you can make improvements to whatever problem you’re facing. And that is why I think relationship resolutions are Ah-mazing!!

Because creating intentionality within your partnership is literally one of the most valuable things you can do all year. Why, you ask? Well, it’s because your relationship is truly a powerhouse in your life. In all the good AND the bad ways.

If you are in sync in your relationship and you’re putting intentional effort into releasing what can’t be changed, healing what can and honestly working to be the best versions of yourself in love…well, you’re going to see exponential benefits in all areas of your life. In fact, decades of research supports the idea that people in healthy and happy partnerships have not only better physical and emotional health, but they also tend to be more

successful in their careers and in lots of other relationships too (think friends and family). So, having success in love, means you get to enjoy success all over the place. But if you’re out of sync, disconnected and overall struggling to find any peace or support in your partnership, it literally drains the energy from ALL areas of your life. Which is why relationship resolutions are of the utmost benefit to all aspects of your life. Simply taking the time to set relationship resolutions and focus on your partnership this year can be the #1 benefit to improving all areas of your life. So, let’s set some relationship resolutions.

Here’s how to do it:

First, you have to set some time aside to do this together. Go for a walk, sit on the porch drinking coffee, talk as you cook together. Find a way to change the scenery just a bit so you can let the conversation flow. Second, don’t feel pressured to dive right into the heavy around what needs to be changed or improved. Instead start talking about the highs and lows from this last year, both individually and as a couple. What are some of the things you’ve walked through this last year, together or on your own, that have really impacted you? What are successes or milestones that have occurred over the last year? What stumbles or roadblocks did you two come up against? Start with a discussion of just rear-view mirror stuff.

Write them down and put them somewhere you can both see them. Go wild and create a vision board together or put some loving reminders or quotes on post-it notes and tuck them in drawers or stick them on your mirror. Take your commitment to intentionality to the next level.

I also get this may sound a bit overwhelming... but remember, any way you can start will be of benefit to your relationship. Don’t let hard (or uncomfortable) be the reasons you don’t create relationship resolutions. All areas of your life will truly benefit by putting intentionality into your relationship this year! And don’t forget…I’m here to offer support and encouragement along the way. Whatever your relationship resolutions are, I’m here for it. The two of you are going to have an amazing year…together. And I can’t wait to hear from you on your relationship resolutions.

Anna Osborn, LMFT, is a relationship coach and therapist. You can reach out to her by calling 916.955.3200 or visiting her website at

Next, start playing with the question of “what if ”. What if we really took the time to x? Or, what if we really put some energy towards y? What benefit would we see if we worked together to stop that and instead did this? Just start putting these ideas into the conversation. Finally, once the two of you feel like you’ve got some clarity, put some energy and intention behind it. Where do you really want to focus your time and energy this year…together? What will the two of you do to be intentional about the change you’re wanting to create? How will you stay purposeful in your choices and actions around the area in your relationship you want to improve or better? What will intentionality really look like in your relationship? Spend some time putting thought and clarity behind your resolutions.   59   59

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Coping With Holiday Stress By Scott Spalding, MD, psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente Elk Grove Medical Offices

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – holiday parties, family gatherings and shopping for presents.

But the hustle and bustle of the holiday season isn’t joyful for everyone. The holidays can also lead to depression, anxiety, and stress. There are many people who are struggling to cope with the demands this time of year brings. Here are some practical ways to minimize the stress and hopefully make the holiday season a little merrier.

Plan ahead

Planning ahead can take a lot of the stress away. Make a list of the things you need to get done and set aside specific days to do each one – shopping, baking, visiting friends, etc. Try to estimate how long you need for each task. Focus on one task at a time until you have completed the task to your satisfaction. Then move on to the next item on your list. 62. - Holiday 2021

Don’t overcommit

You don’t have to attend every work gathering or family event. Sometimes, it’s okay to say no. Family and friends will understand if you can’t participate in every activity. Prioritize those events and activities that have the most meaning to you. Spend time doing the things you want to do.

Stick to a budget

One of the most stressful things about the holidays can be the added expense. Try to set a budget for gifts before you go shopping, so you can avoid emotionally-based impulse purchases. Sometimes the best gifts are those that are homemade – a knitted scarf or a plate of chocolate-chip cookies. A donation to a charity in someone’s name can also be more meaningful and less expensive than a purchased item.

Set realistic expectations

It’s important to remember there is no such thing as a perfect holiday. Life still happens and

even the best of plans can be derailed. Try not to worry if everything isn’t the way you thought it would be. Focus on what is going right instead of what is going wrong.

Take time for yourself

It’s important to make time for yourself. Find something that will help clear your head – go on a walk, meditate, read a book, put down the phone and avoid social media for a while. Getting away from the distractions for even a few minutes each day may help ease some of the stress.

Don’t overindulge

Exercise, sleep, and eating healthy are just as important during the holidays. Try not to overindulge in all the holiday sweets and alcoholic beverages. Be mindful of what you are putting in your body. Stick to at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. And make sure you are getting plenty of sleep.

health} You don’t have to attend every work gathering or family event. Sometimes, it’s okay to say no. Family and friends will understand if you can’t participate in every activity. Practice mindfulness

Remember what the holidays are about. It’s not about who gave the best gift or how good the meal was; it’s about being with those you love. Take some time to reflect on the past year and recognize the blessings you have in your life.

Let yourself grieve

Many of us have lost loved ones or friends due to the COVID pandemic, and this time of year may bring up feelings of sadness and grief over those who are no longer with us. It’s OK to feel sad. You can’t force yourself to feel happy just because it’s the holidays. Be mindful of your feelings and accept that this isn’t always a happy time of year for everyone.

Talk to a professional

If the feelings of sadness and anxiousness persist, you may need to talk to a medical professional. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Scott Spalding, MD, is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente’s Elk Grove Medical Off ices. For more information on dealing with mental health issues, visit   63

community} happenings

Civil War Days A Living History Experience in Elk Grove! Photos by Adiryn Pinnell

The battle of Deer Creek was a worthwhile experience to see! This educational event was set in an undisturbed portion of the Mahon Ranch with beautiful 100+ old oak trees. The encampments and the tent villages were set up with about 140 re-enactors, 21 horses, a caisson, and more than six cannons. History reenactors from all over the USA convened on the Mahon Ranch to stage typical Civil War battles with musket and cannon firing, horses, encampments. Visitors were welcome to roam, ask questions, watch the excitement, and experience history firsthand. The event was organized and brought to Elk Grove by the Elk Grove Historical Society, the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation, the Mahon Ranch, and the Native Sons of the Golden West. Make sure to save the date for next year's event on April 30th and May 1st, 2022. Visit to see videos and additional images from this year's event.

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