Ardent for Life ~ Spring 2022

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Ardent content food

& flavor

16.Cheesy Spring Sensations Cindy Della Monica 20. The Divine Persimmon Carole Morris 24. Blue Cheese Bison Burgers McConnell Estates 28. Chimichurri Rhubarb Slaw World Spice Merchants

30. home

32. Things You Should Never Say To A Real Estate Agent Justin Pinnell


36. Susan & Alfred

design 30. Inspiration Red Door Antiques


education 44. What I’ve learned CT Morris

art 46. Book Reviews Sacramento Public Library 50. Gather & Textology Elk Grove Fine Arts Center

health 40. It shouldn’t be 50/50 Anna Osborn 56. Quercetin & Vitamin C Elk Grove Vitamins 58. Nutrition and Exercise Purely CBD of Elk Grove 60. Women Need to Make Their Health a Priority Kaiser Permanente

community 26. Release Party McConnell Estates 52. State of the City Address Elk Grove 62. Eat. Shop. Play. District56

history 64. Celebrating our Women Elizabeth Pinkerton 4. - Spring 2022

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.

Rachel Dong, MD,

is the chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Kaiser Permanente in South Sacramento.

Aaron Andrew Grove

Serial Entrepreneur and Owner of Purely CBD of Elk Grove

Natalie Hawkins

McConnell Estate's Tasting Room Manager

Tra Huynh

Owner of Two Twenty Photos is a Fun Wedding and Family Photographer.

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.

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.

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?”

10. - Spring 2022

For full bios of our contributors, please visit

Like wildflowers; You must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would. -E.V.

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

l i f e

Checking In

There are buds on flowers, bees are starting to buzz, and everything is coming alive. Breathe deeply and enjoy the fragrant air of spring… glorious spring. It’s impossible to stay inside when the sun is beckoning. Grab the newest edition of Ardent, read our amazing articles and listen to the birds sing.

executive editor

Carole Morris What did we learn after reading this issue? We have a wonderful article about how Women Need to Make Their Health A Priority by Rachel Dong, MD. We all know that it’s often hard for women to prioritize their health. Most are busy heading up their households, working a job or caring for children at home. Women’s hectic schedules often mean putting themselves last on the list – especially when it comes to taking care of their own health. This article will help you prioritize your health. There is an article Written by Terry Lemerond and Sponsored by Dianna Singh, Owner of Elk Grove Vitamins about More than ever before, we understand the value of a strong immune system. Also, there are wonderful recipes that range from persimmons to bison burgers. Treat your favorite people to some truly amazing food made with love by you!


Cheesy Spring Sensations By Cindy Della Monica, Cheesemonger

and Owner, Cheese Central

16. - Spring 2022


Cheese Central

SPRING! Much of the Northern Hemisphere celebrates this change from the dark and dreary, wet and soggy, short days and long nights. The joyful return to warm weather outdoor activities sheds jackets and coats and boots! The thrill of sunshine on skin is almost decadent! Those who must get a happy-high by digging in the dirt have poured over seed catalogs in anticipation of filling freshly tilled garden beds with the future bounty of summer flowers, vegetables, and fruits. Winter is my least favorite season. I have been known to tell everyone, “winter weather is only welcome from the week before Thanksgiving to January 2.” For me, winter cold is the exclamation point on the holiday season and the signal to my beloved outdoor plant life to take a rest. In January, my first sign of upcoming spring are bright green shoots of daffodils coming up through the lawn. Whew! Winter is almost over! I come out of “hibernation” when backyard forsythia is ablaze in bright yellow flowers and the scent of citrus trees in bloom fill the yard and house with overwhelming perfume. Bees are frantically buzzing from one waxy white blossom to the next, hunting for the first open rose buds and enjoying all the colors of lilacs on the side of the house. My mood lightens, and so does my weekly menu. Fresher, lighter flavors. The sharp acidity of gorgeous lemons add punctuation to a much anticipated Easter or Mother’s Day feast, both at after-church breakfast and the late afternoon family dinner. Crisp yet tender texture of Lavender Shortbread, sprinkled before baking with the lemon sugar I put up in January. Fresh lemon zest sparks gremolata that garnishes the season’s asparagus, easy baked mini crab cakes served with bubbly champagne, or garlicky white clam sauce over pasta.

This is also the perfect tray to highlight flowerspiked cheeses from France, or some of our favorites from Harley Farms in Pescadero. The fresh herbal flavors of savory Couer la Crème (a la Ina Garten), though traditionally a sweet preparation, would send you skipping through the long grass! CHEESE CENTRAL sells little jars of “Sweety Drops,” a sweet/briny tiny red pepper that isn’t spicy, which is a cheery accompaniment. Another great idea is brie stuffed with smoked salmon and capers, and just warmed briefly in the oven. We love classic triangles of young Manchego treated with Liz Bokisch’s (Bokisch Winery, Lockeford) special touch of fruit paste, fresh tips of young rosemary and prosciutto or jamon Serrano. A delicious treat all year, but it feels suited to Spring the best.

Tender lamb gets special treatment, too. I love to remove the bone from a leg of lamb, butterfly the meat to make a rough rectangle, and give it a gentle pounding to even out the overall thickness. A simple herbal filling of spinach and feta is spread over the meat, rolled up over the filling, and tied into a compact roast. A wine, olive oil, and herbal marinade overnight has this roast ready for the outdoor grill, resulting in juicy pink and green spiral slices with just a touch of smokiness. Ahhh, Spring… Join me as I come out of “hibernation.” Celebrate Spring!

Photo by Bokisch Winery, Lockeford

We love classic triangles of young Manchego treated with Liz Bokisch’s (Bokisch Winery, Lockeford) special touch of fruit paste, fresh tips of young rosemary and prosciutto or jamon Serrano. A delicious treat all year, but it feels suited to Spring the best.

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 www.

Even our cheese boards get a lift, steering away from the richer Winter flavors of nutty alpine-styles, crunchy crystalline cheddars and well-aged goudas. Instead, I like to perk up the board with fluffy fresh chevres, especially from Lodi’s own Spenker Farms. Not only do we get to enjoy their freshly-made chevre, but we can visit the nanny and baby goats, too! Garnished with a sprinkling of fresh baby dill, the first fresh chives in the garden, and a grinding of pink peppercorns are just the ticket.

Lemon Sugar

Choose an air-tight container of any size. Using a potato peeler, strip the yellow zest of a lemon and stir the pieces into one cup of sugar. Seal the sugar/zest mixture in the air-tight container. Let stand for at least two weeks before using. The oils in the zest will flavor the sugar, which now can be used for tea or baking. Sprinkle over Lavender Shortbread before baking for a crisp and shiny finish. Leave the zest in the sugar as it will not spoil. A simple wonderful gift from your kitchen! Photo by Spenker Farms, Lodi 17


Cheese Central

Brie and Smoked Lox Torte Assemble this appetizer up to 24 hours ahead; cover and refrigerate.

Ingredients 8 oz Brie cheese 4 slices salmon lox 1-2 t capers 2 t finely minced shallot 1-2 t minced dill or chives Grated zest of one lemon 2 slices salmon lox, for garnish Instructions

Preheat oven to 350*. Cut cheese in half horizontally. Place 4 slices of lox on bottom half of the cheese. Sprinkle with half of the capers, all of the shallot, half of the dill or chives, and all of the lemon zest, and replace top half. Using the remaining slices of lox, form a “rose” for garnishing the baked cheese. Set aside. Place filled Brie on oven safe serving dish. Bake, uncovered, for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is soft and partially melted. Sprinkle with remaining capers and dill or chives. Garnish with the lox “rose” and serve with crackers.

18. - Spring 2022


The Divine Persimmon By Carole


One of my joys in life is reading historical fiction…transporting myself into the human side of history and delving into foods and customs that were popular in bygone days. In various historical books, they would mention persimmons (which I had never seen or tasted). Little snippets of information like, “persimmon seeds were used as buttons or ground to make coffee during the Civil War.” Then, they would describe savory persimmon bread and pie that was delicious and distinctive.

20. - Spring 2022

food} Consequently, this year when I was handed a bag full of persimmons–I realized my opportunity to taste history had arrived! For those of you who are hesitant to start cooking, let’s add in the health benefits of persimmons. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which each provide important health benefits. Additionally, they are also high in soluble dietary fiber, which slows the digestion of carbohydrates, preventing spikes in blood sugar.

Persimmon Bread Ingredients

Makes two loaves

2 1/4 tsp. baking soda 1 3/4 cups brown sugar 3 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg 1/2 tsp. ground cloves 1 1/2 tsp. salt

3 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts 1 1/2 cups persimmon pulp 1 cup canola or vegetable oil 4 eggs 1/2 cup water


Preheat the oven to 350. Spray 2 loaf pans (9"x5"x3") with non-stick cooking spray.

Remove skin and stem from persimmons. Place pulp in a food processor and blend until smooth. In a medium bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, spices and salt. Blend in oil, eggs, water and persimmon pulp until smooth. Fold in nuts (top with additional nuts if desired). Pour batter in prepared loaf pans each to about 2/3 full. Bake for 45-55 minutes (until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean). This bread is delicious served warm with a kiss of butter. 21


Persimmon Streusel Pie Single Crust Pie Pastry

Pecan Streusel



1 1/2 cups flour 1/2 tsp. salt 1/3 cup shortening 4 tbsp. cold water

1 cup flour 1 cup packed brown sugar 2 tbsps. granulated sugar 1/2 cup chopped pecans 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp.ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp. salt 5 tbsps. softened butter


In a mixing bowl, stir together flour and salt. With a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle water over mixture and toss with a fork until all is moistened. Form dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough from center to edges with a rolling pin (12 inches in diameter). Carefully fit the dough into a 9-inch deepdish glass pie plate, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold edges under and crimp.

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Whisk together flour, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl. Using your fingers, rub butter into dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and forms large, moist clumps. Add pecans, and work into clumps…set aside.

Persimmon Filling Ingredients

3 cups persimmon (pureed) 1 cup granulated sugar 2 tbsp. flour 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg 1/2 tsp.salt 3 tbsps. butter (melted) 3/4 cup evaporated milk 3 large eggs (well beaten)

Directions - Preheat oven to 375°F.

Place persimmon puree in a large saucepan over medium-high; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring often, until reduced to 2 cups, about 30 minutes. Take off heat and cool to room temperature (stirring occasionally). Stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl until well combined. Add melted butter to mixture, stirring with a fork until mixture is evenly combined.

Stir together evaporated milk and eggs in a medium bowl. Add sugarbutter mixture, and stir until mixture is smooth. Next, add persimmon puree, and stir until well combined. Pour filling into pie crust. Bake in the preheated oven until the filling is partially set (has lost its initial liquid texture) about 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Remove pie from oven. Using your fingers, sprinkle pecan streusel over top of the pie. Return pie to oven, and bake until pie filling is firm, puffed up, and set, (about 30 minutes). Take pie out of the oven and cool to room temperature…share with your favorite people.


Blue Cheese Bison Burgers Paired With 2020 Sheepherders Blend By Natalie Hawkins, Tasting Room Manager at McConnell Estates

We have just experienced budbreak here at McConnell Estates Winery. This is an important time of the year, when the first burst of leaves erupt from the vine ending its winter dormancy and heralding the start of the 2022 vintage. It also comes with beautiful spring weather and plenty of upcoming events with friends and family. Easter, Memorial Day and a couple casual Saturday BBQs are likely to be on our agenda. So, we have an easy to craft– elevated burger that allows our guests to customize it to their taste! In celebration of budbreak, we have just released our 2020 Sheepherders Blend that is 75% Barbera and 25% Tempranillo, a versatile, medium bodied red with a rustic, berry forward profile.

Ingredients 1 lb Ground Bison 1/4 lb of any rich, blue cheese A handful of green onion 1 yellow onion 2 tsp Paprika 1 cup of chard, lettuce or herb garden leaves 4 heirloom tomatoes 4-6 burger buns

4-6 slices of provolone 1 jar Wild Grove's Jalapeño Tequila Mustard 4 tbsp of Ketchup 1-4 dashes of Kill Sauce's Ghost Pepper hot sauce S&P 1 bottle of Sheepherders Blend from McConnell Estates Winery

Directions: Set your grill to 350F. If your BBQ is already started, pour your guests and yourself a glass of Sheepherders Blend in a stemless glass (no need to break the stemmed glassware at an outside event!). Start by grilling some onions in a pan with a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper. Next, mix the bison meat, crumbled blue cheese, chopped green onion and paprika in a bowl until they form balls without the blue cheese being fully integrated in. Form thick, 3/4" thick patties to the size desired by your guests. Go check the onions, add the greens to the pan and remove from heat. When the grill (or a cast iron skillet) is on medium heat or 350F, add the bison patties. Turn over when it has caramelized on the side.

Then flip it every 5 min until the centers are cooked through to nearly medium. Remove and rest. If using a cast iron skillet, take the juices released from the burger and add them to the onion-greens pan. Take the burger buns, drizzle the faces with olive oil and grill until golden. Add a couple slices of provolone until it is melted and caramelized. To construct the burger, add greens on the bottom, a couple slices of tomato, the burger patty, a slather of the mustard then the onions and provolone-dripping top! Serve with sweet potato fries, and a spicy ketchup, which is as easy as adding a couple dashes of Ghost hot sauce to the ketchup. Try not to finish the whole bottle of Sheepherders Blend before you finish cooking!

NOTE: Our McConnell Estates 2020 Sheepherders Blend is available in our tasting room or e-store. You can visit our online store by scanning the QR code or through our website

24. - Spring 2022

community} happenings

Marilyn Jean Sparkling

Release Party!

This last month we shared our first release of the Marilyn Jean Sparkling blanc de noir, named after the winemaker’s mother. This beautiful sparkling is produced using traditional techniques known as methode champenoise, from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. With a light, petal pink color (reminiscent of the camellia featured on the front label) this wine has exceptionally soft bubbles and flavors of Rainier cherry and nectarine. We are featuring this wine in our Estate Tasting, it can be enjoyed at our Tasting Room in Elk Grove-- any Thursday through Sunday 11-5pm. We look forward to sharing this special wine with you!

26. - Spring 2022

community} happenings 27

Chimichurri Rhubarb Slaw Recipe by World Spice Merchants Photography by Jamie Lynn Aragonez

28. - Spring 2022

food} Rhubarb is the star of this stunning slaw. Often overlooked as a seasonal vegetable, the raw flavor is tart and fruity, with a satisfying crunch. Combined with a complimentary mixture of purple cabbage, carrots and shallot, it brings a rainbow of color and texture to your spring salad plate. To fancy it up, we created a crispy curl to the thinly sliced rhubarb by giving it an ice water bath. A vinegar based dressing seasoned with our Chimichurri Spice brings it all together beautifully. This blend has bold flavors with a mild fruity heat. Traditionally this Argentinian blend gets paired with fresh herbs and grilled meats, but here it adds earthiness to the salad. Because we couldn’t resist, we topped it with a final wow factor with a sprinkle of brined Kampot peppercorns for a burst of salty spice. Chimichurri Spice

Chimichurri Rhubarb Slaw Ingredients Chimichurri Vinaigrette


1-1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1-1/2 cups carrot, julienned with mandolin

1-1/2 tablespoons

1/2 purple medium cabbage, thinly sliced

Chimichurri Spice 2 teaspoons


2 rhubarb stalks

1/2 shallot, thinly sliced

Himalayan pink salt

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

black peppercorns

2 teaspoons Kampot brined

Kampot brined black peppercorns

Chimichurri Vinaigrette

In a small bowl whisk together all of the ingredients until combined and salt has dissolved. Set aside for dressing the slaw.


Using a "Y" peeler, thinly peel the rhubarb into long thin strips. With the leftover rhubarb that is too thin to peel, cut the stalks thinly into strips. Add the rhubarb strips to a container of ice water with a lid and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Strain the rhubarb and discard the water. Cut the rhubarb curls down, if necessary. In a large bowl, add the rhubarb and the cut carrots, cabbage and cilantro. Add all of the dressing and give it a quickly toss until coated. Garnish with brined Kampot peppercorns and serve cold.

Himalayan pink salt

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 29


Sentimental Nostalgia Inspiration By David Hipskind, Red Door Antiques

Vintage: Typically from the past of a certain period in which an item was made. Vintage is used to describe something that is not new, but rather from the past that is of good quality or style.

Sentimental: A sentimental person is strongly influenced by emotional feelings, especially about happy memories of past events or relationships with other people rather than by careful thought and judgment based on facts. Nostalgia: A feeling of pleasure and slight sadness when you think about things that happened in the past.

So many of us have an overabundance of Sentimental Nostalgic items from our parents or grandparents and we just don’t know what to do with them. We want to hold onto vintage items because of sentimental attachments, but they just don’t work with our modern updated life and décor.

You want to “repurpose” what you have but don’t know how to start. Begin with something that inspires you. Use the items themselves to influence your color palate selections. Use a painting with colors you love.

your “theme.” Paint the drawers bright accent colors, add a colorful transfer or inlay. Use the home and garden magazines to see what colors are popular and how to mix them together. Most of your Grannie’s furniture is built to last. They are solid and have substance, not cardboard, partiTake grandma’s old wood dresser cle board or fake wood laminate. All and paint it a color that works with they need is a great color story along with a great paint to bring them into the 21st century. How about a throw pillow that has colors you love, but are afraid to use. A safe way to approach your decorating style is to use neutrals as a foundation and select bright pops of colors that coordinate and work well together.

Let the Red Door help you with your projects. We understand how to incorporate those vintage sentimental items into repurposed modern works that work together in any décor. We are experts in mixing the old with the new. We can show you color palettes that work with any décor or lifestyle.

By mixing in vintage, you inject personality and character. The new pieces will add a shine and crispness to the vintage pieces, and the vintage pieces will bring soul and unity to your space. When it comes to mixing antiques with modern pieces, almost anything goes. 30. - Spring 2022

Painted in a beautiful and rich neutral Navy Blue color, it acts as a vibrant anchor to any primary bedroom with pops of color on the interior... to add a modern twist. Small accessories in colors drawn from our inspiration piece bring the look together. This framed, colorful 1920’s “motto” was used as an inspiration for our 1920’s vintage gentleman's wardrobe cabinet. 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

Even Lucy finds our inspiration piece calming and fits right into a modern lifestyle.

home} real estate

10 Things You Should Never Say

To A Real Estate Agent Sponsored by Justin Pinnell, M&M Real Estate

Let’s be clear on one thing: by nature, real estate agents are not fragile beings. We’ve heard it all. And for the most part, we have a great sense of humor about things. In other words, you can tell us virtually anything — in fact, you should if it’s pertinent to buying or selling your home. It’s just that there’s a handful of things clients say that can rub us the wrong way. These things aren’t offensive, per se’, and you probably mean no harm when saying them. But we need to discuss these things. Thus, this list. Let’s file it under “edutainment” — important enough to warrant a dialogue, but light enough for you to realize it’s not the end of the world if you’ve said these things to an agent in the past. Here they are.

1. “I want to buy a home, but I don’t want to commit to one agent.”

Loyalty is a two-way street. If you want an agent’s help, understand that he or she will spend a considerable amount of time, money, and effort shuttling you from house to house, scheduling home viewings, and previewing listings on your behalf. The tradeoff for this hard work is to sign a buyer’s agency agreement, allowing them to formally rep-

32. - Spring 2022

resent you as a client (versus merely a customer). There are major differences between the two.

tually see your home’s unique features in person) determine its fair market value.

Look down. See a hole in your shoe? That’s because you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Real estate agents are busy. Therefore, if you want to maximize your home’s exposure, you’re gonna have to be flexible (i.e., as “hands off” as possible). I get it, though. You cringe at the thought of muddy shoes dragging across your beige carpet (or whatever else your concern may be). You naturally want to be present to keep an eye on things, but try to control that urge. Buyers get uncomfortable with sellers standing over them while they view a home — and that’s if you’re lucky enough to draw the buyer inside in the first place, considering all the hoops created by stipulating that other people’s schedules must align with yours.

This puts you at a huge disadvantage right out of the starting block. First, an agent worth his or her salt won’t agree to invest countless hours showing homes to someone who isn’t approved for a loan. Secondly, it’s an unfair burden on the seller to bring tire-kickers into their home (which is how you’ll be perceived). Therefore, listing agents and sellers will often require a pre-approval letter alongside your offer. This letter strengthens your offer by instilling confidence in all parties that you’re financially capable of purchasing the home.

2. “Don’t show my home unless I’m available.”

3. “But Zillow said…”

Stop listening to Zillow. Relying on Zillow to determine your home’s value is, at best, a crapshoot. Zillow itself even encourages buyers, sellers and homeowners to conduct other research such as “getting a comparative market analysis (CMA) from a real estate agent” and “getting an appraisal from a professional appraiser.” Sure, Zillow’s Zestimates® are quick, easy, and free… but so is dating advice from your thrice-divorced Uncle Larry. The point? Just let a local real estate professional (who will ac-

4. “I’ll get pre-approved for a mortgage later.”

5. “I don’t want to bother my Realtor®. Can you just show me the house?”

Not just no, but heck no. To be clear, you’re more than welcome to view it, but there’s a protocol in play here. Contrary to what you think, asking your agent to see a home is not “bothering” them. It’s their job. It’s how they get paid. It’s what they love doing. If there are extenuating circumstances preventing your agent from showing you a home, let him or her call the listing agent directly. Don’t worry, you’ll get to view the home one way or another. But if you’re already represented, then going straight to the listing agent is considered is a faux pas in this industry (and a bit of a slap in the face to your agent). Just don’t do it.

home} real estate

6. “Real-a-tor”

The correct pronunciation is Real-tor. No need to throw that extra syllable in there.

7. “Oh, you sell real estate? You must make good money.”

Hold your horses… not necessarily. According to NAR (National Association of REALTORS®), the median gross income of REALTORS® was $42,500 in 2016, and that’s before expenses like MLS fees, marketing, insurance and everything else. Also, keep in mind that commissions are split between the brokerages representing the buyer and seller. In other words, of that X% you paid your agent to sell your home, he or she saw only a tiny fraction of that.

8. “I’m planning to sell my home by owner. I just want to know how to do it.”

We all know that time is money, but so is knowledge. It’s not always free, and it certainly can’t be passed from one brain to another through osmosis — especially not how to sell a home. So if you ask this question to an agent, don’t be offended if you don’t get the answer you were seeking. It’s not that agents want you to fail… it’s just that advising you how to sell a home isn’t as easy as, say, forwarding a recipe for chocolate pound cake. I should know. Many people tried to replicate my grandmother’s chocolate pound cake. They even had the recipe. But they all failed miserably, every time. Bottom line? If you want to benefit from experience, be willing to pay for it (especially when it comes to real estate).

9. “I’ll only sell my home to a buyer who is (insert race, gender, religion, etc. here)”

This is a big no-no, and one that’s liable to get you sued (unless, of course, you list with a real estate professional who’d certainly know better than to discriminate). Federal equal housing laws were passed in 1968 in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement, and they prohibit renters and home sellers from discriminating against individuals on the basis of race, sex, religion and other factors. So in a nutshell: focus on getting your home sold, and forget about to whom.

10. “I’d love to get paid to look at pretty houses all day, every day.”

So would agents. “Looking at pretty houses” is only one of about 184 things real estate agents do for their clients. Contact Justin Pinnell DRE- 02045095, M&M Real Estate at (916) 812.0576 or 35




& Alfred

Photography by Two Twenty Photos

Who are you? My name is Susan Thai Trinh Gross and I am 34 years old. I’m a hairstylist in the Natomas area. I’m a pretty shy person when people first meet me, but after they know me they learn that I'm pretty outspoken…in fact, some would say I’m pretty blunt. But honestly, I'm a very caring person who is pretty chill.

My name is Alfred Tyronne Antwane Gross. I was born and raised in Stockton, California. I am 30 years old currently working in a restaurant business-- on the corporate side managing and training employees. I am an extremely competitive person who hates losing in anything (even against kids) which is why my family calls me baby Al. In my spare time, if I'm not with my family, I am usually watching a TV series or movie. Fun fact: I can't go to sleep without attempting to watch a movie. How did you meet? My husband and I met about eight years ago at a gym in Sacramento. I was working out and he was

36. - Spring 2022

an employee. One day he decided to approach me and ask me out for dinner. I thought it was weird that that was the first thing that he asked me. But for him, I guess it was a conversation starter or in his words an “icebreaker”. This led to an hour plus conversation…so, I never actually finished my workout. But I knew he liked me when he told me I was different. Weeks went by and we talked every day before, during and after each workout. Finally, one day I let him take me out to dinner– then I asked him what did he want from this? I told him that I was too old for games…so if you want to be with me you can be with me or you can lose my number. He said, “Well I guess you’re my girlfriend.” And we have been together since that day. The Proposal? Alfred had everything planned. I like to call him "Mr. Extra” because he always goes the extra mile on everything. He likes things to be the way that he imagined it would be. He had everyone involved– from finding the ring– to figuring out the day– to decorating for the day. The morning of the proposal we had plans to take family pictures.

So I had to get ready. After breakfast, he said he needed to go home and pick something up. As we got there, I was a bit confused on why my garage was a mess because I just cleaned it the night before– but I thought maybe my siblings were cleaning the house to get ready for Thanksgiving. I walked into the house first and the first thing I saw were the rose petals, candles and balloons that said, “Will you marry me?” I immediately started crying. I couldn't believe this was happening to me. He had someone videoing the whole thing. He got down on one knee, pulled out the ring and asked, “Will you marry me?” Right when I said, “yes” both our families came in yelling and screaming congratulations. I was surprised that he got so many people to come witness our engagement early Thanksgiving morning. It shows how much he cares for me and my family. It was an amazing surprise, he planned it perfectly. What is love? Susan: Love is unconditional. Love is when you do things for that one person that you normally wouldn’t do for anyone else. Love is rare and an


the first day I met her, I realized I just wanted to be around her every second...That’s when I realized I didn’t want to live life without her. 37




is when you do things for that one person that you normally wouldn’t do for anyone else. Love is rare and an amazing feeling that one word can't describe… you can’t live without it.

amazing feeling that one word can’t describe… you can’t live without it.

What is love? Alfred: Love is a strong affection between two individuals. It’s powerful, kind and if you're lucky enough to find it– it’s the best thing that could happen.

What do you love most about him? I love that he cares for me and always puts me first. I love that he always goes the extra mile for me. I love how he can be a tough guy but a sweetheart to me every time. I love that he loves to show me off and that he’s not scared to show his true feelings. I love waking up next to him every day and that he is my best friend. I love that he’s my partner for life– honestly I love everything about this man. What do you love most about her? I love that she is very caring and loving, she has a huge heart. I love how stern she is (at times) and she's ambitious and knows exactly what she wants. I love that she treats me like a king and makes me feel secure. I love being around her all the time.

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When did you know you were in love? Susan: I am a huge family person, he was the first person I’ve ever brought to meet my family. Immediately, I loved how he had manners and learned to love my family as much as I do. The moment he met my family, I think was the moment when I realized this is the guy. The reason why I say that is because my family (in my opinion) are very tough and opinionated. But they loved him, he fit right in. I think they knew he was a great guy.

When did you know you were in love? Alfred: From the first day I met her, I realized I just wanted to be around her every second. I told her if I could I would be her shadow– and just follow her around. I’m not clingy, but I just love being around her. That’s when I realized I didn’t want to live life without her. Fun facts I am currently pregnant. Our due date is our wedding date August 28, 2022.

Honeymoon plans For our honeymoon we went to Jamaica. It was both of our first time going. We both love adven-

Photographer Two Twenty Photos

Hair and makeup Kroger Ortiz

Videographer Eric Must

Florist Yolanda’s Flowers

Venue Union Brick

Tux Rentals Mens warehouse

Rentals Union Brick

Bride's Dress Black Tie

Caterer Union Brick Cake Karen’s Bakery

Bridesmaid's dress Windsor

Coordinator Union Brick

Bride's Ring Shane co and Zales

DJ Union Brick

Groom's Ring Kay




I that he cares for me and always puts me first. I love that he always goes the extra mile for me.

ture and the beach–therefore, Jamaica was the perfect place. We went zip lining, ATV riding, rode horses in the ocean, water rafting, and we even went sailing. We made amazing memories. But most importantly, we got to talk about our life together and our future as one. Even though we had been together at that time for 7+ years we were now talking about life as one. We talked about kids…our conversation was different. Our honeymoon set the tone for what we have to look forward to together as one.

Wedding details Our wedding day was perfect. I would like to say I was not a bridezilla. I wanted to have fun– but I wanted it to showcase our love for one another. I was the one that was more chill if things didn’t work out the way we wanted. It didn't matter to me but my Mr. Extra husband went the extra mile for me. Before the wedding, I told him things that I wanted and he made it a point to make it happen. Overall our wedding day went perfect… better than we could ever have imagined. 39

It shouldn’t be 50/50 By Anna Osborn, LMFT, Relationship Therapist and Coach

Relationships aren’t 50/50…at least, they shouldn’t be.

The most thriving relationships are never 50/50. Hear me out for a second. You see, the problem with a 50/50 relationship is that the focus is on pulling half the weight and working towards a ‘meeting in the middle’. And as good as that may seem in theory, the reality is it falls really, really short in application. You see when your relationship is 50/50, it can lead to score keeping and making the worst sort of comparisons possible. It keeps you on the lookout to be sure that each person has done their share and that at the end of the day…the till is even. As much as you can try to avoid this mindset, when you’re working towards 50/50 in a relationship, it can end up being inevitable. 40. - Spring 2022

Unintentionally, you start making sure that every action is met with an equal effort reaction. You start comparing and contrasting the load you carry with the load you see your partner carrying. And don’t even get me started on how inaccurate we ALWAYS are when it comes to this comparison. When you’re striving for 50/50 or a shared load, you don’t even notice that you’re looking for your partner to show up and contribute in the same ways you’re seeing yourself contribute. Unknowingly, you become ultra-aware of the input (and output) you’re putting in and start looking for the same input from your mate.

And it’s not even done with malice. You’re striving towards an idea that we’ve all been sold on, that relationships should be 50/50 and it's leaving the two of you coming up completely short. Which is exactly why a 100/100 relationship is so much better.

The beauty of a 100/100 relationship is that it allows you both to contribute 100% of your strengths, your skills and your expertise to the relationship. It moves you away from cataloging differences as deficits and helps you celebrate them as assets. Take my husband and I for example. There are soooo many strengths I have that he doesn’t. And you know what…there’s undeniably an equal number of strengths he has that I’m not anywhere close to. And the more that I get stuck in thinking that he needs to contribute in the exact same ways as I do…the more we remain on opposite sides of a solution. By fully leaning into a 100/100 relationship you get to use both of your skill sets to help you work your way through whatever it is life is handing you. 100/100 also helps eliminate score keeping. Any nonsense around “because I did it today, you have to do it tomorrow” does not serve your relationship. My work day ends earlier than my husband’s so I do the majority of all the kids


You see when your relationship is 50/50, it can lead to score keeping and making the worst sort of comparisons possible. It keeps you on the lookout to be sure that each person has done their share and that at the end of the day…the till is even. shuttling in the early afternoons. My husband is a morning person and loves to be up to enjoy the quiet before the house wakes up each morning…so you know who covers breakfast for the kids and packs lunches? Him! I’m a whiz with a calendar and can remember most dates with annoying recall, so I’m the scheduler and birthday card rememberer. He loves a good spreadsheet so he’s got our monthly budget covered.

And as much as I could and would pick up the slack in areas that aren’t my necessary go-to, I don’t need to…because we’re both contributing 100/100. I want this for you too. Because it’s not just about adopting the 100/100 mindset, it’s about putting it into daily action. And it’s hard at the beginning…heck…it’s hard even though I try to ALWAYS practice it in my own marriage. I’m still human and I still get frustrated and stomp around mumbling…ok a bit louder than that…about how it all falls on my shoulders (not proud of this by the way). But I work really, really hard to stop myself before I look too much like a 2 year-old having a tantrum and remind myself that I’m in a 100/100 marriage. And thank goodness that means that the loads I carry look different than my husband and that despite the load I’m carrying it DOES NOT MEAN he’s not carrying equally heavy loads.

100/100 means you mentally put down the score card and thank each other for showing up fully. 100/100 means you work really hard to NOT point out all that you do as a way to shame or guilt your partner into thinking their equally heavy contributions are not also super impactful to your relationship. 100/100 means you contribute fully, show up completely and be all in and willing to do the work. 100/100 is your recipe for success…trust me!! And I know the two of you can get to 100/100 too! I’m here cheering you on!!

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 42. - Spring 2022


What I’ve Learned About


Before spring break, I announced to my students, “we will no longer be required to wear masks at school.” My 2nd and 3rd grade students yelled, “Yes”, and did happy dances by their desks.

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

I shook my tail feathers too…because I know that communication is an important (and sometimes complex) exchange of information that depends on visual and auditory cues– which have been hampered by face coverings. Factors that influence how well we convey what we are saying such as eye contact and body language are necessary. Stir in the tone of our voice and facial expressions and we can express to others exactly what we are feeling. Out of the 24 students that I have in my class, 23 of them are English language learners... their first language is either Spanish, Irdo or Punjabi. They need to have those non-verbal cues to understand what I am trying to teach them–because I know that my face expresses so much of my message. Additionally, their faces would normally express their understanding or lack of understanding regarding what I am saying. However, their facial expressions have been covered so I have been struggling to read their body language instead. For the past two years cloth face coverings (face masks) and physical distancing became the new norm. These precautions were exhausting—especially when trying to teach young children who have a limited vocabu-

lary. The cloth face coverings obscured my facial features and my students’ facial features. This of course, disrupted speech perception and emotion. As a result, our communication suffered, and I witnessed first hand the feelings of stress and isolation that my students felt…because I felt it too. Fast forward to our return to school…over half of my students are still wearing masks. Egads, I didn’t see this coming! They are even wearing them outside at recess. WHY? Truly, I am shocked.

I realized that my students are conditioned to wearing masks–the masks represent safety. I believe that some children are unable to take them off without experiencing anxiety. Additionally, I overheard some of my little girls say they look hideous without a mask (that is truly heartbreaking). I haven’t mentioned masks to my students since they have been back–I’m hoping they will gradually forget about them. I’ve read articles which have said that parents should allow their children to not wear them gradually and at their own pace. And I believe that is excellent advice, so as an educator that is what I’m doing in the classroom… I believe that they will eventually become comfortable without masking.

It has been a long two years for everyone, but I believe in the resilience of children. Eventually, the masks will come off and they will see themselves in the mirror and smile.

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Factors that influence how well we convey what we are saying such as eye contact and body language are necessary. Stir in the tone of our voice and facial expressions and we can express to others exactly what we are feeling. 45 45

art} books

Reviews brought to you by the

Shelf Life: chronicles of a Cairo bookseller

By: Nadia Wassef

Book Reviews by Brendle Wells It is often said that you can travel the world in the pages of a good book. And as part of your travels you can visit good book stores. When you read this book, you can do both! Shelf Life is the story of Nadia Wassef, one of the founders of Diwan, a well-known and influential Cairo bookstore. Before it opened over 20 years ago there was nothing like it in the city. Over the years it expanded and contracted, but the flagship store still remains, a destination for both locals and literary travelers alike. In the book, Wassef takes the reader on a virtual tour around the store section by section and talks about its history along with the challenges presented to business women by a firmly patriarchal society and her personal and professional life; all of it intertwined with the ever-changing city and country around her. She’s a very candid guide, speaking honestly about her flaws, which sometimes makes her a less than sympathetic narrator, but also a very real person. The resulting book is an interesting blend of elements that offers a peek into an unfamiliar place and culture and leaves the reader with much to think about. It will appeal to armchair travelers, bookstore junkies, and those who enjoy stories of real women’s lives. Farrar, Straus, & Giroux 2021

We Begin at the End

By: Chris Whitaker

There are a number of elements that make a good thriller and one of them is the ability to make the reader turn pages compulsively. We Begin at the End is a book that will do just that. It starts out hard and bleak, but slowly but surely pulls the reader in with a firm and determined grasp. What has a hold on the reader isn’t necessarily the plot, however. Instead, the book’s characters are what drive the reader’s interest, particularly a young teen named Duchess in all of her foul mouthed and furious glory. The book takes place in a small coastal California town, the residents of which are still dealing with the tragic aftermath of an accident decades earlier. Though Duchess was not yet born, the trauma of that incident nonetheless touches on nearly every aspect of her life and ultimately contains the power to destroy all she’s ever known. The one flaw in the book is that California setting, which was not well researched or drawn by the author. But in this book the setting is only a bare frame for the characters and their stories. I’m not going to lie, it is dark, but as the title implies there is always a glimmer of hope. Nothing here is truly bad, instead, this is a story that touches on the gray areas, the space between good and evil. It leaves the reader with much to ponder, making this an excellent selection for book groups. Henry Holt and Company, 2021

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art} books

What is Love?

Author: Mac Barnett Illustrator: Carson Ellis

A Thousand Steps into Night

Author: Traci Chee

Children's Book Reviews By Justin Azevedo This gentle picture book opens on a young boy asking his grandmother a simple question: “what is love?” She tells him that question isn’t one she can easily answer, but that he might be able to find the answer himself if goes out into the world. So, the boy sets off, asking different people what love is and gathering a wide variety of responses. The carpenter tells him that love is building a house, while the fisherman insists that love is a fish, and the poet has a long, detailed list of how to specifically define love. Each answer frustrates the boy more, however—he isn’t allowed to use hammers, he thinks fish are creepy, and he’s not about to sit around and listen to everything on that list. “You do not understand,” each person ultimately tells him. But time passes as he wanders, and when he returns to his grandmother now taller than her, he shows that he understood perfectly and found the answer to his question after all. Ellis’s gouache illustrations provide a warm, simple backdrop to Barnett’s simple prose and understated humor, making for a sweet read-together that ends on a note that will satisfy young readers and is likely to bring a tear to a caregiver’s eye. While the overall message is simple and timeless, there is also plenty of opportunity to think about all of the forms love can take as the boy gets each individual answer. A moving book recommended for ages 4-8.

Miuko leads a safe, largely boring life in the small village of Nihaoi, where her streak of outspokenness doesn’t usually cause trouble for her. However, a chance encounter with a demon on the road one lonely night leads to a terrible curse—darkness spreading like ink on her skin, transforming her into a spirit of death incarnate. Now an avatar of ill omen, she is forced from the only home she has ever known, chased by a terrifying demon prince with sinister plans for her once the curse finishes taking hold. With the aid of a mischievous magpie spirit, Miuko undertakes a long-shot quest to free herself from the curse and return home to the father that cast her out. But as she faces down ghosts and gods on the way, she is forced to reckon with the idea that perhaps her new freedom is better suited for her than life as a quiet, obedient village girl. Set in a fantasy world inspired by Japanese folklore, the story is punctuated with footnotes that provide both pronunciations and in-world cultural context. Miuko is a layered protagonist that progresses from a relatively powerless victim of larger forces to a definitive force in her own right. A supremely clever plot twist brings the story full circle near the end, and drives home the themes of recognizing and interrogating the strict enforcement of patriarchal gender roles, and of discovering who you truly are rather than acceding to whatever version of yourself is the most convenient to those around you. A dark, fast-paced fantasy with plenty of light moments, this is a gripping fantasy for ages 13 and up. Clarion Books, 2022

Chronicle Books, 2021

48. - Spring 2022 For details, telephone the Sacramento Public Library at (916) 264-2920 or visit


Gather & Textology

Elk Grove Fine Arts Center was proud to host The Fertile Ground, the 56th Conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. This annual conference of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) provides opportunities to build and strengthen professional networks and experience lifelong learning with friends, colleagues, mentors, and students. Curators (and artists) Stephanie Lanter, and Dennis Ritter brought together two exhibits– Gather and Textology. Stephanie Lanter, artist-curator

Stephanie Lanter has been an artist and educator working in clay, fiber, mixed media and words since 2000. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Ceramics at the University of Hartford Art School in Connecticut, after teaching for 15 years in Kansas, at Emporia State, Washburn, and Wichita State Universities.

Dennis Ritter, artist-curator

Dennis Ritter's work explores the roles of common objects -house plants, books, appliances, and keepsakes- as foundational markers for identity and memory. These objects are often juxtaposed with one another to create works that reference domestic spaces, second-hand sales, and the personal collection using a combination of handbuilt ceramics, found and altered ceramics, digital photography, and collage. 50. - Spring 2022


Dennis Ritter brought Gather, works by seven ceramic artists exploring visual, metaphoric, and transformative interactions between ceramic materials and collected objects. Chotsani Elaine Dean, Rachel Eng, Jesse Ring, Dennis Ritter, Amy Santoferraro, Grace Tessein, and Casey Whittier.


Stephanie Lanter presented the sculptural potency of written language through varied ceramic approaches, Textology artists implicitly and explicitly mine richly layered meanings from the ubiquitous, global terrain of text. Stephanie Lanter, Dawn Holder, Emily O’Keeffe Connell, Kwan Jeong, Malcolm Mobutu Smith, Mimi Joung, Nicole Seisler, Thomas Müller, and Xia Zhang.

"Clay may act as a vessel for objects to take on new meanings." - Dennis Ritter 51

community} happenings

2022 Elk Grove's

State of the City Address Photos by Dave Soto

The Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce and the City of Elk Grove hosted the annual State of the City luncheon on March 25, at District56. Mayor Singh-Allen delivered her live address to 135 local business and community leaders. The message entitled “A Body in Motion” showcased the many Elk Grove accomplishments over the past year and provided a spotlight on projects in progress and planned for the future. A recording of the speech is available online at

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54. - Spring 2022 55


Quercetin & Vitamin C

Two Powerful Nutrients for Immune Strength Written By Terry Lemerond Sponsored by Dianna Singh, Owner of Elk Grove Vitamins

More than ever before, we understand the value of a strong immune system. The importance of getting the right nutrients in a daily regimen to prevent and fight viral infections, bronchial congestion, and allergic reactions can’t be overstated. And one of the strongest nutrient combinations I can recommend is quercetin and vitamin C. QUERCETIN STOPS VIRUSES

While quercetin may not be quite as well-known as other immune strengthening ingredients, it is more common than you might think. Quercetin is a flavonoid polyphenol compound found in apples, grapes, onions, tea, and various herbs. There’s no doubt that a diet rich in quercetin containing foods can help you stay healthy, but there’s also plenty of research that backs up quercetin as a natural medicine for fighting viral infections. 56. - Spring 2022

In fact, scientific studies show that pretreatment with quercetin is the best way to stop viruses from replicating, and it effectively blocked H1N1 (swine flu) within 48 hours. Other in vitro work found that quercetin inhibited replication of rhinovirus, the virus responsible for the common cold, within 24 hours. Other laboratory research has found that quercetin reduces bronchial inflammation and moderates the immune response to prevent it from going into overdrive. It is considered a valuable natural antiviral in cases of influenza A virus and can help stop many others as well.

In fact, researchers in Italy, one of the nations with an early (and especially deadly) outbreak of Covid-19, have proposed that both quercetin and vitamin C be used as synergistic nutrients for preventing and treating the virus.


Unfortunately, many of the drugs used to treat allergies are unhealthy and cause unpleasant side effects, including insomnia, brain fog, fatigue, dizziness, nau-

sea, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and difficulty with urination. Long-term use of certain allergy medications called anticholinergic drugs are associated with a dramatically increased risk for dementia. Fortunately, an ever-growing body of scientific and laboratory research shows that quercetin may provide a safer, yet still effective, answer. Because of the actions of quercetin on histamine and its ability to reduce bronchial and sinus congestion, quercetin can reduce the body’s reactivity to allergens and make asthma symptoms less severe. Quercetin inhibits mast cell and eosinophil activation, relaxes the trachea, and reduces inflammatory compounds in cells that line the inside of the lungs. Some researchers believe quercetin could easily become a natural bronchodilator medicine for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. Scientific study on cells from COPD patients have found that there is also potential for quercetin to make the conventional medicine for COPD more effective when patients develop resistance to them.

Don't Wreck Your Immune System LACK OF SLEEP

You need restorative sleep so your body can replenish your immune defense system, including antibodies and cytokines that fight viral infections.


When you're under stress, your cortisol levels are high Unfortunately, when cortisol courses through your body, it reduces the virus-fighting immune compounds. Some experts say even thinking of something that makes you stressed can reduce your immune system's response in just 30 minutes.

Quercetin’s ability to balance inflammatory and immune cytokine activity means it can be a valuable ally in treating autoimmune conditions, too.


Quercetin has powerful effects on oxidative stress and inflammation. A randomized, double-blind clinical study found that a combination of quercetin and vitamin C was more effective in reducing C-reactive protein levels and the inflammatory marker IL-6, than either nutrient used alone. The individuals in this study were non-professional athletes who, in the course of their workouts, typically generated a lot of potential free radical and inflammatory damage. As to why both nutrients worked better together than they did separately, one answer may be in the way that vitamin C regenerates quercetin. Once quercetin becomes oxidized during its work in the body, it splits into metabolites which can be recycled as quercetin and prevent free radical damage once again. This is one way that vitamin C can help make quercetin more bioactive.


For all its potential power, quercetin is not easily absorbed. It needs a boost. That’s why I prefer quercetin combined with gammacyclodextrin, which gives the fat soluble nutrient the absorption qualities of a water-soluble one. In fact, gamma-cyclodextrin has proven its worth in helping other fat soluble nutrients absorb better. In the case of CoQ10, it’s been shown to improve absorption by as much as 800 percent.


I’ve already mentioned how vitamin C may help reboot quercetin levels in the body, but of course it has incredible value far beyond that. Some of the reasons that vitamin C is considered so essential to your immune system is that aside from its antioxidant value in preventing free radical damage that can deplete your natural defenses—it also supports aspects of what are called your innate and your adaptive immune systems.


Not surprisingly, medications for autoimmune diseases can weaken your immune system, but so can common cortisol steroid antiinflammatory drugs.


Vitamin C touches on almost every aspect of immune function, strengthening the response of protective T-cells, antibodies, and other natural defenders that respond to viruses and bacteria. Your innate immune system also includes specialized white blood cells that can respond to any threats from pathogens like viruses and bacteria. Your adaptive immune system is what helps your body develop immunity to a specific bacteria or virus after exposure or illness. The adaptive immune system includes T-cells, antibodies, and white blood cells that recognize invaders that survive your innate immune system, and either bolster your immune strength as a result, or destroy the infected cells so that they move out of your body altogether. Vitamin C contributes to both of these immune “operating systems” and covers a broad range of activities. It acts as a fuel that helps your immune system protect you against microbes and various reactive oxygen species that damage and stress your cells, especially when your resistance is compromised.



Too many refined carbs and sugars inflame sinuses, cause systemic inflammation, and literally feed your illness Replace these foods with fruits and vegetables that provide protective vitamins, minerals, and other natural compounds that help keep your immune system strong.

Terry's Bottom Line

A strong immune system is of critical— and potentially life-saving— importance. With that in mind, there are two nutrients used in combination that I believe should be a part of everyone’s regimen: quercetin and vitamin C. Together, they defend you inmany ways:

• Prevent and fight viral infections • Keep lungs and sinuses clear • Reduce allergic reactions and histamine levels • Stop inflammation and oxidative damage Quercetin and vitamin C have incredible potential to stop viruses, bacteria, allergic reactions, and bronchial inflammation. They should be part of everyone’s daily immune strengthening regimen.

A healthy and responsive immune defense depends on many things: restorative sleep, proper diet, and low stress levels. But it can be easily strengthened with convenient and consistent levels of daily nutrients. I think a combination of quercetin and vitamin C is the best. Consider adding them to your regimen today, and keep your immune system well-nourished for the days ahead. For immune strength, I recommend using Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) and Quercetin [from Japanese pagoda tree (Sophora japonica) flower buds]. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.

Stop by Elk Grove Vitamins to find out more about the these products and many others. We have a knowledgeable staff that can answer your questions and get you started on the path to health. Visit us at 9647 E. Stockton Blvd. Elk Grove.

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. 57


The 10 Compounded Core

of Nutrition and Exercise for the Working Class Written by Aaron Grove, Purely CBD of Elk Grove

The three biggest imbalances of the American diet are too much sodium, too much calcium and too many omega six. To offset these we need to intake more magnesium which offsets the sodium, more potassium which offsets the calcium and omega 3 which offsets the omega 6. Outside of that... No refined sugars. No consumption of animal products over 20% of diet (grass fed only). No vegetable oils (deep fried foods) and exercise (no exceptions). True health is the focus on the cause not the cure with knowledge that the medicine is from the plate not the pill.

cardio-like interval speed bursts produces superior fatloss results.

readily taps into its fat stores as a source of fuel for your workout

Typically everyone is at a different place and as a result has different goals. I'll give some general tips, because I’m certainly glad to help everyone. There's more than enough information to be shared, abundantly. Everyone deserves health– looking good isn't as big of a deal as feeling better about ourselves and creating longevity.

It may go against the golden rule of meal timing—that your biggest meal should come right after your workout—but for one day a week, change things up and keep your body in a fasted state a little longer (one to two hours) after you finish a short bout of sprints. And for athletes on a low-carb diet, the effects will be even more pronounced. Just make sure that your intensity is high and your duration is short.

Research has suggested that carb intake before or during an exercise session can blunt the expression of several metabolic genes following exercise. Insulin may play a role here. Another way to think of it is that providing nutrients to the body makes it experience exercise as less of a stressor than fasted-state training. Why should it adapt or compensate when all the fuel it needs has been provided?

First things first. Know the difference between simple and complex carbs. Sugar from fruit is okay. Cutting out refined sugar, white flour and gluten will help cut down the visible fat. Replace bread with a 100% flourless sprouted whole grain living food bread. Food for life is a great brand. Speed up the metabolism with specific whole foods that do this naturally. Eating/snacking five to ten times per day with smaller amounts more often preferably with a whole foods plant based diet. No deep fried breaded foods. No refined sugars, no animal products, no vegetable oils, and exercise (no exceptions). If you must have meat then 20% of your diet should be meat, 4oz servings as a side- grass fed red meat, free range chicken/eggs and wild caught fish. Those are ALL meat. Five percent of your diet should be dairy. Spend a couple extra dollars and get the organic pastured dairy. Also almond, hemp, and cashew milk is recommended. And of course organic produce and preferably NON-GMO everything. Should I work out on an empty stomach? For years, this has been one of the most common questions I've been asked by people looking to lose weight. According to some research, it makes total sense to train in a fasted state on some workout days, and I can tell you from first-hand experience that fasted high-intensity 58. - Spring 2022

In fact, intensity and duration are inversely related. After all, you can only sprint for so long, right? So, it follows that if you're training for an hour, your intensity must be reduced to allow you to last that long. That's not what we want here. Remember, on a low-carb diet, you should be doing about five to ten minutes of highintensity work with the option of following those interval speed bursts with some light cardio for another 30 minutes or so. Intensity is the key to losing fat and staying lean because it triggers the release of hormones that preserve muscle (i.e., growth hormone and testosterone) and help unlock stored fat (i.e., epinephrine). If possible, do your best to perform your interval speed bursts (and most of your workouts in this program) first thing upon waking in the morning after an overnight fast. If your schedule only allows you to work out later in the evening, make sure to wait three to four hours after a meal before training for maximum fat burning. This will ensure that insulin is low and your body more

So should you exercise in a fasted state all the time? No. But you certainly can on certain days, like when carb intake (and thus insulin) will be low. Fasted exercise means that you're working out when your blood sugar and glycogen stores might be a little low. This often makes fasted workouts more challenging—you simply don't have enough fuel in the tank. But again, you should only be exercising at a high intensity for only five to ten minutes here, which will exert the perfect amount of energy. The cool part about fasted exercise and higher-intensity exercise is that both train your body to become a better fat-burning machine. And they've even been shown to have favorable effects on muscle building compared with training in a fed state, especially where strength training has been employed.

Can't make it through a fasted workout? Don't stress, but don't go fueling up on a full dish either! Eat a small amount of protein (some protein powder in water), and you'll benefit your metabolism, and help burn fat, all at the same time.

Women Need to Make

Their Health a Priority By Rachel Dong, MD

It’s often hard for women to prioritize their health. Most are busy heading up their households, working a job or caring for children at home. Women’s hectic schedules often mean putting themselves last on the list – especially when it comes to taking care of their own health.

The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t help. The pandemic has had far reaching impacts on all of us. I certainly have seen it as a physician, and I am not just talking about the virus itself. Our population’s overall health has declined due to the pandemic. This is especially true of women’s health. Many of us have been impacted by the sedentary nature of working from home, the loss of social connections, putting off preventative screenings – all of which are having detrimental impacts on both our physical and mental health.

Here are some ways women can put their health first KNOW YOUR NUMBERS

One way to meet most or all of your numbers is to exercise a minimum of 30 minutes most days of the week. Even a daily brisk walk can make a difference.

Keeping your numbers at recommended levels will protect your heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the US. There are ways to help prevent heart disease such as eating a healthy diet, exercising daily, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting your alcohol intake, and getting enough sleep. SCREENINGS

During the pandemic, many women put off their routine screenings which has led to an increase in the discovery of cancers at later or more advanced stages.

You have probably heard you should “know your numbers”. Let me explain what that means and why it’s important.

It’s important for women to stay up to date with their screenings, which can lead to earlier diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately better outcomes.

During a checkup, your doctor takes a careful look at your "numbers," including your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, your blood pressure and more. Knowing your numbers is an important part of keeping your heart healthy. It can help you and your doctor know your risks and mark the progress you're making toward a healthier you.

Cervical cancer, for example, is an extremely preventable disease. It’s important to get screened between the ages of 21-65. You can also consider getting the Human papillomavirus (HPV ) vaccine. HPV is the most common cause of cervical cancer. The vaccine is recommended for everyone (women and men) between the ages of 9 and 45.

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Here is a quick overview of numbers you need to know and the goals you need to reach. Aim to keep your total cholesterol at less than 200. The target for LDL (bad cholesterol) is less than 100 mg/dL. Optimal is 100 to 129 mg/dL. 190 mg/dL is very high. As for HDL (good cholesterol, the target for women is above 50mg/dL. Try to keep triglycerides at less than 150. Blood pressure at less than 120/80. Fasting Glucose should be less than 100. Hemoglobin A1C or glycosylated hemoglobin is best at less than 7%. When it comes to your body, aim to have your body Mass Index at less than 25 and keep your waist at less than 35 inches. Obesity can increase risk of heart disease and various cancers. Risks for cancers of the breast, uterus, colon increase with obesity.

health} For breast cancer, we recommend starting screening mammograms at age 40, but you can discuss with your doctor what is best for you, depending on family history and other risk factors.

With colon cancer, early detection is key. We start screening at age 45, depending on risk factors. Screening for most people is done with a simple test you can do in the privacy of your home. MINIMIZE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION

Alcohol can be a difficult issue for some women. Many women do not realize our bodies process alcohol differently than men. Excessive drinking can increase certain hormones in our system. It can also lead to weight gain and increase the risk of certain types of cancers. Alcohol is part of our culture and women must be aware of the benefits and risks. It is important to be mindful and avoid drinking as a coping mechanism for daily stress. Limit drinking to social situations a few days a week. Women should not consume more than 7 drinks a week.


The Anxiety & Depression Association of America estimates 1 in 8 women will experience depression in their lifetime. Some symptoms include lacking joy in daily life, withdrawing from social interactions, minimal facial expressions, inability to get out of bed in morning or difficulty sleeping at night. The first step to addressing mental health is to destigmatize it and talk about it. Building and maintaining relationships through social connections will help. Talk about mental health issues as you would any other medical disorder. Reach out to your doctor if you find depression is affecting your ability to function.


Make movement a part of your daily process. Exercise, go for walks with your friends or partner, try standing while you work and take breaks.


Food is fuel. Good nutrition is what fuels the body. I recommend eating more plant-based foods, fiber, protein, and drinking plenty of water. You shouldn’t need an additional multivitamin if you are eating a balanced diet, however, a Vitamin D supplement can be beneficial.

I’ve learned a lot from my patients. I have known some of my patients for 20 years, and they are now living well into their 90s. They have taught me that having a positive outlook is key to getting past difficult times. The pandemic has brought on many additional stressors for everyone, but we will get through this. Good health is key to living your best life. There are wonderful resources to support you no matter what stage of life you are in - pregnancy, breastfeeding, midlife, menopause and beyond. Stay current on your health screenings, take care of your heart, follow your doctor’s advice, and make your health a priority. Rachel Dong, MD, is the chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Kaiser Permanente in South Sacramento. 61

community} happenings

Eat. Shop. Play. Every Thursday at District56

The City of Elk Grove and Unseen Heroes partner to host NeighborGood Market. A weekly market that happens every Thursday 4-8pm at District 56. The weather couldn’t be better to support something good in the neighborhood as you shop local small and micro farms, makers and designers. Additionally, local entertainment and special event collaborations bring new features and activities throughout the spring and summer months. Grab those shopping bags and explore this great space with family, friends, and neighbors every Thursday. 4-8 p.m. at 8230 Civic Center Drive.

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community} happenings 63


Celebrating our Women Women’s History Month was in March, but, in Elk Grove, we celebrate our women every month and every year. It has been fairly recent that women have stepped into leadership roles even though they have always been there to assist their families. Leadership was meant for men in our long ago days! Even in the 1950s, women were limited to being teachers, nurses or secretaries. But, today many women step up to the top… and we accept them as our leaders in all areas. Our City of Elk Grove has a woman as our Mayor, Bobbie Singh Allen, and our Nation has a woman as our Vice President, Kamala Harris! How times have changed, and they will continue to change even more so! It will not be long, and we will have a woman as our president!

Elk Grove Mayor, Bobbie Singh Allen

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

We have many women in leadership positions in Elk Grove. Here are some of them:

City of Elk Grove – in addition to Mayor Singh Allen, we have Stephanie Nguyen as a council member, and many other women are on the City staff in various positions. Elk Grove Unified School district Board of Education – Our Board president is Beth Albiani, and Nancy Chairs Espinosa, Crystal Martinez Alire, and Gina Jamerson are Board members. Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce – Angela Perry is the President CEO and many women business leaders are on the Board of Directors.

Looking back into our history, we do not find many women in leadership positions. Our Native American women were definitely leaders, but the men got credit for what was done. When gold changed lives along the Cosumnes River, we know that there were women there, but all we know of them is that they started schools for the children. One school that we know of was called Katesville. We also know that the wife of Martin Murphy started a school at what are now Grant Line Road and Highway 99, and it was referred to as Mrs. Murphy’s kindergarten, although it was for children of all ages.

The Elk Grove Regional Scholarship Foundation – Officers and Board members include many women such as Rebecca Davis, Arlene Hein, Katherine Albiani, Faye Bundeson, Janet Hume, Marie Coleman, Marilee Lewis Engel, Natasha Moore, Suzanne Kennedy, Patricia Weaver – and Elizabeth Pinkerton.

The first woman who was our long ago woman leader was Harriet Eddy. She was the principal of Elk Grove Union High School in 1907! She truly was a brilliant woman for she was able to get the high school accredited by the State of California when she started the first rural library in California – at the high school! When she left Elk Grove, she worked to start libraries in other states and countries. Our middle school in the Laguna area was named for her in 1994.

Cosumnes Community Services District and the Elk Grove Historical Society have many women on their leadership teams.

Two years before Elk Grove became a unified school district in 1959, we had two schools that were named for women. The Elk Grove District


There were many women who played large roles in our Elk Grove Unified School District over the years, and they continue to do so today. Members of the Board of Education were Olga Batey who was the first one in the 1970s. Kay Albiani was the next woman on the Board in the 1980s. Next were Marcie Stamm, Pollyanna Cooper LeVangie, Priscilla Cox, Jeanette Amavisca, and Bobbie Sing-Allen. Today, on the EGUSD Board are these women – Beth Albiani, Nancy Chaires Espinosa, Crystal Martinez Alire, and Gina Jamerson.

built the Anna Kirchgater School named for a long time teacher in Elk Grove. The Florin District built the original Isabelle Jackson School that is now William Daylor. The second site for the school was established in 1985, and that is the school that is Isabelle Jackson Elementary School today. Isabelle Jackson was the superintendent-principal of Florin School District and a truly remarkable woman. She was an active educator at Florin for 28 years.

These are the women who have been recognized for their many achievements and accomplishments in Elk Grove. Our Citizen of the Year program began in 1955, and many women have been named Citizens of the Year. The first woman was Edna Sperry in 1962, and many others followed. The Elk Grove Hall of Fame and the Key to the City have recognized many women.

Olga Batey

Here are some other firsts for women in Elk Grove. Sophia Scherman was the first woman to serve on the Elk Grove City Council. Olga Batey was the first woman to serve on the Elk Grove Unified School District Board of Education.

Our EGUSD superintendents have all been men since 1959, but many women have had significant positions on district staff. In addition to Arlene Hein who served for many decades, we have had Alice Kubo, Joanne Gatejen, Fawzia Keval, Donna Cherry, Nancy Lucia and many others including Ludivina Avalos who is there now. We have come a long way since Harriet Eddy was a high school principal…for we have had many women in those roles in past years and now. Paula Duncan was the principal of Elk Grove High in 1989. She is now the principal of Sheldon HS, and the only person who has been principal of that school since it opened in 1997! Cathy Guy was EGHS principal for ten years.


Valley High School had two women principals in the 1980s – Gina Santangelo and Wilma Osborne and later, Jacqueline Wyse. Other high school principals were Felicia Bessent and Charlotte Phinizy who served for many years. Today, we have women principals at some of our high schools and middle schools, and we have many of them at our elementary schools. Very active women in our Elk Grove area today are Angela Perry, Mona Escudero, Angela Spease, Paula Maita, Pat Weaver, Marjorie Jones, Nancy Lucia, and Marie Coleman. We have 68 schools in our Elk Grove school district and these elementary schools are named for women. They are- Jessie Baker, Florence Markofer, Edna Batey, Ellen Feickert, Irene West Maeola Beitzel, Mary Tsukamoto, Arlene Hein, Helen Carr Castello, Marion Mix, Elitha Donner, Irene West, Barbara Comstock Morse, Isabelle Jackson, and Anna Kirchgater. Middle Schools named for women are Harriet Eddy, Katherine Albiani, and Elizabeth Pinkerton.

Photos on page 64, from left to right: Marion Mix (Smith) in 1918 (during Pandemic) - Harriet Eddy - Batey Edna in 1920 Photos on page 65, from left to right: Anna Kirchgater - Anna Kirchgater with an 8th graduate in 1953 - Elizabeth Pinkerton - Florence Markofer - Marion Mix 65



Elizabeth Pinkerton with Mary Tsukamoto (left) and Irene West (right)

We have many parks named for women and we have some streets as well.

Many of our local businesses are owned and managed by women, and we find women very active in a variety of community events.

From the Recent Past: Olga Batey, Jessie Baker, Mary Tsukamoto, Iris Zimbelman, Jeannie Womack, and Mary Lewis. From Today: Sophia Sherman, Arlene Hein, Angela Perry, Bobbie SinghAllen, Katherine Albiani, Teresa Rodriguez, and Marielle Tsukamoto.

There are two women that I credit with finding and keeping track of our history in Elk Grove and throughout the south Sacramento County and Elk Grove areas. Anabel Gage

Ellen Rosa was our first historian. And because of her, we know much about our early settlers in Sloughhouse and along the Cosumnes River area.

Anabel Gage lived here in Elk Grove and was a great photographer. It is because of her that we know so much about our long ago Elk Grove and all the buildings there.

We thank them both and we hope their work has inspired more women to get involved in finding our history.



1. History Happened Here, Book 1 – River, Oaks, Gold 2. History Happened Here, Book 2 – Fields, Farms, Schools 3. 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. Five more will be awarded in 2022 to seniors at EGUSD high schools. To purchase books, 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 book; $5 for 2-3 books. Call me at 916-685-0606 or email me at 66. - Spring 2022

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