Ardent for Life Winter 2019

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Ardent content featured 18. THE BABY LADY Cindy Lopez 38. SARAH HUMLIE

love Story 26. JESSICA & JOHN-LLOYD

design 34. CREATING A HOME Zina Sheya Designs

18... profile 32. FARMERS INSURANCE Stephen Baker 44. ANDREA SHIPLEY United Way 62. RUNNING OF THE ELK Becky Roberge and Victoria Lee

food & flavor 20. ASPARAGUS SOUP Carole Morris 22. I LOVE BREAD! Cindy Della Monica 24. TANGERINE LOAF


...62 6. - winter 2019


contents education 46. WHAT I’VE LEARNED CT Morris

health 70. SPRINGTIME BLOSSOMS Anna Osborn 66. BE GOOD TO YOUR GUT Kaiser Permanente


72. DETOXIFICATION Rejuvenation Wellness 74. BULLYING Chris Tanaka

real estate 30. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO BUY? Justin Pinnell

travel 52. VENTURING OUT Adventure State of Mind

community 76. MUSIC AND THE CITY


48. BOOK REVIEWS Sacramento Public Library 78. DATEBOOK

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Community Corner...

Brooke Frick Writer The Baby Lady, page 18.

Typical work week looks like: All of my work takes place at home, so it

looks a lot like making macaroni and cheese, searching for missing socks, going to the orthodontist, and if I’m lucky, sitting at a computer drinking coffee and typing words. Notable Accomplishments: Well, it’s not finished yet, but I am writing my

first book, a devotional for moms, and it’s a dream come true! Also, I got second place in my age group in the Gobble Wobble on Thanksgiving. I mean big deal, right? Do you have a secret talent? Of course. I can wiggle my ears. I can’t live without these apps on my phone: Pandora, Maps (seven

years later I still use it to get around Sacramento! I guess I’m either directionally challenged or rely too much on technology), Camera (does that count?), Calendar and Voice Memos.

What is the most important invention man has made? This sounds

so boring but, electricity! We lost power for an entire day recently and literally nothing in life works without it. My bucket list includes doing this in the next year: Going to Hawaii

with my husband! I’ve never been and I’m super excited. Also, read more fiction. 10. - winter 2019

Dana Halvorson Wedding and Portrait Photographer Love Story, page 26.

My workweek always includes: Hours on end spent planning, capturing,

curating and sharing the best day of a couples’ lives... and drinking copious amounts of coffee. All alongside my sweet, handsome partner and husband, Scott. Notable Accomplishments: Scott and I kissed for 36 hours straight in a

contest to win a brand-new convertible Volkswagen Beetle. Whew! Just being on your feet for 36 hours is challenging enough- but having to stand within a 3-foot square area with your lips locked to another’s for a whole day and a half straight will teach you a heck of a lot about yourself in terms of attitude and effort. Do you have a secret talent? I just checked to make sure I can still wiggle

my ears. Yep, I can. #secrettalent

I can’t live without these apps on my phone: RISE - it’s an app that

tells us what time sunset will be in any city on any date (makes planning photo sessions at golden hour far easier). I used to have to use a sundial and an abacus. Kidding about that last part, but the app does come in SO handy! GMAIL - if I had to go back to only sending emails from my computer, I’d be bummed. What is the most important invention man has made? The most

IMPORTANT? Well my goodness there are some incredible inventions that keep people alive competing for the real top spots. However, on a personal level, how could I not say the camera. I can’t imagine what it would be like if we didn’t have such an amazing tool to help us look back on our lives and keep our memories alive. My bucket list includes doing this in the next year: To book a

wedding in Europe!! We actually have an inquiry pending right now.... so, this just might happen!   13

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.

Stephen Baker

Your local Farmers® insurance agent in Elk Grove and all around good guy.

Jessica Bowers

Lifestyle Photographer Servicing Sacramento & Elk Grove. Home-school mom of 3 busy boys. Life is too sweet to not capture all the precious moments.

Brooke Frick

Brooke lives with her husband and five children on a “ranch”. Her dreams are big, her hands are full and her laundry room is a mess.

Scott and Dana Halvorson

We are Sacramento photographers, shooting everywhere from Tahoe to San Francisco, and we have a love for travel beyond.

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.

Julie Laudon

Council Assistant and Public Affairs Intern for the City of Elk Grove. First Degree Black Belt. Cat lover.

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.

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.

Kristyn Nelson

Public Affairs Manager of the City of Elk Grove, CA.

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.

Susie Franklin Roeser

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

Zina Sheya

Has been in Interior design for 18 years. Award winning and featured in multiple publications. She is the owner of Zina Sheya Designs.

Dianna Singh

Owner of Elk Grove Vitamins for the past four years.

Chris Tanaka

Owner/Senior Instructor of Sher Khan Karate. He is a 5th Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo Karate.

Brendle Wells

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

14. - winter 2019

For full bios of our contributors, please visit

On the Cover


70% OF ALL THE ASPARAGUS GROWN IN THE UNITED STATES. Try your cooking skills on the delicious asparagus soup recipe on page 20.

creative director

executive editor

business manager

Sara Pinnell

Carole Morris

art & production

Justin Pinnell


View Ardent for Life online at WWW.ARDENTFORLIFE.NET

Copyright Š 2019 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

I hope that you aren’t experiencing the winter blues from the cloudy skies and drizzling rain. Typically, (as I trot through the rain to get to my job) I have a mantra that I say, “at least it isn’t snow and ice”. When that refrain doesn’t cheer me up, I remember the hot, dry summers that need rain to keep the fires at bay. That is the catalyst that spurs me to think positive thoughts about late winter. If you are having a “blue” day, let me give you this cheerful thought…there are a lot of things to love about late winter! It is a wonderful time to go to California’s deserts and visit Death Valley National Park or Palm Springs… it’s usually sunny and in the 50’s or 60’s. During winter, there aren’t many tourists checking out hidden streams and waterfalls that are seasonal in California, so this is a great time of year to hike. Another cheerful thought, you can play in the snow at the Sierra Nevada mountain ski resorts or go to Tahoe. Then, there is this amazing issue of Ardent. You can read all the interesting articles, look at the pictures of your city, and sip a hot beverage as you’re nestled in your cozy home. executive editor

Carole Morris What did we learn after reading this issue? This issue has a lot of articles that reflect the heart of the people of Elk Grove and their commitment to their city. There is an inspiring article about a truly amazing and self-sacrificing couple who have fostered babies for many, many years. There is also a great article on how to make an investment to the betterment of the community of Elk Grove with the United Way’s Square One Project. Then, there is the Running of the Elk fundraiser that provides scholarships for children. Cindy Della Monica, Owner of Cheese Central has a mouthwatering bread recipe the will fill your heart (and tummy) with happy, sunny thoughts. There is also an asparagus soup recipe that will inspire your family to name you the best cook ever. I know you are going to thoroughly love this issue of Ardent!


The Baby Lady

Cindy Lopez Written by Brooke Frick Photos by Jessica Bowers Photography

You could call her the “baby lady” and I don’t think she would mind. After all, she’s been fostering them for over two decades. “I just feel completely honored,” says Cindy Lopez as she snuggles her current foster baby, a six-weekold girl. “These babies bless me,” she smiles. Cindy and her husband, Rob, have been an emergency foster home for newborns for 27 years. “It’s my little mission field,” she says. When Cindy was only 11 years old, she felt God calling her to work with orphans overseas. But other than short term mission trips (which she does frequently) Cindy has never been a missionary overseas. She was about eight years into fostering, when Cindy realized that she was in fact living out her calling to care for orphans. It just looked a little different than she imagined. The mission field wasn’t a desert in Africa, but her very own home, and the orphans were her foster babies. 18. - winter 2019

Cindy’s fostering journey began unexpectedly one day as she was volunteering in her children’s class at school. She noticed two children who were underperforming and her heart went out to them. After inquiring, in regard to their situation, Cindy became aware they were in need of a home. Cindy talked to Rob, prayed, and they decided to take in the children, who were around the same ages as their two biological children. They soon became aware these children had another sibling in need of a home. Then a while later, another child joined their family.

At one point, Cindy and Rob had eight children in their home, four of them fourth graders. It’s safe to say things were a little crazy for a few years. The Lopez’s became legal guardians of the four children and enveloped them with their love and care as part of their family. Unfortunately, they were not able to adopt the children and in time they each went back to their families. A few years after the heart break, Cindy and Rob began looking to adopt a newborn.

They fostered several babies before they were given a baby boy who was adoptable. That little boy soon officially became part of their family. Two years later, they adopted another baby boy, growing their family to four children, although Cindy still calls herself a mother to eight, including the children whom she had guardianship for years. After adopting their second son, they were done adopting; but they didn’t want to stop fostering. “We realized we were good with babies,” says Cindy. Apparently, she was right, because 160 babies later, Cindy and Rob are still swaddling newborns and rocking them to sleep. It’s not how most people spend their golden years, but they couldn’t be happier. And once in a great while, Cindy gets a little gift like she did two years ago. It was an ordinary day as she and her sister drove to an indoor soccer complex where they play on a team, something she has been doing since she began fostering. It was her husband’s way of giving her a break from the kids and getting her out of the house.


She walked up to the counter to check in and something stirred in her as she starred at the curlyhaired girl standing behind it. There was something about her look and mannerisms that struck Cindy. She asked the girl’s name and when she recognized it, she broke down. “I literally fell to my knees, I just cracked,” says Cindy. The girl with the curly hair, standing in front of her, was the first baby Cindy had ever fostered. Cindy introduced herself (through tears) and told her of the pictures she has of her in her foster album. She ran home to get the album and they looked at the photos together and cried. And then they took more pictures. Together. Twenty years later. “It was God’s little gift to me,” Cindy says through the tears that still come when she talks about it.

Most of the time, and especially in the early years, when a baby went back to their family or to be adopted, Cindy would lose contact. She didn’t know what happened to the children she loved in her home for those special weeks and months.


Now, with the connections Cindy has made over the years, and those she has inspired to become foster or adoptive parents, she knows some of the families who adopt her babies. She gets invited to lots of birthday parties.

“I’m almost overwhelmed,” says the mother to eight, grandmother of five, and foster mom to many. Overwhelmed in the best of ways, of course. When asked why she keeps fostering newborns Cindy says, “Literally, I feel like I am looking at an angel. Babies are healing to the soul.” “People always say, ‘I’ve always wanted to do what you do, but I could never give them up,’” she says. “I always try to readjust, first of all, why am I doing it? Am I doing it for me? Or am I doing it for her?” Even after the pain of letting babies go, particularly when she and Rob were trying to adopt, Cindy explains, “I always can come to grips with what I am doing; because I realize I never want to give up that experience, even if it was four hours or four days. I just go back to what a privilege it is to care for these babies.” And she encourages others to do the same, “It’s so, so worth it.”

When asked why she keeps fostering newborns Cindy says, “Literally, I feel like I am looking at an angel. Babies are healing to the soul.”   19

Asparagus Soup Ingredients

By Carole Morris

This soup is the perfect remedy for the winter blues. You will be dazzled by the unmatchable flavor of this incredible soup. If you want to influence and impress your friends (and enemies) make this delectable soup for them! Did you know that asparagus is a member of the Lily family and California grows about 70% of all the asparagus grown in the United States?

Asparagus was valued as a food and a medicine by the ancient Egyptians. The numerous medicinal qualities of asparagus are; a natural diuretic, remedy for kidney troubles and prevents capillary blood vessels from rupturing. According to the National Cancer Institute, asparagus is one of the most tested foods containing Glutathione (one of the body's most potent cancer fighters).

20. - winter 2019

1/2 stick of butter 1 bundle of asparagus, sliced (approximately 2 cups) 1/2 cup sliced almonds 1 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon red pepper 6 cups of chicken stock 1 cup of cream cheese 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 cup half and half cream


1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over mediumhigh heat. Add asparagus and almonds, then sauté for 15 minutes. Season with red pepper and pepper. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes, until asparagus is tender. Stir in the cream cheese and season with salt to taste.

2. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with water to make a watery paste. Stir into soup mixture until desired thickness is achieved. Transfer to serving bowls. 3. Serve with the home-made croutons (recipe below) …the combination is divine and simply irresistible!

Parmesan and Garlic Croutons

(a match made in heaven)


6 tablespoons melted salted butter 1 clove minced garlic 3 cups bread (your choice) cut into 3/4-inch cubes 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese


Heat oven to 375°F 1. Make sure your oven rack is in the middle position.

2. In a bowl, stir together melted butter and minced garlic.

3. Stir the salt and pepper into the butter mixture and brush the mixture onto the bread cubes, until they are evenly coated. 4. Place the croutons onto a baking sheet and bake 15-25 minutes, stirring and turning them over…every 10 minutes. 5. Bake until golden brown and crispy. 6. Sprinkle croutons (while hot) with grated Parmesan cheese.

7. Allow to cool, then sprinkle on top of your amazing soup.

food} food}   21 21




By Cindy Della Monica, Cheesemonger

and Owner, Cheese Central

22. - winter 2019


There, I said it! I LOVE BREAD! Certainly not politically correct in this trendy time of carbskimping and gluten-nixing. I have been a bread baker since I was nine. My first experience kneading bread dough was to make French baguettes, since my dad had just watched Julia Child do it on PBS in 1966. He decided we should have some freshly baked bread with our dinner that night—so, little “dad-shadow” that I was, WE made freshly baked bread for dinner that night! It fascinated me to feel this puddle of gloopy flour/water/yeast turn into a smooth-as-a-baby’s bottom ball of dough, watch it rise and become filled with bubbles, bake to dark golden crusty yumminess, and smell like heaven throughout the house! I couldn’t wait to repeat the process, and I’ve been hooked since. My caterer/chef/restauranteur days have brought me in contact with a LOT of awesome food through the decades, here and abroad. I am asked all the time what’s my favorite—and my answer is always the same—toast. Perfectly crisp and browned (no burnt crumbs, please), soft and yielding in the middle, with crunchy crust. I don’t NEED butter, but everything is better with butter, right? With any flavor of marmalade or jam, please and thank you. The disappointment reflected in all faces with my answer belies the beauty of proper toast! It is no different than the cooking proper egg. If you don’t do it right, it isn’t worth the calories. My husband realized this early in our marriage, and after a holiday in England, Santa brought the “Mercedes” of toasters for my gift. Hand-made, stainless steel British craftsmanship—I actually need to designate this treasure to the most deserving person who will receive it in my will, as it will function long after I’m gone! From croissants to naan, cornmealmolasses rolls to egg-rich challah, friendship bread starter to sourdough starter—bread is part of the fabric of human life. It has been used as a welcome gift, a peace offering, a tummy-filler in times of want, sacramental wafers, and daily school lunch fare. There is rarely a meal or occasion that doesn’t call for the satisfying comfort of bread. My favorite recipes include a nononsense white or wheat sandwich loaf; a rolled bread filled with cooked Italian sausage/broccoli rabe; a quick batter bread (no-knead) fragrant with onions and dill to serve with soup. Spread with cream cheese or fresh ricotta, sweet breads flavored with citrus, or cinnamon and nuts, or with a crisp sugary glaze—not frosting—will get me out of bed early

any morning! (I’ll be back in a minute, I have to put some bread on to rise. Aren’t you hungry?) There are some great bread baking shortcuts, too. Before every household had a microwave oven in the kitchen, a slam-dunk star of a recipe came from a magazine ad for Fleischman’s yeast… English Muffin Bread, risen and baked in the microwave! More nooks and crannies than any Thomas’ muffin, to be sure. Facebook had a posting for Two-Ingredient Bread, and you can find on the internet the variations of the Weight Watchers Two-Ingredient Dough recipe: just self-rising flour and Greek yogurt, turned into bagels, pizza crust, cinnamon rolls and garlic knots. Creative baking in terra cotta flower pots, mason jars, paper bags, coffee cans or cardboard loaf pans allows for pretty packaging for school or church bake sales! See my best basic recipe for buttery scones and let your imagination roam to concoct new flavor combinations, either savory or sweet. A Starbucks scone will never again cross your lips, trust me! And, since it is full rainy winter, I have to share a luscious, citrusy breakfast bread with you. From a friend’s recipe box years ago, the tangerine loaf below is the epitome of easy—quick enough for this morning’s breakfast, for a hostess gift, or to nurse a cold with a cup of tea. The mixing process is just two steps, and the oven does the rest of the work! Feel free to substitute out the coconut for toasted almond slivers—or mini chocolate chips--or both! Happy Baking… 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.


buttermilk, and stir with a large wooden spoon just until dough forms a ball. Dump out onto floured board.


Knead dough 8-10 times, just to hold the ball together. Pat out into large round, about 1” thick. Brush top of dough with a bit of buttermilk, and sprinkle with raw sugar, if desired. Cut the round into 12 equal triangles and place them on greased baking sheet. (Can be frozen at this point, and bagged in ziplocks when solid. While still frozen, bake as directed, adding a few minutes to total time). Bake 18-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Basic Butter Scones 3 C all-purpose flour 1/3 C sugar 1 T baking powder ½ t baking soda ¾ C cold butter 1 C buttermilk 2 T raw sugar Preheat oven to 400* Place all dry ingredients and cubed butter into the processor bowl. Lock on lid, and pulse mixture until it looks like very coarse meal with a few pea-sized bits of butter visible. Pour mixture into a bowl, add

Sweet Variations

Add one or more of the following to the dry ingredients: 2 t grated citrus zest, ½ t freshly grated nutmeg, ¾ C rehydrated dried fruit (currants, golden raisins, dried cranberries, snipped apricots, dried blueberries, dried pears) 1 t cinnamon. Continue as directed.

Savory Variations

Reduce sugar from 1/3 C to 2 T. Add one or more of the following to the dry ingredients: 1 T dehydrated onion flakes, 1 t dry dill weed, 1 C shredded cheese of choice, ½ C thinly sliced green onions, ½ crumbled crisp bacon, 1 T freshly chopped rosemary. Continue as directed, patting out the round. Brush with beaten egg, and omit sugar. Instead, sprinkle with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, shredded parmesan or pecorino cheese.   23


Tangerine Loaf By Cindy Della Monica, Cheesemonger and Owner, Cheese Central

Love to spread these slices with cream cheese, or freshly made ricotta.

In large bowl, combine and set aside:

In blender container, blend until smooth:

2 C flour 1 C sugar 1 T baking powder 1 t salt 1 C coconut

2 “cutie� tangerines, halved (rinds, meat and juice) 1/2 C milk 1/4 C vegetable oil 1 egg 1 t vanilla

Combine with a spatula the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Pour into greased 9x5 loaf pan. Bake 325* for 60 minutes. Cool completely. 24. - winter 2019




Jessica WHO ARE YOU?

I’m Jessica. I was born and raised in San Jose and grew up in a very loving and tightly knit family. I spend most of my time with them, but if I’m not, I’m usually found reading or exploring new areas. I’m also on a mission to try all the Oreo flavors in the world. (Big dreams, I know) My name is John-Lloyd Santamarina, but I go by JL. I was born and raised in the Philippines and moved here when I was 17. Initially, I lived

26. - winter 2019

John-Lloyd Photographed by

Scott and Dana Halvorson

in San Luis Obispo… then San Francisco, and moved to Sacramento almost four years ago to start medical school at UC Davis. I am now in my last year and currently in the process of applying to residency programs for Emergency Medicine.

Medicine and Jessica have pretty much taken a majority of my time and interest. But on the other hand, I am a complete dork who loves comic books, Marvel and DC movies, video

games and Disney. To hold true to the emergency medicine stereotype, I also enjoy running, hiking, rock climbing and most recently, Jessica got me into taking spin classes.

How did you meet?

We were introduced by JL's cousin, Rachel, back when we were still going to college at San Francisco State University. He was moving to the city, and heard Rachel's friends were looking for a housemate, so he hopped on that



Love is feeling

safe and excited simultaneously. It’s taking care of each other’s needs when we need help, and even when we don’t.   27




I love stubbornness. I love it in the way that she’s the only one that can get me frustrated, but at the same time have me smiling. opportunity. We lived together for a year, and we instantly became best friends. It wasn’t until we lived apart that we realized we wanted to be more than just best friends.

The Proposal?

It was on the eve of our 6th year anniversary, and we were living in San Luis Obispo at the time. We decided to celebrate by having a little “stay-cation” at a nearby resort. Little did Jessica know that I had other plans. (Although she did almost catch me planning the proposal, twice!) She is big on family, so I knew I had to get them involved. I ended up booking them a place to stay in the same hotel. While we were out for dinner, her family and my cousins (Rachel included) decorated our room with balloons, candles, and pictures of our years together, leading towards the balcony. When we got back, Jessica didn’t realize at first that this was a proposal and thought this was just another anniversary surprise. But she followed along the trail, and when she reached the balcony, there was a big box of balloons that I had her open. Our family was waiting on the garden outside the balcony, shrouded in the dark, but somewhat visible with glow sticks. As she opened the box, I started to kneel… and when she turned around, I popped the biggest question I had ever asked in my life.

What is love?

Jessica: Love is feeling safe and excited simultaneously. It’s taking care of each other’s needs when we need help, and even when we don’t. Love is letting the other person be themselves without judgment and finding ways to support and foster their dreams, ideas, and ambitions.

28. - winter 2019

What is love?

JL: Love to me is the feeling of completeness. There’s this unexplainable feeling in your heart that something is missing, and you don’t realize it until you fill it with the person you love. Then, you realize you don’t know how you could’ve made it this far without that person.

What do you love most about him?

It’s impossible to answer this in just a few words! Here’s a snippet. I love that I can tell JL all my thoughts and ideas. He usually tells me they’re wild, outrageous, and seemingly impossible and somehow makes them happen anyway.

More importantly, I love his compassion and respect, not just for me, but for everyone he comes across. He’s never too prideful to ask for help or take turns with me, even when he’s better at a specific activity. He is very generous, kind, patient, and selfless and my world is a better place because of him.

What do you love most about her?

I love her stubbornness. I love it in the way that she’s the only one that can get me frustrated, but at the same time have me smiling and wanting nothing else to do but to hold her tight. It’s a bag of mixed emotions that no one else has ever handed me. Her stubbornness also shows in how she always, always, puts others before herself, especially her family and loved ones, and she has truly helped me be the same way.

When did you know you were in love?

Jessica: I was in love before I knew it, but I don’t think there was a specific moment that told

me I had fallen. It was all the little things (like handpicked flowers on his way to my apartment) combined with the big things (like the relationship he built with my family) that came together and made me realize life is so much better with him.

When did you know you were in love?

JL: I probably knew it the very first time I kissed her. Since we started living away from each other, I missed her more and more, and wanted to be with her as much as I could. Like how I defined love, there was this feeling in me that felt weird every time I was apart from her, and when I finally kissed her, I was like, “oh yeah, that’s love.” But I didn’t have the courage to actually tell her the words, “I love you” till eight months after and instead took the chicken way out by telling her “I ruff you” or drawing out “I heart U” on her hands as I held her.

Fun facts

-A lot of our family and friends expected us to get together, and Jessica’s sister even bet that we would get married soon after we first met.

-We do theme dates. We pick a theme for the date, and base our activities, meals, and even attires for that date, with the most recent one being Wizard of Oz in Seattle, aka The Emerald City. -JL did a lot of our DIY for the wedding, including the calligraphy for the wedding sign and seating chart, and the donut wall.

-We donated all our wedding flowers to a local hospice the morning after.

Honeymoon plans

We are planning to go to Italy this March. We had to push our honeymoon to a later date because soon after our wedding, JL started his interview trail for residency. We did get to go together to some of his interviews and treated them as “minimoons” and would try to eat at an Italian restaurant every time. But we are definitely looking forward to the real one.

Wedding details

We were just driving by one day, and I asked JL to turn the car around and check out this beautiful mansion in midtown, and then the Vizcaya ended up being the perfect place for us. Funny story, we based the theme of our wedding on the colors of a bag of Stumptown coffee that we thought was pretty, and our amazing vendors truly helped bring that vision and more to life. We really just wanted everyone to have a good time and be happy, and I think we were able to achieve that.

Photographer Weddings by Scott and Dana Videographer Wild 35 Venue Vizcaya Rentals Linens: La Tavola Caterer Vizcaya Desserts Cake: Freeport Bakery; Donuts: Baker's Donuts; Cheesecake Bites: Creamy's by Cayla Jordan; Macarons: Ginger Elizabeth

Wedding Coordinator Lauren Bergenholtz DJ Entourage Events SF Hair and makeup Lavender Salon and Blow Out Bar Florist Esmae Event Floral Design Bride's Dress Bhldn Rings Brilliant Earth and Manly Bands Groom's Suit Suit Supply   29

real estate}



One question that pops up constantly from both first-time and seasoned homeowners alike is “when is the best time of year to buy a home”? Potential homeowners want to know the best time of year to get the best home for the lowest price – and ideally, at a time that makes sense for their life.

May and August. Pulling a child out of school in the middle of the year can be challenging, and children might have a hard time to adjusting to a new school in the middle of the year.

It would be great if there were a simple and straightforward answer, like “the best time of year to purchase a home is between April 1 and April 7”. But unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

So, if your main concern is convenience for your family, then summer is a good time to buy – just be prepared to pay a higher price than you would at other times of year.

Let’s take a look at the factors that play into answering the question “when is the best time of year to buy a home”?


If your top priority is having a lot of houses to choose from, you’ll want to buy a house during the time of year when the most homes are on the market. That way, you’ll have your pick of multiple properties and are much more likely to find a home that has all the items on your wish list.

If you have school-aged children, you ideally want to move in between school years, so sometime between

In most areas, the highest inventory peaks in the spring, right before the end of the school year. Inventory stays high throughout the summer and then starts to fall in early autumn, with the lowest inventory happening in late autumn and winter.

The first factor to consider, when buying a home, is convenience. This is particularly important if you have a family.

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If you want a variety of homes to choose from, look to buy in the spring.

However, because so many potential homeowners have families that want to move during this time period, it drives up the prices, making the summer the most expensive time of year to buy a home.



If your main goal is to get an amazing home at a low price, the best time of year to buy is when competition is low. When there aren’t as many people looking to buy, it drives down the prices of homes, and you can purchase property at a significantly lower rate. On average, homes cost 8.45% less in January and February than they do in June, July, and August.

If you were looking at purchasing a $500,000 property, that would bring the price down $42,250 for a sale price of $457,750. That kind of price drop could save you a significant amount of money, over the course of your mortgage, and lower your monthly payments. If you’re looking to get the most house for your money, purchasing a home in the winter is definitely your best bet. The best time of year to buy a home is largely dependent on your needs and priorities. If you’re looking to buy at a time that’s most convenient for your family (and your children) buying during the summer is a great option. If you want to see as many homes as possible in order to find a property that has everything you’re looking for in a home, you’ll want to buy a home in the spring, when inventory is at its highest. And if your bottom line is you want to pay the lowest price possible, purchasing a home in the winter, when prices are significantly lower, will be the most advantageous.

Just keep in mind that finding and purchasing a home takes time. The chances of finding property during the first week of looking for a home are slim. On average, people spend 30 – 60 days looking for a home and another 14 – 60 days from contract to close. So, make sure to give yourself plenty of lead time to take advantage of the time of year that’s best for YOU to purchase. Do you have questions regarding real estate in general? Contact Justin Pinnell BRE- 02045095, M&M Real Estate at (916) 812.0576 or   31


Stephen Baker Farmers Insurance Written by Susie Franklin Roeser

Have you ever been bullied? It’s hard to imagine anything good could come from bullying, if it’s happened to you. Similarly, it probably didn’t seem possible to Stephen Baker either when he was bullied as a child, but because of his early experiences, Stephen was led to choose a career where he can help protect his clients from some of the difficulties life throws their way. Stephen was born in Atlanta, GA. As a child he moved around the United States living in just about every climate and culture the U.S. has to offer. Stephen thought he’d grow up to be a stock broker. However, when Stephen graduated from Washington State (with a degree in finance) he quickly learned Wall Street wasn’t particularly friendly to “young upand-comers” so, he took a job as an insurance claims adjuster in Bellevue, Washington. While he liked helping his clients, he was not excited about some of the negative aspects of the insurance industry or the low pay that he experienced while doing this job. From there, Stephen moved on to working in sales until his late 20’s. When Stephen was a little older, he went back to his original becoming a stock broker career goal. Consequently, after being a financial adviser at Morgan Stanley he became a stock broker. He continued working his childhood dream job for three years, until the market took a turn for the worse.

Stephen’s New Year’s resolution is to personally speak with each client, so he can help them make sure they are “correctly covered for their needs for the least expensive price.” 32. - winter 2019

At this point, Stephen made a shift to the Allstate company where he did both financial and insurance planning. As it turned out, he found this to be more enjoyable than being a stockbroker. This new insight led him to a position where he ran the financial service department for a local credit union in Washington. Eventually, Stephen came to another realization…he was getting tired of working for someone else and was ready to be his own boss. This realization motivated him to start looking through the “want ads”. He came upon a District Manager position for Farmers Insurance. He was surprised to learn that he would be able to train for the position in Washington. Then, in search of better weather, found an opening in Santa Rosa, CA. Stephen worked in Santa Rosa for eight years—until he was ready to start his own agency.



Myths & Mysteries in the World of Insurance What’s Fact? What’s Fiction? *If that other company can save me 15%, why wouldn’t I choose them?

Have you checked if the cheaper company will let you choose the auto body shop you want, if you are in a car accident? The adage: “You Get What You Pay For” is often true when it comes to insurance. Sure, you might not pay as much up front, but you may be in for some disappointments later if your policy doesn’t allow you to use the service providers you would like.

*I keep hearing about this “Accident Forgiveness” insurance deal - can I get that?

If you live in Elk Grove the answer is NO. You may not have realized this, but California is the most restrictive state in the nation when it comes to insurance policies. If you are seeing or hearing ads from national insurance companies, there is a very real chance that what they are advertising isn’t available in California. That is just one of many reasons it is so important to develop a relationship with a knowledgeable local insurance agent who understands both your specific needs—as well as how those needs can be met under California state law.

“I don’t have to worry, I already have insurance.”

Make an appointment to talk to your insurance agent so you can feel confident in the coverage you have, knowing it’s right for you at this stage in your life. In 2016, a Farmers Insurance agency in Elk Grove was put up for sale and Stephen bought it—making the goal of owning his own business, and helping clients find protection through insurance a reality. Stephen’s 2019 New Year’s resolution is to personally speak with each client (who have his name at the top of their Farmers Insurance statement), so he can help them make sure they are “correctly covered for their needs for the least expensive price.” You may not have considered this, but as your life circumstances change so should your insurance.

“Not Necessarily So…” Do you know exactly what your policy does and does not cover? Just because you have homeowners’ insurance, you probably aren’t covered if your home suffers a flood or earthquake. If you want coverage for these catastrophes, you will need to add additional policies. Again, working with a knowledgeable insurance agent is the safest way to rest assured you are fully protected.

Insurance words of wisdom from Stephen Baker: You can’t make changes on your policy after an incident - only before “Fix it NOW - you never know when something will happen.”

Even if you don’t find Stephen Baker’s name on your insurance statement, Stephen recommends you make an appointment to talk to your insurance agent so you can feel confident in the coverage you have, knowing it’s right for you at this stage in your life. Don’t have an insurance agent you can get a hold of ? Make an appointment with Stephen so he can help you get the insurance protection you need.

As Stephen reflected on his childhood experience with bullies, he remembers wishing there had been someone there who could have stood up for him and protected him in those situations. As a Farmers Insurance agent, Stephen takes his job of properly protecting his clients very seriously. “I love what I do - I won’t do anything else!” says Stephen emphatically.   33



Creating a Home vs. By Zina Sheya Designs

Recently, while visiting with a friend about the design process and all that goes into it, I was reminded the true value of design is when a home is created instead of a house. With that being said, I wanted to start 2019 with this article in hopes to inspire you and to share my personal view of the difference. 34. - winter 2019

There is an old saying, “ A house is built of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.” Simple, right? Unfortunately, I believe this concept gets lost at times. The culture that surrounds us teaches us to desire things that are faster, bigger, better, and more cutting edge. We try to create the perfect house that we see in magazines. That picture-perfect house isn’t a truthful representation of life or a home. Life is not perfect, it can get messy, it changes, it evolves. What if we took a step back and we think about the design process. Creating a home which truly reflected us. What would that look like? As a designer, when I’m starting the design process with my clients, I prefer taking my time on the creation phase. That way I can get to know my clients better, and it also gives us time to enjoy the creative journey. This relationship sets the foundation of the whole design process. I can freely incorporate designs that speak directly to the owners. Making their house into a home, filled with depth rather than things. Life is for living, we spend a great deal of our life in our home. We each have a unique lifestyle, so it only makes sense your home should represent you...not your neighbor or a magazine. Let's start with focusing on a few simple steps, that I personally use and feel are important when creating a home.



A home is created when the space between the walls speaks your lifestyle, touches your senses, and surrounds you with the warmth of a blanket.

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What does your life look like? Ask yourself what is important in your daily life? What fuels you? It could be prayer, meditation, sports, swimming, gathering with friends, cooking, or movies. Identify these things and carve out the needed space allocations, by importance, within the home.


What environment fuels your soul? By environment, I am not saying to purchase a house by the river (if that is what brings you peace). Of course, if you are lucky enough to afford that... by all means do it. Realistically speaking, that may not be in the cards. Rather, what I would recommend is allowing yourself to recognize the elements of those environments that inspire you and incorporate some of those elements into your home. For example; if you love rivers with the sound of water flowing over the pebbles, by all means incorporate that into your home. Try incorporating pebble tiles by flowing them in and through the shower floor. Place an exterior fountain outside a window. Add an exterior stream in the yard. All of these will bring in the elements that are important to your mental peace.


Find your senses- What do I mean by this? Get in touch with your visual and tactile senses. We first feel through our eyes, how the space is viewed by you is important. Designers are educated to find balance, in home design, by weight, sizes, patterns, and color. Honestly, sometimes after applying all

of these, the client can still walk into a room and just know it doesn’t feel right... and that is okay. When working with a designer, don’t be afraid to speak up. It’s your home and it's important to take notice of what appeals to your uniqueness and what does not. Design is similar to dating, we are all attracted to different people, and we are all attracted to different design styles. It makes sense that for one person a wall collage, with a mixture of color and black and white photography is perfect, but for another the mixture is overwhelming. One person might be invigorated with the color red the other feels overpowered by it. The same goes for the sense of touch. After selecting fabrics and soft goods for your home, run your hands over it. Touch the leather, tile, hammered metal, wool, or cotton. Each holds its own sensation, and after feeling the differences you will know which one is meant to be in your home.

A home is created when the space between the walls speaks your lifestyle, touches your senses, and surrounds you with the warmth of a blanket. It is our shelter and retreat. Fashion with care its creation. Stop trying to create the picture-perfect home, because the road and plan to create that home will often change along the way.   37


SARAH HUMLIE A Voice for Elk Grove’s Four-Legged Friends By Julie Laudon

Sarah Humlie, Elk Grove’s new Animal Services Manager, is an animal lover in every sense of the word. She’s had a passion for animal care since she was a young child, and she’s made a career of out of rescuing animals from a variety of bad situations. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Sarah was part of an emergency sheltering effort in Houston, Texas. She cared for over 200 dogs and 300 cats, trained volunteers, and helped the shelter transition from temporary to permanent facilities. During the recent Camp Fires, Sarah joined officers to provide reinforcements in Oroville to help a shelter caring for large animals like horses and sheep. Sarah is passionate about helping people and pets that have fallen on hard times. This mindset falls perfectly in line with her approach to service in Elk Grove. “When there’s a need, I want people to know that Elk Grove will be a good neighbor and help,” said Sarah.

Despite the tragedy she’s seen, she is grateful when she can help generate a positive outcome for pets and their families during a disaster.

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“It’s always so rewarding when we can reunite pets with their families after a disaster. They’ve already lost so much; they shouldn’t have to lose a pet, who is a member of their family, too.” Picking up and moving on is a skill Sarah knows pretty well, coming from a military family. Her family moved around a lot during her childhood. She attended high school in Atlanta, Georgia and went to college at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After completing her education, Sarah began a corporate career. She continued to move around the country for work. It wasn’t until she moved to Seattle, Washington that she discovered her affinity for animal shelters. As a self-described “lifetime animal lover,” her family encouraged her to become a vet, but this wasn’t a career path that she wanted to take. However, when an opportunity to care

for animals in a way that was so much more than medical came up, Sarah jumped at the chance.

Over the past six years, Sarah has held animal sheltering positions all over the country. She was the Executive Director of the Pensacola Humane Society in Pensacola, Florida, and a participant in Maddie’s Executive Leader Fellowship Program. This intensive professional program provided Sarah the opportunity to spend a year at the Charleston Animal Society in Charleston, South Carolina strengthening her sheltering management skills. Sarah’s experiences elsewhere have inspired her approach to the operation of Elk Grove’s new animal shelter, scheduled to open this summer. The Elk Grove Animal Shelter will be a 21,850-square foot facility which will include adoption kennels for 66 dogs and 56 cats, as well as a third adoption kennel for other small animals. The shelter



“We need to pay attention,” says Sarah.” To treat animals as individuals and make sure we give them everything they need to be happy and healthy while they are in our shelter, and ultimately, we need to find them a good home in our community.” will offer some veterinary services such as vaccines, microchips, and spay and neuter services. The shelter will also have what’s called a TNR program, where unadoptable feral cats will be humanely captured, spayed or neutered, and released back into the wild.

“TNR is the most humane approach we know for creating live outcomes for cats who may not have a temperament for adoption. If the cat looks healthy, we’ll vaccinate it and ensure it can’t reproduce, but then we’ll return it to the place where it knows how to find food and shelter. It’s a win for the cat, a win for the community, and a win for the shelter.”

Sarah wants to ensure that the shelter is a resource for the community and anyone that would like to add a shelter pet to their family.

“My job is to make sure the shelter opens on time and runs smoothly and that we give the proper care to each and every animal that might enter our facility.”

As Elk Grove’s very first animal shelter manager, Sarah is in charge of creating all of the processes and policies from the ground up. Her sheltering philosophy is all about providing exceptional animal care. Sarah believes that the success of the shelter will require a community effort. It will take the involvement of Elk Grove residents as fosters, donors, pet parents and more to

When it opens, the animal shelter will take all animals within the city limits of Elk Grove, a service that’s currently provided under a contract with Sacramento County. This new facility will ease some of the burden on Sacramento County shelters and provide a safe place for Elk Grove’s lost and stray animals to be found and adopted.

“I can’t imagine my life without my three shelter pets. I want our shelter to be able to provide those experiences to the community here,” says Sarah.

ensure that homeless pets can find loving homes in our community.

One resident who got involved early was June LaVine. June created the Friends of the Elk Grove Animal Shelter, a non-profit organization supporting the dream of a shelter in Elk Grove. June was one of a number of dedicated local advocates who lobbied the City Council for a shelter. The Friends organization she started is now working with Sarah and the Animal Services team to ensure that the shelter has “creature comforts” when it opens by planning events and raising funds for supplies and accessories for the animals. You can find out more about their efforts through their website,   39



“We need to pay attention,” says Sarah.” To treat animals as individuals and make sure we give them everything they need to be happy and healthy while they are in our shelter, and ultimately, we need to find them a good home in our community.” It’s a rare thing when your work and your passion align to create a better world, but for Sarah, that’s exactly what has happened. Her passion for rescuing animals from natural disasters, disease and homelessness, as well as her care-centered sheltering philosophy will be a huge asset to the Elk Grove Animal Shelter and ensure that Elk Grove’s legacy as a community that cares continues to grow.

Have You Heard about Elk Grove’s Pet Food Pantry?

Animal Services welcomes dog and cat food donations, dry or canned, year-round as part of their Pet Food Pantry. Food distribution events are held on the second Wednesday of each month between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to provide free food and micro-chipping service to those in need with a valid photo ID and proof of spay/neuter and a pet license. Donations can be dropped off at 8400 Laguna Palms Way, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. For more information, visit

Taxpayers with Tax Reform Questions A tax services agency tackles frequently asked questions about how and when the new legislation could affect clients. The most extensive update to the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years was signed by President Trump, and made major changes to the tax code for individuals and businesses. We want taxpayers to understand how this might impact them by answering some commonly asked questions.

To help understand these changes, Jim Hooker of Jackson Hewitt Tax Pros compiled common questions and answers from taxpayers and what they should consider in preparation for tax year 2019: “We’ve had clients calling to ask how the new legislation will impact their taxes,” said Jim, “and we’re here to help them navigate any questions they may have. Clients will notice most changes on their 2018 tax returns, which aren’t due until April 2019.”

How does it impact my personal income tax?

The new bill keeps the seven different tax brackets, but does reduce most of the brackets: 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37% (current rates are 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6%). Many of the lower tax brackets are widened, allowing for lower taxes at all income levels. Small business owners who are sole proprietors or whose business income is taxed on their individual return will get a break due to the new, lower business tax rate of 21%.

Updates made to deductions?

The standard deduction increases substantially. Itemized deductions are still available, but only the following, and there are new limits or thresholds: lMortgage

interest paid on an original loan for up to $750,000 lState

and local income, property, or sales tax up to a total of $10,000 lThe

medical expenses floor, or amount subtracted from the total expenses before deduction, has been reduced to 7.5% of adjusted gross income (AGI) for all taxpayers


contributions – the new limit is 60% of AGI. Any charitable contributions over this amount must be carried forward and added to the next year lCasualty

losses – but only for Federally Declared Disaster Areas. Theft losses are no longer allowed. How does the new bill affect the Child Tax Credit?

The Child Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit are larger. The total Child Tax Credit for each qualifying child under age 17 is now $2,000 per child. In addition, up to $1,400 of the credit for each child is refundable. The credit is available for incomes up to $400,000 if filing a joint return and $200,000 for all others. This can mean a more substantial refund for hardworking low-income taxpayers and more deductions for middle-income taxpayers. Taxpayers may also claim $500 per dependent for dependents who aren’t their children.

If I don’t have health insurance, will I still be penalized?

The penalty for not having health insurance remains in place for the 2017 and 2018 tax years. The penalty has been repealed beginning January 1, 2019.

Have personal exemptions been eliminated?

Under the new tax laws there are no personal or dependent exemptions.

What about the alternative minimum tax rate (AMT)?

The AMT is still here, but with a higher exemption of $109,400 if you are Married

Filing Jointly (up from $84,500), $70,300 for Head of Household (up from $54,300), and $54,700 if you are Married Filing Separately (up from $42,250). The exemption phase-out threshold is increased to $1M for MFJ taxpayers and $500,000 for all others.

How are pass-through provisions affected?

Basically, deduct 20% of business income as deduction, and the remainder is taxed at new rates. There is some other great stuff for “immediate expensing” of business assets, and small businesses are a big winner! To keep the cost of the bill within Senate budget rules, all of the changes affecting individuals will expire after 2025. At that time, if no future Congress acts to extend the changes, the individual tax provisions would sunset, and the tax law would revert to its current state.

What are the lesser-known impacts of the legislation? lS corporations will be required to report all profits as salary, and they have to pay FICA and Medicare tax on the profits, regardless of whether they distribute those profits. lThere

are no more business expense deductions. If you have been a remote employee who deducted a home office, travel, or other items, you’ve lost a large deduction. lCasualty

losses are no longer allowed unless the loss is from a federally declared disaster area. lLosses

associated with theft are not allowed at all.   43


Andrea Shipley

An Investment to the Betterment of the Community

Andrea Shipley, of Elk Grove, was named United Way’s California Capital Region’s Women United Member of the Year for 2018. Shipley was one of four United Way donors and volunteers honored by the local nonprofit for their commitment to United Way’s Square One Project. The Square One Project is a project that ensures local students graduate from high school prepared for success in college and beyond.

Shipley, a section manager for UPS, has been an advocate for foster youth as a Women United member since 2006. She joined United Way’s board of directors last year. She also joined United Way’s Collective Impact Council, Women United Leadership Council, and Resource Development Committee.


make an impact to United Way’s Square One Project. This project is in direct alignment of what needs to happen for our youth to be successful in life and to prepare them for the future. I have found through my own childhood that staying in school, staying on track, setting high expectations, and having the support of the community really has made a difference in my life and where I am today.

My family was very supportive of everything that I was involved in growing up. I came from a hardworking family that always found a way to give back to the community. My parents volunteered at the school, contributed to fundraising for sports teams we were involved, President of the PTSA, and active in our local church. They were sometimes so busy that I wondered why they worked so hard to help others. As I got older, I realized and appreciated their involvement to help the community as they were utilizing their time and talent to not only show me the way to lead a productive life, but at the same time see the impact their work had on others in the community. This provided me the foundation to

In my senior year of high school, my guidance counselor pulled me out of class to have a chat with me in the hallway. She asked me what I was going to do after graduation. I told her my plans and she listened intently. Although I had a good plan, she was convinced that I could achieve more. She saw the potential I had and what I had achieved during my high school career in the classroom, sports, and clubs. Therefore, she felt that I should set a higher bar. She encouraged me to attend a four-year college. This was something that no one in my family has ever done. This was the turning point in my life towards higher education. I was fortunate to win several scholar athlete scholarships and was able to make it through college by working and I earned a double major. Having this strong support system has had a positive impact in my life. I still keep in touch with my counselor to this day.

How did your childhood prepare you to contribute to United Way’s Square One Project?

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What drove you to pick United Way as your outlet to help the community?

My family and I have been a supporter of United Way for over 25 years because of the impact they have on the community. United Way can identify the greatest need in the community and focus their impact on that area. Education is an integral part of success for youth to break the cycle of poverty. United Way identifies measurable results that allow donors to see positive outcomes, and it makes you feel good to see the positive results that are coming from the time and resources that you are investing. It really is an investment to the betterment of the community.

Are you passing your passion for community to your children?

Yes. My husband and I have both been involved with our children’s activities growing up. My husband served as Den Leader and Scoutmaster in Boy Scouts and Venture Scouts, President of PTA, and is currently in the Lions Club. For myself, I have been a Girl Scout Leader, tutoring first graders for the past five years, and a member of SWE (Society of Women Engineers). We both are certified campers and went on numerous camping trips, sporting events, music events, and community service projects (not only for



our kids) but for those in the scouting community both at the local and district level. Our children are learning through our actions and seeing how to lead by leading their own youth patrols, sporting teams, band, and organizations they are involved in. I am proud to say they are continuing the legacy to volunteer in their local communities.

How do you and your family contribute to the community?

See above. My Grandmother and Grandfather also played a critical role in who I am today. Providing me with resources and teaching me many life skills. I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to live with them as I was growing up in our multi-generational home.

What is your favorite thing about United Way’s Square One Project?

Education is a big piece of the program. Being able to read at a 3rdgrade level is a high priority because it is the foundation for children to have the confidence and success to progress and graduate from high school prepared for career and beyond. Students are four times more likely to graduate from high school if they can read at grade level. We are fortunate to have the partnership that we do with the Experience Corp tutors to provide the resources to this piece of the Square One Project. Education will enable our youth to make better choices and to help end poverty and break the cycle.

Tell us a little about Women United; and why you are passionate about this branch of United Way.

Women United is a dynamic group of women that focuses on our local foster youth. Our mission is to prepare them for emancipation from the Foster Program with a skillset to be successful in career and beyond. I am passionate about this group because it is helping youth prepare for the real world and having an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s future in a positive way. Some of these kids did not have a choice of being in the foster system, however, they do have the choice of making decisions that will impact their future. We teach local foster youth life skills workshops so that they can have a successful job interview, know how to care for and maintain a vehicle, how to create a budget, how to get medical services, etc. They are able to create a plan for their future with the use of the Individual Development Account (IDA) that they earn through attending classes.

What events are you looking forward to participating in 2019?

I am excited about our upcoming annual Women United Luncheon which is our major event that benefits our local foster youth. It is an exciting and fun time for women to get together, network, enjoy various guest speakers, and take part in a delicious meal. So mark your calendars for Thursday, March 21st at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. Tickets can be purchased online at I am also looking forward to hosting another life skills workshop, and our upcoming foster youth summit this spring.

How can people get involved?

To get involved with your local United Way go to www.yourlocalunitedway. org There are numerous volunteer opportunities that are coming up. You can participate through the many events hosted by our Women United action group and Young Leaders Society action groups both supporting the United Way Square One Project. For nearly 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has brought local people together to make community change happen. Today, the nonprofit is bringing people together across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties for its Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of students in our region who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. United Way believes ending generational poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones and their families receive support and resources. To learn more and to make a donation visit:   45


What I’ve Learned About

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

The definition of a bucket list is truly straight forward and uncomplicated… a list of things that someone has not done but wants to do before they die. It’s a cliché that appeared in the early 2000 and gained momentum until everyone started talking about “their bucket list”. It bothered me when I taught at a college and my students talked about their bucket lists. You know, world changing things like, “I’m going to get my whole body tattooed.” Their lists always seemed so narcistic and were always prefixed by “I”. “I am going to do the most epic thing.” “I am going to the finest place.” “I will make my life impressive.” However, judging by their Facebook and Instagram posts what they really wanted to do was out-brag and outdo their friends and family. Now, I’m teaching 3rd grade and I hear some of my precocious students say those two dreaded words—bucket list. I look into their earnest little faces and it truly breaks my heart. For one thing, they are way…way…way too young to be talking about things they want to do before they die. Secondly, I want my students to look at the “big picture”. The big picture of other people and the

46. . winter winter 2019 2019 46

world we live in. Doing things that will be extremely rewarding and change those around us. Not a fleeting buzz or an achievement that is self-centered and egocentric.

I strive to fervently teach them about such people as Nicholas Winton, who was a humanitarian. His “bucket list” consisted of organizing the rescue of 669 children (keeping them from certain death), on the eve of the Second World War. He brought them to Britain, after engaging in a huge battle with the government. Next, there was Henry Dunant who was the very first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He saw the horrible aftermath of the Battle of Solferino in Italy. He created his “bucket list” in response to the cruelties he saw—by forming a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, and disaster relief…the Red Cross.

Finally, I always tell and retell my students about my hero, Martin Luther King Jr., who is best known for his nonviolent campaign against racism. His vision of society was as far from the “bucket list mentality” as the east is to the west. He knew that fame was not important; instead, he inspired millions by advancing the civil rights of all people by using nonviolent civil disobedience.

I believe the following words that Martin Luther King Jr. spoke ring true, regarding bucket lists. "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

education}   47   47

Reviews brought to you by the

art} BOOKS

Whiskey When We’re Dry

By: John Larison Book Reviews by BRENDLE WELLS Recommending westerns can be tricky. There are preconceived notions and stereotypes galore about the books and the readers. Nonetheless, when I think of great American novels, several westerns come to mind--Lonesome Dove and True Grit to name two. In recent years, the genre has seen something of a resurgence with titles like The Sisters Brothers shortlisted for the Booker Prize and made into a feature film. Whiskey When We’re Dry is part of that revival and it holds plenty of appeal for all sorts of readers. It features Jessilyn, a teen who is left alone on her family homestead after the death of her father. She is strong, having had to do much of the work during her father’s lengthy illness, but as a single woman she has few options, a reality she finds terribly unfair. She takes what she feels is the best option of the bunch, dressing as a man and going after her brother, who is now a notorious outlaw. She supports herself doing sharpshooting along the way. The writing is atmospheric and engaging; the characters and story compelling. There is action (nothing too bloody) but also plenty to think about, such as themes of survival, sacrifice, courage, inequality, justice, and identity. At the heart, though, underneath the horses, outlaws and gun fighting, it is really about family, something we can all relate to. Viking, 2018

The Proposal

By: Jasmine Guillory Speaking of stereotypes, the ones surrounding romances are way out of date. To see what is happening in the genre today, check out The Proposal, the second novel from Jasmine Guillory. Starting with a cringeworthy public proposal and ending with a well-deserved happily ever after, it is an absolute delight. When Nikole Patterson finds herself on the Jumbotron at Dodger stadium declining a surprise and most unwelcome proposal from her (she thought) casual boyfriend, she needs an escape route fast from the judgmental crowd. Enter Carlos Ibarra, who comes to her rescue and soon becomes a friend. Not long after that, they’re more than friends—but they’re also in serious denial. Both claim they are only looking to have fun, to keep things casual. Neither one believes love is something for them, they’re focused on their careers, and so on. In actuality, of course, they couldn’t be more wrong. Watching both characters come to the realization of love is a wonderful roller coaster ride of romantic comedy joy. Featuring fun, food, family, a diverse cast of characters, self-defense classes, and cupcakes, this is a wildly entertaining, surprisingly empowering, and completely heartwarming read. As soon as you finish, be sure to check out Guillory’s first novel, The Wedding Date, to get the scoop on Drew and Alexa who make a guest appearance in this book. Jove Books, 2018

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art} BOOKS


Author/Illustrator: Laura Vaccaro Seeger Children's Book Reviews By JUSTIN AZEVEDO In this companion to her award-winning picture book Green, Seeger now explores all of the different shades of blue through the perspective of a young boy growing up with a golden retriever puppy. The story opens with the “baby blue” of the blanket they share during naptime, moving on to a panoply of hues that play a part in each of their adventures, such as the “berry blue” of the freshly picked blueberries in their wagon, the “ocean blue” of a day at the beach, and the “stormy blue” of a romp in the rain. A cleverly hidden die-cut on each page connects a color to the next spread, inviting a young reader to search for the hint and watch as the cutout shape seamlessly blends back into the acrylic paint artwork on the next page. The colors take on the hint of metaphor as both the boy and the dog age over the course of the book, and there unavoidably comes the time to say goodbye (“so blue”), but the baby blue blanket makes a bittersweet return in an ultimately joyful ending. This book does a lot with only two words per spread and impressionistic, canvas-based artwork; it teaches and celebrates the color blue, but it also begins a potentially deep discussion about loss and grief, and provides points of interest to captivate through multiple readings. Recommended for ages 4-8. Roaring Brook Press, 2018


By: Marie Lu The conclusion to the duology began by Warcross sheds some of the game-focused action and increasingly bleeds into the real world of Lu’s near-future Tokyo. Picking up directly where the first book leaves off, Emika Chen is alone. She has been betrayed by wealthy inventor Hideo Tanaka despite their mutual attraction, kicked off her professional Warcross team despite her popularity among its fans, and is one of the few people left not yet affected by the mind-controlling pacification algorithm unleashed on the world by the game. An attempt on her life drives her to Zero, her nemesis from the first book, and the Blackcoats, a dangerous group of hackers and mercenaries. As she is drawn into a plot to wrest control of the algorithm from Hideo, she secretly probes the mystery of what really happened to Hideo’s missing baby brother (the inspiration for his world-shaking inventions), and relies on the friendship of her old Warcross teammates and her innate sense of right and wrong to navigate a tangle of shifting loyalties and moral ambiguities. This taut young-adult thriller connects perfectly with the first book, providing satisfying payoffs for existing fans and an intricately designed framework that new readers will find easy to follow. While the story asks big questions about artificial intelligence, biotechnology, individual will, and the morality of sacrificing the few for the many, it does so in a legitimately readable adventure for teens that provides no shortage of action and no little amount of romance. A pitch-perfect sequel, recommended for ages 13 and up. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2018

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


Adventure State of Mind venturing out By Heidi Hartunian & Justin Ringor

We’re continuing our adventure article, from last issue, with travel bloggers Heidi and Justin of Adventure State of Mind. This time we’re asking them about their top three stops in California—and what they do to prepare. We’ll tag along with them as they visit a Human Nest on the coast of California to a tree house in South Carolina (only accessible by a 10-mile boat ride). How do they find these unique glamping vacation spots? Let’s find out! The Desert Experience tipi near Pioneertown CA

How do you decide locations and start your planning process? How far ahead do you plan? The planning process is similar to a writer spit balling ideas for a paper. We usually have a basic framework where we have determined time off, and factor in what season we are currently experiencing. Generally, we decide between city or wilderness. If we are looking to visit a city, we focus on what the city offers in terms of history, culture, music, food and drink. Then once we confirm all of that, we usually check the accommodation options, and try to find the most unique place to stay that won’t break the bank. Justin will scour the internet for promo codes or deals to make sure we aren’t overpaying for a place to stay. If you ask Justin, he’ll tell you planning a long weekend in a city is easy! The planning process for an outdoor adventure is similar (in the sense that location is dictated by season). We spend winters in the desert, spring/summer in

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the mountains. When we determine the exact area we will be going, we look at the campgrounds or unique accommodations available in the area. When it comes to the campgrounds in California, it is imperative to book six months in advance if possible. Even for moderately popular campgrounds, booking six months in advance allows you the opportunity to pick among the best sites. Sure, you may be able to snag a site at the last minute, but you don’t have to be downwind from the outhouse if you plan better. If there is a “glamping” option in the area, like a tipi, airstream, or treehouse, likely by the time we discover it, it is already booked solid. We then try to calendar it in for the next year. Some of these can be booked six months (to a year) in advance, and have flexible cancellations; so, we try to grab these as soon as their booking calendars open. Once we’ve decided where we are going, (and for how long) whether it is a city or an outdoor destination,

we then have fun putting together the itinerary. Justin usually jots down things to do and places to go around the area we are staying… and things to see or do along the way. This is usually scribbled on a piece of notebook paper that he pulls from his wallet.

Give us three of the most memorable places you’ve stayed in California. Do you have a favorite in Northern California? That’s a tough one to answer, but we enjoyed The Nest at Treebones Resort in Big Sur, the Desert Experience tipi near Pioneertown CA (not far from Joshua Tree National Park), and the Hobbit house in Ramona, CA. In Northern California, we loved the Yurts at Bothe-Napa State Park near Calistoga. As we are avid tent campers, we will add a bonus category of three memorable places we’ve camped in California: Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Fowler’s



Located on the Big Sur Coast, The Human Nest is a wooden sculpture that was handbuilt by local artist Jayson Fann out of branches for Treebones Resort.

Campground near McCloud, and Robinson Creek Campground near Bridgeport. We could go on and on with memorable places, because California is so beautiful and diverse!

Tell us a little about your stay at the Human Nest at the Treebones Resort in Big Sur. Our stay at the Human Nest was nothing short of amazing! Located on the Big Sur Coast, The Human Nest is a wooden sculpture that was hand-built by local artist Jayson Fann out of branches for Treebones Resort. The structure sits on the edge of the property, perched high above Highway 1, with a priceless ocean and sunset view! While inside the nest, (which is accessed via wooden ladder) we could look out and see whales and dolphins cruising along the shore and hear sea lions barking pretty much day and night. The stars at night were also spectacular due to the remoteness of the resort and Big Sur in general. The Human Nest reservation includes an adjacent campsite to pitch a tent in case of rain, as the nest is not weatherproof. The weather was perfect for our stay, so we were able to sleep in the nest, while also getting out and enjoying all that Big Sur has to offer.

Who knew Middle Earth was here in California? This Hobbit house is tucked up in the hillside of Ramona, CA.

As for Treebones Resort, they offer an absolutely phenomenal glamping experience. Along with the Human Nest, they offer Yurts, ocean-view tent campsites, and a couple of other specialty lodgings. There is both an on-site restaurant and sushi bar, the latter being an exceptional place to enjoy some sake and watch the sunset. After spending the day exploring Big Sur, the resort also has a pool and jacuzzi for guests to enjoy. All of this is set among the tranquility and natural beauty of one of the great wonders of California. For more information on the “Human Nest” visit   53



We had been looking up unique places to stay in the region and came across a treehouse in South Carolina that required a 10-mile canoe ride on the Edisto River. It was an adventure dream fulfilled. We noticed that you recently took a trip to Georgia. Do you take different steps in your planning process for out-of-state trips? Share some highlights from your trip to Georgia. We actually spent time in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Planning for an out-of-state trip is done with the same basic structure as any other trip. But, if there are multiple destinations involved, you spend a lot of time doing extensive research on each and whittling your grand ideas down into what you can fit in. You have to make sure that you choose locations that are close enough so that you are not spending your whole vacation driving, though we do appreciate some driving because it offers the chance to see cool random roadside attractions. For this particular trip, we knew we had about nine days to travel somewhere, and we had a Southwest Airlines Companion pass at our disposal. We settled on flying to Atlanta, then renting a car to visit some of the cities in the region. We chose Savannah, as it was only three hours from Atlanta. We then noticed that Charleston, South 54. - winter 2019

Carolina was a short distance from Savannah. We added that to the trip. We had been looking up unique places to stay in the region and came across a treehouse in South Carolina that required a 10-mile canoe ride on the Edisto River. It happened to be available. Tack it on! Since we were already out there, we figured we would add Asheville, North Carolina to the trip as well. All of a sudden, we had created this nice little loop through the three states that had us beginning and ending in Atlanta. We had many highlights from the trip since we tried to maximize our visit to the region. Our time in Savannah was highlighted by walking around the Historic District, admiring the old architecture and beautiful town squares draped in Spanish Moss. The Bonaventure Cemetery outside of the district is a must to visit. In South Carolina, we felt that our canoe trip down the longest blackwater river in North America (to spend the night in a treehouse) was an adventure dream fulfilled. Fourth of July was spent observing the bright firework filled sky from a Charleston rooftop. The next day we dedicated to a Justin-

guided history walking tour, hitting every watering hole along the way. Our time in Asheville was spent exploring the city by car, foot, and a raucous purple bus with a live band playing as you ride. We highly recommend booking a tour with LaZoom tours if you are visiting Asheville. On our way out of North Carolina, we stopped at Sliding Rock, where we slid down a 60-foot waterfall together into an icy pool somewhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There will be a blog post on this, because we’ve barely scratched the surface on the highlights.

What out-of-state adventures have you had since the beginning of 2019? What did you favor the most? A trip to Las Vegas to see George Strait, which I’m only mentioning so George Strait is somehow included in this Q&A. We had our post-Christmas trip. We first drove through Utah (where we stayed in a yurt at Goblin Valley State Park) and then we visited the national parks near Moab.


Let the internet be your guide! Many unique accommodations can be found by googling random structures and amenities.


From Moab, we headed to Durango, CO to ring in the New Year. We always look forward to the change of pace and the opportunity to reflect on the year we’ve had. Also, Goblin Valley looks like Mars, and nobody we know knows where the heck it is. So, we looked forward to reporting back on that one!

Do you have any suggestions for those just starting their journey into Glamping? Let the internet be your guide! Many unique accommodations can be found by googling random structures and amenities. If you have dreamt of staying in a house reminiscent of The Hobbit, it exists. If you google “treehouse with jacuzzi and pizza oven on alpaca farm” you may actually find something somewhat close! By the way, if you find a treehouse on an alpaca farm with a hot tub, please let us know. Also, start your glamping adventure by choosing places where you feel comfortable. Read reviews. If you think the property may be too rustic for your first foray into the glamping world, bookmark it. Maybe it will be something you would like to experience down the line.

What are your glamping California travel plans for this year? We have three “glamping” rentals on the agenda thus far. The first two revolve around wine: A rental property with two vintage trailers in Paso Robles, and a vintage airstream in the middle of a vineyard in Temecula. The third, is a greenhouse in the Santa Barbara area with private beach access.

Cozy and warm in the most magical yurt in Goblin Valley, Utah. Snow falling outside and a fire lit within. One of our favorite yurts so far.

Heidi and Justin have been traveling California’s back roads for over seven years. As they jump from fabulous place to fabulous place, they also enjoy many of California’s microbreweries along the way. You can keep track of their adventures through their website or their Instagram feed _adventurestateofmind_.   55


Early California Days in Elk Grove By Elizabeth Pinkerton

This great historical event will take place in Elk Grove Regional Park at Rotary Grove on March 23 and 24, 2019. It is sponsored by the Elk Grove Historical Society and has been in its planning stages for two years. The idea started with John Hess from Stockton, who needed a fall location for a Revolutionary Encampment event. He contacted Elk Grove Historical Society President Ken Miller and discussions went back and forth with the City of Elk Grove regarding the firing of muskets. Meanwhile, John Hess’ organization moved on to another location. 56. - winter 2019

This is how Louis Silveira described what happened next: “With all the publicity surrounding the firing of the muskets, the City softened. When the Mormon Battalion came along and wanted to do some early pioneering we finally got approved for musket firing. Things have really taken off. “We thought of the name Early California Days because it covered a large range of time and because we didn’t know who would be involved. Now, everybody wants to be involved and the Cosumnes Community Services District (CCSD, who is a co-partner with the Historical Society, wants to make this event to be like the Western Festival and the Pumpkin Festival. “Ken Miller has dealt with everything from the beginning. He is somewhat overwhelmed by all the attention and participation, but he is enduring. The Mormon Battalion, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, and Steve Beck, educator for Sutter’s Fort, have all sent us photos of their previous events. Go to and scroll down the Home page. You will find more information regarding the event. “ The Elk Grove Historical Society has focused its latest exhibit at the Museum on early Elk Grove Schools, and they have gathered much information about our country schools. On their website (in addition to the schools) they have highlighted stories of the early churches of Elk Grove, local cemeteries, the Western Festival, walking tours of Elk Grove and Placerville, and much more. Look for “HISTORY TOPICS” on the Menu. So… it is truly an early California time in Elk Grove!

This is what folks need to know about the early days in Elk Grove and the Cosumnes River area. Our early California days are filled with history, and the connections to Elk Grove have always been strong. From the days of our Miwok people to the Spanish and Mexican periods, and the days of Gold, there were always connections to what is now the Elk Grove area.

Here is a trip to the past to review our Early California Days! The first people to live here were the Miwoks, and they were our first settlers. Next came the Spanish Period, along with our connections with the Russians, The Mexican Period brought us the many land grants, and the days of Gold changed everything. California became a State in 1850, and James Hall built the Elk Grove Stage Stop the same year. The history of our schools, and businesses followed. The railroad came through in 1868, and we became the City of Elk Grove in 2000.

Our Miwok People - The Cosumnes River

stretches across south Sacramento County from Rancho Murieta to Franklin. Long before James Hall placed the name of Elk Grove forever in our California history and geography books, the tule elk made their home along the river known as ko'sum by the Miwok Indians. The mighty oak trees along the Cosumnes River brought forth an ample supply of acorns each fall. These were a staple of the Miwok diet, necessary to their survival during the winter, and perhaps one



The first people to live here were the Miwoks, and they were our first settlers. Next came the Spanish Period, along with our connections with the Russians, The Mexican Period brought us the many land grants, and the days of Gold changed everything. of the reasons why the Miwoks came this far north from the Yosemite area. They may also have come here for salmon, their ko’sum, and this is how the Cosumnes River got its name. The Miwoks called the elk haka’ia, and there are early records of the tule elk that claimed the Cosumnes River region as their habitat. Because of the oak trees, salmon and elk, our first settlers were the Miwok Indians who lived all across what we now know of as Elk Grove, and from Franklin to Sloughhouse.

Spanish Period – Although the Spanish

were involved in California as early as 1542, the only record we have of them in our area was in 1807. The area north of the ko'sum waters of the Miwoks is described on an old Spanish map of 1807. Scribbled hurriedly by a recorder for the Spanish explorers, the words clearly spell out a significant piece of Elk Grove’s story. The three words on the old map are - elk abundant here. These early explorers were under the leadership of Gabriel Moraga, and they named the river they found the Rio de Cosumnes, the name we still call it today. From their hastily recorded observations of the elk, we have the first hint of the eventual name of Elk Grove – elk abundant here. The explorers abandoned their search for future missions because they decided that our area was too wet and marshy and filled with lagunas. This was probably fortunate for our Miwok people, and we need to credit them for their ability to send the explorers on their way and continue their way of living.

Russians - The Russians were involved in

the northern part of California from the mid 1700s to the mid 1800s. Thanks to Rick

Windmiller, we know that they traded with our Miwok people in the Stone Lake, West Laguna area. Items are in several museums in the Soviet Union.

Mexican Period - Mexico took

over Alta California in 1821, and we continued to be a Spanish speaking California. Sutter’s Fort was established in 1836, and it became the center for people coming to California, and ranchos and land grants expanded. Jared Dixon Sheldon had to follow Mexican cultural requirements in order to acquire the Omochumnes Land Grant (18,000 acres on the Cosumnes River – Grant Line Road, Sloughhouse) in the late 1840s. The route from Sutter’s Fort to Monterey, the Mexican capital of California, was called the Monterey Trail – today’s Franklin Boulevard.

Settlers - The 1840s brought

many people here from the eastern states, and their cultures were very diverse. Thomas and Elizabeth Rhoads came here in search of a safe place for the Mormon people. They became part of our Cosumnes River/Sloughhouse history.

GOLD - The discovery of gold brought about

many changes as seekers of riches came to the Cosumnes River from everywhere— South America, Europe, and Asia. Although most left, some stayed and became part of the foundation for what Elk Grove was to become.

p1846 - Murphy's Corral

First Step to California Statehood Just a few miles south of Elk Grove, an important event occurred that resulted in statehood for California. It happened at the corral of Martin Murphy - and it was the first overt act in the conquest of California by the Americans. The date was June 10, 1846, 154 years ago. The incident occurred four days before the Bear Flag Uprising in Sonoma, which is usually credited for California becoming a state in our history books. When   57



Mexican soldiers moved a large number of horses from San Rafael to San Jose that June, they happened to spend the night at Murphy's place on the evening of the 10th. American settlers, under the direction of Ezekial Merritt, took matters into their own hands and released the horses from the corral. This set the stage for what was to come - independence for California and eventual statehood.

1850 – Elk Grove Hotel & Stage Stop

His name was James W. Hall, and we have known for a long time that he opened his hotel/stage stop at what is now the west exit of Elk Grove Park. We have also known that it was likely that tule elk trekked through the grove of oak trees behind the hotel on their way to the Cosumnes River. We can also believe, as the story has been told, that Hall saw a rack of elk horns hung in a tree and thus decided on a name for his establishment. However, in recent weeks, Elk Grove resident Wayne Gallup has found some missing pieces to the story of James W. Hall, who must be credited with the founding of Elk Grove. There was indeed an Elk Grove in Missouri in the 1850s, even though it no longer exists, and it is there that the Hall family had lived before their trip to California. So, now we know how we received the name for our great city of Elk Grove. From our early California days, we get all these names – Miwok Park, Cosumnes River (elementary and high schools and college), Laguna Blvd and high school, Monterey trail High School, and Elk Grove. Mark the date of March 23-24 on your calendar for Early California Days in Elk Grove! Enjoy the days with history and fun for all. 58. - winter 2019


Meet the Runners

of the Elk The Kaiser Permanente Elk Grove's Running of the Elk Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and Kids Run is quickly approaching its eighth year. This event exists to encourage fitness and a healthy lifestyle (while having fun) and at the same time raising money for the Elk Grove Youth Sports Foundation youth sports scholarship fund. Two longtime Elk Grove runners… Becky Roberge and Victoria Lee, give us some insight on their Running of the Elk experience.

Q&A with Becky Roberge How long have you participated in ROTE?

I have participated in ROTE since its beginning. I have participated in both the 5k, and the relay halfmarathon over the years. There may have been a year or two that I’ve missed, but not many!

How did you hear about ROTE or get involved with ROTE?

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I first heard about ROTE through my employer Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento. This was a new race in Elk Grove (the community where I live) and KP was encouraging all employees to attend; to support our community and encourage us all to live a healthy lifestyle. A few years later there was a message on Facebook from ROTE asking for community members to

join the ROTE planning committee. I thought this was a great way for me to serve my community (for an event that I already enjoyed participating in) and for a cause that I felt was very important for our community.

What are your thoughts on Kaiser and EGYSF mission on providing scholarships for children who couldn't afford to participate otherwise?

Kaiser Permanente supports the health of the community they serve, therefore, supporting the Mission of the EGYSF is encouraging both a healthy lifestyle for our community and the families who live here. As a child, I played community sports and all my children growing up in EG were involved in sports. I believe that being part of a team teaches life lessons and helps build self-

confidence, while helping everyone to be healthy and active. EVERY child should have the opportunity to participate in organized sports regardless of their ability to pay. The support by KP South Sacramento and the EGYSF makes that possible in Elk Grove.

Who do you run the race with?

I usually run the race with family and friends, and there are always hundreds of my KP Family there running too!

I feel proud to work for an organization that supports both the physical and mental health of our youth in the community where I live and work.

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Q&A with Victoria Lee First, I just want to say I absolutely love the ROTE!

How long have you participated in ROTE?

I’ve been participating in ROTE since 2014. I’ve done the relay, 5k and 10k. Never the half... maybe one day.

How did you hear about ROTE or get involved with ROTE?

I heard about the run through my husband Cameron, and I have been a sponsor of it with our businesses Pins N Strikes for years and more recently Cali Glo here in Elk Grove. I’m so glad we are able to be

a part of it! It’s one of my favorite runs because I get to run through my home town and see so many familiar faces of fellow runners and volunteers.

What are your thoughts on Kaiser and EGYSF mission on providing scholarships for children who couldn't afford it otherwise?

I think what the EGYSF does for our communities’ children is amazing. Every child should have the opportunity to participate in sports, enjoy being part of a team, and learn from other kids and coaches; regardless if their family can

afford it or not. I believe the mission of the EGYSF in providing these scholarships are so important. The people involved in helping make it a reality are doing a wonderful service for the youth in our community.

Who do you run the race with?

I did the relay with my husband Cameron, and the 10k by myself. The last two years I’ve been running the 5k with my son Carson, it’s become our thing to run together. I’m getting him ready for the 10k next year!   65


Be Good to Your Gut By Kaiser Permanente

When it comes to keeping your body healthy, there is perhaps no less glamorous of a topic than the gut. Most people don’t think much about their gut unless they’re experiencing stomach pain or digestive distress. But Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento chief gastroenterologist Jason Guardino, DO says gut health is more important than you think. Here he answers some important questions to help keep us healthy.

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WHY SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT OUR GUT? A: Your gut is your gastrointestinal tract, or the

long tube that starts at your mouth and ends at your anus, and it affects your overall health in several important ways. You have thousands of species of bacteria in your gut that help regulate digestion and the absorption of vitamins and minerals. The bacteria also help you fight off illnesses and help with hormone regulation. And you might be surprised to learn that serotonin, which helps with mood stabilization, is largely produced in your gut.

Q: How does our gut’s nervous system affect our health?


The enteric nervous system, or ENS, is sometimes called the ‘second brain.’ It encompasses the lining of your entire gut. The ENS regulates digestion, and it’s also in regular communication with your brain. When you feel butterflies in your stomach before you make a presentation, that’s your ENS kicking in. If you want to keep your ENS happy, eat a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, and exercise regularly. Exercise also helps combat constipation. Also, find a way to reduce stress. Two of the most common stomach-related issues we see

are irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion or dyspepsia, and both are worsened by stress. Try cardiovascular exercise, strength-training, yoga, or meditation. For some people, getting an extra hour of sleep can help.

Q: What kind of diet is best? A:

It’s best to eat a range of fresh, whole foods, mainly from plant sources such as fruits, vegetables, legumes such as beans and nuts, and whole grains. We know excessive intake of red meat is a risk factor for colon cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer related death in the United States and has little or no symptoms. You’ll never hear of someone being at risk for cancer from eating too much broccoli. It’s also important to avoid processed foods. Try to cook fresh foods every day and try to stay away from anything that comes from a bag, box, or can.

Q: What about fermented foods, gluten-free diets, and digestive cleanses?


I recommend eating fermented foods in moderation. For example, there’s a lot of good bacteria in yogurt, but you don’t need to eat that several times a day or week. There’s no need to eat a gluten-free diet unless you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, and that diagnosis is uncommon. Plus, eating glutenfree can be expensive and cumbersome.

If you’re eating a healthy diet, you don’t need to cleanse your digestive system with fad pills. You should also be cautious of taking supplements because they’re not regulated, so you can’t be certain of their potency, safety, and purity.

Q: Any other tips for keeping our guts happy?

A: If you have problems with bloating or gas,

cut out the carbonated beverages. Another possible culprit is lactose or dairy intolerance. As we get older, usually around 40, we lose our ability to process lactose. Consider switching to almond, coconut, or soy milk. Constipation can also cause bloating and gas, so make sure you’re drinking enough water.

Find a way to reduce stress. Two of the most common stomachrelated issues we see are irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion or dyspepsia , and both are worsened by stress. Try cardiovascular exercise, strengthtraining, yoga, or meditation. For some people, getting an extra hour of sleep can help.   67



Q: Final thoughts?

A: I know it’s a cliché, but you really are what you eat. Your body is

regenerating cells constantly, and tomorrow’s cells will be produced by the nutrients you are eating today. Finally, you can eat well, but still overeat, so watch your portion size. It’s also important to listen, and be in tune with your body. Dr. Jason Guardino grew up in San Jose, California. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from San Jose State University, and both his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Masters in Health Education degrees from Western University in Pomona, California. Dr. Guardino completed his Internal Medicine Residency, GI Fellowship and GI Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship at The Cleveland Clinic. He joined Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center in 2008, and three years later was appointed the Chief of Gastroenterology in 2011. He currently is the Regional Director for Exceptional Care Experience in Northern California. His wife is a pediatrician and they have three children who are on various athletic teams. They love to travel. Dr. Guardino also enjoys photography and home improvement projects. Biography for Jason M. Guardino, DO, MS, FACP at 68. - winter 2019


Springtime Blossoms By Anna Osborn, LMFT, owner of Life Unscripted Counseling

My dad is a farmer. Well, technically he’s an entomologist; but my memories consist of him in muddy cowboy boots, driving a dirty white pick up truck with sunflower seed shells sprinkled on the floor of its' cab. Funny enough... he’s a farmer that doesn’t particularly like vegetables, even though he grows them for a living. However, his distaste for eating vegetables doesn’t stop his love of growing things. He always has some fruit tree that he's trying to keep alive in the backyard, or he's focused on the endless planting and replanting of cilantro in the herb garden. The one flower I remember him planting over and over again was daffodils. He would get the world's biggest size bag of daffodil bulbs and plant all of them. And I mean of ALL of them--in a big line in front of our house. There was never a ton of flowers or 70. - winter 2019

landscaping in the front yard, because I guess he had to have the dirt cleared for all those daffodils. Then, I’d see that seemingly empty lump of dirt all fall...and all winter. I would wonder why it looked so drab and never really understood what he was up to. But let me tell you, come spring it was glorious. Those daffodils would start poking up through the mud. Within weeks, that big strip of dirt was covered in as many daffodils as you can imagine; the whole front yard would look like it was lit up for Christmas. Each night, my dad would come home from work, and in the same excited voice he’d ask,“Did you see those daffodils?” He was on cloud nine, and finally we all got to enjoy what he had been creating all fall. I didn’t know it at the time, but those bulbs represented all of the thankless effort that goes into relationships before we’re able to reap the benefits of glorious blossoms. In the same way nobody notices the work that’s happening underground (when it

comes to a garden), very few of us are reminded of the diligence it takes to keep a relationship thriving until we experience a season of disconnection in love. The most challenging part is that you have to have the foresight to plant the bulbs in the first place. Waiting until the last minute to plant seeds gives you nothing but mounds of dirt. Unfortunately, we do this same thing with love. We can literally not water our relationship for weeks, months (and even years) and then look at each other with shock when we don’t recognize one another. And let me be the first to say, there are thankless moments in love. You know, when you’re showing up and trying your best and struggling to see the difference it’s making but really you’re still stressed out, stretched thin and overwhelmed? Yes, those days. Those are the hardest days because you’re struggling to see even the smallest of buds waiting to bloom.

health} So how do you survive those seasons in your relationship? Those harsh falls and long winters? First, you can’t get stuck in the weeds. If all you see are the weeds (i.e. negative) then that is all you’re going to keep finding in love. There is nothing that kills love more than criticism and judgment, and if all you’re doing is pointing out the negative then that is all you’re going to see. Yes, the weeds stink and they’re frustrating (and sometimes hard to get rid of) but if all you’re noticing are the weeds, then that is what is going to grow rapidly. You have to challenge yourself to see the positive, the good moments... and then you’ll be able to start seeing a perspective that is much more hopeful and more optimistic. Second, don’t over water, over fertilize, and prune all at the same time. It’s exhausting to do all those things at once and yet it’s how we usually try and solve a problem. When you’re struggling to find a connection in your relationship, your instinct is to throw everything at it, in an attempt to try fix it all at once. However, the overall shock to the system does not equal a net positive. In the great words of relationship researchers John and Julie Gottman, “Small things done often” is the best way to make your way out of winter. A little bit at a time will help you find your way back to each other, and I’ll give you two big reasons why. First it’s sustainable. Anything done in a rush (or all at once) doesn’t have the ability to stick. Secondly, it’s more authentic. When you make small steps back towards each other, they become moments you can trust, not moments that create skepticism and doubt because they feel manufactured.

The most challenging part is that you have to have the foresight to plant the bulbs in the first place. Waiting until the last minute to plant seeds gives you nothing but mounds of dirt. Unfortunately, we do this same thing with love. We can literally not water our relationship for weeks, months (and even years) and then look at each other with shock when we don’t recognize one another. Finally, be patient. Miracles don’t happen overnight, even when you use Miracle-Gro. You have to be able to pause, step back and see the bigger picture of what you’re creating and what you’re working towards. You lose your objectivity when you’re struggling and your perspective of your relationships is no different. If you’re struggling through the winter of your relationship, be sure and take a moment to lift your head up and breathe. Remember patience during the hard times will yield big shifts in the long run. The simple truth is that the winters can be hard on love; but oh my friends, the hope of spring is right there for the taking. Don’t suffer in silence and think that you have to fix it all on your own. Reach out for help and support and don’t be above calling a Master Gardner to help you along the way. And as you see the daffodils starting to break through the otherwise dormant earth this spring, don’t forget to remind yourself of the hard work that preceded those blooms. You know, the stuff that happened when no one was looking. Use that as your inspiration to keep at it, because my... oh my, when love start to blossom again, everyone takes notice!

Anna Osborn, LMFT, is the owner of Life Unscripted Counseling. She works with couples to improve communication, deepen intimacy and heal from betrayal. Anna was born and raised in California and lives in the Elk Grove with her husband, school aged twins and boxer dog. She is an avid sports fan and can often be found at the ballpark cheering on her local team.   71

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



72. - winter 2019


detoxification these days. Humans have been exposed to toxins since the beginning of existence; consequently we have developed elaborate mechanisms at every level in an attempt to minimize the effects of the toxins in our body. Detoxification is a built-in part of our survival mechanism. So what has changed?

health} Toxins are poisonous substances that are either produced by the body, inhaled, get absorbed through our skin, or are ingested. A toxin poisons its host only after it reaches a concentration within the host that interferes with its biochemical, physiological or other essential processes. The difference now is the vastly increased number of toxins, their level of toxicity, and the frequency of exposure combined with the nutritional and lifestyle choices that contribute to the accumulation of a larger number of toxins in higher concentrations in our bodies than ever before. Each year, over 2.5 billion pounds of pesticides, herbicides and chemicals are dumped on crop land, forests, lawns and fields.

Toxins are poisonous substances that are either produced by the body, inhaled, get absorbed through our skin, or are ingested. A toxin poisons its host only after it reaches a concentration within the host that interferes with its biochemical, physiological or other essential processes. When they build up, the health effects can be quite serious. This is why it is important to detoxify your body. Detoxification is the process through which toxic substances (environmental pollutants, medication, by-products of metabolism and more) are transformed into harmless molecules that can be safely eliminated from the body. This process is one of the major functions of the liver, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, and skin, with the liver being one of the most important organs of detoxification. Studies have shown that each individual has a different ability to break down toxins. Toxicity can affect your endocrine, immune, and neurological systems. Endocrine toxicity affects reproduction, menstruation, libido, metabolic rate, stress tolerance, and glucose regulation. Immune toxicity may be a factor in asthma, allergies, skin disorders, chronic infections, and cancer. Neurological toxicity affects mood and neurological function.

Detoxification by the liver is largely accomplished in two phases. In Phase I, enzymes change toxins into intermediate compounds. In Phase II, the intermediate compounds are neutralized through the addition of a water-soluble molecule and the body is then able to eliminate the transformed toxins through the urine or feces.


Unless you live isolated from all industrial civilization, your body would benefit from

a detoxification. Signs and symptoms of toxicity are often vague, nondescript—and may be part of other health problems, diseases or syndromes. They include lethargy, unexplained fatigue, and unusual sensitivity to drugs, foods, or environmental agents. Previous medication or treatments become less effective or ineffective, and you may experience unusual reactions to treatments or therapies. Unexplained recurring nausea, worsening hypoglycemia, lack of response to proper adrenal fatigue treatment, unresponsiveness to thyroid treatment even after adrenals are properly supported. Unexplained muscle or joint stiffness or achiness, usually worse in the morning or after resting, lack of stamina or energy, paleness of the skin or circumoral pallor, insomnia, unexplained anxiety, nervousness, light headedness, or dizziness.

Remember that toxins are stored in the adipose (fat) tissues in the body. An ideal time to complete a detoxification program would be before, during, or immediately after any weight loss venture. Released toxins from lost fat will go to the liver and other tissues for transformation and elimination. If your body is already near its toxic load for metabolizing, you may increase your risk of a debilitating disease, possibly even cancer. We strongly encourage all of our HCG patients to do a detoxification when they do our diet.


The goal is NOT to rid the body of ALL toxins. That would be impossible and unrealistic. The goal is to optimize organ function by decreasing the interference from the various toxins that inhibit organ, gland, or tissue function.

At Rejuvenation Medical Spa we have two detoxification programs available for you. One is a ten-day program, which is more aggressive, and the other is a twenty-eight day program, better suited for those who need a gentler, slower approach to detoxification. If you are interested in finding out which one would be best for you, give us a call at 916 670-7601 and set up an appointment today.   73


Today's martial arts programs are known for teaching an instilled sense of respect, confidence, discipline and self-defense skills. In a time when bullying is an ever-increasing concern, martial arts can play a vital role in battling this all too common problem. There are many known and unknown psychological and physical effects that bullying leaves on its victims. Therefore, martial arts communities, schools, and instructors strive to bring an increased awareness of bullying and its prevention. The act of bullying, or unwanted aggressive behavior among school age children, involves a real or perceived power imbalance. As a parent of young children, and a martial arts instructor working with children of varying ages and backgrounds, bullying has become a growing concern. There are three main categories of bullying. The most common and possibly the most brutal, is verbal bullying. This subset can include teasing, name-calling, inappropriate sexual comments, taunting, and the threat to cause harm. The second most common is social bullying. This includes social exclusion, spreading rumors, or purposefully embarrassing another child. The least common of the three... although the most reported type of bullying, is physical bullying. Hitting, kicking, pushing, tripping, and taking or breaking another’s belongings are some examples of physical bullying. In today’s tech saturated world cyber bullying, which includes verbal and social bullying, has become an 74. - winter 2019

How Martial Arts Can Help Prevent

BULLYING By Chris Tanaka Sher Khan Karate – Owner/Senior Instructor

epidemic. Social media, such as, Facebook and Twitter have become dangerous ground for children who suffer from bullying. Cyber Bullying is often the most ruthless because it is being put out on social media for the world to see. In addition, people will say things they normally wouldn’t. It is very easy to be fearless when sitting behind a keyboard.

to as “easy targets,” these children feel powerless to their predatory peers. Bullying in its simplest definition is a person or child exhibiting superiority or dominance over another using the tactics formerly mentioned.

As parents, it is important that we are aware of these different types of bullying. We are often made aware of physical bullying, but sometimes the verbal and social bullying are overlooked.

Becoming withdrawn Showing fear when it is time to attend school Significant decline in school performance Speaking about another child with fear Noticeable decline in child’s self-image Signs of physical altercation (bruises, scrapes or other marks)

Bullies often target children who are soft spoken, have little self-confidence, or won’t draw attention to their mistreatment. Often referred

Signs that may become apparent in children who are the victims



Bullying will continually be a problem among children. Bullying happens in all age groups; however, it is most common in middle school. Built into martial arts is the long-lasting tradition of respect and discipline therefore, it can help prevent the mindset of bullying. Martial arts will help reinforce these traditions as children grow up, while learning how to defend themselves. Although respect and discipline are at the forefront of what we teach in martial arts, there are additional aspects that martial arts have to offer.

Benefits of Martial Arts Training:

Respect l Self-discipline l Self-confidence l Physical fitness l Self-control l Self-defense l Good decision-making skills Although one might believe the self-defense aspect of martial arts is the most important characteristic to combat bullying, it is actually the selfconfidence children attain. The basic attribute of self-confidence can have varying effects in children of all ages. Simple steps include; looking someone in the eyes, good posture, and the knowledge that one can defend him/ herself. Having an outward sense of self-confidence can not only prevent an individual from being bullied, it can also give an individual the ability and courage to defend themselves in a negative situation. In addition to self-confidence; martial arts students learn humility, a sense of community/partnership, modesty and integrity. Children who regularly attend martial arts training, especially from a young age, are less likely to take the path of bullying. Not only will they have the ability and courage to stand up for themselves, they will be more likely to stand up for others who need help.

The lasting effects of bullying on children have become increasingly noticeable in recent years. Numerous news reports of children tragically committing suicide, or lashing out at others through violent behavior, have become common accounts. As a parent there are many concerns you have when raising your children and bullying is often on the list. In fact, parents are the first line of defense in battling this epidemic. An open line of communication with your children and awareness of subtle or glaring changes in your child are key factors in identifying a situation where bullying has occurred. Furthermore, consistently training in martial arts can drastically increase a child's ability to prevent being bullied and the bullying of others. Chris Tanaka - Sher Khan Karate 8932 Elk Grove Blvd. Elk Grove, CA. 916.686.6552   75


Music and the City Hit the spotlights, strike a downbeat and start the show. Give them a song, a dance, and a laugh or two.

The City of Elk Grove Arts Commission knows that everybody loves music and everybody wants a band. So, since 2013, the commission has produced professional stage performances and musical adventures for the entertainment of the people of Elk Grove. For the fifth year, the commission offers a fun-filled evening with music on the menu. This year it’s an original musical memory of when rock-n-roll was new, Elvis was king, and Wolfman Jack played every teenagers' favorite song on the radio. On March 15, the commission invites the audience to get Lost in the 50's. It began in 2012, when the commission was expanding their influence of art in the community. They had made strides in public art with paintings and sculptures in the city buildings. They decided to offer a grant to a performing artist to create a show.

76. - winter 2019

The grant was awarded to local musician Gary Mendoza who formed a company of singers and musicians that included 22 performers from ages 13 to 70 and from diverse backgrounds.

The show was called A Musical History of the Blues and told the story of blues music from its roots in the Mississippi Delta to its new home in Chicago. The first performance filled the Theater of Sheldon High School. A second staging took place in the Consumes Oaks High School Theater and filled it to capacity. Two years later, Art Americana was staged in the Old Town Plaza. All art forms were blended into a one day festival. Music ranged from country to hard rock. Changing gears, in 2017, the commission featured classical musical in a performance called For the Love of Music. The compositions of Mozart, Puccini,

Written by Nan Mahon Photos by Joe Worsley

and Massenet were featured by a clarinetist, harpist, violinist, and vocalist.

Stepping it up even more in 2018, the commission invited the public,“To come on along and listen to” The Lullaby of Broadway on the even larger stage of Sun Grove Church. The show, hosted by Peter Petty, consisted of professional singers doing renditions of hits from Broadway plays. The program ranged from light opera to rock; Jesus Christ, Superstar to the Jersey Boys.

The arts commission finds that it has hit a high note with the community, and plans to fill Elk Grove with more of the exciting productions when the new civic center is completed this year. The blending of the visual, literary, and performing arts will be a centerpiece of Elk Grove on its own platform.

community} MUSIC   77

community} HAPPENINGS

Glow-in-the-dark Family Dance Party


in Art and Music

Written by Nan Mahon

OLD HAVANA After dark, the people pour out onto the streets of Old Havana. Music and dancing is the lifeblood of this crowded, active city. History and art are part of the magic of a once beautiful and unique city now in decay.

But the charm is still there with streets bands, outdoor markets, museums and landmarks that tell visitors that the renowned author Ernest Hemmingway once drank, wrote, and fished there. The city was once a playground for the world’s rich and for American gangsters. On this beautiful island there was only a 60-75 percent literacy of the Cuban people. But, in 1956, a revolution changed all that. The Cuban people rose up, threw out the gamblers and gangsters, and took over the power of their government. Education for all became their cry. Fidel Castro, now in charge of Cuba, declared A Year of Education, saying that every Cuban who wanted to read would be taught. He vowed to abolish illiteracy in Cuba. Some 100,000 young Volunteers, age 10 to 19, left schools to join the Literacy Brigades. Under the supervision of 15,000 teachers, they took lanterns and went to live on farms around the island and teach the people. More than 707,212 people learned to read and write that year. Now that it is legal to travel openly to Cuba, look beyond the beach, the music and the laughter to the history and the battle the people waged for education. Now the visual, performing, and literary arts all have a home there. But it was not without a struggle. Today, there is a museum in Havana dedicated to the war on illiteracy. 78. - winter 2019

Friday, February 22nd from 5:30p.m. to 9p.m. at Laguna Town Hall, 3020 Renwick Ave, Elk Grove. Put on your dancing shoes! Get Mom, Dad, the grandparents, and all the kids out on the dance floor for some fun at the first ever Family Dance hosted by the Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) Parks and Recreation Department. This glow-in-the-dark party will feature a DJ playing upbeat, dance tempo songs that are family-friendly. This awesome night out will take parents zero planning time because the CSD will offer a pizza dinner, photo op and face painting. Party guests are encouraged to wear glow-in-the-dark or black light reactive clothing and accessories for extra fun. Glow-in-the-dark merchandise will be sold during the event. Space is limited, so purchase tickets in advance to secure your spot! Cost is $12 per person in advance or $15 per person at the door (if space is available). Free admission for children under two years old. Register at, 916-405-5600, or a CSD registration location: 9355 E. Stockton Blvd., suite 185 or 9014 Bruceville Road. For more information, visit

Jazz/Blues Vespers

First Sunday of every month at 4 p.m. at the Elk Grove Presbyterian Church, 8153 Elk Grove Blvd, Ste 50 Elk Grove. For more information email Nan Mahon at

Dance the night away at the Annual Ball

Saturday, February 23rd from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Laguna Town Hall, 3020 Renwick Ave, Elk Grove. Get dressed up for a fun evening of dancing! The Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) Parks and Recreation Department is once again hosting the adults-only Annual Ball. Bring a group of friends or a date and dance the night away to big band swing music and party rock ‘n’ roll tunes. Light appetizers and refreshments will be served at this semiformal affair. Cost is $12 per person in advance or $15 per person at the door. Register at, 916-405-5600, or a CSD registration location: 9355 E. Stockton Blvd., suite 185 or 9014 Bruceville Road.


Saturday, February 23rd from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the World of Wonders Science Museum 2 N. Sacramento St. Lodi. Enthusiasts of all ages and stripes will find a scratch for that nerdy itch as they geek out at the WOW! GAMING EXPO - COMIC BOOKS PINBALL MACHINES - 3D PRINTING - BOARD GAMES - VIRTUAL REALITY DEMO - SCIENCE OF SCI-FI - COSPLAY CONTEST. $2 OFF admission when you come in costume. For more information, visit or call 209.368.0969.

community} HAPPENINGS

save the date... aural and futuristic visual journey through time and space performing unique arrangements of popular music. Velvety sibling three-part harmonies.

Lost in the '50s

Friday, March 15th at 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Sun Grove Church, 2285 Longport Court, Elk Grove. Adults are $10, Kids age 12 and under are free. Appropriate for ages 10 and older.

An Evening with Mark Preston Former Member of “The Lettermen”

A musical memory of when rock n roll was new, Elvis was king, and Wolfman Jack played your favorite songs on the radio. Seating is limited purchase tickets online at

Saturday, April 13th at Various Locations. You can help protect natural resources and enhance the quality of life in the community by joining CSD and JustServe as they clean and beautify the landscape of our community parks. Hundreds of volunteers will be joining together for this Community Day of Service. Projects may include park enhancements, beautification projects, creek, and open space clean-up.

Saturday, February 23 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Hutchins Street Square CPL Theater, 125 S. Hutchins St. Lodi.

Mianity Productions brings you a vocal star of radio and stage. Mark Preston is a former member of the hit 60’s vocal group “The Lettermen”. Known for their 11 Gold records, “The Lettermen” topped the Billboard charts with songs like “The Way You Look Tonight”, and “When I Fall in Love”. His shows combine their hits and other music from Pop, to Broadway, to Country, as well as plenty of humor. Variety Magazine dubbed Mark Preston as “One of the best entertainers in show business today.” Songs, stories, and laughter. Don’t miss this! Email for more information or call 209.333.5550

Poetry Slam By the Elk Grove Arts Commission

Sunday, March 10th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Dreaming Dog Brewer, 2501 W. Taron Crt. Elk Grove. Open word and all forms of poetry welcome. Soft guitar and Bongo drums will be playing in the background, creating a relaxing atmosphere. Network and enjoy the company of other poetrylovers. This is a FREE event, but you may want to sample a special Dreaming Dog brew like the Elk Grove K9 California Lager or an English Bulldog. Sign up, space is limited. Contact Loy Holder at or Nan Mahon at for more information.

Derik Nelson & Family

Thursday, March 14th starting 7:00 p.m. at the CPL Theater, 125 S. Hutchins St. Lodi. The Lodi Community Concert Association Presents “Derik Nelson & Family”. Siblings Derik, Riana and Dalten have been performing together since childhood and garnered over 3 million views on YouTube. The innovative technical aspect of the concert takes the audience on an

JustServe Community Day of Service

This is a perfect opportunity for students to earn community service credits and for people of all ages to give back to the community. Sign up to volunteer for park projects online. Individuals, families, and service groups are welcome. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes, sturdy shoes, gloves, and insect repellent.

4th Annual Soroptimist Martinis & Merriment

Contact Parks & Recreation for more information at 916-405-5300 or visit https://www.yourcsd. com/396/JustServe-Community-Day-of-Service

Soroptimist Elk Grove invites you to our 4th Annual Martinis & Merriment event. Meet up with friends as you visit different stations to sip custom mini-martinis paired with appetizer bites. While you're sipping and eating, enjoy the live sounds of Blues Mechanix. MC Scott Edwards will keep you informed, Katsy Chappel will start the laughs, and headliner Steve Bruner will keep you laughing! Enjoy entertainment by comedians, live music, a silent auction and raffle prizes.

Family Fun Day

Friday, March 22nd from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the S.E.S. Hall, 10472 E. Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove.

Tickets are $45 per person, $50 at the Door and $320 per table of 8. Visit for more information. Profits support our Dream Programs (Live Your Dream & Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls), senior women grants, high school scholarships, community grants, leadership education and more!

Saturday, April 13th 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Old Town Plaza, 9615 Railroad Street, Elk Grove. Join the Elk Grove Youth Commission for a day of free family fun for all ages. CARNIVAL GAMES - MUSIC - FOOD TRUCKS PHOTO BOOTH - PRIZES AND MORE! For questions, contact   81

save the date community} HAPPENINGS


Saturday, April 27th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Elk Grove Regional Park, 9950 Elk Grove Florin Road, Elk Grove. Join the City of Elk Grove and the Cosumnes Community Service District (CSD) at Fitfest, a special event celebrating everything fitness. Stroll through the Fitness Festival and visit the many healthy vendors on site, enjoy all-day stage entertainment, have lunch on site with a picnic or grab something from our food vendors, and check out the free kid’s zone featuring a 200 foot zipline, climbing rock wall, mini-obstacle course, inflatable jousting, several bounce houses and more! Plus, watch athletes battle it out in the Elk Grove Gauntlet and have fun watching the little ones make their way through the Kids Warrior Challenge Obstacle course. Pre-registration is required for competitions (Kids Warrior Challenge and The Elk Grove Gauntlet). Join the Movement and come out to Fitfest! For more information visit

Elk Grove Gauntlet

Saturday, April 27th 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Elk Grove Regional Park, 9950 Elk Grove-Florin Road, Elk Grove. The City of Elk Grove has thrown down the gauntlet! Join the Elk Grove movement toward healthier living at this oneday fitness challenge and competition taking place at Fitfest inside Elk Grove Regional Park. Teams of two (male division or female division) will compete in three different competition levels to determine who's fit to take home the title. Open to men and women, Scaled (novice), Rx (Open), and Masters (40+). You must be 18 or over to participate. More specific information on the workouts will be released closer to the event. Registration includes a commemorative Gauntlet shirt. $100 per team of two (male division or female division) 82. - winter 2019

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