Ardent For Life Holiday 2018

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Ardent content featured 40. LANA YOSHIMURA 44. ANNACLARE & JIM ENTRICAN

love Story 34. KRISTYN & BRIAN




food & flavor



education 52. WHAT I’VE LEARNED CT Morris


...54 6. - Holiday 2018


contents health 18. WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? Anna Osborn 66. TIPS FOR HEALTHY AND SAFE HOLIDAYS Kaiser Permanente 70. STEM CELLS Rejuvenation Wellness 72. START WINNING WITH PHYSICAL FITNESS Christian Zamora

...48 travel 48. RAILROAD PARK RESORT Dunsmuir California

community 28. WINE & DESIGN Zina Sheya Designs 46. COMMUNITY GARDEN 62. IRIS AWARDS 78. HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE Old Town Elk Grove


56. BOOK REVIEWS Sacramento Public Library 80. DATEBOOK

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Community Corner... What are some of your favorite family holiday traditions?

Kerrie Hertel Photographer Love Stories, page 34.

Christmas was the only holiday that my parents went "All Out" for. It began with hunting in the forest for the perfect tree. Then, pictures came down from the walls and were replaced with Holiday themed artwork, 30 brightly colored metal windup toys made an appearance, nativity scenes decorated with spun glass snow donned the mantel, and tinsel was painstakingly hung strand by strand on the tree. To top it off, our dad made beautiful pine bow garlands and wreaths, and if there were any spare branches-he drilled holes in the tree to fill in any bare spots. (insert rolled eyes here!). The plaid pants also came out (no matter how tight the fit) dad wore them! Our parents had an arrangement with our good friends and neighbors to trade off ringing sleigh bells outside each other's homes, to let the kids know that Santa had arrived. A week before, we began the cookie decorating tradition, and the quintessential frosted sugar cookies were the stars of the show! We did not take this decorating job lightly. All of us considered ourselves the next fine art masters, and spent hours on each cookie, however everyone knew that the real winner had the most red hots! Probably one of our biggest traditions though, was PJ's! They were the first gift given, and chosen by our dad who typically got hives from even looking at a store, so this made them all the more special! 12. - Holiday 2018

Heidi Hartunian & Justin Ringor Travel Bloggers Adventure State of Mind-California Style, page 48.

We always take a road trip between Christmas and New Year’s, leaving on the 26th. We do our own little Christmas on that day (when we reach our destination) and we come back usually after New Year’s. It’s our time to reminisce on the past year and make new plans and goals for the year to come. Last year we adventured through Northern California's Redwood parks and stayed in a yurt in wine country. We will be staying in a yurt in Utah this year. We’re both excited to see what 2019 has in store for us.

subscribe and find us at www . ardentforlife . net   13

On the Cover COVER MODELS:

Tra Huynh and daughter London Tra is a photographer and the owner of Two Twenty Photos. LOCATION:

Davis Ranch

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 2018 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

Winter is blowing in, and it’s a good thing! We have an excuse to stay in our jammies and slippers longer. Digging out our favorite gaudy socks is another comforting winter thing. On a personal note, my dog adores me when it’s colder outside; because she gets a new sweater. Then there’s the hot beverages that taste especially fantastic because the weather is cooler. Did I mention soup, homemade and thick? Let’s not forget the hot bread doused with butter. People are putting those lovely twinkling lights everywhere, so the world around us appears magical and fairy-like. Add holiday music and nostalgia kicks in, memories of singing “White Christmas” when you were a tot. Stir in our families, not perfect but all ours—and we have the perfect recipe for a wonderful season. Also, there are more opportunities to get together because of the holidays. Loud, raucous games and lots of laughter. This winter, slow down and enjoy the important things in your life. Hug your friends and loved ones a little tighter, and let them know they are loved. executive editor

Carole Morris What did we learn after reading this issue? There is a great article about Adventure State of Mind—California Style. Travel bloggers Heidi and Justin describe their visit to the Railroad Park Resort in Dunsmuir California. The park has been reliving the romantic days of railroading since 1968. This time of year, we may feel that we have little time to set an elegant table. Zina Sheya gives us a few tips and tricks for setting an elegant, easy, and affordable holiday table. She’s also included a fun project to enjoy doing with your kids. As always, we have some wonderful recipes included in this issue. There are some tips from Cindy (Cheese Central) on how to have a Raclette Party. A unique idea that your friends and family will love. She even included an Angel Food Recipe that sounds… heavenly. Christmas song recipes are also included that will answer deep questions like, what is figgy pudding?

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.

Kerrie Hertel {Pea+Nut Portraits}

Philosophy-to create photographs that are pure and meaningful. Previously, a Creative Director in Fashion, now capturing special moments through my lens.

Tra Huynh {Two Twenty Photos}

Fun & Energetic Wedding and Family Photographer with a studio located at the corner of Elk Grove & Elk Grove- Florin Rd.

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?”

Christian Zamora, CSCS

National Speaker, Fitness Expert & Chief Exercise Physiologist for The Hernried Center for Medical Weight Loss.

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For full bios of our contributors, please visit


Won’t You Be My Neighbor? By Anna Osborn, LMFT, owner of Life Unscripted Counseling

Growing up, my mom would always spend a day baking Christmas cookies for my dad’s office. My sisters and I would love to jump in and help. We would start the day fully involved, but by mid-day we were distracted and tired. Therefore, my poor mom was left to finish baking dozens upon dozens of cookies ranging from rum balls to peanut butter blossoms.

And as most family traditions go, I found myself picking up the same holiday routine when my kids were just a few years old. As nutty as it may sound, I usually spend a day baking Christmas cookies for my husband’s office and most of the neighbors on our block. 18. - Holiday 2018

My kids, true to form, start off full steam ahead (in terms of wanting to help) and then peter out mid-day. Of course, they always perk back up when it’s time to deliver them down the block.

It was just happenstance that I started baking for the neighbors. In my overzealousness—the first year that I baked for my husband’s work—I had so many cookies that I had to send them somewhere. Because I am self-employed, I had no “co-workers” to take cookies to, so I decided, hey… the neighbors might like them. That is how that tradition was born; really thought out and intentional, right? Well, we’ve been doing this annual baking for our neighbors for several years now. The most unexpected thing that happened is the neighbors came by our house, in the weeks that followed, and delivered us a gift. Whether it be a bottle of

wine, a toy for my kids, or homemade lumpias (still warm out of the pan) the neighbors all showed up generous and excited to share. In fact, one neighbor stopped by three times to try and deliver something because she wanted to say “hello” and not just leave it on the porch. To say I was surprised by this return of generosity, the first year, was an understatement. To be completely honest I was quite uncomfortable when they brought gifts over, because it wasn’t the reason that I started making the goodies. I mean we didn’t bake the cookies in the hope we would get some treats given back to us by our neighbors. And we certainly didn’t “need” any of the things that were given to us. Now don’t get me wrong, we absolutely enjoyed them (and neighbor, you know who you are, please keep the lumpia coming), but we definitely didn’t expect them.

health} Taking a risk and greeting someone you’ve lived across the street from for years is beyond nerve wracking, but you won’t know what doors it can open up, both figuratively and literally, until you take that risk. And each year… as I’ve continued to bake, my neighbors have continued to show up on my porch with a smile and some sort of “thank you” gesture. Also, just to stop by and chat for a bit. The wild thing I’ve realized, since carrying on this tradition in my neighborhood, is that it’s one of the few times during the year that I have any real extended time with our neighbors. Sure, I say “hello” as I’m coming and going; but I don’t stand out on my front lawn in hopes of having a neighborly chat or inviting my neighbors over for a cup of coffee… with the intention of getting to know them better. Instead, I do what I imagine the rest of you do…wave a pleasant hello and go about my business. And yet the truth is we’re more starved for real connection then we’ve ever been. We’re stuck behind screens, creating virtual connections left and right; while we neglect the opportunity for real life relationships that are right in front of us. I realize that we’re all in the same boat in many ways. Stuck in the middle of a NET (not enough time) crisis. We use that rationale to prevent us from slowing down a bit and building actual relationships in our community. We let our lack of time become a lack of intentionality. And quite honestly, the easiest place to start changing this tide is

by stepping out your front door and saying, “hello.” Taking a risk and greeting someone you’ve lived across the street from for years is beyond nerve wracking, but you won’t know what doors it can open up, both figuratively and literally, until you take that risk. If you’re like the majority of us, you’re experiencing some sort of isolation in your life right now. And there are two things that I can absolutely guarantee you about isolation.

One, you’re not the only one. The holidays are a hard time of year for a lot of people, conjuring up feelings of loss or “what could have been”. Therefore, saying a meaningful hello to a neighbor can create more of a ripple effect than you even realize. Secondly, you will feel better for doing it. When you reach for connection, you are energized in ways that can’t be described. You feel more willing to risk, more willing to try, more willing to lean into your community— when you truly believe in the enlivening power a first step will bring. If there is one thing I wish for our community this holiday, it’s that we all feel a little less

isolated from one another. That we take any and every opportunity to say “hello” and ask a meaningful question that yields a meaningful response. That we really ask ourselves, “how can I be a better neighbor?” Don’t let the fear of asking your neighbor (that you lived next door to for 10 years) what their name is… stop you from doing it. Because, you know what? I’ve been there and when I asked (with embarrassment written all over my face), you know what she said? “Oh, I’m so glad you asked, I wanted to ask yours too… but I should have remembered it by now.” Happy neighboring my friends! If you live down the block from me, the cookies are coming. P.S. If you’re reading this in January, remember showing goodwill to your neighbors isn’t exclusive to the holidays. We would all welcome a delivery of apples or carrots to our front door come the New Year.

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.

If there is one thing I wish for our community this holiday, it’s that we all feel a little less isolated from one another. That we take any and every opportunity to say “hello” and ask a meaningful question that yields a meaningful response. That we really ask ourselves, “how can I be a better neighbor?”   19


Figgy Pudding & Sugar Plums Dancing?

When the Christmas music begins, the inspiration to start cooking propels me to get busy. I always thought it was because the sentiment of cooking reminds me of my mom. The holiday music seems to bring her close, as I cook her recipes.

By Carole Morris

But when I really think about some of the Christmas songs that I sing (or warble) along with, I’ve realized that there is a subliminal message in them to get cooking!

Sleigh Ride– “When they pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie” Rocking Around the Christmas Tree– “Later we’ll have some pumpkin pie” Over the River and Through the Woods– “Hurrah for fun; the pudding’s done, Hurrah for pumpkin pie.” Home for the Holidays– “And some homemade pumpkin pie” The Christmas Song – “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” Let it Snow– “And I’ve brought some corn for popping” It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas– “With candy canes and silver lanes aglow” The Wassail Song – “Love and joy come to you, and to your wassail, too” It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – “Marshmallows for toasting” Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer –"She’d been drinking too much eggnog”

We wish you a Merry Christmas – “Oh, bring us some figgy pudding” Have you ever asked yourself, “what is figgy pudding?” Do I have a recipe for you! Figgy pudding is a traditional English dessert that can become a new tradition in your home at Christmas time.

Figgy Pudding Ingredients

12 dried figs (cut into small pieces) 1/2 cup water 1/3 cup brandy 1/2 cup dark rum 1/2 cup raisins 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon ginger 1/4 teaspoon cloves 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 large eggs 1 (packed) cup dark brown sugar 2 cups fresh white bread crumbs 1 stick butter, melted and cooled 1 cup dried cherries 1 cup dried cranberries


1. Place the figs and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer and cook until the water is almost evaporated. Stir in brandy, rum and raisins and bring the liquids back to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat. In an open space, (with pot lid closed) standing back, set the liquid aflame. Let the flames burn for about 2 minutes, then extinguish by covering the pan with the lid. Set the pan aside uncovered.

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2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and brown sugar together until well blended. Next, stir in the bread crumbs, followed by the melted butter and the fig mixture. Stir in the dry ingredients…the batter will be thick. Fold in the cranberries and cherries.

3. Spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray, then butter it generously, making sure to give the center tube an extra coating. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and seal the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Set the pan into a stock pot (put a double thickness of paper toweling in the bottom of the pot so the pudding doesn’t jiggle while it's steaming. Fill the pot with enough hot water to come one-half to two-thirds of the way up the sides of the baking pan. Bring the water to a boil, then cover the pot tightly with foil.

4. Lower the heat so that the water simmers and steam the pudding for 2 hours. (Check to make sure that the water level isn't getting too low; fill with more water, if necessary.) Carefully remove the foil sealing the pot — stick a thin knife into the center of the pudding — it should come out dry. 5. Carefully empty the water from pan into the sink, ease the baking pan out on its side. Place baking pan on a cooling rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Using a knife detach the pudding from the sides of the pan and cool for 30 minutes. Cut the pudding into slices and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

T'was the night before Christmas... Sugar plums danced in their heads

Sugared Sliced Plums Ingredients

4 cups plums, sliced 1/4 cup butter 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 tsp nutmeg 1/4 cup triple sec


1. Over low heat melt the butter in a pan. Next, add brown sugar and stir (careful not to burn). 3. Cook until syrupy (about 1-2 minutes) stirring constantly. 4. Stir in the triple sec liquor.

5. Add the plums and nutmeg, toss gently in the sauce. 6. Cook for a few minutes until the plums are warmed and covered in the glaze.

7. Plate individual plums with a topping such as vanilla ice cream or whipping cream.


“Oh, bring us some figgy pudding” Have you ever asked yourself, “what is figgy pudding?” Do I have a recipe for you! Figgy pudding is a traditional English dessert that can become a new tradition in your home at Christmas time.   21 21



Simple & Fresh Table Setting By Zina Sheya Designs Photos by Mason Sheya

This time of year, we are often triple booked giving us little time to set an elegant table. Here are a few tips and tricks for setting an elegant, easy, and affordable holiday table. It’s also a perfect project to enjoy doing with your kids. Happy Holidays to you and yours.


TABLE SETTING What you will need-

White plates Cloth napkins A small handful of greens


Gather some greens from the garden or utilize the evergreens from trees. Layer them in a small swag, securing the ends with string. Place them in a glass of water, and when you’re ready to set the table place the small swags on top of your place setting. I personally like the simplicity of a white plate. Tip: Line the center of the table with candles (or votives). When your guests 22. - Holiday 2018

sit down to eat, simply have them remove the greens from their place setting and put them in the center of the table. You will end up with a nice green garland down the center of your table intertwined with the candles. Simple, economical and elegant.


INVOLVED Every year we host a gingerbread house making

party. It is a lot of fun to get the kids and adults involved in this holiday tradition. After you’re all done with the decorating fun, incorporate your kids’ creations into the center piece of your table. Not only is this a great addition to your table setting design, but the smiles on the kid’s faces as they see their creation being used is priceless.



TABLE CENTER PIECE What you will needAssorted sizes of decorated gingerbread houses decorated by your tribe. A table runner (or long wood plank) to serve as a foundation.


After all the gingerbread houses are decorated, line them up in a long village. Use ice cream cones decorated as Christmas trees. Create walkways with pretzel sticks. Use coconut flakes for snow on the ground.

To light up your houses (during your dinner party) you can use little batteryoperated twinkle lights. Place them inside the gingerbread houses. The village can be colorful and festive or white and whimsical.

GINGERBREAD PLACE SETTING What you will NeedIndividual gingerbread houses - Small wreaths (evergreen or Faux). White place settings - Cloth napkins - Evergreen clippings - Candles

TIP- Use graham crackers to create small individual gingerbread houses. Simply decorated with all white icing

HOW TOPlace a small evergreen (fresh or faux) in the center of your place setting.

Line the center of your table with candles and a few evergreen clipping, when your guests sit down, they can remove their gingerbread house and place it in the center of the table to create a small village. 24. - Holiday 2018   25

By Zina Sheya Designs

As kids we made gingerbread houses and cookies the day after Thanksgiving. Start the tradition with your family. You will never regret the memories you make. Ingredients

Stir, in a separate large bowl, dry ingredients. When butter mixture is cool, add to the dry ingredients. Stir with spoon until dough forms. With your hands kneed until smooth and dough comes together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes at room temperature. Heat oven to 350ᴼ degrees. On a piece of parchment paper, Directions Gather Ingredients. Print sprinkle flour and roll dough out out a paper pattern for your to ¼ inch thick. Place patterns gingerbread houses. You can on top and cut out the pieces find these online and sometime for your house, (I use a pizza find actual gingerbread house cutter). Take parchment paper, cookie cutters from William with cutouts on top, and move Sonoma. items to your baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until dough is Melt butter, corn syrup, and baked firm and lightly browned brown sugar in the microwave… on edges. Remove from oven melting completely. and cool completely. 2 cups corn syrup 1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar 1 1/4 cups butter 9 cups flour 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/2 tbs ground cinnamon 1 1/2 tbsp ground ginger 2 1/2 tsp ground cloves

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The Perfect Pairing

Wine & Design This Holiday, McConnell Estates Winery invited local designer Zina Sheya (owner of Zina Sheya Designs) to host one of her Wine & Design events‌ farmhouse inspired workshops. The winery was filled with the smell of assorted fresh greenery as the attendees, of this sold out workshop, jumped in and created some amazing looking wreaths. Attendees enjoyed shopping, wine, friends, and laughter. They left the workshop inspired and with their Fresh Wreath in hand. McConnell Estates Winery hosts various events, concerts, and workshops throughout the year. Visit for their full schedule. For more DIY designer workshops visit and click under the workshop tab. Keep an eye out for her Spring Design workshop series.

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‘Tis the Season for


By Cindy Della Monica, Cheesemonger

and Owner, Cheese Central

I’m happy to announce that …. (wait for it….) Just in case you didn’t know… The holidays are almost here! Duh! (listen for your internal chuckle)

At our cheese shop in Lodi, the email newsletter is one of my favorite “chores.” When the latest newsletter was published, my introduction stated there are only eight Fridays left until Christmas, the shop is prepared to help you with all your holiday festivities from cheese trays and appetizer supplies—to gift baskets and certificates! Eight Fridays? Well… There was backlash from our loving public. Please don’t kill the messenger, we are all under the same time limit! We’re just trying to help! Normal life activities keep us busy, whether you have children (or not) or are retired, selfemployed, or a 9-to-5er. Fitting the extra errands/ cooking/celebrating with friends and family into your “normal” schedule can be exhausting unless you are well-prepared and manage to get much of it done before the holidays are here.

To organize myself and manage the stress a bit better, I keep a packet of lists, stapled neatly in the top left corner—party menus each on their own page, family gift lists by date of gathering, stuff like that. It folds in half and fits in my purse—easy to add a quick note whenever I think about it, buy it, taste it, or schedule it! As a holiday dinner hostess, I want to impress my guests with something extra special. But the amount of time it takes to produce a special menu? Did you read the above paragraph? Here is your holiday dining answer. A Raclette party! Raclette? What is that? Just about one of the easiest meals ever! Better than America’s 70’s favorite communal meal—fondue. “Raclette” is both the name of a cow’s milk cheese from southwestern Switzerland and a cheese dish with origins in the Swiss Alps. Its history goes back many hundreds of years as it was the midday (or evening meal) of farmers and shepherds around an outdoor campfire or cabin fireplace. Raclette is still served as it was centuries ago…rich, melted cheese accompanied by potatoes, onions and cornichons. Only now it’s a warming, hearty dish for famished skiers, snowboarders, and all-

30. - Holiday 2018

around snow babies. Though different variations of the dish have emerged throughout the years, the distinctive flavor of Raclette has remained unchanged. Made from unpasteurized cows' milk, Raclette is pale yellow, with small holes throughout and a stinky brownish orange rind. When heated, it has a creamy consistency and a strong flavor similar to fondue; and its balanced fat/moisture content allows it to melt evenly without separating or becoming oily. The name "Raclette" is derived from the French word racler, which means "to scrape." Though it is similar to fondue--in which pieces of bread and other foods are dipped into a melted cheese mixture--Raclette is distinctive because the melted cheese was scraped from a block of cheese, then poured over potatoes and bread on a plate. If you are a closer to the Italian border in the Alps, it is said that baked potato “planks” would be overlaid with thin slices of prosciutto and hard salami, the cheese melted and poured over, then eaten with a fork and knife. Closer to Bavaria, smoked fish and other vegetables such as mushrooms will be added to the meal. As an easy holiday meal, all of the components of Raclette can be prepared, assembled and plated up to a few days before the party, with nothing to do on party day but plug in the electric raclette grill and pour wine for the guests. You have a clean kitchen when the guests arrive, and the communal spirit builds with each mouthful that the diner prepares for himself. In contrast, a fondue meal must have the guests seated as soon as the long prep and stirring of the traditional fondue has been completed, and you hope that the fondue hasn’t become grainy from too much heat. Way too stressful for me!

The Swiss might tell you that having any beverage other than hot tea will make the cheese in your stomach nearly indigestible. We find that a good beer, a slightly sweet white wine (Gerwurztraminer, Reisiling), fruity red (Syrah or Pinot Noir), a not-too dry sparkling wine, or an easy-to-sip cider works very well. Dessert, if any, should be light. An angel food cake with a bit of berry puree, or a small plate of holiday cookies and fruit would be plenty. A lovely finish to a fabulous evening! What do you do with “leftover” Raclette cheese, if there is any? A delicious grilled cheese sandwich with a bit of the onions and slices of cornichon would be perfect. How about a creamy mac n’ cheese? A potato gratin next to a roast pork would bring me to your door! Invite me to partake, and I’ll bring the wine… The cooking class schedule for CHEESE CENTRAL has offerings in the winter time for both Raclette and Fondue. The Raclette class will help you understand the history, presentation, and communal aspects of this luscious dinner. Check the website www., see the calendar page, and note when the next Raclette class will be offered. A phone call, with VISA or MC, will register you (and friends) for this fun and delicious dinner. Once you experience the dinner, you can have a Raclette party for yourself with great ease. CHEESE CENTRAL has 8-person Raclette grills for overnight rentals. Call for details 209-368-3033, and a team member will be happy to assist you in assembling the food parts needed for your party.

food}   31

Angel Food Cake food}

By Cindy Della Monica, Cheesemonger

and Owner, Cheese Central

PLEASE, don’t buy angel cake at the grocery store! YUCK! This is so easy to make, and the flavor is superior, it just makes sense to do it yourself. Makes 1 angel food cake, about 14 servings Combine in bowl, stirring well, and set aside: 1 ¼ CUP ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR ¾ CUP SUGAR In mixer bowl, letting stand to room temperature: 2 CUP EGG WHITES 32. - Holiday 2018

Add to egg whites, and beat until soft peaks form: ½ TSP SALT 1 ½ TSP CREAM OF TARTAR Beating well after each addition, add ¼ cup at a time, until stiff peaks form: 1 CUP SUGAR

Add until combined: 1 TSP VANILLA ½ TSP ALMOND EXTRACT Fold into stiff egg whites ½ cup at a time, the reserved flour/sugar mixture. Pour into ungreased tube pan. Cut through batter with

spatula to level the batter. Bake 375* for 35-40 minutes. Immediately turn upside down to cool completely. Remove from pan and place crust side up on serving platter. To serve, use a very thin serrated knife to cut the cake.




& Brian

Photography by Pea + Nut Portraits

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WHO ARE YOU? I'm Kristyn Laurence. I've lived in Elk Grove for more than twenty years. As a UC Davis graduate with a degree in Political Science, I've worked in state and local government since 1994. As the City's Public Affairs Manager, I coordinate the communications, marketing, and production of festivals and events in Elk Grove. As a recent "empty nester" with sons in the Air Force and attending college in Arizona, my free time is usually spent among friends and my new husband exploring nearby wine regions and dining spots or attending local events.

Who are you?

I am Brian Laurence, son to amazing parents Violet and Ted Montes; older brother to Chris and Jennifer Laurence, and Father and Grandfather (aka Pop and Poppa) to two beautiful daughters Ryann and Bella and one beautiful granddaughter Dakodah. I am proud to say that I am the Network/

Systems Administrator for ISSE Services in Elk Grove, CA. ISSE Services provides cyber security engineering and monitoring services. I am an avid scuba diver and in my spare time I enjoy traveling on short day trips and weekend getaways with my beautiful wife to experience all California has to offer—whether its visiting local wineries, going camping and diving on the coast, or finding new lakes and waterways to kayak on. As long as we are together, I am always up for an adventure.

How did you meet?

We owe our introduction to our dear friend, Kevin Spease. Kevin hosted a series of meet-ups at local breweries to encourage networking and conversation amongst a cross section of his social media friends. Brian and I both showed up to Old Town Pizza for one of Kevin’s “Brewery Caucuses” in April 2017 and struck up a conversation.



Love is accepting

someone for who they are and not who you think or want them to be. When you love another, you do it with every fiber of your being.   35




is a “glass is half full” kind of guy. His positive “can do” attitude can send my innate skepticism packing most days. His deep devotion and love for his friends, family, and me is incredible. The Proposal?

The proposal that almost wasn’t! The night before Thanksgiving, we headed to Old Sac to catch the holiday tree lighting. After the festivities, we strolled back to the car, but it was gone (and so was the ring)! It had been towed to a yard in West Sac. One tense Uber ride and $400 later, we needed a drink. Somewhat deflated, but apparently bolstered by my ability to laugh off the experience, Brian popped the question over tiki drinks at The Jungle Bird.

What is love?

Kristyn: For me, it’s someone who’s “got your back” and sticks “by your side” for the long haul, providing unconditional encouragement and support. This is the second marriage for both of us and we’re a little older and wiser. I think our love reflects our age and experience. Brian refers to us as “battle buddies.” We appreciate each other and are committed to face what life doles out together.

What is love?

Brian: Love is an unconditional commitment for all eternity. Love is accepting someone for who they are and not who you think or want them to be. When you love another, you do it with every fiber of your being. You can't set conditions on love. It is a commitment to always be there for the ones in your life that you love, because from the moment they have your heart they become your family. Life's relationships are not easy, they take a lot of work. Love is the bond that holds life together.

What do you love most about him?

Brian is a “glass is half full” kind of guy. His positive “can do” attitude can send my innate skepticism

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packing most days. His deep devotion and love for his friends, family, and me is incredible. And he’s super handy around the house! He can remodel a kitchen and cook an amazing meal. I am one lucky woman.

What do you love most about her?

What I love most about Kristyn is waking up next to her every day and seeing her beautiful smile just before she snuggles in my arms and kisses me good morning.

When did you know you were in love?

Kristyn: I knew I loved Brian when I traveled with family to Texas to attend my son’s graduation from Air Force basic training a few weeks after we had started dating. The whole time I was gone we texted and talked like school kids every day, and I couldn’t wait to get back home to see him.

When did you know you were in love?

Brian: I knew I was in love with Kristyn from the first time that I kissed her on our second date. We had met in April of 2017, and I was captivated by her. I knew there was a connection and I felt a desire to just get to know this woman. It took us a few months, but we finally were able to get together and start dating. Our second date was July 3rd and we went to Eldorado Hills. While walking around I kissed her and from that moment on I knew I wanted her and that what I felt was more than just a fling. It took a bit longer to tell her I loved her, but I knew then that the connection and feelings were real.

Fun facts: My girl squad is made up of some

awesome event planners and designers who have

produced some amazing festivals and events. I tapped their creativity and friendship to design an event atmosphere that reflected our taste and complimented the great rustic space we had at the Historical Society’s Heritage Park. Brian put his woodworking skills to use to provide the pallet bar and the rustic archway for the ceremony. The wood was salvaged from a barn in Linden, Brian’s hometown.

We buried a bottle of bourbon on the site a month before the wedding to ward off any rain. It’s a southern tradition that highlighted Brian’s preferred beverage choice in a fun way. We dug up the bottle after the ceremony and shared a nip with the wedding guests.

Our wedding appears to be the first on record at the Elk Grove Stage Stop Museum. We are grateful to the Elk Grove Historical Society’s members for welcoming us in and hosting our special day. Word is that they are interested in hosting other events and parties at the site in the future (hint, hint).

Honeymoon plans: We went to Disneyland! Hey, if it’s good enough for super bowl winners, then it’s good enough for this bride and groom. We were in the area during Halloween week. We also embarked on a wine safari in Malibu and toured parts of LA like Venice Beach, Santa Monica and Olvera Street. We had a great time exploring another part of California together.

Wedding details: We kept our Saturday evening

celebration small and intimate with less than 50 guests. Both the ceremony and reception were

held on the Historical Society's Heritage Park site. It included lots of personal touches and contributions from our closest friends and family. Our officiant was the friend who introduced us (he got ordained online just for us!). My sons escorted me down the aisle and my Dad served as "Ring Security." Brian's daughter, Ryann Laurence, performed our wedding song, made the cupcakes and did my makeup. Special thanks to our close friends and wedding designers Ann Mottola, Anna Hooper, Jackie Lewis, Joyce Carter, Jodie Moreno, Denise Smith and Raul Nazibal who brought the space to life. We sat down to a family style dinner served by the team at the Historical Society. It was a magical night we'll never forget.

Photographer Pea+Nut Portraits Venue Elk Grove Historical Society Heritage Park (Inside Elk Grove Park) Rentals American Vintage Rentals, Standard Party Rentals Musician Ryann Laurence, Stepping Stones Hair and makeup Alma Sicarios, Urban Monk Salon; Ryann Laurence

Florist Farmgirl Flowers and Florafresh Desserts/cake Ryann Laurence Caterer South Tux Rentals Men’s Wearhouse Bride's Dress Sparkle Bridal Couture Rings Jared and Revolution Jewelry   37


Hard Hat, Soft Heart

Lana Yoshimura is “Digging In” to her Role as Civic Center Manager with a touch of Aloha By Julie Laudon and Kristyn Laurence

Clip board in hand, hard hat and construction vest on, standing in the middle of what will someday become the spot for Elk Grove residents and visitors to congregate, compete, and celebrate, Lana Yoshimura surveys the buzz around her “office”. This island transplant is the City’s Community Event Center Manager and her job is to manage Elk Grove’s largest public facility project so far, the Civic Center. Hailing originally from Hilo, Hawaii, Lana’s easy going aloha attitude shines through in her professional style. Amid the hustle and bustle of the job site, she remains friendly but focused on getting things done. Lana has hit the ground running since arriving in Elk Grove last March. Her position is new and unique at City Hall, and she is literally building the facility’s future operations plan from the ground up.

Seventy-six acres of city-owned property located south of Elk Grove Boulevard and east of Big Horn Boulevard is being constructed in phases. Fifty-six of those acres are slated for a civic center and community park. Work on the site’s aquatic center began in May 2017 and, despite delays, the facility and its three pools are expected to be completed in time for the 2019 swim season. Work on the property’s 32,000 square foot community center is also well under way. The community center

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will include a new senior center operated by the Senior Center of Elk Grove, the city’s first dedicated Veterans Hall, and a main hall to accommodate events and celebrations for up to 500 guests.

“My responsibilities are to build the foundation for the civic center, which means, I am responsible for developing all of the policies and processes, programming, fee schedules, staffing and marketing plans to run the facility,” explains Lana. Her undergraduate education at the University of Hawaii Manoa and her graduate degree in public administration from the University of Arizona prepared her for a career in public service. Lana’s prior positions have included working for the legislature, elected officials, and local governments throughout Hawaii and Southern California.

Bringing public projects like the civic center online isn’t a new challenge for Lana. In her role as a Recreation Manager for the City of Corona in Southern California, she opened a community center. She created its programming model, determined how it would function, helped set the fee structure and produced the center’s public grand opening. Her experience and positive attitude match up perfectly with Elk Grove’s civic center dreams. Lana is working with the Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) to develop and deliver programming and coordinate competitive events within the facility’s 50-meter competition pool, fitness and instructional pool, and recreational pool complete with a towering waterslide and a lazy river. The CSD will operate the new aquatic center under a contract with the City. Together, the two agencies will create a “third space” for the people of Elk Grove.



The community center will include a new senior center operated by the Senior Center of Elk Grove, the city’s first dedicated Veterans Hall, and a main hall to accommodate events and celebrations for up to 500 guests. “Social scientists say most people have three spaces in their lives,” explains Lana. “They have their workplace, their home, and a third space where they gather together, like a community living room. We want the new civic center to be a third space, where people feel comfortable gathering.” This new gathering place will prominently feature public art. Lana has been working with the City’s Arts Commission to curate a collection that will be on display indoors and out on the civic center campus. The City’s “Percentage for the Arts” program sets aside a percentage of public construction project funding to support public art. Nearly half a million dollars has been used in the commission of artwork for the site. Lana is a major proponent of supporting local art and thinks

“art is a great component to any society or culture.”

The civic center space will also highlight the beauty of the outdoors with a dedicated nature area that will feature a network of trails, picnic tables, wetland area overlooks, an open meadow, and outdoor exercise and play equipment. The City Council approved the schematic designs for part of this project in June of 2018. The completion of the nature area is largely dependent on funding, but construction could begin as soon as 2019 or 2020.

Once completed, the civic center will be the heart of entertainment in Elk Grove, bringing more tournaments, more events, and more visitors to Elk Grove over the next few years. In fact, a 20 acre area just north of the civic center had already been identified for a

new lifestyle center featuring a mix of retail, dining, entertainment and the possibility of a new luxury hotel to cater to Elk Grove’s visitors. The civic center has the potential to become the city’s “recreational hub”. Lana is a visionary with one eye on the details and the other on the future. She can picture the night markets, art shows, holiday events, and memories that will be made at the facility in the future and she’s digging in to get things done.

In Hawaiian culture, the spirit of aloha encompasses the virtues of modesty, harmony, pleasantness, humility and patience. Lana demonstrates those virtues daily in her contacts with contractors, city staff, and local residents. She looks forward to the day when others can join her in the community’s living room.   41




Ways Home Flipping 9Shows Mislead Viewers We all know the premise of home-flipping shows: An investor buys a veritable dump and then, with the help of a team of readyand-willing contractors and landscapers, transforms it into the best-looking home on the block. Next, that intrepid buyer turns around and sells it for a hefty profit. Sounds like a straightforward formula for financial success, right? Well, not quite. What makes for entertaining television doesn’t always translate into a win (beyond the high definition flat screen). The following are nine ways home-flipping shows mislead viewers. So, if you’re considering turning this into your next career or even a side gig, you may want to separate fact from fiction first.

1. Tight turnarounds aren’t always realistic

In order to realize as large a profit as possible, it’s important to flip the property as quickly as you can, otherwise paying the mortgage, taxes, and insurance quickly chips away at your bottom line. While sales tend to happen quickly on TV, the reality is that even if you have a willing buyer, getting pre-approved and 42. - Holiday 2018

securing the financing doesn’t happen overnight. For anxious sellers, that ticking clock is a constant reminder that every passing day means a little less money in their pockets.

2. Finding a dedicated team isn’t easy

Far too many homeowners know, not all contractors are created equal. For the most part, the artisans who make their way onto home-flipping shows are trustworthy, knowledgeable and willing to work nearly round-the-clock to get the job done. In reality, contractors may be working on multiple projects simultaneously and may disappear for days at a time. And as we all know, time is money.

3. DIY (Do it Yourself) doesn’t work for everyone

Part of the appeal of these home-flipping programs is the ease with which the whole property comes together. But it’s more than just the time-lapse photography that makes it seem like anyone with a tool belt can renovate like a pro. While you might be tempted to take a DIY approach to keep expenses low, remember, these people know what they’re doing, whereas most homeowners are experts at other things. Sometimes tackling a task, yourself, will end up costing you more than if you’d hired the right person for the job.

4. When trouble strikes, it’s not so easy to resolve

Even with a careful home inspection, surprises (not the good kind!) pop up when you least expect them. Yet, if a sink hole opens and threatens to swallow a sunporch, home-flipping show teams are ready to fix that issue like it’s no big deal. When it happens to non-TV-star homeowners, it’s not always easy to find the right subcontractor — especially when you’re under time constraints. And, once you do, can you even afford to deal with whatever unpleasant shocker has come your way? If you must go back to the bank for more money, that will impact your timeframe and ultimately your profit. (See number 1.) Home-flippers on TV seem to have bottomless bank accounts. Must be nice, right?


5. Materials don’t arrive simultaneously

When home-flippers begin a project, all the requisite materials are on-site and ready to go. If only this were the norm! Anyone who’s ever fallen in love with a special-order item knows that it’s almost impossible to find everything you like in stock and ready for delivery. Some contractors are reluctant to start a renovation until all the supplies are in, which, again, can hurt your timeline and your profit.

6. The back-and-forth is all done behind-the-scenes

Never mind the fact that homes showcased on these programs never seem to lack for buyers, in many instances there doesn’t seem to be any haggling to speak of when it comes to the asking price. Leaving out the art of negotiation does viewers a disservice as it makes it appear that buyers can’t wait to pay full price — or above it.

7. The math is fuzzy

In order to reap the biggest profit, you need to buy below market value, sell above it, and not put more money into the renovation than you’ll get back. As if that equation weren’t complicated enough, on television, you don’t always hear about the costs of buying or selling, inspection and appraisals fees, and other expenses that go into both sides of the transactions. Leaving out some numbers conveniently inflates the profit.

8. Costs vary by area

Renovating a bathroom in rural Tennessee is going to cost much less than it would in, say, Manhattan. Not only will the labor be less expensive, but the materials and delivery charges will also skew lower in non-metropolitan areas. Of course, none of that is addressed in the show and most often estimates on TV are far lower than those you’d gather in real life.

9. You can over-renovate

Once you’re in the home improvement groove, you may be tempted to splurge and really go all out, but you must resist the temptation to overdo it and put in more money than you’ll ever get back. In the quest to make your flip as fabulous as possible, you never want to lose sight of the reason you started this project: to make money. Consider the return on investment for each improvement you make. If you have questions regarding investment properties or real estate in general contact Justin Pinnell BRE- 02045095, M&M Real Estate at (916) 812.0576   43


Annaclare andJim Entrican By Elizabeth Pinkerton

Annaclare and Jim Entrican are dedicated Elk Grove volunteers, and they have made many contributions to a variety of organizations. Their family backgrounds are very different, but they both go back many years to when Elk Grove was a small town in rural Sacramento County. Annaclare’s family came here in the late 1840s, the first settlers along the Cosumnes River. Jim’s family came here in the 1920s. Both have seen a great amount of history here, and they have many connections to the past. They are both graduates of Elk Grove High School, Class of 1960 for Jim, and 1961 for Annaclare. They both attended our local elementary schools.

Annaclare Saner Entrican tells us her story: “I was born in Sacramento. My parents were Herman Saner and Sarah Sheldon Grimshaw Saner. Both were raised in Sloughhouse. My mother was a descendant of Jared Sheldon who came to California around 1838, settling Sloughhouse. Following his death in 1850-51, the town of Sheldon was named after him, as it was a part of his land grant. My grandmother, Jessie Sheldon Grimshaw was the granddaughter of Jared, my Mother, Sarah, a great-granddaughter and he was my great, great grandfather. “I grew up one mile from the town of Sheldon on what was known as the Colton Ranch, located on Grant Line Road just east of Freeman Road. My father was a dairy farmer. I attended Pleasant Grove-Reese Elementary School, Elk Grove High School, and Sacramento City College. I graduated from Sacramento State College. “My years at Elk Grove High were the most fun of my life, being filled with many extracurricular activities, including sports, many clubs, Songster, 4-H for many years, and of course somehow academic studies. My summer jobs through high school and college included retail sales. My favorite job was driving a hop truck during the harvest of the hops! I made enough money for one semester of college books and tuition.” 44. - Holiday 2018

Annaclare’s connections to the Elk Grove Historical Society are very strong, and she does much volunteer work for the organization.

“The Historical Society is such an important part of this city. It provides the primary connection to the past in this area which includes such a diverse culture and so many new comers. In the past, the history of Elk Grove was held by a small number of historically minded senior citizens of the 1950-60’s. These founding historians had the foresight, vision and follow through to create the Museum. Now the second generation is digging out their homes and barns coming forth with historic treasures. How proud the 1st generation would be to see the resulting Elk Grove Heritage Park. In order to continue restoration and maintenance, the Society conducts many yearly fund raisers, such as the Spring Tea, the Yard Sale, the Antique Trailer Show, the Black Tie and Santa, and the Old-Fashioned Christmas. I have been involved in all of them.

“It is always a challenge to make the nearly 200,000 residents of Elk Grove aware that this town has a great Museum and many years of history. Through the Rhoads School Living History Program, last year 2,500 area elementary students attended the day-long classes reenacting the 1890 school day in the one room school. Needless to say, fund raising, guided by the Rhoads Board of which I am a member, is needed to continue this experience. “The Rhoads Cousins yearly gathering is important to me. As a promise to my late cousin, Ellen Rosa, Jim and I will continue the Rhoads Cousins Luncheon. Each fall some 3050 descendants of the Thomas Rhoads (Father of Catherine and Sarah and my Mother’s namesake) Family gather in Sloughhouse where many of our ancestors are buried in the Pioneer Cemetery. It should be noted John and Daniel Rhoads (Father Thomas) were among the rescuers of the ill-fated Donner Party. This year we again enjoyed getting together at the Meadowlands Restaurant in Sloughhouse.



Elk Grove is fortunate to have such dedication and such huge amounts of volunteerism from Jim and Annaclare Entrican. They were honored two years ago, in 2016, as Elk Grove Citizens of the Year! Jim Entrican tells us his story and that of his family connections to Elk Grove. His great grandparents, on his mother’s side of the family, moved to California in 1920. His great grandfather Haynes was an egg manager of Egg Producer Association in Rio Linda. In 1926 his great grandfather A. E. Haynes became owner of a General Merchandise Store in Franklin. It was the old Luttig Store. When he sold it, he moved to Sacramento and bought two grocery stores on G and J streets. Mr. Haynes asked his son-in-law, M. B. Van Doren, his wife Hattie and daughter Ruth ( Jim’s mother) who still lived in Minnesota, to come to California and help run the stores. A couple of years later, they sold the Sacramento stores and moved to Elk Grove and bought the General Merchandise store in the Odd Fellows building on Elk Grove’s Main Street. Here is how Jim tells the story: “My mother was born in Minnesota and arrived, at age two, in California. She grew up in Elk Grove and attended Elk Grove Grammar School and Elk Grove High School. She met my father at the Sloughhouse grocery store, where he was employed. In 1938 Great Grandpa Haynes sold his half of the store to my mother and father, who by then were married.

“I came along in 1942 and had the best life growing up in the small town of Elk Grove. At an early age I was taught the merchandising of the store with little jobs to do after school. I develop a work ethic that has lasted all my life. When I graduated from Grammar School, I got a summer job in the pear orchard at age 14 that lasted for four years in the month of August (harvest time). Good thing I was big for my age, as I was required to lift LA lug boxes weighing 40 to 50 pounds. The Elk Grove Department Store, with Mark Pickens, and the Elk Grove Milling Company with Jenny Jauch and my Dad, all inspired me to work hard while going to High School. “In my freshman year of High School, I was initiated into the Elk Grove Junior Odd Fellows with nearly all the available upper male classmate, there must have been 40 to 50 of us. By my senior year I became Assistant Advisor with my Grand Father M. B. Van Doren and Ed Kammerer. This fraternity taught me skills in recruiting members, organization of leadership rolls and fund raising. We started teenage dancing at the Kerr Middle School and raised so much money we went to Summer Conventions first class (All expenses paid bus trip, hotel, and food for 40 to 50 Junior Odd Fellows). I still run into many of the Junior Odd Fellows and we all have fond memories of this youth club. “Both Annaclare and I were born and raised in Elk Grove although she on a Dairy Ranch and I, a City Kid. We share the loving guidance of our parents with high morals and values that we have now. Our parents belonged to organizations and we belong to organizations. Our parents volunteered, and we volunteer. It is instilled in our DNA. Where possible we both are members of the same organization.” These are all the volunteer groups in which Jim and Annaclare are involved with. This is Jim’s impressive list: Elk Grove Historical Society, Native Sons of the Golden West, Native Daughters of the Golden West, Strauss Festival Volunteer/Board “three years”,

Rhoads School Board, Gardeners of the Grove, Elk Grove Fine Arts Community Advisory, Organizer of Rhoads Family Reunion, President of America Against Graffiti, nine years, IOOF, Independent Order of the Odd Fellows since 1956, Advisor to the Junior Odd Fellows.

Annaclare’s list of volunteer activities is just as impressive: Elk Grove Historical Society, Native Sons of the Golden West, Native Daughters of the Golden West, Strauss Festival Volunteer, Rhoads School Board, Organizer of the Rhoads Family Reunion, Gardeners of the Grove, Cosumnes River College Patrons Club, and the Shriner’s Hospital for Children. Elk Grove is fortunate to have such dedication and such huge amounts of volunteerism from Jim and Annaclare Entrican. They were honored two years ago, in 2016, as Elk Grove Citizens of the Year! It was a wonderful honor and one that was truly deserved.   45

Community Garden Ribbon Cutting By Heather N. Larrabee

On November 3rd, a ribbon cutting and open house was held at the Elk Grove Community Garden

and Learning Center to celebrate the end of many months of improvements made to the Garden by participants in Leadership Elk Grove (a program sponsored by the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce). Since last spring, the participants of Leadership Elk Grove have added drip irrigation to several of the raised garden beds, painted and repaired the storage sheds, updated the human sundial, weeded and mulched throughout the garden, and made significant improvements to the Children’s Garden. Activities for kids such as rock painting, succulent planting and a bounce house were available. Booths from local businesses and organizations were also on site for guests to visit and learn how they can create extraordinary gardens at home. For more information about the Elk Grove Community Garden and Learning Center, or to set up a tour, please contact Judy Ludlow,

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community}   47


Adventure State of Mind California Style By Heidi Hartunian & Justin Ringor

We’re tagging along with travel bloggers Heidi and Justin of Adventure State of Mind as they visit the Railroad Park Resort in Dunsmuir California (three hours north of Sacramento). According to the Railroad Park Resort’s website, the park has been reliving the romantic days of railroading since 1968. Sounds dreamy and romantic to me!

Tell us a little about your stay at the Railroad Park Resort. Our stay at the Railroad Park Resort was short, but we loved it! We stayed one night there as part of a threenight trip in the Mount Shasta region to celebrate our dating anniversary. The plan was to spend one night at the resort, and then camp for two nights on the McCloud River. We flew into Sacramento Airport, and rented a car for the three-hour drive to Dunsmuir. The Railroad Park Resort is located off the I-5 just south of Central Dunsmuir, tucked just far enough away from the Interstate to enjoy the peaceful surrounding forest. After a swift and pleasant checkin, we were now free to explore the property and our home for the night, a renovated red Southern Pacific Railroad caboose. After taking numerous pictures of the exterior of the caboose, we walked inside to find that the interior 48. - Holiday 2018

included the standard features that you would find in a hotel room or lodge. The interior had a feel reminiscent of a small cabin. We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying some drinks, exploring the property, and checking out all of the other cabooses available for stays. We watched the sunset in the smoky sky (from the Delta Fire) before heading to the onsite restaurant for dinner. Keeping with the theme of the Resort (and the town of Dunsmuir in general), the onsite restaurant at the Railroad Park Resort is comprised of vintage train cars that have been converted into multiple cozy dining areas and a bar. There is also an outside deck with a fantastic view. There were only a few other patrons spread throughout the restaurant, so we were treated to a more intimate dining experience and great service. Word on the street is that the restaurant has great Prime Rib on the weekends. Unfortunately for us, they had run out of both Prime Rib and Willamette Frog Legs before we got there. Thus, plan

B called for a calamari and ribeye steak to be washed down by two Moscow Mules. The food was delicious, so we would definitely recommend eating here. As it was pretty quiet in the restaurant, our waiter had thought he overheard us talking about a birthday, so he brought us a slice of cheesecake, and said “I heard it was somebody’s birthday here!” It was our anniversary, but he gave us the cake regardless. After dinner, we hit the Jacuzzi before it shut off at 10, then went back to the caboose, popped open a bottle of wine and enjoyed the rest of our evening. We woke up the next morning to a less smoky sky, and a beautiful view of the Castle Crags. Heidi woke up a little earlier than me and caught the sunrise from the cupola. When I finally rolled out of bed, she made us coffee so that we could climb back up and have a cup while plotting out our day. Before checking out, we enjoyed mimosas out on the restaurant deck then walked around the resort for a few more picture opportunities.



Did you really, "Eat on a train and sleep in a caboose," like their website states? You bet we did! There are 23 cabooses used for lodging on the property. We stayed in Caboose 17, which was an old Southern Pacific Railroad car with an interior comprised of a King-sized bed, full bathroom, microwave, mini-fridge, and tv. As an added bonus…the car included a climb-up cupola, where you can enjoy a glass of wine or cup of coffee while taking in the surrounding view. The onsite restaurant at the Railroad Park Resort is built out of vintage railroad cars. Above the bar is a large model train of the Southern Pacific Cascade, and there are interesting railroad relics and history placed throughout the space. The restaurant was not only a short distance from our caboose, but the food and service were great!

Would you suggest this experience for a couple outing, a family or both? We would suggest this experience for both couples and families. The Railroad Park Resort and the surrounding area is for anybody who loves trains, history, unique lodgings, small towns, and nature. From a couple standpoint we found the vibe of the property to be romantic, relaxing in our own private train car, taking walks around the property, and enjoying drinks and dinner just steps from our “room”.

The onsite restaurant at the Railroad Park Resort is built out of vintage railroad cars. Below, photo courtesy of the Railroad Park Resort.

The resort offers cabooses that fit up to five comfortably, which would be perfect for a visiting family. The resort offers a game room, seasonal pool and year-round Jacuzzi; space to roam, and multiple spots to hang out as a family and play a board or card game.

" Having an onsite

restaurant is very convenient to grab a quick breakfast or dinner, so you can spend more time doing activities and less time driving somewhere to eat."   49


RAILROAD PARK RESORT Having an onsite restaurant is very convenient to grab a quick breakfast or dinner, so you can spend more time doing activities and less time driving somewhere to eat. The abundance of outdoor activities in the Mount Shasta area will keep both families and couples busy during the day—and hopefully tire the children out enough in the evening for the parents to sneak away for a drink at the dining car bar!

What daytime activities are available in and around the park? While you could choose to stay and enjoy the grounds of Railroad Park Resort, we highly recommend venturing out and taking advantage of the abundance of outdoor opportunities in this corner of Siskiyou County. Hiking is a highly recommended activity in the area. Castle Crags State Park is just around the corner from the resort. There are also a handful of beautiful waterfalls to visit in the area which include

"For the avid angler, the resort is conveniently located near the Sacramento and McCloud Rivers, with nearby lakes as well." Mossbrae Falls and Hedge Creek Falls in Dunsmuir; Lower, Middle and, Upper McCloud Falls just east of McCloud; and the Majestic McArthur Burney Falls is close enough for a daytrip. For the avid angler, the resort is conveniently located near the Sacramento and McCloud Rivers, with nearby lakes as well. We would recommend taking a drive North to the town of Weed and hopping on route 97 to find a perfect Mount Shasta photo opportunity!

Pick up some of the free Discover Siskiyou brochures at the resort office to assist in building the perfect itinerary during your stay.

After a day of hiking, fishing, or scenic driving make sure to visit Dunsmuir Brewery Works for a muchdeserved pint. 50. - Holiday 2018

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_. For more information on the Railroad Park Resort visit


While you could choose to stay and enjoy the grounds of Railroad Park Resort, we highly recommend venturing out and taking advantage of the abundance of outdoor opportunities in this corner of Siskiyou County.


What I’ve Learned About Communicating…

in the 21st Century By CT Morris - BS Elementary Ed., MS Ed.

Face to face conversations are becoming old-fashioned and truly uncomfortable for many people. Where have our interpersonal skills gone? You know, the give and take of an actual conversation. We all know that communication is the foundation for good relationships; so why have we let technology take it away from us? First, the internet arrived which took the place of mailing a letter. Just shoot them an email with the information. No need to mail a get well, happy birthday or sorry for your loss card, just send an e-card. I’ve been guilty—allowed the web to seduce me into becoming impersonal and robotic, because writing takes too much of my time and energy. If I ever followed through on my New Year’s resolutions... Next, came the capability to text on our phones. As adults our social abilities are set, sure we may text, but we know how to have a face-to-face conversation with others. However, developmental psychologists are worried about kids because they are glued to their phones. Their interpersonal skills aren’t formed so interpersonal development isn’t happening. You know— the bouncing information off someone in 52 52. . Holiday Holiday 2018 2018

a conversation. It’s a necessary tool for children to be able to reason, think and internalize information.

Did you know that 58 percent of communication is through body language? Vocal tone, pitch, and emphasis are how we communicate, not the content of the message. To be able to develop correctly, kids need to learn how to express themselves and how to read other people’s body language. Sadly, young people 18-29 send an average of almost 88 texts per day, and that number is rising. There are numerous reasons why we text. One reason may be the fact that we don’t want to reveal our emotions because we feel exposed—add that sad emoji to the text…it says it all. Another reason we text

is to keep us from having to deal with another person’s distress—add the blow a kiss emoji. Maybe we want to set boundaries with problematic people. We can manipulate people with a text—add our favorite cheesy grin emoji. Let’s not forget the texted apology. A real apology means looking someone in the eye and saying, “I know I've offended you, and I’m sorry." You can see the hurt you’ve cause, that’s where compassion and empathy comes from. You feel it…we all need to take responsibility for hurt that we inevitably cause others. All of that is missed when we text—we lose our humanity. I’ve learned from the long road that I’ve travelled that relationships are messy, multifaceted, and a lot of work. But healthy relationships are vital to your health and happiness. Don’t cheat yourself, or the people that matter in your life, by being a habitual texter.

education}   53


Lorenzo & Liani Lopez

Watch Elk Grove’s Horizon for Rising Stars By Susie Franklin Roeser

The therapist also said there is something about singing words to music that helps prevent stuttering. Although Lorenzo’s parents were a little doubtful, they enrolled him in his first play (How Do Dinosaurs Go to School) with Children's Musical Theater San Jose and the rest is history! He loved being in “Show Biz.” Musical Theater has taught Lorenzo how to deal with 10-year-old Lorenzo and seven-year-old Liani both adversity, while additionally honing his natural talents attend Elliott Ranch Elementary School. Even and giving him the opportunity to shine. at their young age, this dynamic duo already has a wealth of experience dancing, acting and singing. Liani has grown up watching her brother on stage Local performances at their school, Elite Studio ever since that first performance. Her first on-stage of Dance and Musical Mayhem Productions are experience was playing the part of Mini Ladybug just the beginning. They have also performed with and Bunny McKenzie in James and the Giant Peach Sacramento Theatre Company. This past summer, (a Musical Mayhem Production) when she was fourLorenzo was one of 25 students (out of 400) chosen years-old. She's been acting, singing, and dancing ever to be in a Choreography DVD shoot with iTheatrics since! in New York. You might be wondering how these two amazing young performers got their start? The According to Lorenzo, his favorite role so far has been answer is just as inspirational as Lorenzo and Liani “Donkey” in MMP’s Shrek, while Liani is most fond themselves. of her work as Herbert the Hedgehog in Dr. Doolittle, also with MMP. They agree, the best part of being a When Lorenzo was three, he started stuttering performing artist is “putting on the show.” and received speech therapy from Kaiser in Santa Clara. Their speech therapist recommended getting Of course, before they arrive at the fun and excitement him into Musical Theater because you don't stutter of the actual performance, there is a great deal of when you say or sing something you’ve memorized. hard work that must occur first. From auditions that Delivering lines without stuttering builds confidence. sometimes don’t turn out the way they might desire,

Doesn’t it feel great to learn about hometown talent in which you can take pride? It’s especially exciting to discover youth in our community with exceptional promise. Lorenzo and Liani Lopez are two such rising stars.

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to the memorization of lines, music and choreography and hours of rehearsal that sometimes mean missing time with family. The skills they learn through this process not only help them be the best performers they can be, but also help them to grow as individuals. Hard work and perseverance aren’t the only life skills gained in the world of performing arts. Parents Jason and Sarah would tell you one of the hardest parts of being a young performer is learning when to "turn on" and "turn off" their “Spark” (energy, emotion, and outgoingness). What makes Lorenzo and Liani great on stage can make it very difficult to sit quietly and limit emotional outbursts at school. Even at recess, where they have a little more physical freedom, their enjoyment of singing and dancing on the playground has resulted in being called hurtful names by other kids. Jason and Sarah have dedicated themselves not only to encouraging their children's talent, but also to help Lorenzo and Liani learn how to turn their special “Spark" on and off as needed, while making sure it is never lost. Want to see Lorenzo and Liani shine? Catch them in Sacramento Theatre Company’s Mary Poppins, January 10 - 13.

Reviews brought to you by the

art} BOOKS

There There

By: Tommy Orange Book Reviews by BRENDLE WELLS Every so often a book comes along that snaps you out of your reading complacency. It captures your attention with a fierce grip and does not let go. The book will haunt you for days, even weeks after you finish. You want to read it again. You want to discuss it with other people and plumb the depths of the story. There There is such a book. Reading it is like a slap in the face, the author’s voice is so invigorating. Set in Oakland, California, the story is told through the interconnected voices of people heading to the inaugural Big Oakland Powwow. It’s not an easy story; the lives of the characters are all touched in some way by tragedy, poverty, violence, or substance abuse and there is no miracle in store for them. For each, the events of the past bleed into the present, bringing with them questions of identity, fate, and survival. The result is a searing and unforgettable portrait of the urban Native American experience painted with rich and vivid writing. Recently longlisted for the National Book Award, this is an astonishing book and must for any fiction reader. Alfred A. Knopf Publishers, 2018

The Library Book

By: Susan Orlean A book about books or libraries takes many a reader straight to their happy place. There is warm comfort in validations of their passion for books and the building that holds them, plus the nostalgia of happy childhood memories. So few readers should need a recommendation to pick up The Library Book by Susan Orlean. The title and cover is really all that is needed. But here’s the thing; this is no sentimental nostalgia tour through quiet aisles of dusty books. Ostensibly centered around a major fire at the Central branch of the Los Angeles Public Library in 1984, it captures the horror and loss of that event (it was more than just books, of course), the mystery of the possible crime and the community rebuilding effort with considerable drama and intrigue. But Orlean goes beyond that story, as she is frequently wont to do in her writing, and along the way captures everything about what a library has been, what a library is today and what it can be in the future. This is a lively, vibrant and honest portrait of the ever resilient public library and its vital role in communities everywhere. It’s also an absolutely delightful and entertaining read, one that will captivate any reader. Simon & Schuster, 2018

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art} BOOKS


Author/Illustrator: Yuyi Morales Children's Book Reviews By JUSTIN AZEVEDO In this autobiographical picture book, Morales recounts her own experience as a young mother who traveled to the United States from Mexico to marry her son’s father and say goodbye to an ailing relative, and ended up an immigrant in an unfamiliar new home. Told in both poetic verse and sweeping, gorgeous double-page illustrations, the story tracks mother and baby as they navigate an intimidating city to arrive in a place of wonder and inspiration: the library. After a triumphant ending, Morales provides an equally triumphant epilogue of her own true story and a list of books that gave her comfort and continue to inspire her. The stunning artwork on each page is a mix of ink, acrylic, and mixed-media collage that provides textures from traditional fabrics, metal, stone, and childhood drawings. This book makes for a lovely, evocative storytime and bedtime selection, but it offers much more: an object lesson in resilience, a paean to literacy, and work of visual art that demands careful study and repeat viewings. Recommended for ages 5-8. Neal Porter Books, 2018

The House with Chicken Legs

Author: Sophie Anderson

Twelve-year-old Marinka has spent most of her life alone with her grandmother. In addition to raising Marinka and her pet jackdaw, her Baba also happens to be a Yaga, a sentinel who is obligated to calm the souls of the newly deceased and prepare them for their journey through a gate that separates the living from the dead. Marinka has trained her entire life to one day take Baba’s place as caretaker of their living, thinking hut that runs on chicken legs and beckons the dead. Marinka is lonely, though, and has plans of her own for the future that involve real friends instead of a parade of ghosts. In a fit of stubbornness, she makes a series of decisions that reveal a hidden truth about her past and force a reckoning when Baba suddenly disappears. This debut middle-grade novel uses Slavic folklore to tell a story both fantastical and achingly familiar, as the spirits and moving houses serve as a backdrop for a young girl discovering who she is, learning how to make friends, and dealing with loss. The darker elements serve only gentle chills, and more importantly, depict death and grieving in a way that will resonate with young readers. An engrossing and ultimately gorgeous fantasy, recommended for ages 8 to 14. Scholastic Press, 2018

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

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The Classics Christmas Cookie Edition By Leslie Budewitz

Is there anyone who doesn’t love Christmas cookies? No matter what our religious or holiday traditions, we all turn into Cookie Monsters this time of year. Since my newest mystery, AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, came out last summer, I’ve been talking cookies with readers. The top two faves, by my unscientific survey of tastebuds across the country, are sugar cookies, cut and decorated for this most wonderful season, and the classic known as Snowballs, Russian Teacakes, or Mexican Wedding Cakes. In fact, Russian Teacakes are a key to solving the mystery in AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES.

There are as many variations in the cookies themselves as in the names. This recipe is the classic shaped cookie, a ball rolled in powdered sugar. But sometimes I like to make them as roll-and-slice cookies—skip the powdered sugar and dip or drizzle the cooled cookie in melted chocolate. A reader suggested the Dirty Snowball—add a little cocoa powder to the powdered sugar when you roll the cookie. A delicious idea, especially since a snowball plays a crucial role in the climactic scene, where my amateur sleuth, intrepid shopkeeper Erin Murphy, confronts the killer and lives to tell the tale. Whatever you call these scrumptious little treats, I know they’ll be popular with everyone you see this holiday season—even the Grinch and Mr. Scrooge.

Merrily’s Russian Teacakes 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened 1/2 cup powdered or confectioners’ sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans 1/3 cup additional powdered sugar, for rolling

optional: 2-3 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, for dipping 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, for Dirty Snowballs Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, ½ cup powdered sugar, and vanilla. Combine the flour and salt and stir into the creamed mixture. Stir in pecans. Chill up to an hour.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes. Pour the additional powdered sugar into a flat bowl or on a plate; for the dirty snowball, add the cocoa powder. When cool enough to touch but still warm, roll cookies in the powdered sugar. Cool, then roll in the sugar again if you’d like. For slice-and-bake cookies, shape the dough into two logs, about 2 inches wide, and wrap in waxed paper, plastic wrap, or parchment paper. Chill about 20 minutes. Slice and bake 18-20 minutes.

When the cookies are cool, lay them on the parchment or cooling rack, melt the chocolate, and spoon or drizzle a half teaspoon or so on the end of each cookie. Makes about 4 dozen.

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From the back cover Erin is one smart cookie, but can she keep the holiday spirit—and herself— alive til Christmas? In Jewel Bay, Montana’s Christmas Village, all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, aka the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily’s turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin. When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece— in time for a special Christmas Eve?



Excerpt from AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES: A shout behind me drew my attention from the pastry tray.

“Go away,” Taya Thornton yelled. “You’ve shamed us enough.”

I hardly recognized the woman who’d been my beloved kindergarten teacher, her skin now flushed, her lips twisted. Behind her and half a head taller, her husband Walt looked confused, his kind eyes uncertain whether to focus on his wife or the fair-skinned blonde in the cherry red ski jacket and Santa hat who stood a few feet away. Merrily Thornton. Their daughter, a few years older than I. “I came to help you decorate.” “We don’t want your help,” Taya snapped.

“Taya.” My mother reached out, but the other woman shook her off.

“Surely we can work this out.” Walt’s voice was thin and strained. He took off his Santa hat and ran a hand over his nearly bald head. “It’s Christmas.” “We gave you everything, and how did you repay us?” Taya shouted. “Why couldn’t you be more like your sister?”

I felt as if I’d been slapped, and the words weren’t even directed at me. Merrily’s shoulders sank and her round cheeks fell, her eyes small behind her tortoise-shell glasses.

Fresca slipped an arm around Taya’s narrow shoulders and turned her toward the door of the antique shop. My mother is slender and unfailingly gracious, but she can be quite forceful.

Walt took a step toward his daughter, hand outstretched, palm down. “It’s best, for now, if you stay away.” He dropped his hand and shuffled after his wife. Only then did I notice the villagers who’d stopped their decorating to watch, silent and horrified. Across the street, Sally stood, coatless, on the sidewalk in front of Puddle Jumpers, one hand over her mouth. I turned toward Merrily, the morning’s good cheer vanished, and looped my arm through hers. “Come decorate the Merc. I never say no to a good elf.”

Recipe, cover copy, and excerpt from AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES by Leslie Budewitz, published by Midnight Ink; available in paperback, e-book, and audio.

Leslie Budewitz writes two nationally-bestselling mystery series, the Spice Shop Mysteries, set in Seattle, and the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries, set in fictional Jewel Bay, Montana. The first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction and a past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in NW Montana with her husband, Don Beans, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their grey tuxedo cat, an avid birdwatcher. Visit her at or on Facebook as LeslieBudewitzAuthor   61


A Celebration of the Arts

The Inaugural Iris Awards For the very first time, the Elk Grove Arts Commission honored local artists who have made their mark in this community. The inaugural Iris Awards, named for the late Iris Zimbelman, founder of the Elk Grove Strauss Festival, took place November 2 in the Elk Grove Park Pavilion. The heavy crystal trophy was presented to Visual Artist Gerry Simpson, Performing Artist Gary Mendoza, and Literary Artist Bill McDonald. The trophy was also given to Judy Tafoya as Patron of the Arts and a special Lifetime Achievement Award to Iris and Arnie Zimbelman.

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community} IRIS AWARDS

Visual Artist Gerry Simpson is owner of “GOS” Studio in Sacramento. His paintings are vibrant abstracts and uplifting urban scenes. He is also a designer of unique clothing made of recycled demi. He uses his art to work with at-risk students in Title 1 schools.

Performing Artist Gary Mendoza is a vocalist, harmonica, guitar, and keyboard player who fronts a blues band. A performer since he was 10 years old, Mendoza often mentors young musicians. Literary Artist Bill McDonald is a published poet and author who helps other writers to promote their work. He has given freely of his time counseling veterans in stress. Patron of the Arts Judy Tafoya is the founder of the Arts Advocacy Project, a program to promote the arts in Elk Grove. Her efforts established March as ARTSbeat month in Elk Grove. Iris and Arnie Zimbelman founded the Strauss Festival in Elk Grove and raised money to build Strauss Island as a platform. July 2019 will be its 32nd Anniversary.

Photo by Laura Beemes

The Arts Commissioners chose the recipients by reviewing their biographies and made a decision based on set criteria. The Commissioners required the artists be residents of the Elk Grove area, be full-time professionals in their chosen medium, have a body of work that has attracted media attention, and have used their talent to help in the community.   63


Tips for Healthy and Safe Holidays Submitted by Kaiser Permanente

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For some, the holiday season means festive parties, joyful reunions with family, and lots of good cheer. For others, it can mean being sick, feeling stressed and eating so much that even your elastic pants won’t fit. And what about decorating accidents? Yes, they happen every year. Here are some simple tips from experts at Kaiser Permanente who will help you navigate the busy season in the healthiest and safest way.

HOW TO STAY WELL “The holiday season means many people will be traveling to visit friends and family. Some may travel even when they are ill. So, to help keep yourself healthy, get a flu shot. Hand washing and hand sanitizer are essential. Also, I always bring alcohol sanitizing wipes. These are to wipe down the seat, arm rest, head rest, and the tray tables to prevent inadvertent spread of germs. While the research is somewhat mixed about taking supplements like vitamin C, Echinacea or Emergen-C, they could help. There is also very little data that it would hurt, although I would recommend speaking with your doctor before taking additional supplements.” – Jason Gritti, MD, internal medicine, Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento



STAYING ACTIVE “Make time for self-care. It’s easy to let exercise slide during the holidays. Sign-up for an exercise class or make an exercise pact with a friend. The busy holiday season is exactly when you need the energy boost that exercise can give you. A family outing can be a fun alternative to another dinner party, or cookie decorating party. Bonus: you don’t have to clean your house! Visit an ice skating rink or a snow sledding park. A winter hike collecting fall leaves can make for some great family memories. Look for gifts for friends and family that keep the ones you love healthy! Passes to parks or zoos make great gifts. Passes to play golf, ski-lift tickets, or yoga classes are also great gifts. And finally, set a plan for getting enough sleep. It’s hard to stay active if you’re feeling sluggish.” – Kathleen Huntley, Health Educator and Program Manager, Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Lifestyle Medicine Department.

HEALTHY EATING “Re-think those food related traditions. Just because you baked 15 dozen cookies for years does not mean that it needs to continue! Have a family meeting to find out the important elements of the tradition to everyone and see if there is a healthier option. For example, if you find out the traditional family cookie recipe is a priority, then make a batch. But then fill your goodie plates around the house with fruit and nuts to give some healthy and easy options.”

– Monica Randel, RD, registered dietitian, Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento

“My favorite low-calorie beverage switch for the holiday is fruit flavored sugar free sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice over ice. It’s less than 25 calories per 8-ounce drink. Serve it in a fancy glass and enjoy.” - Heather Howard, RD, registered dietitian, Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento 68. - Holiday 2018

SAFE DECORATING “The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says thousands of injuries are treated in hospital emergency departments nationwide every year, due to holiday decorations. But there are some simple preventative steps that can keep you safe at home and out of the emergency room. Be careful when climbing ladders to hang decorations. Have someone hold the ladder and spot you to keep you from falling. Also, be careful with sharp, weighted, or breakable decorations that can cause cuts and scrapes. Keep decorations with small removable parts away from young children because they could choke. Avoid or be very careful with candles. Keep them away from trees and decorations, as well as places where kids and pets could knock them over and cause a fire.” – Christine McGahey, Trauma Program Director, Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento

COPING WITH HOLIDAY STRESS “The holidays can represent many things to many people- good, bad and in between. The most important thing to keep in mind (whatever your feelings) is to stay active, work on your health and be aware of your own needs. In other words, don’t overschedule yourself. Plan a mixture of self-care time and time spent doing meaningful and more demanding activities and know that it is OK to say no to trying to do it all! Make sure to stay healthy by moderating your food and drinks (it is easy to overdo it this time of year with so many opportunities.) Know yourself. If you are feeling stretched thin, run down, unhappy or overwhelmed, give yourself permission to take a step back, do less, or reach out for support.” - Hillary Van Horn-Gatlin, PhD, psychologist, Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento/Elk Grove area   69


Stem Cells

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

The use of stem cells in many disease processes and particularly in soft tissue joint injuries, is a dynamic and rapidly evolving field of medicine. For many years, injured athletes have had to go outside of the United States to receive stem cells for knees, shoulder, back injuries, etc., but now it is available here, in the United States. 70. - Holiday 2018

What are Stem Cells and how do they work? A stem cell is a cell that is in an undifferentiated, undeveloped state, basically a blank check. They are found in every single tissue inside our body and their main purpose is to maintain and repair tissue where they reside. There are different types of stem cells that exist. Hemapoietic stem cells, found in bone marrow and umbilical cord blood, are responsible for creating all the blood cells in our body and mesenchymal stem cells, found in the mesenchymal structure the surrounds fat cells, are responsible for creating different tissues in the body. When we have a damaged cell in our body, that cell sends off a chemical signal, sort of like an SOS, to the rest of the body. Stem cells are attracted to this signal. They will attach themselves locally, usually to a local blood vessel. From that location they will nurture the damaged cell back to a healthy state, enabling that cell to do

its job. When stems cells come into your body, they regulate the inflammation and modulate the immune system, while aiding your own cells to regenerate themselves and repair the damaged area.

What types of injuries and disease processes are stem cells beneficial? It has been well established that stem cells are beneficial for soft tissue, joint injuries. Including shoulder, spine, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, back and ankle injuries. Thousands of people have avoided surgery with complete healing of a torn meniscus, ACL, tendinitis, bursitis, rotator cuff tears, arthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome, degenerative disc disease, plantar fasciitis, etc. The stem cells can be delivered a variety of ways, usually directly into the joint of concern or into the back for herniated bulging discs. The cells can also be injected intrathecally, into the cerebral spinal fluid, to allow the cells to cross the

health} blood brain barrier for neurological conditions. Or we can do a systemic approach through IV administration. There have been remarkable stories of persons benefiting that have Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune diseases (like Crohn’s disease), Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy, Lyme’s disease, cardiovascular disease and lung disease. Improvements in diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injuries, ALS and even spinal cord injuries have also been documented. Anecdotally stem cells have also been used in vaginal rejuvenation, acne, stem cell facelifts and hair loss.

How quickly do you see results, and are there any side effects? Results can vary. The initial response is anti-inflammatory, which can be very quick. Many people feel better within weeks to a month because inflammation was the source of pain. New tissue formation can take 3-6 months. This is a slower process that may require a repeat dosing. Particularly for those patients that are suffering from degenerative progressive diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis. Stem cell therapy has a very strong safety profile. Several thousands of people have received stem cells and there have been no documented major, severe adverse events associated with it. However, anytime you pierce the skin, there is a risk of bleeding, bruising and infections. There have been reports of elevated temperature, which resolved within 1-3 days.

It has been well established that stem cells are beneficial for soft tissue, joint injuries. Including shoulder, spine, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, back and ankle injuries.

So why are there so few “studies” for Stem Cell use? Large scientific, double blind studies are supported by the pharmaceutical industry, because at the end of the day, they potentially have something that they can be bottle and sell. Remember that we are harnessing our own healing potential. This is a very natural approach. This is something that your cells are doing inside your body every day. This is not something that can be bottled and sold by the pharmaceutical industry. So, there is not much money to be made by big pharma. Keep in mind that the big pharmaceutical companies are not in the business of curing us. That’s a bad business model. If one pill miraculously healed you, big pharma would be quickly out of business. There are multiple facilities around the country that are working under an Institutional Review Board protocol and collecting data on their results in a manner that can be put together into an authoritative document that helps with specific recommendations. Remember that everything we put in our bodies is broken down to a molecular level which either promotes health or inflammation and subsequent disease. Why not tap into the opportunity to optimize your health at a cellular level and then use stem cells to address any underlying disease and change the course of that disease. Patients are starting to learn that there is another approach to medicine and that the disease process can be addressed at the cellular level and it is possible to get to the root cause of a disease as opposed to masking the symptoms. Do you have a story to share about receiving stem cell therapy or, perhaps, know someone who has received stem cell therapy? I would love to hear from you! Send your stories to Rejuvenation Wellness and Aesthetic Medicine: 9180 Elk Grove Blvd., Elk Grove, CA. 95624 (916) 670-7601   71


How to Stop Failing and Start


with Physical Fitness By Christian Zamora, CSCS

This is the year. This time is different. Past attempts have failed but too much is a stake to fail this time around, right? Wrong. Your attempt to start and stick with an exercise routine has burned up in flames and you’re no closer to achieving your health goals. The only thing you have to show for your efforts is a “gym donation” that needs to be cancelled or a weird inhome contraption that failed to deliver on all of its “guaranteed” results. Then comes the guilt, shame and feeling of hopelessness. What if I told you that these “failed” attempts weren't really your fault?

Most people have been told partial truths about exercise. We’re often given information on how to be successful by someone with a bias toward their particular exercise discipline, program or company. I have no intention to “sell you” on any one type of exercise, program, gym, or piece of equipment. My only intention is to come alongside you and help you decide what a step toward improved physical fitness might look like. Imagine if you felt lean, fit and strong and lived a healthy life of physical activity. What would that mean to you? To your family?

In my years of working with clients and patients, I’ve become convinced that there are three specific areas of focus that will greatly enhance the likelihood of making physical activity a part of your lifestyle.

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The Three Secrets to A Lifetime of Physical Fitness


Stop Doing Too Much Most of the time people starting a physical activity and exercise routine plan commit too much time to their efforts. Sounds weird, right? Hear me out…

No single bout of exercise or 3-6 months of hardcore commitment to working out is going to give you the results needed for a lifetime of health.

We often get over zealous and go from zero days of exercise to trying to commit to 3-5 days a week. Trying to fit 3-5 days of anything to your already busy schedule is going to be difficult. I’m not trying to give excuses, but I understand that there are daily realities that make it difficult to carve out time for ourselves. While I applaud the zeal—and love the willingness to commit, I’d recommend that you pump the brakes and slow down a bit. Too ambitious expectations hinder success. High expectations of change and violation of these expectancies lead to lack of adherence and result in attrition. While the recommendation is to get to a frequency of 150-300 minutes a week, you don’t need to be there week one. The main goal is creating the behavior of physical activity and having it become a part of your lifestyle. With this in mind, make your first fitness goal the act of committing time to your health… and not what you actually accomplish.



You need people who are going to be positive, supportive and have your best interest at heart. Your community, large or small, are people who have earned the right to speak to you candidly, but respectfully, to help keep you on track. You are each other’s guard rails.

Sometimes your “community” may do things differently than you, but you share the same overarching goals. As an example, part of my fitness community is my older brother, Charlie who owns Warriorz Crossfit with his wife Micha. We have very different ways on how we go about things and that includes exercise.

2.Practice Self-efficacy

According to recent research, self-efficacy is one of the most consistent predictors of successful adoption and adherence to exercise. Self-efficacy- refers to the extent to which an individual believes they are capable of carrying out a behavioral change and increasing selfefficacy will lead to increased effort and time being devoted to that task. In short, the more you believe in something, the more likely you are to commit time and effort toward it.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe you can be successful with exercise. The story of “failed” attempts at the beginning of this article is all too true for most people. Often we get caught in our “stinkin thinkin” and feed ourselves the narrative that we won’t be successful.

If believing you are capable of change is what drives you to commit time and effort toward something, how do you think this negative line of thinking is affecting your efforts? Our poisonous thoughts are often undermining our intentions and creating the unwanted reality we were afraid of. Please start believing that you have what it takes. If you can’t seem to get there, find someone who will speak life into you and help you believe until you can see it for yourself. I believe in you.

3.Find Community

I wholeheartedly believe that there is no greater catalyst in our efforts towards something than meeting or talking to the “right” person(s) at the “right” time. Everyone can benefit from a support system.

Any type of lifestyle change is hard, and I can assure you that it’s harder when you feel like you’re doing it alone. Isolation often leads to loneliness and hopelessness. Loneliness and hopelessness have stymied many peoples attempts of improving. Rough days are inevitable, and there will be times where you may want to quit. Having someone in your corner, to help pick you up, when you feel like you can’t go on will be necessary to your success.

The cool thing is that you’ll be able to pay it forward because while bad days are inevitable so are the good ones! Now, not just anyone can be your “community.”

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We like different training styles, have different schedules and hardly have time to do anything active together. However, he is a huge supporter, encourager and accountability partner for me. He lets me know when I’m doing well and kindly redirects me when I’m off track (As the younger brother the “kindly” part wasn’t always the case growing up!). He’s someone I want to share my “mountain top” moments with and one of the first people to meet me in the dark places when I feel like I’ve failed. Having him in my corner helps me to believe that I’m capable of more.

This is the type of support and community that you need to find. Doing so can be difficult, but it will make all the difference.

This is the year. This time is different.

Let’s make this the time that we make lasting change, improve our health and become physically fit. Past attempts have not been failures as much as they’ve been repetitions and learning experiences. If you’re like me, sometimes it takes hearing and experiencing something a few times before it sinks in. Think back to what’s worked and hasn’t worked for you in past attempts. Take inventory of those things and then take the time to consider the three things we discussed in this article.

Shift your focus to the act of exercising and not the exercise itself. This will give you some quick wins and build momentum and selfefficacy. Stop the “stinkin thinkin” and use that positivity to power belief in yourself. Lastly, spend time identifying your “community” as you work towards your goal of lifelong health. Christian Zamora, CSCS is a National Speaker, Fitness Expert & Chief Exercise Physiologist for The Hernried Center for Medical Weight Loss.


Intermittent Fasting Schedules to

Kick-Start Your Weight-Loss Efforts

Could scheduled fasting be the key to your weight loss? Fasting diets are trending right now, as many enthusiasts are claiming that they shed pounds quickly by going without food for a set amount of time. Some celebrities like Justin Theroux and Hugh Jackman have stated in interviews that scheduled intermittent fasting has helped them lose weight and stay lean. A recent study showing the benefits of fasting has even led some doctors to begin suggesting this option to their overweight patients.Â

Those who have found success in fasting say that it makes scientific sense. When you take food into your body, you convert it to energy that is used to burn calories. Unused

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energy gets stored as fat. If you deny your body food, it will begin to burn that excess fat.

Take a look at these popular fasting schedules and talk to your doctor about whether this is a right choice for you.

8:16 Fasting

The 8:16 fasting method is practiced daily, based on spending eight hours of each day taking in food and 16 hours burning it. Choose an eight-hour window when you allow yourself to eat. That could be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., noon to 8 p.m. or any eight hours during the day. During this time, you should eat as you usually do. That will probably include two meals. After the window is closed, do not consume any calories. Stick to drinks like water, coffee and tea.

24-Hour Fasting

The 24-hour fast is more intense than the others, but supporters say it gets easier over time and produces results more quickly. For this type of fasting, you eat as usual for two days. After dinner on the second day, you will not eat again until dinner on the third day, 24 hours after your last meal. Then you repeat the cycle.

It is essential to continue to drink noncalorie liquids throughout your fasts. You should also be exercising regularly, and the meals you do eat should be the same size as they always were. Avoid overeating at dinner after your day of fasting. Some people report incredible benefits on fasting based diets. They say that not only do

Your body needs a particular amount of nutrition to function at its optimal level. Depriving your body of an already depleted food source may cause more harm than good. health}


they lose weight but that they develop stronger mental clarity and improved reaction times. Other people find that strength training is more effective during times of fasting.

Remember that fasting diets are not suitable for children or people with specific health issues. Be sure to consult a medical professional before you try any fasting or severe calorie restriction.

Keep in mind that the food that you choose to consume while incorporating any type of intermittent fasting (I.F.) will make all the difference. If you implement I.F. into your routine, you need to make sure that you are eating healthy, balanced meals. You cannot expect results if you just incorporate I.F. with poor eating habits. Your body needs a particular amount of nutrition to function at its optimal level. Depriving your body of an already depleted food source may cause more harm than good.

For those who have a hard time figuring out what to eat on a regular basis and want to incorporate I.F., I would like to offer another option that will help you in your weight loss goals. My program focuses on flooding the body with proper nutrition while ridding it of toxins. I.F. is done four days a month. Our version of fasting is scientifically proven to allow you to burn fat while maintaining muscle mass. Whereas most fad diets such as water or juice fasting puts your body in a catabolic state that breaks down both fat and muscle. If you are interested in this program, we have a satisfaction guarantee or your money back. This would be the perfect way to jump start your health goals for the New Year. I will coach you through the program every step of the way. Chris Tanaka, Sher Khan Karate, Owner/Senior Instructor Sher Khan Karate, 8932 Elk Grove Blvd. Elk Grove, CA. 916.686.6552   77


Santa Claus is coming to (Old) Town If you're like most of us, this past year went by in a flash. With all the hustle and bustle of day to day living, it's sometimes hard to get in the holiday spirit. There was no better way to do that than "Holiday Open House" in Old Town Elk Grove. Old Town Holiday Open House was the first weekend in November and was just the thing to get everyone in the holiday mood.

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community} HAPPENINGS


in Art and Music

Written by Nan Mahon


Along faded asphalt highways and dusty dirt roads are miles of vineyards that lead to the small town of Lodi, Ca. In 2015, Wine Enthusiast magazine named it Wine Region of the Year. It has also been dubbed the Flame Tokay and the Zinfandel Capitol of the World. Once just a small town south of Sacramento, Lodi has become an attraction for visitors to enjoy art and culture without a trip to a major city. In twelve square miles this town with a population of 63,000 shows off historical and vintages homes, a revamped Old Town with pubs and restaurants, and a major performing arts center. Hutchins Street Square seats 800 in its theatre and brings in touring shows and attractions from across the country. Changing Faces is a non-profit theater company featuring student performers. All year around, Lodi shows its stuff with such events as the Zinfest, and the Downtown Wine Strolls. On most evenings there is live music in the many pubs within walking distance of each other. For foodies there is Savor Lodi, a two and one half hour walking tour of five restaurants. In addition, be enticed by the Wine and Chocolate Weekend. Holidays are special in Lodi, with a Christmas Boutique, a Festival of Trees, and the evening Holiday Parade of Lights. Summer brings the Grape and Harvest Faire and the Wine and Sausage Festival. For nature lovers, there is the Sand Hill Crane Festival. The famous wine mogul, Mondavi, grew up in Lodi. A short drive brings visitors to Woodbridge, a wine and restaurant community he is said to have founded. Before it became famous for its wine, Lodi was a town of sawmills, cattle ranching, and orchards. It incorporated in 1906. The now nationwide popular A&W Root Beer fast food restaurants was founded there. It would seem no other town has done more to reinvent itself from a farming village to an alluring art attraction than this one with a motto of “Livable, Loveable Lodi.” 80. - Holiday 2018

Holiday Music at the Capitol November 30th thru December 23rd.

California State Capitol Museum, in association with the California Legislature Joint Committee on Rules, Governor’s Office and the Department of General Services has worked to restore holiday traditions inside the Capitol. Early twentieth-century floral arrangements, provided by the California State Capitol Museum Volunteers Association, create a lovely backdrop for holiday musical performances in the rotunda. See their website for the full schedule at

An Old Fashion Christmas

Every weekend in December. Fridays from 6p.m. to 8p.m. Saturdays & Sundays: Noon to 5p.m. at the Elk Grove House & Stage Stop Museum, 9941 East Stockton Boulevard, Elk Grove. Museum entrance fee is $5.00 per person. Free parking. Enjoy the Holidays at the Stage Stop Museum with free tours, beautiful Victorian decorations, garland, several lighted Christmas trees, much merriment, and a visit with Santa Clause. Children can decorate a large cookie with frosting and edible decorations. Santa will be at the museum on Saturday’s and Sunday’s until 5:00p.m. Please have children signed in by 4:45 (if they want to see Santa). Professional photos available for $15.

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

Silent Disco at the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink

Thursday, December 20th. 7p.m. to 9p.m. at the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink, 701 K St, Sacramento. The first-ever Silent Disco at the Ice Rink will be brought to skaters by Malt & Mash. Attendees will be transported to an on-ice dance party with headphones synced to three music stations they can alternate between.

save the date Fairytale Town Free Admission Day

Monday, December 24th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Fairytale Town, 3901 Land Park Drive Sacramento. Weather permitting Happy Holidays from Fairytale Town! Guests who visit on Christmas Eve receive free admission. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season with a day of free play for the whole family. Come Visit Elk Grove Fine Arts Center’s New Location! Saturday, January 5th 4p.m. to 7p.m. at 9683 Elk Grove-Florin Rd, Elk Grove, in the Emerald Park Plaza Shopping Center. The new location will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 4p.m. to 7p.m. or by appointment.

School of Rock End of Season Show

The show will feature Elk Grove Artists, Inc. Members in the Main Gallery and Watercolorist Telagio Baptista in the Foyer Gallery. SAVE THE DATE for the Grand Opening Celebration for the Elk Grove Fine Arts Center February 2nd, 4 p.m to 7 p.m., featuring Regional Watercolor Artist Sharon Gerber! Call 916-685-5992, email, or FB Elk Grove Fine Arts Center for details.

National Puzzle Day celebration

Tuesday, January 29th from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Gifts From The Heart Of Elk Grove, 9685 Elk Grove Florin Rd, Elk Grove. Stop by for some fun! They will have puzzles for people of all ages to work on, special discounts and prize drawings! For more information Susie at 916-714-0914 or visit our website at

Father Daughter Dance Series

"Evening in the Mystical Garden" February 1, 2, 8 & 9 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Laguna Town Hall, 3020 Renwick Ave, Elk Grove. The 27th annual Father Daughter Dance series! Dads and daughters will enjoy an evening of dinner and dancing. The event includes a catered dinner, dancing, a special activity and a keepsake for each girl. The Father Daughter dance is suitable for girls age 3 and older. Don't miss this opportunity to create beautiful memories with your little girl! Cost to attend is $30 per person. Pre-registration is required. Resident registration begins December 12, while non-resident registration begins December 26. Registration can be quick and easy using our new online registration system and will begin early December 2018. Register early, dances will sell out! You can also register by phone at 916-405-5600 or 916-405-5300, or in person at a CSD registration location. 82. - Holiday 2018

School of Rock Elk Grove House Band

Saturday, December 22nd from 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and December 27th from 6:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m at the Global Winter Wonderland 1600 Exposition Blvd, Sacramento. School of Rock Elk Grove House Band will bring you rockin holiday music at Global Winter Wonderland at the Cal Expo! Visit for more information on the Global Winter Wonderland.

1st Saturday Art Reception

Saturday, January 12th from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Ace of Spades, 1417 R St., Sacramento. Show for all ages. The School of Rock students will perform music of Queen, Metallica, Green Day, Women Who Rock, Blues Rock, and 90's Rock. Adult students and our staff band will also perform Visit School of Rock Elk Grove’s Facebook page for more event dates. Above Photo: School of Rock Elk Grove House Band Auditions were held November 3rd. The School of Rock House Band music program gives students under 18 the opportunity to join a gigging band composed of fellow musicians from the school.