Central Coast Kind Issue 3: What's Your Kind?

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Birdie band members on stage at the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum’s Kite Festival

THE ART OF LIVING A KIND LIFE Ideas to Help Spread More Kindness


Mentor, Mensch & All-Round Kind Man

WHAT’S YOUR KIND? VOLUNTEERING! Sierra Vista Hospital Auxiliary

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CONTACT US Central Coast Kind Magazine 805.862.9595 PO Box 6555, Santa Maria, CA 93456 www.centralcoastkind.com

OUR STAFF Kim Iribarren, Publisher, President Ralph Iribarren, Co-Publisher Macy Haffey, Creative Director Dennis Young, Executive Producer Jeff Lind, Director of Sales Christy Duncan, Managing Editor

CONTRIBUTORS Judith Amber, Writer Cathy Beaudoin, Writer Coach C, Writer Patricia Gimer, Writer Judythe Guarnera, Writer Janice Konstantinidis, Writer Dottie F. Lyons, Writer Jim Roberts, Writer Lili Sinclaire, Writer Ruth Starr, Writer Susan Tuttle, Writer Dennis Eamon Young, Writer/Photographer

ON THE COVER (L-R) Eileen 0'Shea, Wendy Theis Sell, Chris Slaughter, Terry Lawless, Teresa Gasca-Burk, Gary Burk, Johnny Punches & Scott Adams (not pictured) Jimmy Townsend

A WORD FROM THE FOUNDER What’s YOUR KIND? This last eclipse started my world spinning. It seemed as if I had to jump on and spin out of control, or jump off and focus.... the choice was mine. I choose to focus.... Focus on the positive acts of kindness that I’ve seen take place over the last several months, not just in our Central Coast but in our Country, the United States. It has just been amazing to me to see how many people have come to the aid of helping each other when things become a crisis. Whether it’s a flood/ fire in California, a hurricane in Texas/ Florida or a horrible shooting in Nevada, there have been so many courageous heroes! People that put their life on the line to help complete strangers. It warms my heart and inspires me to be a better person! I’d like to share that feeling with the entire USA in hopes that we could come together with Love and Kindness. My dream is to spread the epidemic of kindness, and shred the anger on Politics and Religious differences or the color of one’s skin! Ugliness infects and in return defects who it is we were meant to be. If you needed a heart transplant and the doctor came in the surgery room and said “I can save your life today, a heart just came in!” Would you be thankful you get to live? Or would

you say “who’s heart? What is the political view of this heart? What color is this heart? What nationality? What religion?” Of course not then it wouldn’t matter, so why should it now? Let people be people and lead by example, not by force! When we are kind to each other we become UNITED! When we show love and respect for each other, we actually feel like better humans! America has freedom because of our Unity, thru lessons from our forefathers and loss/ suffering of our veterans. We all suffer loss and pain in life but we should be grateful for the ability to feel at all, instead of feeling angry, as anger brings shame. Unity allows love instead of hate! Kindness makes your heart feel better! I hope your heart becomes warm when you read through this magazine or any other CCK issues! I hope that you feel the love that I feel when I f ind out stories of just amazing KIND HEROES and random acts of love! I hope you spread the love and ask yourself and your family, What’s YOUR KIND? Enjoy and have a prosperous feast at Thanksgiving! I hope you look forward to our next issue of Central Coast KIND!

The Lord lift up His [approving] countenance upon you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually). -Numbers 6:26 AMP



What's Your Kind? 2017

Kim Iribarren Founder

9 A R T I S T I C A L LY K I N D A C T S 10 Zing Go the Strings of Her Heart


16 Writer by the Sea 18 Paul Fahey

2 3 G R E AT K I N D I N V E S T M E N T S 24 The Art of Living a Kind Life 26 The Kindness of Strangers 28 The Queen of Magic Moments


32 A Call to Action

35 EFFECTIVE KIND GIVING 36 What's Your Kind? Volunteering! 43 No Promotions Please 44 Trailblazer by Design



48 Health & Fun - Partners on the Dance Floor 53 Dottie F. Lyons 54 Seeing is Believing 60 Charlotte Meade 62 Apropos of Nothing Really... 63 Calendar/News 66 29 Simple Ways to Be Fit

48 centralcoastkind.com






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Spread the Love





s you read thru the "What's your KIND" issue, you will find "KIND Love Challenges" spread between the pages, to inspire your heart.

Simple reminders to do a KIND act throughout your days on the Central Coast. We challenge you to share, spread and act KIND every single day! Send us your KIND act's, stories and photos and let us share them in our next "Y be KIND" issue, featuring Shannon Seifert, CEO of the SMV YMCA.


Share this magazine with someone.

Stay humble, work hard and be KIND! ď Ž



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artistically kind acts

10 Zing Go the Strings of Her Heart 16 Writer by the Sea 18 Paul Fahey



ZING GO THE STRINGS OF HER HEART How that bouncy young girl, always singing and dancing around grew up to live a life full of singing and dancing around making everyone feel good.


What's Your Kind? 2017


eresa Gasca-Burk leads a life that has always been steeped in music and helping others to forget their cares. Your feet tap, your hands wave around, your whole body begins to move and you are feeling good. This is music for the kid in everyone. Teresa is the creator and lead singer of BIRDIE, a children’s music project that performs for kids and their families on the Central Coast. Teresa’s mom always had music on and danced around the house singing. Some of her friends would joke about it, but Teresa fondly remembers being at other friend’s homes with everyone gathered around her mom, all of them singing the night away. Her mom sang in the church choir and everywhere else as well, bringing happiness to those around them, throughout Teresa’s entire childhood. Teresa still has many cherished memories of singing Christmas carols with friends and family. Apparently, her dad was limited to singing the Happy Birthday song, hesitant to even sing that. Teresa tells him it has really improved with age. He also has always been supportive of her singing and writing. She remembers singing into a tape recorder with her mom for fun and still has that cassette among her favorite souvenirs of those times. Teresa’s mom would sing even doing chores, harmonizing with Teresa’s aunts. Her mom never sang professionally, but loved to tell the story of a high school friend who had asked her to sing with his band and go on the road with them. “Mom said she didn’t have the courage to do it,” Teresa laughs, “but always wondered how different her life would have been if she had.” This story resonates with Teresa, as she did follow that path. She always felt like she could see and feel other people’s pain, even if they could (or would) not, being naturally

sensitive to the struggles others go through. You cannot help but see that in the way she is careful to be sure that all the little dancers in her classes feel included in a positive sense. She holds these classes at Coastal Dance and Music Academy in Grover Beach, which is where I noticed that even the children’s mothers were bouncing around to the music, with big smiles. Carole King’s “Beautiful” became Teresa’s anthem in life, seeing the power of music and positive imagery to literally transform people, opening them up to one another, letting their inner child come to the fore. Many of King’s words come alive in Teresa’s conversation, as she literally took them to heart. “Get up every morning with a smile on your face, ” is something she does regularly and she feels the truth in King’s words with “Then people gonna treat you better. You’re gonna find, yes you will, that you’re beautiful as you feel.” One of her mom’s uncles in Mexico was a composer and her father’s dad had always played guitar hanging out with family, so music was in the bloodline from both sides, providing a happy backdrop for Teresa’s childhood. Singing together with her mom also imbued her with a sense of the power of music and words together to affect people at all levels, which started her writing poetry. Listening to Teresa’s “Superhero” play while watching her lead a studio full of young children act out a game of saving a princess, complete with props, is to watch those children grow before one’s eyes. Buoyed by words and music and encouraged by Teresa all along the way, their confidence grows and timidity is shed for a positive ‘can do’ image. Carole King would, I am sure, be very proud. “If you’re kind and respectful… you’re a superhero.”

“If you love yourself and always do your best… you’re a superhero.” The words and imagery are purposefully kept simple and straightforward, being that they are meant for a very young audience. Still, they resonate for anyone who listens. It is the basic human message that we all need to hear, that we all have worth and are important in the greater sense. Adding a Bachelor Degree from Loyola Marymount University in 1983, (she was an English Major with a Studio Arts Minor) to the rest of her learning, Teresa went out to conquer the world working with children, finding ways to give them something positive to hold onto and be uplifted by. When she and her husband, Gary, first met in Los Angeles, in 1989, she showed him her poems and he composed music to go with them. He was playing guitar and pursuing his own musical career at the time. They began working together as a rock band, then became an acoustic duo and traveled around California. Gary’s dad had played guitar and so did Gary, so there was a solid music background behind both. Gary had graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1986. He had been in bands even then, having played the infamous WOW WEEK at Cal Poly. He plays guitar and sings, like his father before him. His dad also had a band in college. Teresa began working with kids when she was in high school. She volunteered at a school working with Special Ed kids. Later on she worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District and also in private schools including work with special needs, autistic and schizophrenic children as a teacher’s aide. She has spent her life working with children in one capacity or another trying to alleviate some of the pain in the world centralcoastkind.com


(Zing Go the Strings of Her Heart: continued)

with her infectious and optimistic spirit. Writing and sharing her music is the best way she knew to do so. In 1991 she and Gary married, continuing to play together in bands, mostly around Los Angeles, then decided to move back to the Central Coast to start a family, making the move in 1994. They began to play with friends in coffee houses and bookstores in the area. She began to teach dance after having their two boys, Eli and Raleigh, using children’s music and songs which inspired her to start writing her own. “You write great music and I’ll write the lyrics”, she told Gary, when she suggested they collaborate. “The rest”, as she says, “is history”. Teresa writes positive and kid friendly lyrics, while Gary supplies fun and upbeat music for the band, known since 2003 as BIRDIE when they made their first CD which was named BIRDIE. Accolades have been piling up from parents, children, teachers and music critics alike, at schools, festivals and museums such as the Santa Maria Discovery Museum - Birdie regularly plays at their Nat Fast Day and their annual Kite Festival. John Wood of kidzmusic.com has said, “Fine musicianship is their hallmark… featuring love of family and downright fun”. Also, “… upbeat tunes deliver messages of positive reinforcement, love and acceptance”. Teresa warmly credits Eli and Raleigh with not only singing and playing instruments on their second CD, MY FAMILY TREE, but for their love and patience during countless nights

and weekends at the recording studio. They both have gone on to play in their Junior High band, as well as continuing to sing and play with BIRDIE. The elder son, Eli, has taken to writing music. They are both pursuing other interests in their career paths, but music will always play a strong part in their lives. BIRDIE’s 2012 release, THE KITCHEN PAN BAND, received praise from noted children’s music critic Stefan Shepard of Zooglobble and NPR Radio, with one of the songs appearing on his Spotify playlist. This CD was co-produced with Terry Lawless, famous for his keyboard work with U2, PINK and a long list of other famous musicians. Terry and Gary play in their rock band, Paisley Brothers whenever he’s not out of town, with Teresa joining them on vocals. Teresa loves the fact that her songs are not only positive for the children she works with, but also help the children and their parents communicate better, as demonstrated over the course of generations in her and Gary’s families, creating stronger bonds. Songs like Mother Earth, Slip and Slide, Lucky Dog, Sing and Fly High, as well as all their other mini masterpieces imbue the children with a loving appreciation for music, words and positive energy. Teresa and Gary are doing their part to pay it forward and make the future a better place for all of us. 


Dennis Eamon Young

WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE? For further information please contact: Teresa Gasca-Burk | (805) 440-5352 | birdietunes@yahoo.com | www.birdietunes.com


What's Your Kind? 2017




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EVENT: 2017

Annual Awards & Installation Gala | PHOTOGRAPHY BY Diego’s Shutter Photography



WR ITER BY THE SEA I stand upon the deck,

I stand within the wall of windows,

Leaning to the morning breeze.

She lashes out with wave and wind.

I strain to hear the ocean’s murmur

“Come, play with me if you dare,

As her soft blues turn to green.

Like your ancestors throughout history.”

“Your ancestors lie within my breast,”

Her thousand arms rise and fall

The susurration of her waters sing to me,

To crash upon rocks which bar her way.

Gentle lover in this moment;

They rise with frothy violence.

Her ancient call coos to my waiting ear.

They slam and drag upon the shore.

She stretches languorous waves

“I have secrets you may never know.

To greet the rising sun;

Come to me and rest eternal.

Great birds fall from the sky,

Come strive against my mighty will,

For the sustenance she provides.

Until at last I take you to me.”

“Come play upon me, as your elders have;

This the dream I’d sensed, when but a lad.

I will tune the longing in your soul.

To stand, naked soul that I am,

Caress me with your earthen oars.

Before the might and lure of her:

Come, frolic forever in my vastness.”

To be a writer by the sea.

She sings the songs I’d often dreamt of. Unreachable songs of my kin. She knows the lurkers of the depths, Hidden deep within. POEM BY Dennis


What's Your Kind? 2017

Eamon Young

Portraiture • Commercial • Photojournalism • Fashion • Travel & Nature ennis has worked in all areas of photography, specializing in travel and adventure photo journalism as well as product and portraiture photography. Dennis’ unique ability to synthesize passion and technical expertise is evident in his varied portfolio of images. Dennis’ photos have appeared in major publications and newspapers, such as GQ, SLO City News, Cosmopolitan. His travel landscapes have appeared in several galleries, including SLO Museum of Art. Some local clients are SLO Symphony, Opera SLO, Children’s Resource Network, SLO Night Writers, Clever Ducks, Endeavour Institute and many other private clients and businesses.

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Mentor, Mensch and All-Round Kind Man Picture a writer and what do you see? A figure dressed in shabby-chic clothing, hunched over a keyboard, the room cluttered with manuscripts, loose stacks of paper, a coffee cup steaming on the desk. A solitary figure, lost in his writing. 18

What's Your Kind? 2017


hat if that solitary writer is not so solitary, and he’s only a phone call away from setting aside his own work to help a fellow writer, whether a longtime friend, or someone he’s just met? Add his husband, Bob Franks, and their beloved Shelties to that writing room picture, and you’ll begin to envision the Paul Alan Fahey his writer friends are privileged to see. Central Coast Kind magazine seemed the perfect place to tell Paul’s story. Of course, I’d have to interview him.

Since he’s a humble and unassuming person, I felt confident he’d refuse, citing the many people who really deserved to be featured. When I considered the lifethreatening illness Paul is facing, and his need to focus his energy on healing and his own writing, I decided I needed a Plan B. I recalled conversations about Paul I’d had with mutual writer friends. They included comments like, “Paul’s a mensch,” a good boyo to have a drink with,” “my brother,” “my friend,” my mentor,” “my inspiration.” Ah, why not interview these people for the information I needed? An email went out, replies poured in. A theme quickly emerged. Whether you came to this talented writer/ultimate mentor for writing advice, friendship, or inspiration, Paul was ready and willing to provide it. I decided to begin Paul’s profile with my own perspective. I don’t remember our f irst meeting. It’s as though a back door opened, Paul was there, and bless him, he still is. I’ve discovered I wasn’t the first person to wonder why Paul, a talented writer would take the time to gently nudge me forward on the writing pathway.

darkest places and brings light to himself and others. Lida Sideris Is impressed with how genuine he is— “the real deal.” Lani Steele acknowledges that Paul is one of those people who not only make an impression, but, more importantly, make a difference. Anne Allen reminds us that while teaching at Alan Hancock College, Paul created and edited Mindprints, an international literary journal for writers and artists with disabilities. During his tenure, Mindprints made the list of Writers Digest’s “Top 30 Short Story Markets” for new writers, for two consecutive years. Reviewing what my fellow writers had written about Paul, it struck me that we’d

A “beacon of light in often troubled waters” is how Janice Konstantinidis describes Paul. She appreciates that he models “standards of decency, hard work, intelligence and humor and how to be the best person she can be.” Anna Unkovich “knows of no one more encouraging of writers, or possessing more knowledge about writing than Paul.” Her f irst published work also appeared in Mindprints. “Paul’s love of writing is pure, his joy at the success of others—genuine, authentic. Ah, and his boyish charm.” After Mindprints published one of his stories, Charlie Perryess sent his mother to pick up extra copies. She bent her son’s ear with high praise for the editor, a “marvelous guy, affable, warm, generous, engaging.” Charlie adds, “A kinder and more welcoming human doesn’t exist.”

“Paul’s love of writing is pure, his joy at the success of others—genuine, authentic. Ah, and his boyish charm.”

Dennis Eamon Young insists that Paul is just the person to have a drink and conversation with, or to ask for help with a turn of phrase in his writing. When Dennis said he was impressed with “Paul’s air of calmness,” I almost choked on my bubble-gum. Paul—calm? Really? Now me, I bask in his boundless energy. Ah, one of those proverbial light bulbs went off. There is more to this man than one person can see at a glance. Paul possesses a unique ability to identify what an individual needs, and then to provide it. Eldonna Edwards admires Paul’s skills as a teacher, but even more his ability to move to the next plane, where he validates, supports and celebrates each writer. She’s impressed, too, how this genuine human being manages to find laughter in the


all been channeled into Paul’s inner circle, a circle which requires no credentials, and has no boundaries. We weren’t required to have published books; it didn’t matter what genre we wrote—fantasy, mystery, non-fiction, or poetry—we all qualified. Sue McGinty shared a memory she believes epitomizes Paul’s character. One day when the weather had turned cold and damp, she sat at an outside book fair selling her novels. Sales were minimal and her mood plummeted. Paul and Bob stopped by, recognized her mood, and offered to help. “A cup of tea,” she begged. Off they went. Sue expected a paper cup from a local shop. Her ‘cuppa’ arrived in a “gorgeous tea cup with sides of milk and sugar.” She adds, “The weather didn’t get better, but my mood sure did.”

Rolynn Anderson emphasized how Paul, when asked to help, jumps in with both feet and makes things happen. She describes him as “loyal, loving, bright, witty, passionate about helping others; a cheerleader, mentor and leader, whose body of work defines his skills.”

Linda Lange knew instantly when she heard Paul read from his book, Equality: What Do You Think About When You Think About Equality?, he was someone she wanted to know. Surprised that he would mentor a “newbie,” she experienced his genuineness, creativity and giving spirit. She declares him a “natural mentor and teacher.” Victoria Zackheim, whom Paul calls his mentor, describes him as a “gifted writer, whose short stories belong in the best collections; one of the kindest, most generous and loving human beings to walk this flawed and sometimes cruel planet.” She, too, recognizes how he appreciates humor and irony. While labeling him a “. . . true supporter of her writing life,” she adds a qualifier, “unless he’s diving into a martini.”

(Paul Fahey: continued)

When Susan Vasquez met Paul, she wanted to call him, ‘brother.’ Although she believed such an intimate term should be restricted to people you’ve known from birth, and it seemed wrong to call him that, “but. . .” She signed off, “Love, your sister.”

Tony Piazza appreciates that, “no matter day or night, Paul makes time to answer questions, write a review, or offer encouragement . . . or to just be a good friend.”

Sharyl Heber also sees Paul as a “prolific and talented writer, one who supports his fellow writers.” She adds that he reinforced for her that writing isn’t a “winner/loser game,” and “is honored to call Paul friend.” Catherine Ryan-Hyde, an experienced author, was surprised when Paul asked her to submit to Mindprints. She admired that Paul seemed comfortable enough with himself, to ask her, anyway. Paul believed in the publication and was willing to risk asking, whatever the answer. She states, “Good things happen when you reach out to others in a direct, honest way, which is Paul’s way.” Diane Broyles questions where she would be without Paul. Although both were members of the local chapter of Sisters in Crime, they hardly knew each other, until they each were diagnosed with cancer. Through daily emails, they shared fears about symptoms and treatment. When they finally Needing some cheer, they planned to dance at the group’s Christmas party. When the plan was thwarted because Paul was too ill to attend, they didn’t give up. When they finally celebrated, Diane says they both cried. She’s convinced she owes her recovery to Paul.

Victoria Heckman, who met Paul after submitting to Mindprints, relates how he helped her through her ‘new-writer insecurities’ via emails. When they finally met, “It was as though we’d been friends forever. He’s fun and funny, compassionate and k ind, deep and philosophical, and oh, so irreverent at times.” Wow, I thought I’d used up all the positive adjectives to describe Paul, but then Mara Purl christened him “the king of follow-up.” As they worked on projects, she noted his style. “He approached contacts in a thorough and professional manner and then gently kept the ball rolling.” When, as editor of Equality, a collection of essays, he worked with Mara on her own essay, he “navigated the delicate waters that can sometimes lap gently at the shore of privacy, but just as easily sweep us away in a current of turbulent emotions…” She says, Paul “gave us conduits to use our experiences and

Marilyn Meredith will “always remember the way Paul cooed his trademark ‘Oh, honey,’ at her first Sisters in Crime meeting, then, “tucked me under his wing, and introduced me to everyone like I was his own awkward, little chick.” Most of us can relate to that feeling of insecurity when faced with a new endeavor, a new group. Baxter Trautman also got “tucked under Paul’s wing.” She cited his instinct for kindness and care, his passion for the written word.” She sums it up with these words: “Paul is a boon, not just to those within his wide circle but to the world at large, for his warm inspiration is easily remembered making it that much easier to pass along. Thank you, Paul, not just for making us better writers, but for making us better people.” Upon reflection, none of us ever paid Paul to mentor us. He could have made a bundle if he had. It’s obvious that was never his goal. It’s critical to recognize how important mentors and guiding angels are in our lives. Individuals who attain success, busy with their own lives, often forget the importance of reaching out and helping those still climbing the ladder. Today, more than ever, we need people like Paul who fill in the blanks where book learning leaves off, and add the emotional, personal element that written words can’t convey. The journey to our own success becomes so much easier.

If I were to list all Paul’s writing accomplishments— anthologies he’s edited, short stories, novellas, and essays he’s written, the awards he’s won, they would take up more room than I have space for here.

the song’s message. As Paul battles his own cancer, he also follows her advice to “keep on moving.” Moving includes mentoring and helping his friends and there’s always room for one more friend.

His memoir, The Mother I Imagine, The Mom I Knew, will be available soon. In it you’ll be able to read details of his interesting life and find answers to questions I’ve raised.

Paul’s “vagabond” childhood, his stint in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, his devotion to students with disabilities, his thirty years as a teacher in higher education, all have created the fabric of this man who has helped an inspired so many authors. 

Paul sang, Look for the Silver Lining at his mother’s funeral. He and his mom survived rough times, taking heart from



writing to make a difference in the world.”

What's Your Kind? 2017

Judythe Guarnera


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Take a minute to direct someone who is lost, even though you may be in a hurry.

great kind investments

24 The Art of Living a Kind Life 26 The Kindness of Strangers 28 The Queen of Magic Moments 32 A Call to Action



THE ART OF LIVING A KIND LIFE I love reading stories of people doing good, kind things for other people. The news is so full of doom and gloom that stories about real people caring for others, and helping to make this a better world, renews my faith in humanity.


ut if you’re like me, when you read these kind of stories, you think, “I wish I had the time to do stuff like that.” Or even, “I wish I had the ability, or the money, to reach out like that.” However, living a kind life doesn’t mean running a soup kitchen, visiting the sick in a nursing home, or organizing a non-profit association that helps the homeless. The seeds of kindness can be sown everywhere we walk. Kindness is not something we do. It’s a way of life. Kindness in its most elemental form is defined by small actions, by everyday things. Not everyone can be a hero; not everyone can start movements or foster huge changes. But we all can be kind, minute-by-minute, day-by-day. I often liken kindness to a packet of wildf lower seeds. When you indulge in kindness, you pour those seeds into your hand and blow. The seed take flight and disperse everywhere, taking root along the way. Let your seeds of kindness loose on the world in which you live. You never know where they will land, or what effect they will have as they grow and bloom. Be warned, though: kindness is addicting. You’ll feel so good when you commit acts of kindness, you won’t be able to stop. And that’s a good thing, because nothing can make us happier, or healthier, than living a kind life.


What's Your Kind? 2017

Here’s a baker’s dozen of ideas to help inspire you on how to let your seeds of kindness germinate in today’s world:

1. Smile at everyone you pass by, not just at people you know. Always remember, your smile may be the only nice, kind thing that person experiences all day. 2. When you see something you like—a hair style; clothing; a piece of jewelry; even someone’s car— don’t remain silent. Tell the person how nice that item is. One kind, sincere compliment can turn around a person’s day. I saw a middle-aged woman leaving a store with a depressed slant to her shoulders and a scowl on her face. People detoured around her negativity. I stopped and said to her, “Gosh, your dress is lovely. It’s the perfect color for you.” She blinked, then broke out into a delighted smile. “Thank you,” was all she said in reply, but her step was lighter, her shoulders straighter, and she was still smiling as she strode off toward her car. And I felt great, myself. 3. Don’t hoard your leftovers. Instead, fix a plate and take dinner to an elderly neighbor, or to someone who works long hours and doesn’t have much time to cook. Or just someone who doesn’t like to cook. 4. Be a “Secret Santa”—Bring in your neighbor’s garbage cans after pickup; rake the leaves off their front lawn; sweep off their front porch, etc. And do it all without letting them know who did it. 5. Tell those you love, friends and family both, that you love and appreciate them. Tell them every day. No one ever gets tired of hearing they are loved. Be specific: “I appreciate so much the way you always open my car door. Thank you.” Remember, most people never know how what they do affects those around them. It’s nice to let them know they’re doing a kindness that’s appreciated.

6. Always use the “Oreo cookie” method when letting someone— coworker, family member, friend— know they need to improve in some way. “Oreo cookie” means that what needs improving is “sandwiched” between two sincere compliments: “You’re doing a great job on this newsletter. I wonder, though, if you moved this part to the end if it might not flow better. I really love this layout you designed. I’m glad you’re working on it.” We all know how discouraged we can get when all we hear is criticism; we end up feeling we can never do anything right. A spoonful of (Oreo) sugar will definitely make the medicine go down more easily. 7. Don’t hoard your talents. They were given to you to share. If you have a good voice, join a church or secular choir. If you know how to knit or crochet, hold a weekly (free) class at the local community center and teach others the skill. If carpentry or auto repair are your bailiwick, help a neighbor who needs the car tuned or a loose board fixed. 8. Listen when others talk to you. Sometimes, all a person needs is a sounding board, someone to empathize with them. When you see someone who looks depressed, sad, or upset, ask what’s wrong, then sit with them and just listen. Give advice only if they ask for it. 9. Keep a dollar bill in the car cup holder and give it to the stranger who is on the street corner holding a sign, needing help. Even just a dollar will let that person know someone cares, and a single dollar won’t break your bank, even if you do it once a week.

10. Every once in a while, pay for the coffee for the person standing in line behind you. Just because you can. And just because it will lift their spirits, and show them what true kindness is made of. One day Mark entered his local coffee shop feeling depressed; it had been a bad week,

gifts for people who might have need of either the item or the caring thought behind it. Check the dollar store for such things as: pocket calendars, hand lotion, pretty candles, socks, hair ribbons, pocket f lashlights, etc. Once a month spend $5.00 on 5 items that you can anonymously

Tell those you love, friends and family both, that you love and appreciate them. Tell them every day. No one ever gets tired of hearing they are loved. and his new career had stalled. When he paid for his coffee, he also paid for the person in line behind him. He left, clutching his cup of coffee, his step lighter and his outlook more positive than it had been for a while. And the person behind him left feeling grateful and astonished, never knowing who had done him that kindness. 11. When buying canned or boxed goods—say corn, peas, or beans, rice or pasta—buy two of each can or box. Donate the extras to your local soup kitchen, to help them feed the homeless. This will only cost you a few dollars, but will help make life easier for someone who has little or nothing. 12. Watch for opportunities to leave little “squizzer” (small, inexpensive)

leave on a coworker’s desk, at someone’s doorstep, in someone’s car, tucked into a friend’s purse... all anonymously. 13. Get in the habit of sending “ just because” cards to family, friends, and acquaintances. Check the dollar store for any occasion cards, cards of encouragement, cards of thanks, cards that say “you’re special” in some way. Try to send at least two cards a month. Now it’s up to you. Where and how will you blow your seeds of kindness as you practice the Art of Living a Kind Life? 


Susan Tuttle

THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS I have always hated throwing up, not merely disliked it, but hated it. My brother and sister did too. As I gazed out of the window enjoying the passing scene on Lexington Avenue, I heard dreadful gagging sounds and turned to see a boy throwing up all over his beautiful camelcolored coat. When he was done, he sat next to his mother, sobbing.... My father to the rescue! Reaching across the aisle, he extended a white handkerchief to the boy’s mother who tenderly wiped her son’s face while my father produced a second handkerchief to wipe his coat. Then seeing that this didn’t really take the tell-tale stains away, he said: “We live just a few stops from here. Come home with us and my wife and I can clean his coat. He can rest up until he feels up to a bus ride again.” The mother protested that she didn’t want to be a burden to us and that they could manage. My father countered, “You won’t be and rest assured, I’m an old hand with this situation.” Then he handed her his lawyer’s business card as reassurance that he wasn’t some kind of con man.


he origin of this attitude was probably due to a quirk of my mother who was always absent at critical moments. My father, however, had no trouble with this vile activity and was kind enough to help out. When stomach trouble brewed, my mother dispatched him to the front line and went back to bed. Somewhere during his life, probably in the army, my father acquired the belief that adversity could be overcome by positive thinking and he applied this philosophy to his children’s, throwing up. Whenever I became nauseated, he accompanied me to the battleground, the bathroom, and stood by as a drill sergeant, leading me in the mantras “I will not throw up” and “I am feeling better and better”. Sometimes this worked. The pristine toilet seat was lowered and I went back to bed, exhausted by hours of ‘mind over matter’. Sometimes it didn’t work, and the disgusting event happened. In that case I went back to bed feeling appreciably better. With this history, it’s not surprising that one of my fondest memories is about the kindness my father showed to a small boy we encountered on a Manhattan bus in the early 1950’s.


What's Your Kind? 2017

I listened to this conversation in complete disbelief, thinking “But you don’t know these people, Daddy!” and then found I had said this out loud. “Think how you’d feel if it were you,” he said. “Wouldn’t you be glad someone offered to help?” Further surprises at home. My mother didn’t recoil or leave the scene but instead escorted the throw up boy’s mother into the living room saying, “Please sit down. Let me take his coat. I have a special stain remover that should do the trick.” Then turning to the boy and learning his name she said: “Well, Danny, while I’m cleaning your coat why don’t you go with Judy (me) and freshen up? There’s a brand new toothbrush in my bathroom.” He nodded “yes” and actually smiled. I kept my distance as Danny’s escort, not wanting to get near him until he was completely decontaminated. After that, we went to my room and played with my new marionettes from Indonesia while our parents chatted. The strings became entangled and Danny and I had to work together to separate them. By the time my mother appeared, we were old friends. “It’s time for Danny and his mother to be on their way”, she announced. They were going to a birthday part y when Danny became sick. Let’s walk them to the bus stop.” Then she got his coat which was magically restored to nearperfect condition and the two families descended in our building’s small, Parisian-like, cast iron elevator. When we

reached Lexington Avenue, Danny’s mother said: “I don’t know how to thank you. You were so kind. I hope I can return a similar favor someday to a parent in my predicament.” Surprising myself mightily, I said: “Me too”, and waved as they boarded the next bus and disappeared in the traffic. Many years passed, more than forty, and I was living in San Francisco. My mother had died, and my father had re-married an old childhood friend, Blanche, and was living in New York City. In spite of years of heavy drinking and smoking, my father had always been what he called ‘healthy as a horse’ as well as the possessor of a ‘cast iron stomach’. But finally at age 75, the years of self-abuse took their toll and he developed liver cancer which in those days was usually fatal. The oncologist gave him only a few months to live, so I f lew to New York for what I expected would be my last visit with him. Within a few days of my arrival I came down with a nasty cold and cough. When it got progressively worse, my father suggested I see his doctor. He prescribed a cough suppressant that, unknown to me, contained a good amount of codeine that can cause nausea. The next morning my father, Blanche and I were going out for brunch at their favorite East side deli and I wanted to be well enough to go. So during the night I took an extra dose of the medicine and yet another before braving the cold windy streets.

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We were seated near the back of the deli, the better to people watch I thought. But when I opened the menu and read about such specialties as noodles kugel and kosher franks from Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs, a wave of nausea swept over me. Seeing the look on my face as I closed the menu, my father asked what was wrong. I teared up just as I had at age five and wailed, “I think I’m going to throw up!” But he did not offer to accompany me to the bathroom to coach me out of it by positive thinking. Instead, he offered practical advice. “Can you make it to the sidewalk outside?” I ran, barely made it, and humiliated myself by throwing up on a public sidewalk in broad daylight in front of numerous spectators. My father and Blanche were waiting for me at the table when the ordeal was over. “How are you feeling, Judy?” my father asked in a sympathetic tone. “Better, much better,” I answered and re-opened the menu, choosing toast with no butter. 


Judith Amber



The Queen I’m on the lookout for a hummingbird called Anna’s Hummingbird. It’s a colorful little thing, much like my dear friend, Anna Unkovich.


he reason I’m looking for it, is because Anna told me when I saw one, I’d know she was near. She revised her status earlier this year and climbed the ladder to get a better view of this troubled world. You see, she died in August. I hesitate to say she lost her battle with cancer, because Anna didn’t lose battles. She just repositions, hence climbing the ladder to get that better view. Anna, a teacher and a coach, dedicated her life to teaching and helping others to achieve their potential, whether it be in the classroom, on a sports field, or at their desks writing. Although she had 40 years of teaching experience, she didn’t limit her audience to young people. She loved the classroom, her role as teacher and coach, but most especially, she loved her students. Because she cared so much about their success, she took the next step, sharing her message, her examples, and her wisdom with her fellow teachers. At local and state teacher conferences, she gave presentations and keynote addresses. She spoke to international audiences, using stories for motivational teaching. Anna and her two college roommates selected literacy as one of their goals. This dynamic trio traveled with their passion and enthusiasm, tailoring their presentations to the identified needs of their audiences. To be in Anna’s presence evoked the same kind of joy one experiences after a long rainy spell, when the sun comes out. I was in several writing groups with Anna and we looked forward to her colorful clothing, purple streaks in her hair (she loved purple), her shoes and socks, the most intriguing jewelry you ever did see—all coordinated. She was often accompanied by chocolate which she readily shared. At Christmas time, she’d bring brochures on all her favorite charities, and there were many. We would choose our favorite and she’d donate in our names as her gift to us.


What's Your Kind? 2017

I echo the sentiment posted on her FB page, “Anna, rest in peace,” except that I’m not really sure she can do that. She had energy and enthusiasm for everything she did. During her journey with cancer, her energy flagged, but she learned to pace herself. Last year, barely “upright”—her ongoing goal, after some serious ‘not upright’ time, she joined a group of us who were packing goodie bags for the Central Coast Writers Conference. I was worried she was overdoing, but she stuck in there to the end, despite the 100- degree temperature. We all knew how important that work was for her. She’d been the Coordinator of Volunteers for the conference for as long as I could remember. Anna encouraged her volunteers to share her energy and enthusiasm, which helped the conference earn the reputation of being one of the best conferences in the west. I titled this piece, Magic Moments, because Anna created them wherever she went. Yes, Anna was a writer, but she was also a published writer. She co-authored Chicken Soup for the Soul in the Classroom with Jack Canfield and Victor Hansen. Anna used Chicken Soup stories daily to inspire and motivate her students and to create positive changes in the classroom environment. I quote from her website: “Anna combined students’ favorite stories with lesson plans and activities that light a fire for reading, while building character and creating a classroom family.” No wonder other teachers were captivated by her work. Anna was acknowledged six times in Who’s Who Among American Teachers and Educators. She received multiple awards for teaching, coaching, and her own writing. One of her former students posted the following on her FB page after Anna’s death: “Because of Anna Unkovich I had enough self-esteem to keep my head up during the hardest year of my entire life. I had just lost my dad to a freak accident. I was also struggling with knowing that I was gay. She taught me how to find happiness in some of the smallest places. I’m so glad she and I reconnected over the last couple of years. Until we meet again . . .”

of Magic Moments T E AC H I N G T O T H E H E A R T

Anna and her husband, Don, shared holiday meals with our family of friends. We are only one of her families, many of which originated in her classes. Another student who f lew to Arroyo Grande to pray with her to help her heal, also posted on her FB page: Words escape me today how to convey the impact Coach Anna Unkovich had on my life, and I know on the lives of many others. Because of her reaching out to me . . . and asking me to join a junior high school track team, my life was changed forever. Neither of us knew . . . that the road map of my life was created at that point. . . She pushed and motivated me for years, and of course was a constant inspiration. I have been so privileged to have had so many experiences with her over the past 25+ years. To have been able to share the joy and tears this past year of her life has been the honor of my life. It has been one of the greatest blessings from God for me to have been able to have Coach in my life. I will never forget this remarkable woman. Love you Coach Unk! Of her writing achievements, Anna treasured the Chicken Soup curriculum series, as it provided her with a broader audience with which to share her message. A follow-up in

“Good teachers, those who connect with their students and who inspire them to learn, are the ones who are open to opportunities that come to them seemingly from out of nowhere." 2010 was Magic Moments: This Worked for Me. She knew that magic moments are what keep a teacher going—those moments when eyes clouded with confusion light up with understanding. As Anna approached her death, she expressed her one regret. She had never fictionalized her story as the first woman coach of boys’ sports teams in her school system. It would have been quite a story, as she broke barriers in a field where she was a first. Can you imagine what this woman, with her deep awareness of the needs of her students, was able to accomplish as she

taught and applied motivational skills to create successful outcomes for young athletes? Anna’s record included coaching students through multiple undefeated seasons in track and field, some on to state championships. She was the former Head Coach of the Northeast Intermediate Boy’s Track team in Midland, Michigan as well as coaching men’s and women’s cross country, swimming, and diving teams. Her skills were employed at both the middle and high school levels.

Anna believed in the ideology behind paying it forward; she served as the Education Director for the Pay It Forward Foundation. Coming full circle to magic moments, the following words introduced Anna’s book, Magic Moments: This Worked for Me: “Good teachers, those who connect with their students and who inspire them to learn, are the ones who are open to opportunities that come to them seemingly from out of nowhere. Teachers refer to these occasions as ‘Magic Moments, and are grateful when these gifts occur.” Anna appreciated the education she received through Central Michigan University’s Education Department, “where” she says, “it all began.” If you go to her website: http://annaunkovich.com/books.html and purchase a Chicken Soup for the Soul in the Classroom curriculum guide, or Magic Moments, the department will receive 90% of the profits. Anna connected locally with writers through her classes at Alan Hancock College, and through her writing. Her warm, passionate, friendly, articulate style worked with learners of all ages. She volunteered as an editor for a writing column which helped local writers become published authors.



(The Queen of Magic Moments: continued)

What have I learned? It always boils down to love. It’s a stronger force & will override fear every time. Focus on the positive, no matter what. Every experience has a lesson. Look for it. As a teacher, she saw her task as a dynamic one, teaching curriculum while mentoring students by showing them how to survive in the real world. Her goal was to “change the world, one student at a time.” If you look around, you’ll see many good teachers, but once in a while, you’ll have your own ‘magic moment’ and you’ll encounter an exceptional one like Anna. I think I sighted an Anna’s Hummingbird the other day. Be assured I’ll keep looking, as I need to know this special woman is still close by, encouraging me and others to make our communities better places to live. Now for Anna’s last lesson: The following is what she posted as a farewell on her Face Book page: If you’re reading this, I’m gone from life in this body and have moved to the next adventure. It’s been a good run-even this, or especially this past year of cancer and the amazing people I’ve been blessed to meet. The cards, letters, face book posts, children’s drawings, FaceTime with family and friends. And love...always love. What have I learned? It always boils down to love. It’s a stronger force and will override fear every time. Focus on the positive, no matter what. Every experience has a lesson. Look for it. Avoid toxic people and toxic things (like TV and the News). Be the change! If you aren’t part of the solution you’re part of the problem. Make a difference in the world. Take a stand. Take risks or you’ll never move forward. Live life as if each moment were the first...or the last. Every day, choose joy.

Finally, I want to thank each and every one of you for the love and joy you’ve brought into my life. Much Love, Anna (AKA Anna Banana, Coach Unk, Ms. Unk) 



What's Your Kind? 2017

Judythe Guarnera

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Families & Individuals –


A Call to Action

t should go without saying--regardless of political affiliation--it is far better for our communities to solve local needs rather than depend upon the government. Right now on the Central Coast there is a significant need which needs families and individuals to rally together to solve! To put it bluntly, there are not enough individuals and families to care for and meet the needs of the children and youth in our local foster care system. This shortage represents a significant community need--these are our kids who, through no fault of their own, have been removed from their families. These children and youth need our help. My organization, the Family Care Network, has partnered with our Central Coast counties for nearly 30 years to provide families who nurture, support and provide treatment to foster children and youth. At one time, we had enough families to serve 150 or so foster youth. Now, we have about one third of that capacity. And all of our local foster care agencies are being similarly impacted. In my 45+ years of working with foster youth, I have never seen a time such as this, where it has become increasingly challenging to recruit foster families, now called “Resource Families” in California. And this scarcity is not without consequence--serious consequences—for our children. Imagine what it must feel like for a child to be traumatized by abuse or neglect, traumatized again by being removed from their family for their safety, and then further traumatized when there isn’t a family available to care for them. It is not uncommon for a child taken into Child Protective Custody to be placed in a motel room with 24/7 supervision, or trucked to an out-of-county institutional shelter, all due to the lack of local families. Unfortunately, children are being cared for this way more regularly. The need for Resource Families here on the Central Coast is further compounded by recent changes in Public Policy. California has embarked upon the most sweeping overhaul of its foster care system ever. This overhaul involves seriously limiting the use of group homes and institutional care for foster youth and increasing the use of family-based care. This change in policy is wonderful news for foster children and youth, as it allows them to be cared for in a family-based setting while remaining in their own community and in their own school, close to their friends and family. The downside of this reform process, however, is that there are not enough families to serve foster children and youth. Currently, there are close to 60 children and youth within San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties who need to be returned to our community to be placed in a family-based setting from their group homes, compounding the already present shortage of homes.

Let me dispel some of the “myths” about foster care: 1) Foster youth are not “bad,” or “problem” kids; these youth are victims. 2) Foster parents care for youth until they become adults. Actually, the goal of foster care is to reunify children with their families or place them in a permanent home quickly— foster care is not the permanent solution. 3) Foster parents are obligated to adopt their foster child. Adoption is a voluntary choice to provide a permanent home—it is not required or expected. 4) Foster parents are left to fend for themselves. Hardly. The Family Care Network provides services and supports 24/7 and works very closely with our Resource Families to make sure their needs are met and they are successful. 5) Only married couples can become foster parents. This myth is far from reality. Any indiv idua l or family who meets lega l requirements can become a Resource Family. Anyone willing to serve, can help. There are many foster care options for individuals or families to choose from. There is Emergency Shelter Care where the parent is available to receive children taken into protective custody. Or a family can choose to provide Respite Care, taking in foster children periodically or short-term to give another family a break. Many local families are interested in Foster-Adoption, receiving a foster child who is eligible for adoption. Providing Basic Care of children pending family reunification or permanency placement is the most common form of foster care. Many individuals and families are now choosing to provide Treatment Family

WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE? For further information please contact: (805) 781-3535 or (866) 781-3535 | ResourceFamily@fcni.org | www.FCNI.org

Care (TFC), where they learn specialized sk il ls to help foster children hea l, participate in the treatment-team process, and receive intensive services and supports in order to promote their success. Foster children’s medical, dental and mental health needs are completely paid for and the Resource Parents receive financial reimbursement to make sure they’re fully able to provide for the foster youth in their care. Under California’s new “reform,” Resource Parent reimbursement rates have been increased,

and for those individuals and families providing Treatment Family Care, reimbursement rates are designed to allow one stay-at-home parent; plus, all foster care reimbursements are tax-free child support. Right now, more than ever, there is an opportunity for you to be part of solving a serious need on our Central Coast. The Family Care Network would be ecstatic to approve an additional 25-30 new Resource Families in both of the counties we serve.

If you have a heart for children, are a family with or wanting kids, single, or an “empty nester,” there is a child or youth who needs you. Please call (805) 781-3535 or toll-free (866) 781-3535 and someone will personally answer all of your questions; you can also visit www.FCNI.org; or email us at ResourceFamily@fcni.org. Please Spread the Word – There is a Call to Action! Let’s make sure our Central Coast children and youth are properly cared for! 

STORY BY Jim Roberts Founder/CEO | Family Care Network, Inc.




Out of the blue, send flowers to a friend.

effective kind giving

36 What's Your Kind? Volunteering! 43 No Promotions Please 44 Trailblazer by Design



What’s Your Kind?


Since time immemorial, humans have been in groups, whether a clan or community. We’ve come together not just to survive, but to thrive. A group is only as good as the deeds its members perform. The American born philanthropist, Shari Arison, who also happens to be the wealthiest woman in Israel, wrote the book, The Good Deed Model. Shari says, “Doing good holds the power to transform us on the inside, and then ripple out in ever-expanding circles that positively impact the world at large.”


What's Your Kind? 2017


he community of San Luis Obispo is held together by some very good deed doers. Some of them can be found at the Auxiliary department of Sierra Vista Hospital. Carol Caccese is the coordinator of the entire program. Carol has been doing the work she does for approximately f ive years. No one, including Carol, is paid for their time. All the Auxiliary volunteers put in the hours out of the goodness of their hearts. The auxiliary was started by Glenn Carlson back in 1974. At that time, Glenn was the CEO of Sierra Vista. It was his idea to start a volunteer auxiliary to help the hospital employees. The plan was to bring in extra help to create an atmosphere that ran more smoothly



for workers and patients. He asked his assistant, Eleanor Sears, to help him in his endeavor. Eleanor placed an ad in the newspaper, and interest grew from one person to 25. Since its inception, the volunteer group has expanded to encompassing four parts to the program; the Front Desk, Gift Shop, Emergency Services, and Neonatal Cuddlers. There are now over 100 volunteers, and in 2016 nearly 20,000 hours were logged in at the different programs. The front desk volunteer program is run by Linda Zeuschner, who has worked there since 2009. The front desk serves as a guidepost for everyone who enters the hospital. Besides sitting behind the desk with warm welcoming smiles, the volunteers help people find their way

throughout the hospital. They also escort patients when needed. Some of their other duties include, delivering newspapers, f lowers and lab specimens. The workers answer any questions that come their way. There are 35 volunteers that fill the day shifts and Coleen Mattison is one of them. She started volunteering after she retired and has been working at the hospital for about seven years. Collen enjoys helping others, and the auxiliary is a fun way she can do that. The front desk has evening volunteers too, many of these are Cuesta or Cal Poly students. Bette Retzloff is another caring person whose smiling face welcomes visitors at the front desk. She’s been working there since 1997, and at age 92 she’s the auxiliary’s oldest volunteer.

The gift shop is run by Althea Schroeder. She’s been a volunteer for about 17 years and has put in over 14,000 hours so far. She f irst got involved because her mother was a volunteer until she was 87 years old. There are 14 other dedicated volunteers that help Althea keep the gift shop running smoothly. There’s a really wonderful thing about the gift shop, and it’s not just the beautiful gifts. The shop makes money that goes back into the community. There are foundations and scholarships at Cuesta College and Cal Poly State University. The foundation at Poly has been in existence for over 35 years. There are about 30 Cuesta students who receive scholarships from between $300-$1000 yearly. For Cal Poly there are between



(What's Your Kind? Volunteering!: continued)

10-15 students who receive the same amounts in scholarship money. Some of the other organizations that the gift shop proceeds go to are; The American Cancer Society, Hospice, Meals on Wheels, Prado Day Center, and Transitions Mental Health. Althea talked her brother Jim Irvin into becoming a volunteer after he retired. “It took me a year to get a yes from Jim,” Althea says. But once Jim got involved there’s no turning back for him. Jim enjoys his work at the hospital, spending a good 20 hours a week volunteering. Some of that time is spent at his own home doing laundry for the lost and found items that are left at the hospital. Jim was born in the original Sierra Vista Hospital, and he was chosen as the Volunteer of the Year for 2017. The Emergency Service Program was created by Cheri Nicklaus along with Sue Dariz in 2005. Most of the 15 volunteers are Cal Poly or Cuesta students who are pursuing medical careers as physicians or nurses. According to Cheri, who still runs the program, “Some of our early volunteers are already doctors!” The ES volunteers also include some seniors who are retired nurses. When the ER is impacted, one of the most important things the volunteers do is ready patient rooms for the next patient. This allows the Nurses and EMTs to tend to other tasks to meet the patient needs. Volunteers can also observe medical procedures upon approval of the physician and nurses assigned to that patient. Another wonderful program that the auxiliary has is the Neonatal Cuddlers Program. When mommies and daddies can’t be with their precious wee ones, or when the awesome nurses are busy doing other critical tasks, the Cuddlers step in with their open arms. They hold and rock babies in the Neonatal ICU at the request of nurses. These caring helpers also stock linens and deliver specimens to the lab. Debee Wachtel, who’s worked as a volunteer for over four years, and for the past two years has been in charge of the Cuddler Program says, “My shift is the highlight of my week. I may just hold one baby for several hours, or two or three babies for an hour or two each. It varies each week, and each shift,


What's Your Kind? 2017

but it’s always the sweetest experience.” There are 35 Cuddlers to cover all the shifts. The goal of the program is to provide a more infant friendly world for the tiny NICU patients. The specially trained Cuddler volunteers contribute significantly to the calm, gentle, caring atmosphere these babies need. All the volunteers of the Cuddler Program bring a big dose of love to what they do. And just as Debee feels being a Cuddler is the highlight of her week, the other kind hearted souls in the program get to take those warm, fuzzy feelings home when their shift is over. Sophocles, the ancient Greek playwright said, “To be doing good deeds is man’s most glorious task.” A big thank you to all the volunteers of Sierra Vista Hospital for giving of their time to help not only the people in the hospital, but the many people in the community who benef it from their work. To become a volunteer a background check is done, and there is also an orientation. The process takes about four weeks. Training is on the job. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer may pick up an application at the front desk. At this time there are openings for Front Desk, Emergency Services and Gift Shop volunteers. On occasion there are also openings in the Cuddler Program. You can go to www.sierravistaregional.com for more information. Simply click on the For Family and Visitors tab. 


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The mission of Alternative Neurological Solutions (ANS) is to help provide lifechanging functional neurology treatment for those patients who cannot afford the care they need, particularly our wounded vets with PTSD.

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WWW.ALTERNATIVENEUROLOGICALSOLUTIONS.COM Miller Chiropractic has been a part of the Santa Maria community since 1961. We have been utilizing functional neurology to help our patients since 1994. As we have acquired more equipment and technology to better serve our community, we have noticed there is a greater need for care than there is funding available for the necessary treatment. Therefore, we had the vision to start a 501c3 corporation called Alternative Neurological Solutions (ANS) in the hope of raising money for those patients that cannot afford the care they need, particularly our wounded vets with PTSD. Functional Neurology focuses on improving the function of targeted pathways to the brain using specific exercises. It can repair damaged pathways or create new pathways to improve the function of the nervous system through neuroplasticity.

Dr. Wayne Miller, D.C., D.A.B.C.N. Doctor of Chiropractic / Chiropractic Neurologist

2441 Professional Parkway | Santa Maria • (805) 934-5703 • wayne@weadju.com

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Patricia Gimer

3rd generation family Chiropractor

172 Station Way • Arroyo Grande


arroyograndechiropractic.com centralcoastkind.com




How a young girl, encouraged only to “get out of the house and get married”, struck out to blaze her own path of understanding and help others. She still does both!

at Gimer, born into a small upstate New York community, was one of four daughters, but no sons, to teenaged parents who had dropped out of high school. Other than teaching her “right from wrong” their only answer to life’s struggle was to get married at eighteen and settle down. Her constant barrage of questions about what words meant and why people behaved the way they did were disparaged and her wishes for higher education ignored at best, but mostly discouraged. Beginning at an early age she would pepper her mom with questions about words, not only what they were, or how they fit together, but the deeper meanings within them. Words and behaviors, then and now, have always defined who Pat is in

the world. She still has that indefatigable itch to get at the real, deep meaning behind each. She has a deep-seated need to get at those answers, to draw them into the open, to understand them in a total sense. This is cathartic for her individually and helpful to those around her. I first noticed Pat when I was President of SLO NightWriters. In a room full of writers listening to a presentation, she would not only be taking copious notes, but also asking the questions others had not thought to ask. She will turn the question around in her mind a few times before asking it, to be sure it’s just right. Hers is a natural beauty that obviously comes from a place deep inside, way

beyond the surface thoughts that bog most of us down. Just the same as she takes her time to form the question, so also she takes the time to draw you out, then sit and listen intently. She has a way of cocking her head, chin out, so you feel as if you are the only two people in the world at that moment and what you have to say is of the utmost importance. “Although she groomed me to become a wife,” Pat tells me, “my mother, bless her, did encourage me to learn typing in case their Plan A did not work out, so I could become a secretary. My only other encouragement came from my high school guidance counselor who recognized my gifts and had me apply for an academic scholarship. Even that plan was almost thwarted, as my father out of misguided pride would not fill out the necessary financial aid forms. Fortunately he finally relented and I did receive not only a scholarship, but also a work-study program and a student loan.” Pat owes her academic career to that farsighted counselor and her own stubborn quest for deeper knowledge and understanding. She fondly recalls a nurturing uncle from Buffalo who would take her along on trips across the border to Canada. Mesmerized by Niagara Falls, all the different tourists from around the wider world and being able to hear all the dreams people had, she initially enrolled in her favorite high school class – Drama. “No one in my family had ever gone to college before. I didn’t yet know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I just knew I had to find some way to express my own truth.”


What's Your Kind? 2017

“Love got in the way though,” she softly tells me, as her eyes crinkle and her dimples deepen, in typical impish fashion, “so, there was a detour of several years.” Pat did go back, put herself through grad school and paid off her student debt while working full time as a self-trained medical transcriptionist. She became the first in her family to attend and graduate from an institute of higher learning with a Bachelors Degree in Social Services and Corrections as well as a Masters in Counseling Psychology. This paved the way for one of her sisters and her mother to also get a college education. Talk about paying it forward!

struggling with chronic illness and disability, such as Crohn’s disease or Lupus as well as various other disabilities. She had learned a lot while caring for her previous husband and father of her children. He had been stricken with Multiple Sclerosis within the first year of their marriage. Pat, “Passionate about good parenting!” also initiated “Parenting”, which introduced inmates to positive ways of nurturing and disciplining their children, both while they were visiting in the institution and at home upon their release. These programs were all open to the general institutional population.

Always a people person and still wanting to understand behaviors and the deeper meanings therein, Pat also wanted to promote healing.

Another group she led was “Problem Solving”, which provided tools for nonviolent communication and assertive rather than reactive solutions.

She attended Pacifica Graduate Institute, became an intern and in 1992 graduated with a license as a Marriage & Family Therapist in 1992. She enjoyed plumbing the depths of deeper meanings while helping people to understand themselves better, also engaging in some writing of her own.

Her favorite program however, she called “Life Sentences”, a writing group for Lifers. It was designed to encourage them to write then share their writings from the heart, for group discussion.

In 1987 Pat had moved to Los Osos to marry, practice therapy and raise her children. Years later she also took in a twelve-year old niece. This niece, her son and three of her children’s partners are all musicians so family gatherings are always a celebration. She had begun journaling and writing poetry in high school, interested in the challenge of discovering a way to help people feel a strong emotional connection in as few words as possible. Story writing was a later development that had started in college, but now began to take more serious form. While working as part of a pilot program in the late nineties at the California Department of Corrections – The California Men’s Colony, Pat designed four support groups. One such program she called “Chronic Conditions” helped inmates

This was, as you might imagine, a very intense program. She and the participants grew quite close over the two years of the program, bringing a catharsis for many of them and a deep sense of satisfaction for her at being able to provide a helpful vehicle to such a hardcore group. Pat felt so gratified by this experience that even though no administrative position was being offered, she wrote the poem, "No Promotions Please," in appreciation of the emotional treasures she received from these inmates who trusted her enough to bare their souls. Pat is now retired from private practice. She works part-time as a Contracted Specialist, on-call responder to work place critical incidents helping employers attend to the mental health needs of their employees. She is looking forward to starting some volunteer work as a Mentor for children in the Family Care Network system, creating a stable and nurturing presence in their lives. STORY & PHOTOS BY

She has taken on a board position for SLO NightWriters, helping coordinate critique groups for writers, while continuing to explore her own writing. She was born a dancer and has been learning with the local Tango community for the last eight months. She tells me she is now addicted and looks forward to progressing in her expertise of the dance. Pat cares for her grandson, her Cockapoo, Winston, and her home in Los Osos and loves to see how much joy her talented children derive from their musical performances. She lives a very well rounded life, still helping others while chasing down all those words and meanings, both old and new. 

Dennis Eamon Young


product of kind living

48 Health & Fun - Partners on the Dance Floor 53 Dottie F. Lyons 54 Seeing is Believing 60 Charlotte Meade 62 Apropos of Nothing Really... 63 Calendar/News 66 29 Simple Ways to Be Fit




ou need to remember,” Laura explains, “…that the follower is dancing with two feet, but you, the leader dances with four feet – yours and hers.” as we glide around the dance f loor. Well, Laura glides while I stumble around, trying not to step on her toes. It was rather disconcerting for someone who had been known as the dancing photographer and won dance contests in the past. But that was freeform dancing. Here I needed to be part of a team. As with any learning experience, you need to get past the initial phase of being “all thumbs”, or in this case, “all left feet”. That’s when the fun begins and you feel the adrenaline pumping, as you both begin to glide around the f loor. Laura was the first Tango instructor my wife, Carol, and I took lessons from. She always stressed the fact that Tango is a “walking dance” and you need to be having fun with it rather than worrying about doing the right steps. It’s improvisational after all. With a Tango angel in your embrace, f loating across the dance f loor to the strains of Argentine Tango, there is this feeling that wells up of being in a movie, set in some far away fantasyland. It’s a great way to get away from the ridiculous insistence of our current everyday world. It allows you to clear your busy mind among a kind and loving group of like-minded people, tapping into your intuitive creativity. One of the rules of Tango is no conversation. Dancers concentrate on the music and their partners, dancing as one, with only the single agenda of enjoyment in the moment. Our current instructor, Todd, reminds the leaders to be conscious of their partners, always dancing to the level of their partner’s expertise. If you are dancing at a higher level than your follower, she will not find you enjoyable to dance with and may not wish to dance with you in the future. The point is to match your energy to your expertise levels as closely as possible. We are all beginners, always eager to learn. Bonnie, another of our instructors, helped me to realize that I could slow down, not attempting to dance a step on every beat. It’s a dance, not a race. Even a pause is a welcome addition, as it gives the follower an opportunity to add some f lourishes, called embellishments. The old saying, It takes two to Tango, comes to mind and it is an obvious truth in practice. Laura has explained that the follower awaits each invitation from the leader before she takes a step. As she takes that step the leader follows her


What's Your Kind? 2017


How a flight of Tango Angels and their leaders are using a fun-filled experience to improve and extend their lives.



(Health & Fun - Partners on the Dance Floor: continued)

into it and initiates the invitation to the next step. Tango cannot be one partner, dancing to please only themselves; it is a team of two interpreting the music into a visual form together. A 21-year study of senior citizens, 75 and older, led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City concluded that dancing makes you healthier and smarter. This study was funded by the National Institute on Aging and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The conclusions are that Dancing: Reduces stress and depression, Increases energy and serotonin, Improves f lexibility, strength, balance and endurance, Strengthens bones and boosts cardiovascular health, Increases mental capacity by exercising our cognitive processes, Dynamic and rapid-fire decision making, creates new neural paths, Reduces risk of Dementia. --- David Avocado Wolfe

Tango provides physical and mental health benefits, both short and longterm. The body assumes an attitude of alert relaxation and engagement, while the mind utilizes memory and musical engagement. It is not only through the instructors that you sharpen your dancing skills. Every time you dance with a different follower, both dancers are constantly re-tuning their dance moves and even their sense of musicality. The Tango community has three types of dance events: The Milonga is basically a dance party. There are no instructions given. Everyone attends just to dance and socialize. The Practica is a dance party where you may ask questions and seek limited instruction. Tango classes, where you are given explicit instructions and exercises by either local instructors or Tango specialists brought in from around and outside the country, in order to expand your dance skills. This is a warm, vibrant and welcoming community. I call the ladies Tango Angels because of the warmth and patience they have shown me. Gloria keeps me on a steady glide with no bounce, Bonnie helps me maintain an easier and consistent pace, Henlie is a model of kindness and encouragement. Each and every one of them reinforces the best and most enjoyable elements of the dance so that I might improve as a dance partner and be happy in my progress. Carol has had the same experience with the leaders, excited to tell me how patient they are in helping her be a better follower. There is always more to learn as well as becoming confident enough to improvise along the way and dance to unfamiliar selections that you can


What's Your Kind? 2017

challenge yourself with. Tango is not a short-term f ling; it is the dance of a long and fulfilling relationship to grow with, always having fun along the way. It has been said that Tango has four stages: Beginning dancer. Knows nothing. Intermediate dancer. Knows everything. Too good to dance with beginners. Hotshot dancer. Too good to dance with anyone. Advanced dancer. Dances everything. Especially with beginners. Patricia Gundert Samson Llanos shares these thoughts, “I get a lot of satisfaction from dancing, which is good for me physically and mentally. As a native of Chile, living in the United States, Tango allows me to stay connected to my language and culture. I also am able to socialize with and learn from people of different backgrounds. The learning process requires and builds mental focus and body awareness, the capacity to truly listen to music and learn to distinguish between rhythms and melodies, identify various musical instruments, orchestras and styles. It develops the ability to express the music using Tango vocabulary, learn how to move my body and develop the capacity to be present in my whole body and be totally present to my dance partner. Tango teaches us to hug a complete stranger and fall in love with them for the duration of a few songs. Fall in love, because the two dancers allow themselves to be vulnerable with each other, trust each other and share a moment of intimacy. This is not sexual intimacy, as onlookers might interpret, but true human intimacy. We may make a technical mistake in the dance, trip over a foot, etc., but we are both making our best effort to be together in body, mind and

spirit as we interpret a piece of music that resonates with our human experiences.” “Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.” -Martha Graham A study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, by Agnieszka Burzynska, assistant professor of neuroscience at Colorado State University has found that dancing improves “white matter integrity” in the brains of older adults, strengthening this connective tissue of the brain rather than allowing it to gradually break down in the aging process. Thus, with dancing comes the psychological benef it of processing speed and memory retention. According to Time Health writer Markham Heid, dancing encourages social bonding and what psychologists refer to as “selfother merging.” This is breaking down the mental barriers between yourself and a stranger, allowing a sense of connection. Instructor Adrian Bray reminds us that there are no experts in Tango, only students and people who teach and share that which they have learned. Adrian specializes in a slow, determined walk akin to a panther about to pounce. A common misperception seems to be that Tango is mostly the arena of older folks in the community, but this is not the case. There are people of various ages and levels in our dance community. There are those who practice a wide variety of dances such as West Coast Swing, Salsa and Ballroom as well as Tango. There is a Tango Club at Cal Poly. These students mix well with our regular dancers, as everyone is dedicated to improving the skills of the dance and having fun. Remember that every time Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers did a spectacular dance routine, Ginger had to do what

Fred did, not only in a dress and heels but backwards! It is a fruitless endeavor to tr y and determine just who it is that comes to Tango. You may be dancing with a Professor of Philosophy, a construction engineer, a writer, an artist or a bus driver, but none of that matters to a Tango dancer. Any superf luous differences peel away as you begin to dance. This is an

exercise in democracy, kindness and fun. As the song says, “Love is in the air, every sight and every sound…” I would add, and every step we take, if we would just look around. Then we could allow ourselves to see and feel the beat of this eternal music. Tango demands that we focus and experience all these feelings. Newcomers are always welcome. 

WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE? Come to The Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo on any Sunday at 6 PM. You can sit and watch and/or ask questions about the dance and lessons.


Dennis Eamon Young




127 W. Boone St. | Santa Maria, Ca 93458 | minervaclubofsantamaria.webs.com

Dottie F. Lyons

A community supporter who loves to cook and share with others!


ince the 80’s I have enjoyed donating dinners to organizations for them to auction and use the funds to support them activities and programs; today I mainly support the Boys & Girls Club and Cruzin’ for Life. Their favorite dinner usually requested is an Italian dinner that I prepare, featuring in the meal in a pasta dish. I submitted this exact meal to Sunset Magazine in 1998 and was fortunate to win the category and a lot of great prizes! The recipe is for Artichoke, Anise, and Italian Sausage Rigatoni. Calling for a sauce of rich cream, dry white wine, this recipe is a favorite of all that tries it. Accompanied by 3 to 4 appetizers, a beautiful salad, homemade breads, sorbet before the main entrée to cleanse your palate, and your choice of 4 decadent desserts, (yes you can choose all four). All five courses are served with great local wines; Zaca Mesa has always been a favorite. We have always bought several cases at a time and Kori has always worked with us on cost. If you leave our home hungry, it is not due to a lack of delicious food. I also donate a Biscotti Baking Class to the Minerva Club, which includes all of the ingredients, fun, a delicious Brunch with Mimosas & a delicious sheet of Biscotti to take home for your family. The package is usually for 6, this fits my kitchen well.



Dottie F. Lyons

Friends Stacia Paulsey and Pat Chandler help with plating and serving the guests as I am usually busy in the kitchen. Of course, I always check with the hosting couple to make sure they do not have any food allergies, well, the last dinner I had purchased in Sept. of 2016 was for the Doug & Donna Nagy Group; Doug does not eat dairy, so, he was stuck with a grilled Rib Eye Steak, potatoes, green beans and instead of the Spumoni Ice Cream, Kahlua Bundt Cake, Pavlova with fresh berries the other guests enjoyed, he only had Apple pie. I loved serving delicious food and have never had a complaint. Of course, they may just be afraid to tell me!  centralcoastkind.com




Can you tell me a little bit about your background? Where you grew up? Where you went to school? How much vision you have, that sort of thing? EC:

A BLIND RUNNER AT AN ACHILLES INTERNATIONAL FUNDRAISER Building a career isn’t easy for anyone. Imagine trying to do so when you’re also blind. Declared legally blind at the age of forty-three, my challenge was simply to figure out how to continue using my well-honed accounting and finance skills. After losing most of my vision, I went back to school and got my doctorate degree. When I graduated, demand for accounting faculty far outstripped supply, and finding a job wasn’t too hard. Like most new professors, I taught and did research, and ultimately achieved tenure status. Though not easy, I managed to transition from operating in a business setting to leveraging my knowledge in an academic environment. However, the ability to establish, or sustain, a career doesn’t seem to be the norm for many others considered legally blind. In fact, only 28.0% of adults with a visual impairment are fully employed (2015 Disability Status Report published by Cornell University).

I wanted to help. Initially, I listened to their stories. Many of the Achilles athletes were in their twenties and were either in college or had graduated from college. Many expressed the frustration of wanting to be judged as equally capable as those with full vision. Then I had the chance to conduct an interview with a talented, well-educated, visuallyimpaired woman about her experience trying to jump start her career. Her story is personal. That is, not all visuallyimpaired people have the same desire or ability to build a career, or face the same obstacles in getting hired. But there does seem to be something systemic driving an unusually high rate of unemployment amongst adults with a visual impairment. By publishing this interview, my hope is light will be shed on the fact that workers with a visual impairment are normal people doing normal things. Just watch them. After all, seeing is believing.

It was through my affiliation with Achilles International, an organization that helps make endurance sports accessible to athletes with disabilities, that I became aware of the challenges younger, visuallyimpaired adults face in the workforce.

Note: I have not used EC’s full name below because she is still trying to find full-time employment.


What's Your Kind? 2017

Sure. I grew up in Southern California, Pasadena, with my parents and an older sister. I lost most of my vision by the time I was three and a half years old. I have a little bit of light sensitivity in one eye, but that’s about it. I went to a very small, progressive all-girls high school. There were only 57 girls in my graduating class. From there I went to Connecticut College. INTERVIEWER:

Connecticut College? Why go to the East Coast for college? EC:

I knew I wanted to go to a small liberal arts college, and I liked the East Coast. I had relatives that lived in the Northeast and was comfortable going to school there. When I visited Connecticut College, the feel of the campus sold it for me. It was a very easy campus to get around, and most of the students stayed on campus on the weekends. I didn’t want to be on a campus where everyone left for the weekends. Also, the school had a very serious honor code. There was a level of trust there that mattered to me.


Did they have good disability accommodations? EC:

My decision to go there actually had nothing to do with established disability support. There was a welcoming atmosphere. But I had no idea what the accommodations were. I knew I was very adaptable to pretty much any situation. It didn’t matter what they had. INTERVIEWER:

I know you live in New York City now. How did you choose that? EC:

I moved to New York City after I graduated from Connecticut College because I wanted to be closer to the publishing industry. I did internships at Norton and Columbia University Press. But I couldn’t get a full-time job anywhere. I graduated in 2008, so job prospects were tough for anyone who was just graduating from college. It was very frustrating. Eventually, I took another internship position at Symphony Space, doing social media for them. When I still couldn’t get a full-time job, I started my own social media consulting business. It worked out because my sister was sick at the time, and I wanted to spend time with her. Social media consulting was something where I could work remotely with clients. It didn’t matter where I was. The business was small, but I was still running it. Still, I knew I wanted a full-time position in the corporate world, and I decided to get my graduate degree. I applied to the Teachers College at Columbia University and got in. I


majored in psychology and human relations at Connecticut College. I thought it made sense to get my graduate degree in Human Capital Management at the Teachers College. INTERVIEWER:

What was your experience like when you were there? EC:

Honestly, it felt like an honor to be there. It was a very welcoming place. All the other students were motivated and happy to be there. When your interest is in human capital, you care about people. The people were the best; the class made the experience. INTERVIEWER:

Everything you describe seems normal to any young woman’s experience growing up. How is it different being blind? EC:

To me, life isn’t different. How I do things may look different. Let me give you an example. I use my iPhone to text just like anyone else. But I don’t need my screen on because, obviously, I can’t see the screen. I text using the voice-over technology that is built into the phone. That technology is different from Siri. When you touch the screen, a voice reads what’s under your finger. So, when you’re texting, the technology tells you the letters that you are pressing. Since I usually have my ear buds in, people have no idea I know what I’m doing. More than once, when I’ve been on the subway, texting with my friends, someone will inevitably notice the black screen and tell me my battery must be dead. I’ll politely

respond the battery is fine, and they’ll insist it isn’t because the screen is black. Or, even worse, they’ll lean over and touch the home button to get the screen to come to life. I don’t get it – who does that? It must be some deep need to have to ”save the day.” It’s very frustrating. INTERVIEWER:

When you say your life is normal, it’s just how you do things that’s different, can you give some more examples? EC:

Sure, I pay my bills online or using my phone just like everyone else. Like I already mentioned, I text and email my friends. If the technology thinks I’ve made a typo, autocorrect makes a sound when it thinks there is an error. The software is pretty good at predicting what you’re trying to write. I have a screen reader installed on my computer. It helps me navigate around the screen using different keystroke commands. There are screen readers you can pay for. I use one that’s available free, and it works just fine for me. I adjust to my reality. For example, when it comes to buying clothes, I tend to stay away from prints and designs. Now there’s an app where you can take a picture of something, and the software will tell you what it thinks it is, like ”white shirt.” I do the same stuff sighted people do, I just have a system to help me figure things out, or stay organized.



(Seeing is Believing: continued) INTERVIEWER:



What’s the most daring thing you’ve done as a blind person?

When you go on a job interview, what do you think people’s perceptions of you as a blind person are?

How many resumes do you think you’ve sent out and how many job interviews have you gone to?



People perceive my life as being really hard. I think that’s because they can’t imagine how they would cope if they were blind. So, the problem is getting people to see past that idea that my life is difficult. Is my life that much different, or harder, than anyone else’s? I have no idea. To me, I’m just normal.

I have no idea. I promised myself I wouldn’t do a final count until I get a full-time job. I was keeping track of the numbers for the first few months, but it got depressing. Let’s just leave it at that.


Hum. Well, a couple of things come to mind. Doing the half ironman race in Old Orchard Beach, Maine was pretty daring. That challenged my physical abilities for sure. Rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park when I was in elementary school. I was one of the best at that. Being blind was actually an advantage. I got the information I needed through my feet and hands, not from vision. Plus I had more body awareness than the other kids. When I was 14, I went to Costa Rica as part of an exchange program. I stayed at a lodge and got to go on the zip lines and water slides in exchange for cleaning up the trails and working on a farm.


What is your biggest challenge in job interviews? EC:

Fighting the daily biases, the one where people think my life is so difficult. It’s a real challenge.


What kind of job are you looking for? EC:

I want a regular, corporate job, just like anyone that graduated from Teachers College. Most of my classmates went into consulting. I didn’t want a lifestyle that involved constant travel. But a corporate job, yes. INTERVIEWER:

What about a government agency that focuses on the blind, or a not-for-profit? Have you thought about those places?


When you’re in a job interview, how do you know biases are prevalent? EC:

Well, this is a very extreme example, but it really happened. During one of my job interviews, a female executive asked me if I would need someone to escort me to the toilet when I needed to use the bathroom. I mean, who asks that kind of question in an interview? I pretty much knew right then and there I had no chance of being considered for the position. I was pretty disappointed.


Not interested. I want a regular, corporate job. I don’t mind an entrylevel position, but I want to be in the mainstream, for-profit workforce.

What's Your Kind? 2017

If you could change the mindset of people interviewing a blind person, what do you want them to see? EC:

That blind people are just like any other job candidate. That they look at a situation, and just say, “Okay, how do I work though this?” That every time we succeed, we gain confidence in self-management. We’ve developed coping skills and toughness along the way. We know how to face big obstacles, we do it all the time. Most important, that blind peoples’ lives are not the tragedy you think they are. INTERVIEWER:

Any last thoughts you want to share? EC:

I’m just a normal person doing normal things. Inside, I usually accept the challenges I faced with. I just keep asking myself: How do I work through this situation? But this job search, it’s really starting to wear me down. 


When did you get you graduate degree from Columbia University? EC:

May 2016.




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COME VISIT THE SANTA MARIA VALLEY YMCA Your involvement here, whether it is as a volunteer, a new member, a program participant, a donor, a parent or in any other capacity, will change your life. There is something so profoundly fundamental and necessary about involving yourself with a place where people care about others; it cannot help but alter your perceptions in a positive way. The more you delve in, the deeper the personal reward. The Y is for everyone. Our programs, services and initiatives: enable kids to realize their potential, prepare teens for college, offer ways for families to have fun together, empower people to be healthier in spirit, mind and body, prepare people for employment, welcome and embrace newcomers and help foster a nationwide service ethic. And that's just the beginning. On a national level we focus on the three key areas:


SANTA MARIA VALLEY YMCA 3400 Skyway Drive 805.937.8521 www.smvymca.org

HOURS OF OPERATION: Monday – Friday: 4:15am to 10:30pm Saturday: 7:00am to 7:00pm Sunday: 12:00pm to 6:00pm



Monday – Thursday: 8:00am – 1:00pm 3:30pm – 8:00 pm


Friday: 8:00am – 1:00pm 3:30pm – 7:00pm

Nurturing the potential of every child and teen. Improving the nation's health and well-being. Giving back and providing support to our neighbors. Beyond this wide scope, this particular YMCA has an amazing relationship-building capacity. The staff and board work together to build collaborations in our community that serve those who need us the most. And we have fun doing it!

Saturday: 8:00am – 1:00pm Sunday: Closed

Whether you are drawn to the Y to enhance your health, engage your littles in a program or simply want to make an impact in your community, know you belong. Once you’re here, you’ll feel the difference. Guaranteed!



Charlotte Meade

Caring for Senior Dogs Charlotte Meade never had a dog until she was forty years old.


t that age living in Hoboken New Jersey, she went to the Jersey City Dog Shelter to adopt a dog for a friend. When she saw a dog named Patches, a beagle, who only had one eye, an energ y passed bet ween them. She knew she would adopt that dog for herself. Meade gave the dog, over the years, numerous stuffed toys to play with. He removed one eye from each of the stuffed animals leaving the other intact. She still has all the one eyed stuffed animals as a remembrance. After 9-11, Meade started a Bed and Breakfast. It became a problem when she took in too many dogs. She decided to quit the business. Most of those dogs came free from Dog Pounds in the Catskill Mountains in New York. Moving from N.Y. to New Preston, Connecticut she had the idea of starting a dog rescue in her house. To begin, she went to a Dog Shelter in that area to rescue three dogs. She told the people there she would be back in a few days. Upon returning she was told that the three dogs had been euthanized. Furious and disheartened she went to the Police Station and in time was able to change that whole dog shelter system to a decent place. She wanted to know if this was the norm for shelters when she learned the ugly truth about


What's Your Kind? 2017

pet over population.That was the beginning of rescuing kill-shelter dogs. She became passionate about rescuing dogs. Even best dogs tend to bark and the noise of an animal rescue operation did not f it the neighborhood. She decided to move from Connecticut to the west coast. Meade then found her way to Creston in 2012 where she now has seven acres in the boonies and dog barking bothers no one. Her shelter turned into a Sanctuary with her main focus on senior dogs that no one wants. Most of the dogs have been rescued from shelters that Meade calls the worst offenders. It is still shocking to her to find how many dogs need rescuing here. Because the dogs are old and some of them sick, the shelters deem them not adoptable. She speaks to individuals and groups as often as she can about the importance of spaying and neutering animals. Teaching people how to care for their aged dogs, she advocates heartily for good dental care. Meade begins her day with feeding up to 50 dogs, medicating if necessary and cleaning up after them. The house is f illed with dog beds and couches where the dogs can lie around plus a huge area outside that is fenced in for them to exercise, play, and wander. She has many volunteers that help her plus a Board of Directors as her Canine

Rescue is a non-prof it organization. Meade Canine Rescue is committed to restoring the dignity and respect due senior and special needs dogs lucky enough to land at the ranch in Creston. There is a very special story that she wanted to relate. A German Shepherd dog, Kit, was turned over to her as he was severely depressed, not eating and the possibility of euthanasia was looming. With the loving care of Charlotte and her volunteers, he began to put on weight and was acting much better. Then she received a call from the Hartford Dog Pound that they had an Alpine Goat that needed to be saved. Billy, the goat, was brought to Meade Rescue. There was an immediate bonding with Kit the dog and Billy the goat. Kit spends his time herding the goat who is now inseparable. They have their own kennel where the two of them cuddle to sleep at night. Amongst all these dogs and the goat is one cat named Petey. Petey loves all the dogs and they feel the same way about him. While the dogs are happy and comfy in this environment, Meade feels they are always better in a home if possible.

All of the dogs have been spayed or neutered and can be adopted with potential adopters knowing that they are seniors. Meade Canine Rescue provides medical care, nutrition, exercise and shelter for these unwanted dogs. The ranch in rural San Luis Obispo County offers a safe haven where 4-legged friends can spend the rest of their lives in comfort. The Meade Canine Rescue always has a need for food, treats, bedding, fencing, cleaning supplies, off ice supplies, and any help people can give. Visitors are welcome to come and meet and greet the animals when in the area. Every year in June, Meade Canine sponsors a dog walk as a fund raiser. ď Ž


Ruth Starr

WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE? Check them out at www.meadecaninerescue.org Call 805-239-4004 - 4dots@att.net



APROPOS OF NOTHING REALLY... You say that an ode shall bode well. You say. You say the muse must be told that she should leave. This will leave many things unsaid - sad. May she tarry a while so we can savor, her joy of life, of flower and bird, peace and love of life. We will gather her pieces of life and connect them in our baskets, until they are overflowing with love of each other and joy of nature. She can pass to other souls who have need of wonder But she must return to replenish until we rejoice. Janice Konstantinidis PHOTO BY Dennis Eamon Young POEM BY

CALENDAR/NEWS Our Local Table A family-style dining experience featuring Chef Michael Wood. Thursday, November 9, 2017 | 7-9pm Mint+Craft Cafe and Mercantile: 848 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo $35/person (+$15 optional wine pairing) 20 person limit RSVP in store or online at eventbrite: bit.ly/ourlocaltable Headstrong Fitness Grand Opening Block Party! Join us for food, drink, vendors, prizes, and friendly fitness competitions. Visit us on Facebook, Instagram, or website (HeadStrongFit.com) to learn more. Sunday, November 12th, 2017 | 10am - 2pm End of Ricardo Ct, San Luis Obispo Come Visit Santa Come see Santa in Mission Plaza at Santa’s House! Friday, November 24 - Sunday, December 24, 2017 2017 Cambria Christmas Market Visit the Cambria Christmas Market, inspired by the magical, fairy-tale markets that are a staple in thousands of German and Austrian towns every Christmas season. Friday, November 24 - Saturday, December 23, 2017 (check website to see dates closed) Follow us on Facebook for more information. cambriachristmasmarket.com Cal Poly Center for Leadership presents An Evening with Captain “Sully” Sullenberger Thursday, November 30, 2017 | 8pm Performing Arts Center Visit pacslo.org for tickets Holiday Harmony Join us for a FREE fun filled family event! Friday, December 1, 2017 | 5:30-7:30pm Dinosaur Caves Park For info, contact Pismo Beach Recreation: 773-7063 | www.pismobeach.org centralcoastkind.com




Paso Robles

San Luis Obispo

2100 El Camino Real (805) 466-3346

316 E Ocean Avenue (805) 740-2800

2800 Riverside Ave #102 (805) 369-2230

1314 Madonna Road (805) 594-1314

Operators: Pete & Terresa Novak

Operators: Aaron & Alexandra Crocker

Operators: Brandon & Thalia Sankoff

Operators: Ryan & Shannon Parrish

Store Hours: Daily: 8am-9pm

Store Hours: Daily: 8am-9pm

Store Hours: Daily: 8am-9pm

Store Hours: Daily: 7am-10pm

E • ORGANIC FOO Exercise your right NDLY FACES! to quality shopping! S • FRESH PRODU ANIC FOODS • MA SIVE SAVINGS • ANIC FOODS • MA OODS • MASSIVE E • ORGANIC FOO You’ll love the options & incredible savings on:

• wine • health/beauty care • gluten free products • frozen foods • organics • produce ... & more!

Santa Maria

1948 S Broadway (805) 922-0109 Operators: Dino & Timmie Donati

Store Hours: Mon-Sat: 8am-9pm Sun: 9am-8pm

e d i w a e v We ha t of wines n e m t r ! o s s e s c i a r p e l tab a e b n u t a CK E H C E COM CK O T S R OUT OUDAY! TO


29 Simple Ways To Be Fit {My Magic List} Far too often fitness is presented as complicated and confusing. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Being fit comes from living the following simple everyday practices:


Throw out your big dinner plates. Using small plates at home effortlessly reduces calorie intake and promotes weight loss.


Make exercise a regular part of your life. Create a network of accountability with workout partners or by working with me, your local fitness expert.


Know what you want to accomplish. Visualize the end result of your hard work.


Believe in you. I know that you CAN accomplish your goals.


Keep the intensity high during your workouts. Remember that you don't want to kill time; you want to burn calories and strengthen your body through intense exercise.

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Drink water all day long. Know when to ask for help.


Incorporate High Intensity Interval Training into your routine by doing bursts of high intensity rather than exercising at a single steady pace.


Maintain your metabolism by eating a healthy snack or meal every three hours. This food should be unprocessed, low in fat and high in fiber.


Forget will-power; it’s about WANT-power. How badly do you want it.


Never eat processed foods. These items are high in empty calories and contain a plethora of chemicals that are harmful to your health.


Fat contains twice the caloric density of carbohydrates and protein, so limit the amount of it that you eat. Fill your diet with lean protein and carbohydrates from leafy plants and whole grains. Unless you are Paleo :)


It’s OK to be a skeptic. Watch out for products that are labeled as ‘health food’. Always read the nutrition labels and make your own informed opinion.


Talk is cheap. Act now and get the job done.


Exercise with people that are in better shape than you. This will encourage you to push your limits.

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Never indulge in negative self-talk.


Keep consistent. Exercise at least three or four times each week.


Expect more from yourself.


Don’t drink calories.


Eat plenty of whole plant foods. Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are filled with fiber and antioxidants, great for good health and weight loss.


Do your cardiovascular exercise after weight training to encourage more fat burn. Your stored sugars will be depleted during the weight training then your body will rely on fat stores to get you through the cardio workout.


Breakfast should be a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat to get your metabolism going strong.


If you know that you deserve better...then go get it.


Challenge yourself during each workout. Try something new and exciting.


Set specific, measurable goals and track your progress.


Even if they are whole grain, eat carbohydrates sparingly. Carbohydrates are quickly stored as fat.


Put an end to your struggle to get and stay fit. Call or email me today to get started on a proven fitness program that will change your life and body forever.

Pay attention to everything that you eat.

Never eat High Fructose Corn Syrup. It spikes your blood sugar levels and encourages your body to store fat.

Place this list somewhere that you’ll see every day. 


Coach C

Expert doctors. The best quality care. At Dignity Health we believe in experienced physicians and advanced technology. Dignity Health is proud to serve our communities in San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County and Ventura County with our award-winning network of outstanding hospitals, surgery centers, health clinics, imaging centers, laboratories, post-acute centers, and expert physicians.

Find a doctor delivering humankindness at dignityhealth.org/OurDoctors Or call: Santa Barbara County/San Luis Obispo County: 805.270.2513 Ventura County: 877.753.6248