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MAY/JUNE 2017

DADDY-DAUGHTER DESTINATIONS For Father’s Day and every day

New look and leadership for Genesee Valley Parent Magazine

New features and columns

to Grandmother’s house we go ... bridging the distance

FL IP ME OV ER TO SE MA ET GA HE ZIN NE E W

DEBUT ISSUE!

OVER THE SKYPE

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Welcome to Roc Parent and She Rocs magazine “Where do you want to be in the next 10 to 20 years?” is a popular interview question we’ve all answered during our careers. And, admittedly, as the new owners of this publication, neither of us had ever dreamed of running a magazine, despite having written for several. Yet, we both are ones to be open to what the universe has in store. Starting this venture has brought us full circle from where our journey began as friends fresh out of college. Since meeting as journalists in the newsroom at Wolfe Newspapers — Salley initially as editor of The East Rochester Post Herald and Dresden as editor of The Brighton-Pittsford Post — our careers have taken divergent yet common paths within the broader field of communications. We’ve both worn many hats over the years, often at the same time (and sometimes just to cover up a bad hair day). And we, therefore, can meld our creative sides with our business Salley Thornton backgrounds to bring our readers a carefully Publisher crafted magazine as well as thoughtfully curated digital platforms. Our jobs have spanned newspaper, radio, TV, PR, marketing, advertising, the arts, and corporate and non-profit management. Our roles have included college professor, guest lecturer, volunteer, coach, mentor, comedian, singer, emcee, daughter, wife, mom, step-mom, partner, friend. When the opportunity arose for us to team up again and merge our experience and passions, we were all in, also combining our love for this community with our love of family. Through the years we have respected the work of Barbara Melnyk, who as an active mom in the pre-internet era started Genesee Valley Parent magazine as a resource for other parents. After a successful 24 years and 250 Dresden Engle magazine issues, Barbara has retired and we Managing Editor are grateful she has entrusted us with her legacy. So while we still plan to encounter more adventures in the next 10 to 20 years, we are sure that as publisher and managing editor of Roc Parent and She Rocs we’ll still be giving it our all.

Roc Publishing LLC Roc Parent | She Rocs 2280 East Ave. Rochester, NY 14610 (585) 348-9712 Salley Thornton Publisher Dresden Engle Managing Editor Sara Hickman-Himes Art Director/Designer Renee Veniskey Photographer Lindsay Warren Baker Production Manager Jann Nyffeler Copy Editor Rachel Cucchiara Social Media Coordinator Shawn Gray Lead Videographer/Editor Paul Olcott Distribution Manager and Videographer

COLUMNISTS Dr. Meami Craig, Elizabeth Crony, Dr. Amy Jerum, Deanna King, Dante Worth

FEATURED WRITERS Breanna Banford, Rachel Cucchiara, Dresden Engle, Alexis Ganter, Nadia Ghent, Dawn Kellogg, Carly Lonzcak, Marcia Morphy, Linda Quinlan, Salley Thornton, Renee Veniskey, Deena Viviani

ADVERTISING Alexis Ganter Senior Account Executive Alexis@rocparent.com Jerry Falzone Account Executive Jerry@rocparent.com Andy Lannon Account Executive Andy@rocparent.com

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WRITERS IN THIS ISSUE RACHEL CUCCHIARA is the PR and social media manager for Dresden Public Relations. She studied interpersonal communications at SUNY Brockport, coupled with African-American and gender studies. Her many years as a YMCA camp counselor and trusted babysitter made her the ideal candidate to write this issue’s article on summer-job tips for teens. AMY JERUM, DNP, CPNP-PC, PMHS, is a pediatric primary care provider and mother of three boys (ages 11, 11, and 13 – wow, right?). She gets asked a lot of questions about healthcare and parenting and now she’s sharing her answers with Roc Parent readers. She is a pediatric nurse practitioner and pediatric mental health specialist with Panorama Pediatric Group; part of the team at the Complex Care Center; and assistant professor of clinical nursing at the University of Rochester, School of Nursing. DAWN KELLOGG is the communications manager for Geva Theatre Center. She has been in the arts for most of her life and considers herself very lucky to work in an industry that she loves. DEANNA KING has been writing her “The Cynical Mother” blog for years and now it will be in print for all parents who need a laugh and need to know they are not alone in the big scary world of parenting. You can hear Deanna each morning as funny female sidekick to Brother Wease on 95.1 The Brew and also yelling at her three children (just kidding), who range in age from 6 to 16. CARLY LONZCAK holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and PR from SUNY Brockport and is heading to NYC to work in the media industry. In her free time she is usually looking at cute puppy videos on Facebook and Instagram (or getting free food samples at Wegmans). ALLISON ROBERTS is an actor, writer and visual artist. She is the founder of the EstroFest comedy troupe and co-director/founder of Impact Interactive, LLC a theater-based training company. Her writing has appeared in Rochester Magazine, City Newspaper and the Democrat & Chronicle. Her artwork includes murals, theater sets, illustration and painting. RENEE VENISKEY is the owner of immaginé Photography and has been aligned with Dresden since founding the first Young Professionals organization at George Eastman Museum in the early 2000s. She actively shoots throughout the Rochester region and also specializes in portraits and commercial photography. She holds degrees in photography and graphic design and is a founder of the networking organization Femfessionals. DEENA VIVIANI works by day as a young adult services librarian at Brighton Memorial Library and by night she writes for children. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Communications from SUNY Brockport and a master’s degree in Library Science from the University at Buffalo. Deena is a fan of traveling, Muppets, Project Runway, and baking gluten-free recipes. She lives in Rochester with her young daughter, musician husband, and a large number of guitars, computers and, of course, books.

CONTENTS FEATURES

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Teacher Gifts Ideas and inspiration Cover Story Dad Rocks! daddy-daughter destinations for Father’s Day — and every day Arts Camps Summer and the arts — the ideal time to dabble and learn

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Summer Jobs Tips for teens seeking summer employment Long-Distance Grandparents Grandparents and grandchildren bridge the distance to stay close Fairy Houses Get your family close to nature — and magic!

ALSO INSIDE 17 Camp Fair 2017 Photos from the fair 20 Book Nook Reading is out of this world! 22 Ask Dr. Amy 23 Roc Parent Pick Ontario Play & Cafe 27 WXXI Kids In this insert, discover how WXXI helps kids and families learn and explore 44 Community Spotlight Spectrum Creative Arts 46 Calendar Introducing our new curated calendar

Elek Veniskey, 2, enjoys swinging at Ontario Play & Café — this issue’s Roc Parent Pick.

ON THE COVER

Daddy-daughter dates are special times, not just on Father’s Day but all year long. Matthew Kilmer of Pittsford and his 7-year-old daughter Tatum are all dressed up and ready to make some memories. Roc Parent

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The King a n n a e D By

Last Mother’s Day I got what I asked for … and what I truly needed There are high expectations on Mother’s Day. It’s the one day of the year I am supposed to be honored for renting out my uterus for nine months in exchange for stretch marks and sleepless nights. Facebook and advertising agencies can be blamed for the hype. Everybody knows the woman who is “hashtag blessed” because her perfect family took her to brunch. Don’t even get me started on the commercials. In one spot, mom is relaxing on her new patio furniture. In another, she is wearing relaxed-fit, highrise capri pants, a cardigan, and smiling ear to ear. The kids are playing together and willingly sharing toys. She sits at the kitchen table sipping a hot cup of coffee when her husband surprises her with a piece of jewelry designed by Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. A Michael Bolton song plays in the background while the entire family embraces.  This is how last Mother’s Day unfolded for ME: My children — who, on a school day, have to be dragged out of bed like a Kardashian from a plastic surgeon’s office — were awake before the rooster crowed.   They offered to cook breakfast and while that is a sweet gesture, I had no desire to

clean grease from the ceiling. So, we had Dunkin’ Donuts and sandwiches from chef Ronald McDonald. I received a pair of fabulous shoes and an espresso machine from my baby daddy. My daughter gave me a beautiful card and seeds she planted in a plastic container. “We need to water the plant,” I said a few hours after she presented it to me.  My daughter took a deep breath and replied, “But I gave it to you. It’s yours now.”    My son drew a picture of me with a bad haircut and four fingers. I looked like Jim Carey’s character in the movie “Dumb and Dumber” if he lost a few digits in a lawn mower accident.   He redeemed himself with this beautiful note:  “I love my grandma, dad, brother, sister and grandpa. But, I love my mom the most. This is my mom, the most beautiful, wonderful and special woman in the world.” Homemade gifts are truly my favorite. Yet, the only other thing I really wanted was an hour to run on the treadmill — uninterrupted. My workouts are usually stopped with requests for snacks or a child tattling on another. I have even read my daughter books while running. 

My wish was granted. I was 10 minutes into my workout, moving at a rapid pace with an Ace of Base song blasting from my iPod, when I learned the value of the saying “Be careful what you wish for.” I don’t know exactly what went wrong, but somehow my foot slipped and I lost my balance. I tried grabbing the bar on the treadmill, clawed at the wall, but was unable to recover. My treadmill is positioned near the wall with a very small path between it and my bed. I landed on my side and was thrown against the wall as the conveyer belt continued turning at clip of 5.8. I was stuck as it chafed the skin off my body (I’ll spare you the “after” photo details). I screamed, but at first nobody came. Perhaps, from the other side of the door, it sounded as if I was singing along to a Guns N’ Roses song. Plus, I had asked to be left alone … . It took three or four cries for help before my son slowly opened the door. He pulled the safety cord and stopped the torture. He helped me up and said, “I love you, Mom.” And with those three words, I got exactly what I needed for Mother’s Day.

“The only other thing I really wanted was an hour to run on the treadmill — uninterrupted. Be careful what you wish for.” 6

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How do you plan to spend Mother’s Day? “We like to get out as a family and take a walk. I love to walk along the canal! Sometimes our canal walks end with a trip to the Pittsford Dairy. There’s nothing better than ending your walk with amazing ice cream!” — Carrie, Pittsford “I am hoping for some handmade gifts and to be able to sleep in that day.” — Kim, Irondequoit “My perfect Mother’s Day would be breakfast in bed (with a mimosa) then sneaking away for a full body massage and then hosting a brunch or dinner for all the moms — me, my mom, and my grandma!!“ — Cat, Spencerport

“Snuggle my two little guys in the morning and then snuggle my own mom in the afternoon. (Shhh, don’t tell them. I want it to be a surprise.)” — Meghan, Farmington “Looking forward to what my kids plan for me. We usually go out to eat and, best of all, no one complains when I ask for a family picture. That’s the only present I want these days.” — Tiana, Rochester “Brunch with the fam — husband, kiddos, and parents. Jines is usually the go-to brunch spot! — Kristen, Brighton

“I hope to be spending Mothers Day with my husband and boys, hopefully sleeping in, maybe sitting and drinking my entire cup of coffee while it’s still hot, and then getting outside if the weather is nice!” — Becca, Irondequoit

“Heading to the garden center to pick out the biggest, brightest, hanging baskets I can find, to both get AND give as gifts!” — Colleen, Victor

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TEACHER GIFTS A teacher simply remembers her favorite things — student gifts she took to heart

By DRESDEN ENGLE and RENEE VENISKEY

From a “World’s Best Teacher” ornament at holiday time to a gift card in June, teachers appreciate when their students and classroom parents say “thank you” with a small gift. And as teachers look back on the gifts they have received, some items have a backstory and carry extra meaning or sentiment. Kimberly Marshall, a second-grade teacher at Penfield’s Cobbles Elementary School shared with us a few of the gifts that gave her pause and warmed her heart: A 1910 book of fairytales: from a child who didn’t like fairytales until he learned to love them while a student in her classroom. It was a treasure from his grandma that he wanted to give to her. Eiffel Tower statue: a gift from a parent whom she casually told she never got a chance to get a souvenir in Paris during a surprise trip from and with her husband. A blanket: made by a student for her teacher’s daughter. Marshall loves that the student thought of her child and her family. “Enemy Pie” book: from a parent and student, a now-favorite book Marshall discovered when that parent read it to the class. It has a wonderful story with a great lesson and now Marshall reads it to her students every year (and throughout the book has notes with comments to share with the class). Ceramic flowers and flower pens: Marshall loves flowers and gardening, and students and parents have given her special gifts to recognize this interest. A statue of a boy reading: from a family whose son was a non-reader when he started with her and by the end of the year, this was that student — a happy kid who LOVES reading! A decorative journal: a mom noticed Marshall carried around a bulky old 8

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Kimberly Marshall is a secondgrade teacher with Penfield schools. She treasures the gifts she has received from students and their parents. At bottom, student Max Veniskey gives his teacher an apple. PHOTOS BY RENEE VENISKEY

clipboard so she gave her something prettier in which to take notes. A note from the heart: Sometimes just a note is enough to make her feel she has made a difference. One letter she received last fall from a former student encapsulated the reason she is a teacher and was the best gift she could ever imagine getting. To quote a small portion of the letter, the former student wrote: “You truly helped me understand the importance of gratitude, having an open mind, and persevering. … Besides pushing us socially, you encouraged us

to push ourselves in our life and told us we could always do more than we think we can. “I had a learning disability, so before coming to your class I always felt stupid compared to the other kids. You suited my learning style, and helped me feel smart. This led to me giving it my all in the classroom, and I discovered that my learning disability does not make me stupid, just different. … It truly amazes me that even nine years later, I still think about what a major impact you had on my life.”


A-to-Z teacher end-of-year gifts By CHRISTINA KATZ Tis the season … to thank your child’s teacher for a long, hard-fought, and wellplayed school year. A handwritten note that says, “We appreciate your hard work” is truly all most teachers want. Yet, how wonderful to also give them a gift of thanks … but, most parents wonder, what do teachers really want? Here’s an A-to-Z list of thoughtful teacher gift ideas (because they can’t use any more scented candles or pieces of jewelry … and are too nice to tell you that): Christina Katz is a teacher who is married to a teacher and has a child who adores teachers. (Dresden Engle, who is married to a teacher, contributed to this article.)

for the jewel-tone art supplies to enrich to go with her experience A istheforlearning J ispolish mani/pedi gift certificate is for books — for teachers B and the classroom is for kitchen towels or fun kitchen gadgets K for chocolates (the boxed ones that C isfancy for last-minute grablast all summer) of Tim Horton’s gift L isbing cards in the drive-thru is for donations to a need be … and don’t D charity in his or her name (ifforget the office staff and is for erasers, chunky bus drivers) in all shapes E ones is for mall or movie and sizes gift certificates M is for food baskets, for a note of praise with a hometown F perhaps to the principal and N issent Rochester focus superintendent for gift cards, gift gift cards (a G iscards, office supplies, but teacher favorite!) of supplies will do O isanyfortype

for recipe books for busy people R iswritten salts, scrubs, S isorforsoaps for tea (or coffee prefer) T isif they for a big colorful U isumbrella is for volunteering your V time with a smile for a water bottle BPA free, W is(durable, with a fun design) thanks for do for your kids X isallforthey“xtra” for your words of … they mean Y isgratitude so much!

for handmade perennial or vases H isframes P isorforherba potted plant is for Zen moments Z your teacher can have is for quote books your is for iTunes gift cards to with a spa gift card I play games and rock out Q teacher would fancy

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COVER STORY

A dozen daddy-daughter date destinations … for Father’s Day and every day By DRESDEN ENGLE

Long before a dad walks his little girl down the aisle — and spins her on the dance floor to the sounds of “Daddy’s Little Girl” or “Butterfly Kisses” — dads and daughters have taken many great walks and spins together. Daddy-daughter dates are important and special times. Many Rochester-area elementary schools now host sweetheart balls and daddy-daughter dances, and we all “ooh and aah” over Facebook posts of glorious photos snapped by mom before they head out the door. I personally love this magical night (and plan to volunteer at our school’s dance again this year, to get a peek from the sidelines) although, admittedly, I did most of the work to pull it off (from dress-shipping to ordering corsages). Heck, I’m behind the planning of most of my family’s daddy-daughter dates. But daddy’s little girl is only little once, so we embrace every opportunity. Here are some ideas for daddy-daughter activities and adventures … for Father’s Day, special weekends, or any day. Breakfast out. Test-drive diners or cafes until you discover your faves.

Visit the zoo. Decide in advance each of your five favorite animals you want to spend time seeing and learning more about.

Go to new heights. Test your aerial skills side-by-side on the indoor climbing walls at Rock Ventures in Rochester, the Aerial Adventures at Bristol Mountain (rope ladders, zip lines, tightrope walks), or hot-air balloon rides over Letchworth State Park. 10

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Matthew Kilmer of Pittsford with his three daughters, all dressed up and ready for a daddy-daughter date. From left are Tatum, 7, Linden, 8, and Marin, 10. PHOTO BY RENEE VENISKEY


Daddy and Marin pose for a photo before heading out for some family fun.

Short road trips. Pick nearby towns you’ve never been to, jump in the car, and go. Make it scenic and hit the Finger Lakes region or make it fact-finding and hit small historical museums like the Jell-O Museum in Leroy, N.Y.

These fathers’ favorites We asked a few dads to tell us their favorite outings and activities with their daughters:

Go fish (and skip some rocks) Dad can hook the worms if she doesn’t want to, but she just might surprise you … and then have contests skipping rocks across streams and lakes.

Experience local festivals. Rochester is often called “the Festival City” since we host so many stellar ones. In just five months’ time, May through September, we have Amusement park romps. (in chronological order) the Lilac Days spent at amusement parks are magical memories in the mak- Festival, Fairport Canal Days, ing. Also hit the waterpark at Seabreeze, Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, Corn Hill Arts Festival, Park Darien Lake, and Roseland Waterpark — suit up and scream all the way down! Avenue Summer Arts Festival, Puerto Rican Festival, Memorial Art Gallery’s Miniature golf. Clothesline Festival, and the Rochester Try a new course within a 20-mile Fringe Festival ... plus several smaller radius every time you go. Rochcommunity and arts festivals in between. ester even boasts the oldest mini-golf Take her out to the ball game. course in the country — Whispering Root, root, root for the home Pines in the Seabreeze neighborhood, team as you cheer on the Red which has operated since 1930. Wings (baseball) and Rhinos (soccer) Historical landmarks. this summer … and eat your way The homes of George Eastman through the stadium experience. and Susan B. Anthony are National Historic Landmarks located right in Writer Christina Katz (who tries not to dance a jig after her husband and our city … learn all you can about these daughter leave for some together time) fascinating folks who changed the way contributed to this article. we see and experience the world. Day hikes. We are in hikers’ heaven geographically —with paths along a Great Lake, the Erie Canal, the Genesee River, and the Finger Lakes, plus the Grand Canyon of the East (Letchworth State Park), Chimney Bluffs State Park, and town and county parks. Tips: wear two pairs of socks and sturdy shoes and bring Band-Aids, trail mix, and water. Outdoor concerts. Pack a picnic (and maybe earplugs) and hit small concerts at town parks are big-name outdoor shows at CMAC in Canandaigua or Darien Lake.

Matthew Kilmer and 8-year-old daughter Linden.

Paul Olcott of Penfield and his daughters Aurora, left, and Aria fish on Lake Ontario. PROVIDED PHOTO

Paul Olcott, Penfield “Seabreeze Amusement Park, the movies, tubing on the bay, fishing at Webster Park or the Adirondacks, and building campfires and roasting marshmallows.”

Kyle Ganter, Irondequoit “Having our son first, I’ve had a few years of roughhousing, wrestling, and hanging with him in my workshop. Now that our daughter is almost 2-years-old, I’m actually looking forward to tea parties.”

Mark Eidlin, Pittsford “My 16-year-old Amanda and I have had a formal daddy-daughter date every year since she was two. We get dressed up for dinner at the Genesee Valley Club and join the rest of the dads and girls on the dance floor. My favorite memory is when she was so small that during the limbo she just walked under the stick.”

Brock Thrasher, Rochester “A day at Seabreeze Amusement Park or a weekend camping at the Thousand Islands.” Roc Parent

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Summertime …

oh, the arts are rich, and your camp options good lookin’

Summer camp is the ideal time for your child to experience the arts By ALLISON ROBERTS

When I was a kid, I never heard of summer camp. I played kickball, wrote and illustrated my own books, and tried to talk my mother into buying Kool Pops. Both of my parents were professional visual artists, so when I was drawing a character who looked more like an octopus then a human being, I could ask for guidance. It was like having a private art camp in my house. Today, a multitude of summer camps are available in Rochester, covering all interests. And luckily for those kids who don’t have professional artists for parents, there are numerous arts-based camps to choose from as well. Summer is the ideal time for your child to sample the arts, with camp sessions offered for one week or a few weeks. Here are a few options:

MUSIC Rochester and music are synony-

mous … and you can even experience Eastman School of Music as part of summer camp. Eastman Community Music School I know what you may be thinking: “Wow! The Eastman School? That’s pretty lofty!” And yes, Eastman does have a highly established teaching staff, and numerous famous musicians have walked their halls, but the Eastman Community Music School is surprisingly accessible. “Excellence should not be confused with elitism: we give the highest quality education to students of all ages, abilities, and levels, and in return, hope that our excellence inspires students to match that quality with their effort,” said Petar Kodzas, assistant professor of 12

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Summer @ Eastman offers youth the top talent and perspective of the Eastman School of Music while being surprisingly accessible with diverse offerings. PROVIDED PHOTO

chamber music and community outreach program coordinator. The Eastman Community Music School offers residential and day-camp programs for students in grades 6-12. Non-residential programs include Instrumental Jazz, Wind Ensemble Workshop, and Electronic Music and can be combined with University of Rochester summer programs.  Residential programs include Eastman@Keuka  (an international music program for students grades 6-9 at Keuka College), and Music Horizons, which offers the “taste of college” for advanced high-school musicians. Hochstein School of Music and Dance Hochstein offers Arts in Action summer camps for kids ages 4 to 10. Children are not required to have previous experience. Each session has a specific theme and concludes with a performance.

Canalside Music Together Canalside is an internationally recognized early childhood music and movement program with a six-week summer semester filled with singing, dancing, and learning. “We’re research-based, so we know our stuff and we’re good at what we do,” said Esther Winter, owner and center director. “But we’re also down-to-earth, accessible, and all about having a good time. It’s a balance that makes us both serious and fun. We’re serious about having fun!”

DANCE

Does your child tap dance on your kitchen counter? Pirouette while brushing their teeth? Do the Dolphin in the reception area of the dentist’s office? Well, read on. Garth Fagan Dance’s 2017 Summer Movement Institute The Tony Award-winning Garth Fagan


and his dance troupe have performed throughout the world yet still offer a summer workshop right here in Rochester. The workshop includes classes in technique, dance philosophy, composition, and repertory for students ages 13 and up.

THEATER

Is your child a bit of a ham? Does she create costumes out of bed sheets and the stuffing from inside your couch cushions? Channel that creative energy into an appropriate camp, or you might find that they’ve created a theater on the top of your car. TYKEs (Theatre Young Kids Enjoy) TYKEs KidStage at Camp Sisol offers kids entering grades 3 to 6 the chance to perform full productions over the summer. TYKEs programs are staffed by experienced theater professionals, including a choreographer and music director. “We provide solid theater training so kids learn to be strong actors, but without pressure,” said TYKEs founder/director Freyda Schneider. “Theater can be hard work, but we present it in a way that’s truly joyous and enriching. In a matter of days, you can see kids’ confidence and self-esteem really soar as they master their roles.” Drama Kids International Drama Kids acting program is internationally known for its creative drama curriculum, geared toward children and teens. Choose from two Drama Kids Summer Camps for students ages 4 to 17 at either First Presbyterian Church in Pittsford ( June 26-30) or Roberts Wesleyan College in Chili ( July 24-28). Half-day or full-day options. At the end of the week, campers will present a performance. Webster Theatre Guild The Summer Youth Theater Experience offers theater programs for children in grammar school through high school, focused on many aspects of theater including auditions, blocking, and acting. The camp culminates with finished productions based on grade level. A Magical Journey Thru STAGES Summer Camps Performers in grades 1 to 12 have the opportunity to focus on their singing, dancing, and acting skills, while working as a team to create a final show together. Each camp session concludes with a full performance at STAGES, located on the fifth floor of Auditorium Center.

RAPA summer campers prep for a production of “101 Dalmations.” PROVIDED PHOTO

INTEGRATED PERFORMING ARTS Spectrum Creative Arts Spectrum’s mission is to create exceptional learning experiences for individuals of any age and ability level. A one-week summer camp, titled Creative Crusaders, offers musical warm-ups, theater games, scenery building, and other fun activities. The final performance combines art, music, and dance. RAPA Summer programs at Rochester Association of Performing Arts (RAPA) include 40 performance opportunities, and every child, regardless of age, gets the opportunity to be on stage! All performances are held at Kodak Center for Performing Arts, 200 W. Ridge Rd. Cobblestone Arts Center Through the “Celebration of Youth,” summer program, talented teens work alongside kids with disabilities, inviting them to participate in music, visual arts, theater and dance.

WRITING Writers & Books If your child gets jazzed while reading, writing, or making movies on an iPhone, Writers & Books has summer programs for him or her. SummerWrite 2017 has close to 70 weeklong

programs and workshops for kids ages 5 to18 that support the reading and writing skills kids learn in school. “We have camps focused on The Magic Tree House and Mo Willems to Percy Jackson and Harry Potter,” said Sally Bittner Bonn, director of youth education. “We even combine cooking and horseback riding with creative writing. There really is something for almost every kid.”

VISUAL ARTS

Wondering if you have a budding Pablo Picasso or Frida Kahlo in your home? I’ll give you a hint: if they started drawing on your walls with spaghetti sauce as a toddler, you probably have a visual artist on your hands.

The Memorial Art Gallery The MAG offers summer camp programs for kids ages 6 to 12 in drawing, painting, sculpture, technique, and strategy. Animatus Studio Here’s an opportunity for your child to learn about animation — ­ traditional, cutout, and clay — taught by professional animation staff. Full-day camps are available on Wednesdays or Thursdays in August. Flower City Art Center Youth ages 7 to 10 can experience camps in ceramics, printmaking, and sketching and journaling. To cover all the summer camps offered in Rochester, I’d need an entire magazine. As an artist who acts, directs, draws, paints, and more, I encourage you to sign up your child for one of the many enriching arts-based camps. Here’s to a creative summer! Roc Parent

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2017 CAMP FAIR Thanks to the thousands of families who joined us for the 23rd Annual Camp & Summer Activity Fair at Eastview Mall. The Camp Fair is a once-a-year opportunity to visit with more than 80 area and national camps. From preschool activity day camps to teen sleepaway camps we had something for everyone! Enjoy our Virtual Camp Fair online at RocParent.com

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Summer’s more than fun in the sun

Tips for helping your teen find a summer job they’ll enjoy discounts. If you’re closer to Canandaigua, check out Roseland Waterpark for a summer gig.

By RACHEL CUCCHIARA and CARLY LONCZAK

Looking to get your teenager away from the screens and electronics this summer? A summer job is a good way to gain real-life skills, structure, and empowerment … and, of course, make some money to sock away. In the Rochester area, there are employers looking for summer help to assist them during their busiest season. But first up, here are two things to keep in mind to ensure the employment process goes smoothly: 1. Get a work permit If your teen is under 18, a work permit is necessary. Most employers will assist your teen in this process, providing the necessary paperwork. The New York State Department of Labor’s requirements for obtaining a work permit include proof of age and an up-to-date physical, so have these documents ready before applying for jobs. 2. Match your interests to your job This may be your teen’s first glimpse into the world of work and we, as parents, want them to take on their new responsibility in stride. However, since teens are relinquishing their summer vacation, they should enjoy the experience. In considering summer-job options, talk with your child about jobs that match his or her interests. Whether he or she is into sports, animals, nature, reading, or working with children, many businesses and organizations in the Rochester area can provide a job matching your teen’s interests. Here’s a sampling of summer jobs options to explore:

RIDES, SLIDES, AND GAMES

Seabreeze Amusement Park defines summer fun and your teen could enjoy the fun every day. This combo amusement park and waterpark offers a variety of positions — if your teen is a bit of a thrill seeker, a ride operator or game operator 16

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GOIN’ CAMPING

amp the YMCA’s C Counselors at they love h ow how muc Arrowhead sh bs — spelling out Y-M-C-A jo PHOTO their summer pillow. PROVIDED ng pi m ju a atop

TIONS: MER JOB OP OTHER SUM ding, nters (lifeguar • Town rec ce p counselor) summer-cam d lawn mowing g an • Landscapin ncluding mini golf) (i • Golf courses d food service an s n • Concessio ks at ballpar kets and farm mar • Local farms

could be a good fit for them. There are also a variety of food-service jobs within the park. If your teen is a good swimmer and likes spending time in and around water, then they might wish to get certified to be a lifeguard or waterpark attendant. The YMCA of Greater Rochester offers classes for certification. While he or she will be outside in the sun (and rain), the job perks include free rides and slides, crew parties, and incentives and

YMCA of Greater Rochester Camps a good fit for a teen who likes younger kids and is looking for an engaging environment with an opportunity to learn and grow. Whether interested in adventure courses, arts and crafts, sports, waterfront activities, science, or hiking, the YMCA has a variety of positions available for your teen at one of many YMCA day-camp locations in the Rochester area — which span eastside to the westside from Pittsford to Hilton, and south to north from Rochester to Webster.

KIDS ROCK

If your teen enjoys working with children but is looking for something that has more flexible hours, then finding a job as a babysitter or nanny might be for them. However, this type of responsibility, requires a certification in babysitting before applying for the position. There are in-person and online classes offering certification through the American Red Cross and in-person classes through town communityeducation programs. The in-person classes may be more beneficial as they provide emergency training, such as what to do when a child is stung by a bee or has an asthma attack.

GET THE SCOOP

Ice cream is synonymous with summer. Local ice cream parlors include Abbotts, Bruster’s, Shark’s, Rita’s Italian Ice, Twisters, Wickham Farms, and LuGia’s, plus all the froyo joints. (Your scooping arm will be stronger than ever … and your customerservice skills getting polished will be the sprinkles on top!)


How do you welcome the springtime? “I shake the winter blues by getting outside every chance we get — break out the sidewalk chalk, sandals, and a margarita!” — Cat, Spencerport “I open the windows and let fresh air in! There’s yard clean up and kids riding bikes and scooters!” — Kristen, Brighton

“We just love opening up the windows and getting some fresh air. The boys are so excited that we now have a big driveway and a cul-de-sac so they get out their electric go-carts, scooters and bikes and make a track out of construction materials left over from building our new house.” — Melanie, Webster

“I make a list of all the home and lawn projects I want to complete this spring/summer, knowing full well we will probably only do 20 percent of what’s on the list.” — Meghan, Farmington “We are waiting to spend more days outside!” — Kim, Irondequoit “I shake off the blues with spring cleaning — clean out the garage and air out the house!” – Carrie, Webster “Honestly, I’m looking forward to a big spring clean and getting rid of a lot of the clutter around my house. I want to be more mindful of things I buy and accumulate going forward.” — Tiana, Rochester “When spring finally rolls around in Rochester (you know, in July), I like to treat myself with a spring pedicure. My toes hibernate during the winter so it’s nice to indulge and have them ready for sandals.” — Carrie, Pittsford “I change out my shower curtain and bath accessories … gives me a morning reminder of the brighter days that are finally here.” — Colleen, Victor Roc Parent

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Through the Facetime and over the Skype, to Grandmother’s house we go … How grandparents keep their far-away grandchildren close By MARCIA MORPHY

When a baby is born into the world, so are grandparents. But if your grandchildren happen to live in another city, sometimes hundreds or even thousands of miles away, you may find yourself with measures of sadness at not being there for those milestone moments — that first smile, first step, first haircut … that first everything. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to stay connected. When my four-yearold grandson Brennen says, “I love you, Nana,” from his home in Pittsburgh, Pa., or his baby brother Bryce spirals into random fits of giggles hearing my voice on the phone, there’s a joy that transcends our distances apart. Like a lot of grandmothers, Joanne Stogner of Penfield doesn’t get to visit her granddaughter as often as she’d like. “Eden lives in Sierra Vista, Ariz., with my son and daughter-in-law, Kyle and Wendy Kulp, so I only see her once a year when she comes to stay with me each summer for six weeks.” Stogner remains close to Eden through technology, as much as the 15-year-old will allow. “Eden is in her independent streak,” she said. “Sometimes I get oneword text messages, but she does create these amazing videos of herself with friends where I get to catch up.” Trish Harren of Rochester also has long distance relationships with her four grandsons: Zachary, age 6, and Alex, age 4, who live in Sunnydale, Calif., and Max, age 5, and Oliver, age 2, from Allentown, Pa. “My son and his wife, Matt and Ann, 18

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Video chats are one of best ways for longdistance grandparents to keep in touch.

Grandparents going the distance Here are some ways to stay connected despite the miles between you: Make memories Record a favorite story for your grandchildren using the site astorybeforebed. com using your computer, iPhone, or iPad.

Snail mail Send them selfaddressed postcards and ask them to be your pen pal.

Magazine fun Get them subscriptions that will make them think of you (and thank you) each time they arrive in the mail, such as Thomas & Friends, Highlights, Jack & Jill, or National Geographic Kids.

live on the West Coast in a different time zone. So, we arrange a video chat on Saturday mornings where we visit the boys while they are having breakfast. “It amazes me how they really get the

Build it Purchase identical craft sets (i.e. Legos, Boondoggles, model airplanes) and work on them together via Skype.

concept of talking on a video screen,” Harren said. “Even Oliver, our youngest grandson, says ‘Nana, Nana, Nana,’ and although our conversation is limited, it still is a totally immersive and rewarding visit.”


Jim Murphy of Lima connects with his Brighton-based 11-year-old granddaughter Clara-Zofia Gawlowicz through visits and phone calls. “We were retired before Clara was born,” Murphy said, “and it was like a rebirth hearing her ask questions like ‘What makes the sky blue?’ You have to be proactive in their lives and stay connected. “Clara and I bond over simple things — walking in the woods, visiting the horses in the barn, creating projects in the basement. It’s becoming a reciprocal relationship where she teaches me things, too, and we get to learn from one another.” Linda Quinlan of Irondequoit stays connected with her two-year-old granddaughter Ava Reese, through FaceTime. “My daughter Emily and her husband, Nic, live in Atlanta, and we visit each other several times a year so Ava has been to our house quite a bit. “During our chats, Ava just wants to see the dog and cat and then runs away,” Quinlan said, with a laugh. “There’s always a sense of sadness at grandpar-

enting because you miss those little moments when you want to be there physically. But luckily her parents keep us connected.” Ellen Konar of Pittsford agrees that one’s children are “the gatekeepers” to the grandchildren. “Our daughter Nina and her husband, Kwaku Essel, who live in South Orange, N.J., keep us and Nathaniel’s grandfather in Africa connected to our two-yearold grandson through photos and Google memories and chat,” she said. The Konars visited grandson Nathaniel frequently during his first few months of life and he spent a week last summer at their home. “They get to know you without parental interference and it’s important that Nathaniel spend time with just us, to learn our stories,” said Konar. “Kids can never get enough unconditional love — and the more people who think they are amazing and wonderful, and will listen to and want to play with them, the better off in life they will be.”

There’s a joy that transcends distances apart.

Ellen Konar of Pittsford with her 2-year-old grandson, Nathaniel, who lives in New Jersey. They use Google Chat to stay in touch. PROVIDED PHOTOS

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Reading is out of this world Astronauts and spaceships and asteroids, oh my! Celebrate National Space Day (May 5) with these space-age reads. AGES 5-8 To the Stars: The First American Woman to Walk in Space

By DEENA VIVIANI

AGES 4-7 Space Shuttle Blasts Off! Written by Peter Bently and illustrated by Louise Conway

When a spaceship full of panda bears heads into space to collect a broken satellite, they are surprised by something else instead. Key space travel words are highlighted, and a basic space shuttle diagram is provided. Experience science and science fiction in this picture book mash-up. (QEB, 2015, hardcover, $14.95)

Written by Carmella Van Vleet and Dr. Kathy Sullivan and illustrated by Nicole Wong Make goals and follow your dreams. That is how Kathy Sullivan became one of the first six women to train with NASA. This inspiring picture book tells her story alongside realistic watercolor and ink illustrations, and offers additional information on female NASA trailblazers in the Author’s Note. (Charlesbridge, 2016, hardcover, $16.95)

AGES 10-14 Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition

AGES 10-14 Lost In Outer Space: The Incredible Journey of Apollo 13

Despite facing discrimination because of their race and gender, four African American women provided key mathematical calculations that helped NASA send astronauts into space for the first time. The young readers’ edition of this bestselling nonfiction book tells the same story of these strong, brilliant women in abbreviated, accessible format. (Harper, 2016, hardcover, $16.99) May/June 2017 RocParent.com 20

On April 13, 1970, three astronauts prepared for the third mission ever to touch the moon’s surface. Then there was an explosion on their spaceship. Focusing on Mission Commander Jim Lovell, this non-fiction account of the Apollo 13 rescue reads like a sci-fi thriller. Readers interested in more information can listen online to the actual dialog between NASA’s Mission Control and the astronauts, which the author used in part to write this book. An emotional account enhanced with photographs of the key players. (Scholastic, 2017, hardcover, $12.99)

By Margot Lee Shetterly

By Tod Olson

Teen Book Fest is Saturday, May 20, at Nazareth College The annual Teen Book Fest will take place 8:30—5 p.m. at Nazareth College, 4245 East Ave. in Pittsford. The event is and open to the public. Meet the authors of these Young Adult books, and many more: • The Blood Between Us by Zac Brewer • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas • The Diviners by Libba Bray • Fat Angie by E.E. Charlton-Trujillo • Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash • Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova • Melt by Selene Castrovilla • Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard • Snow Job by Charles Benoit • Still Life With Tornado by A.S. King • We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson • The Wrath and the Dawn by Reneé Ahdieh


AGES 10-18 Astronomy Lab for Kids: 52 Family Friendly Activities By Michelle Nichols

Six units including “Observing,” “Light, Motion, Gravity,” and “Seeing Stars” encompass the 52 projects star-seeking kids and teens can do. Each lab lists the time it will take to complete, the materials needed, safety tips, set-up hints, instructions, photographs, and scientific facts. Many labs can be done with materials found around the home for easy and educational fun with the whole family. (Quarry, 2016, paperback, $24.99)

AGES 12-18 Ask the Astronaut By Tom Jones Told completely in Q&A format, this reference is a must read for those interested in the nitty-gritty of space travel. Answered conversationally by a NASA astronaut and space walker, the author answers burning questions like, “Why is duct tape important in space?” and “Is astronaut training fun?” Black-and-white photographs enhance the text and an index is included for those doing research. (Smithsonian Books, 2016, paperback, $12.95)

AGES 12-18 Learning to Swear in America By Katie Kennedy

Yuri, a seventeen-year-old Russian physicist, travels to America to help NASA save the world when an asteroid is found heading directly for California. Armed with science and math brilliance, but not much in terms of social skills, Yuri meets Dovie, who helps him figure out the right reasons to save humanity. This humorous story with a unique hero makes this teen novel a survival story with laughs and heart. (Bloomsbury, 2016, hardcover, $17.99)

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Ask Dr. Amy CARING FOR YOUR KIDS

Hey, Mother Hover, land the helicopter already As a pediatric primary care provider and mother of three boys (ages 11, 11, and 13 – I know, right?), I get asked a lot of questions about healthcare and parenting. Here is a recent favorite:

good, more is better. does not bode well for developing Unfortunately, in many resiliency. Kids learn from trial cases, more is NOT betand error. ter – hence the idea of It’s tempting to give your the helicopter parent as child everything, especially a negative. Shocker, I if you felt you were denied Dear Dr. Amy: A friend called me know. If our kids grow as a child. Please don’t. a “helicopter parent” like it was a bad up never facing adversity You’ll end up robbing them thing. What is wrong with being there or challenges, they won’t of feeling successful on their for my child? know how to cope when own or learning valuable — Mom to Darling Daughter the stakes are higher or if lessons from their mistakes. there is no one there to clean Ultimately, this is the kind of stuff Dear Mother Hover: First, let me say up their mess. they will talk to their therapist about. And that there is nothing wrong with providing A recent study from our neighbors be prepared, they will expect you to pay for a supportive and loving environment for at the University of Buffalo looked at the session. your child. In fact, it’s great! whether too much hovering can be a Remember, if we try too hard to make However, if this looks essentially like bad thing. They found that while going sure nothing happens to our kids, nothing continuing to carry your kid around in through very tragic events does not con- will happen to them. a Baby Bjorn when she is 12, you might tribute to one’s long-term resilhave a problem with being overly ience, having no difficult Amy Jerum is a pediatric nurse practitioner protective. experiences also and pediatric mental health specialist with While we’ve discovered the Panorama Pediatric Group. She also is an benefits of being a present assistant professor of Clinical Nursing with parent and nurturing our kids, like the University of Rochester School of Nursing many other things, we’ve super… and a fun and tired mom of three boys ages sized our efforts. Many have 11, 11, and 13. taken active parenting to an Olympic level, sub“While we’ve discovered the benefits of being a present scribing to the parent and nurturing our kids, we’ve super-sized our edict that if efforts. … Remember, if we try too hard to make sure nothing some is

happens to our kids, nothing will happen to them.”

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A ROC PARENT’S PICK Ontario Play & Cafe Roc Parent Heather Nolan of Webster is shares her pick for family fun — Ontario Play & Café in Scottsville.

WHAT IS ONTARIO PLAY & CAFÉ:

• A Rochester-based family business • A 14,000-square-foot play center with café for children ages 10 and younger plus their parents, grandparents, or sitters for fun, hands-on, and open play. • Café seating is the centerpiece for adults, where they can easily watch their children in all the surrounding play areas. • The focus is to let children “explore naturally” on their own, letting them take the lead to learn through play. Unstructured free playtime helps children to develop creative ideas as well as independence and confidence. • Non-electronic activities include construction play (giant foam blocks), water play (large play table where you can fill, pour, drain), room for infant and toddlers (padded and semienclosed), ride-in cars (push, pull, pedal), oversized swing ABOUT ONTARIO (enclosed for several kids to PLAY & CAFE: enjoy together), and indoor Where: 1861 Scottsville playground with slides. Road, Henrietta. • Great for parent and Cost: $7.50, children children fun, play dates, 1 year old; $11.50, children cabin fever, social skill2 to 12; $3, people older building, grandma and than 13; free, babies grandpa time. (younger than 1) with a WHY SHE LIKES IT: sibling’s paid admission. • Parents can relax while Promotions often available kiddos play! on website or Facebook • Open environment lets you page. Multi-visit bundle see your child from almost prices available. anywhere. Hours: • Healthy food options —even 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondaythe pizza is made from Thursday scratch — plus healthy 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday and drinks and snacks. Saturday • Safe environment with lots 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday to do in one place.  Contact: (585) 434-2720 • Friendly customer service, Learn more: clean, and well kept.  ontarioplay.com • Cool stuff I also noticed they have — coffee espresso bar, free wifi, and a Mother’s Room with comfy chair for nursing.

Heather Nolan of Webster enjoys lunch at Ontario Play & Café with her 3-yearold daughter Janelle, and family friend, 2year-old Elek Veniskey of Penfield. PHOTOS BY RENEE VENISKEY

WHAT THE OWNERS SAY ABOUT IT:

• We designed a place families would love to go all year long, while feeling welcome, comfortable, and safe. • The variety of activities is physical, social, and sensory. • We chose equipment thoughtfully, having the gradual development of children including fine- and gross-motor development, hand-eye coordination, social interaction, role play, and imagination. • Healthy food is as important to us as quality of play. At Ontario Cafe, we offer only house-made dishes made from fresh ingredients. Nothing is fried or over-processed (no preservation and nut-free). Roc Parent

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Rochester native blends a love of nature with a touch of

Magic

By DAWN KELLOGG

Take a hike in the woods or along a secluded path and you might come across a clever fairy-house creation, crafted from items found in nature. Author and illustrator Tracy Kane’s award-winning Fairy House Series of books has popularized the building of fairy houses across the United States and around the world. An advocate for getting children outside and into nature, Kane has shared the magic of tiny house building for more than 15 years through her books, workshops, and videos. Kane, a Rochester native and PittsfordSutherland alumna, first encountered fairy houses in the late 1990s on Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine. The island has a “magical” forest called

Cathedral Woods that is littered with fairy structures. “I saw a little girl working on her fairy house and so I started to create one myself,” said Kane, who wrote her first book in 2000. “Then 9/11 happened and there was a need for people to get outside and do things with their families.” So began the Fairy House Series of books. In each of her illustrated storybooks, Kane combines her love of nature with a touch of fairy magic. Her stories emphasize a respect for nature and provide a way for children to learn about and become part of the natural world around them.

Enter the 2017 Corn Hill Arts Fairy House Tour Families, individuals, and teams may participate. Entry deadline is June 16, 2017. For a full list of requirements visit cornhillartsfestival.com.

Experience Fairy House Magic Day Saturday, May 13, at The Strong, Tracy Kane will be reading and signing her books and sharing fairy-house building tips. Included with museum admission, visitors may create a fairy dwelling to take home, and dress up like fairy or wood sprite. Author Tracy Kane poses with some young fans of her Fairy House Series. PHOTOS PROVIDED

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The Burdick family collects pieces all year long for their whimsical fairy houses Claire Burdick and her family have been taking part in the Fairy House Tour since 2015. They collect treasures from woods, trails, and parks at different times of the year, and fairy-house construction takes up the dining room table for the better part of two weeks before the Corn Hill Fairy House Tour. It’s a collaborative family effort with mom, dad, and their two children each adding bits and pieces to the structure. “We create a basic structure and then add everything on top of that,” Claire said. “My husband will come home from work and say, ‘What about this?’ or ‘What about that?’ The kids will have their own suggestions, too.” For their 2015 fairy house, they knew that they wanted to build a structure with a pedestal. It was a true team effort. Grandparents in another part of the state offered up a tree branch for their perfect fairy house. Last year’s entry was a cave-like structure. Their entries for both 2015 and 2016 have been awarded “Most Whimsical” and went on to be displayed in the Strong National Museum of Play. “My son was so excited when our house was displayed in The Strong,” Claire said. “He thought we were famous.”

The first people to buy books and get into fairy-house construction? Grandparents. “They want something to do with their grandchildren that doesn’t involve video games or electronics,” Kane said. “More importantly, they want to create memories with their grandchildren.” For the most part, everything visible on the fairy house must be natural. Inspired by Kane, websites like Pinterest, Etsy, and Inhabitat are full of kits and ideas to make the perfect home for neighborhood fairies and woodland creatures. She noted her Fairy House Series of books inspires kids to make one in their own backyard. This summer on July 8 and 9, the Corn Hill Arts Festival will celebrate its fifth year of presenting the Fairy House Tour, based on Kane’s books. Dozens of fairy houses made by local organizations and families are publicly displayed free of charge and prizes are awarded for Best Use of Natural Material, Most Unique, and Most Whimsical, plus a People’s Choice Award. Last summer 7,000 people toured the display of more than 50 miniature houses. The 10 winning creations (three in each category plus People’s Choice) will then be displayed throughout July at the Strong National Museum of Play.

The Corn Hill Arts Festival is one of many Fairy House Tours held around the country. Featuring more than 200 fairy houses, the Portsmouth Fairy House Tour in New Hampshire is the world’s largest and has raised more than $200,000 for local charities over the past 10 years. Fairy House Tours also take place in Vermont, Connecticut, North Carolina, and Georgia. Kane’s Fairy House Series of books also has spawned a ballet and a musical. Creating a fairy house is an ideal rainy-day activity for kids and adults. It involves planning, sensibly sourcing materials, problem solving, concentration, and lots of creativity. Kane worked for many years at WXXI and New Hampshire Public TV as a graphic designer. She now divides her time between Maine (where fairy-house building first started) and North Carolina. So what’s it like to have the Fairy House Tour in her hometown? “Rochester creates just the most amazing houses,” she said. “The Fairy House Tour took off faster here than any other place.” Learn more about Kane and her creations at fairyhouses.com.

Building your own fairy house • Fairy houses come in all shapes and sizes. Be creative. Plan carefully and put a bit of “you” in it. • Location, location, location. Fairies don’t like to be bothered, so build your fairy house in a quiet place away from roads or busy pathways. • Fairies are ecologically responsible. They only like natural materials to build and furnish their houses. Use things like sticks, bark, nuts, rocks, pebbles, pinecones and moss. (Remember: fairies also don’t like to harm anything that’s growing, so don’t pick flowers or other living things to furnish your house.) • Wood fairies and beach fairies like different things. Use materials found in the area where you are planning on building your fairy house. Roc Parent

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Planning a party?

It’s Party Time!

Visit RocParent.com for out party planning guide and more!

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COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT

What is the mission of Spectrum Creative Arts? When we opened in 2013, the Spectrum team set out on a mission to serve our vibrant and diverse community by offering the highest quality creative arts programming to individuals of all ages and all ability levels. We believe that everyone is an artist and we are proud to offer our students a wide range of constantly evolving instruction and programming. We aim to inspire and empower our students and staff through active participation in the creative arts. Not only are we a safe place for young artists to set and reach goals while discovering unprecedented potential, we’re a place for members of our community to practice and hone their craft.

Eight-year-old Anna sings “How Far I’ll Go” under the instruction of Spectrum Director Megan Resig at the recent Sweetheart Serenade concert.

How and when did Spectrum get its start? Spectrum’s creation story is a true testament to the power of community-building through the arts. Spectrum’s founders Megan Resig and Noa Ferguson are boardcertified music therapists who created the organization after combining their individual therapy practices, expanding their offerings to arts therapy and music and art

instruction. We opened our doors at 3300 Monroe Ave. in September 2013 with eight staff members and a handful of students. We now work with more than 20 therapists and instructors and serve more than 500 students in the Finger Lakes region, ranging in age from 6-months-old to over 80 years old. What kinds of programming and services does Spectrum offer to local families? What sets Spectrum apart is the immeasurably diverse set of skills our instructors and therapists bring to the table. We offer a range of programs, from ancient batik fabric dyeing classes to harp to standard voice lessons. Many of our instructors are board-certified therapists specializing in a broad range of arts therapy techniques and have had careers in their respective creative arts fields. We provide group class instruction in the community as well as onsite instruction at Spectrum for individuals and groups. We’re very excited to announce our new summer mini-camp — Creative Crusaders, happening the week of July 17 to 21. Kids ages 8 to-11 will undertake a journey that begins with an unsolved mystery of a great art

“There is simply nothing more inspiring to us than watching our students discover their own creative potential and develop their identity as an artist.” — MEGAN RESIG, SPECTRUM CO-FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR 44

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heist. Each day, campers will discover clues leading them on an adventure around the world, where they will explore art, music, dance, photography, and culinary arts as they pursue an infamous art burglar. The camp will culminate in an interactive production open to parents and the community. Share Spectrum’s vision for the future. Spectrum is passionate about becoming a leader in the Rochester community for inclusion and creative arts education. There is simply nothing more inspiring to us than watching our students discover their own creative potential and develop their identity as an artist. As we grow, we hope to continue to be a place that celebrates diversity and cultivates community. Tell us about Spectrum’s partnerships in the community. We are very excited to partner with several local businesses and organizations that are truly helping to further the growth of our artistic community. We’ve loved working with the Rochester Brainery to host several monthly workshop classes like Sound Recording, Art Journaling, and Play Reading, all taught by Spectrum instructors. Our team members provide services to a number of community organizations, including several school districts, adult-care facilities, preschool programs (such as the JCC), nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and psychiatric programs. Spectrum is also passionate about supporting the education and training of future creative arts professionals. We are an active practicum site for students studying at Nazareth College and have university affiliations with Berklee College of Music, Slippery Rock University, and SUNY Fredonia. We believe that a commitment to environmental consciousness goes handin-hand with community building. The Rochester community annually takes part in Spectrum’s Eco-Art Challenge, an environmentally friendly showcase of original art. This year’s mouth-watering theme was garbage plates. Participants created original artistic interpretations of our city’s favorite dish, the garbage plate, using recycled and disposable materials. Where can parents learn more and get involved? To learn more about classes, lessons, Creative Crusaders Summer Camp, and other programming, visit us online at spectrumcreativearts.org, find us on Facebook, or call us at (585) 383-1999.

We thank Spectrum Co-Founder and Director Megan Resig for sharing these answers to our questions about Spectrum Creative Arts so we could shine this much-deserved spotlight on their work, team, and programs.

Spectrum Art Department Chair Ben Sheridan, left, is having fun painting banners with instructors Molly, Wade, and J.P. PHOTOS PROVIDED BY SPECTRUM CREATIVE ARTS

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CURATED

CALENDAR A selection of things to see and do in May and June

Kids Getting Fit: at the Y and The Strong Westside YMCA Kids Triathlon Sunday, May 7 | Noon-3 p.m. This is a fun three-event race for kids ages 6-12. All fitness levels are welcome. Race includes a 10-minute indoor pool swim, approximate 1-mile bike ride (bring your own bike) and an approximate 1-mile walk/run outside. The registration cost for an individual is $18 or $54 for a three-person relay team.

Aerial Adventure Park at Bristol Mountain.

Where: 920 Elmgrove Road, Rochester, 14624 More info: rochesterymca.org/westside Kids Fit Day at The Strong Museum Saturday, June 3 | 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Run, hop, or slide into the museum for a day filled with fitness fun! Get active in the Fit Kids Fun Zone and move your muscles with foursquare and hopscotch. This family-friendly event will give you an opportunity to learn more about the City of Rochester Department of Recreation and Youth Services, Foodlink Curbside Market and the Wegmans Passport to Family Wellness program. Included with museum admission. Where: One Manhattan Square, Rochester, 14607 More info: museumofplay.org Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures Mobile Park June 15 to 25 Swing in and test your mettle at the Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures Mobile Park at The Strong. Embark on an indoor, actionpacked adventure on a 26-foot-wide endurance zone! The Aerial Adventures Mobile Park is for children ages 4–14. Included with museum admission. Where: One Manhattan Square, Rochester, 14607 More info: museumofplay.org 46

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PROVIDED PHOTO

Outdoor Fun at Letchworth and Bristol Learn to Catch a Fish at Letchworth State Park Saturday, May 28 | Noon-4 p.m. Family Picnic Carnival-style event featuring games, activities, educational workshops, free fishing (no license required), free lunch and door prizes. Presented in conjunction with DEC and Cornell Cooperative Extension. Where: Trailside Lodge, Letchworth State Park, Castile, 14427 More info: www.letchworthpark. com/events.htm Aerial Adventure Park at Bristol Mountain Open now! Check website for details Seven Course Park: Set in the trees at the summit of Bristol Mountain. This attraction has more 130 thrilling tree-to-tree elements including swaying bridges, mini-zip lines, cargo nets, a snowboard, skateboard, suspended wall and a variety of unique bridge structures. This course is for ages 8 and older. The ability levels range from beginner

to advanced and the courses are referred to by a color code to represent the skill level. All of the courses are connected to a twostory treehouse hub.  Kids Park: Two fun courses for kids ages 4 to 7 located six-toeight feet off the ground with a variety of gently swaying bridges, a rock climbing wall, suspended tree houses and a platform to ground zip line experience. Also a great experience for kids’ birthday parties. Zip Line Canopy Tour: This is the newest Aerial Adventure attraction and the only yearround adventure attraction. This is a three-hour guided zip line tour nestled in the forest canopy near the summit. Groups range in size from 8 to 12 depending on the time of year.  Where: 5662 NY-64, Canandaigua, 14424 More info: Reservations are requested via website bristolmountainadventures.com or by calling (585) 374-1180.


CURATED CALENDAR Family stage shows in May and June Stunt Dog Experience

Charlotte’s Web

Callahan Theater at Nazareth College Kodak Center Studio Theatre Saturday, May 6 | 7-8:30 p.m. Friday, May 26 at 7 p.m. Paws down — this could be the most Saturday, May 27 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 28 at 2 p.m. doggone fun your family has ever had! Since 1999, this cast of twoand four-legged performers has delighted audiences of all ages with some of the most incredible stunts ever performed, including amazing tricks, big air maneuvers, comedy antics, dancing, and agility and athletic feats. These talented and lovable stars — all rescued from pounds and shelters — have been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Late Show With David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and more. Tickets: $20 to $35 and can be purchased at the Nazareth College box office. Where: 4235 East Ave., Rochester, 14618 More info: www2.naz.edu/arts-center

RAPA Family Theatre presents Charlotte’s Web, which pens the door to a magical barnyard world where a young girl named Fern spends her free time with Wilbur the pig. Charlotte, the large grey spider, befriends Wilbur and helps him deal with the shocking news that his life will soon end as bacon on someone’s plate. Charlotte goes as far as coming up with an interesting plan that this spider could only carry out with the help of the other barnyard animals to help Wilbur escape death. Stay tuned after the show to meet the characters. Tickets: $10 for children ages 12 and under/$20 adults. Where: 200 W. Ridge Road, Rochester, 14615 More info: kodakcenter.org/shows

Viktoria Grimmy will perform aerial tricks at JCC CenterStage June 3-4. PROVIDED PHOTO

The Great DuBois Masters of Variety JCC CenterStage Saturday, June 3 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 4 at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Michael DuBois’ Solo Circus and The Amazing Viktoria Grimmy are returning to JCC to amaze the audience once again with The Great DuBois. This show will feature new tricks and routines full of comedy. Tickets: $16 children/$20 adults (discount for JCC members) Where: 1200 Edgewood Avenue, Rochester, 14618 More info: jccrochester.org/tickets

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CURATED CALENDAR Where: 1209 Bay Road, Webster, 14580 More info: rochesterymca.org/bayview

Imagine RIT PROVIDED PHOTO

Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival

Science and Innovation STEM Night at the Bayview YMCA Friday, May 5 | 6-8 p.m. Check out STEM projects from our Before and After School Programs, robotics, art, hands-on activities, and LIVE Science from the University of Rochester. This is a free event and open to the whole community.

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Music performances for kids and families RPO Tiny Tots Concerts

Saturday, May 6 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Tuesday, May 16, to Friday, May 19

Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival is a campus-wide event that showcases the innovative and creative spirit of RIT students, faculty and staff. Visitors experience the breadth and depth of RIT through interactive presentations, hands-on demonstrations, exhibitions, and research projects set up throughout campus. Multiple performance stages with live music and entertainment are also a hit with visitors of all ages. The event features 400 exhibits related to science and technology on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology and is free and open to the public.

Is your toddler interested in musical instruments? The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra presents Tiny Tots Concerts for kids ages 3 to 6. These 40-minute concerts will introduce children to the instrumental families of the orchestra, as well as some basic musical concepts. During these concerts, youngsters engage in participatory activities, learn basic music terms, how to listen, and the instruments of the orchestra.

Where: One Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, 14623 More info: rit.edu/imagine/

Where: Locations and times vary More info: Advance reservations are required. Call (585) 454-7311, ext. 235.; rpo.org


CURATED CALENDAR RPO’s OrKiDStra 100th Anniversary of America’s National Parks Hochstein Performance Hall Sunday, May 21 | 2 p.m.

Genesee Country Village & Museum PROVIDED PHOTO

Celebrate the beauty of America’s National Parks with photography and music by composer Stephen Lias. Walk through the gates of the Arctic and Rocky Mountain National Park, plus hear Grofé’s Grand Canyon Suite. Tickets: $13 children/$17 adults can be purchased online at rpo.org, at Wegmans, or by calling (585) 454-2100. Where: 50 N. Plymouth Ave., Rochester, 14614 More info: rpo.org

Let’s go to the museum! Exhibitions and events in May and June at Rochester area museums: Strong National Museum of Play More info: museumofplay.org Orchids in Bloom Month of May Discover more than 150 orchids from Central and South America, Asia, and Africa blooming among hundreds of butterflies in Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden. Included with museum admission and Dancing Wings admission. Storytime Club: Animal Pals Every Monday | 10:30-11:30 a.m. Readings of classic children’s tales every Monday. Have your Storytime Club passport punched once during each visit — collect five punches and receive a free children’s book!  Included with museum admission. World Video Game Hall of Fame Celebration Saturday, May 6 | 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, May 7 | 1-4 p.m. Celebrate the newest inductees into the World Video Game Hall of Fame and revel in a weekend filled with activities themed around past inductees such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario Bros. Included with museum admission. Fairy House Magic Saturday, May 13 | 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Play with whimsical building blocks and woodland animal and fairy puppets and learn how to make a fairy house in

nature. Included with museum admission. Have a Ball Exhibit Opening Celebration Saturday, June 24 | 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, June 25 | 1-4 p.m. Bounce through the history of the ball and learn about the importance of ball play as a universal social, cultural, and human experience. Experience interact ive performances by Flower City Vaudeville each day 1 to 4 p.m. Included with museum admission. Genesee Country Village & Museum More info: gcv.org Opening Day & Mother’s Day: All Chocolate Weekend Saturday and Sunday, May 13 and 14 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Celebrate the role of mothers throughout history and watch the village come alive with springtime activities that will shower mom with love and affection. Chocolate-making demonstrations and tastings both days. Included with museum admission. Mothers admitted free on Mother’s Day. Celtic Faire Saturday, June 17 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Celebrate the culture, history and traditions of the Scots and Irish through musical performances by regional pipe bands, dance demonstrations from local schools and an array of authentic food and drinks. War of 1812 & Jane Austen Weekend Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The historic village comes to life with re-enactors portraying shopkeepers,

housewives, merchants, and soldiers amidst the sounds of fifes and drums; cannons and muskets; and Austenera music and dancing. Included with museum admission. Fathers free all weekend. Memorial Art Gallery More info: mag.rochester.edu Asian Pacific American Heritage Family Fun Day Sunday, May 7 | Noon-5 p.m. Several times each year, the Memorial Art Gallery opens its doors and offers Rochester area families and community members the opportunity to learn more about specific cultures. These events for all ages feature handson art activities, music and dance demonstrations, storytelling, and a variety of cultural displays. Our Family Days series is sponsored by the Gallery Council of the Memorial Art Gallery. Suggested donation $5 per family. Rochester Museum & Science Center More info: rmsc.org Rochester in 1838 Diorama Live Restoration All summer Get a peek behind the scenes at a unique “living exhibit” featuring the real-time restoration and enhancement of the RMSC’s beloved “Rochester in 1838” diorama. In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal groundbreaking, experts work to restore and stabilize the 70-year-old display during museum hours for all to see. Included with museum admission. Roc Parent

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MAY/JUNE 2017

POWERFUL & POSITIVE

DEBUT ISSUE!

Dr. Amy Jerum brings humor and compassion to her job, at home and at work

INSIDE:

• A moving memoir from Writers & Books • Yelp restaurant reviews • Tips for getting fit over 50 • Yes, “you’re worth it” • New columns features She Rocs and May/June 2017 1


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WRITERS IN THIS ISSUE BREANNA BANFORD is the Yelp Rochester community director. She brings the online community offline, connecting people to great local businesses through collaborative events and marketing partnerships. As a Rochester native, Breanna lives, breathes, and eats for this city. When she’s not hosting events for the Yelp community, you’ll almost always find her with rosé in one hand and french fries in the other. MEAMI CRAIG, PH.D. holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology and human development from Harvard University and a doctorate in psychology. A long-time media personality, she gave advice for 20 years on WARM 101.3 and was a popular columnist and blogger with weekly newspapers and The Democrat and Chronicle, focusing on relationships and family. She is currently writing a book and hosts a weekly radio show on WYSL 1040 AM and 92.1 AM (and online) titled “Change Your Life with Meami Craig” from 6:30 to 7 p.m. every Wednesday. You may ask Meami questions for her She Rocs column or radio show via (585) 432 1010 or changeyourlifeservices.com. ELIZABETH CRONY is a woman of action, whether executing a marketing plan or mastering the de-cluttering and cleaning of a house. With a degree and background in fashion and merchandising, she is a founding member of Femfessionals Rochester and former president of Blacktie Colorado. She is a happily married mom of two young girls. NADIA GHENT is a writer with a deep background in music. After majoring in English at Brown University, she earned a master’s degree in Violin Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. A move from Southern California brought her to the Greater Rochester area in 2012. She has been a guest blogger for Prufrock’s Dilemma and Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies and is a 2017 cast member of “Listen To Your Mother Rochester.” Her work will be forthcoming this May in Necessary Fiction. She is currently working on a collection of short stories and a lyric memoir. MARCIA MORPHY was raised on a steady diet of fairy tales so it’s understandable that she would make a living by writing about life and the world around her — while trying to help others understand it. She surrounds herself with chocolate and coffee while repelling cats off her keyboard to secretly write stories that escape her own reality. She adores her children, Jaime and Matt and daughter-in-law Kyla and is blessed with two adorable grandchildren, Brennen and Bryce, who rejoice in Nana’s enthusiasm for Halloween. After a more than 30-year career in community journalism, LINDA QUINLAN likes to say she is “semi”-retired. She is now a freelance writer, serves more than one cause as a volunteer, is a caregiver for her mother, and a proud grandmother. She is married, has three grown children, a granddaughter, a cat, and a dog. When not writing, she likes to read and garden. DANTE WORTH is a successful mentor and author based in Rochester who released his book Free to Be Me in 2014. He has studied PR and communications at SUNY Brockport. In the community he has organized and hosted motivational seminars, the Black Authors Expo, and three installments of ROC Mastery Writing Seminars. Each spring he hosts the Audacious Believer’s Ultimate Women’s Conference, where he brings together women and men to enable, empower, and inspire them to live life with a victorious freedom.

CONTENTS FEATURES

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Cover Story Meet Dr. Amy Jerum “A Hunger Like Longing” Non-Fiction/ Lyric Memoir by Nadia Ghent

You’re Worth It Finding the right fit at Embrasse Moi

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Help From Yelp Brunch reviews for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day — or any day Fit Over 50 It’s never too late to get started A Chance Meeting An essay by Salley Thornton

ALSO INSIDE 63 The Audacious Believer Column by Dante Worth 54 Keep Calm and Call Dr. Meami Column by Meami Craig 53 The Organized Clutterbug Column by Elizabeth Crony Rachel Janay, at left, and Yasenia Reed enjoy an afternoon of “audacious believing” during a conference hosted by Dante Worth, which was designed to empower women. PROVIDED PHOTO

ON THE COVER

Amy Jerum, DNP, CPNP-PC, PMHS, is a pediatric primary care provider and mother of three boys. She gets asked a lot of questions about healthcare and parenting and now she’s sharing her answers with Roc Parent readers. She Rocs

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COVER STORY

She helps us care for our kids with humor and compassion and assures us therapy is “normal” By SALLEY THORNTON It’s often lamented that being a parent is one of the most challenging jobs that doesn’t come with a manual. There’s no training required to become a parent but much needed to be a parent. Especially with your first child, the questions can seem overwhelming. Perhaps the most common heard by medical professionals: “Is this normal (behavior, thought, cough, rash, pain)?” Keeping us sane through the rollercoaster ride of parenting are the professionals who help us take care of our kids. Like us, they have funny stories to share, coupled with wisdom and reassurance that it all really will be OK. As a mom of three young boys, Dr. Amy Jerum is no stranger to the physical, mental, and emotional curveballs of raising a family. Jerum, a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice), will be a regularly featured columnist in this publication. She’s found that within the traditional medical office setting at Panorama Pediatric Group she can help provide early intervention in areas PHOTO BY RENEE VENISKEY

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that often carry a stigma like anxiety, depression, and other behavioral and mental health concerns. Her philosophy is to help teach children coping skills, help them add tools to their toolboxes, and prevent problems from deteriorating. Here is Jerum’s take on a variety of topics she encounters daily with her patients and families: COUNSELING: Therapy is normal for kids ages 12 to 20. The children are usually OK with it, but often parents need to wrap their heads around the idea. Part of being a great parent is knowing your child could benefit from someone else’s counsel. Not because you’ve failed your child as a parent. But because you do care. They have trainers and coaches for sports, tutors for homework. I hope to normalize therapy to be comfortable for all parties. IT STARTS WITH LISTENING: I try

to help my patients talk about issues in a basic way and give light feedback so they can be thoughtful in their own feelings. Sometimes it’s easier to start the process in a typical doctor’s office setting, but then I can also open the door to the idea there are others out there who can help. TRANSITIONING HEALTH CARE: As my patients hit their mid-teens, I often ask parents to step out of the room. I’m helping the kids prepare to be their own health care advocates. In college they will need to call health services when they have a sore throat, explain their symptoms, and get a prescription filled. FRUSTRATING CLOTHING CHOICES: (Specifically, children who insist on wearing shorts/miniskirts in the winter, or heavy sweaters in the middle of summer.) You don’t really get a cold when you’re cold. You get uncomfortable. Discomfort can be a powerful learning experience. As they

get older you’re faced with “I don’t want to say I told you so, but. …” Experience is the best teacher. On the other hand, our job is to keep our kids safe and sometimes we overdo it. Many times the clothing issue is more about who is going to win — especially after we’ve already said “no” to something. Instead, try asking yourself why you are saying “no.” KIDS BEING ADORABLE: I once got a marriage proposal from one of my young patients. FAVORITE MEMORY: A mom who was concerned about her son storing his peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the waistband of his pants each day. It was wrapped in foil so I wasn’t worried about germs. But mom thought it was totally odd. I asked the little boy why he did it. He replied, deadpan, “I like my sandwich warm.” I couldn’t argue with that logic. Choose your battles.

“Part of being a great parent is knowing your child could benefit from someone else’s counsel. Not because you’ve failed your child as a parent. But because you do care.”

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Why are you so busy? 5 Tips for Success: How to seize the day and be more productive Do you always seem to be busy yet not able get everything (or anything) done? Some of us are just busy being busy — we are so busy we may not realize what we’re busy doing all day. So, how do we channel this busyness into effectiveness? Here are five tips for success I learned while prioritizing my time for productivity while writing my book Free to Be Me: I Am Not My Issues.

1

Taking time to meditate on what you’re busy doing will help you reduce the clutter in your schedule and live a more enlightened life. This is the step where you simply list everything that needs to be done (some of us may run out of paper), but it’s a designated time for prioritizing. Do this every morning: take 15 minutes to be still, sip your favorite drink, and create a prioritized list of what needs to be done (realistically can be done) that day. This moment of reflection is not only good for organizing but it also helps you to kick start your day with a clear mindset and a plan.

2

Assess how you feel about your busy schedule Do the activities on your schedule motivate you or discourage you? Remember, you are the MASTER OF YOUR OWN SCHEDULE. Even with set events and family and work obligations it’s important to be aware of what you’re doing and how those activities make you feel.

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4

Evaluate what you’re busy doing

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Schedule your pleasure

Give yourself a break. You deserve it! Take time to do something that you really enjoy and not just what you “have” to do. Take a walk, grab some ice cream, see a play. I personally love to invest in a day at the spa to allow my mind to relax and recuperate. It’s okay to have some fun and to relax. It helps you reignite your Rachel Janay, left, and Yasenia Reed enjoy an afternoon strength and passion and of “audacious believing” during a conference hosted by will enrich your life. Dante Worth. They took time to “schedule their pleasure” with a focus on having fun and getting inspired. PROVIDED PHOTO

3

Value your time and learn how to say “No”

When people take your time, they are taking something from you that is irreplaceable. People will drain you of your time, talent, and treasure if you let them. When you say “yes” to others, make sure you’re not saying “no” to yourself. There are a lot of things people can take from you that can be replaced, even your car or your phone. But your time cannot be replaced, if you make time for others over time for yourself — such as having coffee so others can “pick your brain” or serving on a committee for which you do not have passion or time. Being kind and volunteering is important, but your sanity must come first.

5

Don’t watch the clock — watch what the clock does and keep going! Life offers us another opportunity to get everything done we didn’t get done today — and it’s called tomorrow. Don’t stress yourself out over things you didn’t complete or have the power to change. Breathe and start fresh the next day.


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Non-Ficton/Lyric Memoir

Each issue of She Rocs will feature a short story or essay written by a student or faculty member of Rochester’s awardwinning Writers & Books. By NADIA GHENT That summer before my mother lost her mind for the first time, I started to learn a violin concerto. An abridged version, a simplified reduction, a student concerto, nevertheless impressive, if only to me. In the style of Antonio Vivaldi by Ferdinand Kuchler, suitable for the kind of 10-year old that I was, dreamy, silent, impractical. I would be just like my mother, a child prodigy, next the Mendelssohn Concerto, next my debut in Carnegie Hall. I had progressed well through the elementary books of Tune-A-Day despite my fearfulness to learn new things. A tentative technique, a little shaky on the note-naming. I didn’t like to practice. But my teacher had confidence in me, hoped that this would make me want to practice more. Something to keep me occupied while things began to unravel. The comparison with my mother was inevitable. Every violin lesson would begin with tuning the strings, the pure sound of the note “A” vibrating 440 times a second. Waves of invisible sound that would undulate in a frequency I could feel. My mother could tune my violin without a tuning fork because she had perfect pitch. Perfect pitch, and other things, can run in families. And then you place the bow on the A and D strings at the same time and listen for the interval of the fifth, the relationship of vibrations, the way the two pitches fit together into resonance. Notes, like people, embracing each other. I would try to practice in the silent afternoons after school ended in June. The hours of women and children tethered to home, but now I was home by myself. My mother was out; my two younger sisters were at the playground, enjoying Good Humor bars, splashing in the sprinklers. My stepfather, at work, always 61

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at work. All the windows in our apartment were open, curtains blowing in the cool wind that came off the Hudson, boys outside playing baseball in the street. Nobody to tune my violin. There was something about the words “violin concerto” that made me think of loneliness, that thin sound I made on the violin like being by myself in a forest. Find me, I’m lost. The way you stand before the music looking for a path, for the way in. How do you read a language that is made up only of circles and lines? That creamy yellow cover with “Schirmer’s Music Library” on the front, holding in all those notes I still didn’t know the names of. I thought that libraries of music were like books on shelves beyond my reach. I wasn’t a skilled sight-reader the way my mother could play anything in any key, in any clef. We went to the country in August, the heat shimmering off the lake and air as still as rocks. A summer rental in New Hampshire, mothball smells in the closets, fraying bedspreads, a creaky screen door. We drove up from the city, a U-Haul attached to the car with all our suitcases. My stepfather would take the train back to the city, would return every weekend. My mother was very quiet during the trip. I brought my violin, but hardly practiced. There were blackberries in the brambles down the hill that I liked to pick, my fingers sticky and slit by thorns. This was my vacation: books to read, daydreaming, afternoon swims, and the quiet shame of the silent violin. My mother was depleted that August, withdrawn, her face fixed with absence. The least exertion a wall of impossibility. She smoked Salems, packs at a time, sat in the living room with the curtains drawn, the heat of the day

billowing in from the outside. Always sitting, always immobile, while we played in the meadows and swam in the lake. During the week, my sisters and I had Pop-Tarts for dinner and milk that was going sour. She could never get the shopping done. I was the oldest, adept at being bossy, sanctimonious. I liked to pretend that I was in charge. They never listened to me. My sisters ran around like wild children, barefoot, faces dirty, hair tangled, the wildness of no rules and no bedtime, like Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, except they were girls. “We’re not really sisters, “ one sister will say to me. “He’s not your father. He doesn’t love you the way he loves me.” My family, connected by the thinnest of filaments. My stepfather would appear on Fridays, walking in from the train station after a week of work, his jacket slung over his shoulder, sweat stains under the arms of his button-down shirt. He called it “New Hampster” as if everything in life was a silly joke, but we laughed when he said it, my sisters climbing on him like monkeys. Did he really not love me? He would bring us fruit in a splotched paper bag, cherries, plums, or peaches, the fruit hot from the train trip, most of it bruised. We had cookouts on Saturdays. He’d use lighter fluid, sparks from the grill rising into the evening sky. He always burned the hot dogs. We ate on paper plates that went limp with ketchup and hamburger grease. Nobody had to do the dishes. When it got dark, my mother and stepfather sat outside. I could hear only murmuring between them,


couldn’t hear words, and from my bedroom window upstairs I watched the tip of my mother’s cigarette, a small red glow in the darkness, shaping the air in extravagant gestures. My mother, talking with her hands, but I couldn’t see them move. “She’s unhappy,” my stepfather said one Sunday morning, making pancakes from a box of pancake mix. My mother, inside, now staying in bed. My sisters, outside, hunting for frogs.

“Your grandfather’s death. The killings at Kent State. The war.” As if reasons were enough to explain. “I should have taken that rental in Cape Cod,” he went on. “She likes the beach so much more.” As if words could fill in for her absence. He poured the batter onto the griddle. Silence drifted between us. I set out the forks and knives. The obvious was not mentioned: he will leave her, he doesn’t love her. “But she’ll get over it,” he said. “Be a good helper.” He flipped the pancakes, burning the last one. My sisters rushed in, the screen door banging shut. “Yeah, O.K. I will, dad.” I put the plates on the table. Naming my stepfather “dad,” feeling the shape of that word in my mouth, a hunger like longing. We ate. What was left over was set out for the birds. We would walk him back to the train station on Sunday afternoons, my sisters and I, the road into town dusty and hot. He would give each of us a dollar to get soft-serve at the Tasti-Freeze for the walk home. When the train arrived, and he went back to the city, another week had passed. I thought that if I could start to practice again, every day, if I could learn to translate those notes into music, I would find out where my mother had gone.

She Rocs magazine is collaborating with Writers & Books to share a short story or essay in every issue, written by students or instructors. Writers & Books is a nonprofit literary center based in Rochester that fosters and promotes reading and writing as lifelong activities. The programs are numerous and varied, reaching more than 25,000 people per year. Learn more at wab.org

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Makenna Moriarty personally assists customers at Embrasse Moi, which is located at the four corners of Pittsford village. By SALLEY THORNTON Thinking back to our first bra, as a pre-teen, it wasn’t exactly necessary, but it marked an exciting rite of passage. As women, we recall our most comfortable bra, retired only after hooks bend, elastic quits, and color fades. Then comes our first beautiful bra, not only making us look terrific in the clothes we are wearing but is a statement all its own. And lastly, and maybe most importantly, our most supportive bra, keeping things where they once were or where we want them to be. How amazing when all three come together for a bra that not only fits perfectly, feels terrific, is high quality, does its job, and looks like a million bucks. “It’s all about having the right fit, and nine out of 10 women we see here don’t,” said Felicia Prindle, bra-fitting specialist at Embrasse Moi in the village of Pittsford. Working at a lingerie shop in Italy honed Prindle’s ability to quickly assess and appropriately size women in undergarments that flatter and support. Julie Levine, mom of four ranging in age from 3 to 15, was finally taking time to swap out her old maternity and nursing bras and couldn’t believe the change

she felt in more than just her appearance. “My gait is different,” she said. “It’s like my breasts are now a part of me. And unlike the bra I just took off, this one is beautiful. I’m going to wear it out of the store!” And with today’s fashion, your investment doesn’t have to be hidden if you’re willing to be a bit daring. “The trend now is to let a little bit of your lingerie peak out, and let the beauty of your bra show,” said Embrasse Moi’s Amanda Renner, a bra-fitting specialist, who noted a lacy bra can show through a sheer material or the details of a strap can be seen with a sleeveless top. “Or, undo one more button to slightly show off the top edge of your bra when you move,” she said. “It’s all the rage in European fashion.”

IF THE BRA FITS: SHARES

The team at Embrasse Moi share these tips with their customers regarding purchasing and caring for your bras:

We’re with the band

In regard to fit and support, 90 percent should come from the band around your ribcage, not the straps — if a strap slips down, it shouldn’t affect your support. Hey, this is a plus … no more shoulder dents at day’s end!

We have to handle these things delicately

Hand wash in delicate soap, shape, and lay flat to air dry. No need to wash after every use, which will also prolong the life of your investment.

Felicia Prindle at Embrasse Moi hosts a private lingerie party. PHOTOS BY DRESDEN ENGLE

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Flat is where it’s at (storage, that is)

To keep their shape, bras should also be stored flat … not folded over with cups inverted into one another.


help from

Where to munch and brunch on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day

It’s time to ponder how to celebrate your parents and your spouse this Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Helping to guide us to some of Rochester’s best brunches are Breanna Banford, Yelp’s Rochester community manager, and her Yelp reviewers, as posted on yelp.com. Read their recommendations and then make those reservations.

ButaPub

Erie Grill

Historic German House 315 Gregory St., Rochester (585) 563-6241 | butapub.com

Del Monte Lodge 41 N. Main St., Pittsford (585) 419-3032 | eriegrill.com

“A great brunch place that’s well worth the visit. We always try to go somewhere new and Butapub was a refreshing change to the normal breakfast fare.” — Brent A.

“If you’re looking for something upscale, but relaxed ... the Erie Grill is a palatable option. Excellent service. Would be a good place for a special occasion.” — Hope C.

Roux 688 Park Ave., Rochester (585) 461-2960 | rouxparkave.com

“We opted to sit outside (in) the crisp late morning air. ... My drink of choice was the mimosa special.” — Kim B.

The Mad Hatter Restaurant & Bakery 176 S. Goodman St., Rochester (585) 545-4985 madhatterrochester.com

“The menu has a variety of benedicts (the Hatters was fantastic) and other delicious brunch staples (you won’t be disappointed with the challah french toast).” — Samantha B.

Tea, toast, and frittata at The Mad Hatter Restaurant & Bakery, located next door to ParkLeigh, at the corner of Goodman Street and Park Avenue. PHOTO POSTED TO YELP MARCH 16, 2017 BY ANDREW P.

Brown Hound Downtown Memorial Art Gallery 500 University Ave., Rochester (585) 506-9725 brownhoundbistro.com

“The location inside of the MAG is beautiful and nice and quiet. … My friends and I enjoyed a really great meal for a great price. I ordered the stuffed french toast with a side of hash browns.” — Danielle S.

Owl House 75 Marshall St., Rochester (585) 360-2920 owlhouserochester.com

“It has options for all dietary needs. You can order vegan or gluten-free, and if you want meat, you can get that too.” — Nicole M.

TRATA Culver Road Armory 145 Culver Road, Rochester (585) 270-5460 | tratarochester.com

“We had coffee to start, which was excellent and snacked on the bread basket ... with their freshly made carrot cake jam. For brunch, I had the eggs benedict.” — Noelle L. She Rocs

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FIT OVER 50 It’s never too late to get started

By LINDA QUINLAN So, you’re over 50 and find you have a little — or quite a bit — of extra time. Your career may be on track, perhaps your children are grown or off to college, or maybe you’ve been affected by some corporate downsizing. Perhaps that extra time may mean it is time to focus on you — taking off those extra pounds and, generally, just feeling better and getting healthier. I’ve been working at it myself, and have been inspired by many I have met along the way. A year before she retired, after 40 years at Kodak, Grace Buck started taking a couple of exercise classes with one of her girlfriends. When her husband passed away, she started going to the gym more often “I love the people,” Grace said. “It’s the social part, too.” Today at age 92 (she will be 93 in August), Grace heads to the gym five days a week. This grandmother to two and great-grandmother to five still participates in group classes in cycling, body works (a workout with hand weights), and kickboxing. Once in a while, she does the weight machines at the gym. Her advice for anyone just getting started? “Keep going,” Grace said. “So often, you see a lot of people joining the gym in January, and the next thing you know, they’re not here anymore.” Grace met instructor Yvonne Gramlich when they were each taking classes at the former Bally’s Total Fitness in Irondequoit. Two years after being “talked into” leading her first exercise class and taking several training courses, Yvonne became the coordinator of instruction at Bally’s. Today, she’s in a management position at LA Fitness. She is activities director for all of their gyms in Upstate New York, including Rochester and Buffalo. 57

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At 51, Yvonne not only manages all the fitness instructors for a number of clubs, but also teaches 11 permanent classes, mostly at the Irondequoit location. “One part of my job is physical; the other, very mental,” Yvonne said with a smile. Yvonne added that one of the most rewarding parts of her job is when she sees people who may not have worked out in a long time (or at all) actually try out a class. “I love all the different ages we have in most of our classes — and that they feel comfortable doing what they can,” Yvonne said. “Back when I first started as a manager, I always wanted to be part of a gym where everyone felt successful, there were all different ages, and each member walked away feeling good.” It’s an achievable goal, professionals say.

Grace Buck, left, and fitness instructor Yvonne Gramlich, take a short break from exercise at LA Fitness in Irondequoit. PROVIDED PHOTO

For women who are getting back into fitness, Julie Thering, PT, DPT, and a physical therapist at the University of Rochester’s sports medicine facility, said her advice can be reduced to just a few words: Don’t be overwhelmed. The American College of Sports Medicine guidelines recommend 150 minutes of activity each week, Thering said, “but for women who are just getting


back into fitness, start smaller and work your way toward that goal.” While she has always been athletic and won a sectional title while a teen at a Buffalo high school, Yvonne has overcome surgery for a “pulverized” collar bone as a result of a cycling accident. Fortunately, this mother of two feels stronger than ever today. “I understand body mechanics and I know more,” Yvonne said. “I think I have an inner strength in me — I always said that if I could bottle it, I could be a millionaire!” Grace agreed that knowing your own limits — or abilities — is important. “You have to do what your body tells you,” Grace said. “I just keep going.” While the gym has worked for Grace and Yvonne, “A lot of people think they have to go to the gym and spend an hour on a treadmill or exercise bike to get results,” Thering said. “But research confirms that resistance training and strength-building are much more effective for getting in shape and losing weight, and they don’t take as long to do. This is because building muscle improves your metabolism and helps your body burn more fat, even when you are at rest.” It’s also a good idea to talk to your physician before starting any fitness routine, Thering said. Grace confesses that her doctor tells her she’s his favorite patient. Currently, she espe-

FEELING GOOD AND GETTING FIT Here are some suggestions from fitness instructor Yvonne Gramlich and physical therapist Julie Thering: • Find a class or activity that interests you, but don’t be afraid to try something new. • Consider muscle conditioning, since you start losing density in your bones in your teen years. But be aware that you can over-train and lose muscle. • Both Gramlich and Thering recommend choosing a variety of exercises. Thering added that 20 minutes of weight training will do more for you than one hour of aerobic exercise. Boost your activity level with at-home exercises like standing up and sitting down in a chair for 30-second sets; push-ups on the floor, or with your hands propped on the kitchen counter; using an exercise band; incorporating stretching and balance work. cially likes spinning (cycling on a stationary bike), and friends say she has influenced others to try it, too “People see me cycling and think, ‘If she can do it, maybe I can too,’” Grace said. “They call me ‘Amazing Grace.’”

• Include walking, preferably with a buddy. “Walking is one of the most invigorating activities you can do,” Gramlich said. “And it can also be visually stimulating.” • Make whatever you do part of your habit, but don’t push yourself, especially when something is not comfortable • Try to do something for 30 to 60 minutes every day. • Invest in good sneakers; try to find the right shoe for your body type. • Mix things up. Thering tells her clients, “if you are bored doing an exercise, your body is bored too.” • Finally, “It doesn’t matter what you do in the gym if you’re eating poorly,” Thering said. “(Lately) I’m hearing a lot about the importance of reducing sugar intake. Sugar not only adds empty calories to our diet, but can also increase inflammation.” The truth is, it’s never too late to get going, Yvonne said. “When you first start, you do as much as you can, then build up. The nice thing about getting older is that you’ve had 40 to 50 years to get to know your own body!”

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Looking for things to do this weekend? Visit RocParent.com and take a look at our calendar listings to find the perfect excursion for you and the family. 55

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KEEP CALM and CALL

Dr. Meami

Lost in a sea of demands, but afraid to say ‘no’ Dear Dr. Meami: Every single day I feel like I am on a treadmill, frantically running at top speed (like a turkey making a run for it before Thanksgiving). I am always rushing through the motions of my daily routine, making sure my kids, boss, and husband are all happy. Did you notice how there was no mention of ME there? It’s because I am lost in a sea of demands, like being snack mom at soccer practice (ensuring they have gluten-free quinoa chips with kale dip) even though I’d rather say “NO!” and be home relaxing, binge-watching Netflix my with best friends Ben and Jerry. Deep down, I am afraid to say no because I want to make everyone else happy and I want people to like me. What can I do? - Tara Dear Tara the Terrified: Step one is to realize you are not a turkey but you are an understandably woeful woman … and you can start feeling better by crossing the kale off your “to do” list. Inserting “ME” into your day is not fantasyland, but obtainable right here in the Roc. What you need to do is create your very own personal “Say No To Say Yes!” manifesto. And presto, here’s how: 1. Repeat after me: “The word ‘no’ is a complete sentence.” Say this over and over until you can feel in your mind, body, heart, and soul that it’s true. Because it is! Practice saying it in the mirror with a serene, confident smile on your face so it rolls right off your tongue like Mariah Carey singin’ on New Year’s Eve. Well, maybe not exactly that, but believe in your responsibility to give someone an honest “yes.”

You may think you want to be the “hostess with the mostest” because of FOMO syndrome — Fear of Missing Out. Dr. Meami advises it’s OK to say “no” to something that doesn’t bring joy to your heart.

2. Avoid FOMO like the flu — that’s Fear Of Missing Out and the reason why most Americans spend precious time doing things they really don’t want to be doing … and with people who are not at the top of their faves’ list. Years ago I invited all my neighbors to a big block party at my home but, alas, when the moment came I just wanted to stay home alone and read Danielle Steele. But I forged ahead due to fear of missing out on being the Social Queen Bee Of Brighton and the “hostess with the mostest.” I held myself hostage by inviting them all over due to a bad case of FOMO. No more! I have since learned how it is always better for me to say “no” upfront to something my heart isn’t genuinely into, so that my schedule stays wide open (even if it’s to stay home and do nothing, if that is what brings me more joy). 3. All this saying “no” by daring to be true to you leads to feeling really great about yourself when you are comfortable saying “yes.” For example, I had the chance to take on a new role with a local business, but I knew that wasn’t my true life purpose and so that opportunity best belonged to someone else very special who might thrive on daily deadlines. The prestige of that position would have robbed me of the fully alive passion I feel when am so happy to write this column or so gratified to help see one of my counseling clients through a tough time.  In your life, start paying attention to how deeply empowered you feel when you trust yourself to say no to anything that in your gut doesn’t feel quite right to you ... and then fly with no fear just loving the freedom you’ve earned!

Inserting “ME” into your day is not fantasyland. Why? Your time is the one thing in your life that once given away, you can never get back. Flex your self-loving “me” muscle and your kid-caring mama muscle often so that the next time you want to stay home and have Family Fun Friday Fondue Night vs. attending some “obligatory” awards dinner, you stay home and you win. Which brings me to tip number two ...

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the

Organized Clutterbug ELIZABETH CRONY

Spring into sunshine by focusing on these 5 chores

Ah, spring, you’re finally here! And as the days get longer and sunnier, you may notice mysterious grime, dust, and cobwebs — all in time for a thorough spring cleaning. Here are five simple cleaning steps to brighten your home: Clearing the cobwebs Despite many new dust-lifting products on the market, I recommend investing in a good old-fashioned feather duster. It lifts dust better and moves easier than a Swiffer, and without snagging. Start at the ceiling and work your way down. Don’t forget behind pictures, tops of doorframes, light fixtures, bookcases, and the cobwebs in all the corners. Let the sunshine in Welcome the warm breezes with sparkling windows. Make a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and warm water, and use a spray bottle so you don’t have to deal with the dirty water in a bucket. Wipe the windows with newspaper instead of paper towels, as this eliminates streaks and fuzz. For extra-stubborn grime, prewash with very soapy water, then use the vinegar spray. Clean only when there is no direct sun on the windows. Be sure to wipe all areas around the window, including the ledge and sashes.

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Rejuvenate home appliances Fridge/Freezer: Throw out expired foods/ jars and wipe down the inside and all sides outside. Pull the fridge forward to vacuum and wash the floor that was behind and underneath. Dishwasher: Remove, clean, and soak the filter. Return the filter to its place and pour a cup of white vinegar in a dishwashersafe container on the bottom rack and half-cup baking soda in a dishwasher-safe container on the top rack. Run empty on a heavy cleaning cycle. Let sit for 20 mins and then wipe down. Yes, you’re creating a volcano in your dishwasher. (Shhh — don’t give the kids ideas). Microwave magic: Place bowl of water (lemon optional, for fragrance) in microwave and heat for 5 minutes. Remove hot bowl (with towel) and immediately wipe down. Wash glass plate and wipe down door handle and keypad. Washing machine: Run a small, empty load with hot water and a cup of white vinegar to clean out built-up gunk. Wipe down the collected dust and old detergent.

Pillow talk and putting it to bed Strip bedding and wash mattress covers, removable pillow covers, shams, and duvets. Bed pillows can be washed on gentle (read manufacturer’s label). I use this time to change winter blankets/sheets for lighter weight (and lighter color) bedding. Wash the winter bedding and put away. Also, give a washing to couch pillow coverings and blankets, plus wash or wipe down the shower curtain and liner (or replace the liner altogether). Getting floors barefoot ready Spot-clean stains on carpets and wash throw rugs (some are machine-wash friendly). Move furniture away from the walls and vacuum the entire room (using the hose and get into the corners). Don’t forget, all the dust you removed from above is now waiting on the floor to be vacuumed! Vacuum hardwood/linoleum/tile floors and slop mop. Yes, I said slop … fill a bucket with hot water, a little dish soap, and some white vinegar, and grab a classic cotton mop. Cotton is still the best, since it holds on to water and dirt, but it also lets it go. This is key. Work in small sections and spread water over a small area using only 3 to 4 swishes of your mop. You are putting the soapy water down and letting the cleaners do the work for you. Wring mop and sweep over area to pick up any excess water. Keep your eye on the prize of how glorious your house will look and smell after you put in the hard work. Happy spring cleaning!


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Mild salsa, a chance meeting, and warm memories ESSAY/MEMOIR

This essay is a memoir by this magazine’s publisher, Salley Thornton. Compelled to capture an experience she had in Irvine, Calif., she typed furiously into her phone on the plane ride home to Rochester. This is that story. By SALLEY THORNTON “Is it hot?” I asked the breakfast chef this question, handing him a plate and nodding to the bowl of glistening red and green peppers with chopped onion and tomatoes that was intended to accompany the hotel buffet scrambled eggs. “No,” he replied softly, explaining “it is a favorite Peruvian recipe.” His words were deliberate and accented.  The chunky salsa looked thick and flavorful and after he’d served up my eggs, sausage, and hash browns, I scooped some to the side of the heaping plate in place of my regular Heinz 57.  “You want some more?” he asked with a welcoming grin, already dipping the large stainless-steel spoon back into the warming tray and reaching toward my plate to add an extra helping of the crispy shredded potatoes. Before the spoon could hit its target, I retracted my plate with a chuckle. “I think there’s plenty here, for me AND my friends,” I said, glancing over my shoulder at three female colleagues already seated in the makeshift cafe off the lobby of a boutique hotel in Southern California. A couple of us recollected we had encountered this friendly chef during a previous stay, noting his name from his brass nametag — Miguel. He was always ready to feed us more, like our Italian nanas. We dug in because breakfast is, after all, the most important meal of the day and we had hours of meetings ahead of us. The simple fare rivaled the quality of most complimentary hotel-breakfast offerings. And, for me the Peruvian condiment was perfect — its bright colors a stark con51

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At right: Miguel and Salley during her recent business trip to California. Below: Sceneic view of El Misti volcano from Miguel’s hometown of Arequipa, Peru.

trast to the pale yellow eggs; its flavor fresh and light, not spicy hot. After another cup of coffee, we expressed our thanks and waved goodbye. As we left there was a subtle corporate cacophony as our high heels clicked on the marble tile floor and our briefcase roller bags hummed along, broken up by sharp clicking sounds as they crossed each grouted seam. The next morning we returned to the cafe. There was no special salsa but the hot buffet was otherwise unchanged. Our chef had more smiles. I requested hash browns, eggs,

and bacon. Miguel filled my plate with the first two items, and then as he reached for the bacon, he stopped. “No, for you this bacon,” he said, stabbing a new stack of hot and crispy crimsonbrown bacon, placing four strips on my plate with a sideways glance and conspiratorial smile. I thanked him, walking away feeling as if we’d shared a little secret, thinking this was probably just one of his ways of making certain travelers feel special. We shared


more polite conversation as I returned to the buffet for a second breakfast of Froot Loops. His face was kind, his personality warm and genuine. Returning on Day 3, I was caught off guard by his words. “I did not cook when I was in Peru,” Miguel said from his side of the counter, speaking just above the buffet glass. I was uncertain how to respond. “Do you enjoy it now?” I asked with a smile. He was silent, as if he were trying to find the right words. Almost imperceptibly there was a flicker of emotion across his face. Remembering? Regret? Then he responded, “I was a banker. For 28 years.” I tried to decipher this information. It was as if he were telling me, “I was somebody” — someone with a respectable job, with status in the community, with responsibility and, perhaps, power.  “How did you land in Southern California?” I asked, still gripping the crockpot lid and absentmindedly dripping condensation all over the counter from the steamy steelcut oatmeal inside.  “I came here because of what was happening in Peru. I did it for my children.” I understood now. It was a sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice. Giving up one’s own needs, desires, ego, for the hopes of providing even more to the next generation. I asked him where he had worked. “Banco de credito del Perú in Arequipa, the second largest city in Peru,” he replied. Is it pure coincidence he has shared this personal information with me? Truly a total stranger from the East Coast. My friend Monika in Rochester is originally from Lima. She used to work for a bank in South America as a young professional. What would be the chances? Curiosity building, I texted her immediately. “Yes,” she texted back, confirming she had worked at the same bank and recalled Miguel’s name though she didn’t remember knowing him personally. I verbally relay this information and his face brightens. It’s as if they are long lost cousins through this one small connection — both so far away from their native home. Monika is naming places to remind him about. “Tell him I love the white city with its volcanoes,” I read the text from my phone. “Type back M-i-s-t-i,” he said, explaining that’s the name of the volcano. “Charcato,” she responded. “Yes!” he quipped. It was a volley of frantic messages with me typing for Miguel as quickly as possible and then reading Monika’s responses. “OMG, OMG,” she texted.

Chef Miguel serves breakfast at a boutique hotel in Mission Viejo, Calif. “I’m crying. Hug him for me.” I did. For 15 minutes between his clattering of breakfast dishes and my loading luggage into the rental car, I attempted to share a lifetime of memories between Miguel and Monika. Memories that probably felt like a lifetime ago … a lifeline to what was, channeled through a woman who has never traveled to Peru but was connecting two people separated by dozens of states and three time zones.  I don’t know why this experience struck me to the core. I guess it showed me how a splinter of humanity can break down many barriers. It was a reminder that we are all each other’s brother. I felt compelled to capture the story. It was like a visit from an angel. I will never forget.

MIGUEL’S AJI PERUVIAN GREEN CHILE DIPPING SAUCE • 1 cup fresh cilantro • 1/4 lime • 2 cloves minced garlic • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese • 1 tbsp olive oil • 1 tsp white vinegar • 2-3 coarsely chopped jalapenos • 1/2 cup mayo Add all but mayo to a blender and puree. Stop and add mayo until creamy. Pour into a dish and add salt and pepper to taste.

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Roc Parent & She Rocs May/June 2017  

Check out the debut issue of Roc Parent & She Rocs magazines!

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