Mendo Lake Family Life January 2022

Page 1

mendo lake FREE!

January 2022

Private Schools Your local guide

Family Fitness Be a role model

Food Science Salt experiment

Penny Pinchin’ How to save $$$



(707) 468-1010


• •


Ukiah Unified School District

2022-23 Kindergarten &

Transitional Kindergarten


Registration Opens January 5


Transitional Kindergarten Is Expanding to include students who turn 5 on or between September 2, 2023 and February 2, 2023.

Register Register Online Online at at

youneed needhelp helpwith withregistration, registration, or or access If Ifyou access to toaacomputer, computer,contact contactyour yourschool’s school’soffice. off ice.

Calpella CalpellaElementary Elementary 151 Moore 151MooreStreet Street 1060 472-5630 472-5630

Frank ZeekElem Elementary Frank Zeek entary 1060 Bush Street 1060 Bush Street 472-5100 472-5100

Grace Elementary GraceHudson Hudson Elem entary 251 Jefferson Lane 251Jefferson Lane 472-5460 472-5460

Nokomis Elementary Nokomis Elementary 495 Washington Avenue 495 Washington Avenue 472-5550

Oak Manor Elementary Oak Manor Elementary 400 Oak Manor Drive 400 Oak Manor Drive 472-5180

Yokayo Elementary Yokayo Elementary 790 S. Dora Street 790 S. Dora Street 472-5690




Deadline Kindergartenregistration: registration: February 17, 2022 DeadlineforforGrace GraceHudson Hudson Kindergarten February 17, 2022 Deadline school choice: March 2022 Deadlinefor forregistration registrationatatyour your elementary elementary school of of choice: March 25, 25, 2022

Children age5 5bybySeptember September 1, 1, 2022, will enroll indergarten. Children age 2022, will enrollin inKKindergarten. Childrenturning turning 5 5 between between S eptember 22and 2, 2, 2023, Children September andFebruary February 2023, can enrollininour ourTransitional Transitional K indergarten Program . can enroll Kindergarten Program.

January 2022

Every Issue 6

Dear Reader


Cooking with Kids Go for Greek

10 Features


Bits and Pieces Tango By the Sea Engineered for Art Birding for Kids What’s in a Face?

10 The Private School Advantage Small class size is just one of the many benefits.

12 Private & Charter School Guide

Crab Frenzy Weaving Beauty

24 Calendar of Events 26 Humor Break Joey’s Parenting Pointers

The scoop on 25 local institutions.

16 Family Fitness How to get the kids motivated to move.

18 Penny Pinchin’ Simple and easy ways to save money.

20 Trees, Birds & Zzzs How nature can help children sleep.

22 The Great Salt Experiment

8 4 MendoLakeFamilyLife

A science lesson—served with a side of green beans.

7 January 2022


We want to protect you and your loved ones

THAT’S WHY WE URGE YOU TO GET YOUR COVID-19 VACCINE. Vaccines are available at all four MCHC sites. Call for an appointment.



Dear Reader


s 2022 begins, we know your thoughts may turn to your children’s Sharon Gowan education. Publisher/Editor This issue is dedicated to helping your family find the best learning environment for your child. For starters, check out “The Private School Advantage” (page 10), which explores the particular benefits that private schools provide—from small classes to specialized extracurricular activities. Then turn to our Mendo Lake Private and Charter School Guide (page 12) for information on 25 top

educational institutions in our area. Forget the massive Google search; we provide all the basic details you need in one place. Besides education, we often find ourselves pondering money and food at this time of year. The holiday season undoubtedly brought a lot of spending and eating. Let this issue help you get back in balance. Check out “Family Fitness” (page 16) for advice on getting the whole family moving. And then turn to “Penny Pinchin’” (page 18) for savvy tips on saving cash. Happy New Year!

Marketing/ Sales/Events Patricia Ramos 707-205-1539

Features Editor Melissa Chianta

Production Manager Donna Bogener

Contributing Writers America’s Test Kitchen Jessica Guerrieri Janeen Lewis Pam Moore Karen Nochimowski Sandi Schwartz

Billing Jan Wasson-Smith

Publishing Office P.O. Box 351 Philo, CA 95466 (707) 205 1539

it only takes finding your people.

The easier way to better health. BROUGH T TO MENDOCINO COUNTY BY A DVE N TI ST H E ALTH

6 MendoLakeFamilyLife

January 2022

Cooking with Kids

Go for Greek

A Healthy Meal in Less Than an Hour By Momma Chef


cannot take credit for this amazing recipe; I owe my fabulous sister-in-law kudos for this dish. She made it once and my entire family requests it when we go over to their house for dinner. This Greek chicken is delicious! It’s simple enough that your kids will love it—even the picky eaters—and elegant enough that you can serve it for a dinner party.

This article originally appeared on It has been reprinted here with permission.

Karen Nochimowski, aka Momma Chef, is a mother of three active boys (ages 12, 8, and 5). On her blog,, find more of her recipes, all of which require no more than six ingredients and six minutes of prep time.

Simple and Delicious Healthy Greek Chicken Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes Total time: 50 minutes Serves: 6 Ingredients • juice of 2 lemons (or 1/3 cup lemon juice) • 1/3 cup olive oil • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley divided in half • 2 teaspoons Lawry’s seasoning salt • 2–3 pounds bone-in chicken • 3 cloves garlic, chopped Instructions 1. Mix lemon juice, oil, ½ cup chopped parsley, and seasoning salt in a bowl. 2. Place chicken evenly around the pan with skin side up and pour ¾ of the marinade over the chicken.

January 2022

3. Add the chopped garlic. 4. Bake uncovered at 400°F for 45 minutes. 5. After placing the chicken on a serving dish, pour the remaining marinade over the chicken and sprinkle with ½ cup chopped parsley.

Tips 1. The best way to easily squeeze lemons is to cut them in half and throw them in the microwave for 30 seconds. The lemon will be easier to squeeze when warm. 2. If you like a crispy skin, broil the chicken for the last 5 minutes until skin browns.

MendoLakeFamilyLife 7

Bits & Pieces

Tango by the Sea


anta Barbara pianist Kacey Link has performed in France and Switzerland, and soon she will be tickling the ivories at Cotton Auditorium in Fort Bragg. As part of the Symphony of the Redwoods Opus Chamber Music series, the artist will play the work of Argentinian composers—and two local tango dancers will make cameo appearances, to boot. The concert will be held on January 16 at 3 p.m. Admission is $25, free for children younger than 18; tickets may be purchased at brownpapertickets. com/event/5319722. Audience members must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter the auditorium. ¶

Engineered for Art


robot that makes art? Yes, it’s possible. They’re called ArtBots and the Smithsonian Learning Labs can teach kids how to make one. Step-by-step instructions demonstrate how to engineer a simple switch-circuit and then attach it to a plastic cup and markers to make a scribbling bot. Find it and many more Learning Labs activities at ¶

8 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Birding for Kids


f a child is to keep their inborn sense of wonder,” late environmental activist and author Rachel Carson wrote, “they need the companionship of at least one adult who can share it….” With this quote in mind, the National Audubon Society created free Audubon for Kids’ activities, which aim to help children and parents to explore nature together. The activities, which include the Audubon Adventures curriculum, teach families about bird identification, climate change, and even how to draw a black-capped chickadee. See for details. ¶

January 2022

What’s in a Face?


Portrait by Tami Tsark (left); Tsark (right)

yes, nose, mouth—it takes skill to draw a face. And artist Tami Tsark aims to help her students learn how to do it. Her Drawn from Life Portrait Workshop will show participants how to not only construct a face, but also how to implement key components to create expressive portraits. The two-hour Charles M. Schulz Museum class will meet via Zoom on January 8, 9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m., and costs $20. Sign up at drawn-from-life-portrait-workshop. ¶

Crab Frenzy


ainy season is also crab season in Mendocino County. And two local nonprofits are making sure everyone has their fill of the tasty crustacean. The Knights of Columbus will host its 44th Annual All-You-Can-Eat Crab Feed, which includes live entertainment and a no-host bar, on January 21 and 22, 5:30–9 p.m., at Crown Hall in Mendocino. Tickets are $95 and may be purchased at kcmendo. org. Meanwhile, the Rotary Club of Fort Bragg will hold a Drive-Thru Crab Feed on January 22, 2–6 p.m., at 141 North Main Street in Fort Bragg (behind the Fort Bragg Fire House). Tickets are $50 and may be purchased by calling Sport Dodge at 707-964-5915. ¶

Weaving Beauty


hen she was nine, Corine Pearce had a dream that revealed her life’s calling. In it, Mary Francisco, Pearce’s late great great grandmother, a highly regarded Pomo basket weaver whom the little girl had never met, told Corine, “You know, you can weave. You have my hands.” That day Pearce made a basket, and, decades later, she is still making them. It’s an art that, for her, “heals and restores the land and the people.” Pearce will teach basketweaving at her online Middletown Art Center Weaving Workshop on January 15, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Admission is sliding scale, $20–$50. Sign up at For a video about Pearce’s work, go to ¶

January 2022

MendoLakeFamilyLife 9

increasingly more important to give children the skills to think for themselves when consuming social and news media. According to Peterson, who has over three decades of experience in education, “Small class sizes and individualized instruction give students the ability to become critical thinkers.”

The Private School Advantage 4 Benefits for Students

Social-Emotional Learning Many private schools emphasize SEL curricula. Social-emotional learning (SEL) gives children the skills to manage their own emotions so that they can ultimately make better decisions and be better citizens. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social,

“The community and level of parental involvement in private schools is very special.”—Tom Mecsey

By Pam Moore


and Emotional Learning, it’s based on five core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

Smaller Classes One of the greatest strengths of any private school is smaller class sizes. Smaller classes ensure each child is being met where they are at and encouraged to meet their potential. “Every child is known and loved in a safe environment that is more conducive to learning by way of smaller class sizes, more challenging curriculum, and

And data show it’s effective. According to a 2011 meta-analysis published in Child Development, students who were exposed to school-based SEL curricula demonstrated notable improvements in social and emotional skills and behaviors as well as improved academic performance. Meanwhile, a 2017 Society for Research in Child Development study showed that children who participated in school-based SEL programs had higher graduation rates and safer sexual behavior than their peers, even 18 years post-intervention.

rom the moment our kids are born, we’re tasked with deciding what’s best for them. All that decision-making can be exhausting. So we caught up with experts in the field of education to help you make an informed decision about one of the most important choices of all: your child’s education. We asked why parents should consider private school. Here’s what they had to say.

10 MendoLakeFamilyLife

One of the greatest strengths of any private school is smaller class sizes. more individualized attention and teaching,” noted Holly Peterson, a Catholic school principal. Meanwhile, in the age of information, it’s becoming

January 2022

Extracurricular Opportunities Oftentimes, parents gravitate toward private education because of the extracurricular activities it offers. Because private schools tend to specialize in specific areas (e.g. math and science or the arts), students get to enjoy more specialized afterschool activities. That said, private school can also offer opportunities for a wide range of extracurriculars. According to Susan Boyle, the director of admissions and marketing at a private school, the chance to expose kids to a wide array of experiences, starting at a young age, is a key advantage of private school.

Community One of the top reasons many parents choose a private school is the strong community it offers. According to Tom Mecsey, a Catholic school principal, “The community and level of parental involvement in

Students get to enjoy more specialized afterschool activities. private schools is very special. Families who choose this option often have a lot in common, as they have made an intentional decision to send their child to a particular school (often for similar reasons) rather than base it on a

neighborhood, etc.” Meanwhile, he says, that enhanced sense of community deepens children’s learning experiences. “We have found that there tends to be greater parental interest and involvement in the day-to-day activities of their children. This, in turn, fosters greater communication,” Mecsey explained. “The communication between school and home enables the school to be more responsive to students’ needs.” ¶ Pam Moore is an award-winning freelance health and fitness writer, occupational therapist, and certified personal trainer. She’s also the host of the Real Fit podcast. To get her free guide to crushing Impostor Syndrome visit

Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade Emphasizing the 8 Core Virtues & Excellent Academics

Inspired Teaching- Enthusiastic Learning Preschool through 8th grade

Developing Global Awareness & An Appreciation of One's Inherent Spiritual Wisdom

Kindness Fairness Integrity Trustworthiness Respect Humility Citizenship Filial Piety Enroll Today!

707.468.1138 (Boys) 707.468.3896 (Girls) Oddball Imaging Studio

Bringing Children's Light to the World for 49 years.

January 2022

Call for a tour. Enrolling now for 22/23 School Year For more information visit 6280 Third Street • Calpella, CA 95418 •707-485-8719

MendoLakeFamilyLife 11

For more information visit

6280 Third Street w Calpella, CA 95418 w707-485-8719

2022 Mendo Lake Private & Charter School Guide SCHOOL




Clearlake Seventh Day Adventist Christian School


Call for tuition

15150 Davis St., Clearlake 994-6356 •

Konocti Medical Magnet School



15851-A Dam Rd. Ext., Clearlake 994-6447 •

Zemorah Christian Academy


Call for tuition

14100 Lakeshore Dr., Clearlake 994-4206 •


PUBLIC (Homeschool & Independent Learning)

4401 Konocti Rd., Kelseyville 279-4305 •



401 Martin St., Lakeport 262-1522 •

Lake County International Charter School



15850 Armstrong St., Middletown 987-3063 •

Middletown Adventist School


Call for tuition

21640 Hwy. 29, Middletown 987-9147 •

Middletown Christian School



20800 Hwy. 29, Middletown 987-2556 •


Kelseyville Kelseyville Learning Academy Lakeport Konocti Christian Academy Middletown

*2020-2021 rates



Outdoor education, blended-learning, native and community school gardens, science, agriculture, technology, engineering, art and math integration, with strong support for multilingual students.

Imagine a school where you are:

A New Free Public School Located In Hopland (707) 744-1485 • 1 Ralph Bettcher Dr, Hopland

Willits Charter School

12 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Accepted, Valued, Seen. You deserve the best!

707-459-5506 •

January 2022

2022 Mendo Lake Private & Charter School Guide SCHOOL






6280 3rd St., Calpella 485-8719 •



76350 Main St., Covelo 983-6946 •



1 Ralph Bettcher Dr., Hopland. 744-1489 •



1211 Del Mar Dr., Fort Bragg 964-1128 •



PO Box 547, Mendocino 964-6234 •

Deep Valley Christian School



8555 Uva Dr., Redwood Valley 485-8778 •

Eagle Peak Middle School



8601 West Rd., Redwood Valley 472-5250 •

MENDOCINO COUNTY Calpella The Waldorf School of Mendocino County Covelo Eel River Charter School Hopland Shanel Valley Academy Fort Bragg Three Rivers Charter School Mendocino Caspar Creek Learning Community Redwood Valley

Design Your Future


ful learning experience full of discovery with: • Exploration of own interests & abilities • Experiential learning with field trips, arts • Respectful and caring learning community • Peace education and mindfulness • Earth stewardship

Create Who You Want To Be Now enrolling for 2022-23 Accepting applications for children turning 5 by February 2, 2023!

Tree of Life Charter FreeMontessori Montessori Free Elementary Education Elementary Education for Children for Children Ages 5 4 3/4 through 12 13 through

WASC Accredited

OPEN ENROLLMENT January For application and more information: 707-462-0913

Not Immunized? No Problem. La Vida Can Support You.

January 2022

La Vida Charter School


11785 Orchard Lane, Willits

MendoLakeFamilyLife 13

2022 Mendo Lake Private & Charter School Guide SCHOOL




Accelerated Achievement Ukiah



1031 N. State St., Ukiah 463-7080 •

Instilling Goodness & Developing Virtue Schools



4951 Bodhi Way, Ukiah 468-3847 •

Redwood Academy of Ukiah



1059 N. State St., Ukiah 467-0500 •

River Oak Charter School



555 Leslie St., Ukiah 467-1855 •

St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School



991 S. Dora St., Ukiah 462-3888 •

Tree of Life Charter School



241 Ford Rd., Ukiah 462-0913 •

Ukiah Junior Academy


Call for tuition

180 Stipp Ln., Ukiah 462-6350 •

La Vida Charter School



11785 Orchard Ln., Willits 459-6344 •

Willits Charter School



1431 S. Main St., Willits 459-5576 •

Willits Elementary Charter School



405 E. Commercial St., Willits 459-1400 •



*2020-2021 rates

Alliance for Public Waldorf Education Member

TK/Kindergarten through Eighth Grade

St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School A Christian Environment and Excellent Academics

Open Enrollment: Jan 4–Feb 24 In-Person Campus Tours Available Apply Online Now Advanced Math, Science, Spanish, Music, Art, Woodwork, Drama, Speech, Extraordinary field trips 707-467-1855 • 555 Leslie St., Ukiah, CA 95482 14 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Building a foundation for a lifetime – focusing on strong academics, spiritual growth and social and physical development.

NOW ENROLLING Call for campus visit | 707-462-3888 991 S. Dora St. Ukiah | January 2022

It’s never too early to prepare your child for kindergarten A re you wondering how to help your child get ready for kindergarten? Will she play well with others? Will he listen and follow directions? Will she be able to use the bathroom by herself? If you are asking yourself one or more of these questions, NCO Head Start Child Development Program is the place for you. Our teachers partner with families to help prepare all children to enter kindergarten. Our program’s approach focuses on providing developmentally appropriate experiences that help infants, toddlers, and preschoolers prepare to enter kindergarten. By working with the families and completing observation-based assessments, our teachers are able to create individualized approaches that meet children where they are at. Our teachers provide a nurturing and supportive environment for social, emotional, developmental, and academic growth.

They assess the growth of the children at three different times during the year, sharing the children’s growth with families.

Our program goes beyond education; it provides comprehensive services that ensure children will be ready to learn when they come to school. We provide health, dental, and mental health support services; services to children with disabilities; and support services to parents and guardians. And since children do not need to be potty trained to attend our program, we support the children and their families with potty training. Healthy meals are prepared by our cooks on-site and served family-style with teachers. Our program follows the Food for Thought curriculum, which introduces children to new foods through educational activities and meals. At each site, we have staff who are trained in the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) and available to provide

education on popular parenting topics. We also help families learn skills, such as child advocacy and how to serve on a parent council, that will help them once their children enter the public-school system. Our preschool classrooms, which serve children 3-5 years old, are located throughout Lake and Mendocino Counties. Our infant and toddler classrooms are in Willits and Ukiah. We also offer a homevisiting program to pregnant women, infants, and toddlers in inland Mendocino County. As part of this program, families visit with our home-based educators once a week and then come together twice a month for a family social and play group.

Start your child’s journey to school success and call our enrollment team at (707) 462-2582 or visit us online at today!

Give Your Child a Head Start!

Apply today & begin your child's journey to school success! Find out how we keep children and families safe by reviewing our Free & Low-Cost Quality Preschool! Receive a $16,000 education for your child little or no cost. COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines on ourat website.

AlsoAlso providing FREE unique in-homehome services for for providing visits infants, toddlers & pregnant women!women! infants, toddlers & pregnant

Empowering children and families to reach their highest potential!

License #230111843

Applications online: • (707) 462-2582 or 1-(800) 326-3122 Applications online: • (707) 462-2582 Applications online: • (707) 462-2582 or 1-(800) 326-3122

January 2022

• Ukiah


✓ 1/2-day & full-day classrooms for ✔ Nurturing classroom experiences for ages 18 months to 5 years children 3 months to 5 years old. ✓✔ Potty-trained not necessary Potty-training assistance provided. ✓✔ Children with disabilities welcome Children with disabilities welcome. ✓✔ Referrals for transportation available Accepting applications year round.

•North Ukiah Ukiah - Bush St.

North Ukiah - Bush St.

Nokomis - Washington Ave. Nokomis - Washington Ave. South Ukiah - S. State St. South Ukiah - S. State St. Peach Ave. PeachTree Tree--S.S.Orchard Orchard Ave.

• Willits

•Near Willits Brookside School at

Near Brookside School at

Spruce St. & Lincoln Way Spruce St. & Lincoln Way

• Lake County

•Upper Lake County Lake - 2nd Street Upper Lake - 2nd Street

Upper Lake - Clover Valley Lakeport - Lakeport Blvd. Lakeport Ave. Clearlake- -Howard Pearl Ave. Clearlake - Pearl Ave. Clearlake - Meadowbrook Dr. Clearlake - Meadowbrook Dr.

••Coast Coast

Fort St. FortBragg Bragg-- Lincoln Lincoln St. MendoLakeFamilyLife 15

you are jogging to your favorite upbeat music or socializing with friends on the tennis court, your mind is distracted and you can just have a good time. Makes sleeping easier. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can also improve how we sleep. This is great news for those suffering from insomnia due to stress and anxiety.

Family Fitness How to Be a Good Role Model

By Sandi Schwartz


taying fit is critical to our health and well-being, including our mental health and happiness. We can help shape our children’s views on exercise by modeling healthy behavior and making fitness a fun part of our family’s daily routine.

Exercise Reduces Stress Experts have found a clear link between exercise and stress reduction. Exercise… Produces endorphins. When we exercise, our body releases feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins. These chemicals in our brain act as natural painkillers, making us feel better and less stressed. Endorphins are responsible for the natural high we get from a hard workout. Reduces stress hormones. Exercise reduces the level of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, helping us feel calmer. 16 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Minimizes fatigue. Exercise improves blood flow and our body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently. These changes in our brain then reduce fatigue and improve alertness, concentration, and cognitive function. Improves self-esteem. When we gain strength and begin to see a difference in our body, we feel better about ourselves and become happier and more confident. Provides a fun distraction. One of the best parts about exercise is that it gives us time to take a fun break from daily stressors. Whether

Encourages mindfulness. A great bonus of exercise is that it provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy a mindful moment. While we

Experts have found a clear link between exercise and stress reduction. work out, we can fully engage in the present moment instead of letting our mind run wild with worries. To get the best result, experts suggest doing rhythmic activities that engage the whole body, such as running, walking, swimming, dancing, rowing, or climbing. Be a Good Role Model It’s so important that we play actively with our kids and that we consistently exercise in front of them (and sometimes with them) to show them how important physical fitness is. From going on family bike rides to coaching one of their sports teams, there are so many helpful ways to be fitness role models to children throughout their lives. Here are some more ideas to get you moving: Go for a hike outdoors. Not only are walks and hikes wonderful, safe

January 2022

exercise that the entire family can enjoy, they are also an opportunity to connect to the calming beauty of nature. To add some fun to your family hikes, turn them into a race or scavenger hunt, or venture to new parks and trails in your area and while on vacation. Take a yoga class together. Yoga offers so many incredible benefits, including balance and strength training, time for inner focus, and an opportunity to connect with our bodies in ways we aren’t used to. Sign up for a yoga class that you can take with your kids (Sonoma County Library offers online yoga classes for youth and adults), or pop in a video or load an app so you can do some yoga

together in your living room, or better yet in your backyard. Make exercise a priority even in bad weather. Show your kids that you still go on your morning run even if it’s not sunny outside.

It’s so important that we play actively with our kids. On days when it’s cold or rainy, set up your fitness routine indoors and get your kids involved. Put on a workout video and have them join in. There are also lots of fun ways to use your indoor space to get everyone moving. Some of the easiest exercises to perform indoors include

jumping rope and calisthenics such as push-ups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks. Or put on some peppy music and play freeze dance or have a hula-hoop contest. Before you know it, you will all be working up a sweat! Give sports-related gifts. Another way to make fitness a priority in your home is to choose gifts such as workout clothes, sports equipment, and how-to books about sports. Or buy tickets to a sporting event and cheer on your team together. ¶ Sandi Schwartz is an author, journalist, and mother of two. She has written extensively about parenting, wellness, and environmental issues. Her new book, Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer, comes out in the spring. Learn more at

Accelerated Achievement Academy Grades 4-12

Focused on the future of each child  FREE public char ter school  Highly qualified credentialed

teachers  Support for struggling students  Career exploration and planning  Small class sizes  Free college courses  After school programs and tutoring  Life skills classes  Recommended by 98% of our parents

Enroll today for 2022-2023! (707) 463-7080

January 2022

MendoLakeFamilyLife 17

Let someone else grocery shop for you. Shopping online for curbside pick-up saves time, stops impulse buys, and allows you to keep a running total of your purchases. If you go over your budget, uncheck unnecessary items before finalizing your order. Most groceries have waived pick-up fees during the pandemic. If your store has not waived the fee, then use coupons on grocery items to help fray the cost of pick-up.

Penny Pinchin’ 15 Creative Ways to Save This Year

By Janeen Lewis


aving money should be simple, right? Spend less than you earn, and save what’s left. If only it felt that easy.

Saving money requires the endurance of running a financial marathon, when most of us like to sprint. Whether you’ve lost wages during the pandemic, or saving money is a new goal, here are some out-of-the box ideas to help. Barter. Are you good at baking and decorating birthday cakes? Maybe you know someone who takes professional quality photos. Trade services with a friend and save. Also consider participating in a time bank, where everyone’s time and skills are of equal value. There is one operating in Sebastopol: sebastopolarea. Hold a swap party. Organize a swap party online or in your home and get items you need for free. Decide on a theme. Be clear about 18 MendoLakeFamilyLife

how to rate the condition of items and how many items each guest contributes. Send a list of items and agree on socially distanced ways to make exchanges. Find missing money. You could be missing money and not even know it. For example, if you moved and a utility company owed you a deposit and couldn’t contact you, the money went into an unclaimed property fund. To learn more or to search your name for missing money, go to unclaimed-money or Be a cherry picker. Try some Buy One Get One free items (BOGOs). When cherry picking, buy the sales items but save other shopping for less expensive stores.

Look on YouTube for some DIY, fix-it tutorials. Make restaurant-quality food at home. Dining out is a budget blower. Invest in a virtual cooking class, check out online cooking tutorials, or ask a friend who is a good cook for recipes. Give up the ghost. Standby power, or phantom power, is energy that household appliances and other electronic items use when they are off but plugged in. Items with digital displays and computers with monitors and printers can be standby-power hogs. Unplug everything at night for a month. Monitor the electric bill for a difference. For more information, visit Stop flushing money down the toilet! The bathroom is where the largest percentage of water is used in most American homes. The average toilet guzzles up to five gallons of water compared to the 1.3 gallons used by high-efficiency tanks. Also, opt for low-flow showerheads and faucets. For more information on water consumption, go to and look for the WaterSense logo, or to calculate individual household water consumption, go to the

January 2022

Water Consumption Calculator at Round up savings. Trick yourself into saving money. Round up to the next dollar when you record a check. At the end of the month, you’ll have a surplus. Your banking institution may offer this feature, or there are round-up apps. Start a “kick it” jar. Unhealthy habits and shopping addictions, such as smoking or buying dozens of expensive shoes, are costly. Start a “kick it” jar. When the urge to splurge strikes, put money in the jar. As you see the money grow, so will your resolve to kick the habit. Keep the change. Collect loose change in a jar at the end of the day. Saving a mere 50 cents a day will

add up to almost $200 annually. Get the family involved and save to pay off a debt or make a fun purchase. Calculate your time. When you consider purchasing a non-essential item, calculate how many hours you

Unplug everything at night for a month. Monitor the electric bill for a difference. have to work to pay for it. Is your time worth the purchase? Be a Dollar Tree hugger. Dollar Tree has party items, school and office supplies, craft supplies, seasonal decorations, over-the-counter medications, and

plastic containers for less than other discount stores. YouTube it. Leaky toilet? Car repair? Look on YouTube for some DIY, fix-it tutorials. Even if you can’t fix it in the end, you’ll gain knowledge that will help you make the thriftiest choices when hiring help. Embrace a giving spirit. This sounds counterintuitive to saving, but even when a bankroll is at its lowest, giving to someone whose needs are greater than yours helps grow an appreciation for what you have. Giving to others is also a motivator to save more so you can help others more. ¶ For nine years, writer Janeen Lewis was a stay-at-home mom who tested money-saving ideas.

COVID VACCINES KEEP KIDS SAFE & THRIVING IN SCHOOL COVID vaccines are safe, effective, and free. The vaccines have not been linked to any deaths in children, In fact, among children age 1-14, COVID-19 infection was in the top 10 leading causes of death from August-October 2021. For more information about vaccines, talk with your health care provider or visit

January 2022

MendoLakeFamilyLife 19

brown, taupe, and gray—manifest an organic, earthy feeling that warms up a space. Of course, many types of animals bring joy and peace to children. Hang photographs and artwork of animals, especially animals in their natural environment; choose furniture containing animal motifs, or paint an animal mural on the wall.

Trees, Birds & Zzzs Getting in Touch with Nature Help Kids Sleep By Sandi Schwartz


aving trouble getting your kids to sleep soundly? The bedtime battle is a real struggle for many families. It can help to use nature to create a calming bedroom space where your children can relax, unwind, and fall asleep easily without any fuss. Here are some ways you can incorporate nature into your family’s bedtime routine.

Nature Bedroom Décor Consider hanging images of nature, such as trees or birds, on bedroom walls to create a tranquil atmosphere. Try choosing art that features patterns found in clouds, leaves, tree branches, flowers, shells, and feathers. Scientists have found these naturally occurring patterns—called fractals—are aesthetically pleasing 20 MendoLakeFamilyLife

and help reduce stress. Next, let nature inform the colors used in the kids’ bedrooms. According to color psychology experts, blue calms the mind and body, minimizes feelings of anxiety and aggression, and creates a sense of well-being. Meanwhile, green promotes serenity and is associated with wellness and healing. Neutral colors—tan, beige, ecru, cream, light

When we step outdoors and mindfully listen to nature, we often feel renewed. Nature Sounds Some sounds are clearly more relaxing than others. When we step outdoors and mindfully listen to nature, we often feel renewed. By the same token, playing recordings of nature sounds— birdsong, wind, rain, ocean waves, and trickling water—in kids’ bedrooms can reduce stress and anxiety, and also mask disruptive noises like traffic or airplanes. The best nature sounds are those that provide a sense of natural space and mimic the biorhythms of an ecosystem like a forest. Loud screeching and croaking are just not going to result in the same sense of calm as the slow, rhythmic whooshing of running water or an ocean. So, stock up on nature music CDs or download some apps to help your kids relax at night. You can even record your own nature sounds the next time you go on a hike or to the beach. Nature Meditation Another way to get your kids ready to doze off is to try nature meditation. These visualizations use the

January 2022

imagination to engage one or more of the senses. Here’s a simple one to try: Ask your children to close their eyes and visualize the different colors of a rainbow. You can ask them to think about how each color smells, tastes, and feels. Another idea is to have them paint a nature scene in their mind, such as a sunset or jungle. If you need some guidance, search online for nature meditations, including Green Child Magazine’s guided meditations for kids. Nature Stories Every child loves a good story before bedtime. As it turns out, reading is the best way to relax, according to a United Kingdom research study. Reading is a healthy distraction; as kids focus on listening to or reading

the words, they feel calmer. Books also help our kids escape from the present moment into a world of imagination. A young reader can be so

place they are listening to or reading about. With positive, colorful imagery swirling around in their minds, they are more likely to get a good night’s sleep.

Playing recordings of nature sounds in kids’ bedrooms can reduce stress and anxiety.

Poetry can also do a wonderful job conveying the soothing experience of being in nature. Consider reading the work of famous nature poets such as Robert Frost and John Keats, or look for children’s nature-poetry books, including Handsprings by Douglas Florian or National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry by J. Patrick Lewis. ¶

engrossed in a story that they go into a meditative state—great for dozing off. Additionally, bedtime stories bring you closer to your children, helping them feel safe and secure. Nature-related tales are the perfect choice for bedtime. Kids can think about and visualize the beauty of the garden, beach, or other whimsical

Sandi Schwartz is an author, journalist, and mother of two. Find out about her new book, Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer, at

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3. While water heats, make 2 masking tape labels. Use marker to write “Salted” on 1 label and “Unsalted” on second label. Stick labels on opposite ends of serving platter. 4. Add 8 ounces green beans to boiling water in saucepan. Return to boil and cook for 10 minutes.

The Great Salt Experiment Green Beans Teach Kids About Science By America’s Test Kitchen


oes boiling green beans in salty water change the way they cook? The way they taste? This experiment gives you the answer—and a side dish to eat! Total time: 1 hour Materials 2 quarts plus 2 quarts water, measured separately Large saucepan Masking tape Marker Serving platter 8 ounces plus 8 ounces green beans, measured separately, ends trimmed Large bowl Ice Colander 22 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Dish towel ¼ cup table salt 1 plate per taster 1 fork per taster Let’s Go! 1. Make a prediction. Do you think green beans cooked in salty water and green beans cooked in plain water will look the same or different? Will they taste the same or different? Why do you think so? 2. Add 2 quarts water to large saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat.

5. While green beans cook, fill large bowl halfway with ice and cold water. (This is called an ice bath.) Place colander in sink. When beans are ready, carefully drain beans in colander (ask an adult for help). 6. Immediately transfer drained beans to ice bath. Let sit until no longer warm to touch, about 1 minute. Drain beans well. Transfer beans to dish towel and pat dry. Then transfer beans to side of serving platter labeled “Unsalted.” 7. Add remaining 2 quarts water to now-empty saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat. Add ¼ cup salt and remaining 8 ounces green beans to boiling water in saucepan. Bring to boil and cook for 6 minutes. 8. While salted beans cook, return colander to sink and make second ice bath in now-empty large bowl. 9. When salted green beans are ready, carefully drain beans in colander (ask an adult for help). Immediately transfer drained beans to ice bath. Let sit until no longer warm to touch, about 1 minute. Drain beans well. Transfer beans to dish towel and pat dry. Then transfer to side of serving platter labeled “Salted.” 10. Observe your results. Invite your family and friends to join you for a taste test—don’t’ tell

January 2022

them the difference between the green beans until after they taste! First, have everyone observe the two types of green beans. Then, have everyone taste a few of each type of bean. Have tasters keep their thoughts to themselves until everyone has observed and tasted. Ask tasters: •How would you describe the color of each type of green bean? •How would you describe the flavor and texture of each type of green bean? •Do the two types of green beans taste the same or different? Understanding Your Results (Don’t read until you’ve completed the experiment!)

The Big Ideas • Cooking the green beans in salty water seasons the beans inside and out thanks to a process called diffusion. • The longer green vegetables cook, the duller their green color becomes. • Green beans turn tender more quickly when they’re cooked in salty water, which helps them keep their bright-green color.

Whoa! In the Recipe Lab, the green beans we cooked in salted water cooked in almost half the time–and stayed bright green!—compared to the beans we cooked in plain water. Plus, the saltwater beans tasted more seasoned and, well, green-beany. What about yours? As vegetables cook, they become more tender and easier to chew, partly because the “glue” that holds

plant cells together (called pectin) gets weaker. But something else happens as green vegetables heat up—they start to lose their bright green color. And the longer they cook, the duller and more drab their


September 2021

Invite your family and friends to join you for a taste test. color becomes. Salt to the rescue! Adding all that salt to the cooking water is like pressing fast-forward on cooking the green beans. Salt weakens the pectin in green beans. This causes the green beans to become tender much more quickly. And less time in hot water means that these beans lose only a tiny bit of their bright green color. Cooking green beans in salty water also seasons them, inside and out! Tiny molecules and ions, like the salt dissolved in the boiling water, naturally move from places where there are lots of them (the salty water) to places where there are few of them (the inside of a green bean). This process is called diffusion (“di-FEW-shun”). As the green beans cook in the salty water, some of the dissolved salt moves from the water into the green beans. This makes the beans taste what we call “seasoned.” (Even though you added ¼ cup of salt to the water, only a tiny amount makes its way inside the beans.) The extra bit of seasoning brings out the flavor of the green beans. Thank you, salt! ¶

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Reprinted, with permission, from The Complete Cookbook for Young Scientists by America’s Test Kitchen (2021),

January 2022

MendoLakeFamilyLife 23

January Saturday 1

Calendar of Events

Wednesday 5

Ukiah on Ice: Holiday Ice Skating

FREE Online Weird Science.

Rink. $10 per session, including

Explore the world of science thru experiments. All school-aged children welcome. 4:30-5:30 p.m. To register, call 707-994-5115.

skates. Runs daily thru Jan. 9. Next to Alex R. Thomas Plaza on School Street. Schedule: ukiah-on-ice.

Sunday 2 FREE Perinatal, Pregnancy & Postpartum Mood Support Groups for Moms. Support groups held daily at various times. Sponsored by Postpartum Support International. Register:

Monday 3

Thursday 6 FREE Redbud Storytime. Picture

books, songs, rhymes & games. Participants must register. Masks & social distancing required. Thursdays. 10:15–10:45 a.m. Redbud Library. 14785 Burns Valley Rd., Clearlake. To sign up, call 707-994-5115.

Friday 7

FREE The Traveling Toy Library.

FREE Storytime in Library Park.

Hosted each month in various locations throughout the Redwood Coast Regional Center (RCRC). Families & RCRC providers can check out toys & materials for children ages 0–5. Sponsored by Easterseals Northern CA. Email earlyinterventionreferrals@esnorcal. org for locations & info.

Masks & social distancing required. Fridays: 10:15–11:15 a.m. Library Park. 200 Park St., Lakeport. Registration required:

Tuesday 4 FREE Storytime in Washington Square. Participants must register &

receive a confirmation before being allowed to attend storytime. Masks & social distancing required. Tuesdays: 10:30–11:30 a.m. Washington Park. 21256 Washington St., Middletown. Register:

24 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Iconic Mendocino Building Quilts: Pop-Up Exhibition. Display of 25

quilts depicting iconic Mendocino buildings, including the Mendocino Hotel, Kelley House Water Tower, Temple of Kwan-Tai & more. Museum admission: $4–$12. Free first Friday of each month. Wednesdays–Saturdays: 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sundays: noon–4:30 p.m. Runs thru Jan. 23. Grace Hudson Museum. 431 S. Main St., Ukiah. FREE Makers Faire & Open Mic. First Friday of each month.

Masking observed indoors. Makers’ Faire: 5–8 p.m. Open-Mic: 6–8:30 p.m. Bring instruments. First come,

first to perform. Middletown Art Center. 21456 Hwy. 175, Middletown.

Saturday 8 FREE A Winter Walk in the Woods.

Storytelling, circle games & puppet play. Extreme weather cancels event. Hosted by Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library & River Oak Charter School. Saturdays. 10:30–11:15 a.m. Todd Grove Park. 600 Live Oak Ave., Ukiah. FREE Storytime at Fort Bragg Library. Secure masks (ages 2+) & social distancing required. Saturdays. 11:30 a.m.–noon. Fort Bragg Library. 499 Laurel St., Fort Bragg. FREE Self-Guided Hikes at Rodman Preserve. Dogs are not permitted. Saturdays. 9 a.m.–noon. Rodman Preserve. 6350 Westlake Rd., Upper Lake.

Wednesday 12 FREE Kids’ Vision Boards for 2022.

Kids create a collage of goals & aspirations for the New Year. Supplies provided. Space limited. 4:30–5:30 p.m. Redbud Library. 14785 Burns Valley Rd., Clearlake. Registration required. Call 707-994-5115 to sign up.

Friday 14 Puffs. Comedic play explores the Harry Pottery books from the perspective of the “Puffs.” $10. Jan. 14, 15, 21 & 22: 7 p.m. Jan. 16: 2 p.m. Clear

January 2022

Lake High School. 350 Lange St., Lakeport.

Saturday 15 FREE Cozy Bear Take & Make Craft.

Available Jan. 15–22, while supplies last. Fort Bragg Library. 499 Laurel St., Fort Bragg. Online Weaving Workshop. Taught

by Pomo basket weaver Corine Pearce. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Sliding scale: $20–$50. Sign up at weaving.html. For a video about Pearce’s work, go to

Sunday 16 Kacey Link Concert. Santa

Barbara pianist performs the work of Argentinian composers. Two local tango dancers will make a cameo appearance. $25; free for ages 17 & younger. Symphony of the Redwoods Opus Chamber Music. 3 p.m. Cotton Auditorium. 500 N. Harold St., Fort Bragg.

Wednesday 19

ages 2 & older required. Fort Bragg Library. 499 Laurel St., Fort Bragg. Fort Bragg Drive-Thru Crab Feed.

Sponsored by the Fort Bragg Rotary & the Mendocino Coast Sports Foundation. $50. 2–6 p.m. Behind the Fort Bragg Fire Department. 141 N. Main St., Fort Bragg. facebook. com/FortBraggRotary. To buy tickets, or schedule meal delivery for an additional $10, call Mindy at 707-964-5915.

Conversation series. $30. 3–4:30 p.m. Tallman Hotel. 9550 Main St., Upper Lake. Tickets available via Eventbrite:

Thursday 27 FREE Poetry Open-Mic. Teens &

adults are welcome to share poems or just listen. Last Thursday of each month. 7–8 p.m. Registration required. For Zoom link, email carrm@

Sunday 23 Rita Hosking Concert. Folk music

singer, songwriter & guitarist shares stories & songs from her upbringing in rural Shasta County. Part of the Tallman Hotel’s Concerts with


FREE Online Gamer’s Paradise.

Share family-friendly games. All platforms welcome. 4:30-6:30 p.m. Register:

Friday 21 44th Annual All-You-Can-Eat Crab Feed. No-host bar, live entertainment

& grand raffle. Hosted by the Knights of Columbus. $95. Tickets sell quickly. Jan. 21 & 22: 5:30–9 p.m. Crown Hall. 45285 Ukiah St., Mendocino. Tickets:



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Saturday 22 FREE Cozy Bear Storytime. 11:30

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MendoLakeFamilyLife 25

Humor Break they’re hungry or sleeping when they’re tired, talk therapy would grow obsolete and the divorce rate would plummet. For my birthday weekend, I went to San Francisco. Since I’ve come home, I’ve been reminded of why I needed a break from my kids. Not only have they struggled to perform previously mastered basic tasks, such as sleeping, eating, and getting dressed, but also the very act of existing seems to be an enormous ask.

Joey’s Parenting ‘Friends’ Nails Pointers Life with Kids By Jessica Guerrieri


s a mother, I am often reminded of the Halloween party episode of Friends in which a newly pregnant Rachel is poorly navigating the demands of naughty trick-or-treaters. Joey tries to calm her nerves. Rachel: I am awful with children.

Joey: You’re good with kids. They’re just crazy on Halloween. You know, they’re all greedy and they’re hopped up on sugar. Rachel: Really? That’s all it is? Joey: Absolutely. Halloween is the worst. Except for Christmas. And their birthdays. And they kinda get a little crazy during the summer, too. And any time they’re hungry or sleepy. Kids are tough. Good luck with that. Even Joey, with his limited wisdom, recognizes the truth about children: 26 MendoLakeFamilyLife

They are only difficult when they’re awake. Early on, we are told that babies only cry when they are hungry, wet, or sleepy. Tend to one or all of these “magic three” needs and you’ll be rewarded with a calm infant. But it doesn’t take long to realize that sometimes there is no scientific justification for babies’ flails and wails. And because being defeated by a 10-pound lump of dimples that poops every 30 minutes isn’t an option, we rely on a fourth go-to excuse for fussy behavior: teething. The plus side of kids getting teeth is that, as they age, they can finally verbalize which of the magic three is the issue. Except everyone knows that if humans could solve all their problems simply by eating when

For instance, one would think that the 40-degree winter walk to school would inspire my girls to dress warmly. Nope. My oldest only wears a single layer of black clothing, like she’s auditioning for an emo-ska band whose members also moonlight as ninjas. My middle daughter can’t wear jackets that are too “flue-fee” (not to be confused with “fluffy”) because she doesn’t like the noise the puffiness makes when she moves. The youngest wears rainboots no matter what. And she hates socks, so by the end of the day her feet smell like baked cabbages rolled in freshly cut lawn. The entire walk to school I remind myself that the number of times they complain is also the number of times I won’t have to listen to them when I gleefully walk home. Later, I make a mental note to tell the kids about their great grandparents, who had to walk five miles—not five blocks—in the snow to school. Joey Tribbiani may have been right: It does seem to be kids’ role to complain. But it’s also mine to continually remind them of just how blessed we are. ¶ Jessica Guerrieri is a mom and a freelance writer/blogger. Find her at and on Instagram @ witandspitup.

January 2022

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he music of folk singer, composer, and guitarist Rita Hosking reflects her early life growing up in rural Shasta County. The artist will share the songs about that upbringing— as well as tunes about forest fires, homelessness, and hope—when she and her banjo- and dobro-playing partner Sean Feder perform at the Tallman Hotel in Upper Lake. Part of the hotel’s Concerts with Conversation series, the intimate performance is not appropriate for young children (think date night, instead). The show will be held on January 23 at 3 p.m.; tickets are $30 and available via Eventbrite: tinyurl. com/yc7tkavj. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required to enter the venue. ¶

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Make a Vision Board


etting and meeting goals helps kids develop a sense of purpose and confidence and teaches them to persevere. Using collage to create vision boards can be a fun and light-hearted way for children to explore what they want for their futures. The Redbud Library in Clearlake will be hosting a free Kids’ 2022 Vision Boards workshop on January 12 at 4:30 p.m. Supplies will be provided. Registration is required; call 707- 994-5115 to sign up. ¶

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Find critical COVID-19 info plus lots of free kid-friendly activities. January 2022

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