Mendo Lake Family Life May 2022

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mendo lake FREE!

May 2022

B-Day Party 20 locations

Vegan in Minutes Chickpea salad

Camp 101 What to ask staff

Little Luxuries Self-care for moms




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May 2022

Every Issue

10 Features 10 Beat Homeschool Boredom Tips for keeping kids engaged.

12 Why STEAM Rocks Interconnected disciplines are the key to learning.

14 Great Charter Schools Here’s what really matters.


16 Let’s Party! There are plenty of places to have a great birthday.

18 Summer Camp 101 Questions to ask camp staff.

20 Sensitive Ones Some kids feel the emotions of everyone around them.

22 Birth without Fear


Dear Reader


Cooking with Kids Vegan in Minutes


Bits and Pieces Renaissance Make Believe Poker on the Run Patriotic Parades Pavement Paintings Get a Free Comic Book Festivals Celebrate Health

28 Calendar of Events 32 Humor Break Missing in Forever 21

Advice from a veteran obstetrician.

24 Little Luxuries How to squeeze some mom-fun into your day.

26 Loving Other People’s Kids What is foster parenting really like?

7 4 MendoLakeFamilyLife

May 2022




www.MendoLake Family

Dear Reader


his month is for you, Mom! Check out our Bits & Pieces section (pages 8–9 and 33) and our Calendar of Sharon Gowan Events (page 28) for Publisher/Editor ways to celebrate your special day. Need some self-care? Read “Little Luxuries” (page 24) for simple, creative ways to make body and spirit feel good. If only Mother’s Day lasted, well, forever—or at least a week. But, alas, after your “day off” it’s back to planning the summer. And, if you haven’t already, now is the time to sign up the kids for camp. Once you’ve chosen their special hangout, read “Summer Camp 101” (page 18) for tips on what to ask camp staff.

Many parents worry that, over break, their kids will forget much of what they’ve learned during the school year. The solution? A little homeschooling. “Beat Homeschool Boredom” (page 10) offers ideas on how to keep lessons fresh. June and July are great times for field trips, for instance, or to teach life skills like how to change the oil in the family car.

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

Features Editor

All work and no play is a set-up for an unhappy crew. So be sure to make room for entertainment. Does someone in your brood have a birthday coming up? Check out “Let’s Party!” (page 16) for a list of places you can celebrate without breaking the bank.

Melissa Chianta

We hope your May is full of fun delights—and flowers for Mom!

Katy M. Clark Christopher Emdin Tanni Haas Christina Katz Alan Lindemann Tom Miller Pam Moore Heather Nardi Dolores Smyth Laura Theodore


Production Manager Donna Bogener

Contributing Writers

Billing Jan Wasson-Smith

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



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May 2022

Cooking with Kids

Vegan in Minutes Plant Protein Pumps Up This Salad By Laura Theodore


hether you are an accomplished vegan chef or just learning the craft of creating pleasing plant-based meals for your family, it is essential to find recipes that are delicious and easy to prepare. This nourishing recipe nicely fits the bill. ¶ Recipe reprinted, with permission, from Easy Vegan Home Cooking by Laura Theodore (Hatherleigh Press, 2022), Laura Theodore is a nationally recognized television personality, podcast radio host, celebrity PBS vegan chef, and award-winning cookbook author. She is co-creator of the highly successful Jazzy Vegetarian cooking series on national public television, and she is host of the Jazzy Vegetarian podcast on Unity Online Radio. Laura has made guest appearances on The Talk on CBS, Insider/ Entertainment Tonight, and the WCBS Radio Health Report. She has been featured in the New York Times, New York Daily News, Mother Earth Living, VegNews, Family Circle, Readers Digest, and PBS Food, among other highly respected news, food, and lifestyle-related journals.

Chickpea & Artichoke Salad Prep Time: 20 minutes Refrigeration Time: 2 to 3 hours

1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)


1 8

1 can (14 to 15 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 to 3 ounces baby spinach, finely chopped 6 sweet mini peppers (or 1 medium sweet red or orange bell pepper), seeded and thinly sliced 1 can (14 to 15 ounces) water-packed baby artichoke hearts, drained and chopped 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons maple syrup 2 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice

May 2022

/ teaspoon garlic powder salt, to taste

Directions Put the chickpeas, spinach, mini pepper slices, artichoke hearts, olive oil, maple syrup, vinegar (or lemon juice), optional paprika, and garlic powder into a large bowl. Gently stir together with a large spoon to thoroughly combine. Taste and add salt and pepper, as desired. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours to allow the flavors to develop. Divide between four to six bowls and serve. Serves: 4 to 6

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Bits & Pieces

Renaissance Make Believe


he Renaissance was like a big two-century party celebrating the end of the Middle Ages. Artists and writers, including Shakespeare, thrived. And it will be the Bard’s work that Konocti Christian Academy students perform at the 15th Annual Lake County Renaissance Fair. There also will be music, hands-on activities, and demos of leather-working, archery, and brass-rubbing. Live and silent auctions will feature artwork, handmade jewelry, local fruit and wines, and gift certificates for services and products. The event, a fundraiser for the Academy, will be held on May 7, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Lakeport. Tickets are $10–$45; free for ages 0–4, and may be purchased at ¶

Lake County Renaissance Fair

Poker on the Run


ho says you have to sit down or even stay in one place to play poker? During a poker run, players travel from one destination to the next, picking cards as they go. Whoever has the best hand at the end of the journey wins. That’s the kind of poker game that the Rotary Club of Kelseyville Sunrise is holding on May 7, 1–5 p.m., to raise money for its community projects. The poker “table” is downtown Kelseyville. There also will be an online auction, which will run May 6 at 9 a.m. to May 8 at 9 p.m. Purchase tickets, which are $50, and preview auction items at ¶

Patriotic Parades


n Memorial Day, American flags fly high and parades march on Main Streets across the country. The Lakeport Memorial Day parade will be held on May 28, 11 a.m.–1 p.m., on Main Street in Lakeport. Meanwhile, the Lower Lake Daze Parade will be held on May 29 at 11 a.m. on Main Street in Lower Lake. The latter event boasts not only a parade but also, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., a street fair with live music, vendors, food, and drinks. See for further information. ¶

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The Lakeport Memorial Day Parade

May 2022

Pavement Paintings


rtists can turn anything into a canvas, even sidewalks. See them do it at Pastels on the Plaza. This fundraiser for River Oak Charter School will feature local arty types making colorful creations on the pavement at the Alex R. Thomas Plaza in Ukiah. The Rising Signs and Those Guys will play live music, and Mexican food and pizza will be available for purchase. The fun happens on May 14, 9:30 a.m.–3 p.m.; admission is free. ¶

Pastels on the Plaza

Get a Free Comic Book


omic books have been around since the 1930s. Although they were at first controversial because, among other things, they contained violence, many of their initial characters (think Superman and Wonder Woman) have stood the test of time, as have comic books themselves. At the Free Comic Book Day on May 7, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., the Round Valley Branch Library in Round Valley will be giving away comic books for all ages, but mostly for kids. To learn more, go to tinyurl. com/2zke4kks. ¶

Festivals Celebrate Health


ow does someone live to be 100? The Blue Zones project researched this question and came up with attributes that contribute to longevity, among them a plant-based diet and living in an environment that encourages movement. Want to know more? Go to one of Adventist Health’s two free local Blue Zones events: The Hope4Health Festival will be held on May 14, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., in Austin Park in Clearlake (see tinyurl. com/5ku7bk6u). And the Blue Zones Project Mendocino County Coastal Kick-Off will be held May 21–22, 11 a.m.–3 p.m., at Noyo Headlands Park in Fort Bragg (see tinyurl. com/epk5t3ac). Family-friendly activities and giveaways will be offered at both events. At the Clearlake event, United Voices will perform live music in the evening. ¶

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the teacher to get back to work feeling refreshed. For little learners, look for fun, clean YouTube videos that they can dance to. Jack Hartmann’s Kids Music Channel is a popular choice for educational music videos that get young kids dancing and singing along.

Beat Homeschool 5 Ways to Get Boredom Out of a Rut By Dolores Smyth


hether you’re new to homeschooling or a seasoned pro, you’re likely excited by the chance homeschooling gives you to teach your kids one-on-one and tailor a curriculum to meet their individual learning needs. But as weeks turn into months, your homeschooling routine may have become, well, too routine. If you’ve noticed your kids getting glassy-eyed during homeschool, try these five ways to liven up your lessons. 1. Change the scenery. Sometimes all you need to breathe new life into an activity is a different setting. If possible, set up a table and chairs or lay down a blanket outdoors in a spot that’s conducive to teaching your day’s lesson. You can also explore teaching some of your lessons at a bookstore, a park, or a local library where patrons are allowed to sit and talk quietly. 10 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Another way to switch up your homeschool setting is to redecorate. You can join your student in renovating your classroom or let your kid take the creative reigns. Encouraging your kids to make their desks their own can make learning from that space more enjoyable. 2. Get moving indoors or out. If your homeschoolers are increasingly misbehaving or unmotivated, try getting them moving to reinvigorate and refocus. Physical activity lifts the mood and allows both the student and May 2022

Sometimes all you need to breathe new life into an activity is a different setting. For older homeschoolers, a casual walk around the block may be all they need to get centered. If you’re up for a more spirited option, your older kid may get a kick out of challenging you to a karaoke-style sing-along from one of the many playlists available online. 3. Take a field trip! Think back to when you were a kid and looked forward to one of the most exciting school activities there was: a field trip. As a homeschooling parent, you now get the chance to combine fun and learning by planning a field trip that immerses your learner in a topic you’re teaching. For examples, a science chapter on animals calls for a trip to a farm; or a history lesson is brought to life with a visit to a historical site from the era you’re studying. Broaden a lesson on world culture with a trip to a cultural festival or restaurant serving foreign cuisine. A lesson on world religions flourishes when you explore ways to respectfully visit a religious institution or a museum featuring religious art exhibits. And a day at the beach becomes an educational endeavor

when you incorporate hands-on discussions on landforms, tides, and sea life. 4. Plan a family tree project. One lesson that your child will remember for a lifetime is a “my heritage” project. Here, help your learner jot down five questions about your family ancestry and create a family tree that stretches as far back as you know. Then visit or call relatives who can answer those questions and fill in any missing information from your family tree. This project is about more than just names and dates. It promotes bonding with relatives, new and especially old. It also fosters an appreciation for one’s roots and the struggles that older relatives may

have overcome to give your family a brighter future. 5. Make it a life skills day. If taking a break from homeschooling for the day is in order, consider spending the school day teaching your

One lesson that your child will remember for a lifetime is a “my heritage” project.

to the not-so-distant past by having her or him watch you write a check, affix a stamp, and stick it in the mailbox for snail mail delivery. More advanced skills include showing your kid how to operate a washing machine and dryer, and how to change a car’s oil or fill up a tire. (Be sure to explain why both tasks are important.) Also, a trip to the grocery store with a shopping list, a budget, and coupons can be a great lesson in financial literacy.

kid invaluable life skills. After all, your kid may be more eager to learn how to prepare a basic meal or sew a button than to dive into math.

No matter the homeschooling stage you’re in when you (inevitably) hit a rut, you have the flexibility to change things up. Happy homeschooling! ¶

Easy life skills include how to repot a plant, draft an email, or pay a bill online. You can take your kid on a trip

Dolores Smyth is a homeschooling mom and parenting writer.

Ukiah Unified School District

Substitute Teachers Needed!

2022-23 Kindergarten &

Transitional Kindergarten Registration Now Open!


Transitional Kindergarten Is Expanding to include students who turn 5 on or between September 2, 2022 and February 2, 2023.

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Join Our Team! Learn More at Become a Ukiah Unified substitute teacher and help our students thrive. $21.42–$37.67/hour. The process has never been easier. Perfect for those who would like a flexible schedule or second income. Contact Maribel Ramirez at 707-472-5034 or for more information.

If you need help with registration, or access to a computer, contact your school’s office.

Calpella Elementary 151 Moore Street 472-5630

Frank Zeek Elementary 1060 Bush Street 472-5100

Grace Hudson Elementary 251 Jefferson Lane 472-5460

Nokomis Elementary 495 Washington Ave. 472-5550

Oak Manor Elementary 400 Oak Manor Drive 472-5180

Yokayo Elementary 790 S. Dora Street 472-5690

Deadline for Grace Hudson TK and Kindergarten registration: February 17, 2022 Deadline for registration at your elementary school of choice: March 25, 2022

Children age 5 by September 1, 2022, will enroll in Kindergarten. Children turning 5 between September 2, 2022, and February 2, 2023, can enroll in our Transitional Kindergarten Program.

May 2022

MendoLakeFamilyLife 11

I needed to embrace these different subjects to understand how “life,” the subject of biology, truly works. We try to teach certain skill sets to our students, but there are many ways to approach a subject or create the type of relevance that supports rigor. We need to be sure to include the arts as we think about student motivation and the ways that students may plug into an activity.

Why STEAM The Multiple Dimensions Rocks of a Good Education By Christopher Emdin


hy is it that a student cannot memorize multiplication tables, but can memorize dozens of raps, rhymes, and songs? It has taken us far too long to recognize that there is a difference between rigorous knowledge and mere regurgitation. Memorization drills do not work. What does work are activities that engage students emotionally and connect to what they already know. This is where the A in STEAM sparkles. Teaching STEM concepts using the arts not only connects to students’ lives but also taps into their existing identities. And in doing so, it extends that identity to include a STEM identity. The division of disciplines ends up hurting people. If we truly examine all the separate disciplines, they share many of the same skills. It is not that you are a math or history or English person; every one of those specialties uses critical thinking. Everybody 12 MendoLakeFamilyLife

needs to collaborate. Everybody needs to be creative. My biology advisor when I was an undergraduate told me, “If you want to be a biologist, you need to be an English major. You need to be a statistician. You need to be a historian.” She explained to me that May 2022

We need to step back and look at the humanity of the children in front of us. Several years ago, I attended an “Influencers Dinner” at Columbia. The guest list included noted scientists, businesspeople, politicians, and other community members. Over the course of the evening, we all had to guess what everyone else did, without giving away our own profession. As you can imagine, everybody missed the mark— by a lot. Then we had to share what we wanted to do with our lives. One of the attendees, Dr. Joachim Frank, a Nobel Prize–winning chemist, admitted that his dream is to be a fiction writer. Intrigued, I asked him to tell me more about his interest in fiction. His imagination and creativity, he said, have been developed through his fiction. By exploring literature, writing, and art, he has created a form of “peripheral vision”—an ability to look toward the edges and fringes— that informs his scientific research. When an experiment does not work or a hypothesis fails, he looks to the more humanistic pursuits in his life for inspiration. As he explained, the big, Nobel Prize–level breakthroughs

happen because something unexpected influences his thinking. We need to look at scientists as whole people who can tap into these nontraditional domains. Similarly, we need to step back and look at the humanity of the children in front of us. How do we honor the

We try to teach certain skill sets to our students, but there are many ways to approach a subject. non-STEM attributes of young folks and use those as starting points for joining the STEM-STEAM world? This humanistic consideration is what will transfer to the next year, the next classroom, and to a future career. If we support young people

as they examine, think critically, and form a human connection to the material, they are far more likely to remember it. We remember what we feel. We need to teach from this STEAM-based point of view. ¶ Excerpted, with permission, from STEM, STEAM, Make, Dream: Reimagining the Culture of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics by Christopher Emdin, Ph.D. Christopher Emdin, PhD, is the Robert A. Naslund Endowed Chair in Curriculum and Teaching and Professor of Education at the University of Southern California (USC), where he also serves as director of youth engagement and community partnerships at the USC Race and Equity Center. He previously served

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as director of the Science Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University, and alumni fellow at the Hiphop Archive and Hutchins Center at Harvard University. The creator of the #HipHopEd social media movement and Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S., Emdin has previously been named Multicultural Educator of the Year by the National Association of Multicultural Educators, and has been honoroed as a STEM Access Champion of Change by the White House. He also served as a Minorities in Energy Ambassador for the US Department of Energy. He is the author of STEM, STEAM, Make, Dream (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Ratchetdemic (Beacon Press), and For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…and the Rest of Ya’ll Too (Beacon Press).

La Vida Charter School May 2022


11785 Orchard Lane, Willits

MendoLakeFamilyLife 13

Student-Focused Instructional Planning Effective charter schools teach students where they are, not where they should be based on their age or grade-level. This occurs by having clear prevention and intervention systems that assess students’ strengths, learning styles, and interests. Additionally, those same systems are applied to help students build the necessary strategies and skills to be more successful

Great Charter Schools 5 Winning Characteristics to Look For By Tom Miller


y journey into public charter schools and learning about the characteristics of effective schools began in 2008 when I was an Exceptional Children’s teacher. I later became the director of a rural charter middle school. It was during this time, while writing my dissertation on charter schools, that my “leadership lid” was lifted as I spent time in five high-performing K–8 public charter schools. As a result of this experience and my 2011 research, I discovered these five characteristics of effective charter schools. Clear School Mission Effective public charter schools understand and live their mission daily. From the governing board to the families, they are intentional with 14 MendoLakeFamilyLife

communicating the mission at every opportunity. The mission lives through succession planning, stable school leadership, effective teachers, and highly engaged parents. May 2022

Effective public charter schools understand and live their mission daily. in the classroom. By having such a clear education plan in place, teachers can master their craft and implement these plans with fidelity. Effective schools do not waiver from their clearly defined education plan; they tweak it based on the results, closing the achievement gap for all. Multiple Levels of Parent Engagement Being schools of choice, public charter schools count on building strong relationships with their parents and community. Effective charter schools engage their parents and community as partners in the school’s programs and success. These relationships grow through intentionality, purpose, and transparency. From working side-by-side while building the school to teaching classes, the formula is simple: be clear and deliver on promises.

Celebrating “Real Time” Site-Based Decisions Effective charter schools have built operating systems that continually inform leadership about what is working and what is not. These leaders trust their “on the ground” staff to make decisions based on what is best for students and the organization. These systems create speed, flexibility, and the potential to gain competitive advantage by responding to an event soon after it occurs. These “real-time” decisions bring value to the organization and improve customer relations.

Be clear and deliver on promises. Strategic Personnel Decisions Effective charter schools develop strong processes to recruit, hire, and retain dedicated, mission- and value-oriented members. Through autonomy, they can provide their current staff expanded professional opportunities without an inflexible process that school districts may incur. As a result, school leaders intentionally build leadership capacity in the teachers and staff who are carrying the school through the development of innovative school-improvement initiatives. Tom Miller, PhD, is an education coach, trainer, and consultant who uses the strategies described in this article to assist public charter schools leaders across the country. Find out more about his work at

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$45 ALL SUMMER COUNTY-WIDE Unlimited rides on all MTA buses for children up to age 18. $5.00 and a Youth Summer Pass will get you to and from Santa Rosa on MTA’s North Coast and South Coast Buses! For more information: or call 800-696-4MTA / 462-1422 Buy your Summer Youth Pass on board any MTA bus or at the MTA office in Ukiah or Fort Bragg. This pass not valid on Dial-A-Ride.

wheel deal! May 2022

MendoLakeFamilyLife 15

Let’s Party! 20 Amazing Birthday Bash Locations By Katy M. Clark


our child’s next birthday is fast approaching, and you’re wondering where to hold the party. Perhaps the thought of having it at home makes you break out in a cold sweat. Maybe it is simply not an option.

As the mother of two kids, now a teen and tween, I’ve spent over a decade attending or hosting birthday parties at more than two-dozen spots. There truly is a place for everyone and every budget. So check out this list of 20 locations for your child’s next birthday party and get ready to celebrate! 1. Take your group to a local sporting event, such as a minor 16 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Piggyback your party on an outdoor summer concert. league baseball game. Check out the Sonoma Stompers or see the kids playing in the Lake County Baseball Club. 2. Visit a zoo or petting zoo like the San Francisco Zoo or the May 2022

B. Bryan Preserve, a private Point Arena reserve for African animals. Also check out Classroom Safari’s programs.

Go roller-skating at a roller rink. 3. Go to a swimming pool, water park, or splash pad. 4. Find a local park where you can rent a pavilion to serve as home base while the kids run around. 5. Think about special events in your town. Piggyback your party on an outdoor summer concert or a viewing of a holiday parade (think Memorial Day or Fourth of July). See the Calendar of Events (page 28) for ideas. 6. Go to the movies and out for pizza or ice cream.

7. Take a walk or hike at a nature center or botanical garden, where you can learn about the outdoors and celebrate with a picnic.

14. Try a martial arts studio, where kids can play games and learn age-appropriate skills.

8. Pick fruit at an orchard in the summer, or pick pumpkins at a pumpkin patch in the fall.

16. Jump over to a trampoline park.

9. Go to a kids’ museum. The Children’s Museum of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa hosts picnic table birthday parties.

15. Go roller-skating at a roller rink.

Visit the B. Bryan Preserve, a private Point Arena reserve for African animals.

10. Visit a laser tag venue. 11. Go to the bowling alley and bring a cake or sweet treat. 12. Scale the highest heights at an indoor rock-climbing center. 13. Celebrate at a mini golf venue.

17. What about a visit to the Mendocino County or Sonoma County humane societies? Don’t forget to check for allergies first! 18. Gymnastics clubs and gyms let you rent their spaces so kids can run, jump, and play to their hearts’ content.



1090 S. State St., Ukiah 707-621-9292

19. Try an ice skating party at Snoopy’s Home Ice in Santa Rosa. (In my experience, this party idea is suited for older kids who can already skate or have fun trying.) 20. Let kids be creative at an arts, dance, or music studio. Finally, perhaps you are able to have a party at home, but are just too worried that your house isn’t big enough or exciting enough. In my experience, some of the best (and cheapest) birthday parties I have ever hosted were in our home. The home parties pleased kids and parents alike! During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can host a great party outside. Katy M. Clark is a writer who celebrates her imperfections as a mom at


898 S. Main St., Fort Bragg 707-964-9999 May 2022

3144 Broadway St., Eureka 707-268-1100 MendoLakeFamilyLife 17

Summer Camp 101

How to Keep Kids Safe & Happy

By Tanni Haas


ummer camp is without a doubt something kids look forward to all year. Nevertheless, there are important issues you should address to ensure that your kids have a really great time at camp. Based on my experience as a parent of seasoned summer campers, as well as conversations I’ve had with other parents, I’ve pulled together a list of some of the most common issues.

Allergies If your kids suffer from seasonal allergies, such as grass or tree pollen, tell the camp physician or nurse and pack all the medication they need. It can be a real drag for them to walk around the whole time with a runny nose or watery eyes. If they suffer from more serious allergies, such as animal or food allergies, inform the camp that your kids shouldn’t come into 18 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Find out how the camp handles homesickness. contact with those allergens. Our son is very allergic to horses. We didn’t think anything of it before we realized that his camp has alpacas, which can induce the same allergic reaction as horses. May 2022

Email, Phone, and Care Packages Every camp has a policy about how to communicate with your kids (email or phone), and about how many care packages you may send and what you can put

Teach your kids how to have fun without putting themselves in any danger. in them. Know those policies and follow them. Kids don’t want to be called out for not following the rules. It’s embarrassing, and it can socially hurt them. Making Friends Some kids find it easy to make friends, and others have a harder time. If your kids have a difficult time, ask if they can bunk with one or more of their regular friends from home. Most camps permit this. Explain to your kids that no matter how confident the other kids may appear, chances are that they are nervous, too. Use yourself as an example and tell them what you did when you were

a kid—it makes the situation much more relatable and manageable. Homesickness Your kids can still get homesick even if they’re rooming with close friends. It can happen to any camper, no matter how well-prepared and seasoned they are. Find out how the camp handles homesickness. Can you call your kids, even if there’s a no-phone policy? Is it possible to visit them outside camp visiting days? Pack some family photographs or a favorite stuffed animal with their belongings; it can help put them at ease. Safety You want your kids to have fun at camp, but you also want them to be safe. One of the best things you can do to prepare them

is to teach them how to swim. Most camps include a swimming program with access to a pool. Another popular activity is hiking. Be sure that your kids have footwear with good traction. More generally, teach your kids how to have fun without putting themselves in any danger.

Can you call your kids, even if there’s a no-phone policy? Emergencies Despite your best efforts, emergencies can happen. Hopefully, it won’t be anything serious, and the camp doctor or nurse can take care of it. To be on the safe side, pack hard copies (front and

back) of your hospital, medical, and dental insurance cards with your kids’ belongings. A hospital stay can be very costly without insurance. Extra Trips Many summer camps offer day or overnight trips to nearby ball games, amusement parks, or other special places for an extra fee. These trips can be expensive, so before you sign up your kids for them, ask the camp how many kids usually go on these trips, and take a good hard look at what you can afford. If only a few kids are going and the trips are expensive, don’t feel pressured to sign up your kids. There are plenty of exciting activities for all the kids who remain at the camp site. ¶ Tanni Haas, PhD, is a college communications professor.

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May 2022

MendoLakeFamilyLife 19

• Be gifted in many ways: compassion, empathy, creativity, and usually above the normal range intellectually. • Pick up on subtleties in gesture and tone as well as the words coming out of other people’s mouths.2 • Feel highly emotional. All kids can be emotional but a highly sensitive child may cry when they are hungry, sad, upset, excited, or happy. They may cry during sad parts in movies or get scared easier. A stern look from you could reduce them to tears.

Sensitive Ones Is Your Child an Empath?

By Heather Nardi


was often called too sensitive as a child, which caused me to avoid certain situations or groups, observe more than speak up, blend in with others, and feel lonely even when showing a happy face. I could sense those same intense feelings in my daughter, Ellie, even when she was a young child. As an empath, Ellie could sense stomachaches, aggression, sadness, headaches, and all the emotions that everyone around her was feeling.

An empathic child is a child who is good at reading others’ emotions and adjusting their behavior accordingly. In contrast, a highly sensitive child is a child who feels easily overwhelmed by this process. Have you considered the possibility that your child may be an empath or spiritually gifted? The traits of spiritually gifted and empathic children usually include being sensitive, intelligent, distracted, intuitive, and wise.

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The Characteristics of a Highly Sensitive Child (HSC) or Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) Not all highly sensitive children are the same, but your child may... • Feel things deeply and can be easily overstimulated in their environment. • Often become overwhelmed by sensory overload. These children dislike loud noises, may be sensitive to tags or zippers in clothing, and may dislike more scents than other children.1 May 2022

• Dislike change. While many kids don’t like change, a highly sensitive child will often shut down when forced to change routine. They may get anxious, angry, depressed, or even scared. • Be hard on themselves, holding themselves to a very high standard. They may beat themselves up about getting something wrong. • Worry or wonder about things that aren’t deemed age-appropriate, such as death or what will happen when they become adults. They are more sensitive to weather conditions and natural disasters. • Prefer to play alone. They enjoy quiet, peaceful play. • Pick up on things other children their age don’t. They can also be very curious and constantly looking for answers. • Need frequent breaks from the routine busyness of life, especially after a particularly social day. • Love animals. HSCs often develop a special bond with animals, or are very sensitive to their needs.3 • Have a keen sense of observation and know how to read people well. They observe character traits and gather an accurate story of who the person is.

• Take things personally. For your child, being highly emotional means everything that happens is personal.

understand the depth of something first.4 • Seems to read your mind. Knows what you want before you ask.

• Be well-behaved. Sensitive kids are well-behaved and also expect to be in similar surroundings. They don’t understand when other children misbehave or aren’t nice to them.

The Empathic Spectrum below was taken from The Empath’s Survival Guide by Judith Orloff, MD. According to Dr. Orloff, “If you think about this distinction in terms of an empathic spectrum, empaths are on the highest end, highly sensitive people are a little lower on the spectrum, and people with strong empathy but who are not HSPs or empaths are in the middle. Narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths, who often suffer from ‘empathy deficit disorders,’ are at the lowest end of the spectrum.”5

The Empathic Child In addition to the traits of the highly sensitive child, the empathic child may show some or all of these characteristics: • Feels others’ emotions as if these emotions were their own. • Quiet, shy, introverted, withdrawn. • May be perceived as a slow learner only because the child needs to

Narcissists ZERO

Loving, empathetic people




Notes 1. Maureen Gaspari, “Highly Sensitive or Sensory Processing Disorder?” The Highly Sensitive Child, April 2, 2019, 2. Lisa Natcharian, “Why Are So Many Gifted Children Also Highly Sensitive?” Institute for Educational Advancement, April 18, 2017, 3. Sadiya Qamar (Contributor), “Highly Sensitive Child—Signs, Habits & Parenting,” MomJunction, June 8, 2021, 4. “Help for Emotionally Hypersensitive Children on the Autism Spectrum,” My Aspergers Child, accessed October 8, 2021, 5. Judith Orloff, MD, “The Difference between Empaths and Highly Sensitive People,” Dr. Judith Orloff, May 21, 2021, the-difference-between-empaths-and-highlysensitive-people. ¶

Adapted, with permission, from The Sensitive Ones: Healing and Understanding Your Child’s Mental Health by Heather Nardi (Wise Ink Creative Publishing, 2022). Heather Nardi is a writer, speaker, and life coach. Her writing has appeared in Highly Sensitive Refuge, Thrive Global, and Elephant Journal. For more information, visit

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May 2022

MendoLakeFamilyLife 21

Ask your physician if a familiar face will meet you when you get to the hospital. 4. When not in active labor, eat what you feel like eating. Sometimes women in labor are not allowed to eat, possibly because there is always the fear that emergency surgeries may become necessary. In natural labors, when contractions may stop for a while before starting up again, laboring women should be allowed to eat if they feel like it.

Birth without Fear 5 Secrets for an Easier Labor By Alan Lindemann, MD


ou’ll have many wonderful memories of being a mom, but those of being in labor likely won’t be among them. That said, how might mothers make their labor easier? As an obstetrician with more than 40 years of experience, here is my advice for making labor easier.

1. Let your baby decide when to be born. For many women, labor tends to start and stop. It may take longer to let your baby decide when to be born, but you and your baby will fare better with a labor and delivery that avoids as much technological intervention as possible. 2. Avoid being tethered to the bed. Walking around often helps to promote labor. If you have all kinds of monitors attached to yourself and IVs in your arm, you’re unable to get up and do what’s best for advancing your 22 MendoLakeFamilyLife

labor: walking. Plus, being able to walk around tends to moderate fear. 3. Labor works best without fear. Some doctors don’t understand that fear stops labor. We know this is true for animals in labor—if they become afraid or detect a predator, their labor will stop. Often, when women enter the hospital for labor and delivery, their fear will tend to stop their labor. To alleviate fear, it helps if the familiar face of the physician you have being seeing throughout your pregnancy meets you at the hospital. May 2022

Some doctors don’t understand that fear stops labor. 5. Avoid Pitocin if at all possible. Pitocin creates hard contractions that are so painful that epidurals become necessary. On a fetal monitor, Pitocin contractions show a steep increase into a sharp point followed by a sharp decline—a type of contraction that can be ineffective in labor. Natural labor contractions, on the other hand, show a slow increase into a wide bell curve and a slow decline. A natural labor contraction is painful, but less painful than those created by Pitocin, and women can often manage the pain of natural contractions without an epidural. ¶ An obstetrician and maternal mortality expert, “Rural Doc” Alan Lindemann, MD, teaches women and their families how to create the pregnancy and personal health outcomes they want. A former clinical assistant professor at the University of North Dakota, he served as a clinical faculty member and preceptor with medical students in rural rotations. In his nearly 40 years of practice, he has delivered around 6,000 babies and achieved a maternal mortality rate of zero. Learn more at


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May 2022

MendoLakeFamilyLife 23

drink with a tiny umbrella in it. And you deserve a tiny umbrella too, Mom—or maybe a dollop of whipped cream with a chocolate swirl or a little heart design atop your coffee foam. Exposure to nature. The civilized world gallops at a breakneck pace. But nature helps us slow down to the incremental speed of life. The seeds we plant don’t sprout overnight. Frequent exposure to the earth, air, sun, and stars helps us regain our patience and pacing.

Little Luxuries 10 Ways Moms Can Nurture Themselves By Christina Katz


ne of the pitfalls of giving gifts to celebrate holidays is that we become a society of scorecard keepers. How did I do? Did I get more gifts than last year? Were the gifts given with genuine sincerity, or did I sense feelings of obligation? Do I measure how others treat me as proof of how worthy I am? Here’s a little secret about gift giving and receiving on any occasion, moms. It’s not a competition. You are not the best mom ever if you get the most presents. You are the best mom ever if you let yourself feel good about the job you are doing every day, even on the most challenging days. And if you want a gift, whether you feel you deserve something special or simply because you think you should always feel treasured, go ahead and give yourself one. Be generous with 24 MendoLakeFamilyLife

yourself year-round and others will follow suit during special times. Being a great mom means putting your needs first, instead of delegating that job to others and feeling resentful if they let you down. Here’s a little secret: Other people can’t let you down if you don’t let yourself down. So pick yourself up during the mom-gifting time of year with a little reward. You always deserve something special just for being you. Foofy drinks. For her birthday lunch my daughter wanted a tropical May 2022

Get around folks who validate all the gifts you have to offer the world. Your favorite books and magazines. Few things make me cheerier than a glossy new seasonal magazine. Books inspire movies in our minds. Even the Internet with all of its diverse content cannot replace my insatiable thirst for hunkering down, one spread at a time, and escaping into artfully photographed and delightfully designed magazine pages. Don’t ever deprive yourself of your daily allotment of mental escape. Belly laughs. I was on the phone with an old friend the other day and the laughs just came cascading out. There’s nothing like chuckling over old antics or sharing a giggle with someone who has known you forever. Get your kicks in whatever way works for you; the endorphins are an extra, feel-good bonus. Streaming sitcoms or reading comics also works well in a pinch.

Delicious food. Keep at-home copies of your favorite take-out menus. Sometimes Mom needs someone else to do the meal prep, cooking, and serving. Besides, sitting down to be waited on every once in a while is a great way to power up your inner chef. Bon appétit! Self-care. A quick nap. A long bath with bath salts and bubbles. Saying no to everything that does not feel like a yes. Asking for hugs. I’d be willing to bet that moms who practice self-care live longer. For sure, they live happier. Fresh flowers. Flowers are love. I’m always expanding the repertoire of choices in our yard. I mix them up with blooms I find in small

bouquets at the market. If you are feeling cynical about the gift of flowers, try a more playful approach. Scents you love. Jasmine. Lemon. Rose. Cinnamon. Juniper. Cookies fresh from the oven! You control your environment, so make it smell wonderful to you.

Don’t ever deprive yourself of your daily allotment of mental escape. Self-expression. Be your insouciant self today and every day. What does this mean to you? If you are holding your breath, biting your tongue, biding your time, or

practicing any other delay tactics that prevent you from living your life with the volume cranked up, seek assistance. Get around folks who lure you out of your shell and validate all the gifts you have to offer the world. Surprises. Don’t wait for others to catch you off guard. Delight yourself with little impulsive decisions that make you happy now. A surprise isn’t just a big, painstakingly planned party. It’s at least 20 opportunities a day to be sweeter to yourself. Go ahead, choose differently. ¶ Author, journalist, and writing coach Christina Katz definitely deserves more treats in her life. Luckily she never feels deprived because she gives herself enough to keep herself feeling fortunate.

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

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MendoLakeFamilyLife 25

stance on other relationships. “We don’t avoid having good friends or a romantic relationship because those engagements might someday come to an end. In fact, many of them do end, and we accept that as part of our life experience.”

Loving Other People’s Kids 4 Things Foster Parents Want You to Know By Pam Moore


hile there is plenty of data about foster children, information about foster parents can be elusive. I talked to foster parents, not to obtain statistics, but to hear their stories. This is what they want you to know.

Foster parents aren’t superheroes. Foster parents are, in many ways, like all parents, says John DeGarmo. Having fostered more than 50 children and as the director of the Foster Care Institute, he understands how vulnerable foster parents are to fatigue, setbacks, and disappointments. “There are times when we succeed, and there are times when we experience failures. We are not the perfect parents. We are simply trying our best to provide a home and family for a child who needs one,” he says. 26 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Yes, dealing with loss is hard (but not impossible). Many foster parents mentioned they are frequently fielding questions about what happens when the child is taken away from them. Mary and Ken, whose foster child was ultimately reunited with his family, talked about how frequently people express apprehension over the idea of getting “too close” to the child only to have the child reunite with their biological family. She says she finds that perspective “peculiar,” considering we rarely, if ever, take this May 2022

DeGarmo also encounters this question, people often asking him, “Doesn’t it hurt it too much to give them back?” Of course it hurts, he says; heartache is to be expected. “When the child leaves our home and

While the foster system can be impersonal and frustrating, it has its upsides, too. our family, our hearts should break. We should experience feelings of grief and loss. After all, we have given all of our hearts and love to a child in need.” Two years after Heather Grimes’s foster child was returned to her biological family, she says the child’s “photo is still on our fridge, from her first birthday. [She’s] in that adorable denim jumper, sitting on the fake grass outside of Sweet Cow ice cream. Her eyes are the most gorgeous shade of blue.” While the Grimes may have moved on with their lives, that little girl is still in their hearts. Foster kids are not bad kids. Many parents said they often receive comments about how hard it must be to deal with difficult, out-of-control kids. In reality, says Emily, most are not bad kids. The former or current foster mom of a total of four children, Emily explains: “They just grew up in chaotic, unhealthy environments without proper adult supervision.

They are capable of learning the right way to behave, express their emotions, etc., if you take the time to show/teach them.” Tammy Hoskins says being trauma-informed is crucial in supporting foster children. Hoskins works for a nonprofit that serves the needs of high-risk youth and is the mother of ten children, four of whom are biological children and six of whom she adopted through the foster system. Because their brains are still developing, children are especially vulnerable to the deleterious effects of trauma, including difficulties with learning, social-emotional development, cognition, physical health, and attachment. Says Hoskins, “To understand, to empathize, and to work with them in collaborative ways

to solve problems is crucial to their healing.” The work of Daniel Siegel, Karen Purvis, and webinars available through the Center for Adoption

Foster parents are, in many ways, like all parents. Support and Education (CASE) are among the many resources she recommends foster parents take advantage of. The foster system isn’t just a cold bureaucracy. While the foster system can be impersonal and frustrating, it has its upsides, too. DeGarmo points out that foster parents are helping not just the children, but also the whole family.

May 2022

He notes that many biological parents of foster children were in the foster system themselves and, for lack of resources, are still stuck in the system. “Part of being a foster parent is helping the parents of the children living with us, helping our fellow human beings.” From talking to foster parents, I learned that what they do doesn’t require a superhero cape. It does take commitment, compassion, and a desire to help. As most foster parents were quick to say, the biological parents aren’t necessarily bad people; they love their kids and they have flaws—like all parents. ¶ This article was originally published on ParentCo. Get Pam Moore’s free guide to crushing Impostor Syndrome at

MendoLakeFamilyLife 27


Calendar of Events

Thursday 5 St. Mary’s School Spring Auction.

Online auction with an in-person preview of auction items May 5, 4–6 p.m., in the school auditorium. Auction begins: May 5, 7 p.m. Ends: May 7, 7 p.m. Item pick-up: May 8, 10 a.m.–noon. St. Mary’s School. 991

S. Dora St., Ukiah. stmarysukiah.

Friday 6 May Faire. May Pole dance, games &

food, festivities. 11 a.m. Waldorf School of Mendocino. 6280 3rd St., Calpella. RSVP:


Mother’s Day. Flight of estate wines, including new release rosé, paired with farmstead cheese & meat bites. Vegetarian options available with advance request. Adults (21 & older): $45. May 7 & 8: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Pennyroyal Farm. 14930 Hwy. 128, Boonville. Reservations: tinyurl. com/2p9fkvur.


camp rforming arts circus and pe A residential 7 to 14 for kids age

TO N U WA RD THE F ✓ Juggling ✓ Unicycle ✓ Swimming ✓ Song Writing ✓ Dance

Check us out and register today at:

FREE Spring Fest Block Party.

Dance reggae music. Beer & wine available for purchase. Benefits Shanel Valley Academy elementary school. 1–6 p.m. (Music starts at 2 p.m.) Center Street, Hopland. tinyurl. com/3vztm3j7. Farmstead Flights & Bites:


✓ Stilts ✓ Trapeze ✓ Silks ✓ Drama ✓ Clowning

Saturday 7

FREE El Día de los Niños with


Nathalia. Multicultural virtual children’s event with musician Nathalia Palis. Noon. Take-and-make maracas craft available at the Ukiah

Healthy Kids Need Healthy Teeth. Visit Your Dental Provider!

2 steps to a healthy smile! Funded by the CDPH under Contract # 17-10704

28 MendoLakeFamilyLife

May 2022

Library from May 3. Ukiah Library. 105 N. Main St., Ukiah. Zoom ID: 836 9527 7930. Passcode: musictime. 15th Annual Lake County Renaissance Faire. Shakespearean theater, hands-on activities, live & silent auctions, local fruit & wine. Proceeds support Konocti Christian Academy. $10–$45. Free for ages 4 & younger. 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Lake County Fairgrounds. 401 Martin St., Lakeport. Tickets: Poker Run & Online Auction. $50 to

play. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Kelseyville Sunrise. Proceeds benefit local community projects. There will also be an online auction May 6, 9 a.m. thru May 8, 9 p.m. 1–5 p.m. Downtown Kelseyville. Tickets & auction:

of Art & Science. Noon. Meet up at Langs Landscaping Garden. Corner of Alvita & Pearl, Clearlake. facebook. com/cmaslakecounty. 707-295-1030.

Sunday 8 Mother’s Day Brunch. Glass of

new release Girasole rosé, brunch & live music. Reservations required.

Children welcome. $15–$45. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Barra of Mendocino. 7051 N. State St., Redwood Valley. Reservations: Mother’s Day Rosé Brunch. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Stockfarm. 13441 Hwy. 1, Hopland.



FREE Comic Book Day. Comic

book giveaway for all ages: grown-ups, teens & especially kids. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Round Valley Public Library. 23925 Howard St., Round Valley. tinyurl. com/2zke4kks.


Off Highway 29, about 4 miles north of Lakeport. 7010 Westlake Rd, Upper Lake

FREE Spring Fling Car, Boat & Motorcycle Show. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Skylark Shores Resort. 1120 N. Main St., Lakeport. Mother’s Day Cookie Decorating Class. Learn how to pipe 4 different

buttercream flowers on sugar cookies. Class includes: wine, wine glass, 8-piece piping set. $38. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. 108 S. Main St., Lakeport. Sign up at or text 707-245-8542. FREE Youth Artist Call: Beautification Project. Looking for

artists in the 4th grade & up to paint neighborhood Creek Bridge fence. Presented by the Children’s Museum

Christian Play for People of all Faiths Free Admission Please join us in the Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord, Jesus Christ, here in beautiful Lake County, California. † Free of charge; donations are gratefully accepted. † Bring your own chair. † No smoking, food, drink, or pets on grounds. † Water available. † Facilities for the handicapped.


May 2022

HELP SPREAD THE WORD!!! Like and share our Facebook Page

MendoLakeFamilyLife 29

Mother’s Day Drive-Thru Dinner.

Rack of ribs, Caribbean chicken, strawberry salad, loaded baked potatoes, fruit cobbler & bottle of wine. $60. Noon–2 p.m. Proceeds support Ukiah Senior Center. Bartlett Hall. 495 Leslie St., Ukiah. 707-468-9256. Tickets available at Bartlett Hall & the Mendocino Book Company (102 S. School St., Ukiah). Mother’s Day Pops Concert. The

Lake County Symphony Orchestra presents favorite Broadway musical tunes. $25–$30. 2 p.m. (Open Rehearsal at 11 a.m.: $5 or free for ages 18 & younger). Soper Reese Theatre. 275 S. Main St., Lakeport. Mother’s Day Brunch. Adults:

$33. Ages 12 & younger: $15. 9:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Riviera Hills Restaurant & Lounge. 10200 Fairway Dr., Kelseyville. Call for reservations: 707-277-7575. Blue Wing Mother’s Day Brunch.

Featuring live music by the Blue Reptiles Trio. 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. Blue Wing Restaurant. 9520 Main St., Upper Lake. 707-275-2233.

Friday 13

Saturday 14 FREE John Druecker Memorial Rhododendron Show. One of the

largest shows on the West Coast, with more than 700 entries. May 14 & 15: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. 18220 N. Hwy. 1, Fort Bragg. FREE Blue Zones Project Lake County Community Kick-Off at Hope4Health. Health screenings,

live music, family-friendly activities, free giveaways & prizes & local food samples. Sponsored by Adventist Health. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Austin Park. 14077 Lakeshore Dr., Clearlake. tinyurl. com/5ku7bk6u. FREE Pastels in the Plaza. Local

artists create artwork on pavement. Live music. Mexican food & pizza for purchase. 9:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Alex R. Thomas Plaza. 310 S. State St., Ukiah. FREE Passion Play. Men, women &

children from many denominations come together each year to participate. Bring own chair. No smoking, food, drinks, or pets. Donations accepted. May 14 & 15. 4–6 p.m. 7010 Westlake Rd. (off Hwy. 29), Upper Lake.

Ukiah Community Concert.

Featuring Le Vent du Nord, an award-winning & highly acclaimed folk/world music quartet from Quebec. $30. 2 p.m. Mendocino College Theatre. 1000 Hensley Creek Rd., Ukiah. Tickets: FREE Redwood Community Services Foster Care Event. Foster

care info, activities, food & giveaways. Noon–3 p.m. 800 N. State St., Ukiah. 707-467-2000.

Monday 16 FREE Shade Canyon Playgroup.

Outdoor group for ages 5 & younger. Waldorf-style story, crafts, or nature walk. Held first & third Mondays of each month. 10–11:30 a.m. Peace & Plenty Farm. 4550 Soda Bay Rd., Kelseyville. Register: tinyurl. com/2p8tvjbh.

Thursday 19 Blue Economy Symposium & Learning Festival. Researchers,

educators, purveyors, guides & fishers explore a multitude of ocean-related enterprises at the core of a sustainable economic future on the Mendocino Coast. May 19–22. Fort Bragg.

Annual Catfish Derby. Tournament

FREE Tails on The Trail. Giveaways,

Saturday 21

features separate divisions for adults & kids. Food, entertainment & $10,000 in cash & prizes. Registration: $50 for adults & $10 for ages 15 & younger. Fishing starts May 13 at noon & ends on May 15 at noon. Derby headquarters: Clearlake Oaks Fire Station. 12655 E. Hwy. 20, Clearlake Oaks.

agility course & pet organizations & vendors. Dogs welcome. 9 a.m.–noon. Great Redwood Trail. Ukiah. tinyurl. com/2p8x25e4. 707-467-5723.

FREE Noyo Harbor Fish Market. The

30 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Sunday 15 FREE ukiaHaiku Festival. A

celebration & competition devoted to haiku. Awards will be presented in 10 categories, kindergarten thru adults. 2–4 p.m. Grace Hudson Museum. 431 S. Main St., Ukiah. May 2022

fleet will be selling their catches off their boats. Live music, food trucks, arts & crafts vendors. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Noyo Harbor. 19101 S. Harbor Dr., Fort Bragg. Mendocino County Brew Festival & Wildfire Safety Expo. Features

brewers from around Northern California. Wildfire Safety Expo will

feature a chance to talk to & learn from local first responders. $10–$60. 3–6 p.m. Anderson Valley Brewing Co. 17700 Hwy. 253, Boonville. FREE Blue Zones Project Mendocino County Coastal Kick-Off.

Part of the Blue Economy Symposium & Learning Festival. Family-friendly activities, free giveaways & prizes. May 21 & 22: 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Noyo Headlands Park. West Cypress St., Fort Bragg.

Tuesday 24 Adult & Pediatric First Aid/CPR/ AED Class. Learn to recognize & care for first aid, breathing & cardiac emergencies. Combination of in-person & online learning. $100. 5–8 p.m. C. V. Starr Community Center. 300 S. Lincoln St., Fort Bragg. Register at least 3 days in advance:

Friday 27 Potter Valley Spring Festival & Rodeo. Parade, rodeo, dance, competitions, vendors & more. Some events free, others $10 or free for 10 & younger. May 27: Parade 11 a.m. on Main St., Potter Valley. May 29: BBQ ($15) 1 p.m. on rodeo grounds. Rodeo runs thru May 29. Potter Valley Community Parks & Recreation Property. 10747 Main St., Potter Valley. Complete schedule:

2nd Annual Pet Parade. Mendocino Dog Park’s Dedication. Humane Society adoptions, pet tricks & demos, Chili & Cornbread Fundraiser. All pets welcome. $10 suggested entry fee. Registration: 11 a.m. Parade: noon. Friendship Park, Mendocino.

FREE Lower Lake Daze Parade & Street Fair. Live music, vendors,

food/drinks for purchase. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Parade starts at 11 a.m. Main St., Lower Lake.




SAT – SUN, MAY 21 – 22 11AM – 3PM BLUE ECONOMY SYMPOSIUM & LEARNING FESTIVAL Fort Bragg Coastal Trail, at the Cypress St. and S. Main St. entrance

Join us as we continue our Kick Off celebration with our Coastal Communities. The free community event will feature special guest speakers, fun giveaways, gift cards, and family friendly activities.

Scan code with your phone camera to learn more or go to:

Saturday 28 FREE Memorial Day Parade. Parade starts at fairgrounds & heads north on Main St. to Clearlake Ave. 11 a.m. Lake County Fairgrounds. 401 Martin St., Lakeport.

Sunday 29


MendoLakeFamilyLife 31

Humor Break diameter. “In case that helps find her because she’s that big,” he stated. An examination of store records indicates that smith used her credit card to purchase $86 worth of items, all in size small. A sales associate remembers assisting the teenage daughter during checkout but has no recollection of Smith. “I remember the girl because she was wearing this totes adorbs lanyard,” said Ava L., sales associate in training.

Missing in Forever 21 A Middle-Aged Mom’s Plight By Katy M. Clark


ennifer Smith, 50, was reported missing from Midtown Mall on Friday afternoon at approximately 3:43 p.m. Smith was last seen shopping inside Forever 21 with her teenage daughter. “This was her dream, to come to Forever 21 and buy stuff to make me happy,” Smith’s daughter, 14, told the outlet. Forever 21 is a retail store that caters to teens and twenty-somethings. “We were browsing the crop top section and I heard my mom mumble something about muffin tops,” her daughter said. “I went to look at the micro minis and that’s the last I remember seeing her.” Smith, a former Fulbright Scholar to Mozambique and a 1993 graduate 32 MendoLakeFamilyLife

of Yale University, stands nearly six feet tall and reportedly wears a size 12. Thus, her disappearance within the store is not only alarming but also surprising. Security officer Jethro Blart’s review of the store’s security camera footage confirmed Smith’s presence in the store. “The footage shows Ms. Smith towering over the clothing racks while shaking her head,” he announced. Blart, who recently watched a YouTube video on lip reading, claims Smith said, “Who could fit into these?” while holding up a pair of short shorts to her left thigh. According to Blart, the short shorts and Smith’s thigh were of similar

May 2022

“There might have been someone who requested a printed receipt that day,” Ava L. continued. She said this was memorable since most patrons skip the paper receipt and get it sent directly to their phones instead. Ava L. suggested that mall security guards check Talbots or Chico’s. “That’s where my grandma shops.” When Smith’s husband was reached for comment, he was unaware that his wife was missing. “I didn’t even know [my wife and daughter] left the house,” he said. “I was watching the game.” Anyone with information about Ms. Smith is urged to contact the mall’s security guards. Update: Ms. Smith was found safe inside Forever 21 at 3:49 p.m. She was reviewing a paper receipt near the cash register while wearing reading glasses, which had rendered her unremarkable. Forever 21 appreciates the assistance of the mall security force in this matter and will consider instituting Midlife Consumer Awareness training for its employees. This post was originally published on Sammiches and Psych Meds. Katy Clark writes about motherhood at


The SoulShake



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integrated with academics Near Brookside School at ✓ Referrals for transportation available Free & Low-Cost Spruce St. & Lincoln Way  National Green Campus Quality Preschool! • Lake County Also providing FREE in-home services for

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Shake Your Soul

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t started in a backyard in the east side of Petaluma—just a bunch of high school buddies hanging out and listening to tunes. Fast forward through some tumultuous teen years to 2016, when those friends formed a reggae dance band, the SoulShake. While some of the members left for what the band’s website calls “sensible careers,” two original members, Domenic Bianco and bass player Charlie Sisemore, remain. Together with drummer John Hendricks, they will be delivering their dance beats and positive lyrics at the Spring Fest Block Party on May 7, 1–6 p.m., on Center Street in Hopland. Music starts at 2 p.m. with opening band Weird Year. Admission is free; beer and wine will be available for purchase with proceeds going to the Shanél Valley Academy. See destinationhopland. com for event information and to get a taste of SoulShake’s music. ¶ Paula Samonte Head Start

Lake - Clover Valley respect, andUpper peace

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The Show Goes On


t’s been two years since Soper Reese Theater has hosted a live performance. Now they are breaking the pandemic’s spell with the Lake County Symphony’s Mother’s Day Pops Concert, starring local jazz vocalist Paula Samonte. The afternoon will feature favorites from Broadway classics such as The King and I, The Sound of Music, and Guys and Dolls. The music will fill the air on May 8 at 2 p.m. at the theater in Lakeport. Tickets are $25–$30 and are available at or ¶

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

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