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mendo lake FREE!

November 2021

Shop Local Here’s why

Forever Family

Adoption story

Vaccine Safety Get the facts

Turkey Day Have fun with teens

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.



November 2021

Every Issue 6

Dear Reader


Cooking with Kids Hearty Calzone

10 Features 10 COVID-19 Vaccine Safety UCSF challenges common misconceptions.

12 Local Love Shopping locally serves the community in more ways than one.

14 Thanksgiving with Teens


Bits and Pieces Hop Aboard a Christmas Train A Dickens Christmas Nature in Technicolor

16 Kid Etiquette Picture books teach children about manners.

Dancing Trees Saffron Celebration


Cider Central

18 Forever Family One day the phone rang and everything changed.

22 Crafting with Kids

20 A Home for Every Pet

24 Calendar of Events

How to help a rescue animal.

Pom-Pom Play

28 Humor Break Revenge of the Romper

Why it’s great to hang out with adolescents during the holidays.

8 7 4 MendoLakeFamilyLife

November 2021

Dear Reader


uring Thanksgiving, we pause to recognize our blessings. Katy Sharon Gowan Publisher/Editor Clark is grateful to be celebrating Turkey Day with older kids. “The only nap I have to worry about is my own,” she says. Read her fun “Thanksgiving with Teens” (page 14) and find out seven reasons why it’s great to have adolescents at your dinner table.

“Kid Etiquette” (page 16) for the list. Something that many of us are grateful for is the COVID-19 vaccine. If you’ve been worried about whether or not the vaccine is safe to administer to kids, check out UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Safety” (page 10), which debunks common myths.

Patricia Ramos 707-205-1539

One thing is for sure: We’re grateful for you, our loyal readers.

Production Manager

Happy Thanksgiving!

Marketing/ Sales/Events

Features Editor Melissa Chianta Donna Bogener

Contributing Writers

For younger kids, manners can be a struggle. That’s why Jan Pierce curated a collection of children’s books that teach little ones about what is, and is not, polite. See her

America’s Test Kitchen India Blake Katy M. Clark Jessica Guerrieri Dierdre Littlefield Jan Pierce Sandy Sandler


Billing Jan Wasson-Smith

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



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November 2021

Cooking with Kids

Hearty Calzone Gooey & Filling Family Meal

By America’s Test Kitchen


his calzone is like a warm, day-after-Thanksgiving sandwich you don’t have to wait all year for. Instead of picking through leftovers, mix shredded chicken with dried cranberries (which plump up as they cook) and two kinds of cheese: herband garlic-packed Boursin and tangy, gooey sharp cheddar. Tuck the filling into rounds of store-bought pizza dough (letting it come to room temperature makes it much easier to roll out) and slide them into the oven for a much better than straight-fromthe-fridge leftover sandwich. You’ll need a light dusting of flour to roll out the dough. You can use a store-bought rotisserie chicken here or poach your own chicken breasts. ¶ Reprinted, with permission, from Five Ingredient Dinners (America’s Test Kitchen, 2021),

Thanksgiving-ish Calzones Serves: 4 Total Time: 45 Minutes 1 round pizza dough, room temperature, split into 4 pieces 2 cups shredded cooked chicken 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups) 1 (5.2-ounce) package Boursin Garlic & Fine Herb cheese, crumbled (1 cup) 1/3 cup dried cranberries Staple ingredients: extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush foil with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place one dough piece on clean counter and, using your cupped hand, drag in small circles until dough feels taut and round. Repeat with remaining dough pieces and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Combine chicken, cheddar, Boursin, cranberries, ½ teaspoon pepper,

November 2021

and ¼ teaspoon salt in bowl; set aside. 2. Working on lightly floured counter, press and roll 1 piece of reserved dough (keep remaining pieces covered) into 8-inch round of even thickness. Repeat with remaining dough pieces. Working with 1 dough round at a time (keep remaining pieces covered), spread one quarter of chicken mixture evenly over half of dough round, leaving 1-inch border at edge. Fold top half of dough over filling and crimp edges to seal. Gently transfer to prepared sheet and repeat with remaining dough rounds and filling. 3. Using sharp knife, cut two 1-inch steam vents on top of each calzone, then brush tops evenly with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. 4. Transfer sheet to wire rack and let calzones cool for 5 minutes. Serve.

MendoLakeFamilyLife 7

Bits & Pieces

Hop Aboard a Christmas Train


anta doesn’t always arrive on a sled. Sometimes he likes to travel by rail. His Magical Christmas Train (aka the Skunk Train) will be open to riders November 26– December 23. Departing from Willits and Fort Bragg, the 90-minute round-trip will feature a reading of Skippy the TrainDeer, a goodie bag of holiday treats, and socially distanced visits with Santa. Tickets are $10.95–$52.95 and available at ¶

Magical Christmas Train

A Dickens Christmas


hen Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843, he most likely had no idea that his name would be associated with holiday celebrations for years to come, well past the century in which he lived and wrote. Take, for instance, the annual Dickens Fair Christmas Market in downtown Lakeport. The event pays homage to the author’s era, encouraging Victorian costumes while entertaining revelers with art and food booths, caroling, a sledding hill, hot chocolate, and other holiday festivities. The celebration will be held on November 27, 11 a.m.–6 p.m., with a pet parade at noon, photos with Santa noon–5 p.m., and the town tree lighting at 5:30 p.m. Find out more information at ¶

Nature in Technicolor


Festival of Lights

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very year, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg illuminates its many trees and plants in vibrant, multicolored hues. Called the Festival of Lights, the very popular event runs Fridays–Sundays, November 26–December 19, with three daily shows at 5, 6, and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 or free for ages 16 and younger; time slots must be reserved in advance at ¶

November 2021

Open Air

Dancing Trees


he body says what words cannot,” said renowned choreographer Martha Graham. During this time of global crisis, dancers have not been able “talk” in their language, at least not publically. But Mendocino College artists have found a COVID-19 workaround: outdoor dance installations. At the show, called Open Air, the audience will be invited to walk through four original pieces: Kristen Turner’s balletic work; Dena Watson-Krasts’s Oak Tree installation, Eryn Schon-Brunner’s contemporary in-the-round piece, and the dance fusion collaboration of Jay Haralson and Ari Sunbeam. The performances will be held November 5–7 at 5 p.m. Admission is free. Find out more at ¶

Saffron Celebration

Winter Celebration on the Farm


ungent and golden, saffron was cultivated thousands of years ago in ancient Persia. Today it grows in France, Spain, parts of India, and—wait for it—Kelseyville, at the Peace and Plenty Farm. Curious? Check out the Winter Celebration on the Farm, where saffron gifts and refreshments will be available. And visitors can also stroll through saffron fields and feed the chickens (be on the lookout for the one donning a Santa hat). The event will be held on November 28, 11 a.m.–3 p.m., and is free. Find out more at ¶

Cider Central


he Gowan family has been tending their apple orchards for more than a century. Today, they not only grow apples but also produce award-winning hard cider. During their 145th Anniversary Gravenstein Harvest Festival, they will be serving hard and nonalcoholic cider and food pairings at their three-acre Boonville orchard, where the trees are all dressed up for fall. There’ll be music, too. The outdoor, socially distanced event will be held on November 6, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Flights start at $15. Find out more at ¶

November 2021

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COVID-19 Vaccine Safety UCSF Debunks the Myths

Editor’s note: Many parents wonder about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine. Here, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital addresses vaccine fears. Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for kids? We know that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine is safe and effective for kids ages 12 and up. This is based on data from a clinical trial involving thousands of adolescents. Because most negative effects from this type of vaccine—called an mRNA vaccine— occur within six weeks of receiving the shot, the FDA asked the manufacturer to provide eight weeks of safety data after the last dose. None of the 10 MendoLakeFamilyLife

vaccinated adolescents experienced severe side effects or became infected with COVID-19. Researchers are still studying the vaccine’s safety in kids younger than 12 as well as the safety of other COVID vaccines in people younger than 18. A very small percentage of people may have a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis, to any vaccine, including a COVID-19 vaccine. If anaphylaxis occurs, vaccine providers have medication on hand to treat it immediately. Some parents have expressed concerns about the vaccine. Here

are the facts on a few common misconceptions. Myth: Due to the pandemic’s urgency, COVID vaccines weren’t tested as thoroughly as other medications. Fact: The vaccine manufacturers and the FDA followed all the usual protocols for testing vaccines. Thanks to ample funding and large numbers of clinical trial volunteers, the process was faster than usual, but no steps were skipped. The prevalence of the virus also allowed researchers to complete their studies relatively quickly. Myth: The vaccines are risky for adolescents because their bodies are still developing. Fact: The mRNA vaccines don’t affect hormone levels, and there’s no reason to believe they could impact adolescents’ development or reproductive health, either immediately after vaccination or years later.

November 2021

Myth: The vaccine can cause recipients to shed the virus and infect others. Fact: The COVID vaccines used in the United States don’t contain live virus, so getting vaccinated can’t cause someone to shed the virus. You can’t contract COVID-19 from the vaccine.

• Some kids with COVID develop a dangerous condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C. Since the beginning of the

The vaccine manufacturers and the FDA followed all the usual protocols for testing vaccines.

If kids have a milder response to the coronavirus, why should my child get vaccinated? Although children have a lower risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, it still happens. Consider the following: • As of September 2021, more than 5 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and 555 of them died of it. Nearly 60,000 pediatric COVID patients have been hospitalized in the past year.

pandemic, several thousand children have been diagnosed with MIS-C. About 60 percent to 70 percent of them required intensive care, and about 1 percent to 2 percent died.

Vaccination is highly effective in protecting people from contracting the virus and in preventing serious symptoms in those who do contract COVID. Vaccinating all eligible children and adults is also critical for limiting the spread of COVID-19 to vulnerable family and community members, such as those with underlying conditions that put them at risk of serious illness if they get COVID. Widespread vaccination has the potential to end the pandemic and allow us all to return to school, work, and all the activities we enjoy. ¶ Reprinted with permission from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital,

• We don’t yet know whether infection with COVID-19 has any long-term effects on kids’ health.


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Jobs Locally owned businesses create more local jobs, which are usually stable and embedded in the economy. A local person who starts a business “is less likely to move

Spending money at nonlocal stores is like blowing up a helium balloon that’s destined to float far, far away away and move their headquarters to another area than, say, some business that isn’t invested in the community,” Murray asserts.

Local Love 7 Reasons to Invest in Your Community


uring the holiday season, downtown businesses across the country encourage residents to “go local.” But why is shopping locally so important? We asked Janeen Murray, director of the Sonoma County business cooperative GOLOCAL, to answer that question. Here are her seven reasons for patronizing area businesses.


Local Return Basically this means keeping dollars in the local economy. “When $100 is spent at a locally owned business, more than three times [that amount]…gets reinvested locally,” Murray reveals. For instance, a company may use that $100 to hire a local printer, lawyer, or accountant. When

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that money is spent at a nonlocal business “a large amount of those dollars gets shunted off to the corporate headquarters outside of Sonoma County,” she says. Murray likens spending money at nonlocal stores to blowing up a helium balloon that’s destined to float far, far away.


Community Character “Communities that preserve one-of-a-kind locally owned businesses tend to have a more distinctive character,” Murray explains. And this can actually serve their economies. After all, tourists don’t come to Sonoma County to visit Wal-Mart; they want to stroll through its downtowns and visit its vineyards.


Donations “Locally owned businesses are much more likely to donate to local nonprofits, schools, and community organizations than businesses that aren’t based locally,” Murray says. These financial investments contribute to a community’s well being, increasing the sense of good will between businesses and their neighbors.


Community–Based Decisions Local business owners are more likely to take into account the needs of their communities when they make

November 2021

Celebrating decisions whereas nonlocal owners may only have their businesses’ interests at heart.


Sustainability Shopping at area businesses can decrease the use of fossil fuels. For instance, walking around to different downtown stores uses less gas than driving from one strip mall or big-box store to the next. In addition, Murray notes, local shops tend to offer products that have been made in the area, and that means less fuel used for shipping. Calculate the amount of fuel it takes to ship jewelry crafted in Petaluma to a store in Sebastopol as opposed to jewelry made in China to the same store, and you get the picture.

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Entrepreneurial and Product Diversity Buying local supports a variety of area entrepreneurs, from software developers to farmers. This creates healthy competition and a diverse

Locally owned businesses create more local jobs. selection of products from which the consumer may choose. As businesses grow, more local jobs are created (see number 2). “Buying a locally made soap…helps a local soap maker to increase [her or his] business and hire more people,” who do not have to commute out of the area to have jobs, Murray says. ¶ To find out more about GOLOCAL and its more than 400 participating businesses, go to Visit any participating business to get a GOLOCAL card, which, when used at some businesses, offers rewards to local consumers.

November 2021

MendoLakeFamilyLife 13

they interested in the Thanksgiving menu, but also they’re interested in eating everything we’re having. This is in stark contrast to the Thanksgiving when my son was four

Gone are the days of 5:30 a.m. wakeups to watch Paw Patrol.

Thanksgiving With Teens

7 Ways Older Kids Make the Holidays Great By Katy M. Clark


hanksgiving is a holiday that gets better as the kids get older. Sure, those turkey drawings traced around pudgy preschoolers’ hands were sweet. So was hearing my elementary schooler talk about the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Rock. And watching the little ones dine at the kids’ table at Grandma’s house was adorable, too.

But Thanksgiving with my kids now that they are teenagers? It rocks. Here are seven reasons why. 1. Teens sleep in. Gone are the days of 5:30 a.m. wakeups to watch Paw Patrol or play Candyland. I can sleep in on Thanksgiving or, if I want to get up early to start cooking, I can get up when I’m ready—and not because someone is poking me in the eyeball. 14 MendoLakeFamilyLife

The only nap I have to worry about this year is my own. 2. They care about the menu and like the food. My kids want to know if the stuffing is sweet or savory, and whether I’m serving that green bean casserole they liked so much last year. Not only are

and ate nothing but brown sugar. Now he eats everything on his plate, even items that touch each other! 3. Teens can help out and clean up. Yup, the big kids can be trusted to put Grandma’s lace tablecloth on straight. They can handle the crystal and china with care, light the candles without setting the house on fire, and fold the napkins with sophistication. My teens can also clear the table and do the dishes. Sure, my kids were able to wash the dishes when they were younger, but they also fumbled my wedding china and dinged the gravy boat unless I supervised. 4. The conversation is more meaningful. Celebrating Thanksgiving with teens means I can have meaningful conversations about gratitude. It was cute when they were little and gave thanks for cartoons and their goldfish, but now it’s amazing to hear them voice appreciation for relationships, health, and faith. 5. I can nap again! The only nap I have to worry about this year is my own. While I indulge in some post-turkey shut-eye, I don’t have to worry that my kids are running into the street or licking the electrical

November 2021

mendo lake outlets. Heck, they might even join me in a snooze on the other end of the couch. 6. Teens can stay up late and put themselves to bed. Now that my kids are older, we can watch a movie after dinner and stay up as late as we want. It’s 10 p.m.? Bring it, Home Alone! I don’t have to worry about running a bath, washing hair,

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I don’t have to worry that my kids are running into the street or licking the electrical outlets. reading stories, or doing any of the other steps that used to make up their bedtime routines. Going to bed on Thanksgiving means saying, “Goodnight, I love you!” no matter who falls asleep first. (Okay, it’s me.) 7. It’s a low-key, stress-free holiday. Thanksgiving with teens is relaxed. It’s not Christmas, with its intense build-up and piles of gifts. And it’s not Halloween, with drama over who is too old, or too cool, to go trick-or-treating. It’s Thanksgiving, which means I get to spend the day with the family I love, eating good food, and being grateful for it all. This year as we gather to give thanks, I’m grateful to be celebrating Thanksgiving with teenagers. It doesn’t get any better than that. ¶ This piece originally appeared on Your Teen, Katy M. Clark is a writer who embraces her imperfections as a mom on her blog Experienced Bad Mom,

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Kids and their dog, Vitamin, cover a wide range of manners. You’ve Got Manners by Louise Elerding (Grandy Publications, 2004). Polly Politely and Milton Manners use the alphabet to walk children ages 7–9 through situations requiring good manners.

Children can tune out our reminders and admonitions, but they may respond positively to a story.

Kid Etiquette Good Reads on Good Manners

By Jan Pierce


aising polite and well-mannered children is a challenge. Good manners may be “caught” sometimes, but adults also have the responsibility to teach proper behaviors to kids. We need to be role models.

Once children understand how they are expected to behave, it’s wise to skip the verbal reminders and fall back on outside sources to reinforce skills. In other words, children can tune out our reminders and admonitions, but they may respond positively to a story that encourages the behavior we want to cultivate. Here are some fine resources to use with children of various ages as we encourage proper behaviors and manners. 16 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Table Manners Manners at the Table by Carrie Finn and Chris Lensch (Picture Window Books, 2007). This book’s bright illustrations encourage children ages 4–8 to talk about the polite ways to eat a meal. Soup Should Be Seen, Not Heard! by Beth Brainard (Good Idea Kids, 2012). This chapter book is excellent for very young children as well as primary-aged kids. The Good Idea

Speaking Politely How to Speak Politely and Why by Munro Leaf (Universe, 2005). Not just for children, this updated classic teaches polite speech and correct grammar in a friendly, humorous way. Every Kid’s Guide to Being a Communicator by Joy Berry (Children’s Press, 1987). For ages 6–12, this book is part of a series of 27 living skills books. Richard Scarry’s Please and Thank You Book by Richard Scarry (Random House, 1973). Kids of all ages love Richard Scarry’s busy books, which are full of illustrations and funny characters. Public Behavior Everyday Graces by Karen Santorum (Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2003). This anthology of stories and poems covers a wide variety of good behaviors for young children ages 3 and older.

November 2021

Good Manners in Public by Ann Ingalls (Lightbox, 2017). Written by an elementary and special education teacher, this book helps kids ages 3–7 to focus on respect and consideration of others. Manners at a Friend’s House by Amanda Doering Tourville (Picture Window Books, 2009). How should kids behave at a friend’s home? Do they remove their shoes? How do they know the rules in a different home? This book, for ages 4-8, answers these perplexing questions.

Kids of all ages love Richard Scarry’s busy books. Good Sportsmanship Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Sportsmanship: Winning Isn’t Everything by Howard Binkow (Scholastic, 2011). Part of a series of ten books on sportsmanship, this book features tips to help parents discuss what it means to be a good sport with kids ages 4 and older. The Berenstain Bears Play a Good Game by Jan and Mike Berenstain (Zonderkidz, 2009). This is a great book for ages 4–8. Papa Bear coaches the team, but the other coach just wants to win. Will the little bears learn sportsmanship? ¶

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Jan Pierce, MEd, is a retired teacher and the author of Homegrown Readers and Homegrown Family Fun. Find her at

November 2021

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“You’ll never guess what that was about,” I told the two friends who had joined me at the playground. “Oh run and go get him!” squealed the baby-loving friend, jumping up and down. The other just looked at me, uncertain. Each expressed exactly what I was feeling inside. I rushed home to ask my husband,

The entire process was not easy, but it was definitely worthwhile.

Forever Family A Foster Mother’s Adoption Story

who was mowing the lawn. I have never seen him count so fast, speeding to the age he would be at this newborn’s high school graduation. Then he smiled.

By Dierdre Littlefield

“Of course we can take him,” he said.


We were both scared of how our biological sons would react to this baby. What would we tell them if the little guy had to leave? What if we got too attached? But our fears were not as strong as the desire to give this brand new baby a loving, stable home—whether it ended up being a temporary haven while his mom got well or a forever home.

was a Sunny October afternoon and I was at a playground watching my five-year-old son hang out with his pals when the cell phone rang.

That’s odd, I thought. As foster parents, sometimes we’d get calls requesting overnight housing for a foster child. But this call was from the adoption department. “Sit down,” the social worker said. What is going on? “Can you take a one-week-old baby? In an hour?” Um…what?! The baby, who had been born substance-exposed, was six weeks premature and weighed just four pounds. The worker had called 18 MendoLakeFamilyLife

We were both scared of how our biological sons would react. me in hopes that I could care for him while his mom got healthy. If his mom didn’t improve, then the baby would stay with us and have a luxury that very few children in foster care experience—one placement. Fear gripped my chest. “I have to talk to my husband,” I said, hanging up the phone.

We decided to jump in and let faith lead the way. Within the hour, that beautiful baby was delivered to our door. He was tiny and frail, but oh-so perfect. Our home was suddenly filled with so many emotions; the love we felt was immediate, overwhelming, and contagious.

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He was my third baby but it felt so different and scary because he didn’t actually belong to me. And, I felt totally unprepared. My sister and I even had to google how much food to feed a preemie. The social worker had brought me some diapers and a can of formula, and his biological mom had sent a few outfits along with his bottle. I managed to dig out my portable crib. But that was all we had.

Neighbors, friends, and acquaintances had heard of this precious new baby and dropped off everything he needed: diapers and wipes, onesies and clothes,

The next morning I woke up with the intention of doing some new-baby shopping but was met with a surprise I could not imagine.

a carrier, and even a carriage. I was embarrassed accepting these gifts, especially since I was unsure whether or not I would be able to keep the baby.

“Oh my goodness!” My eyes widened at what was before me.

He was my third baby but it felt so different and scary because he didn’t actually belong to me.

“This baby deserves the best!” many assured me. And they let me know

that these were not gifts for me but for him—whether he stayed in our town or not. This still brings tears to my eyes as I remember it. I will forever be grateful for the love and help my community extended to me that first week. The entire experience was not an easy process, but it was definitely worthwhile. Almost four years later, we did adopt that little boy. Now he is a mischievous, capable, funny young man who we cannot imagine our lives without. The lessons he has taught my family and me are endless, just like our love for him. ¶ Dierdre Littlefield is a mother and freelance writer and blogger.

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MendoLakeFamilyLife 19


adding a new furry family member, there are plenty of other ways to support local animal shelters. Fostering Shelters and rescue centers are always in need of foster homes for pets. There is no such thing as a perfect foster home and, of course, there are many things to consider before signing up for this type of responsibility. However,

Shelters and rescue centers are always in need of foster homes for pets.

A Home forHow to Help Every Pet Shelter Animals

fostering gives a rescue animal the opportunity to get out of a cage and experience what life is like in a home, even a temporary one. If you have experience taking care of a pet, and your heart is open, fostering can make a huge difference for the animal, and potentially for your family as well.

By India Blake


have a wonderful German Shepard I adopted from an animal shelter when she was a pup. I named her Gypsy because she went through quite a journey before we met. When the volunteers at the rescue told me what they knew of her story, it broke my heart. The experience even inspired me to write a children’s book, Gypsy to the Rescue.

If you are not ready to foster, consider transporting rescued animals to their foster homes. Transportation can be a limited resource for shelters and rescue centers. By providing a safe ride to a foster home, you are helping an animal to avoid indefinite placement in an overpopulated shelter. It may seem like a simple act of kindness but becoming an animal transporter can be a huge help.


Adoption should be a solution to animal homelessness. Unfortunately, there are too many unwritten stories about animals that are rescued and then returned to shelters. Luckily, compassionate animal advocates 20 MendoLakeFamilyLife

manage most animal shelters and rescue centers. They give love to the pets they house—love that these animals may have never experienced. If your home is not ready for a pet, or you’re still on the fence about

Volunteering Shelters and rescue centers are safe, controlled environments where kid

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volunteers can learn more about animals and how to take care of them. (Typically, there is an age requirement to volunteer with animals; so call and find out what it is.) Volunteering could include dog walking, animal socialization, or cleaning and kennel maintenance. Donating Rescues and local shelters always welcome generous gifts of time, money, and/or resources. A few of the most common items that most shelters will accept are: towels, leashes, toys, brushes, beds, food and dishes, cleaning supplies, and newspapers. Most animal shelters even have Amazon wish lists so you can order what they need and have it shipped directly to their facilities.

By helping your local shelters, rescue centers, and foster families, you can play an integral part in providing a better life for innocent animals in need. Gypsy’s courage

If you are not ready to foster, consider transporting rescued animals to their foster homes. and ability to trust humans after all that she has been through is admirable and rare. Not every dog has as much fortitude as Gypsy, but all shelter and rescue dogs deserve the chance to find their happily-ever-after. ¶

For more information about adopting an animal in Mendocino County, go to, mendocinocounty. org/government/adoptable-animals; in Lake County, go to Directory/Animal_Care_ And_Control.htm. India Blake is an award-winning photographer, writer, and animal advocate. Her work includes Before the Curtain Goes Up, a photographic journey behind the scenes of small-town theaters, and Captured, which combines her two greatest loves, photography and poetry. Captured has earned the Indie Excellence Award, Reader’s Digest Critics’ Pick, and praise from Joy Williams, Joyce Carol Oates, and Kirkus Reviews. Gypsy to the Rescue is India’s first children’s book. Visit for more information.

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Crafting with Kids

PomPom Play

Make an Acorn Mobile By Sandy Sandler


elebrate autumn with this acorn pom-pom mobile. Makes a great display piece for your home.

Here are the supplies that you’ll need: • 10 acorn caps • Small branch 9–12 inches in length

3. If you can’t find the color pom-poms you want, color white pom-poms with markers to get fall hues. 4. Thread the needle with a 20-inch length of yarn. Thread an acorn cap onto the yarn.

• Large sharp needle • 10 pom-poms in fall colors • Five 20-inch lengths of thread, twine, or yarn • One 24-inch length of thread, twine, or yarn

5. Tie a knot on the inside of the acorn cap.

• Liquid glue Let’s make the Acorn Pom-Pom Mobile. 1. Gather acorn caps and small branch. Store these in the freezer for a couple days to kill any beasties. 2. Pierce a small hole in the center of the acorn cap. You can use a small hand drill; an awl; an ice pick; a large, sharp needle; or a slender nail and hammer. 22 MendoLakeFamilyLife

6. Repeat with another acorn cap at the other end of the yarn. 7. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 with the remaining 20-inch lengths of yarn. 8. Add glue to the inside of the acorn caps.

9. Glue a pom-pom to the inside of the acorn caps. 10. Attach the acorn pom-poms to the branch. Either wrap the yarn around the branch a couple times or tie in place. 11. To hang the acorn pom-pom mobile, tie the ends of the 24-inch length of yarn to the ends of the branch. 12. Enjoy autumn!! ¶ Sandy Sandler is the creator of Bowdabra. Her frugal, green, family-friendly craft projects are designed to transform the creatively challenged into creative pros. Find out more at

November 2021

Anyone impacted by wildfires in Lake County can receive free referral support, group support, and one-on-one crisis intervention by reaching out to 707.360.0547 or Peer workshop appointments are available.

November 2021

MendoLakeFamilyLife 23


Calendar of Events

All Dolled Up


ids of all ages and genders love dolls. And at the Santa Rosa Doll and Toy Show there will be many to choose from, including antique, vintage, modern, and miniature dolls. The annual event will be held on November 7, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m., at the Santa Rosa Veterans Hall in Santa Rosa. Admission is a donation to the Living Room, a Santa Rosa shelter for women and children. Parking is free. Find out more at ¶

Monday 1 FREE Traveling Toy Library. Hosted

each month in various locations throughout the Redwood Coast Regional Center (RCRC). Families & RCRC providers are able to check out toys & materials for kids ages 0–5. Sponsored by Easterseals of Northern California. Email earlyinterventionreferrals@esnorcal. org for locations & info. FREE Perinatal (Pregnancy & Postpartum) Mood Support for Moms. Support groups held every

day of the week at various times. Sponsored by Postpartum Support International (PSI). Register: FREE Youth Fall Art Show. Bring original fall artwork to the library by Nov. 20 & receive a participation prize. All art will be displayed at the Youth Fall Art Show beginning Nov. 23. The theme is Trees & Leaves. Fort Bragg Library. 499 E. Laurel St., Fort Bragg.

24 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Tuesday 2 FREE Virtual Pride Club for Teens. Teens discuss books & other

Theater. 1000 Hensley Creek Rd., Ukiah. FREE Virtual Toddlertime.

media that showcase queer voices & experiences. Ages 13–18. Sponsored by the Sonoma County Library. Tuesdays. 4 p.m. Registration required: events.

Mendocino County librarians present stories, songs & rhymes on Facebook Live. Ages 18 mos.–3 yrs. Fridays. 10:30–11 a.m. ukiahlibrary.

Friday 5

FREE Online Friday Storytime. All ages. Stories, discussion & more. Fridays. 2–2:30 p.m. roundvalleypubliclibrary.

FREE Makers Faire & Open Mic.

Bring instruments. 4–8 p.m. Open mic starts at 5:30 p.m. Middletown Art Center. 21456 Hwy. 175, Middletown. FREE Storytime in the Park.

Participants must register & receive a confirmation before being allowed to attend storytime. Masks & social distancing required. Fridays: 10:15–11:15 a.m. Library Park. 200 Park St., Lakeport. Registration required: FREE Open Air. A series of 4 original

outdoor dance installations performed by Mendocino College students. Bring a blanket or a folding chair. Masks & social distancing required. Nov. 5–7. 5 p.m. Mendocino College CVPA

Saturday 6 FREE Annual Crafters’ Fair.

Crafts, bake sale & raffle. 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Kelseyville Presbyterian Church. 5340 3rd St., Kelseyville. FREE Storytelling in Waldorf Education. For adults only,

specifically those interested in Shade Canyon School (especially parents of kids ages 8 & younger). Early childhood educator Kristen Kuhn will offer an immersive experience in storytelling. Free childcare. RSVP to reserve spot:

November 2021

145th Anniversary Gravenstein Harvest Festival. Listen to music &

sample award-winning hard ciders. Walk through 3 acres of beautiful apple orchards in full fall foliage. Flights start at $15. Nonalcoholic cider available. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Gowan’s Apple Orchards. 6420 Hwy. 128, Philo (1/4 mile north of Gowan’s Apple Stand).

Sunday 7 FREE First Fiddlers’ Jam. Listen

to fiddle tunes played by members of the Northern California Old Time Fiddlers Group. Noon–2 p.m. Ely Stage Stop & Country Museum. 9921 Soda Bay Rd. (Hwy. 128), Kelseyville.

Living Room, a women’s & children’s day shelter. 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Santa Rosa Veterans Hall. 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa. santarosadollshow.

Sunday 14 Brickpalooza. A huge exhibition

FREE A Deeper Dive Into Car Ownership Workshop. Virtual series

of Lego art, play areas & hands-on activity booths. $10–$30. Ages 3 & younger: free. Parking: $10. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Placer Valley Event Center @ The Grounds. 700 Event Center Dr., Roseville.

presented by Mendocino Public Library. Topics include tune-ups, transmission fluid & more. Taught by Chaya Milchtein of Mechanic Shop Femme. 2:30–4 p.m. E-mail carrm@ to sign up.

Outdoor Fall Arts & Crafts Bazaar.

FREE Fall Take & Make Craft Bags. Available beginning Nov.

Rain date: Nov. 21. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Harwood Park. Laytonville.

Saturday 20

Santa Rosa Doll Show & Sale.

Antique, vintage, modern & miniature dolls. Admission is a donation to the

on big screen. Take home popcorn & jelly beans. Event included in price of admission ($5–$12, or free for ages 3 & younger). 1–4 p.m. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa.

Thanksgiving Feast with Snoopy.

View A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

20, while supplies last. Fort Bragg Library. 499 E. Laurel St., Fort Bragg. FREE Dog Man: The Musical.

One-hour virtual performance

GIVE A CIDER GIFT SET Or Club Membership

November 2021

MendoLakeFamilyLife 25

presented by TheaterWorksUSA. Runs all day. Nov. 20 & 21.

Sunday 21 FREE Music of Hadyn. Lake County

Symphony virtual concert, featuring pianist Camm Linden playing Piano Concerto No. 11. 2 p.m. Access via Lake County Symphony YouTube channel: LC Symphony Musicians.

Thursday 25 Thanksgiving Dinner at the Blue Wing. Traditional turkey with

trimmings plus a variety of other offerings. Sittings are at 1, 3 & 5 p.m. Blue Wing Restaurant. 9520 Main St., Upper Lake. Reservations: 275-2233.

Open daily: 11 a.m.–4 p.m. (except Christmas Day). Runs thru Dec. 30. Gualala Arts Center. 46501 Old State Hwy., Gualala.

Friday 26 Magical Christmas Train. Featuring children’s storybook reading & socially distanced visits with Santa. 90-minute round-trip. $10.95–$52.95. Departures from Willits & Fort Bragg. Runs thru Dec. 23. 299 E. Commercial St., Willits. 100 W. Laurel St., Fort Bragg.

Sunday 28 FREE Winter Celebration on the Farm. Refreshments & farm-grown

gifts. Feed the chickens & spot one in a Santa hat. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Peace & Plenty Farm. 4550 Soda Bay Rd., Kelseyville.

Annual Festival of Lights. Thru

Dec. 19. Garden plants illuminated with holiday lights. $10. Ages 16 & under: free. Masks required indoors & outdoors. Dogs not allowed. Fridays– Sundays. 5–7 p.m. Runs thru Dec. 19. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. 18220 Hwy. 1, Fort Bragg. Reservations required: FREE Gualala Arts’ Winter Wonderland. Arts & crafts show.

Tuesday 30 FREE Dickens Christmas Market.

Art & food booths, sledding hill & more. Victorian costumes encouraged. 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Pet Parade: noon. Photos with Santa: noon–5 p.m. Tree lighting: 5:30 p.m. Downtown Lakeport.

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November 2021





Humor Break getting them dressed—contortions and all—is how I show I care about them. But for them, it’s a fight for their very souls (or so it would seem).

Revenge of the Romper A Snapshot of Kindergarten Rebellion

By Jessica Guerrieri


ecoming a parent ultimately boils down to history repeating itself—I’m talking bittersweet karmic retribution.

I grew up in the simpler yester-year, before social media, when mothers didn’t feel the need to one-up their junior high nemeses in Instagram games of Whose Family Looks the Best in Matching Holiday Flannel. When my own mother dressed my sister and me, she did so because it brought her joy. She’d take care and pride in putting together coordinating, often hand-stitched, outfits for us. Until I wanted a say in the matter, of course. It was kindergarten picture day—I still remember it vividly. My mom wanted me to wear a brightly colored, classic eighties romper. I did not. It was the first, but certainly not the last, time we 28 MendoLakeFamilyLife

argued over an outfit. In the end, my mother won. Little did she know that I had thoughtfully plotted my revenge: an epic, grumpy, camera-ready pout. My photo looked like a child’s version of a mug shot. So I was first in line for retakes. And—wait for it—I got to wear an outfit of my choosing! Now that I have three strong-willed girls of my own, I have a different perspective on that picture-day power struggle. Since the moment they were born, my girls have regarded getting dressed as the ultimate form of torture. With every attempt to put legs in pants or arms in shirts, they contort their bodies like performers ready to audition for Cirque du Soleil. (As both of their parents stand more than six-feet tall, a future in dancing or any other dainty art is not likely.) For me,

When it comes to picture day attire, things like coordinating colors and matching patterns are about as relevant to my girls as finishing their brussels sprouts and kale. Don’t get me wrong; with the proper amount of cajoling and bribery, e.g. cupcakes or lollipops, we can stage the ultimate family photo. However, this isn’t a war I have the stamina to endure on the regular. A fashion fight on photo day is one thing but going into combat every single school morning? I don’t think so. I’d much prefer to save my energy for those teen battles that yield profound, soul-shaking revelations. For now, I’m content that our girls show us their passion in the form of vegetable and romper protests. It’s our job to create boundaries, and their job to push up against them. And as for that picture-day fight so long ago? I understand that, for my mom, it had nothing to do with trying to control my choices. But, rather, the outfit was an expression of her love and respect for me—and herself. She wanted to see her kids look their best, a simple joy that she dutifully deserved after so many years of caring for and comforting us. Of course, at five, I didn’t grok the complexities and sacrifices of the maternal role. But now, at 36, I do. And I can tell you, I’m forever grateful for the gifts of a mother’s love—rompers included. ¶ Jessica Guerrieri is a mom and a freelance writer/blogger. Find her at and on Instagram @ witandspitup.

November 2021

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ince time immemorial, artists have created gifts for celebrations. The practice continues at area holiday craft fairs, where vendors will offer a variety of handmade items—everything from cookies and cutting boards to jewelry and paintings. On November 5, 4–8 p.m., the Middletown Art Center in Middletown will host its monthly Makers Faire and Open Mic; on November 6, 9 a.m.–3 p.m., the annual Crafters’ Fair will be held at the Kelseyville Presbyterian Church in Kelseyville; and on November 14, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., the Outdoor Fall Arts and Crafts Bazaar will be held at Harwood Park in Laytonville. See the Calendar of Events on page 24 for more holiday activities. ¶

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ranz Joseph Hadyn composed more than 1,000 works before his death in 1809. The Piano Concerto No. 11, published in 1784, was his last composition for keyboard. Originally composed for piano, oboes, horns, and strings, it is now mostly performed on solo piano. However, on November 21 at 2 p.m., pianist Camm Linden will perform the piece with the wind section of the Lake County Symphony. The free concert will be accessible via the symphony’s YouTube Channel, LC Symphony Musicians. For details, go to ¶

November 2021

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