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mendo lake December 2013

Ultimate Guide to the

Holidays Guide to Local

Fun & Gifts Ideas Best Family Events Calendar Critical Questions:

Boys, Toys & Guns

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Dec. 7 at 7pm & Dec. 8 at 2pm: Cotton Auditorium, Fort Bragg

Dec. 7 at 7pm & Dec. 8 at 2pm: Cotton Auditorium, Fort Bragg

Dec. 20 at 7pm, Dec. 21 at 2pm & 7pm, & Dec. 23 at 2 pm: Mendocino College Center Theatre Tickets: Adults - $20 Seniors over 65 - $18 Under 18- $10 “Where Dreams to Dance Come True!”

Mendocino Ballet

2 MendoLakeFamilyLife


Dec. 20 at 7pm, Dec. 21 at 2pmlearn & That all Waldorf grades students 7pm, & Dec. 23instruments at 2 pm: to play 3 to 4 musical Mendocino College Center Theatre


Holiday Fair

Tickets: Adults - $208th, 11am-5pm • Ukiah Fairgrounds December Seniors over 65 - $18 The Under 18- $10


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December 2013


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December 2013


Feature Stories

8 Boys Toys Guns

What Parents Must Know Now.

12 The Latest on Health Care Reform The latest on Medi-Cal expansion and more.

14 History & Tradition Alive in Lower Lake Lower Lake Historic Schoolhouse Museum hosts their annual sing-along and preserves history.

16 10 Ways To Keep The Hush In Your Holiday Rush Great ideas to keep you calm and joyful during a stressful season.

18 Good Holiday Ex-Etiquette Keep the holidays happy even while dealing with your ex.

18 14

22 Sparkling Holiday Events Find the most festive holiday events in your area.

Every Issue 6

Dear Readers

20 Calendar of Events


It Figures

29 Classifieds


Bits and Pieces

30 Humor

High School Math Competition New Learning Resource Center 4 MendoLakeFamilyLife

December 2013

Own Your Own Business

WORK AT HOME • CHOOSE YOUR OWN HOURS • WORK WITH CHILDREN • Free Training and other great incentives for attending fun workshops. • Child Care Assistance for low income eligible families.

It Figures By Cynthia Washam

• Free Child Care Referrals.

Holiday Hodgepodge of homes Santa More than Number would have to visit per

800 $ 46 27 1962 2004 1 Million 80 180

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Rural Communities Child Care

second Christmas Eve to hit every one in the world. Average amount pet owners spend on Christmas gifts for their four-legged friends.

Percent who have their dog’s or cat’s photo taken with Santa Claus. Year the U.S. Postal Service issued its first Christmas stamp. Year the U.S. Postal Service issued its first Hanukkah stamp. Number of Jewish-Christian interfaith

couples in the U.S.

Percent of interfaith families who exchange Christmas presents. Number of Barbie dolls sold worldwide every minute.

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December 2013

MendoLakeFamilyLife 5

Dear Reader

Sharon Gowan Publisher/Editor

Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to the Holidays! You’ll discover some great events, activities and ideas to make your holidays less stressful, and more festive, joyful and fun!

Want to know more late breaking events and news? Sign up for our enewsletter to get our editor’s picks for weekend family fun?

useful information here that can help keep your family safe. It’s a strange juxtaposition, I suppose: toy replica guns; peace, joy and goodwill.

Office Manager

As all of our staff here have worked on this final 2013 issue, we couldn’t help but think of all that 2013 has brought us; monthly issues, weekly enewsletters, community events. And the wonderful opportunities that we’ve had to connect with you, from on facebook to face-to-face community events.

There are some more changes to health care, coming. Get signed up ASAP, especially if you qualify for subsidies or support. That can start as early as January.

And we can’t help but feel blessed and honored to have been welcomed into your family home. You’ve entrusted us with your email, relied on us for help and guidance, and shared your thoughts and ideas. You keep us informed, connected and smiling.

The joy and warmth of the holiday season is tempered this year, in the wake of 14-year old Andy Lopez’s death, who was killed when a police office mistook his replica gun for a real assault rifle.

Our grass roots family magazine is first and foremost a community magazine that thrives because of your support, and we are honored and thankful. And there’s nothing we like better than hearing from you.

Since then, parents have been asking important thought-provoking questions, and interesting approaches. We have collected them here in hopes that there may be some

All of us here at Family Life wish you and your family the most wonderful holidays. And a happy healthy New Year.

Patricia Ramos

Business Marketing Renee Nutcher Karlon Baker Jolie Cook

Features Editor Ann Ingraham

Production Manager Donna Bogener

Marketing Jordan Lewis

Calendar Patricia Ramos

Contributing Writers Jordan Lewis Denise Rockenstein Christina Katz Denise Yearian Bull Garlington Cynthia Washam

Is your Home Ready for the Holidays?

Billing Jan Wasson-Smith Publishing Office 100 Professional, Center Dr., #104 Rohnert Park, CA 94928 Tel 707-586-9562 Fax 707-586-9571


Celebrate Your Local ties

(707) 462-1554 • 300 Hastings Ave • Ukiah • 6 MendoLakeFamilyLife

December 2013

in a promotion that hits home

Bits & Pieces

High School Math Competition


he Mathematics Department at Mendocino College has announced that the college will host two math competitions designed for local high school students. The competitions, known as the American Mathematics Competition or AMC 10 and AMC 12, are open to students in Lake or Mendocino Counties. Both the AMC 10 and the AMC 12 are 75 minutes in length and have 25 multiple-choice questions that focus on problem-solving skills.

The AMC 10 (for students in grade 10 and below) contains problems that can be understood and solved with algebra and geometry concepts. The AMC 12 (for students in grade 12 and below) contains problems that can be understood and solved with pre-calculus concepts. The AMC 10 is the first in the series of competitions leading to the USA Team at the International Mathematical Olympiad. Students who rank in the top 25 percent nationally will qualify for the American Invitational Mathematics Exam (AIME). The USA Mathematical Olympiad and the USA Junior Mathematical Olympiad qualifiers are selected from the top performing students on the AIME. All middle and high school students are encouraged to register for the competition. The registration deadline for both the AMC 10 and AMC 12 is Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. Students are encouraged to register for one or both competitions. Forms have been sent to area high schools and may also be obtained by contacting Leslie Banta, assistant professor of mathematics, at The registration fee is $5 per participant for each competition. Âś

New Learning Resource Center


fter two years of planning, relocating, and construction, the newly renovated Yuba College Library/Learning Resources Center in Marysville is scheduled to reopen in January 2014. This library is the third in a series of new libraries for Yuba College, including a new library at Yuba College Clearlake completed less than two years ago and a new library at the Yuba College Sutter County Center in Yuba City completed last year, all made possible by the Proposition 39 Bond, also known as Measure J. Yuba College librarian Elena Heilman says that she loves how welcoming and beautiful the new Yuba College Library will be and how comfortable the new furniture is for students to work in. She is also excited about offering group study rooms. The footprint of the new Learning Resources Center is the same, but the interior is dramatically different. The new Learning Resources Center will house the library with 24,000 books, a college success center, a tutoring center, computer and journalism and study labs, faculty offices, an instructional television studio, and a distance learning area. Âś

December 2013

MendoLakeFamilyLife 7

Critical Questions

Boys Toys & Guns


t was a late summer afternoon in 1995 when that emergency

call came in to 911. A frightened

homeowner had spotted a number of men with a lot of guns sneaking

through the creek bed near Brush

Creek in Santa Rosa. As new police officer, recently married, I was part of over a dozen officers dispatched to the scene. We staged our squad cars some distance away and slipped into the brush, guns drawn and ready to fire. We caught glimpses of assault rifles and high powered hand guns, even grenades. “Police. You’re surrounded. Drop your weapons now!” 8 MendoLakeFamilyLife

When the young men in the creek bed near Brush Creek dropped their weapons, we were able to get closer. Only when we had collected the weapons could we tell they were replicas, very dangerous situation.

So Why Are Kids So Into Guns Anyway? They see guns in their world in places we adults don’t even notice them, such as TV, ads, movie posters, books, friends’ play, video games, and so on. Children want to imitate or act out what they see in order to process it. This is very normal. Children have been doing this as long as they have had sticks to play with. Researchers suggest that good guys versus bad guys battle play is how boys explore justice and injustice, power and responsibility.

creek bed, moving quietly among the

Finally we were in position.

Across the country and in our own back yards, kids with realistic replica guns cross paths with officers, sometimes with deadly consequences. In the wake of the tragic death of Andy Lopez, parents are wondering how to handle an interest in guns in the context of their family’s values, and keep everyone safe. Even the best parenting can’t eliminate every risk for our children. But understanding the basis for aggressive play, the magnetic appeal of guns, and the social aspect of toy gun play, can help families navigate what may prove to be life-or-death decisions.

Recent Stanford University Medical Center research found that aggressive, action-oriented video games activate the reward center in men’s brains much more than in women’s, which likely explains boys’ and men’s propensity for risky, action-oriented behavior, and the attraction to gun play. And why Moms have a harder time understanding this appeal than dads do. .

December 2013

Is Gun Play OK?

Shooting Games: Tweens and Teens


How realistic can the guns look? Squirt Guns? Nerf Guns? Star Wars shooters? Airsoft ‘replica’ guns?

For many parents, it depends. Consider these questions to help craft your family’s approach to this evolving, complex issue.

Captain Craig Schwartz of the Santa Rosa Police Department points out that it can be difficult for trained professionals to distinguish between real guns and replicas. “We regularly see replicas used in crimes, or with criminal intent, like to intimidate victims. We have also seen real guns painted bright colors to make them look like toys. If it’s hard for professionals to determine, it may be impossible for a kid to know the difference.”


Are toy guns ok? Some parents prefer no guns, period. If their kids want to play cops and robbers they can use sticks. But often parents report that banning guns has been less effective than they had hoped.


Can toy guns be pointed at a person? This is an interesting question, because two polar opposite groups of parents agree. Anti-gun parents and hunter-parents are united on this one: no gun should ever be pointed at a person, even toy guns.


What if you’re in a game? Maybe it’s cops and robbers, Star Wars Storm Troopers, or war games. Some say, “Yes, as long as they’re in the game. But as soon as someone doesn’t want to be in the game, the game stops.”


How much exposure to gun violence will you allow? According to Common Sense Media, by the time your youngster is 10, he will have seen an estimated 100,000 murders on TV. By the time he graduates high school that number will have doubled. And it doesn’t include interactive first-person shooter games, where the gamer is pulling the trigger.


Do you know the laws? San Francisco has outlawed Airsoft guns, as have New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Arkansas. California has set a minimum age of 18 years to use or sell Airsoft weapons, unless parents have approved. Federal law makes no distinction between brandishing a replica gun or a real gun: the criminal charge and potential jail time are the same. Recently, during an otherwise peaceful protest, a known gang member stood on a street corner in Santa Rosa, showing what looked like a real gun to passing motorists. The gun was made of metal, with the same weight, and all the working controls of a real gun. It was intended to look and feel exactly like the real thing, an HK USP Compact duty gun issued to police officers. He was arrested.


How will the replica gun be transported? Federal law requires that all Airsoft guns transported in the US must display a 6mm-wide orange plastic tip on the barrel. But experts say this may not always help police officers recognize it as a replica. “Depending on where the gun is pointed, and the lighting, and the speed that an event is happening, the orange tip may not be seen,” says Schwartz.


Are war games with replica guns allowed? War games should be played in enclosed, non-public spaces. In September, two 7th-graders in Virginia were given long-term suspensions from school for playing with green Zombie Hunter (non-realistic Airsoft guns) in their front yard, even though they were on private property, because their game was too close to the school bus stop. One law enforcement expert regularly reminds his son exactly what to do if an officer ever orders him to drop a replica weapon: “Drop it. Don’t do anything but put your hands straight up, with your fingers spread, and say loudly, ‘It’s a toy!’ Don’t try to show it, turn it, explain or move at all.” December 2013

MendoLakeFamilyLife 9


Could someone outside of a game think it’s real? If so, the players should make other plans, or at least inform neighbors what they’re doing,” says Schwartz.

10 11

Can they post pictures of their war games online? Does everyone playing follow this rule, too?

Do you see toy guns as an opportunity to teach “real gun” safety? You may want to teach younger children these four safety rules if they see a real gun: 1)Stop. 2) Don’t Touch. 3)Leave the Area. 4)Tell an Adult.

Share the Magic!

However, parents should realize that teaching these four steps doesn’t ensure that they will be followed. In a recent study, 90% of parents underestimated their child’s interest in and attraction to real guns. That’s a critical piece of information, since one out of every three homes with a child has a real gun. A majority of these homes store guns and ammo safely, but 40% have an unlocked and loaded gun. Most parents think that their children don’t know where they hide the gun, but 8 out of 10 first-graders say they do know. According to the American Pediatrics Association, the best way to protect children from gun accidents is to remove all guns from the home.


How will you know if your teen becomes curious about real guns? This is an area that is much more difficult for parents who are uncomfortable with guns. As with driving and sex education, you may prefer that your child get information from sources you approve rather than leave it to chance. Check with the local Park and Rec Department, Police Department, Boy Scouts, or shooting ranges. Is there a mentor who can answer questions? Captain Schwartz suggests that junior high students in the Santa Rosa City Schools can ask the SRPD officer assigned to their school.

Use these questions as a starting point to define an approach that melds reality, your family’s values, and the safety of all our children. ¶

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Ultimate Guide

Holidays to the

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The Latest on Health Care Reform By Ann Ingraham

Health plans are sending cancellation letters to people in Californians who buy their own coverage, frustrating some consumers who want to keep what they have and forcing some to buy new more expensive policies. But, Obama recently announced that his administration will give insurers the option to extend existing health plans in the small-group and individual market through 2014 allowing some consumers to re-enroll in their plans.

Thousands of Consumers Get Insurance Cancellation Notices, Some May Now Re-enroll

The main reason insurers offer for canceling policies is that the policies cancelled fall short of what the Affordable Care Act requires starting January 1st. The law requires policies sold through Covered California to cover ten “essential” 12 MendoLakeFamilyLife

benefits, including prescription drugs, mental health treatment and maternity care. In addition, insurers cannot reject people with medical problems or charge them higher

Cancellations raise concerns that companies may be targeting their most costly enrollees. prices. The policies must also cap consumers’ annual out of pocket expenses at levels lower than many plans sold before the new rules. Consumer advocates say such cancellations raise concerns that companies may be targeting their most costly enrollees. Insurers deny that, saying they are encouraging existing customers to re-enroll in their new plans. Some receiving cancellations say it looks like their costs will go up. ¶

December 2013

In California, Medi-Cal 1.4 adults Expansion under 65 are in California newly eligible for Medi-Cal. California has opted to expand Medi-Cal to all adults up to age 65 within the income limit, whether they have children or not. A family of four that makes less than $32,500 and individuals making less than $15,860 are now eligible for Medi-Cal.

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Undocumented immigrants are eligible for Medi-Cal services, including (but not limited to) emergency medical services, prenatal care, pregnancy-related services, nursing home care, and limited breast and cervical cancer treatments.

Looking for a doctor? Meet Dr. Sarah Alvord.

Dr. Alvord works with Dr. Guy Teran and a talented team of providers in our beautiful new Adult Medicine building.

The federal government will pay all medical costs for the newly-eligible Medi-Cal enrollees from 2014 to 2016 and no less than 90 percent in future years, according to the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. The federal government has also boosted funding to community health centers and increased rates paid to primary care physicians who accept Medi-Cal in preparation for the growing number of newly insured people who will be seeking care in 2014. For more information, in Mendocino County, check out healthymendocino. org or call Mendocino County Health and Human Services at 707.463.5437. For more information, in Lake County, check out or call 800.628.5288. ¶

• We accept Medi-Cal, Medicare, Partnership & other insurance • Learn all about Dr. Alvord by scanning the QR code on her photo.

Medical • Dental Behavioral Health

707-468-1010 | | 333 Laws Ave., Ukiah December 2013

MendoLakeFamilyLife 13

History & Tradition

Alive in Lower Lake

By Denise Rockenstein


ome one! Come all! And celebrate the spirit of the season during the annual Tree Lighting and Holiday Open House at the Lower Lake Historic Schoolhouse Museum.

Guests, young and old, will gather around the museum's antique player piano for a traditional sing-a-long and enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas event, hosted by the Lower Lake Historic Schoolhouse Preservation Committee (LLHSPC), 6 p.m. Dec. 13 at 16435 Main Street in Lower Lake.

The LLHSPC reveled in twenty years of preservation and renovation earlier this year. Guests are invited to peruse the museum's vast collection of artifacts illustrating life in Lake County throughout more than a century while partaking in a tradition of new. Lower Lake Elementary School kindergarten students have been 14 MendoLakeFamilyLife

decorating the Christmas tree each year for more than a decade. "History and tradition are very much alive here at the Lower Lake Historic Schoolhouse Museum," Dwain Goforth, museum assistant, said. The building was built in 1877 and served a district population of 1,000 residents. Electricity and running water were not available during the time in which classes were held. The nine-foot windows supplied ample light during the day and oil lamps lit the classrooms on dark days and during evening events. The upstairs auditorium served as a community center and held events

such as meetings, funerals, plays, traveling shows, and graduations. With the advent of motion pictures, silent films were shown. Now named Weaver Auditorium, the venue commemorates the dedication and efforts of Jane Weaver and her late husband, John, who were instrumental in the formation of the LLHSPC, which rallied to save the building from demolition. "It's so nice to see so many people here and enjoying this building," Jane Weaver said during the 20th anniversary celebration held in October. The building remained a schoolhouse until 1935 when it was purchased, and then remodeled, by the Masonic Lodge. Sometime during the 1960s, the Masons traded the schoolhouse for a parcel of county property. The

December 2013


building was leased to the Grange for some time, during which little maintenance was done. The upper story of the building became nesting grounds for pigeons and bats. In 1986, efforts to preserve the building were launched. Formal dedication of the building was held on Oct. 21, 1993 just a year after starting renovations on the interior. Restoration improvements since 1993 include the addition of a two-story side building for storage use on the first floor, restroom accommodations on the second floor, and an elevator. In 2007, restoration of the bell tower, which was damaged in the 1906 earthquake, was completed. Landscaping improvements were also made. The museum hosts a collection of pioneer, early settler, and American Indian artifacts. Stories tell of outlaws, homesteaders, journeys, and progression. A restored classroom revisits school days from long ago and a Victorian parlor serves as a place to gather around the antique player piano. Outside stands a burl of El Roble Grande, which fell four miles south of Lower Lake during a fierce storm in 1952. At the time, the Valley Oak was believed to be the largest in California, having grown to a height of more than 200 feet with a trunk diameter of 11.7 feet. Regular visiting hours at the museum are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. For more information call 995-3565 or email at ¶

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Youth Center Lake County Youth Services is a non profit program serving the youth ages 7 thru 17.

WE ARE NOW TAKING APPLICATIONS FOR: Boxing Instructors & Dance Instructor

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Board Meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of each month @6pm at the Center 707-994-KIDS 4750 Golf Ave., Clearlake December 2013

MendoLakeFamilyLife 15


Ways To Keep The

Hush Rush In Your Holiday

By Christina Katz


re you excited about the holidays but dreading the end-of-year rush? If so, you are not alone. Most parents approach the season with equal parts excitement and trepidation, which can lead to difficulties with decision-making from moment to moment. That’s why I’ve created this list of twenty-one reminders to help you preserve your family’s good cheer all the way through the most wonderful time of the year.


Go For Good Enough. If you have an idea in your mind of the “perfect” holiday, you may be disappointed when your imperfect brood can’t uphold your image. Aim for “good enough” instead. You’ll 16 MendoLakeFamilyLife

smile more if you can let unimportant things—like slightly burnt cookies, lights that won’t blink in unison, and late holiday cards—slide.


Just Hit Delete. If you think your holiday schedule is grossly overloaded, call a family meeting and vote on what to scratch off your joint to-do list. Decide what you don’t want to do, first. Then decide what matters most to each family member. A one-gift-per-familymember tradition might be a sanity-saving plan that sticks.


Call In Fresh Recruits. Even if you don’t normally hire a housecleaner, you probably could use some help now. Why not call in a cleaning service in

mid-December and in mid-January to bookend the holidays, even if you don’t use one the rest of the year? Consider it a holiday present to yourself.


Hum Your Favorite Tunes. Haul out your seasonal music early before you tire of the omnipresent muzak that is sure to come. Load up your smart phone or iPod and carry headphones in your purse to jolly things up when you are ticking chores and errands off your to-do list. If your old faves are getting overplayed, jazz up your playlist with some fresh downloads or albums. (See sidebar.)


Shop The Plan. First, the plan: write down the names of everyone you truly want to give

December 2013

to and what you think they would like. Then, shop: keep the list in your wallet to jog your memory when hunting down a gift for each person you cherish. For store shopping, pay cash, so you won’t overspend. For online shopping, search for coupons before ordering and act early for cheaper shipping.


Sip Your Way To Heaven. When you are having a hectic day, take a time-out. Warm up or buy an extra-hot cup of chai tea with a spritz of whipped cream on top. The spices will put you back in touch with your senses and the warmth will spread through your belly and soothe your frazzled cheer.


Get Bazaar. Take the whole family to a local holiday craft bazaar. Look for gifts for teachers and other folks who enrich your family life. Give each child a spending limit and enjoy interacting with the vendors. Plan to spend a couple of hours browsing, so you can soak up all the creative energy.



Take Thirty. Line up winter reads from the library or download them onto your e-reader. Encourage the whole family to take thirty minutes a day to relax and read. Collections of short stories or essays are good choices for moms with very young or multiple children. This is a great way for everyone to decompress after a busy day.


Bring Mother Nature Inside. Pine cones, holly, evergreen boughs, twigs, and poinsettias all remind us that there is life hibernating underneath that blanket of snow or wicked frost. Gather reminders of the season from your backyard or local garden shop and decorate the front hall, mantle, and stairway. Remember: simple is as merry as ornate.


Join a CSA Today! Find a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) farm near you by visiting


Evening & Weekend Classes


Huggy Holidays. Use “Happy Holidays!” as an excuse to hug your loved ones often. Every time you feel stressed, hug or get hugged. Your holiday stress will melt away. ¶

UKIAH CENTER 707-463-4800

Hark! These Holiday Tunes Sing! Cool Yule by Bette Midler A Christmas Cornucopia by Annie Lenox

A Lovely Way To Spend Christmas by Kristin Chenoweth Holly Jolly Kids Tunes

O Holy Night by Jackie Evancho

A Green and Red Christmas, The Muppets

And Winter Came by Enya

The Christmas Album, Glee

James Taylor at Christmas by James Taylor

Under The Mistletoe, Justin Bieber

A Swinging Christmas, Featuring The Count Basie Band by Tony Bennett

Seasons Greeetings: A Jersey Boys Christmas

Classic Christmas Album by Tony Bennett

Charlie Brown Christmas Album

Give your  dog  a  canine   holiday  while  you’re  away.    

Kennel-free D ayc are


S oc ialization

Pac k W alks


December 2013

MendoLakeFamilyLife 17

Good Holiday Ex-Etiquette

8 Tips to Peaceful Solutions can both participate in giving those “prized possessions.” Avoid competing for your child’s affections when buying gifts. Focus your efforts on quality time rather than quantity of gifts.

By Denise Yearian


hen a family is fractured by divorce, it creates added stress during the holidays with regard to child visitation, gift giving, and attending children’s programs. But it doesn’t have to. If parents will let go of their differences and focus on communication, cooperation, and compromise, the season can be a little less stressful for everyone. Here are eight tips to help:


Pursue the big picture. Although you and your ex may have past disappointments and present disagreements, set aside negative thoughts and feelings for your child. Look, instead, at the bigger picture and consider how it will affect him in the long run. Don’t think, “What do I need?” Think, “What does my child need to have a good holiday?” 18 MendoLakeFamilyLife



Communicate and cooperate. Establish a good working relationship with your ex on behalf of your child. You don’t have to be buddies, but you do need to be team players. Talk early in the season about how you are going to handle special days and events. Create a schedule for visitations and be respectful of your ex’s time with your child. When transitioning from home to home, arrive on time and keep goodbyes short to avoid extra stress. If, in the planning stages, the conversation gets heated, stop and arrange another time to talk. Equally important, do your own communicating; avoid making your child the messenger.


Call for a compromise. Discuss gifts hour child has asked for with your ex, and look for ways to compromise so you

Be gracious with gift exchanges. Helping your child make or choose a gift for his other biological parent models thoughtful, generous behavior you ultimately want to see displayed in him. In high-conflict situations, however, participating in these gift-giving endeavors may be too difficult. If so, don’t deny your child this privilege; find a neutral adult who will step in and help.


Partner for programs. Holiday concerts, plays, and other programs are a time to celebrate your child’s accomplishments, so it’s important for both parents to be in attendance. You don’t have to sit together, but you should be cordial and courteous to one another. Come with other family members or attend alone; this is not the time to introduce casual dates. Each parent should also be given time alone to interact with your child. For example, coordinate schedules so one

December 2013

parent takes him to the event and the other brings him home.


Set clear expectations. When parents of young children who have recently separated are willing to come together peacefully during the holidays, it gives their children the opportunity to experience the celebration as an intact family. If you decide to go this route, set clear expectations and communicate them to your child so he doesn’t misunderstand and think you are permanently reuniting. It can be confusing for a child, who may already be dealing with reconciliation fantasy. Keep the time together fun, easy, and stress-free. Focus on your child, not on the relationship with your ex.


Be reasonable. The first few years after a separation and divorce can be the hardest time to enjoy the holidays. Don’t expect things to be perfect. Create a few new traditions and bear in mind it takes time to heal wounds and adjust to a new family unit.


Set the stage for the future. Bear in mind you are in this parenting partnership for the long haul. There will be graduations, weddings, grandkids— even great grandkids. So set the stage now for a good relationship with you ex in the future. And remember, the best gift you can give your child is your unconditional love and acceptance and the freedom to express love to his other parent. ¶ Denise Yearian is a former educator and editor of two parenting magazines, whose personal experience prompted her to write this story.

Resources for Parents Books •Ex-Etiquette for Parents: Good Behavior after a Divorce or Separation by Jann Blackstone-Ford and Sharyl Jupe •Families Apart: Ten Keys to Successful Co-Parenting by Melinda Blau •Healing Hearts: Helping Children and Adults Recover from Divorce by Elizabeth Hickey •Mom’s House, Dad’s House: Making Two Homes for Your Child by Isolina Ricci •Stepwives: Ten Steps to Help Ex-wives and Stepmothers End the Struggle and Put the Kids First by Lynne Oxhorn-Ringwood and Louise Oxhorn with Marjorie Vego Krausz. Websites • • •

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December 12th: 11am - Noon Magazine Angels December 14th: 11am - Noon Sparkling CD Tree Ornaments Green Holiday Crafting workshops are open to all ages. Children seven years and older can be left working on the projects while parents enjoy holiday shopping and wine tasting onsite. Adult supervision is required for younger children. Each workshop is $5 dollars per child. Materials will be provided but children may bring brightly colored magazines, jar lids and old CD’s for the craft projects. Space is limited. Reservations required. For reservations contact SLI at (707) 472-2460 or

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December 2013

MendoLakeFamilyLife 19

December Calendar of Events

1 Sunday FREE Ukiah Library Family Story Time. Suns.

1 pm. Ukiah Library. 105 N. Main St. library. Mystery of the Christmas Star.

Allows audiences to journey back 2,000 yrs. to Bethlehem as we seek to discover a scientific explanation for the Star the wise men followed to find the baby Jesus. Nov. 30–Jan. 4th. $5/ Adult & $3/Child under 12 yrs. 5–8 pm. Hourly showtimes. Taylor Observatory, Kelseyville. 262-4121. Wizard of Oz. Adults $15, Student/

Senior $12, for youth (12 and under)

$5, Group of 8 or more $10 each. Suns. 2–4 pm. Until Dec. 15. Ukiah Players Theatre. 1041 Low Gap Rd., Ukiah. FREE 6th Annual Christmas Carol Sing-Along. Tapestry Family Services.

6:30–7:30 pm. First Presbyterian Church. corner of Perkins and Dora, Ukiah. Holiday Craft Fair. Annual event

featuring unique, creative, holiday gifts for sale. 8 am–3 pm. Big Valley Grange. Lakeport. 263-6724. Christmas Craft Fair. A Santa’s

Workshop will be included for children & photos taken with Santa.

Refreshments available. 10 am–4 pm. Harwood Hall. Laytonville. laytonville. org/healthystart.

2 Monday Kids Corner Full Room. 18 mos.–5

yrs. $5 drop in or $50 monthly. Mons., Weds & Fris. 9–11 am. C.V. Starr Community Center. Fort Bragg.

3 Tuesday FREE Ukiah Library. Bilingual Story Time! Starts with stories & songs in English, then arts & crafts and we finish with stories & songs in Spanish. Tues. 11 am–12:30 pm.

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December 2013

Ukiah Library. 105 N. Main St.

pm. Until Dec 22nd. 11 am–5 pm. 675 N. Main St., Lakeport. 263-4317.

FREE Story Time with Marilyn

am–noon. Action Network Family Resource Center. 39144 Ocean View Dr. #3, Gualala.

and Linda. Books,

The Victorian Christmas Fair &

Weds. 5:30–6:30 pm. Safe Passage Family Resource Center. Fort Bragg. safepassagefortbragg-org.

puppets, flannel boards & music for preschooler with adults. Tues. 11–11:30 am (except Nov 26). 225 Main St., Pt. Arena.

High Tea. Handmade candy canes, dolls & more, carolers, decorations & traditional servers in full costume. Tea served Weds., Sats., Suns. 12 noon & 3

FREE Discipline with Confidence.

FREE AWANA Kids Club. Ages 3

years to sixth grade. Games, theme nights, Bible devotions and awards for verse memorization. Tues. 6:30–8 pm. Clearlake Baptist Church. 555 N. Forbes St., Lakeport. 263-3256.

Build Your Own Home!

Sign Language Classes. For babies,

RCHDC - Helping Families Afford their Dreams

toddlers & children. Help your child explore the many benefits of learning sign language. Tues. 3:30–4:30 pm. First Baptist Church. corner of Pearl & Mullen, Clearlake. 994-1825. FREE Legos. Fun

after school activity! Tues.& Thurs. 3:30 pm. thru Dec 17. Ukiah Library.

4 Wednesday FREE MOM Playgroups. are offered

for pregnant women & moms with child under the age of 1 yr. Childcare provided for child ages 1–5. Weds. 10 am–noon. United Christian Parish (No religious affiliation) Lakeport. FREE MendocinoCounty Museum.

First Wed. of each month free. 10 am–4:30 pm. 400 E. Commercial St., Willits. FREE Playgroup. Infants–PreK, join

with their parents or caregivers & our staff to play with multi-cultural toys, ride on vehicles, read books & art activities. Outdoor activities are held on the gated deck. Weds. & Fris. 10

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MendoLakeFamilyLife 21

SPARKLING HOLIDAY EVENTS MENDOCINO COUNTY Fort Bragg Celebrates Christmas. Fort Bragg has a series of festive celebrations downtown starting on December 6th when Santa and Mrs. Claus will pass out cookies and candy at the Guest House Museum at 5 p.m. The Holiday Lights Parade and Celebration will be led by the Volunteer Fire Department at 7 p.m. and illuminate downtown. And on December 7th at 6 p.m. there will be a lighting of the Fort Bragg city Christmas tree on the lawn of the Guest House Museum. Local musicians will be there to sing traditional Christmas carols. The Mendocino Botanical Gardens Fourth Annual Festival of Lights also begins on December 6th at 5 to 7:30 p.m. and will include thousands of twinkly lights, live music, and wine and beer. This festival continues through December 22nd on selected days, visit for more information. Mendocino Coast Candlelight Inn Tour. The Mendocino Coast Candlelight Inn Tour allows you to visit many lovely inns along the Mendocino Coast while enjoying refreshments, art, and live entertainment by youth musicians at each stop! Visit inns in Mendocino on Thursday December 12th, inns in Fort Bragg on the 13th, and inns in Albion and Little River on the 14th from 5 to 8 p.m. each night. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for youth ten and under. Benefits go to the Mendocino Unified School Enrichment fund. Check out for more information and tickets. Holiday Express in Willits. On Saturday December 7th at 6 p.m. celebrate the Holiday Express as Santa arrives on the Roots of Motive Power steam train at the Mendocino Museum at 400 E. Commercial Street in Willits. Children can enjoy museum-sponsored crafts, storytelling, games, and live music. There will also be train rides. Everything is free! For more information, visit the LAKE COUNTY Christmas in the Country. Christmas in the Country, Kelseyville’s annual merchant open house and parade is on December 6th on Main Street. Merchants will have hot chocolate, cider, and treats starting at 5:30 p.m. The parade led by Santa will start at 6:30 p.m. and delight young and old. Come and enjoy this old-fashioned holiday evening. Check out for more information. Parade and Divas in Upper Lake. On December 7th come to the Upper Lake Christmas Lights Parade at 6 p.m. on Main Street and enjoy the tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. Santa will be on hand for photos. Don’t forget to bring a toy for needy kids in the community. Afterward come and listen to vocal group, My Divas, perform seasonal music in full medieval attire at the Blue Wing Saloon Restaurant at 9550 Main Street, Upper Lake. No cover, but dinner reservations recommended. Call 275-2233 for more information or reservations. Tree Lighting in Hidden Valley Lake. On December 7th Santa arrives by fire truck to begin the festivities at 4 p.m. at Greenview Restaurant in Hidden Valley Lake. There will be a tree lighting and you can enjoy trolley rides on the golf course. Finally, Santa will be giving toys away under the big tent! Check out for more information. 22 MendoLakeFamilyLife

December 2013

FREE Games, Chess & more.

Weds. 3:30 pm. Ukiah Library. Holiday Concert. Weds. 4 & 11,

12–1 pm. Dec. 18 at 7 pm. St. John’s Episcopal Church. Lakeport. 279-0249.

5 Thursday

5:30–8:30 pm. Main St., Kelseyville. FREE MOM Playgroups. are offered for pregnant women & moms w/child under the age of 1 yr. Childcare provided for child ages 1-5. Fris. 10 am–noon. St. John’s Lutheran Church (No religious

affiliation) MotherWiseLakeCounty. FREE Holiday Lights Parade & Celebration. Santa & Mrs. Claus will

pass out cookies & candy at the Guest House Museum. Parade will start at 7 pm lead by the Volunteer Fire Dept.

FREE Quandary. A support group for those who are pregnant, unmarried and/or single parents needing support. Thurs. 1–4 pm. The Art House Gallery. Clearlake. 995-2342. FREE Creative Movement. Play

Group for young children & their parents. Tues. 10–11 am. Safe Passage Family Resource Center. Fort Bragg. FREE Holiday Trolley. Enjoy holiday music & ring the bell as the antique trolley drives thru town. FREE rides from the Pear Tree Center to Orchards Longs Plaza & on to the Ukiah Downtown District. Thurs.– Suns. Hourly. Call for Schedule. MTA. 462-1422. FREE Gingerbread House Program.

Build your own gingerbread house to take home. We will use milk cartons & graham crackers for decorating. School-age children only please. 2:30 pm. Cloverdale Library. 894-5271.

6 Friday Holiday Wreath & Centerpiece Sale. Friends of the Gardens create

beautiful wreaths & centerpieces from freshly cut local greens. Until Dec 8th. 9 am–4 pm. 18220 N Hwy 1, Fort Bragg. FREE Christmas in the Country.

Lighted parade, merchant open house. Parade starts at 6:30 pm.


ather the family and visit the following holiday faires and open houses where you’ll find unique, handmade arts and crafts, live music, refreshments and even Santa! Admission to all events are free.

Saturday, December 7 Girl Scouts of Ukiah Holiday Faire Ukiah United Methodist 270 North Pine Street 9:00a.m.-3:00p.m.

Grace Hudson Museum & Sun House Holiday Open House 431 S. Main Street 10:00a.m.-3:00p.m. Santa, Live Music, Arts & Wreath Sale, Puppet Shows

Adopt a Christmas Pet with the Inland Mendocino Humane Society Pear Tree Center Perkins Street 10:00a.m.-3:00p.m.

Red Wagon Christmas Crafts First Prespyterian Church 514 W. Church Street Fri. 10:00-5:00p.m. Sat, 10:00-4:00p.m. Arts & Crafts

Christmas Faire

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church 640 Orchard Ave. 9:00a.m.-3:00p.m. Homemade Crafts, Food & White Elephant Sale

Holiday Market Art Center Ukiah 201 S. State Street 5:00p.m.-8:00p.m. Arts & Craft Sale

Santa’s Workshop

Saturday Afternoon Club 10:00a.m.-2:00p.m. Bring canned goods and toys Storybook Corner, Decorating, Pictures with Santa

Sunday, December 8

Small Town Christmas

Alex Thomas Plaza Greater Ukiah Chamber of Commerce Business Expo & Santa Pictures 12:00-5:00p.m. Christmas Tree Lighting 5:30p.m. Truckers Light Parade 6:00p.m.

41st Annual Waldorf School Holiday Faire

Redwood Empire Fairgrounds 1055 N. State Street 10:00a.m.-5:00p.m. Artisans, Children’s Crafts and Activities

A Ukiah Tradition December 2013

MendoLakeFamilyLife 23

Festivities begin at 5 pm. Downtown Fort Bragg. 4th Annual Festival of Lights.

Thousands of lights transform the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens into a magical winter wonderland. Adults $10, Child under 15 Free! No pets please. Dec. 6–8. Dec. 12–15. Dec. 19–22. 5–7:30 pm. 18220 N. Hwy 1, Fort Bragg. 964-4352. A Christmas Carol. This beloved play

by Charles Dickens’ novel, tells of the bitter and miserly Ebenezer Scrooge who is given a 2nd chance to live a good life. Adults $18, Age 12 & under $15. Fris. & Sats. 8 pm. Suns. 2 pm. Until Dec. 15. Cloverdale Performing Arts Center. 894-2214. The Wizard of Oz. Ukiah

Players Theatre. Fris. & Sats. Adults $20,

Students & Seniors (65+) $17. Thurs. & Suns. Adults $15, Students & Seniors (65+) $12. Last show Dec. 14th. 8–10 pm. 1041 Low Gap Rd. Ukiah.

7 Saturday Christmas Bazaar. Crafts, gifts &

reservations recommended. 6:30–8:30 pm. Main St., Upper Lake. 275-2233. 5th Annual Girl Scout Holiday Boutique. More than 50 crafters with

a variety of item, 9 am–3 pm. United Methodist Church. Ukiah. FREE Holiday Parade of Lights.

& movies. $1 admission. Most Sats. 6:30–9:30 pm. Call first. 44400 Willis Ave, Laytonville. 984-8620.

Children can take photos with Santa & receive 1 free photo from Triple S Camera. 107 S. Oak St., Ukiah. 12–5 pm. Tree lighting & caroling starts at 5:30 pm. followed by the Trucker’s Light Parade. Alex Thomas Plaza, Ukiah. 462-4705.

Blue Wing Christmas Event. Join

Annual Holiday Open House.

much more. 10 am–4 pm. Boonville Fairgrounds. Teen Night. Games, food, computers

Upper Lake Christmas Lights Parade & then listen to vocal group ‘My Divas’, perform seasonal music in full medieval attire. No cover, but dinner

Enjoy visits with Santa Claus, live carolers, arts & crafts sales, refreshments, tours of the Sun House decorated for the holidays. 10

Mendocino Transit Authority, Ukiah Chamber of Commerce & the Ukiah Main Street Program

Trolley circulates route once an hour Thursday through Sunday November 29th through December 22nd PLATINUM SPONSORS

Thanks to Our Sponsors:

Merchants of Pear Tree Center • Savings Bank of Mendocino County


El Azteca Restaurant • Wells Fargo • Be Bops Restaurant Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op • Walmart


Verizon Wireless • Redwood Credit Union Friedman’s Home Improvement Observatory Surgery Center, LLC Mendocino Book Company Dr. Harry Matossian

Call 462-1422 for more information 24 MendoLakeFamilyLife


Thursdays 3:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Fridays 3:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays 12:00 p.m. to 2:45 & 3:30 to 6:15 p.m. BRONZE SPONSORS

Mode Exclusive Styling Boutique U.V.A.H. • Mayacama • Alan E Limbard Larsen Photography • Baskin Robbins Dig Music • Carpet One • Kiwanis Thompson’s Party Rentals Thomas & Brigham - Attorneys at Law Mendocino Bounty • Thomas S. Brigham B.A.S. Roofing • Triple S Camera Home GrowIn Gear Mendocino Animal Hospital

December 2013

am–3 pm. Grace Hudson Museum. North Coast Toy Run. Drive through Fort Bragg, ending up at Lions Hall, complete dinner, live music, raffle drawing & 50/50, no host bar, no one under 21. Bring new, unwrapped toy. 12:30–4 pm. 430 E. Redwood, Fort Bragg. 961-0767. FREE Lighting of City Christmas Tree. Local musicians & community

groups entertain w/carols & traditional Christmas music. 6 pm. Lawn of the Guest House Museum. Fort Bragg. The Nutcracker. Presented by the

Mendocino Ballet. Adults $21. Child (under 18) $11. Sat. 7 pm. Sun. 2 pm. Cotton Auditorium. Fort Bragg.

Craft Faire. Come

& see lots of hand-made & hand-painted ornaments, jewelry, beaded sculptures & much more. Food avail. 10–4 pm. Lakeport Senior Activity Center. 263-4218.

FREE Tree Lighting Event. Santa

Teddy Bear Reunion. An Upper

arrives on the fire truck to begin the festivities! Enjoy trolley rides on the golf course. Santa will be giving away toys under the big tent! 4–6:30 pm. Greenview Restaurant. Hidden Valley Lake.

Lake tradition for more than 30 years! Help us decorate Main St. Shops. Benefit the Holiday Light Parade. 6:30 pm. Main St., Upper Lake. 275-8170. FREE 28th Annual Christmas Festival of Music. Choirs, instrumentalists & vocalists from the local community perform. The audience will also be invited to sing Christmas carols. Refreshments avail. 7:30–8:30 pm. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Lakeport.

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Clearlake Christmas Lights Parade. The parade concludes with

pictures with Santa and the city’s annual tree lighting ceremony. Free. 6 pm. Lakeshore Dr., Clearlake. For participating information, contact Jessie Boyd at 707-350-7485 or Chuck Davis at 707-357-3813. FREE Christmas on the Green Parade. During the Christmas Light Festival, lighted golf carts & tram riders will parade by back yards of golf residents. Voting will take place

New Years Eve All Nighter! Tuesday December 31st 9pm to 6am

Safe Fun New Year’s for Kids

Face Painting Unlimited Bowling Lazer Tag • Dodgeball Basket Ball • Bounce House Karaoke • Raffle Prizes • Photo Booth Full Resteraunt open all night Gaming Stations featuring 120” HDTV Quiet Time/Movie Area

$25 Presale Tickets

Includes $5 Food Ticket\ $5 in Tokens OR $30 at the door

263-4828 872 Lakeport Blvd. Lakeport •

December 2013

MendoLakeFamilyLife 25


BECOME A CERTIFIED NURSE ASSISTANT Classes begin February 24, 2014 Mandatory Orientation will occur on the first day of class.

Mondays & Wednesdays: 4 pm – 9 pm & Saturdays: 7 am – 3:30 pm

following the parade. Winners will be announced & prizes awarded that night. 5 pm. Hidden Valley Lake Golf Course. 19210 Hartmann Rd., Hidden Valley 987-3138. FREE Annual Holiday Light Parade.

Tree lighting at 6:30 pm. Enjoy caroling, 4-H barbecue, refreshments. Santa will be there to take Christmas wishes & photos. Benefit for the Upper Lake Aux. Fire Dept. Toy Drive. 6–8 pm. Main St., Upper Lake. 275-8170.

14092 Lakeshore Drive, Clearlake

Lake County Office of Education Career Technical Education

Questions: Please contact Tammy Serpa at or 994-9001

FREE Holiday Express. Annual arrival of Santa on the Roots of Motive Power steam train. Museum-sponsored crafts, story-telling, games, and live music. Train rides, museum entry & all activities are free. 6 pm. Mendocino County Museum. Sounds of the Season. Ukiah

Symphony Orchestra. Saturday 8 pm and Sunday at 3 pm. adults $25, seniors $20 & youth (18 and under) $5. 3:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased online and Mendo Book Co. Space Theater. 508 W. Perkins St., Ukiah.

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26 MendoLakeFamilyLife

8 Sunday St Mary’s Christmas Tea. Join the

party & kindle your holiday spirit with your daughters, sisters & girlfriends. Bid on one-of-a-kind trees decorated by St. Mary’s students & local designers. Adults $30. Age 14 & under $15. 2–4 pm. St. Mary’s Parish Hall. Ukiah. FREE Waldorf School Holiday Craft Fair. Local Artisans, holiday

gift making for children. Gourmet food & raffles. 11 am–5 pm. Redwood Fairgrounds. Carl Purdy Hall. Ukiah. December 2013

10 Tuesday FREE Babes in Toyland. Enjoy

this favorite classic movie on the big screen in the beautiful theatre. 1 pm & 6 pm. Doors open 1/2 hr. before show. Donations accepted. 275 S. Main St. Lakeport.

12 Thursday Annual Candlelight Inn Tour.

Visit many lovely inns along the Mendocino Coast–enjoying refreshments plus art & live entertainment by youth musicians at each stop! Benefits Mendocino Unified School Enrichment fund. Dec 12–14. 5–8 pm.

Light up a Life Memory Tree.

FREE Grandparents raising

Memorial ceremony, reading of personalized stars by Mendo Coast Hospice to honor loved ones. 7 pm. Mendocino Coast Dist. Hospital. Fort Bragg. 961-4617.

Grandchildren. 2nd & 4th Fridays.

13 Friday 27th Annual Willits Holiday Craft Fair. Kid’s Crafts Fair Sat. only! Fri. 12–7 pm. Sat. 10 am–5 pm. Sun. 10 am–4 pm. Willits Community Center. 459-4792. Ukiah Holiday Parade of Lights.

The downtown merchants holiday open begins at 5 pm and the parade begins at 6:30. Free. School Street, Ukiah. For more information, contact 707-462-6789.

Safe Passage Family Resource Center. Fort Bragg. Festival Of Trees. Come and vote

for your favorite tree. This community competition provides needy families food, clothes, presents & Christmas trees. Sat. & Sun. 6–9 pm. Ukiah Assembly of God. 395 N. Barnes St., Ukiah. 468-1468. FREE Gingerbread House Contest for Teens. Teens will have 2 hours to design & build a gingerbread house for prizes. Cloverdale Library. 894-5271. Symphony of the Redwoods Holiday Pop Concert. Fri. & Sat. 5:30 pm. Cotton Auditorium. Fort Bragg. 961-3690.

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p h o t o g r a p h y (707 )245 -5321 |

December 2013

MendoLakeFamilyLife 27

Jaxen Key’s Holiday Open House.

14 Saturday FREE Wreaths Across America.

There will be ceremonies to honor veterans across America. In Lake County, the events take place at Hartley, Kelseyville & Lower Lake cemeteries. Ceremonial wreaths will be placed to remember all soldiers. 9–10 am. SPACE Winter Concert. Music by

John Reischman & the Jaybirds w/ a Silent Auction. Tickets avail. at Space Box Office & Mendo Book Co. 8–10 pm. Space Theater. 508 W. Perkins St., Ukiah.

The farmhouse will be decked out for the holiday! 12–4 pm. 10400 S. Hwy 101, Hopland. RSVP FREE Breakfast with Santa. $7 Adults, $5 Child. 8–11 am. Redwood Elementary School. Fort Bragg.

15 Sunday Christmas Celebration Concert.

Performed by the Lake Co. Symphony Orchestra. $25 admission. $5 for CLPA members. 3 pm. 275 S. Main St., Lakeport.

19 Thursday

FREE Christmas in Middletown.

Passport fun & prizes for the whole family from one end of town to the other! 4–8 pm. Downtown Middletown. 489-3138.

Fort Bragg Unified School District’s Winter Band concert. 7–9 pm. Cotton Auditorium. Fort Bragg. 961-2880.

20 Friday 35th Annual Ukiah Toy Run. Food

& live music. Bring an unwrapped gift, canned food or cash donation. Ride starts promptly at noon. Party to follow at 1 pm. Lake Mendocino Clubhouse. 1500 Lake Mendocino Dr., Ukiah. 485-7402. The Nutcracker. Presented by the Mendocino Ballet. Adults $21. Child (under 18) $11. Fri. 7 pm. Sat. 2 pm & 7 pm. Sun. 2 pm. Mendocino College Center Theatre.

31 Tuesday New Year’s Eve Party. Join Konocti

Vista Casino for Casino Royale Dinner, music, dancing & casino gaming. 7 pm–noon. Konocti Vista Casino. Lakeport. Special New Year’s Dinner. Join us


CHESS FOR KIDS All Levels Welcome! Call today!

(707) 527-6427 CHESS FOR KIDS, Inc. is a non-profit dedicated to bringing chess to as many young people as possible in Sonoma County.

28 MendoLakeFamilyLife

for a special, romantic New Year’s Eve dinner with Paul Kemp on piano & Machiko on vocal. No cover. 6–8 pm. Main St., Upper Lake. 275-2244. New York New Year’s Eve. Evening starts with hors d’oeuvres with the no-host bar. Home-made buffet dinner prepared by the Gualala Arts Culinary Guide. Live coverage of New York’s Times Square ball dropping will be simulcast on the big screen to bring in the new year at 9 p.m. 6–9 pm. Gualala Arts Center. 884-1138. New Year’s Eve Bash! Hosted

by the Ukiah Main St. Program & the Greater Ukiah Chamber of Commerce. The evening will kick off with 2 comedy acts, followed by live music & dancing. Ticket locations to be announced, all tickets must be purchased in advance. 8–12 pm. 462-4705.

December 2013



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Hidden Mickey Hell Trip By “Bull” Garlington


his winter we did the same thing we always do to get relief from a murderous winter: we chipped our car out of its ice block, skidded into the airport, and flew to Disney.

How can you find the people from Chicago at Disney in January? They’re in the pool. How do you find the Floridians? They’re dressed like extras in Ice Age 5. Go ahead; search for ‘idiots from Chicago’ on Instagram and you’ll find a picture of me in my shirtless glory, belly-flopping into a pool ringed with flabbergasted Floridians. Just fix that picture in your mind, please, because it was the last— THE VERY LAST—moment of joy I will ever have in the Magic Kingdom. In that moment of idiotic, drooly happiness. I told my kids about hidden Mickeys and ruined Disney forever. A hidden Mickey is a visual surprise left by the original designers of Disney; it’s Disney’s logo, placed in some inconspicuous place, perfectly visible, but undetected unless you ALREADY KNOW THEY’RE THERE. We used to prance around the parks like we were in a cheesy musical. I loved it. It was the only time my family actually looked like a family: 30 MendoLakeFamilyLife

addictive music while searching the scenery for hidden Mickeys. “Honey, did you like the Elephants on the Jungle Cruise?” “We went on a cruise?” bear hugged and stupid, our smiles are so genuinely overflowing with spontaneous delight we bruised our cheeks. My kids pulled me through the crowds, screaming “THIS IS AWESOME, DAD!” As soon as our rental is off the lot, my kids morph into pint-sized Sherlocks, looking for the hidden rodent.

I have to give them credit for ceaseless effort. They didn’t eat until they’d thoroughly examined their Mac & Cheese for hidden Mickeys. Finally, I couldn’t take it and I asked a vendor if he’d show me a hidden Mickey. He whipped out his handy Hidden Mickey Guidebook and found one right in front of us. I said, “OH MY GOD!” and pointed at a crane and lo, as Disney’s convenient background soundtrack swelled, from a tangle of rebar and concrete, the Disney logo resolved, in all its splendor.


“Seriously dad? That’s a lamp.”


And I realized the great thing about hidden Mickeys is not finding them, it’s looking for them. So I gave the vendor five bucks and talked him into betraying their trust for the sake of my sanity. The vendor pointed at a bush. “There’s one right there. In the bush. See it?”

No more.

My daughter leaps out of the car and points her camera at some trees. She confers with the boy. They glumly return. “False alarm.” “WHAT!? I THINK I BLEW A TIRE!” “We thought we saw a hidden Mickey.” Then, as we approached the gates— “STOP THE CAR!” My kids pile into the front seat, phones flung forward. “THERE IT IS! WE SAW ONE!” “That’s a stop sign.” It goes on the whole trip. And I wasn’t alone. On It’s a Small World, all the kids in our boat were perfectly mute, ignoring the

My kids stared and stared and I thought, crap the jig is up, then, suddenly, my daughter squealed, whipped up her camera, and took a picture. Of a bush. “Oh my GOD! I can SEE it! LOOOK!” And just like that, they forgot all about it. Their mission was accomplished. They shoved their miniature cameras back into their backpacks and lost themselves to the stupid joy of roller coasters and cotton candy. In our vacation pictures, is a picture of a sad little bush labeled “Mickey Mouse.” ¶

December 2013

Supporting Families Through Change GO DIVORCE CLINIC



“Is there anywhere I can get an affordable and professional divorce without attorneys in Mendocino or Lake County?”


es there is. Divorcing couples that choose to work together through Go Divorce Clinic can dissolve a marriage quickly and inexpensively without hearings. But regardless of whether your spouse cooperates, with our assistance you can still do your divorce without lawyers! Our expedited process for rural clients requires no office visits!

Robert Revel, L.D.A. & Sneffles

• One Affordable Flat Fee. • Free Initial Consultation. • Typical 4-6 Weeks Process Time. • No Divorce Lawyers. • Strong Child Advocacy Emphasis. • Cooperative Process Throughout

“No matter what we choose as adults, we are forever mom and dad to the kids.” ( 707 ) 3 87- 0707 • G O D I VO R C E C LI N I C .CO M

Mendo Lake Family Life Magazine December 2013 digital  

Mendo Lake Family Life Magazine December 2013