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mendo lake FREE!

December 2017

Foster Love Local mom shines

Less Stress More Joy

Tips for the holidays

Snazzy SoufflĂŠ Easy eats Try Tenderness

Be kind to yourself

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Take a free ride on the Holiday Trolley! Each full Trolley route is 45 minutes long, but you are welcome to get on and off at any stop you’d like including the Ukiah on Ice outdoor skating rink!

November 24th - December 21st

Saturday & Sunday beginning at 12pm and running every hour. Thursday & Friday beginning at 3pm through 5pm.

December 22nd and December 23rd

Departing El Azteca at 3pm, 4pm and 5pm.

Get a full map from any Trolley Stop and the Ukiah Visitors Center or go to the following links: hƩp:// hƩp://




















Trust Your Family to Ours Your family’s health is our mission Finding someone to take care of your family is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. You want someone who will really get to know you, your family history and your unique family dynamics...someone you can trust and will treat you as a partner in your own health and

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707.459.6115 Open Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Same-day appointments available 3 Marcela Drive in Willits (right in front of the hospital)

wellness. That’s why our providers at Redwood Medical Clinic are here for you, from routine exams, school physicals to your annual flu shot or sick visits, you can count on us.

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December 2017

Every Issue 6

Dear Reader


Cooking with Kids Holiday Soufflé


Bits and Pieces Dance in the New Year


Spin and Glide Meet Some Mushrooms Christmas Crooners


A Children’s Art Renaissance

10 Grow the Love

Space Out

Local mom discusses the joys of foster parenting.

12 Stressful to Sacred

Move and Make

14 Calendar of Events Support Local Artists

Take the pressure out of the holidays.

20 Try a Little Tenderness Little ways to be kinder to others—and yourself.

22 Oh, to Pee Alone! Our humorist on why she would rather be dehydrated.

4 MendoLakeFamilyLife


7 December 2017


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December 2017

MendoLakeFamilyLife 5

Dear Reader


hile December is usually a month of joy, the recent fires may make it hard for some to be in the holiday spirit. “Try a Little Tenderness” (page Sharon Gowan 20) reminds us that Publisher/Editor a little compassion can go a long way in improving another’s life. That’s especially true when it comes to how we treat children, particularly those who have gone through a crisis. One local mom goes the extra mile and takes care of foster kids. Find out about her experiences—and the children’s book she wrote for foster children—in “Grow the Love” (page 10).

Patronize area merchants and see our Calendar of Events (page 14) for craft fairs and other activities that support the lives of people in Mendocino and Lake Counties.

Office Manager Patricia Ramos

While you’re busy buying gifts and readying for holiday parties, don’t forget to take care of yourself, counsels Christina Katz. In her “Stressful to Sacred” (page 12), she says that the best way to practice self-care is saying yes to what feels good and no to what doesn’t. However you choose to spend the season, we hope it leaves your hearts happy and your family renewed. We’ll see you in the New Year!

Business Marketing Renee Nutcher Warren Kaufman

Features Editor Melissa Chianta

Production Manager Donna Bogener

A simple way help keep our neighbors afloat is to support the local economy.

Web and Social Media


Natalie Bruzon

Cover Photo Bob Rider

Contributing Writers

n u FBlast! Weekend

Holly Hester Christina Katz Karen Sue Night Karen Nochimowski

Billing Jan Wasson-Smith

Publishing Office 134 Lystra Court, Suite A Santa Rosa, CA 95403 Tel (707) 586-9562 Fax (707) 586-9571

Find out what’s happening this weekend. 6 MendoLakeFamilyLife

December 2017

Cooking with Kids

Snazzy Soufflé Get Festive with an Easy Egg Dish

By Momma Chef


or many, one of the most anticipated traditions of the year is exchanging gifts on Christmas morning. Eating a healthy breakfast may be way less important to the kids than what’s under the tree. Still, they’ll need nourishment after tearing apart all that wrapping paper. So while the clan is attacking their presents, slip this dish in the oven. Like all of my recipes, it only requires six ingredients and six minutes of prep time. In keeping with the holiday theme, I’ve added some colorful vegetables in red and green, too. All my kids love this egg dish. I hope it’s a hit in your home, too.

Momma Chef’s Ridiculously Easy Christmas Morning Egg Soufflé Ingredients 6 eggs 8 oz. small curd cottage cheese 8 oz. grated mild cheddar cheese 1/4 cup Bisquick 1 cup milk 1/2 cup mixture of asparagus tips and sundried tomatoes (drained and sliced)

Directions Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray Pam into an 8”x8” baking dish. Mix the eggs in a large bowl. Add cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, Bisquick, and milk. Stir until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the baking dish, and then sprinkle veggies onto the mixture. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the top is browning. ¶ This article originally appeared on mommachef. com. It has been reprinted with permission. Momma Chef, aka Karen Nochimowski, is a mom of three active boys. Find more of her recipes on

Soufflé Tips • You can easily double the • We used red and green veggies recipe. Use a 9”x13” baking dish. for Christmas. You can use any variation—mushrooms, spinach, • You can use low-fat ingredients etc. Just make sure to drain such as 2 percent cottage them well. cheese, low-fat cheese, and skim milk. December 2017

MendoLakeFamilyLife 7

Bits & Pieces

Dance in the New Year


et a sitter and bring in 2018 kid free at Soper Reese Theatre’s New Year’s Eve Party. Fill up on unlimited savory appetizers and then shake your hips to local band LC Diamonds’s vintage rock and rockabilly beats. At midnight, lift a glass of complimentary champagne and toast to another year of bedtime stories and family meetings. The party will be held on December 31 at 8 p.m. at Soper Reese Theatre in Lakeport. Tickets are $40–$250 and may be purchased at ¶

Spin and Glide


n many parts of the country, winter is synonymous with snow and ice. But here in rainy northern California, we have to bring winter weather to us (in only enchantingly small doses, of course). Enter Ukiah on Ice, a holiday ice-skating rink sponsored by Adventist Health Ukiah Valley and the city of Ukiah. Located at the Alex R. Thomas Plaza in Ukiah, the rink will be open December 2–January 7. Admission is $10 per skate session, including skates. Hours are as follows: December 2–21: Monday–Friday, 3–8 p.m. (Wednesdays open at 2 p.m.); Saturday, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday, noon–5 p.m.; December 22–January 7: daily, noon–7 p.m.; December 24 and 31: noon–7 p.m.; December 25 and January 1: noon–4 p.m. See ukiah-on-ice for more information. ¶

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Meet Some Mushrooms


ot all that lurks in dark shadows is something to be feared. Mushrooms, for instance, can be yummy and also medicinal. (Though definitely be weary of the poisonous varieties, which can be fatal.) Learn about some of the thousands of species of fungi that grow in our area at the free Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project (RVOEP) Mushroom Workshop. Led by Mark Albert and Dave Bengston, the class will teach participants about the role fungi play in an oak woodland ecosystem. The event will be held on December 2, 1–3:30 p.m., at RVOEP, 8301 Pinecrest Dr., Redwood Valley. If the weather is stormy, the workshop will be held in the cafeteria of the Eagle Peak Middle School in Redwood Valley. ¶

December 2017

Space Out

Christmas Crooners


Na th


D eH


lose your eyes and let the gentle strains of a holiday melody float into your ears at a performance of pianist Paul Klemp and vocalist Machiko Shimada. The local jazz duo will serve up seasonal favorites and Machiko more at a performance on Shimada December 24, 6–8 p.m., at the Blue Wing Saloon & Restaurant in Upper Lake. There is no cover charge. ¶


o your kids fantasize about traveling through space some day? Give them a taste of what it might feel like at a free demonstration of Oculus Rift Virtual Reality. The technology, which looks like a pair of high-octane, opaque SCUBA goggles, simulates the experience of not only traveling through space, but also time, and it even lets you get inside your favorite movies. Sessions, which are appropriate for ages 12 and up, last 10–15 minutes and are held on Wednesdays (except December 27), 4–5 p.m., at Redbud Library in Clearlake. See co.lake. or call 994-5115 for further details. ¶

A Children’s Art Renaissance


mitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” Oscar Wilde famously said. But, for the eighth graders at River Oak Charter School, copying isn’t so much about paying homage, as is it is about learning. Using oil pastels (instead of oil paint), students created their own versions of famous Renaissance painters’ portraits, exploring along the way the use of color, shadow, and texture, as well as the lives of their chosen artists. The results of the youth’s work are on display through December 11 in the Children’s Room of the Ukiah Library in Ukiah. ¶

Move and Make


eet are meant to walk and hands are meant to make. You can do both at the Seasonal Greetings Hike and Wreaths workshop at the Hopland Research and Extension Center in Hopland. Take a walk on the center’s grounds, and then make a wreath from local boughs. The event will be held on December 9, 10 a.m.–noon. Admission is $20 or free for kids under the age of 12. Register at ¶ December 2017

MendoLakeFamilyLife 9

FL: Is it hard for you to let go of children when it’s time to? Oh, it’s awful. It’s heartbreaking. We had a little one leave the other day, and I was bawling. But it is beautiful— she left with her adopted parents. It’s just an amazing experience to help children heal and then let them go. It’s very hard but also very rewarding. And I absolutely love it. FL: Have you adopted any of the children you have fostered? Yes, three. So we have six kids. We didn’t go in hoping to adopt. We just wanted to help kids. And our journey also brought us to adoption, which is amazing.

Keri Vellis shares her picture book for foster children.

Grow the Love

A Local Mom’s Take on Foster Parenting


eri Vellis, 44, became a local foster mom in 2013. Since then, she and her husband have taken care of 13 children, from infants to teens. She spoke with us about what it is like to be a foster parent, and about her picture book, Sometimes..., which is based on her experiences helping foster kids cope.

Family Life: Why did you decide to become a foster parent?

FL: You’ve been a foster parent now for five years. What do you get out of the experience?

My husband and I had three biological children, and we really felt like our kids were so lucky. We had a great life to offer more children, and we wanted to open our home and help.

I absolutely love giving children a little piece of our family. They take that with them, and I hope that they will never forget it.

10 MendoLakeFamilyLife

FL: How old were your biological kids when you decided to become a foster parent? 11, 10, and 5 FL: How did they handle it? Were they OK with it? Oh, they were thrilled. They love it. Every time a new child comes into our home, it’s like Christmas to them. FL: What do you think they have learned from the process? I think they have learned basic forgiveness, not to judge others, to have an open heart, to be selfless— some really critical things that not a lot of kids learn. FL: The foster kids you parent usually come from difficult circumstances, true? Yes. We’ve experienced a lot of different things with the kids. We try and provide whatever tools they need

December 2017

to work through whatever they are experiencing. FL: And that is part of why you wrote your book, Sometimes… . Exactly. I just found that there wasn’t anything out there that kids could relate to. FL: Can you give us a synopsis of the book? I collaborated with an illustrator who is a former foster child. The book shows a child in a new home, meeting with a new family. The child starts off scared but by the end of the story is playing on a grassy knoll, and there are butterflies around. [The key message is] “You might feel scared but know you are always safe.” I wanted all children to be able to relate [to

the book], not only foster children. Sometimes kids have to go live with a grandma or an aunt or an uncle, or whomever. No matter what the living

It’s just an amazing experience to help children heal and then let them go. It’s very hard but also very rewarding. situation is, they are being removed from their security and going into a whole new environment. FL: Can you tell us a little bit about how you created the book? I was waiting in line to pick up my kids from school, and I just started writing

it. I wrote it in a half hour. And I was like, “Oh my God, I’ve got it.” FL: Where can readers purchase it? My website,, and Through my website, you can donate it to a child in care. I give [donated books] to the Redwood Empire Foster Parent Association. They place them in “blue bags,” which are given to foster parents. The bags contain toiletries, about three days worth of clothes, and then my book. I have actually watched kids in my care open the blue bag, page through the book, and smile. ¶ For more information about foster parenting, see the website of Redwood Community Services,

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December 2017

MendoLakeFamilyLife 11

Prioritize joy. The key to happy holidays is to expand your family’s joys and reduce your family’s stresses. Often, our favorite things fall off our lists because of too many time commitments. Take a moment now, close your eyes, and think about your happiest holiday moments as a parent. Which part of the holidays do

When we put peace at the center of our lives, everything else seems to fall into place.

Stressful to Sacred

Restore Your Holiday Comfort & Joy

By Christina Katz


oy to your family; the holidays have come! Joy is an emotion of great delight caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying. Comfort means to soothe, console, reassure, and bring cheer. Holiday means holy day. If you have not felt joyful in quite some time, putting personal pleasure back in the center of your family’s holidays will quickly increase good cheer and put a holy feeling back in your days. Once you do, everyone in your family will feel holiday spirit bubbling up from within and spilling over into the lives of others.

12 MendoLakeFamilyLife

you enjoy most? Prioritizing personal preferences is the quickest way to redirect your course from stressful to sacred. Just say no to what no longer serves your family and yes to the things you really want to do. Slow down. There is a Chinese proverb that says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is today.” Many parents make the mistake of setting our daily pace on “frantic.” But nothing changes overnight. Studies show that continuous stress-driven behavior can lead to an addiction to stress, which causes an unhealthy release of fight-or-flight chemicals in our bodies. The key to resetting this habit is to chill out regularly. Why not meditate, do yoga, or go for a run? Whatever daily activity helps you get off the adrenaline roller coaster and recover rejuvenating calm is the best choice. Banish perfectionism. If the outdoor lights on your home are award-worthy, your holiday décor competes with magazine spreads, and your holiday parties are the best on the

December 2017

block, but you feel sad, burned out, or numb inside, it’s time to re-evaluate. You might think, “How I feel is not as important as appearing like the picture-perfect family.” But this is upside down and backwards. Start valuing how things feel more than how they seem to others. Recalibrate

Comparison is the bane of joy’s existence. your holiday plans so they become less about impression management and more about genuine family enjoyment. Seek comfort. We live in complex times, so consider what simple pleasures bring comfort. Relaxing in front of the fire, drinking hot chocolate, and doing nothing may be exactly what your family needs. Lighting a candle for world peace on holiday evenings can feel soothing. Having a moment of silence before a meal allows everyone to practice mindfulness. When we put peace at the center of our lives, everything else seems to fall into place. Become a thriver. Your upbringing may have trained you to be a survivor rather than a thriver. If your parents struggled with addiction, codependency, or mental illness, you may have inherited a belief that a desire for joy is selfish. The only way to change this mentality is to give yourself permission to feel good. Once you recognize that you have been in survival mode, you can begin naming and claiming everyday joys that set a positive example for your children. Savor the senses. The holiday season is a time of sensory delights.

While the sheer volume of pleasures promoted during the holidays can become overwhelming, just remember that saying yes or no is always up to you. Go through each of the senses with your family. What does everyone love to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel during the holidays? Let each family member have a say in the holiday delights you bring into your home. They don’t call it the season of joy for nothing. Encourage self-reflection. Comparison is the bane of joy’s existence. Lusting after what others have and then striving to attain it is never the key to lasting happiness. Your family members cannot achieve wellbeing while competing with others. Turn off electronic devices regularly during the holiday season and make time to engage in a quiet self-reflection process like journaling, doodling, or vision-board making. Choices that spring from turning within are more likely to lead to personal satisfaction than constant competition. Enjoy your family. Parenting is a joy in and of itself at any time of year and especially at the holidays. Ask any mom or dad whose children have grown up and gone, and they will tell you they wish they had stressed less and relaxed more. No matter what your family situation is right now, you can always become a little more joyful as a family tomorrow simply by making joy a priority today. Paving a path to holiday satisfaction begins now. Remember that happy is fine, but don’t stop there because joy is even more delightful. ¶ Christina Katz is an author and writing and creativity coach.

December 2017


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December Calendar of Events

Support Local Artists


ou don’t have to go to San Francisco to see the work of skilled artists. Plenty of talented folks hang out right in our backyard. Get a taste of their skills at the free Annual Laytonville Christmas Bazaar Arts & Crafts Fair, where more than 60 artists and crafters will share their wares. There will be visits with Santa and good eats, too. The event will be held on December 3, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., at Harwood Memorial Park in Laytonville. For details, see ¶

Friday 1 Santa Train. Napa Valley wine

train. 1.5-hour Christmas train with music, games, entertainment & hot cocoa & freshly baked cookies. 5 p.m. train thru Dec. 29. 6:45 p.m. train Dec. 18–29. $49–$69. 800-427-4124. Holiday Open House & Craft Faire.

Local art, crafts, specialty foods & holiday wreaths. Thru Dec. 2. On Saturday, there will be tours of the Sun House, carolers, refreshments & visits with Santa. 15% discount at gift shop both days. Dec. 1: 5–8 p.m. Dec. 2: 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Grace Hudson Museum. 431 S. Main St., Ukiah. Eighth Annual Festival of Lights.

$10. Ages 16 & under: free. 5–7:30 p.m. Fridays–Sundays. Thru Dec. 17. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. 18220 N. Hwy. 1, Fort Bragg. Kelseyville Christmas in the Country. 5:30–8:30 p.m. Parade

of Lights: 6:30 p.m. on Main St. followed by town tree lighting at 7 p.m. at firehouse. Music by the Bridge Band. Free horse-drawn wagon rides. Merchants will offer free cocoa & snacks. Dinner fare at St. Peter’s Catholic Church & Kelseyville 14 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Presbyterian Church. Holiday singing & snacks & drinks at the Methodist Church. Miniature Quilt display at Saw Shop Gallery Bistro. Find full schedule of events at visitKelseyville. FREE Mendocino Transit Authority Holiday Trolley. Thru

Dec. 21: Saturdays & Sundays, hourly, noon–6:45 p.m.; Thursdays & Fridays, hourly, 3–5:45 p.m. Dec. 22–23: hourly, 3–5:45 p.m. Downtown Ukiah. Check trolley route & schedule online at or call 462-1422 or 800-696-4682. FREE Grace Hudson Museum.

Free admission first Friday of each month. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 431 S. Main St., Ukiah. 467-2836. Caminata de Luces. Children will

color paper luminaries & line them along the trail. Decorate yourself, your bike, your scooter, or your pet in lights. Followed by the art walk in Downtown Ukiah. 5–7 p.m. Ukiah Rail Trail. 462-1020. MendoBaby. FREE River Oak Renaissance Art Show. Eighth graders from River

Oak Charter School show their Renaissance drawings in the library’s

Children’s Room. Thru Dec. 11. Ukiah Library. 105 N. Main St., Ukiah.

Saturday 2 Christmas Skunk Train. Featuring

Santa, elves, storytellers, music & hot chocolate & cookies. 90-minute round trip departs daily from Willits & Fort Bragg. $34–$44. Ages 2 & under: free. Infants & dogs: $10. Thru Dec. 23. Call or visit website for schedule. 100 W. Laurel St., Fort Bragg & 299 E. Commercial St., Willits. 964-6371. Mushroom ID Workshop. $25–$35. 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. 18220 Hwy. 1, Fort Bragg. FREE Ukiah Parade Lights. 6–7 p.m. North State St. from Brush St. to Alex Thomas Plaza. Ukiah. Ukiah on Ice: Holiday Ice Skating Rink. $10 per skate day session,

including skates. Dec. 2–21: Monday– Friday, 3–8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday, noon–5 p.m. Dec. 22–Jan. 7: noon–7 p.m. Dec. 24 & 31: noon–7 p.m. Dec. 25 & Jan. 1: noon–4 p.m. Alex R. Thomas Plaza. 310 S. State St., Ukiah. ukiah-on-ice. Point Arena Lighthouse Full Moon Tour. $30. $50 for 2. 5:30 p.m.

December 2017

Must reserve 3 days prior to tour. Call 882-2809, ext. 1. Point Arena Lighthouse. 45500 Lighthouse Rd., Point Arena. pointarenalighthouse. com/visit/calendar-2/night-tour.

Winter Workshops & Kid’s Night

Ukiah Valley Girl Scouts Holiday Craft Faire. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Redwood

Empire Fairgrounds. 1055 N. State St., Ukiah.

At the Charles M. Schulz Museum

December 16, 2017-January 8, 2018

call (707) 284-1272 for reservations or visit:

Ukiah Symphony Concert. Margie

Rice conducts. Beethoven’s piano concerto no. 3, Beethoven’s symphony no. 5 & Corelli’s Christmas Concerto. $20–$25. Under 18: free. Thru Dec. 3. Dec. 2: 8 p.m. Dec. 3: 3 p.m. Mendocino College Center Theatre. 1000 Hensley Creek Rd., Ukiah.

Be Well

Christmas with the Rothstein Ensemble. Silly, sentimental, sacred

& serious music. Adults: $15. Ages 18 & under: $10. 7 p.m. Soper Reese Community Theatre. 275 S. Main St., Lakeport. 263-0577. FREE Clearlake Christmas Parade.

Begins at Redbud Park, travels along Lakeshore Blvd. & ends at Austin Park. 6–7 p.m. Clearlake. support. Holy Trinity Episcopal Church Christmas Faire. A variety of crafts,

including Balsamic & infused oils, Christmas ornaments, crochet, cross stitch & knitted items, fabric arts, jewelry, soap & slumped-glass bottles. Also baked goods & pre-owned items. 9 a.m.–3 p.m. 640 S. Orchard Ave., Ukiah. FREE Upper Lake Light Parade.




Featuring the band My Divas. 6-8 p.m. Blue Wing Saloon & Restaurant. 9550 Main St., Upper Lake. support.




FREE Kids Craft Time. All

333 Laws Ave., Ukiah

LAKEVIEW – (707) 263-7725

5335 Lakeshore Blvd., Lakeport


supplies provided. Saturdays. 11

HILLSIDE – (707) 468-1010

December 2017

MendoLakeFamilyLife 15

a.m.–noon. Fort Bragg Library. 499 E. Laurel St., Fort Bragg. 964-2020. Hidden Valley Lake Tree Lighting.

4–6:30 p.m. Hidden Valley Lake Association (by the Greenview Deck). 18174 Hidden Valley Lake Rd., Hidden Valley. 987-3138.

FREE Mother-Wise Lakeport. Dec. 2:

Mixer-Cookie Exchange & Decorating, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Dec. 5: Tummy Time, 1–3 p.m. Dec. 12: Self-Care for Mom, 1–3 p.m. Dec. 19: Holiday Crafts, 1–3 p.m. 180 N. Main St., Lakeport. Reserve your spot: 349-1210. facebook. com/MotherWiseLakeCounty.

Cobb Mountain Artists Crafts Show. Thru Dec. 3. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Lake County Fairgrounds. Lewis Hall. 401 Martin St., Lakeport. FREE Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project (RVOEP) Mushroom Workshop. Taught by

Mark Albert & Dave Bengston. Learn about the essential role that fungus play in an oak woodland ecosystem & meet some local mushrooms. 1–3:30 p.m. RVOEP. 301 Pinecrest Dr., Redwood Valley. (If weather is stormy, will be held at Eagle Peak Middle School’s cafeteria, 8601 West Rd., Redwood Valley.) FREE Home Depot Hands-on Workshop. Kids make a gingerbread

house out of wood. Parent or adult must attend with child. 9 a.m.–noon. Home Depot. 350 N. Orchard Ave., Ukiah. 462-3009. Register at

Sunday 3 FREE Annual Laytonville Christmas Bazaar Arts & Crafts Fair. More than

60 artists & crafters. Visits with Santa. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Harwood Memorial Park. 44400 Willis Ave., Laytonville. FREE Clothing Swap. Clean & good condition only. No hats, scarves, socks, or undergarments. All ages. 1–4 p.m. Ukiah Library. 105 N. Main St., Ukiah.

Tuesday 5 FREE Lego Block Party. Build a Lego creation. Tuesdays. 4–5 p.m. Fort Bragg Library. 499 E. Laurel St., Fort Bragg. 964-2020.

Wednesday 6 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Film screening. By

donation. 7 p.m. Soper Reese 16 MendoLakeFamilyLife

December 2017

Theatre. 275 S. Main St., Lakeport. FREE RB Oculus Rift Virtual Reality.

Time travel, space travel, or go inside your favorite movie. Sessions last 10–15 minutes. Educational & entertaining software. A volunteer is on hand to help. For ages 12 & up. Wednesdays (except Dec. 27). 4–5 p.m. Redbud Library. 14785 Burns Valley Rd., Clearlake. FREE Mendocino Museum. Free

admission first Wed. of each month. 10 a.m.–4:30 pm. 400 E. Commercial St., Willits. 459-2736.

Thursday 7 FREE La Leche League. 10 a.m.–

noon. Mendo Baby. 198 S. School St., Ukiah. 462-1020. MendoBaby.

Friday 8

Saturday 9 FREE Holiday Faire. Vendors, artisans, crafts, kids’ activities, visits with Santa & hot cider, cookies & popcorn. Thru Dec. 10. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Twin Pine Casino & Event Center. 22223 Hwy. 29, Middletown.

5–8 p.m. Mendocino Art Center. 45200 Little Lake St., Mendocino. Contra Dance. Second Saturday of

the month. Singles & couples of all ages & orientations welcome. Lesson:

The Ukiah Unified School District

Wishes you the Happiest of Holidays May we suggest “the gift that never stops giving”


Here are just a few suggested titles for your children: Duck on a Bike- (Grade 1-2) When Duck gets a zany idea to ride a bike one day, each animal on the farm has a reaction. By David Shannon. Beezus and Ramona- (Grade 3-4) Four-year-old Ramona has an imagination that makes her a menace to everyone around her, particularly her older sister, nine-year-old Beezus. By Beverly Cleary.

California Cowboys for Redwood Valley Fire Survivors. Live music,

line dancing & appetizers. 21 & over. $50. 7–11 p.m. Coyote Valley Event Center. 7751 N. State St., Redwood Valley. events/1846710122023640.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle(Grade 5-6) As the lone “young lady” on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous and the crew rebellious. By Avi.

FREE Willits 31st Annual Holiday Craft Fair. Thru Dec. 10. Dec. 8:

The Circuit- (Grade 7-8) This collection of short stories explores a migrant family’s experiences moving through labor camps, facing poverty and impermanence, and discusses how they endure through faith, hope, and back-breaking work. By Francisco Jimenez.

noon–7 p.m. Dec. 9: 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Dec. 10: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Two locations: Willits Center for the Arts, 71 E. Commercial St., Willits & Willits Community Center, 111 E. Commercial St., Willits.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn- (High school) A young girl comes of age in the squalor and poverty of the Brooklyn slums. By Betty Smith.

Ugly Holiday Sweater Party. Light

appetizers & prize giveaway. Ages 21 & over only. No cover. 8 p.m. Clearlake Club. 210 North Main St., Lakeport.

FREE Holiday Celebration & Second Saturday Gallery Reception.

UKIAH UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT 511 S. Orchard Ave., Ukiah • 707-472-5000

December 2017

MendoLakeFamilyLife 17

7 p.m. Dance: 7:30 p.m. Ukiah Methodist Church. 270 N. Pine St., Ukiah. Holiday Dance Party. Featuring Will Siegel & Friends. Special guest vocalist Marilyn DeFrange. Gourmet appetizer platter assortments & desserts. $20–$25. 7–10 p.m. Ukiah Senior Center. 499 Leslie St., Ukiah. 462-4343. Veterans of Foreign Wars Flea Market & Breakfast. 8 a.m.–1 p.m.

make a seasonal wreath using local boughs. $20. Under 12: free. 10 a.m.– noon. Hopland Research & Extension Center. 4070 University Rd., Hopland. FREE ICAN International Cesarean Awareness Network. 11 a.m.–noon.

Mendo Baby. 198 S. School St., Ukiah. 462-1020. Ernest Bloch Bell Ringers & the Coastal Singers. Holiday concert.

Breakfast ($5): 8–11 a.m. Corner of Seminary & Oak Streets, Ukiah.

$15–$20. Ages 7–17: free. 3 p.m. Gualala Arts Center. 46501 Old State Hwy., Gualala. 884-1138.

Hopland Hikes: Seasonal Greetings Hikes & Wreaths. After the hike,

The Nutcracker. Presented by Mendocino Ballet. $10–$25. Dec. 9

at 7 p.m. at Cotton Auditorium, 500 N. Harold St., Fort Bragg. Dec. 15–16 at 7 p.m. & Dec. 16 & 17 at 2 p.m. at Mendocino College Center Theatre, 1000 Hensley Creek Rd., Ukiah.

Sunday 10 FREE The Glory of Christmas: Sing Gloria! A dynamic Christmas

pageant for the entire family. Donations accepted. 3 p.m. & 6 p.m. Ukiah Seventh-Day Adventist Church. 1390 Laurel Ave., Ukiah. 462-5455. Decades. Live band plays hits from 1940s to today. $15–$25. 5 p.m. Soper Reese Community Theatre. 275 S. Main St., Lakeport. 263-0577. FREE Open ARRC. Gym & recreation center are open for families to come play ping-pong, basketball & board games. Second & fourth Sundays. Noon–4 p.m. Alex Rorabaugh Recreation Center. 1640 S. State St., Ukiah. 462-8562.

Friday 15 Soper Reese Christmas Party.

Featuring Funky Dozen. $15–$20. 7 p.m. Soper Reese Theatre. 275 S. Main St., Lakeport.

Saturday 16 Wreaths Across America. Place wreaths on veterans’ graves. 9 a.m. Russian River Cemetery. 940 Low Gap Rd., Ukiah.

Christmas in the Country


op on to a horse-drawn wagon and imagine yourself celebrating the holidays in a simpler time. The free wagon rides will be just one of the attractions at Kelseyville Christmas in the Country on December 1. Merchants will be giving out free hot cocoa and snacks while St. Peter’s Catholic Church and Kelseyville Presbyterian Church serve dinner (think chili) and the Bridge Band plays at Westamerica Bank. The evening runs 5:30–8:30 p.m. with a Parade of Lights on Main Street at 6:30 p.m. and the lighting of the town tree at the firehouse at 7 p.m. Find a full schedule of events at ¶

18 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Holly Near & Friends: A Benefit for SPACE. $40. 3 p.m. & 8 p.m. Near &

Arnold’s School of Performing Arts & Cultural Education. 508 W. Perkins St., Ukiah. FREE Birth Education Hour. Join

us to hear positive birth stories, discuss natural childbirth techniques & bring up any fears you may have

December 2017

surrounding labor & birth. 10:30–11:30 a.m. Mendocino Baby. 198 S. School St., Ukiah. 462-1020. MendoBaby.

Sunday 17 FREE Community Sing-Along. Sing

carols. Children welcome. 3:30 p.m. First Presbyterian Church. Corner of Perkins & Dora, Ukiah. 972-2795. Lake County Symphony Christmas Concert. Featuring soloists singing

“Sleigh Ride,” “Let It Snow,” “White Christmas” & other favorites. Audience sing-along includes carols & the “Hallelujah Chorus.” $25–$30. 2 p.m. Soper Reese Theatre. 275 S. Main St., Lakeport.

Saturday 23 Peter Pan. National Theatre Live from London. $18. Ages 18 & under:

$5. (First 100 kids 18 & under get in free.) 1 p.m. Arena Theater. 214 Main St., Point Arena.

Sunday 24 Christmas Eve Jazz. Pianist Paul Klemp & vocalist Machiko Shimada. Songs for the season & more. Family friendly. 6–8 p.m. Blue Wing Saloon & Restaurant. 9550 Main St., Upper Lake. FREE Nine Lessons & Carols. 5 p.m. Donations benefit South Coast Crisis Aid. Gualala Arts Center. 46501 Old State Hwy., Gualala. 884-1138.

Sunday 31

Lake. Reservations required: 275-2233. New Year’s Eve Dance Party.

Featuring the Mixed Nuts band. 8 p.m.–12:30 a.m. Call for cost: 964-4997. Caspar Community Center. 15051 Caspar Rd., Caspar. New Year’s Eve Party. LC Diamonds. Tickets include unlimited savory appetizers, party favors & champagne toast at midnight. No-host bar. $40–$250. 8 p.m. Soper Reese Community Theatre. 275 S. Main St., Lakeport. 263-0577. New Year’s Eve Beach Party.

New York New Year’s Eve Party.

Special menu, live music, champagne toast. 6–9 p.m. Blue Wing Saloon & Restaurant. 9550 Main St., Upper

Limited space. Reserve online. Paradise Skate. Lake County Fairgrounds. 401 Martin St., Lakeport. 262-0123.

Alliance for Public Waldorf Education Member

Kindergarten through Eighth Grade

Open Enrollment: Jan 8 – Feb 14 Enrollment Tours: Dec 7, Jan 11, Feb 6 Open House: Jan 27, 10am-Noon Advanced math, Science, Spanish, Music, Art, Woodwork, Drama, Speech, Extraordinary field trips 707-467-1855 • 555 Leslie St., Ukiah, CA 95482

December 2017

MendoLakeFamilyLife 19

Respond to rudeness with gentleness. This one is difficult, van Rij acknowledges. “When someone is rude to you, the first thing you do is instantly react, and not always in a positive way,” she

It’s hard to have the patience to be kind to others if we can’t even take the time to be sweet to ourselves.

Try a Little Tenderness Small Ways to Make a Big Difference


esearch has shown that being kind makes us happier; it’s also contagious, inspiring others to be nice as well. One study published in the Journal of Social Psychology linked performing acts of kindness to an increase in life satisfaction.

Gabriella van Rij, author of Watch Your Delivery (2016), offers this four-step process to put a little more love in the world: Be kind to yourself. It’s hard to have the patience to be kind to 20 MendoLakeFamilyLife

others if we can’t even take the time to be sweet with ourselves. “This might seem selfish, but it’s not,” van Rij says. “By being kind to ourselves, we shape our attitude toward others.”

says. “And the second thing you do is say ‘It’s about me. They were nasty to me.’” But van Rij says it’s not about you, it’s about the emotion. By responding to rudeness with kindness, you diffuse the situation. There’s also a certain satisfaction in seeing the change in the attitude of the person who was rude. Watch your delivery. How you say something is as important as what you say. Do you need to soften your tone? Does what you are saying sound more aggressive than what you mean? Body language also can send a message you don’t intend, so be aware of your stance and facial expressions. Shine a light on positive behavior. Whatever we place our attention on grows. Recognizing the kindness of others not only encourages more compassionate acts, but also can inspire you and your family to treat yourselves and others well. ¶ Find out more at

December 2017


Holly Near



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Rise Up Singing

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hrough the 1970s and 1980s, social justice activists were fueled by the work of musicians such as singer/songwriter Holly Near. Today the folk musician, a Ukiah native, is using her voice to help the artistic aspirations of local children thrive. Listen to her perform at a benefit concert for the School of Performing Arts and Cultural Education (SPACE) in Ukiah. Other performers will include Quinn VanAntwerp, Lucas  Near-Verbrugghe, Rocio Libertad Mendoza, Breath, and the Divine LambaZouk Trio. Performances are at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on December 16. Tickets are $40 and may be purchased at ¶

mployed in television commercials and movies, Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” is well known enough that most folks can recognize and even sing it. If you are one of those that likes to let out a few bars in the shower or when your kids leave for school on time, think about joining your voice with others at the Lake County Symphony “Hallelujah Chorus” sing-along. As part of the symphony’s Christmas Concert, the audience will be invited to sing Handel’s masterwork as well as traditional carols. The performance, which will also feature soloists crooning such favorites as “Sleigh Ride,” “Let It Snow,” “White Christmas,” and “March of the Toys,” will be held on December 17 at 2 p.m. at Soper Reese Theatre in Lakeport. Tickets are $25–$30 and may be purchased at ¶


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December 2017

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Like Us On Facebook MendoLakeFamilyLife 21

Humor Break

Oh, to Pee Alone! The Family Restroom Experience By Holly Hester


’ve never been a big water drinker. Ever. I just never really got the point of the whole water thing when there are so many other flavored beverages in the world that are so yummy. Water always has seemed to be just a watered-down version of coffee, beer, soda, or soda’s pretend healthy friend, iced tea. But the other day, I was lying in bed reading an interview with Jennifer Aniston (In my defense, it was the only thing upstairs to read. Our bedroom has more boring magazines than a dentist’s office.), and she said that her two biggest secrets to looking so good were sleep and water. Now, of course, I don’t really believe those are her only secrets, but it did get me thinking about water and my cursory relationship with it. It occurred to me that, since becoming a mom, I have turned into a camel out of necessity. As a mom, if you’re out in public, and you have to pee, and you just have a baby—well, that’s one thing. But as soon as your child can crawl, bathrooms turn into truly disgusting, very stressful places. I remember the first time I saw my son Buck crawl into another stall and disappear. I was so grossed out—it was a bathroom floor at the beach, which is pretty much one of the grossest 22 MendoLakeFamilyLife

bathroom floors on Earth. I remember calling his name and getting absolutely no response. By the time I got out of the stall, Buck had actually left the bathroom and was running around the parking lot. I think it was then that I subconsciously made a decision to stop absorbing liquids all together. That doesn’t mean I’ve avoided public bathrooms all these years—oh, no! Moms with little kids and vagrants are the two groups of people that

As soon as your child can crawl, bathrooms turn into truly disgusting, very stressful places. keep public bathrooms bustling. A parenting rule of thumb: If you’re anywhere near a gross bathroom, you can count on having to change a diaper in it. And how many hundreds of times have I been crammed in a stall with all three of my children as we do this weird public bathroom dance where we rotate clockwise and take turns at the toilet? It’s only been recently that we all can use separate stalls. This has been a major achievement, and I

only wish there were a plastic award I could buy at the Party Store to celebrate it. (Nothing fancy, maybe just a happy mom sitting alone on a toilet, giving a big thumbs up.) Which brings me back to water. There is really no good excuse why I can’t drink the stuff these days, so I decided to give water a try. And, being me, I decided to drink a ton of it instantly, just to see if there were any remarkable difference in how I felt. And I hate to say this, but drinking a lot of water does make you feel better. It really does. It makes you feel—oh, what’s the word?—hydrated. My skin is smoother. My eyes are clearer. I even have more energy. And the weird thing is, the more you drink it, the more you want to drink it. You get thirstier. You crave water. You start being one of those annoying people who says, “Have you seen my water bottle?” So it looks like my camel days are over. But, unfortunately, since I’m drinking a lot of water, my public bathroom days have just begun. ¶ Holly Hester lives in Sebastopol and writes about life on her blog, Riot Ranch. Find her book, Escape from Ugly Mom Island!, on Amazon.

December 2017

Sing Out!


Creative Technology

Robotics • 3-D Printing • Virtual Reality

Music Gathering


SUN. DEC. 17 3:30 First Presbyterian - Corner of Perkins & Dora

Cookies & Come sing Carols with the Hot Cider little ones & enjoy some Christmas Spirit & Cheer! For More Info. Carole Hester (707) 972-2795

Call for Tour! Where arts, nature & technology thrive La Vida 707-459-6344 Charter 16201 Hwy 101, Ukiah School

Tree of Life Charter


The Nutcracker

MontessoriElementary Elementary Education FreeFree Montessori Education Children Ages Ages 5 5–13 -13 ForFor Children

Give your child a joyful

Tickets: Adults: $20 Seniors over 65: $18 Under 18: $10 $ 5 more at the door Fort Bragg Cotton Auditorium

Dec. 9 at 7pm Ukiah

Mendocino College Center Theatre


Dec. 15 at 7pm Dec. 16 at 2 & 7pm Dec. 17 at 2pm

Beautiful hands-on learning materials Ticket Outlets: Mendocino Book Co. & Mendocino Ballet: Ukiah Out of this World: Mendocino • Mazahar: Willits Pippis Longstockings & Harvest Market: Fort Bragg

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707-462-0913 First open enrollment ends Jan. 31, 2018 December 2017

Enrollment applications and information available on our website: MendoLakeFamilyLife 23














You don’t have to leave Mendocino County for expert care Expert ear, nose and throat (Otolaryngology) care in Ukiah. We recently expanded our practice, welcoming Qi Zhang, MD and Gregory Porter, MD to our Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) team. From sore throats to sinus infections and ear aches, our team can provide the relief you need for conditions of the ear, nose and throat.

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Mendo Lake Family Life December 2017  
Mendo Lake Family Life December 2017