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mendo lake FREE!

November 2017

Cope with Crisis

Practical tips

Lunch Ninja Fast meals

Geek Out! 16 STEM toys


Benefits for fire victims


g Ar t s n i m r o rf e P al & u s i V 2 1 K STEM • GREAT THINGS


Art & Music Programs • Outdoor Education Career Education, Honors & AP Courses ENROLL NOW! KINDERGARTEN & INDEPENDENT STUDY From Movement & Performing Arts classes with SPACE, to over 30 Career Courses, we’re engaging our youth One-To-One and helping them Chromebooks create their future! in 3rd-12th Grades 511 S. Orchard Ave. • 707-472-5000 •














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.

Schedule your appointment, same day appointments are available

707.462.8855 1165 S. Dora Street, Ste. C-2 Ukiah, CA 95482


Susan R. Cordes, MD, FACS

Gregory Porter, MD

Laurie E. Markowitz Spence, MD

Qi Zhang, MD


November 2017

Every Issue 6

Dear Reader


Bits and Pieces Soul of a Wrangler Dance. Dine. Give.

10 Features

Goats & Grub Colors of Life


Head Bangers with Heart Shop Like It’s 1889 Cooking Up Fun


‘A’ Is for Acorn Make crafts with the help of nature.

10 Coping with Crisis Healing from wildfire trauma.


14 Calendar of Events Festival of Trees

20 Cooking with Kids Lunch Ninja

12 STEM-sensation Playthings that inspire an interest in science.

22 Thorny Devil Mom A local mom’s hilarious take on enviable animal traits.

8 4 MendoLakeFamilyLife


November 2017

give Extended Holiday Shopping Hours Beginning November 24 Monday - Saturday 9am - 9 pm • Sunday 9am to 6pm Christmas Eve • 9am to 5pm Christmas Day • Closed Tuesday, December 26 • 9am to 6pm


enjoy play

Santa and Mrs. Claus Beginning Saturday, November 25, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in their Photo Studio in Village Terrace every weekend from 11am to 3pm. All proceeds benefit the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County.


The Holiday Stroll Sunday, November 26 Festive holiday entertainment that includes music, merriment and more! Plus special holiday treats and discounts at over 30 participating stores. It’s sure to put you in a holiday mood. Visit for event details.


Light Up A Life Thursday, December 7 • 5pm to 6:30pm Please join us at Santa’s Village in Village Terrace for the Heartland Hospice Tree Lighting Ceremony and help to light up lives, cherish memories and celebrate our communtiy.

give gifts

enjoy play

Chanukah Festival Sunday, December 17 • 4 pm in Village Court The Chabad Jewish Center invites you to Celebrate Chanukah. Join us for a Menorah Lighting Celebration. Hot Latkes, Live Music, Dreidels, Gelt, Prizes and More. For information, call 707.577-0277.

The Secret Santa Marathon Wednesday, December 20 • Village Court While wrapping up your holiday shopping and enjoying the strolling entertainment, help us fulfill every last Secret Santa wish from our neighbors in need. For more information about Secret Santa, call 707.573.3399.

give gifts





Dear Reader


ur hearts go out to our families that have been impacted by the Mendocino Lake Complex Fire. Many Lake County families Sharon Gowan know only too well Publisher/Editor the widespread, long-lasting effects of wildfires on local communities. We’re here to help, so please let us know about upcoming fundraisers, events, or resources that we can share. See our Bits & Pieces section (pages 8–9) and look for the ♥ in our Calendar of Events (page 14) for information about fire benefits happening this month.

“Coping with Crisis” (page 10) for practical ways to help your family members release stress and process what has happened to them. Several local therapists are offering a limited number of free sessions to those affected by the fire. Find a list of them on, the website of the Redwood Empire Chapter of the California Marriage and Family Therapists Association. As the number one resource for families in Mendocino and Lake Counties for 25 years, we stand ready to help those who are hurting. We believe in our community’s ability to heal. We are #MendocinoStrong.

Office Manager Patricia Ramos

Business Marketing Renee Nutcher Warren Kaufman

Features Editor Melissa Chianta

Production Manager Donna Bogener

This wildfire was emotionally traumatic for many, especially children. Read

Web and Social Media


n u FBlast! Weekend

Natalie Bruzon

Contributing Writers Kimberly Blaker Holly Hester Karen Nochimowski Meagan Ruffing

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

November 2017

Crafting with Kids

‘A’ Is for Acorn 5 Nature-Oriented Thanksgiving Crafts By Meagan Ruffing


all is the perfect time to get your kids outside to collect acorns, pine cones, and sticks for their indoor crafts. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, any of these five simple projects can be proudly displayed on your kitchen table.

An acorn frame is one of the easiest, most fun fall crafts to do. The next time you go out on a walk, have the kids collect acorns in empty yogurt containers. Grab an old frame at a secondhand store and—an adult should do this part— hot glue the acorns all around the frame. Once the acorns are glued on, spray the frame with shellac. Voila! You have a really cool frame that makes a great gift for grandparents, especially if it contains a family photo. An “I am thankful” tree is a wonderful way for the family to contemplate the importance of gratitude. Ask your kids to grab a bunch of long, skinny twigs from outside. Write down things that

your family is thankful for on pieces of paper, tie the notes to the twigs, and then place the twigs in a vase. Before dinner, have each person take a piece of paper off the “tree” and read it. Pinecones can make such pretty centerpieces. Paste glue on cones, and then roll them in glitter spread on a paper plate. After they are decorated, spray the cones with shellac to make sure the glitter stays on them and not all over the house. Display in a bowl or on the fireplace mantel. Handprints are a simple way to preserve your child’s itty-bitty years. Take that precious little hand, place it on a piece of paper, and trace around it with a pencil or crayon. November 2017

Before dinner, have each person take a piece of paper off the gratitude tree and read it. (It’s fun for an older sibling to trace a younger sibling’s hand.) Then turn the tracing into a turkey by drawing a face on the thumb, feathers on the next three fingers, and, finally, a tale on the pinky. Gobble, gobble! Lastly, make a headpiece for your child to wear at dinner. Grab some construction paper, tape, scissors, and feathers. Cut the paper into strips, and then tape them together to make one, continuous piece that is long enough to snugly fit around your child’s head. Decorate the crown with feathers, and place on top of your prince’s or princess’s head. Meagan Ruffing is a parenting journalist who loves making crafts with her three children. Check out more parenting tips and tricks at

MendoLakeFamilyLife 7

Bits & Pieces

Soul of a Wrangler


e aren’t used to the words cowboy and poet describing the same person. But David Stamey is both. The singer/songwriter will bring his brand of music and verse to the Tallman Hotel in Upper Lake on November 17 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the intimate performance are $25 and may be purchased by calling 275-2244. The concert is not appropriate for young children, so hire a sitter and make it a date night. See for details. ¶

Alex de Grassi

Dance. Dine. Give.


ildfires may have devastated the land of Mendocino County, but the spirit of the community remains vital. Locals have created the Mendocino Strong Together Redwood Complex Fire benefit to prove it. Dine on tri-tip or taco dinners, listen to pianist Spencer Brewer and renowned guitarist Alex de Grassi and Friends, then dance the night away to the high-energy, country music of the Johnny Young Band and Waylon and the Wild Cats. Maybe you’ll find a treasure at the silent and live auctions, too. The event will be held on November 4, 4–10 p.m., at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds in Ukiah. Tickets are $20–$25 (ages 5 and under get in free), and may be purchased at Mendo Mill, Chavez Market, and the Mendocino Book Company, all in Ukiah, as well as at JD Redhouse in Willits and Geiger’s Market in Laytonville. ¶

Goats & Grub


ith their beady eyes, beckoning baaahhhs, and the ability to

digest seemingly anything, goats are pretty entertaining creatures. Check out the furry folks at Penny Royal Farms in Philo during one of their tours, which run daily 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., (advance reservations necessary). Lunch is served on weekends, 11:30 a.m.– 2 p.m., and in celebration of the Mendocino Mushroom, Wine, and Beer Festival, on November 4 the farm will offer a mushroom–inspired menu for $10–$20. See for more information. ¶

8 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Colors of Life If, like most of us, you are looking for solace after the recent wildfires, take your spirit to the Annual Chrysanthemum Show. Wander through more than 40 creative displays of flowers, letting the pinks, yellows, reds, and purples remind you of the joy of life. There will be cookies and cider, too. The free show will be held on November 3, 1–4 p.m., at the Lakeport Yacht Club in Lakeport. ¶

November 2017

Head Bangers with Heart


f you are a metalhead, here is your chance to rock out and help those in need. The Heavy Metal and a Bit of Punk Fire Relief Benefit is raising funds for those afflicted by wildfires in Mendocino, Lake, and Sonoma Counties. Bang your head to bands such as Scythe, Immortalica, Violent Obsession, Fall Children, and Union Jack and the Rippers. Enter the raffle, and you may win a guitar, bass, or even an amplifier. The all-ages event will be held on November 25, 4:30–11 p.m., at the Willits Community Center in Willits. The suggested donation of $20 will go to the Redwood Credit Union Fire Relief Fund, North Coast Opportunities, and other relief efforts. Search Facebook for “Friends and Family Fire Relief Benefit” for more information. ¶

Shop Like It’s 1889


ress up in your finest Victorian garb and step into a time of everyday elegance at the Dickens’ Faire in Lakeport. Shop for holiday gifts while kids enjoy free activities or sit for a photo with Santa. You might even win a prize for your costume. The event happens on Main Street, between First and Fourth Streets, in Lakeport on November 25, 11 a.m.–6 p.m., with caroling and tree lighting at 5:30 p.m. See support.lakecochamber. com for more information. ¶

Cooking Up Fun


s gourmet food usually out of your budget? Let the students studying at Mendocino College’s Arts Management Program treat you to a taste of the good life. The chefs-in-training will be serving up free appetizers made of mushrooms and other foraged ingredients on November 8, 2–5 p.m., at Mendocino College in Ukiah. See visitmendocino. com for more information. ¶



endocino County boasts thousands of different species of mushrooms. And fall is the time to harvest them. Join local naturalists and fungi experts Chuck Vaughn and Dave Bengston on a mushroom foraging expedition at the Hopland Research and Extension Center in Hopland on November 4, 10 a.m.–noon. After the expedition, taste mushroom-themed appetizers. Tickets are $20. Find out more and register for the event at hrec.ucanr. edu/?calitem=378537&g=61984. ¶

November 2017

MendoLakeFamilyLife 9

Coping with Crisis Help Your Family Heal


ndividuals and families impacted by the Mendocino Lake Complex Fire may be affected personally regardless of whether you were hurt, lost a loved one, or suffered damage or loss to your property. You can be affected just by witnessing the disaster. It is common to show signs of stress after exposure to a disaster, and, therefore, it is important to monitor your physical and emotional health. Possible Reactions

Try to identify your early warning signs of stress. Stress usually shows up in the ways listed below, but everyone should check for any unusual stress responses after a disaster or other traumatic event. Here are some of the most common reactions. You may feel: • Anxious or fearful • Overwhelmed by sadness • Angry, especially if the event involved violence • Guilty, even when you had no control over the traumatic event • Heroic, like you can do anything • Like you have too much energy or no energy at all 10 MendoLakeFamilyLife

• Disconnected, not caring about anything or anyone • Numb, unable to feel either joy or sadness You may have physical reactions, such as: • Stomachaches or diarrhea • Headaches or other physical pains for no clear reason • Eating too much or too little • Sweating or having chills • Tremors (shaking) or muscle twitches • Being jumpy or easily startled Practical Tips for Relieving Stress These stress management activities seem to work well for most people. Use the ones that work for you.

Spend more time with the children than usual, even for a short while. Talk with others who understand and accept how you feel. Reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or faith-based leader to explore what meaning the event may have for you. Connect with other survivors of the disaster or other traumatic events, and share your experience. Move your body. Movement helps the body rid itself of extra stress hormones. Exercise once daily or in smaller amounts throughout the day. Be careful not to lift heavy weights. You can damage your muscles if you have too much adrenaline in your system. If you don’t like to exercise, do something simple such as taking a walk, gently stretching, or meditating. Take deep breaths. Most people can benefit from taking several deep breaths often throughout the day. Deep breathing can move stress out

November 2017

Listen to music. Music is a way to help your body relax naturally. Play music timed to the breath or to your heartbeat. Create a relaxing playlist for yourself, and listen to it often.

• Excuse traumatized children from chores for a day or two. After that, make sure they have age-appropriate tasks and can participate in a way that makes them feel useful.

Pay attention to your physical self. Make sure to get enough sleep and rest each day. Don’t leave resting for the weekend. Eat healthy meals and snacks, and make sure to drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol, especially in large amounts. Their effects are multiplied under stress and can be harmful.

• Support children spending time with friends or having quiet time to write or create art.

Tips for Talking with Children Preschool Children, 0–5 Years Old • Give these very young children a lot of cuddling and verbal support. • Take a deep breath before holding or picking them up, and focus on them, not the trauma. • Get down to their eye level and speak in a calm, gentle voice using words they can understand. • Tell them that you still care for them and will continue to take care of them so they feel safe. Early Childhood to Adolescence, 6–19 Years Old • Ask your child or the children in your care what worries them and what might help them cope. • Offer comfort with gentle words, a hug when appropriate, or by just being present with them. • Spend more time with the children than usual, even for a short while.


Returning to school activities and getting back to routines at home is important, too.

©P N

of your body, and help you to calm yourself. It can even help stop a panic attack.

Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport (STS)

Where would you like to go? You can fly direct, connect, and enjoy. Seattle (SEA) - Portland (PDX) - Los Angeles (LAX) Orange County (SNA) - San Diego (SAN) - Phoenix (PHX) San Francisco (SFO) - Minneapolis (MSP)

• Encourage children to participate in recreational activities so they can move around and play with others. • Address your own trauma in a healthy way. Do not hit, isolate, abandon, or make fun of children. • Let children know that you care about them. Spend time doing something special; make sure to check on them in a nonintrusive way. ¶

Book your tickets today at:

Mourning the Loss of a Pet When a pet dies, it’s common for people to feel as though they’ve lost a member of the family. For children, this is often their first encounter with death. In an attempt to soften the blow, parents sometimes explain the death of a pet in vague ways or skirt the topic altogether. But experts say this just makes things worse by leaving children anxious and mystified. Explaining a pet’s death to children in a clear, respectful manner can go a long way toward making the journey a little less distressful, and at the same time enhance your connection with your child. Reprinted with permission from

November 2017


• Help with all aspects of opening a child care business in your home. • Free referrals to your program. • Ongoing support with technical assistance & free training workshops.

Rural Communities Child Care

1-800-606-5550 x211 MendoLakeFamilyLife 11

Goobi Construction Sets Kids will learn about magnetism while constructing 3-D structures out of colorful plastic bars, iron balls, and tripods. Children will develop a sense of proportion while improving eye-hand coordination and

Kids can make more than 100 projects, including a burglar alarm, doorbell, and flying saucer. problem-solving skills, and learning the basics of physics, geometry, and architecture. Ages 3+.

STEM-sensation 16 Great Geeky Toys


By Kimberly Blaker

s scientific and technological advancements continue to grow at an exponential rate, it becomes even more important for kids to learn about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). So how do you help your child develop an appreciation for these subjects? Try these fun games, toys, and kits.

Qurious Space This four-in-one family card game teaches kids about the solar system, Milky Way galaxy, and more. Kids will learn simple strategy and creative problem-solving skills while developing vocabulary and enhancing memory. Ages 3+. 12 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Magformers These magnetic geometric construction kits come in a variety of choices. Kids can build 3-D structures such as houses, pyramids, and balls out of colorful magnetic triangles, diamonds, trapezoids, and squares. Ages 3+.

Lil’ Engineers Engineering Blocks by ETI Toys This box of colorful, differently sized and shaped blocks, screws, nuts, plates, wheels, and connectors will keep kids engrossed for hours. Kids can build 12 different toy designs while developing their motor skills, eye-hand coordination, logical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Ages 3–6. Rainforest Discovery Science Box by Green Kid Crafts This kit embraces kids’ creativity while providing scientific exploration. Kids can conduct a rainforest pollution experiment, create a rain stick, and build a rainforest terrarium, among many other activities. Ages 3–10. Sequence for Kids by Jax In this strategy-building card and board game, the goal is to be the first to place four chips in a row. The challenge is to think strategically and finish before the opponent uses a unicorn card to remove a chip. Ages 4–7. Osmo Genius Kit This kit boasts five games that turn an iPad into

November 2017

contain items such as phototransistors, LEDs, resistors, ICs, DC motors, flying propellers, electromagnets, lamps, switches, and much more. Kids can make more than 100 projects, such as a burglar alarm, doorbell, flying saucer, voice recorder, and an AM radio. Ages 7+.

MuddWatt STEM Kit

Kids use soil and ingredients from the fridge to build a living fuel cell. a hands-on learning experience. Osmo, on the iPad, interacts with every real-live move. The games enhance kids’ visual thinking and creative problem-solving skills and self-expression. Ages 5–12. Rock On! Geology Game by iLaughnLearn Kids explore earth’s geological treasures in this science game, which comes with a nice assortment of rock and mineral specimens. Ages 5+. IQ Fit by SmartGames This travel-sized spatial reasoning and problem-solving game boasts 120 challenges in which kids must fill the board with missing 3-D pieces. Ages 6+. DoughLab STEM Kit: Bake and Learn by Magical Microbes This yummy bread-making kit includes five experiments in which kids discover the perfect recipe and learn about the power of yeast. Ages 6+. Snap Circuits These awardwinning electronics discovery kits

Gravity Maze by ThinkFun Kids use spatial reasoning skills to arrange towers that create a path for a marble to travel. It includes 60 challenge cards ranging from beginner to expert. Ages 8+. MuddWatt STEM Kit: Clean Energy from Mud! by Magical Microbes Kids use soil and ingredients from the fridge to build a living fuel cell. A free app helps measure power and track microbe growth. Ages 8+. Rush Hour by ThinkFun Winner of a national Mensa award, this game of logic sharpens sequential reasoning and planning skills. The goal is to move cars through the puzzle until the red car can escape the traffic jam. There are 40 challenges from beginner to expert. Ages 8+. Big Bag of Science by Be Amazing! Toys Kids use the real scientific tools that are included in the kit to perform more than 70 activities in the areas of chemistry, physics, biology, geology, magnetism, weather, and flight. Ages 8+. Prime Climb by Math for Love Learning to add, subtract, divide, and multiply is a breeze with this award-winning mathematics board game. Ages 10+. ¶ Kimberly Blaker is a lifestyle and parenting freelance writer. Follow her on LinkedIn and Facebook.

November 2017


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586-9562 MendoLakeFamilyLife 13

November Calendar of Events

Carnival of Delights


s pie one of your favorite treats? Make your indulgence guilt-free. Buy one at the Ukiah Junior Academy pie auction, where your purchase will serve not only your sweet tooth, but students’ needs. The auction is part of the academy’s Fall Festival, which features carnival games, horseback rides, a box maze, and a water balloon launch as well as a raffle and silent auction. The event will happen on November 5 at the Ukiah Junior Academy in Ukiah. Activity tickets, the prices for which vary, will be sold at the door. See for more information. ¶

♥=fire benefit

Wednesday 1 Labyrinth. Screening of classic

fantasy starring David Bowie. Donations accepted at the door. 7 p.m. Soper Reese Community Theatre. 275 S. Main St., Lakeport. 263-0577. 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. Ages 12 & up. Wednesdays. 4–5 p.m. Redbud Library. 14785 Burns Valley Rd., Clearlake. FREE Mendocino Museum. Free

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

Thursday 2 ♥Zoppé Italian Circus. $24–$44.

Ages 2 & under: free. $6 from every full price advance ticket donated to the victims of the wildfires. Nov. 2 & 14 MendoLakeFamilyLife

3: 7 p.m. Nov. 4: 1 p.m., 4 p.m. & 7 p.m. Nov. 5: 1 p.m. & 4 p.m. Todd’s Point. 200 Ocean View Dr., Fort Bragg.

Friday 3 FREE Flower Show. More than 40 exhibits of creative displays of mums. Cider & cookies served. 1–4 p.m. Lakeport Yacht Club. 15 5 St., Lakeport. ♥Halloween Spirits Dance Party.

Dance & costume contests; free treat at the door for those wearing costumes. Benefit for Hope City to rebuild homes lost in 2015–2017 Lake County fires. $10. Beer, wine & treats for additional purchase. 7–10 p.m. Big Valley Hall. 1510 Big Valley Rd., Lakeport. lakecountyfirerecoverybenefits. FREE Rockology. Classic rock cover/tribute band. 9 p.m.–1:30 a.m. Twin Pines Casino. 22223 CA-29, Middletown. Mendocino Beer, Wine & Mushroom Festival. Foraging expeditions,

take place throughout the county. Runs thru Nov. 12. Download full schedule at mendocino-wine-mushroom-festival. html. 866-466-3636. Hurricane Smith. A

famous explorer, whose father disappeared in the Amazon jungles on a search for the fabled Garden of the Golden Monkey, receives the Golden Monkey from a mysterious foreigner 20 years later. $8–$18. Thru Nov. 12. Fridays & Saturdays: 7:30 p.m. Sundays: 3 p.m. Eagles Hall. 210 N. Corry St., Fort Bragg. 964-7469. Student art exhibit celebrating Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

5:30 p.m.: Students will sell food & drink in the Fog Signal Building to raise funds for a field trip to the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. Tours of the tower under the full moon will be free for students & $5 for adults. Point Arena Lighthouse. 45500 Lighthouse Rd., Point Arena. calendar-2/night-tour.

art classes, performances. Events November 2017

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.

Saturday 4

Spencer Brewer, Waylon & the Wild Cats & the Johnny Young Band. 4–10 p.m. Redwood Empire Fairgrounds. 1055 N. State St., Ukiah. facebook. com/Mendocino-Strong-Together.

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 workshops.

FREE Home Depot Hands-on

Kids Movie Night. Kung Fu Panda

Workshop. Kids make a Humvee

Party. Ages 5–12. $5, $2 for each

♥Anova Fundraiser. Music performed

by the Soul Section, a funk & soul revue. Anova, Sonoma County’s only nonprofit school for children with autism, was destroyed in the fire. $15. 8 p.m. Redwood Café. 8240 Old Redwood Hwy., Cotati. 795-7868. FREE Kids Craft Time. Supplies

provided. Saturdays. 11 a.m.– noon. Fort Bragg Library. 499 E. Laurel St., Fort Bragg. 964-2020. Mushroom Forage. 10 a.m.–noon. Mushroom foraging expedition. Tasting of mushroom-themed appetizers. $20. Hopland Research & Extension Center. 4070 University Rd., Hopland. Find out more & register at ♥Homebrew Festival. Featuring

brewers from several clubs in Lake & Mendocino Counties & other areas of Northern California. Also homebrewed ciders & other fermented beverages. $30–$45. 2–6 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Good Farm Fund. Ukiah Valley Conference Center. 200 S. School St., Ukiah.

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♥Mendocino Strong Together

HILLSIDE (707) 468-1010

Fundraiser. Support & uplift local

fire survivors. Tri-tip & taco dinner, live music, silent & live auctions & after-party dance. $25. Ages 5 & under: free. Featuring Alex de Grassi,

333 Laws Ave. Ukiah


LAKEVIEW (707) 263-7725

5335 Lakeshore Blvd. Lakeport

LITTLE LAKE (707) 456-9600 45 Hazel St. Willits


November 2017


MendoLakeFamilyLife 15

additional child. Must pre-register at office. 7–9 p.m. Hidden Valley Lake Association. 18174 Hidden Valley Lake Rd., Hidden Valley. 987-3138.

4–5 p.m. Fort Bragg Library. 499 E. Laurel St., Fort Bragg. 964-2020. FREE Mother-Wise Clearlake Workshops. Nov. 7: Germ Alert

Sunday 5 Fall Festival. Box maze, water balloon

launch, horseback rides, carnival games, bouncy house & more. Raffle, silent auction & pie auction. Lots of homemade goodies & craft items to purchase. Activity prices vary. Tickets sold at the door. Noon–4 p.m. Ukiah Jr. Academy. 180 Stipp Ln., Ukiah. 462-6350.

Tuesday 7 FREE Lego Block Party. Come by & build a Lego creation. Tuesdays.

& Traveling with Babies/Toddlers. Nov. 21: Managing Holiday Stress & Birth Prep. 9:30–11:30 a.m. St. John’s Lutheran Church. 14310 Memory Ln., Clearlake. Register: 349-1210. facebook. com/MotherWiseLakeCounty. FREE Mother-Wise Lakeport

Reservations: 349-1210. MotherWiseLakeCounty.

Wednesday 8 FREE Mushroom & Foraged Afternoon Appetizers. Students

serve appetizers made with locally sourced products & modern techniques. Donations accepted. 2–5 p.m. Mendocino College Theatre. 1000 Hensley Creek Rd., Ukiah. 964-9010.

Workshops. Nov. 7: Germ

Alert! Getting Ready for Winter Wellness. Nov. 14: Traveling with Babies & Toddlers. Nov. 21: Managing & Coping with Holiday Stress. Nov. 28: Birth Prep. 1–3 p.m. 180 N. Main St., Lakeport.

Thursday 9 FREE Rockin’ That Interview.

Learn how to ace a job interview in this workshop. Noon–1 p.m. Woodland College. Campus Room


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

TBA Ukiah

Mendocino College Center Theatre


Dec. 15 at 7pm Dec. 16 at 2 & 7pm Dec. 17 at 2pm Ticket Outlets: Mendocino Book Co. & Mendocino Ballet: Ukiah Out of this World: Mendocino • Mazahar: Willits Pippis Longstockings & Harvest Market: Fort Bragg

“Where Dreams to Dance Come True!” 16 MendoLakeFamilyLife

707.987.0197 •

November 2017

150. 15880 Dam Rd. Ext., Clearlake. Reservations: 995-7900.

Saturday 11 Hopland Sheepdog Trials. Bring

snacks/picnic. $5. No dogs permitted on site. Thru Nov. 12. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. 4070 University Rd., Hopland. 744-1424, ext. 105. Guided Nature Walk. Anderson Marsh State Historic Park. 8:30–11:30 a.m. Meet at 8:15 a.m. at Ranch House parking lot. Last walk of 2017. CA-53, Lower Lake. FREE Holiday in the Pines. Arts

& crafts fair. Nov. 11 & 12. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Twin Pines Casino. 22223 CA-29, Middletown. 490-7168.

Symphony of the Redwoods Fall Concert. Adult:

$20. Under age 18: free. Nov. 11: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12: 2 p.m. Cotton Auditorium. 500 N. Harold St., Fort Bragg. 964-0898. A Night at the Speakeasy IV.

Music & dance from the days of Prohibition. Casino tables, floor show & costume contest. Ages 18 & up only. $25–$30. 7 p.m. Soper Reese Community Theatre. 275 S. Main St., Lakeport. 263-0577. FREE Military Appreciation Day.

Servicemen & women receive free admission. Regular fees apply to all other guests: $8–$15. Ages 5 & under: free. 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. 18220

Creative Technology

Sunday 12 FREE ARRC Sundays. Gym &

the recreation center are open for families to come play ping-pong, basketball & board games. Second & fourth Sundays. Noon–4 p.m. Alex Rorabuagh Recreation Center. 1640 S. State St., Ukiah. 462-8562. 13th Annual Laytonville Toy Run.

Admission: unwrapped toy. Live music by the Johnny Young Band. Trip-tip lunch: $6. Rain or shine. 1–5 p.m. Boomer’s Saloon. 45020 N. Hwy. 101, Laytonville. BoomersSaloon.

Dickens Christmas

Market Saturday


Robotics • 3-D Printing • Virtual Reality

Hwy. 1, Fort Bragg. 964-4352, ext. 16.

November 25 Enjoy the sights & sounds of an old fashioned holiday

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

merchants & vendors will offer Christmas Market Main Street marvelous holiday gifts & food. 11am-6pm Come in costume & enter

Tree Lighting 5:30pm

Photos with Santa 11am-3pm

the Dickens theme costume contest for fabulous prizes. Strolling minstrels.

Presented by The Lakeport Main Street Association

November 2017

MendoLakeFamilyLife 17

Saturday 18 FREE Birth Education Hour. Join

us to hear positive birth stories, discuss natural childbirth techniques. 10:30–11:30 a.m. Mendocino Baby. 198 S School St., Ukiah. 462-1020. FREE Friendsgiving. Bring a Thanksgiving side dish, dessert, or appetizer to share. Family & friends welcome. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Mother-Wise. 180 N. Main St., Lakeport. 349-1210. MotherWiseLakeCounty.

Sunday 19 Lake County Symphony Fall Concert. Featuring

classical favorites. $20–$25. 2 p.m. Open

rehearsal at 11 a.m. is $5 or free for kids under 18. Soper Reese Theatre. 275 S. Main St., Lakeport. 263-0577. ♥Richard Cionco. Pianist

performs Liszt, Chopin & Rachmaninov. $20. 50% of ticket sales go to the Community Foundation of Mendocino County’s Disaster Fund. 3 p.m. Mendocino Presbyterian Church. Preston Hall. 44831 Main St., Mendocino.

Wednesday 22 FREE Tech Q&A. Ask questions about computers, cell phones, tablets & the Internet. Noon–12:50 p.m. Lakeport

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#1 local resource for for 25 years local families

magazine • web • email • events

Library. 1425 N. High St., Lakeport. 263-8817.

Friday 24 FREE Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Fair. Unique handmade artwork, glasswork, jewelry, ceramics & much more. Food & live music. Thru Nov. 25. 10 a.m.– 5 p.m. Mendocino Art Center. 45200 Little Lake St., Mendocino. 937-5818. Festival of Lights. The gardens are

decorated with colorful holiday lights. $8–$15. Under age 16: free. Thru Dec. 17. Fridays–Sundays. 5–7:30 p.m. (last entry at 7:15 p.m.) Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. 18220

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18 MendoLakeFamilyLife

November 2017

Hwy. 1, Fort Bragg. 964-4352, ext. 10. FREE Festival of Trees & Holiday Bazaar. The art center will be

transformed into a mid-19th century village. Activities & crafts for children. Visits from Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus. Nov. 24: 10 a.m.–6 p.m. (Christmas tree lighting & carols at 5 p.m.) Nov. 25: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Gualala Arts Center. 46501 Old State Hwy., Gualala. 884-1138. A Little Princess. A young girl is

relegated to servitude at a boarding school when her father goes missing & is presumed dead. $11–$20. Thru Dec. 17. Thursdays–Fridays: 7 p.m. Sundays: 2 p.m. Ukiah Players Theatre. 1041 Low Gap Rd., Ukiah. 462-9226.

Saturday 25 FREE Dickens’ Faire. Merchants

& vendors will offer holiday gifts & food. Free activities for kids. Dickens’-themed costume contest. Prizes. 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Caroling & tree lighting at 5:30 p.m. Main St. 1st & 4th Streets, Lakeport.

more. 4–11 p.m. Willits Community Center. 111 E. Commercial St., Willits.

Wednesday 29 FREE Teen Anime & Magna Club.

Cosplay, fan art, anime viewing & chats about anime. 2–5 p.m. Ukiah Library. 105 N. Main St., Ukiah.

FREE Christmas Tree Ornament

Thursday 30

Workshop. You & your child create

a holiday picture frame that doubles as a Christmas ornament. 9 a.m.– noon. Home Depot. 350 N. Orchard Ave., Ukiah. 462-3009. Register at ♥Heavy Metal & a Bit of Punk Fire Relief. Live bands. Raffle for guitars, bass, amplifiers, gift certificates &

Dine Out for Hospice. Eat

at Blue Wing Saloon, Giovonni’s Skyroom, Howard’s Grotto, Main Street Bar & Grill, Park Place, Renee’s Café, or Saw Shop Bistro & at least 10% of your bill will be donated to Hospice Services of Lake County. 5–9 p.m. 263-6270, ext. 111. support.

CAMP EPIC Sports & Entertainment Camp NON-STOP FUN FOR KIDS AGES 4–12 Soccer Basketball Flag Football Dodgeball

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November 2017

MendoLakeFamilyLife 19

Cooking with Kids

Lunch Ninja Tips for Fast, Yummy Meals By Momma Chef


hen it comes to packing school lunches, advanced preparation is a parent’s best friend. Here are some tips for making the task that much easier:


Try out recipes on your kids first, rather than surprising them with a new lunch. As a food blogger, I serve culinary experiments all the time.


When I find something they like, I’ll make—usually on a Sunday night—enough to provide a few lunches during the week. My kids’ favorites are Banana Muffins, Hidden Zucchini Muffins, Bourbon Chicken, and Crispy Corn Flake Chicken. Find the recipe for the latter at left. See my blog,, for the others and many more lunchtime ideas.


At the start of the week, we also bake up a batch of S’mores Brownies, which we individually wrap so they’re ready for lunchbox desserts. The recipe for them is on my blog, too.

20 MendoLakeFamilyLife


For fruit, I like to throw in small bags of organic apple slices from Costco or Trader Joe’s. Of course, fresh apples are ideal, and autumn is a great time to pick them right off the tree. If you slice them up, do so in the morning, not the night before, so they won’t brown before lunch.


Freeze a box of yogurt squeezers (my favorite is Stonyfield Organic

Strawberry), and include one in the lunch box. It’ll be defrosted by noon and keep other items cold until mealtime. Karen Nochimowski, aka Momma Chef, is a mother of three active boys (ages 12, 8, and 5). On her blog, mommachef. com, find more of her recipes, all of which require no more than six ingredients and six minutes of prep time.

Momma Chef’s Cornflake-Coated Chicken 2 large eggs 2 tablespoons water 4 cups corn flakes 1 tablespoon salt 6 boneless chicken breasts Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, mix together eggs and water. Set aside. In a large

Ziploc bag, add the corn flakes and salt, and then crush the corn flakes. Dip each chicken breast in the egg/water mixture and put it in the Ziploc bag. Shake to coat all sides of the chicken. Arrange the chicken in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes. Serves six.

November 2017

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Electric Fantasy



olden boats floating on a patch of sparkly blue and giant swans set in twinkling white are just some of the fantastical light displays you will see during the annual Festival of Lights at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg. Take a tour Friday–Sunday, 5–7:30 p.m., November 24–December 17. Tickets are $10 for adults, free for ages 16 and under, and may be purchased at ¶

• Traditional Okinawan karate • Classes for the whole family • Multiple member discounts available Mention this ad & get 10% off your first month dues

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Celtic Soul


he drive of a Celtic fiddle, the soulfulness of cello, the whimsy of hammered dulcimer—all are part of the sound of the Jeremy Kittel Band. With a fiddler who is featured on the new Fleet Foxes album Crack-Up, the group churns out a unique blend of Celtic, jazz, and classical music. Hear them live at Mendocino College in Ukiah on November 4 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10–$30 and may be purchased at ¶

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November 2017


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Humor Break

Thorny Devil Mom

6 Animal Qualities I Wish I Had

By Holly Hester


eing a mom requires a lot of special qualities. Kindness, love, understanding, strength, courage, and blah, blah, blah... . I get it. We all get we’re supposed to act like Hallmark cards every day. And I do try my best to embody the qualities necessary for raising healthy humans. But sometimes I’d love it if I could borrow some qualities from the animal kingdom.

out of her butt was not only cool, but hilarious. 5. Alpine Ibex These wild goats can climb near vertical walls, a very helpful skill for when your kid gets stuck up a slide or in a tube maze or ball pit. I’m not sure the Alpine Ibex can climb in a skirt, but I bet any mom could. 6. Turritopsis Jellyfish This creature is nearly immortal. When it gets old it dives to the sea floor and folds in upon itself. Then it reverts back to its “polyp” stage and begins life anew.

1. The African Pixie Frog can hibernate in a water-soluble mucous sac for years. I don’t think I’d like to hide in a mucous sac for years, but hiding in a mucous sac for an afternoon might be nice. Do I have enough room in my mucous sac to bring magazines and a latte? 2. Axolotl Axolotls are underwater salamanders that can not only re-grow their limbs, but also regenerate complex organs such as their hearts and brains. After having three kids, I’d certainly love to regenerate my mommy brain as well as most of my female parts and my butt. 3. The Thorny Devil This cute little lizard drinks with its skin. What a great mom-quality that would be! You know how many drinks have been spilled on 22 MendoLakeFamilyLife

I’m not sure the Alpine Ibex can climb in a skirt, but I bet any mom could. me over the years? I could have Slurpees, apple juice, chocolate milk, and smoothies all sucked up right through my jeans. Yum! 4. Bombardier Beetle These beetles spray a boiling-hot liquid out of their butts when they’re threatened. This quality would make going to the park a lot more interesting. Plus, my kids (especially my boys) would think having a mom that can shoot a super-heated noxious chemical

This, by far, might be the most helpful animal quality for a mom. Often times I feel completely dead at night, but in the morning I don’t feel brand new. I just wake up feeling slightly less dead. Wouldn’t it be great to not just wake up, but wake up totally alive for the first time? Maybe it’s the sea floor part we’re missing. Perhaps Hammacher Schlemmer could make a sea floor moms could dive to every night. But until then, I guess I’ll just have to take some Tylenol PM and dream of being more like an animal than a Hallmark card. ¶ Holly Hester lives in Sebastopol and writes about life on her blog, Riot Ranch. Find her book, Escape from Ugly Mom Island!, on Amazon.

November 2017

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Mendo Lake Family Life November 2017