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mendo lake FREE!

October 2015

Valley Fire Help with grief & loss

Can-do Kid Steps for success

Make Friends Teach social skills Treats & Freaks Halloween top spots


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October 2015

Every Issue 6

Dear Reader


Bits and Pieces Fry Bread Power Funny Fix-ups Bring on Beethoven

8 Features


20 Family Fun Trick, Treat— Freak!

22 Calendar of Events Dig Up Local History

8 Together We Are Strong

10 The Can-do Kid

Tips to help Valley Fire victims cope with loss.

What entrepreneurs can teach you about parenting.

12 The Art of Friendship

29 Beat Breast Cancer 30 Humor Break 31 Cooking with Kids Creepy Eats

Social skills for every age.

14 Minutes, Money & Manners Does your child need a cell phone?

16 Lend a Helping Hand Little ways to make a big difference at your child’s school.

18 Pumpkin Pizzazz

31 4 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Decorate—instead of carve—your jack-o’-lantern.

20 October 2015


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“If a kid says, ‘It hurts,’ it hurts. What you see is what you get,” she said. She knows that while many of us, as parents, struggle to find time to care for ourselves, most of us will do all we can to care for our children. She wants to help us succeed.

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Dear Reader

It’s that time of year when pirate zombies and assorted Disney characters take Sharon Gowan to the streets Publisher/Editor to collect their annual allotment of free sweets. For a roundup of safe spots to celebrate Halloween, see “Trick, Treat— Freak!” (page 20). Throwing a party of your own? Check out “Creepy Eats” (page 31) for wickedly clever snacks to serve. Then see “Pumpkin Pizzazz” (page 18) for ways to dress up your jack-o’-lantern—no carving required.

We know that for Valley Fire victims the fun of Halloween may be sidelined by the loss of a home and/or job. “Together We Are Strong” (page 8) offers tips from two local counselors on coping with shock and grief, and finding solace in family. If you’d like to help victims of the fire, see for links to organizations taking financial donations.

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October 2015

Bits & Pieces

Fry Bread Power


ou won’t find fry bread on Dr. Oz’s dietary do-over list. But the deep-fried puffy dough sure does taste good. Satisfy your urge to splurge at the Third Annual Native American Fry Bread Cook-off and Crafts Fair on October 3, 3–7 p.m., in the Alex R. Thomas Plaza in downtown Ukiah. While you are chowing down on the good stuff, take in dance performances and peruse booths exhibiting crafts. Fry-bread tasting bracelet is $5. See facebook. com/events/547635018673238 for more information. ¶

Funny Fix-ups


n 1955, before Hello Dolly! hit the stage, the play the musical is based on, Thorton Wilder’s The Matchmaker, was making waves on Broadway. Wilder’s romp is still reeling in the laughs thanks to the machinations of the character Dolly Levi, who hooks up several unlikely couples in 19th century New York. The comedy will be performed at Mendocino College in Ukiah October 16–25: October 16 and 17 at 8 p.m.; October 22 at 7:30 p.m.; October 23 and 24 at 8 p.m.; and October 25 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $21 general and $16 for students and seniors; the October 22 show is $11. See for more information. Purchase tickets at ¶

Bring on Beethoven


et the passion and drama of Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 move your soul at the Ukiah Symphony’s Season Gala Opening concert. The concert will feature Bay Area violin soloist Philip Santos, who has performed with the Skywalker Symphony on numerous film soundtracks as well as many Grammy Award–winning recordings. Besides the Bruch concerto, the concert will include three Beethoven overtures: King Stephen, Ruins of Athens, and Leonore. Performances will be held at the Near and Arnold’s School of Performing Arts and Cultural Education Theater in Ukiah on October 10 at 8 p.m. and on October 11 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors 65 and over, and $5 for those under 18 or students with ASB cards. Buy tickets at the Mendocino Book Company in Ukiah, the Mail Center in Cloverdale, or online at and ¶

October 2015

MendoLakeFamilyLife 7

Together We Are Strong Emotional First Aid for Fire Victims


e’ve all imagined it: A fire approaches. We have only a few minutes to gather what we cherish most and leave, a weight of shock and fear dragging at our feet. It’s a scenario that became a reality for more than 1,200 Lake County families who lost their homes and/ or jobs to the Valley Fire, one of the most destructive conflagrations in California’s history. If you are one of those families whose lives were turned upside down, know that there are ways to cope, stay connected to each other, and move forward. First, if you are a parent, it’s a must to take care of yourself, says Pamela Bordisso, a counselor at the Yuba College Clear Lake Campus in Clearlake. 8 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Children learn how to act by watching their parents’ responses, so try to be as calm as possible. “Take a bath, or go outside to talk for a few minutes on the phone with a special friend,” she advises. And don’t forget the basics—getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising when possible, and taking lots of deep breaths. Gail Van Buuren, a Sebastopol psychotherapist and disaster-trained member of the Redwood Empire California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, says that “breathing, grounding, and connecting with the earth” are ways to stop the mind from racing and help yourself move through shock. Van Buuren also recommends using the imagination to soothe yourself. Try sitting quietly with your eyes closed and visualizing a scene that invokes a sense of peace. For instance, a tree with strong roots unaffected by

blowing winds can be quite a potent image. If a tree doesn’t work for you, try imagining your favorite beach, a charming cottage in the woods, or the embrace of a cherished friend— whatever inspires a sigh of relief. Talking is also a very effective way of moving through a painful experience, says Bordisso. Don’t be afraid to reach out to loved ones as well as clergy and mental health professionals, who are trained to listen well and provide a safe space to let your feelings flow. It’s also critical to talk with—and listen to—your children. “Kids can really get hung out to dry if parents are so stressed that they can’t pay attention to [them]” or, worse, accidentally take out their stress on them, warns Van Buuren. So, she advises, hold a family meeting, and directly ask your children, “How do you feel? What do you need? What do you fear?” Be prepared to listen and respond without minimizing their feelings. “There is a tendency to say to a

October 2015

child, ‘Oh, you don’t need to worry’,” Bordisso says, but this tack doesn’t really ease an anxious kid. It’s much more helpful to validate and empathize: “I can understand why you would be worried. A lot of scary things have happened.” It’s also important, Van Buuren notes, to emphasize the power of the family unit: “We’re really having a tough time here, so much has happened. But we have each other.” One way to cultivate a sense of family cohesiveness is by letting kids contribute to the tasks at hand. For

One way to cultivate a sense of family cohesiveness is by letting kids contribute to the tasks at hand. instance, when an insurance agent gave one of Bordisso’s students, a mother of six, the overwhelming task of listing everything that was once in her now burned down home, she asked her youngest kids to help her remember what they used to own. Then she asked the older kids to shop online for comparable prices to put on their insurance claim. If, like Bordisso’s student, you’ve been devastated by the fire, it’s probably hard to think about anything other than what you’ve lost. However, says, Van Buuren, resilience is built by placing your attention on what you do have, even if it’s just your capacity to rely on yourself.

focus on what you like, rather than on what you dislike, about them. Remember they are good kids who are just afraid, says Bordisso. Children learn how to act by watching their parents’ responses, adds Van Buuren. So try to be as calm as possible, reminding yourself that you are doing the best you can in a very difficult situation. A great way to help everyone keep their cool is to find ways to play together, advises Van Buuren. “Sometimes just throwing a ball back and forth helps a lot,” she says. When you have fun together, you are giving kids the message that you like them enough to want to spend time with them. And you get a chance to lighten up, too.

More than 40 counselors affiliated with the Redwood Empire California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists ( are offering three to five free counseling sessions to victims of the Valley Fire. Find a list of participating therapists at http:// RECAMFT Volunteer List 3-5 FREE Sessions.pdf. For additional tips on helping kids impacted by wildfires, see: parents_wildfires.pdf.

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When kids inevitably act out, engaging in power struggles and temper tantrums more than usual, choose to

Whether you are taking a walk together, figuring out insurance claims, or discussing your fears, nourish your clan’s sense of connection. Know that together, you stand strong like a tree, deeply rooted in love, unshaken by the winds of change. ¶

707-994-6475 October 2015

MendoLakeFamilyLife 9

The Can-do Kid

Life Lessons from Entrepreneurs


By Richard Rende and Jen Prosek

t is hard to find a more used word in parenting circles than success…and for good reason. The future is uncertain and parents want to make sure their kids have the best possible advantage. It’s rare to have a singular, linear career now—young adults will likely have many different jobs and employers or create a variety of new opportunities for themselves.

Today’s kids will need to be flexible and adaptive, and be able to learn new skills and navigate unknown complexities. So how do we prepare kids for the uncertainty that awaits them? We suggest that looking at child development through the lens of entrepreneurs—people who are experts at taking on the unknown and carving out their own pathways to success— holds much promise. Failure isn’t an option. Many parents are overprotective not because they want their children to succeed, but because they fear that 10 MendoLakeFamilyLife

The only failure, entrepreneurs believe, lies in not trying, not stretching, not treating those risk-taking moments as opportunities for learning. they will fail. By contrast, many entrepreneurs believe that failure isn’t an option—not because they’re certain of their success, but because they don’t define failure in the way that most people do. The only failure,

entrepreneurs believe, lies in not trying, not stretching, not treating those risk-taking moments as opportunities for learning. Remember, entrepreneurs take risks in a calculated way. There is always that chance that an endeavor won’t work out, but if it doesn’t, entrepreneurs know that they will always take away something of value, just by pushing into the unknown. Based on her experience as an entrepreneur, Jen Prosek, coauthor of The Can-do Kid (Perigee, 2015), has essentially erased the word failure from her vocabulary. At work, she makes sure her employees treat “failure” as a learning experience; she notes that her company would not survive if her employees saw failures otherwise. When setbacks do happen, she sends an empowering message that you can change what you are doing, especially if you dig deep to figure out why something isn’t working. She preaches it over and over: “What doesn’t kill you

October 2015

Sonoma County Airport makes you stronger.” John Jacobs, cofounder and chief creative optimist of the apparel company Life Is Good, likewise embraces mistakes for the learning they provide. “One of the biggest lessons we learned was that when you try, you either succeed or you learn. These are both positive things. We learned to try to keep trying, to stay nimble enough to try new things, to make mistakes, to fall

When you try, you either succeed or you learn. Both Prosek and Jacobs also agree on a related principle: Every situation brings small successes, and kids need to learn how to recognize and embrace them. Sure, it’s great to celebrate the big victories in a kid’s life, but our children’s days are filled with so many opportunities to affirm little bits of progress that eventually add up to bigger successes. Help your kid connect the dots and chart how little moments lead to bigger payoffs. At dinner, encourage your child to talk about how he felt more comfortable dribbling a basketball in today’s practice than he did yesterday. Rather than reminding him that other kids are better dribblers and harping on this failing the second he

Entrepreneurs teach parents that there are many little victories on the way to achieving great goals, and that life’s “failures” are simply opportunities to learn. These two principles are at the core of raising what we call a “can-do” kid. ¶ Excerpted from Raising Can-Do Kids by Richard Rende, Ph.D., and Jen Prosek with the permission of Perigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Copyright © 2015 by Richard Rende and Jen Prosek. Richard Rende, Ph.D., is a developmental psychologist and creator of the popular blog Red Hot Parenting featured on He serves as an associate research professor at Brown University Medical School. Jen Prosek is the founder and CEO of Prosek Partners, one of the top 35 independent public relations firms in the US. Her book Army of Entrepreneurs (AMACOM, 2011) provides a roadmap for businesses seeking to make their own organizations and employees more entrepreneurial.

October 2015

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down, and to learn from all of that ‘failure.’ That’s how you get smarter. If you fold your arms and tuck away and get defensive, it’s not a good recipe to grow and develop.”

This is especially important in relation to a child’s progress in school. As a parent, you can best support academic development by encouraging children to focus on each small success they achieve. If your child is struggling in math, focus on small ways that she might be improving. Did she find one math problem easier than others? Did something in class make sense? Did she make more progress solving a tough algebra problem even if she didn’t get the right answer? Parents can play a huge role in their children’s lives by helping them recognize and celebrate these moments.

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Every situation brings small successes, and kids need to learn how to recognize and embrace them.

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MendoLakeFamilyLife 11

The Art of Friendship Social Skills for Toddlers to Teens

Besides playing together, kids of this and every age learn about social relations by observing how you interact with them and others. So, just remember, as you talk to your partner about her or his day or pick

It’s important to talk to your kids about what qualities make a good friend. up the phone to chat with a friend, little eyes and ears are watching and listening.

By Kerrie McLoughlin


s parents, we want our kids to make good friends, people with whom they can share secrets and fun adventures. Of course, not all kids are social butterflies. Here’s how to encourage friendships at every stage of the game—from toddler to teen. Toddlers and Preschoolers I envy the easy way in which this tiny crowd makes buddies. They can plop down next to any random kid at a park, daycare, or preschool, start chatting and—BAM!—make an instant pal. Playdates, in particular, are a great way for toddlers and preschoolers to make friends and try out social skills. To find potential playdates, Alyssa Ast, mom of four, advises, “Take your children to the park and look for parents who have kids about the same age as your own. Strike up a conversation to see if your

12 MendoLakeFamilyLife

families share similarities. If so, set up a playdate in a public area until you become comfortable enough with one another to meet at each other’s houses.” Playing with others helps kids learn the basics of relating, like “taking turns, sharing, and caring about their new friends,” says Anna Marie Evans, a licensed teacher of Dr. Steven Stosny’s parenting course Compassionate Parenting. These skills, she says, “build a foundation for successful relationships as [children] mature into adults.”

Elementary-age Kids Once your child starts going to school, the sheer number of kids running through the halls should make connecting with peers a breeze. If you homeschool, there are plenty of other forums for friendships, such as Cub Scouts or Girl Scouts, school or community sports, or hobby-based clubs. It’s important to talk to your kids about what qualities make a good friend. For instances, friends are people who don’t tease or try to hurt you, or talk badly about you behind your back or online. Friends come to your birthday parties, listen to you, share their possessions, have you over to their homes, and invite you to do things with them. Help your child to think about how to treat existing and new friends by asking “What if?” questions like, “What if a third kid wants to play with you and your friend?” or “What if you are playing with a toy and someone else wants to play with

October 2015

it?” Teach them to resolve conflicts without violence or retaliation, and to think about others’ perspectives and feelings. It’s helpful for kids to have friends in their own neighborhood that they can easily visit and with whom they can spend lots of unstructured time. Tweens and Teens Drama and peer pressure rule at this age. It’s your job to help your tweens and teens deal appropriately with difficult social situations as well as challenging choices regarding drugs, sex, drinking, and more. Make sure you pay attention to your children’s friend choices. Get to know their buddies by inviting them over and being the Mom Taxi.

If your kids are hanging out with kids you don’t approve of, consider the advice of Ellen Jones, mom of five (including twin 14-year-old boys): “When my kids want to hang

Once your child starts going to school, the sheer number of kids running through the halls should make connecting with peers a breeze. out with kids that have questionable behavior, we encourage the friends to play at our house so we can monitor what goes on. Then we treat them like we treat our kids and correct their behavior. If they don’t like it, they leave.”

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Beyond choosing good friends, there are plenty of other social skills kids need to learn at this age: initiating conversations and listening to others; avoiding cattiness and gossip; being socially generous by, for example, inviting someone new to sit with them at lunch or sticking up for a loyal friend. Teach your kids how to make good decisions and get out of sticky situations. Discuss the art of considering others’ needs and feelings while also being true to themselves. Teaching your kids age-appropriate social skills at every stage of development will ensure that they make and keep friends who sustain and nourish them throughout life. ¶ Kerrie McLoughlin, the seasoned mom of five, blogs at

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October 2015

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MendoLakeFamilyLife 13

for instance, like to make sure their children, no matter how young they are, have a way to reach them at all times.

Minutes, Money & Manners

Younger kids may not be able to judge the appropriate use of texting, the camera, and the Internet.

How to Manage Kids’ Cell Phone Use By Kerrie McLoughlin


s parents, we want to keep our children safe, and cell phones seem to promise to do just that. But at what age does a child become responsible enough to be able to handle everything that goes along with cell phone use, such as texting, the Internet, minutes, fees, manners, and more? And when you finally do fork over the phone, what kind of guidelines do you give?

Shelley Ryan, mom of two teens, says, “[It] all depends on the kid and what they do. Both of my kids have had jobs/ volunteer gigs long before they could drive (and before they were teens), and both had phones so they could call when they were ready to be picked up or had a change of plans. I also like them to have a phone if they go somewhere on foot or on a bike without a parent. It gives them a little more freedom to go out into the world on their own.” It also gives them a sense of independence; they don’t have to seek out an adult and ask to use their phone.

Jennifer McClure, mom of three, asserts, “I don’t think pre-teens need cell phones. Until they or their classmates are old enough to drive, they shouldn’t be stranded anywhere because some adult should be with them. So why would they need cell phones?”

But parents, beware! You could create a monster. Cell phones can be used for ill as well as good. Just ask Chris Oliver, mom of one and middle school counselor. “Take it from a woman who spends every working day with 800 adolescents—you need to monitor your child’s texts,” she says. “And regarding the camera attached to that phone: Nothing good is going to come of that!”

All families are different, though, and face different circumstances. Divorced, single, or working parents,

Psychotherapist Victoria L. Solsberry adds, “I think that cell phones are

The decision about when or if to give your child a cell phone is a highly individual one. Some parents are dead set against giving their pre-teen a phone.

14 MendoLakeFamilyLife

October 2015

a good idea for protection and to contact parents, but I would not give a young teenager or preteen the ability to text.” Here are some rules and issues to discuss with your children: Responsibility. A cell phone comes with a lot of baggage! It needs to be charged, kept out of reach of younger children, and in

The decision about when or if to give your child a cell phone is a highly individual one. a safe place, not left on the bus or in class. Younger kids may not be able to judge the appropriate use of texting, the camera, and the Internet. You can, however, get a phone that does not have access to the Internet or texting services, but is set up with a finite number of minutes as well as a tracking device. Cost. Make sure your children understand the financial picture. If they have prepaid phones, they can keep track of the number of minutes they have, but they still need to understand how much each of those minutes costs. Make sure your child knows that things such as games, ring tones, Internet, and sending pictures can cost extra. Check your account weekly online to make sure your children aren’t going over their allotted minutes. This is especially true if your plan includes texting. Otherwise you could end up paying hundreds of extra dollars. Make them pay you back if they go over established limits.

Safety. Talk about the consequences of texting or talking on the phone while driving. Be sure to discuss the laws regarding both activities. In California it is illegal to text and drive; adults can use a cell with a headset (not without), but even hands-free cell phone use is prohibited for drivers under the age of 18. See detail/cellularphonelaws/index for more information. Back-up plan. Always have a way to contact your children in case their cell phones die, are lost, or your kids are not allowed to use their cells for any number of reasons. Make sure you have numbers for coaches, schools, friends, the parents of your children’s friends, etc. Manners. Kids should know basic telephone manners, e.g. no phones at the dinner table or a restaurant, or while they are engaged in conversation with another person, whether a friend or a check-out clerk. Encourage kids, especially those sitting in the same room, to actually talk to, rather than text, each other. Consequences. Be prepared to take phones away if your children misuse the privilege of having them. Examples include texting inappropriate pictures of themselves or others to friends or classmates, using the phone as a way to cheat on tests at school, making prank phone calls, bullying, or visiting pornographic websites. ¶ Kerrie McLoughlin’s 5 kids range in age from 4–13, and so far none of them has a cell phone. Check ’em out at


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586-9562 October 2015

MendoLakeFamilyLife 15

projects keep you in contact with instructors and allow you to familiarize yourself with the subject material your kids will be studying. Plus, when your kids come home and tell you about a special assembly you already know about, you can wear a secret smile.

Lend a Helping Hand By Cameron Carey

Simple Ways to Volunteer at School


ave you ever wondered what your kids are up to at school? You can find out

by volunteering in their class or on a school project at home. If you think

helping out means a big time commitment,

you’ll be happy to know that you can donate as little as a few hours a month. Whether private or public, every grade school openly recruits volunteers for everything from weekly one-hour stints in the classroom to chairing the annual PTA fundraiser. The benefits of volunteering are many. You can get a glimpse at how your kids interact in class and get to know their teacher, both of which come in handy when it comes time for parent-teacher conferences. Even if you are working on a volunteer project at home, you are still connecting with your kids’ school lives. At-home 16 MendoLakeFamilyLife

If the only available opportunities appear too time consuming, know that not all needed tasks are publicized. This may be especially true in middle and high

Do you know your way around a computer on the fritz? Major hero points! school. Approach your child’s teacher, PTA rep, or coach and see if they can’t find a niche that suits your time limitations. Are you a social media guru? Perhaps you could offer to blog or regularly post pictures or updates for the next big school fundraiser. Are quick e-mails a no-brainer? Send out bi-weekly updates to parents. Do you know your way around a computer on the fritz? Major hero points! Or maybe you are great at organizing parties. Offer to put together the next teacher appreciation luncheon or set up a class holiday party. If the only time that you are not doing something is during that hour you spend watching TV at night or waiting

October 2015

mendo lake for your child’s soccer game to begin, there are little tasks for you, too. These are perfect times for helping with a small prep activity like cutting or tracing out items for a preschool or

If the only available opportunities appear too time consuming, know that not all needed tasks are publicized.

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kindergarten class. And this kind of work can even be needed in higher grades, too. If your kids are involved in sports, volunteer to be part of the crew that drives the team to events. You’re probably going to go to the games anyway. Why not bring other team members along? Not only will you be watching your kids play, you’ll also get the chance to get to know their team members, which might be more enlightening than you can imagine. Once you begin your “assignment,” if you feel overwhelmed, don’t hold back. Let your concerns be known while still making it clear that you wish to help. The key is to be honest with yourself, decide what will work, and then to clearly state your availability. This openness will allow you to remain involved without cursing the day you made your offer to help. A stable volunteer is always treasured; you, your child, and the school will all benefit from your involvement. ¶ Cameron Carey lives in Petaluma. She is a senior writer for Irish Dancing & Culture Magazine, and freelances as a writer and web administrator.

October 2015

MendoLakeFamilyLife 17


The Glittering Globe. Coat the pumpkin in a layer of Mod Podge or white glue, and then sprinkle the entire orb with glitter. Or mix a few glitters in advance for a multicolor look. If you want to do a variety of colors, coat only a portion of the pumpkin, then sprinkle glitter over just that portion. Catch extra glitter on newspaper and pour it back

Pumpkin Pizzazz

9 No-carve Approaches to Halloween Decorating

By Christina Katz


aybe you grew up carving jack-o’-lanterns, and you want

your kids to follow in your footsteps. Who could blame you? Carving pumpkins is a gooey, messy blast for the whole family. For many of us, it’s a time-honored tradition.

But why not try mixing things up this year? There are a variety of

ways to decorate pumpkins—no knife necessary. Some of these approaches may be easier for younger children than traditional carving. Others can save you time and headaches. For best results, choose a pumpkin with a smooth, unblemished surface. Wash your pumpkin gently with mild soap and water, and allow it to dry overnight before you begin decorating. Most of these looks work best with medium-sized to smallish pumpkins. 18 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Who knows? Maybe mixing it up will become a family tradition.


Polk-a-dots Galore. Give young children a pumpkin and a pile of sticky felt circles. Show them how to adhere the circles to their pumpkin, and they will be happily entertained for quite some time. Polk-a-dots are the simplest approach for the youngest in your clan, but you can also create a more traditional look using black felt shapes on an orange pumpkin.

You’ll be amazed by how many looks a simple pumpkin can pull off. into the container. Let sections dry between applications of new colors for best results.


The Painted Lady. If you want your painted pumpkin to last, first coat it with a layer of varnish or sealer in a well-ventilated area. Flip the pumpkin over onto a bowl or jar while you paint the bottom first. When dry, flip it over to paint the rest. Apply a couple of coats of acrylic paint. Chalkboard paint works well on pumpkins. To make painted pumpkins last longer, apply another coat of varnish. Leave chalkboard-painted pumpkins unvarnished.


The Glitter-paint Combo. If you want to mix things up a bit, follow instructions for painting your pumpkin. Then, when completely dry, apply glitter to the pumpkin stem only. Or use blue painter’s tape to create designs on the pumpkin. Then apply glue and glitter for added sparkle.


The Doodle Work-of-art. Teens will relish using Sharpie markers to create temporary works of art on pumpkins. Supply them with a

October 2015

rainbow of colors or an array of black markers in various thicknesses. Black and multicolored Sharpie art works especially well on white pumpkins. And black markers of various thicknesses work well with orange pumpkins. Varnish afterwards for longer-lasting works of art.

Cut material into squares or strips. When using strips, cut the ends into points so they will smooth easily. Apply a layer of Mod Podge under and over material. Smooth materials you’re your fingers as you go. Add embellishments like ribbon on dried pumpkin as you wish.



The Drippy Look. Spread out newspaper or brown bags to catch any excess melted crayon. Unwrap crayons in assorted colors. You can either do a spectrum of colors or mix things up. Consider autumn colors on an orange pumpkin or ghoulish colors on a white pumpkin. With thick, white nonflammable glue, adhere the top half of the crayons around the pumpkin stem. The points should face out and be tipped slightly down. Let dry. Set hair dryer to high and work your way around the crayons one at a time until they are melted to your satisfaction.


The Collaged Gourd. Mod Podge works well for applying paper or fabric to pumpkins. If you want a more polished look, paint the stems first. Then choose tissue paper, old book pages, handmade paper, printed-paper napkins, or fabric-quilting scraps for best results.

Bling-kin. Paint pumpkin with two coats of paint. Then, starting at the stem, work your way down the sides of the pumpkin with gem stickers. Create an evenly spaced, over-all pattern or a dripping-with-gems look. Combine gems with an adhesive letter sticker, if you like, for a monogrammed appearance. Leave gems off the bottom so the pumpkin stands flat.


Stamp-a-pumpkin. If you wish to change the color of your pumpkin, paint it first, as described above. You can also paint the stem. Don’t try to stamp directly on the pumpkin’s surface. Instead, using archival quality ink, stamp white tissue paper with the image or images of your choice. Allow the ink to dry thoroughly and then carefully Mod Podge tissue paper to the pumpkin. Add additional collage elements to the top and bottom of the pumpkin to frame your stamp, if you want. Try using matching tissue paper or paper napkins around the top or bottom of the pumpkin for a complimentary look. ¶ Author and freelance journalist Christina Katz enjoys the results of carving pumpkins—but the messy process? Not so much. This year, she is looking forward to turning her front porch into a gallery of pumpkin art.

October 2015

Downtown Ukiah Safe

Friday October 30 3:30 PM–5 PM

Where local merchants spoil your little goblins & princesses Ukiah Main Street Program MendoLakeFamilyLife 19

Family Fun

Trick, Treat—Freak!

The undead await you on the Zombie Train.

6 Spots for Halloween Fun Mendocino County Zombie Train. Make your zombie apocalypse fantasies come true—there’s no escaping the undead on this train. If you’d rather become a monster than flee one, you can do that, too. Zombie makeovers are available for $20 in addition to the cost for the 40-minute train ride, which runs $25–$45. Trains depart from Willits, Oakdale, and West Sacramento. Go to zombietrain. com for more information and to purchase tickets.

20 MendoLakeFamilyLife

Ukiah Country PumpkinFest. The largest street fair in Mendocino County is full of fall flair. The action Faces aglow happens in downtown Ukiah at the Ukiah and other venues, October 17, 10 PumpkinFest. a.m.–6 p.m., and October 18, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Dress up everyone in their best tie-dyes, and on October 17 at 10 a.m. go to the parade, which kicks off the event with groovy costumes and floats celebrating the festival’s theme: “Peace, Love, and Pumpkins.” If you need a break from the hippie mellow vibe, then make your way to the haunted house for some delicious spookiness. Or if you want to amp up the adorable factor, go to Scarecrow City, where kids’ delightful straw-stuffed creations will make you grin. Having fun can work up Mom and Dad’s thirst. Thankfully, the Deep Valley Brew and Wine Tasting Festival will happily bring relief with an array of fine local spirits. (PumpkinFest vendors will be selling child-friendly beverages, too.) On October 18, kids can climb on a Ferris wheel or train at the Standley Street Stage and Kids Carnival while the competitive in your clan can join the 3-on-3 basketball tourney or Pumpkin or Pear Baking Contest. For a pre-fest kick, see just how big a squash can get at the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off on October 10, 10 a.m.– 1 p.m., at the Ukiah Safeway parking lot. Find out more at October 2015

Enchanted Pumpkin Path. A surprise fairy tale comes alive on a path that twists and turns through the Waldorf School of Mendocino County campus in Calpella. Elaborately costumed actors play out storybook scenes in settings fashioned to spark the imagination. The evening, which will be held October 31, 5–8 p.m., will also feature children’s activities and treats at the Smokey Cauldron Café. Tickets are $10 for adults and children; babes in arms are free. Call 485-8719 or see waldorfmendocino. com for more information. Downtown Ukiah Safe Trick-or-Treat. On October 30, 3:30–5 p.m., see a creative display of all kinds of costumes at this event, where kids will score gobs of candy and prizes from generous downtown Ukiah merchants. Check out downtownukiah. com for details. Haunted Hall of Horrors. The Fort Bragg Lion’s Club annual event features two 3D haunts with a variety of diabolical inhabitants. Invite yourselves over and then let the fright begin. Houses will be open at the Masonic Lodge in Fort Bragg October 23–24 and October 30–31, 7–10 p.m. Tickets are $8–$20 and may be purchased at or at the door. Lake County Clearlake Youth Center Trunk-or-Treat. Car trunks are turned into treasure chests of candy at this October 31 event, sponsored by the Clear Lake Youth Center. At 4 p.m., pack up your goblins and witches to watch a parade, which will run from Highlands Park to the Clearlake Youth Center. Then go to Clearlake’s Austin Park for an evening of festivities from 5–9 p.m. Kids can have a fun freak-out in a haunted house, jump for joy in a bouncy house, or just listen to music and play games. And, of course, they can raid trunks for treats to put in their own goodie bags. For more information, see facebook. com/trunkortreatclearlake or call Bruno Sabatier at 695-0834. ¶

Zombie Encounters For The Whole Family Rides run October 2 - November 7

October 2015

MendoLakeFamilyLife 21

October Calendar of Events

Dig Up Local History


ake the little Indiana Jones in your family to the Hopland Research and Extension Center’s (HREC) event Archeology for All on October 10, 10 a.m.–noon. Kids and adults alike are encouraged to join researchers as they discuss how indigenous peoples once lived. The day includes a hike to ancient cultural markings as well as a chance for kids to create their own petroglyphs. Lunch will be provided by the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians. HREC is affiliated with the University of California and is located in Hopland. Adults are $10, children under 12 are free. Buy tickets at ¶

3:30­­–5 p.m. Ukiah Library. 105 N. Main St., Ukiah.

Thursday 1 Zombie Train. Sacramento

RiverTrain & the Skunk Train. 40-minute train trips bring together interactive adventure, special effects & the undead. $25–$45. Also the chance to get a zombie makeover for $20. For dates & ticketing, see FREE Gaming for Teens. Come

challenge your friends to Wii-U. There will be a weekly sign-up sheet for gamers ages 12–19. Thursdays.

Friday 2 FREE Handheld Device Support Group. Learn

about e-mailing, texting & downloading books, movies, apps & more. All ages & skill levels are invited to share what they know & learn from others. Fridays. 1–2 p.m. Willits Library. 390 E. Commercial St., Willits.

FREE Skate Nights. Skates & rollerblades to check out for free, but if you have your own, bring them. $5. All children under 18 must have an adult sign them in before they can skate. Fridays. 6:30–9 p.m. Old Recreation Center. 213 E. Laurel St., Fort Bragg. FREE American Craft Week. Kids’ activities, shows, demonstrations, talks, tours & tastings. Thirty-one venues throughout the county will host an array of works, including jewelry, ceramics, woodworking,

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October 2015

metal work, block prints, baskets, glassworks & more. Shows & events will take place in galleries, studios, wineries, inns, museums & specialty shops. Oct. 2–4 & Oct. 10 & 11. Times vary. For full schedule & printable brochure, go to Fall Plant Sale. Featuring fall vegetables, scrubs & trees, hard to find plants. Fall is the best time to plant. Oct. 2 & 3. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mendocino College. Department of Agriculture Greenhouse. 1000 Hensley Creek Rd., Ukiah.

for the commitment of auditioning for a play. Flexible, drop-in format; no reservations necessary. Ages 12–92! $10 per session, but no one will be turned away for inability to pay. Proceeds benefit Mendocino Theatre Company. Saturdays. Thru Dec. 5. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Community

Center of Mendocino. 998 School St., Mendocino. FREE Young Eagles Kids Free Fly. Flight

program for ages 8–17 presented by local volunteers & members of the Experimental Aircraft Association. Includes brief introduction to flight, flight

_____________________ October 17 y


Saturday 10am - 3pm


Saturday 3

2nd Annual

Fiber Fair & Textile Bazaar.

Exhibitors booths will include gently used ethnic textiles, handmade clothing, fabric, books, yarn & related treasures. Hourly fiber demonstrations include Kumihimo braiding, inkle weaving, felting, fabric printing. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Pacific Textile Arts. 450 Alger St., Fort Bragg. FREE Kids’ Craft Day Benefit.




Kids’ activities such as silk-screen printing, block printing, origami, jewelry making, weaving & collage. There is no admission charge, but donations will be accepted on behalf of the Mendocino Coast Children’s Fund, a grassroots, nonprofit advocate for low-income children on the Mendocino Coast. Thru Oct. 4. 1–3 p.m. Edgewater Gallery. 356 N. Main St., Fort Bragg.

Lake County Fairgrounds y FREE Admission!



beginning or experienced actors. An opportunity for those who may be curious about acting, but aren’t sure they are ready

“Jaws-of-Life” • Medical Helicopters • Rescue Vehicles Boating Safety • Car Seat Safety Inspections • Bike Giveaways and More Health Checks • Free Flu Shot Vaccinations


Actor’s Workshop. For


October 2015

MendoLakeFamilyLife 23

instruments & a short local flight (weather permitting). A signed parental permission slip is required. Registration starts at 8:45 a.m. Program runs 9–11 a.m. Little River Airport. 43001 Little River Airport Rd., Little River.

prevention & mental health, substance use & healthy relationships & pregnancy prevention. Separate workshops held for parents & teens on these topics. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Arbor Youth Resource Center. 810 N. State St., Ukiah.

FREE Cloverdale Oktoberfest.

FREE Mendocino One World

German food, live music, silent auction, pumpkins & gourds for sale. Many kids’ activities! Free admission. German meal $15. Kids 10 & under $5. 1–8 p.m. Cloverdale Plaza. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale.

Festival. MOWFest is a multicultural gathering for all ages with music, dance, food, crafts & children’s activities from around the world. Sponsored by the Community Center of Mendocino. Noon–5 p.m. Friendship Park. Hwy. 1 & Little Lake Rd., Mendocino.

FREE #Totally Teen. Health &

safety awareness fair for teens (ages 12–18) & their parents. Food, music, raffle prizes, an Aikido/self-defense demonstration & 40-minute workshops on 3 main topics: suicide

3rd Annual Native American Fry Bread Cook-off. Live

music, Indian tacos, crafts, raffles, dancers &

much more! Fry Bread Tasting. $5. 3:30–7 p.m. Alex R. Thomas Plaza. 300 State St., Ukiah. 3rd Annual Beer, Bison & Bluegrass.

Local & state microbreweries along with a selection of wines & grilled ground bison burgers with all the fixings. Vegetarian option available. Adults $45. Designated driver/under 21 $25. Children under 10 $15. Noon–4 p.m. Our Lady of Good Counsel Church Hall. 605 Maple St., Fort Bragg. Tickets available at FREE Beginner Bird Walk. Bring

water, wear comfortable walking shoes, binoculars available, heavy rain cancels. 9 a.m.–noon.

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October 2015

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. 18220 N. Hwy. 1, Fort Bragg. 14th Annual Falling Leaves Quilt Show. More

than 200 quilts, silent auction, door prizes, theme baskets, demonstrations. Adult $8 donation. Under 12 $2 donation. Oct. 3: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Oct. 4: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Lake County Fairgrounds. 401 Martin St., Lakeport. Oktoberfest. We will have authentic German food vendors, games & more. Micro Brew Tasting garden. Costumes encouraged. 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Lakeport Main St., Lakeport. Tommy Castro & the Painkillers.

Also Maxx Cabello Jr. $30. Firefighters, EMT & law

enforcement officers $20. Proceeds go to the Rocky-Jerusalem & Valley-Fire Relief Fund. Doors 5:30 p.m. Show 6–10 p.m. Cache Creek Vineyards. 1200 New Long Valley Rd., Clearlake Oaks. FREE Konocti Challenge. 20-,

40& 65-mile fun ride. Cycle around Clear Lake. Benefits Lakeport Rotary Club. Skylark Shores Resort. 1120 N. Main St., Lakeport.

Sunday 4 FREE Children’s Health Fair. Bike

safety course. Bring your bike & helmet or receive a free helmet at the event. Kids’ Challenge Course, health screenings, Shriners Hospital

screening & fun activities for children ages 0–12 & their families. Rain or shine. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Grace Hudson Elementary School Campus. Alex Rorabaugh Center. 1640 S. State St., Ukiah. Pumpkin Express. Travel thru the redwoods to the pumpkin patch at Northspur Station. Kids get pumpkins & treats. Costumes encouraged. Sundays. Thru Oct. 25. Departs 9:45 a.m. Adults $59. Ages 2–12 $34. Willits Station. 299 E. Commercial St., Willits.

Saturday 10 FREE Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off.

Food vendors, bouncy houses, face painting, coloring contest & more!

An Enchanted Evening for Families

Mendocino Ballet MendocinoBallet Ballet Mendocino DANCE THIS FALL! DANCETHIS THISFALL! FALL! DANCE DANCE THIS FALL! Ballet* Pre-Ballet (3-5 yrs.) *Classical Ballet* *Classical Ballet* **Classical *Tap Tap/Ballet (4-6 *Tap Tap *Jazz Jazz * * *Jazz * *yrs.) ** *Contemporary* Classical Ballet *Contemporary* *Contemporary* * Jazz *Creative *TapDance* *Dance* *Creative Dance* *Creative Classes all Classes for alllevels Classes for alllevels levels Classes for allfor levels and and ages 3 to Adult and ages 3 to Adult andages ages33 to to Adult adult Nutcracker Classes Nutcracker Classes Nutcracker Classes Trudy McCreanor, Artistic Director for ages 6-15 for ages 6-15 for ages 6-15

The Enchanted Pumpkin Path

“Where Dreams to Dance Come True!” Mendocino Ballet Mendocino Ballet *205 205 S.State State Mendocino Ballet * *205 S.S.State St.St.St.

Saturday October 31 • 5 to 8pm Enjoy a Magical Walk with Stories, food, activities & music

Look for Nutcracker performances coming in December

463-2290 more information and class schedule 463-2290 for more information and class schedule 463-2290 forfor more information and class schedule Trudy McCreanor, Artistic Director Trudy McCreanor, Artistic Director Trudy McCreanor, Artistic Director 463-2290 • 205 S. State St.

“Where Dreams Dance Come True!” “Where Dreams Dance Come True!” “Where Dreams tototo Dance Come True!”

Visit 6280 Third Street • Calpella • 707-485-8719

October 2015

MendoLakeFamilyLife 25

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11th Annual Gualala River Run. Run

5K, 10K & 5K Fun Walk. Supports the Action Network Family Resource Centers. Our local youth development & wellness programs. $35 for 5K & 10K runs. $30 for the 5K Fun Walk. 18 & under are $10 for all events. 9 a.m. Gualala Arts Center. 46501 Gualala Rd., Gualala. FREE Fire Safety Expo. 10

a.m.–2 p.m. Pear Tree Center. 504 E. Perkins St., Ukiah. Archaeology for All. Kids & adults

are invited to join researchers & local Tribal Historic Preservation Officers as they delve into local history & heritage, create petroglyphs & hike to ancient cultural markings. Adults $10; children under 12 free. Lunch will be provided by the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians. Purchase tickets online. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Hopland Research & Extension Center. Rod Shippey Hall. 4070 University Rd., Hopland. 744-1424. Karaoke-With-A-Kause. Come

on out & sing karaoke, dance & win prizes. Proceeds support the Teen Spirit Project. This is a 21 & over event! Adults $20. Seniors 65 & over $10. Doors 6:30 p.m. Showtime 7 p.m. Soper Reese Theatre. 275 S. Main St., Lakeport. 263-0577. Steele Wines Harvest Festival. Wine

plus installation

Chip Repair

10 a.m.–1 p.m. Safeway parking lot. 653 S. State St., Ukiah.


2350 North State St. Ukiah Same location as Warranty Motors

tasting, grape stomping, pie eating, live music, food & vendors selling pottery, jewelry, metal work, glass work, candles, clothing, yard décor & so much more. Oct. 10 & 11. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

October 2015

Monday 12 FREE Ukiah Area Karate Classes.

Combined class of 8 yrs. & up. Sponsored by Mendocino County Sheriff’s Youth Activities League. Tuesdays. 6–7:30 p.m. Ukiah High School (Room L4). 1000 Low Gap Rd., Ukiah. Call Senseis Michael Tobin & Cory Burfod: 354-0565, 459-2220.

Saturday 17 FREE Ukiah Country 22nd Annual PumpkinFest. Parade

begins Saturday 10 a.m. from Redwood Fairground. Rain or shine. Haunted house, beer & wine tasting, arts & crafts, pet costume contest, children’s activities & much more. Oct. 17: 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Oct. 18: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Downtown Ukiah. Willits-USD 3K Color-a-Thon. As you

go through the course, get showered in safe, eco-friendly, plant-based powdered dye. Benefits local school district. Registration 9:30 a.m. Event starts 11 a.m. Willits High School. 299 N. Main St., Willits. 3rd Annual Harvest Fair.

Four-course grand luncheon, music, dance, hay rides, apple picking, cannon firing & more! Admission starting at $20 per car (includes $8 state park fee). See website for special festival events. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Fort Ross State Historic Park. 19005 Coast Hwy., Jenner. FREE 24th Annual Eel River Cleanup.

Volunteers will meet to form teams to clean up trash from the beautiful Eel River. This protects wildlife & keeps the river an appealing recreation

spot. 9 a.m.–noon. Pioneer Bridge on Eel River Rd. in Potter Valley. FREE Shipwreck Day. An annual

family-friendly event with activities, crafts, plunder (great junk & treasures) & entertainment. Pirates congregate to show off their fancy outfits & handsome tattoos. Prizes are awarded for best costumes. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Library Park. 225 Park St., Lakeport. “Spay”ghetti & No Balls Dinner & Auction Fundraiser. Fundraiser

for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. $20. 5–9 p.m. Cole Creek Equestrian Center. 4965 Steelehead Dr., Kelseyville. 279-1400.

FREE Heroes of Health & Safety Fair. Medical helicopters, rescue vehicles, boating safety instructions, car seat inspections, bike helmet giveaway, health checks & flu vaccinations. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Lake County Fairgrounds. 401 Martin St., Lakeport.

Wednesday 21 FREE Bilingual Storytime. Hosted

by the First 5 of Mendocino. 4:30 p.m. Fort Bragg Library. 499 E. Laurel St., Fort Bragg. facebook. com/CoastalMama.

Thursday 22 FREE Tours of Earth & Sky. 7:30

p.m. Observatory Park. 432 Observatory Ave., Ukiah.

Blue Ribbon Pets

Pets of the Month Sponsor • Adopt-a-Pet Discount

Like our Facebook Page for Special Discounts

(707) 485-8454 •

Humane Society for Inland Mendocino County PETS OF THE MONTH. COME MEET US TODAY! Mama Mia is a super sweet kitty that loves mornings! If you are a morning person, this is the cat for you. She likes quiet people that love to give attention without being overbearing. Mia doesn’t care much for being picked up or held but isn’t too independent. Come meet Mama Mia!

Pepper is a great cat to have

Lenny has a sweet, loving disposition and wants only to please. He likes nothing better than to snuggle after a walk. He will melt your heart! He loves people and wants desperately to have a home of his own. Come meet him soon and see if he’s the dog for you.

Pixie is rather shy on first meeting.

around. She is middle aged and needs a home! She is a little overweight but she is slimming down. Pepper has a great personality, though she likes to sleep most of the time, she really likes to play and be held. Come meet Pepper!

She would much rather be in a quiet surrounding with time to warm up to new people. If given time she comes out and wants to make friends. She’s still young (2 years old) so love and attention would be all it takes to help her enjoy her life to the fullest!

9700 Uva Dr. Redwood Valley (707) 485-0123 • October 2015

MendoLakeFamilyLife 27

Friday 23

Friday 30

Saturday 31

10th Annual Haunted Hall of

FREE Downtown Ukiah Safe

Enchanted Pumpkin Path.

Horrors. High-tech,

Trick-or-Treat. Kids

Costumed actors play out storybook scenes. Children’s activities. Treats at Smokey Cauldron Café. 5–8 p.m. $10. Babes in arms free. Waldorf School of Mendocino County. 6280 3rd St., Calpella. 485-8719.

very scary attraction! Two haunts in one place. Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. (Under age 10 not recommended.) Admission for both haunts: Adults $20. Under 16 $15. One haunt: Adults $10. Under 16 $8. 7–10 p.m. Masonic Lodge. 428 N. Main St., Fort Bragg.

Tuesday 27 Full Hunter’s Moon Lighthouse Tour. Journey into the history of the

tallest lighthouse on the West Coast. Refreshments will be served. Adults $30. Two tickets $50. Tour starts at 8:30 p.m. 45500 Lighthouse Rd., Point Arena.

can visit local merchants for treats & prizes. 3:30–5 p.m. Presented by Ukiah Main St. Program. Downtown Ukiah. FREE Hocus Pocus Movie Spooktacular. $3 per person or 4 for

$10. 2 years & under free. 5:30 p.m. Ukiah Valley Conference Center. 200 S. School St., Ukiah. 463-6700. Lakeport Halloween Parade & Downtown Trick or Treat. Costume parade: 12:30–1 p.m. Main St. stores will be giving out treats 2:30–5:30 p.m. Rain or shine.

FREE Halloween Spookfest. Games, crafts, treats. Sponsored by the Mendocino Coast Police Activities League. 4–7 p.m. Fort Bragg Fire Station. 141 N. Main St., Fort Bragg. Active 20-30 Club of Ukiah #78 3rd Annual Halloween Party.

Proceeds benefit at-risk youth in our community. $25 tickets can be purchased at the door or at (Search on “3rd Annual Halloween Party.”) 7:30 p.m. Discovery Inn. 1340 N. State St., Ukiah. Frankenstein. Join

Kid Craft-o-rama


f there is one thing children love to do, it’s make stuff. At the Kids’ Craft Day Benefit, little ones can dip their toes into all sorts of arty activities, including silk-screen printing, block printing, origami, jewelry making, weaving, and collage. Give them a piece of paper and some colorful ink, beads, or yarn, and let them have a blast. The event will be held at Edgewater Gallery in Fort Bragg on October 3 and 4, 1–3 p.m. Both days are free, but donations will be accepted on behalf of the Mendocino Coast Children’s Fund, a grassroots, nonprofit advocate for low-income children on the Mendocino Coast. ¶

28 MendoLakeFamilyLife

us for a special screening of the original horror film, starring Boris Karloff. Contest for the best costume & monster walk. Tickets are not sold for this event. Donations are accepted at the door. Doors 6:30 p.m. Contest & prizes 7 p.m. Film 7:30 p.m. Soper Reese Theatre. 275 S. Main St., Lakeport. 263-0577. Trunk-or-Treat. Parade

4–5 p.m. Starts in Highlands Park & ends at Clearlake Youth Center. Festivities 5–9 p.m. Bouncy house, haunted house, games, decorated trunks, food. Costume contest 7:30 p.m. Trunk/booth contest 8 p.m. Austin Park. 14077 Lakeshore Dr., Clearlake.

October 2015

Marketplace Tutoring


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Beat Breast Cancer

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Show your breasts you love them—get a mammogram during October, Breast Cancer Awareness month. If you have dense breasts, consider asking for a sonogram. It can be difficult for a mammogram to spot cancerous growths in dense tissue. If you need help covering the cost of a mammogram, take advantage of California’s Every Woman Counts (EWC) program, which provides free breast screenings to underserved women. You can search the website of the Department of Health and Human Services to find a provider who works with EWC ( services/cancer/EWC/Pages/ewc-clinic-locator.aspx). Those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer can receive financial help for care through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program ( medi-cal/Pages/BCCTP.aspx). ¶

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707-459-6344 16201 N. Hwy. 101, Willits

Accelerated Achievement Academy • • • •

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(707) 463-7080 1031 N. State St.

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October 2015

MendoLakeFamilyLife 29

Humor Break

Biker Nun vs. Disney Pirate A Trick-or-Treat Challenge By Bull Garlington


efore we bred ourselves into senility, Halloween meant a couple nights of pumpkin-flavored beer and a scary movie. (I really can’t remember.) Then we had kids and moved into a Halloween-positive neighborhood. We had to get our game on. Every year, the McDougals at 1145 built a diorama featuring glowing green mist and a soundtrack. Mr. McDougal dressed in a pirate outfit worthy of a Disney movie while Mrs. McDougal wore an Elizabethan lady of the court costume that would have made Renaissance Fairers break their own legs. The kids dressed as deck hands, with makeup beards and plastic swords. They were in the paper. Twice. We would crush them. I picked up some rubber corpses and rigged them up to a complicated wire system so that when the front door was opened the rubber zombies would rise up from a pile of leaves. 30 MendoLakeFamilyLife

My go-to costume was biker nun, Sister Harlene Davidson. I rocked my habit with a full headpiece, a bright gold cross, a nametag, biker ‘stache, sunglasses, combat boots, and a lit cigar. Mrs. Garlington was a blood-stained vampire. My daughter was a nurse/pirate queen/zombie. The boy wore a t-shirt displaying “This IS my costume” in smirk sans serif. We covered every square inch of our bushes with fake spider webs and

We moved into a Halloween-positive neighborhood. We had to get our game on. spiders, and blasted screams. I even got a crystal ball with a disembodied head rotating in it. (I love you, eBay.) We were ready. At precisely 5 p.m. there was a knock on my door. New parents, their bite-sized toddlers barely able to form complete sentences like “OH MY GOD!” or “PLEASE HELP ME!,” stood outside. I answered the door as rubber zombies rose from the dead leaves. My daughter popped out from behind me, screeching “FLEE MY

PRETTIES!” As they leapt off my porch, one of them landed in the spider webbing and ran screaming, trailing a gauzy scarf of spider silk, into the open arms of his glaring mom. Proud of our first casualty, I glanced over to see the McDougals at 1145 staring in mute horror. Word spread. For the remainder of the evening, people walked past on the other side of the street, pointing and shaking their heads. They piled up against the McDougal’s place like waves against a ship, filling their pumpkins with candy. I waited until the ocean of trick-or-treaters hit low tide, walked over to 1145 and pointed my cigar at the man in the captain’s uniform. “Next year, McDougal. Next year.” As I walked away, McDougal set off a remote control spider that dropped out of his tree and bounced in front of my face. I screamed, ran home, tripped over a rubber corpse, and fell into an acre of webs. As I untangled myself, nun habit twisted, sunglasses askew, and uttering a string of what I’m going to call “Latin,” a final wave of kids and parents walked up to my house. We haven’t had a trick-or-treater since. ¶ Bull Garlington is the author of Death by Children, the ForeWord Review’s Humor 2013 Book of the Year.

October 2015

Cooking with Kids

Creepy Eats

5 Easy Recipes for Spooky Delights

By Rachael Moshman


alloween is the perfect time of year to unveil some out-of-the-ordinary dishes. Some of my best memories involve the fun foods my grandmother used to make as part of our celebration. My daughter now looks forward to them each year. Here are some of our favorite creations. Spiders Cut hotdogs into thirds. Poke four dry spaghetti noodles through each chunk, horizontally. Boil the hot dogs. When cooked, the hotdog becomes the spider body, and the noodles become the legs. I made a batch of these for adults using cocktail sausages and barbeque dipping sauce. Severed Fingers Shape refrigerated, pre-made breadsticks, crescent rolls, or biscuits into long, finger-shaped pieces. Stick an almond onto the end of each “finger” to serve as the fingernail. (I’ve also used Bugle or Fritos chips for nails.) Bake according to the directions on the pastry package. Serve with marinara “blood” sauce for dipping.

Macaroni and Sleaze Prepare your favorite macaroni and cheese. Stir in pesto to turn it green. I like to throw some goldfish-shaped crackers on top to add texture—and a toxic appearance. Eyeballs in Congealed Blood Peel green grapes. Prepare your child’s favorite red Jell-O, tossing the grapes in before chilling. We brought this gruesome dessert to my daughter’s class Halloween party last year. Her pals are still talking about it. Witches Brew Start with a big pot—the creepier looking, the better. (I use a large soup pot.) Mix together several different kinds of soda or juice with the goal of creating an unappetizing color. I freeze a plastic glove filled with water. Once the water is frozen, I remove the glove and then plop the hand-shaped ice into the “brew” to keep it chilled. ¶ Rachael Moshman is a mom, freelance writer, and blogger. October is her favorite month. Find her @rachaelmoshman on Twitter.

October 2015

Severed Fingers


Happy Halloween MendoLakeFamilyLife 31

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Mendo Lake Family Life October 2015  
Mendo Lake Family Life October 2015