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artist: randall tillery | lupe negrete | Zentgraf House














h List s i W 3 1 0 2 s ’ e Styl



Holiday Events Schedule

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what’sinside ™













37 The Gift Guide

22 The Arts

6 Editor’s Note 6 Click 9 What’s Up 10 Get to Know—Lupe Negrete 12 FYI 16 Local Matters 18 Calendar 20 Outtakes 34 Home Design 48 The Where & Wears 60 Dine—Mike’s Grill 61 Restaurant Guide 62 Taste 66 Tom’s Take

It's not what's on the outside, but what's on the inside that counts. Whether wrapped in shiny paper or stuffed in a gift bag, the 50-plus presents (priced under $50!) on Style's annual wish list (10 pages!) are applause-worthy picks for every personality type. Shop on!

Randall Tillery

24 Health & Wellness

Health Benefits Hiding in Your Spice Rack

26 Our Kids

Teen Driving Truths

28 Cause & Effect

Placerville Fellowship and Newcomers Club

30 Family Time

FIND ­­OUR TYPOS Cover photo ©digieye/


Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, right?! And we’re no exception, so we thought we’d have some fun and enlist your help in finding ours—that is to say we’d like your help in spotting our errors and in return you’ll be entered in our contest to win a $25 gift certificate to Visconti’s Ristorante in Folsom! Send your find to for your chance to win every month.

Easy Ways to Spread Holiday Cheer

32 In History

Zentgraf House special MARSHALL FOR YOUR HEALTH insert!

See page 51

Follow Us Online:

December 2013 - 3

Earn your Wings at Arden Fair. Visit the Angel Tree in Center Court to pick up a gift tag listing a child’s special wishes. Shop the variety of stores at Arden Fair and return to the Angel Tree with the unwrapped gifts. The Children's Receiving Home of Sacramento will distribute the gifts to deserving children this holiday and you will Earn Your Wings. For details, visit us on Facebook or

Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento



wrap it up You Can Never Have Too Much Style WHAT TO DO WITH THE TREE, YOU ASK? Stumped on what to do with this year’s Christmas tree? Instead of stuffing it up the chimney, try one of these local and environmentally friendly ideas.

COLD WEATHER COCKTAILS Has the chill of winter turned your houseguests into a bunch of snowmen? Warm up any holiday party with these festive cocktails and everyone is sure to drink and be merry.

LOCAL LIGHT SHOWS Bundle up the kids, pile in the car and e n j oy t h e n i g h t viewing one of our area’s famous light displays.

SHELF LIFE Get your monthly fix of Sharon Penny’s then-and-now take on popular albums, books and DVDs, look no further… just click.

Follow Us Online:

6 - December 2013

We’d love to hear from you—send us your community events (for Calendar and Outtakes), local news (for What’s Up), and any other story ideas to info@stylemg. com.

DON’T GET CROSS WITH ME For all you wordsmiths and puzzle fanatics, don’t miss this month’s Word Play, “Cheer For the New Year.” Just click and follow the clues…

Tree photo © Elenathewise/ Cold Weather Cocktails photo © Viktorija/ Light Shows photo © Jose Ignacio Soto/ Crossword photo © leevancleef/


ith shopping lists to check off, holiday cards to mail, the house to clean, guests to invite, food to buy, oh and throw shorter days into the mix—it’s no wonder the month of December can take its toll on even the most prepared of people. What’s the cure for the downtrodden of December? I’ve heard it’s January. But perhaps a more useful solution is Style Magazine! For the last-minute (and local) shoppers, we share our annual installation of The Gift Guide. This wish list covers almost every personality, from the “foodophile” and “trendsetter” to the “outdoorsman/woman” and “gadget geek,” so there is something to please everyone—more than 50 items for $50 or less! The tips and resources continue to flourish in Kerrie Kelly’s “7 Days and 8 Steps to Soiree Success,” just in time for holiday houseguests. It’s true, after reading this you can get your home hospitable and party-ready in no time and for minimal cost. Simple suggestions, like utilizing fresh flowers for décor and making a holiday playlist, will put you and your guests at ease, as well as clear the air for laughter. If entertaining is not on your agenda, what about volunteering? Flip the pages to Family Time, and find local organizations in need of assistance this time of year; as well, discover the brilliance behind teaching your kids the reason for the season. The new iPad Mini might not seem so important. Also this busy month, find more to see and do within the pages of What’s Up, FYI, and Calendar! And, in The 10 Spot, find a list of local restaurants open on Christmas Day…just in case you decide to break tradition, or your bird doesn’t thaw in time. Until next month, wrap up your holidays (and 2013!) with good friends, family and a sleighful of cheer… — Desiree

E l

D o r a d o

C o u n t y

F o o t h i l l s

December 2013 Publishers Terence P. Carroll, Wendy L. Sipple Executive Editor Desiree Patterson Managing Editor Megan Wiskus Editorial Interns Katherine E. Leonard, Emily Peter, Jazmin White, Alyssa Wong Contributing Writers Amanda Anderson, Jerrie Beard, Abigail Blank, Morgan Cásarez, Amber Foster, Tina Helm, Linda Holderness, Kourtney Jason, Kerrie Kelly, Rachel Lopez, Tom Mailey, Sharon Penny, Richard Righton, Jenn Thornton, Kirsten Vernon Art Director Gary Zsigo Graphic Designers George Kenton Design, 760.285.0686, Lesley Miller, David Norby, Aaron Roseli Staff Photographer Dante Fontana Contributing Photographer Justin Buettner 916.220.0159, Webmaster Ken White, Ixystems Advertising Director Debra Linn, 916.988.9888 x 114 Advertising Sales Representatives Eric R. Benson, 916.988.9888 x112 Bruna DeLacy, 916.988.9888 x118 Reg Holliday, 916.337.5107 Joanne Kilmartin, 916.607.9360 Lisa Warner/Warner Enterprises, 530.306.2011 Karen Wehr, 916.988.9888 x116 Advertising/Media Administration Doug Wuerth, 916.988.9888 x117 Social Media Maven Aimee Carroll Accounting Manager Kathleen Hurt Office Administrator Cathy Carmichael, Office Assistant Brenna McGowan Customer Service Associate Jarrod Carroll

Printed on recycled paper. Please recycle this magazine.

120 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 5 Folsom, CA 95630 Tel 916.988.9888 • Fax 916.596.2100 © 2013 by Style Media Group. All rights reserved. Style - El Dorado County Foothills is a registered trademark of Style Media Group. Material in this magazine may not be reproduced in any form without written consent from the publishers. Any and all submissions to Style - El Dorado County Foothills become the property of Style Media Group and may be used in any media. We reserve the right to edit. Subscriptions to Style - El Dorado County Foothills are available. Contact for more information.

December 2013 - 7





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in El Dorado County

2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013





Photo courtesy of Cameron Park Library.


ust in time for Christmas, Grapes and Ivy Boutique has opened in Downtown Placerville (366 Main Street). From 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Sunday, check out the latest styles in women’s clothing, jewelry, handbags and more. For additional details, call 530-622-9746...From December 6-21—from 5-8 p.m. on Fridays and 6-9 p.m. on Saturdays—don’t miss horse-drawn Carriage Rides at the El Dorado Hills Town Center. For more information, visit your wish lists and purchase photos with Santa through December 24 at the El Dorado Hills Town Center on Post Street. For more information, including hours, visit Springs/El Dorado Depot Train Rides will be given all month long on Sundays (on the first and third Sundays, trains depart from El Dorado; second and fourth Sundays from Shingle Springs), thanks to the El Dorado Western Railway Foundation. Support the “oldest railroad line west of the Mississippi River” by catching a train (departures take place from 11 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.), weather permitting. For more details, call 530621-5865...Saturday Visits with Santa will be held on December 7 at Kiddlywinks from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and on December 14 at Candy Strike Emporium from 1-4 p.m. Santa will listen to special wishes and photos will be available for purchase...Head to Placerville’s Bell Tower and meet Davey “Doc” Wiser and his crew for free Stagecoach Rides from noon until 3 p.m. on December 7-8, 1415 and 21-22. For more details, visit Gingerbread Houses at the Cameron Park Library return on December 14. This sweet event, where little ones can build a sugary house and drink hot chocolate, will begin at 10:30 a.m. For more details, call 530-621-5500...On December 21, galleries and merchants will host art shows and latenight shopping and dining with refreshments, demonstrations and entertainment from 5-9 p.m. at the 3rd Saturday Art Walk. For more info, visit Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation has made its second contribution in the form of a grant to help facilitate the painting of the Historic Sutter Creek Grammar School’s steeple. Formed by local women, the Historic Sutter Creek Grammar School Restoration Committee raised more than $8,000 in the last 18 months. To learn more, visit Monument Garden Project donations will help fund the reinstallation and upgraded landscaping of the Monument Garden on Placerville’s Main Street. For more information, call the Community Service District at 530-642-5232...The El Dorado County Senior Nutrition Program is seeking both volunteers for the lunch sign-in desk, as well as a volunteer nurse to perform blood pressure checks at the Placerville Senior Center. For more details, call Senior Nutrition at 530-621-6160....El Dorado County residents won’t want to miss the free Weatherization Program; qualified, low-income property owners and renters can receive up to $3,055 in improvements to their home. To learn about specific income criteria and eligibility guidelines, call 530-621-6333...That’s all for now, but check back next month for Style’s annual Health & Wellness feature! — Compiled by Katherine E. Leonard

December 2013 - 9

Dec. 8th


Join us for this delicious gastronomic Holiday event. Chef Christian Masse performs his magic with wild game dishes that rival the finest parties in Europe during the holiday season. This event sells out every year, so make your reservations for you and your guest ASAP. The wild game is paired beautifully with our wines. In the past, some of the pairings were Guinea hen, wild boar, wild duck, alligator, elk, rabbit, kangaroo and python. Reservations are a must, no ticket sales at the door. Staggered start times are at 6 pm or 7 pm. $26 club members; $30 non-club. For tickets, please call the winery at (530) 647-8505.




Q&A Q: What advice would you give to your younger self? A: Take time to relax and enjoy life. Don’t sweat the little things—save your energy for the big things. Q: What comes to you naturally? A: I have always enjoyed art. Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve? A: Complaining and not doing anything about it. Q: What are you most proud of? A: My boys and my husband. Q: Favorite humanitarian cause? A: To help young people achieve their goals. Q: Best words of wisdom you’ve received? A: “How you handle failure dictates how your life goes.”—Scott Reed

upe Negrete knows the secret to success is to never stop learning—even if you’re the teacher. An educator for nearly three decades, Negrete still takes summer classes to keep her knowledge fresh and pick up new teaching skills. And her enthusiasm for learning is contagious: Since coming to El Dorado Adventist School four years ago, Negrete has been credited with increasing the eighth grade retention rate from 50 percent to 90 percent. What’s more, earlier this year she was the recipient of the 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award, granted by the Alumni Awards Foundation, an experience that only reinforced Negrete’s drive to get kids invested in their own education. “I love watching kids get excited about

10 - December 2013

learning,” she shares. “When they get excited, I get excited.” Negrete credits much of her success to her parents, Mexican immigrants who worked hard to teach themselves English and become U.S. citizens. They taught their children the importance of a good education, a lesson Negrete went on to teach her students and her own children—two sons who have both gone to college. “I’m very proud of them [for] realizing their dream,” Negrete says. “They’re able to say, ‘Yeah, this is what I love. This is my passion.’” For Negrete, nearly any obstacle in life can be overcome—with a little faith, a little knowledge, and a lot of passion. — Amber Foster

Q: What’s next? A: Saving up for retirement with my husband.

favorites Author/writer: Sara Young Escape: Northern California’s rivers Guilty pleasure: French fries Meal in town: Grand China Restaurant Local landmark: Bell Tower on Main Street Memory: Whitewater rafting down Chili Bar Movie: The Family Man Annual event: El Dorado County Fair

Photos by Dante Fontana.

Lupe Negrete L


Exquisite 3,709 s.f. home in lovely Longview Estates, Placerville’s most beautiful neighborhood. Flowing floor plan with island kitchen, formal dining room, main floor master with sitting area, walk-in and Jacuzzi tub. Ideal guest suite for nanny or in-laws has a full kitchen, bath and private deck. Spacious and serene backyard with two large patios, fountains and raised gardens. Outstanding location for walking. Restaurants, shops & college just minutes away.

$799,000 • See Movie Tour:

From singing in her band to working in her real estate career, Janine Waggener’s non-stop energy and enthusiasm have always been her key to success. If you are interested in buying or selling a home or property, turn to a woman whose High Energy approach is producing “Big Results.” Call Janine today to schedule a private consultation to discuss your needs!

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530-295-5509 •

ask the experts


there a way to barbecue that Q: Isyields less messy food, but doesn’t sacrifice flavor? at home is different A: Grilling than barbecue at a restaurant.

Festivities for Everyone


ecember brings a bevy of events with the man in red. Join Santa and his crew on December 7 for a Santa Fun Run; the race, which starts and ends at the Community Center, begins at 8 a.m. After running the streets with Santa, have breakfast cooked by the Cameron Park Fire Explorers. From 8 a.m. to noon and for a mere $5, enjoy pancakes, bacon, eggs, orange juice and coffee, and win great prizes in the raffle. Tickets can be purchased at the CSD office beforehand or at the door the day of the event. Seniors are in for plenty of fun this month. Find out what the Older American’s Act provides and how its functions are administered at this month’s Aging Well series, held on December 3 at 10 a.m. Coffee, Tea and Friends, sponsored by Visiting Angels and held December 10 at 10 a.m., invites seniors and caregivers to a morning of fun, games and special speakers. Juliet from El Dorado Nursery will help attendees create a recycled planter; please bring used items—such as a 4- to 6-inch basket, mug, vintage boxes, etc.—and make a unique holiday gift for someone or yourself. The monthly senior movie will be held December 12 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Game lovers won’t want to miss bridge on Monday afternoons and Wednesday mornings, or mahjong on the second and fourth Wednesday afternoons. There are also monthly exercise, strength building and “Tai Chi for Better Balance” classes offered. Visits from Santa are available to residents of Cameron Park. Invite him to visit your home, hand out candy canes and talk with the children about their Christmas wishes. Dates available include December 10,12, 16-17 and 19. Space is limited, so call now (530-677-2231). The Annual Santa Parade, hosted by the fire department, is scheduled for December 13-15 (rain date is the following weekend, December 20-22). To view the route, visit The Cameron Park Community Events Center is available for your holiday party or winter wedding reception. This beautiful facility offers a 3,800-square-foot assembly hall equipped with a fully functional sound system and commercial kitchen, projection screen and other amenities. Competitive rates are available and include tables and chairs. For smaller occasions or celebrations, a number of other rooms are also accessible. Anyone looking for a place to rent should call 530-677-2231. The Winter/Spring Activity Guide will be coming out this month; peruse all of the classes taking place from January through April. Save the date for Red, White and Jewels, a wine and jewelry show taking place on February 1. ­— Tina Helm To view a complete list of activities, sports programs and events, visit or call the Cameron Park Community Services District at 530-677-2231. 12 - December 2013

I’m dying my hair for the first Q: Iftime, are there any precautions I can take to make the process less damaging? conditioning is the best A: Deep way to ensure your hair will not get as damaged from the dye or bleach, depending on whether you’re changing your hair color lighter or darker, or getting highlights put in. No matter what you do, h oweve r, yo u r hair will dry out a little. To deep condition, get a reconstructing conditioner, leave it in for at least 20 minutes, cover it with a cap and make sure you’re in a warm area (like outside) to ensure it works. I recommend deep conditioning a couple of weeks prior to dying your hair. Just remember: Dying your hair is damaging but repairable. — Pat Thornhill LaMae Salon and Spa 4062 Flying C Road, Suite 47-49 Cameron Park, 530-387-4101

Holiday photo courtesy of Cameron Park CSD. Hair photo © Elena Kharichkina/

cameron park community services

At many barbecue restaurants, they use slow smoking, or dry barbecuing, which means cooking the meat in a smoker for long periods of time without sauce—resulting in less napkins and mess! When grilling at home, chefs can use less sauce or marinade or use a rub, giving you the flavor of barbecue with no mess. — Shelley Cobb Back Forty Texas BBQ 3977 Durock Road, Shingle Springs 530-676-4040

the10 spot


OPEN Season of Giving


e make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”—Winston Churchill ’Tis is the season of togetherness and gift giving, and who better to give to than the children of your own community? Because of the generous donations that community members make to the Recreation for Youth Fund—which was established in 1995 to serve the children of El Dorado County—about 150 of the city’s youth are able to take one of the enriching classes that Placerville’s Recreation and Parks Division offers every year. If families with financial constraints meet the requirements for receiving Youth Assistance, the Youth Fund will (currently) pay for 50 percent of their child’s class registration fees once every six months. The City of Placerville believes every child deserves the chance to learn to paint, dance, swim or play basketball. However, the funds are running low! Not only would you receive the satisfaction of knowing that 100 percent of your money is going directly to the children of our community, but your name will also be posted in the Activity Guide that is delivered to more than 10,000 residents three times a year. Help keep this program alive and make sure that no child is turned away. — Amanda Anderson To donate, call 530-642-5232 or mail a check to 549 Main Street, Placerville, CA 95667.

foodie find


Taqueria El Carnaval

aqueria El Carnaval is just the kind of place I look for when craving authentic Mexican food. They have an extensive, affordable menu and even a few beers on tap, with colorful soccer memorabilia and cultural items decorating the interior. On a recent visit, most of the tables were filled, and happy conversations in Spanish and English alike could be heard, adding to the warm atmosphere. I ordered three Carnitas Tacos, and to quench my thirst, my favorite Mexican refreshment: Jamaica. Before sitting down I helped myself to the complimentary chips and salsa bar; however, it was not long before my food was brought out. Each of the small tacos was delicious and had a generous helping of beautifully seasoned meat with pico de gallo on a light corn tortilla. The Jamaica had just the right amount of sweet to balance out the strong flavor of the carnitas, and at the end of the meal, both my cup and plate were empty. Taqueria El Carnaval was quite the pleasant surprise; next time I’m in the area I’ll definitely be back. Taqueria El Carnaval, 4340 Golden Center Drive, Placerville. 530-344-7246, — Jazmin White

14 - December 2013

Instead of making dinner this Christmas, make reservations. Style takes the guesswork out of what restaurants are open by offering the handy-dandy list below—don’t worry, there’s a place for the pickiest of palates and spenders of all sorts. 1. Cross pad Thai, pineapple fried rice and tom yum soup off your Christmas wish list with dinner at Taste of Thai. 2. The whole family will be merry and bright after wining and dining at Henry’s Steakhouse. redhawkcasino. com/dining/henrys 3. From noon to 3 p.m., cozy up with two crackling fireplaces and your loved ones for a meal to remember at Log Cabin Café. 4. You’ll have A (delicious) Christmas Story to tell after dining at Diamond Chinese Restaurant. 530-622-8188. 5. Indulge in a three-course, prix fixe menu from 4-7 p.m. at Stanley’s Steakhouse. 6. With an endless array of selections from around the globe, all appetites will be appeased at Waterfall Buffet. 7. Create a new Christmas tradition by having breakfast for dinner at IHOP. 8. Deliver the ultimate Christmas gift with a sleigh-full of Chinese food from Fortune Garden Chinese Restaurant. 9. Leave Christmas dinner, drinks and—most importantly—cleanup to the talented team at Bistro 33. edh. 10. Hit a holiday Grand Slam with dinner at Denny’s. — Megan Wiskus

Placerville Parks and Rec photo © dmitrimaruta/ Foodie Find photo by Dante Fontana.

placerville parks and recreation

Eateries Open on Christmas

HARRIS CENTER AT FOLSOM LAKE COLLEGE PRESENTS Robert Friedman presents the Moscow Classical Ballet: The Nutcracker THU 12/26 – SUN 12/29 THU: 7 pm FRI: 1 pm SAT: 1 & 7 pm SUN: 1 pm

California Theatre Center The Elves and the Shoemaker SUN 12/15 7 pm

Gift Cards are available in any denomination and can be purchased through our Ticket Office (in person or call 916-608-6888) or online – and we can even e-mail you an E-Gift card!

Mark Hummel’s BLUES HARMONICA BLOWOUT A Tribute to Sonny Boy Williamson WED 1/8 7:30 pm

Luis Bravo’s FOREVER TANGO FRI 1/3 – SUN 1/5 FRI: 7:30 pm SAT: 2 & 7:30 pm SUN: 2 & 7 pm

Deana Martin: A Tribute to Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra SUN 1/12 1 pm


Catch All By Emily Peter



his year marks the fourth annual Homes for the Holidays Tour in El Dorado Hills, which benefits the Assistance League of Sierra Foothills. Staffed completely by volunteers, the League works hard year-round to help the community. “We assess the needs in our county and design and deliver programs accordingly,” explains Assistance League of Sierra Foothills Public Relations Chair, Crista Dixon. Support from this year’s tour will benefit deserving community members by supplying clothes and sports equipment to children, and planning monthly activities for seniors. Attendance is anticipated to be between 1,200-1,500, up from 700 in 2010. Don’t miss five gorgeous homes (some featuring professionally decorated trees), wine samples, a candy bar right out of Santa’s Workshop, and raffle; prizes include 100 bottles of wine, a holiday wreath, and a complete holiday table setting. The self-guided tour runs December 7-8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

HITLIST •Compiled by Style staffers• In no particular order

Dirty Vodka Martini at Mahogany Bar inside Henry’s Steakhouse

1. Dirty Vodka Martini at Mahogany Bar inside Henry’s Steakhouse. “These alcoholic gems consistently taste great and take the edge off. Plus, the olives appease the appetite until dinner.” 2. Cucumber Jalapeño Martini at Bistro 33. “If you like the fresh taste of cucumber and the kick of a spicy pepper, you’ll love their marriage in this libation. The cool cucumber refreshes with each sip and the warm tingle from the jalapeño dances in your mouth.” edh. 3. Bartlett Pear Martini at The Independent Restaurant and Bar. “When craving something sweet and wanting to get saucy, this drink doesn’t disappoint. Made with house-infused lemongrass vodka, pear brandy, fresh lemon and organic agave nectar, it’s a crowd (and palate) pleaser.” 4. Chocolate Flirtini at Sauce’d Pizza & Cocktail House. “This aptly named drink—with vanilla vodka, Irish cream, Kahlua and Chambord—served chilled with shredded dark chocolate shavings—will turn you into a chatty Cathy in a matter of sips.” 5. Pumpkin Pie Martini. “Pie lovers rejoice! This liquid, holiday-inspired dessert—made with Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie Vodka, Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, cream and cinnamon—is guaranteed to make you merry.” 16 - December 2013


The number of “bits” charged to cross Placerville’s first toll bridge in 1850. According to the Mountain Democrat 75th Anniversary Review (published January 6, 1928), a tree fell across a flooded stream during a storm somewhere between Placerville and Diamond Springs. An enterprising miner saw fit to set up camp alongside it and charge four bits ($.50 in today’s currency) to anyone wishing to cross. Number of UFO sightings reported around Placerville between 2010 and 2013, according to A sighting in Pollock Pines in 1973 reads, “Family was camping, object came out of sky from straight above, made two turns then crashed, causing forest fire.”



The number of public readings Charles Dickens did of his novel A Christmas Carol. Dickens’ first public reading began in 1853, and he continued with the readings up until his death in 1870.


Best Local Martini

facts & figures


The number of months until Christmas when Miracle on 34th Street was released in theaters. According to Turner Classic Movies, studio head Darryl Zanuck demanded the movie be released in June because more people went to the movies in summer. There was not a Santa in sight on promotional posters. Nonetheless, it was a box office hit. The number of Christmas trees at the White House during the presidency of Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. He supposedly banned them from the White House for “environmental reasons.” During his first year in office, President Roosevelt’s eightyear-old son Archie reportedly kept a “secret tree” in his closet. — Compiled by Sharon Penny


Holiday Home Tour photo courtesy of the Assitance League of Sierra Foothills. Martini photo by Dante Fontana. Bullseye image © mostafa fawzy/


TOTAL VISION CARE 2009 • 2010 2011 • 2012 2013

DR. SHAWN McDONALD OPTOM ETRIST 2802 MALLARD LN. PLACERVILLE w w w.d r m c d o n a l d .c o m


Board Certified in Treatment and Management of Ocular Diseases. Member of Both American and California Optometric Association

december events

December is National “Learn a Foreign Language” Month Compiled by Katherine E. Leonard


Repeal of Prohibition Celebration

Go back in time at 399 Placerville Drive from 4:30-8 p.m. and enter a transformed warehouse where you’ll find a speakeasy with music, poker, wine, food and vintage cars! Attire from the 1920s is encouraged, and you’ll need a secret password to enter. Save up your extra cash, because you might need it to bail your favorite gangster out of the pokey. To purchase tickets, visit


36th Annual Hangtown Christmas Parade Celebrate the holiday season with a lively parade down Main Street in Historic Placerville. Sponsored by the Mountain Democrat and benefiting Toys For Tots (bring a new, unwrapped toy for a boy or girl), this year’s theme is “Let the Bells of Freedom Ring.” Check in time is 11 a.m.; the parade starts at 1 p.m. For more details, visit


21st Annual Elizabethan Family Feast The Placerville Shakespeare Club will be an elegantly decorated baronial hall where community members can enjoy a traditional holiday dinner at 5 p.m. This event always sells out, so buy your tickets early at

14-Jan. 5

Hangtown Holiday Ice Rink


Run with Santa & Post 89 Fire Department Pancake Breakfast Double knot your running shoes and get ready to hit the pavement with Santa. Registration for the 5K run/ walk begins at 7 a.m., and the race begins at 8 a.m. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy pancakes, eggs, bacon, orange juice and coffee at the Cameron Park Community Center. Proceeds from the morning meal and raffle will help support local firefighters. For more details, visit


Homes for the Holidays Tour

Feast your eyes on glittering garlands, magnificent holiday collections and dramatically decorated Christmas trees, as you tour five beautiful El Dorado Hills homes all dressed up for the holidays. Entertainment, cookies and cider will be offered at many of the homes. The touring takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. For tickets and more details, visit

Come enjoy one of winter’s most beloved pastimes! Presented by the Placerville Drive Business Association in Historic Placerville, the rink will be open for 1.5-hour sessions at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Find $1 off skate rental coupons at most Christmas tree farms and Apple Hill locations. For more details, visit


Christmas in Coloma Enjoy a weekend of handmade craft vendors, food, music, 19th century children’s games, visits with Santa, wagon rides, wreath making and more at Marshall Gold Discovery State Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more details, call 530-622-3470.

21 25 31 31

Winter Solstice

Christmas Day

Thru 29 Les Misérables

Presented by Imagination Theater, this Broadway musical—full of passion, sacrifice and redemption in 19th century France, and winner of eight Tony Awards—will be playing Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit For even more events happening in our area, log on to and click on Calendar. And, be sure to check out our Blog! Send your events to

18 - December 2013


Noon Year’s Eve Welcome the New Year at this free, highenergy celebration for the whole family, featuring live music, festive art activities and dance performances from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It promises to be a celebration of global cultural experiences that everyone can stay awake for. For more details, visit

Repeal of Prohibition Celebration photo by Debbie Emmett. Run with Santa photo courtesy of Sherry Dorithy from El Dorado Camera Club. Holidays Tour photo courtesy of Assistance League of Sierra Foothills. Les Misérables photo courtesy of Imagination Theatre.


more events December 1-22 – A Coloma Christmas Carol or Will Someone Get This Lady Off The Stage. Don’t miss this comedic holiday performance at Olde Coloma Theatre. Plays are held every Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.) and Sundays at 2 p.m. For ticket prices and more details, visit December 2-6 – Fall Member Art Show & Awards Reception. The Placerville Arts Association welcomes art lovers to the El Dorado Government Center in Placerville from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a show featuring diverse two-dimensional works—from realism to abstract and experimental—in mediums ranging from watercolor, charcoal, oil, pastels, photography, mixed media and more. The Awards Reception, where many artists will be recognized from across the U.S., will be held December 6 at 4 p.m. For more details, visit December 6 – Holiday Lights in the Hills. At 6:30 p.m., watch the holiday tree get illuminated at the El Dorado Hills CSD Pavilion! Refreshments will be served after the lighting. For more details, visit December 6-7 – Holiday Art and Craft Fair. Check out a vast selection of arts and crafts—including woodworking items, dolls, jewelry, holiday decorations and more—at the CSD Pavilion from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more details, visit December 10 – Second Annual Senior Santa. Friends of El Dorado County Seniors invite the community to help fund this special program that will provide an afternoon of shopping for senior citizens who need help with transportation and can’t afford to buy Christmas presents for their family and loved ones. To volunteer or make a donation, call 530-626-6323. December 13-15 – Santa Parade. The Cameron Park Fire Department will be driving through the community with Santa and his elves to collect donated, unwrapped toys and canned foods from the curbs of neighborhood homes. Rain dates will be December 20-22. To see the routes, visit December 14 – Tea in Toyland. Bring the kids and family to Town Hall in Placerville from 12:30-3 p.m. for tea, refreshments and holiday entertainment at 1 p.m. This 13th annual event is presented by Friends of Old Hangtown. For tickets, call Raelene at 916-933-1401. December 16 – Holiday Celebration. El Dorado Musical Theatre presents this cabaret-style performance filled with singing, dancing and music from around the world! The family-friendly performance begins at 7 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit December 17-21 – Santa Parade in El Dorado Hills. The El Dorado Hills Firefighters’ Association will escort Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elves on fire engines through El Dorado Hills. Along the route, elves will be collecting canned food and new, unwrapped toys; donations can be left on your curb. The grand finale—featuring Santa, free cookies and cocoa, and a fireworks show—will start at 6 p.m. on December 21 at the El Dorado Hills Town Center. For more details, visit December 19 – A Charlie Brown Christmas with David Benoit. The fivetime Grammy-nominated pianist Benoit presents the holiday songs and arrangements made famous on the Charlie Brown Christmas TV specials. You’ll remember why it’s such a beloved and timeless classic after seeing it brought to life by this incredible group of musicians and a charming children’s chorus. For more details, visit December 21-22 – It’s Christmas Once Again. Placer Pops Chorale presents their delightful chorale-style Christmas concert at Harris Center. Enjoy a fresh take on classic holiday songs through innovative arrangements and glorious choral sounds. For show times and tickets, visit December 26-29 – Moscow Classical Ballet Presents The Nutcracker. With 40 years on the international stage, come see Russia’s most prized ballet perform the beloved holiday classic at Harris Center. For more details, visit

December 2013 - 19

outtakes Oktoberfest St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, El Dorado Hills October 19 Photos by Bob Gouine.

Amy Franzen, Pastor Trudy Franzen, Linda Mulligan and Sylvia Reilly

Al and Teddy Walterbeek

Guests enjoy the feast

Pastor Trudy Franzen dances with husband Gary

Thieves in the Temple Benefit and Costume Ball Mercedes Benz of El Dorado Hills, October 12 Photos by Shoop’s Shutter Photography.

Elise and Charles Sharp

Laura Fergerson, Jen Priest and Kim Wellman of Fergerson Financial

Craig and Leslie Elowson

John Shoop

Winterfest: A Party in the Pines

Show N’ Shine Fly-In

Dragonfly Acres Barn, Camino October 12 Photos by Emily Valdez.

Cameron Park Airpark September 28 Photos by Mike Neal. Paula Evans showcasing her pottery with husband Bob

Greg Bolga, Danyelle Petersen, Ping Chon, Lindsay Hardy and Joanna Hebert

Attendees enjoy music, drinks and a beautiful view

Chad and Janelle Montgomery with Jaxon Valdez

Air Park resident and pilot Robert Petersen with his wife Norma

Beau and Jessica Arens

Heidi Briggs and Angie Rose

Luis Rivera, Erik Fiedler and Bob Counts of the Cameron Park Fire Department

Rotarian Caroline Mohlstrom

If you know of any events happening in the El Dorado County Foothills area or have photos you would like to share with us, please submit them to And, to see more Outtakes photos, visit our website:

20 - December 2013

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thearts AB: Is there a piece of work you’re most proud of? Why? RT: I guess the piece I’m most proud of is titled Top of Carson Pass. It’s a painting I recently did of a scene depicting the snow patterns in the top cliffs of a mountainside along Highway 88. It almost seemed to paint itself, and in the end accomplishes what I was going for with the least amount of brushstrokes. I was very honored to have it accepted into the Oil Painters of America’s 2013 Western Regional Exhibition.

Strokes of Nature by Abigail Blank


lein air artist and El Dorado resident Randall Tillery is making waves with his impressionist landscape pieces. The recipient of many awards and honors, you can find his work exhibited at American Visions Art Gallery in Folsom and Rinconart Studio and Gallery in Placerville. AB: How and why did you start making art? RT: I have been interested in and doing art for as long as I can remember. My father was a cartoonist and always encouraged me in all things artistic. Every Christmas, I could always count on getting new art supplies as at least [one] of my presents. Unfortunately, due to “life,” I put art on the back burner for many years and just got back into it—with all cylinders firing—about 12 years ago. [Now], I paint every day without exception. AB: What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio? RT: My most important artist “tool” is really not a material thing for me; instead it is the 22 - December 2013

California Foothills

AB: What would you most like to say to the young artists out there? RT: Do what you love to do—don’t worry about what the latest trend is. Follow your dream if you have a passion for art, but realize that nothing good comes easy or right away. To be the best you can be as an artist requires unwavering commitment, desire, dedication and hard work. With enough hard work and brush mileage your skill level will improve. You should never stop growing and learning as an artist.

Visit for more information.

artbeat Top of Carson Pass

passion and commitment that I have for art. My drive to be the very best artist I can be means that I’m constantly exploring, learning and perfecting my craft. Like all artists I suppose, I never feel satisfied with the level I’m at. I paint daily—always with the intent that my current painting will be better than my last, and for my next to be even better.

December 8 – Shriners Hospital Rally for Kids. This year’s rally will host El Dorado Dance Academy’s performing companies, Kaleidoscope Productions. The dancers will perform a variety of dance styles including ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap and theatrical—starting at 10 a.m. at the Shriners Hospital in Sacramento; admission is free. For more details, visit

Photo of artist by Dante Fontana; artwork images courtesy of Randall Tillery.

randall tillery

AB: You work in oils and watercolors. Is there one medium that’s your favorite to work with? Why? RT: I work in both oils and watercolors but love to work primarily in oils because of the viscosity of the medium. I love that I can push the paint around on the canvas, and how it can be applied in different thicknesses with beautiful brushwork to convey depth and give texture to the finished piece.

‘tis the seasoning Health Benefits Hiding in Your Spice Rack by Kourtney Jason


ooking at home could be the key to living your healthiest life. “Restaurant food is notoriously higher in salt, fat and calories, which could add up to weight gain and a decrease in health,” explains Dr. Niki Young, N.D. from Revolu-

use of spices, which can have a great impact on health while boosting the flavor of homecooked meals.” tions Natural Medical Solutions. “Cooking with your family creates better communication and sense of bonding between family members. And it has been shown to elevate mood and even the immune system. Finally, the best aspect of cooking at home is the

1. Garlic Garlic doesn’t just keep vampires at bay; it also does wonders for cardiovascular health. “The benefits of garlic are widespread...and include acting as a blood thinner, lowering

Garlic Photo © photocrew/, Scoop Photo © PhotoSG/,


blood pressure and cholesterol, preventing artery-clogging plaque and, overall, lowering your risk of a heart attack. Garlic also helps prevent and even fight cancer,” Dr. Young says. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the antioxidant activity of garlic can clean up free radicals, stop carcinogens from damaging DNA, and boost activity of enzymes that detoxify carcinogens. To take advantage of this spice powerhouse, Dr. Young recommends cooking with one crushed clove per day. Fresh and raw garlic is best, but some research indicates that powdered garlic can also be beneficial.

2. Cinnamon Cinnamon has been used as a spice around the world for centuries—not surprising, considering it has a history of potential health benefits. “In traditional medicine, cinnamon has been used for digestive disorders such as indigestion, gas and bloating, stomach upset and diarrhea,” explains Sarah Baracco, a registered dietitian at Kaiser Permanente Roseville. “Cinnamon is also believed to have anti-inflammatory,

antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant benefits, but research regarding these properties is ongoing and there is lack of evidence supporting the use of cinnamon for any medical conditions.” While the jury is still out on the proven health benefits of cinnamon, it does give a nice flavor to many foods, including smoothies, oatmeal, fruits and yogurt.

3. Basil Grow a basil plant, and you’ll always have this fresh herb on hand to add to salads, sandwiches, soups, pastas and more. “A study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science reports that basil can kill acne-causing bacteria. And the antioxidative properties of basil have been found to potentially block or suppress liver, stomach and lung cancer,” Dr. Young explains. Eugenol, a compound in basil, blocks cyclooxygenase (COX), the same pain-inducing enzyme that is also blocked by NSAIDS, she says. In addition to working like a pain reliever, basil also has been shown to prevent ulcers caused by ingesting NSAIDS. Not bad, basil!

4. Turmeric Turmeric, or curcuma longa, has been used as both a spice and household remedy for many centuries, Baracco says. It’s been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to strengthen the body inside and out. By toning the digestive system and the liver, it can eliminate parasitic worms, help regulate menstruation, dispel gallstones and relieve arthritis, she explains. Also used in Chinese medicine, turmeric has been beneficial to many digestive and urinary issues.

5. Cayenne Cooking with spices like cayenne will support a lower daily intake of sodium, Baracco says. “At this point, that is where the most proven benefits lie. Cayenne is traditionally used for weight loss, sore throat, tonsillitis, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, muscle pain and skin conditions. However, clinical support for cayenne for these uses is lacking.”

For a guide to “herb strength” and how much to use when cooking, visit stylemg. com.


not so fast Teen Driving Truths


onk if the thought of teen driving terrifies you. You’re not alone—but, because there’s safety in numbers, we’re putting parents back in the driver’s seat with things to know about teens on the go.

FACT: Teens are high-risk motorists— and risk takers, too. “Motor-vehicle crashes are the number one killer of teens in America; almost half of teens killed in crashes are the drivers themselves,” reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which launched its new “5 to Drive” campaign to coincide with 2013’s National Teen Driver Safety Week. Cornerstones of the campaign ask teens to put the brakes on risky driving behaviors, like using cell phones, transporting extra passengers, speeding and driving while intoxicated, while green-lighting safety measures such 26 - December 2013

as wearing seatbelts. After all, data doesn’t lie: The NHTSA further reports that of the 2,105 teen drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2011, only 55 percent survived. If anything, it proves the point: Teen motorists, young men in particular, are more likely to engage in risky behavior on the road, violate traffic laws, hit the gas too hard, make dangerous passes, not operate their signals, and run red lights.

FACT: Teens are driven to distraction. Teens driving with passengers are prone to peer pressure from the backseat, which promotes dangerously chancy conduct, like fiddling with electronic devices or glancing at video screens. So pervasive is the problem that the U.S. government has dedicated its own website to the issue,, which cites findings from the latest NHTSA studies, including:

“Only about [one] out of [five] young drivers think that texting makes no difference to their driving performance.” At first you might think, well, one isn’t too awful. Given the number of teens on the road, however, and the math adds up—“one” is too many. Stave off distractions in the car by setting ground rules at home—discuss dangers and expectations, preset audio systems, and take teens out for a test drive to ensure that they not only exhibit a clear understanding of the rules of the road, but also stick to them. Also, limit nighttime driving, when sleep-deprived teens aren’t on high alert to identify hazards in a multitude of different driving environments. (Cars need curfews, too!)

FACT: Teens need time. Just because a young motorist gets a driver’s license does not mean he is prepared

Photo © william87/

by Jenn Thornton

to drive safely. Granite Bay’s Russell Postell, of R. Postell Insurance and Financial Solutions*, says, “Kids misjudge distance and speed. In our house, the rule for new drivers is you can only make a left turn at a major road at the light—and you must count to five before you start to go. I just hoped that it made them think a little longer before they darted out into oncoming traffic.” Remember, kids need oversight before keys.

FACT: Teens break rules their parents don’t know. Many well-intentioned parents don’t know young drivers’ restrictions any better than their kids— among them, those regarding curfews and passengers. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a licensed parent, guardian, driving instructor or other driver age 25 or older must accompany a teen under the age of 18 with a provisional driver license when transporting passengers under age 20 anytime for the first year, and when driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Also—and this is a biggie—until age 18, teens are not legally authorized to use cell phones or any other electronic mobile device (even hands-free options!) to speak or text while driving.** Not only are teens subject to regulations set forth by the State of California, but also to the whims of Mom and Dad, so, advises Postell, “If you see them on the road, follow them to see how they are doing. It is not sneaky; it is being a concerned parent. You might have a tip that could save their life.” Here, his advice for parents of teen drivers: • Give teens limits in the first three to six months. A car is not freedom to roam the world unattended. • Have teens keep the car within 10 miles of home and not on highways for the first three months. • Make teens communicate with you each time they are heading to a new location. • Unless it is for family members, do not break the “no passengers for the first year rule.” It is the law. Make the law the bad guy.  • Do not break the 11 p.m. first-year rule. It is the law. Make the law the bad guy.  • When teens are driving, expand distance as needed—and at your discretion, not theirs. • Keep a close watch on the weather when they venture out for longer drives.

* Securities offered through Farmers Financial Solutions, LLC Member FINRA & SIPC **Check with the DMV for a full list of exemptions. December 2013 - 27


friends for life Placerville Fellowship and Newcomers Club by Morgan Cásarez

28 - December 2013

Photo by Dante Fontana.


hen Jennifer A. Stoeckle moved to Placerville from the Bay Area more than a decade ago, she really didn’t know anyone in her new community—until a coworker introduced her to the Placerville Fellowship and Newcomers Club, Inc., a long-standing philanthropic organization that provides scholarships to graduating high school seniors in El Dorado County. Stoeckle joined the club after attending just one meeting and in no time at all was working as one of the group’s telephone callers, tasked with asking members to attend the club’s monthly luncheon meetings at Cold Springs Country Club. “For a relatively small club, I feel we do much good in the community,” Stoeckle says. “We may (Top, L to R): Shirley Riley, Jennifer Stoeckle, Edna Knutsen and Melba Ambroff (Bottom, L to R): Sylvia Root, Doris Nasson, Anna Tornincasa and Myrna Augsburger be called the ‘Newcomers,’ but some have been members for over 40 years. We are steadfast and comexplains. “We have great friendships with Members are inundated with scholarmunity minded.” one another and enjoy serving our comship applications each year, yet they take Since it was founded in 1963, the club munity together. We all work hard, but we the time to read and review each submishas been in constant session as it works do have fun.” sion carefully before making a decision. to give members opportunities for social Sharon McDavid joined the club more McDavid hopes the club will be able to activity and welcome new residents to the than eight years ago and currently serves expand its charitable efforts in the coming area. Board members and special commitas its membership chair. She says the orgayears, thus helping even more “young peotees generally work toward these goals nization’s primary goals are to promote felple [who want] to further their education.” year-round, while general membership lowship, friendship and sociability among For Stoeckle’s part, she says her work meets August through May. In addition local women. “We provide a service to the serving others has been a personally reto offering up to five scholarships annuwomen in the community by encouragwarding experience. “I would say the best ally, the group hosts two food drives and ing them to be active in social and charthing is I have made close and lifelong makes donations to local organizations in ity work,” she says. “I became involved friends here,” she shares. “These ladies need as funds allow. Stoeckle, who was because I like people and I need a social feel like sisters. I love this community and elected president of the group this year, life, plus I feel the need to help different this county. We have so much to offer and says members enjoy a diverse array of accharities and students financially. Members so much to give back.” tivities, including bridge, bunco, pinochle, a can be involved as much as they want to couple’s group and book club. “We always be, or you can just sit and enjoy a wonderFor more information, visit neighbor welcome new members. Each individual ful luncheon. Our different programs and has some talent or creative aspect,” she speakers are truly inspirational.” And_Newcomers.

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helping hand Easy Ways to Spread Holiday Cheer by Linda Holderness


et your merry mood of giving reach out to people less fortunate this season. Without the generosity of the area’s charitable organizations, thousands of homeless families and shut-ins would face a cheerless holiday. Most of these groups need and welcome help with their holiday celebrations. Though volunteering is meant to be selfless, most people find joy in giving. As a high school student, Janice Freeberg of Orangevale loved repairing dolls for needy girls; now she helps run several holiday charity programs. “It’s important to take care of those in our community,” she says. “That’s how we show our love for others.” Below are some places you can offer your time or money to make someone else’s holiday brighter. If you aren’t able to volunteer with one of these groups, a search will turn up similar organizations—think local churches, hospitals and veterans’ associations—who might require holiday help.

TOYS FOR TOTS FOUNDATION This program, started by the Marine Corps in Los Angeles in 1947, has distributed nearly half a billion toys to needy children nationwide since its inception. You can help in several ways: Donate a new, unwrapped toy of any value to a drop location, host a Toys for Tots event at your home or business, place a free drop box at your place of business, or volunteer to pick up or sort toys. Local agencies such as churches distribute the toys. All Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores are drop locations; for others, visit and select your local chapter under the “Donate a Toy” tab. To sponsor a drop box or to volunteer, email

The Food Bank of El Dorado County will once again be providing holiday food assistance to less fortunate families, children and senior citizens throughout the county. A few hundred volunteers are needed December 20 and 21 at 4 p.m. to pack and distribute holiday meals for 1,200 homeless families. For more details, email

SNOWLINE HOSPICE Volunteers are needed to help with Snowline’s Christmas Light-a-Life Remembrance Ceremony, a community memorial event on December 8 in Placerville for loved ones who have died. To help, call 530-621-7820.

ESKATON This northern California organization provides support services for thousands of senior adults in the region. At holiday time, when loneliness is felt most keenly, the agency welcomes volunteers to reach out to its clientele. You can make daily social calls to homebound seniors, donate items such as grocery store gift cards and toiletries, or visit in person (with cookies, carols, children or pets). For more information, visit

30 - December 2013

MORE MERRY & BRIGHT IDEAS • Contact the local United Way branch at or 916-8563983; this umbrella organization may be able to match your skills with a specific need. • Show your appreciation for people working on Christmas Day—animal shelters, police and fire departments—by delivering your favorite holiday goodies to them. • Contact area hospitals to see if you can make holiday cards or craft items for patients.

Photo © inarik/


el dorado COUNTY FOOT hills

Best restaurants H H H H H

Cascada Restaurante & Cantina

The Independent Restaurant and Bar

Serving an eclectic mix of Mexican favorites and California fresh cuisine. Open 7 days a week. Full Bar. 384 Main Street, Placerville 530-344-7757 •

Weekend Brunch and Lunch & Dinner Wednesday through Monday 629 Main Street, Ste.102, Placerville 530-344-7645 •

Voted Best Mexican Restaurant & Cocktails

Heyday Café

American Fusion Cuisine & Craft Cocktails

Torino’s Bar & Grill

Voted Best Overall Restaurant & Best Salads

Placerville’s Favorite New Restaurant

Featuring fresh California cuisine and a fantastic wine list. Open for Lunch & Dinner Tuesday through Sunday 325 Main Street, Placerville 530-626-9700 •

Happy Hour in the bar Mon.-Fri. 3-6 Sun.-Thurs. 11-8:30 • Fri. & Sat. 11-9 251 Main Street, Placerville 530-622-7500 •

Casa Ramos

Amazing Margaritas, Wonderful Cuisine! Come Celebrate Placerville Casa Ramos’ 10 Year Anniversary!! Live Music-Mariachis December 19th! Thank You Style readers for your Support and for Making Us your Favorite Mexican Restaurant for the last 10 Years!! To help us celebrate, enjoy a 15% Discount* on your entire check for the month of December!! *Excludes happy hour and other specials. Must present this ad. Not valid on parties of ten (10) or more.

Come see why we continue to be voted Best Mexican Restaurant, Best Happy Hour & Best Bartender! 6840 Greenleaf Drive • Placerville 530-622-2303 •

December 2013 – 31


he Zentgraf House—a long, low adobe building on Deer Valley Road, just north of Green Valley Road—is an intriguing piece of history. Dating back to 1871, the house served as a social center for the surrounding community, as well as a residence to Jacob Zentgraf, his wife Maria, and their nine children. Jacob was born in Germany in 1821. At 16, he learned the trade of stone cutting from his father and worked at it until 1852 when he immigrated to the United States. After living in Butler, Pennsylvania, for a short time, he caught the gold fever and ventured to California in 1853. He soon tired of mining in Weber Creek and, along with his brother Antone, purchased a small vineyard on Sweetwater Creek from Mr. Stevens in 1854. Stevens planted 32 grapevines on the property in 1849; rumor states these vines furnished stock for other vineyards in the area. The brothers expanded the vineyard, and by 1857 were producing 1,800 gallons of wine. Jacob bought out his brother’s interest in the property that year, and Antone moved to the Georgetown area where he eventually discovered a rich gold mine on Wild Goose Flat. By 1859, Jacob’s wine production had tripled and he was also distilling brandy. With his business well established, he married Maria Fischer, a neighbor and native of Germany. By 1871, with a growing family, a farm of nearly 520 acres, and a thriving business, Jacob began construction of the Zentgraf House—a two-story home built of “rammed-earth” walls nearly two-feet thick and finished in plaster. The kitchen and washroom were still across the street in the winery, so the house was solely used for sleeping and recreation. The Zentgraf House soon became the social center for the community. The entire first floor was constructed so that it could be used as a dance or community hall. The partitions between the three rooms were not attached, but hung from the ceiling on large hooks; during dances, the walls swung up and were secured to the ceiling—making the first floor into one large room. The dances would commence at 8 or 9 p.m. on Saturdays and often included a full supper around midnight. Dancing would reconvene

32 - December 2013

zentgraf house Rescue’s Social Center by Jerrie Beard

Zentgraf Home, 1888

Jacob Zentgraf and sons in front of the winery, 1893

at 1 a.m. and continue through the night. Several of Jacob’s sons lived at the house and worked with their father into adulthood. The home remained in the family until 1941, when son Jacob H. Zentgraf, still living in the house, sold to the Gerkin family who still own the property today. Time and fires have taken their toll on the many outbuildings that constituted the property. Today, only the house and the winery directly across the street remain. Foundations for several of the other buildings can still be found, and many of the family are buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery nearby. Recently, Native Sons of the Golden West dedicated the Zentgraf House as a historical site.

Photos courtesy of the Steward Family Collection.



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celebrate simply 7 Days and 8 Steps to Soiree Success by Kerrie Kelly, ASID

Time is of the essence, so going the digital route will save you the delay of snail mail and the cost of invitations and stamps. An invitation from a service such as Evite or Paperless Post reaches guests instantly and makes RSVPs much easier on short notice. With all the hip designs available, you’ll have no trouble finding one that suits your personal style and event.

Make room in the fridge.


hen it comes to the holidays, weekends book up fast with cocktail gatherings, office parties and kids’ events. An impromptu get-together can make for a refreshing change of pace for the winter season. Even if you’ve procrastinated, it’s okay. Follow these simple tips to get your home holiday ready within a week’s time!

2 Liven up libations. Replenish your bar basics such as gin, vodka and Scotch, and layer on a supply of beer, wine and sodas. Don’t forget mixers, lemons, limes and other staples such as olives and tonic. Prepping lime wedges and lemon twists just before your event will ensure a festive, effortless evening.

34 - December 2013

Make plenty of room for a turkey or a tray of hors d’oeuvres. Toss out expired food, clean out storage containers, and polish off the splash of juice at the bottom of the carton. Give the fridge shelves a good wipe down, too.


Fireplace photo courtesy of PhotographerLink/Kerrie Kelly Design Lab. Photo 2 © Africa Studio/; photo 3 © JackF/


Invite guests electronically.


Add in some flowers. A week should be plenty of time for a florist to create the arrangements you want. DIY-ers can play with loose blooms and vases to come up with their own custom creations from the garden. A simple arrangement of boughs and berries will provide a fresh scent and dramatic look.

Decide on furniture and seating arrangements.


Play around with the furniture layout to find the best flow for your gathering space. If you’re hosting a sit-down dinner, think about where to place guests. You could even make place cards if time permits.

Photo 5 © vannphoto/; photos 6 & 7 courtesy of PhotographerLink/Kerrie Kelly Design Lab; photo 8 © Benicce/

Keep food simple.


Without a lot of time to plan, it’s best to go with a streamlined menu that includes a mix of prepared and scratch-made dishes—for example, pick up a baked ham that’s ready to serve and pair with your favorite go-to roasted vegetable medley. Make as many items ahead of time as you can while still keeping things as fresh as possible. For a party, you could also focus on a simple theme, such as a brunch buffet or a hot chocolate bar. If you’d rather let your local market or gourmet shop do the cooking—many offer prepared meals with all the trimmings. Order early in the week to give them time to accommodate you and use your own tableware to give it a nice presentation.

Make a holiday playlist. Use iTunes or Spotify to create a holiday collection that sets the mood. If you feel as though your musical taste has gotten a little stale, browse and download some new tunes to shake things up; this small detail can really set the tone for your soiree.

Prep the tableware. Pull out the good china, polish silver, and press the linens. Make sure you have enough plates, glasses, flatware and serveware to suit the food you plan to offer. Don’t hesitate to buy some inexpensive extras if necessary, too. You can set the table or arrange the buffet a day or two in advance, then drape a lightweight sheet over it to keep dust off until party time.



Kerrie Kelly is an award-winning interior designer, author and multimedia consultant. She has authored two books: ‘Home Décor: A Sunset Design Guide,’ published by Oxmoor House, and the newly released, ‘My Interior Design Kit,’ with Pearson Professional and Career Education. To contact her, visit or call 916-919-3023. December 2013 - 35

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The weather outside may be frightful and the fire so delightful, but this year’s gift guide—with 50-plus presents for $50 or less—is sure to get you out of the house and crossing names off your Christmas list in no time. And, to make things even merrier, many of our suggestions can be found at area mom-and-pop shops…keeping your holiday bucks at home.


December 2013 - 37


FOODOPHILE Olive Oil and Vinegar Sampler (set of 6), $30 at Mia Sorella, 4356 Town Center Boulevard, El Dorado Hills. 916-933-9329,

Roaring Brook Dairy Mozzarella Cheesemaking Kit, $19.99 at Whole Foods Market, 270 Palladio Parkway, Folsom. 916984-8500,

Cork Cage Wine Barrel, $33 at Cadence Corner Boutique, 4620 Post Street, El Dorado Hills. 916-673-6300,

2010 Terr d’Oro Zinfandel, $18 at Terra d’Oro Winery, 20680 Shenandoah School Road, Plymouth. 209-245-6942,

Tea Xotics, $9.99 each at Selland’s Market-Café, 4370 Town Center Boulevard, El Dorado Hills. 916-932-5025,

8 Mini Truff le Box, $22 at 38 - December 2013





Ohio Stoneware 5-Gallon Crock, $59.99 at


Placerville Hardware, 441 Main Street, Placerville. 530-622-1151,

‘The Bacon Cookbook’ by James Villas, $35 at Placerville News Company, 409 Main Street, Placerville. 530-622-4510,

Star Wars Lightsaber Chopsticks, $12.99 at

Assorted Oven Rack Push Pulls in Cherry, Maple and Walnut, $18-$25 each, and Spoons in Assorted Woods, $20-$40 each, at The Spoonman, 530-622-9696,

ZacJack Bistro Gift Card, $50 at ZacJack Bistro, 3275 Coach Lane, Cameron Park. 530-676-2969, December 2013 - 39


Locket Necklace, $30, and Ring, $10, at


The Trading Post, 451 Main Street, Suite 4, Placerville. 530-303-3755, eldoradotradingpost

Serefina Bracelets, $32 each at Runway Boutique, 1000 White Rock Road, Suite 500, El Dorado Hills. 916-9336300,

Over the Knee Boot Socks, $16.99 at Apricot Lane, 1001 Heavenly Village Way, South Lake Tahoe. 530-541-7800,



Sterling Silver Infinity Curved Hoop Earrings, $50 at Goldsmith Gallery Fine Jewelers, 3951 Missouri Flat Road, Suite 150, Placerville. 530-621-1188,

40 - December 2013

Rowenta IS6200 Steamer, $149.99 at



Deepa Gurnani Headband in Lime, $50 at Evila Boutique, 4364 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 122, El Dorado Hills, 916-990-8030.

Suavecito Pomade Super Hold, $15 (4 oz.) at Barber Jon’s World Famous Barber Shop, 381 Green Valley Road, El Dorado Hills. 916-939-0512,

Lori Smith Swarovski Crystal Earrings, $22 at Mirror Mirror, 3300 Coach Lane, Suite B-8, Cameron Park. 530-676-4511,

Powerhouse Gym Gift Certificate, $50 at Powerhouse

Powerhouse Gym Photo Š 3desc/

Gym, 4615 Missouri Flat Road, Suite 11, Placerville. 530-626-3488,

Wine Bottle Candle Holder, $39.98 at Pottery World, 1006 White Rock Road, El Dorado Hills. 916-358-8788,

Factory Lite Duffel, $40 at December 2013 - 41

Divoom Bluetune-Bean Bluetooth Speaker + Speakerphone, $29.99 each at



Tulio Quick Release Skewer MultiTool, $47.98 at Bicycle Guys, 2205 Francisco Drive, Suite 130, El Dorado Hills. 916-933-4485,

Samurai Inferno Red Hot Watch, $49.95 at

3D Couture Case, $45 at

Netgear NEO TV Streaming Player, $49.99 at OfficeMax, 3041 Forni Road, Placerville. 530-626-9453,



Radio Shack Learn to Soldier Kit, $29.99 at Radio Shack, 2215 Francisco Drive, Suite 140, El Dorado Hills. 916-941-4971, 42 - December 2013

Bowers & Wilkins P7 Headphones, $399 at Magnolia Home Theater in Best Buy, 2445 Iron Point Road, Folsom. 916-817-2115,



Cy-Purr Mouse Futuristic Pet Toy, $10.88 at Togs for Dogs and Cats Too! 330 Green Valley Road, El Dorado Hills. 916-939-3884,

Adopt a Pet, prices vary at Fat Kitty City (Agee Memorial Wildlife Fund), 4354 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 114-245, El Dorado Hills, 916-939-3418

100% Organic Cotton Rudy Crocheted Toy, $15, and 100% Organic Cotton Ginger Crocheted Toy, $14, at

Mix-N-Scratch Ramp for Cats, $24.99, and Jute Refill, $9.99, at PetCo, 3454 Palmer Drive, Cameron Park. 530-672-1069,

Spice Boyz Bite Sized Ginger Bread Cookies, $5.99 at Bark Avenue, 4311 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 420, El Dorado Hills. 916-941-7400,

Ecotrition Snak Shak Natural Hide Away for Guinea Pigs & Rabbits, $23.99 at Lees’ Feed and Western Store, 4110 Mother Lode Drive, Shingle Springs. 530-677-4891, December 2013 - 43



Bay Area Bike Rides Deck, $14.95, and Hooked on Hiking: 50 Northern California Hiking Adventures, $16.95, at Face in a Book, 4359 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 113, El Dorado Hills. 916-941-9401,

Fire Opal SoapRock, $14.95 at Lighthouse Nature Store, 451 Main Street, Suite 1, Placerville. 530-626-5515.

Quantum Artemis 10 Fishing Pole, $49.99 at Big 5 Sporting Goods, 284 Placerville Drive, Placerville. 530-295-8290,

Floral Metal Mini Lanterns, $14.54 each at

FuelBelt Revenge速 R20 2-Bottle Belt in Hibiscus Pink/Silver, $43.99 at Town Center Bike and Tri, 4420 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 150, El Dorado Hills. 916-941-0900,

Krooked Gonz Kollage Deck, $45 at Hangtown Skate Shop, 200 Armory Road, Placerville. 530-626-6998,

44 - December 2013



Gummy Bear Lamp, $29.99 each at

Flurries and Frosty Nail Shields, $15 at

Accoutrements Jumbo Candy Canes, $6.99 each, and Handerpants, $12, at Candy Strike Emporium, 398 Main Street, Placerville. 530-295-1007.

Zany Toys “Yes,” “No,” “Maybe,” “Sorry” Buttons, $10.99 each at Placerville Hardware, 441 Main Street, Placerville. 530-622-1151,

FIFA 14 for XBOX 360, Kali Protectives “MAHA”

Helmet, $29 at Golden Spoke Bike Shop, 679 Placerville Drive, Placerville. 530-626-8370,

$49.99 at Target, 4400 Town Center Boulevard, El Dorado Hills. 916-605-0184,

December 2013 - 45


Rugged Butts Blue Tuxedo 2-Piece Set, $39 at


Wee Wedgits 15 Piece Building Block Set, $35, and Topsy Turvy Snow White/ Evil Stepmother Doll, $42, at Dandelions Raising Children Naturally, 3490 Palmer Drive, Suite 1, Cameron Park. 530-672-2022.

Crayola 3-in-1 Double Easel, $49.99 at Kmart, 3968 Missouri Flat Road, Placerville. 530-626-7080,

Learn to Dress Monkey by ALEX, $40.95, and Musical Gator by ALEX, $33.95, at Kiddlywinks Toy Store, 262 Main Street, Placerville. 530-642-2671,

Robeez Tweetin’ Birds Soft Soles, $25, and Robeez Pirate Dude Soft Soles,

Melissa & Doug Vehicles Reusable Vehicles Sticker Pad, $4.99, and Melissa & Doug DressUp Reusable Sticker Pad, $4.99,

$25, at Annieberries, 464 Main Street, Placerville. 530-626-1444,

at Craft Castle, 3374 Coach Lane, Cameron Park. 530-672-9575,

46 - December 2013


merry gifting 6 Fab Finds in El Dorado County by Rachel Lopez and Kirsten Vernon

Because children are only “little” for a “little” while, now is the perfect time to capture family memories—and those fleeting moments before they’re gone. The best gift is clicks away, thanks to Cari Lyn Photography in El Dorado Hills. $125/session; $35+/prints,

1. GOURMET GIFT BASKET Known for their variety of cheeses and fresh-baked breads, Dedrick’s Cheese in Downtown Placerville tops the charts when it comes to delicious eats. What better gift for the foodie in your family or circle of friends than one of the shop’s assorted gift baskets? $40+,

3. RING AROUND HER FINGER If quality custom or designer jewelry is on your wish list, look no further. This gorgeous 1.63-carat, 4k rose gold ring from Goldsmith Gallery in Placerville will catch her eye and steal her heart. $2,550, goldsmith-gallery. com.

6. TWO WHEELS OF FORTUNE Christmas dreams really do come true. The Haro Z16 bike—available at Team Cycle in Cameron Park—is the ultimate gift for the 4-to-8-year-old in your life. In addition to being quality made and featuring two brakes, it also comes with a full pad set and training wheels. $189,

Rachel Lopez and Kirsten Vernon are hosts of ‘The Where and Wears’ of El Dorado County. Be sure to watch them on Foothill 7 Television and Sierra Community Access Television 2 and “like” them on Facebook.



Christmas tree ready, affordable and adorable, this terra cotta owl ornament is the perfect present. Find this whimsical wonder at Tree House in Downtown Placerville. $12.95,

Warming hearts and homes with enchanting and unique décor, this “Love You More” sign is one of many ideal gifts waiting for you at Bella Home Décor in Cameron Park. $29, 530-676-1920.

48 - December 2013

Baby photo courtesy of Cari Lyn Photography; Team Cycle photo courtesy of Haro Bikes. All other photos courtesy of Rachel Lopez and Kirsten Vernon.


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Marshall Cancer Services

a Lifeline in El Dorado County 

New Providers at Marshall

Dr. Courtney on Gift Giving Safety Tips

Affair of the Heart Returns in February


Did You Know? About Marshall Medical Center Marshall Medical Center is an independent, nonprofit community healthcare provider located in the heart of the Sierra Foothills between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe. Marshall Medical Center includes Marshall Hospital, a fully accredited acute care facility with 113 beds located in Placerville; several outpatient facilities in Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills, Placerville and Georgetown; and many community health and education programs. Marshall has over 200 board-certified physicians and a team of over 1,500 employees providing quality healthcare services to more than 175,000 residents of El Dorado County.


Outpatient Rehabilitation Services Has Moved In September, Marshall Outpatient Rehabilitation Services relocated from its office on Marshall Way to a new space at 1000 Fowler Way, Suite 6. The renovated space features a new exercise room and private treatment rooms as well. The office can still be reached at 530-344-5430.


New Healthcare Providers


Venkat Tirumala, MD Marshall Pulmonology 1004 Fowler Way, Suite 4 Placerville

Maryam Sharif-Hassanabadi, MD Marshall Internal Medicine 3581 Palmer Drive, Suite 601 Cameron Park

For Your Health /

Courtney LaCaze-Adams, MD Marshall Pediatrics 4341-A Golden Center Drive Placerville

is published as a community service by MARSHALL MEDICAL CENTER 1100 Marshall Way Placerville, CA 95667 telephone 530-622-1441 or 916-933-0913; It is intended to provide information about health in general as well as healthcare services and resources available in El Dorado County. Information in comes from a wide range of medical experts. If you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health, please contact your healthcare provider. If you have questions, concerns or suggestions for future topics, contact the editor, Carrie Poggio, at (530) 626-2816 or via email at

Better Care for You

Keep the Holidays Safe

Marshall’s New Pediatrician Offers Gift Giving Safety Tips Marshall Pediatrics recently added a new physician— Courtney LaCaze-Adams, MD—who took over after Earl Washburn, MD retired following 37 years in practice. A mother of a one-year-old son, “Dr. Courtney” wants to share some holiday gift-giving safety tips for kids. “The holidays are a source of joy, but they also bring hidden dangers,” she says. “It’s important that parents and giftgivers keep safety in mind when choosing the type of gift to give.” Her top categories to remember: “Age-appropriate gifts, choking hazards and food-related items are key areas to keep in mind.”

Dr. Courtney’s Gift Giving Safety List: Age-appropriate guidelines: • Read the age labels on toys. They are there for a reason. • Check that toys and parts are larger than 1 ¼ inches in diameter and 2 ¼ inches in length, especially for very young children who like to put things in their mouths. • Ensure sports equipment is properly sized. For instance, helmets need to fit correctly and should not be purchased in larger sizes thinking that “children can grow into them.” • Never allow small children to sleep with stuffed animals. While cute, stuffed animals are a suffocation risk for young children. Choking Hazards: • Beware of button batteries found in some toys and sound-equipped greeting cards. • Avoid balloons, small plastic parts and gifts with strings and long wires. • Stay away from clothing with strings or ribbons attached. • Avoid stickers for the very young. While stickers are fun, they can be swallowed and choked on. Food Gifts and Goodies: • When giving home-baked or other goods, make sure you know of any food allergies the recipient may have. • For children under one year of age, never give hard candies, raisins, nuts or other small food.

Here’s to a fun and safe holiday season for all.

For more information about Marshall, visit or follow us on marshallmedicalcenter, or Google+ Marshall Medical Center. / For Your Health


The best gifts of all? “Books! Children of all ages should be encouraged to view reading as a fun activity, so stuff their stockings with plenty of books,” Dr. Courtney suggests.


Cover Story

Rashmi Ramasubbaiah, MD (right) and Helen Garcia, RN discuss the importance of routine mammograms to detect breast cancer as early as possible, as it was in Helen’s case several years ago.

Marshall Cancer Services a Lifeline

in El Dorado County

Survival Starts with Screening and Support Services


“A cancer diagnosis will stop you in your tracks,” says Rashmi Ramasubbaiah, MD, the new oncologist and breast/GI cancer specialist at Marshall Hematology & Oncology in Cameron Park. Dr. Ramasubbaiah says that the questions, fear and unknown outcome can feel paralyzing. Even waiting for mammogram results when you’re told additional testing is needed can feel like torture.


“For women, breast cancer is the most widely publicized and well-known form of cancer, but it’s also one of the ones where we have an excellent screening program with mammograms,” she says. “If more women would get their yearly mammograms after age 40, or sometimes even earlier, we could cut way down on deaths from this dreaded disease.” For Your Health /

Patient Navigator Carol Case, BSN, MS reviews helpful literature with a patient. Many resources are available for cancer patients and the community at the Marshall Cancer Resource Center in Cameron Park.

Helen, whose cancer was successfully cured, says her experience had a distinct upside. “I have friends in Wyoming who hadn’t gotten their mammograms in years. After I was diagnosed, they all went in to get them, and now, every year on our birthdays we give ourselves the most important birthday gift of an annual mammogram, so we don’t forget, and so we get to have many more birthdays,” she explains. According to Dr. Ramasubbaiah, Helen’s case is a good example of treatment plans that might be surprising to women who equate breast cancer with always losing their hair from chemo. “In Helen’s situation, it was caught so early, she never even needed the chemo that so often makes the hair fall out,” she explains. “I cannot stress enough that regular screenings not only save lives, but they dramatically impact the course of treatment. In general, the sooner breast cancer is found, the less severe and dramatic the treatment.”

Arts and Community Involvement Boost Cancer Program Viewing cancer as solely a physical illness is a losing proposition. Marshall’s approach is to view it as a whole-life condition, one that requires treatment of all kinds. Melding the arts and other community events with support for Marshall’s Cancer Resource Center is one way that we have enhanced this effort. Since 2007, the annual Threads of Life event has featured an auction of fine quilts, arts and other valuables to benefit the Cancer Resource Center. The Images of Hope program expands on that, providing various art classes and other enrichment activities to cancer patients and the community. “Without volunteer and community support for these and other programs, the level of support we’re able to offer our patients and families would be greatly diminished,” says Cancer Services Director Wendy Goossen. “Because of our community, we are able to give back through funding and providing support groups, art therapy, yoga and meditation classes, gas cards and The Marshall Cancer Patient transport car helps cancer transportation assistance, no cost patients get to and from appointments so they don’t and low cost mammograms and miss important check ups and treatment. The car was donated by Thompson’s GMC/Buick. emotional support services.”

Insurance or Money Issues? In El Dorado County, Marshall Has the Answer for Mammograms Given the dramatic importance of annual screening mammograms, Marshall’s Cancer Services program works with Marshall Foundation for Community Health, as well as Susan G. Komen Foundation, to provide free and reduced cost mammograms to women who do not have insurance or who can’t afford the test. “We’ve had a recent case of a young mother who didn’t have insurance or the money, and didn’t know of the available resources, so she put off getting a lump checked out,” explains Cancer Services Director Wendy Goossen. “It turned out to be cancer, and during that time it continued to grow and spread. Now our patient is going through aggressive treatment to cure it, but if we had caught it earlier, it would have been much better.” Wendy says this should never happen again. “With the resources we either directly have, or can direct people to, there is no reason any woman in our county shouldn’t be getting her yearly mammogram, or a mammogram when there is a reason for concern.” For more information, contact Marshall Cancer Resource Center at 530-672-7050. / For Your Health


In her practice, Dr. Ramasubbaiah stresses the importance of regular mammograms. One patient who knows well how important they are is Helen Garcia, RN. Helen herself has been an infusion and oncology nurse for Marshall for many years. In 2002, a routine mammogram detected calcifications, which are risk factors for developing breast cancer later on. “I had a lumpectomy and was told not to miss a yearly mammogram,” Helen recalls. Sure enough, two years later, a mammogram picked up a suspicious lump that turned out to be cancerous. “They found it so early, at stage zero, that I was able to have only a partial mastectomy, radiation and tamoxifen, and I didn’t need chemotherapy at all,” Helen says.


Foundation News

Investing in Health… why should it matter?

The car door opened as emergency room staff pulled a gurney alongside. “Can she sit up?” they asked. “No,” he replied. The air was warm and still as they gently pulled her onto the white sheet. The bright emergency room parking lights lit up the dark sky. She had helped to raise $3 million dollars for the new emergency room that opened eight months earlier and, aware of her surroundings, it all seemed surreal. Within seconds she was surrounded by nurses asking questions. “How long ago did this pain start? Does she have any health problems?” and the list went on. Her husband answered as best he could. She could understand the questions, but couldn’t speak. The abdominal pain had become so severe, it took all the energy she had. Soon the doctor appeared asking questions. “Do you normally get this type of pain? Do you have any chronic problems?” He was so gentle, so caring, that she felt safe despite the circumstance.

“Do you normally get this type of pain?”

For years she had dealt with episodes of abdominal pain, usually brought on by stress. She’d had so many tests to analyze why the pain would appear out of the blue, sometimes in the middle of a meeting where she faked being OK until she could lie down. She had given up ever finding an answer. She learned to deal with the pain pretty well, but this time it was different. It wouldn’t go away.

Karen Good, Executive Director of Marshall Foundation for Community Health, and thankful Marshall patient.


It was now 2 a.m. as they pushed her down a long hallway to Diagnostic Imaging. As they approached the room she had flashbacks, a premonition of sorts. In 2000, along with other community members who cared about making Marshall’s healthcare the best it could be, she had helped to champion a cause to raise a million dollars for a Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA) machine. She had always felt someday she would need to use its technology. Jerry Arnold, MD performed the test. Finally, they had answers! A flopping and twisting of the large intestine, which cut off the blood flow to that organ, was seen in the diagnostic test. If she had been driving across the desert to Montana, which she and her husband did frequently, the intestine could have perforated. After years and years of recurring episodes, her best option now was surgery. While it was major surgery, the procedure was simple.


With surgeon Al diVittorio, MD, she felt confident. He had cared for her father a few years earlier and she knew firsthand of his compassion and expertise to

handle this situation well. After six weeks, she was back to work with no more pain.

Is investing in health important? Does it matter? In the year 2000, Karen Good, the Executive Director of Marshall Foundation, had given $3,078.66 as her part in the million dollar fundraising campaign, never realizing that in 2013 it would literally save her life! Today more than ever, she will tell you that the outcome of campaigns is important, but the impact of saving a life is what investing in health is all about.

For more information on how you can help your community, your children, your neighbor or even yourself, contact Marshall Foundation at 530-642-9984 or For Your Health /

Heart Health

Stay Well with Heart Healthy Tips

Cardiologist Scott Vasconcellos, MD, shares some suggestions With February around the corner and Marshall hosting its second annual Affair of the Heart, it’s time to brush up on some heart healthy tips. Thanks to Scott Vasconcellos, MD, of Marshall Cardiology, we have the most indispensable suggestions for keeping your ticker happy, provided here. Dr. Vasconcellos shares the top goals for heart health by the American Heart Association: 1) Engage in regular physical activity – at least 30 minutes five days a week, or 45 minutes 3 days a week. More is better. Some is better than none. 2) Eat a healthy diet 3) Don’t smoke – if you do, quit 4) Maintain a healthy weight 5) Manage blood pressure 6) Control cholesterol 7) Keep blood sugar at healthy levels Dr. Vasconcellos explains, “The big secret is, if you take care of 1, 2 and 3 above, it’s a good bet the rest will follow. Some tips I would share about physical activity is first of all, that some is better than none, and that more is better. Exercise and diet, healthy living,

is the single most important thing you can do to prevent heart disease.” For diet, eat appropriate amounts of and better foods. The American Heart Association web site has excellent guides for healthy eating. Essentially, focus on getting more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, low fat and low salt foods. Avoid canned and processed foods and take some time to plan out your meals and snacks in advance so you’re not getting desperate and grabbing junk and fast food because it’s easy. These are easy fixes that can help you take charge of your health and your heart. Marshall Cardiology has three locations, in Placerville, Cameron Park and El Dorado Hills. Visit for more information.

A FREE event focused on heart health Save the Date!

Thursday, Feb 27 • 4 – 7:30 p.m. Cameron Park Community Center 2502 Country Club Dr., Cameron Park

Join us

for an evening of heart-healthy foods by local restaurants, wine tasting, health screenings and talks presented by Marshall Medical Center experts.

Presented By


Free Screenings


Wine Tasting Exercise Demos

Chair Massage

Healthy Bites

Programs & Classes

Marshall Health & Wellness Programs & Classes Marshall’s programs can help you get healthy and stay healthy. Offering services for all ages and stages of life, we hope to see you at one or more of the classes below. Our Community Health Education Classes include Smoking Cessation and Childbirth related classes, in addition to a babysitting class. Call 530-626-2990 for more information and to register. We also offer diabetes and Nutrition Education through our Physician Clinic Services. Call 530-672-7021 for more information.


Designed for women who are thinking about becoming pregnant or have recently become pregnant, the class focuses on nutrition and exercise, fetal development, prenatal tests, hazards to avoid and preventing preterm labor. Wednesday, December 11, 2013 Wednesday, February 5, 2014 7-9 p.m. (funded by generous grant from Marshall Foundation for Community Health) Childbirth Education

6-week series

Come spend a day with our medical professionals and gain insight into the exciting medical fields. Call 530-6262990 for more details. Fee: $15 Smoking Cessation 7-Week Series

Pre-registration required and space is limited. Mondays, January 6-February 17, 2014 Fee: $75

Childbirth Education


The Breastfeeding ExperiencE



This class provides information on labor, delivery and postpartum issues. Thursdays, April 3-May 8 7-9 p.m. 1-Day Intensive A custom designed childbirth class for those who do not have the time for the traditional 6-week class format. Saturday, December 7, 2013 Saturday, February 8, 2014 Saturday, March 22, 2014 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Fee: $60


life. Topics include newborn characteristics, physical and emotional needs of the baby, as well as health and safety skills. Wednesday, December 4, 2013 Wednesday, February 12, 2014 7-9 p.m. Fee: $25

This class will help you understand breastfeeding, learn techniques and positions, and will give you the confidence to handle common breastfeeding challenges. Wednesday, December 4, 2013 Wednesday, March 12, 2014 6-8 p.m. Fee: $25 Baby Basics

This class reviews basic newborn care for the first few weeks of

Live your best life with diabetes! Our classes can help you gain the knowledge and tools to remain motivated with your healthy lifestyle in the days and years ahead. Individual Diabetes Education

Appointments with our Registered Nurse, Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs), are strongly encouraged especially if: • You are newly diagnosed • Beginning a new medication • Need extra support to gain control. Learn about the latest tools and techniques for self-management of your diabetes.

Individual Nutrition Education

Our Registered Dietitians (RDs) are available for appointments to discuss: • Diabetes meal planning • Weight management/Cholesterol control

For Your Health /

• Medical Nutrition Therapy for most medical conditions Healthy Living Class: Diabetes Essentials, Carbohydrates, Food & You

• What diabetes is • Controlling blood glucose levels • Using your meter effectively • Carbohydrates and diet • Meal planning • Managing your weight Thursday, December 5 9:30-11:30 a.m. Placerville Healthy Living: Your meter & gaining better control

• Making sense of your blood glucose numbers • Medication options • Tips on eating out Wednesday, January 15 1-3 p.m. Placerville Healthy Living: Your Plan for Success

• Reducing your risk—long term complications • Exercise—make it work for you • Staying motivated • Diabetes and emotions Tuesday, December 3 1-3 p.m. Cameron Park Class Locations: 681 Main St., Ste. 206/207, Placerville 3581 Palmer Dr., Bldg. 600 Cameron Park For more information call: (530) 672-7021

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dine I’m happy to say Mike’s did not skimp on the tasty bacon pieces, bless their hearts. We were given not one but two menus for dinner—burgers as well as mains—so serious deliberations were needed. For entrées there were five (count them, five) different cuts of steak, at least three kinds of chicken and prime rib, plus custom and pre-made burgers; not to mention tasty appetizers like potato skins, Cajun green beans, and fried mac and cheese bites. Surely you can see our dilemma. For the appetizer we opted for the potato skins, which came out piping hot and generously portioned; cheesy and perfectly potatoey, I’m happy to say Mike’s did not skimp on the tasty bacon pieces, bless their hearts. For mains, my husband opted for the eight-ounce prime rib, while I went with the 10-ounce flat iron, and they came out on roller skates. (Fast, I mean. Not literally on skates…it’s a concrete floor. That’d be crazy!) Seasoned roasted red potatoes and sautéed garden vegetables accompanied both dishes. The flat iron was juicy and perfectly cooked. Mike’s service was swift and incredibly friendly. If you’re a local and you haven’t poked your head in yet, there’s no time like the present to sample something from the newest grill in town.

Potato Skins

mike’s grill

Mike’s Grill, 1772 Pleasant Valley Road, Placerville, 530-642-2347.

New Kid on the Block by Sharon Penny Photography by Dante Fontana


ike’s Grill is a newcomer to Placerville, having just opened up its doors in August, and at this elevation—new food is always welcomed. Judging from the buzz on our Saturday evening visit, the locals are doing a fine job of rolling out the welcome wagon—Mike’s was hopping! Now occupying the former Select Video location, the ambiance at Mike’s is warm and inviting, with rich Tuscan-brown walls, a polished concrete floor, flat-screen TVs and family photos decorating the walls.

60 - December 2013

Prime Rib

restaurantguide Featuring restaurants and eateries in the El Dorado County Foothills ** = MAGAZINE DISTRIBUTION POINT • AMERICAN / CAFé / DELI Back Forty Texas BBQ 3977 Durock Road, #205 Shingle Springs | 530-676-4040 Hours: Tue.-Thrs. 11:00a.m.-8:00p.m., Fri-Sat 11:00a.m.-9:00p.m., Sun. 11:00a.m.- 8:00p.m. Cards Accepted: V, MC, D, AmEx We serve authentic Texas recipes. We have been voted number one caterer and number one ribs in El Dorado County. Dine-in, Carryout and Catering services are available. All of our dishes are made fresh from scratch daily. Our meats are slow smoked on our southern pride pit. Please come join us for a Texas-size meal.

The Independent Restaurant & Bar 629 Main Street, Suite 102 Placerville | 530-344-7645

• CHINESE/Mongolian China City Restaurant 4100 Cameron Park Drive Cameron Park | 530-672-9888

Log Cabin Café 3220 Pondorado Road Camino | 530-644-0345

Diamond Chinese Restaurant 570 Pleasant Valley Road Placerville | 530-622-8188

Mr. Pickles ** 4601 Missouri Flat Road Placerville | 530-642-1677

Dignity Dragon Restaurant 415-A Placerville Drive Placerville | 530-622-4293

New Haven ** 6396 Pony Express Trail Pollock Pines | 530-644-3448

Grand China 4340 Golden Center Drive Placerville | 530-626-5679

Bricks Eats and Drinks 482 Main Street Placerville | 530-303-3480

Old Town Grill 444 Main Street Placerville | 530-622-2631


Burger Barn ** 6404 Pony Express Trail Pollock Pines | 530-344-7167

Placerville Brewery ** 155 Placerville Drive Placerville | 530-295-9166

Buttercup Pantry 222 Main Street Placerville | 530-621-1320

Shingle Springs Coffee Co. ** 4068A Mother Lode Drive Shingle Springs | 530-676-2623

Café Luna 451 Main Street Placerville | 530-642-8669

Snooty Frog ** 3300 Coach Lane Cameron Park | 530-677-9025

Caffé Santoro ** 2531 Merrychase Drive Cameron Park | 530-387-4432

Sweetie Pies ** 577 Main Street Placerville | 530-642-0128 Join us to feast on specialty scrambles, omelettes, pancakes and Belgian waffles hot off the griddle for breakfast. For lunch enjoy our best-seller chile relleno casserole, sandwiches and paninis galore, and delightful salads made with the freshest vegetables and fruits to pair with our hearty homemade soups. Don’t forget to leave room for our wonderful homemade desserts!

Centro ** 385 Main Street Placerville | 530-626-5500 Crystal Basin Bistro 3590 Carson Road Suite B Camino | 530-303-3749 Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Everyday Cards Accepted: V, MC, D, AmEx Crystal Basin Bistro is Highway 50’s Best Stop with a 5 Star Yelp Rating! Located 5 miles east of Placerville, we bring tasty, wine-friendly food to Camino. All dishes are priced between $6 and $8 and feature culinary stars like our Stuffed Mushroom Caps, Pulled Pork on Texas Toast and our Carnitas Tacos. Each Friday night, we feature live music and a 3-course dinner for $15. For those who know to avoid the malls, join us for Black Friday Brunch on November 29th 11 am to 2pm featuring a spectacular spread and endless Mimosas! Cuppa Coffee and More ** 442 Main Street Placerville | 530-626-9600 Diamond Springs Hotel 545 Pleasant Valley Road Placerville | 530-621-1730 The Forester Pub and Grill ** 4110 Carson Road Camino | 530-644-1818 Heyday Café ** 325 Main Street Placerville | 530-626-9700 Hog Wild BBQ ** 38 Main Street Placerville | 530-622-3883

Torino’s Bar & Grill 251 Main Street Placerville | 530-622-7500 ZacJack Bistro 3275 Coach Lane Cameron Park | 530-676-2969 Hours: Monday: Closed Tues.-Thurs.: 11 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat.: 8 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. Sun.: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Credit Cards Accepted: V, M, A Conveniently located off highway 50 in Cameron Park, ZacJack Bistro, the new restaurant concept from the chef/owner team at Zachary Jacques, serves fresh California bistro cuisine using traditional French and new cooking methods. Open six days a week for lunch and dinner, and serving award winning (Style Magazine Favorite Brunch 2012) breakfast Friday through Sunday. House made artisan breads, Kobe beef burgers ground daily, and fresh ketchup punctuate our focus on locallysourced, all-natural, organic food. Come visit ZacJack Bistro to see how everyday can be gourmet. Z Pie 3182 Center Placerville Drive Placerville | 530-621-2626

Allez! ** 4242 Fowler Lane, Suite 101 Diamond Springs | 530-621-1160

• ITALIAN Papa Gianni’s Ristorante ** 3450 Palmer Drive Cameron Park | 530-672-2333

• JAPANESE Amerikan Ichi Sushi 1234 A Broadway Placerville | 530-621-2100 Kobe Surf & Turf ** 3300 Coach Lane, #C-1 Cameron Park | 530-672-9210 Shilla Sushi Bar 2943 Paul Bunyon Road Placerville | 530-644-5047

• MEXICAN Cascada Restaurante & Cantina 384 Main Street Placerville | 530-344-7757 Casa Ramos ** 6840 Greenleaf Drive Placerville | 530-622-2303 Que Viva ** 3300 Coach Lane Cameron Park | 530-577-3330 Taqueria Carnival 4340 Golden Center Drive Placerville | 530-344-7246

• SEAfood Powell’s Steamer Co. & Pub 425 Main Street Placerville | 530-626-1091

• THAI Taste of Thai 1160 Broadway Placerville | 530-621-9559 If we’ve omitted your favorite restaurant or you find an error, let us know via email:

For more restaurant listings in the El Dorado County Foothills and surrounding areas, visit our website at: and click on our extensive restaurant guide.

December 2013 - 61

taste Churros Pastry by Richard Bertinet (Chronicle Books, 2013, $30) Traditionally, these are made using a ‘churrera,’ a pump with a special nozzle that squeezes the churro mixture into hot oil in long, snaking, ridged rings. Once these are fried, they are snipped into short lengths and dusted in sugar and sometimes cinnamon, ready for dipping into the thick hot chocolate that is usually served with them. At home you can use a piping bag and snip the mixture into shorter, more manageable lengths as you pipe it into the oil. The secret is to fry them slowly at a relatively low temperature so that they get crispy on the outside, without burning, and are well cooked all the way through, otherwise they can be stodgy. 8.9 oz. all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1.7 oz. butter 1 tsp. salt 0.7 oz. granulated sugar 8.9 oz. water Vegetable oil, for deep-frying Superfine sugar, for dusting

Put the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Put the butter, salt and sugar into a saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute, then pour the mixture into the flour bowl, beating well until you have a thick batter. Fit a piping bag with a large star tip about 5/8 inch in diameter and fill with the batter. Put some vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan (making sure it comes no further than a third of the way up) and heat to 325 degrees. (If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test if the oil is hot enough by dropping in a little of the mixture—it should sizzle.) With one hand, pipe the mixture into the oil, using the other hand to snip it off every 5 inches or so with a pair of kitchen scissors. Fry for 3–4 minutes, turning over regularly until the churros are golden on all sides. Lift out and drain briefly on paper towels. Put some superfine sugar on a large plate. While the churros are still hot, toss them in the sugar. Makes about 12. 62 - December 2013

dinner date Food and Wine for the Season

Variation Instead of serving hot chocolate for dipping the churros into, you could make a sauce with 3.5 ounces melted dark chocolate mixed with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream.

OAK RIDGE WINERY 2009 OLD ZIN VINES (OZV) ZINFANDEL Lodi is one of the biggest producers of Zinfandel grapes in the world. More than 40 percent of California Zin comes from here—some “old vines” even date back to the 1800s. The appelation is making some fantastic, high-quality wines at the moment, and at great prices, too. Founded in 1934, Oak Ridge Winery is one of the oldest-operating wineries in Lodi and the tasting room is in a converted 50,000-gallon redwood tank—making it a great place to visit! OZV Zinfandel is made from 50- to 100-year-old vines and is robust and jammy, with an amazingly soft mouth feel and an alluring finish that goes on and on. Full-bodied, it doesn’t come across as over-the-top alcoholic or sweet. And at approximately $15 a bottle, it’s a fairly good value. Although a good food wine (especially with this month’s churros), it’s also a nice wine to sit and enjoy on its own. —Richard Righton Owner, 36 Handles and Relish Burger Bar

Cookbook and recipe images courtesy of Chronicle Books. Wine bottle image courtesy of Oak Ridge Winery.

• • • • • • • •

• on the menu • Sample Menu Selections Oyster Bar

Endive Salad

Oysters On The Half Shell


Six fresh oysters shucked to order and served over ice with sides of both pink peppercorn-shallot mignonette and chipotle cocktail sauce

Oysters Casino


Four freshly shucked oysters baked with maître d’ butter, tomato confit, applewood-smoked bacon, Asiago cheese, and panko bread crumbs

Oysters Rockefeller


Four freshly shucked oysters baked with a stuffing of applewood-smoked bacon, pernod sautéed baby spinach, and minced garlic, and topped with creamy béarnaise sauce

Salads Warm Spinach Salad

ZacJack Bistro 3275 Coach Lane • Cameron Park 530-676-2969


Lightly wilted organic baby spinach tossed with pickled red onion, mushroom ragout, green apple matchsticks, brown sugar-almond brittle, applewood-smoked bacon lardons, and a bacon-balsamic vinaigrette Hours: Monday: Closed • Tuesday-Thursday: 11 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday: 8 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. • Sunday: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.


Belgian endive leaves lightly dressed with our bleu cheese vinaigrette, and topped with crumbled bleu cheese, red grapes, green apple matchsticks, and candied almonds

Entrées Vegetable Wellington


Tomato & onion confit, organic baby spinach, artichoke hearts, herb roasted mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese wrapped in puff pastry and baked golden brown. Served with freshly made béarnaise sauce, creamy Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, and seasonal vegetables

Shrimp Macaroni & Cheese


Elbow macaroni pasta, wild prawns, and a blend of four cheese layered with a garlic and shrimp béchamel and topped with crunchy panko bread crumbs. Baked and served with preserved Meyer lemon relish

Boneless Beef Short Rib


Beef short rib braised in red wine, house made beef stock, mirepoix, and herbs, and served over Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables with bordelaise sauce and crispy onion strings

Sample Menu Selections Appetizers Calamari Fritta

Entrées 10.95 (small), 13.95 (large)

Bruschetta 7.50

Ravioli 14.95

Tomatoes, onions, garlic and basil dressed with olive oil, served with toasted bread

Our homemade meat filled ravioli, served in a meatsauce

Sausage & Peppers

Mussels, shrimp and scallops, served in a light cream sauce over linguini



Frutta di Mare Pollo Francesco

19.95 17.95

Chicken breast, artichoke hearts and mushrooms, served in a cream sauce

Lunch Sandwiches 6.50, 6.95 with cheese

Our homemade meatballs, topped with meatsauce

Chicken Parmigiana

3450 Palmer Dr. Ste. 1 Cameron Park Inside Bel Air Shopping Center 530-672-2333 • Reservations Recommended


Vodka, cream and chillies blended in a marinara sauce, served over semolina wheat pasta

Sliced sausage links, bell peppers and potatoes, sautéed in olive oil

Papa Gianni’s Ristorante

Gnocchi alla Vodka

Deep fried calamari, served with a spicy marinara dipping sauce


Vitello Saltimbocca


Veal cutlets, sautéed in white wine then layered with proscuitto, provolone and mushrooms

Chicken breast, topped with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella


Italian Submarine


Tiramisu 6.50

Toscano salami, pepperoni, coppacola, provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, mustard, mayonnaise and vinaigrette

Lady finger cookies dipped in espresso and layered with a marscapone whipped cream

Cannoli 4.95

Hours: Tues-Thurs: 11am - 2pm; 5pm - 9pm Fri: 11am - 2pm; 5pm - 10pm • Sat: 5pm - 10pm Sun: 5pm - 9pm • Closed Mondays

Italian pastry filled with creamy ricotta, rum and chocolate

Sample Menu Selections Starters & Small Eats Sweet Potato Planks

Burgers 5.95

Bo Peep


Ground lamb, grilled onions, pickled cucumbers, feta, lettuce, tomato, & paprika yogurt sauce on a brioche roll

Fresh cut with buttermilk ranch

Fried Green Tomatoes

Panko crusted on grits, topped with tomatillo salsa & creme fraiche

Pound of Wings


Organic, free range, vegetarian fed, your choice of sauce; hot, sweet & spicy, chipotle BBQ



Bricks Eats & Drinks

Blackened chicken breast, romaine lettuce, bleu cheese, green onions, diced tomatoes, red bell peppers, red cabbage, bacon, and diced egg, Bleu cheese dressing

482 Main Street • Placerville 530-303-3480 Serving Lunch & Dinner 7 Days A Week Happy Hour: Monday-Thursday, 3-6 pm

Ahi, mixed greens, Napa & red cabbage, pickled cucumbers, red bell pepper, green onion, lychee fruit, water chestnuts, peanuts, crispy noodles with toasted sesame dressing

Pink Peppercorn Ahi Salad

1/4 lb. Angus beef grilled mushrooms and onions, Bleu cheese, bacon & sauce on a brioche roll

Sandwiches 12.95

With lettuce, tomato, chipotle aioli on a Dutch crunch roll

Mixed greens, carrots, red cabbage, broccoli, sweet red peppers, red onion, tomato, Bleu cheese & candied walnuts with raspberry vinaigrette

Blackened Chicken Cobb

Mario 11.95

Crab Cake Sandwich

Salads Farmer’s Market




Portabella 12.95 Grilled portabella mushroom, roasted red peppers, red onions, tomato & smoked Gouda with chipotle aioli on whole wheat bun

Big Eats Chicken Cavatappi


Grilled chicken, bacon, artichoke hearts, tomato, basil & smoked Gouda sauce over Cavatappi pasta served with garlic bread

Steelhead Salmon


Seared with a roasted red pepper & caper dill sauce with brown Basmati rice & veggies

December 2013 - 63

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Wed-Sat: 10:00-6:00 p.m. Sun: 10:00-4:00 p.m.


eleven handmade crafts

Hangtown Village Square

1234 G Broadway Placerville CA 530.644.1172

Open Mon-Fri 10-6 Sat 10-5

ONE MESSAGE Cool T-Shirts For Men & Women

tom’stake <PRESS VERSION

A Starry, Starry Christmas by Tom Mailey


wasn’t exactly an only child but my brother and two sisters are quite a bit older and weren’t around much when I was little. Around the time I was transitioning into kindergarten, one sister was transitioning into college. My brother is 13 years older and was this tall, cool guy who would occasionally breeze by the house with long hair and a face framed by sideburns that looked like cowboy boots. Until I was five, I thought my oldest sister—who was a senior in high school when I was born—was just a friend of the family. By the time I reached an age where I had a speck of awareness, they were well into their own lives. The only time we usually all converged was at Christmas. My family has always enjoyed each others’ company, so once the eggnog was flowing and the presents set aside, they fell into a grown-up world of stories and laughter 66 - December 2013

where it was easy for a little kid to feel set aside, too. But that all changed the Christmas Eve I got a BB gun. Now, this was years before Ralphie and his official “Red Ryder carbineaction, 200-shot range model air rifle.” I was probably nine, and mine was a single shot Daisy that spit out the BB with little more force than a watermelon seed. Nonetheless, it was what I’d asked for and I was elated. “Don’t shoot it in the house,” was my dad’s cheerful warning before ambling off toward the kitchen where voices were already rising. As I sat on the floor, solo, trying to figure out how to load the gun, Dad suddenly reappeared. He looked at me for a moment, and then spoke up. “Hey, what good’s a BB gun

Catch Tom on the Pat and Tom Morning Show on New Country 105.1, e-mail him at, or follow him on Twitter @kncitom.


Illustration by David Norby.

lights out

if you don’t have anything to shoot it at?” Taking it from my hands, he walked over, opened the front door and stood on the stoop. Cold air rushed in like a dog that was happy to see you. The multicolored glow of Christmas lights warmed my dad’s face. The night was dark and cloudless; I remember him remarking the lights were so bright he couldn’t see the stars. Before suddenly cocking the air rifle and handing it to me, he may have glanced over his shoulder to make sure my mom wasn’t nearby. I do recall him lowering his lanky frame to my level and saying, secretively, “Pick a light.” Huh? “Go ahead, pick one. Aim at it.” Wait. Was my dad actually telling me it was OK to shoot out a Christmas light? He read the disbelief on my face. “It’s a beautiful night! I wanna see the stars!” Apparently the disbelief was still there. “Don’t worry, I’ll clean it up tomorrow. We need a new set anyways. Go ahead,” he urged playfully, “Shoot!” I drew a bead at one a few feet above my head and pulled the trigger. The bulb shattered with a startling POP. My dad let out a whoop and clapped me on the back. “You’re a dead-eye! Go ahead, shoot another one,” he said. I took aim a little further down the strand and…POP…success again. My dad shouted, “YEAH!” His voice was loud enough to draw the rest of the family to the doorway and soon, everyone was taking turns. Even our aunt Gladys, a faded beauty whose lipstick never quite lined up with her mouth, took a turn. She missed the lights but pegged a light-up Santa. It was like a yuletide shooting gallery. From inside the warm circle of family around me, I caught a glimpse of Mom standing in the living room, shaking her head, but smiling. I was worried she was going to put a stop to this nonsense, and it was almost my turn again. I don’t know how long we were on that porch but we didn’t stop ’til every light was out and you could see the stars again. Perfectly.




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Style El Dorado County Foothills - December 2013  

The communities of Western El Dorado County have accomplished the challenging task of maintaining a “small town” quality of life while exper...