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The Magazine For San Joaquin

KIDs HOLIDAY FASHIONS

WINTER FUN, HOLIDAY CHEER, PEOPLE TO SEE, AND PLACES TO BE

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TAKE december/january 2014 ■ sanjoaquinlifestyles.com


l e t t e r

f r o m

t h e

e d i t o r

Publisher Roger Coover

Publication Director Deitra R. Kenoly The Magazine For San Joaquin

I

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MANAGING Editor Karen Bakhtegan

Graphic Designers

t’s time for winter fun, holiday cheer, people

for unique gifts, and then of course, five carefully

to see, and places to be! The holiday season is

selected Wag Tails – featuring locally-owned

in full swing, and we’re here to help deck your

adopted/rescued dogs.

halls, and have yourself a merry little Christmas.

So pour yourself a cup of hot buttered

Much of the joy is simply in the preparation

rum, turn on a little Bing Crosby, throw a few

– setting aside time to plan meals, shopping

chestnuts on a crackling fire, and take five (I’m

lists and trips, and holiday traditions spent with

guessing it will be more like an hour) to enjoy

family and friends.

this issue of Lifestyles.

In this festive issue of Lifestyles, we’ve

My little Christmas story...

highlighted a number of ”must do’s.” Sort of

He grabbed my hand and said “Bama, let’s

our way of helping you enjoy a little time with

go look over here.” Walking across the living

your family. We’ve titled it Take 5. If you need a

room to the brick hearth, 3-year-old Caden said,

little help getting your sleigh bells to ring, check

“This is the fireplace.” Then, encouraging me to

out “five performances to get you in the holiday

join him, we poked our heads inside and looked

spirit” (page 11) … from the Symphony, to the

up. “That, Bama, is the chimney, and Santa

Chorale, to the Ballet and Civic Theatre to my

Claus is coming down that to bring me all of

personal favorite – viewing White Christmas

my presents.”

on the big screen at the Bob Hope Theatre.

Folks, it’s Christmas time at our house.

On page 51, good ol’ Santa Claus jumps out

In addition to the merriment of Santa

onto rooftops at workshops across the county!

for the grandkids, our family celebrates the

You can also find fun places to take the kids,

Christian holiday of Christmas. Whatever way

five notable charities where you can volunteer

you celebrate this joyous season at your home, I

and give back, and chilly rinks to enjoy ice

hope it is filled with wonderful celebrations for

skating! Sticking with the “5 theme” – we’ve

you, your family and friends.

researched family holiday traditions, boutiques

Editor Carrie Sass

Jason Ente Dan Loeffelbein

Contributing WRITERS Molly Bolognini Katie Donahue Charleen Earley Larry French Nanci Lesley Heather Mompean Leah Myers Jennifer Torres Siders Susan Michener Spracher Christopher Van Schenck, MD

Contributing Photographers Ashlee Blackard Cesar Larios Helen Ripken David Sowers

Carrie xoxo

Please continue to forward story ideas to: The Record/Lifestyles Magazine, 530 E. Market Street, Stockton 95202 or call: 209-546-8351; or email: kbakhtegan@recordnet.com

To advertise in Lifestyles magazine, call 209-546-8200 Lifestyles is published six times a year by The Record, 530 E. Market Steet, Stockton, CA 95202. All information written for publication in Lifestyles is believed to be accurate. Readers must assume all responsibility for their own actions based on this information. Occasionally a product or company may be named in an article, but does not constitute an endorsement of said product. Lifestyles assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Photos and content become the sole property of Lifestyles and may be used, published or edited without limit or obligation to the author. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited without the permission of the publisher. For more information, go to sanjoaquinlifestyles.com.

On the cover: KIDS HOLIDAY FASHION PHOTO BY david sowers Left to right: Jayne Copeland Organza dress Jayne Copeland Flower Party dress Class Club Gold Label dress pants, vest and dress shirt Available at dillard’s


contents

WINEry PROFILE

9 Berghold winery new in town

14 Noreen nagao

peek a boutique 20 5 unique boutiques wine critic 28 enchanting wines LOCAL SPOTLIGHT 31 ATHENA AWARDS savor 36 ciao bella LOCAL SPOTLIGHT 40 UNIVERSITY PLAZA waterfront hotel TRAVEL NEAR 44 5 OUTDOOR RINKS

fashion

46 ’Tis the season for kids holiday fashion 4 o’clock martini 55 keeping your spirits bright

SWEEt CHARITY

59 5 sweet charities

OUR CULTURE 66 5 HOLIDAY TRADITIONS

TRAVEL FAR

72 FRENCH PolYNESIA


WAG TALES

79 5 HAPPY TAILS BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT 86 THORNTON HOUSE

MOM ABOUT OUR TOWN

98 5 TRAVELING TIPS

HEALTH AND WELLNESS 103 HOLIDAY BLUES

SCENE AND BE SEEN 12 36th annual stockton arts commission star awards 17 29th annual agriculture hall of fame 25 jr. league ribbon cutting 26 march of dimes signature chef's auction 33 haggin museum teddy bear picnic 42 stockton beautiful AWARDS 57 jack tone ranch – the mane event 58 goodwill helping hands awards 63 community blind center lobster dinner 65 mexican american chamber of commerce hall of fame dinner 71 mary graham children’s foundation 85 49th annual greater stockton chamber industrial & technology BBQ 89 haggin museum driven to dream 93 red rhino orphanage project endowment dinner 96 Chinese Cultural Society moon festival 105 stockton shelter for the homeless international food festival


g r a p e v i n e

BERGHOLD E S T A T E W I N E R Y

story By KATIE DONAHUE PHOTOS courtesy of Berghold estate winery

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ne need not go far in San Joaquin County to find a

little holiday cheer, and Berghold Winery’s festive decorations – and bountiful wine – are a good place to start. “Ever since we opened in May 2005, we’ve become known for

our holiday décor. Every year it gets bigger and more intense,” says Julia Berghold, who manages the tasting room and the retail aspects of the winery. Public demand to see the beautiful decorations is so high that the winery starts receiving inquiries about the beginning of the holiday season in July.

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Julia does all of the decorating while her mother-in-law Kay makes elaborate life-size Father Christmas figures that are put on display and are available for purchase. Kay spends all year constructing each Father Christmas – typically making about six to seven per year – and after they’re created, Julia gives them a name and a story. Additionally, the winery expands its stock of gifts available for

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PERFORMANCES TO GET YOU IN THE

HOLIDAY SPIRIT (in addition to shopping, of course)

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purchase during the holiday season. From women’s accessories,

Stockton Civic Theatre A CHRISTMAS CAROL,

designer leather handbags, jewelry, high-end silk shirts for men, and home décor, there is something to be found for everyone at a variety of price points. Many of the items are unique and are handmade by artisans throughout the U.S.

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Berghold Winery’s annual holiday release party for their Crankcase wine was held on November 9. “Everybody loves Crankcase, from the label to the product inside. It’s a big gift wine as well as a big party wine,” says Julia. This wine is a big seller during the holiday season. As if the holiday decorations aren’t impressive enough, history buffs and fans of furniture repurposing will be intrigued by the

directed by Joseph Toon, through December 8. 473-2424 or sctlivetheatre.com

Stockton Symphony

Holiday Pops Concert ’Tis the Season with the Broadway Tenors. Saturday, December 14 at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 15 at 2:30 p.m. 209-951-0196 or stocktonsymphony.org

Stockton Chorale A Christmas Festival

stories behind the winery’s furnishings. All are original American

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Friday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church, Stockton and Friday December 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist, Lodi.

antiques collected by Julia’s father-in-law, Joe, over a 20-year period from across the East Coast. A brass chandelier originally graced the

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ceiling of the Paramount Theatre in New York City, and the main entrance gates hail from a Connecticut mansion. Beautiful armoires are used as display cases or converted into wine refrigeration units, and stained glass windows and antique mantels further add to character of the barrel room. The festive decorations and gift offerings – not to mention the wine selections – make Berghold Winery a must-see during the

The Nutcracker Ballet

Friday, December 13 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 14 at 7:00 p.m., a complete presentation of the holiday classic by the Lodi Youth Ballet! For more information, 333-6782 or www.hutchinsstreetsquare.com

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holiday season. As Julia says, “It’s over the top. Nobody that we know of in the area does holiday like this, let alone a winery.” ■

White Christmas at the Bob Hope Theatre

White Christmas, December 8 at 2:00 p.m. An all-time Christmas tradition, see it on the big screen at the historic Bob Hope Theatre. This will certainly get you in the holiday spirit.

Berghold Estate Winery 17343 Cherry Road, Lodi • 209-333-9291 bergholdvineyards.com

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2 0 13 36th Annual Stockton Arts Commission Star Awards

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Ewa and Dan Dozier, Tasha Borrego, Shirley Dozier, Jeanie and Chris Cerceo, Rosalyn Graham and Mac Cerceo B D

Eleanor Vogel and Margaret Mallett

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Heather Artura, Jason and Preston Pope, Paxton Pope

Sarah Partin, David and Patty Phelps, Bridget Foreman

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Susan Medina, Jack Jenkins and Anatasia Phelps

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IN IN

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Art Too eautiful To Eat

Pastry Chef

Noreen Nagao

returns to home-sweet-home

By Charleen Earley PHOTOS courtesy of noreen nagao

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ow sweet it is for Lodi when one of

its own returns home to share her vast culinary experience, skills and talents in the world of pastries. Gone for almost 30 years with occasional visits home for family, pastry chef Noreen Nagao of Lodi is planting her feet solidly in the Central Valley to not only take care of her widowed mother, but also to offer Lodi the finest pastry creations she’s mastered along the way. Trained by her mentors Gerhard Michler – a Five Star Austrian Pastry Chef – and his wife Mary of Creative International Pastries in San Francisco, Gerhard – a Five Star Austrian Pastry Chef – Chef Nagao has also worked two dinners with Iron Chef Morimoto for the James Beard Foundation. ➤

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“I was one of the main chefs for the two dinners; it was exciting,” said Chef Nagao. She also honed her skills in international cuisine by traveling and working at five-star hotels in Seoul, South Korea, Tahiti, French Polynesia and most recently, at the Sunset Beach Resort in Al Khobar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a resort reserved exclusively for the Royal family of Saudi Arabia and the elite. ➤


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A third generation (sansei) JapaneseAmerican, Chef Nagao credits her love of the culinary world first to her father, who grew every fruit tree you could imagine in their backyard. “My father loved food and he loved to cook. He was really good at being able to taste something and separate all the flavors and recreate dishes,” said Nagao, a graduate with honors from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco in 1990. “As far as pastries go, he loved fruit and I was spoiled with what real fruit tastes like from our property.” Her culinary roots run deeper still, since her paternal great grandparents ran a banquet catering business in Japan nearly a century ago. The business has been passed on through the generations and is still operated by her relatives in Hiroshima. With a love for creating exquisite, fine pastries, Chef Nagao chose to focus her attention on pastries because of the satisfaction it gives her. “It’s creative of course, but it also gives immediate gratification,” she said. “It’s also like an individual sport you can push as far as you want to. Like lifting weights, it all depends on how much you want to build your skill.” You might feast your eyes and treat your

the perfect location and business opportunity

“I always say you don’t want to be a pastry

taste buds to Chef Nagao’s decadent and

in downtown Lodi, says beyond cupcakes

chef, you want to be a pharmacist!” she laughs.

savory desserts and feel she’s already mastered

and pies, the food scene has picked up in the

“Mostly for financial reasons, but also because

the arts of creating pastries, but most likely,

Central Valley.

you have no personal life. The culinary industry

“Because of the wineries, it has brought

requires so much sacrifice – your weekends,

She made me a Chocolate Mouse Bombe

more focus on food, and I feel positive that

your time and holidays. It really has to be about

with a raspberry center, topped with a fresh

there’s now an audience for upscale food

your love for what you do.” ■

raspberry and two white laced sugar wings.

here,” she adds.

she would beg to differ.

One bite into this edible piece of art, and I felt I had died and gone to heaven. Chef Nagao, who is currently looking for

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Advice she often gives young women wanting to follow in her footsteps may not be as sweet as they’d like.

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Chef Noreen Nagao can be reached at pastrychefnoreen@aol.com


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2 013 29th Annual Agriculture Hall of Fame

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Bea and Dean McMeilly, Becky and Scott Hudson, Bob Mullen C

Rose and Cesar Martinez E

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Grant and Alexandra Garton

Stanton Lange, Renee Primasing and Laura Heinitz

Peter Precissi, Sara Precissi-Benedetti, Robin Precissi, Mia and Nina Benedetti Photos bY HELEN RIPKEN lifestyles

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S P E C I A L

D I N I N G

A D V E R T I S I N G

S E C T I O N


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UNIQUE BOUTIQUES PHOTOS BY ASHLEE BLACKARD

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Pardon My French ocated on Stockton’s Miracle Mile, this cozy boutique is a Parisian treat

chock-full of one-of-a-kind gifts, antiques, jewelry and clocks.

2045 Pacific Avenue • Stockton 209-688-2165 Owners: Nick Groom and Benjamin Walker

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La Bella Mobile Boutique

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his unique boutique on wheels is available for private parties and events.

With an array of beautiful fashions and accessories from size small to 3X, there is something on board for women of all shapes and sizes.

Call or email for booking inquiries 209-915-9818 abellamobileboutique@yahoo.com For more information, visit the La Bella Mobile Boutique website: www.labellamobileboutique.com Owner: Brenda Aranda

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TAKE

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Voila Gifts and Home Decor

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ucked away in a corner on

South Stockton Street in Lodi, this little boutique is a real hidden gem. If you are in the market for seasonal dĂŠcor or unusual treasures, you are sure to find something special at Voila.

2429 S. Stockton Street • Lodi 209-365-0566 Visit Voila on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ pages/Voila-Gifts-and-Home-Decor Owner: Kathy Duran

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KCM Boutique

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urry in before this cute little pop-up boutique in StoneCreek

Village goes away. You have until mid-January to dress up your closet with casual to dressy fashions, jewelry and accessories that you won’t find anywhere else in town.

5681 Pacific Avenue, #115 • Stockton 209-609-2315 For more information visit www.shop-kcm.com Owner: Kacey Malcoun

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Lino Bella

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f style and comfort are important to you, then don't

pass by this fabulous boutique in Lincoln Center. From luxury linens and home dĂŠcor to unique baby gifts, Lino Bella has it all.

265 Lincoln Center • Stockton 209-933-0441 Visit Lino Bella online shop.linobella.com Manager: Weldon Cheung

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2 0 13 Jr. League Ribbon Cutting

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The official opening of the new office

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Julie Ebenhack, Greg Delucchi, Pat Delucchi and Lesta Stevens E

Eleanor and Beth Lawrence D

Monica Harman, Nicole Goehring and Pam Lee

Jenger Carli and Melissa Grizzle

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2 0 13 March of Dimes Signature Chef’s Auction

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Kimberly Lynn, Chris Lynn, Michael Becker, Henry Ford III and Cory Leckie

Brad Goehring, Kristin Goehring, Gary Long, Darin Frazier, Janiele Sanders

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Jackie and Tyler Kurtzer

Kate and Rolf Guntert and Lauren Taylor

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Carter Little and Cynthia Williams

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Amanda Grunsky and Kristine Dobbins


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Enchanting Wines for g r a p e v i n e

Wintertime S

By Dennis Hall PHOTO BY CESAR LARIOS

ipping white wines throughout the

coldest season may at first blush feel like

reaching back to bygone picnic springtime. Actually “whites” are par for the holiday season’s festive appetizer spreads, entree courses served for partygoers, and celebratory feasts

amid

heartwarming

glows

that

exhilarate our lifestyles. Still, the season beckons as well your uncorking bottles of rich red, and finishing dessert wines. The holiday season is a time of surprising loved ones, and wine is a perfect way to get into that spirit. Perhaps you wish to surprise and share wine with someone who adheres to strict vegan standards. The Vegan Vine at Clos Lachance located in nearby Santa Clara county markets vegan wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and red blends. Clos Lachance uses bentonite clay in the fining process of the winemaking process as an agent for clearing the wines before bottling. The Vegan Awareness Foundation

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g r a p e v i n e

(vegan.org) certifies these wines so there’s no

to well-established, mainstay wines such as

versus “chunky, plump and round” for other

worry.

Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Viognier,”

Zinfandel grapes. The Trulux grape translates

Our Lodi Appellation is true viticulture

says Antonio. In tasting his Albarino, I attest

to textures in the Trulux Zinfandel wine of rich

of planting exploratory vineyards, yielding

that I sniffed a light floral aroma of peach

blackberry, spice, and enduring fruitiness.

grapes

those

and apricot, with a sharp tang on the tongue

indigenous to distinct acreage far across

with ensuing flood of bold joyous flavor in the

Harvest Old Vine Zinfandel makes for a cozy

the globe. Antonio Pasos is a winemaker

finish. Asserts Antonio, “There’s no reason

red dessert wine to sip with fork prongs

who locally sources rare, recently cultivated

Albarino cannot be substituted for red wines

loaded with chocolate cake and frosting or

Albarino grapes for producing his 2011

when paired with turkey, and it’s delicious

as a nightcap while reading holiday cards and

Albarino white wine. Spain’s coastal terroir

with ham and seafood as well.”

letters.

with

qualities

mirroring

Wyneland

Estates

“Zinsation”

Late

is renowned for producing Albarino grapes,

While Albarino is a wonderful alternative

Relish the adventure of wines our

yet right here we apparently have a slice of

to red wine for turkey, ham, and shrimp, the

appellation brings to all of us. Cheers! Happy

Spain in the Alta Mesa Appellation within the

McCay Cellars 2010 Trulux Zinfandel is a

New Year! ■

Lodi wine country near Elk Grove. Pouring

delicious, steadfast, bold red for warming

Albarino in his Pasos Vineyards tasting room

souls to offer as well with appetizers, and then

in the courtyard of the Vino Piazza Wine

a main course of turkey. Terry Munson, the

Village near Lockeford, Antonio asserts

McCay Cellars tasting room maestro, illustrates

pairing it with a gourmet chef’s conviction.

on a napkin for guests the distinct nuance of

“Albarino wine is an adventurous alternative

the Trulux grape cluster as long and linear

Dennis Hall is a freelance writer, author and entrepreneur. 916-541-1992 Dennis.SipCalifornia@gmail.com


L o c a l

S p o t l i g h t

2013 Athena Award Recipients

Dr. Kathy Hart, President of Delta College received the coveted Athena Award on Thursday, November 21, at the Stockton Golf and Country Club. The Young Professional Award was awarded to Monica Streeter.

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r. Kathy Hart has demonstrated her leadership skills through numerous positions she has held in her long and distinguished career at San

Joaquin Delta College. Throughout her impressive career in education and despite the current rigors of her position as Superintendent/President, Kathy has an impressive commitment to serving our community on numerous boards, committees and local service organizations. Supporting others is a central theme of Kathy’s life, and it is obvious from her service that she is dedicated to making our community a better place. She is a champion of volunteerism and nonprofit organizations, as evidenced by her eight years of dedicated service on the United Way Care Fund team and serving on committees at the Church of the Presentation. She champions the arts, as shown by her 16 years of outstanding service to organizations including the Stockton Symphony and Stockton Arts Commission, serving as Vice Chair of the Commission and longtime Endowment Committee Chair and principal organizer of the Summer Art Program. Currently she is a member of the Workforce Investment Board, the Business Council Board, the Community Health Forum Steering Committee, and Rotary Club of Stockton. Kathy has a long history of being a role model at Delta College. Throughout her 19 years at Delta, she has held multiple leadership positions, each with increasing responsibility, culminating being named Delta’s first female Superintendent/President in 2012. She is supported by members of all campus constituent groups, and especially women.

A

ssociate Attorney Monica Streeter, has been with

Neumiller and Beardslee since 2006. She specializes in land use, environmental, real property and public agency law. She serves as deputy City Attorney for the city of Hughson and counsel for the San Joaquin County Multi-Species and Open Space Habitat and Conservation Plan. Recently, she engaged the master students at Pacific’s Eberhardt School of Business and organized an 8-week course with the students that present the firm with a comprehensive market analysis and corresponding recommendations. The students and dean thought the class so stimulating and practical, she has been invited to continue an ongoing series of lectures with the Business School. Monica is a mentor and role model to other young female lawyers, having been chosen for leadership positions in her profession, serving on the Board of the Women Lawyer’s Section of the San Joaquin County Bar Association. Monica has served for several years as an active Board member for Friends of the Fox/Bob Hope Theatre, with downtown Stockton and Stockton’s local arts and culture being focal points for her interests. She serves on the Board of Goodwill Industries, and also on their legal committee. Monica also has served since 2011 on the Board of the Haggin Museum. She has in the past and continues to be a mentor and role model for young women both personally and professionally. She inspires young women by her service and achievements in our community. Monica genuinely cares for and works for our city and community.

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2 013 Haggin Museum Teddy Bear Picnic

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Vivian, Caty and Lilly Campora C D

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Frank and Pat Hose, Chance and Abigail Samuel

Anna Ripken, Kate and James Conway

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Kasey Malcoun Age: 26 Occupation: Owner of KCM Boutique How long I’ve lived in San Joaquin County: I grew up in Stockton, went away for college and recently moved back. The people who mean the most to me: My entire family and especially my sweet grandparents. Favorite SJ County place to take friends when they come to visit: I love to go to Toot Sweets for breakfast. I insist they order the hot chocolate – I think it’s the best anywhere. I always take people to Lincoln Center, Stonecreek Village and the Miracle Mile. A key event in my life and the impact it had on me: Being diagnosed with cancer at 20 and going through the subsequent treatment. It gave me a sense of urgency and consciousness I previously lacked. My bucket list includes: Going on Jeopardy and learning to figure skate/ Favorite sports team: USC Trojans What I’m reading now: I recently started Through Our Enemies’ Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam and the Future of America by Michael Scheuer. Favorite Vacation Destination: Lake Tahoe Hobbies: I love to watch Dr. G: Medical Examiner and Mystery Diagnosis – and pretty much any political or socioeconomic documentary. I also spend hours looking for unique clothing and jewelry lines to carry in my boutique/ online store – it never feels like work! Sports I enjoy: I like to ski, other than that I was never adept at sports. Pet: Baron, my Maltese, is 11 years old. I also have 3 German Shepherds: Marko, Bach and Addie. Favorite food/dessert: chocolate chip cookies Other information you would like to share: I “give back” by volunteering with the Simms Mann Center at UCLA

PHOTO BY cesar larios


s a v o r

it’s not

DecembeR without

Cioppino Italian Cuisine served with a side of Mexican Flair

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By Charleen Earley PHOTOS BY DAVID SOWERS

ne bite into the lasagna and

you will taste the authentic cuisine of Italian food cooked by Mexican owner of Ciao Bella Italian Cuisine, Jose Vega, who earned his cultural chops from his customers. “My Italian customers would come in to my kitchen, teach me how to make their recipes, and I’d put it on the menu!” said Vega of Stockton, who celebrates eight years as owner. His lasagna is made with ground beef, mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan cheeses served with garlic bread and your choice of soup or salad. ➤

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s a v o r

“Gina DelCarlo, a farmer in Stockton,

day and cooked for that day only,” said Vega,

he fell in love with cooking when he was just

taught me how to cook Northern Italian

who prides himself on their freshness and

a kid.

chicken cacciatore,” he added. “30% of the

quality of food. “And 80% of our customers

recipes come from my customers and 70%

come in once a week.”

comes from my brother, Rafael Vega.”

This month of December, diners will enjoy

“Our mom taught all of us kids to cook, clean our rooms, make our bed, and wash our clothes,” said Vega.

Located at 5646 N. Pershing Avenue, the

the traditional Christmas Cioppino, served

Born and raised in Jacona, Michoacan,

extensive menu offers patrons a wide variety

with king crab, salmon, scallops, mussels,

Mexico, Vega’s dream is to one day open a

of pastas, seafood, steaks, chicken, veal and

clams, shrimp, mahi-mahi and sometimes

Mexican restaurant, so he uses Sundays as his

vegetarian and children’s plates. Vega says

swordfish.

day to try out his Mexican recipes on his loyal

they sell out of lamb chops, porter house

lifestyles

Single, but “married” to his restaurant

customers, served only on the bar-side of the

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s a v o r

“I make pozole, chili Colorado, chili verde, abondigas, chile rellenos and more,” said Vega, whose mother Raquel Torres, makes Vega anything his heart desires. “She doesn’t say I’m her favorite child; she says we all are!” Sacramento – on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in the bar, Vega also offers catering, and booking his restaurant for large parties, up to 120 guests. ■

Ciao Bella Italian Cuisine 5644 N. Pershing Avenue Stockton, CA 95207 www.ciaobellaandbar.com 209-474-2100

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LO C AL

S POTLIGHT

UNIVERSITY PLAZA WATERFRONT HOTEL & DELTA BISTRO M A K I N G

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N A M E

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D O W N T O W N

S T O C K T O N

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STORY BY LEAH MYERS PHOTOS COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY PLAZA HOTEL

ow many times have you or

someone you know lamented on the lack of entertainment and dining options in Stockton? The real answer is: with the right research, you will find a variety of activities all over the Port City. Located in the heart of downtown Stockton and close by the Stockton Arena, you will find the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel. At the hotel, a calendar of events is celebrated throughout the year, including New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day and Easter Brunch.

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Recently, I spoke with Oscar Segura, Sales and Marketing Coordinator at the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel and Delta Bistro. Segura is excited about everything the hotel and restaurant has to offer. “The hotel and its events have helped to revitalize Stockton’s image and it gives people a reason to go downtown,” he explains. The seven-story building initially opened as a Sheraton in 2007, then was the Lexington in 2010. The business currently operates under the name University Plaza Waterfront Hotel. Segura said he loves to see the reaction of people when they visit the restaurant and hotel for the first time, as most patrons are pleasantly surprised by the high-quality food, décor and entertainment being offered. In addition to weddings, special events and holiday parties, the hotel offers daily breakfast, lunch, dinner, Sunday mimosa brunch and a Monday-through-Friday happy hour at the Delta Bistro. With a twiceyearly changing menu, the restaurant serves a variety of delicious food, cocktails and wine, which are sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate.

For music lovers, there is jazz in the ballroom once a month, and on December 8, the jazz band Agape Soul will perform in the hotel ballroom. Agape Soul has performed all over the country, including the famous venue, Yoshi’s in Oakland, California. The University Plaza Waterfront Hotel and Delta Bistro are a welcomed addition to Stockton. With beautiful Delta waterway views, gourmet food and year-round events, the hotel and restaurant are definitely a top-choice destination in the San Joaquin Valley. You will find University Plaza Waterfront Hotel on the water’s edge in downtown Stockton at 110 West Fremont Street. ■ For more information on hotel reservations or events, 209-944-1140 www.universityplazawaterfronthotel.com.


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Downtown 1 Sacramento Ice Rink Smack-dab in the heart of downtown Sacramento, this 7,000 square foot rink is perfect for the whole family, including beginners. Just a short drive from San Joaquin County, you can have fun on one of their theme nights including Thursday’s Family Night, where kids get free skate rentals. You can also enjoy some winter treats including hot cocoa at the snack bar. Validated parking is available at Westfield Plaza next door.

7th and K Streets • Sacramento Season: November 8, 2013 through January 20, 2014 (closed Christmas Day) Hours: Daily, Monday through Thursday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. • www.downtownsac.org/events/westfield-downtown-plaza-ice-rink/

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OUTDOOR RINKS

2 Union Square Ice Rink No one does the holidays quite like San Francisco. Glide along the ice while enjoying the bright lights and buzz of the city by the bay. Afterwards you can cross some items off your shopping list and enjoy a fabulous meal at the variety of shops and restaurants in Union Square. Parking is available at multiple public parking garages throughout Union Square.

Union Square • San Francisco Season: November 6, 2013 through January 20, 2014 Hours: 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily. 90-minute skating sessions start on every even hour. Visit the website for more information. • www.unionsquareicerink.com

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NEAR

Village 3 Heavenly Ice Skating Rink If you are in the mood for a true winter experience of ice skating in the mountains and snow, you can’t beat this rink nestled in Heavenly Village at South Lake Tahoe’s state line. This is the south shore’s only outdoor rink.

Nothing

Enhanced with holiday lights and music, it’s a true winter

says winter

wonderland. Make a day of it to go ice skating and shop

fun quite like

the Heavenly village shops. You can even take the tram

bundling up, lacing

up Heavenly Mountain for a breathtaking panoramic view of Lake Tahoe.

up the skates, and

1001 Heavenly Village Way • South Lake Tahoe

gliding along the ice. As Californians, we may not

Season: Winter

get the chance to experience

For more information, call 755-265-2087

too many frozen ponds in our

See website for prices and hours • www.theshopsatheavenly.com/golf-skate.php

lifetime, but that doesn’t mean

4

we can’t enjoy some festive holiday fun in the great outdoors. So grab your

Surrounded by the magnificent scenery of Mt.

mittens and a scarf and

Shasta, this 85-foot-wide and 185-foot-long

prepare to visit one or

open-air rink is the same size as National Hockey League rinks. Breathe in the mountain air while

more of these not -sofaraway

creating family holiday memories like no others.

winter

wonderlands.

Siskiyou Ice Rink

Shastice Park • Mt. Shasta Season: From November 23, 2013 through February 2, 2014 See website for prices and additional information • www.msrec.org/siskiyou-ice-rink/

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Yosemite Ice Rink

A tradition since the 1930s, ice skating beneath the majestic forms of Half Dome and Glacier Point offers awe-inspiring views along with family fun. After skating, treat your family to the warmth of an outdoor fire ring or buy supplies for making s’mores and hot drinks at the nearby store.

Yosemite National Park Season: From mid-November until early March, the Curry Village Ice Rink is open daily for several 2.5-hour skating sessions, conditions permitting. For more information call 209-372-8319 See website for prices and additional information • www.yosemitepark.com/ice-skating.aspx

lifestyles


FA S HION

’tis theforseason kids Holiday Fashion

Rare Editions knit dress Available at

Dillard’s

PHOTOS BY DAVID SOWERS SHOT ON LOCATION AT WEST 12 RANCh • LODI 46

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FA S HION

Bonnie Jean Ivory dress and leggings set Available at

Dillard’s

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FA S HION

Ralph Lauren Classic Fit Jeans Available at

Dillard’s

Cherokee Knit pullover Available at

Target

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FA S HION

Jayne Copeland Flower Party dress

Jayne Copeland Organza dress Available at

Dillard’s

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FA S HION

Class Club Micro Corduroy Blazer

Ralph Lauren Classic Fit Jeans Available at

Dillard’s

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PLACES TO SEE

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SANTA

The Haggin Museum

Santa Claus will be at the museum from 2:00 to 3:30 on Santa Sunday, December 8! Bring your camera for a family photo. The galleries will be beautifully decorated for the holidays and Santa’s elves will be serving complimentary punch and cookies from noon-5:00pm.

Santa House at Lincoln Center

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Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays through December, Santa will be at his whimsically remodeled house on the Brick Walk at Lincoln Center. After visiting with Santa, children receive an activity book and candy cane. Bring your list. Check it twice. www.lincolncentershops.com for times.

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25th Annual Zoo Lights at Micke Grove Zoo

December 6 through 8 – 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Pictures with Santa, live entertainment and treats are all included. Zoo members receive a $2 discount. A benefit for the education program at the Zoo. 209-953-8840 or www.mgzoo.com.

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Lodi Parade of Lights

Santa will make his appearance at the Lodi Parade of Lights – a magical holiday parade that illuminates the streets of downtown Lodi. The countless lights, floats, marching bands, dance groups and themed vehicles will entertain thousands of viewers on Thursday, December 5. www.Lodichamber.com

AND A VERY SPECIAL VISIT...

Imagine you’re seven years old and homeless. Quite soon one more great concern will be added to your already large collection: how will Santa know where to find you? It’s a good thing Santa has his magical ways of knowing where to find the children to deliver their Christmas gifts. And, the students of one.TLC School for Homeless Children are very fortunate that Santa is such a good friend with Doug Wilhoit, the CEO of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce. Every year the children write a letter to Santa asking for a personal gift. Santa takes time from his busy schedule and makes a special stop at the Chamber for the students of one.TLC School. His Chamber Staff Elves are assisted by Junior League of San Joaquin, the ONC Nurses of St Joseph’s Hospital and one.TLC Foundation board members to assure every child’s Christmas wish comes true. Each child gets a turn to sit on Santa’s lap and receives his or her treasured package, beautifully wrapped with their name on it. For many of the children this may be the first Christmas they

received exactly what they hoped for. “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” and the Christmas spirit truly is alive in Stockton because of the generosity of so many in our community, as shown by the smiles on the children’s faces. one.TLC School is a credentialed K-6 school, operated by the San Joaquin Office of Education, in collaboration with Stockton Unified School District and the one.TLC Foundation. For more information, please call 468-9494 or email onetlcSchool@yahoo.com.


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Keeping Your Spirits Bright know you… you’re in it to win it. The sweepstakes of putting on

E – Eat Well. You’ll thank yourself in January if you keep your

the best holiday possible. I’ve been there. When my girls were little, I

eating under control in December. You don’t have to deprive yourself of

set myself on the path to orchestrating the best Christmas EVER, and

the once-a-year sweet treats and holiday dinner delights… just enjoy

thought that meant making gingerbread houses, breakfast with Santa

them in moderation instead of going hog-wild.

in special clothes, all the gifts on their wish list wrapped with handmade

A – Applause. Give yourself some, and a pat on the back. This

bows, baking several kinds of cookies plated merrily and delivered to

is a high-productivity time of year, and you’re accomplishing a lot. Be

friends and family, and planning, cooking and setting a beautiful table

self-loving. You deserve it!

for dinner. Gosh, I’m tired just typing it! It was lovely but honestly, I see

M – Less is More. Try it. When I had less money to buy less

now where I squeezed us all too tightly trying to have an epic holiday

presents and decorated less with only the things that really meant

season. If there’s no crying in baseball, I’m pretty sure there shouldn’t

something to us, my holiday improved dramatically. Less crazy-making

be any at Christmas. And there was; coupled with exhaustion and

is a good thing!

stress, which left us all a bit bereft of the joy I was trying to cultivate. The economic downturn did me a huge favor in terms of having to re-design our holiday. Here are five ideas that turned Christmas into a dream come true of another and more meaningful kind.

I’d love to hear how you make your spiritual ends meet during the holiday season. Head over to the Four o’clock Martini Facebook page and share. I’m wishing you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! ■

D – Discover. Really drill down to what the reason for the season is for you, and let that be your guide. Only those things make the to-do list. I decided it was okay if our Santa’s Village only made an appearance fouroclockmartini.com

every other year. Every single thing doesn’t need to happen every year.

facebook/thefouroclockmartini

R – Reach Out. Any time is the right time to give to those less

twitter@absolutelySusan

fortunate, but there is even greater need during the holidays. A few pairs of socks to the Homeless Shelter or a wrapped toy from the dollar store are inexpensive ways to make a difference.

By Susan Michener Spracher

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SWEET CHARITIES VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

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By Charleen Earley

hile it may feel daunting, the thought of how one

person can make a difference in the lives of countless homeless, jobless and down-on-their-luck people in our community, choosing just one of the five charity organizations listed below would make a huge impact.

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Stockton Shelter for the Homeless www.stocktonshelter.org

ocated in downtown Stockton beneath the Crosstown Freeway (Highway 4), the Stockton Shelter for the Homeless is open 24/7, 365 days

a year and never closes or turns anyone away seeking emergency shelter. “Our main concern is that our children are safe. It’s the most important thing that the children are home and are able to go to school, and it keeps a lot of people off the streets,” said Katie Villa, Case Manager and Special Projects Coordinator for the last 14 years. Last fiscal year, the shelter served 2,472 men, women and children from all walks of life, served 65,405 cold meals and 114,097 hot meals with just one cook, serving on average 350 people a night. “During Christmas, we have the Adopt a Family program where the kids write real ‘Dear Santa’ letters. Adopters will buy gifts for the kids, and the kids think the gifts are coming from Santa and from their parents,” said Villa, who encourages volunteers to see her if they’d like to help in any way. “The gifts are moderate, nothing expensive, like Barbie dolls, clothes, scarves, footballs and for the older teens, gift cards.”

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Emergency Food Bank and Family Services

he face of the homeless has changed, said Executive

Director Rebeca Knodt, who has worked at the Emergency Food

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Bank for a year.

ow in their 54th year of service, Haven of Peace

opened its doors in 1959, and was the first homeless shelter for women and children in all of San Joaquin County.

“Seventy seven percent of the people are working poor.

“We serve single women and women with children or

They’re your neighbors, students, going to school and working

grandchildren, from an overnight stay to up six months,” said

two jobs, and families who have been laid off due to economic

Executive Director Brenda Castellanos. “Our mission is to give

crisis,” said Knodt. “These are people who have never required

them the tools to become self-sufficient, focus on their needs

help before; they are so embarrassed and miserable, but now

and what their obstacles are.”

they have to seek help.”

With 46 beds, they average 40 a night, but it changes daily.

The Emergency Food Bank does more than offer groceries

“Last July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013, we sheltered 540; 262

to between 100 to 300 people daily, it also has an education

of them were single women, 103 moms, and 175 children,”

center that teaches people how to eat healthy and grow their

said Castellanos. “We provide shoes, clothing, three meals a

own vegetable gardens from small pots, if space is limited in

day with snacks, diapers, hygiene products. Some ladies come

their home or apartment.

with absolutely nothing, depending on what they’re running

“We also deliver to 58 sites throughout the county, to distribute fresh fruit and vegetables to those who are isolated,” Knodt added.

from, and some come with a little bit of luggage. Some have absolutely no form of income.” Their need for volunteers is great.

Always seeking volunteers, Knodt said they have a staff

“We need volunteers to come in and sort donations, gently

of eight paid employees, and have anywhere from 15 to 25

used clothing and household goods and bedding,” added

volunteers a day. They can always use more.

Castellanos. “They can work in the office, help ladies in the life

If your time is limited, the Food Bank accepts monetary

skills classes, come sit with the kids and read to them or play

donations via PayPal on their website, and also has a “needs

with them, and help us with fundraising events. We take all ages

list” for other ways you can help. ■

of volunteers from kids to adults!” ■

www.stocktonfoodbank.org

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Haven of Peace

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St. Mary’s Dining Room

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Hospice of San Joaquin Butterfly Auxiliary

t is St. Mary’s Dining Room’s mission to respond to poverty

in San Joaquin County by feeding the hungry, caring for health

he Hospice of San Joaquin’s Butterfly Auxiliary (HSJBA) was

formed in 2001 for the sole purpose of building, maintaining and

issues and restoring human dignity to over 700 individuals each

sustaining the existence of the HSJ Hospice House, in order to fulfill

day. Opened in 1955 by Fr. Alan McCoy in an abandoned bar

a very real need within the community. The nonprofit organizes

and restaurant, his goal was to serve meals to the homeless

many fundraising events throughout the year. Out of 33 years of service, Hospice of San Joaquin is proud that

community of Stockton. “One of our most important responsibilities is to help educate our community about the needs of our homeless, and to take away the myths and stereotypes about our burdened men, women and children,” said CEO Edward Figueroa of Stockton. The dining room is open seven days a week. Each morning a small staff and crew of community volunteers serve a hot breakfast at 8:30 a.m., followed by a hot nutritious lunch at 11:30 a.m. A sack meal is made available at 2:00 p.m. for those who do not have access to an evening meal.

they’ve never turned anyone away for their end of life care, without concern for race, religion, ethnicity, or ability to pay.   “The Butterfly Auxiliary members are the best and most important ambassadors for sharing and educating the communities about all the support services provided by the “only” NOT for profit Hospice organization in San Joaquin Country,” said Julie Wetteland, Patron Member and Immediate Past President. “Many know of the ‘wonderfulness’ of this organization; however, there are many, many more who don’t even know HSJ exists,” added Wetteland. “Our job as ambassadors is to do

Each year they provide a Christmas meal. “Temple Israel in Stockton, a Jewish congregation, does the meal and gives our staff the day off,” said Figueroa. “It’s a tremendous gift each year to us!” ■

everything we can to make our communities aware of the support services available.” Wetteland said volunteers are always welcome. “There are no special requirements other than the want to support a most worthwhile cause and effort,” she said. “Volunteers are provided with roles and levels of involvement which they are best suited for. Many of our older ladies are invaluable, as they are the volunteers who make so many of the smaller areas, involved in many of our events, come to life, for example: napkin-folding, typing ribbons, filling favor boxes and mailings.” ■

www.stmarysinterfaith.org

www.hospicesj.org

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Sandy Stoddard A CAREER OF CARING

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STORY BY MOLLY BOLOGNINI

hen Sandy Stoddard first started with the American Cancer

Society (ACS) there were still smoking sections in many restaurants, early cancer detection and prevention measures were scarce, and a diagnosis of cancer was often viewed as a death sentence. A lot has changed since that time, and Sandy has been helping fight for those changes since the day she stepped foot into the office. This September marked the end of her career with the ACS as Sandy has taken a position as the Director of classes. These monthly workshops teach beauty techniques to cancer

Development with Hospice of San Joaquin. Before joining ACS in 1985, Sandy worked for the National Multiple

patients to help them manage the appearance-related side effects of

Sclerosis Society for 10 years. Over the past 28 years, much of her time

treatment. Recently, Sandy watched as her oldest sister came into the

was spent as Executive Director, overseeing the day-to-day operations,

office to attend one of these classes. Sandy held mixed emotions of pride

fundraising campaigns and managing hundreds of ACS volunteers. An

and fear, but knew that her sister had access to all the necessary tools to

exceptional fundraiser, Sandy estimated raising well over three million

successfully embark on her very own cancer journey.  Additionally, Sandy

dollars during her career. These dollars translated into much needed

was an instrumental part in creating Su Salud, an event that provides

services for patients, more support for research, and greater access to

free healthcare services to our community’s medically underserved. Most recently, Sandy’s title at ACS was Distinguished Events Director.

cancer education and prevention to those in need. Sandy contributed to groundbreaking cancer-related legislation at

She was charged with managing the Moonlight Gala and Making Strides

the local, state and federal level. She is most proud of her contributions

Against Breast Cancer of Stockton and Modesto. These events are a

to Proposition 99, a 25-cent tax increase on each pack of cigarettes

large part of the office’s fundraising efforts and this year collectively

sold in California. “I was so passionate about this law because I knew

raised $230,000. The Gala, located at a private estate in Acampo, touted

we were truly saving lives! Our work has decreased lung cancer cases,

480 participants and has been known for having one of the highest

heart disease incidents, and overall health care costs. Countless hours

grossing silent and live auctions in our community.

of gathering signatures, dialing for dollars, and doing community

honor on September 26. Forty of her closest volunteers, donors, and

presentations were critical to get Prop 99 passed.” Working for a non-profit comes with many challenges, but the one

colleagues gathered at Gian’s Deli to celebrate her achievements. “Many

thing that kept Sandy up at night was being unable to meet the needs

of the people in attendance were recruited by me when I first started

of the cancer patients. In 2012, ACS served 1,815 patients alone; this

with ACS. Their dedication of volunteer hours and resources made a

number increases every year. “In my earlier days, ACS was quickly gaining

difference in the lives of cancer patients in our community. I could not

exposure and therefore receiving more patient referrals. We simply

have been successful at my job without my wonderful volunteers.”

couldn’t meet all of the needs that were being requested, like funeral costs, paying PG&E or paying for groceries. This was heartbreaking.” Yet for every difficult moment there were a handful of good ones. Some of the most rewarding for Sandy were the Look Good… Feel Better

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A true testament of Sandy’s efforts were exhibited at a party in her

Sandy has left an indelible imprint on so many people’s lives by bringing hope at a time when it is needed most. “It’s time to turn the page to the next chapter. I’m forever grateful for the relationships I have gained and for the patients that I have helped.” ■

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CANDY AND MAX VARGAS few years into their marriage, Stockton couple Candelaria

and Max Vargas are building new family traditions, turning the holidays into a time of adventure and memory-making.

Vargas says. Adds Candy Vargas, “We want to see all the continents. Asia,

For the past three years, the two have seized the holiday lull in

Australia and Antarctica are the continents we haven’t been to yet.”

their work schedules – Candy is marketing/fund developer for

When they travel together, Candy and Max carry their clothing in

the nonprofit El Concilio while Max is deputy district director for

backpacks and stay at hostels. The no-frills experience keeps expenses

State Senator. Cathleen Galgiani’s office – as an opportunity for

minimal, they explain, but also contributes to a spirit of discovery.

international travel.

“We both have such a passion for learning about new cultures,”

“Christmas Eve we spend together with our families,” Max explains, “And then, Christmas Day, one of them is driving us to the airport.”

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“We like to choose someplace neither of us has ever been,” Max

Max says. Says Candy, “It’s an adventure, trying to get from place to place, communicating in a new language together. It really brings us closer.”

This year, they will be taking off for Thailand and Beijing. In

The Vargases hope eventually to have children and say they are

past years, they have traveled to the Yucatan Peninsula and to cities

looking forward to holiday travels as a family. “I think we can do it,”

throughout Europe.

Max says. “We’ll just need to bring some different things along.” ■

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RANDALL OGANS

andall Ogans has a large family; he and his wife have five

wrapped shrimp. Each is labeled with a holiday-themed name. The

children, ranging in age from 1 to 17. And every Christmas Day, their

couple’s children appreciate the effort, Ogans says. And in recent years,

circle grows even larger with an annual brunch that draws 50 to 60

they have helped their mother come up with the whimsical titles for her

loved ones to their home.

recipes.

“It’s sort of a gift to all of our friends and family for being a part of

While the annual brunch is usually noisy and often exhausting,

our lives,” explains Ogans, a developer with University of the Pacific’s

Ogans says the opportunity to reconnect with friends and relatives is

Office of Information Technology and co-chair of the university’s Black

worth the effort. “There are a lot of people whom you just don’t see very much of,”

History Month program. Every year on Christmas, Ogans says, his wife prepares a table filled with a wide variety of dishes, from pancakes and eggs to bacon-

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he says. “This is a good time to catch up and share stories. Really just to share your appreciation for them.” ■

VIRTU ARORA nown as the “Festival of Lights,” the Hindu holiday Diwali celebrates

the triumph of good over evil – a victory marked with the lighting of lanterns and fireworks. “This is like our Christmas,” says Virtu Arora, who celebrates the holiday with her husband and their two children in Stockton. “We give sweets and gifts to the people who are most important to us… It’s celebrated at night so that when you light that lamp or those fireworks, you get rid of the darkness. We say, ‘May the light of Diwali shine in your life.’” Held during the fall, Diwali comes at the end of the harvest season and traditionally is a time when farmers and business owners open a new financial year and honor Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. For Arora, Diwali also offers an opportunity to keep her family connected to their Indian heritage. Both of her children, 11-year-old Eshan and 9-yearold Eshika, participate in the annual Diwali Show, organized by the Indian Association of San Joaquin County. Held for nearly two decades, the elaborate

show features as many as 100 young performers who demonstrate traditional songs, dances and other cultural arts. Eshan plays the tabla, a pair of Indian hand drums, while Eshika dances and plays veena, a stringed instrument. “When they perform and when they’re learning their instruments, they are learning tradition and language,” Arora explains. “This is a way for them to learn and understand their culture and history.” Arora, who was born in India, says that while her family cherishes their Diwali traditions, they also enjoy celebrating Christmas. “My husband dresses up as Santa, and when our kids were smaller, they used to sit on his lap,” she recalls. “Personally, I respect all religions. They all tell you to do the right thing.” ■

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BILLI JO ZOPFI

or the Zopfi family, the holidays are

a time to look back – and to gaze ahead. From the time their three children were born, Billi Jo and her husband, Aron, have been buying each a special Christmas tree ornament, something to commemorate the year they’ve had.

She says her older children love hearing stories about their first Christmases and what they were like as babies and toddlers. “You kind of forget the little things that happened when they were young,” Zopfi explains. The family also collects ornaments to remind them of trips they have taken or experiences they have shared.

Accompanying each ornament is a note with the date and a few

“Last year,” Zopfi says, “the kids had never seen a shooting star.

lines to help Nora, now 12, Zachary, 8, and Amelia, almost 2, preserve

We went out to look at a meteor shower, and they finally saw one. Our

their memories. Each year, during the holiday season, the family

ornament was gold star.”

unpacks their ornaments together, taking time to read all of the little notes and to reminisce.

ornaments for now, they plan to pass them on when their children grow

“When we go to decorate our tree every year, we take our time and we open each ornament one by one,” Zophi, a contracts analyst for First 5 San Joaquin, says.

O

While Billi Jo and Aron Zopfi are taking care of the family’s Christmas up and start homes of their own. “Those ornaments will be a gift to them,” Billi Jo Zopfi says. “They will get to take those with them.” ■

ANGELICA ZAMEZA

n Christmas Eve, Angelica Zameza, husband Robert,

and sons Andrew, 10, and Romeo, 3, gather with the rest of her

“I know we will have to take over my mom’s cooking traditions one day,” she explains. “We want to keep that up.”

large Stockton family to make tamales, a Latin American dish of

But, she adds, the holidays are a time not just to preserve the past,

cornmeal dough, filled with meat or cheese and cooked in a steamer.

but also to celebrate the future. With many nieces and nephews in

It’s a tradition Angelica Zameza’s mother grew up with and then re-

their teens, Zameza says the family tries to add new traditions to their

introduced to the family several years ago.

Christmas traditions. Last year, she recalls, their party had an “ugly

“It’s a lot of fun when everyone’s helping,” Zameza says. “There are a lot of kids – a lot of them are older now – but even the younger ones help out. They do some of the easier jobs like washing the corn

sweater” theme. “That one was fun – my niece thought it up,” Zameza says. “I’m not sure what we’re going to try this year.” ■

husks.” On Christmas Day, the hard work done, the family gathers again to eat. Zameza says she and her siblings hope to learn enough from their mother that, someday, they will be able to oversee the annual tamale-making ritual themselves.

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Things

to do with Kids

Dell’Osso Holidays on the Farm

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Opens December 12 Drive through a magical mile of lights, a spectacular display of holiday spirit. Stay in your car or join us on a hayride or the Dell’Osso Express Train. Come celebrate the season with the largest-ever farm light show in Northern California. 26 Steward Road, Lathrop. 209-982-0833 or dellossofamilyfarm.com

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Meadow Avenue-Stockton

The residents along Meadow Avenue in Stockton provide the brightest and best home lighting displays in the County. Nightly through December. For more information on other displays, watch the Record newspaper for its ‘’holiday light map.”

Haggin Museum

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2nd Saturdays Holiday decorations 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Hands-on experience geared toward kids ages 5-12. Toot the horn and hop in. We’re making car-themed holiday decorations. Join us behind the wheel for fun. All materials provided. 209-940-6315 or education@hagginmuseum.org

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A Starlight Night Annual Boat Parade

Saturday, December 7, as the day ends, the official tree lighting ceremony at Weber Point kicks off the holidays, followed by the Lighted Boat Parade as beautifully decorated vessels make their way up the channel to downtown Stockton!

The Festival of Trees at San Joaquin County Historical Society at Micke Grove

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Christmas exhibits, entertainment, model trains, along with hands-on activities for children including decorating cookies, making cornhusk dolls, dipped candles and punched tin ornaments. For information, call 209-331-2055 or visit www.sanjoaquinhistory.org


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FIVE REASONS (CINQ RAISON)

TO VISIT FRENCH POLYNESIA 72

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STORY AND PHOTOS BY LARRY FRENCH

I

f you want to travel to a tropical paradise, then

head toward the South Pacific and in particular French Polynesia, also known as the Society Islands. French Polynesia is made up of a group of volcanic islands and coral atolls, of which only eight are inhabited. The atolls are coral rings that wholly or partially surround a lagoon. The major islands of French Polynesia are Tahiti,

Moorea and Bora Bora. Let me give you five reasons why you should visit this tropical paradise. The main reason to visit French Polynesia is the sheer raw beauty of the islands. When you dream of paradise do you dream of blue lagoons, white sand beaches, lush green mountains and palm trees gently swaying in warm tropical breezes? If you do then you are dreaming of French Polynesia. I have traveled all over the world and people often ask me, “what is the most beautiful place you have ever seen,” and my answer is always the same. When it comes to tropical beauty French Polynesia is number one. When seen from the air the islands are breathtaking. The cobalt-blue Pacific Ocean pounds on the outer coral reef, producing a white foam ring around the islands. In an aerial view this white ring makes the islands look like they have a pearl necklace around them. At sea level the lagoons are various shades of ➤

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turquoise blue, and are absolutely stunning.

area. The water is clear and warm, and there is

blacktip sharks patrolling the deeper waters

Combine these blue lagoons with beautiful

plenty of coral for the fish to flourish. If you are

not very far away. Even though they are not

white beaches lined with palm trees, and you

lucky you will even find an octopus scurrying

known to attack man, they are still sharks and many are 5 to 6 feet in length.

have sensory overload.

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The waters around the islands make for

Another ocean dweller in this area

the second reason to visit this area. Here you

produces the third reason to visit French

will find great snorkeling and diving. Inside the

Polynesia, and that critter would be the black-

lagoons you can snorkel in the warm tropical

lipped oyster. These oysters produce the

waters and see all sorts of colorful fish. At

famous Tahitian pearls. These “black” pearls

certain times of the year you can even swim

are very well-known, popular and expensive.

close to whales. When whale-watching in

around the ocean floor. You can also park your

Only those harvested in French Polynesia

Moorea, if you get near whales the captain of

boat over a sand bar inside the lagoons, and

can be called Tahitian pearls, although most

the boat will allow two people at a time to slip

after a few minutes in the water rays will come

are not actually black, but a variety of colors

into the water to view the whales underwater.

up to visit you. You can pet them, as they will

ranging from charcoal to silver with even a

The boats won’t chase the whales – you just

swim right up on you, hoping to be fed. But be

few with greenish tones. Jewelry with Tahitian

have to be lucky enough to have whales in your

careful, because if you turn around you will see

pearls makes a great souvenir for the ladies in

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your life; of course, men like them as well. You

waters, where you can swim and snorkel. The

to them, and they like to share stories about

can buy the pearls loose, or you can purchase

views from these bungalows are to die for. If

their families, their jobs, their gods and their

a piece of jewelry set with Tahitian pearls.

you are looking for pure luxury and an over-

daily life. I was very fortunate to have met

Whatever you buy, you will very happy to

the-top vacation or a dream honeymoon, then

so many great people in my visits to these

have something beautiful to remind you of this

this is the place for you. While you are being

wonderful islands.

tropical paradise.

pampered here, you will meet the fifth reason

If you can afford to buy Tahitian pearls,

to travel to French Polynesia.

I have given you five reasons to visit French Polynesia, but there are so many more. There is

then you may be able to afford the next reason

The fifth reason to visit this area is the

the great climate, a very romantic atmosphere,

to visit French Polynesia, and that would be

people. Here you will meet some of the most

local artists, amazing tropical flowers and

overwater bungalows. The origin of overwater

friendly people on the planet. They are warm

wonderful food. If you like to take pictures,

bungalows may be unknown, but I know

and inviting, and eager to share their island

this is a photographer’s dream. But in my mind,

that Bora Bora and Moorea perfected them.

culture with you. They want you to have a good

the spectacular beauty of the islands is what

These are what dreams are made of. These

time when you visit their islands, and they

makes them one of the best destinations in

bungalows are built out over the turquoise-

work hard to ensure that you do. The locals are

the world. So pack up your snorkel and some

blue lagoons, and most have steps that lead

patient with tourists, and try to attend to their

sunscreen, and let’s get going. I promise you

from your room right down into the lagoon

needs. The history of their islands is important

will not be disappointed. ■

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remember this?

HOTEL STOCKTON Go to our Facebook page (Lifestyles magazine) and tell us what you remember about the Hotel Stockton

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HAPPY TAILS

1 Leroy

I am a: Rottweiler/Lab mutt… I think! Where I was adopted/rescued from: I used to live at ARF Animal Shelter in Walnut Creek, CA. Favorite place to hang out: I love sitting out on top of mom and dad’s feet, or in the front yard next to the mailbox (I keep waiting for that man in the uniform. One day...) Most recent accomplishment: I chewed a fairly impressive hole in my new patio deck. Amazing dog tricks: I can eat an entire roll of paper towels without getting sick! Favorite place to walk: Walk? Walk! I’m going on a walk? Wahhoo! I know exactly how to get to my cousin Dude’s house. Let’s go! Guilty pleasure: There’s nothing better than Saturday morning sausage and eggs. My mom and dad are so nice to always leave full plates on top of the counter for me. Naughtiest deed: Birds beware; I’ve been known to chase you down in MY backyard. Obsession: Treats. Treats? Yes, I want a treat! You said treat? Where’s my treat? Where I go to get beautiful: I’m new to Stockton, so I haven’t found a salon yet. When mom gives me a bath, we like to run around the house to see how many pieces of furniture I can ruin. I think I like the game more than she does. Any other interesting info about me: I’m going to be big, but I’ll always be a lap dog. Adopted parents: Nate and Andi Schloss

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2 Charlie I am a: Part Bichon Frise and part poodle Where I was adopted/rescued from: City of Lodi Animal Services Favorite place to hang out: At the Barkleyville dog park Most recent accomplishment: Dug up a really big hole in the flower bed Amazing dog tricks: Looking cute when I’m naughty Favorite place to walk: On the levee at UOP Guilty pleasure: Chew Mommy’s slippers Naughtiest deed: Peed on the carpet and then went into hiding Obsession: I just love getting a tummy rub Where I go to get beautiful: Sycamore Kennels Adopted parent: Natalia Orfanos


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3 Holly

I am a: Belgian Malinois (shepherd/dingo mix – 18 months old Where I was adopted/rescued from: City of Stockton Animal Shelter; a great group of people who took me in after wandering the streets. As nice as they were, I was so happy to find a home! A fellow inmate was showing signs of parvo. I could see they were thinking the worst for both of us. But my new family came and gave me a chance. I showed them that I was well and would be a great dog for them. Favorite place to hang out: Anywhere my people are! Most recent accomplishment: Sleeping past 5 in the morning! Amazing dog tricks: I heel, come when called and stay when asked. Favorite place to walk: I like to walk in my neighborhood, but I’m bred to enjoy challenges. I enjoy going somewhere different every few days. I really like the trail along the marina off Brookside Road. Guilty pleasure: Chasing Mickey Mouse, my cat friend that lives with me. She doesn’t like it. Naughtiest deed: Eating our sprinkler system. Obsession: Water! I love to run through the sprinkler and bite the water coming out of the hose! Where I go to get beautiful: Because of my breed, I don’t need bathing but once in a while. My owners bath me and clip my nails, something I have learned to tolerate. Any other interesting info about me: I am happy to be in a home with humans that love to play with me. Both influences of my breeding made me very inquisitive and full of energy. My owners take me places in their truck, play catch with me and let me play with other dogs at the dog park. I’m sorry to say I have been naughty a few times after getting bored! But I am a great guard dog, and don’t let anyone get close to Debbie when we’re walking. Adopted parents: Mike and Debbie Bond


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4 Max

I am a: Lab/dachshund mix Where was I adopted/rescued from: I was adopted at PetSmart in June 2009. Favorite place to hang out: On the couch that is in the front room. I like to open the shutters with my nose, lean up against the backrest of the couch, and bark at everyone. I really don’t like it when the couch gets moved and the Christmas tree is in front of the window! Most recent accomplishment: After 3 years I have finally learned to play fetch. I like it better when they throw the ball and I watch them get it! Amazing dog tricks: I sit on my back legs with my paws up like I was in the circus. Favorite place to walk: Anywhere there are a lot of fire hydrants and bushes. Guilty pleasure: I like to go to my papa’s because he gets on a bike and I run alongside him. Naughtiest deed: I climbed on the kitchen table and swiped my sister’s Subway sandwich. They said they should have named me Swiper. Obsession: Lying in bed with my mom like a baby and have her rub my tummy. Also licking people’s faces. Where I go to get beautiful: Sierra Veterinary Clinic Any other interesting info about me: I am probably one of the only Lab/dachshund dogs around. I don’t like water. My front legs are bent like a dachshund, but I look more like a little Lab. Adopted family: Stacy, Alyssa and Matthew Erickson

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5 Valentina  

I am a:  Hairless Chinese crested Where I was adopted/rescued from: I was adopted from a family in Elk Grove, CA. Favorite place to hang out:  I love to keep warm, snuggled under my owner’s blankets, in their laps, or basking in the sun. You’ll also find me in the kitchen while one of my dads is making dinner – I get to taste everything, and I make sure the floor stays free of food debris. Most recent accomplishment: A growing wardrobe that would put most humans’ closets to shame. Amazing dog tricks: I can walk on my hind legs for long distances; I twirl and dance for a treats, and I do a fierce runway walk showing off my latest cat-oure. Favorite place to walk: I love prancing around the Miracle Mile. Guilty pleasure: Fruit! Especially bananas, apples and berries. Naughtiest deed: Me naughty… never! Okay, so I have a thing about “acquiring” other people’s money. Friends and family who come to visit and put their bags within my reach, sometimes notice they’re missing a $10 or $20 bill. Obsession: FOOD! My sister from another mother, Cha-Cha – an English bulldog – eats less than I do and weighs 9 times more than me. Where I go to get beautiful: I love shopping for new clothes at Dog Dog Cat in South Lake Tahoe. I get my pedicures at Petsmart. My dads often style what hair I do have like Pippi Longstocking, Donald Trump (the combover) or in a mohawk if I’m feeling sassy. My parents keep my skin moisturized with baby lotion and during vacations to sunny locations I wear my bikini – yes, my bikini – and lots of sunscreen. Adopted Parents: Shawn Crary and Ernie Gallardo


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Thornton House Design for All Seasons

A house is a symphony… the designer is the conductor that brings the parts together. SOTRY BY Nanci Lesley PHOTOS BY DAVID SOWERS

W

e all have visions of our perfect

home, some with a white picket fence that symbolizes a space reserved for ourselves, for our families, for our memories. There are probably no other feelings that are as deeply embedded in our minds and our hearts as our thoughts of home. Family dinners in the dining room, cozy book reading sessions in the den or library, holidays, birthdays, every type of celebration. And where do we wander when weary or need time to energize ourselves – home. Our homes express our personalities, our interests, and our personal style. To create a beautiful symphony of expression we seek a creative and skilled conductor, a designer who gathers our thoughts and dreams and directs the various parts that form our masterpiece. For over 35 years, Thornton House has conducted and been instrumental in the fulfillment of homeowners’ dreams. Owners Al and Kate Nunes began Thornton House in 1988 on Thornton Road in Stockton, thus the name Thornton House. After five years, they had an opportunity to lease a three-story building on the corner of School and Pine Streets in Lodi – the former Newfield and Sons ➤

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building, the well-known furniture store run

on where lighting is most important or

company for the entire 35 years. They are

by the Newfield family. As history repeats

atmospheric. When an overall plan begins

experts in the selection of fabrics, furniture,

itself, Thornton House became the well-

early, the rest of the home will blend together

accessories and window coverings, and

known furniture store and design center for

– furniture placements, dining tables, media

recommend the finest-made furniture to their

Lodi, Stockton, and other San Joaquin County

centers and essential amenities for the

clients. Brands include Maslon and Fabrica for

residents.

homeowner’s enjoyment. Floor coverings,

carpeting and American Drew and Highland

paint colors and window coverings become

House.

designer

part of the overall design plan. Remodels

Thornton House premieres a more traditional

services including pre-building consulting and

are a specialty of Thornton House, and the

blend of furnishings, although the design team

design. An early start begins at the framing

design team consults with the homeowners to

can create any period style or a contemporary

stage, where even the smallest details are

discover their needs and their ideas, including

look.

carefully thought out before construction

the important furniture and artwork owned by

begins. For example, the placement of

the clients.

A full-service design company, Thornton House

provides

outstanding

The

17,000-foot

showroom

at

Owner Al Nunes reflects upon his 35 years in business: “All of my staff has been with

electrical outlets and ceiling outlets for

Thornton House staff includes two full-

Thornton House for over 30 years. We are

certain lighting fixtures solve the guesswork

time designers who have been with the

all family to each other, and our sense of ➤

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Left to right: Maria Rivera, Judy Smith, Al Nunes, Richard Bastress, Kate Nunes and Barbera Deftereos

responsibility and friendliness is reflected in the way we appreciate our clients. Over the years our clients have become our friends. In fact, we have clients that began with us in 1978 when we opened our first store on Thornton Road in Stockton. We care about our clients’ needs and developing a rapport with them, and that is what makes our jobs so fulfilling.” A well-designed home is like a musical masterpiece, each piece playing its part to create beautiful harmony. ■


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Anisah and Arninahi Zarif

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MomAboutTheTown ONE BIG MOM HUG and 5 TRAVELING TIPS

I

By HEATHER mompean

t’s been awhile since I have seen my mom. Wait, that’s an

Her shoulders sank, her head drooped, her knees bent, her arms hung

understatement. To be more truthful, I would need to shout from a

to her sides and she looked as though she was a melting mess. The

mountain with tears running down my cheeks, “It feels like an eternity

only part of her that wasn’t heading south was her eyes. Her eyes were

since I have seen my mom, and I am missing her beyond words.” That’s

too busy rolling around in her head as far back as she could get them.

more honest.

“WHHHYYY DO WE HAAAAAAAAAVVVVVVEEEE TO DRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE?”

It’s actually been two years and that is just unacceptable. It doesn’t matter if I have the joy of talking to her on the phone weekly, or if we

At that moment I contemplated getting on a plane. Not the entire

share coffee emails with one another. The truth is, I need to see her. I

family, just me. I would leave my daughter to become a puddle of tears

need to lay my eyes on her, my hands on her, and to feel her wrap her

on the kitchen floor and instead I would hop on a plane, by myself, pick

arms around me in the biggest mom hug ever.

up my mom, and the two of us could head to Bora Bora. If only I had

Even though I am all grown up, a mom (and Nana!) myself, no

more vacation time on the books. That, and lots of money. If only.

matter how many gray hairs I cover with hair dye, regardless of the

Since Bora Bora is not a realistic option, and because we were all

wrinkles I soak in Ponds, I am still a little girl that misses her mom. I

going to enjoy a lovely, fun, family trip I originally envisioned, come heck

think we never outgrow the need to be in the presence of someone

or high water, I had to start brainstorming immediately on how to make

who knows us and loves us completely. We never outgrow wanting to

it happen. I stepped over my daughter, whom was now lying on the floor

be enveloped in the arms of the people that protected us, raised us and

like a heap of laundry, still sighing, complaining, and moaning something

loved us from the moment we entered this hard and beautiful world. For

about not wanting to “be in a stupid car,” and headed straight to the

me, that is my mom.

answer box, also known as the computer.

Mr. Mom About The Town has been paying attention to my growing

With only 3 weeks to plan, I wasted no time on coming up with a

need for my momma’s loving, and in an effort to help me (and help him)

strategy – a scheme that would keep my sanity intact, and that would

he reviewed our busy calendar, set a date, and squirreled away a little

keep me from tying both my kids to the luggage rack on top of the car.

travel money. It’s a done deal! We will be traveling to Idaho for the best

While our trip hasn’t yet taken place, I have to say I am feeling

hugs and cups of coffee, ever. And as a bonus, my kids and husband will

a little more encouraged with my game plan. I have shared a few of

be loved up, celebrated, and spoiled endlessly by both my mom and my

these ideas with Sarah, and, yes, she is still hoping we come up with

stepdad. I was so looking forward to the trip, until…

money for plane tickets (not even the most remote possibility of that

I told my daughter that we were going to see Grandma Joanie and Grandpa Kelly. She was excited. She loves her grandparents, and she

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she wailed.

happening until Elijah is out of college), but she is starting to show signs of acceptance of the car drive. I have faith.

loves to travel. She loves to travel ON A PLANE. When I told her that we

In case any other mamas have some upcoming trips on the calendar

would be driving, the girl released every ounce of air from her body in

with some less than eager kids in tow, I thought I would share my top

one of the longest, most dramatic sighs/growls I have EVER witnessed.

5 travel tips here:

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1.

Get a map of the route that will be traveled and highlight

a few of the bigger landmarks between home and destination so the kiddos can easily see where they are headed. Laminate that sucker so it is durable and can withstand a few beverage spills or tears. This will allow them to navigate “Are we there yet?” for themselves.

2.

“How much longer” is also going to be asked. A lot. I have

a plan of attack to keep those words from being uttered (as much). The trip is 12 hours. Hours are not an easy increment for kids, but 30 minutes is manageable. For every 30 minutes I am going to put a “ticket” in a baggie and give the baggie to my 8-year-old before we leave the driveway. Every 30 minutes I will ask for a ticket. Over time she will see she has fewer tickets and can do the math herself. I will give her 3-yearold brother a baggie of tickets, too. He will have no clue. But that’s ok.

3.

Keep the kiddos up late the night before. We did this with

Sarah when we use to take our deeply missed annual flights to Maui (I miss you, Maui). The day before the trip, let the buggers (sweeties) play hard, make a trip to a park, and keep them up the night before the trip way past their normal bedtime. GOOD and TIRED is the goal. By the time you get them in the car, they will fall asleep. They will fall asleep. They will fall asleep (this is my mantra). Then, travel in the dark hours. Kids can be easily fooled into sleep by the elimination of light.

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4.

Money! Money is an incentive for good travel behavior. I have $10.00 in a combination of coins and dollars that I am giving to each kiddo. They can spend the money on anything they want each time we stop. Yes, they can even purchase junk food. It’s a road trip and junk food is part of the fun. I will be buying Cheetos for myself.

5.

Last, but not least, I am making activity packs for the kids. A folder full of activities that they can do on the road: drawing tutorials, pens, paper, scavenger hunts, travel bingo cards, reading books, comic books, magazines, and gum… lots of gum. I realize I will regret the gum later. It is what it is. Either all this will work, or it won’t. But in the end I will be happy because I will get to see my mom. And I will get to hug her, and she will get to hug my kids. That’s my reward and all the “Are we there yet?” / “He’s hitting me!” / “She took my Mater!” comments will not take that away. Right? Right! If you are interested in printables and more tips for your holiday travels with the kiddos, visit www.momaboutthetown.com. ■ Clickity on over to the bloggity: www.momaboutthetown.com Join in on Facebook: www.facebook.com/momaboutthetown


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Holiday Blues T

‘Tis the Season? By Christopher Van Schenck, MD

he holiday blues refers to a commonly accepted phenomenon of sadness for a few days to maybe a week during the holiday season. The

holidays are more than just tinsel and yuletide – they are a time of expectations. Family, food and fun – snuggly clothes when it’s cold outside. Sitting around and playing cards or looking at Christmas lights, etc… but for many, the holidays are not a time of joy. For someone who has lost their husband or wife, child, parent or friend, the holidays are a reminder of this loss and can be a terribly sad season. Many people don’t get along well with family members, and many single young people can feel lonely during the holidays. I can even remember myself feeling sad each year during Christmas after opening my presents. I knew that the expectations of happiness that the presents promised were never fulfilled.

The Blues vs Major Depression

Preventing the Blues

But is there an actual disorder called “holiday blues?” No. It seems

But can we do anything about the blues? There is a reason for the

that the holiday season can just amplify our normal feelings of joy or

season and there is a reason for your “blues.” Could it be that they are

sadness. The good news about the “holiday blues” is that they are

an important reminder for us to reconcile past relationships? We are

not dangerous. They don’t lead to increased rates of Major Depressive

physical, spiritual and emotional/social beings. The best way to handle

Disorder. In fact, during the holiday season, rates of both suicide and

holiday “blues” is to do three main things (this requires a little work):

inpatient admissions to psychiatric hospitals are consistently down

1. Get regular exercise – when we are in shape we feel better and sleep

(suicide rates peak in late spring and summer), even going back into

better. 2. Avoid excessive alcohol – alcohol brings our mood down and

the 19th century. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), unlike the “blues,”

takes away our ability to relate effectively with others. 3. Reconcile past

consists of lack of enjoyment or sadness experienced for most days for

relationships – if there are hard feelings between yourself and another

at least two weeks, and consists of changes in sleep and appetite as well

person because of something you have said or done, go reconcile with

as lower energy and decreased ability to concentrate. To grieve after we

your neighbor or friend. This may be the most difficult of all, but it is the

suffer a loss is a normal human experience. This normal grief isn’t MDD.

most important, as asking for forgiveness clears your conscience and

It’s when we begin to have self-deprecating thoughts (such as “I’m

takes a burden off your shoulders. ■

worthless”), or the grief is getting worse over time, or we have thoughts of suicide that don’t go away, that we should seek professional help. It

Dr. Van Schenck is a psychiatrist with Dignity

is important to note that there is a seasonal pattern subtype of Major

Health Medical Group Stockton, 3132 W.

Depression called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) that begins when

March Lane, Stockton. To learn more about

the sun hides more around September, and can last until March. People

depression, or to make an appointment with

with SAD usually have an irritable depression with increased appetite

Dr. Van Schenck, call 209-946-6868.

and sleep.

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2 0 13 Stockton Shelter for the Homeless International Food Festival

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Emily Ballus, Toni Taboda, Joan Wilhoit, Carol Zeiter, Gail Teague and Julie Watts C

Dan and Lisa Wilson and Dr. Henry Zeiter

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Lynette Zeiter, Joyce Caetano and Susan Traverso

Janice Gabrielson, Joan Tope, Kristen Terry Davis, Bill Tope and Bruce Gabrielson E

DeeDee Grilli and Mick Kurey

Photos bY HELEN RIPKEN lifestyles

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Lifestyles Magazine December 2013