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day, it is sometimes easy to forget that we are blessed with so many amazing people that are so willing to give of themselves to make this community a warm and welcoming place to live and raise our families. With that, we are happy to announce our first ever San Joaquin Woman of the Year, Thelma Stewart, along with our three runners-up for the title, Heidi Altamirano, Ella Holman, and Becky Moffitt. Inside you can read all about what makes these four women so deserving of our recognition. We hope you enjoy our new feature, “I am San Joaquin Woman,” which will give you the opportunity to meet some of our area’s unsung heroines from all walks of San Joaquin County life. Get ready for winter and for the holidays with flu facts, holiday gift wrap and recipes, gift ideas for the men in your life, and more. And as always, we would love to hear you thoughts and ideas for future editions of San

• N A S


introduce. With the depressing increase in crime to our area of late making headlines every


Joaquin County that have graced our pages for the past year, and to those we have yet to


he holidays are fast approaching, and it is time to raise a glass to the women of San



• W



Karen Bakhtegan








Publisher Roger Coover Publications Director Deitra R. Kenoly Editor Karen Bakhtegan Contributing Writers Charleen Early Mary Raffetto Kim Robinson Jennifer Torres Siders Steven H. Wall Eunice Green Marian Jacobs Contributing PhotographerS Amy Phipps Lindsay Ortez Greg Severi Graphic Designers Jason Ente Dan Loeffelbein

Joaquin Woman. Email us at or visit us and leave a message on our Facebook page at Cheers!

San Joaquin Woman magazine is published six times a year by The Record, 530 E. Market Street, Stockton, CA 95202. All information written for publication in San Joaquin Woman magazine 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. San Joaquin Woman magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Photos and content become the sole property of San Joaquin Woman magazine and may be used, published or edited without limit or obligation to the author. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited without the permission of the publisher. For more information, go to

Cover photo by Lindsay Ortez

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Home forthe H lidays Contents

November 2012

FEATURE STORY 7 San Joaquin Woman of the Year 46 An Adoption Like No Other – Part 3

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS 18 It’s a Wrap – Glamorous Gift Wrap Ideas 22 8 Great Gifts for the Men in Your Life 24 A Five-Star Hotel Experience for Pets TOT CULTURE 26 Over the River and Through the Woods Travel items for tots

BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT 28 ’Tis the Season – Eunice Green 30 The Gift of Hope – Kim Robinson 32 Flu: Fact and Fiction Food 36 Caramel Apple Parfait 38 Santa Hat Brownies FASHION 41 Pop the Clutch – Handbags 43 Block Party – Footwear 44 Simply Fascinating


San Joaquin o f

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THELMA STEWART Thelma at 16 years old



orn in her family’s modest Bellota home in 1926, Thelma Solari

Stewart never imagined that she would one day be honored as a leading citizen, civic and social leader and humanitarian in the nearby city of Stockton. Bellota is a small, friendly community just to the east of Linden, and times were tough for this close-knit Italian family. But Vic and Mary Solari found great joy in their children, Vic Jr., Yolanda, Florence, Evelyn and Thelma. Evenings would often find young Thelma playing the accordion, while her father accompanied her on the piano. The children always went along with their parents when they visited family and neighbors Thelma: “I had the most wonderful childhood, growing up in the country in a big family, and being surrounded by love everwhere I turned.” Then tragedy struck in 1939 when Mr. Solari passed away. Thelma was just completing grammar school. It was a traumatic time for the family, especially for Mary Solari, who was left alone with five children to care for. She opened an all-purpose grocery store, with a bar, restaurant, meat market, gas station and soda fountain, on the outskirts of Linden. All the Solari kids were put to work, helping out. Even Grandpa! Thelma loved being in the kitchen helping her mother make her famous spaghetti sauce over a wood-burning stove, a foretaste of the culinary skills Thelma developed that would be the envy of those who know her, and those who have had the good fortune to enjoy her Italian meals. Besides the warmth of the stove, she enjoyed the warmth of a loving family. While attending Linden High School, Thelma and her siblings also CONTINUED ➤

Thelma (left center seated) with her family

helped with the family finances by picking

That was the beginning of a happy

walnuts, packing peaches, pumping gas,

relationship, for every Sunday Mr. Stewart would

butchering meat and waiting on tables in the

drive out to Bellota to see that the whole family

family’s restaurant. It was in these early days

was working, and to eat some of Mrs. Solari’s

that she learned the great values of hard work,

famous ravioli and chicken. She was missed by

discipline and responsibility – among other traits

the entire Linden and Bellota community when

that were to earn her a reputation that has been

she passed away in 1964 after a battle with

praised and honored over the years… tenacity…


compassion… love and generosity. But even

In the meantime, thirteen-year-old Thelma

with the whole family helping, Mrs. Solari was

was learning something important about the

continually faced with money problems, caused

human condition that became such an important

by the era’s depression. She was only 36, and had

part of her life.

trouble meeting her financial obligations. She

In 1946 Thelma Solari married, and in the

went to Bank of America officers on East Main

following years had four children: Monte and Sue,

Street in Stockton to ask for a loan extension,

twins; and Gary and Rocky. After a divorce, ten

and when they refused, she left depressed

years later, Thelma went to work… something

and crying as she walked west, passing Union

she was good at – first as dental nurse, then

Safe Deposit Bank. E. C. Stewart, its president,

as a medical receptionist, and then as a legal

happened to be standing in his office doorway,

secretary. In order to support her family, she

and observed the distraught woman.

took on a second job, as evening hostess at The

“My good lady, what problem could be so

Reef, a popular restaurant in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

bad as to cause such tears?” he asked as he

In between jobs, she was back at home cooking

stopped her. Mrs. Solari explained her quandary.

for her children.

“Do you work hard?” he asked. And when she

Life took on a wonderful and new meaning

described her little business, and all her children

in 1964 when Thelma met Don Stewart, and

helping as well, he suggested that his bank pay

married him after a two-year courtship. By then,

off Bank of America, and that she could start

Don was serving as President of Union Safe

banking with him.

Deposit Bank, the very place where his father

Little did she know that her daughter, Thelma, would one day marry his son, Don.

helped her mother, the young Italian woman, so many years ago. CONTINUED ➤


The Stewart family winners circle at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds

Three more children were added to the family:

cellophane. In a matter of minutes, they’ve

Wendy, Wynona and Casey, the daughters of Don

created one of the thousands of Easter baskets

by a previous marriage. The late Janet Dugger

that they will sell at their annual pre-Easter sale

joined the family, when she moved into the big

in the beautiful gardens of her homes.

brown Stewart home on Hunter Street, after her own parents had passed away. The bigger

Thelma’s heart, it seems, was big enough to take on much more.

the family, the happier the Stewart household

With the help of her friends, she has raised

became. When Donald Jr. was born with Down

hundreds of thousands of dollars for area

syndrome, Thelma found great strength from her

charities, and continues to do so. And she does

youngest sister and best friend, Evelyn, who was

it with great gusto.

always there for her. Her passing in 1986 and

She was the first woman in the United

the later death of her husband in 2002 left huge

States to serve as President of a Boys Club

voids in Thelma’s life.

Board of Directors, having served as the leader

Voids were filled by filling a position as director of Union Safe Deposit, the bank

of the local affiliate. Her name can be found in the Book of Records in Washington, D. C.

founded by Don’s great, great grandfather,

Thelma was appointed a director of the

and by continuing her volunteer service in the

San Joaquin County Fair, a position she held

community, especially with organizations that

for eighteen years, serving a term as chairman.

serve victims of Down syndrome and other

She was also appointed by Governor George

physically challenging disabilities, such as Larks


and Lady Bugs. As the founder of Lady Bugs,

Development Board. She served on the 1969

which helps raise funds for projects and schools

Grand Jury for San Joaquin County, as well

that serve those with disabilities, Thelma and her

as a director of United Way, YMCA, Stockton

Lady Bugs have held Easter basket sales at her

Police Department’s Blue Ribbon Task Force and

homes for more than 20 years, raising over 1

Dameron Hospital Foundation.

million dollars.





For eight years, Thelma chaired Dameron’s

Each year, about a month or two before

annual spring dinner dances, and almost

Easter, you can find the Lady Bugs scattered

single-handedly raised money that bought new

throughout Thelma’s home, surrounded by big

medical and surgical equipment for the hospital.

baskets, toys, candy, stuffed animals and colored

She continues to contribute her support for its CONTINUED ➤

Sa n Joa q ui n Wo m an



Thelma with great grandchildren


Thelma with her son Donald Jr.

purchase of state-of-the-art medical equipment

facility on North Pershing Street. She has given

her own time. Just as she did as a young

In 1980 Thelma was named Stocktonian

barbeques at Chestnut Hills Farms for special

girl, helping her family, she’s a workhorse –

of the Year by the Board of Realtors; Woman

children with disabilities, participated annually

whether putting on a benefit at her Chestnut

of Distinction by the Soroptimist Club,

in the 4-H club sales at the County Fair, chaired

Hills ranch or in the beautiful gardens of her

Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the 49er

fund raising events for the Women’s Center, St.

Stockton homes. She’s right there, helping

Council of Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scout

Mary’s High School, Annunciation Grammar

wherever she can, and mingling with guests to

Role Model by the Tierra del Oro Council of

School and Harrison School.

make sure they are having a good time.

Northern California and the Evell Younger

There aren’t enough walls in Thelma’s

With all she has done, Thelma is ready

Award by the former California State Attorney

home to hold the hundreds of humanitarian

to start a new project – to give personal

General for her service to law enforcement

awards and citations she has received over the

and financial help to the Stockton Police

agencies. She co-founded S.T.A.R.S, the Sheriff’s

years from charitable organizations, churches,

Department to support its war against the

Department volunteer group of retired citizens

schools, children’s groups, city, state and

increasing crime in our community.

who act as extra eyes in our community.

national bodies.

Few individuals have been more generous

Since its founding, Thelma has held annual

And, there’s hardly an organization in

with their time, energy and resources. Few

outdoor parties in her home for S.T.A.R.S.,

Stockton that hasn’t been the beneficiary of

individuals have touched the lives of so many

raising over $500,000 for cars, uniforms and

Thelma’s generosity.

people. And few people are Thelma Stewart.

supplies. She has served on committees to help

But the uniqeness of Thelma Stewart is

build the new County Jail, Delta Junior College,

that she not only supports charitable needs

the Main Public Library and the Red Cross’s new

financially, but that she gives so much of

S a n J o aqu i n Wo m an

She’s one of a kind. CONTINUED ➤


San Joaquin R U N N ER


o f t h e y e a r




dedicated advocate of the San Joaquin Valley region, Heidi Altamirano supports

her community by supporting the business professionals and entrepreneurs who are striving to succeed here. As Events Director for the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce, Altamirano is responsible for coordinating the organization’s signature programs, including State of the City, the ATHENA Awards, the Industrial Technology Barbecue and the Ag Hall of Fame. Says Chamber CEO Douglass Wilhoit, who nominated Altamirano for Woman of the Year recognition, “Through her organizational skills and dedication to perfection, she has made significant, unique and lasting contributions in the community and workplace… Heidi has definitely garnered the respect of her colleagues, and serves as a role model of achievement for other women in our community, and has elevated the overall mission of the Chamber.” An Escalon native, Altamirano says many of her leadership and organizational skills were developed during her eight years of service with the U.S. Air Force. Early on in her Air Force career, she says, she was offered the opportunity to oversee Washington, D.C.-based marketing and public relations for the internationally famous Air Force Premier Band. “That was an honor,” she says. “Having that background has helped me here, no doubt. The events are just smaller now – not at the Kennedy Center. But they are similar, I think, in that we are still putting our best face forward.” Altamirano eventually returned to the Valley, in part, she says, because she missed having a close connection to her agricultural roots. Growing up, she says, “We had walnuts – not a lot of them. All our friends were farmers. My father was a dairyman first. That’s just what I love… My dad raised his children to be very involved within the community.” Altamirano came to the Stockton Chamber in 2005 after having worked as a business owner, and as a part of the Escalon Chamber of Commerce. She and husband, Brady, have two daughters: 13-year-old LaLa and 11-year-old Emma. The couple enjoys entertaining and supporting their children’s extracurricular interests. Altamirano says she also encourages her family to take part in festivals, concerts and other events in Stockton. “I drag my children to everything I possibly can,” she says. “We’re just trying to show our support, and prove it’s safe here.”

Sa n Joa q ui n Wo m an




San Joaquin


By Jennifer Torres Siders PHOTO BY AMY PHIPPS –


lla Holman was in middle school when her mother, a respiratory therapist at St.

Joseph’s Medical Center, encouraged her to volunteer as a hospital candy striper. “That is where my compassion for people began,” says Holman, a Stockton native. “Volunteering seems to be in my blood. I just want to help everybody.” Today, Holman continues to donate her time, focusing on agencies and programs that assist people during what are likely the most vulnerable periods of their lives. She works with women who have been the victims of domestic violence and other family trauma, coordinating a program called Keep it Moving, or KIM, designed to give women support and compassion as they confront their challenges. “Once, we did a spa day for them,” Holman recalls. “I had some women come in and do their hair. My granddaughter did nails. Some others did facials – just so they could feel good… I don’t want them to give up. I want them to keep going. This is just a hiccup in life. Take a little rest, dust yourself off, then keep moving.” Since losing her mother to cancer in 1995, Holman also has been a volunteer with Hospice of San Joaquin. Her mother had been a Hospice patient, and during that time, Holman began taking classes offered through the organization. She now assists with Camp Caterpillar, a bereavement program for children who have experienced a loss. “Part of it is just listening to them and their stories,” Holman says. “It’s touching. You have to have compassion for it… I call it a blessing to be able to do that.” A mother to three adult children and grandmother to three, Holman earned a bachelor’s degree in community studies from Humphreys College at the age of 53. According to Linda Verdun-Brown, the recruiter at Humphreys who nominated her for Woman of the Year recognition, Holman also is an active member of Mayfair Seventh Day Adventist Church. Holman, who works as a real estate agent, says it had long been a goal of hers to work with young adults who are aging out of the foster care system. “When I graduated from Humphreys, I wanted to start a nonprofit organization that covers foster kids,” she explains. “I was worried about the kids who turned 18. What happens to them?” Holman has since discovered that there are several organizations that strive to meet the needs of former foster youths. She is now working with one of them. “This is exactly what I wanted to do,” she says. “I got a gift from God to do this.”


S a n J o aqu i n Wo m an



o f t h e y e a r


San Joaquin R U N N ER


o f t h e y e a r



By Jennifer Torres Siders PHOTO BY AMY PHIPPS –

his fall, Becky Moffitt was eagerly planning Stockton’s inaugural We Own the

Night, an event designed to foster a constructive grassroots response to crime and other challenges facing Stockton. On November 5, individuals and families were asked to congregate downtown at Fremont Square for a short evening march of solidarity. It was a simple gesture, meant to empower citizens – one that Moffitt hopes to expand to other parts of the city, including, perhaps, Oak Park. “Oak Park is another place that people don’t feel comfortable going,” she says. “And you shouldn’t feel that way in your own community.” A native of Portland, Oregon, Moffitt came to Stockton to attend University of the Pacific on soccer and academic scholarships. Through athletics and through her sorority, she says, she became involved in local philanthropic work – building on values her mother nurtured while she was growing up. “If I don’t contribute in all the ways that I can… then I’m a part of what’s going wrong. If you want something done, do it yourself. By that, I mean, if you want to help do anything, if you want to see something improve, you need to get involved.” Moffitt says her commitment to community engagement also springs from a deep love of people. “I just find people really intriguing. I’m kind of obnoxiously outgoing,” jokes Moffitt, Vice President for sales and marketing at The Tuleberg Group, a firm of which she is part owner. “I want to better the world we live in, so I kind of jump in feet-first.” Moffitt is active with Stockton Sunrise Rotary, the Women’s Center - Youth & Family Services, University of the Pacific, Dameron Hospital Foundation and a number of other organizations. “She is on a mission to revitalize Stockton and impact the community far greater than she can truly imagine,” says friend Tara Manners, who nominated Moffitt for Woman of the Year recognition. “She has made headway… with people committed to action, not just words.” Mother to toddler Stella Stone Roth, Moffitt says she also has a personal stake in the future of the community she as adopted as her own. “She’s a huge reason for why we’re doing what we’re doing,” Moffitt says. “We can either help impact our community for the better, or we can leave. And if we leave, that would only fix the situation for us… I’m excited for Stockton. If there are enough of us willing to work together, we can truly make a difference.”

Sa n Joa q ui n Wo m an



Age: 32 Occupation: Agriculture teacher at Lodi High School How long I’ve lived in San Joaquin County: I was raised in Lockeford, and moved away for three years when I was 20 to attend college. After college, I moved back, and have lived here for the past ten years. The people who mean the most to me: My children Gauge (4.5) and Aubrey (1). My husband, Sonny. Our family (parents, grandparents, siblings, niece and nephew, cousins), and our very dear and close friends (they know who they are!). Favorite SJ County place to take friends when they come to visit: Depending on the time of year, but I love to show them the agriculture in our county. Phillips Farms, Clements Ridge Produce, and Lodi Wine Tasting. A key event in my life and the impact it had on me: There are a few events that have had an impact on me. One key event would be my parents encouraging me to join the 4-H club, which then led to me joining the FFA. By doing this, I found my calling in agriculture, and the experiences I had in the FFA and Ag program at Lodi High led me to pursue my passion for my career in agriculture education. Favorite Sports Team: San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers. Favorite Vacation Destinations: Maui, Alaska Hobbies: Spending quality time with my family and our friends, teaching agriculture, and going to SF Giants games with my family. Pet: one dog (Dog) and one bird (Louie) Favorite food/dessert: My Grandma Dorothy’s lemon icebox pie. I “give back” by volunteering with the following organizations: Part of my job in agriculture education is being an advisor for our FFA chapter. The FFA is the largest youth organization that focuses on premier leadership, personal growth and career success in agriculture. The Lodi Ag Department focuses on community service in a variety of ways from the Grape Festival, Lodi Support our Troops center, 3rd Grade Agriculture Field Day and Food Drives that include putting together holiday food baskets for members in our community. I’d like to say that I give back by creating awareness of the agriculture industry and its importance on our everyday lives, while creating leaders that will make that impact on agriculture and in their community in a positive way. My favorite quotes: “Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.” — Theodore Roosevelt, and “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” — Vince Lombardi Favorite childhood memories: Raising livestock animals with my brother Eric at our grandparents’ place. Also, I love thinking about my childhood with all of my cousins and family. I’m very lucky that both of my parents have 3 or more siblings, so that means lots of aunts, uncles and cousins. We had a blast as kids! PHOTO BY Lindsay ortez 16

S a n J o aqu i n Wo m an

november 2012

I am San Joaquin


Jessa Lee Goehring

Sa n Joa q ui n Wo m an


It’s a



When you create beautiful packages that rival the gifts inside, you can be sure the ribbons, wraps and adornments won’t end up in the trash. They will find new life as recycled gift wrap or décor for years to come, and they look fabulous under your tree all season!

Try combining traditional items – like pinecones and tinsel garland – with trendy textures like this pink and gold embossed snakeskin wrap for a festive and fashionable look.


S a n J o aqu i n Wo m an


Dreamy Mediterranean blue pairs with leopard for an unexpected pop of color during the holidays. Roses and gossamer ribbon top things off with a little romance.

The Marilyn Monroe of gift wraps, a velvet-flocked brocade gets (even more) glamorous with red satin ribbon and a crystal-set ornament.

Sa n Joa q ui n Wo m an


Larger gifts call for full scale adornments. Gleaming foil peppermint stripes provide a glossy backdrop to winter greenery embellished with a



Everything here says, “Oooh... SHINY!� From the red foil wrap to the pearl-and-crystal wreath affixed with glamorous foil-stamped ribbon... stare at these baubles long enough and you might be hypnotized!


S a n J o aqu i n Wo m an



Quirky, ribbon-tied treats top shiny polka dots for a whimsical, fun look.

Working for architects, home builders and interior designers, Mary Raffetto has always loved homes -- especially decorating them.  What began as a holiday decorating service in both residential and business venues has lead her to more and more year-round assignments including garden design and décor. Mary combines her own unique Mary Raffetto

vision with each client’s personality and style to create custom designs that are a perfect fit.

Sa n Joa q ui n Wo m an



8 Great Gifts for the Men in Your Life For the wine connoisseur Electric Wine Bottle Opener By Krupps


For the adrenaline junkie

Available at Walmart, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond

Helmet Camera By Contour


Available at

For the gadget geek

Kymera Magic Wand Remote Control By The Wand Company


Available at

For the golfer Golf Trunk Organizer By Samsonite


Available at Sports Authority


S a n J o aqu i n Wo m an


For the biker

Harley Davidson Ride Atlas of North America (Anniversary Edition) By Rand McNally


Available at

For the music lover

For the beer lover

Skullcrusher Over –the- ear Headphones By SkullCandy

Home Beer-Tap System By Krups and Heinekin



Available at Target

Available at Bed bath and Beyond, Macy’s, Best Buy

For the fitness guru Adjustable Weight Dumbbells By Bowflex


Available at Walmart Sa n Joa q ui n Wo m an



A five-Star hotel experience for pets By Charleen Earley PHOTOS BY AMY PHIPPS WWW.ONTHEPHIPPSIDE.COM


ido has never had it so good, since now when his

owners leave home for the holidays or vacation, he doesn’t have to stay at a sterile-caged kennel for a week – he can simply book his reservations at the nearest hotel – Veterinary Specialty Center Pet Hotel in Stockton – provided his paws are thin enough to dial the number.


S a n J o aqu i n Wo m an


Okay, cats are welcome too, but the majority of guests who book at Dr. Andrew Frey’s pet hotel are mostly of the canine variety.

firsthand, exactly how Fido is enjoying his stay. “People bring their pets here because our ‘hotel’ is in perfect

“Our pet hotel is brand new, climate-controlled and completely

condition, and because our staff is really tuned into the pets – they

indoors, with an 1800-square foot exercise arena with padded floors

interact with them in a great way,” said Dr. Frey, who lives in Lodi with

to prevent injury during play,” said Frey, who is the only resident Board-

his three dogs and family.

Certified surgeon in San Joaquin County.

Another hotel amenity is found with its gym club. Fido’s owners

Krey’s hotel guests may book a deluxe room from sizes extra large

have the option of signing him up for playtime, where staff monitors his

(6' x 8'), large, medium, or small (4'x4'), and each outfitted with its own

interaction with other “hotel guests,” or exercise time, when he gets to

vanity and raised bed with fleece bedding; we’re talking five-star all the

go on a walk or do light exercises.

way. Science Diet meals are served, however if pet owners prefer to pack Fido’s favorite chow, that’s allowed too. Say goodbye to that metal look of yesteryear’s kennel – each hotel room is made of fiberglass with Plexiglass doors. And what minimal

While there’s no sauna (yet), staff doesn’t make people out of towels and place them on beds, or put chocolates on the guests’ pillows at night, one thing is certain… Fido will definitely be yelping good things about his stay at the Veterinary Specialty Center Pet Hotel.

metal does exist, is stainless steel. What sets Frey’s pet hotel apart from other pet “stays” is his 24-

1661 West Fremont Street

hour emergency service, and state-of-the-art facility, which boasts safety

Stockton, CA 95203

with its fire sprinkler system and surveillance security system. He said

Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

a pet cam is scheduled to be installed near Christmas time. If these

walls could “bark” – in December, pet owners will actually get to see


Over the River and Through the Woods‌

5 products to get you and baby to Grandma’s house in comfort and style

City Versa Pram by Baby Jogger

Baby Jogger now makes a baby bassinet that allows your infant to naturally fall asleep in a flat padded surface similar to his crib wherever your travels take him.


S a n J o aqu i n Wo m an


Car Seat Travel Bag by Britax

This handy traveler fits most car seat brands, has built-in wheels for easy portability and has padded backpackstyle shoulder straps for simple carrying.

Diaper Dude Bag Pronto Diaper Changing Station by Skip Hop

A diaper bag perfect for baby, but hip enough so Dad won’t mind carrying it.

The Pronto is a portable diapering essentials kit that ensures that baby is always clean, dry and happy.

Nap Nanny

The Nap Nanny Chill is a ground-breaking product designed to comfort babies and improve infant sleep. The handy carrying bag makes it a perfect travel companion.

Sa n Joa q ui n Wo m an



’Tisthe season…

for holiday

stress The perfect holiday fantasy is: ■ The house is sparkling clean ■ All the food is exceptionally yummy ■ Perfect gifts are found for everyone ■ The family is happy and everyone is getting along ■ All preparations have gone smoothly ■ You make a list to go shopping, and find everything you need ■ No one drinks too much ■ You enjoy yourself at every function ■ You already have the perfect outfit for every occasion

By Eunice Green, NHD


nd we know that is a fantasy. The additional chores, duties,

shopping, social functions and finances – they all create stress. Socializing with family members – and other acquaintances that we choose not to spend time with throughout the year – brings on stress. Fears, insecurities, self-worth issues, buried anger… these emotions all rear their ugly heads during the holiday season. The magazine articles and other media seem to magnify our need for perfectionism. And nothing is ever perfect. So, how do we cope? What can we do to make this season enjoyable and keep the stress to a minimum?


S a n J o aqu i n Wo m an


have to give up, and if it would truly make you happy. Simplify. Really look at what your intention is for the holidays. If having joy and peace is that intention, let go of worrying about the perfect gift, the perfect meal, a spotless house, and focus on what is important to you. Take time for yourself, to exercise and eat healthy. The guilt of overeating or eating unhealthy foods can cause stress. Don’t deny yourself, but compensate for the dinner you are going to have at night by eating a healthy breakfast and lunch. Schedule a massage for yourself, a relaxing bath, or some time to meditate. There are many supplements that can ease the discomfort of stress and prevent that stress from turning in to depression. A good B-complex daily is so helpful for neurotransmitter metabolism and helpful in feeding your nerves. L-Tyrosine Plus is a wonderful amino acid combination that boosts your brain energy while calming. L-theanine in green tea makes the brain happy. For anxiety, GABA works so well and at 100 mg, mimics valium. Eleviv, a wonderful herbal combination, is amazing at not only enhancing happiness, it also gives a calm energy. Bach Flower Remedies help with emotional balance. There are many flower essences for specific emotions, but the Rescue Remedy compound First and foremost, be prepared. Acknowledge that there will be

is the most widely used. This works quickly, and keeping a bottle in a

bumps along the road, and have a plan ready as to how to deal with

purse or pocket is great in emergencies. White Chestnut is a wonderful

these bumps.

essence if you have thoughts (like the list of things to get done) that keep

Learning to say “no” is sometimes difficult at this time of year.

going ’round and ’round in your head.

Whether it be family, friends, organizations, church groups or neighbors,

5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin, and when taken on an empty

it seems that there is always someone wanting something from us. Being

stomach, can alleviate stress very quickly, and is a great help for insomnia.

aware of your limitations and setting some boundaries can make a huge

Aromatherapy is a wonderful “quick fix” for stress, as well. Lavender

difference in containing the stress levels. In the past few years there have

is the most common essential oil relaxant, and Ylang Ylang and Patchouli

been a surge in workshops, books and courses on setting boundaries. It

are also very calming.

is obvious that this has become an issue for many people, and there is

There are many herb teas, amino acids, vitamins and minerals that are

no better time of year to practice the skill of setting boundaries. Don’t

supportive in stressful situations. With all these products available, there

take on more than you can handle, just to make someone else happy or

is no reason for anyone to become overwhelmed with stress.

to enhance your ego. If you have the habit of saying “yes” to every request that comes

And make sure that you take a good multivitamin/mineral complex, as becoming nutritionally deficient can add more stress.

your way, and it is difficult for you to just say “no,” when asked to take

Take care of yourself this season; my fantasy is for you to end the year

on another project, learn to say “let me get back to you on that.” Give

with peace and joy, feeling that this was the best holiday season that you

yourself some time to evaluate the time it would take, what you would

have ever had.

Sa n Joa q ui n Wo m an





S a n J o aqu i n Wo m an




Speak your fears aloud. Giving voice to them, especially to a trusted friend, diminishes their hold and re-establishes your power.

know you have dreams and desires that you

keep secretly tucked away, deep inside your heart. That private sanctuary safeguards your most precious ideals… your hopes. Our hopes sustain us and keep us going, even in the toughest of times. Without hope, all is


for on the chessboard of life, the Queen of Hope trumps the Queen of Fear every time! This holiday season, may I encourage you to

really happen? Will I die if it does?” Chances are slim that the worst Find your strength by examining your perceived weakness.

because they’ve allowed fear to drive hope out. take up residence where you live, yet saddening,

the answer and then ask yourself, “what are the chances this will case scenario will come true, and we usually survive even if it does.

lost. I’ve seen many clients fall into hopelessness Understandable when the harsher realities of life

Ask yourself, “what’s the worst that could happen?” Write down


Start having fun and not taking life so seriously. Stressing out creates fear. Banish that by lightening up, looking at all possibilities and reminding yourself that it’s okay to turn things around 180 degrees if you find you’re headed in the wrong direction.

give yourself the gift of hope? To step into your incredible magnificence and THRIVE? Maybe even SOAR? Live your life like there’s no tomorrow, while having faith that life is everlasting, and thus make plans for the next tomorrow so there is


Send your ego on holiday! Get out of your busy mind and into your soulful heart. Float in the place of your hopes and dreams. Speak to your higher self and be restored without the voice of ego running things.

always something wonderful to look forward to? If you’re willing to put HOPE on your holiday wish list, here are five ideas to restore yours, post haste.


Commit to turning your hopes into reality. Believe in yourself wholeheartedly, and trust that you will be supported in all you do. Kindred spirits will appear; things will happen! The Queen of Hope will triumph!

May your holiday be filled with happiness and hope, and may your magnificence bring more light to the world. YOU are a gift – always remember that. YOU are the hope of the Universe. Do you have a question for Kim?

Email your questions to kimrobinsonintuitive@gmail. com, and you may find your answers in the next edition of San Joaquin Woman magazine. Kim Robinson is an intuitive life coach in Stockton. Combined with her unique gift of intuition, her non-standard approach helps people deal with issues such as grief, low self-esteem, anger, depression, substance abuse, compulsive behavior, financial difficulties, sexual abuse, control issues, and weight and eating disorders, just to name a few. Sa n Joa q ui n Wo m an




is the season for colds, flus, allergies, and other “bugs.” Through the fall and winter, at least one member of your family may be affected by a sore throat, cough, or runny nose. These may be symptoms of the common cold, but they could also be symptoms of the dreaded flu. I recommend getting a flu shot every year to protect yourself from seasonal influenza. While some people fear that the flu shot can cause the flu, in fact, the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu! Here are some of the commonly asked questions I get and the real truth about the flu shot.

What is influenza (also called flu)? Seasonal influenza (also known as the flu) is caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Unlike many other viral respiratory infections (e.g. the common cold), the flu can sometimes cause more severe illness, such as bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and worsening of chronic medical conditions such asthma or diabetes. According to the CDC, 5% to 20% of the U.S. population gets the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications. Anyone can get the flu (even healthy people), and serious problems from influenza can happen at any age, but some people are at a higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children.

Why do I need a flu shot? The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccination each season. Flu shots contain inactivated (killed) flu virus. Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.


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What is in the flu vaccine? While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine protects against the viruses that research indicates will be most common. Flu vaccines protect against three different flu viruses: an H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus, and an H1N1 virus. Get vaccinated as soon as vaccine becomes available in your community. Remember, immunity sets in about two weeks after vaccination.

How is flu spread? Flu viruses are spread by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze, or talk. A person might also get the flu by touching a contaminated surface and then touching their own eyes, mouth or nose. This is why it is so important to “cover your cough” and wash your hands frequently.

Can a flu shot give you the flu? No matter what you may have heard, a flu shot cannot cause the flu. The viruses contained in a flu shot are killed, which means they cannot cause infection. Flu vaccine manufacturers kill the viruses used in the vaccine during the process of making the vaccine, and batches of flu vaccine are tested to make sure they are safe.

How about people who get a seasonal flu vaccine and still get sick with flu-like symptoms?

By Steven H. Wall, M.D.

They may have been exposed to a flu virus shortly before getting vaccinated or during the two-week period that it takes the body to gain protection after vaccination. They may become sick from a non-flu virus which causes similar symptoms. They may be exposed to a virus that is very different from the viruses included in the vaccine. They can remain unprotected from the flu, despite getting the vaccine, if they have a weakened immune system.

Is the “stomach flu” really the flu? No. The flu is a respiratory disease, not a stomach or intestinal disease.

Who should get a flu shot? Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. Vaccination is especially important for health care workers because they come into contact with people who are at high risk for serious illness.

How long can a sick person spread flu to others? People infected with the flu shed the virus and can infect others from 1 day before getting sick to approximately 5-7 days after getting sick. This means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone before you even know that you are sick.

There are several reasons why people might get symptoms even after they have been vaccinated.

Dr. Steven Wall is a Family Practice physician with Dignity Health Medical Group Stockton, a group of primary care doctors and specialists who provide personalized care for the whole family. For more information on flu vaccinations, using antibiotics, and more, visit or call 209.475.5500.



I A M S J WOM A N PHOTO BY lindsay ortez













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Age: 85 years “young” Occupation: Retired musician How long I’ve lived in SJ County: 67 years (since 1945) The people who mean the most to me: Family: children and grandchildren Favorite SJ County place to take friends: Church A key event in my life and the impact: When the family moved to California from Texas in 1945. We were excited to move to California. We had heard so much about it. Favorite vacation spot: Atlanta, GA for an annual Church Women’s Convention. This takes place at a different destination each year. I have gone to this event for the past 14 years. Hobbies: Playing the piano, and singing Favorite food/dessert: Haagen Dazs ice cream bars! Especially the kind with vanilla ice cream, and milk chocolate with almonds. I “give back” by volunteering with the following organizations: I have always been a “community servant” in my heart. I have played piano and sang at nursing homes for many years. I have been an “on-call” musician for funeral homes when a musician was needed for services. I also served at my local church as the Minister of Music (director of music department) for 50 years. Favorite quotes: I love scriptural quotes such as: Psalm 34: “I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth. As well as Psalm 106: “O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good.” Favorite childhood memory: Getting a pair of shoes!

I am San Joaquin

WOMAN Nettie R. Young

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CARAMEL APPLE PARFAIT Cake 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/3 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar 2 tablespoons molasses 1 large egg 1 cup regular yogurt Preheat oven to 350°. Blend flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice in a bowl and set aside. In a mixer, blend butter with brown sugar and molasses at medium speed until combined. Add in egg and beat till smooth. Add dry ingredients in small batches, alternating with yogurt until all is blended together. Scrape the batter into a large non-stick baking pan and place on the center rack of oven. Bake for about 20 minutes or until surface springs back easily to touch. Let cool completely.

Caramel Sauce 1/2 cup water 1 1/4 cups heavy cream 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

In a skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add 6 cups apples and stir over high heat until lightly browned. Add half of each of the sugars, and continue cooking until the apples become caramelized. Pour into a large bowl and set aside, and finish the remaining ingredients exactly the same way. Cut the cake into 6-inch squares. Spoon 2 tablespoons of caramel sauce into dessert cups or parfait glasses. Layer 1 tablespoon of apples and 1/2 cup whipped cream to each glass. Layer two or three cake squares next. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, ending with caramel sauce, and top with whipped cream.

Optional Garnish

Slice whole apples in 1/8th-inch widths and place on parchment paper on a baking sheet – sprinkle lightly with regular sugar and bake for 5 minutes until just softened. Cool and place on top.


S a n J o aqu i n Wo m an

In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar and water and cook over high heat until sugar dissolves. Stop stirring for about 4 minutes, until a deep amber caramel forms. Remove from stove and add heavy cream and cinnamon. Once the caramel cools slightly, place back on burner and continue cooking until the sauce is slightly thickened. Pour the caramel into a bowl.

Apples 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter 8 large Fuji or other crisp apples – peeled, cored and thinly sliced (12 cups) 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar 1 quart whipped cream

SANTA HAT BROWNIES Ingredients 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons butter, cubed 3/4 cup baking cocoa 4 eggs 2 cups sugar 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 24 large strawberries FROSTING: 6 tablespoons butter, softened 2-2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup baking cocoa 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 to 1/3 cup milk

Directions •

In a saucepan, melt butter. Remove from the heat. Stir in cocoa; cool. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until blended. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture. Stir in vanilla and the cooled chocolate mixture until well blended.

Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool on a wire rack.

For frosting, in a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in cocoa and vanilla. Add enough milk until the frosting achieves spreading consistency. Spread over brownies. Cut into small squares.

White Chocolate Frosting ingredients: 1 stick of butter, at room temperature 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 ounces white chocolate, melted 1-2 tablespoons milk (use as needed)

Preparation for Frosting:

Cream butter in an electric mixer until fluffy, then add vanilla. Slowly add in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time with the mixer on low speed. Add in melted white chocolate and beat until incorporated. To reach desired consistency, add in milk 1 teaspoon at a time with mixer on low speed. If frosting becomes too thin, simply add additional sugar.

Santa Hat Toppers:

While your brownies are cooling, take the time to cut the tops off the strawberries and clean the hulls. Once cool, place clean strawberries upside down on to brownie bites. Transfer White Chocolate Frosting into a piping bag and pipe a ring around the edge of the strawberry and a dot on top.

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Sa n Joa q ui n Wo m an




Fascinating Fashion headwear handmade in Stockton



he colors splashed across Natalya Farias’

worktable look like springtime with the volume dialed up. Delicate feathers – in teals and fuchsias, greens and reds, blacks and ivories – are carefully formed into flowers with rhinestone centers before Farias attaches them to combs and clips to create fascinators: headpieces smaller than hats, but bigger and showier than typical barrettes and headbands. According to fashion historians, fascinators, as we think of them today, first grew in popularity during the 1960s when women’s elaborate updos made wearing full-sized hats inconvenient or even impossible. More recently, the fascinator has enjoyed a revival, fueled in large part by the U.K.’s Kate Middleton, who has been frequently photographed wearing the fanciful accessory.


S a n J o aqu i n Wo m an


And the trend seems poised to continue. Winter 2013 catalogs from Stockton-based

to knit, and who didn’t let me watch a lot of television.”

“I go to stores and look through magazines to see what kinds of clothes are out there, what colors are the most popular,” Farias says. “That

headwear wholesaler Dorfman Pacific show

Then, about two years ago, Farias says, she

pages full of fascinators – in rich jewel tones,

came across a bag of feathers left over from

elegant blacks and even animal prints.

a previous project, and wondered what she

An advantage of fascinators, she says, is

“I think a fascinator can be a lot easier

could do with them. She had seen fascinators

that they work easily with most hairstyles. Her

to wear than a hat,” says Farias, who sells

springing up in fashion magazines, and she

personal preference, though, is for simplicity:

fascinators on Etsy, an online marketplace for

decided to try making them herself.

“Leave your hair loose, and attach the clip

gives me an idea of what people will like.”

on one side, just over the ear… It’s an easy

handmade and vintage goods. (Her shop is

Farias works most often with duck, goose

called TashasCreations). “When I think of hats,

and peacock feathers, but also keeps a supply

I imagine Queen Elizabeth. That’s what comes

of ostrich, guinea and other specialty plumes.

While Farias believes fascinators are

to mind. But a fascinator does not require you to

Her designs are original, and are frequently

perfectly appropriate for daily wear, most of her

wear a formal outfit.”

customized, based on client requests.

orders, she says, come from brides and other

A native of Ukraine, Farias says crafting was

Over the summer, she says, neons were

accessory to add for a pretty final touch.”

women shopping for formal events.

especially popular. “It was bright colors,” she

“It makes me feel really good,” she says,

“We learned to sew in school; it was part

says. “Bright green mixed with fuchsia or

“that people like my designs and that they are

of the curriculum for girls,” she explains. “I also

orange.” In coming months, she predicts a

enjoying my pieces during special moments in

had a grandmother who sewed and taught me

return to softer tones – pinks and winter whites.

their lives.”

a part of her upbringing.




Like No Other Through Tai’s eyes Part 3 By Charleen Earley photos by amy phipps


ai Phipps is not your typical adopted teenager. In fact, he

doesn’t really see himself as adopted, but sees himself as another kid in the Phipps household whose favorite household chore does not include taking out the garbage. Born 15 years ago, Tai’s destiny would become one of the most difficult yet meaningful decisions made by his birth mother Aamey Stephens, then age 21, who was unable to give her son the home she felt he needed. Tai’s adoptive parents, Amy and Doug Phipps were medically unable to have children of their own at the time.


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For Tai, living with Amy and Doug since birth, is something that comes as natural to

letting Tai know the truth about his adoption when he was old enough to understand.

“I’d learn how to dance Polynesian!” laughed Tai. “It’s a big part of the Samoan culture, and I can’t dance that way. I tried it

him as breathing air. It’s something he says

“It’s a secret that separates families,” said

he doesn’t really think about; it just is. But

Amy, who together with her husband decided

when those around him ask why he’s Samoan-

to give Tai a name that honored his nationality.

He would also like to add the sport of

looking and his parents are not, he simply tells

“Parents should celebrate the fact that their

rugby to his list of future goals, even though

them, “My mom always said that I was always

adopted child was chosen to be theirs.”

he’d like to take his swimming talent to Rio in

meant to be with this family, just that I entered

The Phipps had been in contact with Tai’s

once; I didn’t do so well!”

the 2016 Olympics.

birth mom until Tai was age five, and then lost

“Brian Lima is my favorite athlete; he’s a

His Samoan side comes from his birth dad,

contact until finding each other on Facebook.

legendary Samoan rugby player,” said Tai. “But

whom he will meet for the first time next year

After communicating for a couple of months,

in four years, I want to go to Rio. Since my

in Utah with his family – which miraculously

Tai’s parents talked to Tai, and as a family

birth dad is Samoan and was born in American

grew over the years through natural childbirth

decided to have the two meet in person at one

Samoa, I can apply for dual citizenship, and I

with Jackson, age 12, Bella, 11 and Sam, 9.

of his swim meets, when he was 12 years old.

could represent Samoa in the Olympics, which

And while Tai’s brown skin and brown curly

“It was the most interesting experience

hair was quite obvious from an early age, so

ever,” said Tai, who swims for Tiger Aquatics,

Other plans include getting his driver’s

was his adoption.

a year-round swim club at University of the

license, going on a mission with his church,

“I’ve always known that I was adopted – it

Pacific in Stockton. “She was crying. It was

continue riding his road bike, listening to hard

was never a huge surprise for me,” said Tai, a

really cool to meet her. I don’t think I can really

rock, and spending time with his family and

sophomore at Lincoln High School in Stockton.

put a word on it; there’s definitely a family


“I even have a few friends at school who were


the world through somebody else.”

adopted, and know it. I don’t think adoptive parents should keep this from their child.” Both Amy and Doug felt strongly about

typically doesn’t have Samoan swimmers!”

“Tai might not look like us, but we are very

If Tai could change anything in his life

much alike – our personalities, the common

today, he said it would be his inability to dance

belief systems, and the things we have in


common,” said Doug. “When we brought Tai

Sa n Joa q ui n Wo m an


Young Tai with his brothers and sister

home, and he looked up at me with his tiny

look at adoption as something negative,” she

eyes, I knew then he was ours. There’s no

said. “It’s such a difficult decision for a birth

greater job or calling in the world than to be

mom to make; to give up her child. For us, we

a parent.”

will always be eternally grateful to Aamey for

Amy wants both birth and adoptive parents to rethink the way they view adoptions. “I think it’s so important for people to not

that.” “To quote Lennon-McCartney’s lyrics, ‘All You Need Is Love,’” said Doug.








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San Joaquin Woman Nov 2012  
San Joaquin Woman Nov 2012  

The November issue of San Joaquin Woman, by the Stockton Record.