• June 2020

    Grief

    Walk Gently with Grief BY LINDA KAY Shortly after the Shelter in Place order was issued, I ventured to the grocery store. In almost every aisle there were employees wiping down surfaces, trying to keep shoppers free from the coronavirus. On one hand I was grateful that the store was taking this threat so seriously, on the other hand it made me terribly sad. Tears started falling. The reality of our new reality seemed to hit home that day. I went home and didn’t want to do anything. I finally laid down and took a long nap. This is not me. This is not how I generally respond to life.…

  • June 2020

    Kitchen Witchery

    A Little Kitchen Witchery BY GRETCHEN HEIMSOTH I make magic in my kitchen!! Think I am kidding? The love I infuse in my food and herb garden provides me with an abundant supply of little, fragrant green soldiers, and there is some serious alchemy. Many Generals to name in this culinary army, rosemary, thyme, the powerhouse oregano, cumin, garlic, cloves, the list is endless. We are going to focus on four common kitchen herbs. It may be a little counter-intuitive, but dried herbs offer higher antioxidant values than their fresh counterparts. Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit oxidation (think rust) from free radicals (a host of angry molecules we get bombarded…

  • June 2020

    Not Labor

    When it’s Not Really Labor BY LAURA MAXSON All labors are unique. Some begin with a bang and move right into active labor. Other times, contractions build for a bit, then stop with real labor starting hours, days or even weeks later.   But what happens when poky contractions feel like labor, but persist often for several days, without kicking over to active labor? This is called prodromal labor.  Because prodromal labor and normal labor have similar beginnings, it’s important for a person to pace themselves until active labor.   How can we recognize real labor? Generally, it’s a labor pattern consisting of longer, stronger and closer contractions. Once the contractions…

  • June 2020

    Oral Health

    Keeping Up with Oral Health During Shelter in Place BY SEPIDEH TAHJVAEI, CHIEF DENTAL OFFICER, FROM DIENTES COMMUNITY DENTAL Remember that list of things parents would remind kids to do before leaving for school? “Do you have your backpack? Lunch? Did you brush your teeth?” Now that kids do not leave for school, the trigger (leaving the house) no longer reminds us of the important habit of brushing teeth in the morning. Parents have had to make many adjustments to their parenting routines to maintain a balance during homeschooling and sheltering in place. For parents of very young children, brushing the teeth of a wiggly, cooped-up toddler may be the…

  • June 2020

    Fire Safety

    Fire Season is Upon Us Can the Firefighters Find, Access, and Defend Your Home Safely? BY FIRESAFE SANTA CRUZ EDUCATION & OUTREACH COMMITTEE Could firefighters find your home in the middle of the night and protect it from an advancing wildland fire? Fire season is rapidly approaching, and now is the time to make sure emergency responders can get to your home safely and quickly. Use the time you may now unexpectedly have available due to the coronavirus shelter-in-place orders to work around your home and driveway. Finding your homeIf you live in a rural area, make sure your primary access road is identified with a non-flammable sign and has…

  • June 2020

    Parenting Teens

    Parenting Teens During Uncertain Times BY NICOLE M. YOUNG, MSW So much has happened – and not happened – in the last few months because of COVID-19. Schools and many child care facilities closed. Businesses closed or rapidly changed the way they serve customers. Parks and beaches closed, then reopened, then closed during peak hours of the day. Proms, graduations, birthday parties, and holiday gatherings were canceled, postponed, or changed to virtual gatherings. Many parents took on the additional job of overseeing distance learning, and many others lost their jobs and are struggling financially. Some days, the pace of change and level of stress caused by COVID-19 is dizzying and…

  • June 2020

    Zoom

    Staying Safe on Zoom BY ERIK CHALHOUB Most teachers are relying on video conferencing platforms to instruct their students since COVID-19 has forced schools to go virtual. When used correctly, these platforms can be the next best thing to being there in person. Teachers can share slides and interact with their students through voice and text dialogue. But like everything in existence, it only takes a few bad apples to ruin the experience for the rest of us.Instances of “Zoom-bombing” have risen dramatically over the past few months. The term, named after the popular Zoom video conferencing platform, refers to when an uninvited user logs into a public meeting and…

  • June 2020

    Fathers Story

    When a Father Has to Let Go of His Son BY JASON GARNER Some friends come by for a visit with their 18-month-old. After a few minutes of peek-a-boo and smiles behind daddy, she’s running around the house. Laughing. Falling down. Crying. “Doggie!” She screams and my dog jumps. She runs and cries some more. “TV!” She wants to watch Elmo. I buy an episode. “Melmo!” She giggles, throws her arms up, and sways along. She’s adorable, a tornado, the Energizer Bunny with dimples and a diaper. The whole house is exhausted. “Does this stage last long?” Her mother asks earnestly. My son is moving out. He’s turned 20 and…