• May 2020

    Relinquishing

    Relinquishing BY LISA CATTERALL She decided to free herself, dance into the wind, create a new language. And birds fluttered around her, writing “yes” in the sky. With their beautiful markings, exotic eyes and streamlined shape, White-tailed Kites almost seem like a fantasy bird, dreamed up by a writer doing a story about wizards and dragons. They have long white wings, flashing red eyes, and they are the shape of a falcon. They have a unique ability to hover in the midst of wind in one place, waiting for their prey to pass beneath. They also love storms. While many animals hunker down in their burrows or under their umbrella…

  • May 2020

    Positive Parenting Pandemic

    Positive Parenting During a Pandemic BY NICOLE M. YOUNG, MSW Just when I got used to my son being away at college, BAM! He’s finishing his spring semester from home and we’re a family of four again with very different schedules, understandings of social distancing, and pre-existing handwashing habits. We’ve resolved most of the big differences that caused tension early on, but social distancing, school closures, and Stay at Home orders due to COVID-19 have turned many families’ lives upside down. Daily routines are disrupted, and everyday tasks like grocery shopping are increasingly difficult and stressful. Many parents I’ve talked to (virtually or from a safe distance, of course!) are…

  • Brad and Jen
    May 2020

    Editor’s Note May 2020

    Editor’s Note Tom Petty sang that “the waiting is the hardest part” and it was never more true than right now. All we’ve got is the waiting. Waiting to see if schools will reopen, waiting for a vaccine or safe treatments, waiting to see if we’ll have jobs, if there will be enough food, rent money and an economy that will keep us going when and if the virus passes. Other generations have faced worse challenges and made tougher sacrifices than staying home together, cut off from friends and activities. But we’re waiting to see just how big a toll all of this will take on us. Right now, we…

  • May 2020

    Letters to Mom

    May is the month we celebrate mothers. Women who give selflessly to those around them. A mother is not always the one who gave birth to you; she may be your aunt, guardian, or friend. She may live next door, across the country, or be watching over you from beyond this world. We celebrate a mother’s unconditional love, her ability to be somewhere/someone safe when we are scared, and our cheerleader through life—cheers to all of the women out there wearing their heart outside of their body. Dear Mom,I appreciate the incredible Mom you’ve been for 37 years now. It all began with a heartfelt tune you sang to me…

  • May 2020

    Santa Cruz County COVID-19 Update

    Santa Cruz County COVID-19 Updates BY ZACH FRIEND, COUNTY SUPERVISOR Many in our community have been severely impacted by both the health and economic conditions caused by the virus. With community members losing their jobs, businesses seeing declining revenue and tenants and renters unable to pay rent, we know it is also difficult to meet your basic needs – and many have been contacting me with questions on ways to get assistance. We want to help. What resources are available to you? How does the shelter-in-place order apply to a number of sectors? Here are answers to some of the most common questions that have been coming into my office…

  • May 2020

    Adapting Business

    Staying in Business During Quarantine How to Think Outside of the Box in Challenging Times BY MARINA HALLIN AND STAFF Amidst these hard times for business owners and employees alike, there are many creative individuals coming up with different ways to keep money rolling in and change their business. Construction worker, Michael Cyr, 55, has seen business slow because of the stay-at-home order. He has come up with a meaningful project and way to keep income rolling in during this time. Cyr is making individual planter boxes for people’s outdoor gardens. Cyr recalls planting produce with his father, being fascinated with watching it grow, and going out into the garden…

  • job search concept, find your career, woman looking at online we
    May 2020

    On the Spot

    On the Spot First Job Interview BY MARY GAUKEL FORESTER I hope that each and every reader, and family, is well and finding the positive opportunities and discoveries during Shelter In Place. The article for this month was to be about “Your First Job” with tips for parents and students about getting the first job. The month of May traditionally begins the hiring season for summer jobs, often the first job for a teen. As I write this article, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and Whitings Foods, the largest Santa Cruz summer employers, are shut and no one knows when they will reopen and what that might look like. Many other…

  • Always Amused
    May 2020

    Ride Again

    Will You Ride a Roller Coaster Again This Year? BY ERIC CHALHOUB I was going through old photos on my phone the other day when I came across one I took of RailBlazer at California’s Great America back in December.It made me wonder: Have I yet to ride a roller coaster this decade? The answer, unfortunately, is yes. Even more unfortunate is the idea that I have no idea when my next coaster ride will be. And we’re almost halfway through 2020.With the coronavirus barely showing signs of letting up, theme parks around the nation are gearing up for a possible summer without thrills. At the beginning of April, most…

  • HealthyEating_Meditate
    May 2020

    Strengthen Immune System

    Lifestyle Can Foster Your Strongest Immune System BY GRETCHEN HEIMSOTH Times are crazy! I think we all are looking for things we can do to feel empowered right now. I have hope we are now starting to move in a slow, but forward momentum surrounding the coronavirus. But the threat of it makes one want to react. “What can I do to protect myself?” We think about the immune system. “Can I boost it?” the thought process can go. Yet when it comes to the immune system, there isn’t any magic boosting pill, supplement, or superfood. Ramping up the immune system would lead to the unpleasant symptoms we experience with…

  • Mom and Baby
    May 2020

    Support from Afar

    Support from Afar BY LAURA MAXSON, LM Parents are facing a postpartum experience quite different from what they may have planned. Family and friends aren’t dropping by. Nobody is getting on a plane to visit anyone in the near future. Families still need support, and friends and family can still help in new and different ways. Safety Dealing with COVID 19 means adding extra safety steps. Wash hands and wear a mask during meal preparations, while shopping or making drop offs. Keep your distance with porch drops, disinfect, and keep up with safety recommendations. Helpers Some families prefer just one person to come into the home to help. This may…

  • May 2020

    Build Your Home Classroom

    Build Your Home Classroom BY JHONEE FILLMORE We are all carrying out the remainder of the school year in our homes. Do you need some ideas on how to physically set up your “home classroom” in order to make it a feel-good and efficient learning environment, even if this is a temporary setup? You know your child and home best so mix and match ideas that will best suit you and don’t forget that if something isn’t working… mix it up again. Mix Up Your LocationDon’t get stuck in the same spot everyday. Try to rotate spaces in which your kids are working to keep the ENERGY FRESH! Even if…

  • May 2020

    Turn Off the Screens

    How to Get Them Up from the Screens BY SUKI WESSLING In normal times, our kids are using screens way too much. These aren’t normal times. I love the Internet and all it has given us, but as a parent, one of the things I am concerned about is when activities on screens replace healthy, real-world activities. These activities are the antidote to screen use, and involve moving the body, changing eye focus between long and short distance, developing complex fine motor skills, and social interaction. In other words, all the things our kids do when they are in classes, playing with friends, being creative, and just out in the…

  • May 2020

    Reluctant Homeschooler

    Reluctant Homeschooler? Join the Club! BY SUKI WESSLING It’s an odd time to be a homeschooler. You finally got used to being the weirdest family on the block, and then suddenly everyone is doing it. I’ve been writing about homeschooling and teaching homeschooled children for years, operating in an almost invisible subculture that mainstream parents and teachers only found out of desperation. As recently as January, a public school official expressed surprise to me that my job—online teacher of homeschooled students—even existed. Most of the teachers I met thought that homeschooling was perilously close to child abuse. So I and other veteran homeschoolers have been watching with a mixture of…

  • Mother and Daughter
    May 2020

    Skin Color

    Skin Color BY AMANDA FIRTH This is part of a short series on foster parenting and adoption in Santa Cruz County. Proper names in the stories have been changed for the protection of the children and families involved. An old and dear friend was over at our apartment to meet “our babies.” One baby was really about to become our baby forever. We were about to adopt a beautiful Latino baby. He was in the midst of a playdate with one of our former foster babies, who was white. The two of them were crawling around the living room together.“It’s a shame you’re not adopting that one. That one looks…

  • mothers milk
    May 2020

    Donated Mother’s Milk in the Era of Coronavirus

    Donated Mother’s Milk in the Era of Coronavirus BY LINDA KAY There has been a call for increased blood donations during this pandemic season but there is always a constant need for human milk donations. Blood donors can give multiple times a year and give for many years. The time a woman can donate milk is limited but the need is always present. The greatest need for donor human milk is for premature babies. Often when a baby is born premature the mother’s milk has not come in, yet the baby needs the nutrition and protection that mother’s milk provides. Premature or low birth weight babies are susceptible to necrotizing…

  • BraveMoms
    May 2020

    Brave Moms on the Front Line

    Brave Moms on the Front Line BY JEANETTE PRATHER It is no doubt that moms are busy. They juggle schedules, work, families, commutes, bills… the list goes on and on. Now, during a COVID-19 outbreak and global pandemic, moms are called upon to wear more hats than ever before, especially those moms who are currently serving our communities out there on the front lines.“I feel anxious leaving for work in the morning,” said Jillian Castro, a single mother and a local grocery store clerk, who asked not to name her store because management handles interviews. “[My son’s] dad refuses to see his son due to me being exposed. We have…