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(Site Photos) ThanksgivingScene.jpgThe Real Story of Thanksgiving

and Why Some Families

Place Three Kernels of Corn by Each Place Setting


    If you read Governor Bradford’s diary of the travails of the pilgrims, you will learn that after landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620, they established a collective system of tending crops and dividing the workload.  Collectively everyone owned and worked the land, did the laundry, prepared meals, and cared for the children. 


     Sadly, production declined, poverty was rampant and confusion prevailed.  Women resented having to do laundry and cook for the entire community as well as being asked to work the fields. Young men found no reward for putting forth their best efforts. Resentment grew.  Many died from poor nutrition.  At the lowest point, a day’s ration for one person was three kernels of corn.


    Faced with extinction, Governor Bradford and the elders decided to do something radical.  They gave each family a plot of land to work or barter as they wished.  In one growing season individual owners within the colony reversed three years of failure, harvested bountiful crops, established trading posts, and began repaying their sponsors! They invited the Indians to share a feast of thanks  --and that was the real story of the first Thanksgiving.


    Let's honor Governor Bradford and the Elders for the hardship they endured that led to the fundamental upon which our nation has flourished, for tapping into the power of personal motivation, and pride in our own accomplishments.   Let’s place three kernels of corn by each place, tell the children the real story of Thanksgiving and ask them what the kernels of corn represent!        


    Source: Foundation for Economic Education

We hope you enjoy Starshine's laugh-out-loud story

of a mother's challenge

to give up her son to the embraces of  football.


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The Handoff: Football is Mothering Intercepted

By Starshine Roshell


My son was still small, and gentle, the first time I saw young kids playing tackle football. We were at a playground. Nearby, a dozen helmeted little boys growled and lunged at one another, looking more menacing than anyone in SpongeBob underpants has a right to. "Hit him! Harder!" ordered the yelly man entrusted with their care.


I was aghast. What kind of people, I huffed, allow grade-schoolers to whomp and wail on each other like so many cleated hooligans?


And now I'm one of them.


No longer amused by see-saws and swing sets, my son has charged head-first into the grunt-and-pummel ritual of tackle football. I didn't want him to play; I forbade it. But his insistence - and my ill-conceived theory that he would hate it, and we could get this passing fancy over with before his gridiron opponents became bone-crushingly huge - prevailed.


For the last three months, he's been suiting up four times a week to be knocked down and hollered at with 25 other brutes. The endeavor goes against pretty much everything I stand for as a parent.First of all, it smells. It involves diving into the dirt while wearing white pants. And it encourages boys to do things - like dogpiling - that would elicit a stern, "Hey! What do you think you're doing?" if they happened in our back yard.


Plus, it has sacked our family time. Practice is three nights a week (in the dark, when it's cold, and flu season is upon us, I'm just saying), so we rarely have dinner together anymore.


"We're a family!" the coaches tell the team, and it always makes me "humph." In our family, we value compassion over aggression, empathy rather than intimidation.


But football's playbook is different than parenting's. We advise our kids to be thoughtful and thorough; coaches tell them to "rush" and "scramble." We insist that boys and girls are equals; coaches call them "ladies" when they fail.


If they weren't trying to make mothers nervous, why would they use terms like roughing the kicker, chain gang, shotgun, spike, bomb and suicide squad? I don't even like it when they run the drill "Meet Me in the Alley"; what kind of behavior is that to be encouraging in minors?!


Our boy plays defensive tackle, which involves hurling himself in front of a highly motivated runner and doing something called "getting pressure up the middle," which sounds painful, or unhygienic at best. There were days during conditioning when he came home so battered and bleary-eyed - hobbling like an old man and clinging to ice packs - that I shed tears. "He's broken!" I sobbed. "He's fine," said my husband, who it's worth pointing out did not gestate the little linebacker.


I'll admit this, though: The kid is fit. He sleeps well. He showers more. And he'll eat any veggie I put on his plate after practice ("Yum, is there any more bok choy?").


I had a scare while watching him play this week. He collided with a wall of players and was slammed to the ground, hitting the dirt harder than made sense for someone barely five feet tall. Then five beefy bodies tripped over and landed on him: Smack. Crack. Thud. Grunt. Oof.


I felt so unfathomably far away from him, unable to help. Frightened, and disconnected. One by one, his teammates rolled off him, but he remained still for a split second too long. I felt sick.

"You OK, Roshell?" I heard a boy ask as another reached down a hand and pulled him up. A third patted him on the back. I can't be sure, but from the sidelines it looked a lot like compassion. It looked like empathy.


Guess it's a clean handoff to the Hooligans after all.



Events for your Enjoyment!

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For times, locations and descriptions, please visit our full calendar

You can select by exact date, a range of dates or category.


Sat & Sun, Nov 22 & 23, noon-3pm Alternative Gift Market
The First Congregational, United Church of Christ will hold its third annual Alternative Gift Market.
Give gifts this holiday season that support vendors helping create a sustainable economy. Purchase fair trade, locally made and/or ecologically mindful products from local and global organizations. 

full calendar

Nov 21-Dec 14, weekends, The Wind in the Willows, Directed by Randall Stuart
(Special Event Page Graphics) WindintheWillowsMr.jpg     The Shakespeare Santa Cruz Holiday Show is a collaboration with the UCSC Theatre Arts Department.  The Wind in the Willows was the inaugural Shakespeare Santa Cruz's Holiday Show in 1997 (and 1998) and we are delighted to bring it back to its many fans and introduce it to new ones.


(Special Event Page Graphics) WindintheWillowsRatSaving.jpg     The Wind in the Willows is the classic tale of friendship and adventure along the riverbank between the Mole, Ratty, Badger, and the irrepressible Mr. Toad.  The Shakespeare Santa Cruz annual Holiday Show is a very special treat for kids of all ages, kids at heart, and the people who love them. Continue the tradition or start a new one with this delightful theatrical celebration of timeless fairy tales, classic children's literature and more!

You can win tickets to this event! See column on the right.


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Fri-Sun, Nov 21-23 Fiddler on the Roof, Kids on Broadway, Louden Nelson

Friday & Saturday 7 pm, Saturday & Sunday 1 pm





(Special Event Page Graphics) Seussical.jpgFri Nov 21 3pm & 8pm, Sat Nov 22 3pm & 8pm, Sun Nov 23 3pm, Seussical, Cabrillo College Theater
This fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza brings to life all of the favorite Dr. Seuss characters including The Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie and all of the Whos of Whoville! These classic, colorful tales are seamlessly brought together by Jojo, a young boy and "thinker of strange and wonderful thinks!" As each story unfolds you will marvel at how relevant and profound Seuss's subtle themes are, making this musical one that appeals to all ages.



full calendar

We recommend this local adventure for families with tweens and teens!

Fri-Sun, Nov 21-23 Foraging Weekend, Adventure Sports, Adventure Travel

(Site Photos) AdventureSportsForage.jpg      Gathering wild food from the sea is one of life's great pleasures, bringing you closer to nature's bounty and beauty. Walking along the seashore, wading through tide pools and listening to the ocean's rhythm is an exhilarating way to energize your life and refresh your soul. Not only will you gather wonderful delicacies from the seashore, but you will also explore a vibrant-almost paradoxical world of elegant colors and mysterious creatures.

      Fall is the best season of all. The north coast crescents of white sand and beaches are warm and uncrowded. The ocean is crystal clear. However, the best treasure of this season is that shellfish and sea vegetable are prime. Our feast for this season will focus on soups, pastas, and BBQs with the delicious bearded clam. We will augment our recipes with spicy sea vegetables in salads and pickled hors-d'oeuvres.


(Site Photos) WinterAdventureFilm.jpgTues & Weds, Nov 25 & 26, 8pm Rio Theater,  Warren Miller's Children of Winter, the largest action sports film on the planet, is coming to kick off your winter sports season for the 59th year! Children of Winter showcases incredible cinematography that will get you craving deep powder, fresh lines, and outrageous adventure!
      This year's film takes you on a daring escape to electrifying global destinations, including Japan, Austria, Iceland, and more! Don't forget to breathe as this year's film features snowboarding's Olympic Gold Medalist Seth Westcott charging down the Alaskan backcountry, as surf legend Gerry Lopez shreds the Oregon steeps, and as Chris Anthony takes on Leadville Colorado's legendary Skijoring competition.

full calendar


For a complete list of all the wonderful outdoor activities in the our parks go to the events calendar.  On the drop down menu, select State Parks.

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Suki Wessling's Blog

American Frontier


We're reading the entire "Little House" series to our six-year-old, who has adopted them like religion. Each time we finish a book, we ask, "Do you want to go on with the series or take a break?" (continued...)



Suki Wessling, Aptos, CA,

Writer, stay-at-home mom, educator, web designer, homeschooling parent.

(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Teens_Phone1.jpg    Tuesday I listened in on one of Lorraine’s monthly parenting teleclasses on The 12 Top Secrets for Connecting with your Kids.  Lorraine says you can start them any month and the next one is December 16, 6pm.  We were given a conference number to call and a number to punch in.  Voila!  Lorraine and several other parents were on when I joined, so I waited for a pause in the conversation and introduced myself.  Lorraine gave us a few teleclass etiquette tips, then launched into her class.  Thinking I would just “listen in” to see what it was like so I could tell you about it, I was caught unawares when Lorraine began inviting our participation.  After a little hesitation we were all soon swept into the interactive aspect of the class.  Hearing other parents discuss parenting challenges and listening to Lorraine's practical and inspiring suggestions made me feel very connected with the universality of parenting across generations.  Lorraine kept us on target, gave us tools to practice and while personalizing answers to questions, kept us on the secret message of the evening.  The classes are well worth the time, both fun and helpful, and so easy to do from home!


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Lorraine Pursell's Upcoming Teleclass

12 Top Secrets for Connecting with Your Kids


Dear Parents,


I have a wonderful new teleclass for you, "The Closeness You Crave: 12 Top Secrets to Connect with Your Kids... For LIFE!"  This is YOUR time to be nurtured: You do so much for your family. Let me nourish you so you can give your best to your loved ones. This is time for YOU, and just for you. 


Each month you get my special attention in these ways:
♥Monthly Secret content module (60 min) immediately followed by
♥Life-Line Live group coaching session with me
♥Vital Home Actions to practice that month
♥Recordings of each content module to build your Parenting Library, recommended review and to hear in case you miss the call.


A teleclass is the most ideal medium for busy parents
♥You don't need to leave your home
♥You don't need to dress up or take a shower
♥You don't need to burn fuel or time driving
♥You get some time for YOU!
♥You get to lie on the bed with the speaker phone and RELAX.


I hope you will join me.  To learn more click here!

Lorraine Pursell

Conscious Parent Mentor

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Schools K-12




Open Houses

Most schools offer shadow days when your child may visit for a day.  Directors welcome you and your questions.  Call to schedule a visit.



Waldorf Mexican Dinner & Talent Show

11/21 5:30pm

Mt Hermon Playschool Pancake Breakfast

11/22 8am

Circle Time for Early Childhood Educators, Steve Spitalny


Details in Events Calendar

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319 La Fonda Ave, SC


Visit us!

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A Lovely Gift
for Parents of
Young Gardeners

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Gardening with Gus
by Janine Canada

A colorful book full of activities, recipes, songs and books for parents and pre-school teachers.  For more information,

The 12 Secrets to Parenting Success
In 12 Interactive Phone Meetings with Lorraine

You're about to learn the 12 Secrets to Parenting Success while Creating the Closeness You Crave with Your Child...for LIFE!

I'll show you step-by-step how to do the 'right parent thing' (not always popular with your kids). These 12 Secrets will inspire your child's gratitude for how you raised him or her.
All my love, and can hardly wait to introduce you to the 12 Secrets! You'll love it. -Lorraine


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The Wind in the Willows

Nov 21-Dec 14

For details go to

full Calendar.

Click on the exact date.


Send us the name of your favorite Wind in the Willows character and we shall enter you in a chance to win tickets to the show.  Hurry!  Do it NOW!!



Dinner today...

We have complete gourmet Thanksgiving Dinners or a la carte menu items ready to go! Availalbe for pick-up on November 25th and 26th. Make your reservation today. Orders will be accepted through Friday, November 21. Call 831-429-1390.

Complete Thanksgiving Dinners
serves 4

Fall Butternut Squash Soup with Creme Fraiche

Boneless Turkey Breast Roast with Gravy

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Seasoned Harvest Dressing

Green Beans Almondine

Orange-Cranberry Sauce

Dinner Rolls

Grandma Sarah's

Pumpkin Pie
with Whipped Cream

Complete Dinners $124.00


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math and reading
program helps 
children who are struggling,
or those seeking enrichment.
Please come for a visit
any Tues or Thurs

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Turkey Trot
Sun, Nov 22
10K / 5 K &
1K Kid's Run

"Fabulous photographers
capturing every moment,
Brook and Alisha Todd."
Oprah Winfrey
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Please visit us at

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Hope to see you soon!

Tschuss! Whitney

9600 Hwy 9

Ben Lomond


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How did they ever get these two to pose?


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Thank You!


     We are thankful for all of you who invite us into your mailbox and send us suggestions for adding resources and calendar items. 


     A big Thanks for sending so many new friends our way.  It's a pleasure to meet some of you when we're out and about.  We hope every one of you will share this newsletter with a friend new to  


Parmalee and Brownie

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Santa Cruz, CA