A resource for families in Santa Cruz County
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Where the Quiet is...
Today's To Do List
Get outdoors.
Blow Bubbles (breathe deeply).
Read really inspiring books.
Listen to music (no news).
Get rest, hydrate and eat well.
Thanks Triple-P for the above 5!
Order/make a pizza for dinner!

In these days of too much indoors, too much tech, too much cross-talk, we find solace in nature. Dirty dishes, toys on the floor, laundry calling, schoolwork, zoom meetings, talking heads... leave them. Look for the birds, mushrooms, salamanders, banana slugs, starfish, winter wildflowers, driftwood, seashells, seaglass, breaking waves, the hush of fog in the forests, gentle rain. We return, refreshed, ready to enjoy being home, to cut a swathe through chores, have a simple dinner with family.

If one of you is a saver and the other is a spender, how do you reach a harmonious family financial plan? I'm a fan of Dave Ramsey [AM 880 & FM 97.3] who teaches how to reach the state of financial independence where you can live well and give generously. His daugher, Rachel Cruze just launched her book, "Know Yourself, Know Your Money." Here are some money tracking programs local families are using...> > >
To Parents and Teachers of older children who are aware of current tumultuous news and want to understand the forces, beliefs and conflicts behind politics in our country: Listen, Research. Try, really try, to explore and share multiple perspectives. Bring history, opposing ideas into discussions. Insist on facts (and that is problematic) and teach the art of questioning. Encourage questions: "Why?" How?" Demonstrate the qualities we want in our leaders, a willingness to listen, understand, empathize, interact respectively, seek common ground. for those who seek truth, the foundation for a successful nation is within our families.

Be strong! Parmalee
My Sentiments Exactly
More Birds Bring More Happiness, According to Science

A pair of new studies show how birds improve our wellbeing, adding to a growing body of evidence that avians are an antidote to our despair.

When I was in the midst of a thorny career transition and in the process of auditioning hobbies, I assumed my curiosity about birds was a transitory flirtation. But then I saw the Red-winged Blackbird. The fiery vermillion patches on the bird’s epaulets, contrasting sharply with its glistening, jet-black bodysuit, caught me off guard. I hadn’t expected such a slick outfit. After all, my knowledge of the avian world had been limited to pigeons. But watching this bird balance on a cattail, utterly majestic in its attire, I couldn’t help but marvel.

I’m not sure which I found more shocking—that the birds turned out to be one of the most common harbingers of spring here in Canada and not the rare migrants I had initially assumed, or that I likely walked by Red-winged Blackbirds hundreds of times, but had never stopped to look and imbibe their magnificence. These birds made me wonder in earnest, what else had I been missing? I blame that moment 12 years ago for everything that happened afterward, including my deep entanglement in a mid-life love affair with birds ... Read more, by Julia Zarankin > > >

AND: Visit the Santa Cruz Bird Club's website for a guide to birds in the area - https://santacruzbirdclub.org/birding-in-santa-cruz/
Food and Feeder Preferences of Common Feeder Birds

We’ve put together a list of almost 100 common feeder birds and cross referenced what they like to eat and where they like to eat it.

Explore your region to see what you might be able to attract to your feeder this winter!

"I Want Thin, Crispy Crust Pizza
with generous sauce and quality mozzarella!"
Is there any really good thin crust pizza in the area? I'm talking crispy thin crust, generous sauce, quality mozzarella.
Pizza 1 Restaurant, Seacliff Beach, Love Pizza 1. Wouldn't say the crust is thin, but perhaps you can request it. We phone order in and pick up in about an hour. http://pizza-1.com/
Mangiamo is great. If it's not as crisp as you want, the first time you order it, you can always ask them to leave it in the oven a minute longer the next time. Mangiamo delivers, and their "small" salad is generous enough for two people. Mangiamo - thin crust and nice and crispy. https://mangiamopizza.com/
The Pizza Parlor at Deer Park Shopping Center has a thin crust. We just tried it for the first time. Delicious but quite pricey.
New Leaf can custom make a thinner crust for you and it’s delicious!
Mentone is fabulous too! https://www.mentonerestaurant.com/
Pizza by the slice at their location hands down “Pizza My Heart” fresh out of their oven. https://www.pizzamyheart.com/
Engfer Pizza Works has really good, thin, almost buttery crust. https://www.engferpizzaworks.com/
Caruso's Tuscan Cuisine in the village, http://www.carusos-capitola.com/
Village host! https://villagehost.com/
Tramonti - http://tramontisantacruz.com/, La Posta - https://www.lapostarestaurant.com/ and Lago di Como - https://lagodicomoristorante.com/ make Italian style thin crust
Showtime Pizzeria in Aptos - I like Showtime pizza But the crust isn't as crispy as some. Very good though! https://showtimepizzeria.com/
We love Bantam Westside Santa Cruz across from New Leaf. Better than any other we've tried!! Bantam is great. https://www.bantam1010.com/

 The best, most underrated pizza is Pizza Flats at Rio Del Mar Beach. https://www.flatsbistro.com/
Try the cauliflower crust at Woodstock’s! https://woodstockscruz.com/
Bittersweet's individual pizzas have very thin, crispy crust. https://bittersweetbistro.com/
Upper Crust Pizza - https://www.uppercrustsc.com/
If you're eating it at home, try getting a pizza stone for your oven. I also throw slices in a cast iron skillet and reheat it on the cooktop...makes it super crispy.
Family Events
Check websites before you go!
Santa Cruz Parent Calendar
Reserve space for your favorite holiday events!
January is Positive Parenting Awareness Month! Join us for an 8-week virtual Triple P Group for families with children 2-12 years old, held Thursdays, January 7 – February 25, 5p.m. – 6:30pm. Individuals, couples and any friends or family members who are helping raise children are welcome to attend. Details

Are you prepared for storms? Winter storm season is here. Are you prepared for wind, rain and ...
PG&E advice > > > Details
3 Day Facebook Challenge Tame the Triggers! Does your child trigger you? Choose Connection! You know, the eye roll that screams disrespect. “No, I won’t!” when you are trying to get out the door. Siblings yelling and arguing when you just sat down to relax. Backtalk instead of the cooperation you crave. 5 Steps to Connect - Details
JavaScript Coding Free Class, January 13, 3 - 4pm,This program will follow the curriculum from Khan Academy called “Intro to JS: Drawing & Animation”. The instructor: Saashin is a local high school student. Details
Boardwalk Winter Drivein Movies - January - If you have not yet done the "drivein movies" evening, now is the time! Details
Triple P Workshop: Encouraging Your Child’s Self-Esteem,January 7, 3 - 4:30pm, Tools to help your child cope with feelings and solve problems. Free virtual parenting workshop. Details
Triple P Workshop: Teaching Teens Healthy Eating Habits - January 14, 5-6:30 pm, How to identify and handle concerns about teenagers’ eating habits. Free virtual parenting workshop. Details
NAMI Family-to-Family Class, January 5 - February 23, 6 - 8:30 pm - This is a free, 8-session education program for loved ones of those with mental health challenges. Family members, friends, and caretakers who are supporting someone who is diagnosed with, or experiencing warning signs of, a mental health condition are encouraged to join. Details

All County Farmers Markets! Details
Covid - 19 Update
Santa Cruz County Office of Education - December 28th Letter from Superintendent

Public Health Department of Santa Cruz County
Per California Department of Public Health Allocation Guidelines and Federal Policy, COVID-19 vaccine will be given to specific populations in phases. Santa Cruz currently in Phase 1a of the distribution plan. General community members will be in the last phase. Vaccine Information