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More Patience
Pandemic, distance learning, distance working, job losses, business losses, social isolation, cabin fever, heat, rolling blackouts, lightning, massive fires, evacuations, home losses, fire insurance claims, uncertainty if a home is gone or saved, dealing with FEMA —all THIS on top of our “every day” concerns—it’s A LOT.

Yet, as others before us have done, we cope. We cry, rage, ask why, get a grip, comfort our children, each other and friends, get a decent night’s sleep on a cot in a tent somewhere, wake up and say, “Okay… NEXT!”
These crises bring forth all our human nature, the best and the worst.
When I focus on the best, the thousands of beautiful, generous, heroic, compassionate, persevering, tenacious, even the humorous moments, I feel full of amazement at the kindness of thousands who rush to help in so many ways, each individual offering his or her particular skill.

Images keep popping up into my mind, a child comforting small animals at the fairgrounds, horses being guided into trailers, volunteers buying and delivering tents, towels, cots, toiletries, children’s books, clothing; chefs preparing food for the fire fighters; citizens researching and sharing the latest information for those of us who must remain in place; teens reaching out to help and police patrolling to protect properties.
Now that some fire control has begun, comes the waiting: the waiting for fires to end, the waiting for damage inspection teams to declare areas and roads safe for passage, decisions on how to live while rebuilding or where to live if all we have left are a few keepsakes and a car.
Now we must draw from within the most challenging quality of all, PATIENCE.

Good fortune for you and your family in these trying times, Parmalee

Santa Cruz County Office of Education school close/open information

Distance Learning for K-12 Schools, County Guidance Read the entire letter> > >

Independent Study Programs In or Serving Santa Cruz County List

Online Resources Local Parents Recommend Here
Can't get enough books for the little ones?
Try these digital book websites.

Global Digital Library: https://digitallibrary.io/en
Joy! New Friends!
This morning, we stopped at a local playground. We had the place all to ourselves for quite awhile, and then another family arrived with 3 kiddos, all around the same age as my boys. All of the kids naturally gravitated toward each other, introductions were made, and soon thereafter a lively game of tag ensued.

Laughter filled the air as they took turns chasing each other around the play structure.

So much of the past 5 months has revolved around trying to stay home as much as possible, monitoring Covid cases in our area, and limiting our interactions with friends and family as we try to keep those we love safe. So many of our normal summer activities were cancelled. In a few weeks we start “virtual” school, and there is no end date for that at this point.
And it all just hurts my heart.

Because you can’t recreate the joy of meeting a new friend on a playground via Zoom.

You can’t recreate a game of tag full of smiles and giggles via Zoom.
You can’t recreate swinging on the swings next to your best friend while your feet shoot for the sky via Zoom.

For a few magical moments this morning, a little bit of their childhood was restored. Playing and laughing with other kids their age…without a care in the world.

It made me tear up. Because they have missed so much of that over the past 5 months. And I have missed it, too.

And I wonder how much more they will miss out on before this is all over. How long will it be before they can be back on a playground at school, laughing breathlessly as they chase after their friends.

I pray it won't be too much longer.
Allison: Back to School Stress Relief
Blink and it’s August huh? How’s your fall shaping up? My daughters along with 1000's of kids are starting back to school with remote schooling only and the parents I coach are getting ready. By ‘ready’ mostly what I mean is mentally trying to snap out of perfectionism and stop comparing to others.
In case you’re also in this boat, here are a few things I remind parents to stop stress from skyrocketing:
  • What works for another family will be different than what works in my family, my home, my circumstances.
  • My kids are going through stress from this pandemic as well and their emotional well-being is more important than the way they perform at school.
  • I do NOT need to create the perfect plan or schedule. We can try things, and if they don't work, adapt them as needed.
  • My worth is not based on how well my children or I do at pandemic schooling.
  • My needs and my kids needs are important. Boundaries and positive communication support our needs.

You can find some great ways to support your family as we head into this strange school year in the 2020 Back to School Summit,September 1-4, 8am - 5pm. In this free summit, I have been asked to be a speaker and will be talking about constructive ways to let off pent up emotional steam to avoid conflict and aid focus - yes! This is needed in my home for sure! Sign up for the summit for free.

Allison Livingston is a local teacher, coach and mother of 2 girls. She developed the 5 Steps To Connect Framework to survive living with her own intense, extremely strong willed child. After discovering it didn't have to be so hard and with so much conflict, she wants to share this with you.
Family Events
Owing to fires, check websites for open or closed!
Skulls Tell It All! Big Basin - Friday, August 28, 10am – Big Basin RSP Predator or prey? Herbivore or carnivore? Skulls give us clues to how an animal survives.
Beary Rare! Saturday, August 29, 10am – Rancho del Oso, Grizzly bears dominated life in the Santa Cruz Mountains less than 200 years ago. Now the grizzlies are gone and black bear sightings are rarer than Bigfoot. Why are bears so elusive these days and what can we learn about their disappearance?
Stories of Portola, Sunday, August 30, 10am – Portola RSP,
Travel back in time with us as we learn the unique history of Portola and all the communities which have shaped this weird and wonderful place.
Sharks of Monterey Bay! Monday, August 31, 10am – Seacliff SB,
Before dinosaurs stalked the earth, sharks ruled the seas. Sharks still reign their watery domains to this day. Let’s look at what’s kept them at the top of the food chain for millions of years.
All the Farmers Markets!
Just picked, fresh from the farms to you, and often musical entertainment and special, delectable eats for foodies! Details
Winchester Walk with Spirits Tour
Evenings Weds - Sun, 8pm, Winchester Mystery House launches a new outdoor evening experience that explores the legendary estate’s supernatural lore. Details
2020 Back to School Summit! September 1 -4, 8am - 5pm - Help your child or teen start the school year off on the right foot. A free virtual event where over 20 professional educators share their knowledge and resources to help parents, like YOU, guide their students to academic success from the start! Details
Food Trucks & Pop-Up Kitchens at the Grange, Thursdays 4 - 7pm
Come out and support a sustainable food economy! Food truck and pop-up kitchens at the Live Oak Grange source ingredients from Monterey Bay Area organic farmers and ranchers. Details
Nature Journaling Workshop for Teachers and Parent-Teachers - Wednesdays 12-1:30pm beginning August 19 - Learn how to teach Nature Journaling! Join our weekly discussion and idea-sharing for teachers, home school parents, and other educators interested in teaching nature journaling skills. Details
We are launching The Museum At Your Side — a collection of hands-on activities, informative articles, and engaging videos to connect you with nature and science wherever you are! Details
Join us at The Art Factory Aug 27- 28 - Yvette keeps track of 2020 Summer "Favorites" as rated by the kids and packs the week full of them. This is always a creative closure to a memorable Art Factory Summer. Details.

Read about Yvette's new Art History Classes here. Fall online class registration begins NOW! Details for Children Details for Teens
Tales to Tails - Mondays 3:30-4pm, Register! Santa Cruz Public Libraries Details
Redwood Forest Steam Train, Roaring Camp, Daily 11 am, 12:30pm, 2pm, masks required. Travel over trestles, through towering redwood groves and up a winding narrow-gauge grade to the summit of Bear Mountain as conductors narrate the history of Roaring Camp, the railroad and the forest. Details
Roaring Camp closed today due to the nearby fires. It is unlikely we will be staffing phones until after this emergency.
West Cliff Food Truck Summer, September 18 @ 3- 8pm. West Cliff Food Truck Summer The local food trucks combine with local bands to make it a great night out for the whole family. Details