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Last Updated: 07/31/2008 05:00PM • Subscribe via RSSATOM

Treasure Hunt

07/31/2008 ● By Super Admin

The downtown Placerville Craft Faire, celebrating its 12th year on August 10, features more than 100 regional artisans showing their creations all along Main Street. Somewhere, among all of the booths and banners, there’s likely to be a one-of-a-kind work of art with your name on it. All you have to do is find it. “These works are all labors of love,” says Lisa Crummett, marketing director for the Placerville Downtown Association, which organizes the event. “Whether it’s bird houses, fine art or any of the numerous other handcrafted works, the Craft Faire brings together a huge variety of things you can’t find just anywhere.”A few of these unique works include the photographic art of Bill Robinson, who makes photographs look like watercolors or oil paintings, the outdoor yard art of Kyle and Rita Yates, and the exquisite work of Gene Gracey’s “Nature’s Looking Glass,” which combines nature photography with jewelry and memory boxes, coasters, framed tiles, note cards and other items to create works that are as functional as they are lovely. In addition, there’s pottery, dolls, quilts, soaps, candles, jewelry, woodwork items and much more.Originally the dream of a local shop owner, the Placerville Craft Faire now brings more than 2,000 people to downtown Placerville each year – rain or shine. Planning for the one-day free event starts months in advance, as each exhibitor must be approved before they’re allowed to put their crafts on display.“We jury the whole show in advance to make sure we’re featuring truly unique crafts, as opposed to more commercial items,” Crummett says. “Artisans have to send in photos of their work, and then we go around and check all the booths on the event day. We really want visitors to feel when they come to the faire they’re finding something truly unique.”For those of us who are still horrified by gas prices, consider the faire two trips in one, as the event is also a great way to explore downtown Placerville. Even though Main Street will be closed to automobiles, all street-side shops and restaurants will be open for business. It makes for a great day of mixing food, shopping and entertainment, and best of all it’s close to home. Throw in free parking and admission, and there’s no denying that the Craft Faire is hard to beat as a good value for a day’s entertainment. Just be prepared, however, August tends to be a warm time of the year, so anyone preferring cooler weather should plan on visiting right when the faire opens at 8 a.m. Finally, for anyone who thinks they may have a craft to share, the Placerville Craft Faire is a great place to talk to other artists, get information, and maybe even acquire a few tips on how to get started. <hr>For more information on the event, visit the Placerville Downtown Association’s Web site at placerville-downtown.org or call 530-672-3436.

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Alaska

07/31/2008 ● By Super Admin

So you’re dreading another repressive Sacramento summer, and you’re thinking that this time around an escape from the heat might be in order. Or maybe you’re looking to shake things up a little and try something completely unconventional to avoid the monotony of yet another trip to…Fresno. You begin to salivate at the thought of exciting international destinations, but the falling value of the dollar makes Europe and many other points beyond, increasingly prohibitive. Not to worry, it’s still possible to think exotic without even leaving the country. Here’s an idea that’ll make you feel like you’ve left the continent without the hassle of international travel. How about…Alaska?If your impression of Alaska is of igloos and polar bears, then you’re definitely due for an update. Instead, think of ice masses the size of Delaware, the largest mountain range this side of the Himalayas, unimaginable wildlife viewing, and the mystical beauty of the Northern Lights, along with the opportunity to hike on a glacier, get a sunburn at midnight, or be the first to step on land that no human has ever touched before. Sorry, no penguins here, though. You’ll need to head to the other end of the planet for that. And whether you’re traveling with your family, are the honeymooning type, are with the retired set, or just flying solo, Alaska has something for everyone.With apologies to Captain Kirk and Star Trek fans, it’s Alaska where the locals consider the Final Frontier. And the stats would back them up. Alaska is largely wilderness, with more than 65 percent of the land owned by the government in the form of national forests, national parks, or national wildlife refuges. Barely boasting one resident per square mile, outside of the state’s major cities of Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks, the remaining population would seem to match the number of patrons at the Roseville Galleria on a busy weekend.Although Alaska might be the best-kept travel secret in the country, it might not be for much longer. The state is beginning to experience a strong surge of tourism, which for travelers, has been left to relative obscurity since it became an American territory after being purchased from the Russians in 1867. Since then, the 49th state has had its moment in the spotlight about once every half-decade. Its economy is known for two “rushes,” including the discovery of gold in the 1890s in the Yukon Territory and the 1968 discovery of oil in Prudhoe Bay, the latter now responsible for 80 percent of the state’s current revenue. But the word is getting out. A new economic boom may be looming on the horizon. With cruise revenues taking off, and with more miles of coast than all of the other US states combined, there’s a seemingly infinite amount of opportunity to take in the picturesque scenery. The vast majority of nautical activity takes place around the islands of Southeast Alaska, otherwise known as the Inside Passage. A steady parade of these large ships turn their ports of call, such as Sitka, into instant farmers markets, with the locals offering everything from homemade trinkets to fresh fish, sometimes temporarily doubling or tripling the size of these towns. Although cruise ships offer the best opportunity to see a wide variety of maritime activities in a short period of time, for the traveler who runs in the opposite direction of pre-packaged vacations, there are millions of acres of vast wilderness and uncharted frontier just begging to be explored. Although Alaska’s largest cities and coastal lands generate their fair amount of tourists, it’s the breathtaking scenic wilderness that sets Alaska aside from anything else in the world. Camping, fishing, hiking, kayaking, mountain climbing, wildlife viewing, and yes, gold panning are favorite activities for tourists looking to get off the beaten path. But you haven’t experienced Alaska at its most extreme until you’ve ventured north of the Arctic Circle to the coastal town of Barrow, the northernmost establishment on the continent. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think you were on the moon – no vegetation to speak of, just sand and rocks, and for two months in winter, no sun. With no mountains or other land barriers nearby, there’s nothing to stop the frigid Arctic wind on its way down from the North Pole, creating a never-ending blizzard of dust and ice. But don’t think about driving – flying is the only way in or out, as there are no roads that lead to Barrow, just miles of permafrost as far as the eye can see. And for the ultimate travel buzz, take the tour out of town to Point Barrow, the northern tip of North America, which, on most days, is the coldest spot in the country. Open up that box of Popsicles you bought back in Barrow while sticking your feet into the Arctic, and you’ll have an instant cocktail party conversation starter. So if you’re in search of a destination to spice up your summer that won’t break the bank, a trip to Alaska is just what the doctor ordered. Not only is it easier (and cheaper) than a trip to even New York City or much of the east coast, but it will also open your eyes to surreal landscape you never dreamed existed – right here in your very own country.

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Separation Anxiety

07/31/2008 ● By Super Admin

Just three months ago, your child was still a child – just finishing high school and relying upon you for their basic needs. But now, August is upon us, and it’s time to see your high school graduate off to start the great journey they call “college.” You may be anxious, and, despite their excitement, your teen may experience some unsettling feelings as well. Leaving for college is a time of transition and often, a time of great anxiety: separation anxiety. Though separation anxiety first occurs in babies and toddlers, it can reoccur during major separation in adult life, such as leaving for college. “For college freshmen, separation anxiety is a very real concern,” says Karen Adrian, LMFT of El Dorado Hills. She also notes that although some students may acclimate quickly to their surroundings, others may experience intense anxiety that is difficult to manage. Our experts say that feelings of separation anxiety are completely normal, and according to Tisa Starr, LMFT with offices in Auburn and Roseville, your teen may feel a mix of emotions. “The biggest time of individuation from parents is when a child leaves for college, and they realize ‘I am fully responsible for me now.’ That can be very frightening,” says Starr. Although students may grow excited as they prepare to leave, they may also feel a sense of loss. They realize, “My time of being a kid is over.” “When you’re having that conversation of ‘goodbye,’ remind your child that this is an exciting time, but that it’s normal to feel a sense of loss when making a change. Try to normalize any feelings of separation anxiety but leave the door open so that if it gets excessive, the child knows to talk to you or seek help,” advises Andrea Orr, LMFT with a private practice in Roseville. “Open and honest discussion is important,” adds Adrian. In the event that your teen experiences excessive anxiety, he or she may be experiencing separation anxiety disorder. In this case, students may need professional help, and they can make an appointment at their school counseling center for additional support. Ultimately, the best way to deal with separation anxiety is to talk about it, Star advises the teens whom she works with. “Remember that everyone is probably feeling the same thing, so find someone to start a dialogue with so that you won’t feel so alone,” she says. Experts suggest that parents do some of the following to help teens deal with normal levels of separation anxiety: State your confidence in your teen’s ability to make it.Encourage them to engage in activities that develop confidence, life skills and maturity.Be available when your teen initiates phone calls to you.Let them know that they are always welcome at home, but help them focus their time and energy on school.Find resources to help you as a parent understand the situation. Orr recommends I’ll Miss You Too, by Margo Bane Woodacre and Steffanie Bane. If your teen is not entirely open to talking about his or her anxiety, Sue Baldwin, LMFT of Cameron Park, encourages parents to look for signs. “Some frequent signs your child might be suffering from this disorder include sudden reluctance or change of heart about going away to school. Nightmares with separation themes or unreasonable fears of danger to their parents or other loved ones are some common symptoms. In addition, physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches or nausea may occur.” Baldwin goes on to say that, “this is the time when seeing a counselor would help the teen identify unconscious fears, begin to identify their strengths and regain their enthusiasm for this new adventure.” Have a conversation with your teen before they go and acknowledge that anxiety is normal. Then, hug them goodbye and encourage them to move forward so that they can embark upon the great journey into adulthood. <hr>For more parent resources related to teen separation anxiety, be sure to pick up this month's copy of FoothillStyle. Click on the "Get Your Copy" link on the bottom of this page for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at gloria@sierrastyle.com, or call her at 916-988-9888 x116.

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Napa Valley

07/31/2008 ● By Super Admin

With airline tickets and foreign exchange rates working against the common traveler, it’s no wonder so many of us have thrown in the towel on planning a summer vacation. But don’t give up yet; with fresh hotels and eateries popping up, and the fabulous new Oxbow Public Market open for business, Napa is looking better than ever. And if you’re thinking wine country is only for the winos...think again. Gourmet ShoppingThe brainchild of Steve Carlin, the grocery purveyor who helped launch San Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace, Oxbow Public Market is a gourmand’s paradise for a mere 11 bucks. The Oxbow building, which houses 10-plus “farmstands” daily, is next door to COPIA (The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts), and across the street from the terminal for the Napa Valley Wine Train. Back inside Oxbow, shop after family-owned shop of organic meats and locally grown seasonal produce are complimented with gusto by artisan bread, a charcuterie, fish market, handcrafted cheeses and florists. On the banks of the Napa River, the market’s offerings also include wine merchants, live music, home goods vendors and a family-friendly riverfront location...<hr>For more about Napa Valley, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style-Folsom El Dorado Hills edition. Click on the "Get Your Copy" link on the bottom of this page for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at gloria@sierrastyle.com, or call her at 916-988-9888 x116.

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Starter Pets

07/31/2008 ● By Super Admin

Pet ownership is a rite of passage. In many ways, it’s also a test. Some people are lucky and enjoy one, maybe two pets in their life. These are lifelong friends that become honorary family members. Others, like yours truly, have owned many pets, many of them cats, and many of them unstable (read: deranged), the kind that run away in the dead of night or in the case of my first cat Smokey, are “let loose” on my uncle’s farm. (I’ll leave you to parse that uncomfortable rural euphemism.) Needless to say it took our family a while to accept that we were better off with a dog. In fact, Mindy the dog has been a beloved family member for more than 10 years… with no rural euphemisms in her future. And of course, there are those who have yet to experience the joys of pet ownership. Whether you’re a tried and tested pet owner or a newbie, one thing is for certain: there are many factors to consider when choosing a new pet. Gone are the days when you went to the pet store and pointed to the cutest animal. Well, those days aren’t necessarily “gone,” it’s just that that method is somewhat ill advised. With animal shelters and rescue homes crowded with abandoned and abused animals, many of them former pets, for the sake and safety of the animals in question, we can no longer afford to practice the “point and shoot” method of pet selection. Understanding animal breeds and their suitability to the owner’s home environment is one of the most important first steps, before even deciding on a pet.With that in mind, we’ve put together a handy guide for those of you who may be considering a new pet, or it can be an inspiration for those of you who don’t think that you need a pet. Read on, and remember: choose wisely!...For more pet picking ideas, be sure to pick up this month's copy of FoothillStyle. Click on the "Get Your Copy" link on the bottom of this page for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at gloria@sierrastyle.com, or call her at 916-988-9888 x116.

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Separation Anxiety

07/31/2008 ● By Super Admin

Just three months ago, your child was still a child – just finishing high school and relying upon you for their basic needs.But now, August is upon us, and it’s time to see your high school graduate off to start the great journey they call “college.” You may be anxious, and, despite their excitement, your teen may experience some unsettling feelings as well. Leaving for college is a time of transition and often, a time of great anxiety: separation anxiety. Though separation anxiety first occurs in babies and toddlers, it can reoccur during major separation in adult life, such as leaving for college. “For college freshmen, separation anxiety is a very real concern,” says Karen Adrian, LMFT of El Dorado Hills. She also notes that although some students may acclimate quickly to their surroundings, others may experience intense anxiety that is difficult to manage.Our experts say that feelings of separation anxiety are completely normal, and according to Tisa Starr, LMFT with offices in Auburn and Roseville, your teen may feel a mix of emotions. “The biggest time of individuation from parents is when a child leaves for college, and they realize ‘I am fully responsible for me now.’ That can be very frightening,” says Starr. Although students may grow excited as they prepare to leave, they may also feel a sense of loss. They realize, “My time of being a kid is over.” “When you’re having that conversation of ‘goodbye,’ remind your child that this is an exciting time, but that it’s normal to feel a sense of loss when making a change. Try to normalize any feelings of separation anxiety but leave the door open so that if it gets excessive, the child knows to talk to you or seek help,” advises Andrea Orr, LMFT with a private practice in Roseville. “Open and honest discussion is important,” adds Adrian. In the event that your teen experiences excessive anxiety, he or she may be experiencing separation anxiety disorder. In this case, students may need professional help, and they can make an appointment at their school counseling center for additional support.Ultimately, the best way to deal with separation anxiety is to talk about it, Star advises the teens whom she works with. “Remember that everyone is probably feeling the same thing, so find someone to start a dialogue with so that you won’t feel so alone,” she says.Experts suggest that parents do some of the following to help teens deal with normal levels of separation anxiety:

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