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Summer 2017, Editor Letter

Adventure. We all crave it. Whether it’s a dream to travel to the pyramids or simply an extra sprinkle of cinnamon on the morning latte, we want our lives to be exciting. True, the cravings of adventure tend to wane in adulthood. The dreams of becoming a fireman or astronaut have a habit of making way for realistic, less-challenging goals. We work so we can afford a family to call our own, which can be an adventure all its own. For a moment, let’s put away our adult responsibilities and dream of the impossible.

I remember jumping on my bike as a child and tooling around with my friends in hopes of adventure. When none occurred, we’d make up our own. I was no longer a pre-teen riding her bike around Los Angeles County. I was a member of the A-Team, chasing bad guys and solving crimes. We’d explore paths we’d been down a hundred times, pretending it was a forest in Quebec or the wilds of Peru. Bad guys were around every corner, and if we were super vigilant, we’d save the day. During our silly games we even caught a real-life cat burglar. Boy was that exciting!

This summer, we’re going to help you cook up your own adventures with articles about local places to visit, how to adventure from your couch, and even what to read to make this season a memorable one.

Emerian Rich
Editorial Director


SEARCH: Kick the Winter Blahs

Kick the Winter Blahs

Embrace Your Inner Hibernation Instinct

by Dianna Kersey

wintercover2016Have you ever wondered “why” we get the winter blues? “What” causes us to feel blah? I’m sure you’ve read tons of articles about SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder, but that is not what we’re going to talk about today. Have you ever considered maybe we’re supposed to slow down and reflect during this time of year, and that it’s totally okay?

Our bodies have a natural circadian rhythm for day and night to help us go to sleep and wake up in the morning. This same concept applies to the seasons of the year. Since the dawn of humanity, we have awakened in the spring ready to plant crops, welcome in newborn animals, and prepare for the long, hot growing days of summer. Soon more hard work flies in with harvesting all your efforts in preparation to survive during winter. Once the colder months arrive that’s when your body says—hey, it’s time to slow down and enjoy the fruits of your labors. It’s time for reflection on the past year and planning for the new year.

How Did We Get So Busy In The Winter?

It wasn’t until the inventions of electricity and economical ways to transport ourselves that we began extending the bustling activities of the warmer months into winter. New sports games were adapted, and every year we’re pushed…continue reading.

SEARCH: How to Make Your Own Jewelry

How to Make Your Own Jewelry
by Suzanne Madron

Isuzi10n the realm of jewelry, there are those who buy their shinies in various shops, and online indie vendors are an excellent source for gem-filled adornment if you have the cash. What if you don’t have a lot of money and want to look like a million bucks?

Metalsmithing and creating your own bands is not an option. We’re trying to not spend a lot of cash, remember, and metalsmithing will require a lot in way of training, raw materials, and tools. You can still make jewelry without forging your own bands and chainlinks, and it’s surprisingly easy. How? Read on to learn how to make your own necklace or belly chain…read more in the Fall issue of SEARCH Magazine.

SEARCH: Thrifting in Contra Costa County

In the Summer Issue of SEARCH Magazine,
we explore Thrifting in Contra Costa County
with Emerian Rich

Choosing a thrift shop is a personal thing because what you think is junk, I might think is the cat’s pajamas. I’ve picked these shops because they are ones I frequent and have a good record of finding useful things. I also prefer clean stores, but I’m not above digging through piles if it means I’ll get something unique. I’ve listed what sorts of things I’ve found there as well as prices and cleanliness. Happy thrifting!

  1. The Garrett Thrift Shop
    1530 3rd Ave, Walnut Creek
    Clean, great prices, lots of selection.
    $10 minimum for credit card purchases.

I found this thrift store just last year and wish I had long ago. They have a big craft section, tons of books, and household goods all organized in a clean and orderly way. I’ve found their prices to be fair, unlike some thrift stores you go in where it’s clear they are for profit and not charity. The Garret Thrift Shop proceeds are given to the John Muir Medical Center Auxiliary, Walnut Creek for the benefit of the community. Most of the employees are volunteers, and it shows in the pleasant way they treat their customers.

  1. ARF – Animal Rescue Foundation
    1950 Market St., Concord, CA
    Huge store with good prices. Tons of books, clothes, linens, and household goods.

Don’t miss the back rooms! When I first went there, I didn’t realize there was more in the back and figured it wouldn’t be worth my while to return. Their front room is filled to the brim with clothes. That isn’t my thing, but a friend of mine mentioned their back room with books, and I had to take another look. With three huge segments of the store, you are sure to find something you want. The prices are fair, and if you are into books, check out their bag o’ books for $5 deal. All proceeds support the life-saving efforts of the ARF Emergency Medical Fund which provides quality, affordable, veterinary care through the ARF clinic for the companion animals of low-income Contra Costa County residents…” to read the full article, check out the free eCopy here.

SEARCH: GEOCACHING, Get lost and find hidden treasures

In the Summer Issue of SEARCH Magazine,
GEOCACHING: Get lost and find hidden treasures
By Dianna Kersey

“Do you long for days when you can escape the hustle and grind, wishing to get lost in the wilderness? Does the thought of getting off course in the woods keep you from embracing your inner adventurer? Ditch those fears, slip on your hiking boots, and break out that old forgotten compass. We can help you squelch those worries. Go outside and play, again! We’ve got the apps to help you plan, experience, and celebrate the pirate within.

The best night of the week is family game night, and our family looks forward to searching online for local nature trails and geocaches we can tackle. We decide where we want to explore and then plan a Sunday afternoon picnic of it.

Sometimes, a quick trek to the grocery store makes for the best cache finds! For instance, we stopped for milk and bread, and our daughter scored a challenging cache attached to the rebar post inside of the cement parking barrier. Check out that smile…” to read the full article, check out the free eCopy here.

SEARCH: Defying Death to Impress a Girl

In the Summer Issue of SEARCH Magazine,
Defying Death to Impress a Girl
by Tim Reynolds

timI was once a reckless teenage idiot, and to prove it, I’ll tell you, my faithful SEARCH readers, a true story.

Some facts. Her name was Marla, we were both eighteen, and we worked at a suburban summer day camp. I was a non-swimmer, mostly because I was so skinny I sank like a stone and could never pass the tests. I was also a magician—with a crush.

Ironically, one of my jobs at camp was to teach swimming, which was fine, just so long as I stayed out of the deep end. I even had students pass their beginners test before I did.

I performed my magic act for birthday parties or the occasional Bar Mitzvah, and it sometimes involved a Houdini-like escape from small chains locked around my wrists. The chains were real and so was the lock. If trouble happened on dry land, my assistant would use the key to release me from my humiliation. Of course, to impress Marla, I wasn’t going to escape on dry land. Reckless. Idiot…” to read the full article, check out the free eCopy here.

SEARCH: Gardening Apps

In the Spring Issue of SEARCH Magazine,
we have a fun article about Gardening Apps by Dianna Kersey

Wade Fuson - Master Gardener

Wade Fuson – Master Gardener

Back in the 70’s, my grandfather was a part of the organic gardening movement using natural predators and flowers in his gardens. He used science, math, and astronomy for bug control, plant spacing, and sowing the harvest. Back then, I didn’t care about the whats or whys he did the things he did, because my only job was to pick potato bugs, pull weeds, and haul rocks. I didn’t think gardening was that great at the time, but I cherish the memories now. Still, I could have done without the rocks.

My grandfather spent hours researching what kinds of plants were growing in his garden and trying to identify the flower type the bees loved so he could propagate them. He would spend evenings combing through the seed catalogs, and the next season grandma was cooking all kinds of crazy stuff we’d never seen before. That’s when I learned about kohlrabi and how deliciously weird it is…” to read the full article, check out the free eCopy here.


The Dunsmuir-Hellman Historic Estate

Dunsmuir-Hellman Historic Estate

by Emerian Rich


“My favorite holiday tradition is visiting one of the last surviving Victorian estates in the Bay Area, all decked out for the holidays. The historic Dunsmuir-Hellman Estate in Oakland is a hidden gem most residents don’t know about. Built in 1899, the estate features a 37-room, Neoclassical Revival mansion set on fifty acres of beautifully landscapes grounds.

Visit the Dunsmuir-Hellman Estate’s Holiday Tradition now! Dec 5-20

The Dunsmuir fortune was earned in coal from British Colombia, but the Dunsmuirs sent their son, Alexander, to represent their interests in Northern California. The mansion, which truly takes your breath away as you approach it, was built as a wedding gift for Alexander’s bride. He tragically died on their honeymoon, leaving her to reside alone in his fabulous gift until she joined him a few years later. In 1906, Wells Fargo Executive, Isaias Hellman purchased the estate, and the Hellman family owned it until the late 50’s.

dining2Today, Dunsmuir is a piece of Oakland history, offering tours, hosting events, and being used as a movie location. For those movie buffs out there, you will recognize the mansion from the 1976 movie, Burnt Offerings, starring Karen Black, Oliver Reed, and Bette Davis. It also appeared in the movies Phantasm, A View to a Kill, and So I Married an Axe Murderer...” to read the full article, download the free eCopy of SEARCH Magazine‘s Winter Issue.