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Kim Hollaway
Kim Hollaway
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I Never Lose at The Lottery

I never check my lottery numbers but I play every week. A couple of weeks ago a Sonoma County man won 5 Million dollars in the Lotto. 5 Million!

 

The story goes, that he bought a Scratcher from Gilberto and Raquel Campos, the owners of the Super Latino market on Sebastopol Road. He knew the minute it happened, but they found out when they saw the announcement on TV that someone had just won 5 million..... at their store!!

 

In July, someone won 45 grand at the Safeway on West College and just missed the big prize by 1 number. Ohhhh soo close!

 

Evidently both winners had the same retirement plan that I do. Win the Lottery, pay off all my bills and then spend the rest on a few minutes of health care. With that kind of winning, this close to home, you would think the first thing I would want to do is to check my numbers. Not me, not any more.

 

I found that when I buy a Lotto ticket I can dream of all the things I could do with the money – a new 2020 Corvette, bright yellow, with all the options, and convertible. This is California, they kick you out of the state if you are driving in the wine country and your top isn't down. I think of which one of my friends and family I could help by buying up all their home loans so they would never have to make a payment again. My biggest dream? If I win the Lottery, I would only carry 100 dollar bills and whenever I buy something, I would always say “Keep the change!”

 

The moment I buy a lottery ticket all of this is possible. I am imbued with hope and joy right up to the moment I slide that little ticket into the scanner and it says “Sorry Not a Winner.” Then, in a blink, I go from someone who could change the world to just another one of the millions and millions of ticket buyers whose 2 dollar dreams are tossed into the wastebasket.

 

So, I don't check my numbers. Because if I don't check my numbers, I can never lose. If I don't check my numbers, I am a potential millionaire for as long as I want to be. If I don't check my numbers I smile a little more, treat others a little nicer, even tip bigger because that ticket could be a gold mine in my pocket.

 

I know what you’re saying, “What if I actually do have the winning ticket?”

My answer is, “Hey, they'll find me.” You will hear it on the radio, you'll see it on the TV News – “someone who won the lottery hasn't come forward yet.” “Someone who bought a ticket doesn't know that he just won more money than he could spend in a lifetime and all he needs to do is to check his ticket.”

 

It happens all the time, and that too, makes me feel good. Knowing there are others, like me, who don't check their Lottery numbers because they don't want losing, to ruin their day.

 

A 20/20 Vision of 2020

Did you know you are responsible for knowing new laws when they become official? Kind of a scary thought when you realize how many measures, bills, and amendments get pushed through the legal system throughout the year. Every state has a few laws that are curiously strange, and makes you wonder how they ever made it through the system and onto the books. Wisconsin has a law regarding the standard of cheese that it be “fine, highly pleasing, and free from undesirable flavors and odors.” It’s illegal to kill Bigfoot in Washington, especially since the state designated the beast as an endangered species. They’ll hang you out to dry if you prohibit clotheslines in Virginia. California is no exception to interesting new laws. In the Golden State, a person is allowed to possess any number of live frogs for frog-jumping contests.  But, if one of them dies, you are not allowed to eat it. Here in Sonoma County, some of the new laws are directly written after serious incidences. From the 2017 wild fires, caregivers can face enhanced civil penalties if they abandon the elderly in disasters. It is now illegal to smoke or dispose of cigar and cigarette waste in California State Parks.  And, most former inmates with felony convictions can serve on juries.  Each new law was initiated by a person with a passion. Perhaps during 2020, you’ll have a 20/20 vision of something you would like to see changed, protected, or abolished. And, there may be a majority of voters who would agree with you.

I Was In The Beatles!

I was in the Beatles!

 

Really, I was actually IN the band. I didn't play guitar, that was George's thing. Ringo played drums, Paul played bass, John was on rhythm with that cool Rickenbacker guitar, but without me there would be no Beatles at all. You see, I was their listener.

 

This weekend I found some old Beatles albums – not the CD's or the digital downloads, but the actual records. I pulled out a stack of albums that I haven't seen since I was a kid and I remembered that at one time in my life, I was indeed a Beatle.

 

Would I play “Meet the Beatles,” or “Rubber Soul?”  Maybe “Sgt. Peppers” or “Magical Mystery Tour?” Then I saw the “Revolver” album and I was back in the band. I was the final judge of just their work – their months of writing, rehearsal and recording was not complete until I heard it. I had to look over the cover, searching out any hidden messages they had for me. On the back cover, were their sun glasses totally cool or not? I was the judge. Was the all black and white album too artsy or the hot new trend from across the ocean? Is John’s shirt Paisley? Ringo is wearing a tie. Why is George Smiling? Nothing escaped my watchful eye. They needed me and I was up for the task.

 

My part was to save up enough lawn mowing money to buy the album, the moment it arrived in the stores. I had to carefully cut the plastic shrink wrap that sealed in the musical magic which was about to be unveiled to the world. Like a supplicant reverently holding a religious object, I would slide the record out of its paper sleeve and touching only the edges, place it on the green felt of the waiting turntable.  

 

Never sure why 33 wasn't enough I set the turntable speed to 33 and 1/3, lifted the tone arm and as gently as I could, placed the needle on the album. “Shhkt, Shhkt,” it clicked as the tip of the diamond needle found its groove. "One, two, three, four…"'  it said. The record kept spinning and I thought, "There is someone coughing in the back ground." Suddenly, Paul hit the first notes of “Tax Man” and my musical journey had begun.

 

This weekend, for eleven Lennon/McCartneys cuts and three Harrison cuts, I was in the band and I loved every moment of it. As “Tomorrow Never Knows” faded into the night, I couldn't help but think of the people who listen to music today. While they can instantly get any track they want, there is no suspense, no anticipation. No one gets to look at the album cover and ponder its significance as the songs play. The order that the songs played was not chosen as specific acts in a musical performance, but as coldly random cuts that appear in a coldly random order.

 

There is no reverent opening of a treasure you sacrificed time and energy to "own." For that matter, you don’t even get to own the songs, you get to rent them. That feeling that this was “My Album,” and these were “My Songs” has been supplanted by a faceless sever somewhere in cyberspace. It doesn't care about the artist. It only cares that you have paid 99 cents to rent the song for four months at Amazon Music.

 

So, while this weekend I was saddened that the Beatles will probably be the last band I will ever be a part of, I was glad to have had the chance. I guess George was right.. Life goes on within and without you.

 

Deb's Unconventional Chanukkah Celebration

So, I always refer to myself as Jew-"ish", and here's one example of just why that fits: my non-traditional Chanukkah celebration. Growing up, my parents did the bare minimum during the Jewish holidays; pretty much all of them, including Chanukkah; and therefore, I followed suit, but...possibly took it a step farther. 

 

When my two daughters were young, we did celebrate Chanukkah, but the meaning likely didn't come across as it should have, because of how it was presented to them. My fault! If you don't know, the Jewish holiday of Chanukkah is an eight day celebration commemorating the re-dedication of the second temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend, Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. And, the eight candles in the menorah symbolize the number of days the temple lantern was lit. Uh huh...WHATEVER... in my house, it meant eight presents; that's it. Well, okay, we also did some singing and prayers, ones that I could barely remember from my childhood; I mumbled my way through them; and, of course, we lit the candles on the menorah; plus I read them books about Chanukkah (ones with lots of pictures)! I guess you can say I decorated/filled the house with holiday stuff, including dreydels and gelt, (chocolate coins), but I ate most of it before they got to the kids.

 

Anyway, here's the most unconventional part of my celebration... Every December, I would take the kids to Toys R Us, or another toy store; let them pick out eight things, wrap them, or have someone else do it...and then the topper: the kids had to guess which toy was in which box. Come on, that way they got exactly what they wanted. Genius, right? And, as they got older, I swapped out toys for cash, in envelopes. They had to guess the amount each night.  How fun is that? Yes, it was not your typical eight day Chanukkah celebration, but it worked in my house. And, I'm stickin' with it.  Oh, by the way, Chanukkah starts on December 22nd, and this year, my girls aren't home.  So, my plan is to leave out eight envelopes for Banker Bay, and when he asks me what I want for Chanukkah this year, my response will be...FILL THOSE DAMN ENVELOPES WITH CASH!   Mazel Tov! You'll likely only get that if you’re Jewish!

 

Oh Damn! The ROLLS!

What is your favorite food on your Thanksgiving table? Was it that big golden brown turkey? Its crispy skin just waiting to be sliced revealing the tender white meat perfumed with sage, black pepper and thyme? Maybe it is that steaming hot bowl of mashed potatoes? Whipped by hand with plenty of cream and butter swirled into its potatoey goodness. None of that froo froo chopped parsley on top. There had to be a spoon-made, empty swimming pool of a dent, waiting to be ladled full of thick brown gravy.
 
For me Thanksgiving wasn't the pumpkin or apple pies. It wasn't the ubiquitous green bean casserole with the crunchy onions on top or the olives you put on your fingers to wiggle at the kids. It wasn't the green Jell-O salad quivering on a single lettuce leaf or the can shaped dish of cranberry, we'll call it.... sauce.
 
My favorite part of the Thanksgiving table were the dinner rolls. Nothing special, really just more of an after-thought. The dinner rolls were something that was always purchased in a package and thrown into the oven after the turkey was taken out to "rest." The rolls would go in right out of the bag, each one stuck to the roll next to it. They were pre-baked, pre-browned little biscuit shaped pillows that, according to the instructions on the package, all you needed to do was to Heat N Eat.
 
Every year after our feast was over, my grandmother would go into the kitchen to get the pies and say loudly "Oh Damn! The ROLLS!" Then she would bring out an aluminum cooking tray of 24 over browned and slightly dried out dinner rolls that she forgot were warming in the oven. She would then insist that we all had to have one because "At this house we don’t waste food."
 
Each of us would chip a little of the still frozen butter onto a roll and eat it with the biggest smile on our faces. To me those rolls were the lesson my grandmother Dorothy taught us. Thanksgiving isn't about food at all, but something much larger. Thanksgiving is about family. Thanksgiving is about tradition. Thanksgiving is about remembering people who are here and people who have touched our lives and now, live only in our memories.
 
 
 

"Just the facts, Ma'am"

Sergeant Joe Friday on “Dragnet” knew what to look for. One of the challenges of writing news stories, is wading through the pool of opinion based sources. Early in the morning, when I crawl into the News Room to begin the process of finding the latest information on the topics of the day, I sort through various versions of the same story, but from very different angles. I’ve come to trust some, and question others, simply because of trial and error. But, it’s all about getting the correct facts.  The more facts you get, the more correct the story becomes, and the more clearly the story is conveyed to the listener. 

Here’s an example of what I teach young journalists.  Let say there’s a report of a violent situation between two people in a grocery store parking lot, where one hits the other so hard that it knocks the other down to the ground. And, that is all you hear about it.  What is your immediate perception of that scene? That the person who hit the other is a criminal and should be arrested? Now, what if more information becomes available on that scene and you find out the person who was hit was actually attempting to rob the “hitter”? Does that make a difference in the way you view the person who did the hitting? Maybe not, because perhaps you’re thinking there could have been a better way to resolve the situation than violence. But, what if the robber was pointing a gun at the other person’s child? Suddenly the idea of a violent confrontation takes on an entirely different weight. 

It is extremely important that both the reporter, and the listener, do everything they can to seek out all of the facts before jumping to conclusions. Knee jerk reactions, from inadequate information, are the cause of many problems within society, from politics to law enforcement, to equality to prejudice, and on and on. Get the facts, and then some more, before forming your conclusion. In the end, truth wins!

Deb's Top 5 Local Happy Hours

Two of my favorite words in the English language are "happy" and "hour." And, I've definitely been to a few of them in my 25 years of living in the beautiful California Wine Country. There are many I've tried, from the least expensive, and moderate, to a few that will drain your wallet...But, overall, here's what I've found. I prefer the ambiance and choice selections, when I'm picking a "happy hour" with friends. Let's start with...

 

1. John Ash, the Front Room Bar and Lounge in Santa Rosa.  It offers small plates, new wines and seasonal cocktails and one of the best vineyard views in the county. My recommendations: the truffle parmesan fries and sweet and sour rosemary nuts. Best cocktail: Rosemary Drop. 
4-6 pm Monday-Thursday

4350 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa

 

2. Willi's Seafood and Raw Bar in Healdsburg. Fabulous raw bar and small plates, with a huge wine list and excellent bar service. My recommendations: Lobster Rolls, Chilled Oysters and Crab Tacos; and all of their desserts! They have one of the best martini’s in the county. I like mine extra dirty! Nice cozy patio as well. 
403 Healdsburg Avenue.

 

3. The Rooftop Terrace in Healdsburg. Offers firepits at sunset...with awesome views of Fitch Mountain, the Sonoma hills and downtown Healdsburg. Fresh, small plates and full bar. My recommendations: Prawn Cocktail and Shrimp Ceviche Tostada. Favorite cocktail: "The Rooftop," with vodka, raspberry, lemon and club soda.
3-6 pm Tuesday-Thursday

227 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg

 

4. 246 North Restaurant in Petaluma. Visit Jan Rosen's establishment with a cool vibe and kick ass bar. Happy, friendly staff, and fresh plates. My recommendations: Crab Cakes, Calamari, Prawn Risotto and her famous Chicken Pot Pie. Can't forget her famous cheesecake; I like it fried. My favorite cocktail: the "Cotton Candy" drink. Just ask for it. You won't be sorry! 
3-6 pm Tuesday-Friday

256 Petaluma Boulevard North, Petaluma

 

5. Kin in Windsor.  Real comfort food, tasty and fresh.  Plus, local wines and craft beers. Fun bar vibe and kid friendly. My recommendations: Flatbread and Hummus, Frickles, MacDaddy Pizza with Homemade Mac and Cheese as a topping! 
3-6 pm Monday through Friday

740 McClelland Drive, Windsor

 

We are lucky to live in Wine and Food Country, and can experience the best of the best! You might as well go out and try them all!  Cheers! ~ Deb

 

504,217 Reporters

We are pleased to report that as the Kincade fire burns itself out, KZST is back to our regular programming.

 

Two years ago in the Tubbs fires, flames licked at the back door at the KZST Studios. We were forced to evacuate our building at the base of Fountaingrove, but thanks to the efforts of firefighters and one listener who drove a winery water truck to defend us, we survived.

 

This year our generators kept our transmitters and studios on line, our microwave connections never dropped and most importantly the phone lines into and out of the studios never missed a beat. This meant that our most important connection, the one to you, was never interrupted. 

 

Our entire staff, plus the staff of the four other radio stations owned by our company, Redwood Empire Stereocasters, kept the information flowing. However, those were not the only people covering the fires. We had 504,217 additional reporters live and on the scene. 

 

Yes it was YOU who called in to tell us what you saw. From every corner of the Redwood Empire you came. There were power outages in the West County, Bodega Bay to Santa Rosa; live reports from Geyserville as it was being evacuated; fires raging in Windsor; and choking smoke in Healdsburg; evacuation centers in Santa Rosa and Petaluma and traffic reports from every part of our county, as 180 thousand people were being evacuated, all looking for a safe way out.

 

It was you and your constant unwavering stream of live information, on our airwaves, that gave the county the most up to date, accurate, and real information. Your thousands of phone calls relayed the hard facts as you saw them first hand. You did it in a way that was sensitive to the suffering of others. You put into the news the humanity that is so often missing. You showed true caring and concern for every member of our community.

 

So before the air clears, we wanted to extend our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to you –  the 504,217 citizen reporters of the Kincade fires… Thank you for a job well done.

 

You make us proud to be Sonoma County’s radio station

 

100.1 KZST.

How to Prepare for Power Outages

Now that regular power outages are our "New Normal," I was thinking about what we need to do when the power goes out. The following are some little tips that you may not have thought about.

 

*If you have no power, your gas station doesn't either. I don’t know why I do it, maybe it’s the adrenaline rush of trying to make it to the gas station on fumes, but I have been known to drive on empty. Hey, that little red light means I still haven't hit bottom yet... right? But if the power goes out at your house, and you head to the gas station chances are that they won’t have any power either. No power equals no gas, so keep your tank full!

 

*If you have no power it will be dark at night. Yeah I know, "bright observation," but follow me. Every year you hear about people whose house burned down because of candles. My advice is to buy some solar yard lights, charge them outside and bring them in when the power goes out. Boom – all night lights and you can recharge them in the morning.

 

* Open your garage door, or at least figure out how to open it if you have no power. Go ahead and try it now. Close your eyes (remember it will be pitch dark) and feel your way to the garage door and try to get it open. Now you know why you need to open it before the power goes out. That thing is heavy.

 

Camping is an option. Head to the backyard, bring the tent and sleeping bag that you used three summers ago. With no air conditioning, your house will be hot at night, so head out at night for a cool night under the stars. By the way, don’t worry about your sprinklers, there's no power so they won’t be going on.

 

* Pumps work on electricity. If you are on well water and the power goes out, you won’t have any water. Only well people will appreciate this one.

 

Go to Friedman’s and get a couple of those Green buckets. Put all that emergency stuff you think you will need in the bucket and put it in the garage by the back door. It holds all your stuff and is both water and air tight.

 

Get an extension cord, because if your neighbor has a generator and their lights are on…with one connection to their outside plug, so are yours. They will never know.

 

* Go to the PG&E map of the places that will have power. Now look to see which of your friends or relatives lives in an area that has power. Drop by and tell them that it has been way too long and you just haven't spent enough time with them lately. “By the way, what’s for dinner?”

 

* Lastly GET SOME CONDOMS... Seriously. When the power goes out, we know what you are going to do to pass the time. Every time, there is a huge baby spike nine months later. So, if you don’t want another little bundle of joy in your life in about nine months, GET SOME CONDOMS!

 

It's About Compassion!

I was thinking for my first blog I'd talk about our recent day of remembrance (Oct. 9th). I call it a day of remembrance because to call it an anniversary wouldn't tell the story. You celebrate an anniversary therefore I consider it a day of remembrance. It was by no means an easy time with all the wildfires and the tragedy that ensued. I remember it well - close friends losing their homes, people losing their business they worked and built from the ground up to losing a listener in the Journey’s End Mobile Home Park a block from the radio station. 

 

Well, it brought back some good memories too, mainly positive. The resilience concert at Montgomery Village, where we came together as a community and witnessed people helping people and a lot of the time they didn't even have the means to do so. I guess the word I'm looking for is compassion, we had compassion. I got to see this all over again when we were all getting ready for the PG&E shut downs the first time.

 

The scene was crazy! People were calling me to tell me about how bad the gas lines were, the grocery stores were running low on a lot of items and to say we weren't scared would be an understatement! I experienced this first hand as I had six miles to go on a tank of gas and all I could think was, “Will I make it to a gas station (that had gas) and would I run out before getting up to the pump??” Well, I did and this is where the compassion I was telling you about comes in. I got my gas and while in line, I was watching people trying their best to be patient. Then I I saw how ugly it could get without a plan.

 

I parked my car and decided to pitch in and help the folks at The Shell Station on Old Redwood Highway. They had one person out there and it was becoming overwhelming for him. Once we got it turned around and got it moving in one direction, the amount of thank you's and smiles were enough to make anyone’s day! No fights, no arguments, just an understanding that we are all in this together. In other words, compassion.

 

 

Best Spas in Sonoma County...As Chosen by Debbie!

It is so damn important to take care of yourself. Your mind, body and soul! Yes...your significant other, your kids, parents and pets are all important, but they'd be out of luck without a happy, healthy you!  And, we live in a place that caters to all that, in a beautiful setting, with amazing amenities and comforts that other spots on the map, just don't have.  We are so lucky to live here!  My point is...take advantage of all the fabulous SPAS all over Sonoma County!  Stay a day, a weekend, or just a few hours. It is so worth it! Here are a few of my favorite ones:

 

The Spa Hotel, Healdsburg  I mean, it's right on the Plaza, and who doesn't like to hang out there.  This one has an amazing facility, with a mean "Couples Massage".  ooh la la!

 

Kenwood Inn and Spa, Kenwood This is the place for relaxation and renewal.  Their best kept secret: a "baby-moon" massage for moms and moms-to-be.  Come on...only in Wine Country!

 

Vi La Vita Spa, Santa Rosa This facility is incredible!  I didn't want to leave this place; with its pools/saunas and upscale massage rooms. “Life of Luxury” comes to mind. I did a "pampered spa package."  They also offer private parties for you and your girlfriends. Love it!

 

Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, Freestone  This is where you zone out!  Or zen out! I did the mud bath/ceder bath. You can also veg out in a number of gardens, including the zen, meditation and Japanese tea gardens. No veggies though.

 

Sonoma County Reflexology, Windsor They specialize in overall body massage.  I call this the "You Can't Beat This Deal" massage. Just a cute, clean, professional spa that does a top notch foot massage! I love my tootsies to be treated!

 

Visitors come here all the time to vacation and to experience the California Wine Country. People….we already live here! Take advantage of that! I say utilize, sample,  and check out all the luxurious spas/resorts that you can! Remember, it's for your mind, body and soul!

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