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Penngrove Station by Lyndi Brown - December 2015


Penngrove Station  - December 2015

by Lyndi Brown

This is the season for gathering with friends and family. When December rolls around, so does the spirit of giving. Our giving extends beyond our immediate circle to include our community, especially those who need our support. There are so many ways we can lend a hand, and extend the season’s caring.

I like to give small gifts, found locally, that are Edible, Reusable, Readable, or Recyclable. One year, I gave a friend a book he was interested in: it was all wrapped up, but from the library! I know it sounds weird, but he really appreciated the funny gift gestalt. It’s not that I’m annoyingly frugal, or worse yet, cheap. But if you can tickle a funny bone it’s a double bonus. For the person on your list who doesn’t want more “stuff” why not share an experience such tickets to go to a play or concert together? Or a pampering pedicure? How about a date to go for tea?

Consignment and thrift shops ring the Reuse and Recycle bell, where you’ll find a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind gifts. Scarves and jewelry show little wear, and have that “new-to-you” element. Or, consign or donate your own items you aren’t using. Give someone else a crack at loving them. 

In Penngrove, the kooky End of the Road Thrift Shop is on Main Street near Adobe Road. This spot’s name gives a clue to what’s inside. Enjoy the hunt and you’re sure to find something. (Reminder: the goofy gift exchange is coming!) This is where I added to my Day of the Dead altar last month, with an amazing tree of life tin candelabra and a Mexican dancer doll. Both for under $5!  9550 Main St, Penngrove, California (707) 992-0753 


Secret Santa and Open House – Dec. 12 

While in Penngrove, drop by the charming gift shop Hello Penngrove in The Grove Plaza. The shop. specializes in hand-made, locally-made and one-of-a-kind items. The baby and child section is irresistible, 

“We try our best to select things that are made in the United States, by teeny-tiny, small or smallish companies,” said owner Kaitlin Lowenthal. “We love items made from recycled materials, repurposed items and gifts made with the safety and well-being of the user and the planet at heart. Many things are made right here in Sonoma County. We have candles, jewelry, floral arrangements, stickers, baby clothes and accessories, children’s toys, refinished furniture, and more.” 

The shop will host a community Open House on Saturday, Dec, 12 from Noon to 5 pm. “We are a community sponsor for the Sonoma County Secret Santa giving tree,” said Lowenthal. “You select a heart with a person’s age and wish, then bring the wrapped gift back to us for delivery.” The Secret Santa non-profit project was founded in1989. Partners are Volunteer Center of Sonoma County, KZST Radio Station and Friedman’s Home Improvement. To learn about other locations all over the county at

“We will also host a general children’s gift drive that day, in addition to the Secret Santa hearts. We will offer a discount of 10% when you buy a children’s gift to donate. You’ll receive raffle tickets, whether you bring or purchase a gift to donate. Our raffle prize includes a gift certificate to Hello Penngrove, a mini-portrait session with local photographer Andrea Freidman, and other gifts from the shop. We will have a fun holiday photo booth, cookies, and some holiday specials.”

Lost Creek Etching 

Recently, I met Jennifer Bell of Penngrove, owner of Lost Creek Etching. Her specialty is engraved memorials on stone and commemorate a pet, loved one or occasion. She began by painting portraits on rock while working for a veterinarian. Soon, clients were requesting names of pets on stones, along with the pet’s own paw print. A self-taught etcher, she uses a sandblasting method to cut deeper than a laser. Her work includes garden stepping stones, small memorials stones, address markers, and personalized gifts in stone and glass. Bell completed more than 230 bricks for the Walnut Park renovation. Every year, Forestville Youth Park builds another path with etched bricks. She has created stone etchings for St. Vincent’s High School, Mark West Elementary School, Petaluma Little League and Sonoma Academy.



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