Dozens of things to do for you and your whole family.

November, as many of you know, has been rechristened Movember for almost 20 years. It's the month where many men are growing a mustache. Seriously. Now, the origins of Movember are pretty benign. A few mates in Australia decided to do it one year. The following year they reached out to friends and family to sponsor their "efforts" in support of prostate cancer research. It just grew from there, pun intended. For many guys, though, Movember is about doing something completely different.


This reminded me of a TED talk by Google's Matt Cutts where he talks about taking 30 days and doing something different. He emphasizes pursuing an idea you've had for a while and just taking steps on it every day, for 30 days. Likewise, we often encourage our kids to try something new to help them test their own limitations, grow past perceived boundaries and experience new successes. But, how often do we do that ourselves? With so much at stake between mortgages, car payments, work demands, educational needs, bills, and relationship support, it's no wonder that we take fewer risks. The price of failure seems so high. Does it have to be, though?


That's the beauty of feedback. What if you listed all of the ideas you might pursue for 30 days, ran those through some trusted parties? Like friends, family, coworkers, or your favorite checker at Vons - don't underestimate the value of feedback from someone who isn't overly invested in you. Then, pursue the ones that seemed to have the most positive feedback? Then, armed with that vetting from other people, could you take on an idea you've had for the next 30 days?


In that spirit, I'm taking this opportunity to talk with you, our loyal readers, about ideas for The Orange Cat and get your feedback over the next 30 days. I've put up a survey to capture your feedback. We have been grooming this newsletter for almost ten years now, every other week. It's a fair amount of effort to research what's happening for each issue. But, like you, we also have the mortgage, bills, family, blah, blah, blah.


That said, we believe in the value that The Orange Cat provides and think it can do even more. That's where you come in with our 30-day challenge. Below are some of the ideas we've had for the next step in The Orange Cat's future. Give them a read and let us know what you think. Again, there's a survey online to capture your feedback. We also welcome just commenting on our Facebook page and engaging us and each other in this dialog. Ready? Awesome. Here we go:

  • The Crafty Cat: a compilation of the arts, crafts, and recipes into a single volume with some new stuff thrown in for good measure. This could be an ebook or a physical book (with spiral binding, so it lays flat). Is that something you could see yourself picking up? Is it something you could see yourself handing to another parent or a teacher searching for fresh ideas?
  • The Techy Cat: a new section that offers reviews of gadgets and apps aimed at kids, tweens, and families. The reviews could be from the perspective of a parent or a kid. This would be a regular column once a month or so.
  • Sugar and Spice: Yes, I know this one breaks the "cat" branding. It would be a section, like Techy Cat, that focuses on cooking with kids and/or recipes kids of a certain age can make with little supervision.

We also have questions about what we cover, how much we cover, and how far we cover.

  • Do you like the type of events we list now?
  • Each issue has at least 12 events listed. Sometimes an issue comes out with more than 40 events. What's been working for you?
  • We cover Pasadena and surrounding cities pretty consistently. Still, as a market, LA has a lot to offer if you're willing to travel. Where would you like to see us go?
  • Do you find that you spend most weekends looking for things to do around your home?
  • We like emphasizing the many free, public events our libraries have to offer? Is that working for you? Would you like to see more paid or membership-based events (think Aquarium of the Pacific, Knott's Berry Farm, etc.)?

Again, please feel free to use the survey to answer these or just comment on Facebook. 


Oh, and we've added a little kicker to the survey. To show our appreciation, we will donate eight meals to Feeding America for every completed survey from an orange cat subscriber, up to 800 meals!


Let us know if you take on a 30-day challenge for yourself or your family. And, yes, putting up with him growing a mustache might count. As long as he doesn't wax and twist it. That's just wrong.




NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program

Spots are still available for your Tween (ages 9-12 years old) writer to take part in National Novel Writing Month. Young writers will meet once a week during November to do creative writing exercises, study the craft of writing, and encourage each other. Each meeting happens on zoom on Mondays, starting November 1, from 4:00 PM till 5:00 PM.



Craft: Marbled Paper Fall Leaves

Join the Santa Catalina Branch Library on November 13, from 11:00 AM till 12:00 PM, to make beautiful marbled autumn leaves with shaving cream and watercolors. 



Take & Make: Salt Crystals!

The Funtime Science Lab is back with more science fun for your 5-12-year-old kids! Starting November 15, register to get a kit to grow salt crystals at home, following along with the instructions on the Library's YouTube channel. 

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Take & Make: Fry Bread

Starting November 8, register online or by calling 626-744-7266 for your Take & Make Fry Bread kit. Based on the book Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, the fry bread kit comes with online instructions on how to make it. Kits are available while supplies last.



Take & Make: Native American Dwellings

Starting November 8, register for a kit to learn about the different Native American dwellings and create your own papercraft models. Kits are available from the Hastings Branch Library for this 8 year old and up activity.



Native American Buffalo Hide Painting

On November 18, from 3:00 PM till 5:00 PM, your 5-12-year-old can decorate their own "buffalo hide," a traditional practice of the northern Plains tribes.



Take & Make: Paper Roll Totems

Your kids can learn about Totem Poles and make one of their own. Supply kits are available for pickup from the San Rafael Branch Library. Kit reservations open October 31 by phone at 626-744-7270. This is a month-long project available while supply kits last. 


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the orange cat bookshop
Featured in this issue of The Orange Cat, Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story and other great books featured in previous issues are available from our online book shop. And, if that wasn't good enough, every purchase supports a local, independent book store.
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Take & Make: Tiny Art Show

Everyone in your family can take part in this art show! Pick up a mini canvas and some paint supplies from the Santa Catalina Branch Library. Then, return your creation by November 30 to be included in the library's Tiny Art Show! Supply kit reservations open on November 4.



Family Fun Films

Villa Parke Community Center Branch Library is queuing a movie suitable for the whole family on Thursdays from 3:30 PM till 5:30 PM. Call the library at 626-744-6510 for the specific title.



Take & Make: Pumpkin Papercraft

Starting November 15, register to pick up a kit from Hasting Branch Library to learn how to make a 3-dimensional paper pumpkin perfect for the dinner table! Kits are available until November 19 or while supplies last.



Read Around The World Book Club

Spots are still available for the Read Around the World Book Club at the Lamanda Park Branch Library on November 16, from 4:00 PM till 5:00 PM. The club is open to kids in grades 3-5, and they will read a middle-grade book set in another country or culture.



Create a Still Life Picture

Registration is open for your 7-12-year-old to learn all about still life pictures and make one of their own under the guidance of artist Jeanette Russell on November 17, from 3:30 PM till 5:00 PM. Spots are limited.



Super Smash Fridays!

In the Altadena Libary's Community Room, teens (grades 8-12) smash the competition every other Friday, from 4:00 PM till 5:00 PM. Console and controllers are provided by the library. Teens just bring their friends!



Tween Gaming Hour

Your Tween (ages 8-12) are invited to an hour of gaming fun every other Thursday, from 4:00 PM till 5:00 PM. A variety of games are played, including Among UsMario Kart, and Smash Brothers. Your Tween can bring their own tablet or Nintendo Switch. In November, the fun is on November 4 and 18.



Fall Frolic - Sun Art

Your whole family can create some art with the help of the sun on November 13, from 2:00 PM till 4:00 PM. The fun happens on the front lawn of the Altadena Library. Registration is NOT required, but supplies are limited.



Pumpkin Chuckin' Workshop

The fall harvest meets engineering in this fantastic 40-minute workshop for kids age 5 and up. Come into the Kidspace maker space and learn how to build catapults to chuck pumpkins over a goal. This workshop is included in general admission. See the site for more details and to reserve tickets.

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NOTE: Story times are subject to change. Please check the sites. Recorded story times are generally available on library YouTube channels.

Teen Inspiration

Check out Altadena Library's Teen Instagram account for BTWN TiTLES, their biweekly posts of book reviews, creativity experiments, and more.

Pasadena Public Library regular storytimes:

Social Media Storytime: Preschool on Mondays at 10:30 - 10:50 AM on Facebook Live and Thursday at 3:00 - 3:20 PM on Instagram Live


Social Media Storytime: Toddler on Tuesdays at 10:30 - 10:50 AM on Instagram Live


Chinese Mandarin Storytime on Wednesdays at 3:00 PM on Instagram Live


Social Media Storytime: Hora de Cuento en Español on Wednesdays at 4:00 - 4:20 PM on Facebook Live


Social Media Storytime: ASL (American Sign Language) on Friday at 4:00 - 4:20 PM on Instagram Live

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