1. The Humane Society of Silicon Valley (HSSV) is calling out to local households this holiday season to find homes for close to 150 dogs and puppies. If the wallet is looking a little sparse, don't let that stop you—several local shelters are offering a "your price is right" option right now, allowing you to name an adoption fee amount that works with your pocketbook, though deposits and licensing fees will still apply. Examples of participating local shelters include San Jose Animal Care and Services, Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority, South County Animal Shelter and Palo Alto Animal Services. Hurry, as this special offer is only good through Dec. 31! If you are interested in adopting, visit individual shelter websites for more information.
2. National Novel Writing Month may be over, but the staff of still wants you to finish that bit of writing you've been working on. So they have decided to continue the trend they started during the "NaNoWriMo" challenge by keeping their Friday night get-togethers, now called "Friday Night's All Right for Writing." Come in for tea, treats, support and some serious writing time with people who appreciate what you are trying to accomplish. It all takes place Fridays from 6:30-8:30 p.m at Firefly Willows, 111 Main St. For more information, call 650-947-9300 or visit fireflywillows.com.
3. Here's yet another way to entertain the kids early next week while you finish your holiday errands, or just take some time yourself. If you have a budding detective on your hands, he or she may just fall in love with Los Altos Hills Parks and Recreation's new class, The Mad Science Spy Academy! From secret-message decoding to metal detectors to night vision, children from 5 to 12 will get the chance to step into the shoes of a detective as they uncover the science involved in evidence gathering and analysis. The kids will use real "spy equipment" and even create their own edible secret message. It all takes place Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to noon each day, at the Parks and Recreation Center at , 26379 W. Fremont Rd. in Los Altos Hills. The cost is $134 for residents and $148 for nonresidents. For more information or to register, call 650-941-7222 or visit losaltoshills.ca.gov/activity-guide.
4. Meet the woman behind the art this Saturday. The oil paintings of Diana Jaye are on display all month at , 315 State St. in Los Altos, and she will be on hand at the gallery Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jaye works mostly in plein air and is known for her paintings of such Bay Area spots as the Arboretum, Land's End and cityscapes of downtown San Francisco. Admission to the gallery is free. For more information, call 650-941-5789 or visit viewpointsgallery.com.
5. Stressed out trying to find the time to plan your Christmas dinner? You may want to consider popping by the Holiday Taste Faire at this Saturday and Sunday. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, the Prepared Foods department will offer samples of the entrées and side dishes of their holiday meals. Choose from main dishes, like turkey, spiral-cut ham or vegan roast; and traditional sides such as savory herb stuffing, cranberry relish, mashed potatoes with gravy, dinner rolls and, of course, pumpkin pie. You can sample everything and place an order for a complete holiday meal that needs only a warm oven and no preparation, if you so choose. This is a free event at the Los Altos store, 4800 El Camino Real. For more information, call 650-559-0300 or visit wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/losaltos/.