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From Me To You...
May is a month full of events; graduations, Mother’s Day and the beginning of summer. The official beginning of summer is Memorial Day and when I first came to America I only knew it as a day of gatherings and picnics, family and egg salad. I soon found that it was so much more. A day to honor those who lost their lives while defending this country. So many have perished in defense of the rights that are set out in the constitution and we should honor their memory, it is the right thing to do.
Another thing May brings is change. We have been empty nesters for the first time this year and the peaceful days of living with nobody’s responsibilities but mine and my husband’s are about to come to a close, at least for a couple of months. The return of my college students, fresh off their first year of living ‘independently’ is upon us. I know the transition back to living at home will not be easy for any of us - I have been down this road before. The conflict between the life where they have been in charge of setting their own rules and boundaries and having to bend to our house rules is always challenging.
Gone are my quiet nights watching TV and sipping a glass of wine, bring on the raucous sounds of laughter and demands for food. The revolving door as childhood friends come calling, the noise levels ratcheting higher as they greet each other and compare college tales - I can’t wait. Even though the peace and quiet will be on temporary hold, and my nights will be longer and louder than I am used to, I am thrilled to see them and know that they are home.
I know this time with them will fly by, the minor irritations will be forgotten as soon as I wave them off to start their next year of adventures. And I am so thankful that they can do all that because of the many who sacrificed for them. Those brave men and women who gave their lives so that all our kids can safely go to college and live their lives in a country that they love. Thank you all.Catherine Uretsky Editor, CB Living Magazine email@example.com 623.398.5541
Cutest Pet Contest
Our cutest pet winner for 2023 is Beamer, an 18 year old green iguana. His owner Monica Harmon sent us this funny story of Beamer’s exploits to share with you.
Over the past 14 years that he’s been a member of our family, he has been the cause of a lot of strife and more than a few heated family “discussions”. (He isn’t the easiest of pets to own and both my husband and our young adult sons have had many misgivings about Beamer being a member of the family for so long.) Which leads me to a “cute” story.
About 6 years ago, when we were living on our 5-acre farm in Vancouver, WA, I let Beamer out on the back deck to sun himself on a particularly warm day. This was part of his daily routine in the summers when the weather was nice; he would “ask” to go outside by scratching at the sliding glass door until someone let him out. After a few hours, I went to check on him and couldn’t find him. I searched for a while with no luck, really started panicking and enlisted the help of my husband and two sons. No one could find him! Our neighbors and their kids came over to help us look for him, but since we had about 200 trees to look in, it quickly became dark with no sight of Beamer.
Every day for the next two months, I spent hours searching for Beamer and calling him (he does know his name). I posted flyers, asked the neighbors repeatedly and even increased my search to the 20 acres of forest behind our house. Finally I admitted defeat and allowed my husband to move Beamer’s large enclosure out of the house and into the barn. Shortly thereafter, we were having our house painted and one of the painters frantically ran up to me and exclaimed that a very large and scary lizard like animal had jumped out at him from inside the bushes. Well, I thought he had been
put up to this by my husband so I just laughed it off, much to the painter’s surprise. Unbeknownst to me, the other painter had frantically ran in the other direction, finding my husband on the other side of the house and exclaimed the same thing. My husband thought I had put the painter up to it! When they both got us together and we realized they were telling the truth, I burst into tears of joy and started running around trying to find Beamer, as it had now been 10-15 minutes since his sighting. At the same time, my husband also started crying because he had been so happy to be living a life free of an often irritable 4 foot male iguana, that the idea of him coming back home made him shed tears of sorrow. Within an hour, I found the tree Beamer had been living in all summer, finally got him out and was shocked to watch him run the fastest I’ve ever seen him, making a beeline from the trees and straight through our open front door and directly into his room in the house. Since then, he has never strayed very far from our home at all and I doubt he ever will. He will always remember that fateful summer when he went just a little too far from home and didn’t get his daily warm bath and fresh green salad.
Thank you to everyone who sent in pictures, Corte Bella is full of cute pets! We received so many wonderful entries and although we would love it, we can’t print them all! If you didn’t win this time be on the lookout for future competitions. Here are the runners up...
Where in the world is the Margaret River?
Where in the world is the Margaret River? It is probably not on your radar… but it should be!
The Margaret River is located 4 hours outside of Perth in an isolated region in southwestern Australia. Margaret River is actually a peninsula surrounded on 3 sides by the Indian Ocean. It is located on the same latitude as Los Angeles , Cape Town South, Africa and Sydney.
Fun Facts about the Margaret River AVA…
-80% of the plant species found here aren’t found anywhere else on earth.
-One of the few wine producing regions in the world that has not encountered phylloxera ( a devastating root stock aphid that eats the roots of the grapes and kills the plant). -This area produces only 2% of the total wines in Australia. Out of this 2%, 20% of the QUALITY wines in all of Australia are produced.
Be ready to savor age worthy Cabernets that rival Bordeaux. Amazing Chardonnays that can keep
up with Burgundy, These 2 grapes are the most widely planted in this boutique, mostly family run wine region. Lots of intense sun, sea breeze, a long growing season and lots of winter rain (39” of rain annually) allow for complex Cabernets and Chardonnays. This is a young wine region that planted it’s first grapes in 1967. The soil is a free draining gravel with clay beneath it. The clay holds onto the winter rains and helps keep the roots hydrated into the summer. Being in the Southern hemisphere, harvest begins in February and lasts until late April.
Now that you are thinking that I need to try some of these amazing wines, where can I find them?
Total Wine has a small, but quality offering of Snake and Herring Vineyard. They offer highly rated red blends (think Right Bank Bordeaux) and a Chardonnay that get respectively wine scores of 94 and 95 below $40. Also, a sauvignon blanc/ semillon blend scoring a 91 for $19.99. Try to find that quality from France. Cheers and I hope you have discovered a new wine region to enjoy!Submitted by Linda Dollahan Ward, Corte Bella Resident
There has been a lot of talk about a “cashless” society, but it’s not here yet. In fact, cash can still be a valuable element of your overall financial picture – if you employ it wisely. But how?
Consider these four key uses of cash:
• Everyday spending – Of course, you need sufficient cash on hand to pay for your cost of living – mortgage, debt payments, utilities, groceries, etc. You’ll likely rely on your savings or checking accounts to pay for these needs.
• Unexpected expenses and emergencies – It’s never a bad idea to establish a monthly budget. But, as you know, life is unpredictable – and sometimes you may encounter “budget-busting” expenses, such as a major home repair or a large medical bill. If you haven’t planned for these costs, you might be forced to dip into your long-term investments, such as your IRA and 401(k), which can result in taxes, penalties and less money for your retirement. A better alternative is to prepare in advance by building an emergency fund containing up to six months’ worth of living expenses in cash, or at least in a highly liquid account, held separately from your regular checking or savings account so you won’t inadvertently spend the money.
• Short-term savings goal – When you are investing for a long-term goal – especially retirement – you will likely need to own a reasonable percentage of growth-oriented vehicles, such as stocks and stock-based mutual funds. The value of these investments will fluctuate, so, if it’s possible, you’ll want to avoid selling them when their price is down – which may make them unsuitable for short-term goals. But if you’re aiming for a goal that you want to
achieve in a year or so – a wedding, a long vacation, and so on – you’ll want to be sure a specific amount of money is there for you when you need it. Consequently, you’ll want to put away cash for this type of goal, possibly in a short-term savings or investment vehicle that might pay somewhat higher interest than a regular checking/savings account.
• Source of investment – In regard to your longer-term investment strategy, cash can play two important roles. First, it can serve as its own asset class, alongside other classes, such as stocks and fixed-income vehicles. Unlike these other classes – especially stocks and stock-based mutual funds – cash won’t fluctuate in value, so it can potentially help lessen the impact of market volatility on your portfolio. And second, having the cash available in your portfolio gives you the opportunity to quickly take advantage of other investment opportunities that may occur. And you may be able to use your existing investments to help replenish the cash in your portfolio. For example, if you choose to take stock dividends in cash, these dividends can be “swept” into your brokerage account and held there until you’re ready to invest them. (However, depending on your comprehensive financial strategy, it may be a good move to simply reinvest the dividends into the same stocks or stock funds.) Keep in mind that you won’t want your investment accounts to contain too much cash, as its purchasing power can erode due to inflation.
By managing your cash efficiently, and putting it to work in different ways, you can gain some key benefits – and you’ll help yourself to keep moving toward your short- and long-term goals.Submitted by Wayne Polk, AAMS, Financial Advisor, of Edward Jones
NON-STRESS IRA DESIGNATION
For 401ks, IRAs and other qualified retirement accounts, the designated beneficiary form directs how the funds will be paid on your death.
Common problems that arise with beneficiary designations are:
a. The “Estate” or no beneficiary is listed, so a probate is needed and the IRA will lose the ability to be stretched beyond 5 years, increasing the income tax.
b. A beneficiary dies before you, and if the trust was not the IRA’s designee, then the financial company rules apply to who gets the deceased beneficiary’s share.
c. The designated beneficiary is a minor, not a trust for the minor, and so a costly court conservatorship is need and much of the deferred tax benefit is lost.
d. Your spouse, who is not your children’s parent, did not sign a spousal waiver, so your spouse is entitled to at least if not all of funds, not your children.
Remember, currently, an inherited IRA must be paid in 10 years, if the beneficiary is not a spouse. Leaving a portion or all of your qualified retirement account to charity makes sense. The charity does not pay income taxes and will receive more funds than a family member. Other assets which are not taxable then can be left to family or friends.
Sharon Ravenscroft, Esq., The Cavanagh Law Firm, PA, Sun City and Phoenix offices, (623) 815-7451 or Sravenscroft@CavanaghLaw.com. Sharon’s practice focuses on Wills, trusts, probate and trust administration. For more information visit www.sharonravenscroft.com.
The Corte Bella Canine Club is more than just “Yappy Hour”. Our daily “Yappy Hour” is to provide a social opportunity for our canine friends and neighbors. But our club is so much more.
Emotional Well Being and more
Spring break gives us a chance to share puppy love with all the Corte Bella grandchildren. Children and dogs go together like peanut butter & jelly! (We all remember PB &J). As club members, holidays allow us to share our puppies with the children that visit Corte Bella. One little visitor said that it is his number #1 thing to do when visiting his grandparents – go to Yappy! It’s a total win for club members, grandparents, grandchildren and of course, the puppies. You feel so good when the children and puppies play and laugh. It’s heartwarming, just ask Chery’s grandchildren Brandon & Brooklyn.
But the emotional help also goes to people who recently lost their furry friend. Loss is always difficult and sometimes it takes a little puppy love from a neighbor’s pet to turn the frown around. There’s a special magic that happens when Hugging a pet, especially when grieving.
The help continues to those people whose dog goes missing. The individual who loses their dog when the delivery guy leaves the gate open, or other fence issue, etc. they have a large network
to jump to their support to find the missing pet. On more than one occasion over the last few months, as President, I had to turn the keys (on the computer!), to ignite as, 101 Dalmatians movie says, the “twilight bark” to get all members to scour the neighbor for the missing pup.
Our support goes beyond the emotional as we continue to collect gentle used dog items for the Puppy Luv Rescue, and we continue with fundraisers to monetary support them, as well.
If you have any gentle used dog items, please contact me, Chris Hanson and I will pick them up and get them delivered to Puppy Luv.
If you are interested in learning more about our club, please contact Chris Hanson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Article submitted by Chris Hanson, President of the CB Canine Club
JOIN US on May 12th, in celebrating and recognizing U.S. Military Spouses here in the U.S. and all over the world.
Luke Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) (LukeMOAA.org) joins others in recognizing and celebrating the loyalty, strength, and dedication of the military spouse. Luke Chapter does this every day but place special focus on this day of recognition, May 12.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan named the Friday before Mother’s Day as Military Spouse recognition and celebration day. This year that day is May 12, 2023. A day that recognizes the significant contributions, support,
and sacrifices of the spouses of the U.S. Armed Forces. We are strong focused spouses who do the impossible every single day.
We married our military loves who were duty bound and determined to get the job done. We are more than a label (military spouse). While we know separation or loss happens. But no one can ever prepare you for the hole your spouse leaves in your heart when they are gone. Being strong people, we learned how to, no matter what the problems were at home, keep a cheerful attitude when we facetime
our deployed spouses. We are plumbers, carpenters, child psychologists, learned patience and adaptability, and learned to always put our spouses ‘job’ first. We change locations as needed, creating exciting descriptions of the new environments for our children. Our kids learn how to make new friends. We learn to be socially active with our newfound friends at each base, creating memories and friendships that last forever. We have learned how to live life within and outside of our husband’s duties.
We are supportive, loving, loyal, fierce, and reliable. We are proud to be Military Spouses.Submitted by Linda Wolverton
Stroke Awareness Month
Know the BEFAST tips for recognizing stroke symptoms
May is National Stroke Awareness Month, when health care professionals stress the importance of knowing the warning signs of stroke – a medical emergency and a leading cause of death and long-term disabilities in this country.
Stroke is when the blood vessels to the brain become blocked by a clot or worse, burst open and bleed into your brain. It has no age limits, and younger adults are increasingly affected by stroke and its risk factors, said Lisa Ziomek, Stroke Program Coordinator at Abrazo Health.
Every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke, and one in six people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime. When it comes to spotting stroke symptoms, use the acronym BEFAST for recognizing a stroke.
B - Balance: Watch for sudden loss of balance
E - Eyes: Check for vision loss
F - Face: Look for an uneven smile
A - Arm: Check if one arm is weak
S - Speech: Listen for slurred speech
T - Time: Call 911 right away
“80 percent of stroke are preventable through healthy lifestyle changes and working with your health care team to control health conditions that raise your risk for stroke such as heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes,” said Ziomek.
Abrazo offers online health assessments including a stroke quiz to help you identify issues and areas to discuss with your doctor, or for more information on stroke care at Abrazo hospitals or a physician referral, visit AbrazoHealth.com.
Simple lifestyle changes can make a big impact on your risk for stroke such as choosing healthy meal and snack options, lowering your BMI, exercise regularly, limit your alcohol consumption, stop smoking and get regular checkups with your doctor.
Submitted by Abrazo Health
Overnight French Toast Casserole
Go ahead and sleep in, because this French Toast Casserole is completely prepped the night before, perfect for Mother’s Day!
8 cups cubed French bread, from a thick, crusty loaf
7 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup half & half cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup salted butter, melted
1 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
3 TB pure maple syrup
Optional Cinnamon Sugar Topping: 1/4 cup sugar, whisked with 1 tsp cinnamon. Serve with pure maple syrup and fresh berries.
• Butter a 9x13 baking dish; arrange bread cubes evenly in the dish. Set aside.
• In a large bowl, add all remaining ingredients (except optional topping.) Beat until fully incorporated and no clumps of brown sugar remain. Evenly and slowly pour liquid mixture over the bread cubes, gently tossing to ensure that all bread is coated with egg mixture. Bread cubes should be mostly soaked. Cover with foil and chill overnight.
• Remove casserole from fridge, uncover, and let it rest at room temp while you preheat oven to 350F. Sprinkle top with Cinnamon Sugar Topping, if using.
• Bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes, or until French toast is quite puffy and golden brown. Let casserole rest at least 5 min before cutting and serving. Serve with pure maple syrup and fresh berries for a perfect Mother’s Day morning!
Friendships are an essential part of living a fulfilling life. The problem is, no one really talks about how to let go of the ones that are no longer adding value to your life. Danielle Bayard Jackson, Bumble For Friends’ expert, shares her advice on how to assess your friendships so that you can find peace in letting go of the ones you’ve outgrown. She suggests starting by asking yourself these questions:
• Does the friendship feel like an obligation?
Many people have circumstantial friendships, meaning relationships that are mostly based on convenience, such as taking the same classes. When you maintain these friendships out of a sense of duty, it’s time to reassess.
• Why are you maintaining the friendship?
One of the most common reasons why people hold on to friendships that no longer serve them is that they feel they owe it to history. If the reasons you’ve elected to keep a friendship don’t include a value-add to your life, then it might be time to mend or end the relationship.
• What is maintaining the friendship costing you? Holding on to a friendship that you aren’t genuinely interested in maintaining can lead to resentment, as you’re investing time, energy and emotional bandwidth that you most likely can’t afford.
If you decide that it’s time to part ways, Jackson recommends a three-step formula:
* Show that you’re intentional about the decision. Say, “Listen, I’ve been thinking a lot lately....”
* Address your needs without blaming the other person. Use ‘I’ statements as much as you can; try saying, “I need friendships in my life that can prioritize and support me in times of need.”
* Tell them how much you appreciate them and what your intention is for moving forward. This could be, “I have appreciated our friendship so much, and you have been such an integral part of my life. However, I won’t be able to show up in this friendship in the same way that I have before.”
Ending a friendship that no longer fits doesn’t make you mean or disloyal. Instead, it creates space for the both of you to be better positioned to invite new connections into your lives.
The Bug Guy
Pest control is an essential aspect of maintaining a clean and healthy environment, particularly in the West Valley where numerous pests, such as scorpions, spiders, and rodents, thrive. The state of Arizona has a unique set of challenges when it comes to pest control, and it is important to understand the best practices for effectively managing, preventing, and controlling pests.
The first step in effective pest control in the West Valley is prevention. This involves taking measures to eliminate factors that attract pests to your home or business. Clearing debris and other clutter around your property, and maintaining clean and dry environments, are all important measures to ensure pests do not enter your property.
Several effective methods for controlling pests in the Phoenix Valley include physical and chemical options. Physical control involves measures such as trapping, baiting and exclusion, and is often used for rodent and bird control.
Chemical control is a very effective method of pest control and includes the use of pesticides. Pesticides are chemicals that are designed to kill or repel pests and should be applied with caution to prevent harm to humans and pets. In Arizona, the use of pesticides is regulated by the Arizona Department of Agriculture to ensure safe application.
In addition, recent advancements in pest control technology have made it easier to manage pests in the Phoenix Valley. For instance, integrated pest management (IPM) is a holistic approach to pest control that involves using several methods simultaneously to manage pest populations. This approach not only maximizes the effectiveness of pest control, but also minimizes the use of harmful chemicals.
In conclusion, pest control is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy and clean environment in the West Valley. By implementing preventative measures, using effective pest control methods, and utilizing the latest advancements in pest control technologies, trained professional technicians, can successfully manage pest populations, and improve the quality of your environment. It is important to seek professional and reliable pest control services to ensure that your home is protected from the various pests that infest the West Valley.Submitted by Larry Cash, of Estrella Mountain Pest Control
Out & About
When traveling other travelers expose you to viruses and bacteria. Also, if you have seasonal allergies, you’ll be exposed to more allergens, especially if you’re traveling to new locations during spring. When you combine these two immune disruptors, travel and allergies, you’re looking at a recipe for a miserable time. However, there are things you can do to boost your immune system and manage your allergies during travel. Here are three tips you can employ during your next trip to stay healthy and enjoy your vacation.
1. Stay hydrated
You’ve heard it a million times, but it’s true. Drinking enough water is critical to maintaining your immune system. Staying hydrated is especially important during air travel. Have you ever noticed how thirsty you are during a flight? That’s because airplane cabins are typically kept
at low humidity, leading to quicker dehydration. You also may notice that your nasal passages dry out, which can worsen allergies after a flight.
2. Support your gut health
Did you know your gut is home to more than 70% of your body’s immune cells? “One way to support your immune health is through postbiotics. You’ve probably heard about the health benefits of probiotics and prebiotics, but you may not have heard about the newest biotic on the market - postbiotics,” said Keri Gans, registered dietitian nutritionist and author of The Small Change Diet. “
3. Stress less
Stress isn’t just a drain on your mental health. It can also have very real physical effects. Stress can worsen your allergies because it increases the release of histamines, which trigger allergy symptoms. An increase in histamines in the bloodstream can make existing allergies much worse.
A few ways you can combat stress every day and during travel include:
* Relaxing exercises like yoga
* Getting plenty of sleep
* Listening to soothing music
* Eating a healthy diet
While it’s impossible to remove all stressors from your life, you can employ these and other strategies to manage your stress at work, home or abroad. And remember, you are on vacation!
This samurai sudoku puzzle is a great way to engage the brain and help develop logic skills. To solve this Samurai puzzle use standard sudoku rules for every 9x9 grid: each digit from 1 to 9 can only appear once in every row, column and 3x3 box. Good Luck!
Solutions are on our website www.EstrellaPublishing.com
FINANCIAL & LEGAL SERVICES
Cavanagh Law Firm - S Ravenscroft
Edward Jones - Wayne Polk
Moore Insurance Agency
Succentrix Business Advisors
HEALTH & BEAUTY
The Wax Room
Camcor Plumbing & Water Treatment
Creative Surface Solutions
Dave Hardy Solar
Estrella Mountain Pest Control
House Sitting - Susan Cooper
Younger Bros Pest Control
One Luxe Realty One Group - A Herman
Those Real Estate Ladies - S Owens
Those Real Estate Ladies - M Miller
S w i n g I n t o S p r i n g
E n v i s i o n a f u l l y p r i v a t e c o u n t r y c l u b b o a s t i n g a n 1 8 - h o l e c h a m p i o n s h i p g o l f c o u r s e , d e s i g n e d b y G r e g N a s h f u e l e d b y c a m a r a d e r i e a n d c o n n e c t i o n . R e f r e s h i n g l y c a s u a l , w a r m a n d i n c l u s i v e , B r i a r w o o d i s t h e h o m e o f s p i r i t e d g a t h e r i n g s i n a l a i d b a c k s e t t i n g . B r i a r w o o d i s e n e r g i z e d b y i t s m e m b e r s a n d t h e v i b r a n t s o c i a l c a l e n d a r s e t s t h e s c e n e f o r l i f e l o n g m e m o r i e s .
I f y o u ' r e l o o k i n g f o r a p l a c e w h e r e n e w f a c e s b e c o m e n e w f r i e n d s , a n d m e m b e r s a r e e q u a l l y p a s s i o n a t e a b o u t l i f e a n d p l a y , t h e n w e i n v i t e y o u t o e x p e r i e n c e B r i a r w o o d C o u n t r y C l u b . R e l a x , a n d e n j o y l i f e w i t h u s . Y o u b e s t s t a g e i n l i f e , s t a r t s h e r e .
B e i n g a m e m b e r o f B r i a r w o o d , a n e w l y T r o o n m a n a g e d f a c i l i t y , h a s i t s b e n e f i t s . G o l f m e m b e r s a r e i n v i t e d t o t a k e a d v a n t a g e o f p r e f e r r e d r a t e s a t r e s o r t a n d d a i l y f e e f a c i l i t i e s w o r l d w i d e s u c h a s T r o o n N o r t h ,
T h e P h o e n i c i a n , W i c k e n b u r g R a n c h , K i e r l a n d , Q u i n t e r o , S i l v e r a d o , P r o n g h o r n , T e t h e r o w , I n d i a n W e l l s , K a p a l u a a n d m o r e .