The Hamlet

Page 1

Published by Estrella Publishing LLC, PO Box 6962, Goodyear AZ 85338. Additional copies can be obtained for a fee by contacting info@EstrellaPublishing.com

Catherine Uretsky, Publisher and Editor 623.398.5541 info@EstrellaPublishing.com

Al Uretsky, Publisher and Sales Executive 623.398.5541 info@EstrellaPublishing.com

All contents © 2010-present Estrella Publishing LLC. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any form, in whole or part, without written permission from Estrella Publishing LLC is prohibited. Estrella Publishing accepts freelance contributions, there is no guarantee that materials will be used or returned. Some content is provided by Brandpointe. Estrella Publishing is not responsible for the content of contributing writers and advertisers and assumes no responsibility for errors appearing within. Opinions expressed are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the Publisher or Advertisers. Estrella Publishing reserves the right to restrict all advertisement to their proper classification and to edit or reject any copy at its sole discretion. Neither this publication nor Estrella Publishing is an agent of or in any way affiliated with the associated Developer nor Homeowners Association, or any of their respective affiliates. This publication has not been approved by, sponsored by, or endorsed by the associated Developer nor Homeowners Association in any way.

2 Estrella Publishing - The Hamlet magazine December 2022
623-398-5541

From Me To You...

I was scrolling on the internet recently and a headline jumped out at me, “3 Scary Noises Your Furnace Shouldn’t Make.” So I immediately thought, “I should read this so I know if my furnace is making any unusual or dangerous noises!” Now I should note that my furnace is not making any odd noises that I am aware of, and if it was I wouldn’t hear them anyway because it is in the garage. But that did not stop me from scrolling to learn all I could - from the font of all wisdom, the internet.

Did you ever think that there would be too much information? That having access to all the knowledge out there would cause more problems than it would fix?

Let me give you another example. Someone in our family recently had regular blood work done. “Not a problem!” You say. Well, have you visited a doctor recently? Gone for any blood tests or scans? Then you too are a victim of the ‘knows too much’ family. Those incomprehensible lists of names you almost know from all those hours of watching Grey’s Anatomy, the scary numbers that seem so high and low compared to the ‘normal range’ presented to you.

So you do what we all do. Google it. This, my friends, is the rabbit hole of information that always ends with you convinced that you have

at the least a serious, if not terminal, diagnosis. Once an actual doctor was consulted there was nothing unusual in the tests, but the temporary terror we experienced was not good for our health. In this world of law suits and commercials claiming that everyone has been exposed to some terrifying chemical or other, it can be hard to reign in the terror that a medical report instills.

A little knowledge is apparently a dangerous thing, and I will try to reduce my internet based research in the future. Now excuse me while I check out my furnace, I swear I heard it making a noise just now...

Editor, Estrella Publishing info@estrellapublishing.com 623-398-5541

Estrella Publishing - The Hamlet magazine December 2022 3
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Holiday Joy

Seeing the holidays through the eyes of a child is a remarkable experience. Children take extra delight in twinkling lights, festive songs and stories, and the excitement in the air. Involving our little ones in ongoing celebrations not only offers great bonding opportunities, but it can also benefit their long-term growth. Here are four activities that will subtly activate physical, emotional and cognitive development:

• Baking cookies “Think about all the steps that go into baking, from scooping and measuring to mixing and pressing cookie cutters into the dough. All these hands-on skills are beneficial to promoting fine motor and early math skills in children,” said Joy Turner, vice president of education for the Kiddie Academy brand. Baking and decorating cookies is a great way to increase children’s upper body strength, pincer grasp, hand/eye coordination and more. Invite your children to stir, roll, touch, smell, feel, count and taste your cookie creations for a full sensory experience.

• Making homemade cards and decorations Let your children color, cut out shapes, glue and write on the cards to practice dexterity, handwriting and visual processing skills. Take stamps and decorate plain brown paper and ask your children to help you wrap gifts in it. Build a popsicle-stick Christmas tree or menorah to focus on engineering basics. Use a hole punch to allow tree lights to shine through cardstock ornaments while building hand strength. Find activities that are fun and that also focus on necessary abilities.

• Building a countdown chain Use strips of construction paper and tape or glue to build a chain with a pattern of alternating colors and one link for each day until the big event. Your children’s brains will have to access memory to remember to remove a link each day and you can prompt them to practice counting the remaining chain links as well.

• Giving gifts and volunteering Character values are a very important and easy skill to practice during the holiday season. Let your children see how it feels to select and give a special item to a family member or neighbor to build kindness and generosity. Gratitude and good citizenship can be developed by even our youngest children through helping others within the community by volunteering or donating to a toy or food drive. Because the whole purpose of the holidays is to show kindness and helpfulness, numerous benefits come from engaging children in these activities at a developmentally appropriate level.

Holiday activities that serve a twofold purpose of celebrating the season while also focusing on child development abound. In addition to the benefits of physical, creative and personal growth, a completed craft or activity also offers a self-esteem boost that will keep the holiday spirit alive.

4 Estrella Publishing - The Hamlet magazine December 2022

Home Sweet Home

As temperatures fall and we begin to spend more time indoors, many of us are looking for ways to make our homes more snug and cozy. After all, the winter months can be much easier to withstand when our homes become havens. As British poet Edith Sitwell once wrote: “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand, and for a talk beside the fire: It is the time for home.” Here are some key decor elements that can go a long way toward making your home seem warm and inviting.

Soft and luxurious textiles

The upholstery, drapes, curtains, linens, bedding and throws you pick can have a major impact on comfort levels. It may be worth spending more to purchase high-end textiles with high thread counts.

Rich-looking hardwood floors

Hardwood floors offer unparalleled warmth and beauty to any home regardless of its architecture and design style. “Engineered hardwood floors

are a great home decor choice,” says Jen Meska, Director of Merchandising at LL Flooring. “They’re built to withstand changes in temperature and humidity in your home, while delivering the warm, organic benefits of hardwood that can make your home feel cozy and welcoming.”

Peaceful atmospheric lighting

Our natural human circadian rhythms dictate that warm yellowish-white light helps us relax and unwind. In general, light bulbs marked “soft white” or “warm white” will warm up any room.

Comfortable furniture

Perhaps it’s time to invest in a new pillow-top mattress, a cushy sectional couch that can seat your entire family around the TV or dining room chairs comfortable enough for game-playing and lingering conversations.

Warm color schemes

Because warm colors such as reds, yellows, oranges and yellow-greens tend to remind us of sun, sand, and heat, they can make us perceive rooms as warmer and cozier. You may wish to paint one or more of your rooms in those colors.

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‘The Talk’

When you hear the term bullying, the thought of children heckling a student on a playground or in the classroom comes to mind. However, with the age of social media, bullying can extend far beyond the classroom, and parents may not always know what bullying looks like outside of school.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Education, bullying is defined by three core elements: Unwanted aggressive behavior, a power imbalance, and repetition or high likelihood of repetition of bullying behaviors. While broad, this definition includes many types of behavior that can affect your children.

While some people may want to downplay the issue, bullying is a serious problem. According to

StopBullying.gov, bullied children are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, health issues and decreased academic achievement, which often follows children into adulthood. As for the bullies, they’re more likely to abuse substances and engage in violence and other risky behavior as they grow up. While you can’t prevent bullying, you can spread awareness and tackle the issue head-on by talking with your children about bullying.

Frank Viscuso, author of “Sprinkles the Fire Dog” - a children’s book about a puppy who must overcome physical limitations, bullying and selfdoubt to achieve his dream - has offered three tips for talking with your children about bullying.

1. Talk early and talk often

Talk with your children about bullying before they ever see it, experience it or bully someone else. You can help your child understand what bullying is and how to spot it when it’s happening to them or someone else. As your children play and go to school, make it a habit to check in on them. Ask them about their day and how they’re feeling. Your child is more likely to confide in you when they see or experience bullying.

2.

Prepare responses

If your child does experience or witness bullying, they may be hesitant to stand up for themselves or others. Help them become more confident by practicing what to say and do when bullying occurs.

3. Share your experiences

It may be uncomfortable to relive your own bullying, but by doing so, you are creating a positive example for your child. Whether you were bullied, were the bully or simply a bystander, your experience is invaluable.

Estrella Publishing - The Hamlet magazine December 2022 7
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Get Out Of Your Own Way

Have you ever wondered why you react so strongly to certain things? Why someone says a specific thing or acts a certain way toward you and you have a big reaction that later seems disproportionate to the event? I can promise you it’s because at least one of your self-limiting beliefs is being triggered. Let’s look at a couple of examples here:

For instance, your partner goes out with friends, comes home later than expected and doesn’t call or return your texts when it gets really late and you’re trying to check in with them. When they get home, you go off on them and rant and rave about them not caring about you, or maybe you even accuse them of cheating. Chances are, those situations are triggering your fears of abandonment. When that fear is triggered, like it or not, you are instantly transported back to when those fears first arose. It’s not a conscious process, but it’s one that will continue if you don’t do something to overcome it by exploring and changing the self-limiting beliefs that lie beneath it.

Or let’s say your friend becomes really successful with an opportunity that was presented to both of you but you didn’t take because of a fear of failure. When you see her, she talks about how her career is rocketing to the next level and how she’s so happy that her hard work has paid off. You say that you’re happy for her but then you cry on your way home and snark at your spouse or kids when you get home. But aren’t you happy for your friend? Yes, of course you are, but you’re also jealous, which is triggered by your selflimiting belief of not being worthy or capable of good things. You have to annihilate your selflimiting beliefs in order to respond differently to both the opportunities and the successes of others.

Submitted by Jennifer Bellingrodt, Psy.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist. For the full article and more, visit www.doctorbellingrodt.com.

DISCLAIMER: Material is for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for evaluation or treatment by a licensed professional. Material is copyrighted and may only be reproduced with written permission of Dr. Bellingrodt.

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Holiday Joy

Seeing the holidays through the eyes of a child is a remarkable experience. Children take extra delight in twinkling lights, festive songs and stories, and the excitement in the air. Involving our little ones in ongoing celebrations not only offers great bonding opportunities, but it can also benefit their long-term growth. Here are four activities that will subtly activate physical, emotional and cognitive development:

• Baking cookies

“Think about all the steps that go into baking, from scooping and measuring to mixing and pressing cookie cutters into the dough. All these hands-on skills are beneficial to promoting fine motor and early math skills in children,” said Joy Turner, vice president of education for the Kiddie Academy brand. Baking and decorating cookies is a great way to increase children’s upper body strength, pincer grasp, hand/eye coordination

and more. Invite your children to stir, roll, touch, smell, feel, count and taste your cookie creations for a full sensory experience.

• Making homemade cards and decorations Let your children color, cut out shapes, glue and write on the cards to practice dexterity, handwriting and visual processing skills. Take stamps and decorate plain brown paper and ask your children to help you wrap gifts in it. Build a popsicle-stick Christmas tree or menorah to focus on engineering basics. Use a hole punch to allow tree lights to shine through cardstock ornaments while building hand strength. Find activities that are fun and that also focus on necessary abilities.

• Building a countdown chain Use strips of construction paper and tape or glue to build a chain with a pattern of alternating colors and one link for each day until the big event. Your children’s brains will have to access memory to remember to remove a link each day and you can prompt them to practice counting the remaining chain links as well.

• Giving gifts and volunteering Character values are a very important and easy skill to practice during the holiday season. Let your children see how it feels to select and give a special item to a family member or neighbor to build kindness and generosity. Gratitude and good citizenship can be developed by even our youngest children through helping others within the community by volunteering or donating to a toy or food drive. Because the whole purpose of the holidays is to show kindness and helpfulness, numerous benefits come from engaging children in these activities at a developmentally appropriate level.

Holiday activities that serve a twofold purpose of celebrating the season while also focusing on child development abound. In addition to the benefits of physical, creative and personal growth, a completed craft or activity also offers a self-esteem boost that will keep the holiday spirit alive.

Estrella Publishing - The Hamlet magazine December 2022 9
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Yum Yum

Texas Sheet Cake Cookies (for Santa!)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for COOKIE EXCHANGES! Many of us have been to one or hosted ~ depending on the number of guests, instructions are given for how many cookies to bring so that everyone goes home with a bountiful variety. The recipe I’m sharing this month comes from a neighbor, Kelly, who brought these to last year’s event ~ and they were one of the hits of the party! And what are the origins of Texas Sheet Cake, you ask? A reference for a large chocolate sheet cake published in the Galveston Daily News back in 1936 as well as a 1967 recipe for another chocolate sheet cake with pecans in the frosting that was published in the Huntsville Heritage Cookbook. Yes, Huntsville as in Alabama, not Texas! Helpful Hint

Preheat

Using a medium cookie scoop, place dough on parchment-lined cookie sheets.

Bake for 7-8 minutes; remove from oven then let cool on the cookie sheets for 4-5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

Combine first (3) frosting ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk until melted. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar ~ whisk until smooth. Using a small spatula, spread frosting over cookies.

Let frosting set; cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature up to (3) days. Optional: Place a Pecan Half on each cookie after frosting is spread.

Submitted by Maureen Woods

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Cookie Ingredients: 1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix 2 Eggs, whisked 1/3 C Vegetable or Canola Oil
½ C unsalted Butter 2 T unsweetened Cocoa Powder 3 T whole Milk 2-1/2 C Powdered Sugar
: Purchase a bakery box for each guest for ease in transport home.
Frosting:
oven to 350 degrees.
Combine cookie ingredients in a large bowl until mixed thoroughly. Dough will be thick.

Gifting

The holidays are approaching, which means it’s time to start thinking about gifts for your loved ones. Instead of gifting the latest toy, fashion trend or home gadget, consider giving the gift of an experience. When you give the gift of an experience, you’re providing opportunities for the recipient to make memories that will last longer than any fad or gadget.

Check out these four experiential gift ideas you can use to up your gift-giving game this holiday season.

1.

Learn a new skill together

Have you always wanted to learn how to ski? Or have your kids begged for guitar lessons? Maybe your spouse is interested in learning pottery, or Grandpa has mentioned an interest in woodworking. Try something new and take a class together this holiday season. If your family enjoys the activity, it could become a tradition you all look forward to each year. Even if you only try an activity once and decide it’s not for you, you’ll still have the memory of trying something new with the people you love.

2. Take a trip

It’s fun to get away with the whole family during the holiday season, especially if you can head somewhere warm during the colder months. Once you find the perfect spot, you can turn a family trip into an annual holiday tradition where you continue to make memories year after year.

3. Buy a family membership

If you’ve wanted to spend more time exploring local museums, zoos, live theaters or other attractions close to home, consider buying a family membership. Not only are you more likely to go if you’ve already paid for a membership, but you can use it immediately and start making memories during the holidays. Best of all, you can continue to visit throughout the year and make memories year-round.

Family memberships or family season packages are generally more affordable than buying individual tickets for each visit, and many families see savings after just one trip. Some memberships even include perks like discounts, member-only events and advanced ticket options.

4. Encourage experiences with

gift cards

Gift cards don’t need to be limited to retail stores and restaurants. Take note of your family members’ interests and buy them gift cards that support and encourage exploration. For example, if your youngest is a budding film critic, get them a gift card to your local movie theater. Give Grandma and Grandpa a gift card to the local museum or your spouse a membership to a yoga or Pilates studio.

Elevate your gift-giving this holiday season. Using these four ideas, you can gift your family and friends experiences that create memories that will last a lifetime. After all, the holiday season is about spending time with our loved ones.

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Well Visits

Annual well-child visits are doctor appointments for preventive health services which are essential for ensuring a child’s growth and tracking developmental milestones. The visit is also the time for routine immunizations to prevent diseases like measles, polio, hepatitis B, chickenpox, whooping cough and others.

“Like vaccines, which prevent physical health conditions, speaking with your child’s primary care physician regularly about mental health concerns is also an essential part of overall preventive care,” said Rhonda L. Randall, D.O. and chief medical officer at UnitedHealthcare. “Your annual well-child visit is also an opportunity to have a conversation with your child’s physician. It’s best to have these conversations when problems or warning signs first appear, so your physician can take the appropriate steps to

best treat them.”

If you’re not sure what questions to ask your child’s primary care physician during an annual well-child visit, consider the following:

1) Ask what vaccines are appropriate for your child’s age - and how to make up any that have been missed. If you are concerned about childhood vaccines, ask the pediatrician about common side effects, which are typically very mild, such as pain or swelling at the injection site, and can include low-grade fever or rash.

2) Discuss changes in your child’s behavior. Some common warning signs that your child’s mental well-being isn’t where it needs to be include persistent sadness, withdrawing from or avoiding social interactions, displaying outbursts of irritability, drastic changes in mood, behavior or personality, changes in eating habits, difficulty sleeping, frequent headaches or stomach aches, difficulty concentrating, changes in academic performance or avoiding or missing school.

3) Ask for guidance on how best to support your child. Whether you have concerns about your child’s nutrition, exercise, sleeping patterns or behavioral changes, your child’s primary care physician is a great place to start.

4) Don’t forget to bring your sports physical forms. It’s great if your child participates in school sports. The wellness visit is an opportune time to make sure your physician is aware that your child is a student-athlete and address any concerns like nutrition, prior injuries and family history.

5) Ask for recommendations for other health care professionals, if needed. For example, if your child hasn’t seen the dentist in a while, if their vision screening indicated that they need to see an eye doctor, or their mental health screening has raised concerns, ask which health care professionals they would recommend.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to schedule an appointment with their pediatrician, to give your child a healthy start to the new year.

Estrella Publishing - The Hamlet magazine December 2022 13
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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

can only appear once in every row, column and 3x3 box. Good Luck!

Estrella Publishing - The Hamlet magazine December 2022 15 Samurai Sudoku
Solutions
Difficulty: Moderate Tuesday, 15th November 2022 8 9 3 2 1 4 6 5 5 6 2 3 6 9 1 2 7 3 8 7 2 4 6 8 1 8 4 1 6 3 7 5 7 8 4 5 1 8 5 2 2 8 9 3 2 9 7 9 3 1 7 5 8 7 1 6 3 4 1 3 4 4 1 7 5 1 3 1 8 5 3 8 7 6 3 4 6 2 8 9 2 7 5 6 1 8 6 9 2 9 4 1 7 7 8 7 9 1 8 5 9 8 4 3 5 8 6 3 2 9 1 3 7 5 1 8 www.samurai-sudoku.com
This
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are on our website www.EstrellaPublishing.com
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