The Hamlet

Page 1

The Hamlet

A magazine for Palm Valley residents

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

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.

From Me To You...

I discovered a startling fact the other day, in Tahiti there is no word for art. The closest translation is ‘I am doing the best that I can.’ The idea is that there is no perfection in creativity, you just try your best, because if you didn’t try there would be nothing.

We are all doing the best that we can with the knowledge we have at the time. Let that sink in for a minute.

The mother, frantic that she is doing everything wrong, or is making the worst decisions for her child. She is doing the best that she can. The intern at his desk, stumbling around, desperate to make a good impression on his boss. He is doing the best that he can. The senior citizen, pausing in front of a supermarket shelf, slowing everyone down in the aisle, not quite sure what beans to buy. He is doing the best that he can.

I am sure you are not perfect in your actions and thoughts either. You don’t know the answers to everything. You don’t know what to do in every situation. And in those moments of self-doubt,

concern and hesitation you wish for a little grace from others. I know I do. Frequently.

The number of times I have looked back at a decision or action and known that if I had more knowledge, insight or even confidence, things would have been different, is staggering. But just as with that fear of failure in beginning a task, the fear of looking bad, or doing the wrong thing in hindsight should not hold us back. As long as there is accountability in your actions. ‘I know that was not the right path, or the right decision, and given the opportunity I will do better next time.’

So hold yourself accountable, admit you were wrong, and move on. Take courage in the knowledge that you are imperfect, we all are, and resolve to keep ‘doing the best that you can.’


Cook With Zona

Chicken Pot Pie Noodle Skillet

Chicken Pot Pie is a heavily repeated meal in my home but just like everyone else in the world I get tired of the same old, same old meals and need to switch things up from time to time. I came across this recipe and I just knew it would become a fan favorite in my house! And just as I predicted I’ve become utterly obsessed with this dish and have made it multiple times in the last month. When a recipe is not only delicious but simple and almost impossible to screw up, it’s a big win in my book! Even my husband found this recipe extremely easy to follow along!

Traditional Chicken pot pie is a classic comfort food and this Chicken Pot Pie Noodle Skillet (I know, it’s a mouthful) gives off the same energy amplified by 1000! With all the same ingredients as your standard chicken pot pie, minus the crust that we’re essentially substituting with egg noodles. Whether you’re looking for a cozy weeknight dinner or a crowd-pleasing dish to bring to a potluck, this chicken pot pie recipe is sure to impress. So grab your apron and get ready to create a delicious and comforting meal that will have everyone coming back for seconds; or even thirds if

we’re talking about my husband. If you have any recipes you’d like to share with me I would love to try them out! Email me at

Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 15 mins | Total time: 30 mins


• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 1 medium sweet onion, diced

• 3 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 1/2 cups frozen peas and carrots, thawed

• Kosher salt

• Black pepper

• 1/2 teaspoon Sage

• 1/2 teaspoon Thyme

• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

• 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

• 1 cup heavy cream

• 3 chicken breasts, cut into small cubes Steps

• Cook noodles al dente, according to package directions.

• Cook chicken your preferred way. Oven, stove top, or air fryer.

• In a large skillet, melt the butter over mediumhigh heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, and peas and carrots; season with the salt, pepper, sage, and thyme. Cook until onions are soft and translucent. Stir in the flour until combined.

• Pour in the chicken broth and heavy cream; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Stir occasionally until thickened, about 5 minutes.

• Drain the pasta and add to the skillet, along with the chicken. Taste and season with a touch more salt and pepper, if necessary.


We love to see our neighbors’ delicious creations, so send us a picture of your creamy Chicken Pot Pie Noodle Skillet or tag us on social media @EstrellaPublishing.

Money Matters

How strong is your emergency fund?

You can’t predict financial emergencies — but you can prepare for them. To do that, you can build an emergency fund to pay for unexpected expenses, some of which may be sizable. Without one, you might be forced to dip into your investments, possibly including your retirement accounts, such as your IRA or 401(k). If this happens, you might have to pay taxes and penalties, and you’d be withdrawing dollars that could otherwise be growing over time to help pay for your retirement.

In thinking about such a fund, consider these questions:

• How much should I save? The size of your emergency fund should be based on several factors, including your income, your spouse’s income and your cost of living. For most people in their working years, three to six months of total expenses is adequate. Once you’re retired, though, you may want to keep up to a year’s worth of expenses in your emergency fund — because you don’t want to be forced to cash out investments when their price may be down.

• How can I build an emergency fund? You might find it challenging to set aside some extra money in an emergency fund. But you do have opportunities. If you’re working, you could set up a direct deposit so that part of your paycheck goes directly into your emergency fund. You could also save a portion of any extra income you receive, such as bonuses and tax refunds.

• Where should I keep the money? An emergency fund has two key requirements: You need to be able to access the money immediately and you need to count on a certain amount being available. So, it’s a good idea to keep your emergency fund in a liquid, low-risk account that offers protection of principal. For this fund, you’re less interested in growth than you are in stability.

• What types of emergencies should I prepare for? Your emergency fund could be needed for any number of events: a job loss or early retirement, housing or

auto repairs, unreimbursed medical bills, unexpected travel, and so on. But this fund may also be needed to help you cope with other threats. Consider this: In 2023, the U.S. saw a record 28 weather and climate disasters, each of which resulted in at least $1 billion in damages — and often many times this amount — according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Depending on where you live, your home or business may be susceptible to tornadoes, floods, wildfires, hurricanes and extreme heat and cold waves. These events can, and do, result in property repair and relocation costs, higher insurance premiums and even price increases for basic goods, such as groceries and prescription medications.

One final word about an emergency fund: It takes discipline to maintain it and to avoid tapping into it for everyday expenses or impulse purchases. The name says it all — this is a fund that should only be used for emergencies. By keeping it intact until it’s truly needed, you can help yourself weather many of the storms that may come your way.

Dementia Care

Caring for the Family with Aging Loved Ones

Adult only communities with robust activities and a lifestyle conducive to outdoors sports, special-interest clubs, and civic engagement dispels the myth of retirement as passive and boring.

The percentage of Americans between the ages of 75-84 grew by 25% in the last decade and is expected to grow faster in the next one. Longevity has changed the way we view aging and family dynamics.

Research has also shown an increase in cases of dementia. If dementia has entered your family, how does one know when to ask for help? The first step is to let go of the feeling that you need to do this alone, or that asking for outside help somehow means you aren’t caring for your loved one in the way they deserve.

More than seven million Americans have been diagnosed with dementia, with Alzheimer’s Disease responsible for most cases. That’s a lot of adult children, grandchildren, and other family members who are affected by the needs of a loved one with dementia.

The life challenges to families of a loved one with dementia are more than meets the eye. They must learn to navigate issues like how to adult-proof a home or ways to talk to young children about what grandma or grandpa may be going through.

For caregivers, the journey can feel lonely and the demands overwhelming. As the cases of dementia continue to rise, community resources are becoming increasingly available to families and caregivers. Resources such as learning from the experiences of others, and in-home care that offers relief to many of the challenges such as hygiene, medication compliance, diet, and even who watches mom while the family takes a much-needed vacation.

As a mental health practitioner, I’ve learned that for many families the cost of accessing outside resources can be difficult. Please know there are affordable options for everything from counseling to full-time or occasional “respite” care, providing in-home primary caregivers some free time without worry. Resources to options for care can be found at Hearts for Dementia or by calling 480.720.9038, emailing info@, through the Governor’s Office on Aging at and the Arizona Alzheimer’s Association at https://www. Reach out for help, it is there.

Summer Fun

Beating the Arizona Heat with a Day of Salt River Tubing

As the brutal Arizona summer kicks into high gear, us locals are always on the hunt for ways to stay cool and have fun. For me and my friends, there’s no better way to do that than spending a day tubing down the Salt Rivers.

There is a Salt River that runs right through the Tonto National Forest, just a short drive out of the Phoenix metro area. During the summer months, the river is the perfect place to chill out and let the current pull you along as you soak up some sun rays.

Every weekend from May through September, you will find the river’s rocky beaches packed with a variety of people from kids to parents to grandparents to look to escape the concrete jungle for the day. It is an outstanding atmosphere, with tons of people relaxing,

laughing, blasting music from portable speakers, and hollering as they drift along on those classic black rubber tubes.

My friends and I always make sure to get to the putting-in spot as early as possible to stake out a prime spot along the water’s edge. We get our tubes blown up, including an extra tube to squeeze that ice cooler full of snacks and drinks into, and get ready to relax. Some groups even bring their small cooking set-ups and sit back on the small beach areas to hang out.

Once everyone is ready, we hit the water and let the current do the work. Over the next few hours, we will leisurely float along, taking in the beautiful desert scenery and playing games as we go. One of the highlights is always the bouncy rapids section, where the river picks up speed over some minor drops and rocks. It is crazy enough to get your adrenaline pumping without being too strenuous.

By the late afternoon, completely sunburnt and pruned up from hours in the water, we will hit the exit point and make our way back to our homes. The Salt River Tubing experience is an essential Arizona summer tradition for anyone in any age group willing to go on an adventure and have an enjoyable time. It is the perfect fusion of nature and party all rolled up into one fantastic day. Just be sure to prepare yourself with plenty of water and Aloe vera for the next day!

Independence Day

Fireworks Safety

It’s almost the 4th of July which means fireworks galore! Fireworks can be great fun and create amazing memories for your family, however if not handled properly, fireworks can cause burns and injuries in kids and adults. If you choose to light fireworks at home the best way to protect your family is to be well educated on how to safely handle fireworks before, during, and after lighting them. To help you prepare for this dazzling holiday event, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 tips for safely handling fireworks.

1. Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water/hose nearby in case of accidents.

2. Designate a safety perimeter. If you have groundbased fireworks like a fountain, observing from at least 35 feet away is best. For aerial fireworks, you’ll want everyone to move back to a distance of around 150 feet.

3. Ditch faulty fireworks. Sometimes fireworks don’t go off, but duds always pose a risk for your safety. The important thing to know is that you should never try to relight or approach a failed firework. Let duds sit for 5 -10 minutes before you put them in a bucket of water. This can prevent injury from a delayed explosion and disarm the firework permanently so you can safely dispose of it.

4. Supervise children when they are handling sparklers. Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit; hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet or touching body parts.

5. Don’t forget about your pets! Fireworks can be extremely stressful for pets, but there are ways to help reduce

their fear and anxiety. Keep your pets indoors, close the curtains or blinds and turn on the TV to provide some distraction, and give them treats or toys filled with their favorite food (frozen pumpkin puree, peanut butter, and apple sauce are good options).

6. Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.

7. Never place a part of your body directly over a firework or hold a firework in your hand when lighting. To safely light fireworks, make sure they are secured on the ground away from people and animals and use a stem lighter such as a grill lighter.

8. Only light one firework at a time. Lighting multiple fireworks at the same time increases the risk of accidents occurring from a fuse burning faster than designed.

9. Avoid alcohol consumption when handling or using fireworks.

10. Consider safe alternatives to fireworks such as party poppers, bubbles, silly string, or glow sticks.

The Bug Guy

Scorching Scorpion Season

July in the West Valley - temperatures soar, and so does the risk of encountering some of the desert’s most notorious residents: scorpions. As the intense heat drives these eight-legged arthropods from their underground lairs in search of cooler spots, they often find their way into our homes and yards.

their entry points is crucial.Next, keep your yard clear of potential scorpion hideouts like woodpiles, rocks, and dense vegetation. A well-manicured landscape leaves these arachnids with fewer places to lurk.

For the brave souls who call this sunbaked region home, scorpion season is an annual rite of passage. It’s a time when we must be ever-vigilant, checking our shoes before putting them on and giving the premises a thorough once-over before letting the kids or pets out to play. But fear not, intrepid Phoenicians! With a few simple precautions, you can keep these stinging menaces at bay and enjoy a (mostly) scorpion-free summer.

First, seal up any cracks and crevices in your home’s foundation, walls, and windows. Scorpions are masters of squeezing through the tiniest of gaps, so eliminating

If you do spot a scorpion on your property, resist the urge to stomp on it (unless you enjoy impromptu games of twisted ankle roulette). Instead, carefully capture it with a sturdy pair of tongs or a glass jar, and relocate it to a safe distance away. For those seeking extra protection, consider hiring a professional pest control service. These scorpion sleuths can treat your home with targeted insecticides, providing an added layer of security against these venomous trespassers.

So embrace the scorching summer, Phoenix Valley residents! With a little preparation and vigilance, you can enjoy the great outdoors without constantly looking over your shoulder for these pint-sized predators. Just remember: they’re more afraid of you than you are of them. (Probably.)

Submitted by Larry

Control Yourself!

Control Yourself! - Part II

As promised, this month we’re talking about not taking things personally. Let’s start with this: Nothing is personal. That’s right, NOTHING.

When we take things personally, it’s because we’re processing incoming information in the context of our own thoughts, feelings and vulnerabilities. This results in personalization, which generates defensiveness.

Think about it…

Your spouse has a bad day at work and they come through the door and they take it out on you. Maybe they snark at you or slam something or tell you to leave them alone. They’re coming in with that vulnerability, with that stuff going on for them. You did nothing other than standing there when the door opened. So, it’s not about you. It may be directed at you, so it feels personal, but I assure you it’s NOT. Their reaction is all about them.

So, how do I respond, Dr. Jen?

Remember last month when we talked about the amygdala…that brain structure that dictates emotion

and is constantly looking for trouble? Well, you have to manipulate that little sucker into changing the way you react to incoming information. It takes practice.

Here are some ideas about how to do that:

1. Consider the intentions of those who offend you and what you TRULY know about them. Is your spouse TRYING to hurt you by coming home all in their feels and acting like a brat? No, they’re just cranky and misdirecting their upset, like the phenomenon of “kicking the dog.”

2. Consider alternative interpretations of events. Maybe your spouse is upset because they got some feedback today at work that they didn’t love. And maybe they’re taking it personally, ruminated over it on the drive home and got themselves all spun up and don’t know another way to express their frustration.

3. Think about how you WANT to feel after the event or situation has ended. Do you want your nervous system all amped up, your blood pressure high, your attitude all janky? No? Ok, then don’t ALLOW your spouse’s poor emotional expression to get YOU all spun up; they’re the one who had the bad day, not YOU.

Next month… how to manage the vulnerabilities that drive big reactions. Stay tuned!

Submitted by

DISCLAIMER: Material is for informational purposes 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.

Puzzle Time

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.

are on our website

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.