50+Living of WNC MAY 2024

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50pluslivingWNC.com May 2024 of Western NC 50+Living The Root Causes of ROAD RAGE
What Does your PET SAY ABOUT YOU? Understanding ARTHRITIS Local MUSIC MAKERS
2 50+ Living | May 2024

Must-do Activities in WNC

Western North Carolina is a treasure trove of adventure and tranquility, especially during the month of May. Te weather is just perfect— not too hot, not too cold—making it ideal for all sorts of outdoor activities. If you fnd yourself in this picturesque corner of the world, here are some must-do activities to make the most of your May visit.

Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains

May is the perfect time to hit the trails in the Great Smoky Mountains. Te spring blooms are in full display, and the weather is just right for hiking. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely walk or a challenging hike to a breathtaking overlook, these mountains have it all. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the synchronized frefies display, a natural phenomenon that occurs for a short time in late May and early June.

Explore the Blue Ridge Parkway

Take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, famously known as America’s favorite drive. Te Parkway stretches across 469 miles, ofering stunning views of the Appalachian Highlands. In May, the rhododendrons begin to bloom, painting the landscape in vibrant hues of pink and purple. Tere are plenty of overlooks and picnic spots where you can stop, soak in the views, and maybe enjoy a local picnic.

Whitewater Rafing on the Nantahala River

For the thrill-seekers, whitewater rafing on the Nantahala

River is a must. Te river ofers class II and III rapids, making it suitable for beginners and families, as well as those looking for a bit of adventure. Te water can be a bit chilly, but it’s incredibly refreshing, especially on a warm May day.

Visit Biltmore Estate

No visit to Western North Carolina is complete without a day spent at the Biltmore Estate, America’s largest home. In May, the gardens are in full bloom, with colors and fragrances that are sure to dazzle your senses. Take a tour of the house, then spend some time wandering the 8,000-acre estate, which includes gardens, a winery, and breathtaking scenery.

Attend a Local Festival

May is a time of celebration in Western North Carolina, with numerous festivals and events taking place. From the Asheville Beer Week to the Mountain Sports Festival, there’s something for everyone. Tese festivals are a great way to experience the local culture, enjoy live music, and sample some of the region’s best food and drink.

Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences, Western North Carolina has something to ofer everyone in May. Just be sure to bring a sense of adventure and a willingness to explore all the beauty and excitement this area has to ofer.

May 2024 | 50+ Living 3





CAN BE STRESSFUL. Our experienced team is here for you. We have helped thousands of area clients pack, move, and liquidate furnishings, household items, jewelry, and artwork. Whether you’re moving, settling an estate, or just want to streamline your life, we can make the process easier.


828.575.2509 option 2

75 FAIRVIEW ROAD in Biltmore Village




Each sale is diferent, ofering something for every taste and budget!

We are looking for


WNC Bridge Foundation Estate Sales and Thrift Stores are friendly, upbeat places to volunteer. Folks of all walks and ages are making a positive impact in our community. Choose your own adventure! Interact with customers and clients by packing estates, stocking shelves, ringing up purchases. Or work in the wings sorting donations and organizing housewares, rugs, furniture, art, linens, clothing, and other hidden treasures. Determine your own schedule—a couple of hours, a couple of days, or more.

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT VOLUNTEE RING AND THE WORK OF WNC BRIDGE FOUNDATION? Call 828.277.4888 or go to WNCbridge.org and click on the Volunteer link.

CONTENTS 50pluslivingWNC.com 50pluslivingWNC.com May 2024 of Western NC 50+Living The Root Causes of ROAD RAGE The PERFECT PAVLOVA What Does Your PET SAY ABOUT YOU? Understanding ARTHRITIS Local MUSIC MAKERS 4 50+ Living | May 2024 3  Must-do Activities in WNC 5  Understanding Arthritis  7  The Heat is On 9  Happy Mother’s Day 10  Shifting From Spring into Wellness 11  The Perfect Pavlova 12  Lifestyle & Resource Guide 15  Sweet Dreams 16  Local Music Makers 18  It’s Okay Not To Be Okay 19  What Does Your Pet Say About You? 20  The Root Causes of Road Rage 21  Spinach Lasagna 22
Nest 23
How to Remove an
Because I’m Happy
FOUNDATION WNCbridge.org Click on SHOP at WNCbridge.org to sign up for upcoming sale notifcations 2024/5 Estate Sales SERVICES
MAY 9–11 23–25 JUL 11–13 25–27 JUN 6–8 20–22
ESTS_50plus_2024-05_APR>May.indd 1 4/11/24 1:02 PM

Arthritis is a common condition that refers to infammation of the joints, causing pain, stifness, and a range of other symptoms that can afect one’s quality of life. Tis condition is not a single disease but rather refers to a group of over 100 diseases afecting the joints and their surrounding tissues. Understanding arthritis involves looking into its symptoms, causes, types, treatment options, and preventive measures.


Te primary symptoms of arthritis include joint pain, stifness, swelling, and decreased range of motion, which may worsen with age. Symptoms can vary in severity and may come and go. Some patients may experience symptoms that are constant, while others might see them fuctuate. In more severe cases, arthritis can cause chronic pain, inability to do daily activities, and difculty walking or climbing stairs.


Te causes of arthritis depend on its type. Common factors contributing to the condition include the wear and tear of cartilage (osteoarthritis), an autoimmune disorder that targets joints (rheumatoid arthritis), the accumulation of urate crystals (gout), and infections or underlying diseases such as psoriasis or lupus.


Te most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, which is related to aging and the wear and tear of cartilage,

and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the joint linings. Other forms include gout, psoriatic arthritis, and lupus arthritis, each with its distinct causes and treatment approaches.


While there’s no cure for arthritis, treatment can help manage symptoms. Treatments may include medications such as analgesics for pain relief, nonsteroidal antiinfammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and infammation, and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) for autoimmune arthritis types. Physical therapy and lifestyle changes, like maintaining a healthy weight and regular physical activity, can also signifcantly impact symptom management. In severe cases, surgical options like joint replacement may be considered.


Preventive measures for arthritis focus mainly on reducing the risk factors. Tese include maintaining a healthy weight to reduce stress on the joints, staying active to keep the joints fexible, and avoiding repetitive movements that could lead to joint strain. Eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidants can also support joint health.

Understanding arthritis is crucial for early intervention and management. Recognizing symptoms early and seeking medical advice can help manage the condition more efectively and maintain a better quality of life. A

May 2024 | 50+ Living 5 Understanding
6 50+ Living | May 2024 50+Living of Western NC PUBLISHER Tammy Sheppard tsheppard.avlmedia@gmail.com WEB DESIGN Alphie Hyorth CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Peggy Ratusz Laurie Richardone ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Mike Demos 828.273.0098 mikedemos@aol.com AVL Media Inc. P.O. Box 18416 | Asheville, NC 28814 828.230.7537 All advertising published in 50+Living of Western NC is believed to be truthful and accurate. However AVL Media, Inc. assumes no responsibility and shall have no liability whatsoever for errors, including without limitation, typographical errors or omissions in 50+Living of Western NC. Any reference made to AVL Media, Inc. is not to be construed as making any representation, warranty or guarantee concerning the information on properties advertised in 50+Living of Western NC. The content of all ads contained herein are solely the responsibility of the advertiser. The opinions and statements contained in advertising or elsewhere in this publication are those of the authors of such opinions and are not necessarily those of AVL Media, Inc. AVL Media, Inc. reserves the right to edit or refuse any advertising submitted to this publication 50pluslivingWNC.com h

The HEAT is On

Summer is just around the corner, and that means the heat is on its way! But don’t sweat it, because we’ve got you covered with these tips on how to stay cool and beat the heat this summer.

Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay cool and prevent dehydration.

Wear light and breathable clothing: Opt for loose-ftting, lightcolored clothing to stay cool in the heat.

Seek shade: When outside, look for shady spots to take a break from the sun’s rays.

Use a fan or air conditioning: Stay cool indoors by using a fan or turning on the AC to cool down your living space.

Take cool showers: Refresh yourself with a cool shower to lower your body temperature.

Eat light and refreshing foods: Enjoy fresh fruits and salads to stay cool and energized.

Stay indoors during the hottest parts of the day: Avoid being outside during the peak sun hours to prevent overheating.

Keep curtains and blinds closed: Block out the sun’s heat by closing curtains and blinds during the day.

Use a cooling towel: Dampen a towel and place it on your neck or forehead to cool down quickly.

Use a spray bottle: Keep a spray bottle flled with water handy to mist yourself and stay cool.

Plan outdoor activities in the early morning or late evening: Beat the heat by scheduling outdoor activities during cooler times of the day.

Stay in the shade while exercising: If you’re working out outdoors, fnd a shady spot to prevent overheating.

Wear a hat and sunglasses: Protect yourself from the sun’s rays by wearing a hat and sunglasses.

Avoid cafeine and alcohol: Tese can dehydrate you, so opt for cool water or a refreshing smoothie instead.

Use a cooling mat or pillow: Keep cool at night by using a cooling mat or pillow to regulate your body temperature.

Stay near water: Whether it’s a pool, lake, or ocean, spend time near water to stay cool and have fun.

Take breaks: If you’re outdoors in the heat, make sure to take breaks in the shade to cool down and prevent heat exhaustion.

Freeze a water bottle: Keep a frozen water bottle with you to stay cool and hydrated on the go.

Use a handheld fan: Carry a handheld fan with you to stay cool when you’re out and about.

Practice relaxation techniques: Stay cool and calm by practicing deep breathing or meditation to reduce stress and stay cool in the heat.

With these tips, you’ll be able to stay cool and beat the heat this summer with ease. So get ready to enjoy the sunshine and have a cool, refreshing summer!

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Celebrating Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to show appreciation and gratitude towards the special woman in our lives. Whether your mom prefers a day of adventure, relaxation, creativity, or connection, there’s no shortage of ways to make her feel cherished. Here are 50 thoughtful Mother’s Day activities to inspire your celebration:

1. Prepare breakfast in bed. Start her day with a delicious breakfast served right in the comfort of her bed.

2. Take a family hike. Enjoy the great outdoors and spend quality time together on a scenic hike.

3. Host a tea party. Arrange a sophisticated afternoon tea with her favorite teas and snacks.

4. Craft together. Spend the afternoon crafting, from painting to pottery, creating lasting memories along with beautiful keepsakes.

5. Plan a spa day at home. Give her the gift of relaxation with homemade spa treatments.

6. Compile a photo album. Collect and arrange photos that celebrate memorable moments.

7. Cook a gourmet dinner. Prepare her favorite meal or try out a new recipe together.

8. Go on a virtual museum tour. Explore art and culture from around the world right from your living room.

9. Attend a yoga class together. Join a relaxing yoga session to unwind and connect.

10. Plant a garden. Spend the day outdoors planting fowers or vegetables, symbolizing growth and new beginnings.

11. Watch a movie marathon. Curate a list of her favorite flms for a cozy movie night.

12. Write her a letter. Express your thoughts and appreciation with a heartfelt letter.

13. Arrange a family game night. Bring out the board games for an evening of fun and laughter.

14. Take a painting class. Unleash your creativity by attending a painting workshop together.

15. Go on a shopping spree. Treat her to a day of shopping, picking out items she loves.

16. Visit a botanical garden. Enjoy the beauty of fowers and plants on a leisurely walk.

17. Take a cooking class. Learn new recipes and cooking techniques together.

18. Organize a picnic. Pack a basket with her favorite food and head to a local park.

19. Plan a weekend getaway. Escape the routine with a trip to a spot she’s always wanted to visit.

20. Attend a live theater performance. Enjoy the excitement of a play, musical, or concert.

21. Create a DIY jewelry workshop. Make unique pieces of jewelry as a symbol of your bond.

22. Bake together. Have fun baking and decorating cakes or cookies.

23. Go cycling. Explore your city or countryside on a leisurely bike ride.

24. Visit an art gallery. Appreciate the beauty of art by exploring galleries.

25. Go to a wine tasting. Discover her new favorite wine at a local vineyard or wine bar.

26. Book a professional photo shoot. Capture the love and connection of your family with a professional shoot.

27. Go on a boat ride. Enjoy the peace and scenery of a river or lake.

28. Attend a pottery-making class. Get your hands dirty and create pottery pieces.

29. Take a day trip. Explore a nearby town or attraction for the day.

30. Visit a farmer’s market. Enjoy the fresh produce and local crafts.

31. Do a puzzle together. Spend quiet time together focusing on a challenging puzzle.

32. Go bird watching. Connect with nature and learn about the local bird species.

33. Attend a cooking demonstration. Get inspired by professional chefs and their techniques.

34. Plan a themed dinner night. Choose a theme and prepare a dinner that fts, from decorations to dishes.

35. Write a story together. Collaborate on a short story or poem, expressing your creativity.

36. Go for a scenic drive. Take in the sights and sounds of the countryside or coast.

37. Visit an animal shelter. Spend some time with pets in need, perhaps even consider adopting one.

38. Create a vision board. Visualize goals and dreams by creating a vision board together.

39. Have a karaoke night. Sing your hearts out with her favorite songs.

40. Attend a fower arranging class. Learn the art of fower arranging for beautiful home decor.

41. Take a dance class. Whether it’s ballroom, salsa, or contemporary, enjoy moving together.

42. Organize a book club for the day. Choose a book to read and discuss together.

43. Explore a national park. Take in the majestic beauty of nature with a visit to a national park.

44. Participate in a community service project. Give back to the community by volunteering together.

45. Go antique shopping. Discover treasures and trinkets from the past.

46. Visit a historic site. Learn about history and explore signifcant locations.

47. Go to an aquarium. Marvel at marine life and learn about ocean conservation.

48. Attend an outdoor concert. Enjoy live music in a relaxed outdoor setting.

49. Create a scrapbook. Compile memories, photos, and mementos in a personalized scrapbook.

50. Enjoy a sunset walk. End the day with a peaceful walk, watching the sunset together.

No matter what activity you choose, the most important part is spending time together, showing love, and creating memories that will last a lifetime.

May 2024 | 50+ Living 9

Shifting From Spring into Wellness

May is a fantastic month that connects to wellness more deeply for several reasons. Spring is merely a precursor to the grandeur that awaits us on the horizon.

May marks the beginning of the prime growing season. Tis growing season promotes harmony because it aligns with the earth’s natural fow, fostering a sense of balance and interconnectedness between humans and the environment. Te abundance of fresh seasonal produce in May encourages us to support small-scale, organic local farmers. By choosing locally grown food, we will surely eat well, and minimize exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. Tis maximizes the benefts available in food grown in healthy soil.

Tis way of eating connects us to nature, promoting a sense of compatibility and well-being.

It ofers us nutrient-rich better-tasting ingredients, which leads to more diverse and interesting meals. As I prepare each meal, I pause to refect on the abundance of seasonal ingredients before me.

I whisper a silent thank you to the earth for the kaleidoscope of favors, colors, and textures that grace my table, such as tender asparagus, leeks, and succulent sweet strawberries, to name a few.

Eating seasonally aligns our diets with Mother Nature and the rhythm of the seasons. Tis is where we can develop a deeper connection to the land, along with a greater appreciation for the food that sustains us. When we make conscious choices that honor each season, it promotes a sense of balance in our lives. Best of all, we will eat delicious food.

In addition to renewal and vitality, May brings a sense of anticipation and excitement as we transition from the freshness of Spring to the warmth of Summer. Tis makes it a natural ft for wellness. Spending time outdoors in the May sunshine helps boost our vitamin D levels, which is important for immune function, and mood regulation.

Wishing you a Healthful & Happy May.

May’s delightful dessert ~ A Strawberry Pavlova. It is a delicious dessert that combines crispy, airy meringue with luscious whipped cream and seasonal fruit.

To your good health.

If you are a curious person join me on my Podcast ~ a taste for all seasons

Listen to the latest episode ~Te Perfect Pavlova

All episodes are on LaurieRichardone.com ~ or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Laurie Richardone is an inspirational seasonal chef and certifed wellness coach.

To work with Laurie, visit LaurieRichardone.com/contact

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The Perfect Pavlova

Te Pavlova is the perfect contrast between the crispy meringue and light fufy cream that’s topped with seasonal fruit.

Makes a 10-inch cake; or 15 individual cakes


4 large egg whites, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup coconut sugar, or other sugar (see cooks note)

1 cup powdered sugar, sifed


3 cups, of fresh strawberries, halved, or other seasonal fruit

1 tsp. monk fruit, or other sugar, to macerate the berries

1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp organic powdered sugar, or maple syrup ~ Mint leaves to garnish, optional

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.

Trace a 10-inch circle on a piece of parchment (trace around a dinner plate), place the parchment on a cookie sheet, and set aside. If making individual cakes, put the meringue in a pastry bag, and pipe a small amount to make 15 circles. Alternatively, make small mounds with a soup spoon.

In the bowl of a large mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy.

Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed to medium-high, and continue beating while gradually adding 2 tablespoons of the sugars until sof peaks form.

Gradually beat in the remaining sugar until the whites are very stif and glossy. Meringue should stand up on your whisk with a peak.

Ready to bake. Spread the meringue into the circle on the parchment, creating a slight well in the center with the back of a spoon, for the cream and berries to sit in. Do not worry if it is not perfect. Ragged is beautiful. Wet your fngers or the spatula to help spread the meringue more easily if necessary.

Bake without opening the oven door for 1.5 -2 hours, until frm to the touch. It can be a little bit sticky in the center. Turn of the oven and let the meringue cool in the oven for another hour.

About an hour before serving, combine the strawberries, blueberries, lemon zest, and sugar as needed in a large bowl and let the berries release their juices.

In the bowl of a large mixer, beat the heavy cream with the sweetener of choice at medium speed until sof peaks form.

To assemble, place the meringue on a large cake plate or platter. Spread the cream mixture on top, then top with the berries and serve in slices or individual meringues.

Cook’s note: Meringue can be made 1 day ahead and stored airtight in a cool, dry place. Serve immediately afer adding whipped cream and fruit. If using coconut sugar, grind it in a spice grinder to a fne consistency.

Laurie Richardone is a seasonal gluten free chef and certifed health coach.

To work with Laurie, visit LaurieRichardone.com

May 2024 | 50+ Living 11

Lifestyle & Resource


Asheville Realty & Associates - Bob Ray

1308-A Patton Avenue, Asheville


I specialize in Senior Real Estate Representation. I am an Asheville native with 28 years experience in our market. www.ASHREAL.com Bob@ashreal.com, call, text, or email me.

Blue Ridge Properties Group

22 N. Main Street, Weaverville


“We’ve got agents who remember encyclopedias, the Eagles and life before Netfix. Tey’ve kept up with technology but haven’t forgotten how to interact with real people. Tey have experience, extensive area knowledge and are just plain fun to work with. Looking to buy or sell, give us a call!”

Century 21 Mountain Lifestyles - Martha Lowe

1210 Hendersonville Road, Asheville 828-777-4364

“I love homes and I love people”!  My experience includes 34 years in banking as well as 20 years in real estate.  I want to earn your business.

C entury 21 Mountain Lifestyles - Owen Fields

1210 Hendersonville Road, Asheville 828-777-5447

2011 Asheville Realtor of the Year.  Specializing in estate sales.  Available nights and weekends.

Norma Clayton Realty

262 S. Caldwell St., Brevard


Your HomeTown Realtor in Brevard. A team of real estate professionals dedicated to helping you fnd your perfect place. Let us show you why we love calling Transylvania County home. www.brevardrealty.net



Quinn Anderson Real Estate Solutions

94 Anderson St, Mars Hill 828-206-9658

I specialize in Mars Hill Real Estate.  A quiet, relaxed community with a vibrant main street with shopping and dining.  Home to Mars Hill University.

RE/MAX Results - Elizabeth Jones

115 N. Main St., Weaverville


With years of experience working with Buyers, Sellers and Small Commercial it is my goal to complete transactions with well satisfed customers! I will work hard to earn your trust and build lasting relationships. Let me be your Real Estate Go-To Expert!

WNC Bridge Foundation Estate Sales & Services

75 Fairview Rd, Asheville 828-575-2509

We are a community-based charitable organization that works to provide funds to support and assist in meeting the many health challenges that face the people of WNC. www. WNC bridge.org


Beauty Bin

117 Sweeten Creek Rd, Asheville


Dry Bar & Day Spa. Asheville’s One-Stop Shop for ALL your Beauty Needs. Helping every client look and feel as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside. www.beauty.bin.com

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Elite Hearing Centers of America

Tammie Crawford

145 Weaver Blvd, Weaverville


We carry the industry’s leading manufacturers of hearing aids at some of the most afordable prices. www.elitehearingcenters.com

Ingles Pharmacy

Prescriptions ready when you need them, every time. www.ingles-pharmacy.com

Te Lodge at Mills River

5593 Old Haywood Rd, Mills River


Make your rehabilitation or long-term stay at a skilled nursing facility a positive experience. We ofer our residents a warm community dedicated to seeing them achieve their health goals. www.sanstonehealth.com/lodgeatmillsriver

McCraw Insurance

Rena McCraw Agent


578 Upward Rd, Suite 1, Flat Rock, NC 28731

Open M-F 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Specializing in Life, Health, Medicare, Home Health Care, Dental and Vision

Te Medical Loan Closet Of Henderson County, Inc.

1225 7th Ave. East, Hendersonville


Days:  Tuesday and Friday Only Hours:  12:30-4:30

We meet short term needs for durable medical equipment at a nominal cost. Beyond the cost savings, we strive to provide a compassionate environment which reduces the stress of inherently stressful situations for clients.

Zachary S. Holcombe, D.M.D.

Suite B-2, 1944 Hendersonville Road, Asheville


General Dentistry. Whatever dentistry you’re in need of, you’ll feel comfortable with our team. Being patient-centered means that your positive experience, in every detail, is our primary concern. www.DentalAsheville.com


Baked Pie Company

4 Long Shoals Rd, Arden


Our pies are made daily with the freshest and highest quality ingredients. We think our customers deserve only the best! www.bakedpiecompany.com


5 Little Monkeys Quilt & Sew

32 N. Main St, Weaverville.


Fabric, Supplies, Longarm Quilting and Machine Service.   Our passion is supporting all people in their desire to learn to sew and quilt.

Asheville Cotton Co.

1378 Hendersonville Rd, Asheville


With the help of a super friendly, knowledgeable and talented staf, the shop now boasts more than 10,000 bolts of quilting cotton, representing more than twenty major brands. We ofer a variety of classes, bringing in both local and national teachers. www.ashevillecottonco.com

Stephens Upholstering Co.

220 Weavervile Rd, Asheville


Get furniture upholstery, drapery fabrics, blinds, and hardware right here. www.stephensupholstery.com

Tyme In Te Garden

190 Weaverville Hwy, Asheville.


A unique garden and gif shop ofering whimsy to the refned, bringing the outdoors in.

May 2024 | 50+ Living 13
14 50+ Living | May 2024

Sweet Dreams

Oh, glorious sleep - that elusive state of bliss we all seem to be chasing. With our buzzing smartphones, endless Netfix binges, and the general chaos of modern life, it’s no wonder so many of us are tossing and turning at night. But fear not, my sleep-challenged friends, for we come bearing gifs - proven tips to help you catch those coveted Z’s.

Keep a Sleep Schedule: Try hitting the sack and waking up at the same time every day. Yes, even on weekends. Your internal clock will thank you.

Create a Pre-Sleep Ritual: Wind down with a routine. Whether it’s reading, a warm bath, or some gentle yogafnd what soothes you.

Make Your Bedroom a Sleep Haven: Keep it cool, dark, and quiet. Tink bat cave but more comfy.

Say No to Naps: Long or irregular napping can mess with your nighttime sleep. If you must nap, keep it short and sweet - 20 minutes is golden.

Exercise Regularly: Getting in some physical activity during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night. Just try not to do it too close to bedtime.

Watch What You Eat and Drink: Avoid big meals, cafeine, and alcohol before bed. Your stomach and your sleep will be better for it.

Get Comfy: Invest in a good mattress and pillows. Your back and neck will thank you.

Limit Screen Time: Te blue light from phones, tablets, and TVs can mess with your sleep. Try to switch of an hour before bed.

Bask in the Morning Light: Get some natural light frst thing in the morning. It helps kickstart your body’s circadian rhythm.

Explore Relaxation Techniques: Meditation, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation can all help prep your body for sleep.

Manage Worries: Try jotting down what’s on your mind before you go to bed. It can help clear your mind and ease anxiety.

Consider Supplements: Melatonin, magnesium, and lavender are some options that might help, but consult with a doc frst.

Avoid Clock-Watching: Staring at your clock at 3 AM can increase stress. If you can’t sleep, do something calming in another room and then go back to bed.

Check Your Room Environment: A quiet, dark, and cool environment can help promote sound slumber. Consider earplugs, eye shades, or white noise machines.

Limit Liquid Intake Before Bed: Reducing fuid intake before bedtime can minimize those midnight bathroom trips.

Get Professional Help if Needed: If sleep remains elusive, it might be time to see a sleep specialist.

Stay Positive: Worrying about not sleeping only makes it worse. Keep a positive mindset about sleep.

Implementing these tips won’t just help you sleep better; they could very well transform your waking hours too. Sweet dreams!

May 2024 | 50+ Living 15

Local Music Makers

Playin’ it & Payin’ it Forward!

Nonprofts holding fundraising events ofen tap into our locally rich performing arts and makers community, asking creatives to lend their talents and contribute their wares to enhance abilities to raise monies for their particular causes. Tere’s no shortage of artisans and musicians in Western North Carolina who generously give of their time and money for causes they can get behind.

Here is information and highlights about a few of these happenings, that have either already taken place or that will happen this month and beyond. Te beautiful thing about giving is that you don’t have to wait for an organization to hold an event to donate.

MAY’S FEATURED FUNDRAISING EVENT: CITY OF HOPE BENEFIT AND CONCERT: Te City of Hope located in Ntagacha, an extremely impoverished Tanzanian community close to the Kenyan border, rescues children from situations of abuse, child marriage, female genital mutilation, hunger and disease.

Recently, Asheville residents Kathy Scott and Richard Williams returned from a month-long volunteer trip to this clinic and school where they mentored, nursed and helped maintain the facility and grounds there. It became incumbent to those who witnessed each day they spent in the village, clinic and school via their social media posts, that a fundraiser to raise money for renovations

(in particular, replacing the clinic’s foor) and supplies is in order.

Te benevolent owner and manager at Te River Arts District Brewing Company in Asheville have graciously agreed to host the City of Hope Fundraiser on Sunday, May 5, 2024, 4pm-7pm.

During the fundraiser there will be a rafe and items will be a range of mediums generously donated by an ample number of local painters, potters, textile-ists, and jewelry makers. Tese handmade pieces come from artisans such as Andy Levine, Mary Lynn Schroeder, Nan Smith Davis, Jennifer Hoolihan, Bee Adams, Mom & Daughter art team of Beth, Hali & Ayla, Claire Simpson Jones, Tarah Singh, Zen Sutherland, Linda Prager and Bud Gray.

Musicians ofering access to their music via download cards, vinyl records & CD’s will be included in the cornucopia of overall rafe items. Popular groups and players such as Te Moon & You, Dulci Ellenberger, Tina & Her Pony, Tall Tall Trees, Jonathan Pearlman and I will donate our media to be included in the drawings.

And speaking of music, another element of the event will include 2 sets of live music lovingly presented by acclaimed local African musician Adama Dembele and his trio along with Jazz/Blues/Fusion composer and guitarist,

16 50+ Living | May 2024

Jonathan Pearlman & Friends. Queens Island Cuisine food truck will be on the premises to squelch your hunger pangs.

To donate directly online: www.joinhopeco.com. Click on ‘donate’ to fll in the amount; click on ‘My Donation is for: Amani Medical Center’ and when the form asks for comments, type in “Tile Fund.”

BREWS & BEARS is an afer-hours summer event series where you can enjoy the WNC Nature Center in the evening with a beer, cider, or wine in hand. Tere are also food vendors and educational programming, along with Popsicle enrichment for black bears Uno and Ursa!

Brews & Bears happens the second Friday of the month on May 10, June 14, July 12, and August 9, from 5:30 to 8 pm. Te events will feature beer from Highland Brewing; cider from Appalachian Mountain Brewery; wine from Metrowines; food from Gypsy Queen Cuisine, Cecilia’s Food Truck, Bigfoot-Longs Hot Dogs, and KONA Ice; and music by Mix 96.5, 105.9 Te Mountain, Te Realtorz, and the Passionistas. Tickets are $15 to $35 wildwnc.org/brews-and-bears

ASHEVILLE MUSIC SCHOOL PRESENTS: “Sound Efects Beneft Concert with music by Dirty Logic and Minør!” Tis is an all-ages event, and kids 7 and under get in FREE! Now in its tenth year, ‘Sound Efects’ is Asheville Music School’s primary fundraising event. Tis year, they are bringing the country’s premier Steely Dan Tribute Band, Dirty Logic to the outdoor stage at Salvage Station. Teir goal is to raise $35,000 to support AMS operations and the Paul Torpe Music Education Fund, which funds the scholarship and outreach programs. Asheville Music School (AMS) is strengthening communities through music education and outreach, while sustaining teachers and musicians in a vibrant music culture. https://salvagestation.com/events/ asheville-music-school-presents-dirty-logic/

DRAG QUEEN GAME SHOW, DIVINE INTERVENTION! - A Fundraiser for Sunrise Community for Recovery 501(c)3 (Ages 21+) Bearded Lady Productions is thrilled to return with another round of “Divine Intervention,” the sell-out smash hit game show FUNdraiser. New questions, new entertainers! Join them on Tursday, May 9, at 7:00 p.m. at New Belgium Brewing for an evening of wit, charm, and surprises. All profts made at this glittering game show will be donated to Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness. Ages 21 and up. Tickets are $15 and are available at www.AshevilleDragBrunch.com.

PAST EVENTS YOU CAN STILL DONATE TO OUR VOICE’S FIFTIETH BIRTHDAY PARTY 2024 commemorates ffy years of resilience, empowerment, and advocacy. From its scrappy volunteer

run beginnings, Our Voice has evolved into a beacon of hope and support for survivors of sexual violence and human trafcking in our region. Tis event featured the soulful sounds of Te Free Flow band where a great time was had by all, celebrating their unwavering commitment to our community. Here’s to ffy years of making a diference and many more to come! https://www.ourvoicenc.org/


Tis event took place in April, to a standing room only crowd for nearly four hours! Featured acts included Isaac Haden, Ovadya, Melissa McKinney & the Ruckus, Peggy Ratusz & Daddy LongLegs and While Rome Burns. To donate to this “beloved” organization anytime and ofen, go to their informative and impressive website: https:// belovedasheville.com/

“Giving is not just about making a donation; it’s about making a diference in people’s lives.” Kathy Calvin

Peggy’s May shows & gigs:

Turs May 2nd – Acoustic Roots & Blues with Kelly Jones & Peggy Ratusz, Te River Arts District Brewing Co, with special guest, bassist, Zack Page, 7pm-9pm

Sat May 4th – Invitational Blues Showcase hosted by Peggy Ratusz & Daddy Longlegs with special guests Aaron Price and Andrew Lawniczak, One World West 4pm-7pm

Sat May 11th - Peggy Ratusz & Daddy LongLegs Blues & Dance Band Te Pillar Roofop Bar, Hilton Garden Inn, 6pm-9pm

Sun May 12th – Peggy Ratusz & Daddy LongLegs, Highland Brewing Meadow, 2pm-5pm

Tur May 16th – Acoustic Roots & Blues with Kelly Jones & Peggy Ratusz, Te River Arts District Brewing Co, with special guest, vocalist, Ellen Trnka, 7pm-9pm

Fri May 17th – Peggy Ratusz & Daddy LongLegs, Mills River Brewing, outdoor stage 6:30pm-9:30pm

Sat May 25th – Invitational Blues Showcase hosted by Peggy Ratusz & Daddy LongLegs with special guests, soul singer, Rhoda Weaver and hot rod guitarist, Jack Mascari, 4pm-7pm

Sun May 26th – Peggy Ratusz, Adam Rose & Bob Songster, Southern Appalachian Brewery 4pm-6pm

Peggy Ratusz is a vocal coach, song interpreter, and songwriter. For vocal coaching email her at peggymarie43@gmail.com

May 2024 | 50+ Living 17

It’s Okay

Recognizing the common warning signs of a mental health condition is crucial for early intervention and seeking appropriate care. Tese signs can vary widely among individuals but ofen include persistent feelings of sadness or despair, excessive fears or worries, extreme mood changes of highs and lows, and withdrawing from friends and activities. Additional indicators might involve signifcant tiredness, low energy or sleeping problems, detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia or hallucinations, inability to cope with daily problems or stress, trouble understanding and relating to situations and people, and major changes in eating habits. It’s important to note that experiencing one or more of these symptoms could be a sign of a problem that may require professional help. Early detection and treatment can improve outcomes drastically for many mental health conditions.

Mental health conditions can also manifest physically, such as unexplained aches and pains, changes in appetite or weight, and frequent headaches or stomach aches. Tese physical symptoms can ofen be tied to the individual’s emotional state and should not be ignored.

Tere are also warning signs specifc to certain mental health disorders. For example, individuals with depression may have difculty concentrating, trouble sleeping, changes in appetite or weight, and feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness. Tose with anxiety disorders may experience

Not to Be Okay

excessive worry, restlessness, muscle tension, and panic attacks. People with bipolar disorder may exhibit extreme mood swings, energy fuctuations, and impulsive behavior.

It’s important to remember that everyone experiences stress and emotional ups and downs from time to time. However, if these symptoms persist and signifcantly interfere with daily life, it may be a sign of a mental health condition. It’s crucial to seek help from a qualifed mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

In addition to knowing the warning signs, it’s essential to understand that mental health conditions are treatable. Seeking help and getting the right treatment can lead to improved functioning, better relationships, and an overall better quality of life. It’s also important to know that recovery is a journey and may involve setbacks and challenges, but it’s possible with the right support and resources.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any warning signs of a mental health condition, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Tere are various treatment options available, including therapy, medication, and support groups. Remember that taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. Let’s work together to break the stigma surrounding mental health and prioritize our well-being. #EndStigma #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

18 50+ Living | May 2024

What Does Your PET Say About You?

Have you ever glanced over at your four-legged companion and wondered what kind of sign it is that you chose a dog over a cat, or vice versa? Well, they say pets ofen mirror their owners, and it turns out there might be a whisker of truth to that! Whether you’re a die-hard dog lover or fancy yourself more of a cat person, your choice in pets can be a fun little window into your personality. Grab a cup of tea and snuggle up with your fur baby as we explore what your choice of pet might suggest about you!

Doggone Awesome: The Canine Companions

Happy Dog

If your go-to pet is a tail-wagging, stick-fetching doggo, you’re likely an outgoing soul with a zest for life. Dog lovers are ofen seen as lively, energetic, and sociable–much like their furry friends. Here’s what your puppy might be barking about your personality:

You’re a Social Butterfy

Dog people usually enjoy active social lives and are not afraid to frolic outside their comfort zones. With a knack for making friends quickly, they’re the ones you can count on to strike up conversations at the dog park or join a local meetup group.

You Value Loyalty

Just like dogs are known for their undying loyalty, those who cherish canine companionship ofen place a high value on loyalty in their relationships. If someone sticks by you through thick and thin, you’re likely to consider them a ‘good boy’ or ‘good girl’ indeed.

Activity is Your Middle Name

High levels of enthusiasm and energy are common traits among dog owners. Whether it’s hitting the trails for a hike or playing frisbee in the backyard, dog owners are typically in for an active and adventurous lifestyle.

Curiosity Didn’t Kill the Cat Lover

Curious Cat

Cat owners, on the other hand, might walk a more independent path and pride themselves on their self-reliance. Cats, with their majestic indiference and self-contentment, might attract those who share a similar disposition. Here’s what having a kitty could indicate about your personality:

You Value Independence

Cat lovers ofen relish their own independence and respect it in others. You’re probably just as comfortable curling up with a good book on a Friday night as you are spending the evening out with friends.

You’re Inquisitively Minded

A curious, introspective quality ofen characterizes cat people. Like your silent, stealthy companion stalking the shadows, you’re not afraid to explore the unknown, be it within the world or your psyche.

Patience is Your Virtue

Cats can sometimes be enigmatic fur balls that require a great deal of patience to understand. Accordingly, those who favor the company of cats ofen possess an admirable level of patience and a calming presence.

A Paws for Thought

Before you get claws out, remember - these musings are all in good fun. Whether you’re a dog person who enjoys a solitary walk under the stars or a cat admirer who thrives in the limelight, ultimately, our pets are as unique as we are. Tey complement us in ways that transcend personality stereotypes.

No matter if you’re team dog or team cat, the love you share with your pet speaks volumes about your capacity for friendship, love, and joy. And that’s something to wag tails and purr about.

May 2024 | 50+ Living 19

The Root Causes of ROAD RAGE

Road rage is a phenomenon that has captured public attention due to its potential for causing harm and disruption on the roadways. Characterized by aggressive driving and hostile behavior, road rage incidents can escalate quickly, leading to dangerous confrontations and, in extreme cases, tragic accidents. Tis article aims to dissect the underlying causes of road rage and propose methods for individuals to handle such situations efectively.

The Psychology Behind Road Rage

Te psychology of road rage is complex, but it ofen stems from a combination of stress, anonymity, territoriality, and environmental factors. Modern life’s pressures can exacerbate stress levels, and for many, the daily commute is a prime source of frustration. Drivers may feel anonymous within the confnes of their vehicles, leading them to act out without fear of social repercussions.

Territorial behavior is also a contributing factor. Drivers may view their cars as personal spaces that need to be defended against perceived intrusions by other road users. Tis can result in aggressive responses to minor provocations, such as a vehicle merging into their lane.

In addition, conditions such as heavy trafc, construction work, or delays can heighten tensions and make drivers more prone to aggressive behavior. In a highly charged emotional state, a driver’s ability to make rational decisions

is compromised, increasing the likelihood of road rage incidents.

Common Triggers of Road Rage

Several triggers can ignite the fre of road rage. Tese include:

• Tailgating, or driving too close to another vehicle

• Cutting of other drivers or merging without signaling

• Excessive use of the horn or fashing lights

• Driver distractions, such as using cell phones

• Slow driving in the lef lane

• Lack of courtesy or acknowledgment of right-of-way

Recognition of these triggers is the frst step toward prevention and managing one’s own reactions on the road.

Handling and Preventing Road Rage

Here are some strategies to cope with road rage, whether it’s your own or that of another driver:

Stay Calm and Drive Defensively

• Take deep breaths and remain calm when you encounter aggressive drivers.

• Practice defensive driving by maintaining a safe distance from other cars and being aware of your surroundings.

20 50+ Living | May 2024

Don’t Engage

• Avoid making eye contact with an aggressive driver.

• Do not respond to provocations; retaliation can escalate the situation.

Plan Ahead

• Allocate extra time for your commute to avoid the anxiety of running late.

• Identify alternative routes in case of trafc congestion.

Personal Refection

• Refect on your driving habits and consider whether they contribute to road tension.

• Work on personal issues that may be causing undue stress or frustration during your commute.

Seek Support

• If road rage is frequent in your driving experience, consider seeking the help of a professional to discuss anger management strategies.

Legal Consequences and Social Responsibility

It’s important to recognize that road rage can have serious legal consequences. Aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding, sudden braking, and improper lane changes are trafc ofenses. More serious manifestations can result in charges of reckless endangerment or assault.

Beyond legal ramifcations, there’s a social responsibility to promote safety and courtesy on the roads. Every instance of road rage that is mitigated contributes to the overall reduction of trafc accidents and promotes a culture of mutual respect among commuters.

Road rage is a multifaceted issue that requires a measured approach from both individual drivers and community stakeholders. Understanding its causes and triggers helps in developing coping strategies and ultimately reducing instances of aggressive driving. By fostering patience, civility, and awareness, each driver can contribute to making the roads a safer environment for all.



9 lasagna noodles

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (10 ounce) package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained

1 (15 ounce) container of ricotta cheese

1 egg

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2½ cups marinara sauce

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

Cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 8-10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until sof.

Add the spinach to the skillet and cook until the excess moisture has evaporated. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of mozzarella. Stir in the cooled spinach mixture.

Spread ½ cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer 3 lasagna noodles over the sauce.

Spread half of the spinach mixture over the noodles. Top with 1 cup of mozzarella and ¾ cup of marinara sauce.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to sufering.”


Repeat layers, and top with the remaining noodles and sauce. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and the Parmesan cheese over the top.

Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

May 2024 | 50+ Living 21


Birds can be delightful visitors to your garden, with their cheerful songs and colorful plumage. But sometimes, they decide to set up home in spots that are less than ideal for us humans. Maybe a family of sparrows has moved into your porch light, or a robin has nested in your mailbox. When our feathered friends’ choice of residence conficts with our use of space, it can lead to the need for nest removal. But tread carefully—both for the wellbeing of the birds and to comply with legal protections.

Know When It’s Safe (And Legal) to Remove a Nest

Before you even think about removing a nest, it’s important to know the rules. Many bird species are protected by laws, such as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the United States, which make it illegal to disturb or remove an active nest— that is, one containing eggs or chicks. However, once the nestlings have fedged (lef the nest), most laws no longer apply, and you may proceed with removal. Always check your local regulations before taking action.

Checking the Nest

If the coast looks clear—no eggs or babies—and local laws permit disturbance, assess the situation. An occasional visit from a bird does not necessarily mean an active nest. Observe the nest from a distance to determine if it’s currently in use.

The Removal Process

Once it’s legal and safe to remove the nest, ensure you’re equipped with the right gear. Don some gloves to protect your hands not only from the nest materials but also from potential bird mites.

Step 1: Ensure the Birds Have Left

Reconfrm that there are no birds coming and going and that the nest occupants have indeed moved on. If you’re not sure, wait a few more days.

Step 2: Gently Remove the Nest

Use a tool to reach the nest, like a long broom or stick if needed, and carefully detach it from its spot. Be gentle to avoid damage if you need to return it due to fedglings returning unexpectedly.

Step 3: Clean the Area

Once the nest is removed, thoroughly clean the area with a disinfectant to remove droppings or mites that might linger. Tis helps prevent disease and discourages birds from rebuilding in the same spot.

Step 4: Discard Properly

Dispose of the nest in a sealed bag to ensure that no mites or other insects spread to other parts of your property.

Step 5: Prevent Future Nesting

Consider blocking the area with netting or using tactile repellents to prevent birds from nesting there again in the future. Be sure these deterrents are humane and won’t harm the birds.

Final Thoughts

Bird nests can be fascinating to observe, and many see it as a privilege to play host to nesting wildlife. Learning about local bird species and their nesting habits is always benefcial and can help you provide suitable (and more convenient) nesting alternatives. For example, setting up a birdhouse might just redirect their home-building eforts to a place that’s comfortable for both you and the birds.

In the end, with a combination of patience, observation, and a gentle touch—and an eye on the law—you can address any unwanted bird’s nest situations without rufing too many feathers, both literally and fguratively!

22 50+ Living | May 2024


Hey there! You’ve probably heard the phrase “laughter is the best medicine,” right? Well, it turns out, there’s more truth to that saying than just a chuckle. Being happy doesn’t just feel good, it’s actually a mega-boost to your health. Seriously, science backs this up in a big way.

For starters, when you’re riding the happy train, your body is like, “Hey, stress? What stress?” Tat’s because happiness helps in reducing stress levels by lowering cortisol (that’s the pesky stress hormone) in our bodies. Less stress means your heart is happier, your blood pressure takes a chill pill, and overall, you’re less likely to be visited by those annoying colds that always seem to show up at the worst times.

But wait, there’s more! Happy folks tend to live a lifestyle that keeps the grim reaper at a decent arm’s length. We’re talking about eating healthier, getting more z’s at night, and staying active. It’s like happiness is the nudge we need to take better care of ourselves without feeling like it’s a chore.

Plus, have you noticed how happy people seem to have superpowers when it comes to dealing with life’s curveballs? Tat’s because happiness is linked to resilience. Happy people aren’t just wearing rose-colored glasses; they’re equipped to bounce back faster because they’ve got a positive outlook that helps them see solutions, not just problems. And here’s the kicker – happiness can be contagious. Surround yourself with happy people, and it’s like catching a cold, but in a good way. You start spreading joy and good health like a boss. Your social network becomes this awesome wellness circle where everyone is boosting each other’s health game.

In a nutshell, happiness and health are BFFs. Working on your happiness is like giving your health a high-fve. Keep smiling, laugh ofen, and remember, being happy is not just about feeling good, it’s about rocking out a healthier you!

May 2024 | 50+ Living 23

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