Visiting Angels July 2019

July 2019

5274 Scotts Valley Dr., #102 Scotts Valley, CA 95066 831-430-0616 229 Reindollar Ave., Suite E Marina, CA 93933 831-392-0876


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Kindness Changes Everything T his past spring, a billionaire named Robert Smith pledged to pay off the student loan debt for the entire 2019 graduating class at Morehouse College. This story quickly went viral as a great example of a random act of kindness. That said, not every kind act needs to be so grand to make an impact. How Little Acts Make the World a Better Place

A few months ago, a new Starbucks opened in Scotts Valley. The first time I went through their drive-thru and reached the window to pay, the young man told me I didn’t owe anything. The car in front of me had paid for my breakfast. I looked to see if I recognized the driver and the man shook his head. Apparently, the car in front of this person had paid for her, and she wanted to return the favor. Random acts of kindness are incredibly powerful. The person in front of me might have only spent a couple bucks for my coffee and breakfast, but she really brightened my day. These small acts can make all the difference in the world to someone who needs a little extra kindness, particularly seniors. Seniors often miss out on these kinds of positive interactions. It’s hard when you find yourself shut in at home, with few friends or family members nearby. This month, I want to help spread a little more joy and encourage everyone to practice random acts of kindness with the people who really need it. The great thing about random acts of kindness is that you don’t have to be a billionaire to make a difference. Just a little thought is all it takes. If you have a senior in your life, here are a few acts of kindness you can share with them: • Call just to check in. • Bring by a home-cooked meal or some extra cookies you baked.

“Random acts of kindness are incredibly powerful.”

• Offer to drive them to the store or go on a walk together. • Invite them over for a cup of tea. • Surprise them with a CD of their favorite music. • Ask for their advice. • Stop by to say hi at the end of the day. At home, I have a little plaque that reads, “Kindness changes everything.” I really believe this is true. Kindness creates more kindness in the world. Even just smiling at someone on the street can put a smile on their face. After that stranger paid for my breakfast at Starbucks, I happily paid for the person behind me. I don’t know if that person then paid for the car behind them, but I’d like to think I was part of a kindness chain that lasted all day at that drive-thru. If not, I hope the unexpected gift at least made their morning a little brighter too.


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Beware These Retirement Spending Mistakes

Online Scams Hackers and cyberscammers love to prey on the elderly. As gross as it may sound, they know that older generations tend to be less tech savvy than their younger counterparts. You should be wary of online offers that look too good to be true. If you have even the slightest doubt, have a loved one take a look at the offer to ensure you’re not being scammed. Never provide your private financial data to a source you don’t absolutely trust. Tchotchkes Many of us have walked into the house of an older relative to find a room full of American Girl dolls or a display case of Candlewick glassware. Collecting can be a rewarding hobby when done in moderation, but amassing junk simply for its own sake is a waste of money and space. Make sure you’re acquiring objects because you truly want to treasure them. Rushed Relocations In general, real estate-based purchases can be extremely beneficial for retirees. The exception to this rule is a spur- of-the-moment relocation in order to be closer to your family or a retirement community. Because real estate transactions are so expensive, it’s best to approach them with extreme care and due diligence.

The bulk of retirement planning is spent discussing how you will save money in the years leading up to the end of your career, but that’s only half of the picture. Once you enter retirement, your focus shifts to the smartest way to divest your money for both your own enjoyment and your continued financial security. There are countless ways to wisely spend

your nest egg, such as taking trips, providing for the education of your grandchildren, and more. However, this article isn’t about good ideas. Instead, let’s talk about some of the worst ways to spend your retirement funds. Timeshares The appeal of a timeshare seems obvious. It’s a space of your own for a few weeks of the year, and you get to enjoy a nice change of pace from your regular environment. The problem is that these properties are full of hidden costs and have been outpaced by other vacationing options. In a world where you can book an Airbnb with just a few clicks, timeshares are poised to become a relic of a past age.


3 Free Apps to Help You Catch Those Z’s

Snore Report Many troubled sleepers who are able to fall asleep are jolted awake shortly afterward. The inability to stay asleep throughout the night can stem from a multitude of factors, but snoring tends to be the most common. The Snore Report app records through the night to

Everyone with a smartphone has heard time and time again that looking at your phone before bed is a bad idea. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “The use of electronic devices in the bedroom further disrupts the natural pattern of the sleep-wake cycle” primarily because of the blue light emitted from the screen. While most

scientific data pertaining to sleep recommends you place your phone in another room overnight, those who toss and turn regardless of phone location might benefit from using technology rather than tucking it away. Here are three FREE sleep apps that might help you get to dreamland faster. Pzizz While there are many apps that claim to help people fall asleep quicker, very few are programmed to prevent sleepers from growing bored of the same monotonous soundtracks. Pzizz combines music, sound effects, and binaural beats, and an embedded algorithm generates a slightly different track each time you use it.

detect any snoring sounds and then provides the user with an overview of the previous night’s recording, including an index to determine snore intensity. Using this app might not help you fall asleep faster, but it could offer helpful information about why you aren’t able to stay asleep. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock Instead of setting an alarm to jolt you out of sleep at a specific time, choose a window of time to wake up with the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock. The app will sense your sleep movements and ring an alarm when you’re in the lightest stage of sleep. This way, you’ll wake at the optimal time, feeling refreshed rather than groggy.





As we wrote on the cover, random acts of kindness can really make someone’s day. So, we decided to share a few of our favorite heartwarming stories from around the internet. Feel free to get inspired! Saving the Date Couples always worry about something going wrong at their wedding, but we’re sure Maria Leonardi and Justin Stone weren’t expecting a bus fire. Unfortunately, while the newlyweds were riding between the ceremony and their reception, that’s exactly what happened. Amazingly, the firefighters didn’t just put out the burning vehicle; they gave the stranded lovers a ride in their truck to get them to the party on schedule! One for the Birds In Key West, Florida, wild chickens are just part of the landscape, much like squirrels in our neck of the woods.

But when Hurricane Irma came barreling towards the island community, locals weren’t going to leave their feathered friends to fend for themselves. The Facebook group “Key West Finest” shared an image of chickens, snugly swaddled in newspapers, evacuating in the car of a concerned resident! Not Just for Kicks As a high school senior, Roderick Mathis knows his style. His crisp, black Vans sneakers, in particular, were popular among his peers, especially with two classmates with special needs. The boys had complimented Mathis’ shoes, and instead of just thanking them, the Texas student took things a step further and surprised both classmates with new pairs of Vans they could call their own.

Watermelon Cucumber Skewers


Skewers are a Fourth of July favorite, but these are not your classic kebabs. They’re a fresh, light, and fun way to start a barbecue. Oh, and they don’t require any actual cooking.

Ingredients • 1 medium-sized

• 1 bunch fresh mint leaves • Salt, to taste

watermelon, cubed • 2 cucumbers, cut into 1/4-inch rounds • 1 block feta cheese, cubed

Equipment • 1 packet of bamboo skewers

Directions 1. Assemble skewers by placing one watermelon cube, one

2. Lightly season with salt and chill in fridge until right before serving.

cucumber round, one feta cube, and one mint leaf on skewer in that order. Repeat until skewer is full.

Inspired by

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Let’s Change the World


The Worst Retirement Spending Decisions

3 Free Apps to Help You Catch Those Z’s


Acts of Kindness

Watermelon Cucumber Skewers


Local Events

A Summer of Fun


Santa Cruz Shakespeare: ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Where: Audrey Stanley Grove in DeLaveaga Park, Santa Cruz When: July 12–Aug. 31

Enjoy some wine tasting, a garden touch, and a chef-prepared charcuterie before rolling up your sleeves and mastering the art of hand-stretched pizza making. Everything is included in the ticket price, so come as you are and ready to have a good time. Watsonville Strawberry Festival Where: Historic Downtown Watsonville When: Aug. 3–4 Admission: Free Website:

Admission: See website for tickets Website: pride-prejudice/

Comedic playwright Kate Hamill adapts Jane Austen’s beloved novel for contemporary audiences. Hamill takes the classic story of the four — yes, four — Bennet sisters and adds her own sharp dialogue, irreverent humor, and a surprise musical number. Austen purists may want to bring along their smelling salts because this isn’t your grandmother’s “Pride and Prejudice.”

Watsonville-Strawberry-Festival Don’t let the dog days of summer get you down. Head out to Watsonville and celebrate that refreshing summer treat: the strawberry. This will be a weekend of family- friendly fun, food, crafts, and entertainment. Complete with unique vendors, a street carnival, and all kinds of strawberry treats, everyone is sure to have a great time at the Watsonville Strawberry Festival.

The Art of Making Pizza Where: 1440 Multiversity, Scotts Valley When: Saturday, July 20; 1:30–3 p.m. Admission: $85–$150 Website:

Love a good slice of pizza? Now you can learn how to make your own at the 1440 Multiversity Teaching Kitchen.



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