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A Lesson in Trust did, Nicole went straight into the house without a word. I was immediately apprehensive. What was she planning? As I started to gather the toddlers, she returned to the garage. “Honey,” she said nervously, “I’m pregnant.” I froze for a split second. Then I just started laughing. She’d really gone all-out with this one! It wasn’t even April! She sure was keeping a straight face, though. Then she pulled out a positive pregnancy test. Again, I froze. Then all of the dozens of pranks she’s pulled over the years came rushing back — all the times she had me in a panic and all the times I’d sworn to myself I’d never fall victim to one again. This prank was extreme, but it fit her MO. No, I wouldn’t let it happen this time. I told her it was a nice try, but she hadn’t gotten me. The test was clearly a fake. Where did she get it? How long had she been planning this? She wasn’t responding to me. She just went pale, and tears started to well up in her eyes. I suddenly realized this wasn’t a prank. The next thought that hit me was, “Did I just land myself in the doghouse?” Then, the real weight of the situation sank in. “This isn’t a prank!” Holy cow — we were going to have another kid! We just stood there in that garage for a while, half crying, half laughing at the crazy, beautiful, stressful, and amazing situation we found ourselves in. Nine months later, on Friday the 13th of March, little Sophie came into the world, making it one of the happiest days of our lives. Thankfully, Nicole and I can look back on that day in the garage and laugh. We both learned a valuable lesson: Trust each other, no matter which month or day it is.
Francisco and Nicole
I was in the middle of a 3 p.m. meeting when my phone started blowing up. I had it on vibrate, of course, but it would not stop buzzing around in my pocket. Finally, I apologized to the room and checked the screen. Nicole was in trouble. From her texts and panicked voicemail, I gathered she was stranded on the side of the I-10. I dropped everything and sprinted out of the office. While I dug for my car keys, I hit the callback button and let her know to sit tight because I was on the way. She picked up immediately. “April fools!” she shouted. I couldn’t believe it — she’d gotten me again. Normally, I pride myself on being a very trusting guy and a loving husband. But when April rolls around, it makes me an easy mark, especially for my wife. Throughout our marriage, she has consistently pulled one over on me this time of year. It’s usually pretty innocent stuff, but she’s not afraid to get inventive. This eventually came back to bite her on the butt, though. After about 20 years of marital pranks, you start to get pretty suspicious. You’re ready for a prank at any moment, whether it’s April or August. That’s why I was immediately on edge when Nicole started acting strangely on a drive home about nine years ago.
We’d just pulled into the garage. The 1-year-old twins were in their car seats in the back. Instead of helping to unbuckle the kids like she always
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W e tend to picture energetic dogs and cats thriving in young families with children, but animals are often happy to live with older, less active adults. These kinds of homes are especially suited to older animals that might otherwise have to spend their last days in the pound. Depending on your schedule and mobility, you might not want to adopt a large dog. But small lap dogs, cuddly cats, and even birds can make a great addition to your home. As long as you do not suffer from allergies, having a pet can be great for your health. The American Heart Association says pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, may be linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers found evidence to support this claim when they discovered that registered dog owners in Sweden had lower rates of cardiovascular disease and a lower risk of death than individuals without dogs. Physical fitness is far from the only benefit of pet ownership. The love and companionship our animal friends offer can alleviate depression or loneliness. Linda Anderson, founder of the Angel Animals Network in Minneapolis, says, “Older pet owners have often told us how incredibly barren and lonely their lives were without their pet’s companionship, even when there were some downsides to owning an active pet.” DON’T MISS OUT ON THE Joy of Pets
for walks, a talkative parrot
makes time spent alone less lonely, and a soft cat curled up on your lap helps alleviate a stressful day.
If you can’t have a pet in your home due to lease restrictions or mobility challenges, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of being around animals. Consider volunteering at a local animal shelter. You can help care for cats, dogs, and other animals while they wait for their own forever home. There are thousands of pets in shelters across the country waiting for someone to care for them. If there’s room in your retirement plan, why not invite one into your home? You might discover both you and your new friend have something to gain.
Caring for a pet takes work, but for many people, the benefits greatly outweigh the challenges. An energetic dog encourages you to leave the house and go
The Benefits of ALTCS
Aging is a natural process, but it’s not without complications. When you’re
ALTCS will cover any acute care you need, such as doctor visits, hospitalization, or prescriptions. The program will also help cover nursing- home care, assisted living, group-home care, and services in your own home. If you’re unable to drive, they can provide transportation to and from any of your medical appointments. In order to qualify for the benefits provided by this program, you will need to fill out an application in person at a local ALTCS office, and supply appropriate documents, including your birth certificate and Social Security card. The program is strictly need-based, which means there are strict medical and financial requirements. This includes meeting impairment requirements, monthly income limits, and asset limits. Also, you must be over the age of 65 and a resident of Arizona. After you’ve applied, it will take around 60–90 days for the application to be processed. Before you officially apply to ALTCS, it’s important to prepare, and Keystone Law Firm and Wealth Partners can help you do just that. Call us today at 480- 418-8448 to learn more about this helpful Medicaid program.
struggling to take care of yourself, you begin to worry about your health and living situation.
Perhaps you need help in your home, or maybe you’re considering a move into a senior care facility; either way, it can be expensive. With the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS), you don’t have to worry anymore. The ALTCS is an Arizona Medicaid program designed to help seniors and anyone suffering from a disability. They help people find and receive long-term care. The system works hand-in-hand with the Arizona Medicaid Program and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). Through membership with the ALTCS, people can get the help they need. Staying at home and receiving the care you deserve has never been easier. The program also covers expenses, including any consultations.
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TRUST, Which Is Right forMe? DIFFERENT DEVICES FOR DIFFERENT PURPOSES When going through the estate planning process, it’s common to hear about trusts and wills. Both are great for setting up a line of succession for your assets, but they are very different methods that accomplish very different goals. Therefore, it’s important to A will and a trust take effect at different times. A will transfers assets after death. The document names a representative to take action on the deceased’s wishes, and the process will be run through them. A trust, on the other hand, can take effect at any time, as decided by the originator of the trust. This allows assets to be dispersed throughout the owner’s lifetime and beyond. Ownership Wills are owned by the person who drafted the will. This means that all of the assets are owned by the individual until their passing. A trust operates as its own entity of sorts. When assets get put into a trust, the trust then owns them. At this point, all disbursement of assets within the trust will operate from the trustee and be given to the beneficiaries. Privacy One of the biggest differences between trusts and wills is that a will becomes public knowledge once it passes through probate. The court oversees the administration of the will in these filings, and by the nature of the law, this becomes public record. A trust does not require any involvement from the court, which in turn keeps all asset transfers private. Wills and trusts may be different, but that doesn’t mean you’re required to use one or the other. On the contrary, actually. When these two documents are combined, they create one fully functioning, comprehensive approach to estate planning. This is exactly what we provide here at the Keystone Law Firm. Contact us today, and let’s make sure your assets go exactly where you need them to. understand the differences between the two. When It Goes Into Effect
Pasta With Turkey and Broccoli This simple, delicious recipe only takes 20minutes fromstart to finish. It’s also a great way to encourage kids to eat their broccoli. The next time youmake pasta, leave the canned sauce in the pantry andmake this instead!
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 pounds pasta (shells or orecchiette)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups broccoli florets
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Add broccoli when pasta is 1 minute from done. Drain both and return to pot. 2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, garlic, crushed red pepper, and a pinch of salt. Cook while breaking up meat with a wooden spoon for 3–5 minutes. 3. Combine turkey with pasta and broccoli mixture, adding the remaining olive oil as you stir. Serve in bowls topped with Parmesan.
Adapted from delish.com
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A LESSON IN TRUST DO PETS FIT INTO YOUR RETIREMENT PLAN? THE BENEFITS OF ALTCS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TRUST AND A WILL THE MESSAGE BEHIND KINDNESS ROCKS
WITH A BIG MESSAGE A Small Token Kindness Is Contagious
Have you ever had one of those days when nothing seems to go right? You wake up late, you can’t find your keys, the kids aren’t ready, and the day continues to unfold in a negative fog. Those difficult days are the reason Megan Murphy started the Kindness Rocks Project. After her parents passed away, she found comfort in finding heart- shaped rocks and sea glass on the beach. She realized that these small tokens might make other people feel better, too. Megan’s friend, one of the first to pick up a rock Megan had left behind, sent her an encouraging message after finding it: “If you did drop this rock, you made my day.” Since then, Megan has inspired others with randomly placed messages of kindness. She finds a rock, paints a kind message on it, and leaves it on the beach for others to find. And the idea has spread. As the project has grown, so have people’s stories about finding kindness rocks. When people find a kindness rock, they get a boost to their day, but they also feel inspired to pay the kindness forward. How to Make Your Own Kindness Rocks If you want to spread kindness, start with a few smooth 3- to 5-inch rocks. Part of the adventure is in finding the rocks, so take the time to explore outside to
find them. Maybe take the kids for a trek to a nearby park or beach.
Once you have your rocks, use nontoxic paint or spray paint to color them. Use bright colors so that others can spot them. After the paint has dried, use paint pens to write your messages on the rocks. These can be as simple as one word or as big as an inspiring quote or verse.
After you’ve written your message, use a clear nontoxic sealant to protect your artwork so it will be there when others find it. Find an outdoor space to leave your rock — maybe even in the original spot you found it.
In a world that often seems dark, your message of kindness will serve as a beacon of hope for others.
“Onemoment can change a day, one day can change a life, and one life can change theworld.” –Gautama Buddha
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