Home Life

Ask any resident of The Towers why he or she moved there and you’ll get a similar response: “I was ready to give up all the hassle of home ownership. For me, living in a hotel-style condo was the answer. All utilities, basic cable, on-site maintenance, weekly housekeeping, a meal plan, and entertainment, it’s all included in the monthly assessment.” KZ Morihiro, 55 when she moved in, was traveling when she came across an article about the Laguna Woods Village. She looked at some real estate listings and then saw the picture of The Towers – and fell in love.…
Leo is a six year old cutie with a shining personality.  A Jack Russell Terrier mix, Leo just loves to play fetch and is great on leash.  Most of all, he enjoys simply being by your side.  He would prefer to be an only dog and not having to share your attention.  Could little Leo be the dog for you?         Meet Wink, a 1 ½ year old kitty who’s had a rough start in life. When she first arrived at the shelter, she had a severe and painful eye injury. Luckily shelter staff, veterinarians, and a…
My sister was hit by a snowboarder when she was sixteen. On skis, just a couple of turns from the bottom of the hill - in plain sight of a SLOW sign. The snowboarder was young; not as young as my sister, but still, a young man. My parents, long-time skiers, contacted him directly, trying to see if they could get any results at all: any reparations for their high-school sophomore, laid up on the couch for innumerable weeks. There was nothing they could do. I remember feeling helpless as a child, watching the entire drama unfold. I can’t imagine…
Rosie is a pretty Snowshoe cat now available for adoption. Recently relinquished to the shelter, Rosie is doing her best to get her bearings while patiently awaiting her forever home. At eight years old, Rosie is a low maintenance kitty who would thrive in a quiet home where she can settle in permanently.         One year old Nala is a happy little Boxer who just wants someone to love.  Whether she’s running around in the yard or simply relaxing, Nala is happiest by your side.  This friendly and fun-loving pup also enjoys outdoor activities and would do…
The last time we showcased Ortega Animal Care Center in South County Magazine, Dr. Fluent and Dr. Brehmer were excited to begin offering the highest quality veterinary care and scope of offerings to South Orange County’s animal residents. “Our main focus was growing the hospital by expanding the hours and making ourselves available 7 days a week,” says Dr. Lynlee Fluent. “We’ve done quite a bit more than that in the past few years.” In fact, since they opened three years ago, staff at the Ortega Animal Care Center has doubled, and not only are their in-house services available 7…
Thomas is an eight year old sweetie who is finally ready to settle down. A gentle and mild-mannered cat, he enjoys spending his afternoons lounging on a sunny window sill or birdwatching. Thomas has an adorable and quirky personality and would make a great companion for almost anyone.         Four year old Gumbo is a happy guy who just loves to make new friends.  Full of energy and a fun personality, he enjoys going on walks and playing with his canine buddies in the yard.  If you’re looking for an all-around great dog, Gumbo might just be…
This handsome guy is Jax, a 1 ½ year old Great Dane mix looking for a new start in life. Before coming to the shelter, Jax was shuffled through multiple short-term homes and never quite got the chance to truly belong anywhere.  Now, he’s ready to become a permanent fixture in an active household where he can really thrive.  Could Jax be the match for you?       One year old Fondue is a happy little guy with a quirky personality to match.  He enjoys outdoor activities and playing with his canine pals.  Full of energy, Fondue is looking…
Boots is a 10 year old kitty looking for a new lease on life.  Don’t let her age fool you; This little lady is full of life and just loves having company!  While she does get along well with other cats, Boots’ favorite pastime is spending the afternoon in the lap of a friendly human.  She would make a spectacular companion for someone looking for some real one-on-one time.       Seven year old Cindy is quite the little sweetheart.  She absolutely loves to be around people and will happily climb into your lap if given the chance. With…
This green-eyed beauty is Squeeky, a seven year old kitty looking for a new start.  Squeeky is mild-mannered and very sweet would make a spectacular lap cat.  With her mellow personality, she would thrive in a quieter home with someone special to call her own.         Pop is a 1 year old neutered lionhead-mini-lop mix.  With his memorable hairdo and furry mustache, Pop is a real cutie with personality to match his looks! While he can sometimes be a little shy at first, but he loves to be held and cuddled. He absolutely adores pets and head…
Freddie is a very special rabbit available for adoption. One of the rare bunnies who lives for pets, he will often run up to you hoping to get your attention. Don’t be surprised if he even hops over for a nice snuggle! He would be a perfect bunny for a first-time owner. Freddie has great litter box habits and is waiting for a family to love!       Seven month old Jessie is a happy little kitty who loves to meet new people. Very social and especially sweet, he gets along great with cats and humans alike. If you’re…
About as cool as they come, Andre is a mellow cat with a personality of gold. Happy to be around humans and felines alike, Andre is ready to make new friends wherever he goes! This laid-back kitty would fit in well to just about any home.         This sweet girl is Sookie, an attentive and affectionate kitty looking to find her new family.  With beautiful markings and a personality to match, Sookie would make a great cat for someone willing to give her all the love she so deserves!         Sajack is a nine…
This handsome lug is Wile E and he would love to be your new best friend!  Though he might be named after a crafty coyote, this goofy guy is as loveable as they come.  Two years old, Wile E loves dogs and humans alike and would make a wonderful addition to an active home.         Pretty little Lola is a sweet dog with a happy and energetic personality.  Always ready for fun, this 1 year old Poodle mix would make a great pup for someone who loves to play.  Once you’ve met Lola, she’s sure to win…
The word Thanksgiving evokes images of roasted turkey with stuffing, pumpkin pie, family reunions and football. The 54 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians are the acknowledged founders of the American feast. In 1621, when their labors were rewarded with a bountiful harvest after a year of sickness and scarcity, the Pilgrims gave thanks to God and celebrated His bounty in the English tradition with feasting and sport. Thanksgiving became a regular event by the middle of the 17th century and it was proclaimed each autumn by the individual Colonies. The Continental Congress proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving in 1777. Later,…
Tedi is a 4 year old German Shepherd looking to find her forever family. Very friendly and quick to learn, Tedi likes to stay active by playing with other dogs in the yard and also learning dog puzzles. She would shine in an energetic household with plenty of activities to keep her stimulated.     Sweet little Micky just loves to run and play.  Only 1 ½ years old, he has a great personality and plays well with the other dogs.  Micky would love a family who will give him all the love and snuggle time he desires!    …
Handsome Crockett is every bit the distinguished looking gentleman. With striking green eyes and an incredibly sweet disposition, this 9 year old American Bobtail mix is quite the kitty catch! If you’re looking for a calm and loving feline friend, you can’t go wrong with Crockett!     Meet Oink, a 4 year old kitty searching for her new family.  Much more likely to greet you with a “Meow,” Oink has a laid-back personality that makes her a great lap cat.  She gets along with most people and cats and would make a fabulous addition to almost any home!  …
Tragically, the term “See Something, Say Something” and its call to action are focused these days on defending ourselves against acts of terrorism right here, where we live. But the concept the term expresses applies to other things against which we must defend ourselves, our friends, neighbors, and loved ones. One such thing is the growing problem of Elder Abuse. Elder Abuse takes many forms. It can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial and can include neglect, abandonment and criminal activities such as swindles and cons. Much elder abuse is a combination of several of these forms. The results can…
The village concept is a relatively new model for retirement, helping seniors remain in their homes as they age. Seniors frequently struggle with increased needs associated with aging but are determined to maintain their independence while staying in their homes. The Village Movement is a grassroots concept sweeping across the nation. The virtual village idea originated in 2001 in Beacon Hill, a neighborhood of Boston. Where It Came From Nearly 90 percent of Baby Boomers say they want to stay in their homes and close to family and friends as long as possible, according to a survey by AARP. The…
Are you feeling stressed, over-committed, overwhelmed, out of sync, unbalanced? In our world of constantly being on the go, trying to be three places at once, literally being available 24/7 thanks to technology, it is no wonder that so many feel so totally “out of whack” in their lives. Low energy, inability to focus, feeling anxious, chaotic and overwhelmed…these are just a few internal signs of total imbalance in one’s life. So then, what is “Balance”? Balance can be defined as: the harmonious arrangement or relation of parts of elements within a whole; a State of Equilibrium (from vocabulary.com). How…
Many seniors prefer to stay in their homes as long as possible. Of course your ability to do this depends on several factors, including the nature of the challenges you face in your current home. Major home renovations may be required, but there are also numerous inexpensive steps you can take to improve your living situation. Improvements to make to your home safer Flooring: carpeting is preferable to area rugs because it reduces tripping hazards and can cushion falls. But if area rugs are used, make sure they’re secured to the floor.Handrails: on stairways, you can add a second handrail…
McDonnell’s “masterpiece fighting jet,” the F-4 Phantom, rolled off the production line in December 1960, as a fleet defender built to intercept nuclear foes. Delivered to Miramar Naval Air Station, the jet was eventually bound for nearly four decades of service in the U.S. military. For a rookie pilot, the F-4 could be a little hard to handle, its two-seater capacity requiring a little more of a team effort than fighter pilots were used to; and a nose that rose notoriously slowly off the deck of an aircraft carrier. For those of us who know nothing about planes, let alone…
Some say life review is like a movie screen in the back of our mind replaying pivotal scenes, points of conflict or glory or moments of regret. This article seeks to provide a snapshot into the life of Hospice Care of the West (HCOTW) patient Shirley McDonnell as she shares meaningful moments, milestones she’s achieved and the people who matter most because “what is important at the end of it all is the people you love and who love you.” A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Shirley originally came to California during World War II. Clutching her Phi Beta Key and…
U.S. News and World Report presented an article in their November 16, 2015 issue entitled “10 Essential Tech Tools for Older Adults.” The subtitle further elaborated: “From medication monitors to GPS insoles, these devices make life easier and healthier for seniors.” Each of the 10 Tech Tools held its own as a great idea for those of us in the “Older Adult” category, but it quickly occurred to this reader that there was need for at least one more help item beyond Smart Watches, Fitness Trackers, and e-Readers in the lives of most seniors. While it is important to keep…
SNOWY MASON JAR Steps: 1. Pour Epsom salt in to a flat container and set aside. Make sure container is wide enough to easily roll mason jar in.2. Dip sponge brush into mod podge and evenly coat the outside of the mason jar. Do not coat the bottom of the jar or the threaded area on top.3. Carefully roll mason jar in the Epsom salt, covering thoroughly.4. Stand upright and let dry overnight.5. Once dried, wrap top of mason jar with twine and add your holiday finding.6. Enjoy as-is, or insert a tealight candle to add a little sparkle to…
Accents and accessories to make a house your “home” When writing a showcase on their respective businesses, it’s always nice to be able to get to know these individuals through the perspective of their clientele, but it’s even more fun when I can count myself among their customers. Such is the case with this month’s cover feature subject: Susie Smith, owner of Backstreet Home Decor - the landmark San Clemente boutique on El Camino Real with a second high-profile storefront in the heart of downtown on Del Mar Street - a thriving business that evolved from a single mom’s desire…
One of the perks of publishing South County Magazine is that I am provided a venue to share with our readership personal experiences with local business owners like Jose Bautista, owner of the South County-based Total Floor Care. Jose helped restore our granite kitchen countertop to like-new condition (after someone who shall remain nameless left a can of cleaner on top of the counter long enough for the chemicals to mar the surface with a glaring white ring). When we moved into our new home a few months ago, we called Jose again – this time to see if he…
We all know - or maybe we assume - that spring and summer are the best times to sell a home. And it’s true that many buyers do plan their new home purchases during the warmer months. But that doesn’t mean all the serious buyers evaporate after Labor Day. The thinking used to be that trying to sell your home during the holiday season was a terrible idea. Real estate agents often advised their clients to either wait to list the home or to take their home off the market between Thanksgiving and New Year’s! Like many old ideas, this…
The holidays are right around the corner, and in our house, we take advantage of the opportunity to plan our annual family portrait when three generations of relatives are here visiting and we have everyone under one roof. We have been lucky to find a wonderful local photographer who is simply a joy to work with. Melisa Chandler of Chandler Photography has beautifully captured our family in cherished images that adorn the walls of each of our family members’ homes. She might come from humble and adorable beginnings (her first models were butterflies and her Strawberry Shortcake doll), but she’s…
It dawned on me recently when I read an article that describes the 5 stages of mourning and grief typically experienced when we lose a loved one that these same feelings can be experienced when selling and moving from a long-term home. I have been fortunate to help seniors and their families make the transition from the home where they have lived, loved and raised their families for decades to downsize into condominiums, senior apartments and senior communities. Your home represents so much more merely just the structure – it is about family, memories, neighbors, and what you have known…
Many seniors today are hesitant to consider senior living communities as a potential living option.  You might still view senior living as “the home” or “a place for old people” but the opposite is really true. Today you will discover senior living has evolved into extremely upscale vibrant communities offering resort style living with amenities such as chef prepared meals, full social calendars, transportation and much more. The ultimate goal of today’s senior living community is to provide you the opportunity to lessen your workload and increase your support and safety, with the added opportunities of having more relationships with…
The range of available housing and care services is wide, ranging from in-home caregivers to live-in facilities that can provide skilled nursing. Planning ahead for senior housing is not easy. The best anyone can do is to first become informed. Then, communicate early and often about the eventual life transitions. Next, organize the legal paperwork and start planning financially for long-term care. When the need arises make an educated and possibly even a professionally-supported decision about the best possible living situation. This includes evaluations of certain aspects of an individual’s current daily living needs and to consider their needs on…
Socialization leads to a better quality of life for seniors No one wants to spend most of their days at home alone with a television or having limited interactions with others. Isolation and loneliness is becoming an increasing problem in our busy, fast paced world. Be Self Aware Pay attention to your daily schedule or that of the loved one you care for. Focus on the type of activities that actually fills the day, and with whom? Many studies are showing that isolation and a lack of socialization can lead to memory issues as well as depression for seniors. Senior…
You Don’t Have to Dodge the Conversation Senior living can be a scary conversation for many people while in fact most don’t know where to start or even what options are available in their local community. Today, it’s still common for people to still use terms to describe senior living options as “The Home,” “Facility” or a “Room” while in actuality senior living communities offer stylish apartment type living with restaurant-style dining including many services such as entertainment, housekeeping and transportation. Today, there are a wide variety of options to meet any social or medical need spanning from true independent…
There are a variety of reasons to downsize. We might want a smaller home because we feel our house is too large to maintain. Or the kids have all moved out and wehave become empty nesters. Or we need to move into an assisted living facility. Moving out of the home we have lived in for many years is a big, big step. Downsizing is very demanding physically, mentally and emotionally. We have to accept that the new home we will be moving into is smaller and, therefore, it is impossible to bring everything we've accumulated over the years with…

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