40,000 new eBooks and eAudio Titles Added to Desert Foothills Library

Over 40,000 new eBooks and eAudiobook titles are now available to all Desert Foothills Library patrons, thanks to its partnership with the Little Libraries that Could, and newly added, Southwest Valley Library Consortium.

Access to the eBooks and eAudiobooks is simple and easy. All residents need is their Desert Foothills Library card and access to the library’s website, Overdrive App or Libby App. Those who don’t have a library card yet can go to dfla.org homepage and sign-up! 

The Desert Foothills Library joined this project in 2019 through a Reciprocal Lending Agreement with the Tempe Public Library, Buckeye Public Library System, Yuma County Library District, and the Little Libraries That Could.  

The library says that, in these challenging times, it is working diligently to bring as many resources to the community as it possibly can.

For details on all the digital resources available, visit the library’s Digital Library. Find out more at on Facebook and Instagram.

Create a Spa Room in Your Home and Make Stress-Free Choices

Click to read more about Barbara.

By Barbara Kaplan ~

Creating a spa-like atmosphere in your own home is an opportunity for personal pleasure and enjoyment.  First, you have to have an extra room to make this happen. If you are fortunate to have the space, you can create a get-away just for you, a place you can get a quiet and soul-satisfying massage or use for meditation.  If this is important to you, here are some things to consider and choices to make.

Begin by determining which room will give you the privacy you need — where you will feel safe from the outside world. A place that is quiet with no phone ringing or TV sounds from other rooms. Bring in a comfortable chair, meditation pillow or pillows to lie on. Make the floor a different color than the rest of the house. You can also make the floor extra soft to the touch of bare feet. Paint the walls in your favorite relaxing color. Perhaps you can upholster the walls with fabric for additional soundproofing and softness. If you have special or spiritual objects, you can display them on an altar. Finish it off with soft lighting and you have created your own private haven.

If you have a regular massage, choosing the time of day you prefer is significant. Mornings before you begin the day are great because you can then be energized for the rest of the day. Facing stress can be less difficult. Perhaps you prefer the evening to relieve your stress. Yes, this may be considered an indulgence — but what better gift can you give yourself in your own home!

Here are some helpful tips. Make sure the air is comfortable, not too hot or cold. If it is winter, it needs to be warm enough without a blanket, and in the summer, it is nice to have a fan blowing cool air over you. Personally, I love having massages on my back patio when the weather permits. The birds and running water from my fountain carry me into nature. A fan and a heater as I need it make the area as comfortable as possible.

It is also nice to have music playing at the right volume to soothe you. Loud music is jarring to the soul — music needs to be audible enough to take you to places where your mind can rest. Regardless of the time of day, have candles flickering near you. Even with your eyes closed you can feel the glow. Sometimes, lightly scented candles give the same effect as aromatherapy. Small vases with flowers are another treat.

One of the benefits of home massages is that you don’t have to get dressed afterwards. You can lounge in your robe and drink tea in your favorite cup or water in your favorite glass. You can do all this sitting in your favorite chair or get back into bed and take a nap or read. Of course, your bed is an entire article by itself. How soft are your sheets, how comfortable is your pillow and how inviting is your blanket?

When you have these experiences in your own home, the memory stays with you. This is one of the reasons it is important to be sure that when you are designing rooms in your home that they are a reflection of you. Create your rooms to serve you and make each environment one that will give you pleasure and personal fulfillment. How you do this is up to you.

Remember, rooms have no feelings — you do!

Barbara Kaplan, IFDA and Allied ASID, is a Phoenix-based Holistic Interior Design consultant and the founder of Barbara’s Picks, an online resource for the best of the best Design and Lifestyle Resources. Visit barbaraspicks.com for more information.

Teaser Photo on Foter.com

Nicole Anne Yoga Offers Discount on Virtual Holistic Wellness Programs

Nicole Fonovich, owner, Nicole Anne Yoga

During the month of April, Nicole Anne Yoga — a mobile yoga and holistic wellness company — is offering private, one-on-one holistic offerings virtually for 50 percent off. Some of the holistic offerings include: Life coaching, nutrition coaching, Reiki, hypnotherapy, integral breath therapy and Neuro-Emotional Technique (N.E.T.)

In a time of home quarantining, Nicole Anne Yoga offers a way to connect with a caring, certified holistic practitioner whose goal is to help residents feel happier and healthier.

To learn more, visit www.nicoleanneyoga.com.

Join a Day of Giving to Help Area Nonprofits Feeling the Impact of Coronavirus

Arizona Gives Day 2020 is April 7

Nearly 1,000 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations have registered for the 24-hour online fundraising event, Arizona Gives Day, which begins at 12:01am Tuesday, April 7.

Last year, Arizona Gives Day raised $3.6 million to bring the total since 2013 to $17 million, “but we’ve never gone into Arizona Gives Day in such an uncertain environment making this year’s event even more critical for nonprofit organizations of every size in every community that are facing severe financial challenges in their ability to provide services and resources to their communities,” said Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits CEO Kristen Merrifield. “Our local nonprofit community is already reporting significant losses, decreases in staff and volunteer capacity and will likely see an increase in demand for services.”

Presented by FirstBank and in collaboration with Arizona Grantmakers Forum, Arizona Gives Day early giving, which began March 17, already has generated $233,000 for the 975 registered nonprofits and nearly $10,000 has been contributed to the Nonprofit Emergency Relief Fund that gives donors the option to add donations at check out. All Emergency Relief Fund donations will be distributed evenly among all participating organizations.

A recent Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits survey put the projected financial impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic that has caused many cancellations and postponements reaching at a minimum of $36 million.

There are two ways to donate to Arizona nonprofits during this critical time:

  • Donate now during the early giving period or on Arizona Gives Day, tomorrow, April 7 at azgives.org
  • Donate directly to the Emergency Relief Fund: as an add-on at checkout once a donor gives to a particular nonprofit on Arizona Gives Day or by directly visiting azgives.org/relieffund

Donors may prefer to donate during a specific block of time on Arizona Gives Day to help a nonprofit win a Power Hour an earn additional funds from the prize pool. Arizona Gives Day, a collaboration between the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and the Arizona Grantmakers Forum, is an annual online giving movement uniting nonprofits to celebrate and increase philanthropy in Arizona through giving.

For interested donors, AzGives.org offers an advanced search filter to find nonprofits by specific criteria, area of focus, and which donations may qualify as an Arizona tax credit. Donors also can create an account to pre-schedule donations or can check out as a guest, set up recurring donations, and make changes to their giving throughout the year.

For more information, visit www.azgives.org

ID 111934679 © Roman Doroshenko | Dreamstime.com

Male Call: “Who’s a Gooood dog” and Other Online Glitches


Click to read more about James Roberts.

 By James Roberts –

Last April, we talked about photo clichés. It’s time to have a little hair of the dog, so to bark, and turn again to verbal glitches that are making you exactly like everyone else.

First off: don’t make your profile sound like you’re a dog…literally. For example: “I’m trustworthy, loyal, friendly, reliable and love to cuddle.” All that’s missing is the “Arf!”

Next: Did someone else write your profile? Or are you using what our Male Call Advisory Board™ calls the “Royal Third Person?” For example: “Loves movies, walking along the beach, and quiet nights staying in.”

Speaking of love, we can probably assume that you are planning to stay alive, so we don’t need “love life” or “love everything life has to offer.” (Oh, and we know you “love to laugh” because you have peppered so many clever jokes into your profile.)

We’re not sure what life would be like without some daily drama — pesky traffic made you late for a job interview, forgot to charge your phone, loyal and trustworthy fur baby chewed your wallet, HOA fined you for not trimming your tree, your stalker just got paroled. But making a blanket statement about “no drama” is both unrealistic and, well, dull.

Scammers beware. Some of the ladies have been putting you on notice that they don’t want you. Same with pickpockets, email phishing schemes and text messages about making “$1K per day from home.” So, how’s that working for you? Perhaps you figure that saying it makes them say “Oh, no, we better not mess with her…she’s on to our tricks, dang it all!”

We’re not quite sure how this next phrase became so popular but “well-traveled” seems to have replaced “globetrotter” and “cosmopolitan.” (We just looked it up and found 138 million Google entries.) Now, a person who has traveled in many foreign countries, especially diverse locations has certainly got around (my sister’s family figures they’ve been to 84 countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe) and that’s probably a nice selling point for your profile. But the term is getting a bit tiresome. And we’re not sure cruise ships count…not that anyone will be taking them in the current pandemic climate.

Are “family and friends” important to you? You’re in good company with 9.2 billion citations on Google (mostly from Plenty of Fish and Bumble, we-thinks.)

Though we have mentioned this before, “looking for your best friend” or your “last first kiss” makes your profile look like you copy-and-pasted from a 1990s newspaper Personals ad.

And finally, if you’re on a free online site, there’s no need to tell folks that you’re “not a paid member.”

Remember: your job is to stand out from the crowd. Maybe not all the way out in left field (unless you just like catching fly balls), but at least enough to keep from sounding like you need to be adopted from the local dog pound.

Need a guy’s perspective? Jot a note to Male Call at jrobertpenn@aol.com. For more words, ideas and whimsy, visit jveeds.wordpress.com.

Photo: Title: “Here Comes Trouble!” by DaPuglet on Foter.com / CC BY-SA

COMMUNITY VOICES: Rock Solid in Turbulent Times — By Pastor Paul Witkop

Pastor Paul Witkop

Click to read more about Paul Witkop

By Paul Witkop –

We live in difficult times. The financial and housing markets go up and down. The coronavirus is an unknown force that is causing chaos. We look to the government and the next election for hope — and it’s not there.

We live in the most educated, the most technologically advanced culture ever. Yet there are so many people seemingly holding on by a thread. I spoke with a man whose wife had just left him to go live with another man. He told me that he was holding onto life with a “white knuckle” grip. Another person confessed hopelessness because his company was going out of business. Still another mom and dad are struggling with a son who is taking drugs. Junior high and high school students are discouraged and overwhelmed because of the pressure to achieve.

Challenging times happen to all of us. They make us stand back and truthfully ask the question “What/who am I counting on?” Is the foundation of my life so solid that in circumstances beyond my control, I can still navigate life?

Easter is the celebration that there is someone we can count on, someone who is the rock-solid foundation on whom we can build our lives. History records that Jesus Christ lived on this earth with a group of followers, predicted that he would die and rise from the dead, and then actually did die and rise from the dead after three days. No one has ever done this except for him. He claimed to be the Son of God and his invitation to all of us is to confidently place our faith in him now and forever.

You might be going through a very difficult time and feel like everything you used to count on has eroded away. God wants to turn your heart from discouragement to hope. He wants us to take a step of faith, put our trust in the resurrected Jesus.

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength.” —Philippians 4:13

The truth is, your circumstances may or may not change. However, there is power available that is greater than your own wisdom and your own resources. In his time and in his way, God will give you power for living, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, to help you through whatever seems to be defeating you today. May you receive his gift of strength and be encouraged that, with Christ, there is hope.

Photo on Foter.com

Governor’s Office Provides Additional Guidance on Essential Services — Closures Effective April 4

The Governor’s Office today released additional guidance on essential services and recreational activities.

“During these unprecedented times, providing clarity for small businesses and employers is an important measure to ensure we protect our citizens, slow the spread of COVID-19, and protect this critical part of our economy,” said Gov. Doug Ducey. “As guidance from public health officials evolves, we will continue to release information and direction.”

On March 23, 2020, Gov. Ducey issued an Executive Order defining essential services. On March 30, 2020, following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and recommendations from the Arizona Department of Public Health, Gov. Ducey issued an Executive Order directing Arizonans to Stay Home, Stay Healthy, and Stay Connected, which included increased physical distancing requirements. According to today’s release from the Governor’s office:

If not already closed, the following services shall cease operations no later than 5pm April 4, 2020, as these services cannot comply with the guidelines required in paragraph 11 of Executive Order 2020-18, directing Arizonans to Stay Home, Stay Healthy, and Stay Connected.

  • Barbers 
  • Cosmetology, Hairstyling, Nail Salons and Aesthetic Salons 
  • Tanning salons
  • Tattoo parlors
  • Spas
  • Massage parlors

In addition, the following services shall also cease operations by 5pm Saturday, April 4:

  • Amenities at public parks that do not allow for recommended physical distancing or proper hygiene such as basketball courts, splash pads, playgrounds and public restrooms but public parks shall remain open to the greatest extent possible.
  • Communal pools such as those at hotels, condominiums, apartment complexes and parks, however, these should still be maintained under environmental and public health rules and guidelines.
  • Swap meets

The Governor’s Office also provided guidance related to the following services, which they are considering essential and may continue operations:

  • Personal hygiene services including in-home services such as assistance with bathing and cleaning for vulnerable adults and those who are disabled.
  • Daycare centers providing care for individuals with children serving in any essential services category. 
  • Hotels and motels, to the extent used for lodging, including RV Parks, and hotel and motel restaurants providing delivery or carryout food services.
  • Respite and palliative care.

For continuing updates from the Governor’s office and resources for individuals, visit https://arizonatogether.org.

The Scottsdale Arts Festival Has Gone Virtual

The Scottsdale Arts Festival was scheduled to host its 50th anniversary celebration March 13–15, but the decision was made to cancel the in-person 2020 Festival out of an abundance of caution, given rising concerns around COVID-19. In light of the cancellation, the Festival is now online to view.

Festival organizers are calling on the community to help support art in the Valley and the participating artists during this time of uncertainty by considering a donation to Scottsdale Arts, through the Scottsdale Art Festival, by purchasing a voluntary virtual ticket. Virtual ticket holders will also be automatically entered to win a goodie bag.

The Scottsdale Arts Festival features artists working in all media, and residents can check out the complete Artist Catalog online now during the 2020 Virtual Scottsdale Arts Festival. A jury of local arts professionals selects the artists to exhibit and, during the Festival, awards prizes in numerous categories, including painting, sculpture, glass, ceramics, jewelry, photography, printmaking, textiles, woodworking and more.

A complete list of 2020 exhibiting artists is available online, and if visitors discover an artist they like, the Festival has provided links to websites on each category page, and in the comprehensive PDF list on the event website. The list was compiled by Scottsdale Arts in support of the participating artists who were registered and booked for the Festival in 2020 prior to cancellation in an effort to, “show our support for these wonderfully talented and amazing artists who share their talents with our community.” The Festival encourages patrons to consider showing support by visiting the artist websites or contacting them via email to inquire about commissions or pieces they currently have for sale.

Visit the Scottsdale Arts Festival website to purchase a virtual ticket and to view the artwork.

Photos courtesy Scottsdale Arts Festival

Feature photo: artwork by Ivano Stocco

Agency on Aging Responds to Increase in Calls for Assistance During Coronavirus Pandemic — Provides Tips on Staying Connected

Pictured: Regan Smith and Scott Hawthorne; photo courtesy of Area Agency on Aging

As of March 27, the Area Agency on Aging’s professional staff responded to 8,126 calls, 86 percent related to food, that have come into the 24-hour Senior Help Line, an increase of 257 percent over the previous nine days.

In response to those calls, the agency’s staff and 35 volunteers and AmeriCorps members delivered 420 food boxes provided by St. Mary’s Food Bank, 32 food bags filled by Area Agency staff and 500 sack lunches provided by CSAA Insurance Group.  In addition, 107 callers were referred to senior centers for grab-and-go meals or to Meals on Wheels for delivery.

“Our team has been working around the clock to ensure that seniors in our community have the food and nourishment they need at a time when it’s more difficult than ever for them to get to a grocery store. These numbers don’t reflect referrals that have been to other services and resources that are so important to their health and well-being,” said Area Agency on Aging president and CEO Mary Lynn Kasunic.  “It has been an effort driven by an incredible commitment to the clients we serve every day.  In fact, our staff has been bringing in extra cans of food that they purchase on their own when they go shopping for themselves.”

Kasunic said that, “St. Mary’s Food Bank has been a tremendous partner in our outreach, and supplying food pallets every day based on our needs.”

During the nine days prior to March 18, the Senior Help Line responded to 2,091 calls, 25 percent of which were related to food, Kasunic said.

The Senior Help Line (602.264.HELP (4357) or Toll Free at 888.783.7500) is a 24-hour information and assistance resource and central intake for the Area Agency, helping seniors navigate a diverse range of resources.

Among the services are information on benefits including Medicare counseling, family care giving support, legal assistance and links to a variety of other resources that help older adults.

While the help line is always available to Valley seniors, the Agency reminds residents that it is also important to check in on older family, friends and neighbors.

“Isolation at any time can be very difficult for people of all ages, particularly for older adults, but especially during this uncertain time as we try to navigate through unchartered territory,” said Kasunic. “That’s why maintaining consistent contact with older adults who may be isolated or facing isolation is critically important.”

She suggests staying connected in the following ways:

  • Call on a regular basis
  • Connect with friends and family to set up a “call tree” so they hear from several people at various times
  • Offer to deliver food or medicine
  • Use technology if possible — emails, FaceTime, Facebook
  • Encourage them to reach out and ask for assistance

Kasunic said that the Senior Help Line also can provide information about volunteer opportunities for those who may be interested. For more information, visit www.aaaphx.org.

Fearless Kitty Adoptions Go Virtual — Meet adoptable felines online, Thursdays at noon

The Fearless Kitty Rescue facility may be closed to the public, but the work goes on to connect with the public virtually. The rescue is now bringing adoptable kitties to personal computers, phones and pads live every Thursday at noon online at www.fearlesskittyrescue.org/about/kitty-cam.

Interested adopters can also go to the organization’s Facebook Page to view past meet-and-greets and other videos.

Kim Kamins, CEO and co-founder, says that during this critical time, Fearless Kitty Rescue needs adopters and fosters more than ever, and explains restrictions surrounding COVID-19.

“We are preparing now, and trying to be proactive, for what may potentially be more stringent lockdowns on businesses that would limit the number of people in the rescue to take care of the kitties — so it’s simple — we need to try to limit the number of kitties we have under our roof,” said Kamins. “We are putting out a call for adopter and fosters to help us adjust and cope.”

Founded in 2012, Fearless Kitty Rescue is a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit, no-kill cat rescue, serving the immediate community of Fountain Hills and surrounding areas. The organization is dedicated to rescuing cats left homeless for whatever reason — cats in municipal shelters where they are at high risk of euthanasia due to animal overpopulation, abandoned and homeless strays, cats surrendered by their owners because of difficult circumstances, and those in danger of abuse or neglect.

Fearless Kitty Rescue also serves as an information resource to the community and all pet owners by providing education and information on responsible pet ownership, including the importance of spaying/neutering, positive behavior training, and good nutrition.

Interested adopters and fosters may contact the organization by email: cats@fearlesskittyrescue.org (adoptions); foster@fearlesskittyrescue.org (fosters). For more information, visit www.fearlesskittyrecue.org.

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