Saturday, April 18, 2015

Massage for many different reasons

Massage therapy has general health benefits. It increases circulation, improves the functioning of our muscles, positively affects our nervous system and can also provide mental and emotional benefits. There are also many massage modalities to choose from. The first thing to consider is to ask yourself why you are seeking massage therapy. This will help […]

Stumped about what to do with your tree stump?

Sadly, nothing lives forever. If you have trees on your property you may have a stump in your yard. You may have decided not to have a tree service grind or chip it for reasons such as cost or its proximity to underground lines. If you have a tree stump you have two options, let it […]

Horoscopes: April 12, 2015

In Disney’s version of the French fairytale “Beauty and the Beast,” the main character, Belle, enters an enchanted house where the objects are alive. The weeks to come have an enchanted quality, too, as Venus in Gemini plays Belle. Here, the love goddess communicates freely, believing all things are alive – the rocks, the sky […]

My neighbors are so intrusive that i’m forced to avoid them

Dear Annie: I moved into a nice apartment complex some time ago and have enjoyed it, with the exception of the neighbors on one side. “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” are overbearing. At first, they reached out in friendship, and I was welcoming. However, I soon found them invading my personal space. As soon as I […]

Queen’s tears – a striking, sturdy bromeliad

If you’re looking for an unusual plant to fill an empty pot, consider Billbergia nutans. Also known as queen’s tears or the friendship plant, this member of the Bromeliaceae family grows almost anywhere in common soil or no soil and with little care. The plant’s nearly indestructible foliage and unusual blooms provide an exotic accent […]

Horoscopes: April 5, 2015

To keep us from getting so caught up in fancy hats, chocolates and bunnies that we forget the life, death and rebirth theme of Easter, Pluto, the planet of regeneration, drives the deeper themes home with a square to the Aries sun. Passover is also colored by Pluto’s focus on interplay between the generations and […]

Making Solano County a healthy place

For nearly 20 years, during the first week of April, the American Public Health Association brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week  as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving the health of our nation. This year, the week […]

Husband’s emotional inadequacy leaves me stranded, upset

Dear Annie: My husband has the emotional IQ of a 10-year-old. I recently spent six hours in the emergency room for some tests to rule out a potentially life-threatening problem. I asked my husband to please drive me to the ER because the doctors did not advise that I drive myself home afterward. His response […]

‘Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,’ Solano

March is National Nutrition Month, a time designated by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for adults and children to spend some time examining their food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the theme for 2015 is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” which encourages […]

March 22, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Horoscopes: March 22, 2015

Perhaps Jane Austen was speaking presciently to those on social media when she said, “To flatter and follow others, without being flattered and followed in turn, is but a state of half enjoyment.” Communication-planet Mercury and Pluto in powerful Capricorn will call attention to the balance of power on digital and real-life platforms. ARIES (March […]

Jade plants (and other succulents): Go easy on watering

A friend phoned me a few weeks ago concerned about the sunken, blackened areas on the trunk of herjade plant. When I suggested that she might be overwatering, she replied that she watered only once a week. That made me sure she was overwatering. Jade plants are succulents, a group of plants linked not by any botanical kinship but by […]

Four tips to stay focused at work

It has happened to everyone. You start the day out strong. You’ve had a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast, your energy level is at its peak and you feel ready to tackle whatever challenges come your way. But as you head to work and start taking on the day, you slowly lose that […]

March 15, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Horoscopes: March 15, 2015

Those with ultra-high self-esteem and those with very low self-esteem have something in common: They incessantly think of themselves. Those who aim for the middle ground and believe in the equality of all people get the well-rounded, joyful and loving experience. This insight is brought to you by Day Two of Saturn’s retrograde. ARIES (March […]

March 15, 2015 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

My husband’s family failed to offer support when our son was dying

Dear Annie: Our only child passed away last year after a long battle with cancer. He was in his early 20s, and we were grateful that my family and many of his college friends were by his side throughout. The problem is my husband’s side of the family. With the exception of his 88-year-old mother, […]

March 15, 2015 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Undercover ops: Poly tunnels an alternative to greenhouses

Greenhouses aren’t the only great cover-ups for gardeners determined to extend their growing seasons. High tunnels, low tunnels and caterpillar tunnels work well, too. Also known as hoop houses or row covers, the tunnels consist of U-shaped metal or PVC (polyvinyl chloride) ribs draped by thin, plastic sheets. They provide shade for sun-sensitive crops, protect […]

March 15, 2015 | Posted in U.S./World | Tagged ,

Five easy ways to reduce your cancer risk

Small changes to your diet and lifestyle can make a big impact. If you are not fighting your own battle with cancer today, chances are you know someone who is, or someone who has either already lost or won their fight. The good news is that there are changes we can make to our daily […]

March 08, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Horoscopes: March 8, 2015

When archeologists unearth the secrets of human history, they can’t help but simultaneously destroy the pristine arrangement of artifacts. That’s why meticulous record keeping is fundamental to the job. Considering this busy Libra moon’s various interactions, careful documentation will later help us reconstruct this blur of a day. ARIES (March 21-April 19). Sometimes it’s fun, […]

March 08, 2015 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

I worry my family will judge me harshly after seeing me drunk

Dear Annie: At a recent family party, after not eating all day, I drank too much alcohol. At some point in the evening, I slipped and fell in front of everyone, including my grandchildren. I was so mortified, all I could think was to get out of there. I was way too drunk to drive, […]

March 08, 2015 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Bring your old apple tree back to its former glory

A neglected, overgrown, old apple tree does have charm, its gnarled, elbowed branches seemingly reaching out for a hug. The fruits, unfortunately, are more often than not too small, too high and too pest-ridden. But don’t despair: Such a tree can be returned to its former glory by “renovation,” as corrective pruning of an old tree is called. Before picking up a […]

March 08, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

The agony of the codling moth, ecstasy of worm-free apples

Apples are an almost mythical part of world history, beginning with Adam and Eve. There are legendary stories like Johnny Appleseed or Sir Isaac Newton under the apple tree, and those idioms we all use – the apple of my eye, an apple a day, or as American as apple pie. It’s no accident that the […]

March 01, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Horoscopes: March 1, 2015

If you find yourself crying during commercials featuring lost puppies or centenarians, chalk it up to effective marketing and a super-sentimental sky featuring the Pisces sun and the Cancer moon. This water-sign combo opens our hearts and tear ducts. It’s the perfect time to say “I love you” to the one who probably doesn’t hear […]

March 01, 2015 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

What you eat can affect your medications

You hear it everywhere, “You are what you eat.” In fact, food is often much more than nourishment – food is its own chemical cocktail. And sometimes, combining the wrong food with your medicine can change how a drug works in your body. Some food and drug combinations can prevent a medicine from working as it […]

March 01, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Kidney Walk participation helped give me a positive outlook on life

Dear Annie: I was diagnosed with kidney disease as a child and started dialysis at age 11. Because I didn’t think I would live to adulthood, I adopted the philosophy of living each day like it was my last. In 2013, when I saw an ad for the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Walk, I figured […]

March 01, 2015 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Babies are tuned in

During their first months of life, babies appear to focus only on eating, sleeping, crying, cooing and passing various forms of waste. Sure, they are cute and then they start smiling and snuggling up. But they seem blissfully unaffected by events taking place around them unless they are affected directly. Scientists are now finding out […]

February 22, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Online resource is great place to find help with eating disorders

Dear Annie: By the time I was a sophomore in high school, I had already been diagnosed with an eating disorder and was recovering with support from my family and several health professionals, including a therapist and a nutritionist. We all thought I was doing very well. At college, however, I found myself without the […]

February 22, 2015 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

horoscopes 02/22/15

Some say that your reactions are the only things you can truly control in life. This doesn’t always feel true with Venus and Mars in passionate Aries. The heart’s dictates seem hard to overrule. A conjunction of these planets suggests that you take the reins where you can and let your warrior spirit powerfully meld […]

February 22, 2015 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Papyrus relative looks good, and makes paper too.

Lee Reich Zoe, the young daughter of a friend of mine, finds my houseplants more interesting than beautiful. And I agree that some — my climbing onion, rabbit’s foot fern and staghorn fern, for example — are at least as interesting-looking as they are pretty. Zoe really perked up when she learned that a plant […]

February 22, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Stopping the measles out break, the case for vaccines

The first case of measles in Solano County was reported just a few weeks ago. This occurred after the outbreak at Disneyland, which according to the California Department of Public Health, has resulted in a total of 99 confirmed cases since December 2014. Measles, a viral infection, is a highly contagious disease that can cause […]

February 15, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Bare root time for fruit trees

Well, it’s that time of year for the “do it now or wait” decision. Do you plant bare root fruit trees now or wait until they are put in plastic cans and pay about 30 percent more for each tree? And do you run the risk that some of the varieties you want will be available later in […]

February 15, 2015 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,