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Gardening – a hobby for all minds

After a several decade career as a psychologist in private practice and on a graduate school faculty, I retired. There was the challenge of what to do and, even more importantly, how to feel about it since it would never be another career. Gardening was something I had done (along with several other activities) on […]

February 14, 2016 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Cold and flu season – what you need to know

Common colds are the main reason adults miss work and children miss school. Most adults “catch” two to three colds per year, while children catch even more. Colds are more common in the winter, but can occur at anytime of the year. Colds are caused by many different viruses. These viruses infect our noses, causing […]

Horoscope: Feb. 14

ARIES (March 21-April 19). People say they’re okay when they are not. They do this because they don’t want you to worry, or because they are afraid that you will give a kind of help they cannot reciprocate. Your job this week is to draw the truth out of people. It won’t be hard. They […]

I always have to go to my friend’s house to visit, she never comes to mine

Dear Readers: Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all, along with our special good wishes to our veterans in VA hospitals around the country. And our particular thanks and appreciation to those readers who have taken the time to send valentines, visit the vets and volunteer at VA facilities. Bless each and every one of […]

Adjust buying, selling strategies to meet market conditions

Inventory is low in our area. According to the Bay Area Real Estate Information Services, as of Feb. 1 there is a 23 percent drop of homes listed in Solano County compared with the same time last year. What, exactly, does this mean for you, the buyer, or you, the seller? Buyers: As an agent, I […]

Fireplaces: Wood or gas, they take pride of place

By Jura Koncius Imagine the coziest spot to watch the big game: a cushy long sofa, a table full of snacks, a bar stocked with craft beers, a giant TV and a crackling fireplace with real wood burning, providing a woodsy scent and a warm glow. “When people imagine their dream family room, they think […]

Solano County Public Health encourages HIV testing

HIV is in the news. With actor Charlie Sheen’s recent announcement of his HIV-positive status, Solano County Health and Social Services, Public Health Division wants you to know that we are here to help you learn your HIV status. Solano County testing clinics are staffed with knowledgeable HIV counselors who can answer your questions about HIV, hepatitis […]

Horoscope: Feb. 7

ARIES (March 21-April 19). Just as a good party host knows that the time printed on the invitation has little to do with the time the party actually starts, you realize that theoretical plans often don’t reflect reality. TAURUS (April 20-May 20). Maybe you’re giving someone more credit than is deserved. Even so, you’d rather […]

My son can’t forgive me for not leaving my abusive husband

Dear Annie: Twenty five years ago, my youngest son, then 18, quit the job he had had for four years. They had promised him an assistant manager job and when he turned 18, but did not follow through. After that, he would not look for a job or even help around the house. His dad […]

Hotels expand options to keep guests healthy on the road

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Running concierges, a hotel mini bar stocked with produce from the local farmers market and a training wall that comes standard in every room. The hotel industry is moving beyond basement gyms and basic spa menus to accommodate guests’ growing requests to stay healthy while on the road. The trend has […]

Consultation key to home-purchase process

There are many factors that come into play when purchasing a home. Consultation options with your loan officer is a vital part of the process. This is a discussion of a typical loan approval process. When you meet with your loan officer, the following items will be needed and the process discussed. Believe it or not, the […]

Opiods carry risks when managing chronic pain

More Americans died from opioid overdose in 2014 than motor vehicle accidents. We shouldn’t be surprised that an opioid endemic followed the lax prescription of an addictive substance over the past 10 years. The pendulum is now swinging forcefully toward intense regulation of prescription narcotics. Unfortunately, insurers are further limiting access to alternate pain therapies […]

January 31, 2016 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 3 Replies

Camellia’s color joy to behold after long drought

Sometimes it takes a loss to teach me to appreciate what’s left in my life. It’s the same in my garden. On the heels of a long, hot Vacaville summer and a multiple-year drought with water restrictions, I lost a good-sized daphne bush that was the star of my front yard and a fragrant delight […]

January 31, 2016 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Horoscope: Jan. 31

ARIES (March 21-April 19). Finances won’t pan out as planned this week, so be sure you have a plan. What helps is someone who knows this road and knows it well. You may find this person is an air sign (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius). TAURUS (April 20-May 20). The order of the day: Expand and embrace. […]

Nationwide call goes out to honor hospitalized veterans

Dear Annie: Thank you once again for providing me the opportunity to reach out and thank our citizens for the care and support they provide to our veterans. Each year, Americans participate in the National Salute to Veteran Patients by visiting and volunteering at the Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities and by sending letters […]

Try these 10 tips to stay organized while house-hunting

In the hunt for the perfect house, it’s easy to get swept away by a home’s most charming details and play down the important stuff you’ll be kicking yourself for later. And if you are touring multiple open houses each weekend, keeping everything straight can get complicated. Set your priorities and streamline the house-hunting process […]

Despite new varieties, search for the perfect tomato goes on

By Dean Fosdick Page through any of the freshly arrived seed catalogs and you’ll note the words “new” and “improved” splashed across many of the tomato varieties available to home gardeners for 2016. New flavors, lively colors, different sizes, higher yields, and better disease resistance and pest tolerance are among the noteworthy traits. Despite all […]

Plant-based eating to help meet new year’s resolutions

Staying fit, healthy and losing weight are always among the most common new year’s resolutions. One way to meet those goals is to try a plant-based diet, said Dr. Aaron Levy, a gastroenterologist with Kaiser Permanente in the Napa Solano area. “January can bring fresh perspective and motivation to lose extra pounds, feel better, have […]

Horoscope: Jan. 24

ARIES (March 21-April 19). Hard work is a virtue. But what if you are only working hard because you can’t figure out how to work smart? Go on and ask that lazy, brilliant person you know. It’s about time you followed the path of least resistance. TAURUS (April 20-May 20). The quirks make you smile. […]

Inability to have a baby is putting a strain on marriage

Dear Annie: My husband and I have been trying to conceive for three years, with no luck. I’ve tried almost everything there is over the counter, and I can’t seem to bring myself to see a doctor. I’m afraid he’ll tell me there is something wrong with one of us and we’ll resent each other. […]

January 24, 2016 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Betting on the house: Rules for property sales

If you live in a house for two of the previous five years, you owe little or no taxes on its sale. Knowing the tax laws can make a considerable difference in the tax picture when you sell a building, whether it’s your residence or a property that was previously your residence. We recently had […]

Seniors find ways to regain their balance

Daphne Brown, 65, was putting away the dishes in her Washington kitchen when she fell to the floor. Jane Bulla, 82, fell at home in Laurel, Maryland, but managed to call for help with the cellphone in her pocket. Susan Le, 63, who has trouble walking due to arthritis, hurt her leg when she tripped […]

Horoscope: Jan. 17

ARIES (March 21-April 19). All is as it should be. You’ll give priority to the youngest and smallest human being in your care and the rest will fall into a natural, logical order. If only every day were so simple! TAURUS (April 20-May 20). You’re driven to do what the others are doing and this […]

My mother, siblings make me feel guilty for wanting to move out

Dear Annie: When my father passed away, I moved in with my mother to help with her bills. Five years later, I’ve paid off her mortgage and continue to live with her and pay her utilities. I now have the opportunity to purchase my own home. At age 33, I feel I need my own […]

Meditation versus inflammation

As a health educator, one of my passions is building bridges between Eastern and Western attitudes towards the body-mind. Sometimes the concepts of the Western scientific worldview contrast sharply with the holistic paradigms that characterize the Eastern body-mind traditions. But sometimes these two approaches correlate dramatically. The Eastern traditions have a tendency towards hyperbole: When […]

Don’t fear landscape design

Many of us now have the dilemma of what to do with our garden spaces. This is especially the case with those who removed their lawns. Many people joined in the rebate programs and had to quickly install drought-tolerant options and drip irrigation in order to qualify for the pay outs. The addition of drip […]

5 savvy ways to keep warm in the winter, while saving energy

As winter wears on, a few cheap and easy fixes can help keep homes warm while saving energy and money. The average household spends about $2,000 a year on utilities, almost half of which goes toward heating and cooling, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Luckily, a little savvy can go a long way toward […]

‘Granddaughter’ has stopped inviting us to her birthday parties

Dear Annie: Six years ago, our son married a woman with a 4-year-old daughter. We immediately fell in love with this little girl. There is no biological father in the picture, and her maternal grandparents live out of state. We have always told her that we consider her to be our granddaughter, with everyone’s blessing. […]

January 10, 2016 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Horoscope: Jan. 10

ARIES (March 21-April 19). When you find yourself wanting too much, try this spiritual exercise: Ignore your desired object completely, actively, even. Detachment is the key to perspective. Perspective often brings answers. TAURUS (April 20-May 20). Go on through life the way you normally do, but the others won’t see it that way. In fact, […]

January 10, 2016 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,

Start the new year healthy

2016 is here. A new year provides opportunities for making resolutions to improve our health. There are many ways to achieve healthy resolutions for you and your family. Some fun and easy ideas to get more active are to explore local parks with friends or family, join a parent/child play group, take fitness classes at […]

January 10, 2016 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged ,
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