Wednesday, July 30, 2014

No ‘butts,’ secondhand smoke isn’t healthy for your unborn baby

Smoking is bad for you. It can cause serious health issues, as well as cancer, heart disease, stroke and eye disease that can lead to blindness. Smoking is bad for your unborn baby, too. When you are pregnant, the placenta grows in your womb and supplies your baby with food and oxygen. When you smoke […]

Horoscopes for July 27, 2014

Unlike some others in the animal kingdom, human babies come into the world so utterly helpless that they cannot live without a nurturer to feed, warm and protect them. To be human is to be dependent on other humans. The point is driven home today, as the opposition of Venus and Pluto highlights our vulnerability […]

Scientists unlock secrets to boost metabolism

What’s the best way to boost your metabolism and burn more fat? That’s the holy grail for metabolic researchers and for many Americans. Florida scientists are at the forefront of some of the most promising research in the field. A heart hormone, the “caveman diet” and cooler spaces are all potentially promising ways to burn more […]

What can I do to get my brother to keep in touch?

Dear Annie: Several months ago, my husband and I moved to the Ozarks after falling in love with the area. We left behind a lot of dear friends and the life we had known for 25 years, but we are quite happy here. The only sadness is my brother. He and his wife still live in […]

Health centers: Local engines for healthier communities

Ever visited a health center? Chances are that even if you haven’t, someone you know probably has and you’ve probably reaped the benefits of having one in your area. Across the country, there are 1,200 health centers, delivering care through more than 9,000 service delivery sites in every state and territory. In 2012, these health centers […]

July 20, 2014 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Controlling those pesky weeds

Weeds can seem hard to control because they have such a vigorous reproductive system. Many weeds can grow from root or other weed fragments. Other weeds that propagate primarily by seed can produce literally thousands of seeds per plant. For example, a single purslane plant (Portulaca oleracea) can produce 52,300 seeds. Weed seeds remain viable […]

I want my daughter to lose weight, but she won’t talk about it

Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for 30 years. We have four wonderful children, all college graduates with great jobs in their chosen careers. They are also involved in long-term relationships with people we like and respect. So what’s the problem? One of my daughters is at least 40 pounds overweight and doesn’t […]

Horoscopes for July 20, 2014

Saturn has been retrograde in Scorpio for four months, and that all changes this week. It may seem like the thing that was distracting you is no longer an issue, that the problems that were in your way are solving themselves and the reasons you had for not moving forward are vanishing into the mist. […]

The summer smell of lemon

Would you like a plant that has a wonderful lemon scent when it brushes up against something? Try adding the shrub lemon verbena, Aloysia triphylla, to your landscape. If you prefer, this shrub can be pruned to resemble a tree, remove some of the bottom branches, leaving a main one as a trunk. This plant […]

Protect yourself against skin cancer

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five United States residents will get skin cancer during their lifetime. You’d think that statistic would lead to simple preventive actions being taken – but it often doesn’t. Perhaps that’s due to the fact that two of three types of skin cancer – basal and squamous cell carcinoma – are typically easy […]

Horoscopes for July 13, 2014

Venus in Gemini forms a coquettish angle to Mars in Libra, and interest between men and women is stirred. Men and women understand one another better. For a moment, it’s as though the natural differences between the sexes are cast in such a light that they are seen only as intriguing and endearing. Flaws transform […]

I’m a single mother who really wants to find my better half

Dear Annie: I am a single mother of a wonderful 5-year-old son and am expecting another baby in the winter. My son’s father cheated and lied and then left me for another woman. He briefly came back, and I thought he meant to stay, but it was only a one-night stand. I became pregnant, and he […]

Stay sun-safe this summer

It’s natural to want to get out in the sun once the weather warms up. It should also be second nature to take steps to protect your skin from the sun when you go outside. Ultraviolet rays – from the sun and other sources like tanning beds – are the primary cause of skin cancer. Too much […]

June 15, 2014 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Sago palm, a heat-loving landscape plant with longevity

The sago palm (Cycas revoluta) is a popular pick of residential gardeners and commercial landscapers in Solano County. Drought tolerant, it survives temperature extremes from 15 to 110 degrees and grows in sun or shade. With dark semi-glossy green leaves and shaggy trunk, this plant grows slowly reaching a height of only 20 feet in […]

June 15, 2014 | Posted in State, national lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Thanks, kids, for another great year of fatherhood

Dear Annie: As a father of three, I always find Father’s Day a little misleading. Kids don’t have to purchase an overpriced card or tie to show their appreciation. I’d rather they simply keep doing what they are already doing: working hard in school. They don’t have to be scholars or make the honor roll every […]

Horoscopes for June 15, 2014

Saturn, the planet of patrimony, is traveling retrograde on this Father’s Day, casting a warm glow on the past. Whatever your feelings about the word “father,” they are likely to be enhanced by the soft light of retrospect. Many dads will be feeling sentimental, and tender gestures that highlight good memories will be deeply appreciated. […]

Getting rid of bad garden insects

They can be a gardener’s nightmare, damaging garden plants and – in worst cases – killing them. They are damaging garden insects. Your first instinct may be to reach for the container of pesticide. But before you do, remember that pesticides can also kill the good insects in your garden. These are the insects that […]

Horoscopes for June 8, 2014

The sun and moon form an air-sign trine of social reassurance. It will feel good to be in a group of like minds. And if you don’t know where the other people are coming from, conversation happens easily, and you’ll find out soon enough. Venus and Pluto also form a trine that brings luck for […]

My deceased husband’s sisters don’t invite us to family gatherings

Dear Annie: I was widowed five years ago when my husband of 23 years died after a long illness. My four kids (the oldest from a previous marriage) still grieve to this day. “George” always considered my eldest daughter to be his child. Two years after George died, I married a wonderful man who respects the […]

Making embryos from 3 people doesn’t look unsafe

LONDON — Britain’s fertility regulator says controversial techniques to create embryos from the DNA of three people “do not appear to be unsafe” even though no one has ever received the treatment, according to a new report released last week. The report based its conclusion largely on lab tests and some animal experiments and called […]

Airmen with local ties enter, retire from service

Air Force Reserve Chief Master Sgt. Terry L. Kirkbride retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserve after serving honorably for 36 years. Kirkbride last served as maintenance superintendent with 349th Maintenance Squadron at Travis Air Force Base. He is the husband of Tina E. Kirkbride of Vacaville. Air Force Airman Jon P. Ruliva graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in San Antonio. Ruliva is […]

Vets should be wary of Concerned Veterans for America’s pitchforks, torches

This month marks 20 years of writing Military Update.  I’ve used it three times to editorialize about news events including President Clinton’s sex scandal while commander in chief and President George W. Bush worrisome plan to invade Iraq a month before it happened. This week I do so again to shed light on a disturbing […]

Shops say pet owners choosing food with care

HACKENSACK, N.J. — Some pet supply store owners say the trend of customers seeking pet food containing all-natural ingredients might cost customers more, but it has brought a growing number of better-informed pet owners into their shops. In 2007, a massive recall of pet food that contained the chemical melamine, which is used in fertilizer […]

Every 15 Minutes program provides powerful lesson for teens

Police, firefighters and medics rushed to Rio Vista High School on May 1 after receiving a call that two cars were involved in a major traffic collision. A teenaged driver was believed to be under the influence of alcohol. The two cars were mangled. Several teenagers were badly injured. Empty bottles of beer were found […]

I’ve grown to resent my wife who refuses to do housework

Dear Annie: I have been married to my wife for 20 years, but only three were truly happy. My wife is older and had been married before. She came to the relationship with a 3-year-old child. We then had a daughter together. Not long after we married, I learned that my wife is a clutter […]

Horoscopes for May 18, 2014

The sun crossing through the final stages of Taurus stresses the importance of persistence. Tenacity wins out — not every time, but surprisingly often. Hang in there. Believe that you have what it takes, because you probably do. Tomorrow, Mars will end the retrograde journey and unleash a surge of fresh momentum. ARIES (March 21-April […]

Help promote mental health awareness during May

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. We know that smoking can kill us. We know the warning signs of stroke and heart attack and we know that seeking timely help when we see these signs can save our life or reduce the impact of a significant health event. The same principles apply to mental health […]

Horoscope for May 11, 2014

This will be one of the more complicated Mother’s Days, as the cosmic alignments promise to keep family dynamics changing quickly. Whether the blips are for the better or worse will depend entirely on interpretation. One success strategy is to assume that everyone is going for kindness and authenticity and to forgive those who fall […]

What home gardeners can learn from the farmers

Home gardeners can learn a lot from the farmers in the county by paying attention to what they do in their fields throughout the year. Once you learn why they do certain things, you can consider whether or not it will be beneficial for you to adapt the practice in your home garden. But first you […]

On Mother’s Day, don’t forget those who are sometimes ignored: Stepmothers

Dear Readers: Happy Mother’s Day. Please phone your mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, stepmother or foster mother and wish them the best. And please don’t forget those for whom this day, for whatever reason, is filled with sadness. Give them a call and say you are thinking of them. Dear Annie: Every Mother’s Day, I think of […]