Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cover cropping your home garden

If you’ve taken out your summer vegetable garden and are staring at bare soil, now is the time to consider planting a fall or winter cover crop. Growing cover crops provides many benefits, but as with growing any crop, it does require additional work and an investment in seeds. But if you enjoy the physical […]

October 19, 2014 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Seven nutritional soundbites for kids

Parents often ask me about nutrition. They worry their kids are too picky or not growing well. They know about the “obesity epidemic” and want to protect their family. Here is the advice I often give in Seven Nutritional Soundbites: 1. Make snacks count – Many parents feel that it is a challenge to feed their […]

Mental illnesses are real, treatment is available. Get help today.

Dear Annie: Looking at me now, you would never think I struggled with mental illness. I am a second-year graduate student studying counseling psychology, and I spend my free time as a competitive equestrian, teaching therapeutic riding, practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu and helping with at-risk youth therapeutic groups. The truth is, as a young teenager I […]

Horoscopes: Oct. 19, 2014

The change is going to come, and it’s all starting this week. With three luminaries changing signs (including the ever-changing moon) and one changing direction, it’s inevitable. Today is about noticing everything you can about the current state so you have a decent “before” picture to compare your “after” to. Take notes. ARIES (March 21-April […]

Fitness during pregnancy can be safe, beneficial

The days when pregnant women were told to rest all day are long gone. Today, we know that moderate exercise during pregnancy can help you feel your best and ease discomforts, such as backache and fatigue. “Exercise is a good warm-up for childbirth because the physical activity improves your circulation and energy for labor,” said […]

Horoscopes: Oct. 12, 2014

The highlight for this Gemini moon is in the early afternoon when it forms a lucky arrangement with Venus, the love goddess, at her home in the relationship realm of Libra. Express your wishes at this time. You very well may get a fast turnaround on them when the moon forms a trine in the […]

I don’t know if my husband’s telling me the truth about his children

Dear Annie: I am desperate for advice about my husband’s lies. We have been together for 27 years. From the beginning, he knew that complete honesty is very important to me. I told him about my past relationships, and he told me about his. In all of our time together, he has maintained the same stories, […]

It’s pumpkin time again

It was a shock when I noticed that Starbucks was offering “pumpkin” lattes recently. It seems that we are in the middle of summer with our temperatures in the 90s or higher. I associate pumpkins with fall and it certainly does not feel like fall in Vacaville. Where has 2014 gone? There are many varieties […]

Immunization, a powerful public health tool

Measles. Whooping cough (Pertussis). Influenza. What do they have in common, you ask? They are all diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. Public health is credited with adding 25 years to the life expectancy of Americans in the 20th century and we have immunizations to thank for some of it. The Centers for Disease […]

October 05, 2014 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 7 Replies

Since I have no children, how should I prepare for end-of-life decisions?

Dear Annie: My 84-year-old mother had a stroke several months ago. Her insurance covers hospitalization, doctor visits, prescriptions and therapists, but I have to cover the co-pays. Mom now resides in a group home, and I am also paying the difference between the cost of the home and what Mom’s pension covers. Mom can barely speak, […]

Horoscopes: Oct. 5, 2014

Are things better over there? It sure looks that way from over here. Mars in Sagittarius and Uranus in Aries form a fiery connection that stirs up a restless energy. You might cross the road and realize that nothing is better on the other side, but at least it’s a change of scenery, and that […]

A glavanized container harvest

Large metal containers are gaining popularity as an option for raised-bed plantings. Galvanized stock tanks require no assembly, are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and sit at just the right height for tending vegetables or flowers. These containers also mean less back-breaking work and fewer insects. My initial introduction to galvanized containers […]

New 3-D mammograms offer benefits over traditional test

Researchers from several radiology centers across the United States found that three-dimensional mammograms have some advantages over standard digital mammograms, the kind most women receive for regular breast cancer screening. In a study of 454,850 breast scans, 3-D mammograms found slightly more cancers than standard digital mammograms and caused fewer women to be called back […]

Horoscopes: Sept. 28, 2014

Yesterday Mercury drank a truth serum, and the next two weeks of his stay in Scorpio should produce some stark honesty. Scorpio’s serum has a way of tuning us in to body language and the secrets it reveals. Much will be revealed in the way a person uses space, especially when he or she is […]

Be alert to stroke warning signs

In an instant, a stroke can change your life. It can be far more devastating than a heart attack because it can cause irreparable damage. You could lose the ability to speak, have weakness or paralysis on one side of your body, and experience short-term memory loss and balance problems. A major stroke can cause […]

Old pets, new chances: The case for senior adoption

Perhaps Moses and Harry realize how fortunate they are. But if they do, they’re not talking. Moses and Harry are cats, 11 and 13, respectively, who are living comfortably in the New York apartment of Maria Pfeiffer. What’s special about these two felines is that they were both 11 years old when they were adopted […]

Horoscopes: Sept. 21, 2014

The United Nations calls for international peace today, though Mars and Neptune aren’t so sure they want to comply. The resistance they show with a conflicted square configuration will be reflected throughout the world. If we can’t all get along at the same time, at least we can learn from and own up to our […]

How to help prevent sports-related eye injuries

Are you ready for some football? As baseball season is nearing an end and football season beginning, we need to take a closer look at eye safety. Each year in the United States, more than 100,000 eye injuries are estimated to be sports-related.  The cost of treating these injuries is over $175 million. More than […]

Beware of invading plant species

No, these plants don’t uproot themselves in order to kill you like in the “Day of the Triffids,” nor do they produce seed pods in order to replace you like in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” – but invasive plants are a real threat, however. They can be harmful to animals, the environment and the local […]

September 14, 2014 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 3 Replies

‘Tammi’ and I are getting serious, but her friends don’t like me

Dear Annie: My girlfriend, “Tammi,” and I have been together for six months. We saw each other only briefly over the summer because she took a job in another state. I feel that our relationship is getting serious. The only problem is her friends. They don’t like me. The reason is that while Tammi flew home […]

Horoscopes: Sept. 14, 2014

There’s a free feeling as the Gemini moon shakes it up with several planets before going void-of-course tonight. We’ll feel grateful to the rebels whose vision and courage made our freedom possible. When we give a nod to the ones who came before us and made our lives better, we’ll be honoring that part of […]

Area service members promote, graduate

Air Force Airman Lawrence Antonio graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in San Antonio. Antonio is the son of Socorro Antonio of Suisun City. He is a 2014 graduate of Vanden High School in Fairfield. Kenneth W. Norman has been selected for promotion to the rank of staff sergeant in the Air Force. He is the son of Richard M. and […]

CBO: Claims explode, but trend could slow

America’s population of living veterans fell by almost five million, or 17 percent, from 2000 to 2013. So why did the number of veterans drawing disability compensation climb by 55 percent over that period? Why have yearly VA disability payments tripled since 2000 to reach $60 billion in 2014? The Congressional Budget Office explains why […]

Safe routes to school starts students off safely on the right foot

It is back-to-school time and motorists need to be extra alert as more children are afoot. Solano Transportation Authority’s Safe Routes to School program works with local schools, parents, students, public health staff, engineers and law enforcement to promote safely walking to school. Families want their children to start off the year ready to learn. […]

Going on vacation? Prepare your garden first

We pamper our gardens all year, but then desert them to go on vacation during what’s often the hottest, driest time of the year. A little planning can soften the blow. Ideally, a neighbor or fellow gardener could handle watering and other tasks while you’re away. But if that’s not possible, here are some easy […]

Marketing magic in the plant world

I went to a garden shop recently just to browse. I wanted to see some plants that were not heat- and drought-stressed. I didn’t intend to buy anything. As I walked by the succulent area, I saw a plant I hadn’t seen before. It had short, chunky, wedge-shaped leaves that were wavy at the ends. These undulations […]

Horoscopes: Aug. 17, 2014

This connection of Jupiter and Venus in Leo may as well be a cupid in the sky – it’s pretty spectacular for lovers and potential lovers everywhere. Think of this day as a one-time deal. What are the things you could do now that you might never do again? What are the things you’ll only […]

My mother-in-law rarely comes around since we’ve had children

Dear Annie: My husband and I used to be close to my mother-in-law. We took trips together and enjoyed one another’s company. But since our oldest child was born, things have changed. Even though she has an open invitation, Mom rarely comes around. She often won’t return phone calls or respond to emails and texts. Mom […]