Monday, March 30, 2015

‘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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 , | 1 Reply

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, […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 ,

Horoscopes: Feb. 15, 2015

Like an older brother who got into an Ivy League school on a full scholarship while training for the Olympics and researching the cure for cancer, the Capricorn moon sets a standard that’s as inspiring as it is impossible to live up to. Don’t get discouraged by the success of others. Judge yourself by your […]

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

My husband never makes time to spend with our son

Dear Annie: I have been married to “Bob” for 11 years. Once we had our son, “Jack,” everything changed. Bob found excuses not to be home, worked all kinds of overtime or had to “go somewhere.” I can count on one hand the times he did anything with Jack or was even home on a […]

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

Carp, Chinese folklore, dragons, and loquats – a legendary fruit

The next time you decide to add a tree to your yard, you don’t have to make the difficult decision as to whether or not to select either a landscape tree or a fruit tree. Some fruit trees function as landscape trees as well. One of these is the loquat tree (Eriobotrya japonica). According to […]

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

The latest on Covered California

The open enrollment period for Covered California is coming to an end on Feb. 15. This is the one time during the year that most consumers can enroll in Covered California health plans. Covered California is the state’s marketplace that provides subsidized health insurance plans to eligible California residents. Besides premium assistance, cost-sharing reductions that […]

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

My sister is great but I’m worried about her constant lying

Dear Annie: I am the youngest of three sisters. My oldest sister, “Betty,” lies about everything, from her relationships to her education. When Betty was younger, my mother thought she’d outgrow this phase, but it hasn’t happened. Betty is 48, and her stories have only become more detailed. Her specialty is claiming various college degrees. […]

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

Horoscopes: Feb. 8, 2015

On Wednesday, Mercury goes straight – wonderful! This retrograde has been hard on a few, but the direct movement of Mercury will set things right. Valentine’s Day is coming up, and if you are planning on sending anything, put it together now for a Monday send-off. Mystical Mercury will stop with the pranks and blunders […]

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

Banish dry skin this winter

For many people, cold weather causes dry skin and skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis to flare up. Even healthy skin can be affected by changes in the weather due to shifts in temperature, humidity and ultraviolet exposure. Keep your skin healthy this winter and year-round by following these three simple steps: Practice gentle skin care […]

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

Chocolate: A long journey to deliciousness

Given the big holiday coming up, that’s Valentine’s Day not the Super Bowl, I found myself thinking of chocolate. Now thoughts of chocolate are not restricted to just this time of year. The smooth, silky richness that is chocolate attracts fans year-round. I have actually met one person who does not care for chocolate, but […]

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