Thursday, December 25, 2014

Coping with mental illness or loss during holiday season

MONROE, La. — For people dealing with mental illness or loss, the holidays can bring stress and loneliness rather than comfort and joy. People need to be aware of that, counselors and psychiatrists say. “Just because it’s the holiday doesn’t mean that people don’t feel stressed and depressed,” said Dr. Beatrice Tatem of Wellness Initiatives […]

Get tested, know your status

On Dec. 1, people throughout the world observed World AIDS Day, a day intended to honor those living with HIV/AIDS and to focus on efforts to control the epidemic and move closer to an AIDS-Free generation. This December also marks the observance of International AIDS Awareness Month. December is thus a great time to check […]

Horoscopes: Dec. 21, 2014

Older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids, the prehistoric monument Newgrange was built to receive a flood of light with the rising sun on the winter solstice. Does your heart have a chamber such as this? Open up and let the love flood in as the sun enters Capricorn. May the long night be filled […]

Should I ask grandson why we weren’t included in wedding photos?

Dear Annie: Last month, I attended a bridal shower for my “new” granddaughter. The shower was lovely, and we all enjoyed ourselves. We took pictures of everyone with our friends and family and the new bride. My grandson’s wedding was last weekend. When my husband and I arrived, the bride and groom were off with […]

Celebrating the Italian way – with lots of olives

Christmastime, the time of year filled with family and family traditions. My husband grew up in a large Italian Family, where his mother cured olives every year. The olives were for the holidays to share with extended family at Thanksgiving dinner and the Christmas Eve feast. The tradition of curing olives was passed down from […]

Lots to do for the gardener who likes playing in the cold weather

A recent visit to my cousin’s beautiful suburban home during Thanksgiving weekend gave me cause to wonder if I’ve done enough in my garden. My cousin’s husband has cilantro (Coriandum sativum) patches everywhere that a flower border would be. Instead of grass, he has cilantro growing everywhere. His cilantro looked fabulous in the dark, rainy […]

December 14, 2014 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

The best New Year’s resolution

Late December is a time when many people give gifts to others. It is also a time for making New Year’s resolutions. I have a suggestion. Why not combine both activities, and resolve to give your family a very special present? It is a precious gift that can provide your loved ones, and yourself, much peace […]

Horoscopes: Dec. 14, 2014

The Sagittarius sun and Jupiter in Leo are in a favorable arrangement to promote bold action. The best part is that it’s rather obvious what must be done. Heart energies lock on to the thing that is certain to bring joy, and gut instincts confirm the choice. The nervy Virgo moon contributes, too, helping out […]

Girlfriend doesn’t like to be asked where she’s going, who’s she’s with

Dear Annie: I am in a 14-month-old relationship that is rapidly falling apart. I consider this relationship serious. ”Clara” is in her early 60s and several years younger than I am. After the first three months, we began discussing marriage. We talk on the phone every day and see each other twice a week. I […]

Horoscopes: Dec. 7, 2014

Things look different after a full moon, and adjustments will be made accordingly. Consider that reality will be reality. When it’s in line with our preferences, we assume it’s on our side. When it’s not, we assume it’s against us. What if reality has no preference at all? What if we order it to be […]

I’m afraid my sister-in-law’s behavior is harming my nieces

Dear Annie: My brother has been separated from his wife, “Sherrie,” for a year. They have three girls under the age of 5. Sherrie is crazy. She stalks him. She has gone to his job and caused a scene. She’s called every one of his female workers and accused them of sleeping with him. She […]

Preventing slips, trips and falls

Reducing your risk for falls this holiday season and year around is important for maintaining overall wellness. Slips, trips and falls are common among seniors. Falls can lead to traumatic injuries such as fractures, immobility and in severe cases, death.  One-third of seniors 65 years and older will fall at least once each year. Fall […]

There are still lots of things to do in the garden this time of year

This time of year always proves challenging. Gardeners, especially in our mild California climate, don’t want to give up and go indoors yet but at the same time, we don’t want to plant anything that’s going to freeze. There are a number of crops we can plant now, as well as a number of them we […]

December 07, 2014 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Making the holidays more merry, less stressful

The holidays are filled with a lot of joy and excitement for many. But they can also bring plenty of reasons to be stressed out and anxious – the crowds, the gifts you haven’t wrapped or even bought, the pile of cookie exchange invitations. And then there are the family and travel obligations. “I think […]

Horoscope for Nov. 30, 2014

On this day in 1782, the Treaty of Paris was drafted to bring an end to the American Revolutionary War. Peace is the theme today, as well, with a lunar trine involving Saturn followed by a hazy, void-of-course moon. The cosmic consensus: Fighting is pointless because it will accomplish nothing but destruction on both sides. […]

I’m getting tired of my in-laws staying with us every weekend

Dear Annie: I’ve been married to my husband for a year, and we moved into our first house roughly six months ago. I love our home, and I know we’re very fortunate. Here’s the problem: His parents live two hours from us. My husband has a younger sister who plays in the local youth symphony. […]

Advance preparation mitigates frost damage

Your yard and garden is an investment you want to protect. Now that summer has passed so has the potential for heat damage to your greenery. But as the weather cools down, it’s wise to prepare now for the occasional freeze warnings that usually occur every winter. Frost, especially extended over days, can damage and […]

Sudden Infant Death awareness and prevention

In October, the Solano County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution declaring that Solano County joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health in recognizing October as Sudden Infant Death Awareness Month. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death for infants’ age 1 month […]

Horoscopes for Nov. 23, 2014

The sociable Gemini moon is a busybody. It won’t be hard to learn what everyone is up to, because most are inclined to talk openly and share widely. Those with a more private nature will find it challenging to hide out or duck attention, but if they are clever, they can effectively divert the focus […]

Hackers can get into everything, including your camera lens

Dear Annie: Last week, I was watching a YouTube video, and suddenly a man’s face appeared on my screen. He was watching me. I immediately turned off my computer. Apparently, through apps or hacking into computer signals, people can watch you through your computer camera lens. I shared my story with friends and co-workers, and […]

Continental Army volunteer creates West Point garden

On Veterans Day we remembered  the men and women in our military who served our country and fought for our liberty since our nation’s inception. Yet few of us have heard of Thaddeus Andrzej Bonaventure Kosciuszko, the Continental Army volunteer who built with his own hands a contemplative garden on the side of a cliff at […]

Protect yourself from a killer

There’s a virus out there, within reach of us all, and it can be a killer. We hear about it year after year, and although it can be prevented, it will kill thousands of Americans again this year. I’m not talking about Ebola, I’m talking about the seasonal flu. The flu season has begun, and […]

November 16, 2014 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Horoscopes: Nov. 16, 2014

Did you know it’s National Button Day? November 16th has been celebrated by button enthusiasts since 1938. This handy technology has been used for millennia – archeologists have found buttons more than 5,000 years old. The private Scorpio sun, Mercury and Saturn favor buttoning up key information today. Share on a need-to-know basis. ARIES (March […]

My once-active wife resents that I want to make plans without her

Dear Annie: I am an active person, and my wife used to be until a bout with cancer. She no longer has the physical endurance she once did. I try to make this work with shorter trips, shorter walks and simpler activities. But when I want to do something that she is unable to do, […]

Beware of holiday overeating

A major public health problem looms over us. It threatens our health and well-being. No, I am not talking about Ebola. While Ebola is a serious problem, I am referring to a more common threat to our health. It is one the media is not talking about. What is this problem? It is holiday overeating. […]

Redwoods find a haven in California

Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), also known as the coastal redwood or the California redwood, is native to the northern and central California coast. This area is known for its moderate to heavy winter rain and summer fog that is vital for the survival of this tree. Close relatives to the coastal redwood are the giant sequoias […]

November 09, 2014 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 2 Replies

Horoscopes: Nov. 9, 2014

The old business adage “location, location, location” applies to personal relationships, too. People don’t necessarily spend the most time with their favorite people; they spend the most time with the closest people. Mars and Jupiter angle to suggest a bit of strife, best overcome by making an extra effort to connect with positive influences. ARIES […]

Fall is the time . . .

As I sit here this morning, I hear the different birds chirping, calling me out to play. To a gardener, play means doing something in the yard: watering, planting, pruning, feeding the worms . . . As the weather gets a bit cooler and I hopefully anticipate the heavy rains this winter, I plan, in my […]

November 02, 2014 | Posted in Local lifestyle columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply