Breezy Readers

Celebs & Hollywood


Catch up on the Latest Buzz from Hollywood

Facts & Trivia


We've got Questions, and the answers to everything you didn't need to know!



We take a look at the most popular movies in the theater and at home.



Turn heads in your own home  with stories on decorating, cleaning tips, antiques and more. 



Open your mind and be guided by the stars for both the serious, and not so serious minds.



Customers have questions, you have answers. Display the most frequently asked questions, so everybody benefits.


"Where the Crawdads Sing"

By: Corrine Arnold

This is a long form text area designed for your content that you can fill up with as many words as your heart desires. You can write articles, long mission statements, company policies, executive profiles, company awards/distinctions, office locations, shareholder reports, whitepapers, media mentions and other pieces of content that don’t fit into a shorter, more succinct space.

Articles – Good topics for articles include anything related to your company – recent changes to operations, the latest company softball game – or the industry you’re in. General business trends (think national and even international) are great article fodder, too.

Mission statements – You can tell a lot about a company by its mission statement. Don’t have one? Now might be a good time to create one and post it here. A good mission statement tells you what drives a company to do what it does.

Company policies – Are there company policies that are particularly important to your business? Perhaps your unlimited paternity/maternity leave policy has endeared you to employees across the company. This is a good place to talk about that.

Executive profiles – A company is only as strong as its executive leadership. This is a good place to show off who’s occupying the corner offices. Write a nice bio about each executive that includes what they do, how long they’ve been at it, and what got them to where they are.

Celebs & Hollywood



By Dana Jackson


Q: I heard that singer Kelly Clarkson is going to have a talk show. When will it begin airing? -- D.A.

A: The multitalented "American Idol" winner turned Grammy winner is currently on a nationwide tour. However, she recently confirmed that she will, in fact, have her own daytime talk show on NBC. Clarkson said the one-hour format will include interviewing celebrity guests as well as remarkable everyday citizens, and that each program will start with a musical performance. 

"The Kelly Clarkson Show" will premiere Monday, Sept. 9, and air weekdays at 2 p.m. ET, right before "Ellen." She recently told Ellen DeGeneres that she won't be singing her own songs but will cover other artists instead. She also admitted that she needs to work on listening better when she interviews her guests and not interjecting as much. That's an example of why so many of us love Kelly: She's genuine and honest about herself, faults and all. 


Q: I've been a devoted viewer of "Colony," the best TV science-fiction series since the prematurely discontinued "Space: Above and Beyond." Will "Colony" return for a fourth season? -- J.J.C.

A: Sadly, after three seasons on the USA Network, "Colony" was canceled last July. Viewers seem to agree that the show should have been extended at least a few more episodes to wrap it up with a satisfying conclusion. "Colony" starred Josh Holloway ("Lost") and Sarah Wayne Callies ("Prison Break"). 

Keep an eye out, though, for future projects by "Colony" co-creators Ryan Condal and Carlton Cuse. Condal is writing and co-producing the upcoming fantasy series "Conan" for Amazon, but it's still early in development. The script is said to be based more on the books by Robert E. Howard than on the movies that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. Condal also has written screenplays for remakes of the films "Logan's Run" and "Highlander." As for Cuse, he's the showrunner of the upcoming horror/fantasy series "Locke & Key" on Netflix. 


Q: I'm wondering where "Lucifer" is? Netflix was supposed to pick up the fourth season to air after the beginning of the year, but it's March now and still no Lucifer. We even joined Netflix to be able to watch it. Any news? -- Jane M.

A: You're not alone. Fans have been getting impatient about the release date of the new season ever since "Lucifer" was canceled by FOX last year. What we do know is that filming has been completed, and that there will be only 10 episodes as opposed to 22 when it aired on network TV. The show's lead, Tom Ellis, told "Entertainment Weekly" that the trimmer schedule is better because "we can get right down to the storytelling, and every episode will count."

Aimee Garcia, who plays Ella Lopez, recently posted on Instagram a photo of the cast at a recent gathering, and wrote that it was for a "top secret @lucifernetflix mission." 

Send me your questions at!


By Tony Rizzo

HOLLYWOOD -- Rami Malek, who won the best actor Oscar for "Bohemian Rhapsody," won an Emmy for "Mr. Robot" in 2016 and played the Dustin Hoffman role to Charlie Hunnam's Steve McQueen in the 2018 remake of "Papillion" (which earned only $4.5 million). At age 37, he has now won an Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe and a Bafta (the English Oscar), and the heart of Lucy Boynton, who played Freddie Mercury's girlfriend. His next film is "The Voyage of Doctor Doolittle" (a remake of the 1967 Rex Harrison film), with Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role, Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen and Jim Broadbent, due Jan. 17.

Olivia Coleman, who won her best actress Oscar for "The Favourite," has co-starred in many films, including "The Iron Lady" (2011) and "Murder on the Orient Express" (2017). Her TV roles include "Broadchurch" (2013-2017) and "The Crown." Next up for the 45-year-old Coleman is "Them That Follow," produced and starring Gerard Butler. She's been married to Ed Sinclair since 2001, and they have three children.


Another 45-year-old, Mahershala Ali, won a best supporting Oscar for "Moonlight" last year and now for "Green Book," making him the only supporting actor ever to win consecutively. He joins two-time supporting winners: Walter Brennan (1938/1940), Anthony Quinn (1952/1956), Peter Ustinov (1960/1964) and Christoph Waltz (2009/2012).

Ali currently stars in HBO's "True Detective," as well as the Oscar-winning best animated film "Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse" and "Alita: Battle Angel," with Oscar-winners Christoph Waltz and Jennifer Connelly. Ali wed actress Sami-Karim in 2013, and they had a daughter in 2017.

There have been four back-to-back Oscar winners for best actor: Luise Rainer for "The Great Ziegfeld" (1936) and "The Good Earth (1937); Spencer Tracy for "Captains Courageous" (1937) and "Boys Town" (1938); Katharine Hepburn (who won four total) for "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) and "The Lion In Winter" (1968); and Tom Hanks in "Philadelphia" (1993) and "Forrest Gump" (1994).


Regina King, best supporting actress Oscar winner for "If Beale Street Could Talk," played the daughter of Marla Gibbs and Hal Williams in the TV series "227" (1985-90). She gained respect for films such as "Boyz In the Hood" (1991), "Jerry Maguire" (1996) and "Ray" (2004), to name just a few. King killed it in "American Crime Story" (2015-2017) and directed 11 TV shows, including "Scandal," "Shameless" and "The Good Doctor." Up next is HBO's series "Watchmen," with Louis Gossett, Jr. and Jeremy Irons.


Some say Oscar got his name from Margaret Herrick, for whom the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences library is named, who joked that the statue resembled her Uncle Oscar. But it's more likely that Bette Davis, a huge outspoken trend-setter, gave the name worldwide exposure. She thought the statue's "bum" reminded her of her first husband, Harmon Oscar Nelson. 

Facts & Trivia



By Fifi Rodriguez


1. ENTERTAINERS: Which pop music singer was born with the name Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou?

2. HISTORY: Who was the first woman to hold federal office in the United States?

3. MEDICAL: What is a more common name for "myocardial infarction"?

4. MUSIC: Which singer had a 2010 hit single with "Rolling in the Deep"?

5. GENERAL LANGUAGE: What is the NATO phonetic word for the letter "I"?

6. SCIENCE: What is the only type of rock that is less dense than water?

7. ANIMAL KINGDOM: What is a group of jellyfish called?

8. MOVIES: Who voiced the character of "The Iron Giant"?

9. LANGUAGE: What are the Carabinieri in Italy?

10. U.S. GOVERNMENT: How many states are required to ratify an amendment to the U.S. Constitution?


1. George Michael

2. Jeannette Rankin, elected in 1916 as a U.S. representative from Montana

3. Heart attack

4. Adele

5. India

6. Pumice

7. A swarm, a bloom or a smack

8. Vin Diesel

9. Military police with civilian duties

10. Three-fourths, or 38 of 50 states


by Wilson Casey


1. Is the book of 1 Timothy in the Old or New Testament or neither?

2. What did the Lord cast down among the Israelites who complained about their wilderness misfortunes? Fire, Hail, Stones, Winds

3. From Romans 3, who have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? Jews, Gentiles, Heathens, All

4. What idol fell and broke after the Ark of the Covenant was placed nearby? Edrei, Dagon, Molech, Golden calf

5. Who built an altar and called it "Jehovahnissi"? Isaiah, Baal, Moses, Malachi

6. What was the name of John the Baptist's mother? Elisabeth, Miriam, Sarah, Ruth

ANSWERS: 1) New; 2) Fire; 3) All; 4) Dagon; 5) Moses; 6) Elisabeth


By Mick Harper


1. What San Francisco rock band released "With Your Love," and when?

2. Who released "I'm in Love" in 1981?

3. This former Drifter was the first artist to release "So Much Love."

4. What is the only instrumental on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest songs?

5. Name the song that contains this lyric: "I'd be happy just to hear your voice, Saying this is for the girl who didn't sign her name, Yes, she needs a dedication just the same."


1. Jefferson Starship, in 1976. Two of the songwriters had been members of the original Jefferson Airplane.

2. Evelyn "Champagne" King. The song went to the top of both dance and soul charts. 

3. Ben E. King, in 1966. The song was covered by Dusty Springfield and Blood, Sweat & Tears, but it was George Nooks who turned it into reggae.

4. "Green Onions," by Booker T. & the M.G.'s in 1962. (If you own the 45, try playing it at 33 rpm.)

5. "Pilot of the Airwaves," by English singer Charlie Dore in 1979. A sad song ... the singer says her only friend is the DJ to whom she is making song requests in the middle of the night. 


by Samantha Weaver

* It was Isaac Asimov, professor of biochemistry and beloved Grand Master of science fiction, who made the following sage observation: "There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'"

* According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, if you're like the average American, you drink 22.7 gallons of coffee every year. The surprising thing about that statistic isn't how much it is, though -- it's how little. It seems that in the 1940s, Americans were drinking twice that amount of java.

* You might be surprised to learn that gravity makes you shorter. It's true; gravity compresses your spine -- in a weightless environment, you would be 2 to 3 inches taller than you are here on Earth.

* George W. Church, the founder of Church's Fried Chicken, didn't actually enter the restaurant business until after he retired. In his first career, Church ran a chicken hatchery and sold incubators.

* Those who study such things say that 1 percent of the world's lizard species have no males. The females reproduce by parthenogenesis, which produces offspring that are clones of their mothers.

* Before Charlton Heston became a famous actor, he earned cash by serving as an artists' model -- and posed in the nude.



The History Channel


* On April 7, 1776, Navy Capt. John Barry, commander of the American warship Lexington, makes the first American naval capture of a British vessel when he takes command of the warship HMS Edward off the coast of Virginia. The capture turned Barry into a national hero.

* On April 1, 1877, prospector Edward Schieffelin begins his search for silver in southern Arizona. Later that year, Schieffelin discovered one of the richest silver veins in the West. He named it the Tombstone Lode.

* On April 6, 1896, the Olympic Games, a long-lost tradition of ancient Greece, are reborn in Athens. King Georgios I of Greece and a crowd of 60,000 spectators welcomed athletes from 13 nations.

* On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. is shot to death at a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. A single shot fired from a nearby motel by James Earl Ray struck King in the neck. The death of America's leading civil-rights advocate sparked a wave of rioting around the country.

* On April 2, 1972, silent film actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin prepares for his first voyage to the United States since 1952, when he was denied a re-entry visa amid questions about his leftist politics. Chaplin returned to accept an honorary Academy Award.

* On April 3, 1996, at his cabin in Montana, Theodore John Kaczynski is arrested by FBI agents and accused of being the Unabomber, the elusive terrorist blamed for 16 mail bombs that killed three people and injured 23. "Unabomber" was an acronym for university, airline and bomber.

* On April 5, 2000, Lee Petty, an early star of NASCAR, dies at the age of 86 in North Carolina. Lee Petty won more than 50 stock-car races during his career, including three NASCAR championships and the first Daytona 500, held in 1959.


By Chris Richcreek


1. When was the last time before 2017-18 that the Colorado Rockies reached the postseason in consecutive years?

2. Name the player who hit the most home runs in a season for the Chicago White Sox.

3. When was the last time before 2017 that Penn State's football team was ranked as high as No. 2 in The Associated Press poll?

4. Who was the last player before Philadelphia's Joel Embiid in 2017 to have at least 40 points, seven assists and seven blocked shots in a game?

5. In 2018, David Quinn became the fifth head coach to go directly from an NCAA Division I team to an NHL team (New York Rangers). Name two of the other four to do it.

6. When was the last time before 2018 that England's men's soccer team reached the semifinals of the World Cup?

7. Who was the last American male chess player before Fabiano Caruana to compete for the World Chess Championship?


1. It was the first time. The Rockies also made the postseason in 1995, 2007 and 2009.

2. Albert Belle belted 49 home runs for the White Sox in 1998.

3. It was October of 1999.

4. Philadelphia's Julius Erving, in 1982.

5. Jim Montgomery (Dallas, 2018), Dave Hakstol (Philadelphia, 2015), Bob Johnson (Calgary, 1982) and Ned Harkness (Detroit, 1970).

6. It was 1990.

7. Gata Kamsky, in 1996.

Movies & TV



By Amy Anderson


"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" (PG) -- The newest entry into a heavily saturated Spider-Man market features an alternate 'verse that's itself heavily saturated with Spider-Men. Or Spider-Persons. Happily, instead of being overdone, it's fresh and new and an utter delight. Shameik Moore voices Miles Morales, a young Afro-Latino Brooklyn Spider-Man fan who gets a radioactive spider bite of his own and stumbles upon alternate versions of the web-slinger. The look and feel of this animated film is pure comic book, but accessible to fans of all types. It's filled with self-deprecating but warm humor about its own story line and genre that will appeal to all ages, not to mention its knock-out cast (Chris Pine, Mahershala Ali, Hailee Steinfeld, Nic Cage and more).

"Mary Poppins Returns" (PG) -- In Depression-era London, the Banks children are all grown up, with Michael (Ben Whishaw) working in a bank, just like dad. He's recently widowed, and lives in the same Cherry Tree Lane home with his three adorable children, his sister Jane (Emily Mortimer) and housekeeper Ellen (Julie Walters). When the bank threatens to repossess the home, Michael and Jane search the house for share certificates that will save it, and unearth an old kite that triggers the return of Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt). Poppins brings her unique brand of magical whimsy to the children, with the help of lamplighter Jack (Lin Manuel-Miranda). I have to give props for the smooth continuity with its predecessor -- 54 years is a long time to wait for a sequel.

"Big Kill" (R) -- There's nothing more Old West than a boom town gone bust, except maybe saloons, brothels, bad-guy gangs that take over and a genteel gunslinger standing up for what's right. This "movie" has ALL of them and a grand Western film score to boot. Jim (Christoph Sanders) is a Philadelphia accountant headed to meet up with his brother in a bustling town called Big Kill. He's joined by a couple of sassy criminals with hearts of gold and charming smiles looking for a nice place to settle out of their quasi-criminal past. Let's just say they run into trouble of the Lou Diamond Phillips kind.

"Becoming Astrid" (NR) -- Astrid Lindgren is best-known as the author of beloved children's books -- "Pippi Longstocking" among them. What lies behind the carefree stories is the subject of this Swedish biopic. Interning at a local newspaper, Astrid (Alba August) is seduced at a young age by the paper's married editor, becomes pregnant and leaves home to bear her son. Her struggle to reclaim him, the fight to be accepted and her legacy of storytelling showcase a strong and decidedly human free-thinker.


"Scooby-Doo: Prehistoric Prey" Triple Feature

"Chesapeake Shores" Season 3

"Pokemon the Movie: The Power of Us"

"Doctor Who: Tom Baker" The Complete Season Seven

"Craig of the Creek: Itch to Explore"

Family: Ugly Dolls (PG)

In the adorably different town of Uglyville, weirdness is celebrated, strangeness is special and beauty is embraced as more than meets the eye. After traveling to the other side of a mountain, Moxy and her UglyDoll friends discover Perfection -- a town where more conventional dolls receive training before entering the real world to find the love of a child. Soon, the UglyDolls learn what it means to be different -- ultimately realizing that they don't have to be perfect to be amazing

Teens: Avengers - End Game (PG-13)

Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply starts to dwindle. Meanwhile, the remaining Avengers -- Thor, Black Widow, Captain America and Bruce Banner -- must figure out a way to bring back their vanquished allies for an epic showdown with Thanos -- the evil demigod who decimated the planet and the universe. 

Adults: The Curse of La Lorna (R)

 In 1970s Los Angeles, the legendary ghost La Llorona is stalking the night -- and the children. Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother, a social worker and her own kids are drawn into a frightening supernatural realm. Their only hope of surviving La Llorona's deadly wrath is a disillusioned priest who practices mysticism to keep evil at bay. 




BY Terry and Kim Kovel

Carved Sewing Machine


It's important to keep up with what is changing in the world of art and collecting. Fool-the-eye (trompe-l'oeil) is a popular theme in a new type of art. Today, copies of machines, pieces of buildings, a huge hanging light bulb or an enlarged comic strip or stamp pad are displayed as outdoor statues or large indoor sculptures.

Recently, a wood carving by Japanese artist Fumio Yoshimura (1926-2002) was offered by Auction Team Breker, a German gallery, in an online auction that reached the United States and most other large countries. It looks like a small Singer treadle sewing machine made in the early 1900s. The carved machine has a Singer plaque, bobbins, fretwork, treadle, drive-belt and wheel on a base with drawer fronts, all made of linden wood. It is made as a sculpture to place in a prominent spot in the house. The artist has made other utilitarian items like typewriters, motorbikes and various mechanical objects that were created full-size. He never depicted people. It's a new type of art; however, the sewing machine didn't sell.


Q: How can I obtain an appraiser and sell an aviation relic? I have a framed piece of original fabric from the Fokker D-VII "U.10." The print states it's the second in a series of relics from the National Air and Space Museum.

A: You have a limited-edition print that is part of the National Air and Space Museum's Aviation Relic Series. Each print contains a 2-inch square of fabric from a historical aircraft in the museum's collection. The fabric was removed and replaced when the airplanes were being restored in the 1970s and early 1980s. The Fokker D-VII was a German plane flown during World War I. The pilot, Heinz von Beaulieu-Marconnay, landed the plane on an American airstrip in France on Nov. 9, 1918, two days before the armistice was signed. Von Beaulieu-Marconnay was in the cavalry before he became a pilot. The 3-feet-high "U-10" painted on the side of the plane stands for "Tenth Uhlans," his former cavalry unit. The museum gift shop might be able to tell you when this print was issued and what it originally cost. Another print from this series sold at auction recently for $270.



Bottle opener, sailboat, cast iron, 7 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches, $15.

Marshmallow tin, "Strawberry Oberon Marshmallows, Loose Wiles Co.," round with red and gold lithograph, 1930s, 4-inch diameter, $90.

Trunk, Louis Vuitton, monogram, garment bag, rolling, 54 x 22 1/4 inches, $365.

Silver plate, centerpiece, applied flowers, leaves, pierced handles, glass liner, 8 x 22 3/4 inches, $570.


TIP: If you buy an old piece of furniture, smell it. If it smells musty, there must be mold spores somewhere, perhaps on the bottom of the seat. Wipe the furniture with denatured alcohol. Finished wooden surfaces can be cleaned with furniture cleaner.

For more collecting news, tips and resources, visit


By Donna Erickson

Pen Bouquet Is 'Write' There When You Need It


Why is it that you can't ever find a pen when you need one? It's as though they have wings of invisible ink that take them far away from where they belong. Businesses and services know about this disappearing act, and take on the challenge of safeguarding their pens. Our local gas station attaches white plastic spoons to the ends with big wads of masking tape. Colorful toothbrushes adorn the pens at the dentist's office, while surgical tape binds tongue depressors to the pens at the medical clinic, making them look like splints.

Our dry cleaners attaches bundles of wispy down feathers that flutter on the end to keep me smiling even as I sign my name to the bill. But my favorite idea by far is at the charming Twigg's Home & Garden store around the corner from my house. Cleverly arranged in a rustic European terra cotta flower pot filled with natural soy beans "grow" translucent white pens with faux-green succulents glued to the top, while a little red bird sits on the rim keeping an eye on the till. 

No matter where I go, it's as if these pens with personality are saying, "Don't even think of taking me away from here!" Which got me thinking. Why not jazz up a new set of inexpensive pens and put them in an attractive vase or flowerpot for a practical pen bouquet right at home? It's an easy and quick project the whole family will enjoy.

Here's what you'll need:

First, gather silk flowers, botanicals, small toys and charms or any other gizmos to decorate the tops of pens. Think of holiday items on a party stick too, such as shamrocks, Easter eggs and flags. Then, purchase several pens, such as Bic Round Stic pens that are flat on top.

How to attach toppers with green floral tape:

Place a stem of a silk flower or party stick going upward about 2 1/2 inches from the end of the pen with the flower or charm on the top end of the pen. Hold in place and wrap the entire length of the pen with the floral tape. Wrap with a light angle to prevent bunching.

How to attach toppers with a glue gun:

An adult should carefully remove the button at the end of the pen with an X-acto-style knife. Insert a tiny stem or narrow part of an object in the hole and secure in place with the glue gun. 


Donna Erickson's award-winning series "Donna's Day" is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit and link to the NEW Donna's Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is "Donna Erickson's Fabulous Funstuff for Families."


Swordfish Steaks with Maitre d'Hotel Butter


Traditionally used to garnish fish and grilled meats, Maitre d'Hotel Butter is flavored with lemon and chopped parsley. Serve this broiled swordfish with a tomato salad.

Maitre d'Hotel Butter:

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon lemon peel, freshly grated

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Swordfish Steaks:

4 (6 ounces each) swordfish steaks, 1 inch thick

4 teaspoons Ma”tre d'Hotel Butter

1. Prepare Maitre d'Hotel Butter: Mix 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice.

2. Prepare Swordfish Steaks: Heat broiler. Place swordfish on rack in broiling pan. Spread 1/2 teaspoon Maitre d'Hotel Butter on each side of each fish steak. Place pan in broiler, 4 inches from heat source. Broil swordfish, without turning, until just opaque throughout, 8 to 10 minutes. Spoon pan juices over fish to serve. Serves 4.

* Each serving: About 10g total fat (4g saturated), 69mg cholesterol, 175mg sodium, 30g protein.

Roasted Asparagus


1 bunch (about 1 pound) asparagus, trimmed

Salt and coarsely ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat oven to 450 F. In 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-inch jelly-roll pan, sprinkle asparagus with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and drizzle with oil; shake pan to coat asparagus.

2. Roast asparagus 10 to 12 minutes (depending on thickness) or until lightly browned and tender. Remove pan from oven; cover with foil to keep warm.

2. Just before serving, sprinkle Parmesan over asparagus.

* Each serving: About 55 calories, 4g total fat (1g saturated), 2mg cholesterol, 195mg sodium, 3g total carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber, 2g protein.


By JoAnn Derson

If your water pressure in your kitchen or bath faucet seems lower than usual, unscrew the aerator at the end of the faucet and clean out the rust particles. It doesn't take much rust to clog the tiny holes. Easy and quick! If it won't unscrew by hand, a simple pair of pliers is all you need. Don't overtighten when you put it back on.-- J.F. in Washington

Sprinkle fabric furniture with baking soda and let it sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming it up. It freshens the scent.

If you have a magazine problem, this tip from D.E. in Texas might help: I have a magazine stand next to my recliner. I allow myself exactly as many magazines as will fit in the stand. So, it's One In, One Out for me. When I get a new magazine, I retire one I have been hanging on to -- I give it to a friend or leave it in the common room for others, or if Iove torn pages out to keep, I put it in the recycling bin.

Steam clean your microwave by boiling two cups of water with either a few lemon slices or a couple tablespoons of baking soda added. Microwave in a glass dish or bowl for five minutes, then let it sit for five more. Then wipe clean.

If you install a magnetic strip inside your bathroom cabinet, you can use it to corral bobby pins or your tweezers. The first seem to multiply on the floor, and the other seem always to get lost.

When we were remodeling, we ended up with a scrap of crown molding. My husband mounted it over the top of the window in the kitchen, and it looks so fancy -- it really dresses the window up! -- I.S. via email


By Angela Shelf Medearis

Fiesta Tacos Are 'Meal on the Go'


I love discovering healthy ingredients and adding them to my favorite recipes. Lately, I've been experimenting with quinoa, which looks like small, grayish pearls and has a nutty flavor and a light, creamy texture. Quinoa often is referred to as a "grain," but it's actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. I love combining it with rice or couscous.

Quinoa has a long and ancient history, and is native to South America. It's called the "the gold of the Incas," who recognized its protein-packed potential as a source of energy for their warriors. It's also perfect protein source for vegans, since it contains all nine essential amino acids.

Lysine is an amino acid found in quinoa that helps promote tissue growth and repair, and that might be one reason that warriors in battle valued eating quinoa. It's also a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus. Eating quinoa has been found to be beneficial to those who suffer with migraine headaches. Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels -- which prevents the pain, constriction and rebound dilation characteristic of migraines -- and also reduces the frequency of headache episodes.

To prepare quinoa, place it in a fine mesh strainer, coffee filter or a piece of cheesecloth. Soak it for several hours, changing the soaking water or running it under cold water to remove the saponin. Saponin is a coating on quinoa that has a laxative effect. Some brands of quinoa come pre-rinsed for convenience.

Cooking quinoa is similar to preparing rice. Use two cups of liquid (water or broth) to one cup of quinoa, bring it to a boil, then cover and simmer for 14 to 18 minutes. The quinoa germ will curl and separate from the seed when it is fully cooked.

You can serve cooked quinoa for breakfast mixed with berries, yogurt, honey or almonds. It also can be purchased as a dry, flaked product that can be eaten like a breakfast cereal. This recipe for Fiesta Tacos is perfect for breakfast, or can be served as lunch, or for dinner with a salad or steamed green vegetables. The quinoa and brown rice can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Try these delicious tacos as a "meal on the go" for busy days.


1 tablespoon canola oil

1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped 

4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 cup cooked brown rice

1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup water or low-sodium chicken, beef or vegetable broth

1 teaspoon ground black pepper 

1 teaspoon chili powder 

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 cup frozen corn or no-salt added canned corn, optional

10 whole-wheat tortillas

1 (16 ounce) jar of mild, chunky salsa

1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese, optional

1/4 cup sliced green or black olives, optional

1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent. Add garlic to onion and cook until garlic is turning golden

2. Add the quinoa, brown rice, black beans and water or broth. Season mixture with the pepper, chili powder and the cumin. Turn the heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to boil. Add the corn, if desired. Cover and reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

3. Wrap tortillas in food-safe paper towels. Sprinkle paper towels with water on both sides. Heat the tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until warm and pliable. 

4. Place 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons of filling in the center of each tortilla. Top with salsa and optional filling ingredients, if desired. Fold the tortilla in half and serve immediately. Makes 10 tacos, 2 tacos per serving.

TIP: You also can prepare the tortillas in advance, wrap them in individual pieces of microwave-safe plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze them for re-heating in the microwave. 


Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children's author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is "The Kitchen Diva's Diabetic Cookbook." Her website is To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.




ARIES (March 21 to April 19) Putting yourself in someone else's shoes isn't easy for you. But if  you do it, you'll gain a better perspective of what you need to do to achieve your goals. Be open to new ideas.

TAURUS (April 20 to May 20) There are still some problems you might have to deal with before moving on to your next project. It's a good idea to accept help from those who share your objectives.

GEMINI (May 21 to June 20) It's time to recognize the difference between those who are truly concerned for you and those who simply plan to use your good nature to their advantage. New ideas become increasingly attractive.

CANCER (June 21 to July 22) Depending on a promise made becoming a promise kept could be more than a mite unwise at this time. It's best to proceed on your own rather than wait for aid that might never arrive.

LEO (July 23 to August 22) A recently revitalized relationship might not be quite what the Big Cat expected. But give yourself more time to deal with the changes. A little flexibility can go a long way. Good luck.

VIRGO (August 23 to September 22) A major change could prompt more adjustments. Some of them might be difficult to deal with at first. But hang in there, and before you know it, you'll be coasting to your next goal.

LIBRA (September 23 to October 22) Your sense of justice prompts you to speak out against an unfair situation, even if you seem to be the only one who feels that way. But you soon learn that many others agree with you.

SCORPIO (October 23 to November 21) Creating a fuss is not usually your style. But that doesn't mean you should tolerate an ill-mannered attitude. Speak up for yourself, and you'll earn the respect of others.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22 to December 21) You might have a few loose ends to tie up before you can stamp your project as complete. But once that's done, you might want to celebrate with someone special in your life.

CAPRICORN (December 22 to January 19) Disappointment darkens the Goat's mood. But close friends rally to pull you through with words of encouragement. Use their confidence in you to rebuild your own self-esteem.

AQUARIUS (January 20 to February 18) An upcoming decision might be more difficult with inaccurate information. Best to recheck the data you have at hand right now to be sure it won't mislead you later.

PISCES (February 19 to March 20) An offer you previously turned down might no longer be available. But if you do some checking around, you could find something else that would suit you just fine.




By Sam Mazzotta

Friend's Dog Is Obese


DEAR PAW'S CORNER: I was glad to dog-sit for my friend and next-door neighbor when she went on a two-week trip, and I followed her instructions for feeding and walking her mixed retriever, "Gladys," to the letter. However, Gladys is visibly overweight and the amounts that she is fed don't help. I tried to walk her as frequently as possible while taking care of her so she could burn off some of those calories, but she needs a change of diet. Should I tell my friend this? -- Sara J., via email

DEAR SARA: Kudos to you for keeping Gladys' diet and schedule on point during your friend's trip. It was important to keep her life as normal as possible, as it can be stressful when an owner is away.

Talking about a dog's weight can be a touchy a subject. Some owners might react poorly, thinking that you're telling them what to do. However, she's also your friend. She loves Gladys and probably wants to spend many quality years with her. As a friend, you can have an impact on that by talking with her about your concerns. The important thing is, don't preach. Don't go overboard with advice. Make the discussion part of a casual conversation, like, "Hey, Gladys really loved going on walks with me. I'd love to take her out more often, or we can all go together." 

Then, listen to your friend. She's probably very aware of Gladys' weight, and there may be reasons for her diet that you don't know about, such as an underlying issue like a low-functioning thyroid. Once you spark a conversation, offer to help where you can, or just offer encouragement.


By Keith Roach, M.D.

Iron Overloads Body


DEAR DR. ROACH: I was hoping that you could answer a quick question. I am a 46-year-old female and have hemochromatosis. I can't get very good medical care where I live. It's a small town where I can't switch doctors, and mine is subpar. Anyway, I just had a blood test, and my ferritin is 39 and my saturation is 0.76. I don't know if I need a phlebotomy. The doc likes to have me do it when my ferritin is in the 50-75 range. He has NEVER mentioned saturation before. Can you shed some light on this? -- A.R.

ANSWER: Hemochromatosis is iron overload caused by the body being unable to reduce iron absorption even when it doesn't need iron. The high iron saturation is a good test for diagnosing hemochromatosis. However, it's the ferritin that best approximates total body iron stores.

A large proportion of the body's iron is located in the red blood cells, so by removing these through phlebotomy (literally, "bloodletting" -- usually the blood is donated), iron is taken out of the body. Most experts remove iron through phlebotomy until ferritin levels are below 50. Someone with a ferritin of 39 probably doesn't need treatment, since the total body iron is nearly normal.

Women who are still menstruating have some degree of protection against iron overload, although it certainly still is possible to develop problems if the iron intake is greater than iron output, in which case phlebotomy is necessary. 


DEAR DR. ROACH: My problem is that I am losing my hair. I am a 63-year-old gal in relatively good health who walks for exercise, eats a healthy, balanced diet and takes a pill each day to manage cholesterol and blood pressure. I do not have a thyroid problem, nor do I have diabetes. My dermatologist told me I do not have alopecia, as some of my siblings do. Instead, he suggested that my hair loss -- and specifically the thinning of the hair on top of my scalp -- is due to heredity; male pattern baldness runs through both sides of my family. 

So here's the question: Is it safe and/or effective to take 5,000 mcg of over-the-counter biotin supplements to lessen the effect of hair loss, or is this product ineffective and just being pushed on women by pharmaceutical and vitamin manufacturers to increase sales and profits, and to manipulate the consumer into believing that this expensive vitamin product is essential to our well-being? Thank you. -- C.W.R.

ANSWER: Biotin has been studied for both male pattern and female pattern baldness, and has had limited success, especially when combined with other vitamins and nutritional supplements (60 percent effectiveness versus 11 percent in one placebo-controlled trial). It might be worth a try, since it is very safe.

As far as expense goes, I found biotin tablets for 6 cents each at an online retailer. It certainly isn't essential to well-being; in fact, with a healthy diet, I believe no supplement is essential. Vitamin and supplement manufacturers may try to make you think supplements are essential, but there is no good evidence for this. Taking it to try to improve a problem like male-pattern baldness is reasonable, but if it doesn't help significantly, save your money. 


By Matilda Charles

No Dog for Me?


Three years ago I started thinking about getting a dog. Seeing neighbors out with their small dogs, I knew I wanted what I consider a real dog, a big one, not a dog that would fit in my purse. I made a pro-con dog ownership list, but over time the list of reasons for not getting a dog has gotten longer and longer.

Maybe my story will help if you're considering adopting a dog.

Where I live there are a lot of rules, and one of them concerns the size of dogs. Specifically, the dog cannot top 25 pounds. The neighborhood rumor mill supplied this story: A woman was told to get rid of her dog after management showed up at her door with a set of scales and demanded to weigh the pooch, which unfortunately came in at nearly 30 pounds. The owner moved out and took the dog with her. A size limit means I can't adopt a young mixed-breed shelter mutt because there's no real way to know how large the dog will be when it grows. According to a study, shelter staff correctly guesses a dog's breed only 67 percent of the time.

There are no sidewalks here. What we have for half the year are increasingly narrow roads with snow banks on the sides. I don't have a fenced yard either, which means no place to let a big dog romp and play. By the time I got this far, I knew it was hopeless. I never even got to the part about potential veterinary costs, or the price of quality dog food and grooming, flea treatments and toys.

I've found a partial solution, however. I'm thinking of signing up as a dog walker volunteer at the shelter. Maybe I'll fall in love with a tiny, purse-size dog.


by Freddy Groves

Fixing Veteran Suicide With a Task Force


President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to create a task force to address veteran suicide. He's bringing out the big guns: the secretaries for a dozen government agencies will be on it. The task force has been given one year to do the following: develop strategies to lower the rate of veteran suicides, design and propose to Congress a program of local grants, and develop a research strategy to improve coordination and monitoring.

The Department of Veterans Affairs was allegedly already serious about preventing veteran suicide. Its 2018 report, second paragraph, says, "Suicide prevention is VA's highest clinical priority" and that it's "focused on preventing veteran suicides through intensive efforts." Here's one example of its intensive efforts: The November 2018 Government Accountability Office report on the VA's suicide prevention outreach says that the 2018 suicide prevention media-outreach budget was $6.2 million. It was for radio and print ads, public-service announcements, ads on billboards and buses, digital search ads, social media content and more. Targets were veterans, their families, their friends and the general public -- all groups who need the information. Yet the VA spent only $57,000 of that money and guesstimated they would spend a total of $1.5 million, leaving $4.7 million untouched. And they mostly ignored Suicide Prevention Month two years in a row. 

So why didn't they spend the money? Because there was a vacancy in the suicide prevention office. A single vacancy. The GAO report says there was no one to "make decisions." Contrary to federal control standards, the VA didn't bother to assign responsibilities to make sure the work continued.

I know President Trump has a special place in his heart for veterans, but I just don't see a group of department secretaries managing to solve the VA's problems. They run too deep.