DEAR PAW'S CORNER: I took my Springer Spaniel, "Rog," for a walk in the woods this morning. When we got back, I noticed he was trying to lick a spot behind his shoulder. I found a thin scratch on his skin. I dabbed it with some antibacterial ointment, but that's about it. Will he be OK? -- Jessica in Jaffrey, New Hampshire
DEAR JESSICA: As long as the wound seems to be healing, Rog should be fine. Check the area once a day and reapply antibacterial ointment. If it begins to appear puffy and red, or Rog seems very distressed by it, take him to the vet for further evaluation.
Most minor scratches on a dog's skin and paws can be treated at home using the household first-aid kit. You also can build a pet first-aid kit that is easy to access when you walk into the house. In addition to antibacterial ointment (avoid products with hydrocortisone), it should have antiseptic solution, water-based lubricant like KY (not Vaseline), clean towels, an empty squeeze bottle (like a ketchup bottle), tick-removal tweezers, a muzzle, small scissors and a disposable razor to gently remove fur. (Electric clippers are an even safer option.)
To treat a small scratch or cut, fill the squeeze bottle with lukewarm water. Hold your dog securely, placing a muzzle on him to prevent bites if he gets agitated. Trim or shave away hair from the area. Gently clean the wound using the squeeze bottle of water. Pat dry. Dab the antiseptic onto the wound, then apply antibiotic ointment. Cover lightly with a bandage if possible; otherwise, prevent your dog from licking away the ointment for at least 10 minutes. Check and reapply ointment daily as it heals.
DEAR PAW'S CORNER: I live in an area where eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile Virus are active. On my walks, I make sure to wear plenty of bug spray to prevent being bitten by a mosquito infected with either disease. Are my dogs at risk of catching it? Can I use bug spray on their fur? -- Shellie in Worcester, Massachusetts
DEAR SHELLIE: While dogs (and cats) are at risk of catching either disease, most pets recover fully, especially with veterinary treatment (which is mainly supportive, to keep them strong while their bodies fight the infection).
Humans can get seriously ill from either EEE or West Nile Virus, so I'm glad you're using plenty of bug repellent. Mosquitoes are very active just before sunset, when most of us prefer to take our pets for walks during the hot summer months. However, pets do not tolerate bug spray made for humans very well. (Citronella candles also can be very irritating.) They still should have some protection from mosquitoes, as these flying pests also carry diseases that can be very harmful to pets, like heartworm.
Pet-friendly repellents are available at the pet store or through your vet's office. You can try natural repellents like lemon juice (try mixing it half-and-half with water in a spray bottle and applying to your dogs' coat just before walking), crushed peppermint leaves, or rosemary. Keep up with your pets' heartworm medication and check them for ticks and fleas after each walk, too. This will reduce their risk of getting a serious illness from an outdoor pest.
Two Trusted Sources
It's hard nowadays to know where to get accurate free information online. Here are two trusted, responsible places we can go.
Consumer Reports: While CR would like you to subscribe to their monthly print or online magazine, you don't have to do that to get information. Sign up for their various newsletters (weekly or monthly) and zero in on what you'd like to know about: a weekly What's New, home (appliances and products), cars, health (nutrition, drugs, fitness and safety), food, money (finances, investing, tax planning, retirement) and shopping. You can opt to receive one, a few or all of these in your email.
Go online to www.consumerreports.org, scroll to the bottom and click on Sign Up for CR's Free Newsletters.
Kim Komando: Known as a Digital Goddess, Kim Komando been on the Internet (as well as radio) for many years. She won't steer you wrong. A recent email newsletter covered 10 cybersecurity myths, how to tell if someone is snooping in your computer, a Windows patch that fixes 100 new flaws, and more. The website even has a coronavirus section with makes-sense information and news. There are 12 email newsletters to choose from, some daily and some weekly, including breaking tech news you need to know, tech tips & how-tos, weekend digital digest and weekly roundup, fraud and security alerts, and more.
Go online to www.komando.com and scroll to Subscribe at the bottom of the page. You can opt out or change your mind at any time, and they won't give away your personal information. I've been a subscriber for close to 10 years, and I've never suspected my information was given out. If you want to listen to Kim Komando on the radio, look for Find A Station at the top of her web page and put in your ZIP code. It will give you the stations, date and time of the radio shows.
Rising Food Costs
Prices on so many necessary items have gone up over the past six months. Most worrisome is food.
Of all the grocery store price increases, beef and veal went up the most. But they've all gone up: bread, seafood, cereal, vegetables. Fresh fruit, on the other hand, reportedly went down (although not at my store), as did milk (again, not at my store, which saw a ridiculous increase).
It likely won't get better for the rest of the year.
What hasn't gone up is our income. In fact, for those seniors who had part-time jobs to supplement Social Security, incomes have gone down because of the loss of those jobs. Yes, many of us got that $1,200 stimulus check ... how many months ago?
For so many of us, the time has come to admit that we need help. It's not easy, but it's really not giving up any independence. There are many organizations and groups out there giving away food. Have you seen the lines of cars waiting for food pickups? The trunks of those vehicles get loaded with bags and boxes of food, gallons of milk, sacks of potatoes, frozen meat and fresh bakery goods. Other groups focus on seniors and deliver individual boxes of food to the door.
Don't jeopardize your health because of lack of food. Pick up the phone, make calls. Find out where the free or low-cost food is in your area. Call the senior center, all the churches, the food pantry and your state's National Council on Aging (www.ncoa.org). Get on the internet and look for seniors dining sites and Meals on Wheels, senior food boxes, Commodity Supplemental Food Program and "free food for seniors in (your state)."
This pandemic might last for a very long time. Get your food support system in place. It's one less thing to worry about.
Broccoli Harvest Salad
Summer is almost over. Winter will be here sooner than most of us want. Let's gather family and friends together for one last chance to have fun in the sun. We'll provide a tasty salad dish!
2 3/4 cups chopped fresh broccoli
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup unpeeled, cored and chopped Red Delicious apples
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup bacon bits
1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Sugar substitute to equal 2 teaspoons sugar
1. In a large bowl, combine broccoli, raisins, apples and onion. Stir in bacon bits and Cheddar cheese.
2. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar substitute. Add mayonnaise mixture to broccoli mixture. Mix well to combine.
3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Gently stir again just before serving. Makes 6 (2/3 cup each) servings.
* Each serving equals: 94 calories, 2g fat, 5g protein, 14g carb., 409mg sodium, 2g fiber; Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Fruit, 1 Vegetable.
Creole Shrimp Gumbo
Tomatoes are at their all-time peak in late summer. Don't let this "love apple season" pass by without trying this succulent gumbo, especially created with that juicy red tomato in mind!
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups peeled and chopped fresh tomatoes
2 teaspoons chili seasoning
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium tomato juice
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (6-ounce) package frozen cleaned shrimp, thawed
1 cup chopped fresh okra or frozen cut green beans
1 1/2 cups cooked spaghetti, rinsed and drained
1. In a medium saucepan sprayed with butter-flavored cooking spray, saute onion for 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, chili seasoning, parsley flakes and black pepper. In a covered jar, combine tomato juice and flour. Shake well to blend.
2. Pour tomato-juice mixture into tomato mixture. Add shrimp and okra. Mix well to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring often. Stir in spaghetti. Lower heat and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until mixture is heated through, stirring often. Makes 4 (1 cup) servings.
* Each serving equals: 205 calories, 1g fat, 15g protein, 32g carb., 281mg sodium, 5g fiber; Diabetic Exchanges: 3 Vegetable, 1 1/2 Meat, 1 Starch.
HOLLYWOOD -- For years, filmmakers have added bits of legal nudity to spice up their movies. So why not just throw the movies away and make a movie with the best and most controversial nude scenes? It's called "Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies." Among the films that nudity has been taken from are "Last Tango in Paris," "The Blue Lagoon," "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "Blow-Up," "Caligula," "Vixen" and "Ecstasy." Among the dozens of actors and directors providing commentary are: Linda Blair, Peter Bogdanovich, Bruce Davison, Pam Greer, Traci Lords, Malcolm McDowell, Sylvia Miles, Marilyn Monroe (archive footage), Eric Roberts, Mamie Van Doren and Sean Young. They threw the movies away and kept the sexy parts for 130 minutes of "Skin"!
From ridiculous to sublime ... "Army of the Dead," the sequel to the zombie movie "Dawn of the Dead" (2004), starring Dave Bautista, about a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas with the backdrop of a mercenary heist of a Vegas casino, was completed before COVID-19 hit. But since comedian Chris D'Elia, a co-star of the film, is facing accusations of sexual harassment of underage girls, he has been replaced -- scene for scene -- by comedienne Tig Notaro.
"Captain America" Chris Evans and "La La Land" Oscar-nominee Ryan Gosling are joining forces to star in the Netflix action thriller "Gray Man," based on the bestselling book by Mark Greaney. Gosling plays an ex-CIA operative who becomes a killer for hire pursued by his former colleague Evans. Kind of curious that Gosling's last three projects have "man" in their title: "First Man," "The Wolfman" and "Gray Man."
Two Asian TV series stars whose shows have ended -- Daniel Dae Kim ("Hawaii Five-0") and Randall Park ("Fresh Off the Boat") -- have been friends for years and have looked for a project where they can work together. They finally got their wish and played opposite each other in Netflix's "Always Be My Maybe." In addition to recurring roles in "New Amsterdam," as Dr. Cassian Shin, and "Flack," as Gabriel Cole, Kim stars with Anna Kendrick and Toni Collette in the upcoming science-fiction thriller "Stowaway." As for Park, he plays the school principal in the remake of "Valley Girl," with Jessica Rothe and Josh Whitehouse, which was released in May on Amazon Prime.
Kelsey Grammer returned to shooting "Miss Willoughby and the Haunted Bookshop" in England with Natalie Cox ("Kingdom of Heaven") in mid-July with strict COVID-19 guidelines, and he admits, "This has been a terrific experience, a wonderful creative process." At this point, working anywhere is a terrific experience!
Can you guess who is the highest paid actor in films for a second year in a row? "The Rock" of ages, Dwayne Johnson, pulled in $87.5 million, including his pay for the film he's currently shooting, "Red Notice," for which he received $23.5 million. It co-stars Ryan Reynolds, who pulled in $20 million for the same film, for a 2020 income of $71.5 million. Third place at $58 million belongs to Mark Wahlberg, currently working on "Spencer Underground."
They're followed on the Forbes list by No. 4. Ben Affleck, at $54 million; No. 5 Vin Diesel, $54 million; No. 6 Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, with $48.5 million; No. 7. Lin-Manuel Miranda, with $45.5 million; No. 8. Will Smith, at $44.5 million; No. 9 Adam Sandler, with $41 million; and at No. 10, Jackie Chan, with $40 million. What they all have in common is that they produce their own films and films for others. Lin-Manuel had the $75 million sale of "Hamilton" to Disney, and Adam Sandler has starred in and produced a slew of films for Netflix.
The list for women hasn't been released yet, but in 2019 the No. 1 female earner was Scarlett Johansson at $56 million, followed by Sofia Vergara at $44 million and Reese Witherspoon with $35 million.
Speaking of Will Smith, he will be the executive producer of the reboot of the "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air," his TV series that ran from 1990-1996. It will probably land at HBOMax, since the service is streaming the original series. Smith also is executive producer of "Life in a Year," which stars his son Jaden, Cara Delevingne, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Nia Long.
The 1982 film "Tron" starred Jeff Bridges and was a modest success, costing $17 million to make and grossing $50 million. In 2010, Bridges returned, after winning a best actor Oscar the year before for "Crazy Heart," to make the sequel, "Tron: Legacy," which grossed $400 million. Now comes word we're going to have another "Tron," this one to star Jared Leto and be called "Tron: Ares." But first we'll see his American crime thriller "The Little Things," opposite Denzel Washington and Rami Malek, opening Jan. 29, and the superhero film "Morbius," co-starring ("Doctor Who's") Matt Smith, due March 19.
Are you ready for a "Three Men and a Baby" sequel? The 1987 original starred Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg. It grossed $240 million, which prompted a sequel, "Three Men and a Little Lady" (1990), which didn't do as well, grossing only $72 million. Even so, it's coming, this time as a vehicle for Zac Efron, whose last film was "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile," which grossed only $10.5 for Netflix. With that title, they were lucky to make that!
* Cooking a recipe with garlic and onions to start? Invite me to dinner! But first, remember to let the onions cook to nearly translucent before adding the garlic, which cooks much faster. If you put both in at the same time, the garlic will burn before the onions have a chance to deepen their flavor.
* Automatic toilets are great for not having to touch the handles, but they can be scary for kids -- and some adults too, if I'm being honest. Try putting a sticky note over the sensor so that it will not flush until you take it off, giving you some control.
* "For chores, I write tasks on sticky notes and put them up on our family board. The kids choose the things they want to do, and when they are done to my satisfaction I sign their ticket. At the end of the week, they can bring me the tickets to pay out. This is for extra money, so they don't have to do it; I don't have to chase them, and I don't have to keep track of it either." -- E.L. in Montana
* Every so often, use a very diluted bleach solution to rinse out your reusable water bottles. Put them on a bottle rack to air dry completely before sealing them back up.
* "I use the same grip tape that my son uses for his baseball bat on my hand tools, like my hammer and pry bar. I also have used it on my lawn tools. It makes a nice barrier that stays put." -- C.R. in South Carolina
* Things you should wash with soap and water more often than you think: hairbrushes, eyeglasses (and sunglasses) and keychains. Think about how often they get handled and how infrequently they get cleaned.
* "In my shop, I have stored small bits of hardware in baby-food jars. They were all on a shelf together, and when I needed one, I would have to move bottles around until I found the right one. I took a piece of 1-by-4 and cut it into 2-foot sections. Then I glued the bottoms of the bottles in a row to the wood. Now, they still sit on the shelf, but all I have to do is slide the 1-by-4s out and find the right jar. I can still see in the sides, and it makes them so much easier to deal with." -- J.N in Missouri
* "My child has so many toys that they were starting to take over his room and our house. We got three big plastic storage tubs and distributed the toys among them. Now the rule is that only one tub can be open at a time, so if he wants to play with other toys, he must pick up all the toys from the tub he is playing with first. It has made such a difference since the house gets picked up at least once a day." -- C.I. in Tennessee
* Here's a boating safety tip: Make sure you check the weather before you head out for a day on the water. And everyone needs a life vest, large or small!
* "Lots of people are selling things online now to make a few bucks, and that's cool. I know I have things I've picked up that I don't use. Why not make a little money? Here's a tip though: Do a little research on price for your item. You want to avoid listing it for too much (no interest) or too little (yes, it gets snapped up quickly, but you could have gotten more for it). A little homework goes a long way." -- C.A. in Florida
* No red wine for your recipe? You can substitute an equal amount of grape juice or beef broth in most recipes.
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