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OVER OVER 4 4MILLION MILLION Readers Weekly Readers Weekly Nationwide! Nationwide!

August 21, 2012 Published by PTK Corp.

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of the River Region

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TIDBITS® OBSERVES

NOW THAT’S CORNY! by Patricia L. Cook

This Tidbits examines corn, the No. 1 field crop in North America. Corn is grown on every continent in the world except Antarctica. • Corn originated in present-day Mexico and is known also by the name “maize.” Botanically, corn is a member of the grass family. Cornstalks can grow from 2 to 20 feet (0.6 to 6.1 m) high, with the average being about 8 feet (2.4 m). • The ear or cob is the female part of the plant and houses up to 1,000 seeds called kernels. Each ear is enveloped in a whorl of leaves called husks. Ears occur along the plant’s main stalk. The tassel is the male part of the plant and occurs at the top or end of a stalk. From the tassel comes pollen that fertilizes eggs in the ear that eventually produces the kernels. Wondering why they are called ears? • If you think “ears” of corn are called “ears” because they stick out like human ears, you are not alone. Many people think that, but it is wrong. The term “ear” comes from an old English measurement called an ear of grain. It is related to the Dutch word, “aar” and the German word, “aehre.” Also, the Gothic word for husk of corn is “ahs.” • About 40 percent of the world’s corn is grown in the United States. Over half of the U.S. corn grows in four states: Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Minnesota. The “Corn Belt” in the United States is typically defined as turn the page for more!

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Tidbits® of the River Region

NOW, THAT’S CORNY! (continued): the above four states plus Ohio, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas. The corn-growing region has relatively level land, adequate rainfall and rich, fertile soil. • For the last two decades Iowa has produced the largest corn crop of any state. Actually Iowa produces more corn than most countries. For example, Iowa grows about three times as much as corn as Mexico, even though the corn consumption per person there is almost three times higher than in the United States. • Approximately 90 percent of the corn in the United States is grown on family farms. Irrigation is usually unnecessary, with 87 percent of the corn grown using only natural rainfall. • There are five varieties of corn: 1) field corn, which is used for livestock feed, fuel and industrial products; 2) popcorn; 3) food-grade corn, used for numerous food products like corn bread and tortillas; 4) sweet corn, the best to eat; and 5) seed corn, grown for kernels to be used for the next year’s crop. • Most things in nature that have rows or lines tend to grow in even numbers. This comes about with cell division; one cell dividing into two and continuing evenly. Corn kernels always grow in an even number of rows. An average ear of corn has 800 kernels in 16 rows. • One of the primary uses of field corn is animal feed. Approximately 40 percent of the U. S. corn crop is used as livestock and poultry feed. • Included in this 40 percent is the production of distiller’s grain, a co-product from ethanol production that is a great supplement for animal feed. • Another use of field corn is ethanol production. In 2010, 36.5 percent of the U.S. corn crop was used to produce ethanol. Ethanol is a clean alternative fuel that is blended with 70 percent of the gasoline produced in the United States and comprises about 4.6 percent of total U.S. gasoline consumption. • Lastly, field corn is used for a variety of industrial products, including bioplastics, fabrics, crayons, compostable tableware and food containers. • Popcorn has been part of American cuisine since before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492. In fact, research indicates that likely ancestors of Native Americans enjoyed popcorn before the birth of Christ. • Nutritionally, popcorn is a good source of fiber and complex carbohydrates yet low in fat and calories, making it a great between-meal snack. Air-popped popcorn contains 31 calories per cup, oil-popped popcorn contains 55 calories per cup, and lightly buttered popcorn contains 133 calories

per cup. Three cups of popped popcorn equals one serving from the grain group. • Reports in March 2012 from a study conducted at the University of Scranton indicated that the crunchy hull of popcorn is rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that prevent damage to cells and may have disease-fighting properties. • By the way, when popcorn pops, it forms two basic shapes: snowflake and mushroom. Movie theater and ballpark popcorn are snowflake-shaped because this form looks and pops bigger. Mushroom popcorn is used more for candy because it doesn’t crumble. • Sweet corn differs from other corn varieties in that it is genetically distinct and accumulates twice the amount of sugar as field corn. The sought-after taste of sweet corn is best experienced by eating it directly off the cob. The Papoon variety of sweet corn, the first variety acquired by European settlers in North America, can be traced back to the Iroquois tribe of Native Americans in 1779. • Constantine, Michigan, proclaims itself the “Seed Corn Capital of the World.” Reportedly, 20 percent of the seed corn production in the United States occurs in greater Constantine and the surrounding counties. • Food-grade corn comes generally as either white corn or yellow corn. Yellow corn is more prevalent, but with the swelling Latino population in the United States and the fact that white corn is preferred for Latino recipes (for example, Mexican tortillas), the demand for food-grade white corn is increasing. • Corn is one of the most pervasive food ingredients in the world today. Consider this list of corn-containing foods that is significant but far from complete: baking mixes, baking powders, cornbread, corn flakes, Fritos, grits, hominy, margarine, popcorn, tortillas. Consider also the many non-food items that contain corn: aspirin, cough syrups, envelopes, gelatin capsules, powders, stamps, starched clothing, talcums, toothpaste, soaps and vitamins. Corn is actually an ingredient in more than 3,000 grocery products! • There are many corn festivals across the United States, mostly in August and September. There are even some corn festivals in Canada. Probably one of the biggest and longest-running annual festivals is the Mendota Sweet Corn Festival in Mendota, Illinois. In its 65th year, the festival serves free corn that has been cooked “with the help of a vintage steam engine.”


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To Your Good Health By Paul G. Donohue, M.D.

Swollen Ankles Have Many Causes DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am a diabetic male, age 96, with many aches and pains but no high blood pressure. I have low cholesterol and am in control of my diabetes. In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed swelling of my ankles and feet. I have been taking two water pills a day for it. I never use salt or eat salty foods. What can you suggest for me? -- S.S. ANSWER: That swelling is edema, and it has many causes. One is sitting for long periods with the legs dangling down. With the legs in that position, gravity pulls fluid from the legs’ blood vessels. Treatment for this kind of edema consists in elevating the legs. Every hour, lie down for 10 minutes with pillows under your legs and feet so that they are above heart level. When sitting, squeeze the leg muscles over and over. Muscle contractions stop the oozing of fluids from the blood vessels. And take a morning and afternoon walk. Elastic hose can keep fluid in blood vessels and out of the surrounding tissues. Dilated leg veins -- varicose veins -- promote edema. A clot in a leg vein is another cause. That’s usually quite painful, and you’d be aware that something is going on if you had a clot. Liver ailments can lead to edema. The liver makes a blood protein, albumin, that keeps fluid in circulation. With a low production of this protein, fluid leaks out of vessels. Kidney failure is another reason why edema occurs. Medicines can

Tidbits® of the River Region lead to it. The popular nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines such as Advil and Aleve are two examples. So are medicines called calcium channel blockers, such as nifedipine and verapamil. If you increased the dose of your water pill on your own, you shouldn’t. You can develop a potassium deficiency from overuse of water pills. Try the things I mentioned. See if they bring down the swelling. If they don’t, you’ll have to consult your doctor. A much more important cause of ankle-foot edema is heart failure, something that your doctor must check you for. The booklet on edema and lymphedema explains this kind of swelling in detail. Readers can obtain a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue -- No. 106W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Canada with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I’d been on Ambien for three years. I’m off it now. I take melatonin. It works better. What are the good things and bad things about it? -R.M. ANSWER: The pineal gland in the brain makes melatonin, a hormone-like substance that contributes in regulating our internal clock. Melatonin is secreted at night and signals the body to go to sleep. The benefits ascribed to melatonin are amazing: quelling inflammation, acting as an antioxidant, bolstering the immune system, preventing cancer. The evidence for these benefits is not overwhelming. It does, however, prevent jet lag and foster sleep. Long-term side effects and safety are not known Chronic insomnia is best treated by consulting a sleep specialist. ***


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This week’s winner receives a $25.00 Gift Certificate from Wishbone Cafe Register to win at www.riverregiontidbits.com and click on “Tommy Tidbits”. Fill out the registration information and tell us how many times Tommy appears in ads in the paper for this week. From the correct entries, a winner will be selected. You must be 18 years of age to qualify. The gift certificates will range in value from $25 to $50 each week. Entries must be received at the website by midnight each Saturday evening or at PTK Corp, PO Box 264, Wetumpka, AL 36092.

Last Week’s Ads where

Tommy was hiding:

1. Goodwyn’s Pet Groomer, p. 3

wife, Omkari Panwar, already had two daughters and five grandchildren, but they wanted a son. Using the same procedure, Omkari had twins, a boy and a girl. * The first time a toilet was ever seen on television was in the pilot episode of “Leave It to Beaver,” in 1957. * It’s still not known who made the following sage observation: “To succeed in politics, it is sometimes necessary to rise above your principles.”

* The most common name in the world is Muhammed.

* It was beloved American poet Robert Frost who made the following sage observation: “A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.”

* If you live in the South, home of huge roaches, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that a cockroach can live for a week without a head. When the headless insect does finally die, it’s from starvation, not from the loss of its head.

* In 1938, Time magazine featured Adolph Hitler on the cover as its Man of the Year. * You might be surprised at some of the amazing feats that can be accomplished with the aid of modern medicine. In 2008, two women in India gave birth at the age of 70. With the aid of egg donation and postmenopausal in vitro fertilization, Rajo Devi Lohan gave birth to her only child, a girl. Charan Singh Panwar and his

* Those who study such things say that there are 45,000 chickens for every person on the planet. *** Thought for the Day: “The reason that adulation is not displeasing is that, though untrue, it shows one to be of consequence enough, in one way or other, to induce people to lie.” -- Lord Byron (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.


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Tidbits® of the River Region

1. In 2010, the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez set a record for most consecutive seasons of at least 30 home runs and 100 RBIs. How many seasons? 2. Name the four majorleague players to play in at least 140 games for 16 consecutive seasons. 3. When was the last time before 2011 that the Detroit Lions started a season 5-0? 4. Harvard made the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 2012, the first time for the Crimson since when? 5. Who is the leading goal scorer in Buffalo Sabres history? 6. Which NASCAR Cup driver has the most victories at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway? 7. In 2012, Maria Sharapova became the sixth woman in the Open Era of tennis to have a career Grand Slam. Name four of the first five to do it.

1. Is the book of Labor in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. From Ecclesiastes 4:9, how many are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor? Two, Three, Five, Seven 3. In 1 Kings 5:13-14, how many thousand men comprised the labor force that King Solomon raised? 1, 5, 10, 30 4. From Exodus 20:9, how many days shalt thou labor and do all thy work? Two, Four, Six, Seven 5. What son of Abda was in charge of the forced labor in David’s kingdom? Baal, Adoniram, Cyrenius, Phaneul 6. From Proverbs 14:23, “In all labor there is” what? Love, Hope, Light, Profit?


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STOP SMOKING Stop smoking with hypnosis predated nicotine patches,etc by several decades. If your mind created the habit it cannot effectively or quickly be eliminated with a product. Smoking is a subconscious habit and therefore can not be controlled with conscious minded approaches like willpower and logic. I have seen hundreds of people with strong willpower that cannot stop smoking. When one makes a committment to quit and accept therapeutic suggestions, 1-3 sessions will stop the smoking habit permanently without withdrawal.

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HISSING, BUZZING in your ears? Millions of people suffer from the effects of TINNITUS!

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Visit the Center for Advanced Therapy for NEW technology to help those with Tinnitus. APPOINTMENT REQUIRED. CALL the Center for Advanced Therapy at (334) 358-6501.

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Nectarine and Cherry Crisp The topping is actually oatmeal cookie dough! You can prepare it up to a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator. 1/2 cup sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch 3 pounds (about 10 medium) ripe nectarines, each cut into 6 wedges 1 1/2 pounds dark, sweet cherries, pitted 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons margarine or butter, cold, cut into small pieces Oatmeal Cookie-Crisp Topping (below) 1. Preheat oven to 375 F. In small bowl, with wire whisk or fork, mix sugar and cornstarch. 2. In large bowl, toss nectarines, cherries, lemon juice and sugar mixture until fruit is evenly coated. 3. Spoon fruit mixture into 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish; dot with margarine or butter. Cover with foil and bake 40 to 50 minutes until mixture is gently bubbling.

4. Meanwhile, prepare Oatmeal Cookie-Crisp Topping. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. 5. Drop topping by scant 1/4 cups over hot fruit. Bake, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes until topping is browned. Cool slightly on wire rack to serve warm. Or, cool completely to serve later. Reheat if desired. OATMEAL COOKIE-CRISP TOPPING: In large bowl, with mixer at medium-high speed, beat 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar and 6 tablespoons margarine or butter (3/4 stick), softened, until smooth. Add 1 large egg and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract; beat until light and fluffy. With spoon, stir in 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats, uncooked, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Serves 12. ? Each serving: About 400 calories, 11g total fat (2g saturated), 18mg cholesterol, 185mg sodium, 63g carbohydrate, 6g protein. For thousands of triple-tested recipes, visit our website at www.goodhousekeeping.com/recipefinder/. (c) 2012 Hearst Communications, Inc. All rights reserved

Prattville Medical Park 635 McQueen Smith Rd., N., Suite D • Prattville, AL 36067


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Tidbits® of the River Region FAMOUS LANDMARKS OF THE WORLD:

GATEWAY ARCH

Acupuncture for Pets? by Samantha Mazzotta

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I recently read an advertisement by a pet hospital that is offering acupuncture for pets. Does this even work for pets? I’m skeptical. -- Janice T., Orlando, Fla. DEAR JANICE: I can’t say for sure, but the idea of providing acupuncture treatment for pets is intriguing. Acupuncture has been shown to have positive results for humans trying to manage pain, and some anecdotal reports indicate that acupuncture might help reduce pain in animals, as well. Wadsworth Animal Hospital in Lakewood, Colo., for example, recently reported that as many as 75 percent of the pets in its care treated with acupuncture experienced “a significant or major improvement, although some symptoms may remain.” The hospital used acupuncture to treat pets suffering from arthritis, hip dysplasia, nerve damage or other chronic health conditions. Pet acupuncture sounds pretty odd, and it’s really a

new type of treatment for pets, coming into vogue just in the past few decades. But it’s not the only holistic pet treatment out there that looks to help improve pets’ health without the use of drugs or surgery. And it’s growing in popularity: some 800 pet acupuncturists are registered with the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture (http:// www.aava.org), the Washington Post reports, an increase of 600 since 2002. So, how do you find a qualified acupuncturist for your pet? The AAVA has a listing on its site, but be sure to ask questions of the pet acupuncturist you find locally. He or she should be certified to practice veterinary medicine as well as veterinary acupuncture. Send your questions or comments to ask@ pawscorner.com, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related advice and information, visit www.pawscorner. com. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

As part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Missouri, the Gateway Arch is the tallest national monument in the United States. At 630 feet (192 m), the arch is twice the height of the Statue of Liberty. • The base width is also 630 feet (192 m). The foundations for the arch were sunk 60 feet (18 m) into the ground. It is built to withstand earthquakes and to sway up to 18 inches (46 cm) in 150 mph (241 km/hr) winds. • Opened in 1965, the striking stainless steel structure offers spectacular views from the observation room at the top. Eero Saarinen, an architect from Detroit who had emmigrated from Finland with his family at the age of 12, won the competition for the honor to design the monument to westward movement. Thomas Jefferson’s vision to spread freedom and democracy from “sea to shining sea” was the inspiration for Saarinen’s design. • The city of St. Louis was quite significant in the westward movement, considered the “Gateway to the West.” The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is a memorial to Jefferson’s role in expanding the country to the west. The park consists of the Gateway Arch, the Museum of Westward Expansion and St. Louis’ Old Courthouse. • Construction of the Arch occurred from February 12, 1963, until the last section was put in place on October 28, 1965. The cost was $13 million. • More stainless steel was used to build the Arch than for any other project in history: Nine hundred tons (900,000 kg). The Gateway Arch weighs 17,246 tons (17,240,000 kg). GATEWAY ARCH (continued): • One of the most fascinating things about the Gateway Arch is the ride to the top. The two one-ofa-kind trams that go up each leg to take visitors to the observation room are amazing. Dick Bowser, a highly intelligent man with no college degree, conceived the idea for the trams in two short weeks. • Bowser’s design had to meet the criteria to transport 3,500 people in an eight-hour day or up to 11,000 people in a 14-hour day. The conveyance system could not distort the exterior of the Arch. • Bowser’s tram system consists of eight capsules linked in tandem for each leg of the Arch. Each capsule seats five people and rotates approximately 155 degrees during the trip to the top. Each tram completes the trip to the top of the Arch and back in 9-10 minutes, including time for loading and unloading. As the capsules go up and down, the weight of the passengers helps to keep the capsules upright. When the trams are running near capacity, 400-450 passengers per hour experience the unique ride to the top of the Arch. • At the top of the Arch, the 16 windows on each side are small at 7 inches x 27 inches (18 cm x 69 cm), hinged and locked. The room is small as well but accommodates 100-160 people. The views are breathtaking, with the Mississippi River and the state of Illinois to the east and the city of St. Louis and state of Missouri to the west. • The grounds surrounding the Gateway Arch and the rest of the park were carefully designed with the buildings. Renowned landscape architect Dan Kiley worked with Dick Bowser from the beginning to make the park a reality.


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Ambrose Charges Into Chase Mix When the final lap at Watkins Glen International commenced, Marcos Ambrose was running third. He knew he had Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski in front of him. What he didn’t know was that he also had an oily track in front of him. Keselowski took the lead by nudging Busch out of the way. He got the same medicine from Ambrose, enabling the Ford driver from Australia (Launceston, Tasmania) to win at the Glen for the second year in a row. “I was the first one to slip in the oil, and it was just getting worse and worse,” Ambrose said later. “You could tell the car was staying out there because the oil was moving around the race track and you just take your chances. You’ve got to commit at that point in the race, and it was great racing with Kyle and Brad. They’re the two best guys to race. It’s just awesome fun, and that’s the way racing should be, and we got the No. 9 Stanley Ford in Victory Lane.” It was one of the more exciting final laps in NASCAR history. Both of the 35-year-old’s wins are at Watkins Glen. He has a chance to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup, thanks to the victory, but it will require at least another win in the final four races of the regular season. But Ambrose holds the qualifying record at Michigan International Speedway, the next stop on the schedule. “We got the pole at Michigan. We were running top five all day there. There’s no reason why we can’t go there and surprise them again,” he said. Ambrose had to settle for ninth in the Quicken Loans 400 on June 17. For the second time, Ambrose managed to win at one of few tracks where his owner, Richard Petty, never took a checkered flag. “You go and you run, and you do the best you can, and then you try to take advantage of the circumstances that are there,” Petty said. “That’s what Marcos did. He didn’t create any of those circumstances. He took advantage of those circumstances.” For the second week in a row, the Sprint Cup winner was neither first nor second when the final lap began. *** Monte Dutton covers motorsports for The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette. E-mail Monte at nascarthisweek@ yahoo.com. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Three Simple Steps to Weight Loss Far too many of us, women especially, can develop weight problems as we age. We’re less active. Menopause doesn’t help. We might have different eating patterns. Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have done a study that looked at self-monitoring as a way to reduce weight. The study results show how we can lose weight safely in three steps: 1) Keep a journal that reports everything that’s eaten; 2) Don’t skip meals; and 3) Don’t go out to lunch. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it. They divided 123 overweight and obese senior women into two groups for the yearlong study: one group used diet and exercise, and the other only diet. Here’s what they learned: Women who kept journals of what they ate lost six

pounds more than those who didn’t keep a journal. This appeared to be the most important of the three steps, and it makes sense. If we write down exactly what we eat, it’s easier to identify whether we’re meeting our goals. The trick is to be honest, and being honest means measuring portions and reading labels -- and always keeping your journal with you in case you do eat while away from home. Women who went out for lunch at least once a week lost five pounds less than those who didn’t, or who ate lunch out less frequently. When you eat at a restaurant, you can’t control the size of the portions or how the food is cooked. Women who skipped meals lost eight pounds less than those who didn’t skip meals. Researchers weren’t sure why this was so, but it could be that being hungry leads to overeating or eating out. Eating at regular times gave the best success. Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Write to her in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to columnreply@gmail.com. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.


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Tidbits® of the River Region Use Bolts to Anchor Pictures to Walls By Samantha Mazzotta

Q: I have to hang some heavier pictures, and I’m a little confused by all the choices in different kinds of bolts. What options do I have? -- Frank in Tuscon

Easy Two-Toned Garden Soup “The best tasting soups of summer are the simplest to make,” said 28-year-old chef Becca Berroteran recently to a group of moms at Mission Springs Conference Center in Scotts Valley, Calif. “And each bowlful can look like a work of art, too,” she added. In a nod to her Mexican heritage, we watched attentively as she ladled red pepper soup into one side of a soup bowl while at the same time ladling a fresh zucchini soup in the other. “Busy families can make a two-toned garden soup in less than an hour on the stove or microwave,” she said as she grabbed a squeeze bottle to demonstrate the garnish. “Kids love to top the servings with cream sauce designs and swirls or let them simply add popcorn or crunched chips.” Here are the basic how-tos. Add your favorite fresh herbs and seasonings to make the soup your own, and then have fun impressing your next dinner guests. TWO-TONED GARDEN SOUP Zucchini Soup ingredients 3 medium zucchini, roughly chopped 2 cups chicken broth 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic Salt and pepper Bring the zucchini, broth, onions, garlic and seasonings to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer until zucchini is soft, about 20 minutes. Use immersion hand blender to blend. Roasted Red Pepper Soup ingredients 2 (12-ounce) jars fire roasted red peppers, drained 2 cups beef broth Tapatio hot sauce (optional) Cook peppers and beef stock until heated through. Use immersion hand blender to blend. Ladle hot soups simultaneously into each half of a soup bowl, then “paint” designs with avocado cream sauce. Avocado Cream Sauce Stir together 1/4 mashed ripe avocado, 2 tablespoons sour cream, 1/8 teaspoon cumin and a splash of milk to make it “squeezable.” Spoon into a squeeze bottle and create these easy designs on top of the two-tone soup. Makes 8 to 10 servings. Hearts Squeeze out several dime-size dots. Dip into the middle of a dot with a chopstick or skewer and drag down to form a heart. Continue to the next dot. Starburst Squeeze a quarter-size dot in the center of the soup. Dip a toothpick in the center and lightly drag out to make a line. Repeat in all directions. ABC’s Squeeze the shape of the first letter of names of each guest on the soup. Set the bowls around the table when you are ready to eat for edible place cards. Tip: Prepared ranch dressing is a quick substitute for the avocado cream sauce. *** 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 www.donnasday.com and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.” (c) 2012 Donna Erickson Distributed by King Features Synd.

A: Depending on the weight of the item you’re hanging on the wall, a variety of bolts are available -- but the most common are expansion bolts or anchors (also known as Molly bolts, for some reason), and toggle bolts. Both kinds of bolts are helpful in anchoring somewhat heavy objects to drywall when a stud can’t be located or used. Expansion bolts have an exterior plastic sheath, which is straight when inserted into a hole drilled into the wall, but expand behind the wall once placed. They’re designed for heavy objects like large framed pictures, mirrors or shelves. Toggle bolts have metal wings that unfold once inserted on the other side of the drywall, providing a sturdy backing for much heavier objects like small cabinets. To use an expansion bolt, mark the spot on the wall where you plan to hang a picture or heavy item. Drill

a hole at the width specified to fit the expansion bolt. With the metal screw inserted fully into the expansion sheath, push the bolt through the hole or gently tap in with a hammer. Turn the screw head clockwise until it’s tight -- this action expands the sheath so that it sits snug against the wall. Unscrew the metal screw from the expansion bolt sheath and mount the picture by inserting the screw through the picture’s hanger or screw hole and back into the expansion bolt. To use a toggle bolt, first drill a hole in the wall at the width specified. Unscrew the metal flange (the springloaded expansion unit) from the metal screw. Run the screw through the screw hole or the picture’s hanger, then screw the metal flange back onto the screw, on the opposite side of the hanger or screw hole. Pinch the flange closed with one hand and push it through the drilled hole while guiding the picture into position. Once the flange is all the way through, pull the metal screw until you can feel the flange pressing against the back side of the wall. Tighten the metal screw until it and the picture are secure. HOME TIP: Metal or wooden studs are located approximately 16 inches apart on average. Send your questions or tips to ask@thisisahammer.com, or write This Is a Hammer, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.


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Get Ready Now for Cold Weather Your home is your biggest investment. Taking a few steps every fall to keep your home in good shape will keep up its value and let you be more comfortable during cold months. Here is your September to-do list, while temperatures are cooler but cold weather hasn’t arrived: --Call for an inspection on your furnace. Stock up on furnace filters and plan to change them every month during the winter. --Caulk exterior window frames, and scrape and paint

sills if they need it while the weather is still warm enough. Invest in insulation pads for electrical outlets and switch plates to block drafts on exterior walls. Consider buying plastic sheeting now to install on windows instead of waiting until the stores run out when temperatures drop. --Check your foundation for low areas that can collect rain or snow against the house. Caulk where necessary. Be sure downspouts are aimed away from the house. --Insulate the access hatch to your attic. Do a depth check of attic insulation to make sure it’s appropriate for your climate. (A fast call to a hardware store or some online research will tell you how much you need and what kind.) Check for evidence of roof leaks on the interior plywood. --Use binoculars from across the street to check the condition of your shingles. If any are curled, they might be sun-baked and ready to crack when it gets cold. --If you’re in the market for interior repairs or remodeling, such as new kitchen cabinets, get your bids now. Companies will want to get their winter work lined

BIBLE TRIVIA ANSWERS:

1) Neither; 2) Two; 3) 30; 4) Six; 5) Adoniram; 6) Profit

up. If you can be flexible and schedule the work for after the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, you might get an even better deal on pricing. --Host a yard sale to get rid of clutter. --Clear the yard of anything that could blow away in storms or hurricanes or get buried by snowfall. Drain hoses and put them away. If you have front steps, check them for sturdiness. Do they need a coat of paint? --Your vehicle also might need attention. Check your tires. If you live in a snow area, will they make it through the winter? Schedule a tune-up and general check to include brakes. David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Write to him in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send email to columnreply@gmail.com. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

1. Thirteen seasons. 2. Hank Aaron, Johnny Damon, Brooks Robinson and Pete Rose. 3. It was 1956. 4. It was 1946. 5. Gilbert Perreault, with 512. 6. Richard Petty, with 13. 7. Billie Jean King (1972), Chris Evert (1982), Martina Navratilova (1983), Steffi Graf (1988) and Serena Williams (2003).


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Tidbits速 of the River Region


Tidbits of the River Region  

Vol 1 Issue 32

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