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

April 23, 2013 Published by PTK Corp.

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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ©2007

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of the River Region

The NeatestLittle LittlePaper PaperEver EverRead Read The Neatest To place an Ad, call: (334) 202-7285 TIDBITS® CONSIDERS

DEODORANTS by Janet Spencer For most of our time on earth, humans walked around stinking. Deodorant is a relatively new invention, and Tidbits tells the story. THE ARMPIT • To understand antiperspirant, you must first understand sweat. Sweat does not gush out of the pores. It hangs in the opening like a drop of water in a faucet. What finally pulls the sweat out is an electrical charge. A bead of sweat has a negative electrical charge. The surface of the skin has a positive electrical charge. The positively charged skin yanks the negatively charged sweat out of the pores. Enter antiperspirant. Aluminum chloride is the active ingredient, and it has a negative charge. The negatively charged aluminum shoves the sweat back into the body, just like two negative ends of a magnet move each other around. The sweat is re-absorbed by the body and the skin stays dry. • Deodorant is another story. There are bacteria living in a typical armpit, which is warm and moist. The ammonia waste products produced by the bacteria cause the odor. (Sweat is odorless.) Deodorants contain insecticides and bactericides that wipe out the entire arm pit colony— temporarily, at least. When the anti-microbial agents wear off, the bacteria move in again, journeying from the shirt or other parts of the body. • The reason we have armpit hair is because the hairs act like wicks, moving moisture away from the skin and keeping it dry. Dry skin is healthier than moist skin. However, hair adds plenty of extra surface area for skin bacteria to cling to. Shaving cuts that area down. • Mankind through history has worked to combat body odor. Early Egyptians applied perfumed oils to the armpit, and regularly removed their underarm hair. The Greeks and the Romans followed suit, but until 1888 the only remedy for B.O. was to mask the odor with perfume and spices. • In 1888, a Philadelphia inventor stumbled on the fact that zinc prevents body odor. Zinc, like aluminum, prevents sweat from coming out of the pores, but it was decades before anyone understood why. He invented a zinc-based cream called Mum, patented it, and sold it widely. turn the page for more!

Vol 2 Issue 17 paul@riverregiontidbits.com


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More of Us Getting Knee Replacement

For a growing number of us, it will become necessary at some point to have a knee replacement. A recently completed 20-year study, funded in part by the National Institute on Aging, shows the number of knee surgeries has steadily risen. More of us, it seems, are now walking pain-free. But the news isn’t all good, however. The study included 3.3 million participants who had a primary knee replacement and 300,000 who had a revision process, which is replacement of a previous implanted joint. Along the way, hospital stays have gotten shorter for recovery from the knee surgeries. This has caused higher complication rates as well as higher readmission rates, as we go back in the hospital when things go wrong. Between 1991 and 2010, the number of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) procedures rose a whopping 162 percent. The reason? There are more people likely to be considered as candidates for the surgery, more seniors in the population and more conditions that lead to osteoarthritis -- such as obesity. Again the flipside: Hospital stays were cut from eight to four days for primary surgery, and from nine to five days for revision surgeries. This was no doubt due to insurers who want patients out of the hospital as quickly as possible to cut costs. Hospital readmissions jumped from 4 percent to 5 percent for primary procedures, and from 6 percent to 9 percent for revisions. Revisions caused more than double the readmission rates for wound infection, and a 100 percent increase for hemorrhage and heart attack. There’s one thing to be said for following a good diet: If we keep our weight down and stay out of the obese category, we might be able to avoid needing knee surgery. Matilda Charles regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Send email to columnreply2@gmail.com. (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

Tidbits® of the River Region DEODORANTS (continued) Bristol-Myers later bought him out, and Mum is still produced today, being marketed mainly in Britain. In 1902, a new antiperspirant called Ever-Dry hit the market; it was the first to use aluminum chloride. It was followed in 1908 by Hush. Unfortunately all of these early brands of antiperspirant were sticky, slow drying, and irritating to the skin. Ever-Dry was so acidic it would eat right through the fabric of a shirt. • In 1916, an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association discussed a study that showed a 25 percent solution of aluminum chloride in distilled water would reduce excessive sweating if applied to the underarm every two or three days. However, such a solution tended to cause the skin to burn, sting, and itch because aluminum chloride is corrosive, having a very low pH value. • There was a break-through in 1919 with the unveiling of a brash new antiperspirant called Odo-Ro-No. In ads in newspapers and magazines, Odo-Ro-No proudly declared that it banished “B.O.” B.O., an abbreviation for ‘body odor’, was a scandalous term. Previously, such products had euphemistically claimed that they kept a person “clean, sweet, and dainty” so to admit that people actually sweat— and to further state that sweat smelled bad— made for a shocking advertisement. “Take the Armhole Odor Test!” challenged the ads, hinting at social disasters that might ensue if one failed the test. Sales soared. • A new product called Arrid Cream was introduced in the 1930s which contained aluminum sulfate instead of aluminum chloride. This was much easier on the skin and the product sold well. The next advancement in deodorant didn’t come along until 1947 when Stoppette Spray Deodorant became the first deodorant that could be applied without the fingers having to contact the solution. It came in a spritzing squeeze tube. In 1952, Bristol-Myers (producers of Mum) came out with the first roll-on, invented by a company researcher named Helen Barnett Diserens who was inspired by the newly invented ballpoint pen. They named the product Ban, and it is still one of the top selling deodorants today.

• While scientists were trying to figure out how to get a man to the moon, the Gillette corporation was trying to figure out how to get deodorant into a can. It was a tough problem because the spray nozzle kept corroding or the deodorant would crystallize inside the can. In 1965 they got the formula right and introduced Right Guard. • Right Guard used zirconium salts instead of aluminum salts. Although it was less irritating to the skin, it acted as a deodorant but not as an antiperspirant. Five years later, Arrid Extra Dry provided both an antiperspirant and an anti-microbial deodorant in an aerosol spray. It sold so well that use of roll-ons and creams diminished, and by the mid1970s the vast majority of deodorants used in the U.S. were aerosols. Then problems with the ozone layer surfaced. The aerosol market plummeted, to be replaced by today’s infinite variety of pump sprays, sticks, and gels. • The FDA classifies deodorants as cosmetics. However, antiperspirants are classified as drugs. Why the difference? Because antiperspirants technically alter the natural functions of your body. • Aluminum chloride discolors clothing and is famous for turning T-shirts yellow. Blame the antiperspirant for the armpit stains, not your sweat. • When rock star Kurt Cobain wrote the lyrics for Nirvana’s breakout song “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” he didn’t know Teen Spirit was actually the name a popular deodorant brand. The Mennen Company, which produced the deodorant, wouldn’t say whether the song caused sales to spike, but six months after the single debuted, Colgate bought the company for $670 million. • In 2008, actor Matthew McConaughey mentioned in an interview that he never uses deodorant or antiperspirant. The next day, he received a year’s supply of deodorant body spray from the Axe Company, along with a note on why he might want to start. • The Service Shirts Corporation once invented a bowling shirt that had deodorant injected right into the fabric of the shirt.


“Be known before you’re needed” Advertise with Tidbits (334) 202-7285 re-heat and assemble your taco cups on the day of your celebration! Cooking oil spray 12 whole wheat or flour tortillas (6-inch) 2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken or pork, or ground beef, chicken or turkey 1 cup barbeque sauce 1 cup Pace Chunky Salsa, medium or hot, plus 1/2 cup extra for topping 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper or red pepper flakes 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese 1 cup guacamole 1 sour cream 1/2 cup sliced ripe olives 1 cup chopped green onions, white parts and green tops

The Fifth of May the Easy Way The fifth of May is known in Mexico, and cities around the United States, as Cinco de Mayo. It is a cultural holiday that celebrates the victory of the outnumbered Mexican Army, lead by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Often, May 5 is mistakenly called Mexican Independence Day. Actually, Mexico declared its independence more than 50 years earlier on Sept. 16, 1810 (celebrated in many cities as Diez y Seis de Septiembre). Modern celebrations feature plenty of flowers in the colors of the flag of Mexico: green, white and red. Parties and parades are held, and mariachi music and folk dancing are a traditional part of the holiday. A large variety of wonderful Mexican foods also are served. Sometimes, a celebration is the perfect time to try something new. My recipe for Spicy Taco Cups can be made in large quantities to accommodate a festive crowd. This dish also is a tasty and fun way to introduce your family to a historic celebration! SPICY TACO CUPS This recipe makes 4 to 6 servings, but is easy to double (or quadruple) to make in large quantities. It’s a real crowd-pleaser! You can prepare the meat mixture ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You also can prepare the tortillas up to the baking step, store them in an airtight container, and

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Spray 12 (3-inch) muffin-pan cups with cooking spray. 2. Wrap tortillas between damp paper towels. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds or until tortillas are warm. Fold 1 tortilla into thirds to form a cone shape. Press the tortilla cone, wide end down, into a muffinpan cup. Repeat with remaining tortillas, re-warming the tortillas in the microwave as needed. 3. Bake for 5 minutes, or until the tortilla cones are golden. Remove tortillas from pan and cool on wire racks. If you’re making the tortilla cones ahead, store them in an airtight container after they’ve cooled. 4. Heat the meat, barbeque sauce, salsa and chipotle chili pepper in a microwave-safe bowl on high for 5 minutes until hot, or in a large saucepan over medium heat until the mixture is hot and bubbling, stirring often, about 6 to 8 minutes. 5. Spoon about 1/4 cup of meat mixture into each tortilla cone. Place salsa, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, olives and green onions in small bowls and allow your guests to top their taco cups as desired. *** Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is www.divapro. com. To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva!, on Facebook and go to Hulu.com. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis. (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc., and Angela Shelf Medearis

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Tidbits® of the River Region

* On May 8, 1884, Harry S Truman is born in Lamar, Mo. Upon President Franklin Roosevelt’s death in 1945, Truman became the 33rd president of the United States. After four months in office, Truman authorized the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan, believing it ultimately saved American and Japanese lives by forcing Japan to surrender. * On May 12, 1932, the body of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh’s baby is found more than two months after he was kidnapped from his family’s New Jersey mansion. After numerous ransom notes, the baby was found less than a mile from the home. He had been killed the night of the kidnapping. * On May 11, 1947, the B.F. Goodrich Company of Akron, Ohio, announces it has developed a tubeless tire. The disadvantage of the old inner tube design was that if the inner tube failed, the tire would blow out immediately, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. * On May 6, 1954, in Oxford, England, 25-year-old medical student Roger Bannister cracks the fourminute mile. Bannister won the mile race with a time of 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds. * On May 7, 1960, Leonid Brezhnev, one of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s most trusted proteges, is selected as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet -- the Soviet equivalent to the presidency. Brezhnev took control of the USSR in 1964 when Khrushchev was removed from power. * On May 9, 1971, the last original episode of the sitcom “The Honeymooners,” starring Jackie Gleason, airs. Despite its brief life as a traditional sitcom, “The Honeymooners” remains one of the most memorable TV comedies of all time, rivaled only by “I Love Lucy.” * On May 10, 1994, in South Africa, Nelson Mandela is sworn in as the first black president of South Africa. In his inaugural address, Mandela, who spent 27 years of his life as a political prisoner of the South African government, declared that “the time for the healing of the wounds has come.” (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.


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Tommy Count ______ This week’s winner receives $25 Gift

Certificate to The Style Connection Register to win at www.riverregiontidbits.com and click on “Tommy Tidbits” or click the QRCode above. 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 1. Labor Finders, p. 3

Tommy was hiding:


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Tidbits® of the River Region

Mushroom and Snap Pea Salad The mushrooms in this spring salad can be marinated up to 4 hours ahead of assembly. The easy homemade dressing and marinade combines shallots, thyme, bay leaf and sherry vinegar. 2 boxes (10 ounces each) sliced mushrooms 2 shallots, thinly sliced 2 sprigs fresh thyme 1 bay leaf 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar Salt Pepper 1 pound sugar snap peas 1 large (8 ounces) bunch frisee (curly endive), cut into 1-inch pieces 1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped 2 tablespoons (pignoli) pine nuts, toasted 1. Place mushrooms in large bowl. In 2-quart saucepan, combine shallots, thyme, bay leaf and 1/3 cup oil. Heat on medium 2 to 3 minutes or until shallots are just tender. Pour over mushrooms and immediately stir until well-mixed. Stir in 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Cover and let stand at room temperature 1 hour, or refrigerate up to 4 hours. 2. Heat covered 4-quart saucepan of water to boiling on high. Meanwhile, remove and discard strings from snap peas. Add snap peas and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and immediately rinse with cold water until cool; drain again. 3. In large bowl, toss frisee, parsley and snap peas with remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 tablespoon oil. Divide among salad plates. Remove and discard thyme and bay leaf from mushrooms; divide mushrooms and sherry dressing among frisee plates. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts to serve. Serves 8. ¥ Each serving: About 160 calories, 12g total fat (2g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 120mg sodium, 10g total carbs, 4g dietary fiber, 5g protein. For thousands of triple-tested recipes, visit our website at www.goodhousekeeping.com/recipefinder/. (c) 2013 Hearst Communications, Inc. All rights reserved

by Samantha Weaver * It was nationally syndicated newspaper columnist L.M. Boyd who made the following sage observation: “Anyone who eats three meals a day should understand why cookbooks outsell sex books three to one.” * The game of Chinese checkers did not come from China; it was invented in Great Britain in the 19th century. The game’s original name was Halma. * We usually think of Spain as a warm country, so it might surprise you to learn that the nation has 13 glaciers. * Doubtless you’ve heard of India’s Taj Mahal, but did you know that there is a tourist attraction in America that is so grand, it is popularly known as the Taj Mahal of the West? In 1968, a group of Hare Krishnas founded the New Vrindaban Community near Wheeling, W.Va. Though they began on 100 acres with no electricity or running water, the community now covers more than 1,200 acres and features Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold, an ornate edifice of gold, marble and hand-carved teakwood. The award-winning rose garden alone is said to be worth a trip. * If you’re a dog lover, you might have used your beloved pet as a foot warmer from time to time. This is by no means a modern practice; the Aztecs were fond of a certain breed of small, hairless dogs to accomplish the task. * Despite popular opinion, the dictator Napoleon was not particularly short. He measured 5 feet, 6 inches tall, which was the average height for a Frenchman at that time. * Those who study such things say that if you’re like the average person, you can go 11 days without water -- provided the temperature never gets above 60 degrees F. *** Thought for the Day: “Everyone is a genius at least once a year; a real genius has his original ideas closer together.” -- Georg Lichtenberg (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.


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getting paint on the wall above the baseboard. The rubber gasket along the bottom of the dustpan makes a great seal against the wall.” -- A Reader, via email * If your kids (or you) like cereal, be sure to save the heavy plastic liners that hold the cereal inside the box. They are really handy when freezing meat patties in stacks. You can use them to separate layers of cookies, too. * “I just finished packing up my house to move, and this little tip was a dandy: Use a toothpick to keep the open end of your tape from disappearing. When you cut the tape, slip a toothpick at the end that’s still on the roll. You will never have to go fishing for it again.” -- L.K. in New Mexico * “I’m spring cleaning. I like to touch up my baseboards, because I think it makes the rooms look fresher. I use a plastic dustpan as I go along. I press it up against the wall, and I can paint along without fear of

* Keep buttons secure by painting the threads with a dab of clear nail polish. * If you still have a paper vacuum bag, tuck a fabric-softener sheet into it before you attach it to your cleaner. As the air flows through it, the smell of the fabric softener will freshen your home. * If your water takes a minute to warm up, keep a pitcher by the sink. Let the water flow into the pitcher until it gets warm. Then, use that water (which otherwise would have been wasted) on your houseplants and in your garden. Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475 or email JoAnn at heresatip@yahoo.com. (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Tidbits® of the River Region

Testimony From Augusta Legend has the Garden of Eden located somewhere around Mesopotamia (unless you’re a Mormon, who believe Adam and Eve’s stomping grounds were in Missouri). That may be so, but I am confident when I say that the closest thing to what I imagine the Garden of Eden to be, sans the naked woman feeding me apples, is in Augusta, Ga., where my wife (attractively attired in a sky-blue Masters windbreaker) feeds me pimento and cheese sandwiches at The Masters tournament. Witnessing The Masters is a transcendent experience. The beauty of the manicured grounds, the excellence of the golf tournament, the attention to even the most minute detail is jarring. If you’re a sports fan or if you’re feeling down about human society in general, the first time you hit the grounds at Augusta is almost on par with the rush you felt when it was love at first wife, and only a few strokes behind witnessing the birth of your child. If you believe in karma, that what goes around comes around, consider the case of Billy Payne, member and club chairman. An investment banker, Payne is responsible for bringing the Olympic Games to Atlanta using mostly private funding and, in so doing, improving and creating much of that city’s present-day infrastructure. The Atlanta Olympics also were mercilessly derided for its overthe-top commercialization and a bombing that took place in the Centennial Olympic Park, killing two and reinforcing the perception that America was little more than a place of sugar-water-sponsored violence. Let those people come to Augusta, where the only advertisement you will see is the “Courtesy of AT&T” in small type on each of the plain black phones provided on the grounds for its patrons. The phones are provided free of charge as a way to keep cellphones prohibited from the club at all times. Otherwise cutoff from the world, the only news one receives comes courtesy of the manually operated scoreboards or through word of mouth. When people from all over the world -- Melbourne, Glasgow, London and Berlin -- come to Augusta, the only brand they will find on the premises is that of the Masters logo, a flagstick on a silhouette of the United States. Even the cola and beers are labeled simply “cola” and “beer.” I defy anyone to find a weed, piece of litter, or stepped over gum anywhere on the grounds. Credit Billy Payne and the Augusta National for this attention to austerity, this display of integrity. Contrary to what a few placard-waving evangelists outside the gates would have you believe, the Tournament is not a place of idol worship. Rather, it is a place where people come to revel and respect God-given ability. Paradise or not, the patrons who make the pilgrimage and congregate yearly at Augusta are there merely to testify. Mark Vasto is a veteran sportswriter who lives in Kansas City. (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

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

Spinal Stenosis Often Cause of Back Pain DEAR DR. DONOHUE: You have no idea how painful spinal stenosis is. Only oxycodone works. My doctor is afraid that I will become addicted. I am 75. I would rather die an addict than a person in constant pain. A surgeon told me it was too dangerous to operate unless I am in constant pain. Can you help? -- B.A. DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I read your article on spinal stenosis. I am 82, in good health, but plagued with back pain. My daughter, a nurse at a university hospital, had me see a neurosurgeon there. He suggested a microsurgical procedure that took about three hours. I was discharged with a small bandage. I am now more than two months post-op, and my back feels better than it has in years. People with spinal stenosis should consider this operation. -- M.R. ANSWER: Spinal stenosis is one of the most frequent causes of back pain. The spinal cord is an extension of the brain. It runs from the neck to the lower back. It’s only as thick as your little finger. An eraser dropped from 12 inches onto it would smash it beyond repair. It, therefore, needs protection. Nature has encased it in the back bones (vertebrae) through a tunnel that runs the length of the spinal column. Narrowing of the tunnel is called spinal stenosis. The narrowed part compresses the spinal cord and is quite painful. The narrowing comes from bone spurs, arthritis changes or thickening of back ligaments. Physical therapy, through strengthening back muscles and stretching thickened back

Grill’s Drippings Stain Patio Bricks By Samantha Mazzotta

Q: The patio bricks underneath my grill tend to catch a lot of grease and oil drippings. I clean up after every barbecue, but there are still stains on the brick from the grease. How can I get these up without bleaching out the spots? -- Rick in Savannah, Ga. A: With porous surfaces like brick and concrete, oil stains can set in and be tough to get out. Your instinct to avoid using bleach or another type of acid to clean up the stains (like lemon juice) is right on. These can just make things worse and can discolor some types of paving. Clearing the grease stain may take a few attempts with a number of cleaning agents. Start with the least harmful materials, most of which can be found in your kitchen or garage. First, fill an old coffee mug with warm water, a couple of tablespoons of dish soap and a teaspoon of salt. Grab a clean synthetic scrubber brush (like

ligaments, often lessens pain. Pain medicines can be used liberally. Injection of cortisone into the spinal canal (epidurals) is another way to ease pain and compression. M.R.’s suggestion of surgery bears consideration, especially his comments on microsurgery, where a half-inch incision allows the surgeon to spread back muscles and other tissues so the surgeon can home in on the area of involved stenosis. A hollow cylinder is inserted through the spread back tissues, and special instruments allow visualization of the area with the ability to remove the compression. It’s something that B.A. ought to consider with the constant pain she endures. The booklet on back problems deals with some of the more-common back conditions and their treatment. Readers can obtain a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue -- No. 303W, 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: My wife has taken blood pressure medicine for many years. She’s now 66. Her doctor put her on a new medicine that has her pressure at 125/65. It’s never been that low before. Is that too low for someone her age? -- L.W. ANSWER: Does your wife complain of dizziness, especially upon standing up? If she doesn’t, then her pressure isn’t too low. Ideal blood pressure is lower than 120/80. It’s true older people don’t always tolerate a sudden drop in their pressure, even though the pressure might be in the normal range. I don’t consider your wife to be “older.” You’d better not either. *** Dr. Donohue regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever possible. Readers may write him or request an order form of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. (c) 2013 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved

a dishwashing brush). Scrub the stain with the soapy water and rinse with warm water, repeating a few times and letting the bricks dry out to see the results in between each try. If that doesn’t clear the stain, you can try an oilstain cleaner purchased at your local home-improvement store. Some DIYers recommend applying an engine degreaser and letting it sit for about an hour, but test any cleaning agent or degreaser on an inconspicuous spot first. The sad truth is that it’s unlikely any cleaner, commercial or homemade, will completely clear away the grease stain. More powerful or acidic cleaning agents could damage the brick, so they should be avoided. If the stain is really bad, consider replacing the brick. If it’s not too bad, clean the area as best you can and cover it with a grill mat to prevent further staining. HOME TIP: To prevent your grill’s grease and oil drips from staining your patio or deck surface, place a grill mat underneath, and clean up spills promptly. Send your questions or home tips to ask@thisisahammer.com. My new e-book, “101 Best Home Tips,” is available to download on Amazon Kindle! Pick it up it today for just 99 cents. (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.


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Save on Funeral Costs Do you know the cost of a funeral? If not, you’re not alone. A recent poll by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that 83 percent of respondents had no idea of the costs or the financial responsibilities of a funeral. The average cost of a funeral can run between $7,000 and $10,000. If you’re responsible for a funeral, you’ll need to inter-

act with the funeral home; acquire a headstone, likely from a marble supplier; and consult with the cemetery for a plot. While the funeral home can put these together in a package, all cost money. In addition, you’ll need to consider use of a hearse, a limo to bring people to the funeral, multiple death certificates (every agency will want one), an organist for the service, clergy or minister, flowers and obituary notices in the newspapers. The NFCC has some suggestions for making a difficult (and expensive) time a bit easier. --Know in advance the funeral preferences of your loved ones. Make sure your own wishes are known as well by others in the family. Put these in writing and give copies to those who would handle arrangements for your funeral. --When the time comes, treat the expense of a funeral as you would any other large expense: comparison shop with at least two funeral homes. --By law, you must be given an itemized statement of the costs of goods and services being purchased. Barring specific costs, a good faith estimate must be given to you. Federal Trade Commission rules apply here, too, when it comes to the purchase of a casket. For example,

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you cannot be charged a fee for using a casket that is purchased elsewhere. --Don’t spend more than you need to. Fancy and elaborate isn’t necessary. --Know the laws of your state, as they vary. Understand which are optional and which are required. Some funeral homes, for example, require embalming when there is to be viewing and visitation, while the state laws don’t require it. That might be an optional expense you can avoid. --If you purchase a pre-arranged funeral plan policy, know your state laws, and be sure your family knows you have it. For more information, go to www.consumer.ftc.gov and put “funeral” in the search box. There are nine articles with information on different aspects of arranging a funeral. David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Send email to columnreply2@gmail.com. (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.


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Tidbits® of the River Region

1. Name the last Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher before A.J. Burnett in 2012 to win at least eight consecutive decisions. 2. Who was the last starting pitcher before Detroit’s Justin Verlander in 2011 to win the Cy Young Award and the Most Valuable Player Award in the same season? 3. In the 2012 season, Southern Cal’s Marqise Lee set a Pac-12 single-season record with 118 receptions. Who had held the mark? 4. In 2012, center Andrew Bynum became the fifth Laker to have 30 or more rebounds in a game. Name three of the first four to do it. 5. Anaheim rookie Viktor Fasth, in 2013, became the third goalie in NHL history to win his first eight games. Name either of the first two to do it. 6. Five athletes won at least five medals each at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Name the only one of the five not from the U.S. 7. Golfer Tiger Woods set a record of consecutive tournaments without missing a cut. How many was it?

1. Is the book of Darius in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. What prophet was trapped at a wall by an angel with drawn sword? Daniel, Balaam, Jeremiah, Nathan 3. In Proverbs 21:17, he that loveth wine and oil shall not be “what”? Pure, Blamed, Liked, Rich 4. From Genesis 37:3, who had a coat of many colors? Abraham, Goliath, Adam, Joseph 5. What Hebrew woman became Queen of Persia? Sarah, Esther, Deborah, Ruth 6. From Judges 10:2, how many years did Tola judge Israel? 1, 7, 23, 110


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Help Wanted: Preschoolers When kids are young, learning how to do a chore can represent a milestone accomplishment. “Look what I did, Mom!” I put the cereal box back in the cupboard by myself!” No sooner do you affirm their joy, then you notice a trail of little cereal “O’s” marking the route from the table to the shelf. Signs of growing up! Setting the table is another chore that is one fun challenge, but it requires lots of practice. It can get tricky; just ask my husband! At first, the fork might rest diagonally across the plate. The spoon might lie upside down on the left, and the napkin, unfolded, might rest half under (or half over) the plate. So I came up with this table-setting placemat, to help kids along in the basics of setting the table. When you call out, “Who wants to set the table?” the kids will be eager to try out their new skill with real dishes, flatware and napkins. Here’s how to make the practice placemat: Cut out an oval or rectangle shape on a sheet of tag board or a foam sheet. Or you may use a regular, plain-colored plastic placemat. Cut out a 10-inch circle from another sheet to serve as the plate. (A real plate makes an easy pattern). Your kids might think it’s fun to use their markers to design a border on the plate. Draw a spoon, knife, fork and napkin, and cut those shapes out. Put Velcro squares on the placemat at the appropriate places matching the pieces on the backs of all your cutouts. Depending on how you like to set the table, you might want to add a piece of Velcro to the top of the napkin for the placement of the fork. Tip: Practice table-setting as part of pretend tea time. Your kids can first put the Velcro-backed cutouts on the placemat and then set the real things on top. It’s a fun and wonderful way to help your kids remember what goes where and add to the sense of “I can do it!” *** 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.”

Can Clincal Hypnosis Improve Your Health? Absolutely yes. Clinical hypnosis is both a natural alternative medicine and a therapeutic tool used in traditional medicine and psychology. It can produce physical and mental relaxation, eliminate unhealthy habits and long-term emotional problems. Clinical hypnosis can increase motivation, alter negative thoughts, attitudes and beliefs that lead to psychological suffering and lifestyle issues. Hypnotherapy has been used for decades in various specialties such as psychiatry, dentistry and obstetrics. Self-hypnosis can be taught to reinforce change and prevent relapse. The American Medical Asssociation approved clinical hypnosis in 1958 for its therapeutic effects in pain management. FREE Consultations at hypnosisworksnow.com.

334-213-0054

(c) 2013 Donna Erickson Distributed by King Features Synd.

BIBLE TRIVIA ANSWERS:

1) Neither; 2) Balaam; 3) Rich; 4) Joseph; 5) Esther; 6) 23

1. Dock Ellis, in 1974. 2. Boston’s Roger Clemens, in 1986. 3. Teammate Robert Woods had 111 receptions in 2011. 4. Kareem AbdulJabbar, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain and George Mikan. 5. Ottawa’s Ray Emery (2003-05) and Philadelphia’s Bob Froese (1982-83). 6. Australian swimmer Alicia Coutts. 7. It was 142 consecutive cuts (1998-2005).


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Tidbits速 of the River Region

Tidbits of the River Region  

Vol 2 Issue 17

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