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Of North Idaho Issue #27

Distributed by TBNI

Volume 2012-27

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TIDBITS® WANTS YOU TO SQUASH THAT THOUGHT! by Patricia L. Cook Home gardeners are busy this time of year in all ar- eas of North America, and even where the growing season is very short, “squash” plants are often a fa- vorite because they thrive. Let’s take a good look at the group of plants called askutasquash by the Mas- sachuset Indians. • Early colonists on the East Coast learned a lot from the Massachuset Indians. Askutasquash means “eaten raw or uncooked” and is the tribe’s term refer- ring to the collection of vegetables we now know as squash. Early colonists were taught by the Massa- chusets to grow the “three sisters” to sustain life. The three sisters refer to beans, corn and squash grown together in a “family” hill. • The three sisters were a vital part of sustaining many civilizations. The beans and corn made a complete protein, and the squash supplied potassium, omega 3s and beta carotene. If meat and other foods were scarce, these plants fed many families. This was one of the first examples of “companion plantings” where each plant helps the other. The corn stalks supply climbing support for the beans and shade for the squash during the hottest parts of the day. The large leaves of the squash shade the ground to help keep the weed populations in check and deter wildlife. The beans enrich the soil with nitrogen, helping the corn and squash to grow well. turn to page 13 for more Squash That Thought!

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PICKLE THIS! Many foods can be pickled, including eggs, pigs feet, fish and numerous vegetables. Of course, the “pickle” most of us think of is the cucumber, wheth- er it is a sweet gherkin, bread & butter, dill or other variety. • Pickles have been around for over 4,000 years. Cucumbers were brought to the Tigris Valley of Mesopotamia (present day Iraq) from India. We don’t know who actually came up with the idea to put cucumbers in a brine, which is the pickling liq- uid used to preserve and “pickle” the cucumbers. Evidence has been found by archaeologists and anthropologists that the ancient Mesopotamians pickled cucumbers. • The brine originally was salt water only, but later vinegar was added. Subsequently, herbs and spic- es have been added to get the flavors that create different varieties of pickles. Different pickle mak- ers use different varieties of pickling brines to get their desired tastes. • Ancient sources refer to nutritional benefits of pickles, claiming they give physical as well as spiri- tual strength. Julius Caesar and other Roman em- perors made them available to their troops, and it is said that Cleopatra considered them an important beauty aid for her diet. • According to Rabbi Gil Marks, author of “Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Reci- pes from Jewish Communities Around the World”: “Pickled cucumbers achieved great popularity in many parts of Europe and the Middle East, but arguably nowhere more than among Eastern European Jews, who ate them with black bread and later potatoes as the bulk of their diet.” • An astonishing number of pickles are packed in the United States each year: over 20 billion! That is about 9 pounds (4 kg) per person. More than 50 percent of the cucumbers grown in the United States are made into pickles. • Have you heard of the “Fighting Pickles?” The mascot of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) in WinstonSalem, N.C., is cer- tainly unique. The school doesn’t have any sports teams but has had the mascot since it was chosen in the early 1970s for a touch football game. Stu- dents can be found eating fried pickles and other foods in the “Pickle Jar” area of the school’s Stu- dent Union building. • America’s connection with pickles goes way back. Explorer Amerigo Vespucci, for whom Amer- ica was named, was a pickle merchant before he became an explorer. Pickled vegetables, rich in WANT TO RUN YOUR OWN BUSINESS? Publish a Paper in Your Area vitamin C, were important in the diet of sailors to prevent scurvy

Good Luck Readers


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How to Cut Mortgage Interest Payments

Replacing a Grill’s Propane Regulator

Agent Orange Claims

The average interest rate for home mortgages recently fell to a 30-year record low. According to Freddie Mac, the rate for a 30-year loan went to 3.66 percent from a previous 3.71 percent. Many potential homebuyers look at that drop in the interest rate and consider it significant. But look at the figures: A $100,000 loan at 3.71 percent will cost you $460.85 per month in payments. A $100,000 loan at 3.66 percent will cost you $458.02 per month in payments. That’s a savings of only $2 per month ... unless you calculate the savings over the life of the loan. At 3.71 percent, that $100,000 loan will cost you $65,905 in interest alone, which means you’ll pay $165,905 over the 30-year course of the loan. At 3.66 percent that $100,000 loan will cost you $64,888 in interest alone, and you’ll pay $164,888 over the thirty years. That’s a savings of just $1,017 spread out over 30 years. There’s a much better way to cut the amount the interest you pay. What if you send the mortgage company $25 extra per month? Your interest, at the 3.71 rate, drops to $59,207 and you cut a year and a half off your mortgage. Let’s increase that to $100 extra per month. Your interest, at the 3.71 rate, will drop to $45,583 and you’ll shave approximately eight years off the life of your 30-year note. If the idea of paying off your mortgage early appeals to you, let’s increase that extra amount per month to $200 and look at the figures. The interest over the life of the loan drops to $35,042, and you pay off the loan 12 years early. That, not in the tiny drops in interest rate, is where you’ll see your greatest savings. If you’re ready to buy, don’t quibble about small changes in the interest rate. Do your homework: Get your credit in good shape, assemble your documents (such as tax returns and bank statements) and when it comes to buying, spend less than you’ve been approved for. Send those extra dollars in with your payment each month and watch your balance drop.

Q: I picked up a used gas grill for free the other day. The only problem with it, as acknowledged by the owner, is that the hose connecting the regulator to the propane tank has a leak in it. Is this something I can fix easily? Paying for an expensive repair would kind of negate the “free” part of the deal. -- Jake in San Diego

The Veterans Benefits Administration devoted 37 percent of its rating staff to working on Agent Orange claims last year. By last month, they’d processed 230,000 claims, including 150,000 “Nehmer” claims. Nehmer v. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was a lawsuit to force the VA to pay retroactively for the three newest medical conditions added to the Agent Orange presumptive list: hairy cell and other chronic B-cell leukemias, Parkinson’s disease and ischemic heart disease. Nehmer covered claims denied between 1985 and 2010, when a service connection was established between those additional illnesses and Agent Orange. The courts ordered the VA to be finished adjudicating those claims by Oct. 1, 2011. No, it didn’t make the deadline, but in VA time, a nine-month delay isn’t bad. Nehmer also included some helpful instructions to the VA: Payments are to be made within 21 days of verification of entitlement. Benefits will go to the estate of a deceased veteran. A new claim doesn’t have to be made. If you have an illness, including the newest three added to list, you can still file. Per a VA.gov news release, veterans potentially are eligible if exposed to Agent Orange: ¥ Based on duty or visitation in Vietnam or on its inland waterways between Jan. 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975; ¥ Along the demilitarized zone in Korea between April 1, 1968, and Aug. 31, 1971; ¥ Due to herbicide tests and storage at military bases within and outside of the United States. The VA has set up an Agent Orange Fast Track Claims Processing System website [www.fastrack.va.gov] to walk veterans through the filing process. If you don’t have a computer, you can talk to Benefits Support at 1-800-827-1000, or go to your Regional Benefits Office. Tell them you want the Fast Track claims forms.

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 328536475, or send e-mail to columnreply@gmail. com. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

A: This should be a fairly easy repair, and not expensive at all. Replacement regulator and hose assemblies for most types of gas grills can be found at the home-improvement store for around $20. First, make sure the propane tank (if it came with the grill) is completely shut off by turning the tank spigot clockwise until it is tightly closed. Set the grill’s control knobs to the “off” position. Remove the hose assembly by unscrewing the hose connections from the propane tank and the grill. You can use pliers if necessary on this step. If the connectors are stubborn, spray a bit of lubricating oil on them and allow to work for about five minutes before trying to unscrew them. Take the regulator and hose assembly to the home-improvement store to match it up with the correct replacement part. If the grill didn’t come with a propane tank, or if the accompanying tank is empty, now is also a good time to either purchase a propane tank or exchange the old one. Back home, hook up the regulator assembly to the propane tank and to the grill. Do not use pliers at this point -- hand-tighten the connections. Pliers can crack the plastic shell inside the connectors. Once the connectors are on straight, you can use pliers to gently tighten the connectors about a half-turn. Next, test the connections for leaks. Mix dish soap and water until the solution is nice and frothy. Leaving the grill knobs in the “off” position, turn on the propane tank and drizzle the soapy water over each connection, including where the hoses connect to the regulator. (A sponge can make this task easier.) If you see bubbles rising and popping fast at one of the connections, or if you smell gas, there’s a leak. Shut off the propane tank and re-tighten the connections, then test again until the connections no longer leak. HOME TIP: When grilling, only open the propane-tank valve 1/2 turn. This supplies enough gas to the burners, and makes emergency shut off very fast should you ever need to close the valve.

Write to Freddy Groves in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to columnreply@gmail.com.


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TRIVIA PAGE 1. INVENTIONS: Who invented Lincoln Logs building blocks in 1916? 2. SCIENCE: What is the symbol for the chemical element tungsten? 3. MOVIES: How many von Trapp children were represented in “The Sound of Music”? 4. COMICS: Which comic strip features a character named Jon Arbuckle? 5. MEDICAL: What is the more common name for the involuntary spasms know medically as singultus? 6. U.S. STATES: A resident nicknamed a “sooner” would live in which U.S. state? 7. GEOGRAPHY: What state capital is located near the Kennebec River? 8. AD SLOGANS: What car company features advertisements that say “Drivers Wanted”? 9. GAMES: In what country did the modern game of badminton originate? 10. LITERATURE: What was the name of the caretaker’s cat in the “Harry Potter” book series?

Answers on Page 14

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

¥ It was beloved cowboy humorist Will Rogers who made the following sage observation: “Nobody wants to be called common people, especially common people.” ¥ Do you think you could eat 80 pounds of chicken? If you’re like the average American, that’s how much you will consume this year. ¥ You’ve probably heard or even used the term “fly off the handle” to describe someone losing their temper. You probably don’t realize, though, that the handle referred to was originally an axe handle. Sometimes the blade of such a tool would be improperly fastened to the handle, and would therefore be sent flying when the axe was being used.

2. From Judges 14, what animal took Samson by surprise attack? Bear, Fox, Lion, Boar 3. Which denotes writings that were accepted as inspired by God? Septuagint, Canon, Abecedarian, Vulgate 4. From 2 Samuel 6, who died after accidentally touching the Ark of the Covenant? Achan, Zedekiah, Naboth, Uzzah 5. Who burned David’s city of “Ziklag”? Amalekites, Nazarites, Gibeonites, Israelites

¥ The composer who wrote the famous song “Que Sera, Sera” also wrote the theme song to the 1960s TV show “Mr. Ed.” ¥ On July 22, 1598, William Shakespeare’s play “The Merchant of Venice” is entered on the Stationers’ Register. By decree of Queen Elizabeth, the Stationers’ Register licensed printed works, giving the Crown tight control over all published material. ¥ On July 19, 1799, during Napoleon Bonaparte’s Egyptian campaign, a French soldier discovers a black basalt slab inscribed with ancient writing near the town of Rosetta, about 35 miles north of Alexandria. Called the Rosetta Stone, the artifact held the key to solving the riddle of hieroglyphics, a written language that had been “dead” for nearly 2,000 years. ¥ On July 18, 1925, Volume One of Adolf Hitler’s philosophical autobiography, “Mein Kampf,” is published. It was a blueprint of his agenda for a Third Reich and a clear exposition of the nightmare that will envelope Europe from 1939 to 1945. ¥ On July 16, 1935, the world’s first parking meter, known as Park-O-Meter No. 1, is installed on the southeast corner of what was then First Street and Robinson Avenue in Oklahoma City, Okla. Parking cost a nickel an hour. By the early 1940s, there were more than 140,000 parking meters operating in the United States. ¥ On July 17, 1955, Disneyland -- Walt Disney’s metropolis of nostalgia, fantasy and futurism -- opens. The $17 million theme park was built on 160 acres of former orange groves in Anaheim, Calif. Today, Disneyland hosts more than 14 million visitors a year, who spend close to $3 billion. ¥ On July 20, 1969, at 10:56 p.m. EDT, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from Earth, speaks these words to more than a billion people listening at home: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Stepping off the lunar landing module Eagle, Armstrong became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon.

¥ Those who study such things say that England’s Elizabeth I owned 3,000 dresses. ¥ If you make a trip to Venice to see the famous canals, keep an eye out for any gondola not painted black. If you see one, you can be sure that it belongs to a high official in the government; they are the only ones permitted by law to have gondolas in any other color. ¥ The world’s single largest consumer of fossil fuels is the United States military.

1. Name the singer who released “You’re Sixteen” and “Dreamin’.” 2. What was the “Chitlin’ Circuit,” and when was it active? 3. Which group had a Top 20 hit with “Play the Game Tonight”? 4. What was Disco Demolition Night? 5. Where was Eric Clapton born? 6. Name the reggae group started by Peter Tosh, Neville Livingston and Bob Marley.


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Blame Ingrown Hairs for Shaving Bumps DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am a black woman writing on behalf of my boyfriend. He has a crop of little bumps on his face. I asked him if they are pimples, and he laughed. He said they’re shaving bumps. How does he get rid of them? -- R.C. ANSWER: Men of any race can develop shaving bumps. Black men’s hair is more tightly coiled, and they, therefore, are quite susceptible to them. If a man cuts his facial hair too closely to the skin, it can spring back toward the skin and penetrate it. Tightly coiled hair is especially prone to this. The sharp end of the hair pushing back into the skin acts like a foreign body. It irritates the skin and inflames it. A little bump forms. It must be a chore for your boyfriend to shave. To get rid of the bumps, he has to stop shaving until they go away. He also has to dislodge all the hairs that have penetrated the skin. He can do this by taking a clean needle and slipping it under the loop that the hair makes. Then he pops the end of the hair out of the skin. When he frees all the ingrown hairs and stops shaving, his skin will clear. To prevent new bumps when he resumes shaving, he has to adopt a different shaving style. He must soften his beard with soap and warm water before using a razor. He will do himself a favor by buying an electric razor and putting it on a setting that doesn’t shave the beard too closely. With either a blade or an electric shaver, he should shave in the direction of hair growth, and he shouldn’t pull his skin taut. If he goes through all this and doesn’t meet with success, he’ll have to see a doctor. In fact, if his shaving bumps are crusted with dried pus, he should start out by seeing a doctor. The pus indicates infection, and he’ll need an antibiotic cream to get rid of any infection. If your boyfriend is squeamish about freeing the ingrown hairs with a needle, you can do the job for him. You’re the one who set all this in motion. DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I wonder if you will answer my question, which concerns our medical records. Are we, as patients, entitled to request our medical records in order to deliver them to a new doctor? We have had to change to a new doctor and would like him to know our past medical history. He hasn’t received the complete file, including tests. Since our insurance pays for these tests, it seems to me that we should be able to request the originals or copies. -- P.S.

Tai Chi Benefits In a new study, researchers discovered that seniors who engage in tai chi, the gentle Chinese exercise, experienced an increase in brain size and improvements in cognition. The research was done in a controlled trial, which means that the participants were carefully monitored. The group attended tai chi classes three times a week, as well as a social discussion afterward. The results showed an increase in brain function, as well as improved results on memory and thinking tests. It’s thought that the gentle movements of tai chi, as well as the social interaction, was able to reverse the gradual loss of nerve cells in the brain that leads to dementia. Tai Chi has been explored in other research as well, with positive results. Arthritis: Seniors with knee osteoarthritis improved physical function after learning tai chi, and experienced less pain. Participants took a 60-minute class that included instruction in breathing and relaxation, twice a week for three months. A control group received only diet instruction and did stretching exercises. At the end of the three months, those who took the tai chi classes experienced “a significant decrease in knee pain.” According to the research. 4.3 million seniors have knee osteoarthritis. Depression: Seniors who attended a weekly tai chi class experienced improvement in their depression, memory, quality of life and energy. Prevention of falls: Multiple studies have shown that tai chi’s slow exercise movements and deep breathing are effective in helping to prevent falls. Ask your doctor if tai chi could be beneficial to your overall health. If you call your senior center to inquire about tai chi classes, ask whether the instructor is experienced in working with seniors.


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Answers on page 14

¥ Got lots of fresh herbs from your summer garden? Hang bunches upside down in a cool, dry place for a week or so, and then crumble the leaves into small jars. Voila: your own dried herbs. ¥ “Want super-crunchy fries at home? Soak potato pieces in very cold water for an hour (fridge is best, or add ice often); dry and fry. Drain well, dust LIGHTLY with flour and quick-fry one more time for only a minute or so.” -- T.C. in Idaho ¥ If you want to cool your canned drinks quickly, add water to the cooler with a lot of ice, submerge all drinks below the ice line, and wait about 20 minutes. Without the water, it takes much longer. The water extends the surface contact of the ice. ¥ To keep your ladder from sinking into soft sand or dirt, put each leg into a can or bucket. It creates a much larger surface area, thereby stabilizing the legs. ¥ If you run out of bleach, add four tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide to a small load of whites. ¥ “Be certain to use only distilled water in your iron. The water from the tap can leave mineral stains on clothing, and will destroy your iron if you use it all the time.” -- R.E. in Louisiana Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475 or e-mail JoAnn at heresatip@yahoo. com. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.


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SPORTS OF SORTS

The $11 Champion NASCAR THIS WEEK By Monte Dutton Kurt Turns Some Heads SONOMA, Calif. -- Kurt Busch, who has been a frequent source of controversy, could not have been more graceful than he was following an impressive third-place finish in the Toyota/Save Mart 350. A year after winning at Sonoma, Busch dueled fiercely with race winner Clint Bowyer but ended up yielding second place to Tony Stewart. When Busch won at the 1.99-mile road course, he was driving a Dodge for Roger Penske. His misbehavior cost him that prestigious ride, and now he competes in the underfunded -- and often unsponsored -- Chevy fielded by James Finch’s Phoenix Racing. “I thought the race would play into our hands,” Busch said. “Our car was a little better on long runs than Bowyer, but he did a great job. I just kept thinking: ‘He’s a dirt-track racer from the Midwest. There’s no way he’s going to be able to run the road course.’ “But he did. He did great. That car and our car, I think we separated ourselves from the pack.” Busch served a one-race suspension for a post-

race verbal altercation at Dover. The comeback performance at Sonoma left him sentimental and moved. “When you show up and you’re on a third of the budget, and you almost bring it to victory lane, you can’t say that one guy did it out there. It takes a full team effort,” he said. “I really wanted to deliver for my guys, and being that close ... it’s a tough game. That’s why it’s Sprint Cup.” At the end, Busch’s red Chevy had been crippled by clipping the wall in pursuit of Bowyer. “To have a wounded car, I had to yield to Tony (Stewart),” Busch said. “I didn’t want to get up in the loose gravel and lose a bunch of spots. “It was still a great day for Phoenix Racing and James Finch, who gave me this opportunity. They bring out the best in me. This is a no-nonsense group. ... This way this program feels, we are a bunch of Boy Scouts where we have to support each other and teach each other things. Everybody has three jobs on this team.” *** Monte Dutton covers motorsports for The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette. E-mail Monte at nascarthisweek@yahoo.com.

1. Name the last pitcher to have at least four shutouts and an ERA of more than 4.00 in the same season. 2. True or false: Phillies slugger Mike Schmidt never had a .300 or better batting average for a season.3. Who was the first player to score a touchdown in both the Rose Bowl and the Super Bowl? 4. In the 2009-10 season, Chauncey Billups became the oldest person (33) in NBA history to average at least 19 points per game. Who had held the mark? 5. During the 2011-12 campaign, Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick set a team mark for most shutouts in a season (10). Who had held the record? 6. From what college is the wrestler who holds the record for most number of weight classes with NCAA championships? 1. Minnesota’s Geoff Zahn, in 1980. 2. False -- he hit .316 in 102 games during the strike-shortened 1981 season.

3. Rob Lytle (Michigan in college, 1977; Denver in the NFL, 1978). 4. Atlanta’s Kevin Willis was 31 when he

did it in the 1993-94 season. 5. Rogie Vachon had eight in the 1976-77 season.

6. Cornell junior Kyle Dake has won titles in three weight classes.

Floyd Mayweather, a boxer, is the world’s highest paid athlete, pulling in close to $90 million per year. He’s in jail. Manny Pacquiao, also a boxer, is the second highest paid athlete in the world. He makes about $70 million per year (and is not in jail). (Tiger Woods rounds out the top three, earning about $60 million per year. He’s not in jail, but he’s still in the doghouse, and irrelevant as far as this column is concerned.) Timothy Ray Bradley Jr. has a net worth of $3 million. He, too, is a boxer. Compared to Mayweather and Pacquiao, he can’t rate in the bank account department. But he is the WBO Welterweight champion of the world after shocking the world and beating Pacquaio for the belt last month. Bradley’s story should be ready-made for the fairy-tale writers, the sports writers, the underwriters ... anyone who writes anything at all, really. He’s married to his middle-school sweetheart, he’s a faithful father and husband. Seems to be a pretty nice guy in interviews. Bradley was a waiter and dishwasher with a $11 to his name when he was chosen to fight for the WBC Light Welterweight championship in England. Bradley won the belt and $65,000. Since that fight, Bradley has played it smart outside of the ring. After a few more wins, HBO Boxing took notice and he easily outclassed Luis Abregu in his debut. After the fight, he challenged Pacquiao to “come break down this wall.” Bradley sidestepped Amir Khan’s challenge -- the $1.3 million purse didn’t flip Bradley’s skirt apparently. Mayweather, who has routinely ducked Pacquiao in between finding the time to beat his wife, wasn’t available. So Bradley got the call. And he really did get the call. Despite what everyone in the world saw that night, Bradley beat Pacquiao in a split decision. Even Bradley looked stunned when the cards were read. Those close to the fight game took to the press and Twitter to voice their displeasure. “Bradley should have given the belt and announced victory to Paquiao right after the decision,” Oscar De La Hoya said after the bout. He wasn’t alone in sharing his consternation. The Donald, a self-described Twitter “critic” weighed in, too. “Manny Pacquiao was robbed in his title fight on Saturday night,” Trump wrote. “No wonder boxing is dying. Bring back the 15-round fights.”


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COMICS


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Many vets will recommend a twice-yearly exam once a pet reaches an age considered senior. (This varies a bit for dogs. Larger dogs are often considered senior pets after age 8 or 9; smaller dogs might be 10 or older.) It’s not a moneymaking move -- it’s a good recommendation. The exam should include a full physical, along with testing for developing conditions like diabetes or other illnesses that, untreated, can drastically shorten a pet’s life. Additionally, you should keep Akira’s vaccinations up to date and read up on pet care for senior dogs. There are many things owners can do to improve their pet’s quality of life beyond extra medications: special diets, specific exercises and modified play are among the steps owners can take.

Big Little Book Q: I have a Big Little Book, “Lone Ranger and the Black Shirt Highwayman.” The only publishing date I can find is 1939. -- Steve, Southbury, Conn. A: The first Big Little Book was issued during the Christmas season of 1932 and was titled “The Adventures of Dick Tracy.” The nifty little books originally sold for a dime and were an immediate hit. I think your Lone Ranger book is worth about $25, but to find out for certain, I suggest you contact Larry Lowery, the Big Little Book Club, P.O. Box 1242, Danville, CA 94526; or larry@biglittlebooks.com. Also, check out the club’s dandy website at www.biglittlebooks. com. *** Q: I have inherited a box of salt and pepper shakers and am not certain if I have anything worth keeping. I need your advice. -- Ken, Laramie, Wyo. A: Most salt and pepper shakers that I’ve seen in shops and at antique malls are priced in the $5 to $10 range, but as with most collectibles, there are always exceptions. S&Ps that were made during World War II and have a patriotic design, or ones that reflect Black Americana themes are always desirable, for example. One of the better guides is the Antique Trader Salt & Pepper Shaker Price Guide by Mark F. Moran (Krause, $19.99). You also might check out antique shops for S&Ps in your area to determine what the market is like in Wyoming. ***

Senior Pets Need Extra Checkups DEAR PAW’S CORNER: How often should my 12-year-old mutt, “Akira,” see the veterinarian? He’s very healthy for an older dog, but my girlfriend says he needs to have more than a once-a-year physical. Is that true? -- Matt C., Longwood, Fla. DEAR MATT: Twice a year is a good guideline for senior pets to visit their veterinarian, if they’re otherwise healthy. That’s because older dogs and cats can develop conditions common to pets of advanced age quickly -- conditions that sometimes go unnoticed but should be treated sooner rather than later so the pet’s quality of life doesn’t diminish. It’s normal for a pet to slow down as it ages. But the reduced activity that an owner sees as normal can mask developing conditions like arthritis, thyroid imbalance, heart disease or cancer. A dog or cat’s slowing pace also can lead to obesity, meaning owners need to regulate and monitor their diets closely so that senior pets get proper nutrition while avoiding excess calories.

Send your questions or comments to ask@ pawscorner.com, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box WANT TO RUN OWN BUSINESS? 536475, Orlando, FLYOUR 32853-6475.

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JUST FOR KIDS?


July 2012 To Advertise Call 704-9972 www.tidbitsinc.com PAGE 13 SQUASH THAT THOUGHT! (continued):

Craft a Denim Purse With Jean Pockets Recycle an old or outgrown pair of jeans and make a trendy pocket purse with a shoulder strap that your preteen daughter can use this summer. It’s perfect for holding a comb, Chapstick and change when she’s out and about with friends. If she’s having a sleepover party, pull the supplies together and let the girls create and design their own purse to keep. It’s a super-simple make-and-take project everyone will remember. To get started, cut out the back pocket from a pair of old jeans (the heavier the denim fabric, the better), cutting along the outside of the pocket. Cut very close to the pocket’s top stitching without cutting the pocket. Don’t limit yourself to blue jeans. For unusual purses, we used pockets from black, red and gold jeans we picked up for under a dollar at summer garage sales. For a shoulder strap, determine the length of cording or ribbon that suits the child’s height, and handstitch the ends to the top side edges of the pocket opening. Old woven sashes or cotton belts (with buckles cut off) also work well. Scout around the house for interesting items to decorate the pocket purse. Attach the items with fabric glue, or assist young children with a glue gun. Here are some ideas for different styles: Jazzy: Glue a fringe trim to the side and bottom edges. Glue big rhinestones to the front of the purse for an eye-catching accent. Romantic: Glue a square of cotton lace to the front. Add items from old costume jewelry, such as pearls, beads, silk flowers and a tiny brooch. Artsy: Use fabric paints to paint a picture or abstract design. Embellish with glued-on buttons, coins or charms. *** 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.”

• All squash types — and there are many — are members of the Cucurbitaceae or the gourd family. There are two subdivisions of the genus Cucurbita, to which squash belong: tender-skinned summer squash and hard-skinned winter squash. Pump- kins, from the tiniest to giants, belong to the winter squash family. • Most North Americans have grown up with sum- mer squash, including zucchini and yellow squash, and eaten it raw, sautéed, stir-fried, grilled or breaded and fried. These tender, easy-to-grow vegetables are staples in most home gardens. • While summer squash have been favorites for years with gardeners, winter squash have suffered a popularity slump in the past several decades. Winter squash was very important to early settlers and on the American frontier. It has an excellent “keeping” quality and was a staple for root cellars. Winter squash would be harvested in late summer and fall and kept for months, allowing families to eat vitaminrich vegetables during the cold winter months. • Today, with more emphasis on sustainability, win- ter squash are becoming very popular again. With more interest in purchasing local produce, farmers’ markets and home gardens are helping to reignite the appeal of eating vitamin-rich winter squash. Beta-carotene with its antioxidant and anti-inflam- matory properties, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids all come with the addition of squash to our diets. • So think squash are only available in yellow, green and orange? Think again! Visit local markets and fairs in the summer; you are sure to see some strange looking squash that are not only oddly shaped but also oddly colored. • Squash come in tan, orange, blue, green, even pink. They can be striped or solid colors and smooth or dimpled. • Summer squash are fragile, bruise easily and don’t keep very long. They are at their peak from July until September. Winter squash ripen with hard shells; some so hard that an ax or cleaver is required to get to the edible insides. They are at their prime from September until February. 888 • Australian blue pumpkins and squash are rarely seen in North America but are the “norm” for the vegetable family “Down Under.” These “Blue Belt” plants are natives of Uruguay and Argentina and are also grown in South Africa.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes We steam and slice sweet potatoes, and then give them a turn on the grill to create this deliciously unexpected side dish. 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled if you like 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper Parsley, for garnish 1. Prepare outdoor grill for covered, direct grilling on medium. 2. In 5- to 6-quart saucepot or Dutch oven, place collapsible steamer basket and 1 inch water. Cover saucepot; heat water to boiling on high on range top. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices. 3. Place potato slices in steamer basket; reduce heat to low. Cover saucepot and simmer 12 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are just fork-tender; do not overcook. (Potatoes can be steamed a day ahead and refrigerated until ready to grill.) 4. Transfer potato slices to jellyroll pan; brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to season both sides. Place potato slices on hot grill grate. Cover grill and cook potatoes 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly charred and tender, turning slices over once with large metal spatula. Transfer potatoes to serving bowl; garnish with parsley. Makes 4 side-dish servings. ¥ Each serving: About 245 calories, 4g total fat (1g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 170mg sodium, 50g carbohydrate, 6g dietary fiber, 3g protein. Creamy Honey-Mustard Sauce: In medium bowl, combine 2/3 cup Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup honey, and 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce until wellblended. Makes about 1 1/4 cups sauce. Apricot-Balsamic Sauce: In medium bowl, combine 1 jar (12 ounces) apricot preserves, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel until well-blended. Makes about 1 1/4 cups sauce. For thousands of triple-tested recipes, visit our website at www.goodhousekeeping.com/recipefinder/.


PAGE 14 July 2012 To Advertise Call 704-9972 www.tidbitsinc.com

Puzzle and Game Answers OVERCOMING THE

ODDS: ANDREA BOCELLI

Trivia Test Answers

1. John Lloyd Wright, son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright 2. W 3. Seven 4. “Garfield,” the cat’s owner 5. Hiccups 6. Oklahoma 7. Augusta, Maine 8. Volkswagen 9. India 10. Mrs. Norris Bible Trivia Answers:

1) New; 2) Lion; 3) Canon; 3) Uzzah; 4) Amalekites; 5) Herod

When Andrea Bocelli was a tiny baby, only a few months old, his parents became aware of terrible pain he suffered in his beautiful blue eyes. They enlisted the aid of many specialists in their home country, Italy, for guidance, and Bocelli was diag- nosed with congenital bilateral glaucoma, a dis- ease that would lead to total blindness. • Bocelli’s parents sought help from many doctors and even people who claimed to be healers. Be- cause of the pain, it was hard to keep baby Bocelli calm. One day while in the hospital, he became un- usually calm. He could hear music in the adjoining room, and it made a true difference in his counte- nance. From that point on, his family and friends began giving gifts of music to the young Bocelli. • Living among the olive groves and vineyards of the Tuscan countryside in Italy, Bocelli’s parents wanted the best for their son. They enrolled him in a boarding school several hours away from their home in order for him to be taught Braille at a young age. Even though it was difficult for him to live apart from his family, he remained emotionally close to them. It was at the school that his musical talents began to be noticed. He received musical instruc- tion there, and his singing ability was recognized at the school as well as at church. His parents en- couraged his musical abilities with piano lessons at age 6. He also learned to play the saxophone, trumpet, flute, trombone, harp, guitar and drums. His beautiful voice, self-described as “a modern but old-fashioned tenor,” is now recognized worldwide. • When Bocelli was 12 years old, he was hit in the eye by a soccer ball while playing. The hit took away his sight permanently. • After completing primary and secondary school, Bocelli received a law degree from the University of Pisa. He played at piano bars during college to pay for singing lessons from Franco Corelli. He also re- ceived lessons from Maestro Luciano Bettarini. • Bocelli’s big break into music came when he won a singing competition at the Sanremo Festival in 2004. Since that time, he has sold over 65 million records in opera, classical and pop genres. He has collaborated with other artists for recordings and has been a major contributor to relief efforts for Haiti and other places that have suffered natural disasters. • “My Christmas,” Bocelli’s Christmas album re- leased in 2009, has sold more than four million copies. • He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in March 2010 and is one of just a few Italians to receive this honor. •An interesting theater that Bocelli was instru- mental in establishing, the Teatro del Silenzio (or Theatre of Silence), opened in his hometown of Lajatico, Tuscany, in 2006.

Flash Back Answers: 1. Johnny Burnette, 1961. His life was cut short when his boat was hit by a cabin cruiser while fishing. 2. It was a string of nightclubs and theaters in the South where black musicians played during segregation in the late 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin and B.B. King, among many others, played the Chitlin’ Circuit at one time or the other. 3. Kansas, in 1982. 4. During a doubleheader baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers at Comiskey Park in Chicago in 1979, a crate of disco albums was blown up on the field. It is considered the night disco died. 5. Surry, England, in 1945. 6. The Wailers, in 1963, after short stints as The Teenagers, The Wailing Rudeboys and The Wailing Wailers. “Sun Is Shining” was their only No. 1 hit on the U.S. dance charts.


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ShowBiz Weekly JILL JACKSON’S HOLLYWOOD By Tony Rizzo

CELEBRITY EXTRA By Cindy Elavsky Q: I keep hearing rumors about a “Dumb and Dumber” sequel with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. Is this true? -- Greg F., via e-mail A: Jim and Jeff were all set to start filming the purposely grammatically incorrect “Dumb and Dumber To” this September, when Jim bowed out due to conflicts with New Line and Warner Brothers studios. “Entertainment Tonight” reported that Jim “grew increasingly frustrated by New Line and Warner Brothers, which he felt showed a lack of enthusiasm regarding the project.” When asked if the project would go on without Jim, Jeff replied: “No, nobody’s doing it without Jim.” *** Q: Was there, or will there be, a 98 Degrees reunion this summer? -- Dawn D., Canton, Ohio A: While the former bandmates would love to perform together again, it ain’t happening just yet. I spoke with Jeff Timmons recently, and he told me: “There was a tour set up for the summer, but not everybody was on board with it in the end. I was very excited to do it, but it just didn’t fit what everybody wanted to do, so we called it off. We decided when it’s a better opportunity for everyone, we’d decide collectively as a group that we’ll do it then.” In the meantime, Jeff is heating up the already-hot Vegas scene with his new show, “Wired!,” which is free at Green Valley Ranch Resort and Casino. Performing Fridays and Saturdays all summer, Jeff describes it as “the party before the party. You drink, have a good time, listen to us perform classic and current R&B, pop, my stuff, 98 Degrees stuff, and then go out to the club and hear a DJ spin it afterward.” Jeff promises surprise guests who will sing with him, but you’ll have to come out there to see who. “That’s part of the element of surprise. Who’s going to be there next? We have a couple of people who we know are coming in July when they’re going to be in town, but most of it’s going to be spontaneous.” *** Q: Will there be another “Mad Max” sequel? -- Jeremy T., Springfield, Mo. A: After a two-year delay, Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy are prepping to film “Mad Max: Fury Road” this summer.

PHOTO: William Forsythe HOLLYWOOD -- Are you ready for a prequel/sequel to “Raging Bull”? Robert DeNiro won an Oscar for playing Jake La Motta in l980; now they’ve cast William Forsythe in the role. Forsythe played Flattop in “Dick Tracy” with Warren Beatty; Sammy “The Bull” Gravano in the HBO telefilm “Gotti”; and John Wayne Gacy in the 2010 film “Dear Mr. Gacy.” The new “Raging Bull” also has Joe Montegna, Paul Sorvino, Penelope Ann Miller (“The Artist”), Ray Wise, Robert Davi and Bruce Davison. Martin Scorsese, director of the original “Bull,” who isn’t involved in this one, wonders, “At the end of ‘Raging Bull’ (Jake La Motta is) looking in a mirror and he’s at comfort with himself. He’s not fighting; he’s not beating himself up. That’s all. So, I don’t know where they’re going to go. I really don’t know what ‘Raging Bull II’ would be.” They must be planning to show Jake at the end of his life and in the beginning, when he was just a raging calf!Real estate values have gone down everywhere, but some properties never lose their value because they were once owned by celebrities! In Palm Springs, the home of the late “Jeopardy”/”Wheel of Fortune” creator Merv Griffin went on sale for $9.5 million. Former first family Gerald and Betty Ford’s house (where I once lunched with the late president) sold for $1.675 million last March. Liberace’s house sold for $1.3 million, Frank Sinatra’s home for $4.2 million, Cary Grant’s home is up for $3 million, and Suzanne Somer’s house is being offered for a whopping $17.5 million.They all pale by comparison to the L.A. Coldwater Canyon home that “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest just bought from Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi for $37 million.


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