FOR YOUR HEALTH: Get the Facts on Eating for Health And Boosting Your Immune System Naturally

(NAPSI)—Registered dietitian for California Strawberries, Colleen Wysocki, explains what factors play a role in immunity, eating for health, and how to boost immune systems naturally:

Factors Influencing the Immune System

Factors that can influence immunity include:

  • Diet
  • Sleep
  • Stress
  • Exercise
  • Microbiome
  • Germs

Eating for Health

Eating for health means increasing whole foods while cutting back on processed foods high in sugar, salt, and saturated fats. People are cautioned not to look for a single “super food” to prevent illness, but rather, start eating a balanced diet to build a strong immune system over time.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans promotes the “My Plate” method of eating for health:

  • ½ of your plate: Colorful fruits and non-starchy vegetables
  • ¼ of your plate: Lean protein
  • ¼ of your plate: Whole grains or starch
  • Low-fat dairy is also encouraged at each meal for those who tolerate lactose.

Consistently building your plate this way prepares the body to fight illness and stress. Eating for health is a long-game; popping a few berries in your mouth when you start to feel a cold coming on will have limited effect. However, if you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables each day, your cells will be better prepared to overcome viruses and infections when your body does encounter them.

The Rainbow of Fruits and Vegetables is at the Heart of Immune-Boosting Foods

Eating the rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day is key to increasing immune cell responses to bacteria and viruses. The phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables that promote health depend on the color of the food.

For instance, red, blue, and purple fruits provide antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. These immune-boosting foods help protect cells from damage and may reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, stroke, and heart ­disease.

Green vegetables, on the other hand, are recognized as foods good for the immune system and they have anti-cancer properties and protect against neural tube defects in pregnancy.

It’s important to strengthen the body against non-communicable diseases with a variety of fruits and vegetables first; then when contagious germs enter the body, its defenses will be available to fight them off.

Eating a single color in the diet is like going to school and learning a single subject. If first graders were only taught physical education—that would be important, but they would miss out on learning how to add, subtract, read, and write. Similarly, if a person were to only eat one color of fruits and vegetables (such as greens), they risk missing out on nutrients that may promote a more complete immune response.

Protein is Vital for Repair and Recovery from Illness

Protein is also essential for growth and illness recovery. Protein repairs cells and DNA damage caused by illnesses. Skinless poultry, fish, yogurt, eggs, low-fat cheese, and milk are great sources of protein. If you choose vegetarian protein, pair it with vitamin C-rich foods such as strawberries. Iron from plant protein is difficult to absorb without ­vitamin C.

Foods High in Vitamin C

Food sources of vitamin C are more effective at strengthening immunity and overall health than supplements. In addition, fruits and vegetables such as strawberries offer much more than vitamin C; all of their micronutrients work together to help prevent and fight disease.

One serving of eight strawberries provides all the vitamin C you need for a day. Oranges, red peppers, cantaloupe, papaya and kale are also foods high in vitamin C.

How to Boost Immune System Naturally

  • Exercise’s Role in Immunity. For those who want to know how to boost the immune system naturally, after diet, physical activity is key. Exercise is another long-term approach to building strength against germs and disease. Working out not only builds muscle, it also reduces abdominal fat, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and stress—all risk factors for disease. It can help you sleep better and decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety.

The American Heart Association recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio exercise and at least three days of strength-building exercises per week.

  • Sleep and Stress. Increasing sleep and decreasing stress are also on the list of how to boost your immune system naturally. Do your best to get adequate sleep (7+ hours each night).

During stressful times, techniques to help manage anxiety may include talking to someone, checking in on loved ones, exercise, sleep, and eating a nutritious diet.

  • Microbiome and Germs. Don’t neglect the role bacteria play in spreading harmful germs. While you can wipe out germs and bacteria on surfaces, it’s critical to feed your gut good bacteria.

Pre- and probiotics are immune-boosting foods because they feed the good bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics include fiber from fruits and vegetables, while probiotics include strawberries, apples, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, tempeh, kimchi, sourdough bread, and some cheeses.

For more strawberry nutrition information and recipes, visit

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Experimenting

White vinegar is essential for many cleaning jobs.

by Debbie Walker

It finally happened. I got a little too curious! No, I am not trying out a new recipe that just won’t happen. However, I did decide to try something I have written about, without personal experience!

My son-in-law was looking at some old woodworking tools that were just loaded with rust. Before he could put them away again, I asked if I could have them for a couple of days. These were old wood planers he and my grandson were interested in.

I had read about boiling vinegar and soaking the rust covered tools in for overnight. It was interesting to watch for a few minutes. I actually saw rust bubbling off the tools.

The next day there was still a considerable amount of rust so this time I poured room temperature vinegar over them. I didn’t see any rust flaking off the tools this time. The combination did make a big difference and I was able to brush away some of it.

Well, I looked up “Cleaning rusted tools” on YouTube. I found a couple different men talking about using baking soda and lemon juice. Make a paste and spread it over the rusted tool. I was a little disappointed with this application.

But I’m not done yet. I did have a problem when there were no more rusted tools to experiment with. But Deana, my daughter, saved the day. She found an old rusted lawn mower blade. That will do. I still wanted to try a bottle of Coke on the rust. I will let you know how my last test turns out.

A little info:

Most cleaning and laundry chores call for white vinegar. Apple Cider vinegar is a good choice that calls for giving the air a pleasant, apple fresh scent.

Vinegar will tarnish silver. Never soak pearls in vinegar, it will dissolve them. Be careful also with opal, coral or ivory.

If you ever got white-out on your clothes you know its not easy to get it out. A quick dab of white vinegar will melt it away. For the stubborn one reapply or soak for a few minutes. Wish I knew that when I was working in an office!

Remember always be careful. Not all fabrics like things like vinegar!

More than once I have glued my fingers together with super-glue. It’s kind of a scary thing when you are alone and have no idea how to get your fingers free. I wish I had known then to just soak the affected digits in full strength vinegar.

Stripping wallpaper is quite a job, but your helpful item is once again vinegar. 1 cup of vinegar, one tablespoon of liquid detergent. Spray or wipe solution on wall and let set a few minutes. Scrape off.

As usual I am just curious, this time what ya’ll use to clean rust off tools Contact me at with your comments or questions. Have a great week and thanks for reading!

P.S. Joan emailed me with her go-to all time cleaner: one cup clear ammonia, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, one gallon hot water. Mix together and pour into a spray bottle. Thank you, Joan for sharing!

REVIEW POTPOURRI – Writer: Nathaniel Parker Willis

Edgar Allan Poe

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Nathaniel Parker Willis

Nathaniel Parker Willis

Writer Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806-1867) was born in Portland where his father had moved the family from Boston to take a job as editor of a Maine publication, The Eastern Argus, before returning to Boston when Nathaniel was ten. Willis became one of the most well-known and best paid free lance journalists of his lifetime; today, he’s barely remembered. He wrote in a very personalized style about his travels throughout the eastern and mid-west U.S., England, and Europe, the famous literary figures he knew (often criticized for his fascinating gossip about such individuals that should have remained private), the books he read and his domestic life with family and friends, in addition to a few plays, poems and one novel.

I hope to share more from the avalanche of writing by him and about him in future columns.

He was one of the first critics to recognize the originality and genius of Edgar Allan Poe, knew him personally and had an astute understanding of Poe’s very complicated personality. Willis’s eulogy on Poe, written in 1849 just after that poet’s early death at the age of 40, has a few insights on the creator of such masterworks as Annabel Lee and the Tell-Tale Heart:

“His conversation was at times almost supra-mortal in its eloquence. His voice was modulated with astonishing skill, and his large and variably expressive eyes looked repose or shot fiery tumult into theirs who listened, while his own face glowed, or was changeless in pallor, as his imagination quickened his blood or drew it back frozen to his heart. His imagery was from the worlds which no mortal can see but with the vision of genius…. He was at all times a dreamer – dwelling in ideal realms – in heaven or hell – peopled with creatures and the accidents of his brain.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Willis championed the writing of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and opened doors for that poet with other famous writers. In return, Longfellow seems to have felt ambivalent about Willis; even though Longfellow would become even more famous during their lifetimes, he was jealous of Willis’ ability to earn more money, he criticized Willis’ personality as “artificial” and he felt that Willis’ poetry “lacked sincerity.”

Nevertheless, four days after Willis died on his 61st birthday, January 20, 1867, Longfellow was one of the five honorary pallbearers at Willis’ funeral in Cambridge, Massachusetts, along with poets James Russell Lowell and Oliver Wendell Holmes, abolitionist Samuel Gridley Howe (who was also one of the first directors of the Perkins Institute for the Blind; whose wife, Julia Ward Howe, wrote the lyrics for The Battle Hymn of the Republic; and whose daughter, Laura Richards, wrote several famous novels and children’s books and settled in Gardiner, Maine), and Boston editor and publisher, James T. Fields. The day of the funeral, all bookstores in Cambridge were closed out of respect.

SOLON & BEYOND: With nothing going on, happy to hear from brother

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

Here I sit again this morning with no good news to share, everything seems to have been canceled. Received this e-mail from Jeremy Lehan from RSU #54; Dear Enrichment Instructors, As you have undoubtedly heard by now, RSU #54 has extended the school closure through April 26. Because enrichment classes were only scheduled to run a couple of weeks beyond that, I have regrettably decided to cancel them outright for this semester. I shall miss my painting friends, but I know this is the best way to go.

Another one is from Carol Dolan; “This is to inform you that the April 13, 2020, Embden Historical Society meeting has been canceled due to the coronavirus. Jack Gibbson is willing to speak April 2021 on the Somerset Woods. Stay healthy and safe.”

Also from Carol Dolan: Wanted to pass on: The Embden Town Office is closed to the public until further notice. The Stewart Public Library is still closed. But PLEASE look at the webpage There are many things posted there for activities. Also how to get a Maine State Library ebook card, so you can download or read ebooks during this time. If you have ILL books/tapes, call Emily at 635-2231 when you’re done with them – no hurry. Stay put, be safe, and we’ll get through this. Thanks again Carol for keeping us informed.

Thought that was all I had and had been trying to think what else I could write about, when, low and behold, another e-mail popped up on my favorite subject! This one from my brother, Larry: “Good morning, day 16 of isolation for me. Steph is still working from her office for now.

“We’ve never been through anything like this before, so it really feels weird.

“I mentioned that I was going to be nosey about what life was like in Flagstaff when you were growing up. If you feel like jotting down some memories, I would love to read them. I put togethyer some random questions, but these were only ideas, I’d rather read what you put together. Random thoughts, or not.

“Hang in there. Love, Larry.”

Can’t remember just when Roland and I did a series in The Town Line called The Burial of Flagstaff, but I think my brother Larry will appreciate some of my thoughts on the question that he asked. (Editor’s note: A four-part series was published in August 2005.) (Perhaps some of you are tired of hearing about Flagstaff, just let me know?)

Roland started the article with these words: “In 1944, five years before its demise, Flagstaff’s population was listed at 97.

Solon resident, Marilyn Rogers, was born and grew up in Flagstaff, and in the next three parts in this series, with the help of a well documented scrapbook, she will take us through the years leading to the flooding of the town in the name of progress.”

I started out with the following words, “Thoughts of my hometown, Flagstaff, are often on my mind, along with family and friends who I grew up with.

“Twenty-two years ago, I asked John Alden, editor of the Somerset Reporter; if he would print a story about Flagstaff. He had never heard of the place, but he did print the article which included parts of newspaper clippings of the building of the dam that flooded the area – 1949 was the year many of us headed out to a new adventure after living in Flagstaff and Dead River our entire lives.”

Excerpts from Marilyn Rogers’ article in the Somerset Reporter in 1983: “I wonder what my life would have been like if 35 years ago we hadn’t been ordered from our homes in Flagstaff and Dead River by Central Maine Power Co.? Did you ever stop to think what it would be like not to be able to go back to your home-town? I finally went back to where Flagstaff used to be…. and the peace and tranquility were still there; and the strength of Mt. Bigelow towering in the distance was as comforting as it had always been in my childhood years.”

In one of my clippings it states, “Eventually CMP also clear-cut 18,000 acres of woodland. Wildfires took care of many of the stumps and other debris that remained.”

And now for Percy’s memoir: “Even if it burns a little low at times the secret of Life is to always keep the Flame of Hope Alive.” (words from the little book, Positive Thinking….Laughter for the soul.)

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: Your products are your jewels

Respect what you sell

by Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

There is an old story I have heard many times, and I am old enough to have to admit that I have told and retold it many times myself.

Charles Wentworth III (name changed to protect the great salesperson) was the most successful salesperson in the history of the Acme Hardware Company (phony name, I have no idea who he worked for, but the rest of this story is true, I swear) His specialty was nuts, and bolts, and screws, and washers, a true commodity sale if there ever was one. But Charles Wentworth III loved his products, he loved his nuts, and bolts, and screws, and washers, so much that he treated them as respectfully as if they were the Queen’s jewels. Yes, he treated them like jewels.

He created a display case out of fine cherry wood, so beautifully crafted that it was more like a jewelry box than a display case for nuts, and bolts, and screws, and washers. He compartmentalized the inside of the case into little sections to hold all of the various types of nuts, and bolts, and screws, and washers. And then he lined the inside of the box with fine royal purple velvet cloth. It was a box worthy of holding Tiffany diamonds.

He then had all his sample nuts, and bolts. and screws. and washers, Nickle plated so that they shone like the chrome on the Queen’s Rolls Royce, and he placed them all perfectly, into his beautifully-lined display case.

Then he traveled around the countryside in a chauffeur driven limousine, visiting one hardware store chain president after another. (by late in his career, he had become so successful that he was only dealing with the top brass, who loved seeing him coming)

Once inside the big shot’s office he would take his time. Get comfortably situated in a chair on the other side of the desk, and take out his “jewelry box” and tip it towards the customer to let him see his magnificent nuts, and bolts, and screws, and washers…his jewels

He would them place the box firmly on his side of the desk, pull out a pair of sparking white silk gloves and put them on before he would take out one of the nuts, or bolts, or screws, or washers, and show them, just show them to the head honcho, who most of the time was shaking in anticipation of actually holding one of these gems. But when El Capo, went to reach for one, Charles Wentworth III would quickly pull it away out of the president’s hand and wagging his finger at him, reach into his bag and pull out another pair of sparkling white silk gloves for the CEO to wear before he handled those precious wares!

You see, Charles Wentworth III, was not just selling nuts, and bolts, and screws, and washers, he was selling solutions, beautiful plated representations of the products he was so proud to be selling. He was treating products that probably sold for ten cents a pound as if they were worth a proverbial king’s ransom. He treated his products with great respect. And that made Mr. Charles Wentworth III the most successful hardware salesman in the world!

How about you? Do you treat your products with respect? Do you deliver your services with the utmost professionalism? If not, then I would urge you to learn from Charles Wentworth III the greatest hardware salesman in the world, to heart and start doing so today, it’s a great way to separate your services and products from your competitors, and an even better way to grow your business.

THE MONEY MINUTE: Health, wealth and your best self

by Jac M. Arbour CFP®, ChFC®
President, J.M. Arbour Wealth Management

It’s an interesting business that I’m in and there is an interesting perspective amongst the public about what we do as wealth managers. Most people think our careers have to do only with money. The truth is, our duties stretch far beyond the realm of money; at least here at J.M. Arbour they do.

Yes, we manage money. However, we also swim in the sea of human hopes, desires and goals, both short and long term. We experience various family dynamics, legal structures, life altering events, and the unforeseen. We experience weddings, divorces, babies being born, businesses rising and falling, and people at all mile markers on the journey of life.

There are many forms of wealth: I believe happiness ranks at the top of the list. Intelligence, musical ability, athleticism, artistic creativity, and ingenuity are some other examples. Health, in my book, most certainly makes the cut as well.

As a wealth manager, a person’s mental and physical well being are important to me. I ask myself, “what is the purpose of building monetary wealth (or helping a person do it) if the person who owns the wealth is not here to enjoy it or is not deriving happiness from it in some way?” I can’t think of any sold answers.

Health is a state of physical, mental, and social well being in which disease and infirmity are absent. What are you doing while building your career, while raising your family, while being a spouse or significant other, to take care of you and your health? When is the last time you scheduled time for you to realign with what brings you independent joy? For some people, the answer is, “too long ago.”

As a wealth manager, I hear about the most personal details of people lives as the human veil comes down behind closed doors and trust paves the way for open conversation. I am 35, but over the course of the past 13 years, I have conversed with over 2,500 individuals or couples, all being over the age of 60. All of them, each having their own views on life, and more life experience than myself, have shared where “wealth” for them truly lies. It is always in a feeling, and one rooted in happiness.

Here is what I promise: When you strive for happiness, the rest falls into place, including wealth in different forms.

See you all next month.

Jac Arbour CFP®, ChFC®

Jac Arbour is the President of J.M. Arbour Wealth Management. He can be reached at 207-248-6767.
Investment advisory services are offered through Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser.

GARDEN WORKS: Seeds of your dreams: Letters “S” through “T” (Part 6)

Read part 1 here: Seeds from your dreams, Part 1 (A-thru-E)
Read part 2 here: Seeds of your dreams, Part 2 (G-H)
Read part 3 here: Seeds of your dreams: Find joy in a seed catalog, Part 3 (H-N)
Read part 4 here: Seeds of your dreams: Digging for garden gems, Part 4 (O-P)
Read part 5 here: Seeds of your dreams: More ideas from the catalog, Part 5 (P-R)

Emily Catesby Emily Cates

A long winter leaves me weary, longing for the promise of the heady warmth of Springtime. As the snow melts and gives way to mud, my senses are rejuvenated, along with ambition and hopes for a productive season. The search for seeds plays such an integral part of this equation that an enthusiastic grower may make a ritual out of it. How wonderful to sit down with good friends and seed catalogs and imagine the possibilities! In this series of articles we have been looking at an alphabetical list of noteworthy seeds and ideas for a northern garden. We’ll continue on past the letter “S” and beyond. As always, feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with us. I’d love to hear from you. Go ahead and leave a comment on our website, Facebook page, or email me at

Squash – The fruits of this vining plant have so much to offer — a kaleidoscope of all kinds of shapes, sizes, colors, flavors, textures, storage abilities, and unmatched versatility. There are so many to chose from, you could grow a different cultivar every year for your entire life and never try them all. (To get an idea of the splendid diversity of this plant, read Amy Goldman’s The Compleat Squash.) Squash’s historical and nutritional values have played a part in the diets of native peoples in the Americas for millennium. As one of the “Three Sisters” triad of corn, beans and squash, it serves additional benefits of keeping the roots of corn shaded, acting as a living mulch, and protecting the corn from marauding raccoons and other pests. Livestock love squash and some utility varieties, such as Kurbis, were actually bred with them in mind. The culinary ones, of course, are what make it to the table. A large Hubbard squash is fit for a family feast, and a sweet and petit Delicata squash will satisfy a solo diner. While so-called summer squashes such as Patty Pan and Cushaw are delicious in savory dishes, the winter squashes like Buttercup are amazing in pies and desserts. Butternut, Cheese, Kabocha, Turban — these are all decent types for soups, mashed, roasted, you name it. The edible flowers of squash are good, too, when barely opened and then stuffed or stir-fried. Just beware of bees hanging out in the flowers. A heavy feeder, squash prefers warm, rich soil — even a compost pile — and plenty of water during its growing season.

Sunflowers – These cheerful flowers follow the sun and brighten my day with their impressive array of design, colors, seeds, and chocolaty-scents. I’ve never met a sunflower I didn’t like, even the giant ones grown for seeds and oil are a beauty to behold. The ornamental cultivars are a feast for the eyes. I like to tuck as many sunflowers into as many spaces of the garden as possible. Even if the birds end up getting the seeds, the flowers sure make it pretty.

Tomatoes – Much like squash, the tomato has an equally diverse repertoire of colors, shapes, sizes, flavors, types, and uses. Now if you, like myself, despise tomatoes from the grocery store, then you’re in for a real treat! Nothing compares to a vine-ripened tomato warmed from the sun and enjoyed in the garden, on the patio, or at a picnic table. I will admit, whether it’s a handful of cherry tomatoes popped into my happy mouth, or a giant heirloom tomato attacked one slurping bite at a time and dripping all over my face and work-shirt, I’ve found no shame in enjoying a “Tom-ahhh-to.” Keep it classy and serve up a colorful variety of sliced heirloom tomatoes layered with herbs, sprinkled with a little salt, and drizzled with olive oil. Yum! In my search for the perfect tomato, I’ve grown well over 500 cultivars. The following are some of my favorites: Cosmonaut Volkov (red, slicer), Brandywine (medium-large, pink), Lillian’s Yellow Heirloom (large, clear yellow), Aunt Ruby’s German Green (medium-large, green), Pineapple (large bi-colored), Green Zebra (medium-small, green striped over amber), Heart of Compassion (medium-large oxheart type), Opalka (paste), Sungold (hybrid, orange cherry tomato), Black Cherry (black cherry tomato), and Pocket Star (green cherry tomato). Plant tomatoes in rich soil amended with manure or compost, stake or trellis them, use a black plastic mulch, and fertilize weekly with a diluted fish-seaweed formula for good results.

Well, that’s all the space we have for now. But, before I go, I’d like to tell you: the coolest thing is that maple sap is an incredible ingredient to cook with! If you’re tapping trees this year, set aside some sap and cook a whole chicken (with or without fixings) in the sap overnight in a slow-cooker or on the stovetop. Serve as is, or add a little salt and/or herbs to taste. Best chicken soup ever, wow! Try it and let me know what you think.

Emily can be reached at

SCORES & OUTDOORS: Lady bugs make their appearance

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

While at our granddaughter’s home on Sunday, I noticed many lady bugs in the window on the north side of the house. Unusual, in a way. They like warmth. That made me think:

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home
Your house is on fire and your children are gone
All except one, and that’s Little Anne
For she has crept under the warming pan.

The ladybug as immortalized in the still-popular children’s nursery rhyme. They have been, for very many years, a favorite insect of children. But what about these little bugs that appear in our houses at certain times of the year?

Well, they come from the beetle family Coccinellidae, and are found worldwide with over 5,000 species, with more than 450 native to North America.

It is known by numerous names, but only in the U.S. is it called a ladybug. Other names include ladybirds, God’s cow, ladycock, lady cow and lady fly. Scientists increasingly prefer the name ladybird beetle, as ladybugs are not true bugs.

Coccinellids are small insects, and are commonly yellow, orange, or scarlet with small black spots on their wing covers, with black legs, head and antennae. A common myth is that the number of spots on the insect’s back indicates its age.

For the sake of this column, let’s refer to Coccinellids by the commonly-known name, ladybug.

A few species are considered pests in North America and Europe, but they are generally considered useful insects, as many species feed on aphids or scale insects, which are pests in gardens, agricultural fields, orchards and similar places. These insects were introduced into North America from Asia in 1916 to control aphids, but is now the most common species as it is out-competing many of the native species. While predatory species are often used as biological control agents, introduced species of ladybugs out-compete and displace native insects, and become pests in their own right.

Ladybugs are brightly colored to ward away potential predators. Mechanical stimulation — such as by predator attack — causes reflex bleeding in both larval and adult lady beetles, in which an alkaloid toxin is exuded through the joints of the outer shell, deterring feeding. Ladybugs are known to spray a toxin that is venomous to certain mammals and other insects when threatened.

These insects overwinter as adults, aggregating on the south sides of large objects such as trees or houses during the winter months, dispersing in response to increasing day length in the spring. Eggs hatch in three to four days from clutches numbering from a few to several dozen. Depending on resource availability, the larvae pass through four phases over 10-14 days, after which pupation occurs. After a moulting period of several days, the adults become reproductively active, and are able to reproduce again. Total life span is one to two years on average.

Predatory ladybugs are usually found on plants where aphids or scale insects are, and they lay their eggs near their prey, to increase the likelihood the larvae will find the prey easily. A larva uses its sharp jaws to crush an aphid’s body and sucks out the aphid’s juices.

The most common plants where you will find ladybugs include any type of mustard plant, such as other early blooming nectar and pollen sources, like buckwheat, coriander, red or crimson clover, and legumes, and also early aphid sources such as bronze fennel, dill, coriander, caraway, angelica, tansy, yarrow of the wild carrot family, dandelions and scented geraniums.

These insects are sensitive to synthetic insecticides.

Many cultures consider ladybugs lucky. In many countries, including Russia, Turkey and Italy, the sight of a ladybug is either a call to make a wish or a sign that a wish will soon be granted.

In Christian areas, they are often associated with the Virgin Mary, and the name that this insect bears in various languages in Europe corresponds to this. Though historically many European languages referenced Freyja, the fertility goddess of Norse mythology, in the names, the Virgin Mary has now largely supplanted her.

For example, freyjuhoena (Old Norse), and Frouehenge (Norwegian) have been changed into marihone, which corresponds with Our Lady’s Bug.

Although the ladybugs are beneficial insects to have around, they still gather the curiosity of children. In the animated film, A Bug’s Life, Francis the Ladybug (voiced by Dennis Leary) is an aggressive beetle and the clown in P.T. Flea’s circus. The contrast between him being a male and a “lady”bug, is a recurring joke in the film.

Don’t squish that ladybug, it will keep unwanted insects off your plants, and even entertain the children and grandchildren.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

In 2018, which Red Sox player appeared at catcher, first base, second base, left field and right field?

Answer can be found here.

FOR YOUR HEALTH – The Cleaning Season: Dust Your Ducts

To make it easier to breathe clean at home, have your HVAC system inspected regularly.

(NAPSI)—When you breathe a sigh of relief after giving your home its annual thorough cleaning, you may be breathing in more dust, dirt, and pollution than you realize — unless you’ve also gotten the HVAC system cleaned.

A Hidden Problem

Through normal living, people generate a great deal of contaminants, such as dander, dust, and chemicals. These get pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulated five to seven times a day, on average. Over time, this causes a build-up of dirt in the duct work.

Some people are more sensitive to these contaminants than others. Allergy and asthma sufferers, as well as young children and the elderly, tend to be more susceptible to the types of poor indoor air quality that air duct cleaning can help address. Also, some homes may be more susceptible to certain pollutants, including places with pets, smokers, or remodeling projects.

An Answer

Fortunately, it’s easy to deal with. The experts at the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) say HVAC systems should be inspected and cleaned regularly by a reputable, certified HVAC professional.

The ones who are NADCA members possess general liability insurance, are trained and tested regularly, sign on to a code of ethics, and must clean and restore your heating and cooling system in accordance with NADCA standards, so they provide a high level of security.

Learn More

For further facts on having healthy air in a healthy home, visit To find a NADCA member nearby, go to and enter your zip code.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Mothers Day special to me this year

by Debbie Walker

By Mothers Day this year (May 10) I will be a great-grandmother. It’s funny but it seems like yesterday I was waiting to become a grandmother in this same time period. Deana was pregnant and upset because her baby wasn’t due until after Mothers Day, but her husband would be celebrating his first Fathers Day that year.

Guess what! Babies don’t care about “due dates,” they come when they are ready. You guessed it. Mothers Day Deana had been a mother for about 24 hours. Tristin was born on May 9 that year.

And now it’s another Mothers Day and my daughter will be a grandmother this time. Tristin and Chris will be celebrating their child, Addison Grace, who is due May 1.

In the meantime, I found another book. This one is Humor for a Woman’s Heart, compiled by Sheri MacDonald. It has the chapter titled You Know It’s a Mothers Day When….

  • A delivery man appears at your door with a dozen red roses and he’s not lost.
  • Your children tell you how wonderful you are, and they are not setting you up for an allowance increase.
  • You get served breakfast in bed (up ‘til now the only way for you to get breakfast in bed was to sleep with a Twinkie under your pillow).
  • You get thanked for all the little things Mom’s do throughout the year like cooking, cleaning, helping with homework, saving the universe ….
  • But most of all, you know it’s Mothers Day when your family tells you what a loving, kind, warm-hearted person you are, and no one brought home a new pet!

Another chapter I would like to share with you is 11 Tips to Surviving Swimsuit Shopping. It is fast approaching the time to bite the bullet and go buy a new bathing suit. Here are your tips:

  1. Begin fasting as soon as you set your shopping date.
  2. Select store based on dimness of their lighting.
  3. Get a pregnant friend to accompany you.
  4. Check for suits tagged with bust-enhancing, waist- nipping, thigh slimming features. Ask salesperson to point out section with “all of the above.”
  5. Tell yourself it’s your underwear that’s making the suit look so bulky.
  6. Tell yourself these are “trick mirrors.” You are really much slimmer in real life.
  7. Convince yourself that suits with built in shorts are not dorky. They are chic.
  8. Try on all 17 styles the store carries. head for a dimmer store.
  9. Remind yourself that round is the most aesthetically pleasing shape in nature.
  10. Practice sucking in your thighs.
  11. On your way home with the all-black, waist-nipping, thigh-trimming suit, celebrate by stopping at ye olde ice cream shoppe. Order the banana split. But skip the whipped cream. It is, after all bathing suit season.

Let me know what your thoughts or concerns are at

You know me, I am just curious. Thanks for reading.

On a more serious note: We are all involved in this health concern, some more than others. Think of others and the help they might need. With people being asked to stay at home there will be more cases of depression. Again, think of others and how you can help.