(NAPSI)—Nasal congestion is nothing to sneeze at. It affects roughly 20 percent of the population and is associated with reduced quality of life, difficulty sleeping, reduced daytime performance, and increased need for healthcare. In addition to the physical misery, it is estimated the annual financial impact of chronic congestion is more than $5 to $10 billion. Fortunately, scientists are coming up with new and better ways to deal with the problem.

New Device

That’s good news since, until recently, most of the current treatments for nasal congestion and season allergies were drugs that must be regularly ingested in the form of nasal sprays (decongestants or steroids), pills (decongestants or antihistamines) or uncomfortable nasal irrigators. Each of these has its own side effects and risks. In addition, current treatments provide only partial or temporary relief. Fortunately, there’s a new patented device that uses a combination of acoustic vibrations, and gentle, resistant pressure to help open nasal breathing and relieve nasal congestion, naturally—in as little as three minutes.

Called SinuSonic, it consists of a fully disposable medical-grade silicone nosepiece on a resin body. A flutter valve on top creates gentle, self-guided oscillating expiratory resistance.

A recent study published in the prestigious International Forum of Allergy and Rhinology (IFAR)—the official journal of the American Rhinologic Society (ARS) and the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy (AAOA)—found the relief from chronic nasal congestion can be life changing. Eighty percent of participants enjoyed a clinically relevant improvement.

Doctor’s Opinion

“We were excited to see measurable positive changes in both objective nasal airflow as well as patient-reported symptom scores and quality of life,” said Dr. Rodney Schlosser, an internationally known sinus specialist and one of the lead researchers on the study. “Our initial results demonstrate that SinuSonic is a safe and effective treatment alternative to conventional pharmacologic and surgical treatment for these patients.”

Learn More

To see the device in action or purchase online, go to

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: What makes your business special?

Growing your businessby Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

You have to be better than anyone else right? Isn’t that what makes business great? That extra little thing, that special thing that makes you stand out from the rest of the crowd. Often it’s not just the product or service but what doing business with that certain company does for you; how doing business with that company makes you feel.

Apple is the perfect example of this. It has been proven they do not have the best phone on the market. When they introduced their MP3 player a few years ago. The IPod was certainly not the best player on the market, so what was it that made people and still make people for that matter camp out overnight in line to buy their latest new product? It’s the story, it’s the brand, it’s how cool it makes the buyer feel to have one of their products. That’s how Apple has become the most profitable company in the world.

Think Nike for another example. They sell sneakers that costs about six bucks to make and sell them for hundreds of dollars, and later, some of their more famous collectibles go for thousands of dollars. Heck people have been robbed and murdered over a pair of Nikes. Again, it’s all about the story, it’s all about how people feel when using their products.

The same thing goes from cars and beer and clothing and tools, and well, just about any product or service you can imagine. It’s all about the company’s story, the company’s brand and how the consumer becomes literally part of a cult when she buys into their story…she becomes part of that story, too.

This is why it is so important to develop your own story, your own brand, no matter what business you’re in.

Here are some differentiators that make companies stand out, things that make the consumer want to brag about using that company. Here are some things that drive people to buy your products and services.

• People want their friends to be impressed.
• They want to see review from past customers or users.
• They want to see success stories.
• When they see people, they respect using your products and services, and they want to join in.
• People want to know your story, neat stories worth repeating sell.
• People want to feel they are part of your company’s story.
• People are not afraid to pay more, even knowingly, too much because they so want to be part of your story.
• People want to seem unique; they want to buy something that makes them feel smart and discerning.
• And people want to be rewarded for their loyalty

So what is your company’s story? How do you stand out? What do you do that makes people want to tell their friends and family that they are so smart and discerning that they use your services or go to your restaurant or boutique? Think about it. It’s up to you if you really want to grow your business.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: 10 steps to self-care

by Debbie Walker

Hi! Okay I have to tell you right from the start that the basic steps were also on-line. I did add some of my “senior” wisdom. (Anyone who knows me will see humor in that comment.)

1. If it feels wrong, don’t do it.

When my grandkids were growing up, we tried to teach them about their Intuition. We resorted to “Is this something you would want to tell (Great) Grammie what you did (or said)? They adored her and never wanted to disappoint Grammie.

2. Say exactly what you mean.

Don’t assume someone understands what you intend. Don’t give them a half answer or half question. Be clear. Too often we are busy and give a condensed version, not everyone will see things as clearly as you.

3. Don’t be a people pleaser.

If someone asks you a question be as honest as you can be. Don’t give them the answer you think they want but don’t be hateful either. Often, I will tell someone that I don’t feel qualified to answer the question. It’s okay to just say, “I would not be comfortable answering that”. And in the real world you have to pick and choose your answers according to the situation.

4. Trust your instincts.

I believe this is pretty the same idea as #1, still have to refer back to instinct/intuition. How many times have you said, “I should have gone with my gut feeling”. Do I have to say more?

5. Never speak badly about yourself.

When you speak badly about yourself, it slowly but surely teaches you to think negatively about yourself. You may use your opinion of you as an excuse to not try something new. Also, who hears your negative comments? My Mom used to call herself “stupid.” One day I told her she had to not do that when doing things for the grandkids. They will someday think the same about themselves and use it for an excuse not to try something new. That would be sad.

6. Never give up on your dreams.

Keep some kind of a dream in front of you. You will be healthier having something to look forward to. They don’t have to be big dreams. It doesn’t have to be big dreams. Try new things and meet new people. You may never know what experiences are coming your way. Keep your Dreams.

7. Don’t be afraid to say NO.

To me this one is very much like #3. You have a right to say “No” sometimes. If you over-extend yourself by always saying “yes” when you have a good reason to say “no”, you may become resentful.

8. Don’t be afraid to say yes.

I think we have covered this earlier.

9. Be kind to yourself.

If you treat yourself as you would treat a friend, that’s a good head start.

10. Let go of what you cannot control.

I am just curious of how well we treat ourselves. If you don’t take care of you there won’t be anything left to care for someone else with.

Any questions or comments find me at . Thanks for reading and enjoy your week!


Peter Catesby Peter Cates


Divertimento, K. 563-
Pasquier Trio; Columbia Masterworks, M-351, recorded 1935, six 12-inch 78s.

Wolfgang Mozart

Wolfgang Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) composed his one and only String Trio for violin, viola and cello in 1788 for a friend/benefactor Johann Michael Puchberg but the circumstances are unknown. The total number of his works are over 600; this piece appeared after his final three symphonies, 39, 40 and 41 or the Jupiter (all 3 composed in 6 to 8 weeks.).

The Trio is, like so many Mozart pieces, a masterpiece from one extraordinary genius who composed his first Symphony at four years old. Still to come in his three remaining years were the 27th Piano Concerto, Magic Flute and Requiem and about 60 other pieces before his death from a variety of health problems mainly related to overwork and alcoholism.

The Pasquier Trio consisted of three French-born brothers – violinist Jean, violist Pierre and cellist Jean – who recorded several works during the 78 era. The above set can be heard on YouTube and is a superb performance.

Johann Puchberg

The 1985 movie Amadeus gives a basically twisted portrayal of the composer from the point of view of his arch-rival Salieri but it is quite entertaining and brimming with his music. Another recommendation is Swedish director Ingmar Bergman’s 1975 cinematic treatment of The Magic Flute, which I have seen at least five times.

YouTube has just about every piece of the composer in many historical and current recordings.

Biographical accounts of the composer describe him as vain about his wavy hair, not particularly striking in physique or poise, working long hours under financial pressures, and quite fond of billiards and dirty jokes.

In recent weeks, I have been listening to recordings of his Abduction from the Seraglio, C Minor Mass and Violin Concertos, all of which I recommend as good starting points for those new to the composer, but I might be quite biased.

The very witty Jim Thompson (1906-1977) wrote in his memoir, Bad Boy, about his maternal grandfather ‘Pa’ as a Robin Hoodish personality who gave generously to the less fortunate but thought little of chiseling the rich, stating “that they had probably stolen their money anyway and that he could put it to better use than they could.”

SCORES & OUTDOORS: Noisy, plentiful acorns; obscure beech nuts

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

While preparing breakfast last Saturday, I glanced out the kitchen window towards my recently cleaned up garden plot. As I looked around I noticed some movement, and commented to my wife: “I think I have the title for a new country song, ‘There’s a squirrel in the compost pile.’

I’m not sure how that translates to pickup trucks, bass boats and lost loves, but I’m sure it has a place in there somewhere.

Anyway, that prompted me to ask myself what could be in the compost that would interest a squirrel. After all, it has nothing more than plant stems, vines from squashes and various roots and stalks. There were a few tiny, fledgling fruits from these items that didn’t have a chance to mature, but that would be it.

Then my mind rewound to camp, and the food sources out there. Nearby there is a large oak tree and a mature, but fairly young beech tree. Most of you have probably heard acorns when they fall from the trees, and land on something solid. They sound like gunfire, exploding bombs or branches falling. They make quite a loud noise. The presence of Beech nuts, on the other hand, are hardly even noticeable.

Wildlife that consume acorns as an important part of their diets includes birds, such as jays, pigeons, some ducks and several species of woodpeckers. Small mammals include mice, squirrels and several other rodents – ahh, squirrels. Large mammals include pigs, bears, and deer. Acorns are in high demand.

Acorns are attractive to animals because they are large and efficiently consumed or cached. They are rich in nutrients and contain large amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats, as well as calcium, phosphorus and potassium, and the vitamin niacin.

Acorns are too heavy for wind dispersal, so the spreading of the seed is dependant on animals like the squirrels who cache the nuts for future use. Squirrels scatter-hoard the acorns in a variety of locations in which it is possible for them to germinate and thrive. On occasion, the odd acorn may be lost, or the squirrel may die before consuming all the acorns it has stored. A small number of acorns may germinate and survive, producing the next generation of oak trees.

As far as humans go, acorns have frequently been used as a coffee substitute. The Confederates in the American Civil War and the Germans during World War II, which were cut off from coffee supplies by Union and Allied blockades, respectively, are particularly notable past instances of this use of acorns.

As far as the beech nuts go, again going back to camp and the beech tree near our site, there doesn’t seem to be much activity by squirrels in the area of the tree. Of course, the beech nut seems to defy gravity. It is a small nut with soft-spined husks. Although it is high in tannin content, they are bitter. The nut can be extracted by peeling back the husk, but your fingers may hurt dealing with the spines. Maybe that is why they are not that attractive to squirrels.

Nowhere in all my research did I find any reference to wildlife that feast on the beech nut.

Beech trees are better known for other things than producing a source of food. The Beech bark is extremely thin and scars easily. Carvings, such as lovers’ initials, remain because the beech tree is unable to heal itself.

On a different note, slats of Beech wood are washed in a caustic soda to leach out any flavor and is used in the bottom of fermentation tanks for Budweiser beer. This allows a surface for the yeast to settle, so that it doesn’t pile up too deep. Thus the slogan, “Beechwood Aged.” Beech is also used to smoke Westphalian ham, various sausages and some cheeses.

The American beech tree occurs only in the eastern United States and southeastern Canada. It is believed that it was found coast to coast prior to the Ice Age. Now they can only be found east of the Great Plains. You will rarely find the beech tree in developed areas unless it is a left over of a forest that was cut for land development.

The beech tree is also temperamental. Some trees never produce nuts while others only spawn edible nuts in certain years.

So what was that squirrel – I could not discern whether it was Martha or Stewart, my two resident rodents – looking for that day? Probably just window shopping.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

Who are the only two Red Sox managers to be named Manager of the Year?

Answer can be found here.

SOLON & BEYOND: An old note

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

Received a notice from Roland on September 15 that he needed columns early for the September 24 paper, so I hurried to find something to write about. Have thought often lately about how much I have loved writing for different papers over these many years….. In looking for something to write about, I came upon this letter I had received back on September 21, 2003, and it said it was from “An Old Lady Just Checking In to Say Hi.

“You don’t know me, but I have to write and tell you how wonderful I think your ramblings are in Solon and Beyond as in the Somerset Gazette. As soon as I get the paper, I scurry to your section and read it first. You cover the area so well, I can not imagine how you even have a moment to yourself.

“I am not from Solon, but in 1942 I was born in Bingham. My last residence in 1961, when I graduated from Good Will in Hinckley was in Cannaan. But we were nomadic and I have lived in North Anson, Madison, East Madison, Cornville to name a few.

“But to get back to your articles….. you show such love of the people you write for/about … how the town must love you!! I love you and I don’t even know you!!

“My husband retired in June and we sold our home in Alabama, and in July moved into a lovely new home in Lexington, South Carolina. David has family here and nearby in North Carolina.

“We try to visit Maine every year, and indeed, next week we are driving to Maine ….. first time driving there in many years… we have always flown since our kids have grown. We want to get up to Presque Isle and see the potato digging…. we understand that is a sight to see. The weather there has not chilled enough for us to enjoy the leaves changing colors but that is OK.

“I am a retired federal employee and David is retired Army. Now we are both just chilling.

“During our visit in Maine, I would like to meet you and give you a hug… your articles make me feel that I have known you forever!”

The paper I took the above from was dated Sunday, September 21, 2003. I wonder if they still come to Maine? I don’t remember ever meeting her, but her kind words were very much appreciated.

Now for Percy’s memoir: And it starts… “How to live a hundred years happily: 1. Do not be on the outlook for ill health. 2. Keep usefully at work. 3. Have a hobby. 4. Learn to be satisfied. 5. Keep on liking people. 6. Meet adversity valiantly. 7. Meet the problems of life with decision. 8. Above all, maintain a good sense of humor, best done by saying something pleasant every time you get a chance. 9. Live and make the present hour pleasant and cheerful. Keep your mind out of the past, and keep it out of the future.

CRITTER CHATTER: This is the month for releasing the young

Young raccoons ready for release.

by Jayne Winters

Due to unexpected circumstances, I’m not able to prepare a new column for September. I feel it is appropriate, however, to submit an article written by the late Carleen Cote which was published in September 2005 and is as applicable today as it was 15 years ago:

“Ah, sweet September! This is the month for releasing the young critters we have cared for since spring. Some will remain at the center until next May – the younger fawns and raccoons. The months have passed quickly; it seems as though we have just received the first baby raccoons of the season.

The formulas are no longer mixed, the bedding boxes have gone to the dump, and the clothesline remains empty of laundered bedding for days. The raccoons have been in their outside pens since July. Instead of washing bedding towels, I spend my afternoons cleaning pens and picking up poop. The raccoons are becoming restless; some are taking advantage of an unlocked gate to run out onto the lawn or to climb a tree.

They are ready to start exploring and begin life on their own. A raccoon that remains with its mother in the wild will probably spend the winter denned up with her. Will the ones we release disperse or spend the winter together? We don’t know. Only four to five raccoons are released at each site, always with the ones they bunked with in our pens.

Our gratitude can’t be expressed enough to the landowners who have allowed us to enter their properties to release critters. To protect their privacy and the animals, we do not reveal where any of the critters are released. Without the landowners’ generosity, finding appropriate sites would be difficult, maybe impossible.

For the mink and skunks who are usually released in August, we always find a source of water: marsh, beaver bog or stream. The mink scurry into the water, diving and splashing, swimming away with nary a look back. The skunks immediately start grubbing, looking for their natural food of slugs and insects.

Now we have the raccoons. The release sites we have selected are deep in the woods, away from people. We never know how close we will be able to drive into the site; in many places, a trek by foot is needed to arrive at a source of water. So, a wheelbarrow is tied onto the cap of the truck to use for transporting the raccoons, safe in a dog kennel, through the woods. We learned early on that carrying a kennel with four or five raccoons weighing 10-15 pounds each was a task we didn’t want to repeat! The trek could be through water, brush piles, and over fallen trees – quite an obstacle course. The beauty and serenity of being alone in the woods, listening to the singing birds and rushing waters from a nearby brook is spoiled only by the buzzing, biting mosquitoes and deer flies. We soon reach our destination and prepare to say farewell to the raccoons we have cared for over the last five months. The coons continuously emerge from the kennel. Some stop to look around, others dive into the water or start climbing a tree. We leave three to four days’ supply of food and say, “Good-bye and good luck!” This scenario is carried out until we have said good-bye to all the coons that were big enough for release.

As happens every year when we have made the trek into the forest to release the last of the raccoons, I say to my husband, Donald, “Do you know what I’m thinking?” He says, “Yeah! What will we get next year?” He’s right!” – Donald Cote operates the Duck Pond Wildlife Care Center on Rte. 3 in Vassalboro. It is a non-profit federal and state permitted rehab facility which is supported by his own resources and outside donations.

Mailing address: 1787 North Belfast Ave., Vassalboro ME 04989 TEL: (207) 445-4326. EMAIL CORRECTION:

Give Us Your Best Shot! for Thursday, September 24, 2020

To submit a photo for this section, please visit our contact page or email us at!

BEAUTIFUL: Joan Chaffee, of Clinton, photographed this breathtaking sunset in Clinton recently.

STARTING OUT: Tina Richard, of Clinton, snapped this young eagle in flight recently.

STANDING TALL: Pat Clark, of Palermo, captured this male cardinal who appears to be standing guard over the bird feeders.

FOR YOUR HEALTH – Pandemic Depression: Genetic Insight May Help Treatment

You don’t have to live with depression. An increasingly popular test may help your doctor make a more informed treatment decision.

(NAPSI)—Social isolation during the pandemic may pose a mental health threat for those already at risk for COVID-19—people over age 65.

As doctors treat more senior patients for depression, an increasingly popular genetic test may inform their treatment decisions. The GeneSight test ( provides information about how your genes may impact how you metabolize and respond to certain depression medications.

Innovative solutions for mental health conditions are important. As the pandemic and its resulting isolation wears on, many are struggling with their mental health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, loneliness can be associated with higher rates of depression.

“When I first experienced depression, it happened all of a sudden,” shared Doreen, a wife, mother of three grown children, and retiree. “It was like a cloud happened in my head.”

Symptoms of depression can include changes in sleep or eating patterns, decreased energy, difficulty concentrating or a lack of motivation.

Doreen saw her doctor, who prescribed a depression medication but it didn’t alleviate her symptoms.

“I began to see one doctor, then another, to help deal with my depression,” said Doreen. Her doctors “tried many, many different medications and none seemed to work. Finally, my heart doctor said, ‘Doreen, I’ve heard about this gene test, I think it might help you.’”

Her doctor was referring to the GeneSight test.

The test is a simple cheek swab, ordered by a healthcare provider who can prescribe medications. A patient can take the test at home or in the doctor’s office.

Using a patient’s unique DNA, the GeneSight test informs doctors about potential gene-drug interactions. The report provides information about which depression medications may require dose adjustments, may be less likely to work, or may have an increased risk of side effects based on a patient’s genetic makeup.

The GeneSight test helped Doreen’s doctor to make an informed treatment decision; she was prescribed a new medication.

“That’s when my life started to change. I got back to smiling, being happy and laughing again. I got back to being me,” Doreen said.

Post-pandemic life will likely never be the same. If depression is one of the unanticipated consequences, treatment is important.

People struggling with depression can ask their doctor about the GeneSight test. To learn more, visit

I’M JUST CURIOUS – Survival: reason to celebrate

by Debbie Walker

This move into the camper has held a few surprises for me. Recently, I was going through some boxes I must have packed a couple years ago and forgot. In going through this one box I found some of dad’s things. I found a piece that someone must have shared with dad but I can’t find it on the internet (keeping in mind I am not an expert) and I have no reason to believe he wrote this. I enjoyed reading it and hope you do too:

For All Those Born Before 1945

We are survivors! Consider the changes we have witnessed:

We were born before television, penicillin, polio shots, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees, and the PILL.

We were born before credit cards, split atoms, laser beams and ballpoint pens, before pantyhose, dishwashers, clothes dryers, electric blankets, air conditioners, drip dry clothes … and before man walked on the moon.

We got married first and then lived together. How quaint can you be?

In our time, closets were for clothes, not for “coming out of,” Bunnies were small rabbits and were not Volkswagens. Designer jeans were scheming girls named Jean or Jeanne; and having a meaningful relationship meant getting along well with our cousins. We thought fast food was what you ate during Lent, our Outer Space was the back of the Riviera Theater.

We were born before house husbands’, gay rights, computer dating, duel careers and commuter marriages. We were before day-care centers, group therapy and nursing homes. We never heard of FM Radio, tape decks, electric typewriters, artificial hearts, word or food processors, and guys wearing earrings. For us, time sharing meant togetherness. . . not computers or condominiums; a “chip” meant a piece of wood; hardware meant hardware and software wasn’t even a word.

In 1940, “made in Japan” meant junk and the term “making out” referred to how you did on your exam. Pizzas, “McDonalds” and instant coffee were unheard of.

We hit the scene when there were 5 and 10 cent stores, where you bought things for five and 10 cents. Sanders or Wilsons sold ice cream cones for a nickel or a dime. For one nickel you could ride a streetcar, make a phone call, buy a Pepsi or enough stamps to mail one letter and two postcards. You could buy a Chevy Coupe for $600, but who could afford one? A pity too because gas was only $.11 a gallon.

In our day, cigarette smoking was fashionable, Grass was mowed, Coke was a cold drink and Pot was something you cooked in. Rock Music was Grandma’s lullaby and AIDS were helpers in the principal’s office.

We were certainly not before the difference between the sexes was discovered, but we were surely before the sex change; we made do with what we had. And we were the last generation that was so dumb as to think you needed a husband to have a baby! No wonder we were so confused and there is such a generation gap today! BUT WE SURVIVED! Good reason to CELEBRATE . . .

I’m just curious what you thought of all this. Contact me with questions or comments at I am looking forward to them! Thanks for reading enjoy your week.