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Felting acorns using fluffy natural wool is a relaxing and enjoyable fall activity for all ages. It’s especially suited for young children who like to get their hands in soapy water to shape and change the structure of the soft wool into dense felted wool balls.

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Ninety-nine percent of people have had chickenpox and are at risk for shingles, and this includes most people who think they haven’t had chickenpox. Some cases are so mild that they go unrecognized.

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Antique handmade game boards are popular as decorations in homes filled with folk art. Most are for chess or checkers, and the square boards look important in a group on the wall. But there also are game boards that are other shapes.

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Now that autumn is officially upon us, there are countless opportunities to celebrate the season with meals and snacks full of unique flavors.

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Are you ready to change the way you clean up your perennial garden in the fall? Kelly Allsup, a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, said changing just a few garden habits can make a huge difference to butterflies, moths, bees and other beneficial insects that overwinter in the Illinois landscape.

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Baked apple rings are a tasty and nutritious snack you can make in your own kitchen on a chilly fall day. We use zesty apples that friends share with us from their backyard trees, or we buy them at farmers markets and apple orchards.

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Grab your calculator. Those in the know are making an educated guess about the amount of our Social Security increase for 2020. The Senior Citizens League estimates that the increase will be 1.6%, below the raise we got last year.

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I adore eating a perfectly ripened Bosc or Anjou pear. That first bite through that firm, greenish-golden skin into the sweet juicy fruit is a delight for the senses.

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Fall outdoor rituals are many during these lush months of color and cooler temps. Maybe your family already has established an annual tradition of taking a mini day vacation, like heading to a favorite orchard for a Saturday of apple picking and cider tasting, touring pumpkin farms, walking through a corn maze or hiking in the woods to get exercise, explore and observe wildlife and brilliant foliage.

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Have you had your second pneumonia shot? Some of us either don’t know the vaccine comes in two parts, or we forget to ask for it a year later when we need the second dose.

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Getting someone to quit smoking is a challenge, but perhaps some advice I can give your daughter might help. The first piece of advice is that a cough necessitating cough syrup on a routine basis indeed might be a sign of COPD.

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I’ve prepared lunches for my family for several years, and one thing I know for sure, you’ve got to have a plan!

AP
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A myth among tomato lovers is that home-grown tomatoes taste best. Not true! The best varieties of tomatoes are what taste best, whether they’re grown on a farm or in a backyard.

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Cannabidiol, or CBD, is typically sold as an oil and has been receiving press as a potential treatment for a wide variety of medical issues. Many or most of these claims have no data to support them.

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Fall is a wonderful time to plant trees, but you need to hurry. The deadline to order trees from Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District is Sept. 25.

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Creativity is at your elbow, always available. I try to remember that. If you are a parent who, like many people, considers himself “noncreative,” just think of creativity as a water faucet. Turn the stream on, and it can be a steady flow into your everyday life.

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Fall is a good time to plant many container-grown or balled-and-burlapped nursery stock. Prepare a good-size hole, plant at the same depth it grew in the nursery and water thoroughly.

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Wrap up the last of summer’s harvest with colorful ribbons of orange, green, yellow and red. Abundant zucchini, summer squash and carrots can be woven together with fettuccine pasta for a tasty supper your family will enjoy from preparation to the last bite.

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At our house, we’re always searching for ways to eat healthier … on a budget. One way to do just that is to add seafood to your menu at least twice a week.

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September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, which provides a chance to learn more about this serious health condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity affects nearly 14 million children, with about 14% of 2- to 5-year-olds considered obese, and about 21% of 12- to 19-year-olds struggling with obesity.

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Although many people have symptoms of heart disease that they ignore, some people have no symptoms until sudden death. Atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries due to cholesterol plaque and calcium in the blood vessels of the heart, almost always is present in people with a heart attack.

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Think you’re immune from getting scammed in an online romance? Think again. Authorities recently charged 80 people with running scams around the world designed to defraud women of money. Only 17 of those crooks have actually been arrested as authorities try to hunt down the rest — no easy feat when it comes to dealing with other countries.

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Most people can sleep in whatever position they find comfortable without any problem. However, there are a few instances in which sleeping on the left side may potentially cause problems.

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The past few years have produced some unusual weather. Whether you live in an area that has been hit with storm-related power outages or you just want to stock up for the times you’re unable to shop, creating an emergency pantry using canned goods as staples is a wise choice.

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Prices for antiques and collectibles are determined by many things that change with time — age, availability, condition, decorative value, fame of maker, artist or past owner and even who is bidding and if there is a bidding war.

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The first Monday in September is Labor Day, a celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers. It’s also a day of recognition of their contributions to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.

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Decorators and gardening columnists are reporting that the latest look for a garden includes furnishings to make it look like an indoor room. Chairs, tables, rugs, cushions, statues, urns, fountains, hanging decorations, fancy birdhouses and even gnomes and fake animals are half-hidden in the flowers.

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Flowerpots are more than just containers for fragrant herbs, summer’s begonias or fall’s chrysanthemums. Grab a plain clay pot the next time you and your kids are at a nursery or garden center, hold it up and think of it as an artist’s canvas, waiting for your creative expression.

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I would recommend that you not worry too much about the potassium and keep up your diet, including fruits in moderation. In addition to avoiding turmeric, I would recommend that you avoid salt substitutes, since they have very high amounts of potassium.

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Summer heat — although the days are getting shorter, it’s just not ending. As seniors, we need to beware the impact that heat can have on us, especially on our hearts.

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If you ate overall fewer calories, you may have lost a few pounds, and sometimes that can have a big beneficial effect on cholesterol. It also may be the case that you ate more fiber from vegetables, nuts and fruits, which in itself can help reduce cholesterol.

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One of my dearest friends loves all things watermelon. It’s always a challenge to think of new ways to serve her favorite melon.

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August is Family Meals Month and for many parents, it may be much easier to forget about family meals altogether. Overscheduled lives can lead to being constantly on-the-go and feeling the need to eat on the run.

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Now and then we just don’t want to cook as much as we normally do. Maybe it’s the heat of summer that keeps us from wanting to get in the kitchen or trek to the grocery store. If it’s winter, maybe there is a layer of snow on everything outside.

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Summer is one of the best seasons to indulge in beautiful, leafy green vegetables. These include the most common varieties seen in grocery stores or farmer’s markets, like spinach, kale, collards, mustard greens or Swiss chard. You also can eat the green, leafy tops of many root vegetables, such as beets, turnips and rutabagas.

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It doesn’t matter if you’ve been doing it for years or if you think you’ve never been sick from it — you should not wash chicken before cooking it, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s top food safety official told a group of K-State students and faculty.

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CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains the causes and symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, more commonly known as CTE.

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Anyone can trip and be thrown momentarily off balance. Are you able to catch your balance or do you go down? The Centers for Disease Control reports that one in five falls causes a serious injury. Many result in a broken bone or head injury. As we get older falling becomes a serious health issue. Some of these age related issues could be avoided.

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October is Eat Better, Eat Together Month and the perfect time to make family meals a priority. Eating more meals together has a positive effect on both the nutrition and emotional well-being of the entire family. This month (or week), make it a goal to eat one meal together each day. If you’re in a single household, plan for some dinner parties or lunch dates with friends or coworkers.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The following interview was done in 2018, while the subject, Marissa Presnell, was preparing for surgery. A follow-up interview appears elsewhere in this publication.

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Janine Russell spotted a phone number at the end of a "Good Morning America" segment for the United Network for Organ Sharing, wrote it down, and called it -- starting a chain reaction that ended with the Waverly woman donating her kidney to a woman she had never met.