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  • HEAR THE BEARD: My ideas for rebranding Crest Hill

    Mark Gregory, Editorial Director|Updated Jun 18, 2020

    Roughly a year ago, the city of Crest Hill did a survey in which it polled its residents on a direction looking for a direction for rebranding the city. I understand I am a little late to be counted for the survey, but as a longtime resident, I have a suggestion. How about, Crest Hill – A city of hypocrisy. Then we need a motto. I got it – "Not only is the grass greener on the other side; it's taller, too." Catchy, I know, but what is important is that it is sincere and rea...

  • Dave Says: Don't play the timeshare game

    Updated Feb 19, 2020

    Dear Dave, How do you feel about timeshares, and the free trips and dinners they offer as part of their sales pitches? Is it possible to win with these things? – Dan Dear Dan, In my opinion, timeshares are a complete waste of time and money. Lots of folks go into this kind of thing believing they'll play the game and win. They think they'll get a vacation weekend and other free stuff, then just say "no" when the time comes. The problem is, most people aren't as tough a sell a...

  • WOLFGANG PUCK'S KITCHEN

    Wolfgang Puck|Updated Feb 19, 2020

    "Spring ahead! Fall back!" That's the simple memory device we've all been taught to remember which way to reset our clocks when daylight saving time begins (on the second Sunday in March) or ends (on the first Sunday in November). The practice aims to give people an extra hour of sunlight after their working days during springtime and summer. I always think of daylight saving time's arrival as a sign that the bounty of spring, beginning March 19, will soon be filling up the...

  • RICK STEVES' EUROPE

    Updated Feb 19, 2020

    On my two previous trips to Switzerland's tiny-but-touristy Zermatt, I failed to catch a glimpse of the glorious Matterhorn mountain that draws so many to the burg at its base for a peek at the peak. My third try was the charm, and now I have a confession: I'm in love with the Matterhorn. Now I get why this mountain town of 5,800 people is so popular. There's just something about the Matterhorn, the most recognizable mountain on the planet. Just seeing the Matterhorn is one...

  • MY PET WORLD

    Cathy M. Rosenthal|Updated Feb 19, 2020

    Dear Cathy, I am having a problem with my terrier who has many toys but insists on burying both of his orange toys. When I dig them up in the yard, he seems sad and embarrassed. This has been going on for several years. Is there any explanation for this? I have been asking around about this, but so far no one has been able to explain this behavior. - Ann Marie, Fort Lauderdale, Florida Dear Ann Marie, Dogs generally bury things they covet and want to save for later, such as...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Feb 19, 2020

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: A few months ago I noticed minor pain in my elbow when I'd lift anything - even something light. Recently, the pain is worsening and moving down my inner forearm. My elbow hurts even when I'm not lifting. Turning my wrist or twisting my arm causes pain. What could be the reason for this? Are there things I can do at home to make it better, or do I need to see my health care provider? ANSWER: The problem you describe sounds like "golfer's elbow." The medical...

  • DAVE SAYS

    Updated Feb 12, 2020

    Dear Dave, I'm beginning to think we got in over our heads with our house. My wife and I make about $125,000 a year combined, but we've never been able to put anything aside for an emergency fund. Our mortgage payment is 35 percent of our take home pay each month. We have two young children, so we eat out a lot, but we have no debt other than our house. Do you think we should refinance our home? Jeff Dear Jeff, You two are making good money, and you're debt-free except for...

  • WOLFGANG PUCK'S KITCHEN

    Wolfgang Puck|Updated Feb 12, 2020

    Nowadays, pizza is more than just an Italian specialty. You'll find people enjoying it wherever you travel around the world, from America to England to Japan to Qatar and beyond. I'm happy to have played some part in spreading that popularity, since I first began giving pizzas a new contemporary California spin at the first location of Spago I opened in Hollywood back in early 1982. Before then, not many people could have imagined pizzas topped with such gourmet and internatio...

  • RICK STEVES' EUROPE

    Rick Steves|Updated Feb 12, 2020

    To travel as a pilgrim is to experience "travel with a purpose"-to go beyond tourism and connect more deeply with a place, a culture, or a faith. Travelers considering pilgrimages in Europe have the opportunity to follow centuries-old routes or trace new paths in a search for perspective on their own culture - or the culture of others. "The Camino de Santiago - the "Way of St. James" - is Europe's ultimate pilgrimage route. Since the Middle Ages, humble pilgrims have trod hund...

  • MY PET WORLD

    Cathy M. Rosenthal|Updated Feb 12, 2020

    Dear Cathy, I have three female dogs. Sassy the oldest one is 11 and acts like an old lady. Star is 5 and very energetic. They both are good girls and very loving. A couple of weeks ago, my neighbor gave me Sarina, a 7-week-old puppy who is very energetic and loving. My problem is, Sarina is teething, and anything and everything goes in her mouth. She has a teething bone and lots of toys. Sassy growls at her if she comes close and has even snapped at her twice. Thankfully, the...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Feb 12, 2020

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My mother and my sister were treated for uterine fibroids in their late 30s. I just turned 35, and I'm starting to worry that I'll get them too. Am I at risk for fibroids because I have a family history of them? Are there other things that raise my risk? What symptoms should I watch for? ANSWER: Heredity can play a role in your risk for developing uterine fibroids. Your age, race, when you started having periods and a number of other factors also can affect...

  • Dave Says: Don't let 'little kid' ruin your financial plans

    Updated Feb 5, 2020

    Dear Dave: We're debt-free except for our home, and we'll have our fully funded emergency fund of three to six months of expenses - we've agreed on six months' worth - saved up by the end of February. We're also setting aside a little each month to buy a newer car with cash later. We're about $5,000 from our car fund goal, but my husband is getting impatient. He wants us to go ahead a finance the remainder, since it's a relatively small amount. He has tried to justify this by...

  • WOLFGANG PUCK'S KITCHEN

    Wolfgang Puck|Updated Feb 5, 2020

    It can be a challenge when Valentine's Day falls on a weekday. If you have a job or other demanding activities but want to cook for your Valentine, as many people wish to do, how do you prepare something special after what will probably be a busy day? The simple answer is to do some planning, and at least a little bit of cooking, ahead of time. That is why I'd like to share a special recipe to make for the one you love: a classic recipe from my restaurant Spago for the...

  • RICK STEVES' EUROPE

    Rick Steves|Updated Feb 5, 2020

    Ireland is more than an "Emerald Isle." It's an isle filled with cultural and historic wonders...and lately with lots of tourists, too. And at many of its top sights, reservations are now either required or highly recommended. In Dublin, it's more important than ever to buy advance tickets for the most popular sights. These include Kilmainham Gaol, a museum housed in a former prison for political prisoners (visits are by guided tour only), and the Guinness Storehouse,...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Feb 5, 2020

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I've noticed several dark spots and cobweb-like strings in my vision. Is this something to be concerned about? ANSWER: Dark spots such as those you describe may be floaters. These black or gray specks, strings or cobwebs typically drift about when you move your eyes and appear to dart away when you look at them directly. They may be most noticeable when you look at a plain, bright background, like the blue sky or a white wall. People who need glasses to see...

  • MY PET WORLD

    Cathy M. Rosenthal|Updated Feb 5, 2020

    Dear Cathy, In regard to your response to Howard in Oceanside, New York, you said you have never seen a plant die from dogs peeing on it? How about female dogs peeing on your lawn creating burn spots of dead grass? Never? I am with Howard. I work very hard on my lawn and property. People walking their dogs have no respect for others. While you can clean up poop, how do you clean up pee that brings other dogs to the smell and then they relieve themselves there? I have had...

  • Keep your wallet small and work it into your budget

    Updated Jan 29, 2020

    Dear Dave: I'm trying very hard to get out of debt. I have my beginner emergency fund in place, and I'm living on a monthly budget. Is it OK to include a little wallet cash in my budget at this point, just in case? - Andrew A: It's probably not going to throw you off too much in terms of getting out of debt if you budget $20 or so, just to have some cash in your wallet. I wouldn't recommend much more than that, though. The idea of having $50, $100, or $200 in walking around...

  • WOLFGANG PUCK'S KITCHEN

    Wolfgang Puck|Updated Jan 29, 2020

    If you have read any of my cookbooks, or eaten in my restaurants, you may have noticed that I have a certain fondness for dried fruit. You'll find them in my desserts, of course. But you'll also find them turning up in many savory dishes, from stews braises, and sautes to appetizers and side dishes, to salads and soups. Some of those guest appearances trace back to culinary history. In Austria, where I grew up, it was traditional for frugal people to save some of the harvest...

  • RICK STEVES' EUROPE

    Rick Steves|Updated Jan 29, 2020

    Britain, while engulfed in Brexit politics, is constantly investing in first-class projects to share its heritage - and, in so many ways, Britain's heritage is linked to our heritage. While many travelers are understandably curious about how Brexit is affecting tourists, from my experience it isn't. The only impact I've found is that the tourism industry seems to respect visitors more than ever. (And, for those who like to talk politics, the topic is a fascinating...

  • MY PET WORLD

    Cathy M. Rosenthal|Updated Jan 29, 2020

    Dear Cathy, Our rescue dog has been diagnosed with kidney problems. He is only 4 and takes medication for his condition. The vet does not want us to restrict his water. The problem is, when left alone during the day, he will pee in the same spot at the end of the day. This seems to happen as we pull up or he hears us at the door. On rare occasions, he is able to control his bladder. Is there something we can do to train/encourage him to wait until he gets outside to relieve...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Jan 29, 2020

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My two-month-old granddaughter's belly button is very large and sticks out well beyond her tummy. What might cause this? Should we be concerned? Will it get smaller over time? It doesn't seem to bother her, but I wonder if she should be seen by her doctor to have it checked anyway. ANSWER: The condition you describe sounds like an umbilical hernia. It's a fairly common condition among infants. In most cases, these hernias don't cause any problems, and they...

  • WOLFGANG PUCK'S KITCHEN

    Wolfgang Puck|Updated Jan 22, 2020

    In the middle of winter, summer can seem like a very long time away. As you read this, you're probably hearing of record snowfall somewhere, possibly right where you live. It's only natural for many home cooks to want to combat the chilly surroundings by cooking foods that are robust and warming, including thick soups, slow-simmered braises and stews, deep-dish apple pies and other pastry-based desserts. And dishes like that do go a long way toward comforting us during the col...

  • RICK STEVES' EUROPE

    Rick Steves|Updated Jan 22, 2020

    Rome is nicknamed "The Eternal City" and nowadays it could also be referring to the lines you'll wait in. The city (along with Naples) is better organized than ever for the huge crowds that descend on it each year - but only for those who equip themselves with good information and use it. These tips may be wonky, but for smart travelers in 2020, they will translate into many precious hours saved - and lots of sweat avoided. Rome's big sights continue to tinker with ticketing...

  • MY PET WORLD

    Cathy M. Rosenthal|Updated Jan 22, 2020

    I have a 7-year-old male Shih Tzu named Chipper. After eating breakfast and supper, Chipper will lick the rug in the living room. I find it difficult to break him of this habit. Why does he do this? Is it because he is bored? I did not have him as a pup. I got him when he was about 3. I am open to any suggestions that you offer on how I can break him of this habit. - Norman, Plainview, New York Dear Norman, Excessive licking can result from boredom, allergies, tooth or gum...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Jan 22, 2020

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I tore my calf muscle while running a few months ago and went to physical therapy for treatment. It seemed to heal well, but last weekend I tried running for the first time since the injury. After a couple of miles, I felt a strain in my calf. Is there anything else I can do, or will I have to give up running? I am a 51-year-old male. ANSWER: Your situation is common, especially for runners your age. You probably won't have to give up running. But you may nee...

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