Happy 4th!How to be safe and obey the law

Before you set off those 4th of July fireworks — how to stay safe and follow the law

July 1st, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
Ever since it became legal to buy fireworks in Maine, I swear I hear them all year long in my neighborhood. Somebody always seems to be celebrating something! If you're planning to put on a 4th of July display in your backyard, it's important to know the law in your community. Not all states allow ordinary people like you and me to use fireworks.  Read the Rest »
Woman clutching her belly.

A salad recipe that’s meant to soothe an irritable bowel

June 30th, 2016 | Nom Nom

Do you often get a belly ache or diarrhea after eating certain foods or when you're under stress or worrying about something? It happens to most of us every once in a while, but if you deal with it on a regular basis, you might have irritable bowel syndrome or IBS.

The brain in your gut

Health experts believe IBS symptoms are caused by faulty communication between the brain in the head and the brain in the gut. That's right — your gut has a brain! Read the Rest »
Diane Atwood's mother

How to recognize a swallowing problem in someone with dementia

June 28th, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
My mother had a couple of choking episodes recently. I wasn't alarmed because she's had swallowing issues in the past. At least twice over the years, she had a procedure that stretched her esophagus because of a stricture or narrowing. Read the Rest »
doctor shakes hands with patient

Looking for a new primary care provider? Some advice from a doctor

June 27th, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
Guest Post by John Yindra, M.D. It can be challenging to find a primary care provider (PCP) who is a good fit for you and your family. Friends often say to me, “It must be easy for you to find a PCP because you’re a doctor.” Despite what you might think, finding a healthcare provider isn’t necessarily second nature for us — it’s that we know what to look for and how to find it. Here are some tips if you are looking for a healthcare provider. Read the Rest »
Body of water

Hypothermia isn’t the only risk in cold water

June 24th, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
Hypothermia happens when the body loses heat faster than it can be produced. Normal body temperature is 98.6 °F.  Below 95 °F is considered hypothermia. Organs, body functions and systems slow down — breathing, the heart, the nervous system, for instance — which can lead to heart failure and death.  Read the Rest »
Aman21 / Pixabay

Why you should drink water and other beverages at room temperature

June 23rd, 2016 | Nom Nom
Guest post by Kath Bartlett, Doctoral Fellow, LAc You may love that glass of iced tea or soda on a hot day. However, Chinese medicine disagrees with this choice. Read the Rest »
Deer fly

Get rid of pesky deer flies with this easy-to-make hat trap

June 22nd, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
Thanks to a yard thick with deer flies, mowing the lawn used to be a nightmare for my husband, Barry. Now, it's a dream. Well, that might be an exaggeration, but it's a whole lot better. He shares his secret to getting rid of deer flies in this guest post.  Read the Rest »
Watchic Lake Standish Maine

For the love of our father my family joined forces in a battle against alcohol

June 21st, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
My father, Bob Swett, died on December 10, 2009. He might have died years earlier if not for a critical decision our family made in the mid-80s. Not everyone would agree with our approach, but it worked for our family. We did it out of love and we were able to share that love with him (and vice versa) for nearly 25 more years. Read the Rest »
Bettina Blanchard organizer

How Bettina Blanchard tries to simplify life — hers and ours

June 20th, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
Two years ago, I invited Bettina Blanchard into my home to help me clear out and paint my favorite room. At the time, she was still running her business All in Place and for the most part, helped people clear clutter, clean and become better organized. I had hired her three times before — once to help me organize my office when I worked outside my home and the other times as gifts to my daughters. Read the Rest »
Darcey Pomerleaus father and daugther

A history of bloody noses turned out to be a serious condition called HHT

June 17th, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
Lots of people get bloody noses, especially as kids. But when you get them a lot and sometimes they go on and on and on, it's time to take notice. Darcey Pomerleau's father had a history of bloody noses that got worse when he reached his 50s. One episode led to a diagnosis he'd never heard of before. HHT. It stands for Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia — a genetic disorder of the blood vessels. It occurs in about one in 5000 people.  Read the Rest »
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Alopecia Areata. On the Morning Report

June 16th, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
Search the word "bald" and you’ll find lots of information — about men going bald. On the Morning Report, Sharon Vaznis and I talked about alopecia areata, a disease that causes baldness in men and women. Jean Jackson, from New Hampshire, was kind enough to let us share her story. Read the Rest »
Strawberry rhubarb pie

Don’t Miss This: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and Nona Mac’s Southern Pastry, Vegan Style

June 13th, 2016 | Catching Health Stories, Nom Nom

My plan was to write about rhubarb and share a healthy rhubarb pie recipe. That's because rhubarb is low in calories and has an assortment of vitamins and minerals that are good for us. And, it's in season. Trouble is, most rhubarb recipes are loaded with sugar to cut its strong tart flavor. I asked several friends if they had a rhubarb pie recipe I could use and they all told me they don't eat rhubarb anymore because they're trying to avoid sugar. Read the Rest »

Where to Pick Strawberries in Maine

June 9th, 2016 | Catching Health Stories, Nom Nom

Is there anything else quite as delicious as a handful of freshly picked strawberries? Check out the Catching Health list of farms across Maine that let you pick your own strawberries. If a farm has a website or Facebook page, I included a link. Otherwise, you might want to call ahead to make sure it’s open for picking.

Wherever possible, I have included information about a farm's use of pesticides.

If you want to add a farm or additional information to the list or notice something that needs to be corrected, please let me know. I'll tell you how at the end of the post.

Read the Rest »
100+ logo

100+ Women in Southern Maine are rocking the world

When Deb Bergeron founded the group 100+ Women Who Care Southern Maine, she hoped she'd get at least 100 women to join. Eighty attended the inaugural meeting in November 2014. Today, there are nearly 200 members. Read the Rest »
Jean Jackson wearing hat

What would you do if you suddenly lost all your hair? It happened to this woman

June 6th, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
Jean Jackson is bald. Totally. Not a single hair on her entire body. It's happened to her twice. The first time was about nine years ago when she was 64. Read the Rest »
Tired woman

The challenging ups and downs of thyroid disease

June 6th, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
More tired than usual? Losing hair? Feeling low? Irritable? Shedding pounds when you're not even trying? Or dieting like crazy and the scale won't budge? These are all symptoms of thyroid disease. Read the Rest »
Plate of scrambled eggs

How much protein do we need and how do we get it? Plus a great recipe

June 2nd, 2016 | Nom Nom

I remember being a kid and my mother pleading with me to eat my scrambled eggs before heading off to school "You need your protein," she'd say, "so you'll have strong muscles and you'll be able to learn things."

Decades have passed and I still have things to learn. And to this day, I often remind myself about getting enough protein.

Protein is important. About 15 percent of the average person's body mass is made up of protein. Our muscles, skin and hair are mostly protein. And we need protein to keep everything working properly. Read the Rest »

Liam Thomas

A special dog for a little boy with diabetes. On the Morning Report

June 1st, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...

In 2015, four-year-old Liam Thomas was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Because his sugar levels fluctuate throughout the day and night, his parents hope to get him a special kind of monitor. A diabetic alert dog. I told his story recently on the Morning Report. Read the Rest »

Salmon on the grill

You’ve never had anything as delicious as this barbecued salmon

May 26th, 2016 | Nom Nom

Many years ago, our good friend Pete gave us a fabulous cookbook as a souvenir of his vacation in Seattle. James McNair's Salmon Cookbook. Our favorite recipe in it is for barbecued salmon. You will always find a bottle of homemade salmon barbecue sauce in our fridge. Read the Rest »

Page from Bug in a Jar

Bug in a Jar: A little book with a big message about dying

May 25th, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
Will you think I'm weird if I tell you I think Bug in a Jar — Alison Bramhall's book about dying — is charming? I can't help it. It is.  Read the Rest »
Liam Thomas

The difference a rescue dog could make in the life of a little boy with diabetes

May 24th, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
What four-year-old wouldn't want a dog? Liam Thomas is hoping to get one. A dog he can run and play and cuddle up with. A dog he can trust. With his life. Read the Rest »
Man doing push ups

Is the 7-minute workout the best exercise?

May 23rd, 2016 | Gotta Use It
Guest post by John Turrell, Wellness Coordinator, Greater Portland Branch,YMCA of Southern Maine. Americans follow the news. We know we need more exercise. We know that Americans suffer from obesity, heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, joint degeneration, and broken bones from falling. We know that all these physical problems can largely be prevented and even often cured with regular, consistent exercise pursued over a lifetime. Read the Rest »
Photo courtesy of Kathleen Kelly

Avocado and roasted asparagus salad — perfect springtime meal

May 19th, 2016 | Nom Nom
It's asparagus season and thanks to my husband Barry, this wonderful vegetable grows right in our backyard. I'm sure I've never had any quite as delicious as when he cooks it fresh from the garden. Here are two easy ways to cook asparagus. Read the Rest »
Noah playing football

Why an extremity MRI won’t make you feel closed in. On the Morning Report

May 18th, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
When Noah Nelson hurt his wrist playing college football he had an MRI to see if a bone was broken. One was — a tiny bone called the scaphoid. Normally, when you have an MRI you have to lie still inside a big magnetic tube. But Noah only had to stick his arm in the machine. It's called an extremity MRI and that's what Sharon Vaznis and I talked about recently on the Morning Report. Read the Rest »
Nurse examining woman's thyroid

Some important information about thyroid cancer

May 17th, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
Thyroid trouble? As we age, the risk of our thyroid not working properly increases. I know, yet another thing. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ in the neck, just above your collar bone and below your voice box. If you're a man, it's not your Adam's apple, it's just below it. The thyroid's job is to produce hormones that regulate how the body uses and stores energy. It can be under- or overactive. It can develop lumps or nodules. Or it could become cancerous. Read the Rest »
Diane's mother

Avita. What my mother now calls home

May 15th, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...

My mother has lived at Avita of Stroudwater, a memory care facility, for nearly two years. Like any one of us, she wanted to stay in her own home. Even after my father died. And it was a big house — two stories, plus an attic and a basement.

When we asked how she was doing, she'd always tell us she was fine. Those of us who lived nearby made more frequent visits, spent the night, checked in by phone.  Read the Rest »
dog and cat

What can poison your pets and what to do if it happens

May 13th, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
I read a sad story recently. Two dogs were accidentally killed in Lincoln, Maine when they ate some bread sprinkled with a chemical called Lannate. It appears that a local farmer may have been trying to get rid of some crows and his neighbor's dogs got into the bread. Read the Rest »
Rebecca Vincelette

Diagnosed with breast cancer when she was only 33 and now reaching out to other young women

May 12th, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ...
Five years ago, Rebecca Vincelette discovered something unusual in her right breast. It was Father's Day weekend. She was 33 years old. "I was in the shower and I was doing a breast exam, "she told me over the phone recently. "The tissue felt thicker and more dense. It didn't feel like a lump, but it felt like something was wrong." What followed was an appointment with her doctor and a cascade of medical tests and procedures — mammogram, ultrasounds, biopsies. Each one brought Rebecca closer to a diagnosis no woman wants to get. One that is unusual for someone so young, but by no means impossible. Read the Rest »
MRI wrist

MRIs make you feel claustrophobic? An extremity MRI won’t

This post is sponsored by Spectrum Medical Group

Last fall, Bowdoin College football quarterback Noah Nelson injured his wrist during a game. He's in the white uniform. Number 18. It was around half-time in a game against Bates.

The picture above was taken at the moment he probably got hurt. Look closely and you can see his left wrist being bent backwards. It's called an overextension injury. He may have been hurt, but it also looks as if Noah kept a firm grip on that football in his right hand! Read the Rest »


Benefits of massage for people who are elderly or have dementia

I've long believed that if we could all start each day with a good back and shoulder massage the world would be a more peaceful place. Not only does massage help relieve stress and tension, it's being used more and more as a complement to traditional medical treatments. For example, in some cancer centers, volunteer massage therapists give soothing massages to patients undergoing chemotherapy. Read the Rest »
scale and tape measure

Eat these three foods if you want to burn fat in a healthy way

May 6th, 2016 | Nom Nom
Guest post by Jennifer McGregor If you’re like many Americans trying to lose weight, your 2016 probably got started with a bang as you tackled your New Year’s weight loss goals with ferocity, forsaking all bread and vowing to hit the gym no less than a dozen times a week. But now, as summer looms, your efforts have likely long since ground to a screeching halt. The good news is that burning off any excess pounds you’ve gained in recent months doesn’t have to feel like walking across hot coals. In fact, if you incorporate these three foods into your diet, you can literally shed pounds without even trying. Read the Rest »