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Dear Heloise: Many times I've received a gift in a nice strong box, and I hate to toss it out in the recycle bin, so I save it. When the holidays roll around, I reuse those boxes to wrap gifts. If they have writing on them, I spray paint the boxes on all sides, sometimes adding glitter and other decorations.
Dear Heloise: As a chef in a well-known restaurant, I learned a lot about how to work with pasta, and I'd like to pass on some of those hints.
Dear Doctor: A yoga teacher at our gym has been talking about something called the circadian diet. He says it's good for your gut microbiome. I've heard of circadian rhythms, but I don't see how that's connected to the gut. What is a circadian diet anyway?
Dear Doctor: I tripped on a curb and hit the pavement pretty hard. I didn't break a bone, but after a few days, the area around my knee started to hurt and got very sensitive. I'm told this is a bone bruise, which is a term I've never heard. What is it, and how long will it take to heal?
Dear Doctor: I'm 52 years old and going through menopause. I knew about the insomnia, night sweats and hot flashes, which get talked about a lot. What's upsetting is that I'm also becoming mentally less sharp than I used to be. Is this part of menopause, too? Would hormone replacement therapy help?
Dear Heloise: I received a call from my sister telling me that my mother had passed away. I had to get from Arizona to New Jersey in a hurry, so I took an airplane to get home.
Dear Doctor: My wife and I had to go back to our offices, so our 4-year-old son is back in day care. About six weeks in, he got an itchy rash that drove him nuts. His pediatrician says it's scabies. What is that? She says it's likely he got it at day care, and we're worried it will happen again.
Dear Readers: I have gotten several letters asking how to get red wine stains out of light colored carpet. When you are having a gathering, a lively and good time with friends and family, this just seems to happen. And we know it's not the end of the world! Here's what to do ...
Dear Doctor: I'm 65 years old, and I've been diagnosed with a-fib, and also atrial flutter. It used to come and go, but now it's staying with me. I have a patch from an atrial septal defect repair as a child, so ablation may not be an option. If not, can I live with these and still have a good life?
Dear Doctor: What are flavonoids? All of a sudden, they're in the news, and it sounds like if you get enough of them, you'll have normal blood pressure. Can you get them in regular food?