Lifestyles: Columnists

Jul. 01, 2014 @ 01:14 PM

Black pepper saves life in an emergency

Q. I am writing to tell you how your advice helped solve a near tragedy. My husband and I were recently on a trip to Mongolia in a very remote location when he hit his leg on the sharp corner of a metal wood stove. He takes the anticoagulant warfarin, so the bleeding was horrific.


Jun. 26, 2014 @ 05:00 PM

A collector and an admirer meet in Ackland show

Two men and a gift of more than 480 works of art; this is the heart of the new exhibition at the Ackland Museum. Joseph F. McCrindle (1923-2008) amassed hundreds of art objects during his lifetime and gave them to large and small institutions all over the country, including the Ackland. Many were given because of personal friendships.  

Jun. 24, 2014 @ 09:59 AM

How much water do you need to drink daily?

Q. Is it possible to overhydrate? When I was growing up, no one carried a bottle of water around. Now it seems as if everyone is constantly sipping bottled water throughout the day.

Jun. 24, 2014 @ 08:57 AM

This spud’s for Petey

When I told Petey that I thought I’d write this piece about my new preparation for potatoes, he said they definitely deserve their own column. 


Jun. 19, 2014 @ 10:38 AM

A ‘good art day’ in Chapel Hill

It was one of those pretty summer days when the temperature had not soared into the 90s and the downtown Chapel Hill art scene beckoned. I began my visits at the Horace Williams House where Cici Stevens has mounted a show of small found objects. From there I moved uptown to Frank Gallery and a group show of drawings and prints and then across the street to the Ackland Museum Store where they were putting the finishing touches on a pottery exhibit  which would open in a couple of hours.

Jun. 17, 2014 @ 02:14 PM

Nicotine gum could slow recovery from hip fracture

Q. I have a friend who is 57 and never smoked. She fell and broke her hip a couple of months ago, and now has taken up chewing nicotine gum like it was candy.

Jun. 17, 2014 @ 09:20 AM

Fire up the grill

As I cleaned my grill in preparation for regular summer use, I started thinking about the history of backyard grills and grilling in general.

Believe it or not, some Chicago back yards are the epicenter for the creation of backyard barbecue grills; not Texas, or Georgia or even North Carolina. Two of the grills most of us use today were invented in Chicago’s suburbs.
The 1950s were a hotbed for grilling. In 1952, George Stephen invented what we now know as the Weber kettle grill by taking half of a marine buoy, welding three legs on the bottom, opening up vents underneath and pounded-out a vented, domed cover (at that time, Stephen was a welder for the Weber Company Metal Works). The story goes that his neighbors called it a "sputnik" after Russia's first space ship.

Jun. 17, 2014 @ 08:59 AM

Get shorty

Some things just aren’t worth the darn effort.


Jun. 15, 2014 @ 02:42 PM

A ‘Bull City Summer,’ in photos and film

Play ball! It is that moment when the teams have taken their positions on the field, the pitcher winds up and the game begins. It is summertime in Durham and for 72 days the Triple A Bulls will play at home to big crowds, folks who love baseball and all the fun and hoopla organized around it. 
The summer of 2014 has also turned into a Durham Bulls museum event. Last year, 10 photographers were commissioned to document the 72-game season. It was the 25th anniversary of the best all-time baseball movie ever, “Bull Durham.” 

Jun. 10, 2014 @ 09:16 AM

Food chat: board of ed(ition)

It’s something that happens, but no one ever talks about: we do have favorites. It’s true, people in retail have favorite customers.

Years ago, when The Kid was in preschool, and everybody was doing the Macarena, I worked at a small neighborhood bookstore for my friend Bosco. 

We had lots of regular customers. Some of them we dreaded. Most we did not.


Jun. 09, 2014 @ 02:42 PM

Desperate for effective lice treatments

Q. My grandchildren started scratching their heads several weeks ago. Upon careful examination, we discovered they had lice.
Their parents have been diligent in using lice shampoo, combing out nits and washing the bedding, to no avail. Are there any more effective strategies besides over-the-counter lice shampoos? My daughter is desperate.

Jun. 04, 2014 @ 11:28 AM

Toilet paper triggers nasty skin reactions

Q. I have a number of allergies and chemical sensitivities. Here's the latest reaction: Every time I use an airplane toilet or a Port-a-Potty, I have very uncomfortable swelling of my privates. It happened to me today after using the restroom in a local big-box store. Friends have told me of the same reaction.

Jun. 05, 2014 @ 09:19 AM

Get ready for food label changes

The Food Fact labels we've all become accustomed to have been around for 21 years. Those labels have gone relatively unchanged throughout the years except for eight years ago when the Food and Drug Administration started requiring food companies to include trans fats.

Those familiar Food Fact labels are about to change again, and in some significant ways. Before we take a look at what's proposed, let's understand why.

Jun. 03, 2014 @ 10:25 AM

It's in the bag

If our house ever caught fire, after I made sure Petey, The Kid, and our pooch Riker were safe, I’d go after a few material things.
I’d grab my computer, my awesome gray suede boots, and a very special bag.
It’s not a Kate Spade, a Burberry, or even a Birkin bag.  This bag may not be as pretty as any of those dream purses, but its versatility can’t be beat. It’s actually a plastic bag that I keep in the fridge.

May. 27, 2014 @ 10:08 AM

Ooh Mommy

Picture two different guys, say “Star Trek’s” new Captain Kirk, actor Chris Pine, and the new Scotty, accomplished comedian and writer Simon Pegg.  The first face elicits an “Oh yeah!” and the second, “Oh well…”
They both have eyes, nose and a mouth. But there’s something about the size, shape and facial arrangement that makes a huge difference in the overall aesthetic. It’s an ineffable quality that’s hard to put into words, but known instinctively.