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January 2015

Features

Causes and Crusaders

  Rick Schoepke couldn’t figure out why he was having trouble seeing out of his left eye. Perplexed by the sudden onset, he decided to make a doctor’s appointment. After a battery of tests that included a spinal tap and MRI, doctors determined he had optic neuritis, an inflammation of…

Tale of Two Preemies

One out of every eight infants in the United States is born prematurely each year. Preterm-related causes of death account for about thirty-five percent of all infant deaths, more than any other single cause. Babies born too soon have to fight for their survival and the odds are not in their…

Just Keep Swimming!

I am a big fan of January. The month that’s denigrated as a little too resolution-oriented for some, and downright humdrum for others, is the month I welcome. I love the quiet beauty. The structure of school resuming. And that there is nary a holiday guilting me into hanging a…

Columns

Resolution Revelation

I am not one for making resolutions. For me, the whole thing feels like a cloud hovering over my head until it finally dissipates, just in time for Lent, when I can repackage the same basic pledge. You might think this somewhat jaded attitude has come with age and experience,…

“Mom, what’s wrong with him?”

The moment your child sees mine, he knows something is a little bit different – or a lot. It might be in the way my child moves, in his facial features, in the braces on his legs, or in the fact that he doesn’t speak. Ruben has special needs and…

When Dad Pushes the Cart

I guess I might as well laugh. You’re next in line behind me here in the checkout line. By your clothes, your haircut, and that just-happy-to-be-here look on your face, I’d say you’re a senior at the college not far from my house. And now, with the weekend about to…

Happy 2015, RFM Readers!

What a whirlwind the holidays were – did you feel that way, too? I kept telling the kids it was too soon to watch Charlie Brown’s Christmas, and it was too soon to go see tacky lights, and it was too soon to Christmas shop, and then all of a…

Departments

Get a Smart Start

The electronic age has increased our productivity, yet compromised our financial safety. With threats all around us – like shifty telemarketing, phishing, scamming, spamming, and malware – we need to be on guard. Staying alert and knowing what to say and do in advance can help when faced with questionable…

Dog Have the Winter Doldrums?

If your dog stares at you incessantly, barks at you, or paws and nudges you, he is demanding attention. But more notably, your dog may be bored. When it comes to your dog’s well-being, the importance of mental stimulation is significant and cannot be understated. You should always initiate interaction…

Science is a Breeze!

Wind is a powerful source of energy that helps people, animals, and plants move around the world. Sailors have used wind power to navigate waterways for thousands of years! So is it possible to use wind to help us drive down the street, or even around the world? Try constructing…

Managing SAD

A perpetually pessimistic friend once told me that my birthday (later this month for you gift givers out there) was the most depressing day of the year because it’s cold, dark, and the holiday bills arrive.  While there may be some credence to this idea, there’s a bit more biology…

Healthy Relationships

As family members age, they often become more reliant on us to help them with their lives. When Grandma and Grandpa need help mowing the lawn, changing light bulbs, or lifting heavy boxes, the solution is easy: Drive over and help, and if the kids are old enough, bring them,…

Teens and the Sleep Issue

Q: When my daughter was younger, she had difficulty falling asleep at night. She would read and fight sleep for hours. Now, she is sixteen. She is in her room by eleven most nights, but cannot – or will not – go to sleep at a decent hour. How can…

Safe Harbor

Maria was sixty-five when she made the difficult and dangerous decision to leave her abusive husband. After eighteen years of marriage, she fled her home state to seek refuge with family in Richmond. Maria hoped for a fresh start, but her determination wavered and she felt unsure about separating from…

Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea affects up to seven percent of men, yet seventy to eighty percent of people with sleep apnea remain undiagnosed. If sleep apnea is left untreated, over time the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and diabetes increases. Think of it as running your…

Warm Up with a Chili Cook-Off

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili Heat 2 tablespoons of high-heat vegetable oil (grapeseed oil is recommended, but olive oil is the most common) in a heavy-bottom Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 diced onion and 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into ½-in chunks. Sauté potatoes until…

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