Saturday, January 24, 2015
     
Shawn McArdle and Jillian Castaldi

Jillian Marie Castaldi of Scranton and Shawn Patrick McArdle of Nesquehoning have announced their engagement.

The bride-to-be is the daughter Martin and Renee Castaldi of Scranton.

She is a graduate of Misericordia University with a bachelor's of science in nursing. She is pursuing a master's degree in family health nurse practitioner at the University of Scranton.

She is currently employed as a registered nurse in the emergency room at Geisinger Community Medical Center.

The prospective bridegroom is the son of John and DelRey McArdle of Nesquehoning.

@$:KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Poinsettia plants are popular around Christmas, and will thrive as a houseplant with proper care. It's even possible to get them to rebloom next year, if you are diligent about giving them 15 hours of darkness each night, from September through December.

The holidays are over and if you're like me, you may have a couple of poinsettias hanging around, brightening up these dreary winter days.

Have you ever thought about resurrecting them next Christmas?

It will take a little effort and dedication on your part poinsettias can be notoriously finicky and even then, you might not have a brilliant red plant to show off, but it's worth a shot.

If you look online you can find a multitude of tips to get those persnickety poinsettias to bloom again. Here are a few from Michigan State University:

Late winter and early...

Shawn McArdle and Jillian Castaldi
Jillian Marie Castaldi of Scranton and Shawn Patrick McArdle of Nesquehoning have announced their engagement. The bride-to-be is the daughter Martin and Renee Castaldi of Scranton. She is a graduate of Misericordia University with a bachelor's of science in nursing. She is pursuing a master's degree in family health nurse practitioner at the University of Scranton. She is currently employed as a registered nurse in the emergency room at Geisinger Community Medical Center. The prospective bridegroom is the son of John and DelRey McArdle of Nesquehoning.

Q. I get a lot of stomach aches. Do you have any tips to prevent them?

If you are having recurring abdominal pain, you should see a doctor immediately.

This kind of discomfort can be a symptom of a serious ailment. However, if you're talking about the kind of stomach aches we all get occasionally, there are some things you can do to prevent them.

Ÿ Eat small meals more frequently.

Ÿ Make sure that your meals are well-balanced and high in fiber.

Ÿ Drink plenty of water each day.

Ÿ Exercise regularly.

Ÿ Limit foods that produce gas.

Q. Is ALS an old-person's disease, or does it affect every age group?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis usually strikes between the ages of 40 and 70, but there have been cases of it in young adults, children and older people. The average age for getting ALS is 55.

ALS is known as Lou Gehrig's disease in the USA. Gehrig, who played baseball for the New York Yankees, died of the disease in 1941.

In other countries, ALS is often called motor neuron disease. It is not contagious.

Q. What can you do to keep the hair you have?

Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. Androgenetic Alopecia, or pattern baldness, is the most common type of alopecia; it affects about one-third of us, including me.

Men start to get pattern baldness at the hairline and crown. This can lead to complete baldness. Women's hair loss is usually limited to thinning; they rarely go totally bald.

There are a few steps you can take to preserve your hair:

Q. Can a sinus infection give you a toothache?

I can write from personal experience on this one. I had a bad toothache that sent me to my dentist. He did some X-rays and could find nothing wrong. He asked me about my sinuses, and I told him I was fighting an infection. Bingo.

Yes, infection in the sinuses located in your cheekbones can cause your upper jaw and teeth to ache, and your cheeks to become tender to the touch. Sinusitis is a nasty malady that can do much more than give you a toothache.

PHOTOS COURTESY QVC Hearty Vegetable Lentil Stew

During the chilly months of winter nothing will warm you up like a hearty soup or stew.

QVC's resident foodie and best-selling cookbook author David Venable has the best recipes to cozy up to this winter, like this Hearty Vegetable Lentil Stew, Grammie's Noodle Soup or Coconut-Curry Chicken Stew.

Hearty Vegetable Lentil Stew

Serves 6-8

AP Photo/Matthew Mead French lentil salad

When I was in high school, my parents took my sisters and me to Paris. That trip shaped me in so many ways, most of them culinary. So many of the dishes I make even today were inspired by that trip.

One night, we went to a small, rustic restaurant in the heart of the city. The meal started with hunks of cheese, sausages, cornichons and a bowl of "country caviar." The bread, cheese and meat were as delicious as you would expect, but it was that last item that blew us away.

This Dec. 8, 2014 photo shows preparing tofu that will be sauteed with broccoli and red peppers in chili-orange sauce in Concord, N.H. ()

My mom started traveling abroad when I was in high school. And after each of her trips, we cooked a meal from the country she'd just visited.

It was after her trip to Italy that I became a huge fan of veal. Veal, of course, is notoriously bland, so what's the appeal?

I love it because it functions mostly as a firm landing strip for the delicious sauce of your choice, and I'm a nut for sauces. Recently, I figured out that tofu plays the same role for vegetarians as veal does for carnivores.

This Dec. 1, 2014 photo shows fried udon noodles with shrimp and spicy sauce in Concord, N.H. Fried udon noodles with red peppers and shrimp, all slathered in a spicy peanut sauce is simple and filling. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Let's be honest about New Year's Eve. Once you've reached a certain age, celebrating stops being about partying and starts being all about hunkering down with a movie and comfort food on the couch.

There is no shame in admitting this. After all, most of us spend most of the year wishing life would slow down enough to have just one evening now and again to do nothing and veg with a movie. So why not embrace this desire as a fine way to close out the year?