Archive for August, 2010

Flu Shots, When You Care Enough to Give a Shot
August 25, 2010

There was a recent article in the Wall Street Journal about Flu Shots. The title, ‘Suntan lotion, Flip-flops, and Flu Shots’ caught my eye. If you are like me and think of November or December to get your flu shot, not Suntan lotion and Flip-Flops season, think again.

According to the CDC, influenza vaccination time should be pushed up to September, even Labor Day. So while you are back to school shopping or thinking about that last summer beach party, stop and think about a flu shot too. In fact stores like Walgreens and Rite-Aid have trained thousands of their pharmacists to give flu shots. This is the first time all 50 states will allow pharmacists to administer vaccinations.

Since most drug store shoppers don’t immediately think to add to their list a flu shot, these stores are trying to change that perception. CVS has increased food products, Walgreens has added beer and wine and Rite-Aid wants you to pick up your milk with the shot.

Walgreens, I think shows the most creative marketing strategy for flu shots. You can buy a flu shot gift card at Walgreens. When you care enough, give a shot!


Fahsion Divas
August 18, 2010

My 21 year old niece was visiting from remote small town USA. She wanted to go dress shopping for a wedding she will attend with her new boyfriend. I don’t need much prodding to go shopping anytime, but with an adorable easy going 21 year old, I was game. Of course she would have preferred to shop with some -one her own age but I was the only one available.

With fashion magazines and their web sites, and TV shows, even girls from remote towns know their fashion designers and styles. Reading about and looking on line is one thing, walking into designer stores is something else. When we went into Betsey Johnson’s store and the clerk paid attention to me and asked who I was wearing, my niece was shocked. Here was this trendy young woman talking to me. Let me tell you I quickly became the coolest Aunt for the rest of the day!

My friend Kim Johnson Gross, former Ford model, fashion editor of Towne & Country and Esquire, columnist for More and InStyle magazines and author of the recently released book, “What to Wear for the Rest of Your Life”,(Yes I am mentioned) talks about “Ageless Secrets of Style” in her book. Usually no one says anything about your clothes or the designer unless you are shopping, and very few do the ‘red carpet’ question. But then again, I was tickled, and concur with Kim thanking Diane von Furstenberg for her wrap dress. Some dresses are ageless, always in style, and make you feel good when you wear them, even really cool!

Sniff Out Ovarian Cancer
August 11, 2010

Will there be a day in the future when your Doctor asks for you to complete a canine sniff test? I certainly hope so. Trained Dogs have been used to detect lung, breast and skin cancers exhaled by patients. A study is now in progress for ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer is a very deceptive cancer even among all cancers because it has no diagnostic test and few symptoms until found to be in the advanced stages. 22,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year and about 2/3 of them will die from the disease.

The Pine Street Foundation in San Anselmo, California is looking for volunteers now. The Susan Love foundation’s Army of Women,   is recruiting on their behalf. Breath samples collected after breathing in a tube for 30-60 minutes is then analyzed by chemical analysis in a lab at the University of Maine and by the Dogs at the Pine Street Foundation. You can even meet the dogs doing the research if you want. These researchers most likely get the most hugs and adoration than any 2 legged lab researchers for their expertise.

If you live in Marin County or know some who does, pass on this information to sniff out ovarian cancer.

The Dracula Fruit Fly is My New Enemy
August 4, 2010

Add to Technorati FavoritesThe Spotted Wing Drosophilla is a fruit fly that kills fruit as they are ripening on the vine or tree. What makes this fruit fly different from every other fruit fly is that most fruit flies, as everyone knows, attack fruit that is over ripe or damaged. These special killers cut into the fruit, lay eggs and as the eggs mature they literally suck the life out of the fruit making it into a mushy mess. Hence the nick name, Dracula Fruit Fly.

I have a blueberry field that I am obsessive about. I net it from the birds. I hang copper tape to repel slugs. I hang CDs to further deter birds. It looks a 1980 Disco area in the sun. I plant flowers to encourage the bees. I worry the field from May through August. Other obsessive gardeners can feel my pain. Now I have a new pest. More than a pest it is a villain.

Fruit flies have a short life span, but the Dracula FF in a couple of weeks is capable of producing 10 generations each season. Being an organic gardener, the option of spraying is out of the question. So what is an obsessive blueberry gardener to do?

One of the researchers is Dr. Amy Dreves, and entomologist at Oregon State University, is optimistic that a remedy can be found. She suggests thinking like a fly. Visions of the creepy book and movie, The Fly quickly come to mind. It is unsettling for me, the home grower; it could be devastating to farmers of berries, peaches, apricots, plums, grapes, and more fruits, and all our grocery bills. You did read that correctly, grapes, as in wine grapes from California to Washington State are in peril!

We are all hoping this scare goes the way of other scary disease epidemic predictions and never really happens. Right now in the Willamette Valley no reports or traps have reported this new source of evil. I am putting out cups of vinegar hanging from my bushes that is supposed to deter the evil fly. It must be the equivalent to garlic as a detriment. Whatever it takes for my blueberries!