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WRITER: Burton Cole

Sleeping like a baby — fussy, fidgety and floppy

Terry downed her night meds, fussed with the blankets and swapped out pillows. I rolled onto my other side, an effort that involved more oofing, groaning and wriggling than used to happen during an entire backyard football game. Soon, we’d be sleeping like babies — which is to say, wriggling, waking multiple times, fussing for our (water) bottles and occasionally sneaking out of bed to play with our ...

Recipes for cancer caregivers

The idea for “Cooking for a Cure” — really a guide book more than a cookbook — came after Maranda Cress’ husband was diagnosed with brain cancer. She wanted to compile in one volume all the information she wished she had. “No one sat down and explained the entirety of it,” Cress said. “They gave me test results, but not the explanation of it. We had 12 doctors on our oncology team. I guess ...

Young’uns don’t have a clue about music: Eagles rock

At first, it was a joy to watch those “First Time Hearing” videos in which hosts listen to decades-old pop music. It warmed my heart to see young adults blown away by how good the music from my generation sounds. But the more I binge-watched the YouTube videos, the more depression rolled in. “Never heard of them,” one mid-20s newbie said of Aerosmith and their 1973 single “Dream On,” the band’s ...

Exit Relay for Life, enter Festival of Lives in Valley

WARREN — Relay For Life is back — sort of. This year, call it Festival of Lives. “We’re kind of trying to reinvent it since we’ve been off a couple of years because of COVID,” Relay volunteer Luana Andamasaris said. “The festival is to get people reacquainted.” A registered nurse and oncology coordinator at Trumbull Regional Medical Center, Andamasaris is in charge of the 5K run / walk ...

Snipes, cow tipping and cousin Ollie combine for crazy danger

We’d only been up the tree for 20 minutes that spring day decades ago, but with the bull snorting beneath us, it already felt like 20 hours. “When do you think he’ll get bored and go away?” I asked cousin Ollie, who lounged on the next limb over. Ollie studied the monstrous creature pacing around our oak perch. “I dunno. He still looks sore. Jimmy shouldn’t have bumped into him like that.” From ...

Do I need sunglasses, a wool hat or a raincoat?

It’s spring! I think. The calendar says spring dawned March 30, but I have awakened to snow and winter coats quite a few days this April. Mixed between them are afternoons of shirtsleeves and sunshine. As the great philosopher Mark Twain once said, “In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.” Which is why the great philosopher Henry Van Dyke proclaimed, “The ...

In sickness and in health, and you better not be faking it

I’m positive my wife violated a wedding vow. It’s that one about pampering me in sickness and health. “The word ‘pampering’ wasn’t there,” Terry claims. All that vow requires, according to her opinion, is to love me even when I’m not faking the 24-hour bubonic plague to get out of yard work. When I am sick, Terry offers me ibuprofen and the occasional backrub — and far more vitamins, ...

You ninny of a varmint, put creativity into insults

Insults have lost their charm. The world would be a less angry place if we laced our crass with class. It’s hard to chuff when you’re chuckling. Bertie Wooster of PG Wodehouse’s Wooster and Jeeves novels didn’t sink to plebian put-downs like “idgit” or “stupid-head.” His insults crackled with humor and flair: “He had just about enough intelligence to open his mouth when he wanted to eat, but ...

Movement honors more than riveters

Rosie didn’t just rivet airplanes. During World War II, when men were called to fight, women worked in factories, laboratories, offices and farms, doing anything that needed done on the home front. The American Rosie Movement, based in Charleston, W.Va., aims to interview as many Rosies as possible across the nation to create video and audio records of their service. Direction Home of Eastern Ohio has ...

The one you want to annoy for the rest of your life

Sheba studied us as we hung up our coats in the church foyer. “Did you notice,” she said to my wife, “that guys hang their clothes facing right, but we hang ours facing left?” Terry nodded. “Why is that? I can’t get Burt to hang things in the right direction.” Randy, Sheba’s husband, nudged me. “I Googled it. We’re the ones doing it correctly.” Is there a right or wrong direction to ...