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How I shop for our family's traditional Christmas feast

<p>When I was a child my grandmother made a plum pudding in November and hung it in the laundry of her cottage in Melbourne. For us kids, the appearance of the pudding was the harbinger of exciting festive things to come.</p> <p>With the family jam-packed into my grandparents' little house, Christmas morning saw my Nana, my mother and assorted aunts stuffing a turkey and scrubbing potatoes, to be crammed into an old-fashioned stove in Nana's petite kitchen.</p> <p>I don't know how my Nana managed to serve a hot Christmas dinner for 15 or more people with such limited culinary resources.</p> <p>I recall one year, as we poured gravy onto the turkey in high heat, an uncle suggesting that the following year we picnic at the beach instead. It was the early 1960s, and everyone looked at him as though he was mad.</p> <p>Now, times have changed and people celebrate Christmas Day dining in all sorts of ways – barbecues, picnics, yum cha and Middle Eastern feasts to name a few. </p> <p>But for many of us, childhood traditions die hard. Every year our family decides on a picnic or a barbecue Christmas lunch. But in the end we never do; for some reason we always hark back to a semi-traditional Christmas lunch.</p> <p>In lean years, and there have been many, the cost of Christmas dining seemed overwhelming – as we all know the turkey, the ham, the seafood - the lot - can set you back hundreds of dollars if you're catering for a crowd.</p> <p>My kids and I devised a way to reduce costs many years ago, and continue this practice today.</p> <p>What we do is hit the market and supermarket late afternoon on Christmas Eve. At this time you can pretty much guarantee that turkeys, ducks, seafood and high-end fruit and veggies will be drastically reduced.</p> <p>For some it might seem odd not knowing what you'll be cooking for Christmas lunch. But the challenge of creating culinary Christmas magic with what you have foraged at the last minute has become part of the Yuletide fun in our family of passionate cooks.</p> <p>We don't care if we dine on turkey, chicken, duck - or all of the above – it depends on what's been reduced on Christmas Eve.</p> <p>I make a cranberry and pistachio nut stuffing in preparation for the bargains we might snare, which works just as well with turkey as with chicken (in the rare event we don't bag a half-price turkey), and have oranges and plenty of spices on hand for the happy occasions there's a plump duck on offer at up to 60 per cent off.</p> <p>We've often uncovered low-priced ham, too, which might be doused in a maple, honey and mustard glaze for the Christmas table.</p> <p>Seafood finds can be a real bargain-hunters extravaganza on Christmas Eve: why, last year alone we discovered big, succulent prawns slashed to 50 per cent off. As they were being wrapped I spied a crayfish, also heavily discounted, which was included in a simple prawn and avocado salad I served as a luncheon entree the next day.</p> <p>Our family might continue to celebrate Christmas with a semi-traditional lunch, but one custom that has fallen by the wayside is Nana's plum pud.</p> <p>Perhaps it's because it's no fun without the sixpences, or maybe because the next generation aren't fond of a heavy fruit pudding on a hot Christmas Day.</p> <p>Instead we opt for light, summery desserts, including the classic Aussie favourite, pavlova.</p> <p>The berries alone for the Christmas pav can set you back a packet – we like ours with a pile of summer berries, including raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. And fresh mangoes, rather than tinned, are the preferred option for another favourite Christmas dessert, Mango Tiramisu. </p> <p>While Christmas foodie foraging might not suit everyone, the last-minute hunt for the finest ingredients has become part of the festive fun for our family.</p> <p>We've often wondered what we'd dine on if we found the fridges and shelves empty by the time we hit the shops - a Christmas Day sandwich? But over the past 25 years, it hasn't happened once.</p> <p><em>Written by Sandy Guy. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/food-and-wine/how-i-shop-for-our-familys-traditional-christmas-feast.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Traditional Aussie Christmas baking

<p>As Christmas nears, it's time to rummage through the pantry to see if there's a packet of custard powder that's not out of date.</p> <p>I'm not a big user of custard powder, preferring to make the home-made variety with milk, cream, eggs and vanilla bean.</p> <p>But packet custard power has a very special role in our family's Yuletide dining, as without this vital ingredient you can't make my Nana's (my mother's mum's) yo-yo biscuits - creamy, crumbly little shortbread-like biscuits joined together with icing.</p> <p>Such a part of Christmas are yo-yos that the kids are mortified if there's not a big jar of them to dip into as part of our family's Christmas feasting.</p> <p><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/yo-yo-biscuits.aspx">Recipe: Yo Yo Biscuits</a></p> <p><strong>Shortbread</strong><br />We called my paternal grandmother Marnie. She was a formidable woman, a nursing sister who ran her wards like a military academy. Marnie's name was Theresa Dyer and she said she was born in Clonakilty, County Cork, Ireland. For years I searched for her family history in Ireland, to no avail.</p> <p>Last year I uncovered a shocking family secret – Marnie, who died in 1980, wasn't born in Ireland at all, but in Littlehampton, Sussex, England. Her name wasn't Theresa, it was Dorothy. On her 1928 marriage certificate she lied about her name, place of birth, and dropped her age by four years.</p> <p>Why did Marnie live a lie? It appears she manufactured an Irish Catholic past to snare my grandfather, from a clan of Catholics since at least the Middle Ages.</p> <p>Liar and all, Marnie was a top cook. From a young age she, along with Nana, taught me just about everything I have learnt in a lifetime of cooking. Here's Marnie's recipe for Scot's Shortbread. I'm wondering if more skeletons in the closet in relation to a manufactured family in Scotland!</p> <p><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/scots-shortbread.aspx">Recipe: Scot's Shortbread</a></p> <p><strong>Unexpected Visitors</strong><br />The festive season is a time when you never know who may call in for a visit. The Christmas fare might be almost devoured when visitors call in unexpectedly. But never fear, you can knock up a batch herb scones in no time.</p> <p>This recipe dates from my university days, when I was forever scratching for cheap, filling yet delicious solutions for hungry children and friends.</p> <p><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/herb-and-cheese-scones.aspx">Recipe: Herb and Cheese Scones</a></p> <p><strong>Fruit Cake</strong><br />Haven't had time to make a Christmas cake? Never fear, with a good old can of crushed pineapple you can at least whip up a cake than can be enjoyed straight away. This ripper recipe has been in my family for more years than I can remember.</p> <p><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/boiled-fruit-cake.aspx">Recipe: Boiled Fruit Cake</a></p> <p><em>Written by Sandy Guy. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/food-and-wine/traditional-aussie-christmas-baking.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Couple dies 33 hours apart after being married for 68 years

<p>A husband and wife who had been married for 68 years have passed away within hours of each other.</p> <p>Minneapolis couple Robert and Corinne Johnson were laid to rest together after dying 33 hours apart, <em><a href="https://www.kare11.com/article/life/married-68-years-husband-and-wife-die-one-day-apart/89-fba881e6-5178-4e9a-9c0d-c9838523c1b4">KARE11</a> </em>reported.</p> <p>Corinne died on November 24 at the age of 87 from congestive heart failure. Her husband Robert, 85, followed soon on November 25 after months of battle with cancer.</p> <p>The couple’s youngest son Brent Johnson said his parents passed “on their own terms”.</p> <p>He said his father was known for his chivalrous acts, including letting others ahead through doors or buffet lines. “So it was only fitting that in the end he waited for mother to go first and then he passed away,” he told <em><a href="https://www.kare11.com/article/life/married-68-years-husband-and-wife-die-one-day-apart/89-fba881e6-5178-4e9a-9c0d-c9838523c1b4">KARE11</a></em>.</p> <p>Brent said it was not a coincidence that his father’s death came shortly after his mother’s. “When I asked him what his wishes were if mom passed away, he said he couldn’t imagine life without her. And in the end, he was right,” Brent told <em><a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/04/us/minneapolis-couple-married-68-years-dies-day-apart-trnd/index.html">CNN</a></em>.</p> <p>The pair’s other son Bruce Johnson, <a href="https://people.com/human-interest/minnesota-couple-die-33-hours-apart/">who works as a doctor that specialises in cancer</a>, said he thought his father had more time.</p> <p>“I sort of thought he looked like he could go for weeks,” Bruce said. “As soon as mom died, he went downhill and died in a day. It’s hard to imagine it’s a coincidence.”</p> <p>Robert and Corinne’s relationship began when they grew up beside each other on a farm in Nicollet County, according to their obituaries.</p> <p>The pair tied the knot in October 1951 and raised seven children together. They also shared 14 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.</p> <p>The secret to the couple’s long-lasting marriage was strong faith and commitment, Brent said.</p> <p>“Dad would say, if mom isn’t happy, no one’s happy,” he said. “He understood what it took to make a marriage work.”</p>

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How a photo taken of two strangers struck hearts around Australia

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The parents of a teenage girl have received praised online after a photo surfaced of their daughter with an older woman. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A thoughtful onlooker snuck a picture of a “gorgeous red head girl” she spotted sprinting up to a senior lady in Sydney’s east, who was carrying several grocery bags on her own. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Without hesitating, the girl who appeared to be in a school uniform, offered to carry one of the lady’s bag to help lighten her hefty load. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Whoever owns this gorgeous red head girl walking down Brisbane Street, Bondi Junction, carrying this lady’s heavy bags for her, take a bow,” the excited observer said in a post to Facebook on Friday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“You did something right. She sprinted up to the lady asking if she could help.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The image appeared to inspire a number of Facebook users who joined in on praising the people who are responsible for caring for her. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This would be amazing if it reached her parents. Well done,” one impressed user wrote in a comment.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Parenting inspiration for those hard days,” another said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Love this,” a third added.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Facebook</span></em></p>

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Why is my poo green?

<p>It’s happened to many of us at some point in our lives: we finish our bowel movement, look down in the bowl and have a moment of panic when we see an unusual colour.</p> <p>Poo can be found in many colours other than brown, with green poo often eliciting concern. But it’s surprisingly common and is usually no reason to be alarmed.</p> <p><strong>Why poo is usually brown</strong></p> <p>The brown colour of poo initially comes from the red of blood. Haemoglobin is the red protein in blood that transports oxygen around the body. It’s eventually broken down into a substance called bilirubin.</p> <p>In the liver, bilirubin is used to form bile and is released into the small bowel to help digest food. Bile then passes into the colon and the bilirubin is broken down by bacteria.</p> <p>The final stage in the process is the addition of a substance called stercobilin, which gives poo its brown colour.</p> <p>All shades of brown are considered normal.</p> <p><strong>Green poo in adults</strong></p> <p>Stool colour is very heavily influenced by the substances in the gut that digest food and what you eat.</p> <p>Green stools contain <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2305176">significantly more bile acids</a> than brown stools. If food is moving through the bowel very quickly – if you have diarrhoea, for instance – there isn’t enough time for the green bile to break down completely, giving stools a green colour.</p> <p><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2621.2004.tb09947.x">Green leafy vegetables</a> such as spinach and lettuce contain large amounts of chlorophyll (green pigment) bound to magnesium. This can lead to stools turning green.</p> <p>Some green food dyes such as <a href="https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Natural-green-3">natural green 3</a> contain chlorophyll (green pigment) bound to copper which can <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/98/25/14601">turn stools a dark green</a>.</p> <p><strong>Why do babies have green poo?</strong></p> <p>A newborn’s first stool, called meconium, is very often dark green.</p> <p><a href="https://fn.bmj.com/content/97/6/F465.long">Green stools in formula-fed infants</a> are often due to formulas containing <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3876420">high amounts of iron</a>.</p> <p>But even for breastfed infants it’s <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12318490">normal</a> to have yellow-green or green poo.</p> <p>In fact, it’s normal for babies’ poo to be many different colours. <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/col.21919">One study</a> found pale stools were caused by partially digested milk fats, yellow stools were due to stercobilin (which is also involved in making poo brown) and other similar compounds, and dark stools due to bilirubin or the presence of meconium.</p> <p><strong>What about other colours of poo?</strong></p> <p><strong>Blue</strong></p> <p>Some food dyes, food additives and naturally occurring colours are unable to be completely broken down in the gut and this can distinctly colour poo. Children who have consumed a lot of blue-coloured drinks, for instance, often poo blue.</p> <p>Blueberries can also turn poo blue because of a type of antioxidant called anthrocyanin. Most anthrocyanins in blue berries are <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/03602532.2014.978080">broken down</a> by the time they reach the colon, so kids with blue poo will either have consumed quite a lot or the berries are moving quickly through the gut.</p> <p>Children with diarrhoea have a very rapid gut transit and stools often come out the same colour as the food that went in.</p> <p><strong>Orange</strong></p> <p>Orange stools can be due to beta carotene, a compound found in particular vegetables such as carrots and butternut pumpkin.</p> <p>Poo can also be <a href="https://health.ucsd.edu/news/features/Pages/2018-05-11-listicle-what-color-is-your-poop.aspx">orange</a> because of the effects of antacids containing aluminium hydroxide, a naturally occurring salt.</p> <p><strong>Yellow</strong></p> <p>Yellow-coloured poo is often normal but a greasy, foul-smelling yellow stool that floats on the toilet water can mean it contains an excess of fat.</p> <p>Occasionally, this can arise from conditions such as undiagnosed coeliac disease, where the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten and the small bowel doesn’t properly absorb fat.</p> <p><strong>Pale, cream or clay-cloured</strong></p> <p>Abnormally pale or clay-coloured stools can indicate a blockage of bile from the liver to the small intestine. This means it doesn’t go through the last stage of getting its brown colour, through the addition of stercobilin. This results in poo having a very distinct pale cream appearance.</p> <p><a href="https://adc.bmj.com/content/archdischild/52/5/360.full.pdf">One in 14,000 Australian babies</a> are born with a condition called biliary atresia, where the bile ducts outside and inside the liver are scarred and blocked. Bile is unable to flow out of the liver, which can lead to liver scarring. Biliary atresia can be treated with surgery but early diagnosis is <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22933100">important</a>.</p> <p>Pale coloured poo may also indicate the presence of an intestinal <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19825279">parasite</a> or <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6013661/">bacteria</a>.</p> <p><strong>Red</strong></p> <p>Red poo could be due to red food colouring, tomato juice and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/713000">beetroot</a>.</p> <p>However, bright red blood in the poo usually means internal bleeding from the bowel.</p> <p>Causes of red blood in the poo can include conditions such as haemorrhoids and anal fissures (small, thin tears) but may be the sign of a more sinister bowel cancer.</p> <p><strong>Black</strong></p> <p>There can be a number of harmless causes for black poo such as eating black licorice.</p> <p>Medications are another reason. Iron tablets and many antibiotics can turn poo black. (Antibiotics are also known to turn poo into <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736790/">different shades</a> of green, white, pink and orange.)</p> <p>Black, tar-like poo can indicate bleeding from higher up in the digestive tract, such as from an oesophageal or stomach ulcer.</p> <p><strong>Should you be worried?</strong></p> <p>Changes to the colour of your poo are usually temporary. Getting rid of the culprit – by finishing the medication or removing the responsible food from the diet, for instance – should be able to return poo colour to its normal shade of brown.</p> <p>If the odd colour persists, it may signify an underlying medical condition and warrant further investigation.</p> <p>Black, red and very pale poo are the more concerning colours and should be checked out by your GP.</p> <p><em>Written by Vincent Ho. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-is-my-poo-green-120975">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Big men do cry: cricketers are leading the charge for inclusive masculinity

<p>Rising<span> </span><a href="https://www.cricket.com.au/news/will-pucovski-test-debut-australia-victoria-justin-langer-shane-warne-mark-waugh-sheffield-shield/2019-10-24">Australian cricket star Will Pucovski</a><span> </span>has recently taken the surprising step of asking<span> </span><em>not</em><span> </span><a href="https://www.cricket.com.au/news/will-pucovski-non-test-selection-mental-wellbeing-australia-pakistan-first-test-gabba/2019-11-14">to be considered for selection</a><span> </span>for the national men’s team ahead of the First Test against Pakistan, which starts on Thursday. Pucovski cited a need to focus on his mental well-being.</p> <p>For a player to turn down potential selection for the national team may at first glance be surprising, or even scandalous. But Pucovski is one of a recent trio of professional Australian cricketers to take a break from playing to boost their mental well-being, alongside<span> </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-31/glenn-maxwell-to-take-mental-health-break-from-cricket/11659592">Glenn Maxwell</a><span> </span>and<span> </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-09/victorias-nic-maddinson-out-of-australia-a-match-mental-health/11689620">Nic Maddinson</a>.</p> <p>Internationally, other high profile male athletes have spoken out about problems with mental health, including English Premier League footballer,<span> </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jun/06/danny-rose-tells-family-not-travel-world-cup-player-racism-fears-abuse-england-football-team">Danny Rose</a>, Wales rugby player,<span> </span><a href="https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/former-wales-rugby-player-dafydd-15840808?utm_source=twitter.com&amp;utm_medium=social&amp;utm_campaign=sharebar">Dafydd James</a>, and NBA basketball player,<span> </span><a href="https://www.thestar.com/sports/raptors/2018/02/25/raptors-derozan-hopes-honest-talk-on-depression-helps-others.html">DeMar DeRozan</a>.</p> <p>Negative stereotypes associated with mental health issues were once a <a href="https://slideplayer.com/slide/9439004/">matter</a> of shame and embarrassment, only to be discussed quietly in fear of being branded as “weak”. This is particularly true for traditionally “manly” sportsmen who have come under fire in the past for opening up.</p> <p>But as the contemporary definition of masculinity becomes less rigid, more athletes are able to speak out about their mental health issues while, at the same time, paving the way for their fans to say it’s okay to not be okay. </p> <p><strong>Opening up wasn’t always well-received</strong></p> <p>For elite athletes, training and performance demands<span> </span><a href="https://www.bases.org.uk/imgs/7879_bas_expert_statement__pages_735.pdf">can lead to</a>high psychological stress. This is on top of facing media and public scrutiny, threats of sudden and enduring injuries, and retirement. Despite these pressures, elite athletes don’t often seek help for, or even recognise, poor mental health.</p> <p>In fact, a raft of ex-England cricketers (Marcus Trescothick, Mike Yardy, Jonathan Trott and Steve Harmison), have written about experiencing mental health issues in their autobiographies. In all cases, their off-field battles halted their international careers, but their struggles were poorly understood at the time.</p> <p>When Mike Yardy left the 2011 World Cup, one outspoken pundit proclaimed: "he must have been reading my comments about his bowling. That must have upset him because it’s obviously too much for him at this level.</p> <p>One of<span> </span><a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket/international/england/10701664/Jonathan-Trott-must-accept-team-mates-and-opponents-will-feel-he-did-a-runner.html">Jonathan Trott’s critics</a><span> </span>said he felt “conned” by the player reporting a “stress-related illness” when he left an Ashes series. He suggested Trott “did a runner. He did not fight and got on a plane and went home”.</p> <p>Steve Harmison never openly disclosed mental health problems until the end of his career, due to his belief that if fans and “… people in the England set-up knew how bad it was I’d never play for my country again”. His struggles were written off as “<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/24/steve-harmison-cricket-depression-public-interview">homesickness</a>”.</p> <p>When Marcus Trescothick<span> </span><a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cricket/marcus-trescothick-i-thought-i-was-going-to-die-942688.html">returned home in the middle of a tour in 2006</a>, he battled with how to report this, eventually saying: "Having picked up a virus and also some personal issues to resolve, I decided to return home.</p> <p>Today, mental health is more readily accepted in the wider community to be an illness, making it easier for male athletes to disclose mental ill health as a reason for not being fit to play.</p> <p>For Will Pucovski, the response from the media and the public has, for the most part, been to applaud his bravery at speaking out, demonstrating care and understanding of his situation.</p> <p>Cricket Australia general manager of national teams Ben Oliver<span> </span><a href="https://www.cricket.com.au/news/will-pucovski-non-test-selection-mental-wellbeing-australia-pakistan-first-test-gabba/2019-11-14">said</a><span> </span>everyone in the “Australian cricket family” support’s Pucovski’s decision.</p> <p>And Virat Kohli, the Indian cricket captain, and one of the most prominent and influential players in the sport,<span> </span><a href="https://www.cricket.com.au/news/virat-kohli-mental-health-comments-glenn-maxwell-will-pucovski-nic-maddinson/2019-11-14">described</a><span> </span>the moves as “remarkable” and having “set the right example”.</p> <p><strong>Sport and masculinity</strong></p> <p>Historically, men were taught that being “masculine” meant to revere violence and stoicism and to hyper-sexualise women, in an attempt to<span> </span><a href="http://dro.dur.ac.uk/12142/1/12142.pdf">distance themselves from associations of weakness and homosexuality</a>.</p> <p>Sport has been a key avenue for developing and displaying masculinity from early childhood; for developing “real men”.</p> <p>Australia, in particular, has a history of celebrating “manly” sporting displays and sports such as rugby league and Australian rules football are valued, in part, because they are<span> </span><a href="https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/ics/news/blog/what_sam_burgess_face_tells_us_about_australian_sport">tough, physical games</a>.</p> <p>Athletes are<span> </span><a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228495414_Search_for_the_hero_An_investigation_into_the_sports_heroes_of_British_sports_fans">often labelled heroes</a><span> </span>and role models because they uphold national archetypes and images of a “typical” person. In Australia, they are prime examples of the typical<span> </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/australian-enough-to-be-a-hero-71631">masculine “matey” hero</a>, and true Australians.</p> <p>But in recent years, the definition of masculinity has softened to become more inclusive. Behaviours like talking about feelings, recognising mental well-being and playing more active roles in family life (particularly around childbirth) are now more acceptable than they used to in our recent past.</p> <p>This means it has become easier for male athletes to admit when they’re not okay. And their position as role models in turn triggers more discussion, including among sports fans, who are often a hard to reach group when it comes to mental health awareness.</p> <p>If athletes, as masculine heroes, can admit to experiencing poor mental health, then so too can those that look up to them. Cricket Australia’s Ben Oliver<span> </span><a href="https://www.cricket.com.au/news/will-pucovski-non-test-selection-mental-wellbeing-australia-pakistan-first-test-gabba/2019-11-14">said</a>: "By Will bravely taking this position, he will undoubtedly inspire others facing similar challenges to speak up and take positive steps towards improving their mental well-being."</p> <p>Rather than honouring athletes who endure both physical and mental pain in silence, it’s time to recognise that those who can admit they’re struggling and seek help<span> </span><a href="https://www.cricket.com.au/news/mental-health-true-role-models-alex-kountouris-australian-players-pucovski-maddinson-maxwell-bolton/2019-11-15">are the real heroes</a><span> </span>and real men.</p> <p><em>Written by Keith Perry, Eric Anderson and Matthew Smith. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/big-men-do-cry-cricketers-are-leading-the-charge-for-inclusive-masculinity-127108">The Conversation. </a></em></p>

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Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan urge royal fans in heartfelt message

<p>Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan have urged their Instagram fans to think about the “lonely, hungry and homeless” this Christmas.</p> <p>The heartfelt message included photos of charitable accounts inspired by the “12 Days of Christmas” an reached out to their 9.9 million followers.</p> <p>Homelessness charity shelters including the Salvation Army and the Los Angeles Mission were named on their list.</p> <p>The post contained pictures of charity workers from projects they have been inspired by, called on fans to think of others at this time of year.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B5ihH2NlqvN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B5ihH2NlqvN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal)</a> on Dec 1, 2019 at 10:09am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“With festive holiday season upon us, it's also a reminder to reflect on those in need - those who may feel lonely, hungry, homeless, or may be experiencing the holidays for the first time without loved ones,” the couple said.</p> <p>“It's an important time of year to help those around you who may be less fortunate, or who would appreciate even the smallest act of kindness.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4qVHKjJDdc/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4qVHKjJDdc/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal)</a> on Nov 9, 2019 at 2:26pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Continuing our monthly tradition of highlighting accounts that do good, and inspired by the ‘twelve days of Christmas’ - we have selected twelve organisations caring for those in need - especially at this time of year.</p> <p>“There are, thankfully, so many organisations around the world doing good on global and grassroots levels, many of which are not on Instagram.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B3p1a43FvaJ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B3p1a43FvaJ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal)</a> on Oct 15, 2019 at 2:18pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Check out the accounts we have chosen and please share those in your own communities that are making a difference.</p> <p>“We would love to hear about the ones that inspire you - so please tell us and add your country's flag”</p>

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5 cool uses for paper bags

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Paper bags are very to handy to have around the home. While they are standardly use to carry food, they have other incredible uses.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here are five extraordinary ways you can use paper bags.</span></p> <p><strong>1. Dry herbs</strong></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wash and thoroughly dry several bunches of herbs and place them upside down in a paper bag.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tie the bag at the stems, punch in a few holes and put it in a warm, dry place for two weeks.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Grind the herbs, then store. </span></li> </ul> <p><strong>2. Boost compost</strong></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">A great addition to any compost heap, brown paper bags contain less ink and pigment than newspaper, and attract more worms.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">First shred and wet the bags, then mix into the compost well so they don’t dry out and blow away.</span></li> </ul> <p><strong>3. Prepare vegetables</strong></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rip open one or two paper bags and spread them over your benchtop when peeling vegetables, shelling peas, or doing any other messy job.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">When you’re done, simply fold the paper and throw it all into the compost.</span></li> </ul> <p><strong>4. Catch dust</strong></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Remove dust from a mop by placing a paper bag over the head, then use string or a rubber band to stop it slipping.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Shake and gently bump the mop so the dust falls into the bag, let the dust settle, then take off the bag.</span></li> </ul> <p><strong>5. Spray stuff</strong></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">You don’t have to make a mess when spray-painting small items.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Just place what you’re painting inside a large paper bag and it will contain the excess spray.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once the item has dried, remove it and throw the bag away.</span></li> </ul> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Republished with permission of</span><a href="https://www.handyman.net.au/5-extraordinary-uses-paper-bags?slide=all"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Handyman.net.au.</span></a></em></p>

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A teacher’s beautiful decision for 14-year-old student with down syndrome

<p>A teacher has made a beautiful gesture for a 14-year-old boy with down syndrome.</p> <p>Kerry Bremer, 52, first met Jake Manning when he was just 14 years old, along with his mother Jean four years ago after the family moved to Massachusetts from Florida, US.</p> <p>Sadly Jean had breast cancer and worried about the fate of her only son.</p> <p>“He’s just so lovable,” Bremer told<span> </span><em>Boston 25 News</em><span> </span>about the student.</p> <p>“He loves everyone, and he’s so smart and funny. He is very funny.”</p> <p>Bremer was Jake's teacher at CASE Collaborative School in Concord, Massachusetts when he and his family just moved to the state.</p> <p>After Jean expressed worry about what would happen to him if she were to pass away, which resulted in Kerry offering up to adopt sweet Jake who she admitted she “fell in love with” instantly.</p> <p>“I called his mom and I said, ‘I might be overstepping here, I’m really sorry if I am but just in case, if you need to have some backup for Jake my family would be willing to be his guardians,’ and she said, ‘I’m going to sleep better tonight than I have in a very long time,’” Bremer explained. </p> <p>“I knew he would a need a home and there was no way I wouldn't open ours to him.”</p> <p>Kerry and her husband already have three children: Kristen, 21, Jonathan, 19, and Kaitlyn, 16. </p> <p>On November 13, Jake’s mother, Jean, sadly passed away from cancer, and swiftly moved into Bremer’s home full-time.</p> <p>“He needed us and quite honestly obviously we needed him,” Bremer said.</p> <p>“He’s fit in so perfect here.”</p>

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How to keep grandchildren safe in your home

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Children are always at risk of injury, even when in the homes of relatives and grandparents. For many of us, childproofing our homes is a distant memory but with grandchildren on the scene, it’s worth taking a good look around to see what hazards you might have overlooked.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fortunately there are many simple measures that can be taken to prevent accidents from occurring in your home. It is a case of taking a critical view of objects around your home and understanding where the potentials for hazards are. Take the time to get down and crawl around the home so that you can see for yourself where curious hands and adventurous spirits might roam.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While childproofing the home is equally important for grandparents and families, property investors should also take the time to understand how child-friendly their investment property is, as it may represent a marketing point for their investment property.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Injuries are the leading cause of death in Australian children aged one to fourteen, accounting for nearly half of all deaths in this age group. More children die from injury than of cancer, asthma and infectious diseases combined.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Unintentional injuries make up around 95 per cent of all child injury deaths, with young children under the age of five years most at risk of unintentional injury. The most common place for young children to be injured is in their own home, so ensuring the safety of our homes should be paramount for parents to keep their children safe. There are so many things that are precariously balanced, just waiting to be pulled down, knocked over, bumped into or climbed on.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And as children become more mobile and dexterous, they love to put things in their mouths and they don’t discriminate between toxics or poisons and lollies or biscuits. So, cast your mind back to when you were a young parent and take a critical look around your home and garage. You might be amazed what hazards you find lurking. Here are some tips:</span></p> <p><strong>THE KITCHEN</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dangers abound in your kitchen so if you can’t prevent access, make sure you keep a close eye on children while cooking. Make sure small hands can’t reach the handles of pots and pans on the stove – use the back burners instead. Lock up detergents, pesticides, cleaning products and toxic household chemicals – or place them well out of reach in a high cabinet. With babies between 6 and 25 months old, make sure safety latches are fitted but still take the precaution of placing dangerous chemicals high up.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Store plastic bags, cling wrap and aluminium foil out of reach. Plastic bags and cling wrap are suffocation hazards whereas the sharp edges of boxes and foil are dangerous to curious hands. Keep knives safely secured.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Glassware should be stored up high, move the toaster, coffee maker and other electrical appliances and their cords out of a child’s reach.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ultimately, be careful to never leave hot food, drinks, glassware or knives unattended, not even for a few moments. Don’t forget that tablecloths and place mats can provide opportunities for young children to pull both them and what stands on them down.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>THE BATHROOM</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Similar to your kitchen, the bathroom plays hosts to a series of potential hazards.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are childproof doorknob covers and other preventative measures you can take to prevent children gaining access to your bathroom.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One of the primary risks is your toilet. Small children are very curious, have poor coordination, and are particularly top-heavy. It’s possible for them to topple head first into a toilet and drown in as little as 3cm of water. Keep the toilet lip down and consider fitting a lid-lock.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Watch out for sharps! Razor blades, nail clippers, scissors, tweezers and sharp utensils should be stored up high and out of reach.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Appliances that generate heat, like hair dryers, curling wands or straightening irons should never be left plugged in and, again, should be locked away or stored where they can’t be reached.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cosmetics and medications, especially prescription drugs, must be kept in a high cupboard or locked away. Don’t forget about vitamins and things like mouthwash either. Multi-vitamins that contain iron can be poisonous to children and mouthwash contains more alcohol than wine.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Naturally, keep all electrical appliances well clear of water to avoid risk of electrocution. Your hot water heater should also be set at no higher than 49 degrees centigrade. Bath tap handles and spouts are places where babies can hit their head so use rubber guards or make certain babies stay at the safer end of the bath.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Keep in mind the risk of you slipping and injuring a child as well. Could a non-slip mat placed inside and/or alongside the bathtub help assure neither you or a child in your care gets injured?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Never leave children alone and unsupervised anywhere where there is water, not even briefly. If the phone rings or there’s somebody at the door, remove the child from the water, wrap them in a towel, and take them with you. Don’t leave anything cooking on the stove when it’s bath time for children. You need to be certain nothing can distract you from watchful supervision.</span></p> <p><em><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/property/how-to-keep-grandchildren-safe-in-your-home.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Republished with permission of Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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Follow these 5 simple lifestyle changes for the best sleep

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Why is sleep so important? It promotes good health, makes us happier, ensures that cuts and wounds heal faster, makes us more alert and active during the day, lowers stress, improves memory, supports a strong immune system and reduces the chances of developing diseases and conditions. But you already know this.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You’ve done everything to get better sleep – darkened your room, switched off your mobile phone, turned down the temperature in the thermostat and even invested in some premium organic bamboo sheets. Yet the sleep God doesn’t pay a visit.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What are you doing wrong? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. A lot of people suffer from poor quality of sleep.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">National guidelines recommend adults have at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night but studies show a third of Australians fail to get enough on a regular basis. So what can you do to ensure an uninterrupted night of dreamless sleep?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Although darkening the bedroom is a good habit, making certain lifestyle changes for better sleep may prove to be more beneficial. Here are five of them:</span></p> <p><strong>1. Say no to naps </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Yes, napping during the day can help replenish your sleep debt, but it can also make nighttime sleep worse. Afternoon naps not only decrease the quality of sleep but also prevent you from falling asleep easily at night. If you absolutely must indulge in a siesta during the day, then ensure that it’s 30 minutes or less. To avoid nodding off in the afternoon, talk to a friend, take a short stroll, have a glass of cold water or simply wash your face.</span></p> <p><strong>2. Do light exercise before bedtime </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Working out regularly not only promotes good health but also elicits better sleep. WebMD recommends exercising regularly to get some high quality shut eye at night. However, rigorous exercises should be avoided four hours before bedtime. Ideally, do some light exercises before hitting the bed such as yoga or Tai Chi.</span></p> <p><strong>3. Avoid drinking liquids close to bedtime </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Guzzling down drinks and even water before bed isn’t a good idea because it leads to frequent trips to the bathroom. Once you’re awake, it’s hard to fall back to sleep. Avoid drinking liquids at least two hours before bedtime to eliminate bathroom visits at 3am.</span></p> <p><strong>4. Do something calming </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Even doing 10 minutes of an activity that calms or relaxes you can make a significant difference. This is particularly useful for people who worry and think a lot catching some z’s. Read a book, have a warm bath, do deep breathing, listen to some Mozart or calming music, meditate.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Taking a warm bath can soothe tired muscles and drop your body’s temperature after an hour tricking the body into thinking it’s time to sleep. When we doze off, our body’s temperature falls so tricking your body is a good way to induce sleep. Add Epsom bath salts to your tub in order to reduce stress and relieve sore muscles.</span></p> <p><strong>5. Ditch the caffeine </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Simply cutting down on coffee and tea isn’t good enough. Some kinds of chocolates, pain killers and weight loss pills also have caffeine in them. Read the list of ingredients in chocolates and ask your doctor if your pain killers and medication have caffeine in them. Even small amounts of it can inhibit a restful slumber.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Experts advise having some warm milk or sipping on chamomile tea laced with honey to encourage sleep. Sniffing some lavender or dabbing a small quantity of lavender oil on your pillow also helps. This essential oil is known to slow down heart rate, decrease blood pressure and even promote healing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A few lifestyle changes, such as the ones listed above, can go a long way in instigating a night of good sleep. The trick is to try different things and see what works best for you. For example, you may find that reading a book might not be as effective as taking a warm bath.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Keep trying and before you know it, that evasive eight-hour catnap you’ve been craving for so long will come to your command in no time.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Phoebe Yu. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/5-simple-lifestyle-changes-for-better-sleep.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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How did this couple create a new career out of rhubarb?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Discover how 50+ entrepreneurs Jan Hughes and Holger Ostersen, the driving force behind Rhu Bru, are transforming ‘second-grade’ stalks of rhubarb into first-class products.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Historically used for medicinal purposes to cure anything from digestive upsets to fevers, if prepared correctly, rhubarb can also act as a cleaning agent, hair dye, organic insecticide and herbicide. This humble vegetable is also delicious to consume. So with all these uses, why on earth would anybody waste a stalk of it?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Advocating renewable food security based on adding value to second-grade agricultural waste, Tasmanian-based Rhu Bru makes use of approximately 80 tonnes of rhubarb stalks each year, effectively converting ‘rejects’ into rich jams and compotes as well as sweet, nutritious juices, tangy vinaigrettes and much more.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I think we were really rather shell-shocked at the waste and excesses of First World living when we relocated to Australia in 2002,” Jan explains. The pair met in Tanzania, where Jan was volunteering as a teacher with Australian Volunteers Abroad, while Holger worked as a farmer through a Danish volunteer group.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Recognising a gap in the market for jams and sauces catering to the growing expat population, Holger launched a jam-making company, which he ran for seven years before gifting it to his right-hand man, who continues to run the operation today.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Their experiences living in East Africa significantly shaped their values and had an immense impact on how they run their business; valuing integrity and honesty above all else.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We want to have a successful enterprise, we want the world to know about Rhu Bru and we want it to contribute to the economic sustainability of our small rural community,” Jan says passionately.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The seed that would one day become Rhu Bru first began germinating when Holger learned that Jan’s cousin Jerrod Nichols – a rhubarb farmer who sells his produce to Woolworths outlets along Australia’s eastern seaboard – was left with tonnes of second-grade stalks each year because they failed to meet the tight quality controls imposed by supermarkets around the country and much of the First World.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whether too long or short, too thick or thin, or showing traces of wind burn or slug marks, these perfectly edible stalks were being dumped for their less than perfect appearance.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Unable to fathom, nor accept, the fact that good food was being wasted on purely aesthetic grounds, the industrious couple began to envision how they would utilise this abundant supply of raw material.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">During their initial trials, however, Jan and Holger discovered they were decidedly lousy rhubarb wine makers and instead turned their attention to a decent tasting juice they’d concocted, which they asked friends, neighbours and B&amp;B guests to sample. Positive feedback encouraged the couple to take the plunge, bottle their product, and hit the road with a car full of Rhu Bru goods.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rhu Bru’s first sale was made soon after, in September 2008, to a local cafe in Bridport. The brand has grown rapidly ever since and in just seven years the company boasts a catalogue of over 20 unique products.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The couple’s home also has a shopfront, which doubles as the charming Beulah Heritage B&amp;B, an 1878 Federation house, built by one of the regions earliest pioneers and retaining many of the original features. Adding to the historic charm is Jan’s old-fashioned hospitality, complete with rhubarb-infused breakfast each morning and desserts at night.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Thanks to Rhu Bru’s quality and flavour, home-bottling was short-lived and production now takes place in a small factory with up to eight employees, most of whom are the wives of local farmers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Spread over 20 hectares and yielding around 2000 tonnes of rhubarb per year, Jerrod’s farm is conveniently located just 8km from the factory, so it is a short, scenic trip from paddock to boiler.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We hear a lot of political speak about agriculture needing to change, farming needs to be sustainable, farmers needing to think differently – we are trying to do this, trying to value-add, create a better return for production by using a higher percentage of the crop,” Jan says. “We are trying to develop a model that can be the germination of an idea that will lead others to explore on-farm secondary production and value-adding.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In 2013, Rhu Bru nabbed 17 awards at the Hobart Fine Food Fair, but despite the brand’s growing success, Jan and Holger will forever be committed to utilising ‘seconds’, minimising waste and creating employment opportunities wherever possible.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Much of the processing is by hand, from picking the stalks of rhubarb to labelling the jars and bottles and our determination to use only Tasmanian fruit and, when necessary, spices sourced from mainland Australia – like Buderim ginger,” Jan explains.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Rhu Bru crew remains confident that the growth in popularity of farmer’s markets and community and urban gardens will continue to encourage consumer awareness.</span></em></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Louise Smithers. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/work/employment/how-exactly-did-this-couple-create-a-new-career-out-of-rhubarb.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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“All I wanted was to feel normal”: Johnny Ruffo reflects on brain cancer treatment

<p>Former<span> </span>Home and Away<span> </span>star Johnny Ruffo has recently been declared cancer-free after a two year long battle with brain cancer.</p> <p>In 2017, a seven-centimetre tumour was located in his brain and he underwent an operation to remove it. It was only after this operation that he went through chemotherapy and radiation until he was declared cancer free.</p> <p>Ruffo, 31, is now paying it forward after teaming up with Amazon and the Starlight Children’s Foundation to give back to kids undergoing cancer treatment.</p> <p>"I know what it's like being in hospital," Ruffo explained to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://celebrity.nine.com.au/latest/johnny-ruffo-shares-how-he-feels-each-time-he-steps-foot-in-a-hospital/84d82ec7-49ea-49ba-90a1-2ec1318adb9d" target="_blank">9Honey Celebrity</a>.</p> <p>"Every time I step foot in a hospital in general, it brings me back to all the times I had to visit hospitals myself. For children I imagine it's so much worse."</p> <p>"Seeing and working with foundations like Starlight, you realise how valuable they are and how amazing they are," Ruffo says.</p> <p>"Quite often you'll see kids walking in [to the Starlight room] and they're not looking too great. But they'll come out with these big smiles on their face.</p> <p>"I just think that if these kids can just stop thinking about everything that's going on in their life for just that moment, and have fun and smile and laugh, then it's just worth everything."</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4LZENZFBH3/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4LZENZFBH3/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Today, alongside @AmazonAustralia and @StarlightAU 💫 I got to help out a cause close to my heart. Together, we’re giving Aussie kids in children’s hospitals around the country the chance to become ultimate toy testers. Introducing... *drum roll please*... 🥁 The Amazon Playmakers! They’ll be reviewing the top 100 toys which are set to top every wish list this holiday season. Keep an eye out for the catalogue launching soon. @AmazonAustralia #DeliveringSmiles #Collab</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/johnny_ruffo/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Johnny Ruffo</a> (@johnny_ruffo) on Oct 28, 2019 at 3:04pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Ruffo admitted that the impacts of cancer still make him emotional.</p> <p>"I felt the same when I was going through all of my chemo and radiation and everything to do with cancer. All I wanted was to feel normal, for a small moment," the actor explains.</p> <p>"There are so many side effects, you just want to feel normal for a bit and I think Starlight does that. They take you to another world and you forget about everything for a bit."</p> <p>Ruffo says that he’s in awe of the children’s resilience and their ability to stay positive.</p> <p>"Working with these kids and seeing some of these kids, they're so positive. They're just so amazing, I love these kids. They're so strong," Ruffo said.</p> <p>"Nobody should have go through this, nobody should have to go to hospital and spend long amounts of time in hospital.</p> <p>"It's horrible, it's really horrible. Anything I can do to help give back… I think foundations like Starlight, they deserve all the recognition in the world."</p>

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Michael Schumacher's wife the centre of startling new claim

<p>Michael Schumacher’s former manager has claimed that the Formula One legend’s wife has been keeping her husband’s condition private for fear of “the truth” going “public”.</p> <p>Schumacher has not been seen in public since his skiing accident in December 2013.</p> <p>Speaking in a German TV documentary, Schumacher’s long-term manager Will Weber claimed that requests to visit his former client have been denied by the seven-time world champion’s wife Corinna Schumacher.</p> <p>“I know that Michael has been hit hard, but unfortunately I do not know what progress he makes,” Weber said on <em>The Michael Schumacher Tale</em> RTL special.</p> <p>“I’d like to know how he’s doing and shake hands or stroke his face. But unfortunately, this is rejected by Corinna.</p> <p>“She’s probably afraid that I’ll see right away what’s going on and make the truth public.”</p> <p>However, Weber said he believed fans will see Schumacher again.</p> <p>“I firmly believe in Michael’s recovery, because I know he is a fighter,” Weber said.</p> <p>“If there is a chance, he will use it. That cannot be the end.</p> <p>“I pray for him and am convinced that we will see him again.”</p> <p>Weber’s comments came as Corinna gave her <a href="https://au.sports.yahoo.com/michael-schumacher-condition-former-manager-willi-weber-claims-wife-corinna-cover-up-071053930.html">first interview</a> since the skiing accident.</p> <p>Speaking to <em>She Magazine</em>, Corrina paid tribute to her husband, whom she said helped her develop a passion for horses. “When I was 30, I very much wanted to have a horse and Michael went with me to Dubai, where I intended to buy an Arabian horse,” she said.</p> <p>“He did everything for me. I will never forget who I have to thank. That would be my husband Michael.”</p>

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Carrie Bickmore brought to tears live on air after emotional interview

<p><em>The Project</em><span> </span>host Carrie Bickmore fought back tears during an emotional interview with a mother whose four-year-old son is battling brain cancer.</p> <p>Carrie lost her first husband to the disease and choked up as mother-of-two Sarah McNees opened up about the pain of watching a loved one fight the incurable illness.</p> <p>Sarah is running Tasmania’s Point to Pinnacle, which is known as the “world’s toughest half marathon” and is doing so for Carrie’s charity Beanies 4 Brain Cancer.</p> <p>Sarah teared up as she explained her son George has not known “a life any different” from having cancer.</p> <p> George has been living with the cancer since he was 11 months old.</p> <p>“It’s something that you have no idea what it’s going to be like until you’re in the world of treatment,” Sarah said<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDN6nhZvMbI&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">during the interview</a>.</p> <p>We’ve had to relocate (for his treatment) on more than one occasion, we’ve had to leave our family and our friends and our support network, our jobs. It’s definitely been the biggest challenge of my life and my husband’s,” she explained.</p> <p>Carrie asked what it was like seeing as a mother to see her young son endure such intense treatment.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4yU-NvDJpI/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4yU-NvDJpI/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Yesterday we spoke to Sarah, an incredibly strong woman, who opened up about her son’s battle with Brain Cancer. Please donate via the link in our bio to help raise funds towards research into this horrible disease 👏</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/carrietommyshow/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Carrie and Tommy</a> (@carrietommyshow) on Nov 12, 2019 at 5:00pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“It really knocks him around when he’s on active treatment … It’s definitely very challenging as a parent to see your child’s personality completely change, which I find happens when he’s on treatment,” Sarah said, adding that George is soon to undergo a trial therapy in Melbourne.</p> <p>“We don’t really know what’s ahead of us … we’re ultimately hoping this gives our son more time with us.”</p> <p>Carrie’s voice wavered as she explained that what Sarah and her son George are going through was one of the main purposes of her foundation.</p> <p>“One of the main purposes of my foundation, Sarah, is to help develop treatments like this because as you said there is no cure currently, but new, effective treatments are coming on board all the time, and then that then allows more time with our loved ones and hopefully in that time we can find a cure for our loved ones,” she said.</p> <p>After Carrie lost her late husband Greg Lange to brain cancer after a 10-year battle with the disease, she said that she doesn’t want that pain to be experienced by anyone else and used her heartache to form the charity which aims to raise funds for research.</p> <p>“Let’s beat brain cancer together and try and save so many families from extraordinary pain,” she wrote on her website.</p>

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How to: Dating with confidence

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Marina’s advice on dating with confidence will assist you to begin to make changes in the way you believe, think and feel about yourself so you can begin moving towards fulfilling your love goal with confidence.</span></p> <p><strong>Confidence equals attraction</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Confidence has been attributed to the greatest attraction factor for both men and women. So let’s start by becoming clear about what confidence is. Basically confidence is being comfortable in your own skin – confidence reflects what you think and feel about your abilities. Therefore, I know my worth, I know my life matters, I know how to promote my internal assets and more importantly I pursue my goals with passion and purpose. Confidence is not about trying to be like others – confidence is accepting yourself as you are and allowing your uniqueness to shine.</span></p> <p><strong>Know your worth</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So, what it is the fastest way to increase your confidence? Knowing that your life has meaning and that your contributions to the world are of value is one of the quickest and fastest ways to increase your confidence. But confidence is not something we can fake. It is a feeling we give out to others – people feel what we think and believe about ourselves. A common mistake many people make when they begin dating is that they only focus on their external assets; their hair, going to the gym, losing weight, buying a new wardrobe or a new car, Botox and the list goes on. Although good looks, sexy clothes and a great body may attract men and women to you it is no guarantee that they will fall in love with you or want to establish a long term relationship. Research informs us that men do not necessarily fall in love with the prettiest and sexiest of women and not all women fall for the best looking guy (or the one with the most money).</span></p> <p><strong>Tips to increase your Dating Confidence</strong></p> <p><strong>Let go of past relationships and attachments: </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This is one of the biggest reasons why people prevent the right partner from finding them. They are still emotionally attached to a past love/s.</span></p> <p><strong>Make a list of your strengths and your good qualities:</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Become clear about why you are a great catch and more importantly why you will no longer accept anything less than what you deserve. Remember having something is not better than having nothing; particularly when it comes to love.</span></p> <p><strong>Break free from your comfort zone: </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Are you still doing the same thing you always have to find the love of your life? Then the chances are high that you will keep attracting the same type of person or situation.</span></p> <p><strong>Re-evaluate and then re-create your “must-list”:</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Think about what is on your ‘must have’ list when it comes to a partner. Then look honestly at yourself and identify what qualities you could still do some work on to strengthen. Then take positive steps to become the best you can be to attract the person you would like in your life. Remember, like attracts like!</span></p> <p><strong>Spend time with friends that celebrate you:</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The calmer and happier you are, the more confident you will feel about attracting your special person. The way people treat us directly impacts on our self-esteem.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Read more from Marina about how to find new love </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/lifestyle/boomer-life/preparing-for-love-in-your-50s.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">here.</span></a></em></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Marina Bakker. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/relationships/dating-with-confidence.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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How to start a vegetable garden

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Growing your own vegetables can save you money and give you a huge amount of satisfaction. Ready to get a green thumb?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Your own homegrown vegetables taste much better and are fresher than any that you buy in the shops. Fruiting vegetables, like beans, tomatoes, capsicum and sweet corn, have the best flavour if they’re eaten as quickly as possible after harvest; leafy vegetables, such as lettuce, lose water and rapidly become limp, and all vegetables are more nutritious if they are consumed when as fresh as possible. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Growing your own can save a considerable amount on food costs and will also give you a wider choice of vegetables. Unusual vegetables are often difficult to buy in shops, but are easily grown in the home garden. Lots of vegetables are ornamental so can be grown for their good looks as well as their produce.  </span></p> <p><strong>WHEN TO GROW VEGGIES</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Vegetables can be loosely grouped according to their growing season.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Cool Season Vegetables:</strong> Grow best when temperatures are between 10-20 degrees C or even lower. They include: broad beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, onions, peas, spinach and turnips.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Intermediate Season Vegetables:</strong> These are best between temperatures of 15-25 degrees. They include: beetroot, carrot, parsnip, celery, leek, lettuce, radish, silver beet.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Warm Season vegetables:</strong> Are grown best when temperatures are above 20 degrees celsius. They include: Beans, capsicum, eggplant, potato, sweet corn, sweet potato, tomato and cucurbits (including cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins etc.) </span></p> <p><strong>VEGETABLE CULTIVATION</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Position:</strong> Vegetables must have sun! Try to select a growing area that is sunny for most of the day, is sheltered, and is close to a source of water. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Soil: S</strong>oil is often the easiest thing to adjust to your growing needs. In fact, strictly speaking, soil is not absolutely necessary. Vegetables can be grown in potting mix or in a hydroponic set up, but the most common medium is still good garden soil. Soil must have good drainage and a good structure. Regular incorporation of old organic matter (such as compost) will keep the soil functioning well. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Nutrients</strong>: Vegetables, more than most other plants, need to be supplied with adequate nutrients.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Mineral fertilisers:</strong> are reliable sources of good quantities of nutrients. Mixes with a balanced NPK ratio are suited to a wide range of crops. Balanced, all-purpose fertilisers, such as Thrive All Purpose, can be mixed into the soil before planting. Soluble fertilisers, such as Thrive, can be applied in liquid form to plants during their early stages of growth. Additional dressings of Sulphate of Potash and Superphosphate may be necessary, especially for fruiting and root crops.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Organic Fertilisers:</strong> are derived from once-living material. They’re excellent for improving soil, but their nutrient levels can be very variable. In recent years, however, increased interest in these products has led to many improvements, with fertilisers such as Dynamic Lifter organic pellets now having guaranteed nutrient levels. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>pH:</strong> pH is the level of acidity or alkalinity in the soil. Most vegetables produce best results if grown at a soil pH level of 6.0 to 7.0. In some areas this may mean adding lime before planting. Checking the pH level of the soil is recommended. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Mulching:</strong> Mulching over plants’ root systems, preferably with an organic mulch, will retain moisture, suppress weeds, reduce temperature fluctuations, and prevent soil crusting. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Watering:</strong> Water thoroughly so that the entire root system of the plant is moistened. Thorough waterings are more effective than light sprinklings. Don’t allow plants to reach wilting point but, conversely, don’t flood them as this washes away nutrients and may cause drainage problems. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Crop rotation:</strong> It’s important to avoid growing successive crops of the same type of vegetable in the same spot in the garden. This practice, which is called crop rotation, helps prevent build up of soil diseases. Seasonal crop changes often lead to natural crop rotation. </span></p> <p><strong>FAVOURITE VEGGIES</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Beans –</strong> Available in dwarf or climbing forms, beans produce pods that are sliced or eaten whole. They must be grown during the warm season. Origin: Tropical America. Nutrition Value: Vitamin C, Vitamin A (beta carotene), iron, fibre and some protein.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Beetroot – T</strong>he deep crimson swollen root of beetroot is cooked in stews and soups or cooled for salads. Its leaves can also be used as a vegetable. Origin: Southern Europe. Nutrition Value: Excellent source of folate.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Brassicas</strong> (cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts) – All grow better when temperatures are not too hot or too cold although new varieties are more heat tolerant. The introduction of Chinese cabbages and other oriental brassicas has encouraged new culinary uses for this group of vegies. Origin: Europe and Asia. Nutrition Value: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, mineral salts, fibre, protein.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Broad Beans –</strong> Grow on upright bushes during the cooler time of year. The whole pod can be eaten when young or (more commonly) the seeds are removed and cooked. Origin: Prehistoric Europe and ancient Egypt Nutrition Value: High in carbohydrates, fibre, minerals, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Vegetable -</strong>garden -carrots -potatoes -wyza -com -au</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you're short of space for growing veggies, try square foot gardening</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Carrot</strong> – A root vegetable that is traditionally bright orange in colour. Must be grown in well-drained, friable soil that is free of stones, fresh manure or fertiliser. Origin: Europe. Nutrition Value: Potassium, carotene (Vitamin A), Vitamin C and fibre.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Cucurbits –</strong> Includes vine plants such as pumpkin, cucumber, zucchini, melons. They must grow during warm season and almost all have separate male and female flowers. Only the females produce fruit. Origin: Tropical America and the Orient. Nutrition Value: Vitamin C, minerals and fibre.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Lettuce –</strong> The most popular salad plant in the world, lettuce is grown for its crisp green leaves. Butterhead lettuce has soft, buttery leaves; crisphead or iceberg have firm, solid hearts; cos has upright, loose leaves. Origin: Mediterranean. Nutrition Value: Carotene (Vitamin A), Vitamin C, fibre.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Onions –</strong> Onions are bulbs with a pungent flavour. The bulb develops in response to day length and correct sowing times are critical for onions. Origin: Central and Western Asia. Nutrition Value: Vitamin C, calcium.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Peas –</strong> The pea is a legume that is grown for its pods or for the seeds they contain. For many centuries peas were eaten only in their dried form but the fresh pea has a sweet, pleasant flavour. Available in dwarf or climbing forms. Origin: Asia and North Africa.Nutrition Value: Protein, fibre, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, mineral salts. One of the most nutritious vegetables.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The underground tuber of a warm season plant that is now one of the world’s staple foods. Easily grown in the home garden but needs plenty of room. Origin: South America. Nutrition Value: Protein, Vitamin C, carbohydrate and fibre.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Sweet Corn</strong> – A warm season cereal that is grown for its sweetly flavoured seeds, sweet corn grows on a tall plant. The seeds must be pollinated by pollen falling from the tassel at the top of the plant. Origin: South America. Nutrition Value: Vitamin C, fibre, minerals and protein.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Tomatoes</strong> – A warm season fruiting vegetable that is popular both in salads and cooked dishes. Fresh tomatoes are best eaten at room temperature. Origin: South and Central America. Nutrition Value: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fibre and protein.</span></p> <p><strong>MATT’S TOP 7 TIPS</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sydney based Landscape Gardener Matt Paton says the secret to growing a great home veggie patch is finding the right location to plant, using a good potting mix and watering regularly. </span></p> <p><strong>1. Choose the best location:</strong> Always plant in a bright and sunny area which is away from any windy spots.This will maximise the growing potential for your vegetables and will help to provide years of fresh vegetables for you and your family.</p> <p><strong>3. When planting in clay:</strong> If you have a clay type soil use a liberal dose of clay breaker or gypson. This powder needs to be worked into the soil with a garden fork (as a guide you should go as deep as the garden fork goes in the soil) for best results. This helps breaks down the clay to release the other vital nutrients in the soil to the plants but must be done several days before planting the seeds.</p> <p><strong>4. Draw up a plan:</strong> Then mark up the spacing with a tape measure and create holes with your finger or a stick to show where you are planning to put the seeds. Then tag the area with whatever is handy such as coloured pegs or if you want the professional look then buy specific plant tags from a nursery.</p> <p><strong>5. Use a good quality potting mix:</strong> Buy this from a nursery and use your garden fork to mix this into the soil. This winning combination gives added nutrients to your growing vegetables and provides a healthy environment for a great crop to grow.</p> <p><strong>6. Space out your vegetables:</strong> Follow the instructions given on the side of seed packets regarding spacing out the vegetables. They will grow better and it really does make a difference to help maximise your seasonable vegetables crop. If they are planted too close together then pests and diseases are likely to become more prevalent in your vegetable garden. </p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>7. Apply a layer of mulch:</strong> This should be about 50-75 mm thick of mulch to the whole area of the vegetable garden (just cover the rows you will be planting and harvesting) as this reduces weeds and provides organic matter to the plants when it breaks down. </span></p> <p><strong>8. Liquid fertilisers give good results:</strong> Consider using a liquid fertiliser as the plants take up the nutrients of the fertiliser quicker than they do with a granular fertiliser. It also saves you time. If you use a granular fertiliser then always water when the soil appears dry and apply the fertiliser before you water.You can use a granular slow release fertiliser such as 'Osmacote' for vegetables.You can also use a liquid fertiliser such as 'Seasol’. This has the added benefit of watering the plants and fertilising them simultaneously.</p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/property/how-to-start-a-vegetable-garden.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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What actually happens at a hearing test?

<p>Hearing loss can affect anyone and tends to worsen as time goes on, but it can be difficult to recognise the problem until you experience certain symptoms. So how can you be sure? The effects of hearing loss can be detrimental to your health, which is why it’s important to get a baseline hearing test and annual follow-up to help catch the problem early.</p> <p>The purpose of the test is not only to determine whether you have hearing loss, but also the severity level. A detailed analysis can also help define the type of hearing loss you may have: Conductive, sensorineural or mixed and whether it will respond best to medical treatment, hearing aids, bone-anchored hearing systems or cochlear implants.</p> <p>Hearing tests are non-invasive and easy to do, but despite the pain level sitting at zero, it’s still crucial to speak to a qualified audiologist who can guide you through the entire process.</p> <p>So now that you’re on your way to book your first hearing appointment, it’s important to know exactly what you can expect.</p> <p>Below are the exact steps that <a href="https://www.bloomhearing.com.au/en-au/blog/what-happens-at-hearing-appointment?topic=Tips%20and%20Advice">bloom™ hearing specialists</a> take to make sure you have the most comfortable experience possible.</p> <p><strong>1. They check your history</strong></p> <p>After the initial introduction, your hearing specialist will discuss your hearing history with you. The questioning will include when you find hearing most difficult, how long have you been noticing your hearing is declining and any other queries you may have. Make sure you have someone to accompany you to the appointment so they can also provide their feedback on when they notice your hearing isn’t at its peak.</p> <p><strong>2. They will conduct a series of tests</strong></p> <p>Once the consultation is complete, your specialist will then commence a number of tests; air conduction, speech discrimination testing, otoscopic examination, tympanogram and audiogram.</p> <p>Each ear is tested separately as they are trying to find the softest sounds you can hear. Then, a bone conduction test takes place to help establish the nature of the loss and whether it needs further medical examination, or if hearing aids are sufficient.</p> <p><strong>3. Working out a solution</strong></p> <p>After the testing has ended, your hearing specialist will give you the opportunity to have a Sound Experience – where you can actually listen to what amplification sounds like. The audiologist will walk you through your results, and will recommend solutions based off the information in front of them. They will also talk you through the range of hearing devices and which one will best suit your lifestyle and listening environment.</p> <p>With <a href="https://www.bloomhearing.com.au/en-au/blog/what-happens-at-hearing-appointment?topic=Tips%20and%20Advice">bloom™ hearing specialists</a>, you are able to have a real life Sound Experience where you can try hearing aids out in the ‘real world’. That way, you’ll know how much of a worthy investment the device can be to your everyday life and whether it provides benefit in the situations where you are struggling to hear.</p> <p><strong>4. Hearing aid fitting</strong></p> <p>Once you make some decisions around whether hearing aids are right for you, what colour hearing aids you would like and which hearing aids style suits you best, your hearing specialist will arrange a “fitting” appointment. At the fitting, hearing aids are set up and demonstrated to you. They will also explain how to correctly insert, remove, adjust and clean the devices.</p> <p>With <a href="https://www.bloomhearing.com.au/en-au/blog/my-new-hearing-aids-first-24-hours?topic=New%20To%20Hearing%20Aids">bloom™ hearing specialists</a>, review appointments are part of the great service provided, as it ensures you have the best hearing experience possible. Sometimes adjustments are necessary which is why it’s important to get the hearing aid rechecked.</p> <p>So now that you’re ready to book your first hearing appointment, find your <a href="https://www.bloomhearing.com.au/en-au/stores">local bloom clinic here</a>. Or, you can organise an appointment by <a href="https://www.bloomhearing.com.au/en-au/hearing-test/book-an-appointment">filling out an online form</a>. </p> <p><em>This is sponsored content brought to you in conjunction with </em><a href="https://www.bloomhearing.com.au/en-au/blog/what-happens-at-hearing-appointment?topic=Tips%20and%20Advice"><em>bloom™ hearing specialists</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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9-month-old’s saving chance: Court order prevents hospital pulling the plug

<p>A Texas court has allowed a family to place a temporary restraining order on a hospital wanting to take their 9-month-old baby off life support. </p> <p>Tinslee Lewis was born with congenital heart issues and has been under the care of the Cook’s Children’s Hospital for the better part of her whole young life. </p> <p>Her family is rejoicing after a court order has allowed them to buy more time to find a hospital who is willing to keep their baby on life-saving machines. </p> <p>The child was born with Ebstein Anomaly, a rare heart defect meaning there is an abnormality in the tricuspid valve. </p> <p>The disorder separates the right atrium from the right ventricle so normal blood flow cannot occur. </p> <p><span>In some rare cases, the disorder can cause the right atrium to swell, and even result in congestive heart failure. </span></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ftrinity.lewis.3551%2Fposts%2F2476561655891273&amp;width=500" width="500" height="586" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>While Tinslee has already undergone numerous surgeries for the disorder, for the past several months the young infant has been kept on a ventilator. </p> <p>The doctors worry the 9-month-old baby’s health will not improve and that she is “suffering”. </p> <p>However, her family could not agree less. </p> <p>"We are a family who believes where there's just a little air, there's hope," Beverly Winston, the infant's relative, told<span> </span>CBS DFW. </p> <p>"Regardless of your reason, what the law is -- she deserves the chance to fight for her life, and she has a troop who will help her 100 percent and above."</p> <p>Ahead of the court’s ruling, the hospital has issued a statement explaining the doctor’s conclusions. </p> <p>“Tinslee Lewis is a beautiful baby who has captured the hearts of many at Cook Children’s since her premature birth nine months ago,” a statement from the Cook Children’s hospital read, according to CBS DFW.</p> <p>“In the last several months, it’s become apparent her health will never improve,” the statement continued. </p> <p>“Despite our best efforts, her condition is irreversible, meaning it will never be cured or eliminated. Without life-sustaining treatment, her condition is fatal. But more importantly, her physicians believe she is suffering.”</p> <p>“To maintain the delicate balance necessary to sustain Tinslee’s life, and to prevent her from pulling out the lines that are connected to the ventilator, doctors have had to keep her constantly paralyzed and sedated.</p> <p>“While Tinslee may sometimes appear alert and moving, her movements are the result of being weaned off of the paralyzing drugs. We believe Tinslee is reacting in pain when she’s not sedated and paralyzed.”</p> <p>The hospital says they have reached out to nearly 20 hospitals who have all declined to accept the infant as a patient. </p> <p>Tinslee's life support was due to be switched off on the 17th of November, however a judge sided with her family with preventing from doing so. </p> <p>Another hearing is scheduled on November 22. </p> <p>“I thought that they were going to pull the plug on my baby,” Trinity Lewis, the baby’s mother, told Fox 7 Austin. </p> <p>“I didn’t think she was going to still be here today, and that’s what I’m grateful for.”</p>

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