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Today is March 9

Barbie Day

Barbie dolls were invented by Ruth Handler.  According to barbie.mattel.com, Handler saw that her daughter had limited toy choices, but her son had toys that allowed him to imagine himself as an astronaut, a firefighter, a doctor and more. When it debuted in 1959, toy buyers  were skeptical about the doll, because it was different than the baby and toddler dolls that were popular at the time. Barbie had a pony tail and a black and white swim suit.

1959 – The Barbie doll debuts at the American International Toy Fair in New York. It is considered her birthday.

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Toss some shrimp on the barbie at your next party

The popularity of cooking-based television shows has led many people to look at food through a new lens. Experiencing food in new ways may involve trying certain types of cuisine for the first time or even preparing beloved foods in new ways. Shrimp lovers accustomed to shrimp cocktail or other popular shrimp dishes may find that few ways to prepare shrimp can be as flavorful as grilling.

Cooking meals over an open flame imparts a unique flavor to various foods, and shrimp is no exception. Grilled seafood can be a perfect light alternative to grilled meats, which can be filling, something many people prefer to avoid when the weather is especially warm. The following recipe for “Grilled Garlic Shrimp with a Fresh Heirloom Tomato Sauce” from Laurey Masterton’s “The Fresh Honey Cookbook” (Storey Publishing) provides a less filling but delicious alternative to more traditional backyard barbecue fare.

Grilled Garlic Shrimp

with a Fresh Heirloom Tomato Sauce

Serves 6

For the marinated shrimp

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 garlic cloves, minced

36 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

12 6-inch wooden skewers

For the tomato sauce

3 pounds assorted large heirloom tomatoes

1 small sweet onion, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon honey, preferably sourwood honey

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips (chiffonade

is the formal name for this cut), plus more for garnish

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1. To marinate the shrimp, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar and garlic in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the shrimp and allow to sit, covered, for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.

2. Prepare a medium fire in a charcoal or gas grill. Soak the skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from burning.

3. To make the tomato sauce, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Place one or two tomatoes at a time into the boiling water. Watch them and, as you see the skin split, remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of cool water. At this point, it will be very easy to slip off the skins.

4. Cut the peeled tomatoes into a small dice. Put the cut tomatoes into a large bowl. Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and honey. Stir gently to combine.

5. Skewer the shrimp, 3 per skewer. Grill the skewered shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until they are pink. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and a couple grinds of fresh pepper.

6. Just before serving, add the basil leaves to the tomato sauce. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

7. Ladle the tomato sauce onto a serving platter and arrange the skewers on top of the sauce. Garnish with more basil leaves and enjoy!

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Termite Awareness Week

Few things elicit fear in the minds of homeowners like termites. Termites are voracious and can turn wood to pulp wherever they take up residence. Termites have felled massive trees, but they also can bore through the wood in homes, wreaking havoc as they go.

Ants and termites can look similar, so homeowners who suspect they have a termite infestation should learn to distinguish one from the other. A close look at termites can make it easy to identify them. Unlike ants, termites have no “waist;” their bodies are more rectangular. A termite also has straight, beaded antenna, while an ant’s antennae are bent or elbowed. Termite wings are equal in size, uniform in shape and much longer than their bodies. Ants have a reddish hue, while termites are creamy white.

Prevention is always preferable to having to treat termites after they are established. Termite Web, a site devoted to termite information, states that treating home foundations and surrounding soil with termite spray is often the best course of action to stop subterranean termites from taking hold. If termites are already present, drilling into the floor surrounding the building and using a termiticide may be necessary. Baiting termites outside with wood that is tainted with slow-acting insecticide can eliminate an entire colony in one to four months.

Termite control methods may need to be repeated. A multi-pronged approach using different chemicals may be necessary to kill existing insects and repel further infestations. Trial and error can help homeowners rid their spaces of termites so that they can repair damaged wood and ensure structures are sound.

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False Teeth Day

Proper dental care and oral hygiene is essential at all stages in life, even for people who have dentures, partials or implants. People with dentures must recognize that oral hygiene protects their dentures as well as their mouths.

According to the American College of Prosthodontists, 35 million Americans do not have any teeth, while 11 percent of the population requires the use of a complete denture. In addition, 5 percent of the U.S. population wears a partial denture. The Canadian Denture & Implant Centres says that 16 percent of the population wear dentures.

Removable dentures require care to keep them clean and in good repair. Servicing dentures also helps ensure wearers’ mouths stay healthy. Follow these guidelines to keep dentures clean.

· Handle with care. Dentures are strong, but they are not impervious to damage. Treat them with care while handling, being sure not to bend or damage any clasps when cleaning, and try not to drop the dentures. When handling dentures, Colgate recommends standing over a folded towel or basin of water for added protection.

· Brush daily. False teeth need to be brushed, so don’t trade in your toothbrush just yet. Brushing will help remove food deposits and prevent staining.

· Take a break. Remove dentures before going to bed and soak the dentures in warm water or special denture cleansers. Removing dentures for six to eight hours allows tissue inside the mouth to recover. Soaking helps to remove stains, bacteria and tartar. The Mayo Clinic notes that most dentures need to remain moist to keep their shape, so do not allow them to dry out.

· Clean your mouth. While dentures are removed, use gauze or a soft toothbrush to clean the tongue, palate and cheeks. If you still have any natural teeth, use a soft-bristled brush to cleanse. Always rinse dentures before returning them to your mouth.

· Schedule regular dental visits. Dentists can advise how frequently to have dentures checked for fit and professional cleaning. Loose dentures can cause sores and infection, so it’s best to address any issues regarding fitting promptly. Dentists also will inspect the inside of the mouth for signs of disease or

irritation.

· Eat healthy foods. Make sure to eat a well-balanced diet to keep the body and mouth healthy. Cut up hard foods like fresh fruits and vegetables if dentures are impacting your ability to eat these foods.

People of all ages rely on partial or complete dentures to maintain their smiles. Routine care is necessary to keep the dentures intact and mouths healthy.