• Field trips are in full force, Florida’s Comprehensive Assessment Tests are over and graduation announcements are being handed out. That can only mean one thing — summer break is near.

  • Sometimes we learn life lessons in the strangest ways. Living in Ocala, with its diverse population of minorities, has opened my eyes to the religion and culture of many of my neighbors. Like most people, the old adage “Birds of a feather flock together” is true for most of my social situations, but the other day I received a lesson from a most unlikely and unexpected source.

  • When I was a new Christian, I discovered a portrait of Jesus called the “Laughing Christ” at a Christian book store.

    At the time I was attending a serious church, a church where the thought of Jesus laughing was most likely frowned on. Maybe Jesus smiled at babies and puppies, but telling jokes with his friends? God forbid.

  • Breast cancer is an extremely common disease, and it affects 1 in 11 women in their lifetime. Approximately, 300,000 women get this diagnosis every year in the United States alone, some with invasive disease and some with in situ disease.

  • Q: I read your column in the Chronicle each time and find it most helpful and interesting.

    I am 81 years old and have all my own teeth, except that a few are capped and I have some fillings. I go to the dentist two times a year and have my check up and X-rays.

  • Last week, I started a series of articles about cancers of the female genital tract. Today, we will complete our look at cancer of the uterus.

  • By Dr. Cheryl McFarland-Bryant

    In today’s hectic world, we unfortunately grow up to believe that less is not more, bigger is better. So we push ourselves to do and to achieve the maximum results in our lives. This stress causes blood chemistry changes that increases abdominal fat, raises blood pressure, affects our hormone levels and hastens the signs of aging. Muscles tighten and tension headaches may result. 

    These are just a few of the harmful effects of stress. 

  • He can bench press 450 pounds, fold rebar into shapes with his bare hands and break a wooden baseball bat into splinters.

    William Green, the 235-pound retired running back for the Cleveland Browns, can impress a crowd with not only his physical strength and capabilities, but his message — mental strength. He brought that message to district schools recently as part of the Strength Team.

  • I debated long and hard about writing this, and far more about whether or not to print it. As time has worn on, I’ve wondered if maybe it wouldn’t be too raw for the newspaper — to painful to be exposed so openly to a public I’m not entirely comfortable with yet. I’m not sure if my wounds are healed enough to take all the bandages off completely.

  • Recently, I saw a 65-year-old gentleman who noticed some trouble swallowing. He could swallow liquids but he had a hard time swallowing solids. He was ignoring it initially, but at his wife’s insistence, he went to see his doctor. He was referred to a gastroenterologist or stomach doctor. She performed an upper endoscopy and it showed cancer in his esophagus or food pipe.

    The esophagus is a 10-inch long, hollow, muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach. There are two major types of esophageal cancer:

  • The oral mucosa is the lining of the mouth and can include the nasal cavity and the throat. It is a very moist and slippery type of tissue that differs from the skin, which has a keratin layer to protect it. The moisture comes from major saliva glands, as well as millions of salivary glands that line the oral cavity and produce saliva. It is known to have a very rich blood supply and also it is very much innervated with nerves that when injured or irritated can be quite painful.

  • Cholesterol is an essential part of every cell in our bodies. Our bodies use cholesterol to produce and regulate hormones, and to promote digestion. However, too much cholesterol in our bloodstream leads to a buildup of plaque inside our arteries, restricting the flow of blood and causing heart disease. 

  • Q: I have no molars on the top. My six front teeth on the top are crowned with root canals. However, on one of the front ones, the actual tooth beneath the crown, is breaking. Is it possible to get an upper partial with the back teeth and only one front tooth? I do not want to have to pull the other five that are crowned.

     Thank you. 

  • The temperature shows 33 degrees on our thermometer. That is 20 degrees warmer than yesterday morning. We had a snow earlier this week, just enough to cover the ground. Once the sun came out, the snow didn’t last too long. With the beginning of April next week, it makes us even more eager to see warmer weather arrive.

  • Valentine’s Day is over the hill this year, but chocolate goes on forever. So, big query for wine lovers: Which selections marry best with chocolate? And that’s dark, bittersweet chocolate, mind you. The only liquid to drink with milk chocolate is cold milk, preferably during daylight hours. 

  • By Randy Hobson

  • The eighth annual Taste of Inverness will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at Liberty Park on Lake Henderson. Enjoy food, art and live entertainment with the Blue Stem Prairie Band. 

  • From the Great American Cooter Fest to the Florida Manatee Festival, Citrus County's festivals are unique in their own way and bring thousands of enthusiasts here annually. But there’s one component of the festivals that often goes unnoticed: scholarships.