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Acupuncture Goes to the Dogs

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Tara Leonard

Written by Tara Leonard

APTOS (December, 2008) -- The acupuncture patient rests quietly as Dr. Patty Wilson takes his pulse, examines his tongue, and begins to insert thin, flexible needles into his legs, back and neck. “How’s that feel?” Wilson gently asks, leaning over the treatment table for a final insertion. The patient licks her face.

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When Life Gives You Broken Candy Canes...

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Tara Leonard

Written by Tara Leonard

When the Christmas tree fell over for the second time, I felt my holiday spirits waning. Yes, in hindsight I might have taken the first collapse a bit more seriously, leading to remedial action. But that first time, as I took in the crumpled tree, wet carpet and shattered ornaments, my thoughts leapt only to gift search and rescue. I scrambled to pull the wrapped presents from an ever-widening puddle of murky water and broken glass while my two eager-to-help dogs munched on broken candy canes, still in their wrappers. Let the holidays begin!

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Grandmother for Hire: Postpartum Doulas Ease Transition to Parenthood

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Tara Leonard

Written by Tara Leonard

For nine months, prospective parents imagine a cherubic baby, sleeping soundly while they visit with admiring well-wishes. Then reality strikes. Suddenly mom and dad are up all night with a crying baby. Every time they try to nap the phone or doorbell rings. The laundry piles up, the house is a mess, and neither exhausted parent has a clue how to bathe a newborn. Meanwhile grandma, who flew all the way from Pittsburgh to help, can only cook fried chicken, has an aversion to dirty diapers and can't imagine why anyone would want to breastfeed when formula was just fine for her children (although, Lord knows, she doesn't mean to criticize.)

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Healing Hands: East Supports West in the Battle Against Cancer

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Tara Leonard

Written by Tara Leonard

Talk with Serena MacMullan about her battle with breast cancer and she makes one thing perfectly clear: Mary Morgan saved her life. Morgan is not an oncologist, radiologist or surgeon. She’s not MacMullan’s mother, sister or best friend. Mary Morgan is an acupuncturist.

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Persimmon Passion

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Tara Leonard

Written by Tara Leonard

Confess to Laura Everett that you have never eaten a persimmon and a look of disbelief flashes across her tan, smiling face. Everett believes that there are only two kinds of people in the world – those who love persimmons and those who have never eaten a truly ripe piece of this colorful fall fruit. I’ve been warned that you’ll never forget your first bite of an unripe Hachiya persimmon, the puckering astringency, the bone-dry mouth. But as the owners of Everett Family Farm in Soquel, Laura and her husband Richard are just the folks you want handing you your first plump sample, still warm from the tree, its distinct acorn shape encased in a glossy, orange-red skin.

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