DR. STUCKEY’S HALLOWEEN FAVORITES
Witches, Haunted Hotels, and Operation Gratitude
cue, I would run and hide behind the furniture so I wouldn’t have to see her. After a little while, my dad would say, “It’s okay now,” and I would pop back up. However, it wasn’t okay, and the witch was still on the TV! I’d yell and dive back for cover, and meanwhile, Dad would start laughing. The Wicked Witch of the West terrified me, but I loved “The Wizard of Oz” then, and I still do today! Now, if I need a book to put me in the Halloween mood, Stephen King’s “The Shining” is the first thing I’ll grab. You might have seen the 1980 movie directed by Stanley Kubrick, and while it’s good, the movie pales in comparison to the book, as movies tend to do. Stephen King’s novel is an example of
Halloween brings out special holiday traditions. It’s a strange time of year when horror meets whimsy, and it can be fun to play along. There are countless books, movies, and TV shows dedicated to scaring people until their hair turns white — not that I have to worry about that now! I’ve never been a fan of the slasher gorefests like “Saw” or “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” but there are a few stories I would call my Halloween favorites. My favorite Halloween movie might seem a little unconventional, but hear me out: “The Wizard of Oz.” While Dorothy’s adventure through Oz isn’t a horror classic, as a child, nothing scared me more than the Wicked Witch of the West. The actress, Margaret Hamilton, brought us one of the greatest villains in cinema, with her horrible cackle and the way she held her hands like claws ready to scratch out Dorothy’s eyes. I watched “The Wizard of Oz” so many times as a kid that I knew exactly when the green witch was going to appear. Right before her
While movies and books are fun, my favorite part of Halloween is our annual candy buyback! Each year, we invite patients to stop by the office and sell us their extra candy. We then donate the candy, in addition to toothbrushes and other supplies, to Operation Gratitude, a charity that sends care packages to deployed troops. We’re going into our third year of the candy buyback, and the event has become like a special Halloween party held after Halloween! In addition to selling their candy for $1 a pound, kids can wear their costumes, win great prizes, and write letters to our troops. Last year, we donated 100 pounds of candy. This year, the goal is 150! I would love to see everyone stop by on Thursday, November 2, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., or Friday, November 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kids who come in wearing their costumes will get an extra raffle ticket to add to the prize drawing. Drop by and help us reach our goal! – Dr. Stuckey
exceptional storytelling that explores a deeper meaning you just don’t get in the movie. It was this book that got King typecasted as a horror author, which he considered to be a great compliment.
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Keep Your Trick-or-Treaters Safe This Halloween
You may wonder if trick-or-treating is safe, especially when stories of poisoned Halloween candy circulate every year. These terrifying tales have all been hoaxes, but beyond needlessly frightening parents, these urban legends take attention away from the real danger kids face while trick-or-treating. Safe Kids Worldwide reports that children are twice as likely to be struck by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year. Here’s what you need to remember before sending your little witches and knights out trick-or-treating. Light Up the Night Brightly colored costumes will make your child more visible in the dark. That said, if your ghouls and goblins have their hearts set on being a real creature of the night, flashlights, glow-in-the-dark bracelets, and reflective tape attached to candy bags can help trick-or-treaters remain visible to drivers. Dress for Comfort The cold might not bother Elsa, but your trick-or-treater may not be ready
to sing after the sun sets and the temperature drops. Have them wear jackets and gloves as needed and insist on shoes they can walk in. If your little princess is absolutely in love with her high heels, have her wear the pretty, uncomfortable shoes for pictures at the door, then switch into comfy sneakers before hitting the sidewalks. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize Masks can really bring a costume together, but they can also make it hard for young eyes to see where they’re going. Before trick-or- treaters head out to collect that sweet candy, swap out masks with face paint. It might take a few practice runs, but face paint can be just as cool. Make sure to test for allergic reactions first. Know the Rules of the Road It is important for trick-or-treaters of all ages to know how to behave safely as they walk down the sidewalks. They should always look both ways Do you remember your favorite birthday? Maybe it was a special party, a favorite gift, or a fond memory you recall each year. Well, we are hoping that our patient Isabel Gillespie had one of her favorites, because it was one of our favorite days in the office. We were lucky enough to surprise Isabel and celebrate her 100th birthday in our office! Isabel’s son, Reid Albright, brought her in to our office for an appointment, where she was greeted at the door by Dr. Stuckey and our team, who surprised her with a birthday cake and balloon for such a special occasion. Tears were brought to not only our eyes, but also the eyes of our wonderful patient, as she made that 100th birthday wish. Isabel never fails to make us smile, as we have been seeing her smile in our office as a patient for over 30 years! When Isabel’s name appears on our schedule, we know it will be an extra special day. Isabel lives her life to the limits and is described by our
before crossing the street, never run out between parked cars, and make sure oncoming traffic is completely stopped before they step out into the road. Kids under the age of 12 should
be accompanied by an adult, and older children
should stick with their friends and never trick or treat alone.
Trick-or-treating is a wonderful childhood tradition, and it shouldn’t end in tragedy. Talk to your kids about the risks and make sure they know why these rules are necessary. When you keep safety in mind, your trick-or- treaters can focus on the best part of Halloween: getting the most candy!
Isabel Gillespie’s 100th Birthday
team as being 100 years young and one of our spunkiest patients! Maybe you’ve seen Isabel around our office, or maybe you’ve seen her at the bowling alley, as she was still throwing strikes in a bowling league at the blissful age of 99! I know what a lot of you are thinking: “Wow! 100 years is a long time!” Well, for comparison, in 1917 the average home in the United States cost about $5,000, yet the average hourly wage was only 22 cents! In these homes during World War I, a popular song on the record player was “Over There” by Nora Bayes. No matter how much our world has changed since Isabel was born, she still lights up every room she walks in to. We are so lucky to have a patient like Isabel, and we wish her many more smiling days ahead. Maybe you will be able to see your dentist on your 100th birthday, as well!
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How to Do the Least Damage Oil and water. Drinking and driving. Dentists and Halloween. There are some things that do not mix. But, what if we told you that most dentists go trick-or-treating with their kids and even sneak a treat or two from their kids’ buckets? Lollipops. When it comes to how bad something is for your teeth, frequency and length of exposure is more harmful than quantity. Anything sticky. We’re looking at you, caramel. Anything you can’t eat with braces is probably too sticky for your teeth. Bit O’ Honeys and Tootsie Rolls are among the worst offenders. to Your Teeth This Halloween
Theoretically, it’s better for your teeth to eat five candy bars than
On the other hand, some candies are much easier on your pearly whites:
Dentists know better than anyone else how unrealistic it is to keep people from eating extra sweets during Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Christmas. But there’s a smart way to indulge in seasonal treats without seriously damaging your teeth. First and foremost, Halloween night might be the most important night of the year to brush your teeth. That should be obvious. Now that we’ve established that, let’s look at two candies that you should partake of sparingly, or just avoid altogether:
one sucker (it’s just not as good for your waistline). Lollipops will rest millimeters from your teeth for 10–20 minutes. Gummy worms. Besides being high in sugar, these candies, and really anything sour and gummy, are among the most
Sugarless gum and other sugarless candies made with stevia or other sugar substitutes
acidic. Highly acidic foods wear down the enamel of your teeth, regardless of how much sugar is involved.
Candy bars with nuts
So, enjoy yourself, be deliberate about your candy, and remember that Halloween is game time for your toothbrush.
Dr. Stuckey’s Playlist
A lot of people might be surprised to find out I’m a big Blue October fan. At a glance, they don’t seem like my kind of sound, but I really do enjoy their music! And Now for Something Completely Different Blue October isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. An alternative rock band from Houston, Texas, their music isn’t what you’d call “feel-good.” The band formed in 1995, and much of their early sound was inspired by lead singer Justin Furstenfeld’s personal struggles. Faced with drug abuse, heartbreak, and mental health issues, Furstenfeld channeled his pain into songwriting. That raw emotion is painfully evident in his lyrics and performances, which I feel gives songs from Blue October a sense of pure sincerity. You wouldn’t play Blue October for a summer road trip or at a dance party, but as winter looms and the nights grow longer, the sober yet catchy sound is fitting. I’m particularly fond of their early music. My favorite Blue October album is their 2003 “History for Sale,” which featured their first major mainstream success, “Calling You.” I also enjoy “Into the Ocean” and “Hate Me,” both songs that went platinum in 2006, along with the album they appeared on, “Foiled.” I almost had the chance to see them live a few months ago, but it didn’t work out. Hopefully, another opportunity will present itself in the future. Until then, you can bet I’ll spend the month of October listening to Blue October.
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How Do You Get Into the Halloween Spirit?
Keep Your Trick-or-Treaters Safe This Halloween The Worst Candies for Your Teeth Dr. Stuckey’s Playlist
How Farmers Grow Giant Pumpkins
How Farmers Grow Forklifts and cranes may be used mainly for construction work, but every fall, thousands of backyard gardeners use them as gardening tools — or rather, harvesting tools — for their largest single crop. Those Giant Pumpkins
Before the gourd starts growing, flowers on the plant need to be pollinated. Farmers will usually take it upon themselves to pollinate, using pollen from plants with proven genetic lines. Winning pumpkins usually claim their “father” plant and “mother” seed, like racehorses. Growing a great pumpkin is practically a full-time job, with some farmers reporting spending 40 hours a week on it. Using heated soil, installing fences to reduce wind, adding sand to the patch, and other specific cultivation techniques give the pumpkin a fighting chance to grow into a monster. But, in the end, there’s an element of luck. The competitive growing industry is getting bigger (pun intended). In 1979, the largest pumpkin on record was 438 pounds. Since 2008, the world record has been broken every year. The reigning heavyweight champion, grown in Germany last year,
Massive pumpkins aren’t practical, but they can become a minor tourist attraction in your hometown and even win a few thousand bucks if they’re really huge. However, with the time and effort it takes to get them that big, farmers aren’t in it for the money. They’re in it for the glory. Growing these monstrous fruits (yes, they are technically fruits) is kind of like breeding a racehorse. It takes practice, cultivation, and even good genes. Competitive growers will often purchase the seeds of the previous year’s champions for their plant. After preparing the soil to make it extra fertile, they’ll plant the pumpkin in late winter or early spring.
weighed in at 2,623 pounds. That’s as much as a 2018 Toyota Yaris or 1,748 standard pumpkin pies.
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