Good Old Days Newsletter

In the Good Old Days Antiques Corner This Week in History
In the Good Old Days

Trivia Question

Who is Bobby Fischer and what did he accomplish in 1958 to make him famous?

Flu Favorites

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As I sit here composing this newsletter, I am recovering from the onslaught of the influenza A virus.

When the symptoms first appeared and then rapidly escalated, I turned to my friends and family on social media for help. "Any advice?" I posed on Facebook. There were several responses directing me to head to the urgent care office and get prescription medicine, which did not surprise me. What did surprise me was the number of good, old-fashioned home remedies that surfaced. Putting Vicks VapoRub on my chest, back and feet, and downing some orange juice and then chasing it with a hot toddy were among them. And many folks recommended vitamins A and C. My husband firmly believes in the use of piping-hot chicken soup with as much pepper as one can stand. My mother raised us on the method of gargling hot salt water.

At Good Old Days magazine, we are fortunate to have an ongoing Home Remedies column authored by the knowledgeable Vicki Tannehill. I was able to pull up one of her articles from 2009 to help ease my discomfort as well. Her essay titled "A Cup of Comfort" suggested hot lemon tea with a variety of herbs to thin congestion. Hot drinks keep you hydrated, and "the heat helps clear those packed sinuses and soothes a sore throat. They also make you sweat, which flushes out toxins and relieves congestion and headaches." Steeping ginger and garlic help too, she stated.

And then there's chicken soup. My husband was right. Scientists have determined that chicken soup fights inflammation and reduces congestion as well. Adding garlic, onions, cayenne pepper or curry powder to your chicken soup gives it added punch. Legend has it that George Washington cured his colds by eating a roasted onion at bedtime. Long before that, the ancient physicians of Egypt, Greece and Rome used garlic and onions on their patients. These ingredients may not be good for my breath, but if it helps me feel better, I am all for it! I'm headed to the pantry right now.

Fighting colds and flu this time of year is nothing new. It's a good thing we have the old tricks to help us through it all. Happy New Year and stay well, friends!

'Til next time,

Mary Beth Weisenburger,
Good Old Days® magazine

Editor's note: The information above is not intended to diagnose or treat ailments. As always, please consult your doctor before trying any home remedies.

PS. What are your favorite home remedies to help you feel better? Did your parents or grandparents use something quirky or unusual that you still use today? We want to hear about it! Send a brief response to me at and it could appear in a future newsletter or in Good Old Days magazine! Here is an email response from the Dec. 10, 2014, newsletter question: Do you own a set of old putz houses, a family Nativity set or another treasured Christmas heirloom?

Jeanne B. shared: "We had some of those cardboard houses when I was growing up. I don't know what happened to them, but I DO have a Nativity set that my mom bought for my brother at Woolworth's when he was 4 years old. If he was living, he would be 82 now. Some of the pieces are pretty banged up, but I bring it out almost every year. My mom gave it to me on my oldest daughter's first Christmas when she was 6 months old. She is now 46. I wrote the history and put it in the box I store it in, so if my kids find it one day after I am gone they'll know why I saved that 'old piece of junk'!"

Mary Beth Weisenburger has been with Annie's since April 2011. She has 25 years of experience in the marketing, advertising and publishing fields. In addition to her job as editor of Good Old Days, she has been writing a family humor column for over a decade. She and her husband, two college-age kids, two dogs and various other critters live on five acres in the country, where she enjoys reading on the back porch, refinishing furniture, feeding the birds and digging in the dirt of her perennial gardens.

Fill out the easy feedback form and let me know your thoughts, questions and ideas.

Trivia Answer

Bobby Fischer was a chess prodigy who, on Jan. 10, 1958, won the United States Championship at the age of 14, making him the youngest chess champion in history.

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