Life & Times

Teri Dreher, a private professional patient advocate, speaks with 90 year-old Rosemary Brennan at Brennan's home on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 in Lake Bluff, Ill. Dreher, a nurse and owner of North Shore Patient Advocates, works with families to navigate the health care system. (Chicago Tribune - Stacey Wescott)

Advocating for Patients

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Chicago — Barbara Salata was anxious, couldn’t sleep and told her family it felt like she was having a heart attack. The 77-year-old Libertyville, Ill., …

Report Finds Insurers Flout Health Law’s Protections For Women

Monday, May 4, 2015

Chicago — Some insurance plans offered on the health overhaul law’s new marketplaces violate the law’s requirements for women’s health, according to a new report …

Emoticon Entices Kids to Eat Healthier Food

Monday, May 4, 2015

Crusaders in the fight against childhood obesity have discovered a powerful new weapon — the green smiley-faced emoticon. When placed near cartons of plain nonfat …

Like Airbnb, for Exercise

Monday, May 4, 2015

Traveling can disrupt your fitness routine. There may be a gym in your hotel, but chances are it will be tiny and crowded. And although you could go for a run, setting off alone in an unfamiliar city might not be so appealing. Enter Tramaze (www.tramaze.com), a website …

Pent-Up

Monday, May 4, 2015

With help from Gile, his 8-year-old border collie, Stephen Wetmore, of Strafford, herds sheep into a pen during the opening weekend at Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock on Sunday. Wetmore has been raising border collies for more …

Disconnected: Documenting the Disappearing ‘Pay Phone’ With ‘Instant Film’

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The last time I used a pay phone was in the summer of 2012, when a colleague and I were reporting on a bear mauling incident in Grafton and needed to contact an editor while in a no-service …

Dan Mackie: The ‘Downtown’ Economy

Saturday, May 2, 2015

I have confessed previously to a fondness for Downton Abbey — the British historical drama/soap opera that shines like fine silver. That is, it shines like fine silver would if you had sufficient staff to polish it. In …

A Powerful Drama at Shaker Bridge

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Shaker Bridge Theatre’s production of Jon Robin Baitz’ play Other Desert Cities is riveting, funny and heartbreaking, and the actors give an all-around powerful performance. From top to bottom, the five cast members are comfortable and believable in their roles as members of the dysfunctional Wyeth family, who …

Study: Most Brides Still Taking Husband’s Name

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Chicago — Rebecca Raab is getting married in July, and so faces a decision: Should she take her husband’s name? Her decision-making process took a detour into my email box recently. Raab, 29, who lives in the city’s …

Commentary: Expensive Vet Bills Put Pets Lives in Danger

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Eugene, Ore. — After a terrifying encounter with our automatic garage door, my beloved 23-pound cat Orangey was in trouble — dazed, struggling to breathe and in pain. I rushed him to the nearest animal emergency clinic and …

On Fashion: The Slowdown of Skinny Jeans Might Actually Be Good for the Denim Industry

Sunday, May 3, 2015

It’s hard to pinpoint the moment that you shoved your jeans to the back of your closet in favor of your stretchy yoga pants. That’s the thing about fashion trends today: Their lifecycles are short. And with everything moving faster, retailers are increasingly looking for ways to keep …

On Fashion: Abercrombie Used to Be a Store Where You Could Buy Guns and Thermal Underwear

Sunday, May 3, 2015

They were once a shopping mall staple: parking lots, food court pretzels, ear-piercing stands — and the washboard abs of an Abercrombie & Fitch model. Sometimes plastered across the store’s dimly lit entrance or often on the body of a 17-year-old hired to stand around in swim trunks, …

Getting to Know Mrs. Washington

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Washington — When her husband died, Martha Washington destroyed almost all the letters the couple had exchanged during decades of married life, an era that included the Revolutionary War, the formation of the country and his presidency. Only …