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Tips: Take better photos of your garden and wildlife

So the garden you planted or enjoy each day is flowering. Birds and animals are busy in your yard or neighborhood. And you'd love to capture all this natural beauty in photos. It's so easy these days to pull out a phone and take pictures of anything anytime, but a little time and thought can ...

Revelers run in front of Cebada Gago fighting bulls during the first running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Friday, July 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Pamplona’s festival, the fiesta of a lifetime

fter I first started covering the San Fermin running of the bulls festival in Pamplona, Spain for The Associated Press, the same sense of anticipation haunts me on the eve of July 6. The night before the launching of the "Chupinazo" rocket that kick-starts the festival is always one of ...

The real America refers to many versions Homegrown Hollywood:

I’ve always loved the Fourth of July. Growing up in my small town, the Fourth meant three-legged races, watching the parade on Main Street and covering my ears during fireworks. Eating corn on the cob in my flag shirt with butter dripping down my face, I remember feeling so grateful I ...

EVERYDAY CHEAPSKATE: You can have your smashed avocado and a house, too

I love a good story, especially one that goes viral for some unknown reason, setting off a media firestorm. On a recent episode of the Australian “60 Minutes,” real estate mogul and self-avowed millionaire Tim Gurner casually suggested that the reason some millennials cannot afford to ...

Dolley Madison: the White House’s first power hostess

Sometimes, thoughtful decor, elegant tableware and gracious entertaining can come together into something truly powerful. An exhibit in New York argues that Dolley Madison's prodigious domestic, social and political talents helped define and unite a fledgling nation. Madison was the first ...

Met exhibit looks at Japan’s fine craft of bamboo basketry

NEW YORK (AP) — Bamboo is getting attention these days as a versatile and sustainable material for housewares, so the timing is good for a Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit that explores Japan's ancient craft of basketry. "Japanese Bamboo Art: The Abbey Collection" is devoted to ...

Minding Our Elders: Broken heart may hasten death of spouse

Dear Carol: I read one of your articles which said that you had lost both your parents in quick succession so I identify with you. I live in the UK. In early March, I lost my father, aged 92. He didn't want anyone with him when he passed away. Then, exactly two months later, my mother, aged ...

Survey: 4 in 10 US adults have experienced online harassment

NEW YORK (AP) — A new survey says a whopping 41 percent of U.S. adults have experienced online harassment, ranging from offensive name-calling to stalking and sexual harassment. That's up from 35 percent in 2014. The Pew Research Center said Tuesday that 66 percent of respondents have ...

Zzzzzz: Sleep gadgets adjust if you’re restless — or snoring

NEW YORK (AP) — Pillows that track your snoozing patterns? A bed that adjusts based on how much you twist and turn? Companies are adding more technology into their products, hoping to lure customers craving a better night's sleep. Some specialized businesses are making gadgets that promise ...

In this June 25, 2017 photo climber Phil Brown climbs the vertical pitch of Old Man's Route high on the west face of Seneca Rocks in West Virginia. Considered an easy climb, the route ends on the shelf near the upper tree. (AP Photo/Michael Virtanen)

West Virginia peaks draw experienced climbers and novices

SENECA ROCKS, W.Va. (AP) — The pale ridge rises like the ragged fin of a prehistoric fish in a rolling green sea of low forested mountains in eastern West Virginia. Massive and intimidating, the craggy landscape of Seneca Rocks draws serious rock climbers from Washington, Pittsburgh and ...

FOMO: What we’re missing when we’re worrying about missing out

Phone in hand, we scroll through our social media feeds to find 50 things to do this weekend. Frantically, we click “interested” so others will know our schedule is fully loaded with music, culture, art and a plethora of exhilarating activities. On Friday night, we may be sitting at home in ...

EVERYDAY CHEAPSKATE: How to create a household budget

If the word “budget” is like nails on a chalkboard for you, you’ve got a friend in me. I know that feeling. For many years I wouldn’t have anything to do with a budget because I couldn’t stand the idea of anyone, or anything, telling me how to spend my money. And where did that ...

RIGHT AT HOME: Traditional wing chairs with modern twist

No matter how old you are, you might have grown up in a home with a wing chair. This classic chair dates back a lot farther than any of us, according to Bronia Suszczenia, co-founder of the Yorkshire, England-based interior design firm Art from the Start. "The first wing chair appeared in the ...

Stylish decor and pets can coexist

It's gotten easier to have a house full of pets without sacrificing the home decor you want. Interior designer Vern Yip, a judge on HGTV's "Design Star" and a dog person, says new technology has led to a variety of stylish AND pet-friendly home-furnishing options. "The furniture and ...

Harry Potter, Abe Lincoln books on owners’ reading lists

NEW YORK (AP) — A book about marketing or managing employees may be the last thing small business owners want to read on vacation. But some say they've found insight they can apply to their companies from the subjects of books they cracked just for the joy of reading — Abraham Lincoln, ...

This May 26, 2017 photo shows Kelsey Delehanty in front of Weeping Rock, the hanging gardens created by dripping streams, at Zion National Park in Utah. Weeping Rock is one of nine shuttle bus stops along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, which is closed to private cars between March and November. (AP Photo/Eva Parziale)

Sightseeing on a 500-mile-a-day road trip? You can do it!

BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Utah (AP) — I drove across the country for the first time in 1984, alone in a car without air conditioning and a radio that stopped working as I crossed into Texas. I took my second cross-country road trip this year, this time in an air-conditioned Honda CRV, with ...

It’s a hard walk life for this dog owner

One of the more bizarre phenomena of dog ownership is when dogs start to look like their owners. Of course that stocky, brown-eyed man with the stubborn chin owns a bulldog. Naturally, that fine-boned, high-maintenance-looking lady with the white, curly hair has a white toy poodle. Although ...

Summer vacation? Lots of Americans say they can’t afford it

Forget frequent flier miles, last-minute getaways and even road trips. Nearly half of Americans say they won't be taking a vacation this summer, mostly because they can't afford it, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The new AP-NORC ...

Livestock guardian dogs help protect poultry, herd animals

Livestock guardian dogs (sometimes called LGDs) can be lifesavers, not only for herd animals and poultry but also for farmers and ranchers trying to build a profitable business. Laura Faley owns Hidden Meadow Ranch near Mount Vernon, Washington, about 60 miles north of Seattle. She raises ...