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The fax of life: ‘90s technology doesn’t hold up in high-speed world

I don’t remember how I spent most of the ‘90s. I think much of that decade was spent trying to get Drew Barrymore’s haircut, pretending I liked Adam Sandler and “cleverly” sliding phrases like “sponge-worthy” and “not that there’s anything wrong with that” into daily ...

Kindness is Contagious: Carry encouraging words everywhere you go

Have you felt it? That overwhelming need to dispose of all clutter now that the holidays are over? I’ve cleaned out one closet and have about seven more to go. I’m clearly not the only one feeling it, because I got a letter from a woman in Wisconsin whose need to downsize meant an upswing ...

Minding Our Elders: Daughter’s 24/7 elder care needs adjustment, not guilt

Dear Carol: My dad, 84, can shower, dress and eat. He’s continent and takes no medications, he can read, his hearing is OK and he’s non-combative. What he can’t do is stay safe. My presence is needed 24/7 because he’s living in an altered state of reality. I read about caregiver ...

Kitchen islands evolving to meet today’s needs

Prep surface. Gathering spot. Storage solution. The kitchen island is one of those home elements that seems to have known its purpose from its inception: a utilitarian divider between kitchen and family zones, the heart of the home. Over the years, the kitchen island has come to offer far ...

Serious decor with a fun, playful edge

Dorothy Draper once said of her decorating projects, "I always put in one controversial item. It makes people talk." The influential Manhattan interior decorator was known for her exuberant use of color and pattern, such as bold, black-and-white checkerboard, hot pink and crimson, lime green ...

Omaha zoo uses compost farm to manage animal waste

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Elephants poop 12 times a day. Each massive pachyderm eats 100 pounds of hay every day. They spend 18 hours a day eating or pooping. Somebody has to clean up that mess, 20-pound pitchfork scoops at a time. Anyone who owns a dog knows that nature doesn't reclaim your ...

Minnesotans’ tattoo art to be collected at museum

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) — Grace Duxbury keeps an art collection on her at all times. It's a series of tattoos that chronicle her interests, including a portrait of her favorite poet Oscar Wilde and a historic stamp of St. George slaying a dragon. Now Duxbury, a museum assistant, is ...

Greensboro mansion of ‘Hoarders’ fame enters new chapter

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Spend a couple of nights — or more — in one of North Carolina's grandest Tudor Revival-style homes. Explore 31 rooms occupied in the early 1930s by Julian Price, who at the time was the head of the state's largest corporation. Enjoy cooking meals in its new ...

Nebraska farmer sculpts animals, insects out of scrap metal

LOOMIS, Neb. (AP) — A giant spider, large enough for a grown man to walk beneath, looms near Martin Freed's home. Spiders, a praying mantis and other bugs are scattered along a half-mile stretch of road in Loomis. While the giant insects may appear to be characters in a science fiction ...

Kindness is Contagious: Kindness is a healing balm

My friend lost her dad just days after Christmas. I’ve never been in a situation where I needed to console a friend after a parent’s death, so I was on new ground. Am I talking too much or too little? Am I loving her in the way she needs to be loved or in the way I would want to be ...

Wedding registries expand to adventures, charities and more

When Lila Chess and Aron Kandel were planning their January 2018 wedding, the New York City couple was wary of acquiring too much stuff. They lived in a small apartment with limited storage. Lila opted not to have a shower in order to keep gifts at a minimum. But the couple knew that friends ...

Hometown Hollywood: More than a birth story

Last month, I had a baby. I wrote that sentence in three seconds, but it took years to make it true. Our son, Arlo Byron, arrived early after I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. That diagnosis turned into the doctor trying to induce me for 33 hours, which turned into a cesarean section. It ...

A painter at the wedding can capture a scene in a unique way

Katie Curry wanted a sentimental wedding keepsake that depicted the joyous moments after her ceremony as she and her husband, John, walked back down the aisle on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. What she didn’t want was a portrait that included the backs of the guests’ heads. She ...

A foster-based rescue group lets the dogs out for puppy yoga

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — It's one thing to roll out your mat and do Downward Dog. It's another to pull off the iconic yoga posture with actual doggies down at your feet. One stretches your spine. The other tickles your toes. Together, it's called puppy yoga, and it's as adorable as it ...

Kooiker-huh? An intro to Westminster dog show’s new breeds

NEW YORK (AP) — Two new breeds. Sixteen new syllables. The grand basset griffon Vendeen and the Nederlandse kooikerhondje make their debuts at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show next month, each getting a nationally televised turn among the more than 190 breeds on the green carpet at the ...

4 tips on teaching emotional, social skills through craft

Teaching kids social and emotional skills is getting renewed attention, and arts and crafts are a good way to do that, at home as well as at school. "Anxiety and depression are on the rise for young people," says Melissa Schlinger, a vice president at the Chicago-based Collaborative for ...

Have you ‘hygged’ your home today? Practicing the Danish art of relaxation

Those crazy Danes. They seem to have it all figured out. One of the greatest foods in the world — the Danish — is named after them. They give moms and dads a combined total of 52 WEEKS of maternity leave. They invented Legos, and they eat an average of 42 sausages a year. No wonder they ...

Kindness helps us embrace humanity

Have you tired of your New Year’s resolution yet? Maybe you hoped to avoid the feeling of failure by not declaring one. That’s sort of the route I take. While I’m not big into resolutions, I did set an intention for 2019. I learned this practice from some friends who come up with a ...