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EVERYDAY CHEAPSKATE: Ask Mary

Welcome back to Ask Mary, where I, your humble columnist, respond to your questions. Got a vexing issue? Send it over. Today in the Annoying Situations category we’re tackling stained marble, moss and mildew, HSA fees and dryer lint on dark clothes, in no particular order. Let’s go. Q: ...

Tales of the Meniscus: When you’re in need of new knees

While in college, I remember running full-speed up a flight of stairs, only to be stopped by a well-dressed, middle-aged gentleman. “Remember this day,” he said. “Someday you will miss being able to run up a flight of stairs.” What a curmudgeon, I thought. I will never age. Next ...

How to make plane trips easier on pets, and owners too

Gabby Slome rarely vacations without her dog Pancho in tow. He is a full-fledged family member. And just as "you wouldn't leave your child at home," Slome says, she doesn't leave Pancho either — even if that means an airplane flight or two. Traveling with pets has become easier thanks to ...

RIGHT AT HOME: Water-themed decor

By KIM COOK Associated Press Summer for many of us means reconnecting with water — lakeside hikes, paddles in the sea, luxuriant floats in some relaxing pool. And that connection isn't confined just to the outdoors, either. Watery hues and motifs are all over home decor. "Water imagery ...

Keeping captive-bred fish has gotten easier

Remember when keeping a saltwater aquarium was just for experts? Now, the technology has advanced to the point where just about anyone can do it and expect to keep the fish alive and healthy. Where the fish come from has also changed: Many are now bred for the trade instead of caught in the ...

EVERYDAY CHEAPSKATE: Q&A

Dear Mary: I have always valued your comments about various products and can honestly say that I have never been disappointed in anything I bought after reading your recommendations. Have you done any research on the Instant Pot multifunctional pressure cookers? I was thinking one might be a ...

MS. SIMPLICITY: How ‘The Cat in the Hat’ almost ruined my life

Did you ever read a children’s book and have it still impact you as an adult? For me, that dang Dr. Seuss book “The Cat in the Hat” seriously traumatized me. How I run my house is because of the lessons I learned from that naughty cat! Here are a few of the lessons that I learned: * ...

New-York Historical Society casts new light on Tiffany lamps

NEW YORK (AP) — A newly renovated section of the New-York Historical Society showcases dozens of lamps by Louis Comfort Tiffany, putting renewed focus on how the works were made — and by whom. The 4,800-square-foot Gallery of Tiffany Lamps, a permanent display area on the museum's fourth ...

Exhibit explores work of Judith Leiber

NEW YORK (AP) — Judith Leiber is best known for her tiny, glitzy and irresistibly playful crystal-encrusted clutches shaped like fish, dogs, lemons, watermelon slices and even sparkling eggplants. Her bags have been flaunted by celebrities and many First Ladies since Mamie Eisenhower. But ...

Tours for chocolate lovers not just about sampling sweets

NEW YORK (AP) — A tour for chocolate lovers in Brooklyn, New York, isn't just about tasting the final product. It also gives a peek at factories, neighborhoods and even business plans. The chocolate tour offered by A Slice of Brooklyn takes visitors to four chocolate-makers around Brooklyn. ...

First to board or join the horde; is elite travel worth it?

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Summer travelers may well find themselves stuck in long security lines and squeezed into cramped seats. For frequent travelers, or those who can and want to pay extra, perks are available including upgrades to first-class seats, airport lounges and free food. Are the ...

In this Tuesday, May 30, 2017, photo Massachusetts State Police K-9, Maximus, searches a car for drugs with Trooper Brian Bonia, left, during a training session in Revere, Mass. During drug raids, police dogs literally follow their noses to sniff out narcotics, but now the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl could be deadly to the K-9s. Police have a new strategy for protecting their four-legged partners, by carrying Naloxone for their dog, the same drug to reverse heroin overdoses in humans. At right is Mass. State Trooper Brian Cooper. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

New drug kits save police dogs from opioid overdoses

BOSTON (AP) — Police dogs simply follow their noses to sniff out narcotics. But inhaling powerful opioids can be deadly, so officers have a new tool to protect their four-legged partners: naloxone, a drug that has already been used for years to reverse overdoses in humans. Law enforcement ...

In this April 29, 2017, file photo, the Na'vi Shaman of Songs celebrates with music in Na'vi River Journey ride at Pandora-World of Avatar land attraction in Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 12-acre land, inspired by the "Avatar" movie, opens in Florida at the end of May at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom. It cost a half-billion dollars. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

Technology elevates new theme park experiences in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — For more than a moment, you feel the way "Avatar" hero Jake Sully felt plunging down the side of a floating mountain and coming just close enough to a giant wave to feel the mist on your face — all while on the back of a flying banshee that then swoons and soars high ...

This photo provided by Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., shows a new drop tower attraction at the Dollywood theme park. The ride's gondola spins around the tower for a bird's eye view of the Great Smoky Mountains. It's one of a number of new attractions opening at theme parks around the U.S. this spring and summer. (Curtis Hilbun/Dollywood via AP)

Orlando’s not the only hot spot: theme park fun around US

Orlando, Florida, often gets the spotlight when it comes to theme parks. This year is no exception with the openings of Disney World's Pandora-World of Avatar and Universal's Volcano Bay water park. But plenty of new attractions are opening elsewhere, from interactive rides that offer different ...

EVERYDAY CHEAPSKATE: The frugal lifestyle

I’ll admit I used to think frugality was a distasteful lifestyle forced upon the poor. I believed it was synonymous with never buying new clothes and dumpster diving under the cover of night. Boy, did I have a lot to learn. And learn I did — and I continue to learn — that it is the ...

ND proves to be just one sprawling small town

OK, so THIS is how you know you’re in North Dakota. My boyfriend and I go to a garage sale in Fargo and start talking to the homeowner – as friendly North Dakotans are wont to do. The brother-in-law of the homeowner happens to be there (because brothers-in-law are never far away at ...

This photo provided by Stone Forest shows their Triple Basalt pedestal sink. Basalt pillars make for a unique pedestal sink base. These basalt columns from Stone Forest have both polished facets and the natural surface, creating a unique organic contemporary fixture that can be topped with a vessel basin. Configurations can be one, two or three pillars, joined by brass or nickel finished tubing. (Stone Forest via AP)

RIGHT AT HOME: New pedestal sinks are perches with panache

If you've got a powder room, chances are there's a pedestal sink in it. The lavatory perches have long been the go-to option for small bathrooms, and even for full-size spaces where a less imposing fixture is desired. The simple bowl-on-a-stick concept has been given some imaginative ...

Global sales of luxury homes cooled in 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Global luxury home sales cooled off in 2016 for the second consecutive year, even with a record number of homes selling for more than $100 million. A report released Wednesday by Christie's International Real Estate shows that sales of homes priced at $1 million or more ...

Small and cute: why crafters love ‘little thingies’

When my daughter Grace was little, she collected tiny objects, sometimes pilfered from her sister and squirreled away in her bedroom. Among the 4-year-old's prized collection of teeny-tiny items were a Barbie suitcase, Hello Kitty erasers, a 1-inch plastic baby and animal figurines. "It's ...