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‘Yarn Bombers’ use craft to make a statement

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jessie Hemmons did her first public “yarn bombing” in 2009, crocheting a 12-inch cozy around a bike rack in downtown Philadelphia. It was small but colorful, tangible. She knows that most who walked past didn’t notice it. Her more recent works in the city have been ...

All-green woodland gardens can provide serenity

All-green gardens are becoming popular again as the centerpieces of monochromatic landscaping. The designs are appealing and restive, driven as they are by massed ferns, moss, leaves, bark, berries, rock and foliage combinations. They serve some practical purposes, too. “Cool, mossy and ...

There are many types of sweet or tart cherries you can grow

As a youngster, I never could get my fill of maraschino cherries. That is, until the day I got my hands on a whole jar of them, sat down with a spoon and proceeded to finish them off. I haven’t put another maraschino cherry in my mouth since that sitting. So I can only rely on memory when I ...

When is fruit ready to pick? Nature offers different clues

It takes just a twist of the wrist to determine when pears are ready to come off the tree. For plums and peaches, flesh firmness is a good way to verify maturity. Blackberries? Check the color. Nature offers a wide range of clues about when the time is ripe for harvesting fruit and ...

I’ve mastered the Scotcheroo. Here’s how you can, too

Today, most people call them Scotcheroos, but in the Swift household they were known as Rice Krispies Bars. In our family, the Rice Krispies treats made with marshmallows weren’t nearly as popular as their amped-up, peanut butter cousins. So when we announced we were going to make “Rice ...

The Postscript: Singing Lessons

I’m having fun singing. I started singing lessons a few weeks ago. My teacher lives out of town, but every other week she teaches in her parents’ house—the house she grew up in—just a few minutes away. So, I drive to a little house in the suburbs, meet her parents’ two friendly ...

Kindness is Contagious: D’s hugs remind us kindness isn’t so hard

Do you ever wonder if your kids or grandkids are going to turn out OK? I’ve spent more hours than I can count worrying about what my kids eat (or refuse to eat). I try so hard not to micromanage them, but gosh it’s hard. When we’re away from the dinner table, I wonder if they’re ...

ASK A DESIGNER: 4 simple steps toward a healthier home

Can your home help you get healthier? Interior designers say clients don’t just want help creating a more beautiful home anymore. They want to create living spaces where they will cook healthier foods, breathe healthier air and improve overall wellness. Here, three interior design experts ...

Lobby crush: Online shopping leads to mountains of boxes

As online shopping becomes ubiquitous, so do the boxes delivered to homes across the country. For apartment dwellers and the managers of the buildings they live in it’s tough to manage the boxes that pile up, sometimes clogging precious space for days. (If not watched, packages also can ...

Let’s Cook: You so deserve this blackberry

This week I had a flashback to a grocery store conversation I had several years ago in Rugby. I was standing in the produce department when Richard Lavik came over and started a conversation. It was not about creative ways to use Brussels sprouts, but rather things I could teach our then very ...

Clickety clack, let’s look back: Typewriters return

For most of us, the clickety clack of a manual typewriter or the gentler tapping of the IBM Selectric are but memories, or something seen only in movies. But at the few remaining typewriter repair shops in the country, business is booming as a younger generation discovers the joy of the ...

Kindness is Contagious: Kindness treats strangers as friends

When I was in college, I worked at a place called The Bridge Bar. It was appropriately named since it was indeed tucked next to a big bridge in a tiny town of about 200. Being on the river, we had lots of boaters each summer, but my favorite customers came in on Sunday afternoons. They ...

The Postscript: Anniversary Toast

This past week, my parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary and I stood in front of the greeting card rack for a very long time. Whenever I try to buy a card for my mom or dad, I have a heck of a hard time. I almost bought a “blank inside” card because there wasn’t anything ...

The best parenting advice you can get until something better comes along…

I’ve been asked to speak to various groups and organizations before, varying from retired teachers to service clubs and church groups. But the most unusual request I ever received was to speak to a parenting class. I found this odd, as I am not a parent. What I know about parenting would ...

Oahu’s Kailua beach named best in the US by ‘Dr. Beach’

KAILUA, Hawaii (AP) — In Kailua, the sand is soft and white, the water is clear and calm, and the view is exactly what you would expect from a beach in the Hawaiian Islands. Those are among the reasons Oahu’s Kailua Beach Park has been selected as the best stretch of sand for an annual ...

4 beach vacations that maximize your points and miles

Many travelers who squirrel away travel rewards are saving for an oceanfront vacation, paid for with points instead of cash. To make the most of your rewards, start by looking for the highest-value hotel redemptions, then check award flights. Here are four beach destinations where you could ...

4 ways to be a good traveler in the age of overtourism

In Paris, the Louvre Museum closed for a day this week because workers said the crowds were too big to handle. In the Himalayas, climbers at Mount Everest are concerned that the peak has gotten too crowded, contributing to the highest death toll in years. In cities and destinations around the ...

Joining biking trails and bringing money to New England

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Looking to give an economic boost to rural parts of New England, one group is turning to mountain bikers for help. The new initiative called the Borderlands covers 250 miles of trails in seven areas of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire, and also takes riders to Quebec. ...