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When introverts are friends, long distance is better than face to face

I have a friend, “Pearl.” Pearl is delightful, hilarious, compassionate, thoughtful and generous-hearted. We have magnificent texting conversations, in which we routinely crack each other up with our lively one-liners and banter. She just “gets” me as few others do. We frequently ...

W i l d f l o w e r s : Robust, low-maintenance, pollinator-friendly

Gardeners trying to lure pollinators to their landscape would be wise to mimic nature and plant wildflowers. The attractive perennials tolerate harsh climates, seldom need fertilizing and resist most diseases and insect pests. Wildflowers are durable, too, requiring little or no irrigation ...

Pergolas: Ancient garden structures are getting updated

Pergolas have been part of home gardens for a long time, but they’re getting some modern upgrades because of trends toward backyard sanctuaries and entertaining. Historically, pergolas were simple, overhead structures used to protect garden walkways. They were characterized by long linear ...

In a labyrinth garden, every path is the right one

A labyrinth garden should not be puzzling — that’s a maze. A labyrinth and a maze were once the same, but the labyrinth has recently grown to become a totally different animal. Enter a labyrinth and every turn you make is the correct one, leading you to the center. The labyrinth might be ...

Keep pets away from gardens to prevent food-borne illness

Animal waste tainting fresh produce is one of the major causes of food-borne ailments. So farmers markets and pick-your-own growers who fear fecal contamination are increasingly guarded about tolerating pets near their edibles. Home gardeners should be cautious, too. Many of the pathogens ...

New shrub rose hybrids are easy to care for, easy to love

Roses are among the oldest flowers in cultivation, although many have earned a reputation as fussy or difficult to grow. Some of the newer shrub rose hybrids, however, are disease-resistant, carefree and repeat-blooming ‚Äî just the qualities novice gardeners love. “They are generally ...

Give your flower and veggie seedlings some tough love

Seedlings raised on windowsills or in greenhouses have been coddled to some degree and aren't ready to face the great outdoors. A temporary period called "hardening off" can prepare these plants for more intense sunlight, wind and varying temperatures. Make this transition gradually, over the ...

Kindness is Contagious: Kindness makes English learner feel at home

When I was little, my mom taught English as a second language. Now in her 70s, she continues to teach. She has always had a heart for people who are new to our country. I’ve often wondered about the impact she has made on her students that she’ll never know. Sometimes all it takes is ...

Edmunds compares Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma, Jeep Gladiator

The midsize truck segment has been gaining in popularity in recent years. Now there's a new player in the segment to further stoke a truck lover's desire: the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator. To find out how the Gladiator stacks up, we've compared it to its most established rivals: the Chevrolet ...

Let’s Cook: Phyllis and her Purple

On April 29, 2019 another person from the “Greatest Generation” left this world. Phyllis Jean Vangsnes passed away in Rugby, North Dakota. Phyllis was a great admirer of the color purple. She had adored purple from an early age, and it remained her favorite color. When Jan and I moved to ...

Edmunds: How to avoid more car than you need

Car shoppers often spend too much. But the culprit isn't necessarily shady dealership practices, deceptive advertising or plain old bad luck. Instead, many simply end up buying more vehicle than they actually need. Avoiding this pitfall is more important than ever given the rising costs of ...

Edmunds: What a truck’s off-road package really gets you

Pickup trucks are hugely popular, and so is the rugged outdoorsy, off-roading image that comes with them. You'll commonly see trucks with huge stickers portraying alphanumeric monikers followed by the words "Off-Road Package." But there's less awareness among consumers about what these ...

Edmunds examines costly side effect of safety tech: Repairs

Vehicle safety technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Today's cars can watch your blind spot, help keep you in your lane, automatically hit the brakes in an emergency, and more. But while the technology helps prevent accidents, there is a potential side effect: increased repair ...

Kindness is Contagious: Bathroom doors are the perfect place for kindness

Be brave. Be kind. Be you. That’s what I’m trying to teach my kids. The message seems to get through to them at home, but the majority of their day isn’t spent in the comfy and (usually) considerate confines of our house. Their day is spent in school where snap decisions and snarky ...

Minding Our Elders: Mom lives with daughter, but that needs to change

Dear Carol: My mother developed vascular dementia, personality issues and speech problems after a stroke three years ago. She lives with me, and because of her difficult personality, my daughter no longer wants to bring my grandchildren here to visit. I retired early to care for Mom, but now I ...

Edmunds: Carmakers reel in free maintenance plans

A number of automakers have offered free maintenance programs for over a decade as a way to sweeten the deal on a car lease or purchase. But in recent years, automakers have begun to reel in their plans by shortening the term, reducing the scope of coverage, or eliminating them altogether. In ...

Summer Movie Preview: Sequels galore, but original gems too

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Pass the popcorn, the summer movie season is here and all the spectacle and air-conditioned respite it offers audiences. Summer at the movies has long been synonymous with blockbusters and franchises that are easy to spend a few hours with. For the most part, 2019 is no ...

Summer Movie Preview: Horror takes a holiday

NEW YORK (AP) — Jim Jarmusch didn't have to look far for zombies. "I see a lot of soulless ghouls on the streets at night walking along staring into their phone and they don't even know they're in the world anymore," says the director. "Sometimes I just want to shove them out of the way ...

‘Mortal Kombat’ among 4 inducted to Video Game Hall of Fame

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — "Mortal Kombat," the blood-and-guts arcade game that triggered Congressional hearings and age-level game ratings, was inducted Thursday into the World Video Game Hall of Fame, along with "Colossal Cave Adventure," ''Super Mario Kart," and the ubiquitous "Solitaire" game ...