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What says ‘modern’ now in decor?

As the weather improves and our winter hibernation ends, the urge to refresh and renew a room or two often follows. It may be as simple as adding a few new decorative items or changing a worn-out piece of furniture. Or maybe it’s something a little more ambitious, like a new room layout or ...

Welcome the end of winter with a new spring wreath

Christmas wreaths on the front door are a tradition, but there are also wreaths that celebrate the arrival of warmer weather. You can put up spring wreaths with an assortment of faux flowers and greenery even when chilly winds are still blowing. They stay looking great well into the heart of ...

What makes a dwelling a home? The answer is changing

What makes a house or an apartment a home? For some of us, home is a walk-up apartment that we share with a roommate or two. For others, it might be a center-hall house on a leafy suburban street, or a modern glass box overlooking the sea. The variations are endless. The only real universal ...

Kindness is Contagious: Winter provides unique weather for kindness

Are you sick of winter yet? I know. Stupid question. I’m in Ohio, so we’re seeing promises that spring will indeed arrive, but I remember all too well the 10 winters we lived in Fargo. Even if there are signs of new life, another cold spell comes blasting in, and March feels like the dead ...

When it comes to ‘80s fashion, just say bow

So I’m tooling through Target on a recent lunch break in the hopes of shopping myself happy. It’s been a rough day and I need a little reasonably priced retail therapy. My cart is already filled with several items guaranteed to bring sense and order to my life, including a 12-pound bag of ...

Minding Our Elders: Joint power of attorney complicated this couple’s wishes

Dear Carol: Six months ago, my husband, 83, broke his hip and was admitted to the hospital. That experience took a terrible emotional and mental toll. Eventually, he was released to a local nursing home and things were going well until he developed pneumonia. The nursing home is well-equipped ...

From closets to cooktops, tech aims to bring efficiency home

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Closets that freshen clothes, cooktops that won’t let pots boil over, faucets told to dispense just enough water to fill the coffee maker. Wherever one looked at the annual Design and Construction Week, there was a new way to make our lives more efficient. “We can make ...

Butterflies abound in mountainous Mexican winter habitat

CERRO PELÓN MONARCH BUTTERFLY SANCTUARY, Mexico (AP) — As the group made its way up the rugged mountain path toward the clearing, their heavy, crunching bootsteps turned to near-silent tiptoeing, their friendly chitchat dropped to whispers, giddy smiles appeared on faces and eyes brimmed ...

Travelers can retrace ‘Green Book’ path with some research

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Oscar-nominated interracial road trip movie "Green Book" has spurred interest in the real guidebook that helped black travelers navigate segregated America. With a little research, travelers can find copies of "The Negro Motorist Green Book" online and retrace the ...

Do Americans care about Britain’s next royal birth?

NEW YORK (AP) — Gwynne Wilcox jokingly calls herself a duchess because she celebrates all things Meghan Markle. The New York attorney wore a Markle mask in the office for Halloween and served scones to colleagues. If not for work demands, she would have been one of those people standing ...

Analog and then some: The allure of the fountain pen

In an age of screens and keyboarding, when kids hardly learn cursive anymore, fountain pens — along with their old-timey accoutrements like blotters, bottled ink and fancy nibs — are making a comeback. There are jazzy new colors and styles, and an array of affordable options. It's a ...

Kindness is Contagious: True kindness allows for unlikely friendship

Would you rather have 100 casual acquaintances or one special friend? It’s a no-brainer, right? We all long to have someone special in our lives. But that can be tricky when the world only sees your disabilities. Ciera Ball is mostly nonverbal, was diagnosed with autism and has attention ...

Fitbit does make you just a little bit more fit

So a few weeks ago, I finally broke down and got one. A Fitbit. The must-have accessory for anyone who desires a fancy watch with nagging and shaming capabilities. I don’t really know why. I think I would do better with a Napbit, a Snackbit or, best of all, a Baconbit. But I do know that I ...

Luke Perry, heartthrob on ‘90210,’ dies at 52

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Luke Perry, who gained instant heartthrob status as wealthy rebel Dylan McKay on “Beverly Hills, 90210,” died Monday after suffering a massive stroke, his publicist said. He was 52. Perry was surrounded by family and friends when he died, publicist Arnold Robinson ...

Slow and steady: Sometimes, we accomplish more by doing less

For as long as I can remember, I have been trying to catch up. I was the youngest of four girls, so I was never as wily, fast or smart as my big sisters. I started first grade at 5, so I always felt like I was emotionally behind my classmates. I was a type B person at heart, but I could never ...

Kindness is Contagious: Will your kindness be remembered in 2059?

I often say I have the happiest email inbox in the world. Every once in a while, I’ll also get a handwritten letter in my real mailbox explaining how someone is adding light to the world through kindness. I’ve received the sweetest stories of kindness. Despite what you might see on the ...

‘Brew’ up your own potting mix

My gardening season begins on my garage floor. Here I mix potting soil that will nourish this season's seedlings and replace worn-out soil around the roots of houseplants. Why make potting soil? Why bake bread? There's really no special magic in good potting soil. BASIC ...