Category Archives: Home and Garden

Column: Home styles, floor plans: the new neutral

When we were in Oklahoma in November for the funeral of Stephen’s 108-year-old aunt we spent time with family and got the grand tour of my brother-in-law and his wife’s new home they were planning to move into. They are downsizing from about 5,000 square feet to something about half that size. And the decor… Continue Reading

Sunlight and our eyes

We have all read columns and news articles about how much time our youth spend in front of either a TV screen or a computer screen or a phone screen. They discuss how little time kids are spending out in the great out-of-doors simply playing. I have always wanted my children to be children as… Continue Reading

Column: What is an arborist?

More than just working for trees, arborist distinction takes training, experience What is an arborist? It has something to do with trees, right? Yes, it does, but it goes much deeper than that. My wife’s grandpa worked with trees all of his life, as a logger. Was he an arborist? In short, no. The person… Continue Reading

Column: What to do for February

Inside: Clean one messy closet each weekend. If necessary, purchase new organizing bins. Donate clean, gently used clothing. Throw open your curtains and let the sun in. It is especially import for houseplants. For uniform growth, rotate pots a quarter turn each week. If the air is dry, try setting pots on saucers filled with… Continue Reading

Column: Separate kitchens

I feel vindicated. For the last decade, the open floor plan has been all the rage. Walls came down and the public rooms of houses became these open barn-like spaces that everyone had to share whether you wanted to or not. Don’t get me wrong, I too think they look good, but I don’t want to… Continue Reading

Making a splash

Making a splash

By Mary G. Pepitone Andrews McMeel Syndication   Lap up a watery design this winter with an indoor swimming pool. You don’t need to live in a warm winter climate to sit poolside. People are designing pools to create a resort-like atmosphere inside their home, says Teri Wiltshire, spokesperson for Master Pools Guild Inc., in… Continue Reading

Too many cooks in the kitchen?

Too many cooks in the kitchen?

The American Time Use Survey, an annual report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, found that 43 percent of men said they cook at home — the highest share in 30 years. They also spent more time cooking: an average of 49 minutes in 2015, the most time in the last 50 years. Conversely, now… Continue Reading

Vegetable gardens: design for success

Vegetable gardens: design for success

 A well-designed vegetable garden is a wonderful source of fresh produce for the chef, but it can also be a favorite garden destination, a place to retreat to and relax. If you plan it right, a kitchen garden can be the prettiest planting on your property. Start by choosing a site that meets the requirements… Continue Reading

Taking stock

January always seems such a good month to take stock of one’s surroundings and to formulate a plan for the upcoming months and year. No, I don’t make resolutions, but I do make plans. For the last few weeks, I have been going through a stack of old shelter magazines that I kept for a… Continue Reading

A mouse in the house

Starting the new year with a clean and organized kitchen was painfully thrust upon me by the presence of a mouse in our kitchen in Colorado. We had planned our Christmas trip to see kids and grandkids and have a few leisurely lunches with friends, but I spent several of the first days there cleaning… Continue Reading

Science panel urges rewrite of food allergy warning labels

Science panel urges rewrite of food allergy warning labels

WASHINGTON (AP) — “Made in the same factory as peanuts.” ‘‘May contain traces of tree nuts.” A new report says the hodgepodge of warnings that a food might accidentally contain a troublesome ingredient is confusing to people with food allergies, and calls for a makeover. Foods made with allergy-prone ingredients such as peanuts or eggs… Continue Reading

Where to sell your unwanted stuff

Where to sell your unwanted stuff

NEW YORK (AP) — If you’re cleaning out your closets for the new year, or need some spare cash after the holidays, your old stuff can help fill up your wallet. A number of websites and apps make it easier to sell used smartphones, furniture and clothes. Here’s where to go to sell your unwanted… Continue Reading

Being a good host

There are a lot of plants that are given as gifts this time of year. Many are easy to care for and most are not hard if you know a few basic guidelines regarding care. As I have written before I have two Christmas cacti that are many years old. One came from my older… Continue Reading

Protecting your precious ornaments

Heirloom ornaments are the ones that received special care needed to survive from one generation to the next. Here are some tips to help you protect your own ornaments, so they too may one day adorn your grandchild’s Christmas tree. • Put more fragile ornaments higher up on the tree, above toddlers’ hands and dogs’… Continue Reading

 Get a bead on your holiday decor

 Get a bead on your holiday decor

Decorating for the holidays or a special occasion embraces embellishment. This is the time for frills that bring those thrills which take us back to childhood, when the shiny or glittery always held a certain magic. Beads or other surface decorations that glimmer in strands of holiday lights or candlelight can go a long way… Continue Reading

European epicure

European epicure

By Mary G. Pepitone, Universal Uclick   After the holidays, bid your home a vibrant “Happy New Year!” — or “Felice Anno Nuovo!”— by bringing a little Italy into your kitchen. America’s midcentury modern movement is making a comeback with the flowing curves and dramatic angles of Italian design that never went out of style in… Continue Reading

Create a family cookbook

The holidays often mean time with family and good friends. This year try something new and you’ll end up with a family memento that could well span several generations — create your own family cookbook. Here are some tips in accomplishing your task: • Spread the word — call, write, email or text family members,… Continue Reading

What to do for December

Inside: Start holiday baking a few weeks ahead of time. For slice and bake cookies as you need them, make icebox cookie dough, shape into logs and freeze. Write out a few Christmas cards early in the month, and mail them before the last minute rush. Do the same for packages. Keep a healthy Christmas… Continue Reading

Set a triumphant tabletop

Set a triumphant tabletop

As the holiday entertaining calendar unfolds and stepped up demands are made on the table, thoughts turn to menus, prep and presentation. Make styling the seasonal table fun, not stressful, especially with a little tweaking of what has worked in the past. Whether you go all homespun, boho, bold and bright, glittery, or mix it… Continue Reading

Odds and ends at the end of November

At this time of year, I am often left wondering what I have forgotten to do. At work, home and around the garden, what is it that I’ve left undone? I usually find the answer later in December. For now, I’ll assume I’m good. After all, I’ve changed the oil in the snow blower, gotten… Continue Reading

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