Category Archives: Home and Garden

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

Creating a focal point in a room

Creating a focal point in a room

A home’s fireplace is a hot spot. A natural focal point of any room, a fireplace is a space around which families can chill out, especially during the holidays. “A roaring fire in a room draws people together,” says Chris Muller, senior “fire buyer” of the Omaha, Nebraska-based Hayneedle Inc., an online home store started… Continue Reading

First impressions

What does the entry way into your home say about you? A cliche it may be, but first impressions do count. A welcoming entry for friends and family is a delightful surprise at any time of the year. But around the holidays it takes just a little more thought to make it a special surprise.… Continue Reading

Gardening and the gridiron

Gardening and the gridiron

Put football and flowers together, and what you get is “sporticulture” — a new twist on gardening that pairs team-spirited pots with mums, pansies and other colorful blooms perfect for the season. Sporticulture is the brainchild of Cortland Smith, an unabashed Washington Redskins fan who walked into a greenhouse full of red and yellow pansies… Continue Reading

Column: Savvy with suet

I set out the first block of suet a few weeks ago as the weather chilled in the hopes of catching the eyes of those birds who regularly eat bugs. As the season changes suet can become a mainstay of these birds. The bonus in all of this is that I simply enjoy watching and attracting… Continue Reading

Column: What to do for November

Inside: With the holidays approaching, ready your refrigerator with a good cleaning. Wash interior walls with 2 tablespoons of baking soda mixed with 1 quart of hot water. Clean your oven in preparation of holiday baking. Organize your pots and pans. Nest them to save space and to make it easy to see which one… Continue Reading

Tips to survive a Wyoming winter

I recently took two weeks to do winterizing chores around my home before I was called back by a death in the family. My two long lists of chores were done the day before the call came. Taking the time to close foundation vents, clean air conditioning units, clear the gutters, move plants into more suitable… Continue Reading

Dyeing to try

Most of us have drawers full of colorful napkins that we use often. Colored napkins add a hit of balance to a table and are always cheerful. But what about those occasions where a crisp white napkin is in order. If yours are like mine, over time, stains and vague outlines start to appear and… Continue Reading

Claim home court advantage and bring a-game home

Claim home court advantage and bring a-game home

More homeowners are claiming the home court advantage. For some, getting court time for a soccer match or pickup basketball game is as easy as stepping into the backyard or basement. Americans have had a love-love affair playing tennis and other outdoor sports at home since the early 20th century, but today’s residential courts aren’t… Continue Reading

Column: Planting a tree

Planting a tree is one of the surest signs of hope I know of. A tree not only provides a little shade on sunny afternoons, but allows the world to breath a little easier. I remember going to a tree planting at Ryann’s grade school after 9-11. Students and a few parents stood as the… Continue Reading

Waking up to fall gardens

Waking up to fall gardens

You’ll find lots of advice these days about putting your garden to bed in the fall, but this is a season of life and color. Don’t let your garden sleep through it! Great gardens, in fact, practically never sleep. If you choose plants carefully, design for year-round interest and use your imagination, your garden will… Continue Reading

Column: Winterizing the garden

Putting the garden to bed is the final work that we all must do to close out the season. It begins with various cleaning jobs and ends with protecting plants from the temperatures of winter weather. Cleanup is a matter of basic garden hygiene and common sense. The goal is to allow your soil to… Continue Reading

A little style on the side

A little style on the side

 They’ve been around for centuries, but over the course of a couple hundred years, they’ve been called different things — petite salon tables, urn stands, telephone stands, cigarette tables and martini tables. The latter stuck as a popular label in the 1930s, the era when Dashiell Hammett’s Nick and Nora were swigging martinis in and… Continue Reading

Step into fall

Things to do for October: Inside: Continue to move outdoor plants indoors. Put plants in a spot where they will get as much sun as possible. Check insulation on pipes and check doors and windows for drafts. Patch now, and you’ll be thankful when you get your winter heating bills. Change beddings, removing and storing… Continue Reading

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