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Cheerful Pussy Willows Chase Away the Mud Season Blues

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

In general, I don’t sing. I can’t carry a tune, and words to even the simplest of songs seem to disappear from my brain in about 20 minutes. Always have. So it was a surprise to me when, walking by a clump of pussy willows, I remembered a simple childhood tune about them and was inspired to sing it — and to ponder the joys of pussy willows. They are …

Welcome Spring, Welcome Bulbs

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I’ve been paying attention to snowdrops and crocus since I was 9 years old — I recently found entries in my diary that tell me so. My entry for March 7, 1956, in its entirety was this: “Spring is getting here at last the snow drops are in bud + will bloom in a few days.” Then on April 5 I wrote, “Today …

Early Spring Chores

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring finally seems to be coming to Cornish Flat — about a month late this year. My snowdrops are just starting to bloom and large patches of snow are still on the lawn and garden, though there are bare spots. I really want to get outside and start cleaning up the yard and garden beds, but will try to hold myself back until …

Foggy Windows Can Be Cleared

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Akron, Ohio — Marie Poling thought she was looking at an expense of thousands of dollars to replace all the windows on her Northfield Center Township, Ohio, house. The insulated glass in the home’s bay window had gotten foggy, and she figured her only option was new windows. …

Spring Pruning: It’s Not Too Late, and the Trees Will Benefit

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Conventional wisdom has it that fruit trees should be pruned in March, but don’t worry if you haven’t started yet. I haven’t. There is no harm in pruning in April, or anytime, really. After the buds on fruit trees open, they are more prone to being knocked off …

Interior Painting: Picking Best Color And Right Finish

Sunday, March 30, 2014

In the spring, many a homeowner’s fancy turns to thoughts of fresh paint, because what else renews a room as quickly? That doesn’t mean interior painting is a breeze. There are defined steps to a quality job, and they start with picking the right color and paint finish. …

A Winter Meal From the Garden, Even in March For March

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Technically, spring arrived on March 20. Most years I have snowdrops blooming on a south-facing hillside by early March, and some Glory-of-the-Snow in blossom by now. Not this year. Snow is still deep on my property, and nights …

Refrigerator Technology Uses Magnets, Boosts Efficiency

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Your next refrigerator might not even have a compressor. GE Appliances is developing magnetic refrigeration for residential use, a technology that needs no refrigerants or compressors and promises to increase the energy efficiency of refrigerators by 20 percent. Magnetic refrigeration — technically called magnetocaloric refrigeration — is not …

Spring Housecleaning: Some Tips and Tricks

Sunday, March 23, 2014

How do your cleaning skills compare to those of pros who’ve earned homeowners’ shining reviews? Just in time for spring, here are some tips, tricks and tools of the maid trade, supplied by highly rated cleaners our research team recently interviewed: Vacuum right with the right vacuum: Weekly …

Beauty in the Eye Of the Beholder, And the Diner

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I would hazard a guess that if you toured an art museum, the artwork depicting flowers would outnumber the art showing vegetables by 10 to 1. Or maybe 100 to 1. Georgia O’Keeffe and her poppies spring to mind, and Monet’s paintings of Giverny with its water lilies. …

High-Tech Toilets: No Hands or Paper

Monday, March 17, 2014

New York — Every so often a revolution transforms something truly basic, rendering the status quo somewhat, well, primitive. First came covered sewers, then indoor plumbing and flush toilets. Now, one bathroom at a time, another major shift in toilet hygiene is quietly underway. A new generation of …

Keep Winter Thaw Out of Your House

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A midwinter warm spell may be good for the psyche, but it might not be so great for your house. Drainage issues, roof problems and maintenance oversights could result in leaks when heavy snow starts melting. You may not be able to solve the underlying problems until spring …

Can’t Wait For Spring? Start Your Own Seeds

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I’m not sick of winter yet. But I have to admit that recent warm, sunny days got me thinking about spring. I love to start seedlings in the house, but recognize that it is still too early for …