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President Barack Obama carries on the Thanksgiving tradition of saving a turkey from the dinner table with a "presidential pardon" of 'Cheese' the turkey in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama on safe legal ground with turkey pardon

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has issued an executive action that some of his Republican opponents may be hard-pressed to disagree with — sparing Thanksgiving turkeys from the dinner table. In the spirit of the holiday, Obama on Wednesday took “action fully within my legal authority, the same kind of action taken by Democrats and Republican presidents before me,” to pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey, a 49-pound bird named Cheese. He also spared an alternate turkey, a 47-pounder named Mac. Both came from Cooper Farms in Oakwood, Ohio. “If you’re a turkey, and you’re named after a side dish, your chances of escaping Thanksgiving dinner …

When son knows best A Belchertown couple turns to their eldest to design their modern home

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Architect Uwe Brandes has designed everything from a military museum in Buffalo, New York, to an elementary school in Berlin, Germany. Currently the founding executive director of Georgetown University’s Master of Professional Studies in Urban Planning in Urban Planning in Washington. D.C., Brandes, 50, has another design on his resume that hits closer …

Your Place: Anti-slip tape may save full additive solution

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Q: We have a common California style balcony in front of our condo building, with a coat of epoxy that was put on by the contractor last year. The finish is very slippery. Is there anything we can apply on top of the epoxy coating that will make the finish less slippery? A: Some contractors use a sand-like additive to make epoxy finishes …

Living Smart To fully winterize, look outside the home

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It’s wise, before the snow flies (or as soon as possible if flakes have already flown), to take the time to prep your home and property for winter. We hear often about emergency service calls that could have been avoided if homeowners had taken time to winterize or …

Get Growing: Holiday wreaths are simple to make

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The holiday season is upon us and many people will be hanging wreaths on their doors. They are simple to make — or you can just create a swag with a few greens, a red bow and perhaps …

Your Place: Don’t let water savings go down the drain

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hauling water in a five-gallon container a couple of hundred yards from communal spigot to a campsite has reinforced my tendency to conserve. You, no doubt, have reasons of your own. Here are water-saving tips, compiled from a variety of sources: Turn off the water while you brush …

Living Smart: Are your home and pets ready for the holidays?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving is not far off, and beyond it are other holidays and opportunities to enjoy family and friends at their homes or yours. Whether you’re traveling, hosting or experiencing some of each, here are ideas for making sure …

Turkey ware: Vintage or modern, a cornucopia of styles for Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 20, 2014

There are plenty of sources for cooking The Bird. So, how about focusing, instead, on the icon itself, celebrated in a variety of decorative interpretations, from plates to salt and pepper shakers, tablecloths, cocktail napkins and even pillows. …

Beware hot air! Debunking heating myths to stay warm, save money

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Advice about saving money on home heating costs abounds this time of year, but some of it is oversimplified, marketing hype or just plain wrong, while some long-standing myths persist about keeping warm on the cheap. For example, …

Get Growing: A garden-tour vacation could be the trip of a lifetime

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The highlight of 2014 for me was a trip to England to the Chelsea Flower Show, sponsored by the Royal Horticultural Society, followed by seven days of touring English gardens. The Chelsea Flower Show is the great-grand-daddy of …

Surprise inside: A thoroughly modern kitchen updates a 1890s Victorian home in Amherst

Thursday, November 13, 2014

From the outside, Dennis and Annick Porter’s 1893 late-Victorian home in Amherst seems a typical design for that era. But step into the couple’s newly renovated kitchen and one is transported forward for a very modern living experience. …

Get Growing: Gardening galore in the blogosphere

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Gardeners are usually generous people who are happy to share plants and seeds, garden experience and advice. We all treasure the daylily from mother’s garden or the primrose from our friend Sally’s garden or the strawberry or raspberry …

Layer by layer, piece by piece: Bringing a historic tavern back to life in Old Deerfield is painstaking work

Thursday, November 6, 2014

For Bill Flynt, Historic Deerfield’s lead architectural conservator, exploring one of Old Deerfield’s 18th-century buildings is like stepping into a time machine. That’s the experience he aims to give the museum’s visitors, but many of the buildings have …