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Heading outdoors this coming week in the Valley

Friday, August 28, 2015

∎   Skinner State Park — Free programs at the park, off Rte. 47, Hadley: SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS: Summit House tours, 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. THURSDAYS: Fitness Hike, 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. (meet at Halfway Parking Area); Geology for Kids Ages 9-13, 3 p.m. (meet in Summit Picnic Area). $5 car fee on weekends. 586-0350. ∎  Mount Holyoke Range State Park — Free programs meeting at the Notch …

Springing ahead to bulbs

Friday, August 28, 2015

It’s almost the end of August and despite the hot, muggy weather, fall is just around the corner. That means it is time for gardeners to plan for spring flowers. If you don’t plant bulbs this fall, you won’t have crocuses, daffodils or tulips in your garden for 2016. They have to be …

Liftoff

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …