Lifestyle Columns

Garden Variety: Kansas State’s horticulture center in Haysville closing

Kansas State University’s John C. Pair Horticultural Center in Haysville is set to close later this year to meet budget demands of the university. The Center, founded in 1970, is a 120-acre facility that primarily conducts research on trees and shrubs, houses field trials for horticultural ...

‘Lone Wolf and Cub’ a thoroughly entertaining revenge tale

I’m a big "Bob’s Burgers" fan. It’s a top ten show for me. I own all the seasons (and the delightful soundtrack to boot). We quote it (and often sing it) almost daily at my household. Heck, this isn’t even the first time I’m writing about it.  An all-time great episode is the fifth ...

Healthy Outlook: How John Ordover lost 100 pounds by not exercising

John Ordover is not selling a miracle diet plan. He’s not hawking a fancy new supplement or device, and he doesn’t want you to buy into a system. But he did lose 100 pounds without exercising, and he is sharing his secret. Ordover, 56, lived in Lawrence for a few years in the mid-80s. A ...

Fix-It Chick: Let air in, keep bugs out by repairing window screens

Give your window screens a summertime tuneup to let the cool air in and keep the bugs out. Step 1: Examine the window screen to make sure that the edges of the screen secured in place by the spline or wood trim. Repair gaps by removing the frame from the window and reattaching the existing ...

Garden Variety: Iris collector donates plants to nonprofit for fundraiser

Longtime Douglas County resident and Master Gardener Carole Mitchell recently donated her iris collection to the Lawrence-based nonprofit Sunrise Project, to be sold as a fundraiser for the organization. More than 200 varieties of irises will be available at the sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ...

“Atlas of a Lost World”: a new read on old life across the world

The rains became unpredictable, societal chaos threatened, and so they walked. Nearly a thousand years later author Craig Childs also walked, trying to follow their slow migration from Mesa Verde to Chaco Canyon and on south to the Sierra Madre. "[House of Rain][1]," published a decade ago, is ...

Getting ready for summer reading with some oohs and aahs

Every year as schools wind down, the library winds up. Summer is just around the corner and the bulk of the Lawrence Public Library's Youth Services department went out into the wild — aka USD 497 — to promote the Summer Reading Program. (If you want to learn more about it, when it starts, ...

Frog and Toad’s laws of literary motion

In my years selecting children’s books for the library, I have often envied the mathematical certainty of the hard sciences. After all, when the Pythagorean theorem doesn’t work, it’s usually our own bad arithmetic at fault, and the Planck constant isn’t exactly wishy-washy. It’s a ...

Healthy Outlook: I finally learned how to ride a bike — at age 27

To answer your first question, no, I really never learned how to ride a bike before last week — just a couple short decades later than most children. For those of you who pay close attention, yes, I did write a spring biking guide in April, and I wrote about the new bike-share program at ...

Garden Variety: Celebrate National Pollinator Week with friendly gardens

Kansas and at least 44 other states are celebrating National Pollinator Week next week, June 18-24, by proclamation of their governors. The event is organized by the non-profit organization Pollinator Partnership and is described by the group as a week to celebrate bees, birds, butterflies, ...

Fix-It Chick: Install flush mount fixture

Update to a recessed-light look without the hassle of actually installing a recessed light by replacing an existing light fixture with a new LED flush mount fixture. Step 1: Forget about wattage and focus on the degree of Kelvin and lumens for the new fixture. 2800 K emulates the yellow of an ...

Sound+Vision Sessions: a conversation with Heidi Lynne Gluck

June 22 marks the second installment of the new Lawrence Public Library event series, Sound+Vision Sessions. The event showcases local music artists whose material we have in our catalog in a family-friendly, all-ages atmosphere. This concert features the incredibly talented and esteemed ...

Healthy Outlook: Learn about suicide prevention, how to help

This is a topic that’s always in the back of my mind, and one that I’ve planned to write about for quite a while, but I was waiting for the right time. This week, I realized there is no wrong time — it’s always an important message. The suicides of designer Kate Spade and CNN ...

Fix-it Chick: Mitigate carpenter bee damage to homes, other wood structures

Carpenter bees are harmless creatures, except for their habit of boring half-inch-wide tunnels into exposed wood on homes and other structures. Carpenter bees look like bumblebees, but with shiny, black bottoms. They are most active in April and May, when they emerge from overwintering to mate ...

Garden Variety: Prune tomato plants to maximize garden production

Tomatoes are a favorite in Kansas gardens, and gardeners are always looking for ways to get the earliest, largest and best-tasting fruit while fighting the weather and at least a dozen common pests. One beneficial practice with which some tomato gardeners may be unfamiliar is pruning. Although ...

5 new young adult books to read for Pride Month

There are a number of ways to celebrate Pride Month, but the bookworm in me insists there's nothing like a good read. The young adult publishing industry has come a long way since my own teenage years when it comes to diverse and #OwnVoices titles, books written by authors who share a ...

Healthy Outlook: Local produce will freshen up your diet; here’s how to use it

My parents will forever lament that their dainty, suburban-raised little girl never got her hands dirty picking the day’s dinner salad from the backyard garden. Although I never did have that experience, I recently found the next best thing here in town, on an adventure to the farmers ...

Garden Variety: Figuring out the best time to prune specific shrubs

Shrubs respond best to pruning when the act is performed at certain times of year, but when that time occurs varies with plant species and locale. How do you know when to prune what you have, and what is the best method to use? Follow these general rules for landscapes in the Midwest. For all ...

Fix-It Chick: Fixing an outdoor spigot that drips

A dripping outdoor water spigot can be annoying as well as costly. A screwdriver and a few inexpensive parts may save you from replacing the whole faucet. Step 1: Turn off the water supply to the faucet. Hopefully this can be done from the main water valve inside. If not, use a street key to ...

Healthy Outlook: Meet the 77-year-old Lawrence man who can run circles around me

What do you get when you cross a master’s in counseling psychology with a master’s in exercise physiology and a passion for practicing what you preach? A physically and mentally healthy person who can still shatter race records at a self-described “77 years young.” More specifically, ...