Lifestyle Columns

Garden Variety: Stinkbugs damage plants, remain pesky for gardeners

Stinkbugs are dime-sized, shield-shaped, green and brown insects that damage fruits, vegetables and other desirable plants when they feed on them. The insects are prevalent in gardens right now in northeastern Kansas and will be around until freezing temperatures arrive. Damage to fruits, ...

Fix-It Chick: Save money on watering garden by installing rain barrel

Keeping a garden watered can be expensive. Assuming it will rain at some point in time, installing a rain barrel is a great way to save money. For every inch of rainfall, a roof collects approximately .56 inches of rain per square foot of surface area. That means a 1,000-square-foot roof can ...

Garden Variety: Use caution when attempting to trap Japanese beetles

Since Japanese beetles have finally established a significant population in northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri, many gardeners are looking for options to control the voracious pests. Traps are an increasingly popular option, but research has shown that their scented lures can sometimes ...

Fix-It Chick: Choose the right electrical tape for various situations

With so many different types of electrical tape on the market today, it is sometimes difficult to know which one to choose. A little insight about the various options may help with the decision-making process. • Black vinyl electrical tape is the most common and least expensive electrical ...

Healthy Outlook: 4 takeaways from the 2018 Behavioral Health Summit at LMH

Nearly 100 local professionals in the fields of health care, law enforcement and nonprofit advocacy work attended an inaugural Behavioral Health Summit this past Wednesday at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Speakers and panelists touched on a broad range of topics, and I could never boil it all ...

Fix-It Chick: How to install micro-watering system

Drip irrigation and micro-watering systems can reduce water usage by up to 70 percent. Installing a watering system is an easy way to save water, money and time, while improving the overall health and productivity of your plants. Step 1: Lay out a plan. It is best to start small and add to ...

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 ...