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Garden Variety: Hummingbirds make return after winter migration

Ruby-throated hummingbirds, the only hummingbird species common in Kansas, are making their way back to the area after their annual journey to Mexico and the tropics for the winter. If you are interested in attracting these beauties to your yard, now is the time to add flowers and plants as ...

Fix-It Chick: Resurface brick walkway, patio

Brick walkways and patios are timeless, durable additions to any home, but over time the joints between the bricks can become compromised. Brick walkway or patio mortar joints need to be almost level with the brick tops to avoid water damage, as well as to deter unwanted plant growth. Repairing ...

Fix-It Chick: Replace trailer light plug end in 11 quick, easy steps

Replacing a worn-out four-wire trailer plug is a quick and easy job.Step 1: Use a pair of diagonal pliers or a wire cutters to remove the existing plug from the trailer.Step 2: Take the old plug end to the hardware store or automotive store and find a matching replacement plug. If the wires on ...

Garden Variety: Wild growth of Callery pears concerns conservationists

Callery pear trees are easy to spot this time of year in the landscape, on roadsides and in unmanaged pastures. They have stiff upright branches loaded with white blossoms that are part of what have made them a popular choice in landscape plantings since the 1960s. In recent years, the number ...

Healthy Outlook: I failed traveling healthy, but I’ll do better next time

I travel so infrequently that I didn’t realize I needed to check my bag before I got into the security line at the Kansas City airport. Thus, my trip began with a mildly embarrassing, panic-stricken moment, but otherwise it was off to a great start. Yet I hadn’t even considered how starving ...

Fix-It Chick: Replace a classic deadbolt lock with electronic version

Replacing an existing deadbolt with an electronic deadbolt can eliminate the need for house keys and make getting into your home easier for those who you want to let in. Most keyless deadbolts have the ability to be programmed with multiple security codes. It is easy to program a code to give a ...

Garden Variety: Upcoming Garden Show offers education, expertise

Next Saturday, April 28, the Douglas County Extension Master Gardeners are sponsoring a one-day educational Garden Show to celebrate spring and share their expertise. This free event is from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St., Lawrence.The Master Gardener ...

Garden Variety: Spring has truly arrived late for gardeners in Midwest

If it seems like spring is a little behind schedule for its arrival in northeast Kansas this year, you are correct. According to the USA National Phenology Network (NPN), signs of spring are one to two weeks behind their regular appearances across much of the Midwest and Great Plains.The NPN ...

Fix-It Chick: Several Shark Tank products useful, worth investment

Shark Tank is a reality television show where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to wealthy investors. Not all products are worthy of investment, and not all investments turn out to be for worthy products, but here are six successful Shark Tank products that are worthy of your investment.Item 1: ...

Healthy Outlook: KU bike-share program is about to kick into high gear

What’s better than the University of Kansas purchasing 180 Jayhawk-bespeckled bikes for all students and community members to share? Getting them for free. KU has partnered with the company VeoRide to bring a bike-share program to campus, and it’s happening soon — the bikes are expected ...

Fix-It Chick: Save lawn, lawnmower by sharpening blade each year

A dull mower blade can wreak havoc on both your lawn and your mower. Mower blades should be sharpened or replaced at least once a year. Sharpening the blade at the start of the mowing season is a great habit to form.Step 1: With the engine off, disconnect the mower’s spark plug wire by ...

Garden Variety: Now’s the time to start weed control

Gardeners like to keep weeds — the riffraff of the plant world — out of their landscapes and gardens to better allow their favored plants to thrive. Managing weeds is a challenging task, especially as cool weather-loving species are already arriving, and they always seem to grow faster and ...

Healthy Outlook: Coping with aches and pains of muscle gains

If you’ve ever strength trained, you might know the sweet satisfaction that comes with perfecting your form on a particularly challenging workout. Something just clicks, and it feels so right. (Why yes, I did just finally master the deadlift. Thanks for asking.) You probably also know the ...

Garden Variety: Tips for picking borders and edging

The transition between different elements within a yard is a place where gardeners may feel challenged with plant growth and with the element of design. What you put into the space or how you manage it is referred to as the edge or edging. You might hear gardeners ask each other how they edge ...

Fix-It Chick: Choose the right dropcloth for your home project

Using a dropcloth is possibly one of the smartest things a homeowner can do when tackling pretty much any project. Here’s how to drop the right cloth.• Use a thin plastic dropcloth to protect anything from furniture and artwork to patios and vegetation. Thin plastic dropcloths are not made ...

Healthy Outlook: How I cut my cholesterol by 62 points in 1 year

Picture it: Lawrence, February 2017. I’m going about my day when suddenly I get a voicemail about my blood panel results. My total cholesterol is “a little elevated,” the message says — nothing my doctor is “really concerned about at this time.” But that number was 235, and the ...

Fix-It Chick: Install an outdoor antenna to reach over-the-air digital channels

Installing an outdoor antenna is an easy way to stretch your entertainment dollars. Most homeowners can legally install an outdoor antenna, as long as it does not reach more than 12 feet above the roof line, does not create any safety risks and does not impede upon existing neighborhood ...

Garden Variety: Local plant sales are a great place to start spring gardening

The next few months are prime time for planting a garden in Kansas, and hopefully you are planning to put a few seeds and plants in the ground. The best place to get those seeds and plants is almost always right here in Lawrence from local garden centers and organizations. Buying local ensures ...