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Life & Times

There is still plenty of room under the tree for everyone's favorite gift-list item: toys!

Kids’ toys: What’s new, what’s awesome

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Today’s kids are completely immersed in and obsessed with technology, and even the little ones on your shopping list might be anxious to get their hands on the a new iPhone or some sweet Beats headphones this holiday season. For the tried-and-true purist who can’t stomach the thought of buying a 6-year-old his first selfie stick, don’t fret.There is still … 0

Friends offer community music lessons from their home

Friday, November 20, 2015

A songbird whistling in a nearby tree, the faint hum purring through the lips of a nearby stranger and the heavy drum beat pulsating through the speakers of the car in your rearview mirror aren’t just everyday ambient noises, but the soundtrack to our lives. Not a day goes by without hearing sounds … 0

Metal casting: Taking a two-dimensional design and making a durable object

Friday, November 13, 2015

Attaching a long steel wire handle, Paul Andrew lifts a red-hot steel beaker from his recently extinguished propane furnace and uses a second wire to tip out a liquid silver stream of molten aluminum. Metallic and reflective like mercury, the super-heated metal looks deceptively cool, but small wisps of smoke emerge as the … 0

Between the Rows: Living with a sycamore

Friday, November 6, 2015

One of the blessings of our new Greenfield house is the tall and majestic American sycamore which gives the front of the house shade and helps cool it in summer. My husband, Henry, and I have never had … 0

It’s time for scary stories

Friday, October 30, 2015

The floorboards gave a shrill creak as a heavy booted foot landed upon them. From his hiding place under the bed, the young boy watched as the second foot followed and a hulking figure entered his bedroom. Shaking, … 0

Kids & Critters: The red-breasted nuthatch

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I looked through my records and discovered that I’ve focused on plants for the past four months. Since the summer growing season is behind us now, which means most plants are starting to die back or go dormant, … 0

Trail Mix: nature activities in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Editor’s Note: Listings in Trail Mix are free. Email The deadline is Tuesday by 8 a.m. Questions? Call 413-772-0261, ext. 276. Weather may cancel or force the rescheduling of some of these events. Additionally, space is often … 0

Savoring the Seasons: Beyond Coleslaw

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My grandfather’s last name was Dobrzensky, but when I was growing up, we didn’t live close to his family or a Polish community. Actually, I didn’t grow up near communities related to any parts of my ethnic heritage. My other grandfather’s background was Northern Irish, and my grandmothers … 0

Easing back into: push-ups

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

As the temperature turns, gym parking lots start looking a little fuller. Worse, the post-holiday rush is near, when New Year’s resolutions will begin to conflict with seasonal overindulgence. From a physical therapist’s perspective, slow and steady wins … 0

You are here: Using a compass to find your way

Friday, October 23, 2015

Hiking is hard enough without stopping to consult a bunch of paper and magnets. But the hassle of a compass and map could save you the hassle of calling 911, then waiting around to flag down irritated search-and-rescuers … 0

Between the Rows: In the Hundred Acre Wood

Friday, October 23, 2015

Winnie-the-Pooh and I did not become acquainted until I was an adult and read what had become literary classics, Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, to my young children. I had known of the books, of course, … 0

Are ventless fireplaces safe?

Friday, November 6, 2015

By ADAM WIRE Angie’s List If you plan to use a ventless fireplace to save money, make sure you consider the safety concerns. Some service providers say unvented fireplaces burn more efficiently than their vented gas-powered counterparts and … 0

Steps to prevent window condensation

Friday, November 6, 2015

By ALAN J. HEAVENS The Philadelphia Inquirer Question: We had new windows installed several years ago. Some mornings, when there is a lot of condensation, you can see where the stickers were on all the windows. How can I stop this condensation from happening? Answer: Let me refer … 0