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Life & Times

The wood-bat league: The Valley Blue Sox compete just down the road

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Under cotton candy skies, plumes of white smoke hang low over grills, filling the air with the unmistakable smells of summer’s spoils. Children ranging in age from toddlers to preteens laugh as they run up and down a perfectly manicured hill of green. In an instant, the unmistakable crack of ball off wooden bat pierces the murmur of the crowd. … 0

Chess Club: each game is different

Friday, June 26, 2015

Horace Taft of Buckland deployed his pieces on the chessboard, took a bite out of his chicken salad and set the timer to 50 minutes. Deliberately, he moved his pawn forward one square. And, the game of chess commenced. “After five to six moves, you’re probably playing a position you’ve never played before,” … 0

Fantastic find: Rowe historians discover treasures

Friday, June 19, 2015

Years ago, inside a crawl space beneath the ceiling of the Kemp-McCarthy Museum, members of the Rowe Historical Society discovered a treasure trove — 15 boxes of antique clothing, some of it dating back to the 1850s — but hidden away inside the museum since 1979. Can lightning strike twice? Apparently, it can. … 1

6 great books for cocktail lovers

Friday, June 5, 2015

By Peter M. Gianotti Newsday (TNS) As you prepare for a summer’s imbibing, relax with your favorite cocktail and one of these refreshing, informative, very accessible books on beverages. “The Negroni” (Ten Speed Press/Penguin Random House, $18.99) by Gary Regan will make you try this essential cocktail and, … 0

Bayless is back with engaging new cookbook

Friday, June 5, 2015

By Judy Hevrdejs Chicago Tribune (TNS) Mix the passion chef Rick Bayless has for the cuisines of Mexico with his enthusiasm for serving it up at his many restaurants and on his TV series “Mexico: One Plate at a Time,” and it’s easy to see how that could … 0

Lebanese recipes, Michigan vibe

Friday, June 5, 2015

BC-MAUREEN-ABOOD-BOOK:TB - food (800 words),0881 Lebanese recipes, Michigan vibe (PHOTOS) By Bill Daley Chicago Tribune (TNS) “Rose Water & Orange Blossoms” (Running Press, $30), the debut cookbook by Maureen Abood, evokes both her Lebanese-American heritage and her life as a cook, writer, photographer and blogger in Michigan. It … 0

Between the Rows: Does your garden need a tree?

Friday, June 5, 2015

Virginia Rechtschaffen has always loved trees. She and her husband, Rob, even once owned a house in Belchertown that came complete with an orchard. Lots of trees. For the past 20 years, she and Rob have lived in … 0

Living Smart: How much does it cost to pave a driveway?

Friday, June 5, 2015

By James Figy Angie’s List (TNS) Make a great first impression on visitors to your home with an aesthetically pleasing driveway. The materials you select to pave your driveway affect the job’s price. The materials used also affect your home’s curb appeal and resale value. Check out how … 0

Rest assured, we can demystify the hunt for a new mattress

Friday, June 5, 2015

By Debbie Carlson Chicago Tribune (TNS) Considering that a good night’s sleep is important for good health, the right mattress can make all the difference. But mattress shopping can feel a bit like car shopping - you only need a mattress about every 10 years, and the whole … 0

Just fix it: Three key home repairs you can do yourself

Friday, June 5, 2015

By Barbara Ballinger Chicago Tribune (TNS) Home repair can be intimidating, yet there are numerous projects you can learn to tackle on your own with a bit of courage, the right instructions and good supplies. Here are step-by-step instructions for three attainable projects: TILE A BACKSPLASH Updating a … 0

‘A space for just us’

Friday, June 5, 2015

By KEVIN KIRKLAND Pittsburgh Post-Gazette PITTSBURGH — Jeff Young is a commercial architect who finds beauty in utilitarian objects. Four antique levels, one used to build barns, are displayed in his Mt. Lebanon, Penn., home. “I like something that has a reason to be,” he says. So what … 0

Kids and Critters: The tree swallow

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Down the hill from my house, at the edge of my lawn, there is a post with a nest box on it. I placed this nest box in this particular location about 10 years ago and I have … 0

Voice of Audubon: Bird sightings in western Massachusetts

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Here are some of this week’s bird sightings from the Voice of Audubon for western Massachusetts. A snowy egret and a black-bellied plover were seen in Northampton. A gray-cheeked thrush and two clay-colored sparrows were found in Hadley. A sora was seen in Amherst and a short-billed dowitcher … 0