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Today's Features

  •       Take one look at the picture and you know what this week’s mystery plant is: Bamboo. So, that’s what this column is about.

  •   Did you know carrots started out being red, dark yellow, white and purple in color? Everything but orange! Carrots started with yellow flesh and a purple exterior, but it was the Dutch who developed the orange carrot, and then the French who developed it into the elongated carrot we eat today.

    Mel Blanc was not very fond of carrots but ate them while voicing Bugs Bunny.

  •   I love movies based on true stories. Whether the film replays the events and situations with stunning accuracy or employs a degree of dramatic embellishment makes little difference to me. Whether the source is a book I can read for comparison or facts gleaned from the ‘hero of the piece’ does not concern me. I simply find the moviescompelling.

  •  I have a hard enough time remembering my family’s birthdays, much less that March 3 was “What If Pets Had Opposable Thumbs Day?” Apparently, that’s a real thing for some people. In the spirit of this “holiday” observance last month, I thought I’d share with you what I thought would happen if pets actually had opposable thumbs.

     

    What if cats had thumbs?

  •     Unless the garden gods really don’t like us, it looks like we have seen our last frost for this winter season. With that in mind, we can begin one of the most pleasurable garden tasks: Planning for summer color.

  •   You probably eat out a lot; most Americans do. We’re all looking for fast, easy and good tasting foods to fit our busy lifestyles. Whether it’s carryout, food court, office cafeteria or a sit-down restaurant, there are smart choices everywhere, but it does take some work.

    In honor of National Nutrition Month, here are a month full of tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to help you eat healthy when eating out.

  •     You know the old saying: “Early to bed and owning a pet can make you healthier, wealthier and wise.” OK, maybe I added the pet part, but it’s true. We’ve known for decades that owning a pet can improve everything from high blood pressure, heart disease, stress and chronic pain. A new study concludes that pet ownership also saves us billions in health care costs. That’s news worth barking about.

  •  By Linda Arnold

     

    Happy spring! The rejuvenation of nature — and also ourselves. Ushered in by that fifth season on the calendar: March Madness.

    I’m not sure when bracketology became part of our vernacular, but it’s here to stay. And this years’ NCAA basketball tournament has given rise to lots of examples.

  •     By John Nelson

    Spring seems to be here now … for good? The other night we had a light frost in much of South Carolina , but we left some houseplants out on the front stoop and they don’t seem to be hurt by it. It’s that odd time of year after the daffodils, when crabapples and wisteria are just starting to show color. The birds in my neighborhood really seem to be stretching their vocal cords, too. I think it’s spring!

  •   

    Folks my age, perhaps slightly older or younger, will surely remember the adage we chanted when things went awry. Parents suggested it to their children so that they’d learn how to put things into perspective. The adage went like this: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

    I used it many times, as a mantra, when I was mercilessly teased about being overweight or enviously taunted about my studiousness. It was a lot like whistling a happy tune so no one would suspect I was afraid.