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House To Home

Ask the AP: Is it safe to celebrate Halloween?

Ask the AP: ------------ Can I celebrate Halloween during the pandemic? ------------ Yes, but probably not like you normally would. Health experts say some Halloween traditions like crowding on doorsteps for candy and inching your way through haunted houses heighten the risk of ...

Frost need not kill growing season in your garden

Cleaning up some frosted bean and marigold plants the other day, I thought of a weather report I heard recently on the radio. The announcer stated: “Freezing temperatures are predicted for tonight, thus ending the gardening season.” His deadpan delivery of this dramatic — for gardeners ...

How long does a COVID-19 illness last, the Associated Press asks

How long can I expect a COVID-19 illness to last? ------------------------ It depends. Most coronavirus patients have mild to moderate illness and recover quickly. Older, sicker patients tend to take longer to recover. That includes those who are obese, or have high blood pressure and other ...

Superspreader events may cause big virus spread

What do we know about superspreader events in the pandemic? --------------------- We’re still learning, but it seems that much of the spread of the coronavirus has been caused by what disease trackers call superspreader events. That’s when a single person infects a large number of ...

Fall’s a great time to plant trees

Planting a tree is one of the best things you can do to help the planet, and these days it’s gotten easier. There’s a better understanding now of what trees need, including when they should generally be planted (the fall). Why plant trees? It’s well-known that trees mitigate global ...

Keep insurance up to date when upgrading at home

As many Americans face months on end stuck indoors, some are using their time and money to change their scenery or upgrade surroundings. Office equipment purchases are on the rise, and people are tackling more renovation projects. But expensive new stuff and significant home improvements can ...

Microclimates can be beneficial to growing

The weather has gotten weirder and more unpredictable, but there is a small way that gardeners can take more control: finding and exploiting microclimates. I’ve been looking for them around my upstate New York yard as cooler weather slowly creeps in. Microclimates are pockets of air and ...

Gardeners in a pickle over scarce canning supplies

MARSHFIELD, Vt. — It’s the time of year when gardeners are turning their ripe tomatoes into sauces and salsas and cucumbers into pickles. But a boom in gardening and preparing food at home during the coronavirus pandemic has led to a scarcity of supplies with which to preserve them. From ...

Here’s what to look for in hand sanitizer

What should I look for in a hand sanitizer? ----------------- Pick one that contains mostly alcohol, and has few other ingredients. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says hand sanitizers should be at least 60% ethyl alcohol or 70% isopropyl alcohol. Other approved ...

Debt relief can do more harm than good

In a crisis, long-term planning may lose out to quick and dirty solutions — regardless of the consequences. As the pandemic and its economic fallout continues, more cash-strapped consumers could fall into this trap if the Great Recession is any indicator. A recent report by the Consumer ...

A bountiful harvest: Plant-based materials catch on with home goods designers

With an eye toward sustainability, makers of home furnishings are experimenting more and more with plant-based materials. You can find things like bark, leaves and seeds transformed into vegan leather, fabric and organic plastic. At Frankfurt’s Heimtextil 2020 trade fair earlier this year, ...

Daisies bring sunny look to gardens

Give a child a box of crayons and a piece of paper, and ask for a flower, and you very likely will get a picture of a daisy. Daisies also hold attraction for poets. Geoffrey Chaucer, English poet of the 14th century, wrote “... of all the floures in the mede, Thanne love I most thise floures ...