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If you ever have a chair in your home that, for whatever reason, you don’t want anyone sitting in, I have a solution: Just move it to a teen’s bedroom. It will no longer function as a chair. Instead, it will become the drop zone for clothing – which, I suppose, is better than the floor. I try not to mention this too much around our house because many years ago, in th…

LONDON – British writer Hilary Mantel has won the prestigious Booker literary prize for a second time with her blood-soaked Tudor saga “Bring Up the Bodies,” which the head of the judging panel said had “rewritten the book” on historical fiction. Mantel, who took the 50,000 pound ($82,000) award in 2009 for “Wolf Hall,” is the first British author, and the fi…

Schools have always had dress codes. Some rules were made for safety precautions, others simply to regulate indecent attire. But are public schools taking it too far? Area students have conflicting opinions. Brittany Packard, a senior at Lackawanna High School, says that there is nothing wrong with her school’s regulations on attire. “I think our current dress code is …

In 2005, writer Michael Ruhlman and chef Brian Polcyn published “Charcuterie,” a master-level seminar in cured meats, terrines and French-style pâtés masquerading as a “how to” volume. The book that launched a million pancettas has become a seminal work in the growing American home curing movement. Its clear instructions, built on savvy discussions of meat’s te…

When Chris Christie invited me to descend into the basement of his West Seneca home, it seemed innocent enough. After all, I was there to write about the jack-o’-lanterns that Chris and his son Alexx carve for Halloween. For 10 years they have honed their craft, spending hours paging through arcane manuals and fashioning their own sharp, specific tools. Long ago they’d…

The potty train has left the station. It’s quite a relief, considering I started stressing about potty training before our daughter Chloe was even born. Anxious to get it over with, I was ready to dive in at 18 months the early end of the age when experts suggest starting to train. But Chloe wasn’t having it. If we tried to get her to sit on the potty, even with her cl…

By Anne Neville The largest and most successful pet adoption event in the region will fill the Hamburg Fairgrounds Event Center this weekend with adoptable pets, products and services for animals and their people, and educational and entertaining demonstrations. The third annual Maddie’s Pet Rescue Project Pet Expo and Super Adoption Event, presented by the PETCO Foundat…

It’s quite a problem if you think about it at all. What do you do during a debate when your opponent is spouting what you think is malarkey – especially if his passion and delivery are such that he seems to be scoring points with the audience? We’ll find out tonight if President Obama has a new strategy for that knotty problem. His last strategy for handling it was g…

I do not have any nonworking hours. There, I said it. There are just no hours in my day that are totally off-limits to working either for my day job or for the numerous other things I do. I’m not complaining. I love what I do. I’m just stating the obvious for a working mother of three. So yes, I’ve written emails at 3 a.m. although I don’t expect someone to respond…

In Las Vegas, an heiress estranged from her family spends an average of $30,000 per month on an extravagant lifestyle that includes buying $5,500 dresses and $3,000 shoes. In Hawthorne, Calif., a 24-year-old part-time disc jockey can drop $300 a week at a 99 Cents Only Store, borrowing money from friends and falling behind in her bills. These and other shoppers whose over…

Russell Banks’ background isn’t significantly international in any way; it is rather working-class American (his father, a New Hampshire plumber, deserted the family when Russell was 12). His concerns in his novels are identifiably American and so, usually, are his settings. (There are, of course, exceptions in a career that has entered its sixth decade; he started pub…

Pastor Jerry Gillis lived in South Florida when he was asked to lead the Chapel at CrossPoint. The year was 2002, and Gillis had been serving for eight years as associate pastor at South Biscayne Baptist Church in North Port. It took the Atlanta-born pastor six months to make the decision to move his family north. Today, Gillis is 42. He leads a congregation of thousands a…

When the song “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” by the Beatles came out, my teenage friends and I would laugh and sing it to my mother, whose name happened to be Lucy. In turn, she would laugh and sing it right along with us! She was an exceptional, wise and wonderful woman. For starters, she was valedictorian in high school. She wanted to go to college, but at that time…

Rose Kashuba glided along sprightly, mimicking the motion of cross-country skiing on an exercise machine called the elliptical. Across the room, Angeline Trybuskiewicz finished a series of chest presses, lifting 15 pounds in a routine she had perfected after five years at the Northwest Community Center. “If I don’t exercise, I feel very lazy, like I should be moving,…

By Jura Koncius / Washington Post

Fri, Oct 12, 2012

Bedroom-closet-organizing systems are a major part of the $1 billion organizing business. You can go DIY in adjustable wire or wood systems or hire a firm to custom-design and professionally install rods, shelving and drawers. “An unorganized closet is like a refrigerator with no shelves,” says Ginny Snook Scott, a vice president at California Closets. “The appliance…