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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…

Every evening as I am picking up, winding down and preparing for the next day, there is one thing I can always count on.“Go-go-go-go-go!” I'll hear my daughter or husband shout out, their signal for the dog to take off like a racing horse from the starting gate. Well, maybe not quite as magnificently.But off he will run, tearing around the dining room table, blasting i…

Singing, either by yourself or with a group of people, is easily one of America’s favorite pastimes. People might have completely different personalities and views on the world, but if they sing together, connections can be made between them that are unique and special. Of course, choirs all around the country attempt to reach these goals, helping singers create lifelong…

Nany Gonzalez saw reality TV as her ticket from small-town boredom, and like thousands of young adults from across the country, she tried out for MTV’s “Real World.” The long-running series brings a group of young adults together in one house to live for several months, with cameras taping their relationships.Gonzalez, who was studying criminal justice at Jamestown C…

I was never very good at making fresh pasta. In my days as a restaurant chef, it was common practice to buy from a purveyor. If it was to be filled, I’d make the filling, he would pick it up and return the product to me the next day.To me, it was like pizza or croissants: Something made infinitely better by other people. With hindsight, I can see how wrong it was to be m…

When the weather gives you a chill, I say make chili! It is the perfect one-pot meal for fall and winter. And the best thing about it is that it gets better with time, so it is the perfect make-ahead meal.Originally, chili con carne was a simple souplike stew made of chilies and beef, and in Texas “a bowl of red” still has no beans about it! But the thing that I love a…