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    Flying together: Tips for finding adjacent airline seats without paying extra


    NEW YORK — On top of the bag fees and other charges, families traveling this summer may have to pay extra just to sit next to one another.

    Airlines are reserving a growing number of seats for elite customers or those willing to shell out more money. These seats often — but not always — come with a little extra legroom. The catch: setting these seats aside leaves fewer places for other passengers to sit without paying extra.

    That means mom might end up in row 20, dad in row 23 and junior sitting all the way back in row 30, regardless of age. Airlines say their gate agents try to help family members without adjacent seats sit together, especially people flying with small children. Yet there is no guarantee things will work out.


Swimmer’s ear is a common summer malady


It starts with an itch in your ear that makes you crazy. But don’t give in to the urge to scratch it with a cotton swab.

It’s most likely acute otitis externa, an infection of the skin of the ear canal commonly known as swimmer’s ear.

With more opportunities to splash in pools and lakes during the summer, swimmer’s ear can be a painful reminder that wet skin is a breeding ground for nasty growing microbes.


Learn to master the grilling of veggies you’d normally roast


I love grilling vegetables because doing so concentrates their natural sugars and amps up their flavor. During the summer, the usual suspects are zucchini, eggplant, onions, peppers and corn. They’re all delicious this way and — Bonus! — they all become tender in an agreeably short amount of time.

But it recently occurred to me that a number of the veggies I love roasting in the oven — broccoli, cauliflower and carrots — might also shine if cooked on the grill. Turns out, they do!

The first problem was to figure out how to cut these vegetables so they wouldn’t fall through the slats of the grill grates. The solution was to keep them in big pieces; I cut the carrots in half lengthwise, left the broccoli attached at the stalk, and sliced the cauliflower head straight down into half-inch cutlets (or “steaks”).

Your Home

    Tiny worlds: Exploring the magic of fairy gardens


    Some people are downsizing their gardens big time. They’re moving from whopping perennial borders to terrariums, tiny Zen gardens and fairy-gardens-in-a-pot. In these little landscapes, a watering can is typically the size of a quarter and a layer of moss serves as ground cover. They require little maintenance and can be enjoyed on a deck, patio or balcony.

    The world of itsy-bitsy settings attracted Katie Elzer-Peters as a child. “My grandma and I used to make shadowboxes and mouse houses, and I had an American Girl doll that I loved,” she said. “I couldn’t buy a whole lot of stuff for my dolls, so I made my own things — dishes, furniture, clothes, quilts — you name it.”

    Elzer-Peters is the author of “Miniature Gardens: Design and Create Miniature Fairy Gardens, Dish Gardens, Terrariums and More — Indoors and Out” (Cool Springs Press), and she has fashioned dozens of pint-size gardens.


    Prayer House: Pastor’s son follows father’s footsteps


    For the Rev. Ronald Auch Jr., every Sunday was “Take your kid to work day,” as he watched his father, the Rev. Ronald Auch Sr., preach the gospel, encourage the souls of the faithful and tend to the spiritually hurting.

    He watched and learned.

    He listened to the way his father’s voice resounded throughout the sanctuary. He witnessed his father listen to members and respond with love. He saw him study the Bible, returning to it when he himself needed focus.


    Summer fun just beginning


    Elvis is alive! And he is working at historic Simmons Field for the Kenosha Kingfish.

    The Northwoods League baseball team has returned for its second season, and the games are a blast.

    Even if you are not a baseball fan, the atmosphere, a witty annoucer and on-field entertainers are great fun for the whole family. Make sure to catch a game this year at the remodeled facility.


    Kenosha Public Library launches summer reading program


    School’s out for summer, and if you haven’t done it already, we encourage your child to participate in the Kenosha Public Library summer reading program by signing up at the library or simply by registering online at mykpl.info.

    Children can get prizes for reading books and here are a few new titles that are on our shelves to encourage even your most reluctant reader to read this summer.

    “Ten Rules of Being a Superhero” by Deb Pilutti is a cute story about a boy and his favorite toy, Captain Magma. There’s more to being a superhero than just helping others and putting on a cap and a mask. For instance, Rule No. 2: Saving the day is messy. But everyone understands. Rule No. 3: A superhero has at least one superpower. That’s what makes him SUPER! This is a super fun book, and perfect for any young superhero.


    Take Ten: On the Water


    With the arrival of summer comes our urge to take to the water, if not on the beach or with a fishing pole, then on a boat that traverses urban or remote shorelines. Instead of maneuvering your own watercraft, let someone else do the navigating and narrating.

    Public tours are plentiful and include these excellent options. Reservations are advised and sometimes required. Group charters are possible, in addition to the public cruises.

    A land-water ride in World War II amphibious vehicles is perhaps the most unusual way to experience the Dells; wilderness tours of the scenic area began in 1946. Each duck long ago carried troops and supplies between ship and shore; today one vehicle seats 21 people. One-hour tours and narration explain local history, nature and the vehicle.

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