Beyond the oil change


    Most of us know that vehicles need regular oil changes.

    But if your maintenance starts and stops with an oil change, you could be in for a bumpy ride.

    There are many other maintenance issues mechanics say drivers commonly ignore.


DIY: Juicing for beginners


The idea of juicing your own fruits and veggies may be appealing but may also seem overwhelming. What kinds of fruits and vegetables taste good together? Which combinations produce desired health benefits? Are there best times during the day to consume them? What is the difference between different types of juicers?

While information can always be gleaned from Internet sources, sometimes in-person advice is best. One source of local hands-on help is Dama Foster, co-owner of Sol D’Licious Wholistic Cafe, 1351 52nd St. A juicer for the past 18 years, Foster conducts workshops and classes on the fine art and health benefits of juicing.

At her April Juicing 101 workshop, Foster explained the principles of juicing and smoothie cleanses, discussed the nutrition profiles of processed and fresh juices and demonstrated various juicer types.


10 fresh ways to use blueberries


There are muffins, of course. And pancakes. And the obligatory fruit salad. But then what? After all the usual suspects, how do you handle a seasonal abundance of blueberries?

As long as you’re willing to consider a few fresh approaches, it’s actually easy and delicious to press them into service. Start by ditching the idea that they only work in sweets. The juicy, slightly acidic berries work wonders with meat. In fact, the Native Americans used blueberries to season dried meats.

But first, a few storage tips. Blueberries keep best when stored dry. In other words, wash them only as you use them. Until then, keep them lightly covered and refrigerated. If you freeze them, the flavor will be fine, but the texture will be different. So once frozen, it’s best to use them only in recipes that involve cooking them.

Your Home

    In search of natural hues? A garden ‘to dye for’


    Homegrown botanical dyes are part of today’s shift toward more natural and organic living.

    And you don’t need a degree in chemistry to create your own hues for scarves, sweaters or even Easter eggs.

    All it takes is a garden plot or a few pots and a kitchen.


    Raising a toast to God


    AUSTIN, Texas — It’s a Sunday afternoon at the Opal Divine’s in South Austin, and the Rev. Steve Kinney is about to convene a meeting of spiritually minded souls in what Carrie Nation would have called a den of iniquity.

    Kinney, an Episcopal priest at All Saints in Central Austin, has held monthly meetings — typically the third Sunday of each month — of what some followers informally call “pub church” at Opal Divine’s. There’s music, but not from an organ and a choir. Bread and wine are offered, but it’s not a Eucharist in the formal sense. There’s no kneeling, but there’s food and beer and cocktails for those inclined to partake of spirits to get into the spirit of things.

    Opal Divine’s owner Michael Parker has offered a side room at the Penn Field location of his restaurant and bar to Kinney and participants gratis since January and these sorts of gatherings — explorations of craft beer, spirituality, ideas and community where all are welcome — are popping up in numerous cities around the country. It’s attracted a fair bit of media attention, including Austin’s National Public Radio correspondent John Burnett, who is friends with Kinney through church and enjoys a pint of craft beer now and then. Kinney is the celebrant. Burnett interviews a notable local at each gathering. Dave Madden curates the music.


    Kenosha from the air


    On the few occasions when I get the chance to get inside a small aircraft and fly over the city, I am always struck by how this change of perspective really affects me. The whole geography changes. Places appear so much closer to each other as you see over roofs and trees. Your perspective broadens. Details get lost. Even people become smaller and less noticeable as they get lost in the landscape, the gridlock of streets and roofs.

    Other things that go unnoticed on the ground jump out at you, like the white wake left behind by boats plying the water. They appear as white brush strokes against the dark water.

    You cannot miss the fact that we are so close to magnificent Lake Michigan and its vastness. From anywhere in the skies over Kenosha, the east is just the endless body of water as far as the eye can see.


    Promise you will read ‘The Promise’ this summer


    “The Promise” by Ann Weisgarber, c. 2013, 2014, Skyhorse Publishing, $24.95, 310 pages

    It was a vow you took very seriously.


    A collection of collections


    Red Wing, a Mississippi River city on the Minnesota side, has been home to a pottery museum for years — but now it’s billed as home to the nation’s largest pottery collection.

    The donation of a Nebraska couple’s private stash, 5,000 pieces worth around $1.5 million, motivated the all-volunteer Red Wing Pottery Foundation to successfully relocate and expand the museum into the longtime factory’s annex. It is near the kilns that used to transform clay to vessels that held coffee cream to casseroles.

    The holdings of Jerry and Louise Schleich included a 70-gallon crock that Red Wing made for the 1923 Minnesota State Fair, and other one-of-a-kind items. Their generosity doubles the value of museum inventory.

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