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    Five Spot: Water-saving tips that can help any household


    Water conservation expert Tracy Quinn of the Natural Resources Defense Council said that making just a few small changes to our daily habits in the kitchen can result in big water savings. “Every little bit helps.”

    — Don’t rinse scraps of food down the sink after dinner. Scrape them into your garbage pail. (This is a good use for all those takeout napkins that seem to clutter everyone’s “junk drawer.”)

    — It won’t kill you to do dishes in cold water. Pretend you’re glamping.


Exercise strategies: How to overcome the top 5 fitness barriers


Sticking to a regular exercise schedule isn’t easy. After all, there are plenty of potential hindrances — time, boredom, injuries, self-confidence. But these issues don’t need to stand in your way.

Darcy Reber, nurse practitioner at Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls, shares practical strategies for overcoming common barriers to fitness.

Setting aside time to exercise can be a challenge. Use a little creativity to get the most out of your time. Squeeze in exercise throughout the day. If you don’t have time for a full workout, don’t sweat it. Shorter spurts of exercise, such as 10 minutes of walking spaced throughout the day, offer benefits, too. Additionally, you can try office exercises.


Presto: Basil beyond pesto


Got basil? No, not the dried-in-jar stuff, but fresh, full-flavored leaf basil.

And if the answer is “yes” to fresh basil, is it spicy globe, Siam Queen or maybe blue spice? What sounds like exotic varieties of coffee or tea are actually some of the many types of fresh basil.

Thinking of basil usually conjures up the bright green, large-leafed type seen pre-cut in the produce department of the grocery store or in pots sold in the same department. Yet the species botanically known as Ocimum basilicum has some 100 cultivars (cultured varieties) in its family.

Your Home

    Garden renegades: 3 fresh ideas for front yards


    For decades, the perfectly mowed lawn has endured as an American pursuit. But today, a growing number of homeowners are rethinking this default landscape feature in the neighborhoods of America’s heartland as they downsize or replace these grassy spaces with other more productive and often less time- and chemical-consuming alternatives.

    A Pittsburgh couple chose to exchange their shaded, failing grass for a thriving, no-mow moss lawn. A long-time Cincinnatian installed dozens of towering teepees to support his favorite flowering vines. And a Columbus, Ohio, philosophy professor ripped out her front lawn — the only sunny spot on her property — to install multiple raised-bed vegetable gardens.

    According to Susan McCoy, author of the 2015 Garden Trends Report, more homeowners are rebelling against horticulture norms.


    Mission to Honduras: Kenosha Bible Church team bringing medical care, spiritual aid


    Kenosha Bible Church is sending 16 members of its congregation to Honduras with trunks of over-the-counter medicines and eyeglasses to help out citizens for a week.

    For a sixth year, the evangelical church will be providing medical care, eyeglasses and dental care as well as other services to residents near the country’s capital, Tegucigalpa. The team will leave the Milwaukee airport at 6 a.m. Aug. 8 and will return Aug. 15.

    “At first we just started years ago by going with a church in Illinois. Only four members from Kenosha went along,” said Pam Middleton, Kenosha Bible Church’s missions chairwoman, who organized this medical service. “We decided that we could do it, too, with our church. Now, we average about 16 to 32 attendees on the medical brigade.”


    Out for the big one


    With the eagerness of a child, 77-year-old Bill Schweizer heads down the channel from the Simmons Island Marina to Lake Michigan more than an hour before the sunrise on a recent morning.

    The avid fisherman is aboard the charter fishing boat Rainmaker IV with grandson Eric Schweizer and his son-in-law’s father, Lynn Dameron.

    Making it his mission to pass his passion for fishing to his grandkids, Schweizer has booked more than a dozen trips with boat captain Al Johnson. This year alone, he has twice made the two-and-a-half-hour drive from his home in Cornell, Ill., to take one of them in turns on the waters off of Kenosha.


    ‘Higher Standard’ more than a biography


    “A Higher Standard” by Gen. Ann Dunwoody, U.S. Army, Ret. with Tomago Collins

    c.2015, DaCapo, $25.99, 273 pages


    Free speech (and live music) in the Northwoods


    “Justified” is a prevailing theme in Molly Otis Stoddard’s life lately, especially since that’s the title of her first music release in nearly two decades, and first solo album.

    The Northwoods ode to free speech and expression comes 24 years after the single “Chasing Something Called Love” hit the Top 50 for Molly and the Heymakers, her band with country-tinged music that toured Africa to Iceland via Warner/Reprise Records.

    Maybe that seems like a magical life for a musician, but Molly was back home in Hayward by the late 1990s, motivated to shift careers and investments. She had divorced, bought a downtown building and began rehabbing it while living in an upper-level apartment. Basement work took four years and started with the removal of shovel after shovel of dirt.

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