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Saturday, December 20, 2014, 5:37 a.m.
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Spreading cheer

posted: 12/20/2014 1:54 a.m. Discuss

The red poinsettia is a star among the plants of Christmas, but for blooms that can come back year after year, consider the holiday cactus.

In the garden

posted: 12/20/2014 1:53 a.m. Discuss

Q I got two poinsettias the day after Thanksgiving, and I don't think they are going to make it until Christmas. The leaves are all curling and dropping. The only thing left on one is the red part. Help! Is there anything I can do to save them?

Personal Space

posted: 12/20/2014 1:50 a.m. Discuss

Guy Bell Where I live: I live in a cozy little home in west Little Rock with my wife, Mary, and our dog, Rufus (who looks like a cross between Benji and a dust mop).

Ask the Expert

posted: 12/20/2014 1:49 a.m. Discuss

In addition to the obvious fire safety precautions that need to be taken when I use my fireplace, what other less obvious fire hazards lurk in my home?

Tools and Toys

posted: 12/20/2014 1:48 a.m. Discuss

SpongeBath What's to love: a clean sponge.

Otus the Head Cat: Popular song tells only half the saga of Rudolph

posted: 12/20/2014 1:47 a.m. Discuss

Dear Otus, Please, oh, please, oh pretty, pretty please rerun your annual column about Rudolph the red-nosed caribou. It's my favorite one all year. -- Virginia O'Hanlon, Grubbs

Car Talk

posted: 12/20/2014 1:46 a.m. Discuss

DEAR CAR TALK: Back in the old days (i.e. 1964), we used to think that if you had a low or dead battery, it would charge faster if the engine was running faster. So we would drive it in a lower gear at high rpms, thinking we were helping the battery charge faster. Was that true then? Is it true now? Was it ever true?

Set up winter buffet feast for birds

posted: 12/20/2014 1:45 a.m. Discuss

By now, you've likely noticed, not all birds head south for the winter. Some hardy souls stay put, toughing out these cold, gray months of the year, while making them a bit brighter for the rest of us. Laying out a buffet for winter birds provides gardeners another form of winter interest and flags your garden as a welcome place for feathered friends.

Flora, glass, metal, unorthodox colors gild holiday tables

posted: 12/20/2014 1:44 a.m. Discuss

Are you setting a holiday tabletop this year?

Yucca variety fits many landscapes

posted: 12/20/2014 1:44 a.m. Discuss

This is typically the time of the year I might tout hollies, conifers or even poinsettias, but as I was walking around a dark and dreary, rainy garden today it was a cluster of Color Guard yuccas that stood as beacons of welcoming color. If you are not familiar with Color Guard, it is the best selection of the native Yucca filamentosa.

Helpful Hints

posted: 12/20/2014 1:43 a.m. Discuss

DEAR READERS: A few months ago, I spoke at the sisterhood luncheon at Agudas Achim Synagogue in San Antonio. Proceeds from the event went to the Humane Society, where we adopted our new dog last year. Champagne was just the right dog to help mend our hearts after having to send Cabbie to doggie Valhalla just a month before. My husband and I learned through the years that our home is not complete without a furry, funny, cold-nosed cuddle charmer to share our space.

Horoscopes by Holiday

posted: 12/20/2014 1:42 a.m. Discuss

Happy birthday. Love and good health go together for you this year, and these areas of your life will both thrive at once. The next six weeks bring extra discipline. Projects advance in February, and you'll take on an exciting responsibility in March.

On Christianity

posted: 12/20/2014 1:41 a.m. Discuss

DEAR REV. GRAHAM: Why did some people try to kill Jesus right after He was born? Shouldn't they have welcomed Him instead, once they heard that God's Savior had come into the world?

Holiday cactus shines at Christmastime

posted: 12/19/2014 11:01 a.m. Discuss

The red poinsettia is a star among the plants of Christmas, but for blooms that can come back year after year, consider the holiday cactus, writes Janet B. Carson in HomeStyle.

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