Valley Bargain Book: Around The Home Front

Around The Home Front

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




Sunday 07/05/2020
5 steps companies might consider before reopening their office spaces
Updated: July 13, 2020 - 2:33 am

(BPT) - Sponsored by Office Depot

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Tuesday 06/23/2020
A New Age of Design: Top 5 Trends to Watch
Posted: June 23, 2020

(BPT) - In 2020, there have been some lifestyle changes that have impacted the way we all are using our home spaces. With more time spent at home, many have gained new perspective when it comes to their immediate needs and surroundings. Not surprisingly, consumers are now rethinking their home designs and about the ways they can make their dwellings more functional as well as enjoyable. From dual-purpose designs, to self-care spaces, here are five top trends to watch in this new age.

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Friday 05/22/2020
Recognizing Those Using Creativity to Give Back [Video]
Posted: May 22, 2020

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Thursday 05/07/2020
4 Hot Home Renovation Trends This Summer
Posted: May 07, 2020

(StatePoint) Whether building a home from scratch, doing a complete renovation or simply refreshing a room or two, you can take your project to the next level with some design inspiration.

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Thursday 03/19/2020
Top Ways to Lighten Up Your Home Workspace
Posted: March 19, 2020

(StatePoint) Many people have found themselves working from home. Whether setting up shop at the kitchen table or creating a complete home office, here are simple hacks to make your new work environment comfortable and productive.

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Monday 03/02/2020
Decorating With Table Lamps: The 5 Best Tips for 2020
Posted: March 02, 2020

(StatePoint) Many people underestimate the power of lighting to set the mood and introduce different design elements into their home’s interiors. As a result, they often make the mistake of relying solely only overhead fixtures to light their homes.

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Thursday 02/13/2020
Building a Home? What to Ask Your Builder About Lighting
Posted: February 13, 2020

(StatePoint) While lighting is an essential piece of new home design; it’s often selected and installed at the end of the building process. What’s more, statement-making decorative lighting is often not part of the initial design at all. 

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Saturday 12/14/2019
2020 Interior Design Trends on the Horizon
Posted: December 14, 2019

(StatePoint) The beginning of the new year is a natural time to think about refreshing the look of your home, and in 2020, “cozy” and “warm” are trending keywords for interior design, according to experts, with luxurious textiles, inviting color palettes, and warm mixed metals found across all design styles.

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Thursday 12/12/2019
Sleigh Holiday Décor With These On-Trend Design Tips
Posted: December 12, 2019

(StatePoint) There’s something magical about the winter holiday season -- perhaps it’s the moments spent with loved ones, the aroma of sugar cookies and peppermint, or the cozy, twinkling lights. But when it comes to decorating, there are hundreds of different styles and determining your personal holiday aesthetic can be difficult.

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Monday 12/02/2019
5 Tips for a Merry Holiday Home
Posted: December 02, 2019

(StatePoint) A merry holiday season starts at home. Here are some nice ways to add cheer to the rooms and spaces where people gather.

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More Home Decorating
Wednesday 07/08/2020
How to Save Money and Put Your Home to Work [Infographic]
Posted: July 08, 2020

(BPT) - Did you know that clean energy benefits the environment and your wallet? Learn more about the seven steps of solar power and how to save real money with solar.

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Tuesday 06/30/2020
7 ways to save the 7 seas
Updated: July 13, 2020 - 2:33 am

(BPT) - Beachgoers are heading to the ocean after months of being cooped up due to the health crisis. However, the climate crisis could forever alter future beach treks.

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Thursday 06/18/2020
Demystifying the martini: 4 steps for perfecting the classic cocktail
Updated: July 13, 2020 - 2:33 am

(BPT) - With all its many styles, variations and forms, the martini continues to be a mainstay among Americans. In fact, the wildly popular martini is the second best-selling cocktail nationwide, according to Nielsen.

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Monday 06/15/2020
Get Ready: 10 Tips To Help Home And Business Owners Prepare Ahead Of Storms, Hurricanes And Floods
Updated: June 17, 2020 - 2:30 am

(NAPSI)—The preparations you make now, ahead of storms, floods or hurricanes, can help you recover faster and stay safe during cleanup. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers of power equipment, small engines and battery power, utility and personal transport vehicles, and golf cars, reminds home and business owners to get ready before a storm strikes and make preparations now.

“Weather can be unpredictable, so itís important to always keep your equipment in working order, to have the right fuel on hand and to know where your safety gear is. This is doubly true during storm season, as the weather can change quickly,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI. “You also want to know how to use your equipment safely and use caution when cleaning up.”

These tips can help homeowners and businesses plan ahead for storm cleanup:

•Take stock of your outdoor power equipment. Make sure it’s in good working order. If needed, take the equipment to an authorized service center for maintenance or repair. If you need to buy a new piece of equipment, get it before the storm and learn how to use it.

•Find your safety gear. Avoid the scramble for sturdy shoes, safety goggles, hard hats, reflective clothing and work gloves, which should be stored in an accessible area with your equipment. 

•Review the owner’s manuals. Read product manuals to ensure you know how to operate your equipment safely. 

•Have the right fuel on hand. Fuel stations may be closed after a storm. Store your fuel in an approved container. Use the type of fuel recommended by the equipment manufacturer. It’s illegal to use any fuel with more than 10% ethanol in outdoor power equipment (for more information on proper fueling visit www.LookBeforeYouPump.com).

•Charge batteries. Collect the batteries for your outdoor power equipment and fully charge them ahead of the storm.

•Use safety precautions. Be aware of fundamental dangers that can occur. For instance, chainsaw kickback may happen when the moving chain at the tip of the guide bar touches an object or when the wood closes in and pinches the saw chain in the cut. Always stand with your weight on both feet, and adjust your stance so you’re angled away from the blade. Hold the chainsaw with both hands. Never over-reach or cut anything above your shoulder height. Have a planned retreat path if something falls. 

•Ensure portable generators have plenty of ventilation. Generators should never be used in an enclosed area or inside a home or garage, even if the windows or doors are open. Place the generator outside and away from windows, doors and vents that could allow carbon monoxide inside. Keep the generator dry. Do not use it in rainy or wet conditions. Before refueling, turn the generator off and let it cool down.

•Drive Utility Type Vehicles (UTVs) with caution. Keep the vehicle stable and drive slowly. Do not turn the vehicle mid-slope or while on a hill.

•Be aware of others. Keep bystanders, children and animals out of your work area. Don’t let other people near outdoor power equipment when starting or using it.

•Pay attention to your health. Storm cleanup can be taxing on the body and the spirit. Don’t operate power equipment when you’re fatigued. Drink plenty of water and take regular breaks.

Keep this advice in mind and you may be better prepared to weather any storm.

 

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Wednesday 06/10/2020
Work At Home In Comfort And Safety
Updated: June 12, 2020 - 2:30 am

(NAPSI)—According to Darrell Smith, executive director of the International Window Film Association, window film makes a lot of sense for homeowners eager to save money on their energy bills. 

“Solar-control films can block as much as 80 percent of the solar heat coming through glass into a building, decrease the heat load on the air-conditioning system and reduce energy costs,” Smith says.  

With more people working and studying from home, window film allows in abundant natural sunlight while blocking 99 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays to better protect the skin (from possible cancer) and eyes (from cataract development), while reducing the fading of floors and furnishings. Smith estimates that 40 to 60 percent of color fading is caused by UV exposure. Windows may also be upgraded for safety, as window film helps to hold glass pieces together if the window is impacted and broken. 

For even a 3,000 square foot home, window film may be installed in a day or less with minimal disruption. Window film installers clean the glass before installation, keep the work space clean and practice safe contact as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. Find a local dealer/installer at www.iwfa.com.

 

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Monday 06/08/2020
Be Cool And Save Money
Updated: June 10, 2020 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—Many Americans may be surprised to learn that almost half their utility bill goes toward heating and cooling their home. Fortunately, the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR Program offers resources to help you beat the heat—all while saving a, saving money and protecting the climate. Here’s how:

Maintain or Upgrade Your HVAC System 

Check your system’s air filters. A dirty air filter will make the system work harder to keep you cool, wasting energy. Filters should be inspected once a month during heavy use. 

If your heating and cooling equipment is more than 10 years old or it needs frequent repairs, it may be time to consider a replacement. The ENERGY STAR Heating and Cooling Guide helps you navigate an HVAC equipment upgrade that will keep you comfortable and help you save money, year round. Visit www.energystar.gov/HVACguide.

Get a Smart Thermostat 

 A WiFi-enabled smart thermostat automatically adjusts your home’s temperature settings for optimal performance. ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostats are independently certified, based on actual field data, to deliver energy savings.  

Need a New Room AC? 

On average, ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioners use 10 percent less energy and cost less than $70 per year to run. 

Learn More

You can find other savings tips at www.energystar.gov/cooling

 

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Wednesday 06/03/2020
New Energy Storage Technologies to Support Renewables Post COVID-19
Updated: June 06, 2020 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—Cleaner air can improve public health, maybe even save lives. Fortunately, renewable energy resources—wind, sun, hydropower and the like—are now producing more electricity than coal. That’s where innovative energy storage solutions come in. They help create a cleaner world, encouraging investment into clean, green, renewable energy. To help, engineers and policymakers are increasingly turning their attention to energy storage solutions. New bi-partisan efforts in states such as New York and the Trump administration are in alignment to support new energy storage technologies that drastically improve the economics of wind and solar projects.

The global rise in electricity generation from renewable sources has led to increased demand for advanced batteries that can be used to firm up this intermittent supply. This requirement is particularly important in areas where grid connections may be tenuous, unreliable or even non-existent. Additional demand for advanced batteries is presented by grid applications such as peak-shifting and Transmission and Distribution (T&D) capital deferral. 

Energy storage systems provide many ways to manage the power supply for a more resilient energy infrastructure, and bring cost savings to utilities and consumers. Batteries allow the use of electricity whenever it’s needed, not only when it’s generated. However, traditional battery economics and performance have not proved helpful as utilities look to increase renewable penetration through long-duration energy storage.

The Problem

One of the challenges to growing a North American energy storage industry, however, has been a dependency on a supply chain of hardware components, metals and chemicals, many of which come from outside North America. As well, metals such as lithium and vanadium used in some batteries are impacted by price volatility and security of supply. 

An Answer

Those same risks do not apply to zinc-air batteries. Zinc is abundant and inexpensive, with a significant North American supply. Its chemistry is robust and safe. A zinc-air battery has decoupled energy and power, making it one of the lowest-cost long-duration battery storage solutions available. 

A safer, cleaner future requires less polluted air which means replacement of carbon-based power generation with renewable, sustainable sources of electricity. Long-duration, low-cost energy storage systems such as zinc-air will be a key driver to a quicker path towards a greener future. A “bet” on energy storage is a wager that will deliver a cleaner planet that will thrive for current and future generations, suggests Ron MacDonald, president and CEO of Zinc8 Energy Solutions, the leader in zinc-air battery technology, a unique flow battery technology using zinc and air as fuel.

Learn more 

You can find further facts and stats on energy storage at www.zinc8energy.com.

 

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Keep Calm And Don’t Bug Out About The Asian Giant Hornet
Updated: June 06, 2020 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—Scientific information can ease the fears of many people concerned about the arrival of the Asian giant hornet in the United States. 

What do we know?

 

Hornets are found in many parts of the world and play a vital role in the balance of natural ecosystems through pollination, biodiversity and natural pest control. Unfortunately dubbed the “murder hornet,” the Asian giant hornet (AGH), the world’s largest, was sighted for the first time in the United States in December 2019.

Who (or what) is at risk?

While the AGH is large in size and has a big sting compared to other ­hornets, it is typically not aggressive with humans (Whew! That’s a relief). As always, those allergic to bee or wasp stings should practice caution and avoid contact with hornets in general. 

However, the AGH can pose a risk to honey bee colonies because it feeds on large insects, including wasps and bees. So far, they’ve only appeared in the northwest part of the United States, and monitoring efforts by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) are underway to better understand these hornets and help educate beekeepers on how to protect their colonies. 

On top of this, our team at Bayer is taking action by organizing a first detection trapping program in North Carolina and Missouri, which will be deployed in early July. We will then share our results with the WSDA at the end of the season. While we do not expect to catch any AGH this year, early detection is key to an effective eradication effort if needed.

You can be confident that the early introduction of the AGH in the United States and Canada is being closely monitored by professionals who have management plans in place should there be any future sightings. There’s no need to worry about catching a glimpse of these hornets in your yards or gardens, as they are not yet established in the United States. In fact, the only hornet that is established in our country, the European hornet, has been around since the late 1800s.

How can we help protect the bees?

It’s not only researchers and entomologists who can help protect honeybees. Everyone can support bees by getting outside to plant pollinator-friendly gardens or flowers. 

As pollinators play a vital role in our ecosystem, crop production and biodiversity, I recommend you stay calm and keep gardening to provide your fuzzy friends with the flowers and habitat they need to thrive.

Learn more about how to plant pollinator-friendly gardens that help bees, monarchs and other important pollinators by visiting https://beehealth.bayer.us/home.

Dick Rogers has been a professional entomologist for more than four decades and has been keeping and studying bees for over 40 years. He joined the Bayer Bee Care Program in 2009.

 

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Wednesday 05/13/2020
Early Treatment Key To Managing Seasonal Diseases In Cattle
Updated: May 15, 2020 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—Two of the more common production-impacting health issues cattlemen see in their herds this time of year are foot rot and pinkeye. Left untreated, each can lead to more serious, chronic health problems. 

Foot rot, pinkeye and other common cattle ailments are highly dependent on pasture, weather and other conditions. Foot rot is more problematic when cattle are kept in wet, muddy and manure-heavy lots. Caused by the Fusobacterium Necrophorum bacteria, symptoms include swelling and inflammation between the toes, resulting in lameness and reluctance to walk. 

Pinkeye is a highly infectious eye condition that can affect cattle of all ages, often on tall-grass pastures and in environmental situations that can irritate the eye. Flies are a major irritant and vector for the disease, so controlling them and other sources of irritant is critical. Delayed treatment of pinkeye can result in loss of the eye, reduced performance and a less marketable animal.  

Fortunately, with timely surveillance and treatment, these infections, along with other diseases, can be easily and cost-effectively managed by producers with a non-prescription injectable product such as Noromycin 300 LA, a highly concentrated, low-dose, fast-acting formulation of oxytetracycline. Effectively used by cattlemen for many years, it is widely available through most farm and veterinary supply companies. 

Learn more at www.norbrook.com.

 

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Monday 05/04/2020
What Others Are Doing, How You Can Help
Updated: May 06, 2020 - 2:30 am

(NAPSI)—The global pandemic brought home to many people just how interconnected the world has become. This is true about the need to protect the environment, as well.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the way to preserve human health is by maintaining the environment because polluted air, water and land encourages such sicknesses as asthma and lead poisoning, while global warming fosters the spread of disease.

Fortunately, throughout the country, efforts large and small are helping to resolve this.

What’s Being Done

For example, one major American corporation with a long, proud history of environmental sustainability and a strong track record of action and success has raised the bar on its environmental commitments and accelerated the progress of short- and long-term goals that meet or exceed environmental regulations. As Marc Bitzer, Chairman and CEO of Whirlpool Corporation put it. “As we continue to navigate the impact of COVID-19, the health and safety of our employees and communities remain our priority. We strongly believe that our sustainability efforts are as important now as ever. These efforts are guided by a clear mission to earn trust and create demand while in constant pursuit of improving life at home.” To that end, the company has:

•Reduced its absolute plant emissions by 18% by investing in efficiency and renewable energy;

•Achieved zero waste to landfill in eight plants across three regions;

•Accomplished a global waste-to-recycling rate of 96%; and

•Developed an innovative solution to reuse water from an existing chiller that saves 31 million gallons of water each year.

What You Can Do

For your part, you can help the environment these four ways:

1.Get your car a tune-up. Properly maintained vehicles get better gas mileage and emit fewer pollutants.

2.Plant a tree. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

3.Run the dishwasher and clothes washer only when you have full loads.

4.Don’t let the water run while you shave or brush your teeth.

Learn More

For further facts, visit www.whirlpoolcorp.com and www.epa.gov.

 

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More Green Living
Thursday 07/09/2020
Productive Paint Projects
Updated: July 13, 2020 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) With many homeowners seeking to renovate or reshape the look of their homes, one common project stands above many others: painting.

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Starting a Home Remodeling Project
Posted: July 09, 2020

7 tips for choosing a qualified contractor

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Practical Home Upgrades to Improve Function and Ambiance
Updated: July 13, 2020 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) Homeowners tackling interior upgrades often focus their attention on two of the most-used rooms the in the house: the kitchen and bathroom. Tailoring these rooms to your personal preferences may enhance your enjoyment of the space, but most experts recommend thinking long term for the biggest return on your investment.

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4 Tips for Working from Home with Your Pet
Updated: July 13, 2020 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) One of the perks of working from home is more time with your pets. While it can be exciting to have your furry friends by your side all day, it’s important to know how to make the day as productive and pleasant as possible for you and your pet. Mindfully incorporating your pet and his needs into your routine can allow for an efficient and successful workday with your four-legged coworker.

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5 Ways Youth Can Connect Food Choices to a Healthier Planet
Updated: July 13, 2020 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) Although many young people care deeply about global issues like food and the environment, they don’t necessarily see these matters as connected. By learning more about the source of their food and the benefits of making nutritious choices, eating appropriate portions and minimizing food waste, youth can better understand the positive impact on their own and the planet’s health.

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Creating a Spa Oasis
Posted: July 09, 2020

(Family Features) Transforming your bathroom into a personal home spa allows you to come home to a relaxing environment every day. By making space and removing clutter, along with adding decorative touches, you can achieve a stylish spa-like atmosphere in the comfort of your own home.

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Add Natural Light to Any Room
Updated: July 13, 2020 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) Increasing the amount of natural light that enters your home can help make spaces feel larger and more inviting. An option like Sun Tunnel Skylights from Velux are a cost-effective, healthy way to transform nearly any room by funneling natural light from the roof through the attic to the area below.

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4 Things to Consider Before Adopting a Pet
Updated: July 13, 2020 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) Across the country, people are fostering and adopting furry friends more, with the number of animals in foster homes 43% higher than it was in 2019, according to 24PetWatch. With this uptick in fostering, potential pet owners are determining if they are ready and able to care for a pet permanently, and shelters are bracing for a time when these pets may be returned once people go back to work.

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Wednesday 07/08/2020
Expert tips to maximize your victory garden
Updated: July 13, 2020 - 2:33 am

(BPT) - Sponsored by Miracle-Gro

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Keep Safe with Home Upgrades This Summer
Updated: July 13, 2020 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) Extra time around the house this summer may be welcome for avid DIYers. With lists of upgrades and renovations to tackle, homeowners can rely on portable generators to power tools such as drills, circular saws and more when working outside.

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More Lawn & Garden
Tuesday 04/28/2020
Common Moving Myths - Busted!
Posted: April 28, 2020

(StatePoint) You’ve finally found the perfect home. Now comes the hard part: moving. But don’t let misconceptions complicate the process. To keep frustrations to a minimum and make your move more manageable, here are five common moving myths, debunked.

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Monday 02/10/2020
How to Make Household Shopping a Breeze
Posted: February 10, 2020

(StatePoint) One of the most important parts of any household or personal care routine is shopping for all the items you need. With new products introduced to store shelves all the time, sorting the best from the rest can be a time consuming process.

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Tuesday 07/23/2019
A Crazy Buggy Summer: Tips for Dealing With Home Insect Invasions
Posted: July 23, 2019

(StatePoint) Spotting more bugs than usual around the house? While a pest problem can cause embarrassment and concern, this summer you can take comfort in the fact that not only are you not alone, there are new ways of dealing with insects that can help you manage the problem without harsh chemicals.

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More Kitchen, Bed & Bath

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