Self-Help and Instructional

Get Ready, Get Set, Knit

With cooler weather just around the corner, now is the time to knit something to keep you or a loved one warm this winter. If you are not a knitter don’t worry, it’s easier than you think. Don’t let words like knit, purl, cast on, yarn over or decrease two fill you with anxiety. They are the terms used to guide you through your project and are explained in almost every knitting book or Web site.

Abracadabra!

The purpose of magic has changed since temple priests in ancient times used mechanical devices to make wine pour from statues' mouths and doors open with the sound of thunder. Entertainers in the Middle Ages would try other techniques such as sleight of hand to mystify the crowds as they traveled from city to city.

Saving Summer in a Jar: Preserving the Fruits of the Season

This is the time of year when delicious fruits and vegetables fill the homegrown gardens and bins at farmers' markets. An abundance of heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn and sweeter peaches make August the right time to practice the very rewarding work of preserving.

Netbooks for Newbies

Netbook use is on the rise everywhere--including your local library! Find outwhat you need to know about these tiny, affordable computers before you purchase. 

Joys of Journal Writing

The long hot days of summer are coming, and with them there will be time for sports, time for camp, time to dream, and time to do. Time to start a diary or journal?

A journal can be written for only yourself, to write down the things that are important to you: lists of favorites (music, t.v., and movies), pictures of friends and family, and, of course, your innermost thoughts. Fun times deserve to be remembered, and sometimes writing about a bad situation can help you deal with it better as you think it through on paper. That kind of journal is personal, and you may not wish to share it with anyone.

Netbooks for Newbies

It has been fascinating to observe the rising adoption rates of netbooks. Think of netbooks as filling the technological niche between smartphones (such as the Blackberry and the iPhone) and full-sized laptops: they are compact, light-weight, and inexpensive computers for the price-conscious mobile user. Netbooks generally feature a diagonal screen size of 7–10 inches, wi-fi, a slower processor which consumes less power (resulting in often considerably longer battery life), a smallish hard drive, and no built-in optical drive (CD/DVD).

Muddling Through Midlife

Good health, enough wealth, long life, happy families—the stuff that dreams are made of. But most Americans' lives fall short in one or more of these areas, and often it's the midlife years (40s to 50s) where things start to go haywire. If you're one of the many, many people who feel that just when they got the hang of the game, the rules completely changed, read on.

 

Work, Retirement, and Financial Planning

What's different about money management at midlife?

A Backyard Oasis

Sitting by a garden pond, watching bright fish weave their way through tangles of lilies while listening to sounds of rushing water—does this sound good to you? When we moved into our house we inherited a fish tank and found out just how nice it was. Unfortunately, the tank resembled a moonshine bathtub. So we have decided to give the fish a new home. Planning the pond has been fun, but there are a lot of things to consider before you start digging.

One Father's Homeschooling Experience

When we were expecting our first child, I started talking with my wife about homeschooling—which I now prefer to call unschooling. She agreed, and we have never regretted it. Raised to be independent learners, both children did well on their college entrance exams and are now away at college.

I Thought YOU Packed the Water Bottles

Due to the stupidity revealed in this story, our names have been changed to protect our identities. My husband, Ed, will henceforth be referred to as "Herb," and I will be "Sally." Herb and I are experienced hikers. We've read A Walk in the Woods.