Area Life

Smaller and easier: Landscaping trends reflect aging population

Less work and less water.Those seem to be among the trends in landscaping and home gardening, particularly as baby boomers age. But busy younger folks are leaning that way, too, said Gail Corle, a national Garden Club Board member, past president of the Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania ...

Earth Matters: Recycling still a low priority for many county residents

Everyone, everywhere, all the time - that was the recycling message recently delivered to nearly 30,000 mailboxes in Blair County.Yet nearly half the people that received the Recycle newsletter don't recycle anything. Most of the businesses in the recycling communities recycle only their ...

Oh the Joy!: Analyzing Beethoven and his No. 9

When Ludwig van Beethoven wrote the final movement of his final symphony, No. 9, he was sending a political and historical message, as well as a personal moral lesson. And, he used beautiful music that "everybody knows and loves" still today, said Maestro Karl Middleman of the Philadelphia ...

Comedy genius Stan Freberg dies

LOS ANGELES - Stan Freberg, the spirited comic genius who lampooned American history in his landmark recordings "The United States of America" and was hailed as the father of the funny commercial, died Tuesday. He was 88.Freberg died at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center, his wife, Hunter ...

Behind the Plates: A family touch

CLEARFIELD - At least twice a week, Pastor Rob Mellgard walks the three or so blocks from his Presbyterian church to Ethan's Cafe on the tree-lined Market Street in downtown for lunch."It's the friendliest place in town, and more often than not people are laughing and are carrying on," he said. ...

Staycation! Blair County has lots to offer — museums, baseball, parks

(Editor's Note: Today the Altoona Mirror kicks off a monthly feature series on travel in the region. We begin our tour in Blair County).Last summer, a family of four took their front-row seats at the ballpark where the minor-league home team, the Altoona Curve, was hosting the Erie SeaWolves. ...

SAMA to honor five benefactors at annual Night of Distinction

LORETTO - The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art's fourth annual Night of Distinction will be held at the Loretto Museum on April 24 to honor five of the museum's most dedicated and long-serving benefactors.SAMA will present its annual Service to the Arts Award to Jeanne Gleason, Shirley Hoyne ...

Garden Notes: Hydrangeas need attention, but offer abundant beauty

Just up the street is an exquisite blue hydrangea bush. It is September Sky blue, and its color intensifies as the blossoms mature.I saw a man puttering around it one day, so I stopped to compliment him on his treasure. He did one of those half-laugh, half-snort things and said, "Oh, this is ...

A night of doo-wop: Three legendary groups play the Mishler on April 17

Veta Gardner, manager of the Coasters, said the group is looking forward to making a return to the region as part of its 60thanniversary.The band performed locally about seven or eight years ago, Gardner said, when her husband and founding member, Carl Gardner Sr., was still leading the ...

New diagnosis brings new challenges

It was an ordinary December morning last year. A dull gray shadow filled my bedroom on the first floor of the Kelly household. The sky outside my window was so white and bright that it could burn your eyes.I kept my covers close to my body as I laid in bed. The burst of crisp air that drifted ...

Going green

When I think of spring menus, I instantly think of asparagus and the fresh ham that my grandmother made every Easter. The pork was studded with cloves and slathered with brown sugar and mustard before roasting. And it made the entire house smell amazing.But these days, I tend to do most of my ...

‘Butter lambs’ an Easter tradition

CHICAGO - Baked ham and brightly colored eggs are standard Easter fare for many families. But for some, it's the butter that takes center stage. That is, butter shaped like a lamb.Popular in pockets throughout the country, butter lambs - usually about the size of a stick of butter - are an ...

Complete your Easter table by cooking cloverleaf rolls

If there is one thing that defines my childhood memories of the big Easter spread at my Maw Maw's house, it's her cloverleaf yeast rolls. I remember the fun of making them with her and the pure delight of eating them. It wasn't just the yummy, yeasty taste I adored; the three-part roll was the ...

Alcohol brands to add nutrition labels

NEW YORK- Want to know how many calories are in your shot of Johnnie Walker or your pint of Guinness? You're about to find out.Diageo, the global alcohol giant behind those brands, along with Smirnoff, Bailey's, Bushmills and others, says it will put alcohol-content and nutrition information on ...

Try tilapia for a healthy Passover dish

When I was growing up, my family celebrated both Jewish and Christian holidays. And one of my favorites was Passover.Perhaps it was the Hebrew singing that made it special for me. Or maybe it was the rich meaning behind the foods that were served. One food I remember more than any other - the ...

It’s hard, but try ignoring gossip

Dear Straight Talk: My twin sister and I play basketball. Two teammates are openly gay and rumor has it the whole team is gay and we have sex with each other. We have no problem with our gay teammates in the locker room and have never sensed any interest in our bodies. That said, we are not ...

‘Bloodborne’ a punishing trek in haunted city

There's something masochistic about video gamers. Even if you're playing an innocuous-looking game like "Pac-Man," you will be killed dozens of times before you get any good."Bloodborne" (Sony, for the PlayStation 4, $59.99) doesn't waste any time getting to the hard stuff.Almost immediately ...

Sony streaming service modernizes TV, not your bill

Sony's new PlayStation Vue television service probably won't save you money over cable. Starting at $50 a month, Vue offers more than 50 over-the-air and cable channels for online streaming.But you need a PlayStation game console and you still need Internet access - likely from the same cable ...

George R. R. Martin says he won’t let HBO show rush his writing

SAN FRANCISCO - George R.R. Martin has been feeling the heat to finish "The Winds of Winter," the long-awaited sixth novel in his best-selling series, "A Song of Ice and Fire," but he is not letting the pressure rush his writing."There is more pressure every year," Martin said in San Francisco ...