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The sound of music (therapy)

If you’ve ever wondered whether music could help protect your health, consider the life of Maria von Trapp – “Louisa” in “The Sound of Music.” The last of the singing von Trapp children, she passed away this year at 99, more than three-quarters of a century after fleeing Nazi-occupied Austria.

It is time to prepare garden for planting

You have to love it when you go to a gardener’s house and a plant stand is blocking your entry inside the front door.

Country music’s George Strait brings the hits to sold-out Wichita crowd

Wichita will show up for country music legend George Strait anytime he wants to come to town.

Community gardens sprout in Sedgwick County

All indicators are pointing to a continued increase in people growing their own food, in Wichita and across the country.

Tree Festival set for Saturday at Extension Center

The annual Tree Festival is Saturday, April 5, at the Extension Center, 21st and Ridge Road. It coincides with the opening of the Kansas Grown Farmers Market, in the parking lot of the Extension Center.

Event to aid Cowley County Humane Society

Cowley County Humane Society will host its 10th annual “Wizard of Pawz” tasting and auction benefit on April 12.

Mom was right: Eat lots of veggies

People who eat seven or more portions of fresh fruits and vegetables each day may reduce their risk of dying from a variety of diseases by as much as 42 percent over people who consume less than one portion, according to a new study by British researchers who tracked the eating habits of more than 65,000 people for 12 years.

Calmer, potty-trained old dogs find new homes

Erin O’Sullivan wants to change lives by finding new homes for old dogs.

The Grapevine (April 5, 2014)

The arborists say not to put nails in your trees, so The Eagle isn’t advocating it. But if you have a cool treehouse, let us know, and we may feature you in a story in a Perfect Summer edition coming out in May. E-mail acalovich@wichitaeagle.com, put treehouse in the subject line, and include a brief description along with your daytime telephone number.

Gardener’s almanac (April 5, 2014)

Fertilizing vegetables — Once vegetable plants are established, sidedressing is the term used for fertilizing them. “A fertilizer containing primarily nitrogen is used to keep plants growing and productive,” Ward Upham of K-State says. “Nitrate of soda (16-0-0) is often used at the rate of 2 pounds fertilizer per 100 feet of row. More commonly available lawn fertilizers such as a 30-3-3, 29-5-4 or something similar can also be used, but cut the rate in half. Be sure any lawn fertilizer used does not contain weed preventers or weed killers. Note that most fertilizers weigh about 1 pound per pint of product.”

When to plant vegetables, fruits and flowers

Here is a timetable for planting a succession of vegetables and fruits this spring.

Review: Firebirds Wood Fired Grill a nice east-side addition

Wichita could use fewer – not more – chain restaurants serving steaks, seafood, salads, burgers and sandwiches. The city has so many, and more open every day, sometimes on the very same lot. (Kellogg and Rock’s trio of LongHorn Steakhouse, Logan’s Roadhouse and BJ’s Brewhouse comes to mind.)

‘Gridiron’ annual spoof to open Thursday at Orpheum

Late-breaking Gridiron news: There may or may not be a musical number about a city whose name must not be mentioned when journalists take the stage to poke fun at newsmakers next week.

Orpheum gives ‘Wichita’ film its premiere

Wichita has been the setting for many Westerns, but none like Nicholas Barton’s “Wichita.”

No holds barred: Comic Ron White speaks his mind

Ron White doesn’t mince words on stage or during interviews. He has no problem naming comics who fail to amuse him: Dane Cook, Lisa Lampanelli and Dennis Miller are some of the popular stand-ups White rejects.

David Letterman to retire in 2015

“Late Show” host David Letterman told his audience during a taping scheduled to air tonight that he will retire in 2015, according to reports. REM’s Mike Mills, slated to perform during Thursday’s show, broke the news on Twitter, tweeting: “Dave just announced his retirement #2015 #muchlovedave”

Of Montreal stretches the boundaries

You never know what Kevin Barnes is going to do.

Upcoming concerts (March 21, 2014)

Gridiron 2014, Thursday through April 12, Orpheum ($22-$32, selectaseat.com)

George Strait to perform sold-out show at Intrust Bank Arena

George Strait’s Friday night concert at Intrust Bank Arena will mark his third stop in Wichita since 2010 – and it could be his last. The 61-year-old singer, known for hits such as “Amarillo By Morning” and “All My Ex’s Live in Texas,” has said his “The Cowboy Rides Away” tour will mark the last time he tours extensively. Tickets to the show sold out in 12 minutes when they went on sale in October. Singers Merle Haggard and Lee Ann Womack also are on the bill. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.intrustbankarena.com.

Three food trucks about to roll out

Park-n-Pork: The barbecue truck formerly known as BJs Smokeshack has a new name: Park-n-Pork. Owners Jennifer and Brad Vieux have been working on getting the truck up and going for almost a year and decided a few months ago to change the name. They’ve custom ordered a 28-foot truck from Ohio, which should in Wichita soon. The couple plans to have it operating by the end of the month and even have committed to serving at The Red Barn Outdoor Market in Benton on April 26. The truck will serve smoked items such as pulled pork, brisket, ham, ribs, chicken and specialty sandwiches plus homemade sides. It’ll be open for lunch and sometimes dinner and breakfast and also will do special events. Follow the progress at www.facebook.com/parknpork

Review: It’s all about the sandwiches at Merle’s Place

The first thing you need to know about Merle’s Place is that there’s nothing corporate about it. Nothing corporate about the no-nonsense waitress who knows the menu backwards and forwards and is working the whole place by herself on a busy poker night. Nothing corporate about the well-worn but clean dive bar atmosphere with deep booths, dark wood tables and an old jukebox. And finally, there is nothing corporate about the food.

Do you have a cool treehouse? Let us know

The arborists say not to put nails in your trees, so we’re not advocating it. But if you have a cool treehouse, let us know, and we may feature you in a story in our Perfect Summer edition coming out in May. E-mail acalovich@wichitaeagle.com, put treehouse in the subject line, and include a brief description along with your daytime telephone number.

Gig Guide (April 4, 2014)

Gig Guide

‘Game of Thrones’ pits readers against viewers

With the highly anticipated fourth season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” beginning Sunday night, the power dynamics have once again started to shift. Make no mistake, my ladies and lords, war is coming to Westeros.

For the right book, skipping school is not a failing grade

I heard recently about a parent who let her fourth-grader stay home from school one day because the girl was reading an amazing book – “Wonder,” by R.J. Palacio – and didn’t want to put it down.

WSU Opera to perform ‘Die Fledermaus’

Wichita State University’s Opera Theatre will perform “Die Fledermaus,” an opera by Johann Strauss II, this weekend. The opera is performed in German with English subtitles and English dialogue. It opens Thursday at Miller Concert Hall in the Duerksen Fine Arts Center on the WSU campus. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday; April 11; and April 12; and at 2 p.m. April 13. Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for seniors and members of the military, $6 for students, and free for WSU students with ID. They’re available at www.wichita.edu/fineartsboxoffice or by calling 316-978-3233.

Millennials moving home can be a good thing

A Pew Research Center report last year that found 36 percent of adults ages 18 to 31 live in their parents’ homes – the highest share in at least four decades. The report prompted a slew of sound-the-alarm articles. But a closer look at the 2012 Census Bureau data analyzed by Pew – and equally important, the factors driving those numbers – indicates the trend actually may be cause for celebration.

Screening and treatment can decrease severity of osteoporosis

Most people have heard the word osteoporosis and are aware that women are more prone to getting it, particularly as they age. What they might not know is what a diagnosis of osteoporosis really means – how to manage it or possibly even how to prevent its onset altogether.

Sleeping pills may not really be helping, experts say

Insomnia. “It’s a lifestyle thing; everybody’s got it,” says Gregg Jacobs, an insomnia specialist at the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. More than half of American adults report that they suffer from insomnia symptoms – trouble falling asleep or waking up during the night – a few times a week, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Effects of fibroids can be ‘stunning’

By age 50, about seven out of 10 white women and more than eight out of 10 black women in the United States have a condition about which they may not even be aware: fibroids, or noncancerous tumors in the muscles of the uterus.

Up and at ‘em: Follow Michelle Obama’s advice and get moving all day long

The first lady of the United States has a message for you: Get moving!

New wrinkles in use of Botox

When most people hear the term“Botox,” the first thing that usually comes to mind is wrinkle reduction.

Saving carrots from their usual sugary Easter fate

Though carrots often make it into the Easter feast lineup, I’ve never understood why. Maybe it’s a nod to the Easter bunny.

Considering divorce? There’s an app for that

Things you can do with a smartphone app: Play “Candy Crush.” Browse Facebook. Get counsel on your divorce.

Social painting grows popular at bars, art studios

The Fox and Hound pub in downtown Philadelphia boasts all the fixings of a standard sports bar: huge TVs, numerous beers on draft and a menu filled with burgers, wings and nachos.

Study: Married people have fewer heart problems

Love can sometimes break a heart but marriage seems to do it a lot of good. A study of more than 3.5 million Americans finds that married people are less likely than singles, divorced or widowed folks to suffer any type of heart or blood vessel problem.

Gwyneth Paltrow's 'conscious uncoupling' confounds many

Like any world unto itself, Hollywood has its own lexicon. But Gwyneth Paltrow’s use of the term “conscious uncoupling” to describe her breakup with Chris Martin last week had even Hollywood veterans scratching their heads and reaching – metaphorically at least – for a dictionary.

Relax, Rachel Zoe is not judging your outfit

If you happen to spot celebrity stylist and designer Rachel Zoe out and about, do not worry. She’s not judging you.

Time to say goodbye to ‘How I Met Your Mother’

While shooting the pilot for “How I Met Your Mother” back in 2005, Alyson Hannigan genuinely thought the show was destined to fail – not because everything was going wrong, but because everything was working out just right.

‘Pearls Before Swine’ creator Stephan Pastis to appear in Wichita

The world of Rat, Pig and Timmy Failure is on tour.

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