Do you have a pond? Do you love it? Or would you like to have one? Why or why not?
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Simple pleasures of summer
The summer issue of "Reminisce" magazine has a simple way to play with flowers. One reader recalls that she used to love putting purple morning glory blooms in a jar of water and shaking it until she had pretty purple dye. Then she'd use an old toothbrush to "paint" it on sticks, small blocks of wood, rocks. "It didn't matter that rain would wash it all away. The fun of painting was all that mattered."
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And another lady writes in about turning hollyhock flowers upside-down to create "dolls" in colorful ballroom dresses.
Q. We have drapes over sheers in our dining room. The drapes are closed in the evening and open during the day. I want a graceful way to hold them open. How long should a corded tieback be?
A. Take some string and hold back the drapes with it until you arrive at the right look. Then measure the string, and that's how long the tiebacks should be.
Farmers market tips
Pro marketer Lorin Adolph, a private chef and a regular at farmers markets in Chicago, Southern California and the south of France, offered tips for making the most of the farmers market experience.
* Go early. You get the best parking spot and selection.
* Bring lots of small bills.
* Develop relationships with the vendors.
* Scope out all the offerings before buying anything. You might find better tomatoes two tables down.
* Go with an open mind and "let your imagination and your stomach guide you."