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March, 2012 |

Archive for » March, 2012 «

Floral design workshop

Learn to arrange flowers like a pro. As a benefit for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts’ “Art in Bloom” event, Bachman’s is offering a workshop on floral and garden designs inspired by this year’s featured painting, “The Butterfly Chasers” by Theodore Wendel.

Participants will learn tips for planting flowers to attract butterflies, led by Bachman’s horticulturist and master gardener Ann Marie Lopiccolo-Carlsen. Then they’ll learn how to create a fresh spring floral arrangement in an informal “just picked from the garden” style, led by award-winning Bachman’s designer Diane Enge.

The workshop will be held 6-8 p.m. April 11, in the Heritage Room at Bachman’s on Lyndale, 6010 Lyndale Av. S., Minneapolis. The cost is $40 with 20 percent going to Art in Bloom. To register, visit

Kitchen design seminar

Want to avoid kitchen design bloopers? Crystal Kitchen Center is offering a free seminar, “Top 10 Common Kitchen Design Mistakes.” It will address guidelines from the National and Bath Association, as well as electrical and ventilation code issues, the latest cabinet accessories and appliances, universal design, green design, cabinet quality and warranties.

The seminar will be held 9-10:30 a.m. April 14 at Crystal Kitchen Center, 3620 Winnetka Av. N., Crystal. Space is limited, so please RSVP by calling 763-544-5950.

Antique critique

Have you ever wondered why one antique shop item costs $80 while a similar one costs $800? Eastwood Gallery, which specializes in new and vintage items for the bungalow owner and Arts Crafts collector, will help you become a savvy buyer.

Owners Cameron Quintal and Brian Smith will use antiques from their shop to explain how quality, rarity and provenance help determine what number ends up on the price tag. The class will be held 7-9 p.m. April 12 at Eastwood Gallery, 404 S. Snelling Av., St. Paul.

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The Way I See It

Posted 5 hours ago

Culinary artists require high quality cookware

It’s all very well to have kitchen appliances that cook and refrigerate your food and a machine to wash the dishes, but before you get to that stage, you need cookware to house the food during the preparation process. You know, stuff like pots and pans, hand tools to rescue your food if it’s been sitting in the pot too long and strainers and drainers to keep the food from becoming a universal stew as a result of melding too many liquids together.

Now pots and pans come in different sizes, shapes, colours, (not all that important), makeup and of course, prices. You can go with an old tin type, à la pioneer style, that conducts thermal temperatures like hell’s inferno. There’s no heat storage – you could put a candle under it and it would burn your meal at the spot where the flame touches the pot. The rest of the food would be as cold and raw as arctic road kill. In order to get evenly cooked food in this type of cookware, you’d have to put it into a pottery kiln to get the evenly dispersed temperatures required for the cooking process. You can go with stainless steel pots and that choice brings with it a list of options as well – things like double layered bottoms, heavy duty construction, oven safe and heat resistant handles so you don’t need to visit a Shriner’s hospital to heal third degree burns after you pick up the pot. You can go with heavy duty uncoated cast iron that evenly distributes heat across the entire interior and exterior surfaces such as pot, pot handles and lid. It also has the extra advantage of rusting if you don’t use it for extended periods of time and if it’s stored in a damp cupboard. This is a great way to increase your iron intake for your diet should that be required.

Then for a lot of chefs and would-be chefs, there’s the epitome of cookware and that’s cast iron with an enamel coating. It cooks the food evenly no matter where you put it in the oven, It’ll last your lifetime and that of your grandchildren and provide weight lifting benefits to help sculpt your torso and upper arms just from having to manhandle it. It will encourage you to wear a hernia truss when you move a thirty-five pound pot holding a fifteen pound turkey at arms length so you can slide it into an oven.

Now, I mentioned prices. To get the top of the line cookware with all required sizes of roasters, Dutch ovens, oval French ovens, sauce pans, frying pans of different sizes, crepe pans, woks and flat top for grilling would cost roughly the same as a new stove, fridge and dishwasher, (providing you’re not too demanding with your fridge options). You might not need it, but if you want it, that’s what it’s going to cost you.

The way I see it, if you build your house around your kitchen, then top of the line cookware is what’s required. If your kitchen is just a stopover between the back door and rec room, you don’t have to be quite so exacting with what you cook your food in. If the pots don’t leak, serve as a percussion set for a two year old drummer and provide some semblance of prepared food, then cheap is the way to go. It’s whatever turns your crank.


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Paws and effect: Taking pets to work can reduce stress levels

LOS ANGELES — If your office seems like it’s going to the dogs, try bringing your dogs to the office.

Researchers reported Friday that bringing Rover to work seems to reduce stress on the job.

“Pet presence potentially can be a low-cost wellness intervention,” said Randolph Barker, a professor of management at Virginia Commonwealth University’s business school in Richmond, Va., who led the study in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management.

Barker and his team conducted their study at Replacements Ltd., which sells china, stoneware, crystal and other dinnerware. The company’s 550 or so employees bring about 20 to 30 dogs with them to the Greensboro, N.C., office each day.

Replacements has allowed pets in the office for more than 15 years. Pooches lie quietly at their owners’ feet — in the call center, at reception, in the corporate offices and even in a repair area where workers handle fragile crystal and china. Even the company’s chief executive has been known to bring his miniature dachshunds to work.

The VCU researchers divided 76 employees into three groups: those who brought their dogs to work, those who owned dogs but left them home and those who didn’t have pets. For one week, the scientists measured levels of the stress hormone cortisol in samples of the workers’ saliva and used surveys to gauge their stress levels four times during a workday.

There was no significant difference in cortisol levels among the study participants. But by the end of the day, the average stress level scores fell about 11 percent among people who had brought their dogs to work, while they rose as much as 70 percent for members of the other groups.

The researchers also observed “unique dog-related communication” in the workplace, Barker said. During the day, people who hadn’t brought pets walked over to colleagues who had and asked whether they could take the four-legged visitors for walks.

“People who typically are not as verbal were more engaged,” he said.

Barker’s wife, Sandra, a researcher in VCU’s psychiatry department who also directs the university’s Center for Human-Animal Interaction, was a coauthor on the study.

Meredith Wells-Lepley, a research associate at the Institute for Workplace Innovation at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, said the new study helps quantify the stress-reducing value of bringing pets to the office.

Her own work showed that cats also had a stress-relieving effect — and that, for the most part, people responded positively to all breeds of either animal.

“Short-haired black cats were the exception,” she said.

Barker emphasized that the findings were only preliminary and that he’d like to start a larger study that might examine pets’ influence on worker productivity.

He also hopes to investigate whether spending time in the office affects stress levels in dogs.


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Garage Sale Season Is In Full Swing

Threats of rain are not stopping many sellers from hosting garage sales this weekend. Spring is in full bloom and people are cleaning and cleaning out. This makes a great time for buyers. Bring small bills for negotiating costs of items and have fun. You never know what treasures you will find.

Around Cumming:

Forest Brooke Subdivision, Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Many items will be priced under $1. Many homes will be having sales. 

4020 Preserve Crossing Lane, Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. This huge sale will offer baby items, furniture and more. 

3225 Amberwood Lane, Saturday. The multi-family sale will offer home decor, furniture, electronics and a bicycle.

7840 Trailside Way, Saturday. Gaming items, electronics, furniture and kitchen items will be available.

3630 Sweetwater Drive, Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is a huge moving sale and everything must be sold. 

Mashburn Landing Subdivision, Saturday, 8 a.m. This is a huge moving sale that will include a Jet Ski, antiques and furniture. 

6015 Boulder Bluff Drive, Saturday, 8 a.m. The sale will offer clothing, accessories, home decor and more.  

7870 Silversmith Drive, Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Many plants and trees will be for sale. 

3225 Amberwood Lane, Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Pool items, collectibles and home decor are among the items available. 

5760 Weddington Drive, Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The sale will have lots of baby items and clothing as well as home decor and other items. 

4270 Harvest Turn Lane, Saturday at 8 a.m. This is a huge multi family sale. 

7040 Alan Thomas Road, Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is a huge downsizing sale with a wide variety of items available. 

Lanier Beach South Road, Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. This sale will have outdoor items, furniture and household goods. 

5480 Landseer Way, Saturday, 8 a.m. Home made sweets and lemonade will be available as well as furniture, household goods and so much more. 

River of Life Church, Saturday, 9 a.m. This is a large church yard sale. Magnolia Park Circle, Friday, 9:30 a.m. to noon. This is a multi-family sale. 

7345 Morning Dew Drive, Saturday. This is a very large three family sale.

2970 Imperial Drive, Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. This sale will offer local celebrity designer items, furniture, clothing and more. 

3350 Siskin Trace, Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The sale will offer designer label furniture among other items. 

2320 Vistoria Drive, Saturday. Fish, reptile items, furniture and more will be for sale. 

Around Alpharetta:

10630 Haynes Forest Drive, Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Furniture, housewares and home decor will be at this multi-family sale. 

552 Plymouth Lane, Saturday. Shabby Chic, furniture, electronics and more will be for sale. 

2215 Bent Creek Manor, Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Furniture, electronics and household goods will be for sale.

Around Milton:

365 Sable Court, Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The sale will offer furniture, home decor, tools and more. 

12550 Crabapple Chase Drive, Saturday and Sunday, 8:30 a.m. Furniture, home decor, items for kids and home school items will be for sale.

610 Oakstone Glen, Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is a huge estate sale.

Around Johns Creek:

685 Oakmont Hill, Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon. This multi-family sale will offer kids items, furniture, and home decor. 

9110 Medlock Bridge Road, Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The multi-family sale will have sports memorabilia, home decor and so much more.

325 Chichester Court, Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is a large garage sale. 

8840 Niblick Drive, Saturday, 9 a.m. The sale will have furniture, accessories, electronics and clothing. 

Hartridge Subdivision, Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Science items, kids items, and home items will be for sale. 

Around Roswell:

645 Sailwind Drive, Saturday. This is a huge sale with a great variety of items. 

100 Chickering Lake Drive, Saturday. Featured items available include Christmas decor, baby items and household goods. 

325 Saddle Hill Court, Saturday, 9 a.m. Collectibles, pool items, furniture and home items will be for sale. 

800 Saddle Ridge Trace, Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is a large sale. 

575 Rose Border Drive, Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. A dirt bike, collectibles, and home decor will be at this sale. 

6125 Pattingham Drive, Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon. This sale will occur rain or shine. 

Willow Tree Subdivision, Saturday. At least 10 homes will be participating in the sale. 

855 Lake Overlook, Saturday at 8 a.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m. This is a huge moving sale. 

1260 Thomas Circle, Saturday, 8 a.m. The sale will offer kids items, home decor, electronics, outdoor items and more.

125 Lynwood Drive, Saturday at 10 a.m. Furniture, electronics, clothing and home decor are among the items that will be available. 

445 Renee Circle. This is a huge designer estate sale with many well-known brands. 

2027 Raleigh Tavern Drive, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The sale will have furniture, china and collectibles.

If you have an upcoming garage sale make sure to post it for free on our ‘Events Calendar’ like so many others are doing.

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25 ways to give your decor a new life this spring

Check into this New York hotel to check out great decor

Saturday, Mar. 31, 2012 12:01AM EDT

The Standard Hotel, atop New York’s High Line, offers a host of innovative decorating tips, from maximizing views to minding your pennies. While the design style would generally be described as minimalist and modern, there’s nothing stark or cold about the place. It’s full of character (and characters) and each space offers a different experience (and a few inspiring ideas to add to your design files)

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SAN BERNARDINO: Indians and settlers battled in desert – Press

Good Indians were peaceful Indians, according to stories that appeared in the early newspaper accounts of the conflict between native tribes and the early European settlers of San Bernardino County.

Peaceful, in news accounts from the time, often meant dead.

In the first decades of San Bernardino County, relations between the settlers and the native tribes living in the San Bernardino Valley and the San Gorgonio Pass areas were relatively peaceful.

Out on the desert and the north slopes of the San Bernardino Mountains, it was a different story.

The Mojave and Piute Indians had a much harder life than their valley-dwelling brethren. They were used to fighting. And they were far less welcoming toward the white people invading their land from the east. Warriors from the tribes regularly looted or burned cabins, stole livestock and battled with the immigrants.

The news accounts of the time and the actions of the newly arrived were often unforgiving.

The locally famous battle at Chimney Rock near Rabbit Springs in Lucerne Valley is frequently referred to as the last great battle between the native tribes and the settlers. The event certainly had great drama.

It started in mid-January 1867 when a group of Indians burned Frank Talmadge’s sawmill in Blue Jay. They also destroyed a nearby cabin and injured two loggers. Bill Kane took an arrow in the leg. John Welty was shot through the shoulder. Several Indians were killed; their fellow tribesmen dragged the bodies off with them as they retreated.

What followed was a 32-day ordeal of tracking the Piutes through the mountains into Big Bear and down into the desert.

When they finally caught up with the Indians, the group of 19 settlers found themselves facing a well-armed and well-protected army of about 100 Piutes. Not only that, but the Indians had built stone battlements at the base of Chimney Rock. A three-day battle ensued.

Two settlers were injured, one by an arrow, one by a rifle ball. Four Piutes were captured, but later escaped, and four were killed.

Just a month after this last great battle, another skirmish took place not far to the east, near Cushenbury Springs. Jon Searles, who would later make his fortune mining borax at Searles Lake near Trona, found fresh tracks near his mining operation. He believed Indians were in the area and solicited the help of some other miners in tracking them down.

They came upon a campsite and found seven Indians asleep. One of the Indians was killed in an initial volley of shots. The miners then picked off the rest of their enemies as they emerged from the camp.

The news account of the attack goes on to list an inventory of items, from rifles to skillets, recovered from that camp. Some were believed to have been taken from earlier raids on settlers.

“One of the rifles had a watch-wheel set into the butt, supposed to belong to the watch of Mr. Parrish, killed by the Indians last summer,” the report said. “The trophies can be seen at Rowe’s saloon.”

Those “trophies” appear to have been limited to such implements. But it was not unheard of for scalps to be shown as well. In a brief story printed in March, just two weeks before the Searles story, the paper noted that members of Eugenio’s Tribe, a large group of San Gorgonio Pass Cahuilla, had come into town — “making a motley display of cavalry” — and shown off the scalps of two Piutes the tribe had hanged for rustling.

The scalps, the story says, were “exhibited Sunday last, and finally deposited at the courthouse.”

One can only wonder what became of them.

Reach Mark Muckenfuss at 951-368-9595 or

Mark Muckenfuss

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April “Tax Refund” Promotion for Backsplash Project Kits

Fasade Waves backsplash in Brushed Nickel

Our April promotion gives customers an easy and affordable update to their kitchen with plenty of money left over for a vacation, says Wayne Parmley, company creative director.

Neenah, WI (PRWEB) March 31, 2012 is offering the Fasade Waves in Brushed Nickel backsplash tile project kit for $119, as part of its April “Tax Refund” promotion. The 20% discounted price is good through April 30, 2012.

With the annual tax filing deadline occurring on April 17 this year, many Americans are thinking about what they’ll do with their tax refunds. The April promotion from allows them to make the most of their refund so that they don’t have to choose between a luxurious vacation or a kitchen makeover. The promotion suggests to consumers, “Why not do both?”

The Waves backsplash features undulating patterns that convey movement and rhythm in a sleek, contemporary design, while the Brushed Nickel finish is the perfect complement to the its dynamic look.

The backsplash tile project kit contains everything needed for a typical 18 square foot installation including:

  •     Six – 18” x 24” backsplash panels (18 square feet)
  •     Four matching 4’ edge trims
  •     Two matching 18″ inside corner trims
  •     Two rolls double-sided installation tape (40 feet each)
  •     One pack matching outlet cover laminates (enough to cover 6 outlet covers or plates)

“Our April promotion gives customers an easy and affordable update to their kitchen with plenty of money left over for a vacation,” says Wayne Parmley, company creative director. “The Waves pattern evokes the feel of a beach getaway, something you can appreciate for years to come long after your trip is over.”

The April special is the third in a series of monthly promotions from a campaign that launched in February. The monthly promotions will correlate with the calendar and change on the first of each month, and an aggressive pricing strategy will accompany the online specials.

Fasade decorative Kitchen Backsplash Panels are constructed from thermoplastic and are durable, corrosion-resistant and easy to cut. They will not rust or stain, and are impact, mildew, mold and water-resistant. These backsplashes present an affordable, do-it-yourself, weekend project that will refresh your kitchen or bath stylishly and affordably. offers free shipping and returns every day and takes all major credit cards, Google checkout and PayPal. is an exclusive online retailer of ACP products. ACP’s products blend ingenuity with style — giving customers finished projects that feature easy installation, quality, affordability and timeless appeal.

Company contact information: ACP – 555 Bell Street, Neenah, WI 54956. 800-434-3750.


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