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Joe Gransden/Joe Gransden/TNS

He sold his Trans Am 30 years ago and spent 20 years trying to get it back

Health / Lifestyles /

ATLANTA — When jazz trumpeter, vocalist and bandleader Joe Gransden, 53, finally tracked down the car of his dreams, it was sitting under a tree in Arab, Alabama, providing a home for snakes, mice and mold.

The black beauty that was the joy of his adolescence had been in the weather for 15 years, during which time the T-top had been leaking, ...Read more

Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

'A priceless treasure of railroad archaeology' is up and running

Health / Lifestyles /

ROCKHILL FURNACE, Pa. — When the coal was mostly mined out of the mountains here, and cars and trucks began to haul people and parcels more than trains, the East Broad Top’s steam whistle didn’t echo through the valleys quite as much.

Then, in 1956, the locomotives stopped altogether and were sent to slumber in a padlocked roundhouse. A ...Read more

John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS

The Happiness Club is a chance for young Chicagoans from all neighborhoods to put on a show

Health / Lifestyles /

CHICAGO -- We live in harsh and harmful times. All you need to do is look at the violence over the Fourth of July holiday. But behind the horror, good can emerge, hope survives.

Marc and Maureen Schulman have three daughters, now adults and leading successful and fulfilling lives, but the family will tell you that among the most rewarding and ...Read more

Tyger Williams/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Instead of sports or science, this summer camp teaches kids about Arabic arts and culture

Health / Lifestyles /

PHILADELPHIA -- At the end of June, 7-year-old Jana Matta-al-Sholi learned that there are four different ways to say the word “drum” in Arabic.

She listened to Arabic folktales from the “A Thousand and One Nights” and “Kalilah and Dimna” story collections, practiced self-defense, made new friends, and even got to do some traditional...Read more

Handout/Norman Winter/TNS

On Gardening: New Stokes aster will have you Totally Stoked

Health / Lifestyles /

The Garden Guy used to drive Mississippi’s Highway 49 from Hattiesburg to Gulfport to fall in love with the native Stokes aster. They aren’t just native to Mississippi but found throughout the South. I have loved them at homes I have owned and in places like the Columbus Botanical Garden when I was director. I promise you will be stoked over...Read more

Monkey Business Images/Dreamstime/TNS

Commentary: Let us pause to remember the lemonade stands of our youth on a summer day

Health / Lifestyles /

It was a fine summer day when the past came rushing back, arriving at a street corner in the heart of Chicago's Old Town neighborhood. It came in the form of a lemonade stand and I could not remember how long it had been since I had seen one of these sidewalk businesses.

It had been quite a while, for sure, but seeing smiles crossing the faces ...Read more

Lacheev/Dreamstime/TNS

Ask Anna: Cheating technicalities and when a boyfriend crashes friend time

Health / Lifestyles /

Dear Anna,

I recently discovered that my girlfriend has been using a dating app. Not to make friends. Not even for hookups, but to find a new partner. We're not in an open relationship, and I made it clear from the start that I wouldn't tolerate cheating. When I confronted her, she admitted to having the profile but argued she wasn't cheating ...Read more

California Department of Fish and Wildlife/TNS

This bear may pave the way for new wildlife crossings

Health / Lifestyles /

LOS ANGELES — A bear taking the scenic route around Southern California may help researchers learn how wild animals cross freeways to get from one habitat to the next — and how they might be kept out of your backyard.

Known to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife as Yellow 2291, the adult female black bear wandered into a trap ...Read more

David Tonelson/Dreamstime/TNS

Heidi Stevens: ' It's hard on them, too, you know.' Wisdom and advice for launching your kid after high school

Health / Lifestyles /

When Viki Noe was preparing to send her only child to college, it was dirty clothes that kept her up at night.

“I remember silently panicking more than once,” Noe told me. “Does she really know how to do her laundry?”

Sometimes laundry is a metaphor.

“I spent the summer saving quarters for the laundry in her dorm,” Noe continued, ...Read more

Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance/TNS

Panda pair 'acclimating' to new home at San Diego Zoo

Health / Lifestyles /

SAN DIEGO — Yun Chuan and Xin Bao, the long-awaited giant pandas on loan to the San Diego Zoo from China, are adjusting to their new home after arriving June 27 — but aren’t quite ready to meet zoo visitors yet.

Zoo officials released “first-look photos” of the pair on Tuesday and provided a brief update on how their stay is going at ...Read more

Chinook203/Dreamstime/TNS

Erika Ettin: Shared values vs. shared timing – Which is more important?

Health / Lifestyles /

Question: “Any advice about anxiety around turning 40? I want kids and a partner. I don’t have either right now.”

I get questions like this all the time. And trust me—I get it. It can feel overwhelming when you know you have a certain goal in mind but haven’t had the results you’re looking for yet (and might see all your friends ...Read more

Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Education Couture literacy program brings 'learning into fashion' for underserved children

Health / Lifestyles /

CHICAGO -- When she was a little girl, Ruckiya Ross would read the dictionary for fun. She and her brother would even compete with each other to learn new words. So it’s not surprising to see Ross leading a presentation on phonemic awareness to pre-K children at Chicago's Garfield Park Conservatory.

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, ...Read more

Yulia Gapeenko/Dreamstime/TNS

Debra-Lynn B. Hook: Sleeping with books

Health / Lifestyles /

Some people sleep with pillows and blankets, and, if they’re lucky, a cuddle bunny of a sort.

I sleep with books.

Not a book, singular, but multiple books of multiple genres, heaped in a long pile between me and the other side of the bed.

I find this to be easier than trying to keep books strategically stacked on a bedside table, which is ...Read more

Ana Mihaela Andrei Negru/Dreamstime/TNS

Lori Borgman: Rising to the sourdough challenge

Health / Lifestyles /

I made my first loaf of sourdough last week. It took less time to give birth to our first child than it took to make one loaf of bread.

Why did I make sourdough? Because I'm weak. I succumbed to peer pressure. We have granddaughters making sourdough. They nudged and prodded and threw flour in the air until I agreed to give it a try.

The first ...Read more

Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS

12 hours overnight at one of Chicago's last 24/7 diners

Health / Lifestyles /

CHICAGO -- Danny Gustafson sits quietly at the counter, sipping a milky coffee. He stares at the wall and twiddles an unlit cigarette in his fingers. It’s 3:58 a.m.

His mind wanders. He remembers his late father, who brought him to Chicago in 1965. He thinks about his work as a repairman, monotonous at times, but grounding. Then, he thinks ...Read more

Lasse Kristensen/Dreamstime/TNS

Ex-etiquette: Son has moved on, but mom hasn't

Health / Lifestyles /

Q. My 21-year-old son who lives with me recently broke up with his girlfriend of two years. This was not a mutual split. He has found another, moved on and his past girlfriend is very hurt. I understand his decision, but I dearly miss his former girlfriend. She was part of our family for two years and I feel like I've lost a child. I would like ...Read more

Michael Zhang/Dreamstime/TNS

The Kid Whisperer: How to deal with a student who constantly blurts out

Health / Lifestyles /

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have a child in my third-grade classroom who makes sounds with his mouth off and on all day. It’s driving me crazy and it’s driving the students around him crazy. He did this all last year, as well. He has been evaluated and they say there is nothing causing this besides the fact that he likes doing it. OK, he likes ...Read more

Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Move over, pickleball: In this wealthy LA neighborhood, another game reigns supreme

Health / Lifestyles /

LOS ANGELES -- Jimmy Dunne hopped off his electric bike, hung his helmet on the handlebars and hurried over to the three bocce courts at Veterans Gardens just in time to offer his usual Tip of the Day.

"Think strategically," the commissioner of the Palisades Bocce Club told the 50 amateur players who had gathered at the park on this chilly gray...Read more

Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

He's 11 and makes $100,000 a year riding his bike in the suburbs. Police are not pleased

Health / Lifestyles /

PHILADELPHIA -- As soon as sixth grade is out, Alex Santacroce drops his black Air Jordan backpack in the house, grabs a banana (good for hand cramps) from the kitchen, and mounts his custom-built SE Savage Flyer bike. He can appear almost solemn as he coasts down the driveway, front wheel aloft, gently shifting his body to keep the handlebars ...Read more

Carl Juste/Miami Herald/TNS

For pastor at this church, fighting for social justice is 'living the Gospel'

Health / Lifestyles /

Rev. Laurinda Hafner is known in the Miami religious community for many things: her interfaith work, creative sermons that sometimes feature untraditional aspects like music from Jimmy Buffett, and her annual trip up into the church tower, where she camps out until at least five tons of food is collected to help combat food insecurity in Miami-...Read more