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How to grow food in a desert climate

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Under the right conditions, fruits and vegetables can thrive in the desert. Here are a few things to consider if you want your vegetable garden to flourish in a hot, arid environment.

Soil
Test the soil for nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Although it depends on what you’re growing, vegetables generally require a significant amount of each nutrient. You may also need to adjust the pH level since arid soil tends to be very alkaline.

Sunlight
Most vegetables need six to eight hours of sunlight a day to thrive. However, many desert climates get more, especially during the summer. To avoid scorching the leaves of your plants, make sure to provide your garden with plenty of shade.

Irrigation
In a desert climate, plants need to be watered at least twice a day to prevent them from drying out. Alternatively, you can set up an inexpensive drip irrigation system.


If you’re interested in cultivating a garden that requires minimal irrigation, you can still grow food. The prickly pear cactus, for example, is entirely edible. Once the spines are removed, you can cut the pads into strips and add them to a salad or cook them with other vegetables. The plant also produces a red-fleshed fruit that’s considered a delicacy.

What to grow
Here are a few food-producing plants that can thrive in the desert:

• Squash
• String beans
• Hot peppers
• Pomegranates
• Okra
• Melons
• Tomatoes
• Herbs

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Arts and crafts: Beautiful butterflies to brighten up your summer!

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Do you enjoy crafts? Follow these seven steps to make colorful cardboard butterflies.

Supplies
Here’s what you’ll need to make one butterfly:

• Construction paper (including one white sheet and one black sheet)
• Scissors
• An empty toilet paper roll
• A stick of glue
• A black marker
• A pencil

Steps
1. Cut a sheet of construction paper (in a color of your choice) into a strip that’s the same width as the toilet paper roll. Make sure it’s long enough to go all the way around. Glue the paper to the roll so that it’s completely covered.


2. To make the butterfly’s eyes, cut out two small circles from the black paper and two larger circles from the white paper. Glue the black circles in the middle of the white circles, then glue the eyes on the side of the roll near the top.

3. Using a black marker, draw on the butterfly’s mouth and eyebrows.

4. Fold a sheet of paper in half (you can choose a different color than the body). Use a pencil to draw the outline of a butterfly wing. Make sure the wing starts and ends at the fold as if it were the body of the butterfly.

5. Carefully cut along the pencil line, then unfold the paper. You should now have a pair of wings. Glue them on to the back of the butterfly.

6. Cut out circles of construction paper in different sizes and colors. Glue them onto the wings as decoration.

7. Use a pencil to trace two antennae on a sheet of paper. Cut them out and glue them to the front of the toilet paper roll on the inside.

You can display your beautiful butterfly on a shelf or use string to hang it somewhere in your home.

 

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What you need to know about teething kittens

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Kittens normally have a full set of baby teeth by the time they turn six weeks old. If they don’t have them by nine weeks, you should visit a veterinarian. Here’s what to expect from a teething kitten.

How to recognize the signs of teething
Teething can cause gum sensitivity and make chewing more difficult. Some kittens may also develop mild gingivitis. If you notice that your kitten has lost weight or has persistently foul-smelling breath, con¬tact your veterinarian. If your kitten likes to chew on things, make sure to keep electrical wires and poi¬sonous plants out of reach. You should also provide your furry friend with plenty of soft chew toys to help soothe any pain.

What to watch out for
Did you know that cats can have misaligned teeth much like people? If you think that your kitten’s teeth are starting to overlap or emerge at strange angles, visit your veterinarian immediately. In addition, make sure they’re eating enough by feeding them wet food or soaking their kibble in warm water.

For personalized recommendations, contact a trusted veterinarian.


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12 safe and fun outdoor activities for seniors

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Are you looking for safe ways to enjoy yourself this summer? If so, here are some outdoor activities that’ll allow you to make the most of the season.

Birdwatch
Grab your binoculars, and head out to look for birds in the park, a nearby forest or your own backyard.

Have a picnic
Enjoy a simple or elaborate meal in the quiet of your own backyard or at a nearby park or beach.

Go on a nature walk
Take a stroll on a boardwalk or a countryside trail, and recharge your batteries as you breathe in the fresh air.


Golf
Put your swing to the test on the most picturesque courses in your area.

Take pictures
See the world through your camera lens, and capture moments that fill you with wonder.

Do tai chi or yoga
Maximize the benefits of these gentle practices by doing them outdoors.

Visit a U-pick farm
Collect your own berries to make jams and desserts, or sample them right off the bush.

Camp
Break free of your daily routine, and find a serene place to unwind — around a campfire, for example.

Fish
Get away from it all, and focus on living in the present moment as you cast a line.

Cycle
Leave the car at home, and (re)discover your community at your own pace.

Kayak
Paddle your way to a great workout, or simply take in the scenery on calm waters.

Go to a drive-in
Set up the inside of your vehicle so you can watch a movie under the stars in total comfort.

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Become a wizard! Tabletop role-playing game makes fantasy fun

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In the 1980s, folks worried that the fantasy board game Dungeons and Dragons could somehow lock young people into a fantasy world from which they could not escape.

That didn’t happen. But the worriers are now warriors, playing the tabletop game, which involves fantasy, strategy, role-playing — and you don’t need a partner to do it. All you need are some other people who want to be an elf, a wizard, or a knight, or a troll or another fantastical creature.

Each player creates a detailed description of their character and its skills. The Dungeon Master starts the game by telling a story.

As the Dungeon Master tells the story, players can respond to danger or challenges by yelling out their strategy. A Druid character might cast a spell, for example. A troll might use a hammer.


In the meantime, lots of table talk propels the game forward with players rolling dice to see what damage their strategy created — all this directed by the Dungeon Master, so there is no doubt what each player has to do next.

What? You are in a castle with a barred door?

“I smash the door with my magic sword,” says one senior player.

“You could have just tried the handle,” says another.

“Sword, I say,” asserts the player, flailing the imaginary sword around for all to see.

The Dungeon Master tells the player to roll the dice to see what kind of damage is done. A high roll. The door opens, and somewhere inside that castle is a treasure.

Although no one really remembers where the game left off the week before, the Dungeon Master knows and directs the play. Players might even dress up in character to play.

Best yet: No one needs a computer to play (except maybe the Dungeon Master).

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How to correct your dog’s bad behavior

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Does your dog bark too much, jump on your guests or climb all over your furniture? If so, you may be wondering if simply ignoring this type of conduct is the right thing to do. Here’s some advice to help you correct your dog’s bad habits.

Determine the source
The first step in correcting your dog’s unwanted behavior is to determine what’s causing it. For example, teething puppies often try to self-soothe by nipping and biting. In addition, stress, anxiety, and boredom can trigger negative behavioral changes.

If you allow your dog to chew on your shoes or dig holes in the backyard, it may think you approve of this type of conduct. This is why ignoring your dog when it behaves poorly may not be the best solution. Instead, try to divert your dog’s attention by encouraging it to play with its toys.

Target unwanted behavior
If you want to put an end to your pooch’s bad habits, here are some things you can do:


• Implement preventive strategies. If your pup jumps on visitors, install a baby gate near the front door to thwart this behavior. Similarly, keep shoes in a closet so they can’t be chewed on, and use visual blocks if your dog tends to bark at people outside.

• Teach your dog better habits. If your dog is trained to do something in lieu of the unwanted behavior, you’ll have a greater chance of success. For example, you can train your pooch to lie in its bed while you eat instead of begging for scraps at the table.

• Interrupt the bad behavior. Choose a word, and train your dog to stop what it’s doing, and come to you whenever you say it. Give your pup a treat each time Fido obeys to reinforce the habit. Practice this trick in situations where your dog is distracted. Eventually, you can use it to interrupt bad behavior.

If you need help keeping your dog’s behavior in check, reach out to a local dog trainer.

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How to handle problems with a neighbor

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There are plenty of reasons you might have a problem with your neighbor, from frequent noise disturbances and strong odors to an unkempt yard and property line disputes. Before you call the police or make a formal complaint to your landlord, however, consider other ways you can resolve the issue.

The first step is to make sure your grievance is legitimate. For example, you can check municipal bylaws about noise control or find out if smoking is prohibited in your building. For more complex issues, such as the placement of a fence, you may need to consult a professional.

If your neighbor is at fault in some way, politely inform them of the issue. Hopefully, they simply weren’t aware of your frustration and will be willing to adapt their behavior. If the person refuses to cooperate after a verbal warning, however, you may want to send them a registered letter or schedule an appointment with a mediator.

In short, remember that it’s preferable to settle disputes with your neighbors amicably whenever possible.


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Designing Modifications with Minecraft® Manipulate and master Minecraft® by making unique mods (modifications)! Using basic block-based coding, ninjas will learn procedures, conditionals, and variables. They will create 2D and 3D textures for use in their[...]
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Designing Modifications with Min... @ Code Ninjas
Jul 23 @ 9:00 am – Jul 27 @ 12:00 pm
Designing Modifications with Minecraft® @ Code Ninjas
Designing Modifications with Minecraft® Manipulate and master Minecraft® by making unique mods (modifications)! Using basic block-based coding, ninjas will learn procedures, conditionals, and variables. They will create 2D and 3D textures for use in their[...]
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Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
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Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Stop Motion Animation Experiment with video production through a variety of mediums including Claymation, LEGO® Minifigures, pipe cleaner creatures, and much more! Ninjas will capture images frame-by-frame and produce videos in a rapid prototyping style.[...]
1:08 pm Summer At Sacred Heart @ Sacred Heart
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Summer At Sacred Heart @ Sacred Heart
Come check out the biggest camp selection in Winchester! Over 57-week-long camps are offered on a rotating basis, from June 21 through August 13, for kids ages 3-13. Extended care options are available. We offer[...]
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Bethel Assembly of God: Revival @ Bethel Assembly of God
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Bethel Assembly of God: Revival @ Bethel Assembly of God
Join us on Sunday, July 25th at 10:30am, and Monday, July 26th through Wednesday, July 28th, at 6:30pm nightly, for special services. Our speaker for each service will be Johan Bruwer. If you desire personal[...]
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9:00 am Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Jul 27 @ 9:00 am – Jul 31 @ 12:00 pm
Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Stop Motion Animation Experiment with video production through a variety of mediums including Claymation, LEGO® Minifigures, pipe cleaner creatures, and much more! Ninjas will capture images frame-by-frame and produce videos in a rapid prototyping style.[...]
6:30 pm Bethel Assembly of God: Revival @ Bethel Assembly of God
Bethel Assembly of God: Revival @ Bethel Assembly of God
Jul 27 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Bethel Assembly of God: Revival @ Bethel Assembly of God
Join us on Sunday, July 25th at 10:30am, and Monday, July 26th through Wednesday, July 28th, at 6:30pm nightly, for special services. Our speaker for each service will be Johan Bruwer. If you desire personal[...]
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9:00 am Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
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Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Stop Motion Animation Experiment with video production through a variety of mediums including Claymation, LEGO® Minifigures, pipe cleaner creatures, and much more! Ninjas will capture images frame-by-frame and produce videos in a rapid prototyping style.[...]
6:30 pm Bethel Assembly of God: Revival @ Bethel Assembly of God
Bethel Assembly of God: Revival @ Bethel Assembly of God
Jul 28 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Bethel Assembly of God: Revival @ Bethel Assembly of God
Join us on Sunday, July 25th at 10:30am, and Monday, July 26th through Wednesday, July 28th, at 6:30pm nightly, for special services. Our speaker for each service will be Johan Bruwer. If you desire personal[...]
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9:00 am Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Jul 29 @ 9:00 am – Aug 2 @ 12:00 pm
Stop Motion Animation @ Code Ninjas
Stop Motion Animation Experiment with video production through a variety of mediums including Claymation, LEGO® Minifigures, pipe cleaner creatures, and much more! Ninjas will capture images frame-by-frame and produce videos in a rapid prototyping style.[...]