I’ve grown and loved prairie plants in my garden for many years. But it wasn’t until I started spending time poking around in native prairies untouched by the plow that I began to really appreciate the impressive resilience of these plants.

When it comes to kitchens, we’re all suckers for glamour and gleam. And the bevy of home-related TV programming generously feeds our attraction. But before you set your sights on a European oven or ceiling-high cabinetry, consider first: What really goes on in your kitchen?

During the college years, parents and students are often focused on preparing and working for a future career. But what is sometimes forgetten is taking a look at their financial future and protecting it long before a college student graduates and lands a job.

Consider how bountiful Mother Nature is in the agua department. Per the U.S. Geological Survey, if your property spans a half-acre lot and it gets pelted by a storm that drops one inch of rain, your yard is the recipient of over 13,500 gallons of water; if there was a way to collect it all, you could use it to take a bath every day for nearly a year.

The competitive urge doesn’t just compel athletes and rival companies to try harder. New research suggests that, when it comes to home improvement, homeowners are driven by the need to compete with the folks next door.

The foyer is a visitor’s first clue that this isn’t an average townhome renovation. The wallpaper, for starters, features an elegant Art Nouveau-meets-psychedelia print, hand-screened on silver mylar. The pattern in the wallcovering dances off the panels of a multifaceted mirror crowning an original console from the “House of Tomorrow,” a sensation at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. In a corner, a colorful tower by Omaha artist Justin Beller provides a playful twist.

The nation's capital is a feast for the tourist, and the best way to gorge on more of what it has to offer without wearing yourself out is to travel by bicycle. Rental bicycle, that is.

The question came up at my brother’s house at Christmas: Where shall we go for our fifth Christen family vacation? My nephew, Hans, 25, suggested an Alaskan cruise. Miraculously, we found a week in July that worked for all nine of us.

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