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Curling’s Strange Allure

Curling

Curlers talk about “delivering” the stone across the 45 meters of pebbled ice to the target area. The thrust comes from the legs, as the curler pushes off from the hack, or foothold, and glides forward like a fencer lunging at his opponent. The hand that guides the 44-lb rock grasps it lightly, “like holding a chick,” says a curling instructor at the Norfolk Curling Club, and only at the last moment gives the handle a slow clockwise or counter-clockwise rotation to keep it on course.

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Do You Really Want Red Roses?

Flowers

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What Are Your Flowers Really Saying?

Valentine’s

There is perhaps no better day than Valentine’s Day to demonstrate that love and romance are not the same thing. Love, enduring love, is built on mutual understanding and the rarity of seeing your true self reflected back to you in the eyes of another with kindness and clarity. Romance, on the other hand, is a set of societal ideals meant to physically and visually express that love, often with commercial interest at its heart, that are as changeable as hemlines and the seasons. 

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What’s All The Brouhaha About The Instant Pot?

Food

The Instant Pot is everywhere. Sales have skyrocketed. There are more than 1,500 cookbooks currently for sale on Amazon, most self-published, several from big New York houses. (My writing partner Bruce Weinstein and I have one underway for Little, Brown.) There are over 1 million people in the Instant Pot’s primary Facebook group. So here’s a FAQ sheet for this new, trendy kitchen appliance. 
What is it?

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Winter Gardening For the Disinclined

Gardening

Sometimes I wish I could find a cave and hibernate through the dark, gloomy months because I get so blue.  
Is it possible to learn to love this season? My gardening friends suggested that making winter containers helped them embrace this time of year so I thought I’d give it a try even though I had my doubts. Just yesterday, it seems, the pots were brimming with blue larkspurs, yellow daisies and sweet-smelling peacock orchids. Now they’ll feature cut branches, pine needles and dead flowers? 

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Puccini for Beginners

Opera: ‘Tosca’

Spoiler alert! Political fugitives on the run from agents of the state! Radical artist loves famous singer! Woman is tricked into betraying her lover! Evil genius police chief plots next move at High Mass! Details at 11!!
And all that happens in just the first act—of Puccini’s great dramatic opera, “Tosca,” which will be streaming live in HD from the Metropolitan Opera on Jan. 27.

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Dance and Pray for More Snow

Winter Sports

The deep powder that the cyclone bomb of early January dropped in this area is gone, and the snow we have left is a soggy, patchy mess. But you have to believe that there will be more cross-country skiing this winter. Now is the time to check your equipment and to spread out your maps (or download them on your smart phone) in readiness for your next foray into snow country.

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Where To Skate, Outside or Inside

Outdoors

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Holiday Decorating No-Nos

Plants: ‘Pretty Invasives’

As the holidays approach, we all love to decorate using evergreens, pine cones, seed pods, berries and other natural materials. It’s enjoyable collecting these items with the warmer December weather we’ve been experiencing plus they can be composted when disposal time comes. 

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Sustainable, American Caviar Sold Locally

Food

Here’s a nice small-world story: Three years ago, I received a phone call from a New York City restaurateur I know. Would I like to join him for a caviar tasting, to sample a new product he was considering offering to his customers? The words “tasting” and “sample,” in this context, denoted that the caviar in question would be free. I answered with a stentorian “YES!” before he finished making his inquiry.

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