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  • Buttoned Up: Don't say yes when you really mean no

    American humorist Josh Billings really hit the nail on the head when he wrote, "Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough."

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  • Ask Martha: Protecting leather in winter

    Q: What is the best way to protect leather boots and shoes against winter's harsh weather conditions?

  • Orchids: Evaluating an orchid

    Q: I have an orchid that was raised from seed and looks spectacular. What is involved in getting American Orchid Society judges to evaluate it? — Tom S.

  • Holiday village replicates family experiences

    Spread across two tables in Pat Hassard's Chesterfield County living room is a Christmas village.

  • What's it worth – Vintage silk lamp shades

    Q: I inherited a glass table lamp with a large, ornate cloth shade. There is a label on the lamp that reads "Imported Lead Crystal" and another that says it was "Made in West Germany." The lamp and shade were bought in Chicago in the 1940s.

  • Mistletoe's lengthy history

    Mistletoe is a weird little plant that has inspired mythology for centuries.

  • Buttoned Up: Some steps to a more organized holiday

    Deep breath. It's December. You know what that means: stress city. Unless, of course, you follow these steps. Do that, and you should get to the end of the month without sprouting any new gray hairs — and, even better, relishing the fact that you actually enjoyed yourself this holiday season!

  • Ask Martha: Chocolate ganache

    Think of it as the gift that keeps on giving. Start with one easy and irresistible chocolate recipe and adapt it for all kinds of uses.

  • Flyways and Byways for Dec. 11

    In the video game "Angry Birds," players help cartoon birds retake eggs that have been captured by hungry green pigs. It's a simple-sounding but addicting game that quickly becomes a highly entertaining and complex adventure.

  • Home and Garden event calendar

    Orchid Sale and Auction: Virginia Orchid Society sponsors a sale (noon-1 p.m.) and auction (1-3 p.m.) of orchids in bud and bloom today ...

  • Buttoned Up: Real holiday cards are better than e-cards

    Right after Halloween, many people start to think about getting their holiday cards organized. But then life gets hectic, right?

  • What's it worth?

    Q: My husband inherited a pair of vases from his grandmother. I showed them to a friend 30 years ago who said they were not valuable, but granny apparently thought differently since she specifically mentioned them.

  • Ask Martha: Making popovers pop, storing glassware

    Q: Why won't my popovers pop over?

  • Bulletin Board: Home and garden events

    Bulletin Board

  • What's It Worth: Patou perfumes and Boilly tapestry

    Q: I have a set of three unopened perfumes by Jean Patou in the original box. I do not know the exact age, but they predate 1955. The cardboard box [has marks and wear] and is marked: "Parfum/Coffret 3 Boules/Amour-Amour, Moment Supreme, Colony/Jean Patou, Parfumer/Made in France." — D.T.

  • Orchids: Miniatures are in high demand

    Q: I just bought an oncidium Twinkle that is the cutest thing I've ever seen. The whole plant fits in a tea cup! Do they come in other colors besides white? - Kristi G.

  • Gardening: Botanical holiday houses can be detailed, dazzling

    When is a nandina berry a doorknob, a translucent seed pod a window pane and a cluster of tree fungi shingles? When a designer uses them to decorate small-scale holiday houses.

  • Correction

    The Amelia County Garden Club's annual Christmas House Tour will be held Dec. 10 only. An additional date was listed in Sunday's Flair section on Page G7.

  • Time for the decked-out décor tour

    You have just finished the final, painstaking touches of decorating your home for the holidays.

  • What's It Worth?

    Q: I have an autograph of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and would like to know its value. My father got the autograph in the 1960s when he was a chef at The Jefferson Hotel. It reads "Best Wishes, Martin Luther King" in blue ink on plain white paper. — D.T.

  • Home and Garden event calendar

    Master Naturalist Training Deadline: Virginia Master Naturalists, Riverine Chapter, based in Ashland, is accepting applications for the 12-week training program through Wednesday. ...

  • Ask Martha: Keeping track of fine china

    Q: I have an extensive china collection. What's the best way to keep track of it?

  • Flyways and Byways: Backyards pests

    Not long ago, Canada geese were in the local spotlight as "pest birds." Although some consider geese welcome guests in neighborhoods and parks, others decry the mess a flock leaves behind and want the birds removed.

  • Home and Garden event calendar

    Bulletin Board

  • What's It Worth? for Nov. 20, 2011

    Q: We have been trying to find information about our bust and marble stand, but to no avail. The bust has a matte glaze with a red mark on the bottom and the initials "R St K." I am sure the bust and marble base are more than 100 years old. — E.M.

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