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Today's Features

  • While oatmeal is one of the healthiest breakfast foods around, it's looked on with disdain by many.

    A co-worker recently told me "the best thing you can do with oatmeal is to give it to someone else," commenting on her dislike of it.

    "I can't stand the texture of it," she said. "It's just yucky."

    Her hatred of oatmeal doesn't diminish its body-boosting properties. A half-cup of rolled oats has more than a high fiber content, says weight loss expert Elaine Magee.

  • Consumers often furniture shop without any sense of what they like, their long-term goals or even something as basic as the dimensions of the room you are buying furniture for.

    You should do the same amount of preparation when buying furniture that you do when buying a dishwasher, cell phone or computer. After all, a quality dining room table will cost more than those items and lasts longer.

    Before visiting a furniture store, do your homework so that you don't become a victim of a sofa that you don't want.

  • It does take a little extra effort for a mother-to-be to eat healthy, but it has its benefits for her and the baby she's carrying. After all, she is eating for two.

    One of the most important nutrients pregnant women need is folic acid, a B-vitamin that is needed to ensure proper cell growth. It helps the neural tube (the part of the developing baby that becomes the brain and spinal cord) develop properly.

  • Without the lights, decorations and wonderful evergreen scent, the real Christmas tree you just took outside is just an image of what it was last week.

    But if you want to give it new life, take it to one of Lancaster County's convenience sites.

    It's called treecycling and the county public works department is teaming up with its counterparts at the city of Lancaster to cut down on holiday waste.

    "Recycling is a pattern of habit than anything else," said Darin Robinson, county public works director.

  • With much cooler temperatures expected in the next few days, it's important for homeowners to protect their pets just like they do their water pipes. Here are a few cold-weather pointers to consider:

    •Cats are very susceptible to the cold and can freeze if left outside whenever the mercury in the thermometer plunges. Keep them inside whenever possible. Also, stray cats have a tendency to hide under car hoods to keep warm. Bang on the hood before cranking your car to alert cats to get out so that they don't get injured.

  • Most food historians agree that hoppin' John has its roots in Lowcountry South Carolina cuisine. But just how did this rich-tasting, luck-bringing, poor-man's New Year's dish get it's name?

    Made of peas, rice, pork and simple spices, hoppin' John is closely related to African and West Indian dishes with similar ingredients and was introduced to America by African slaves who toiled on rice plantations.

  • INDIAN LAND – Right now, she has 87 books swirling around in her head, on her computer and in boxes of notes she takes.

    But Catherine Ritch Guess prefers to handwrite her books.

    "Computers don't have soul," she explained to Kim Tallent's language arts class Dec. 6. She described for the students how each story travels from her head, down her arm, to her hand and then to paper. Students listened in rapt attention as she spoke of how her fiction is based on real people she meets and places she goes.

  • Growing up on Erwin Farm, Christmas breakfast at our house meant fresh sausage and country-sliced bacon from the "freezer locker" (Lancaster Frozen Foods) and tons of Daddy's pancakes loaded with strawberries and blueberries.

    Folks, we're talking about platters full enough to feed Granny and Granddaddy Williams and Granny Summers, along with every neighbor and young'un within shouting distance, which usually happened. Our house was filled with the aroma of maple syrup, hot coffee and pancakes.

  • A 19-year-old Lancaster man was shot in the leg Thursday evening in what he told Lancaster Police was a drive-by shooting.

    The man was walking on Willowlake Road between 6:15 and 6:30 p.m. Thursday when a white vehicle with tinted windows drove toward him from the opposite direction, according to an incident report.

    He told police that as the vehicle passed, he heard three shots and realized that he had been struck in the leg, the report said.

    The vehicle turned left onto Arch Street heading east.

  • Some of the best Christmas gifts ever received and given bear the touch of a child.

    Here are two low-cost ornaments that you can make with the help of your children that require little fuss and effort.

    Kids will have a jolly good time crafting non-edible Cinnamon Ornaments and Candy Trains for the Christmas tree and for their friends and family members.