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Eat real and move more

When was the last time your family sat down to eat dinner together? I’m not talking about opening the bag from your favorite fast food restaurant, but actually preparing a meal at home. As lives have become busier, cooking skills have declined. Many parents feel they lack the time and skills to cook a nutritious […]

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Efficient water heating technology options

By Thomas Kirk Water heating is the second largest use of energy in homes, accounting for approximately 14 to 18 percent of residential energy consumption. In addition to wrapping water heaters and pipes in insulation, there are many technologies in this market to help lower energy consump­tion and save consumers money. These tech­nologies include heat […]

PupDog Bakery has a very popular peanut butter bar coated in carob with a yogurt drizzle.

Bakery business is going to the dogs

There’s nothing quite like being greeted with joy as you return home after a long day at work. Feeling the love from having someone so happy to see you just lifts the ­spirits, and that wagging tail says it all! That’s right, I’m talking about the four-legged companion that is rightfully referred to as man’s […]

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Classroom Empowerment grants receive high marks from teachers

All too often, the news we hear about school finances isn’t good. Budgets have been cut to the bone, and teachers must spend a portion of their hard-earned money on supplies for their classrooms. But here’s good news for a change. Help has come to many Illinois classrooms through Touchstone Energy® Classroom Empowerment grants. The […]

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Living securely in a Facebook world

By Dan Gerard Charles Caleb Colton once said, “Imitation is the ­sincerest form of flattery.” However, when it pertains to your digital identity, I would have to disagree. We live in a digital world consisting of Facebook, Twitter, Google Places, online banking, digital ­versions of credit cards, and cell phones that do all this and […]

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In-floor electric heating options

Dear Jim: I often feel chilly in my home, especially during the winter months. I know electric resistance heating can be expensive to use, but I really like the idea of in-floor heating. Does it only work with tile flooring, or can it be used under carpet? What types are available? – Ron A. Dear […]

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Make your holidays greener

While the holidays are festive and fun, they can take a toll on the ­environment. All that shopping, decoration, food ­preparation and travel adds up to more carbon emissions and more waste. But there are ways to ­minimize our impact and still celebrate the season in grand style. For starters, buy fewer gifts. Homemade, personal […]

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The legend of the Christmas tree

The custom of a Christmas tree, ­undecorated, is believed to have begun in Germany, in the first half of the 700s. The earliest story tells how British monk and missionary, St. Boniface, was preaching a sermon on the Nativity to a tribe of Germanic Druids ­outside the town of Geismar. To convince the town’s people […]

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Open ears, open hearts, open doors

“God literally woke me up and said ‘Feed my ­children.’ ” That was about 20 years ago, and Kenny Mayner knew it was God’s voice. The only thing he did question was what it meant at that time. He and wife, Marsha, have a family of two boys. They were well loved and well fed. […]

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Trip of a lifetime opens up a world of opportunity

You could tell as they approached the building that some were a bit hesitant, while others had that air of adventure about them. Very few knew anyone else taking the trip. As they dropped off their suitcases and milled around, the noise of nervous excitement filled the meeting room. And, as some of them said […]