Lifestyle

According to George Clark, field manager for West Michigan Glass Block, a Wyoming-based company that handles a great deal of remodeling jobs locally, remodels can be a big money saver over new construction. (Courtesy photos)

HOME: Build or remodel?

Whether to build or remodel, that is the question that homeowners (and potential homeowners) have faced since mankind first moved out of the caves and began creating homes of wood, brick and stone. In all that time, much has changed and much has stayed the same. It still comes down to the individual and his or her personal needs, desires and financial wherewithal. Good cases may be made for both options.

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S.H.E.: Surviving the holidays and winter

Going from house to house and family to family can do numbers on the body and mind — from sore feet all the way up to pressure behind the eyes from one too many cocktails or overindulging in holiday feasts. Thus, keeping up a good look during the holiday can be quite the challenge.

Scrapbooking is one indoor hobby that the entire family can get into during the winter months. (Courtesy photo)

S.H.E.: Picking up a new hobby can pass the time of winter’s doldrums

The word “hobbies” may bring to mind passive (and maybe a little dull) time-passers like puzzles, games on your cell phone or pointless card games of Solitaire, things one tends to do when there’s nothing better going on. But hobbies also can include group activities that not only pass the time, but foster creativity and interpersonal relationships.

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S.H.E.: Self-care is especially important during Michigan winters

Sure, I love looking outside at the beautiful snow, but I don’t really want to be out in it. That eliminates the fun activities of my youth, like building snow people and snow forts, having snowball fights, sledding and snowboarding. Those activities usually unwound my stress and picked me out of any winter funk I was going through. Now, however, I’m finding other outlets to relieve stress and depression.

The ladies of the Happy Bookers book discussion club gather around a table at The Coffee House in Greenville the first Tuesday of each month. Each member takes a turn informally leading the discussion. (Courtesy photos)

S.H.E.: Local club makes winter months more enjoyable with table talk on books

The Happy Bookers were meeting at the popular coffee bean hub in Greenville to discuss “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry,” by Gabrielle Zevin. Gathering together one Tuesday every month (except January), the women catch up on each other’s lives over hot coffee and tea. During this informal get-together, a different woman oversees the discussion each meeting.

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S.H.E.: Holidays mean budget crunch on beauty luxuries

With Christmas shopping heating up, you have to tighten up the budget for things like getting your nails and hair done or for that massage you always like to spoil yourself with every now and then. So with budget control in mind, it is now time to look for do-it-yourself beauty needs.

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S.H.E.: Facing the first of many ‘lasts’

As this month comes to a close, I face another “last” moment. Watching the last high school football game in which my son, Alec, who is a senior, will play.

A firefighter sprays a stream of water on a roof fire at a home on Derby Lake. The fire is believed to have been caused by a lightning strike. — Daily News/Curtis Wildfong

Lightning strike sparks Derby Lake house fire; 2 firefighters injured

It started with a loud boom and then a plume of smoke drifting out over Derby Lake. According to neighbors, it was the loudest lightning strike they had ever heard and it was enough to spark flames on the roof of a home occupied by Woody and Mary Ely, an elderly couple who were sitting down having breakfast Monday morning when the strike hit.

Vestaburg’s Luverne Dickinson Adamson with her 160-pound Great Pyrenees, Zeus, on one of their many walks.

Vestaburg woman gets new lease on life, control of diabetes with CHIP program

Not long ago, Luverne Dickinson Adamson, 59, of Vestaburg, began her day with a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, fried potatoes, toast with butter and coffee with creamer and artificial sweetener. She enjoyed traditional American foods — cheeseburgers, fries, coney dogs with all the fixings, and onion rings — and frequently ate out on weekends. Dinner often included salad soaked in creamy ranch dressing, steak or a chicken fillet, a hot vegetable and a baked potato smothered in butter and sour cream.

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Video: 4-for-20: Chicken stir-fry

4-20 Season 2 episode 1 from Michael Bee on Vimeo. Nothing is easier than making a chicken stir-fry my way. First, gather the money from the roomies and run to the store and buy your chicken, stir-fry vegetable mix, green onion, rice and stir-fry sauce. I got all my stuff for under $20. Read the [...]