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Sustainable Gardening: Green Gifts for Nature Lovers

BY JOSIE SEELIGSON Living gifts that perpetuate health and productivity are the ultimate in both sustainability and pleasure. Plants help improve air quality both indoors and out, and keeping green plants around is a surefire way to fend off winter blues by bringing living indoors. This holiday season, pass on a piece of life to your favorite nature lovers. Living holiday trees Pine aroma infuses many homes during the holidays, as does the tradition of selecting cut trees, then decorating and admiring them. But after a few weeks, their green needles turn brown and dry, littering the floor below...

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Hill Country Guide: Merry and Bright

The Hill Country’s best and brightest holiday celebrations By JANIS TURK All is calm, and all is bright as twinkling lights, night parades, Christmas shopping markets and warm Yuletide fun fill the calendar in towns throughout the Hill Country this season. Families are busy making merry once more, enjoying ice-skating rinks, tree-lighting ceremonies, Christmas arts and crafts fairs, spooky Dickens plays and warm wassail. From Boerne to Blanco, Fredericksburg to Floresville, Kerrville to Kyle and beyond, trees are decorated, tinsel glistens, light fills the night, and love is in the air. Make your family’s holidays extra merry and bright...

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Travel: Need a Cure for the Common Cold Winter Blues?

Take a Cruise and Call me in the Morning By JANIS TURK “The cure for everything is saltwater — sweat, tears or the sea,” writes author Isak Dineson, and she’s right. There is no winter cabin fever that can’t be cured by a salty sea breeze, a piña colada on a sunny beach and a long slow boat ride. Help is within reach: It’s as close as the glittering Galveston Strand and the “let good times roll” port of New Orleans. A cruise is the most fun, affordable vacation Texans can take, and cruises are also the easiest getaways...

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Artbeat: Embroidering

HISTORY AND CULTURE Show will pay tribute to Old Spanish Trail highway By JASMINA WELLINGHOFF PHOTOGRAPHY BY JANET ROGERS Years ago, artist Laurel Gibson stopped to look at some merchandise sold from a roadside stand along Highway 16. Large perforated paper rolls attracted her attention, but she was puzzled. What were they for? It turned out she was looking at decades-old paper rolls once used by player pianos (mechanical pianos) as a music storage medium. She bought them with no clear idea what to do with them. After collecting dust for a while, the rolls have finally been put...

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CityScene: In Full Swing

By JASMINA WELLINGHOFF By November, the performing arts season is in full swing and itching to get into the holiday mood sooner rather than later. A great event to get us all in the spirit of celebration is Luminaria, coming up Nov. 9-12. The annual showcase of regional and national artists, dreamed up by then-Mayor Phil Hardberger in 2008, has grown from a single night of outdoor light shows and performances to a four-day festival involving 50 different art groups. All art forms are represented and then some: dance, music, performance art, poetry, photography and other visual disciplines, film and video, and all sorts of cutting-edge multi-genre fusion/experimental art. The fest changes location every year, and this time it will take place on the near East Side, in two parks — Dignowity and Lockwood, at the Carver Community Cultural Center, and on and around the Hays Street bridge. New this year is the unveiling of several “legacy” murals that will continue to adorn the neighborhood long after the fest fades into memory. It’s all free except for a few workshops and brunches with artists on the final day, all reasonably priced ( You may not be able to see it all, but this feast for the senses and the mind should not be missed. “Come to be inspired and see the level of art that San Antonio has to...

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