Home & Garden

Building a sukkah is the ultimate family DIY project, but do make safety a priority

Children help to build a sukkah, Oct. 1, 2014. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90

Sukkot, the Feast of Booths, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles, is an eight-day holiday that marks the end of harvest time in the Land of Israel. Celebrated five days after Yom Kippur beginning on the 15th of Tishrei (Oct. 5 this year), Sukkot is filled with family-centric… Read more »

Fall pruning is perfectly timed for covering a sukkah

Pruned olive tree (Pixabay)

With Sukkot approaching, I’m here to let you know that you can easily cover your sukkah with schach (sukkah roof material) made with plants in your own landscape. There is an array of plants that grow in Southern Arizona that should be pruned in early fall — meaning now… Read more »

Good landscaping can help save money

This small side yard has a Tombstone rose-covered arbor that provides shade in summer and offers an insulating space of non-moving air in winter. (© Jacqueline A. Soule)

A  well-designed landscape can save you money in three major ways. Properly designed, installed and maintained, a landscape can help you reduce energy use, reduce water use, and increase the usable space you are paying the mortgage on. This last benefit also increases the resale value of your home… Read more »

Many variables go into picking the perfect tree

The Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora) is a slow growing evergreen tree that has purple clusters of incredibly fragrant flowers in early spring. (Copyright Jacqueline A. Soule)

According to Jewish lore, the best time to plant a tree is 18 (“chai”) years ago, while the next best time is today. If not today, how about this month? April 28 is National Arbor Day, so you have some time to plan and get ready to celebrate. But… Read more »

For Jewish Arbor Day, why not plant an almond tree?

The Prunus amygdalus, or almond, is native to the Middle East and will grow well in Southern Arizona. (Jacqueline A. Soule)

Jews around the world have been celebrating Tu B’Shvat at this time of year every year, for about 3000 years. Since the Jewish calendar is lunar, the date varies in Western eyes, but on the 15 of the month of Shevat, this Jewish Arbor Day, also called “New Year… Read more »

How to make a successful offer in today’s housing market

(StatePoint) Prospective homebuyers can get encouraged by the current market. Nearly 68 percent of U.S. homes sales today are to individual buyers compared to 53 percent in 2011 when investor and cash deals were at their peak. Still, competition for housing is hot. “In a competitive market, your offer… Read more »

All ages reap benefits of community garden at the J

Maury Lipowich tends his plot at the Shay-Shay Community Garden at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. (Courtesy Maury Lipowich)

At the Shay-Shay Community Garden at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, enthusiastic amateur gardeners tend sunflowers, enormous squash, cherry tomatoes, spiky artichokes and other bounty. The 23 plots opened for use in mid-March, says site coordinator Susanne Kaplan, who has served on the board of the nonprofit Community Gardens… Read more »

For beginners, keeping kosher needn’t be ‘all or nothing’

Barbara Mannlein and her husband, Martin, use color-coded kitchen tools: red for meat, blue for dairy and green for pareve. (Martin Mannlein)

The Jewish dietary laws, termed kashrut, are many and complex. According to the Torah and the Talmud, Jews may not mix meat and dairy, and may eat only fish with scales and fins, and meat from ruminants with cloven hooves. Pareve — foods containing neither meat nor dairy, including… Read more »

WRJ grant expands Emanu-El Gan Project

Temple Emanu-El eighth grade students tend one of the Gan Project garden beds. (Courtesy Temple Emanu-El WRJ)

Temple Emanu-El’s Gan (garden) Project is growing — thanks to a $2,000 incubator grant from the Women of Reform Judaism to the WRJ of Temple Emanu-El. Temple Emanu-El was among the first to receive these grants, which range from $500 to $5,000. They were awarded to “outside the box”… Read more »

The answer to overcoming color cowardice in home decorating: more natural light

Enjoy healthful natural light and passive ventilation, plus privacy, in the bath with Energy Star-qualified solar powered fresh air skylights.

(BPT) – Have you ever picked a paint color you loved in the store, only to hate it when it’s on the walls at home? Or purchased throw pillows that you thought would be delightful on your neutral-hued couch, only to decide they look positively garish there? In both… Read more »

More herbs, less salt:  Healthful ‘Holy Land’ herbs grow well in Tucson

Rosemary thrives amoung the citrus trees in Jacqueline Soule's Northwest Tucson garden.

The American Medical Association cautions that many Americans consume too much salt. The AMA encourages us to reduce our salt intake because excess sodium boosts blood pressure, leading to heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. The problem is that we like flavor in our food, and most of us… Read more »

Tips to help make ‘organize my closet’ resolution a reality

(Family Features) — It’s the time of year when many of us think about getting organized for a fresh new start. “Most of us put cleaning out and organizing our closets at the top of our New Year’s resolutions list every single year,” says Barbara Reich, professional organizer. “But… Read more »

Tucson J community garden to plant seeds of commemoration, good health

Shay Hammer, who died at age 15, inspired the community garden being created at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. (Susanne Kaplan)

It is forbidden to live in a town that does not have a green garden. — Jerusalem Talmud, Kiddushin 4:12 Sustainability, growing local and urban gardens are trending. But growing your own food has been a staple of a healthy lifestyle over the last century, from the early Zionists… Read more »

Add beauty, whimsy to Passover table

Seder plates, kiddish cups and Elijah cups are among the Passover wares at Congregation Anshei Israel’s gift shop. (Korean Charnofsky Cohen)

Passover surrounds us with beauty. The spiritual concepts of struggle, freedom and renewal are timeless and universal. Our wishes for freedom include all people and not just Jews. Our family traditions keep the spirit alive and connect us to all the generations that have come before us. The cleaning… Read more »

Water features indeed can be part of desert landscape

A burbling fountain can be soothing and mask other background noises. (Jacqueline A. Soule)

Nothing sets the mood quite like water in the garden. The faint sound of trickling water can draw one to a private oasis where flashes of light shimmer over the arching flanks of koi. Sunlight dancing on the spray of a waterfall or fountain releases diamond-like glitters of light.… Read more »

Annuals in pots, baskets or beds provide easy winter color for the patio

Brighten your days with the smiling faces of pretty pansies. They love our winter weather and will provide months of color. (Courtesy of All-American Selections)

                                      Southern Arizona is a wonderful place to live for many reasons. Along with not shoveling snow, bright colorful flowers filling the yard all year long are tops on my list.… Read more »

Directory of local art galleries

Casa Milagro Artisans 6062 N. Oracle Road • 440-2567 Hours: Tues.–Thurs. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Closed Sunday and Monday 40 local artisans represented, handmade crafts, home décor, Native American jewelry and artwork, unique Southwest art Davis Dominguez 154 E. 6th St. • 629-9759 Hours:… Read more »