• CATHERINE MURRAY | For the State Journal

While snipping and drying healthier circles of basil and Italian parsley than I’ve ever managed to harvest before, thoughts raced through my mind for answers to how the herbs grew so well while thick patches of unfamiliar weeds surrounded them. Glancing over to my next door neighbors’ gardens merely confirmed for me that they must have paid far more attention to what was growing in their gardens.

  • Jenna Smith

I recently ordered some pumpkin seeds online, but when I opened the package, I realized that they were not the pumpkin seeds I had in mind. I was expecting to see cream-colored, oval-shaped seeds, like the ones you’d dig out of a jack-o-lantern, but instead I received greenish, small seeds without a cream-colored hull. They resembled a sunflower seed only a tad bigger. It dawned on me that I had actually ordered pepitas.

Google designers show their latest devices during a visit to its hardware studio where they designed the company's new Pixel 4 flagship phone, Pixel Go laptop, Pixel Buds wireless headphones, Nest Mini smart speaker and Nest Wifi system. (Oct. 15)

Did you know that Oct. 15 is National Cheese Curd day?  If you live in Wisconsin, you should know what a cheese curd is, but in case you don’t they are the curds from the cheese-making process before they are formed into a solid cheese. 

  • Christine Vestal Stateline.org

FREDERICK, Md. — Donna Johnson, a working mother of four who lives in a quiet upscale neighborhood in suburban Maryland, is determined to thwart an insidious addiction treatment scam that's spreading across the country.

  • SARAH BROWNING For the Lincoln Journal Star

Winter is a difficult season for roses. Rapid temperature changes, sometimes as much as 20 to 30 degrees in 24 hours, are very hard on plants. Unseasonably warm temperatures in January and February, along with repeated freezing and thawing of the soil, can do a lot of damage. What can you do this fall to help your roses make it through winter with less damage and grow well next year? Here are some simple steps.

  • By Aisha Sultan St. Louis Post-Dispatch

I heard my husband remind our daughter at least twice to make the school lunches for the next day. Each time, we heard the same “okaaaay,” from behind a closed bedroom door.

  • Dr. ZORBA PASTER | family physician

A good night’s sleep is important for all of us, perhaps even more so for pregnant women. It’s one of the axioms of a healthy pregnancy, including good nutrition, good exercise, avoiding the toxins of smoke and booze, and getting good prenatal care.

  • ROBERT RYDER For the Pantagraph

I can usually keep my attention on positive, constructive activities. Maybe it’s partly a personality trait, although there’s likely some luck and privilege involved, too. I hope there’s skill to it as well, because if there’s an element of skill to being happy or at least content – that gives us some control.

  • ARI LEVAUX For Lee Montana Newspapers

"Imam Bayildi" is a Turkish baked eggplant, named and famed for its ability to knock out a grown man. Its name translates to "the imam fainted,” presumably because of the dish's glorious flavor. But there is a competing theory that he fainted upon learning how much olive oil his wife used in preparing it. Both are grounded in fact.

  • BERNIE MASON For Lee Montana Newspapers

When fall arrives we begin to see many ripe pumpkins in the stores and fields, ready for us to enjoy. Many of these pumpkins will be used for Halloween decorations, but they can be used in so many other ways. More than 1.5 billion pumpkins are produced in the U.S. each year and 80% of the crop is available during the month of October. The versatile pumpkin can be baked, steamed, roasted, or boiled and is made into a variety of products commercially, even dog biscuits. No part of the pumpkin has to go to waste, since every part of the pumpkin is edible, including the skin and stem. If you haven’t tried roasting the pumpkin seeds, try it this fall. The seeds are high in iron, and a pumpkin contains around 500 for you to enjoy. Pumpkins are also rich in nutrients. One cup of pumpkin has just 100 calories and only one-half gram of fat. It has more fiber than kale, more potassium than bananas, and provides heart-healthy magnesium and iron. If you are selecting fresh pumpkins to use in baking, look for the smaller sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins since they will have less water and will not be as stringy as those grown for use as jack-o-lanterns. Enjoy this popular fall fruit/vegetable in any of the following ways.

  • CATHERINE MURRAY | For the State Journal

Life can be celebrated in many different ways. Years ago, when arriving home from school, Mother made sure there’d be cookies or freshly made sweet bread waiting for me on the kitchen table. On Oct. 4, when I became a year older, a homemade angel food cake drizzled with pink and green frosting was placed on the dining room table to enjoy with family and friends. It was also the feast of my patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi, who, like me, loved animals. So I always made sure my dog, Suzy, celebrated the day, too, with small piece of cake.

  • Associated Press

A Philadelphia jury on Tuesday awarded $8 billion in punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson and one if its subsidiaries over a drug the companies made that the plaintiff's attorneys say is linked to the abnormal growth of female breast tissue in boys.

  • By Daniel Neman St. Louis Post-Dispatch

This is actually true: If you go to the Food Network website and look for low-sodium recipes, you will find one for Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage.

Kids aren't the only ones who get into the Halloween spirit. Check out these adorable pets in costume to get some ideas. If you have one to share, send a picture to yourpics@journalstar.com.

  • DONNIE SEXTON The Last Best Plates

There is a sweet love affair happening on East Helena’s Main Street, with no end in sight. It involves Annie and Dave Posey, owners of Main Street Eats and the residents of this small town who adore them. And it’s about to get even more affectionate, when this hard-working couple opens up Blackjack Burger Company, a few doors down from Main Street Eats. In between the two businesses, the Poseys have repurposed Lucky’s, the oldest building on Main Street. Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate the fact it’s now a candy store, ice cream and soda fountain shop. Annie and Dave have become champions of revitalizing the town of East Helena.

  • PETER SALTER Lincoln Journal Star

Jerry Penry moved fast. The amateur photographer and aircraft enthusiast got lucky in mid-August, when he snapped a photo of a jet crossing in front of a full moon above Lincoln, its contrails looking every bit like dusty rooster tails on a county road.

Divers plunge into the waters off Key Largo to carve pumpkins on the sea floor; participants used dive knives and other tools to transform the gourds into spooky sea creature creations (Oct. 7)

  • DEAN OLSEN (Springfield) State Journal-Register

SPRINGFIELD — A few swings of a sledgehammer by nurses, doctors, administrators and others at HSHS St. John's Hospital marked the ceremonial start Friday of a $19 million renovation and expansion of the Springfield institution's neonatal intensive-care unit.