Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Argyle getting more hands-free signs on roadways

More hands-free signs will be placed on Argyle roadways to warn drivers not to talk on a cellphone, send a text, take or view photos, scroll through favorite play lists, read emails, play Candy Crush or enter GPS coordinates into your mobile device while the vehicle is in a lane of traffic or in motion on public property, streets or highways.

David Annis: Beginning farming series to cover soil types, stocking rates

I cannot begin to tell you how fun and rewarding it is to be working as the agriculture and natural resources agent here in Denton County. I’ve been here almost a year and have started to notice certain “common” questions and requests for information.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Argyle library receives children’s books donation

The Argyle Little Free Library recently received a generous donation of children’s books.

Janet Laminack: Gardeners prepare for wintery time of year

It finally started feeling like winter around here, at least for a day or two. So what do gardeners or “yardeners” do this time of year?

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Becca Dickstein: Bur oak an excellent choice to plant in North Texas

Winter is a great time to plant a tree in North Texas and bur oak, Quercus macrocarpa, is an excellent choice for our area.

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New hands-free law in effect in Argyle

Argyle’s hands-free law making it illegal for anyone to use a hand-held cellphone or electronic device while driving is now in effect. Signs are being erected around Argyle to notify the public of the...

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Making some fast food with slow cookers

As a mom with two young girls, evenings at my house are hectic. It’s a marathon trying to get everything done. One thing that has made this time a little less hectic in my household is the slow cooker...

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Argyle residents need to be aware of scams

At a recent Argyle Senior Center luncheon, Argyle Police Chief William Tackett discussed some of the scams being circulated in the Argyle area in the past six months, and he said that we continue to have...

David Annis: Discussion series to give pointers, knowledge

When I started with Texas ArgiLife Extension Service in 1988, I met a man and asked him, “How many years of experience do you have farming and ranching?” He replied, “One.” As he grinned and looked away...

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Mental exercises a good stretch for the brain

The other day I suggested to my husband that we begin the new year with some mental exercises. “We need to create a happy environment for our brains,” I told him.

Janet Laminack: Kissing bugs may not pose an immediate threat to all

Kissing bugs have been in the news lately. Maybe you have been wondering what that really means and if you will be impacted by Chagas disease.

Courtney Davis: Make goals within reach

It’s the start of a new year and the start of a new set of New Year’s resolutions.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Resolutions are not easily kept

Through the years I’ve had problems keeping New Year’s resolutions. I would no sooner resolve to lose a few pounds than I’d open a bag of potato chips, grab a candy bar and settle down with a cup of hot chocolate to load up before I wasted away to nothing.

AP

Search for perfect tomato goes on

Page through any of the freshly arrived seed catalogs and you’ll note the words “new” and “improved” splashed across many of the tomato varieties available to home gardeners for 2016.

AP

Rich, easy dishes get their start with lean cauliflower

Truth be told, I was prepared to hate most efforts to transform cauliflower into something it wasn’t. What’s wrong with straight up seasoned and roasted cauliflower? Why do we need to turn it into steaks and cutlets, mash and pizza crusts?

David Annis: Record book winner tours D.C.

I talk on agriculture all the time, but today, I want to talk about 4-H and the experiences our youths are having. Texas 4-H Youth Development sent 20 youth delegates on the Texas 4-H Leadership Conference tour, conducted Nov. 26 through Dec. 1, in Washington, D.C., and among them was Denton County’s Christian Dieterich.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons / The Place is Argyle

In 1836, Alabama was the first state to declare Christmas a national holiday, followed by Louisiana and Arkansas two years later. After the Civil War, Christmas celebrations spread across the United States with the decorating of trees, the exchanging of gifts and the observances of the birth of Jesus Christ. Soon, towns began to establish their own distinctive ways to celebrate Christmas.

AP

Replace a tree with a giant-to-be

Nothing like some strong winter winds to remind one of mortality — tree mortality. No tree lives forever. Nothing does. But we humans sometimes don’t appreciate trees’ mortality, especially trees that are already large when we first meet them. They seem like they were here forever and will be here long after we’re gone.

Janet Laminack / Horticulture

Plants make wonderful gifts, says the horticulturist. They are living, yet much less work than a puppy. If you still have some people on your shopping list or need hostess gift ideas, here are some for you.

Callie Rainosek / Pet Talk

Vaccinations can prevent many illnesses in puppies, but viruses such as canine parvovirus are still a threat to dogs with developing immune systems. Young puppies often have immunity against the virus because they get antibodies from the colostrum in their mother’s milk, but these antibodies are not always as effective as a vaccine.

Courtney Davis: Learning healthy hints for this holiday season

December is a month filled with traditions, holiday celebrations, gift giving and lots of delicious foods.

Argyle ISD

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Argyle Christmas Festival and Tree Lighting a big success

The annual Argyle Christmas Festival and Tree Lighting was a huge success, announced Deborah Cottle, president of Keep Argyle Beautiful.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Hayrides available for Christmas festival and lighting

The annual Argyle Christmas Festival and Tree Lighting scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at Argyle Town Hall, 308 Denton St., will have hayrides to town hall from the public parking areas behind the U.S. Post Office, 440 U.S. Highway 377, and the Real Estate Station, 702 U.S. Highway 377. Vendor parking will be behind Argyle Town Hall.

David Annis: Vernalization could help winter wheat for grain

With all the rainfall we have been receiving the past few weeks, a common question that I have received is, “How late can I plant wheat for grain?” The answer is, it depends.

Janet Laminack: Books for plant lovers

And just like that, it’s Christmas time. To help you out with your shopping, I have some suggestions of gardening books that might be just what you or the gardener in your life need. These are some of my favorites; there are many great books out there.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Holiday titles available at Argyle Little Free Libraries

The Argyle Little Free Libraries are ready for the holiday season with a supply of books for both adults and children, coordinator Patti Smith has announced.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Festival and tree lighting to benefit Ranch Hand Rescue

The annual Argyle Christmas Festival and Tree Lighting scheduled for 3 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at Argyle Town Hall, 308 Denton St., will have a silent auction and raffle.

Courtney Davis: Using turkey leftovers

The holiday season is upon us, as are the abundant leftovers from our holiday meals.

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Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Frenchy and famed orange trucks land in Argyle

Andre “Frenchy” Rheault is known not only for his orange and blue vans advertising Frenchy’s Lawn and Tree Service but for the service he does using his trucks to advertise charitable events and good news messages.

David Annis: Program encourages best practices for beef producers

Not often do I single out a program and say, “You must have this certification.” It’s even less often I tell you, “You can get this certification for a limited time for free!”

AP

Cranberry sauce packs secret weapon

Admittedly, I’m a bit of a freak when it comes to cranberry sauce. Nonetheless, I can’t help but think there is something seriously disturbed about people who claim to not like it.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Argyle’s shopping extravaganza set for Saturday

The Argyle Holiday Shopping Extravaganza will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Argyle High School Cafeteria, 191 S. U.S. Highway 377.

Janet Laminack: Seedling sale offers affordable trees for a good cause

Every year, the Denton County Soil and Water Conservation District has a tree seedling sale. This is a great opportunity to get affordable trees for a good cause.

Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe: Smart thermostats remember for you

Bill Clark, a local heating and cooling technician, says the most cost-saving setting for a thermostat is “off.” For the past six weeks or so, we’ve been able to do that at our Denton home.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Young Men’s Service League starts off strong

The Argyle Chapter of the Young Men’s Service League, a national nonprofit, was organized this year to bring together mothers and their teenage sons to serve the needs of the community and to teach the boys leadership.

David Annis: Certainly, interesting times ahead for cattle ranchers

When I broke open my fortune cookie last week, it said, “May you live in interesting times.”

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Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Argyle couple drives Jeep in Bankhead Highway Convoy

On Sept. 10, a convoy of historic military vehicles left Washington, D.C., and traveled 3,400 miles to San Diego on the Bankhead Highway.

Callie Rainosek: Ringworm affects many pets across the area

Although the name often misleads pet owners into thinking a worm has invaded their pet’s bodies, ringworm is actually a fungus that can affect the hair, skin and nails.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Argyle Senior Center to host Halloween hayride

The Argyle Senior Center will host a Halloween party at 5 p.m. Saturday at 371 Old Justin Road.

Janet Laminack: Become a Master Gardener with A&M AgriLife

Have you thought about becoming a Master Gardener? Join us for a reception from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday to learn more about it at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office at the Joseph A. Carroll Building, 401 W. Hickory St..

Review: Amazon’s gizmos aim to be assistants for your abode

NEW YORK — When I brought home review models of Amazon’s Echo speaker, a sort of smart, voice-controlled speaker, and two Dash buttons that reorder household products with a single touch, I wasn’t convinced I’d find them all that useful in my daily life.

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Callie Rainosek: Some dogs at risk for hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia, a condition that results from poor joint and bone health, can significantly alter your dog’s quality of life. Though larger breeds like Labrador retrievers, mastiffs and German shepherds are especially prone to hip dysplasia, dogs of all ages and breeds can develop the painful condition.

David Annis: Youths grow roots in 4-H

Please join us this year as we celebrate both National 4-H Week and One Day 4-H at 10 a.m. Saturday on the lawn of the Courthouse on the Square in downtown Denton.

Bob Moos: Time to check your Medicare plans

Now’s the time for Texans with Medicare to look over their health and drug coverage for 2016. Medicare’s annual open enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 until Dec. 7.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Readers can indulge in Halloween titles

Argyle Little Free Library coordinator Patti Smith announced recently that Halloween books are now available in all of the ALF libraries.

Janet Laminack: Think of the trees when it’s dry

Hopefully, we’ll have had several hours of slow, soaking rain between the time I write this and the time you read it.

Kathy Saucier

Becca Dickstein: Azure sage catches eyes

Azure sage (Salvia azurea), also called sky blue sage, blue sage and pitcher sage, is a prairie plant from the mint family, native to the grasslands of the Great Plains.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Construction moving forward

Denton County Commissioner Andy Eads reported recently that the reconstruction project for Country Club Road is moving forward.

David Annis: Take care of those pesky hogs

There are two types of Texans: those who have a feral hog problem and those who don’t have a feral hog problem yet.

Lynn Sheffield Simmons: Act now to keep out unexpected houseguests

Brian Hall, also known as “Brian, the Animal Guy,” is contracted by the town of Argyle to handle the animal control duties. Hall recently advised people to “batten down the hatches,” which means prepare for difficult times.