Portland Chicken Lovers Rescue Errant Roosters
Thu, 30 Jan 2014 22:19:26 +0000
We're fans of backyard chickens, but this might be taking it a little far: in Lake View Village, three bedraggled roosters recently caused consternation by showing up one morning without explanation. While they didn't bother passersby, and didn't seem unduly disturbed themselves (except by overly curious dogs), they obviously couldn't be allowed to roam free, for their own [...]]]>
Engineering for Tsunamis
Thu, 30 Jan 2014 22:19:26 +0000
As a utilitarian, my love for modern design reaches new heights when it manages to be aesthetically compelling and practical, creating a happy marriage of form and function. All too often, design looks pretty but isn't as useful -- or is highly useful, but isn't all that attractive. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20140130/BLOGS/301309956/-1/blogs01
Do you love tea? This beverage, originating in Asia, has been consumed for centuries, and thanks to careful plant breeding, the development of scores of harvesting and processing techniques, and regional differences in climate and environment, there are hundreds of varieties of tea available on the market today. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20140129/BLOGS/301299951/-1/blogs01
Setting up a new household or welcoming a new baby can get costly. No small wonder that friends and family members often pass things down, while people seek out other items at used stores rather than trying to buy everything new. A note of caution, though: items subject to recall could be part of that innocent and well-meant attempt to save money, and they aren't worth the [...]]]>
Restoring a Scottish Castle on the Hudson
Thu, 30 Jan 2014 22:19:26 +0000
If you're an urban exploration lover like me, you might spend your time scoping out cool abandoned places to visit, and your travel plans could, now and then, include stops at interesting sites. One locale I've always wanted to check out is Bannerman Castle, a fascinating historic oddity on the Hudson River in New York, but by all accounts, I'd better hurry.
Let's Talk Heirloom Corn!
Thu, 30 Jan 2014 22:19:26 +0000
Corn was one of many brilliant domestications performed in Mesoamerican culture, with roots tracing back to ancient Peru and Mexico. Brilliant indigenous peoples took corn from a grass with a tiny and basically useless seed to a majestic crop yielding big, juicy cobs that are grown, eaten, and used all over the world today. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20140129/BLOGS/301299954/-1/blogs01
Geothermal energy is pretty amazing: by circulating water through a series of pipes under your house, you bring the warmth of the earth up in the winter, and force heat and humidity down during the summer. As the geothermal system (also known as a ground source heat pump -- which is technically more accurate, because this form of heating and cooling captures solar [...]]]>
These Dewey Decimals Got Style!
Sun, 26 Jan 2014 17:05:41 +0000
I don't want to sound like a fuddy-duddy, but the number of people who still remember card catalogs is starting to wane, and half of kids these days probably wouldn't know what to do with one if it bit them on the nose. But I have fond memories of perusing the catalog at the local library, puzzling out the section I needed, and going off on an adventure for new reading [...]]]>
The Five Best Loaves in Miami
Sun, 26 Jan 2014 11:05:34 +0000
If you're a bread-lover like me, you may have spent a fair amount of time seeking out the perfect loaf for the perfect application. Like the most delicious whole wheat sandwich bread, or the perfect baguette for eating with a nice, gooey cheese. Thanks to the wonderful staff at the Miami New Times, I now have a list of the allegedly five best baguettes in a city heavily [...]]]>
Just Say No to Ice Dams!
Sat, 25 Jan 2014 11:06:20 +0000
As round two of the polar vortex descends upon the country, warnings are being issued again about ice dams, dangerous buildups of ice that can accumulate on your roof. These buildups can endanger the safety of your roof, create wear and tear, and lead to other problems, so make sure you stay on top of them. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20140125/BLOGS/301259993/-1/blogs01
As developers encroach on all available land in urban areas, the tension between green space and developed space is growing more serious, as evidenced in New York, where green space is at a premium. While some enterprising New York gardeners solve this problem by installing massive rooftop gardens, others do it the old-fashioned way: down in the dirt at ground level.
Reasons to Install GFCI Outlets
Sat, 25 Jan 2014 11:06:18 +0000
Have you ever heard people talking about "GFCI outlets" and wondered what sort of gobbledegook is coming out of their mouths, let alone whether it's relevant to you? If so, you're not alone: many people are confused about what they are, how they work, and why they matter. See full article.]]>
Progress in Everglades Restoration
Fri, 24 Jan 2014 17:21:39 +0000
The Everglades are one of America's natural wonders, but unfortunately, after decades of abuse, they were parched and unhealthy. Luckily, the state of Florida and conservationists stepped in to intervene before it was too late with an ambitious habitat restoration plan that includes levees, wetlands, pumps, and other infrastructure to get water moving smoothly into the region [...]]]>
We've Been Splitting Wood All Wrong
Fri, 24 Jan 2014 17:21:38 +0000
Splitting wood is one of the least favorite tasks of woodstove owners, and even for people who are just chopping for a decorative fireplace or pit, it gets unfun very rapidly. The repetitive motion and high amount of energy required are demanding, and the concussive force from blow after blow can really set a pair of shoulders aching. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20140124/BLOGS/301249961/-1/blogs01
We all know that mason jars are super hip in home decor right now, but what about jars in general? Because jars come in all shapes an sizes, not just the classic mason style, and chances are that if you buy peanut butter, spices, jams, and much more, you have some old glass jars floating around. See full [...]]]>
Making Pasadena Safe for Cyclists
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 17:07:17 +0000
Drivers in Pasadena are about to be disappointed, but cyclists and pedestrians are stoked: Los Angeles concrete companies are getting set to turn the city's car-friendly roads into a cycling and pedestrian-centered haven. Like many parts of Southern California, Pasadena is a very car-heavy locale, with numerous residents relying solely on cars as a way to get around.
Store That Food You're Growing!
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 17:07:16 +0000
Now that you're growing all kinds of amazing produce, you may have a problem on your hands: an excess of deliciousness. It's kind of astounding to watch how much even a small garden can produce, and if you aren't careful, you can be overloaded, especially in the summer, when a veritable bounty of delicious summer squash, tomatoes, herbs, and more will be exploding from [...]]]>
Is Your Dryer Running Efficiently?
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 17:07:15 +0000
Being a renter, I don't necessarily get a lot of control over my appliances. And recently, the dryer has started acting up, taking longer and longer and longer to dry a load of laundry. I know it's eating up a ton of energy, because my electrical bill has skyrocketed, and I know that's bad for the environment, which is something I don't want for my otherwise green laundry room. [...]]]>
Remember the Alamo!
Wed, 22 Jan 2014 17:07:13 +0000
Say, do you feel really passionately about remembering the Alamo? Well, this real estate listing in Houston, Texas might interest you: it's an Alamo-themed estate, and, well, let's just say that the architects put a lot of thought into things. The front of the 6,500 square foot home has been modeled after the famous Texas site, although the inside is far from a spartan fort, [...]]]>
Smart Curtains Close Themselves
Wed, 22 Jan 2014 17:07:12 +0000
Have you ever found yourself lying on the couch when the sun changes angle, and suddenly it becomes unbearably hot when before you were just nice and cozy? Imagine being your house, which can't just get up and move. Controlling indoor temperatures often requires action like closing curtains to cut out bright light, turning up the air conditioning or a fan, opening or [...]]]>
10 Tips to Go Green in the Laundry Room
Wed, 22 Jan 2014 17:07:11 +0000
The EPA estimates that if Americans went green in the laundry room, they'd save three trillion gallons of water annually, along with over $18 billion per year. The laundry room is a place where we seem to spend a lot of time -- the agency's statistics show that the average household runs more than 400 [...]]]>
More Parking for Downtown Cleveland?
Sun, 19 Jan 2014 11:10:33 +0000
What's old could be new again in Cleveland, where the historic Lincoln Building, originally built for parking, may be returned to that purpose in order to free up space in the city's cramped downtown. While Cleveland's parking is actually comparatively plentiful (especially in the eyes of those of us who've ever had to park in downtown San Francisco or [...]]]>
Installing Crown Molding
Sun, 19 Jan 2014 11:10:33 +0000
Step into any older home, and chances are that your eyes are going to be drawn to the beautiful molding. Once a must-have in home design, molding has fallen by the wayside in newer construction in the interest of building cheaply and efficiently -- it's easier to forgo the molding not just during [...]]]>
18 Uses for Rubber Bands
Sun, 19 Jan 2014 11:10:32 +0000
Got a rubber band ball made up of the seemingly endless rubber bands that seem to trickle into your house when you're not looking? Take it apart. That ball is a total waste of an incredibly useful household item, and we're about to show you the myriad ways you can put rubber bands to use around the home -- besides the obvious. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20140118/BLOGS/301189974/-1/blogs01
They're always coming up with new uses for social media, and this morning, I spotted a particularly interesting use of crowdsourcing. Colorado arson investigators have turned to the public through social media to ask for help with solving a series of nasty arsons that took place in October. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20140118/BLOGS/301189975/-1/blogs01
We love bees and beekeeping here at Networx, and if you're considering starting your own apiary this year, congratulations! Bees can be rewarding and tons of fun to keep, and thankfully there are numerous resources available to help you keep your bees happy, healthy, and productive -- chances are high that your community hosts bee hobbyists and enthusiasts who can help get [...]]]>
Shape Up Your Garage
Sat, 18 Jan 2014 17:10:50 +0000
How long has it been since you've been able to park your car in your garage? Or, uh, find something you needed in the garage? Is your garage a terrifying danger zone of toppling boxes, jumbled tools, buckling shelving, and random junk? Well, my friend, it's a new year, and it's time to get your garage ship-shape and Bristol fashion in honor of the fact that it's 2014.
Winter Cooking Classes in Dallas!
Fri, 17 Jan 2014 17:11:44 +0000
Think nothing's in season in January, and that you're doomed to boring meals and eating from the back of the freezer? Think again. There's actually a ton of produce at peak right now, and the Dallas Observer has rounded up 10 cooking classes offered by local chefs, farmers' markets, and more. See full [...]]]>
Build a Geodesic Dome Greenhouse!
Fri, 17 Jan 2014 17:11:43 +0000
So I hear you want to build a greenhouse. You're tired of this frigid weather, you want to get some starts going early, or maybe you just have a hankering to grow some things that prefer to grow in warmer climes. Whatever your reasoning, you're probably a little bit daunted by all the options available when it comes to building greenhouses and hoop houses for your [...]]]>
Amazing Rammed Earth Construction
Fri, 17 Jan 2014 17:11:43 +0000
I'm absolutely besotted with this amazing school design in Muyinga, Burundi, covered by Inhabitat. Faced with the need to provide educational accommodations for d/Deaf and hard of hearing students, architects went above and beyond with a stunningly beautiful school that also acts as a community hub. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20140116/BLOGS/301169947/-1/blogs01
If you weren't in Cincinnati last night, you missed out: the city hosted my kind of food fight! Chefs went knife to knife in a competition with a pre-selected basket of items based on the hit television series Chopped, competing for the coveted winning title, some cash, and, of course, a knife-related prize. [...]]]>
The Lowdown on 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol
Thu, 16 Jan 2014 17:10:59 +0000
West Virginia has made headlines across the country this week with a major chemical spell that leaked 4-methylcyclohexane methanol into the water supply, forcing officials to issue a no-drink order that spanned hundreds of thousands of West Virginians. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20140116/BLOGS/301169949/-1/blogs01
No Pants Day Raises Eyebrows
Wed, 15 Jan 2014 17:06:20 +0000
Someone call a Chicago exterminator: the subway system's having a run of pantsless rebels! Sunday marked the Annual No Pants Day, in which some intrepid subway riders around the world complete their usual commute sans pants (underwear stays on, thank you!). See full article.]]>
Toxic Sludge Pit to Model Eco-Town
Wed, 15 Jan 2014 17:06:19 +0000
Readers of the news in October 2010 may remember a series of horrifying and heartbreaking images from the Hungarian town of Devecser. The town was battered by a flood of toxic red sludge containing byproducts from aluminum mining that was released when a dam broke. See full article.]]>
Saving Frost-Bitten Plants
Wed, 15 Jan 2014 17:06:18 +0000
If you've been living through the polar vortex, or just plain cold temperatures, you may have been worried about a lot of things, including your garden. While your plants took night after night of cold temperatures, your nails might have ended up bitten to the quick as you waited to see what happened. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20140112/BLOGS/301129975/-1/blogs01
Talk about a cereal killer. Baltimore resident Andrew Palmer likes to wine and dine with the best of them, but he's not so fond of the payment part -- so he's become an expert at skipping out on the bill. Or perhaps not so much, because this dine and dasher has been arrested on multiple occasions for attempting to stiff his poor waiters with his tab, and he just got arrested [...]]]>
Make Your Own Cheese Press!
Sun, 12 Jan 2014 11:10:20 +0000
Did you know that making your own cheese is actually pretty darn easy? All it involves is heating milk, adding some cultures, stirring, allowing the mixture to set for a period of time in a warm spot, and then straining! After straining, you have the option of eating your soft, fresh cheese, or putting the cheese into a cheese press and creating a nice round of hard cheese [...]]]>
5 Crafty Cleaning Tips
Sun, 12 Jan 2014 11:10:19 +0000
As we move into a new year, many of us are thinking about those pesky little cleaning projects we've been putting off: that grody grout in the bathroom, another go at Aunt Lucy's antique tablecloth, or that glaring nail polish stain on the bedroom rug (you know who you are!). See full article.]]>
Rock Hill Fire Kills 1, Severely Burns Another
Sat, 11 Jan 2014 17:10:33 +0000
Winter is unfortunately the season for terrible house fires, and the news seems full of them in the last week especially, thanks to the polar vortex, which has been pressuring people across the Midwest, East, and South with extreme cold temperatures. Harsh weather often leads people to make unsafe [...]]]>
Grow an Avocado...You Know You Want To!
Sat, 11 Jan 2014 17:05:23 +0000
I don't know about you, but I'm an avocado fiend. I adore these delicious little fruits, particularly the rich, creamy Hass that's widely cultivated in California and parts of the Southwest. And, like so many of us, every time I wrench a pit out of an avocado to get at the goodness inside, I mull over the thought of growing my own avocado tree. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20140111/BLOGS/301119995/-1/blogs01
I love multipurpose objects with a passion. They appeal to my aesthetic sense and also to my desire to live a low-impact life: why have three things when I could have one thing that does all three? Plus, they're critical for people living in small houses and working with limited space. See full [...]]]>
Save Money on Boston Utilities
Fri, 10 Jan 2014 17:21:32 +0000
With the polar vortex still holding the East Coast in its grip, though forecasts suggest the weather will ease up this weekend, many residents of Boston and other East Coast cities are worried about the hideous heating bills they'll be seeing on the other side of the frost. See full article.]]>
Resolution Central: Greening the Bathroom
Fri, 10 Jan 2014 17:21:31 +0000
Did you make a resolution this year to keep up with housework? We commend you, but we also know it can be hard work, especially when you're already knee-deep in work, social life, and other distractions. Living in a clean house can make you feel so much happier, but it's not always feasible, especially if you plan to go the extra mile and clean the green way.
Gardening for Dummies
Fri, 10 Jan 2014 17:21:30 +0000
Have you decided to hop on board with the urban gardening trend? Whether you're limited to a few buckets in a sunny corner of the house, a little garden on the porch, or you have actual growing space outdoors, you might be a little intimidated. What do you grow, and when? How should you maintain a garden? Which supplies do you really need? Is it going to be expensive to set [...]]]>
Texas Narrowly Avoids Rolling Blackout
Thu, 09 Jan 2014 17:12:49 +0000
With punishing winter weather settling in across much of the country, Texas faced serious trouble on Monday morning as first one, and then another, power plant went offline due to weather issues. The result was a restriction in available energy, but fortunately, Austin electricians were ready to address the problem, and they worked hard to keep the lights on.
No More Toxic Furniture in 2014!
Thu, 09 Jan 2014 17:12:48 +0000
We all heard the horror stories: babies and young children trapped in horrible fires, burned to death on furniture that acted like a tinderbox, thanks to the fact that it was filled with flammable textiles and wooden support elements. The specter of losing lives to unsafe furniture was so ominous that it convinced regulatory authorities to act, mandating the addition of [...]]]>
Don't Let the Polar Vortex Ruin Your Home!
Thu, 09 Jan 2014 17:12:47 +0000
It's brutally cold across much of the US, which has many people huddling indoors and seeking shelter. While you're staying warm inside, though (or calling your HVAC technician to find out why the heater isn't working), it's important to remember that your home is suffering from the polar vortex too. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20140108/BLOGS/301089952/-1/blogs01
News has it that conditions are cold on the East Coast and Midwest, where freezing temperatures are bringing entire city infrastructures to a halt as government agencies, schools, and businesses close while the streets ice over. In Atlanta, metro schools are closing tomorrow, and it's not the only city shutting down schools for safety and welfare. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20140108/BLOGS/301089953/-1/blogs01
I grew up in a house that relied solely on a 1,000 gallon tank of rainwater for our water supply. Once we ran out, that was it, and running out was a serious concern some summers, especially in drought years. (We ended up having to buy water to refill the tank on three occasions. See full [...]]]>
Community-Owned Solar Gardens Make Waves
Wed, 08 Jan 2014 17:12:43 +0000
For years now, communities have been taking advantage of public lots to built community gardens, allotments, and other community spaces where those without room to garden at home can have a place to do so. These initiatives have been extremely successful in many regions, helping people stabilize their food supply, get more fresh fruits and vegetables, connect directly with [...]]]>
6 Inspiring Garden Paths
Sun, 05 Jan 2014 17:11:42 +0000
A good pathway can totally change a garden. If you've got a muddy, messy path surrounded by beautiful plants, your plants won't seem quite as flashy, thanks to that ho-hum trail slashing through them...and all your garden visitors will be complaining about filthy shoes after tours! Make your garden a pride of place with a beautiful pathway that fits the setting and your [...]]]>
Transit-Oriented Development for San Diego
Sun, 05 Jan 2014 11:10:43 +0000
Transit-oriented housing may be the wave of the 21st century, especially if environmental activists and smart urban planners have their way. It makes sense, concentrating people into areas that make it easy to get around without needing a car, which reduces congestion and pollution while stimulating people to form community connections. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20140105/BLOGS/301059994/-1/blogs01
Whether they're strike on the box or not, matches can be useful around the house, and you may well have a packet or box rattling around somewhere. But what do you do with a matchbox when all the matches are gone? Sure, you could toss it in the recycling, or you could use it for. See full article.]]>
13 Injured in New Year's Fire
Sat, 04 Jan 2014 11:10:58 +0000
A soggy, smoky, and grim New Year's opened near Minneapolis' downtown with a fire that rapidly engulfed a building after a possible explosion, requiring the response of 55 firefighters and attracting attention from neighbors on all sides, including a mosque. See full article.]]>
Resolve to Repair in 2014
Sat, 04 Jan 2014 11:10:57 +0000
You're probably familiar with the maxim "reduce, reuse, and recycle," adopted across green-loving households everywhere as people commit to cutting down on their waste. It's an easy and simple way to remember that you should try to reduce the amount of potential waste brought into the house, reuse materials when you're done with them, and then [...]]]>
Not All Linoleum is Created Equal
Sat, 04 Jan 2014 11:10:55 +0000
I may have mentioned recently that I'm in the process of getting ready to replace my bathroom floor, which is currently a mix of aging vinyl flooring and carpeting. The vinyl floor actually isn't in bad shape, although the dark pattern makes the bathroom feel positively cave-like in the winter, but the carpeting is completely [...]]]>
Happy New Year from Networx!
Fri, 03 Jan 2014 11:20:47 +0000
Happy New Year! We hope you had a safe, fun, fantastic, and happy night last night among friends and loved ones, ringing in the New Year with style. Now that 2014 is finally here and we're all breathing a sigh of relief that 2013 is over at last, it's time to start thinking ahead about all the amazing home improvement projects we'll be embarking on. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20140103/BLOGS/301039992/-1/blogs01
I love octopi: they're beautiful, they're smart, and they're just a little bit weird. Did you know that a six hundred pound octopus can compress itself down to the width of a quarter to fit in, or through, a small space? Or that octopi are notorious for escaping from their enclosures in museums and aquariums and generally making a nuisance of themselves in captivity?
5 Hot Garden Designs For 2014
Fri, 03 Jan 2014 11:20:45 +0000
Winter is my favorite time of year to hunker down and dream up my future landscaping plans. Its the new year, which means Im filled with resolve, excitement, and lots of ambition. And although it may be cold and dark outside, I know that in a few months the sunny days will return, and well all be shuffling outside onto our [...]]]>
Pricey Home Sales Last Year in San Francisco
Thu, 02 Jan 2014 17:10:58 +0000
Visitors to San Francisco often admire the lovely architecture, with some neighborhoods boasting long rows of Victorian, Edwardian, and Beaux Arts beauties. Jackson Street is one of the many San Francisco streets famous for its unbroken row of architectural glory, but it comes at a pretty penny: in 2013, three of the most expensive home sales of the [...]]]>
Secrets of Companion Planting
Thu, 02 Jan 2014 17:10:57 +0000
Raise your hand if you've ever headed out to the garden in the morning, only to find that all your lettuces have been chewed up by insects. Or if you've noticed problems with your soil: is it dry, crumbly, and compact, instead of moist, rich, and filled with healthy microorganisms along with fungi and earthworms? There are lots of solutions to these common gardening problems, [...]]]>
A Carbon Neutral Home, Even In Bad Conditions
Thu, 02 Jan 2014 17:10:56 +0000
In many writeups of eco-friendly homes, particularly those built with carbon-neutral plans in mind, you'll read about how the setting was carefully chosen. Setting tends to matter when you're trying to take advantage of natural benefits like ample sunlight, natural earth insulation, and other environmental traits. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20140101/BLOGS/301019980/-1/blogs01
The fight to preserve our history can sometimes be an uphill battle. In Lake Oswego, Oregon, a home that's been in the family for seven generations since it was built in 1850 is slated for demolition, but historic preservation advocates are fighting the move. See full article.]]>
Cleaning Your Walls the Green Way
Wed, 01 Jan 2014 17:11:01 +0000
Interior walls tend to get dingy over time, as you've probably already noticed. No matter what color they are, streaks and stains start to show, mysterious scuff marks emerge, and you start to feel like you're living in Murkville USA instead of a gorgeous clean home. See full article.]]>
A Community Garden Stealth Attack
Wed, 01 Jan 2014 17:11:00 +0000
Founded in the 1980s, Coney Island's Boardwalk Garden was a beloved spot for community members, who made use of the site to grow a profuse array of vegetables, raise chickens, and even house cats down on their luck. When the rumblings of development threatened the site, people fought back, but a body blow was struck over the weekend when developers came in the dead of night to [...]]]>
Bonnie and Clyde Live Again in Florida
Sun, 29 Dec 2013 17:10:56 +0000
An illustrious modern day Bonnie and Clyde managed to swing through 15 banks in Florida and Alabama over the last few months before being finally caught by authorities -- fortunately, they were taken in peacefully, rather than in a storm of bullets. Impressively, our "Bonnie" was just ten days away from delivering her baby at the start of the robberies, several of which [...]]]>
12 Uses for Old Socks
Sun, 29 Dec 2013 17:10:55 +0000
Whether you've lost a mate to the dryer elves, finally torn a hole through the toe of your beloved pair of old standbys, or given in to the inevitable death of the elastic, you've come to the grim conclusion that a sock is not long for this world. Or. See full article.]]>
Freestanding Tub Inspiration Lookbook
Sun, 29 Dec 2013 11:11:00 +0000
I said standalone tubs would be big for 2014, but I didn't want to leave you hanging when it comes to different ways to play around with standalone tub installations, including modern, classic, and Chinese-inspired. Take a look at some of these amazing bathroom renovation projects from Hometalk, showing some of the many ways you can use a standalone tub.
Tour Arabian Horse Farms This Weekend!
Sat, 28 Dec 2013 17:10:36 +0000
The Arabian horse is one of the most ancient horse breeds, and it's endured today as a fiery, beautiful, sprightly example of equines at their finest. Lucky residents of the Phoenix, Arizona area have an opportunity through the New Year to check out some of the finest Arabian farms in their area, with tours open to the public offering demonstrations, music, food, and [...]]]>
Just Say No to Drafts in the Home
Sat, 28 Dec 2013 17:10:35 +0000
Do the candles on your table gutter in a steady breeze, even though none of the windows are open? Can you see tumbleweeds drifting across the hall? Are your drapes swinging ethereally? Your house might be haunted...but it's probably just drafty, and that's going to drive your heating bills way up, way fast. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20131228/BLOGS/312289983/-1/blogs01
The holidays tend to generate large volumes of waste as you raise the roof with your celebrations. You've got wrappings; old tech and other discards replaced by shiny new presents; trees and greenery swags; ugly and unwanted presents (come on, you know you got at least one); extra food; and so much more. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20131227/BLOGS/312279966/-1/blogs01
Philadelphia contractors will need to take some extra steps on their projects starting 1 January, thanks to a new rule taking effect from the Department of Licenses and Inspections. Before receiving permits for construction and demolition work, contractors will need to provide proof of insurance and a tax clearance form. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20131227/BLOGS/312279967/-1/blogs01
You've already been told that you should buy energy-efficient appliances, swap out your old windows for new double panes, install some solar panels, and do a whole pile of other expensive things to green your home. And you know they'll save you money in the long term, but what if you don't have the money right now? Well, we feel [...]]]>
Kebony: Like Tropical Hardwood, But Sustainable
Fri, 27 Dec 2013 17:11:11 +0000
Tropical hardwoods have long been prized for their rich dark tones and incredible durability. Woods like teak seem to last forever, even in harsh conditions, and they acquire a beautiful patina over time that testifies to years of graceful aging. Unfortunately, these rainforest woods come at a high environmental cost: deforestation and other unsustainable logging practices have [...]]]>
Tuning In for the Yule Log?
Thu, 26 Dec 2013 17:11:18 +0000
It's not just Norwegian television that runs riveting programs about firewood (including both stacking practices and images of cracking flames). New York City's WPIX has been running a Yule Log special since 1966, featuring a log merrily crackling away in a fireplace, accompanied by a variety of Christmas songs. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20131226/BLOGS/312269971/-1/blogs01
We all know lead is toxic, which is why it's not allowed in paint and children's toys because of the associated health risks. But were you aware that many other products are allowed to contain lead, and companies don't always need to label them unless the metal exceeds a given amount? [...]]]>
2014 Bathroom Trends
Thu, 26 Dec 2013 17:11:17 +0000
We spend a lot of time in our bathrooms, so no small wonder what we want them looking their best -- I for one will be replacing my bathroom floor in 2014 (hopefully with some great new tile!). As we continually update our bathrooms to meet our changing needs and to accommodate the latest trends, they can have a tendency to feel dated. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20131225/BLOGS/312259970/-1/blogs01
"I was just hanging out," said a Minnesota man who happened to be "just hanging out" in a deer blind while wearing orange and coincidentally holding a loaded weapon. A game warden disagreed, arguing that he was clearly hunting, and since he lacked a license to do so, he received a citation. See full [...]]]>
The Lazy Gardener: Self-Seeding
Wed, 25 Dec 2013 17:10:40 +0000
We all know that perennial flowers will self-seed, keep growing, and come back again and again, making them great staples for the flower garden. But did you know that the same is true of many crops, as well? After all, plants are on a mission to perpetuate themselves, and while some [...]]]>
Cold Pantries for Green Kitchens
Wed, 25 Dec 2013 17:10:39 +0000
Before the advent of the refrigerator, we still ate all sorts of foods that needed to be kept cool, including dairy products, meats, and fresh produce. The solution used by some homes was an icebox, including blocks of ice to create a cold storage area for fresh foods, but the cold pantry was also a critical staple. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20131222/BLOGS/312229992/-1/blogs01
While the overall market across the US seems uncertain, signs of recovery are cropping up here and there, and Boulder, Colorado is providing a remarkable example. Luxury home sales in the region are going through the roof, with 38 homes selling for over $2 million in 2013 compared to just 18 last year. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20131222/BLOGS/312229993/-1/blogs01
Every now and then, I pop over to Hometalk to check on something and I get sucked in, pulling myself out hours later and wondering what exactly happened. One particular danger zone for me is home tours, where users show off their homes to their best advantage and I proceed to drool all over my keyboard as I imagine myself inhabiting some of these lovely homes (and getting my [...]]]>
10 New Uses for Tin Cans
Sun, 22 Dec 2013 11:10:47 +0000
Some times of the year, I feel like I'm churning out tin cans like clockwork, and this is one of them. It's not just the canned pumpkin I'm using for holiday baking because I don't have time to roast and prepare my own squash. It's the cans of cat food for a little someone who's having some special nutritional needs, the [...]]]>
Miami Among America's 10 Best Cities!
Sat, 21 Dec 2013 17:10:57 +0000
The Movoto Blog is one of my favorite reads for sheer entertainment value, because these people know their real estate, they know their science, and they know how to be unabashedly silly. Their top ten lists are among their best offerings, chronicling lists of cities by categories like "funniest" and "most steampunk. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20131221/BLOGS/312219977/-1/blogs01
Thinking about remodeling or building something from scratch? Chances are that you may have considered the integration of reclaimed timber from deconstructed homes into your final product, for reasons ranging from wanting to be environmentally sensitive to creating an authentically aged look to [...]]]>
Kitchen Remodeling Trends for 2014
Sat, 21 Dec 2013 17:10:55 +0000
Did you know that summer and fall tend to be peak periods for home renovation? In part, it's because of the fair weather, and it's also because that's when people are making changes to the home after kids leave for college...and before people start arriving for the winter holidays. See full [...]]]>
LA Prepares for World's Largest Wave Tank
Fri, 20 Dec 2013 17:11:03 +0000
Ever seen a wave tank? They're pretty cool, not just for recreation but also for research, which is why the city of Los Angeles is gearing up for a major construction project at a currently unused pier in San Pedro. Called AltaSea, it's projected to open in 2018, and when it does, it won't be just any old wave tank: it will be the world's largest, part of a massive marine [...]]]>
Getting Victorious in the Garden
Fri, 20 Dec 2013 17:11:02 +0000
How much do you know about the history of the victory garden? The tradition started in the First World War, when the governments of US and Britain encouraged individual residents to start their own small gardens to do their bit in the war, and it carried on through the Second World War, when the victory garden trend exploded in a major way.
Dress Up Furniture With Overlays
Fri, 20 Dec 2013 17:11:02 +0000
You know how IKEA sells all this super plain, almost stark furniture? Many people use it as-is, since the utilitarian look is a totally legitimate design choice, but I view it less as an ending point and more of a blank slate: there are all sorts of directions I could take that furniture in, if I felt like it, and [...]]]>
Time Your Planting Well!
Thu, 19 Dec 2013 17:10:17 +0000
Planning on getting your Houston landscaping going early this year? Better hold up, because there is such a thing as planting too early, for, as as we know, "plant early, plant often." If you get crops in the ground too soon, the seeds and seedlings may mold or be killed by frost, but if you wait too long, they'll bolt in summer, or be killed in the winter when they're [...]]]>
Unwrapping Seed Catalog Terminology
Thu, 19 Dec 2013 11:11:02 +0000
If you're poring over seed catalogs in eager preparation for next year, you may be encountering some totally confusing and frustrating terminology and euphemisms. You want to know what you can grow, where you can grow it, when you should grow it, and how to grow it effectively -- and you want to know if you're going to like the results. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20131219/BLOGS/312199987/-1/blogs01
Researchers Robert Crawford and André Stephan have just released a case study examining Passive House architecture and design, and in their conclusion, they suggest that: "if you consider the whole life cycle of a house, it turns out that sometimes a new home designed to save energy can end up using more than an average house.
Dallas Carpenter Plans Tiny House Community
Wed, 18 Dec 2013 17:12:12 +0000
Beth Ann Norrgard spent much of her childhood in her dad's workshop with him, learning the tools of the trade. But, somehow, this Dallas carpenter found herself working a desk job in later life, and wondering when she'd given up on doing the things she loved. http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20131218/BLOGS/312189950/-1/blogs01
If you're like me, you probably learned from a young age that when you wash your hands, you need to turn the tap to hot, lather up, and rinse your hands. Ideally, you should be running your hands under water for at least 20 seconds (singing the alphabet song to yourself helps with timing this, FYI), to allow the surfactant action of the soap to help the water fully lift any [...]]]>
Did Your Wreath Come From Sustainable Sources?
Wed, 18 Dec 2013 17:12:11 +0000
This is the season when doors and more abound with lush evergreen wreaths, which some households may be making themselves, while others may prefer to pick up at the store or at a nursery specializing in holiday greenery displays. There's nothing quite like a wreath for bringing in a rich aroma of evergreen deliciousness, paired with green cheer at a sometimes gloomy time [...]]]>
Easy DIY Organizing Solutions
Sun, 15 Dec 2013 17:10:32 +0000
Do you feel like your house is starting to spiral out of control? It's a common problem at this time of year in particular as you're trying to juggle cooking, baking, house guests, presents, and more (maybe you're resorting to a Houston cleaning service to help out with the increased cleaning load?). http://www.bastropenterprise.com/article/20131215/BLOGS/312159990/-1/blogs01
After years of a sluggish economy, Cincinnati is experiencing an uptick in new construction, welcome news for economic recovery in the region. New construction means jobs for Cincinnati tile contractors, plumbers, electricians, and more, all of whom are an integral part of the process when it comes to building new homes and getting them ready for occupants.
11 Uses for Wooden Dowels
Sun, 15 Dec 2013 11:10:57 +0000
Wooden dowels too often seem like one of those things that stacks up around the house or workshop -- you buy some for a project, you use what you need, and then you have leftovers that have no discernible uses. Suddenly, you look down one day to discover that they've taken over an entire corner, and they sit mournfully covered in dust waiting for you to come up with something [...]]]>