Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina update

A friend in Canada says that the remnants of Katrina are in Quebec now--wind and rain with more rain coming.  And who would have thought that it could get worse in New Orleans...

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Magistria: The Realm of the Sorcerer

My story, Seedlings, is in Magistria: Realm of the Sorcerer, which is available from lulu: .MAGISTRIA: REALM OF THE SORCERER by G. W. Thomas (Book) in Books > Fiction & Literature > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Epic Fa... 

I'm working on the sequel, Crystal Quest, now.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Tropical Storm Katrina

Katrina dropped from a 5 to a 4 just before making landfall (three landfalls all together) and is now a tropical storm.  I've seen footage of the flooding and damage, and it's devastating.  Meanwhile, TD 13 seems to be fizzling, but we have to keep an eye on TD 14.

NYC townhouse

Townhouse in Harlem, a neighborhood with lots of beautiful buildings.  Photo by G. Miki Hayden

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Your new house folder

In your new house idea folder, collect helpful articles and pictures from magazines to share with your contractor.  (In  a recent Log Homes Illustrated (September issue) article, a contractor said that a client's articles often contained the manufacturer's information so they were able to locate the product easily.) 

 

Katrina update 4

It looks like Katrina's going to make landfall as a category 5 hurricane.  The Weather Channel says this is unprecedented.  As I recall from reports, only three category 5 hurricanes have made landfall in the US (in recorded history)--Andrew, Camille, and an unnamed storm.  We got more rain from rain bands today.  Lots of standing water around the countryside, but it's not bad here.  Even the local swamps aren't that high here.  And there are two tropical waves coming off Africa; one is already TD13 and could become Lee.

Stormscaping

I came across Stormscaping: Landscaping to Minimize Wind Damage in Florida by Pamela Crawford (Florida Gardening Series, Vol. 3) today at Historic Bok Sanctuary (formerly Bok Tower Gardens).  Looks good. 

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Architectural salvage

 

If you're thinking about building or remodelling, you could start browsing architectural salvage stores now.  For more information, here's the link for Architectural Salvage News: Architectural Salvage

We were at Florida Victorian Architectural Antiques in DeLand today, btw.  They have a huge selection of indoor and outdoor architectural pieces!  We've bought a few things there over the years, including our green 1920s pedestal bathroom sink.  (The sink is much greener than it looks in this photo.)  Here's their website link: FLORIDA VICTORIAN ARCHITECTURAL ANTIQUES | Vintage building & house materials and parts

House specs

Be ready to give your contractor your specifications.  What kind of flooring, walls, windows, trim, cabinets and hardware, countertops, electrical and plumbing fixtures, etc.?  What about materials, finishes, and dimensions.  Learn what the symbols on your blueprints mean.  How will everything be attached?  Find out the model numbers, etc. of your appliances.  Walk around your current home; look at everything and make notes in a notebook.  Don't let your eyes slide over the things you take for granted.  Now's the time to get the things you've been wanting for years. 

Katrina update 3

Katrina's a category 3 hurricane now and still heading west.  It's supposed to turn north...  We're getting rain bands--mostly clouds.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Katrina update 2

Katrina is now a category 2 and may be a category 3 or 4 when it makes landfall.  It dropped south a bit before heading north.  It'll be paralleling Florida--further west than predicted.  (You can never tell what a hurricane will do.)  We're getting some rain bands or at least clouds. 

Katrina update

Katrina has crossed the tip of the penisula and should be heading north soon.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

We've started getting rain bands from Katrina, which is only a category 1 now.  Further south they're getting more wind and rain. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Tropical Depression 12

TD12, which may have formed from remnants of TD10 (they're not sure so they named it 12), is headed for the east coast of Florida and may become Katrina and possibly a category 1 hurricane.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Building glitches

Five subdivisions are on hold here because the waste treatment plant is at capacity.  (It's in the process of upgrading.)  Some houses have their foundations up, and it must be very frustrating for them.  And it'll probably cost them financially.  I heard recently that a couple whose house was put on hold for a year got priced out of the market.  They had bought a lot, but now may have to sell it.  Lots of things to think about when you're getting ready to build. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Does rain damage framing?

This is a good question.  I always wonder about it when I see an unroofed house with framing.  Check out the replies on HGTVPro's webpage: Does rain damage framing? - Topic Powered by Groupee Community

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Flooding in Florida

Bill Bair says in his column in the Sunday paper, "There may be disadvantages to an old Florida home, but flooding is not one of them.  The old settlers built when land was plentiful and they built well off the water...  It is rare to see a home built in the 1920s threatened by floods."  [See Hurricanes & Development post.]

Hurricane Irene

Irene is now a hurricane, but she's heading away from the coast; and tropical depression #10 has fizzled.  A year ago on August 13 I was eating lunch in a boarded up Cracker Barrel as Charley approached.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Cake vs. Pie. If there can be only one, ...

I'd have to vote for pie--Key Lime pie (only if it's yellow), Lemon Meringue pie, rhubarb pie, ...  I've always liked pie better than cake, unless it's an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins or Mom's carrot cake with cream cheese frosting!  OK, if I have to make a choice, it's pie.

Building a Cool House...

I've lived in homes which include the projects in Tampa (before A/C), a college dorm in Oshkosh, apartments in Boston, and a variety of houses.  When the opportunity came to build my own home, I knew it'd be a challenge, but I'd have what I wanted.  Moving in before the house was finished gave me an on-site appreciation of the housing process.  In Building a Cool House for Hot Times without Scorching the Pocketbook, I share what I've learned about the thousands of decisions you need to make while building and keeping in your budget.  The book includes excerpts from my diary (I had a lot of time while sitting in a house with only a temp power pole), photos, my house plan (well, an architect helped), and what's involved in building your home from the planning to the punch list and beyond.  (There's always something you'll want to change.  Read my book and keep those changes to a minimum!)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Pretty Pink Planet cover art

Pretty Pink Planet was the cover story in an audiobook, which is no longer available, but I always liked the artwork so I thought I'd share it.  It made a nifty tee shirt, btw.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Hurricanes and development


In today's paper, Tom Palmer's environmental column is about the recently published book, Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida.  A proverb is quoted from the book: Hurricanes are nature's way of making Floridians learn geography.  Sounds like an interesting book.

Monday, August 8, 2005

Decorating quiz (link)

From Oprah's website: What kind of decorator are you?:  'O at Home' Spring 2005

Sunday, August 7, 2005

Kitchen & bath workbook

I got the NKBA kitchen & bath consumer workbook recently.  It has lots of interesting information, plus a worksheet.  I ordered it from their website: National Kitchen & Bath Association: Get a FREE Workbook!

Sword & Sorcery anthology (edited by G.W. Thomas)

Why don't you tell us a little about the origins and content of your new anthology? Do you think sword and sorcery readers will find it of interest?

Magistria: Realm of The Sorcerer is a shared world collection in a day and age when books like this just don't happen anymore. I missed the old days of Thieves' World and thought why not? I came up with a fairly simple idea, a goddess burst into a billion shards, spreading magic all over the world. I didn't want to dictate to the writers but give them a jumping-off point. The concept the book is built on is that the world is ruled by different types of mages, each manipulating a single element: water, air, fire, metal, etc.

For the rest of the interview: Sword & Sorcery - your resource for fiction, interviews, articles, information and more

Saturday, August 6, 2005

Tropical Depression 9

Tropical Depression #9 is predicted to become Tropical Storm Irene and then Hurricane Irene.  It should miss us.  Btw, the line fence that got whacked by a big oak limb when Hurricane Jeanne blew through was fixed Friday.  Lots of houses still have roof tarps and missing shingles and not all the trees have been taken down...

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Kitchen space (link)

Decorating : Kitchen : A Small But Efficient Kitchen : Home & Garden Television

Tropical Storm Harvey

Harvey is moving away from the States and shouldn't affect us, but it's giving Bermuda rain.  This is the earliest eighth named storm in recorded history, btw.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Preparing to sell

From the Consumer How-To Guide:

Make sure your front entrance is clean and inviting.

Clean your windows.

Dispose of time-worn outdoor furnishings and trim.

Keep the grounds neatly landscaped.

Create a roomy feel in all parts of the house.

Ensure that all plumbing works properly.

Clean the bathrooms and kitchen meticulously.

Replace worn miscellaneous items with new ones.

Get your carpets and floors professionally cleaned.

Eliminate dust and odors.

Tour model homes in your area for decorating ideas.

Look at your home through a buyer's eyes.