Wednesday, November 30, 2005

House leaks (link)

Question of the Month
I have heard it said that most roof leaks are actually "flashing leaks." What exactly does this mean?  Link: HouseMaster eNewsletter

(From Housemaster e-newsletter)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Tropical Storm/Hurricane Epsilon

We've made it to Epsilon!  It's headed west, but it isn't expected to become a hurricane.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Old house resources

Old-House Journal
A website and bi-monthly magazine that contain everything old-house owners need to know about caring for, living in and enjoying their old houses. 

Florida Victorian Architectural Antiques
Florida Victorian specializes in the salvage of antique building materials and old house parts including doors, windows, heartpine flooring, hardware, clawfoot bathtubs, old bricks and beams, mantels, doorknobs, nauticals, and movie & TV props.

The Renovator's Supply - Restoration Hardware-Plumbing-Lighting for Real estate development.
Restoration hardware, plumbing, lighting manufacturer.  Renovator's Supply online store & catalog serving you for generations

Van Dykes Restorers
We are the industry leader in antique furniture and vintage home restoration hardware and supplies - from solid oak furniture kits to fittings, hinges and restorative supplies. 

Preservation North Carolina Raleigh, NC  The mission of Preservation North Carolina is to protect and promote buildings, sites and landscapes important to the heritage of North Carolina.

I've read Old House Journal for years--great magazine with lots of resources.  I've been to Florida Victorian Architectural Antiques in DeLand--great selection.  I've bought a few things there, and I'd love to buy lots more!  I've bought things from Renovator's Supply catalog for years also.  I get the Van Dykes catalog, but I don't remember if I've bought anything from it.  I keep it on hand though.  Preservation North Carolina has a great selection of historical homes that I enjoyed looking at in their catalog.  There are lots more resources out there.  Houston has at least two preservation organizations; check your locality for possibilities.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Tropical Storm Delta

TS Delta shouldn't bother us at all; if there's another one, it'll be Epsilon.  I believe Delta makes 25 named storms. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Historic homes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR MORE INFORMATION: Susan Steeley, 202-339-0744, ext 114

Old-House Journal and form marketing alliance
to promote historic real estate

Washington, DC, July 3, 2003---Old-House Journal, the original restoration magazine, and, the internet’s most comprehensive resource for buying and selling historic real estate, have formed a joint marketing venture to create the pre-eminent source for advertising historic real estate for sale nationwide.

By combining forces, the alliance is expected to provide advertisers bimonthly readership of 700,000 and daily online viewership in the tens of thousands.

These market leaders in residential historic homes, at least 50 years or older, share a common vision to encourage the preservation of our nation’s older homes. Old-House Journal, launched in 1973, this year is celebrating 30 years in the market delivering detailed advice, practical and creative home-improvement solutions and expert how-to guidance on the subject of restoring older homes or new homes built in a traditional style.

Likewise, serving the online market, was conceived by and for historic house lovers and founded on an appreciation for older properties. From projects to completed renovations, residential to commercial, West Coast to East Coast, viewers can browse through hundreds of historical properties for sale in its searchable database.

Restore Media, LLC, is dedicated to serving the information needs of the commercial and residential historic restoration and renovation industry. The company produces the Restoration & Renovation Exhibition and Conference and publishes Clem Labine’s Traditional Building and Clem Labine’s Period Homes, as well as Old-House Journal and Old-House Journal’s Restoration Directory, an annual guide to products and services.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

An Affair with a House

I came across a review of this book in the December issue of Home.  It looks interesting and helpful.  Here's the blurb from Barnes & Noble:

Affair with a House: Creating a Comfortable Country Home

FROM THE PUBLISHER For 28 years the world-renowned interior designer Bunny Williams has been involved in a passionate love affair with an18th-century New England manor house that she found in sad repair. From the moment she walked up the driveway and her palms began to perspire, Williams knew she wanted the affair to last forever. In her sumptuous new book, An Affair with a House, the venerable decorator describes in detail how she and her husband, antiques dealer John Rosselli, rescued, nurtured, renovated, and decorated the well-worn house, giving it new life as they restored each room, resurrected the abandoned gardens, and filled this weekend home with family and friends.

Through photographs, anecdotes, how-tos, and recipes, Williams provides a rare inside look at a top decorator's retreat and explains how she approached the joys, pleasures, challenges, obstacles, and day-to-day realities of creating a beautiful, comfortable country home.  ...

Link: Barnes & - Affair with a House: Creating a Comfortable Country Home - Bunny Williams - Hardcover

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Friday, November 18, 2005

Tropical Storm Gamma

Gamma should be crossing the Peninsula Monday.  The path looks similar to Wilma's.  It should be south of us also.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A new scam home builders need to watch out for

In my book, Building a Cool House for Hot Times without Scorching the Pocketbook, I point out things to watch for when building your home, but here's a new one I came across in today's paper. 

Officials Warn of Scrub Jay Scam  (North Port, FL)

About 10 property owners were allegedly told by builders this week their lots can't be developed because a little blue and gray bird may reside there.  Landowners say they were advised to unload these "worthless" properties and were offered $1,200 per lot, far below the market rate of $45,000.  City and county officials went on the offensive to alert residents about the scam and to set the record straight: Lots containing scrub jays or their habitat can still be developed.  Property owners just need to submit plans for federal review and pay fees before building can begin. 



Monday, November 14, 2005

Tropical Depression Twenty-seven

Looks like we may make it to Tropical Storm or even Hurricane (category 1) Gamma--or not because of shear, but it should stay way south of us.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Magazines I subscribe to and/or read

You might guess that I subscribe to home & garden magazines, such as Home, Country Home, Birds & Blooms, Horticulture, Backyard Living, Early American Life, and Country Living.  I also subscribe to Writer's Digest and Budget Living, and I read Old House Journal, Southern Living, National Geographic, assorted pet magazines, and others.

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Kitchen island--C'est magnifique!

I came across the most fantastic kitchen island I've ever seen in the October issue of Home (Kitchen & Bath issue).  It's Molteni by Electrolux Podium II Kitchen Island and is handcrafted in France; it's stocked with an induction wok and hot plate, a griddle, two refrigerator and two storage drawers, and a sink.   Stainless steel and enamel.  The color in the magazine is red.  This kitchen island costs $85,000, btw.  Here's the Molteni webpage: Molteni - Own your dream!  The picture in the magazine is better.  If you're interested, go to a bookstore or library and look at page 29 of the magazine. 

Sunday, November 6, 2005

World building

Straight On Until a New Planet

by Joy V. Smith

I love SF, and some of my favorite stories are about other worlds, including Andre Norton's adventure-filled books, Christopher Anvil's Pandora's Planet, Gordon R. Dickson's The Outposter, Anne McCaffrey's Pern series, Robert A. Heinlein's Podkayne of Mars, and Keith Laumer's Retief series.

For the rest of the article: WORKING WRITER For people who write

Thursday, November 3, 2005


For those wondering if starting and maintaining a blog (web log) takes too much time, I'd say that it takes a lot less time than a website, but you should update it more frequently; however, that's easy.  Have some name choices for your blog on hand when you're ready to start.  For more information, here's a link to my interview on blogging: Long Ridge Writers Group   and here's a list of blog hosts.

AOL Journals
MSN Spaces, August 15-22, 2005.

Technorati, a popular blog search and syndication site estimates that the blogosphere alone doubles in size every 5 months. As of the end of July 2005, Technorati was tracking over 14.2 million weblogs, and over 1.3 billion links.  (From AddMe e-mail newsletter #364 )

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Another good house building book

I came across a review of "Building Your Own Home for Dummies" by Kevin Daum, Janice Brewster and Peter Economy on the Bob Bruss Real Estate Center website: Bob Bruss Real Estate Center  (I clicked on the link in his newsletter.)

Bruss says: "This book should only be read a few chapters at a time so the content can be thoroughly digested. Surprisingly, some of the best content chapters come at the end of the book. The book's organization could have been better, but virtually all the home construction essentials are included.

The primary reason I say some of the best chapters are toward the end is that those chapters emphasize the home construction mistakes to avoid. To illustrate, Chapter 20 explains how to handle potential problems such as running out of construction loan cash, cost over-runs, not getting along with the contractor, and even the contractor walking off the job."

My house book, Building a Cool House for Hot Times without Scorching the Pocketbook, also includes potential problems and points out the importance of being prepared, but some things are unique to each home builder.  Fortunately, most of us won't have to worry about an eagle's nest...  Btw, it's available from: Barnes & - Building a Cool House for Hot Times Without Scorching the Pocketbook - Joy V. Smith - Paperback