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Stop Inviting Insect Invaders Into Home

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The waning days of summer are a good time to make sure your home isn’t putting out a welcome mat for insect invaders. If you’re like me, you’d rather not share your space with wasps, spiders, stink bugs and other pests that often become more visible in the fall, any more than you want to see cockroaches, termites or other bugs that cause problems year-round. Fortunately, pest control pros say …

Prepare for Storms Before They Arrive

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Three years ago, my family and I drove overnight from Maine to New Jersey, trying to get home ahead of Hurricane Irene. That memory from late August 2011 prompts hurricane-preparation thoughts today. Here are some tips from Ready.gov — some things to do well in advance of landfall: To start, put together an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. Know your …

Before Winter, Get Vegetables Into the Freezer

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Summer is nearly over. Those big yellow school buses are beginning their morning ambles and cool nights call for blankets on the bed. It’s time for me to get serious about putting up veggies for the winter. With the exception of lettuce, most vegetables can be saved for the winter and beyond. Freezing them is one of the easiest ways of doing so …

Interior Painting: Picking Best Color And Right Finish

Sunday, March 30, 2014

In the spring, many a homeowner’s fancy turns to thoughts of fresh paint, because what else renews a room as quickly? That doesn’t mean interior painting is a breeze. There are defined steps to a quality job, and they start with picking the right color and paint finish. …

A Winter Meal From the Garden, Even in March For March

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Technically, spring arrived on March 20. Most years I have snowdrops blooming on a south-facing hillside by early March, and some Glory-of-the-Snow in blossom by now. Not this year. Snow is still deep on my property, and nights …

Refrigerator Technology Uses Magnets, Boosts Efficiency

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Your next refrigerator might not even have a compressor. GE Appliances is developing magnetic refrigeration for residential use, a technology that needs no refrigerants or compressors and promises to increase the energy efficiency of refrigerators by 20 percent. Magnetic refrigeration — technically called magnetocaloric refrigeration — is not …

Spring Housecleaning: Some Tips and Tricks

Sunday, March 23, 2014

How do your cleaning skills compare to those of pros who’ve earned homeowners’ shining reviews? Just in time for spring, here are some tips, tricks and tools of the maid trade, supplied by highly rated cleaners our research team recently interviewed: Vacuum right with the right vacuum: Weekly …

Beauty in the Eye Of the Beholder, And the Diner

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I would hazard a guess that if you toured an art museum, the artwork depicting flowers would outnumber the art showing vegetables by 10 to 1. Or maybe 100 to 1. Georgia O’Keeffe and her poppies spring to mind, and Monet’s paintings of Giverny with its water lilies. …

High-Tech Toilets: No Hands or Paper

Monday, March 17, 2014

New York — Every so often a revolution transforms something truly basic, rendering the status quo somewhat, well, primitive. First came covered sewers, then indoor plumbing and flush toilets. Now, one bathroom at a time, another major shift in toilet hygiene is quietly underway. A new generation of …

Keep Winter Thaw Out of Your House

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A midwinter warm spell may be good for the psyche, but it might not be so great for your house. Drainage issues, roof problems and maintenance oversights could result in leaks when heavy snow starts melting. You may not be able to solve the underlying problems until spring …

Can’t Wait For Spring? Start Your Own Seeds

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I’m not sick of winter yet. But I have to admit that recent warm, sunny days got me thinking about spring. I love to start seedlings in the house, but recognize that it is still too early for …

With Winter Comes Threat of Frozen Pipes

Sunday, February 23, 2014

It’s a telltale sign: you turn on the faucet and … nothing. With record cold in much of the nation this winter, many homeowners have had (or will have) to deal with pipes freezing — and then bursting. Some tips on how to protect against frozen pipes, and …

Searching for Sleeping Beauty: Finding Delight in Plants in Winter

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I like winter. I like the special quality of winter light in the late afternoon, those purples and blues that were perfectly captured by Cornish Colony artist Maxfield Parish. But most of all, I like passing through the …