From the category archives:


Tweet The other day I saw gaps in my wood floor and that was my indicator to stop using our bathroom exhaust fan. In winter, low moisture content in the air (relative humidity) affects not only our home interiors and furniture but our comfort and energy bills. As doors open, cooking, showering and even people […]

Tweet On Saturday, September 25 2010 there’s going to be National Drug Take-Back Day at a location near you. Can’t happen soon enough, if you ask me. Today, seven students at a North Carolina middle school face criminal charges after trading prescription narcotics at school. These 11 to 13 year-old kids were raiding their home […]

Tweet The calendar says it’s the first day of autumn, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. Stifling heat has stubbornly plagued our Carolina Sandhills area all summer.  And if the forecast for highs in the 90′s continues, this week will mark 100 days of 90-degree plus weather in 2010. Now That’s what I call […]

Tweet By Joanne H. Shawcross I love old-fashioned hardware stores. Unfortunately, they are becoming rare, so you may never have shopped there. I was lucky enough to grow up when every town had one. Ours was named “Durfee’s,” in a building not so wide as it was deep and dark, zig-zagged with long shelves jammed […]

Tweet I love this wonderful free kitchen tool – It’s a refrigerator age calculator. You’d be startled to learn just how much electricity your refrigerator is gobbling up every day. Department of Energy says besides air conditioners, your refrigerator or freezer is the second biggest user of electricity at home (about 13.7%) . I bet […]

Tweet My daughter just changed jobs but her old office used to be a Nazi-era barracks. They’re scattered in towns across Germany. Seventy years later, the hulking red-tiled hip-roof buildings still stand in proper formation around an emerald parade field. I got to thinking about the rows of oversized windows set deep into the tan stucco walls and how even […]

Tweet Today’s weather – Mostly sunny, a thunderstorm in spots this afternoon – High 97.  Really with the combined solar and humidity factors it feels like 105 o F.  Yesterday it felt like 102o F. These are the true dog days of summer.  (Queue rattling cicada’s in the background.)  Even the hardiest Southerners can’t help […]

Tweet Listen up if you’re thinking about upgrading your windows as a green improvement and hoping to save some cash in the process. That’s a wise move. With this energy efficient project, you’ll immediately start enjoying better indoor natural lighting. Also expect your power bills to drop by 15%, on average. IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman […]

Tweet I replaced my suet feeder after my husband found it down by the creek kind of beat up. It’d gone missing before the holidays and hungry woodpeckers kept perching on the branch where it had hung. I shrugged off the event to a feisty squirrel. The new one lasted a week, and then it […]

Tweet Seems 2009 is already full of surprises. In January Mother Nature unexpectedly blanketed us with four inches of snow. Since the South doesn’t really DO snow, the only action outside was airborne – blowing snowflakes and birds desperate for the feeder. But that’s only part of the story … Actually hours before, when the […]