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History and Benefits of Rosemary

June 30th, 2010

rosemary-benefits.jpgRosemary is a perennial plant native to the Mediterranean region, used since antiquity in cooking and herbal medicine. Like most of the contents of our kitchen cabinets, rosemary has gained a rich load of associations through the years, medicinal and magical connections which blend fact and fiction in equal measure. In looking back over the history of rosemary, we can see a snapshot of other times and places, when magic was thought to rule the land. However, many of the beliefs associated with the benefits of rosemary have now been shown to have some basis in fact.

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Solar Pool Heater Options

June 29th, 2010

pool-solar-heater.jpgWe all know how much we can save on energy costs by using a solar cover for our pools. Solar covers minimize the heat loss from the pool water while simultaneously trapping solar heat to warm it. For those of us who would want to be more kind to our environment and who want to save even more on their energy bills, a solar pool heater might be the best option. Solar pool heaters easily heat up the water up to 80 degrees, and they make your pool usable even after the summer months have passed.

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Pentair MiniMax Heater for In-Ground Pools (NT Series)

June 28th, 2010

minimax-nt-inground-pool-heater.jpgThe Pentair MiniMax pool heater NT Series has specially been designed for inground pools. It is small, lightweight, and compact with rounded edges for installation in the pool area. An efficient heater with induced-draft and gas-fired high performance, the MiniMax NT is available in natural gas as well as liquid propane fuel systems. It comes in two models: the NT250 with 250,000 BTU and the NT400 with 400,000 BTU. Both the models are highly efficient and require very little maintenance.

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Pentair MiniMax Heater for Above Ground Pools (Model 100)

June 27th, 2010

pentair-minimax-100-pool-heater.jpgGas pool heaters are much more costly to run than electronic ones. However, if you need an effective and small heater to heat a pool or spa quickly, the Pentair MiniMax 100 pool heater would be the right choice for you. Specially designed for above ground pools, the heater is available in liquid propane as well natural gas powered models. The MiniMax 100 effectively heats water up to 90 degrees in pools, and close to 104 degrees in spas and hot tubs. Pentair has a patented thermostatic valve bypass technology that is used in this product and several others. This technology minimizes the calcium scaling, which results from condensation in most heating products and leads to ineffective heating.

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A Review of Materials Used for Garden Patio Furniture

June 26th, 2010

garden-patio-furniture.jpgGardens and patios look great in every home and one can increase their usability by throwing a few garden chairs, loungers, sofas, swings or hammocks around for lounging. The option of carrying, say, chairs and tables from indoors to outdoors is an option, but for those who prefer some pieces of furniture outdoors, many options are available. You can buy garden patio furniture in sets or as single pieces. Sets offer a variety of chairs and table sets, which come combined with loungers as well. In case you are planning to add new furniture or overhaul it for your garden, sets come at relatively more economical rates than separate single pieces.

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Vessel Faucets for Vessel Sinks

June 25th, 2010

vessel-faucet-sink.jpgVessel faucets are specially designed for vessel sinks. Unlike traditional sinks that are sunken into the slab, vessel sinks are kept over the slab, and are increasingly becoming popular for the modern look they attribute to any bathroom or kitchen. These sinks are available in a plethora of shapes, finishes, and designs. Ceramic, marble, onyx, and granite are the most common materials you will find, while square, rectangular, oval, and round are the most common shapes. Glass materials used may be plain, frosted, cut, painted or tempered. Vessel sinks are also available in several colors. A few vessel sinks have holes cut out in them, in which an ordinary can be fixed. However, most of them need a faucet to be fixed outside the sink.

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Places of Interest in Turkey

June 24th, 2010

ankara-tigris-river-turkey.jpgDescribed by Lonely Planet as the new Greece, Turkey is the place to be if you are interested in exploring an exotic culture with turquoise seas around. Home to the Anatolians, Assyrians, Phrygians, Greeks, and finally the Turkish Ottoman empire, and to places like Troy, Babylon, and Byzantium, whose famous capital city of Constantinople was eventually renamed Istanbul, the country has a rich history and even richer blend of cultural heritage. Turkish, Arabic, Kurdish, and Bosnian are among the languages spoken.

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The Truth About Food Miles

June 23rd, 2010

local-food-miles.jpgThe “100 Mile Diet” is a popular trend that espouses the need to purchase locally grown food for a variety of different reasons. Proponents of this diet and lifestyle believe that by avoiding supermarkets and imported food, you are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and buying healthier, tastier food. While buying local does have benefits, it is a highly romanticized ideal and does not consider the realities of today’s market and agricultural industry.

Transportation (i.e. food miles) is only one part of the environmental impact equation that must be considered when making a consumer choice. Food miles are inaccurate in that other inputs that go into food production are not considered. For example, fertilizer, water, and heat are also required to produce food. In many cases a locally grown product will require considerably more inputs due to less suitable growing conditions. This may actually offset the benefits of buying local. This is particularly true in regions with growing seasons constrained by cold temperatures or lack of moisture.

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Westinghouse Solar Lights for Bright Gardens and Landscapes

June 22nd, 2010

westinghouse-solar-powered-light.jpgWestinghouse is an established brand since 1886 for electrical products. It has a huge range of products from HDTVs to ceiling fans and light fixtures. With different collections like the Riverbend, the Nova Scotia, and the Studenburg, Westinghouse has delivered ace-quality Energy Star rated products for years. Westinghouse Solar is a new initiative that attempts to bring the benefits of solar energy to every home. From solar lighting fixtures to solar power systems, Westinghouse Solar continues to be one of the best choices in electrical products.

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Deck Flooring Ideas: A Review of Options

June 21st, 2010

deck-flooring.jpgIn earlier times, only wood was used for deck flooring. However, today a number of options are available to those who might want to look. The kind of deck flooring you choose gives definition and beauty to your deck. A lot of consideration should go into what flooring material you finally choose since that will ascertain the usability of the deck. The material should be chosen keeping a few things in mind: your budget, the longevity of the material, and the maintenance required post installation. There are quite a few outdoor deck flooring solutions available. These options can also be used for patio flooring.

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Porch Railings and Deck Railings

June 20th, 2010

deck-railings.jpgDecks and porches are valued spaces for anyone who owns a house with them. Apart from being used on an everyday basis, they are also utilized for outdoor parties and overflowing guests. Railings used for decks and porches define that space while adding an element of safety and beauty. A variety of materials are available for deck railings as well as porch railings.

Wood deck railings are very popular. However, they are not the best option for extreme temperatures. Wood porch railings may work considering porches are covered spaces. Exterior wood railings require a lot of maintenance. There are several other low-maintenance options one might want to take a look at.

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