Sunday, November 20, 2011

Home & Garden: East, West, Home's Best

Home is where the heart is

There are so many things that come to mind when I think of the word 'home'. First of all, it's that safe place... that sanctuary where you are at your comfiest. Yes, East, West, Home's Best.  But when it comes to maintaining your home, there are so many things to take care of, so many issues to resolve, so many damages that need repairing.  If you have a garden, your garden needs maintaining, or your lawn mowed and fence maintained.  Talk about the walls and you sigh, yes, the walls need painting too.  Taking care of your heart is hard work.  It isn't easy to run a home while ensuring that all your bases are covered.

The other day, when Oman was hit with the tornado, there was a heavy thunderstorm (November 02, 2011).  Water kept seeping in from under the window frames.  The bed rooms  where flooding with water  despite the windows being shut. I ran between rooms trying to mop up the water as fast as possible so that it wouldn't spread all over the place. It was quite a mess.  I love the rain... but this?  Nope.  The reason why the water kept seeping in was because the window ledges slant inwards and not outwards and the water was collecting at the base of the window and finally making its way in.  Now this is bad construction.  Oman is a desert country.  The buildings are not designed for the rain.  When we had the next tornado warning last week, I made sure I sealed the window bases so that water doesn't seep in.  Thankfully the rain did not hit our area, except for a bit of a drizzle.

There are quite a few writers that I admire for their Home & Garden opinions.  All of them are no strangers and are in fact very involved with what's happening around discussion boards and offering helpful advice related to Home and Garden.  Moreover, these writers are real good friends and very helpful, should you require helpful tips, suggestions and support with your work. 

“I’ve had quite an interesting life and hopefully, the next thirty years will be as interesting as the first fifty.  As a boy, I wanted to be a farmer and I spent quite a bit of time on farms that belonged to friends, family and farmers who needed temporary help. I’ve milked a cow into a glass and drank it the way God made it. 

I’ve done a lot in my life; engineering, computer networking and coding software, real estate investment and I owned a remodeling company.  I have loved just everything I’ve done.  When I started writing back in the late eighties, I didn’t realize I’d found my passion and what a passion it is.  Today, I have over a thousand articles published on the internet under my pen name, and many more that were ghost written for other companies.  Other work has appeared in magazines and newspapers.  Of all the things I’ve written, I enjoy writing fiction the most, but so far my bread and butter comes mainly from Home & Garden articles on remodeling, design and building. 

One thing is certain, when your work is your passion, it is no longer work.”

MJ Logan is a writer with diversified writing calibre.  He manages a website under his pen name which is his main writing portfolio, linking much of his work that can be found on Helium, Demand Studio, and Bright Hub to name a few.  

Articles by MJ Logan that you may like:


MJ Logan's websites:

Latest eBook, short story published:  Snowed In


Mac is an avid gardener and his writing portfolio on articles related to Home and Garden is impressive. I have had the pleasure of knowing Mac for quite awhile now, more especially after we joined forces to play Kingdoms of Camelot on Facebook as a team.  Chatting with him, I have come to understand his passion for gardening (especially growing vegetables), his knack for dealing with raccoon when they attack his corn, and his skill at being a handyman for practical home maintenance.   In Mac's own words, "Mac Pike lives in the northern, wooded section of New Jersey.  He hunts a little, fishes a bit and grows many vegetables.  He splits firewood and infinitives with equal enthusiasm, and is often on the throwing end of interminable games of fetch."  Mac is a good friend to me and I am proud to feature him today for his impressive contribution to the Home and Garden channel at Helium.   

Articles by Mac Pike that you may like:

Is there a rat menace that you are having a difficulty dealing with?  Perhaps this article on How to get rid of rats will help you.  You will find helpful tips on rat traps, glue traps, and also  about the feeding habits of rats.  

It is probably time, or you might have already pulled out your sweater from storage.  If you are residing in places like Australia where it is summer now, this may also be applicable.  Either way, to use, or before storing, one thing is common - you might want to hand wash your sweater.  B. Leslie Baird gives a pretty neat description on How to hand wash a wool sweater

East, West; Home's definitely best.  Especially when it come to home grown  fruits and vegetables. Many gardeners choose the period of fall to plant their vegetables, so that they may harvest them during spring or summer.  In this article Fall vegetable planting guide, Susan Klatz Beal gives a handy list of spring or summer vegetables that can be planted in the fall.  Most definitely useful, as you will find not just vegetable names, but also tips on the type of planting method too.  

Setting up a home is fun as well as a pain.  When you think you know what colors you want to choose  or how you want your home interior decoration set up, out pops another suggestion from another source. Confusion and uncertainty are some of the terms that best describe what one goes through while setting up home.  However, this confusion can be minimized with tips from the article Choosing interior design color combinations by Alexandra Heep.  In this article, you will find that Alex stresses on important aspects such as themes, contrasts and lighting.  

Now this is something I do not hear often although this has pretty much been in use when I was a kid too.  This is how our fence used to be.  Of course, I never knew it by this term.  What am I talking about?  Read Organic fences as an option for your garden by Glory Lennon.  You'll have to agree it's a nice way for you to go green, and not have to invest in too much raw material.   How much more healthier and economical can it get than that? 

Home is definitely where your heart is. There might come a time when you decide to plant roots and build your home.  Consult Jim Bessey for advice. He will tell you all that you need to know about tips for building your own home.   There are important points that you should not overlook such as planning, blueprints, etc...  but he's got it all covered in this article so that you may be able to go ahead with your project with ease. 

With the cold weather set in and the water in the pipes freezing, that time of year comes around when you have to turn the hot water system on.  For some, heaters are already in place, while for others a fresh one might have to be bought.  Should you choose to buy a new water heater, you should know the different types of water heaters that are available.  Fortunately Evelyn Berger has taken care of this and gives a brief description about the types of water heaters for different settings. 

Many are already in their Thanksgiving mood, and before you say Jack, Christmas will be upon us.  With all the decorations, festivities, parties and visiting, casualties and damages can happen if one is not careful during this season.  Conny Manero gives a brief outline of suggested indicators that can prove disastrous, and also advises on how one may prevent hazards with Christmas trees and decorations. It is helpful to be aware of these hazards. 


Here are some of my contributions to the Home and Garden channel at Helium


Credit for images: Google images



  1. I am amazed at the articles you find! I love the writers you featured, all friends of mine as well, or so I'd like to think.

    Thank you for digging up one of my articles as well.

    Sorry to read about your water problems. What a freaky incident to have tornadoes in Oman! I know about water damage all too well.

  2. I agree with Alexandra.

    My favorite photo was the root vegetables. How colorful!

    Great post!

  3. Alex, thank you for supporting my blog yet again. Your article fitted the topic and hence I posted it. From what I know tornado-prone areas can expect a tornado or two twice a year May/June and October/November. I'm not sure what the science is behind it but I think thats what I read somewhere... and since of late Oman seems to be getting at least one round of it.

    Mary... You won't believe, I actually thought of you and Mac when I saw that pic. You remember that Rutabaga discussion we had in September, and you gave me quite a few helpful pointers about its texture and taste? Thanks a bunch for stopping by at my page and leaving a comment. Much appreciated.

  4. This is a great list of writers with wonderful content. I am a big fan of the "natural fence". It will be gracing my property come spring!

    Thank you for posting! Red.

  5. More great writers and helpful articles! When you are finished featuring all of Helium's channels, you will have quite an encyclopedia. Once again, well done! :-)

  6. I'm guessing that Red is Ann Marie (correct me if I am wrong). :) I don't actually know why many have turned to the wood or concrete fences, but I quite like the natural look of plants bordering the home limits. I'm sure your fence will look pretty too, especially if there's a lot of hardy flowering plants included.

    Diane, thank you yet again for your support. In reply to your private message, I have decided that I will humor you. The next blog post will be 'Go Green'. Thank you for that suggestion. So all the help I can get with this will be highly appreciated. I'm putting out requests for my readers to submit 'Green' articles from any and every channel on Helium... and to send it to my inbox / message box either at facebook or at Helium.

  7. Yes, Red is Ann Marie ;) I am going to use a combination of some of my favorite squashes, potatoes and make a barrier fence with one of my all-time favorite jasmines.

    Looking forward to Go Green.

    PS YOU made my list

  8. When I was a kid and we had a 'nature' fence... it was with crotons, hedging, cannas, lilies and cactus. There used to be this cactus that flowered just once a year... and I never did find out its name. The flower would open at sunset, and by sunrise it would be done. Just about 8 hours the flower would be open. I think maybe for two nights, come to think of it. We also used to have cosmos and marigold too by the fence. and inner to that there used to be balsam, tableroses, and ferns

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