Up on a Housetop

a-plus-new-roof-floridaRoofing experts suggest that homeowners inspect their roofs every spring and fall for damage. The roof is one of the most vulnerable parts of a house since it is exposed to brunt of the weather; wind, hail, rainstorms, fallen branches and leaves, snow, ice, high humidity, and temperature changes put stress on the roof and homeowners should periodically assess their roof to identify potential problems. By regularly inspecting your roof, you can pinpoint issues before they lead to more serious roof problems that would require expensive repairs.

Homeowners need to assess both the interior and exterior of the house when looking for damage; oftentimes, things like windows, gutters, and even mold spots can point to roof damage. Also is important to clean your house, check this website for the best pressure washing. When examining the exterior, you should look for missing, curling, blistered, cracked, or buckled shingles. If you have a tile roof, check if any tiles are missing, cracked, broken, or out of place. You should also check the exterior paint (or stucco) of the house for chipping, discoloration, cracking, or splitting—these conditions might be signs of roof damage. Signs of roof problems can also be identified from the interior of the house in the attic. Check for sagging places in the roof and any outside light shining through.  Identify dark spots, leaks, and discoloration on the ceilings—water damage can lead to mold growth and other problems that threaten the integrity of your house.

Roofing experts warn homeowners to avoid walking on the roof when inspecting it, particularly if the roof is damaged. Homeowners can find a trusted roofing contractor to inspect or repair the roof using Real Local Pages (RLP), an online business directory with listings for services and businesses throughout the U.S. Visit the website, http://www.reallocalpages.com/, and enter the location you want to search. Choose the “roofing” category on the RLP home page or enter key words into the search box like “roof,” “roofing,” “roofer,” or “roofing contractor” to find the service or business you need. The results pages include the name and contact information of the business for your convenience. Users can also leave a review of the business listing on the website by clicking the “add review” button shown next to the listing. RLP’s directory is useful for finding a range of businesses and services from restaurants to electricians.

Let’s Go to the Movies

popcorn-movie-ticketsThe mouth-watering scent of salty, buttered popcorn is inseparable from the movie theater experience. This light and crunchy snack wasn’t always associated with the movies. During the early days of the movie theater, popcorn was in fact banned. Popcorn had been a popular American snack since the 1840s, the invention of the steam-powered popcorn maker in 1885 only increased the snack’s popularity—vendors could now sell popcorn at sporting events, circuses, and fairs. Movie theater owners however, refused to allow popcorn at their establishments. The first movie theaters were modeled after elegant opera houses and playhouses and a pedestrian food like popcorn had no place in the lavish atmosphere movie theaters sought to cultivate. Additionally, films were silent up to 1927 and snacking in a theater was distracting. The introduction of sound into film opened movies to a wider audience and made snacking more acceptable. But it took the Great Depression to turn popcorn into the movie theater snack.

Inexpensive bags of popcorn sold by vendors outside theaters made popcorn a favored movie snack during the Depression. By the mid 1930s however, theaters were barely surviving, and theater owners began selling snacks like popcorn to make money. WWII only strengthened the relationship between popcorn and movie-going since sugar rationing made candy a rare treat. Movie theaters and the popcorn industry suffered a decline in the ‘50s and ‘60s with advent of television, but the snack made a comeback with the invention of home popcorn makers and the microwave. Popcorn returned as the number one movie time snack, and today, the smell of popcorn is inextricably linked with the movie theater.

Find a local movie theater for a night out by using Real Local Pages (RLP), an online business directory with listings for thousands of businesses across the United States. Visit the website, http://www.reallocalpages.com, and choose your location. Use the search box to enter search terms like “movie theater” or “cinema” to find theater locations. Every listing includes a phone number and address for your convenience. RLP can also be used to find other types of businesses and services in your area, from florists to physicians, Real Local Pages can help you find what you need.

Autumn Allergies

fall_leaves1_hAutumn conjures up cozy images of pumpkins, soft sweaters, and colorful leaves. The cooler weather is a welcome relief from the humid air of summer, but for those suffering from fall allergies, autumn can be miserable. 10% to 30% of the American population suffers from allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever. Individuals dealing with hay fever experience a range of symptoms: an itchy throat and eyes, sneezing, trouble breathing, congestion, hives, even fatigue and trouble sleeping. During autumn, the most likely culprit for hay fever is pollen from ragweed plant varieties; about 17 different types exist in North America. Pollen is released in late summer and the pollen grains travel easily on the wind, allowing a single ragweed to release up to one billion pollen grains over an entire season.

Molds are another common fall allergy. Mold spores survive into late fall, after ragweed season has ended. Since both indoor and outdoor molds exist, individuals with mold allergies have a particularly difficult time. In the fall, mold grows on fallen leaves, compost piles, and in the soil. The light mold spores rise up during the hotter part of the day and settle down in the evening. Those suffering from mold allergies are advised to keep their yard clear of leaf litter and wear goggles or a mask to protect themselves when raking leaves.

Over-the-counter allergy medications can also minimize allergy symptoms. Talking with a doctor or visiting an allergist to test for possible allergies may also help individuals suffering hay fever-like symptoms in the fall. Search Real Local Pages (RLP) for local pharmacies and trusted physicians to help you deal with fall allergies. RLP is an online directory of businesses that can be used locate stores and services in your area.  Visit the RLP website, http://www.reallocalpages.com, and enter your zip code or city. Using the search box, enter keywords such as “pharmacy,” to find nearby pharmacies. Locate doctors by clicking on “physicians” under the popular categories list on the RLP home page. Results will show the contact information and address of each business or doctor. RLP can be used to find a variety of other businesses and services, from hotels and spas, to veterinarians and landscapers.

 

Pedal through the Past

Penny-farthingBicycles are a great way to travel, exercise, and experience the outdoors. With the wide variety of bikes on the market, everyone can find a bicycle to fit their lifestyle. The first “bicycle” however, didn’t even have pedals. The “Draisienne,” forerunner to the modern bicycle,  was composed of two wheels connected to a frame. The rider would straddle the frame and propel forward in a fast, gliding walk. Similar two-wheeled vehicles were known as velocipedes until the 1860s when the term “bicycle” first appeared. Around the same time, French carriage-maker Ernest Michaux attached pedals to the front wheel of a velocipede. Michaux’s velocipedes became known as “boneshakers” since the wooden device with its iron tires made for a bumpy ride over the cobblestone streets of the time.

After the boneshaker, advances in metalworking led to the development of the first all-metal bicycle. The High-wheeler, or “penny-farthing” as it was called in Great Britain, allowed riders to cycle faster but proved dangerous. Pedals were attached to the larger, rubber-made front wheel with the rider seated above it. A sudden stop or obstruction in the road would send the rider crashing to the ground headfirst. The invention of the safety bicycle in the 1880s replaced these high-wheelers; the design featured two wheels of the same size with the rider seated between them. The addition of inflated rubber tires in 1888 also improved the ease and safety of the bicycle. Cycling became enormously popular throughout Europe and the United States. Women, previously barred from riding because of their long dresses, were now able to participate and cyclist clubs in the 1890s pushed for better roads to ride on, paving the way for the automobile.

By the 20th century, the bicycle was a popular means of transportation and recreation. As the cycle SOS magazine constantly reminds us that, in the United States however, the advent of the automobile led to a decline in bicycle popularity. Bicycles were considered toys for children until the 1970s when people recognized the bicycle as an environment-friendly method of travel and recreation.

Search for local bicycle stores and bicycle repair shops through Real Local Pages (RLP), an online directory of businesses. Visit the website, http://www.reallocalpages.com, and enter your zip code or city. Using the search box, enter keywords related to the business you seek, for example, “bicycle” “bike” or “bike repair.” You can also choose options from the popular categories list on the main page. The results page shows the contact information and address of each business for your convenience. Users can find a wide range of businesses on the RLP website, from bike repair shops to clothing stores and restaurants.

A Leaf from Lawn History

lawn2

Lawns in the United States cover an estimated fifty thousand square miles, an area roughly the size of New York state. Americans today can hardly imagine home without picturing a green expanse of neatly cut grass. Yet, lawns have not always been so essential to our image of home. In the 19th century, most yards were bare earth scattered with trees and debris. Furthermore, only the rich could afford lawns since mowers were not invented until 1830. Maintaining a lawn required servants cutting the grass with a scythe, or herds of grazing sheep. Lawns were also out of reach for those who needed their yard to grow food.

It was Frederick Olmstead that popularized lawns in the United States. Olmstead, along with fellow landscape architect Calvert Vaux, had designed Central Park, and in 1868, he designed a suburb in Illinois. Olmstead determined that houses should be set back 30 feet from the road, and fences were eliminated to create an unbroken expanse of grass. The mass production of lawnmowers in the 1890s made lawns more affordable for the average American, and by the 1930s, the U.S. Department of Agriculture had developed the right combination of lawn grasses that could flourish in American climates.

After WWII, suburbs spread rapidly throughout the country, and with it, lawns. Scientists developed new chemical pesticides to make grass greener and protect against pests, thus making the perfect lawn possible. Maintaining a good lawn however, is an ongoing job. Lawns need regular mowing and watering as well as fertilizer and protection from bugs and disease. Search for local lawn care services using Real Local Pages, an online directory containing listings for thousands of U.S. businesses. Visit Real Local Pages online at http://www.reallocalpages.com and select your area. Use the search box to enter keywords such as “lawn” or “garden” to locate lawn care businesses, or choose “landscaping” from the popular categories list on the home page. Each listing on the results page shows the contact number and address of the business. Real Local Pages can also be used to find other types of businesses and services, such as plumbers, florists, restaurants, and spas.

A Friend for Life

little red headIn 2012, over 62 percent of American households owned at least one pet. While most people consider pets part of the family, humans initially kept animals for practical purposes. Wolves, ancestors of modern dogs, were one of the first animals to live and work with humans, being domesticated around 12,000 years ago. Wildcats were domesticated sometime after in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East where agriculture first developed; they became especially useful since they would hunt rodents attracted to barns and houses.

Humans also kept animals as pets. Chinese emperors pampered their pet dogs, sometimes giving them their own servants and bodyguards. In ancient Egypt, cats were considered sacred and their likenesses were depicted in religious statues. And in Europe, noble women kept small lapdogs for company; Mary Queen of Scots for instance owned a bevy of dogs she dressed up in blue velvet suits. In colonial America it was popular to tame wild animals like squirrels and deer to become pets. Children kept squirrels on tiny leashes of gold chain and trained their pet to perch on their shoulders. Pet deer wearing gold collars or kerchiefs would freely roam the streets and walk through houses. Until the 20th century, many pets hunted outside for their own food, but with the invention of pet food, pets like cats and dogs became indoor creatures and lived more closely with their human owners.

Find a trusted veterinarian for your pet using Real Local Pages (RLP). The RLP website has listings for businesses throughout the United States, and can be used to locate veterinarians, animal clinics, pet supply stores, and other pet-related businesses. Visit http://www.reallocalpages.com and enter your location. Then choose “veterinarian” from the popular categories list on the RLP home page, or enter the search term “pet” into the search box. Search results will include the business address and phone number. RLP can also be used to find other types of businesses and services, such as restaurants, clothing stores, hotels, and auto repair shops.

 

Taking the Waters

best-spa-packagegsFor relaxation and rejuvenation, there’s no better place to visit than a spa. In Europe, spas are known as “thermal waters,” and in fact, the modern spa centers around the use of water. People have used forms of hydrotherapy since ancient times to promote health. The ancient Greeks built baths around naturally-occurring hot springs and believed that bathing in thermal waters would cure diseases. In ancient Rome, aqueducts facilitated the building of elaborate public bath houses, and baths became a place for pleasure and relaxation, much like spas are today.

After the Roman Empire, hydrotherapy and bathing in general suffered a decline. Europeans in the Middle Ages believed that bathing washed off the body’s protective oils; merely washing the face and neck was considered sufficient for cleanliness. Doctors in the 15th century however rediscovered the benefits of hydrotherapy and prescribed bath treatments and drinking cures for sick patients. “Taking the waters” spread throughout Europe and America, and by the 1800s, spa resorts with hotels and entertainment became popular with the upper classes. These spas offered a variety of bizarre treatments such as drinking sulfur water, hot mud baths, and vapor baths in sulfurous pools.

Modern spas focus on relaxation and beautification, incorporating practices from all over the world such as acupuncture, Thai massages, and European facials. Find spas in your area by searching Real Local Pages (RLP). Real Local Pages is an online business directory containing listings for thousands of businesses across the United States, and searching RLP is easy and convenient. Visit the website, http://www.reallocalpages.com and enter keywords such as “spa” or “massage” into the search box. You can also search by choosing from the popular categories list. Results will show businesses offering spa treatments in your area. Each listing displays an address and phone number to help you easily locate the business. RLP can be used to find a wide range of businesses and services; from spas and hotels, to electricians and roofers.

 

A Slice of Pizza History

pizza

Beloved today for its delicious taste and convenience, pizza has a surprising and long history. Originating in the regions surrounding the Mediterranean sea, archaeologists and historians have found early forms of the familiar food as far back as the 6th century BC. For centuries, peasants in Italy, particularly Naples, would eat flat round bread baked upon hot stones. Typically flavored with local ingredients like olive oil, garlic, onions, herbs, and later, cheese, Italian peasants enjoyed the convenience and simplicity of pizza. In the 16th century, tomatoes were brought to Europe from Peru, but believing that tomatoes were poisonous, it took many years before peasants in Naples added tomatoes to their traditional flatbread dish. Although wealthy individuals would occasionally dine on pizza, the meal remained a staple for poorer Italians until 1889 when King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Italy visited Naples and tried pizza, prompting nationwide interest in this humble dish.

Pizza came to America with Italian immigrants in the late nineteenth century; pizza was consumed in Italian communities in Chicago, Trenton, New Haven, Boston, St. Louis, and of course, New York. In 1905, Gennaro Lombardi acquired a pizza license and opened the first official pizzeria in New York City. Pizza consumption took off after WWII when American soldiers stationed in Italy returned home with a taste for Italian-style pizzas. Pizzerias opened across the United States and the dish became a hit. Local variations developed like California-style pizzas topped with barbeque chicken, and the deep dish Chicago-style pizza.

Find a great pizza restaurant for dinner tonight using Real Local Pages (RLP). The Real Local Pages online directory lists thousands of businesses across the United States; search www.reallocalpages.com to find entertainment, services, stores, and restaurants. Using Real Local Pages is easy; simply enter your zip code, state, and search criteria, such as “pizza” or “restaurant,” into the search box. Listings for pizza restaurants will appear in the results along with the restaurant’s address and phone number. Users can leave reviews of the restaurant on the RLP website by clicking the “add review” button shown next to each business listing.

 

Mosey through a Museum

The term museum comes from the ancient Greek word “mouseion”, which translates as the “seat of the Muses.” The Greek mouseion was a place for contemplation or a philosophical institute rather than a building that housed art and curiosities. In the Middle Ages, wealthy families in Europe collected antiquities, armor, and artwork, and churches housed Christian relics. Chinese emperors amassed jade, pottery, metalwork, works of calligraphy, and paintings into galleries for viewing. The Medicis in Renaissance Italy displayed their collection of paintings for the public in 1582, but it wasn’t until the eighteenth century that the modern concept of a museum emerged. In the 1780s, American painter Charles Wilson Peale created the first public art and science museum in the United States. After a mastodon bone Peale displayed in his home museum became a greater attraction than portraits of American Revolutionary heroes, he transformed his museum, hosting lectures and creating crowd-pleasing exhibits like moving paintings.

Contemporary museums have their roots in these institutions, but today’s museums are dedicated to a range of topics besides simply art and history. Boston’s Burnt Food Museum celebrates culinary disasters, displaying a wide array of scorched food. One of the most visited sites in New Mexico is the International UFO Museum and Research Center dedicated to the 1947 crash in Roswell. In St. Augustine, Florida, Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum features weird artifacts like shrunken heads and a bone motorcycle, and the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in the Florida Keys exhibits treasure recovered from shipwrecked Spanish galleons.

Find an interesting local museum using the Real Local Pages website, http://www.reallocalpages.com/. Whether you’re a fan of art, history, science, or want something more off the beaten path, Real Local Pages (RLP) can help you find a fascinating place to soak up knowledge and culture. Real Local Pages has listings for hundreds of businesses in the United States and RLP can be used to locate services, restaurants, entertainment, and local attractions. Choose your location, then search using the popular categories listed on the website, or enter your own search term/keyword into the search box. Results will include the address and phone number of each business for your convenience.

Victorian Floriography

For centuries, people around the world have used flowers to express emotions. In the Victorian era, the language or flowers, or floriography, was a popular way to send messages. Men and women would send small bouquets, or “tussie-mussies,” to each other as a means to communicate sentiments that could not be openly expressed, and the manner in which a bouquet was sent also conveyed a message. A bouquet presented with the left hand meant ‘no’ but if presented with the right hand, the giver was saying ‘yes.’

Victorians were not the first to attach meaning to flowers; flower symbolism existed in China, Persia, Ottoman Turkey, as well as ancient Egypt and Greece. Victorian floriography drew upon these cultures but also incorporated plant symbolism from the bible and medieval sources. Drawing upon so many places for flower meanings, floral messages could be easily misinterpreted! A yellow rose could mean friendship or joy, but it might also express jealousy. Red roses universally signaled love, and even today, the red rose is sign of romance.

Sending flowers to a loved one is a lot easier now than it was for the Victorians, especially if you have tools like Real Local Pages (RLP) to help you find local flower stores to send your own flower message. RLP’s online directory contains listings for a variety of businesses across the United States. Search for businesses at www.reallocalpages.com; enter the desired city and state along with a key word like “flower,” “flowers,” or “bouquet” to narrow your search. Results will list the names of businesses as well as the business’s contact information and address. Searching RLP can also help you find garden supply stores as well as flower arrangement stores.