Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 7/20/2014

Is your medicine cabinet up to snuff? Every medicine cabinet should be stocked with a few essentials. You will want to have the right items at the ready in case of an emergency. Here is a checklist to make sure your family has a well-stocked medicine cabinet. In case of pain, headaches, and fevers: Aspirin Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) Ibuprofen (such as Advil and Motrin) Thermometer For congestion, coughs and colds: Cough medicine Decongestant (such as Sudafed or Dristan) Throat lozenges Dosage spoon or cup, for measuring medication To treat allergies and itching: Antihistamine (such as Benadryl) Hydrocortisone cream (for persistent itching) Calamine lotion Eye drops For Digestive Issues: Antacids (in tablet or liquid form) Anti-diarrhea treatment Laxatives   To treat cuts, burns and other minor injuries requiring first aid: Gauze and bandages Medical tape Cotton balls and swabs Antibacterial ointment Antiseptic for wound cleaning (such as hydrogen peroxide) Aloe Vera gel Remember to place all medicines out of the reach of children, and always check with your pediatrician before administering medication.  





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 2/16/2014

Did you know that according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) most store-bought air fresheners contain formaldehyde, petrochemicals, p-dichlorobenzene and aerosol pollutants. There seems to be some kind of connection between air fresheners and Asthma problems. It is also thought that air fresheners containing these chemicals can accelerate respiratory diseases and reduce lung capacity. The EPA has not advised against purchasing these air fresheners, but suggests using them with care. If you have concerns about the health risks associated with these products, why not try a natural air freshening alternative. If you have a musty basement or smelly closet, a tray of natural clay cat litter may be helpful. The main ingredient in cat litter is a natural occurring mineral that absorbs odors and moisture from the air. If you prefer an alternative to cat litter, try diatomaceous earth which you can purchase at a garden supply store. Place it in a bowl or other open container in foul smelling areas. Placing fresh or used (dried) coffee grounds in a bowl or stocking will help to cut the odor of winter mustiness. Fill your home with subtle scents and refresh the air by simmering some sweet smelling ingredients in a little water on your stove. Try to keep your supply list simple and use items found at the grocery store or even in the yard. Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges make very fragrant scented waters. Herbs such as rosemary and thyme are good choices as well. Pine or cedar twigs and needles collected from the yard will give off a fresh, natural fragrance. Almond and vanilla extract and spices like cinnamon and cloves when simmered together add a wonderful fragrance to the air without the dangerous chemicals.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/19/2014

Water damage can ruin a home. Water can be one of the most damaging things to a home and if your home is the victim of water damage you must tackle it right away. Serious health risks can be associated with water damage like mold, mildew, and bacteria growth. If your home has water damage the first thing to do is to get it dry! This may seem obvious, but drying the area out needs to happen as quickly as possible. Not only do you need to dry out the surface or what you can see you have to get deeper. It may seem like your home is dry but damage can happen in walls, wood, carpet and furniture. Insufficient drying can lead to mold and mildew growth, and harmful bacteria. In extreme cases there can be structural damage to the home. The best thing you can do is to call a licensed water damage restoration specialist to evaluate the damage. Professionals have access to the tools and technology to dry out your home and prevent harmful fungi and bacteria from growing. Professionals will typically use dehumidifiers, air purifiers, blowers, fans, and special floor driers and cleaners. If the damage is extreme it may require wall driers, sanitizers, and mold and mildew remediation techniques. In this case call the professionals because it is better safe than sorry.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/19/2013

House plants can significantly improve the dynamic of a room.  While some are purely decorative, there are others that can have a dramatic effect on air and indoor pollution levels.  If you are planning on making a few botanical additions to your home, then why not get the added benefit of choosing plants that will work for you, as well as providing an aesthetic benefit?  Here are a few to get you started. Golden Pothos - This vine-like plant is very easy to grow, requiring very little light, and can survive quite comfortably if you happen to forget to water it on a regular basis.  With regular fertilizing, this plant becomes a fast-growing vine that looks fantastic in any room.  Clippings can be taken, put in water, and will develop root structures in as little as a few days.  Because this is a submersible plant, it is also popular with aquarium enthusiasts.  In addition, this plant is a heavy oxygen producer, and can also remove benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from your air. Peace Lilies - Interestingly enough, these houseplants are not true lilies. These attractive members of the Araceae family need only a little light and water in order to survive, and produce brilliant flowers. Rubber Tree - While used as houseplants in North America, these plants have an interesting use in India; the roots are guided over chasms in order to create what is commonly referred to as living bridges.  These plants prefer bright sunlight, and while they can withstand infrequent watering quite well, they will thrive if given enough moisture. Weeping Fig - This is the official tree of Bangkok, Thailand.  In a study by NASA, this plant was shown to effectively remove airborne toxins from its environment.  This plant thrives in warm, sunny conditions, but can also tolerate low-light conditions fairly well.  If it is moved to a new room, it will shed a large number of its leaves, and replace them with new leaves in response to the change in light conditions.  While it is adaptive to changes in light, care should be taken not to place it in an area where it will be subjected to strong, cold drafts.  This plant is also popular among bonsai enthusiasts for its aesthetic properties. Snake Plant - Also known as "mother-in-law's tongue", this plant has been recognized in the same NASA study as one of the best plants to remove indoor air pollution.  Like other pollution-reducing plants, this one can survive quite well with low light levels and irregular watering.  Care should be taken not to over water this species, as the root structure is fairly sensitive. For further reading, you can pick up the book How To Grow Fresh Air, by B.C. Wolverton.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/13/2013

They get grimy, dirty, smelly and in can be some of the dirtiest things in your home. What are they? Your kitchen appliances! But with some everyday household items and a little bit of elbow grease, your kitchen appliances can look and smell like new for many years to come.   To clean your dishwasher: Regularly clean the seams and liner of your dishwasher this will help reduce bacteria buildup and improve its effectiveness. Scour the inside of your dishwasher with a pad dipped in baking soda to remove residue and stains from the interior surface and crevices of your dishwasher. Run a regular cycle of wash with lemonade. The ascorbic acid will help remove any remaining buildup, and leave your dishwasher smelling clean and fresh. To clean your oven/range: Loosen baked-on food inside your oven using a plastic spatula. Use the juice from two squeezed lemons to clean your oven. Place the juice into an oven safe dish, throw in the lemon remains and bake 30 minutes at 250 degrees. Now you have a clean and fresh smelling oven. To clean your refrigerator: Clean your refrigerator monthly. Remove all of the food from your refrigerator and discarding items that are aged or expired. Create a paste from ½ cup of baking soda with 1 tbsp of vinegar. Apply the paste to a soft scouring pad, and scrub. Wipe away any residue with a damp sponge, Vacuum the undercarriage of your fridge. Wipe down the outside with warm water and vinegar. Keep baking soda at the back of fridge to help keep it smelling fresh. There is no need for fancy cleaning products the things you have around the house will do just fine.  Do you have any other tips for keeping your kitchen spic and span?