Hello From Nova Scotia – MacKinnon-Cann Inn-Where Home and Garden Television Meets the Travel Channe

I had spent a wonderfully rejuvenating night wrapped up in the soft high-thread-count sheets and comforters of my temporary home at the MacKinnon-Cann Inn in Yarmouth. After an exciting drive down the Evangeline Trail yesterday that included a very informative tour of the Bear River First Nation Heritage and Cultural Centre, followed up by an early-evening walking tour to admire Yarmouth’s Victorian heritage areas, I had definitely needed a good rest. But a new day had broken and I was ready for more adventures.

First on the plan was of course breakfast, so I got myself ready and walked downstairs into the tastefully decorated dining area of the MacKinnon-Cann Inn. Neil Hisgen, one of the co-owners, was working in the kitchen to prepare breakfast and occasionally dropped by to see how the guests were doing. I caught him for about ten minutes to find out more about this property and his own personal background.

Neil is originally from Racine, Wisconsin, and hails from a family with six children. He spent six years in the navy following which he briefly returned home, only to move to Fort Lauderdale in Florida where he started his hospitality career. He started working at the front desk at the Marriott Hotel and for the next 18 years worked in various hotels and restaurants, gaining experience at the front desk and in the kitchen. He capped his employed career after 15 years with a general manager’s position of a major hotel.

Neil met his business and life partner Michael Tavares at the end of 1997. Neil had made a good return on the sale of his first house and decided to invest it in a bed and breakfast. At the time Michael owned a 200-acre property on a peninsula near Yarmouth which they used as a vacation home. Michael had invited him to spend about a month at his farm near Yarmouth and Neil loved it. Being from the mid-west, he had always enjoyed the change of the seasons.

Neil and Michael were thinking about what they wanted to do and decided they were ready for a change, so they went ahead and opened a bed and breakfast in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia where there was a beautiful Victorian residential district waiting for them with many restoration opportunities. At this point Neil unfortunately had to go back in the kitchen to continue working, but Michael, his co-owner, joined me at my table to give me a more in-depth overview of their projects and his own life story.

Michael is originally from Boston and grew up in the southern part of the city. During college he majored in education, but after school he went into real estate and started his own brokerage firm. He was always fascinated by old buildings and illustrates this with a story from his childhood: at 12 or 13 years of age there was an old farm house nearby, and Michael always wondered who had owned it and lived there. So he talked to his mother about it and she took him to the land registry office to do a title search, obtaining a record of all previous owners of the property.

With these documents in hand he approached the current owners and gave them the historic ownership records of the property. They absolutely loved it, and from that point forward Michael was hooked on the mystique of historic properties. In his words, he loves to “peel back the layers of time” and started to buy and restore his own historic buildings. Over several years he completed eight restoration projects in the south end of Boston.

After Boston he moved to Key West and became a tropical landscape architect. He spent five or six years living and working in Key West, completing many garden design projects for the local gay community. In the 1980s he finally bought a 200 acre farm as a vacation property in Nova Scotia together with several friends. This was when his love affair with Yarmouth began. Michael moved his permanent residence from Key West to Fort Lauderdale where he met Neil in 1997 at a fundraising event. They lived together for a year and Neil helped Michael in his landscaping business. In the summer of 1998 Michael invited Neil to his property in Nova Scotia because he wanted Neil to share this part of his life. So for the last eight years Neil and Michael have been residing in Nova Scotia. Their first Yarmouth property was a run-down Victorian brick mansion which they lovingly restored in 1999 and turned into the present Charles C. Richards House, a historic bed and breakfast with three guest bedrooms decorated in the 1930’s Art Deco Period. Each room at the Charles C. Richards House features a private bath, cable TV with DVD players and period furnishings.

The MacKinnon-Cann Inn where I was staying was built in 1887 and is an example of the Italianate Victorian style. The house was built as a duplex for two female cousins, and to this day the inn features two staircases side by side. Michael and Neil rescued the property in 2000 and took it from a condemned state to the stunning mansion that it is today. All seven guest rooms are uniquely decorated in a style reflecting a different 20th century decade, from the 1900s to the 1960s. The main floor features five lavish parlours and Michael pointed out the beautiful patterned wood floor that was installed at great expense throughout the dining area. Neil is a talented glass artist, and many stained glass windows throughout the MacKinnon-Cann Inn and the Charles C. Richards House feature Neil’s artwork.

Michael explained that he is very active in Nova Scotia’s heritage community and mentioned that he is a member of two historic organizations: he serves on the Board of Directors of the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia whose mission it is to preserve and protect the heritage properties in the province. Both the MacKinnon-Cann Inn and the Charles C. Richards House are provincially registered heritage properties. Michael is also a member of the Provincial Heritage Owners Association of Nova Scotia which encompasses 265 provincial heritage properties. Both inns have won several awards, including the 2005 Restoration Award from the Yarmouth County Historical Society and the L.B. Jenson Award as a contribution to the development and economic health of the Yarmouth Heritage Community.

In addition to the two inns, Michael is also currently renovating the property right next door to the MacKinnon-Cann Inn, another Victorian heritage property which he is thinking of turning into a restaurant that will serve the tourists and local community of Yarmouth. The fourth recently renovated property owned by Michael and Neil is a blue-coloured Victorian heritage property located right between the MacKinnon-Cann Inn and the Charles C. Richards House. In essence, Michael and Neil have single-handedly transformed an entire street block, rescued four historic properties and turned them into stunning examples of architectural revival.

As an astute tourism marketer, Michael Tavares is also the President of the Nova Scotia Association of Unique Country Inns, a collective marketing and branding group that promotes upscale heritage tourism in unique historic properties. Michael is generally responsible for the inn’s marketing while Neil’s responsibilities focus more on hospitality and innkeeping.

Michael’s restoration mindset is based on a commitment to the preservation of buildings and a respect for the historical integrity of the property. He approaches his projects with a certain humility which he says many renovators today are missing since they are only looking for the highest return on investment. He is a strong believer that the cultural renaissance and economic revival of a town begins with heritage restoration and then trickles down to Main Street.

At the same time he also recognizes the need for protecting his investments, and as a member of the local Yarmouth Town Planning Council he has a chance to participate in shaping the future of this town. Michael and Neil have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless thousands of hours in their heritage properties and business ventures. Their efforts make a significant contribution to the economic well-being of the town.

The beginning was not easy since Michael was an outsider with new ideas in a town with long-standing traditions and established power structures. He was the new kid on the block. In addition, it took some time to gain acceptance, particularly as a gay couple in a rather conservative community. Conflict arose originally since Michael was also very outspoken and questioned the old ways of doing things.

However, his commitment to the community became evident in his renovation projects. Michael would call together all the contractors for each project, such as electricians, plumbers, carpet layers, etc. and told them that he would deal exclusively with them as local merchants instead of choosing a big box home renovation store as his main supplier. This commitment to local merchants has earned him a lot of respect and goodwill in the surrounding community, and today many people call him for his opinion before a debate of important issues that will affect the town.

After I completed my delicious fruit salad and omelet breakfast, Michael took me on a tour of all four properties. We started off with the smaller Victorian house currently under renovation where the entire first floor has currently been stripped down to the bare walls. As with his other projects, Michael is going to do the vast majority of the project himself and will call in specialized contractors only where needed. He is one of those people who have that special gift of spotting a diamond in the rough and taking it from a derelict hovel in danger of collapsing to a stunningly updated and stylish historic jewel with all modern conveniences.

We then went over to the recently restored blue Victorian mansion that was renovated by the previous owners according to Michael’s recommendations since Michael and Neil were going to purchase the property. We capped the visit off with the Charles C. Richards House, a stunning Victorian brick mansion with gorgeous architectural details, built for a wealthy local businessman. It was started in 1893 and took two years to finish and was the first brick house of this class to be built in Yarmouth. Most of the special building materials, i.e. the brownstone, granite and brick, were imported from the United States and make this house unique. Michael told me that it took him a whole season to strip the many layers of paint on the ornately carved porch and 32 weeks to repaint it, using eleven different colours.

I admired the wonderful details and stylish décor of the various rooms, including the flower-filled conservatory. Michael and Neil posed for me in front of the intricately carved wooden staircase that leads to the upstairs bedroom and this was the fitting ending for my introduction to architectural preservation and heritage tourism in Yarmouth. I thanked them both for their welcoming hospitality and got ready for my next item on the itinerary: an exploration of Yarmouth history at the Yarmouth County Historical Museum, located right across the street from the Charles C. Richards House.

Susanne Pacher is the publisher of a website called Travel and Transitions (www.travelandtransitions.com). Travel and Transitions deals with unconventional travel and is chock full of advice, tips, real life travel experiences & interesting life journeys, interviews with travellers and travel experts, cross-cultural issues, and many other features.

Susanne has recently published a series of FREE travel ebooks about destinations such as Spain, Cuba, Mexico, Sicily, New York City, Chicago, Montreal, Toronto, Nova Scotia and many more. Visit Travel and Transitions – FREE ebooks (www.travelandtransitions.com/ebooks.html) “Life is a Journey – Explore New Horizons”.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Susannne_Pacher/10605

 

Mission Style Lighting – Warm and Inviting Lighting Style For Home and Garden

Mission style lighting is a straightforward style of outdoor lighting characterized by its bold yet simple geometric shapes, its use of organic, earthy materials like Oak and Cherry wood; copper, brass, pewter, and iron; stained glass, slag glass, and mica. The Mission style of home design and home decorating was originally associated with the Spanish missionaries living and working in the North American Southwest.

The hallmark features of Mission design are straight lines and simplicity of design. Mission style homes typically have architectural features such as textured stucco walls, twisted columns, and rounded design of its windows and doors. Decorative touches might include patterned tile work around windows and on the walls, stone carvings, and elaborate grillwork. In contrast to Victorian decor, the Mission style is basically simple, not ornate or super detailed. The Mission style is a uniquely American offshoot of an English and American design philosophy known as the Arts and Crafts Movement.

The Arts and Crafts movement began in England in the late nineteenth century when a group of painters and craftsmen vocally criticized the mass produced, machine made furnishings and decorative products of the Industrial Era. Artists and architects rebelled against the dehumanizing effects of industrialization and mass produced products. Artist colonies were founded to explore individual craftsmanship and creativity.

American designers picked up on the style and it became very popular by the early 1900s. The Arts and Crafts Movement emphasized creating harmony between the furnishings of the inside with the surroundings of the outside. “William Morris, Gustav Stickley, and Frank Lloyd Wright are among some of the most well-known designers who produced furniture and architecture in the Arts and Crafts style, while many others produced ceramics, glass, textiles, wallpaper, and silverware in the same vein.”(Barbara Mayer)

Mission style outdoor lighting is widely available on the market today. The many beautiful choices include wall sconces, chain hung chandelier and pendant fixtures, post and column mounted fixtures – all perfect for your deck, porch, or outdoor living room and kitchen. These light fixtures are of strictly geometric design, featuring stained or slag glass, or translucent mica, set into a frame made of wood or metal. Lighting fixture color schemes are earth tones such as cream, amber, deep greens and browns, burnt yellows and oranges, dusty rose, sapphire blue. These outdoor fixtures will look and feel hand crafted even if they are not. Tiffany style glass panels in geometric, right angle designs are also easy to find. Because Mission lighting is made for inside and outside, you can coordinate your interior and exterior decorating. Great, because that holistic design approach is a main tenet of the Arts and Crafts philosophy!

Creating a Mission style for your deck, patio or outdoor living room means you can also use design ideas from styles such as Art Nouveau, the Prairie Style of architecture, bungalow style houses, Mission oak style of furniture, Tiffany stained glass, Mexican rustic, and most definitely the English landscape designers Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens. Mission style is simple and accepts a eclectic mix of elements, as long as all the elements together create squares and rectangles, strong earthy colors, and rustic, handcrafted look.

[http://www.outdoorlightsandfurniture.com]

Julia is a professional landscape designer and gardener practicing in and around Boston. Helping people enjoy life outdoors [http://www.outdoorlightsandfurniture.com/docs/portfoliolighting.html] is a full time passion.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Julia_Houriet/168528

 

Solar Lights – Saving While Enhancing the Beauty of Your Home and Garden

So what are solar lights? They are basically lights that are being powered by the sun’s energy or solar energy. Not only are they quite great in decorating your house with it (may it be in your deck, porch, walkways, garden or terraces), they are also helpful when it comes to easing down your electric bills. It is known to be economical and it enhances the beauty of your house and even outdoors. This is best for those who are too conscious about their electric bills and ones who are concerned about safety. Did you know that these solar lights are known to be the best and safest type of lighting equipment? Whoever will install this; will not need to be afraid about the safety of their pets or children or themselves when it comes to wiring it up and getting it connected. Moreover it is basically easy and quick to install.

With every solar light bulb, it has its own solar collector pane or panel that converts the sunlight to energy, electrical energy that is. If there is a thing that you must bear in mind, it is that these types of lights perform on the amount of sunlight it received during day time. The more sunlight it gets, the better it will perform when used. These types of lights also do require a good and unobstructed amount of sunlight for it to be able to recharge its batteries. Said type of light is quite ideal for places that is still out of the reach of electric companies, or places which barely has access to electricity. However, solar lights are not that useful for all applications that we need for lighting. Basically it is ideal to accent the design of our indoors and outdoors, this is because these types of lights does not necessarily produces that much light compared to regular bulbs that are powered by electricity. But then again, if you do not have an access to any light at all, this is the best one for you.

Today’s lights are way better and superior to first batch of solar lights. Again, they are way efficient as they do not use electricity and they are powered by their solar rechargeable batteries (solar panels or cells). They may be quite expensive, but they are sure worth it. In addition, most solar lights now use the latest Light Emitting Diodes or LED as their main and only light source. This is of course, compared to the ordinary solar lights. As most LED powered lights are ever reliable. Also, they are now more popular today, most especially the white colored ones.

You can also easily find your own solar lights online. There are lots of vendors that are now selling through the internet. You can choose from their vast selection of solar powered lights. Whether you want to enhance your outdoors or indoors, or you want to save on your electric bills, or you simply want the benefits of having a light, then why not try solar lights now?

Click solar lights [http://www.eoutdoorsolarlights.com/home.html] for the best prices and models.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Glenda_Riddick/571078

 

Spare Parts for the Home and Garden – Lawnmowers and Ride On Mowers Self Repair

REPAIR and DIY are scary concepts to many of us but with the world economy in a downturn it is a clear and obvious way to save a great deal of money.

The average labour bill from a garden tool repair workshop can be £30 HR plus call out plus spare parts and this can quickly add up to a large bill.

The best time to check your lawnmower for wear and tear is out of season when not in use (winter).

Think of your lawnmower as two units, the chassis and the engine (or electric motor), you need to keep and eye on both. Common engine faults often relate to the fuel and oil. Common chassis faults are often related to physical damage.

The lawnmower engine:

  • Always use clean fuel from a clean container – any dirt will break your engine
  • Always check your engine oil – it is quick and easy to check your dipstick to see the oil level is between the high and low marker lines
  • The lawnmower chassis:
  • The common parts are the blade, push handle, control cables and wheels.
  • Blade – this must be sharp to otherwise it will strain your engine and pull at the grass rather than making a clean cut. You can resharpen your blade with a file
  • Cables – you can squirt aerosol light oil like WD40 onto the cables to help them last longer.

What if i find something that is worn of broken?

1- Identify your lawnmower – what is the make and model of the Engine? (engine powered mowers only) – what is the make and model of the Lawnmower?

2- Identify the part as Chassis or Engine component

– the Engine will have its own unique identifying data plate showing model code and serial number. This is often stamped into the engine metal work.

– the Chassis will have its own unique identifying data plate showing model code and serial number. This is often on a silver badge or sticker near the rear wheel.

Common UK Lawnmower Brand Makes:

Mountfield, Honda, Qualcast, Flymo, Castel,Garden, MTD, Hayter, Atco, Bosch

Common Engine Brand Makes:

Briggs and Stratton, Honda, GGP, Sumec Linhai, Robin, Kawasaki, Kubota

http://www.sparesgiant.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/John_Chamjet/898482

 

Mass Plants For Better Homes and Gardens

For a coffee table or for a narrow shelf, choose a small gem that asks and deserves to be looked at closely. Just as an attractive ashtray or a colorful pillow can be a tasteful, decorative accent, so can small plants. They can pick up room colors, provide interesting contrast of form, and add attention-getting detail. But just as it would be wrong to expect a small accessory to carry a big decorative role in the home, so it would be a mistake to hope for big impact from a single small plant.

But a grouping of plants, many small, or one or two big plants, can carry important roles in a decorating scheme. The mass effect of a handsome grouping of plants has universal appeal. Any one plant in the group may be beautiful in its own right, though possible to overlook if alone. But put several plants together in the right setting and you can’t possibly ignore their presence.

Of course, there’s more than one way to group plants. A well-chosen pair is often just what you need to give a room that special touch. An assortment of many flowering varieties gives the same pleasure as looking into a florist’s shop window. An all-foliage cluster, such as the one on the opposite page, is equally appealing.

Ideally, the area that you select for a dramatic display of plants should receive a good amount of natural light. If the day light’s inadequate, however, give preference to the setting that you have chosen and then consider what steps can be taken to reinforce natural light with artificial light. You can do this with ceiling spots, recessed light fixtures, or fluorescent tube lighting.

It is also feasible, if your plant group is not too large, to install it on a mobile cart, taking it by day to a window location, then returning it after sundown to the room placement that you prefer.

Since plants grown indoors vary considerably in amounts of light required to promote good growth, you’ll be wise to choose for a dramatic grouping – varieties that have similar light needs. If the available natural light is low, choose plants from the group that can easily tolerate low light. If, on the other hand, your best location offers medium to strong light, select all of your plants for that kind of light.

To help you select from the right group, turn to the section entitled ‘A Portfolio’ of Recommended House Plants/ in which plants are grouped according to the kind of light they need.

Another important resource is your florist or greenhouse man.Besides supplying you with facts concerning light needs,he can give you a great deal of added information on plant cultural requirements (soil, water,humidity, etc.). From years of experience in the field, he will know which plants are cinch-to-grow types, and which are not.

After checking on compatibility of cultural needs, you’ll want to seek contrasts of color,texture, and form within your group. Some of the greens vary from the palest chartreuse to almost black tones. Some plants have shiny foliage; others have a furry or velvety finish. There are also plants with big, pointed shaped leaves as well as rounded and pierced ones to choose from.

Get variety in size, too. Combine some tall and some short plants. Place taller ones toward the back; the shorter ones, forward. For a start, consider these combinations: a pot or two of small yellow chrysanthemums made to look still more flowery when backed by a good-sized dieffenbachia; or delicate ferns that take on the appearance of green lace if backed by the solid foliage of big-leaved philodendrons or rubber plants.

In House Plants [http://www.inhouseplants.net] “Using House Plants Decoratively For Better Homes and Gardens”

[http://www.inhouseplants.net]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Coltus_G./494176

 

Massage in Bucharest

Recognize it! You’re busy! And so must be! That’s what life is like! But you want more than that, you want to do more for yourself and massage can help. Because massage makes more than a simple relaxation of the mind and body. It keeps your body in shape and gives you enough energy to make you enjoy a longer life better than you do it today.

Massage releases stress. At the moment, stress is a universal evil. Every time you are late, every time you avoid a car in traffic, every time you have trouble working, stress is doing his job. Each time adrenaline increases heart rate and cortisone levels and organs respond to the measure. You will be in a state of nerves and constant agitation.
When there is no release of stress, serious problems such as an upset stomach, hypertension, sleep disturbances, chest pain, or existing illness may worsen.

Some of the changes that may occur are: Anxiety, lack of concentration, depression, permanent fatigue, muscle or bone pain, sexual dysfunction, excessive sleep or insomnia

All these stress-related problems can be diminished and some can be totally eliminated by massage. The researchers concluded that a massage session can lower heart rate and blood pressure, relax your muscles and increase endorphin production. The massage also releases serotonin and dopamine and the result is a general relaxation, both physical and mental.
Our body care must be at the top of the priorities.
By adding the massage to your routine you will look much better and you will be much healthier and relaxed. Massage can improve your vitality and mood. Massage can prepare for a long and beautiful life.

Our masseuses personalize each massage session according to the needs of the individual.
Our massage parlors offer a variety of relaxation styles and techniques to help you. Apart from relaxing, massage can be a powerful ally in reducing pain, increasing energy levels, improving mental and physical performance

We recommend : HotAngels , VipZone , JadePalace , ThaiPassion

After a massage session, you will see how the mental prospects are enriched, the body allows easier handling, better pressure resistance, relaxation and mental alertness, calm and creative thinking.
When you have the impression or force yourself to stay straight, your body is not actually aligned properly. Not only does the posture look bad, but it forces some of the muscles to go muddy all day, while others become weaker. After a long time, the incorrect position may cause other drops. For example, internal organs press on what affects digestion, breathing ability is also diminished, which means that much less blood and oxygen reaches the brain and hence all sorts of other complications.

Massage allows you to return your body to the track. Allowing the body to make healthy and accurate movements is one of the greatest benefits of massage. Massage can relax and restore muscles injured by bad posture, allowing the body to position itself in a natural, painless position.
Apart from posture, there is also anxiety. One of the signs of anxiety and stress can also be heavy breathing. When the body begins to breathe too little and deeply instead of breathing at a natural rithm, it is impossible for one to relax. One reason may also be that the chest muscles and the abdomen get tightened and the air gets harder.

Massage plays an important role in learning the body how to relax and how to improve breathing. Respiratory problems such as allergies, sinuses, asthma or bronchitis are a group of conditions that can benefit from massage. In fact, massage can have a positive impact on respiratory function.

Many of the muscles in the front and back of the upper part of the body are breathing accessory. When these muscles are tight and shorten they can block normal breathing and interrupt effective breathing natural rithm. Massage techniques for stretching and relaxing these muscles improves breathing function and breathability. Massage leads to an opening of the chest as well as structural alignment and nerve dilatation that are required for optimal pulmonary function. A good way to treat respiratory problems with massage is the taping made in Swedish massage. When done on the back, along with vibrations, it can detach the mucus from the lungs and can clean the airways for better later function.

Massage not only relaxes muscles, but helps people become aware of daily stress levels. Once the body recognizes what really means relaxation, the mind can rest easily relax before the stress becomes cornice and harmful. This will help you enjoy a balanced life. Massage controls breathing, allows the mind to re-create relaxation before the occurrence of chronic and harmful stress and increases the level of energy.