Columns
To pressure wash or not to pressure wash

To pressure wash or not to pressure wash

To pressure wash or not to pressure wash is not the question. It’s whether to do it yourself or not to do it yourself. After interviewing several facilities about renting and/or buying a pressure washer, also known as a power washer, and then speaking with some pros, here are some points to consider before doing your...
Hot air

Hot air

“Only in New England can you drive to work in the morning with the heater on and return home later with the air conditioner blasting.” – Random Facebook entry I type this as June is ending. I recall warmer Junes. Summer officially started a week ago, but I was wearing a light jacket last month....
Building my passive house - Part 5

Building my passive house – Part 5

This is the fifth entry in a series of columns about the design and construction of my newly certified passive house. Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) offers a certification program for highly energy-efficient homes and separate certification programs for home design and building professionals seeking to build them (www.phaus.org for more information). In this column,...
Jewelry security while traveling

Jewelry security while traveling

Few people ever consider going on vacation without taking at least some jewelry with them, and this is where trouble may come calling — because for the most part, there is no viable way to keep jewelry safe completely when traveling. Never leave jewelry in an unattended suitcase (or car trunk), locked or otherwise. (FYI, if you have secreted your jewelry in...
Building my Passive House - Part 4

Building my Passive House – Part 4

This is the fourth entry in a series of columns about the design and construction of my newly certified Passive House. Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) offers a certification program for highly energy efficient homes and separate certification programs for home design and building professionals seeking to build them (www.phaus.org for more information). In this...

Game of thrones

Everybody does it. No reason to hide a simple human function. It may be one of the last taboos, but I am here to lift the lid on the whole subject: Everyone needs to replace a toilet seat now and then. I am, mercifully, limited by my editor to very few words, although I feel...
Fakin' it

Fakin’ it

Fake gold. Fake diamonds. Fake pearls. Oh, excuse me — faux. Any way you shake it, they’re not “the real McCoy,” and with really good fakes, it takes an expert to tell the difference. In fact, sometimes even the experts get fooled. So what good are they, really? The answer may surprise you, because they have all sorts of uses...

Rhymes with “Bird”

Spring is in the air. Actually, spring was in the air. Now a cold wind is blowing across the still tawny lawn, confusing the daffodils and tulips and rustling the brown boxwoods – killed by the murderous winter, just now waning. New England weather, where you turn the heat on in the morning and the...
Gold prices and your homeowner’s insurance

Gold prices and your homeowner’s insurance

With the current gold market just below of $1,300.00 per ounce, everyone who has their jewelry insured (for most people, this would fall under your homeowner’s insurance) should be aware that your insurance levels are no longer adequate, even if you have the type of policy that raises the values automatically over a period of time. If...
Building my passive house - Part 2

Building my passive house – Part 2

This is the second entry in a series of columns about the design and construction of my own newly certified passive house. Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) offers a certification program developed in Europe to assist home-building professionals seeking to build highly energy-efficient homes (www.phaus.org for more information). The cottage The cottage I bought for...

Mail strom

Gather round kiddies, Old Uncle Ben is going to regale you with another one of his endless tales of the good old days. Please turn off your cell phones and pagers. When the folks suburbanized in the early 50s, there was a cluster of mailboxes in a mid-intersection island at the bottom of the street....
Spring cleaning

Spring cleaning

Ah, spring cleaning in April — a traditional rite of passage into the very welcome warmer months of May and June. Historically, this refers to housecleaning, as well as outdoor items  — but it would be an excellent idea for you to consider adding your jewelry to the list. Of course, jewelry always looks best when it’s been cleaned, but there are several very good reasons why you...