Columns

Pay the piper

It always starts innocently. You are standing in the shower and suddenly nothing goes down the drain. The water is rising halfway up your shin and does not appear to be planning to respond to gravity. Since you are a Homemoaner and somewhat versed in these matters, you go to the tool bin with wet...
Building my Passive House — Part 10

Building my Passive House — Part 10

This is the 10th and final entry in a series of columns about the design and construction of my newly certified Passive House. Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) offers certification programs for highly energy efficient homes, and the home design and building professionals seeking to build them (www.phaus.org). Those of you who have hung with...
New Year's (jewelry care) resolution

New Year’s (jewelry care) resolution

With the start of a new year, one of the resolutions that you may wish to consider is making better provisions for the care of your jewelry. “Care” should not be limited to an occasional do-it-yourself cleaning; in fact, there are a number of aspects regarding care that most people overlook entirely. A professional inspection and cleaning of your jewelry...
Junk Drawer

Junk Drawer

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.” I don’t. Now and then, however, when the surfaces in the house become cluttered with pens and tools or cooking utensils, we go around and pick stuff up. Most frequently it ends up in one of the several junk drawers around the place. There’s one in the kitchen, one in...
Good gold, bad gold

Good gold, bad gold

I’m not sure how many times I’ve heard it said that Italian gold is better that the gold we have here, so it may be time to set the record straight — gold is gold. There is no good gold or bad gold. (There isn’t even any in-between gold.) This may be difficult to believe,...
Building my Passive House — Part 9

Building my Passive House — Part 9

This is the ninth entry in a series of columns about the design and construction of my newly certified passive house. Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) offers certification programs for highly energy efficient homes, and the home design and building professionals seeking to build them (www.phaus.org). Because my heating requirements are so small, my house...
Thomas Mann must not have had GPS

Thomas Mann must not have had GPS

In the early 70s, we still had relatives living at “Springdale,” the remains of the Ohio farm where my great grandfather raised seven children including my mother’s father and my name sake. There are a few fading family photos and deep in the ever-murky crevasses of my brain, a distant memory of a layover at...
The old switcheroo routine

The old switcheroo routine

Whenever I speak about the subject of trust in a jeweler, there is always one particular issue that inevitably manages to surface, and that is the tale of a jeweler “switching” a diamond on a customer who brings her engagement ring in for repair, sizing, or some other routine work that needs to be done....