Reader Question: Is It Valuable?

by Josh on March 16, 2011 · 2 comments

in antiques

A reader wrote me recently with a question about his inheritance of an antique buffet: I was trying to find some information regarding a piece of furniture that was left to me when an aunt died. I came across some Flickr photos of yours from a couple years ago in my search. It turns out […]


New Toilet Tips

by Josh on August 6, 2010 · 4 comments

in Bathroom,Projects

It’s the most popular seat in the house, but the toilet in my main floor bathroom was a mess.  The tank cover was chipped up, it used obscene amounts of water to flush, and–despite my repair attempts–it often needed the handle jiggled to stop the tank fill. So I decided it was time to upgrade […]


New Schoolhouse Lights

by Josh on January 9, 2010 · 4 comments

in Journal

Schoolhouse Electric just announced their new lighting catalog in an email I received recently.  The catalog is chock full of eye candy, and really worth checking out.  You can view the entire catalog online or request to have a printed version mailed to you, if you’re of the clip-and-save persuasion. (photo by Schoolhouse Electric) I […]


A Fine 2009

by Josh on January 7, 2010 · 0 comments

in Journal

We may be far enough into 2010 for some people to have made and broken new resolutions, but I’m not yet through reflecting on 2009 and planning for the year ahead. Sure, I could beat myself up about the backlog of unfinished projects I’m carrying forward into the new year– the bedroom project chief among […]


Foam Insulation Cost Analysis

by Josh on September 30, 2009 · 11 comments

in Ideas,Projects

My last post about getting insulation-ready prompted a question about the cost of insulation.  But simply posting the price I paid isn’t very useful to a reader.  I wanted to offer a response in a way that got away from the specifics of my project and that could be useful for comparison.  A fair price […]


Getting Back To Reality

by Josh on June 9, 2009 · 5 comments

in Bedroom,Ideas,Projects

Reality.  We can waste a lot of time and energy trying to avoid it, but eventually, unfailingly, reality catches up with us. So what’s the reality that I’ve been trying to avoid?  Simply this: my upstairs bedroom project will not be finished by the end of the summer if I insist on doing the work […]


Seeds Started, Seeds Sprouted

by Josh on April 4, 2008 · 3 comments

in garden,Projects

While searching for instructions on when to start my tomato seeds, I stumbled on a great garden planting chart from the University of Minnesota Extension Service. “Planting the Vegetable Garden” by Vincent Fritz features a chart of planting dates and spacing for popular garden vegetables, specifically written for Minnesota gardeners. It’s just what I was […]


Tip: Plant Staking Tape

by Josh on December 7, 2007 · 6 comments

in garden,Ideas

The lemon trees I’ve been growing from seeds saved while making lemon gelato in the summer of 2006 have finally gotten big enough to require staking. Because the saplings are on display inside the house, I bought some real plant staking tape that would look better than the strips of old t-shirts that I’ve used […]


Snowy Windowsill

by Josh on December 3, 2007 · 3 comments

in Projects,Windows

Who knew there was a “right” way to configure my hated aluminum triple track storm windows? I had assumed that both of the glass storm sashes had weatherstripping on the sash to allow them to be positioned with either sash as the bottom or top. Wrong.


Get Your Flu Shot

by Josh on November 13, 2007 · 0 comments

in Asides

I lost a perfectly good weekend day to a flu-like bug. Instead of raking leaves and running wiring, I spent the day huddled under blankets and clutching a bucket. Do yourself and your house projects a favor and get your flu shot right away.