From the category archives:

House and Home

Sometimes It Is Important to Listen to Kitty

by Jonathan 12 July 2016 House and Home

Ah, here it is, an increasingly rare post from Jonathan on the blog! Before we leave for a somewhat longer journey, we needed a test run with our kayaks on the new Yakima roof rack system on the Newbaru to make sure that everything was OK. The old Yakima system we had on Oldbaru I, […]

Read the full article →

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things (Sauer Castle Edition)

by Jenny 24 June 2016 History

  This is a short story about why humans can’t have nice things. This story takes place in Kansas City, Kansas.  In a mansion built right after the Civil War. A mansion that the locals all know as Sauer Castle. (Disclaimer: I have only been to Kansas twice in my life. Several years ago, Jonathan […]

Read the full article →

What Really Happens on Christmas Morning

by Jenny 26 December 2015 House and Home

A few years ago, in the very, very early part of Christmas morning, Jonathan and I woke up to the sound of breaking glass. “SMASH!” Well, nobody wants to wake up to the sound of glass breaking. Plus, we live in a neighborhood that’s, um, “undergoing change.” So, you know . . . But – […]

Read the full article →

The Good Old Days

by Jenny 10 September 2015 House and Home

For the first part of my life, my family lived in an old house in a very small town in Central Pennsylvania. My parents heated the house using a wood burning stove. My dad had a permit from the forestry department to cut firewood. Every summer or fall he would go to the top of […]

Read the full article →

Did You Hear About St. Basil’s?

by Jenny 12 August 2015 House and Home

St. Basil (or Saint Basil) Catholic Parish in Carrick was all over the Pittsburgh news last month. They shut down their church festival – their big fundraiser – for safety reasons (social media posts and actual brawling) on opening night. Permanently, I read someplace. They took a large financial hit, and the community lost an […]

Read the full article →

Neat Old Companies and Neat Old Tools

by Jonathan 21 February 2015 House and Home

Several years ago, I was in the position of needing a new saw blade for my tablesaw. The existing blade I was using had done a lot of work with some tough white oak for me (including building our front screen door, which was pretty hard on the blade), and it was showing some signs […]

Read the full article →

The Cherry Blanket Chest (a.k.a. Blanket Chest #2)

by Jonathan 24 January 2015 House and Home

Sometimes in the shop, things get a little out of order. You might recall that I had a blog entry posted in June about Blanket Chest #1, a dense, heavy affair made almost entirely of white oak. That stuff was some of the toughest wood I’ve worked. It was from a local sawmill (as opposed […]

Read the full article →

Elegy to My Old Front Porch, c1930 – 2014

by Jenny 14 July 2014 House and Home

I am getting a new front porch for my birthday this year. Jonthan and I planned and saved for this for years. We tweaked some of our career goals for this. We can’t wait to take our first steps on the new porch and invite people over to enjoy it with us. The old porch slanted […]

Read the full article →

A Short Trip to some Local Parnassus History

by Jonathan 2 July 2014 History

Hello reader people. Jenny and I were sitting on our soon-to-be-rebuilt porch this evening as the light went golden. We were just reading away, enjoying the evening as the temperature started to cool a bit, when I looked up and saw the pretty golden light hitting the houses across the street from us. I just […]

Read the full article →

Woodshop Time Again: Blanket Chest #1

by Jonathan 8 June 2014 House and Home

When I had finished the frame for the hall mirror in this post about my previous woodshop project, I had an idea to start working on a blanket chest. I had just finished reading Christopher Schwarz’ book The Anarchist’s Tool Chest about building traditional tool chests, and was inspired to use similar techniques to build a […]

Read the full article →