What He Built With His Own Hands

Picture of a fire in an outdoor brick fire pit. Quote overlaid: " Self-reliance: If you can do it all yourself, then they can't take it from you, can't force you to compromise your convictions or give up your finest dreams."

There’s a fireplace in the back yard of my dad’s cottage. Dad’s friend Henry (not his real name) built it in an afternoon, using a pile of firebricks and his hands. No mortar, no cement, no bolts or anchors. Just four walls of fire bricks stacked in an interlocking pattern. You could knock the whole thing over with a well-placed kick, but it has been there in the yard for maybe ten years now, giving us something to stand around while talking into the firelit night. Henry loves a good fire. He and his family live in an old farmhouse

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Sanding Out the Super-Bugs

Picture of a well sanded wood board.

I suppose it was my wife’s inexplicable nightly stomachaches that finally pushed me into action. A bacterial invasion was underway. It was time to refinish my kitchen cutting board.

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Needful Things at the Home Show

Picture of a boy atop a ladder reaching into the sky.

In my tireless quest to keep you on the edge of home-improvement technology, I once spent a day at the Atlanta Home Show. Sustained only by a small bottle of reconstituted orange juice and a “lemon” Danish I bought from the concession stand, I explored acres upon acres of vendor booths, each offering their own paradigm-shifting contributions to the well-lived home.

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