If you’ve been wondering about the secret of life, you’ve come to the right column. Revealed in this week’s Planet Janet, March 10,2021.

Philosophy Column?

Here are my thoughts on the photo I took, above… in this week’s Planet Janet, February 10, 2021.

The kind of medical research and insights you have come to expect from me–in this week’s Planet Janet. I’m sorry, there’s just no sort of appropriate visual for this week’s column; you’re just going to have to use your IMAGINATION!

Please enjoy my Christmas message, below. I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season, and a brighter 2021.

The spirit of Christmas is hiding this year

Behind our masked faces; and where is the cheer

In non-gathering neighbors, coworkers, friends?

In holiday meals, if no family attends?

Depressing for many; distressing for all–

Including the retailers out at the mall

Where no throngs of late shoppers will browse Christmas Eve,

(They’re home watching news they can’t trust or believe.)

Who’ll get a vaccine? And who gets it first?

Some COVID scenarios bring out the worst

In our flawed human nature. And yet, we still see

Some people who manage to act selflessly.

The home-schooling parents, the teachers online,

The nurses and doctors and those who align

Their motives with goals that will benefit all–

No matter how obvious, simple or small.

If there is some comfort in this Christmas poem,

Some message of hope for us all stuck at home,

It’s: We have been put in mass “time-out,” perhaps,

To focus on things we have lost, or let lapse.

Alter your Pandemic Perspective–in today’s Planet Janet, 12/16/2020.

This has to brighten your day! It does mine…

Every job has merit, and power. Planet Janet November 18, 2020, on my weekend freelance-recycling-attendant gig.

I lied. I said below that my column would appear the first Wednesday of each month, but I truly don’t know when it will be appearing. Let us just say that it will appear, and that important topics like the “Carolina Squat” in last week’s column will continue to be researched and explored in depth to assist you in your cocktail-party banter. Please enjoy!

Planet Janet November 11, 2020 –“Truck Trends,” in the Post and Courier.

Hello to my faithful readers! I’m happy to let you know that “Planet Janet” will be appearing the first Wednesday of each month in the Post and Courier. I hope you will enjoy this column on our outside shower that ran September 2, 2020.

Planet Janet September 2, 2020 in the Post and Courier.

And here’s a photo of the almost-finished product!

We still have some painting to do, but you get the idea!

Let’s all go to Mars this week! Planet Janet, July 29, 2020.

And because you loyal readers count on quality, expanded content… here is the Halloween two-headed man photo Neeruam provided for me. The JPL Scientist is on the left, and the NYC Video Producer is on the right.

Tonsorial Time-Travel–in Planet Janet July 22, 2020.

Pandemic-short style!

Driving lessons from my CAR! Planet Janet July 15, 2020.

It’s free advertising week for Sparks Toyota on Planet Janet!

Thunderstorm planting is scary fun! Planet Janet July 8, 2020.

Looks like the next five days could be great for more rainstorm gardening…

Documentation of a FAIL: I tried to trowel concrete into a hole. It’s nothing like frosting a cake. In this week’s Planet Janet, July 2, 2020.

This is how it SHOULD look…

Yellow squash and the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Wha? In this week’s column, June 17, 2020.

I enjoy yellow squash, but not every day!

Privileged to speak out–in this week’s Planet Janet, June 10, 2020.

Weariness about the pandemic sets in. This thing is nothing to sneeze at–today’s column, Planet Janet June 4, 2020.

Apparently, you can wrap your car to degrade its appearance. In this week’s Planet Janet, May 28,2020.

I just don’t get it.

Prior to publication of this week’s column (“Pandemic Haircuts”), I promised to post some documentation of my home haircuts as a child. If this is not a character-building exercise, I don’t know what is!

Please try to refrain from laughing out loud. I can hear you.

I think this one is particularly fabulous.
There really are no words for this one…
In this photo, aptly titled “2,” you see my best childhood friend and next-door neighbor Joann Lassus on the left, stripey me in the middle and sadly I cannot recall the name of the friend on the right. But therefore I did not have to get her permission, right?

And here’s this week’s column, “Pandemic Haircuts.” Planet Janet May 13, 2020.

Bonding during COVID-19. Planet Janet May 6, 2020.

From now on, I’m COMBS. Janet Combs.

The similarities are uncanny I’m sure you couldn’t agree more.

Stay home. Stay safe. Stay HAPPY. Coping tips for trying times, in this week’s Planet Janet, March 18, 2020.

Here’s the photo I texted to my husband from the grocery store. Evidently there wasn’t a run on tugboat tub toys.

Get away to your very own home! How we were inspired by our friends’ recent visit to explore our own beautiful Georgetown County area…

Great friends came for a visit–but WE had a vacation, too!

In Planet Janet 3/10/2020.

In fact–we had so much fun, we’ll be “back” the weekend of April 25–for the Tour de Plantersville! Check it out:

I’ll be riding a no-speed special. Look for me… at the end of the pack!

You, too, can make fascinating conversation about domestic cleaning devices at your local bar and grill. In Planet Janet March 4, 2020.

It’s a freaky, leaky chimney in this week’s Planet Janet, February 26, 2020.

The wood we removed around our chimney looked like this–evidence of years of water damage!

Your castle is crying out for crown molding. Possibly. In this week’s Planet Janet, February 19, 2020.

Crown Molding really “finishes” a room. It’s probably worth the trouble it takes to put it up.

Exhausting yet exhilarating: P2P SC at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, in this week’s Planet Janet, February 13, 2020.

Greetings from Collards Country! Planet Janet February 5, 2020.

Stop talking, start caulking–Planet Janet January 29, 2020.

Bromodosis, in this week’s Planet Janet, January 22, 2020.

Our house is looking sick! In Planet Janet this week, January 15, 2020.

Take my one-question leadership survey, in Planet Janet December 18, 2019!

I’m 60 years smarter! In Planet Janet, December 11, 2019

Well, maybe not “smarter.” Every time we get together, my sisters say, “Let’s take a picture and make really funny faces.” I always fall for it. Please enjoy.

It’s almost Glitteristmas! Planet Janet November 14, 2019.

Incident Report #1 Conclusion: Most accidents are preventable if you watch where you are walking. Planet Janet, November 3, 2019.

In 10/30’s Planet Janet, I warn you about the scourge of South Carolina–the Sand Bur! As promised, here are some photos to help you identify this painful group of grasses.

Happiness is… (Planet Janet October 23, 2019)

Snoopy is snuggly!
Look at these new friends! They cause me to speak in a high-pitched baby voice that would be embarrassing in a business setting.

You gotta love levers! October 16 in Planet Janet…

The simple, elegant crow bar–among my new favorite tools!

Alaska Memories–forgot to post this one! Planet Janet September 27, 2019!

Our Birthday Adventure! Documented in today’s column, 10/2/2019!

Scenes from an Airport–we’ve all been there! Planet Janet, 9/25/19.

Planet Janet, week of September 16. A fitness journey that ends in the trash.

Exteriors–your home’s, and your own, in Planet Janet August 14, 2019.

Common exterior problems include peeling paint and dry skin.

Planet Janet July 31, 2019: Technospeak

There are many exceedingly tiresome ways to explore ARC cable installation.

A surplus of integrity–exposed in this week’s Planet Janet, July 24, 2019.

If you must have your neck operated on, may I recommend MUSC?

Fear of Floating? No more! Planet Janet July 18, 2019.

Floating is easy when you have faith!

Planet Janet July 11, 2019: The Leisure Cyclist–just keep pedaling.

Ride a bike today with someone you love!

Happy Fourth of July! Planet Janet’s Independence Day column.

Attempting to be clutter-free, in this week’s Planet Janet, June 13, 2019.

How can “Floor Styles” possibly be related to purchasing a new car? Read on…in this week’s Planet Janet, June 6, 2019.

Leaf blowing is a blast!

You didn’t think you were that interested in leaf blowers, but it turns out you ARE! Planet Janet, Week of May 23, 2019.

RACCOON FACE! In today’s column! Planet Janet, Thursday, May 16, 2019.

If you enjoyed my column on cabinet doors today, here’s the promised recipe! This is courtesy of EVA GILBERT, the best Southern Chef I have had the pleasure to know. And love! And learn from! She can make a delectable casserole out of random leftovers; she’s that good!


Step 1: Cover Shrimp with boiling water; add celery tops, spices and salt, simmer 5 minutes or just until backs come away from body. Drain and cool rapidly under cold running water–peel and de-vein.

Step 1 for People with Full-time jobs: Purchase a jar of good pickling spice, and give it to your seafood supplier–ask them to steam the shrimp for you with the spice. Sit in your car and listen to NPR for 10 minutes and then go retrieve your steamed shrimp. Proceed directly to Step 2.

  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh shrimp in shells
  • 1/2 C Celery Tops
  • 1/4 C Mixed Pickling Spices
  • 1 T salt
  • 2 C Sliced (Vidalia–Sweet) Onions
  • 7-8 Bay leaves

Step 2: Prepare Pickling Marinade

  • 1 1/2 C Salad Oil
  • 3/4 C White Vinegar
  • Tabasco or Sriracha! to taste (At least 1 T, in my opinion!)
  • 3 T capers and juice (I use way more capers than this because I love capers! I go easy on the juice but use at least 2 jars.)
  • 2 1/2 t celery seed
  • 1 1/2 t salt

Step 3: Layer!

Alternate cleaned shrimp, onions and bay leaves in a shallow baking dish. Pour pickling marinade over all–cover and chill at least 24 hours, occasionally spooning marinade over shrimp. These will keep at least a week–but they won’t last that long, believe me!

Bottles and boxes coexist, proof below–and in my column April 25, 2019.

And here’s what I’m doing with my degree, Aunt Hazel: Planet Janet, April 18, 2019.

This Shutterstock image #1091146 was downloaded on 3-14-07 for HSW: QUICK FIXES FOR YOUR HOME, 730175.

The headlines are never written by me–and I often wonder about the process, especially with this week’s. Planet Janet published April 11, 2019.

Mind-knobbing choices, for every single decision.

The Hierarchy of Power Tools: Divulged in Planet Janet published April 4, 2019.

I really couldn’t do professional work without this one! Or “semi-professional work,” at least!

Planet Janet w/o March 28, 2019: Yo como manzanas!

And here’s the column referenced below! Planet Janet, w/o March 21, 2019.

Beloved Readers: Below are the ANSWERS and DETAILS from the “Mr. Shurocman” column, which will make absolutely no sense to you at all if you’re arriving here before my column’s publication date of Thursday, March 21st! But readers who log on early the morning of the 21st after reading the paper will not be disappointed, and that is my goal. Not to disappoint my readers. At least, at this particular moment in time that is my goal.

Mr. Polenblo: This was the name of the contractor I reached who was using the leaf blower to try and remove the thick layer of yellow-green pollen from our front porch. It worked, for about five minutes. South Carolina is where all the pollen parties for Spring Break, apparently.

Mr. Sorda: This contractor was stationed at the workbench all morning, sorting through random containers of bolts and nuts and screws and hardware that were hurriedly moved (read: tossed into any available bucket or box) from Baltimore to Eutawville, and then Eutawville to Pawleys Island. Mr. Sorda shows up at least once a week, usually when my husband is looking for something in particular–and ends up clearing out and cleaning up a few random bins or containers.

Mr. Nufredge: So, we bought a brand new refrigerator when we moved in. And it promptly froze some of our food–milk, eggs, produce–every single week. So, we had the refrigerator serviced. NINE TIMES over the course of TWELVE MONTHS. And then the company got sick of hearing from us and replaced the refrigerator. When I called from work, Mr. Nufredge was emptying out the old “lemon” and eagerly awaiting the new refrigerator. So far, it works and we’re ridiculously ecstatic over it, constantly remarking to each other, “Look, the mushrooms aren’t frozen!” or “The sour cream doesn’t have ice chips!”

Assemblyman Fitrem: This gentleman did an amazing job of transforming the “hole” or “cubby” under a sort-of outdated “desk area” in our kitchen into a cabinet that holds a small wine refrigerator. New contruction is one thing–but retrofitting something into a 25-year old space and making it look like it was always there is real craftsmanship, and only Assemblyman Fitrem was up to the task, shaving off a bit of trim here and there to make it fit precisely. I’ll share a photo when it’s complete.

Week of March 14: Let us explore the connection between selecting paint colors and lipstick shades.

Creating an Arch while somewhat…compromised. Planet Janet/Week of March 7, 2019.

What’s a potting bench, you ask? Planet Janet/Week of February 28, 2019.

Here’s my potting bench, Ms. Winfrey!

Planet Janet/Week of February 21, 2019: Cleaning up is a drag.

Except Swiffering.

Bugs in the Woodpile: Planet Janet Week of February 7, 2019.

Planet Janet/Week of January 31, 2019: Twister Throwback!

The Zen of Ironing: Planet Janet/Week of January 17, 2019.

Really, I enjoy ironing.

Planet Janet/Week of January 10, 2019: The smoke-detector method for learning a new language!

el brocoli esta ardiendo!

Definitely unhinged in the new year, in Planet Janet/Week of January 3, 2019.

Please enjoy the unvarnished, holiday truth, in Planet Janet/Week of December 27, 2018. 

Just so you know, I don’t write the headlines for my pieces. I just submit them and my understanding is that someone in downtown Charleston at the editorial office writes them. So this headline happened on December 20th. Too much eggnog?

We ripped up the flooring and the toilets had to be tanked. Planet Janet/ Week of December 13, 2018.

Planet Janet/Week of December 6, 2018: Real family pitches in.

An Oven Full of Thanks, Planet Janet/Week of November 22, 2018.


How we were almost taken down by beadboard: Planet Janet, week of November 15.

Stumbling into the sentimental by accident–how I got smart on workbenches! Planet Janet November 8, 2018.

Here’s the workbench with the drafting table top.


And below is the vice as big as my head!


Planet Janet November 1, 2018: Welcome to the Combs Cantina–the happiest kitchen on earth! It’s still a work in progress…but here you go!


Planet Janet October 18, 2018: Refreshing the “Popcorn” ceiling. It was a Cat-in-the-Hat-worthy mess! I just didn’t have the heart to photograph it, please use your imagination.

Sorry for the delay in posting the photo of the new kitchen window, from the October 5th installment of Planet Janet. To appreciate it, you really need a “Before” shot. Also please enjoy my strange triple sink–three basins, not one of them large enough to soak a lasagna pan!


And, voila! Here is the result of our weekend work!


Here it is, the all-weather, sturdy yet attractive Home Recycling Center! And assorted construction stuff staged on our back porch, which I could have edited out, but left in for that DIY ambience.


It’s hot down South. Week of July 20.

When a golf cart becomes a heavy duty utility vehicle. Week of July 13, 2018.

You CONDUIT! Week of July 6, 2018.


Week of June 24, this really happened.

Find the Leaner.

Shoe Molding and Mark Knopfler, can there be a connection?  Week of June 18.

Indefatigable? No rest for us. Week of June 11. Actually, here is a photo of us resting when my Mom visited. Please visit us so we can get some rest!


Covering up the ugly. Week of June 3.


Play Cabinet Roulette with me! Week of June 1.


DIYers gotta love a pick-up truck. Week of May 25.

suburban_woodpeckerWoodpecker madness! Week of May 18.

Know-it-All Strikes again,  week of May 11.

channellock-all-trades-tongue-groove-pliers-430-64_1000Planet Janet week of April 20 in the Georgetown Times and the South Strand News. Amateur plumber.

Planet Janet week of April 6 in the Georgetown Times and the South Strand News.

Planet Janet week of March 25 in the Georgetown Times and the South Strand News. “Name that room!”

As promised–and I’m sorry to be a bit late in posting this, but I was putting up some bead board in a bathroom–here are some beautiful shots of the “No Name Room” for your inspiration and consideration!

Here is the dog, Moose, possibly the only one comfortable in “No Name Room.”
The attractive work project table. Can you find a flat head screwdriver? A bucket of drywall mud? A nail gun?
This shot really captures the “je-ne-sais-quoi” of the No Name Room.

Planet Janet week of March 18 in the Georgetown Times and the South Strand News.

The mirror is gone! Voila!

Planet Janet week of March 11 in the Georgetown Times and the South Strand News.

Try this cool app–beats buying tons of samples. Also fun to see how your house looks in fuchsia!

Planet Janet week of March 4 in the Georgetown Times and the South Strand News.

delta luxford
This week, take the Delta “Luxford” for a spin…

Planet Janet week of February 18 in the Georgetown Times and the South Strand News.


Planet Janet week of February 11 in the Georgetown Times and the South Strand News.

Planet Janet week of February 4 in the Georgetown Times.

Planet Janet week of January 29 in the South Strand News and the the Georgetown Times.

Planet Janet week of January 21, 2018 in the South Strand News and the Georgetown Times.

Home Store
Cruising in the home improvement store with my fashion-forward boot.