Monday, August 17, 2009

May/June 2009: Windows... they open, right?

My house is very bright and airy. I have 4 doors that lead outside -- one of which is a set of french doors so if I really wanted to get technical about things I could say five -- add the pet door (another story...) and I have six! But this post is about windows. My fifteen windows. My fifteen windows that are painted shut. And caulked shut on the inside. And on the outside. Uh huh. Paint, and caulking, inside and out. It makes me wonder what previous owners were trying to keep in... or out...

Nonetheless, I am an open window type of girl. And while I realize it's too hot to have the windows open here now, in August, October will be a different story. And so in my first days of home ownership, in those glorious days when I walked around my brand new, totally empty, waiting just for me house, marveling about all the fabulous projects that lie ahead of me -- but not knowing where to begin -- I set about getting windows to open. And I am trying really hard to be careful not to break the glass (for obvious reasons) but also because it looks like some of the window glass is actually original. It's that cool old timey wavey type of glass.

It was all very romantic. A girl, in her dream house, hair pulled back, a breezy spring day... ah, yes. Just her in her perfect little house, all the months of stress behind her... possibly even humming.

Okay, it took four hours -- FOUR HOURS -- to get the first window open. I worked on it for 2, and Tom worked on it for 2. I now have this handy little tray with seven different hand tools on it... my window opening kit. Honestly. With a bit of practice, we have the technique down to about 2 hours. And of the fifteen windows, four of them open. One in each room. That's enough for a cross draft, right? If you count the 6 doors that open?

I also have the inside part of the two kitchen windows done; but not the outside. When I got most of the inside done, I went outside to assess and begin that side of the window. You know, work the inside a bit, then the outside, and then the inside and then start trying to heave it open? There's this small detail that my street is on a slope. On one side of my house, you can stand on the ground and reach the windows. Okay, you might want a short step ladder. But on the other side! Let's say it's a good thing that I bought the 26 foot multi-position-I-think-it-even-configures-into-scaffolding-ladder, because the OTHER side of the house is quite a different story (no pun intended, really.) I suspect it will take a pan of brownies to bribe Tom into doing the outside of the kitchen windows.

And did I mention that I don't have any screens, and that Texas has the largest flying bugts you have ever seen? I'm certain that we can make window screens. Certain.

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