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Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Last Two Storm Windows Are Done!

Yesterday, after Steve was done driving his old fart party bus, we decided to finish up the very last two storm windows in the guest bedroom.

This side of the house faces South. There's no convenient porch roof, or bay window roof, to stand on like when doing the other four windows. Steve could have borrowed the neighbors tall ladder to get up high to the second story. I had a better idea.

How about we change it from the inside? I know that our beautiful old wooden windows not only lift up on the bottom pane, but the top pane will lower down so you can access the window frame by just reaching through from the inside to the outside!!!

Steve agreed, instead of dangerously balancing up on the ladder with an awkward window in his arm. This is going up 2+ stories high. Remember, it takes five steps to get up to the main floor of our house, plus we have 9' high ceilings. I would imagine it's about 20+ feet to the top of those windows.

We removed the interior lower windows and at the same time we replaced the sash cords like we did on the other windows.  The cords were quite worn and beaten, but not quite broken through. Refer to the previous blog about how we did that in case you have old windows with broken sash cords.

Steve could easily lean out and unscrew the old storm frames. Some of the screws were so old and painted over, again he had to screw them out with the tip of a pliers, or snap them off completely.

Once we got the old aluminum storm window frames off, he cleaned up the edges of the window sashing.

Now it was time to put a nice thick bead of silicone on all around the sides and top. I stuck my phone out of the window and took a photo of him from the bottom window up!

Now that we've done those first four storm windows on the other bedrooms, these went pretty well.  I guess we are "experienced" now?

Soon they were all done, and the interior windows put back in the frame, adjusted the window weights, and everything back into place.

The curtains were back up 
and things are back to normal in our guest room. 

For now.

In the winter months I pull back the curtains and line up four tables along these windows that face the South. I put plastic lids from Rubbermaid bins on top of the tables and set in pots of all of my coleus plants. I winter them over every year, as I've been doing for over 20 years. They are dug up from outside and also new shoots started to make smaller plants as well. I keep 8 to 10 pots of coleus going all winter long and bring them back out in the spring.

They are originally from my friend Connie, who shared them with me. I, in turn, have shared them with others over the years. When we go away in the winter months on vacation, I have my house sitting friend Sarah to care for them.

Here is what they look like this time of year alongside of the house...

I just love the colorful foliage,
and the blend of the fuschia and dark greens.

They are wonderful plants that don't have to wait to bloom to add color
to a flowerbed.... you get instant color in the
 Spring, Summer and Fall.

In my case, in Winter too 
because I bring them into the guest room! 

I put some into two pots flanking each side of our garage door.

They grow well in shade or sun, 
and take a LOT of water. 
These 2 pots take about a gallon each per day. 

Steve is gone this morning hauling a glass display cabinet for the museum. They bought it from a place over in Manitowoc and now it needs to get to Chilton.  Another volunteer and Steve are hoisting it and hopefully not breaking it.

Tomorrow we are helping with the museum, as hosts at the door to greet people, answer questions and lock up when we are all done.  Here is my blog post about the museum....

and their website:

and their facebook page:

Here comes Steve in the door..... and he said they didn't crash anything and it is all in one piece!

Packer Pre-season Game at Lambeau

Ok I know this post is a week late about the Packer preseason game. Actually, the Packers are playing again tonight. Tonight's game is out of town.

Last week, Thursday, Aug 10, our son-in-law Waylen and oldest daughter Erin treated us to free tickets. We were heading to La La La Lambeau Field for a pre-season Packer Game!! They were playing the Philadelphia Eagles.  It was an evening game, and we hopped in the car early to beat the traffic.  We also picked up some emergency rain ponchos.  (The weatherman was wrong and we didn't get rained on, so we returned them later)

I caught Steve in mid-blink. 
He doesn't really drive with his eyes shut...

First, we stopped at El Azteca for a nice dinner of Mexican food. We prefer Los Banditos down the road, but they were packed full.  El Azteca is known for fast service and good food too.  After a table full of goodness, and a few drinks, we headed on to the game.

Now we threaded our way through the back streets to get to the stadium.  We KNOW how this Packer Game Day traffic operates.....  Many of the homes around Lambeau make a fun enterprise of seeing how many cars they can park in their yard and driveway. They stand at the edge of the curb with a sign stating how much it costs to park there in their yard. There's not nearly enough parking spots available in the Lambeau Field parking lot.

Houses for blocks on end are full of visitors and tailgating parties and grills and people.  Some even rent portapotties for in their yards with all the people that come over during a game day.  Many people just party in their yards and never even go to the game!

We drove along the surrounding 10-15 blocks in the neighborhood until we found a house with a cute kid at the end of the driveway. He was holding a sign asking for $15 to park. Waylen gave a $20 bill and told the kid to keep the tip!

We walked the last few blocks to the 

A fellow fan graciously offered to take this photo of us 

Waylen had our tickets scanned and we went through metal detectors...
only cell phones and small clear purses allowed, nothing else nowadays.
(gone are the days we would sneak in bottles of booze and beer cans) 

Once inside, we rented stadium seats which would make it more comfortable on our butts. Sitting on the aluminum bleachers for 4 hours is not the most comfortable thing. We can rent the seats with cushions plus seat backs for $6 each. In the winter months these are really handy because those bleachers are dang cold

We found our seats and got settled into place. The beers are quite expensive but worth it for the guys during the game. You can go back in the concourse to buy beers or food or other Novelties. There is a gentleman who carries a very heavy metal cooler around his neck going up and down through the stands selling beers also. I don't think I'd want his job.  People pass along the beers and the money or change back and forth for the folks sitting in the middle of the rows.

It was a lot of fun watching the new players trying to impress the coaches with their very best plays. At one point one of the players, Dupre, got injured and it was quite a while before the game could resume.

During Half Time, an adorable little squad of pee wee football players from Kenosha were allowed to come on the field and run some practice plays. They were sooooo cute! What an honor for those kids, and they will remember this the rest of their lives.  They all lined up during the national anthem and you didn't see a single one of them "kneel down in protest"!  Ahem!

I am happy to say that of course, the Packers won 24 - 9 

It was getting late so we headed on home. We ran into backed up traffic on I-41 for about 15 miles. It was stop and start with many times just sitting in one spot. We would crawl ahead for 50 ft and stop again. We were imagining some horrible accident or something bad up ahead causing the delay. Nope, there was absolutely nothing! It was just stupid people not knowing how to merge where it moved from four lanes down to three and then down to two. From there, it was the dumb people trying to exit off on Scheuring Road south of DePere, not knowing how to move over or merge. Absolute clustermuck!!!!

Once we got down towards Wrightstown, the highway finally speeded back up. It took us almost 2 hours to get home. A total distance of 39 miles. That is average of 20 mph. ARGGHHHHH

But even with all of that, we had a very enjoyable time with our oldest daughter and her husband. 
Thank you so much Erin and Waylen for taking us
... GO PACK GO!!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

More Storm Windows - Replacing Broken Sash Cords with Old Window Weights

My last blog dealt with changing out the two front storm windows on our 103+ year old home. We are replacing six ugly old silver aluminum storm windows with nice new white ones.

Now we moved over to the north side of the home, to change the two storm windows in my sewing room. But first-----

Sash cords! Anyone with an old house knows that the old wooden windows operate with a system of heavy weights that run up and down inside of the window casing. They are held into place with rope, called sash cord. They run over a pulley, going up and down within the window frame and help to raise and lower the heavy wooden windows. Ingenious!

Steve and I have already replaced a couple of the broken sash cords over the last 4 years, so we knew what to do. One of the windows in the sewing room had only one broken cord, but the other one had two. We had been propping it up with a wooden stick any time that we wanted it open. Well, those days are gone, it's time to fix the cords!

Here are the two broken pieces of cord 
at the top edge of the lower window, 
on each side.

The first step is to remove the lower window. To do that, you need to carefully unscrew these four screws in this wooden strip on each side of the window casing. That holds the window into place. These strips also are adjustable forward and backwards a little bit to keep the window from rattling, or from binding up too tight. By unscrewing them and shifting it a little ways in either direction, you can fine tune the windows to operate properly.

We removed the window 
and here are the two broken pieces of sash cord. 
Over years, they rot and fray, 
necessitating replacement.

While Steve had the window out he replaced some of the loose glazing on the edges. While that dried and firmed up, we were able to replace the sash cord on each side of that window's casing.

Now we need to access the window weights that fell down in the casing. If you look carefully along the side of the casing there will be a rectangular outline and a single screw. Unscrewing that allows the piece of slanted wood to come out. Now you can access to the window weight and the space that it travels up and down in.

Using real sash cord, do not use clothes line because that will stretch. I also use sash cord on my weaving looms for the ropes and pulley systems. It's much more firmly woven than regular clothes line. Measure the new piece to match up to the broken pieces.  Tie a firm double knot lump on one end, and feed the free end down over the pulley and into the window casing.  Sometimes it helps to hang a little fishing weight on a string to get down first, then tie that string to the cord and pull it from the bottom though the space.

Now tie the loose end of the cord to the weight. It's important to tie a good firm double knot on the window weights because otherwise they can fall down in the casing, or even deeper down into the wall. Then you are really screwed!

Once the weight and cord is in place, and the rectangle of slanted wood covering the access hole, the window can be put back in. Carefully put each knotted top cord into the edge of the window and run the cord up in the side groove to the top surface. Now the window can be set into place in the casing.  This works better with two people, one holding the window and one arranging the cords into place.

SEE?  All new cords and ready
to slide back into the window casing.

Carefully holding the window firmly in place, now the wooden strips can be put back on each side. The way the heads of the screws are encased with a ribbed washer spacer, you can shove the board either forward or backwards to allow it to hold the window snuggly without rattling, but not too tight that it binds up.

There, all done! 
The window weights and sash cords 
are fully operational now on this window.

Now that the window is working properly, it's time for our original project--- replacing the outside storm windows.

We are fortunate that there is a roof below this pair of windows to stand on. It is the bump out roof of the bay window from our dining room below. Steve is able to just step right out through the window and stand out there on the roof to work.

He first had to remove the ugly old aluminum storm and screen combination from the exterior surface. Many of the screws are stripped or gunked up with paint and don't come out very well. He had to use a pliers to grip the screw heads and snapped them off on many of the windows.

He was being a smart talker while doing this, so I threatened to shut and lock the windows and leave him out there!  Sometimes he gets a little big for his britches????

That would be a long jump down 
or a prickly one,
 landing in the bushes.

The weather has been extremely accommodating each time we have decided to work on the windows. Temps in the mid-seventies, light breeze, and no mosquitoes!

He did drop one tool that I had to go outside and down around into the bushes to find it. See? That's what I get for being the "Gopher"!  I think he might have done it on purpose?  Heh heh.  The previous owners who grew up here in this house suggested she come and teach Steve how to sneak in and out of those bedroom windows. She did it plenty of times when she was a teenager! LOL !!!

Remember in my last blog when I mentioned about the hail storms? Some really awful storms had passed through Chilton 17 years ago. The storm stalled right over the town for 30-40 minutes and hailed onto everything with disastrous results.

It was reported that the storm produced 120 mph (190 km/h) straight line winds. The National Weather Service reported that at least 75 mph (121 km/h) wind gusts were achieved.[6] Residents who were in St. Nazianz as the storm hit said that it went from noon light to midnight darkness in a matter of seconds.
The storm roughly followed U.S. Route 151, with St. Nazianz and Chilton receiving the worst of the damage, caused largely by wind and hail. The hail ranged from golf ball-size to baseball-size. Many houses were destroyed by the storm, while others sustained major damage. Many cars were totaled or needed hail damage repair. The total damage caused by this storm to St. Nazianz and surrounding areas was estimated at $122 million.[6] It was the state's first storm to exceed $100 million in damage.[7] No casualties were caused by the storm. 

Many homes had roofs and siding and most of their windows replaced, and ours were done by the previous owners. Most of the 27 storm windows on our home were replaced. The ones we are doing now are the last 6 so they match.

This window ledge still shows you just how bad the hail hammered down. No wonder the windows broke!

Finnegan offered to help with the windows, but Binney hates the sound of the window cleaner spray can, so she booked it downstairs to keep a safe distance from that can.

Soon the storm windows were all back into place, and I was able to hang up the curtains in my sewing room. I have a collection of little stained glass suncatchers, so those were arranged all around. As I sew in this room I can look outside, but there's not a lot of visual interest other than the neighbor's house next door. By putting all the beautiful little suncatchers on the window, the light filters in with pretty dazzling colors.

Steve help me put my quilting frame and table back into place, and I was able to reorganize things back into their proper positions.

Well, that's two more windows done. We have two more windows to go in the guest room and we'll finish those up probably tonight after Steve is home from work.


A quick side note.... sadly, our friend passed away on Tuesday.  We have known each other since school days, and Steve and I stood up in their wedding. He is leaving behind a loving wife, caring grown children and sweet grandchildren.  We sympathize with his family and we hope to make it to to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan next Tuesday for the funeral. It is hard to say Good-bye, but also we want to support the family left behind. May you rest in peace, Dave.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Our Old House Project - Replacing Storm Windows

Another Our Old House Project here....  this time, Storm Windows!

Our house has 27 windows, not counting the 13 on the front porch. If I include those, that makes 40 windows in all!

The interior windows are lovely old wooden ones, with the patina and varnish of 103+ years gracing the woodwork.  We will never ever change those. The wood trim adds to the theme of the crown mouldings and high mop boards of our home.

I love these old turn locks
and the handle lifts 
on the old interior windows.  

The previous owners had replaced some of the exterior storms over the last few years after a big hail storm, I imagine due to damage.  So all of the storm windows were replaced except for six windows.  (I guess because they hadn't been damaged by the hail?)

Two windows on the upper front of the house (our master bedroom) along with 2 along the south (the guest bedroom) and 2 along the north (my sewing room) ... Those six are still ugly old silver aluminum, with sticking latches and worn tracks that let the storm windows rattle with the wind.
See the two up high on the second story? 

(Plus, I think that they look ugly)

Time to make a change.

A few weeks ago, after careful measuring, we ordered 6 new exterior storm replacement windows. They had to be made to the exact size so they needed to be special ordered. These new ones will be WHITE and will match the other exterior storm windows and trim on the rest of the house. 

We got an email on Tuesday while we were camping that the windows were in. You know Steve, we had to rush home and go get those windows. Mister Zoom Zoom.

Here are two of the new storms that he carried up to the bedroom to get started on replacing the old ones. It was my job to wash them up in advance, and also wash the interior windows before he began the installation.

We are fortunate that the two front bedroom ones are right over the roof of the front porch. All that my Mr. Zoom Zoom has to do is step out onto the roof to work on these windows. 

He removed the old storm frames and started scraping away at any of the flaking paint or old glazing caulk between the two windows. Of course it ended up all over the brown roof shingles. Our neighbors must have thought we were nuts to see my husband with the Shop-Vac, sucking up all the paint chips and leftover window glazing pieces from our roof!

He fixed the missing pieces of glazing on the outside surface of the interior windows, and washed them to remove all the accumulated dirt WOW... we can see through them now!

We dry fitted the new storms into place to be sure they were exactly the right size. Then he put a very generous bead of silicone caulk all of the way around to attach it on the sides and the top. The bottom edge has a slider spacer to allow weeping in case of rain buildup between the interior and exterior windows.  He then screwed the frames down into place with the long white screws to secure them to the window casings.

We slid in the new windows and screens with a nice firm click click click,
and they don't rattle like the old ones did!

Once he got the windows all screwed into place, now it was my job to clean up the space in between the interior and exterior windows. They sure were grubby, take a look at these "BEFORE" pics:

After scraping, I added a fresh coat of primer 
and then white paint 
--- it really made a difference!

Here we are,
 nice new fresh storm windows and screens in our bedroom. 
Two windows down, 
four more to go.

And I think it looks a lot better, don't you?

We didn't get around to doing the other four windows over the weekend, because our littlest granddaughter Claire was here to spend Saturday and Sunday with us.

Along with her two doggies, Biscuit and Ewok.

It sure was a lot of fun having our youngest grandchild to visit and give her some special one-on-one time. When we have all 7 grandkids visiting, it's kind of hectic and the babies can't be down on the floor with so many others running around.

We even went out to the motorhome to "help" Grandfadddah install the remote panel unit for the inverter that we replaced the other day.  While he put in the wires and screws, this silly little girl was getting her toes tickled by my lint brush!  She kept putting her toes up for more more more .....


She is almost 10 months old now, and had a preemie start in life.  I am happy to say all is going good and she is thriving.  I love watching her discover things and using her little fingers to explore with great small motor dexterity.  Here she is clicking her tiny teeth in the metal edge of the little toy Strawberry Shortcake dishes.

I really feel she is developing her MOTHER'S personality! 

Her parents came about 3 p.m. to pick her up to take her home. It was fun for us to have her here, but tiring as well. With both of us getting close to sixty years old, these Wee Ones really take a lot of energy.

We did manage a nice walk with the dogs around a couple of blocks, before coming home and crashing on the couch for the rest of the evening.

Monday, today, is a new day. Steve is off driving his old fart party bus this morning, but only until noon or 1 p.m. Knowing him, since the temperatures are in the mid-70s today, we will be upstairs and attacking the windows in the sewing room next.  I already went up and cleared away anything that is underneath the windows and moved my big quilting frame table to make room.

When Mr Zoom Zoom starts a project,
 get out of his way, 
clear the decks, 
and be ready to assist.