It's not about the house.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Day 44: If You Can't Stand The Heat...

So I wrote before about this window in the kitchen. How Johnny changed the sash already but it keeps slipping off the pulley. How we spent 45 sweaty minutes together trying to make it right, but four times it slipped off again until finally we said “Screw it, we don’t need no open window in the kitchen anyhow.”

Well, it’s almost August, and it turns out we do.

I’ve decided over the intervening months that the problem is Johnny used nylon clothesline cord, which is slippy, and if I just replace it with good cotton sash cord it will work just fine.

After looking for twenty minutes in the basement, the pile of crap behind the kitchen door, the junk drawer in the kitchen and the one in the living room, behind the couch near the last windows I worked on, and the scary cubby under the stairs, I found the sash cord in the spare bedroom on the floor. Right where – oh yeah, that’s right – I left it. So I’d know where it was in case I needed it again.

(Therefore Gracie – a.k.a. Mommie Dearest – and Charlie were both right about its whereabouts, but I found it before I read their comments so I don’t owe them shit.


Okay fine. Thanks, Mom! But Charlie I think was just being obnoxious.)

This time it was easy. I only had to change the right-hand sash. I remembered to check the time when I began and everything, and it was only eleven minutes until I was ready to start putting things back together again. Just line up the new sash with the old one to get the length right, and tie a knot.

Hang on a second. Why won’t the old one move?

Oh balls, it’s stuck, too. Well, what’s another eleven minutes, right?


On this one, the metal runner-thingy has been tacked in with nails so small I can’t get a hammer under them to prize them out. When I try pulling on the entire piece of metal, it bends and finally breaks, nail still firmly in place. Well, at least the piece of metal’s unattached now.

I take out the two screws holding in the piece of wood so I can get at the weight-hole, and discover that this piece of wood – like those two others in the living room – has never been 100% cut out. Fortunately, when we “redid” the kitchen last year (and I put it in quotes because – well, you’ll see) we never put the fronts back on the window frames. So I can put my hand right in behind:

I can’t get it in enough to pull the weight out or replace the sash cord, but I can at least shove out that uncut piece of wood.

CRACK! Ta da! It’s free! You laugh and say nothing’s that simple – but it can be if you’re cavalier enough about it

I unscrew the pulley at the top so as to de-wedgify the old nylon sash and com face to face with this:

Okay so it's not the greatest picture, but it's a spider egg sac! Oh man. For-sure there's spider poop inside that weight hole -- maybe even spider babies -- and I’ve already had my fingers all up in it.

I take the old cord off, put the new one off, cut it to measure, pass it up through the weight hole to the pulley hole up top, freak out when I touch something fuzzy in there only to discover it was insulation, wonder for a minute why I’ve never touched insulation before in any of the other windows that I’ve done, decide not to think about it anymore, and voilá – I’m ready to start putting things together once again.

I tried to tack the bent and broken the metal piece back into place but the wood’s so hard I couldn’t seem to drive the nail (and maybe I was a wee bit afraid to swing the hammer too hard that close to the glass and everything). Finally I said “Screw it, we don’t need no metal piece on the kitchen window anyhow.”

It sticks a little, but it works.

Day 44: Accomplished
Time: 32 minutes – I checked!
Cost: Nothing.
Having My Mother Know Just Where The Sash Cord Was From Three Hundred Miles And Two States Away: Preternatural – unless she saw it when she was here and so she’s cheating…


Charlie said...


Gracie said...

Ya made me laugh!
Gracie, Mommy Dearest, Sus, MP