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Our Olde House – September 2022

Our Olde House side windows

This past month, I convinced myself that I should not paint outside due to the excessive heat and incessant rain, but I thought that I could easily replace the mini blinds on a bedroom window.  After all, this is a very simple task so what could possibly go wrong in a 150 year old house?  As I was hanging the new blinds, I noticed that the outside window frame was sagging a couple of inches below the glass.  Asked and answered.

 

This window is on the downhill side of the house with the deep crawl space so of course a ladder will be involved, and for added fun the window sits above and next to the air conditioning unit so I cannot put a ladder on the left side of the window.  My first task was to nail some boards across the window frame that I could lean the ladder on so I could work on the window.  As I was trying to ease the sagging window frame back up into position, I managed to crack the glass from top to bottom.  Perfect, so this window frame issue was not going to be a simple fix, no surprise there.

 

I taped some cardboard over the glass to keep the daily rain from leaking into the house while I waited for one day in a row without rain in the forecast because the window caulking needs twenty-four hours to dry without getting wet.  I measured the window opening and had a new piece of glass cut to hopefully fit inside the window frame, and then I waited for it to stop raining for a day.

 

While I was waiting for a break in the weather, I resumed my quest to rid the crawl space of rats.  Before this month, I was seeing only one rat at a time, but now I saw two at the same time so I did not really know how many different rats were under the house.  My rat traps were working, but seemingly too slowly to get ahead of the influx of rats; I was removing a rat per week but there was always just one more rat.

 

With the weatherman’s promise of one day without rain in the forecast I went back to work on my window frame issue.  I put on my Frankenstein boots with the metal soles so I could stand on the ladder for awhile without my feet aching and complaining that they were too old for this stuff.  I managed to cut the old caulking from around the window and remove the glass without breaking it.  I tried again to put the sagging window frame back up into place but there was too much debris in the edge of the window frame.

 

I used my caulking knife to clean around the edge of the window frame and remove the accumulated dirt, but the old caulking on the adjacent window was preventing it from moving all of the way up.  I cut the old caulking off of the bottom of that window, without breaking the glass I might add, and I could then get the window frame piece back up into place.  I put some glue on the window frame, pushed it into place and nailed a small support piece under it to hold it while the glue dried.

 

The new piece of glass I bought was the correct size, so with a little very delicate persuasion I managed to push it into the frame completely.  I ran my new caulking around the edges, and the new window was securely in the old frame.  Feeling giddy from my window repair I started to paint the entire window frame for good measure, and because it really needed to be painted.  Since the window had not fallen out when I checked the next morning I declared it a success.  I intend to put another coat of paint on the window frame, but it has been raining every day again so this will have to wait another week or five for some clear weather.

 

Meanwhile, back under the house, I am still chasing a seemingly never-ending conga line of rats.  I cannot find the hole they are using to get under the house but there must be a map and directions posted on Rat Tok.  So far I have removed five rodents from under the house, well technically I removed four and our cat caught one running around in the yard and brought it to the front door just to mock me; I am not sure if the snake got any.

 

There is just one more rat under the house (I refer to him as Columbo), who refuses to enter any of the traps.  He will eat the sunflower seeds that are not in the traps, but will not go into any trap to eat the sunflower seeds there; at least so far.  But with a new month comes hope that the last rat will be removed from under the house, however many rats that turns out to be, and that the weather will be cooler and it will stop raining long enough for me to resume painting the outside of the house.

 



6 Comments

  1. Lisa McCoy on September 20, 2022 at 1:16 pm

    I had missed a few months and enjoyed getting caught back up. Please get rid of the rats…gives me the creeps!! =)

  2. Gerald Kerner on September 21, 2022 at 7:29 am

    Columbo did go into a trap and was removed, but another rat took his place. I have a possum under the house now helping; I will let you know how that turns out next month.

  3. Carla Stringer on September 27, 2022 at 10:20 am

    I grew up in Clinton and just seeing your article for the first time. I am intrigued by it … where is the location of the house and who is the author of the old house article. I LOVE Clinton!! Looking forward to hearing from you.

    • Clinton Courier on September 27, 2022 at 10:34 am

      Hi Carla, you can find more Our Olde House articles by going to Cool Stuff –> Our Olde House on the main menu of The Clinton Courier.

  4. Gerald Kerner on October 2, 2022 at 3:05 pm

    We have been writing one article per month for a little over one year now, all of which are archived in theclintoncourier.net/category/our-olde-house/ thanks to the nice people at The Clinton Courier. Our Olde House is in Olde Towne, hiding in plain sight. All of our stories are current because there is always something to fix on a Civil War house; there are also things that need to be fixed again because we did not fix it correctly the first time, or two… I used to tisk about the endless list of things to do on the house up until a couple of years ago, when my sweetheart said to me, “They did the best they could at the time” to fix things on their endless list; after that I tossed the list and just work on next whatever needs to be fixed first, because Ms. Sherry is correct.

  5. Clinton Courier on October 11, 2022 at 9:32 am

    I think this is what makes owning an old house so fun! You get to LEARN the house! No fix is right out of the box. It becomes your hobby.

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