I started the day with some fun, fitting out the storm windows with hanging hardware (vs the 6 screws that I’m guessing had replaced 6 nails). These storm windows fit nicely in the window frames.
All fitted out. Can swing open, or lift off, or squeeze tight. I then remove the hardware and move on to priming.
The old Living Room window needs some help as well. My dad had drilled two holes through the window casing to allow his TV cable that slung across the yard to a huge antennae bringing in 2 channels, well, 1 1/2. One hole is already re-drilled and plugged with a glued dowel, and here I am finding his first hole, up at an angle, and into the frame of the window. He stopped drilling just as I did, narrowly avoiding disaster- though I was drilling through all the wadded up whatnots he’d stuffed into the hole. Now plugged with a dowel and glued. Next I will cut the dowel so the window is clear of the frame, each with its bit of dowel.
Glue and clamps for a shattered rail. The wide putty knife adds square support.
Layer one of primer on the kitchen window.
Beginning primer layer two.
Primed and drying.
Primer coat for the bedroom window is on the outside face only. The inside face is wood with clear urethane rubbed with wax to match the sash window.
Priming the kitchen’s two storm windows, front and back. Tomorrow is glass / glazing. The mosquitos switched out with the biting flies for the last hour of the day.
Kitchen window: scraped of old paint and linseed treated, new glass in the top two and old in the bottom- no glazing but enough to hold together while we make a grocery/hardware run to Great Falls.
Glass is back out again, as it is time to get the top windows operational.
A clamp on the rail and a hammer. A gentle hammer…
Giving little love taps while making sure the other side doesn’t bind. Both windows slide open again!
Kitchen storm window #2 (#1 was the tin can corner). Removing the old glazing to remove the glass.
Cleared of paint, bondo-d the 6 screw holes and other bits, and sanded.
The living room window feels left out.
The Garden Snake is always under the LR window, so I’ll have to keep things tidy (lead paint).
Original window to the 1800s house, painted closed 70 years ago, then the storm window was sealed in place since the late 1980’s.
I cut the latex seal around the window with the oscillator, then start nudging it out with the good ol’ painter’s 5 in 1 tool.
Just a little coaxing and she came away clean.
Very tidy generations of Wasps layered season on season.
I’m steaming the window up lookin’ at E!
A day of heat gun and scraping. The black bag caught the worst of the lead scrapings and I vacuumed up the overspill- the snake spent the day just off to my right making sure I didn’t break the glass. This window was put in when the house was built, back in the 1800’s. It was made in a shop, complete with the hand-rolled glass. The glazing is painted over with the same oil-based shellac, which preserved the wood and the glazing. There are still pristine parts, a lot of compromised areas, and patches of obliteration.
The trick with a 140 year old window is to help it without hurting it. Linseed oil solution treatment. This will harden in over three days.
Sanded and wood fill / bondo, and sanded again. These kitchen windows for the new addition (192?) were made in a shop as well. The storm windows may have all been ordered at this time, as they fit here perfectly, yet are proud of the original window boxes by 1/4 or so. The original windows on this side of the house were repurposed as upstairs windows.
Runoff from the roofline, and over the gutter did a number on the kitchen window sill. All the crazing is now backfilled with bondo and sanded smooth.
On to the Living Room storm window. Glass is removed, on to triage.
The window maker wrote in pencil: Living Room by Radco.
Heat gun and scraper bring the old paint down to original primer coat.
Sanded, bondo fixes, sanded again. Next, linseed solution and 3 days to cure.
The bedroom frame has cured for 3 days or more ( I lost count), so I fit it with the new hanging hardware prior to primer / glass / glazing.
The frame sits proud of the frame, so I create backing shims for the hardware from PVC panel. Here is one of a pair of turns that anchor/release the bottom.
This is one of a pair of hanging hooks that allow the storm window to seat tight, or swing out, or lift off.
Here it is swung out. I’ll adding this feature for all the windows I’m fixing.
The beekeeper checked his hives today. We walked up to watch and he put me in his bee gear, we headed to the hives, and he pulled me out this honeycomb!
We scraped the honeycomb from the frame / starter into a big sauce pan.
Most of the waxy comb is warming on the stove, this pure stuff just needed a strainer.
Liquid Gold!
The honey is nearly transparent once strained.
Elizabeth”s afternoon is all mapped out.
The Bee Queen. Not to be confused with the Queen Bee.
Seriously, you have to stop yourself. Try having just one spoonful. Alpine Flower Serum.
Thank you bees!
This could be considered a spoonful, couldn’t it?
Elizabeth weeded out the hillside iris bed while I triaged the bedroom storm window.
The window shop is perfectly located (in the back yard under the tree and in earshot of the falls), but it needed to be a bit higher. 4 splits of firewood, two old corral panels, 6 screws.
This short little door to the ice-house Hendrixson-ed me again- so hard I clacked my teeth, so I came up with this hopeful little invention that hangs lower than the brim of my hat.
The oscillating tool cuts through the caulk seal, followed by removing 6 rusty drywall screws pinning it in place. Caulking the bottom seam has trapped moisture between the windows since forever (1980’s), mostly as perpetual steam on the glass.
Ranch-gross is always waiting. This collection of bug-yuck found entry from behind a tin can used to triage a rotted-out corner.
See the steam still misting the upper glass panel?
In 2015 I scraped and painted the windows after coming across the exact color in a return bin. In ranch-logic I used silicon caulk from painting the house the prior year as triage for the old glazing having fallen away. Ranch fixes like this can lead to future headaches- never use silicon to seal a window because it is just too good at its job. I got one pane out clean, but the second pane snapped.
Here we have a perfect little bit of ranch triage from a bygone era. A lid from a tin can cut to fit the corner with little nails hammered daintily and perfectly. Why was it necessary?
If the bottom of the window is sealed to the sill with, say, window putty and/or a bead of latex (that I dug out from the under the inside sash as well), moisture condenses between the windows from temperature variations inside vs outside the house and will lead to rot.
A window is held together with joinery only, allowing the wood to move with heat and cold. I begin the process of adding new wooden bones, drilling a few inches into good wood.
An oak dowel is the stainless steel hip of window reconstruction. The mortise-joint on the rail board has rotted as well- the tenon has atrophied to nothing.
A pure resin that soaks into the rot and hardens out has cured for two hours. During that time the sash was cleared of all the old paint and I added a secondary smaller dowel for stability. Wax paper separates the bottom rail from the inside lining-board, which will allow the window to shift as it is meant to. The dowels punch through the paper, and are wood-glued into place within the bottom rail and cut just past flush to the outside of the lining board. Most especially- the form wall: duct tape.
The green layer of fiber reinforced bondo is sanded down, and I added a wood-resin layer over the top as the detail layer.
Still need to sand this flush…the frame has drank in many layers of linseed solution and now will rest in the tool shed for three days.
Late Lunchtime!
All that moisture trapped between the windows for 40 years is extra reason to strip them down. Heat gun and scraper, then the 3M-pad orbital paint-eater, then linseed solution. A pro would remove the entire sash from the frame, but really? I’ll eventually remove and replace the window glazing as well, as it is dry and falling apart.
Getting down to wood is a long process.
A heat gun and a passel of scrapers and persistence.
80-90% fixes things. Trying for 100% is guarantee of ruin. As good as can be.
9 hours of futzing brings the triage a long way today.
Elizabeth saw the Oriels arrive yesterday, and snapped this while he was hidden in the top of the willows at day’s end.
Next morning, I pull the other storm window. An actual storm is due at noon, so I store the window in the tool shed and set about clearing the sash.
Morning sun with a cool breeze keeps me heating and scraping.
Linseed solution in multiple layers for both bays.
The plan is to make the R window operational top and bottom. If I can keep from breaking another window pane when freeing it from the silicon, I’ll have enough glass to fix that upper R broken pane (I brought one extra). The storm arrives at 11:48.
The lilacs were hit by a spring frost that nipped off all the blooms and killed many branches back. All the bushes need pruning of dead limbs. This big bush is so thin that Robins and Cedar Waxwings are nesting elsewhere.
Eclectic hedge design with lilac bushes, is what the yard seems to want.
Ground nest, or tree nest on the ground?
The poppies volunteered along the west side of the hedge. I weeded out a mess of wild carrot from among them earlier in the spring.
The following poppies are near the stream in the shade of a willow. Happy 4th of July!
I love the sound this one makes!
These just hang in the sky: and oooh, a pink one!
5th of July and on to my “practice” storm window from the bedroom. This is the only N facing window on the house. In 2013 I cleaned the bedroom sash windows down to the wood, got them to open again, and finished them with clear urethane. I got the storm windows off (screwed and caulked and painted in place) and did some triage work and came up with a system of taking them on and off with scrounged ranch material. They have been servicable, but not correct. Now the storm window will have all glass removed (had one broken pane), all paint removed, sanded, broken corner triaged, sealed with linseed oil/mineral spirits (then left to cure for 3 days- I’ll get this far in about 8 hours), primed, new and original glass installed & caulked, and top-coated to the same shade of green again.
In 2013 I discovered the rotted out corner bottom R; the ranch had a golf-ball’s size of usable bondo so I patched what I could to hold the corner together. The layers of paint slowly come away with a heat gun and scrapers, then a specialized rotary paint-eater with a monster 3M composite pad, then sanded to 80 grit.
It all cleans out and I’m left with a lovely wood frame. This side faces in, and I plan to finish this inside plane with spar urethan (over linseed oil) to match the wood finish inner-sash window. The outside face with have exterior paint to match all the other windows.
Triage begins for the phantom limb. I make a form with a box corner to lay in more bondo. The red is residual oil stain from the second or third layer of paint- my uncle in the early 1960’s scraped down to bare wood wherever the red appears..
If I mix up another batch for another fix, I may fill out the edge texture- but it is done enough.
Multiple layers of linseed oil cut with mineral spirits at a 1/1.5 ratio. The mineral spirits allow the oil to soak into the wood, penetrating and saturating, and keeping the linseed oil from forming a hard layer on the surface. The mineral spirits evaporate off allowing the linseed oil to oxidize and chemically change to a hard resin. Rags and steel wool soaked in linseed oil are infamous for combusting, as the chemical process often isn’t grasped, as most consider it an alternate tongue oil. A full cure in the wood takes about 3 days, then the wood is ready for paint or urethane.
Montana, land of many greens. Even the fresh white snow at Bridger Pass ended in steeps of bright green tundra.
E muscles up for mowing.
This section alone will take 2 hours, with E and I each running a mower.
Grass on a gentle hill is taller in full sun, when popping mower-wheelies (for the first pass).
We finished up as an evening rain storm blew through and cooled things down.
Could have used a swather…
I still need to mow underneath the truck…
Every afternoon a storm blows in.
The Iris are still in bloom.
Iris bed put in this spring with Bright Road purples and a few surprise Boulder hybrids.
Deer beds have all been removed, as humans reclaim the yard.
A marshy bit of creek begins to flow faster.
Footbridge falls.
Crystal clear cascades adds a bright voice.
Lots of spring iris transplants are blooming on the hillside bed. It’s a bit wild and crazy, but not too weedy compared to the usual mess.

While still up in MT Jann had thought maybe I could create a big version of my rough tri-color Collie, Nora. When I returned to SLC Jann told me she had put Nora on the mural list, so to really make her. I liked the collage process, so after I finished Beckanne I drew up Nora to scale and banged out the collage. At this point I thought I was done. I had been working flat and this was the first time I’d hung it on the wall. I reworked her eyes, delineating the orbits which helped clarify her personality- not pictured.

I left the little clock face in her black saddle as a fun little detail.
Her nose is a dog head. One eye is a man’s head, as she is always keeping her alpha in sight. the other is a vase and fruit. Her mask is made of tophats.
The white tip of her tail is Cezanne, her legs are Degas.
Her ruff is a fluffy zoo of artists.

Both Nora and Beckanne will be digitally photographed and the entire mural of more than 200 people. They will be oddballs, as most are done in a “street art” method of 2-toning a photograph and making stencils to spray paint. All figures and portraits are then arranged as digital tiles, then it will all be printed out as an enormous banner and affixed to a building exterior here in SLC. The theme is a celebration of SLC women through history.

My friend Jann Haworth is leading a group-made mural (over 200 people involved). Years ago I helped get another group mural of hers in SLC started (when I was director of SLC’s youth arts programming), and did 5 figures on it: SLC Pepper. It was a re-imagination/update of her grammy award winning album cover for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Jann asked me to make one of the large figures for the front row of the new mural. I drew it out while in Montana at 2/3 life size, then had Kinko’s enlarge it to the mural jumbo scale.

A studio view of all the drawings leading up to and including the collage form. This view of the collage is the only shot that the camera didn’t distort the legs into tree trunks. When I dropped her off to Jann she confirmed that the photo had added at least 20 lbs.
Nearly 9 foot tall enlargement of the drawing on the R.
Beckanne Sisk of Ballet West, May 2013 She is now a (the) Principal dancer in the company.
I hung the image at the wrong angle, and tilted this image to about the correct gesture.
She is made from an Impressionism coffee-table book, and her hair is of Remington bronze figures.
E stands in for scale.
detail low. Cezanne, Van Gogh, Manet, Monet, Gauguin, Renoir
middle; same artists as above plus Cassat, Seurat, Remington,
The extended arm is all Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the Grande Jatte.

I just realized I did more work on her after this shoot, but anyway…Jann tells me it is “pure witchcraft”.

When the earthquake destroyed my computer, I replaced it with a new/used unit and we headed off to MT. All the images I uploaded from the new computer were not reducing in size for the interwebs, and those few weeks of full-format photos used the equivalent data of the past 10 years of blogging. So I wiped them. I probably won’t go to trouble of rebuilding those pages. I left the spoof “Ice House” artisanal wood stave post…

Our three Miss Kim lilac trees, planted last spring, now in full bloom. Our big lilac bushes in the back yard were fading out by the time we returned home from MT (two weeks ago).
They smell amaazing!
The most symmetrical of the three.
The blooms are tiny and delicate, with a wonderfully sweet lilac scent.
This Columbine hybrid didn’t bloom last year, as it was newly planted. Wow!
Our Japanese Kwanzan Flowering Cherry is past bloom, and had just created a carpet of dropped blooms on our arrival home.
It hasn’t rained in Utah yet this spring. The driest on record (137 years)- April is Utah’s rainiest month, we should have 2-3 inches and a few year’s back we even saw 5 inches in one April storm. This is out of an annual average of 12-14 inches, which means devastation as we head into the hottest year on record. We returned too late to save our three year old tree out front. It was doing so well, and I’d finally brought water to the parking strip because of it. The City has assessed it, and will remove it and then at some point, replace it. So now we are years behind for any shade out there…
The tree out front is an example of why I’ve slowly converted everything to Xeriscape.
Step carefully or you may get a bee up the pantleg.
The yellow Iris bloom before the other colors of Iris.
They are taking over, slowly outcompeting the colorful hybrid Iris.
One of many Columbine hybrids in full bloom.
Another Columbine hybrid variety.
Last year I put in these steps, and all the grasses and 3 Hugel planter areas.
More Iris!
The big veg Hugel planter, with lettuce and Chard self-starting from last year.
The Trumpet Vine pergola awaits this year’s explosion.
Upper pond, with last year’s grass splitting into 25 tufts softening the hill above.
The goldfish are all happy to have us home, and the Lilly pads are beginning to surface.
The sunroom has given up its plants to the deck for the summer.
Out front the Purple Ohio Iris are beginning to bloom. Note the uncut tuft of hedge at center?
That tuft of hedge holds multiple nests of Praying Mantis!
Velvety purple Iris smell a bit like grape Bubble-Yum.
Blooming ground-cover at the entry path.
Lillies of the Valley in the shade of the porch.
I was welding up a set of these metal planter boxes for a neighbor with a welding business, and headed over to his shop to help him lift a heavy steel project. I stepped out of his shop (a shipping container) and turned my ankle. It is likely a #2 sprain on a scale of 3. An eventual realization of torn ligaments, swelling, bloody bruises, following an initial shock with nausea and cold sweat and spinnies while laying on the grass spitting expletives, followed by the hopeful denial of trying to walk it off and realizing that it really was as bad as it seemed and retreating inside for ice-packs and elevation. This was more than a week ago. I am just now able to get around and do some light-duty gardening. I washed E’s Montana-Muddy car last night, but will have to wait on the Montana-Muddy truck- as I’m sore again today. Most of the mud is already gone, as the cars were jet-washed by intense rain and sleet over the mountain passes on the way home.