Time to return to SLC. Last front porch chilly sunrise with a warm cup of Joe. The mated pair of hummingbirds came out to the feeder and perched together in the lilac bush (probably mother and chick, as the males take off after mating leaving the female to build the nest, sit on the eggs without ever going into torpor no matter how cold things get, and feeding and raising the fledges), and all our Chipmunk friends gamboled about. As we were about to depart 8 Bluebirds came to the water tank in the corral- the first we’ve seen in months. The weasel had sat on the footbridge at dusk a few nights before. All our little critter friends have promised to “hold the Fort” while we are away. We made record time of 9 hours (530 miles) returning to SLC.

A new arrival: Pine Siskin. The first bird at the feeder all summer. He’s friendlier that a pet.
Fitting the new storm window for the pink bedroom, to hang from swing pins.
Measure measure measure. Set all the parts. Make adjustments. Run out of adjustments. Come up with other scenarios. Work those scenarios. Fit.
Once hung I could assess the gap at the bottom. This PVC board takes up most of the gap, leaving just enough room for a line of window seal.
Cleaning the glass with razor, then glass spray and microfiber.
The inspector makes the rounds while I’m out in the yard.
Final prep of block sanding the trim. I’m up on a footstool, as this is the tallest window in the house- which is also why the green trim is only half way up. The rest will need a ladder from outside.
Clamp #2. Clamp #1 fell to the concrete below and is a goner. Just as he was wisecracking about my half-painted- whooop! Bang.

Southwest bedroom.

This is the bedroom above the kitchen. My father’s childhood bedroom.
I started in the Pink Bedroom, moved to my dad’s childhood bedroom, then the East facing bedroom shown here, then the West facing bedroom; working away from the sun and finishing at dusk.
The East facing bedroom is the upper R.
East bedroom.
Northwest bedroom.
Pink bedroom before.
Pink bedroom now-ish.
E looked at an old 1800’s image of the house, when it was just the core two-story rectangle. It was this same window, pushed up, with a curtain blowing out. Two-story house physics: open an upstairs window and downstairs windows, and cool air will come in downstairs as the heat rises out the upstairs window. But how could this fixed window open? It lifted into a slot that opened directly into the small “attic” space above. This explains the floppy wooden panel up in the gap, installed when the window was permanently removed and replaced with two sash windows (both bottom sash windows btw). Those windows are now re-installed behind this original (not pictured), which is now used as a storm. It took a bit of doing to get the pin to hold the lower window, as they had drilled too many bad holes for the lower hole and never created (gave up?) on making the higher hole to hold it open. The sash windows have horizontal bars, which mismatch to the vertical windows of the (now) storm, which is a no-no in window world, as it makes a cross of the window. But, whatevs.
I started at 7am and will go ’til 6: I’m starting an hour earlier for the next bit as that extra hour saves a few hours the next day. These are yesterday’s windows- they needed a final clean up from wood pins and putty. It’s a day off from the office for E, and she gets out for a picture as I prep the second window for glazing.
These bottom windows have a slot that the window slides up into. I hope the old glass holds together.
Glazing points went in smoothly, glazing putty is in, now primer.
These are the windows for the pink bedroom with the great view, getting their two coats of green enamel latex.
I went upstairs and painted all the window casings green, forgetting to pull my tape-line. Now I have to use the razor to cut along the line before pulling or it will pull away the delicate layer of oil-primer over the glazing.
On the big storm window for the bedroom. I gave in to the blue tape after free-handing all the windows last time up, and free-handing all the primer.
Lots more of this in the pipeline for today.
6 windows here, of 11. Plus the windows on the house done last trip, I worked on them without removing them as they were in good shape- their storm windows are all finished from this trip and in the guest bedroom. So 3 more storm windows to install added to the 11, for 14. Sounds like a weekend.
This pair of windows, or dose desequis, may be where tomorrow begins- in my dad’s childhood bedroom.
They are dry to the touch, but will stick together if they touch. So the will stay against the house tonight to cure out.
None of the windows have their inside face painted yet. So far, it doesn’t rain inside the house, so they should be good til our next visit.
Blurry, but the two big storms for the bedroom, and the second kitchen screen, sans screen. All the long runs of wood leaning about are the window railings refurbished originals and new stock. I hope I have enough. The windows were often held in place with mismatches of floor trim, ceiling trim- anything that was thin, long, and true.
Bedroom #3 (of 4) Windows are ready for glass. So goes the morning: glazed in and ready for primer.
Did someone day primer? I head up to Bedroom #4 and paint the sill- it looked like rain all day, and did spit a few drops after midnight.
Oil-based primer for bedrooms #1 & #2 and the storm for #2, as well as the screen window for the kitchen.
This is the storm window.
A passel of cattle arrive at the corral, and the flies come with them.
Windows to #4. Only one pane survived. I almost just left this for Future-Dan, with a plan to board up this window and focus on getting all the others going. This idea was making a black hole in the future that reached back to the now and sapped my momentum, so I got on with the last bit of gross.
Both are scraped- one is against the tree back there. I finally had to show mercy to the shop vac after this final pair of windows and change out its bag and filter. About 10 lbs of lead paint and yutz.
Then a course of 60-grit / 80 grit / 100 grit to reveal smooth new wooden skin.
Lots of new wooden pins at the mortise/tenon joints, glued splits, with clamping through lunch and a bit longer while I prep glass from the salvage stack. Next they receive wood-putty for all the splits and gaps. I’ll re-sand, then glaze and primer these tomorrow.
The tools required for start to finish- with a finished window to bedroom #1.
The partner window for bedroom #1.
This is the storm window for bedroom #2. Nora has told me that she ate an hour ago, and it is time to play. And really really time to stop for the day.
These are the windows from bedroom #3, yesterday’s pull. By late lunchtime I have them sanded down, the glass removed, and wooden pins glued at multiple mortise/tenon joints- set aside for the glue to cure overnight.
The corner is clamped over lunchtime, while Sandy- my little helper woodblock- keeps an eye on things.
I’m moving on to glazing the West facing storm for the bedroom, but will hang it as a “dry-fit” while still light weight and windowless.
Next time it hangs it will have glass and paint. The inside face is a nice luster of clean wood under spar-urethane.
Cleaning the salvaged glass.
Reinstalled panes, now adding the glazing points.
The ground squirrel races along the fence line, he is here, there, and everywhere.
I’m starting to fade out, but get it all glazed by 4pm.
I bet I could pull that last bedroom window after a shady cool soda by the creek.
I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow.
Kitty T.V. Montana Special: Ground Squirrel Edition. The squirrels get on the porch and jump up on the tall Columbine stalks to bite off a seed pod. Quite an athletic feat that triggers the feline motion-activated stalking switch.
Before I make a big dusty mess, I’ll just Spar Urethane the bedroom windows. This is the window I pulled last trip up. It is ready to go back in, but I’ll give it another coat.
This is the window I pulled a few days ago. The linseed oil has set, and I’ll keep layering on again this afternoon and one more in the morning.
The rocking chair I refinished and re-caned a few years ago could use a few layers as well.
On to the dirty work. Pink bedroom window with flygoo. Removing the glazing to remove the glass. Two windows in similar shape.
I added wooden pins to the window under clamps and am moving on to E’s recommended storm window for the pink bedroom. I’ll get all three windows cleaned down, ready for glass.
I get up well before the bees and the sun to set about sealing around the chimney. Hopefully this takes care of the leak in the “boys bedroom” with the now cleaned mouse Thunderdome.
Nora awaits my return from my astral mission.
The bees emerge for the day’s work and are none the wiser to all my ladderings.
Final sand down of woodfill and glued pins for the pink bedroom windows. The glass is cleaned and pinned in place. I’m popping the top of the new bucket of glazing.
Glazing goes on easy. It’s 8pm as I’m writing, and E just called me outside to see the annual pinwheeling of the Nighthawks. About 60 flew up the valley, then down, and over the house, and then on up the valley.
The linseed solution has cured up for the “boy’s bedroom” and the window glass go in. I’m skipping the linseed solution for the remaining windows, and will rely on the oil-based exterior kilz so I can get more upstairs windows resolved before we go. These were the windows with extra panes to make up the gap. It was a trip to town to get the longer glass.
Glazing should sit for 7-14 days before painting with an oil based primer. I’ll give the glazing two days, it should be fine…
This is the upstairs room above the bee bedroom / parlor. I’ve triaged the yuck, so E comes up to take an adjusted “before” picture. The white squiggle lines are caulking that sealed up heavy plastic that was also stapled in place- also a nice fly sauna. Shop vac has flotillas of flies in its belly.
The lower window had no rails to hold it in place, just a few screws pinned it place that I’d put in 10 years ago- better than nothing.
The upper window was painted in place from the outside. Now triage begins. I’ll get the window box cleaned, sanded, wood puttied, finish sanded, caulked, and primer painted.
This is tomorrow’s project. Without all the power tools and online tutorials, just changing out a window would be a Herculean task. So a broken window wasn’t really broken if all the pieces were still there. I totally get that.
Pretty keen “fix” of a washer on each side of the window (Buttons! actually) squeezed with wire. I think one of my uncles came up with this fix when it was still his room, in the 1940’s or 50’s. This fix was likely from before the house had electricity. This window has a sill and the entire interior frame was painted unprimed purple. I found the same purple in the downstairs bedroom years ago from the age of linoleum that was then carpeted over and which we tore down to the hardwood floors back in 2013.
Friday morning I finished out two windows. This is the bedroom N window. I taped this one, leaving a 1/16″ gap for the acrylic to seal the glazing. Setting the tape takes way longer than just being steady with a trim brush, but the tape-line looks nice when all finished out. Then we headed to Great Falls for an afternoon of hardware stores and groceries.
This window was upstairs and E thought it might be a storm window for the little pink bedroom above the living room.
This is how I feel about old rickety ladders- hazy at best. I climbed up with the “storm window” (a sash for a weight system- which no window in the house uses, but so far all the upstairs windows are set up for weights). It fit mostly, or as far as I could tell from up there slinging it over to fit the sill.
After the ladder woozies subsided I decided to pull the little double pane. It was fitted poorly and was a favorite for fall wasps and flies. It anchors up inside the wall, with a false top that opens to the space between the walls. No wonder the wasps loved it so much. It may also explain how fall flies magically appear downstairs. All sealed up now.
Here are the windows. Intact! I may be able to triage them a bit, rather than a full tear-down. That may be a bit optimistic…
Heat gun peeled and paint wheeled. Next comes drilling/screwing to tighten it up, then bondo for wood splits and caulk for seams that expand/contract.
It is the nicest view in the house. Downstairs E is baking a chocolate zucchini bread. Its yumminess is battling the weird smells of the funky upstairs. The funk was getting to me, and I put a drop or two of peppermint essential oil in my face-mask. Wowzers! I could hardly see, much less breathe. Like friendly pepper spray.
All finished out and primed with oil based Kilz.
I cleaned out the death traps, and reinstalled them with escape ramps. The bins catch water that comes in by the chimney in rain storms. The bins were rained in a few days ago, and my whole time in this room was “funky”. Our trip to town gathered the gear to make a fix, I just dread going up on the steep steel roof.
The afternoon is spent finishing out two more storm windows. This is the final kitchen storm. I’m painting the glazing and just touching the glass, to seal everything up tight.
This is the living room storm window, that covers the 1800’s window original to the house. Painting the glazing again.
I finish them out and they are a frosty green like the image at the head of the post. That is all of the windows from our last trip up. Next I’ll to move on to the windows I’ve pulled this trip. After cleaning up from windows I mixed up a little batch of mortar and filled a spot on the stone foundation to the bee bedroom/parlor that seemed to be a new mouse entrance.

Twilight storm cell breaks over the valley.
Lightning illuminated! Nora is medicated! Quite a show and rain too.
Next morning, back up in the old bedroom. Bonus- see how it looks like I’m wearing a square watch on my R wrist. I’m not an I-watch. It’s my “overuse” timepiece.
Shop vac saves us all having to look at the filth that came out of there. Ready for Bondo, then oil-based primer.
Primed and waiting for the windows to return.
Giant split is gone.
Windows are linseed soln’ed.
Here is one of the nice hand-carved square headed wood pegs. With a steel pin to tighten it.
One of my fixes for a square head that was broken in three.
Another keen square head.
A week of triple digit temps in SLC and humidity hovering around 12 (with Ozone reaching 150 and PM2.5 in the hundred range as well- summer smog in SLC is even deadlier than the winter): sounds like time for a trip to the ranch.
Back to the windows. Like I never left. This is the West storm window to the bedroom (this was written in pencil on the window on the bare wood). She has glue drying for her new wooden pins. Next day I finish her woodwork, along with the screen window for the kitchen- then linseed solution for them both. The rest of the day was spent painting all the windows from last time up- still prepping of scraping any primer at board ends that hand’t ever set, then a light sanding for the whole thing, then a new layer of primer, then the enamel white for the inside facing side. Then these are all set in the shed to cure before the next step of painting the outside face green.
Today / Wednesday’s project. This is from my to-do image file; house envelope section. This is the upstairs window above the kitchen- my dad’s room when he was a boy. One window is good. It is hand rolled glass. There is plastic stapled / caulked on the window’s inside from 2013. The last triage “fix”.
The morning starts with coffee on the front porch, then up into the empty upstairs.
E is pretty much done with the upstairs, but takes picts from outside. I’m in the bottom R window pane, using a mini-bar to free the rails that hold the windows in place.
“Ranch-Gross is REAL” attrb: Elizabeth. My face attests to her wisdom in not going upstairs for the photos. The dead fly that falls down into her coffee while she gets the image is a little reminder.
See, the room is just dandy. After a bit of sweeping. And ignoring the next bit.
Here’s just a little bit of what she missed. I have these containers set around the chimney to catch drips. This one caught a few mice- the strong eat the weak and wish they hadn’t been so strong. That is Strong’s skeleton in the middle.
Windows cleared.
It took three more clamps and a sawzall to reseat the window sill. And a few 3.5 inch deck screws.
The pane to the L looks broken, but was installed using two broken windows to make up the extra long glass needed for these. I don’t have any either, and will have to go to town and get some cut.
It is the R side that has two pieces fitted on this side. A perfect 12 x 24 with 4 inches of a broken window legged on. The L side is the hand rolled turn of the century glass. I hope not to break it getting it out.
An X of tape adds better odds against breakage.
It is in the mid 80’s today- which counts as hot in these parts. The cows bring their calves to sit in the deep shade of the willows, just outside the yard.
I leave the hand sanded bits til last.
These wooden pins have shrunk and rattle in and out of place. They are hand-carved and have square heads on the other side that fit perfectly matched hand-carved square holes. I leave the ones that are still good or good enough; respec!
All cleaned up and waiting til tomorrow for the wood glue to cure. Then a last sanding and look-over before linseed solution, and the three day set time for the linseed. To end the day I flipped a mystery light switch on my way back upstairs that blew out a fuse to the kitchen, and kept blowing out the fuse. So I pulled the switch and tied off the ends. Kitchen electricity restored and mystery switch remains a mystery.

Dave brings up his June calves and a few cows too old or lame for the trail.
While the new arrivals settle in, Dave and his crew set out to fix a hole in the fence up over the hill, and round up all the cattle that spilled through the hole and put them back.
It is our last afternoon at the ranch, and we set out to work half the line of our Bluebird houses.
Heifers are always interested in human tinkering.
They moooove in for inspection.
400 miles due south of the ranch is Pocatello, Idaho; the site of this summer’s ubiquitous “Drive-By Fire”.
Our path takes us to the nose of the fire, just above town, and all down its flank.
Simultaneously, a few hundred miles south of Salt Lake City, the interstate was closed as another bigger fire swept over the highway. The nighttime low temps in SLC are about the daytime highs at the ranch, and humidity stands between 6-14 percent vs the rainbows and thunderstorm-showers of Montana. AC/DC’s Highway to Hell isn’t on my playlist…