The Outdoors Beckons

Wednesday, it got nice out. I was working from home, and by the time I went out to retrieve the garbage cans just before noon, the sun was shining and it was nearly 70 degrees. I stripped the removeable caulk from the porch windows and opened them wide. The stale winter air started to seep out and though cool, it felt great. I opened all the windows I could (bedroom, kitchen), and Collette went to town investigating the fresh air and singing birds.

The rest of the week, I cracked those same windows and watched the green tulip leaves grow taller and taller. I even slept with the windows cracked and was shocked awake by the birds at 4 AM. We went to a Cubs game one night, and grilled another night. It’s really spring!

I was hosting Bunco Friday night, so all week I was in full spring cleaning mode. Airing everything out helped a bunch, though Friday evening wasn’t warm enough to use the porch as I had optimistically hoped when I offered to host months ago. So things were a bit cozy, but went off without a hitch.

Saturday loomed rainy and the day alternated between sun and showers. I went to Kohl’s and bought a springy new welcome mat and kitchen towels. Then, during a sunny period, I took advantage of hooking the hose up for the season to scrub the cat’s box (note to self: must install utility sink before winter!), then vacuumed out the car and found 93 cents. I even opened up the basement windows to air that out and vacuumed up cobwebs and dust. In full spring mode, I stripped my bed and switched out the fuzzy winter blanket for the lighter summer blanket. Then we invited friends over and grilled again.

I spend most of today outside, potting dianthus (red flowers) for my hanging baskets on the porch, cleaning up more leaves and detritus around the yard, and planting snapdragons and petunias in the front flower beds. The latter may come back to bite me, as it’s still a bit early in the season – a last frost could be looming. But it was good to be outside in the sunshine, and the beds look great – still no tulip flowers, but they’re getting close.

This evening, I decided to de-caulk the rest of the windows and play the great screen-window matching game while putting away the storm windows.

Most of the windows went pretty quickly. At first, I used a flat-head screwdriver to pull up the removeable caulk I couldn’t get with my fingers, but quickly realized I was nicking up the windows. So I switched to a putty knife (genius!) and knocked out the rest of the porch, the office and the back hallway.

The living room window proved far, far more difficult though. It’s very old and leaky, and doesn’t even stay in place when it’s not locked – the top window slips an inch when the bottom is open. But since it’s a nice wood window – with beautiful finish that matches all the downstairs woodwork – I know it will be a more expensive replacement. Since it’s so craptastic, I used a ton of caulk that has proved a bit excessive, as I can’t get it up. The gap was sizable, so I really slathered on the goop which has now taken up permanent residence. I was getting closer after a solid two hours of careful, gentle scraping, but my hand is numb, so I’m taking a break. This is further motivation to replace that window – and if I do it at the same time as ripping out the air conditioner and replacing it with a window, they’ll match.

Overall, it was a very productive weekend.

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