How not to glaze a window.

When we bought our second old house 11 years ago, it needed some serious TLC. The least of our problems was the broken window glass in the basement stairwell door, which I “temporarily” fixed with blue painters tape. Last week, I decided to do the job right.

I’d done a lot of old-house renovations over 30+ years. Replacing a window would be no biggie, I thought. 


Here’s how it went:

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In full swing after 30 years.

About 30 years ago, we got a porch swing.  A few years earlier, we had purchased our first house, a modest old Dutch Colonial with lots of charm hidden behind its 1960’s updates.  It had a large front porch – deep enough to gather with friends or spend time in solitude, contemplating life.   

The swing didn’t cost us a dime – a good thing in those early days of parenthood and home-ownership.  We got the swing with coupons.  My in-laws ran a corner grocery store, and the manufacturers’ coupons they collected from customers could be redeemed for merchandise.  Like S&H green stamps for small businesses.  I had helped to organize the coupons so I got to pick my prize.     

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One step at a time.

This past Tuesday, November 8th, was a big day … my birthday.  Oh yeah, and that other big thing.  But enough about other things…

A quick back story to this blog is that I recently wrote an election day op-ed piece asking my husband to rebuild our basement stairs for my birthday. (You can read it here:

You can see in this before picture the current state of “astairs.” You have to duck your head to clear the overhead joist, and if you have a basket of laundry, tuck it up to clear your knees.  I can handle the head-ducking OK, but ducking and tucking at the same time is hard – like the concrete basement floor below.  Every time I head down with my arms full, I worry that this is the time my neck and my knees will protest and send me flailing.

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