The way I used to like Joe Strummer

I spent the afternoon watching some guys install a new window in my dining room. My old window was really old… the last original window in the house (and the house is about 120 years old) and it was really a piece of junk. In the wintertime a wind blew through it even when it was closed, and people competed not to sit with their back to it. The ropes inside the frame had long ago turned to dust, and the lead counterweights had fallen down into the walls sometime before I got the house, leaving only the skeletal pulleys sitting aimlessly in the sides. This meant that until it’s last paint job, if you wanted to to stay open you had to prop it with something, or it would slide shut with a terrifying bang at 3:00am when the humidity went down a little. Conversely, if you did manage to get it open and prop it open (and this was no small feat) then if the humidity happened to go up while it was open… then open it stayed. I remember engaging with it during a rainstorm and trying to close it with a hammer… to absolutely no avail. After its last paint job it retired from the opening business entirely – leaving an ever growing collection of flies petrifying inside it. It was junk – total junk, but it was our junk, and since Joe and I both earn an “artistic” (read – unreliable) income that doesn’t allow for a whole lot of new windows, so we sealed it off with that weird plastic you shrink with a hair dryer and tried to make do it until we could afford it.

This years tax refund had a little more give in it than we were hoping for, and we ordered the new window, and me, who is usually reluctant to buy anything (I don’t like to spend money. You just never know when more is coming) I gleefully paid for it – only thinking once about how many sweaters worth of cash it was costing. I was thinking about how usually, I really hate buying anything (except yarn – and even then I am a woman of some restraint) and how the last time I was happy to buy something that wasn’t yarn it was a stove, and that’s when it hit me.

I think I must be a grown up. All of a sudden I’m the sort of person who’s happy about appliances and windows with high R-values and thrilled that there was “argon” between the panes (I don’t even know what argon is, but I’m delighted to have it) and have had conversations about “property value” and how much energy it will save us this winter. I’m happy about these things the way I used to be happy about snow days or free candy. It was cemented when I phoned a friend after the window was installed and exclaimed things like ” I got my new window and you won’t believe what it does! IT OPENS! AND CLOSES! WHENEVER YOU WANT! ISN’T THAT COOL!”

Dudes. I’m a grown up.


Did I mention it came with argon?

245 thoughts on “The way I used to like Joe Strummer

  1. Congratulations on the new window. You will not believe the difference it makes. I got new windows 4 years ago and it was AMAZING. I even could no longer hear the freeway 1/2 block away. It’s the little things that give us “grown-ups” joy.
    (Am I first twice in one week???!!!)

  2. I became a “grownup” recently too (at 6 months shy of 50). I got excited about a new heating and air conditioning system and new clothes dryer. They were especially painful on the heels of two new (to us) cars. However, I got really excited when my gas and electric bill came and we used 1/2 the energy as the same month last year. I did a little dance and my husband told me that he was glad to see that the kid was back.

  3. If you think you are in heaven now, wait until winter. It is amazing how great new windows can make you feel.

  4. I understand completely!We just put in a new sliding glass door to replace an old,crooked French door.New door even has a screen.That works. I must be growing up to.

  5. Does the top part flip down, so you can wash the outside, w/o going outside? I had those windows in my last house, and besides all the “r” value/argon, etc., etc., I loved that the tops flip down – and I don’t even clean windows!!
    Welcome to adulthood πŸ˜‰

  6. Wow, growing up must be going around! I finally felt grown up when I was able to buy my first home at 48 years of age. New appliances and everything! Yep, I just stood there and watched my new dishwasher go through the cycles and was excited to never do the dishes again! I could get use to this grown up stuff!
    Oh, and congrats on the window!

  7. Wow, argon. That’s a noble gas. You must be somebody important.
    OK, kidding aside, we bought a second house with double-paned windows filled with something special and I can’t get over how quiet the house is and how draft-free. Ours are sliders, not double-hung, and will never need painting, even.

  8. How nice! I have weird “I’m a grown-up” moments like that too, but naturally I can’t think of any to share at the moment.

  9. I know how much fun it is to live in an old house. Mine is only about 100, but recently the lead waste pipe gave up in the upstairs bathroom. I guess they don’t last forever. Now we are thinking about completely redoing the whole room, updating it from the “fix” in the 80s, to something circa 1900, something Arts and Crafts… all because the john crapped out!
    Who knew? Argon’s all over the place:
    Congratulations on your new window, up and down and with argon!

  10. I figure that you were the one that inspired Brenda Dane’s sign-off line for Cast On: “Remember, if you’re cold, put on a sweater. That’s what they’re for!”
    Congratulations on your new level of family warmth!

  11. Congrats on the window! We did the new siding and windows 2 yrs. ago after selling some land. OMG, what a difference they make. Opening and closing just like real windows and flipping down to wash. Grown-up moments are okay, as long as they’re not too close together.

  12. Dave Barry said he knew he was an adult when he started to read the backs of cereal boxes *before* he ate them, rather than to kill time *while* he ate them. And when he really started to care about fiber content. Are you there yet?

  13. Congrats! We replaced 21 this summer with beasties that sound just like yours. I’m hoping it helps our furnace war too. I already know it made a huge difference in the air conditioning battle we always have over the thermostat.

  14. Congratulations on biting the bullet and thanks for the inspiration. My house (99 years old and counting) needs new windows–all of them. I am so fearful of choosing the wrong windows that I just keep delaying the invevitable. Perhaps I will pour myself a glass of wine and stare at them just a little longer…

  15. Yeah. Growing up.
    For me it was when I finally realized that I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. Which was also the year my baby brother turned 30.
    Lately, I’m trying not to feel old. Sprained ankle, eldest child turning 30 soon, youngest child getting ready to graduate high school, middle child graduating university …
    Welcome to adult-hood. Old age ain’t that far away, honey.
    PS — Congrats on the new window. You’ll love it!

  16. I prop the kitchen window open with a cast-iron muffin pan. And I just bought a new water heater. I’m still excited about showers that stay hot until the end, but frankly, snow days were more fun.

  17. You are sooooo going to win the furnace wars this year. I’m already wearing wool socks with my pajamas. I don’t know what’s up with Halifax this September, it’s so bloody cold!
    I dream of the day when new windows grace our home.

  18. Yay for a new window!
    I’m still way too excited about my new refrigerator (it has ice and water in the door!) so I understand.

  19. Woohoo! At least with things like the “Furnace Wars” you know you’re still partially a kid πŸ˜‰

  20. Steph, I totally understand. I remember being a kid an watching game shows with my grandmother. I would wonder why the people were so excited about getting a refrigerator or a new washer and dryer. I wanted the car. Now, give me that new front-loanding washer and matching dryer and I’d give Bob Barker a kiss on the lips! Enjoy your new window!

  21. Maybe when your new shawl is finished, if you absolutely feel it is too long to wear, you could drape it over the new window. Then you can enjoy both of them whenever you’re in the living room. Also, it will make you feel less grown up to have a shawl on the window rather than a curtain!

  22. I said the same thing about my dining room bay window, which had to be custom built because they just don’t make windows that size these days. To open its predecessor, you’d have had to punt a rock through the glass, which was a measly single pane. Now I too have argon! (It’s a noble gas that makes killer green lasers, among other things). And openable-ness.
    But I still get excited about snow days and free candy.

  23. Something tells me that your brother is somewhere cringing a little, considering the effect this new argon-and-glass window is going to have on the coming winter’s furnace wars.

  24. Argon: 18 on the periodic table, a part of the Noble Gases family, which include helium, neon, xenon, and krypton (no, really!). The noble gases are known for being non-reactive, having full electron shells–they do not form bonds with anything. This makes them good insulators, since they aren’t very excitable (electricity aside–thats a whole other area of chemistry), and entirely non-corrosive.
    Its actually a natural component of the atmosphere, and is used to make neon lights, giving off a blue glow when electricity is passed through it, as compared to neon’s red.
    spiffy, no?

  25. Congratulations on the new window, and on being grown up. Luckily for you, I think you’ve kept some of your childish spirit (as expressed by what you were exclaiming about the new window). That’s always a good thing. πŸ™‚

  26. You did remember to have a ribbon cutting in honor of the new window, no? or maybe a yarn cutting would do it for you…

  27. I think you are only ‘technically’ a grown-up. I mean, you bought the window because you had to – not because you just wanted it. You would be a fool (regardless of age-label) not to see and appreciate improvements like “opening” and “closing”. Besides, you still get excited about snow-days and free candy, right? Case closed.

  28. At least when you realized you were a grown-up it was because of being happy about something – I realized I was a grown up this week when the stock market crashed and I realized how that impacted me. I’m sure there was a stock market when I was a kid and it went up and down, I just never cared about it until now.

  29. I have had entirely too much being a grown-up lately what with having to replace my vacuum cleaner and repair my car to the tune of a qiviut sweater (not that I was planning to knit a qiviut sweater, that’s just what it cost) and then the toaster, the VCR and the washing machine died. We fixed them all. Then a windshield wiper flew off my car in the rain. I hate being an adult ;>

  30. I had a leak in my condo and so they are going to replace my old faded floors! I can’t wait! (and the whole not having cement showing is great too)

  31. HAH! We had 9 windows in our 120 year old house in Maine replaced last year- the last of the old ones, and it was AMAZING how bright it was, since I had been using quilted window shades all winter long (re: the rooms were always dark). And we are getting a new FLUE in our chimney!! (Be still my heart). Hey-we are planning to live here for a long time yet- might as well make everything shipshape as possible.
    Mary E

  32. I had these dreams of having a grown up house one day and we just recently traded in our old little house with windows very much like your old one for a newly built (a process I will never go through again) house and I’m so uncomfortable in it! Its too new, too shiny, too nice, too big. Most days you’ll find me hiding behind boxes of yarn on the crappy old couch down in the unfinished basement. Ahhh, that’s better. But I did get very excited about kitchen cabinets and argon filled windows. Its growing on me, this grown up stuff.

  33. I was thrilled to death last year when I got a new vacuum with my tax return. One that actually… sucked. It’s amazing what can give you a thrill when you get to be an adult.
    I have some 1950’s windows that need replacing… a lot of them actually. But I’m assuming they’d be like new windows compared to your recently departed one. πŸ™‚ I thought I almost might get a new one in my bedroom when it slammed shut once… thought for sure it must have broken but it didn’t. Oh well. πŸ™‚

  34. Yeah…windows…wait ’til you start getting interested in roofing materials. Or eavestroughing. I’m not sure if i’m becoming a grown-up or slowly metamorphosising into a guy…

  35. I remember getting my first gift appliance from my parents when I was sixteen – a coffee maker, since I am the only person in my family who drinks coffee. My two conflicting reactions were “yay, coffee!” and “dude…you bought me an appliance.”
    Now I’m 29, and get just as excited over “grown up toys” (new sheets, new vacuum cleaner, and my beloved KitchenAid mixer) as I do over “kid toys” (video games, stuffed animals, board games.) I think it’s marvelous to have it both ways. πŸ™‚

  36. I was just thinking the exact same thing today. I spent the day having an electrician install overhead lighting and ceiling fans. It made me feel so grown up (never mind the 9 month old on my hip – that reality hasn’t fully hit yet)

  37. New windows are huge. Huge, I tell you. We replaced all of ours a few years ago, and it was the best (of oh-so-many) house projects we ever did. We had crappy 1970’s Southern California tract house aluminum windows, which were only slightly better than wax paper for keeping out the heat or the cold, and were considerably noisier than wax paper when the wind blew. I was astounded the evening our new windows were installed that there was no breeze in the living room, and that I could effectively shut out outdoor sounds just by closing the windows (important when you live near both a sixteen-lane freeway and a Marine Corps Air Base). Welcome to adulthood! (Just wait until you get a new washer. Oh, wait. You can’t, can you?) πŸ˜‰

  38. I have a whole house full of those windows! Same age, same ropes, same weights and the same sticks propping them open (notched so that they can open at varying heights). The only reason I love them is because at night when the moon shines through their ripply bubbled panes it feels like i am underwater. Wish those bubbles had more R value than they do.
    I predict you win the furnace war handily this year.

  39. Nice window! Great review of Patons Classic Merino over at Knitter’s Review too! It was really cool to “hear” your voice in a little different capacity. I hope you’ll consider doing more yarn reviews there.

  40. We have one to replace before winter sets in, too. Actually, we really need to replace all of them, but the one the cat broke really, really needs replacing.

  41. Windows ARE exciting.
    When you have lived with their (functional) absence!
    When we moved into our house of the same vintage as yours, all the windows on the ground floor were missing screens, because some prior tenant apparently had a big dog that had gone right through all the prior screens. Of course, these were the old windows where twice a year you got up on a big ladder and changed out the screens for the storms. But there were no screens. And most of the windows, like yours, had broken pulleys. Insulation? What’s that? Old newspaper in the walls, yes.
    We did replace all the ground floor windows out of necessity, since not opening the windows in the summer wasn’t an option, and the mosquito population makes screens a necessity. But the upstairs windows, at least in our bedroom (the only one that hasn’t been renovated, hmm, interesting how that works!) still require shims to stay open. At least they have screens!
    Someday we’ll have argon windows in our bedroom….

  42. Sure, it’s nice not to have papers blow off the desk on a windy day, but no matter how much I watch them, household items will never make me feel like I am watching pure electricity packed into a skin suit. Stupid heart defect. πŸ™

  43. I know how you feel about the windows. I live in a 120 year old house myself. Most of the windows sort of work; we recently replaced all the storm windows and that is nearly as thrilling. You want screens? They slide into place – they slide back. Yay! And you have argon – how cool is that! (It’s an inert gas that helps with the insulating thing happening; at least I think so).
    Hope you have enough yarn to last you until the next tax refund…

  44. We had old windows that had a separate set of storms in our last house. It was always risky trying to open or close the storms because you never knew when the other storm or the main window would come smashing down on your wrists as you struggled with the latches. We called it the guillotine effect.

  45. My boyfriend and I bought our first home this spring, a lovely little thing built in 1942, and the previous owner replaced ALL the windows before…except one, which is a lovely stained-glass thing in the basement.
    Having lived in nearly 100-year-old houses for the past few years, the brand-new windows were a HUGE selling point; about as exciting as the fact that the whole house is INSULATED.
    I’m still young enough that I feel like I’m just pretending to be a grown up, but I recently cleaned the bathroom for no reason other than that it was dirty (i.e., we had no guests coming, no special occasions), and I felt pretty adult about that whole thing. (And about how pleased I was when it was it was clean.)

  46. Sigh. I, too, am owned by an old house. Actually, I am owned by two — the spry young 60-year-old house we live in here in Baton Rouge, and the century-old house my mother lives in, in New Orleans. Oh, the joys of rotten cord and useless pulleys. We just put new windows in the spare bedroom this year, for the same reasons. It’s the least-occupied room and we don;t like spending money. NOw we can open and close them whenever we want.
    They are open now, as we are enjoying some rare, mild September weather after the hurricanes. It’s helping with the cleanup. We just got Internet and cable and all turned back on today — yay! It went out during Gustav on the 1st.

  47. I so get that. Both having old windows and being excited about grown-up things.
    We had an energy study done on our 123 year old house by some students at the local university. Part of their grade was in how well they could explain the study to me (a “layman”). They were doing really well, marveling over the heat retention of the asbestos pipe covers in the basement and the solidness of the big rock foundation… when we got to the attic, they recommended putting insulation batts between the rafters. Until I pointed out that my rafters were hand placed and are off by as much as an inch, so batts are out of the question. Then they suggested replacement windows, which would cost about $10,000. I pointed out that the windows are all hand made… and no 2 are the same size… and it’d more likely cost between $15000 and $20000. OTOH, they suggested replacing our incandescent bulbs with florescent which would save me about $500 / year, and it has.
    The professor loves my house and has asked to include it every year the class is taught because it’s so “non-standard” it gives the students good experience.

  48. I know that feeling. We just remodeled our kitchen and got two new windows in the process. They may be the only really functional windows in the house. My husband works for a window manufacturing company. It’s shameful, really, how shabby our windows are.

  49. I too just got a window installed that looks remarkably like yours…. I know it’s double pane, not sure if it has the argon stuff, but it does have something called “Low E” coating… And also like you, at 53 yo (me 53, not you) I’m begining to feel rather grown up…. I’m remodeling a kitchen and I’m all excited about my new appliances, that I shopped and shopped for, looking for the best deal I could, because again like you, I hate to part with the hard earned green stuff and too think about how many sweaters or socks it could have been. I can even open and close the window without the fear of the lower pane of glass sliding out because the frame had rotted out or the top pane falling out because it had a crack from top to bottom… and it closes and locks, Whoot. I must be growing up, don’t tell me, is that why I have a finally found a grey hair?
    Good luck on your spending spree… I still have 8 windows to replace in my house…. mind you, our very small house.

  50. YAY!!! That’s a fantastic window, and don’t you just love it when they actually work! (I have also lived with non functioning windows)… Congrats!
    You didn’t know this but Bobby’s family business is thermal windows, I even worked in the plant for a few years, yes, I CAN build a window..heh. I don’t WANT to build windows though.
    It’ll be more quiet too.

  51. I don’t buy that you’re a grown-up. I think you’ve just expanded your definition of “toy.”

  52. I was reminded of that feeling the other day when I actually posted about my husband steam-cleaning the carpet. (But seriously, it looks brand new. You should see it. I still get a little thrill when I step on that one spot and DON’T stick to peach juice.)

  53. I think that means your a grown up. I enjoy thinks like a new stove and windows that open and close that keep the weather out. But I don’t think it is such a bad thing.

  54. Growing up is a sneaky thing. You never know it has happened until you hear something your Mother would say coming out of your mouth.
    Not that I wouldn’t be ecstatically happy to have new windows with Argon in them. Mine are twenty year old metal frames with a single pane on each and two separate panes to have to open and close.

  55. Growing up has it’s good points. Now just think about how much money you’ll save in heating bills that can be applied to yarn purchases!

  56. Dude! This will totally help you win the heat wars again this year.
    One less heat sucking device gone from the house.
    Argon is an inert gas. But I didn’t know they put it in windows. πŸ™‚

  57. Argon……!?! dude your window came with a hot sword dude from the Lord of the Rings????
    Sweet……… can I come over, and open’n close ’em too?

  58. Yesterday must have been window day. My husband and I had 28 (there are 8 additional windows we chose not to replace) new windows installed in our 88 year old house. (Made possible largely by my husband’s bonus.) The new windows have argon gas and are Low-e and all kinds of goodness. It took four guys all day — and I do mean all day, they left after 8:00pm yesterday. Most of the previous windows — which were all original — did not open. Only 2 or 3 in the whole house. We too wandered around the house last night opening and closing windows. And I had the exact same conversation with a friend today at work. “Our new windows: they go up *and* down!” And I totally understand about the grown up thing. I am 41 and couldn’t be any happier to have the money to spend on new windows.
    Now if only I could afford to redo the (original) wood floors! That would be really exciting!

  59. Reading this post made me realize that chemistry has infected my entire life. Argon is a noble gas and as such is very inert, which is a good thing. For example, if there is a crack, Argon leaks out, it won’t explode near open flame like Hydrogen. It’s also insulating. That’s why it’s there.
    Congrats on being a grown-up! I’m not ready to let go my childhood yet. Not until after I graduate from college at the earliest. ^_^

  60. awesome! new windows are amazing. i almost want to say they beat stoves, but as i only have a new stove and not new windows i’m not sure. but having a working stove and conversations about how redoing the kitchen was good timing and what it has done to the value of the apartment given everything else … yeah. does that make me “grown up?”
    (actually i grew up the day my hamster died and i had to pick her up and bury her. not my husband, not anyone else. mum lives far away though inlaws donated a “plot”. that day sucked. (it was 1.5 years ago) all other pets have gone to happy hunting when i haven’t been around.)

  61. I used to think I would be a grownup if I had my own vacuum. Then I bought a house. Years pass and I find myself very excited to hear my friend’s story about her new low-flow toilet. Don’t get me started on grout.

  62. That same feeling hit me three years ago when we got a new vacuum. Conversation with best friend in college went something like this: “It has an air filter! And it really sucks up the gunk in the carpet that has been there since we moved in since our old one was really a glorified dust buster. I love it…. when did I get so old?”

  63. My Grandmother always said(rationalized) that “it’s only money-someone will make some more tomorrow”. But I too hate to spend money on “grown up” stuff-like a new water heater or having the driveway sealed. And I always think of it in terms of yarn purchases!!! Perhaps my “grown up” spending ideas need alittle tweeking?
    But it does seem to be true-after spending money on having my furnace ducts cleaned(I spent my childhood in an old Victorian with coal then oil heat and we never gave dusty ducts a thought)- the next week some unexpected moola rolled in .
    Perhaps my only non-dutch grandmother (a true dutchman would never say this) was right-“Someone will make more tomorrow.”
    Enjoy that new draftless window-I enjoyed thinking about the “old house” and how drafty windows were the only kind made back then!!!
    My Grandson wanted to know if I knew Laura Ingels Wilder !!!!

  64. I feel certain you must have seen it already, but I highly recommend the Joe Strummer biopic “The Future is Unwritten”, directed by Julien Temple. We just watched it on DVD last week, and if I was a bush league “Rock the Casbah” Strummer fan before, I’m full-on now – you’ll like it.

  65. I am sorry you have “grown up”, but there still may be a chance. The best thing in life is to be child like when you can. When we are “grown up” we mostly do so through ours or others children. If you try really hard and look really deep inside I bet you can find that child in you…don’t let it go. And Stephanie I don’t think you will.

  66. Go Stephanie! We have a living room window with a crack that we’ve been putting off replacing because the way it was installed, we’ll have to repaint the entire exterior when we do that. I got one quote ($13k? THIRTEEN THOUSAND?!) and ran away in terror. You go be the grownup instead for now.

  67. It’s a fine serious looking window.
    The house I grew up in had books as props by most of the windows. Now, none of our windows are propable. They all slide, and if they break, it’s by falling off the track or jamming, something that can’t be fixed with a propper.

  68. Just because you get excited about the adult things doesn’t mean that you don’t have that little kid there inside you. We bought a house last spring, and the whole time looking, as I was making adult decisions and looking at things like new windows and whether the house came with a washer and dryer, the little kid in me was jumping up and down yelling “Wheeeee!!! A house for meeeeee!”
    Basically, it is fine to grow up and be excited about adult things (like lower energy bills, I can’t wait to see how gas heat compares to electric this winter), but just remember to let the little kid come out to play with all the pretty colors of yarn occassionally.
    Enjoy your new window! πŸ™‚

  69. Yeah, I’m a grown up too (happened when I was in raptures of happiness over the re-installed kitchen sink). It’s pretty cool, we get to do things like use power tools and make plans for vacations wherever we want to go!

  70. My furniture now matches too, Kim – but not the walls, which were so recently painted I’ll have to live with it. Beige/pink furniture – terracotta walls…. sigh. Congrats on the window – looking forward to Furnace War 2008.

  71. I totally see your joy.
    I live in a Vancouver money-trap called a ‘leaky condo’ and this year came to terms with a repair bill that is more than twice my annual gross income. But what’s making me happy isn’t that my bedroom’s mushroom crop will be a goner, nor that I will never again get flood from above (and there are two floors above me before you hit the leaky roof). No, it’s that I’ll get new windows. Windows that work easily and close firmly and don’t have little holes through them to let the water drain out. So I am joyful, too.

  72. Excellent! I remember how I suddenly realized I was a “grup” after buying my very first couch. That was 4 years ago, and I was in my late fifties at the time. That is some seriously arrested development. Glad to congratulate you on getting there faster than I ever did!
    And doesn’t this give you an edge in the heater contest this winter?

  73. Join the club. I got to be a grown up when I found myself counting the days until my new boiler arrived. On the up-side, being a grown up, I got to toast my new boiler with a nice bordeaux.
    Being a grown up is fab. Less angst and more wine!

  74. I’m glad I’m not the only one whose first thought was, “Argon is a noble gas!”
    Congratulations on your new window!

  75. DON’T PANIC…Have antidote… Will send large box of pixie dust to be applied twice daily… Minimize exposure to new appliances and “home improvement projects” to avoid re-infection… Should symptoms persist, seek emergency treatment from Peter Pan and his lost boys…Office located at “2nd star to the right and straight on ’till morning.”
    Best wishes for your speedy recovery!

  76. My daughter and I are truly grown up as well. I finished replacing my windows this summer – and when it rains outside, it no longer rains inside, nor do winter’s winds howl through my living room. Hurray!
    My daughter had a new front door installed and took photos of it from every angle and even stood beside it in a windstorm – no more breezes through the door, or sun streaks across the floor in the afternoon. The traffic noise from the highway is almost gone, too. She’s already planning to replace another window or door next year.
    Low e and argon are good things – and mean less money spent on Hydro for heating and cooling – which means more money to spend on sock wool!

  77. I must not be a grown up.
    I just heard on Ravelry that the Coats and Clark Outlet had a bag of odd balls of Cracksilk Haze for 50 cents a ball today. They did not have that when I was there Saturday. It is a conspiracy. I don’t have enough gas, nor enough extra $$.
    I want to stab myself in the eyes with my 3.25 mm Colonial ebony needles.
    Yup, definitely not a grown up.

  78. Simply GREEN with envy that you live in a climate where opening a window is a desirable thing. We only have two seasons here in East Texas: air conditioning and damp. *sigh*
    A window did get opened earlier this year when my daughter locked herself out of the house, though. It was kind of nice to know that at least one of them CAN open!

  79. Yeah, I remember that realization–my beloved spouse asked me what I wanted for our anniversary and I said, we’re getting a new roof–that’s a great gift!
    I think we ate Lucky Charms for dinner to make up for the adult moment…

  80. Fret not! Remember you were piling rocks with Hank on the lakeshore not too long ago. Grown up-ness has it’s stages….
    Kind of like the line from a country western song “Old enough to know better, but still too young to care”
    You’re kinda young grown up.

  81. I’m still stuck on the measurements of that shawl – now I am not all that tall – 65 inches – according to general principle, my “wingspan” should be approx the same as my height, no more – so assuming this thing is as its measurements imply, from my shoulders, it will hang to just below the knees 65″-43″=21″ – fortunately not dragging the ground, but the width – wow, 88″=65″-23″ left over – almost 12 inches on either side – that is a pretty big shawl – Bet it is a beauty when finished!
    can’t wait to see pics, do take pics with it actually ON you, okay? I agree with the 1/2 a person mannekin thing – not very realistic for the rest of us!

  82. After saving for 3 years, we got new windows (and siding) last year. Unlike most Americans I suppose, I paid cash because there was no way I wanted that sort of bill over my head. The window difference is amazing. No breezes in winter, no bugs in summer, yes they flip to clean (although I haven’t been so inspired to do that yet), and everything is even sort of coordinated. I love old stuff, but when it comes to windows, newer really is better. Congrats!

  83. I hear ya! In a similar vein, I was enrolling my almost 15 month old son in swimming lessons this week and mentioned to my husband that “…This almost makes me feel like a real parent!” Then the, “Hon, you ARE a real parent” comment came. Sigh. 37 years old and I still feel like I’m playing house some days.

  84. This summer, we replaced every window in our house. They were the original windows, and the house is 26 years old. The seal between the two layers of glass had long since gone and dirt had gotten between the layers. The outsides were all etched from acid rain. Now, with my new windows, I can actually see things outside, like my neighbour walking her dog! I don’t care so much about how good my heating bills will be this winter. I just like turning the handles and opening and shutting all my wonderful windows. I feel like a kid!

  85. Actually, it’s not true that the last previous thing you were happy to have bought that wasn’t yarn was a stove.
    Because between the stove and now, you were ECSTATIC at having bought… a toilet seat.
    I’m pretty sure that makes you even more of a grownup than the stove.

  86. That sounds like my last few months. “Look! It’s a toilet! That, like, actually flushes!” “Look! It’s a sliding glass door that slides!” (I believe that one had argon, too…) “Look! Steps! That don’t shake and threaten to die of old age when you walk on them!” Wow. I feel mature. And broke.

  87. Yeah, we jsut had a non-openin gwindow replaced with a fancy opening one too. Last saturday to be exact. And I pointed out the new open-y window to everyone who came over for the next couple of days. yup. Grown up. That’s what it means…..

  88. I realized I was a grown up during a family funeral. Afterwards, when people were finished eating, but still sitting around drinking, I was the one charged with dunning everybody to chip in for said food and drink. I crossed a threshold that day. I was 40.

  89. The window may be nice, but speaking as someone who’s just barely 20, I’m still more interested in yarn. And I’m happy to remain non-grown-up for quite a while yet :]

  90. I still am surprised when I get hit up side the head that I really am a grown up — at 52! Who knew that I could buy a house, keep a garden and buy the yarn I want. Hope I can keep it up.

  91. I can relate. I live in a house that up until a year ago had 120 year-old windows that didn’t open. Only 5 windows in the whole house did. Last year I had ALL new windows installed and I was like a kid in a candy shop. They open and close for heavens sake – what a wonderful invention!!

  92. As a teenager I had four windows like that across one wall of my bedroom. I lost a lot of good books to rainstorms because of those windows. (I used the books to prop up the windows, and forgot or wasn’t home when the rain started)
    And, just a little bit of education – Argon is an inert gas. It is used as insulation between the panes of gas, and help keeps the tempurature outside – outside, and the same for the inside. Essentially it works like pink fibreglass insulation, only it’s clear making it ideal for windows. The REALLY energy efficient windows now use Krypton, but it’s not as popular as Argon because of the price… and I only know all this because I just wrote an article on energy efficient windows…. yeah it was THAT thrilling.

  93. Congratulations! On the new window that is. I know how you feel. I once invited my best friend over to have a cup of tea and see my new water heater.

  94. We realized we were grown ups the day we were showing off our closets that we redid to the boys’ friends and they were looking back at us with blank stares. So we said “wait until you buy a home, then you will understand.” We’re officially grown up now. πŸ™‚

  95. Mazel Tov on the new window! I don’t think my windows have argon. In fact, I haven’t looked it up yet on Wiki so I don’t know what argon is, but it sounds clear and warm and like a good thing. My windows have to be washed outside by standing on a stepladder. I think. I’ve never washed them – I’ve convinced myself that they look like isinglass, and living history freak that I am, that sounds cool to me. Grown up? Naw. You can be “adultish” and deal with Responsibilities, but glee is “kiddish”, whether it’s over free candy or a new window or Mr Washie. (The older you get the more stuff is really fun!) Also – I’m jealous. My house is about 30 years old, a pre-fab, and believe me when I tell you, they don’t make ’em like they used to.

  96. Hey Steph..Congratulations on another wonderful new book !
    It’s been two years since I was there for your wedding oh how time does fly once you turn 40 eh!…happy 2cnd anniversay soon !
    Life is great…your great ….so proud of you
    love cousin Diane

  97. In the span of 12 months, I acquired a husband, a mortgage, and a son. I am in my late 20s but I’m blessed with continuing to look like I’m fresh out of high school (avoiding sun and makeup help). I fight to get people to realize I AM a grownup now. My family still has a lot of silly left in it, so I’m not concerned with my age so much. I’ve been excited by appliances for the last five years or so. πŸ™‚

  98. Interesting coincidence! We are just replacing the first window in our house, the start of an ongoing process. We chose the bathroom window to start, and with it is a new shower surround, which meant taking out the old one, removing some 1960 vintage plastic tiles (the whole room is full of those, but, the rest have a few more weeks to live) and the early 20th century plaster underneath (including horse hair). It is odd, when priorities change to windows and such instead of “things”. All except for yarn of course!

  99. My first thought was….cool! New windows! This winter crank your furnace up real high, the heat will stay IN the house, and you can knit up some real cute tank tops, etc. Pour yourself a cold beer and pretend it’s summer out.
    Believe it or not, I’ve done that. I’ve never told anyone I’ve done it, but I have!

  100. I admit I’d MUCH rather spend money on yarn, shoes, and the occasional Sephora splurge than on mundane things like Leksvik CD towers at Ikea, but hey, if that gets all of Mr. Audiophile’s 800+ CDs up off the floor (they used to be stacked around the bookcase), I must be a grownup. And that bookcase now houses all my cookbooks (and a few of your books, too – see my priorities here?) I’m actually starting to abhor stuff on the floor … I must be a grownup … egads.

  101. So.. this grown up thing actually happens eh? Hasn’t happened here yet, thank goodness. I’m still refusing to grow up (as I sit here in jammies with polar bears on it… I don’t think that I’m in any danger of it happening any time soon!)

  102. A few months ago my husband called me at work to announce he had just purchased my anniversary present–Not one but two new air conditioners! You know you have been married too long when you get that kind of present and you are OK with it. I finally understood how my mother felt when Dad bought her a new lawn mower for her birthday and she was excited.

  103. Don’t worry. When you beat your dear brother in the Furnace Wars thanks to your new argon-filled window, all your grown-up glee will revert to childish glee in a flash.

  104. Well at least you waited until 40 to grow up…I just got a new to me washer and a brand new dryer from a friend, after my mr washie died of unnatural causes. I got up EARLY to do laundry! I wouldn’t trade my new Mrs Washie for a whole bag of rowan yarn. I love wool but once you’ve had to wash your underoos in your fiances best friends house, or scrubbing your sons undies with a bar of soap while you shower, you realize that rowan has nothing on a working washing machine and dryer!

  105. I would venture to theorize that you are, in fact, a homeowner rather than necessarily a grownup. I mean, by all means if you wish to be a grownup there’s nothing wrong with it, I suppose.
    But my own experience has been that when I owned a house I got excited about new dryers and roofs, and when I went back to renting, I ceased to give a damn about anything other than bicycles, a party dress or two, nice-smelling soap, and the occasional skein of yarn.

  106. Strummer reminded me of strumming, which reminded me of guitars, and how I didn’t recall seeing anything about that certain deal with the youngling over dishes and mastery of a certain guitar solo from a certain song…?

  107. Having just gotten new windows this summer, I know how you feel. Mine had holes in the glass. Plus side, you never had to air out the house, minus side, you lost all the heat. Now it’s stuffy, but warm.

  108. Nice window, and the argon is gorgeous πŸ™‚
    I knew that I was “all growed up” when I started listening to CBC by choice (Vicki Gabereau & Peter Gzowski), and I bought my first New Major Appliance. At least you were able to put it off until you were 40 – lucky you!

  109. Here is another way to know if you are a grown up: If someone tells you that every afternoon, you must lay down and have a rest, and this sounds like an excellent, amazing, wonderful idea, and all day long you find yourself smiling, thinking about laying down with your lovely blanket and listening to that soft, aimless music that accompanies such things, then you are truly a grown up. Youth is wasted on the young, particularly pre schoolers.

  110. Funny, I realized that I was a grown up when I was giddy about buying a steam mop. My floors were going to be so clean now! My kids thought I was insane.

  111. I can totally identify with the grown up thing. We had an old fridge that worked very much like your window, and finally replaced it this summer. I was SO excited the day it was to be delivered, I think it was the highlight of the summer. I blogged about it too. I think I was actually as excited about it as I was my new spinning wheel, “Look, it keeps things cold!!”

  112. Yeah, when I stopped taping music videos and started taping gardening shows I knew I was officially boring. And I envy your new window. Mine has developed this haze. It is ugly. I want new windows too!

  113. I remember MANY years ago getting a new kitchen faucet, and actually installing it myself. It was a hugh milestone… no more constant leaks and drips, it actually turned OFF and ON, gave me HOT and COLD water.. I think I cried tears of joy. Now my kids are grown and gone, and that adulthood thing is behind me. I can be a kid again πŸ™‚

  114. We lived in a lovely old Cornish cottage for 6 months that was a pain to heat. (ok, it never got warm during winter unless the sun came in) Halfway through winter we moved to a new flat in a new building with proper windows and double glazing and we’ve only had to put the heating on once to see if it actually works.
    So I predict you will win the furnace wars hands down, this time. The child in you will re-awaken with that prospect surely?

  115. I know exactly where you’re coming from. Your window is beautiful. It functions as it is supposed to without any extra effort on your part. It’s a beautiful thing. I felt exactly the same when I replaced my toilet. I am now my mother.

  116. We have three doors with latches that work. The front door, the back door and the toilet door. The laundry has a door with a latch but the door can’t close as the floor has moved. I can feel your joy.

  117. Well Steph, I am so excited about your window. I have several windows, exactly like your old one, in my house. Thank God for wood heat. I too think I have grown up b/c we have city water now and I am not on a well anymore and I got just excited as you, I am sure of it. No more carting water from my mothers.
    Stay warm this winter. I hate the thought of it coming. But it is. Now you can stay warm knitting and still be able to see.

  118. Oh, I doubt you’re REALLY grown up. I go through phases like this, too, and I’m 61. Don’t worry. You’ll regress again, soon. If you really grew up, you’d quit getting into these amazing scrapes, like hiking down a 100 mile trail in the middle of winter in the Canadian wilderness. Where would the world of knitters be, then.

  119. I don’t think you are a grown-up – I think you are still a kid but with a new toy. I got new windows in my kitchen 2 years ago. The cats and I sit there and just look out….I even wash them sometimes! Enjoy it from both sides if you can.

  120. Oh I so know how you feel. I live in a late victorian flat and our kitchen wind (which was supposed to shut out the winter gales) worked in a purely ornamental capacity. And then we got a new one! With new double glazing! It opened and shut! It had no drafts! We petted it and patted it and considered calling it George.
    It makes you (almost) look forward to winter so you can enjoy no drafts.

  121. I totally get what you mean about the grownup stuff. It hit me early when I was able to get laundry baskets and towels that all matched. It was traumatic for me, because that meant I had Turned Into My Mother! EeeGad!! I was so ashamed, I kept it to myself, but now I feel I can “come out of the closet” with it, thanks to your brave example.
    I still get more excited about yarn, and chocolate though. That gets me through the bad days……

  122. I remember when the first of our friends bought her first house and we were there for the housewarming, going completely insane over her very shiny new washer and dryer. The jealousy over not having to huck everything to the laundromat was palpable.
    I’m happy to say that we successfully staved off the full transition to grown-up-hood that night by drinking the best part of a keg of beer. So if you go out and get rip-roaring drunk, you’ll cancel out and adult-type behavior you’ve exhibited of late. The only price you pay is the hangover!

  123. (This isnt really relevant to your case but I found it interesting all the same)
    There is a beautiful movie called Lars and the Real Girl about a guy in a small Wisconsin townwho goes a little bit nuts and buys himself life size sex doll and treats her like a real girl. The entire town goes along with it and the whole thing is really really sweet. You should see it. Anyway, there is a line in there when Lars asks his brother how to know when one is all grown up and the brother says “There’s still a kid inside but you grow up when you decide to do right, okay, and not what’s right for you, what’s right for everybody, even when it hurts.”
    See? Not really relevant to your situation. I’ve just been thinking about growing up a lot lately

  124. I think there is still room for debate on the grown up front. I mean you’re pretty excited about argon and you don’t even know what argon is. That’s youth right there.
    And I think the use of “Dudes.” as well leads one to question the grown up statement.
    Maybe the window is like a new toy. It does things, it’s shiny, it wasn’t there before. It’ll stay shiny and do things and you’ll like it but slowly it’ll just be another part of the house and like the red truck that got put into the closet or the monkey with the long arms and velcro on its hands so it could hug you and hang around, the window will slip to the back of your mind to be replaced with a new toy.
    I think our vocabulary needs a new word. One that can contain grown up and youth at the same time because there is a growing population of individuals who embody both as per your example. What do you think?

  125. Your window is lovely! And the fact that it’s functional is a definite plus.
    I purchased a few windows when I moved into my house almost 5 years ago, and figured the rest of them could be replaced ‘as time goes by’. Time HAS gone by and my windows are now officially raggedy. Just going up the stairs with a heavy foot could probably cause the window on the landing to fall off the house.
    Grown up or not, I don’t want to be cold, so …

  126. yeah- i totally feel you. i admitted grown-upped-ness this year with the purchase of a new gas stove and screen door (dudes- it’s glass on the bottom and has a screen on top! and it’s retractable! sweet!). sigh. good times.

  127. You have to get older, but you can stay immature forever. I know. I’m fifty-two, but I still have the brain of a teenager. (The sad thing is, that means I can actually anticipate some of my ninth graders’ thoughts!)
    Agree with the furnace wars comments earlier. As for the cost of the window = sweater yarn, with this window you won’t NEED those sweaters! You can laugh at winter as it tries to blow cold air through that new window.

  128. Use the new window in good health! And congrats on officially becoming a grown up! Just don’t lose all your fun-loving childishness…ever!

  129. Our ‘presents’ to each other have been Needed things rather than Wanted things for awhile. If it makes you happy, who cares if it’s considered ‘grown up’. You’ll love being toasty warm and can buy yarn with the money you save on heating. [And I’m a Mick Jones girl myself]

  130. Squee! New windows are very exciting! It’ll help you hold out longer in the “who puts on the heat first” contest!

  131. regarding “Dudes I’m a grown-up”…you and I are about the same age and I am so sorry to hear that!

  132. You are SO going to win Furnace Wars this year!
    We have two “holdouts” in our home, 2 windows that haven’t been replace tho they are nothing close to 120 years old. However, they certainly have a *lovely* breeze blowing through them in the winter. Hello crazy saran-wrap window stuff…. The living room window is around 90″ wide. Going to be SO expensive to replace. That’s a lot of window saran-wrap…..
    Enjoy your morning coffee by your breeze-free window!!!

  133. I remember how excited I was several years back to get a washing machine for my birthday – after years of traveling to the laundromat, it was a gift I was truly thankful for….that’s when I realized I must be turning into an adult. I do still wonder though who these 3 teenagers roaming around here are and why they are calling me “mom”…..

  134. Dear Stephanie,
    I got the best laugh when I read that you are a woman of some restraint when buying yarn. This must be some new use of the word I was previously unaware of!

  135. It was all over for me about 5 years ago when I bought (deep breath) … a vacuum cleaner. Two other friends did nearly the same, at the same time. We analyzed then on Consumer Reports, argued the value of upright versus canister, the importance of the HEPA filter and whether or not anyone really had the right to go “bagless”. When that puppy showed up I vacuumed *EVERYTHING* (that couldn’t run away). It was like V”V”-Day. Fabulous.
    Then again, only grown ups get to drink. Maybe it’s not so bad?

  136. You? Practicing restraint when it comes to buying yarn? I can barely type, I’m laughing so hard.
    On the other hand, I totally understand the fixation for wanting properly working windows. I leave my bedroom window open all year round (don’t look at me like that — I live in the south, and it’s open only by about an inch anyway) because when I moved in it was painted shut, and when I finally managed to get it open, it stuck so badly opening and closing that I finally just gave up on it and decided to keep it open. Totally rock the new window.

  137. I remember asking my mother once, way back in the 1980s what she wanted for Christmas. She said “a new washing machine.” I thought she was nuts! How boring! Even if she is a grown-up and can’t (my thought then, CAN’T, not WON’T) say she wants a Barbie or a teddy bear, she should at least pick a fun grown-up thing, like a car or boat.
    I definitely feel grown-up now that I would be giddy with delight to get a washing machine as a gift.
    Congrats on the window! Enjoy!

  138. “London’s burning – I live by the river.” Play that when you can’t wake up in the morning, it still works. But even if the Clash is no longer “the only band that matters” now you can open up that window and really see the river.

  139. Hooray for a new window! We have 14 leaded glass windows that need replacing in our house. I am much like you, I hate spending money … grown up things (like windows and appliances) while it’s still hard, is much more justifiable. I guess I’ve grown up too. Crazy.

  140. You have no idea how excited I am to find out that I am not the only one to have this realization that I’m a grown up just hit me out of no where. I recently realized that the only things I really do on a regular basis outside of work is get the kids and husband and sometimes myself ready for the next day and pay bills and that must mean i’m a grown up – but when i told somebody this, they looked at me like I was out of my mind and I should have known I was a grown up without these factors to lead me to it…. oh well, maybe it’s a knitter thing, we just never REALLY grow up. πŸ™‚ Have a lovely day Miss Harlot.

  141. We got a new kitchen faucet yesterday. I may or may not have spent an inordinate amount of time turning it on and off and playing with the sprayer hose.

  142. Recently I’ve observed that change of attitude in myself. What seemed like thinking of the old and infirmed, now seems like common sense. Need scratch paper…don’t take it from the printer tray. Here! Use this – it’s still good on one side. Need a pair of matching white socks…no, I don’t think so. No one will ever know…they are under your pants and no one can see. Want to read? Sit by the window and let the sun light up your book. I’m thinking that maybe my grandparents were right all along…you do never know where the next dollar is coming from. And it certainly doesn’t grow on trees. Ugh!

  143. Two of those moments to share:
    1) I took my little sister (from Big Brothers/Big Sisters) to see a movie and afterward we both commented on how cute the guy was. Then realized she was talking about the teenage love interest and I was talking about the main character’s father. Felt like a HUGE dork right then and there.
    2) Last weekend I was relating my excitment over having made a huge batch of homemade tomato sauce with tomatoes from my garden to a friend on the phone, when her 5 year old asked what I was so excited about he gave her a look that said, “that is SOOOOOOO not exciting, you people are lame.”

  144. No wind coming in = less heat required to heat room = lower heating bill = more money left in budget to pay for yarn. A winning proposition all around! Congrats on the new window.

  145. Congrats on the new window. Though it is a bit terrifying to realize that you have finally grown -up. Aren’t new stoves the coolest!

  146. I feel you PANE…lol..My husband and I live in a 110 year old home that we are renovating…we also put in new windows…I am always excited when a new one is installed…only problem is painting it…lots of work..
    Any way I am curious what kind of window..we are using Marvin…great windows…

  147. I know how you feel. DH & I just bought a house. Built in 1930, and the last owner had a tantrum (foreclosure) and ripped out the kitchen and did other…interesting things to it.
    I spend my free time dreaming about reproduction cabinet hardware, ripping out tree stumps, raking mulch, and painting things…
    …and…I like it.
    I don’t even miss buying yarn. Well. Not much, anyway. I am planning to cast on for my first REAL lace shawl by my own fireplace (I already have plenty in the stash.)

  148. Dudes–it opens AND closes!
    I used to live in an unbearably old house with a landlady (grandmother-in-law) who hated to replace anything and couldn’t bear to have us do it for her–we had windows like that. Except windows like that are very BRITTLE–and my (at the time) 2 year old son had a little tiny wooden hammer. He tapped on the glass (he has very little upper body strength–even less when he was TWO) and the window PULVERIZED–shattered, destructed.
    DUDES–a window that opens and closes–I’m thrilled for you. (GIL didn’t replace the windows back then or let us replace them–we just fortified them with cardboard and took away the tiny wooden mallet.)

  149. 20 years ago if someone told me I would get excited over new windows…(or someone elses ne window) I would have told them they were nuts!!
    Conrats on the window….I hope it gives you an edge in the furnace wars!!!!

  150. what – and you no longer like Joe Strummer? Please, say it isn’t so!
    But I know exactly what you mean about the ease of newer windows – I live in a house that was built in the 1870s, a former owner put in windows in the 70s and did a crappy job. They are finally being changed out for better windows that are easy to use!!!

  151. lately i’ve noticed my much younger friends starting to get excited about things like windows and roofs, and i’m your age. it’s sad, really.

  152. Being a grown up is not too bad (if you become one at 40, then I have been a grown up for 4 years) as long as you keep a childlike delight and curiosity. At least that is what I tell myself each helps. And because I am taking hits from the bong of delusion, I tell my kids that I am hip and cool too! You should see the eye-rolling!

  153. Oh man, I’m so envious! We don’t own our place, so I haven’t even bothered to price windows, but we desperately need new ones. Oh the joys of tighter, more energy efficient windows! Lovely!

  154. That is the way I felt about when I got a new fan installed in my bedroom! One that had all of its speed settings and didn’t try and escape from the ceiling when it was turned on!

  155. Hmmm… I think I like your home reno’s as much as your knitting.
    Where’d you get the window? I need many new ones, not least the front window since that’s the only ventilation in the downstairs and it doesn’t open. I almost threw a chair through it this summer.

  156. (Gotta agree with previous comments, when you used the word “restraint” with regards to your yarn acquisition, with no apparenty humour/sarcasm, there was that jarring moment of mental “Does Not Compute”–are there factors in this equation that we don’t know about, like that you get a whole lot of fabulous yarn DONATED to you because you are so, well, you??) =)
    My laughing adult-o-meter sign is that, when invited out to supper, one of the best factors that I look forward to is “don’t have to cook it, don’t have to clean up unless I volunteer!” All other benefits are pure bonus!

  157. I’m 40! And I still like Joe Strummer! (Even if he did pass away)
    Congrats on the new window, it sounds heavenly. Kick butt in the Furnace Wars!

  158. Well darn, if hearing things come out of your mouth that your parents have said is and indicator of being a grown up then I’m there. Not only do I not have kids of my own to tell these things to, but they’re the things I swore I would never ever say. I also get way too excited over having an upright vacuum (my mother prefers a different style that I hate) finally!

  159. Today bein’ International Talk Like a Pirate Day, I’m readin’ that as arrrrrgon.
    I remember being very happy when I upgraded to a double bed when I was 24. My own money, and spent because I was tired of sleeping in a twin like a college student. IKEA furniture also sends me into paroxysms of joy.

  160. New windows are so fun, but yes, your kids could care less. They also don’t understand why you get so worked up about new carpet!! I got new ones (mine had the originals, too, crappy aluminum one-panes) a year ago last spring and the reduction in noise is amazing. I live in Ohio and just went 5 days without elecricity so I’m definitely into appreciating the little things!

  161. When I moved into my 86-year-old house , the gas fireplace insert had a leak that could have blown the place to kingdom come (replaced to meet current code), the porch had to be torn off and replaced (with a broken joist and some rot, it trampolined, and could easily have dropped an innocent guest armpit-deep in splinters), and the first time I had guests for dinner, I couldn’t keep the candles lit, it was that drafty.
    I priced new windows (custom, because of the age of the house), which made me shudder. I then contemplated the old ones, and found a company that restores them. Their crew arrived on the day appointed, backed a portable workshop into the driveway, removed three openings a day, routed out to replace the panes with double-pane argon-filled ones, replaced warped rails and stiles, insulated the weight pockets and removed the old ropes, and routed out and fitted each window to make modern sash, somehow. They neatly split the muntins and glued them on either side of the panes with something that may last forever.
    My natural gas consumption dropped by 35%, the house is both quieter and snug, and a major Craftsman feature remains intact. The windows are paying for themselves, with the rising price of fuel, more quickly than I thought they would.
    The renovation was about half the price of custom windows. And all the repairs–especially to the fireplace and porch–dropped the premiums on my homeowner’s insurance.

  162. Why is it you need an energy-saving window when you don’t even turn your furnace on till a thin-blooded Californian (like me) would be frozen stiff on the floor? Save yet more pennies?
    Wait, why am I even asking? I’m a Scot too!

  163. I grew up in a 1785 Colonial in CT that is now 223 yrs old and when the last windows were replaced, my mom gave each of us one of the original sashes. I haven’t done anything with mine yet. Not sure whether I’ll replace the glass with mirror or just refinish the wood and leave the glass. It’s pretty cool to have that part of home whereever I go….

  164. Oh man, I know that feeling. And we rented for so long that even having bought a house 11 years ago, I still feel like a renter. “we put in windows – I hope the next owners like them”.
    But saving energy not only saves you yarn money, it also saves the planet a little. So have another glass of wine and congratulate yourself on being virtuous (again).

  165. All is not lost.
    First of all, by calling yourself a “grownup” you show that you’re not fully integrated into the “grownup” mindset. Hooray!
    Y’see, “real” grownups say “adult.” “I’m an adult with no time for foolishness.” Like that.
    Of course, the Furnace Wars are not foolishness. They are a time-honored family tradition. That’s different. (Hands down, you are gonna win this next Furnace War! Piece o’cake)
    Congrats on the argon windows!

  166. A tree limb just went through one of our “breezy” windows so we are now compelled to buy a new one. Actually looking forward to it. I think the other breezy 60 year old windows in that room might get jealous though. Must rethink the whole thing – and then realize that I can barely afford the one. Nice to dream though. (o:

  167. I knew I was a goner when I had to get reading glasses. That right there is a serious adult moment.
    But when you find yourself snickering with glee that the workmen got the Energy Star rated replacement door in the day before New Years Eve, thereby allowing you a tax credit, that’s just the nail in the coffin of a grown up moment. (and I took pictures of it, too! How lame was that!)

  168. It has Argon? Well then it’s totally cool!
    My grownup moment was the new storm door that actually latches, has a self-closer, a lock, and a slidey glass/screen thingy. (it’s not Argon, but it’s cool)

  169. I’m a grown-up now, too. My father just put in a new front door and a new back door for us. (My husband is NOT handy at all!!) I can’t wait to not have to hang a coat on the doorknob all winter to stop the draft. With all the money you will save on heat this year, just think of all the money you will have to spend on yarn!! (Me, too!!)

  170. I so relate. We just put new siding on our house of 28 years, and, best of all, new windows. (With the argon; and wow, has it been cooler in the heat!) Best deal for me is that we can actually see out of the windows! The old ones had “blown” and had lots of condensation and = gulp = mold inside the two layers. Now we have argon, a view of our yard (quite lovely) and the promise of less heat consumption this winter, if not actually lower bills. Isn’t it grand?

  171. I totally understand. Our last house had an old stainless steel oven with heavy door that fell off periodically, usually at three a.m. I lived with that oven (burning half of everything I baked) for over twelve years until we could afford to replace its (special-order size) dinosaur carcass.
    I called people to gush over the window! and the light! and the door not falling off! I baked stuff in August, just because I could. I spent more on that oven than a nice diamond ring, and I was happy to do it. And when we did the siding, the roof and the windows all in one fell swoop five years later, it was like Christmas.

  172. Yesterday we replaced the washer and dryer, got the new fangled ones that are front load with doors that you can watch the laundry spin. I watched the washing machine work for 20 minutes!
    Next week we are getting the new roof..I am beside myself with excitement.

  173. ahh, but there is a big difference in being ‘grown up’ and being ‘old’ … we realized that we were grown-up when we started listening to conservative Talk Radio and actually liked it … when we started listening to what the politicians were saying instead of looking at what party they were with … and started thinking of money in terms of ‘what if’.
    We got old the moment our daughter started looking at boys … our son started noticing girls … and the new singing groups started re-releasing music we grew up with and the kids were amazed we knew the words!

  174. I can relate to this. We just had a new screen door installed. It closes! All by itself! The dog can’t push it open to go play with the kids. Best of all, no more rattlesnakes sneaking in, using the 3″ gap under the door! Sometimes, it’s the very simple things that make us happy.

  175. Did the birds poop on it yet?
    I remember having the big window at the front of the house replaced, we sat that evening and watched the curtains not moving in the breeze through the closed window. After that we never turned the fire on again.

  176. I was in the cleaning aisle comparing carpet cleaners ( 2 new kitens and a sick dog) lamenting none really worked, wishing for a carpet cleaning machine and a swiffer sweep and vac when it hit me, I’m a grown up. I actually care about cleaning. Sorry about the run on sentence.

  177. At 43, I am reconsidering this grown-up thing. Even argon may not be enough to tempt me back to a settled, mature existence. Been there, done that. Good luck to you, though.

  178. I can relate. Spent yesterday morning buying a whipper-snipper (you guys might call them weed-wackers) to trim my pocket handkerchief sized lawn. Spent yesterday afternoon admiring my work. Wondering why I thought I hated lawn trimming, and now have more time to spend not waiting for the tradesman to turn up. And more money to spend having adventures (holidays!) and buying toys (yarn!)
    Your window looks terrific and your article made me smile yet again.

  179. You have made my morning!! I’ve laughed till I cried reading your post about the BIG shawl! Out loud laughing! To think this could happen to you??? Imagine the trouble an inexperienced knitter could get into! Well, maybe not so much, I couldn’t knit the lace pattern to begin with.
    Congrats on having a window that funtions as intended. Domestic bliss!! Now go windex the thing so it sparkles!!

  180. Yes to what they said about the whole gamut of unexpected emotions that come with adulthood. My last was when I replaced cabinet hinges and now the door opens and shuts.
    And by the way, the next post in this blog gives me this message: Not Found
    The requested URL /blog/archives/2008/09/21/enter_stage_left.html was not found on this server.
    Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
    Apache/1.3.37 Server at Port 80
    Doubtless a temporary visitation from the Linux goddess.

  181. I had a similar moment of clarity when I realized I was truly excited about getting a great deal on a quarter-cow of organic beef … someday, maybe I’ll get to have new windows, too! (They’ll have to come in at least pairs for most of the rooms of my house.)

  182. Dude, sad thing. I’m JEALOUS of your window. My knitting chair is in front of one that doesn’t stay open and leaks cold air all winter long.
    Enjoy it! I just hope it doesn’t take 120 years to replace mine…

  183. Nice window! I admire your resolve. I still can’t arse myself into going down and spending perfectly good yarn/shoe/purse/booze money on a new water heater. WHAT a hot, sexy thing to spend money on, right? I’ll have to think of how nice your window is and remind myself what it was like, lo those many years ago, to take a proper hot shower.

  184. I don’t understand. With all the books of yours which i’ve seen at friends’ houses, why is buying 1 new window for your house a financial milestone? Don’t they pay you for writing that great stuff? How many bestsellers does it take?

  185. I know just how you feel about your new window! I helped my brother in law put a new window in my bathroom last week. The old one was crap. It’s really thrilling to have a window that opens in there. We also put up a new tub surround which entailed fixing stuff in the wall area of the tub before the surround could be installed. It’s beautiful!

  186. Ahhh, Joe Strummer…Thanks for throwing his name in there. We can be grown-ups and think London Calling is still the greatest rock song ever written, can’t we?

  187. Huh, I’m just busy contemplating what further Clash-referenced post titles might pop up and what they might cover…Train in Vain could clearly come up regarding travel issues, and there could obviously be a Clampdown on yarn spending and if somebody broke into your stash there could be Police and Thieves. This is Radio Clash could refer to an interview gone horribly wrong with a confrontational radio personality. And your upcoming trip to Boston and the inevitable question of the trip to Webs could even be a series, Should I Stay or Should I Go and Lost in the (Yarn) Supermarket.

  188. NO NO NO…. You’re not a grown-up — not yet.
    Geeking out over R-values and new appliances (I splurged year before last on a new furnace/heat pump, washer and dryer, refrigerator, AND a tankless hot water heater — this AFTER I bought all new windows for my house) is totally acceptable.
    Not having to worry about any of this stuff again for the foreseeable future — now that’s close to be a teenager all over again. The money I’m currently spending goes to the yarn — and books about yarn — and yarn tools — and to a new serger.
    Oh jeez.

  189. If you can still enjoy a good beer, a hot band and the latest TV insanity, you are not a grown-up. And if people younger than you by at least a decade want to hang with you, you are not only not grown-up, you’re still cool. Or hip. Or in. Or whatever the term is this minute (it seems to change hourly)
    I was assured of those facts last week when I celebrated one of those birthdays (the ones you don’t want to think about). My friends’ kids all assured me that because I met those criteria, I wasn’t a boring adult and they still thought I was fun to be with.
    Given how many of us here, of all ages from baby on up, want to be you, I’d say you shouldn’t worry.

  190. So its double glazed. Well if its anything like mine you will enjoy a warm cozy home with no draughts and windy curtains blowing just like my windows. I love me windows they open and close and they look ever so posh from the outside, my door is PVC too with a rose in the glass widnow. The whole lot puts pounds on my house. I hope you have a lovely warm winter, no more furnace wars, in fact you will have to turn the furance down a bit eh???

  191. Violet, I think Stephanie has ALWAYS been concerned with fiber content ;D
    And at almost-40 (Dec 7) might be growing up, house hunting! (growing old another matter that need never be touched on ;P)

  192. I wish I had known you were in the market for a window. I work for a window manufacturer and would have totally given you the hook up and delivered it myself!! hehehe
    BTW – Argon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless inert gas that is more dense than air. It helps to insulate the window from heat transferance and UVA/UVB rays. Ask me what all I know about R-values!! LOL

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