See-Through Joy

I will admit to something.

Something shocking.

Something despicable.

But, I will only admit if you promise not to tell anybody.



So, you know how much I love clean windows, and advocate for them.

But…[Ross cringes]…I have never cleaned a single window in the carriage house since buying the property in 2014.

I know! GASP!

Oh! The horror! The horror!



But, sigh, tragically true.

The poor carriage house has been, somewhat, abandoned since 2014 yet, with Cody scheduled to move in by November 1st, the mothballs have been gathered up and disposed of, the interior vacuumed, and…


…Cody then pulled off the ivy which had largely grown over the north living room window. Then Ross, of course, HAD to clean all the newly exposed glass. Golly. The upper, center panel is leaded-glass, in terrifying condition, and this will soon be sent off for restoration, along with two more leaded-glass windows.


Under the north window are two basement windows, one to the west, and the other to the east. And you know how I feel about the importance of basement windows being ready for an introduction to polite society. Here is the window to the west. Yes, so very impolite.


And now? Ta-da! OK, maybe not ready for the Queen, but much improved! The sash is highly curious, as it matches no other basement window.


The east window also matches no other basement window. And does this matter? Not a whit! For, it is now clean! These two basement windows have not, certainly, been clean in many, many decades.


During the next month, the basement of the carriage house will undergo an astonishing transformation. It is now dark, moldy, smelly, laced with wires snaking all over, and having insane HVAC ductwork running up down and all around. There is even a studio apartment in the SW corner, as grim a place as ever existed. There is profoundly inadequate lighting, boarded-over windows (oh, the horror), and a rusty hot-water heater.

In short, the basement is 100% the opposite of How Ross Does Things.

Again, you promised not to tell anybody!


During the ensuing weeks, and at terrifying expense, Modern Air will redo the entire HVAC components in the basement. One rusting hot-water heater will be discarded. The other will be, hopefully, returned to service. ALL the wiring (spaghetti-like currently. EEK!) will be replaced with new, neat-as-a-pin wires, new LED lighting will be installed, the scary you-know-Norman-Bates-lived-here studio apartment will be demolished, and a ventilation system will be installed. Oh, and all the windows will be cleaned, and closed-up windows unclosed.

In short, the basement will be better than it has been in likely a century.

And, when it is done?

You can tell everybody.




  1. Leigh on July 31, 2021 at 2:42 am

    Wow, what a positive difference with just having clean windows!

  2. mlaiuppa on July 31, 2021 at 2:46 am

    Those two basement windows look like they were repurposed from some house windows, set on their sides and used in the basement.

    The basement plans sound great. And when you’re done, it might be a workroom for working in the winter when it’s too cold outside. At the very least, a secure place to store tools and equipment.

  3. Dan Goodall-Williams on July 31, 2021 at 2:56 am

    Lots of activity going on. Did I miss the completion of leveling the old bathroom? How is all of that going?

  4. Sandra Diane Lee on July 31, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    Wonderful carriage house basement plans!

    Just sublime!

    You always seem so happy after washing decrepit windows!

    Snaking HVAC ductwork, Norman Bates-lived -there -studio apt, and decrepit, rusting HWN sound horrific!

    Ross, you are making a tremendous difference! It’s restorative for your spirit!

    Bravo Ross!

    Taking good care of yourself!


  5. Laurie L Weber on July 31, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    So awesome! For the future, have you ever used the windex window cleaner that you hook up to your hose? Only way I can do mine. You can turn the knob for soap, then turn for just water. I’ve even used my pressure washer on windows! Keep up all the great work. The tone of your post is bright! Way to go! 🙂

  6. Brian A on July 31, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    Despite it sounding utterly terrifying and nightmare-inducing, you know that we must now see pictures of the “scary you-know-Norman-Bates-lived-here studio apartment” before it’s demolished!

  7. Barb Sanford on July 31, 2021 at 8:46 pm

    Now it’s official: I want a Carriage House tour before you get further along! I want to see the “before” in it’s full decrepit glory, including the Bates studio apartment. Creepy.

  8. Barb Sanford on July 31, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    And I meant to say: The clean windows look glorious! My house windows are on tap to be cleaned before this winter, as soon as it cools down enough to make opening them less of a humidity-fest.

  9. Celeste on July 31, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    You are setting us up beautifully for the horrific BEFORE shots and the sublime AFTER photos.

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