Cafe Curtains

Cafe Curtains

Well, here I am!

We arrived yesterday after dark. Attila hates driving on busy highways after dark, so he took a bit of time to unwind after we arrived.

Mouse poop everywhere! Well, that is an exaggeration, there was no mouse poop in the bedrooms, thankfully. But the kitchen counters, the bathtub, even the wax candle in the living room, all hosted small black nuggets of bad news.

Attila set a trap on Saturday night, and we caught a mouse. Attila reset the trap and put it in the same spot on Sunday night, inside the hall cupboard. The mouse clawed out the peanut butter, left a few calling cards, and escaped. I have set another trap in the cupboard for tonight. Yesterday Attila sealed around the concrete chimney with spray foam, so hopefully that is where they have been coming in, and now cannot. But I still have to catch that mouse in the cupboard!

Terra and Lares dropped by yesterday for a quick visit. They arrived shortly before Attila left for the country house, and stayed for a short time after we all waved goodbye to Attila.

After they left the house got quiet! Goodness, the contrast is striking. It is a different kind of energy, with no one in the house but me, and no one coming home to the house but me. It did not take me very long to get used to it.

Last summer the hardware to install cafe curtains was purchased. After getting out the hammer, the tape measure, a pen, and the hardware, I set about installing the curtain rods. I got the first two installed, and decided to call it a night. I was getting tired, and the installation required hammering within an inch or so of the window glass. A mistake with the hammer could be a big problem, better to quit and take it up fresh again in the morning.

Attila was to phone me on the cell phone when he arrived home at the country house, after his long drive. Time went by, more time went by, no call. I decided to give him one hour longer than I expected him to arrive, then to make a Skype call to the telephone at the country house, where I could at least leave a message. That time came, so I called. Attila answered, and said that he had been trying to call me for over an hour, but there was something wrong with the cell phone. Oh dear, I forgot to top up the pay as you go reserves and it expired. We switched to FaceTime and had a chat, then signed off for the night.

I immediately signed into my account online and topped up the cell phone. Although I got confirmation that the billing had gone through, the cell phone still wasn’t operating, so I engaged in live chat, and she fixed it right up. A quick call to Attila to let him know we were back in business, and I was done with chores for the night.

The morning began with a cup of coffee and chat with Attila over FaceTime. It was not working all that well this morning, taking a long, long time to connect, but eventually we got it going. Apparently the snow is melting fast at the country house, and there are patches of gravel showing on the driveway.

After breakfast I dragged out all my fabric totes and had a gander at what I had. I was looking for fabric, to sew cafe curtains in the living room, to give us a bit of privacy during the day. Our living room windows look out over the street, and people can see right in, just as we can see right out. I don’t mind the fish bowl effect so much when Attila is here with me, but I do mind when I am here alone.

I brought out sheer material, gingham material, and fussed with the white polo shirts that Attila brought home. None of it seemed quite right for the window. Then I remembered several white table clothes that had been purchased three years ago for $2 each. After pulling them out of a cupboard, they seemed perfect. The rest of the day was spent sewing two of the four needed panels.

They offer an unexpected advantage. The cafe curtains provide privacy at night, so people can no longer see into the bedrooms from down the street, and we can see the sky and the trees at night while maintaining our privacy.

The two cafe curtain panels, hung in the living room at the little house in the city. Privacy, and a view!
Cafecurtains litltehouse livingroom

There are two more panels to sew, which will be started tomorrow, but probably not finished. Tomorrow is the day that I pick up the new used vehicle. The dealership is picking me up in the afternoon, and will help me with get the details sorted out, at least that is what I hope they will do. I am looking forward to seeing this vehicle for the first time! And driving it for the first time!

I have decided to write about my fuel tank, because I was looking at the fuel gauge this afternoon, as I was on my way into the house from the garden, and I noticed that it is down to 3/4 of a tank. The last time I looked, it registered full. However, knowing this does me little good, because although I remember the reading, I have no idea when I observed it! So the use of 1/4 of a tank of fuel may or may not be a serious thing. But there, now I’ve written it down, with a date, and will be able to find it again when trying to assess how the heating system is working.

The heat pump has been heating the house, for the most part, as far as I know. We haven’t had a full hydro bill since the heating season started, so we don’t know if this is going to save us money or not. I am not sure yet that it is saving heating fuel. I sure hope so!

Worldly Distractions


Light Rainshower
Date: 4:00 PM EST Monday 24 November 2014
Condition: Light Rainshower
Pressure: 99.1 kPa
Tendency: falling Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 13.4°C
Dewpoint: 9.5°C
Humidity: 77%
Wind:SSW 33 gust 44 km/h


“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
Arthur Schopenhauer
1788 – 1860


  1. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Maggie, if the area around the chimney is where the mice have been coming in the spray foam may not keep them out long. I’m thinking they could chew through it in short order. If you need to reseal it later imbed some tightly woven wire mesh into the foam, to discourage them from chewing.

  2. Excellent idea Teri! if we find they have chewed it, then we will know that is an entry point, and take further measures. We will be monitoring the area. I have read that they don’t chew the foam insulation because they don’t like it, but they are mice, and who can predict what a mouse will eat!

  3. NORA

    I am curious as to how the mouse situation is coming along. Any new visitors?

    Nice that you had a visit with Terra and Lares. Unusual names, I like them. Attilia is also a very unusual name. Do they have special meanings?

    Cell phones. Little wonders little devils. We go with Virgin and if I forget to top up we lose all our minutes/money. I have to write down when I top up and then again on a calendar just before the fee is due. I have not used this phone in a year and there is over $100 on it. We’re keeping it for when I get back on the road because I may need it. We have a decent plan. Though it’s .20 a minute I can buy three months worth of credit for $20 and not hear from them for that amount of time. Being that the phone is just basically for emergencies and touch downs I will not exceed those minutes.

    I really love the curtains. They look so nice. Very polished. Now you have a room with a view too. Perfect.

    I hope you save money on your heating fuel bill. We are on a senior program for this area and our heating bill remains at $66 a month! Fantastic.

  4. Nora, the mouse came back last night, and for a second time, scraped the peanut butter out of the trap with its claws, and escaped. Tonight I use cheese!

    The names I use in my journal are not people’s real names, the people are real, the names are not. The names I chose were selected based on each person’s personality, drawing mostly from mythologies.

    I did lose all the accumulated minutes, which is a shame, but these things happen. We go with the $100 annual plan, and have not yet had to renew early. The $100 plan is annual, so I shouldn’t forget, which I just did! The cell phone is only for emergencies, we don’t give the number out except to our kids, my siblings, and my Mom. It is great to have though, as we use it in all kinds of ways other than as a phone. It is an alarm clock. Attila calls, lets it ring when he is settled in the evening and ready to chat, to alert me so that I can call him with either Skype or FaceTime. It works very nicely as a clock as well, so that if we want to know the time, we can consult the cell phone; neither of us wears a watch.

    Thank you for your kind words about the curtains, Nora, they really are working out very well.

    Wow, $66 a month for heat is amazing! There are seniors near our country house who are paying upwards of $400 a month to heat their homes during the winter, which of course, is six months long up there. We get by with smaller heating bills, because Attila is doing all the hard slog with the wood heating. We just cannot afford to use the electric heat.

  5. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Your curtains are lovely, Maggie! They look like just the right compromise for both a view and privacy.

    I had a cell phone for a while but once I started working from home it wasn’t worth it anymore. DH has a cell paid for by his work and that takes care of our needs, as if we’re travelling we’re together.

  6. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    DH has to make and answer calls from all over when he works oncall or does an 8 hour shift of overtime on the weekends, so the company supplies him with a cell phone to make that possible. They’re accepting of the short personal call here or there, though he’d hear about it if he put in any excessive time with personal phone calls. But it is nice to have the option in an emergency, without the expense.

  7. NORA

    Oh, those mice are daring.

    I like the names you chose. They are interesting. Mythology….even more interesting.

    Lost your minutes! Oh, Maggie that is to bad. We use our cell phone as a clock when we are out if I forget to put batteries in the little portable I put in the car. The car came with so many things but no clock! We do not wear watches either. I only wore one when I worked. Hubby never wore one. He has a built in clock in his brain. I could never ever depend on my brain to wake me up etc.

    I’m still admiring those curtains.

    $400 a month on heat, wow. I/we have never paid anything even close to that. That is huge.

  8. I had fun Nora, choosing names to use online. The sons-in-laws were the hardest, and my choices have passed the test of time, as their personalities are reflected in those of the mythological figures that inspired their names.

    I did lose my minutes! Lesson learned! I have the new renewal date written down on two calendars, and recorded on the computer with a reminder scheduled. I hope that works! This past year I have had a few gaping forgets, which means I am much more relaxed than I used to be! Two out of hundreds and hundreds of details that I have to juggle, well, that isn’t bad I reckon.

    Thanks for compliments on the curtains Nora, I get a little thrill every time I look at them. Eventually I will take them for granted, but not yet.

    I know, $400 is outrageous, that is why we even had ads that explained that some people have to chose between heat and food, it isn’t an exaggeration. When we lived in the little city, before moving to the country house, my charitable donations were always towards heat for families that were struggling. The power authority allowed donations to go dollar for dollar against a needy person’s heating bill. That was discontinued, a shame because it was one of the few charities that didn’t provide highly paid employment to board members and/or their families – none of the money was siphoned off to support middle class lifestyles, every penny went to the people who needed it.

  9. I remember back in the 1980s in Illinois, Gramma would have a month or two of 500$ heating bills. Here, in the desert, for a large house, cooling bills can run that high. Small and well insulated houses are kinder to the bank account. It’s too bad they don’t have that charity anymore. Your curtains are cute!

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