Window Treatments

It looks lovely outside. Through these beautiful windows the sunny outside world seems beckoning. When I ventured out into the yard a few minutes ago though, it was chilly, very chilly. It is more like a lovely winter’s day, than a spring day.

The new windows are amazing! I love them, literally. It is surprising how much one can appreciate, even love, an inanimate object. I would love to open these new windows! That will have to wait for spring-like weather to arrive; it isn’t anywhere to be seen in the local two week weather forecast.

I purchased three inexpensive tension curtain rods, two for the living room windows, and one or the front bedroom window.

The front bedroom has been a storage room since 2010. Its time has come. The window treatment was one cafe curtain, dark green check, and one shower curtain, mauve flowered. This arrangement has provided privacy, as well as a jarring visual effect. This morning I used the tension rod to hang the shower curtain over the window once again. The cafe curtain is going into retirement. I am still thinking through this window treatment.

The basement window treatment is currently newspaper taped to the frame with painters tape. It does the job.

The kitchen window works well with the curtains I made three years ago. Rehung, job done.

Over the back bedroom window a 40 year old set of custom made blackout drapes have hung at the window. Their quality was outstanding, when these were made for my family room, during my first, fairly affluent, stab at marriage. The drapes are like new, but for a small water stain on the back lining, which is not visible from the interior. These drapes have been put back on the job, and just might hang there for the long term. So what if they look like the 70s! They are the 70s.

The living room windows are the big challenge. Using the tension rods, the previous cafe curtains were easily hung. But they did not suit me. Next I tried a pair of sheers that I had found at the dump, crisp, white, beautiful, like-new sheers, that for some unknown reason were discarded. They did not provide enough privacy, and down they came. Next I rummaged through totes in the front bedroom, until I located the floor length sheers that had hung in the master bedroom at the country house. I like these the best so far. I can see out, the light comes in, and during the day you can’t see in. Also, I think they dampen the noise of the construction at the end of the street, which is in full swing now. The issue will be, what to do at night, when they will put the living room on display, if there are any lights on in the house. Thinking cap on.

Windows new living room The new living room windows. Someday, when I look back at this photograph, these might look like just another set of double hung windows. But today, they look like magical portals.
Note: I blotted out the street view on the bottom panes, digitally with the colour light blue.

At long last, the house is ready for a little bit of interior investment, in thought, time, and perhaps a little bit of cash, perhaps. I am taking it slowly though, no cash investment until I see what works and what does not. There is no hurry.

A sudden silence has descended in the neighbourhood. The construction workers are taking their lunch break!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 11:00 AM EDT Friday 23 March 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.0 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 1.2°C
Dew point: -9.3°C
Humidity: 46%
Wind: NNW 9 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“What is life but a series of inspired follies? The difficulty is to find them to do. Never lose a chance: it doesn’t come every day.”
George Bernard Shaw
1856 – 1950

I Can See Clearly Now

Tuesday and Wednesday were completely consumed by the window installations. By Tuesday at quitting time, the crew had all of the new windows in place, and sealed for the night. In just two days there are ALL new windows, completely and beautifully installed, here at Mist Cottage!

This job would have taken Attila years to do by himself.

The crew was great, the three young fellows were consistently pleasant, and respectful of my home, and my personal space. It wasn’t easy being respectful of my personal space, because the house is so small that no matter what window they were working on, they could see almost every inch of the interior of the house, but they managed it.

The crew wasn’t just pleasant, they were really good at what they were doing. The installation was done very professionally, the old windows removed from the house, and the property, the window openings completely stripped, new framing installed, then the new windows, carefully insulated, carefully and beautifully trimmed, both the interior and the exterior. The only issue was that one of the living room windows has a cracked pane of glass, it arrived that way from the factory. Rather than delay the job a replacement pane has been ordered, and should arrive in two to three weeks, at which time they will come back and replace the glass. Other than that, not a single glitch.

The weather was cold on Tuesday, the day there were holes in the house all day long. I turned the heat off for the day. It was fortunate that all of the windows were in place and sealed by Tuesday night, which meant I could turn the heat on, and leave it on. Today I was quite comfortable, although I did keep the heat at 17C for the day, because the fellows were coming in and out of the house with great frequency.

The old window treatments don’t work well with the new windows, so a lot of thought will need to go into privacy issues, while maintaining the view.

I have killed only one ladybug today, and that ladybug may have come in with the crew, as they moved in and out of the house all day long. On the other hand, the bugs in the terrarium (the space between the single pane glass of the old living room windows, and the ill fitting storm windows) were an endless source of amusement. They crawled all over the glass, creating an ever changing “bug mobile”, that was in constant motion, as I gazed out the windows. No more! I’ll adjust.

I feel exhausted! Sharing the house with three relatively unknown males, no matter how nice they were, for two days, was not relaxing. My routines were disrupted. Also, the house is in a state of disruption, as belongings kept having to be moved around to create enough space to work on the windows. Tiny houses are work. It will take weeks to put things right again. It will be a labour of love though, as the house is one step closer to its final state. It is no longer necessary to figure future window renovations into the way things need to be organized.

Attila will now turn his attention to the garage roof project. It could not be started before the window installations were complete, and now that they are he can set his own schedule.

For almost 25 years I thought in terms of “we”, in my thinking, when I spoke, and when I wrote. I am making a concerted effort to think in terms of “me”, or in general terms. The “we” is a difficult habit to break. It is no longer agonizingly painful when I have to rephrase a sentence with a “we” in it, and eventually this will come naturally. Old dog, new trick.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 8:00 PM EDT Wednesday 21 March 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 0.1°C
Dew point: -9.7°C
Humidity: 48%
Wind: N 11 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.”
Harry S. Truman
1884 – 1972

Window Treatments

Wood heat brings the humidity in the house so low that I begin to experience nose bleeds. This is a chronic winter problem, in this house heated exclusively with wood. I have a pan of water sitting by the stovepipe, which I fill with a few cups of water every morning. I run a humidifier for several hours every morning to increase the humidity. The Christmas Tree must be watered every day, sometimes twice a day, to prevent it from drying out.

It has been cold, -25C last night. Even though Attila worked hard to get the interior temperature up to almost 23C last night, by morning it was down to 17C, and nippy near the exterior walls. It is hard work keeping the house warm when it gets this cold, particularly because there is a light wind blowing. On top of that the snow removal is getting ahead of Attila, who has been “slowing down” a bit, after working all day in the frigid outdoors. He goes to bed early and sleeps deeply.

We had a week of snow and storm, then one day of sunshine, now it is storming again. Snow is forecast for all of next week. Uncle!

Our one day of sunshine! I rotated my chair so that I was facing the window and the view. It clouded over next morning and the chair is back in its usual position, facing the masonry heater.

I am contemplating small changes in my environment. Living in the bush, curtains for privacy are redundant. The north facing windows in the living area have never had window treatments. During the day those windows frame the beautiful natural environment. At night the windows are black, fathomless holes in the walls, radiating an icy chill during the winter.

There are no retail outlets near here to buy reasonably priced hardware, or much of anything else for that matter. So, looking at what I already have in the cupboard, two previously unused Christmas tea towels offered a solution. They are white, with red Christmas Trees printed on them. Without the hardware to hang them as curtains, I resorted to tape. They are taped to the bottom half of the windows. We can still see the landscape through the uncovered glass above them. Not your Better Homes and Gardens solution, but one improvises, and makes do with what one has. I found them jarring at first, but they have grown on me, and now add a cozy feel to the kitchen. Attila likes them, which is important because the kitchen is basically his domain.

The kitchen “Christmas Curtains”.

Window treatments are my decorating stumbling block. I just do not like most of what is sold in the stores, mostly due to functionality considerations. For instance, why are there not blinds that show black on one side and white on the other, so that in the summer the white side can be displayed to the hot sun to reflect heat, and the in the winter the black side can be displayed to the sun to collect heat. That isn’t rocket science, so why are there no products of this nature available? I guess because I am a marketplace of one; most consumers seem to be focused on visual considerations.

The last time we purchased supplies, with the exception of fresh milk, was on December 2nd, when we were visiting the little house in the city, twelve days ago. I hope to get out before Christmas, as I haven’t bought Attila’s Christmas present yet! More storms on the way though!

A friend on Facebook suggested an activity, to “list of 10 books that have affected you”. I read these books between the age of six and 16, a ten year stretch of avid reading. Here goes:

  • Pilgrims Progress, John Bunyan, my very first borrowed library book, Grade 3, which affirmed for me that indeed, adults are insane. Nothing I have since observed has offered proof otherwise.
  • Poems, Robert Service, read aloud by Mother as bedtime stories.
  • Poems, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, recited by Mother as bedtime stories.
  • Dick and Jane, William S. Gray and Zerna Sharp, comprised my first mandatory reading list.
  • What Katy Did, Sarah Chauncey Woolsey
  • Nurses Who Led The Way, Adele de Leeuw, a gift from our school teacher aunt.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
  • Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
  • A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, R.R. Tolkien

Feel free to add your list to the comments!

Worldly Distractions


6:00 AM EST Saturday 14 December 2013
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 103.4 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -23.1°C
Dewpoint: -26.1°C
Humidity: 77%
Wind: E 8 km/h
Wind Chill: -30


“…I have you fast in my fortress
And will not let you depart,
But put you down in the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away! ”
The Children’s Hour
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow