The days are getting shorter and shorter. This is presenting me with a new challenge!
Our bathroom is a tiny room, 5 foot by 6 foot. It has a little window, which is new and was installed during our bathroom renovation, replacing the two storm windows that served to cover the hole in the wall. The window is above the tub. The window is placed so that as I shower, I can look out the window. The window looks out onto the front yard, and across the street to the neighbouring houses. If I can see them, they can see me.
In the summer this is not an issue. A tree in the front yard is in full leaf, basically blocking the view to and from the neighbours windows, and the street. It is light early, and I have plenty of light from the window.
In the winter, the leaves have fallen, leaving the tree branches bare, and view clear. It is dark early in the morning, so that I need to turn on the light in order to shower. Oh dear, that means the neighbours can see me. I have been handling this by waiting until it is light out to have my shower. This is not a good solution for me, as I tend to get busy with my projects and find myself procrastinating on taking my shower. Sometimes I procrastinate all day long, and then it is evening again, and dark, so I have to wait until the next day to shower.
I like to shower when I first get up in the morning. Last week I put sticky tack on a piece of newspaper and attached it to the window frame, it worked well. It was ugly. I took it down for my sister’s visit. Then I didn’t want to put it up again because it was so ugly. I have been on the lookout for an alternative solution.
This morning Attila and I went to the store for milk and vegetables, and stopped in at the hardware store to begin purchasing materials to renovate the backyard shed, which is currently not functional. While there I saw a placemat that was pretty, it was silver, patterned with snowflakes, and let the light through. I bought it.
I first tried to stick it over the screen in the window using that tacky blue stuff, that is a bit like PlayDoh. That would not hold it, it kept falling off the wall. Then I tried packing tape, and that worked. The glue will be a challenge to get off the window frame come spring, but we are confident we can find a way to do the job when the time comes.
The window treatment is a work in progress. It now has the placemat over the glass, and over all is sheet of bubble wrap, which protects the window and frame from getting wet during a shower.
Eventually I will find a way to replace the bubble wrap with something a little more appealing, but for now it is doing double duty, and doing it well. The bubble wrap insulates the window, and it keeps the window dry during showers.
Attila has just finished a three day “weekbreak”, which is what I am going to call his “weekends” that fall during the week. He used this time off work on our hall cupboard. It has been used as a tool cupboard for the last five years. It is where the mice came in last fall, and where I set the traps to catch them. It was rough, just studs with supports nailed into them, and boards laid across the supports. It took me quite a while to clean that closet last winter!
Attila started by moving the tools out of the closet. He secured the cupboard so that no rodents could gain entry again. Then the drywall was installed, supports were installed, shelves were lined with mahogany, and the whole interior was primed with white paint. We decided to finish the painting next spring when we can open the windows for ventilation.
As Attila slept today, I emptied four totes full of bathroom and kitchen linens into the cupboard. By the time Attila awoke, it was all organized, and the empty totes were ready to be taken down to the basement.
We gained about three square feet of clear floor space in the front bedroom. As Attila says, those three square feet are significant, in a 100 square foot room. We also gained air space, the boxes and totes are now stacked only three deep, instead of to the ceiling.
Progress, slow and steady, is being made.
“The blog was independently invented by Ian Ring, in 1997. His online journaling platform was called an “e-journal”, and was written using ASP, with an ODBC Access db layer on the back end. Ring’s project was later abandoned, but was rewritten in PHP in 2006 but didn’t become popular amid the overwhelming flood of other CMS systems becoming available, including WordPress. Ring still maintains that he “invented the blog”, which is technically true even though there were other projects that could make the same claim with greater authority.”
I found this very interesting, as I debuted my first journal entry on October 22, 1999. Encouraged by John Bailey, I have continued to write into the ether ever since then. John, who began his online journal before I did, is a former computer programmer in England, who stopped his frequent entries a few years ago. He coded his own pages, as did I, eventually converting to blogging software, then tried out twitter, before going off the air.
I switched to WordPress, from my hand coded web site format, in 2010, reluctantly, as I preferred to have my journal available to me in its entirety in text format. Now it resides in an sql file on a server, with backups on CDs and on my hard drive. I can’t just read the entries though, I have to use specialized software to access the contents of the database where the entries are stored. I hate that!
Date: 3:00 PM EST Friday 20 November 2015
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Visibility: 24 km
Wind: W 23 gust 43 km/h
“I am a galley slave to pen and ink.”
Honore de Balzac
1799 – 1850
I share the sentiment, but bow to changes in the craft.
I love to hear about the innovative and clever ways you two solve your space and living problems! It always seems to be done in the spirit of “Oh, we can do that!” Good for you!
Thanks Lucky Few! We have fun doing these things, particularly when we can take our time doing them. Attila and I like similar things when we were kids, like the story “Stone Soup”, and Mole and Rat from Wind in the Willows. We are homebodies, the both of us. We also like our adventures in the big wide world, as long as we know we can come home again.
Our small bathroom window looks out to the high school. As you can imagine, at certain times of day there could be lots of viewers out there. The window already had textured glass but shapes and shadows could still be seen. Eventually we hit on the idea of putting an shade above the window. It now works great as the shower curtain prevents shadows from being cast. That will work until we put in a new, smaller transom-like window next year.
We also had a similar problem in the kitchen. We wanted light but didn’t want the students looking in. We bought some textured plastic film and put it on, but it wouldn’t stay up using soapy water. Eventually we bought an adhesive spray for plastics and adhered the films to the window. They’re not as transparent as they use to be – we’ve lost our pretty rainbows on the floor – but the film stays up, now.
That window will also be replaced next year. Not sure what we’ll do about it when we have to once more address the problem. Maybe some textured glass? Not sure.
Everything seems to be coming along well. I like the way the bathroom window looks! It’s different.
It’s nice having a little linen closet too. We don’t have one. I have to cram everything like that into my bedroom closet which was very poorly built. But it’s a closet!
We do have a little pantry off the kitchen which is a help. But I could never have enough closets and shelves!
Sounds like a creative solution to the window, looks pretty enough. I’m still a hand coder, but oddly now, I can only read off line via notepad. Perhaps it’s a “security feature” that the browsers no longer allow editing of text, only viewing. I can’t see the pages until I upload them.
The builders of homes obviously have not taken these factors into account! I like the idea of a transom window, particularly if it could be opened and closed. I want double hung windows so that they can be opened bottom and top, cooler air in at the bottom, hotter air out at the top, but exterior transom windows could do the same job. The transoms above doors that I have looked at so far are all sealed, they don’t open, so other than a source of light, they aren’t really functional.
Like you we have put a vinyl film over the bottom pane of our double hung windows in the kitchen dining area. The film was cheap, I bought it locally, but can’t remember where… Home Hardware, Walmart, Home Depot… one of those places. It had an adhesive on it, just peel and stick. I love it! Total privacy, and lots of lovely light.
I had that problem with the bathroom window on the first floor level. I like having light coming in, but I wanted privacy, so I solved it by hanging a thin rod about 3/4ths the way up the molding and hanging a nice white cotton ball-fringe café curtain from it down to the sill. I can open the window freely, and the entire top part of the window lets the light in nicely. No one can see into the room really… as the bottom 3/4ths is covered, but in the nice weather, with open windows, the airs blows thru nicely.
Nora, I don’t thin anyone would realize the opaque covering is a placemat. The bubble wrap however, well it gets noticed every time someone sees the bathroom for the first time… in a nice way of course. Bubble wrap really doesn’t pass for anything other than itself 🙂
Your are right, one cannot have too much storage space! We have a rod for clothes in the front bedroom, it is very rough and ready, and no closet in the back bedroom. There is no closet in the living room. The only other room is the kitchen, with its cupboards. We plan to slowly replace most of the funiture we now have with small footprint functional furniture.
Joan, when I was hand coding I created a template and then used Dreamweaver to do the entries using the template I had coded. Dreamweaver let me view the results on my computer without using a browser. My copy of Dreamweaver is very old, purchased when I was teaching computer classes at a college, and got a staff discount.
I don’t use windows computers, but I wonder if this software, called Brackets, would be of any use to you, it offers a preview function in the software, there is a free version I think:
Bex, that is another important aspect of a window in the bathroom, opening it in the fine weather. Our window opens, thank goodness, but it is a cranked window, so that the whole thing moves out. That means that a plastic film on the glass doesn’t provide privacy unless the window is closed. The curtain idea has some potential for our particular situation, but it would need to be waterproof, as the window is right above the tub, and in the shower. Eventually I may buy something that works as a curtain, and can be pulled aside when not needed for showers, but I will wait until Attila has completely finished the bathroom. He still needs to sand some mudded areas of drywall, install some trim, and build shelf units.
I miss John Bailey’s blog so much. Read it every day for years. Feels like a friend went away and you never got to say goodbye.
Your entries are magical………I always know they will bring me joy. You have a way with words that tell such a story. Not knowing anything about your earlier life it is wonderful when little clues and snippets peek through. Thank you for sharing your world.
I too miss John Bailey Rosemary. He left a big hole in my universe when he bowed out of public life completely. I do hope that he and Graham are well and happy!
Thank you for your encouraging words Rosemary. Ah, the past, such a complicated landscape! It shimmers for me, changing as distance and perspective alter over time.
Speaking of John, whose blog I dearly miss … I sure would like to know how those two are doing … it’s only recently that I discovered he and Graham were living in the very area where my English ancestors came from (he was in Taunton and my people were from Frome, both in Somerset county). Had I only known at the time, it would have added even more to my appreciation of his descriptions of the place.
John’s entries are still online as far as I can tell Kate.
It is an interesting experience, to read about someone’s life for years, feel joy with them, and sorrow, and then to find they are gone without a trace, for unknown reasons.
I have requested of Attila, that if I suddenly find my time upon me, that he would find a way to acknowledge it in my online journal.
I feel that Reenie was a beacon of enlightenment, particularly when it came to her imminent departure, in respecting how important she had become to so many people. She treated us all with such deep respect.
I do feel that it is important, within the human community, to allow people of good will a sense of closure when a loss occurs, for whatever reason. No news about conceivable bad news is worse than bad news.
With the transom window, we’d move it up to the top of where the current window is. That way no one could see inside but we’d still have the light. I think there are some similar windows that do crank open. I’ll have to check on that as otherwise we wouldn’t have any exhaust for the moisture in the bathroom, as the bathroom has no fan.
With the kitchen window, we started out with cafe curtains on the bottom and a valance at the top but that still left a large area where people could look in. As the high school is also 4 stories tall that means people could look in from the rooms above, too.
Glad you were able to convert that little cupboard into a storage area. I’m sure you’re finding space at a premium, so any storage would be wonderful.
That would be a challenge, having a 4 storey building nearby! If the building is used at night, that would be even worse, as with the interior lights on it is even easier to see in the windows. If curtains were covering the windows at night, that wouldn’t be a problem though.
There is a window film that is meant for privacy, allowing one to see out the window, but not allowing anyone to see in the window, like this product: https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.1000686190.html
I like this one-way idea for windows at the front of our house, since we close the curtains at night, daytime privacy is our biggest concern, except of course, the window in the bathroom, it has its own set of challenges.
Thanks for that, Maggie. I don’t think that would work so well for the kitchen, where at this time of year the lights can be on at 5PM but it might be very useful for our front windows, which also have high volume student traffic.
We can’t stick items permanently to our new apartment windows so we angle the blinds, and when we can afford curtains, they will be over half way up the window-cottage style. But first we have to finish unpacking and finding places for everything!
Glad to hear you are in your new place Lee Ann. Congratulations!
I like the style of curtains you describe, cottage style, we chose those for our front living area windows and they are wonderful. Luckily the window is high enough above ground level that no one can see in, and we look out at the treetops.
I wish you success in finding a place for everything, it is a lot of work.