With all of the cold weather this spring I am a little late getting my spring chores done. Yesterday I tackled the upstairs windows and curtains. While my windows are much better than the old ones which we replaced years ago, there are still drawbacks.
The shutters in the bathroom window restrict the window opening. I can get the bottom pane done, but the top one is a problem. I cannot pull it down to reach the outside top pane and I certainly cannot climb a ladder to reach it from the outside. I settled for washing it as I was able and ignoring the rest.
Then there were the bedroom windows. They work just fine and I was able to do both the inside and the outside without a hitch. I removed all of the curtains and headed to the washing machine with them. Most of them were able to be washed on the delicate cycle since they were either lacy or cut-work. I washed and dried all but the really sheer ones. Those I let dry over a plastic hanger.
I purchase new curtains for all of the windows around the front part of the house. First, I was just going to replace those in my bedroom, but I realized that the ones in the spare room had been there since before my daughter was married and that is coming up on twenty years.
All went well in my bedroom, but the others all needed other rods and hooks. My single hooks not only had to be replaced, but some of the ones I had did not fit the rods that were stored in the closet.
I think manufacturers change things on purpose so that you have to make a major investment whenever you choose to change your curtains. I had picked up some new rods because I realized that I would need them. I just did not realize that the rods I had from before would not fit the new holders.
Of course, I made another trip to the store before I could get all of them hung.
I absolutely hate putting curtains on the rods. The lacy things do not go on easily. I have a little attachment that came from my grandmother that slips over the end of the rod to make it smooth. It works real well, but I could not put my hands on it quickly. I tried putting up the curtains without it, but gave up when my curtain kept getting caught. Finally I improvised with a piece of tape. Either masking tape or the see through type will work. I was in business.
I must admit that washing my curtains is nothing like doing it in the old days. Grandma washed her curtains in an old wringer washer. You could not run the sheer ones through the wringer so you handled them soaking wet. She had something called curtain stretchers that had sharp tacks along the sides to hold the curtains. You could put several pairs of curtains on it to dry at once as long as they were the same size. I was enlisted to help put the curtains on the stretchers. It goes without saying that I pricked my fingers a number of times before the job was done. Taking them off was easy. You just had to gently pull them free panel by panel.
In those days there were no such things as wash-and-dry curtains. The lacy ones were done as I just described and the others were run through the mangle. A mangle is an iron that sits on a table. It is big enough to run your curtains, sheets, and pillowcases through it. The round wheel had a heating element. You sprinkled the panels, then, let them run through. I actually liked to run the mangle. It was sort of fun to see the things run around that wheel on their own.
There are still the curtains on the ground floor to do. When I start washing windows and curtains I realize just how many windows I have. I still have eight sets of curtains to launder and put back up. On the bottom floor I usually go outside on the porch to wash the windows I can reach from there. It is easier than dropping the windows and holding on to the two sets of them while I wash. It does not have to be a nice day to do those so I will probably wait until next week to tackle the downstairs.
Along with the windows there is sweeping to be done. My animals do not like the sweeper - that is except for the little one. He tries to attack it while I am trying to move it back and forth to get the carpet clean. He is coming along with his training but I am not ready to fully trust him yet. He has to be within view so that he does not chew on anything that he is not supposed to.
I am not sure what he is going to do when school lets out because he waits for that bus with the grandchildren to arrive each day. He is happy as a lark as he scampers down the driveway to meet the kids. He will not go all of the way because he knows that he hears a funny sound that tells him not to go there. He has adapted quite well to the Invisible Fence.
He loves to be outside. He runs "like the wind" then crashes on the porch. He still falls asleep in my lap many nights, but he is not opposed to falling asleep in his little house.
The curtains still await attention. Hopefully my daughter and son-in-law will help me install the new curtain brackets this evening after supper so I can hang my new curtains. I alerted Ed to bring some tools.
Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, PA. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org