When Jon and I want to let someone local know where we live, we just say its the the house Florence lived in. Everyone knew Florence and has a story about her.
But we don’t hear a lot about her husband Harold.
However there are still signs of Harold around the farm. He built the kitchen cabinets, reusing some very old pieces of wood, and grain painted all the doors and moldings in the house. I still find the plastic mouth pieces from his cigars when I dig in my gardens and his initials HW are painted in big white letters on the inside of the basement door.
I get the feeling that the basement was Harolds domain. There’s still a work bench with a vice and metal shoe form. There are draws of nails and screws and things I don’t know how to use. And there are shelves, mostly empty now.
It was a set of long shallow shelves that I thought of when I decided to put a couple of shelves into our new upstairs bathroom.
Our bathroom kind of looks and behaves a bit like an indoor-outhouse. There’s a composting toilet in that little closet with the fancy door and no running water, which kept the constructions costs down.
(I found the door in the hay loft and we believe, because of the decorative light leaking holes, it may have once belonged to an outhouse. Although it reminds me of the door to a confessional too.)
Jon has been writing about the bathroom for some time. You can follow the evolution, as well as how it works, on his blog.
I suggested the Shiplap so we didn’t have to bother with sheetrock and thick walls. I’ve seen plenty of small rooms in old houses made of beadboard. We just modified it to Shiplap because it’s easier and less expensive to work with.
Dan, who made the room and installed the toilet, did a beautiful job of fixing the door (the wood was rotted on the bottom and he added more to make it tall enough for Jon to walk through without hitting his head) sanding it, staining it and keeping the original feeling.
I’ll paint the outside walls the same color as the walls of the bedroom and inside I’ll paint the wooden walls off white.
But today I was thinking of the shelves.
It’s a small space and I don’t want to clutter it up, so I decided to put a couple of shelves in the space between the wall studs. I use a hand saw so I try to do as little sawing of wood as possible. When I thought of the wood we had laying around the farm, my mind went to Harolds shelves in the basement.
The little shelves were simply laid on top of two small pieces of wood, so all I had to do was clean the wood and cut it down to 18″. Then I pried the little pieces of wood off their studs and using the same nails that Harold did, nailed them into place in the bathroom.
I did have to trim about an inch off each one, but Harolds vice made that easy.
Besides painting there a a few more things to do to get the bathroom ready, including getting a toilet paper holder, spray bottle with Vinegar and water for cleaning and hand sanitizer.
It’s going to be really nice not to have to go downstairs to go to the bathroom when I wake up at night. And it will be equally good for those emergencies when running down the stairs to get to the bathroom becomes potentially dangerous.