I’m Not A Fish, But Know How They Must Feel In Their Bowls

Some of you know this story already, but I’ll be brief, keep it snappy, and tell it here so that the title of this post makes sense to you, my gentle readers.

After 4 1/2 months of waiting we finally got new replacement windows on the front of the house.

It was a tedious, anxiety-producing process that started with a 3 1/2 month wait, involved delivery of mis-measured windows, a thwarted installation, a makeshift faux installation of the wrong windows to fill the holes in the house created by the thwarted installation, waiting… waiting… waiting again…, and then correctly-sized windows properly installed.

A Christmas Pella miracle, she says with a hint of sarcasm.

The result of this home improvement project is: 1) we no longer have leaky broken windows; Β 2) we are noticing how much quieter it is in the house with new windows; Β and 3) we have no blinds, my preferred window treatment, to put on the new correctly-sized properly installed windows on the front of the house.

Specifically blinds for the windows in the home office where I sit at the desk while using a desktop computer to write this blog.

Forsooth.

But here’s where it gets fishy. Now that it’s darker outside in the early morning, and with no blinds on the windows, I feel like a guppy in a fishbowl sitting in this room. Passersby, whether they be kids on school buses or runners or adults walking their dogs, can see me swimming around sitting at the computer, under the overhead light, doing my early morning bloggy thing, often in my pajamas.

We taped a plastic super strength high density painter’s drop cloth over the windows in an attempt to make this room less noticeable from the street, but it just blurs me, doesn’t hide me.

Ptooey, she says with a hint of defeat.

I don’t like the idea of being on display here each morning but until we get blinds onΒ the new correctly-sized properly installed windows, that took longer to manufacture and install than building this house did, I’ve no choice but to live my life like a fish in a fishbowl for everyone who goes by to see.

And ain’t that grand?

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Pleasantly crazy. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Wordy.

165 thoughts on “I’m Not A Fish, But Know How They Must Feel In Their Bowls”

    1. Maggie, YES! You nailed it with your comment about feeling vulnerable. It’s unnerving to sit here, but will have to be this way until new blinds find their way here, hopefully faster than the Pella windows did. 🀨

      Liked by 3 people

    1. laura, I want blinds here because I like how they filter the sunlight into this room. We had drapes at one point, but they didn’t hide me enough, so it’ll be blinds again. But first, after Pella and their shenanigans almost did me in, I have to get the energy to deal with another company. πŸ™„

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  1. I’ve been hearing about this vulnerability thing that Brene Brown speaks of. Not an expert myself but being a 98% extrovert, I’d find it distracting in the least. Maybe it’d be fun, especially this time of year, to find a fabulous mask to wear while you write! πŸ˜ƒ

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  2. We don’t have to worry about peepers here, but sun and cold are issues. We used to have mini-blinds that I detested. Now we have honeycomb shades. So much better! When they’re open, it’s like no window coverings. Good luck with your new coverings! At least Pella appears to have taken responsibility for mismeasuring. Our window supplier did not.

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    1. Eilene, we have some sun issues in this room so I like wood blinds, but will give the honeycomb shades a look-see when I get mentally and emotionally prepared to deal with another company. Pella came through, but not without first causing us a lot of trouble. πŸ˜–

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  3. For years I’ve been living on the third floor, facing the water, and I haven’t had a window covered in all that time. I’m moving to a smaller apartment in a month or so, and one of the things I hate is that it’s on the ground floor, and leaving my windows wide open may or may not be possible. I love light, and being able to see out — I just don’t know what it’s going to be like to have to consider people looking in. I can’t imagine living behind closed curtains or shades like so many here do — and I’ll find my way around that horror, one way or another.

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    1. shoreacres, I understand your conundrum. In fact, it is kind of why I’m reluctant to start searching for new blinds for these new windows. For the first time in the 20 years we’ve lived here I can see outside through the entire window. It’s delightful but, of course, people are seeing into the house now– and that makes me feel vulnerable. Considering all the varied window treatment options out there, I’m sure we’ll both find things that work for us. Good luck on your move, btw.

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  4. Why is it that whenever one problem gets fixed, it is quickly replaced by a new problem?

    I too hate that fish-bowl feeling and I’d be moving quickly to install ‘something’. It’s a long dark winter πŸ˜•

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  5. Well, if they’re going to see you anyway, could you make it a real show? You could sell tickets. When I visit my son in Ohio, he has a very thin lacy thingy across his (single) bathroom window and a neighbor within waving distance. I’ve gotten used to just figuring they’ll suffer more than I will. πŸ™‚ Best wishes with the window treatment.

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    1. Janet, that’s a great story and way of [excuse the pun] looking at your son’s window treatment. I’m beginning to think that while I’m on display here a nice large hat on my head might be the best temporary solution to this problem. πŸ‘’

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  6. LOL – I feel your pain. And, come to think of it, we have been feeling slightly exposed to the neighbors who pass by or live down the street without our curtains too. Your fishbowl analogy is perfect. PS – I’m in my jammies too – my window faces the field where the animals’ trek – they haven’t gawked too much. PSS – congrats on the quietness, isn’t that GRAND!?!

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    1. Shelly, I knew you’d understand this post. If I was at the back of the house I’d not be so concerned about this fishbowl issue, but our home office is in the front of the house so it’s *hello world* for me. You’re right about the noise reduction, it’s delightful. I had no idea how much quieter it’d be.

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  7. Pretend you’re wearing an invisibility cloak a la Harry Potter . . . most people are oblivious to their surroundings and are apt to pay you no notice as you tap away on the keyboard.

    Or pretend you’re Ernest Hemingway writing in a Parisian Cafe . . . allowing the passers-by to pass on by.

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    1. nancy, I think you’re right about how self-absorbed most people are, thus they don’t even know that I’m sitting here lighted by the silvery light above. Now this idea of being Hemingway… I like the Parisian cafe part of it!

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  8. Our first floor powder room faces the street so it requires a window covering but I don’t like a blind in there. It’s a small room and they get splashed with water from the faucet. I bought a film cheaply at Home Depot that stays on the window with static electricity and obscures everything for the bottom part of the winder. There may be some vague shadowing but you can’t see anything. It worked so well, I’ve given up doing any other window treatment (other than the existing valance) in that room. It also allows light to come through during the day. I love blinds but hate cleaning them. In my office I switched to solar blinds. You can’t see through them very well and they are much easier to dust. Good luck!

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    1. Kate, I don’t know about this film product and if we can’t get new blinds soon, that may be an option. I love those solar shades and want them in the kitchen which is at the back of the house. I wonder if they’d work on the front of the house, too? Thanks for the ideas πŸ€”

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      1. We have ours in the front of the house. I like them a lot and they come in light colors (you often see the dark ones in restaurants and coffee shops). Our kitchen on has a remote which will raise and lower because I didn’t want to climb over the counter. Love it

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        1. Oh you have exactly what I want in the kitchen. I don’t want black shades, more creamy-colored ones, please. And a remote control because that’d be too cool for school– and because I deserve the best! I’m cooking, aren’t I?

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  9. Yikes. I hear you. I like to be able to see out, but the collateral damage is that others can see in. Sigh.

    Isn’t it astonishing how much noise reduction there is in snug fitting windows? What a wonderful benefit!

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    1. nance, you understand the problem. If things had gone more smoothly with Pella this would all be completed by now, but I find myself worn out and in need of doing another expensive project when I don’t feel like doing it. πŸ˜‘

      Yes, it’s amazing how much quieter it is in the house. I had no idea new windows would make a big difference like this.

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  10. You know that you can get a type of shield to put/paint on the window which means you can look out to your heart’s content but people can’t see in? Or, spray yourself with fairy dust that renders you invisible to the outside world? You’ll sort it out Ally Bean of this there is no doubt …

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    1. Susan, no I don’t know about this shield stuff, but will look into it. Thanks for the info, although I do like your fairy dust idea, too. I bet I could find some fairy dust around here somewhere! Ever onward, eh?

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  11. Fish bowl is a great description for what you’re going through. I’m a blinds person too. Hope you don’t have to wait too long before they get installed.

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    1. Jean, I realize in my mind that I’m probably being paranoid about this fishbowl situation, but darned I do like the ability to hide myself when I want to. Blinds are high on my to-do list right now!

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  12. I feel your pain. We replaced all our old windows over the summer. That part of the process actually went well, but the blinds were another story. We made the mistake of using a national company that boasts its fast turnaround. Our “3-day” blind experience turned out to be 48 days. Wishing you better luck with this phase of the fishbowl.

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    1. Donna, your story is exactly why I’m wary of starting the search for blinds. We’ve had some great, and not so great, experiences when it comes to blinds, installation of said. I know what I want, but the tricky part is finding who’ll be able to do it in a way that pleases me.

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  13. I love going for walks at night and being able to check out people’s fishbowls…er…I mean homes. However, I do not like to return the favour and have people able to look in at me. So I always have had sheers and drapes covering my ground floor windows. Now I live on the second storey of my building so it’s not that much of an issue as my neighbours are mostly big stone churches, and most people on the street never look up anyways. I still have sheers and curtains on the windows, though. It just looks cozier, on the inside.

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    1. Deb, I know what you mean about looking into lighted windows at night. It’s fun to see what’s going on BUT I don’t want to be the one who is seen. Some of our windows we have blinds and drapes, which is a look that I like but for these new windows I gotta get the blinds first and I’m reluctant to start the ball rolling having just survived the window installation with my sanity intact. Still…

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  14. The stage is set…the director signals you to begin and you take your place in the porch scene, you open up the computer on the table, and begin writing, still trying to get your inspiration for the part. It is morning, and extras move slowly by, children on the way to school, the odd jogger. Your character pauses and waves to them, but they don’t notice. The director says “cut” because he realizes that the audience probably isn’t interested in watching someone write and drink coffee. Besides, in this day and age, they are probably looking at their cell phones.

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  15. My forever standby while waiting for window treatments… a plain old sheet, or even a jazzy one. Just something to cover the view of any lurkers passing by and it can be creatively tied back or up during the day so you can see out.

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    1. Deb, that’s a good idea. I hadn’t thought of how I could use a sheet and raise it up or out of the way. The painter’s plastic drop cloth blurs but is kind of creepy. Good for Halloween, I guess. However if we don’t get blinds soon, I’ll go the sheet route.

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      1. I have my parents to thank for this trick. They kept old sheets around for painting drop cloths before you could get plastic ones. Sometimes the paint speckled ones added an artsy touch πŸ˜‰

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  16. I can relate! We built a house with huge windows everywhere to take advantage of the views and sun…then spent a fortune covering them all up. And while the light is nice, we’ve also had to invest in solar protection as it turns into a greenhouse in summer. I still don’t feel comfortable in our upstairs bathroom when it’s dark outside. Lesson learned: you can have too many windows.

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    1. MELewis, yes, I think you’re right about how you can have too many windows. When we built this house we were living in a house that was so dark inside we had to use lamps during the day. So when given the opportunity to have natural light we may have gone overboard. Of course now we’re to the point of replacing windows and the window treatments to cover them. I get that we’re fortunate to have such a problem but I would like to not feel like a fish as soon as possible.

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  17. I vote for the ever-changing seasonal/holiday cutouts in the windows…you could become a tourist attraction?
    Uncovered windows are a bit like a house’s eyeballs…only they seem to look inward rather than outward like human eyes….a bit spooky at night this time of year…May your blinds arrive ASAP.

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    1. philmouse, you’re the second person to suggest using seasonal cutout decor to solve this problem. While I love the new windows, once we get blinds on the windows I may love them more. Sitting here is creepy, not making me feel safe…

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  18. Your description of feeling like a fish in a fishbowl is perfect! When I take a walk in the evening there are a few people on our street that have made the front bedroom their office. He-Man and I did that too. We all have blinds, but if they’re not shut when the sun goes down you can see right into the rooms from the street! Even with blinds open! I’ve looked at two neighbors typing away in the evening and wondered, “why haven’t they closed their blinds yet?” Then I’ve looked away cause it’s creepy looking! As soon as I realized I could see them I knew they could see He-Man so, make sure his blinds are closed in the evenings.

    Our sliding glass door facing the valley has the most hideous blinds and I want to replace those, but they need to go up so I can see through the whole door and not miss any of the view. I am missing half of it now with the blinds that came with the house.
    I’m going to look into the solar blinds someone above mentioned.

    I love the idea of you sitting at your desk in the mornings with a mask on, or holiday and seasonal decorations on the film you have on it now as a fun fix until you’re up to dealing with a window treatment company. Bonne chance!

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    1. Deborah, you make an excellent point that once you realize you can see into a neighbor’s house at night because they didn’t close their blinds proprerly, you become hyper aware of shutting your blinds properly. 😳

      We have a sliding glass door in the kitchen that’s on its second window treatment in 20 years. The first look was honeycomb shades that wore out from sun damage and now we have the most pathetic roller shades ever made, crooked and fraying. I want some solar blinds in there for the same reason you do.

      Yes, until I get it together and talk with a blind company I’m going to have to accept my status as a guppy in a fishbowl, but maybe one with a snazzy hat!

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  19. I’ve lived on the ground floor for most of my life, so this decision has always been a priority for me whenever I move. I was unusually decisive on moving into my previous place and loved the made to measure blinds I ordered for the bedrooms. No problems at the rear, as it wasn’t overlooked. Here, it’s different – all our windows look out onto the car park (attractive huh?). The living room has those vertical office-type blinds and the bedrooms have shutters. I rather like the shutters, but these ones cut out too much light. I leave them open during the day & have hung embroidered cotton drops – they provide privacy, don’t cut out the light, eliminate the view of the car park & look really rather pretty. I knew exactly what I wanted but it took a few weeks concentrated searching to find them. I’m still looking for a solution for the living room though …

    Some great ideas here. I wish you returning strength for the inevitable slog of making the right choice πŸ™‚

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    1. deb, I’ve no doubt that our new blinds will have to be made to order and that’s okay. The previous bunch lasted 20 years so I consider it money well invested. But I will have to deal with some company to get them made and my heart isn’t in it at the moment. The window saga did me in.

      I’m not a fan of vertical blinds, but we did put them in some rooms in one of our houses years ago and they worked. It was just that we had cats who would not, would not leave them alone so the darned blinds moved all the time. I don’t think I’d go that route again, but you often don’t know what’ll work in a new place until you get there, do you?

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      1. Yup, 20 years is surely an excellent investment. I know you’ll love ’em, whatever you choose once you get your energy back. Something to look forward to and an opportunity for a selection of gorgeous masks till then – I especially love those Venetian carnival ones!

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  20. I wouldn’t like that either! I hated walking around in the house before we got blinds; even though no one was probably looking at me (or cared), I felt awkward and exposed! What kind of blinds did you decide on?

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    1. Margaret, you’re right, it’s the exposed feeling that makes me want to get on with this project, but it’s the exhausted feeling [courtesy of the ridiculous situation with Pella windows] that’s slowing me down. I know what kind of blinds I want, but finding a reliable company to work with will take effort, so nothing is decided for sure yet. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

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  21. I have lived this fishbowl life. We went a good while in our last house with nary a blind in sight so I’m betting the neighbors got to know us pretty well even before the neighborhood Christmas party. πŸ˜†

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    1. Laura, gotta laugh when you start thinking about what the neighbors see when they look into your life. Of course, as many people have suggested, it’s possible the neighbor’s never look up from their smart phones, so they see nothing about us.

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      1. We live a supremely uninteresting life so I’d imagine even if they glanced up nothing caught their eye. Two bedroom windows faced a street so the most inconvenient part was changing into PJs in the closet — first world problems!

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  22. I’m a fan of those contact paper-like things that add privacy, but let the light in. Hope the blinds arrive soon. Your pajamas are quickly becoming the star of your neighborhood (just ask the police).

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    1. laura, I’m patient but this project took its toll on me. Honestly, I thought getting these windows would be smooth sailing, but it wasn’t. I’m glad the windows are here now and installed, but I’m reluctant to start on the blind project. Once burned, twice shy, says the guppy/blogger in the fishbowl/home office.

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  23. Lady Luck is on your side… It’s Halloween and you can pretty much hang anything on your windows and it’ll not bring your sheriff asking questions πŸ™‚ Hang your favorite/scariest posters cut to fit all those windows (facing out!). You may get more than your fair share of treat-or-trickers, but no more feeling like you’re in a fishbowl is mostly victory? πŸ™‚

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    1. Endless Weekend, I agree that jazzing up these windows for Halloween might be the way to go. I have a blank slate and can make them as wacko as I want. Of course, our weather forecast for tomorrow night is rain showers so I’m thinking there may be a small turnout and that makes me wonder if the decorating effort worth would be worth it? πŸ€”

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      1. I remember waiting for the blinds in our den that has desk-to-ceiling windows. I found it’s hard to put your thinking cap on when you’re on display… so, I meant the posters only as temporary window coverings of the cheap kind πŸ™‚ under the guise of Halloween, and hope that no one cares you have them up until the blinds arrive.

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        1. Yes, I think as a temporary fix you’re onto something. When it’s dark outside I’m on display but when it’s sunny outside I can’t see my computer screen without glare. I’ll get to the blind soon, or go mad I guess.

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    1. Dan, that’s a good idea. Our plastic drop cloth is ok during the day but, as Joanne said, winter is coming and along with it lots more darkness. I gotta do something or resign myself to being a guppy.

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  24. I feel your pain, Ally. I often feel like a goldfish in my apartment, since my apartment window is close to a busy sidewalk. I also have blinds. But I love the view in the morning. I face east, and see the most beautiful sunrises.

    On winter evenings I close the blinds when it gets dark outside, because passersby can easily see whatever I’m doing, when the lamps go on.

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    1. L. Marie, your situation sounds similar to mine. I like the morning light, but the feeling of being watched unnerves me. Once we get some blinds it’ll be great again, but as it is now I’m freaked a little bit by the thought of what passersby might see. Not enough to not use the room though!

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  25. I know what you mean jellybean. Don’t be doing anything too strange as the sheriff might still have morning patrol before he switches shifts and may be driving past your house. Remind me not to get new windows after you and Shelley’s ordeal – whew! I love the image you used here Ally. Very cute!

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    1. linda, I’ll admit that I’m overly conscious now of what I’m doing in the front part of the property/house after the experience with the sheriff. Yes, as to the *fun* of getting new windows… Shelley & I [Eilene too] all had our experiences this summer. Nothing went smoothly for any of us.

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      1. That’s probably prudent Ally. In the end you’ll be glad for them. I have rolling metal shutters on each window. They were installed shortly after the thermal windows were installed in 1979. Our City went into receivership about 7-8 years ago and it was a time for criminal activity and since I live alone, I kept the shutters down 24/7.
        It did not/does not bother me having them down and no one can look in as they are tightly closed. However, what I should have done was raise and lower then daily. They stuck and when I wanted to move them, I could not. To remove them is costly, so I have one blind that I have replaced ($800.00 for a small blind and $200.00 to remove the old one/install new one and that was about 8 years ago), so I can open the window in the event of fire. In those days, the control boxes were/are just a strap concealed in an inside box; today’s version are operated digitally and can even be controlled by a timer. As a security device they are wonderful – no one can open them from the outside; as a consequence, if I want to say what is happening, I have to use the two peepholes or open the door. The blind that works looks into my neighbor’s yard tells me nothing – live and learn. Our City is out of receivership and thriving, but crime still is a problem as I’ve alluded to before. Sigh.

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        1. What a situation! I don’t know a thing about metal shutters, having never lived with them. They sound very expensive and a bother to maintain, but at least you feel safe with them. I wonder how much our new blinds are going to cost? There’ll be 10 of them and you just know that me being me I’m going to like the pricey ones!

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          1. Yes, I should have known better and they were a pain through the years. My father saw them advertised at a home show, brand new on the market by a German manufacturer and he was German so “we must get them.” But they were always problematic, i.e. if we were going to have freezing rain, you either had to put them down for privacy, or leave them halfway up for light during the day, because they would freeze in place. We left them halfway down and had lacy cafe curtains in the living room, so we had an old sheet that we threw over the lacy curtains rod so people could not see in from the street. They have slits, but you can’t see much and we pulled them down and closed them completely. If it is very windy, they rattle so I started just leaving them down all the time because fixing them if they broke/collapsed was expensive. When we have a power outage, it is totally dark in the house, even when it is light outside.

            For modern window treatments, I like the blinds that are made of material and would get those instead of curtains if I got rid of the rolling shutters. There are priscillas in every room here but the living room to hide the pull cord box. I went to a blind store to order a new roller blind for the kitchen when we redid it … a blind store, so their specialty, right? I took the old one with me. Three times I returned as it did not fit – that’s why I took the old one, I did not trust myself measuring it properly. I asked for a refund – nope, no refund and it was useless and all windows were the same size, except living room and bathroom. So I took the rust-colored wool fringe off the current blind, bought a glue gun and colonial blue wool fringe and did it myself. We could have saved a ton of money. The metal blinds do not look nice from the inside, so we had to have the roller blinds raised partway up, then curtains as well. If I ever wanted to sell the house, I’m sure I’d need to get rid of them first.

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            1. Your window treatments and all you’ve been through with them sound like bother, bother, botheration. We’ve had some lousy experiences with blind stores, so I feel your irritation having been through similar experiences. At least you figured out a way to make things work, so that’s good. Still… 😠

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  26. Very interesting on how your house is quieter now, Ally. Windows do make a difference. The blinds will help even more with the sound. (Oops, I should not mention blinds, yet). Not fun to be a fish. A flashback and may help if you wanted to go through the trouble: when we lived in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory many moons ago, many of the residents would tape foil on their windows to help keep out the midnight sun during the night.

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    1. Erica/Erika, the quietness has been a pleasant side effect of having new windows that don’t leak. This part of the story I’m enjoying. I’ve never heard of using foil to keep the sun out but I can understand how that’d work. I need to suck it up and get going on getting blinds, but after our months of fussing around with Pella I’m exhausted when it comes to house projects. Still…

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  27. Ah, I totally know the fishbowl feeling. My son made the mistake of complaining to his landlord about the dead bushes outside of his apartment — thinking that the bushes would get revived or replaced. Nope. They were all chopped down and replaced with cement. He is now very much on public display. Another example of “being careful what you wish for”! πŸ˜€

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    1. Donna, what a lousy thing for a landlord to do! New bushes could only serve to improve a property, concrete not so much. I get your message though, all home improvement projects need to come with a “be careful what you wish for” warning on them. Nothing goes as planned.

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    1. Janis, I hadn’t thought of those blinds but that’s a good idea. They might be the solution I’m looking for– once I get the gumption to go shopping for blinds. Right now after the mess with Pella, I’m tired of making home improvement decisions & waiting to see how they turn out. Thanks for the idea.

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  28. Oh, dear, I’m one of those people who LOVES to look when passing by an unshuttered window at night, all the better if lights are blazing and I can see in. Not to make you self-conscious (and by now you’re thinking, β€œI’m glad she doesn’t live in my neighborhood!), but the writer in me (or busybody, same thing) wonders about the person sitting at the computer, or walking across the room talking to another (or to herself), or watching TV. (Amazing what a passerby can see if the big screen TVs these days). I never thought that the person in the window would feel vulnerable. Yikes, I’ll have to avert my eyes from now on. Hope you get your blinds soon πŸ™‚

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    1. Marie, I may be an outlier about feeling vulnerable when in a lighted room, so those people who you are seeing might not care at all that you’re seeing them. I know what you mean about those big screen TVs. Neighbors behind us have one over their fireplace and when they leave the blinds open at night I can see what they’re watching on it. So far, no porn– hallelujah!

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  29. Ugh, I feel as if this is a cautionary tale for me. We desperately need to replace all of our windows. But we’ve been told to wait because the condo association will probably “get to that” at some point for all of the owners, and the cost-savings will be worth it compared to what we’d pay as just our lonesome. One of the pitfalls of condo living, I suppose. So I’ve been weighing this lately. Your experience, Ally, is similar to at least two other friends of mine who had to go through the same thing with improperly-sized fittings.

    I hope you get those blinds soon. In the meantime stay covered up! – Marty

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    1. Marty, I’d no idea how difficult it’d be to get replacement windows for this house. Like I mentioned in my post we had this house built in less time. We went with Pella because it was less expensive than some other brands and this neighborhood is all about Pella… which gave me the mistaken impression that this project would go smoothly. If your condo association ever decides to replace all your windows, I wish you all the luck in the world because from what I can tell that’s what window replacement is all about: luck. 🀨

      Liked by 1 person

  30. I’m late reading this. Did you dress up for Halloween and being on show at the computer?

    I had to laugh, because I don’t mind that people can see into our house. It was a reaction to marrying a New Yorker. After we married, we lived on the fourth floor of an apartment house, and no one could see in. Three years later, we moved to the suburbs, and I was in for a shock. John installed blinds, filmy curtains, and drapes. He was probably most comfortable with all three systems fully shut. I longed to see outside. Those windows were unmasked whenever I went through the rooms.

    Fifty years later we moved to the mountains. I’m sure the neighbors didn’t know whether we were alive or dead for months, because John pulled down all the shades in the front — 24 hours a day!!!! Our compromise? He keeps his windows covered, but our public rooms are open for scrutiny.

    Like

    1. writerinsoul, I like this idea. Thank you. It may be what we do because even though I want new blinds I’m not up to dealing with the people who sell the blinds. I fear my yearly quota of patience was used up with Pella.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Ally,
    I don’t like that feeling either. Still our front room has windows to the street. We have a dark house and I couldn’t bear to put blinds or sheers that would block the one window that provides the most light. Of course now that we have Buddy, he is the first to know when anyone is walking down the sidewalk and he’s right there jumping up and down in the window until they move on. Now, onlookers only see my very extroverted dog and I don’t worry any more. A medium-sized extroverted dog might solve your problem. Mona

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mona, yours is the most interesting suggestion about how to solve this fishbowl problem! Silly ole me all obsessed with getting window treatments and instead all I need is a dog with a bit of barky spunk. I love it… but fear that my allergies to doggos will prevent me from following through on your wonderful suggestion. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The blinds on our back windows broke, but the way our homes are situated, we don’t really see the neighbors.
        That stinks about your installation issues too. I somehow got sooo lucky on that front. The kitchen remodel was quite a different story.

        Liked by 1 person

  32. My getting the right sized blinds and getting them installed correctly on the right windows was a lot like your window saga. I wish you the best of luck getting your blinds and no longer being a fish in a bowl. In the meantime, don’t throw stones?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zazzy, yes, I’m concerned about how this new blind game will play out. We’ve had issues with two of the three blind shops around here, so when I get the emotional strength I’ll go face the people in the third shop. If that doesn’t work, I’ll tape construction paper over the windows and live like a kindergartener! And won’t Z-D love that!

      HOW ‘YA BEEN? Long time no see…

      Liked by 1 person

  33. I’m not an extrovert like some of your readers, and I’m probably more of an introvert than you are. But in a solemn and moralistic type of way, I suggest, LET YOUR NEIGHBORS see you hard at work. Maybe they’ll even ask you “What are you doing up so early in the morning, wearing that tiny nightie with a contented-cat-eating-a-fish look to your face?” and you can say: I”M WRITING — BECAUSE I’M A WRITER!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam, I like how you think! I take your point about how I could inspire my neighbors with my stick-to-itiveness, clearly showing them that I know how to write, and nothing will slow me down. OR, we could get some blinds for the windows… πŸ€”

      Like

  34. Dear Ally,

    I am so sorry for your trials and tribulations with the home project. Sounds like a nightmare! I remember when my sister-in-law ordered custom made cabinets for her kitchen remodel, and the contractor made the wrong size. Well he had to eat that! I hope the final version is everything you hoped it to be and the nightmare of it all will soon be a faded memory.

    Your stories you share are all too human! This could happen to any of us! I could be the person walking early down the street peering nonchalantly in the direction of your window – not on purpose but because something caught my eye. And I might notice this morning after morning as a regular feature of my walk; wondering what the young lady is doing up early, and admiring her for her dedication, resolve, work ethic and persistence! I would be walking by and clapping quietly. That might be the upside of being in a fishbowl – people peer in, in admiration! πŸ˜„

    Susan Grace

    Like

    1. Susan, I like your spin on this situation. I certainly hope that people who happen to stare into this room in the early morning think I’m being productive because that is what I’m doing. But I find it unnerving to know that anyone can see me in here and I cannot see them out there. Soon I’ll get going on finding some blinds, but until then I’m stuck in the fishbowl.

      Your SIL’s wrongly-sized cabinets are another kind of home improvement nightmare. Poor woman, that’s one of those either it fits or it doesn’t situations. Can’t fudge stuff like that, Mr. Kitchen Contractor Man.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. 1. Much disappoint in Pella. They are not upholding their distinguished reputation.
    2. I have friends who own a Budget Blinds franchise, and while it’s all very exciting, there are too many possibilities for a person like myself to fathom, so good luck with your decisions. By the by, for them, it’s a day to measure then a day to install. They check and re-check and if there’s a problem with sizing, they just tell the customer it’s taking longer to get them in, not bothering them with what will obviously be bothersome.
    3. We live on a dead-end street with very little foot traffic. Honestly, we ARE the foot traffic. Despite that, I would not like to be seated in front of my front window with a spotlight on my person. How vulnerable I would feel. 😦
    4. If our neighbors are looking, they have seen plenty. Big picture window to the street, curtains seldom closed. If the light’s on in the main bath, the dining window offers my neighbors several wet and barely toweled people each day. I did install window film in the master. The sheers weren’t cuttin it. We debated a long, long time about wood shutters v wood blinds, due to size and wood frames, we needed two and they had to be custom. And in the meantime, we fell in love with the window film and opted for honeycomb shades when more privacy is needed (almost never, thank you window film.) We get good light in there, the kind we wouldn’t get from blinds or shutters, so that’s a win in the happiness and coffer department.
    5. May you feel ready to blind soon and may it go 100x better than the window installation.
    πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  36. joey,

    1) Yes, Pella disappointed us, but did come through in the end with some lovely windows so all’s well that ends well, I guess.
    2) We’ve ordered blinds before from local companies with mixed results. One great experince [now out of business], two mediocre experiences, BUT I know of a new blind business that is getting good word of mouth reviews so will start there.
    3) Yes, I feel vulnerable sitting in the home office, one of my favorite spots in the house, but that’s how it’s gotta be for a while.
    4) I’ve done some online research on blinds since I posted this because many commenters, like you, have mentioned honeycomb shades or that film stuff. I only defaulted to wooden blinds because that’s what has been there for years, but I could be happy with something less problematic to order and pay for. The jury’s out on what’s going to go up on the windows at this point.
    5) Thank you for your blessing. It’s much appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Travel Architect, you’re onto an idea that no one else has offered here. While in theory your idea could work, I’ll just subject myself to the stares of the passersby until I get the wherewithal to get us some blinds. But thanks for the idea… πŸ™„

      Liked by 1 person

  37. I feel your pain. I really do. My daughter had a plant window removed and a new window installed. It took the guy 8 months to get it done. It is now draft proof, rain resistant, and quiet. She loves it, and it faces the backyard so she doesn’t need a window covering. Two words for a temporary solution – tension rod. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Judy, yes! Tension rod. EXCELLENT idea. Thank you. As for your daughter’s 8 month wait for a properly installed new window, that makes my little whine here look pathetic. How can any of this take so long? 😐

      Liked by 2 people

  38. Urgh, I hate being seen through windows (or anything else. Not that I can think of anything else I could be seen through… xrays?) Thicker curtains for your window? Rollerblinds? A tall folding screen between you and the window?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yvette, this fishbowl has been one of those problems that I knew was coming, but didn’t realize how annoying it’d be. With the time change last weekend it’s actually light again in the morning so I’m taking comfort in that.

      Liked by 1 person

  39. After reading some comments – wanted to add that I prefer blinds and curtains – the curtains soften the sound and add subtle texture to the room.
    Blinds (which you likely know) can be raised high to almost seem like nothing is in the window – and my hubs office faces the street and he opens his blinds fully every day -and has tow huge dark gray Pulled in panels (that waterfall on the ground) and it works well.
    Huge lesson learned in our family room. We had medium brown wooden blinds in there. Then he curtains and boxed valances in a mix of tan, maroon, and striped neutrals. Problem was that it felt dark and small. Which I know is working you are considering – cos u don’t want the fish bowl-
    But also don’t want the boxed in small feel.
    So! I 2016 – my son’s gf and I had fun “going lighter” and white blinds – larger slats (2+ inch) and the curtains are these simple light gray/white panels – that were so hard to
    Find – but fit perfect! They are cheap and not even close to a window treatment for this who are into all that (had a lady here this summer who designs window treatments and I know she was probably like – “whoa – so simple and blah” but ally – we found what opened up the room – provided softness and helped with sound absorption – just cleaned those panels in September and thought about having them lined – but their tiny bit of translucence is what also adds to the lightness out there.
    Last room to share about is the Dining room. White 2-inch blinds – easy to lift all the way up if we want the “open vibe”
    And the thing to share has to do with the layering of the curtains (about 5 years ago) can’t recall where I got the idea – but it turned out great! We had a dark tan as the bottom
    Layer – and then went with white as the outer layer and with this nice, stately curtain rod. You know how light usually
    Goes underneath – or SHeers might go inside and then a strong, Lined curtain on the outside? Well this lighter (White) curtain on The outside (pulled back by separate holders – so the bit of darker curtain could be seen) Provided a lighter Feel. And the curtain panels were big and with two on each side — it felt full and rich.
    That window was beautiful that way!
    and for some dinners We would close The bottom layer of curtains and it felt warm (as opposed to just having closed blinds) and that designed lady in the summer seemed
    To like that look. Now I did just take down a layer when we had all the drapes/curtains cleaned in September – but my point for sharing is that window treatments can be so fun and I think layers add a lot to the room. I say go for blinds and curtains -!
    And we have neighbors who added the film to two back windows because the sun is always forceful in that spot
    – but I like drapes/curtains for he beauty they add and for the sound buffering and softened they add – and also love blinds for the many options they offer – slanted up or
    Down or level –
    Or fully closed or fully open —
    πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yvette, you offer so many great ideas about how to do these new windows. Thank you. I agree with you about how pretty + practical it is to have blinds and window panels. I like the contrast of textures, the sound deafening, and the ability to make the windows look different when the mood strikes. You make a great point about not getting anything, blinds or curtains, that are too dark because I, too, like a lighter look in the house.

      I plan on talking with a local company about the blinds and have a decent idea of what I want, but as for the fabric part of the windows… well, I’ll let the winds of fate guide me along trusting I’ll find something when I least expect it. New windows are great, we are lucky to get them, but there’s always something more with any home improvement project.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the nice reply! And was just out for a daily walk with hubs – we needed a new spot for walking so we found some parks this week- and guess what? He pointed out a house with no curtains or blinds –
        I will share a photo later πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  40. It took me over a year to replace the drapes in our family room after we finished the remodel and can relate to the feeling. Now I’ve gotten so used to having nothing, I rarely close the drapes!! I hope you get those blinds in your correctly sized windows soon!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. katie, thanks for your support! I like interior design but making the decisions about what to do can wear me down. At this point getting the right windows seems like a major victory, but I will get on the blind/shades project soon.

      Like

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