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Centerpiece of the house

The most important item in the house is now installed and plumbed and has hot water to fill it. Yum!

The wainscoting behind it is beadboard from the old ceiling of the enclosed porch. The doorway you see on the left will eventually become a wall and the wainscotting will continue around three sides of the tub. (That’s Bathroom: Phase Two after the finances have recovered.)

Scrounging and garage saling worked for everything else in the room, but I was determined to have a fabulous faucet, complete with shower attachment. So I found what I wanted online then searched for a factory second. This one has a chip in the porcelain that can be felt but not seen.

The day the plumber completed his work so early, I took Robbie for a long drive along the river. Robbie can’t walk much any more, but he sure loved sniffing the clear, fragrant October air through the rolled-down windows of the car. Seventy-two degrees; I still can’t get over it.

One of the houses on the river road has a flower stand at the end of its driveway. A bargain at a buck a bunch. I’ve never stopped there. But that day, how could I not?

Not being a flower person, I’m not sure what these are. Dahlias, I’m guessing. But could they be mums? Anyhow, I’m pretty sure they’re not dandelions or daisies. 🙂 They’re beautiful in my kitchen window.

Now back to painting the bathroom shelves.

P.S. Oh yeah, that bathtub is as comfy-cozy as it looks, you bet. As soon as the water heater had hotness, I made sure to check it out. When I first dragged the tub out of its Dickensian surround, it had no feet. Every brand and model of these old tubs is different and I had no hope of getting the right feet for this one. So I bought four generic, modern cast-iron feet on eBay and epoxied them on with double helpings of JB Weld (which is, um, not the way you’re supposed to attach clawfeet). I put wooden blocks under the tub just in case the legs decided to detach in mid-soak, but so far the footies seem likely to stay in place. Hooray!


  1. Pat
    Pat October 23, 2015 2:28 pm

    A beatiful job.

    That tub looks comfortable enough to sleep in! Don’t fall asleep and go under…

  2. Karen
    Karen October 23, 2015 2:44 pm

    You’ll really enjoy that tub! But where’s the shelf for your book, wine and candles? I can envision one of your fabulous tables next to the tub for holding those bathing essentials.

  3. Joel
    Joel October 23, 2015 3:12 pm


  4. MJR
    MJR October 23, 2015 3:42 pm

    Nice tub… I have a slipper bathtub which is similar to yours. I have to say from my experience you are going to love it. Once it is all done in the bathroom you should to save some of your nickels and dimes and get one of these.*Version*=1&*entries*=0

    I have a metal version and have spent many an hour over the years by having a soak with a good book. It is a great way to relax after a long day.

  5. Claire
    Claire October 23, 2015 5:04 pm

    LOL, Karen! Give me a chance to finish the drywalling first! But rest assured that there will be a shelf AND a table. And now that I know they exist, there might be one of MJR’s bathtub tray, too. Oh my, that made me drool.

    MJR, I love slipper tubs, too. Too darned bad this house didn’t happen to have one.

    Pat — No sleeping, I promise. But it has occurred to me that a deep cast-iron tub might make a good earthquake refuge. 🙂

  6. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal October 23, 2015 5:37 pm

    When I first read “The most important item in the house is now installed and plumbed and has hot water to fill it” my immediate thought was “you use hot water in your toilet?”
    But, then I looked at the picture…
    Looks very cozy and nice. Enjoy!

  7. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau October 23, 2015 6:01 pm

    I’m thinking old iron tubs stop bullets too, always a useful feature. 🙂

  8. Matt
    Matt October 23, 2015 7:45 pm

    Claw foot tubs always remind me of suicide, drowning, slasher movies and early death. Enjoy.

  9. E Garrett Perry
    E Garrett Perry October 23, 2015 9:09 pm

    Oh, how I long for a proper tub, and enough -hot- water to fill it!

    Another thing I miss about dear old Czech Republic- tankless water heaters and proper tubs. Most of the ones I saw were built with surrounds, but they all appeared (and felt) like cast iron or porcelain. All sorts of oddball proportions, but joy of joys always deep enough. You could fill the bugger up to a level at which Calvin and Hobbes would have been playing “Convoy 92” and leaving great huge puddles in the floor, and it would still be hot enough to curl your toenails.

  10. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty October 24, 2015 5:03 am

    That’s amazing, Claire. I really didn’t expect the tub to look so nice “after.” We had a claw foot tub in the old farmhouse we owned years ago, and it truly needed similar TLC. We fixed it up the best we could, never even attempting to get it out of the “surround” thing.

    Mine was actually larger and deeper than yours, and even then I had a hard time getting in and out of it. Never did care for a tub bath myself, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy using that one. 🙂

  11. Laird
    Laird October 24, 2015 9:23 am

    I have to say that I’ve never had a house where the bathtub was considered the “centerpiece”! Looks nice, though.

  12. Claire
    Claire October 24, 2015 9:51 am

    Laird — Wellllll, it’s not like I put it in the living room or anything. But in my heart, a great bathtub is the centerpiece of a home. At least a great hermit-home, a great thinking-in home. Sort of like a great fireplace might be to somebody else.

    And Matt … um, thank you for the shall we say colorful good wishes.

  13. Roberta X
    Roberta X October 24, 2015 4:29 pm

    Ummm, Clair, do be careful with that shower attachment until after you relocate the electrical, okay?

  14. Claire
    Claire October 24, 2015 5:33 pm

    Thanks, Roberta X. I appreciate your concern. I believe I took that photo before the electrical was redone, but that’s taken care of now. There’s still an outlet and a switch above the tub, but the outlet is GFI and the electricians gave the setup their imprimatur.

    In any case, I never plan to use the shower attachment in any way that would put water at that level. I’m scared of electric gremlins!

  15. Ric
    Ric October 26, 2015 3:54 pm


    Locally available near Salem, The Oregon Garden, and/or Canby:

  16. Claire
    Claire October 27, 2015 3:15 am

    Ric — Ahhhh. Thank you. Beautiful big flowers they are. Such an array of colors.

  17. Travis H
    Travis H October 27, 2015 5:09 am

    Nice tub!

    We just had to sell ours to make room to keep the well’s tank indoors. 🙁

    Now we have to settle for a shower, but at least we’ll finally have running water after two months!!

    Special thanks to you for writing the influential “how to kill the job culture book.” We are finally out of the city and living in the woods!

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