Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Steamy-Hot Soak

by Cassondra Murray


Do you have a shower in your house?

No, I don't mean a baby shower or a wedding shower. I mean the kind in the bathroom...the kind you stand under to wash your hair and get clean.

I don't.

Do. Not. Panic. I engage in cleansing activities daily. Ones involving lots of water and soaps, shampoos, masks, scrubs and exfoliants. But other than a two-year stint in an apartment after I was first married, I've never lived in a home with a shower. I've always had bathtubs.

I grew up in a tiny farmhouse on a gravel road in rural southern Kentucky, miles from the nearest town, and when I was a small child, our facilities included a path and, at night, a flashlight. I am living proof that the lack of an indoor bathroom as a child...well, it won't keep you out of college.

We had running water in the kitchen, but no water heater. I still remember taking a bath each evening in our huge, oblong galvanized bathtub--complete with sloped ends for leaning. My mom heated water on the stove and carried buckets of it into the bathroom. I splashed and splashed in that tub, with my own armada of toy boats floating around me.

I was still very small when one day I came home from my grandmother's house and the outside wall of the bathroom had been knocked out. The bathroom was really just a glorified closet in our old house, and to add the fixtures and appliances, my dad had to extend the room about two feet beyond the main body of the house. It looked a bit like a hump on a camel really, when it was finished, with the fixtures barely squeezed in. We had the shortest tub available, but still, the "hump" had been added onto the house to make it fit.

The fancy new bathtub was shiny and fun--and slippery. The thing I wanted most, though, I didn't get. No way, no how, no matter how much I pleaded, were we getting a shower.

My dad, until the day he died, refused to believe that he would use less water with a shower than a bath.

It was runnin' all the time, for cryin' out loud. How could it use less?

We had a well, so it wasn't as though we were paying for the water monthly, but like most parents who'd grown up in the Great Depression, he had a thing about not wasting stuff, and in particular he did not want to waste water. It's understandable, when you realize that any water he had as a kid, he and his family had to carry from a spring or pull up from a well in a bucket. He figured the whole "showers use less" mumbo jumbo was propaganda spewed by the plumbing industry so they could sell more fixtures.

That "save water" mentality has left me always aware of my water usage, and with many areas of the country in drought and dealing with water shortages, I'm now glad I grew up with that awareness. Then, though, I wanted a shower for the sheer joy of standing underneath that steamy stream.

That's why I still want one.

My college dorms had showers, but let's face it. Most dorm showers are lousy, sterile, non-private experiences, and bear no resemblance to the glory which an excellent shower in a gorgeous tiled bathroom with an adjustable-pulse shower head can be. But for the college years, I at least had a shower. Then I moved into an old house, and I've had tubs ever since.

Here's the thing though.....in our present home, and the one just before this, I didn't have just ANY tubs. They were, and are, claw foot tubs. Big old honkin' cast iron monstrosities sitting on iron feet.

I love showers. I probably still like showers better, truth told. They're energizing. And I'm not the only one. I asked around about this. Okay, I asked Jeanne and Nancy. Hey, they were available. Duchesse Jeanne is totally on the shower side. She doesn't mind baths, but rarely takes them, and could live just fine with only showers in the house.

Nancy, always examining both sides of the argument, states the merits of each. "For washing hair or cleaning up after a workout, the shower is primo," she says. But "for relaxing and/or contemplating the mysteries of the universe, nothing compares to a bath. And ya can't read in the shower."

Hmmmm. I happen to know that Nancy has a claw foot tub in her house.



Mysteries of the universe notwithstanding, I've always just loved showers. And my husband, contrary to the "women like baths, men like showers" expectation--actually prefers baths. I could postulate that he thus lacks incentive to help me install a shower in the house, but, well...better not to go there.



But you know what? Those claw foot tubs, over all these years, have had a rather profound effect on me. Not just on the shower vs bath question. This is about quality. The claw foot tubs have raised the proverbial bar.

This past spring, I traveled to visit friends who have showers in their home. They have walk-in showers, mostly, but in two of their bathrooms they also have the tub-with-shower-surround combination which is common in most American bathrooms.

I'd been taking showers at their house for several days. Yummy hot showers with lots and lots of wonderful steam. But at some point, I leaned over to shave my legs and for the umpteenth time, got a face full of hot shampoo-ey water draining off of my head--and a face full of wet hair. The water ran into my eyes and made me have to stop shaving, let my contacts clear up so I could see, wipe off my face with a towel, then bend over again to shave my legs....rinse and repeat soap-in-face experience. And repeat. And...you get the idea.

Who the blazes designs shower enclosures? Men? That's what I'm guessing. If women designed these things, there would be a little bench-like step for you to put your foot on--or maybe even sit on--so you could shave your legs without eating wet soapy hair.

Oh and there would be lots of places to set bottles and such. Spots where they would actually, oh, I don't know, stay in place, perhaps? Radical thought, that. And the soap dish would be designed so the soap would not slide out as soon as the water hits it. You know...WET soap would stay put. I've noticed that dry soap does fine as a decoration in most shower soap dishes. Clearly, the shower designers are not actually testing these enclosures under actual dirt-removal conditions.



Several days into these sub-standard shower experiences, I came in from a long day of tromping around a museum, walked into the guest room at the back of the house and I wanted a bath.

I ran the tub full of water, poured in some shower gel to substitute for bubble bath, and climbed in. Ahhhhh. Soothing hot water. Poofy bubbles. I leaned back. And promptly banged the back of my head against the wall of the shower surround. There was not enough slope to the back end of the tub for a nice, relaxing lean. And what lean I could get, well, it didn't do any good because once I'd leaned, my head was shoved forward by the shower wall so my chin was almost on my chest and my neck was hyperflexed.

Ow.

Who, precisely, designed this tub? I'm betting it was somebody who takes showers.

I sat up in the water and was enlightened on a couple of matters. First, my head needs several inches beyond the tub before it hits the wall, and it should be illegal to build tub-shower arrangements without said inches present. Second, my antique claw foot tubs, all hand-me-downs from old houses I've lived in, or from ones which have been torn down, are treasures for far greater reasons than their antique value alone.

At home, in the evenings just before bed,


I run a tub of hot water, and pour in stupid amounts of bubble bath. I light a scented candle, turn off the lights and climb in. The back wall is sloped perfectly for a gentle recline. I roll a towel to rest behind my neck and just soak. And soak.

I lie there and soak until I turn to a prune. If it's raining, the way it is now, I listen to the pitter-pat of the drops hitting the window near my feet. On summer nights, tree frogs sing me to sleep. And sometimes I do fall asleep, waking when the water cools, with all of the tension soaked out of my body.

I learned some years ago that I like a shower in the mornings because it's energizing, and I like a bath at night because it's relaxing. So in this, Nancy and I are alike.

Some seriously fantastic love scenes I've read have been set in showers. But then, the best shots in movies are in the tub--with the sexy starlet barely hidden beneath the piles of bubbles.


I am campaigning for a shower in our bathroom. (We have only one bathroom, since we're restoring this old house, and one is as far as we've gotten). It'll save water, and it'll be faster and more efficient. And it'll energize me in the mornings.

But it'll have to be one of those gooseneck showers with the suspended curtain rod over the claw foot tub. Because although I love, love, love showers, no fancy spa jets will convince me to switch out my cast iron tub for a walk-in shower stall.

I'd love both, but if I have to choose, I'll keep my candlelight soaks, with the little table just to the side, for my glass of wine.

What about you, Bandits and Buddies?

Do you have showers or bathtubs in your house?

Have you ever had a claw foot tub? Did you love it or hate it?

If you had to choose one or the other, would it be shower or bath for you?

If you like baths, do you like bubbles?

If you prefer showers, are you the "in and out in five minutes" type? Or do you like a long, indulgent shower just every now and then?

What's your favorite shower scene from a novel?

Have you read any steamy scenes involving bathtubs?

I'll give a $5 gift card to Bath & Body Works to one commenter.

70 comments:

flchen1 said...

We've got both showers and tubs, Cassondra, but it's been a while since I've indulged in a good soak. I do love long hot showers though--I know it's a terrible thing to waste water, but sometimes I can't resist staying in far too long and enjoying that warm spray :) Never had a clawfooted tub, but they sounds romantic when I've read about them. In general, I probably prefer showers, but once in a while, a hot bath is very luxurious.

I have read some very hot shower and bath scenes, but my brain refuses to cough any up at the moment... :)

Cassondra said...

flchen1, you got the rooster!

Are you gonna give him a bath?

barb said...

well done fichen careful when you give him a shower.....

I only have a shower.... before we updated out bathroom we had a shower and a bath ... when we updated we wanted a bigger shower so we got rid of the bath as we never used it... I love getting in the shower on a cold day and standing under the water..... although we are suppoesed to have short showers to conserve water.... my daughter has a claw foot bath but I still have a shower when I stay there LOL.... I have also read shower and bath scenes and the book I am reading now, jo's The Watcher has a bit of a shower scene in it

marybelle said...

I have a shower over the bath-tub. I am NOT a bath person, but I LOVE my showers. They are totally relaxing.

I have always had the bath set in, not a stand along claw footed bath.

I cannot recall any memorable bath or shower scenes. Which is a great shame!!

Donna MacMeans said...

Well done Fichen1 -

Cassondra - I do love your posts. We have a shower stall off our master bedroom and that works for me. I have one of those shower heads that can deliver a pummeling jet of hot water and sometimes that works as a wonderful massage. Other than that. I'm in & out sort of the shower generally in the evening after an exercise class. Recently, I've loved those rain shower heads - you've got a picture of one in your blog. Those showers have sufficient room for you to step out of the spray to do whatever, but the large overhead spray makes rinsing off feel wonderful.

We had a claw foot tub - and only a claw foot tub - in our first apartment. Loved it - but it does take a certain amount of time to fill, soak, drain and clean. My favorite bath room contraption - and yes, I experienced this at a B&B that I'd return to in a second - was a nice big tub, with gleaming plumbing fixtures that climbed the wall. You could soak in the tub, or use the hand held shower device to take a shower without getting the hair wet, or bracket the device for a traditional shower, or turn a knob to initiate the rain shower overhead. It's nice to have choices. (grin).

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Fedora, looks like you cleaned up when it comes to the GR!

Cassondra, what a fun post. Actually I have wonderful showers in this house. It's an absolute pleasure getting under them. I prefer a bath but the bath here isn't great. It's huge, takes forever to fill (it's a spa bath) and it has really steep sides so you can't actually stretch out and wallow. My flat in Sydney had a WONDERFUL bath. Got the ideas for both Claiming the Courtesan and Untouched in that bath so I'll always be grateful to it. If ever I win lotto (which isn't likely as I never buy a ticket), I'm going to have a bath just like that one put into this house. There's nothing like a wonderful long hot bath.

Sheree said...

Congrats on the rooster, flechen1! I'm sure he's had enough of the North Bay by now. ;)

I have a shower/tub combo, no claw footed bath tub. I think I may have used the tub once in the last 5years. For soaking, there's a hot tub by the outdoor pool (what can I say? this is California). I can use the jets to massage my muscles or just recline there, watching the birds, squirrels, neighbors' cats, etc. Heck, i can even use the floating noodles from the pool to really float. Ah....

Cheryl Ann Smith said...

I once dated a man whose grandmother was from the mountains of Kentucky. She lived in a log cabin (mud between the boards and all!)and had to get her water from a well. I don't know how she bathed, but I remember she was in her nineties then and having no indoor plumbing certainly didn't slow her down. She was quite a woman!

PJ said...

Great post, Cassondra! It brought back some lovely memories for me.

I grew up with a claw-footed tub and no shower. I don't remember when I encountered my first shower - it may have been Girl Scout camp - but, until college, baths were my cleansing choice. We only had one tub in our house and I was one of four kids at the time so I didn't appreciate the benefits of a good, long soak (though my brothers would probably disagree) until I married and we installed a jacuzzi tub. Ahhhh, the hours I spent in that tub! *grin*

Helen said...

Well done Fedora have fun with him

Cassondra
I so love your posts always great.

We have two showers and a really big bath it has a head rest and arm rests on it so lovely to lay back in it with bubbles and read but I haven't had one for years because I have really bad knees i can't get in and out of it now LOL and I do miss it although I love my shower as well we have a water saving shower head that you can turn to differnt streams of water and in winter I love standing under a really hot one and in summer a nice cool one.
I grew up with a really big old fashioned bath (not claw feet though) and the shower was broken so we only had baths and an outdoor loo.

One day I hope to be able to get in that bath again seeing as how I especially picked it out when we had the bathroom renovated many years ago.

Have Fun
Helen

Laurie G said...

We have 1 bathtub and a shower on 3 levels. I took baths until 4th grade then I didn't like the idea of sitting in dirty water. My great aunt Anna had a claw foot tub. I loved taking bubble baths in it. I used a product called Laurie bath salts that had I believe 12 packets of flower scented bath salts.
Now I only shower and it takes me about 10 minutes to wash up, rinse and wash my hair.

I remember reading a Jill Shalvis book with a sexy shower scene. I know I've read others...my mind is blank this morning. Did Heather Graham have a tub scene with her Scottish hero in The King of the Castle? Sandra Brown had a cute intro with Shay meeting her future FIL's minister,son as he stepped out of the shower naked.

CrystalGB said...

We have shower/tub combos. I am a shower girl though. I just feel cleaner taking a shower.

Deb said...

We have a shower downstairs in the washroom and I don't like to use it. Not because it's in the basement, but because it's small and one of those cheapy jobs the previous owner put in. If I'm really dirty from pulling weeds or whatnot, then I will most likely go to the dark recesses of the basement to take a shower.

So, I do take baths. I sometimes soak, but usually it's in and out. Having a shower hose attached to the faucet helps with washing my hair, but I also use a large, plastic glass. (Glad I shared, huh?)

I love to take very hot baths. I mean, I even run more hot water in the tub after I'm in it.

SOME DAY we hope to redo the bathroom. Our house was built in 1960 and the original cruddy linoleum is still there along with a pink tub and pink toilet. I love the color pink, but it is not my desired color for a bathroom. I would like hues of apricot and French blue....

Suzanna said...

We have a walk-in shower in the downstairs bathroom, but upstairs we have a clawfoot tub without a shower. I do love that thing, and one of the first things we did when we bought our house was to buy one of those old fashioned hand-held showers for it. I think one day we'll get a shower enclosure for it - the full ring around the top - but for now I enjoy taking baths in it. :)

traveler said...

We have a huge separate shower and a large soaker tub. I enjoy a bath since it is relaxing and wonderfulespecially during the fall and winter. Showers during the hot summers are great.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Do you have showers or bathtubs in your house? Only one little bath and it has the shower tub combo and it is a super short tub.

Have you ever had a claw foot tub?
Did you love it or hate it?

Yes, grew up with one, no shower until I was 26 years old. I love a claw footed tub, hate the new tubs and the enclosures. Everything you said was totally true, you can't lean back at all so what is the point?


If you had to choose one or the other, would it be shower or bath for you?
If I had to choose now it would probably be a shower unless of course I could have an old claw foot tub.

If you like baths, do you like bubbles?
No, I am not a bubble person, I enjoyed them when I was younger but now not so much.

If you prefer showers, are you the "in and out in five minutes" type? Or do you like a long, indulgent shower just every now and then?
Usually in and out for me, my tub does have an edge I can put my foot on to shave without the hair in the face scenario so it works for what I need.

What's your favorite shower scene from a novel?
Black Dagger Brotherhood, there is more than one and they are all hotter than the steam.

Have you read any steamy scenes involving bathtubs?
A lot of the historicals I have read have hot bathtub scenes, I do have something to say about getting pulled into a tub fully clothed though, I would not be happy or feel particularly sexy.

Nancy said...

Fedora, congrats on the bird!

Cassondra, I used to tell the dh I married him for the clawfoot bathtub. We think it's original to the house, which he owned before we met. It's deep enough to really soak. In the winter, the cast iron leeches the heat out of the water, so I always have to run more in. Because the tub is so old, the surface will never again be white, but we love the idea (which might gross out some people) that generations of occupants have used this tub.

We have picture molding in the living room, rather than the more popular crown molding, because it fits the period of the house's construction. We like authenticity.

When we redecorated the bathroom, we discovered the reason for the tub's slight unsteadiness. One of the legs next to the wall is missing, with stacked bricks filling in. We tried to get a replacement, but the factory (Kohler, still in business) doesn't sell them.

Antonia said...

We don't have a "Bath and Body Works" in my country, so I'll just answer the questions for fun. Don't register me for the contest.


Do you have showers or bathtubs in your house?

-Bathtub with shower at my parents' house;

-Shower where I'm staying while in college

Have you ever had a claw foot tub? Did you love it or hate it?

- I've never had one and I wouldn't like to. I prefer minimalism when it comes to bathrooms.

If you had to choose one or the other, would it be shower or bath for you?

- Shower. It's faster.


If you prefer showers, are you the "in and out in five minutes" type? Or do you like a long, indulgent shower just every now and then?

Long and indulgent. I'm a Pisces. :P

What's your favorite shower scene from a novel?

I thought that the bathtub scene in Tessa Dare's "Twice Tempted by a Rogue" was very well written.

Have you read any steamy scenes involving bathtubs?

It's impossible not to stumble across one in the romance genre. :D

flchen1 said...

Thanks, everyone--you know, Cassondra, when I shouted, "Bath time!" all I could see was a flurry of feathers. I haven't heard even a peep from him since then. He'd better come out of hiding in time for making lunches today! ;)

MsHellion said...

Dude, it spooks me how your childhood and my childhood are nearly identical. Though technically there was a toilet installed in the house by the time I was born, we didn't have hot water in the house until I was 10 or 11, and that was also the year we got a bathtub/shower. (It was a short shower, let me say, so I spent most of my teen years taking baths because doing back bends to wash my hair out of a shower head that dribbled was insane.)

So I do love me some baths (never had the clawfoot experience, so wish I did), but I also love a shower in the morning to wake me up and start the day. And you're do right about the construction of these things. Shaving legs should be a bit easier than it allows. *LOL*

I think Sherrilyn Kenyon has some hot bath and shower scenes in her Darkhunter books, if I remember rightly. And nothing tops Bull Durham's bathtub scene. Hello.

MsHellion said...

Oh, and my Dad grew up in the Depression and thinks rather similarly. *LOL*

Cassondra said...

barb said:

I only have a shower.... before we updated out bathroom we had a shower and a bath ... when we updated we wanted a bigger shower so we got rid of the bath as we never used it... I love getting in the shower on a cold day and standing under the water.....

That's always the temptation for me--take out the tub and make that whole end of the room (not a large room, but still) a walk-in shower. I may do that in one bathroom when we build on. Those showers are so luxurious. But I've decided that I'm always going to have at least one claw foot tub.

Cassondra said...

marybelle said:

I cannot recall any memorable bath or shower scenes. Which is a great shame!!

Oh, that IS a shame.

I'm not even going to attempt to remember and list the ones I thought were great. I haven't had coffee yet.

Cassondra said...

Hi Donna!

You said:

Recently, I've loved those rain shower heads - you've got a picture of one in your blog. Those showers have sufficient room for you to step out of the spray to do whatever, but the large overhead spray makes rinsing off feel wonderful.

Yes! The person who designed such a bathroom was thinking about what we ladies actually do in there--the shaving, the exfoliating, yadda yadda.

We had a claw foot tub - and only a claw foot tub - in our first apartment. Loved it - but it does take a certain amount of time to fill, soak, drain and clean.

Yes. Yes, it does. *sigh* That's one downside. I'll keep mine though.

My favorite bath room contraption - and yes, I experienced this at a B&B that I'd return to in a second - was a nice big tub, with gleaming plumbing fixtures that climbed the wall. You could soak in the tub, or use the hand held shower device to take a shower without getting the hair wet, or bracket the device for a traditional shower, or turn a knob to initiate the rain shower overhead. It's nice to have choices. (grin).

Oh...I've seen those in pictures, but never in real life. *drool*

Our claw foot tub has the hand-held shower, which makes cleaning the tub--and washing your hair--a lot easier, and I've decided I never want a tub without one of those. Our last claw foot tub did NOT have that, and cleaning was too hard.

Cassondra said...

Anna Campbell said:

Got the ideas for both Claiming the Courtesan and Untouched in that bath so I'll always be grateful to it. If ever I win lotto (which isn't likely as I never buy a ticket), I'm going to have a bath just like that one put into this house. There's nothing like a wonderful long hot bath.

Aha! Fo is a bath woman! I will admit that I've gotten more good ideas and solved more problems while soaking in the tub than I ever have in the shower. That said, I do like a hot shower on sore neck muscles.

I may have to go with Donna's solution...get both!

And no lotto needed, my dear. You're a star and rising higher, you'll have that bath one day if you want it.

Cassondra said...

Sheree said:

I think I may have used the tub once in the last 5years. For soaking, there's a hot tub by the outdoor pool (what can I say? this is California). I can use the jets to massage my muscles or just recline there, watching the birds, squirrels, neighbors' cats, etc. Heck, i can even use the floating noodles from the pool to really float. Ah....

Okay I do have to say that if I had a hot tub, I might put only a walk-in shower in the bath when we add onto the house. That is on the list of things I'd love. I enjoy getting in a hot tub when it's cool outside, though. In summer we'd never use it, although we could enjoy it from late September until late April each year.

Cassondra said...

Cheryl Ann Smith said:

I once dated a man whose grandmother was from the mountains of Kentucky. She lived in a log cabin (mud between the boards and all!)and had to get her water from a well. I don't know how she bathed, but I remember she was in her nineties then and having no indoor plumbing certainly didn't slow her down. She was quite a woman!

I'm not surprised. I think a certain amount of lifting and toting stuff keeps a person strong. It's the original weight training after all.

I don't envy her that work in the winter, but the truth is, you get spoiled and soft when you don't do stuff like that. I remember that I never even noticed what other people would have called a hardship. Of course, a lot of folks around us had the same setup then, so we weren't that unusual at the time.

And honestly, I'm sort of glad for the skills I acquired by living without that stuff. When we first got the house, and were so tired of staying with relatives while we did the early gutting of the walls and ceilings and started the bones of the restoration, for a little while we stayed here and I had to rely on those skills. We own large galvanized tubs and a couple of times we actually got them down and used them. Water heated on an electric hot plate and the whole routine.

It's kind of fun every now and then, but I wouldn't want to do it all the time now.

Cassondra said...

PJ said:

I didn't appreciate the benefits of a good, long soak (though my brothers would probably disagree) until I married and we installed a jacuzzi tub. Ahhhh, the hours I spent in that tub! *grin*

Ahahahaha! My dad used to ask, "what do you DO in there for so long?" Ha!

Yes, jacuzzi tubs are nice. I'm intimidated by the "keeping the water in the pipes clean" thing though. I've never quite understood how that's managed. Seems like you'd have to purge them and start fresh before each bath or something.

Cassondra said...

Helen said:

We have two showers and a really big bath it has a head rest and arm rests on it so lovely to lay back in it with bubbles and read but I haven't had one for years because I have really bad knees i can't get in and out of it now LOL and I do miss it

That's a question I had when I was sitting there in that tub with my head against that straight shower wall. Why do they even bother to install the tub if it's not a pleasant place to lie back and soak? I think if it's not going to be a soaking tub, it should just be a shower because the tub sides just make it hard to get into.

I grew up with a really big old fashioned bath (not claw feet though) and the shower was broken so we only had baths and an outdoor loo.

Oh, Helen, how about that! I thought I'd be the only one who grew up with a loo that came with a path included. People look at me in horror when they learn that about me, but we did just fine, didn't we?

One day I hope to be able to get in that bath again seeing as how I especially picked it out when we had the bathroom renovated many years ago.

I hope you can too. It sounds wonderful!

Cassondra said...

Laurie G said:

My great aunt Anna had a claw foot tub. I loved taking bubble baths in it. I used a product called Laurie bath salts that had I believe 12 packets of flower scented bath salts.
Now I only shower and it takes me about 10 minutes to wash up, rinse and wash my hair.


Ah, see? That's how I'll end up, I fear, when I finally get my shower. In and out in a snap of the finger. It's the way life is now. Although some folks would say a ten-minute shower is a long shower, it doesn't seem so when you're under that water.

I remember reading a Jill Shalvis book with a sexy shower scene. I know I've read others...my mind is blank this morning. Did Heather Graham have a tub scene with her Scottish hero in The King of the Castle? Sandra Brown had a cute intro with Shay meeting her future FIL's minister,son as he stepped out of the shower naked.

I haven't read either of those, but one I remember very clearly is the bath scene from Christine's Wicked Little Game when Lady Sara visits the Marquis of Vane and he takes a bath in front of her. It's one of the better ones I've read. Just fantastic. The tension in the room was so thick you could cut it with a dull knife.

petite said...

I love indulging in a long, hot soak in the huge tub. Great for joints and muscles before bedtime. Showers are lovely in the heat thought.

Cassondra said...

CrystalGB said:

We have shower/tub combos. I am a shower girl though. I just feel cleaner taking a shower.

I admit that when I'm all hot and sweaty from working outside in the summer, my strong preference is for a shower.

The one thing I dislike about showers is trying to get the temperature adjusted, and the fear (from college dorm days) that something will happen to cause an abrupt water temperature shift. I remember a visit to Berea College when I was still in high school. I was looking at going there to school so I drove over there and spent the night in one of their dorms. There were big signs on the walls and in every toilet stall as reminders. Before you flushed, you had to yell "WATER!" really loudly so the people in the shower could step out from under the stream. The toilet took the cold water, and the shower would turn suddenly, scaldingly, hot.

Cassondra said...

Deb said:

So, I do take baths. I sometimes soak, but usually it's in and out. Having a shower hose attached to the faucet helps with washing my hair, but I also use a large, plastic glass. (Glad I shared, huh?)

Ha! We used an empty margarine tub when I was growing up. Now we have a handheld shower attachment for the huge chrome monstrosity which is our claw foot tub faucet. Seriously. There's enough chrome to make into a car bumper on that thing. I love the handheld shower head though.

I love to take very hot baths. I mean, I even run more hot water in the tub after I'm in it.

*sigh* Oh, me too.

SOME DAY we hope to redo the bathroom. Our house was built in 1960 and the original cruddy linoleum is still there along with a pink tub and pink toilet. I love the color pink, but it is not my desired color for a bathroom. I would like hues of apricot and French blue....

Ooooo it sounds lovely. Do you spend hours poring over bathroom remodeling magazines? You know, what my mom would call "wish books"?

TerriOsburn said...

When Hellie emailed me that todays Bandit blog was like reading a story from her childhood, I knew it had to be Cassondra. :)

Grew up with the shower/tub combo and have always had showers. Prefer them. Not one for sitting in my own filth. But the way you explain that lovely soak in the clawfoot tub with the bubbles and space to lean and relax your head, I could be persuaded.

Actually, I've always wanted a clawfoot tub. If I ever get my dream home, I'm getting one of those amazing walk-in showers with the fixtures coming out of every direction, and a clawfoot tub to soak when I get the urge.

Cassondra said...

Suzanna said:

We have a walk-in shower in the downstairs bathroom, but upstairs we have a clawfoot tub without a shower. I do love that thing, and one of the first things we did when we bought our house was to buy one of those old fashioned hand-held showers for it. I think one day we'll get a shower enclosure for it - the full ring around the top - but for now I enjoy taking baths in it. :)

Ah! Another lover of the clawfoot tub!

When I visited England in graduate school, were housed, part of the time, at King's College Kensington. Everybody else stood in long lines for the showers. But I discovered that there were several rooms adjacent to the showers, each with its own enormous claw foot tub on a dais. Everybody said, "baths take too long." But I was in and out while they were still waiting in line. These tubs were the extra long ones. I'd never used one that large before. What I have in my bathrooms were technically "maid's tubs" from what I've learned since then.

Cassondra said...

traveler said:

We have a huge separate shower and a large soaker tub. I enjoy a bath since it is relaxing and wonderfulespecially during the fall and winter. Showers during the hot summers are great.

That's a really great distinction. I also would probably take more showers in the summertime. A cool shower when it's hot out is wonderful. Or if you have air conditioning, a hot shower, then out into the cool air to let hair dry on its own.

runner10 said...

I love to relax in a nice, hot tub. I can't seem to find the time to do this.

Cassondra said...

In response to the question

Have you ever had a claw foot tub?
Did you love it or hate it?


aka Dianna said:

Yes, grew up with one, no shower until I was 26 years old. I love a claw footed tub, hate the new tubs and the enclosures. Everything you said was totally true, you can't lean back at all so what is the point?

Amen! *looks smug*

And in response to the question about shower/bath scenes in novels, Dianna said: Black Dagger Brotherhood, there is more than one and they are all hotter than the steam.

A lot of the historicals I have read have hot bathtub scenes, I do have something to say about getting pulled into a tub fully clothed though, I would not be happy or feel particularly sexy.


Hmmm...I don't know that I've read one like that. I'll have to think about it, but I might agree with you on that one.

Cassondra said...

Nancy said:

When we redecorated the bathroom, we discovered the reason for the tub's slight unsteadiness. One of the legs next to the wall is missing, with stacked bricks filling in. We tried to get a replacement, but the factory (Kohler, still in business) doesn't sell them.

Aw, I never even noticed that. I bet you could find one at flea markets or an antique store that would work. I think most of them attach in similar ways. Heck, I might even have an extra tub leg lying around somewhere. We have three tubs, total. One in my mom's garage, and one out behind our garage, waiting to be installed (someday...please, God, someday) and the one already in the house. Finding said extra leg...now that's another issue.

Cassondra said...

Antonia said:

We don't have a "Bath and Body Works" in my country, so I'll just answer the questions for fun. Don't register me for the contest.

Aw, shucks. But thanks for joining in anyhow!

Hmmm..a bathroom minimalist who likes long and indulgent showers. You, my dear, are interesting and complex! *grin*

Nancy said...

Also, have you noticed that the newer tubs (unlike the tub with tile surround and shower my parents had) are very shallow? You can't put enough water in them to get a good soak, even without the leaning back issue.

Cassondra said...

Fedora said:

Thanks, everyone--you know, Cassondra, when I shouted, "Bath time!" all I could see was a flurry of feathers. I haven't heard even a peep from him since then. He'd better come out of hiding in time for making lunches today! ;)

Ha! Finally, a way to keep him quiet and out of trouble! Well, now we know his secret fear. *rubs hands together* That's always a good thing to know about one's adversary.

Cassondra said...

MsHellion said:

Dude, it spooks me how your childhood and my childhood are nearly identical. Though technically there was a toilet installed in the house by the time I was born, we didn't have hot water in the house until I was 10 or 11, and that was also the year we got a bathtub/shower.

Fortunately we got the hot water heater at the same time we got the bathtub. It made life easier, I have to say.

(It was a short shower, let me say, so I spent most of my teen years taking baths because doing back bends to wash my hair out of a shower head that dribbled was insane.)

AHA! You've hit on one of my shower issues. Showers without enough water pressure. I've used a LOT of those, and when you have a lot of hair, you cannot rinse the shampoo out of it without some water pressure, for cryin' out loud!

So I do love me some baths (never had the clawfoot experience, so wish I did), but I also love a shower in the morning to wake me up and start the day. And you're do right about the construction of these things. Shaving legs should be a bit easier than it allows. *LOL*

Yes, showers in the morning. We are much alike in scary ways. You must, at some point, try out a clawfoot tub. Perhaps at a Bed & Breakfast somewhere. Take lots of bubble bath.

Cassondra said...

MsHellion said:

Oh, and my Dad grew up in the Depression and thinks rather similarly. *LOL*

Ha! I wanted to run water through the faucet into one sink, and run water for the same two minutes out of the sprayer into the other sink, and make him look. But the sink sprayer didn't work. *sigh*

Cassondra said...

petite said:

I love indulging in a long, hot soak in the huge tub. Great for joints and muscles before bedtime. Showers are lovely in the heat though.

Yes, that's much the way I work it. I tend to hold my tension in my shoulders, so a tub deep enough to sink into is a wonderful thing.

Cassondra said...

TerriOsburn said:

When Hellie emailed me that todays Bandit blog was like reading a story from her childhood, I knew it had to be Cassondra. :)

Aw. *sniffle* You've made my day.

Grew up with the shower/tub combo and have always had showers. Prefer them. Not one for sitting in my own filth. But the way you explain that lovely soak in the clawfoot tub with the bubbles and space to lean and relax your head, I could be persuaded.

It really is wonderful. The trick is that you don't do that when you're actually dirty. If I'm grungy, I get in, no bubbles, scrub clean, and get out, then wash/rinse the tub down with the handheld sprayer. When I was landscaping or if I've been outside working in the heat, it's straight up "get clean and no lingering."

The long soaks are for the end of a normal day.

Actually, I've always wanted a clawfoot tub. If I ever get my dream home, I'm getting one of those amazing walk-in showers with the fixtures coming out of every direction, and a clawfoot tub to soak when I get the urge. That's the perfect combo, and what I want too. I've got my dream plan all drawn up, including master bath with both. No idea when that will come to pass, but I'm ready. ;0)

Cassondra said...

runner10 said:

I love to relax in a nice, hot tub. I can't seem to find the time to do this.

That's the thing. Today's world denies us time for these pleasures. My soak in the bath at night is the one holdout. I refuse to give up that time. I think it keeps me sane. Or, at least as sane as I can be kept...

Cassondra said...

Nancy said:

Also, have you noticed that the newer tubs (unlike the tub with tile surround and shower my parents had) are very shallow? You can't put enough water in them to get a good soak, even without the leaning back issue.

Yup. I've noticed. This is my whole "what's the point" point about having the tub in the first place. I don't get it. If it's just something to stand in while you shower, it's a lot easier to get in and out of a shower stall than hike your leg over the edge of that tub. And you wouldn't have to clean the sides of it then. Plus, there's the whole slipping and falling in the tub thing, when you have a bathtub as a shower base. So people end up sticking those ridiculous plastic flower shapes to the bottom of the tub. But they're necessary. Otherwise you fall and kill yourself.

A bathtub should be big enough to soak in.

Leni said...

I have a shower and tub in my home and prefer a bath. Not really into all of the bubbles, though. There have been sexy shower and bath scenes in a great number of the romance books I've read.

Joan said...

As incredible as your blogs are, so are the appropriateness of the pics...LOL

I have the standard combo. I am a tub girl all the way and miss them terribly when I travel where I only take showers...a unfortunate encounter with a short black hair I found in a hotel tub once shudder.

Showers have their place though, especially when it comes to medicinal relief. Suffering from tight muscles often, a hot spray on the back is just the thing.

My favorite bath was in Dromoland Castle in the BIGGEST tub I'd ever seen! I filled that puppy up to THE top (which reached my neck) and laid back to dream of Irish Fae princes...sigh

Kate Carlisle said...

Another lovely post, Cassondra. I hope you get your shower someday. It's nice to have a choice.

My choice is usually showers, but I take long ones. I'm not sure I'm saving much water. The only time I take a bath is when I'm in pain from gardening all day or--God forbid!--exercising too much. Then I love it and always use way too many bath salts and bubbles. :-)

The only bathtub scene I can picture is Colin Firth climbing out of his tub in the BBC version of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Sadly, that scene wasn't even in the book! *g*

Congrats on grabbing the chook, Fedora!

Anna Campbell said...

By the way, Cassondra, I meant to say I LOVE the pictures in this blog. They gave me such a big smile!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Only you, Cassondra, could make having a bathtub sound like a great thing to have. Grins.

I'll still stick to my "I Love Showers" stance, but for a clawfoot, and a glass of wine, I might take a long hot soak.

Grins.

But there would have to be boats. Armada. Yeah. THAT would be fun.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Ohhh, Hellion, that bathtub scene in Bull Durham...right up there with the Kitchen scene.

Grins.

And the two in Pretty Woman are really nice as well. Grins.

Jane said...

We have a tub, but there is a shower head. I haven't taken a bubble bath in a long time. I do love claw foot tubs. I can't remember if we had one when we were little. In some of the older buildings here, the bath tub was in the middle of the living room. One of my favorite shower scenes is from Lisa Kleypas' "Worth Any Price." A recent bath/bubble bath scene is from Julie James' "A Lot Like Love."

Susan Sey said...

Oh, Cassondra, this is one of those questions that'll just tear me up. I love baths. I have always loved baths. I think it comes of being one of four girls & never but NEVER having enough time to myself in the bathroom.

And now that I'm a mom of two small girls, privacy in the bathroom is still pretty limited. For that reason, I've learned to enjoy my showers (showers ARE hard to share, especially with toddlers) but in my heart of hearts?

I want a bath.

All by myself.

With an icy glass of something at my elbow.

And a book.

Le sigh.

catslady said...

I never had a shower when growing up. Now I know both my parents had that metal tub when they were young. And eventually a bathtub. When my parents bought their first house I was told later on that the shower leaked. I am sure it was something that could have been fixed or it's more likely that I don't think my mom liked the idea of showers and the cleanup. Once I moved out I was thrilled to be able to shower and baths were rare (still are lol). Even when my mom bought another house, she has never used the shower (my dad didn't either). Strange lol.

Cassondra said...

Leni said:

I have a shower and tub in my home and prefer a bath. Not really into all of the bubbles, though.

Really? No bubbles? I think I was less into bubbles when I was younger, and therefore felt less need for something under which to hide when I'm in the tub. *sheepish grin*

Cassondra said...

Joanie said:

I have the standard combo. I am a tub girl all the way and miss them terribly when I travel where I only take showers...a unfortunate encounter with a short black hair I found in a hotel tub once shudder.

*mutual shudder*

My favorite bath was in Dromoland Castle in the BIGGEST tub I'd ever seen! I filled that puppy up to THE top (which reached my neck) and laid back to dream of Irish Fae princes...sigh

Oh, now THERE you go. That's what tubs are for. You've nailed it Joanie.

Cassondra said...

Kate Carlisle said:

My choice is usually showers, but I take long ones. I'm not sure I'm saving much water. The only time I take a bath is when I'm in pain from gardening all day or--God forbid!--exercising too much. Then I love it and always use way too many bath salts and bubbles. :-)

EXACTLY! Too much physical labor---a bath is perfect after that. But I'd want to take a shower first to get clean. Then the bath just to soak. I know, I know, that's way too indulgent, isn't it?

The only bathtub scene I can picture is Colin Firth climbing out of his tub in the BBC version of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Sadly, that scene wasn't even in the book! *g*

Oh...my...*fans self*

Cassondra said...

Anna Campbell said:

By the way, Cassondra, I meant to say I LOVE the pictures in this blog. They gave me such a big smile!

Thanks Fo! There were a lot of good ones to choose from. I figured I couldn't go wrong with a wet, soapy puppy. *grin*

Cassondra said...

Jeanne said:

I'll still stick to my "I Love Showers" stance, but for a clawfoot, and a glass of wine, I might take a long hot soak.

Grins.

But there would have to be boats. Armada. Yeah. THAT would be fun.


Seriously, I still sometimes look at toy boats with longing. I've always wanted one of those little toy sailboats people sail on lakes...I've never understood what happens once they get away from you--out of reach of the stick which is always present in the pictures with those boats...Hmmm....

Cassondra said...

Jane said:

We have a tub, but there is a shower head. I haven't taken a bubble bath in a long time. I do love claw foot tubs. I can't remember if we had one when we were little. In some of the older buildings here, the bath tub was in the middle of the living room.

Really? I'd like to see that--to see how people decorate around them. A bath in the living room. Hmmm...I'm apparently not quite urban or European enough to appreciate this idea without having seen it for myself.

One of my favorite shower scenes is from Lisa Kleypas' "Worth Any Price." A recent bath/bubble bath scene is from Julie James' "A Lot Like Love."

I will have to look for these. Always up for a good bathtub scene.

Cassondra said...

Susan Sey said:

Oh, Cassondra, this is one of those questions that'll just tear me up. I love baths. I have always loved baths. I think it comes of being one of four girls & never but NEVER having enough time to myself in the bathroom.

And now that I'm a mom of two small girls, privacy in the bathroom is still pretty limited.


Honestly, I don't know how moms even take showers at all. This is one of the reasons I'm always so sympathetic when moms of toddlers look a little haggard. I think about the logistics of it, and how quickly kids get away from you and into trouble, and I think, "they probably just bathe with baby wipes for the first five years or so." I don't know how you do it.

For that reason, I've learned to enjoy my showers (showers ARE hard to share, especially with toddlers) but in my heart of hearts?

I want a bath.

All by myself.

With an icy glass of something at my elbow.

And a book.

Le sigh.


Oh, yeah. That's just it. Perhaps you could schedule a date for this--hubby keeps the girls for just an evening once every now and then...and instead of you going out, THEY go out--and you have a date with your tub, a book, and a glass of something wonderful....

Louisa Cornell said...

Yay, Fedora! Which does the GR prefer - showers or baths?

Great post, Cassondra. I remember visiting my maternal grandmother and making those treks outside at night with the flashlight to the luxurious "two seater" at the bottom (no pun intended) of the pecan orchard.

I have tub/shower combos in my house. Two of them, which is a luxury when you consider I live alone. One, however, is fitted out with a sprayer for canine and feline baths.

I'm a shower person just because it is quicker and my free time after work is at a premium when I'm writing. I do like a nice long soak in the tub, but mine aren't particularly comfortable.

I'd love to have the big spa tub La Campbell describes!

Our house in England had a claw-foot tub. It was HUGE and tough to keep the water warm.

My favorite shower scene in film is the one from Psycho. Don't know why. Scares the devil out of me!

In books, I actually like a bath scene I wrote in my second book. It is one of my favorite scenes actually. Go figure!

Cassondra said...

catslady said:

I never had a shower when growing up. Now I know both my parents had that metal tub when they were young. And eventually a bathtub. When my parents bought their first house I was told later on that the shower leaked. I am sure it was something that could have been fixed or it's more likely that I don't think my mom liked the idea of showers and the cleanup. Once I moved out I was thrilled to be able to shower and baths were rare (still are lol). Even when my mom bought another house, she has never used the shower (my dad didn't either). Strange lol.

How interesting that they never used their shower. I wonder if it was just unfamiliarity--a couple of generations ago, baths were all that anyone had--and it was a "water heated on the stove" bath at that. The whole idea of standing under the running water must have been very strange to, for instance, my grandparents.

They had a shower in the very last part of their lives--once they got to the point that they couldn't get up and down in the tub. Before that, it was just a tub.

LilMissMolly said...

I love soaking in a nice hot bath after doing yard work.

Cassondra said...

Louisa said:

I have tub/shower combos in my house. Two of them, which is a luxury when you consider I live alone. One, however, is fitted out with a sprayer for canine and feline baths.

Oh! That's what I want! When we took the old bathtub out of this house, to replace it with the clawfoot tub (scavenged from another house) I saved that tub--it's out behind the garage and I have plans to install it in that garage--up about three feet higher than normal and with a sprayer, to use for dog baths. My back will thank me at some point. *grin*

Cassondra said...

LilMissMolly said:

I love soaking in a nice hot bath after doing yard work.

You and me both! A long soak in a hot bath in the winter is especially nice too...nothing warms you to the bone as well as that.

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

Well, we had a jacuzzie tub - which was a love/hate thing... hated the noise, but loved the water movement.. really only used it when feeling punky... sucks your water heater dry!! Sold house bought another... didn't really pay attention to tub as it had a nice shower... wrong!! small narrow tub,,, ick... someone want to buy my house?