2020/04/29

Quarantine Quick Picks

Da Goddess @ 16:50

I’m working on a big booklist for you, but it’s going slow due to the fact I’m caught up in some incredible reading! Yes, only top shelf recommendations for you fine folks.

So, while I’m working on that, let me give you a couple of quick picks to brighten up your quarantine!

1. After Life – on Netflix. Ricky Gervais is, well, brilliant in both seasons 1 & 2 of this series. Six episodes, 30 minutes each…this is a heartfelt and occasionally heartbreaking series you can watch again and again. Wry, crass, bittersweet, and full of heart. Don’t second guess yourself — or me — and just watch it.

2. No Tomorrow – Netflix again. One season of a lovely little series. There’s just so much to like about the characters and the storyline. I won’t say more beyond: just watch!

3. Finally, I give you the most important recommendation of all:Cottonelle toilet paper. Listen, I’m very picky about my toilet paper. As someone with inflammatory bowel disease, let me tell you how important the right toilet paper is! After years of trial and error, I’d settled on the Kirkland (Costco) brand because it was the only TP my sore butt could handle. Then came the day I couldn’t get to Costco and had to rely on Walmart’s Great Value version. It’s the one with the blue packaging (the red isn’t worth it). And then, coronavirus hit and I had to make do with whatever my sister could get for me. That’s how Cottonelle came into my life. O!M!G! People, this is a one-ply toilet paper. ONE-PLY! So much better than most two-ply papers. And it feels like heaven. That’s right! I said it feels like heaven. And I mean that. My poor tush has personally thanked me repeatedly. It’s soft, but not too soft. It’s strong, but not in a rough way. It’s like nothing I’ve ever used before! Cottonelle, I will use every platform available to tell the world how great your toilet paper is and all I ask is for you to always make it because, otherwise, I’ll shed tears forevermore!!! Yes, three exclamation points!!! That’s how much I love you, Cottonelle!!!

Why is this so important to me? Irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, food poisoning, and/or whatever has you on the pot for any length of time, you need a T.P. to clean your very sensitive and frequently raw hiney. The poo can do a real number on your skin and you want something strong, but gentle. Believe you me! After the dead legs, the pain of sitting on the toilet, the cramping, gas, and the enzymes/proteins in your stool that can make you look like a res-assed baboon, repetitive wiping can tear up that fragile skin. Be kind to what’s behind…you. I usually have to add baby wipes to help clean because whether you say papier toilette, papel higiénico, papur toiled, giấy vệ sinh, туалетний папір, tuvalet kağıdı,toalettpapper, karatasi ya choo, letër higjienike, komuneko papera, paper de vàter, carta igienica, toaletni papir, necesejo-papero, tualettpaber, tisyu, vessapaperi, húskepapier, papel de baño, Klopapier, chartí ygeías, papye twalèt, wahila, WC-papír, salernispappír, páipéar leithris, papier toaletowy, aainsarhcakkuu, pepa wharepaku, kertas tanda, taratasy fidiovan, tualetinis popierius, hwajangji, impapuro zo mu musarani, kradeasabangkon, kertas jamban (Javanese, my favorite), or akwụkwọ mposi, toilet paper occasionally needs a bit of help back there.

And that’s it for today’s recommendations. Two shows to watch and the best toilet paper here on earth and also probably in heaven.

Note: I was not paid for my recommendation of Cottonelle, but I’m open to working with them if they need someone.

2020/04/24

Medical Advice Advice

Da Goddess @ 07:12

I don’t know who needs to hear this (I’m lying because I know everyone needs to hear this), but take medical advice ONLY from people who have been to medical and/or nursing school and who have passed rigorous testing and received a license to practice.

DON’T INGEST OR INJECT BLEACH, FFS!

This message brought to you by the committee who wants you to live.

P.S. I’ll give it a go if trump goes first and lives to tell the tale…without any medical intervention.

If you need a handy reminder of this advice, please have a listen to Mr Nick Harvey.

2020/04/21

Better to Laugh

Da Goddess @ 23:55

My frustration level has peaked. I have so many things I’d like to do, so many people I’d like to see, and many places I’d like to visit. Since none of that’s possible, it comes down to lots of tweeting, reading, TV, and movies.

Of course, now is exactly when shit hits the fan. My landlords have moved off the property and out of state. I have missed them a great deal when they drove up to Oregon to be with family. I miss their daughter’s little voice and adorable giggles. I miss hearing the baby fuss and then coo. It’s just so weird without them here.

And I now have to set up my own internet and cable. That was one of my favorite things about renting here: those were included in the rent. Now, they’re reducing my rent to make up for not providing it. But I’d rather just keep it the way it’s always been. I’m THAT horrified by having to figure it out for myself. When manlord was down to pack up the house, I got him to extend the service until they have someone move into the main house. Except, here’s the thing, internet works and cable doesn’t. I’m watching Netflix until they get it figured out.

And I’m reading a lot. Right now, my favorite site is McSweeney’s because I end up laughing for hours. Current favorite article is Frasier & Niles Tell Their Dad to Stay Home. Go read. You’ll like it.

Ta for now. I have to go look for ants. I had three extremely tiny ones show up earlier and I’m obsessed with killing any others that may exist.

2020/03/26

Must Watch: Alternatives, Part 1

Da Goddess @ 09:06

I’ve found myself seeking out shows that aren’t available via regular TV channels in the U.S.

First up: Portrait Artist of the Year. This is a fantastic British production. You can find the entire current season on the YouTubes. Here’s a link to the first episode. It’s really a wonderful program. All but the final episode for this show are available through the account I’ve linked to.

Also on the tubes of you, The Great Pottery Throw Down. Listen, you don’t need to be a potter to enjoy this show. The artistic value of the craft is exceedingly entertaining and you’ll come away with a greater appreciation for how cups, plates, teapots, vases, etc., are made. There are three seasons available and I’ll get you started with season one, episode one. I think you’ll find yourself yelling at the contestants when they take crazy chances with their designs, when they forget an important step, and/or when they don’t manage their time well. You’ll also yell at the judges when they send home someone who, while they missed the mark on this one challenge, has shown such amazing work throughout the season. It’s truly a delightful show. And don’t worry about the crying judge. It happens frequently enough that you’ll simply accept it by the time you get through a few episodes.

I can only find the most recent season of Master of Photography on YouTube. I watched an early season a couple years ago on Ovation or some other channel I no longer have access to. Anyhow, this is a very good program in that it offers great lessons on composition and the value of critiques from experts. There are some interesting images and equally interesting photographers. It’s given me a lot of inspiration and motivation for future projects, but mostly I just enjoy picking out the contestants’ missed shots/opportunities. I do a fair amount of commentary throughout each episode.

On Netflix, check out Blown Away. It’s all about glassblowing and it’s fascinating! There’s one season. Episodes are only about a half hour, so you can get through them quickly. I would have liked longer episodes, but you get what you get and you don’t get upset. Or you do. But it’s totally worth your time.

I’ll post more shows next week. These should keep you busy until then.

Bonus: Upright. An Australian show that’s funny, beautiful, touching, and so many other super superlatives. It’s brilliant! IMTV has it available to those of us who live in the States. You’ll have to create an account to watch (when you get to the options of NA or EUR, choose NA (North America, natch). If you can’t watch every episode free of charge, let me know. I’ll see if I can find you another option.

Now, go get busy watching TV and forget about our current situation. We won’t always have a pandemic to justify our viewing habits, so make the most of the NOW of it.

2020/03/19

How Y’all Doin’?

Da Goddess @ 22:58

First things first: how are you? Are you and your family healthy and safe? Have you been able to fend off the ennui? Are you reading? Listening to music and/or podcasts? Are you watching TV and/or movies?

How are you passing the time?

Secondly, have you checked in with family and neighbors? Are you a helper?

Thirdly, have you been able to avoid or minimize exposure to the 24/7 news coverage?

Fourthly, what’s up with you these days? Anything new?

Fifthly, are you washing hands? Are you using soap and water and washing for a minimum of 20 seconds? I’d prefer 30 seconds, but blah blah blah. Are you really, truly, honestly washing your goddamn hands? Please let this be your reality. Hand sanitizer pales in comparison to handwashing with soap and water.

Sixthly, my trip to see my daughter and her hubby is on hold. As it should be.

Other than that, life is pretty much the same. I have books, TV, movies, puzzles, games, and the cat. I also have a neighbor who just got a donkey (another got a horse not long before that) and I’m determined to find out where the donkey lives. I’m mostly of the mind that the donkey was brought in as protection against the very busy coyotes we have in our area. They’re quite active. I’ve seen them out on my morning walks — one street over, at first, then right at our gate — and my landlord has seen them in our yard. They’re well-fed and in good shape, but they got that way because of the abundance of available chow. Chickens (so many chickens here), cats, dogs, bunnies (oh my God, do we have buns!), and squirrels. Who knows what else. So, now the donkey. I love hearing the braying! It’s a nice change of pace.

There you go. My pandemic post. I hope you’re all safe.

2020/03/12

Baggage

Da Goddess @ 14:32

Any recommendations on luggage? Nothing expensive, just durable and easy to maneuver for a gimpy old broad. It has to have good wheels and it would be a major bonus if it could fit in an overhead compartment.

Yes, for the first time in a decade, I’m getting on a plane. I’m going away. Not for long, but for long enough. And I’m going to see my daughter and son-in-law. And their cats. In a beautiful locale. Yay!

So, yeah. I need a decent, inexpensive but easily wheeled about suitcase. I mean, just because you have baggage doesn’t mean it can’t be functional and maybe even pleasant.

Floaty

Da Goddess @ 14:20

I’ve spent the majority of the day in bed. I’d been up for two days and finally collapsed from the exhaustion around 03:00. Despite waking multiple times, I was quite happy to remain floating in the land of soft, warm cottony slumber. It helped to have Monsieur Chat at my side and all the rain in all the world raining down on SoCal.

Speaking of rain, there’s a lot of it coming down. Lots. And lots more. And then some more. It’s kind of glorious.

I’ve been fully awake and moving freely about the cabin for an hour now and I’m still embracing the floaty feeling. Pain is not allowed more than a background murmur. I’m going to tackle the dishes and then curl up with the cat again, watch some tv, enjoy my little cocoon of comfort.

2020/02/05

Bundle of Joy

Da Goddess @ 01:08

My boy. He’s the only reason I’ve bothered getting out of bed the past several days. Aside from getting to the bathroom and getting meds and water, my fuzznugget is THE reason I’ve done anything at all since Friday. He’s pretty much stayed by my side the entire time. He’s a very good boy.

2020/02/03

Still…Alive…Mostly

Da Goddess @ 23:31

I’m still alive, but it feels like an uphill battle to remain so for the past week.

Last Tuesday, Mojo was in town and we had a date to go shopping. I had to delay our start a bit when I was informed that my new medication was being delivered. So, I waited, got my new med, took my first dose, and off we went. As far as shopping went, it was a mild affair (I got a food storage container, a phone charger cord, soup mix, & hair color).

Then we decided it was time to eat. I hadn’t eaten at all and Mo had eaten very little. To the Garden of Olives we went. Salad, a couple bread sticks, a little pasta, and dessert. We both felt better.

After arriving back at my place, she noticed my bookcase still in its box, unassembled, and next thing you know, my bookcase was built and awaiting books. Boy, do I have books! (Fletch had fun with it while his big sis built it and again after it was built. I’ve left one shelf mostly bare just for him.)

Sadly, that’s all the time I got with my girl while she was in town. It was also the last day I felt okay.

Since then, I’ve been swelling up and hurting like a son-of-a-bitch. By Friday, I couldn’t bend my knees because of the edema. By Saturday, my hands were starting to swell, one eye was blurring, and my chest hurt. Having been down this road before, I stopped my new med. I called the doctor’s office to see if they wanted me to go to the hospital or if I should just ride it out at home (my call wasn’t an emergency, but the was an urgency to it). It’s now almost the end of Monday and I still haven’t heard from anyone at the office. As much as I actually like the doc himself, I don’t care for his nurse practitioner (10 days ago, she had me sitting in her office crying because she was making me feel like I was in the wrong for not having a copy of my MRI report [their printer/burner was down] and for not knowing what I wanted her to do for me in the meantime. I told her she was the healthcare provider and I was coming to her for answers. Ugh.)

Since I stopped my med on Saturday, I’ve gotten rid of the chest pain, eye issue, upper extremity swelling, and the last of the swelling is confined to my lower legs and feet. My big, comfy, loose shoes are still too tight, but I can walk a bit and I can bend my knees again. This part always takes the longest to resolve. The other lasting side effect is the fatigue. I slept in. I did very little all day. And I found myself in bed at 22:30 tonight, typing away at this sob story of mine. I’m wiped out. I really don’t like this.

Needless to say — but I’m saying it anyway — I’m downright pissed at the doc’s office for not returning my call. I’m pissed with the way I was treated at my last appointment. And I think it’s time to find another doctor. (There are other issues with the NP, but I’ll spare you the details.)

My adjuster found another clinic that takes cases like mine and I’ve asked her to get me in to see someone there. Fingers crossed this works because I’m pretty much at the end of my emotional rope.

I really miss my former doctors from up north. They were always on my side, always fighting for me, always attuned to what I needed. I knew getting in with good docs down here would take time and patience, but I didn’t think the first go round would be as bad as this one is turning out to be.

I don’t ask for much. I really don’t. I just ask to be treated with respect, compassion, and not be left feeling alone and neglected.

Anyway, I’m still alive. I’m still fighting. I’m just a bit quieter than usual.

Hey, how about that game? (I didn’t watch. It was either that or the weather.)

2019/10/22

Eye Roll Bladder Control

Da Goddess @ 01:31

Because my back injury sometimes wreaks havoc on the nerves that control my bladder, I occasionally find myself suddenly needing to pee. It’s not an everyday occurrence, except when it is. I’ll be sitting quietly, reading, watching TV, working on some art project, and I have the unpleasant sensation of desperately needing the loo. As you might imagine, this urgent need is in direct opposition with what my legs are sometimes capable of, thanks to the injury to my lumbar-sacral region. It all becomes an exercise in will power and sheer determination to not pee everywhere.

While this isn’t 100% effective, I’ve discovered a method of bladder control that has proven fairly reliable: the Eye Roll Bladder Control.

It’s rather tricky and sometimes even painful, but I’ve yet to leave a trail of urine from wherever I am through to the loo.

You roll your eyes up and back as hard as you can while navigating your shuffle to the toilet. You should be focusing all your attention on pulling your eyes into your head and imagining that action pulling the urinary meatus* tightly closed. Again, the entire time you’re doing this, you’re walking or scuttling to the lav. Once there, you need to summon the assistance of demons you’ve kept well fed to help you get your underwear down and (I can’t stress this part enough — I’ve forgotten this step and cleaning the bathroom in the middle of the night while in severe pain is plain awful) the toilet lid up while also continuing the eye roll and attempting to sit before all hell breaks loose. This is why you always feed your helper demons exceedingly well. They use their magic to keep you pissing IN the pot instead of ON it and the floor.

I’ve had a few occasions when I was afraid my eyes would never reappear, but they’ve always managed to come back. Thank God!

It’s moments like this that has me glad to be living alone (with Fletch and the demons, that is). Yes, I’d like to have someone who could help me with cleaning up the bathroom if, heaven forbid, I owe a little (or a lot) on the floor or dribble down the side or what have you. Mostly, I’m glad no one’s here to witness the indignities of a worsening back injury. There’s just no romance in that scenario! Absolutely none. And there are worse situations, by far!

There you have it: my method of getting to the bathroom without flooding the whole place as I do so.

What glamorous indignity do you have and how do you try to get the better of it?

* Meatus (Me-ATE-us, rhymes with he-HATE-us) = a fancy medical term for the opening of the ureter (or any other opening related to body parts).

2019/09/29

Hey There, Mr. Blue

Da Goddess @ 12:40

I always knew — or, at least, suspected — the gray sky would give way to the blue. I just didn’t know when or how. I was also reluctant to admit it.

But here I lay, in my big bed, alone, watching the clouds lighten and change. The deep gray slowly morphs into something else, something more ephemeral until I can’t remember how dark the skies were as I gaze intensely into the brightening blue.

I should be happy with the new sky. I should feel lighter and brighter, more energized. I don’t. I liked the gray. I liked the way the heavier sky seemed to envelop and fully embrace me. That’s what gave me the courage to move more, to look harder at myself and my surroundings, to feel free to be myself. Happy, sad, everything and nothing in between. The gray sky never asked for anything other than I let myself be who I was in any given moment.

Blue skies almost demand you yield to their impossible brightness. Their big, puffy, spectacularly white clouds encourage you to spring into action.

I’m not that girl. I haven’t been her for a very long time. I can’t just turn on a light and bounce out of bed, straight into a day full of busy-ness. Now, in these days of aches and pains and an unsteady gait, I need time to slowly stretch, to ease movement out of weary joints and muscles, to will my body to get upright and remain that way. It’s what happens as we age or as we recover from some calamity or another…while we age. We don’t do anything quickly — even falls seem to take forever. Or maybe it’s just me.

In the gray, soft light I feel as though I have permission to take my time and ease into standing, walking, or even breathing. Nothing is hurried. Everything is cushioned and gently guided by Time itself.

Come to think of it, I don’t fall on gray days. I only fall under skies of blue. Why have I not realized this before? Perhaps I have and don’t remember. That, too, happens more as we get older.

As much as I do appreciate the brilliant azure skies above, I find myself more at ease, more myself under the gray gaze. I like the feeling of all the heavens closing in to become one, to become a singular entity drawing its arms in close about me, tenderly nudging my body and soul into the activities of life. I don’t greet blue skies with a kind smile these days. It’s just the way it is now.

Hey there, Mr. Blue
I see you
Now go away

Hey there, Mr. Blue
I’ve seen you
And now it’s time
To say adieu
Let me have the gentle kind
Kind of day for which I’ve paid
In many, oh so many ways
I’ll see you soon
Soon enough to love you once again
Just not today
Okay?*

I shall sit here on my porch and await the return of the reassuring blanket of comforting tones and perceived weight, the safety of a sky that looks the same at 3pm as it does at 10am. I’ll be here. I’ll wait…right…here…

(*Apologies to Jeff Lynne for the bastardization of a really nice song.)

2019/05/07

Dear Dad: One Year Later

Da Goddess @ 10:30

Dad, it’s been a year since you left us and so much has happened. I know you’ve been looking out for us because we’re all still here. So many things could have taken any one of us, especially C and Mom, but, again, we’re still here. Thank you for that.

Thank you for also making it possible to get set up on my own again. I’m not 100% myself yet, but I’m getting there. I keep wanting to call and tell you about so many things. Then I catch myself and remember you’re no longer here. Physically, that is, because I feel you around all the time. I’m so grateful for that. I’m grateful to be reminded of you at every turn. The crows remind me. My landlord’s cars remind me. Just having a place to live, to call my own, reminds me. Thank you thank you thank you.

There are still tears and I think it’s safe to say there will always be a chance of tears. I know you lived a lot longer than you thought you would. I’m glad you did. I’m glad you got to know your grandkids and even happier they got to know you. Thank you for loving them so much!

I also know you felt you were ready to go. I understand. Rather, my head understands while my heart continues to struggle. 87 is a great age. There were times I thought we were going to lose you before — heart attacks are as scary for the family as they are for the patient! You were always too stubborn to go early. I guess a part of me thought you’d defy death forever, as unlikely as that is. All those years of “rehearsals” you’d think I’d have been more prepared. You could have been 105 years old and that would still have felt too soon to me. That said, I get it. It was your time. I’m just glad you didn’t have months or years of pain and suffering. Going as quickly as you did, I consider it a blessing.

I’m going to miss you forever, Dad. I will. All of us will. I’m going to keep thinking of all the good times we had. I’ll remember some of the bad, too. It’s only natural. But I won’t dwell on those because your goodness, subtle kindnesses, inner marshmallow, and your love for your family were stronger than any flaws you had, even that wicked loud roar when you were mad.

It feels like only yesterday I was rushing to hospital. Again, it’s been a crazy year with grieving your death, Mom in and out and in and out of hospital, C’s stroke, the uncertainty of my health, the greater uncertainty of housing…the year was occasionally going by too quickly or crawling along, depending on the memories I was facing, the way things usually go. It pretty much feels like one great big surreal fever dream. When grief engulfs me, I let myself feel it. I acknowledge that heartbreaking sadness washing over me. I accept it as one would any pain you feel because that’s part of life and loving. I’m glad you were my dad. I’m glad you ARE MY dad. I just wish you were here with us live and in person. Since that isn’t possible, I focuse on how lucky I was to have you as a father. Thank you.

I miss you. I miss you. I’ll always miss you. And I love you. Always. ALWAYS.

Thanks for being my dad and for loving me.

With love from your odd child,
Me

2019/05/02

(T)Hairsday — The Color Purple

Da Goddess @ 06:15

I’m still purple. Actually, I’m MORE purple at the moment.

I’ve stopped thinking about my hair color except when I catch sight of myself in the mirror. But other people comment. The comments are always, surprisingly, positive. From little old ladies at the store to my doctors, people have been kind.

It’s not like I’m the only one in the world with vivid hair, so that may well be the very thing that’s softened people’s response to mine. All I know is it makes me happy. For less than $10, I’m getting a couple months worth of joy. Not bad, eh?

The Color Purple

That’s about as good a pic as I can get with the phone. It doesn’t give you the full extent of my purpleness, the depth of the color, nor does it show you the smile on my face. But, trust me when I say it’s very purple, deeply so, and it’s nothing but the embodiment of joy for me.

Now, if you’re considering doing something similar:

1. Consider your skin color. You’ll probably want to avoid colors that wash out your complexion or cause you to look ill. Think about your favorite piece of clothing, the one that gets you compliments. That color is likely what will be a good choice for your hair.

2. Temporary color is a great choice for anyone wanting to give this a trial run. I started with Colorista by L’Oreal. It came with several pairs of gloves (hang on to the extras as they come in super handy for future hair experiments) since one bottle is enough for a couple applications for most people. If you have very long or thick hair, you may require more product than someone with shorter and/or thinner hair.

3. Don’t spend an arm and a leg for color. I got my color at Walmart. The price was excellent. The location was convenient. For me? Doesn’t get better than that!

4. Pay attention to the color swatches on the box. If your hair is very dark, you may need to lighten it before you start playing with color. Here’s the trick with that: buy two boxes of THE least expensive hair dye. Go for anything that DOESN’T say “ash” or “golden” as either of those can cause your vibrant color to look off. I recommend getting two boxes because it makes life easier to have a second on hand in case you need to go lighter.

5. Do NOT do more than one hair lightening or dye job per day! Your hair can’t take it unless you’re using professional products and, if you’re going that route, just have this done professionally (you’ll save yourself a lot of angst).

6. After your hair has lightened up, go ahead and apply the temporary color. Make sure you wear gloves! Follow the directions provided. Seriously. Follow. The. Directions.

7. If, after the first application, you don’t feel your color is bold enough, wait a day. If you find it necessary, do a second application. This generally does the trick. The second application tends to make the color pop. POP. Pop. Pop. POP! That’s kind of the whole point of going with unconventional colors, isn’t it?

8. When/if you’re ready for something more permanent or are looking for color that lasts a few extra washes, try Arctic Fox. It’s a semi permanent color and is holding up quite well. I’m currently sporting Arctic Fox Purple Rain. I waited a week before going with a second application and it was just what I wanted.

9. Use a gentle shampoo after coloring. Harsher shampoo will strip the color and that’s pretty much the opposite of what you want. Condition well.

10. If you’ve decided to go with a permanent color, try Schwartzkopf’s Göt2be products. They’re bright and affordable.

11. If you went and played around with your color, please comment below with a link to photos of your hair. I really really want to see and I want to celebrate your courage.

2019/03/31

Eight Turns

Da Goddess @ 18:32

Because my new home is teeny tiny, I don’t have the luxury of a dishwasher. At least, not a dishwasher run by electricity. It all comes down to me.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not currently as diligent about getting the job done as I should be, but they always end up done eventually.

Because I’ve been trained well in the art of pathogen elimination (“we can’t be all ‘ooh! Pathogens…having a party'” as per the man who ran the food handlers’ course I had to attend to work in a restaurant back in my teens), I’ll fess up to having a bit of an obsession with making sure every dirty dish as clean as possible (this was something the former bf didn’t worry about & which often led to me rewashing anything and everything he handwashed during our time together). In order to do this, I’ve developed a ritual.

1. Hot water. Lots of it. This causes me an unwelcome level of agita as I have to turn on the water full force in order to get any heat at all to said water. I live in California. We’re notoriously droughty. But this is the only way for me to get my hot water and needs must.

2. Soap. I need an adequate amount of dish soap to ensure each item is properly cleaned. The former bf would notoriously use a single drop for at least half the entire amount of dirty dishes. That’s inadequate and one of the reasons I rewashed his work on a regular basis. As it stands, as much as I’m pinching pennies, I will NOT compromise when it comes to anything that could possibly make me sick. Food poisoning caused by poorly cleaned surfaces is not an option in my home. Thus I definitely use more than one drop of dish soap per item. I bought a large bottle of dish soap in January and, surprisingly (to the former guy), there’s still more than three quarters of that soap left (he considered anything more than that one drop wasteful). In fact, the smaller bottle I’d filled is still half full.

3. Cleaning utensil. I don’t use a sponge. I’d rather mainline pure clostridium than allow a disgusting petri dish of a sponge to touch anything my food will be in contact with. No matter how many times you run a sponge through the microwave or dishwasher (and, frankly speaking, if you have a dishwasher, just fucking use it, okay? It sanitizes beautifully), that sponge will never not be anything more than a pathogen delivery system.

So what DO I use? A brush. A glorious brush from the dollar store or IKEA. You don’t need to spend more than a buck or two for a brush. More expensive brushes don’t perform any better, they simply cost more.

Because brushes lack soft absorbent surfaces, they don’t retain bacteria or fungi the way a sponge does. That said, at least once a week, let your brush sit in bleach for a minimum of one minute to help eliminate any germs hiding in the opening where the bristles attach to the brush wand.

4. Friction is your friend. You don’t have to scrub hard if you have decent friction. Enough friction to create a good amount of bubbles. Bubbles help lift germs from the surface of whatever you’re washing, which then means they can be sent down the drain and away from your gut. (This same principle applies to handwashing as well, as does the amount of soap you use.)

5. Have some fun. Why not? If, like me, you’re stuck washing dishes by hand, it doesn’t have to completely suck. For me, it’s an opportunity to think about things or to let my imagination run wild about projects I’d like to tackle. It’s also prime music time. I put on music I enjoy and let myself just blank out for a bit…or sway or bop along with the beat.

5a. I also indulge my secret, deeply hidden OCD.

Every dish or glass gets the eight turn treatment each side. (Silverware and cooking utensils get a slightly modified eight turns, but I’ll spare you the details.) I hold the plate or bowl firmly by the edge, scrub quickly up and down (or back and forth, or side to side… however you need to imagine it to make it make sense to you) until I get a decent amount of bubbles in that linear pattern that looks lovely. Then, a quarter turn, repeat the scrub. Followed by several more turns with more bubbles. Basically, I end up doing, you guessed it, eight turns. I repeat the same process on the bottom of the plate, bowl, pan, etc.

Why eight? Four alone would seem inadequate. Five would be uneven. Six wouldn’t allow for every rotation to give equal attention to the surface of the item. Seven, again, odd. Eight turns means each direction gets two chances to get rid of food and germs. The twelve it would take to get each turn the equal number of scrubs just seems like overkill. I’ll do it if I must to get rid of everything bad, but this rarely happens.

Eight turns. Each side. Lots of suds (they don’t need to be big bubbles, just sudsy).

6. Rinsing. Hot water, obviously. Both sides, natch.

7. Drying. Make sure you allow your newly cleaned items on a newly cleaned surface, be it a clean towel or a rack. I use a metal rack because it’s the only option I have available, but it’s also what I’d choose due to the ability to sanitize it.

I allow the clean items to air dry. Towel drying has the potential to transfer icky, mean, nasty pathogens to everything you just spent a fair amount of effort to clean. Don’t let the pathogens party on your watch!

***

And there you have my insane approach to handwashing dishes. If I had a two well sink, I’d include a bleach dip. But I don’t so I can’t and I’m okay with it.

Do you have a specific approach to dishwashing? I would love to hear about it.

2019/03/29

A Good Cry

Da Goddess @ 02:36

I’ve been battling a series of unfortunate and disabling headaches the past week or so and I’ve just about had it. I’m never sure how long I’ll be down or if I’ll ever get over it at all.

The one thing I’m pretty sure of is it’s all because of my neck. When my neck stops hurting as much as it does when my headaches are at peak awfulness, the headaches stop. This has been the case since day one. With the exception of that post-op window of neck pain relief. Boy, do I ever miss those days!

So, as I’m wont to do, I go searching for things to make me happy, to distract me, to just find something to make me FEEL something. And I saw Tim Minchin tweet a link to a speech he gave. It made me cry. It was a good cry.

Then, I watched Better Things with Pamela Adelon. The episode was “No Limit”. I cried again. It was cathartic. I usually, at the very least, tear up watching Better Things, but every once in a while I full on bawl. This episode did that to me. Adelon is, quite simply, the funniest, realest, most honest voice of my particular generation of moms, especially single moms. She gets it right. She knows. And she’s just so open about all of it…what we get right and what we get wrong. It touches my heart every. fucking. time. (Pamela, if you somehow see this, THANK YOU for everything — for making me laugh, cry, and mostly making me feel seen and heard and validated.) By the way, if you’ve not seen Better Things, do yourself a favor and watch. Start at the very beginning and work your way up to the current season. You owe yourself this show.

My headache isn’t gone, but I feel better for having cried, if that makes any sense. It’s a start, right?

P.S. my only other attempt to brighten my mood as I fight all this bullshit pain comes down to these two words: purple hair.

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