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 to 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.

2019/03/03

Three Days In

Da Goddess @ 00:07

I’m three days in on the SCS trial and I feel like crap. MY head hurts horribly. My neck is locked. My hands are numb and tingling. The bandage over the insertion site is itchy. I haven’t taken a shower yet because I don’t have anyone to tape up all the electrical doodads. I also haven’t filled my prescription for antibiotics yet because I’ve been sleeping sporadically and now it’s raining and I can’t get this stuff wet and I’m loathe to go out if I’ve not showered and I’d have to do either a cab or Uber and the idea of getting in or out of a vehicle makes me cringe so I’m freaking out about everything and I can’t stop my head from feeling like it’s going to explode.

Whew! Glad I got that off my chest.

But, seriously, I feel like crap. I forgot how long it took for the last trial to start feeling okay. I’m so stupid about remembering these details sometimes. Excuse me while I go cry in bed for a couple more days cuz I’m a big baby right now.

2019/02/20

Travel Day

Da Goddess @ 13:10

I feel like crap today, but I gots to be traveling to see the doctor. Uber to train to Uber. Doctor visit was quick, but I saw my favorite PA and got to thank him for getting me my spinal cord stimulator trial for my neck. Couldn’t come at a better time as my right neck, shoulder, and hand are extremely painful at the moment. My blood pressure was 148/100 at check in, which proves how much pain I’m in right now.

So, prescriptions obtained and sent to pharmacy, which they’ll mail meds to me soon.

Uber to train to Uber to home now. Strangely feeling proud to be able to do all this ony own. I feel awfully independent. Yay.

And that’s my day in a nutshell.

What are you up to today?

2018/09/12

The Quicker Picker Upper

Da Goddess @ 10:50

This song brings much joy to my life. I can, have, and will listen to it on repeat for hours.

2018/09/10

Battle Plan

Da Goddess @ 21:45

One of my go to methods to combat depression is watching a show I love.

I’m ten hours in (today alone) on Black Sails. Rewatching this show makes me feel like I can win just about any battle ahead. If Captain Flint and his pirates can face down England and Spain, as well as various mutinous factions within, I can surely prevail my technologically advanced first world problems, right?

P.S. I’ve appropriated the theme song for myself.

P.P.S. If you’ve not seen the show, look for it and watch. Four seasons. All worth your time. Get through the first season’s sex scenes (they’re important to the political climate for women… one of the few positions of power available to women of the time) and just dive into the golden age of piracy and the imagined events leading up to Treasure Island. It’s beautifully filmed, acted, and scored.

Work in Progress

Da Goddess @ 06:51

I’m working so hard to keep my head above water, to keep breathing, to just make sure I continue on each and every day.

Some days are really difficult. Pain, frustration with work comp, frustration with personal stuff, trying to not be in tears all the time make it very hard to keep the darkness away.

The one good thing work comp has done is give me some time with the therapist. Now all I have to do is get scheduled and somehow find transportation to the appointment. (Yet another reason I’m struggling emotionally. I’ve relied on K.A. so much over the years that I painted myself into a corner with regards to any independence, which was okay for a while, but has ultimately not worked in my favor. More on that some other time, perhaps.)

I only know I have to get my head right before the darkness becomes too loud and too convincing, y’know?

Thank God I have Fletch. He keeps things real around here.

2018/09/04

Ermahgerd

Da Goddess @ 21:17

I have no words for how I’m feeling lately.

I’ve started to write a post countless times, but I’m unable to string together a coherent thought.

Sigh.

2018/08/04

Yes!

Da Goddess @ 22:49

Talked with my big sister on the phone today. First time since her stroke. Her progress is remarkable! C’s speech is still slow, but it’s clear and that’s an amazing accomplishment. So many stroke patients don’t get back to even 50%.

Thank you for all your prayers! C still has a ways to go before she’s where she wants to be, but for me, this is a miracle and I will never not be grateful for her surviving this and for your support.

2018/07/29

Down the Toilet

Da Goddess @ 08:44

If you’ve read the Secret Squirrel post ( because you know where the password can be found [it hasn’t changed location or the actual word]), then you’ll need to cleanse your palate. I might have just the thing for you.

Why is it that I can sometimes use almost an entire roll of toilet paper in one sitting and have no problem with the flush, but other times I barely use any and the toilet requires double plunging?

I’m sure it has more to do with the crappy (pun intended) plumbing than it does my bathroom needs/habits. But, y’know I had to put the question out there.

Protected: Super Extra – Secret Squirrel

Da Goddess @ 08:35

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

2018/07/23

Upper Limits

Da Goddess @ 21:59

I’ve reached maximum capacity emotionally.

My older sister, C, had a stroke. Thank God, she’s already home and improving!

I’m about a month away from being homeless. Fingers crossed for a miracle.

The entire ending of a relationship over the course of…however long this has been…has reached peak impact. Especially with circumstances being what they’ve been. (Long story.)

Health 4/10. One life left.

Patience 3/10. See above.

It’s fucking enough already.

2018/05/29

Mom. Mom. Mommy. Mom.

Da Goddess @ 16:30

Updates from C today are consistent with the way things seem to go with our family. One minute Mom is improving, the next minute she’s feeling a bit worse. Thankfully, the doctor has no problem keeping her hospitalized until she’s showing a solid pattern of improvement.

I hate being here while she’s there, but crowding into a hospital room while someone is trying to get well wears on them after a while. They can’t escape to go make dinner or cookies, nor can they excuse themselves to go take a nap or read while leaving you to watch TV.

As nice as it is to say you visited someone in hospital, the practice is actually less pleasant for most patients. True story.

Yes, there are times when patients are grateful for visitors, but staying longer than a few minutes can cause them discomfort, especially when they are actively fighting an exhausting disease process.

If you are invited to stay longer than a few minutes, be ready to:

1. Play cards or some other game.
2. Respect the need for privacy when medical personnel come to see the patient.
3. Leave if the patient shows any signs of fatigue.
4. Leave if asked by patient or staff.

If you can’t visit, call only if the patient can talk. Conditions like COPD can make speaking difficult. Instead, send a brief text to let them know you’re thinking of them.

Yeah, so I’m having to send short texts to Mom to let her know she’s on my mind. But, you better believe I’m heading down as soon as I can so I can give her a hug and kiss, tell her to get to gettin’ better, and to see for myself how she’s doing. There are a couple complications on this front, but nothing that can’t be worked around or through.

Until I can get there, I’m grateful for C, D, and J…and Mojo doing everything they can to keep Mom’s spirits up and to keep her focused on getting better.

2018/05/26

Update on Mom

Da Goddess @ 15:09

Mom texted me this morning to say she’s feeling better, which is always good news.

C texted to let me know the docs are going to switch Mom over to oral antibiotics. Also good news.

There’s a solid plan in place as to getting Mom back on her feet. This is far better than “comfort measures only”.

I’m putting this in the win column. We’re going to celebrate every little victory we get.

2018/05/25

Comfort Found

Da Goddess @ 14:27

In my search for comfort and a sense of peace, I came across a link on Twitter leading to a lovely blog. I’ll include a link to the story that first hooked me later this weekend, but until then, please go visit this lovely woman’s site.

Mom update: she’s resting at hospital, receiving antibiotics and breathing treatments to ease her respiratory effort. The plan is to keep her there a few days and see what happens at that point. If the doctors don’t feel there will be any hope for improvement over time, she’s planned on comfort measures and not much else according to my sister. Understandable, but still makes my heart fall deep in my belly. I’m really not prepared for this at the moment as I’m struggling to keep up with the grief over Dad. We shall see. It’s not in my hands. God will bless us with the right course as He sees fit. That’s pretty much all we need, isn’t it?

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