Tag Archives: bathroom

Ritualistic Showering

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Where the ritual occurs.

Think about your day. Select one of your daily rituals and explain it to us: why do you do what you do? How did you come to adopt this ritual? What happens on days when you can’t perform it?

Thank you Daily Post for this intriguing set of questions.  In a couple of weeks I will have been retired from the work force for a year.  Since cleaning my fridge in August I have not done anything worth blogging about.  Yes, I guess that is kind of sad, but it also makes me extremely happy to have such an uneventful life.

Unstructured, seemingly limitless free alone-time probably sounds boring to a lot of you.  But to my fellow introverts I know it sounds like heaven.  Imagine being asked what you did all day and “nothing” pretty much sums it up.  Bliss.

Okay, I may be exaggerating slightly.  But this got me thinking about my day (please refer to the part where it says ‘think about your day’).  My daily rituals include

  1. drinking coffee
  2. taking a shower
  3. getting dressed
  4. filling or emptying the dishwasher but usually not both on the same day because it’s just me here at the moment, which means no one cares
  5. feeding myself
  6. wondering what stage I left the laundry at
  7. doing important things on my iPad
  8. thinking about art, checking art supplies, staring at blank canvases and that thing I started and don’t like and can’t motivate myself to finish
  9. doing totally unimportant things on my iPad
  10. wondering how it got to be so far past midnight and going to bed.

So the one I am selecting from this list and explaining to you is the ritualistic shower.  Because my Gawd this will be beyond interesting and exciting, won’t it?  No matter what my plans for excursions beyond the front door for appointments or shopping trips for the day may be, this is the one ritual I must perform every day.  Even if I’m not going anywhere except maybe to the basement.

Why do I do what I do?  How did I come to adopt this ritual?  I was born in 1949.  (Don’t panic, I’m only going to hit the shower related high points of my life.). The first farm-house we lived in did not have a bathtub.  The second one had a bathtub but no shower.  My brother thought it was hilarious to hold my face underwater at the beach, instilling in me a lifelong fear of getting water on my face and being unable to breathe.  For years after I moved away to places which had showers I would wash my face and hair in some place other than the shower, and then shower myself from the neck down.

Yeah, strange phobia, but something that was easy enough to live with.  Then I got married and had kids and none of these people I was living with were afraid of water so I slowly made myself get over it.  I passed the tadpole swimming level and the rest is history.

I don’t LOVE the water on my head part, but I can do it now and it certainly saves time.  Because I need a lot of that to get all my nothing done, right?  Anyway, now I can’t imagine a day without showering.

Oh, wait, yes I can.  There is no shower on the island where our summer camp is.  I am going there next week for about seven shower-less days.  Which brings us to the final question – what happens on days when you can’t perform it?

I cry a lot.  Just on the inside.  Outwardly I sigh and begrudgingly use the bathtub and the sink and the river.  And many wet wipes.  This is called roughing it in the wilderness.

The other day I showered and dressed and left the house and went to see my doctor for my yearly physical (and mental state I guess).  One of the questions she asked me was, on a scale of one to ten, how happy would you say you are?  I said seven or eight.  Because, let’s face it, nobody wants to claim they’re a ten.  People would be pestering you all the time for your secret, which would probably drop you down to five in a big hurry.  On days I don’t shower my answer would be two.

However, not drinking my morning coffee would immediately put me at a minus one.  So there are worse things in life I guess.  Showering is just one of my privileged life luxuries. Going without it is simply a kick in the butt reminding me to appreciate it.

Art du Jour 65

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When you have a poky little bathroom which will probably crumble to dust before it ever gets renovated, might as well make it fun, right?  Maybe this fits the category of repurposed art,  if there’s a sub category called completely obliterating the original.

That last photo is the before picture.  I mean who am I kidding, this is not a spa in France.  These are beautiful stretched canvases with (what has become to me) boring prints on them.  I perked them up, and it was delightful fun.

Soon my entire house will look like an LSD trip from the sixties.  If you’re coming over, bring your shades.

In a Different Light

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It’s the same picture from yesterday, but this time with indoor light from the left instead of bright daylight from the right.

It makes a big difference! Maybe I’ll keep posting this same piece in different places for the rest of the week….in moonlight, fluorescent light, candlelight…..  No, don’t worry, I’m done.

Except to add that the candle colour matches the bathtub et.al.

There is a reason why you should look at paint samples on every wall of a room as well as at different times of the day and night before finally deciding on a colour.  As if I’ve ever done that.  But it sounds like a good idea, right?  Right.

Also, don’t paint in the dark.  What would you do without me?  I meant in dim light.  Because it will look surprisingly different in the morning.

 

 

Art du Jour 49

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Eons ago I bought a beautiful stretched canvas with art on it that I didn’t particularly like. It was the perfect size and shape to cover up anchored screw holes that were no longer needed to hold up a cabinet on my bathroom wall.

I love easy solutions to annoying little problems. I planned to one day paint over it with colours that better matched the weird purple fixtures that the original home owners chose, for reasons I can’t fathom.

One day we are also going to renovate this 1970’s bathroom because the fixtures are looking like hell. Well, they always did, but now they’re worn out as well.

So, the first ‘one day’ finally arrived and the canvas has been repurposed at last.

Here’s the process:
imageI painted over the original with gesso, added some glued on tissue paper and then sponged on colours I like better for the background.
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imageAdded butterfly and more bits of printed tissue.
imageAlmost done.  This is the part where I don’t know when to stop.  Shapes with oil pastels, random stencils, ink stamps, splatter, and on and on until…..
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Voila!  Done.  Back on the wall to cover up the holes.  Until the renovation.  Hey, it could happen!  This did.

Dear House

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Ever felt like writing a thank you letter to something you take for granted?  I mean without someone prompting you to do it?  Nope, me neither. (Because, duh, taking it for granted….)

Well this is not how I wanted to start a letter to my house, so let’s begin again.

Just like I don’t understand the need for ridiculous extravagance when you marry somebody, I don’t get it when it comes to building yourself a crazy-ass mansion to live in, with thousands of square feet that you love to look at and admire but rarely use.  There are many people in my life who have gorgeous new homes, or homes that are old but have been renovated to look like gorgeous new homes.  This is obviously important to them and makes them happy and that’s all good.  My house is not new, not renovated, and not gorgeous.  And that’s okay.

Dear House,

Hello.  Just wanted to let you know I love and appreciate you and I’m sorry for taking twenty-eight years to tell you this.

I don’t know how you felt about your builders way back in 1973,  or your first owners or your second.   But I’m pretty sure you loved us when we moved in all those years ago, right?  Because three’s a charm.  We were lucky to find you at a great price, and thankful that you didn’t need too many changes right away.  However, we wasted no time taking down those gawd-awful green drapes in your living room and getting rid of the brown leafy wall paper, a crappy carpet in one of your bedrooms and your ugly kitchen linoleum.  You’re welcome.  Eventually we got around to painting everywhere.  I hope you like the colors.  Or should I just say I hope you love yellow.  We promised you we would finish the unfinished room in the basement and put in another bathroom downstairs.

Yes, I know you’re still waiting.  But your attic needed new insulation, and your roof now has excellent shingles, and there’s the new kitchen counter and the beautiful new floor that looks like real wood and a new furnace to keep us both warm.  We do try to keep you clean and presentable.  Maybe gorgeous just isn’t in the cards for us.

Hey, we could have abandoned you and moved on and let somebody new fix you up properly, and that’s still a possibility for some bright day in the future.   I know I’ve used it as an excuse to delay the things that should be done, saying ‘what’s the point, whoever buys this house will probably change it anyway.’

Did that scare you, hearing me say it all the time?  I’m sure it’s gotten so old and repetitive now that you don’t pay attention to it anymore.

We no longer need the unfinished room to be finished, and the time when we really needed that extra bathroom has come and gone.  I AM promising you a renovated main bathroom before we leave,  because I think both of us are just completely sick and tired of purple in that seventies style.  A few more years and it will be an amazing retro feature – except that bathroom fixtures (even annoyingly durable purple ones) don’t last forever.

And right now you are beautifully functional and you suit us just fine.  Every one of your rooms holds wonderful memories of growth and change.  I look at the little bedrooms and remember who used to occupy them and how those teenagers grew up and left home and came back and left again.  And then how they brought their own little people here so that we needed the unfinished room to morph into a playroom.  And the downstairs bedroom to accommodate two beds and mattresses on the floor and the library to double as a guest room.  One of these days we won’t need all that.  We won’t be able to so easily go up and down your stairs or shovel your driveway or paint your ceilings.  You will be too big for us, and you’ll start longing for another family to fill your rooms with noise and laughter.

Meanwhile, we will continue to love you and look after you in our hap-hazard fashion and appreciate you until the time is right to let you go.  I don’t think there will be any new red walls in your immediate future, and I am trying really hard to stop hanging strange things on the ones you already have.  You may not be gorgeous, but wow, you have character and you are able to hold an amazing amount of junk.   You are warm and cozy in the winter and bright and breezy in the summer.  We are blessed to have you.

Thank you house, for being our very fine house.

Sincerely,

Charming Owners Number Three

(who love their home, have dubious interior decorating skills, but very big hearts.)

A House Full of Doors

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Weekly Writing Challenge: Collecting Detail

The year is somewhere in the early 1950’s because I am not yet six.  Six is the magical age I will be when we move my grandparents off their farm to live in a brand new place with us. So the details of grandmas house should be nothing but foggy distant childhood memories by now, but they’re not.  They’re as vivid to me today as the view from my own kitchen window is from yesterday.  I close my eyes and the pictures come alive.

Grandmas kitchen is a fascinating place with doors to somewhere else all around the room.  There’s the door I just popped through from the white pillared porch, too big and heavy to pull shut all by myself.  Off to the right is the door to the woodshed.  I never open that door and I make sure I hurry to somewhere else when grandpa goes to fetch wood for the black wood stove so grandma can cook things and bang her pots and pans around while she waits for the fire to be just right. Beyond that door is a dark and scary place full of damp wood smells and cold still air.  And maybe dogs and wild scratching cats. I don’t want to find out what’s in there.

old radioThe door to the cellar is also closed against the darkness.  I am not allowed to open that one.  Grandma is sure if I do I will tumble down the stairs.  I am also not permitted to go through the door beside the giant radio that’s as big as me.  The radio is playing and grandpa is sitting beside it halfway across this doorway like a guard, bent over with his ear up against the soft cloth part where the voices come through.  He has to do this to hear it, because grandma doesn’t like it to be too loud, although she never stops talking and banging things around to drown it out, no matter how far grandpa turns up the knob.  The  door behind grandpa leads to the hallway and then there’s another door to the front room.  Only special company can go in to the front room.  Not children.  Children are to be seen and not heard, as grandma is very fond of saying over and over again so you’re not likely to ever forget it.

But I know another way to get in there.  I know how to be a child who is not heard and not seen either.  There is an open doorway next to the woodshed door which goes into the utility/store-room, and from there another closed door that leads to the indoor plumbing.  This is what grandma calls the new bathroom.  Kids are definitely encouraged to use the bathroom whenever they want and they don’t even have to ask.  I quietly slip in there and click the door closed behind me.  There is an enormous white tub beside a tiny white sink, and off in the corner like an afterthought, the shiny new toilet, snug up between the wall and three stair steps leading up to yet another door.  This is the one I sneak through and close silently so that I am standing on the landing, where a left turn leads to the upstairs.

I never go all the way up these stairs (there is no one up there to save me from whatever frightening things the second story harbors), but I like to go halfway.  I am small enough to fit my head and one arm and shoulder through the spindle railing under the shiny brown banister at just the right spot.  There on a flat-topped bureau below me sits a beautiful yellow-green cut glass pedestal bowl filled with luscious wax fruit. There is a golden apple with a rosy red blush on one fat round side, looking good enough to eat, although it’s not.  I tried to bite into it once and was unpleasantly surprised and sorely disappointed.  The marks from my teeth are still there to remind me of the experience.  There is also a cluster of blue-violet grapes, a bumpy tangerine orange and a creamy golden banana.  I like to look at them and touch them, pulling my fingertips across their sticky waxy skins.

Now, instead of retracing my steps and returning to the bathroom, I tiptoe down the three stairs that lead in the opposite direction from the landing and into the hallway.  Slowly, silently I creep towards the front room door and at the last minute, scoot across behind grandpa, inside and around the corner where I stop and hold my breath until I’m sure no one has seen me.

Grandmas front room has the most incredibly beautiful windows I have ever seen in my short little life.  They are tall and clear in the middle and they let the sunshine come streaming through to light up big bright patches on the hardwood floor.  On either side of each window are small rectangular panes of pebbled coloured glass.  Skycolored glass blue, sunshine yellow, and best of all, brilliant red.  I press my nose up to my favourite red one (it’s my favourite because it’s the only one I can reach by balancing on the arm of the big stuffed chair) and gaze out at a crazy red world.  The leaves on the trees are red; the sky, the grass, the fence and every one of grandmas flowers – everything.  Magically, unbelievably  red, red, red. I want the glass to swallow me up into this delicious red bubble where I can be as red as a riding hood, as red as a real apple, crunchy and sweet, as red as my red flyer wagon, spinning down a slippery red slope into a land where red never stops.

Oh oh.  I hear grandma wondering in a very loud voice where I’ve gotten myself off to. I hear her go clumping away and barging through the bathroom door.  In a flash I hop down off the chair, run back out into the hallway and through the forbidden door where I put my flushed cheek up against grandpa’s arm and clutch hold of his overall pant leg.  He doesn’t even look up.  There you are, grandma exclaims as she marches back into the kitchen.  I didn’t see you.  Were you right there all along?  She was, grandpa chuckles.  Right here beside me.  Quiet as a mouse, just like always.

The big radio is a wonder, the wax fruit, the many doors and the beautiful stained glass windows – I love them all.  But perhaps the best thing in this house full of doors is having a grandpa who’s as good as I am at keeping sneaky secrets.

 

Yes Virginia, You Do Need A Pair of Glasses

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myopia (Photo credit: haglundc)

~~~~~

Poor, miserable, myopic me. My world used to dazzle and brilliantly shine.  Now cloudy grey fog envelopes me.  Horrible, disastrous morning!  Case knocked into the bathroom basin, contacts slithered down the drain.  CRAP.

~~~~~

trifecta buttonTrifextra  Week Ninety-Seven:  This weekend we’re asking you to add thirty of your own words to the following three words for a total of thirty-three. Good luck!

myopic
dazzle
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Weirdest Pet Peeve

It’s all about that toilet paper roll.

It must unroll from the top, and not the bottom.

When you leave the bathroom it must be left completely rolled up, no loose end flapping in the current from the vent. And if I have to roll it up after it’s been left like that, it grates on my nerves like you would not believe if it doesn’t roll up evenly. And for the love of God please rip it off cleanly at a perforation. I will always notice your toilet paper transgressions because I can’t stand paper lint behind it on the holder and must dust that off daily.

I also insist that the shower curtain be pulled across the tub and not left pulled back in a wet clump. But at least there’s a reason for that one involving musty smells and possible mildew. There’s no sane reason for the toilet tissue roll hang-up thing at all.

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