Tag Archives: Blind Linda

Slivers of Soap on the Matrimonial Sea

I dislike soap slivers.  It just isn’t handy to wash with a piece of soap that is almost done, but not quite.  But it also grinds my gears to throw away perfectly good pieces of soap when I know that if they were collected together, you would have the equivalent of a nice new piece.  Over the years, I’ve dealt with this in various ways.  I’ve had those hand-crocheted bags that are supposed to collect them and somehow meld them into one nice large piece.  That didn’t work for me somehow.  It probably wasn’t anyone’s fault but my own, but I just didn’t like how it was working.  Most of the time, I try to stick the small piece on top of the larger one and intentionally squish them together until they are imperceptibly joined.  This has enjoyed fairly good success, depending on location.

We are not shower gel or body wash kind of people.  That is, Certain Man and myself.  It just makes the shower too slippery for any kind of safety.  Also,  when we had our knees replaced, the doctor told us that the best soap for bathing/showering was Safeguard.  So almost six years ago, we began using Safeguard exclusively for the master bathroom, and it has been very satisfactory.

I had used expensive body wash for Blind Linda, always getting the high moisture kind to keep her skin supple and and moisturized.  A few months ago, she was standing on the bath mat while I was showering her, and proceeded to lean back against the wall.  “Whoosh!”  Out from under her slid the mat and down she went.  The abrasions were impressive.  She didn’t break anything, but she surely did huff and puff indignantly at me.  I was really puzzled.  It was the kind of mat with suction cups under it, and should have stayed put.  When I checked things out, I realized that there was a sort of slippery film under the mat and it was just as slick as all get out.  I immediately took up the mat, and got those stick-on things that give good grip, and stuck them on that floor in a geometric pattern.  And I got rid of that slippery Dove Extra Moisture Body Wash.

I started using that good old Safeguard soap and it wasn’t so bad.  In fact, I began to notice an interesting development.  Blind Linda had a significant blackhead right in the middle of her back.  It had resisted all ministrations intended for removal.  It only seemed to grow bigger and bigger.  When I started using Safeguard soap for her shower, that ugly, black pockmark on her back started to shrink.  Yepper.  Just like that!  Until it almost isn’t even there.  I like that!  But I digress.

However, now that Linda is also using bar soap, and Daniel, and I, as well, the slivers just seem to add up.  So I’ve been working on trying to combine the slivers into a soap that I can at least use in the sink.  Every now and then, I will notice that the one in the shower is miniscule enough that it will almost not stay in my hand, so I will take the sliver out and replace it with a nice, new cake of soap.  And when Linda’s is too small for my liking, I will haul the remnants up to my our bathroom and attempt to join it with the others. I tried for a while to just stick it on the top of the new bar.  In fact, I worked hard at getting it to stay.  I usually thought that I was pretty successful but almost always, I would come to the shower to discover that it was no longer attached.  I gave up on that one and decided to just use the slivers at the sink where I could do a better job of keeping things together.

For the past week or so, I’ve had pretty good success with three slivers, working at getting them to stay together, but then I noticed that the one in the shower was needing replaced, so I grabbed it the other morning, soaked it until it was just a little bit squishy, and stuck it tightly on to the other three.  Success!  I had a very tight fit, and I now had four slivers that almost were equal to a full bar.

But last night, I was brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed and I looked down at my soap dish and was dismayed to see this:

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“I can’t figure this out,” I said to my long suffering spouse.  “I keep trying to stick these things together and they keep coming apart.  I hate to throw away soap slivers, when I can use them, but they just don’t stay together!”

He came to peer over my shoulder at the offending soap.

“I know,” he said, without a trace of remorse.  “I keep prying them apart!  I hate how soap is when it is all stuck together like that.”

“But why???”

“Because it doesn’t fit in your hand right, and it just isn’t right.  I’d a thousand times rather have a little piece of soap than a great big one.”

“But Daniel, these are too small to really work right in the shower.  I just thought I would stick them together and that way the little pieces wouldn’t be wasted.  I had just stuck them to the big piece, but that didn’t seem to work so well –”

“I know!  I REALLY hate that.  I would take those off, too!” He paused as if he was thinking about what he just said, and then he amended, “I mean, they would come off when I was using them and that was irritating, too.  I just don’t like it!”

Alrighty then.  The Man has spoken.  I didn’t know.  I will mend my ways.  I think I will still stick small slivers of soap together for use at the sink, but maybe not more than two at a time.  Maybe I can get by with that.

And that is the news from Shady Acres, where I give grateful praise that the disagreements between Certain Man and his Wife are trivial and clean!

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Ordinary Days of grace . . .

It’s been a day when I should have been counting my blessings, I suppose, but it has been quite a day.  Actually, my week has been less than wonderful.  Blind Linda has been sick, coughing until it sounds like she is going to drown herself with whatever it is in her lungs.  I had an order for a chest X-ray, blood work and urinalysis in her big black book, so I took her in yesterday morning and got that all done and scheduled an appointment for today.

So she has been home, sitting in the sun room, listening to music and to the sounds of the open windows; birds chirping happily just outside on the feeders, Jays screaming their protests at the passing cat, traffic going along on the road, and even cicadas and crickets making their noisy addition to the late summer sounds.  I go in and out, making one sided conversation, and worrying a bit about how sick she seemed.  Then last night, I suddenly had a vicious sore throat of my own.  I decided to see how it was when I took her to the doctor today.

The good news was that she didn’t have pneumonia, didn’t have anything our of line on her bloodwork, and didn’t have a urinary tract infection.  She sat miserable and hot and silent in the doctor’s office while he listened and thumped around.

Dr. Wilson was his usual cheerful self.  He praised all that was good, then said that she had an acute bronchitis infection and that he was going to write her a prescription different from the ones that she has had over the last six weeks.  I hate to give her antibiotics so frequently, but this particular individual has behaviors that lend themselves to infections.  She won’t cough unless she is overcome by one and then she tries to squelch it.  She sits compacted together and nothing seems to induce her to breathe deeply.  Of course, this lends itself to pneumonia.  And she has perfected the art of not going to the bathroom completely while on the toilet.  Instead, she holds it until she is in bed, then she can soak through her protective underwear, down to turning the protective pad into an almost dripping mess.  She has been a little out of sorts, anyhow, though I’ve thought it was from not feeling well.  Of course she never says, and I can only guess.

I had a terribly long wait in the doctor’s office today, with my appointment being at 2:45 and not getting back into the examining room until 4:20.  Because everything was so late, I almost didn’t mention my sore throat to him, but it was hurting “worser and worser,” so I decided I would at least run it past him.  I told him that I would pay for an office visit on my way out, and he did a quick exam.  Pronounced me sick as well, and wrote out a script for Amoxicillin.

It is somewhat of a circus when I take Linda anywhere, but it is especially difficult when I go to the doctor.  I have my purse, her big black book and any instructions that the doctor gives me plus HER.  And she has been stumbling more and more lately so that I need to be especially careful when I am walking her anywhere.  But I organized myself after this office visit, paid my co-pay for my “appointment” and then maneuvered Linda through the corridor, around a corner, through two doors and got her into the van and strapped in and we were on our way to the pharmacy.

Excepting that, when I got to the pharmacy, I couldn’t find Linda’s prescription.  I looked and looked and looked, through my purse, through her black book, in between the pages of her book.  Nothing.  Come to think of it, he had written the prescription on my paperwork for the state, he had written it on her record, but I honestly could not remember him handing me the actual prescription.  I couldn’t say that he hadn’t, but I certainly didn’t remember ever receiving it.  By now it was five o’clock, and a good bit past closing time at the doctor’s office.  But then, there were still at least four patients after me, still patiently waiting.  So I dropped off my prescription and flew back to the office.  One of the office gals was leaving.  One was emptying trash, the office nurse was going over charts.

“Is there any chance that the prescription for Levaquin get left in Linda’s chart?” I asked breathlessly, as I spread Linda’s black book out and continued to riffle through the pages in search of the elusive script.

They were not impressed.  Unfortudiously they never seem to be impressed by any of my desperation.  “I wouldn’t know,” said the one.  “She would have to look it up.” And she nodded in the direction of the nurse.  The nurse handed her the chart and she looked over it.  “Nope,” she said.  “It isn’t here.  It wouldn’t have been here, anyhow.  He always hands that to the patient.  We never see it.”

“I know, and he usually does, but when I got to the pharmacy, I couldn’t find it, and I don’t remember him handing it to me.”

“Well, you can just wait and when he comes out, you can see if he will rewrite it for you.”

So I stood in the long corridor again and waited.  Eventually he came out and obligingly rewrote the script.  “I’m sorry,” he said, “I must have just –”

“I’m sorry,” I interrupted him.  “I may have misplaced it somehow.   I just can’t find it anywhere.”

“Well,” he said then, “I’m pretty sure that I remember writing it.  When you find it (and I think you probably will) just throw it away and use this one.”

“You got it,” I said, “and thanks!”  I took my precious prescription and headed out to my car.  I looked again through my purse, in my planner and organized a few things before taking off.  Suddenly, I was aware of the office nurse standing at my car window.  She was holding Linda’s precious black book.

“I think you might want this,” she said cheerfully.

“Oh, yes,” I breathed gratefully.  “I really need that.  Thanks so much!”  I headed out again for the pharmacy, hauled Linda in with me and waited for it to be filled.  It took hardly any time at all.  And then I came on home.

When I walked in, I noticed that Our Girl Audrey was shelling lima beans for all she was worth.  I had picked a very full five gallon bucket this morning and I wondered briefly if she would be able to shell them all this evening.  She did!  I was so happy.  I decided to go ahead and get them into the freezer.  Audrey had said that a great deal of them were “no good,” and I had noticed a larger amount of discarded beans among the empty pods.  Ever the snoopy gal, I had checked them and found them to truly be less than “Grade A” so I began to sort the ones that she had kept.

It’s a funny thing about beans.  Sometimes you can put a picking that looks pretty good into the blancher and it comes out looking rather sorry.  And sometimes I will think, “These beans don’t look the greatest!” and then they come out looking pretty good.  But tonight it was one of those times when the beans went in looking rather inferior and came out clearly defined as needing a heavy handed sorting.

This morning in the patch, I listened to the many sounds and felt like fall was coming on.  I wondered how many more pickings I was going to get off the 2014 patch.  An early hail storm had set things back a bit and the stink bugs are sneaking around and wreaking havoc.  I had close to a half a pound of discards in my batch tonight of five pounds for the freezer.

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If it wasn’t so disgusting, it would be interesting, A bean can look almost perfect, but sometimes I will notice a small irregularity in shape and if I tear off the thin skinned outer covering, this is what the inside looks like.   While other gardener’s beans have broken records this year for production, I can honestly say that this has been my least productive year by a long shot and the ratio of misshapen “I should probably not ingest that” kind of  beans to the pretty ones  is disproportionate.

Does this mean I am going to give up?  Not pick?  NOPE!  I’m so grateful for the beans I’ve been able to get into the freezer. (21 lbs. as of tonight) and if Our Girl Audrey can shell them, I can sort and wash and blanch and sort and bag them up.  I will be so glad next winter.

And now, I’m taking this sore throat and achy body to bed.  It’s about time.

And in spite of this disappointing day, My heart gives grateful praise.

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