Never Underestimate the Value of a Good Shower

Yesterday (Friday) was the first day in two weeks that Studly Doright and I were able to use the shower in our master bathroom. A water leak in the hot water pipes had us taking sponge baths and ultimately building a temporary shower stall in the garage.

It wasn’t pretty, but Studly had it hooked up directly to the hot water heater, so after nearly a week of sponge baths it felt like heaven.

We’ve now dismantled the structure. There’s no telling what the bits and pieces of our shower will be used for in the future. Let’s just hope they never have to come together to be a shower again. I couldn’t concentrate in there, and the acoustics weren’t great.

Peace, people.

Are Those Your Knickers?

My beautiful blogging friend, Shirley Blamey, called me via FaceTime from her home in England this afternoon. Her equally beautiful husband, Michael Steeden, joined us on the call. I absolutely love these two—their wit, wisdom, and encouragement have helped buoy me as I attempt to finish my novel during the pandemic.

We’ve enjoyed several FaceTime calls and I’ve become quite comfortable letting these two wonderful people into my life. So comfortable in fact that as I was engaged in conversation I set about the task of hanging some of my delicates up to dry.

All at once I hear Shirley say, “Are those your knickers?”

For some reason I thought my panties weren’t visible on the screen, but sure enough, those were my knickers. I just hope dear Shirley and Mike aren’t permanently scarred by the sight.

Not my panties. Not my clothesline.

Peace, people.

The Inside Story of the Outside Shower

Yesterday I wrote about Studly Doright building us a temporary shower to use until plumbers can fix our water leak. I shared a few photos, but they didn’t include the faucets or the handy accessories he added.

Notice we have a faucet for cold water and one for hot.
He also added a shelf for soap and shampoo.
And he placed one of the boards at a height that will allow me to shave my legs.

One of the most unexpectedly fun parts of having a shower in the garage is the weirdness of being naked in a place where I’ve never been naked before. So, I’m weird and maybe a closeted exhibitionist. At least I’m clean.

Peace, people.

MacGyver Doright

When I began writing posts for this blog I needed a nickname for my husband. The first one to pop into my head was Studly Doright, based on a cartoon character from my childhood.

Dudley Do Right, not to be confused with Studly Doright.

But also in the running was some version of MacGyver after the tv series about a man named MacGyver who, week after week had to solve some problem or series of problems in order to triumph over evil.

The original MacGyver, Richard Dean Anderson. My oh my.

Since I couldn’t come up with anything clever based on the MacGyver name, Studly Doright won out, but occasionally I really wish I’d gone with the MacGyver moniker. Like right now.

Those that have read my recent blog posts know that we had a water leak here at Doright Manor. The leak went unnoticed for a day, resulting in wet carpet and calls to the plumber. It took awhile to get a plumber out here, so in the meantime, Studly isolated the problem and turned off the hot water.

That was last Friday, a week ago today. We’ve since had the insurance appraiser pay a visit, as well as assorted plumbers and there’s a game plan in place for repairing the plumbing. Unfortunately they won’t be able to begin work until Tuesday. That means we’re still without hot water. That means no hot showers.

I’ve been heating water on the stove to wash my hair and taking sponge baths, but folks, I was not meant to be a pioneer woman. I might have whined once or twice. Studly has been taking cold showers. He’s whined more than I.

But Studly isn’t a whiner by nature, he’s a problem solver, so yesterday he called me into the garage where a variety of materials had been collected.

“What’s all this?” I asked.

“As soon as we get this put together, it’s going to be a shower.”

I knew better than to question his judgement. He tends to get a little defensive if I say too much. Instead, I followed his directions and in about an hour we had a working shower with hot and cold running water.

We have to close the garage door most of the way so no one sees us naked, but not all the way so the water has a place to flow.

I didn’t photograph the faucets, so you’ll have to trust me that they were installed on top of the frame. The thing worked perfectly. We both had a hot shower thus eliminating the need for whining.

Now, I texted my kids during the process and my daughter texted this in return:

Yes, Studly didn’t have to MacGyver the whole thing, but his shower has a certain charm that the store bought one doesn’t, and it cost less as well.

The most important thing is, I Can SHOWER!!!

Peace, people!

We Have Air; Still No Hot Water

On the home front here at Doright Manor we have air conditioning once again. The service man was quick, courteous, and properly covered for the times in which we live. Face mask and gloves, no-contact payment. I was impressed.

A pair of plumbers came all the way from Gainesville, FL, a two and a half hour drive, to map out the layout of our water pipes in order to locate the source of the leak and write up a plan to address the situation. They, too, wore masks and gloves. Their fix isn’t going to be as clean and quick as the air conditioning repair work was, but at least we’re moving in the right direction.

I’ve become rather adept at washing my hair over the kitchen sink with water heated in my tea kettle, but I’m tired of giving myself sponge baths. Our temperature high for the day is supposed to be 89°. I might stretch the water hose out along the driveway to soak up the sun, so this afternoon I could have a warm shower outside. For the neighbors’ sake, I will wear a bathing suit. Still contemplating the logistics.

Wish me luck, y’all.

Peace, people.

Day Two of No Hot Water

We had a water leak in a pipe underneath the sink in one of our guest bathrooms here at Doright Manor. The water seeped into the carpet in an adjacent room—Studly Doright’s office. Fortunately we caught it before too many days went by. Studly Doright turned off our hot water, so at least I have access to cold water that can be heated for various uses.

I heated water for a “bath” in the sink on Saturday morning. My hair is still fairly short, so it wasn’t too difficult to clean. And I gave myself a sponge bath. I don’t feel as clean as I would following a shower, though. Today, I bought some dry shampoo. I hope it will yield good results.

Washing dishes was labor intensive, but not awful. Finding the right ratio of hot to cold water was a trial and error affair. I’m strongly encouraging the use of plastic cups and paper plates for the time being,

Some good news—the damages will be covered by our insurance. We’ll be responsible for paying a deductible, but will gladly do so rather than be stuck with a four or five thousand dollar repair bill.

The bad news? It might take awhile for Doright Manor to get back to normal. The insurance company will provide us with a list of plumbers, but the leak is in pipes running through the foundation of the house. Not an easy fix.

I’m so ready for normality. I just hope I recognize it when it arrives.

When it Rains, You Get Wet

You know the old saying, “When it rains, it pours”? Here at Doright Manor it might not be pouring, but it’s certainly dribbling at a pretty good clip.

A week or so ago I noticed that the water for my morning shower was getting hot more quickly and staying hot much longer than normal. I like my showers hot, but not near boiling. Then today, there was zero hot water. Hmmm.

Also today, we noticed the carpet in Studly Doright’s home office was wet. Now that his company has called employees back to work at their regular office we are seldom in that room. Had I not been sorting through some craft materials, I might not have noticed the dampness until it began to smell like mildew.

Studly’s pretty certain the two events are connected and that the job calls for more plumbing expertise than he has. He’s called plumber after plumber, but no one he’s talked to will come into homes right now thanks to the Coronavirus.

Current status: No hot water, so no shower, no washing machine, no dishwasher. We’re going to start stinking before long.

Peace, people.

Cookie of the Century

When one sticks to a mostly vegan diet, as I do, one is constantly on the lookout for good snack foods. Well, at least I am. Yesterday I drove over to Whole Foods on Thomasville Road to buy bananas and foil. I was pleased to see that all but one or two shoppers were wearing masks and gloves. That’s not always the case at the Publix grocery store nearest Doright Manor where I’m often the only one in PPE besides the employees.

So, feeling like I didn’t have to run in and out of the store as I do at Publix, I went to the snack foods aisle where I found these cookies:

Uncle Eddie’s Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts. They are incredibly good. In fact, these might just be the best cookies I’ve ever had—and that includes homemade cookies. I promise even if I weren’t vegan I’d be singing their praises.

No one paid me to say this. Uncle Eddie doesn’t even know I exist, but if he wanted to adopt me I’d be all in.

Peace, people!

As the Wise Man Sayeth

Years ago, back when Studly Doright was a competitive racquetball player, his primary nemesis on the courts was a guy named Alan (maybe spelled Allen, I don’t recall). Alan was an experienced racquetball player, and the best in our mid-sized Texas town, long before Studly began playing the game, and for years beating Alan at racquetball was Studly’s primary goal.

Now, Studly has always been a competitive soul, and at one time he was quite the athlete. Before long he and Alan were frequently in contention for the city championship. I forget which man ended up with the most first place trophies, but I do believe it was the love of my life. That would be Studly, not Alan.

Alan was, and likely still is, a hoot. He could psyche Studly out before, during, and after a racquetball match, and that was no easy feat. Of course, Studly could give as good as he got. Even when they weren’t on the court, the two played constant mind games on each other.

One day about a week before the city championship, Alan showed up at our home unexpectedly. Studly answered the door invited Alan back to the den where I was sitting on the sofa folding laundry. I had on my workout clothes, no makeup, and my hair was still wet from the shower. Immediately upon seeing me sitting there, Alan exclaimed, “Leslie, until this moment I never realized what a beauty you are!”

This declaration was definitely aimed at unnerving Studly before the big tournament, but for just a second I blushed like a teenager. Alan went on to praise my burgeoning skills in the racquetball court before leaving me with a few words of advice: “Never be in too big a hurry to win or to lose.”

I recalled Alan’s saying today when I realized that I’d been in such a hurry to finish my novel that I’d written a bunch of crap in the last two thousand words or so. What to do? I’ll chunk those words into my “slush” file and try again. It won’t be the first time I’ve had to take that action, but hopefully the last time. For this novel, anyway.

Peace, people.

My Supervisor

Normally Scout can be found acting as Studly Doright’s home office co-worker, and I have to work alone. We’ve decided she’s the head of Human Resources here at Doright Manor, and considers Studly to be more of an HR problem than I am.

Today, though, she’s been supervising my work. I’m not sure if it’s because she knows I’m coming to the end of the novel I’m writing and is trying to encourage me, or if she’s making sure I don’t slack off. Either way, she’s been sitting and staring at me for a good fifteen minutes. It’s kind of freaking me out.

Peace, people.