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!

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.

The Spider Identity

After I posted “Spider Dude” yesterday I heard from folks who hate spiders and others who adore them. What I needed, though, was someone who could identify them. I turned to Twitter for an answer.

I follow the sci-fi author, Adrian Tchaikovsky, on Twitter. Tchaikovsky penned one of my favorite books, Children of Time, in which spiders play major roles. He happens to be well versed in spider-ology. Okay, that’s not really a word, but I like it.

After I posted the picture I tagged Adrian Tchaikovsky and asked if he knew what it was. He didn’t, because he lives in the U.K. and the above spider is American, but one of his other followers did.

Say hello to Anasaitas Canosa, also known as a Twin-flagged Jumping Spider. I’m going to call him Ana for short. He is non-venomous and is good at controlling pests. I’m so glad I didn’t allow Studly to smush him.

Peace, people.

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.

On Her Bike Videos

Several days ago I posted a piece about a solo female motorcycle adventure rider who posts videos under the name “Itchy Boots.” Here’s a link to that post if you’re interested: https://nananoyz5forme.com/2020/05/06/itchy-boots-videos/

Studly and I started watching her YouTube offerings and were impressed by her skill and her courage. After we exhausted all of those videos, we stumbled upon those of another such female rider who posts under the title, “On Her Bike.”

The rider, Kinga Tanajewska, is a 39-year-old Polish-born engineer, who immigrated to Australia to work in construction. Now she travels the world on her BMW F800GS and records her adventures for posterity while raising money for a young boy’s medical expenses. Studly and I are hooked on her videos.

Here’s one of the shorter episodes: https://youtu.be/zH3VnikPoVE

Even if you’re not a motorcycle enthusiast I think you’d enjoy Kinga’s journey. She’s not only fearless, she’s also a bit goofy, and warm hearted. And, as Studly was quick to note, easy on the eyes.

In a couple of episodes she’s had us on the edges of our respective seats.

I just wish I had an ounce of her courage and another ounce of her skill on a motorcycle.

Peace, people.

Mother’s Day

I had such a wonderful Mother’s Day.

Studly bought me flowers,

my son sent me designer face masks,

and my daughter sent me a set of “books” with each of the grandkid’s names printed on the spines.

Best of all, both of the kids called me and wished me a happy Mother’s Day, and Studly Doright spent extra time with me.

Happy Mother’s Day and peace, people!

When a Headache is Just a Headache

By nature I’m a bit of a hypochondriac, so the pandemic gods are having quite a bit of fun with me.

To me, any cough becomes suspect. Every headache signals the end. It doesn’t help that here in north Florida a thick coating of bright yellow pollen adorns every outdoor surface, and the particles find their way into nasal passages and beyond, resulting in stuffy noses, watery eyes, and headaches that seem resistant to Tylenol.

In the middle of the night I woke up with a headache of epic proportions. Behind my eyes the pain pounded relentlessly. Boom! Boom! Boom! Then I developed a tickle in my throat, resulting in a dry cough that awakened Studly Doright. Studly was actually concerned and offered to get me some medicine. I think his exact words were, “Are you feeling sick?” which to my paranoid mind was code for, “Is it the virus?”

I patted him back to sleep, got up and took a couple of Tylenol, even though those I’d taken four hours earlier hadn’t helped much. And I drank some over the counter cough syrup, that at least calmed the tickle.

Worse than the physical symptoms, though, were the imaginary ones. I was pretty sure I’d developed COVID-19, even while I knew that wasn’t the case. I’m a hypochondriac who knows she’s a hypochondriac. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

My headache is merely a sinus headache and my cough is but a dry throat tickle. It’s that time of year and I go through this process annually, but damn, it’s hell for a hypochondriac during a pandemic.

When I stumbled out of bed this morning and fired up the laptop, I figured I’d be unproductive in the writing department, but after a slow start I totaled 2,000 plus words. So, maybe my muse works well with hypochondriacs. Go figure.

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!

If You Give a Girl a Lime

If you give a girl a lime, she’s going to need a knife to cut it into wedges.

After you give her a knife, she’ll cut her finger slicing the lime, and ask for a band-aid.

You’ll get her a band-aid, but the sight of blood will make her woozy, so she’ll ask for some gin.

And once she has some gin, she’s going to need some tonic water.

Of course, she’ll need a glass to put the gin and tonic in.

Since she has a band-aid on her finger, she’ll ask you to squeeze the lime into the glass for her.

Once the gin and tonic and lime are in the glass, obviously, she’ll feel the need to stir, so she’ll ask for a swizzle stick.

After she stirs the gin and tonic, she’s going to need an ice cube or two.

Now that her drink is mixed, she’ll ask for some privacy.

If she repeats these steps several times, the girl is going to need another lime.

Studly Doright brought home one lime a couple of days ago. What’s a girl to do?