Thursday, June 18, 2015

Writer's Workshop: I Love You, Water

This morning, I learned that I can bathe and wash my hair with 4 gallons of water!

I'm compelled to tell you this because it's Thursday and I couldn't wait to "Share Something You Learned This Week" as part of the Writer's Workshop at Mama's Losin It.

Tuesday night, I Googled "sound of water running in bathroom sink but water's not turned on" and deduced that we had a broken pipe under the concrete slab foundation of our house. I learned when a water pipe is broken under your foundation, HOT water is surging below you and it warms the carpeted floor above it. Cool, huh?

Wednesday morning at 7:00 am, I called our plumber and they arrived in less than 2 hours. I learned if water is flooding under your foundation, it gurgles up through the seams in your driveway concrete. When the plumber stepped out of his van, he looked at the weeping driveway and said "Oh that's bad!" I replied "Shut up! You're not making me feel better right now!" With a simple twist of the valve, our tattooed rescuer stopped the spinning water meter ("Wow look at that thing go!"), I went to work and Hubs stayed behind to supervise.

By afternoon, the busted pipe was located and Hubs was told the repair would take one day. (insert my cynical smirk right here) On my way home from work, I bought 10 gallons of drinking water to tide us over. I got home, my sweet husband cooked dinner and by nightfall, we'd already used 2 gallons of the water. Then the rain started.

How much rain can a poor Rose take..? via Flickr (license)

Let me preface this news with the fact that everyone in Oklahoma is SO DAMN SICK OF RAIN THIS YEAR...we had over 20 inches in May alone! Tropical Storm Bill delivered even more rain last night but this time, we gratefully collected it for our toilet tanks. There was so much rain, we filled up the 2 empty gallon jugs and felt like very savvy doomsday preppers. I decided to wash my hair with it in the morning. Later on the phone, my grandgirl was super excited to tell me that Pocahontas washes her hair with rain water too.

This morning I had a bathing plan in place...we're talking space heater, rain water and heated drinking water from the stove. I had a lovely (if not slightly awkward) full-body, sponge bath sort of thing, including a hair shampoo! I used a little less than 4 gallons of water. Afterwards, just out of curiosity I read the USGS Water Science School website - formerly smug about my bath time ingenuity, suddenly I felt like I'd been punched in the gut.

Hands in the water - Explored! via Flickr (license)
I learned that per capita, an average shower delivers 2-5 gallons of water A MINUTE. How many of us take 10, 15, even 20 minute showers, everyday? We use 25-40 gallons of water PER LOAD when we do the laundry. We are so ridiculously blessed to have clean water that appears at our command. For the past 24 hours, I've been obsessed with the following questions: Can you imagine hauling water from the creek like our ancestors did? What about third world countries in 2015, where women hike for MILES to deliver dirty water to their families...several times every day? I wonder how much water you could live on, if its price was comparable to gold?

Today I am humbled and more than a little bit ashamed of my unwittingly wasteful lifestyle. What I learned about water demands personal responsibility and conservation. Maybe reading this post will encourage you to join me and you can leave a comment below to take this pledge.

I love you, water. I'll never take you for granted again.

As I head home, I'm afraid to learn what the plumbing repair bill will be. My 4 gallon bath put things into perspective this morning. Instead of whining about our misfortune, I'm thanking the universe tonight that I have a home with clean water. It flows magically from 7 different places in and around my house. Hallelujah.

Love ya, mean it.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Writer's Workshop: Top 10 Timeout Chair Nominees

Happy almost Memorial Day Weekend! I've taken tomorrow off, so I'm delirious about having a four day weekend. Before I begin my mini-vacation, this post is inspired by Kat Bouska's Writer's Workshop prompts; let's talk about the "10 people, places or things that you'd like to give a timeout to."

Certain people, places, and things are so frustrating to me! Why do I care? Because I do. With this attitude, maybe I'm the one who needs a timeout chair. Here's the timeout chair I envision for such offenders, including myself.

"A Broken Chair" by Jinx!, Licensed Under Share Alike, Creative Commons
As a tribute to the last Late Night with David Letterman show I'll list my timeout chair recipients, from number 10 to number 1. (did you watch the show last night and what did you think about it?)

10.  May Weather In Oklahoma - Sometimes we have tornadoes. Other times we switch from the air conditioner to the heater and back again - in the same day. This year, we have unprecedented rainfall totals; delightful for the drought stricken areas of our state (Hallelujah!), dreadful for those of us who just need some dang sunshine (I'm gloomy.) 

FYI, the average May rainfall at the Oklahoma Mesonet station in Norman, Oklahoma is 4.10 inches; last year they only had 0.96 inches for the whole month. Look at this rainfall map; equally impressive and wacko and we still have 10 days left in May! Big thanks to Oklahoma Mesonet for allowing me to share this image and all the hard work they put into collecting this data. In August, when it's 100 degrees and all my grass has turned an ashy shade of gray, I'll miss this rain (I really am grateful for it) but for now, May weather - go sit in the timeout chair.

From the tip of the Panhandle to the southwestern-most cypress bayous - everybody got a good drink this May!

9.  Kanye West - On the latest awards show, your language was 'bleeped' so much, home viewers couldn't hear MOST of your song. For this and so many other reasons, go sit in the timeout chair and I'll let you know when you can get up, if ever.

8.  Texting While Driving - AT&T has been talking about this since 2010. Why are people still doing this? Your text can wait, don't be stupid. Don't Text While Driving, stop it!

7.  Miley Cyrus - Your voice is beautiful and talented, the way you act is neither. I'd like for you to go sit in the timeout chair until you're 40 years old and then be appropriately horrified by your most recent stunts.

6.  Kale - I know you're good for me but dude, you literally stink. Don't sit in the timeout chair (you'll just stink it up) just go away and send another vegetable to take your place on the menu. It's nothing personal.
"Kale-Bundle" by Evan-Amos - Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons

5. Ugly Old Lady Shoes -I'm 52 years old and I need 'good' shoes to take care of my aging feet. I want cute and stylish shoes but I can no longer wear the cheap shoes of my youth. My options seem trapped somewhere between Britney Spears and Betty White when I shop for shoes. Ugly Old Lady Shoes...go sit in the timeout chair until you get cuter and cheaper!

4.  Folks Who Don't Know How To Merge Onto A Highway - I'll need a driver's ed certificate before you can get out of the timeout chair.

3.  Overlings Who Are Deaf To Underlings - Sometimes underlings have great ideas; no one is so important that they can't entertain the opinions of those 'lesser' than them in some way. Go sit in the timeout chair until you get a clue about respect.

2.  Prejudice - By definition this is a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. Prejudice against another race, against law enforcement, against fat people, against old people, against young people, against those of another religion - all of you go sit in the timeout chair until you make amends and educate yourselves about each other. Now!

And the number 1 people, place or thing that needs to go to the timeout chair is...

1.  Action Movies Made Primarily With CGI - aliens, zombies, time travelers, blowing up the White House, earthquakes, tidal waves, Tom Cruise rescuing the planet with his bare hands - all of you go to the timeout chair! ONLY come back as movies that highlight the wonderful things about real-life humans and their connections to each other. I'd like a good story and a plot that allows me to enjoy my popcorn and white cherry icy drink.

Thanks for listening today. What items would make your Top 10 Timeout Chair List? Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear your nominees.

Also, please take a moment to click the Mama Kat's Writing Workshop badge on the right side of this page and discover some amazing bloggers.

Rose Marie B, Keeper of the Virtual Timeout Chair