Saturday, October 28, 2017

Recycle and Reuse: Make Shaving Legs Easier

Anyone with back or knee problems knows how difficult it is to shave your legs when they're acting up. Something I've experienced with rheumatoid arthritis which I was only diagnosed with about ten years ago. I've actually had trouble reaching the lower part of my legs with a razor since the day I started shaving.

At age 11 my right knee started giving me trouble, lots of pain, swelling, and a weird blue knot. During sixth grade PE I scared my teacher to death when we were playing leap frog. This was a class where we did a lot of tumbling, cartwheels, and such, and I had great fun with it most days. The best I could ever do was a handstand over to a backbend and then stand back up. I could never do it quickly but I was proud to accomplish that. On this particular day my right knee was acting very fussy and we were leaping high. I told him that I didn't think I could do it. The coach convinced me to try. I think he thought I was scared. Well, I leaped over the person's back but the landing wasn't pretty. For one thing it's hard to jump when your knee doesn't want to bend, so I couldn't get the height I really needed, and then my knee said nope on the landing and I went down and I wasn't sure I was going to be able to come back up. Coach thought he broke me, bless his heart. I did get up but bending the knee was very painful and that was the beginning of the doctors. I had experienced pains in my ankles and other joints for the two years before. Mom would wrap the swollen joint in an Ace bandage and I'd head on to school. The right knee was the worst pain, though.

Doctors were pretty clueless, experimenting on me until finally we all agreed to just let the knee hurt. James was a sweetheart. He took over chores like cleaning the bathtub. There weren't many tools to help when we first married. I remember the first grabber I bought. What a wonderful tool. I have several of those handy tools.

As I got older, especially when I started having to lift my mother, my back started giving trouble too. So then my knee didn't want to bend, and neither did my back. The last thing I wanted to do was ask my husband to shave my legs. He would have, of course, but I didn't like not being able to do it myself. That's when I made razor on a stick.

My first attempt was just a razor attached to a dowel. It worked much better than I thought it would. Handy in the shower and tub. I happily used my stick razor for many years and wished I'd thought of it sooner.

When I was cleaning my father's fishing cabin I found an old mesh shower pouf on a handle.

I knew no one would ever use it again, but as I was about to toss it in the trash a thought occurred to me. I bet I could use that handle...

My new and improved razor on a stick. I bought razors with a curved handle to fit the best with the curved stick. One tie is to keep it from sliding and the second is to keep it stable on the handle. Razors can easily be attached with either wire, like twist ties on loaves of bread, or with plastic zip ties, or good ol' duct tape would also work. Great for quickly shaving legs in the shower or the tub with limited bending.

If you don't have a cool handle, a dowel works fine and can be quickly attached to your favorite razor.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday the 13th -- BAKER'S DEADLY DOZEN by Livia J. Washburn

Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in the United States. It occurs at least once every year, and up to three times a year. It’s interesting to find that while there is evidence of both Fridays and the number 13 being considered unlucky, there is no record of Friday the 13th being especially unlucky before the 19th century. And it’s all where you live, Hispanic and Greek culture find Tuesday the 13th unlucky while it’s Friday the 17th for Italians.

Personally I haven’t found Friday the 13th especially unlucky. We did have someone set a fire in a nearby field on an October Friday the 13th. Luckily my husband and I both worked from home, so we smelled the smoke and were able to call the fire department and then take our shovels and keep it from a neighbor’s house. Seems to me that was a lucky day, though.

This Friday the 13th is another lucky day for me personally. It's the release date of the 13th Fresh Baked Mystery. I am so lucky to be able to continue this series with Baker’s Deadly Dozen.

Baker's Deadly Dozen (A Fresh Baked Mystery) (Volume 13)

Going back to school can be a killer!

Phyllis Newsom and Sam Fletcher come out of retirement to take substitute teacher jobs as a favor for some friends, but they soon realize that the more things change, the more they stay the same. That means getting up early, dealing with students and other teachers, and helping out with extracurricular activities. The problem is, for Phyllis, stumbling over dead bodies is an extracurricular activity!

When murder strikes at the school’s Friday the Thirteenth dance, it’s unlucky not only for the victim but also for the student who’s the prime suspect. Sam’s granddaughter has a crush on the boy and can’t believe he’s a killer. Neither can Phyllis. The police are convinced, though, so the only way Phyllis can help him is to uncover the true identity of the killer stalking the halls of the high school before it’s too late!


   The light downstairs went out before they reached the stairwell. Phyllis frowned. If Mr. McCracken was down there cleaning he should have been moving around enough to keep the light on. Unless he was inside one of the classrooms, then the light might have gone off, she reasoned.
     Then it came on again.
      Something about the way things were happening made a chill run down her back. She was at the top of the stairs now, so she stopped and called, “Mr. McCracken?”
     A strange sound came from below. It might have been a human groan. Ronnie exclaimed, “What was that?”
     The lights went off again.
     “Ronnie,” Phyllis said, “I’m starting to get the feeling that something is wrong. Go back to the cafeteria and find your grandfather.”
     “What are you going to do?” Ronnie gestured toward the stairs. “Go down there and see what it is we heard? It might be a . . . a monster!”
     “You don’t believe in monsters.”
     “Right now, I don’t disbelieve in them.”

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