Bathroom Scales

Digital scales (photo Linda Bradshaw)
Digital scales (photo Linda Bradshaw)
For years I have used an old-fashioned bathroom scale that has the dial that moves back and forth for a few moments before it would stop at a number. I’ve never played roulette, or slot machines, but I often thought about how that action must resemble something like a slot machine or roulette wheel, wondering when and where it would stop!

About a year ago my husband brought a digital scale home, declaring that the old-fashioned scale was not accurate, and he wanted to use this digital scale. It was a large, black scale, and I didn’t like how much space it took up in the bathroom (compared to the smaller size of my old-fashioned one.) I was not crazy about the black color (I don’t know why….) I also didn’t like that this new digital scale told me that I was four pounds heavier than my old-fashioned scale! And, I especially didn’t like how I had to tap it several times with my toes to “wake it up” before I could step on it to find out the results. Often, the results were an “E” which apparently meant that it thought I was stupid in some way!

So, when the good folks at Ozeri reached out to me and asked me if I would be interested in reviewing (an honest review) their bathroom scale that didn’t require any “toe-tapping” on my blog, in exchange for being able to keep the scale, I was happy to accept their offer! I was flattered that they reached out to me. I was happy to be able to use a digital scale that didn’t require any “toe-tapping” before stepping on it. And, I thought that maybe I would give it as a gift to one of my friends/relatives that didn’t have a bathroom scale. I accepted their offer, and they sent me a scale.

When it arrived, I was pleasantly surprised at the pretty green color – perfect for my guest bathroom! I was expecting a white scale – not sure how it happened that the one I got is this pretty light-green color! Anyway, I think it is much prettier than a standard black or white scale! The Ozeri scale is smaller than the black scale that my hubby had brought home. I’ve included a photo that I just took, that shows the two scales, side by side. The Ozeri is the one on the right. I like that it takes up less floor space! The scale is slim enough that I can tuck it under a wire rack that I use to store extra towels, so it tucks out of sight when I am not using it. When I step on it, it gives me the results quickly.

Today, before writing this post, I decided to put both scales beside each other and see if they gave me the same results. I had to tap that black one many times before it would “wake up” and not give me an “E” result. So aggravating! The Ozeri scale did not need to be tapped – I just stepped on it, and it quickly gave me the results. I don’t know which scale is more accurate – the black scale told me that I weigh .2 pounds more than the Ozeri scale. They both told me that I weigh more than my old-fashioned one…..

So, my honest review is that I like the Ozeri Precision digital bathroom scale. And, I’m going to keep it for myself. Sorry, friends/relatives…. get your own!

Fluctuating Weight

All of my life I’ve had fluctuating weight. It is not unusual for me to gain, lose, and then regain twenty pounds, or more, every year. Because of this, I keep at least three different sizes of clothing at hand. When people give the advice “if you haven’t worn it in six months, get rid of it” I ignore them. Most of my clothes are “classic” style that never go out of style. I could not afford to keep buying new clothes every year when my size changes!

When I lived in New England, my weight gain often coincided with winter, and I called it my “winter weight.” That really did not seem to be related to what I ate, or what activities I participated in. My doctor always seemed to be fine with my weight, whatever it was. Interestingly enough, for about the past twenty years, I have been “borderline diabetic” which means that my A1C count was “almost” at the diabetic level. The doctor always had someone from staff call me with the blood test results, and counsel me on what foods to eat, what foods to avoid, and counsel weight loss. Even when my weight was below the accepted normal weight for a woman my age and height!

Healthy weight (free clip art)
Healthy weight (free clip art)

What has been frustrating is that I have always eaten the “right foods” and avoided the “bad foods” and it makes no difference in my A1C levels. I would have to say that my weight fluctuations have been related to medications that I have been on, and related to stress levels. Sometimes I stress-eat. Sometimes I stress-fast. Whatever. No matter what my weight has been, since I started having children, my doctor has never told me to my face (and the official guidelines for healthy weight for a woman my age always say I am within the normal range) that I need to change my weight. The last time my doctor was concerned was when I was pregnant, and he told me I was gaining too much weight too fast. So I stopped eating a donut for a between breakfast and lunch snack, and switched to yogurt. Problem solved.

One of the interesting things about getting together with extended family for holiday celebrations, is how many of the family members feel that they need to comment on my weight. Most of them are critical of my weight, no matter what weight I am at the time. That makes family gatherings very interesting for me. Knowing that my family cares is fine, but it is hard to keep from feeling defensive all of the time about my weight when my doctor keeps telling me that I am fine (except for being borderline diabetic, which seems to simply be a forever state of being for me!)

Electric Wine Bottle Opener

A while back, I was given an electric wine bottle opener as a gift. Now, I don’t drink wine very often. Nobody else that lives with me drinks wine, and I hate to drink alone. I don’t like opening a bottle of wine and drinking the whole bottle by myself, and I end up wasting a lot of the wine.

When I do drink wine, I like the sweet, dessert wines. I just don’t enjoy tart, dry wines – they make me pucker up! Red wines give me a headache! And, on top of all of that, removing the corks from the bottles of wine has always been difficult for me.

As I was saying at the beginning of this post, I was given an electric wine bottle opener as a gift. I have only used it about six times since I received it, but, let me tell you this – I think it is just about the handiest wine-bottle related gadget ever invented!

We had guests over to the house yesterday, to join us for dinner, and help us to celebrate Thanksgiving. I asked a few of them if they would join me in a glass of wine. The wine was a gift a couple of weeks ago from a new friend. He had made the wine himself, and I was curious to try it out! Having received several “yes” answers, I got out my Ozeri Extravo electric wine bottle opener and used it to open the bottle of wine. I asked my son (yes, he’s an adult) to make a video of me opening the bottle of wine. Here is the video!

Isn’t that cool? It is easy to use, and it works great!

A Peek Into My Grandmother’s Life

Yesterday my mother was visiting with me, and she brought photos and memoirs from her mother’s life to share with me. She left them with me to scan, and share with my other family members that might find them interesting. I have already shared some of them privately with the family members that I feel would be interested, but there is more to be looked at, and considered.

Among the items she left are three very old (circa 1920’s) autograph books. Apparently back then it was the custom for girls to ask friends, neighbors, relatives, to write in their autograph books. They have not been stored in archival circumstances, so they are falling apart. They need to be handled with great delicacy and care. Looking through the books, many of the pages are simply the autograph of someone, an address, and a date. Some autographs, however, included little sayings, or expressed wishes and blessings.

By far one of my favorite ones I have seen is this one that I am sharing with you here today. When I read it, I laughed a good, loud, belly laugh. I quickly decided to share it here, on my blog. Maybe someone else “out there” in the blog-o-sphere will read it someday and enjoy it, too. And I will admit that I probably “represent that remark” to some extent.

(Off topic rant: I find that when I am with other people who I rarely have the opportunity to talk for one complete sentence before someone decides that what they think I am going to say is objectionable, and they interrupt me. I usually don’t get the chance to ever finish my sentence. After a few noble but valiant attempts to clarify what I was trying to say, I give up talking at all. Apparently most of the people don’t care what I think or feel, and don’t want to speak “with” me; they want to speak “to” me.

Because of that situation, some people in my life have no idea at all what I think, feel, or know. That is probably one reason I am a writer and a blogger. At least no one is interrupting me and I can complete a thought somewhere, even if nobody else ever reads it. I know that very few people will ever read what I am writing, and know what it is I’m trying to say, or even care, but maybe someone “out there” might read it and realize that I’m not the total jerk that I have been made out to be by certain people. Of course that might not happen until I’m dead and gone, but maybe it will happen some day. One can hope…)

When I am asked specific questions, I sometimes share “news” that I have heard by listening to people when they talk.

But I digress…. Here is a photo of the page that brought rare laughter to my lips earlier today. I hope it brings a smile to yours as well!

Page from autograph book June 11 1926 Ruth Conroy
Page from autograph book June 11 1926 Ruth Conroy

If you can’t read it (for whatever reason) it says:

“When you tell a man something it goes in one ear and out the other. When you tell a woman something it goes in both ears and out her mouth.” And it is signed Ruth Conroy, dated June 11, 1926 (I think.)

A Plumber’s Daughter Writes About Septic Tanks and Rid-X

Yahoo (free clip art)
Yahoo (free clip art)

The following post is inspired by a question I read from a yahoo community group. The question was about whether Rid-X is a good thing to use. The person posing the question was having trouble with their toilets backing up, even though they had recently had their septic tank pumped. I decided to reply with my opinion, and then decided to share it here, thinking that maybe this will help other people with septic systems.

I am from a family of plumbers, (My step-father was a well-known local plumber, and I have a brother that is still in the business) and I have lived with septic systems since 1978. So far I have lived in three different houses with septic systems, and have had pretty good luck with them.

Setpic tank cleaning (free clip art)
Setpic tank cleaning (free clip art)

Depending on the size of your tank, and how many people you have using the bathrooms, and laundry habits, pumping a system every 2 to 5 years is a good idea.

A good septic tank cleaning service will, after pumping your tank, ask you to flush your toilets, one at a time, while they look at the tank before they close it up. They will make sure that water is flowing smoothly into the tank, at a decent rate. Sometimes things get clogged up in the pipes in a house that will prevent the flow of waste into a septic tank.

Please don't flush (free clip art)
Please don’t flush (free clip art)

Sometimes people will flush paper towels, napkins, tampons, sanitary napkins, baby wipes, even diapers and underwear down the toilet. Some people use the toilet as a way to rid themselves of spoiled food from the refrigerator that is too large to go down a kitchen drain. Some young children will flush toys, or small items such as watches, hair ornaments, ping-pong balls, etc. down the toilet. These items will often not make it all the way into the tank, will lodge inside the pipes in the house, and can be the cause of toilets backing up.

Septic killers (free clip art)
Septic killers (free clip art)

Everyone who uses the bathrooms in the house should be educated as to what should, and should not, be flushed down the toilet. A good rule of thumb should be if it is not something natural coming from a person’s body, don’t flush it! Some families don’t even flush toilet paper down the toilet, opting instead to put it in a trash can beside the toilet.

If toilet paper is to be flushed down the toilet, (and face it, most of us want to flush the toilet paper!) it should be safe for septic systems. Some brands of toilet paper are not safe for septic systems. Toilet paper that IS safe for septic systems should say, on the package “Safe for septic systems.” (To be honest, it has been years since I have looked for that notice – I use Quilted Northern and never had a problem.)

There are a lot of commercials lately advertising using moist wipes to “clean your bum” better than dry toilet paper alone. Their increased popularity has created an increase in sewage problems. Some moist wipes, like diaper cleaning wipes, clearly say they are NOT safe to flush, but people might flush them anyway. If you use a moist wipe for personal cleaning, make SURE that the package says that it is “flushable.” Consider that just because the wipe is considered “flushable” that it might not be safe for a septic system! If it is not both flushable and safe for a septic system, then play it safe and put it in the trash can instead of the toilet!

Rid-X (free clip art)
Rid-X (free clip art)

Rid-X is basically yeast, and will not hurt a septic system. A packet of bread yeast flushed down the toilet has the same effect. If you use bleach in your laundry, or if you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen and use it to grind up meat products, or scrape grease, or pour fat down your kitchen sink drain or flush it down the toilet, that kills the naturally occurring yeast in your septic system that it needs to keep running smoothly. Pipe clearing chemicals such as Drano or Liquid Plumr can also kill the yeast and bacteria you need in your septic system in order for it to function properly. The yeast in Rid-X helps to counter-act the side effects of meat, grease, fat, bleach, and pipe clearing chemicals.

Drano (free clip art)
Drano (free clip art)

I have been lucky and not had to use Drano or Liquid Plumr very often. I have used that little plumber’s snake that comes with the Liquid Plumr, though! I put hair-catching strainers in the bath-tub drains to keep them from getting clogged, and clean them after every shower. I’ll use a plumber’s snake to try to clear out the drains before using chemicals to remove clogs. I’ve lived in this house for eight years now and only had to use one of those products one time in those eight years! I’m sure that has helped to protect the health of the septic tank.

Liquid Plumr (free clip art)
Liquid Plumr (free clip art)

Personally, I have used Rid-X a few times. I think I’ve used it in this house only two or three times. If I used bleach, or pipe clearing chemicals, I would use it more frequently – probably every time I used the bleach or pipe clearing chemical! I know the box indicates that it should be used frequently – I think it says once a month. I think it is a good idea to use it, and all of the plumbers and septic tank maintenance employees I’ve spoken with endorse using it. I know it won’t hurt your system, and it might help.