'Water gratitude' or 'The good old days have come and gone and they ain't comin' back.'

It's time for some water-saving gratitude...and it's not even Thanksgiving.

I'm grateful.... that I  haven't washed my car for over 5 weeks (even though I want to). It's a mess but nobody seems to care because of the drought. But I expect that condition will change this weekend (I mean the filthy car condition, not the drought). And yes, I do use a nozzle with an instant shut-off trigger, and I only fill the wash bucket half empty.

I'm grateful that I can take a shower and be smart about it. I turn the shower off immediately and wash my hair, so the water isn't going down the drain. I simply picture myself on the stern of an Express 37 sailboat racing to Hawaii, with 5 of my best boyfriends (including Carl who designed the boat). We each take turns on the stern, squirting with the hose sprayer, and soaping up, and wiping down. And feeling absolutely mahvelous after a quick boat shower. The mind is a very clever thing.

I'm grateful that the drought has made me a lot more sensitive about how I use other expendable items..like both sides of a cotton round for two face cleanings. I used to use one and toss it.

I'm a lot more sensitive about shutting the lights off when I leave a room. And I've replaced many of the lights in the house and outside with LED bulbs. Those last longer than I will!

I'm grateful that I'm able to use lots of paper towels instead of saying buhbye to the water running down the drain. I also use the Clorox Kitchen Wipes instead of water...they are kinda awesome. And they both live in the recycle bin once they're used. I'm sure they will come back in another form for me to use.

I'm grateful that I've figured out how to wash my face and save water. I heat up the tea kettle just before it's starts blowing off its lid. Then I put a washcloth into an oversized cereal bowl, and pour hot water over the wash cloth. (Makes me think that I may have been a barber in a previous life, when I lay it over my face (oohh oohh too hot) and I let the water/heat soak in.)

I'm grateful that with the water bowl I use for my face I can use the small amount of water I've squeezed out of the wash cloth for washing some of the kitchen utensils and kitchen knives at the end of the day. Then instead of rinsing them again with the water out of the faucet, I just wipe them dry with a hand or paper towel. Just like we did as Girl Scouts.

I'm grateful that nobody lives with me...otherwise I'd need to flush more often. Well, having Carl back would be very nice...but....

I'm grateful that a sump pump pumps the water from under the basement up to the side of the front yard. Now if I can figure out how to pump the underground water into a garbage can so I could save it for the rest of the plants, I'd be doing great. Not sure if there's enough pumping power to shove it uphill into that garbage can.

And I'm most grateful for an email I received from my friend Vickie N. in May.  She is my water-miser hero!

   We have added using gray water from our clothes washing machine to the already over-the-top water saving methods we use. We bought a 50 gallon heavy duty garbage can on wheels from Home Depot, and a submersible pump from the now departed Paganos store (it's moved to new location), and an extra garden hose.

  We found a new detergent at Costco that doesn't produce loads of suds and is so safe for the plants that one could drink it right out of the bottle! We most likely have enhanced the bottom line for those vendors and hope it is also reflected in our water usage. We have been very conservative for the past few YEARS (my caps), and it's beyond reason to go below what we were using in 2013. But we are around 65-70 gallons per day so we're hoping the water company realizes that we cant limbo under that!

If this makes you cry....either stop it now, or catch those tears in a washcloth and wring it into a bowl. Then use the water wisely.

Live richly, marilyn

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