Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Shayna with my son, Joe who is either trying to show
her how to write something or holding her back,
I'm not sure.  It appears he was left handed then.
Happy birthday to my favorite cousin, Shayna.  When they said "beware the Ides of March"...I do believe they had her in mind. Instead of eating cake I bought some brownies to celebrate her birth. When I would go to the annual rodeo with her mother (may her memory be for a blessing) the traditional meal was barbecue, potato chips and brownies....for each meal....each day.  So....Shayna, this brownie's for you!

Having just finished The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult the day before also inspired memories.  In this story a man is dealing with his early life in Alaska and the bad memories associated being the odd white person in the tribal village where they lived.  The wife could not understand why he went nuts whenever they ran the faucet while brushing their teeth and any other activity that was considered wasting water.  I could relate completely.
On the reservation we hauled it in buckets from the lake.  When we lived in International Falls (my version of when Hell freezes over) I had the luxury of having water delivered. Such a city slicker! Once a week the water truck came and filled a 50 gallon drum in the bathroom, the washing machine, the bathtub and the horse troughs.  We had the bathroom fixtures, they just weren't hooked up to anything.  The water drum was used for our drinking water and kept covered to keep the animals out of it.  The washing machine water was used to wash the clothes and after that to wash the floor.  When it was too dirty to be used for cleaning it was poured bucket by bucket to flush the toilet...the one not hooked up to any sewer, but instead ran out into the pasture.  We had the greenest grass imaginable and try as I might to get Left Brain to stroll out to my garden, he just won't do it.
The water in the bathtub was heated with an electric coil (it takes forever just to get warm) and the bathing order was myself first, my husband and then the baby.  I finally could understand where the expression "don't throw the baby out with the baby water" came from.  It was usually pretty dark by the time it cycled down to Joe  since bathing was not an everyday occurrence but a moment to be treasured.
Water for dishes was heated on the wood burning stove in a bucket and used to wash the dishes.  The dishwater was drained below the sink into a large bucket that was either used to flush the toilet or water my plants.  I tried to conserve water by not rinsing the plates but after watching my husband throw up his supper every night we finally figured out the soap film wasn't agreeing with him.  Like I said, I'm a slow learner.
So, I think it's understandable why I still marvel even all these years later with flush toilets and why we adhere to the "if it's yellow let it mellow...if it's brown flush it down" approach in this house (except for when we have company).  I cannot stand to hear water running that isn't going into a receptacle or being used in some way.  If I were captured by enemies and tortured they wouldn't have to go fetch the water board, just have the army brush their teeth without turning off the water.
It's another reason I don't do dishes or laundry until I have a load ready. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  Now...I have some brownies to go eat.
Long Live the Queen of Water Economy


  1. I love that you're eating brownies today. I had chinese in honor of you for dinner:)

  2. Gosh, that phrase "If it's Yellow," reminded of a sister in law. When we would visit at her summer place, that is what she would tell us. Before that, I had never heard it before.

    Your story brought back so many memories. When I was a girl, we had a three seater outhouse in the backyard. Daddy's first project was to build us an indoor bathroom on to the house. Our electric light was a cord hanging from the kitchen ceiling with a bulb attached to the end of it. When I did my laundry, it was with a scrub board in the kitchen sink. Life was a bit tougher back then, but it was a good life.

    You have a wonderful day. Hugs, Edna B.