Living Simply

0124131228What do we really need?  Shelter, food, water, and air.  Everything else is superfluous, right?

Personally, the other things I really need are an excellent shower and an excellent bed.  The last bed I purchased was very expensive but worth every penny.  Ten years ago, I got a Simmons Columbia model and I’ve not regretted it.  I get a good night’s sleep every night.  It’s even a no-flip.  Every once in awhile, I change the way I sleep on it, but that’s it.  I’ve protected it with a pillow-slip type cover, topped with a cushy mattress pad.  Both of the additions are washable.  I buy the best sheets I can afford, high thread count Egyptian cotton, which I still think is the best.  It softens and silkens as it washes and wears, doesn’t pill, and is a delight to sleep on.  I finally ripped the last top sheet I had, so I’m saving up to buy a new one.  In the meantime, I’m summer sleeping under a light cotton quilted comforter only.  I think if you buy the best you can afford, it pays off in the long run.  I’ve had cheap sheets when I was a young bride, and they pilled.  I felt like the character in The Princess and the Pea.  I felt every single pea on those sheets and it drove me nuts.  Before I retired and got poor, I purchased a lightweight down blanket (also a Simmons product) and I’ve had it for over ten years.  It’s great in all seasons, though I store it for the summer.  Also years ago I bought a down pillow from Wyndham at Home after sleeping on one of these dreamy pillows while on a business trip.  I’ve had it a very long time too.  I take it to the dry cleaners and they add down to it every year for a very reasonable price when it’s on its cleaning hiatus from my bed.  It’s a Joseph Abboud, actually by Pacific Down.  For the cost-conscious, I understand that Pacific Down has an outlet store if you’re ever in Seattle!

The one bed accessory I cannot live without is my dog, Maddie.  She is the best bedwarmer – ever!  Her little black body keeps me warm on cold winter nights as she snuggles up to my back and butt-hugs me.  Her presence makes me feel safe.  She has an entire side of the queen-sized bed to herself, yet I feel sorry for her every night.  Maddie plops in her special spot and does not move all night long.  I, on the other hand, flip and thrash and get up several times to go to the bathroom.  She stays where she is and does not complain.  I wonder how she does it.  If I were her, I’d be complaining bitterly about my annoying bed partner, yet every morning she licks my face at daybreak with what I believe to be a little doggie smile, asking for a simple trip to the backdoor.

The shower is a little easier to obtain as there are many reasonably priced shower heads available at places like Home Depot and Lowe’s.  I like the ones that spit out the water like rain, but I’m sure this is a matter of personal preference.  Nobody wants to fight with a bad showerhead.  Even in a rental, you can change the shower head yourself and replace it with the bad one when/if you move.   Nice towels are another investment that pays off.  I’d rather have one really nice towel than five cheap ones that pill and shed all the softness in the first wash!  Again, Egyptian cotton is my choice.  Those really big ones are useless unless you plan to wrap up in a wet towel.  Otherwise, the standard size are perfect for drying and hanging.  My splurge occasionally is nice French milled soap, but that’s a real luxury and not a necessity.  My shower head is connected to a hose and attaches to the wall above my head.  The hose allows me to use the shower to give the dog a bath and saves money on a groomer.  Speaking of the groomer, I just can’t afford to go there.   I purchased a mid-priced clipper and shave her down twice a year.  Okay, I admit, for the first week she definitely looks like “her mother cut her hair,” but it grows fast and looks fine after that!  Maddie is a shih-tsu/poodle mix (yes, that’s a shihts-pu) and she has this weird coat that is neither of her ancestors.  It’s very long and massively curly, but not tight curls.  The hair mats very easily after about the first inch and I just cannot comb the mats out after awhile, necessitating this shave-down.  Learning to do this was not difficult and the savings are worth learning.

My mom used to tell me that “cleanliness is next to godliness.”  That, and she’d tell me that poor as we might be, we could always afford soap.  I enjoy that daily shower, mom, and I really enjoy sleeping in now that I’m retired!

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Published in: on August 28, 2014 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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