A to Z Challenge: Letter W for Washing (Feet)

You will believe this more as you age, but truth is that something as simple as foot care gets really difficult when you can no longer bend over and get close to your feet. Problem feet should go to a podiatrist, but most elderly people, like my mom and my aunt, can be cared for at home quite easily. I soak their feet for a few minutes in a basin of warm soapy water (and I always hear “oh, that feels so good!”) then gently clean under the nails and clip them. I finish with a foot and lower leg rub with lotion. If you’ve ever had a pedicure, that’s basically what it is, without the polish.

Your person’s feet are pretty important and it is good practice to look at them carefully. The best time is when you are washing them. Look between toes for cracks that indicate fungal infection, which is easily treated. Check heel and ball of each foot for callus buildup and remove some of that dead skin with pumice stone. Toenails that get too long are like having little daggers on the feet. They get caught on pant legs, wear holes in socks and even cause bloody scratches on legs. That’s when I usually get requests for some foot care.

Circulation is often poor in the lower extremities which leaves feet open for pressure sores on the heel and other bony parts. I know what it’s like when I start to get a blister from shoes that rub, or when I stub a toe and rip a nail off. It hurts, but your elderly person may not even feel the pain if they have neuropathy. It is a tragedy when an injury progresses to an infection, or even worse, to gangrene. Good caregiving means catching these problems early (even better, preventing them).

There is a surprisingly spiritual side to taking care of feet, which usually rank low on the list of body parts that get cared for. It’s an act of service to wash and care for another person’s feet, as Jesus did, recorded in the Bible. It’s also kind of hard to let someone do such a common, lowly act for you, which is how Peter felt when Jesus did it for him. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help but think of that when I’m helping someone in that way.

Another benefit I’ve noticed, as I sit on the floor with someone’s foot in my lap (I do it that way but you can be a bit more professional if you want). My people talk to me. There’s something that happens with caring touch that makes others feel safe, and open. Maybe it’s just because they know I’m an audience that won’t be jumping up and running away any time soon. Talking is therapy. It is good and requires nothing but that I listen.

Caregiving for other’s feet has made me aware of how important my own feet are to me. I have to take care of them if I want to be mobile. Yours are important to you, so take some time and give them some care, caregiver.

These are actually my feet and I am proud to have all my toenails grown back after losing some of them on last year’s Grand Canyon hike. It takes a long time!

A to Z: Selling Our House ( Letter W)

Today the roofing contractor called with the good news that our DekTek roofing has arrived and his crew will be here in the morning to start that long awaited project. With that out of the way, and our storage container coming on Monday, the realtor thinks we can plan on the picture taking event on Thursday and listing the house on Friday. I’m a little panicked and not feeling ready yet, but then maybe in a week I’ll feel different.  

W Windows (Washing them)

For a long time I couldn’t think of any issue starting with W that I’ve been dealing with but that was just because I hadn’t gotten to that point yet. Without going through this whole preparation for the photography process you wouldn’t necessarily know that windows, clean windows to be specific, are so important. For the best pictures the windows have to sparkle in their transparency.

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What window? Exactly! It’s there but you can’t see it. #cleanwindow

We’ve just gone through this annoying season (spring, they call it down here) when leaves and tree dirt fall from the live oaks, followed by greenish-yellow tree pollen that clings to everything. The leaves get wet and stain the cement walks and drives. Mold thrives on the siding that’s in the shade. Even though we just pressure washed both houses after the hurricane (October) we did it again. Our well water has a lot of minerals in it and leaves spots and streaks on all glass. They needed washing badly.

People joke about “not doing windows” even when they clean other things. I guess it’s not great fun ordinarily, but for me it was not bad at all. I have a wonderful friend who agreed to come and help me with window washing. You don’t find someone like that every day, and I am thankful for her. We got a lot done because, as it turned out, she’s good at it.  She washes her own windows in the same way I do mine – white vinegar and water scrub followed by a squeegee.

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Who can find a faithful friend, especially one who will spray the screens and wash the OUTSIDE while you wash the INSIDE where it’s air conditioned? Not many.

Two houses = lots of windows. We left a few because I’m sure the roofers will mess some up tomorrow.

Sign of the times for W:

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Just because it’s a good idea, As long as you’re washing windows do some of this too.