Opinion: Toilet Paper vs. Bidets


I recall the day when I first left our new baby with my husband for an hour while I went to an appointment. When I got home, he was finishing up cleaning the bathtub, a distasteful frown on his face.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“I had to give her a bath,” he said. “She made a big mess in her diaper, so I  put her into the tub to shower her off before touching the mess.”

At the time, my reaction was, “Gross!”

In retrospect, it seems the most logical thing to do. It would have been better if the “showering off” could have been done over the toilet, but in the long run it saved a whole mess of toilet paper, or wipes or whatever else he could have found to do the job.

While doing the grocery shopping yesterday, I reluctantly picked up a 12-pack of toilet paper costing $9.00, an on-sale bargain. I was reluctant because I’ve discovered a much more efficient and environmentally friendly alternative.

When we were in a department store in Arizona in March, stocking up on a few groceries for the motorhome, for our mad dash toward home before COVID-19 closed the border, I was struck by the winding line of people waiting to grab some of the precious packages of toilet paper that were supposedly being unloaded from a truck at the loading docks. There were people with walkers and scooters and quite possibly other health issues, mostly seniors, all crowded together and chatting while in line. Getting toilet paper was more important than social distancing to protect themselves from getting the virus! The wearing of masks was not yet advised in the US. I was glad that we still had a good supply of the commodity in the motorhome.

Soon after we got home, while surfing the net since there was nothing else for us to do – we were under quarantine for 14 days – I saw an ad for a portable bidet. I investigated further. I’d already thought about getting a bidet, but it wasn’t up to me to decide to install one in our bathroom, and I’d never really tried one to know how well it would work. This portable one seemed like a good chance to give it a try. I placed the order. By the time the money was exchanged from US to Canadian, and shipping was added it cost me as much as one that would attach to the toilet !Two months later it arrived, just as described in the ad. It had a rechargeable lithium battery pack with a USB plug, and a collapsible wand attached to a six-inch plastic tube that needed to be filled with tap water. I plugged it in and charged it up.

Bidet with wand down

Bidet with Wand at first angle
Bidet with wand straight out

The first time I tried it I wasn’t sure if I liked it. It did leave my bottom quite wet, and it seemed a little awkward to use. But I followed the advice in the instructions and hung a small wash cloth on a bar behind the toilet, to use for drying myself off. After a few tries I got the hang of it, and was amazed at the efficiency.

Since then, I’ve had to purchase only two package of toilet paper, in much smaller quantities than I’d been buying. My husband is still not eager to give the bidet a try, like anyone that I’ve told about it. “Gross” and a cringe is often the response.

Now, for me, the thought of using the alternative makes me cringe and say “gross!” I also feel good knowing that I’ve taken one more small step toward reducing the clear cutting of trees to produce toilet paper and the amount of waste that is flushed into our municipal water processing plants or septic tanks.

While we might think that being environmentally friendly is not worth the inconvenience we feel sometimes, it’s worth giving new ideas a try. You might just find that the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience.

August 11, 2020 Mind Travelling – Journaling through the COVID-19 Pandemic


Writing anything has been a challenge for me lately, as have many things. I lack motivation. But I keep trying to set daily goals of some sort and push through.

When it comes to writing for this blog, I don’t know what I have that my readers would find interesting or helpful as they too take this journey. It’s been suggested that travel writing should be focused on local things of interest now, to entice visitors, but during this time, we’d rather not have too many visitors here in our small, virus-free community. Most of us feel a little panicky when we see out-of-towners congregating on our small beaches, or lined up at our ice-cream shop, without masks. There isn’t really much room for more than half a dozen people to observe social distancing.

So, what else can I do? This week, after a week of bouts of unspecific sadness, I’m determined to jump back into a few projects that I’ve been neglecting, two of them involving walking down memory lane.

I spent several hours over the weekend updating my Family Tree on Ancestery.ca and I found some interesting information that I knew nothing about before. I plan to post an article or two about that to my other blog site, Unfolding Our Past, one I started a few years ago, but then walked away from.

Another is work on my Memoirs, which I’ve been working on off and on for many years. If I’m ever going to get it done, now is the time. The years are slipping away too quickly.

Yesterday I decided to merge the several versions I have and try to get it together. When I found the very first draft, that I’d revised a little, I was encouraged by the  positive feedback I’d received when I’d submitted it to an online writing community that I had joined probably fifteen years ago. I’m trying to remember the name of it. I wonder if it still exists? I wonder why I dropped out? No, I know why. I went back to work, and began to travel more, and my writing focus changed, to travel blogging!

Now that we aren’t traveling, and have no idea if/when we will again, it’s time to get back to it. It’s interesting that when I was reading through what I’ve written so far, I felt a bit of an epiphany, like I was looking at my story through different eyes. The stress, that I usually feel when remembering the pain, frustration and resulting depression during the bad times, lifted. I’m not sure where this will take me, but I’m hoping to completion, whether published or not.

There are a few chapters (or beginnings) included under the Memoirs/My Memoirs Tab on this website, if you’re interested. Feedback is always welcome!

And on days that I feel I have to get out of my head for a while, I still have that quilt that I’ve not yet finished!