I’m sipping my coffee and contemplating the weekend rather happily. I learned a new skill (making scented “shower steamers“, a fun DIY project for a weekend) and improved my cognitive health (so the science says) and also my quality of life.

My Traveling Partner gave me a very nice gift of shower steamers over the winter holidays. I’d never tried them before and I was completely delighted. I quickly used them up. He bought me more. I used those up pretty quickly, too. I could see where this was going, and it was going to get expensive (and potentially annoying; I could already anticipate being unable to find the scents I enjoy most when I wanted them).

Small luxuries, shower steamers rarely go for less than $1 each (and you “get what you pay for” when it comes to items that are scented, sadly) and easily as much as $8 each for fancy ones from specialty boutiques. They seem to average about $2 each online…but they’re also pretty easy to just make. I found lots of video tutorials on YouTube, and some good DIY content on various websites. I already had most of the equipment I’d need, and some of the ingredients!

My first batch – lavender.

This all sounded like a tremendous opportunity to learn something new… so… I did that. 😀 Making them at home ends up much cheaper, and I get much more freedom of selection with regard to the scents! I enjoyed the process, and learned that – like a lot of things that “look easy enough” – there’s more to be learned that often isn’t stated in a description of the process. My first batch were very irregular in size. (I later weighed the one I thought looked “the right size” and began weighing the mixture before putting it into the mold.) The potency of the fragrance wasn’t quite as strong as I’d have liked; scents vary in strength (and often by brand), and there’s a bit of testing and experimentation required to get that detail “just right”. The second batch was cucumber-melon, and turned out beautifully.

Cucumber melon shower steamers. Yum!

I guess I’m saying it was a weekend well-spent. There was so much going on! In the shop, my Traveling Partner was also learning; the resin printer he added to the shop equipment was ready to use, and he’d begun making test prints. He also printed a cute set of Barbie dishes for me (I’m looking forward to painting them)! Later, after a discussion of the shower steamers, and what I’d learned so far, I made a point of saying that while I enjoyed the manual process just fine, I was less than thrilled with the results of using the moon cake press to make them; the very fancy designs are super cute, but a bit fiddly to get them to turn out well. I mentioned that I’d be content with a clean unadorned puck of some kind, or a cube, and wondered out loud if I should be thinking about getting a “proper press” and machined molds or dies for this project? We ended up at his computer together, drinking coffee and designing a resin-printed hand press that would produce a simply round puck (wow!) and then another that would produce a cube shape (with beveled corners so it would release from the mold most easily).

…My partner regularly blows my mind with all the many things he can do…

It’s fun doing these kinds of projects with my partner. 😀

Here’s the extra cool thing about this one; the shower steamers help me “put down some baggage”. I have shower-associated trauma that makes it super difficult to want to get into a shower. When my mental health is at its worst, this can result in poor self-care and degraded hygiene, and when my mental health is well-managed, I still find myself having to “drag myself” into the shower most days, with quite a bit of reluctance. These shower steamers completely change that; I’m not just willing to shower daily… I’m enticed. I’m eager. I’m looking forward to the next shower. LOL Win.

…What scent shall I make the next batch becomes the bigger question… followed by a cascade of little ones: sourcing the best supplies for the making of shower steamers. Which fragrances are the best value? Which smell the best in the shower? Which last longest and store well? How will I store them? Display them? Make them easy to reach when it is time to hop in the shower? I smile and finish my coffee. These are all very pleasant questions.

Day breaks beyond the window. I haven’t been sleeping well, but this morning I’m not thinking much about that, and I feel merry after spending a few minutes thinking about the weekend making shower steamers and hanging out with my Traveling Partner. I didn’t get everything done I’d planned to… there’s a package yet to drop off at UPS that I forgot about, and the freshly laundered towels did not get folded and put away. lol We probably ate too much fast food. But… I was where I wanted to be (at home) hanging out with this human being who I adore (my Traveling Partner). Hard to bitch about that.

Aging is its own thing, though, and the weekend was also fraught with those challenges. I was in a lot of pain pretty much all weekend, on top of the poor sleep. My Traveling Partner was also sleeping very badly. We were cross with each other over that, and some small dumb stuff, too. I felt my years. I was moving slower, and I felt stiff. My blood pressure was a bit higher than I’d like. I’ve begun to feel as if my life is counted off in Rx pills for this-n-that, instead of minutes or hours. lol I’m not saying it’s worse than some other person’s circumstances; I don’t have it that bad. I’m just beefing about approaching 60, because from the inside of my perspective… I sure don’t feel 60, but g’damn my body sure feels every minute of those years. LOL

I sigh out loud in the quiet of this mostly empty room, and look at the time. It’s already time to begin again… 🙂