These Noodles are Not for Dinner

My kitchen
My kitchen

In the evenings, I dangled my legs from the high stool at the breakfast bar and graded my students’ Spanish  homework. Could there be anything better than spending time with my dog and a handful of nacho chips dipped in chunky salsa? I often lost myself in the beautiful sounds of the Spanish words that resonated in my head as I corrected them on paper.

Circling a wrong tense here or adding an accent mark there, I savored this quiet time working with language in the same room with my dog, Buddy, his breath warm on my feet. Finally losing hope that I’d drop a chip, he’d stretch out on the smooth tile and fall asleep. His regular breathing filled the air.

“Ah, Buddy,” I said one evening as I scooted down next to him on the floor and stroked his silky black ears. “La cucaracha, la cucaracha ya no puede caminar.” I searched my mind for the rest of the lyrics. “Porque no tiene, porque le falta una pata de atras.” It had such an upbeat tune and was a favorite not only from my high school days, but with my students, who begged to sing it.

I gently nudged my dog’s leg. “Buddy, guess what this song is about.” He cocked his head and searched for the real meaning of life—nacho chips—as if he were more interested in his stomach than the song. Go figure.

“Ha! It’s about a cockroach that can’t walk because it doesn’t have a hind leg.”

Buddy’s tail thumped against the stool. His eyes followed me as he picked up on my excitement. He jumped up as I danced, estilo-Colombiano, around the kitchen singing the first stanza again. With one hand over my heart and the other out for balance, I shimmied my hips—or maybe it was my behind since I had no real hips to speak of and, come to think of it, no real sense of rhythm—belting out “La cucaracha, la cuca-”

As I tilted my face up, it crashed into the open cupboard door.

I bent over double and crumpled onto the tiled kitchen floor. Clutching my forehead, I sucked in my breath and let it out slowly. Ohhhhh. My throbbing head.

I felt a nudge and a rough tongue against the top of my hand. Oh, Buddy. I felt another nudge, and put my arm around his neck, drawing him closer, needing his soft nuzzles. His dark eyes sought to console.

 “Buddy,” I whispered, “I was laughing at the cockroach with no hind leg when all the time I forgot that I can’t even see.”

The dog licked my hand again, as if to say, “That doesn’t matter.” I think he would have liked to see me dance more, but I couldn’t muster the strength. He let out a deep, heartfelt doggy sigh, understanding perfectly.

I wobbled as I tried to stand. Gaining strength, I darted into the bathroom and peered into the mirror. Two large bumps swelled with a slender red dotted slit between the two. I traced the first, larger lump and then the second with two fingers. Great! Nothing like camel humps on my forehead.

Back in the kitchen, I sat at the top of the steps and patted the floor. Buddy padded over and laid his head across my lap. “Serves me right, Buddy-Lou,” I said, using my older brother’s pet name for my favorite companion. “Next time I dance, remind me to close the cupboard door.”

Fat chance. Out of sight, out of mind.

Because I didn’t usually see the cupboard door, I almost never remembered to close it. The same went for the door to the microwave. How many times had I smacked it with my head? Too many to count.

“La cucaracha, la cucaracha ya no puede caminar,” I sang softly, burying my face in Buddy’s dark fur.

Ppfft!  His small, stray black hairs tickled me as they clung to my skin. I wiped my face several times to rid myself of them. Just my luck. “Silly dog. We need to brush you.”

When my friend found out my frequent collisions with open cupboard doors, she thought for a minute. “What about a noodle?”

“A noodle?” Had I heard her correctly?  I frowned. “How can a noodle help me keep from bumping into open cupboard doors?”

“Well, it’s not going to keep you from bumping into them but it might cushion the blow.” She explained. “It’s an old RV trick because space is limited. My husband bumps his head all the time.”

I considered it. “Hmmm. An old RV trick.”

“We learned from the old hands how to cope with the space issue. You cut out a couple of pieces in a pool noodle and slip it on the corner of a door, and voila, next time you hit that area, you won’t hurt your head. Do you want to try it?”

“You bet!”

The next time my friend saw me, she handed me two small pieces  of a blue foam noodle with a slit in each one. With the help of my driver, I slipped them onto the corner of the cupboard door. They fit perfectly!

I’m happy to report the blue foam stands out. I haven’t run into the door since. I would have never thought a simple foam pool noodle would ever solve this low vision problem in the kitchen.

Who knew this use for it?!  Talking out low vision challenges is helpful!

Now if I could only remember to push in the drawers! 

This blue noodle has made a big difference!

Do you have any solutions for preventing accidents in your home, especially if it is vision-related? I would love to hear it! 

You have just read “These Noodles are not for Dinner.” by Amy L. Bovaird. Copyright July 1, 2015. I would love to read your comment and to have you share this post!

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These Noodles are Not for Dinner
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26 thoughts on “These Noodles are Not for Dinner

  • July 2, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    My husband should wear one around his head. He is always bumping the top of his head on everything!

  • July 2, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    That is a handly life hack!

  • July 2, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    I love the idea. Just don’t think it will keep my husband from stepping on a paper bag that he swept up a broken jar in and put next to the back door to got out to the trash. Somehow he managed to step on the bag barefooted and manage to cut his foot requiring 8 stitches.

  • July 2, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    What a fun read! Enjoyed your vivid descriptions and your emotions. And then a bonus idea. Love since, especially since we are considering getting a 5th wheel….Thanks for sharing a little piece of your world

  • July 2, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    What a great idea! I’ve seen them on the outside of RVs and figured they must keep the people from banging their heads on the slide-outs.

    When we rearranged our furniture, the low-hanging chandelier that used to be over the dining room table, became a headache in the making. Without the table there to stop us, we hit our heads on it all the time.

    Recently, I hung a little lantern from the chandelier. I found it at a thrift shop. It’s much more willing to move out of the way if I do hit it, but I haven’t hit it yet. I guess it’s within my line of sight more than the chandelier.

    Always adapting and thinking outside the proverbial box!

  • July 2, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Ha ha! Funny image! Is your husband tall?
    Thank you for your comment!

  • July 2, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Hi Nick,
    Yes, it is. Ha ha! I learned the meaning of “hack” as you used it just recently. 🙂
    Have a great day and thank you for taking time to comment.

  • July 2, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    The whole time I was thinking “noodle, like a spaghetti noodle?” Haha. Can you tell I am a tad bit hungry? This was too funny. There are people in my life who could use a noodle body wrap.

  • July 2, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Oh my goodness, Bonnie!
    So sorry to hear that!
    Hope it heals well and quickly.

  • July 2, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Hi Ken,
    Thank you! Always good to read that someone enjoyed my piece!
    Thanks for taking time to read and comment!

  • July 2, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Hi Melissa,
    Great idea about the lantern! I’ll have to think how else I can use the noodles. Perfect solution! If only I could put them on the door of our dishwasher! My wonderful mentor in San Antonio once told me,”Adapt, not Adopt.” So whatever works, use it even if it works for just one thing. 🙂 That is one of the things I live by! And I see you live by the same maxim!

  • July 2, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Dear Abundant Journeys,
    I love the whole noodle body wrap idea!
    Ha ha! Spaghetti noodle. That’s why I didn’t include a photo in the preview. I didn’t want to ruin the surprise. 🙂
    Have a great day and thank you so much for making me smile.

  • July 2, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    The pool noodle was a creative fix! Glad it worked. Love your writing and your terrific descriptions. This made me smile:

    “Buddy, guess what this song is about.” He cocked his head and searched for the real meaning of life—nacho chips—as if he were more interested in his stomach than the song.

  • July 2, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Thank you, Trish!
    Buddy always made people smile!
    Thank you for taking the time to let me know what you liked about my writing. 🙂

  • July 2, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Great Idea – except with all the walls I walk into my house would look pretty funny.

  • July 3, 2015 at 1:06 am

    I don’t know, Grace Grogan. You could make those walls look very cool — like a piece of artwork!

  • July 3, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Ha ha! Grace! We definitely have that in common!
    Gave me a laugh! Check the next comment for another response to yours!

  • July 3, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    I can just imagine it now…criss-crossed mixed with straight or v-shaped pink, blue and yellow foam noodles! Pretty soon, Ladies Day Journal or House Beautiful … or maybe RV America would be hounding her for an exclusive interview!

  • July 4, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Babies R Us carries a product specifically designed for this purpose. It’s a much denser foam that comes with two sided tape to firmly attach it to corners and sharp edges. It can be used almost anywhere you may encounter a hazardous edge or corner and won’t interfere with closing doors, drawers, etc. I found that it will not only save your noggin, but also knees and shins.

  • July 4, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Quincy! I’ve missed your comments!!
    I didn’t know this so thank you! I will definitely check it out and pass it along as a tip during my talks!
    Thank you!

  • July 5, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    What a great idea your friend shared with you!!! Those pool noodles can be used for so many things. I can’t count how many VBS decorations we’ve used them for, or crafts, or jousting! Now I’m wondering about using them to decrease the amount of black and blue markings up and down my legs! 😀

  • July 5, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Hi Carrie,
    I know! I never thought about using them for anything but the pool. Ha ha!
    Thanks for giving me more ideas!

  • July 6, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    PERFECT. Quincy!
    Thank you for the link! I am going to order some. I love learning about new solutions!
    What a great help! Thanks again! 🙂 It just goes to show, sharing is always beneficial – from my sighted friend and from other vision-impaired. Great networking. 🙂

  • July 6, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    You are quite welcome Amy! I hope you find it useful. I discovered it when my Granddaughter was learning to walk, and I began looking for ways to protect her adorable little noggin from all the sharp edges and corners in my house. I’ve since learned that that this is a great shin protector for me as well.

  • July 7, 2015 at 1:27 am

    Funny how that works. 🙂 I’ll post what it looks like after I purchase some.

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