Sunday, September 26, 2010
Pack all your troubles in a big trash bag.
After a couple days at the farm, we realized that the grocery store variety cleaning solvents weren’t making a dent in the accumulated film of disgust. We drove to a couple different shops and got bolder and bolder with cleaning solutions, unfortunately they weren’t the solution. The French have an odd assortment of DIY hardware stores, they start at the really cheap quality type small hardware stores, and work their way up the ladder to Brico-marche, and end up in trade specific stores that are really expensive. We found a good compromise and I chose some type of acid that could be diluted down from mild to varying strengths. We also bought a couple rakes that were really cheaply made, but we needed something to get the cat urine infused leaves out of the front yard. We were getting depressed and also slightly hallucinogenic due to the stench, after breathing this infusion in for the third day, Cindy was the first to fall. It started with her throat being irritated and worked its way into her sinus, what with the existing blend of the jet lag and hanging on effects of the canned airline air already stored in her system, she was a candidate for a mutated flu. So she slowed down, and went to bed earlier and woke up later, but she still worked at her nonstop pace. I meanwhile started using the acid in a couple different dilutions, and really the only formula that worked was with the acid uncut. So I decided to attack the worst offender, the first floor bathroom; who am I kidding, the only bathroom in the house. Well I poured a quarter cup of the bubbly on the floor and using rubber gloves spread it over a 2 foot square area of the floor with a floor brush. The result was instantaneous, the acid ate into the grout lines with bubbling, foaming efficiency, then using a water soaked rag, I went over the foaming results and swiped up the grime. The underside of the rag was loaded up with forty years of filth, looking down at the floor was rewarding. It resembled one of those T.V. commercials, with the scrubbing bubbles and the spotless streak in the wake of the cartoon scrubbers. For the rest of the day I was on acid watch, I finished the rest of the bathroom, and did a test sample in the kitchen, same results. We were making a dent in the first floor, and then I got hit with the modified plague, so we went for a drive to blow out the stench from our systems. We went to a store that sold appliances and furniture and browsed around. We did need a refrigerator for our temporary kitchen setup, so we milled around the fridge isle, then made our way to the mattress area. I didn’t mention that our furniture collection consisted of a bed, mattress, bedside table, and an armoire. It’s my belief that this bed was the final resting place of the sellers mother, may she rest in peace,… elsewhere. So there was the need to get our own mattress, even though Cindy had brought a new set of bed linen, mattress pad, and duvet. We even placed one of the existing linen table clothes under the mattress pad; still we need to feel unaccompanied while we sleep. We got a dormitory sized refrigerator and stuffed it into the rear of the little Renault. We finished milling about the store and drove home. I placed the fridge in the decidedly cleaner kitchen and Cindy and I continued bagging debris and shuttling it out to the barn. Our collection of trash was getting sizeable, but we wouldn’t be scheduling a container until our return. There were still a couple days of hauling bags-o-crap from the house, but the flu set in and we quit early that evening. I would wake up 40 hours later and venture from the bed, weak but glad the worst had passed. My main memory of this plague was the constant waking throughout the night and fighting for a comfortable position while trying to sleep. My body has never ached to the degree it did those 40 hours of hell, I would get up every 10 minutes and stand up gingerly stretching to alleviate cramping. I guess if you want to make lemonade from lemons, the good thing was I was so stuffed up; that the ringing odor of stench was barely perceivable due to my sinus’s being stuffed. We were now over the halfway point of our trip, but more than halfway completed with the house cleaning.