Monday, July 4, 2011

Good Times

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I’m so glad that today is July 4th, because July 3rd had issues. July third was the air conditioning that breaks down in 115 degree heat, the passport that gets stolen in Libya, the child who screams all day without indicating what might be wrong. None of those things happened to me, but life got pretty hairy.

It all started with the lovely blue hand-made afghan I’d purchased at an antique store a few weeks back. The zig-zag knitting pattern had reminded me of all the afghans my Grandma Lotus used to knit when we kids were young; we’d always wonder who would get that afghan for the next birthday or Christmas present. I couldn't resist the blue afghan, especially since it was only a buck fifty, so I brought it home with me to join my house of many-colored blankets, a blended family that would rival Brad and Angie’s.

Since yesterday was not yet a holiday, making it eligible for much cleaning, I decided to throw that afghan into the washer to freshen it up. Who knows, maybe it hadn’t been washed in fifty years. Maybe a hundred. As the washer churned happily and I polished up another antique--a wooden table--with my bottle of Old English, I began to smell something odd. Sniff sniff, hm, what could that be? If it was breaking through the cloud of Old English hanging around me, it had to be pretty strong.

I walked down the hall to investigate; as I passed the washer and dryer closet, the odor overwhelmed me. What was that smell? It reminded me of something… I opened the closet and opened the washer and then it hit me: MOLD. That’s what I was smelling! I stuck my nose into the washer bin because that’s how I am—gotta get right into the stink—and reared back, entirely grossed out. What to do, what to do. I let that cycle finish out, then threw in more detergent and turned the wash/rinse temperature to BOILING HOT/BOILING HOT.

As it turns out, even scalding water was not enough to kill the nasty antique mold, so I tugged the offending afghan out of the washer and threw it on the back patio, where it fit right in with all the pigeon poop, milk crates, and nails sticking out of the unfinished roof. You don’t want to jump too high on my patio or you’ll impale your skull on the rafters. I ran two empty loads on BOILING HOT/BOILING HOT with large quantities of bleach, and the smell in my house is right again. But that was a close one.

Of course, at a stressful time like that, you want to connect with your friends, so where did I head? Straight to Facebook, where I whined about my afghan mold. Good stuff started appearing almost instantly: “Oh, poor you!” like like like “Here’s my organic recipe for orange/lemon air freshener…” like like “Try drying it out in direct sunlight.” No likes. It’s a billion degrees here right now. Nobody actually goes outside. “Throw that mother out!” The last one got the most likes, so I liked it too. The antique blue hand-knitted zig-zag afghan will stay on the back porch, roiling in its own filth, until the temps get cool enough for me to haul it to the dumpster out back.

Sorry Grandma Lotus. Continue resting in peace. Happy 4th of July everybody else. :-)


  1. Mold is bad. Preserving old memories is good. Happy Independence Day Kate!

  2. Yikes! You released the mold monster!

  3. I can't smell. I would have been totally oblivious to the odor and happily thrown the afghan over the couch til someone wised me up!