Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sprucing Up the Empty Nest

I needed to take a break from the tedious task of formatting and editing my novel, and it was too hot to ride a horse, so I dove into a new mission called Project Hijack, in which my husband and I commandeer our kids' bedrooms.  We did warn them, or... err, get their permission to do this.  It just doesn't make sense for us to leave two whole rooms in the house unused simply because our kids occasionally move in with us over the summer.  In another few weeks, our youngest will have graduated from college and our oldest has no intention of going back to college, so the chances are low that they will return to the nest.  Of course, they are welcome to do so at any time, but until we have grandchildren who actually visit and stay overnight on a regular basis, we see no point in maintaining empty bedrooms. Visitors can stay on the roll-away couch in the living area.

My husband has been using the dining area as his office, and he is in the process of converting our daughter's bedroom into a real office with a real door that he can close so he can concentrate on his work.  I have an office with a door, but my fabric arts studio was whittled down to one corner of a room and one corner in the garage after we moved into a smaller house.  I haven't attempted to start piecing any new quilts together since we moved here, simply because I don't have a comfortable place to work.  So, I'm trying to convert my son's bedroom into a new fabric arts studio.

The first step was for me to find some nice storage containers for all the items I never unpacked from cardboard boxes when we moved two years ago.  Then I organized my fabric arts supplies better so that I could actually find things when I needed them.  Next I began tackling my son's bedroom.  I cleaned out his closet, happy to not find any spiders, rats, toads or scorpions in the process.

Then I noticed that his bed was a bit rumpled.  I'll just straighten it out really quick, I thought.  As I attempted to pull off the cover with one hand, the blanket, the top sheet, and the bottom sheet all slipped right off the mattress along with it.  I discovered that the elastic corners of the fitted sheet were rotted and could no longer cling to the mattress.  I threw the sheets and pillowcases in the washer and searched for a newer sheet set in better condition.  I found one, but could not find the matching pillowcases.  I decided to get back to that later and put a pad on the mattress.  Wouldn't you know it -- the pad I picked out disintegrated in my hands and I had to dump it in the trashcan on the driveway.

Mind you that the linen closet is all the way on the opposite end of the house from my son's bedroom, so each time I had to look for another item, I was getting a workout.  I found another pad, put it on the bed, followed by the sheets, and that's when I discovered that the blanket was covered in dog hair.  I quickly ran across the house, stopped the washer, and added it to the cycle.  I found another blanket, walked all the way back to the bedroom, only to discover that blanket had stains on it.  To heck with it.  I put it on the bed.  No one would notice, right?  At least they were blue stains and not yellow or brown.

That's when my shoe got caught on something and I discovered another pillow under the bed that had a poop stain on it.  One of the dogs must have done it, and my son probably got disgusted and shoved it under the bed instead of washing it.  So, I ran to the other side of the house, threw the pillowcase in the washer, considered the lumpy pillow, realized I could probably date it all the way back to the 1960's, and I promptly ran it outside to the trash can on the driveway.  How the heck did we manage to hang onto that for so ridiculously long?  I guess we were using it as padding in a box when we moved and it somehow wound up on a bed.

I returned to finish making the bed and discovered that the box spring was falling off the frame.  I ran to the garage and got a rubber mallet to beat the frame tighter.  Once that was fixed, I put the cover on the bed, but still hadn't found a pillowcase.  Before I could find one, the dogs needed to go outside.  Afterward, I was looking for any pillowcase, matching or not.  In the process of searching, I managed to pull all the towels and bed linens out of the closet onto the floor and had to fold them all up to fit them back into the closet.

I finally found a pillowcase in the linen closet, but it had a matching poop stain on it to the one I just threw in the washer.  Here we go again.  Seriously, people in my house do not wipe their butts with pillowcases.  It's the dogs.  Trust me.  Or maybe it's the toads.  Just when I was starting to think I was going to have to wait until the other pillowcases came out of the washer and dryer, I found one final pillowcase and was able to complete making my son's bed.

It only took me two hours to make one bed and another couple of hours doing laundry.  Progress can be painfully slow around here.  Now watch someone show up on my doorstep needing a place to sleep after all the work I did, just so that I can do it again when they leave.  It's like washing your car before a rainstorm.

The other ridiculous housekeeping story I have involves a liter bottle of soda I bought for my son's birthday gathering.  No one really wanted any of it, so one day I was super thirsty after working in the barn, and I pulled the bottle out of the fridge to pour myself a glass.  However, when I set it down on the counter, it was off balance, and it fell.  I tried to catch it, but the bottle hit the kitchen floor and exploded like a bomb.  The twist cap popped right off the top of it and in a blink of an eye, there was Dr. Pepper puddled all over the floor, splattered all over the kitchen cabinets and walls all the way down the hall into the master bedroom and bathroom, and dripping from the ceiling.  No exaggeration.

There was more soda splattered around my house than could have possibly even fit into that bottle.  It was bizarre.  I quickly grabbed a mop and wiped down the ceiling, walls, cabinets, appliances, and floor for hours on end and nothing I did got the stickiness out.  I mopped some more over the next few days, and ever since, we kept finding brown splatters and drops in the strangest places.  So, I spent some time today walking around the house with a Mr. Clean Eraser wiping down walls, door frames, cabinet handles, and even the insides of cabinets.  This is one project that will probably have no end.  Whoever moves into this house after us will be finding Dr. Pepper splatters in every nook and cranny, and she'll be scratching her head wondering what the heck went down at our place.  Must have been one wild party.

Nope.  Just one clumsy housewife with really lousy luck.


lytha said...

no one wanted dr pepper? what's wrong with people?

did you read my story about the day that happened to my husband - he dropped a coke bottle and it exploded? he had quite a mess and thankfully i wasn't there to observe the situation.

BUT, he wrote to the cocacola company and complained. bottles shouldn't explode when dropped. they apologized and sent him a box of 6 bottles of coke as a gift, and asked him to please keep drinking. *lol*

i know yours was open when dropped, so you probably can't get that free gift.

but i didn't believe it, that a bottle won't break if you drop it, so we went outside to the street and i experimented, dropping it over and over. nothing. huh.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Lytha - Hmmm. Interesting. The cap was screwed on and it was a plastic bottle, in my case. It had been opened previously, but I had not yet unscrewed the cap on that day. I think it is the nature of carbonated drinks to expand, so having the cap on is what turned the situation into such a huge mess. Had the cap been off, it would have just spilled on the floor.

Cheryl Ann said...

We have a soda stain on our living room (popcorn) ceiling from our son's high school days. I don't remember the specifics of how it got there. I just remember that it was from a Pepsi.
Cheryl Ann

achieve1dream said...

LOL that makes me glad I don't like soda because I'm super clumsy lol!!!