11 March 2010


'Didn't you say you'd left me some steamed cabbage?'

Tuffy gets home late on Wednesday nights, and prowls through the kitchen for leftovers.

'It's in the steamer,' Scarecrow told her.

'There's nothing in the steamer.'

This is not good. Our dogs get veggies from time to time, but a) they're not supposed to steal them off the counter, and b) whippets and cabbage are a lethal combination. You wouldn't think a small(ish) dog can make the air in an enclosed space totally unbreathable, but I tell you, they can. Greyhounds can be bad that way, too, but our creaky old greyhound's counter surfing days are over. It's still too cold to sleep with the bedroom windows open, but we really had no choice.

I really hate it when our house smells bad.

The guy who lived in our house before we bought it was a serious smoker. The carpets reeked. Even the tile in the bathroom smelled like stale smoke. After four years, you'd still occasionally get a whiff of stale cigarette smoke.

And of course, there are the dogs. Gastrointestinal issues aside,  greyhounds and whippets are not particularly stinky, but still.

In the course of remodeling our house we ripped out all the carpeting, and threw out the area rugs that were in the living room and dining room. That helped, some. I'm really looking forward to being able to open the windows. What we really need is fresh air.

My mom is a major consumer of air fresheners, and I admit her house always smells nice. It just seems like using one smell to cover up another doesn't really address the problem, and besides, an early traumatic experience with air fresheners left me scarred for life.

Warning: if you're easily grossed out, you might want to skip this next bit.

I was a TA for a Marine Mammalogy class at UCLA back in the early 17th century. We collected specimens of dolphins and pinnipeds for dissection labs, but these were not the tidy specimens of fetal pigs or dogfish sharks that you get from a biological supply house packed in formalin. They were real specimens that died of who knows what, washed up on a beach somewhere, and sat there for who knows how long before winding up in a freezer at the County Museum of Natural History. By the time we got them and thawed them out, they smelled really bad. Really bad. People on the fourth floor of the Life Science building were complaining about the smell. The lab was in the basement. My office was right across the hall from the lab.

We set up a line of room air fresheners in front of fans in each corner of the room, not really because we thought it would help but because we had to do something. It didn't help. The scent of assorted air fresheners on top of decomposing marine mammal pretty much turned me off of them forever.

Maybe we'll just use some Murphy's Oil Soap on the hardwood floor, and wait until it's warm enough to open the windows.


  1. Ok, I needed to laugh. I am cracking up.

    I hate the fruity smelling air fresheners. When I managed a rent to own rental car branch it seemed all the pigs were turned in - the really really dirty and full of - well you never ever really wanted to know . ..

    Those cars always had one of those cherry or fruity smelling things hanging from the mirror when returned. LOL like that would help?

    We are lucky with Catfish I dunno where he learned that letting air was not a good thing but he heads outside.

    Annie who can reach the counter tops and does once in a while help herself - well she must have whippet in there somewhere - whew eeeee

    Ozium - number one in the Annie after fart arsenal.

    As for the washed up on the beach, frozen, then thawed - err YUK!

  2. Too funny about the stinky lab smells and air fresheners. I dissected cadavers back in the day. In spite of a lab coat the formaldehyde smell soaked into my clothing and hair. Was hard to wash off. People at my table in the dorm said they could smell me. Of course, then they made the mistake of asking me what I'd been up to!

    Jan, I did a week of cleaning rental cars in Alaska. The ones that had been carrying salmon in the trunk were the best. Not!

  3. Nasty business, but somebody has to do it. I agree, have my own nasty air freshner story, that covering up one scent with another is not best idea. Fresh: clean and natural. The scent of the air coming in my window over Lake Union right now. (Yes, a bit cold, but so sunny it is ok.)

  4. Recently I boiled a conch out of its shell (frozen for 6 yrs), talk about funky!! Vinegar and lemon juice may have exceeded water in the pot. :)


    Caregivingly Yours, Patrick