Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Detective work

So, as you know, I've been hunting down the cause of my household allergies. I thought at first it might be the carpet.

 
Anyone would be allergic to this.

Vacuuming took pretty good care of that. I thought it might be dust mites in the bed.

I can feel them crawling on me...
And whispering.

Flipped the bed, treated with vinegar AND vacuumed. Then I thought that it could be the air filter.

 You're supposed to change these twice a year, right?

Even the dog got blamed.

Et tu, Bruce?

Eventually, I came to my senses and remembered that like any mystery, you have to put the pieces together. Each of my suspects had the means, some had the motive, they all certainly had opportunity. But then I heard a little bird whisper a vital clue.

Still a better--
No, no, that's not right...

Still a better love story than Twilight.

What I had not considered is that our little friends not only had returned, but they'd torn holes in the duct work. The filter going from the intake was all well and good for keeping the stuff out of the AC unit, but then when the air was blowing to the vents, it was picking up all sorts of crap from under the house, from shredded insulation, to dust, mold, probably other stuff.

Use your imagination.

I've never been allergic to dust or dander before (or other stuff), but what I am allergic to, what will get me every time, is mold. I could tell you horror stories about it from when I was a kid, and all the fun places that mold can hide. It likes dark places, and when it's near by, you can feel it.

Is that an allegory in your pocket?
Or are you just... hey, where are you going?

This is why we will be hiring professionals to refurbish our duct work with proper cut-to-size solid ducts, and different professionals to remove our unwanted house guests. In the meantime, we'll be adding filters to all the vents so at least I can breathe. Or since I'm the only one bothered by it, there are alternatives.
We call it, "Working the Problem."

This isn't my first go-round with the idea. I'm also allergic to smokers in one of the smokiest states (Tennessee is 8th in smokers per capita). I think of it as a fashion statement with benefits.

Swarovski crystals make everything better.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Regular Postings are not Regular.

I never realized, when I started this blog, how much of my time would be taken up sitting at the computer and NOT doing something personal. There's no checking G+ and few spare hours to do anything at all BUT click buttons on the school website. Not precisely what I imagined, but at least Junior's getting some sort of a state required education, and not being yelled out of the room. So due to this unforeseen change, it's put a dent in my ability to post. It's as if I got a full time job that doesn't pay.

In today's news of the Home Front, I made a deal with Junior that if he helped me recover our living room from the Blitz that was Halloween and the first month of school, that I'd give him a pass on today's chore chart. You see, my mother taught me a lesson many many years ago, a lesson I take to my heart: If you've got kids, put them to work. Hey, Junior lives in this house, too!

Normally, he has his regular chores to do. I have them listed out with a chart, as well as clear rules. Our system is this: If he does his chore with a good attitude, he gets a sticker on that chore, if he does it but has a bad attitude, he gets a check. If he doesn't do it? An X. An x on any chore means he gets no payment. Mostly checks means he gets his dollar for the day, but no point. Mostly stickers, and he gets a dollar and a point that he can save up for some special rewards like eating out or buying off a choice of chores.

Today, however, he earned his dollar and a point, because he helped me get the living room back up to scratch and was a terrific helper! Maybe tomorrow we'll lounge around in there and do our work. Maybe tomorrow, we'll also get the kitchen cleaned up and I can be proud of our home front again!