Saturday, June 9, 2018

Money Well Spent... and a Nightmare

Good Saturday morning, Everyone. Since I vowed to keep it real, I think I have probably been more real with myself, as well. I told my son I had heard the "Rocky Bell." You know the one where Rocky is all down for the count and suddenly somebody whispers, "Win." So, that's how it's going here at Meadow Lane.

Um... nobody ever gave me a sign like this.  Is that in itself a sign?

For quite a while I had suspicioned we might be fighting some kind of invisible war in this old, and I mean ancient, house. I know I was doing a version of that old cartoon of Popeye the Sailor... "Well, I'll fight ye with one hand tied behind me...I will fight ye with my eyes closed... Yub yub yub...." I had both hands tied until I decided to get some things out of the house. And I have had my eyes closed when I would "clean and clear."

My dad's actual bedroom and three others very similar...  Ugly little "secret" behind the pretty scenes of china on my table. Cat doesn't judge me. Why should you?  lol

So I heard about having my duct and HVAC system cleaned and sanitized. I kept that thought mulling around for about a year. (I move swift like fox rock.) Finally I checked the price, which was kind of steep. ($400 for this house) But I cannot ever let something lie.... I got on the list with a month's wait. I figured.... what? Here's where the blindfold comes in...  I had a semester of Psych in high school, and I remember the "Avoidance Technique." I suppose I thought they would bring in a magic wand of some kind and wave it about, utter a cleaning chant, and blue mist would come out the registers. Then I would write the check. Uuuuuh, no. Monday morning I spoke with the HVAC team (I love saying that because it sounds too HGTVish for words!) I casually as an afterthought asked if I needed to do any preparation. "NO... JUST SCOOT EVERYTHING ABOUT 2-3 FEET AWAY FROM EVERY REGISTER AND COLD AIR RETURN," the voice acted as if that would be easy, an hour's work at most.

I am keeping a few of most things...  With advice from my son only 3 made the cut to stay... Scruffy, Dinosaurs, and Batmunk...  

Many, maybe all of you, might need only an hour... But to move furniture and stacked (neatly ha!) boxes enough to actually get to registers in a couple rooms we dubbed storage...  It was monumental. It called for a simultaneous act of war against clutter... and it has resulted in more clutter than anyone (except maybe Mary with it sounds like a similar weight of inherited keepsakes) can imagine. In all rooms. Simultaneous chaos reigns.

However, the good part is coming. The furnace technicians arrived. They backed their truck up to the cellar door and put little trash bags over top of each register. I had to put my cat in a makeshift cat basket fashioned from a wire laundry hamper. She was so upset.... Dig dig dig she tried, but not a peep out of her. She hates motors and vacuums and her domain had turned into one giant vacuum cleaner. After a long time, they finished that downstairs and moved up here. Now... I know I do not know the circumstances or the pay grade of the two men who worked here. But from observation alone, one was in his early 20's or late teens, polite, quiet. One was in his 30's or 40's I might guess, also polite and quiet. One got on his hands and knees with 200 pounds of air pressure, foaming disinfectant, and a scrub brush and literally scrubbed every duct and grill until it is was clean as the day it was installed. He spent about 10 minutes of very physical scrubbing at each duct--- and about 30 minutes on the giant cold air return unfortunately located beside my stove and coated with dust coated with that grimy grease that escapes from cooking. And one stood... texting... Sometimes he picked up the air tube and helped it move around a corner. They were here about 4 hours or more. One desperately appreciated the large goblet of Mr. Pibb on ice I offered and one didn't need it because he hadn't worked up a sweat. Then I wrote the check. Yes, you have guessed correctly which age group did the work. But... I kept my big mouth shut. Even with all the heavy lifting and scooting I had done, keeping my trap shut about "were they on the same pay clock?" ranks right up there. And the one who did nothing????  He was fun at the end. He bounded over and turned on my AC (finally). ran around taking the bags off the registers, and inhaling with such appreciation the fresh-smelling air pouring out of the grills.

So, a few hours later my son walk in, takes a deep breath, and says he can tell a difference. I awaken this morning to zero sinus problems and I can feel the clean in the air... I have continued the Cause with my trusty vacuum, my Mrs. Meyers Peony-scented cleaner spray, and my Fabuloso from Dollar General.... and my beloved Steamer Mop...

Yes. Here's the Rocky bell at last. Nobody ever wants to put a clean nightgown on a dirty body...  With an old house pumping clean air out, I can't ignore any more nooks and crannies, baseboards and what-have-you. Bottom line. Rarely my dad was wrong. He would NEVER have paid to do this. He would have laid down and scrubbed each duct himself (which I have seen him do, but not for 25 years) or crawled through the system on his knees... but my Daddy didn't pay for anything professionally done other than surgery. Yep, You read that right!

About 15 more boxes and a couple little cabinets went for a ride from here with the Auction man on Thursday. And I have "pickers" coming to browse on Monday. (No, not the American Pickers.) I will let you know how that goes. This is getting too long!

Ya gotta love the kitty kat mentality to find comfort in the midst of chaos. She was so glad the cleaners had gone!

Have a great weekend. You know where to find me.

Whimsy and Hugs!


Latane Barton said...

That post was a fun-filled, absolutely agonizing, I wouldn't have missed it for the world kind of post. Poor thing but now your sinus problem thinks you've gone to outer space. Clean air. ahhhhh

Miss Merry said...

All in all, this sounds like a stepping stone to further decluttering. The moving of things 3' from the registers meant you had to dive deeper than your comfort zone and look at things you had not looked at for a while. The fact that you are moving boxes out and having the auctioneer make a repeat trip frankly makes me a little jealous. I think I need to be forced to start more sorting! And I bet you feel much better breathing in the clean air!!!! Can't wait for the next room update. I am still impressed with your kitchen. One step at a time.