Case in point, I begin to remove wallpaper from the dinning room walls, then the bathroom tile needs to be replaced. Coincidence? Here's more evidence. I begin removing wallpaper from the living room and discover that the dry wall requires extensive repairs. Common enough, I suppose. The toilet required plunging soon after that. (Finally, a task I could accomplish by myself.) And that is probably not too big a deal. Still, I'm exhausted. I know that everything I find and fix will be better for it. I'll like my house better because of it, but my house needs to take a break too -- actually, the house needs to not break for a little bit. Even basic maintenance has the appearance of a home-repair tsunami.
But there is always a break in the clouds. A couple of weeks ago, a friend sent an email that began, "So, I ordered 9 pounds of Lincoln Locks . . ." I cannot tell you how delightful it is to be acquainted with people who would simply purchase that much wool in one bundle and then send an email about it. She wanted to divvy it up, and I had a very good home for two pounds of the silvery, lambs fleece. Lincoln Locks have a very long staple length and lots of crimp. They will be ideal for my beginning spinning.
The locks arrived on Saturday. The friend had them in a large box, which smelled very much like the horse barn on my grandmother's farm. Definitely not the milk barn, chicken coop or the hay barn. It smelled like the horse barn. A very fragrant and robust aroma wafted from the box. The other bits of wool I have purchased as locks were scoured thoroughly. These locks were fairly free of vegetable matter, and yet they had a very gamey quality. The locks were separated into plastic grocery store bags, and as I carried them to my car, I wondered about any lingering odors. I'm especially attuned to possible lingering odors in cars after the wildly expensive crock pot-chicken incident.
It was late in the evening, but the locks needed to be washed immediately because the cats were prowling. They smelled wild animals. Being the indoor house cats and fierce predators, when they sense any prey larger than a cricket, they are all over the situation. I bribed them with a healthy chunk of locks. They took it to a secret location that they will not disclose to me. This is a location where they can make anything disappear. I am afraid that one day, after many years, this location will come to my attention. Hopefully, cleaning their kitty vault will not involve the Roto Rooter man.
I turned up the water heater to its highest setting and filled the kitchen sink with scalding hot water and lavender-scented Eucalan. My friend had advised me not to mingle the dirty portions of the fleece with the cleaner portions. I had no desire to make it any messier than necessary, so being careful to put the dirty outside tips of the wool at one edge and the lanolin-coated tips at the other side, I filled a colander with the locks and carefully lowered it into the hot water to soak. The water turned the color of dark tea and smells of anything that lamb had encountered wafted through the kitchen. I lighted a vanilla scented candle and resisted the urge to stir the wool. Agitation would only felt it.
The steady dripping sound became noticeable as did the puddle growing under the sink. I mopped it up thinking I must have sloshed water from the sink. The puddle continued to grow. Further investigations showed a leaking pipe. I emptied the contents from the cabinet under the sink. After sponging the entire area down and disinfecting it, the area under the kitchen sink may be the cleanest part of the entire house. The only imperfection in the arrangement was the plastic tub that the water dripped into.
By then, I'd rinsed the wool two more times in hot water and spread it out on towels to dry on the counter. I thought about having a temper tantrum, a full-fledged meltdown, but I was too tired. I decided to go to bed. Surely my house would heal itself by morning.
The house did not heal itself, so I did the next best thing. I called my Mommy and Daddy. They came to visit me, and Dad showed me how to fix the pipes under the sink. Mom drank tea with me and acted as if it were perfectly normal to have a kitchen counter that overflowed with wool.
Then I ran away. I went to a friend's house where we feasted on delicious food and watched the Oscars. We laughed and enjoyed ourselves. I felt renewed. So, hear this, house of mine. You will be fixed, and I will enjoy it. The Lincoln Locks smell like lavender. They are silvery and fluffy and beautiful. If that miracle can be accomplished, this house can be fixed.