Now, if any of you recall, the US was hit with a freak storm back in June - apparently called a "derecho" - that started in Chicago around lunchtime and by midnight was slamming the Mid-Atlantic. I stood in my spare room upstairs (I realize...not the best decision) looking out the window as the lightning lit up The Farm in ways I have never seen before. The wind was blowing the rain in every direction you can imagine. If I was smart, I would have set up a cot in the basement and slept there. But what we've learned from this is that I don't always make good decisions.
That storm knocked out power to my house for about three days and a storm later that week knocked it out again for a day. Once that week was over, my refrigerator was making awful sounds and not really keeping cool. Also the microwave was shot, but that's another story. I eventually unplugged the fridge because I couldn't take the grinding noises anymore, then cleaned out and threw away all the contents. With my job feeding me three meals a day, it wasn't overly necessary for me to have a working refrigerator and I am curious to see what my electric bill is going to be without it. But as the summer came to a close, it was time.
So I contacted the old landlord to let him know the situation and a couple days later I got a call from the local appliance store to schedule delivery. How lovely. But then yesterday evening when I arrived home I realized that throughout this whole project I had been focusing mostly on my bedroom for starters and the mud room was kind of a disaster.
I keep my shoe rack in the mud room for two reasons: A, because my shoes tend to smell on account of how I don't like to wear socks and 2, because when I get home, I like to immediately kick off my shoes before coming inside. I sorted and organized all the shoes, discarding three pair to the donate bag and four to the trash. The hardest part was my favorite sneakers...this pair of Sauconys that my dad bought me one year on spring break. They are quite possibly the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn. I knew it was time, though, when I could do this:
Since the delivery guys would have to come in through the mud room, I knew I needed to do some serious work in there. And after the shoes were put away (and some mourned) I started tackling the rest of the room. The first ridiculous thing I found was this half-full bottle of champagne. If my memory serves me (and it usually does) this is leftover from the mimosas we made on Christmas morning. IT IS THE END OF AUGUST.
Next up is what is perhaps the most random collection of items to be found in one bag. A Royal Albert serving platter, a casserole dish, my copy of Breaking Dawn (don't judge), a gladware sandwich container, my favorite pair of flats (been looking for them for a while), my Hester College umbrella (roo roo roo go hogs!), and two bottles of nail polish (Ms. Can't Be Wrong & Ocean Love Potion). This is my life in a reusable shopping bag.
This one is kind of weird and I am pretty unsure how it ended up here. A quart-sized ziploc bag full of sweet relish packets. I don't even like sweet relish all that much. I prefer dill 100%. Add this to another of life's great mysteries.
All in all, the mudroom produced a bag full of trash, a box full of recyclables, and a broken down ironing board. Speaking of that ironing board, I remember visiting my friend Kristin in North Carolina the summer after senior year, going to Walmart and seeing it with the fun blue bubbly cover, and then calling my mother and asking her to go pick one up for me to take to college. That ironing board has moved 14 times. It's had a good run.
But what is likely the best find of the entire project up till now is this. From approximately November 2011-April 2012 there was an awful smell of rotting death that was lingering around my kitchen, living room, and sometimes spreading throughout the house. Last night, while cleaning the mud room, I moved the snow shovel and found this pile of gooey looking sawdust in the corner. It was kind of dark in there so I waited till tonight to inspect and clean it up. I'm not even sure Dr. Temperance Brennan could identify these remains, but I did find what appears to be a mouse arm in there. It's all cleaned up now, but I am impressed that something so small could cause such a stench for so long. Well played, Mr. Mouse, well played.
Days to go: 31
Bags to go: 30