Sunday, May 6, 2007

Still Life in Water and Clorox Clean-Up

After a quiet morning, Guy and I spent some time cleaning up the back balcony. You'll recall that we moved about 90% of our belongings off of the cat-pee-funk back balcony and removed the carpet from most of it. In the process of carpet removal, Guy discovered that some sealant was gone around the base of the exterior balcony wall at the northeast corner, where the catboxes were also located. He spent some time this morning as well as yesterday afternoon pulling up the tack strips around the edge of the balcony, pulling out the nails that held down the tack strips (which also removes a little bit of concrete with them), and scraping up a little paint and carpet glue. While he went to the hardware store to get some exterior-grade sealant, I took a bottle of Clorox Clean-Up, a bucket of water, and a sponge, and sprayed and scrubbed the walls and even the floor around the boxes, about 40 square feet of concrete floor and about 100 sf of plastic-fiberglass-ish walls. Our hope is that, little by little, with me scrubbing and Guy sanding off paint and repainting the balcony and replacing the sealant, we can eliminate the stanktageousness of the back balcony and finally be able to open the windows and doors and not nearly pass out from the smell.

What a difference from Saturday. That was a morning spent at the spa, getting a massage as well as a haircut (and allowing my stylist to give me my first haircoloring not from a box bought from the drugstore. My friend and coworker Ethel was there as well, getting coloring and leg waxing before her vacation next week. We then took off to an outlet mall for a great lunch and margaritas (look, it was Cinco de Mayo, okay?) and then some shopping. We found her some comfy-but-stylish sandals for traipsing around Disneyworld, and for me we found a cute dress to wear to my cousin's wedding at the end of the month in Chicago. "Unfortunately," we had to stay a little extra time at the outlet mall because a nasty storm with rain and hail blew through the area. More time shopping with a wacky, uplifting pal? Mmm, how unfortunate.

Of course, I awake this morning to find out that an entire town in Kansas has been wiped off the map by an F-5 tornado (the strongest tornado there is) and at least nine people have been killed by it. Wheatlands is nowhere near the town that was leveled, but it's out there in Funnel Cloud Central. I put a hand on my heart, prayed for the people there, and thanked God that Wheatlands chose to go with a precast concrete exterior, structure, and roof. If an F-5 were to hit the town of Wheatlands, the only thing standing would be the hospital. I'm sure people might flock to it upon hearing the tornado warning signal, and I bet that'd be the best place to be. Myself, I'd either hide in the MRI room or one of the ORs. Perhaps I'd cuddle up in the southwest corner of Exam Room 20, which is right up against one of the 8-inch thick shear walls and on the interior of the building. Perhaps I'd dodge into the soiled utility room in the patient wing, since it has a one-hour fire barrier wall around it and a concrete roof above it.

Every day, we dodge bullets and never know it. The storm that allowed me to spend a little extra time with a friend turned into the destructive force that leveled a community. The rainstorm that waters and feeds a tropical community becomes a hurricane that empties an entire Louisiana city. The assignment that keeps you at work late keeps you off the road when the drunk driver careens across four lanes of traffic. The stomach flu that makes you stay home and miss your physics test keeps you out of the way of the campus gunman. We dodge bullets every day and never know it.


Miss Kitty said...

Amen, Pixie!

The Wandering Author said...

It's an odd thought, that you don't know what your life might have been if this or that had gone just a bit differently.

By the way, I think there's some kind of enzyme you can get that "eats" cat pee and takes away the smell. Given the area, it would probably be pretty expensive, but you might find it worth it anyway...

BaxterWatch said...

A time for everything and everything for its time...

I agree.

The enzyme for cat pee is easily found at your friendly neighboorhood walmart in the pet section - usually its labeled in a spray bottle and uses the word "enzyme"in the title. They even sell it by the gallon, I think for refills.

but if its concrete, you're probably golden with the bleach.