If you read loyally, you know I have a love-hate relationship with my house. There are many reasons for both attitudes, which I'm not going into now, but suffice it to say that I love the idea of my house, the location of my house, and the yard of my house. Today I hate my house, and of the many reasons to hate it, today's reason #1 is that it STINKS.
I have what I think is an abnormally sensitive olfactory whatchamacallit. What that means is that I remember smells like other people remember events: One whiff of a certain cologne takes me back to a boy in high school. The smell of honeysuckle at this time of year makes me dizzy with memories of childhood. It means that when things smell good, they smell really good. On the flip side, however, are the really stinky stinks.
On most days, my house smells like an old lady's house. I could be wading up to my ankles in Febreze and carpet freshener and have enough scented candles burning to be seen from space, and it would STILL smell like an old lady's house. Frequently, on my way through the house, I catch a whiff of my grandmother's perfume (which is not a bad thing, but it's still an old lady thing). The musty old grandmother smell I'm used to, even though I covet desperately the potpourri/candle shop scent of some of my friends' houses.
But this is not about my rampant jealousy, so on to the stinks:
A bucket full of plants I hijacked from my mother's yard on Mothers' Day. I didn't have time to plant them all, so I put them in a bucket with a little water to keep them alive. The bucket has no drain; it's rained every other day for weeks. Bucket with no drain + rainwater + probably decaying plant life = "Did someone spread fertilizer?"
An upstairs bathroom in which my firehose-happy son occasionally insists on seeing how far he can pee, or if he can hit the bowl with no hands. He can, but it's just as fun to turn sideways and pretend he's putting out fires on the wall.
Cats. I love them, but my next cats will be potty trained.
Skunks. They love our yard. The smell of skunk wafting in the windows, mixed with the pungent aroma of the honeysuckle and whatever that tree is that smells like...well, like another bodily fluid (I edited for the younger, more innocent readers, but I know SOME of you know what I'm talking about!) is just about enough to make me toss my proverbial cookies.
But today's winner is...the smell of DEATH. I don't mean in a bad omen kind of way, I mean it in a decaying corpse of a small land mammal way. The cat boxes were ripening, and the trash man comes tomorrow, so James cleaned the boxes tonight, expecting that, as usual, the house would smell better. What we didn't know was the faint odor of cat piss was masking something much more vile. Once they were clean, it showed itself for the evil it is: There is something dead in Andrew's room. When did we discover this? Bedtime, of course--not exactly the best time for upheaval and investigation. I don't know what it is or where it is, but I have a couple of guesses. The whats: mouse or squirrel. The wheres: mouse--under his bed, under the mound of stuffed animals he has piled in the corner, in a wall, or under the floorboards; squirrel--in the ceiling, in the un-used/unfinished closet. We'll search tomorrow, although for most of those possibilities, there's nothing to do about it but suffer through it for a few days. We're open to suggestions!