Sally went away last week to help a friend, leaving me alone at the apartment…an accident waiting to happen…and it did…twice!
Episode 1: Stinky Onion.
I’ve never lived anywhere with a garbage disposal and so I’m just learning how to use the one in our new apartment. I googled it to learn the basics about what you can and can’t put in it, but the whole idea is still pretty new to me.
Around the fifth day Sally was gone, I noticed an acrid smell coming from the pantry and discovered a thoroughly rotten onion. Oy! What to do?
I could have put it in a zip-loc bag and put it out with the rest of the garbage two nights from then or I could have put it in a bag and walked it to the garbage chute down the hall right then and there. Or I could have put it in the garbage disposal.
For reasons that are unknown to me as I write this, I decided to use the garbage disposal. If I had thought it through, I would have reflected on the fact that chopping an onion releases tear-inducing chemicals into the air along with a strong onion smell. It might have occurred to me that running it through a garbage disposal would probably be like dicing on steroids! But I didn’t think it through. I just went ahead and ground it up and flushed it away.
Within seconds the entire apartment was fouled with a putrid odor. Oh lord! I tried filling the sink with hot soapy water and letting it flush out the unit, but that did nothing. Then I poured some bleach in and let it sit for an hour, but with little effect. I pushed a lemon in and let the disposal grind that up, but it only provided relief for a few minutes. I turned on the apartment fan and opened the doors and windows. That worked as long as there was a breeze.
By the time Sally returned, the odor was faint but still noticeable. We’re lighting scented candles now and close to getting back to normal.
Episode 2: Blackout Curtains.
I was reading up on the connection between sleep and brain health (see last week’s post) and learned that sunlight in the morning triggers the wake cycle of our circadian rhythm. It was suggested that blackout curtains could help you sleep a little longer in the morning by delaying the interaction between sunlight and your brain.
So I went to Amazon and ordered a blackout curtain and curtain rod for our bedroom. There were a mind-boggling number of choices and so I decided to keep it simple. The curtain I chose was white linen so it wouldn’t clash with our bedspread and the curtain rod had a nickel finish to match the doorknob in the bedroom. My thinking was that we could use this set to test out the idea and return it if either it didn’t help us sleep or if it did help us sleep but we wanted a different look.
But before going any further, you need to understand how radical a move this was for me.
Since I have no design talent or taste whatsoever, Sally has taken the lead in the nesting process. So for me to initiate something as monumental as selecting bedroom curtains was really beyond my pay grade. For some reason, though, I thought Sally would be happy that I was finally taking the initiative on something.
Secondly, we always talk about improvements we’d like to make before actually doing them. It’s true that she was an hour away and would be gone for several more days…but her cell phone was still working so there was no reason not to have a discussion. But then again, the curtains would arrive the day after she got home and it might be a fun surprise.
Wrong and wrong again!
My initiative was not appreciated and Sally was a little more than miffed by my failure to share my thoughts with her. How did I misread this so terribly?
Hopefully, I’ve learned something from both the onion and blackout curtain episodes as I’d hate to experience anything like either of them again! And hopefully, too, this is not a harbinger of things to come in the coming decade.
So sorry about your garbage disposal issue. Nothing worse than a bad smelling place to live. Keep the baking soda handy! It is my go to solution for bad smells anywhere in the house!
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I’m a big fan of baking soda. A week after we moved in, I put bowls of it in every room. I guess it’s time to refresh the bowls after what they’ve been through this past week!
A couple of hints on the garbage disposal: 1. Don’t ever put petrified rice from your week old Chinese food ‘take out’ down the disposal. 2. Don’t ever put celery, raw or cooked, down the disposal. I won’t entertain you here with my garbage disposal stories over the years. However, a plumber once said to me, “Ma’am……do you put food down your disposal?” I said, “Of, course.” “No, ma’am……never put food down your disposal……the disposal is only there to catch the crumbs.” Oh. Lesson learned. So, my advice would be to return to functioning as you did before you ever had a disposal. Otherwise, you might want to establish a savings account earmarked for the plumber.
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The onion problem, so illustrative of an increasing problem with apartment living. Actually, you could have simply made a hole in the dry wall and popped the onion through the whole and then resealed – Done – problem solved. Indeed, based on recent news reports of homicides amongst retired living where one partner has finally had it with the other, the dry wall solution is the method of choice….just saying it should work for the onion too.
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Let’s hope Carol and Sally don’t discover this option!
A garbage disposal can gobble up many things, depending on how much horsepower you have. Mine easily chews up chicken bones. Never, EVER put onions in there garbage disposal! I think you learned that lesson well. Also, if you do have an odor from time to time, never use bleach. It corrodes the rubber. Baking soda and vinegar usually does the trick. And now for the most important thing of all. Wait about 30 seconds after turning the disposal off to put your hand down the drain to pull out any remnants left behind.
And now for the curtains…
I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU ACTUALLY DID THAT ALL BY YOURSELF!!!
The fact that you thought to match the curtain rods to the nickel door knob flabbergasted me! You have more of an eye for detail than you think. Good job, but you should’ve discussed it with Sally first!
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Thanks! I’ll give the baking soda and vinegar a try.
I don’t see what these actions have to do with impending dementia or even with normal aging. Anyone could, and do, make these “mistakes.” Just for one example, do teenagers come to mind?
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In all probability, you are correct (as usual!). Anyone can make a mistake and it’s best not to read too much into the ones I described. What I’m attempting to do is to lay down a baseline against which to measure my future performance. The frequency of errors and the kinds of errors going forward will be important.