Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Rest of the Story

I kept yesterday's post humorous so as not to be a Doomsdayer blogger. My post today is informative, regarding something a lot of us use in our homes that might be causing health issues.

For some time I've used those little Air Wick sprayers where you can pre-program the automatic sprays, 9 minutes, 13 minutes, 30 minutes, something like that. Well, I decided to get a smaller one to put in the spare room I'm organizing so Sherry and her family can have a comfortable place to sleep while they're here. Kyle and I spent sometime trying to figure out how to get the little set working. Nothing happened. It wouldn't spray out a thing. We even removed the batteries that came with the unit and put in ones I had just recharged. I put it in my car, thinking I'll just run in next time I'm near Kmart and exchange it for one that works. That would have been about a week ago.

A day or two later I got in my car and wondered if something had spilled out on the floor...lotion, maybe perfume, something. The odor wasn't really awful, but it wasn't what you'd want to wear, either. The next day it was worse, and I thought maybe it was the light bulbs also in the back seat waiting to make their way to the recycle store.

I checked daily to see if my radiator or air conditioning fluids had been seeping inside the car. I checked my spray-off-the-ice stuff. I even checked out the actual car deodorizer spray (spells like oranges). It was only Wed morning when I had to drive to Lehi to the dentist's office, with all the windows down and the heater on, that I realized it was that Air Wick thing in the front seat causing all the trouble. I locked it in the trunk inside a plastic bag and finally threw it in the garbage, though it pained me to release such a thing into the environment.

I had felt sick every time while riding to work, to lunch, back from lunch, home from work. Nights were worse. I felt like I was being poisoned, which was exactly what had been happening.

I developed a horrible dry cough, nausea, just feeling crumby and tired, smelling it, tasting it wherever I went. It felt like shards of glass were in my lungs. I tried rest, humidifier, drinking water water water, prescription Aleve for pain, and after I threw the thing out, it stopped getting worse.

Wed and Thur were terrible, where you feel like somebody should just come take you to the hospital please, but you don't because the co-pay is just scary. I had a doctor appointment with my regular doctor Friday Morning. He did testing, listening, demonstrating a little breathing apparatus and said: "It didn't turn into pneumonia, though it could have, so you're lucky. You have chemical burns in your lungs. I don't know how long it will take them to heal, but stay away from those types of products."

He was going to start me on a round of steroids, but I told him those "are from the devil himself. Thanks, but no thanks."

Each day is getting a bit better, and a weekend to rest has helped.

I'll be looking through my house to see what other items we have that can be dangerous, not to us, but to the environment as well.

So that's my keep our eyes out for things that don't look like they could hurt us, but under certain circumstances can indeed poison us and cause permanent damage. Be careful of any chemical spray and dispose properly of anything that malfunctions or acts differently than you think it should.

oh, and ps. I lived to see another birthday.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

350 Degrees

That's the general cooking temperature at this altitude.

My mother used to put her store-bought bread in the oven, space being limited and all. I cannot tell you how many times I was baking cookies and preheated the oven without remembering mother's storage place. It was surely in the dozens. Every time I would be reminded by the smell of burning plastic. No matter how quickly you move to open that oven door, it's too late. Once that plastic starts melting, you can't save one slice of bread, and it smells up the kitchen for the rest of the day...not counting the fact there's no bread now. We just should have put a big sign right on the oven door, maybe hanging from the knob, as a reminder. Either that or found some other place to put the bread. Sorry, Mom.

For years I always wanted a big stuffed dog (not real). One year one of the kids gave me a huge fluffy stuffed sheep dog, grey and white. I was SO excited! It was about half as big as the real thing.

One day I preheated the oven to make cookies. A bit later there was this atrocious smell, like burning tires, only in the kitchen. Not long afterwards, I discovered that Kyle, probably 3 or so, had put my puppy in the oven. At first we didn't recognize it, because it looked like a burned hunk of coal about the size of a loaf of banana bread. It was pitiful.

No wonder I gave up cooking. The world is a safer place, no doubt.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hide and Go Seek...

I assume kids still play this game, not the version with babies where you play "peek a boo," nor the one where kids hide under the covers with their foot sticking out and think you can't see them. This is the more serious game.

Our neighbors directly to the north through the field, were the Williams, a wonderful family. They had two older boys, then Dwight and Anna. Dwight was a year or two older than I and Anna somewhat younger.

One day we were playing this game in their yard, and Anna was "It." They had a garage out back of their house that actually used to be a home. Dwight had a great idea for a place to hide. He led me to the kitchen in this old home and showed me my hiding old flour storage drawer that would tip out from the top when you pulled the handle. I can't think of what to compare it with and doubt they make them anymore. They used to dump a big bag of flour into it, probably 25 pounds, because everybody baked back then and they needed it handy.

Anyway, he somehow talked me into squeezing into this bizarre bin, shut the drawer and then hopped up into the top shelf of the cupboards and locked himself in somehow, on purpose mind you. We heard Anna come outside and call our names for several minutes. Boy, did we fool her! She didn't even get close to our hiding place. Her heart not really being into the game, she got tired of looking and went back inside the main house. She probably thought we had run away and left her alone, like older siblings do sometimes.

A few minutes later I told Dwight that I needed to get out of there real soon (being cramped in like a sardine, knees and elbows bent) He said he was having "a bit of a problem." The lock to his location was very tight and he couldn't reach it. I tried and tried and tried and tried to throw my body forward enough to tip the drawer open but couldn't use my bent arms to grab anything, so the drawer just fell back into place over and over and over and over.

He tried to cheer me up by saying he'd keep working on it, and his parents should be home in a bit. After what felt like HOURS but was probably half an hour, we heard his parents arrive. They got out of their car and were talking to each other. Both of us yelled over and over at the top of our lungs, HELP! HELP! HELP! HELP! They heard voices and came searching.

After they helped me out, I ran home as fast as my bent body would let me, didn't even stop to say "bye" or "thanks for the fun". I also didn't want to wait around for any whopping Dwight may have gotten. He was pretty tough, though. He used to run all the way through the hayfield barefoot, even over rocks and fencing. Very bright kid. He actually became an emergency room doctor. Maybe he felt like he wanted to spend his life trying to save people's lives to make up for the time ours came close to ending. (If you ever read this, Dwight, it's ok. I've long since forgiven you HA and hope you didn't get a whopping after all :o)

Kids! It's lucky any of them survive.