Friday, February 17, 2006

Spring is in the air...

So as most of you know, my 8 yr old nephew (from Texas) is temporarily staying with us. Its been so great having him here. Another fact that most of you know is when it starts to melt around here a smell starts coming out. For those of you who don't know about the smell of spring in Alaska, let me enlighten you (ha ha)...
  • Everything freezes up for winter, but dogs still do their thing, moose, cats, and all the rest of the animals who leave their droppings around.
  • Weather warms up and all that snow (along with the other stuff) starts to melt, leaving wetness and muck everywhere.
  • When things can't dry out, they can't air out. Stagnant water and all that other stuff ends up leaving the smell of a sewer plant on the wet and moist ground.
Most adults don't notice this smell, but then you don't see adults out rolling in the last patches of snow or sitting on the ground hanging out with their friends. At each of the elementary and middle schools around Alaska the smell becomes quite prominent.

Yesterday Blake forgot his boots in his classroom when I picked him up from school, so we walked back to the class to get them. As I got deeper and deeper into the school the smell became more and more powerful, when we got into his classroom I just wanted to throw up! The kids don't really notice the smell as prominently as those of us who don't bathe in it at recess but boy do I feel bad for the teachers.

After I vacuum, I spray-mist every inch of my carpet with bleach to dis-infect and keep the house smelling clean, I started that habit about 7 years ago after working at a daycare that also did it. All I keep thinking is that I need to send an instruction note to the teacher with a spray bottle of bleach.

Another funny thing is, usually Blake has better things to do than taking showers (according to him) putting it mildly)) but with the smell of spring in the air he has no problems whatsoever taking a shower every night. I guess the smell of spring does have its benefits.


Misty said...

So, all it takes is for him to smell REALLY bad, and KNOW that he smells that bad!! Wish I would have known that a long time ago! Cuz just the fact that me wanting him to have good hygene didn't do the trick! LOL

Shana said...

I discovered frozen doggy poo cleans up so easy and does not smell...last spring..oh my my yard was a sewer pit...this year... I cleaned it up at least three times this winter...the last a month or so ago...thanks for the reminder...think I will scoop poo tonight when it freezes again. As for the bleach trick...this action does not really do alot for the carpet...i spray my walls and door knobs almost daily to cut down on the germs from small fingers...but carpet has alot of places for stuff to hide and unless you saturated your carpet it does not really help other than mentally. (believe me I know that feeling)I hate a messy smelly mama taught me not to let it get trashed cuz you never know who will show up...such as the Senator. Also be carfull of that bleach...I am suspicious that all the bleach I have used could have been guilty of the loss of my Kidney...seems alaska has a very high rate of Renal Cell Cancer...seems most cases are found in the bush communities...the only thing I have found I have in common with them is the use of bleach and the state I live in....hate to think the state is responsible.

K said...

I don't think that smell is totally due to animal waste, I just don't think it helps out there. Most of the elementry schools out here are fenced in and don't get to many strays and they still get the smell somethin fierce.

As for the bleach thing, its obviously not fool-proof but better then nothing. Our carpet was new when we moved in so everything thats fallen through the cracks has been disinfected. The old places always got steam cleaned when we moved in, then bleached from there on out. It puts my mind at ease when I lay on the carpet and it really makse much more of a difference on smell then just vacuuming.

Odd about the cancer thing though.

FishTaxi said...

A good thing to spread in areas of animal waste is lime. Sprinkle it around and its a natural way to break things down faster.

A better thing than spraying bleach is to sprinkle baking soda. Use a flour sifter. Let it sit for five then vacuum. For bad odors fill a bowl with vinegar (distilled white) and place in a corner out of the way overnight.

I hear you on the bleach thing. I use diluted Simple Green with bleach for cleaning at home.