not how I meant to spend the day

Opps! This posted before I wrote anything… sorry about that.

This morning as Sturge was packing to leave, I looked down at my ottoman only to realize that it was covered with black spots. Agghh… I had moved it out of our guest room/nursery to protect it from getting dirty. Not that Sturge is dirty or anything, but I thought that we should place his luggage on the luggage rack instead of the stool. Unfortunately that was a mistake. I left the stool under the window right outside of the door. I also left the window open for most of the last several days, which included a mix of rain and sunshine. I finally closed it last night when this last stab at winter rolled into town.

I knew immediately what the black spots where. When I purchased this fabric, I knew I was risking a chance with the light-colored fabric. But I was imagining a small explosive poop, which I would witness and immediately clean. Or maybe an attack of little hands and magic markers. But instead my dirty window screen had diarrhea all over the stool. Yuck! The rain, the wind, the dirt and alley grime all mixed together and speckled my newly recovered furniture. Then the southern window exposure allowed the warm sun to bake it all in.

So first things first, I called my mom. Isn’t that everyone’s solution for everything? She suggested vacuuming. Then I called Henry. He suggested beating it. Hmmm… I don’t think he grasped that the dirt was originally wet and now dry. This wasn’t loose dirt. So I decided to follow my mom’s advice before doing any internet search on how to clean this mystery upholstery fabric I bought for $6 a yard in some random warehouse in Davidson County, NC. This fabric was a great deal! And I totally intended to write a blog entry entitled: “Myth Busters: You can Reupholster a Chair for Less than a New One.” But I still don’t even have my chair. (Anyone able to bring it up from NC for me?)

As I began vacuuming, I had forgotten one key thing – the last time that I spent an excessive amount of time cleaning a mini-disaster in my house, my oven. This was an experience that never even entered my frenzied nesting mind, until we were just completely unable to use the oven. At Shannon’s bachelorette party, we made lasagna. It was delicious and oozing with cheese, sauce and goodness. But it also oozed all over the bottom of my stove to a level of baked on grease that would challenge even the most ultimate oven cleaning product commercial. The lasagna smoked up the house at the original baking. But when I tried to make a pizza a week later, I thought we would set the fire alarm off. Black smoke was pouring out of the top of our oven. Disgusting. We had a turn off the stove and order Papa John’s. A couple of days later, I spent several hours scrubbing. And I started that chore by vacuuming off the large sheets of charred cheese off the bottom of the stove. Break up the cheese, vacuum, repeat.

So you guessed it. Once I started vacuuming the soft blue fabric, two black rings appeared on my stool. What once was a speckled frustration became a growing disaster. This became another marked moment when I cried during my pregnancy. I wasn’t hysterical or anything, but I promptly hung up on Henry when he started laughing. He took this all a little more seriously once I emailed him the picture.

Fortunately on one of my Bed Bath and Beyond Shopping sprees, I bought an “all-purpose dry cleaning pad” by Clean Living. It looks like a hacky sacky spewing teeny rocks and dust. Granted the closest example I could find was this dry cleaning pad from Jerry’s Art-o-rama. I hope that the product is still available now that half of the magic powder is inside of my vacuum. Plus it looks like there is more than one use for this little wonder. I will be cleaning some of my handmade books next week.

So I spent most of the morning scrubbing and vacuuming off the dust. I finally got to a point after lunch where I thought maybe I won’t notice these spots anymore. Someone else probably wouldn’t see them at all. So I think that I barely avoided the strong urge to have the ottoman recovered again, just weeks after the first recovering since the mid-80s. But it was definitely not how I meant to spend the day.

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