Y'all. Seriously. I've been away because I've been growing a business and gardening and getting my house in order, but I have met my waterloo. Again. Like, for the seventy-fifth time. OMFC, LAUNDRY, WHY ARE YOU SO HARD?
I don't get it, my friends. I do not understand why laundry is this hydra of dirty socks and underwear that lurks in my closets. I really don't. I mean, I wash clothes. I wash clothes a lot. And I fold them. And I put them up. AND THEY STILL LURK IN MY FRICKING HOUSE. Under chairs. In cars. Behind the refrigerator.
No. I am not being hyperbolic.
Pretty much, I just grit my teeth and I make my laundry soap (more on that later) and I do my laundry and up until last weekend, I had fought the laundry hydra into a corner and it growled at me or occasionally threw a nasty sock in my direction, but otherwise, all was good until I got sheets out of the linen closet for my parents, who were visiting for Jeffrey's tenth birthday party.
*Pause to say TEN? TEEEENNNN? Oh em gee, y'all. Ten. I can't write about it. I can barely even TALK about it. Ten.*
Anyway, I got the sheets out and sniffed them, because that's what I do, okay? I sniff sheets when I take them out of the linen closet to get a snootful of restful cotton goodness.
BUT...I did not GET a snootful of restful cotton goodness. Instead, I got a snootful of what can only be described as yicky cotton awfulness. Dank cotton greasiness. Ughful cotton stankness. The odor coming from these sheets and pillowcases was redolent of nothing so much as dirty hair. And I'm not talking, "Whoopsers, I forgot about that meeting, better slap a hat on my head and run out, because I took a shower yesterday." I'm talking, "Holy crap, this flu is kicking my ass. The chills, the sweating...when did I last take a shower? Was it after I loaded and unloaded that manure pile in the hot sun and then cleaned fish all day and then played a vigorous game of field hockey?" That dirty hair.
I apologized profusely to my mother, got more sheets, and made her bed, throwing the awful sheets in the washing machine. When I got them out Sunday, they still stank. Um, what? Well, I reasoned, I was almost out of laundry soap and maybe I had forgotten to add enough to the load, so I dumped the rest of the soap in and went about my merry way. When I got them out of the washing machine Monday, they still stank.
In the words of women all over the South, "Aw, HELL nawh."
Tuesday I made another batch of laundry soap with the kids (River stirred while Jeffrey computed the amount of oxygen-based laundry additive we needed to be most effective.) I feel that you need to start your children early on the path to hippiedom, otherwise they become adults who run around using chemicals willynilly. (I kid. Sort of.) The children and I got our hippie cleaning supply-making on and they helped me load the washing machine.
Tuesday night, the sheets still stank.
"Okay, bitches," I told the sheets on Wednesday. (What? You're surprised I talk to my bedding? Come ON.) "You are GOING to get clean." I upped the amount of laundry detergent I was using.
I upped the amount and added vinegar.
I upped the amount, added vinegar, and then added baking soda.
By the time my beloved Mandi appeared on the scene yesterday, I had worked myself up into a lather over those damn sheets. She suggested that I put the sheets in a bucket with Dawn, (the detergent) because Dawn cut grease and if it WAS greasy hair stank on my sheets (WHERE DID THE STANK COME FROM???), that might do the trick. But, you know, I'm all green and mess, so I didn't have Dawn. I did, however, have some Seventh Generation lemongrass and clementine detergent, which I poured liberally all over the sheets that I dumped into the hobbit tub. (A bucket? Honey, please.) I added some peppermint shampoo, because, well, you know, hair grease and all that. I might have upended the bottle of Spray and Wash in there, too. I mean, it's a wonder I didn't start chanting and burning sage.
Although, frankly, maybe I should have because the damn sheets, after being washed adamngain in extra detergent, vinegar, and baking soda, STILL STANK.
Y'all. Really. WTF?
This morning, I finally broke down and added bleach to the load. If the bleach doesn't work, I don't know what I'll do.
Burn the sheets in the firepit?
Mail them to my worst enemy?
Use them to repel the cats that keep pooping in my garden?
Pray for me. And the cats. And my worst enemy, because I'm going to check on the sheets.
Are you waiting with bated breath?
THE STANK IS GONE.
I repeat: the stank has left the building.
I'm sure the cats are pleased.
I know I am.