40 and Fired had a better ring to it than 39 and Layed Off--thus the title and impetus for a blog. I'm a freelance writer living in the mountains of Colorado with my husband, children and high maintenace pets. I'm over the whole turning 40 thing, so this is now more about my humorous/sarcastic take on life, excercise and our daily adventures.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thank You Martha Stewart

I've purposefully avoided, actually more not gotten around to it, but....writing a blog yet this year. Many feel a new year should be full of hope, inspiration and positive sentiments for the days to come. And that's great as long as I don't have to do it.

Let's talk feathers. Early afternoon today, John was watching football, the girls were in the tub and all pets were outside. Thus I had a few moments of peace and quiet. I sat down with some lunch and the January 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living. Continuing with the theme of inspiration and positive sentiments, Martha convinced me, that I too could run an organized home. First step was folding, labeling and organizing the linen closet.

But we don't have a linen closet--a little over sight from when we built the house. So, we created one. The girls' old art armoire, which until five hours ago was a condo for garage mice, was spit-shined and moved into the house. With that step towards my home of peace and plenitude complete, it was time to wash pillows.

I actually should have thrown them out. According to Martha's domesticity diva charts, my pillows should have seen the dark side of a landfill roughly two and a half decades ago. But the second best option, in my mind, was to wash them. They came out of the washer looking great. I put them into the dryer with a towel and some flannel sheets, hoping everything would fluff to decadent proportions.

About 30 minutes into the drying cycle, I noticed an odd smell. When I looked in the glass front door, all I could see were feathers. Thousands of feathers. And the smell? We have a propane dryer, so the feathers were smoldering too. Even Lucille Ball couldn't have come up with this nightmare.

First step was opening the dryer door, only once I was armed with a running shop vac. I sucked up what I could and carried the entire soggy mess outside. Wet feathers are supremely nasty. More vacuuming ensued. And more. And more. The lint tray was so full, I had to put one foot on the dryer for leverage to pry it from it's slot. When it finally gave way, it looked like a chicken had exploded in the laundry room.

The dogs and cats took the opportunity to sneak in the open door and tracked feathers all about the house. They rolled in the wet, feathered sheets outside, came inside and shook. Brilliant.

All old pillows are now in the trash. Most feathers are out of the dryer, but I just rewashed the flannel sheets--flannel and terry cloth hold feathers surprisingly well--so the cycle begins anew.

To make this somewhat educational, let's review what we learned today:
--Martha Stewart has someone else take care of her pillows
--Machine washing and drying vintage pillows isn't a good idea
--The smell of burning feathers will take away your appetite for poultry

Feathers are still flying around our house like freshly fallen snow. But I go out of town tomorrow, which makes it less onerous, at least for me! Thank you Martha Stewart. Once I have a staff, we can talk pillows. Oh, and have a Happy New Year!

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