Friday, May 1, 2015

The sweet smell of progress

If you follow the blog on Facebook, you may have noticed that when I include links to new posts, it will show the blog title and automatically chooses the first picture from the post.  From this, I have learned that I have a penchant for including totally unrelated ideas and images as introductions (case in point, last weeks' "Everything I've Ever Wanted" with the current eye-sore that is my kitchen wall, which caused one friend to ask if I might need a renovation intervention.)

Fair warning, today is one of those random intro days.

Anyway, back in high school, one of my best friends and I (hi, Kari!), probably fresh out of a psychology lecture about the strength of memories associated with smells, decided to train ourselves to remember certain quintessential high school moments.  We trekked to the mall, picked out our (new) favorite Bath & Body Works lotions, and (this sounds all sounds so ridiculous now to type it out) methodically would use the lotion whenever we were thinking about getting ready for prom.  And the thing is, it worked REALLY well.  One waft of "Moonlit Path" and I am instantly transported back to the excitement of prom (and ohmygoshcanyoubelieveRyanaskedmetogowithhim?!)

It is unfortunate that I don't have easy access to a prom photo to enhance this post.  (Shockingly, those are not on the short list of things that didn't go to storage this year).

But, scent recognition.

Fabric softener will henceforth take me immediately to the kitchen at the new house, to the girls giggling together in the pack and play (we'll choose to remember that super sweet moment rather than the less picturesque peeling-wallpaper-with-toddler-underfoot afternoons).  It turns out that good ol' Downy (or actually, the store brand) works far better than the stuff they sell at Lowes that is designed to remove wallpaper.  File that little bit of information away, and hope you'll never have to use it.  Because even the "ease" of removing it with the softener is not exactly "easy."

Which is, you can imagine, why I was jumping up and down (yes, literally) last week when this happened:


and the painstakingly slow process of removing the wallpaper (and sometimes the paint underneath) in the kitchen had me awfully overwhelmed thinking about this:

But.  BUT!  (Happy dance here).  The wallpaper is 99% off the stairwell & upstairs hallway.  (Wish we could say the same about the kitchen!)

Two friends offered to come over to help out, and we had reached the point where all that remained in the kitchen required a ladder, and we only have one.  I said, "well, I guess you can try on the stairwell if you really want to," which was met with the (glorious) sound of a full sheet of wallpaper coming off - cleanly, without fabric softener, without water, without a scraper, and without damaging the wall.

We got really excited and told the kids that they were allowed to start ripping, too.

I mostly jumped up and down and repeated "I am so excited!" and took blurry cell-phone pictures for this post. but did pull a sheet or two down for the pure satisfaction.

So easy a two-year old can do it:

So, so exciting.

This accomplishment was a major morale booster in thinking that we can accomplish a reasonable amount of my elaborate to-do list before we move in July.  

You know what else is a major morale booster?  JUSTIN BEING DONE WITH CLASSES!  A few more days of finals/grading, and he is mine, all mine for the summer.  After a semester of 80+ hour work-weeks and little girls asking "is Daddy going to come visit today?" this summer is going to be so, so good.  And wall-paper free.


  1. So here is a fun fact for you: when you link to your post on Facebook, if there are multiple pictures in the post, you are supposed to be able to select which one you want displayed (look for a little arrow on top of the picture to cycle through them). For whatever reason, sometimes this does not work and it only shows one picture, or none. In that event, go here: and enter the url for your post and click debug. Go back to Facebook, refresh the page, and try posting your link again. Pictures should be there. I obviously have had this problem myself!

  2. Whooo! So glad things got a little easier for you! And yay for your husband being home! My husband had to work a few months (ok...closer to a year) of hours like that and it was crazy and just so hard.

  3. I can't believe I didn't think to do that with the smells--what a good idea!

  4. I can't believe I didn't think to do that with the smells--what a good idea!