Friday, December 26, 2014

The Smell of Yuletide

Cinnamon Roll Factory

So I've posted about the cinnamon rolls we spent two days making, and judging by this picture, I bet you are thinking that is what this will be about. Nope. Although they are a big part of this story.

I've also blogged all about the cedar tree/bush we cut down and decorate which fills the house with the scent of Christmas. Also not what I am going to write about.

Additionally this is not about the smell of apple cider simmering on the stove or a warm mulled wine, but by the end of the story you will want a glass of wine.

Here goes:

A few days before Christmas, it is our tradition to deliver a treat around to a few friends and neighbors. This year, we went to our short list since we made so many pans of rolls for All The People In Fairview, so we were only going to make three stops bearing smallish pans of cinnamon rolls. One of which was our neighbors we hadn't met. (Not on the relatives side of the house - we know them.)

We pulled up their long driveway and parked right out front. They had two big decorative blow ups which now haunt my nightmares, I think one was Santa and one was Snoopy, kind of blocking the sidewalk to the front door. We don't know them, so we felt our first interaction should be of the front door variety, but had to get around the blow ups. I'm not really sure how I thought those things stood up, but I wasn't expecting a criss-crossing of wires and strings to rival the laser scene from Ocean's Eleven. (or Twelve. Or Thirteen. I think they all have that scene.) They were anchored down with enough string to withstand an F5 tornado which was good, since four of the five of us tripped in the treacherous wire maze. No one went all the way down which was the only mercy of the night. 

By this time we could hear a dog barking and going nuts behind the closed front door. I should add, the woman who lives there is a police officer, and I was quite sure we were making enough noise to justify an arrest for disturbing the peace and were technically trespassing, so she could have gotten us on at least two counts. Her patrol car was right there; it would have been really simple to haul us all in, which honestly by that point would have given me a nice little break from all the peace and joy of Christmas.

We made it to the door, wary of the dog craziness we heard happening, which really escalated when we had the audacity to knock, but then the sweetest woman and little girl slipped out onto the porch, saving us from the savage beast inside, and we exchanged niceties and rolls and decided we would really like the neighbors, despite their attempt to kill us with their Christmas decorations. 

We headed to our next delivery, which was kind of on the other side of town, so we took a little detour to see some Christmas lights about a mile up the road from our house. As we were slowly cruising the neighborhood, the girls started complaining about a stench. Preston and I couldn't smell anything, so we weren't concerned, plus no one had complained about it when we first got in the van, and our kids tend to complain all the time, so we pretty much ignore everything except for gushing blood, bones sticking through skin, and throw up. But the complaining continued and got louder. One girl decided it was the dollar store reindeer antlers she had on her head so she threw them one foot away to the back of the van as if that would get rid of the smell. That did not solve the problem.

All of a sudden, it dawned on me, even without being able to smell anything....yet. 

"Did someone step in dog poop?" 

Light switched on, girls examine shoes. Two girls deny presence of dog poop on their shoes. Girl who was the only one who wore her BRAND NEW shoes says, "No, but I have a ton of mud on the bottom of mine."  I unbuckle and scramble to the back to investigate. Um, no. Not mud. That is dog poop. Commence crying. The girl cried, too. 

Comments from unsympathetic sisters:
"Is the van going to smell like this forever?!" 
"Why would you step in dog poop? How is it not her fault? No one put dog poop on her shoes! SHE stepped in it!"

We determine that we cannot drive across town in this smell so we let those people know there will be no Christmas delivery this year. I'm sure they breathed a huge sigh of relief to know we would not be descending on their house with our crazy even though I didn't gross them out with the real reason.

We decide to go ahead and make the one last delivery to friends across the street from our house. When we get there, Preston crawls to the back of the van to remove the dog poop shoes from the now indignant girl. We realize she has trailed dog poop right up through the middle of the van to the far back where she was seated; she has propped her feet up on the seat in front of her; at one point she must have been sitting with her feet on the seat beside her as is evident from the chunks beside her, and probably even criss-cross because her legs are smeared with dog poop. You can practically see steam pouring from Preston's ears into the cool Christmas air. He immediately makes a new rule, "No one is allowed to put their feet on anything but the floor EVER!" Sisters continue to complain and now blame the new rule on the sister who should have been able to see dog poop in the dark of night while avoiding the Christmas lawn blow ups that were attacking us.

Preston rubs the shoes back and forth in the lawn of the lucky people who are about to be blessed with our presence, and I use a wipe to get the dog doo off the girl's legs. We make our delivery and even stay a half hour with these friends whom we love so much we know we can bring our dog poop covered children into their beautiful new home, and they will still be our friends. We hope.  

And that would be enough for a blog post. But it doesn't end there.
When we get home, Preston starts to get everyone showered and do the whole bedtime mess, and I start to clean the van. We have all hardwood floors in our new house, so when I used the last of the carpet cleaning spray, I did not see the need to replace it. I haul the floor mats out of the van and grab a bottle of 409. For some reason, it isn't spraying, so I open the nozzle and in the dark I fumble and drop the bottle of 409 onto the floor mats. Oh, well. More efficient than the crappy spray nozzle had been anyway. I grab the scrub brush and use what spilled to scrub around in the dark hopeful I am hitting the right spots. I leave the mats on the porch to dry thinking I probably got all the poop off, but the next morning this is what I found:

I was very confused. I didn't think 409 would do this, but as is obvious from the picture, we needed new mats anyways. Oh, well. No big loss. 

Fast forward a couple days to Christmas, and I am telling this story to my siblings and parents. Preston interrupts to clarify that I had in fact used 409? The 409 from the cleaning caddy? The caddy we make the girls get and use when cleaning their all white bathroom? (which, by the way, was the biggest mistake of my ENTIRE life) Yes, that 409. He reveals that the last time we cleaned the bathroom he had poured out the 409 and replaced it with...bleach. And didn't write that on the bottle. Or warn anyone. I guess he thought since we only clean every Saturday. Every other Saturday. Every month. once a year no one would ever touch the 409 bottle again.  

So for New Year's I am getting new floor mats for the 10 year old van. And my resolution will be to never make cinnamon rolls again.

Grace and more grace for today,

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