Banks County Opinions...

NOVEMBER 3, 2004


Column

By: Sherri Stephens
The Banks County News
November 3, 2004

The laundry saga
It is Friday afternoon; you have washed, ironed and folded every piece of laundry in your laundry room. Your laundry room is sparkling clean and you are proud! You wake up on Monday morning and, gasp! What happened? Did one, or maybe two, tornadoes go through this room while you were enjoying the weekend?
Don’t kid yourself — you know what I am talking about. The laundry saga! The shirts, pants, towels and those mysterious socks that somehow creep back into the laundry room while we sleep. It’s as if you wake up and they are there waiting for you saying, “We are back!”
Keeping up with the laundry seems to be an endless battle. One that I can’t seem to win! I love a clean laundry room have tried all kinds of different techniques for keeping up with the laundry. I have tried tips from doing whites on Mondays, darks on Fridays, to folding, fluffing and ironing the old-fashioned way. I have sought advice from professionals and have even fallen for some of those crazy laundry gadgets.
Last week, my son Kyle passed by the laundry room while I was putting in “another load.” I have one of those really big fancy rolling laundry carts that you put your dirty clothes in. Kyle stood at the door for a minute and then said, “Mom, have you ever wondered what is in the bottom of that thing?”
I guess he thinks that I never do get to the bottom of the cart. I said, “Yes,Kyle, there is a trash bag of socks in the bottom that do not have mates.”
Now, socks, that’s another story altogether! I am very careful about putting matching socks together in the washer, but something strange happens to them when removing them from the dryer. Usually 10 to 20 percent of them are missing. Has anyone figured this out? I am convinced that this has been a problem for many since the invention of the dryer.
I am convinced that the socks take advantage of static. They flatten themselves out and hide just above the inside of the dryer door. During the next load, they jump on the back of a larger garment and try to escape when the load is emptied. Think about it — how many times have you put on a blue sweatshirt and find a blue sock stuck in the arm? Or while folding a fitted sheet, have two missing socks fall out?
Whatever the case, I am constantly replacing them!
Laundry is frustrating not just for me, but for most people that I know. My only solution for myself and others is to be grateful for these clothes to wash and fold and to be thankful for the people that wear them. This puts a whole new perspective on the laundry saga. I think I will go and do another load right now!
Sherri Stephens is a South Jackson resident. She may be contacted at charmbug5@hotmail.com.

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Column

By: Margie Richards
The Banks County News
November 3, 2004

A ‘stinky situation’
As this political season comes to a climax I’ve found myself preoccupied with an onslaught of skunks.
And no, I’m not referring to our political candidates, either locally or nationally, I’m referring to the black and white fluffy rodents (members of the weasel family, in fact) who we’re most accustomed to seeing (and smelling) when they meet their fate in the highway, often leaving their pungent sulfuric odor behind as a final statement to the world.
The skunk situation around our subdivision, and my house in particular, really began to stink last week.
Crickett, our little Jack Russell, is for the most part a well-mannered, obedient little dog. She loves nothing better than accompanying Charles down to his shop after work in the evenings. She was doing just that one afternoon last week when Charles heard her yelp inside the garage and saw one of our cats making a mad dash away from the scene. Assuming Crickett and the cat had had an altercation over the cat food we keep in a bowl in the garage, he thought no more of it, until an overpowering, nauseating odor filled the air.
After calling to her for a while, Crickett emerged from where she had ran around the house, rubbing her eyes on the ground. Her smell preceded her and Charles knew exactly what had happened — she’d been skunked. It was a direct hit to the face and the odor made it impossible to come within feet of her.
While Charles put her in the fenced back yard, I hurriedly got on line and “googled” the word “skunk.”
Right away, I found a bevy of information about this industrious, intelligent rodent, including what I was desperately seeking; a recipe to quell the smell emanating from our little house dog - who needless to say was temporarily “in the dog house.”
After using a sponge to saturate her with the proscribed concoction twice, letting it sit on her skin for a while each time before rinsing it off thoroughly, we found that the scent had, for the most part, dissipated.
Just to be on the safe side, Crickett spent the night outside, her small face pressed worriedly against the French doors every time I looked her way.
Here is the recipe for the concoction (and no, it’s not tomato juice): 1 quart 3 percent alkaline hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap (we used dish detergent). A solution of 2 percent vinegar and 98 percent water is also said to be effective.
As I said before, saturate the animal, object or clothing thoroughly and allow it to soak in for a while. Rinse thoroughly. I waited until the following day to wash Crickett with regular dog shampoo and after she passed the “sniff” test she was allowed back inside, much to her relief.
The very next day, my husband Charles and son Zack (with Crickett again) found a huge skunk in the back of our shop. He didn’t spray; he just worked his way back out the hole he had come through.
Then tonight (Monday) the stink hit hard again, when our other dog, Buddy, encountered a skunk near our garage (most likely the same one who got Crickett). This is Buddy’s third “skunking” in the last year or so.
My car, which is housed in same said garage has smelled like a skunk for the last couple of weeks. It’s beginning to seem almost a normal smell to me.
Being animal lovers, we understand that the skunks are coming around for food and shelter (and it’s not even mating season, that comes later).
So we find ourselves in a dilemma as to what to do about our pesky visitors, since the dogs seem determined to keep things stirred up. We don’t want to hurt them if it can be avoided, and in fact I wouldn’t mind them so much if it weren’t for the continuous odor.
Here are some suggestions from the internet that we plan to try.
Suggested preventative measures include: removing lumber and junk piles, storing garbage in sealed cans, keeping pet food cleaned up and installing fencing that extends one to two feet below ground (since skunks dig) and sealing foundation openings under buildings.
Another option to remove them is to acquire live traps (a risky business) or call a wildlife expert (this can be expensive). As one of our neighbors said, it may be annoying but on the other hand it’s nice to live in a community where there is still wildlife around.
And it’s true I do prefer them to some of the other critters on the prowl these days. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for the Madison County Journal.


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