Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Benign Neglect

The last time I made banana muffins I neglected to clean the muffin pans out (nice vintage Ecko ones from Value Village). I don't like having to peel a paper off my muffins so the pans had a few crumbs stuck to them. Once that hardened, I decided to give them a good (read: too long) soak. All that did was rust them up and leave stains on my sink. So I cleaned them up a bit, then decided to throw them out. Then I decided to offer them back to Value Village. Then I decided to list them on a free-for-the-taking site like declutterize or ReUseIt or freecycle. Then I decided to clean them with steel wool and extra-fine wet-dry sandpaper from Lee Valley. They still have a few stains on them, but they are in pretty good shape now. Remind me to write a note to myself to buy a few over-ripe bananas. And maybe some paper muffin cups, though I abhor the things.

There are few things that don't suffer from benign neglect -- dental health; my back yard; the vegetable crisper contents. In the garden, lilacs much prefer a sunny location over fertilization to bloom in the spring, and morning glory and nasturtium much prefer a poor soil, otherwise there's lots of foliage and few blooms.

And cat litter boxes.

I've got four of the poopy things. Cats, that is. Pet sites all recommend one litter box per cat plus one extra. I only have four boxes, but one of them is four feet long and two feet wide (it's an under-the-bed plastic storage box that didn't fit under the bed when I got it home). I was mortified when my attached neighbour asked me over. She was quite kind: asking me how I was doing, about the job hunt, and so on. Then she mentioned that the litter box smell was coming through our common basement wall into their upstairs. Augh! I immediately dumped and replaced the litter, after washing out the boxes with washing soda and sprinkling baking soda in the bottoms. I washed the floors with a liquid that's supposed to deodorize cat-smelling areas, and sprayed Febreze around.

Strangely, I suffer (or not) from life-long anosmia -- no sense of smell. So that makes benign neglect all that much easier for me.

And leave a comment if you want my very low-fat, no-sugar banana loaf recipe!

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