Our hiking weekend doesn't count. Because while she may have been in danger, and I'm not saying she was or wasn't, it was danger of her own making.
Today, though. This was all me. I would like to stop here and make a case that I was simply trying to get the house in order. We have a small one coming over for dinner tonight and it's been a while since I had to really think about whether the corners in this house are clean enough for a crawler.
I'd gotten most of the grime out of the crevices when I glanced into the bathroom. Alison's bathroom toilet came with the house. And it's prone to have a semi circle of gorp hanging around the water line in the basin. Ali and Jeff had fled the cleaning craze to get last minute supplies, so I squirted in the cleaner I had on hand and let it simmer in all three of the toilets. None were pristine.
I'd finished most of the cleaning and had even scrubbed myself by the time Ali and Jeff got home and they'd brought bleach along with foodstuffs we'd need for dinner. I had a moment of inspiration. "Why scrub when chemicals can do that for me?" I asked myself.
I grabbed the bleach and added a liberal dose to each commode. Then, captured by another less-than-shiny object, I walked away. I was downstairs when my mildly asthmatic child asked me how long before she could use her bathroom.
"You can use it now," I said, "But scrub it for me first, please."
Off she went. In the basement, I caught a whiff of an exceptionally potent odor. I looked up as if I could see through the floorboards. And then I heard a cough.
"Uh-oh." In a flash, I remembered a few years ago when I was the cougher at the very same toilet bowl. Then, I'd invented a concoction of bleach, ammonia and Comet, I think. Jeff called it mustard gas, as I recall.
It was easy to recall because he was in fine Captain form, informing me that my chemistry credentials had never been extended to me.
We gave her a bunch of water and got her outdoors. Jeff set about opening doors and windows, flipping on fans and bringing more up from the basement. I sat with Ali, apologized but assured her she would recover.
Yes, I felt terrible. I ignored the tickle in my own respiratory system as she hacked up a bit and fretted that I'd inadvertently shredded her more delicate breathing apparatus. We took a little walk down the street. On the way back, she said she was feeling much better and was thinking ahead to next year's advanced chemistry class and how she might answer the question, "What did you do over the summer?"
"I inhaled pure chlorine gas," she projected into this flash forward classroom scene.
"You know, now that I'm feeling better, I'm kind of thinking about the chemistry of all that," she said. We wondered what might have happened had I added another favorite cleaning fluid: vinegar.
"If you'd added aluminum, you could have exploded the toilets," she informed me.
I'm going to take her off the cleaning crew. And hide the bleach. And aluminum foil. And maybe see if I can channel her back into baking. That's chemistry too. I'll be her clean-up crew.
In other, less lethal, holiday weekend fun, we managed to attend the annual pre-race Tokash Indy 500 Bash and a Race Day gathering Cordy-Sweetwater at Lynn Sinex's lake house. Jeff found new craft beer buddies in our old friends the Fralich's and Ali won the Indy 500 race pool at the lake house.
We had to drive home through a near monsoon Sunday that started happily after the race -- and with me at the wheel no less -- but again, we made it. We may be un-killable.
The photo below is of Ali and me after the Captain evacuated the house while the fumes were dissipating. Ali is threatening to never enter her bathroom again, but I think I'll calm her down before long.
The others are random weekend shots. Hope you're having a great weekend. And that your toilets are clean.