Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Brilliant Idea

So, I thought I would lighten things up in here a bit. I found this post that I wrote over the summer in my drafts. Which, surprisingly I have very few of. Anyway, this past summer I had no car and no camera as both were broken. Relevance to be explained.

Once in a while I have a moment. One that could be called genius. An idea so brilliant it is blinding. Blinding! You gotta' wear shades!

In the girls room, really ever since Teena was born, I have had an off -white rug on the floor. Maybe it is pale beige but you get the idea. It is probably a 5x8 and I can't remember how much it cost but I can rest easily estimating it at $30 or less. Because I would be most unlikely to spend more than that. It is a Berber type rug, the sort that Home Depot might run a special on, the kind of thing that they finish up with a nice edge, instead of disposing of it, and sell.

As one accustomed to children might imagine, off white, taupe, any color other than the color of dirt is not going to look nice for long. This little rug looked okay for a few years really but as one would expect it got dingier and dingier. Then, the little inhabitants (now 2 of them) of the bedroom containing the rug began the process of trying to get their little rear ends to the toilet. In time. And over the past 2 years, the 2 little inhabitants have had success in this endeavor if you define success with a wide presumption of learning the process and by learning I mean by failing a few times. Few, few dozen, thousand, whatever. And so this little rug has become well, infectious.

Now I would like to carry the recycled brown paper bag banner in the parade for the "Greenest Green Mom There Ever Was" because I have tried to save this rug. I am going to save this planet people, and I am going to save it one grimy crappy cheap carpet at a time. Do you want to know how many chemicals get dumped in the ocean from the procedures used in the manufacturing of cheap carpet? Find out and tell me because I have no clue.

Call me "Green", call me too cheap to buy another carpet, call me way too lazy to drag it out to the garbage. I had a brilliant idea. An idea so astounding, it blinded my own brain rendering me motionless, stunned for a moment by the evidence of such creative genius.

Dye the rug yellow. Dye it yellow to match the current pee stains on it and dye it yellow to mask future further pee stains. I will take all the control and all the mad out of the issue and dye their carpet to match their dysfunctional little behaviors!

Yes, yes indeed, I amaze myself sometimes. Really. Take a minute if you need to.

Hmm, how does one dye a cheap carpet? Dunno. I started by cleaning it viciously. Soaked it outside with hot water and anti- bacterial soap and beat the crap out of it. Quite frankly I was not sure it would survive the cleaning attack it received nor did I care. Good enough. I bought some of those little spray airbrush cans of fabric paint from a massive craft store. A yellow can of airbrush paint and since there was only one can of yellow at the store and even though it said it would cover 30 square feet I had my doubts so I bought a can of hot pink airbrush fabric paint as well.

The airbrush fabric paint worked in that it looked cool where the paint took. But since it didn't saturate it wound up looking like yellow goober on top of a stained carpet. The pink blended well with the yellow only with the same effect of pink goober stuff on top of a stained carpet. I know I went to public school, in Illinois no less, but I must have made a big fat mistake in my math somehow anyway because I quickly ran out of fancy airbrush fabric paint after about half the carpet had paint on it. Now it is halfway painted with colors that just sit there on top and don't sink in. Blotchy. 2 cans of 30 square feet should be 60 right? And the carpet was 5X8 which is 40? Is this not right? Well anyway. Moving along.

It occurs to me that this is not better than the original.

But I battle on. I decide to try to use a rit type fabric dye. Only it is hard to get to the store what with the broken car all summer and when I finally get to a store they don't have rit they have some other brand. Whatever. I bought it in Sunflower. Doesn't that sound like a pleasant addition to remake my greenie green green little rug? In yellow that is, not green.

But how am I going to rinse this dye business off, I thinks to myself? You have to pour the dye on, let it sit and then rinse it. You have to rinse, it says so on the label. Brilliant idea #2. Wait for rain. Put the dye on when the weather geniuses say it is going to rain, then let the natural rain rinse it! See, that was smart of me because I could not possibly put the carpet in the washing machine and you have to be able to rinse this dye stuff off or a bad toxic thing could happen. Using that natural rain stuff saves water!!! Green again!

No rain came.

Until yesterday (in July). Finally rain was predicted and looked promising. Mixed up my fancy Sunflower colored yellow dye and dumped it all over the carpet outside. Only now it looks like instead of 2 little girls, one gigantic elephant pee'd all over the carpet. Oh well, I decided, I will wait for the rain to rinse it off and then I will see how it turns out from there. Gotta be better than it is now!

Only by now, I have spent countless valuable hours that I could have spent enjoying my family or watching important tv shows, on this carpet. Dollars and dollars on paint and dye. Chemicals aplenty. And one local store had similar- but-definitely- cleaner rugs on clearance this week. For $26.

And evidently, fabric dye does not take to chopped up finished edge carpet remnants. It leaves a sort of dingy filmy color- though it did saturate under the airbrush fabric paint. Turned out that by "Sunflower", they meant similar in hue to a dried french mustard stain.

Sadly, along with my car over the summer my camera broke as well. So this is a picture from my cell phone, which is why I never put up this post in the first place. Techno- impediment. Could not get it out of the phone until now.

This is after the air brush paint, before the dye. Not so good.

(Now back to 2010).
After that, I put down a different carpet in the girls room. That one up there is in the back storage in our house. The one I put in their room curled up at the edges and we all tripped over it every day. Besides, Teena had already colored that one in with pink chapstick. So I put down some foam alphabet letters only those kept coming apart (mysteriously!). Then, I put down a large kitchen rug. Only recently someone had a supreme error in judgement and told a lie. In that lie was an involved story involving a turd and that carpet. So even though there was no visual evidence of the atrocity, I have to work under the assumption of guilt. In other words, if there is a chance there is poo dust on that carpet it has got to go.

Now, I have put my yoga mat down in the bedroom. Since I don't need it. Why have I made so much of an effort to keep a stupid rug on the floor in there? Well partly because someones husband went late in the sale and bought the girls a medium wood tone bunk bed because the pretty white ones were all sold out. Unfortunately the floor is also a medium tone wood. Ick. Looks like all kinds of nature threw up in there. It desperately needs a carpet of a non- wood tone to break up the visual something something.

The other reason is that Genea will go to sleep on the floor when she is really stressed. I can put her back in her bed 50 times and 51 times I will go check on her and she is back on the floor. So I don't want her to be directly on the cold wood! At least if she is going to sleep down there she should be a little comfortable. A little cushioned, a little more warm. That's why I have to have something down.


  1. 幸福是人人都要,又怎麼可能都歸你所有?要知道這世界幸福本來就不多........................................

  2. You are hilarious!

    Is it still consider "green" if a whole pile of dye runs into the water table, under the ground, and contributes to the further contamination of Bay Beach?

  3. Very funny story. One simple thing consumes weeks on end and a ton more money than it was suposed to. Sounds so much like my life. :)

    My Younger Kid sleeps on the floor a lot too.

  4. Pee is okay to sleep on, but poo dust and it has to go? You are too funny. Sounds like something I would do, only my projects involve ripping things apart (e.g. upholstered chairs) that I have NO idea how to put back together.

  5. I don't have the time and stamina to be has green as you :-) Thanks for the smile to start off my day!

  6. Oh, boy - if I have time today I have to tell you MY green carpet story.

    Meanwhile - the answer, of course, is to PAINT THE BED!

    And maybe the reason Genea will go to sleep on the floor is because there is a rug there! No rug...bed becomes more appealing.

    Or, I can send you MY green rug.

  7. P.S. - Love the photo - except nothing about it is yellow.

  8. I love this! that so sounds like something I would do in attepmt to save some pennies. I think you should just paint the bed it might be easier... or perhaps the floor - just kidding.


    Genea slept on the floor first, THEN I made sure there was a carpet or cushion next to the bed, instead of centered in the room where it looked nice.

    Who out there has painted bunk beds? Hmmmm? Before starting my green project, paint dying out of a hair spray can SEEMED much easier. Maybe I should have mentioned that one of my little darlings picks the paint off the walls compulsively. I can imagine what she would do to a painted surface directly surrounding herself.

    Okay, also, I spot cleaned the pee on carpet whenever it was doused. Not ideal but I do think pee germs are less caustic than poo dust!

  10. I painted Anastasia's bunk bed this summer - trust me - wood is a LOT easier to paint than a rug!!! And there are no paint chips.

    OK...I do think I'll have to send you the carpet I saved from the Sacristy. It has the advantage of having been a REALLY expensive one to begin with, and the thing about it is that it already SMELLED like poop, so you've kind of got that part taken care of.

    Pee is troubling; I ignore poop (in our case only dog poop) if it can come up WITHOUT visible dust. A nice spray of antibacterial something and you can go about your day.... Of course I would not be thinking of someone actually sleeping on this rug. How about throwing a nice blanket down on top of it each night?

  11. This post AND the comments are cracking me up. Poo Dust. I'll remember that one.

  12. Sleeping bag? Washable one?

    The post-paint pre-dye carpet does have a sort of tie-dye vibe to it...

    Some crazy granola camp-counselor tried to convince our fifth graders that pee was sterile. She kept a rag for "wiping" when hiking and stuff in the great outdoors TIED TO HER BACKPACK.

    We were all unconvinced and completely revolted. I mean, EW!

    So...she'd say the rug was fine.

  13. Kate - suddenly I'm reminded....Sergei says his grandmother taught him that you can sterilize a wound with pee!

    Weird thing is, I believe I heard confirmation of this from some reputable source.

  14. Weeeeell, ammonia and all. It'll kill a jellyfish sting. But if it's sterile, than what is that smell my daughter's toting around?

  15. Ok, I want to know why NO ONE is questioning that my child told a lie involving turds on the carpet.

    Does that not even raise an eyebrow anymore?

    500 questions about my judgement regarding what to paint, not a lisp about an invented poo?

    BTW, it was FABRIC paint. So it was not like a Hilde episode of Trading Spaces. It was like, bendable smooshy paint spray stuff.

    No, no I do not believe pee towels should be air- dried and reused. ICK!

  16. No one is questioning a poo lie because, unless I'm wrong, the majority of commenters are RAD moms. In that case, the painted carpet is far, far, far more unique than a poo lie!

  17. Just can't tell about the turds on the carpet....who's to know for sure?

  18. oh, man, this one had me *laughing out loud*!!

  19. I, too, have had rug issues. With a certain little pee-er. He would hang his worm over the side of the bed and pee on the rug. Only he peed so much and all over the place that it was hard to know where one spot ended and the next began. And the rug was one of those super awesome ones that is for driving little cars all over. You know, the kind that disguises urine PERFECTLY. (hot top: buy them a car driving rug). Anyhoo, when we went to do our weekly rug cleaning it had ADHERED itself to the flippin wood floor. OHMYGOD. SO DISGUSTING. No more rugs. If he wants to sleep on the floor (he likes to crawl under his bed in his "lab" and sleep), he can piss on the hard wood like a man.

    If you are worried about her comfort, how about a blowup raft that you can buy for $7 at K-Mart? You can hose it off and it will touch just as much pee after one dip in your community pool anyway.

  20. I'm new to your blog. I think I might have been here before and left for some completely foreign and unknown reason, but this time I'm sticking around. I'm sure you'll see me commenting much more often, too.

    Thanks for the laughs today - both from this post and all the comments! You people are a riot!

  21. Wait--was that a slam on Hildy back there? I love Hildy!

    And (OT) as for Project Runway, I wanted Ping, too!

    Haven't seen Lost yet...but am planning on some quiet time this weekend. Have been too tired to properly ENJOY that hour of iTuned television. ;>

    (I guess I should've left this on mine...but your blog is more fun. Mine all Russiany.)

  22. Tubaville that happened in my bathroom! But, at least it was the bathroom. You know, the room WITH the toilet.

    Annie I cannot believe you are so poop-friendly. I really have to rethink my image of you now.

    Hi Diana and Kelly!

    Yes it was a slam to Hilde/y. I actually tried real paint on the fabric of a chair after seeing her do it. Not. A. Good. Result.

  23. You are very industrious and brave. I wouldn't have even tried. I actually liked the airbrush picture. I don't know how it looked on the floor, though.

  24. No, no, no--no rugs in my house. I'm with Tubaville. Pee on the floor already. Please miss the dirty clothes, the wayward blankets, the dog, the under-the-file-cabinet, the shower curtain, and me. Just once. That would be awesome.

    I loved the rainbow effect you achieved, though!

  25. For sleeping, a cheap tri-fold plastic-covered nap mat. Don't remember where we got ours. (Sorry).

    And hey, as a mom of some non-RAD kids, it don't take RAD to have lies involving poop and rugs (or poop and about anything else, for that matter).

    And the green in me was struck by your using all that antibacterial soap ... not good stuff ... but reduce, reuse, recycle -- give the carpet to someone w/ a large dog who needs to carpet the doghouse!

  26. This was a good laugh! I pictured your efforts all along the way. This is in harmony with Corey's blog post about her magic carpet cleaner that got red paint out of the carpet! I am getting one of those machines!

  27. Oh my gosh I am CRYING! CRYING I am laughing so hard!

  28. Ok, so I actually went to Crap Mart 2 days ago and they had their little carpets on sale for $26 bucks again. Not that I will buy another carpet, not until we have a LOT more reliability in the bladder area!


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