Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Cleanup

After I saw that the sugary lava flow was not moving any further, I trudged up the stairs to where Hubby was studying. I slunk over to the bed and, with head hanging down, I told him I had destroyed the kitchen.
He hugged and assured me that it would be all right, we went down stairs to survey the damage. I was met again with the terrible sight. Hubs said not to despair, and went to get the spackle knife-paint scraper thing from the garage. He started chipping away at the objects on the counter and I set the pot to soak in the sink. I lifted the spoon and thought it looked like sticky tar. (It would probably be useful for protecting the roof if we ever needed a little patching.)
I was able to get the drips off the floor without any damage except for a small bubble in the linoleum which you can only feel if you are scrubbing the floor down on your hands and knees; as if I ever have time to do that, I’ll never feel it! I was pretty impressed at that, I thought for sure the sugar-lava would have melted right through the floor, I did have the foresight to throw a cup full of cold water on the spill before my teary outburst, maybe that helped.
DH was scraping away at the diamond-hard mess on top of the counter, he had managed to loosen the cemented objects without casualty, and even salvaged my Pampered Chef hot pad that had so bravely covered my countertop. It performed beautifully. The counter under the pan was fine, and under the obsidian-like puddle, the counter was only a bit orange. At least there was no burnt countertop, as I feared. (It is nearly brand new and I’d like a few more years out of it before I need to do a complete kitchen remodel.)
As he scraped, the chips flew like little Pele’s tears, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes, I’m sure if it had been her kitchen she would have been crying over this mess as well. Bear scraped and chipped, chipped and scraped, I tried to keep the kids out of the “free hard candy-mess!” It was on our shoes, stuck to the front of my apron, even in my hair. Chels didn’t want anything to do with the offensive tasting stuff, “candy isn’t that good,” she decided and went back to her book.
I snapped off the cupboard door from it’s hinges and laid it on top of the other counter and began to tackle the new igneous rock formation that had dribbled down it’s front. (It’s called Pele’s hair, just in case you wondered.) To quote Wikipedia: “Pele's hair: a geological term for volcanic glass threads or fibers formed when small particles of molten material are thrown into the air and spun out by the wind into long hair-like strands.” Well, there was no wind, but I think the term can still apply. I used the “melt-and-gently-scrape-with-a-plastic-spatula” method of disaster cleanup. (I’m sure that FEMA has specific cleanup protocols for this but I’m not trained in that area. Aparantly, I’m not trained very well in the area of cooking protocols either!) It was returned to it’s natural state pretty quickly, Pele hadn’t damaged the door, and the MAG-SWAPS method was working. I pulled the drawer out and started on it. This took a little longer to soften up the quartz-like goop, it had been closer to the top of the volcano’s crater stock pot and thus got more of the glop. Eventually, it was cleaned up too, I even managed to remove the sticky finger prints from endless openings and shuttings with little grubby hands.
Dear Hubby had finished the initial pass with the paint scraper and was working on the cleanup of the obsidian-crystals. He swept them up with the little broom and dust pan. We decided to throw the whole mess into the compost bin to attract more bugs into our yard. (Did I just type that?) Well, we hoped for “beneficial-bugs” anyway, whatever those are… After his clean sweep he gave it a once over with warm soapy water and there was no stains, no burns, nothing!! I couldn’t believe it, I was sure I had ruined it all and God protected my kitchen from Mount Vesuvius-Minor.
The floors all got a sweep and a scrub, and then I moved the furniture and shampooed the carpets, I had planned to do it after canning season was through, I guess this is a fitting way to finish it. I am keeping a log of things canned, time spent, and cost, I’m not sure how to write the entry for the apple butter. All I have to say to whomever I give my home canned gifts to this Christmas, you had better appreciate it!

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