Wednesday, April 13, 2011

El Stinko

Life literally stinks sometimes. Is that a revelation to you? This past week has been one of the granddaddy stinko weeks of all times for me.

After one of my earlier posts about how average I am, just one of the crowd in so many ways, I must admit one exceptional feature I possess that is not always a blessing. My sense of smell is amazingly acute. This can prove helpful when there is a gas leak or something burning. The family teases that I can predict the milk is going sour two days in advance.

This “gift” is not so welcome when diapers (obviously) need changing and baby’s mother is oblivious or smelling-impaired. My sense of smell is likewise not appreciated when rain dampens the neighbor’s barnyard within spitting distance of our carport, and the breeze sends the odor wafting in my kitchen window.

Being pregnant proved a gagful experience for me living in a foreign land with unfamiliar scents assaulting my nose daily. The worst was walking by certain walls formerly used as a public urinal. Maybe some of you can relate?

Body odors remain a challenge. Now that our hottest month has arrived I struggle to ignore the smelly people I encounter in close quarters like on buses. Sadly I have a reputation among my children’s friends who have been known to purposely shower before coming to my house for a movie night or to practice in the chime choir I direct. I’ve got to work on ignoring my nose.

This week was a nightmare with nasty plumbing disasters galore. You can see photos on my personal blog lest you think I am exaggerating. The worst was when our ecological waterless composting toilet malfunctioned, and the liquid matter had to be drained bucket by bucket. While the hatch was opened, the entire house stank to high heaven (as we say in Texas). We opened windows, turned on fans, lit candles, and sprayed air freshener, but still it was disgustingly rank.

To make matters worse, when we attempted to wash the towels and rugs that had gotten soiled in the process of handling that crisis, the washing machine didn’t drain properly, and instead of going out, somehow got rerouted and nasty water started gurgling up through the bathroom sink and tub. Gray water reeks almost as bad as black water.

Oh, I’m killing myself retelling it. What is my purpose? Partly I am shamelessly begging for sympathy. Say it all together now: “Poor Jamie Jo!” Then again, I have pledged to share the good, the bad, and the ugly here. This week it just happens to be stinky AND ugly.

IRL*Meanwhile my prayer is that my life would be a sweet aroma and not a stench in the nostrils of God.


  1. Oh my that is horrid!! I am so so sorry for you. Bad enough with a normal working nose, EXTRA bad with a strong sense of smell (which I can relate to and it is not always a positive thing-- rarely, actually!). Bless you with sweet smells this week-- SWEET smells.

  2. THIS IS WHERE I GET IT!! I didn't know this about you! Next time we're together we'll have to talk about this. I could tell story after story. My husband loves to tell people about my "Superman(woman) smeller"! Actually, I have keen senses all together. Do you? But I would say smell is my most sensitive. Can you tell how excited I am to know that I am not alone?? :) Of course I'm even more excited to know I share this with family.

  3. Maybe you could sniff glue, take a few too many years of nasal decongestants, hmm.. something to damage that acute sense some.

    Thankfully, my sense of smell is not so strong anymore - don't know if it was the years of allergy drugs or the fact that working in a nursing home, we sort of learn to turn it off at times.

    But you do have my sympathies. Deep sympathies.

    Now - ever wonder why people chose willingly to go into a career like septic tank emptiers? I am thrilled that someone does that, but... why chose that? And how do those people end up getting dates?! "Hey, good looking, want to go out Saturday night?" "Hmm... what do you do?" "Well, I'm in the septic sucking business." "Yeah... well... I just remembered I promised to trim Old Aunt Bertha's toenails this Saturday... don't want her ripping holes in her wool socks, do we? Sorry, just can't."

  4. The worst we had was the neighbor's septic tank leaking into our drinking water tank... when we had a "quiet" training going on at our house and had over 25 people living with us. Twenty-five people who got severe tummy problems, and no clean water to use. However, it did not smell, thankfully... well, not that much.

  5. ugh! Sorry to hear that. And yes, I did say "Poor Jamie". It seems the men I live with share similar rhino-giftings. In fact, since going to the doc and taking those wonderful drops, my hubby lovingly has suggested additional showers since I smell like...onion. Which was confirmed upon my quest to discover what exactly those drops contain: main ingredient is onion extract!

  6. @Ginny, if smells in Taiwan are anything like Thailand, you are doomed. You'd think if I passed on this "gift" to a niece or two, maybe I'd have LESS of it myself. Too bad.

    @Ellie: You crack me up! So sorry about your water disaster with a house full. Once we had a team from the states during our first rain of the year, and mud seeped into the well and came oozing out of the faucets. Nasty stuff there, too, though it didn't smell too much.

    @Ilona, the onion powder explains why I can't STAND my own new B.O. now that it is hot enough that I actually perspire. I could NOT figure it out. Mystery solved. Ewww. Hey, but we're growing thinner! (Um, do you live with more than one man, or is that a typo?)

  7. @ Stephanie, sorry to hear you have been similarly blessed. Don't take Ellie's remedy suggestions seriously. :)

  8. That just stinks.

    (You so asked for that.)

    Sorry, though, truly. That sounds awful!

    My code word to type in was "dwainage".

    Just one of life's little ironies, that make living here in this fallen world somewhat entertaining.

  9. So sorry, I know how terrible that can be. I have a very strong nose and almost everything that has a smell makes me nauseous and give me a headache even supposedly good smelling tings like perfume and air freshener smells and candles. Now that I am pregnant it is worse.

    I know what you mean about the walls. San Jose, CR is full of them and the hot humid weather does not help any with the smell. Seems like the rain does not even wash it away.

    Praying your problems are over and for refreshing breezes to flow threw your windows and take away the smell!

  10. My dh has more acute 'smelling' powers than me. It's bad when he says: "Did you smell that?!" causing me to inhale deeply. UGH! Why did you make me do that?! LOL

    (((hugs))) Poor Jamie Jo!

  11. @Susan: I don't get it. What's dwainage?

    @Rachel: thanks for reading my blog, and I appreciate the prayers. So sorry your walls there are stinky, too. As for the refreshing breezes, we have had those! Sadly the washing machine is draining out the window now, sans screen, so flies and dust are still an issue.

    @Lillypilly: your dh has my sympathies.

    And thanks all for the "Poor Jamie Jo"s I so shamelessly begged and received. :)


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