I think a mouse has died in the wall of the staircase that leads up from our garage into the house. At first it smelled musty and moldy, like wet towels, and now it just smells, well, dead. Everything I've read online indicates that my options are a.) knock holes in the wall in an attempt to find and remove the unfortunate deceased, which may or may not be successful, or b.) wait it out until decomposition does its work and the smell goes away. Since I don't own this house and I have no idea how much it would cost to get a ripped-up wall repaired, I've been forced to go for option b, gross as it is.
The bulk of the smell is located near a large heating vent, so one of my friends has kindly volunteered to come over tomorrow, take the vent cover off and see if he can locate the offender that way. I know how to operate a screwdriver and could technically do that myself, but I'd really rather not (yuck), so just this once I'm going to take him up on the offer, and hope to God it works. The smell is minimal today because I've opened up windows and aired everything out, but when G and I got back from San Diego yesterday, it was a bit thick as we came in from the garage. (Not the sort of welcome-home you want to receive, let me tell you.) At least the top two floors, where we spend most of our time, are mostly stench-free; it's all concentrated in that stairwell, so we only have to smell it when we go in or out.
We had gone to San Diego because last month, as I was thinking about how depressing the last several Mother's Days had been, I decided that this year I was going to take preemptive action and plan something for myself. San Diego is only about a 90-minute drive from here, so I found a cute, reasonably priced hotel near the downtown Gaslamp District, and I made a reservation for Mother's Day weekend. Here are a few photos from the trip.
We stayed at The Bristol Hotel San Diego, and I couldn't believe how nice it was for the price I paid. It wasn't a bad location either, within walking distance of hundreds of shops and restaurants.
At the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop. G had the cone, I had the Rocky Road sundae. It was delicious, but I only managed to finish about a third of it. I'm not that much of a pig.
People playing giant chess at Horton Plaza. There were giant checkers too.
Outside the San Diego Museum of Art. Yes, it was yet another cloudy day for an outing.
Part of the sculpture garden and courtyard near the art museum. That's the bell tower and carillion on the left.
Museum of Man
Mayan stele inside the Museum of Man.
Hall of Modern Humans. Each of those circles had a human invention or milestone and the year it happened. My birth year was the computer microchip; G's was the euro.
All in all, it was a pleasant weekend and a huge improvement over the last few years. One of the nasty little surprises of widowhood is that while you can organize all the major holidays on your own, no one is going to pick up the slack on the days that are supposed to be about you. It's taken me a few years to get there, but I'm finally in a place where I can arrange my own special event and not feel bad about doing it myself. I'm already planning a similar approach for my fortieth birthday next year -- not sure where we're going yet, but I'm going to make it as good as I can. Surely I must deserve it by now.