Thursday, January 29, 2015


The offending furniture
The chest of drawers and the bureau in our bedroom has been with us forever.
It's probably been more than 40 years since they've been replaced.
I decided this was the year and Marc was relieved. Turns out he's always disliked them so when we had a free afternoon we went to the new RC Willey store in Draper.
We were "just looking" to see what was available and what we could expect in the way of cost.
Of course, the nice lady who helped us hung in there and after she showed us two floors of merchandise and chests with little hidden drawers and surprise secret lights, we bought a pair of matched Chateau pieces.
We ponied up for their "free" delivery and set a date.
Meanwhile we hustled to clean out the old stuff, rearrange and give them away.
Once they arrived, I was pretty pumped.
I could arrange all my earrings and such in the hidden, velvet-lined drawer and we had space for sweaters, shirts. It was great.
Until...I noticed that clothes from the new bureau drawers smelled funny, sort of musty and odd.
I assumed it was because they had been stored in our old furniture for too many decades so I washed everything, twice.
Then I tried on a sweater I'd forgotten I owned and tried to wear it out of the house. It itched and bugged me until I took it off.
Every time I opened the secret drawer for my jewelry I noticed the strange smell.
I was becoming concerned.
We'd spent a lot of money on this stuff and I wasn't liking it.
I couldn't quite decide how bothered I was.
I tried Febreze. I put soap chips in the drawer with sweaters. I brought up a plant to live nearby.
I opened windows and left the drawers open.
I looked online to see if this was common.
The littler one
Apparently there is a problem known as new furniture smell that can come from something being made in China with formaldehyde as a fixative. It's a major toxic component and is known to be carcinogenic.
According to some reports China is dumping a lot of this kind of furniture on the United States.
I contacted RC Willey. The guy there said he's never heard of this happening but he'll do a swap-out in a couple of days.
That seemed a little extreme as the answer but he said it's possible that the problem is real.The thing is, the small chest is fine. It's just the bigger one that stinks.
So today I'm emptying out the drawers and sniffing around to see if I'm crazy or what.
What do those of you who know me think?
Crazy wins, huh?
P.S. It turns out I'm not crazy. The guys loading the chest and nightstand to swap out called us and said they stank too. The store then called and offered a full refund. Now I just have to figure out how to NOT buy more furniture from China....

Saturday, January 24, 2015

On thin ice

The grandkids and mom. Note the pink cheeks.
The guy has my sympathy.
Chris Schultz has been trying to get an ice skating rink up and going since early December. He assumed that by Dec. 13th it would be good and cold in Utah and water would freeze.
He happened to pick the only year I've ever seen that featured 60-degree weather well into the holidays.
It's been warm and then it rained.
Chris had made a deal with American Fork City to lease land in the corner of the Art Dye Sports Complex.
He offered to front all the costs if the city would let him put in an outdoor ice skating rink.
He would pay for the labor involved in putting up a fence, laying in chiller coils, providing a stock of skates and lighting the rink at night.
He would carry the liability insurance.
All the city had to do was stand back and watch (or come and skate).
It sounded like such a good idea.
When I was a child in Idaho, it was a given that you could skate on the neighborhood rink any day of the winter.
I remember going down to the corner and skating to my heart's content.
I didn't know then that it was unusual to have a skating rink on every corner.
It's been years since then so when I heard of Chris' plans, I was interested.
I interviewed him and did a story for The Deseret News.
Unfortunately the story was one centered on the grand opening dates he'd missed waiting for the temperature to drop enough to allow him to make ice.
He needed enough cold to make the first layer over the coils and allow him to "paint" the ice with a material that would resist melting in the afternoon sun.
The chiller would take it from there.
Poor Chris. He missed all of December and half of January.
The good news is that the Timpanogos Ice Skating Rink is now open.
My granddaughters and their parents and Marc skated there today while I tended the baby.
They loved it and nobody broke a leg or anything.
And it wasn't crowded.
I don't think most folks realize it's finally open. They're thinking it's not going to happen.
But it has.
I'm going to check it out. How about you?

Adell, Hannah and Kari. Somebody falling in the background.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Keep your cell phones quiet!

I'm well aware of the library cell phone policy.
Not only do I read the little sign every time I come in and out (Please keep yourself and your cell phone quiet!) but I'm on the board where we discuss these kinds of things.
So I was somewhat embarrassed when I walked into the room to attend the party for our retiring librarian to hear my cell phone ringing.
I tried to retrieve it quickly and shut it off but I have a new purse and I couldn't find the durn thing.
By the time I grabbed hold of it and pushed the right button to dismiss the call, everyone was looking at me.
I took my seat.
I was kinda late anyway so I was trying to fade into the background.
It was a casual kind of event so there wasn't a set time for board members to be there...however, I was expected to show up and hand off the board's parting gift and things moved along more quickly than planned.
The president of the board went to the front of the room to speak.
I waited, anticipating her final remark so I could then walk up and give her the gift to give to the librarian.
A phone started to hum.
It wasn't my phone but one in the purse on the chair beside me, the board president's.
Because mine had been ringing earlier, everyone looked at me as it buzzed.
I waited for it to stop.
It stopped.
Then it buzzed again.
Believe it or not, in a library, a buzzing phone is very loud.
I sat there trying to look nonchalant as it buzzed and buzzed and buzzed some more. It was getting harder to ignore.
Whoever needed to talk to the president needed her badly, I figured, but I wasn't about to open up her purse without permission.
Finally, it was time for the gift giving so when I went up to stand beside her I told her that her phone was ringing.
She nodded and smiled. What could she do?
We finished the niceties and returned to our seats.
Her phone was still buzzing.
"Oh, look at that!" she said. "14 calls!"
She hurried out of the room.
I don't know what the emergency was or even if the calls were all from the same teenager/toddler/husband. I hoped it wasn't something serious like a house burning down.
I do know I won't be bringing my cell phone with me (or anyone else's) to any more public events and I'll work on not looking guilty when one rings.