Friday, July 9, 2010

Of moths and sneezes

A friend of mine recently discovered that moths had taken up residence in some of her camping gear. Not long after Posie found them, and now the spell is broken and I am all jittery about moths.

About half of my workspace is a huge shelving unit filled with stacks of fabric. Whenever I work on a project everything gets pulled out, a mess is made, and then everything is shaken out and restacked, so things don't settle completely, but I work with fabric a lot less often than I work with the paints or paper. So things could lurk. And then there's the linen closet, where I keep most of my clothes. They're stacked in metal baskets, and most get moved around a lot, but my off-season clothes (like the sweaters I wear over button-ups all through the rainy season) do not get moved around, they instead sit up at the top of the closet inert and inviting. Gah, moths. What if they got into the QUILTS? Or the tent?! Oh boy. And the fluff of devastation pales in comparison to the unpleasant image of LARVA crawling around the apartment.

I have become, as Anthony puts it, "bugged."

My cat hangs out in the fabric shelves and in the clothing-closet. He is very fond of small things and particularly small things he's not supposed to have. (Like the little mesh screen in the bathroom sink drain. He has stolen it so many times that I stopped using it, and now I periodically lose things down the drain.) So, using moth balls may not be the way to go for me. Though I suppose the smell might put him off? It puts ME off to be honest. And in a 495 square foot apartment that many moth balls may make the whole place smell acidic, and I'd rather not. If I can help it.

I am intrigued by cedar balls, but where to find them? I've only ever seen them in tourist-tat shops, and they are always far too expensive. I am also intrigued by these things. I get a little flustered at Martha's insistence that I use something decadent like organza -- something I don't have in my fabric stashes. I know it needs to be lightweight, fairly porous, yet solid enough to hold the herbs inside, so for weeks I've been adding "MOTH AWAY GEAR" to my various watch-lists. Keeping my eyes peeled in the free boxes on some of the street corners here. Trying to think of what kind of fabric I should be looking for. Wondering what organza actually is. It's flitting around my mind. As a moth might.

Meanwhile, I have been descending into allergy time. Anthony has been coming with me this year, and so we have been going through a bewildering number of handkerchiefs in the house. In merely four or five days we go through all the usable handkerchiefs in the box and make it down to the pretty unusable ones. The starchy old ones made of real linen, with delicate flowers embroidered on the edges. The ones my Grandmother carried.

I went for a fresh one yesterday and found the box filled only with these unusable ones again. Then it dawned on me that these delicate, porous things are exactly what I need for the moth away project.

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And it means that the pretty unusable ones are usable! Even better!

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I used two parts lavender to one part rosemary, because that's what I had.

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I couldn't make enough for the whole problem, but I could make enough for the quilts-and-tent shelf above the bed. So that's something. I also don't know if this is going to be effective -- Posie HAD cedar and lavender and she still had problems -- but does it makes my brain feel better. At the end of the day I think that's the most important thing.

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