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Today's walk

Today my host (TZ) dropped me off in downtown Lincoln so he could go in to work on reviewing some NSF proposals while I took care of some house-wrangling business. From downtown I walked for about 30 minutes to a 2-bedroom apartment I had checked out the day before. While I'm tremendously upset with the fact that it was treated with insecticides, it has a number of other compelling and positive attributes: all hardwood floors, a gas stove, a small balcony, a separate back porch, a fairly quiet building. So I went ahead and signed the month-to-month lease. Then I walked a mile over to the hardware store. I've missed living in a city with an Ace Hardware. I can't tell you how much I've missed that. Let alone a hardware store that's a pleasant mile's walk from my home. Next to the Ace Hardware was Ideal Grocery, which is mostly a conventional grocery store, but which at least has organic milk and, somewhat surprisingly, whole wheat crumpets, and lefse. I know, I know, store-bought lefse is junk compared to homemade lefse. Still. It's a huge step up to have a nearby grocery store that contains food items I won't mind eating.

I bought a 5-gallon bucket and some bleach at the hardware store. My chemist friend J says that a strong oxidizing agent like bleach (or peroxide) will be a more effective method for deactivating pesticide residues than soap and water, so I might as well give it a try. I swabbed down most of the kitchen today, and will work my way through the rest of the house tomorrow and over the upcoming week. It won't hurt to clean everything twice over, at this stage.

The space in the apartment is wonderful, and an interesting contrast to the Villa Maria house, which was also two-bedroom. There's a small entry between the back door and the kitchen. The kitchen leads into a formal dining room, which will become a bike room, in my case. From there, a hallway leads past the bathroom towards a smaller bedroom, which will become the erg room. To the left of the dining room is the front hallway, with the large bedroom across from the main entrance and the living room to the right of the entrance. The living room has a fireplace, a small porch shared with the neighboring unit, windows that let in afternoon sunlight, and a built-in bookcase. While it isn't a fancy place, it feels ten times more civilized than the industrial carpeting and dumpy construction of the Villa Maria house. Plus, there's space for some plants outside, but NO LAWN TO MOW.

After cleaning the kitchen, I had to walk back to campus to meet up with TZ for the drive back to his house in the countryside. My walk to work took 30 minutes and went past the capitol building, a public library, a bookstore, an independent art supply store, and the university's art museum.

I have to wonder if I would have felt the same sense of relief and wonder if I'd moved here straight from Arizona. In some respects, the answer is yes; Tempe was better, overall, for transportation, but things were still spread out in strip malls. At the same time, I have this feeling that I'll never take sidewalks for granted, ever again. I'll never, ever take independent bookstores for granted, or compact urban areas where it's possible to get around on foot. I'll never take bike paths for granted, either.

Tomorrow, I'll move my stuff and cat into the apartment and will start the process of restocking groceries. I'm sad to leave my hosts behind; it's hard to complain when I'm getting to enjoy good beer, wine, cheese, and company every evening. But I don't want to overstay my welcome, and it's best to get Emma situated in her own space. It's somewhat akin to what it was like living with J, K, and B, except slightly too far on the "pampered guest" end of the spectrum for me to feel comfortable for too long. I can't help wanting to contribute to the household.


( 13 remarks — Remark )
Feb. 8th, 2015 05:29 am (UTC)
Peroxides and bleaches should do better than most things, but it's not obvious (to me) that they'll do much for carbamates.

It sounds like a fairly lovely place! I'm hoping we'll get to see it at some point.
Feb. 8th, 2015 07:00 am (UTC)
I don't think the carbamates are still legal for indoor use. The EPA reorganized its site, so I can't find the current registration, but they've been restricting all the AChE inhibitors for years.
Feb. 8th, 2015 07:02 am (UTC)
Looks like the class is pretty sensitive to light, air, and water, with short half-lives reported for the members I was able to find.
Feb. 8th, 2015 12:06 pm (UTC)
Previously I'd been operating on the idea of water sensitivity, but a chemist friend on Social Media Brand X site recommended going ahead with the oxidizing agents.

I might be able to learn more specifics about what was sprayed - the manager said it was something standard for households.
Feb. 8th, 2015 07:24 pm (UTC)
If it's "standard", it's likely to be modern and safe. The EPA has really cracked down on indoor uses of all ag compounds over the last decade or so.
Feb. 9th, 2015 03:08 am (UTC)

Mmm, S would beg to differ with respect to modern being safe, and based on my observations I'm inclined to agree. The standards by which pesticides are judged leave out an important minority of people who are particularly sensitive to their effects (e.g., S). I experience something analogous when I am around chlorine (making the bleach use a challenge...but the bleach is short-term). Anyway, personal history being what it is, I have reasons to want to reverse the effects of whatever was applied here.

Feb. 10th, 2015 02:14 am (UTC)
:) I'm not sure what definition of safe would please you. People are sensitive/allergic to foods, fabrics, and metals.
Feb. 8th, 2015 05:31 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I bet UV would do a great job if it's light-sensitive.
Feb. 8th, 2015 12:07 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's got some charm to it! I'll take photos once I'm more moved in, although it's going to look somewhat big and empty unless I wind up deciding to phone in for the moving pod. I mean, all the stuff I've moved up here only took up one layer on the floor of a moving van, so it's a pretty minimalist setup.
Feb. 8th, 2015 06:04 am (UTC)
Best of luck in this latest adventure, Rebecca. While I keep hoping that one day you’ll end up back on the West Coast, it sounds like this new move holds new (albeit temporary) opportunities, and at the very least, gets you out of Texas. How satisfying to be in a place with a more varied collection of artistic and literary venues. -Sonja
Feb. 8th, 2015 12:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Sonja! This is still a step in working my way back towards the West Coast, in the grand scheme of things. :-)
Feb. 8th, 2015 07:07 pm (UTC)
I'm wondering if it's better to dust-mop every day with H2O2 or to vacuum every day? I think pesticides stick to dust a lot?

When I lived in Englewood it was strip mall hell and a lot of restaurants had no sidewalk in front. So horrible.
Feb. 8th, 2015 09:58 pm (UTC)
I am cheered by your descriptions of just the first few days of life in Lincoln. I hope your emotional and spiritual batteries are charged by your time here. <3
( 13 remarks — Remark )

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