Sunday

Banishing Odors







Last year I told you about Clean + Green, a line of products that I am a huge fan of because they are environmentally friendly, pet friendly, affordable, and THEY WORK.
Today Puff and I went out to my climate controlled indoor rented storage unit to do some cleaning. Last May we had a terrible 1000 year flood, 56,000 homes in the Middle Tennessee and Nashville area were affected.
My storage unit took on water from the flood. I spent days wicking water out of my antiques and steam cleaning the unit. I was successful, but if you have never experienced a major flood, nothing can describe the after flood odor that is almost impossible to remove. The odor comes from all of the things that the rushing water carried with it. Recently we received some Clean + Green Furniture Refresher for review, so I took along a can. It was made to remove pet odors from pet beds, carpets, furniture, etc. and I decided to try it on the antique pieces in my storage unit.
My favorite piece is a signed Louis XVI Giltwood Canape from the late 1700's pictured above. Yes, I said 1700's. It traveled from France to Cuba when the King was establishing sugar plantations,later it survived a trip to New Orleans, it survived Katrina and it survived the historic Nashville flood. I shook the can and gave the old silk upholstery a light spray. The best thing about this product is that it leaves no perfumey odor. Some antique dealers would think I was crazy spraying a refresher on such an antique but the trick is to spray it lightly as you don't need a lot of product to do the job.
I then sprayed it on an 1800's Louis chair (upholstery only, mind you) that my friend Ettienne (who is a French antiques dealer) brought back from Paris. This is one of Puffs' favorite chairs to sit on, you may have seen pix of him in it on this blog as well as the picture of him wearing a toilet paper crown on my antiques blog and Twitter account photo.


After that I tackled a couple of Persian rugs. All my rugs were at the time stored off the floor and did not come in contact with the nasty flood water. But they still smelled of the flood. I could have used Clean + Green for carpets, but the Furniture Refresher is lighter and this Tabriz rug is vegetable dyed. You can see from the photo that there is no color run because I did not have to spray a lot on it to eliminate the flood odor.

Unlike Febreeze, I feel safe using this product around my pets. And because I have chemical sensitivities, there are a lot of products that I personally cannot use.
Whether you have pets in your home, or antiques, or both, I highly recommend that you keep a can of
Clean + Green Furniture Refresher around. It is available at most Pet Specialty stores and at Petco. Even though we were asked to do a review of the product, the truth is we were already a loyal customer....Puff and I definitely give it two paws up.

Saturday

Coping With Winter Weather



Puff loves the snow and as you can see from this recent picture I keep him pretty bundled up, he has a whole wardrobe of dog coats, but this is his favorite, made by my mom, it comes with a matching wool knitted hat because his little Chin ears get sooo cold.
He thinks he is a puppy but in reality, Puff is an old dog, and some older dogs are very prone to arthritis flare ups in the winter just as people are.
While Puff doesn't have arthritis, he is an indoor dog and the radical change in temperatures from indoors to outdoors can be stressful on any dog, but especially on older ones as they have trouble maintaining their body temperature. Shivering out in the cold can compress the spine. Dogs with spinal issues and almost all toy dogs will benefit from some stretching exercises to decompress their spines.
I do reflexology massage on Puffs' feet, lying him on his side while I massage some raw organic shea butter on each pad. Pads get very dry this time of year...
Other winter issues include indoor heating. Believe it or not, everyone doesn't have central heat and air conditioning and I am one of those. We live in a very small, very old Southern shotgun style enfilade apartment that was built without heat, apparently before global warming or El Nina or what ever messed up our weather. Because of that I use electric oil radiators, they have been great ( my electric bill in December was 22.00, that is not a lie, but January it doubled). The problem with oil radiators is that they are hot to touch and a pet can be burned getting too close. I use fireplace screens around mine.
I once knew of an Afghan hound whose long coat went up in flames from just applied alcohol based grooming products and getting too close to a wall heater.
Dogs, especially older ones can lie too close to an open hearth as well.

We live in the city and with so much snow there are salt and chemicals everywhere. Neighbors put out ice melting chemicals on the sidewalks, merchants throw it in front of the stores. Salt residue sprays on you from the street when you are walking.....
Salt for melting ice usually contains high concentration of chlorine, and concentrated quantities of salt alone if ingested,is harmful to kidneys and hearts. Be sure to wipe down your dogs feet after every walk and check that you don't track any into your house.
Hopefully, spring is just around the corner....