If you have read the previous posts, then you know that one of the guys next door likes to cook. A lot. And he doesn't really like to clean, so he generally cooks on the weekends when staff cleans up after him, or after 11 pm, when we are back on our side of the home.
It's easy to know when he starts cooking. The walls are fairly soundproof, but the scent has a way of coming through. The smell and ways to get rid of it are forefront on our minds. We were in a class the other day on building relationships with the individuals we serve and there was a "How well do you know your person" kind of quiz. When questioned about this guy's favorite food, Lowell wrote "garlic." Joshua calls it the "pungent odor" coming through. It has been a high priority to de-odorize our home.
We tried it all - Lysol, Glade, Oust - you name it. So Lowell took it a step further. He journeyed out to the local health food store and purchased a few things to try. The first thing he did was put peppermint oil on cottonballs and stuff them all around the crevices in the doorframe. No more garlic smell, now it smelled strangely like Christmas. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you really hope company doesn't show up at the door. It's really not easy to explain why there are cottonballs EVERYWHERE.
The next thing Lowell purchased was a mist spray whose label proclaims it will "spray the bad karma and funk away with a mist that can't be missed." Don't really know about the bad karma so much, but there was definitely a funk in the air, what with the mixture of garlic and peppermint. And lo and behold, this spray does the trick. It literally sprays away the funk. But it leaves behind it's own very distinctive aroma. What is this spray you may ask? It's frankincense and myrrh. Yes, you read correctly, frankincense and myrrh, as in two of the three gifts Baby Jesus received. I grew up in a Christian home, where I knew the story and I knew the gifts, but I never knew firsthand the scent of frankincense and myrrh. Until now. And now every time I walk in the door, I think about the first Christmas and baby Jesus and about how blessed I am not to be smelling the "pungent odor" of garlic and whatever else happens to be frying up next door.