Monday, July 1, 2013

Vanquishing Mold, and My Near-Lobotomy


I have learned to back into chores that are unseemly. If I list them, they might get done in a few years. So the best way to get them out of the way is to ambush myself.

The fridge has been pooling water under the crisper. The husband was notified about this a week or so ago and has made verbal noises about replacing some tube or other. In the meantime, I have been sopping up with rags. I must have been tardy in thinking to look under the crisper, because now there are dots of mold afloat.

It is triple-digit heat outside. I have a clothesline between trees in the back yard because I fancy myself a countrified girl who would hang up the laundry outdoors, although I never actually do. The most action that clothesline ever sees are the sporadic photo shoots of the patched-together garments I sew for my etsy shop.

Rags plus heat and sunshine equal mold demise. I decide to hang up the rags when I replace them with a dry set. But on the way from crisper to outdoors, the rags make a stop in the bathroom, where sits a bucket of bleach and water leftover from my last ambitious mopping blitz. We are out of bleach, so I must conserve what we do have until I have the energy to finish mopping downstairs, or until the husband has the motivation to endure the heat and fetch more bleach.

I wring out the rags in the bleach water and notice the shower stall’s aggravating new patina of hard water and soap scum. One swipe, then another, and soon I am vigorously wiping all the walls, digging my fingernail into the rag to excavate the grout gunk. Then I look up.

The black mold stares down at me. How long has it lived on the ceiling and upper wall? Years. I get up on a step stool and scrub at it. “It” may not be grammatically correct, as I am beginning to think they are legion, the way they spread.

“What are you up to in there?” the husband inquires. Bathroom cleaning is a rare occurrence, as you might have surmised. When I explain, he proclaims he is inspired, which I decide is code for “Assign me some task.” I send him to the garage for some protective eyewear to shield me from mold spray, which is the next step in my plan of attack.

The husband makes an offering of the goggles, and since I have dripping rubber gloves on my hands, I bow my head to indicate that he may approach and set them on my face.

Suddenly I erupt in a shriek. “It’s going in my ear!” I feel my right ear being raped by one of the handles that should go above, not inside, the lobe.

He jumps back and nearly drops the goggles, reduced to a shivering heap. The last time I had that effect on someone, it was my dental hygienist, who had struck an oil pipeline in my mouth and recoiled at the ensuing gush of red.

“I’ll go get you some bleach,” he calls over his shoulder as he shuts the front door behind him.

“Get an eggplant while you’re at it,” I shout back over the bathroom vent. There is a recipe for vegan lasagna that has been an open tab on my laptop for a few weeks.

I spray the mold killer liberally over the areas that are still slightly dark. I curse whoever invented stucco finish and whoever decided it was appropriate for a bathroom.

The rags are soaking in the bleach water, which is now dark. I should get them onto the clothesline, but that is classified as a chore. I think I’ll wait to ambush myself.

12 comments:

  1. Oh my, I just got even more exhausted just from reading all that. Kudos to you! I admit I have those days too, but trust me they are few and far between. You actually reminded me of my days as a teenager and we had a similar problem with our fridge. My mom folded thick rags too to absorb the pooling water under the crisper. Luckily there was no mold. However, come to think of it, we never did find out what was wrong with the fridge. Or maybe it's just my failing memory? Oh wth...anyway. I'm babbling now. It must be the exhaustion from all the work YOU did! P.S. Hope the mold stops pestering you soon.

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    1. Ironically, the days I've had the energy to undertake laborious chores are the same days I decided to go without my morning coffee. Hmmm.

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  2. I wish I could approach my chores with as much fun. Then I wish I had a blog to write about it. Cancel that second wish. There's always Facebook.

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    1. FUN?!? Who said anything about fun?

      Oh, I think I did. I had this nebulous notion about whimsy and magic under our noses and at every turn.

      Facebook is like the doughnut you inhale when you've capitulated. Sugar high. Very short-term gratification. Then the crash. More changes. Posts disappearing. Not to say blogging's permanent, but at least it makes me pay attention when I write.

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    2. Maybe I would be bothered by the impermanence of a Facebook post if I wrote of things with more gravitas.

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  3. Cringing...I hate mold. Right up there with spiders. I don't understand its purpose. Gahhhhhh!!

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    1. Something tells me your vintage Burt Reynolds Cosmo centerfold is mold- and spider-free, though.

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  4. you are so funny...thoroughly enjoyed your grand adventure (and success) into mold vanquishing - no one but you could write this with such wit! :-)

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    1. I've been to your house, wNt—no mold there. Now that's success.

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  5. That's pretty much how most of my work gets done. I'd much rather sew.

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    1. Hear, hear! A woman after my own thimble.

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  6. “...now there are dots of mold afloat.” - The sight or occurrence of mold in our house is absolutely scary. Not only because of it's unappealing appearance, but also the dangerous effect in our health. I hope the mold issue has been resolved. If not, I think it's much better to call a professional mold remover just to make sure you are all safe from the harm it can cause.

    Emely @ CMHazardControl.com

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