Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July: Going Out with a Bang...

Possibly not succeeding at
Monday's resolution not to
Since I've blogged virtually every day for the past almost-five years not blogging for two (and a half) days feels like a very long stretch for me.  But you see I promised on Sunday to be cheerful when I wrote my next post and while I started off Monday morning totally capable of that, by blogging time... I was not so much (but wait, just wait until you hear the very, very, very dumb thing I did).

You see, I've been obsessed with getting my house clean and organized before Paul goes back to law school and virtually (in my imagination at least) disappears for the following twelve months into his studies and bar test preparations.  And I've been telling myself that the house needs to be deep clean and completely recovered from the sad state it reached during my 100 hours a week sewing fest in April/May when sewing took priority over everything (I think I even dropped like 10 lbs) and the house looked like a fabric store had exploded inside of it.

Part of my problem is that I'm mentally unable to part with any scrap of fabric larger than the palm of my hand because I find myself thinking "oh that would be perfect for a scrap quilt!  Just perfect!" and then I squirrel it away in a fabric bag, like the hoarder that I apparently am deep down, alongside my natural disaster preparation tendencies (I've seriously thought like this for as long as I can remember... but that's another post in itself) where I think thoughts like "well, if civilization ever really does collapse like in all those YA novels, at least I'll have 78 cans of vegetables, 25 lbs of dry beans and a whole bunch of little scraps of fabric..."
Let's blame the quilts for the mess.

As a side note (is the whole of this post side notes?  Possibly.  It seems to be spiraling that way rapidly) this has come in very handy on those months over the past few years where something comes up, like a certain van breaking down or a sudden need to move 1500 miles in two weeks, when money has extra been tight (that is to say, nonexistent), but hey guys, at least I have bags and bags of rice and beans and while my family may be very, very bored, they will not be hungry.

Anyways, so I've been cleaning the house from top to bottom and reorganizing everything.  The upstairs is done.  The stairs are cleared (fabric piles would congregate there...).  The middle floor was never horrible (I do want to reorganize my pots and pans) but the basement with the water table flood and the sewer flood needed major work as my once organized basement had been destroyed as I hurriedly moved boxes from one side to the other.  And on Monday I was going to begin to tackle that.

As the water started to come in...
A few days earlier, during the pre-cleaning assessment while folding laundry, I'd found (cue scary music... in my head...) black mold in one of the previously flooded areas.  Good job hazmat team.  Awesome clean up (I've found some other things... that left me less than impressed.... I'll spare you the details...).  I poured bleach on it that day.  And then I did it again.  And everything looked sparkling and beautiful as I went to scrub the area.  I'd done it. I'd defeated black mold.  I was triumphant.

Until I started to scrub.  And do you know what happened?  The first shining white layer peeled away to reveal... black mold.  And suddenly I was having an asthma attack.

Now maybe some of you, who have more black mold experience than I do, are thinking: "Stop.  Just stop, how can you be so dumb?"

I even thought that myself.  For a second.  And I'd like to blame what happened next on a mixture of my own unfortunate stubbornness and a bit on oxygen deprivation because honestly I didn't even remember that I had an inhaler (or twenty since we have multiple people with asthma... upstairs... I think that forgetting you have asthma is what happens when you develop asthma when you're thirty...).  I kept coughing/wheezing, put a cotton cloth over my mouth and started to scrub.  And scrub.  And scrub.  Until the floor really did sparkle.  And eventually the coughing stopped.  I finished the first room (there are two more to clean) and was pretty excited.

Random picture of me not looking
at the camera because I should be too embarrassed to
even write this post...
I stood proudly surveying it that afternoon, not breathing all that well.... but happy with how it looked.  With all the scrubbing I think it looked better than on the day we moved in.  I'd found a clothes rack to hang fabric on.  And I'd found my rosary findings which have been missing since they were buried some time around flood #1 when the boxes moved out of the box room.  A good day, I thought, as we sat down to dinner.

A few hours later... I was not so triumphant.  I was curled on the couch shivering and sweating and telling Paul that I was pretty sure I was dying and that I couldn't breath even with the stupid inhaler and every time I stood up the room would spin and tilt and I'd start to faint and sit back down.  And of course Patrick wanted to nurse every five minutes and I just wanted no-one-to-touch-me-at-all-okay?!?!?!?  Is this the flu?  The mold?  A coincidence?  A result of my incredibly stupid decision to keep on cleaning after the breathing trouble began?

Who knows.

So that's why no post on Monday.  On Tuesday I woke up and felt better.  And by better I mean, like a bulldozer had run over my body several times.  But I could breath.  Paul watched the kids while I slept like 11 hours (not all at once... let's not get crazy here...).

And today?  Today I feel as good as new (okay still a little sore).  And I'm thinking that this is a good post because we learned a good lesson, didn't we?  Don't mess with black mold.  Especially in a small enclosed room with no opening windows.  Especially when you have asthma...

I'm taking off cleaning (the basement) for a couple days and focusing on sewing!

In random, completely unrelated good news... Patrick's "lost" tooth is back!  It was in fact, pushed up, because now it's there again!  Babies seem to be made to not lose teeth!  Thank heavens!


  1. Good GRIEF woman! What did you just go and do to yourself! I hope you get to take it easy the rest of the week (I know, ha ha!).

    Glad you're on the mend now, glad you're back, and glad Patrick's tooth is back (that last one's particularly awesome)

  2. A word of note, I heard that vinegar kills mold more effectively than bleach. So in the future that may help.


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