Mold: don’t look behind the dishwasher!

I’ve had a wealth of diverse activities since last week’s blog was penned! Tap class on Monday night, Walla Walla Symphony Tuesday evening, Terms of Endearment auditions at Little Theater of Walla Walla on Wednesday (as an observer only this time so don’t get excited). Last night I attended a Fort Walla Walla Museum After Hours presentation: Bibles, Booze and (Mostly) Baseball: Walla Walla Blue Laws and America’s Game. But this week’s big project is mold remediation.




Frankly, I think the cultural items are more exciting.


Right on both counts, 9 and Lily. (If you are new to the blog, Lily and 9 are, respectively, my inner fourteen-year-old and my inner 9-year-old). But sometimes it’s necessary to deal with something down-to-earth in order to move forward.


On Monday the remediation contractor tested the areas being treated for moisture. This needs to be at 11%, coincidentally the same percentage for wheat that’s ready to harvest. Replacement sub-floor was installed and a temporary patch of linoleum was put down in the kitchen.


Why temporary?


Because we’re contemplating an even bigger home project, Lily: replacing the kitchen vinyl and living room carpet with some kind of wood composite flooring.


The major remediation activity this week happened on Wednesday. The kitchen and bath-utility room were wiped down with enzyme and treated with a mold-eating enzyme fog. As the area being fogged ran through the middle of the house (the kitchen and bathroom are connected by a hallway) the cats and I were confined to the master bedroom, which, fortunately, has access to the back yard.

Mold begone! New sub-floor and a small mold-affected portion of sheet rock trimmed away in the bath-utility room.

It took about 3 hours for the fog to settle, the time when I could re-enter the sealed off area without coughing on particulates. Fortunately I had access to the guest bathroom, via the back yard gate and circling around to the front of the house. The cats scowled at my setup in the bedroom, which included a litter box, water, kibble and a few projects to keep me busy. They got irritated when I ran through my lines for an upcoming Living History presentation, and didn’t like the TV tray I’d set up for my computer (the masked-off area also precluded me from using the office).


I tested the air a couple of times, backing out of the kitchen at the first hint of a tickle in my throat. When the space was finally ready for occupancy, it had a peculiar odor- –


I repeat: gross!



It was a smell that made me think of old lady face powder, a combination of vaguely sweet and rancid. I’d moved all plants and anything involved in food preparation into cupboards or other rooms but before that stuff could be replaced all the counters and floors needed a wipe-down to remove a fine, sticky dust that had settled everywhere.


I cannot believe we did that twice in one week.


Me either, Lily, but who wanted to put up with it until our regular cleaning day on Sunday?


The good news, besides having a nicely clean kitchen and bath/utility room mid-week, is that the end of the mold remediation process in in sight. Today the contractor returns to take air samples for re-testing, reinstall the dishwasher and replace a few pieces of baseboard that came up when the moldy sub-floor was removed. The sample test results should be available by next Tuesday. Hopefully we will get the “all clear” and finish up with the simple matter of payment for services rendered.


I must admit, we’re all breathing easier.

Yeah. Now we just have to deal with tree pollen.

And then grass pollen.

At least they don’t have Scotch Broom over here.


Another reason to rejoice, 9!


For those of you on the “Friday Front” his GI panel results arrived earlier this week. He likely has IBS/pancreatitis. There is some inflammation in his pancreas and he also has a B-12 deficiency. Not the best news (which would be “Your cat will live forever”), but not the worst, either, and now we have a treatment plan to keep him comfortable. He’s receiving monthly injections of B-12 and steroids for as long as these are effective. Considering I was close to losing him in November, I think he’s doing very well.


So far I have only good things penciled in for April. The garden is coming to life again and I’m hopeful that the weather is less extreme this summer than it was last year. A neighbor and I have already set a tentative plan to exchange surplus produce. The only real certainty is change, but there’s wisdom in the sentiment “hope for the best, be prepared for the worst.”


Spring. Hope. You may take it from here. . .

Fooled you! Apricot blossoms instead of mold because we need pretty things, too.

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