Black Mold and Books

anne-taintor-mediocre-housewife-96c747f821c900499927d681b20890f5What a dreadful week this has been!

We found black mold in our study.  Don’t worry: it won’t kill you.   That’s an urban legend. We hired someone to take care of it.

The Centers for Disease Control website explains,

There is always some mold everywhere – in the air and on many surfaces. Mold has been on the Earth for millions of years. Molds grow where there is moisture and they can flourish in damp, warm, and humid environments….

A link between other adverse health effects, such as pulmonary hemorrhage among infants, memory loss, or lethargy, and mold, including a black mold (e.g. Stachybotrys chartarum (S. chartarum)) which has been associated with heavy and constant water damage in buildings, has not been proven.

It’s not a big deal,  but it has been chaotic and depressing. We had to move our bookcases, desk, etc., into the living room, dining room, and bedrooms.  If you like the used bookstore look, this “cutting-edge” house now  belongs in Martha Stewart’s magazine.


1. Your day starts at 7 a.m. because you don’t know when they’ll arrive.   Maybe at 7:30, maybe at noon. There are phone calls. You’re tired, you don’t usually get up till 10,  you drink two cups of coffee, and then you vacuum, because every woman’s house should look like your mother’s, circa 1965.

2 Social skills.  It’s at times like this that you realize you might as well pretend you’re Holly Hunter in The Piano.  If only you had  your mother’s social skills.  She supervised all work done in the house, while chatting the whole time. How do you make friends with your work crew if you’re not chatty?    Should you give them food?   Your Melitta coffeepot makes only one cup of coffee at a time, so you can’t offer coffee to a crew. Should you have baked cookies? You mean to be nice, but  there doesn’t seem to be room for all these people in your house.

3 Your cats are freaked out.  The cats are very well-brought-up, but they’re not used to strangers.  The elderly cats disappear like the hipster doofuses they are into their “private apartments.”  The  frisky cats are shut in the basement so they don’t get in the way, because they think THE BLACK MOLD CREW is here to play with them.  (NOTE:  at the end of the day, the cats  get treats!)

4 Eventually you rush out of the house.  You need to get out.  But where? Anywhere.  The mall!  The bookstore! The coffeehouse!  But it is very boring.    Okay, at the coffeehouse you have a cappuccino and read.  Then you have a coffee and read. And then you wonder if you should have another coffee but you’re coffeed out.  And then you go to the mall and wonder if you need Snoopy sheets and a wicker cornucopia.  And do you need a Thanksgiving tablecloth? And  should you get your hair cut?

5 This goes on  for days.  Finally you don’t bother to get up till 9.  If they’re here, they can call you on their phones! Anyway, you’re always up before they arrive. Everybody is on a late schedule.   You stop vacuuming  because they’re family now. (The family you never talk to.)  If they want to vacuum, they can do it themselves!  You bang around the kitchen and don’t think about offering them your  toast. They can get it themselves.  They’re all using your bathroom, and you keep changing the towels maternally. You also squirt that special Clorox spray around and clean the sink, especially the handles!   Maybe they could clean the mold on the grout while they’re here, but then I would lose my bathroom. Finally they put back the wainscotting and repainted it.  They did a good job,  I praise their work, bye-bye, and now we just have to move all the books back.