Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Your next spelling word is:

Efflorescence. As in: "The white, fluffy stuff on the basement floor was not mold, but in fact was efflorescence." Yes folks, I had mixed emotions on Monday. Happy because the Iowa State Extention office guided me in the direction of efflorescence (a good reference website - http://www.aldonchem.com/popup-ab-efflorescence.htm ) and it tuns out that is exactly what is on my basement floor! Ha woo! So all this time I was actually feeding it by watering it with whatever I had plus water, because - what efflorescence is, is when water has travelled through concrete, in this case, and has carried with it salts. The water evaporates, but leaves behind the salt which is the white fluffy stuff that I have mistaken for mold. So cleaning it is not quite as easy as you'd think, but I have used Dan's handy dandy brush to brush off the efflorescence, and - who knew?! - it hasn't come back. All this time...yi. Anyway - different websites recommend different cleaning and removing tips, most of which call for very strong acid not reccommended for use in enclosed basements such as mine. So - I might try a vinegar solution, or just clean water to rinse off the residue and keep an eye on it.
You may ask what the mixed emotions were that I was talking about earlier...well...my hopes and dreams of A)being a mold farmer and B) being involved in a very high tech and rare scientific discovery leading to a life of wealth and dry basements for everyone is no longer a reality for me. Sad day. :-(
Well, I'm off to bed, very happy that I have a new big word to throw around at work. We needed a new one...we were getting tired of our other big words - like thorax, affluent, and magenta.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Moldy but a goodie...

I am on the brink of a major scientific discovery. If any of you would like my autograph before I become famous, now is the time to ask! I have been fighting a mold in my basement now for a week. I know that doesn't really sound all that long, but you'd think I could get this whipped in a day or two, huh? This mold is a nice white fuzzy type that is unwilling to die. I have tried 2 different strengths of bleach water, two different types of detergent water mixture and just tonight I'm trying a detergent/borax mixture. Here is the scenario the past week in my house...I go to my basement, spray the mold with whichever solution I am trying out that night, scrub it with a nice deck brush, suck it up with a sucker machine, then let it air dry with a fan blowing and a dehumidifier running. I even left the lights on thinking, that since mold likes dark, it won't grow back. Then I do the whole spray/scrub/suck routine again, and then go to bed. I wake up the next morning, anxious to see how the solution of the evening went. Before I can even get to the bottom of the stairs I can hear the mold laughing at me saying "ummm, no. Nice try, but that didn't work!! Haha!!" So then I'm crabby and annoyed. So, I've pretty much decided that this mold I have is a rare form of bacteria that no one has ever discovered, and I'll sell my un-killable mold for millions, and buy a new house. Or maybe I'll just cry. I am so very thankful though, for my boss at work. Dan has been so great to let me use all of his equipment. He's brought over the sprayer, the brushes, the sucker machine...I just don't know what I'd do without his help!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Brownie Bottom Cheezecake

Yes, I know it's an s, not a z, but for some reason, I like to spell it that way. Especially when it just came out of my oven! :-) I've been quite the chef lately - Lemon Tarragon Chicken with oven roasted potatoes. Yum! Arroz con pollo. Yum! and Creamy Chicken w/Spinach over pasta. That was pretty yummy. I made cookies the other day for the people at work and Dan asked me if I cook as well as I bake. It made me sad, because I realized I don't cook as much as I used to. I've gotten pretty lazy with that the last few months... like since January or so...wow. Anyway - Tom and Camilla gave me some dog treats today for Dmitri and Highland. Two different kinds - cranberry and peanut butter. I was so excited to get home and let them try them! Even my dogs are eating better! :-)