With the arrival of Tuesday, I’m a bit recovered from my Sunday night Emmy posting blitz.
I don’t have much to show you , though. Over the weekend, I worked a bit on my latest entre-lac bag that I’m knitting from Noro Kureyon, but it bunches up on the needles and is hard to photograph well. I also made good progress on some Christmas knitting, but, well….can’t show that!
What I can show you is my latest acquisition of spinning tools:
CD Spindles. High Whorl. Eight of Them
Hard to see them well? Not surprising, the whorls on a CD drop spindle are very thin, darn close to invisible to the camera from the side.
CD Spindles, End View
If one looks different from the others, it’s because that one happened to use an old CD-RW, which is usually gold in color instead of silver. Otherwise, I now have eight identical high-whorl spindles that will make it easy for me to spin up multiple bundles of roving to similar weights before plying them together. Yowzah!
Edited to add: Oh, yeah…kinda forgot to tell you where these came from. Gryphon and I made them, using the instructions in the book Spin It! They’re easy to do, and you know we all have those free CD’s lying around.
The main trick in the process is getting the right rubber grommets to put in the CD hole. If you don’t buy them directly from the author of the book (she sells them at her website), they can be had at a well-equipped hardware store. Don’t hold your breath looking for them at Lowe’s or Home Depot, they didn’ t have them. We went to a local independent that keeps well stocked for farmers and DIY-ers.
I suggest having a couple of CD’s with you in the store to test fit the grommets. That’s the best way to ensure you get the right ones. Don’t rely strictly on the measurements that the book gives – we found them to be misleading, we got the wrong grommets at first and had to start over.
Now We Know
You’ve seen me mention over the summer that my asthma symptoms have come back in a big way, and we didn’t understand why. Well, now we know.
A few months ago, we noticed that the grout in the bathroom tiles was cracked, and the cracks were getting bigger. Gryphon taped plastic over the wall so we could continue to take showers, and notified the landlord. Landlord talked to their tile guy…who never showed up.
In the meantime, Gryphon successfully talked himself into the landlord’s good graces to become a part-time maintenance person for the properties, allowing him to earn the extra income we so desperately needed. Among the tasks that were put on his to-do list: removing the tiles in our own bathroom so they could be redone.
Well, he finally started that this weekend. And here’s what he found:
A Disgusting Mess
All that black you see is mold. And it goes all the way through the backing board. We don’t know how far it extends behind the tiles that haven’t come out yet, but there are cracks all across the long wall you’re looking at, and across the faucet wall on the right.
Meanwhile, my asthma symptoms just kept getting worse and worse. And then, last night I finally made the connection.
I first developed asthma some 20 years ago. I was having an inexplicably bad time with coughing at my job, and was increasingly sensitive to perfumes and smoke. I was seeing an allergist, but we were having a terrible time tracking down the real problem. I did test as positive for allergies to a number of things: dust, tree and grass pollen, and molds and mildews. But not a big enough reaction to account for what I was experiencing.
One day, I realized I felt better at the office. I tracked down one of the maintenance guys for the building, and asked if anything had changed about the A/C system in the last couple of days.
“Yeah,” he said. “They fixed a drainage pipe that had been installed upside down. It was letting water back up instead of draining out. You should have seen all the mold and gunk they cleaned out of the ducts!”
Well, there was my answer. Even a mild allergy to molds could produce the reaction I had if the molds were concentrated enough, and it sounded like they were. And my desk was right under an air vent, piping the stuff into the office and directly into my system.
Shortly after that, my doctor put me on a disability leave from work to see if that improved things. It did. Meanwhile, life conspired to move me out of that job. I was never able to pull things together sufficiently to prove a case against the company I worked at or the owners of the building. And ever since, I’ve been sensitive to perfumes, smoke, and other airborne irritants.
All this came rushing back to me suddenly last night. I was having the same mold problem again, only this time, I live at the location with the problem. No option to go home at the end of the day. You’d think I’d have realized it sooner, but one of the symptoms of toxic mold reaction can be an inability to think as clearly as usual. Plus, the original incident was twenty years ago – it took me time to recognize the similarity.
Knowing the problem is half the battle. The ideal would be for me to stay somewhere else while this gets cleaned up, but we have no friends with room, and no resources to stay at a hotel or motel. Gryphon and I last night stepped up our efforts to seal off the existing mold, keep it out of the rest of the house, and ventilate the entire place well.
It’s already helping. It’ll take a little while for my system to recover from this, and full recovery can’t happen until the mold is out of the house. But Gryphon has talked with the landlord, and it’s been agreed that the work on our bathroom has to take highest priority on his task list. We’ve got a strategy in place for minimizing the spread of the mold as he removes the bad materials. And I’m making plans to be out of the house all day Saturday, to make it possible for him to get a good, long work session in without having to worry about making me sicker.
Please, no suggestions about making the landlord pay for a hotel or anything like that. We’re talking about a woman who comes just short of being a friend – certainly, a respected and loved acquaintance. We don’t feel there’s any need to extract anything extra from her, so long as we can get the problem cleaned up in a reasonable fashion. Plus, this is very small town New England – we just don’t do things like that here.
I’ll be okay, folks. As I said, knowing the problem is half the battle. The mental stress over “why am I so sick?” has been relieved, and we can move forward to making it better.
Coming soon: progress on the current beadwork project!