We fell back last night, and most would believe that the change in time would allow for an extra hour of sleep. Tell that to the senile lady living in my house. By the cat clock, all was on target. Her internal workings told her that it was 4:20 AM and time to get up. Have you tried to convince a cat that what her body is saying is not at all what the clock is saying, or that, while she may not mind so much, her humans rising at 3:20 is just not going to happen.
I suspect that she still has some (enough) cognitive function left within that cat brain because she very willingly, and without any vocal protest, climbed up onto the bed and curled up beside me until…5 AM! I suspect that my body heat and the warm blanket served to distract her enough, along with the few bites of dry food that she nibbled before joining me.
So she’s off to bed again and I’ve been looking through old posts. I came across this one from 2011 that I think I’ll share for today. It seems as if I had some sort of issue with invading spores, and was feeling quite paranoid as well.
Musings on Mold
For open speculation today a rather eclectic mix of observations on mold.
Why, you might ask? Because lately, within the past week anyway, I have encountered a wide variety of all things moldy. That in and of itself could be the topic of the first level of musing on my part. Why is it that one can go along in life, living day-to-day and seemingly never encounter a specific “something”, in my case mold, and then suddenly that “something” is everywhere at once? What aspect of the universe converged in the last few days to influence my near daily encounters with some truly wonderful colonies of mold? Am I being rebuked? Am I being encouraged to eat more bleu cheese? Is this a subtle sign that some impending organism is invading my body and a warning that I should be tapping my local penicillin supply?
Encounter #1–moldy blueberries. I had a wonderful 1/2 pint of blueberries slated for consumption the other day at work as a part of my lunch. In this case I made it through most of them until the offending fuzz appeared on an oh so large and succulent looking berry. “Just brush off the fuzz, it will be fine,” my inner voice told me. It wasn’t fine. Exit the rest of the berries.
Encounter #2–moldy caulk in the upstairs tub surround. This one was mentioned previously in my “empty nester” post. This was the pinkish, slimy, too-much-water-sitting-in-one-place-too-long sort of mold. My initial plan was to remove the offensive caulk, drive everything out well and re-place. An ah-ha moment led me to spray down the caulk with bleach solution. Voila-offensive pinkish slimy mold is gone–only to be replaced or actually simply revealed deep within the caulk offensive black mold. This stuff is deeper so the original plan is back in place-take out the nasty stuff and replace it.
Encounter #3–moldy plants. Garden projects today involved cutting down long past their prime daisies. These daisies absolutely took off in my garden this summer but are long gone now and needed to be trimmed and weeded. The lushness of the plants kept the weeds to a minimum but they also harbored some really old leaves and other garden debris that showed signs of both fuzzy white mold and some dry iridescent slug trails–and one very pretty golden frog!
Encounter #4–moldy onions. I planned to try a new recipe for dinner: a southwestern bean salad with vinaigrette and cantaloupe. The recipe called for diced red onion. I just happened to have a container of pre-sliced red onion. I added the onion and tossed the salad and that familiar moldy smell came wafting up at me from the bowl. “Nooooo,” my little inner voice screamed, “How can this be?” Feeling brave I tried a piece of what was supposed to be fresh onion. It wasn’t. Flash forward to tossing out a 3/4 complete bean salad, the taste of mold on my tongue. In better news, I managed to salvage some ingredients and combine them with pantry items and still create my dinner.
Encounter #5–moldy cheese. After finishing my less than perfectly planned dinner, I had an interest in some whole grain crackers and cheese. The improvised salad by the way was adequate but not outstanding, mostly because I put cilantro in it even though I know for a fact I really don’t like cilantro. Back to the adjunct crackers and cheese. To make my life simple, I decided to just open a string cheese and munch that with my crackers. One inch left on the string cheese and the mold gods struck once more. Bite of whole grain cracker, bite of string cheese and immediate and heavy mold taste permeating my mouth. It was not the crackers.
Now, I realize that mold has its place in society. It is in fact a functional part of our world, serving some important and even life saving roles. What I don’t understand is why mold has chosen me at this particular time…why have I been singled out recently?
Maybe it was that lemon a few weeks back…that one I forgot about, never used. It looked so perfect in my fruit bowl. Big, yellow, juicy. That is until I picked it up and found something like this:
Did those mold spores cry out to all their counterparts as I gingerly carried the less than perfect lemon to my garbage? Is there some sort of underground mold network that was set in motion by my actions? Can mold retaliate?
“She forgot about us…we were so close to taking over the entire bowl and then she tossed us away. Hey, everyone-it’s time to get even. Hey cladosporium, over here penicillium, come on trichoderma, gather round Serratia marcescens. Colonize to your heart’s content, spread out your hyphae, toss out some spores, connect those mycelium. She’s gonna be sorry she messed with us”