The Dog Days: It’s Getting Hot In Here

**This episode of The Dog Days is more about our Labor Day weekend adventures in the heat than it is about Annie, but Annie is always a part of our lives in every way.

This past weekend was Labor Day weekend which was a holiday for most people. At 5:00pm on Friday afternoon, I left work feeling jazzed about the long weekend. I couldn’t wait to get our apartment cleaned up and start relaxing. So many things were happening this particular weekend… it was the start of college football, it was a long weekend, and things were looking positive in life.

As Kyle and I cleaned every nook and cranny of our apartment, we ventured into the utility closet. When we opened the door, a cloud of dusk billowed up to greet us.

“This is disgusting,” Kyle remarked.

He proceeded to vacuum the dust bunnies that had collected on the floor and scrubbed the walls. I continued cleaning the kitchen and other areas of the apartment until I heard him say, “Oh no!”

I rushed over to him and asked him what was wrong. He pointed up towards the ceiling while holding his shirt over his nose and mouth. What I saw before me was mold. It was green mold all over the corner of the utility closet ceiling. This wouldn’t have been such a problem if it wasn’t for the fact that the utility closet houses our air conditioning unit and is the primary place from which the A/C unit pulls clean air. Clean, moldy air.

After consulting with Kyle’s parents (especially his father who designs and builds houses), we decided we needed to meet with our landlord. We took pictures, grabbed our filthy filters, and headed out to the main office. When we arrived, it looked vacant. There were no cars in the parking lot and no sign of movement inside. I approached the door and read the signed that was posted. It said:

“We will be closed on August 31st, September 1st, and September 2nd for the Labor Day holiday. Please leave your rent in the box by the door.”

Great! Just great! They are gone literally all weekend long and, of course, we would find mold during the one weekend that they are absent. We sulked back to our moldy apartment and commenced to carry out plan B. A quick trip to Big Lots and the Dollar Tree had us set to fight the mold ourselves. We put on our masks and filled the spray bottle up with bleach. A few sprays of the bleach and we thought we were set. Bleach is supposed to kill everything, right?

Then the question was: How long do we wait to turn our A/C back on?

A few hours passed and we decided to give it a try as we went to bed. We soon found out that this was a bad decision when we started coughing and sneezing from the air that was coming out of the vents. It smelled of bleach and musk. Discouraged, we turned off the A/C, turned on the ceiling fans, and took some Benadryl to stop the coughing, sneezing, and watery eyes. Not running the air overnight wasn’t so bad. It stayed relatively cool in the bedroom and under the fan in the living room. Having vaulted ceilings is awesome until you have to cool the room with only a ceiling fan. We prayed for rain to keep us cool during the day and the rain came but didn’t stay. It left us with hot and humid air which only intensified the heat inside of our apartment. Kyle, Annie, and I were sweating it out on Labor Day with no reprieve. It was miserable!

Finally, we decided to go out for dinner and try the air while we were gone. We turned it down low and left. Luckily, the air wasn’t as bad when we returned and we were able to leave it on for the night. Our hot Labor Day ended on a cool note.

Anyone had apartment troubles during the holidays? Let me know about it in the comments!

In other news…

The Last Navigator is now available in print! Yay! It is $9.99 but if you like my Facebook page, I will send you a code to get 20% off. It’s a good deal and it’s so easy to take advantage of!

Also, the ebook version released on Smashwords, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and other major retailers on Labor Day. It is only $0.99 and it is available in so many different formats. You can download it in the format of your choice! Visit my IAN page to get all of the links.

Until next time…

J. G. McNease


2 comments on “The Dog Days: It’s Getting Hot In Here

  1. Ooooooh, you poor dears! What I want to know is was Annie alone in there while you guys went to dinner? LOLOLOL The best part of reading your post – sorry that I found some humor in your misery – was to know you shop at Big Lots and Dollar Tree. Me too! Mold is no joke, though. I work in a old courthouse building that has its mold issues… and mice issues… and bug issues. Hopefully you will get your landlord to clean up the mold because it can cause health issues in humans and dogs.

    • Jennifer,
      No, we took Annie with us so she could get some fresh air, too. After writing this post, I returned home for a lunch break and found that maintenance had come in our apartment while Kyle was sleeping and scrubbed the mold (mistake #1) and then sprayed bleach and some “caustic” cleaner to clean the coils. They left the air running on full blast and when I walked in the door, I could hardly breathe. I ran upstairs and woke Kyle up to get him out of the house. He can’t be around mold and it isn’t safe for anyone to be breathing in a mixture of bleach and cleaner like that. The windows were not cracked and the fans were not turned on. It was suffocating inside. After review of the EPA’s website, I discovered that this way of handling a potential mold problem in air ducts is not safe and completely against OSHA guidelines. We had to leave our apartment last night and stay at Kyle’s parent’s house in Georgia. I subsequently had to commute an hour and a half into work this morning. We are completely devastated about this. Annie has a terrible wheezing in her lungs (poor baby) and Kyle has an awful dry, painful cough. We didn’t want to have to move but it seems as though we will most likely have to now.
      – Jamie

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