If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

WWK's May interviews will be: 5/2--indie author Bobbi Holmes, 5/9--TG Wolff (aka--Anita Devito), 5/16--Chocolate Bonbon author Dorothy St. James, 5/23--Lida Sideris, 5/30--Food Lovers' Village (and multiple Agatha winner) Leslie Budwitz. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our May Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 5/5--John Carenen, 5/12--Judy Penz Sheluk, 5/19--Margaret S. Hamilton, 5/26--Kait Carson.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), will be available on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here.

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with the authors in this anthology on 4/14! Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in August, 2018.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fifth Course of Chaos.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Leaf Mold or A Beach Bum's Excuse

Texas A & M Horticulture Department Aggie.com
I’m allergic to leaf mold. At this time of year, I can feel it bear down on my sinuses like a vice. It’s like being trapped in an elevator with someone wearing too much and too strong perfume, 24/7. Every October I’m wary because I usually end up developing a sinus infection, which makes my head and thinking fuzzy. Getting rid of a sinus infection can take up to a month on antibiotics. Until I hit my fortieth birthday, I never had an allergy including poison ivy, and that’s how I discovered the breakdown of my immune system. I offered to cut some poison ivy down for a neighbor and shabam—I broke out.

Leaf mold, like mildew, is a fungus that breaks down leaves and other organic matter. With more moisture, bacteria completes the job. When the wind blows, fungus blooms in the air irritating noses and sinuses of those allergic to it.

I consider leaf mold to be natural pollution. If I rake leaves, I do so with a mask on. Mowing the lawn at this time of year also necessitates wearing a mask. Deciduous trees, which lose their leaves in autumn, are the largest source of raw material for leaf mold production. In my backyard, the deciduous trees are too numerous to count, and they are the reason why I’m headed for the beach. When this blog posts, that is where I’ll be. The reason: There are few deciduous trees on Hatteras Island.
The most prevalent tree on Hatteras Island is the Live Oak, which although it is in the same family as regular, deciduous Oak trees, it is an evergreen version of the family. Live oaks do lose some of their leaves, but don’t pose the problem of the multitude of deciduous leaves.

On the Outer Banks, outside mold fungus isn’t the problem. Beach houses become the source of molds and mildews posing the greatest threat. When moisture-laden air stagnates, molds develop.

I use more Clorox and Clorox Cleanup than any five people I know. On an almost yearly basis, I clean the exterior decks, trim and fixtures with bleach (followed by deck water proofing and sealing). There isn’t a bathroom in my house that doesn’t get the Clorox treatment, and although it costs a bit more, I keep the air circulating with ceiling fans and the thermostats at a level that periodically moves the interior air. It’s worth the cost of using the energy because mold damage repair costs far more.

Being a writer means I can work anywhere. I’m so glad to get a few days rest from enduring leaf mold. As much as I love to look at fall’s pageantry, the mold makes me miserable.


LD Masterson said...

I am very fortunate in that I don't have allergies, especially since I live in SW Ohio - pollen capital of the world. My daughter-in-law is not so fortunate so she's suffering through the season right along with you. You both have my sympathies.

E. B. Davis said...

I never had an allergy until I hit forty. Today I woke up on the island, my head is free, sinuses clear, and all is right with the world. Going back to VA fills me with dread!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

It only bothers me in the spring. Like E. B., I developed leaf allergies as I got older.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

I too am fairly fortunate regarding allergies. However, location does matter and having lived in the Greater Cincinnati area for 15 years I can attest to its potent pollen.

In any case, I think you've hit upon a great excuse for more Beach time, EB and you are to be congratulated.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

I'm surprised Jacqueline. I thought only pollen was troublesome in the spring. Maybe I'm not allergic to it, maybe in the spring it's still the dang leaf mold that messes with me.

E. B. Davis said...

Yes--any excuse since I haven't been here since August. September is one of my favorite months, but then October is awesome too (but don't spread the word). I can really notice the island environment's difference. There are still a few late turtle nests to hatch.

Kara Cerise said...

I never experienced allergies or asthma until moving to the D.C. area. It's miserable! Escaping to the beach must be a huge relief, E.B.

E. B. Davis said...

"They" say that if you live around D.C. for twenty years, you will get allergies. Keep in mind, Kara, that my symptoms started just about at my twentieth year. Get out as you approach that anniversary.

Warren Bull said...

Allergies are just one of the "benefits" of getting older. Old age is not for sissies.

E. B. Davis said...

My mother used to say that, Warren. I know so many who always had allergies from birth, but not me. 40 did it to me. I would have hated being allergic to peanuts. I love them. However, I had funny symptoms after drinking tea in Starbucks. I don't think that they fermented it correctly and mold must have grown on the leaves. I've never had an allergy attack as badly as that one--so much so--I resumed drinking coffee after years of giving it up.

Kaye George said...

I share your agony! Fall is my favorite season and I'm allergic to mold and fungus. I'm also allergic to 3 kinds of tree pollen (this is a recent development--what fun getting older is!) Our yard is full of oaks and that's one of my culprits. Lately I'm allergic half the year!

Gloria Alden said...

I'm allergic to mold, dust, certain pollens and some cats, especially long haired ones. I have to be careful with my short haired tabbies, too, because they'll cause burning eyes and chest congestion. Damp,rainy or cold weather has me sniffling. That being said, my sinuses are a problem most of the year. I live with it. At least I don't suffer from headaches and most of the time over-the-counter cheap meds work find for me. Some of those allergies might be a sign of age, but I've always been allergic to poison ivy.

E. B. Davis said...

I feel your pain, Kaye. Fall is the worst for me. I suffer a bit in the spring from pollen, but it isn't as bad as the fall. Here at the beach--I'm fine.

E. B. Davis said...

If you are allergic to cats, Gloria--I bet you have to clean all the time--which is a drag and cuts into writing time. I'd hate to have a pet to which I was allergic. Glad the over the counter stuff works. I must stay on Allegra D, which used to be by prescription. Now that it is over the counter--it's worse because they suspect everyone gets it to make meth. It's such a hassle that I still get a prescription for it so I can get a month's supply at a time without being hassled. The FDA also has its eyes on everyone. With my husband's back problems and my allergy problems, I'm sure we've made their lists. Next, they will check our Drano purchases.

E. B. Davis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E. B. Davis said...

Didn't post, hit the button again--duplicate post!

Gloria Alden said...

I'm glad if you are getting some relief even if it's putting you on the FDA list. :-)

Actually, tabby cats don't seem to be as much of a problem. I can't hold them in my arms, and I cover up my nesting chair with a plastic tablecloth when I go away and at night, but I can lean down and pet them and play with them. I just have to make sure I wash my hands afterwards in case I touch my eyes. My long haired collie is no problem at all even when I brush her.

K.B. Gibson said...

I had been wondering if my advancing age had something to do with this year's nasal nasties, and you all have confirmed it. I used to be oblivious to the changing of the seasons, but I've been having trouble this year since spring!

E. B. Davis said...

Sorry you're afflicted, K.B., but now you can do something about the problem. After I got several nasty sinus infections, I found out and went on medication to prevent them. Good luck!

E. B. Davis said...

Sorry you're afflicted, K.B., but now you can do something about the problem. After I got several nasty sinus infections, I found out and went on medication to prevent them. Good luck!