Monday, February 01, 2010

Little Things

The grip of the extremely freezing temperatures is broken, at least for now. When we got home from church yesterday, it was a "balmy" 32 degrees. The sun was out, so the snow that remained on the sidewalks was melting, and I wore just a coat, not adding a sweater underneath. It's all relative, isn't it? Who knew we would *enjoy* temps in the 30s?

I picked up a can of green beans last week, and noticed something a little "off." I wanted to share it with you, in case you would not notice it if it happened to you, and reap sorry consequences.

Before E. coli and salmonella were the stars of the food poisoning world, we talked about ptomaine. Ptomaine is a food poisoning that had a reputation for hangin' out in canned goods. When I was younger, my grandma would come across a jar of canned peaches or something that had a lid that was swollen--that was a sure sign that it had been incorrectly sealed, and the ptomaine bacteria that was inside already, had reproduced, with gas as one of the byproducts of reproduction. Mom told me to always watch commercially canned items, as well--once in awhile we saw a can with a swollen top, as well.

These green beans I picked up last week looked a tad funny. I couldn't say that the top and bottom of the can were "swollen," but they definitely weren't "flat." The telltalle thing for me, though, was that when I shook the can, the beans weren't "tight" in there, it was really "loose," and those beans had a lot of room to slosh around. "Better safe than sorry," my Mom always said, so I set them aside. (I didn't throw them out because I wanted to show my kids and their friends.) I sure wouldn't want to get food poisoning, especially when I got the beans on sale for 3/$1!! I have only seen suspicious cans about three times in my marriage (34 years), so I thought I would spread the word, for those of you who may not realize the warning signs.

So, after all that, Charming reminded me that what I am talking about with canned goods is botulism, not ptomaine. Same warning, different poison. Sorry.
I learned something the other day. I have noticed recently the push for Vitamin D supplements. Evidently you need them to prevent cancer. Paired with Vitamin C, they head off a cold. Now, I was a little confused. After all, we get our Vitamin D from sunshine, right? Even in the dead of a grey winter, sit in a window with the light coming in, and ten minutes a day is all you need to get your Daily Requirement.

So why all the advertisements pushing supplements? It seems that, indeed, we are not getting enough anymore. The reason? All that sunscreen we wear to protect our skin, summer and winter, keeps the Vitamin D from getting in. Can you believe it?

I think we need to take a cue from Ma Ingalls: "Laura, wear your sunbonnet. Your skin is beginning to look like a red Indian!" Yep, those ladies did not worry about sunscreen, and they didn't get skin cancer, either. So, I propose a new campaign, like Wear Red for Women, or even Wearing Pink for breast cancer: Wear Sunbonnets for your skin health!

I think it will go over in a big way, don't you?

I watched a few minutes of the Grammy awards last evening, in between things I was doing. I don't get much out of the Grammys anymore, because I don't listen to very much secular music. The Dove Awards would be more my speed. But the little bit that I saw was very telling. They showed a little clip of Bobby Darin singing Mack the Knife, and said that he won the Grammy for Record of the Year fifty years ago. (yeah, I remember Bobby Darin, and the song...scary.) Then they announced the nominees for this year's Record of the Year, including Lady Gaga. (don't know if I need to hyphenate that one, or capitalize it or what--no disrespect intended, Lady...)

How far we have come. From Bobby Darin in a black suit and white shirt, holding a microphone and singing, to the huge production numbers accompanied by fireworks, we saw on the program last evening. My mother would say something like, "well, when you don't have talent, you try to cover it up with glitter." Hmmm. I think I am beginning to turn into my mother! I did catch myself saying, "they don't write songs like they used to..."

Blackeyed Susan and Alvin Fernald have completed their first semester in public school. The second quarter grades were better than the first's, but still not up to what they did in homeschool. Most of their problems stem from teachers that don't teach well enough for them to get the concepts. (and the report is, that a number of other honor students in the same classes have the same opinion...) So, there you have it. When you have a mother as your teacher, who will teach to your particular learning style, and pursue the matter until you understand it thoroughly, well, that is a distinct advantage. There is nothing like a personal tutor, right? Homeschoolers, Keep. On.Keepin'. On.

Tomorrow is Groundhog Day. I learned when I was little, that if the groundhog saw his shadow, there would be six more weeks of winter. I was much, much older when I learned that that was not the desired outcome. Here in Indiana, *only* six more weeks of winter was a good thing. I didn't know that if the groundhog did not see his shadow, spring would come sooner! But, here in Indiana, I don't think the weatherman pays any attention to the groundhog...

So there you have a Few Snippets of Nothing in Particular. (sounds Pooh-ish, doesn't it?) I hope you all have a wonderful week!

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Love the update! I have missed your bits of wisdom and history.

There was a lady at our homeschool convention last year who was wearing a sunbonnet. A very, very small sunbonnet. It reminded me of Anne Shirley's description of a woman's "sun-bunnit". I do wonder if that sunscreen has been a source of my winter blues. I will try that this year - more covering less sun lotion!

Thanks for the EH clarification. Somehow it helps me to know his name was not Englebert to start with. Now, that poor opera guy...

Jen - Inglesidemom