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Even though I (fingers crossed and knock wood) have not been itchy with a rash in well over a year and a half, I still remember how horribly frustrating and itchy I was and how absolutely miserable. I still scan news articles on skin condition related news and to that end, came across this gem. Evidently, “wrinkle free” clothes are wrinkle free because they contain formaldehyde. Formaldehyde, you know the chemical that they embalm bodies with and use on our biology classes’ preserved frogs.
According to an article in the New York Times, formaldehyde is commonly used in our wrinkle free clothing and other household products. The article states that “the biggest potential issue for those wearing wrinkle-resistant clothing can be a skin condition called contact dermatitis. It affects a small group of people and can cause itchy skin, rashes and blisters.” Seems to me, as one of those “small group of people” that have experienced a skin condition with rashes and itchy that this is a pretty major thing to warn people about. If you have never experienced it, then trust me, you have no clue. Not having an idea of what is causing you to break out is one of the, if not the, most frustrating things. My husband can attest to the many, frequent crying outbreaks where I would literally break down because I had practically eliminated everything that I could think of from my skin and my life – I’m talking changing deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, losing the makeup, moisturizer and hair creams – and still would have a rash that would keep me up at night and not go away. Who would even think that someone put formaldehyde in my clothing? Seriously folks, this has got to stop. We are literally killing ourselves between pesticides and god knows what else in our commercially grown and processed food, the chemicals in our everyday products and now….formaldehyde in our pants. Good for the pants, bad for the person.
According to the article, the United States does not regulate formaldehyde levels in our clothing and since most of our clothing isn’t even made in this country anyway, good luck even if they did. There is no government requirement, here or elsewhere to list the chemicals in our clothing so you can be aware of what you are putting literally next to your skin.
Formaldehyde evidently keeps the fabrics fibers in place after washing. I know that we are all busy these days — and wrinkle free or wrinkle resistant is quite tempting, but honestly at what cost?
Years ago, we would go on an annual skiing trip to Sugarbush with dear friends. The guys would drink this beer, which was incredibly cheap – a plus for a bunch of college folks and recent college grads – but they noticed that they would get incredibly buzzed off of just a couple beers. My friend’s dad took a bottle home and did some lab testing on it –and can you guess? Formaldehyde. So, formaldehyde evidently has several good uses – preserving dead bodies, eliminating wrinkles and getting you drunk faster. What’s not to love?
Tom and I are always amazed at what becomes “tradition” with our boys. It somehow seems that the “big” things usually aren’t quite as important as the “little” things. As we enter into the homestretch of the Christmas season, less than two weeks to go, “tradition” becomes more and more evident around the T’s House.
I will never forget when we first moved here full-time and our oldest walked, pacing back and forth through the downstairs, quietly conducting some type of survey. When prompted, he informed me that he was looking for the spot to hang the Christmas cards since in our old house, the archway between the dining room and living room was decorated with a large red ribbon and bow and from it we hung all the Christmas cards that we received through the weeks leading up to Christmas. He was disturbed that our house here in Vermont really doesn’t have any archways (or even real doorways for that matter) and this presented a challenge to him. I am happy to report that ingenuity won out and our non-archway doorways leading into the living room were outfitted with red ribbons and bows and Christmas cards that year. Seemingly small and inconsequential to us, (the cards would have gone somewhere on display) it was so much more for the boys.
My father-in-law a few weeks ago struck a pose with his new birthday gift and announced – “here’s a picture for the calendar” so it seems that the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree. He was referencing the fact that for the past couple years, I have given both our families photo calendars as gifts chock full of photographs of both families from the preceding year. Well, if I wasn’t planning on a calendar this year…..guess I am now…..after all it’s tradition.
Ambivalence. In one word, that pretty much sums up my Christmas shopping. Unlike some friends of mine (you know who you are) that were probably done with Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving even rolled around –or November for that matter, I am technically still “shopping”. I don’t know if you’d even call it that, since the gifts that I have purchased I can count on one hand, even if you chopped off several of my fingers. Just not feeling it this year. You’d think that considering Christmas is —let’s see 13 days away today –I would be a little more stressed, but honestly, just not happening. I was telling Tom today how I am just not into the shopping that accompanies the Christmas holidays. I went out the other day and just didn’t really come home with any gifts. We are supposed to head out to Albany tomorrow to do some family shopping and I’m really hoping that some sort of inspiration strikes -otherwise folks, I don’t know what to tell you all — my lovely personality and wonderful smile and of course, my great company will have to be gift enough, unless of course you want food, then I’m pretty sure that I can bake up a storm. Might be a Christmas of homemade baguettes for everyone!
Wikileaks, Julian Assange. These are words that are plastered all over the news. You’d be hard pressed to avoid them even with a cursory glance at the newspaper. The news is replete with information regarding Assange’s sex life and the rape charges against him, the damage being caused by the leaking information and the hacktivists that are taking matters into their own hands and bombarding sites that are anti-WikiLeaks.
Time to dust off the Constitutional Hat, as we would often say in law school when constitutional law issues reared their heads. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press — these freedoms that all too often are tossed under the bed in good times are being brought back out and touted by both sides. It will be interesting how this all plays out in the long run.
Here’s an interesting thought to throw in the mix. Our government is trying desperately to stop the leaking information and is really pissed off that it got out there at all. It appears that the government and political pressure are the driving forces behind shutting down Assange and WikiLeaks as evidenced by Lieberman’s muscling Amazon and others to drop their hosting and the pressure placed upon paypal and credit card companies to drop their payment options for the site. Interesting isn’t it, when one considers that this country to a great measure came to be by virtue of the same leaking of information.
Benjamin Franklin did it when he released letters between the Royal Governor of Massachusetts and the British throne. Those letters, which were confidential in nature and not meant to be made public, many believed were what inflamed an already unsettled body of colonists and was instrumental in the Revolutionary War.
Interesting isn’t it that some of the very essence of what helped to form this country – leaking information – is now looked upon as one of the worst crimes in history according to the government’s condemnation of a similar act by Assange’s site. Perhaps the only difference is that this time, our government is on the receiving end.
December 7th, 1941 was the Japanese attack on the military bases at Pearl Harbor. It was the first time that Americans were ever attacked on home soil. Unfortunately, a great number of Americans over 3000, both military and civilian lost their lives that day or were seriously injured.
America did not see such tragedy again until the attacks of September 11th, 2001. Just as this generation has that day etched in its memory, we should too remember that similar tragedy befell another generation of Americans back in 1941. There losses are no less real, no less painful and everyone should remember and reflect. December 7th is the Official Remembrance Day for Pearl Harbor. All American flags are requested to be flown at half-mast in honor of the dead and injured.
- Remembering Pearl Harbor: 69 years (michellemalkin.com)
- Remember Pearl Harbor (crockettlives.wordpress.com)
- Pearl Harbor Day sees fewer surviving veterans from 1941 Hawaii attack(VIDEO) – Christian Science Monitor (news.google.com)
December 6th is Saint Nicholas Day. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors and is well known for his generosity, particularly toward children. His parents died when he was young and he gave away all of his inheritance to help others. He became well known for throwing coins in the windows of the poor families. Some of the coins landed in children’s shoes or stockings and when word got out, many children would hang their stockings in the hopes that St. Nicholas would see to it to throw coins in their stockings. Nicholas went onto become a bishop and ultimately died on December 6th, the holiday which celebrates his life.
In many countries in Europe, St. Nicholas Day is the day on which presents are exchanged. In many countries, Christmas Day is a purely religious holiday with no gifts being exchanged whatsoever.
- Happy St. Nicholas Day! (iflizwerequeen.com)
- St. Nicholas Day (narmer.wordpress.com)
- Happy St. Nicholas Day: Who Was Old St. Nick, Anyway? (jeffpruett.wordpress.com)
- Google Celebrates St. Nicholas Day Too (pamil-visions.net)
- St. Nicholas Day: December 6 (nowpublic.com)
As I type this my husband is enjoying a dinner meeting out somewhere in the lovely city of Minneapolis-St. Paul with his co-workers. Well, actually I have no idea if MSP is lovely or not, as I have never been there, but it sounds good. I have been charged with “keeping the home fires burning” quite literally in fact as you can see. Over the past few days it has become apparent, as it does every time he travels for anything more than a day or two, of exactly how much we rely on each other. While it may seem to my sometimes grumbling (under my breath, of course) self about how much I have to do, it becomes apparent how much more I have to do when Tom’s not around. For instance, tonight as I stood in the kitchen by the breakfast bar, staring at the unlit fishtank (guess who turns the light on and off) it occurred to me that (can you guess this one?) he is also the one that feeds the fish. Poor fish…no wonder they were scurrying around when I came near the tank….thinking “could it be that she is finally going to feed us?” Sorry fish, I forgot that I’m the one in charge. Should my husband be reading this (which I know he is) rest assured that the fish are all okay. So are the chickens and the goats and the human kids…they’re all fine. I didn’t kill anyone.
My point is that I have a great deal of respect for single parents, those single by choice or by fate. It takes a lot to run a house and raise kids, be they young or older. In fact, I think younger is actually a little better since when they’re down, they’re down and they don’t talk back….much. I also have a great deal of love for my husband, we do make a great team and I appreciate that each and every time he is traveling.