Just a Quick "Hi!"

I've been writing lots...just not here. I've been working on my novel and finally, finally, finally hit the half-way mark!!!!! 40,000 words!!!!! YAY!!!!!

Good thing is that you're not missing much. We haven't been doing much around the farm. Writing and other pursuits have taken over our lives. But never fear: Once I finish my rough draft, I have all sorts of plans I'll be posting about.

I'll pop in randomly, just so's you knows I ain't dead. Until then, enjoy Fall/Hallowe'en/Thanksgiving/Christmas!



Remember a few months ago, when I finally figured out that the blisters/rash on my hands were Dyshidrotic Eczema?

This week, Drudge linked a story about a kid who has developed Dyshidrotic Eczema from his iPad. From a nickel allergy. And the comments mentioned nickel being found in foods, as well as computers, jewelry, cell phones, etc., etc. I read the article and started thinking about allergies: Nickel vs. Round-up vs. gluten.  (Yeah, yeah, I saw that smirk. Okay, how about if I amend that to "...did my blond best to think about..." Better?) I wish I knew a good Doctor who didn't believe in "take-this-pill-to-treat-the-symptoms" medicine and would actually work with me to eliminate the CAUSES...instead of me having to do the self-guinea-pig approach. But anyway...

I've been having no end of trouble with my hands lately, even after eliminating Round-up-contaminated foods. I have blisters forming under the skin (you can see them. They're like little white polka-dots), blisters at the surface (painfully itchy. I mean, PAINFULLY ITCHY), and pin-dot scabs that form on the blisters after they pop but before they peel...all together at the same time.  It mainly shows up on my right (dominant) hand, with random, occasional single blisters on my left hand. And while they've gotten much less severe since I changed my diet, they're still there.

I got on my (possibly nickel-containing) computer and Googled "list of foods containing nickel." And copied down the list with my (possibly nickel containing metal trimmed) ink pen. And got really, truly and completely depressed.

I can put my cell phone in a case. I can get rid of the cordless house phones and use plastic-cased wall phones. I can get rid of my favorite ink pens. If I have to, I can wear gloves, like this is the 50's or something. (I'll tell everyone I'm trying to be lady-like...nah, no one who knows me would ever believe me. How about I'm getting in touch with my inner Michael Jackson?  Ewww.)

But the list of nickel-containing foods is just about everything left that I can eat:



Whole wheat bread, multi grain breads, multi grain cereals, wheat bran, wheat germ, whole wheat pasta, oats, oatmeal, buckwheat, seeds, rye, millet
Beans, lentils, peas, soy products (tofu, soy sauce, soy beans) sprouts, brussel sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, canned vegetables, red kidney beans, chickpeas, cabbage, corn, mushrooms, onions, carrots
Canned fruit cocktail, pears, bananas, canned fruits, tomatoes, raisins, rhubarb, dried fruit
Shellfish, herring, mackerel, tuna, processed meats with fillers or coatings, canned meats and fish
Tea, chocolate milk, beer, red wine

Chocolate and cocoa powder (especially dark chocolate)
All nuts (walnuts, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, soy nuts)
All seeds (sunflower seeds, linseed)
Baking powder
Commercial salad dressings
Vitamins containing nickel
Canned foods in general
Stainless-steel cooking vessels used for cooking acidic foods
The first quart of tap water drawn from any faucet in the morning. 

Take a vitamin C supplement with each meal.
Eat a high iron diet

Those last suggestions are the only good news of the morning. I'm going to start taking vitamin C with every meal and see if it makes a difference. Can't hurt. Might help. And it is much better than trying to eliminate even more from my diet.

What is the use of having a farm if you can't eat anything you grow???


Happy Independence Day!!!

Here's hoping everyone has a wonderful Fourth!

Sam's coming to visit today. We're planning a big lunch, an afternoon haying, then a bonfire (with s'mores and fireworks.)

Yesterday, we made a last-minute run to ChinaMart (I had run out of ketchup, green onions, and hot dog buns...and I needed balloons for the ginger ale I'm attempting to make.) On the way home, a little brown and black dog (looks like a Cairn terrier mix) walked out in front of the Durango.  She was obviously abandoned and starving.

It took all of us (including Arabella offering a slice of pizza) to coax her to come to us.  She smelled like week-old roadkill, she was coated with ticks, and her skin barely covered her bones. She also is pregnant.

We brought her home, washed her up, de-ticked her, and bedded her down for the night in a spare kennel. Monday, we'll take her to the vet, check her for a chip, and start putting up the obligatory "Found Dog" notices. Based on past experience, I think we have a new dog.


Happy Wear the Lilac Day

Today is the day we celebrate the Glorious People's Republic of Treacle Mine Road.

Truth! Justice! Freedom! Reasonably Priced Love! And a Hard-boiled Egg!

(If you know the reference, sing along with me, to the tune of "Shortnin' Bread": All the little angels rise up, rise up...)


It is Officially Summer Now

The air conditioners are up and running, so I guess summer has officially arrived.

This last week has been crazy busy. Giselle went rock climbing and got her hair cut, Arabella's dog Kipu went in for his summer buzz cut, the girls are coming down to the wire on their next karate test, there was a reenactment meeting, we started breaking up the front walk to re-pour it so it actually leads to the front porch (and found out there were three layers of sidewalk to be broken up!) and Danny's been working daily 12 hour shifts. We've had something going on almost every day! Remember my list of 40-odd chores? Yeah, I got about 10 things crossed off, and added about 15 more. I'm even farther behind than when I started...

Wednesday was so busy, that I (stupidly) decided to eat in town at the local Italian restaurant (yeah, I'm that dumb.) They have reeaally good spaghetti and bread sticks, and the girls were hungry, and I didn't feel like cooking, and, and, and... Anyway, guess who has felt like c**p all today and got nothing done? When will I learn I can't eat non-organic bread or pasta???

Tomorrow is Danny's first day flying for the new employer. Once he's on an actual work schedule, things should ease up. Tomorrow night, we plan on getting up around 1:30 am to see the new meteor shower that is coming through. Saturday, we have a reenactment and have to be up early...but how often do you get to see the very first passing of a meteor shower?! It'll hopefully be worth the missed sleep.

Here soon I hope to be able to start posting more about the farm. We've been working it...some. Mainly infrastructure and maintenance, which doesn't make for exciting blog posts (Today, I weeded the front flower bed. Wow...or not.) When I get another chance to post--probably mid-next week--I should have more to talk about. Until then, stay cool!