Thursday, August 13, 2009

As if carbs and sweets weren't enough...

Well, I had my allergy testing today. I'd been through it once before, over (gasp) 20 years ago, when I was 10. Back then, I was allergic to everything under the sun, it seemed. I went through desensitization shots, though, but continued having allergy symptoms, so I figured it was worth figuring out what I was dealing with.

Well, you know the phrase "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't"? I'm not so sure that applies here. Going in, I'd been reasonably sure I was allergic to cats (having been diagnosed with that allergy before--again, 20 years ago). I thought that dealing with the cat problem (as we have two of them) was going to be my hardest battle. 

Oh, how I wish that was so. 

I'm not actually allergic to cats. At least, I'm not allergic to them anymore, which is great news for both my boyfriend and our cats. I'm not allergic to dogs. I'm mildly allergic to grasses and trees. I'm really allergic to two things: dust mites and molds.

This may not seem bad to you, dear reader. Perhaps you are not familiar with the nasty little arachnid that looks like this:
EEGADS! That thing is terrifying! The fact that it is so tiny I will never ever see it doesn't make me feel better!

Neither does the fact that they are in EVERYTHING I OWN. They are EATING MY SKIN. This is horrible! They have infested my bed, my carpet, my couches. They are pooping and I am breathing in their poop and this is NOT OKAY. 

I think that, if I had to choose something to be allergic to, I would pick dust mites because they are so damn creepy.

What I wouldn't pick is having to cover my mattress, my pillows, my box spring, with expensive allergy resistant covers. I certainly wouldn't pick having to buy a high end vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. And I would never choose to get rid of soft cover couches, replacing them with vinyl! That is nuts!

Still, as bad as all of that is, the mold allergy is far worse. Yes, it is just as insidious as the dust mites, hiding places I'll never see it. But there are certain things I can avoid to reduce my contact to mold, and those things are:

  • cheese
  • mushrooms
  • foods made with yeast
  • sour cream
  • buttermilk
  • beer
  • wine
  • potatoes
  • soy sauce
  • vinegar
  • sauerkraut
  • nuts
  • pickled or smoked meats and fish
  • dried fruits
  • raw vegetables and fruits
Oh what the hell? That's like, all foods! Or at least all the foods I like to eat. And giving up foods? Not one of my strong points. 

At least I can start immunotherapy, which will help reduce my sensitivity. In about, oh, say, five years. 

I'm gonna go cry in the corner now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Four ears and a celebrity sighting.

Lots of things happening but little time to post; leave it to a night of insomnia to finally get me behind the keyboard!

The corn is coming along as well as can be expected, I suppose! We had another visitor stop and engage us in conversation about our corn the other day (it mostly went like the majority of our conversations about the corn go:
 "Is that corn?"
 "That's so cool!"
 "We know! We couldn't believe it when it started growing."
 "Wait you didn't plant it?"
 "No, we just thought it was some weird tropical plant, and then---"

And then we had the makings of four ears! Two have prominent silks that have unfurled themselves in hopes of catching some tassel seeds, or whatever they're called (and to be honest, Mike and I have been attempting to help them along with this to some extent); two are still working their way out. 

In other news, Mike and I are on a 30 day challenge, wherein we have resolved to not eat out for 30 days (except for my birthday, which is next week). I, of course, promptly broke that resolution with a meal out to celebration a friend and coworker's completion of his dissertation, complete with a stop to our favorite cake shop for some cupcakes. In retribution, I returned home to a letter from my doctor containing my latest blood test results and the words "Less Carbs & Sugar!" Oh, how the universe works together to mock me.

Also, Stephanie, Lisa & I went to see Julie & Julia this past Sunday. It's a cute movie, and we're all pretty into food and cooking and the like, so it was a good fit for us. Also a good fit? Running into some of the cast and crew of the movie "Flipped," which is filming here in town! We recognized Anthony Edwards and Rob Reiner, but they were with a number of others that I'm sure were members of the cast and crew. I admit, we did giggle a bit when they came into our theatre. 

I think to start my career as a food blogger, I might write a real review of the movie at some point. Or maybe of dinner next week at the new Ann Arbor locavore restaurant, grange (where mike is taking me for my birthday!). 

But not now. Now is bedtime. Good night, all! 

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Corn Stalker

Our corn continues to grow and proliferate; we now have three tassels and the makings of two ears. We also have a stalker. 

Perhaps stalker might be too strong of a word. However, when Mike and I came home for lunch today (one of the perks of living so close to work now!) we ran into one of our neighbors who told us the strange tale of a woman in a white Kia. Apparently this woman was driving past our house, slammed on the brakes, reversed, and began taking photos of our house. She then BACKED UP onto the street that intersects our directly across from our house and sat there for a while, watching the house. 

Can you say creepy? I can!

We joked some about the new online version of a newspaper that we have in town taking pictures of our corn for publication, but I doubt that's likely. I do figure that the corn had to be attention-drawing feature of our house, though, because it's the only thing that's really unusual about our front yard. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love my house, and I think it is gosh darn adorable. But it is an neighborhood full of gosh darn adorable houses. I can't see how ours would be more attention grabbing than another. 

But I must make a plea to the woman in the white Kia. Why were you photographing my house? My corn? What do you plan to do with those photos? Report us to Monsanto?

I promise updates as they come. I may even make them up if they don't.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Food Blogger.

I want to be a food blogger. 

I've decided this recently, and have realized that my lackadaisical way of blogging just won't work for this pursuit, so I'm attempting to remedy this. Here are some of the ways I'm taking action:

1) This post, for starters.
2) Taking pictures of my cooking, like this:

3) Joining the mailing list for a local food-oriented community, Friday Morning
s @SELMA. It's been getting a lot of press in Ann Arbor lately, and it seems like a good place to meet lots of like-minded individuals. 
4) Following unique-to-me food stories, like this stalk of corn growing in my front yard:
This stalk started of relatively innocuous, a very purposeful sprout of green that I figured must be there for a reason (Mike and I moved into our new house at the start of the spring, so we've been watching what comes up with a careful eye, learning our landscaping as we go). It soon took on monstrous proportions, however, and I came to terms with the fact that there was only one plant I knew of that looked like that--corn. I was pretty sure it wouldn't produce any ears, however, as I figured it most need another stalk to cross-pollinate with. Our friendly neighborhood corn grower at the farmer's market, however, told us that was a fallacy. All it needed was for the tassel (the male part of the corn) to drop its goodies onto the silks (the female part, that actually form the kernels). Well then.

We returned home from the farmer's market and realized the tassel has grown on our stalk of corn. So now we wait. How many ears will we get? Will it be edible? More stories to come, I'm sure. 

Unless it is an alien pod come to possess our bodies. Then this blog might take a turn. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Overheard, part 2.

Today's installment, while Mike does dishes.

Mike: Well, I would love to be at your beck and call, Pocket, but I have something else that I'm doing that takes a little bit more attention. 
Pocket: Mwraar.
Mike: I don't care if you could do it with your eyes closed. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A conversation I just overheard from the kitchen...

Pocket: Meoowr.
Mike: I love you too.
Pocket: Merrrw.
Mike: Well, that's very nice of you to say.
Pocket: Mrwwwowr.
Mike: I too am glad that swine flu did not overtake America.


Today marks my second day home sick this week. 

I thought it was just allergies at first. After all, I'd done four hours of yard work, AND my animals are all in the midst of shedding season. My sinuses filled, my head ached. I didn't want to wake up Sunday morning, so I spent most of it in bed, sniffling. I downed my allergy medicine and waited for it work it's magic. It didn't. 

I went about the rest of my day, convincing myself that all I needed was to get moving. My head started aching terribly. Just dehydration, I said, drinking large glasses of water, which only served to make my throat start itching. 

So here I am, under the covers. I slept most of yesterday away, spending the rest of it reading and playing Animal Crossing. Maggie slept with me, which means that when it was actually nighttime and time for sleep, she was as restless as anything. I threw some toys for her while I slept on the couch (the better to not contaminate Mike). I actually fell asleep with a toy in my hand. 

At least I was productive last week so I had homemade chicken stock for soup. I've downed a bunch of Emergen-C as well, and Nyquil, and goddammit, something has to start working. I'm running out of sick time until September. I need to get back to work.