Archive for the ‘in the news’ Category

Super Steelers!


My heart was in Pittsburgh last night as I watched every minute of the game. It was a good one! We cheered, we moaned, we held our breath, we made our knuckles white, and we cheered some more. We ate popcorn for dinner. The girls watched the first part of the game with us before going to bed. They waved their terrible towels. I wore my Steelers socks. It was fun.

It made me miss Pittsburgh so much! I remember watching the Steelers win the Super Bowl three years ago while living in Pittsburgh; you cannot imagine how that city erupts when their team wins even just a regular season game. My whole neighborhood would explode. But for the Super Bowl? The noise and celebration was unbelievable. Even the non-stop Steelers news coverage (it was, like, 23 minutes Steelers, 7 minutes everything else, no joke) for six weeks was a funny memory that produced the slightest twinge of longing. (At the time, it was uber annoying.) We miss you, Pittsburgh.

And did you see that interception and 100 yard run (touchdown!) by Harrison? Longest play in Super Bowl history? Amaaaaaaaaazing.

And, what was up with all the lip synching? I hate lip synching. So not cool.

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Why I don’t ride fair rides.

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A Split

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh voted to split from the Episcopal Church today. They are joining the worldwide Anglican church instead. Read about it here.

We are Episcopalian (Anglican now!) and still members of our church in Pittsburgh. We are thinking of you all today, Ascension.

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Yes, folks, it’s true. Most (perhaps all) slow cookers contain lead in their glazing, which leaches out easily at higher, sustained temperatures (like slow cooking). I have hesitated posting this for months because I haven’t wanted to believe it’s true, and I want to test my own crock pot for myself. I haven’t gotten around to the leachability testing, which I now have the capability to do, but I didn’t want to wait any longer to warn you. I will be conducting a fairly limited leach test on my crock pot(s), and I will follow up with results.

It’s tricky to contact manufacturers to determine whether or not your slow cooker contains lead, for several reasons. First, the level of accuracy of the information you receive depends largely on who you end up speaking with. Second, manufacturers can claim that their slow cookers are “lead free” if they meed federal requirements; this does not mean they are really lead free. Third, there are some customer service reps who get confused about lead in the clay v. lead in the glazing. (Heck, I’m still confused on that one.)

Links of interested related to lead in slow cookers:

Some slow cooker alternatives:

  • Good ol’ cast iron dutch oven (mine is cheap and not enameled; Le Creuset enamed ones are lead free)
  • Stainless steel thermal cookers like this one and this one (I’m actually excited to save up some cash and try one one of these someday)
  • Here’s a tempered glass slow cooker, if you don’t need a big one


Most PVC-covered wire contains lead to keep it supple. This includes appliance cords, electronics cords, and regular wiring used in your home’s walls. This is widely known among electricians, yet your everyday consumer doesn’t tend to think about this fact (even though many appliance cords come with warnings).

This is, frustratingly, a largely unavoidable problem. I’ve heard you can search out lead-free wire for your home’s wiring, but you’ll need to do a lot of research and manufacturer-calling to find it. As for appliances and computers: always wash your hands after handling cords and before preparing food. Wipe down counters with a wet cleaner/soap frequently. Try to keep your little ones from playing with lamp cords and the like. Wet mop and/or vacuum regularly with a vacuum containing a HEPA filter to keep toxic dust levels down (including lead, allergens, and flame retardants like PBDEs).

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This recall involves long- and short-sleeved pajama sets. The sets have a blue shirt with a red screen print that reads “Athletics 90” and coordinating camouflage pants. The pajama sets were sold in boys’ sizes XXS (2/3) to XL (14). The Children’s Place stores nationwide and http://www.childrensplace.com from December 2006 to January 2008 for between $15 and $17. Consumers should immediately take the pajama sets from children and return them to any The Children’s Place store for a full refund. Link to full CPSC recall information.


Is nothing safe? I don’t buy much new clothing, but when I do, it’s usually Hanna Andersson, Gymboree, or The Children’s Place. Thankfully, I did not buy this particular outfit. But for every item “caught” by the CPSC, thousands more slip by, undetected.

Lesson Learned: If it’s painted, it could contain lead paint. Period. Wooden toys, plastic toys, jewelry (avoid ALL toy/non-precious metal children’s jewelry, folks!), clothing, toothbrushes, glue sticks, costumes (including hats), notebook bindings, figurines, ceramics, plastic cups – ALL of these things have been recalled recently. If it’s made in China (or, in this case, Vietnam), be especially leery.

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(Oh, how I wished Tricia and Dan were around to watch the game last night. It would’ve been like old times.)

Anyone else see the game? It was fantastic. I had to go to bed during double overtime because I was so tired. I woke up this morning and immediately Googled to discover…

…the Pens won! At the end of triple overtime! It’s a miracle!

I think Detroit played better last night, overall, but Pittsburgh’s Fleury did an amazing job, blocking 55 shots!

I’m normally a Wings fan, but the atmosphere here makes it impossible not to be rooting for the Pens on this one. Whoever wins, a part of me will be happy.

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Right now, it’s 48. But the high today is predicted to be 82!! And mostly sunny! I want to walk through the park. Have a barbecue. Wear a dress. Go barefoot. Lay out in the sun.

Probably, I will paint. Or pack. Indoors. But, still.

I love spring!

(It’s interesting that when it was in the 80s last October, during the last weeks of my pregnancy, I was not so thrilled…)

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i’m famous!

Well, not really. But, I am featured in a small paragraph in a long, wonderful, and informative article in the Pittsburgh City Paper written about our farm – the place from where we’ve gotten our vegetables all summer and fall. (Our last pickup is in two weeks. *sniff*) Check it out:

“We love the idea of organic vegetables, locally grown, picked fresh,” says Serina T____, of Swissvale. “It was a good way to afford a lot of vegetables.”

T____, 27, is pregnant; along with a towel-lined basket for today’s take, she brought her 2- and 4-year-old. Most CSAs conduct drop-offs at farmers’ markets or other centralized locations. But T____ doesn’t mind the 25-minute drive from her home — a drive that includes, as part of her customized CSA agreement, stopping in Wilkinsburg to pick up Wood Street Bakery bread for Blackberry to sell. “I like the kids to see where the food comes from,” she says.
Click to read all of A Tough Row to Hoe…

There was also a picture of my kids in an article about the farm in the latest Pittsburgh Quarterly–but at $6 an issue, we didn’t buy a copy. It wasn’t a great picture. :)

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And this is just what’s above the board. Can you imagine how many other toys/jewerly products out there are slipping through the cracks and harming children? I urge you to click and check out the pictures, even if you don’t think you have any of these toys. You might have them, or your friends might, and it’s good to be aware.

More Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway Toys

Target Toy Gardening Tools & Chairs

Knights of the Sword Toys

Children’s Toy Rakes from JoAnn Fabrics

Guidecraft Children’s Puppet Theaters

Children’s Spinning Wheel Metal Necklaces

Toby & Me Jewelry Sets

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Researchers at Johns Hopkins University set out to disprove the myth that heartburn causes your newborn to have a full head of hair. Instead, they were surprised by the evidence supporting it. They found that 82% of women with moderate to severe heartburn birthed hairy babies; most women with little or no heartburn ended up with baldies! Apparently, the hormones responsible for heartburn also trigger fetal hair growth. Read about it here.

That explains my newborns birthed with heads full of hair! Guess this little guy will be no exception, judging by the amount of heartburn I’ve had…

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