29 March 2005

Calcium ...

Milk consumption does not protect against fractures, according to new data from the Harvard Nurses? Study.  The study recruited a group of 77,761 women who were between 34 and 59 years of age when the study began in 1980, and followed them for the next 12 years.  Those who drank three or more glasses of milk per day had no reduction at all in the risk of hip or arm fractures compared to those who drank little or no milk, even after adjustment for weight, menopausal status, smoking and alcohol use.  In fact, the fracture rates were slightly higher for those who consumed this much milk compared to those who drank little or no milk.

The findings resonate with international comparisons that show that fracture rates in Scandinavia and other areas where dairy products are commonly consumed are actually much higher, not lower, than in Asia and other areas where milk products are rarely used.

The differences are the result of two other factors.   First, in international studies, genetics play a role, with white women at higher risk than other groups.  Second, other animal protein greatly increases calcium loss via the kidneys.  Since dairy cattle are slaughtered when their productivity declines, usually at four years of age in the US, countries where milk is consumed tend to have plenty of hamburger on grocery shelves.  It may be that meat consumption is what leads to the fractures.  Salt, caffeine, tobacco, and a sedentary lifestyle also contribute to calcium losses.

--reprinted from Good Medicine, a publication of Physicians for Responsible Medicine, Autumn 1997

28 March 2005

Quick Catch Up ...

Ouch ...
Anailese learned to walk last Saturday.
On Sunday, she fell face first into the corner of the brick hearth at Chelsea and Darwin's. An ambulance ride and emergency CT scans and eight hours in the hospital later, she was downgraded to a moderate concussion and sent home with dire warnings about how bad a second fall could be. Barbara's a wreck.
Seeds ...
I spent last Saturday with Mary at Seedy Saturday, answering questions about Community Shared Agriculture and explaining how it differes from Community Gardening. We went for dinner and ran some errands and solved all the world's problems.
Panties ...
I spent some time at Mona's on Friday. There's potty training and weaning happening there, among many, many other things. Busy house, that. I had a great plan to stop at the-lady-across-the-street's healthfood store and Mark's for socks and the yarn store on 124th on the way, right up until I put yay-I-get-a-Friday-off-to-spend-with-Mona's-Family together with it's-a-holiday-because-it's-Good-Friday and realized that at least two of those places would be closed. So I jumped on a bus and went directly there instead. Rose and Cassandra have new panties, are the busiest, shiniest girls in the world, and can eat their own weight in beans at dinner. Atoll, the fierce orange kitty decided maybe he won't eat me after all. I got to help Pete with bathtime and bedtime while Mona ran some errands. Mona, Pete and I watched Ray. We stayed up past their bedtime. Pete requests an RSS feed for this blog. I don't think I can do that without Billy's help since he's hosting it, so I may have to move back to Blogspot.
Sweaters and scarves...
I found some soft, bright, chunky yarn. On Friday, I measured Rose and Cassandra. Yesterday, I swatched for gauge, plugged the numbers into a kinda pattern generator thingy for raglan sweaters and jiggled them a bit, knit a test neck. Today, I ripped it out, jiggled the numbers some more to account for big ol' toddler heads and started again. I'm about 2cm below the arm holes. That stuff knits up fast in l'il bitty sweaters! Once they're done, I'll re-knit Mona's hat a little bigger (if I have enough of the yarn, I won't unknit the one I did already), I have a mitred squares scarf that I started in Nelson to finish and I have some cotton yarn to do one for Patty, and I've ordered yarn and ribbon to knit a shawl for Vince. I don't know what to do with all of the unfinished Billy projects I have lying about. I thought of finishing them and sending them to him, but I don't know if he'd even want them and I cry every time I look at them.

18 March 2005

Things seen on/from the bus ...

On a billboard:
Where men sweep and clean house without being asked.

On the side of a truck:
Better Shred Than Read!
That one makes me nuts. I think it was designed to make pedants' heads explode.

This guy with long grey hair, lots of it, kinda slicked back and bits sticking out at the temples, made him look like an old, dessicated Wolverine. He had this white patch safety-pinned on his back, across his shoulders, all punk, except it's pinned to a grey vest over four or five jackets of various blues and greys and it's zig-zagged around the edges like nothing a punk would be caught dead in and it says in red machine-stitched letters an inch high, "GET RIGHT WITH GOD AND GOD WILL MAKE EVERYTHING RIGHT FOR YOU" and he's got all this hair ...
(I was reading a William Gibson at the time)

Just the other day I was noticing how the river ice was starting to break up, now it's all covered in snow again. We had three weeks of spring-like weather, but it started in February. I wasn't fooled. We had a true indian summer this year, then we had an indian fall and now we're having an indian winter. I wonder if there'll be an indian spring, too.

She was beautiful. Her hair, what I could see of it under a black pillbox hat, was black and razor-cut very short. What struck me first was how perfectly the pale salmon lipstick complemented her deep mahogany skin, then I noticed how strikingly her otherwise unremarkable features were arranged in her square face. It could as easily have been a man's face.
(I was reading a Richard Morgan at the time)

12 March 2005

Holding ...

I'm in a kind of holding pattern right now, just working on getting through the last (no more than, but possibly less than) eleven weeks of work. Now that I've said out loud that I'm leaving, it can't come soon enough. All of the things that made me absolutely mental about working there are much tougher to gloss over. The place is a nuthouse with all those adults all on different schedules and at least a couple of them are utter slobs. I like it when the girls aren't up yet when I get there, so I can pick up the used kleenexes and bits of dental floss, dirty socks, books of matches, TV remotes and dirty dishes, keys, pens, plastic bags, sharp knives and other stuff that gets left out by the ones who come in late at night when there're no kids around. If I have time, I clean the kitchen, too.

06 March 2005

Holding hands ...

Linda's tucked in on the couch. We had a good day. Mona, Rose and Cassandra picked me up at around 10:00 a.m. and we bundled our treasures off to the APs' house. Mona and I built snacks and fed and entertained C & R. Mary, Robin, Cory, Ernie and Linda arrived a little after noon. We did snacks and presents and laughing and yacking and cleaning and like that 'til time to go. Mona dropped Linda and me off on Whyte. We wandered into Mars & Venus to look at the retro stuff and the imports, then to Ten Thousand Villages to find out about what fairly traded means, then to the Celtic/Gothic shop with the M-name that I always forget 'cuz Linda wanted to look at the swords. We spent a while looking at the Amy Brown prints ... Linda loves Faeries. By that point, Linda's ankles were tired of walking. We had dinner at Boston Pizza ... whoosh, can that little girl eat pasta! We took the bus home, which is exciting for country kids. When we got home, we tried out my new ball winder with the amusingly translated directions ... so very slick ... and looked at more Amy Brown Faeries online, brewed some tea, fed the cats, got into our jammies and watched The Princess Bride. We lit a candle for the things we wish for the world. It's not every day that I get to walk down the street, holding hands and yacking with my niece ... it was lurvly.

edit: the store with the M-name is (of course) Rowena ... no wonder I can never think of it

01 March 2005

Owies and weirdness

One of the l'il thugs from work fell out of their wagon while on a walk with their Mom last night. She has four stitches in her right eyewow and is on antibiotics, poor poppet. The girls told me all about it. "Annie. Hurt. Red. Face. Cream. Medicine. Sad." Their sentences are still a little on the abbreviated side. She was running around and playing today and didn't complain about it hurting once, though.

In the middle of their lunch, a caught part of an interview with the Dali Lama's brother on the radio. He speaks very respectfully of his brother and says that when it's just the two of them, he feels his brother is first the leader of their people, and second his brother, though they do tell each other dirty jokes. That threw me for a loop.

The really, truly rotten thing about love is the part where you give your lover a detailed map to all the ways he can hurt you and then trust that it will never get used. That's the really lousy part. Stupid, too, 'cuz it's going to get used over and over again, even if it's not consciously.