Monday, May 14, 2012

Canker Sores and Hot Tamales


I have suffered with canker sores and geographic tongue (it's real -- check it out) for many years. Sometimes the sores are so bad that I can hardly eat or talk (my husband likes that part). I have talked with my doctor and dentist, but they have not been helpful. Thanks to the Internet, I think I have found a possible solution to my problem.

I recently attended a baby shower where one of the games was identifying nursery rhymes. I won! I don't know what that says about me, but we "older" women had a distinct advantage over the young 'uns. Probably since nursery rhymes are considered old fashioned and so last millennium. Anyway, my prize for winning the contest was a giant (ie. from Costco) bag of Hot Tamales. I love Hot Tamales, but that much! I brought them to school for my TAs to eat, but apparently they don't like them.

One day I ate several hands full throughout the day and  I got really bad canker sores on the right side of my mouth. The worst case ever! This was the moment I got serious about the research. I thought that it must be a connection to something in the Hot Tamales, so I looked for allergies to cinnamon oil. There are people who have bad reactions to the oil, but it is more like the typical allergies with hives and itching and stuff. I only had cankers sores.

Today while I was passing out the candy to my classes, one student said that there was some acid in them that could kill you in large amounts. I doubted that, so I looked for the ingredients in Hot Tamales. None of the acids looked that deadly: citric acid, sodium citrate, pectin, malic acid, and fumaric acid. All food grade. I was a little disturbed by the carnuba wax. Don't I wax my car with that? The biggest revelation was that there is no cinnamon oil in Hot Tamales, just an artificial cinnamon oil. Just when I thought I had figured it out!

Another Google search put me in touch with this site: There were some other sites about this topic, but they wouldn't open.  It is not a widespread problem suggested by the lack of sources, but if you chew Big Red gum, eat Hot Tamales, or brush with cinnamon toothpaste and get cankers sores, then you might be part of the small number of us with this weird allergy.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Taemin's ugly formalware for MORP

Now that I'm on spring break, I thought I would take the time and update what is happening.
Taemin was invited to MORP and needed ugly formalware. His date's group decided on ugly blue, so off to Savers we went. This was on Thursday night and Friday was the dance, so you can see that I didn't have a lot of time to look or sew anything, but I' proud of the adjustments I made to what we found in the short time I had!

We found a polyester coat in a steel blue (80's?) from Sears. I actually really liked it and suggested he wear it to church. We found a really cool plaid tie that matched well. Anyway, we also found a pair of Levi brushed corduroy jeans that matched the color of the jacket. Next, we found a tuxedo shirt and a pair of patent-leather shoes. Can you believe that we found all this stuff in one store and that it fit him? We couldn't find a bow tie, but we found a crazy print tie that was wide.

We took all this home and started the alterations. First, the tux shirt had no buttons, only holes for studs, so I bought some small rounded buttons on a shank and sewed them on over the opposing button hole. These worked out well and looked like a stud.

The cuffs were French and we had no cuff links, so again, I improvised. I decided to sew two buttons, shanks together to give enough space to place the cuffs between, but I couldn't figure out how to do that and keep them apart. Kevin suggested that I use a straw in between. I worked out great! After all, it is for only one night!

Finally, the bow tie. I took apart the funky tie we bought and downloaded a pattern from Martha Stewart and cut out a bow tie from it. I think it really looked great, although I wish I had made it longer. My copier doesn't enlarge, so I had to hand draw the pattern and didn't make the part around the neck long enough, but it worked okay.

So here he is in all his James Bond glory --

I don't know how "ugly" it is, but it certainly is not in fashion today. Too bad I couldn't find the pale green polyester tuxes and ruffled shirts my groomsmen wore at my wedding reception in 1975!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

TaeMin's Christmas Quilt

Since I made all my kids quilts for last Christmas, I thought I ought to make one for our rent-a-boy this year. I really like the way Graham's shirt quilt turned out and I still had a lot of fabric left over, so I made a split nine to TK. It's an easy quilt to make and I wanted the men's shirt idea to carry over to Korea when he goes home.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A quilt that I made a while ago but haven't posted 'cuz I'm a lazy butt!

This is a quilt I made for Kevin last year for his birthday. He picked out the fabric and I used an idea from Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting. I didn't have a pattern, so I made it up as I went. This created many problems since this was one of the first quilts I made and I didn't really know what I was doing. I bought fabric, but didn't know how much I needed. I had 18 different prints here and I just stitched the strips until I had it long enough and wide enough and when I ran out of fabric and couldn't buy any more, I pieced some of the outer triangles.

This is the awesome orange fabric that inspired my adding orange to the pallet. I loved this pattern so much that I bought the whole bolt. Now I just need an idea for how I will use the rest of it.

My cousin quilted this with an arcing pattern in a variegated thread that turned out to be very close. Kevin didn't like it because it made the quilt less lofty and stiffer. So he doesn't use it. He bought a down throw instead. This is the hardest quilt I have made to date, and I use it all the time.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Forgotten Quilt

Since I have been such a slacker in updating my blog, I have missed several important events in my life. The two most important will be posted in future blogs, but right now I want to share another quilt I made with my sister, Melanie, for our sister, Allison. Allison lives in Missouri and, therefore, misses out on all the fun Melanie and I have together, so we decided to work together on this quilt for her birthday. I had already purchased the fabrics for some future quilt and we saw a snowball quilt at our favorite quilt shop, American Quilting, and decided to try that one out. Well, I won't go into the gory details about our tandem quilting fiasco, but just let me say, Allison, you better LOVE this quilt!! It was a lot harder and more time consuming than we ever anticipated and we had a deadline which made it harder. Here is the quilt. We called it "Oh, Well!" after our Mom's favorite saying when things don't go as planned -- a phrase I am learning to use more in my life.

Here is Baby Allison, the proud owner of "Oh, Well!" quilt.

Baby Quilts

I have made two baby quilts this year, not counting the one I sewed for Dani's aunt's baby. This one was not intended to be a baby quilt. My daughter, Marin suggested that I would be lovely to have a quilt made on off-white and white fabric. Although we chose a different quilt for her birthday, I kept the the off-white/white idea in mind as I shopped for fabric. I was at Home Fabrics and their back wall is stacked with inexpensive (cheap) cotton fabrics. There were several in this color scheme that looked good. I just bought several with no plan for a quilt. When Honey's birthday approached and I didn't have a good idea for a gift, I whipped out the whites and made a strip quilt in a zigzag pattern. He was underwhelmed, but at least he had a gift from the heart. It was really too short for him. I showed it to Dani and she mentioned how perfect it would be in her baby's room. Viola! It became hers!This picture shows the pattern the best although the quilt is not finished here.

This is it finished and washed. Quilts look better after they have been washed.

Here is the quilt I originally planned for Graham. I wanted to try a pinwheel design because it seemed easy and worked with the fabrics I chose. I wanted to use men's dress shirts as the fabric. I picked up quite a few at Saver's on their 1/2 price days or when they are $1. I chose blues and whites. For the border I used a man's pajama bottom, and the back is a sheet. Basically this is a recycled fabric quilt.
Because there were so many triangles, I had Joanna (my fabulous cousin quilter) do a swirl in each pinwheel and swirls around the border. The swirls in the pinwheels give the illusion that they are turning. Here is a picture of the back that shows the quilting better:

Here is a picture of the back that shows the quilting better:

This quilt only used one long sleeve of each shirt, and one leg of the pajama pant.