December 20, 2010

This is the most amount of clothes I've worn in possibly ever.

Last night our furnace stopped taking in air to heat so the house was holding steady at 55 degrees, the temperature at which I stop denying the dog the benefit of sleeping under the covers with us, resulting in me being wedged between her and hubs in a tomb-like position all night except when I had to get up to pee at 5 am, which thoroughly woke me up because you can imagine how cold the toilet seat was. I'm still wearing no less than five layers of clothes, even though an HVAC guy came out like six hours ago and fixed the problem. I hate being cold.

On the plus side, I got some knitting done today and helped my star* student fix a couple of problems in her own projects. We had the fireplace going, the tree lit, and Ghostbusters 2 on TV. Turned out to be a pretty nice snowy day. Maybe after the holidays I won't be working full time and I'll be able to finish that sweater that's been in the works for months!

*my only student

December 2, 2010

Two things: rashes and crafts

Well, well, well. Fancy meeting you here. It's almost like somebody's been too busy to blog, or read blogs, or even check email... ah, work. So here's what's been going on.

Unfortunately, the first subject is reminiscent of a previous post where I speculated on the success of a health-related blog, which I realized then - as I realize now - would be gross and inappropriate and unnecessary. Well, whatever. Let's revisit two weeks ago, when I thought I might implode from wanting to rub my back on a tree trunk bear-style. I was in the middle of a skin patch test that was thankfully as worthwhile as it was torturous. Here are my unexpected results:

The main culprit has been formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. These are in everything from shampoo to lotion to makeup to clothes. Clothes. Also some topical antibiotic ingredients are to blame, and even though no one really seems to be sure of the meaning of "irony," I'm pretty sure it has something to do with unwittingly putting antibiotic cream that you're allergic to on a cut, allowing it to penetrate right into your system.

So wrinkle-free, wash-and-wear, and blended-fiber clothes may be a problem. Basically, I might have to buy an entire wardrobe of hand-wash wool and cotton. Or become a nudist. Before taking either of those leaps, however, I'm trying to switch all of my products to see if this clears up. I brought in a suitcase to my testing full of all the products in our house and came home with approval to continue using about 15% of them. Above, you can see the binder of info the doctor gave me, most of which is comprised of an itemized list of products that are safe for me to use. It's kind of a pain. in. the. ass. to bring a binder to Target or Walgreens, where I may or may not find something because many of the products are a bit obscure (hey, if you can't get it at Target...) and I don't necessarily have a ton of choices (for example, below you can see that of 150 reported conditioners, I can only use 17). Don't tell my optometrist, but I have yet to find an eye makeup remover. Honestly though, I can't complain. All kinds of horrible theories have been spinning a web of anxiety, so finding a relatively benign cause and being able to do something after a year of discomfort is so welcome.

Aaaaand, onto more fun crafty things. While I was pacing the main floor of my house concentrating on not itching, I was neglecting to prepare for the second HandmadeMN Market. Sure enough, I left all my business cards at home along with my receipt book and some of my more popular products. Still, it was a fun and profitable show thanks to the HandmadeMN leaders (Toni, Lindsay, Kelly, Jenny...) and their crack teams of helpers. The time of year didn't hurt either. Hoards of our customers were out holiday shopping. Everything I bought was for myself :) except for the ladybug hair clip.