Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Urgent recall of Acme Smoked Fish

Giant Food, out of Landover, Maryland, has issued a recall of 564 pounds of Imported Acme 4oz. (113g) vacuum packs of Smoked Nova Salmon. The affected packages are from lot L.05122014. It's being recalled because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

According to the FDA press release, "This organism can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy persons may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women."

Giant Food operates grocery stores in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services discovered the contamination after random testing revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in one 4-ounce package.

Fortunately, no illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

Consumers who have purchased this product should return it to the store or throw it away.

You can contact Acme for further details and full refunds 718-383-8585.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

It's not winter, but maybe it is

This is a man holding a barn owl in front of his face, because it's funny
Daylight Savings Time ended just two days ago, and dammit it feels like it's winter already, with complete darkness by 6 p.m. every night. There are promises in the air of even earlier nightfall just around the bend, when it starts getting dark at 4:30 p.m.

What is this magic?

Unfortunately, the combination of the shorter days and the upcoming stress of the holiday season (which, in our family, is compounded by three back-to-back birthdays added in) usually contributes to a personal feeling of melancholy, and sometimes abject dread. On days like today, even though it is not yet winter, and when I have a lot going on that isn't really the greatest, those feelings threaten to overwhelm, and it sucks.

I'm not ready for winter.

I'm not sure I ever will be.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween 2014: Zombie edition

This year, the girls weren't interested in Who-inspired costumes. Thus, our costume planning was nowhere near as intense as last year, which involved dozens of little purple balls that needed to be attached to a tutu.

My 4-year-old decided early on that she wanted to be a zombie, which I thought was pretty awesome. She doesn't watch zombie anything, but she knows that they look cool and often are decorated with blood.


She saw an Elsa dress at Target and said she wanted to be Elsa.

While I encourage my kids to be individuals, I still have to let them choose what they want instead of what I want. When they're babies and toddlers, sure, they look how I want them to look, but at some point, they begin to show their own personality and embrace their own likes and dislikes. This has been difficult for me because I was super uninterested in mainstream culture as a teen, and remain so to an extent today.

However, Willow, who has watched Disney's Frozen dozens of times, is fairly enamored of Arendelle, its inhabitants and the story presented in the film. She's not hog-wild about Frozen, but she definitely likes it. And that's fine. But when she saw that costume and declared that she wanted to be Elsa, I admit that a part of me was thinking, "Crap. Just like a million other little girls. DANG IT."

I definitely thought it, but I didn't say it. Because it's not my job to judge what she likes. So I agreed and let her think about it some more, and soon she developed a new idea. "Can I be an Elsa zombie?" she asked.

Sure. Sure you can.

I got a fancy Elsa dress through a friend and ordered a non-toxic makeup kit and we were set. And her big sister decided that she wanted to be a regular zombie and this was probably the easiest, least expensive Halloween ever, and it was still super awesome.

I also have to say that the makeup kit was great. I bought a 5-pack because they looked tiny and I didn't want to run out. And when I got the kit, I was afraid that they were still too tiny and they wouldn't work.

HOWEVER. I was pleased to find that a little bit goes a long way. We barely scratched the surface even after I decorated two whole faces. It also came with applicators and a tiny bar of soap, so yes, I would definitely recommend Elegant Minerals.