Younger Son (Matthew).
He forwarded this to me with the comment, "I was just thinking you could rally some of your fellow knit/blog moms to try and make it a little tastier/safer."
Did you know that Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is formulated differently for countries in Europe than for the U.S.?
Crazy, but true! The fact is, that in 2008, Kraft removed artificial colorings, like yellow #5, and chemical sweeteners, like aspartame, from the products that they distribute in Europe, Australia, and other developed countries due to consumer concern over scientific studies that link these synthetic ingredients to hyperactivity and asthma in children. But, they haven’t done the same thing here in the U.S., our voices are needed to make that change here too!
Please join me in writing to the Kraft CEO, Irene Rosenfeld, a mother of two herself, requesting that Kraft remove these same ingredients from their products here in the U.S.
Kraft took these chemicals and additives out of their European products. If we want Kraft to do this for us in the U.S., then Kraft needs to hear from us! Their products are in the vast majority of American households. Together, we can affect remarkable change and have these ingredients removed from the products that Kraft distributes here in the U.S
Along with this:
Dear Charlie Super [not her real name],
Thank you so much for sending a letter to Kraft. As I'm sure you know, the more letters Kraft receives, the more impact we'll have, so take a moment to spread the word. Just forward the email below to your friends, family or co-workers. Together, we can move mountains and have these terrible ingredients removed from the products that Kraft distributes here in the U.S.
Thanks for all that you do,
Kite [not her real name either]
So in answer to the question, Do I use my power for good or awesome? I choose good. Write to Irene Rosefeld @ Kraft if you are so moved.
When he picked me up from the hospital yesterday, this self-described lazy, good-for-nuttin' bear had just worked 4 out of the past 5 shifts. Hospital is a bit short-staffed this summer in the mental health units -- nurses on vacation, others taking their own mental health day(s), a slight surge in admits -- so the opportunity for picking up double shifts is there, and he is taking advantage. I don't remember the exact figures, but when we counted up his shifts in August he is working something like 365 shifts in 31 days. Heh. That's good for the old bank balance...
Elder Son (Andrew).
I don't remember if I blogged about this, but Andrew failed anatomy last fall in his first semester in med school. There were multiple causes -- it was a pure memorization course with zero logical thinking required (not his kind of thing); the US and world were going through the biggest economic meltdown since the Great Depression, and my summa cum laude econ graduate couldn't resist following the news closely; there was a presidential campaign and election going on, and my intensely political son, ditto; and he didn't particularly like the professor. These are not excuses -- he knows now that he should have allocated his time differently. Live and learn, kid...
When he failed the mid-term exam he called home in utter shock and despair. This was the first thing he had EVER failed. Mom and Dad didn't give him a lot of sympathy. If I recall, my comment was, Remember all the times you have told us about not studying for a test and somehow pulling it out of your as and getting an A because you knew just enough and could bullshit your way through the rest? Eventually that tactic will bite you. And it did.
He studied his ass off the second half of the semester, conferred regularly with the professor, did everything he could to ensure that he passed the course. But it didn't quite work, he failed by 1 point.
The remedy was that he would have to take anatomy again and pass it; the first available opportunity was to take it in summer school with a bunch of undergrads at NYU, his old alma mater. He borrowed some more tuition and rent money from whatever source his med school funding is coming from and prepared for a less-than-exciting summer.
In May he learned that there was another alternative: a nationally administered test given twice during the summer, that, if he passed it with at least a 70%, would satisfy the professor that he had learned anatomy well enough to proceed in med school. He signed up to take it the first time it would be given, late June, I think. As soon as second semester finals were over he began to study in earnest.
Taking the test in June meant that he had freed up the rest of his summer, so he arranged a trip to Senegal; he would replace another student who, due to family health problems, would not be able to go and perform a public health research project. Andrew has been particularly interested in the health situation in Senegal for several years; he and another med student have been trying for a year to create a (501(c)(3) (non-profit) group to work there and to raise funds for their efforts.
But once again, the best-laid plans, etc. He emailed in mid-June that he didn't feel he was ready for the test and so was rescheduling it for August and canceling his Senegal trip. He was being ultra-responsible but was extremely (and understandably) bummed at how things were going.
Well, to make a long story short -- oops, way too late for that! -- he passed the test and is now walking as though he had dislodged a 16-ton weight from his shoulders. Which he has. Congrats, kiddo!
* * * * *
My knee and ankle surgery went just fine. Very little post-op pain, probably due in large part to the constant cold packs on the affected areas and the steady level of Vicodin in my blood stream. I can walk fine if I need to but have orders to keep the leg elevated for 72 hours.
Here is the *foreign body* that the surgeon removed from my knee. It is a piece of cartilage that looks and feels like a baby tooth:
The hardware the other surgeon removed from my ankle:
I am sure those two longer screws at lower left are from somebody else's bone. There were only seven short screws in mine -- I counted them on the X-ray, plus there are exactly seven holes in the plate. The surgical nurse came into the post-recovery room once to take back something that had been originally put into my show-and-tell package; I think she screwed up, pun intended. (But I have complete faith in the surgeon, so I won't hold the nurse's little error against them.)
Thanks for all your good wishes here and on Facebook and Twitter -- y'all are great!