A bit of an update on those rugs I made from scrap yarn using the knitting spool. They both washed up really well--except for two things. The rug made with the sugar and cream cotton yarn was so heavy and dense it took forever to dry. The other, made with the synthetic worsted weight yarns, washed well but the backing did not. However, I discovered that I don't have to attach the non-slip shelf liner to the rug to get the benefit of the non-slip function. Simply laying the rugs on top of a piece of liner, cut slightly smaller than the rug, does the job.
I came across this article in the New York Times this morning. We have all, I am sure, seen the news stories on the rising rates of asthma in both children and adults over the last several decades. For a long while now, Mom and I have wondered if that increase might be due, at least in part, to the penchant for almost sterile cleanliness we have in this country. Children, especially, simply are not exposed to allergens and cannot develop an immunity. I remember a recent '60 Minutes' segment on efforts to deal with children's nutritional problems in parts of Africa by making available an easily digested food supplement made from peanuts (a kind of fortified peanut butter, actually.) I was surprised by the response of one of the inventors to the question of how many allergic reactions they had had: none. In this country, peanut and other nut allergies are a major problem--so much so that some schools have removed anything with nuts from the cafeteria lines. The Times article mentions lack of immune exposure as a leading possible cause but also includes other possible culprits, all artifacts of our modern life: vitamin D deficiency, aerosol cleaners, and the switch from aspirin to acetaminophen. It is something to think about.
I got the Burpee's seed catalog yesterday and it has been a delight. We are looking at veggies mostly but some of the flowers are stunning. I haven't seen a seed catalog in a very long time since I haven't had much of an opportunity to garden in a very long time. We found a nice large selection of Burpee seeds at the local Home Depot. So I will be making a list with a couple of alternatives in each category and see what the local store has. Burpee will still get some of our money but so will our Home Depot. I like keeping things local.