Friday, April 22, 2011


Recently, I had allergy testing done. The results are in, and the answer is: Yup, you're still allergic to the world.

The good news is: Chocolate is no longer on my food allergy list.

The bad news is: Wheat, eggs, corn, and rice are on the list. That pretty much does away with anything fun to eat that isn't chocolate. Maybe I shouldn't have wished so hard for the chocolate allergy to change.

Just in case you feel a sneeze coming on, let's share a few allergy randoms:

1. Every day, people breathe in about two heaping tablespoons of particles such as pollen, dust, mold, and bacteria.

2. More people are allergic to cow's milk than any other food.

3. About 400 B.C., Hippocrates studied "asthma," which means "I gasp for breath."

4. The term "allergy" was coined by an Austrian physician named Clemons von Pirquet to indicate a "state of altered reactivity resulting from the introduction of a foreign substance or agent into the body."

5. In 1966, Drs. Kimishige and Teruko Ishizaka discovered that an immunoglobulin (now called Immunoglobulin E) in the blood causes allergic reactions.

Ah-choo. Anyone got a tissue? I think that my Immunoglobulin E count is up.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kuk Sool Won

My daughters and my hubby are learning a Korean martial art called Kuk Sool Won. It is a very comprehensive system, and my eldest child is learning useful things like how to dislocate an elbow and how to break various body parts. Just letting any young men out there who might want to date her know this in advance. The whole family has been inspired lately by the story of Choon-Ok Jade Harmon, the highest ranking female in Kuk Sool Won. She has come a long way from her humble birth in Korea to opening her own Kuk Sool school and obtaining her ninth degree black belt. Her compelling story is told with the help Ana-Maria Rodriguez (who is also a Kuk Sool student, and if I'm not mistaken, a black belt) in THE IRON BUTTERFLY. In honor of this story of courage and determination, here are a few Kuk Sool randoms: 1. Kuk Sool Won is a blending of three traditional Korean martial arts -- SahDoh MuSool, BoolKyo MuSool, and KoongJoong MuSool -- by Grand Master In-hyuk Suh. 2. "Kuk Sa Nim" is the title for the Grand Master, who is a tenth degree black belt. 3. The world headquarters for the World Kuk Sool Association is in Tomball, Texas.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tax Day

Tax Day is April 18th this year instead of the usual April 15th. This is a nice break for my hubby, whose birthday is April 15th.

(Mind you, April 15th is also the date Lincoln died and the Titanic sank, but we generally consider it a good day because that's the hubby's birthday.)

In honor of Tax Day, here are a few tax randoms:

1. President Abraham Lincoln created the first personal income tax to finance the Civil War.

2. The Sixteenth Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution to make personal income taxation lawful.

3. The U.S. Tax Code contains over 7 million words. The Bible has roughly 773,000 words, and the Gettysburg Address has only 269.

4. There are currently more IRS agents than there are U.S. troops in Iraq.

5. The IRS maintains its own tax trivia page.