Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Good review!

This past Sunday I performed a concerto with the chamber orchestra. I had a blast and got a good review!

Review: KSCO concert of Bach's music wonderfully satisfying in Bijou from Knoxville News Sentinel

Sunday, January 18, 2009

When lunch lasts too long...

WG (waving a small plastic toy sheep around, finally landing it on the kitchen table where it hops around): "This is Francoise. He's a sheep. He can be a little bit demanding sometimes. He eats our food like this: yomp yomp yomp yomp."

Monday, January 12, 2009

More bad GF news

This is not exactly new news. I think it is important enough to share, though. Wellshire Farm is a company that, among other things, markets to the GF and food allergy community. After a few wheat-allergic children had severe reactions after eating their products, the Chicago Tribune bought a few of their products that were advertised as GF and sent them off to be analyzed. The result? Not GF. Not by a long shot. The products tested anywhere from 119 ppm to 2200 (!) ppm. The US does not currently have a standard for a safe level of gluten, nor is there an official definition of what gluten-free actually means. (So, technically, WF did nothing wrong.) It looks like the wheels are in motion to set a standard, though, and it's looking like it will be set at around 20 ppm.

WG was not "glutened" by these products. They are sold through the Wellshire Farms website as well as at Whole Foods stores. What really makes me mad is that being allergy friendly is one of the main selling points of the WF website.

This bit of news coupled with my recent discovery about the reformulation of several products by Campbell's has me wanting to purge my kitchen of everything except visually identifiable single ingredient foods. I'm frustrated.

If you need to eat gluten free, always read the label. Call manufacturers often. If a product is labeled "gluten free" check to see if it is certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization. The GFCO standard for gluten free is less than 10 ppm. Only a small amount of GF products on the market are currently certified as GF. If we vote with our pocketbooks and buy the products that are, more manufacturers will follow suite and get certified. This is crucial for the health and safety of people with celiac disease because, as we can see, a product claiming to be gluten free is not necessarily gluten free enough.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Okay, I lied. Here is my overdue WG update.

WG had a very nice Christmas. She gave us the supreme gift of sleeping in. She finally came in our bedroom at 8:30 (funny how the definition of sleeping in changes once you have children...) and asked if Santa had come. We've never gone overboard with gifts and we scaled back even more this year. Funny, because I think it wound up being one of our nicest Christmas' ever. WG got art supplies, some "girlie" things (lip gloss and stick on earrings from Santa and a very cute apron and barrettes from Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Ron. The apron says "diva" which made me laugh because it's so true.) She also got a kids digital camera which she LOVES. Hard telling how many pictures she's taken so far but I wouldn't be surprised if it's up around 1000. Once she figured out she didn't have to actually touch the camera to what she wanted to take a pic of she got some pretty decent ones. The early pics are mainly of the floor, ceiling and the cat's fur.

WG went back to school this week. She has cried every day and has been counting the days down to the weekend. In another week I expect she'll be back to loving school and hating the weekends.

I'm playing a concerto with the orchestra on the 25th. Ack! It's something I'm both excited about and dreading. It's been nice to prepare an actual solo piece again. Pretty much all of my practice time is devoted to learning the orchestral repertoire du jour. I had forgotten how engaging it is to really study a piece. On Sunday I'm doing an interview with the music critic of the local paper as a preview of the concert. The symphony PR rep told me that besides talking about the upcoming concert he is planning on asking me about my symphony blog, specifically about my post about stage etiquette. I'll post a link to that article when it is published.

And now, here are the pictures I promised.

This was taken at Thanksgiving when Granny Julie and Friend John were here. We are all wearing white tops because of a request by Tim's aunt for a family picture. She wanted everyone to wear white tops and blue jeans. Tim doesn't own a pair of blue jeans and it was a miracle that we were able to get WG to wear a pair of pants at all.
Family Thanksgiving 08

I made this top for WG New Year's Eve / Day. It was my first time fully lining something and doing a collar, and I'm pretty tickled at how it turned out. It is enough like a dress that WG likes to wear it. Phew.
Whale top

This is how WG really feels about practicing:
Alice practices 10/08

BUT, she has a beautiful bow hold.

And, finally, here is the most recent pic of the kitchen renovation.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

GF news

I'll post a WG update and some pics later today. I promise!

I wanted to pop on quickly to let you all know of some GF news.

The Good:
If you don't know already, Chex has reformulated Rice Chex to be GF! (YIPPEE!!!) Some stores are stocking the old formula until they run out, so check the label for malt.

The Bad:
Campbells has changed some formulas so that things that were GF are no longer GF. (Boo hiss!!!) NO Pace or Prego products are GF. (This would explain the sore in WG's mouth. I have a bottle of Pace sitting in my fridge right now. Grrr.) Also now on the forbidden list are Swanson's Lower sodium Beef broth, Ready to serve beef broth, and all organic broths.

It's a reminder that being vigilent and reading labels is still important even when the GF diet has become easy.