My Visit to the Doctor

I've been struggling with these horrible paper like cuts at the corners of my mouth on and off for a few months now. I did some research online and discovered that my symptoms matched the description of angular chelitis.

According to my research, the initial onsett is due to a nutritional deficit, specifically Riboflavin, Vitamin B12, and iron deficiency anemia. I had recently stopped taking my prenatal vitamins since my youngest was about a year old and I no longer needed the extra vitamins to support a pregnancy or nursing. It made sense to me that I would get chelitis since I was no longer getting the extra iron or vitamin B. I went to the store and bough over the counter Prenatal vitamins. Within a few days, my symptoms were gone!

Well, the paper like cuts re-appeared and now the dry skin was also around my entire lips, top and bottom. It hurt to eat, it was embarrassing to be in public, etc. So, I looked online for some answers again.

Based on what I read, food deficiencies can also trigger an onset. But I eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains daily, so that couldn't be the cause. I was also taking the prenatal vitamins, so I didn't think that there was a vitamin deficiency. Another reason I read about was not having any teeth being a cause. Well, that certainly doesn't apply to me because I have a mouthful of teeth!

I decided to make a doctor's appointment for some guidance on prevention and a solution. I had stopped drinking orange juice and eating other foods that aggravated my condition. As luck would have it, by the time I went to see the doctor, my symptoms had all but disappeared. I went ahead to see the doctor anyways.

I told him about my symptoms and what I had tried to make it better. He looks at my mouth, specifically around the corners. He tells me, "Sometimes when you are sleeping saliva gets in the corners and that is the cause" (said in a voice like Apu's from the Simpsons). Oh, okay, so basically what you're telling me is that I drool in my sleep? This doesn't make sense to me, but okay. He says to put some Cortisone on it for a couple of days and things should be fine.

Not the solution I was hoping for! I guess I'll just have to keep on doing what I have been and hope it eventually gets better, or go to see a dermatologist!

Campfire Cooking: Lesson One

Now that it's finally camping season here in NW Pennsylvania I thought it might be fun to run a series of Campfire Cooking Lessons.

Campfire cooking takes a bit of skill and practice, so let's start out with some basics. You want to make sure that you follow all the rules of the campground you're at to start with. Here are some general guidelines;

Campfire cooking requires a clean-burning, hot fire. This is only achieved with dry, seasoned wood. Stripping trees of green wood is fruitless - your fire will be smoky, will burn poorly and create unnecessary pollution. If dry wood is not available, it will need to be packed in. Many public campgrounds supply firewood - call ahead to see what's available.

Most public campgrounds have fire rings or fire pits at each site. However, if you are out in the woods here are some general guidelines for building your own;

Prepare the site - Select a fire site at least 8' from bushes or any combustibles. Be sure no tree branches overhang the site.- Make a U-shaped perimeter using large rocks or green logs. If using logs, they'll need to be wet down from time to time. If breezy, have back of firepit face the wind. - Put a large flat rock at the rear of the firepit to act as a chimney. The "chimney rock" will help direct the smoke up and away.

Lay the kindling - Fill the fire area with crumpled paper or tinder.- Lay kindling over paper in layers, alternating direction with each layer. Use thin splits of wood or small dead branches. Do not put kindling down "teepee style". The whole fire area should be covered with the kindling stack.- Set a bucket of water near the fire area. Light the paper to start your fire.

Build the fire, grade the coals- When kindling is ablaze, add firewood. The wood should be all the same size, as much as possible. Use hardwood or hardwood branches if available. Distribute wood evenly over fire bed. - As soon as the last flames die down leaving mostly white coals, use a stick to push the coals into a higher level at the back end and lower level at the front. This will give you the equivalent of 'Hi', 'Med' and 'Lo' cook settings. Or, level the coals to your preference.

To cook, set the grill on rocks or wetted green logs. Put food directly on grill or in cookware and prepare your meal. If cooking directly on the grill, a small spray bottle or squirt gun is handy for shooting down any rogue flames, usually caused by food drippings.As the fire diminishes, bank the coals to get the most heat from them.

After cooking, add wood for your evening campfire. Before retiring, extinguish thoroughly and soak with water. Turn rocks in on fire bed. It will be easy to reassemble the next day if required.

The first recipe is called "Bannock". Bannock is a type of flatbread usually made in a griddle, about the thickness of a scone.

Bannock is simple to make, four basic ingredients, one bowl to wash. This kids' favorite is tasty, nutritious and fun to cook on a stick over the campfire. It can also be cooked in a skillet. Bannock can be a meal in itself.

2 - 3 cups flour
1 - 2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt (optional)
2 - 3 Tbsp oil, butter or lard
2/3 cup warm water

Directions: Put everything but the water in a bowl and mix with your fingers until crumbly. Slowly add water and mix until dough feels soft. It may seem that you don't have enough water, but keep working the dough till it holds together. Don't add more water!Take a small handful and wrap around the end of a green stick, like a marshmallow roast. Knead it so it stays together. Cook over coals for about 10 - 12 minutes, rotating to cook evenly. Eat as is, or add a bit of jam or honey.

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Does anyone else remember playing this game as a child? I sure do.

Padiddle is a game played on long car rides, particularly when going on vacation or such. But it can be played on short rides into town as well.

When I used to play the game was played as follows; someone in the car spots an oncoming car with one headlight on and one off. The first person to yell, "Padiddle!" and touch the ceiling scored a point. We'd usually see how many we could get in total, but sometimes the 'winner' was whoever got 5 or 10 oints first.

I hadn't heard the term since my high school years, then this past week my car headlight blew. The next day I heard a woman on the radio talking about 'padiddles' and she had never heard the term. While camping this weekend, I was asked by the manager if I knew my car had a 'padiddle'. That's 2 references and my own car in one week. It was a sign!

According to Wikipedia, it's most popular/common on the East Coast, specifically New York and New Jersey. Makes sense to me, I grew up in NY! Apparently the rules change based on where in the country you play the game.

Here's a few of the most common rules;

Rules may include:

  1. Only headlights count. No tail lights.
  2. If the driver sees a Padiddle in the rear window, he can call it, while passengers can't. This is known as the "driver's handicap", as they have to pay attention to driving.
  3. If someone is seen driving with their indicator still on, that counts as a Padiddle.
  4. Calling a false Padiddle will incur a penalty of one point, item of clothing, etc (for aggressive games, players lose all points).
  5. If a Padiddle is called which no one else can see (eg. through a median, fence or trees), then it can be challenged within 3 seconds for dismissal. If no one challenges it, then it counts.
  6. If there is a tie at the end of the night, the rule states, that the driver, if involved, always wins. Like in blackjack, dealer always wins. Driver reserves the right to throw anyone out of the car.
  7. If you find special vehicles with one light out, (emergency vehicles, semi traliers etc), they are special and double the reward.
  8. An additional rule to Padiddle (not noted above), is that if somebody in the car sees a car with no headlights then that person shouts 'suicide' and hits the roof. the last person to shout suicide and hit the roof must remove all articles of clothing.
  9. If one doesn't want to follow the rules, they can ask to owe a certain amount of 'padiddles' or 'suicides' next time the game is played
  10. 'Permanant' Padiddles are padiddles that occur when the vehicle has been crashed at the headlight, rendering the headlight house unable to hold a replacement headlight. These padiddles can be called during daylight hours.
  11. Players may modify the word "padiddle" using the type of vehicle in question, ie. "bus-diddle" or "truck-diddle". This is only to occur with rare vehicles and must never be used for "car-diddles".
Do you remember any other childhood car games? I'll add a couple others that I remembered this week as I was traveling down "Padiddle" memory lane!

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