I'd forgotten I'm allergic to decaf. Well, "a sensitivity to" might be a better phrase, as I don't have a fast, distressing reaction. It took me a while to figure it out, because it's winter and the temps have been extreme and I sincerely thought that it was just a really bad case of winter skin. Then yesterday I was washing dishes and glanced over and remembered the decaf thing. I used to think it was because of my formaldehyde allergy, having been told once that formaldehyde was a by product of the decaffeination process, but research shows that that particular process is no longer in use. So there's something about the way that Folgers decaffeinates their coffee that has been giving me the all-over itchies.
There are several decaffeination processes, but according to their website, Folgers uses the ethyl acetate method. They're allowed to call it "naturally decaffeinated" because the chemical occurs in nature.
A trace amount of ethyl acetate may remain in the coffee beans after we complete the decaffeination process. The amount is so small—less than ten parts per million—that a person would have to drink more than 500 cups of our coffee to equal the amount of ethyl acetate in one very ripe banana.That may be it. I've been drinking a lot of decaff at night this winter and around Thanksgiving I settled on Folgers as the one that tasted least cruddy (without getting into the high-end stuff). Whatever it is, it's built up in my system and it'll take a little time to detox. I'm taking Benadryl when it gets bad (my Claritin wasn't helping much) and only drinking Swiss water processed decaf, which has never been a problem.
All I know is I cut out the decaf yesterday and the itching, slightly swollen face (I thought I'd gotten frost-nipped) and general logginiess has diminished by half.
Deals of the week:
Staples: Safeway has their house bread on sale for $1.25 a loaf up here. I bought six and put them in the big freezer, and I'll probably buy six more before the ad turns. The cheapest bread I can find up here is Walmart's house brand at about $1.79, which frankly tastes like sawdust.
TurboTax: I love TurboTax. Since I'm technically a consultant (and therefore self employed) I have to do the whole Schedule C thing. Add to that the Permanent Funds (we have to either file a 1040 for the kids or declare them on our income) and the fact that some years it's better for us not to itemize, I rely on this to help me get it right. The Home and Business version is almost $100 at their website, but only $86 at Sam's Club (it's cheaper at Amazon, but I didn't want to wait). Remember: If you just have a basic 1040 you can do your federal taxes for free at TurboTax or the IRS website.
Markdown Meat: The markdown meat deals were great at Sam's today. "assorted" pork chops, $1.58 a pound. And the always popular chicken thighs, $1.49 a pound. Yay FoodSaver!
I have a fondness for the daytime court shows. Favorites: Judge Joe Brown and Judge Hatchett. Better than the soaps, I suppose. It's less the often Springer-like defendants and plaintiffs, and more the no nonsense way these judges have of slicing through the bologna.
Lessons learned: Always get it in writing. Be sure all the bases are covered. Read whatever you sign. Bring your evidence. Don't try to put one over on a judge.