Cape Gazette
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Adventures in Drool: Pick a peck of pumpkins

By Rachel Swick Mavity | Oct 22, 2012
Source: File Enjoy a quick apple crisp after a fall hike.

Note: Fitness Friday will return Friday, Oct. 26.

 

The fall air is definitely sweeping over the Cape Region. This kind of weather makes me get the urge to explore in search of crispy, beautiful fall leaves. It's time to enjoy fall festivals, like Sea Witch in Rehoboth Beach, coming up this weekend, or to take the whole family out to a pick-your-own-pumpkin patch.

I passed two pumpkin patches over the weekend and both were brimming with families. Children were running and jumping in an effort to find the perfect pumpkin. It was a beautiful sight.

What do you enjoy doing in the fall weather?

 

Danger lurking in our home

Because of the chilly weather, I began the arduous task of removing window air conditioners and storing them in the attic for winter.

Our attic is basically a slightly larger crawl space. In pushing one of the air conditioners into the space, my back hit the light bulb and broke it.

The CFL light bulb shattered and fell from my back to the floor.

Not knowing what to do, I quickly checked to make sure I wasn't cut by the pieces, then carefully took off my shirt and stepped out of the attic. I was careful to make sure all the pieces stayed on the attic floor.

What was I to do?

I had heard that mercury contained in CFL light bulbs was toxic and could harm children and adults if ingested. How was I to know if the mercury was now all over the attic?

Here is one response I found online via Treehugger.com:

"Although mercury is a toxic pollutant, mercury exposures from broken CFLs are not likely to harm you and your family. This is due to several factors, including the amount and duration of your exposures and the specific type of mercury that you are exposed to. Mercury in CFLs are present as elemental (or metallic) mercury. Once spilled, you can be exposed to elemental mercury by touching it, after which it can be eaten and/or absorbed through your skin. More importantly for health, you can also be exposed to mercury through the air, as elemental mercury vaporizes readily (essentially becomes a gas) and can thus be inhaled into your lungs. Breathing elemental mercury into your lungs is generally more dangerous than if you ate the mercury or absorbed it through your skin. Once inhaled, the mercury vapor can damage the central nervous system, kidneys, and liver.

These toxic effects are why any mercury spill should be handled carefully, including one that results from a CFL breaking. Having said this, careful handling does not mean that expensive or complicated clean-up of the spill is needed or that you should be worried about you or your family's health, if a CFL were to break in your home.

This is because CFLs contain relatively small amounts of mercury -- EPA estimates this amount to be 4-5 milligrams (mg) in a typical CFL. A spill of this amount of mercury is not likely to present any excess risk to you or your family."

So we weren't all going to die of mercury poisoning. Thank goodness. But the incident really got me thinking about the push to use CFLs. If it had been a regular light bulb, I wouldn't have thought about it any longer than it took to clean it up.

In this case, I carefully swept all the pieces into a plastic zipper bag, then placed the broken base into the bag, sealed it and put it in the trash. Then I had my husband vacuum the area.

It's amazing how sometimes technology actually makes life more difficult!

Well, here's to a great and mercury-free week droolers!

 

Recipe Alert!

This weekend, my family bought gallons of apples, so I had to turn some of those apples into a delicious treat. Note: The following recipe is not a diet recipe - it is a splurge recipe.

Here is a Quick Apple Crisp recipe:

You will need:

• 5 apples, cored and sliced into wedges

• Box yellow cake mix

• 2-3 TB ground cinnamon

• 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine

• 4 TB sugar

• 1 TB lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place sliced apples in bottom of large pie dish. Toss with lemon juice. In a separate bowl, mix together cake mix, cinnamon, sugar and melted butter until the mixture is crumbly. Pour on top of apples.

Bake 50-60 minutes.

* You could also use brown sugar and nuts. This is a pretty simple recipe, feel free to get creative!

Enjoy!

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