Important Information on Blood Types of Parents and Children

There are two important facts about the blood types of parents and their children that are not widely known.  One of them caused an unexpected health problem in my family, and the other could have caused a much more serious problem but didn’t.

Please read the facts in red text, and click on the red links and read the information there, before asking questions in the comments.  I am not a doctor or any kind of expert on blood types, just an ordinary person who wrote an article to publicize information that I felt was not clearly enough presented to the general population.

UPDATE: Since I posted this article, I’ve seen that many of the people who read it are looking for information about which blood types can have children together.  Aside from rare mutations, a woman of any blood type and a man of any blood type can have a healthy baby together.

If the mother’s and father’s blood types are the same, this does NOT harm the baby.

In repeated Internet searches over three years, I have never found any report of any problem caused by parents having the same blood type–I have only seen people worrying about this possibility.  There is no reason to worry! If you want to know what blood type your baby might have, or if you are wondering how your blood type can be different from your parent’s, look at these handy tables. Now, back to our story!

No, I’m not talking about Rh factor.  The issue of “positive” vs. “negative” blood and how it affects pregnancy is well-known and mentioned in most books about pregnancy.  Here is a typical article about Rh factor.  Notice how it mentions antigens–the “letter” aspect of blood type, A, B, AB, or O–but then moves on, as if antigens aren’t important. What most people know about antigens is that they are important if you are receiving a blood transfusion.  Putting blood with A antigens into your body, if your own blood does not have A antigens (Type A or AB), will cause an immune response that can kill you.  The same is true for B antigens.  If you are Type O, both A’s and B’s are dangerous, so you should not receive a transfusion of any type other than O.  It is pretty quick and easy for medical professionals to determine a person’s blood type, so we don’t need to worry a whole lot about being given the wrong kind of blood, but just in case, it’s a good idea to know your blood type. These are the two things I didn’t know until after the point when it would have been medically useful to know them: Read more…

Do you have the right to know if your food is Genetically Modified?

If you live in the United States, right now you do NOT have any way of knowing whether the food you buy contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  These are plants or animals whose DNA has been manipulated in a way that does not occur naturally, usually combining genes from two or more species.  More than 40 countries require GMO foods to be labeled, but the U.S. does not, although GMO crops are widely grown here.  Since GMOs entered our food supply in the 1990s, food allergies have skyrocketed, and thousands of acres of farmland have had to be abandoned to new super-weeds.

Sign the Just Label It! petition to tell the FDA that American consumers want genetically modified foods to be labeled.  This isn’t advocating a ban on GMOs.  It’s just asking that our food labels provide the information so that consumers can make a choice.  I mean, gee, if you want to eat GMOs, you should support labeling, too!


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Don’t Save Room for Dessert!

One habit I am very grateful my parents taught me is this: When you finish your dinner, stop eating.  If you get hungry again before bedtime, you may have dessert.  In my childhood home, “dessert” was often canned fruit in syrup, homemade yogurt with jam, tapioca pudding, fruit crisp, a bagel, or something else that tasted sweet but also had some nutrients.  I have continued this habit into my adult life and taught it to my son Nicholas, who’s now seven years old.  Most of the time we don’t plan for “dessert” specifically but eat what we feel like eating for an evening snack–chips and salsa, a bowl of cereal, Raisin Bran Bread, or leftovers from a different night’s dinner are as likely to be “dessert” as are sweets.  At times we don’t have any real sweets (like candy) in the house at all, and when we do all three of us may forget to eat them for days at a stretch because we just don’t have a niche for super-sweet foods in our daily lives.

I cannot advise anyone on how to adopt this habit midway through life, since I’ve always had it.  My point is that this is a great habit to get into as a very young child, so if you are raising a very young child or planning to do so, try to establish this habit for your child.  Just by setting an example while your child is awake (planning to break out the sweets after his bedtime!) you might be able to wean yourself from dessert, too!

There are three main reasons delaying dessert is a good habit: Read more…

7 Delicious Meatless Recipes from Other Sites

Food on Fridays7 Quick Takes FridayHearth & Soul Hop

We enjoy plenty of our own recipes, but I also have fun browsing recipes online and copying down recipes we might like.  Here are 7 that have earned pages in our recipe binder.  If you are vegetarian or vegan or have given up meat for Lent or are observing Meatless Mondays or meatless Lenten Fridays, you’ll appreciate that none of these recipes contains red meat or poultry, only one contains fish, and the last 4 contain no animal foods at all.

1. Lemon Creamy Salmon with Macaroni and a Salad from Crest Cottage Creations

This actually is a recipe for chicken, but we made it with salmon (and vegetable broth instead of chicken broth), and it was fabulous!!  Just open a can of salmon, take out the bones if you prefer, and use it in place of the chicken.  We also used whole-milk yogurt in place of the cream, and the sauce was delicious.  This is a recipe for a full meal: fish in creamy sauce, pasta, and greens with dressing and dried cranberries.  We used kale as our greens–lightly cooked in the oil and vinegar.  My seven-year-old assistant chef appreciated having all his meal components in separate dishes (he even ate the dried cranberries separately) while his parents mixed everything together.

2. Cheesy Walnut Burgers from Taste of Home

This is the recipe my brother found when trying to replicate a burger he’d enjoyed in a restaurant.  These are pretty high in fat but no worse than a hamburger, and boy are they scrumptious!  They are easy to make, freeze well, and after defrosting (or refrigeration) can be reheated on a George Foreman grill.  This recipe works fine with pecans instead of walnuts, if that’s what you have.

3. Creamed Kale with Caramelized Onion from Budget Saving Mom

This is intended as a side dish, but in my enthusiastic opinion, you can stuff a baked potato with it and call it a meal!  The nutmeg really makes it perfect.

4. Brown Rice Salad from My Sweet and Savory

This recipe is ideal for summer picnics or potluck dinners, but it’s also good at any time of year as a side dish or snack that you can make in advance, stash in the refrigerator for a week or so, and eat cold.  The flavor improves as it soaks.  The combination of ingredients may sound odd, but it’s really good.  I’m not a big fan of brown rice, even though I know it’s healthier than white rice, so I was thrilled to find this recipe just after I had bought brown rice on sale.

5. One-bowl Pumpkin Bread/Muffins from Kitchen Stewardship

This is easier than most pumpkin bread recipes yet is the best of any of the several recipes we’ve tried!  Katie’s post includes a “healthy remake” version (that’s the one we use, substituting sorghum syrup for molasses) and helpful suggestions for using up excess pumpkin–although my solution to that problem is just to double the recipe!

6. Garlic Kale Sweet Potato Soup from 365 Days of Kale

This soup is packed with nutritional super-foods and is hearty enough to make a meal all by itself!  (Why, yes, we do eat a lot of kale in our family.  It’s nutritious, it’s cheap, and we’re not worried about it being “goitrogenic.”)  Between the sweet potatoes and the beans, this tasty soup is starchy enough that even I feel full without eating bread or crackers.  We’ve made it several times and think it’s even better with slightly more sweet potato than suggested.  It also works with pinto beans when cannellini beans are too expensive.  It has a rich, tasty, Italian flavor.  Don’t worry about the huge quantity of garlic; it mellows with cooking.

7. Vegan Ginger Cookies from

These are the cookies we baked last fall when one of our son’s friends celebrated his birthday with a cookie competition: Each guest brought a batch of homemade cookies, we all watched as the birthday boy sampled each one and conveyed his impressions, the guests snacked on the remaining cookies while the birthday boy and his parents prepared the award certificates, and then the certificates were presented with much pomp.  Our cookies won Most Crunchy, a high compliment in this boy’s opinion.  He is vegan and allergic to corn, which ruled out several of our favorite cookie recipes, so we were thrilled when this one worked so well.  Now it has joined our favorite cookie recipes!

Thrifty Tips

Today is the Frugal Tips Edition of Works-for-Me Wednesday, so check out the money-saving ideas there!  I happen to prefer the word “thrifty” myself.  This is my big anthology of ways to save money!

I have to start off by responding to Kristen (hostess of Works-for-Me Wednesday)’s first tip, which is to print your own gift tags instead of buying greeting cards.  That does save money, but you know what will save even more?  Making your own tags (or full-size cards) out of free materials.  If you print things, you’re paying for printer ink/toner, paper, and electricity to run your computer and printer.  Some ideas for virtually-free homemade gift tags are in my article on saving money at Christmas.  Here are a few more options:

  • Cut up old file folders (bright-colored ones are especially nice) and use the stiff paper for gift tags or cards.  You can punch a hole in one corner with a standard paper punch and use a bit of ribbon to tie it onto the package.
  • Grab an unwanted sheet of paper that has a lot of text printed on one side but is blank on the other side.  Hand it to your child along with a large set of colored pencils or markers.  (Crayons won’t work unless they’re very new because their tips are too large–unless the text is printed at a largish size.)  Tell him to choose a color for each letter or number and color on all of them: make all the A’s red, all the B’s blue, etc.  This is educational and makes a beautiful pattern!  (It also keeps the kid busy while you are wrapping gifts.)  Then fold the paper in half and write your message on the blank side.
  • Use your sticker collection.  I still have mine in the shoebox where I started it in third grade, when sticker collecting was all the rage; I toss in whatever stickers come my way from junk mail, and once in a while I buy a packet of stickers at a good price, and I’m still using up all those stickers I bought with my allowance (or traded for) in elementary school!  Decorate paper with stickers to make a unique card.  I have made some very surreal ones in a sort of mad-lib style by putting together stickers with words on them.  Other times I set up animal or character stickers in a scene and draw word bubbles.
  • Clip silly or pretty pictures from magazines as you come across them.  Glue them onto paper in a collage to make a card, or glue just one very neatly on the front of the card and maybe draw a fancy border around it or give it fancy edges with pinking shears or scallop scissors.
  • Use those greeting cards that come free in the mail from various charities.  If they aren’t your style, draw in extra bits or add stickers for ironic humor.

Now for some other thrifty tips I don’t think I have mentioned before . . .  Read more…

It’s like we’re related or something.

I have a very good memory for details.  The best I can explain it is that I retain a lot of details from my experiences and reading, and they are connected to one another in a massive and complex web that I nonetheless find very easy to follow, moving along from one irrelevant-sounding detail to another until I find the fact I seek.  Although this process is very pleasing to me, I’ve gradually become aware that many people find it boring or irritating even to hear about, so I try to avoid spelling out how I retrieved the information in favor of getting on with what I’m saying.

I don’t know if I taught this thought process to my 7-year-old son or it’s inherited, but a few days ago we had the following conversation:

NICK: There’s a certain toy I really need to have, but I’m not sure what to call it.  What’s that dip made from avocados? Read more…

How the Dishwasher Changed Our Lives

A little over a year ago, we got a new dishwasher and became (for the first time in my life) a household that uses a dishwasher routinely.  Read my previous article for lots of information on how dishwashers actually use less water and energy than washing dishes by hand, and read the comments for important details on water-heating and pre-rinsing.  Now I’ll give some updates on what we’ve learned in our year with a dishwasher.

I went from spending about 4 hours a week hand-washing dishes to spending about 1 hour a week–I still have to hand-wash these items: Read more…