Where I grew tall and my feet hung over the end
The low beam room with the window looking out
On the soft summer garden
Where the boys grew in the trees
-- "Boys In The Trees," written by Carly Simon
I am home. I came back this morning. And instead of going to my place, I went to my parents so I actually do get to sleep in my old bed tonight. Why here?
We're trying to pull together Christmas. One of my sisters was going to do it this year and had asked to be able to do it and then something came up. So my mother thought she had Christmas off for the first time in forever. She was just going to be a guest.
But that changed.
I came over to say hi and see if anyone needed anything because I knew I'd still be charged up from being on the road with the gang. And that's when I got the news about Christmas.
So we spent a lot of time decorating because the grandkids will be here now. When it was going to be at my sister's, it was fine to just have the tree up but with the change, my parents wanted Santa's Village up and all the windows done with 'snow' and a hundred other things.
So we worked on that and, while we did, tossed around what to eat for the meal. My mother is not one to say, "I'll just do what I did last year." A little Martha Stewart wanna-be. (I mean that in a good way. And she is little, my mother. I'm average height but she's only five foot and two inches.)
And now, just when we were having such a sweet little post, some bad news. From the FDA:
FDA NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release: Dec 13, 2010
Media Inquiries: Siobhan DeLancey, 301-796-4668, Siobhan.DeLancey@fda.hhs.gov
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA
U.S. Marshals seize FDA-regulated food stored at rodent-infested warehouse in New Mexico
Government actions keep adulterated food from being distributed
U.S. Marshals, acting under a court order sought by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, today seized chili pods, ground chili, crushed chili, and other chili products located in the rodent-infested food warehouse owned by Duran and Sons LLC in Derry, New Mexico. The New Mexico Environment Department had previously placed an embargo on all products in the company’s food warehouse on Nov. 17, 2010.
The U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico issued a warrant for the seizure of all FDA-regulated food in the warehouse. The federal government’s complaint alleges that the products are adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because they have been held under insanitary conditions and may have become contaminated with filth.
An FDA inspection of the company’s facility between Nov. 15 and 22, 2010, revealed “an active and widespread insect and rodent infestation in the food warehouse,” according to the complaint.
"The alleged violations at this facility are serious and widespread,” said Dara A. Corrigan, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “This prompted the FDA to take aggressive enforcement action to protect the health of consumers.”
FDA investigators found rodent nesting material and dropping on and around food, several rodent gnawed containers of food, and stains indicative of rodent urine. In addition, they saw a live cat, live birds, apparent bird nesting, bird droppings, feces and urine from other animals, live and dead insects, and insect larvae throughout the entire product warehouse. FDA laboratory analysis of samples collected during the inspection confirmed the investigators’ observations.
For more information:
FDA Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations
Can you believe that? Imagine how much more could be found and shut down if the FDA were fully funded? That would be my campaign promise if I ever ran for president: I will fully fund the FDA to help ensure that our food is safe.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"