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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve
Can¡'t believe Christmas is here so SOON! I have never been so behind¨ before but life got in the way. The cumaden and my INR got out of balance and I made the mistake of blowing my nose one evening. When after a couple of hours and a glorious mess I couldn't get it to stop I had to call 911. Had a nosebleed 15 years ago almost as bad (that from med I was given too) so it was a little scary. To make a long story short, since last Thursday I have had 4 ambulance rides , four visits to the ER and two nights in the hospital. Every time they cauterized the nostril, then packed it, (and that was not not not fun) it didn¡¦t work and the bloody faucet was running again. Only today have I gotten the blood out from under my nails.!!!!! The last torture session yesterday has worked so far. Needless to say, I am just a little nervous and have failed to wrap my sister¦s gifts or write the cards I had out to send. But I have a good excuse, right??
Starting Meals on Wheels next week. I'm glad. I have reached the point of not having the energy to carry through the cooking plans (I do love cooking) I used to and find first the delay in using ingredients I have ready to use sometimes spoil and second, that even if I have food prepared I often dom't bother and that¡¦s not good for me. I am simply not hungry so skip meals. If I have food put in front of me, I'll remember to eat, save the money lost on spoilage and perhaps have more energy! They say good nourishment is necessary for activity and alertness !!! (ƒº))
I¡¦m really lucky to be living in Amherst just one block over the line into Amherst, for lots of reasons but in this case because the Meals on Wheels comes from the University of Massachusetts kitchen and is outstanding.
I know I¡¦m 80 but really hadn¡¦t recognized the changes and the alterations that had to be made in my life. I have friends who are watched over (more than they like sometimes) by family and they envy my independence - but I think they are more fortunate than they know. Thinking things through and being aware of life changes that have to be made by myself isn¡¦t always easy. My sister is 75 and in poor health and lives a couple of hour away by car. She helps me talk things out when we have our frequent phone calls.
Happily she will be here for the day tomorrow ¡V weather permitting ¡V and she won¡¦t mind that her gifts aren¡¦t wrapped!
So ¡V even though I won¡¦t be doing (or directing my HHA) much cooking, I know I¡¦ll still be able to read and enjoy new recipes and new methods. Will try to keep up the blog especially with stuff I find about low sodium, but with the knowledge that I don¡¦t HAVE to prepare food ¡V even those recipes I¡¦m anxious to try, actually is a bit of a relief.
Sorry to have neglected this blog for so long but know you will understand now you have a peek into my present life situation. Like very much hearing about all the happy news on the forum and know I¡¦m wishing all good things for you and the other great women I have ¡§met¡¨ there. If I were asked for advice for those in the advanced years, I would have to share what I have learned. . .that God knows what He is doing and it is for me to accept gratefully all the good things I¡¦m given ¡V I read the other day that pain can be alleviated if we shift our thoughts to one of the joyous memories we have, Tried it ¡V works for me ¡Valthough it really didn¡¦t help the ¡§pain¡¨ in my nose !!! (ƒº))
Take good care ¡V do all the good stuff to keep yourselves well and have a lovely holiday.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOLD11042 12/25/2014 12:21PM

  I'm so sorry about your nose bleeds. My mom use to get them and we would make the mad dash to the hospital. No fun, huh? Have a Merry Christmas and I don't think your sister will care about her gift not being wrapped. Just enjoy the day and your company.

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CRUISEGAL55 12/24/2014 6:12PM

    Wishing you & your sister a Merry Christmas. I hope your nose behaves. No more ambulance rides for you.
If you will be starting meals on wheels & should be restricting your sodium intake, be sure to tell them you need the lowest sodium choices.
Thanks for sharing your story.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAIZYSTARLITE 12/24/2014 5:56PM


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Monday, December 08, 2014

I just finished watching Robert Irvine on the Food Network. He usually hosts the show the show Restaurant Impossible, but today he spent his time and the money provided to him to help the wonderful camp in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, the Double H Ranch for children who are severely handicapped in so many life threatening ways. Watching the children, their joy, their enthusiasm. the way they join in the many activities is inspiring. The volunteers who work at the Ranch and the extraordinary leaders and staff there are unbelievably experienced, dedicated and caring. Many have been helping, working there for years.
To watch all the amazing renovations Robert brought about, the new equipment and arrangements in the kitchen and his determination to cook a great meal for all. The dining hall had a complete happy make-over and Robert got new equipment and a huge donation.
Without a doubt he saw that much was done for these kids, but what delighted me the most was his interactions with the kids, his enthusiasm and honest caring, his love for the children and his attention to their needs. His summing up – the kids have stolen my heart. Tonight he made his space in my heart all the stronger. He is an amazingly good man.
Do try to see a rerun. I'm sure the program will touch your heart too/

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANGEL27551 12/20/2014 11:31PM


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ROBEC4175 12/9/2014 7:33PM

    Ditto, Debigene...this is what the season is all about. Merilynn - this put a smile on my face. Thanks for sharing!

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DEBIGENE 12/9/2014 8:49AM

    I will def look for it to run again Meri. Thanks for telling us about it.

This is what the season is all about, ... caring and sharing with others !!!

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Sunday, December 07, 2014

A while ago I came across the word “arepa”. “Arepa” ?? I went on a search and have been delighted at what I found. Arepas, a staple food in both Venezuela and Columbia are made from a special precooked corn flour (Masarepa – I ordered mine from Amazon as I don’t get out to shop). They can be simply made without salt. I used Mrs. Dash salt free French Onion Soup powder (about ½ the little package) in place of the salt. These crispy goodies provide me with “crackers” without the salt and are simple to make and inexpensive.
The thin version with your favorite cheese makes an amazing grilled cheese sandwich. The thicker version is traditionally split and filled with whatever you might use in any sandwich you like. The salt free nature of the stuffed arepa will depend, of course, on what you use for the filling.
For recipes and more information there are now many sites listed when you search on the computer for “arepas”. The site I would suggest you start from is:

and for a little different variety see:

If you have questions feel free to post them here.
Hope you are adventurous and do enjoy!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROBEC4175 12/9/2014 7:38PM

    You two sound very adventurous...I think about making tortilla chips and may do that one day but for now, I just wanted to say that I do use Mrs. Dash instead of salt when I can. Last night I steam kale in a little butter and garlic and the spicy Mrs. Dash and had it with my salmon.

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MERILYNN1 12/7/2014 4:16PM

You must be psychic - the corn tortilla chips are next on my list! Will have to check the Asian markets out - there are bound to be some here with all the college students shopping. Thanks for the tip - M.

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DEBIGENE 12/7/2014 4:04PM

    Hey sweetie I just got home from a nice day out with friends and I purchased some Coconut Balsamic Vinegar. They had so many to pick from and I chose this one. My friend bought Raspberry, Pear and a Rosemary one.

I am familiar with a bread type thing called rappa that I think is hispanic maybe not sure. I wonder if it is similar to what you are making? I have seen this on the cooking channel and I've even seen it frozen in the Asian Market. I think it is similar to Naan or pita. Speaking of pita do you ever make your own pita chips or corn tortilla chips? They too are very easy.

Always good chatting with ya !!!

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Monday, December 01, 2014

Life and age have been getting in my way lately but I am beginning to get back to activities I enjoy - and this blog is one of them. Just got a newsletter from one of my favorite low sodium authors whom I highly recommend to you who are on this low sodium journey with me. Web address is If this doesn't work it's because I got it wrong. You have my permission to shout insults and I will try again!!Hope your Thanksgiving was a happy one (did you know that calories are free on Thanksgiving? as in "don't count"?) Be well Sparkers - Hope I'll be back soon - Meri

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBIGENE 12/2/2014 7:20PM

    ALWAYS good to hear from you friend. How was your Thanksgiving? Did you spend it with family and/or friends? What is your favorite item served during Thanksgiving? Mine is our family sausage stuffing. With Mon gone this year Dad made it and it was excellent !!!

I enjoyed good quality time with my Dad and brothers (well 2 of them) and do not feel like I over ate. I did have a few more desserts than I planned on tho'. They are all gone now and I hope you are right about those calories and they don't show up on the scale this Sunday, LOL !!!

Guess most will be getting in caught up in the Christmas season shopping drama. I am no longer into it since I do not have the means and I refuse to let that pressure get to me. I have decided to make some chocolate bark for a few friends and some cookies for my middle brother that Mom always did that for. I never did get the hang of knitting so no gifts will come from that source. Who knows I may come up with a few other ideas to share the spirit with.

Tell me what you will be doing, would love to hear from you.

HUGS emoticon emoticon

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Thursday, November 06, 2014

BACKYARD by Norman Draper
Flower Gardeners, this book is for you! Those of you who have not only nodding acquaintance but probably speaking acquaintance as well with all the individual flower "characters" present in these pages will be delighted. There is a plot revolving around a gardening contest and the neighborhood psychopath who is determined to maintain her esteemed position at all costs. The rather weak plot is vastly overshadowed by the beauty of the author's word pictures. A fun read for all who love flowers, even when one doesn't know them by name.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROBEC4175 11/7/2014 7:30PM

    I just put a hold on it at my library. It's on order and I'm No.1 in line. :-) emoticon

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DEBIGENE 11/6/2014 10:55PM

    I'll have to tell my avid reader friend about this one. Thanks for sharing Meri !!!

Hope you are doing well my friend.


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JACKIEWALKS4FUN 11/6/2014 6:08PM

    Interesting, thank you. emoticon

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