Tag Archives: alarm devices

Fire Alarms for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Earlier this year, the Orange County Fire Authority started looking for Deaf and hard-of-hearing people who need specialized alarms activated by smoke alarms.  People who qualify for this program can get free vibrating or flashing alarm devices to let them know when the smoke alarm has been activated.  If you think you qualify for these free devices, [...]

Germaphobe

The waiter walks over and sets a glass of ice-water on the table.

“Ew,” my mom says when he walks away. “I don’t like it when restaurants put lemons in your drink.”

For years she’s claimed that lemon wedges have tons of bacteria – picked up because of how much they are handled by bare human hands – and this YouTube video seems to prove she’s right, reporting that over 77% of lemon wedges in drinks tested positive for disease causing bacteria.

My husband has an issue with restaurants that place the silverware directly on the table instead of on a napkin or tablecloth. When I tell him the tables are washed, he says, “Yeah, but have you seen those ratty rags they use?”

What a bunch of germaphobes!

Except I have my issues too. I don’t like touching menus. I especially can’t stand it when a waiter places a menu down on top of my plate. I mean really, when are menus cleaned?

I’m totally of the belief that exposure to bad bacteria can build my immune system. And, logically, I know that menus are only one of many places I’m coming across a boatload of germs. But still, menus freak me out.

Do you have any quirky things you’re a germ-freak about?

Wasa with Baked Brie, Brown Sugar and Walnuts

Ingredients

1 wheel (8 ounces) brie cheese
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 package WASA Sourdough Rye Crispbread (may substitute any WASA variety)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350º
Place brie on sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Top with brown sugar and walnuts.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until brie is warm and melted inside.
Remove from oven, place on serving tray surrounded with crispbread and serve immediately.

TIP: Store leftover cheese in refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.

Prep time: 35 minutes

Serves 8

Nutritional Value Per Serving

Calories 79
Total Fat 5 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 12 mg
Sodium 125 mg
Total Carbohydrate 6 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Protein 4 g
Calcium 4% of daily value

Basic Equipment

I enjoy the beginning of yoga class because the opening is generally “easy” – well, at least physically (the meditating part can bring up its own set of challenges).

But before we practice some of the more difficult poses, we usually we open by sitting in Sukhasana for a few minutes. And then maybe move onto our hands and knees to practice Dog Tilt and Cat Pose. It’s a place for gentle movements. A time to bring awareness to our breath.

The other day at the beginning of class, we were on our hands and knees with a neutral spine (tabletop). The teacher asked us to lift our right arm off the ground and straighten it so it pointed forward. Both of our arms were engaged. The left one pushing the floor away, and the right one reaching for the wall in front of us (in a way where we weren’t scrunching our shoulder blade up to our neck). She had us hold that position. For a long, long time. It was hard. (Don’t believe me? Try it.)

“Some poses can be deceptive,” the teacher said. “Not as easy as they seem.”

I love that about yoga. I love that I don’t need an expensive gym membership or fancy equipment or special shoes to build flexibility and strength. I just need my body, my mind, and my spirit.Š

Retraining Taste Buds

The carrots I hold in my hand are fresh from a local garden. They’re dirty and have wild bushy green tops. I wash and peel the carrots then pick up the knife. I have a long way to go until I can maneuver this utensil like those chefs on the Food Network, but I’m getting better. Faster.

I cut the carrots, chop the onion, dice the celery, slice the mushrooms and throw everything into a skillet with water. While the veggies are steam sautéing I boil tri-colored pasta in a medium pot and steam spinach in a small one. I add tomatoes and tomato sauce to the skillet. When the pasta and spinach are ready I add those too, along with garlic and oregano.

My husband, Ron, wanders in the kitchen.

“What’s for dinner?” he asks.

“Italian Skillet Casserole,” I say.

He leans over my shoulder and investigates the simmering dish on the stovetop.

“Almost all veggies,” I point out.

Cooking healthier foods has been challenging in certain ways, but one thing I completely forgot about when I started this new path is that my husband can’t stand vegetables. He’ll eat certain items (broccoli or beans or salad) because he knows they’re good for him, but he would prefer them as a side dish, not the main dish.

But it just so happens that his company is having a Vegetable Challenge this summer.

So perfect timing.

I scoop out the meal into two bowls, light some candles, and sit down.

It’s delicious, and I look at Ron to see what he thinks. He’s pushing a piece of onion, a hunk of tomato, and a mushroom slice to the side. “I can eat them when they’re small, but these big pieces…” he shakes his head.

“You need to retrain your taste buds,” I suggest softly.

He’s a good sport so he takes a huge spoonful, onion chunks and all, and gives it a go. He likes it. This truly is one of the tastier dishes I’ve made, and when I’m done I push my bowl aside and lean back in the chair.

“Hey, what’s that?” Ron says, peering into my bowl.

“Nothing,” I say.

“Uh-huh,” Ron nods, smirking.

Okay, okay. So I really do consider myself a vegetable lover, but I’ve always struggled with cooked carrots. There is small pile of them left. I guess we both have some retraining to work through.

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