Friday, February 27, 2015
     
Working on the show's entrance feature on Thursday is Pricila Minetti with Valley Forge Flowers. The show opens to the public on Saturday.

PHILADELPHIA – Lights, camera ... blossom!

Floral and garden designers are paying homage to Disney and Pixar films at the Philadelphia Flower Show, which opens Saturday with the theme "Celebrate the Movies."

Meticulously landscaped exhibits have been inspired by more than a dozen features, from "Frozen" and "Finding Nemo" to "Cars" and "Cinderella."

Working on the show's entrance feature on Thursday is Pricila Minetti with Valley Forge Flowers. The show opens to the public on Saturday.

PHILADELPHIA – Lights, camera ... blossom!

Floral and garden designers are paying homage to Disney and Pixar films at the Philadelphia Flower Show, which opens Saturday with the theme "Celebrate the Movies."

Meticulously landscaped exhibits have been inspired by more than a dozen features, from "Frozen" and "Finding Nemo" to "Cars" and "Cinderella."

Michael C. Piccione and Elizabeth M. Krome
The engagement of Elizabeth M. Krome of Gilbert, and Michael C. Piccione of Phillipsburg, New Jersey, was announced by her parents. The bride-to-be is the daughter of Larry and Patricia Krome of Gilbert. She is a graduate of Pleasant Valley High School. She is currently employed at ESSA Bank & Trust in Stroudsburg. The prospective bridegroom is the son Gale Piccione of Phillipsburg, New Jersey, and Charles Piccione of Bangor. He is a graduate of Phillipsburg High School and Allentown Business School.

Q. I'm tired most days and I never feel rested. Could I have sleep apnea?

I urge you to get to a doctor for a diagnosis because sleep apnea can be a serious disorder. High blood pressure is common in sleep apnea. Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during sleep stoppages increase blood pressure and strain the cardiovascular system, raising the risk of heart failure and stroke.

About 18 million Americans have sleep apnea. It's much more common in older adults and men. Apnea is Greek for "without breath."

Q. Should I be worried about bird flu?

The risk from bird flu is low for most people, because the viruses do not usually infect humans.

Animal diseases that can be transmitted to humans are known as "zoonoses." Seniors are among the most vulnerable to zoonoses. You can get one of these diseases from a household pet.

Q. I'm a senior who's having surgery and the one thing that scares me more than anything else is the anesthesia. Can you tell me anything to reduce my fear?

There are probably several sources for your fear. The first is that you're older and wonder if you're at greater risk than someone younger.

The second is that anesthesia can be dangerous to anyone. The third is that you'll lose total control when you're under. I hope some of the facts about anesthesia will help with all of your fears.

Q. Aneurysms are pretty scary things. Do they have any symptoms?

Aneurysms are artery bulges. And, yes, they are scary because, if they burst, they are lethal. Many victims of a ruptured aneurysm die before they get to a hospital.

The type and location of the aneurysm will determine the symptoms.

Chest aortic aneurysms, which occur in the large blood vessel (aorta) that carries blood from the heart to other parts of the body, may cause shortness of breath, a raspy voice, backache or shoulder pain.

KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Southwestern Sweet Potato Chowder has just the right amount of zing.

As we head into our second week of Lent, we have more recipes from Rhianna Cenci, retail dietitian at the ShopRite of Brodheadsville.

We tried the first offering, Southwestern Sweet Potato Chowder, and let me tell you, it's good.

I love sweet potatoes, so this was one I definitely wanted to make. My husband, on the other hand, is not a fan, not even of those ooey-gooey-covered-in-sugar-and-melted-butter versions that grace the Thanksgiving table.

Surprisingly, he tried this chowder, and he loved it.

MATTHEW MEAD/AP PHOTO Start with a classic macaroni and cheese, toss in a few veggies, and you have Green Goddess Macaroni and Cheese.

Do you love macaroni and cheese? Stupid question, right? OK, so let's try this one: How could you love macaroni and cheese even more?

Now we're talking. Because there are all sorts of simple ways to doctor an already awesome pan of basic mac and cheese to take our love of this dish to a whole new level. But let's start with the basics our classic take on macaroni and cheese. Since everyone is pressed for time, we kept it simple with a stovetop version that will have you ready to eat in about 20 minutes.

KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Grilled Broccoli-Sesame Noodles

Today marks the beginning of Lent. During this season of 40 days, many families will abstain from eating meat on Fridays, as part of their religion. I also know of those who will have a light, meatless meal another day of the week as well, and donate the money they would have spent on meat to those who don't have enough to eat.

Whether you abstain from meat for religious reasons or because you just want to eat a little healthier, we have several recipes to share over the next two weeks, courtesy of Rhianna Cenci, retail dietitian at the ShopRite of Brodheadsville.

KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Mexicali Mud, a spicy, hearty soup, perfect for these bitter cold winter nights.

Maybe the name isn't too attractive, but the result is delicious: Mexicali Mud. It's a spicy, cheesy, beefy, bean-filled soup that looks a little like red clay, hence the muddy moniker.

This recipe is adapted from a recipe that was adapted from another recipe. I just spiced it up a bit and added some corn.

It's a hearty soup, filling and loaded with protein. It's easily a meal by itself. Of course I'm always in favor of a crisp green salad on the side, but one or two bowls of this, and I doubt you'd even have room.