Saturday, August 30, 2014


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

With the bitter cold temperatures outside right now, a warm bowl of soup is the ultimate comfort food, and this soup more than fills the bill.

Zuppa Rustica is the result of several reincarnations of a soup from a famous restaurant chain. The soup is one of my husband's favorites, and one he orders often. A few years ago, I found a copy cat version of the soup online, and gave him the recipe.

Never one to follow exact directions, he made a couple alterations, and his version was richer and tasted better than the original.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Q. I'm 68. Should I get the shingles vaccine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says adults 60 and older with normal immune systems should get the shingles vaccine.

Shingles is a painful skin disease caused by the chickenpox virus awakening from a dormant state to attack your body again. Some people report fever and weakness when the disease starts. Within two to three days, a red, blotchy rash develops. The rash erupts into small blisters that look like chickenpox. And it's very painful.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The first time I made French Onion Soup it was for one of my very first dinner parties. I really wanted to impress these friends, so I decided to give the soup a practice run.

Using a recipe with pictures and step-by-step instructions that I had found in a magazine, I sliced several pounds of onions (stopping every now and then to rinse my burning eyes with cold water). I sautéed and stirred, and patiently waited until the onions were the perfect shade of brown (as shown in the directions), and then let my soup simmer for what seemed like hours.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Q. I just turned 77 and I was wondering what my chances are of getting to 100. What do you think?

If you want some idea about your life expectancy, you can check out a table provided by the U.S. Social Security Administration. It is located at

The table indicates that someone who is 77 today can expect to live another 11.26 years. Of course, if you are a healthy geezer, you can do better than the average.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Food is love.

That's probably the last thing any nutritionist or dietitian wants to see in print, but if we're being honest, we have to admit that many of our strongest memories involve food: A favorite dinner cooked by Mom on our birthday; Grandma's apple pie, warm from the oven; or even an overcooked hotdog (just the way I like them!), grilled by Dad at the first cookout of the year.

Holidays, first dates, weddings, baptisms -- food evokes memories of not only good times, but of family and friends.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Q. I wear dentures now. Any pointers I should know about?

The following are some tips for eating with dentures:

Ÿ Don't bite with your front teeth or pull your food outward from your mouth.

Ÿ Chew food on both sides of your mouth simultaneously to stabilize your dentures.

Ÿ Cut food into small pieces.

Ÿ When you first eat with your dentures, you should avoid sticky foods, raw vegetables and hard-to-chew meats.

Ÿ It is more difficult to feel inside your mouth when you wear dentures, so be careful with hot foods and anything with small bones.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Q. What exactly is a floater that you see in your eye?

Floaters create images in your eye that look like specks, filaments, rings, dots, cobwebs or other shapes. Floaters are the most vivid when you are looking at the sky or a white surface such as a ceiling. They move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly.

Some biology first.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

This is the fourth and last column in a series about vision correction.

There are three basic ways to correct faulty vision: eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery. In this column, we'll cover surgery.

Surgery is used to correct a variety of eye disorders. Of special interest to seniors is surgery for cataracts, so we'll start there.

A cataract is a clouding of the lens, the clear part of the eye that helps focus images like the lens in a camera. Cataracts can blur images and discolor them.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

This is the third column in a series about vision correction.

There are three basic ways to correct faulty vision: eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery. In this column, I'll cover contacts.

There are two basic kinds of contact lenses soft and hard.

Soft lenses, which are thin and gel-like, are the most popular of the two types of contacts. They come in many varieties and they are very comfortable. I never felt them in my eyes. The following are some choices in soft lenses:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

(This is the second column in a series about vision correction.)

There are three basic ways to correct faulty vision: eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery. In this column, we'll cover eyeglasses.

Eyeglasses correct the following vision problems:

Nearsightedness (myopia), which blurs distant objects.

Farsightedness (hyperopia), which blurs near vision.

Astigmatism is caused by an uneven curvature of the eye's surface that produces abnormal focus.

Presbyopia is a natural condition of aging that makes it more difficult to focus on near objects.