Becky Says...

August 19, 2000

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Several for Saturday

Okay, I'm stymied about something. I need balloons for a project I'm working on, but I need for them to be no larger than tennis-ball size when they get round. Most of the ones I've come across are not round when they don't have much air in them; they're shaped more like American footballs, and that shape won't work. Any suggestions as to brand will be appreciated. I'll be glad to acknowledge you in an entry (or not; choice is yours).

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Because I crochet (for a hobby and for profit), I've already started thinking about Christmas. Don't worry, I'm not yet at the stage of decorating. I'm just thinking about this year's snowflake. Every year of her life, I have made a snowflake for my best friend's daughter. It pleases me more than I can tell you that the child likes my snowflakes.

I first learned to crochet snowflakes years ago, when a different friend mentioned that she would like to have some for her Christmas tree. I made a batch, and gave them to her as an early Christmas gift at Thanksgiving. I got a great deal of pleasure from surprising her, and was flattered beyond belief when I learned later that she had used a smaller tree that year, decorated only with my snowflakes.

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While I'm on the subject of gifts---for those of you planning to remember someone in a nursing home, I have a request. Please don't give gifts or cards with glitter on them. I would never have thought of that till the first Christmas my mother was in a nursing home, and the glitter from a card got onto her hand. She didn't realize it was there, and only sheer luck prevented it from winding up in her eye. I happened to see it as she was reaching up to brush her hair away from her forehead, and stopped her in time. But if someone hadn't been there, it would have been a real problem.

And while I'm making suggestions re: nursing home patients and gifts: please don't take food of any sort until you're sure the patient can have it. Many of the patients are on special diets, and it's important that they follow the diets.

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And that brings up a funny story. After my mother came home from the hospital after the first stroke, different friends of hers wanted to bring food. When they asked if that would be all right, I said it would be most appreciated, and asked them to please remember she was on a low-salt diet. One friend who had a garden called one day and said she'd like to cook and bring some fresh green beans. I went through my usual low-salt message, and the friend assured me that would be no problem.

When the lady brought the beans, she stayed to visit for a bit, but left before mealtime. So Mother and I sat down to eat, and Mother happened to take the first forkful of beans. She commented that they tasted salty. I tried a forkful, and realized that what we had before us were servings of salt with a few beans mixed in for texture!

Apparently our friend had been salting the beans every time she walked past the pot. Either that, or her husband was doing it, thinking she hadn't. Needless to say, neither of us finished our serving. But the beans still left in the bowl weren't wasted---we let them soak a while, then rinsed them a couple of times before reheating them.

And no, we never told the friend. We suspect she figured it out as soon as she sat down to her own meal.

Text copyright 2000 Becky