A WHOLE PAGE ABOUT ME!!!

My name is Christy, but you can call me Dishy. I am a blogger, which means my self absorption knows no bounds and my stated opinion is fact.

This is what I look like.  (I’m the one in the green.)

According to the 2010 census, my husband & I (and the bird too) live full time in our single family property w/ Persons 3 and 4 (our daughters, Maddie & Georgia). They didn’t ask, but given the attention we lavish on this house, it should count as Person No. 5.  We call him Home.

We’re from Philly, but we now live in Portland, MAINE.  I hate having to clarify that, but if I don’t people always assume Oregon.  Even though I’ve never been to Oregon and Portland MAINE of course came first.  And was voted most livable city in 2009.  Yes, it is nice.  You can read more about it out there on my blog.

I may look (semi) normal, but I suffer from a freaky ear plague ailment called Meniere’s Disease.  It is not contagious, and that is very good b/c you do not want it.  It is awful.  Periodically and w/out warning I go deaf, get vertigo, and more.

B/c of this weird disease, I cannot eat any salt. Yes, THAT IS bad. But rather than sit in the corner, crying and moping for the rest of my life, I decided to create a website for people like myself, those burdened with this inescapably awful diet. It is also called The Daily Dish.

It is nice when you do nice things for other people instead of being a self-pitying jerk, is it not? I like making the world a better place. (And just between you & me, I think it might get me bonus points with the Big Guy. But I do not mean to be presumptuous.)

In addition to these fascinating things, I am also an eternal optimist, which is a really great thing to be when you have Meniere’s Disease. When I am not feeling hot I get depressed, but then I feel happy again. So I usually see the glass as half-full. Speaking of glasses, I also LOVE WINE. You may read about some of the wines I enjoy out there on my blog.  Feel free to send me free wine if you like.  Thank you in advance.

If you think I am fun sounding and would like to comment, please do. It makes me feel less alone. And the world is an awfully big place. No?

I like people.  But I do not like keeping up with the Joneses, and if you are someone who does, then I pity you.  Now please go away.  Everyone else, WELCOME!  I am so glad you stopped by.  Now if you will excuse me, life awaits.

99 thoughts on “A WHOLE PAGE ABOUT ME!!!

  1. Love your website! I’m also salt restricted due to cardiac problems. I have a 32 year old daughter also born on Friday the 13th (in June). She was also the 13th baby the nurse midwife had delivered at that hospital (#13 in the log book). We consider every Friday the 13th our “Lucky Day”. Keep up the great work on this website and blog. I really appreciate the great recipes and the bits of your life you share with us.

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  2. just found your blog through your recent pet post:
    so glad to see someone instilling love for pets in their children. read your about page and i just think you sound like “good stuff”! …and i’m not just saying that so your husband doesn’t kick my ass…

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  3. Maddie you are the sweetest ever. I am feeling a little better this morning, slowly but surely. Hope you are working hard. Have a great day at school. See you soon! Love always, Mommy :)

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  4. arrested development is my NEW FAVORITE show! i never saw it before (remember, no tv here at the ABH) and borrowed the first season from the library. i haven’t left the den in DAYS. i die laughing from that show. jason bateman=hotness.

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  5. BOY I AM REALLY NOT KEEPING UP W/ THESE COMMENTS am I??

    Ikudo – Thanks!! Really sweet of you to say.

    Hi MarlaJayne! I always appreciate your articulate comments @ Hayden’s & Connie’s – thanks so much for stopping by. :)

    Curly, arrested development is truly one of the funniest shows EVERRR. As for Mr. Bateman, I couldn’t agree more.

    HEYYA BOUNCY! Welcome! And please feel free to compare me to a gorgeous movie star ANYTIME.

    Panny babe, I missed you too. xo

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    • Thanks for stopping by, Ivan. I hope to visit Oregon one day, but no longer fly (due to my freaky ear plague) and have to curtail long drives as well.. SO who knows when I’ll see the Pacific Ocean. But I’m glad to be near the Atlantic!

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  6. Hi Dishy,
    I am very happy to have found your blog. I am 27 and living in NYC. Around 8 months ago I started getting meniere’s symptoms, and while my experience with doctors was infinitely better than yours, I went for months without someone actually confirming it was indeed meniere’s rather than just likely. Although I still have doctors who feel that an autoimmune inner ear disease is the problem.

    I am so interested in hearing the progression of your disease because I am of course scared about what will happen to me, generally things have gotten worse and worse. I finally found a really great ent that has started steriod injections into my ear, which has been much more helpful than oral steriods–he says they help 75-80% of patients. He has also suggested that if this doesn’t help shunt surgery or a menitt device may be useful.

    As you must know from living in philly, it’s very hard to avoid eating out when you live in a city, do you have any advice?

    Best,

    Melissa

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    • Hi Melissa! I’m so glad you found me too! Strength in numbers! I’m so sorry to hear you’re having such a hard time at present. It’s hard to say how things will change for you over the course of time. Meniere’s affects individuals so differently. After I was diagnosed & placed on the low sodium diet, it was like night & day for me. Once I eliminated salt from my diet, my hearing came back and the insufferable tinnitus (mostly) went away. But since that time (6 yrs ago) my symptoms have fluctuated. Sometimes I can pinpoint triggers. Dental work, iPods, vibration from long car trips, DIY work here at the house (drilling, sawing, etc), all wreak havoc on me and I try to avoid them as much as I can. But I also contend with things I can’t control. Weather affects me tremendously. I can go from fine to BLAMMO! dizzy as hell & scared sh*tless. I try desperately to pop open my ear, but it shuts to the world. Or, I’ll go through periods of time when my ear is crackling, sometimes so loudly it wakes me from deep sleep. It’s NUTS. As for treatment, the doctor has offered a diuretic, which I’ve declined in lieu of drinking some wine nightly, which keeps me relaxed and very slightly dehydrated. I have a prescription for meclizine, which I take almost never – it’s just like wearing a lead suit and completely knocks me out – as well as anti-anxiety medication, which I do take when I get especially panic-stricken. It’s so hard to explain to someone what it’s like to feel trapped inside your own body. But it really does help talking to people, especially when they understand EXACTLY what you’re going through. If you’re on Facebook, there are a few Meniere’s groups. This one in particular I find helpful – simply for discussion and support. I’ve never had steroid shots or a shunt. So I can’t speak to either, but it’s likely someone in one of the groups has and could provide more helpful information. Regardless, please feel free to contact me anytime – I am always happy to help! Wishing you much health & happiness, Christy (Dishy)

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      • OH! Forgot to add – yes it is VERY hard not eating out, especially when you live in a city of world class restaurants. But you don’t need to feel deprived. If you order things without salt, and often without sauce, you will eliminate a lot of sodium easily. Stick to fresh foods, things that are less processed. And definitely check out my friend Sodium Girl’s website. Jess lives in San Francisco and is on a strict low sodium diet due to kidney failure. Yet she is young and beautiful and ALWAYS enjoying herself at restaurants all over the city. She offers tons of helpful hints I think you’ll find useful. Anyway – hope that helps!

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    • Thanks so much, Spring!! So glad you like the blog – and as for the house, we’re all in love! That’s the great thing about old houses. They bring people together, past & present. I just took a peek a your website — such beautiful work! You sound like a wonderful person, someone I’d very much enjoy in real life. Happy Holidays & keep up the great work!

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  7. Thank you for being you! Your blog and the comments you’ve made are gifts of inspiration and encouragement for me and a lot of your readers. I can’t imagine having Meniere’s Disease, of the discomforts the disease brings. I’ve seen patients during its acute phase and in can be debilitating. Thus, I admire your courage and determination as well. You have a wonderful blog that motivates people. Have a great day.

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    • Could you be any sweeter?! Thank YOU for your kind comments, IT. It means the world knowing other people understand. Living w/ a chronic illness, I tend to look at life this way: when I feel good, I GO FOR IT. Better to live life to the fullest and get as much accomplished as possible. If you put things off till tomorrow, who knows how you’ll feel then?

      Happy weekend, my friend!

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  8. Maine has found it’s jewel- you! Your posts are reflections of a generous and loving person who wants to make a difference in the World and make it a better place for others. Your sharing encourages people and make them feel good about themselves. Great blog all throughout. Thanks for sharing and taking time to visit other bloggers- like me.

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  9. I would love to see how those 6 chicks would turn out to be when they grow up. Thanks for letting us see a glimpse of your wonderful family and the wonderful times and adventures you all share together. You have a lovely family, home and community. That is a rare find. I’m happy for you.

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  10. IT, I will definitely be posting all about them as they grow, plus documenting their transition to the great outdoors. It should be fun building their coop and pen. (Read: fun and exhausting!) You are one of the nicest people ever – leaving me such lovely comments. Is my husband paying you?! Hahhahah

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  11. Welcome back from a wonderful 4th of July vacation. Hope you’ll make a post about it. Vermont is such a beautiful place . Thanks for the comments. I miss the small town festivities. The first town I work was called Marysville in California. I love everything about it. The old buildings, the traditions but more importantly the friendly and hospitable people. I had the fondest memories of my co-workers who I considered as my second family. God bless you and your family.

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    • You too, IT! There’s something about a small town that speaks to me, though I’m not sure I’d be happy living in one full time. I’m too accustomed to a city. Portland in comparison to Philly is so tiny (!!) — maybe I just need to work my way down. By the time I retire I could move to a hamlet. LOL

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  12. Thanks. It is a sheer joy for me to read your beautiful comments. What a small world. I used to breed and sell Cichlids when I was in college. They almost look like salt water fishes without the expensive cost. My dad is now breeding commercial catfish with the help of by brother-in law. The past is so beautiful that I felt nostalgic about the era even if I wasn’t born on those dates. I’m glad you like the post. As for outlets and malls, honestly they make me dizzy after more than an hour of wandering. But I love my wife and what makes her happy , makes me happy too. And yes, she had a blast at the outlet with her mom. Following your blog, made this Summer more interesting. Take care.

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    • IT, you are very kind to leave your comment here where you know I’ll read it. I’m sorry I don’t keep up with them as I’d like — summer is fun but also a lot of work with my daughters both home. I’m sure you understand! :)

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  13. Hello again! I love your blog and your photography. My brother lives in Portland, Oregon and it is gorgeous out there in the Northwest (I used to live in Washington State). But Maine will always be my home sweet home. Looking forward to reading more of your blog.

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  14. One of the best part of my day is discovering inspiring stories in my blogroll. And heading on the list is your Blog. I’m always a fan of those who value their family above anything else and sees life as always positive and hopeful. Thank you. Best wishes to you and your family.

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    • IT, I swear you must be on my husband’s payroll. You leave the loveliest comments, and in such abundance! I am blessed to have you reading my blog and enjoying it, as I do yours. Looking forward to your next adventure.

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  15. Hi Christy,

    I so enjoyed the Fairy photos. Thank you so much. Gosh you’re an awesome person. When I was a little girl I used to make little places for the fairies and it brought back so many memories when I saw your photos. I’ve also sent you and invitation to join a new Group that I belong to: can’t seem to be able to paste it here. Anyway, I know you are a busy lady etc., but it would be great just to make your presence felt in our Group to show everyone that living with MD can be handled properly and I know they will all benefit from your wonderful website and cooking ideas and all the photos and comments here. Thanks Christy and happy spin free days and good health to everyone. XXXXX Regards, Sharon (Shaz)

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    • Hi Shaz,

      Thanks so much for making my day! Was tickled to get this. I’ve joined your group – and thanks so much for the invitation. Hope to explore & expand my membership as time permits. Wishing you all the very best!

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  16. Look forward to spending more time reading your pages! I have been blog surfing tonight, and actually had a mini panic when I couldn’t find my way back here to mark as a favorite! New myself to blogging, I think I tend to over-rant on FB, so I loved your opening comment here “I am a blogger”…

    I also understand about the 5th entity you call “Home”. I refer to ours as “The House”, and am always commenting that more stuff seems to come into “The House” than stuff that ever leaves “The House”, which can’t possibly last forever…anyway, love your blogging style…

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    • Kate, thank you for such a lovely comment – truly made my day. Yes, life without salt is HARD. But it’s far better than the alternative. Before I was diagnosed life was hell. I have bad days still, but far fewer and I always remind myself – this too shall pass. :)

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  17. Hi! I found you from Island Traveler.

    I have been to Portland, Maine! Years ago, when my husband and I were still dating we went on a road trip there from NYC. We not only enjoyed your beautiful city, but there was a beer festival going on so we really had a lot of great Maine beer!

    I love your about page.

    Cheers,
    Louise

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  18. SO nice to meet you Christy! I’ve never heard of that disease before but I applaud you for getting up and moving forward! I love your blog and glad to be friends with on Foodbuzz too! :) BTW…my hubby and I are actually planning to move to Oregon! haa haaa Not Portland though…:)

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  19. new to this started having problem in summer. have hada coupele of week long attacks. just tring to figure out how to handle the whole thing

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    • Uuugh, David I feel for you. Please let me know if I can help – and if you aren’t already following a strict salt-free diet, definitely try that. It helps many people suffering from Meniere’s, including me. Check out my low-sodium website, The Daily Dish, for lots of recipes, products & information.

      Thinking of you & wishing you health & happiness.
      Christy

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  20. I’m crossing my fingers I would win the raffle from the link you provided on your post. I don’t cook much but I love to eat…I printed the recipe for the “Samosa” with mango dip today and hopefully my wife will cook one for me. A friend in California made me and my wife an authentic Indian Samosa several years ago and we fell in love with the dish since then. I wish you all the best my friend. You have a gentle soul, a generous heart and a mind that always stir with creativity that inspires us all. Best wishes to you and your family….

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  21. Wow! You’re awesome!

    I was recently diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease and yesterday my audiologist recommended a less-than 2000mg of salt per day diet. I was starting to panic and started poking around the internet and stumbled across your blog. I am glad I did. I will be shopping tonight (at Trader Joe’s…they have a list of low-or-no-salt foods they carry right at the customer service counter) and preparing for the big jump on Monday.

    Thanks for doing all the hard work for me!!

    Greg

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    • Greg, you are so welcome! Hate to hear about your diagnosis, but remember you’re one step closer to health. Stick to the low-sodium diet. It made all the difference for me. I’m still affected by triggers, and weather bothers me immensely (high pressure is the worst), but many days I feel normal. On the bad ones I remind myself it’ll pass. Staying calm & maintaining perspective is essential. If you have any questions or just need to vent, I am here. Wishing you all the best.

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  22. Hi Dishy :) I LOVE your blog :) ear ailment/plague aside, you are simply BEAUTIFUL :) I look forward to following your fun and witty posts :)

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  23. Hi Christy I just found your blog and I love it! You are so inspiring, I love your positive attitude! You sound like a sweet girl, can’t wait to read some more of your posts :)

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  24. Pingback: Ever wonder what you’d look like as a bird? « The Daily Dish

  25. Wow, I have never heard of this disease. That sounds awful, and the “no salt” part sounds like something random thrown in for a little extra grief.

    I lived in Portland, Oregon, for about 10 years. It’s less livable, but we make up for it by being almost comically hip.

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  26. Wow, what a find! We seem to come out of the chute craving salt, and good stuff taste-wise is elusive. Love the lemon meringue pie!

    Ours is a multi-generational tribe including two Menieres, a CHF and a kidney-salt-no-no, so this is fab! Bring on the book!

    Tracey Meloni

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  27. where in maine did u find the no salt added bbq utz chips? I have been looking in every store that i go into for them without success. i even called the utz company with them telling me to order online. with shipping charges the price is outragous. can u please tell me at which walmart in the state of maine you found them in
    thank u

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  28. Hi Christy,
    I also have Miniere’s Disease. I’m lucky in that my diagnosis was quite quick, where I’ve read others have suffered for months or years before they are diagnosed. The low salt diet sucks, in general, but I’m surprised how quickly I’ve lost the craving for salty snacks. (Popcorn with a sprinkle of garlic powder is a great substitute for salt) We had your pork chops with pear chutney last night and it was wonderful, I can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

    For me, I’ve noticed that while my right ear is constantly ringing, most of the time I can ignore it. When I can’t, I immediately take some Meclizine and usually I’m back to ignoring it again in 30-45 minutes. I think of it like allergies, you have to treat it ahead of the curve because after you go to the point of vertigo you’re to late- lie down, stay still and wait. Then again, maybe my case is less severe than others.

    Thanks for the website, it’s awesome!

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    • Hey Steve! THANKS! So glad you enjoyed the recipe; hope you’re finding others you like on the site. As for Meclizine, I’ve been told it’s an abortive drug – which goes along with what you’re saying. With MD you just have to find what works for you and roll with it (no pun intended). Wishing you all the best!

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  29. Hi Christy!
    I want to thank you for giving me hope that I can live a normal life again. I am really struggling because I have recently been diagnosed with MD after debilitating bouts of vertigo. My love of salty foods and knowing that I must eliminate them from my diet only adds to my sadness. But after hearing your story and finding your recipes I realize that I can eat tasty foods and at the same time stop the dizziness. I know this will be a challenge, but now I feel like I can take it on with a positive attitude and that I am not alone. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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    • You’re so welcome, Gerri!! And thank you for taking the time to leave such a sweet comment. Hope you’re feeling much better as your salt-free days add up. Be patient. Learning to live like this isn’t easy, and truth be told it ain’t much fun either, at least initially. But you can do it. And it is worth it. YOU are worth it. Hang in there and stay strong. Thinking of you, Christy

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  30. Hi Christy! I subscribe to your blog for all the wonderful recipes and never realized until this morning we have something in common! I also suffer from the dreadful Meniere’s disease. I also suffer from fibromyalgia and a degenerative disease in discs in my neck.Your optimism is truly contagious :-) I too try to maintain an optimistic and upbeat attitude, but I must admit it’s easier some days than others.May your “good days” outnumber the bad! keep up the great work with your blog too really enjoy the salt-free recipes! Thanks!

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  31. I am visiting my daughters in your lovely city and State. I am absolutely loving it here, but have a few questions. Where do YOU eat when you go out? I know that it is nearly impossible to go out these days and eat low/no sodium food. If you have some suggestions, I would so appreciate a few places to check out. Thanks so much Christy!

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    • Hi Lucy! WELCOME TO BEAUTIFUL MAINE! Hope you’re having a blast w/ your daughters!

      As for restaurant recommendations…… Let me start by saying my family and I seldom eat out. Being salt-free + vegan = HARD TO FIND FOOD. When we do eat out, it’s a real treat and I tend to “save up” my sodium intake for the outing. Just be upfront about your situation (ask for no salt if possible, you know the drill…) PS: these aren’t “fancy” restaurants – we neverrrrrr go there! LOL!!

      Local Sprouts on Congress St. (LOVE THIS PLACE) I highly recommend the Blue Mango burger

      Gelato Fiasco – as a note, all the “red spoon” sorbettos are vegan!

      Public Market House in Monument Square. get a vegan chocolate heart cookie from Bomb Diggity bakery – they are my FAVORITE

      Whole Foods (I often find vegan, lower sodium stuff in the prepared foods) if you’ve yet to try Garden City Lavash, do yourself a favor and BUY SOME. it’s in the bakery section on a lower shelf beneath the bread. Super low in sodium, makes FABULOUS Wraps!!! Be sure to look around and buy low-so stuff you can’t find at home!

      Pom’s Thai has vegan food – not low-sodium bc of the sauces but you could ask for stuff on the side. they have several locations – one is downtown.

      My husband has had luck with Silly’s and the Pepper Club finding vegan if not strictly low-sodium food.

      The one restaurant I’d really recommend where we’ve never eaten (because of $$) is Green Elephant. It gets rave reviews. Also Boda.

      HAVE AN AWESOME VACATION!!!!!!!

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      • As you are well aware, trying to eat no/low sodium out is near impossible. I ask what they have that has n/l sodium and they look at me like a deer in headlights. Or they make a suggestion and I ask for a nutritional facts sheet and of course, it’s ridiculously high. People just have NO clue what really is LS. I am not vegan…but am headed that route. Brown rice and stir fried veges without any sauce please. I also try and save up and treat myself when out. When you are on vacation, it is extremely difficult, almost to the point of tears sometimes. Those I am around try and help but…well, no help most times.

        Thank you for all your restaurant suggestions. Funny things, I have gone to many of those myself. But having you single out selections makes it so much easier. The first day I arrived, we went to Green Elephant. Yum! And I’ve eaten at Boda twice in my travels. Yummy too. Breakfast at Pepper Club one morning was a good choice too. I hit Whole Food and Trader Joe’s to shop for my LS items which I buy at home. Cooking at home is the best as you know.

        I am going to try the Smoky Slow-Cooker Lentil-Vegetable Soup you posted in the next day or so. At home I prepare many of your dishes. I SOOOOO appreciate your blog and am a little clone of yours. I had posted a comment a while back, but not sure if you responded. My daughter called me one day all excited and told me she went to Local Sprouts and found a business card with a LS blog…I asked her if it was “The Daily Dish” and she was like, “YES!”. Small world. I told her how much I loved and utilized your blog.

        This week I am in Waterville visiting my other daughter, but will return to Portland a few days before my departure. I will head to Local Spouts for breakfast and Garden City Lavash. I may pick your brain a little more before I head out. Thanks so very much Christy.

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  32. Dishy, I was trying to find Trader Joe’s Trio potato chips and came across your blog and saw that you are from Philly. My wife and I both grew up in Abington, Pa. but have been in Atlanta since 1986.

    Wanted to see if you’ve heard if TJ is offering the Trio chips. I called the local store and they said they don’t carry them anymore, but that another regional warehouse my have them. He said sometimes other areas in the country will have certain items they don’t get.

    And you’re so right about Maine – we’ve been up there several times and we love the summers up there. Went to Rangeley Lake and had a wonderful time. A very pristine state!
    Rich

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    • Hi Rich! I’ve heard from other readers that the chips are a seasonal item, but I can attest that they are indeed available here in Portland year-round. I just saw them in the store last visit. You may want to ask whether you could have some shipped to your local store. Trader Joe’s is always so responsive, I’d be shocked if they turned you down flat.

      PS: Such a small world – I lived in Jenkintown and went to Abington schools K-12th!! Awesome to meet another local! :)

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  33. Pingback: The Not-So-Little Match Girl | The Daily Dish

  34. Hi Christy! You are such a beautiful NATURAL blonde! :-) I just read your section about that topic and had to come check you out here too! I look forward to reading more!
    Barbara

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  35. Hi Christy! I am so glad I was able to find and read your story on Menieres. I too have been going through some terrifying “ear issues” the doctors have no idea whats going on, but my story sounds eerily similar to yours. Just living day to day and trying to manage whatever is going on. I love your blog and will follow, glad to see your part of the wordpress community (i am too!! http://theobsessivore.wordpress.com) Looking forward to some yummy recipes!

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