Japanese Goodies, Life in Arkansas, Tea

Mt. Fuji Japanese Shop, Little Rock

I love the little Japanese grocery situated under the Mt. Fuji Sushi Restaurant in Little Rock. It’s very much like walking into a corner store, shelves packed with all kinds of supplies and goodies. It helps if you can read some Japanese but the people there are more than happy to tell you what something is if you’re not sure. There are bath & beauty supplies, sushi making gear & ingredients, gifts, a small selection of popular manga books, decorations for the home, plates & dishes, tea sets, sake’ sets and the best price on 7″ Daruma dolls I’ve found so far.

The store is only open when the restaurant is open. In other words, you can’t get in when the restaurant is shut down between lunch and dinner. Access is either from the store level sidewalk or from a stairway inside the restaurant.

Since I moved to Little Rock in 2000 the Mt. Fuji Restaurant has remained my favorite place for a truly Japanese experience. It is owned and operated by a lovely Japanese family, the sushi is always great with (what I think) is the freshest fish supply in town, a very large menu and good selection of sake’ types and brands.

The proof that this Japanese restaurant and shop has a comfortable and welcoming environment is that I see parents coming in with their kids : well behaved, respectful, inquisitive & quiet kids. This is a great way for the youth to learn about other cultures, to widen their food experiences and to teach them how to behave in a quiet, cultured atmosphere. My choice of restaurants must be based not only on the food but also on the peacefulness of the environment, low volume/relaxing music and no noise or crowding.
Mt. Fuji fulfills all of these needs and, after a lovely dinner, I can stop in the shop downstairs and pick up more wasabi, sushi rice and Japanese toys.



Swallowing dangers

Swallowing problems can affect some patients with MS as it progresses. I have been dealing with MS since 1989 but changes in eating & swallowing only started to become a scary problem last year. My eye specialist also suspects that I have Sjogren’s Syndrome which means severly reduced saliva and this adds to the swallowing problem.

My MS specialist says that there are quite a few changes you need to make when this symptom occurs and it may help to leave yourself notes, using post-it notes, to remind yourself of what to do. For instance, after spending your whole life eating (without thinking about the process) you now have to think about not breathing while you swallow and being prepared to swallow twice as foods get stuck or are slow to start to go down. My most worrisome problems are caused by tiny bits of food going down my airway, coughing ensues along with up to 30 minutes of getting that food bit back up out of my windpipe.

Foods that I have to be very careful with now are : toast, bread, hamburger, certain soups, some fruits and anything that has a drying affect like Pink Lady apples Or crackers.

The dangers of getting food down your windpipe, aside from going red in the face and spluttering to the point where people wonder if they need to do the Heimlich on you, is the potential to develop pneumonia. 

There are therapy techniques and help available from speech therapists if ordered by your doctor. I haven’t had any therapy at this point because it’s hard for me to get transportation to the therapy center, but I’ll report back as this situation continues and what my MS dude has to say after my next visit in March.

if you have any tricks or tips to share with myself and others with swallowing problems please post it here !


Meg’s Lavender Garden – Central Arkansas Zone 7

Meg's Lavender Garden - Central Arkansas Zone 7

It’s already time to start planting in central Arkansas with new lavender plants going into raised bed. Lavender loves sandy drainage, hot & dry surroundings. I’m in gardening zone 7 & the Farmer’s Almanac has hot weather starting early and getting really vicious in July and August.
The lavenders that have done best for me here : Provence & Grosso. These are very large plants but give a huge harvest of lavender buds for home use and sharing.
I use my dried lavender in tea cozies, sleep pillows, drawer sachets and to repeal spiders & fleas.
If you want to use lavenders in food, choose those varieties that do not have a “camphor” element to their scent. English lavenders seem to be best for this.