The Blind Perspective

Welcome to The Blind Perspective

July 2018
Volume 4 ; Issue 7

Table of Contents

Greetings from the Editor
Movers & Shakers
International Perspective
Exercise, does a body good
Have I Got A Story For You
The Braille Highway
Kaleidoscope of Krafts
Spencer’s Spotlight
APPetizers: Byte Size Tidbits to Help Master Your iDevice
A Time to Plant
The Alternating Duo: Here’s to your Health
the Rotating Trio: EyeShare
Cooking Concoctions
Riddle & Brain Buster


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If you have any trouble reading this copy you can go to Click Here it will take You to the read the current newsletter

Greetings from the Editor

By Karen Santiago

Hello Readers & welcome to July’s edition of The Blind Perspective Newsletter!
Once again, the writers have done a fabulous job creating informative, educational, and entertaining articles for you! And, I like to thank them all again for their hard work, dedication, and commitment.

Be sure to stay tuned next month for an announcement about yet another way to access the Blind Perspective!

If you are attending the ACB convention, please stop by our table at the marketplace either Sunday or Wednesday morning to chat with us.

Hey, it’s Teddy, the Audio Tech guy. Meet me and some of the other Blind Perspective staff at our table in the Market Place area during the 2018 ACB National Convention in St. Louis. Buy one of our cool T-shirts.

Remember you can also choose to listen to our audio version of the newsletter, link below:
The Blind Perspective Audio

At A Glance: Perkins: Part 2, Compound Exercise, Recap & Oldies, Authors Interview, Quick & Easy, Air Fryer, Podcasts, Planting, Carbs, Not Alone, Shrimp & Broccoli, Riddle & Brain Buster!

Movers & Shakers

Perkins School for the Blind
By Karen Santiago

Part 2: Three Women

There are three famous women from Perkins history. Two of them, most of us know. However, the third person, most of us do not know. Until this tour and the story Kevin told me, I did not know of this woman. Read below to learn about these amazing women, what they overcame, and the impressions they made.

Laura Bridgman: (1829 – 1889)
Before Laura’s second birthday, she and her two older sisters developed scarlet fever. Her sisters died, and Laura’s parents thought the same would happen to her. However, Laura survived but with side effects from the fever. She only had one of her five senses left, that being her sense of touch.

Dr. Howe heard of Laura from a friend and said that he could teach her. Laura arrived at Perkins when she was seven years old. But before she arrived, Dr. Howe labeled everything with raised print. Laura learned to read the raise print and associate it with the items to which they referred. Dr. Howe then mixed up the raised print. For example, he put the word table on the lamp. Laura new the words, and could correctly match the raised print words with the different objects. Next, Dr. Howe cut the raised print words into individual letters. Laura was then able to take the single letters and form them into words. Gradually, in this way, she learned the alphabet and the ten digits. Finally, Dr. Howe taught Laura sign language, by signing the letters into her hand so she could feel it.

Despite other doctors and professionals who stated that it would be impossible to teach a deaf/ blind child, Dr. Howe did just that. Laura was a brilliant student, who learned rather quickly. She could read raised letters, communicate in tactile sign, and she could write. Laura Bridgman was the first ever deaf/ blind child to be educated. Laura’s favorite thing to do when away from her lessons was to sew.

Special visitor to the Perkins School in 1842:
On a tour of America for his book, American Notes, Charles dickens visited the Perkins School. His tour was planned for 30 minutes, however he stayed for the entire day. He was fascinated by the 12-year-old girl named Laura Bridgman. He observed her in the classroom. He watched her talk with her friends. He saw her sewing. Through an interpreter, Charles asked her questions about her life. He was blown away by her.

In 1844 American Notes by charles Dickens was published. For the most part, the book does not offer a favorable view of America. However, there were a few things Dickens liked. But, there were only two things he loved; Niagara Falls and the twelve-year-old girl in Boston, Laura Bridgman. He devoted one entire chapter to her.

At that time, Dickens was the biggest author and everyone read his books. Perkins then became world famous, as did Dr. Howe. For the next 15 years, Laura Bridgman was the most famous person in the world after Queen Victoria. Little girls tied ribbons around their dolls eyes to be like Laura. Thousands of people visited the Perkins School.

Laura graduated and went back home to her family and farm in New Hampshire. With no friends or job, she became depressed. Her mother worried about her and contacted Dr. Howe. He visited and took Laura back to Perkins with him.

Once there, Dr. Howe made Laura the seamstress for the school. She made clothes for the students, mended them, and taught sewing to the girls. She worked there for 40 years. She also opened a small gift shop where she sold the things she made.

Laura died at age 60, and she was almost immediately forgotten. Most people saw her simply as a seamstress. No one gave her credit for what she overcame to be employed and to have a purpose in life. The point is, Laura Bridgman is important for two words; Helen Keller. Laura made Helen’s story possible, and it’s the same exact story, up to a point.

Helen Keller: (1880 – 1968)
Helen Keller lived on a farm with her parents and older brother. When she was around 19 months old she developed a fever, and lost her hearing and vision. The difference was Laura’s farm was 100 miles from Perkins, while Helen’s farm was half across the country in Alabama.

Helen’s parents did not know about the Perkins School or Laura Bridgman. When Helen was 6 years old someone gave Helen’s mom a book by Charles Dickens., American Notes. Helen’s parents saw some hope for their daughter. Her father was given the name of a teacher of the deaf in Washington, D. C., who he wrote to. This person was Alexander Graham Bell and he asked Perkins to send a teacher for Helen.

Anne Sullivan: (1866 – 1936)
Anne and her little brother were sent to a workhouse in Tewksbury, Massachusetts after their mom died and their alcoholic father couldn’t take care of them. While in the workhouse people were forced to work 12 – 14 hours a day in exchange for food and a bed. The food was horrible, but in Anne’s case the bed was worse. Her bedroom just happened to be where they kept the dead bodies. Three months after they arrive, one of the dead bodies was her little brother.

Anne developed an eye infection that was left untreated, and she went blind. She never went to school. She couldn’t count to ten, and couldn’t spell her name. One day an inspector from the state came to inspect the workhouse. Unlike all the previous inspectors who just walked passed Anne, he went over and talked to her. He asked her if there was anything in the world she wanted. Anne told him that she wanted to go to school. The inspector knew Dr. Howe and arrangements were made for Anne to attend the Perkins School.

At age 13, Anne attended school for the very first time. She knew less than the kindergarteners. She was a terror with a major attitude. She was not liked by the other students and spent most of her time alone in her room.

Then after a few months, a couple of good things happen. First, doctors looked at her eyes and were able to restore some of Anne’s vision. She had eleven total operations on her eyes. Each time she got a bit of vision back. When her eyes worsened, she had another surgery and some sight was restored. She always had pain in her eyes, and she was sensitive to sunlight, but she could see for the first time in many years.

The second thing that happened, and was better than seeing again, Anne had a friend. Her very first friend ever. This person was not another student, but someone 30 years older and who worked for Perkins. This female employee heard about the girl who was not liked and who spent most of her time alone in her room. Anne’s first friend was Laura Bridgman.

In order for the two friends to communicate, Laura taught Ann tactile sign. She also helped Anne with her studies, and Anne went from the worst student to the best.

Anne graduated valedictorian and wanted to teach. She was offered a teaching job for a young girl in Alabama. However, Anne said no, she wanted to teach the blind students at Perkins. She said that she didn’t know how to teach a deaf/ blind child, even though her friend was deaf/ blind. It was Laura who convinced Anne to go to Alabama and teach the young deaf/ blind girl named Helen Keller.

Again, Laura was forgotten because she was seen as a seamstress, and that was it. But she made Anne possible and she made Helen possible. And, Helen changed the world. Fifty years after the experts said that a deaf/ blind child couldn’t be educated, Helen Keller graduated with honors from Radcliffe University (Harvard’s women’s college).

International Perspective

By Karen Santiago

Off this month, but if interested in writing or being interviewed about life as a blind person in your country, email me at the address above.

Remember, if you are going to the ACB convention in St. Louis, stop by our table at the marketplace on either Monday July 1 or Wednesday July 4, to say hello and buy an awesome print/ braille t shirt!

Exercise, does a body good

By Dan Kiely

Welcome back fitness fans to another edition of Exercise Does A Body Good. I hope you enjoyed the compound exercises in June’s issue. This month I have continued with compound exercises using dumb bells, a kettle bell, and a stability ball.
Compound exercise equals compounded results. You will get more results in less time. You will work multiple muscles and multiple joints with the below movements.

Exercise 1: Swinging Dumb Bell Squats.
Equipment: You can use either a dumb bell or a kettle bell.
Muscles Involved: Legs, butt, abdomen, shoulders, and back.
Starting Position: In a squat position, “sitting” with feet shoulder width apart, and gripping the dumb bell with a neutral grip, hold it down between your legs and feet.
Movement: rise up to a standing position, while at the same time, swing the dumb bell straight up as far as you can. Swing with your arms straight and up to eye level. Lower yourself to squat position, while at the same time, swinging the dumb bell back between your legs and feet.
Repeat. This will get your heart rate going.
Weights: Start with light weights.
Repetitions: Three sets of 15.

Exercise 2: Dumb Bell Pullovers.
Equipment: You can do this exercise on a stability ball or bench and with a dumb bell or a kettle bell.
Muscles Involved: Upper chest, triceps, shoulders, back, and abdomen.
Starting Position: Lay on the stability ball with your upper back and lower back on the ball, feet and legs little more than shoulder width apart, and knees bent at 90 degrees. With a dumb bell in each hand, in the neutral grip, have both arms straight out in front of your chest.
Movement: Move the dumb bells towards your head and beyond it, keeping a slight bend in the elbows. Return arms back to starting position keeping arms straight.
Weights: Start out with a light dumb bell or kettle bell.
Repetitions: Three sets of 15.
Note: Men if you are trying to get definition in your chest and trying to lose your man boobs, I recommend doing dumb bell pullovers.

Exercise 3: Bicycle Abdomen.
Equipment: none needed.
Muscles Involved: Abdomen such as the internal and external obliques, lower back, butt and legs.
Starting Position: Lie on the floor on your back, feet slightly apart, knees and hips bent at 90 degrees, and hands interlock behind your head.
Movement: Bring your upper body into a crunch position, bring your right elbow and left knee simultaneously together until right elbow and left knee touch. Lower back down and then return to a crunch position and touch left elbow with right knee.
Repetitions: three sets of 25.

Well I hope you enjoy these compound exercises, and if you want more, send me an email.

Health Tip
The benefits of drinking green tea:
•Tea contains antioxidants.
•Tea has less caffeine than coffee.
•Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
•Tea may help with weight loss.
•Tea may help protect your bones.
•Tea may keep your smile bright.
•Tea may boost the immune system.

Well that is it for this month, drink your green tea and remember Exercise Does A Body Good! If you are going to the ACB convention, be sure to stop by our table at the marketplace and say hello and purchase a great t shirt!

Have I Got A Story For You

By Carla Jo Bratton

Hi Ho book lovers,
Since we have so many new subscribers, I thought I would review how I write my article. I personally get books from both BARD and Audible. I have recently started including reference numbers for both the CNIB or CELA (Canada) and the RNIB (UK). I don’t do bookshare, but a lot of you do and good for you. I don’t review books I didn’t care for, no one wants to read about how disappointed I was with a book, waste of your time. I write about old books and new books. I love hearing from our readers, it really inspires me and gives me a look at how others enjoy books, so keep those emails coming!

This month I am writing about 2 older books, oldies but goodies. So, read on!

The Language of Flowers
Written by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Reading time: 10 hours and 50 minutes
RNIB numberTB19909
CNIB did not have this book, sorry Canada
A mesmerizing, moving, and elegantly written novel, The Language of Flowers beautifully weaves past and present, creating a vivid portrait of an unforgettable woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past.

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings.

Now 18 and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But a mysterious vendor at the flower market has her questioning what’s been missing in her life and when she is forced to confront a painful secret in her life from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

My comments; What a beautiful book. I enjoyed learning about the meaning of all the plants and flowers. Heartbreaking at times, but a worthwhile read.

Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt
Written by Beth Hoffman
Reading time: 10 hours and 4 minutes
CNIB and RNIB did not have this one
Twelve-year-old CeeCee Honeycutt is in trouble. For years, she has been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille-the tiara-toting, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town-a woman trapped in her long-ago moment of glory as the 1951 Vidalia Onion Queen. But when Camille is hit by a truck and killed, CeeCee is left to fend for herself. To the rescue comes her previously unknown great-aunt, Tootie Caldwell.

In her vintage Packard convertible, Tootie whisks CeeCee away to Savannah’s perfumed world of prosperity and Southern eccentricity, a world that seems to be run entirely by women. From the exotic Miz Thelma Rae Goodpepper, who bathes in her backyard bathtub and uses garden slugs as her secret weapons, to Tootie’s all-knowing housekeeper, Oletta Jones, to Violene Hobbs, who entertains a local police officer in her canary-yellow peignoir, the women of Gaston Street keep CeeCee entertained and enthralled for an entire summer.

My comments; Laugh out loud funny. At times tender, at times, tough. Strong southern ladies fill this coming of age story. I want a deep, claw foot bathtub in my back yard. This is a great summer take along book.

The 2018 Audies were announced on May 31. For all the nominees and winner’s check out:

This led me to consider narrators, for us, a narrator can make or break a book. Who are your winners and losers? Well Patton and Scott Brick are at the top of my list, and I have a long list of favorites.

If you are attending the ACB convention in St. Louis, June 29 through July 6, find us! Several of the blind perspective writers will be there, you can’t miss us! We are loud and proud and will be wearing our bp t shirts, you can get one too.

Until next month lovely people, stay safe and read on!
Happy reading, Carla jo.

The Braille Highway

By Nat Armeni

Hello and happy July to you all! I want to first thank you all for taking the time to email me. Of course, I enjoy reading the positive emails but, I also do appreciate the Constructive feedback too.
So, please keep your emails coming! In this month’s article you will learn about Suzy’s braille tendencies. she is the author of The Rotating Trio: Potpourri segment. Without any further delay, please continue reading to learn more about Suzy.

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
    I was born in Milton TN, a small rural community in Rutherford county. I was the fifth of six children, with four older brothers and a sister born 9 years later. I live in Murfreesboro, TN, and with the exception of 13 years of living in a couple of other areas in the state, where I worked, this is home.
    I was born sighted and lost 96% of my vision at age 7 & 1/2 resulting from Spinal Meningitis. When I hit 55 my vision became unstable and it decreased much like people with “normal” vision who need glasses. However, that was not an option for me.
    At this point, age 70, I have light perception, and on a good day, perhaps a bit more.
  2. when did you learn braille?
    I remained in the public school system for two additional years, attending the Tennessee School for the Blind in 5th grade, at which time I learned Braille. Since my 5th grade teacher wanted me to stay in Braille class for the full year, and I had mastered it by Christmas, she taught me Braille music. She gave me lessons after school and sent me to the practice room while the others were struggling.
  3. Have you learned UEB?
    No, I have not learned UEB, but recognize some of it in my Braille bank statements and menus.
  4. When you produce braille which methods do you use?
    I use a Perkins brailler and slate and stylus, both of which are on my desk with my computer. There is a Slate and stylus in my kitchen, as well as in my purse.
  5. When you read braille which methods do you use?
    Hard copy. I was never privy to electronic Braille display.
  6. Do you use braille at home and/ or work?
    I’m retired, but used Braille on a daily basis at work, much as a sighted person uses a pen, or tapping on their iPhone. I use it multiple times a day.
  7. Give a detailed description of how braille impacts your life?
    After losing my vision and knew I was to go to TSB, I was hungry to learn to read and write again, and never looked back. I use braille for notes, phone numbers, labeling food packages, meds, shopping lists, questions for the doctor, and folders. In addition, I use it for reading my bank statements, menus, calendar, manuals and directions I’ve written out and can refer to when needed. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anything else, although I know there are many more.
  8. In your city do you have access to braille?
    Yes, to elevator buttons, menus as mentioned earlier, bathroom doors and any other place Braille may be displayed. I’m excited when I find it at unexpected places, obviously, it doesn’t take much.
  9. Do you have any braille games?
    Um, Braille games; Bingo, Playing cards, Rook, Scrabble, and Monopoly.
  10. As a braille user, what would you say to a blind person who does not know braille to encourage them to learn it?
    Braille gives you so much freedom that can go with you everywhere. It doesn’t require any electricity or batteries. It is like a sighted person using a pen and paper, and reading a magazine. You can jot down phone numbers anywhere, label household items, appliances, etc.
    For me, it’s literacy. Braille, along with the electronic devices we use, just helps level the playing field. It isn’t one or the other, it is all. From the looks of the Brailed notes and papers on my desk, yes, it’s very important for me.
  11. Do you have a cute or novel story to relay that either you or someone else has done with braille?
    One year, when my kids were in college, they sent me a funny birthday card which they had Brailed using a slate and stylus and an alphabet card. One did the front and the other did the inside. Not finishing in one round, they had forgotten which way they were writing. I had to read one line from right to left, and then turn it the other way around. Needless to say, it was a challenge to read it but made it even more humorous.
  12. What are your opinions of braille?
    For me, I can’t imagine being without it. At the time I learned it, that was the only option and not being able to read or write after losing my vision, Braille just glued my world back together.

Thank you for taking the time and effort to complete this Q&A for me and the readers! I enjoyed learning how you use braille in your everyday routine.

With braille in mind, remember that braille users do it with feelings! Why complicate life with gadgets when you can complement it with braille. Finally, yes you guessed it, stay on the dotted line of life. I am looking forward to chatting in August and keep safe.

Kaleidoscope of Krafts

By Lindy van der Merwe

It is a pleasure to welcome our readers to another Kaleidoscope of Crafts edition. The craft I am sharing for this month is another quick and easy one you can make in a flash. Present it on its own, or make it to add just that little personal touch to a store-bought gift.

This craft, a little bag made from a washcloth, was originally presented as a gift for Mother’s Day, but These bags could be given all year round, as a small present for a baby shower, a kitchen tea or as a bag to hang in your shower with some soap or to hang in a cupboard with potpourri.

What you will need:
A medium-sized, square facecloth, [thinner works better]
1 piece of ribbon, 30 inches or 75cm long
1 piece of ribbon, 12 inches or30 cm long
1 hair elastic or general purpose elastic band
Small gift, such as soap, nail polish, candle, hair accessories, potpourri, etc

Step 1: Take your 30 inch (75 cm) ribbon and tie the ends together to form a loop.
Step 2: Place your facecloth down on a flat surface so it forms a square, with its edges facing up and down, left and right.
Step 3: Place your ribbon loop down at the center of your cloth so it runs vertically, with the knotted end near the bottom edge of the cloth. The top of the loop will extend past the top edge of the cloth.
Step 4: Gently pull the ribbon to the sides so that it forms a circle with the knotted end still near the bottom of the cloth.
Step 5: Keeping the ribbon in place with one hand, fold the left edge of the cloth in towards the center and then repeat on the right-hand side, so the edges meet in the middle. You will end up with the cloth folded into a long strip, divided into two rectangles.
Step 6: carefully fold the bottom edge of your facecloth up to meet its top edge.
Step 7: gently gather the folded cloth together near its top edge with one hand while using the other hand to secure the elastic band around the cloth.
Step 8: Find the ribbon that is poking out at the top of the bag and gently pull to create handles for your bag or a loop to hang it from.
Step 9: Tie the 12 inch (30 cm) ribbon around the elastic band to hide it and to serve as an extra decoration.
Step 10: lastly, gently pull open one of the sides of the bag, insert the gift and fold the fabric back over the gift again.

What I like about this craft is that you can use both the little gift and the washcloth itself if preferred. You could, of course, also use any square of fabric like a scarf, napkin, a bandanna or a tablecloth instead of a washcloth, depending on the occasion and the size of the gift you might want to tuck inside.

One other idea to keep in mind for Christmas is to buy or have someone cut fairly small squares from some festive fabric. Use the technique above to make little gift bags for the Christmas tree or make 24 bags for a one-of-a-kind advent calendar.

I hope you will give this craft a go and until next month, happy crafting.


Spencer’s Spotlight

By Cheryl Spencer

The summer is in full force here in Florida. Keeping that in mind, this month’s spotlight shines on an item that will not heat up the entire kitchen when you go to prepare meals. Yes, must be hungry again, got food on the brain.

I am talking about an Air Fryer. I must admit, I was very skeptical when I first heard about this product, but kept hearing raving reviews. So, I folded and decided to make the plunge and get one for myself.

The model I chose was the Cooks Essential produced by QVC. I got the 5 and a half quart size which is apparently no longer being offered at this time. However, I did find the K46611 three quarter quart digital air fryer presets and pan. This is the same air fryer, only with a smaller footprint. It cost 79 dollars and 98 cents, with free shipping and handling, and with the option of 3 easy payments.

This model offers 7 presets. They are fries, steak, chicken, fish, chips, chicken wings, and quick 5. It also comes with a 6 inch cake pan, 6 inch pizza pan (mine did not come with a pizza pan, frowning about this), basket, basket holder, and recipe book. It has 1500 total watt power. It gets the job done, believe me!

If you are looking to get rid of greasy foods, this is a way to have your favorites without the harmful grease associated with chicken and fries, for example. I am very impressed with how food turns out, preserving the crispness and full flavor.

I am no longer a skeptic and highly recommend this product. Oh, yeah, did I mention it is a dream to clean, very easy and takes much less time, which leaves you more time to enjoy the summer!

FYI, I am going to be at the ACB National convention for the blind in St Lewis. So, stop by the Blind Perspective table located in the marketplace and say hello and buy a T-shirt with the blind perspective written in braille on the front, and the braille alphabet on the back!

APPetizers: Byte Size Tidbits to Help Master Your iDevice

By Darrin cheney

Exploring Podcasts in iOS!

It’s summertime in the northern hemisphere and everyone is on the go, off on holiday, or relaxing on the deck with a cold beverage. And in the southern hemisphere its wintertime so grab a mug of hot cocoa and get comfy in your favorite chair. Either place you may reside, it’s a perfect time to listen to a podcast on your iDevice.

As of February 2018, Apple had over 525,000 active shows and over 18.5million episodes to choose from. Plus, there are thousands more from other websites to explore. You can listen to an old-time radio program while you travel, learn more about your hobby while you relax, explore cooking with your new Instant Pot pressure cooker, or learn more about your iDevice.

Getting Started
A podcast is a digital audio file that you can access and manage through a subscription process. The iOS “Podcast app” is the Apple digital content manager that keeps track of all your shows and episodes that are available in iTunes. The Podcast app allows you to search, download, and play an episode on your iDevice using VoiceOver gestures or SIRI voice commands. The Podcast app allows you to browse popular shows or you can search for a specific show. Once you find and enjoy a show, you can subscribe to it and the Podcast app will automatically add new episodes to your list when they are available.

A Quick Podcast App Tour The Podcast app in iOS 11.4 has four areas: Listen Now, Library, Browse, and Search. These options are listed across the bottom of the screen. The default view is Listen Now. Flick-right to access each show and hear a short description of the latest episode or double-tap and hold to access other options to download, save, delete, share, or play the episode. Manage your shows and episodes in the Library view. Explore featured Shows by Apple in the Browse area or search for a podcast in the Search area. You can unsubscribe from a podcast any time and old podcast files are deleted.

Here’s how the process works. My son suggested an interesting podcast on National Public Radio (NPR). I opened the Podcast app and did a quick search for NPR. “NPR Planet Money” is listed under Shows. I explored available episodes, and the podcast, “Swamp Gravy” sounded interesting, so I decided to listen. It turns out that the story is about economic development in a dying small rural town, like mine. They took a gamble of putting their resources into the Arts to revitalize their town and it paid off. I enjoyed the episode and subscribed to the show.

I can also search for a specific episode in a show. I’m looking for a recent episode in AppleVis about braille in iOS 11. My search in the Podcasts app returns the episode, “Reach out and Touch: The new Braille Features in iOS 11, by Scott Davert,” I choose to download the episode to my iPhone so I can listen offline.

There are so many podcasts to choose from. I like podcasts because they are generally produced for the ear and not the eye like YouTube videos or broadcast TV, and the episodes are shorter than a digital book. Keep in mind that just about anybody can create a podcast so production quality and content varies. Here are some of my favorite podcasts:, The Blind Side Podcast, Cooking in the Dark, NPR Planet Money, NPR Fresh Air, and TED Talks Radio. You can learn more about using the Podcast app at:

Final Thoughts
Podcasts will provide you with many hours of entertainment. Take the time to explore using the Podcast app and please share any good episodes you recommend. If you don’t find what you want or have something to share, consider creating your own podcast show and episodes. Enjoy!

A Time to Plant

By Sue Brazel

Let’s get those plants into your containers. You can start from seeds. Plants grown from seeds will take a while to grow. Use seeds dated for this year; there will be a germination date on the package. Often, seeds will have an 85 to 90 percent chance of growing. Older seeds or those leftover from previous years might grow, but the germination rate will probably be lower.

This late in the summer season, you may think about plants that are already growing. Whether you purchase them or get them from someone you know, choose healthy starts. They should appear green and strong for their size.

Get your container ready for the plants. If they are new, they are ready. If they were previously used, it is best to wash them in a mild bleach solution to avoid possible contamination. Many people think they can skip this step, but if you want to give your plant the best chance for survival, take this precaution now. Rinse the pot out, and let it dry, in the sun if possible.

There are potting mixes made for container gardening. The soil in your yard does not have all the beneficial compounds needed, and may be greatly lacking in nutrients. You may find potting mixtures specifically made for the type of plant you want to grow, such as a sandy/gritty mix for cacti and succulents. In a separate container, add water according to the instructions on your potting mix. Let it sit for about half an hour to absorb the moisture.

Check to see that your container has drainage holes. If there are none, drill some.

Water the plants you want in your container, and let the roots get wet. Small plants in moist soil might only need a little bit of water, but trees might need several hours long water bath.

Fill your container half to three fourths full of potting mix. Dig a hole in your pot that is as big around and just as deep as its current container. After gently squeezing the new plant’s current container several times, place the stem between two fingers, turn the plant over above the potting soil, and gently tamp the plant out of the container. Take the root section in your other hand and guide it into the hole, removing your spread fingers from the stem. Now, make sure your plant is upright. With the potting mix, fill in the area between your hole and the plant. You may need to gently press your plant in place. Plants need air around their roots, so you don’t want to compact your potting mix. Mulch can be a great filler in your pot, and it will help conserve moisture.

Roots need the moisture, so it is best to water the soil. Water your plant until it flows out of the drainage hole, then let it drip for about 20 minutes. Plants don’t like to stay soggy!

Provide some shade for your new plant at this time, then gradually, over several days, let it be exposed to the sunlight where you intend to leave the plant.

It is thyme for me to get back to all of my plants that need transplanting!

The Alternating Duo: Here’s to your Health

by Catherine Hall

Nutrition Basics: Carbohydrates

Welcome back to the Nutrition Basics series, where we go over the fundamentals of a healthy diet to help you navigate the plethora of nutrition advice available on the internet. Last time, we talked about protein — what it is, where it’s found, and why it is an important macronutrient to consume. This month, let’s delve into carbohydrates, an important, yet misunderstood macronutrient.

What is a carbohydrate?
The word “carbohydrate” is a big word, and it sounds like it should have a complex definition, right? Well, for such a long, complex-sounding word, the actual definition is really quite simple. A carbohydrate is sugar. In their simplest form, carbohydrates are known as “monosaccharides”, single sugar molecules that make up every carbohydrate in existence. There are three monosaccharides – glucose, fructose, and galactose. While I could go off on a tangent, talking about each of the different monosaccharides and how they combine to create sugars that we consume every day, there simply isn’t time here. In this context, the important thing to remember is that these three monosaccharides are present, in varying amounts, in nearly every food we consume.

How do we use carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for our bodies. While we can use fat or protein for energy, carbohydrates are the easiest macronutrient for our bodies to use as fuel. In fact, when using either of the other two macronutrients for energy, our bodies will first convert them into a carbohydrate form before “burning” them. They are also the macronutrient that is the most difficult for us to store in large quantities. While we can store small amounts in our muscles in the form of glycogen, most of the carbohydrates we consume are either used immediately for energy, or are stored for later use in the form of body fat.

Which foods contain carbohydrates?
While carbohydrates can be found in varying quantities in most foods, there are foods that contain more concentrated amounts than others. Grains, root vegetables, dairy, fruit, honey, agave, and sugar are the foods with the most concentrated amounts of carbohydrates.

How many carbohydrates do I need?
As with all the macronutrients, without meeting and talking with each individual person, this is a difficult question to answer. People who are very active, and especially those who do large amounts of cardiovascular exercise (running, swimming, bike riding, etc.) need more carbohydrates than the average person. At the same time, even people who are more interested in strength training often need more carbohydrates than they realize. The USDA recommends that everyone get a significant percentage of their calories from carbohydrates – 40% to 60%, in fact. If you’re trying to figure out what that means in terms of actual food, take a look at your plate and make a little over one third of it grains, starchy vegetables, and fruit at each meal to get approximately 40% of your calories from carbohydrates, half of your plate for 50% of your calories form carbohydrates, and a little over half your plate to get 60% of your calories from carbohydrates.

Please remember, if you have specific health conditions that require that you monitor your carbohydrate intake more carefully, consult with your doctor before making any major changes to your diet. This article is meant to be general information rather than specific health advice.

Next time, we will delve into the world of fat. Until then, eat happy!

The Rotating Trio: EyeShare

By Russ Davis
I’m Not the Only One Traveling

Sometimes when I ponder my upcoming articles for The Blind Perspective, I find that my mind is full of ideas, and empty of ideas, all at the same time. I know I’m setting myself up for some well-deserved ribbing with remarks like that, but I bet the same thing has happened to you from time to time. That has happened to you, right? I sure hope so, or I’m really digging myself a deep hole here. In any case, I gave thought to some of the topics we have covered together in the past and felt as though this might be the perfect time of year to revisit our old friend, “travel”.

The first time we discussed the concept that, having a visual impairment doesn’t have to stop you from traveling was over two years ago. It’s hard to believe that so much time has passed, and even harder to believe how much I have been on the road. Just like the movie title says, I’ve been on planes, trains and automobiles, not to mention some boats, motorcycles and monorails.

As I write this article, another trip is fast approaching. I will soon be off to St. Louis and from there I’ll travel west to Oklahoma to visit with family. Returning to my home at the end of my summer vacation will involve multiple modes of travel.

Recalling recent trips and anticipating upcoming ones has given me the chance to be mindful that I am not the only blind person out there on the road. When I traveled to a recent state convention, I was accompanied by four other blind friends. we all experienced the fun of riding Amtrak to and from this gathering. Once assembled I thought about the hundreds of others who had traveled many hours to join us. They came by plane, bus, train and van. I wondered if any of them gave much thought to their accomplishment. I do feel that traveling as a sight-impaired person does take a bit more effort than it does for those who can drive cars, and easily navigate airports and other transit facilities.

One very good friend just returned from a trip to Italy. I have become friends with a blind woman from Georgia who leads groups of tourists in Europe. She does such an amazing job that she has on occasion had to remind her charges that she actually is blind. My traveling partner to St. Louis, has amazed and inspired me with trips she took over the past year to Dallas, (for a music concert), and late last year to Ireland.

I have yet to travel to some of my dream destinations such as Chile, India, Tibet, The British Isles and Morocco, but knowing that other blind people have blazed the trail fills me with encouragement and a belief that I could live out my dreams if I put my mind to it, (of course putting a few more pennies in the piggy-bank wouldn’t hurt either).

I’ll conclude this month’s Eyeshare column with some words of wisdom that I recently ran across, and hope that these words will find a special place in your heart too. Nelson Mandela once said, “There is no passion to be found playing small and settling for a life that is less than the one that you are capable of living.”

The Blind Perspective will be in the Marketplace at this years ACB convention. If you are going to be at convention, please stop by and say hello, we would be delighted to meet you.

Cooking Concoctions

By Maxine

Since Cheryl wrote about the Cooks Essential Air Fryer, I thought to share a couple of delicious recipes that you can make in it!

Coconut Shrimp
Serving Size: 6 shrimp, Calories: 250
This is the first recipe I made in my air fryer. These are so good, it was hard to stop after just six shrimp!

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
2 large eggs
2/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
12 ounces medium peeled, deveined raw shrimp, tail-on (about 24 shrimp)
Cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For Sauce:
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
1 1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup lime juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1. Stir together flour and pepper in a shallow dish.
2. Lightly beat eggs in a second shallow dish.
3. Stir together coconut and panko in a third shallow dish.
4. Holding each shrimp by the tail, dredge shrimp in flour mixture, making sure not to coat tail; shake off excess.
5. Dip in egg, allowing any excess to drip off.
6. Dredge in coconut mixture, pressing to adhere.
7. Place half of the shrimp in air fryer basket and lightly coat with cooking spray.
8. cook at 400°F for 4 minutes.
9. Turn shrimp over, lightly coat with cooking spray, and cook for an additional 4 minutes.
10. Season with salt and repeat steps with the rest of the shrimp 11. While shrimp is cooking, whisk together honey, lime juice, and serrano chile in small bowl.
12. Sprinkle shrimp with cilantro, if desired.
Serve with sauce and enjoy!

Roasted Broccoli with Cheese Sauce
Why not make some broccoli to accompany your coconut shrimp?

6 cups broccoli florets, washed
Cooking spray

For sauce:
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon red pepper (optional)
6 – 10 crushed crackers (saltines or flavored Ritz, which I prefer)

1. Place half of the broccoli in the air fryer basket and lightly coat with cooking spray.
2. Cook at 370 degrees until tendered crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes.
3. Repeat with the rest of the broccoli.
4. While broccoli is cooking, mix the cheese, milk, crackers, and red pepper (if desired) in a microwavable safe bowl.
5. Microwave on high, 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.
Pour cheese over broccoli.
Hope you try these recipes for a yummy and tasty dinner!

Riddle & Brain Buster

By Alex Smart


I stand when I am sitting and I jump when I am walking. What am I?

Answer to June’s riddle
What food lives at the beach?
A sandwich

Brain Buster

2 by 2
For each of the 5 letter words, provide another word starting with the same two letters that can follow it to complete a compound word or a familiar two word phrase. Example: pizza; pie.


Answers to June’s brain buster
Crazy, or a kind of clock: cuckoo.
Black magic: voodoo.
Popular chocolate soft drink: yoohoo.
toy train: choo choo.
Completely loyal: true blue.
Kind of eyes lovers make: goo goo.
Kind of platter at a Polynesian restaurant: pu pu.
Rock group led by Bono: U2.

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About claire plaisted

Claire Plaisted lives in New Zealand with her husband, three children. She is a Indie Author and runs a company 'Plaisted Publishing House Ltd,' helping Indie Authors get their books online and looking professional. We are happy for people to submit their work for our team to look through.
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