THE CONSUMER VISION
Address: 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA 02746
Email address: email@example.com
Publisher: Bob Branco
Editors: David and Leonore Dvorkin
Formatter: David Dvorkin
TABLE OF CONTENTS
In this Table of Contents, three asterisks *** are used to separate the title of each article from its author. In the same way, three asterisks *** will be used to separate articles to make using your browser’s search feature easier. If any of you have screen readers that make searching difficult or undoable with asterisks, please let us know not only that, but also if three number signs ### would be easier. If you are a screen reader user for whom neither symbol works, please let us know what works best, and we’ll do our best to accommodate.
In columns like Special Notices, Readers’ Forum, and Recipes from Karen Crowder, letters of the alphabet are used to separate items.
1. HEALTH NEWS YOU CAN USE: More Benefits of Tea, Onions, Garlic, and Nuts / New Technology Against Skin Cancer *** by Leonore Dvorkin
2. COMMENTARY AFTERMATH: In the Crosshairs of Evil *** by James R. Campbell
3. A WORD ABOUT SPORTS: First Baseball Game is a Thrill, Even at 112 *** by Don Wardlow
4. WEATHER OR NOT: October Is a Jekyll and Hyde Month in Weather *** by Steve Roberts
5. READERS’ FORUM
6. THE HANDLER’S CORNER: Living and Working with Guide Dogs *** by Ann Chiappetta, M.S.
7. THOUGHTS FROM TERRI *** by Terri Winaught
8. TIPS FOR VIPS (Because Visually Impaired People Are Important, Too) *** by Penny Fleckenstein
9. AUTHORS’ CORNER***A special submission from Leonore Dvorkin
10. POETRY CORNER
11. SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER RECIPE COLUMN *** by Karen Crowder
12. SCHMOOZE TINNINH *** by Marcy J. Segelman
13. CONSUMER VISION TRIVIA CONTEST
1. HEALTH NEWS YOU CAN USE: More Benefits of Tea, Onions, Garlic, and Nuts / New Technology Against Skin Cancer
by Leonore Dvorkin
Leonore welcomes comments on her health articles.
Following are my short summaries of health articles that printed out to texts of one to three pages each. I have left out the more technical details.
1. Drinking tea improves brain health, study suggests
Source: Science Daily, 9/12/19 / National University of Singapore
A recent study revealed that compared to non-tea drinkers, older regular tea drinkers have better organized brain regions, which is associated with healthy cognitive function. Past studies have shown that tea intake is beneficial to human health, with positive effects including mood improvement and cardiovascular disease prevention. The improved brain organization is brought about by preventing disruption to interregional connections. The research team found that people who consumed green tea, oolong tea, or black tea at least four times a week for about 25 years had brain regions that were interconnected in a more efficient way.
A personal note: This is very good news to me and my husband, as we are regular consumers of black tea. We each have at least three large mugs of it every day.
2. Study finds onion and garlic consumption may reduce breast cancer risk
Source: EurekAlert, 9/23/19 / University at Buffalo (Buffalo, New York)
Puerto Rico has lower breast cancer rates compared to the mainland U.S., which makes it an important population to study.
Onions and garlic are key ingredients in sofrito, a staple of Puerto Rican cuisine. Other ingredients are red and green peppers, tomatoes, and cilantro. So why the focus on the onions and garlic? They are rich in flavonols and organosulfar compounds, which show anti-carcinogenic properties in humans and in experimental animal studies. The study referenced here was the first population-based study to examine the association between garlic and onion consumption and breast cancer in Puerto Rico. The results were published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer.
Personal notes: Fortunately, onions and garlic are prominent ingredients in many cuisines, and we love both of these foods. A Web search will show you that both onions and garlic have numerous health benefits.
I had breast cancer and a mastectomy in 1998, and thus am interested in any news connected with foods or beverages (such as alcohol) that might pose cancer risks, as well as in foods or beverages that might reduce risk.
For information about the book I wrote about my breast cancer experience, go here:
The title is Another Chance at Life: A Breast Cancer Survivor’s Journey.
The third and most recent edition of the book is from 2012.
It’s in e-book and print, and it’s also in Spanish. The second edition, from 2009, is also in audio.
More details about the book are below, in Authors’ Corner.
3. Boosting daily nut consumption linked to less weight gain and lower obesity risk
Source: EurekAlert, 9/23/19 / BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health
Note: This was a 20-year study involving close to 300,000 health professionals, both males and females, many of them nurses.
On average, U.S. adults gain about one pound a year. This is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Now a large, long-term study has shown that replacing some unhealthy foods such as processed meats, French fries, and potato chips with half a daily serving of any type of nuts (just 14 grams, or 1/2 ounce) may be a simple strategy for warding off the gradual weight gain that so often accompanies the aging process.
Nuts are rich in healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are also calorie-dense, and thus not often thought of as good for weight control. But emerging evidence suggests that the quality of what is eaten may be as important as the quantity.
There seem to be several reasons why consuming nuts helps with weight control. The high fiber content of nuts can delay stomach emptying, making a person feel satisfied for longer. Nut fiber binds well to fats in the gut, meaning that more calories are excreted. There is also some evidence that the high unsaturated fat content of nuts increases resting energy expenditure. Last but not least, eating less meat and more environmentally friendly, plant-based protein is good for the planet.
4. Stevens researchers to develop handheld device to diagnose skin cancer
Source: EurekAlert, 9/17/19 / Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, New Jersey)
Headline: The proven technology will be designed into a handheld device that could reduce the need for painful biopsies by 50% — and disrupt the $5.3 billion diagnostics market.
Some 9,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. At the present time, dermatologists must rely on magnifying glasses to examine suspicious blemishes and on scalpels to cut tissue for lab analysis. Now, using shortwave rays used in cellphones and airport security scanners, researchers at Stevens have developed a technique that detects skin lesions and determines whether they are cancerous or benign. This could be incorporated into a handheld device that could rapidly diagnose skin cancer without a scalpel in sight.
The article goes on to say that the devices could be configured to interpret images automatically and deliver basic diagnostic information, such as a warning to go get checked out by a doctor, without needing a trained operator. They could be placed in pharmacies, so people could go get checked out and then go to a doctor for a follow-up if necessary.
The lead researcher on this technology is the 2019 inaugural recipient of the Paul Kaplan Award for Distinguished Doctoral Research. He plans to launch a start-up to commercialize the scanners.
A personal note: Again, this is encouraging news for David and me. We are both very pale-skinned, and we both had bad sunburns in the past. Although we have not sunbathed in decades and never will again, we’ve had a total of seven bouts of skin cancer. We are happy to read about anything that might make the skin cancer diagnosis process easier and faster.
About the Author
Leonore Dvorkin and her husband of 51 years, the prolific author David Dvorkin, live in Denver, Colorado. They are the authors of a total of 33 published books, both fiction and nonfiction; 29 of those books are by David.
David’s latest book is When We Landed on the Moon: A Memoir. It’s about his years spent working at NASA on the Apollo program, including Apollo 11. On Amazon, the e-book is only $2.50, and the print edition is $8.50. Full details and buying links are here: http://www.dvorkin.com/moonland/
Leonore’s four books are her novel Apart from You, a one-act fantasy play called The Glass Family, her breast cancer memoir (mentioned above), and that last book in Spanish.
Together, David and Leonore have been running DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services since 2009. In that time, they have edited and produced more than 75 books, both fiction and nonfiction, for more than 35 authors, the majority of whom are blind or visually impaired. Bob Branco, as well as some of the writers for this newsletter, are among their many clients.
In addition to editing books and writing, Leonore tutors four languages and teaches exercise classes, mainly weight training (exercises with weights). She works almost entirely at home.
David and Leonore invite you to visit any of their websites for information about their many books and their various services.
David Dvorkin: http://www.dvorkin.com/
Leonore Dvorkin: http://www.leonoredvorkin.com/
DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services: http://www.dldbooks.com/
2. COMMENTARY AFTERMATH: In the Crosshairs of Evil
by James R. Campbell
© September 2, 2019
On the morning of Saturday, August 31, 2019, a thirty-six year old trucker from Odessa, Texas was terminated from his job. No one knew at the time that this was the beginning of the last day this man would spend on earth. By all appearances, it was an ordinary day. The Labor Day weekend had arrived, and the people of Odessa were enjoying the last summer holiday of 2019. It was a time for homemade ice cream, the Permian Basin Fair, and backyard cookouts.
This is not how this day or weekend would progress. What transpired next came with no prior warning and sent a wave of panic through two communities.
Shortly after 3:00 p.m., Texas Department of Public Safety troopers made a traffic stop on the highway near Midland, Texas when a motorist didn’t signal a turn. At some point, the driver turned and aimed an AR-15 through the back window of his vehicle and opened fire, striking one of the officers. He proceeded to Odessa. Along the way, he fired at drivers at random, claiming the lives of seven innocent victims before he was taken out by law enforcement near a movie theater in Odessa. Twenty-five others were injured, including three police officers.
In his wake, he left 15 different crime scenes between Odessa and Midland, an expanse of 20 miles. During his rampage, he hijacked a UPS postal truck, killing the driver, then fleeing as he continued on his killing spree. The use of two different vehicles led to the assumption that there were two shooters, a misconception that was cleared up when the shooter was neutralized.
The entire city was held hostage, and local TV stations provided constant coverage. KOSA, our local CBS affiliate, is located in the shopping mall on East 42nd. The mall was in the path of carnage. Shoppers panicked when rumors spread that the gunman was headed their way. They dropped everything they had and ran for cover, and the reporters were asked to evacuate for their protection.
Last night, a community prayer service was held at a local park. The mayors of Midland and Odessa both pledged to stand together as the citizens recover from the nightmare of August 31. GoFundMe pages have been established for the victims, the youngest of whom is 17 months old. She will have surgery to repair damage that was done to her mouth, tongue, and teeth. The parents are fortunate and happy to have their daughter with them.
Restaurants in our area have been providing free meals to first responders and the victims. Chick-fil-A, Whataburger, and several other eateries are joining in the effort. This Thursday night, a concert will be held to raise money for the victims and their families. Currently, Medical Center Hospital has seven people under their care for gunshot wounds that they suffered on August 31.
Much credit goes to the medical establishment in Midland and Odessa, who go through training drills on a regular basis to prepare for an event such as last Saturday’s bloodbath. One doctor encouraged the community to learn basic life support skills in order to be able to aid others if we have another such tragedy. People are encouraged to learn CPR, how to stop blood loss, and other lifesaving measures to prepare for such an event. I agree with his suggestion wholeheartedly.
The actor in this event fits the profile of spree killers. These people are angry, have few friends, exhibit an inordinate fascination with weapons, and harbor grudges against certain segments of the population—or worse, against society as a whole.
Those who knew this man told investigators that he was on a downward spiral for some time. He called the FBI tip line 15 minutes before he engaged DPS. The call was a rambling list of atrocities that he had suffered throughout his life. He had made similar phone calls in the past. These calls should have alerted someone that something was amiss and needed to be addressed. Why nobody gave any weight to these calls is a question that must be answered.
When you look at his behavior pattern, the need for state sanitariums to confine these people becomes more than obvious. The medications that we have to treat their symptoms leave much to be desired; the side effects are so bad that patients don’t take the drugs. They get worse instead of better, and a few of them go on to commit acts of mass violence.
In my view, the fact that this man’s mind was chaotic does not excuse him in the least. The great majority of people who suffer from psychiatric disorders don’t act out in that way. There is no doubt that he was mentally ill, but by any acceptable standard, he bears full responsibility for his crimes.
Much has been made of background checks in recent weeks following the shootings in El Paso, Texas and in Dayton, Ohio. What happens when somebody fails a background check and buys a gun from another source? There is an apparent loophole that needs to be closed. Assault weapons bans are useless. If someone wants an AK-47, they will get one, regardless of how many bans are in place. Note that the church shooting in Texas in 2017 was ended by another citizen with an AR-15. How many more lives would have been lost if these people had been ill equipped to deal with him?
There was a time when neighbors looked after each other. If somebody noticed something that was out of place, they told someone about it. Those days are gone. Our technology has replaced one-on-one contact. The level of mistrust in our society is at an all-time high. The institutions that we once counted on are deteriorating, leaving a huge gap in the chain of defense we once had. As we pray for the victims of mass violence, let us pray for the courage to rebuild what we have lost before our apathy and mistrust destroy us all!
As always, thanks for your time.
With loving kindness,
James R. Campbell
3. A WORD ABOUT SPORTS: First Baseball Game is a Thrill, Even at 112
by Don Wardlow
When Mississippi native C. P. Crawford drew his first breath, it was the late summer of 1907. Henry Ford’s Model T was still a year away, as was the song “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” By the time Crawford came north from Mississippi to work for the Illinois Central Railroad, radio was carrying White Sox games into the Chicago area. Via radio and the newspapers, Crawford was introduced to the White Sox, and he was caught for good, as so many baseball fans are.
Crawford couldn’t get to a game because of his work and family commitments, but with Hal Totten describing the action, he could follow his favorite team when they were home. When the Cubs were home, Totten would broadcast them. While he was quoted as saying that the Cubs were good, Crawford’s heart belonged on the south side of Chicago, at Comiskey Park.
When TV reached Chicago, C. P. Crawford was a man in his early forties, trying to make ends meet and loving the White Sox. On TV, Jack Brickhouse would yell, “Hey, hey!” at a great play. The 1959 “Go Go” White Sox made the World Series and lost to the Dodgers in six games. C. P. Crawford had yet to find time and money to get within the walls of Comiskey Park.
In the 1970s, he heard Harry Caray yell, “Holy cow!” and heard Jimmy Piersall say exactly what he wanted to say, whether it made sense or not. When Harry went to the north side for good, C. P. Crawford was a senior citizen, still without having found a way to get to a game.
With Caray gone, Crawford could watch and listen to Wimpy and Hawk, a.k.a. Tom Paciorek and Ken Harrelson, who called the White Sox “the good guys.” Said good guys won the AL West (American League West) in 1983 but were steamrolled by the Orioles.
C. P. Crawford was approaching 100 when the White Sox swept the Astros in four games to win the 2005 World Series. It seemed unlikely he could ever take his love of the White Sox to
the next level and go to a game in person.
By the start of 2019, old Comiskey Park was long gone, and the new park had been through as many names as Elizabeth Taylor had been through husbands. The glory of 2005 was an old memory.
Enter Club 100, a group that focuses on people who have turned 100 years old or more. Their executive director, Andrew Holmes, found out about how C. P. Crawford had spent a century loving the White Sox with no chance to go see them. Holmes and his group intervened. They summoned a limo to the nursing home where Crawford lives. The Club 100 people didn’t tell Crawford where he was bound on his 112th birthday, pretending he was going to a regular annual Club 100 party. They kept the secret for maximum effect, like not telling what a Christmas present will be. Club 100 and the White Sox got together to make this the daddy of all birthday parties.
One can only guess at the delight Crawford felt when he got out of the limo and realized where he was. The fun was just beginning. Harold Baines gave Crawford a team jersey with the number 112 on the back. Management arranged for him to spend time on the field, then directed him to club-level seats, where a birthday party would take place. As an extra special treat for the centenarian who had once witnessed Chicago’s “Century of Progress,” a nearby fan gave Crawford a foul ball. Can it get any better?
At long last, the man whose life began six years after the American League was formed got his chance to see in person the team he had followed by newspaper, radio, and TV for more years than most of us can hope to live. The White Sox may not make good watching, but they know how to repay a guy’s faithful fanhood. Happy Birthday, C. P. Crawford.
4. WEATHER OR NOT: October Is a Jekyll and Hyde Month in Weather
by Steve Roberts
A Month of Transition
During the Month of October, we are in transit from summer to winter. Though it is neither summer nor winter, you can see weather that is in keeping with either season. October can feature the summer-like warmth of Indian summer or the cold and snow of the season’s first winter storm.
In October, the waters of the Gulf of Mexico retain summer-like warmth. The southern tier of the United States is still very warm. It is not uncommon to see daytime highs that are still in the 80s and 90s.
Up in Canada, the long nights foster significant cooling. The cold and the snow of early winter are beginning to set in. The cold sets the stage for snow, while the snow helps to reinforce the onset of colder weather. When combined with longer nights, the wheel of winter moves us into the icebox.
The Clash of the Seasons
The colder weather of the North and the still warm weather of the South can combine to create some truly crazy weather. During any time in October, you can have a three- or four-day stretch of Indian summer-like warmth. During Indian summer, daytime highs can reach into the 70s and even the 80s.
Unfortunately, Old Man Winter has other plans. Chilly air can push a cold front along, bringing a rude end to the swan song of summer. These cold fronts can replace air that is in the 70s and 80s with air that is in the 40s and 50s. This stark contrast between warm and cold air can breed storms of great intensity.
The Tempests of October
Who could possibly forget the “perfect storm” of 1991? Hurricane Grace was taken into the circulation of a huge and powerful nor’easter. This monster swallowed Grace whole. Then that nor’easter turned to the south and took on tropical characteristics.
Five years later, in October of 1996, a nor’easter with a tropical hookup to Hurricane Lillian dumped 8 to 12 inches of rain in parts of southern and central New England. Parts of Maine received 21 inches of rain from this great storm. The Head of the Charles Regatta was cancelled because of the storm.
October 21, 2010, the Octobomb detonated over the north central United States. This storm had the lowest central pressure ever seen in a storm of its type in the Upper Midwest. This storm produced winds of 50-75 mph with snow that fell at rates of one to two inches per hour.
October 30, 2011, a nor’easter formed in the southeastern United States, then climbed up the East Coast. A high to its north provided cold air that enabled this storm to produce snow. Portions of the Northeast got as much as 30 inches of snow from this nor’easter. This storm came to be known as Snowtober.
I would be completely remiss if I did not mention Superstorm Sandy. From October 22 to October 29, 2012, this tempest was the lead story in the news. Hurricane Sandy linked up with a nor’easter to become a semitropical superstorm. This tempest dumped one to three feet of snow in West Virginia and parts of Kentucky. This storm also produced half a foot of rain in Virginia and Maryland. Angry seas battered the beaches of New Jersey and New York.
When we turn the calendar to October, batten down the hatches, because almost anything goes.
5. READERS’ FORUM
I would like to respond to Steve Théberge’s column in the September Consumer Vision about GPS. The best way for me to do it is to republish an essay that first appeared in my book Weighing Things Up, Book Two: More Essays on Trends, Technology and Present-Day Society. Here’s the essay.
The Inconvenience of the GPS
by Bob Branco
When the GPS was invented, I was excited. I thought to myself how it would help a lot of drivers avoid getting lost. With a GPS, all you need to do is enter your destination and the device will either visually or verbally instruct you how to get there by using all the satellite information available. It is a remarkable concept, one that doesn’t surprise me, given the rapid progress of modern technology.
Despite how amazing the GPS is and how it helps drivers, it has its disadvantages as well. In the past several years, I have ridden with drivers who got lost when they used their GPS devices. Sometimes the GPS directs you to areas that you never intended to go to, such as a back road or the woods. As it turned out, these drivers would have been better off not using the GPS at all. A helpful person on the side of the road would have given better directions.
I am now going to give you a specific example that makes my point better than anything I’ve already said. Recently, my girlfriend and I went out to dinner. Neither one of us drives, so we depended on Paratransit to take us to the restaurant, which is approximately 15 miles away. Our driver did not use his GPS, and he had no problems until he came to a set of lights several hundred feet from the restaurant. It was getting dark outside, and the driver was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to see the restaurant. The restaurant was several hundred feet in front of us on the left side of the road.
Nonetheless, he took out his GPS and spoke the address into it. The GPS went to work, and, boy, it worked too hard. Instead of guiding our driver the several hundred feet to the restaurant, it told him to take the next left down a main road, a right down another main road, and then another right onto a highway, where he got off at the exit leading him back to the original road he was on. He then had to backtrack a mile or two until he found the restaurant, which was now on the right instead of the left.
Why did the GPS take my driver on such a wild goose chase? God only knows. I can just imagine how much time and gas he wasted by listening to the GPS when he could have asked someone on the street or in a nearby store. In the old days, he probably would have done that, and he would have been at the restaurant a lot sooner. I still believe that the GPS is generally a big help, but based on my own personal experience, I cringe whenever one of my drivers has to use it.
6. THE HANDLER’S CORNER: Living and Working with Guide Dogs
by Ann Chiappetta, M.S.
This article was inspired by the remarks made by Thomas Panek, President and CEO of Guiding Eyes for the Blind during the September 2019 graduation. He was speaking of the perfect dog for him. He was graduating training with a new guide dog, along with his classmates. He summed it up by saying that the perfect dog isn’t perfect, yet it is the perfect dog for you.
I agree with what he said. We willingly forgive the doggie traits like scarfing the lonely French fry under the chair because 10 minutes prior to entering the restaurant, your dog led you safely across a busy street.
Guide dogs will behave and perform tasks perfectly by avoiding obstacles or executing a spot-on recall or by ignoring distractions. Yet a dog isn’t a machine. We tend to overlook the less noble traits because our dogs lead us with confidence and compel us to achieve more and to do our best.
I’ll embrace the Labrador personality and characteristics because my dog is the perfect dog for me. I’m grateful my dog isn’t a machine or a white cane. Caring for my dog brings me a sense of pride and purpose, good feelings that being blind often attempts to tear away. I feel good when we overcome a complicated route inside a confusing building or hotel. Besides, if Bailey wasn’t a goofus at times, I would be laughing and smiling less. Is comic relief a character trait?
Go to http://www.annchiappetta.com to view and purchase my books.
My DLD Books website is https://www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/
Help me reach my blogging goal of 500 followers by visiting my blog and subscribing.
7. THOUGHTS FROM TERRI
by Terri Winaught
September 13, 2019
Hello, readers, contributors and editorial staff.
Last night I watched the Democratic candidate debates on Channel Four, Pittsburgh PA’s ABC affiliate. While some people (my husband included) consider watching debates to be the ultimate in boring, I am still trying to figure out for whom to vote. Although I have it narrowed down to three candidates, I have yet to make up my mind and was hoping that last night’s debate would expedite that process. What I do know, however, is how imperative it is to vote, especially in an election as crucial as that for president.
To say more about the debates, gun control as an important issue was raised several times, and I couldn’t agree more that addressing it with workable solutions is long overdue. That having been said, my heart goes out, filled with compassion and condolences, to the shooting victims in Dayton, Ohio; El Paso, Texas; Midland, Texas; and Odessa, Texas, where one of our talented, creative contributors lives.
Saying that feasible solutions must be devised and implemented does not mean that I want to “take everyone’s guns away” as some might think when they hear the phrase “gun control.” In fact, I have no problem with people who hunt, police officers, and members of the military lawfully owning guns and keeping them out of the reach of children. What I do have a problem with, though, is people who seem to think that there is no need for background checks, when such checks make perfect sense. Also, I see no reason why anyone needs AR-15s, AK-47s, or weapons with bump stocks. Such high-powered weaponry is unnecessary for hunting. Instead, the abovementioned assault weapons are meant to kill people, as so often happens with mass shootings.
On another note, my heart also goes out with compassion to the people in the Bahamas who suffered so much from the ravages of Hurricane Dorian. That said, I am happy that organizations like the Brother’s Brother Foundation and the Red Cross are helping, as they always do in a natural disaster. I would bet that the Salvation Army is also helping. Of course, I don’t want to forget the residents of North and South Carolina, who also experienced the wrath of Dorian.
Back to last night’s debates: I wish I remembered which candidate talked about Hurricane Maria and its devastation of Puerto Rico, referring to Puerto Rico as a country. As bad as I am in geography, even I know that Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory. (Ah! The benefits of paying attention in class.)
If there is a topic you’d like me to discuss, or if you’d like to offer feedback on my “Thoughts from Terri” column, please don’t hesitate to do any of the following.
Home phone: 412- 263-2022
Cell: 412- 595-6187
Correspond in braille or on cassette tape only to:
400 Cochran Road, Apt. 409
Pittsburgh, PA 15228
I would be especially interested in hearing from readers affected by Hurricane Dorian, any of the recent mass shootings, or both of the above. I can only do my best to imagine and empathize with the pain and horror.
Take care, be well, and thanks for reading with me.
8. TIPS FOR VIPS (Because Visually Impaired People Are Important, Too)
by Penny Fleckenstein
Who Blogs At: http://notyouraveragesinglemom.com
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
It was 5:30 in the morning. Bryanna and I were walking home from the hospital where we spent the night for my sleep study. Bryanna was happy to be guiding me home, and I was feeling happy knowing we’d done this route several times in our walking routines. Six years ago, the respiratory therapist announced I had sleep apnea, and I still have it. I felt grateful for our daily exercise, which I’ve been committed to since I started the weight management program with my primary care physician. I’m hoping that by losing a significant amount of weight, I can be healthier. I’d love to rid myself of sleep apnea, pain, inflammation, and high cholesterol. I want to develop better dietary and lifestyle habits. My iPhone has been instrumental in helping me accomplish my goals. With it, I’ve felt safe walking previously unknown routes. I hold my phone in my hand as Siri gives me walking directions, which I sometimes choose not to follow. I feel assured that when we get lost, which has happened, I can find my way to a spot where I can orient myself.
The first day I went to weight management, I had gone to the sleep doctor in the morning. I’d eaten an apple but forgot to grab lunch before I left for my primary care physician’s office. Luckily, there is a good Chinese restaurant by my doctor’s office, so I dropped in there to eat lunch. Before I ordered, I realized I had left my credit card at home and had no cash on me. I could feel my sugar level lowering, and I worried about that, besides being embarrassed. I explained my predicament to the waitress. She introduced herself to me and explained that she had been a waitress at another restaurant. She had been my waitress for years. She offered to pay for my lunch if I could make sure I brought cash for her when I was done with the doctor. I promised her I would. I enjoyed a delicious though hurried lunch. It made me think of some of my habits that are not beneficial to me. Too often, I’ve been too busy to eat or simply forgot. Then, when it is time to eat and my body insists on it, I eat too much.
After lunch, I met with a physician’s assistant, my primary care doctor, a behavioral health therapist, a dietician, and a pharmacologist. Each one of them talked with me about different aspects of my weight loss. They congratulated me on the 10 pounds I lost over the summer. I also have access to a hypnotist if I want to pay $400 out of pocket. The different specialists will see me every three months and answer any questions I have. Every two weeks I get weighed and seen by the nurse. With increased movement, I was able to lose four pounds in two weeks.
I honestly don’t know how I did it, because I had an abundance of food twice in one week.
On Wednesday, I ate an Amish meal at the Dutch Valley Restaurant in Sugarcreek, Ohio. I especially enjoyed the noodles cooked in chicken broth, into which I mixed the green beans.
The nutritionist stressed portion size, recommending I only consume one-third cup of potatoes, rice, or pasta at meals. She also recommended eating sandwiches with one slice of bread. The nurse told me to consume 1400 calories per day: 400 per meal and 100 for each of two snacks. At first, I wasn’t sure how to count calories, but it seems my Amazon Echo Dot has basic calorie information.
The next day that I was sure would delay my progress was the next Saturday. I went to a picnic with my friend John. He made boiled potatoes with peppers, Phillips Gourmet Smoked Portobello Mushrooms (found in the freezer section of your grocery store), and banana peppers. They were very spicy, so we added grated mild cheddar cheese to them. He called them Fire of God Potatoes. They were a great hit.
Another family brought corn on the cob. They prepared it by cutting both ends off the ear of corn, peeling off the outer layer of husk, placing the ears in a cooler, and pouring in boiling water. Without the husk, the corn will cook in half an hour. With the inside husk on, it cooks in one hour, which was just enough time to travel to the picnic. It was hot, sweet, and delicious when the family arrived.
I felt a little out of place at the picnic because I knew just two others there. Despite feeling uncomfortable, I offered to wash the dishes during cleanup time. They were grateful for my help, and I felt good to be able to contribute. Bryanna and I added more members to our respective fan clubs. I believe she has more members in hers than I have in mine. It sure is hard to compete with a Labrador.
At Bryanna’s physical this year, the vet heard an irregular heartbeat. She had to endure an EKG and a 24-hour heart monitor from the cardiologist. She has a weak valve, which the vet said is common in middle-aged dogs. When we get the results back from the heart monitor, the cardiologist will decide whether she needs to be on medication. I asked her if they do surgery, and she said, “Not in the United States. There is a doctor in Japan who is doing heart surgery on dogs.”
If you’d like more details, feel free to write. You can also write if you have tips you’d like me to share in future columns. Keep healthy and happy!
9. AUTHORS’ CORNER: A Special Submission from Leonore Dvorkin
Hello, all. Most of you probably already know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Thus I thought this would be a good time to post some information about my own breast cancer book. I mentioned the book above, in my health article, but here are more details.
Another Chance at Life: A Breast Cancer Survivor’s Journey
by Leonore H. Dvorkin
Third edition C 2012 / 154 pages in print
In e-book ($3.99) and print ($9.95) from Amazon and other online sellers.
The second edition (C 2009) is also in audio from Audible.
This is the story of my 1998 breast cancer and mastectomy (with no reconstruction). The book deals primarily with the surprising emotional benefits I gained from the experience. The five appendices offer practical information on risk factors for breast cancer, ways to help prevent it, and more.
Full details: https://www.leonoredvorkin.com/brcan/
There you will find the cover image (with a woodland photo by the author), a photo of the author, a longer overview of the book, a list of chapter titles, a link to the Introduction and text selections, multiple review quotes, direct buying links, and more.
Selected review quotes:
“Beautiful, moving, informative, uplifting.” – Lee Christopher, retired English professor and author
“An unusual and important perspective on the experience of having breast cancer.” – Melanie Tem, author
“A terrific read…well-written, frank, and honest. This book’s many hard-won truths make it truly special and inspiring.” – Nina Romberg, author
“An uplifting and powerful story with a very attractive message.” – Vivian Manning, Barrie, Ontario, Canada
“Leonore Dvorkin writes with refreshing simplicity and lack of woe. The book reads like a novel, so engaging is her style. She ends her story with a gentle, reflective chapter of great wisdom called Aging, Accepting, and Appreciating. This book is the epitome of healing after trauma.” – Patricia Wellingham-Jones in Recovering the Self magazine
10. POETRY CORNER
A. Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor;
those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; his eager body quivers.
Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.
B. Another Version of “THE RAINBOW BRIDGE”
Far beyond the sky in another dimension lies a beautiful enchanted land.
It is the resting place for all the animals who have served man, many of whom sacrificed their lives to save mankind. To enter this land, the animals cross over the Rainbow Bridge.
The Bridge was called so by the angels for its profusion of rainbow-like colors which glow and fade in welcome to the new arrivals.
It is a land of lush green meadows, flowing streams, and an endless variety of trees.
There are ponds scattered about for the new arrivals to bathe and wash away all traces of their previous existence. They emerge refreshed after their long journey across the Bridge.
There are myriad flowers, many growing in vines which criss-cross the branches in the trees. The air is fragrant with their sweet perfumes. Bones and catnip rain intermittently from the air above. In this magic land, all become young again. The old and infirm run about as they did in their youth. The crippled and maimed are made whole again. The days are spent cavorting across the many fields and enjoying the company of the many varieties of animals here. Most happy, if this can be so, are the dogs and otters, who are even more playful here than on earth.
There is but one note of sadness here. It is reflected in the eyes of the animals who were pets of humans who loved them while on earth. If one looks deeply into their eyes, this sadness is seen. They miss that unique love, care, and devotion they received from their own special companion. Many had received more love from their owners than their owners had given to their fellow humans.
And then one day, one special, magic day, your own pet looks up. A familiar sound has reached its ears. Its nose begins to twitch, its ears go up, and its tail begins to wag uncontrollably. It stares, then begins to run toward you.
He knows you have come for him. He takes one great leap and once again is in your arms. Your face is kissed, and kissed, and kissed again.
You look once more into the trusting, loving eyes of your beloved pet.
Together you walk across the Rainbow Bridge, never again to be separated.
C. Your Dog
God promised at the birth of time,
A special friend to give,
His time on earth is short, he said,
So love him while he lives.
It may be six or seven years,
Or twelve or then sixteen,
But will you, till I call him back,
Take care of him for me?
A wagging tail and cold wet nose,
And silken velvet ears,
A heart as big as all outdoors,
To love you through the years.
His puppy ways will gladden you,
And antics bring a smile,
As guardian or friend he will,
Be loyal all the while.
He’ll bring his charms to grace your life,
And though his stay be brief,
When he’s gone the memories,
Are solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from earth return,
But lessons only a dog can teach,
I want you each to learn.
Whatever love you give to him,
Returns in triple measure,
Follow his lead and gain a life,
Brim full of simple pleasure.
Enjoy each day as it comes,
Allow your heart to guide,
Be loyal and steadfast in love,
As the dog there by your side.
Now will you give him all your love,
Nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come to call,
To take him back again?
I fancy each of us would say,
“Dear Lord, Thy will be done,
For all the joy this dog shall bring,
The risk of grief we’ll run.
“We’ll shelter him with tenderness,
We’ll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we’ve known,
Forever grateful stay.
“But shall the angels call for him,
Much sooner than we’ve planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes,
And try to understand.”
11. SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER RECIPE COLUMN
by Karen Crowder
As September arrives, days grow shorter and nights are cooler. Tomatoes, blueberries, summer squash, and fresh corn are bountiful across New England. Produce and herbs are available at church bazaars, farm stands and local supermarkets. Often we have Indian summer with fleeting, warm days by late September. We are having that in 2019 because of an early frost in mid-September. October arrives with unpredictable weather. New England has fewer warm days, and by month’s end, nights are often cold. Orchards are open in central Massachusetts for apple cider and apple picking, but farm stands close.
Labor Day is September 2, and Rosh Hashanah is September 29 through October 1. There are five special days in October. The Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah ends Tuesday, October 1. The Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, is observed from the evening of Tuesday, October 8, through Wednesday, October 9. Monday, October 14, is Columbus Day, and Tuesday, October 15, is White Cane Day. Halloween is celebrated on Thursday, October 31.
I have three recipes for Consumer Vision readers.
A. Chicken Rice Stew
B. Delicious Biscuits
C. Quick Buttery Popcorn
A. Chicken Rice Stew
I began creating this soup-stew in 1991. As a new bride, I wondered how to use the delicious, leftover Thanksgiving turkey. The basis for this recipe came from The Soup Cookbook, published in 1971. It was delicious, and over the years, I added mushrooms, onions, garlic, spices, frozen corn, and rice. It was usually a chicken soup, but it was more like a stew. Marshall often requested it when he had a cold. It was comforting, and I believe it helped him get well. I hope this dish will be welcome during Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashanah.
Two chicken breasts with skin and bones
Handfuls of thyme, garlic powder, chives, curry powder, and a pinch of salt
Optional low-sodium chicken bouillon or Herb-Ox
Six cups of water
One eight-ounce package of mushrooms
One small onion
Two garlic cloves
One package Success rice
One bag frozen corn
Two tablespoons butter.
1. Cook the chicken breasts with the water and spices in a covered Dutch oven for 90 minutes.
2.While chicken is cooking, break up the mushrooms, dice the onion, and mince the garlic.
3. Put most of the butter in a skillet. Melt it for five minutes and add the vegetables. Cook vegetables on low heat for 30 minutes. Put cooled vegetables into a glass bowl.
4. Cook rice for 11 minutes. Put it in a microwave-safe plastic container and add one tablespoon of butter. Stir it and allow rice to cool.
5. With a slotted spoon, take chicken breasts out of the Dutch oven, placing them in another large plastic container. Let them cool and debone them at the sink. Put the skin and bones in another container. Break up the chicken breasts and add the meat to the broth. If you wish, add extra garlic, chives, thyme, and curry powder. Add vegetables, rice, and frozen corn.
6. Stir the soup around and allow it to simmer covered until serving time.
Biscuits, rolls, or bread are good accompaniments. This is a welcome meal on a cold October evening.
B. Delicious Biscuits
I have tried many recipes for biscuits. However, my favorite is the one from Cooking Illustrated Classic Recipes. The only changes I made were adding more optional sugar and adding melted butter to the tops of the biscuits. These are easy to prepare.
One stick butter. No substitutions.
Two cups flour
Three teaspoons baking powder
Optional: Two or three tablespoons granulated sugar
One to one and one-fourth cups milk
Melted butter for the tops of the biscuits.
1. In a large mixing bowl, place the butter. Add all dry ingredients and mix with clean hands until no stray bits of flour are in the bowl.
2. Add milk and mix with a wooden spoon.
3. With a measuring or regular spoon, put mounds of biscuit dough on an ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
4. Flatten biscuits with fingers and add melted butter to the tops of the biscuits. This step is optional.
5. Bake biscuits for 15-17 minutes. You should have 13 to 17 biscuits.
Serve them warm with butter with any soup, stew, or chowder. Biscuits are good with breakfast or as a mid-afternoon snack.
C. Quick Buttery Popcorn
On a cool night, popcorn is a delicious and relatively healthy snack. Try serving it as part of a Trick-or-Treat tradition.
One-fourth to one-half cup popcorn kernels. The brand Jolly Time is best.
One-half to one stick of butter
Pinches of salt.
1. In a glass one-cup measure, melt the butter in the microwave for 40 seconds.
2. Put kernels of popcorn in an electric air popcorn popper. Put a large stainless steel mixing bowl directly underneath the popper. After kernels have been added, plug in the appliance. Stand near it at all times to observe the popped kernels going into the mixing bowl. Half a cup of kernels should fill a large mixing bowl.
3. Right after it is popped, add the butter.
Eat in bowls and enjoy, especially on Halloween or on fall or winter evenings.
I hope all Consumer Vision readers are enjoying this beautiful late summer, early autumn weather. I have gone away to visit my family from September 21 through September 28. This may explain the haste of this column. More about my visit in future columns, with delicious recipes from Northern Maine.
Let us pray for a more loving, trusting, peaceful America.
12. SCHMOOZE TINNINH
by Marcy J. Segelman
Shalom. It’s been a whole year. It’s hard to believe that we are going into the year 5780. You can say that growing up learning two calendars can be confusing, but they do work hand in hand.
In the past, I’ve taken you on many different journeys of my childhood, or how I saw things through others’ eyes. Today, I want to talk about preparing the silver for the Torahs for the High Holidays.
The Torah is the name for the first five books of the Old Testament, the Five Books of Moses. The word Torah also refers to the big, handwritten scrolls containing these five books that are kept in a special place called the ark in synagogues and temples. There are many different branches of Judaism, and some call their houses of worship synagogues, while others call them temples.
There are many things that must be done to get ready for the High Holidays. One thing we do is print special prayer books with past members’ names and the names of family members who have passed away. For example, the names of my parents and grandparents are in the book of remembrance. This book is in the service for the dead.
Before I participated, I didn’t know just how much preparation takes place every year in our temple. I asked my brother if my grandmother or mother ever did this. He said no; it would be a great new tradition. So I set out how to learn how to polish the silver for the Torahs.
Now, here is the story of the polishing of the silver. We have a member in the temple who has been doing this fine, holy job of polishing the silver that dresses the Torahs and makes the ark look spectacular. Our weekly bulletin announced that someone was needed for that position. I thought it be would be nice to try it and see.
I never thought that I would feel so good after cleaning and polishing and buffing these wonderful, fine, delicate piece of art that have been handed down through the generations. This was very different from just seeing the Torahs on the bima (the podium). To dress the Torah is a great honor to begin with. Doing it on the High Holidays is an even bigger one. As I held the Torah, I remembered my father and brother both being honored this way, but that was long before a woman was allowed to do it.
It was a lot of work: the cleaning, the polishing, the buffing, putting all the prayer books in place, putting out the bags for the food drive, putting handouts in the pews, and labeling the seats in the pews. My good friend Lisa helped me with the last task. I like having those labels there, because then I know where people sit. If I need someone, I can go to them without having to ask someone else. It is my secret way of being independent as well as being well trained for anything that comes up. It’s like knowing where the exits, the fire alarms, and fire extinguisher are. You have to be prepared for anything.
I also want to thank each and every one of you for my last 19 months of being cancer free. As we move into our Jewish New Year, let us hope it will be a sweet new year as well as a healthy one.
L’shanah tovah shalom (to a good and peaceful year),
13. CONSUMER VISION TRIVIA CONTEST
Here is the answer to the question submitted in the September Consumer Vision. Judge Judy’s bailiff’s name is Mr. Bird. Congratulations to the following winners:
Nancy Hays of Oakville, Connecticut
Jo Smith of West Dennis, Massachusetts
And now, here is your trivia question for the October Consumer Vision. What is the layman’s term for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis? If you know the answer, please email email@example.com or call 508-994-4972.