THE CONSUMER VISION
Address: 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA 02746
Publisher: Bob Branco
Editor: Terri Winaught
Proofreader and Secondary Editor: 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 me 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 me know what works best, and I will do my best to accommodate.
In columns like Special Notices, Readers' Forum, and Recipes from Karen Crowder, I will use letters of the alphabet, A, B, C, etc. to separate items.
1. LETTER FROM THE EDITOR *** by Terri Winaught
2. HEALTH MATTERS: An Essay and Some Health News You Can Use *** by Leonore H. Dvorkin
3. THE IMAGE OF YOURSELF: How To Discover Your True Authentic Values: The Core Confidence Life *** by Dennis R. Sumlin
4. BUT GOD, I CAN'T SEE! *** Daphine Bush's story
5. WEATHER OR NOT: Nor'easters: A Chameleon of a Maelstrom ***by Steve Roberts
6. GOOD ENERGY FROM A LARGE GATHERING *** by Leonore H. Dvorkin
8. THE HANDLER'S CORNER: Living and Working with Guide Dogs *** by Ann Chiappetta, M.S.
9. TIPS FOR VIPS (Because Visually Impaired People Are Important, Too) *** by Penny Fleckenstein
10. RECIPE COLUMN *** by Karen Crowder
1. LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Hello, Consumer Vision readers.
Boy! There always seems to be such tumult and tragedy to write about, and this month is no different. Just as I extended compassion to readers affected by Hurricane Florence, so, too, am I extending compassion and condolences to those who lost loved ones as a result of Hurricane Michael, especially residents of Mexico Beach, Florida. As technologically advanced as we have become, and as much as advances will move ever forward, we will never be able to combat the forces and sometimes ferocity of Mother Nature. Thanks to enhanced warning systems, we can be better prepared, however.
Moving on to more current events, while the sending of pipe bombs to critics of President Trump is inexcusable, one silver lining in this cloud of division is that law enforcement was so on the ball that none of these explosives reached their intended targets. With well-developed surveillance techniques, I feel certain that the perpetrator or perpetrators will be caught.
A final controversy now looming on the horizon is that of Megan Kelly having recently said on her NBC TV show that using blackface is okay and not racist as long as it is being worn as part of a Halloween costume. As I reflected on this and thought about how blackface used to be used on New Year's Day in Philadelphia, I can appreciate how brown- and black-skinned persons of color would find this offensive. That said, I hope this will be the beginning of a much-needed dialogue about race.
To conclude, I want to thank our talented writers, loyal readers, publisher Bob Branco, proofreader and secondary editor Leonore Dvorkin, and formatter David Dvorkin for making Consumer Vision such an excellent, quality magazine.
To offer feedback that is always much appreciated, phone 412-263-2022; phone or text 412-595-6187; or email: email@example.com.
Thanks for reading with me, and have a Thanksgiving filled with good food and the fellowship of family.
2. HEALTH MATTERS: An Essay and Some Health News You Can Use
by Leonore H. Dvorkin
1. Self-Care Is the Opposite of Selfish
Copyright October 2018
(Note: This is an essay written on October 9, 2018, and originally published as a blog post.)
I am writing this one day after my husband's 75th birthday. It's a bit hard for us to fathom that David has reached this landmark birthday, given that he was only 21 when we met and 24 when we married on April 9, 1968. How time flies!
David does not eat or even want sweets, so there was no birthday cake or any other kind of pastry for him on his big day. Every morning, he prepares a very healthy breakfast for the two of us; it includes a variety of fresh fruits and raw vegetables. So yesterday, I stuck a single little birthday candle in one half of a strawberry, lit it, and sang "Happy Birthday" to him. He thought that was fun and funny.
A few hours after that, we went to a good, local café that offers senior discounts. The waitress told David that he could have a free birthday sundae after his meal, but he refused it. She laughingly offered it to me instead, but I refused it, too. She seemed more than a bit surprised by that.
After lunch, as a present to himself, David took the day off from working on jobs for editing clients of ours and worked on his own writing; that's his 29th book, a long novel. He also worked out in the basement for a couple of hours, as he does at least nine or ten hours a week. He mainly lifts weights, but he also stretches and uses our Schwinn exercise bike. I am filled with admiration for him and his amazing self-discipline.
It occurred to me yesterday, more strongly than ever before, that taking care of one's own health, as David does so well and consistently, is also the best gift that one can give one's spouse and other loved ones.
Here is my reasoning behind that statement.
Self-indulgence in things that are bad for us, like sweets, alcohol, and smoking, while pleasurable for a few minutes at a time, can actually be very selfish. That is, those things are harmful not just to us and our own bodies, but also to the health of our closest social units, given that they contribute to long-term illness (such as diabetes or liver disease or lung cancer), often saddling us and others with long-term financial burdens and shortening our lives.
David has remarked more than once that he cares for his body not just for himself, but also for me. Perhaps if more people started thinking the way he does, pondering the fact that self-care is also care of one's loved ones, we would have much better health in our society as a whole.
2. Even Light Drinking Increases Risk of Death
Source: EurekAlert, October 3, 2018, and the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri
Summary sentences: "At any age, daily drinkers are 20% more likely to die prematurely than less frequent drinkers." … "A 20% increase in risk of death is a much bigger deal in older people, who are already at higher risk."
This may be one of the most important health issues I have ever reported on, as so many people drink alcohol. A summary of the article follows here.
That daily glass of wine may not be so healthy after all. These results come from a study of 400,000 people aged 18 to 85. The researchers found that consuming one or two drinks a day four or more times a week increases the risk of premature death by 20%. This is compared to drinking three or fewer times a week. The increased risk of death was consistent across age groups.
Some earlier studies have linked light drinking to improved cardiovascular health, but these potential gains are outweighed by other risks. Daily drinking increases cancer risk, hence mortality risk.
This new study follows extensive previous research. Some 700 studies from around the world concluded that the safest level of drinking is none. (Also, of course, non-drinkers save a lot of money!)
As medicine becomes more personalized, some doctors may recommend very light drinking (three or fewer drinks a week) to people from families with a history of heart problems, but recommend abstinence to people from families with a history of cancer.
Personal notes from Leonore: I stopped drinking alcohol 30 years ago, when I realized that even small amounts interfered with my sleep. My husband stopped drinking about five years ago, when he first read about the connection between alcohol consumption and many types of cancer in both men and women. I had read about the connection between alcohol and breast cancer several years before, when I was doing research on risk factors for breast cancer for my book about my own breast cancer experience. That is Another Chance at Life: A Breast Cancer Survivor's Journey. Third edition, C 2012. Also in Spanish. Full details, review quotes, and a free text sample are here: http://www.leonoredvorkin.com/brcan/
3. Irreversible Damage to Color Vision Linked to Popular Erectile Dysfunction Drug
Source: EurekAlert October 1, 2018 / The Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Mount Sinai researchers have found that vision problems caused by retinal damage on a cellular level can result from high doses of sildenafil citrate (Viagra). The observed problem, which was not resolved in spite of various treatments, was manifested as red-tinted vision. The damage to the cones of the retina was similar to what is seen in RP, retinitis pigmentosa.
4. When a Female Doctor Is Best
Source: THE WEEK Magazine, August 31, 2018
Women who have a heart attack have higher survival rates when a female doctor treats them in the ER. The reason may be that heart attack symptoms are harder to identify in women, so female doctors may be more attuned to the warning signs.
About the author:
Leonore Dvorkin has lived in Denver, Colorado since 1971, where she works as a self-employed language tutor, exercise class instructor, and book editor. She is the author of four published books, both fiction and nonfiction, and numerous published articles, with most of the articles on the topics of health, nutrition, and fitness. She and her husband, the author David Dvorkin, have been running DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services since 2009. They do all the work necessary, including editing, formatting, and cover design, to have books published in e-book and print formats by Amazon and Smashwords. The large majority of their many clients are blind or visually impaired.
Leonore and David invite you to visit any of the following sites:
DLD Books: http://www.dldbooks.com/
Leonore's website: http://www.leonoredvorkin.com/
Leonore's blog: denverspanishtutor.blogspot.com
David's website: http://www.dvorkin.com/
3. THE IMAGE OF YOURSELF: How To Discover Your True Authentic Values: The Core Confidence Life
by Dennis R. Sumlin
A value is a belief, mission, or philosophy that is meaningful to you. Whether we know it or not, we all live by a set of values. That is how powerful values are. We do not even have to be conscious of them! Values can include things as everyday as believing in hard work or being on time. They can also be things like spirituality, concern for others, or self-sufficiency.
The power of acting through your values can determine everything from how you treat people every day to the kind of career you have. It could be the driver in how you eat or what causes you take up. The value of values can be seen in businesses and organizations as well. In every successful venture, a set of values is one of the main drivers.
The value of customer satisfaction is the driver of things such as good return policies, pricing, customer assistance, and other basic elements. Values such as helping the poor, protecting the environment, and preserving our privacy are the drivers of political parties and individual politicians. Delivering free health care, providing clean drinking water, and building schools are values that many international organizations have.
Being Conscious of Our Values
When we are conscious of our values, we can implement effective methods and strategies for carrying them out. The more we understand what our values are, the more successful we become. When we consciously live through our values, good things come more easily and we attract others who share those values.
Values serve as a check on us. They give our lives direction and discipline. A person who does not follow strong values bounces and drifts along in life. They may act on impulse and fall for anything. We wouldn't want that, now, would we?
How Values Are Formed
Where do values come from? How do we get them? Do they grow on trees? Can they be made in the oven? Do they need more oregano?
The first set of values comes from the home. Many of us get most of our values from our parents or caregivers. What did your mammy teach you? What things were stressed in the home? How did your parents or caregivers live their lives? How were you rewarded or punished? All these things factor into why you have some values but not others.
The world around us also has a role in promoting certain values. What kind of people were you around, and what kind of messages did you get from them? What kind of things did you see in the media? What were you shown and told?
Values Seen Through Choices
One of the ways to see your own values more clearly is to look at the way you currently live. The things that we choose to do show what we value, from what we choose to do for work to where we decide to live. For example, I live in New York City. While I was born here, it is still a choice to continue to live here. I live here because of the convenience, the unlimited access, the opportunities, the diversity, and other things that come with being here. For me this shows that I value independence, flexibility, and networking. Another person may very well have different values that keep them in New York.
The fact that I chose to be a coach and speaker shows that I value helping and supporting people. Even the type of coach I am shows a particular set of values. Why am I a confidence coach instead of a financial coach or a job coach? The personal development angle shows that I value working with a person from a holistic standpoint. I value self-actualization.
Making a List
In order to become and stay conscious of our values, it's good to write them down. Take some time and write down all the things you value. You can see your values through all the methods we spoke about. Take some time to yourself with a piece of paper or a keyboard and write and write.
Once you do that, you can ask yourself whether these values are directing you toward things that make you happy. Are these values moving you forward and closer to your goals? If not, it may be time to do some work in resetting some values.
To go even deeper into your true, authentic values, check out the Finding Your Values Mini Course: https://coreconfidencelife.com/finding-your-values-mini-course/
Daphine Bush's Story
How do you deal with such profound hardship, especially when you have relied on your eyesight to navigate through life? You were not born with this condition. Overwhelming thoughts convince you that your chances of being successful have been compromised, and you gradually slip into the dreary fog of depression. Why me? What does this all mean? Now I must depend on others to guide me daily and learn to function without using the eyes that God gave me. I have to relearn life!
He didn't have to see, because he saw through the lens of faith. He is my biggest inspiration. What amazes me is that my father still believes in God for his healing some day. However, if God does not grant him his sight again, God has certainly allowed my father to impact many lives by his determination to please God despite his circumstance.
I am so grateful that I was able to see firsthand what it is to walk by faith, in a literal and spiritual sense. It has helped me tremendously to maintain faith regardless of life's obstacles. I hope that my dad's story will help you to remember that faith is necessary, and with it, there's nothing you can't conquer. Whatever you do, don't lose faith.
About the Author, Daphine Bush
5. WEATHER OR NOT: Nor'easters: A Chameleon of a Maelstrom
by Steve Roberts
A nor'easter is called a nor'easter for two reasons: 1) It travels in a northeasterly direction along the East Coast of the United States. 2) These storms hit the northeast coast with winds that come out of the northeast.
A nor'easter can be anything from the remnants of a hurricane to a storm called a winter hurricane, or wintercane for short. A nor'easter can produce blizzards, ice storms, and floods. How can one storm be so many things to the people it impacts?
From the Remnants of a Hurricane to a Winter Hurricane
In the months of August and September, hurricanes can ride up the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Some of these storms maintain their hurricane status. Then there are hurricanes that become mid-latitude cyclones because they have lost their tropical characteristics. These storms then become gale centers and impact the Northeast as nor'easters. These storms can produce heavy rain and high winds over a vast area.
During the month of October, a dying hurricane can give its moisture to a developing area of non-tropical low pressure, giving that low added intensity in the process. These storms can go on to be truly powerful nor'easters. These storms have produced heavy rain, high winds, and even snow.
Once we get into the month of November, nor'easters can become bomb cyclones. A bomb forms when an energetic jet stream disturbance in the polar or northern branch of the jet stream flow links up with moisture that is being carried along by the subtropical or southern branch of the jet stream. Where these flows link up, a bomb will detonate.
A typical bomb cyclone will produce snow of one to two inches an hour that is whipped around by winds of 35-50 mph. These storms will leave a foot or more of snow in their wake.
The biggest bombs are called wintercanes, or winter hurricanes. These storms can dump snow at rates of two to four inches per hour, whipped around by winds that frequently gust up to hurricane force. These tempests will often leave feet of snow in their wake.
Blizzards, Ice Storms, and Floods
A nor'easter that bombs out will overspread the people and places along its path with blizzard conditions. A blizzard occurs when snow is falling or blowing enough to limit visibility to a quarter of a mile or less with coinciding winds of 35 mph. These conditions musts be met for a minimum of three hours.
A nor'easter can produce an ice storm. If the rain falls into a shallow layer of subfreezing air, that liquid rain will freeze on contact with power lines, pavement, and other subfreezing surfaces.
A nor'easter can cause floods. The heavy rain produced by a nor'easter can melt snow, thus compounding the impact of heavily falling rain. Three inches of rain coupled with four inches of melt water from snow can result in severe flooding. This is how a nor'easter is a chameleon of a maelstrom.
6. GOOD ENERGY FROM A LARGE GATHERING
by Leonore H. Dvorkin
This October 19-21, more than 1,000 writers, fans, artists, and artisans took part in MileHiCon #50. That's our large, local science fiction convention that is held at or toward the end of every October. We've been attending since about 1976. Thus, while we missed the modest beginnings of the convention, we have been regular attendees and participants for over 40 years.
As many of you know, my husband, David Dvorkin, is the author of 28 published books: science fiction, horror, mystery, and nonfiction. He also worked as an aerospace engineer and as a computer programmer and tech writer. Our son, Daniel, wrote two sci-fi books with his father, and he now works as a biomedical researcher on the Anschutz Medical Campus, where the medical school of the University of Colorado is located.
Like any sizable convention, MileHiCon offers several panels at any hour of the three days on which the convention is held, so attendees have to choose which discussions they think will interest them the most. Discussions can cover many different aspects of writing and publishing, but they can also be on scientific or social topics; for exmple, last year saw a lively discussion of the concept of Universal Basic Income. Typically, there is a moderated discussion of each topic by the four to six panel members, and then the audience members are free to make comments and ask questions. Each session lasts 50 minutes, with 10 minutes in between for set-up and passing from one room to another. Many people work very hard to plan and organize the convention and then to keep the proceedings orderly and comfortable. Most of the time, the atmosphere is very agreeable, and the discussions can be fascinating.
Naturally, plenty of socializing goes on as well, be it in the hallways outside the conference rooms or at the hotel bar, restaurant, or coffee shop, as well as in various designated gathering places, with plenty of comfy chairs and sofas provided. Children are welcome, too, and one sees offspring of all ages, from babies to teens. Many come in costumes, and they all look happy, surrounded as they are by friendly adults, many of whom are also in costumes. Daniel has always loved attending, from the age of seven onward.
Of course I do my best to attend the panels of which David and Daniel are members, but sometimes those conflict. Then I have to choose between being the supportive wife or the proud mother. (Smile.) Only very rarely do I myself get to be on a panel, as I am not a writer of either sci-fi or fantasy. I am a writer, though, with four published books to my credit, and I'm also a book editor with 10 years of experience. As most of you know, David and I run DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services, a full-service company that prepares books for publication in e-book and print.
Thus, this year, David and I were together on a panel about self-publishing. The announced discussion topic was to be whether one should self-publish in e-book or print or both, and why. Well, that was an easy one, and I'm happy to say that all the panel members agreed that most books should come out in both formats. Once that was established, the discussion became much more general, and there were some very good questions from the audience. I had brought along a total of five books by us and our clients, mainly to show the quality and some of the variety of the covers we produce. Cover images included various free photos we had obtained online and two photos that were supplied by the authors. On the table, we also placed our business cards, and quite a few were picked up. We were glad to see a couple dozen of those disappear from the long display tables in the hallways, too.
Our son gave a solo presentation about his present work as a researcher; at the lab where he works, they study the health effects of high altitude and oxygen deprivation. But he mainly wanted to discuss the area in which he might be working soon, which has to do with the exciting new field of gene editing. With the help of a grant from the NIH (National Institutes of Health),
he would work to help set safety standards for the field.
We did plenty of socializing, mainly with other writers whom we've known for decades. On Sunday, we ate with a man who used to be David's boss at one of David's many jobs as a tech writer. Steve and his three delightful, grown children are all sci-fi fans, and they try to have brunch with us at the hotel every year, if possible. With them and other friends, we had the chance to catch up with each other on various changes that the past year has seen in all our lives.
Not all the changes were good, of course. Some people had various serious health problems to announce, especially given that many of them are now middle-aged or older. Others had tales to tell of shoulder or knee operations they had endured and apparently profited from. Those who had not yet heard about it were very sympathetic when I told about the death of my beloved stepmother, who died on September 18. In short, life marches on, and not all the milestones are easy ones to pass.
Overall, though, this year's convention energy was very positive, and we drank it in with gusto. We came away with renewed enthusiasm for writing, as well as some modest purchases: a MileHiCon 50 T-shirt, a pair of silver earrings for me, and a whimsical little sculpture for David, of an astronaut doing a cartwheel. David said it made him happy to look at it, so of course we had to have it.
In conclusion: Long live science fiction conventions, creativity, and friendships! We will attend and participate in MileHiCon as long as we possibly can.
About the Author
Leonore works as a book editor, language tutor, and exercise instructor. Her husband and she share the work of running DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services, and they have produced more than 70 books by other authors since 2009. Most of their many clients are blind or visually impaired. In addition to his editing and book production work for clients, David is always writing new books of his own. Leonore and David invite you to visit any of the following websites:
DLD Books: http://www.dldbooks.com/
Leonore Dvorkin: http://www.leonoredvorkin.com/
David Dvorkin: http://www.dvorkin.com/
7. AUTHORS' CORNER
A. A VERY SPECIAL HOUSE
A novella by Canadian author Thea Ramsay
C 2018 / In e-book ($2.99) and print ($7.50) on Amazon
For full details of this book and the author's other publications, which are a novel and a short story, see: http://www.dldbooks.com/thearamsay/
Review by Leonore H. Dvorkin
Part ghost story, part psychological puzzle, and totally terrific, A Very Special House will no doubt haunt your memory for a long time to come. The evocation of the atmosphere of both Maui and the special "honey house" that resides there is superb. Unusual and striking are the author's mentions of various beloved smells: of flowers, rain, wood, new paper, new pencils, food, and more. As a fellow writer, I have to say that this novella features some of the best and most realistic dialogue I've ever read. Throughout the book, the reader is borne along on alternating waves of memory and wishing, of what was and what was longed for. The surprise ending is deeply gratifying. Don't miss this compact masterpiece by a very talented new author!
The smoke from her gun was followed by a burning pain in my side and a gush of red. Dizzy and suddenly cold with terror, I fell to the ground.
It hadn't been personal. Not this time.
Stray bullet. Wrong place, wrong time, and all because I came back.
The last thing I heard was the man, Al, screaming at her to drop the weapon and call 911.
I was nearly overpowered by the damnedest urge to laugh. Paramedics busting in to save me, finding the gun, calling the cops while I bled out.
She dropped the gun and stared down at me. "Can't you bleed somewhere else? God, my deck!"
I patted her arm, or thought I did. "Don't worry, dear. Your cell will be squeaky clean," I said, or thought I did.
She didn't respond, just looked at me in horror.
The last thing I felt was my temperature dropping, and such awful weakness, plus a strange sort of thinning, a widening, as though I were spilled water, as if I were melting into the rough wooden boards.
The last thing I thought was, Who will find my journal, and how will my kids know what I've written for them to see?
B. HEAD HELD HIGH
by Butterfly Thomas / C 2018 / 402 pages in print
In e-book ($3.99) and print ($15.95) from Amazon and other online booksellers
Cover, free text sample, and author bio: https://www.dldbooks.com/bthomas/
Shya's dying mother tasked her with taking care of her younger brothers, and the girl is trying hard to do just that. But it doesn't take long for the reader to learn that Shya is doing a lot more than being a loving, attentive sister and attending college. She's also working as a high end escort under her stepfather's control.
As the stepfather's demands increase, Shya sees no choice but to kick up her plan to squirrel away enough money to win custody of her brothers. Little does she know that one brother is doggedly pursuing the escape of drugs, while the other is being bullied and hopes to escape everything--permanently. More tragedy ensues as Shya gets caught stealing from the wrong person.
Can she save her family with bodies dropping all around her and a killer closing in? Will she lose everything for the pursuit of money? Can she keep her head held high in the face of so much adversity?
Read this fast-paced urban thriller to find out.
C. Good News from a Client of DLD Books
Submitted by Leonore Dvorkin, Editor / Website: http://www.dldbooks.com/
Butterfly Thomas, the author of the new urban thriller Held Held High (C 2018), has written to tell about some great marketing opportunities she is getting. (Note: She did not supply exact dates.) We hope this list below will help give you other authors some marketing ideas.
Remember that exposure begets exposure. That is, the more people who see and/or hear you, the more people there are who might be interested in promoting you further. So be bold, and get yourself and your book out there!
Butterfly has book ad cards and flyers to hand out (we designed those for her), plus author's copies of her book to sell at events where that is permitted. She lives in Virginia and is a member of the National Federation of the Blind, which is helping to provide her with marketing opportunities. The chapters to which she refers below are NFB chapters.
1. Second annual Walk with the Blind, sponsored by the Rivers and Bay Chapters of Virginia, held in Williamsburg.
2. The Peninsula Chapter Annual Family and Friends Picnic.
3. The first week in November, she will visit a class on disability at Hampton University and can sell her books there.
4. She will be an exhibitor at the 60th Annual National Federation of the Blind of Virginia State Convention, held in Fredericksburg. A portion of her profits will be donated to her local chapter.
Held Held High is 402 pages long in print. It's in e-book ($3.99) and print ($15.95) from Amazon and multiple other bookselling sites.
The author's book-related website, with full book information and buying links, is: https://www.dldbooks.com/bthomas/
D. STIFF COMPETITION (MISS AMERICA): A TRACY GAYLE MYSTERY
by Trish Hubschman
Now for sale in e-book ($2.99) and print ($9.50) from Amazon and other online booksellers.
225 pages in print.
The author's website is https://www.dldbooks.com/hubschman/
The website includes the cover, direct buying links, and much more.
About the Book
America's favorite rock band, Tidalwave, is playing the Miss America pageant. Band leader Danny Tide is emceeing the event. All is going according to schedule. The judges have picked the 10 semi-finalists. Suddenly, everything comes to a halt. Miss New Jersey is missing. Nobody knows what happened to her or where she is. Danny calls his longtime PI friend, Tracy Gayle, and asks her to come down to Atlantic City to help figure things out. In need of her best friend for personal support and eager to get to another case, Tracy agrees. There's an all-out search of the hotels on the boardwalk. They find Miss New Jersey, but it's not good. Her kidnapping leads to another assault and murder. The big star and the lady PI work together on this one, so that the Miss America pageant can continue as usual.
About the Author
Trish Hubschman has published three books with America Star Books: a short story collection of time travel and romance stories called Through Time and the first two books in the Tracy Gayle/Danny Tide series: The Fire and Unlucky Break. Trish attended college at Long Island University's Southampton campus, earning a BA degree in English with an emphasis in writing. She lives on Long Island with her husband and two dogs.
E. Four Christmas-Themed Books for You and the Young Ones in Your Life
Submitted by Leonore Dvorkin, Editor, DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services
Here are four delightful, imaginative books of varying lengths, sure to bring holiday joy to both children and adults. Just click on any of the provided website URLs for full information and buying links. All books are in e-book and print from Amazon and other online sellers. The e-books are inexpensive and are text-to-speech enabled. Free text samples are on the authors' websites.
1. The Christmas Carriage and Other Writings of the Holiday Season, C 2016, by Alice Jane-Marie Massa. A heart-warming collection of holiday memoirs, short stories, and poetry. Includes photos of the author's beloved guide dogs. The website also has information on the beautiful cover photo of a Christmas carriage and the black horse pulling it. Details and a free text sample: http://www.dldbooks.com/alicemassa/
2. The Misadventures of Mistletoe Mouse, by Susan Bourrie, C 2016. For children 5 to 9.
Enjoy the lively adventures and misadventures of Mistletoe Mouse and his friends Molly Dolly and an express reindeer, as they work to make terrible Christmases terrific, tackling every challenge with energy and imagination. Includes traditional religious images and symbolism.
Details and a free text sample: http://www.dldbooks.com/susanbourrie/
3. It's Still Christmas, by John Justice, C 2015 / Only $1.99 in e-book format.
Once getting by financially, the Gleasons have become homeless and close to hopeless. With Christmas drawing near, their lives are about to undergo a drastic change. The lifesaving aid they give to a stranger, an elderly Jewish widower, is soon repaid in ways they could never have imagined. Enjoy this touching story of mingled hearts, faiths, and trust.
For details on this and John's other three books, see: http://www.dldbooks.com/johnjustice/
4. Christmas on Valley View Farm, by Brian Nash, C 2010
This third book in the wonderful Valley View Farm series, suitable for children 9 to 12, has everything a young reader could desire. Christmas is coming, and young Daniel Riggs is dreaming of what might be in store. But a kidnapper has plans for Daniel's feline friend Midnight. Helped by the talkative farm animals, Daniel faces a bloodthirsty panther, rides a thrilling ghost train, and then revels in holiday magic.
For details on this and Brian's other five books, see: http://www.dldbooks.com/brianknash/
8. THE HANDLER'S CORNER: Living and Working with Guide Dogs
by Ann Chiappetta, M.S.
Last week I was a busy beaver -- with two school presentations and an evening event -- and today, as I write this Consumer Vision article, I realize just how tired I am. Here's to a restful weekend.
I love the quiet time, writing and working on creative projects, but I also balance it with social engagements, including work as a therapist and public speaking.
When I thought about what attributes I wanted from a guide dog, I expressed to the guide dog school instructor that my dog must be ready to go and adapt to both the quiet moments and the rigors of being in public, crowds, and even on stage, plus be able to handle being a performer along the way. Bailey is a fairly typical guide dog, meaning he's flexible and has a good level of going with the flow, wherever the flow takes us. He is also a great performer, being by my side during the presentations, on stage, and behaving or being active when I ask.
For example, he and I went with a friend to a performing arts theater where we noshed, then sat through a wonderful show called "Modern Warrior Live," which combined a speaker and jazz ensemble and visual effects telling the story of an Army veteran and how he progressed through post-traumatic growth. Bailey lay quietly by my side, only flinching once during a part simulating a rifle shot. He wove me through the crowd, found the bathroom, found our way back to our seat in the dark theater, and allowed my friend to enjoy herself and not have to be my chaperone. Most folks were curious and respectful. My friend did have to fend one person off during the wine and appetizer hour, and then again at the end, but most people just admired Bailey from a safe distance.
Bringing up this social situation points out the continued need for engaging the public. This is why I make presentations to schools. I think it has made a difference in this geographic area. Generally, folks are aware of service dogs, especially guide dogs, and don't interfere when we are out in public places. Although I was the only guide dog user at this event, which can sometimes be challenging, I was happy to be part of the crowd with Bailey at my side and to benefit from it.
Read more about me on my blog, www.thought-wheel.com , or tell a friend about my books. Those are Upwelling: Poems and Follow Your Dog: A Story of Love and Trust. For details on those, go to http://www.dldbooks.com/annchiappetta/
Friend me on Facebook, Annie Chiappetta, or check out my personal website: www.annchiappetta.com
9. TIPS FOR VIPS (Because Visually Impaired People Are Important, Too)
by Penny Fleckenstein
Who blogs at: http://notyouraveragesinglemom.com
It's been a couple of months of transition and change for me.
Zachary started fourth grade, and while my aide was on vacation, I had a substitute aide. She did such a great job, I decided to keep her and have my previous aide reassigned. The agency didn't inform the former aide of her reassignment, so Monday morning came and the former aide arrived first. I did feel intuitively that I should have told her not to come, but I rationalized that the agency would tell her. The current aide came in early, and for a few minutes, I had both of them here. Awkward.
Awkward moments happen to me a lot. When Ethel told me to call the taxi, I couldn't find my trusty cell phone. That's my dear iPhone 6, which has put up with me for almost two years. Ethel called the restaurant. She gave them the wrong phone number to call back when and if they happen upon my cell phone. Three phone calls later, and they still hadn't found it. I rehashed my experience with another friend of mine, and she said the same thing happened with her very expensive prescription glasses. She said she had to go to the restaurant herself and look through the lost and found. She found them after repeated phone calls to the restaurant; they claimed they were not in possession of them. I called the police. The officer wasn't very sympathetic. He told me I could find it myself online. That would have worked if I had registered my phone in the Find My iPhone app, but I hadn't.
I searched on Amazon to see how much a new iPhone would cost. We found a seller who is no longer allowed to sell on Amazon. The person was shipping out various colors of Play-Doh iPhones to customers. I was convinced I was out $400. I was worried sick.
Then I called Sprint. For $100, I could pay off my phone and upgrade to a new one. For $25 a month, after paying the $100, I came home with a new iPhone 8. For $35 down, I came home with an iPad 6 with cell service for $25 a month. The iPad costs $99. A week later, I went to the Sprint store and did the same for Zachary's phone, which has been missing since April, and he came home with a new Samsung Galaxy S9. Now both of us are happy, having put our life on monthly payments. I plan to pay off my accessories next month.
I bought a wireless charger for $40 that plugs into the wall. You set your phone on a rounded surface, and it charges your phone without having to take off its case. Some of our cords weren't small enough to charge Zachary's phone while it was in its case, so he would take the case off, and he wouldn't put his case back on. His screen suffered for it, and then he lost his phone. Now we can charge all of our phones on the wireless charger. It charges his Samsung Galaxy S9, Eric's Samsung Galaxy S8, and my iPhone 8. How convenient! We have the wireless charger in our dining room, which is centrally located, giving everyone access to the charger.
This month, I also bought a surge protector with a six-foot cord, so I can have more flexibility about where my appliances and electronics are in my bedroom. Oh, how I miss the queen headboard I threw out earlier this year! My son Isaac says I'm too quick to throw things out. He says I should buy the new item to replace the old before I throw out the old. He's right. I've been missing my musical keyboard and finally found its replacement at the thrift store. Not exactly its replacement, but it will do for now. The more expensive one would have been a better replacement, but there was no adapter to go with it, so we didn't know whether it worked or not. I wanted to play it safe.
One of my blessings has been my new countertop dishwasher we bought from Amazon for $230. It doesn't fit under cabinets, so make sure you have the space for it on either side of your sink if you're considering buying it. The hose hooks up easily to the sink faucet. I had my friend John install it, and it works beautifully. Now I want him to put a hook on the wall to hold the hose out of the sink when it's not in use. I rinse the dishes before I put them in and use Cascade powder. The Finish tabs are too big to use for a small load. I fill the rinse aid more often. Some of my silverware with wide handles doesn't fit in the slots of the silverware container. I could take the slotted top off and place them loose in the silverware holder. I've placed my big dish drainer on top of the dishwasher and my three-tiered one to the right of the sink. I rearranged my kitchen appliances and have things face differently to fit the dishwasher in. It was well worth the work!
In my bedroom, I got my son Eric to go through all my spare electrical cords. A big bin is filled with Ethernet cables, computer cords that plug into the wall, surge protectors, and extension cords. I have four plastic drawers filled with computer cords and mice (or is it mouses?), landline telephone needs, cell phone cords, and audio cords and equipment.
With the cold weather, I'm considering Christmas. Two things on my list are $5 ear buds from the As Seen On TV Store and a kid's headset from Sam's Club for $15.
Please email any Christmas ideas you may have or tips for me and other readers. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
10. RECIPE COLUMN
by Karen Crowder
By November, autumn begins waning, with colder weather arriving. Daylight Saving Time ends, a sharp reminder of shorter days and the long, cold nights to come. In New England, frost arrives by late October. There have been snowstorms in November in Massachusetts. In 2005, there was ploughable snow on Thanksgiving Day in north central Massachusetts. Our grandkids went sledding outdoors, after dinner, in the newly fallen snow.
There are four special events in November: Daylight Saving Time ends November 4, Election Day is November 6, Veterans Day is November 11, and Thanksgiving Day is November 22.
(A note from editor Leonore Dvorkin: The correct term is Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight Savings Time. I checked this online to be sure.)
These two dip recipes are easy to prepare, and the dessert is delicious.
A. Cheese Spread for a Crowd
B. Easy Vegetarian Dip
C. Super Fudge Brownies
I got the idea for this dip from the delicious cheese spread and crackers or bread sticks that Marshall and I enjoyed at our favorite restaurant in Fitchburg. I made this dip before Thanksgiving of 1995. Make this dip two days before you serve it. As the flavors blend, it turns the spread from average to superb.
Two 8-ounce containers WisPride sharp cheddar cheese spread
One 16-ounce container Breakstone's or Philadelphia cream cheese
One 16-ounce container sour cream
Dashes of Worcestershire sauce
One dash of garlic powder
1. Bring cheddar cheese spread and cream cheese to room temperature on a kitchen counter for one hour. Spoon cheeses into a large mixer bowl. Beat ingredients on medium speed for two minutes.
2. Turn mixer off. Add sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, and spices. Beat on medium-high speed for two minutes.
3. With a measuring cup, scoop spread into a medium-sized airtight container. Cover and refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving time.
4. Put cheddar cheese spread on kitchen counter. Do not uncover spread until serving time. It goes well with Ritz, whole wheat, Club, or other crackers. With a hungry family, it will disappear by Thanksgiving night.
B. Easy Vegetarian Dip
It was 2007. What was I to bring to Pam and John's house for Thanksgiving besides Andes chocolate mint pie from Schwan's? I had prepared a delicious vegetarian dip Labor Day weekend for the last cookout. It had been so popular, I brought it again.
One large container Cabot's Garden Veggie Dip
Two 16-ounce containers of sour cream
One dash of garlic powder
1. In a large mixing bowl, put vegetarian dip, sour cream, and garlic powder.
2. Stir ingredients with a plastic spoon for several minutes. When dip is smooth, pour it into an airtight container.
3. Refrigerate dip until serving time.
This dip goes well with cut-up vegetables, chips, and crackers. These appetizers are great to munch on while talking or watching the Thanksgiving Day football game or Macy's parade. They will be gone by Thanksgiving night.
C. Super Fudge Brownies
This recipe is from Mrs. Field's Cookie Book. The only changes I made was using margarine instead of butter and using less vanilla. It is an easy dessert to prepare during the holiday season.
Six ounces unsweetened chocolate
Two sticks Imperial margarine
Two cups granulated sugar
One-half teaspoon vanilla
One-half cup flour
A pinch of salt
12 ounces of Nestle's semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Melt chocolate and margarine in double boiler. Stir and let cool. Also, bring eggs to room temperature in a bowl of warm water.
2. Put eggs in a large mixer bowl and add sugar. Beat eggs and sugar on medium speed for six minutes.
3. Add cooled margarine and chocolate mixture, beating on medium speed for two minutes.
4. Add vanilla and beat for one minute.
5. Add flour, salt, and chocolate chips. Mix on low speed
for two minutes.
7. Line a 7-inch by 11-inch Pyrex pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Grease paper or foil with butter, then dust paper or foil with flour.
8. With a one-half cup measure, scoop batter into pan. Top brownie batter with the remaining cup of chocolate chips. Smooth the brownie batter with a spatula or sandwich knife, making sure the pan is evenly covered.
9. Bake brownies for 55-60 minutes.
Let brownies cool on a counter, and if possible, refrigerate uncut brownies covered with foil and parchment paper overnight. If you bake them on the same day as you are serving them, cut them after refrigerating them covered for one hour.
When serving brownies, top them with vanilla or chocolate ice cream. A cup of hot coffee is good with this dessert.
Mrs. Field's Cookie Book was made available in braille in the early 1990s by NLS.
It was also made available by the National Braille Press in1994. It may still be available from the National Braille Press if you have an Orbit or other Braille display device. I hope it is still available from your regional library.
These three recipes were served on Thanksgiving before unexpected transitions in our family's lives. Thanksgiving 1995 was the last one we had at our home in Fitchburg. That Christmas, John proposed to Pam. We had Thanksgiving at their apartment in Fitchburg until 2000. In 2000, we had the first of seven happy Thanksgivings at their new house in Gardner. It was 1998 when I made the brownies, and then illness changed our lives forever in 1999. In 2007, I made the vegetarian dip, knowing it was the last Thanksgiving we would have at Pam and John's home in Gardner. They moved to northern Maine in April 2008.
I hope you have enjoyed these recipes. Let us all pray for a trusting and civil America and government. Let us also pray for lasting peace throughout the world.
11. CONSUMER VISION TRIVIA CONTEST
Here is the answer to the trivia question submitted in the October Consumer Vision. The three brands of cigarettes named after cities in New England are Salem, Newport, and Marlboro.
Congratulations to the following winners:
Jo Smith of West Dennis, Massachusetts
Jan Colby of Brockton, Massachusetts
And now, here is your trivia question for the November Consumer Vision. According to the Bible, who was Abraham's first son? If you know the answer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508-994-4972.