Welcome to The Blind Perspective

Logo Description: A view from a window with lavender curtains drawn back viewing the snowy peaks of a mountain range. The words “The Blind Perspective” hover above in the sky.
October 2020
Volume 6 Issue 10

Table of Contents

Greetings from the Editor
Sponsor of the Month
Movers & Shakers
International Perspective
Reader's Feature
Exercise, does a body good
Have I Got A Story For You
Kaleidoscope of Krafts
Spencer’s Spotlight
Computer Tech101
A Time to Plant
Seeing the World Differently
Dirty Work
The Beauty Parlor
Cooking Concoctions
Riddle & Brain Buster


The Blind Perspective Newsletter has been produced in such a manner that makes it easier to stroll through the articles. If you are using JAWS, System Access, or NVDA, press the letter H to move through the headings. If you are wanting to skip back simply press the shift key + the letter H. For MAC users, press Control Option Command plus the letter H and to go backwards through the articles press Control Option Command shift plus the letter H. If one of the links do not work for you just copy and paste it in to your browser and it should work.

Greetings from the Editor

By Karen Santiago

Hi Perspective Readers!
I hope you are all doing well and being safe. These sure are uncertain times. But there is nothing uncertain about The Blind Perspective and its commitment to providing you with informative, educational, and entertaining articles.

Here are some things to remember:
The writers want to hear from you with topic suggestions, feedback, questions, etc.
We would like to hear your stories of tips & techniques, your personal experiences/ challenges you have overcomed, and anything you would like to share with our readers. These stories will be included in the segment titled, Reader’s Features.

Be well, and keep on reading!

Remember you can also choose to listen to our audio version of the newsletter, link below:
BlindPerspectiveAudio October

At A Glance: Party Time, Newsreel, Google Recorder, Malta, Personal Mobility, Dance, Land, Water, & Air, Looms, Friends, IE, Houseplants, Cruising, Toys, Wax, Apples, Riddle & Brain Buster!

Sponsor of the Month

It’s a Party, and You are All Invited!

Come and join the Out-Of-Sight DJ's for a musical blast on Saturday, October 31, 2020. This is the Third Annual Birthday celebration of The Out-Of-Sight Radio station, and we want you to join us for a day filled with favorite tunes you’ve enjoyed throughout your life! To spice it up a bit with even more fun, there will be lots of cash prizes during the celebration!

How can you win you say? Well, simply listen to the radio station at, player.live365.com
and then call in to, 843-314-4477, at the appropriate times in order to win. Out-Of-Sight Radio is funded by ww.Out-Of-Sight.net

To sign up for a free account and meet other blind people from around the world, Simply go to: www.Out-Of-Sight.net
and click on “Join our Community”. Then, click on the “Join Us” link, and fill out the form. You will receive your materials within 24 hours to access our TeamTalk client.
There’s something for everyone! Let the fun begin!

Movers & Shakers

By Karen Santiago

Just a few weeks ago I conducted a Q&A with Irwin Hott, the editor of Newsreel Magazine. Read below to learn a bit more about Irwin, and about this longtime running magazine.

To begin, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a long-time resident of Columbus, Ohio and was mainstreamed from first grade through high school. I’ve been a guide dog user and received my first of six guide dogs in 1968.
In 1974, I co-founded the Central Ohio Radio Reading Service (now known as VoiceCORPS).
I became Editor of Newsreel Magazine in 1997 when its founder, Stanley Doran, retired. I had been working at Newsreel since 1986.

What is Newsreel?
Produced by and for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, Newsreel Magazine is a two-way audio publication that contains news, supportive articles, information, and entertainment.

Newsreel Magazine subscribers submit the articles and audio clips that are featured in each three-hour monthly issue.

It’s a forum where subscribers discuss challenges, ask questions, get answers and learn ways of coping in a sighted world. IT’s people talking to people who have gone through or are going through the same vision-related issues you may be experiencing. Our subscribers often refer to Newsreel as a family.

Articles in a typical month’s issue may include anything from travel, book reviews, personal experiences with high- and low-tech devices, crafts, hobbies, living with pets and more!

When/ how did Newsreel come about?
In 1958, Stanley Doran who Founded the Pilot Dogs Guide dog training program in Columbus Ohio, started a Round Robin type newsletter for Pilot Dog graduates. He used three-inch open reel tapes to stay in touch. Members sent ideas, messages, articles, and tips to Doran who recorded, duplicated and sent them to [Newsreel] subscribers.
Based on popular newscasts shown in movies at that time, he called these round-robin newsletters “Newsreels.”
Word spread about this stimulating, compact source of information. By 1971, Newsreel was [distributed] on cassette tapes and sent to nearly 1000 blind or visually impaired members.
With the growth and popularity of the Internet, many Newsreel Magazine subscribers showed a strong interest in being able to download each issue. In June of 2007, Newsreel Magazine transitioned into cyberspace giving its subscribers the ability to download each issue in digital mp3 format from the Newsreel Magazine website.

what type of organization is Newsreel?
Newsreel, Inc., the producer of Newsreel Magazine is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

what is its mission statement?
“Our mission is to be the most comprehensive single source of information to and about blind people.”

Accessing the magazine:
what formats does it come in?
Newsreel magazine is available through instant digital mp3 format from the Newsreel Magazine website.
*On NLS Digital Cartridge or a Flash Drive.
*AS an Audio MP3 CD and 4-Track Cassette.

how often does the magazine come out?
Newsreel magazine is published 12 times each year and is released on or about the first day of the month.

How does a subscriber submit an article?
Subscribers may send articles as e-mail attachments, I-phone Voice Memos, by leaving a voice mail message at the office’s phone number, and on cassette.

is it free or is there a subscription cost?
You can try Newsreel magazine by signing up for a free three-month subscription. The cost of an Annual subscription ranges from 25 to 40 dollars depending on the format you choose.

To subscribe to Newsreel Magazine or for more information about costs and formats, please call us Toll-Free:
888-723-8737 or send an email message to

More information including testimonials can be found at our website:


By Casey Mathews

Take Notes in Audio and Text at the Same Time with Google Recorder

Google research is working on several things that I believe can have significant impact in the lives of a blind and/or visually impaired individual. Does that mean I think everyone should run out and get an Android device? Uh… No, not yet, at any rate. Android isn’t for everyone, in spite of the claims from Google. That being said, there are some amazing tools that can help.

A while back, I posted an article on Lookout. This is a fantastic app that can greatly help someone read and ID things around them.
Today I’ll be showing you an app by Google LLC called Recorder. This app allows you to record audio, then turn that audio directly into searchable, transcribed text. Now don’t you wish you’d had such a handy app when you were in school? Currently, this app is only available for Android devices. Before I go any further, I will share the app description from Google. The description is a bit sparse, so I will talk afterward about the app in a bit more detail. Now here’s Google!

Google Recorder Description
Recorder brings the power of search to audio recording. Meetings, lectures, band practices, family memories — anything you want to save and listen to later. Recorder automatically transcribes and labels what you record so you can easily find the parts that matter to you.

Using Google Recorder
Once you Download Google Recorder and allow the app to use the Microphone, and also optionally location services so that it knows where you made a recording, you can begin.

To start recording, just find the record button toward the bottom center of the screen. Google Recorder will begin recording, and if you have vision, you will notice a transcription begin. If you use TalkBack, you can also locate this transcription, but it will interfere with the recording unless you either pause the recording first, or use headphones.

Once you stop recording, you can go into more options. From this area, you have the ability to see the transcription, search for text, share a recording to various places, and of course delete a recording.

Final Remarks
I have been playing with the recorder app for a bit now. I find it very interesting that Google can detect things like laughter and clapping, and of course all of those swear words that we all secretly love to say. I find that having the audio and text transcription together really helps me locate items of interest later. This is because each phrase that is transcribed has a time index, so if something isn’t clear via the text transcripts, you can jump to that same time in the audio file. I also find this app to be handy for taking down short bits of info such as a phone number. The app may have difficulty transcribing challenging items such as foreign names or email addresses, but that’s what the audio is for.

I hope anyone else out there using an Android phone will find this app as useful as I have.

Editor’s Note: Thank you Casey for sharing these useful articles on Android features and apps.

International Perspective

By Karen Santiago

A Short time ago I had a lovely interview with Bridget Micallef. Read below to see what life is like for her as a blind person living in Malta.

A bit about Malta:
Malta is an island country in Southern Europe. Its neighbors are Italy and Libya. Malta is an Archipelago of three main islands, lying in the Mediterranean Sea. The three islands are Malta, the largest, Gozo, the second largest, and Comino, the smallest. In Malta and Gozo there are several prehistoric and free-standing temples, that go back thousands of years. Comino is not inhabited, it houses a hotel, as it is a tourist attraction. Malta is the tenth smallest island and fourth most densely populated, with a population of over 420,000.

School for the Blind:
There are no schools for the blind in Malta. Blind children get assessed and then they are mainstreamed into the “normal” schools. They are provided with a learning supporter educator.

There are no braille instructions given while in school. There are no books available in braille, not in Maltese or English.
They once had a braille instructor. However, he didn’t push the need for children to learn braille. In fact, he thought of braille as being out dated!

There is only one mobility instructor for Malta and Gozo. So, needless to say, she is jammed packed with clients. And due to the extreme heat in the summer, lessons are limited to only a few hours in the early morning. Therefore, people have to wait their turn for a lesson, and that can take quite a long time.

There are no sports activities for blind children.

Bridget’s experience when trying to take courses at the university were not so pleasant. The people who were supposed to be supporting those with disabilities were the one being most discouraging. They told her that it would be too time consuming, be discriminating against the sighted students, course material would not be adapted for the blind, and that she just wouldn’t be able to do it.
Bridget knew of one blind gentleman who did get through his studies and became a lawyer. However, Bridget added that several students attend universities in wheelchairs, but you can count the number of blind students on one hand.

Personal use of assistive devices; computer, screenreader, etc., must be purchased by the individual and/ or family members.
The Foundation for Information Technology Accessibility (FITA) provides training for using screenreaders and computers.
The Commission for Persons with Disabilities will, upon a receipt, give individuals a tax break. VAT stands for value added tax, so, when you purchase a computer you are given a VAT receipt and with that receipt you can claim a tax refund.
Individuals can also apply for partial financial support through the Community Chest Fund, which is chaired by the president’s wife.

Job Training:
Job Class is an organization that provides support and programs for unemployed people, as well as those with disabilities.
There is a law which states that 2% of the workforce must be those with disabilities. And, employers must provide the necessary tools and equipment in order for those with disabilities to perform their job.

If one is disabled and unemployed, then they can receive the Disability Pension. As of a few years ago, disabled persons who work full time can also receive the disability pension. The amount that a full-time employee receives is not based on their pay but rather the interest in the bank.
Disability pension is granted through the age of 65. After age 65, the disability pension stops and the government pension kicks in.

Guide Dog School:
There is one guide dog school in Malta. Previously one would have to go abroad to obtain a guide dog.
There are two different organizations associated with service dogs:
Malta Guide Dog Foundation provides guide dogs solely for individuals who are blind. Malta Service Dog Foundation provides service dogs for diabetics, wheelchair users, the deaf, etc.
Guide dogs are allowed access into public buildings, restaurants; everywhere!

There are curb cuts in the sidewalks. They are adding more and more tactile strips at the intersections. They have traffic lights that beep when it is time to cross the street. However, these adaptations are seen more in the busy areas.

Captain’s House is a door to door ride service available to those with disabilities. They receive financial support from the government to provide the service. And, then individuals using the service, pay a subsidized fee.

Braille in the public:
The only place you will find braille in Malta is on elevators.
The only book in Maltese is the bible. The only other book transcribed into Maltese Braille is a Maltese historical novel which was a rushed job and not professionally done.

Reading Services:
There is a public library in Malta, however, they have no braille books. They do offer talking books, but they are all abridged.
Bridget gets her audio and braille books from Calibre Audio Library and the Royal National Institute for the blind respectively and both are situated in England. They are mailed to her at no cost.

Blind Associations:
GAVI (Gozo Association for the Visually Impaired)
Torball Blind Association: (from their website) To promote inclusion of visually impaired and non-sighted persons in society.
Malta Society of the Blind: (from their website)
Supporting local people with sight loss and impairments.

Bridget says that these organizations don’t do too much. They tend to bicker among each other instead of providing necessary services for blind individuals. They do organize a social outing once or twice a year.

Final Thoughts:
Bridget says that her experience with sighted people is mixed. However, she added, there are more people willing to help than not.
Bridget is a strong advocate for braille. Any chance she has she speaks of the importance of blind individuals needing to learn how to read and write in braille. She would love to see the following things happen in Malta:
*Braille introduced in schools
*Braille books in their native language of Maltese
*University courses made accessible for blind students

Reader’s Feature

By Jim Paradiso

I have had several people request that I write down some of my stories. This one occurred while traveling as a blind person who doesn’t speak Spanish in South America.
This one was my personal training in mobility.

About 3 1/2 years ago I was traveling and I had stopped in the city of Cuenca, Ecuador. I thought I’d stay there for about two weeks, waiting for some friends to meet me there! while there I posted on the local website; what is there to do for a blind man traveling in your city alone? One of the responses I got was, why not go to Incaperca.
I asked, “What is that?” The response was that it is the Aztec ruins about two hours east of the city.

I Was not really well-versed on how to use bus System. I thought I’d go to the station and then check the schedule, when I get there. I left the house about 6:30, arrived at the bus station around seven. I discovered that the bus doesn’t leave for Incaperca Until 9:30.

I was sitting on a bench talking to this lovely lady who spoke some English. She explained to me that I didn’t have to wait for the 9:30 bus, I could take the bus at 7:45, which went to another town where I could change buses, then go from there to the ruins. she said she was going to the town where I needed to transfer, and she would be happy to show me to the next bus! So, I boarded the 7:45 bus with her.

When we arrived, she showed me to the other bus and informed me the last stop of the bus was Incaperca. Of course, the bus ride was interesting, to say the least. It was heading up the mountains using a road that was built several thousand years ago, very narrow and not meant for buses.

The bus finally pulled into a gravel parking lot. I asked the bus Driver if we had arrived. he said yes and I got off into a gravel parking lot. When I travel a couple hours outside of the city, I always pack my backpack, because I plan on spending at least one night in the area. I asked the driver, where is there a hostile? He directed me to one across the street.

My Spanish is extremely limited, where Is a place to stay and how much is it, are within my vocabulary! Well, I didn’t know people in this town didn’t speak Spanish, they spoke Quechua, Being of the indigenous Heritage. They are well under 5 feet tall (150 cm) and some are 4 feet tall 120 cm). Being from North America, I’m 6 feet tall (180 cm)! This may not sound like a problem for the average person, but everything there is custom-made for “People of short stature”.

I asked at the desk how much for a room, and I was told eight dollars. Which, even here is considered very reasonable, I usually expect to spend 15 or 20 dollars. A sweet lady who came just above my navel, showed me to the room. The doorway was 5‘6“approximately 170 cm. Of course, I hit my head as I walked through the door.

I left my backpack on the bed, which was proximately 6 feet long 180 cm. This meant when I laid on the bed, my feet hung over the edge. The showerhead came just mid chest. It was like being in elementary school with the children’s furniture We used to have.

After leaving the room, I started to explore the area, looking for the ruins. The way I did this is I would start at the front of the hotel then go one block, and then back to the hotel. Then I go to blocks, and then back to the first block. I would continue three blocks out and then back to the second block and work my way out until I know the town. After about an hour and a half to two hours, I would every street in this town. However, only six blocks out and I couldn’t find the ruins anywhere.

Now, it was about 1230 so, I started looking for a place to get lunch. I found this little place; I would describe it as a kitchen where there were some chairs and A table to sit down at. A woman offered to fix me lunch, she spoke a little English. This really wasn’t a restaurant, but rather her house. She was just looking for a way to make a little extra money. It was three dollars for a very good lunch.

After lunch, I started walking up the path to the ruins. At the end of the road there was a parking lot which led to the entrance. The ruins have been perfectly restored by the Ecuadorian government. They gave tours in English every hour, on the hour. And, Spanish tours every half hour.

My guide Raul, was one of the nicest people I had ever met! He took one look at me and his first question was, “Where is your companion?”
I told him that I was traveling alone.
His next question was, “I didn’t see you come in on the bus, how did you get here?”
I told him that I took the bus to town and walked. He explained to me that the bus that came from Quincke goes directly to the ruins. If I had waited for the 9:30 bus it would have drop me off in the parking lot of the ruins.

He started telling me the story of his blind nephew and the struggles he’s faced in life. After explaining this to me, he was totally astounded that I traveled alone, didn’t speak Spanish and didn’t worry about getting hurt or lost.

The man gave me a tour of the ruins, it was absolutely spectacular. He took me places that they normally don’t take the general public. The man was absolutely wonderful to me. After this, a guy took me to the museum where I got to experience some of the artifacts they had dug up on the site. It was a wonderful afternoon.

In the mountains it starts to get cold once the sun begins to set. About 5:30 I walked back to the hotel. Once there, I asked the lady at the desk about WIFI. She brought me upstairs into a little room with a balcony. She connected me to a WIFI somewhere out in the stream that she had the password to. However, you could only get it from the corner of the balcony outside in the cold. I checked in with all my friends to make sure they knew I was still safe and sound, and hadn’t died in this adventure. Then I went out to dinner.

I started wandering through the town asking for a restaurant and this woman said, “C!” I sat at this table and it was a family style meal. She was serving her family and figured she pick up a few bucks by having A gringo join them for dinner. I think it was around five dollars. After dinner, I went back to my hotel and to sleep.

I got up the next morning and tried to shower. In South America hot water is not exactly plentiful and the ground water is cold! What they have to heat the water is these things they affectionately call suicide showers. This contraption is a large showerhead approximately 10 inches (25 cm) across which has two wires that go to an electrical outlet in the wall. And, it is usually not grounded where the water passes over a heating coil. The way the temperature of the water is adjusted is the faster the flow of water the colder the shower. Did I mention that the showerhead is at chest height, so if I slip and reach out and grab a live electric wire, thus the name suicide shower?

After a quick shower, I got dressed, and of course hit my head on the door frame on the way out. I put on my backpack, went to the lobby and paid for the room. Then I went out on the street where there was this lady selling empanadas, which are kind of like bread dough with cheese. I asked her how much and she told me 10 dollars, it was very good.

I went across the street and got the bus for an uneventful trip back to the city.

Exercise, does a body good

By Dan Kiely

Welcome to Dancing Does A Body Good.

Yes, that is correct, dancing. Dancing is an excellent form of cardiovascular/aerobic exercise.

What is dancing? Dancing is defined as:
1. to move one's body rhythmically usually to music; to engage in or perform a dance to our favorite song.
2. To move or seem to move up and down or about in a quick or lively manner.

Dancing comes in many forms, such as ballroom, the waltz, the tango, polka, the Irish Jig, line dancing, square dancing, and tap dancing.

Where can you dance? You can dance almost anywhere, such as, in your home, backyard, church, a bar, a dance club, a strip club, at a wedding reception and at a dance studio.

What are the health benefits of dancing? The health benefits of dancing are:
Improved condition of your heart and lungs.
Increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness.
Increased aerobic fitness.
Improved muscle tone and strength.
Weight management.
Stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis.
Better coordination, agility and flexibility.

How many calories can you burn dancing in a half hour? You can burn anywhere between 200 to 400 calories with just a half an hour of continuous dancing.
People who weigh more will burn more calories:
105 pounds = average 240 calories burned per hour.
170 pounds = average 388 calories burned per hour.

Dancing can be fun, and music is also important. So, pick out the music that will motivate you to move and groove. Dancing can be done alone, with a partner, or with a group. So, when dancing, be creative, pick out your own style of dance and move.

Health Tip
The Health Benefits of Sweating:
Circulation increases throughout our organs, muscles, and tissue.
Our skin releases toxins such as alcohol and waste products, which helps our body detoxify.
The elimination of salt from the body can help prevent kidney stones from forming.

So, everybody, let’s get up and dance, be creative, and sweat! And remember, dancing does a body good!

Have I Got A Story For You

By Carla Jo Bratton

Greetings Book Travelers! Come with me this month, we’ll go from the Mariana Trench, to Deep Outer Space. There’s a little bit of everything in this one, let’s Go!

I received a wonderful note from Milt, a Perspective reader and he wrote to say:
My wife listen to this book with me as I read it in the evenings. We both feel this is a book worthwhile suggestion for many people to read.

The Yellow Envelope, One Gift, Three Rules, and A Life Changing Journey Around the World
written by Kim Dinan
CELA has it in every format
reading time: 8 hours and 48 minutes

After Kim and her husband, Brian, decide to quit their jobs to travel around the world, they're given a yellow envelope containing a check and instructions to give the money away. There are only three rules for the envelope: Don't overthink it, share your experiences, and don't feel pressured to give it all away. Through Ecuador, Peru, Nepal, and beyond, Kim and Brian face obstacles, including major challenges to their relationship. As they distribute the money to people they encounter along the way, they learn that money does not have anything to do with the capacity to give but that it is the giving of ourselves that is transformational.
Thanks for writing in Milt, I can’t read all the good books so, I appreciate the recommendation.

Selections from Across Two Novembers: A year in the life of a Blind Bibliophile
Written by David Faucheux
reading time: 6 hours and 27 minutes
Not on CELA, but it is available on Audible

A masterful abridgement of the 2017 Across Two Novembers, this book preserves the erudition, poignancy, and occasional quirkiness of the original. It cuts out the lengthy bibliography and some of the daily journal entries, but one is never left wondering what might be missing when a day is skipped. Mentions and fine reviews of dozens of books share the stage with the more personal details. From the preface to this edition: An Amazon reviewer described my 2017 book, Across Two Novembers: A Year in the Life of a Blind Bibliophile, as reminiscent of that famous diary kept by Samuel Pepys. While surprised and truly flattered, I wondered if subconsciously he was giving me some advice. Pepys wrote a masterful account of nearly a decade in his life. But who listens long nowadays? Hence this abridgement. I hope this glimpse of my year with only the highlights included will give you a taste, yet be as satisfying as the original, unabridged version.

My comments; What a relatable book. I found myself nodding along with David’s experiences, laughed at some of his stories and now I want to take a road trip to Lafayette Louisiana for some of that good food. Thanks David for a wonderful book.

You didn’t think I’d forget Halloween did you? Dress up like a mad scientist, a mermaid, or the captain of a ship and come into the deep if you dare!
The Rolling in the Deep Series by Mira Grant. There are only 2 so far.
Rolling in the Deep prequel book 0.5
I snagged this one from Audible, I just had to have it first.
reading time:3 hours and 6 minutes

When the Imagine Network commissioned a documentary on mermaids, to be filmed from the cruise ship Atargatis, they expected what they had always received before: an assortment of eyewitness reports that proved nothing, some footage that proved even less, and the kind of ratings that only came from peddling imaginary creatures to the masses. They didn't expect actual mermaids. They certainly didn't expect those mermaids to have teeth. This is the story of the Atargatis, lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax, others have called it a maritime tragedy. Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the bathypelagic zone in the Mariana Trench. And the depths are very good at keeping secrets.

Into the Drowning Deep, book 1
Written by Mira Grant
DB 89730
not on CELA yet
reading time: 17 hours and 15 minutes

The ocean is home to many myths, but some are deadly. Seven years ago the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a mockumentary bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. Now a new crew has been assembled. But this time they're not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life's work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart, this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost. Whatever the truth may be, it will be found only below the waves. But the secrets of the deep come with a price.
Strong language and violence.
Mira Grant lives in California, sleeps with a machete under her bed, and highly suggests you do the same. Mira Grant is the pseudonym of Seanan McGuire.

My comments; I know, I know, but honestly, I couldn’t read these fast enough. Creepy, crazy good. Now put on your astronaut space suit, or a Florida orange grove owner costume, or an old junk man suit of clothing and let’s blast off!

Light from Other Stars
Written by Erika Swyler
CELA has it in every size
reading time: 13 hours and 54 minutes

Eleven year old Nedda Papas is obsessed with becoming an astronaut. In 1986 in Easter, a small Florida Space Coast town, her dreams seem almost within reach, if she can just grow up fast enough. Theo, the scientist father she idolizes, is consumed by his own obsessions. Laid off from his job at NASA and still reeling from the loss of Nedda's newborn brother several years before, Theo turns to the dangerous dream of extending his living daughter's childhood just a little longer. The result is an invention that alters the fabric of time. Amidst the chaos that erupts, Nedda must confront her father and his secrets, the ramifications of which will irrevocably change her life, her community, and the entire world. But she finds an unexpected ally in Betheen, the mother she's never quite understood, who surprises Nedda by seeing her more clearly than anyone else.

Decades later, Nedda has achieved her long held dream, and as she floats in antigravity, far from earth, she and her crewmates face a serious crisis. Nedda may hold the key to the solution, if she can come to terms with her past and the future that awaits her. Light from Other Stars is about fathers and daughters, women and the forces that hold them back, and the cost of meaningful work. It questions how our lives have changed, what progress looks like, and what it really means to sacrifice for the greater good.

My comments; I loved all the space details, so fascinating, they really live like this. This book goes far beyond the synopsis, read it, worth it.

Until next month book travelers, write me and let me know where you’ve been going in the book world.
Do something kind for someone, you just never know what it might mean.
Happy reading, Carla jo.

Kaleidoscope of Krafts

By Lindy van der Merwe

A warm welcome to our readers to this month's segment of Kaleidoscope of Crafts as we start moving into spring here in South Africa and into the last quarter of 2020. For this month, I am sharing some basic information about loom knitting. This craft has become quite popular over the past few years. As the popularity of the craft has grown, different types of looms have become available and all kinds of information, including books, websites, blogs and vlogs, as well as patterns have been created to help those wanting to master this interesting craft.

Without going into too much detail, I will share with readers some of the most-asked questions and their answers, which should provide a good starting point for anyone interested in taking up this craft.

1. What is a knitting loom? How is it similar or different from knitting on needles?
A knitting loom is a tool that allows you to create knit stitches using a series of fixed pegs. Each peg on the loom is equal to one stitch on needles. Your finished knitting looks exactly like it was needle knit.

2. Why are there so many different looms?
There are different looms to allow you to use a variety of yarn to create stitches and projects of different sizes. From the tiny stitches in a baby sock to the super chunky stitches in an oversized throw, they can all be made on a loom.
Knitting looms can vary by:
*Shape – round (circular), long and narrow, rectangular, S-shaped, oval, or even X-shaped. Each one is unique and useful.
* Number of pegs – from tiny looms that only have 5 pegs to huge blanket looms with hundreds of pegs. Since each peg holds one stitch, various size looms accommodate different size projects.
* Material – wood, plastic, and metal are all used to make the looms and pegs.
* Function – some looms allow you to double knit, others are adjustable allowing you to increase or decrease the number of pegs you are using.

For beginners, consider buying a set of round looms. Such sets usually consist of 3 or 4 sizes of circular looms and a loom tool. You could also start off with just a straight, long loom to see if you like the craft. Knitting looms are available from most craft stores and on-line from specialty craft suppliers and the larger sites like Amazon or similar that may be available in your country. The round looms usually make items such as hats and socks while the long looms are used to make larger, flat pieces such as scarves and blankets.

3. What yarn should I choose when starting a loom knit project?
Looms do not only differ in their actual size but the size of the pegs and the distance between each peg also makes a difference to the knitting. It is thus important to use the yarn weight that will work with the size of your loom.
Yarn weight categorizes different yarns by the thickness of the strand.
There are 8 weights that were determined by the Craft Yarn Council Lace weight, as it sounds, is perfect for delicate shawls and doilies while chunky makes the best thick warm cowls for the coldest winters.
If using a pattern, it will usually indicate the size loom and the yarn weight that is recommended. If you are starting off and would like to practice, consider using at least worsted or chunky yarn with a large loom. Once you are used to how the stitches feel and the movements that are required to work on the larger loom, you can move to smaller loom sizes and thinner yarn. In general, the basic looms are made to create a firm fabric with bulky yarn. A worsted weight yarn will give you a medium weight fabric with looser stitches, while a sock or lace weight yarn will give an open fabric with a lot of drape.

4. What else do I need to loom knit?
- Yarn that is compatible with the size of the loom you are using. Stay away from novelty yarns with bobbles or fringe that may make it difficult for you to wind the strands around the pegs.
- loom tool (also called loom pick or hook). Make sure one is included with the loom or loom set you are buying.
- scissors
- measuring tape (flexible is best)
- tapestry (yarn) needle (for weaving in ends

5. How is knitting done on a loom?
The first type of stitch most people use on a loom is called the e-wrap stitch.
The steps below have been written for the Nifty Knitter long loom, a particular type of knitting loom made by the ProvoCraft company, but the directions will work on any round or long loom of your choice.
The long looms are usually made with the pegs set into two rows, an anchor peg on the left and a turning peg on the right and a space at its center, enabling you to do double knitting but you can create a flat piece of knitting by simply using the row of pegs on the side nearest you.

Step 1. Place the loom in front of you with the anchor peg (a peg sticking out on the side of the loom) on your left. Wrap your yarn around the anchor peg three times. This will anchor the yarn tail and keep it in place.
You should have approximately 4 inches of yarn tail hanging down from the anchor peg.

Step 2. Wrap the yarn around the first peg on the loom. This is the peg on the far left of the row closest to you as you hold the loom in front of you.
To wrap this peg, move the yarn over and around the peg in a clockwise direction.

Step 3. Move down the loom, wrapping each peg in this row in the same clockwise fashion that you wrapped the first peg. The yarn strands will cross themselves at the top of each peg on the inside of the loom.

Step 4. Wrap the yarn once around the turning peg to finish the row. The turning peg is the one on the far-right side of your loom. Wrap the yarn under and around this peg in a counterclockwise direction.

Step 5. Travel back down the loom from right to left. As you come to a new peg, wrap it in a counterclockwise direction, going over and around the peg.
The yarn loops will still cross themselves on the inside of the loom; your new loops will rest just above the first set you made on the pegs.

Step 6. Wrap the yarn around the anchor peg two or three times to secure it.
Knit your first row by using the hook tool to lift the bottom loop up and over the top loop, dropping each bottom loop on the inside of the loom as you go.

Step 7. Repeat the steps above to create a new row of wrapping on the pegs and then knit another row until you reach the desired size or amount of rows for your project.

Step 8. Once you have completed your project, you can choose from different methods to end or bind off your knitting on the loom. See the Resources below for more information.

Many variations are possible with loom knitting as is the case with needle knitting, including purl stitches, changing of colors as well as increasing and decreasing of stitches.

I hope that the above information may be helpful if you are considering trying out loom knitting as a craft. Happy crafting, until next time.


Spencer's Spotlight

By Cheryl Spencer

Often, good ideas spawn from a casual conversation with friends, which is going to be the focus of this month’s article. There are two helpful hints from two friends that I would like to pass along to you.

First, a close friend of mine has two daughters and was mentioning the array of bathroom products that was lined up along the rim of the tub. One tip of a bottle would send the lot of them tumbling into the tub. Taking a bath or shower was always a challenge getting in and out without causing an avalanche.

We tossed around a few ideas and I happen to mention a shower insert with mesh pockets. She had never heard of them. I did a quick search on my favorite shopping site, yes, Amazon, and found one that had 9 mesh pockets.
Shower Curtin Organizer :
9 pockets perfect for organizing your home bath. Organize your toiletries and kids toys in nine durable deep mesh pockets. Hang on existing shower curtain rings. This product has a very high rating and get this, the price is a mere 5 dollars and 99 cents.

She quickly ordered it, got it installed and loaded the pockets with all the bottle soldiers. Her daughters were satisfied to have multiple pockets for their beauty needs. Another benefit from this shower insert is that with all the products in the pockets, the curtain hangs straight down and doesn't tend to fly around your legs while taking a shower.

This next tip is from another friend, again, just a casual conversation. Do you love coffee and do you also love the convenience of the coffee pods, but hate how expensive it can get especially if there is more than one coffee drinker in the house? Well, a friend suggested getting your favorite coffee in a bag or can and using the reusable coffee filters, specifically for the pod machines. She has several of these filters. So, she fills them each night before bedtime and in the morning it is so easy to just pop the filter in the machine and have coffee in just a couple of minutes.

Here is one I found on Amazon at a reasonable price. Reusable K Cup 6 pack universal fit:
reusable filters with food grade stainless steel mesh, eco friendly pods for Keurig 1.0 and 2.0 brewers. This has a very high rating and is a nice price at 8 dollars and 99 cents.

I just happen to have some hazelnut coffee in a can and several reusable filters. So, I proceeded to fill them up and put them in the drawer with the rest of my coffee pods. What a terrific idea, as I sit here writing this article enjoying a nice hot cup of Hazelnut brew!

Computer Tech101

By Jim Morgan

First of all, I have an addendum of sorts for my last article. Madam Editor suggested that I, possibly, should have added the procedure for creating a folder to my article. I offered to make this addition to the article, but, due to an unexpected medical issue, I was unable to do this before The Blind Perspective “went to press”. While I know that most of you out there probably knowhow to do this, I suspect there may be some that don’t. So, here’s what I’m gonna do: if you need or want to know the procedure, simply send me a message and I’ll be happy to give you the procedure.

We now return to our originally scheduled programming; pun intended.
Well, the demise of Internet Explorer, in general, and Internet Explorer version 11, in particular, is now official. Microsoft will end support for ALL Internet Explorer programs as well as the Legacy, or “original”, version of Edge next year, as in 2021. According to Tom Warren of The Verge, Microsoft will cease support for Internet Explorer version 11 on August 17,2021. This cessation applies to ALL Microsoft Online/Cloud based apps, programs, and services. In addition, as of November 30, 2020, Microsoft Team support of Internet Explorer 11 will also end. For most of us, this is no surprise; Microsoft has been pulling back from Internet Explorer and touting Edge for at least the last 2 years. In addition, a number of Sites have stopped supporting Internet Explorer and will only run with Firefox, Google Chrome, or Microsoft Edge. According to Mr. Warren’s article, Microsoft intends to have everyone moved over to Edge as soon as possible but will extend a “Compatibility Mode” to businesses so that they can still access any Sites specifically designed for Internet Explorer but, eventually, will endeavor to have everyone moved to Edge.

Of course, the question I hear being screamed out there is “what does this mean to us?”. The answer, happily, is actually quite simple. If you haven’t done so already and don’t use Google Chrome or Firefox, simply download and install Edge on your computer. To do this, you either need to go to Microsoft’s Website and download and install it or, if the site you went to gives you the option to do so, download and install it from the Site you’re on. Does this mean you have to uninstall or stop using Internet Explorer version 11? The answer is No. I have both products, as well as Google Chrome, installed on my computer and there are no issues with them; all 3 programs basically “ignore” each other although I do have Edge set as my Default Browser for when I click on links in E-mail and such. The bottom line here is that unless you use the Internet based Microsoft programs, such as Office 365, Outlook, etc., or you call Microsoft for an Internet Browser problem, you will see no real difference. What Microsoft’s announcement really means is that there will no longer be updates and security patches to the programs nor will you be able to get Technical Support from Microsoft for Internet Explorer and programs that go through your internet browser, such as Office 365, will not work properly. Other than that, it’s status quo. It really isn’t much different from when Microsoft stops support of an Operating System, such as when they stopped supporting Windows XP a few years ago. To my knowledge, those people still using Windows XP are still doing so with no issue. Granted that this is a little different in that you have to worry about other programs too, but, in all probability, you’ve already done the upgrade, especially if you’re using Windows 10, and are set.

If you’re curious if you have the Chromium version of Edge, which is the version they will be supporting, simply go to the menu in Edge, usually by hitting the Alt key and “F” together, hit the Up Arrow a couple of times to get to the Help and Feedback submenu, Right Arrow to access the submenu and Down Arrow to “About Microsoft Edge”, it’s the one at the bottom of the menu, and hit Return. Somewhere, on the screen that comes up, it should say “Chromium” or “Chromium based”. If you see that, you’re golden; if not, you may need to upgrade. I’m not sure, but I got the impression from Mr. Warren’s article that there is an earlier “Legacy” based version of Edge and that, Like Internet Explorer, will no longer be supported.

Incidentally, you may recall that I’ve said before that Edge was designed to compete with Google Chrome. Microsoft has seemed to confirm this by saying that Edge is “Chromium based”. To me, that means that it’s based on Chrome but skirts the line of Copyright Infringement. This is nothing new for Microsoft since they’ve done it before. I refer to the suit Apple lost against them when they accused Microsoft of ripping off the Graphical User Interface, or GUI that the Macintosh has used since its’ inception, when Microsoft created Windows MANY years ago. As an example, Apple has a Trash Can icon for deleted files while Microsoft uses a rectangular Recycling Bin for the same purpose. The Judge dismissed the suit saying that you couldn’t copyright “look and feel”. So, as I said, this isn’t Microsoft’s first Rodeo when it comes to seeing a good program and making one similar and, hopefully, do similarly well, if not better, in sales and/or usage while skirting any possible copyright issues.

That’s it for now. I’ll be watching the demise of Internet Explorer over the next year or so and should I find out anything interesting, I’ll be certain to bring it to everyone’s attention. In the meantime, should you have any questions about this, any other computer-related topic, or need the procedure to create folders, please don’t hesitate to send me a message. I’ll reply ASAP. I can be reached at the above address and, as always, Happy Computing!

A Time to Plant

By Sue Brasel

House plants are any plants that grow indoors. These need a good source of light, some form of moisture, and a suitable temperature. Often, houseplants don’t tolerate cold weather because their native habitat was originally the tropics or subtropics.

Many people have cacti and succulents as their indoor plants. People like plants with a low watering need.

We know about plants that grow in soil. Some plants, however, such as epiphytes, grow on the surface of other plants. They get their moisture and nutrients from rain and nearby plant debris, otherwise known as compost, in their native tropical habitat. Numerous ferns, bromeliads and air plants grow on tree trunks in tropical rain forests. Typically, a bromeliad will have short stems and rosettes of stiff leaves that people often mistakenly call flowers.

Container gardening has a place in history. In ancient Egypt and Sumeria, there is evidence that people were growing plants in containers. During the Renaissance, plant collectors and merchants were importing plants from Asia and the East Indies to satisfy the fascination that European aristocracy had with exotic plants.

Until the Victorian Era, the average person did not have enough indoor lighting to bring plants inside for their enjoyment. During the reign of England’s Queen Victoria, indoor plants became a status symbol for the middle class, when larger windows allowed more lighting for plants to grow. It wasn’t until after World War II that houseplants became popular for the general public.

People like to have a sense of “getting back to nature”. For some people, indoor plant greenery seems to reduce stress. Other people think that the smell of freshly watered houseplants brings on a feeling of peace, like the euphoria they get by going outside right after a rain storm.

Air stagnates without good circulation, but plants have been known to relieve some of that pollution. Volatile organic compounds can be removed when plants break down carbon for later use, or remove it in a carbon dioxide – oxygen exchange cycle. Basically, this happens at the soil microorganism stage. Another benefit of plants is the reduction of airborne microbes.

Pets might enjoy nibbling plants, especially if nutrients are lacking in their diet. Since they might not make wise choices, it is up to us to keep pets away from toxic plants, whether indoors or outside. There is no broad category of plants that is safe for every animal, so check to see if your plants are safe for the kind of pet you have.

Some plants are generally recognized as unsafe if pets or children eat or even touch them. If you choose to keep these plants in your living environment, keep them on a high shelf or in a hanging basket. Some of these include dumb cane (dieffenbachia), English ivy, rubber trees, and philodendrons. Find out if the plants you already have fit into the group of plants to be cautious with!

It is now “thyme” to check out my houseplants! Even though my pets have never been adversely affected by my houseplants, I still want to keep them safe!

Seeing the World Differently

By Lois Strachan

I always love hearing stories of blind and visually impaired people who have travelled to unusual destinations, or have gone on an interesting tourist experience. So I was delighted to have the opportunity to chat to a woman named Kim who went on a cruise with her guide dog, Jessie, shortly before travel became restricted due to COVID-19.

I’ll admit that it would probably never have occurred to me to take my guide dog with me on a cruise. I would have considered the logistics – like having to find those very necessary patches of grass at strategic times – a little daunting. I wanted to find out how it had all worked. So I invited Kim onto my accessible travel podcast. And was delighted when she accepted.

During the interview I learned that Jessie was the first guide dog that had been accommodated on a cruise ship travelling in South African waters. Consequently, Kim spent quite a bit of time before the trip negotiating with the cruise line – not about whether or not she would be able to bring Jessie with her – but on what needed to be put in place to ensure that all Jessie’s needs could be met. Kim told me that she found the cruise line very open to the suggestions she made and that, when she and Jessie eventually boarded the ship, that everything she could possibly need had been provided.

Having travelled on ships often enough myself, I was curious about how Kim and Jessie adjusted to the constant motion of the ship as it traversed the water. Kim told me that there is less roll on a cruise ship and that she and Jessie were able to manage fine. She said they kept closer to the structure of the ship in case she needed to reach for a handhold, but that this seldom proved necessary.

It’s not the first time Kim has been cruising. She has been travelling on ships since she was a young child and cruising has always been a favourite leisure activity for her. She said she had no intention of losing that experience after she lost her sight a few years ago. But this was the first trip she’d taken with her new guide dog.

I asked her to compare the experience of taking a cruise with her guide and without. She said having Jessie with her gave her far more independence to move around the ship without her sighted husband and, as those of us with guide dogs know well, teamwork was the most important aspect that made the voyage such a success.

Of course Kim prepared for the voyage – learning the basic layout of the ship beforehand so she would be able to orientate herself with Jessie’s help. And she quickly taught Jessie the most important routes she would need – to recognise their cabin, how to find the elevators, the information desk where the crewmember assigned to assist her was situated… and the coffee lounge, of course!

I was fascinated to hear of the voyage that Kim and Jessie took, and of the way they managed the logistics, including that all-important leash relief area. I’m not going to give you all the details. If you want to hear Kim talk about her experience you can listen to the podcast episode at, Cruising with Kim and Jessie

If you have a story of travelling to an unusual destination or of an exciting tourist experience, either with or without a guide dog, I’d love to hear about it. Drop me a mail at the address at the top of this article and you never know, you might get to share your story on my podcast!

Dirty Work

By Manny Morales

Toys, toys, toys! If you have young children or grandchildren, then you know there are usually a lot of toys around. But do you know how to, and how often you should clean those toys, especially the ones that they put in their mouths. Read on to learn how to and how often to clean toys!

How frequently toys need cleaning depends on how often they get played with. These are general guidelines for when your child is healthy. It's always important to clean and sanitize toys more frequently when your child is ill or has the flu. Once they recover, it is time to do it all over again.
Baby toys that are the most likely to be put in a child's mouth and dropped on the floor are the ones that need the most frequent attention. Clean these every one to two days. Others can be done weekly.

The EPA does not recommend using vinegar to clean children’s toys because it isn’t powerful enough to reach the sanitizing and disinfecting levels.
If you are looking for a more natural, plant-based alternative to chemical disinfectants, products like Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes, kill germs with thymol, a component of thyme oil. They are EPA registered, but keep in mind that they work more slowly than traditional disinfecting wipes and the surface needs to stay visibly wet for 10 minutes to be the most effective.

How to clean bath and Plastic toys:
Solid plastic toys, like rubber rings, animal figures and building blocks can easily be cleaned in your dishwasher's top rack. Nestle large toys securely between the tines in the rack and put small toy pieces into a mesh bag to keep them from jostling around with the forceful water spray.
Select the normal or sanitizing cycle and heated dry. Be sure to thoroughly air dry any toys that may come out of the dishwasher still wet.

You can also disinfect or sanitize all colorfast (Having colors that have been dyed or applied to the material in a way that will prevent them from being washed out, running, or fading) plastic baby and children's toys with:
Clorox or Lysol wipes.
A cloth wet with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.
Clorox Solution: 1/2 cup chlorine bleach and one gallon of water.
Be sure to keep the toy's surface wet for at least 10 seconds to sanitize with a wipe, or for the time recommended on the product's label. For the bleach solution, toys should remain wet for five minutes to be disinfected. Allow toys to air dry.

Always make a fresh bleach solution each time.
While these are all safe ways to clean, sanitize and disinfect baby and children's toys, after air drying, you should always give them another thorough warm water rinse and let them air dry again. This will remove any remnants of the cleaning solution.

Keep in mind: Bath toys with holes in the bottom are particularly problematic. When water gets trapped inside, mold grows. Even mesh toy caddies may not allow enough air to circulate to completely dry the toys inside. It's safest to avoid using hollow toys with holes — even rubber duckies — in the bathtub, but if you do, make sure to vigorously shake or squeeze out as much water as you can and allow them to thoroughly air dry after each use. If you ever see mold inside a toy or mold comes out when you shake or squeeze it, immediately toss the toy out.

How often to clean bath and plastic toys:
These are the easiest to maintain and should be cleaned and sanitized weekly if they are played with daily.

How to clean plush toys:
Colorfast, plain stuffed animals and fabric books are usually safe to clean in your washing machine. Sturdy plush toys can be washed and dried on the sanitizing cycles, if your machines have them, but many plush toys come with care labels, so it's a good idea to check how the manufacturer recommends cleaning it, especially if the toy is new.
First, put plush toys in a pillowcase to protect them and knot the top.
Select the gentle cycle, warm water, and a slow spin.
Dry the toy (in the pillowcase) in your dryer on a low-heat setting. Or, if your dryer has a rack, take the toy out of the pillowcase and set it on the rack to dry without tumbling.
For a gentler approach, use a hair dryer on low heat and speed settings. When the teddy reaches the just-damp stage, switch to the hair dryer's medium setting to fluff up the fur.

Keep in mind: Never wash plush toys with built-in battery packs, noise makers or other metal parts, as the water may damage them.
Make sure all decorations and buttons are securely attached, any rips and holes should be repaired.

How often to clean plush toys:
Plush toys are often machine washable and dry-able, so it's easy to launder them once a week, especially if children sleep with them.

How to clean plush toys that can't be washed:
Some toys can only stand up to hand washing. Before tossing a toy in the washer, check the colorfastness of all fabrics and trims on the toy with a drop of water. If the color bleeds when you blot the drop with a paper towel, don't machine wash it. Spot clean it instead. You'll also want to hand wash delicate stuffed toys that can only handle surface cleaning.

Dip a cloth in a warm sudsy solution and go over the entire toy.
Rinse with a cloth that you've dipped in clear water and wrung out well.
Allow the toy to air dry or use a hair dryer to help speed drying and fluff the fur.
Finally, to eliminate bacteria, dust mites and other allergens from plush toys without washing them, go over them slowly with a garment steamer, then vacuum the toy thoroughly with your vacuum's upholstery attachment.

How often to clean non- washable plush toys:
Freshen and spot clean non-washable plush toys when needed.

How to clean electronic toys:
Just like your TV's remote control, electronic toys can usually only take surface cleaning. Start by turning off and disconnecting the toy or removing any batteries (but replace the battery compartment cover) before cleaning.

With a clean cloth dipped in warm soapy water and well wrung out, wipe the toy to remove any dirt and grime.
Make an extra pass over sticky spots, around buttons, and in crevices, being careful not to let any liquid seep into the electrical components.
Rinse with a clean damp, well-wrung cloth.
Air dry.
To kill bacteria and viruses on the surface, use a disinfecting wipe, an alcohol wipe, or dip a clean cloth in a mix of four teaspoons of chlorine bleach to one quart of water. Wring the cloth well and wipe the toy.
Make sure the surface remains wet for five minutes or the time required on the wipe's label.
Let it air dry.

If this toy is likely to wind up in your child's mouth, rinse it well with a damp clean cloth and let it air dry again.

How often to clean electronic toys:
Electronic toys are only safe for surface cleaning and should get a sanitizing wipe down weekly and always whenever a child is sick.

So, follow these cleaning tips to keep your children and grandchildren safe while playing with their favorite toys or sleeping with their cuddly stuffed animal! If you want to know how to clean something, shoot me an email at the address above and I will write about it in an upcoming issue. As always, remember dirty work is clean fun!

The Beauty Parlor

By Christy Ray

Paraffin Wax

Some people may have never heard of this item. So, what in the world is Paraffin Wax? It is literally a block of wax. It is almost clear or whiteish colored and has no scent to it. It is made with saturated hydrocarbons.

The next thought you may have is: “and what is this wax used for?” Great question! This block of wax has lots of uses. You can use it as a lubricant, as electrical insulation, and to make crayons, scented candles, or candy. In addition, paraffin wax can be used as a pain reliever. So many different uses, it’s hard to believe one thing can be used in so many different ways.

And what do I talk about here? Beauty tips of course. So, why am I mentioning these other uses, you may be asking? I promise I am getting to my point, really. I could not talk about paraffin wax without at least mentioning all the different uses.

On to the beauty uses of paraffin wax. Salons and spa centers use paraffin for various treatments. It is good for softening skin, hands, cuticles, and feet. Some of these areas can be very difficult for people to soften, and this method is good for it.

The benefits of being colorless, tasteless, and unscented makes it a great. product for a softener for hands and feet.

How can wax be good for my feet and hands? Are you serious? I know this sounds kind of out there, but stay with me. As a natural emollient, it can make the skin more supple and increase the moisture in the hands and feet once it is applied. One of the really great things is that it keeps working once you take it off. If that’s not enough, it can help with dead skin and opening up pores, to give you that smoother fresher feeling face.

Things to think about. If you have some health conditions, be careful before using paraffin wax and consult with your doctor first.
• numbness in your hands or feet
• poor blood circulation
• diabetes
• any rashes or open sores
If you have allergies to petroleum this is not for you.

If this treatment is something you try at home, be careful and do not heat the wax too much as it can burn you and apparently catch fire.
Just like most things, have fun, and be careful!

Cooking Concoctions

By Maxine

We have all heard at one time or another that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Disappointingly, studies have shown no evidence of this to be true. However, the small fraction of US adults who eat an apple a day do appear to use fewer prescription medications. And, it is a healthier snack choice than those bags of potato chips.
Here are several things you can do and make with apples. Enjoy!

Did you know there is a star in the center of apples? Just lay an apple on its side, stem pointing to the left or right, not straight up. Then slice the apple into slices while it lying this way. Poof, a star in the center of each slice. Perhaps this will help you to get the kids to eat apples.

For snacks:
Apples are good cut into slices, chunks, or wedges. Then pair them up with peanut butter, cheese slices, or pieces of other fruit.
Toast your favorite bread, muffin, or bagel and spread a bit of peanut butter on top and top off with thinly sliced apples.
For a sweet crunch, thinly slice apples and add them to your deli sandwiches. Or, you can forget the bread and roll up small pieces of apple in cheese, ham, turkey, etc.

Apple Turnovers: Whether you have these for breakfast, a snack or as a dessert, they will be sure to be a hit!
For the filling:
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 cups water
4 Granny Smith (green apples) peeled, cored, & diced
2 Tablespoon butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoon water
1 (17.25 ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed; Pepperidge Farms brand is great

For the Glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon milk

Combine lemon and 4 cups water in a large bowl. Place the diced apples in the water to keep them from browning.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Drain water from apples, and place them into the hot skillet. Cook and stir for about 4 minutes.
Add brown sugar, and cinnamon, and cook, stirring, for 4 more minutes.
Stir together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Pour into the skillet, and mix well. Cook for another minute, or until sauce has thickened.
Remove from heat to cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Unfold puff pastry sheets, and repair any cracks by pressing them back together.
Trim each sheet into a square. Then cut each larger square into 4 smaller squares.
Spoon apples onto the center of each squares. Fold over from corner to corner into a triangle shape.
Press edges together to seal. You can use a fork to crimp the edges, it will give a nice look too!
Cut a steam vent at the top of each turnover.
Place turnovers on a baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between them.
Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until turnovers are puffed and lightly browned.
Cool completely before glazing.

If you do not wish to make the glaze, you can brush beaten egg over the top of each turnover, and sprinkle with white sugar before baking.
Or mix cinnamon with powdered sugar and sprinkle over each turnover once out of the oven.

Riddle & Brain Buster

By Alex Smart

How do you spell candy with just two letters?

Answer to September’s riddle:
This is as light as a feather, yet no man can hold it for long. What is it?
Your breath

Brain Buster

Silent Letter
Each of the below words have and extra letter. Anagram all the letters into a new word in which the added letter is silent. For example, mow plus B, is womb.

Grin plus W.
Togs plus H.
Fine plus K.
Tens plus C.
Hans plus G.
Bride plus S.
Nomad plus L.
Retint plus W.
No shame plus D.

Answers to September’s brain buster:
The two famous fiction writers with double letters in their names are Tennessee Williams and Colleen McCullough.

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