The blind Post classified news December edition 2017

The Blind Post classified news
From and for the blind
December 2017


Our monthly sponsors.
From the editor, by Lori Motis.
New and used: From greeting cards, jewelry and books to electronic equipment and more.
Wanted for trade, or to give away.
Services and training.
Links of interest.

This month’s columns:

Did you know? Candy Canes as a Symbol of Christmas
Tips and tidbits from the Food Lady: Four scrumptious recipes .
Blind Man walking Revisiting fantasy adventures by Joshua Loya
Blind People talking: THE TOOTH FAIRY by True E. Ready writer – Pen name – Ruth E. Coleman.
Living with low vision Holiday Blessings by Donna Williams
From the pages of Donna’s travel diary: Fall travel by Donna J. Jodhan.
Yarn, hook, and needle: Variety of cold-weather knit patterns By Phyllis Campbell.
Posting to the Blind Post News.

A big round of applause for this month's sponsors:

The time is right to join Out-Of-Sight!.

We are a group of blind fun-loving, congenial, and interesting people from all over the world, who use our computers, iPhones, screen-readers and microphones to play games, chat, learn, and socialize on our own internet TeamTalk server. We have a full schedule of activities every day and evening and you can drop in whenever you wish. We play trivia and word games, have a talent show twice monthly, and play our favorite music in our music rooms. You can get help with your computer, your iPhone, your cooking, and your chess game, or you can just simply have fun! We also have a book-discussion group and Bible groups. There is no end to the stimulation, excitement, and camaraderie you will experience, and it is all free!

Grab Your Chance to Make Big Bucks on Out-Of-Sight!

Win your share of $150 in our upcoming Out-Of-Sight/RS Games Farckle dice Tournament!
Space is limited so, register early to grab a spot. It will take place on Tuesday January 16th at 1 pm eastern. This tournament is being co-sponsored by Out-Of-Sight and our friends at RS Games. You must sign up for the tournament on the RS Games website at,
when the form is active on the RS Games site.
You will have a chance to win $75 for First Place, $50 for Second place, or $25 for Third Place! If you have any questions, please write to:

Good luck and see you in the tournament!

Thanks to our diverse and extensive group of dedicated members, we will soon be celebrating our tenth year as a worldwide community.

To celebrate, we will be hosting a huge Tenth-Birthday Bash on Saturday, January 27th and will be presenting many prominent speakers within the blindness field, along with other very special guests! Be sure to stay tuned for updates very soon, because we have some big surprises in store for you! Sign up today so you don’t miss out on all of the festivities! Send us an email with your first and last name, email address, preferred nickname, phone number, and how you heard about us, and send it to:

More Exciting News!

We also just launched our very own worldwide radio station called, Out-Of-Sight Radio, and you can listen in several ways by clicking the links below! If you would like to contact our DJ’s to make a request, or contact our Station Manager to inquire about becoming one of our DJ’s, also use the corresponding links below!

Winamp and Tune-In

Windows Media Player

Real Player

Search for Out-Of-Sight Radio

Other links
256KBPS (MP3 stream)

64KBPS (AAC stream)

Out-Of-Sight Radio Page
You can also visit the Out-Of-Sight Radio page

Catch the vision, it’s Out-Of-Sight

Visit the hottest, most happening place around on the web. Where the blind community will be inspired and entertained! It's the and it’s a great place to learn, laugh, chat and make long lasting friendships

with people from around the world. There is always someone to greet you with a friendly smile night and day. Join our breakfast club at 7 am and find out what’s going on in each others neck of the woods. Can’t make it for Coffee? Don’t worry, join us for lunch bunch at Noon to 1pm. Can’t sleep? Join us in our Café After Dark Room for a chat until the wee hours of the morning. Blind Café is totally free! Join us for our weeklyTexas Hold Em,Black Jack, Zilch and Ditch Em Tournaments with cash and prizes for our year end winners. Come and try out our awesome stereo music rooms,join us for a fun trivia game,Play Farkle, Zilch and Dice world with your friends, Act in one of our Mystery who done it plays ? We have an array of tutorials on programs such as I-Phones, N.V.D.A, and Gold Wave. We have over 600 described movies for you to listen to at your convenience. Revisit your favorite classic described T.V shows such as Leave it to Beaver and Happy Day’s. Our Comedy Lounge has plenty of comedians for you to listen to; we have Jeff Dunham, Roy D Mercer, and so many more. You can laugh whenever you feel the need.

Come join our Christmas festivities and win cash and prizes, starting with our $300 money wheel. You never know what Santa will do on Blind Café.net.

Join the party at


It’s the site where there’s something fun for everyone”

From the editor, Lori Motis:

Dear Blind Post readers:

Season’s greetings, Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!
December is full of so many wonderful traditional celebrations that remind us of light. I have very fond memories of being able to see all the beautiful Christmas tree lights and decorations as a child. I can still see those beautiful lights, full of glorious color, in my mind’s eye. Though I have been completely blind for over 40 years, I am so thankful that I still see light and not darkness.

This issue of the Blind post is the last one for this year 2017. I will be taking a couple months off to take care of my health and to learn new computer skills. I will keep you all updated as to my progress. I will be emailing a survey about the Blind Post classified news soon, to get some specific feedback from all of you. I think it would be best to send the survey in a separate email so you can just reply after answering the questions. I value your opinions and comments very much.

On to the news…
This month’s sponsors have some great information and events for this month and in the New Year. Be sure to check out Blind Café and Out of Sight. Don’t spend the season alone. Join a chat community and enjoy some fun and sharing with other blind and low vision folks.
The news is packed with great notices and wonderful articles. From Candy cane history to recipes. Fantasy remembrances to tooth fairies. From Donna Williams wonderful holiday blessing to cozy knits from Phyllis Campbell. Read about her new book below her article. I am so grateful to these writers for all of their excellent contributions this year, and in years past. Let them know that you have appreciated them too.
Enjoy the news and have a Happy New Year!
Lori AKA food Lady

Lori Motis
Publisher and editor

New and used:

The Demmies: A Novel by Ann K. Parsons

In e-book ($4.50) and print ($18.50) from Amazon and other online sellers / 446 pages
By day, the demmies were the public’s darlings. By night, they faced unauthorized experiments and torture from Dr. Lud. Could these foot-high humans escape? If so, could they find food and shelter? Once freed, could they form a community? This is the story of how the large Kenyon family moves from slavery to freedom and to responsibility for themselves as individuals and for a growing community.
Longer synopsis, author bio, free text preview, and more:

Seasons greetings from Elegant Insights Braille Creations!

We have great gifts for everyone on your list, for every taste and budget. Need a stocking stuffer? Check out our brand new Jewelry 911 emergency kit. Want to give a "wow" gift? she'll love our spectacular Love Always and Forever 3-piece set. Call 509-264-2588 or

Scentsy Fragrance Products are perfect for any gift-giving occasion.

New scentsy Bath Balms now come in 5 wonderful fragrances. Perfect stocking stuffers or treat yourself to an amazing relaxing experience. Scentsy bricks are back for a limited time. Nini Urschel, Independent Scentsy Consultant, 916-206-1151 c, 775-463-9886 h,

Christmas tree skirts made to order

Green around the stump of the tree, red in the middle, and white for edging, or any color variation.
The Llarge skirt, $60, 18 inches wide, and a little over five feet long. the medium skirt, $45, approximately 14 inches wide and 4 & one half feet long .
. $13 shipping. Accept paypal.
Orders and questions, or a picture email

SWEET TOOTH offers a variety of braille chocolate items including candy bars, chocolate guide dogs & other holiday items

that can be customized with braille.
Contact Judy Davis at 1-585-544-1853 or
Or visit:

Christmas cd's of Ray Starr

It's Christmas time Again $10.00 Til The season Comes round again $10.00
Make checks payable to Ray Rokita
3816 schlee street Lansing, Michigan 48910

Services and training:

Need more exposure for your book, album, or movie?

I will put my over four years experience to work getting you booked on podcasts, radio shows, youtube interviews, online magazines, virtual summits, and more. Please visit my success stories page and contact some of my existing clients. If you have any questions, just ask. Thanks, Max 979-215-1770


Hi. It's Joshua from Blind Man Walking. I recently launched a podcast,
and I'd love you to take a listen.

It's in its early stages, but there
are a few episodes, including an interview with a friend and fellow
blind martial artist, Ben McCandless. To find it, search for
Adventuremind in Apple Podcasts or other podcast directories.

Camp Siloam 2018

Our next adult Christian Camping session will be May 19-26, 2018 in New Caney, TX. The theme is "Our Wondrous, Awesome God!"
Come and experience great Bible preaching and fun. The cost is $325.
For more info call 866-251-5165 and enter 7128, or visit

You are invited to join us at the 2018 Gail Drake Audio dart tournament February 16-18.

All dart boards at this tournament are fully accessible.
The tournament will be held at the Comfort Inn, 1321 E. 78th st, Bloomington, MN
For more information call Catalina Martinez 612-227-3011 or

Want to tell us your story?

join us at Opportunities for the Blind and come tell us about you.

I blog about living with mental illness, blindness, disability, poetry, sending recipes

etc. A little mix of everything.

If you work, are involved with in other ways or enjoy attending dining in the dark

events at restaurants and other places, feel free to join a facebook group called
Dining in the dark staff and friends
You can look it up by search or click the link below and open the join group button.

If you are blind or visually impaired, let me tell you a little about the BURKEVILLE LODGE FOR THE BLIND.

It is located in the rural town of Burkeville, Virginia. We are a low cost vacation place especially equipped for the blind or visually impaired. We have private and semi private rooms with meals, gazebo, swimming pool, fishing pond, walking trail, etc. for more details, call me , Richard stone, at 757 468 0277 or go to our website
or call 434 767 4080 for reservations.

The time is right to join Out-Of-Sight!.

We are a group of blind fun-loving, congenial, and interesting people from all over the world, who use our screen-readers and microphones to play games, chat, learn, and socialize on our own internet TeamTalk server.
We have a full schedule of activities every day and evening and you can drop in whenever you wish.
We display our musical talents and play music in our music rooms. You can get help with your computer, your iPhone, your cooking, and your chess game, or you can just simply have fun!
We also have a book-discussion group and Bible groups. There is no end to the stimulation, excitement, and camaraderie you will experience, and it is all free!
It is like a burst of fresh air and sunshine coming into your life.
To join us and receive your materials, simply send your real name, a preferred nickname if any, your email address, and your phone number to

We sum it up by saying: "Catch the vision--it’s Out of Sight!"

Eyes On Success radio shows & podcasts:

1749 Talking Book Library Services (Nov. 29, 2017)
The National Library Service (NLS) distributes free audio and Braille reading material to U.S. citizens with print disabilities through a network of regional libraries. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Debbi MacLeod, Director of the Colorado Talking Book Library, about the day-to-day operation of the library and the services that are available.

1748 Hunting With Little Or No Vision (Nov. 22, 2017)
This week hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Dirk Price, an avid hunter who has continued to hunt even after his vision failed, and John Brod, president of the Physically Challenged Bowhunters of America, a nationwide non-profit which provides hunting opportunities for men, women and youth with all kinds of physical challenges in almost every state.

As usual, the audio can be downloaded from:
and the podcast is available on iTunes.

Links of interest:

Fresh Outlook Coach empowering the disabled to dream and become more confident.

Let me help you become the person you knew you could be!

Did you know?

Candy Canes as a Symbol of Christmas

The following text is drawn from the featured Christmas book and is also available for free as audio. Also, as a teaching tool, you can download the handout on the symbolism of candy canes.

"The traditional Christmas candy cane is white with red stripes and flavored with peppermint. Though several accounts make their claim to be the “true story” of the origin of the candy cane, history reveals that, most likely, it took several centuries and the contributions of several countries for the candy cane to evolve into its current form.

It appears that the candy cane has its origin in the plain white candy sticks invented in the early 1400s. The most credible story for how the sticks became canes is based on an incident that took place more than 200 years later in Germany. In 1670, the Cologne Cathedral hosted a living Nativity Scene for its Christmas celebration. The choirmaster had great difficulty keeping the children of the choir in order, so he got creative. Plain white candy sticks were popular with the children, and the choirmaster believed that if they were kept busy licking candy, they wouldn’t chatter so much. But the choirmaster wanted more than just keeping the children quiet; he wanted them to learn something of the significance of the Nativity. He appealed to a local candy maker to bend the sticks in the form of shepherd’s staffs.

Legend holds that the choirmaster used his ingenious design to encourage the children to watch how the shepherds of the Nativity used their canes to direct the live animals. More importantly, the choirmaster could instruct the children to consider how Jesus became the “Good Shepherd.”

The shape and purpose of a shepherd’s cane is significant. The design is meant to literally hook sheep by the neck in order to lead them to better nourishment (pastures, water, etc.) or to rescue them from harm. For nervous and fearful sheep, the sight of the shepherd’s staff is a great comfort. Surely that is why the psalmist David could say to the Lord his shepherd, “I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4b).

The choirmaster’s idea became so popular that the practice of passing out candy canes at living Nativity scenes spread throughout Europe. They could be used not only as a teaching tool, but to serve another practical purpose — their shape made them an ideal decoration to easily hang on a Christmas tree.

In regard to the red striping on candy canes, it is possible that the Swedish town of Granna (known as the peppermint candy capital of the world) influenced the addition. Peppermint candies with red stripes first appeared in the town in the mid-19th century. At this time, candy canes were still portrayed in plain white on Christmas cards throughout Europe and America. However, by the early 20th century, candy canes were depicted with their familiar red stripes.

Though some popular stories credit American confectioners with inventing the candy cane, historical evidence conflicts with these claims. It is possible, however, that an American was the first to infuse the candy cane with extensive Christian meaning.Though the candy cane was notdesigned with intentional symbolism (beyond its shape), it has proven to be a useful teaching tool. It seems appropriate to use it as such, particularly if its original form was meant to teach children about Christ, the Good Shepherd. The most common symbolism is as follows:

The hard candy reminds us that Jesus is our rock. — Psalm 61:2

The cane shape reminds us of a shepherd’s staff and the shepherds that came to worship Jesus. It also reminds us of how Jesus came into the world to be a shepherd of his people. — Luke 2:8-15 and John 10:11

The upside-down candy cane forms the letter “J” and reminds us of the name of Jesus which means “God saves.” — Matthew 1:21

The peppermint flavor reminds us of the gift of spices from the Wise Men. — Matthew 2:11

The white candy reminds us of purity and holiness. It recalls the virgin birth of Christ, the sinless life of Christ and the holy life that Jesus wants his people to live. — Matthew 1:23 and 1 Peter 1:15

The color red reminds us that Jesus became a real flesh and blood man and spilled his blood to save his people. — Hebrews 2:14

The stripes remind us of the lashes Jesus received when he suffered for us and ultimately bore our sins that we might be healed. — 1 Peter 2:24-25"

May you have a blessed Christmas season!

Tips and tidbits from the Food Lady

Four scrumptious recipes for you to make and share with your family and friends this Christmas.


One small box lime gelatin
One small box lemon gelatin
One small box cherry gelatin
One can, 8 ounces, crushed pineapple with juice
One package, 3 ounces, cream cheese
One cup whipped topping
One half cup miniature marshmallows

Step 1. Dissolve Lime gelatin in 1 cup boiling water.
Step 2. Add ¾ cup cold water, pineapple with juice and pour into a 9 by 13 inch Pyrex dish.
Step 3. Chill until set.
Step 4. Dissolve Lemon gelatin in 1 cup boiling water.
Step 5. Add cream cheese and blend.
Step 6. Chill until slightly thickened.
Step 7. Blend in whipped topping.
Step 8. Chill until very thick and spoon over Lime gelatin. Let gelatin set until congealed.
Step 9. Dissolve cherry gelatin in 1 cup boiling water.
Step 10. Add ¾ cup cold water.
Step 11. When slightly thick, add marshmallows and pour on top for final layer.
Step 12. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cranbery coffee cake

One half cup butter
One cup sugar
Two eggs
One teaspoon baking soda
One teaspoon baking powder
Two cups flour
One half teaspoon salt
8 ounce carton of sour cream
One teaspoon almond extract
7 ounce can of whole cranberries, drained
One half cup pecans chopped

Cream butter and sugar together
add eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition.
In a large bowl combine the next four dry ingredients well, and add to the egg mixture alternately with sour cream.
Blend in the almond extract.
Lightly oil and flour a tube pan or two 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pans.
Layer the coffee cake mixture with cranberries. Ending with coffee cake mixture.
Sprinkle pecans over the top and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.
Cool completely and drizzle with topping.

Three fourths cup powdered sugar
Two tablespoons water
One half teaspoon almond extract.
Combine ingredients blending well. Drizzle over the cooled coffee cake.

Christmas Cranberry Muffins

Two cups flour
One cup sugar
One and one half teaspoons baking powder
One half teaspoon baking soda
One half teaspoon salt
Two tablespoons shortening
One orange, juiced and grated
One egg beaten
One cup raw cranberries halved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Blend in the shortening. Add orange rind.
Place juice from the orange in a three fourths cup measure and add enough water to bring level to top of cup.
Blend into the flour mixture.
Add egg and fold in cranberries.
Pour into greased muffin cups filling two thirds full.
Bake at 350 for 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.
Makes approximately 18 muffins.

Christmas Star cookies

Three fourths cup butter, softened
One cup white sugar
Two eggs
One teaspoon vanilla extract
Two and one half cups all-purpose flour
One teaspoon baking powder
One fourth teaspoon salt
Six tablespoons strawberry jam
One fourth cup green decorator sugar (optional)

1 In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Stir flour mixture into the butter mixture until well blended. Refrigerate dough for three hours.
2 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease several cookie sheets.
3 On a floured surface, roll out 1/2 of the dough at a time to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut dough into star shapes using a 3 to 4 inch star cookie cutter. Using
a 1 to 2 inch star cookie cutter, cut a star into the center of half of the big stars. Sprinkle colored sugar on the cookies with the center cut out if
desired. Put onto prepared cookie sheets about 1 inch apart, and bake for 6 to 8 minutes.
4 After cookies cool completely, spread 1 teaspoon of preserves in the center of each cookie that does not have a star cut out in the middle. Place a cookie
with a cut-out on top of the layer of preserves. Pack cookies in a covered tin to preserve freshness.
Makes two dozen

Food Lady

Blind mand walking by Joshua Loya

I recently began rereading a book with some friends. Dragons of Autumn Twilight,
the first volume in the Dragonlance Chronicles, is a tale that has brought me tremendous enjoyment over the 22 years since I first read it. Published in 1984, it was written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman to bolster appeal for the Dragonlance Dungeons and Dragons campaign setting. Tracy and his wife Laura developed the setting while they were working for TSR. TSR, now owned by Wizards of the Coast, was the publisher of the popular Dungeons and Dragons tabletop role-playing game, which is now in its 5th edition and still enjoyed by millions today.

During my middle school years, I lived in a very rural part of Ohio, just outside of a small town called Garrettsville. At the time, I wore extremely thick glasses, and I was exempted from PE because the school district was concerned I’d have an eye injury. This, combined with my video game obsession, intense interest in comics, and my general social awkwardness placed me firmly in the nerd social group. The only problem was I didn’t fit in there very well either. All the people who played D&D, or were likely to do so, considered me the outsider. At least, that is how I interpreted things at the time. I didn’t care if people were nerdy and liked X-Men, Star Trek, and stories involving elves and dragons. I liked that stuff too, and I desperately wanted to connect with people like me. The idea of virtually exploring castles and dungeons, fighting against orcs and dragons, seeking treasure, and rescuing damsels in distress with other people was more than I could hope for.

Just as I was coming into my own acceptance of my geek life, I moved back to Santa Cruz, California. I had recently been accepted to Bellarmine, a rather prestigious Jesuit college prep high school, and I was ready to leave Ohio behind. Unfortunately, my time didn’t last at Bellarmine. The long commutes from Santa Cruz to Santa Clara, combined with the struggle to keep some of my eyesight, meant that I lasted less than a single semester.

I found solace in the talking books sent to me in the mail from the National Library service. One of the books I received was Dragons of Autumn Twilight, and I got it just as I was no longer able to read print of any size. I was instantly transported to the world I had longed for while in Ohio. I was very lonely, but in this book, and its sequels, I travelled with companions that were as real to me as if they were right at my bedside as I recovered from my multiple surgeries.

Tanis Half-Elven, Flint Fireforge, Sterm Brightblade, Caramon and Raistlin Majere, Goldmoon, Riverwind, and Tasslehoff Burrfoot were more than characters to me. They were my friends, as were those who joined us on our adventures. With them I fought Draconians, found treasure, discovered powerful spellbooks, and helped a doddering old wizard find his hat. The books are not high literature, but I enjoyed them, and I still do. They are a great introduction to the fantasy genre. They are fast moving, and contain many memorable characters. They contain some clearly established fantasy tropes, but the authors did this deliberately and the effect is heart-warming and amusing.

I later went on to play Dungeons and Dragons with actual people. The shared experiences and creative nuance in each gaming session is something that I still treasure. It’s one of the reasons I still play; though, nowhere near as often as I would like. I am forever grateful to Margaret Weis, Tracy and Laura Hickman, and everyone involved in making Dragonlance something meaningful and cherished by thousands. To me, Dragonlance is more than a setting for stories and games. It is another world in which I once lived. It is always a special treat when I can return for a visit.

Joshua Loya is a martial artist and professional adventurer living
near San Diego, California. He recently launched a podcast. You can
find it by searching for Adventuremind in Apple Podcasts and various
other podcast directories.
Learn more about him by visiting his website:


You can also email him at

Blind people talking: by True E. Ready writer – Pen name – Ruth E. Coleman



As we were growing up, there was a common assumption that when you lost a baby tooth, an
Entity called the “Tooth Fairy” would come in the middle of the night, and place a token under your pillow. This token could be anything, but, preferably the child would anticipate a coin. (In those days, we thought a dime was a whole lot of money, and were not disappointed when one would appear under our pillow.) Recently, a children’s program depicted the Tooth Fairy being missing, and it created uproar in the little town. His scenario started thoughts flowing for an article in this week’s newsletter: The Tooth Fairy, unlike Santa Claus is allusive, and unpredictable. Sometimes she forgets, and you may
awaken to find the little tooth right where you placed it. Other incidents have foretold that the Tooth Fairy left the token; but did not take the tooth.
I’ve heard about the Tooth Fairy actually placing the token under the wrong pillow, when confronted with multiple pillows in the same house. In another
case the Tooth Fairy left a note, took the tooth, and reprimanded the child for getting failing grades. On the other hand, Santa Claus has been known
to delay his coming until bargain basement sells after Christmas, or until Mother gets her Christmas present so that she has enough to share; but the ‘Tooth
Fairy’ is just unreliable.

There have been cataclysmic situations pertaining to the Tooth Fairy. Who is she anyway? Is it a nice fairy or a witch disguising herself to bring disappointment?
to children? She’s never been at the mall to take pictures like Santa Claus; Some say that she flies, and some say that she roller skates. However she
travels, she has been very good at heart rendering disappointments. One day two children were talking about the “Tooth Fairy,” and one of them was under
the assumption that the “Tooth Fairy” and Santa Claus was one and the same person. The other little girl screamed at the accusation that they could be
the same; because she knew that her Mother was Santa Claus. She had assumed that anyone BUT her Mother would be the absent minded Tooth Fairy. Mothers
keep working at it. Maybe by the turn of the century, the Tooth Fairy will have gained a more positive reputation. Aren’t you glad that we have Jesus?
Christ, who never disappoints us and always answers our prayers, whether they are good or indifferent, Jesus has the answer.

As many prayer requests as He has, He has never gotten the requests mixed up or given the token to the wrong person. He never hangs the Sun at night or the moon in the day. No matter how we want to dismiss the possibility the Tooth Fairy, with her much hit and miss, her haphazardness and her awkward mistakes must be human and not mystical after all.

One young boy placed a large plastic tooth under his pillow, in the hope that the Tooth Fairy would come, and bring him an even larger gratuity. In the morning, it worked! The Tooth Fairy had visited, took the plastic tooth, and placed a large quantity bill of money in its place. When the young boy awoke, he found the money, began to cry, and began frantically looking for the big tooth. His Mother, just happened to be close at hand, and asked him about his seeming dilemma. Through tears of disappointment, he replied. “That Tooth Fairy took my big tooth, and gave me one hundred dollars in Monopoly Money.” His Mother asked the disappointed youngster. “Are you upset about losing the phony tooth or gaining the phony money? It almost seems like a fair exchange, doesn’t it?”

There’s Hope, Mom.

Note from Author:
I pray that everyone has a very Merry Christmas and A Blessed and Happy New Year.
Author Ruth E. Coleman Pen name True E. Ready writer
Author of Fervent Prayer, Living Prayers, Poems, and Poetry, and Fear Not, Not, Not!

Living with low vision by Donna Williams

Holiday Blessings

Most people wouldn’t consider surgery and a hospital stay a blessing but that is exactly my attitude. This year I decided to treat myself to removal of my thyroid just in time for the holidays. The timing wasn’t great but since I’ve been trying to get rid of that enlarged diseased thing since 2013 I didn’t want to waste any more time.

Getting to this point was slow. For the past few years I was told monitoring was best so I complied by having ultrasounds and blood work done. However during that time I kept asking my endocrinologist why I couldn’t just have it removed. She indicated I might have more problems taking it out then leaving it in so I didn’t push hard for surgery. Then I began waking up in the night because when I lay on the side of my neck which was enlarged my throat felt as though it were closing up. I also couldn’t get as much breath when I sang. But even more disturbing was my choking on certain types of food. This finally got my endocrinologist’s attention and she mentioned that based on my latest ultrasound results as well as the symptoms I had reported to her that it might be time to consult a surgeon and see what he would recommend.

From the moment I met my surgeon I knew I was in good hands. During my consultation I told him that I sing with a group and that I was worried I might lose my voice permanently if something went wrong during the surgery. He listened to my concerns and answered all my questions. He also explained how he planned to ensure that the nerves that control the vocal chords would not be damaged. Based on my ultrasound it was obvious that at least one side would need to come out and this was his initial plan. However I am very stubborn when I want to be and after listening to my perspective and talking with my endocrinologist who informed him that she preferred I have the whole thing out he came around to our way of thinking.

So on November 29th I treated myself to a thyroidectomy. It was the best decision I ever made. Here’s why I feel so blessed.
Despite what others told me I had only discomfort but no pain. Many people told me I’d be begging for pain meds because having the thyroid removed hurts. Well, I can tell you that having a needle biopsy of my thyroid hurt much more then surgery. During my hospital stay I had to laugh because the nurses kept coming in and asking me to rate my pain level and I’d say something like well, I have discomfort but I wouldn’t say it’s painful. On many occasions that night they offered me pain medication but I refused.

The second reason I feel blessed is because people told me that once my thyroid was out I’d have a time getting the meds balanced and I’d feel it through my moods and physical symptoms. Other then being a little bit tired I can’t say I feel any different within or without. I thought it was important to share these little blessings with all of you so that if there is anyone out there facing the possibility of having to go through what I did that having a first hand accounting might help especially if you find you are facing the decision making process.

Now to the interesting stuff! Every experience has its share of stories that bring to life what happened so here are three short ones.

On the morning of my surgery I was laying on the gurney. My IV had already been started and fluid was starting to pump through my veins. I told the tech it was cold and she said it was supposed to be. I then proceeded to ask if my neck should feel cold too. She said no and then asked jokingly “what are you smoking?” I kept insisting that my neck was cold so finally she asked me to sit up and lo and behold I had been lying on the wire running from my IV pole to my hand. Apparently instead of draping over my stomach as we thought it had it fell behind my head when I sat up to take an anti-nausea pill. That made us both laugh so hard and I made a joke about not even having anesthesia yet.

After my surgery when I first woke up I had what I refer to as a disembodied experience. My surgeon was talking to me and I could hear myself respond. My words were real slow and when I heard myself talk it was as though I was watching myself. I kept screaming in my head “what’s wrong with you? TALK!” Eventually my speech improved and now I can’t stop talking. Lol!

The last part of my experience I want to share is this. When I was first moved to a room I was by myself. I was so grateful because my throat hurt when I talked and I was tired. I had made great progress. Sitting up in the chair was a great accomplishment considering I felt nauseous. I decided I would stay in the chair until my favorite show was over then I’d go to bed and sleep the night away. Shortly after my Mom left though I was told I’d be moving to another room. I was very unhappy but knew I’d have little choice. When I got to my new room I was surprised to find its other occupant to be a pleasant woman who I could talk with. And as it turned out we learned we knew some of the same people.

I am happy to be home recovering and by Christmas I will be able to truly celebrate by eating all those yummy party treats.

I’d love sharing in your experiences of living with low vision. You may contact me at:

From the pages of Donna’s travel diary by Donna J. Jodhan

Fall travel

As a blind traveler, I really do not mind traveling in the fall. True it is that my options of destinations may be somewhat limited but that's okay. There always seems to be somewhere to go. On a cruise to a warmer climate? To a resort where they specialize in fall activities? Or maybe even on a shopping trip to buy or stock up on some winter clothes?

Going to a resort where they specialize in fall activities should be examined a bit more closely; especially so when it comes to ensuring that accessibility for a blind person is assured.

What do I mean by this? That fall tours offer descriptions of sites for a blind person. That there is assistance on hand for someone who is blind; to help them navigate around when the tour makes stops for persons to walk around or to have meals.

So before leaving home for your next fall adventure, make sure that all of this is in place for you.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan enjoying my travels.

To learn more about me, visit
On your next trip you could enrich your down time with some of my audio mysteries. Take them with you wherever you go!
In the car, on the plane, on the bus or train, at the beach, anywhere!
Affordable, portable, (computer or i device) and you could either purchase or Subscribe for unlimited access to my library at
and you can now take advantage of our free downloads here.

Yarn, hook and needle: Crafts by Phyllis Campbell

Here we are almost at the end of another year. We're all probably saying the same thing, "Where has the year gone?" Where indeed. In this last column of 2017, and the last for a while, so that our devoted editor can catch her breath, I've done a variety of patterns, all useful for cold weather no matter where you are geographically. Enjoy!

Laniferous Cap

Made from super bulky yarn, this super-soft, super-warm cap will keep your head toasty all winter long.
Skill Level: Intermediate

Finished dimensions: Approx 19 ins (48 cm) circumference; stretches to fit up to 23 ins (58.5 cm) head circumference

Knit Picks The Big Cozy, a 55% superfine alpaca and 45% Peruvian highland wool super bulky weight yarn packaged in 3.5 oz, 100 g skeins containing 44 yds, 40 m: 1 skein for mc and 1 skein
for cc
4.5 mm (US 7) straight needles.
16-inch (40 cm) circular needle and set of dpn size 9 mm (US 13)
Tapestry needle; yarn needle; stitch marker

Gauge: 8 sts and 16 rows are 4 ins (10 cm) in st-st. To save time, please check your gauge.

With mc and circular needle, cast on 42 sts.
Pm and join to work in rnd, being careful not to twist sts.
Rnds 1 through 4: Work in k1, p1 ribbing.
Rnd 5: Knit.
Rnd 6: With cc, knit.
Rnds 7 through 10: With mc, knit.
Rnd 11: With cc, knit.
Rnd 12: Cut cc. With mc, knit.
Continue working st-st in mc until cap measures 5-1/2 ins (14 cm) from cast-on edge.

Crown Decrease
Change to dpn when sts no longer fit comfortably on circular needle.
Rnd 1: *K4, k2 together; rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnd 2: Knit.
Rnd 3: *K3, k2 together; rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnd 4: Knit.
Rnd 5: *K2, k2 together; rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnd 6: Knit.
Rnd 7: *K1, k2 together; rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnd 8: *K2 together; rep from * to end of rnd.
Cut yarn, leaving a 10 inch (25 cm) tail. Thread the yarn tail through rem sts, cinch, and secure. Weave in all ends.
With cc, create a large pompom and attach to top of cap. Block it

Fancy Rib 6-Inch Square

Slipped stitches create a fancy variation on ribbing in this quick square. Put many together for an afghan or include other 6-inch squares for a patchwork blanket, or do a garter stitch or border of your choice on each side, and bottom and top for a face or dish cloth.
Skill Level: Easy

Finished dimensions: 6 by 6 ins (15 by 15 cm)

Worsted weight yarn: approx 50 yds, 46 m
4.5 mm (US 7) straight needles
Tapestry needle

Gauge: Square measures 6 ins (15 cm). Be aware of tension as you slip multiple stitches.

Cast on 32 sts.
Row 1: Knit to last st, p1.
Row 2: Sl1k, knit to last st, p1.
Rows 3 and 4: Rep row 2.
Row 5 (rs): Sl1k, k3, *k2, p2; rep from * to last 4 sts, k3, p1.
Row 6: Rep row 5.
Row 7: Sl1k, k3, *k2, sl2 pwise wyif; rep from * to last 4 sts, k3, p1.
Row 8: Sl1k, k3, *k2, sl2 pwise wyib; rep from * to last 4 sts, k3, p1.
Row 9: Rep row 7.
Row 10: Rep row 8.
Row 11: Rep row 5.
Row 12: Rep row 5.
Rep rows 5 through 12 until square measures approx 5-1/2 ins (14 cm), ending after row 12.
Rep row 2 four times.
Bind off in pattern. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Lace Ribbed Scarf

Bars keep this ribbed scarf from rolling, and the lace work keeps the scarf from being just a simple rib.
Finished dimensions: 6 by 51 ins (15 by 129.5 cm) unstretched

Worsted weight yarn: 250 yds, 229 m
5 mm (US 8) straight needles
Tapestry needle

Gauge: 16 sts and 22 rows are 4 ins (10 cm) in st-st. To save time, please check your gauge.
Cast on 29 sts.
Row 1 (rs): K1, (p3, k3) 4 times, p3, k1.
Row 2 (ws): K1, (k3, p3) 4 times, k4.
Scarf Body (Pattern is 29 sts by 12 rows)
Row 1: Knit.
Row 2 and all even rows: K1, (k3, p3) 4 times, k4.
Row 3: K1, (p3, k1, k2 together, yo, p3, yo, ssk, k1) twice, p3, k1.
Row 5: K1, (p3, k2 together, k1, yo, p3, yo, k1, ssk) twice, p3, k1.
Row 7: Knit.
Row 9: K1, (p3, yo, ssk, k1, p3, k1, k2 together, yo) twice, p3, k1.
Row 11: K1, (p3, yo, k1, ssk, p3, k2 together, k1, yo) twice, p3, k1.
Row 12: Knit.
Work rows 1 through 12 twenty-three times or to desired length, ending with a row 1 or row 7.
Work border again.
Bind off loosely in pattern and weave in ends.
May God bless each of you during this festive season, and until we meet here again.

Where Sheep May Safely Graze By Phyllis Campbell

When Jim, the pastor of a prestigious city church, is blinded in Iraq, he and his organist wife, Amy, find their faith challenged. Not only must they adjust to Jim's blindness and a new marriage, but to the loss of his pulpit, when the congregation asks him to step down because of his blindness, in spite of his successful rehab training.

They go to serve a congregation in a rural village, where in addition to the usual duties of a pastor and his wife, they pray for animals, cope with a huge drafty parsonage, befriend a young couple, secretly married, and help bring a baby into the world in the middle of a flood. The characters are like animals and people the reader may meet every day, those people who will invite you in for iced tea and the latest news
The reader will laugh, and cry and find inspiration as Pastor Jim and Amy struggle and find the will of God.

Other books by Phyllis Campbell…
FRIENDSHIPS IN THE DARK, 1996 Reprint 1997
The Evil Men Do 2006, true crime, written under contract for the family of the victim.
Who Will hear Them Cry, April, 2012
A Place To Belong August, 2012
Out of the Night February, 2014

Buy Link For All Listings…
Come Home My Heart, and Friendships In the Dark, are available from the National Library For the Blind and Physically Handicap.

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