The blind Post classified news September 2018 eighth anniversary edition

The Blind Post classified news
From and for the blind and visually impaired.
September 2018 eighth anniversary edition

Current subscribers to date: 1135

Contents for this month’s issue:

This month’s sponsor.
From the editor.
New and used:
Wanted, to trade, or to give away.
Services and training.
Business and employment opportunities.

This months columns:

Global cane outreach update, KENYA, HERE WE COME!! By Donna Kimball.
Tips and tidbits from the Food Lady, food safety and a recipe.
Blind man walking, Aloha waves! by Joshua Loya.
Blind people talking, poems and stories from readers.
Living with low vision, The Teacher Becomes a Student by Donna Williams.
The pet place, stories from readers about their guide dogs and pets.
From the pages of Donna's travel diary, For a blind traveler at an airport by Donna J. Jodhan.
Yarn, hook, and needle, Coming Home Poncho patterns by Phyllis Campbell.

Other important info:
How to post and pay for an ad or announcement.
What can you post to the Blind Post?
Subscriptions to the Blind Post.

This month’s sponsor:!

I want to thank Bill Hadden for sponsoring this months edition. He requested some of the Blind Post's earlier articles that were favorites.

This one was one of my favorite stories from a subscriber:

Corn Hole

by Angela C. Orlando

Blurb: How a simple game became a symbol of my life...

A few weeks ago, I enjoyed attending the Hattie Larlham Foundation volunteer appreciation dinner. They offered good food and dessert, hanging out with old friends and meeting new people, Spring decorations and favors and the chance to play some games. Games? Bah! Humbug! I'm a 39 year old deaf-blind lady who can barely walk. I don't do games.

So, I'm sitting at our table with another disabled volunteer, chatting up a storm while making everyone laugh. My escort turns to me and says, "Hey, they have corn hole."

I'm thinking, "Whatever."

Jane asks, "Have you ever played corn hole before?"

"Nope," I tell her, "I don't even know what it is."

I can imagine her grin as she signs "C'mon... C'mon" into my hands.

Jane shows me these bean bag like things and a board with a hole in the middle. That's easy enough to figure out. She gets me a chair and tells me to aim "far ahead."

"Wait a minute," I yap. "Don't blind girls get to sit up front?"

Apparently not. So I toss while Jane gives me feedback. "Farther... farther... more to the right... farther... to the left... farther."

I begin to think the target must be in Canada. And I toss and I toss and I toss.

Those stubborn Angie genes kick in. I can't stop. I have to succeed just once. I have to do it, because that's what I do... Never give up... Keep on trying until that feisty determination pays off.

I'm deaf (miss)
I'm blind (miss)
I'm physically challenged (miss)
I'm a mother (miss)
I'm a student (miss)
I'm a writer (miss)
I'm a leader (miss)
I'm a volunteer (miss)
I live on my own (miss)
I love my kitten (miss)
I don't listen to people who say I can't (miss)
I rule my life, not my disabilities (miss)
I WILL NOT GIVE UP -- It's a hit and the crowd goes wild!!

I pump my arm in victory. I yell, "Yes!" I laugh with glee. And I check off another box on that long list of things I have accomplished against all odds.

Comic relief story.

Ole, Sven, and Lars
Submitted by Linda Stewart

Ole, Sven, and Lars decide they are going to Mexico for a vacation. They get falling down drunk and wake up in jail and find out they all have been sentenced to die in the electric chair.
Sven is the first to be strapped in the electric chair and the guards ask if he has any last words. Sven says, "I yust graduated from St. John's College in Minnisota, with a degree in divinity studies, and I am a good Christian man, but if it is God's will for me to die, so be it." The guards throw the switch and nothing happens. The guards get on their knees and say, "You are surely a Godly man and we are going to let you go."
Lars is next to be strapped into the electric chair and the guards ask if he has any last words. Lars says, "I yust graduated from Concordia college in Moorhead, Minnisota, with a degree in divinity studies, and I am a God fearing man. If it is my time to die, it is God's will."
The guards throw the switch and nothing happens. The guards say, "You also are a Godly man and we are going to let you go."

Ole is the last to be strapped into the electric chair. The guards ask him if he has any last words. Ole says, "Vel, I yust graduated from South Dakota Tech in electrical engineering and I'll tell ya right now, if you don't plug dat ting in, it ain't gonna work."

Totally Confused

by Frances Strong

It was almost dark when I left my mother's house. She lives on a dirt road just a few turns and down the road from my house. I had taken this path so many times that I was not paying attention as I should have.
As I turned the first corner, my mind was wandering and I forgot to check which road to take. there are two roads to pass and then mine. But absent-minded me, just turned and started walking and walking. My cane helped me stay on the sandy dirt road as I kept going.
Soon I realized that I was not on my road but had missed my turn and was probably on the middle road. Then my shoes felt and I heard the gravel as I crunched it under my weight.
"Oh my," I said. "I've gone to far. this is the road going to the highway."
so I turned around and headed in the opposite direction. I walked and walked.
again I just could not find the turn to my house. So I just kept going until I literally bumped into a mound of dirt that told me I had come to the dead end by my mother's house.
so I did a turn-around again and walked and walked.
By now I was frustrated and disoriented. I turned on what I thought might be my road and came to the gravel under my feet again.
"What in the world?" I exasperated. "How could I have gone to the highway road again?"
So I slowly turned around and was about to cry when a most beautiful sound was heard. "Hmmmm," the horse nickered.
It was my old horse. I knew that voice anywhere. He was probably saying to me, "What are you doing out here in the dark? It is not time for feeding."
I wanted to hug that dear old friend, but couldn't go across the fence. so I thanked him and smiled. For now I knew where I was! I happened to be by the horse pasture which was just beyond the first turn by my mother's.
I gave myself a cleansing sigh and merrily found the third road and went home.
Til this day, I believe God sent my horse to show me the way home. Another thing, the mix-up was that I did not realize that they had recently put some gravel on my mother's lane and that was why I became so confused. Things are not always what they seem to be.

From the editor:

Happy eighth anniversary Blind Post subscribers!

It is hard to believe that It was eight years ago, when we had moved from Nevada to Idaho, and I needed to find a new way to email the news. I had taken over Connections for the blind back in the spring of 2010. I was able to use my personal internet email service to bulk email the monthly news, to about 600 subscribers then. I was not able to do that in Idaho, and that was when I decided to create the Blind Post website. I also had to find an email server to email the monthly news, so everyone could get their copy on the same day.

The Blind Post has grown in more than just subscribership. The email news has expanded with monthly columns and a variety of notices each month. The website has gone through many changes as well. There is a lot more I could do with it.

I have always wanted this to be a service for sharing information, personal stories, and a place to post classifieds. It does take me quite a bit of time to prepare each month’s news and post it on the website. I enjoy doing it, although some months I do not always meet my deadline. I truly have appreciated all your suggestions and comments. I want this to be for you.

This month’s news is longer than usual, due to new writers and many exciting contributions and classified notices. I never seem to get in all the ideas I have for articles I want to write. I want to thank all the folks that paid for advertising this month, and Bill Hadden that sponsored this month’s issue. It really does help with the costs and helps me to also advertise the Blind Post.

I am still in the process of moving us over to
and you may be emailed a message concerning that change. It is taking longer than I thought it would, so that is why I am emailing this month’s news through the same service I have been using.
Please be patient and know that you may get more emails than normal over the next month to make sure all is working.

If you want to go ahead and subscribe to the new email platform you can send a blank email, with subscribe in the subject field, to

I do have to brag a little about my son Joshua. I am very proud of him and the amazing experiences he is having with surfing. Be sure to click the link, just after his article this month, to hear, or watch, his surf experience in a professional wave pool. I have been sharing it with everyone I know.

I want to give a special thanks to all my faithful writers. They have shared so many wonderful experiences and information for several years. Please let them all know that you read their articles. Be sure to let all the others know, placing classifieds, that you read their post on the Blind Post news.

Thank you all for sharing the Blind Post classified news!
Lori AKA Food Lady

Lori Motis
Publisher & editor
The Blind Post classified news.

New and used:

A VERY SPECIAL HOUSE, A 90-page novella by Canadian author Thea Ramsay / C 2018

In e-book from Amazon for just $2.99 and in print later in September 2018
Full details:

Part ghost story, part psychological puzzle, and totally terrific, A Very Special House will no doubt haunt your memory for a long time to come. The evocation of the atmosphere of both Maui and the special “honey house” that resides there is superb. Unusual and striking are the author’s mentions of various beloved smells: of flowers, rain, wood, new paper, new pencils, food, and more. As a fellow writer, I have to say that this novella features some of the best and most realistic dialogue I’ve ever read. Throughout the book, the reader is borne along on alternating waves of memory and wishing, of what was and what was longed for. The surprise ending is deeply gratifying. Don’t miss this compact masterpiece by a very talented new author!

Ms. Ramsay is also the author of the science fiction novel LUCY and a dolphin-themed short story called “Poo in the Face.” Details of both are on her website, linked to above. She has many more books planned.

DRAWN TO YOU, A new romance novel by J. D. Hart / C 2018

In e-book and print from Amazon and other sellers.
Full details:

A small–town girl with big ambitions. A wealthy man with no idea what he’s been missing. When they meet, he’s drawn to her in a way he can’t explain. But he's about to find out that his complicated past has secrets, many of which hold the key to his future. Drawn to You takes romance to new heights as two people are thrown together, only to face challenges that will threaten their devotion.

If you prefer a print calendar, but are still looking for one that better meets your needs, you must check out this one. You’ve never seen one like it. That’s because a low-vision person designed it.

It costs $21.95 and is shipped via Free Matter.
Learn all about the totally unique, 8.5” x 11” EZ2See® Weekly Planner/Calendar at,

Don’t shop online? That is no problem. Send an email to

to get all your questions answered and learn how to purchase it with a check.

Join us at Panties Plus, all designed with us the blind in mind.

The Plus stands for great customer, individual support just for you.
Save getting out to your local Lingerie store. Just call, or e-mail us.
We have lots of brands Bali, Hanes, Maiden Form and others. To find exactly what you are looking for. We have sizes from small through plus sizes.
For More info call either Penney 903 534-7117 Or Don 903 707-9965,
or E-mail us at

Or snail mail us your request at 556 Towne Oaks Drive, Tyler, Texas
We will provide information in Braille if desired. We are standing by to help you from 9 A M to 7 PM central time.
Thank you for shopping at Panties Plus

Voices of Xperience , audio business specializing in format transfers, recording our elders and much more.

Preserving sound from old reels, records and cassettes.
note our Legacy Technology Project that helps us obtain affordable and talking technology. contact Roger at:
or 603-827-3859

Happy autumn! At Elegant Insights Braille Creations, we celebrate the arrival of each new season.

Now with our Charmed By The Seasons 4-piece cane charms set, one for spring, summer, winter, and fall, you can decorate your white cane in festive, seasonal style!
Call 509-264-2588 or

to order.

Rich DeSteno has released his third album, entitled Crunch Time.

Rich has continued to deliver his special blend of electric and acoustic rock. The album is now available on all major digital music download and streaming web sites. Visit his web site at:

Autumn Hearth, Blueberry Pancakes, Christmas Cactus, Farmhouse Fir, Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl and Snowplace Like Home are just a few of Scentsy’s new fragrances.

See the entire Fall/Winter Catalog, Harvest Collection and our new Disney Collection at

Never run out with our new Scentsy Club.
Nini Urschel, 916-206-1151, 775-463-9886

Romeo 20 Braille printer. Works good; prints on one side only. Comes with cables and Braille manuals + cassette manuals, $60.00

call 281-592-8875 or email

Wanted, to trade, or to give away:


I am looking for free Christian hymn books and song books (words only) in Grade 2 braille. Lutheran Braille Workers only has one.
Contact Wayne Scott

Help wanted

Hello everyone. This is Joshua Loya from Blind Man Walking. I have had
some excellent adventures this year. I could really use your financial
support to help cover some of mine and my coach's costs. If you are so
inclined, my Go Fund Me link is below. Thank you for being awesome!


Sermons on the Phone: 773-572-6206

Enjoy! And please forward to those you care about.
Updated September 8
Option 1: Theism Versus Pantheism, by Lawrence Justus.
Option 2: Regrets, by Erwin Lutzer.
Option 3: The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed Is Death, by Pastor Bruce Dunn.
Option 4: I Serve a God That Makes a Way, by Pastor Jeffery Fugate.
Option 5: Divine Guidance, by Pastor Bruce Dunn.
Option 6: How Important Are Good Works, by Joel Beeke.
Option 7: Plan for Christmas Gifts with Melaleuca
Option 8: The Power of Preaching by Pastor Jeffery Fugate.
Option 9: Anti-semitism by Lawrence Justus.
I always pray that these sermons will be a blessing to you. If you receive this as a forward and would like to receive your own email of what is on Sermons on the Phone, email me directly at

and I will add you to the list.

If you haven't listened before, give it a try. The sermons are updated every two weeks. It is possible to hear archives.
May the Lord bless you.

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. 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!"

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.

Check out Eyes On Success (formerly ViewPoints)
A weekly, half hour audio program for people living with vision loss.
People can now listen to Eyes On Success on their Amazon or google smart home devices by saying “play Eyes On Success podcast”.

1831 Rocky Mountain Highs and Lows (Aug. 1, 2018)
Join hosts Peter and Nancy Torpey as they explore their new home state of Colorado in celebration of their 35th anniversary. Follow them as they prepare for their journey, walk trails along raging rivers, hike along narrow ledges hanging on steep canyon walls, and more. You might even learn the true story of Mike the headless chicken!

1834 Audio Description for Varied Venues (Aug. 22, 2018)
Audio Description uses spoken language to convey the visual world. It can direct a visitor through a museum, orient a listener to a work of art, or allow access to the visual aspects of a performance. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Rachel Melton of MindsEye Radio about the ins and outs of audio description and what makes good description.

As usual, the audio and show notes can be found at:
and the podcast can be found in Apple itunes or TuneIn.

Services and training:

Business and employment opportunities:

Create your own E-commerce website easily. Site Right Now is an accessible website builder and server.
If you sign up, please include your friend, Lori Motis from, on the order form.
On, everything you need to make a web site is included:
• Great for beginners! Anyone can do it. Just fill out simple forms with our classic control panel, and it makes your website.
• Choose and register your own domain name ( or use one you already own.
• Make your own website, including an unlimited number of pages!
• No Programming Required! Just fill in simple on-line forms with your information.
• Build your own family website
• Make your own personal website
• Create your own e-commerce business website
• Upload your own graphics or choose from our on-line library.
• Make changes and updates to your web pages with ease.
• Announce your website on the major search engines
• Get marketing help and advice
• Get as much free support as you need. Don't worry if you are a beginner.
Even sell your products on-line with instant e-commerce.
Our control panel works well for visually impaired and blind users, since it is more text based than other web builders. Blind and visually impaired users often use screen readers that read the text out loud. Here is a link to one of our customers who provides classified news for the blind and visually impaired:

Joke from Kathy

A woman died and knocked at the gates of Heaven. St. Peter asked her name and looked in his book. "I'm so sorry, ma'am, I don't have any record of your coming."

"How can that be? I've tried to serve Him well all my life."

"Well, if you can tell me the name of God, you may enter."

After some pondering she said: "His name is Andy."

At Peter's raised eyebrows she explained: "Andy walks with me Andy talks with me, Andy tells me I am His own."

"Welcome," was Peter's only answer.

Global cane outreach update


After much prayer and diligently seeking God’s leading, Bevie Crook and 5 other very enthusiastic people are heading for a mission’s trip to Kenya. The doors recently opened to Kenya and highlighted a great need for the blessing of canes and training for many who are blind in that country and have no other services available to them.
The trip is in the early stages of planning and the team will be leaving for Kenya in March of 2019.
Please keep the team of half a dozen travelers, along with others who are helping in the planning stages, faithfully in your prayers. Please also pray for all logistics including plane, land travels, lodging, contacts in Kenya, and arrangements for those who will receive canes, usage trainings and solar Bibles in their own language. There is much to do in preparation including visas, vaccinations and supplies needed to travel out of country. On November tenth, just a few weeks away, Global Cane Outreach will host a fundraiser at a local church to fund travel and supplies by hosting an “Open Mic Night” to let people share their wonderful and unique talents with an appreciative audience. This night of fun and frivolity will include donated finger foods and the opportunity to make financial contributions toward the mission outreach to Kenya.

In future articles we will share who is going along with Bevie, their individual stories and how things are coming together for the trip.

Donna Kimball
GCO Board member

Tips and tidbits from the Food Lady:

This month I have a food safety chart followed by a recipe from a Blind Post subscriber.

Storage Times for the Refrigerator and Freezer

Taken from :
These short time limits for home-refrigerated foods will help keep them from spoiling or becoming dangerous to eat. The guidelines for freezer storage are for quality only. Frozen foods constantly stored at 0°F or below can be kept indefinitely.

(40 °F or below)
(0 °F or below)

Egg, chicken, ham, tuna & macaroni salads
3 to 5 days
Does not freeze well

Hot dogs
opened package
1 week
1 to 2 months

unopened package
2 weeks
1 to 2 months

Luncheon meat
opened package or deli sliced
3 to 5 days
1 to 2 months

unopened package
2 weeks
1 to 2 months

Bacon & Sausage
7 days
1 month

Sausage, raw — from chicken, turkey, pork, beef
1 to 2 days
1 to 2 months

Hamburger & Other Ground Meats
Hamburger, ground beef, turkey, veal, pork, lamb, & mixtures of them
1 to 2 days
3 to 4 months

Fresh Beef, Veal, Lamb & Pork
3 to 5 days
6 to 12 months

3 to 5 days
4 to 6 months

3 to 5 days
4 to 12 months

Fresh Poultry
Chicken or turkey, whole
1 to 2 days
1 year

Chicken or turkey, pieces
1 to 2 days
9 months

Soups & Stews
Vegetable or meat added
3 to 4 days
2 to 3 months

Cooked meat or poultry
3 to 4 days
2 to 6 months

Chicken nuggets or patties
3 to 4 days
1 to 3 months

3 to 4 days
1 to 2 months

Shish kebabs on the grill

I love this delicious and colorful summertime grilling treat. I particularly like to make it when I am entertaining a group of people larger than my normal 4-6. If a group larger than that bombards my deck it is fun to have each guest make their own skewer with whatever assortment they have a taste for.
I always incorporate taste and a bit of color (for my sighted guests) on each skewer by alternating the veggies and meat. Using the grill also alleviates using the oven and heating up the kitchen on those hot Wisconsin summer days.
I start with a trip to the pantry, and I flatter myself by thinking everyone in my family has diligently adhered to my organization of the canned goods, but much to my dismay they have not. Next I break out my ID Mate to read the labels so I am sure to open a can of Irish potatoes and not a can of cream style corn. Given the fact that our fridge has practically every salad dressing known to man, (and some that are most likely not identifiable anymore,) my ID Mate comes in handy when I am searching for the kind of French dressing I intend on using.

Ingredients I typically use for 4-6 people are:
*Steak (any kind of meat works I have used chicken, elk, moose, venison and shrimp) cut into ¾ inch cubes
Marinate the meat at least 4 hours in Italian dressing
*2 cans of Irish whole potatoes drained and cut in half
*Mushrooms found fresh in the produce isle
*16 Cherry tomatoes
*1 Onion- slice into 1 inch square pieces
*Can of chunked pineapple drained
*3 different colored peppers cleaned and cut into 1 inch squares
*French dressing

*To keep things in order when assembling I use bowls for each ingredient. To keep the peppers separated by color I use my colorino to identify the colors of each pepper. I put cut peppers into individual bowls and set them in alphabetical order IE: green, red, yellow.
*Start each skewer with a large slice of onion on the bottom of the skewer (it will hold the other pieces in place.)
*Alternate all other ingredients until 1 inch is left at the top of the skewer.
*Top off with another large piece of onion
*Pour ½ cup of French dressing in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to generously slather dressing on entire skewer. Occasionally instead of a pastry brush I will put on a latex glove and spread on dressing using my fingers- this way is easier to feel if everything is covered evenly.

This however is where my kebab assembling talent ends and I hand my culinary creation to my husband to put on the grill.
I do set the timer on my I-phone to be sure the other goodies are ready when the kebabs are done to perfection.
, Janell Groskreutz

I have started an email list for blind and visually impaired Instant Pot cooks

to share their experiences and recipes.
If any of you are interested, you can subscribe by emailing a blank message with subscribe in the subject field at

Food Lady

Blind Man Walking: By Joshua Loya

Aloha waves!

Hello everyone. This last month has been a whirlwind. As it is, I have very limited time to write an article for you, but you are important to me, and so is my mother. To this end, I want to share a brief summary of my recent adventures along with a lesson I’ve learned from my experiences.

In August, I travelled, for the very first time, to Hawaii. In specific, I travelled to Oahu to compete in the Hawaii Adaptive Surfing Championships put on by Access Surf Hawaii as part of Duke’s Oceanfest. I also had a video documenting my trip in May that I have not been able to talk about until now. I was honored to be the very first 100% blind surfer to ride Kelly Slater’s wave pool. Tonight, I leave to go back to the Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California, home of the wave pool, as a spectator for the 2018 Surf Ranch Pro.

I began my travel to Hawaii, along with my coach, Coach Pat Weber of the San Diego Surfing Academy, on August 19, 2018. On August 16, it was looking extremely unlikely that I’d be able to go. We hadn’t raised nearly enough money. I was recovering from a neck and shoulder injury, and I had only recently recovered from a nasty eye infection a week before. I hadn’t even been in the water since July 14, and I was severely lacking in my confidence to perform well in an international surf contest. Our flight on August 19, from San Diego to LA was delayed by two hours. We missed our connecting flight to Honolulu. Delta, to their credit, put us up in a hotel, and we were on an 8:30 AM flight to Honolulu the next morning. Please bear in mind, that I was scheduled to surf at 12:10 Hawaii Time.

Coach Pat was sending Facebook messages to his friend George Seguna, our man on the ground, up to 20 minutes before we landed. George was able to reserve boards for each of us. No, we did not travel with our own. We landed at 10:45 AM, and we hightailed it straight to a taxi, skipping baggage claim until after my heat.

We arrived to the contest site with our hearts in our throats. The beach marshal told us,”You have plenty of time. Joshua Loya? Yeah. You don’t paddle out for your heat for 20 minutes.”

I had just enough time to wade in the water for a few minutes, letting the first island water I was ever in wash away my tension and help me prepare my mind for competition. It was absolutely one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had.

I won’t make you wait any longer. I surfed rather well, considering that it had been over a month since I had been on a board. There were small waves, making it difficult for people to catch anything. Still, I came in first in my heat, grateful for a solid coach and the peace God granted me that day.

It was an amazing story, and one I never hope to repeat again. To land less than my first heat and take first place was absolutely unreal. I ultimately took second in my division. The judges calculated our scores based on waves we surfed on Monday and Wednesday. I feel extremely proud of my performance, and I don’t regret for a moment going to Hawaii.

As I write this, the necessary means to make this journey to Lemoore for the Surf Ranch Pro is just coming together. Last night, I didn’t have the money to go. I’ll spare you the details of how we raised the money, as I am running out of time, and it isn’t immediately relevant to the story. The point is this, in both instances, the trip as a spectator to the Surf Ranch, and as a competitor in Hawaii happened, in part, because I didn’t give up. I came close. I’m not going to lie. That being said, if I had, I would not have placed first in my first heat, and I would not have taken second in my division. I would not be on my way to visit one of the coolest waves more than a hundred miles from the ocean, if I had resigned myself to mediocrity and playing it safe. Especially in Hawaii, as late as 10:20 AM Hawaii Time, it looked like I was going to lose my opportunity to compete. I made it because circumstances aligned, God allowed it to happen, and I didn’t give up.

If you have something that you want to do… If you believe you are called to do something… Don’t let other people; your own insecurities, your own fears, haters, trolls, or critics keep you from being the best possible. Nothing is impossible until the opportunity has passed, and it often hasn’t passed as often as we have just given up. Don’t give up. Keep going. I did, and my adventure was epic!

Next time, I’ll tell you more about my visit to the Surf Ranch, and what it was like to be the very first blind surfer to ride that wave. Here’s a preview. It was awesome!

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:
Email him at

Blind people talking: Poems and stories from Blind Post subscribers on blindness and low vision.

We have some wonderful submissions for our anniversary edition.

Two poems from Lauren Merryfield

If I Had Been Sighted

If I had been sighted, and never been blind,
I might have gone wilder or out of my mind.
I might have missed out on the people I knew
Away from my home, at the school, quite a few.

I might have thought more of myself than of those
Who, blind as they were, not the life that they chose,
But okay about it, and capable, too
I wonder, I doubt it, if I would have knew.
(Okay, grammatical slip)

I might have thought Jesus would think less of them,
To hide them away in a school, broken gems.
But no, they belonged in the world just as much,
As sighted, or blind, and, all such-and-such.

As sighted, I might have been lost in the shuffle,
No writing; opinions I would have to muffle.
I might have been pregnant before, and, of course,
That would have been putting the cart front of horse.

I might have had babies and no way to feed,
My parents, disown me for dastardly deed.
I might have been running around with the wrong
Instead of my writing of books and of song.

And my education, it might have been slighted
If I had, instead of just blind, had been sighted.
Who knows where I'd live, what I'd do or what be.
I doubt if I would be allowed to be me.

Oh sure, I would see all the colorful flowers,
The birds I would see, in the April/May showers.
My own daughter's face I would like to have seen
And all of the faces of friends in between.

It might be a good thing to learn how to drive,
But I am not sure I would still be alive.
And what it comes down to is just mainly this,
My Jesus, He loves me, and that, I'd not miss!

If I Were Sighted Now

If I were sighted now, I'd say
That it is just another way
To be; and yes, some better things,
But no assurance good life brings.

There is no best assurance that
I'd really wear another hat;
Be better off throughout my stay
But only be a different way.

I probably would drive a car
and transportation good by far.
And I could pick up a book
And read it then, no second look.

I would be treated better, yes.
I would be equal, not more/less.
Then I would see the light of day
And darkness fall, and starlight play.

I'd see my favorite color, blue.
I'd know her face, and I'd know you.
But this is only but a guess.
I do not know, I do confess,
How sighted living would, for me,
Be better, with a guarantee.

I might be lonely; might be sad
About the friendships that I had
When I was blind and so were they
And now some jealousy; dismay.

I probably could help the blind
But that would be a different kind
With sighted, in relationship
To those I would improve; equip.

I would drive someone else to church,
But frighten them, if I should lurch
To stay away from drivers poor
To get ourselves to church's door.

I could help someone with their mail
And understand their bill travail,
But I might be too busy though
To help someone, my presence show.

Of Jesus I could plainly speak
And, yes, I'd be a "Jesus freak."
But I'm not sure that I'd be free
To be myself, to be just me.


By Janell Groskreutz

The year was 1979, and a young girl with blond hair and green eyes was playfully shooting some hoops with her dad at their home in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. As they were tossing the ball back and forth, the young girl’s dad kept telling her to “keep your eye on the ball.” The young girl responded with “dad, I am.” As this bantering went on for a few minutes, the dad had enough foresight to realize something may be wrong with his daughter’s vision, and that is how my life’s journey began.
As this terrifying observation began to unravel, my parents realized life as we all knew it was about to change. My initial visit to the local eye doctor resulted with him telling me I may have to get glasses. I can distinctly remember locking myself in my bedroom, with ridiculous visions of a 4-eyed girl everyone would soon be making fun of. The eye doctor visits took me from Chippewa to Eau Claire, then to University of Madison, and then finally to the University of Minnesota. After a myriad of tests, and doctors with practically every combination of acronyms behind their name, my diagnosis was Juvenile Form of Macular Degeneration. I can honestly say I don’t remember much about the specialist’s diagnosis or recommendations: however, the result was still the same; I was slowly going to lose my vision.

Being that I was at the tender age of 9, I was not privy to most of my parent’s conversations, nor to their questions, fear, anger or concerns regarding this curve ball that life had just thrown at me, and also to the future for our family. As the realization of my disability set in, we were faced with many options. One was moving my family to Janesville, so I could attend the school for the blind. My mom, in her very emotional state, was ready to uproot our family that same day and relocate us to Janesville! She was subsequently forgetting about things such as: where we were going to live, her quitting her teaching job, my dad quitting his counseling job, acquiring new employment, acclimating my younger sister and I to a new environment, how we were going to pay for the essential things like: food, water, shelter, heat, health insurance, none of which were remotely as important as her little girl receiving the best services possible. My dad, the more level headed of the two, obviously wanting the same outcome for me, weighed all of our options, and decided to stay in Chippewa and face these new challenges in our home town.

I am, and forever will be, eternally grateful to my parents for pressing on, and continuously encouraging every harebrained idea I had. One day while I was in the 4th grade, I had the opportunity to learn how to play the violin. My parents, who have no music ability what so ever, were quite perplexed as to how I was going to do this. My mom decided she would take the music notes and enlarge them onto bigger paper. Then she hung the papers literally around the entire kitchen for me to try and see, and she was most likely plugging her ears trying to drown out this hideous screeching sound reverberating from the kitchen! While my mom’s heart was in the right place, the whole endeavor was quite cumber some, so I decided it was going to be easier for me, and especially for my mom, if I learned how to play by ear. My first concert was that Christmas, at my little neighborhood school. I was the only student who played the violin, so Jingle Bells turned into a solo. I had to memorize the timeless Christmas classic and practiced for weeks. I can remember standing alone on that old wooden stage, and being nervous, but I am positive I was nowhere near as nervous as my parents! Thankfully I played my way through the song, and hopefully did jolly old Saint Nicklaus proud. I enjoy playing the violin as well as the piano still to this day.

As I reflect back on that fateful day in 1979, I can still see, smell, hear and even tell you what my dad and I were wearing. As I accept the fact that my vision is slowly turning into darkness, it is these vivid memories that will stay in my thoughts forever. I can still hear my dad saying, “Janell, keep your eye on
the ball!” and that is exactly what I plan on doing!

Living with low vision by Donna Williams

The Teacher Becomes a Student

September is here. The weather will be getting cooler. What a perfect time for tackling something new. This year’s project involves learning a new cell phone. Never mind that my old one works just fine or at least for the time being it does. So why bother taking on this task now? Well, it seems as though the network my old phone runs on will be shut off in 2019 and I don’t want to be last minute trying to figure out what my options are.

Obviously I need a phone that will be accessible so the first step in my little project was to do research. I knew the perfect place to start. I am a member of an email group that shares information about accessible phones and decided to post a message there. I told the group that I was looking for a basic phone with buttons but that would have some sort of text to speech option. The result of my query was a choice of 3 different phones. I read the info on all of them and had pretty much made my decision before going into the store to check them out.

The day we went to the store was interesting. My friend and I looked at the various phones and despite the saleswoman being rushed I was able to determine that the phone I had researched was the right one for both of us. I asked the saleswoman if she had any in stock and she said “yes”. Then she opened the drawer the phone was supposed to be in and it was empty. I groaned inwardly because I just had the feeling she was about to tell me my choice was out of stock and was about to be discontinued as has happened many times in the past. Luckily I needn’t have worried because although there were no phones at the store we were able to each order one to be delivered within a few days. Well, a few days became a week and I began to groan inwardly once again. Every time my phone rang I half expected to hear those dreaded words about the phone not being available.

The phones finally did arrive and my friend and I opened our packages. My first thought was that we had been sent the wrong phones because I didn’t remember them looking that big in the store. However I read the box and saw that it was what we ordered.

Setup was quite an adventure. I am so used to setting up technology on my own or with help from someone who has enough vision to read the screen that it never occurred to me that I’d find myself in a frustrating situation. When I turned my phone on it went through 3 screens so fast that I had to turn it off and on 3 times just to read what it was asking me to do. Oh and did I mention that before I did that I had to resort to getting my big hand held magnifier to read the miniscule print since my magnified reading glasses wouldn’t work. You may wonder why that is? Well, my glasses couldn’t remain in the best position for me to see unless I held them in my hand instead of letting them rest on my face. That might have worked except they kept folding up and the earpieces kept blocking the lens that I needed to see through. Every time that happened my friend would ask “what’s that clicking sound? Is that the phone?” With the magnifier I had no such issue. However a new dilemma cropped up. I could read the screen but in order to select anything or check boxes I had to set the magnifier down. The only solution for me to complete setup was to read each screen thoroughly then memorize where the choices were I wanted to select. It was tedious work and I had to do this process twice for both phones since my friend is totally blind and definitely needed my help. You may wonder where the speech was in all this? Well, typically I could not access it until I got through all these agreement and set up screens.

Once the speech came on it was very hard to understand. It is also very monotone. However, I am now getting used to it. I am also happy to report that I can set the text to a larger font that right now I am able to read if I use my magnified reading glasses. Once the accessibility options were set I began exploring the phone. And because I had to teach it to my friend I spent approximately 12 nocturnal hours giving my self a crash course in Exalt 101. I was so proud of myself for learning all I did in one night and was looking forward to teaching my friend the next day. Unfortunately we both became very frustrated by that experience. I felt very discouraged. I’ve taught this friend other things in the past and been very successful so I was stumped as to why this was not working. Then a student I worked with several years ago came to mind. This person needed everything shown to her literally step by step. I didn’t think my friend needed that much help but I designed a session in which I’d teach him the phone in just that way. I also suggested he record our sessions so he could refer back to them. I am happy to report we are having a much more productive and positive experience and he is slowly but surely learning this phone.

The most important things I’ve learned here have nothing to do with how the phone operates. I am reminded to think creatively and quit being so prideful that I decide not to ask for help when I know darn well that my life would be much easier with someone else’s eyes to read for me at times.

In closing I will say what I’ve been saying to friends since I got this phone. I’m exalted about my Exalt.

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

The pet place, stories from readers about their guide dogs and pets.

Sully part one of two

I was enjoying a leisurely stroll on a warm Wisconsin summer day with a good friend, Gary. He was blessed to be matched with his first guide dog, Reuben, a few months prior. I thought to myself, how different can a guide dog be than using a white cane? As he walked with this 4-leggid creature I was reveling in the total independence he had, and the trust between he and his dog. It was that fateful walk when I decided to pursue getting a guide dog for myself.
In my forty-six years, I have rarely, if ever, shied away from much in my life. After being diagnosed with the Juvenile Form of Macular Degeneration at the age of nine, I managed to graduate from college, get married, start a family, teach high school, start two family businesses and yet suddenly getting a guide dog was perhaps the most nerve-racking of all.

While contemplating this new opportunity, I can remember the many apprehensions I had such as will I even qualify, will the new dog mesh well with my family, will he adjust to living in a rurral community, will he bond with me or will I teach him bad habits by not communicating the commands correctly? The thought that was weighing most heavily on my mind was: am I worthy of a guide dog; do I deserve one? Maybe someone else may need him more than me? Maybe someone who lives alone and does not have the level of support that I do? Maybe the big city would be a better setting for a guide dog? I did experience a degree of guilt embedded in my enthusiasm, but my enthusiasm thankfully outweighed my trepidations!

I researched my options, and quickly it became obvious that I would apply to OCCUPAWS in Madison Wisconsin. OCCUPAWS is one of a handful of guide dog schools that would come to my house for training rather than me going to a residential training facility. It was not feasible for me to leave my responsibilities at home at that time. I was looking for a top notch, accredited and highly recommended school, and that is precisely what OCCUPAWS was offering me. Upon acquiring the initial information, I was informed of the sobering news that often, there is a year or perhaps longer waiting list for an applicant to be matched with a guide dog. I figured I would hope for the best and send in my application, wait with bated breath in hopes that I would be given the chance to fulfil my latest exciting endeavor sooner rather than later!

My application was submitted, and before I knew it OCCUPAWS was calling me for my first evaluation. I must preface everything by admitting that I was never very efficient using the white cane, so containing my excitement and anxiety was proving to be a challenge! I was thrilled to learn that I was indeed ready to be matched with a guide dog, and then the wait began.

I was both elated and pleasantly surprised to get a phone call just a few weeks later telling me I was matched with a male black lab, Sully. Then the doubts crept in again. Was I ready, would he like me, could I learn everything, was I being selfish by asking for the opportunity to be part of the guide dog community? I put it in Gods hands and hoped for the best.

October 14th seemed eons away, but the day finally arrived. I was perched on the front porch waiting as if I was five years old again waiting for Santa Christmas Eve! When the trainer, Ellie, pulled in the driveway I am sure I had a smile on my face so huge I looked like the cat that ate the canary! Sully bounded out of the car, ran right into my arms, and I fell completely and totally in love with my new traveling companion! As soon as I touched, smelled, kissed and hugged him my anxieties quickly diminished.
I will admit, those next two weeks of training were the most stressful and intense two weeks of my life! I was vigorously trying to learn every command, hand gesture, what to do, what to say, when to walk, when to stop and most importantly how to listen to Sully. It was literally 16 hours a day with Ellie, and let’s just say, she is very intense, understandably so, yet she was very patient and supportive. There was so much to learn, forward, halt, focus, leave it, hop up, free, heal, puppy push-ups and remembering to say “okay” after filling his food bowl. Honestly, there were several occasions that I forgot and my poor drooling dog would sit staring at his bowl just waiting for the command. I had never thought there was an art to picking up dog poop, but with poop bags in hand, I tackled that too.
During those two weeks, the three of us trained around my neighborhood, the mall, church, practiced curbs, steps, the grocery store, hotels and restaurants. The reoccurring thought I had was boy, I sure hope I don’t screw this dog up, he is so highly trained and I am an amateur at best! Plus, I was fully aware of the inordinate cost that was incurred for socializing, training and delivering this pup to my front door.
Subsequently, there was a lot to learn at home as well. Feeding schedule, crate training, brushing teeth, cleaning ears, bathing, introducing him to my family, including our other lab, potty schedules and basic grooming. Sully spent the initial few days tethered to my side so we could develop our bond together. Much to my delight, forming such a strong and intense bond was the easiest piece to this puzzle. I have had dogs throughout the duration of my life, but the bond between Sully and I was like no other! He literally became my black shadow. He would peak at me in the shower, be underfoot while I was cooking or doing laundry, next to my side by the couch, and he was with me in the bathroom-even though frankly there were some things I would rather have done alone, but he didn’t leave me much choice.
Having this new-found independence was also accompanied with new responsibilities, being very diligent with a schedule, being consistent with obedience, training, socializing and maintaining a happy and healthy pup.

Finally, it was the end of my two weeks and the culmination of my training. It was time for a party, a graduation!! I invited my family, neighbors, Gary and Reuben, my best friend who is hopeful to be blessed with a guide dog soon, and of course the OCCUPAWS family. The day of graduation I was exhausted, overwhelmed and in such a place of extreme gratitude. Finally, this black angel was mine! This also meant that it was time for Ellie to head west and return home to Denver. As she left I sat on the same front porch with Sully and told him it was our time to blossom together, for me to learn to completely and totally trust him and most importantly for him to be patient with me as we learn to work together as a team.

*Read part two in the October edition.
Janell Groskreutz

From the pages of Donna's travel diary:

For a blind traveler at an airport

At the best of times I find it extremely difficult to remain calm when I am at an airport and waiting to board my plane. If someone else is traveling with me and they are sighted then I am fine. If my traveling companion is blind like me then I do worry.
So how do I handle it? Well, here goes. I make sure that at all times I am listening to make sure that I hear when the announcement for my flight is made. I also make sure that I know where the agent's desk is so that if no one comes to assist me to the plane after the announcement is made I can find myself at the agent's desk.

My cane is always visible so that I can be easily identified. I also listen for other passengers and do my best to ascertain if someone else is traveling on the same flight as me. This is often a very good strategy for me.

I will tell you that for the most part things do work out for me. I usually inform the airlines before hand that I am a blind passenger traveling on their flight and if I am flying in or out of Toronto I always phone this airport's authorities before hand. Normally, the departure phase of my journey is smooth sailing but the arrival phase is not and it is a story for another day.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan enjoying my travels.

To learn more about me, visit

Now you can subscribe to "'Let's Talk Tips"' which is my monthly resource for the most current and reliable informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media, Business, and Advocacy.

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

Yarn, hook, and needle:
Crafts by Phyllis Campbell

We all remember the scandal when Martha Stuart, so well known for her perfection in all things, found herself on her way to prison for what is commonly known as white collar crime, playing false with her taxes.

The day she was released, she was presented a poncho by a fellow inmate. Below you will find patterns for both a crochet and knit version. Enjoy, and if you make either, let me know what you think.

Coming Home Poncho Crochet

SKILL LEVEL: Easy (SIZE: Adult Medium
Circumference 24" [61 cm] at neck Length 22" [56 cm] at sides; 30" [76 cm] at points
790-320 Homespun Yarn: Regency 'Painterly' color Soft teal and gray
Quantity needed: 4 Skeins
Lion Brand Crochet Hook - Size N-13 (9 mm)
7 dc + 4 rows = 4" [10 cm] in pattern. 8 rows sc = 4" [10 cm]. STITCH EXPLANATION:
Block 3 dc in same st or space.
Shell (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in same space.
Starting at neck edge, ch 44 loosely and join with slip st to form ring, being careful not to twist ch.
Rnd 1 (RS) Ch 3, [skip next ch, 3 dc in next ch] 21 times, skip next ch, 2 dc in same ch as beg; join with slip st in top of beg ch - 22 Blocks.
Rnd 2 Slip st in space before next dc, ch 3, 2 dc in same space, [3 dc in space between next 2 Blocks] 10 times, (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in next space for corner, [3 dc in space between next 2 Blocks] 10 times, 3 dc in same space as beg; join with sc in top of beg ch - 24 Blocks; 2 corners.
Rnd 3 Slip st in first space (working around post of last sc made), ch 3, 2 dc in same space, [3 dc in space between next 2 Blocks] 11 times, (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in ch1-space of corner, [3 dc in space between next 2 Blocks] 11 times, 3 dc in same space as beg; join with sc in top of beg ch - 26 Blocks; 2 corners.
Rnds 4-20 Slip st in first space, ch 3, 2 dc in same space, [3 dc in space between next 2 Blocks] across to next corner, (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in ch1-space of corner, [3 dc in space between next 2 Blocks] across to beg space, 3 dc in same space as beg; join with sc in top of beg ch - 60 Blocks; 2 corners at end of Rnd 20.
Rnd 1 Slip st in first space, ch 3, dc in same space, *ch 3, skip next 2 dc, sc in next 5 dc, ch 3, skip next 2 dc, Shell in space between Blocks; repeat from * 18 more times, ch 3, skip next 2 dc, sc in next 5 dc, ch 3, skip next 2 dc, 2 dc in same space as beg; join with sc in top of beg ch - 20 Shells.
Rnd 2 Slip st in first space, (ch 3, dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in same space, *ch 3, skip next sc, sc in next 3 sc, ch 3, (Shell, ch 1, Shell) in next ch1-space; repeat from * 18 more times, ch 3, skip next sc, sc in next 3 sc, ch 3, Shell in same space as beg; join with sc in top of beg ch - 40 Shells.
Rnd 3 Slip st in first space, ch 3, dc in same space, Shell in next ch1-space, *ch 3, skip next sc, sc in next sc, ch 3, Shell in next 3 ch1-spaces; repeat from * 18 more times, ch 3, skip next sc, sc in next sc, ch 3, Shell in next ch1-space, 2 dc in same space as beg; join with sc in top of beg ch - 60 Shells.
Rnd 4 Slip st in first space, ch 3, dc in same space, Shell in next ch1-space, *ch 3, sc in next sc, ch 3, Shell in each of next 3 ch1-spaces; repeat from * 18 more times, ch 3, sc in next sc, ch 3, Shell in next ch1-space, 2 dc in same space as beg, ch 1; join with slip st in top of beg ch.
Fasten off.
COLLAR Rnd 1 With RS facing, working across opposite side of foundation ch on neck edge,
join yarn in any ch on neck edge. Ch 1, sc in same ch, sc in each ch around;
do not join; work in a spiral.
Mark first sc and move marker up as work progresses - 44 sc. Rnds 2-6 Sc in each sc around.
At end of Rnd 6, join with slip st in next sc.
Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Coming Home Poncho Knit SIZE: Adult Medium

Circumference 24 inches [61 cm] at neck; 120" [305 cm] at lower edge Length 22 inches
[56 cm] at sides; 30 inches [76 cm] at center point Note: Also available in larger
790-320 Homespun Yarn: Regency 'Painterly' color Soft teal and gray
Quantity needed: 4 Skeins
Lion Brand Knitting Needles Size 11 [8 mm]
Lion Brand Stitch Holders
Quantity needed: 1
11 sts + 18 rows = 4 inches [10 cm] in Stockinette st (k on RS, p on WS). 12 sts
+ 16 rows = 4 inches [10 cm] in Mock Granny st. BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR GAUGE.
(K 1, p 1) in yo Knit into yo from previous row, but do not drop yo from needle.
Bring yarn to front and purl into same yo.
Drop yo from needle.
Scalloped Edge Pattern (multiple of 18 sts)
Row 1 (WS) Knit.
Row 2 Knit.
Row 3 Purl.
Row 4 *[K2tog] 3 times, [yo, k 1] 6 times, [k2tog] 3 times; repeat from *.
Note There are 6 increases and 6 decreases per repeat; you will have the same number
of sts at the end of this row that you did when you began.
Repeat Rows 1-4 for Scalloped Edge pattern.
Mock Granny Stitch Pattern (multiple of 4 sts + 2)
Row 1 (WS) K2tog, k to last 2 sts, k2tog - 2 sts decreased.
Row 2 Repeat Row 1 - 2 sts decreased.
Row 3 P 1, *p2tog, yo, p2tog; repeat from * to last st, p 1 - 1 st decreased in each
Row 4 K 1, *k 1, (k 1, p 1) in yo, k 1; repeat from * to last st, k 1 - 1 st increased
in each repeat.
Note It is important to keep track of your increases and decreases, which vary from
row to row:Rows 1 and 2 each decrease 2 stitches per row.Row 3 decreases 1 stitch
each repeat.Row 4 increases 1 stitch each repeat.
There are a total of 4 decreases each time Rows 1-4 are completed.
Repeat Rows 1-4 for Mock Granny Stitch pattern.
Poncho is worked in 4 sections which are then sewn together.
Loosely cast on 90 sts.
Knit 1 row.
Starting with Row 1, work 4 repeats (16 rows) of Scalloped Edge pattern.
Then, starting with Row 1, work 18 repeats (72 rows) of Mock Granny Stitch pattern.
Knit across remaining 18 sts.
Place sts on holder.
Sew Sections together from bottom of Scalloped Edge to neck, leaving 1 of the 4 seams
Neckband Slip all neck sts from holders onto needle - 72 sts.
With RS facing, join yarn to right side of neck and knit across all sts.
Work in Garter st (knit every row) for 2 inches [5 cm], ending with a RS row.
Bind off loosely.
Sew remaining Poncho and Neckband seam.
Weave in ends.

Happy Crafting,

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This is the end of the September edition of the Blind Post classified news.

Thanks for reading!
Lori AKA Food Lady

Lori Motis
Publisher & editor of the Blind Post classified news.

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