The blind Post classified news July edition 2020
From and for the blind and visually impaired.
July edition 2020
Current subscribers to date: 1,204
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Contents for this month’s issue:
This month’s sponsor- Elegant Insights Braille Creations.
From the editor, by Lori Motis.
New and used.
Wanted, to trade, or to give away.
Services and training.
Business and employment opportunities.
This month’s articles:
Tech news—Has this ever happened to you? By Lori Motis.
Blind man Walking- Cultivating an Adventure Mindset by Joshua Loya.
Living with low vision- A Reprieve of Sorts by Donna Williams.
Tips and tidbits from the Food Lady- 9 Healthy Foods That Lift Your Mood.
Driving Miss Donna- “The Length of a Day” By Lynn Anderson.
Blind people talking- My Summer on a Greyhound Bus (Part 1) By Donna Kimball.
Yarn, hook and needle-. Sprucing up your home by Greg Capps.
Other important info:
How to post and pay for an ad or announcement,
2020 word counts and costs.
What can you post to the Blind Post?
Subscriptions to the Blind Post.
This month’s sponsor. Thank you!
Greetings, precious humans! This is Laura, owner of Elegant Insights Braille Creations. Happy summer!
As they say on the social, how's your pandemic going? Hope you are all safe and well.
As you know, summer is convention season, and of course, this year they've gone virtual!
Elegant Insights will exhibit as a vendor at the NFB convention from July 14th to July 18th. Please check out our vendor page on the convention web site,
and join our Zoom room during exhibit hall hours. The NFB has provided exhibitors with a virtual exhibit hall booth that will consist of a description
of our business, a few photos, links to web site and social media, and an invitation to join our live Zoom room where we can hang out all day, or, in our
case, for a specific period of time, with a posted schedule, as I'll be sharing the Zoom room with another vendor. I'm really looking forward to greeting
those of you I've met at previous NFB events, as well as making new friends - virtually, of course!
I'm so proud to announce that I have joined the National Federation of the Blind as a member, and I've also joined the National Association of Blind Merchants!
To celebrate, Elegant Insights has crafted a special item just for the NFB20 convention! Get our souvenir key tag with a carabiner clip, split ring for
keys, and a stainless steel military-style dog tag with "live the life you want" embossed in braille. This year, we're also adding a choice of decorative
charms. To commemorate the first-ever virtual convention, choose the USA country shaped charm. Wish the event was still being held in Texas? Then choose
the Texas state charm instead! Our souvenir key tags are just $25.00 plus shipping, and you can get yours here:
During the week of the convention, we'll share something new every day. Want a sneak preview? We're making A Case For Color with our brand new business
card cases. These slim, lightweight aluminum business card holders are great for carrying your ID, bank or credit cards, insurance or loyalty cards, or
even as a fun way to present a gift card...No gift wrap needed! Available in 9 colors, our super cool card cases can be braille-embossed with your name,
company name, or tag line. See them here:
Looking for some great summer style? I'm flat crazy about our new Expandable Dangle Bangles. They're a new angle on a bangle. They jingle-jangle! Our
bangles have dangles! These slip-over-the-wrist wire bangle bracelets are available in a half-dozen styles, including seasonal, holiday, and celestial
motifs. They are inexpensive and fun to collect. Check out our entire bracelet inventory here:
Not only will we have pretty new jewelry items to share, we've got some fun announcements to make as well! Here's a hint: You've been asking for alternatives
to pierced earrings, so we just might have a few options for you! Plus, we'll have Q and A, drawings for door prizes, giveaways, flash sales, and all
sorts of reasons to check in on our online booth each day of the convention. I'm calling our virtual space the Bubbles and Baubles Beverage and Sparkle
Bar! Bring along your favorite beverage, and let's talk jewelry!
I'm delighted to have the opportunity to share my Elegant Insights Braille Creations with you as a new NFB member, and even though I know the current circumstances
are not ideal, let's make the most of it and have a blast! Hey, and no masks needed, right?
So, be sure to stop by the virtual exhibit hall during the convention, and if you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to visit
or call Laura at 702-605-1265.
Elegant Insights Braille Creations is a distinctive collection of jewelry and accessories, all handcrafted, made in the USA, and embossed in crisp, readable
braille. What can we create for you?
From the editor:
Happy July readers!
July has always been my favorite month. Mostly because it is my birthday month and it is also the birthday of the country I love. I have much to be thankful
for even though the current times are challenging. Walking through difficult times has always made me stronger and closer to God.
I want to thank Laura for sponsoring this month’s Blind Post news. We have some great articles and notices this month. I hope that you will share with
others and please let folks know you read their article or notice on the Blind Post.
I wanted to share with you that my husband and I have been listening to the Sunday live worship service of the Moody church in Chicago on YouTube. Many
of you know about the Moody church which is over 150 years old. It was named for D. L. Moody after he passed away in the late 1800’s. They have two live
services on Sunday with singing and a sermon. I invite you to check their website out for all that they have to offer. There are many people available
to talk with you and pray with you. Also, they stream their services in English, Spanish and ASL for the hard of hearing. There are past sermons and much
I have been listening to an older devotional book I downloaded from BARD. Was designed as a daily devotional, but I enjoy listening to several days at
a time. I even fall asleep listening to it. There are two volumes, part one and part two. Very comforting.
Streams in the desert DB18624
Cowman, Charles E, Mrs. Reading time: 16 hours, 38 minutes.
Read by Dale Carter. National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.
Meditations of hope and encouragement for each day of the year. First published in 1925, these are the thoughts, quotations, and devotions that sustained
Mrs. Cowman during her years of missionary work in China and Japan, and for the six years that she nursed her dying husband.
Streams in the desert, v. 2 DB18917
Cowman, Charles E, Mrs. Reading time: 16 hours, 27 minutes.
Read by Terry Hayes Sales. National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.
Daily devotional readings selected posthumously from the personal papers of a pioneer missionary. This book is a companion volume to "Streams in the Desert."
Also, the following is a book that my women’s Bible prayer support group read a while ago, that is excellent. I highly recommend it.
God's psychiatry: The Twenty-third psalm, the Ten commandments, the Lord's prayer, the Beatitudes, DB07847
Allen, Charles Livingstone. Reading time: 5 hours, 23 minutes.
Read by Edith Hatcher. National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.
A popular minister shows how the Bible can help in everyday life.
And still another that I read over and over that is quite informative:
The God who is there: finding your place in God's story DB76850
Carson, D. A. Reading time: 10 hours, 4 minutes.
Read by Bob Souer. A production of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.
Theologian provides a basic introduction to Christianity by tracing the story of redemption through the Bible. Discusses the Old and New Testaments and
well-known biblical figures. Commercial audiobook. 2010.
I pray for you all as a group. I may not know your needs or personal struggles, but our loving Almighty Heavenly Father does. Please be well and stay safe.
God Bless you all,
Lori AKA Food Lady
Publisher & editor of the Blind Post classified news.
A great place to share and sell!
Have you ever wanted to post a time sensitive announcement or several notices before the next month’s Blind Post classified news edition?
Now you can. If you have ads or announcements that are time sensitive, or just have several items, then you can include them in a special Blind Post Extra
Extra edition. The word count costs are the same as the monthly news, but not free notices. This works best when you might have more than one item for
sale, notice for an event, or a special class or training that is of interest to the blind and low vision community.
It will go out to all Blind Post subscribers within one day of approval.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org your submissions and I will let you know if it is suitable and what the cost is.
New and used:
A novel by Mary Alice Ba luck / C 2020
In e-book and print from Amazon, Smashwords, and other online sellers.
484 pages in print.
Cover image, author bio, free text sample, and direct buying links:
Three countries. Three generations. Three strong women.
Set between the late 1800s and the 1920s in Ireland, Canada, and the United States, this is a story of deep love and tragic loss, of rejection and eventual
acceptance, and of moral progress from self-centeredness to compassion. Even the citizens of Herron’s Point mature beyond their provincial narrow-mindedness
as the town grows in size and popularity in the new century.
After young Brigid Walsh marries Patrick Mahoney, she moves with him from Ireland to Canada. When Patrick is killed, she quickly goes from prosperity to
a life of unrelenting hard work running a boarding house.
Maggie Mahoney, Brigid’s daughter, works as hard as any servant. At the same time, her mother provides her with a good education and dreams of bright marital
prospects for her beautiful daughter. When those dreams are shattered in a terrible way, Brigid cannot accept either the truth or the good man who comes
to Maggie’s rescue. Fleeing rejection by both her mother and the town, Maggie and Tim cross Lake Erie to the United States.
Maura Ryan, Maggie’s daughter, loses her father and then her mother at an early age, but she and her younger brother find a home with their Uncle Jack
and his family in Buffalo, New York. Later, the bright and hardworking Maura thrives as a bookkeeper for Jack’s lumber business. Love and unexpected fortune
both come her way, but so do tragic revelations connected with her mother’s past.
Along with the dozens of well-drawn characters, Lake Erie is an abiding and powerful presence: sometimes menacing, but much more often majestic and calming.
The glorious sunsets, a glimpse of “Heaven’s doorway,” are a lovely visual leitmotif.
About the Author
Mary Alice Baluck is 92 years old, the mother of six children, and a retired English teacher. She currently lives in a retirement home in Youngstown, Ohio.
This is her first novel, and others are to come. She thanks her family members and the staff at The Blackburn Home for their encouragement and their technological
assistance in making her long-held literary dreams come true.
Some of your favorite scentsy fragrances will be discontinued at the end of July and are only available while supplies last!
French Lavender, Mochadoodle,
Paradise Punch and Pink Cotton are just a few of the fragrances that will be discontinued.
Contact Nini Urschel, Independent Scentsy Consultant, 916-206-1151
or on Facebook: NV Wickless Scents & More
You can help me out with my accessible home studio and for only $5,
you'll get a digital copy of my second album as a thank you!
Feel free to share! Here is the go fund me link but if you'd rather use Pay Pal,
you'll find that link below as well.
Wanted, to trade or give away:
Free copies of a volume with both the Gospel of John and the Book of Romans.
Underlined passages show God's plan of salvation. King James. Would like
reimbursement for postage, but no charge for booklets.
Sermons on the Phone:
Eyes on success shows and podcasts:
2026 A Musical Career in the Shadow of Sound (Jun. 24, 2020)
Joey Stuckey is an award-winning blind guitarist, songwriter, singer, composer, producer, radio and television personality, music columnist, educator and
sound engineer. He is also the official music ambassador for his home town of Macon, Georgia. Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Joey about his life
journey and keys to his success.
2024 Encore of 1638 Comcast Innovations in Accessible TV (Jun. 10, 2020)
Many visually impaired people have experienced the frustrations of operating cable TV or searching for a movie. If you’re a Comcast customer, however,
your problems are solved! Hosts Nancy and Peter Torpey talk with Tom Wlodkowski, Vice President of Accessibility at Comcast, about their solutions that
provide the blind with almost complete access to all functions.
Go to www.EyesOnsuccess.net
to find a full, searchable archive of nearly 500 episodes on nearly any topic or subscribe to the podcast if you don’t want to miss an episode!
You can listen on your Amazon or Google smart home device by saying “play Eyes On Success podcast”.
Joshua Loya from Blind Man Walking here. I just started a podcast, The Adventure Mind Podcast
with Joshua Loya. Each episode is an unfiltered conversation with my fellow adventurers. Guests include martial arts masters, surfing pioneers, comedians,
musicians, and others who live life as vividly as possibly who want to share that vivid life with others. The show can be found in Apple Podcasts, Google
Podcasts, and Spotify. The web site for the show and the Adventure Mind movement will soon be found at:
Services and training.
Do you need original music, guitar tracks, backing tracks, or audio
editing/podcast production? Are you interested in learning guitar via
Facetime, Skype, or custom made mp3 lessons? If so, drop me an e-mail:
Business and employment opportunities:
Want to make some extra money? Try selling Mary Kay products. I will train you.
If you wish to buy Mary Kay products, you can contact me: by phone at (917) 696-8115 or by email at email@example.com. A free gift will be sent to
anyone who inquires.
Has this ever happened to you?
By Lori Motis
I have an iPhone 10R with the latest software and I rely on Voice Over, the screen reader that is built into the operating system of all Apple products.
A couple of weeks ago I was checking the statis bar on my iPhone to see how much battery I had left on it. I will usually only charge it up overnight,
if it has less than 50% available. That night, when I was sliding my finger across the statis line, which is at the top of the screen, just before touching
the power percentage, Voice Over stopped talking. Hmmm, I thought, this is strange. No panic yet, I checked to see if somehow I had accidently muted the
speech with a three finger double tap. Nothing happened. So I checked the volume buttons and still no voice. Okay, I’ll just ask Siri to turn on Voice
Over. She replied that Voice Over was already on. Well, then I started to feel a little uneasy about this. I thought, well I will power off the phone,
but going from my memory, without voice assistance, I went through the power off process, and the phone would not power off. I knew this because Siri kept
asking me what I wanted, , and when I turned off the side mute switch, the phone vibrated. I did not want to hold the power button and the volume button
too long or I would be calling Emergency assistance, and I sure didn’t want that, even though I did feel it was an emergency. Well, then maybe the phone
needs to be completely charged up, so I plugged it in and went to sleep.
In the morning, I checked it and still no voice, but Siri was still telling me that Voice Over was already on. I started to panic a bit, since my whole
life is stored in this device. Not really, but it can feel like that at times. I decided to call Apple Accessibility.
Well I can’t use my iPhone, but I do have a landline. But wait, that won’t work, because there isn’t a way for them to look at my iPhone with that. So,
I borrowed my husband’s iPhone and used that to call Apple Accessibility. I had to wait for a few minutes and then a nice support person asked how she
could help. I told her the issue I was having with my iPhone and that I was using my husband’s iPhone to call. She talked me through how to share the camera
with her and we used my husband’s iPhone camera for her to look at my phone. We tried various gestures and trying to shut it down but still nothing. Even
though Siri was telling us that Voice Over was already on, she said that visually it appeared that it was not on. She said when Voice Over is running there
is a box around the spot where the Voice Over cursor is on the phone. She could not see it. She walked me through powering off my phone visually, which
is different from how it is done with Voice Over running. It is a slide to power off gesture which is done on a particular area of the screen. I finally
was successful, with her visual guidance, to get my iPhone powered off. Then we powered it on and Voice Over was on and talking. What a relief! I was so
She took notes on what I had experienced and also asked if I had recently downloaded anything. I told her that a week or so prior I had updated my phone
with the latest software, but nothing else.
Now, if this should ever happen to you, and you have a sighted person, they could power your phone off and then turn it on. I did not, and my husband is
blind, so I was glad he had an iPhone for me to use.
I suppose you could use another iPhone or iPad with Facetime to a friend or even the Be my eyes app or Aira.
The Apple accessibility support number is for anyone with a disability to get help with any of their Apple products. I think I heard that they are open
24 hours now, but not 100% sure on that. Here is their number, so you can call them if you need to. It sure helped me.
The toll-free number is (877) 204-3930.
It is nice to know that there are many ways to get sighted assistance when needed.
Blind man walking
Cultivating an Adventure Mindset
By Joshua Loya
I recently started a podcast, The Adventure Mind Podcast with Joshua Loya. The title came from an almost throw away hashtag that I added to a post about
my desire to be a professional adventurer. What Adventure Mind has come to mean is much much more? I’ll do my best to explain, at least a little, in this
I define adventure as living life on purpose. While some may merely exist, I want as much life as there is to be lived. When I quit my job as a technology
trainer in 2016, it was because I wanted a more vivid and fulfilling life. I didn’t just want to make a living. I wanted a life. At first, I thought I
was quitting to take a run at competing in judo in the 2020 Paralympics. While this was my initial goal, and I did get a crash course in judo, in multiple
senses of the word, judo proved to be a much steeper climb than I originally expected it would be, even with my more than a decade of martial arts experience.
Once I decided that I was never going back to what most people considered a normal life, I felt free to try a whole range of things. I tried surfing on
a whim, and it turned out I really enjoyed and was good at it. I would later try slack lining, sailing, and skateboarding, with plenty more to come.
What’s the reason I tried judo? What’s the reason I tried surfing and everything else? I was afraid, and I wanted to try it. That’s right. I ran towards
my fear, not away from it. This doesn’t mean that I was foolish. I got training in how to fall properly before I competed in judo, so that, even if I lost,
I could minimize the risk of injury. I got training in how to surf. I learned how to avoid sting ray stings, how to control my board, how to paddle, duck
dive under waves, and how to fall safely if a wave became too much for me.
As I began to do scarier and scarier things, I began to relish the thrill of conquering my fear. I was no longer bound by my fear. My fear worked for me,
not the other way around. As I began to do more challenging things, I became stronger and more resilient of both body and mind.
That’s the key to being an adventurer. Do difficult things to become stronger. Do scary things to become courageous. Keep getting better, so more of life
can be enjoyed. There is one more big piece that is vital, and it is the most difficult to do.
Die daily. Wake up every morning knowing that the day isn’t promised to you. Assume death is inevitable because it is. The only factor is time. When you
live another day, be grateful for it. If you, like me, believe in God, express your gratitude to the lover of your soul. Know that your next breath could
easily be your last, so make it count. Live a life that is meaningful and in line with your highest best self. Death is but one of many manifestations
of change. Make friends with change, so you can enjoy the gift of the present.
A last important detail that I feel compelled to convey. What is difficult for you is not the same thing that is difficult for me. What is scary for me
might not be scary at all to you. Each of us is unique. You don’t have to surf, skate, or practice martial arts to be an adventurer. All that is required
is that you move forward toward what is difficult and scary. Adventure is a state of mind. How you live it is up to you.
Joshua “The Jedi” Loya - Professional Adventurer
Available now for public speaking and personal coaching.
Living with low vision
A Reprieve of Sorts
By Donna Williams
Before I share the second experience of going to the eye doctor during these strange times I thought I’d let you know I now have 5 different masks. No,
I’m not hording! The first one I started using came from my sister. It was ok but I think I mentioned before that the way it was designed caused me a
problem seeing where I am going. My Mom then gave me another mask she was given and this one fit much more comfortably and the top of it stayed out of
my line of vision. However, I find it hard to breathe wearing a double layered piece of material over my nose and mouth. I kept requesting thinner masks
that I could wear for exercising or traveling within the apartment building where I live. In the meantime our choir director sent each of us a single layer
mask. I thought about wearing that one all the time but then it occurred to me that perhaps she sent these masks to us so if we tried to meet again in
the fall we’d have them to wear while we sang. For that reason I put that one in my choir bag and continued my quest for another solution. My Mom had
begun experimenting with different patterns and I decided to see if she had anything I could use. The result is I have 2 different single layer masks.
I still hate wearing them but at least I can breathe a little easier.
In last month’s article I talked about my interesting experience of going to the eye doctor in the era of covid 19. I did it again on June 18th. This
time I had an actual office visit. The plan was for me to get the pressure checked and if it was still too high my laser treatment would be scheduled.
The day before I was supposed to have my appointment one of the girls from the office called. She asked me the usual questions about possible exposure
to the virus and if I’d had any symptoms since my last visit. I told her that all was well here and she confirmed the rest of the details that are usually
asked about when a patient arrives at their location. Once that was complete I was informed that I had to call a specific number upon arrival. I would
then receive a call back when they were ready for me. I mentioned that my Mom would be driving me and asked if she would be able to come in too. We were
supposed to have extremely hot weather that day and if I did need to schedule that laser treatment I’d obviously need to consult with my Mom regarding
her schedule since she would be my transportation and anything else I might need her to be on the day I’d go into the operating room. Unfortunately the
girl told me in a very firm and direct voice that I would be the only one allowed in the office. I mentioned my need for assistance to figure out exactly
where I had to go and she told me to just come inside the building. Well, let’s see, I would be somewhere in the parking lot and having no distance vision
I could travel in any direction and not necessarily the right one. Oh my, that’s like pointing and saying “over there.” What a show that would be for the
masses awaiting their turn. Then what about once inside the building? I was told this would be a no contact visit. That isn’t good since one of their zippy
women always go ten speeds too fast down the hall. Wouldn’t take me too long to lose sight of them. Lol.
As it turned out I need not have worried. Upon arrival I called the designated number while my Mom searched for a parking spot. No sooner had she found
one and pulled in then my cell phone rang. I was told the doctor was ready to see me. Since we were all the way in the back of the lot my Mom offered
to walk me to the door. When we were climbing the stairs to the office one of the girls came out. She greeted me and told us we could both come in.
Upon entering we had our temperatures taken then were escorted back to the exam room. My visit went swiftly and I’m happy to report that the pressure is
down again. I am now in the middle of a 6 week reprieve. If the pressure is ok when I go back at the end of July then I may have dodged the laser treatment
bullet once again.
There are other positive things happening too. We are now in the green phase. I’m still careful what I do and who I see but I can tell you that I had
a wonderful 4th of July celebration. On that day I had a friend come visit for a few hours. It was just us 2 and we had what I like to affectionately
refer to as a socially distant dinner. Of course there were no hugs or touching of any kind but it was nice to eat hotdogs and share a few laughs. Then
on July 5th I went to my Mom’s for dinner. I’ve been going there every once in a while since Memorial Day. Because we obviously live in different locations
we’re very careful how we interact with one another. Despite the necessary precautions I’m so glad I can see her in person and spend time together.
Even though these times demand we be cautious I hope each of you can find creative ways to spend quality time with those you love and enjoy a bit of summer
I’d love hearing from you. Feel free to write me at:
To get the conversation started here’s a question: What is your favorite part of summer?
Tips and tidbits from the Food Lady
I found the following article on the web, from Healthlines, that I thought we could all benefit from during these challenging times. I hope you will find
it interesting and helpful for lifting your mood.
Note: If you do a search on google for foods that lift mood, you will find several results with these nine and many more sites with several more.
9 Healthy Foods That Lift Your Mood
When you’re feeling down, it can be tempting to turn to food to lift your spirits. However, the sugary, high calorie treats that many people resort to
have negative consequences of their own.
Thus, you may wonder whether any healthy foods can improve your mood.
Recently, research on the relationship between nutrition and mental health has been emerging. Yet, it’s important to note that mood can be influenced by
many factors, such as stress, environment, poor sleep, genetics, mood disorders, and nutritional deficiencies.
Therefore, it’s difficult to accurately determine whether food can raise your spirits.
Nonetheless, certain foods have been shown to improve overall brain health and certain types of mood disorders.
Here are 9 healthy foods that may boost your mood.
1. Fatty fish
Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of essential fats that you must obtain through your diet because your body can’t produce them on its own.
Fatty fish like salmon and albacore tuna are rich in two types of omega-3s — docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) — that are linked
to lower levels of depression.
Omega-3s contribute to the fluidity of your brain’s cell membrane and appear to play key roles in brain development and cell signaling.
While research is mixed, one review of clinical trials showed that in some studies, consuming omega-3’s in the form of fish oil lower depression scores.
Although there’s no standard dose, most experts agree that most adults should get at least 250–500 mg of combined EPA and DHA
Given that a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of salmon
provides 2,260 mg of EPA and DHA, eating this fish a few times per week is a great way to get these fats into your diet.
Fatty fish like salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may lower your risk of depression.
2. Dark chocolate
Chocolate is rich in many mood-boosting compounds. Its sugar may improve mood since it’s a quick source of fuel for your brain.
Furthermore, it may release a cascade of feel-good compounds, such as caffeine, theobromine, and N-acylethanolamine — a substance chemically similar to
cannabinoids that has been linked to improved mood.
However, some experts debate whether chocolate contains enough of these compounds to trigger a psychological response.
Regardless, it’s high in health-promoting flavonoids, which have been shown to increase blood flow to your brain, reduce inflammation, and
boost brain health, all of which may support mood regulation.
Finally, chocolate has a high hedonic rating, meaning that its pleasurable taste, texture, and smell may also promote good mood.
Because milk chocolate contains added ingredients like sugar and fat, it’s best to opt for dark chocolate
— which is higher in flavonoids and lower in added sugar. You should still stick to 1–2 small squares (of 70% or more cocoa solids) at a time since it’s
a high calorie food.
Dark chocolate is rich in compounds that may increase feel-good chemicals in your brain.
3. Fermented foods
Fermented foods, which include kimchi, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut, may improve gut health and mood.
The fermentation process allows live bacteria to thrive in foods that are then able to convert sugars into alcohol and acids. During this process,
probiotics are created. These live microorganisms support the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut and may increase serotonin levels.
It’s important to note that not all fermented foods are significant sources of probiotics, such as in the case of beer, some breads, and wine, due to cooking
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects many facets of human behavior, such as mood, stress response, appetite, and sexual drive. Up to 90% of your
serotonin is produced by your gut microbiome, or the collection of healthy bacteria in your gut. In addition, the gut microbiome plays a role in brain
health. Research is beginning to show a connection between healthy gut bacteria and lower rates of
depression. Still, more research is needed to understand how probiotics may regulate mood.
Since up to 90% of your body’s serotonin is produced in your gut, a healthy gut may correspond to a good mood. Fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt, kefir,
kombucha, and sauerkraut are rich in probiotics that support gut health.
Bananas may help turn a frown upside down. They’re high in vitamin B6, which helps synthesize feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
Furthermore, one large
banana (136 grams) provides 16 grams of sugar and 3.5 grams of fiber.
When paired with fiber, sugar is released slowly into your bloodstream, allowing for stable blood sugar levels and better mood control. Blood sugar levels
that are too low may lead to irritability and mood swings.
Finally, this ubiquitous tropical fruit, especially when still showing green on the peel, is an excellent source of
prebiotics, a type of fiber that helps feed healthy bacteria in your gut. A robust gut microbiome is associated with lower rates of mood disorders.
Bananas are a great source of natural sugar, vitamin B6, and prebiotic fiber, which work together to keep your blood sugar levels and mood stable.
Oats are a whole grain that can keep you in good spirits all morning. You can enjoy them in many forms, such as
overnight oats, oatmeal, muesli, and granola.
They’re an excellent source of fiber, providing 8 grams in a single raw cup (81 grams).
Fiber helps slow your digestion of carbs, allowing for a gradual release of sugar into the bloodstream to keep your energy levels stable.
In one study, those who ate 1.5–6 grams of fiber at breakfast reported better mood and energy levels. This was attributed to more stable blood sugar levels,
which is important for controlling mood swings and irritability.
Although other sources of whole grains can have this effect, oats may be especially advantageous, as they’re also a great source of iron, with 1 raw cup
(81 grams) boasting 19% of your daily needs. Iron deficiency anemia, one of the most common
nutrient deficiencies, is associated with low iron intake. Its symptoms include fatigue, sluggishness, and mood disorders.
Some research suggests that people experience improvements in these symptoms after eating iron-rich foods or supplementing with iron, but more research
Oats provide fiber that can stabilize your blood sugar levels and boost your mood. They’re also high in iron, which may improve mood symptoms in those
with iron deficiency anemia.
Curiously, eating more fruits and vegetables is linked to lower rates of depression. Although the mechanism isn’t clear, a diet rich in antioxidants may
help manage inflammation associated with depression and other mood disorders.
Berries pack a wide range of antioxidants and phenolic compounds, which play a key role in combatting oxidative stress — an imbalance of harmful compounds
your body. They’re particularly high in anthocyanins, a pigment that gives certain berries their
purple-blue color. One study associated a diet rich in anthocyanins with a 39% lower risk of depression symptoms.
If you can’t find them fresh, try buying frozen berries — which are frozen at their peak ripeness to retain the maximum amount of antioxidants.
Berries are rich in disease-fighting anthocyanins, which may lower your risk of depression.
7. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are high in plant-based proteins, healthy fats, and fiber.
Additionally, they provide tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin. Almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts, as well
as pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds, are excellent sources.
Moreover, nuts and seeds are a large component of both the MIND and Mediterranean diets, which may support a healthy brain. Each of these diets promotes
fresh, whole foods and limits your intake of processed items.
What’s more, a 10-year study in 15,980 people linked moderate nut intake to a 23% lower risk of depression.
Finally, certain nuts and seeds, such as Brazil nuts, almonds, and pine nuts, are good sources of zinc and selenium. Deficiency in these minerals, which
are important for brain function,
is associated with higher rates of depression — although more research is needed.
Certain nuts and seeds are high in tryptophan, zinc, and selenium, which may support brain function and lower your risk of depression.
Coffee is the world’s most popular drink, and it may make the world a bit happier, too.
The caffeine in coffee prevents a naturally occurring compound called adenosine from attaching to brain receptors that promote tiredness, therefore increasing
Moreover, it increases the release of mood-boosting neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine.
A study in 72 people found that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee significantly improved mood compared with a placebo beverage, suggesting that
coffee contains other compounds that influence mood.
Researchers attributed this boost in attitude to various phenolic compounds, such as chlorogenic acid. Still, more research is needed.
Coffee provides numerous compounds, including caffeine and chlorogenic acid, that may boost your mood. Research suggests that decaf coffee may even have
9. Beans and lentils
In addition to being high in fiber and plant-based protein, beans and lentils are full of feel-good nutrients.
They’re an excellent source of B vitamins, which help improve mood by increasing levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine,
and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), all of which are important for regulating mood.
Furthermore, B vitamins play a key role in nerve signaling, which allows proper communication between nerve cells. Low levels of these vitamins, especially
B12 and folate, have
been linked to mood disorders, such as depression.
Finally, they’re a good source of zinc, magnesium, selenium, and non-heme iron, which may likewise elevate your spirits.
Beans and lentils are rich sources of mood-boosting nutrients, particularly B vitamins.
The bottom line
When feeling blue, you may crave calorie-rich, high sugar foods like ice cream or cookies to try to lift your spirits.
While this might give you a sugar rush, it’s unlikely to help you in the long term — and may have negative consequences as well.
Instead, you should aim for wholesome foods that have been shown to not only boost your mood but also your overall health. Try out some of the foods above
to kick-start your positivity routine.
Driving Miss Donna
“The Length of a Day”
by: Lynn Anderson
We all know that time can vary based on certain events happening in our lives, such as a Birthday party where time seems to fly by or a trip to the Dentist
where time slows to a crawl. With Donna’s monthly visits to the retinal specialist’s office, I’ve learned that time can actually stand still or maybe even
repeat itself, much like the plot of a science fiction novel where the main character in the story has to relive a day over and over until they solve some
Office visits follow a predictable pattern and are over in about 2 hours’ time. Donna checks in with the receptionist and we take our seats and wait. Then
Donna is called into another office and the technician checks her eye pressure, asks a few questions, administers a lot of eyedrops to cause her eyes to
dilate, then Donna returns back to the waiting room. Later she is called into another office and the technician checks a few more vitals out, takes pictures
of her eyeballs and sends her back to the waiting room. While her eyes dilate, we sit and stare at nothing in particular, and then after about ½ hour or
so depending on the number of patients waiting, Donna is called back in to see Doctor D. I sit and wait and wonder what is happening, if there has been
another eye bleed or if everything is OK. I also look around the waiting room and start my pattern of counting everything in the room, chairs, people,
ceiling tiles, pencils (if we’re seated close to the receptionist), magazines and so on until Donna returns. If the news is good, then Donna heads to the
receptionist and schedules her next appointment and we go out for lunch. If the news is not so great, meaning that there has been another eye bleed, then
Donna returns to the waiting room to wait for the inevitable shot in her eye to clean up the bleed. Those are not the happiest of times, and truthfully,
that is mostly the way it works. The times of no bleeds or shots required are very few.
There are definite, unspoken rules while in the office. These rules are not written anywhere, but everyone seems to follow them, even if it is a first
visit. First off, no one talks, well, hardly ever. I didn’t understand this at the first and tried to cheer Donna up with funny stories I had heard or
cute incidents that happened at my work. She would turn and give me that “now would be a good time to quit talking look” and then turn back to staring
out into space. The other people in the waiting room would also turn and look at me as though I should keep my thoughts to myself, so that is what I do.
I must confess that I’m not always very successful at doing that, because I seem to believe that everyone wants to hear a funny story! Second, do not look
at anyone, well hardly ever. It is OK to stare out into space or at the ceiling, or at the receptionist desk, but nowhere else. While in the office I’ve
learned to look at people by looking beside them or just above them, pretending not to look at them while actually looking at them. I’m not saying that
people are unfriendly and don’t want to talk with each other or visit, but these doctor visits are very serious. Most people aren’t at this doctor for
a quick eye checkup or to get new eyeglasses, but for difficult, life-changing circumstances. I didn’t get that at first. I thought that Donna would get
her eyes dilated, say “hi” to Doctor D, get a needed shot in her eye (or both eyes if necessary) and then we would be on our way to lunch or for a drive,
and everything would be fine. Donna didn’t tell me much about her diminished vision, or the fact that what vision she had was slowly going away completely,
and the shots didn’t restore any of her lost vision. I had believed for many years that the shots restored her vision but really, they just slowed down
the gradual loss.
It is generally the same clients we see every month, because they are all on the same schedule as Donna with their own vision issues, usually every 4 to
6 weeks. I kind of got to know some of the clients, not to say “hi” or anything like that, but I’m good at overhearing them talking with the receptionist
and can make out some of their stories. A lot of the clients are dealing with macular degeneration, and some with the wet macular. In particular, a man
in his 40’s came in with an emergency eye bleed as he was explaining to the receptionist and kind of asked everyone in the office by looking around if
it took one or two shots to fix his eye? A few people smiled at him, but no one really answered his question, because those clients dealing with the problem
didn’t want to discourage him with the truth of his situation. Plus, everyone is so different and eye diseases can progress either very slowly or quickly.
The receptionists in that office are so kind and the one he was working with encouraged him to wait and talk with the doctor. I never saw him in the office
after that, presumably he was placed on a different appointment schedule. One of the clients, Donna and I called him the “Cowboy” because he dressed in
Wrangler jeans, wore a nice country button down shirt, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat, was always a delight to see. He was probably in his 60’s and had
wet macular in both eyes. The bleeds hadn’t affected his central vision, because he was still able to see well enough to drive and he always greeted each
receptionist with a big smile and sometimes a box of candy for special days. We always wondered if he lived on a ranch or owned horses, or something along
those lines. We made up stories about him living on the “Ponderosa” if any of you remember that old TV series from many years back.
As I said earlier, appointments usually took 2 hours and on occasion a bit more than that, so you’re wondering why this episode is called the length of
a day? Well, every now and then, there would be an emergency client, and we would be in the office for a longer time, maybe an extra hour. That is until
the day that the lady rushed in, absolutely terrified because part of her vision was greyed out, like someone had closed part of a curtain over her eye.
She was almost hysterical and I can’t say I blame her for that. They quickly rushed her into the back portion of the office and then our world in the waiting
room came to a stop. The receptionists and technicians had everyone still go through each step of the office visit, but when it came time to see Doctor
D, you had to wait, and wait, and wait, and wait. We learned later that this poor woman had a torn retina, although we’ll never know if the doctor was
able to save her vision that day. We did see her in the office once or twice after that first emergency visit, but she kept to herself and I wasn’t able
to overhear anything she said to the receptionists.
They did finally add TV monitors to the waiting rooms, so we could watch the news or talk shows or whatever programming the receptionists chose. I was
very enthusiastic about the TV’s, thinking that they would add a different element to everyone’s experience at the retinal specialist’s office. I went
on and on about how great it was to actually have something to look at while waiting for Dr. D. Well, I was trying to be upbeat about Donna’s situation,
and also the situation of everyone in the office. They didn’t play any sound with the TV’s, but ran a teleprompter so that you could read along with the
program. “Why isn’t anyone looking at the TV’s?” I asked Donna during one of her office visits. She turned and looked at me as though to say, “really,
you’re asking me about this?” I was puzzled. “Well, I think it adds a lot to the visit, you can watch TV for something to do while waiting for the Doctor.”
She gave me that look again, perhaps worried that I was losing my mind.
Donna took a deep breath. “I can’t see the TV from this far away, and I can’t even begin to read the teleprompter. I doubt that many in this room can see
it either.” “Oh,” I answered, “I guess not.” I looked around the room remembering again where I was and trying to see the world through the eyes of someone
who is vision impaired or blind. I truly have no idea.
The day of the lady with the torn retina emergency was finally resolved, Donna made her visit to see Dr. D. and was rewarded with a well done, you don’t
need a shot this time. Donna came out of the back office with a huge smile on her face, which I know means victory, and though it was pretty late in the
afternoon, we went out for a long drive along the ocean front, then out to a late dinner. Every day is full of small victories not just for Donna, but
for everyone facing vision loss. There are also victories along the way for those of us who are trying our best to help our loved one’s with vision loss.
It is never a one size fits all kind of situation or a “magic pill” to fix everything, but there are daily victories that prepare all of us for the road
Donna sums it all up the best when she says, “I thank God that He gave me what vision I have for today. It may be gone tomorrow, but I am so grateful for
what I have right now!”
Blind people talking
My Summer on a Greyhound Bus (Part 1)
By: Donna Kimball
It was 1974, the summer Spokane, Washington was hosting the World’s Fair. My Aunt Maxine, who lived across the street from me in Santa Cruz, California,
suggested that we make a trip to Spokane. She had seen a television ad for the Greyhound Bus AMERIPASS. It was advertised for one month’s unlimited travel
for the low price of $165! Since this was only $20 over the cost of a round trip bus trip to Spokane, she said “why not?” As a result of this wonderful
find, we decided to head out a week early and stay a few days in Seattle. When we arrived at the Greyhound station in downtown Seattle, a helpful clerk
suggested that we stay at the Vance Hotel. We rented a room several stories up with a breathtaking view of the Puget Sound. Our room which was on the corner
of the building also had a view of the Space Needle which was on the former grounds of the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle. We filled the three days we were
there with a Ferry ride, sightseeing at the Pike Street International Market on the waterfront and taking a spooky, but fascinating tour of the Seattle
Underground. Walking around underneath the streets of Seattle and looking into storefronts that had been abandoned for many years was surprisingly eerie.
Our last day there was spent walking around the grounds of the 1962 World’s Fair which was the location for Elvis Presley’s movie, “It Happened at the
World’s Fair.” Having seen that movie many times, and being that I was a major Elvis fan, it was exciting to retrace Elvis’ footsteps and even go up the
elevator to the top of the Space Needle where he sang the song, “I’m Falling in Love Tonight”, in that movie. My Aunt also discovered that there was still
a location to get a Belgian Waffle, which is what Elvis had purchased for the little girl in the movie, and we sure did enjoy those!
After our time in Seattle, we hopped on the Greyhound Bus very early in the morning to head for Sand Point, Idaho. We had never heard of this town before,
but it was the closest place we could get a motel room for the World’s Fair in Spokane. We were amazed at the beautiful view of Lake Pend Oreille when
we opened the curtains on our sliding glass door. For dinner that night, my Aunt treated us to fine dining at the hotel restaurant. Since I had never eaten
in a fancy restaurant before, my Aunt took it upon herself to order our dinner. She chose fish dinner for each of us and when it arrived, I was totally
shocked! The fish so beautifully prepared on my plate was staring directly at me! I had never before had my dinner fish look at me and I didn’t know what
to do! My Aunt, seeing my horrified look, quickly grabbed a leaf of lettuce from my plate and covered the fishy face of my dinner so I could eat. That
was the first and last time I ever ate a whole fish!
Each of the four days we enjoyed at the World’s Fair began and ended with a bus trip from Sand Point to Spokane and back. Our days at the Fair were filled
with many delightful moments, seeing all there was to see and leaving with memories to cherish. When we returned home to Santa Cruz, my Aunt said, “you
have two weeks left on your AMERIPASS, where will you go next?” I had not thought that far ahead, but the idea of travelling on by myself really intrigued
me. I was living with my parents at the time and shared with them my idea to head out and see the country. After my parents gave their consent, my Dad
reluctantly drove me to the Santa Cruz Greyhound Station, gave me some spending money and sadly waved goodbye. As their only child, my parents were not
that happy to see me go.
The wonderful thing about the AMERIPASS was that instead of it just being a ticket, it was a coupon book that you could ask the clerk to fill out each
day of travel. For the first leg of my extended AMERIPASS when the ticket clerk asked me where I wanted to go, I said “New York City.” I had no idea what
I was getting into, but I was open to the possibilities. Being a young woman of 24, I had no problem the first night out sitting beside a young man who
looked to be around the same age I was. We had a nice chat before going to sleep that night. I was surprised in the morning when I woke up that he had
laid his jacket over me to keep me warm. In my wild, young woman imagination, which often ran freely, I thought, “I could come home married!” My parents
would not have been happy about that!
The next night, I ended up seated next to another very nice-looking young man who didn’t speak English. We smiled at each other often and he seemed very
shy. We both blushed the next morning when upon waking up, I discovered his head laying on my shoulder which had obviously made a comfortable pillow for
him during the night. The third night of my trip, I met an older woman also using an AMERIPASS who was from England. She told me that she came to see America.
She showed me how to rent a room for the night at the YWCA where I could get a shower and a comfortable place to sleep for a very reasonable price. We
got to know each other very well by the time we reached New York City. We even exchanged Christmas cards for several years after that Greyhound meeting.
Upon arriving in New York City through an underground tunnel, I actually lost my breath at the first sight of the tallest buildings I had ever seen in
my life. That was the only time during my entire trip that I was overwhelmed to the point of being terrified. I wanted to see the city and was informed
the Grey Line Bus Tours were several miles from Union Station. I decided I needed to take a cab for the first time in my life. After several unsuccessful
attempts to secure a cab, I remembered that I had seen in an old movie someone step off the curb and raise their right hand. After deciding that was worth
a try, three cabs screeched to the corner to pick me up. I must have been very pale when I arrived at the Grey Line Bus Tour Office, because I think that
cab driver went through every red traffic light we encountered. I wasn’t surprised to see the cab had more dented areas than a dirt and gravel road! After
a whirlwind tour of China Town, the Statue of Liberty, many theaters and other New York attractions I was ready to get on that Greyhound and get out of
Back again at Union Station when I asked the ticket agent to fill out my coupon for Savannah, Georgia, he said “I see you only have a few more days left
on your AMERIPASS. Do you know that for only $65 more you can have a second month of travel?” After an immediate phone call to my parents, I convinced
them that I just couldn’t pass that offer up! On purchasing my second coupon book, I was given a map of all the destinations available with my AMERIPASS.
For the unbelievable price of 15 cents I could have unlimited refills of coffee, milk and orange juice in my $3 AMERIPASS thermos. I also purchased an
inflatable AMERIPASS pillow to soften the chair arm of the seat at night as I slept. At that time, if I had the two seats to myself, I could fold up my
legs and lay my head on the pillow over the armrest of the seat. For budgetary purposes I filled my tote bag with a loaf of white bread, a package of American
cheese slices and a bottle of mustard. No need for refrigeration.
A wonderful part of the travelling was getting to know some of my fellow passengers. One afternoon a soldier in uniform who was sitting behind me put his
hand over my shoulder and said, “would you like some Goldfish?” My picture of goldfish swimming around in a bowl was quickly replaced with a bag of Pepperidge
Farm Goldfish. I had never seen those before and that soldier was responsible for getting me and a few other passengers addicted to those little, cheesy
After talking with some of the bus drivers on the longer rides, I learned many of them had recipes to share. Apparently when they are on the road, the
drivers have small private rooms at the bus stations with a shared kitchen. While they were staying at the station, they took turns cooking for each other.
Several of the drivers were wonderful cooks and were always happy to share their favorite recipes! They would write their recipes in the daily journal
I was keeping of my travels.
Making new friends even ended up in my chance to drive one of those beautiful Americruiser busses one night, but that is for the next part of this story!
Yarn, hook and needle
Sprucing up the house
By Greg Capps
Now is a good time to spruce up the house. Here is a knit rug and a crochet dishcloth to do just that!
Big Stitch Knit Rug
2 skeins of Bag Smith’s Big Stitch Alpaca Yarn (70% alpaca, 15% wool, 15% nylon; 140 yards).
A US #36, 32 inch circular needle
Gauge: 1 1/4 stitches = 1 inch in stitch pattern
Finished Dimensions: 34 inches wide x 41 inches long
Slip 1: Slip 1 purlwise with yarn in back.
Cast on 41 stitches.
Wrong Side (WR): Knit
Right Side (RS): *K1, slip 1, repeat from * to last stitch, K1
Repeat previous 2 rows until piece measures about 41 inches or until desired length, ending with a WS row.
Bind off loosely and weave in ends.
If you haven't tried slip stitch crochet, the Squiggledy Dishcloth makes a great first project. Using only 2 stitches (chain stitch and slip stitch), it's
quick, fun, and beautifully simple. Front Loop Slip Stitch, which makes up the body of the dishcloth, yields a supple, drapey, and stable crochet fabric
patterned with pleasing squiggly lines.
Slip stitch crochet does take a bit of getting used to. Because it's worked with a larger-hook, your current row will always look a bit messy and lumpy.
(If you're a tight crocheter, you'll probably have to learn to consciously relax your tension - AND resist the urge to tighten up those floppy, loopy stitches.)
But don't be discouraged - persistence pays off, and a few rows later you'll find that those same lumpy stitches have melded into a harmonious whole.
Worsted weight cotton yarn in your choice of color
Hook Size: K for the main cloth and H for the edging
All crochet terminology is American.
Using K hook, loosely ch an even number of stitches. Turn.
All Rows: Sl st in front loop of each st across. Ch 1, turn.
Work until dishcloth is the desired length. Finish with odd-numbered row. (Working yarn should be on the same side as starting yarn tail, not caddy-cornered
Edging: (RS) Switch to H hook. Ch 1. Working down side of project, sl st in first open sp (just before the knotty "bump"). *Ch 2, insert hook in same sp,
pull up a loop, insert hook in next open sp (just before next "bump"), yo, pull through all lps on hook.* Repeat from * to * down side edge.
At corner: In final side open sp, ch 2, insert hook in same sp, pull up a loop, insert hook in back loop of first starting ch; yo, pull through all lps
on hook. *Ch 2, insert hook in same st, pull up a loop, sk 1 st, insert hook in back loop of next st, yo, pull through all lps on hook.* Repeat from *
to * across end of dishcloth, working in back loops only. Turn corner as before. (On next side, stitches will be made in the spaces just after the knotty
bump.) Work edging up other side as before. On the other end, work edging as before, stitching in back loops only.
In final corner sp, ch 2, sl st in same sp. Cut yarn about 2 inches from work; pull yarn up and out of st. Join to first edging sl st. Weave in ends.
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This is the end of the July edition of the Blind Post classified news.
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