Welcome to The Blind Perspective

Logo Description: A view from a window with lavender curtains drawn back viewing the snowy peaks of a mountain range. The words “The Blind Perspective” hover above in the sky.
November 2019
Volume 5; Issue 11

Table of Contents

Greetings from the Editor
Sponsors of the Month
Movers & Shakers
Reader's Perspective
Exercise, does a body good
Have I Got A Story For You
The Braille Highway
The Guide Dog Journey
Spencer’s Spotlight
App Petizers: Byte Size Tidbits to Help Master Your iDevice
A Time to Plant
The Alternating Duo: Here's to your Health
Dirty Work
The Beauty Parlor
Cooking Concoctions
Riddle & Brain Buster


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

If you have any trouble reading this copy you can go to Click Here it will take You to the read the current newsletter

Greetings from the Editor

By Karen Santiago

Hello Readers,
I hope you are all enjoying the Blind Perspective, and sharing it with others. Once again, I can’t say enough about the writers, other than they are totally awesome, super, dedicated, fantastic, wonderful, knowledgeable, etc.! This newsletter is loaded, so, continue on to the articles!

Remember to send me your suggestions, tips/ techniques, experiences, or any story that relates to blindness for publication in our Reader’s Perspective segment. And, if you want to be interviewed, or write up your own article about life in your country as a blind person, contact me at: Karen@TheBlindPerspective.com
Remember you can also choose to listen to our audio version of the newsletter, link below:
The Blind Perspective Audio
At A Glance: Boneyard Barkery, Blind Mice, Accessible Menus, Newsline, Feet, Chick Lit & Historical Fiction, Braille & Fashion, Play, Ready, Aim, Read, Storage, Rootss, Break The Cycle, TeaTree, Color, Not Your Average Salads, Riddle & Brain Buster!

Sponsors of the Month

The Boneyard Barkery

The Boneyard Barkery is a homemade gourmet dog treat and gift business. All the Boneyard treats are made and baked in my kitchen.  My treats contain Wheat flour, but a no grain treat can be made upon request. I have Original (milk bone type) or peanut butter. I do make holiday flavors and shaped cookies. You can purchase by the package, or I can make custom gift orders. All orders can be shipped.**

My small bones (barkers dozen) are 2 dollars and 25 cents, and my big pup bones are 3 dollars. My Pawscotties come in yogurt coated or unsweetened carob, these come in a package of two, and they are thick. My boneyard bones are 2 dollars and 50 cents, they are dipped in either yogurt or unsweetened carob, these come in packages of four.
Gift packs start at 10 dollars, but can be customized to a specific dollar amount. All these treats come in peanut butter or original (milk bone). 

I also have pumpkin peanut butter pumpkin cookies for 2 dollars, two in a pack. Coming soon are turkey flavored turkey cookies for 2 dollars, with two in a pack. After November 6, I will have a ginger snap holiday cookie, a snowman original cookie and a peanut butter evergreen tree. 
Bandanas come in extra small, small, medium and large. They slide on the collar, not tied. I have most all holidays and many all occasions. Here are some examples.
Halloween: a variety with pumpkins, moon & stars, ghosts, candy corns, etc.
Thanksgiving: Turkey with Gobble gobble
Christmas: a selection with Santa hats, candy canes, Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer, etc.
Birthday: Happy Birthday with balloons and confetti
There is a football field with footballs, plaid designs, tied dyed, rainbow paw prints, and many more to choose from!
 Check us out on Facebook at: Facebook.com/TheBoneyardBarkery
To place an order, or ask questions, call me, Pat, at 518 852- 5321. **Most boxes ship for 7 dollars and 95 cents within the United States. I am willing to ship outside of the ! US, but we would need to discuss pricing before processing the order. Mention the Blind Perspective and you’ll get a 10% discount on your order. Editor’s note: I have to say a good friend of mine sent a surprise variety bag of bones and cookies. I could smell the cinnamon and peanut butter. But the real judge was my guide, Sheila. Well, needless to say, she absolutely loves them! She hears the crinkle of the little Ziploc baggie, and she comes a running. It gets two paws up from her, and two thumbs up from me!


Shop BlindMiceMegaMall.com this Holiday Season
and make your Dollar go farther!
Every purchase you make at BlindMiceMegaMall from any merchant helps the Visually Impaired & Blind Community
funds The MouseHole Scholarships.
pays for the production of the Cooking In The Dark Show.
supports the Blind Mice Movie Vault!
Help make tomorrow a MICE Day for everyone!
Shop at BlindMiceMegaMall.com.
Each store at BlindMiceMegaMall is independently owned by the Blind and Visually Impaired.
BlindMiceMegaMall.com accepts All Major Credit Cards & Paypal!
Open 24 hours 7 days a week with plenty of parking!
You can shop in your underwear!
Use these links to Visit each wonderful merchant's store at BlindMiceMegaMall.com, and discover a great selection of products!
American Shaman-CBD products including CBD capsules, Water Soluble Drops, CBD Ointment, CBD Massage Lotions CBD Canine & Feline products and lots more!
Direct Link: www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/CBD Products
Body Scents-Genuine 100% Authentic Brand Name Designer Perfumes, Colognes, Gift Sets & Bath and Body Products at discount prices! Direct Link: www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/BodyScent
Talking Thermostats-VIP 3000 Talking Thermostat! Take Control of your home! Direct Link: www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/Talking Thermostat
Blind Book Stop-braille and Digital Cookbooks, Crochet Books, Knitting Books and /General titles too! Direct Link: www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/Blind Book Stop
Blind Mice Mart-cooking gadgets and lots of products for the visually impaired and blind! Direct Link: www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/Products
Electronic Technical Services-Black & Decker Talking Toaster Ovens & Magic Chef Talking Microwave Direct Link: www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/Electronic Service
Dannyboy Store-New & Improved Danny Boy portable Smart Phone & Device Holder Direct Link: www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/BannyBoy
Ultimate Tech Mods-32 GB & 64 GB Memory Card Upgrades for the 2nd Generation Victor Reader Stream Direct Link: www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/ Memory Cards
Envision-Id Mate Galaxy Talking Portable Bar Code Reader Direct Link: www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/I D Mate
On The Go-Dog Guide and pet products, Direct Link: www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/Guide Dog Products
JJ Trading-Bedding & Blankets, Hardware, Electronics, Health & Beauty, Sporting Goods and Toys for the young and old plus lots more! Direct Link: www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/J J Trading
Journeys-Beautiful handmade Gem Stone and Crystal Necklaces, Bracelets & Earrings! Essential scented Room Sprays and Roll-Ons along with a Hodge podge of other great stocking stuffers! Direct Link: www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/Journeys
Dollar Wholesale Direct Link: www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/Dollar Wholesale
MiceILA-Adaptive products for the Visually Impaired and Blind Direct Link: www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/Miceila
Access Technology-DeckTalk and Triple Talk Speech Synthesizers Direct Link: www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/Access Technology
Safety Tek-Personal Safety Products including Stun Guns, Pepper Spray, Alarms, Key Chains and Tasers Direct Link: www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/Safety Tek
Kane Kids Shop-Embroidered Dog Scarves Direct Link: www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/Cane Kid
Blind Mice Mega Mall Ordering Center: Open M-F; 9 am to 4 pm. (713) 893-7277 Interested in opening a store? Email us at: Sales@BlindMiceMegaMall.com

VIP 3000 Talking Thermostat

Take Control of The Temperature In Your Home!
The accessible VIP 3000 Talking Thermostat is a universal heating - cooling talking thermostat designed specifically for persons who are blind or have low vision. The VIP 3000 can control most Gas, oil and Electric 24 Vac Heating and Air Conditioning systems including the newest multi-stage (up to 3 stages of heat and 2 stages of cooling) furnaces, air conditioners and heat pump systems.
specifically designed to offer audio playback of indoor temperature, temperature settings and programming instructions so blind and visually impaired users can precisely and easily manage their indoor comfort. 
Everything that is shown on the LCD display is also spoken.
built-in voice instructions.
Programmable (setback) or non-programmable (manual) operation.
built in freeze protection.
Please Note: Not designed to work with high voltage electric baseboard systems or high voltage electric wall heaters.
Free Shipping on all U.S. orders!
Sorry, international shipping is not available.
Fall Special: $199.00 & Free Shipping*
Have Questions? Want to Order VIP-3000 Talking Thermostat
Use This Link: www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/Thermostat
(Please Paste Link in Browser If It Does Not Open) You Can Also Call The Mice @ 713 893-7277 (M-F 9 am - 4 pm CST)

The Black & Decker Talking Toaster Oven

Makes a wonderful Christmas Gift, for someone else or for you!
Exclusively from Blind Mice.
Order by Thanksgiving for Christmas Delivery!
Buy with our convenient Payment Plan or Buy with a single payment.
Gain more Independence in Your Kitchen!
Simple to operate and its clear, easy to understand, high quality male voice allows you to set the cook mode, the cook time & the cook temperature.
This modified Black and Decker, counter top, feature rich talking toaster oven allows persons with low or no vision to cook foods independently.
Huge 12” x12” x 8.5” cooking chamber.
Bake two 12-inch pizzas at once! or Toast 6 pieces of bread.
4 cook modes:
Bake mode; temperature range 200-500F.
Broil mode; temperature range 300-500F.
Toast mode; temperature range 300-500F.
Warm mode; temperature range 125-500F.Convection and regular bake modes.
Embossed keys make them easy to locate by touch.
8 volume level settings.
Dimensions:  18.25 inches wide x 14.0 inches deep x 11.5 inches high.
79 dollars and 99 cents down (plus shipping) & 4 payments of 80 dollars.
Use this link to Read More About & Order your Black and Decker Talking Toaster Oven on our convenient 79 dollars and 99 cents down Purchase Plan**!
www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/Toaster Oven Payment Plan
(Please Copy & Paste Link In Your Browser If It Doesn't Open) Purchase with a single payment of 339 dollars and 99 cents Save 15%. Use this link to Read More About & Order your Black and Decker Talking Toaster Oven with a single payment of 339 dollars and 99 cents **! www.BlindMiceMegaMall.com/Toaster Oven Single Payment
(Please Copy & Paste Link In Your Browser If It Doesn't Open) **Shipping will be charged at time of purchase. Call the Mice with questions @ 713 893-7277 (Mon-Fri 9 am - 4 pm)

Movers & Shakers

By Karen Santiago

This month I had the pleasure of being contacted by Stephanie Jones, the Director of Sales and Marketing for Menus4All. This new service is just one month old, and I think you will be adding it to your toolbox, as I did.
Please read below the Q&A I had with Stephanie to learn all about Menus4all.

What is Menus4ALL?
Menus4ALL is a new service that is leveraging technology to make restaurant menus accessible for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.  The service launched on October 1, 2019, with 50,000 accessible restaurant menus across 12,000 U.S. cities.

Who created this and what was the inspiration/ motivation for it?
Menus4ALL was created by Helen Fernety, an accessibility expert for Fortune 100 companies.  While learning about assistive technology at World Services in Little Rock, AR, Helen became friends with several individuals at the facility.  Upon visiting a restaurant with a student from “World Services, she experienced firsthand how frustrating accessing a restaurant menu can be for someone with blindness or visual impairments.  She decided that she could use her accessibility knowledge and technology to create a solution.

How do you access Menus4ALL?
Menus4ALL is a website-based service that can be accessed from any internet connected device.  You can go to www.Menus4All.com
from any smartphone, tablet, or computer to have an accessible restaurant menu in minutes. How does it work? Even though Menus4ALL has been designed for the blind and visually impaired community, it can be used by anybody free of charge. Simply go to menus4ALL.com from any internet connected device to start the process. The site is coded to work with three types of accessibility needs. There are a variety of low vision features built right into the site itself. Screen readers can enjoy hearing the menu while using familiar navigational tools such as headings. Plus, the site can be read using a refreshable braille display. Once on the site, you can search by current location or zip code. There is also a listing of city links arranged by state, that provides a list of restaurants grouped by cuisine type. Each menu is formatted with item descriptions and pricing, along with pertinent information for the restaurant. What if you are a braille reader? By pairing a refreshable braille display with your device, you will have an up to date braille menu at your fingertips in minutes. Do you have plans to expand to other countries such as Canada? Yes, expanding to other countries is in our future. We would like to see this service offered any place there is a restaurant menu. How do restaurants get on board? Restaurants can join our service by signing an annual contract of 250 dollars per location. Menus4ALL will not only publish the menu on our site, but provide the restaurant a link to the menu for their site, along with marketing and social media support. Restaurants can contact Stephanie Jones, Director of Sales and Marketing at Sales@Menus4All.com
to be part of the Menus4ALL family. Can people make restaurant suggestions? Absolutely! If there is a restaurant that you know that might be interested in the service you can contact menus4all.com and we would like to know about restaurants in your area that you would like to see in the service. What as the feedback been so far? Fantastic! We love hearing from people who have checked out the site. Here are a couple of quotes from our Facebook and Instagram pages. I was able to check out several menus with no VoiceOver issues! The site is incredible and look forward to seeing more menus and cities! Thanks so much for all you do! FINALLY, help with menus!!!! I don't always carry a magnifying glass to read small print menus OR drag along a pair of binoculars to read those menu boards behind the counters. FINALLY, a solution. Where do you find this? This is cool. Lovely and truly inclusive! Awesome!!! This would of been handy earlier today! OMG Fantastic! This is a great idea! The next step would be a fully accessible app for your smart phone! That would make there site even more mobile. Smile face emoji, Smile face emoji. Wow this is good. I’m happy this is happening. Thank you!! My hubby has RP. I was so excited to tell him about this!!! How can readers help keep this service going? Right now, Menus4ALL is trying to show the restaurant and hospitality industry that the blind and visually impaired community matters and things such as providing an accessible menu should be expected, not requested. By sharing the site and using it, we can show the restaurant industry how many people will use this service and the potential sales impact on their business. To try our service, please visit www.Menus4All.com
For more information, feedback, questions and updates please email Stephanie Jones Director of Sales and Marketing at Sales@Menus4All.com
Or find us on Facebook!

Reader's Perspective

By Karen Santiago

I think NFB Newsline is wonderful, as I remember the old days.
By Michael Nuce of West Virginia

I have Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) and in 1978 my wife, son and I moved to Huntington so I could complete my education at Marshall University. I had enough tunnel vision at that time to slowly read text books, but I had also heard about a reading service for the blind called “Hears to You.”

The local Talking Book Library sent me a radio that was like a wooden box, a little smaller than a shoe box, and it had only one knob on it. As you turned the knob it would click on, then increase volume and you would be tuned in to the only radio station available on it. The station was called “hears to you,” and volunteer readers could be heard reading from a radio station, broadcasting as they read from a few newspapers and magazines. A schedule came with it and it was available only a few hours a day and I think one newspaper was local and the other national and articles were read from about 10 magazines. You could not select what was being read, only the time you wished to listen. For example, if you wanted to listen to “Time Magazine,” the schedule might say listen on Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. and the reader would read articles that he or she chose.

Since I was a student, I did not have much time for “Hears to You,” and the reception was not very good where I lived. However, I remember the volunteers as having nonprofessional every day voices and how this was a wonderful way for blind people to have something to read at the time. It was either that or someone had to read to them.

I finished college, got a job and my family grew and as happens with RP, my tunnel vision did not last. However, my job did last until I recently retired and technology helped me along with my career. A little over 20 years ago, I had the privilege of being part of the James H. and Alice Teubert Charitable Trust, which is a local Foundation that supports local services for the blind and visually impaired. During my first year on the Board, a grant came through asking for assistance in establishing the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Newsline in West Virginia. I cannot think of a way to compare the old “Hears to You” volunteer reading service to NFB Newsline.

Newsline has hundreds of newspapers from all over the U.S. and some foreign countries, and I imagine that over 100 magazines are available. If you access Newsline, you choose what and when you read. It is always available and you can read it on your phone as you travel, since it does not have to plug into the wall. Newsline is wonderful; yet, I still remember those wonderful volunteers who sat in a recording studio reading to blind people over the air waves.

If you want to sign up for NFB Newsline, or if you just want information about it and how you can get it by phone, mobile devices or computer Call 866-504-7300.

Exercise, does a body good

By Dan Kiely

Welcome back to another edition of Exercise Does A Body Good.

Last month’s health tip was about some of the benefits of caring for your feet. Well, in this issue I cover how to strengthen your calf muscles, do range of motion for your ankles, and an exercise for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis.

Exercise 1:  Standing Single Calf Raise.
No equipment is needed, just your own body weight.
Starting Position: Stand next to a wall or something steady, holding on as necessary. Feet shoulder width apart, with left foot raised up off the floor.
Movement: With left foot off the floor, raise your right heel up and off the floor, keeping right toes and ball of foot pressed on the floor. Hold for a count of 3 to 5 seconds. Then lower heel to the floor and repeat. Be sure to perform the same exercise, working the left foot.
Repetitions: Do 3 sets of 15 reps for each foot.

Exercise 2:  Sitting Calf Raise.
You will need either a resistance band or a bath towel.
Starting Position: Sit in a chair with feet shoulder width apart, and wrap towel or resistant band around the ball of right foot. Have your right leg out straight, with knee slightly bent, and toes pointed up.
Movement: Grab towel or resistant band with both hands and point right toes down towards the floor, as if you were accelerating the gas pedal in a car. Then point toes up and repeat. Be sure to perform exercise working the left foot.
Repetitions: Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

Exercise 3: The Alphabet.
Starting Position: Sit in a chair with feet shoulder width apart and right knee slightly bent. Raise your right foot off the floor.
Movement: Using your foot, “draw” imaginary letters in the air, from A to Z. Then repeat with your left foot.
You can do this with a resistance band wrapped around the ball of your foot. This exercise will work the calf muscles, as well as the muscles in the lower leg.

Exercise 4: Grab Towel with Toes.
I recommend this exercise for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis. I will not go into the details of what it is, but I will tell you the symptoms. You would feel pain in either your left or right heel when you first wake up and walk around. Eventually, as the day progresses, the pain will dissipate. Long distance runners and walkers suffer from plantar fasciitis, it is an overuse injury.
Starting Position: Sit in a chair and place a bath towel flat on the floor in front of you. Place your right foot on the bottom of the towel.
Movement: Using only your toes, start grabbing the towel and continue moving until you reach the top. Repeat, then do the exercise with your left foot.
This exercise helps to strengthen the ligaments around the heel.

Exercise 5: Standing Calf Stretch.
Starting Position: Facing a wall, place hands and forearms against it. Feet should be shoulder width apart with toes pointing towards the wall. Your left foot should be just slightly back from the wall, and your hip and knee bent. While your right foot is straight back behind you about two feet, with your foot flat on the floor.
Movement:  Lean your upper body into the wall. You should feel a stretch in your right calf. Hold for a count of 15 seconds and repeat three times. Then switch and work on the left calf.

Health Tip
Here are eleven ways to help lose that stubborn belly fat:
Eat soluble foods
Eat less trans-fat food
Consume less alcohol
Avoid stress
Consume more protein
Consume less sugary foods such as candy
Do aerobics, or cardiovascular exercises
Do more resistant exercises
Get more sleep
Consume less sugary fluids, such as soda pop
Consume less carbs

Well that is it for this month and remember Exercise Does A Body Good!

Have I Got A Story For You

By Carla Jo Bratton

Holy Cats Book Lovers!
It’s November! What has happened to 2019? So many great books have been released this fall, I don’t even know where to start! I could easily review 5 and 6 books each month, but Karen won’t let me. If you come across a good one, let me know, I can’t read them all.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
Written by Abbi Waxman
Reading time: 9 hours and 3 minutes
Not on CELA or RNIB yet
The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book. When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They're all or mostly all of them are excited to meet her! She'll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It's a disaster! And as if that wasn't enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn't he realize what a terrible idea that is? It's time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn't convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It's going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.
My Comments; I don’t normally read romantic comedy, but this one grabbed my attention. The writing is sharp, snarky and quick witted. Waxman gets a bit raunchy, but not too trashy. I found myself laughing out loud. Just a good chick lit book.

Sharon writes in with a strong recommendation for the writer Jan Karon.  Here is what she has to say: “She has written a number of books in the Mitford series about Father Tim Kavanaugh, an Episcopal priest in a little mountain town in North Carolina. For those who may not appreciate it, there isn’t heavy religion, but there are Bible verses and related items. Mostly, though, it’s the story of Father Tim, all the people in Mitford, how he gets married to his next door neighbor at age 62 and all the crazy things that happen in his retirement. I’ve read about everything that BARD has to offer and am starting to read them again. At Home in Mitford is the first in the series. Some of my favorites later in the series are These High Green Hills, A New Song, A Common Life and, to be read much later, At Home to Holly Springs and To Be Where You are as reading those first may just spoil the read.”
Thank you, Sharon, for writing in. Karon’s books have been comfort books to so many of her readers out there. I know of several who reread these stories.

Summer of ‘69
written by Elin Hilderbrand
reading time: 13 hours and 36 minutes
not on CELA or RNIB yet
Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the 20th century. It's 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a changing. Every year, the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother's historic home in downtown Nantucket. But like so much else in America, nothing is the same: Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests and determined to be independent, takes a summer job on Martha's Vineyard. Only son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen year old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out of touch grandmother and her worried mother, each of them hiding a troubling secret. As the summer heats up, Ted Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, man flies to the moon, and Jessie and her family experience their own dramatic upheavals along with the rest of the country.

In her first historical novel, rich with the details of an era that shaped both a nation and an island 30 miles out to sea, Elin Hilderbrand once again earns her title as queen of the summer novel.
My comments; A historical fiction bestseller and for good reason. This is just a good, solid read. 

Until next time!
Happy Reading, Carla jo.

The Braille Highway

By Nat Armeni

Hello, and welcome to the November’s Braille Highway!
I am excited to present to you a Q&A session I had with an exciting lady with an even more exciting idea that she is putting in to action. Who would of thunk it, fashion and braille?

Keep reading, and as always, I invite you to send me your thoughts, opinions, braille tips, and techniques to my email listed above.

Here is my Q&A with Alexa Jovanovic, from Toronto, Canada. She is the creator of Braille In Fashion.

What inspired/ motivated you to combine braille and fashion?
I want to change the way we think about accessibility.
Braille in Fashion began during my undergraduate capstone project while I was studying Fashion at Ryerson University. In school, we were taught the importance of disrupting fashion industry norms through innovative design thinking and the co-design process. At the time of my capstone there was a rise in beaded clothing in the market and I immediately made the connection between the similarity in size of small beads and braille dots.

Fashion needs to be designed with all abilities in mind. By incorporating braille into clothing through beading, the clothing is not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing and can be marketed to a larger audience which can help reduce stigmas surrounding braille and the visually impaired. What was once a beautiful intricately beaded garment is now also inclusive, fully legible for braille readers, advocates for accessibility and empowers consumers.

Braille In Fashion products are created through a co-design process, which means the consumer is involved every step of the way and that I can adapt the products to fill any unmet needs. The current prototypes were created alongside a group of seven visually impaired individuals.

Together, we are carving out an entirely new space in the fashion industry.

Where are you at in your research study?
Since graduating from Ryerson in 2016, I have continued to research the topic of inclusive fashion and have obtained a U.S design patent for the work completed thus far. Just recently, I was invited to join the Fashion Zone at Ryerson University, an incubator for fashion-inspired startups. We are working hard to evolve the research project into a business and will soon be expanding our team.

How have you incorporated braille into design?
At Braille In Fashion, small beads are added to the exterior of clothing to form phrases in Braille that communicate clothing characteristics such as colour, textile, and care content. The beading doubles as a source of adornment and functional feature. It enhances the visibly fashionable aspect of the inclusive garment for sighted consumers while allowing Braille readers to fully identify their clothing through the beaded messages.

Can you describe your products that include braille?
Braille In Fashion currently has four different prototypes:
1. A white, long sleeve, collared, button down shirt with black matte Braille beading.  The goal of this prototype was to test legibility through various bead sizes, spacing extremes, orientations and fabric weights. Aesthetically, the prototype tested blind and sighted opinions towards Braille beading as a fashionable feature by using a high contrast black and white colour palette.

2. A long black, sleeveless dress with black matte Braille beading and black gloss decorative tube beads.
The goal of this prototype was to determine legibility with consistent use of small beads and refined spacing through the use of a Braille slate and stylus. Aesthetically, the prototype tested blind and sighted opinions towards discrete Braille beading as a fashionable feature by using an all-black monochromatic colour palette. Black gloss tube beads are added as line dividers to separate different categories of information.

3. An oversized blue jean jacket with different sized pearl white stripes on the back. Black matte Braille beading is added on top of the stripes.
The goal of this prototype was to test a new bead fastening technique to increase bead security and legibility. The added strength allows this beaded jacket to be laundered in a washing machine. Aesthetically, the prototype tested blind and sighted opinions towards high contrast black Braille beading as a fashionable feature on top of a striped pattern. Pearl white lines were added in a variety of sizes to separate different categories of information. These lines change the texture of the beaded areas and were tested as an alternative design feature to help differentiate between information categories.

4. Removable clip with Braille.
I am currently developing prototypes for a removable Braille clip that can be discreetly placed onto any existing piece of clothing. These clips include Braille that is used to identify the colour of a garment and easily slides onto the hem without damaging the textile. The high aesthetic appeal of the Braille clip provides wearers with the option to wear the clip in public or easily remove it and then reattach it.
These Braille clips are patented and can be added to all existing garments in a consumer’s wardrobe.

Beaded Braille Description:
All of the Braille beading on the garments are done in uncontracted Grade 1 braille. Alexa uses very small beads that are approximately the same size as a brailled dot on paper. To confirm accuracy and legibility, she works with a group of blind individuals who read Braille.

Below is the beaded description you would find on the first garment mentioned above:
Alexa positioned information about the shirt in two different places; on the collar and on the front of the shirt. The collar is thicker material than the front of the shirt, and has the Braille beading on a slight diagonal. The beaded braille says; Line 1, #65% polyester; Line 2, #35% cotton; and Line 3, Size small.

Whereas the front of the shirt is a lighter weight, and has the Braille beading in two straight horizontal lines. Both of These beaded braille lines say, White with black beading, using different bead sizes to compare legibility.

Where are you marketing this?
So far, the majority of my focus has been on research and development to find more cost effective ways to produce these items. My recent entrance into the Fashion Zone marks the next stage of my development journey as they have the resources to aid in the development of my go-to-market plan.

What is the response?
Braille In Fashion has received very positive feedback from both blind and sighted audiences. The project was covered on national news through CTV, as well as various Ryerson University news outlets.

The white shirt with black Braille beading was even selected to be the only item presented at the Perspectives on Reconciliation institute in the Yukon as the perfect representation of Ryerson’s commitment to innovation, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The participants involved with Braille In Fashion’s co-design process have provided their full support since the project was introduced. Their encouragement, enthusiasm, and innovative thinking is what drives the success of this project. Braille In Fashion has received comments such as “I’m really glad you decided to do this. It’s inspirational”, “Fantastic idea”, “This is empowering”, “Very inclusive”, “It looks like very pretty beadwork” and “I like the positive awareness and promotion of independence that it creates.”

Braille and disability are often stigmatized as a disadvantage. Focusing on blindness specifically, research indicates that only 25% of daily obstacles directly relate to the sensory disability, whereas the other 75% deals with the negative interactions blind individuals have with the sighted.

Please share your thoughts about the above statistic you shared with me:
Research plays a significant role in Braille In Fashion. All decisions are made on the basis of in-person interviews and disability literature. At the start of my research I was shocked by the limited academic resources available on the topic of blindness, braille, and disabled individuals as fashion consumers. When I came across this specific statistic in a research paper, I found it very interesting and wondered if Braille In Fashion could play a role in educating sighted individuals about disability etiquette and work towards preventing such a high number of negative interactions. As the Braille In Fashion team grows and we produce more garments, I will be able to re-evaluate the community impact the products have.

To learn more, visit the Braille In Fashion website at: www.BrailleInFashion.com
If you are interested in being involved with Braille In Fashion, please email me directly at: alexajovanovic.design@gmail.com
or for those of you living outside of Toronto click the link below and take the survey: BrailleInFashionSurvey

I want to publicly thank Alexa for sharing her idea of fashion with braille. This saying is so appropriate with this month’s theme, braille users do it with feeling. Do not complicate life with gadgets when you can complement it with braille. Remember to stay on the dotted line of life. Stay safe and talk with you again in December.

The Guide Dog Journey

By Tammy Lynn
Tammy Lynn@TheBlindPerspective.com

All Work and No Play Makes Juno a Bored Boy

Happy November! As I write this, the weather in the United States is turning colder. Those of us who live in very cold and snowy regions, can sometimes find it more difficult to get out with your dogs, lessening the amount of work and exercise our dogs get. One way to bond and to exercise your dog is through play. There are many reasons why play is important for our dogs and for us.

As I discussed in my last article, bonding is a huge part of our relationships with our guides. One avenue for bonding is play. Play also helps your dog get rid of pent up energy. I’ve found that with younger dogs, having a play session before a working session, often times helps them get their play energy out, making for a much calmer and more focused working session.

Play is often one of our first interactions with our dog after receiving them. Along with some small treats, some bonding time and some play, we spent our first day or so just connecting and bonding often through some light form of play. This sends messages of companionship, affection and camaraderie to our dog which sets the stage for a great relationship.

One fairly common play toy for most guides seems to be the Nyla Bone. As always, please check with your dog training school and your veterinarian before introducing any new food, treats or toys to your dog, as well as with any questions regarding their health and safety. The Nyla bone is not only a great play item, but also is good for keeping your dog occupied when he may feel restless or bored. My dogs have often liked me to hold their Nyla bone while they chew it. Many guide dogs have likely grown up with the Nyla bone so it is usually familiar and an acceptable happy thing for them to engage with.

Another couple of brands of sturdy dog toys are Kong and Wubba. It is always important to again be sure toys are solid and fairly indestructible before giving them to your dog.  And always supervise your dog to be sure they are not chewing them into smaller pieces that they could choke on. Kong toys come in all different shapes and sizes and are often really fun for dogs to play with. Throwing a toy, especially one that is bouncy like a Kong, in a safe and secure area, is often fun for your dog, especially for those who love to play fetch. Some dogs could play endless hours of fetch; if we could only have some of their energy!

Another tough and fun dog toy is called A Jolly Bone. I’ve never owned one of these but have learned from several friends that their dogs love them. Many dogs love to swim which is also great exercise, especially for older dogs. So, having some durable toys that bounce and float can be a great addition to the puppy toy box.

Guide dogs are very intelligent and curious animals. So, having some special IQ building toys can be both challenging and mentally stimulating for your dog. These toys are generally comprised of a puzzle-like structure which the dog has to manipulate to get a treat to fall out. I typically recommend using either a low to no calorie treat or a few pieces of kibble taken from a dog’s normal daily ration of food. This prevents overfeeding and weight gain which can decrease the lifespan of a dog. Dogs love to work at turning and flipping the puzzle in order to learn which pattern is needed to get the treat out. Building IQ and creative play with these puzzles can be a great addition to your play time with your dog.

Lastly, one game that I really enjoy playing with my now retired guide is hide-and-seek. I ask him to sit in one room and then I go in to another room and hide. I call him and he loves searching for me and the tail wags like crazy when he finds me. Whatever it takes to keep him moving and happy!

I hope you have a great time trying out some of these playing tips with your dogs. Play will keep everyone connected, strengthen your partnership, keep everyone busy and active and continue to build that all important bond over the course of your dog’s life.

I think I hear a couple of dogs who just might want to play. So, until next time, remember to have fun and enjoy the journey!

Spencer's Spotlight

By Cheryl Spencer

It pays to advertise.

I read the Blind Perspective as well as write for it. So, when I came across the add from the Blind Mice Mart about something called the Danny Boy, which frankly reminds me of the song, I was intrigued. I went to the website to find out more about this product. Hmmm, a device that holds your phone while you place a document or printed page underneath, and Twala, it makes reading so much easier.

I don't know about you, but at times I can be extremely aim challenged. I was looking through some paperwork a few months ago. I would put a page in my lap and hover the phone over it and found this process tedious. Then, I tried putting the phone on the table with the camera facing up and floating the page above, hoping that would work better. Well, it was mostly hit and miss with me.

I had heard about document stands before and did not really understand what they were all about. I Like the idea that this particular one is made of wood, is lightweight, and is adjustable. It can also fold for travel if need be.

It is capable of holding a phone as small as an iPhone SE, which is what I have, and up to the larger models. Basically, any size iPhone or Android smart phone. It has wingnuts that can be loosened to slide the opening wider apart to accommodate pretty much any size phone. Once you have the stand in place, there are wingnuts to tighten the legs down for stability. There are also rubber feet to keep the stand in place.

I use the Seeing AI app on my phone for reading mail. I put the channel to short text and as soon as I placed the page under the phone it began reading. I was extremely impressed at how fast it was and I was able to go through a pile of mail in record time.

One thing I did do to make it easier to orient the page under the camera was to place the stand in a box, like the ones that hold a case of drinks. It allowed me to place the page against the edge of the box, making sure that the page was straight. I think that helps the recognition process.

The platform tray adjusts to three different width sizes, three inches, three and a half, or four inches. It weighs less than six ounces, and the platform tray measures ten inches by four inches. The Danny Boy measures twelve inches long overall and thirteen and a half inches tall. Great for boxes of mixes or other similar products to scan.

The wingnut assembly makes it easy to loosen and fold up for putting in a computer bag or luggage for travel. The really cool thing is that it is made by the blind, for the blind, kind of like this newsletter.

The price is 39 dollars and 99 cents plus shipping. If interested, visit the Blind Mice mart at: www.BlindMiceMart.com
or send an email to: Sales@BlindMiceMegaMall.com
or if you like that personal touch like I do, call the Blind Mice order center at: 713-893-7277. They are credit card friendly, and for your convenience, they accept paypal. So, the Danny Boy gets two thumbs up from me! **I received new information about this product. Available now is an updated version of the Danny Boy. It is capable of scanning a legal size document. If you already own the Danny Boy you can trade it in for the updated version for 20 dollars.

App Petizers: Byte Size Tidbits to Help Master Your iDevice

By Darrin cheney

Dealing with an iDevice Storage Shortage.

Remember when you bought your iPhone and decided to buy the one with less file storage? Now your phone is full and you don’t have room to take photos, create music, or edit a video. What should you do? Don’t panic just yet. I’ll walk you through how to find out how much storage space you actually have on your iDevice. I’ll provide a few strategies that you can use to clean-up your iDevice and utilize the space you have.

Determine What Storage Space You Have:
When you get an “Out of Storage” error message or you can’t take a photo, your iDevice is running out of storage space. Unfortunately, you can’t just add additional storage on your iDevice, but you do have some other options. Let’s find out what you have by going to Settings > General > iPhone or iPad Storage. At the top of the menu, your current storage situation is displayed. Mine shows I have 54.3 GB of 128 GB being used for "Media, Apps, and Other." The menu provides some recommendations to free-up storage space by moving items to iCloud or Off-loading unused apps and their associated data. You may be surprised by what space each app is taking.

Free-up Storage Space:
Review the app list and decide what apps you don’t use and remove them. You can still re-install them on your iDevice at a later date. Each app saves data on your iDevice. You can free up space in Safari by clearing History and Website Data. In Mail, clear Sent, Junk and Trash folders and toss old mail. In Photos, remove items you don’t want. You can also delete music in iTunes, or old projects in Garage Band, iMovie, or other apps that require a large amount of storage space. Cleaning up your iDevice will free-up some valuable storage space and you can repeat the process over and over again. Make sure to back-up your iDevice before making any major changes.

Rent or Buy File Storage:
Since you can’t add any more on-device storage, you will need to use other storage options. You can rent an “online storage unit,” or Cloud storage. You can also buy a “storage pod” or an external drive to save files and work on big projects.

Cloud Storage:
There are several cloud-based options designed to allow you to access and work on your files from anywhere using multiple devices. Four of the most common are iCloud, DropBox, OneDrive, and Google Drive. Keep in mind that when you save your files to the Cloud, the host will try to ensure your data is secure. Nothing is really secure or fail-proof so plan accordingly.

iCloud.com: Apple provides you with 5GB of iCloud storage that you can save your files, apps, photos, music and much, much more. You can login to iCloud from multiple devices. Plus, you can purchase more space as needed.

DropBox: DropBox provides free and premium plans to store your files in the Cloud. Many iOS apps can save files in DropBox and you can access them from multiple systems. You can also share folders and files with other users.

OneDrive: Microsoft provides 1TB drive space when you purchase an Office 365 license. You can save your Office documents, email, and other files. You can purchase additional storage as needed.

Google Drive: Google provides you with 15GB of storage when you sign-up for a free email account. You can save Google Docs and Sheets and collaborate with other Google users.

External Drive: iOS 12 allows you to attach a USB Drive or a hard drive to your iDevice and access these files through the Files app. Amazon.com sells several USB stick drives and hard drives with 32GB to 2TB of storage that will connect to your iDevice. The iDiskk USB 3.0 128GB iPhone Flash Drive has a unique design that easily connects to an iDevice via the Thunderbolt connector or to a USB 3.0 computer port to easily transfer photos and files. If you are working on a larger project or want to backup files, the iDiskk 1TB Drive and Battery Bank will provide ample storage space and power for your iDevice. Links to these items are provided in the Resource section below.

Final Thoughts: 
Having an iDevice with minimal storage space is like living in a tiny house. You need to become a minimalist or a creative genius. Managing your storage and apps will keep your iDevice running smooth. Plus, using iCloud or another cloud-based solution will provide ways to save your files and collaborate with others. Using a USB stick, or hard drive will provide you with plenty of storage for those big projects. Finally, you can access all of your file locations in the Files app. So, you have options. You never know what Apple will come up with next, so buy more storage next time, Good luck!

Resources (please copy & paste the below links into your internet browser to access)

How are You Managing Your iPhone Storage?

iDiskk USB 3.0 128GB iPhone Flash Drive

iDiskk 1TB Drive and Battery Bank


One Drive:


Google Drive

A Time To Plant

By Sue Brazel

Plant roots need to be considered.

Sprouts use the energy within the seeds themselves for their short life. Microgreens are short lived, living less than a few weeks, with root structure development taking place in soil or a potting mix. Root systems of full sized plants span weeks to years and depend on potting mix or soil. Water is essential for all of these methods. Hydroponic growth happens in nutrient rich water without soil.

Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) are macronutrients needed by all plants. Small amounts of micronutrients enrich plants even more. Different plants need differing amounts of nutrients in various quantities.

Chemically derived synthetic fertilizers are made from minerals, gases in the air and inorganic sources. Initially, they are fast acting, but they can burn and damage plants. Organic fertilizers are made of soil nutrients such as microbes, organic waste and other things that once lived. Organic sources feed and enrich the soil, releasing nutrients over time.

Composting is a way that can make organic material improve your soil. All living matter can be broken down. However, depending on the length of time you want to wait before using it, you might want 2 piles, a fast action compost pile and a slow action one. The fast action pile could be usable in 12 weeks, while the slow acting one could take several years. Heat, plant vegetation and air are the keys to a fast action compost.

Animal products, including feathers and manure, take a while to decompose to a safe level for plant roots. A compost pile that doesn’t get turned will eventually decompose, but pathogens may still be in the pile. In Greek, the term pathogen translates to any agent that causes suffering, a germ. This kind of composting is the sort that takes a while.

Many people in rural or suburban areas have the land space outside of their homes to make a compost pile. These are best located in shady or partially shaded areas so that the compost doesn’t heat high enough to kill the living organisms, as it might in very hot, sunny locations. Greens and browns are the terms used to describe the materials that supply the composting material, roughly in equal amounts, along with water. Greens, such as freshly mown grass, tend to produce a rich source of nitrogen. Browns, such as dead leaves or newspaper, produce a carbon rich supply of energy for soil microbes.

Apartment dwellers can compost materials in their homes. A plastic container with small holes drilled in the bottom and near the lid, can be set on several layers of something to absorb water. A layer soil should cover the bottom. Alternate this with small pieces of vegetable or fruit waste and shredded newspaper. Tiny pieces of material decompose quicker than large pieces. The mix should feel wet, but not be able to drip if squeezed tightly; it should feel like a wrung out sponge.  Roll your container with its tightly sealed lid, around at least weekly, if not daily. After rolling your compost in its container with more vegetation, top it off with a layer of dirt or potting soil. If you notice an offensive odor, usually more shredded newspaper will change the composition to something more agreeable. Diversity of vegetation will help ensure that your plants get beneficial nutrients for their systems. The more often this mixture has vegetation, water and air added, the quicker it will decompose. Your finished product should smell like fresh earth. This can be spread over your plants when ready.

Just remember that all living materials break down over time. Nature’s logic ensures that plants will grow. The more optimal the conditions, the healthier the plants. Compost is just one component in healthy gardens.

It is now “thyme” for me to roll my in-the- house compost bin!

The Alternating Duo: Here's to your Health

by Catherine Hall

Will you eat all the candy?

With the approach of Halloween, the diet posts are coming back to social media. There’s advice on the “best” and “worst” candy you can eat. There are posts about how to avoid eating your kids’ Halloween candy. There are posts on how to avoid bingeing on candy. As we move into the Holiday season, advice on how, when, and why to indulge are only going to become more prolific. I have a different approach, though. What if this year were different?  What if, instead of going into the holidays already stressed out over not breaking your diet, or worrying about how much you might overeat at Thanksgiving, or berating yourself because you had too many of Aunt Marge’s shortbread cookies that she only makes at Christmas, what if you allowed yourself to truly enjoy the special food that only comes out this time of year?  What if you gave yourself permission to eat the foods you really crave?  Are you afraid you would over-indulge?  Would you be less likely to overeat bland supermarket cookies at work because you know you have grandma’s pecan pie waiting for you at home?  Would eliminating the rules and the self-judgement create a mental environment where you actually binge less because you are less stressed over your food choices?  

Strict diet rules work very well for some people, but for many people, strict rules create a feeling of being left out of the fun. They tax people’s already over-taxed will power, and set people up for overindulgence when they finally can’t stand it anymore. That, in turn, leads to guilt, shame, and a renewed commitment to “do better”. Then, the cycle starts all over again. If this sounds familiar, why not try breaking the cycle this year?  

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating for a free-for-all where you devour every holiday themed food in sight. After all, green and red M&Ms don’t taste any different from regular M&Ms. The pumpkin cheesecake that your brother makes every Christmas, on the other hand, is something worth enjoying!  Before diving into the bag of pumpkin-shaped peanut butter cups, ask yourself if you want them because you think they’re special in some way. If the answer is yes, decide why the fact that they’re shaped like pumpkins makes them special. Do they actually taste different?  Or is it an excuse to eat lots of candy?  If it’s just an excuse to eat the peanut butter cups, would you rather enjoy the special pumpkin muffins your mom made for Thanksgiving breakfast instead?  Of course, if you really want the peanut butter cups, by all means, enjoy them, but by stopping and thinking about why you want the candy, you can take back the power to decide which treats you want to enjoy and why. 

Happy Holidays!  May you enjoy all of the food, family, and love this season brings.

Dirty Work

By Manny Morales

Happy November!
I have provided you with several homemade recipes using essential oils. In this month’s article, and December too, I will share the value and versatility of using Tea Tree oil. I have found through my research, its uses are both practical and affordable, as it is very inexpensive in comparison to other essential oils.

A bit about Tea Tree Oil:
Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has been around for quite a while. It hasn’t been until the past decade that its healing benefits have been catching on like wildfire. The oil is extracted from a plant native to Australia and cannot be found naturally occurring elsewhere.

Tea tree oil should NEVER be ingested and is only to be used as a topical remedy. This oil should not be used on infants, and consult a pediatrician before using on children.

Before using, conduct a small spot test on your skin to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction. Apply tea tree oil directly to your forearm and watch it for at least 24 hours. If you develop a rash or another skin irritation, discontinue use.

100% tea tree oil can be diluted with such things as coconut, avocado, or olive oil.

Tea tree oil is known for its topical antiseptic and anti-fungal treatment or infection-reducing benefits. It also has antibiotic properties and helps aid against aliments such as skin infections, rashes, burns, dandruff and much more.

Here are some uses for tea tree Oil
Helps to soothe and heal sunburns:
dilute one part pure tea tree oil with 10 parts coconut oil, and spread the mixture onto burnt skin. Tea tree oil is soothing and pain relieving, plus it reduces blistering and peeling.

Has been found as an effective treatment for warts:
soak a cotton ball with 3 to 4 drops of tea tree oil. Hold the cotton ball on your wart for 5 to 10 minutes, repeat 2 to 3 times per day.
Alternatively, tape the cotton ball to your wart and let it sit overnight.
Consider mixing one-part tea tree oil with one-part eucalyptus oil. This combination has been proven effective against certain viruses. Apply the mixture to a cotton ball or gauze pad and secure it to your wart with a bandage. Use this concoction nightly until the wart disappears.

Healthy Nails:
Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a bottle of nail polish to promote nail growth, treat fungus and increase the strength and health of your nail beds.

Hair & Scalp Health:
Add a dash of tea tree oil to your shampoo and gently massage it into your hair and scalp when washing. It soothes scalp irritation, gets rid of dandruff, repairs hair breakage and improves follicle strength. In addition, it is a Natural way to prevent lice.

Flea blocker:
Add a few drops in your pets’ crates or beds to keep the fleas away.

Tick remover:
Add to skin, and the little stinker will usually unlatch.

Helps remove skin tags:
Use a combination of 100 percent tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar. Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar, then add a few drops of tea tree oil. Use tape to secure the cotton ball to your skin tag., and leave in place for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse the area with soap and water. Repeat up to three times per day.

Wound healer:
The antibacterial properties of tea tree oil make it an effective wound healer. Add 1 drop of tea tree oil with a wound ointment cream and apply as directed throughout the day.

Dry Skin:
Tea tree oil help soothe dry skin by reducing itching and irritation. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil into a small amount of moisturizer. Apply this mixture to the affected areas immediately after getting out of the shower and at least once more each day.

Stay tuned next month for more useful tea tree oil ideas. If you have used tea tree oil as described above, or in another way, please email me so I can share with the readers!

The Beauty Parlor

By Christy Ray

I love the fall and all the great colors that come about with the change in the weather. So, let's talk about colors! Popular eyeshadow colors for this fall according to at least one company are: pomegranate, which is a purple; onyx, which is a dark gray, almost black; and humming bird, which is a greenish purple iridescent color, depending on the person wearing it. Doesn’t the latter color sound like so much fun, anyone can wear it!
Popular looks change for each season. Of course, if you have a color you like, then stick with it. Although, it can be fun to play with different looks too! Just have fun with it!

Cooking Concoctions

By Maxine

if you love food, but want to eat healthier, you may be asking "how do I start cooking healthy?"
For starters, you need to develop culinary skills that don't depend on butter, oils, salt, and other fattening, unhealthy ingredients.
But I can’t cook? If you can stir, grate or chop then, you can cook! Heck, you can probably spread, stir and pinch too! Suddenly, you are a better cook than you thought. Create a mouth-watering, healthy dinner using just fresh plants and herbs.

Here are five tips to get you started:
Take a moment, read a recipe.
Allow yourself time to chop and cook.
Use little or no salt, that’s what spices are for!
Use little, or no oil. Every tablespoon is at least 100 calories.
Add more vegetables, fruit or whole grains into your favorite recipes.

Whether the weather is warming up or cooling down in your neck of the woods, here are a few salads that can be eaten as a meal, or served as a side salad. In case you haven’t noticed, salads are no longer just some pieces of iceberg lettuce, a wedge of tomato, and a slice of cucumber. Why not tantalize your taste buds with one of these salads?

Mediterranean Lentil Salad
This salad takes a bit of prep work, but it’s worth it! It is loaded with protein and veggies to keep you full and satisfied.

Two 15.5-ounce cans of lentils, drained and rinsed
1 eggplant, peeled and diced
1 large russet potato
1 cup raw broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup finely diced pepper (red or green)
1 scallion, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
juice of half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cumin
dash of cayenne (optional)
1/4 cup dairy free Greek dressing
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Wash your potato and give it a few pokes with a fork. Bake the potato for 30-45 minutes (depending on its size). You don’t want to bake your potato completely, or you’ll end up with mashed potatoes in your salad instead of potato chunks.
Toss your eggplant on a baking pan with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast it for 10-15 minutes.
Again, you want it soft but not too much or it will become mushy in your salad.
Once your eggplant and potato are cooked (but still firm!), set them aside and let them cool.
In a large bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients.
Add your potato and eggplant to the mix and gently fold them in (they will firm up a bit once they’ve been refrigerated).
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving, ideally overnight to allow the flavors to blend.
Note: This salad keeps well in the fridge for 4-5 days. If the potato has absorbed some of the dressing after a few days you can add a bit more.

Asian Chicken Salad
This healthy, hearty salad is packed full of fruit AND vegetables, great as a dinner salad!

2 cups cooked chicken, skin removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 cups cabbage, shredded
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup carrots, grated
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 mandarin orange or tangerine, divided into sections
1/2 cup nonfat Asian or Oriental-style salad dressing
Black pepper

In a large bowl, combine chicken, cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, cilantro, cucumber, and dressing, toss well.
Top with green onions and tangerine sections.
Add pepper to taste.

Poached Salmon Pasta Salad
This is a filling and satisfying meal.

8 ounces small whole wheat pasta
2 1/2 cups fresh broccoli, broken into florets
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh dill, minced (or 1 1/2 teaspoon dried dill), divided
1 bay leaf
8 ounces salmon fillets
1 small red onion, minced
1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
1 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon low sodium Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions.
During the last 2 minutes of cooking, add broccoli to cook along with pasta; drain and cool completely.
Put yellow onion, garlic, 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh dill (or 1/2 teaspoon dried dill), bay leaf, and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a small skillet with a lid. Add enough water to coat the bottom of the skillet by about 1/2 inch.
Bring water up to a gentle boil; add salmon and turn heat down to a gentle simmer. Cover skillet and cook until salmon is opaque and flakes easily with a fork (about 5 minutes), being careful not to overcook.
Transfer salmon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain water; cool, then cut into bite-sized pieces.
In a large bowl, combine remaining minced dill, red onion, capers, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, parsley, pinch of salt and pepper.
Stir in pasta and broccoli, and then fold in salmon.

Just in case you did not notice, none of the previously mentioned recipes had any type of “lettuce listed in the ingredients.” So, you can see how versatile salads can be. Use your imagination by adding your favorite veggies, fruits, and a sprinkle of nuts and/ or seeds.

Riddle & Brain Buster

By Alex Smart


Santa just ate his walking stick! How is that possible?

Answer to October’s riddle:
What is a Mummy's favorite type of music?

Brain Buster

Q Z Quiz
Every answer in this puzzle is a word, name, or phrase that contains the two rarest letters in the English language, Q and Z. Example: trivia test, Quiz.

Rock that sparkles
Bed cover made of random patches
English monarch beginning in 1952
Make sedate
Area around a hospital, to traffic
1968 hit by CCR
In mattresses, it’s larger than full

Answers to October’s brain busters:
Baseball, bowling. Strike
Golf, badminton. Birdie
Soccer, ice hockey. Goal
Football, fishing. Tackle
Golf, poker. Chip
Basketball, baseball. Foul
Golf, swimming. Stroke
Ice hockey, chess. Check
Tennis, volleyball. Ace
Basketball, ice hockey. Rebound


Cooking In The Dark Members Cookbook Anniversary Sale Extended!

Save 50% on the Cooking in the Dark Members Complete Cookbook until December 7, 2019. It is available in Braille or Digital Formats. Both are Half Price. 15 years ago, In October of 2004 this 4 volume cookbook was released. It has become a favorite "Go To" cookbook for everyone that has it and our best seller! It will become one of your favorite cookbooks too! This cookbook is so big it is in 4 braille volumes. Volume 1: Entrees and Soups Volume 2: Vegetables, Sides, Salads & Breads Volume 3: Desserts, Cakes & Pies Volume 4: Cookies and Snacks All 180 recipes in this cookbook collection were submitted by members of the Cooking In The Dark list and are the favorites of the members that submitted them. Submitted by the Blind for the Blind! Which ones will become favorites of yours? See Contents of the Cooking In The Dark Complete Members Cookbook. What a celebration! What huge savings! Order Today, Don't Delay! This sale has been extended until December 7, 2019. Orders Ship by Free Matter. International Orders Welcome! Braille Format: Retail Price: 102 dollars Anniversary Sale Mice Price: 51 dollars Order the COOKING IN THE DARK, COMPLETE MEMBERS COOKBOOKBraille Format Now 51 dollars! Digital Format Retail Price: 62 dollars Anniversary Sale Mice Price: 31 dollars Order the COOKING IN THE DARK, COMPLETE MEMBERS COOKBOOK Digital Format Now 31 dollars! Visit BlindBookStop.com
and browse all our Cookbooks, knitting, and Crochet Books, all available in Braille or Digital Format.

B I N G O!

Enjoy playing Bingo with, Braille Jumbo EZ Clear Shutter Bingo Cards. These Bingo Cards are perfect for Low Vision and Blind players! Featuring huge 1-inch windows with shutters so there is no need for markers. EZ clear so you are quickly ready for the next game! Visit Blind MiceMart.com before your next BINGO game and get your cards! The Mice have complete Brailled Bingo Game Sets so you can run your own Bingo Game; Braille Bingo Number Playing Cards, Braille Call Boards, and 15 Braille Bingo Cards! Check out all the great Bingo Game gear at BlindMiceMart.com: www.blindmicemegamall.com/Bingo

Call the MICE at 713 893 7277.

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