August 2019

Address: 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA 02746
Phone: 508-994-4972
Email Address:
Publisher: Bob Branco
Editors: David and Leonore Dvorkin
Formatter: David Dvorkin


In this Table of Contents, three asterisks *** are used to separate the title of each article from its author. In the same way, three asterisks *** will be used to separate articles to make using your browser’s search feature easier. If any of you have screen readers that make searching difficult or undoable with asterisks, please let us know not only that, but also if three number signs ### would be easier. If you are a screen reader user for whom neither symbol works, please let us know what works best, and we’ll do our best to accommodate.

In columns like Authors’ Corner and Recipes from Karen Crowder, letters of the alphabet—A, B, C, etc.—are used to separate items.

1. HEALTH NEWS YOU CAN USE: Hearing Aids, Prostate Health, and Heart Health Tips *** by Leonore Dvorkin

2. TECH CORNER: 50 Years Later *** by Stephen Théberge

3. COMMENTARY AFTERMATH: The Whole World Was Watching *** by James R. Campbell 

4. WEATHER OR NOT: Rapid Developers, a Real Threat to Life *** by Steve Roberts


6. THE HANDLER’S CORNER: Living and Working with Guide Dogs *** by Ann Chiappetta

7. TURNING POINT: How Writing Can Help
by Terri Winaught

8. THOUGHTS FROM TERRI *** by Terri Winaught

9. JULY RECIPE COLUMN *** by Karen Crowder

10. MY EXPERIENCE AT THE REHAB CENTER *** by Roanna Bacchus 

11. MARCY’S SCHMOOZE TINNIH *** by Marcy J. Segelman



1. HEALTH NEWS YOU CAN USE: Hearing Aids, Prostate Health, and Heart Health Tips
by Leonore Dvorkin

1. Wearing hearing aids may help protect brain in later life
Source: EurekAlert, July 15, 2019

A British study on 25,000 subjects concluded that hearing aids for age-related hearing problems maintain better brain function over time. Hearing loss is an important risk factor for dementia. Hearing aids help to maintain memory, attention, and faster reaction time. The bottom line: If you are advised that you need a hearing aid, find one that works for you. You will make life easier and more pleasant for yourself and those around you and will protect your brain into the bargain. 

A personal note from Leonore: My husband, now 75, has been wearing hearing aids for several years. They changed his life very much for the better. He is quite satisfied with the fine hearing aids he has from Costco, which are highly rated by Consumer Reports and which cost about half what the aids from most private audiologists cost. His latest hearing test was conducted for free by an audiologist at Costco. 

David’s moving essay about his hearing problems and his first hearing aids, an essay that was written a few years ago, is here: 

2. For the Men: Ways to Protect Your Prostate Gland
Source: “Meet Joe’s Prostate,” an article in the June/July 2019 AARP Magazine
The author is Clint Carter, who writes for Men’s Health and The Wall Street Journal.


a. Normal changes to the prostate gland, even as early as age 50, include some enlargement and a lowered production of semen. 
b. The enlargement can cause urinary problems, such as trouble starting urination, making the man feel as though he’s not quite finished urinating, and getting up more often during the night. A weakening bladder also contributes to older men’s problems with urination. 
c. Losing belly fat, doing at least 25 minutes of vigorous exercise a day, and cutting back on caffeine can all help. 
d. Pills called alpha-blockers can help. A brand name is not given in the article.
e. Although not mentioned in this article, various herbs have been shown to be helpful. They include saw palmetto and pygeum. My husband takes pygeum and also a separate blend of ingredients called “Prostate Plus Health Complex,” from Trunature. Those capsules contain saw palmetto, zinc, pumpkin seed oil, and more. So far, he’s doing fine at age 75. There are numerous prostate-protective supplement blends on the market.
f. The article recommends eating the following: Lots of leafy greens. Cooked tomatoes or tomato sauces. Lots of fruit, especially citrus fruits. Less saturated fat, meaning less butter and more olive oil. Unfermented soy foods, such as soy milk, tofu (which is soybean curd), and edamame (cooked or steamed immature soybeans in the pod). 
g. The PSA test is not reliably accurate. But a mature man should have regular prostate exams, and if two consecutive tests show elevated PSA levels, it may be time for a biopsy. 
h. Prostate cancer does not usually progress very fast, and many doctors and their patients opt for monitoring the situation versus rushing to surgery. However, the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2019, close to 175,000 U.S. men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and almost 32,000 will die, so prostate health is certainly something to take seriously and watch closely. (These last figures are from the American Cancer Society website.) 

3. Heart disease biomarker linked to paleo diet
Source: ScienceDaily website, July 22, 2019


High levels of TMAO, an organic compound produced in the gut, are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. 

The controversial paleo or “caveman” diet advocates eating meat, vegetables, nuts, and limited fruit. It excludes grains, legumes, dairy, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils. The elevated TMAO (about twice the normal amount) in people on the paleo diet appears to be due to the lack of whole grains. Whole grains are a good source of resistant starch and other fermentable fibers that are vital to the health of the gut microbiome. 

Following this article was a link to another article in favor of the Mediterranean diet and its significant role in reducing heart attack risk. There are many online references to and descriptions of this healthy, varied, and appealing diet. 

4. Seven Numbers That Reveal Your Heart Attack Risk
Source: February/March 2019 AARP Magazine
Author: Stephen Perrine


a. Your total cholesterol should be under 240. An ideal score is under 200. To lower it, eat less red meat and full-fat dairy and more whole grains and produce.
b. Your blood pressure should be under 130/80. To lower it, lose weight if needed, exercise more, reduce salt, cook at home, and eat foods high in potassium, such as sweet potatoes, bananas, spinach, and avocados.
c. Your resting heart rate should be between 60 and 100 beats per minute. To test it, take it at rest for 15 seconds and multiply by 4. To lower your rate, lose weight if needed and get plenty of aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming, or riding a bicycle of any type. (We use a Schwinn exercise bike.) 
d. Your blood glucose number should be under 100. This is measured with a fasting blood glucose test. Your doctor and many online sources can advise you on how to lower it with diet and medication if needed. (I take the drug metformin.)
e. Your body mass index (BMI) should be from 18.5 to 24.9. From 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight; 30 or higher is considered obese. There are online BMI calculators.
f. Waist circumference: No more than 40 inches for men and 35 for women. To burn more belly fat, alternate bouts of fast and moderate-speed aerobic exercise. 
g. A test of the VO2 max (maximal oxygen uptake) is usually mainly for athletes. It is a precise measurement of your aerobic fitness. There are several online calculators that will tell you your VO2 max score and your “fitness age.” Or just do more aerobic exercise until you lower your resting heart rate. 

About the author:

Leonore Dvorkin and her husband, the prolific author David Dvorkin, have lived in Denver since 1971. Leonore writes, edits books, teaches languages, and teaches exercise classes. David is the author of 29 books (fiction and nonfiction), and Leonore has four published books: a novel (Apart from You), a fantasy play (The Glass Family), her breast cancer memoir (Another Chance at Life: A Breast Cancer Survivor’s Journey), and that last book in Spanish (Una nueva oportunidad a la vida: El camino de una sobreviviente de cáncer de seno). The breast cancer book was translated by a Peruvian woman whose husband is a physician.

Together, David and Leonore run DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services. Since 2009, they have produced more than 75 books for more than 45 authors. Bob Branco, Stephen Theberge, and Steve Roberts, whose writings appear regularly in this newsletter, are three of their many blind clients. David and Leonore’s comprehensive services include thorough editing, formatting, cover design, authors’ Web pages, and more, all for very reasonable prices. 

They invite you to visit any of their websites:
Leonore Dvorkin:
David Dvorkin: 
DLD Books: 


2. TECH CORNER: 50 Years Later
by Stephen Théberge

It was interesting to hear David Dvorkin talking about his role at NASA. He appeared on In Perspective with Bob Branco and Al Hensel on July 19, just one day before the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing.  

The comparison between the computer technology of then and now was striking. There were no instantaneous results that we are used to today. One had to bring punch cards to a dispatcher and wait, for hours at times, for a printout to be returned. 

A caller expressed the opinion that people used to use their brainpower more than they do today. David pointed out that by our standards today, the computing power of that time was primitive, but back then it was state of the art. He also pointed out that people at NASA today are just as skilled as those who worked there when he did.

David’s new book, When We Landed on the Moon: A Memoir, was released in time for the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing. David gave a very good outline of his book. I immediately bought a Kindle copy when the show ended.

David’s role at NASA, if I understand it correctly, was to do mathematical analysis to manage error tolerance. If something was considered too risky, they would go back to the drawing board. What impressed me most, although I knew this before, was that 400,000 people worked behind the scenes and were the driving force that got the astronauts from Earth to the moon and safely back again.

It’s a short memoir, but David gave a great outline of many different aspects of NASA from when he started in 1967 to the end of Apollo 15. I found his vision of space travel in the future well thought out and seemingly realistic in its presentation. You can hear him discuss his book and NASA career at  .  

I was only six years old when we landed on the moon. For some reason, I don’t recall the landing, although I’ve seen the footage many times. I recall watching many other Apollo missions with my father, so I can’t imagine they didn’t let me watch it. Perhaps, being so young, I didn’t understand its importance. Yet I loved watching the missions I watched later. I recall the missions from Apollo 12 onwards.

On In Perspective and in his book, David points out the many benefits we gained for science, medicine, management techniques, and the vast development of computers that were a direct result of the moon landings. He doesn’t dwell on it but makes the case that government spending on NASA and the moon landings actually benefited the average citizen’s life in many positive ways.

I could relate to David’s enthusiasm for working for NASA. I also share his love of science fiction. It seems that in the late 1960s, our nation was primarily behind the moon landings. He points out that human nature being what it is, people don’t stay interested in anything for too long a time. I agree with his assessment that we probably won’t have the same fervor for the space program that we did then.

I found David’s debunking of the people who don’t believe we went to the moon sound. Putting them in the category of the “flat-Earthers” and so forth was a logical comparison. Also, by itself, it is unlikely that 400,000 people could cover it up without somebody spilling the beans. If it were a hoax, somebody would certainly have spoken. I wonder if the people who think the Earth is flat ever went on a jet. Even with my low vision, I can see the curvature of the Earth when I get really high in altitude.

As usual, David does a superb job in his writing. He also gives citations when they are appropriate. I have read both his fiction and non-fiction work and highly recommend his books.
I am not sure if David intended it or not, but I was saddened when I got to the end of this book. 

On Amazon, I gave this excellent book a five-star review. I felt it captured a golden age that we were in and also the death of that age. Also, we were in a space race with the Russians, but according to David, although they put a person in space before we did, our computing power was superior and they were nowhere near landing on the moon.

It is interesting to note that Viking 1 landed on Mars on July 20, 1976, so we had a 43rd anniversary as well. Next year, I’ll say, “Happy Moon and Mars Day!”

Enjoy the rest of the summer. I’m looking forward to next month’s issue.

Editor’s note:
David Dvorkin’s Web page with full information about his new book is here: 
That page has a link to the interview with Bob Branco and Al Hensel and also one to his subsequent Skype interview with Nic Gunning of the “All the Books Show.”  
You can find information about all 29 of David’s books on his website: 

More from Stephen Théberge:
Sign my petition to have Amazon’s KDP website accessible to its blind and visually impaired authors:
Follow me on Twitter at @speechfb
Read and post on my writer’s blog.
Read and post on my writer’s blog:
Check out my coming of age science fiction novel The MetSche Message and its sequel The MetSche Maelstrom at
Watch my Youtube channel. Many blindness-related issues, and the latest Branco Broadcasts.


3. COMMENTARY AFTERMATH: The Whole World Was Watching 
by James R. Campbell 
© July 7, 2019

It was a year of momentous events that simultaneously brought out the best and worst of humanity. It was a tumultuous year that saw one dream realized and others devoured by violence and bloodshed. In this, the final year of the decade, even as 500,000 young people gathered on a farm in New York to plead for peace, a cult leader in LA sent a group of girls on a rampage in hopes of igniting a racial conflagration. 

The year was 1969. Where were you, and what were you doing when these pivotal events transpired?

I turned 15 on August 2 of that year. Outside of the Canned Heat album I got for my birthday, my immediate concern was the upcoming vacation for my grandmother and aunt. They left for Oklahoma on August 4. The next two weeks were turbulent, as Mom and I fought like cats and dogs. I missed my beloved Mamma and Aunt Sue; Mom resented it. She didn’t want me, but she didn’t want them to have me either. Because of this, our relationship was extraordinarily strained. 

Two weeks earlier, I had watched Man’s first steps on the moon and the final fruition of the dream of the late President John F. Kennedy. He had pledged to put a man on the moon before the end of the Sixties. Thanks to NASA’s hard work, which came at the cost of three lives, America accomplished what no one else in history had done. The world shared in the triumph of the feat as a worldwide audience heard Neil Armstrong utter those immortal words: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

On August 9, we were earwitnesses to the murders of actress Sharon Tate and her houseguest in California. The murders were ordered by Charles Manson, a career criminal who preyed on vulnerable girls, plied them with LSD, and brainwashed them into doing his lethal bidding. 

My first thought was: “What makes somebody do that?” There was no need for the evil that was inflicted on these innocent people! We were riding the top of the Ferris wheel when we landed on the moon, and now this!

When the Manson family were arrested on December 1, 1969, there was a wave of relief. The trial that followed in 1970 was one of the most expensive and sensational proceedings in California history. Manson and his followers were sentenced to death, but their sentences were commuted to life when the death penalty was ruled unconstitutional in 1972. 

On August 15-17, a cultural event took place in New York as half a million youth gathered for three days of peace and music. Woodstock was the grand slam of the Sixties. Many believe it was the last hurrah for the flower children and the dream of a better world. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were among the groups who played for the event. The movie and recordings that were made of the festival have raked in millions of dollars for the record label and preserved a part of history that will remain for centuries. 

By contrast, the Altamont festival in December 1969 was marred by four murders. The Hells Angels motorcycle group was hired to provide security for the event, a decision that contributed to those four deaths. 

In my opinion, Charles Manson destroyed the dream of the Sixties. No one will ever convince me of anything else. 

The number one song of 1969 was “The Age of Aquarius,” by The Fifth Dimension. By the end of 1970, the Age of Aquarius was history. Most view it as a pipe dream. Those of us who lived through it still believe in it, even in the dangerous age of 2019, with its trade wars, tensions in the Persian Gulf, and with Rocket Nut reigning in Pyongyang. For better or worse, we blazed a trail for others to follow. Despite the tragedies and excess, much good came from the Sixties. 

The whole world was watching, or, in the case of the totally blind, listening, as I was, from countless homes all across the country. And the great debate raged on. 

Mom and Dad decried Woodstock, making negative light of “those fuzzy, drug-addled thugs.” Dad proclaimed that they would never amount to anything. It’s true that the lifestyle claimed its share of casualties, among them Hendrix, Joplin, and Garcia. But others, David Crosby most notably, have survived. 

Others of the period, including the Apollo crews that landed on the moon, went on to lead productive lives. And there are countless Aquarians who never touched drugs who have gone on to make their contributions by taking care of daily activities and their families. Japanese peace activist Daisaku Ikeda believes that happiness is taking care of the daily tasks that are the most important, including taking care of loved ones. I concur wholeheartedly. Don’t think that these things don’t go unnoticed; the universe is watching!

As always, thanks for your time.
With loving kindness,
James R. Campbell


4. WEATHER OR NOT: Rapid Developers, a Real Threat to Life
by Steve Roberts

What is a rapid developer? A rapid developer is a hurricane that undergoes a phase of rapid intensification. In order for a hurricane to be classified as a rapid developer, its winds must increase by 34 mph in a 24-hour time period. A hurricane, however, can intensify more rapidly than that.

In October 2005, Hurricane Wilma went from a tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane of unprecedented intensity in 24 hours. In October 2015, Tropical Storm Patricia went from a 60 mph tropical storm to a record-setting hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 200 mph. Some accounts have put the sustained winds in Hurricane Patricia as high as 215 mph. 

Hurricane Intensification and Coastal Evacuation

As a hurricane becomes stronger, the storm surge it produces becomes bigger. A Category 1 hurricane will produce a 4-5’ storm surge at the time it makes landfall. Should that hurricane become a Category 2, its storm surge will rise up to 5-8’. As the storm surge increases, the extent of coastal inundation will also increase. With greater coastal inundation comes a greater need to evacuate those who are in harm’s way. Should a hurricane’s intensity increase by one or more categories, that could necessitate the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of additional coastal residents. 

America’s Deadly Doorsteps

As Weather Channel Meteorologist Jim Cantore said in September 2013: “One of the most frightening things in all of weather is to have a hurricane undergo a rapid intensification just as it is approaching the coast, like the Labor Day Keys Hurricane did in 1935.” Much like Hurricane Patricia, the Labor Day Keys Hurricane went from a tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane in 24 hours. 

Roughly 24 years later, Hurricane Camille churned through the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Camille underwent a phase of rapid intensification prior to making landfall on the upper Gulf Coast as a Category 5. Both the Labor Day Keys Hurricane of 1935 and Hurricane Camille underwent phases of rapid intensification before striking the United States as Category 5 hurricanes. 

Atlantic hurricanes travel from the east to the west across the Atlantic Basin. For that reason, the Bahamas are the front doorstep of America’s hurricane country. The Gulf of Mexico is the back doorstep. Both the Gulf of Mexico and Bahama Islands are climatologically favored regions of the tropical Atlantic for the rapid development of hurricanes.

In the time it takes to get a good night’s sleep, a hurricane can go from a Category 2 to a Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. In some cases, hurricane intensity can increase to a greater extent than that. A hurricane that is in the Gulf of Mexico or Bahama Islands can strengthen very rapidly. A hurricane that’s in the Bahama Islands or Gulf of Mexico is on America’s deadly doorsteps, so watch out!

Steven P. Roberts is the author of The Whys and Whats of Weather, C 2014. The book is in print and e-book. For full details and a free text preview, see



David and Leonore Dvorkin, of DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services, are pleased to announce the recent publication of three new books: a novel, a memoir, and a book of poetry. In addition, another of their clients, author Ann Chiappetta, is announcing the release of her book Upwelling: Poems (C 2017) in audio format from Details are below. Her other two books will be released in audio later this year. 

A. The Red Dress
A novel by Abbie Johnson Taylor (C 2019)

In paperback ($11.95) and e-book ($3.99) from Amazon and Smashwords. 
236 pages in print. The e-book is text-to-speech enabled. 
Editing, print layout, e-book conversion, and cover design by DLD Books.


When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.
Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

Description of the cover by Leonore Dvorkin, Editor:
A very beautiful black-haired model, about 18 or 19 years of age, with her hair in a loose bun, is shown down to about mid-chest. Her red dress is cut in a low V, with a bow at the bottom of the V. She is holding a bouquet of long-stemmed, brownish-gold flowers. She is almost in profile, with her head turned to her left, so we see the right side of her face. She has bright red lipstick on. Her eyes are downcast; she looks pensive but not sad. The background is pale gray. Above her head is the title in dark red letters, The Red Dress. Above that is the author's name in black letters.   

Abbie Johnson Taylor lives in Sheridan, Wyoming. Please visit her website at

B. When We Landed on the Moon: A Memoir (C 2019)
by David Dvorkin

In e-book ($2.50) and paperback ($8.50) from Amazon and multiple other online sellers.
Details, cover, buying links, and free text preview: 

In September 1967, I started working at NASA in Houston, at what was then called the Manned Spacecraft Center. I worked on Apollo missions, including Apollo 11. In November 1971, I left NASA and moved to Denver to work on the Viking Mars lander project at Martin Marietta Corporation. 

By the time I left NASA, Apollo was winding down. Manned spaceflight beyond Earth orbit was dying. There would be no lunar bases or missions to Mars. In a mere four years, the future had died. Fifty years later, I still can’t shake the sadness. 

Of course the “We” in the title of this book is not literal. Only the handful of men who have actually been on the moon can talk about “when we landed on the moon” and mean it literally. I’m using “we” in a general sense, to refer to all of the 400,000 people who worked on the Apollo Project, to all of America, and to the entire human race. 

As the plaque on the side of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module descent stage, which still stands on the moon’s Sea of Tranquility, proclaims: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind." 

This is the story of my part in Apollo.

On the cover:
The top photo shows the ascent stage of the lunar module as it rose from the moon to rendezvous with the command module so the astronauts could return to Earth. This was the part of the mission that I worked on. The bottom photo shows some of the people in the control room and their monitors at the moment that the lunar module touched down on the surface of the moon.  

About the author: 
David Dvorkin worked for more than 40 years in aerospace, as a computer programmer, and as a technical writer. He is the author of 29 published books, both fiction and nonfiction, including three Star Trek novels. He estimates that over 800,000 copies of his books have been sold since the late 1970s. Two of his novels were written with his son, Daniel Dvorkin. Since 2009, David and his wife, Leonore, have been running DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services. David’s website is 

C. Star Signs: New and Selected Poems (C 2019)
by Lynda McKinney Lambert

Now in paperback ($9.50) and e-book ($2.99) from Amazon, Smashwords, and other online sellers. 

Details, cover image, buying links, and free text preview: 

About the book:

Lynda Lambert covers a wide terrain of subjects and topics in this new book, from lights to legends to seasons, treating us to images and metaphors about plants, people and weather. She opens this collection with the title poem, Star Signs, which walks us through the alphabet as it digs through thoughts, emotions and observations, “Using star signs to map out new terrain.”
Throughout this book of poems, these gems of poetic creation shimmer like beads on her fabric art, like bold brush strokes of color on her paintings, and reflect light like the gemstones on her prize–winning piece of mixed–media fiber artwork. It seems this entire collection is like a multifaceted mural.

Her attentiveness to nature and strong reflections from memory have woven from a collage of remnants a beautiful tapestry for us. It offers a wonderful feast for the eyes and the mind.

—Wesley D. Sims, author of Taste of Change 

This is the author’s third book of poetry.
Cover photo by James Wheeler from Pexels.
Cover design, editing, layout, and e-book conversion by DLD Books. 

Description of the cover image of Star Signs by Leonore Dvorkin, Editor:

The late evening photo shows several delicate, bare trees in silhouette, leaning slightly to the right, against a violet-colored sky. There is a faint streak of pinkish light to the right of the trees, low on the horizon. Thousands of stars are visible in the sky. The solid black landscape below the trees appears to be the shore of a darkened lake, which is in the foreground. A few stars are reflected in the water. The overall impression is one of stillness and beauty. The predominant colors are black and violet, along with white pinpoints of starlight. The title and subtitle are in white at the top of the cover, and the author’s name is in white at the bottom.

D. An exciting announcement from author Ann Chiappetta: 

Local Author Releases First Commercial Audio Book
July 20, 2019 – New Rochelle, N.Y.
Ann Chiappetta, poet and indy author of three books, releases Upwelling: Poems (C 2016) on, Amazon’s premier audio book seller. Go to to purchase or to listen to the sample. The book is narrated by Lillian Yves.

Contact Ann Chiappetta, Author 
Phone: 914-393-6605

From Ann: “I am so happy to finally have one of my books available through Audible. As a writer who is blind, I feel it is paramount to offer my books in as many blind-friendly formats as possible.”

Chiappetta’s books are available in print and all online e-book formats, including Amazon and Smashwords.The author’s two other books are Follow Your Dog: A Story of Love and Trust (C 2017) and Words of Life: Poems and Essays (C 2019). They are being prepared as commercial audio books, which will be released later this year.

Chiappetta is currently planning book readings and book signing events. Information on these and other appearances, including past appearances and future radio interviews and podcasts, can be found at her website: . 
To learn more about the author or to view her author’s book page, go to: .
Her blog is .
Facebook: Annie Chiappetta 


6. THE HANDLER’S CORNER: Living and Working with Guide Dogs
by Ann Chiappetta

Hello, all. I hope the summer has been just the way you wanted it to be so far. Here in New York, it has been either sweltering or raining. The dogs sleep most of the day and avoid overheating. We are moving into the dog days of summer, and my dogs know how to cope with the weather by napping and lying near the fan. 

We just returned from the National ACB conference and convention held in Rochester, New York. This is the ultimate challenge for any VIP using either a cane or a dog. It can provide a person with confidence, life skills, and mobility practice. It will also be a little frustrating, but the point is to get out there and meet other VIPs, other guide dog users, and have fun.

We went up on the train, did a lot of walking, ate too much, and met up with folks I hadn’t ever met in person before. Bailey did very well, got through the other dogs as distractions, and learned the required travel routes. These were: to our room, the elevator, the various bathrooms, meeting rooms, and doors outside to the relieving areas. We also found it better to walk between the convention center and sister hotel via the street level. Bailey loves street work and crosses like a pro. 

It’s good to be home, but I love to travel and will be doing more with Bailey by my side soon.

Go to or to to find links to purchase my books and to learn about me. 
Read my blog:
Find my poetry book, Upwelling: Poems, on


7. TURNING POINT: How Writing Can Help
by Terri Winaught

Hello, readers.

It’s been some time since I submitted to my Turning Point column. Again (though no excuses), there was so much I could have written about that I was unsure how to begin, so this month, I’m going to begin where I left off the last time I wrote my column.

As regular readers may remember, I last talked about the therapeutic value of writing. More specifically, I mentioned a Behind Our Eyes writing group member, Leonard Touchyner, and what he’s gleaned from his many years of teaching “Writing for Healing.” Leonard is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LCP) who lives in Virginia. Like the members of his group, I have also found writing to be cathartic, therapeutic, and healing. To access some of the writings in which I have found healing, Google “Pancakes and a Mother’s Love”: Terri Winaught. Similarly, you can also do a Google search on “Mother and Child Reunion”: Terri Winaught. Those searches will take you to articles in the now defunct Matilda Ziegler Magazine, and an anthology entitled Behind Our Eyes: A Second Look.

I recently thought about the therapeutic value of writing yet again while watching a true crime TV show entitled Inside Evil, broadcast on HLN (Headline News Network). On this episode, the host interviewed a John David Lennon (no relation to the late singer) who was in prison for shooting a supposed “friend” multiple times. During this interview, in which hard questions are posed and raw responses given, Mr. Lennon, who has been and will be at Sing Sing Prison in New York for some time, shared how writing from his lived experience of seeing fellow prisoners with serious mental illness and violent criminal backgrounds became a turning point for him. As a prison journalist, he has shared bylines with editors of such prestigious publications as Men’s Health and the New York Times. While I believe that writing from the perspective of lived experience can indeed be a pivotal turning point, I also hope that Mr. Lennon is crafting his articles with empathy in ways that help not only him but also the people about whom he writes. My hope is also that he can and will use the writing that has been a turning point for him to seek forgiveness from the family whose lives he brutally changed forever!

Are there instances in which writing about a situation has been a turning point for you? If, like me, you have a mental health diagnosis or diagnoses, has writing been therapeutic for you? If any of these questions ring true for you and you’d like to share your stories, please feel free to reach out via email:; phone 412-263-2022; or send braille letters to: Terri Winaught, 400 Cochran Road, Apt. 409, Pittsburgh, PA 15228.

Thanks for reading with me, and may important turning points assist with your wellness.


by Terri Winaught

There have been so many things to write about that I haven’t known where to begin. For that reason, I have written nothing for the past several months; but, since excuses are unacceptable, I deserve a “Tsk, tsk, tsk.”

With so many thoughts still going around in my mind like a Ferris wheel at a summer carnival, I’ll start by expressing my concern for readers who have recently experienced the worst our weather has to offer. Whoever heard of a tornado along the coast of Cape Cod, for example? Yet that’s exactly what happened a few days ago. Still along the lines of tornadoes and other weather tirades, my heart goes out with condolences and compassion to those who have lost loved ones. (If he writes about any of the recent weather phenomena, I’ll be interested to hear what our weather contributor, Steve Roberts, has to say.)

From weather to the woes of politics, insults thrown and tweeted like javelins at the Olympics have been volcanic in their fury. As debates will continue until the next president is elected, it will be interesting to see who the two candidates will be and what kinds of campaigns they’ll wage.

A final topic on which I’d like to comment because of how near and dear to my heart it is addresses the extent to which we are still having conversations about race. What really brought this home to me was the most recent episode of a show on ABC called Matter of Fact. On that show, the host, Soledad O’Brien, interviewed a Professor Wilson from North Carolina. The gist of their conversation was that although Brown vs. Board of Education (a 1954 Supreme Court decision) was passed so many years ago, school integration has progressed very little. The professor explained that desegregation has failed so miserably because so many opposed it, especially when busing became a solution. Yet it wasn’t busing per se. As the late Harvey Adams, former Director of the Pittsburgh branch of the NAACP, used to say: “It’s not the bus; it’s us!” How sad that there is still a need for these dialogues 65 years after such a monumental Supreme Court decision!

As always, feel free to comment on any topic I raise, or suggest one of your own for “Terri’s Thoughts.” To do that, email or send a braille letter to: 400 Cochran Road, Apt. 409, Pittsburgh, PA 15228. You are also welcome to call me: 412-263-2022.

Thanks for reading with me; it’s always a pleasure chatting with you, and just as much of a blessing hearing from you.


by Karen Crowder

When Americans enter the month of July, days are long and sultry. As July heat descends upon New England, people escape. They might travel to the cooler weather of Northern New Hampshire, Maine, or Vermont. Or they gravitate toward the coasts of Maine or Massachusetts, appreciating the ocean and delicious seafood. Local gardens are blooming with chives. basil, lavender, roses, and raspberries. Ice cream roadside and farm stands are open for another New England summer. People flock to ponds, pools, beaches, and lakes. 

There are three special occasions in July. July 4 is on a Thursday. The NFB and ACB conferences are also in July. In Boston, Massachusetts there is a harbor fest. Tourists appreciate the festivities, with the annual Esplanade Concert the night of Independence Day. 

This month, I have three delicious recipes for Consumer Vision readers. 

A. Wonderful Waffles
B. Crab Cakes
C. Summer Fruit Salad

A. Wonderful Waffles 

At Christmas in 1993, I received a combination sandwich maker and waffle iron from my husband, Marshall. The first time I attempted to make waffles, I didn’t grease the grids of the iron. As a result, this attempt met with failure. However, I persevered, eventually making delicious waffles that everyone enjoyed. 

I tried the recipe from the 2006 edition of Joy of Cooking when my guest Candice was visiting in 2014. We thoroughly enjoyed the waffles with coffee and bacon. I want to share the recipe with you. I made very small changes, adding a little more butter and adding one more tablespoon of sugar. This is from The Joy of Cooking, 2006 edition, by Rombauer, db 64227. The recipe is titled “Waffles,” in the chapter for pancakes, waffles, doughnuts, and fritters.

Two tablespoons melted butter
Three eggs
One and one-half cups milk
One and three-fourths cups all-purpose flour
Three teaspoons baking powder
Two tablespoons sugar
One-half teaspoon salt.

1. Measure flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar into a medium-sized stainless steel mixing bowl. In a smaller mixing bowl, beat room-temperature eggs. Add milk and cooled butter to the eggs. 
2. With a wire or silicone-covered whisk, stir dry ingredients for one minute. Stir wet ingredients with another whisk for two minutes.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Blend the waffle batter with a wooden spoon for two minutes, until it is smooth. 
4. Lightly grease the waffle iron grids with canola oil. 
5. Preheat waffle iron for five minutes. The knob should be pointing straight up, toward the handles of the appliance. 
6. When you work with the iron, wear long-sleeved oven mitts. Open the iron and pour two one-half cups waffle batter on the bottom grid. Close waffle iron and cook waffle for five minutes. 
7. Open waffle iron and release hot waffle with turner or gloved hand. Serve on dinner plate with butter and real maple syrup. 
8. For extra safety, unplug iron briefly before pouring more waffle batter on the iron. 

Serve each batch immediately. With a hungry family, these waffles will disappear. 

Note: According to the author, the recipe I have given you makes six waffles. 

B. Crab Cakes

Marshall loved crab meat. It was one winter afternoon when I decided to make the Olde Mystic crab cakes from Our New England Cookery, published by NBP in 1982. We loved them. I made changes, using more spices and onion and using canned crabmeat. 

Two six-ounce cans crabmeat
Dashes of curry powder, dill, salt, and a handful of chives
One or two spoonfuls of Cain’s mayonnaise
Two dashes of Worcestershire sauce
One-half small sweet onion
One-half cup dry, unseasoned bread crumbs
One egg
Hamburger rolls. 

1. In a small stainless steel mixing bowl, with clean hands, blend drained crabmeat, spices, mayonnaise, egg, Worcestershire sauce, and onion for two minutes. Shape into four crab cakes and place on medium-sized plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate cakes for 30 minutes.
2. Measure bread crumbs into a bowl. Beat an egg with a fork in another bowl. 
3. Put two tablespoons butter or canola oil in a 10-12 inch skillet. Preheat skillet for five minutes on low heat.
4. Dip chilled cakes in egg and then bread crumbs. Place them on a large dinner plate.
5. Cook crab cakes for five minutes on each side. Heat hamburger rolls in toaster oven for three minutes. 
6. Serve crab cakes on rolls with tartar sauce. Crab cakes pair well with garden salad or oven-baked fries.

C. Summer Fruit Salad

With delicious strawberries and blueberries, this salad is refreshing. It was served at summer barbecues at our home in Fitchburg. 

One quart blueberries
Two quarts strawberries
Two bananas 
Two oranges
One pink grapefruit.

1. In a large mixing bowl, cut bananas, oranges, grapefruit, and strawberries into small pieces. Add the whole blueberries. 
2. Stir the fruit, then transfer it into a large, airtight plastic container.
3. Refrigerate salad until serving time. The salad will disappear in one or two days. 

I hope Consumer Vision readers enjoy the beautiful warm summer weather. We anticipate celebrating the 244th birthday of our republic.

Let us pray for a happier and united country.


by Roanna Bacchus 

I was born on February 28, 1990, in Boston, Massachusetts at Boston City Hospital. As a toddler, I attended the Early Intervention program at the well-known Perkins School for the Blind. In 2018, while I was job searching, I decided that I wanted to give back to the Perkins community what was given to me so many years ago. This is where my educational journey began nearly 29 years ago. I applied for a Teacher's Assistant position at Perkins, but I didn’t get the job. On February 8, 2018, I had a phone interview with one of the Recruitment Specialists at Perkins. He asked me questions about teaching skills such as braille, money management, cane travel, and Access Technology. After careful consideration, they selected another candidate to fill the position. They also promised to keep my résumé in their database and reach out to me if a position that matched my qualifications became available. 

During my job hunt, I began to realize that I did not possess the necessary independent living skills to succeed as a blind adult on and off the job. Last May, I began searching for a residential program that would allow me to refine my daily living skills. My quest to pursue independent living began on the website of the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts. Upon reading through the information on the web, I discovered that Perkins only works with blind children from birth through 21 years of age. The Carroll Center for the Blind, located in Newton, Massachusetts, works with blind adults to increase their independence. 

My family held high expectations for me. During my college career, I was expected to complete assignments in a timely manner, pass my classes, and finish school. In December of 2016, I graduated from the University of Central Florida with my bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. 

The next day, I researched the three NFB training centers: the Louisiana Center for the Blind, Blind Inc., and the Colorado Center for the Blind. Founded in 1940, the National Federation of the Blind is one of the largest blindness consumer organizations in the United States. In 1985, the Louisiana Center for the Blind, LCB, opened in Ruston, Louisiana. This is the NFB training center that is closest to Florida, where I live. I discovered that LCB offered an adult program that would teach me the skills I needed to learn in order to compete successfully in a sighted world. 

Upon contacting Pam Allen, LCB's director, I discovered that their programs are costly, so I chose not to go that route. Eventually, I decided that I wanted to stay close to home, so I settled on the Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Daytona Beach, Florida. On Friday, May 4, 2018, my dad and I attended a meeting with my counselor from the Florida Division of Blind Services. We discussed my desire to become more independent in my home, and she suggested that I attend the Rehab Center. She emailed me the information for the center's director, and I scheduled a tour for my parents and me. 

On Thursday, May 31, my parents and I took the 45-minute drive to Daytona for our tour of the Rehab Center. When we arrived, we went to the Administration building, where I signed us in, and we waited for our tour guide to arrive. Mr. Edward Hudson, the Bureau Chief, who is blind, showed us around the property. During our tour, we met some of the instructors and staff that I would interact with during my training. When we returned home later that day, I sent an email to my DBS counselor notifying her that we had taken the tour and liked what we saw. She sent me the appropriate forms that I would need to fill out for admission into their Independent Living Skills program. Before leaving for this program, I made sure that the Center had all the necessary medical and personal information that they needed for my paperwork. 

On June 28, the phone call that I had been waiting for finally came. The Center's Intake Specialist informed me that I needed to arrive on Saturday, July 21, at the Residence Hall. He emailed me my invitation letter, a copy of the Center's student handbook, dormitory policies, and directions to the dormitory. I spent days reviewing this information to ensure that I understood the rules that I had to adhere to while living at the Center. I also made a list of all the things that I needed to take with me. The student provides everything except bed sheets, pillows, a blanket, bath towels, and a bedspread. The Center provides these items to new clients upon their arrival at the dormitory. 

Any clients who plan to live on campus must arrive at the Residence Hall on Saturday or Sunday prior to the week they start classes. Each student at the Center has their own room on the second or third floor of the Residence Hall. The rooms are like hotel suites, complete with a living room, bathroom, bedroom, and a kitchenette. On Saturday, July 21, 2018, my mom, a family friend, and I piled my luggage into the car and headed off to the Rehab Center. We stopped to pick up my grandmother, who wanted to go with us. 

At last we arrived at the Rehab Center, where I would be spending the next six months of my life. After I checked in with the receptionist at the front desk, she issued me my room key, which also functioned as a security badge. Each student was also issued an identification card that granted them access to classrooms and other secure areas on campus. While my family was unpacking my luggage and setting up my room, I went to the cafeteria for lunch. When I returned from lunch, my mom showed me where my items were stored so I could find them for classes beginning the following Monday morning. 

After this, I said goodbye to my family and continued my orientation to the Rehab Center. After dinner, the evening dormitory attendant read the rules to me, and I signed the form stating that I would abide by the regulations in the student handbook. For the first two weeks, new students are assessed in the skill areas of braille, Access Technology, money management, cooking, sweeping, cleaning, cane travel, and making the bed in their room. On my first day, the nurse met with me to discuss my medical needs and provide me with information on various health topics. After the assessments are completed, a staffing is held to determine the amount of time that a client will spend at the Center. Students are encouraged to participate in each of their staffings. The client's home counselor and a parent are on the phone during these staffings, which generally take about 15 minutes to complete. 

I enjoyed my experience at the Rehab Center. 


by Marcy J. Segelman

Here it is; another month has passed. I hope all are enjoying the summer. We have had picnics with family as well as good friends. 

One picnic took me back in time to when I was a child. My family, all my cousins, and I would hang out and fly kites and go sledding. I even remember the times when we went to the car museum with the school. That was something else! It was in one of the summer school periods. We did a lot of field trips that were very well thought out and educational. 

This picnic was held at Larz Anderson Park in Brookline, Massachusetts. It’s a very large park. Part of the park is in Jamaica Plain. Larz Anderson is 64 acres, making this the largest park in the Boston area. The landscaping was designed by Larz Anderson and his wife, Isabel Weld Perkins Anderson. This couple were a very elite social couple of the early 20th century. Larz Anderson Park is listed on the National as well as the State Register of Historic Places. This spot has a lot of meadows.



First, here is the answer to the trivia question submitted in the July Consumer Vision. Julia Ward Howe wrote the battle Hymn of the Republic. Congratulations to the following winners:

Roanna Bacchus of Oviedo, Florida
Cleora Boyd of Fort Worth, Texas
Daryl Darnell of Urbana, Illinois
Leonore Dvorkin of Denver, Colorado
Chad Grover of Corning, New York
Nancy Hays of Oakville, Connecticut
Trish Hubschman of Selden, New York
Marcy Segelman of West Roxbury, Massachusetts
Jo Smith of West Dennis, Massachusetts
Steve Theberge of Attleboro, Massachusetts

And now, here is your trivia question for the August Consumer Vision. What television show features the characters Charlie, Allan, and Jake Harper? If you know the answer, please email or call 508-994-4972.
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