THE CONSUMER VISION
 
July 2021
 
Address: 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA 02746
Phone: 508-994-4972
Email: bobbranco93@gmail.com
Website: www.consumervisionmagazine.com
Publisher: Bob Branco
Editing and Proofreading: David and Leonore Dvorkin
Formatting: David Dvorkin
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
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 Special Notices, Readers’ Forum, and Recipes from Karen Crowder, letters of the alphabet—A, B, C, etc.—are used to separate items.
 
1. A NOTICE FROM THE PUBLISHER
 
2. HEALTH MATTERS: My Recent Heart Concerns, Diet Considerations, and More *** by Leonore H. Dvorkin
 
3. PERSONAL PREFERENCES AND CHARACTERISTICS, AND HOW THEY APPLY TO EVERYDAY LIVING *** by Bob Branco
 
4. COMMENTARY AFTERMATH: Justice Speaks to Brutality *** by James R. Campbell
 
5. WEATHER OR NOT: The Trifecta of Tropical Trouble *** by Steve Roberts
 
6. SPECIAL NOTICE
 
7. TURNING THE TABLES *** by Peter Altschul
 
8. WHO LIKES TO COOK?: The Disabled View *** by Trish Hubschman
 
9. AUTHORS’ CORNER
 
10. UNLIKELY ALLIES *** by Peter Altschul, MS
 
11. RECIPE COLUMN *** by Karen Crowder
 
12. LIFE BEFORE AND AFTER MY SECOND COVID-19 VACCINE *** by Karen Crowder
 
13. CONSUMER VISION TRIVIA CONTEST
 
***
 
1. A NOTICE FROM THE PUBLISHER
by Bob Branco
 
Dear Consumer Vision readers,
 
As publisher, I want to make sure that you have complete access to Consumer Vision at all times. If you change your email address, please let me know, so that I can have Mailchimp update your information. Mailchimp is the email program that manages our subscription list. When someone changes their email address, I don’t know about it because Mailchimp does not directly inform me of bounced emails.
 
Thank you in advance for your cooperation, and I hope you continue to enjoy Consumer Vision.
 
***
 
2. HEALTH MATTERS: My Recent Heart Concerns, Diet Considerations, and More
by Leonore H. Dvorkin / Copyright June 2021
Email: leonore@leonoredvorkin.com
I welcome comments on any of my articles.
 
Many of you who write for Consumer Vision have been refreshingly open about some of your own problems: physical, mental, financial, and more. Thus I think it behooves me to be equally open about a recent health scare I had, as well as my ongoing concerns.
 
Where it comes to heart health, my family background is not a comforting one. Two of my grandparents died of heart attacks, and my father did as well. My mother wore a pacemaker. One of my sisters takes medication for tachycardia, a too-rapid heart rate. Thus, while I’ve done my best to take care of my own heart health with a good diet, lots of exercise (both aerobic exercise and weight training), plus not smoking, I always knew there were no guarantees.
 
Plus, I’m now 75 years old: well into the danger period for both men and women. I’m also about 15-20 pounds overweight and diabetic. It’s a shocking fact that heart disease kills more American women every year than all cancers put together. So, if a woman has any indication that something is not right with her heart, she needs to be checked out ASAP.
 
I never had any indication of heart trouble until a few weeks ago. That was when my doctor doubled my dose of metformin, a common generic drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. I had been taking one 500 mg tablet per day for at least two years, with no problems and good effects, so I was puzzled as to why she wanted to increase my dosage. However, given that many people take 1500 mg per day or more, I figured that she, being the doctor, must know best.
 
However, a few days after I started taking two pills a day, I began to have some very disturbing effects: a heart rate that was irregular and too slow for me, frequent breathlessness and fatigue, weird anxiety, and an odd fluttering sensation in my midsection. After a few more days, without consulting the doctor, I dropped back to one pill per day. The symptoms improved a bit but did not disappear. As an experiment, I took two pills again one day and immediately got much worse. So it was back to one pill. But the symptoms persisted. That’s when I decided that I really needed to have all this checked out.
 
I told the doctor that the problems had started with the extra metformin pill, but she discounted that. However, she took my family history quite seriously. She ordered an EKG (done in the office, with normal results), a blood test, and a heart monitor for me to wear for a week. All of this is covered, thank goodness, by my good insurance: Medicare and UnitedHealth supplemental.
 
The heart monitor was not too awful. It’s a small plastic device, only about two inches long, that just stays stuck to the chest for a week or more, as prescribed. It’s also waterproof. Mine was in the vertical position. Most bothersome was the itchy, very irritating tape holding the device on. Also, I had trouble remembering to always carry the special cell phone with me; that picked up and transmitted the data from the monitor. It needed to be no more than 10 feet from me at all times. But on the evening of June 24, the week was up, and everything could be removed, packed up as specified, and mailed back to the lab for analysis. My skin is still red from the tape, but it’s getting better.
 
To my astonishment, what the blood test showed was that I have a much-too-high level of vitamin B12 in my system, about 10 times the desired amount. For many years, my husband and I have both taken a great many supplements, both a daily multi-vitamin pill and many others, including an extra B-complex capsule. While large amounts of the various B vitamins pose no risk for most people, they are not without possible dangers, including heart problems. So I was more than willing to cut out the B-complex pills and cut my multiples to three times a week. I have also been surprised to see how many other things that I consume contain B12, including the oat milk I love. So I’m making many changes when it comes to both supplements and diet, and I’m feeling better already. The bottom line here is: More is not always better, and people’s bodies do not all react the same to anything that can be ingested.
 
Other changes I’m making are the following:
 
1. I’m trying to drink a lot more plain, cool water every day; I think I was rather dehydrated. I’m working up to seven or eight glasses per day. I was drinking less than half that before.
 
2. I’m making sure to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day. I walk outdoors, walk on our basement treadmill, or use our wonderful, semi-recumbent Schwinn exercise bike.
 
3. I’ve added small amounts of very dark chocolate to my diet: just a couple of small squares per day. For heart health, the cocoa content should be at least 70%, preferably higher. I’ve found some delicious mint-flavored chocolate that is 72% cocoa, but I also have a bar that is 90% cocoa. It’s strong but not too bitter, and it doesn’t make me crave more, the way sweeter chocolate does. For a satisfying effect, let the square melt slowly in your mouth.
 
4. You can also add a tablespoon of plain powdered baking cocoa to a smoothie. Hershey’s is the classic, but we have ordered some Anthony’s Organic Cocoa Powder online. It’s non-alkalized and priced well.
 
To sum up: This is merely my own story, but I hope it’s been of interest and possible use to you. Your health, diet, and doctors are your own, and you have to listen to your own body and to their advice. What you definitely have from me are my sincerest wishes for your good health and a long life!
 
About the Author:
 
Leonore Dvorkin has taught exercise classes since 1976, has tutored languages (now mainly German and Spanish) since 1988, and has been editing books since 2009. She is also a published author, with four books and dozens of articles to her credit. She and her husband, David Dvorkin, who has 30 published books of his own, have been editing books by other authors since 2009. The large majority of their clients are blind or visually impaired. Their most basic aim is to offer excellent, comprehensive service at very reasonable rates.
 
David and Leonore have lived in Denver, Colorado, since 1971. They have one son, Daniel, who is now 52 and works as a bioinformatics consultant for The Bioinformatics CRO, Inc. His field combines biology, math, and computer science and aids in biological research.
 
David and Leonore invite you to visit their websites for much more information about their books, articles, and services.
 
David Dvorkin: http://www.dvorkin.com/
Leonore Dvorkin: https://www.leonoredvorkin.com/
DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services: https://www.dldbooks.com/
 
***
 
3. PERSONAL PREFERENCES AND CHARACTERISTICS, AND HOW THEY APPLY TO EVERYDAY LIVING
by Bob Branco
 
When it comes to our personal preferences and characteristics, there have been some discussions about what is relevant when we try to live our lives. In other words, when should we identify ourselves based on our disability, sexual preference, religion, race, or any other characteristic? I believe that we should conduct ourselves as human beings without using these characteristics in order to prove something. A likely exception would be if we have to tell potential employers that we need adaptive equipment on the job in order to accommodate us as blind people.
 
Recently, a panelist on my weekly podcast, Sports Round Table, wanted us to talk about the football player from the Las Vegas Raiders who recently announced that he’s gay. While I believe this player had the right to announce it, I don’t feel that it matters when we talk about his performance on the football field. His sexual preference is none of our business. Unless his story is relevant to sports, I don’t feel that it belongs on a sports talk show, although sports station WEEI would vehemently disagree with me. After all, WEEI talks about everything, sports or otherwise.
 
Here’s another example of what’s not relevant. A local radio reading service does not want to air our sports podcast unless three of us on the panel identify ourselves as being blind. As much as we want media exposure, it wasn’t worth convincing this radio reading service to air the show by telling the world that we are blind every week when we introduce ourselves. It doesn’t matter that we are blind. We know as much about sports as the average sighted sports fan. That is what matters the most. How would it sound if I went on the air each week and said, “Welcome to Sports Round Table. My name is Bob Branco. I am blind, and I would like to introduce two other blind panelists on the show.” This is not necessary. We are sports talk show hosts first. That’s what matters.
 
Finally, I want to ask you if you remember a baseball player named Curtis Pride. From what I remember, Pride was a backup outfielder for the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox around the turn of the century. Though it isn’t relevant to his abilities, Curtis Pride is deaf. The only reason why I know that is because it was casually mentioned during a game by one of the announcers. I think he said that somebody was communicating with Pride by using sign language. In this case, Pride’s disability was public because of how he had to communicate, and where nobody ever knows where the cameras are pointed, all bets are off.
 
There are some characteristics and personal preferences that we don’t have to know about, but sometimes it can’t be helped. When it comes to race, people can see what color we are. If someone has a stub in place of his hand, like former baseball pitcher Jim Abbott, it can be seen. Otherwise, we should all live our lives without exposing what isn’t relevant to what we are trying to accomplish.
 
***
 
4. COMMENTARY AFTERMATH: Justice Speaks to Brutality
by James R. Campbell
 
On May 25, 2020, police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, received a complaint from a merchant when a customer attempted to pay with a counterfeit bill. The customer was George Floyd, a Black resident of the city.
 
Derek Chauvin and three other officers responded to the scene. Floyd resisted arrest and refused to follow orders from the police officers, who tried to take him into custody. A bystander caught the action on her camera. Officer Chauvin put his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nine-and-one-half minutes. “Mom! I can’t breathe!” were the last words George spoke.
 
The video went viral. The reaction of the African-American minority was predictable, given the poor relations between Blacks and law enforcement. Protests and riots that bordered on insurrection broke out. In Seattle, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone was set up by the mob. Police officers were forbidden to enter the zone to enforce the law, and crime increased accordingly, as looting, burning, and wholesale violence became the rule of the day.
 
Congress responded to demands by Black Lives Matter and other radical groups by taking up police reform, which, at its worst, would defund the cops and prevent them from doing their jobs. And I have no doubt that the death of George Floyd had something to do with the election of Joe Biden on November 3, 2020.
 
Derek Chauvin was charged with first and second degree murder, as well as manslaughter, in connection with the case. The other cops who were there were charged because they didn’t interfere with Chauvin. Their trial is set for March 2022.
 
The video that caused such an uproar was the crux of the prosecution’s case. I happened to hear the audio portion one day while watching Headline News Network. Even with no video description, it was easy to see that both sides were wrong. Floyd refused to comply with the instructions he was given. During the trial, it was revealed that he had used opiates earlier in the day, a factor that contributed to his aggressive stance and behavior during the incident. Even so, this was no excuse for Chauvin to put his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes. The other officers should have intervened. There were other options available to them that should have been used.
 
On June 25, 2021, Derek Chauvin stood before Judge Peter Cahill for sentencing. The jury found him guilty on all charges. Judge Cahill sentenced Derek Chauvin to 22 and a half years in a maximum security facility—a measure of justice that some feel was too lenient, as harsh as it was.
 
Derek Chauvin will most likely appeal his sentence. For one thing, the judge didn’t sequester the jury. This was a grave mistake. When a jury is sequestered, all outside media and other influences that might affect the outcome of the trial are cut off. As controversial as this case was, the fact that the jury wasn’t sequestered may be one of the sticking points for an appeal.
 
This renegade cop still faces federal civil rights violations. I hope that he receives more time in a federal prison, which he would serve after his state time is done.
 
After all that this nation has been through, I don’t want this man back in society, ever. For one thing, his actions make it hard for honest cops who wish to protect and serve to do their jobs. I fear that the long-term consequences of his crime will alter the history of our nation in a negative way that can’t be repaired. I would have given him three consecutive life terms with no chance of parole. Judge Cahill did the right thing in that Chauvin didn’t receive probation, and he will spend time in a place he deserves to be in.
 
As always, thanks for your time.
 
With loving kindness,
James R. Campbell
Campbelljr2010@outlook.comg
 
***
 
5. WEATHER OR NOT: The Trifecta of Tropical Trouble
by Steve Roberts
 
Stronger Hurricanes and Climate Change
 
A String of Category 5s: A Sign of the Times
 
A hurricane derives much of its power from the warmth of tropical seas. The warmer the water a hurricane forms over, the stronger that hurricane will be. The waters in the tropical Atlantic have warmed considerably over the last several decades. Hurricanes may have become stronger in response to climate change.
 
Between 2003 and 2007, there were seven Category 5 hurricanes: Isabel in 2003; Emily, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma in 2005; then Dean and Felix in 2007. From 2016 to 2019, there were a total of five Category 5 hurricanes: Matthew in 2016, Joan and Maria in 2017, and Dorian and Lorenzo in 2019.
 
Is this flurry of Category 5 hurricanes an aberration or a sign of things to come? The answer to this question depends upon whom you ask. There are some who say that we are seeing more Category 5 hurricanes because we’re better able to observe them. There are some, like Dr. Christopher Landsey, who say that the rise in Category 5 hurricanes is an outgrowth of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation, which lasts for 20-40 years and features as many as 3-6 major hurricanes per year.
 
The last hurricane boom cycle took place before the satellite era. This hurricane boom cycle took place during the satellite era, which goes back to our ability to observe the hurricanes out in the Atlantic.
 
Climatologist Dr. Heidi Cullen says: “The increase in Category 5 hurricanes that we have seen  of late goes beyond the impact of the AMO on Category 5 hurricane activity. Climate change is causing Category 5 frequency to exceed the oscillatory impact.” If Dr. Cullen is right, then we may be at the beginning of a troubling trend in Atlantic hurricane activity.
 
The Rising Temper of Atlantic Hurricanes
 
Should this string of Category 5 hurricanes continue, we may start to see hurricanes that challenge or even establish brand new intensity records. In 1988, Hurricane Gilbert became the strongest hurricane in the Western Hemisphere, with a minimum central pressure of 888 millibars. In 2005, Hurricane Wilma trumped Gilbert by achieving a central pressure of 882 millibars, the lowest ever observed in the Western Hemisphere. Hurricanes Wilma and Gilbert are the first and second strongest hurricanes ever observed in the Atlantic Basin. Let’s say that Hurricane Dot had a minimum central pressure of 880 millibars. Dot would have the lowest pressure, Wilma would have the second lowest pressure, and Gilbert would have the third lowest pressure.
 
A hurricane does not have to make it to the top of the list to rewrite the record books. Let’s say that Hurricane Candy had a minimum central pressure of 885 millibars, splitting the difference between 888 Gilbert and 882 Wilma. As of this time, Dot is at number one, Wilma is at number 2, Candy is at number 3, and Gilbert holds up the rear at fourth place. Over the next 10 to 15 years, we will see hurricanes that are of such intensity that they establish or challenge intensity records, rewriting the record books in the process.
 
The strongest hurricanes in the next several decades will undergo extremely rapid or unprecedentedly rapid intensification. The strongest hurricanes of the next several decades will not tiptoe their way to the top.
 
Note:  Steven P. Roberts is the author of two books related to weather: the nonfiction book The Whys and Whats of Weather (2014) and a novel called The Great Winter Hurricane (2015). For details of both books, please visit his website:  https://www.dldbooks.com/stevenproberts/
 
***
 
6. SPECIAL NOTICE
 
From Bob Branco, Publisher
 
Please join our podcast mailing list! Each week, Peter Altschul and I record a podcast called In Perspective, where we invite special guests to talk about their projects, professions, and other issues that benefit our listeners. Sometimes, Peter and I discuss a topic by ourselves. You are welcome to appear on our show, and we invite you to subscribe to our mailing list free of charge. If you would like to receive copies of our show each week, just send a test email to bobbranco93@gmail.com, and I will see that it’s done. If you want to listen to and participate in any episode of In Perspective, we can send you a Zoom invitation. Also, if you have a topic that you feel would be beneficial for our listeners, please indicate your interest in appearing on In Perspective. You can email bobbranco93@gmail.com, or call 508-994-4972. To check out a previous episode of In Perspective, go to www.brancoevents.com and click on “In Perspective Podcasts.” At that point, you will see a list of archived shows from latest to earliest.
 
Here is a list of upcoming guests, along with the dates of the recordings.
 
Note: All episodes begin at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
 
Friday, July 9, Stephanie Boulay, nutrition
Friday, July 16, Alex Gray, blind Boston City Council candidate
Friday, July 23, Elizabeth Sammons, author of The Lyra and the Cross
Friday, July 30, Robert Sollars, Are You Safe in School?
Friday, August 6, Donna Halper, Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies
Friday, August 13, Vicki Preddy, Non-24
Friday, August 20, Barbara Spencer
Friday, August 27, Ellis Hall, musician
Friday, September 3, Robin Putnam, reporting scams and scammer
Friday, September 10, Congressman John Leboutillier
 
***
 
7. TURNING THE TABLES
by Peter Altschul
Copyright 2021
 
Email: creatingcommonground@outlook.com
Website: https://www.dldbooks.com/peteraltschul/
 
The following essay comes from Peter’s book Riding Elephants, Creating Common Ground Where Contention Rules (2021).
 
One of the most depressing parts of the job search is wandering the labyrinthine environments of career fairs wearing a dark suit with a harnessed guide dog on my left and a briefcase on my back.
 
These events take place in large, overheated rooms where noises bounce off surfaces at varying volumes and angles. Recruiters occupy tables covered with piles of paper, knickknacks emblazoned with the organization’s logo, and, if I’m lucky, bowls of cheap candy. Loud exchanges between candidates and recruiters are laced with forced cheer, fake interest, and unkept promises. My experience as a recruiter has reinforced my belief that the purpose of these events has more to do with making employers look good than with hiring good people, as recruiters do not have the time to maintain contact with candidates who don’t currently fill a need but who show potential.
 
In September 2019, my Twitter feed connected me with an article describing how “flipping the script”—placing college students looking for jobs behind those tables while allowing employers to roam—energized both groups. Around the same time, I received an invitation to take part in a job fair using the same approach, this time aimed at recruiting applicants with disabilities for Missouri state government jobs.
 
I immediately registered, for not only would I not have to wander, but I intuitively grasped the power of this approach, having flipped the script of a mentoring program so that talented staff could mentor senior managers on diversity, inclusion, and culture change. Both programs changed the power dynamics: Mentors gained more power by leading discussions with their senior manager mentees, while job candidates had more control over the interviewing process by making those tables their own.
 
I arrived at the event wearing career–fair clothes with a harnessed guide dog on my left and a briefcase on my back. A cheerful, energetic woman assisted me to my assigned table, under which I encouraged my dog to lie down and on which I laid copies of both of my books, my resume, media releases, and my Braille Apex, a slim, two–pound device that allows me to read or write using a braille keyboard.
 
During the next 90 minutes, I spoke with 12 recruiters representing nine agencies. Many thumbed through my materials. A few asked really good questions. One was startled when my dog’s cold nose nudged her foot. I left energized.
 
Upon returning home, I got rid of my career–fair clothes and sent thank–you emails to those I had met while my dog slept on my bed. About half responded within a couple of days, expressing interest in my skills, and one hired me to run a workshop that took place last winter. I hope to deepen my relationships with those who seemed most interested in what I have to offer.
 
Much better results than from all the career fairs I have attended during the past 20 years.
 
I hope that Missouri state government staff build on the positive vibes of this fair. I hope they hire qualified people and support them to be positive members of their culture. I hope they build on the partnerships they formed to promote this fair and create new ones to ensure that potential disabled employees can better compete for available opportunities. I hope they publicize their successes.
 
For if they don’t, the disability community will come to believe that the purpose of these career fairs, no matter how well organized, has more to do with making employers look good than with hiring good people. That would be worse than not having these fairs, given the cynicism within much of the disability community concerning employers’ commitment to hire the qualified among us.
 
Let’s get to work!
 
***
 
8. WHO LIKES TO COOK?: The Disabled View
by Trish Hubschman
 
Some people enjoy cooking. Some don’t. I’m amongst the second group. Luckily, my husband is a great cook, or we’d be eating grilled cheese more often. What about other disabled people? Everyone has to eat, right? I got some blind and deafblind folks together and asked their views on cooking.
 
Eighty-seven-year-old Arizona resident Roma Vandiver says, “I used to love to cook. I even used to make jams and jellies and pickles and all kinds of things like that, but now I am just too old and tired and lazy. My favorite thing to make for a special dinner was pot roast, made in my crockpot. You just need to allow a lot of time for it to be ready.”
 
“I’m not a Fancy Dan in the kitchen. Most of my cooking is simple,” says Pennsylvania author and deafblind supporter Scott Stoffel.
 
“Fancy cooking makes too much of a mess,” adds Canadian author Bruce Atchison.
 
Scott Oberg of the Golden Gate state likes to cook. “My favorite thing to make is spaghetti with marinara and garlic bread.”
 
Karen Hughes, also of Arizona, says that she enjoys cooking for others. “But it doesn’t seem interesting or worth cooking just for me. I used to like cooking when I was married and/or hosted parties and had friends over, usually in the summer. Close friends, swimming, hanging out, catching up while eating delicious food was the best! My circumstances are different now, so that kind of thing really does not happen much anymore. Some of my favorite things that I have made are chicken curry, lemon curry salmon, my mom’s homemade potato salad, a healthier version of chili, and spaghetti and meatballs (with homemade meatballs).”
 
“I do like to cook as long as it isn’t too complicated,” says Tim Handel, 75, of upstate New York. “My favorite thing to cook is hamburgers, and they tell me I do a very good job. I cook the frozen patties in the oven, not on the stove; I developed my own technique. I love heating up good soup in the microwave. I do like fixing things, though I’m no expert or gourmet.”
 
Thirty-two-year-old Angela Montgomery of Arizona says, “Cooking for myself is no big deal, but when I’m cooking for others, I’m definitely under pressure. I remember three days after I moved into my apartment. I had my friends over for dinner for a housewarming party. I was grilling burgers for us, and I was nervous that I would feed them raw hamburger or char it too much. That time turned out perfectly, although I’ve had my fair share of cooking mishaps, like the time I accidentally put metal in the microwave. When I’m by myself and mishaps happen, it’s easier to get over than when I’m cooking for someone else. Like the time when Robbie was over for dinner. I was making bacon and sausage for us both, and I didn’t read the directions on the bacon properly and ended up burning it to a crisp. Or the time when George came to stay with me. I was making grilled cheese sandwiches in the air fryer, but I didn’t put enough butter on the bread, and accidentally set off the smoke alarm. Yeah, times like that are embarrassing for me. I cried. Cooking can be enjoyable and fun, but I’m more nervous when I’m cooking for somebody else, and if I mess up when I’m cooking for them, I feel like I failed. I enjoy cooking anything fried. Fried chicken, fried shrimp, and Italian food are good, too. There are a lot of things I like to make.”
 
I suppose I don’t mind cooking,” says Colorado author Jo Elizabeth Pinto. “I enjoy fixing nice meals, but I get tired of the grind of having to figure out what to have for dinner every night.”
 
Minnesota author Christy Reed says, “I don’t like to cook anymore. I used to cook and bake all the time, but now my balance is very bad, and I get around in the kitchen and in the house on a chair on wheels. I can’t stand at the stove or counter. I can make coffee, and at Thanksgiving, I make the cranberry sauce. I like to read cookbooks and share recipes with Bill and friends.” Christy’s favorite things to eat for dinner are grilled cheese and grilled chicken.
 
“Being a single woman, these days I don’t cook nearly as much as I did when my daughter was growing up or when I had roommates,” says Tennessee author Patty L. Fletcher. “However, when I do cook, stir–fry skillet meals that can be cooked on top of the stove or casseroles that can be cooked in the oven or crockpot are my go-to cooking delights. These days, more often than not, I find myself reaching for a ready-to-eat frozen meal, but even so I try to eat healthy. Never mind those deep–dish frozen personal pizzas stacked on one side of my freezer.”
 
About the Author:
 
Trish Hubschman is the author of the Tracy Gayle mystery series: Tidalwave, Stiff Competition, and Ratings Game. Tracy is a Long Island private detective. Her sidekick, Danny Tide, is the leader of the rock band Tidalwave. Tracy is first hired to find out who set fire to Danny’s tour bus.
 
Trish is a graduate of Long Island University’s Southampton Campus and has a bachelor’s degree in English-Writing. She is deafblind and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, author Kevin Hubschman, and their dog, Henry. Her website is https://www.dldbooks.com/hubschman/
 
This article was originally published at https://www.recoveringself.com/home-and-garden/who-likes-to-cook-the-disabled-view
 
***
 
9. AUTHORS’ CORNER
 
A. The Merry Misadventures of Mistletoe Mouse
by Susan Bourrie / C 2021
 
In e-book ($3.99) and paperback ($9.95) from Amazon, Smashwords, and other online sellers.
 
Full details of this and the author’s previous three books are on her book-related website:
https://www.dldbooks.com/susanbourrie/
 
About the book:
 
Celebrate yet another year with the lovable and hardworking Mistletoe Mouse, who befriended Molly Dolly, a doll who was left behind on Christmas Eve by Santa’s elves.
 
In the imaginative first book in the series, The Misadventures of Mistletoe Mouse (2016), the two created a business, Mistletoe and Molly Christmas Consultants, to make terrible Christmases terrific.
 
In the sequel, More Misadventures of Mistletoe Mouse (2020), the pair confronted serious issues such as sick grandparents, unemployed parents, and homeless families with compassion and gentle comic relief.
 
Now, in The Merry Misadventures of Mistletoe Mouse (2021), Molly Dolly and Mistletoe Mouse expand their business to include not just Christmas but the entire year. They do this by becoming Caring Consultants rather than just Christmas Consultants. Mistletoe Mouse experiences even more adventures and misadventures as Molly Dolly embraces technology and Junior Elf works to invent a cure for the worldwide sickness.
 
The Merry Misadventures of Mistletoe Mouse, like the two previous books, is sure to please children of all ages.
 
 
B. From DLD Books: Our Productions Thus Far in 2021
by Leonore H. Dvorkin
June 27, 2021
 
Hello, everyone. Below is a list of the nine books edited and produced by us, David and Leonore Dvorkin of DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services, from January through June of this year.
 
Below, you will find each book’s title, its author, its publication date, a brief comment from me on the content of the book, and the URL for the author’s book-related website. The websites have all the information on all the books by each author, including links to the books on the various buying sites: Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, etc.
 
1. Fifty Years of Walking with Friends, by DeAnna Quietwater Noriega
Published January 9, 2021
An informative, moving, and eloquent memoir. This book is mainly about the author’s nine guide dogs thus far, but also much more. The cover photo shows the author with her current guide dog, Enzo, a handsome German Shepherd.
Website: https://www.dldbooks.com/dqnoriega/
 
2. The Pond’s Reflection: Finding Frannie, by Mary Alice Baluck
Published January 21, 2021
This is the author’s second novel, one with a modern setting, a multitude of characters, and a most unexpected conclusion. Her well-researched and equally dramatic first novel, Heaven’s Doorway, published in 2020, was set in the 19th and early 20th centuries in three countries: Ireland, Canada, and the United States.
Website: https://www.dldbooks.com/marybaluck/
 
3. Riding Elephants: Creating Common Ground Where Contention Rules, by Peter Altschul
Published February 28, 2021
A collection of thought-provoking short essays on a wide variety of subjects: politics, sports, religion, music, and much more. The elephants are a metaphor for our emotions, which are often unruly and must be carefully guided. This is the author’s third published book.
Website: https://www.dldbooks.com/peteraltschul/
 
4. Outside the Circle: A Book of Songs and Poems, by Kevin Hubschman
Published March 2, 2021
This is the author’s first book, and it’s a thought-provoking one indeed. It’s definitely not for those who want mainly sweetness and light in the poetry they read.
Trish Hubschman, the author’s wife, is another client of DLD Books. She is the author of the Tracy Gayle mystery series. Another book in that series will be published this summer.
Kevin’s website: https://www.dldbooks.com/kevinhubschman/
Trish’s website: https://www.dldbooks.com/hubschman/
 
5. The Giant Collection of Catfish Baits and Rigs, by Ron Milliman, Ph.D. (a.k.a. Dr. Catfish)
Published March 17, 2021 (Smashwords) and March 18, 2021 (Kindle). Ebook only, $4.99.
This book is exactly what the title says it is: all about how to catch catfish. This short book and a book we edited years ago, one on the care of captive swans, are surely the most esoteric nonfiction books we’ve ever produced.
Website: https://www.dldbooks.com/ronmilliman/
 
6. The Butterfly Effect: A Poetic Call to Action, by Butterfly Thomas
Published March 30, 2021
This hard-hitting collection is the author’s third book. The other two are a gritty urban thriller and another book of poetry. This one is a full-throated cry for social justice. Many of the poems could well be set to music, and I hope they will be. The stunning cover photo is by an African art and fashion photographer.
Website: https://www.dldbooks.com/bthomas/
 
7. Songs for the Pilgrimage, by Lynda McKinney Lambert
Published April 20, 2021
This is an expanded version of a previous work, featuring poems, essays, and beautiful photos by the author, who is an accomplished artist and world traveler. The photo on the cover is a glorious scene from Venice, Italy, a city that Lynda has visited numerous times.
Website: https://www.dldbooks.com/lyndalambert/
 
8. The Sayzeh Song: Book Two, by Chaim Segal
Published May 27, 2021
(The Sayzeh Song: Book One was published in 2016.)
This is the second book in a multi-volume, deeply personal memoir. The author is an Orthodox Jew. Religion, family dynamics, pets, schooling, his blindness, and the importance of music in his life all play major roles in the memoir. Book Three in the series will be published in 2022.
Website: https://www.dldbooks.com/chaimsegal/
 
9. The Merry Misadventures of Mistletoe Mouse, by Susan Bourrie
Published June 20, 2021
This is the third book in the author’s delightfully imaginative Mistletoe Mouse series and her fourth book for children. Mistletoe Mouse, his friend Molly Dolly, Santa and his elves, a super-speedy reindeer, and some memorable human characters bring these charming tales to life. As the stories are at least somewhat connected, reading the three volumes in order will make all of them even more enjoyable. The set would make a fine gift for the little ones in your lives—for Christmas or at any time of year.
Website: https://www.dldbooks.com/susanbourrie/
 
Upcoming:
 
We plan to get out three more books of varying lengths in July of this year, and more are to come soon after that. For the January 2022 issue of Consumer Vision, I will compile a list of all the books we have produced in the second half of this year. To all our clients: We send our deepest thanks for your trust and confidence in us. You have given us the opportunity to grow our editing business—which we have conducted for 12 years, now, since 2009— well beyond our most ambitious dreams.
 
Final notes:
 
In addition to doing at least 50 percent of the work involved in getting out the above books, David has been very busy the last few years doing shorter, non-editing jobs for many other clients who are not named here. Those jobs include formatting their books for print, converting their books to e-book format, designing covers, helping the authors re-publish previously published books that had gone out of print, and more.
 
We are also happy to edit shorter works of any type: short stories, essays, blog posts, letters, and more. If you have any writing-related issue with which you would like some assistance, shoot us an email and see if we can help.
 
Write to David at david@dvorkin.com or to me, Leonore, at leonore@leonoredvorkin.com
 
You can find full information about our editing business at https://www.dldbooks.com/
 
Thanks for reading!
 
***
 
10. UNLIKELY ALLIES
by Peter Altschul, MS
C 2021
Email: creatingcommonground@outlook.com
Website: https://www.dldbooks.com/peteraltschul/
 
June 18, 2021
 
I recently interviewed an upwardly-mobile nurse whose ascent was halted when she suddenly became blind. After years of rehabilitation, education, numerous frustrating job interviews, and a couple of job that didn’t move her toward her wish of returning to the health care sector, she suddenly landed her dream job.
 
“How did you land that job?” I asked.
 
She talked about hearing of the job through a contact, how the hiring manager seemed unprepared for a blind woman with a service dog to enter her office, and how the interviewer seemed uninterested in her demonstration of the technology she used to read and manipulate text on a computer screen.
 
“But then the interviewer said that I was the most qualified person for the job that she had interviewed thus far, that she was having trouble filling the position, and that she wanted to hire me.”
 
“But what about the tech challenges?” the interviewee asked the hiring manager.
 
“That’s not my problem,” her future boss harrumphed. “That’s IT’s problem.”
 
So my interviewee’s new career in healthcare was launched, with more than its share of challenges, surprises, and successes.
 
She’s still happy with her current job 10 years later.
 
Yesterday, I heard about a respected entomologist who, among other things, had identified a new breed of mosquito. But after suddenly becoming blind, he has not been able to reenter the field of insect study. The high-pitched buzz among his interviewers seemed to be that he couldn’t possibly support other entomologists because he is blind.
 
Ultimately, I thought, landing a job in a nontraditional career path comes down to finding that stranger who somehow believes in you and your abilities.
 
How can we encourage these unlikely alliances to form?
 
I thought back to those stranger allies that crossed my path. Michael Pratt, a young conductor who took me on as a timpanist in the orchestra of the college I attended even though I would be unable to see his gestures. Lana Smart, who gave me a bolt of confidence during my first day on my first job after graduate school. Mary Jacksteit, who hired me to support her in promoting dialogues between pro-choice and pro-life activists even though I was a male with no mediation training. Rochelle Friedlich, who hired me as a consultant after our employer laid me off.
 
Over the years, I have asked these supporters what prompted them to take a chance on me. Michael Pratt said that I was the only timpanist who auditioned, and that while he knew that he could import other timpanists from elsewhere, my confident musicianship sold him. Lana Smart told me after becoming my boss that the organization had found it hard to locate the right person, and that while I was inexperienced, my enthusiasm, independence, and ideas convinced her to hire me. Mary Jacksteit told me that she was having trouble finding the right person, and that my ability to find value on all sides of a controversial issue and willingness to listen without judgment sealed the deal for her. And Rochelle Friedlich told me that she was afraid that the initiative we were shepherding might flounder if my skill set left the building.
 
In order to transform the sound of hiring people with disabilities and other underrepresented groups from the whiny buzz of a mosquito to a productive hum, we can find ways to encourage “people with significant differences” and hiring managers to meet informally. Encourage children and youth to develop strengths and support them in exploring how these strengths can lead to a career. Take young people to work when you can. Give them a realistic view of the work world, with its challenges and rewards. Find ways to support them to develop the grit to grapple with the inevitable discrimination.
 
Support hiring managers in sharpening their empathy, curiosity, and listening skills. Encourage them to serve as volunteers in organizations that address needs of groups to which they don’t belong. Help them see that good ideas can come from all quarters. Take inclusion seriously.
 
And just the right amount of desperation might tip the scales.
 
This essay was written under the auspices of Blind Institute of Technology™, BIT, a nonprofit organization that envisions a world in which disabled people have the same employment opportunities as their peers. They aim to help disabled professionals and the employers who hire them find synergistic success through education, preparation, and accessible technology. For additional information, please visit https://blindinstituteoftechnology.org/
 
***
 
11. RECIPE COLUMN
by Karen Crowder
 
July greets Americans with hot, sultry days and warm evenings. July 2021 will be the beginning of a celebratory summer. With the Covid-19 pandemic waning, there will be outdoor Fourth of July concerts and fireworks. In New England, there is the welcome return of open beaches, ponds, lakes, and pools. Parks, ice cream stands, and roadside and farm stands will be busy. At roadside stands in New England, there is the tempting smell of fried clams, onion rings, and hamburgers. By mid- to late July, sweet basil, peaches, blueberries, and raspberries are available at farm stands and supermarkets.
 
There are three exciting events in July. Independence Day is Sunday, July 4. The virtual NFB convention begins Tuesday, July 6, ending Sunday, July 11. The virtual ACB convention begins Saturday, July 17, ending Thursday, July 22.
 
Contents
A. Baked Chicken Sandwiches
B. Old-fashioned Coleslaw
C. Fourth of July Ice Cream Cones
 
A. Baked Chicken Sandwiches
 
On a hot summer evening, these sandwiches are easy to prepare. Add a green salad and strawberries to make an inviting supper.
 
Ingredients:
 
Four frozen chicken patties
Four bulky rolls
Four whole mushrooms
Mayonnaise
Ranch dressing
Butter, optional
Orange marmalade or grape jelly
 
Directions:
 
1. Line a cookie sheet or toaster oven tray with foil. Place chicken patties on foil-lined tray or sheet.
2. Bake chicken patties at 425 degrees for 35 minutes.
3. Place hot patties on a dinner plate. Split rolls in half and dot them with butter. Toast them for five minutes.
3. Place rolls on a separate plate. Add two spoonfuls of mayonnaise to each roll. Add several squeezes of ranch dressing to each roll. Add one spoonful of optional jelly or marmalade over ranch-mayonnaise mixture.
4. Microwave broken-up mushrooms in one-half tablespoon of butter for 2 minutes and 60 seconds. Place one chicken patty on each roll. Top chicken patties with mushrooms. Place other half of roll on each sandwich.
 
Serve sandwiches with a lovely green salad. Fresh strawberries are a nice ending to this summer supper.
 
B. Old-fashioned Coleslaw
 
My coleslaw recipe was published in Bob Branco’s cookbook What We Love To Eat in 2011. The dressing is what makes this coleslaw so good.
 
Salad ingredients:
 
A large head of green cabbage
One-half sweet onion
Optional carrot
 
Dressing ingredients:
 
One medium-sized jar Miracle Whip
Two tablespoons sugar
Two tablespoons vinegar
Two tablespoons milk
Dried or fresh dill weed
Dash of curry powder
A couple of shakes of garlic powder
Fresh or dried chives
 
Note: The original name for the dressing is Grandma’s Mayonnaise Dressing. I believe she also recommended it for salmon and other salads.
 
Directions:
 
1. Grate cabbage and place into a large mixing bowl. Use a food processor or a four-sided grater. You can also buy it already grated in the produce department.
2. Add grated onion and carrot.
3. Add dressing and stir with a large spoon until all dressing is incorporated. Note: Stir dressing ingredients in a small mixing bowl before adding it to the coleslaw.
4. Refrigerate coleslaw until serving time.
 
You can make this a day ahead. Storing coleslaw in the refrigerator gives the flavors time to set. This delicious coleslaw is welcome at barbecues or potlucks. Even my grandson liked it. Kids do not usually like coleslaw.
 
C. Fourth of July Ice Cream Cones
 
One Fourth of July at our home in Fitchburg, Marshall and I thought it would be fun to make ice cream cones. The kids and guests enjoyed them on this hot Fourth of July. You can buy waffle or sugar cones at any supermarket. Nothing is more refreshing after a cookout than cool ice cream cones.
 
Ingredients:
 
10 to 20 sugar or waffle cones
One to two quarts any flavor ice cream
An ice cream scoop
20 sturdy plastic or paper cups to support the cones
Optional jimmies or sprinkles
Plenty of paper towels or napkins
 
Directions:
 
1. Place all cones you are serving in cups. Take out ice cream five minutes before scooping into the cones.
2. Scoop ice cream into each cone, filling each one to the top. Hand a cup with the cone inside to each person you are serving.
 
Other members of your family and guests can participate in preparing the cones. Have plenty of paper towels or napkins available. Store empty ice cream cones in an airtight container. They can be enjoyed throughout the summer. Note: We had sighted help in preparing the cones. The kids and parents had fun doing it. We filled the cones with Friendly’s chocolate ice cream.
 
Many Americans are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and life is swiftly returning to normal. Many churches are open, and except for public transportation and some stores, face coverings are optional. As of June 15 in Massachusetts, the state of emergency was lifted. You can feel the joy, with people traveling, shopping, worshipping, and going to restaurants.
 
However, let us continue to pray for a more united America.
 
***
 
12. LIFE BEFORE AND AFTER MY SECOND COVID-19 VACCINE
by Karen Crowder
 
It was a sunny, warm Wednesday morning on April 14. A perfect day to receive my final Covid vaccine.
 
Two men from Leominster Emergency management drove me from my complex to the mall. There was almost no paperwork. In no time, I was at the old Macy’s, which is where the vaccine clinic is located. I got my final shot. At the entrance, they were selling vaccination buttons for a dollar each. I got my second shot and we drove home. I thanked these kind men who had been patient and helpful.
 
After breakfast, a heavy sense of fatigue hit me. I napped most of the day. That night, I felt as if I had pulled a muscle or something. Tylenol and rest were helpful. The fatigue ebbed by late Thursday afternoon. All annoying symptoms as a result of the vaccine were gone by Friday morning.
 
Over the next two and a half months, life began returning to normal.
 
On April 29, I went to lunch with a friend. We had a wonderful time talking and being in each other’s company. I had chocolate lava cake and ice cream. I had not had this treat in over a year.
 
In May, I went out more often, shopping and getting my hair styled. My anxiety about traveling or contagion was vanishing.
 
It was in June that the real transformation happened. I went to my local church alone on June 5. It was a beautiful, summer–like day. The Mass was delightful. It was wonderful to hear singing and the magnificence of the church organ. I liked the homily and just being there in person. In mid–June, I traveled alone to Boston by commuter rail. I was having a long–overdue lunch with a friend I had not seen in person since January 2020. I got help to the MBTA ride and to and from the train. However, everyone has to wear masks on public transportation. On June 26, my friend Claire; Linda, a friend from church; and I attended the five o’clock Mass. Since it was Claire’s birthday, we celebrated with a dinner at Friendly’s restaurant in Leominster. The meal was delightful. We all had small hot fudge sundaes for dessert.
 
After the two vaccines, I realized just how draining constant anxiety about Covid–19 contagion had been. Even washing and sanitizing hands and wearing masks outside my home might not have protected me.
 
Vaccination for everyone across our country and the world will give everyone the confidence and freedom to start returning to normal living. If the pace of vaccination keeps picking up, America and the world may be nearly back to normal by January.
 
One lesson I have learned is to never take friendship, sharing meals, or travel for granted.
 
Let us all celebrate the joy of returning to normal living.
 
***
 
13. CONSUMER VISION TRIVIA CONTEST
 
Here is the answer to the question submitted in the June Consumer Vision. The official name for the collarbone is the clavicle. Congratulations to the following winners:
 
Jan Colby of Brockton, Massachusetts
Daryl Darnell of Urbana, Illinois
Don Hanson of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Nancy Hays of Waterbury, Connecticut
Susan Jones of Indianapolis, Indiana
Jo Smith of West Dennis, Massachusetts
 
And now, here is your trivia question for the July Consumer Vision. In William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, who was the friend who betrayed him? If you know the answer, please email bobbranco93@gmail.com or call 508-994-4972.
 
Copyright © Consumer Vision Magazine, All rights reserved.

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