May 2021
Address: 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA 02746
Phone: 508-994-4972
Publisher: Bob Branco
Editing and Proofreading: David and Leonore Dvorkin
Formatting: 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 Special Notices, Authors’ Corner, and Recipes from Karen Crowder, letters of the alphabet—A, B, C, etc.—are used to separate items.
1. HEALTH MATTERS: Heartburn, Birdsong, Takeout Tips, and a Landmark Birthday *** by Leonore Dvorkin
3. COMMENTARY AFTERMATH: A Tragic Repetition *** by James R. Campbell
5. WEATHER OR NOT: What Is the Bermuda High? *** by Steve Roberts
6. ELECTRONICS IN THE CLASSROOM: How Much Is Too Much? *** by Bob Branco
9. TERRI’S TIDBITS: More about Warm Lines and a Letter from Terri *** by Terri Winaught
10. TIPS FOR VIPS (Because Visually Impaired People Are Important, Too) *** by Penny Fleckenstein
1. HEALTH MATTERS: Heartburn, Birdsong, Takeout Tips, and a Landmark Birthday
by Leonore H. Dvorkin
I welcome comments on any of my articles.
Note: All except the last item are excerpts from the April and May 2021 issues of Consumer Reports On Health magazine.
A. Relief from Reflux
Five habits help cut heartburn symptoms: Maintain a healthy weight. Don’t smoke. Do at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day. Don’t drink more than two cups of coffee, tea, or soda per day. Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, fish, and poultry.
Heartburn: Here are some foods that you may need to avoid.
Heartburn triggers can include alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages, chocolate, citrus fruits, fatty foods, garlic, onions, peppermint, and tomatoes. (My note: Apples and bananas can also cause heartburn; both bother me.) If you suspect that some of these foods might be bothering you, keep a diary of your diet and note when symptoms occur. Then you can focus on cutting down on or eliminating the problem foods or beverages. Also wait two to three hours after a meal to lie down; lying down can relax the lower esophageal sphincter. When you do lie down, elevate your head with an extra pillow, or add blocks under the head of your bed.
B. Birdsong’s Healing Powers
The sounds of birds, whether real or recorded, may be good for your mood. According to an experiment performed by scientists at California Polytechnic State University, even seven to ten minutes of recorded birdsong produced a lift in one’s sense of wellbeing.
Here is a 4-minute YouTube piece called “15 Birds and Birdsongs for Beginners.” It’s a delightful compilation of films of the birds on branches and their various songs. Here is the link:
And this one, from England, is an hour long. Enjoy!
You can also buy CDs of bird songs. I see many online and may just order one!
C. Seven Smart Takeout Tips
A preliminary note: Since March 2020 and the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, my husband and I have not been going out to eat; I mean that we’re not eating inside restaurants. We miss that hugely, as we used to eat out every weekend. We’ve ordered takeout food about 10 or 11 times in the past 13 months. This short article acknowledged people’s need to get a break from home cooking during the pandemic and offered the following tips on how to make takeout meals more healthful.
a. Start with the right eatery. Tops on Consumer Reports’ list of places offering healthy options are Chipotle, Chopt, CoreLife Eatery, Panera Bread, and Sweetgreen. (I recognize only Chipotle and Panera as being here in the Denver area. Our German conversation group used to meet at Panera, where we all loved the soups, sandwiches, salads, grain bowls, and pastries, but they are now open only for takeout or delivery.)
b. Keep an eye on calories. Aim for no more than 600 calories for your entire meal. The chain restaurant may have a mobile ordering app that lets you view calorie counts for customizable dishes and change them by adding or subtracting ingredients.
c. Upgrade when you can. Opt for brown rice instead of white or a whole-grain bun or pasta, if available. Add extra vegetables to a pizza, or beans to a taco, burrito, or salad.
d. Sip smartly. It’s best to avoid soda entirely. Better beverage options are plain water, unsweetened iced tea, or unsweetened seltzer, if available.
e. Rethink your side dishes. Your order may come with default chips or onion rings, but ask if you can swap them for a salad, vegetable, or fruit. (Some places also offer cottage cheese.) If you really crave onion rings, have them with something other than a bacon cheeseburger. Options may include a grain bowl or a veggie wrap.
f. Incorporate home cooking. Have the main dish you’re craving, but skip drinks, fries, and extras. Prepare your own salad with whatever vegetables you have on hand, or heat up frozen vegetables as a side dish.
My note: From Sprouts Farmers Market, a local health-oriented grocery store, I’ve started buying a pleasing and attractive mixture of frozen organic vegetables: peas, carrots, corn, and green beans. They heat up in a jiffy in the microwave and are delicious with just a bit of seasoned salt and a pat of butter. I also love frozen broccoli florets. We discovered some time ago that broccoli is quite satisfying with just a little grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on it.
g. Split a dish. This is our own number one tip. Most restaurant portions are very large, and David and I virtually always split a dish. If we want two different dishes, we save half of each for another meal. Some restaurants, especially Chinese and Mexican ones, provide such large portions that we can sometimes get three meals for the two of us, or six servings in all, out of what are supposedly two servings.
Back when we used to eat out, we would always bring two or three Rubbermaid plastic sandwich containers with us and take our leftovers home in those, as they hold a lot. It was common for us to get thanks from the server for saving their takeout boxes and smiles and compliments from fellow diners, who thought our habit was a very good one, something worth imitating. Once home, we just popped the containers into the fridge. Not stuffing ourselves at restaurants was better for our waistlines, and having enough leftovers for at least one more meal was better for our budget, all while we had the pleasure of eating good food, usually ethnic dishes, prepared by others.
D. Last but not least: I will turn 75 on May 5. It’s a landmark birthday that I’m very sorry to be unable to share with my former Spanish conversation group amigos, as I’m no longer hosting the large monthly meetings that I held for almost 25 years. But I’m glad and grateful to still be alive, very happily married after 53 years, reasonably well, and still gainfully self-employed at this age.
About the Author:
Leonore H. Dvorkin and her husband, the author David Dvorkin, have lived in Denver, Colorado since 1971. David is the author of 30 published books, and Leonore is the author of four books. Both of them write fiction and nonfiction and also have many published articles to their credit. In addition, Leonore tutors German and Spanish and teaches exercise classes, mainly weight training.
Since 2009, David and Leonore have been running DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services. The large majority of their dozens of clients are blind or visually impaired. Their most basic goal is to provide excellent, comprehensive service at reasonable prices. All the books that they edit are released in e-book and paperback editions from Amazon and Smashwords, and they can also work with authors who want their books in professionally narrated audiobook or hardcover editions.
Please visit any of their websites for more information. The links are below. They request that you kindly read the information on the DLD Books website before contacting them about book editing, as the information there answers many of people’s most common questions about how they and self-publishing work.
David Dvorkin:
Leonore H. Dvorkin:
DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services:
by Bob Branco
Many of us have had discussions about virtual meetings, virtual appointments, and everything else virtual. We all understand why there is so much virtual activity, so I won’t go into it. However, I see some very definite inconveniences with virtual appointments. Perhaps I’m making a big deal about this, and if so, I apologize.
When we meet someone at the office, or if the individual comes into our home to do business, the focus is on what we’re talking about. When we meet virtually, there tend to be some obvious distractions. Yesterday was a good example. While I was on the phone with a job specialist who was working from home, she expressed concerns about her laundry. The problem sounded serious, and I’m not making light of her situation at all. However, if we were meeting in person, she would not be talking to me about her laundry.
In my opinion, if a job specialist is told to work from home while talking to clients on the phone, there needs to be a way for her to filter out all other distractions if the appointment is going to be as effective as a personal visit. While it might not be easy, let me put it this way. Would she be washing clothes if she were in the office? What if she took the time spent in the office and pretended to be in the office while at home? In other words, let someone else wash the clothes, or put off the wash, as if you were in the office.
On other occasions, I’ve heard babies crying during virtual visits. Again, I completely understand the distraction. I just wonder if there is some sort of agreement with the workers and their superiors about maintaining a similar professional atmosphere at a virtual appointment, the same as with an office or home visit. I can go further with this. What if a teacher has problems with her laundry while virtually teaching her students?
Are there many more intangibles with the virtual world than we realize?
3. COMMENTARY AFTERMATH: A Tragic Repetition
by James R. Campbell
On December 7, 1941, Japanese naval and air forces launched a surprise attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor. Located in the Hawaiian Islands, the installation was the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific fleet. This event propelled America into the Second World War on the side of the allies. An unforeseen consequence of the attack was the government-sponsored establishment of internment camps for Japanese-Americans. The camps were set up due to fear that some in the Japanese community might be working for the warlords in Tokyo.
After the war, the unfortunates who were confined there were released. Many found their homes damaged and their prized possessions gone. Work was hard to find, and a large number of the internees experienced homelessness and alcoholism as a result. In 1988, President Reagan signed a bill that provided reparations to the victims of that time, but no amount of money can replace what they have lost.
Recently, the news has covered an increasing number of hate crimes against Asians in the United States. According to reliable sources, hate crimes against Asians have increased 150% from 2019. Outrage over COVID-19 seems to be the cause.
The anger is easy to understand. The virus escaped from a Wuhan lab in late 2019. It’s possible that the virus was being studied at the time and was released by accident. The lack of transparency by the authorities in Beijing led to a worldwide pandemic that has caused almost 600,000 deaths in the U.S. alone. In addition, there were ruinous lockdowns, unemployment, and the isolation that resulted. Children were forced into remote learning at home because schools were closed. Much of the ground these children lost is beyond recovery, and the consequences on their mental health were negative. Depression, anxiety, and suicide have increased accordingly.
Our family was affected. Our relatives in Durant, Oklahoma, and my cousin who works as a nurse in Odessa, became ill. We lost one of our best friends to COVID-19 on Thanksgiving Day of last year. She was a former coworker of Aunt Sue’s and a longtime family friend who taught in the public schools in Ector County.
We saw the story on the news on December 2. It was a shock and a heartbreak to hear her daughter, a Dallas TV reporter, share her grief with the people in Odessa who knew her mom. This woman bought stockings for her pupils and didn’t get to present them because of the plague. Aunt Sue said, “Those children will always remember that.” She’s right. They will carry that with them for life.
The grief I felt left a pall over Christmas Day that I don’t normally experience. I thought of our friend and the others who died needlessly from the virus. I became angry when I thought of the reporter and her family. The holidays will never be the same for those who lost loved ones. This is the type of sentiment that can lead to faultfinding that often leads to the rise in hate crimes we have heard about in recent months. Note: It’s the Chinese communists In Beijing that bear culpability, not your average Asian neighbor, who suffers as much as you do.
President Biden would do well to suspend trade with China. Most favored nation trade status should be revoked by the United Nations, and the global community would do well to demand reparations and forgiveness of all debt to Beijing. The Chinese authorities must be held to account for this. The world can do no less.
As always, thanks for your time.
With loving kindness,
James R. Campbell
Editor’s note: There is no evidence to support the claim that the coronavirus that causes COVID–19 escaped from a lab in China. All available evidence indicates that the virus jumped from wild animals to humans. You can read more about this here:
by Bob Branco
We live in a sophisticated technological world. It seems as though we can’t get through the day without numbers, statistics and analysis. While this new philosophy is helpful to some degree, I think it’s overdone to the point where it’s affecting the human element of sports.
Let’s take baseball, for instance. When I was growing up, almost everything about the sport was human. It was about your performance as a player. You either pitched well or pitched badly. You either had a successful day with the bat, or you failed so miserably that you couldn’t hit a basketball if you tried. This form of baseball was acceptable, and no one really cared about the overuse of trivial statistics. All we cared about was batting averages, earned run averages, strikeouts, home runs, and other general information. Now there are statistics for everything, and these stats completely dominate the way managers think, if they even think at all. Why should managers think? Their laptops and smart devices do their thinking for them. For example, it doesn’t matter if a pitcher is throwing a no-hitter after six innings. If the numbers say that pitchers have difficulty with the batting orders of opposing teams the third time around, managers will likely take these pitchers out because the computer says so.
Opponents of baseball analytics will tend to exaggerate about the subject in order to further make the point. “Well, if the temperature falls below 80 degrees, we have to take the pitcher out despite how well he’s throwing because the numbers say that as the temperature drops, he loses command of the strike zone.” Here’s one that’s more realistic: “We have to impose a defensive shift on this hitter, because his batting average is much better when he hits balls to the left of second base.”
I know that some pitchers have expressed their feelings about analytics, especially those who are forced to pitch against their own comfort zone. Furthermore, when starting pitchers are taken out of games before the end of the fifth inning, they don’t qualify for a win if their team is ahead. You have to pitch five innings before qualifying for the win. As a result, there may be some resentment from the Players’ Union about how these pitchers are being denied wins, which affects their overall statistics. Why would agents want to push for long-term contracts on behalf of these pitchers when they are taken out of games without qualifying for a win? The number of wins by a pitcher goes a long way toward marketing and promoting him.
I’ve been an old-school baseball fan for over 50 years. I appreciate the human element of the game, not the videogame approach. I don’t need to know that Mookie Betts has a better batting average on Thursday nights when it’s cloudy outside, or that J. D. Martinez hits more home runs to left field when he drinks orange juice on a rainy morning between 8 and 9 o’clock, or that Jackie Bradley makes more errors in the field on Sunday afternoons when he’s wearing purple sneakers three hours after having sex. All I care about is whether my team wins or loses. If technology were completely taken away from baseball, I would not lose any sleep.
5. WEATHER OR NOT: What Is the Bermuda High?
by Steve Roberts
The Bermuda High Heat Pump
The Bermuda High is a semi-permanent area of high pressure that sits between the coast of North Carolina and the island of Bermuda. Depending on where the Bermuda High is located, you can have typically warm summer weather or a sultry summer heat wave.
When the Bermuda High is close to the East Coast, the central and eastern United States cook in the sultry sauna of a mid-summer heat wave. This is due to the fact that south to southwesterly winds on the western side of the high send warm and humid air up from the Gulf of Mexico into the central and eastern United States. This is why some in meteorology refer to this as the Bermuda High heat pump.
A Tropical Cyclone Traffic Cop
As a hurricane enters the Caribbean Sea, it begins to be influenced by the Bermuda High. A hurricane cannot go through the high, so it goes around it. Where the high is placed determines how the hurricane travels.
If the high is just off the East Coast, in what is referred to as the heat-wave position, hurricanes will come up from the Caribbean Sea and make landfall on the Gulf Coast. These storms go on to bring much-needed rain to the farmers in the central United States.
Should the Bermuda High sit between Bermuda and the East Coast, a hurricane will re-curve in the Bahamas and run up the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. These storms can go as far as Newfoundland.
If the Bermuda High is over the Island of Bermuda itself, hurricanes will swing north, missing the United States altogether. The hurricanes that travel in this way pose a great threat to the North Atlantic shipping lanes.
Note: Steven P. Roberts is the author of the 2014 nonfiction book The Whys and Whats of Weather. It’s available in paperback and e-book formats from Amazon, Smashwords, and other sellers and is 404 pages long in print. For full details and buying links, see his website:
by Bob Branco
I have said this before, but I think it’s appropriate for me to say it again here. Though modern technology is fascinating and helps many of us accomplish things in a manner that we never  thought of before, I believe that in some ways this technology may result in our downfall as a society.
I’ve always believed that the more we exercise our minds in order to solve problems, create new ideas, and analyze situations, the better-rounded we become. When I was in school, I had to think about everything I did. I learned a lot of mathematical rules and applied them myself. It wasn’t easy at times, but I worked very hard and received good grades in math. I learned the basic rules of proper grammar and became a good writer as a result. I didn’t fall into the social media trap, surrounded by codes and new forms of abbreviations. Good writing is what it is, and we learned the basics.
What am I getting at here? I wonder if young children should have complete access to modern technology in the classroom. I’m not suggesting that teachers not introduce this technology to the kids. I’m talking about how it’s taken advantage of and used for the wrong reasons. Can you honestly tell me that children never use technology in school for reasons that teachers aren’t aware of? Don’t you feel that children in a technological environment aren’t exercising the human mind the way we did before the evolution of this technology? With modern technology, everything is done for a child, including math problems, proofreading, spell check, and financial transactions. Why, we don’t even have to learn how to make change anymore when handling money. Machines do it for us.
While this modern technology is convenient and fascinating, how does it help a brain that is still developing? I wonder about that all the time, especially when children aren’t socializing as much as they once did because they’re so preoccupied with their technological devices. In the past five years, I probably saw a child over the age of seven playing in my back yard about six times. Prior to that, kids were outside all the time, learning how to be kids.
Though I’ve never been a father, I can tell you with a lot of confidence how I would handle technology with my children. To begin with, I would not give my child a smart phone until he was at least 14 years old. Before I would allow him to bring it to school, I would make sure I could prevent him from running up my bill. Aren’t parents of 14-year-olds responsible for the financial payments for such devices? I’m not suggesting that adolescents can’t have their own bank accounts, but how many of these adolescents are capable of managing payment plans or always recognizing when not to run up a bill by using too many apps or making too many long distance calls? Parents are responsible for minor children, legally or otherwise. That’s how it is.
School systems should figure out a way to place restraints on the use of technology in a classroom, while educators should always consider how a young brain is still developing. Though I’m proud of the technology that I own today, I’m also proud that I made it through school without it.
About the Author:
Robert T. Branco resides in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and is the author of five self-published books. He is a community organizer, tutors persons with visual impairments, has written columns for local and international organizations, and publishes a monthly online newsletter, The Consumer Vision. Bob’s website, with full information about his books, is
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’re welcome to appear on our show, and we would also like 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, and I’ll see that it’s done. If you want to 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 or call 508-994-4972. To check out a previous episode of “In Perspective,” go to and click on “In Perspective Podcasts.” At that point, you’ll see a list of archived shows, from latest to earliest.
Here is a list of guests for May 7 through August 13, 2021, along with dates and times of the recordings. Please note that all appearances begin at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Friday, May 7, Hoby Wedler, chemist and entrepreneur, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, May 14, Robin Putnam, detecting and reporting scams and scammers, 617-973-8744, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, May 21, Steve Roberts, weather and climate change, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, May 28, Congressman John Leboutillier, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, June 4, Sandy Arruda, fitness, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, June 11, Peter Altschul, author of Riding Elephants: Creating Common Ground Where Contention Rules, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, June 18, Angela Paulson, domestic violence, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, June 25, Rob Weissman, Beep Baseball, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, July 2, Justin Salisbury, Second Vice President, National Association of Blind Students, sighted privilege, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, July 9, Stephanie Boulay, nutrition, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, July 16, Alex Gray, blind Boston City Council candidate, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, July 23, Elizabeth Sammons, author of The Lyra and the Cross, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, July 30, Robert Sollars, Are You Safe in School, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, August 6, Donna Halper, Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies, 5:00 p.m.
Friday, August 13, Vicki Preddy, Non-24, 5:00 p.m.
A. Hats off to All Our Creative, Hardworking Authors!
by Leonore Dvorkin, Editor, DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services
Personal email:
April 24, 2021
Some of you already know that 2021 is almost surely going to be the most productive year yet for DLD Books. Since we started our editing business in 2009, David and I have generally put out about seven to ten books per year. Yet we have just put out book number seven for 2021! (That is Lynda McKinney Lambert’s Songs for the Pilgrimage; an advertisement for it is below.) Three more books, which are two novels and a memoir, are in various stages of production right now, and several more books have been promised us for this year.
To one degree or another, the last 13 months of this horrible pandemic have been hard on just about everyone. That’s why I want to take my hat off to our amazing authors, all those who have continued to work so hard at writing even in these difficult times. I greatly admire their diligence, their creativity -- and yes, their courage -- as they write books as diverse as collections of poetry and essays, frank and moving memoirs, very imaginative novels, and even a book on specialized bait for catching catfish! As their editor, I am certainly never bored, and I learn a great deal from every book.
For the July 2021 issue of The Consumer Vision, I plan to write up a list of all the books that we have produced from January through June of this year. Each listing will include the author’s name, the title of the book, a very brief description of the book, and a link to the author’s DLD Books website. Then, for the January 2022 issue, I will include a list of all the books we have put out from July through December of 2021.
So that’s something we can all look forward to. I hope that all of you will find at least one or two books in each list that will pique your interest, and David and I look forward to receiving many more books to work on this year and in the years to come. You can rest assured that we will be here to assist you in every way that we can for as long as we can.
B. Songs for the Pilgrimage
Nonfiction by Lynda McKinney Lambert, C 2021
In e-book and print (207 pages) from Amazon, Smashwords, and other online sellers.
For the cover image, a longer synopsis, buying links, author bio, and full information on this book and others by the author, please visit:
From the Prologue and Epilogue of Songs for the Pilgrimage:
The word pilgrimage refers to a religious journey. Individuals commit to traveling to reach a predetermined destination, such as a shrine or holy place. The excursion is a trek from one location to another. Pilgrimage has been an abiding theme in my writing for several decades.
My first book, Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage (Kota Press, 2002, now out of print), was inspired by my annual journeys to Salzburg, Austria, where I taught a month-long drawing and writing course. I revised and expanded that previous collection of stories, poems, historical notes, and journal entries for this new book. Songs for the Pilgrimage features writings, drawings, and photographs I created over four decades.
I conclude with an artist’s prayer:
My studio is yours, Lord. Be my welcome guest today. Your goodness and unfailing kindness have been with me all my life. I have tried to make your glory visible in the works of art I have created. Someday I will close the door of my studio for the final time, but I will not be alone. Together, we will go to your home, where we will continue to collaborate on glorious projects throughout eternity. Amen.
For visually impaired readers:
The front cover of this book features a gorgeous photo of Venice, Italy, taken at sunset. Six blue and black gondolas are at rest on the water in the foreground, and a blue and white cathedral and several additional buildings are in the background, on the far shore. The top and bottom cover bands are a deep reddish brown, echoing the color of the buildings to the right of the cathedral. The lettering for the title and the author’s name is very pale gray, almost white. On the back cover are the synopsis, a short poem, and a photo of the author. A larger version of that same photo is in the book.
Note: The photos are in color in the e-book. For the print book, they have been gray-scaled, making them appear black and white.
Lynda McKinney Lambert’s previous four books are the chapbook first snow (2020), Star Signs: New and Selected Poems (2019), Walking by Inner Vision (2017), and Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage (2002).
C. Outstanding Publicity for a Client’s New Book
by Leonore H. Dvorkin, DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services
April 29, 2021
To my great joy, I learned today that DeAnna Quietwater Noriega’s recent book has been very favorably reviewed in the newsletter of a major animal protection society, Best Friends Animal Society. The three-paragraph review, which I have cited below, is spot on and beautifully written. It was included as second in a group of three reviews of books about dogs.
Here is the link to the newsletter that DeAnna sent us:  
Here is the review of her book:
Fifty Years of Walking with Friends, by DeAnna Quietwater Noriega. Independently published, 2021, softcover, 289 pages, $11.95 / E-book: $3.99
Fifty Years of Walking with Friends, by Deanna Quietwater Noriega, is, quite simply, the best book about life with a guide dog I have ever read. Trust me on this one. As a guide dog handler myself for almost two decades, I have sought out and devoured anything I could find about working with the highly trained canines who every day make blind people’s lives better. What makes this memoir so impressive is not the length of time the author has been partnered with her dogs. Rather, it is the quality of her relationship with each dog and how woman and dog become so much in tune with one another.
The first portion of this book is devoted to Noriega’s life with Tammy, her first guide dog. Several weeks of training with Tammy at The Seeing Eye ® gave Noriega the confidence and skills she needed to leave home to attend college. Raised in poverty, the author realized that education was the key to a better life, and that without Tammy’s guide work, the path to college graduation would be much more difficult.
Subsequent chapters focus on her life with the rest of her nine dogs, her marriage, work life, and children. Throughout all these experiences, Noriega shows how a guide dog team works and educates readers on the proper ways to interact with blind handlers and their dogs. In addition to guide dogs, readers will learn about the author’s Native American culture and family traditions and the obstacles still facing people with disabilities. While she doesn’t skip over the hardships she encountered, Noriega weaves them seamlessly into a narrative filled with wisdom and love. (End of the review)

Here is the link to DeAnna’s DLD Books website, with the cover image, synopsis, buying links, author bio, and more:
In addition, DeAnna was interviewed by Bob Branco and Peter Altschul for their podcast “In Perspective” on March 12, 2021. If you missed that excellent interview, you can go here to listen to it: 
Congratulations, DeAnna, on all this well-deserved publicity!
9. TERRI’S TIDBITS: More About Warmlines and a Letter from Terri
by Terri Winaught
In the past two issues, I mentioned that, unlike the National Suicide Prevention Lines, Warmlines are not crisis services. Although some Warmline callers are indeed in crisis, the primary purpose of a Warmline is to provide a compassionate, listening ear for people who just need to talk. That being the case, and given the turmoil in parts of Texas due to weather; in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, due to the shooting of yet another unarmed Black man; and a similar shooting in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, people might just need to vent about being and feeling overwhelmed.
If any of you, our treasured and valued Consumer Vision readers, would like the number of a Warmline in one of the above-mentioned areas especially, but anywhere in the U.S., phone Terri Winaught: (412) 488-4912.
A letter from me:
Hello, Consumer Vision Readers.
So much has been going on recently in the news that I find it hard to know where to begin, but begin I shall.
I’ll start with the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. I believe that conviction was the right decision. That said — and some have criticized me for this — I also have empathy for the former officer’s family, and I say that because, in 9 minutes and 29 seconds, Officer Chauvin really destroyed two families. (I can only do my best to imagine the recurring trauma the Floyd family has experienced and continues to experience.)
As for the Chauvin family, I have tried to imagine how I might feel if I were a school-age child who maybe had to hear taunts like, “How does it feel to have a murderer for a father?” or, “Your dad is a murderer, your dad is a murderer …”
Some have also said to me, “Well, you know, George Floyd was no choir boy,” referring to his troubles with the law. While I would certainly agree with that, my response is, “Even though we were made in the likeness and image of a perfect Creator, we, as human beings, are not perfect, because free will means we can choose to do wrong.” No matter who we are or what we’ve done, no one deserves to die like that, begging for breath and calling for his mother, whom he would soon join.
With so much talk about diversity, inclusion, and equity, I have the following concluding comment: Diversity means you invite me to your party; inclusion means you ask me to dance.
Here’s hoping that May will bring warmth, flowers, and some freedom from isolation, especially if you are socializing outdoors, and for all women who support and nurture others being celebrated on Mother’s Day, which is May 9th this year. Whether you are a birth mom, someone who fosters troubled or neglected children, or a woman who opens her heart to adoption or her soul to being a godmother, Happy Mother’s Day!
10. TIPS FOR VIPS (Because Visually Impaired People Are Important, Too)
by Penny Fleckenstein
I offer my gratitude to our reader Susan Jones, who recommended I purchase a pedal exerciser and use Uber. It took me a few years, but now I use both.
Uber is easy to use on the iPhone. The app notifies you when the ride is scheduled, when the driver is assigned, the name of the driver, and an approximate number of minutes till he or she arrives. A minute before, you’re told the license plate and type of vehicle. Most of the time, I’ve had no problems. Recently, they’ve had a shortage of drivers. I’ve had to make my bookings an hour or two in advance. It’s easy to contact the driver if a difficulty arises.
I’ve derived much enjoyment from the pedal exerciser. I’ve been gradually losing weight by pedaling two to six hours a day while sitting at my dining room table. I eat, talk on the phone, and pedal simultaneously. In the last three weeks, I’ve shed ten pounds.
My sons Isaac and Eric discovered an auction site called It’s in Pittsburgh with three warehouses. They sell returned items from Walmart, Amazon, Lowes, and Ashley Furniture Mart. Isaac and his fiancée, Talia, have bought a bench that appears to be wooden but is made from recycled bottles, a new futon, office chairs, bookshelves, and my pedal exerciser, which was only $5. Eric has acquired tools, a memory foam mattress, games, record players, headphones, and computer hard drives and electronic accessories.
Two new finds for our household are Morningstar Farms egg and sausage breakfast sandwiches. Four come in a box. They’re easy to prepare by microwaving for 90 seconds on a plate and a folded paper towel. We’re enthralled with a game called Know Your Family, which we bought on Amazon for $25. It is a fun-packed trivia game, adding more precious family bonding.
A happy May and Mother’s Day to all! I’ve missed you!
Here is the answer to the trivia question presented in the April Consumer Vision. The holiday that takes place on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox is Easter. Congratulations to the following winners:
Henry Achin of Lowell, Massachusetts
Roanna Bacchus of Oviedo, Florida
Jan Colby of Brockton, Massachusetts
Don Hansen of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Susan Jones of Indianapolis, Indiana
Jean Marcley of Bradenton, Florida
Karen Palau of Buffalo, New York
Brian Sackrider of Port Huron, Michigan

And now, here is your trivia question for the May Consumer Vision. Name the only letter of the alphabet that is not used in any of the 50 United States. If you know the answer, please email, or call 508-994-4972.
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