Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Labeling Frozen Foods

Labels used in the freezer are especially vulnerable because they get separated from the food or do not last well due to moisture and temperature changes. A good idea to label frozen goods is to collect some of those plastic tie tags that are used to close the plastic bags in which baked goods and other grocery products are packaged. Then, affix a brief Dymo description of the food to be stored to the tag (such as "peas" or "gb" for green beans) and slip the clip end of the tag onto a sturdy rubber band. These can be slipped around bags or packages of foods to be frozen and can be used almost indefinitely. If one of the rubber bands breaks, it is a simple matter to replace it.

Another idea is to use 4 x 6 or 3 x 5 durable clear-view cards such as ones that can be purchased from Ann Morris: http://www.annmorris.com (The cards come in packs of 50.) There is enough room on the card to braille the date made/bought, when it should be used as well as the product name. The trick here is to double bag the product with Ziplock bags and put the card just inside the outer bag. If the card is placed facing outward, the braille can be read through the outside of the Ziplock bags without having to open them. Double bagging products also serves to prevent freezer burn to foods. People who do a lot of baking may want to add baking instructions to the cards.

Braillable Labels and Sheets from APH

Braillable Labels and Sheets

These clear, blank self-adhesive labels can be brailled and used to label items around the home, school, and office, such as: household appliances; canned goods; greeting cards; books; CDs; folders. The labels come in a variety of packages and sizes for convenience. The pre-cut, peel-off Large and Small labels accommodate braille lines that are 15 cells wide, with four lines fitting on the large and two on the small labels. Full-Size and Pin-Fed Sheets offer more room for brailling and can be cut to the desired size. A printed SimBraille sheet is included with each package to assist in determining size and placement.

Assorted Label Pack (5 Large Sheets, 5 Small Sheets, 10 Full-Size Sheets, 30 Pin-Fed Sheets):
Catalog Number: 1-08871-00

Small Label Pack (10 Sheets, 18 labels (3.87 x 0.95) per Sheet):
Catalog Number: 1-08872-00

Large Label Pack (10 Sheets, 10 Labels (3.875 x 1.75) per Sheet):
Catalog Number: 1-08873-00

15 Sheets (8 1/2 x 11, full-size):
Catalog Number: 1-08874-00

30 Continuous Sheets (8 1/2 x 11, pin-fed):
Catalog Number: 1-08875-00
Click this link to purchase Braillable Labels and Sheets from APH.

Sherlock Talking Label Identifier

Sherlock

The Sherlock Talking Label Identifier is a hand-held digital voice recorder with each recorded message keyed to an adhesive label or plastic disk tag. Labels or tags can be attached to clothing, medications, packaged products, frozen foods, documents, books, CDs, anything you wish to identify. Includes 25 labels, 10 tags and carrying case.

Sherlock Talking Label Identifier: Catalog Number: 1-07410-00

Extra Adhesive Labels (pack of 25):
Catalog Number: 1-07411-00

Extra Plastic Tags (pack of 10):
Catalog Number: 1-07412-00
Click this link to purchase the Sherlock Talking Label Identifier, now ON SALE!

MagneTachers: Magnetic Labels from APH

MagneTachers are magnetic labels that attach to metal objects, are easily removable, and re-attachable! You can create labels in large print, braille, and for the Sherlock Talking Label Identifier (sold separately).

Uses include:

  • Create, use, store, and reuse labels for canned goods
  • Read, write, order and re-order sets of words or numbers on a classroom magnet board
  • Make labels on metal desks and file drawers that everyone can read

MagneTachers for Making Large Print Labels

can of soup with a large print MagneTacher label affixed
  • Includes two MagneTacher rolls, each 120 inches long, and instructions in print and braille
  • Select from two heights -- half inch or inch, depending on the print size you need
  • Write directly on the paper side of the MagneTacher, which provides a smear-resistant surface for a bold line pen or marker
  • Cut label from the roll and place on metal surface

MagneTachers for Making Braille Labels

can of soup with a braille MagneTacher label affixed
  • Includes two MagneTacher rolls, half inch tall and 120 inches long, with instructions in print and braille
  • Emboss MagneTachers with braille labelers and slates with half-inch wide alignment guides
  • Braille on the non-magnetic side of the label; its white vinyl coating helps braille dots stay firm
  • Cut label from the roll and place on metal surface

MagneTachers for Making Small Braillable Labels

File storage box with a braillable MagneTacher label affixed
  • Includes two MagneTachers sheets, each holding 18 MagneTachers and instructions in print and braille
  • These MagneTachers are magnetic strips only. You can make them braille labels by adhering APH's Braillable Labels: Small Braillable Labels to them (labels sold separately Small Label Pack, 1-08872-00 and Assorted Label Pack, 1-08871-00)
  • Small Braillable Labels hold two lines and fifteen braille cells
  • Press a completed label onto the non-magnetic side of the MagneTacher and place on metal surface

MagneTachers for Use with Sherlock Labels

File storage drawer with a Sherlock MagneTacher label affixed
  • Includes two MagneTachers sheets, each holding 12 MagneTachers and instructions in print and braille
  • MagneTachers for use with Sherlock labels include an additional pack of 25 Sherlock labels
  • NOTE: You must have the Sherlock Talking Label Identifier (sold separately), 1-07410-00, to use these MagneTachers
  • Use, remove, and re-use Sherlock labels on metal objects as often as you like
For Making Large Print Labels (0.5 inch high, includes two 120 inch rolls):
Catalog Number: 1-07417-00

For Making Larger Print Labels: (1 inch high, two 120 inch rolls):
Catalog Number: 1-07418-00
Click this link to purchase the MagneTachers Magnetic Labels: For Making Large Print Labels.

For Making Braille Labels (0.5 inch high, two 120 inch rolls):
Catalog Number: 1-07416-00

For Making Small Braillable Labels (includes two sheets, 18 labels per sheet):
Catalog Number: 1-07415-00
Click this link to purchase the MagneTachers Magnetic Labels: For Making Braille Labels.

For Making Sherlock Labels (two sheets, 12 labels per sheet):
Catalog Number: 1-07413-00

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Tips to Organize the Medicine Cabinet

Fall is a great month to organize the medicine cabinet. Doing it then ensures that you will have plenty of time to see what you might need and stock up on the essentials before the cold and flu season sets in.

Do you have multiple medicine cabinets? Start with the most frequently used one and go from there, either blitzing through all of them one at a time, or doing one cabinet per day. Just don't start pulling stuff out of all of them at once, you'll just wind up with a big discouraging mess that gets shoved back in the cabinets, or worse, left out on counters and floors.

The first thing you will need to do is to empty everything out of the cabinet onto a flat surface. Roughly organize as you go, by grouping like items, such as prescriptions in one area, bandages in another. Toss out the following items:

  • Anything that is missing a label
  • Anything you can't identify
  • All of those extra droppers and cups that come with over the counter medicine. Don't worry, you'll get new ones when you buy new medicine.
  • Any medication that is past its expiration date, whether it is over the counter or prescription. You can check the dates on tubes of medication by looking at the very end of it, where the tube is crimped closed.
  • Any "sterile" bandages that have torn wrappers
  • Any makeup that is past its prime (especially anything that touches your eyes).

TIP: To prevent children or animals getting into the medication, seal it up in an old jar and double bag it. Remember, its OK to ask someone with sight for help.

Take the opportunity to clean the medicine cabinet and shelves. it is amazing how much gunk can build up in a medicine cabinet.

Now, place your keep items back in your medicine chest, keeping the items grouped as much as possible. Make a note of things you will need for the upcoming season, and add the items to your shopping list.

Sherlock Talking Label Identifier

Sherlock

The Sherlock Talking Label Identifier is a hand-held digital voice recorder with each recorded message keyed to an adhesive label or plastic disk tag. Labels or tags can be attached to clothing, medications, packaged products, frozen foods, documents, books, CDs, anything you wish to identify. Includes 25 labels, 10 tags and carrying case.

Sherlock Talking Label Identifier: Catalog Number: 1-07410-00

Extra Adhesive Labels (pack of 25):
Catalog Number: 1-07411-00

Extra Plastic Tags (pack of 10):
Catalog Number: 1-07412-00
Click this link to purchase the Sherlock Talking Label Identifier, now ON SALE!

MagneTachers: Magnetic Labels from APH

MagneTachers are magnetic labels that attach to metal objects, are easily removable, and re-attachable! You can create labels in large print, braille, and for the Sherlock Talking Label Identifier (sold separately).

Uses include:

  • Create, use, store, and reuse labels for canned goods
  • Read, write, order and re-order sets of words or numbers on a classroom magnet board
  • Make labels on metal desks and file drawers that everyone can read

MagneTachers for Making Large Print Labels

can of soup with a large print MagneTacher label affixed
  • Includes two MagneTacher rolls, each 120 inches long, and instructions in print and braille
  • Select from two heights -- half inch or inch, depending on the print size you need
  • Write directly on the paper side of the MagneTacher, which provides a smear-resistant surface for a bold line pen or marker
  • Cut label from the roll and place on metal surface

MagneTachers for Making Braille Labels

can of soup with a braille MagneTacher label affixed
  • Includes two MagneTacher rolls, half inch tall and 120 inches long, with instructions in print and braille
  • Emboss MagneTachers with braille labelers and slates with half-inch wide alignment guides
  • Braille on the non-magnetic side of the label; its white vinyl coating helps braille dots stay firm
  • Cut label from the roll and place on metal surface

MagneTachers for Making Small Braillable Labels

File storage box with a braillable MagneTacher label affixed
  • Includes two MagneTachers sheets, each holding 18 MagneTachers and instructions in print and braille
  • These MagneTachers are magnetic strips only. You can make them braille labels by adhering APH's Braillable Labels: Small Braillable Labels to them (labels sold separately Small Label Pack, 1-08872-00 and Assorted Label Pack, 1-08871-00)
  • Small Braillable Labels hold two lines and fifteen braille cells
  • Press a completed label onto the non-magnetic side of the MagneTacher and place on metal surface

MagneTachers for Use with Sherlock Labels

File storage drawer with a Sherlock MagneTacher label affixed
  • Includes two MagneTachers sheets, each holding 12 MagneTachers and instructions in print and braille
  • MagneTachers for use with Sherlock labels include an additional pack of 25 Sherlock labels
  • NOTE: You must have the Sherlock Talking Label Identifier (sold separately), 1-07410-00, to use these MagneTachers
  • Use, remove, and re-use Sherlock labels on metal objects as often as you like
For Making Large Print Labels (0.5 inch high, includes two 120 inch rolls):
Catalog Number: 1-07417-00

For Making Larger Print Labels: (1 inch high, two 120 inch rolls):
Catalog Number: 1-07418-00
Click this link to purchase the MagneTachers Magnetic Labels: For Making Large Print Labels.

For Making Braille Labels (0.5 inch high, two 120 inch rolls):
Catalog Number: 1-07416-00

For Making Small Braillable Labels (includes two sheets, 18 labels per sheet):
Catalog Number: 1-07415-00
Click this link to purchase the MagneTachers Magnetic Labels: For Making Braille Labels.

For Making Sherlock Labels (two sheets, 12 labels per sheet):
Catalog Number: 1-07413-00

American Printing House for the Blind, Inc.
1839 Frankfort Avenue
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085
Toll Free: 800-223-1839
Phone: 502-895-2405
Fax: 502-899-2274
E-mail: info@aph.org
Web site: http://www.aph.org
APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Teach Me To See: a Video from APH

This video provides guidance on processes and activities that promote the optimal use of vision and other senses.

Based upon the work and theories of Drs. Amanda Lueck and Toni Heinze, Teach Me to See gives practitioners guidance on developing and carrying out activities that are functional and have meaning to each child. Watch children respond to simple stimuli in rich environments that promote their cognitive development and sharpen their visual skills. Listen to experienced teachers talk about orientation & mobility skills, immersive learning, visual development, and choice-making for their young students.

Teach Me to See consists of 4 videos on one DVD:

  1. Instructional Program
  2. Visual Skills
  3. Methodology
  4. Activities and Outcomes

Teach Me to See is helpful to parents, teachers, other practitioners, college students, occupational and physical therapists, and paraprofessionals. Teach Me to See will show parents and professionals how to develop individual learning programs for students with visual impairments, especially those who may also have other significant challenges.

Approximate run time: 68 minutes. Closed captioned and subtitles. Catalog Number: 1-30044-DVD Click this link to purchase Teach Me to See video from APH. American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. 1839 Frankfort Avenue Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6085 Louisville, Kentucky 40206-0085 Toll Free: 800-223-1839 Phone: 502-895-2405 Fax: 502-899-2274 E-mail: info@aph.org Web site: http://www.aph.org APH Shopping Home: http://shop.aph.org

Friday, October 28, 2011

Spooky Halloween Party Ideas


Games and Activities

Finding good Halloween party games and activities for blind and visually impaired children shouldn't be hard. Why not have a Pumpkin Roll at your party? This makes a great outdoor activity. You'll need to stockpile a few uncarved pumpkins that are fairly rounded. Then have kids volunteer to join the race. Assign each racer a pumpkin and tell them that at the start of the race they will roll their pumpkin to the end of the course (which you design in length and number of obstacles) and back to their original starting positions. Those racers who come in first, second and third place get to keep the pumpkin they raced with.

Another great activity is the round robin spooky story. Have the kids sit in a circle after its dark out and give them a flashlight. Start off the round robin with an opening passage of a spooky story then hand off the flashlight to the person to the left and have them continue the story where you left off. When they feel they've reached a stopping point they pass the flashlight again. When the story reaches an end a new story can be started up by the next child. The great thing about this activity is that it can go on indefinitely.

"Handy" Punch for Halloween

If you want to liven up your punch a bit at your next Halloween party, go to your local medical supply store and pick up a box of latex (or non-latex) disposable gloves.

Take out a few of the gloves and rinse them inside and out well with warm water to remove any powder.

Fill the gloves with water or colored juice (different color than your punch) and tightly seal the end using a chip clip or other method.

Place the glove onto a cookie sheet and place into the freezer. Freeze at least 3 hours until frozen solid.(preferably make up the night before)

When you have your punch made and guests arriving, remove the "hands" from the freezer and rinse under warm water to loosen up the glove. Remove the glove from the ice hand and place in your punch bowl.

Halloween Ice Ring

Making a creepy ice ring is a snap and will liven up any punch. Find a Ring jello mold or use any cake pan that you might have that will fit inside your punch bowl comfortably.

  1. Arrange 1 - 2 cups of gummy worms, candy corn or candy pumpkins into the bottom of the cake pan/ring.

  2. Add 1 quart of colored punch of choice. Best choices to really stand out are to use a contrasting color of your punch. If you have green punch, use lemonade or pineapple juice, if you have red punch use orange kool aid or other like drink.

  3. Place the cake pan/ring into the freezer and freeze until solid, at least over night.


Fingers of Fright

This recipe is easy and the outcome is cute for your Halloween display of spooky goodies.

Things You'll need

10 red jelly beans (or other "finger nail" colors)
20 orange circus peanut decorative candies

Cut the jellybeans in half lengthwise. Press a jellybean half into the end of the circus peanut to resemble a finger.

Punch In A Hurry

The next time you are having a get together and you can't find your trusty punch recipe just combine a large container of fruit juice with a 2 liter bottle of ginger ale.

Cold Halloween Treats

Going to be a cold and blustery Halloween? Stock up on some instant soup mix or hot chocolate. Now when the little goblins stop by your house they will be surprised with an unexpected treat.

When they get home from trick or treating mom or dad can heat up some water and they can have a warm treat while sorting through their candy.

Pumpkin Seeds for Halloween

OK, the pumpkin is gutted and carved, now you are trying to figure out what to do with the seeds. Toasting the seeds will make a healthy and tasty snack.

  1. From your seeds remove as many of the membranes as possible and throw away.

  2. Place a large pan on the stove and fill with water. Add salt to the water using about 1 teaspoon for every cup. Bring the water to a boil and add your pumpkin seeds.

  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for about 2 hours. Remove from the heat and drain off all the water.

  4. Place the seeds onto paper towels that have been placed on to wire racks and let sit in a cool dry place for at least 4 hours until dry.

    Place the seeds into a large bowl and add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil and mix until all of the seeds are coated with oil. Place the seeds onto a clean dry baking sheet and place into an oven preheated to 350º.

    Bake the seeds for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Remove from the oven and sprinkle lightly with salt and let cool.<

You can serve immediately or you can store in a tightly sealed jar or container for up to 1 year.

How to Carve a Pumpkin

What would Halloween be without a carved pumpkin sitting on your porch or at the window looking out at all the trick or treaters? Make this Halloween special by carving your own. Take delight in the smiling faces as the trick or treaters enjoy or get spooked by your own creation. You don't need to see to create a great pumpkin for Halloween!

  1. Pick out the nicest and healthiest looking pumpkin. Make sure you don't buy it too long before Halloween or it will rot before the big night.
  2. Take a braille stylus and score a line about 5 inches from the top of the pumpkin right around the circumference. You can make it a jagged line if you like.
  3. Use a large carving knife and carefully slice the top half of the pumpkin off using the scored line for guidance.
  4. Carefully remove the top and set it aside.
  5. Use a large spoon or a scoop and remove all of the filling and seeds. Place them into a bowl to be used later.
  6. Use the braille stylus to "draw" a face on the front of your pumpkin for reference. Make it as spooky or creative as you like, but remember not to cut out too much, the more pumpkin you remove from the face, the more likely your jack-o-lantern will cave in. The eyes and nose are often shaped like triangles. Alternatively, you can download a pumpkin carving template from the internet to use as a reference pattern.
  7. Cut the shapes out using a sharp knife, carving tools, or a dremel.
  8. Replace the lid that you had set aside.
  9. Fill the insides with LED lights and watch it glow.


Alternative Method



  1. Turn your pumpkin upside down. Look closely or feel the bottom, see the circle where the pumpkin has been resting on the ground? Using a Sharpie marker or braille stylus, trace the pattern, or simply take a sharp knife and cut around the edge of that circle. (This method is an improvement on cutting off the top for several reasons: a) it saves time and energy by cutting out the largest amount of stringy pulp and seeds, b) if you use a candle, it allows you to set it on a small candle plate, upon a flat surface, giving you better stability, and c) it allows you to avoid the fire-hazard of candles all together. A safer alternative is cutting an additional notch from your circle in the back of the pumpkin allowing you to plug in a small strand of Christmas lights, a nightlight, or other small, low-heat electric light. Be creative, even a small LED booklight will suffice.)

Carved pumpkins can go bad after two weeks. Carve your pumpkin only a few days before Halloween or it may start to shrivel up and cave in. Although, you can prolong the life by rubbing some petroleum jelly on the exposed parts right after you cut the pumpkin - this will help to reduce the shriveling.

Pumpkin seeds are good to eat (like sunflower seeds) if you place them on a baking sheet, sprinkle them with a little salt, and toast them in the oven. See the Fred's Head Companion article Pumpkin Seeds for Halloween for more details. You can also plant the seeds to grow your own pumpkins (but keep in mind that this pumpkin is probably a cross between several types, and what you get when you plant will probably not look anything like this one).

If you carve the "lid" of the pumpkin out in a smooth line, it can be difficult to replace the lid in the same position you cut it off in. It can be helpful to carve a notch somewhere, in the back if you like, so that you can fit the lid back on easily.

A drywall jab-saw makes a great replacement for the old kitchen knife, especially for cutting off the top and any other large cuts. For intricate designs, a RotoZip type saw makes short and easy work of carving pumpkins. This is the saw commonly used for drywall, that looks like a small router and the blade looks like a drill but, but is designed to cut in any direction.

Do not allow small children near the knives. If children have picked out a "special" pumpkin and want to carve it themselves, invest in a "kiddie cutter" so they don't get hurt. An easier alternative for small children would be markers to draw a face, or Mr. Potato Head accessories to dress up their pumpkin.

Why Do We Carve Pumpkins?

Supposedly, it started with a man called Stingy Jack, who tricked the devil and in turn after his death wasn't allowed into hell. Instead, he was forced to wander the earth with only a coal to light his way. Stingy Jack put the coal in a carved out turnip, causing people to start referring to him as "Jack with the Lantern".

Soon, people began placing similar lanterns in their windows with carvings to scare Stingy Jack away. And so, the Jack 'o Lantern was born. The history channel has an excellent article on the full story here: http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/halloween/pumpkin.html.

If you're looking to start this age old tradition with your children, or are interested in kicking your carvings up a notch, we've picked some great websites to help you get started.

For the novice pumpkin carver, head on over to PumpkinCarving101.com where you will find everything you ever wanted to know about carving your jack 'o lantern and then some. Learn about different tools that can be used, traditional pumpkin carving, carving with stencils, the lifespan of a carved pumpkin and how to grow your own pumpkins. Don't miss the articles on the proper burial of your pumpkin, how to juggle pumpkins, and how to take photographs of your pumpkins.

This site might seem a little obsessive to some, but it's full of great information that's sure to help any pumpkin carver achieve their goals. http://www.pumpkincarving101.com

If you've been carving pumpkins for awhile, and are ready to do something new, try these great free pumpkin templates. You'll find many patriotic images (American Flag, the President, Statue of Liberty) as well as a mix-and-match section. If you don't see what you like, for a small fee you can subscribe to their even larger collection of templates. http://www.spookmaster.com/pumpkin-carving-patterns-freebies.htm

Another great site for both simple and complicated templates is Jack-O-Lantern.com. For the true computer geek they offer an assortment of emoticons, as well as a set of templates to create a "haunted forest". All templates are free, forever. http://www.jack-o-lantern.com

If you're looking for more fun and childish templates, be sure to stop by aHowlingGoodTime.com. This pumpkin farm has a very nice assortment of pumpkin faces. Choose from happy, sad, scary, howling, and more. http://www.ahowlinggoodtime.com/carving/patterns.shtml

Tips, tips, and more tips. That's what you'll find at Walt's Pumpkin Carving Pages. Learn how to get those templates from your computer (or book) onto the pumpkin, which carving tools do what, how to make your own patterns, as well as how to select the right pumpkin to carve. http://wls.wwco.com/garden/pumpkin.htm

To read more articles from the Best of Halloween for Kids series, click here: http://www.raisingourkids.com/hol/halloween/index.shtml.

Amy Fleeman is a Halloween loving Mama with two great kids, a Beagle, and a husband. She lives amongst the cornfields in a tiny town in Iowa. To get tons of Free Halloween Coloring Pages and other spooky goodies, please visit http://www.raisingourkids.com/hol/halloween/freehalloweencoloringpages.shtml.

Looking for Baby-Freebies? Visit her other site, http://www.baby-freebies.com.

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Amy_Fleeman

Make Halloween Outdoor Decorations: "Ring of Ghosts" and "Flagpole Spooks"

By Patricia Jensen

Here's a favorite tradition of our family in outdoor Halloween decor:

Ring of Ghosts



Materials:

  • 3 Twin-sized Sheets
  • 3 Four foot lengths of flexible 1/2 inch PVC Piping, Wooden Stakes or Dowels
  • 3 Small White Plastic Garbage Bags
  • Masking Tape
  • Newspaper
  • String or Twist Ties
  • Black Marker (optional)


Instructions:

  1. First, determine a good location for your ghost gathering. Find a wide open area, or you may decide to group them around a tree or light pole.

  2. To make the ghosts' heads, crumple up newspaper and stuff the three small plastic trash bags to the desired size.

  3. Stick one of the PVC pipes into one of the bags and wrap the neck with masking tape to secure. Repeat for the other ghosts.

  4. Cover each ghost head with a sheet, gathering with string or a twist tie under each head. The head should be in the middle of the sheet, so the outer edges can be attached to the neighboring ghosts. You can make taller or shorter ghosts, but you must adjust the size of the sheet you use to accommodate. Our ghosts will be just under 4 feet tall.

  5. Push the PVC piping into the ground in a circular formation about 1-2 feet apart. The sheets should touch the ground and cover up the support. You can also use wooden stakes or dowels, but your ghosts won't have as much movement as they will with the PVC piping.

  6. Finally, knot the ends of the sheets together to give the impression the ghosts are holding hands. Because the PVC is flexible, your ghosts will now bob and sway in the wind!

  7. If desired, make Casper-like faces on the sheets with black marker.

We have 3 children, so we always make 3 ghosts, but you can connect as many ghosts as you wish! They'll look like they're playing a spooky game of "ring-around-the-rosy"!

Flagpole Spooks

These spooky decorations are easy if you have an angled flagpole attached to the front of your house.

Scary Flagpole Ghost: Hang a "Scream" style mask off the end of the flagpole. Tie a white sheet or a generous length of white tulle around and behind the mask. This scary creature will appear to be flying as his white garment flutters in the wind.

Flagpole Frankenstein: Hang a Frankenstein mask off the end of the flagpole. Tie a dark colored trash bag tied behind it. Shredding the trash bag around the edges will add to the spooky effect.

Flagpole Witch: Hang a witch mask off the end of the flagpole. Attach a witch hat to the mask, then tie a dark colored trash bag tied behind it. Shred the trash bag to make the witch's robe flap in the wind.

Kids-Party-Paradise.com is a great resource for kids party ideas including invitations, cakes, decorations, games, costumes, favors, and food.

Check out the Kids Party Paradise Blog at http://www.kids-party-paradise-blog.blogspot.com For all the latest party news and great party ideas.

Click this link to subscribe to the Kids Party Paradise Newsletter and get timely updates on popular new party ideas and themes.

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Patricia_Jensen

American Folklore

Hey there folks! Welcome to American Folklore. This folklore site contains retellings of American folktales, Native American myths and legends, tall tales, weather folklore and ghost stories from each and every one of the 50 United States. You can read about all sorts of famous characters like Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, Daniel Boone, and many more. So grab a cup of coffee, pull up a comfy chair, and stay awhile.

There are also lesson plans, and a "countdown to Halloween."

Click this link to visit the American Folklore website: http://www.americanfolklore.net.

The Most Popular Myths in Science from Live Science

This page offers the facts behind common theories like how long it takes to digest gum, whether chicken soup cures the common cold, and cats' ability to always land on their feet. Don't forget to click on the Live Science home page for articles, headlines, and blogs about the sciences.

Click this link to learn The Most Popular Myths in Science.

Nursery Rhymes lyrics, origins and history

Learn all about the British history - the Bubonic Plague, the Peasant's Revolt, the Wars of the Roses, etc. - that is hidden inside the nursery rhymes many of us grew up with.

Click this link to learn the history behind Nursery Rhymes.

Ten Great Uses for Wire Hangers

Wire coat hangers have been around at least a hundred years, effectively hanging up our clothes in closets, but also just as effectively getting tangled and bent out of shape. As long as I can remember, wire hangers have been used to replace missing radio and TV antennas. They are a source of frustration, great to use in a pinch and also help hold our clothes up in the closet, but what else can they be used for? Well, before you turn into Joan Crawford from "Mommy Dearest" and scream "no more wire hangers!" try these great uses for the simple, yet useful, invention: The Wire Hanger.
  1. Dowsing Rods: The first suggestion is the most interesting. Dowsing rods have been used for centuries to divine for water, treasure, graves and spirits. Simple rods that are bent in a print letter "L" shape, dowsing rods are said to pick up on the vibrations of whatever the seeker is searching for. You will need two wire hangers, cut the hangers at the bend of the long side (bottom) and halfway up the short piece on the other end. Now bend the short piece out so that it is straight. The two pieces should be at a right angle from each other. Use as you would a regular dowsing rod.
  2. Antennas: I couldn't forget antennas in this article. For a radio or television that is not working, a wire hanger works great as a set of antennas. Simply straighten the hook and stick it into the broken end of an antenna. Twist and shape it until a decent reception signal comes through.
  3. Costumes: In a pinch, wire hangers are great for using in costumes for Halloween or any dress-up party. Shape them into wings and stretch a sheer material over them, gluing or sewing the material into place as your talents allow. Shape into a circle and glue on some garland (like Christmas tree decorations) for a halo. They also make great antenna for an alien costume, or for insect antennae. Be creative, wire hangers are a great and cheap way to aid in creating your own costumes.
  4. Staking Plants: Plants that grow tall often need a stake to help them grow straight and strong rather than lay limply on the ground, sunflowers are one example. A stick from the yard or a dowel rod works great as the stake, and a wire hanger can help keep the plant connected to the stake. Cut pieces about 4-6 inches in length and after placing the stake in the dirt next to the plant, help secure it to the stake by twisting a bit of wire around both the stake and the plant. Be careful not to twist too tight so that the wire cuts into the plant.
  5. Clothespin Holder: With an old tank top or t-shirt, sew a straight stitch along the bottom. Place the hanger through the armholes as usual. The neck of the shirt is now the opening of your "bag" and you can toss clothespins in to take to the clothes line. Hang the hook of the hanger over the clothesline and you can move it along as you hang clothes. This can also be hung on a hook on the wall and used to hold toys, diapers, craft supplies or other miscellaneous items.
  6. Crafts and Hobbies: Wire is a common material in crafts and hobby work. In a pinch, when out of wire, a wire hanger can be cut and used to hold things together, to strengthen flowers in an arrangement, and many other uses. One great use for crafters and hobbyists that paint is to hang the hanger from the ceiling, upside down and using the hook, hang and item either to dry or as a way to spray paint and cover the whole area at once. They can also be used as frame work in crafts such as in making paper mache or mobiles.
  7. Household Help: A straightened wire hanger is great for shoving down a drain to help clear the clog, to twist around something to help hold it together, to clean out wax from candle holders, to clean out smoking pipes, or any other number of uses in which a sturdy but flexible object can be used. Try using a wire hanger next time you have to reach something on a tall shelf, the hanger works great to either "hook" it and pick it up or at least to pull it closer to you so you can reach it.
  8. Car Doors: Who hasn't locked their keys in their car at some point? Wire hangers have probably been used to get doors unlocked since cars were first invented. Straighten the wire hanger and stick it down into the door or window to jimmy the lock loose, you'll obviously need some vision for this trick.
  9. Cooking: Yes, wire hangers can be used as a cooking utensil. When cooking over an open fire, a wire hanger straightened out works great to hold hot dogs or marshmallows. The metal does get hot and the heat could travel through the hanger so be wary of that.
  10. Bubble Wands: What kid (or adult who is young at heart) doesn't love a nice warm day of playing with bubbles? A wire hanger can be shaped into anything and used to make large bubbles (which will always come out round). By using liquid detergent, mixed with water, and a wire hanger, a day of bubble fun can be had without spending a dime.
How about one more for keeping cables in their place? Find yourself a plastic pants hanger and cut the hook off. Wrap one end around one of the clips a few times (in case you'll need just a few inches of slack) then wrap it up along the hanger. When you get to the end, wrap it once around the hook to anchor your progress and go back the way you came. Repeat until clutter free. Success! So, there you have it. Ten great uses for wire hangers. Next time you get frustrated and want to twist them out of shape in anger and toss them to the curb, think about these alternatives.


How to Play Ghost

Here's a fun word game I came across that would be great to play around Halloween or anytime you need something to do. You can play this with at least three people, no more than ten. This game is best for older children because you need to know how to spell.

Ghost is a word game where players try to add letters to create a new word.

To begin have the players sit in a circle. Or if you are traveling in the car, decide on how the game will rotate, maybe from youngest to oldest or front to back. The first player thinks of a word. Then he says the first letter of that word. For example he thinks "trip" and says "t."

The next player thinks of a word with the same first letter that the first player said. Then the second player adds the second letter to the word. The second player thinks, "teach" and says "t-e."

Each consecutive player tries to add another letter without forming a complete word. If the letters were "t-e-s-t" and the next player could only think of the word "testy" and added a "y," they would have made a complete word that cannot be added too. So that player would become a "half-ghost." After a complete word is made the next player starts with a new word.

If a half-ghost ends another word then they become a full ghost and can no longer participate in forming words. But they do still have a role to play in the game, because anyone who speaks to a "ghost" also becomes a "ghost". So anyone who is a "ghost" tries to get the other players to talk to him or her.

While playing the game, a player cannot just add random letters to a previous letter. They must always have more than a two-letter word in mind. At any time another player can challenge and ask for the word that the player is thinking of. If the player who is challenged cannot say the word they are thinking of then they become a half or full ghost. If the player does say a word then the person who challenged them becomes a half or full ghost.

How to Make Tea Using a Coffee Pot

How to Make Tea Using a Coffee Pot

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Yes, it is possible to make tea using a coffee pot, and no it won't send your coffee maker to coffee heaven. It's a useful fix for brewing a large pot of herbal tea that you want to keep warm for hours, such as when you're caring for someone with a cold or the flu.

Steps

  1. Fill the glass carafe with water and pour into the water reservoir as for regular coffee.
  2. Remove and rinse the filter basket from previous brews of either coffee or tea.
  3. Select your choice of teabags. Place them into the filter basket. Place the filter basket, without a coffee filter, back into its compartment and close the compartment. Now turn on the coffee maker after replacing the carafe on the hot plate.
    • Use approximately one teabag per one cup of water.
  4. Wait until the tea is done brewing, and enjoy!

Video

This video shows how to make southern style sweet tea with a coffee pot.

Tips

  • This is most useful for herbal teas, such as Celestial Seasonings sleepytime extra and straight raspberry.
  • If the teabags have strings, make sure they're outside of the filter basket. You can close the lid on the strings.

Warnings

  • Both the carafe and resulting tea will be hot after brewing.

Things You'll Need

  • Coffee pot/carafe
  • Teabags

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Make Tea Using a Coffee Pot. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Do Blind People Attend Functions?

by Donna J. Jodhan

Whenever someone asks me this question, my immediate response is "and why not?"

This is a frequently asked question and you know what? I always try to be polite in my responses. There is still much for the sighted world to learn and discover when it comes to how blind people live, work, and socialize. We can definitely attend functions but there are slight differences in the way we interact with others.

Because we are unable to see, we need to use our ears to help us identify people at functions. We sometimes need help to navigate buffet tables, find our seats, and find our places at tables. We need others to help us with visual cues.

This is the picture for a blind person when attending functions. It may sound cumbersome to a sighted person but not really. Once you get the hang of things then it's not too bad. It can be a lot of fun. Can blind people attend functions? Yes, they most certainly can.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all: http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility: http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog/blog.html
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns: http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm

Before Getting to the Office

by Donna J. Jodhan

One of the things that often occupies the mind of a disabled person on the way to work is all of the things that need to be faced before reaching the office. It all starts with the walk to the bus stop and ends with the arrival at one’s desk.

So many people have told me about their anxieties of getting to work. Waiting on the bus and ensuring that one gets on the right bus. Finding a seat on the bus and making sure that they do not miss their stop. If it is winter or otherwise bad weather, making sure that they make it safely to the bus stop.

It does not end there! If one has to take the subway then there are the added challenges of navigating one’s way to the correct subway. Just like a sighted person, a disabled person has to ensure that they get on the correct subway but if you are blind or sight impaired then guess what? The blind or sight impaired person has to deal with navigating through crowds and using their memory to pinpoint the location of their subway. Then when the subway arrives, they like everyone else has to jostle their way onto the subway and try to find a seat or the nearest pole to hang on to.

The trip is almost at an end but not quite. There is the final leg so to speak of getting from the subway station or bus stop to the office. For the disabled person and speaking as a blind person, this last leg is just as challenging as the previous ones. A disabled person has to navigate through crowds coming out of subway stations, walking on sidewalks, and going into office buildings and office towers. If the weather is bad, then the same concerns as described above re getting to the bus stop apply.

For me, when I worked in the mainstream workplace, all of what I have described applied directly to my challenges. With time, it got better. There is no easy way to deal with this. All that I can say is that as long as one realizes that these challenges do indeed exist, that’s half the battle won. The other half is to overcome them.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all: http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility: http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog/blog.html
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns: http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm

Who Else Should Be on the IEP Team?

In addition to parents, special educators, regular educators, a school system representative, someone to interpret evaluation results, and the student (when appropriate), the IEP team may also include, at the discretion of the parent or the school system, additional individuals with knowledge or special expertise about the child, including related services personnel as appropriate. The parent or the school system may invite these individuals to participate on the team.

To learn more, visit the Others with Knowledge or Special Expertise About the Child page on the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities website at http://nichcy.org/schoolage/iep/team/specialexpertise.

When is it Appropriate for the Student to be Included on the IEP Team?

If transition goals and services are going to be discussed, the student with a disability must be invited to attend the meeting. In reality, parents and children often make this decision together. It’s not uncommon for parents and even teachers to encourage children to take part in developing their own IEPs. Some children in elementary school come to the meeting just to learn a little about the process or to share information about themselves.

To learn more, visit the Student with a Disability on the IEP Team page at the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities website: http://nichcy.org/schoolage/iep/team/student.

Why Does Federal Law Require a General Educator To Be on the IEP Team?

The regular education teacher knows the curriculum for a child’s grade level and what children in regular education classes are typically expected to do.

If the child is going to be educated in the regular education environment for any part of the school day, then the child’s regular education teacher may talk at the IEP meeting about what the child will be taught and expected to learn.

To learn more, visit link on the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities website: http://nichcy.org/schoolage/iep/team/regulareducator.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Kitchen Secrets

It seems that every good cook has their little secrets for making everything turn out perfect in the kitchen. Ever wanted to know some of their secrets? Here's a few!

  • For Better Browning: Meat will brown better if you blot any moisture off its surface. A paper towel makes a great blotter.
  • Better Bacon: To perfectly cook bacon without the mess and cleanup of pan or griddle frying, use the oven. Preheat it to 350. Place the bacon strips on a baking > sheet lined with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, or until bacon is the way you like it. Transfer bacon to paper towel lined plate to absorb excess grease. Fold the foil around the grease and discard.
  • Flour duster: Keep a shaker container filled with flour in your kitchen for use dusting everything from meat to sauces. It's also handy for flouring your work area > when rolling out pie and pizza doughs.
  • Drip Free Gravy: To keep a gravy boat or cream pitcher from dripping onto the dinner table, rub a dab of butter on the pour spout. No drops on the tablecloth. This trick also works on syrup dispensers.
  • Easy Thawing: There's an easy way to store ground meat so that it will thaw faster when you're ready to cook it. Put one pound of ground meat into large resealable freezer bag, then flatten it like a pancake. it stores better and thaws in half the time.
  • Aromatic Rice: To enhance white or brown rice, toss a few stems or leaves of fresh herb, such as basil, rosemary or thyme, in with the water before cooking. Cook rice according to package directions. The flavor of the herbs will subtly permeate the rice.
  • Avoid Soggy Rice: When cooking rice, put a folded towel between the lid land the pot. That way, when the rice steams and creates moisture, the condensation doesn't drip back into the rice. It's absorbed into the towel. Cook the rice for the amount of time recommended on the package.
  • Hands Free Meatloaf: If you don't like getting your hands messy when mixing meatloaf, put the ingredients into large resealable plastic bag. Close the bag, then knead everything together until the ingredients are well mixed. Kids like helping with this, too.
  • Bamboo Skewers: There are two problems when making kebabs. Fist, soaking wooden skewers so they don't burn takes too long. And second, the food spins around when you turn the kebabs. Presoak a bunch of skewers and freeze them in a plastic bag. Then use two for each kebab, spacing them about 1 inch apart and sliding food onto both skewers. No more spinning food.
  • Skimming Fat: to remove excess grease from browned ground beef or sausage, blot extra fat from pan using a piece of bread. This also works for skimming fat from top of soup or chili, and it's good for absorbing oil when cleaning the bottom of a pan.
  • Holding Onto Flavor: To loosen the skin the breast of a hole bird and stuff with butter, slide the bowl of a dinner spoon upside down between meat and skin, moving the spoon carefully over the breast meat. This method doesn't tear the skin and leaves plenty of space to insert butter and other seasonings.
  • Chilly Shrimp: to keep shrimp cold on a buffet table, cover a frozen plastic ice pack with a cloth napkin. Set your platter of shrimp on top of the napkin. There's no melting ice and the shrimp will stay cold for hours.
  • Grilling Bacon: If you need to cook just a few pieces of bacon, try using your George foreman grill. It cooks bacon perfectly, controls splattering and the grease drips right into the drainage cup.
  • Vegetable Rack: Instead of a metal roasting rack, make a grid of carrots, celery, and onions. This acts like a mirepoix to flavor the pan drippings for gravy while elevating the meat for even roasting.
  • Peeling Butter: If your butter is too cold to spread easily, use a Y-shaped peeler to shave it off the top, like slicing cheese. You'll get a thin strip that will soften quickly for easier spreading.
  • Storing Ice Cream: To prevent ice crystals from forming on ice cream, place a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap directly on the surface. Press it firmly onto the ice cream so that it forms a tight seal. Cover with lid and return to the > freezer.
  • Whipping Cream Stand In: Most people don't keep heavy cream on hand for whipping, but many of us have vanilla ice cream. Put a scoop or two in a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment or use a hand mixer. Let ice cream thaw for a minute, then whip. It's almost a dead ringer for sweetened whipped cream.
  • Herbs to Butter: If you often have leftover herbs, make a compound butter with them and freeze. First, finely chop leftover herbs and mix them into soft butter. Then roll mixture in plastic wrap and freeze it. The herbs don't turn black, and the compound butter has many uses.
  • Solid Omelet: Here's a goof proof way to avoid runny omelets. Before beating eggs, turn on broiler. After forming the omelet in an ovenproof skillet, put your filling on top of the eggs and run omelet under broiler for 20 seconds. The omelet fluffs, cooks completely through and filling is heated as well.
  • Centering Yolks in hard Cooked Eggs: For centered yolks in your hard cooked eggs, try this: Twenty four hours before boiling eggs, wrap two rubber bands around the carton to hold it shut. Then rest the carton on its side in the refrigerator. When you boil the eggs, voilà...perfectly centered yolks!
  • Cream Shake: When you want whipped cream and don't have electricity or a mixer, place heavy cream in a chilled glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake, shake, shake. Whipped cream in 5 minutes.
  • Storing Cheese: To store a chunk of Parmesan or Romano cheese, place it in an airtight plastic container along with two or three sugar cubes. The sugar cubes absorb moisture and will prevent the cheese from getting moldy. Replace the sugar cubes when they get soggy.
  • Perforating Cheese: Before cutting into cheese topped baked dishes such as lasagna, first perforate the pieces using a fork. This simple step helps prevent the knife from pulling the layer of cheese off the top.
  • Cooling Rack Dicing: To dice a lot of hard boiled eggs for salad, (egg, macaroni, potato), use a cooling rack with square grids. Peel eggs, then press them through the rack directly into a bowl. It saves time and the eggs come out perfectly chopped. Cleanup is a breeze, too, especially with a nonstick rack.
  • Zesty Cheese: Need just a little grated cheese to top your pasta. Try using your zester. It's easy to use and faster to clean than a box grater.
  • Freezing Blue Cheese: When you have leftover blue cheese, throw it in the freezer in a resealable plastic bag. The frozen blue cheese breaks off easily and always is ready to go on top of salads and other dishes. You also can peel it off in curls using a vegetable peeler or paring knife.
  • Color Coded Eggs: To distinguish between raw and hard cooked eggs, tint the water in which you boil eggs with beet juice or food coloring. The shells will pick up the color, and you won't confuse cooked eggs with raw ones.
  • No Weep Meringue: Weeping meringues use to be a problem, but no more. First, beat whites until they form soft peaks, then sprinkle sugar on top of the whites. Let the whites and sugar sit for 5 minutes without stirring. Finely, beat them together until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie filling and bake as usual.
  • Hole Some Meatloaf: Do you hate it when meatloaf swims in fat? Try using a disposable foil bread pan with holes punched in the bottom. Place pan on cooling rack set inside a baking sheet, the fill pan with your meatloaf mixture and bake. The grease will drain out of the foil pan as the meatloaf cooks.
  • Frozen Gel Packs: Chilling the bowl helps cream whip faster and increases its volume. If you're in a hurry, grab a frozen gel pack from the freezer and put it beneath the mixing bowl. The cream will whip like magic. Best of all, the packs are reusable.
  • Garlic Butter in a Squeeze: Put cold butter and a couple of cloves of garlic into a garlic press. With just a squeeze, it makes perfectly manageable, soft garlic butter in seconds.
  • Preserving Feta: To keep feta cheese from spoiling quickly after opening, store it in salty water. Dissolve 2 t. salt in 1 cup water in a sealable container. Submerge the cheese in the water. The feta must be completely covered, so make more brine if needed. Seal the container and refrigerate it. The feta will keep up to three weeks.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Helpful Tips for Measurements and Substitutes When Cooking

Here's some great tips for the kitchen!

  1. Thickening: Sprinkle instant mashed potato flakes into soups and gravies to thicken, a little goes a long way. Stir thoroughly and add more as needed.
  2. Every one knows this but sometimes we forget: Is your brown sugar a solid rock? Has your bag or box of brown sugar turned hard as a rock? Try this helpful hint: Place a slice of fresh bread in the package of sugar and close securely. Let set for a few hours and your sugar will be as good as new, well not new but pretty close.
  3. To cut calories, use applesauce in place of shortening or butter in brownies, muffins, and simple cakes. They also taste a little better.
  4. When making hamburgers, impress a thumbprint in the middle of both sides of each hamburger. This keeps them from bulging up while cooking, and they'll cook more evenly this way.
  5. Meringue: A simple soft meringue is made by whipping egg whites with a little granulated sugar, vanilla and a bit of cream of tartar. This slightly sweet topping is heaped over a cream pie and then lightly browned for a finishing touch. A perfect soft meringue will be light and airy with no signs of shrinking. A hard meringue contains more sugar and is baked at a very low temperature or allowed to dry at room temperature until it is solid (crispy). Meringue shells, fruit cups and cookies are made from hard meringue. Meringue will not tolerate even the smallest amount of fat. Since egg yolk contains fat-separating the whites from the yolks must be done carefully. The mixing bowl and the beaters must also be fat free. Wash them in hot soapy water and rinse in hot water before using to make meringue.
  6. Equivalent Measurements
    • 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
    • 1/2 tablespoon = 1-1/2 teaspoons
    • 2 tablespoons = 1 fluid ounce
    • 4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup
    • 5-1/3 tablespoons = 1/3 cup
    • 8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup
    • 10-2/3 tablespoons = 2/3 cup
    • 12 tablespoons = 3/4 cup
    • 16 tablespoons = 1 cup
    • 6 tablespoons = 8 fluid ounces
    • 1/8 cup = 2 tablespoons
    • 1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons
    • 1/4 cup = 2 fluid ounces
    • 1/3 cup = 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon
    • 1/2 cup = 8 tablespoons
    • 1 cup = 16 tablespoons
    • 1 cup = 8 fluid ounces
    • 1 cup = 1/2 pint
    • 2 cups = 1 pint
    • 2 pints= 1 quart
    • 4 quarts (liquid) = 1 gallon
    • 1 liter = approximately 4 cups or 1 quart
  7. For recipes that call for room temperature eggs, bring the eggs to room temperature quickly (without cooking it in the process) by dunking them in lukewarm water for 5 minutes.
  8. For evenly rounded tops on nut breads and muffins, grease baking pans or muffin cups on the bottom and only 1/2 inch up the sides. Do this and your batter will cling to the sides of the pan instead of sliding back down.
  9. Too much garlic in a soup or stew? Place parsley flakes in a cheesecloth bag and add to the pot until it soaks up the excess garlic.
  10. To grease pans without making a mess: Put your hand into a plastic sandwich bag, grab the grease, and rub it on the pans. Turn the bags inside out as you remove them and throw them away with the mess wrapped up inside.
  11. Beer batter will fry crisper and lighter if allowed to stand awhile before mixing. This gives the flour granules time to soften and absorb the liquid.
  12. Don't salt water until it comes to a boil! Salted water has a higher boiling point, so will take longer to boil, also in cold water salt sit's on the bottom and pit's the pan.
  13. When a box of baking soda has finished its usefulness in the refrigerator, keep it at the kitchen sink to remove stains and scour glass or steel coffee carafes. It will also brighten a stainless steel sink.
  14. The secret to perfect, tender muffins is in the lumps. Muffin batter should be gently stirred just until all the dry ingredients are moistened, resulting in a lumpy batter. Resist the temptation to vigorously stir muffin batter until it is smooth. The lumps will disappear during baking. Overstirring creates tough muffins with pointed tops.
  15. Coat raisins with flour to keep them from sinking to bottom of cake batters
  16. Tenderize pot roast or stewing meat by using two cups of hot tea as a cooking liquid.
  17. Before icing a cake, dust a little cornstarch or flour on top to prevent icing from running off
  18. Make a quick stock flavoring for soups or stews by combining onion, garlic, celery, and carrots in a blender with a small amount of water.
  19. When measuring honey, coat the measuring cup with non-stick cooking spray or vegetable oil before adding the honey. The honey will slide right out
  20. Important points to remember
    • Marinate beef in the refrigerator, never at room temperature.
    • Tender beef steaks can be marinated briefly for flavor-15 minutes to 2 hours is usually adequate.
    • If a marinade is to be used later for basting or as a sauce, reserve a portion prior to adding beef. Marinade that has been in contact with uncooked meat must be brought to a full rolling boil before it can be used as a sauce. Note: Marinating beef longer than 24 hours in a tenderizing marinade can result in a mushy texture.
  21. To soften bananas for banana bread and muffins, pierce unpeeled bananas once or twice and microwave, uncovered, at 100 percent power for 1 minute, turning over at half time. Cool, peel, mash, in that order.
  22. If you scorch a soup, don't stir or scrap the bottom. Just pour the liquid into another pan. Stirring is what distributes the burn flavor. This will work on spaghetti sauce and most other liquids.
  23. Sweet'N Low Substitution Chart
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar = 6 packets
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar=8 packets
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar=12 packets
    • 1 cup granulated sugar=24 packets
  24. If you plan to beat egg whites, separate the whites from the yolks about a half hour before you plan to use them. Bringing the whites to room temperature will help them whip up to greater volume.
  25. Mash leftover dried beans with minced garlic and enough vinaigrette or yogurt for a good dipping consistency. Season to taste with dill or marjoram and hot red pepper sauce, and serve as a cocktail dip.
  26. To make frosted fruit, use a pastry brush to brush strawberries, grapes or other fruit with light corn syrup. Roll the fruit in granulated sugar to coat. Place sugar-coated fruit on wax paper-lined cookie sheet and keep in refrigerator until ready to use as a garnish.
  27. For high rising, rounded tops on muffins like you see in the bakeries, preheat your oven to 500 F. As soon as you put the muffins into the oven, decrease the temperature to whatever the recipe calls for. Remember to decrease the baking time. This may take a bit of watching and practice but the result will be worth it. The increased temperature causes the muffins to rise quickly giving them that nice dome-shaped top.
  28. Flouring sausage patties on both sides before cooking gives them a crunchy crust and helps keep them from splattering.
  29. For a juicier barbecued hamburger, rub both sides of the meat with cold water before grilling.
  30. More conversions:
    • 1 pound bananas equals 3 medium or 4 small bananas equals 2 cups sliced bananas equals 1 cup mashed bananas.
    • 1 pound apples equals 4 small apples, 3 medium apples, or 2 large apples equals 2 3/4 cups sliced apples equals 2 cups chopped apples.
    • 1 pound apricots equals 8 to 12 whole apricots equals 2 1/2 cups sliced apricots.
    • 1 pound pears equals 3 medium pears equals 3 1/2 cups sliced pears equals 3 cups chopped pears.
    • 1 medium lemon equals 3 tablespoons lemon juice equals 2 teaspoons shredded peel.
  31. Pancakes are lighter and fluffier when you substitute club soda for milk in the batter recipe.
  32. To make lighter and fluffier mashed potatoes, add a pinch or two of baking powder to the potatoes before whipping.
  33. Microwave fresh asparagus by placing one pound in a microwavable baking dish or serving bowl. If cooking whole spears, arrange with tips in center. Add about 1/4 cup water and cover tightly. Microwave at 100% power for 4 to 7 minutes for spears, 3 to 5 minutes for cuts and tips. Stir or turn halfway through cooking time.
  34. A few drops of lemon juice added to simmering rice will keep the grains seperate.
  35. When you add eggs to cake batter, separate the yolks from the whites and mix the yolks in first. After the batter has been mixed and all the other ingredients incorporated, beat the whites until stiff peaks form and then fold them in. This will give you a lighter, softer cake.
  36. Sprinkle your cake plate with granulated sugar before you put the cake on it. When cut, the slices will not stick to the plate (you can also use breadcrumbs).
  37. Food Substitutes in a Pinch:
    • For bread crumbs: Use any unsweetened dry cereal like crushed corn flakes or wheat flakes. Or try potato flakes.
    • For 1 pound butter:Use 7/8 Cup solid shortening plus 1/2 tsp. salt.
    • For 1 cup melted shortening:Use 1 cup salad oil. However, 1 cup oil cannot be substituted for 1 cup solid shortening.
    • For 1 cup fresh milk: Use 1/2 Cup each evaporated milk and water. Or, one liquid cup of nonfat dry milk and 21/2 tsp. of butter or margarine.
    • For 1 cup buttermilk:Use 1 tbs. of lemon juice or vinegar added to enough fresh milk to make 1 cup. Let stand for about 5 minutes before using.
    • For 1 cup heavy cream: Use 2/3 Cup milk and 1/3 Cup butter.
    • For 1 cup heavy cream, whipped:Use 2/3 cup well-chilled evaporated milk, whipped.
    • For sweetened condensed milk:No substitution.
    • For eggs: If you're one egg short in a recipe that calls for several, just add 1 tsp. cornstarch, or add 3 to 4 extra tbs. of the liquid used in the recipe.
    • For flour: Use 1 tbs. cornstarch instead of 2 tbs. of flour. Also try instant potatoes or cornmeal.
    • For 1 cup cake flour: Use 1 cup less 2 tbs. all-purpose flour.
    • For 1 cup all-purpose flour: Use 1 cup plus 2 tbs. sifted cake flour.
    • For white sugar:Use brown sugar.
    • For superfine sugar: Blend regular granulated sugar in the blender.
    • For corn syrup: Use 1/4 Cup water plus 1 cup of sugar.
    • For honey: Use 11/4 Cups of sugar plus 1/4 Cup water (or other liquid used in recipe) to equal 1 cup of honey.
    • For vanilla extract: Use grated lemon rind, orange rind, cinnamon or nutmeg for flavoring.
    • For unsweetened chocolate: Use 1 tbs. of shortening plus 3 tbs. of unsweetened cocoa for 1 square of unsweetened chocolate.
    • For 1 tbs. cornstarch: Use 2 tbs. flour or 4 tsp. quick cooking tapioca.
    • For 1 tsp. baking powder: Use 1 tsp. baking soda plus 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar. Or, 1/4 tsp. baking soda and 1/2 Cup sour milk, buttermilk or molasses. Reduce other liquid by 1/2 Cup.
    • For fresh herbs and spices: Use 1/3 the amount in the dried form. Dried herbs are more concentrated.
    • For 1 tsp. allspice: Use 1 tsp. cinnamon plus 1/8 tsp. ground cloves.
    • For 1 tsp. oregano: Use 1 tsp. marjoram.
    • For 1 clove garlic: Use 1/8 tsp. instant minced or garlic powder or 1/2 tsp. garlic salt.
    • For 1 small onion: Use 1 tbs. instant minced or 1 tsp. onion powder.
    • For 1 medium lemon: Use 1 tsp. grated rind plus 2 tbs. lemon juice.
    • For 1/2 pound mushrooms: Use 4 ounces canned mushroom caps.
    • For 1 pound mushrooms: Use 21/2 - 3 ounces dried mushrooms.
    • For ketchup: Add 1 cup of tomato sauce to 1-1/4 Cups of brown sugar, 2 tbs. of vinegar, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon and a pinch of ground cloves and allspice.

Blindness is not Contagious

by Donna J. Jodhan

Maybe this is a touchy topic for many; but here goes. When I was growing up, I found that many people, both kids and adults alike were often afraid to approach me and other blind kids. I often used to think that maybe and just maybe, they may have been feeling that if they came too close to me, they too would become blind.

Things have improved over the years but there is still that hesitance especially so on the part of adults. I am finding more and more that younger persons are not afraid to approach blind people. They are much less inhibited and not afraid to engage in conversations with us.

For anyone who is hesitant to become friends with a blind person: Blindness is definitely not contagious. You can certainly become friends with us. You would be quite surprised to know and learn what great friends we can be.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all: http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility: http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog/blog.html
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns: http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm

One of the Most Misunderstood Groups

by Donna J. Jodhan

Would it be fair to say that in general, the blind community could be one of the most misunderstood groups? If so, then why? Could it be that we are misunderstood because maybe and just maybe, the mainstream society has probably not taken enough time to get to know us? Or maybe is it because that they have not been exposed to our world enough?

I guess that we could probably offer several explanations for this but at the end of the day, this is the situation. As for my humble opinion, I offer these possibilities:

I believe that when it comes to blind people in general, most of our mainstream society have somehow managed to erect artificial barriers towards us. These would include attitude, perception, and belief.

Let us first look at attitude. There seems to exist an attitude from many mainstream people that blind people should probably be viewed as not being fully able to be contributors to society. In short, we may be viewed more as people who need to be helped rather than as people who can help ourselves as well as others. The attitude may be one that includes the view that we are not fully able to take our places in the workplace and accordingly we are unable to attain enough spending power to look after ourselves. As a result, we need to be enrolled in support programs that can help to bolster our disposable incomes.

Perception: Much of our society may be guilty of having the wrong perception of blind people; we are often viewed as not being able to think and do for ourselves. We are often seen as being helpless, easy prey for thieves, hackers, and bullies, and we are frequently seen as not important enough to receive certain core services. Evidence of this is often exhibited by both governments and companies in that whenever the going gets tough, the first set of services to be cut are those to the disabled and to the blind in particular. These circumstances often occur during unfavourable economic conditions.

Belief: Believe it or not, there are certain cultures that genuinely feel that blind people are better off being shut off from society; in homes and away from the glares and stares of society. Or that they are better off not being seen or heard. There are even some cultures that honestly believe that we as a group should not be considered equally to the rest of society because of our disability.

Attitude, perception, and belief; these in my humble opinion seem to be the three main barriers that are responsible for us not being fully understood as people, contributors, and as part of society. These are the three main barriers that we as a group have to face and ones that we need to tackle if we hope to turn things around in a positive way

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all: http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility: http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog/blog.html
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns: http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Accessible Technology Coalition

From the website:

The AT Coalition is a project of the Center for Accessible Technology (CforAT). CforAT is one of the oldest and most respected AT Center in the US, and our staff are known for their ability to solve complex AT issues and work with people with a wide range of disabilities, including people with multiple disabilities.

The mission of the AT Coalition is "to develop a consumer driven, grassroots program that provides people with disabilities, and those that work with them, accurate answers to their technology questions allowing them to identify appropriate solutions - particularly for those who do not have access to a local AT Center".

The field of accessible technology has changed enormously in the last 30 years. Yet, people with disabilities and those that work with them still struggle to identify the appropriate technologies that will improve their lives, or the lives of family members, employees, or clients. The ATC will meet this need by providing up-to-date information online, where it is accessible to everyone.

Click this link to visit The Accessible Technology Coalition website at http://atcoalition.org.

TechVision

From the website:

TechVision is a company that strives to show you how children and adults, who have vision impairments or reading challenges, can learn the technology and skills that will help them succeed in life. This site will give you the lessons to achieve these goals. If you read an article from this site about a lesson, links will be at the bottom of the story to take you directly to the lessons that will help you achieve the same instruction. All of our lessons are keystroke based, leave your mouse at home ladies and gentlemen!

Lessons include:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • JAWS/Internet
  • Low Vision
  • Lessons for Teachers
Click this link to visit http://www.yourtechvision.com. list end

Resources for the Blind Programmer

Resources for those engaging in or wishing to learn about programming by the blind have been reorganized, so here is a rundown originally posted by Top Tech Tidbits.

A mailing list where beginners and advanced programmers can learn is program-l. To join, send a message to program-l-request@freelists.org and in the subject field put the word "subscribe".

These websites contain a variety of resources:

Know of other resources? Send them to me at fredshead@aph.org and I'll update this post. http://BlindGeeks.org

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween on a Restricted Diet

By Terri Mauro

For children with diabetes, food allergies, Prader-Willi Syndrome, and other special needs, gorging on Halloween candy can bring more than a tummy ache -- it can be a serious, even life-threatening health risk. These nine sites offer suggestions, strategies, and recipes for making the night less spooky for kids whose diet needs to be carefully watched.

Candy, Candy Everywhere
Source: American Diabetes Association
Sample Tip: "Here's a carb count of the 20 most popular Halloween candy."

The Challenge of Halloween
Source: Diabetic Gourmet Magazine
Sample Tip: "Donate candy collected -- or most of it -- to a local children's hospital or your local American Diabetes Association. Older kids might feel good about helping other kids."

Halloween Survival Guide
Source: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
Sample Tip: "Host a Halloween party and offer things like glow-in-the-dark insects, Halloween-themed stickers, and cause-related wristbands as treats. Popcorn balls and sugar-free candy and other sugar-free treats can replace the usual sweets."

Halloween and Your Diabetic Child
Source: Cinnamon Hearts Recipes For A Winning Diabetic Lifestyle
Sample Tip: "Dirt Dessert: Purchase individual sugar-free chocolate pudding cups, or make your own sugar-free chocolate pudding cups. Top with fat-free Cool Whip® and sugar-free gooey worms."

Tricks for Handling Treats
Source: Children with Diabetes
Sample Tip: "Keep the portions of sweets offered appropriate for the child's age, size and appetite. You wouldn't give a three-year old a full size steak. Don't offer a full size piece of cake either - OR, all the Halloween candy at once."

Halloween Gluten-Free Recipes
Source: Recipe*zaar
Sample Recipes: Gluten-Free Pumpkin-Applesauce Bundt Cake, Cinnamon Pumpkin Seeds, Bug Salad.

Safe Treats, No Tricks, for Allergy-Free Halloween Fun
Source: The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network
Sample Tip: "Provide neighbors with allergy-safe candies for your child or ask neighbors to hand out only candy with individualized labels - so kids with allergies can determine whether the treat is safe to eat or not."

PWS and Halloween
Source: Foundation for Prader-Willi Research
Sample Tip: "Pick some (favorite) healthy food and put out an equal amount of that one one plate. Put another puny (least favorite) piece of candy on another plate and show them the difference. Nothing like a visual!"

31 Halloween Tricks and Treats
Source: Allergy Moms
Sample Tip: "Buy two identical treat or treating bags or containers (i.e. pumpkins). When your young child (2-3 years) comes in from trick or treating, switch the bags to give him one filled with all safe treats."

Article Source:
About.com

Monday, October 17, 2011

Coins That Feature Braille

Poland’s central bank was the first to issue the world’s first coin with markings in Braille, for the visually impaired. 

The commemorative coin honored the 100th anniversary of The Association for the Visually Impaired.

Refreshabraille 18 and the iPad

I've known, for some time now, that the IOS devices will support a braille display. I had never tried to connect one to my iPad to see how it worked until last Saturday.

While working in the Product Showcase area of the APH Annual Meeting, I decided to give it a try. Would I be able to connect a Refreshabraille 18 with my iPad running the latest version of Apple's IOS software? I took out my Refreshabraille 18, made sure it was charged and turned on the iPad.

I had connected other bluetooth devices to the iPad, wireless keyboards and headphones, so I knew where to go to get started. My finger glided over the various apps on my startup screen, then found and double tapped "settings". When the options screen opened, I found bluetooth and tapped to open it. I found a list of the devices that I had previously connected to the iPad and a list of items that were currently available to pair. My wife's cell phone was there with a few others that I didn't recognize. The one device that I didn't see was my Refreshabraille.

"Very strange," I thought. "Why wouldn't my Refreshabraille be showing up in the list of available devices?"

I thought something was wrong with my display, so I tried the unit on the table next to me. It didn't show up in the list of devices either.

Well, i knew exactly where to go for help. Like so many who are blind or visually impaired or sighted people who want to learn about blindness, I went to the Fred's Head account on Twitter. I asked the followers of the @fredshead account if they could help me figure out why the display wasn't showing up. Within minutes, I received a tweet from the Alaska Center BVI (@alaskabvi) that said "Look under Accessibility > VoiceOver > Braille, it'll search for the Braille display."

So, I went back to my settings screen, double tapped "accessibility", then "Voiceover" and found a button labeled "Braille".

As soon as I double tapped that Braille button, I saw the Refreshabraille! I double tapped its serial number and immediately the two devices connected!

It was really cool to navigate the various apps on the iPad with a braille display. I could access all the menus and links and when I landed on an edit box, I could enter text in grade II braille and it took my entry exactly as it should!

To see a list of the available keyboard commands (chords) that can be used with Voiceover, click this link.
To see a list of commands specific to the Refreshabraille 18 with the iPad, click this link.

APH’s Refreshabraille 18 Becomes a Teaching Tool!

Here's a YouTube video about using an iPad2 with APH's Refreshabraille 18: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV9XKB1fb5I

Demonstration of how the iPad and a Refreshabraille 18 can be used as an instructional tool for parents and regular education teachers.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How to Choose a Dress Shirt

How to Choose a Dress Shirt

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Whether for yourself or for someone else, choosing a men's dress shirt can be more complicated that you think. Here are a couple of steps to keep in mind when selecting a dress shirt.

Steps

  1. Choose a color. Are you buying a dress shirt for a job interview, or are you looking to dress up more fashionably?
    • For an interview, the traditional choices are conservative colors. A light blue is usually the safest. White is very formal. Grays are also generally safe.
    • If you are looking to portray a more lively image, choose bright, unconventional colors. Bright greens and oranges are relatively popular, as well as pink.
  2. Choose a pattern. Solid colors are considered wardrobe staples because they are easiest to match, but you might consider choosing stripes or a

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Choose a Dress Shirt. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Appliances are a Challenge

by Donna J. Jodhan

There used to be a time when I, as a blind person, was able to navigate the buttons on the panels of my appliances without having to ask for sighted assistance. Buttons and knobs on washers and dryers were big enough for me to feel and touch, you could set levels of water and temperatures by counting off the clicks, and you could do other things by simply memorizing how many clicks to the left or right, etc.

A few months ago, I had to replace my washer and dryer and thank goodness I was able to find a small appliance store that sold washers and dryers with manageable buttons. Many of the appliances today are dominated by touch screens and digital displays and this makes life more difficult for someone who is unable to see. Some appliances even have lights to indicate certain things and this too is not very good for a blind person.

In the good old days, I only had to ask for sighted assistance once when I was learning the position of the buttons but all this has changed. I know, we are now in the digital age and that can't be helped but how I wish that someone can come along and develop a gadget for blind persons to use with digital displays and touch screens. Thank goodness I have a talking microwave but my toaster oven is a challenge for me.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all: http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility: http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog/blog.html
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns: http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm

NFB's Accessible Home Product List

From the website:

In our effort to keep up-to-date with current technology we are always adding to and changing the list of usable consumer electronics. We say “usable” because we do not know of any modern household appliances that are completely accessible. The clock and timer settings on all of the appliances we observed require visual assistance to set and use reliably. To assist in identifying major buttons and functions, it would be a good idea to label many of the panels either in Braille or with some other marking. We found some appliances more accessible than others. Dishwashers had the most touch pads and were generally the least accessible line of appliances we viewed. Many of the ovens have buttons labeled “Clear/Off” or “Start/Off” that when pressed to turn the oven off will always clear previous settings so that every time you turn the oven on, it starts at the same temperature, often 350 degrees, as noted in many of the descriptions. This means that if the multiple layers of functions get confusing, the cook can just turn the oven off, then back on to start over at a known temperature and try again. In some instances, you may have to memorize the sequences for buttons with multiple selections in order to cycle through the choices and know where you are. We hope you find these product descriptions useful. As you shop you will find other models with similar controls so you can choose the model that suits your needs.

We selected some lower-priced and higher-priced models in each category.  The model numbers listed are the manufacturers’ model numbers.  Stores often add their own model numbers so be sure to ask your sales representative to look for the manufacturers’ model number.  We do not include prices as they vary from region to region and from time to time. 

The higher end models of appliances contain more features and have more buttons and menus.  The less expensive models often are the most accessible.  In most cases, with adaptations, blind and low vision homemakers can find ways to use any of these appliances.

Click this link to view the NFB's Accessible Home Product List.

Start with the Kids

by Donna J. Jodhan

In a world where we continue to struggle with so many things, how to get things done, when to get them done, what to get done, and why we must do it all, it may be a good idea for us to take a deep breath and leave it all to the kids. Yes, the kids! and why not?

Kids are the ones who are the most innocent of us all. They are never afraid to tell the truth. They are extremely unabashed when it comes to honesty. They trust easily and if you are seeking to get your message across to the rest of the world, then they are probably the best and most effective messengers that you will ever find.

Ask them a question and they tell no lies. Give them an idea and they are lightning quick to run with it, develop it, and embellish it. Wet their imaginations and you'll see how quickly they turn dreams into reality or something very close to it.

Kids are ever so quick to get the meaning and in the simplest of ways while we adults find it so difficult at times to even get off the mark. They are the best messengers and for my money, we should start with them if we are serious about wanting to share our messages and spread them around. Something for me to consider when next I wish to convey a message on the subject of accessibility.

Maybe and just maybe, they may be able to help us break down some barriers in the sighted world. They may be able to help build some of those bridges and break down some of those fences. They may even be able to help us find ways to narrow the gap between understanding and naivity/ignorance. Just my two cents worth for today.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all: http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility: http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog/blog.html
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns: http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm

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