Monday, November 30, 2009 - Friends' bond inspires viewers
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*This article can also be accessed if you copy and paste the entire address below into your web browser. Albinos in East Africa fear for their lives

The following article link has been sent to you by Ms. Kathy

Nairobi, Kenya – The Red Cross in Kenya is reporting thousands of Africa’s albinos are being forced into hiding because it is believed their body parts have magical powers. The Associated Press reported that dealers can make up to...

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

great video to support breast cancer research

{A recent email from a friend.}


The following message was forwarded:

My niece, Emily Somers, created, directed and choreographed this in Portland last week for her Medline glove division as a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness. This was all her idea to help promote their new pink gloves. I don't know how she got so many employees, doctors and patients to participate, but it started to really catch on and they all had a lot of fun doing it.

When the video gets 1 million hits, Medline will be making a huge contribution to the hospital, as well as offering free mammograms for the community. Please check it out. It's an easy and great way to donate to a wonderful cause, and who hasn't been touched by breast cancer?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Women in Cancer Treatment - Cleaning for a Reason]

If you know anyone – please pass this on to them. This is a great idea and very helpful for those that need it.

If you know any woman currently undergoing Chemo, please pass the word to her that there is a cleaning service that provides FREE housecleaning - 1 time per month for 4 months while she is in treatment.

All she has to do is sign up and have her doctor fax a note confirming the treatment. Cleaning for a Reason will have a participating maid service in her zip code area arrange for the service.

Please pass this information on to bless a woman going through Breast Cancer treatment. This organization serves the entire USA and currently has 547 partners to help these women. Its our job to pass the word and let them know that there are people out there that care.

Be a blessing to someone and pass this information along.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


A lot of attention is given to the young people who get into trouble or underachieve in school, but often the students who do exceptionally well in the classroom or make a huge difference in their community do not receive the recognition they deserve. That’s why LPB and the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge created the Louisiana Young Heroes Awards. Now in its 15th year, the awards honor students in grades 7-12 who have excelled in the classroom, have served their community or have shown great courage in overcoming adversity in their own lives.

Nominations are now being taken for the 2010 Louisiana Young Heroes Awards. Students must be enrolled in a Louisiana school or homeschooled and cannot be older than 19 years of age.

Some of our previous Young Heroes have overcome physical handicaps, raised money for charity, cared for family members, assisted hurricane victims, and even saved lives.

Nomination forms can be downloaded from the LPB website ( or filled out on the online form. Letters of recognition and other supporting materials should be sent to support the nomination. Students who have been nominated in past years may be re-nominated for this year’s awards. Previous winners are not eligible. The deadline for entries is Friday, February 5, 2010.

Young Heroes Day will be April 21, 2010. The Young Heroes will be treated to a day full of activities including lunch on the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion. The day will culminate in a banquet that night at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge.

The awards are co-presented by the Baton Rouge Rotary Club and underwritten by Credit Bureau of Baton Rouge. Inc. and ExxonMobil.

If you have questions contact Margaret Schlaudecker at (225) 767-4276 or toll free at (800) 272-8161, ext. 4276 or

Monday, November 16, 2009

Kairos Weekend Part 2 (or the birth of Francine)

The weekend was a blast although it can wear ya down. I was thinking as I tried to get out of bed this morning that perhaps I should have taken an extra day off from work just to rest and recuperate. I am so thankful that two of the ladies stayed behind at the hotel with me to help with some of the agape duties before they went to help at the prison's culinary school kitchen.

The prayer chain on Thursday night was most involved. In the past I have had to get a physical chain ready with blanks for names and times written in. Each team member was given a two-hour block of prayers to collect from church members, friends, etc. I would have to go on line or email my friends in South Africa and Ireland whom I have met via this ministry and ask them to take our wee hours of the morning slots that are the middle of the day for them. Ultimately, the guys on the team would forget their chains, have them partly filled or just not do them. This time, I had the chain on line at It made for the most complete chain we had ever had. I took my net book and a little printer and I was able to download the prayer chain from the web site and print it on colored paper at the hotel. Two other sisters helped cut them out and we stapled together 468 links n the prayer chain. If it had not been for them I would have been up half the night trying to cut and staple the chain.

The other way, the men cut and staple their own assigned parts of the chain but I don't always get all the parts. This way every prayer is accounted for.

The purpose of the chain is for it to be a visible representation to the inmate participants of the prayers that are being lifted up in their behalf during the 3 1/2-day weekend. With an orderly chain they can walk up to the chain and see who is praying at that particular hour. They are overwhelmed by this to be sure.

On Fridays I get the agape bags ready. We have collected items from all over for those bags. I will not say what except to say that when you are asked, it's a cool thing to do. i don't want to spoil the surprise in case there is someone who may receive such a bag at a similar spiritual walk. When the guys leave the prison on Friday night they load the bags with their letters. Some of them are up half the night. I give them until Saturday morning before they leave for the prison to get their items in the bags. Saturday morning I have to get them taped up, grouped into table families and bagged by table family in jumbo trash bags. Then I get to take them up to the prison by 10AM.

This time, as I came to the prison gates on Saturday morning, my name was not on the gate pass. One of the security ladies remembered me from the last time I was on a team so she had her partner take my license and call to the back where they were holding the workshop. By the time the message got back there, through telephone wires and radios,my first name had become garbled into "Francine." My husband was asked if he knew anyone with that name and of course he said, "Never heard of 'em."

The ladies in the culinary school kitchen were called and my good friend the head cook said, "Well, that is Kathy's last name but maybe that is her middle name. But, yes we are expecting a lady with that last name."

At any rate I was allowed to drive back of Main Prison Complex to the culinary school with my garbage bags. "Franceeeeeeen is in the house!" I said when I arrived. Among by kitchen friends I am now Francine with extra emphasis on the "eeeeen." One cannot say a simple Francine. It has to be said in just that way---or I do not answer. Perhaps I will start another blog for that alter ego and include just the right amount of Es in the title which is at least 3.

Saturday evening is the most relaxed day. I was able to stay at the culinary school with the ladies and the two residents who man the culinary school kitchen for a couple of hours. The two culinary school residents are lovely, soft spoken guys who love it when the Kairos ladies come. We had lunch after the workshop lunch was taken over to the guys and then a few minutes to play the spoon game. Then it was back to work at the hotel for Franceeen!

Saturday night is the best! That's when we get to hear the reflections of the new people on the team. I took plenty of pictures which I intend to share with the team on either flicker or Kodak. I have a special surprise for Morris, our team leader. At any rate, the leader is given a plaque and we all share the wonderment of the Holy Spirit as we witness it over the weekend.

Then we get ready for Sunday!

Well, I have used two breaks to write this much. Part 3 at a later time.

Cortical Visual Impairments-Parents' Group

For those with children with CVI you might want to check out this group a parent is just starting.

Mrs. Kathy
Visual Impairments Specialist

New technology to save vision (The Courier-Mail Article)

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The Courier-Mail

Ms. Kathy"s Kids Blog, Ms. Kathy thought you might find this article from interesting:

Check out this article!

New technology to save vision

From: The Sunday Mail (Qld)
November 14, 2009

IT'S the Queensland medical breakthrough that could save some of our most vulnerable infants from a life of darkness.

In an Australian first, neonatal nurses at Brisbane's Mater Mothers' Hospital are using hi-tech camera equipment to photograph the eyes of premature babies, to identify a debilitating condition which can lead to blindness.

When a baby is born early, the normal development of the retina is interrupted, which can result in Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP).

Click here to read the full article on the website

Alternatively, you can copy and paste this link into your browser:,23739,26350950-3102,00.html

Article from West Central Tribune

You have been sent this article from Ms. Kathy

Blind learn mobile phone details
Don Davis - 11/14/2009

ST. PAUL — Torrey Westrom gave Lissa Thies a simple request: learn the basics of using his mobile telephone. His Motorola Q is a typical smartphone, capable of surfing the Web, sending and receiving e-mails and handling text messages, besides being used as a telephone. Even to the most technically inclined, the nearly 50 keys are intimidating. To a blind person such as Westrom, the task becomes many times tougher. "I'm probably weeks or months away from fully using the keyboard," admitted Westrom, an Elbow Lake Republican member of the Minnesota House who keeps up with legislation on computers adapted for use by the blind. Thies was among AT&T workers who Thursday and Friday helped more than 100 blind and visually impaired Minnesotans learn more about their mobile phones, from any carrier, at the Minnesota State Services for the Blind in St. Paul. It is the type of program that Westrom, the state's only blind legislator, has supported for others. This time, however, he had questions about how to use his Verizon telephone. Perhaps the most important advice Thies offered was a "get out of jail button," which returned Westrom to the home screen where he could start over. Thies, who works at AT&T Wireless' Woodbury Lakes store, at times took Westrom's finger and put it on the right button, so he could find the key later. The one-on-one help is essential for the visually impaired to learn how to use telephones, AT&T Minnesota President Bob Bass said. "They don't know what the options are," he added. For Minnesotans who could not attend the Thursday and Friday help sessions, there are options. Larry Lewis of Ohio-based Flying Blind, a company that uses technology to help the disabled, said telephone software is available to allow a phone to speak to its user, replacing the screen that sighted people use. Another program can magnify the screen for people who have partial vision. Some who are blind just want to know how to make and receive calls. But others, like Lewis, want to make full use of their telephones. Lewis, totally blind, has more than 1,100 contacts on his smartphone, which he uses by listening to a computerized voice and moving a joy stick on the phone. "I listen to the icons and press 'enter,'" he said. Lewis said only about 2,000 of the 1.5 million blind Americans use mobile phone software made for them. AT&T officials said the best thing blind people can do is to contact their local wireless provider office and set up an appointment for some one-on-one training or to contact the state-run Services for the Blind. Bass said AT&T employees provide such training because "it's a quality of life issue." Thies said the Woodbury Lakes store has no blind customers, but some with hearing problems. The company has a toll-free telephone number for disabled people with questions about wireless service. A telephone that allows a user to use voice commands is the best type of telephone for the blind, Thies said. Many phones offer that function. Westrom said he received some over-the-phone training, but it did not stick. "It's a lot better hands on." As Thies went through the options, she quickly passed over one. But Westrom wanted to know what it was. It allows the user to attach photos to telephone numbers, she replied, a bit sheepishly. "That wouldn't do me a lot of good," deadpanned Westrom, known for delivering an occasional joke about his blindness on the House floor. Back to the phone, Westrom finished adding a number for his father. Thies was happy. "You did it," she exclaimed, as happy was Westrom about the accomplishment.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Kairos Weekend (part one)

It works!

I'm in the middle of my duties as the agape chief for Kairos Prison Ministry at Louisiana State Penitentiary for men at Angola. The men on the team go inside the prison and give a 3 1/2-day workshop to 42 residents on the love of Christ.

Inmates are used to people coming into the prison, thumping the Bible at them, telling them they are such sinners and then leaving. Kairos is a different type of ministry where the volunteers become the Bible and they demonstrate the Bible by becoming its hands and feet

We have a special cook team who remain outside of the workshop. My friend Juanita has a gift for cooking large amounts of home cookin'-style food. We had a lady who cooked fancy gourmet stuff but the best for the ministry is to cook food that reminds them of home. Since this is south Louisiana, that may include fried chicken, barbecue, jambalaya and white beans, banana pudding and the like. There may also be men on the outside team who help with cooking or running the food from the outside kitchen to the workshop. Women's teams are just the opposite.The men stay outside and cook while the women go inside and do the workshop hands-on.

My job during these weekends is to handle agape. These are physical items that remind the prison residents that people are thinking about them and praying for them and that God loves them. I start a few weeks before we start having team meetings, which are six to eight weeks before the team goes to the prison. I go to the national web site and let other Kairos groups know that we need prayer and wall agape. Wall agape are posters from Kairos groups that are posted as greetings on the walls during the special workshop. I also make a kit for each team member so that they can collect prayers, cookies and money for the special weekend workshop.

In the past, local churches allow us to use their facilities. The Ladies have even used the kitchen of a nearby school and the hotel's old abandoned kitchen. Now the warden allows us to use the culinary school kitchen at main prison. They love this. It leaves me behind to coordinate agape at the hotel but when I'm done I get to go to the culinary school, too. I also stay behind on Sunday to greet guests and coordinate our convoy of vehicles up to the prison for the closing ceremony.

My husband, whom I met in this ministry, is usually the music leader. He has been so tired when he comes in that he goes right to the hotel room and conks out like a brick.
He has not been sleeping well, lately because his daughter is sick and that has been on his mind. He has slept better and far more here each night than he has at home.

Speaking of sleep, I'd better get my nap in while I can. I will post more on what's happening here later tonight or tomorrow.

Monday, November 9, 2009

More Options for Glaucoma Patients

Ms. Kathy wrote.. Article attached

Ms. Kathy is sharing this article with you. Click the link below to read the article.

More Options Now Available for Glaucoma Patients


Tarred (adj.): in some southern dialects a synonym for exhausted.

This mobile text message is brought to you by AT&T

Friday, November 6, 2009

Banana Facts

Wow! I need to stop on the way to work and get some bananas! I have been telling my husband fruit is better for breakfast than the greasy stuff.

A professor at CCNY for a physiological psych class told his class about
bananas. He said the expression "going bananas" is from the effects of
bananas on the brain. Read on:

Never, put your banana in the refrigerator!!!
This is interesting.
After reading this, you'll never look at a banana in the same way

Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose
combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and
substantial boost of energy.

Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a
strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one
fruit with the world's leading athletes.

But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also
help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and
conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst
people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a
banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein
that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve
your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains
regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia : High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of
hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in
potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So
much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana
industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the
risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school ( England )
were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at
breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power.
Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning
by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help
restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without
resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a
banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach
and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels,
while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.
Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you
suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep
sugar levels
up and avoid morning sickness

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing
the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it
amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in
Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like
chocolate and chips... Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers
found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The
report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to
control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods
every two hours to keep levels steady..

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal
disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw
fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It
also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the
lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling"
fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of
expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas
to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers
because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking &Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up
smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and
magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of
nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the
heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water
balance.. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby
reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of
a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine,
eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by
strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill
off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with
the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or
surgical tape!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare
it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate,
three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice
the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one
of the best value foods around So maybe its time to change that
well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor

PS: Bananas must be the reason monkeys are so happy all the time! I will
add one here; want a quick shine on our shoes?? Take the INSIDE of the
banana skin, and rub directly on the shoe...polish with dry cloth.
Amazing fruit !!!

mcdonald's rap

Thanks Brian. I'm going to share this on my blog and facebook page

MsKathyssLogo2.gif picture by mskathy0724

Ms. Kathy's Kids Blog:

--- On Thu, 11/5/09, Brian wrote:

From: Brian
Subject: mcdonald's rap
To: AuntKathy
Date: Thursday, November 5, 2009, 10:15 PM

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More Day

Ms. M Cut up today in her class. The para informed me that she has been misbehaving quite a bit. I think half the time she has no idea what is going on so she compensates by being a little Hitler with the other children...and sometimes the adults, too.

I love visiting that class. Preschool and Kindergarten teachers have a knack for herding cats and it's fun to see them and their children in action.

I need to work on more letter writing template cards. I just finished some braille flash cards for Mr. J. He is really showing he understands a lot! When I was about to leave he wanted to go with me today. His teacher pretended to cry and he started smiling about that. Then she told him to show me to the door and he did just that! The whole room cheered. He was really ready to leave with me. His teacher told him that I will be back tomorrow.

He is showing me body parts on request as I ask if I can tickle them. He particularly likes having his tummy and neck tickled. Most of the time he will show them to me if I ask. I am going to make braille labels for the class and whole word flashcards because he is showing just how much he understands. His teacher, who was at such a loss when he arrived is now showing me how well he follows directions. She will ask him to throw away paper, find his best friend ( little girl in a wheelchair), line up for lunch, wash hands,etc. and he will do them. He still isn't talking, though.

What i have learned in 33 years is that children like him will sometimes talk up a blue streak one day when they are ready. Sometimes they do not. But we should never underestimate them or assume it is fruitless to teach certain things to them. That is why I am opting to make braille available to him.

Meanwhile, the BoxCutta, who has been MIA for two days was back in school today with a flash drive full of viruses. The new school interface and virus software in the network does not allow us to access erasing the bug. I have to warn his dad this evening in an email. His teacher is taking the flash home to scan it on his home computer and try to delete the bug.

I also went to Mr. B's school and he was sitting out at recess. He was so tired that he was resting by the para in a wheelchair. His legs get a little tired sometimes but he is ambulatory. When I came along to talk to him he found energy from somewhere and decided I should accompany him to the slide. I talked to his new teacher, whom he says he likes, but he misses his old teacher who just retired in the middle of October. I told her about the paper I brought for enlarging his work and that I would find more practice work for him.

He's another old soul--wanting me to come wrestle with him and a classmate. Finally a classmate came to get him to play, which I encouraged.

Mr. Hebrews is typing so well with one hand. I wish he could use a braille writer. I am making an Intellitools lesson to go with his ABC overlay for Intellikeys. He has had trouble with a few of the single letter whole words. Sometimes he can't recognize them unless I give him verbal dot clues like "What letter is dots 1, 3 and 4?" Then he knows its M which stands for "more."

I have given him a regular cane since he's walking straighter. He needs a much longer one since he likes to go fast and his CP has him hunched over. He knows the whole school but he needs more practice walking alone and using protective measures for that head. He loves going up and down the halls.

Yesterday he showed me he can get to three areas of the school without retracing back to the same spot. I asked him to take me to the cafeteria, the library and to my room. He remembered all three and went to each, one after the other. Then we listened to the buildings by going out to the middle of the playground to clap and here the sound bounce off the building. I spun him around a few times then told him to clap and listen to the building talk back. He pointed right to where the echo came from!

Tomorrow he is looking forward to a new toy I told him about for after he has completed some reading. We are to be observed by the principal tomorrow so I know he will do well.

Study refutes link between central retinal artery occlusion and neovascular glaucoma

Study refutes link between central retinal artery occlusion and neovascular glaucoma

Monday, November 2, 2009

Prayers Needed for Kairos!

We need more names added to our prayer vigil chain at this link:

Pray that our Kairos Prison Ministry weekend workshop goes well. Pray for traveling grace up to the hotel and back and forth to/from the prison and for the 42 resident guests to have a God-breathed experience.

Ms. K