Thursday, December 31, 2009

Article: Student's idea led to large print bill

Always tell my young writers to write & find out. That's how we got yellow markings at Lee High. One of my kids wrote the admin about it. The student in the article below is not my student but my kind of kid! What are you encouraging your students to do? Just worksheets?


Student's idea led to large print bill

For those who have a hard time seeing the small print on those monthly bills, you can thank a former Forest Hills High School student for suggesting an optional larger type size so you can stop straining your eyes when paying your bills.

In the auditorium of Forest Hills High School, Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi and State Senator Joseph Addabbo awarded a Pen Certificate to the principal, Saul Goodnick and the students, on Thursday, December 17 – signifying that the large print bill had been signed into law by Governor David A. Paterson.

For more of this story, click on or type the URL below:

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Family Blessings and Family Miracles

[I started this on December 29, 2009]

My family has just celebrated the third Christmas without my dad's physical presence. Christmas day and again last night we were laughing about something Daddy had said and some of the things he did. We have a lot of outrageous and humorous recollections of family-famous sayings. My father had an awesome sense of humor. No one was having a sad recollection of him. He'd started having strokes in 1980 and had about ten in the years following up until 2007. In the last years he walked slowly or on a walker until he became bedridden and we took him almost everywhere until it was not possible. That is a miracle. No one has so many strokes and is still able to talk and joke...and in most cases--live. That was one of our family miracles.

My dad's stubbornness was another family miracle. He once told my sister that he was ready to go home but he wanted the youngest of his four grandchildren to be old enough to remember him. I believe that grandchildren were the vehicle God used for my dad's saving grace. Doctors said he was dead twenty years ago. That is a miracle.

All of us have been together this Christmas/NewYear's holiday. Usually there are other blessings we celebrate during this time. My niece's birthday is two days after Christmas and my oldest nephew's birthday is three days after Christmas.

My nephew has a testimony and knows it. He was a miracle baby.

About the time he was born I'd just been transferred from a self-contained classroom for preschoolers with ROP to being itinerant. My youngest sister had moved to Texas where she was a speech therapist for a retirement home. My mother admonished her for driving that long distance home alone at five months pregnant. A bit after getting to my mom's she was not feeling well and later my parents took her to Woman's Hospital where she was admitted.

After a few days of drugs to strengthen the baby's lungs and make him remain in utero he decided to come anyway.

There were all types of complications that arose for him. He weighed only 1 pound and 12 ounces. One of the pediactirc ophthamologists who sees a large number of my students had diagnosed him with retinopathy of prematurity. He developed heart/lung bleeding and had surgery to have that defect repaired. Then he had a stroke which led to mild cerebral palsey on his right side.

When he was allowed to come home the following April, it was the original time that he was supposed to be born. The ROP had gone into remission. He came home with a nasal candula that he had to wear most of the day. He was on a respiratory monitor which was to sound an alarm if he should stop breathing. He also had swallowing difficulties up until he was about one year old.

That was about the time that during a visit to a doctor, my sister was told that he would never walk, talk or sit up on his own. His home nurse had accompanied them to that visit and reassured my sister that the doctor didn't know what she was talking about. She saw something else in my nephew.

One day when my sister came home from work, the nurse said, "Let your son show you what he can do." My nephew, who had been crawling around on the carpet, got up and ran across the room to his mother. When he started talking it was nonstop business!

A few years later he was sitting in my lap at a local library computer. He was too tiny to sit in the chair without me as his booster seat. The librarian thought he was a baby playing on the computer until he stopped to watch him operate the mouse. Because his right hand was weaker from the cerebral palsey my daughter and I had switch the mouse pad and the keyboard around and taught him how to use the mosue with his left hand.

The librarian said, "WOW! That baby can use a computer!"

Grumbling under his breath without looking up from what he was doing, my nephew said, "I'm not a baby. I'm four years old."

These pictures are from his fifteenth birthday. He still has a mild problem with the CP on his right side, however his educational re-evaluation showed his reading level is that of a college graduate.

Sometimes I wish the doctor who said he would not walk, talk or sit up could see him now. She did not take into consideration that he was born into a praying family. He's definitely another family miracle

Monday, December 28, 2009

School Reunion Party

Saturday my high school alma mater had a reunion party. It was very interesting yet quite fun. I attended a university laboratory school. If you know anything about them they are kinda sorta semi-private/semi-public sometimes. Usually university professors' kids go there and it's called a laboratory school because it is a training place for internist educators to practice under seasoned teachers before getting out into the real teaching world.

Anyway, I went with my husband and my siblings. I was excited to meet up with one of my school mates named Paul. He and his brother came from Taiwan to attend the school for two years. Paul was a year ahead of me while his brother Eugene was in my class. Paul and I have been sharing emails for a few years. I always thought those two boys were very brave when they arrived at a predominantly Black school with English as a second language. Their parents worked on campus with my father. A group of us were very protective of them but their personalities were such that everyone liked them.

The alumni association is run by the next generation. I'm not complaining. That's just the way it is. Anyway, the party was open to all alumni and a larger amount of the younger folks were there. My Hunnee was joking that as we all sat in seats that had been placed on the stage area, our group looked like the faculty table overlooking the student population. When they called for classes of different decades to get together, we were the smallest and oldest there.The classes of 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1977 were represented in about seven of us.

We had a good time reminiscing with each other. Paul took some good photos of the group and the rest of the crowd. His lovely children came out to share with us. He'd also made some xerox copies of photos he had from high school so we could help him put names to some of the faces. That was a very cool thing for him to think of. That got us all to talking and looking back at those times with great fondness.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Article: Expanding Possibilities for People with Vision loss

AFB American Foundation
for the Blind TM

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Dear Friend,

At the American Foundation for the Blind, it is our mission and
guiding force to help individuals with vision loss redefine the
boundaries of what is possible.

As a reader of our publications, you probably already know that
for nearly 90 years AFB has brought innovation, support and information
to people with visual impairments, their families and the professionals
who serve them.

What you may not know is that AFB relies on the generosity of the
community -- of people like you who understand the importance of our
mission -- in order to provide much-needed programs and services such

Information Tools -- available 24 hours a day/7 days a week to people
across the country and around the world, our award-winning website, and the tremendously successful online communities we have built
through our Senior Site® and Family Connect™ programs, provide
cutting-edge resources and a wealth of information to millions of men,
women and children with visual impairments as well as their caregivers
and families.

Assistive Technology -- a field AFB has pioneered since our founding
with innovative research into the next generation of devices and
adaptations for people with vision loss from cell phones and computers
to iPods.

Advocacy Efforts -- to ensure the law as well as regulations, from
Washington to state capitals to communities around the nation, address
the unique needs of people with vision loss.

If you'd like to join us in our efforts to make real difference in the
lives of people who are blind or visually impaired, please make a
contribution today. We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.


Carl Augusto
President & CEO

P.S. We understand that you may not choose to support AFB at this time;
therefore, if you wish to opt out of receiving fundraising solicitation
emails from AFB respond to this email with "unsubscribe" in the subject
line. This action will not affect future messages from AFB Press.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fw: [Past Expiry Cartoon] [CARTOON] Tiger Woods as Santa

MsKathyssLogo2.gif picture by mskathy0724

Ms. Kathy's Kids Blog:

"Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!

I confess, I borrowed the punchline from a verbal joke I heard, but I removed the original riddle's question to better suit a cartoon of mine featuring special gueststar Confucius."

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm Really Proud of da Boxcutta's Blog

I'm really proud of the "Boxcutta's Blog.' That is what one of my students calls himself.

Sorry I can't let you go there. We made it secure so that only family and close friends can view it.

Uploaded one of his videos there the other day.


You know what? Why don't you let your students keep secure blogs here? It is a good way for teachers to document student work and parents can access them any time. Make your self one of their admin. Why, that's a good idea! Glad I thought of it!

Yahoo! Green Article - Find the best filter for your tap water

mskathy has sent you a news article
(Email address has not been verified.)
Personal message:

Find the best filter for your tap water

Saturday, December 12, 2009


That is just too funny. Thanks for sharing Brother Jules! I'm sharing with others in this reply.

--- On Fri, 12/11/09, Jules M Arceneaux II wrote:
From: Jules M Arceneaux IISubject: DecorationsTo:Date: Friday, December 11, 2009, 7:37 PM

Make sure to read story at bottom…
The Good news is that I truly outdid myself this year
with my Christmas decorations. The bad news is
that I had to take him down after 2 days. I had more
people come screaming up to my house than ever.
Great stories. But two things made me take it down.

First, the cops advised me that it would cause

traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when

they drove by.Second, a 55 year old lady

grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed

herself putting it against my house and

didn't realize it was fake until she climbed

to the top (she was not happy). By the way,

she was one of many people who attempted

to do that. My yard couldn't take it either.

I have more than a few tire tracks where

people literally drove up my yard.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lazy "A" Teacher

Most classes I visit confirm that one cannot be lazy and be a teacher. It cannot be done! Teachers have so much they need to do and the children will not allow it!

However once in a while I see someone who ticks me off royally. I come into their classroom and they are sitting behind their desks in the same place I left them last week. Some older teachers still think that they sit behind the desks while the kids work--usually doing seat work after a boring lecture. That time has past. I'm not talking about the paperwork/computer work that has to be done from behind the desk. I'm talking about those who park their tuchas behind the desk at 8:00AM and don't move from the spot except for lunch, fire drills and break time. If they need something from across the room, they usually bark at a student or wave a finger at a paraprofessional. They are few and far between but they exist these lazy "A's."

I had a kid in a classroom where the teacher sat with her favorite para on one side while the other paras did most of the work. Did I say "most of"? I should have omitted that phrase. I gave her the benefit of a doubt at one time, thinking she may have been overwhelmed by a new situation. I gave her several ideas and showed her how to include the student with visual impairments. My that would be like too much work! I noticed that after I brought some materials in to the room they were used to rearrange her room so she could see who was coming into her class but those arriving would not see her immediately. She could jump up or turn to her computer keyboard and look quite busy to those unfamiliar with the situation. To keep the kids quiet in the mornings until they left for their inclusion classes she had prepared a binder of worksheets for each student. Did I ever explain how much I loathe an improperly used worksheet? That's a later discussion.

Even though the child was on my related service caseload I pulled the kid out to work with him so that he could learn something and not lose what he'd been taught the years before under a couple of excellent teachers. There were no lessons going on in there that I could observe and help her with modifying for a student with visual impairments, so for the sake of the child, I had to pull him out.

There is another teacher who has considered herself as mastering not looking as lazy as she is because she doesn't sit behind a desk. She does, however have several rolling chairs placed about the class and she will roll herself between the children's desks. She does not allow the children to get up or do much that is different. They must conform to the way she teaches or fail. The three or four students read on different levels from the same reading series with no modifications or outside sources. HELLO! YOU HAVE A COMPUTER TO LOOK UP THIS STUFF! YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO LEAVE THE ROOM TO FIND SUPPORTIVE LESSON MATTER!! LAZY "A."

I need to write one of my lists. I think it should be called "You Know You're Lazy 'A' Teacher If..." Yeah. I'll do that.

Fresno Teen Hopes for a Taste of Sight

Ms.Kathy has sent you the following story:

Posted on Friday, Dec. 04, 2009

Fresno teen hopes for taste of sight
By Barbara Anderson / The Fresno Bee

An experimental device that uses the tongue instead of the eyes to "see" could be on the market next year, and a blind Fresno teen hopes to be among the first to take one home.

Researchers say their BrainPort device does not replace the sense of sight, but lets the blind perceive images, making it easier for them to navigate their surroundings.

One group they foresee benefiting: Troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who are blind because of brain injuries.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Recommended article on ScienceDirect

Go to ScienceDirect® Home
Recommended Articles

Sent By: Ms. Kathy
I thought you would find this useful on ScienceDirect.

1.Visual experiences in the blind induced by an auditory sensory substitution device
Consciousness and Cognition, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 1 December 2009
Jamie Ward, Peter Meijer

Access the ScienceDirect Info site if you have questions about this message or other features of this service.

This email has been sent to you by ScienceDirect, a division of Elsevier B.V., Radarweg 29, 1043 NX Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Tel.+31 20 485 3911.

ScienceDirect respects your privacy and does not disclose, rent or sell your personal information to any non-affiliated third parties without your consent, except as may be stated in the ScienceDirect online privacy policy.

By using email or alert services, you agree to comply with the ScienceDirect Terms and Conditions.

© 2009 ScienceDirect. All rights reserved. Any unauthorized use, reproduction, or transfer of this message or its contents, in any medium, is strictly prohibited. ScienceDirect® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Prayer request

My supervisor is going to be out for breast cancer surgery. After the surgery her physicians will determine if she will need more treatment in the form of radiation and/or chemo.Please list her up in prayer and add her to your prayer lists.

Hmm. Blindness is a low incidence population and those of us who specialize in educating those with blindness/visual impairments are of an even lower incidence population. Yet she is the third of us in the last year to have some form of cancer. You think this area of the country is called "cancer alley" for nothing?

My sister, the one who returned to Denver, has just started her treatments for a form of leukemia that is closely related to the lymphoma for which I was treated last year. PLease lift her up as well.

MsKathyssLogo2.gif picture by mskathy0724

Ms. Kathy's Kids Blog:

--- On Mon, 11/30/09, Kathy wrote:

From: Kathy Michael
Subject: Re: FYI
Cc: mskat
Date: Monday, November 30, 2009, 3:36 PM

I will be sure to lift you up in prayer. We have a long list of prayer warriors who will be more than glad to do the same.

Mrs. K
Visual Impairments Specialist
W Elementary School

Monday, November 30, 2009 - Friends' bond inspires viewers
Powered by
* Please note, the sender's email address has not been verified.
This is a heartwarmingly good story. There should be more on front page news like this.

Click the following to access the sent link: - Friends' bond inspires viewers*
Get your EMAIL THIS Browser Button and use it to email content from any Web site. Click here for more information.
*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...

To read the rest of this article, please click on the link below:

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)

If you're having trouble viewing this article, click here to view it in your browser.

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

Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm Finding Stuff Again

There's been lots of paper work and two IEP's to attend so I have not been able to author posts like I really want to. I have photos of somethings I have been adapting for use with my kids. Some of these I make and others I "make into." hee hee!

I have a toy tester at my home school where my little "office" is . After he has done his work he searches my shelves for toys. When he approves then it's good. You'll see him in a photo "toy testing." I used one where his face is not really clear so you won't go looking for him on Main Street. {:^D}

I found this learning mat in a Dollar General for only $15. Here's a photo of the box which shows how it's used. There are some adhesive rubber disks in the package but the directions don't say what they're for. Anyway the surface of the toy is smooth so I am trying some 3D paint on key areas for the blind.
This is what the toy looks like out of the bag. if you look close up, I have painted raised lines around the colored letters and panels. I'm leaving it there on the floor over the weekend to dry. Knowing my "Toy Tester" he will probably try to peel all of it off the first time he tries to play with it if it doesn't feel right. My braille writer is on the blink so I can't stick braille letters and colors on the spots right now. We get leftover braille writers when we work with the multi-disabled kids. But that's a soap box for another time. Don't get me started!
This is the 3D paint by the company that makes Elmer's glue.

This is a leap frog toy called "Fridge Farm Animal Magnets." I paid only $5 for it at a garage sale. It plays music and has a couple of sound effect puzzle games. One game involves matching the animal halves and another involves mixing them up to make silly combinations. I thought I'd braille the animal parts but my toy tester showed me I don't need it. He has already memorized what the pig feels like and loves to make a "pig-duck" to hear the silly song about a pig-duck.

I couldn't afford a big playground ball but Mr. Toy Tester has shown me that he likes this garage sale exercise ball. He can hear it when it bounces away because the bouncing sound from it echoes. It's tough enough for sitting on. Mr.Toy Tester likes to dribble this one, too. The only thing I don't like about it is it's color. I wish there was some way I could color it some bright fluorescent color. I had a student some years ago who could track a big orange playground ball against the green grass using some light perception.

This is an old poster I made maybe 10 years ago on fluorescent orange poster board to make my point to folks who had my low vision kids in their classes.

I made my own dry-erase board by gluing some bulletin board boarder around a ghost line poster. I laminated it and stuck it on a wooden bulletin board.

I had a toy phone that Toy Tester loved to borrow so I got this one for his birthday. I found it in Wal-Mart. It also plays music, has voices and teaches emergency numbers and home phone numbers. I stuck these braille numbers on it but they fell off in a day or so. He let me know they are not needed because he's already memorized where all the numbers and function buttons are located. He says he uses it to call girlfriends.

HumanWare Literacy Activities

Get your kids to participate in this!

Share your experience of the BrailleNote at school and you could win
This year the United States Mint offers 2009 Louis Braille Commemorative Coins. These coins honor the inventor of the Braille System of reading and writing used by the blind and visually impaired. They have been released in 2009 to mark the 200th anniversary of his birth.

HumanWare will draw 8 of these exceptional commemorative coins each month to students ages 8 to 18 years old. To participate, simply write a short essay on how the BrailleNote empowers your life at school - for your homework, math, Internet, book reading, and more!

8 coins to win each month!

Send us your essay along with the form below to participate
Draw ends December 31 2009

Legion Foundation Awards More Than $636K in Grants

Legion Foundation Awards More Than $636K in Grants

October 15, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The American Legion Child Welfare
Foundation, in its 55th year, has awarded $636,869 to 19 non-profit
organizations. These grants, determined during the annual meeting of the
Board of Directors, held at the Sheraton Hotel City Centre in
Indianapolis, Ind., on October 11, have been awarded to support
worthwhile projects through the dissemination of information to the
general public and specific target groups. The following is a brief
summary of the grants awarded for 2010:

American Legion Children's Home of Ponca City, Okla., was awarded
$41,000 for their project "American Legion Children's Home National
Awareness Initiative Phase II." This grant will support an endeavor to
increase the awareness of the American Legion Children's Home which was
established to support the children of veterans families by campaigning
to increase support and expand services to children in need. The
American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of The American Legion sponsor
this grant.

American Legion of Nevada of Las Vegas was awarded $3,037.25 for their
project "Hear Today - Learn Tomorrow (HT-LT)." This grant will: develop
and distribute letters requesting discount services from medical
providers and hearing aid manufactures for participants in the HT-LT
program, produce information sheets about the availability of support to
families of hearing impaired children, and produce public service
announcements related to HT-LT program.

Boys Scouts of America, Exploring Program Denver was awarded $35,717 for
their project "Experience 9 to 5." This grant will produce 12,000 course
catalogs, 31,200 flyers and 90 posters associated with the Experience 9
to 5 program.

Childhood Leukemia Foundation of Brick, N.J., was awarded $48,000 for
their project "Hope Binders." This grant will print and ship 1,600 Hope
Binders to 160 hospitals nationwide to be given to families facing the
diagnosis of childhood cancer. The American Legion Auxiliary sponsors
this grant.

Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters (CHKD) of Norfolk, Va.,
$30,050 for their project "A Guide to Chest Wall Deformities in
Children: Info. for parents, patients and physicians." This grant will
develop and distribute "A Guide to Chest Wall Deformities in Children:
Information for parents, patients and primary care physicians" as a
CD-ROM to better educate families and physicians. The Sons of The
American Legion sponsor this grant.

Children's Institute, Inc. of Rochester, NY was awarded $30,500 for
their project "Building Connections for Military Families through Play."
This grant will provide the DVD "Possibilities of Play: Building
Connections through Play" to schools and community agencies that work
with children and families in the military. The American Legion
Auxiliary sponsors this grant.

Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation of Avon, Conn., was awarded
$16,744 for their project "Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Screening
Checklist for Medical Professionals." This grant will create a CdLS
Screening Checklist and distribute it nationally to 16,000 pediatric

Diabetes Education and Camping Association of Huntsville, Ala., was
awarded $25,000 for their project "├ó€˜Ready, View, Go' - Diabetes Camp
Web Training Project." This grant will produce diabetes training videos
that will prepare camp directors and staff how to handle diabetes issues
in a camp setting.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of New York, N.Y., was awarded
$39,500 for their project "I'm Aaron and I'm Bionic." This grant will
produce 4,000 DVDs that will educate teachers, classmates and friends
about the history of treatment for type 1 diabetes and the newest
innovation, the artificial pancreas. The American Legion Auxiliary
sponsors this grant.

Mercy Medical Airlift of Virginia Beach, Va., was awarded $45,700 fogrant will provide five modernized and updated websites and a full
social media presence providing full information dissemination to the
public and pediatric medical world regarding available charitable child
patient long-distance medical air transportation. The Sons of The
American Legion sponsors this grant.

The MY HERO Project of Laguna Beach, Calif., was awarded $28,872.50 for
their project "The MY HERO Report - Youth Edition, Volume Two." This
grant will research, produce and distribute training videos for students
to tell their own hero stories through video and filmmaking.

National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) of New York, N.Y., was
awarded $45,500 for their project "Empowering Parents to Advocate for
their Children with Learning Disabilities." This grant will revise and
enhance NCLD website to ensure parents of children with learning
disabilities are aware of their children's rights and inform parents
that they can advocate for them.

National Exchange Club Foundation of Toledo, Ohio, was awarded $25,000
for their project "Child Abuse Prevention Kits." This grant will
produce, print and distribute 1,000 Child Abuse Prevention kits, expand
and enhance website and purchase promotional items.

National Reye's Syndrome Foundation of Bryan, Ohio, was awarded $38,200
for their project "Reye's Syndrome/Influenza Awareness School Mailing."
This grant will mail postcards to 131,377 schools across the U.S.,
directing school nurses and health care givers to the website to
download handouts, brochures, bookmarks, literature, list of products
containing aspirin and wellness information and distribute it to
students to take home to parents and caregivers. The American Legion
Auxiliary sponsors this grant.

PKS Kids of Florissant, Mo., was awarded $29,500 for their project
"Recognizing A Pallister-Killian Child." This grant will, through a
direct mail campaign, raise awareness of Pallister-Killian Syndrome by
50,000 pediatric doctors.

SADD, Inc. (Students Against Destructive Decisions) of Marlborough,
Mass., was awarded $54,549 for their project "SADD's Parents' Corner
Program." This grant will redesign the website and integrate a new
feature called the "Parents' Corner," which will offer practical advice,
tips and information to parents, teachers, school staff, coaches, summer
camp professions, and other caring adults to enhance adult/teen
communication. The Sons of The American Legion sponsors this grant.

Spina Bifida Association of Washington, D.C., was awarded $40,000 for
their project "Faces of Spina Bifida." This grant will product "Faces of
Spina Bifida," a social network for children with Spina Bifida designed
to facilitate peer-to-peer support.

Tourette Syndrome Association, Inc. of Bayside, N.Y., was awarded
$25,000 for their project "The Tourette Syndrome Youth Ambassador
Program: Kids Teaching Kids." This grant will create and produce
presentation kits to be used by Tourette Syndrome sufferers as they
educate a nation of children about what Tourette Syndrome is and is not.

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Inc. (TAPS) of Washington,
D.C., was awarded $35,000 for their project "TAPS Children's Grief Kit
and Interactive Website." This grant will produce 5,000 Caisson
Horse/Comfort Book packages and website, for children who have lost a
parent serving in the military, to assist them understand their grief.
The Sons of The American Legion sponsors this grant.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


My husband sent this oldie-goodie. It's a good reminder for each of us.

--- On Thu, 10/15/09, David M wrote:

From: GOD
Reference: LIFE

This is God. Today I will be handling All of your problems for you. I do Not need your help. So, have a nice day.
I love you.

P.S. And, remember...
If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do Not attempt to resolve it yourself! Kindly put it in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box. I will get to it in MY TIME. All situations will be resolved, but in My time, not yours.

Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it by worrying about it. Instead, focus on all the wonderful things that are present in your life now.

If you find yourself stuck in traffic, don't despair. There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard of privilege.

Should you have a bad day at work; think of the man who has been out of work for years..

Should you despair over a relationship gone bad; think of the person who has never known what it's like to love and be loved in return.

Should you grieve the passing of another weekend; think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week to feed her children.

Should your car break down, leaving you miles away from assistance; think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that walk.

Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror; think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes she had hair to examine.

Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering what is life all about, asking what is my purpose? Be thankful. There are those who didn't live long enough to get the opportunity.

Should you find yourself the victim of other people's bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities; remember, things could be worse. You could be one of them!

Should you decide to send this to a friend; Thank you. You may have touched their life in ways you will never know!
Now, you have a nice day...God