THE MINNESOTA MEMO Summer 2020
A QUARTERLY PUBLICATION OF:
THE AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND OF MINNESOTA
PO box 7171
MINNEAPOLIS MN 55407
The views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily the position of the American Council of the Blind of Minnesota. They are the views of the article’s author.
Product and service information is provided as a resource only and not as an endorsement of a particular product or service.
Catalina Martinez, Editor
Michael Lauf: Web Administrator
Phone numbers of note:
SSB main number (651)539-2300
ACBM (612) 223-5543 Leave Message
Apple support for people with disabilities (877) 204-3930
Microsoft support for people with disabilities (800) 936-5900
Comcast Support For Persons With Disabilities (855) 270-0379
This issue of the Minnesota Memo is dedicated to the memory of Renee Anderson AKA Mouse.
You can use a search for three asterisks to move from article to article.
Table of Contents
Message From the President By Marian Haslerud
Editor’s Note By Catalina Martinez
Memorial For Renee Anderson By Steve and Bonnie Robertson
Dreaming of iPhone 12 and iOS 14 By Morgan Watkins
COSORI Smart Wi-Fi Air Fryer 5.8QT By the Blind Post
Air fryer salmon By The Blind Post
ThermoWorks RT8400 Digital Talking Thermometer
My Views of 2020 Convention by Patty Slaby
Chemo Caps, A Joy BY PHYLLIS CAMPBELL
Message From New Treasurer By Patty Slaby
Bits and Pieces
Board of Directors
Covid-19 has drastically changed our lives. However, with change some particularly good things have happened.
ACB national has instituted community calls on a wide range of topics from recipes, books, sports, and exercise. Each day has something to offer.
This year, the first virtual national convention was held. We enjoyed the general sessions, break out groups, tours, and exhibit hall. Our state affiliate will be holding its first virtual convention as well. The dates are January 22, 2021, through January 24, 2021.
I have had a lot of support from my friends, family, and church. My friends and I talk about news and family events. I have shared knitting and crocheting patterns with them as well. We also find it is important to go out to eat.
Thank you to all of you for supporting ACBM.
I have been enjoying producing the Minnesota Memo, but I also need your help. I would like to bring back the memo to 4 times a year instead of 3 times a year. If you have an article to share, a recipe or just to speak your mind. The Minnesota Memo usually is posted on April, August and December and articles are due the 10th of those months. The memo is for you and all about you, so please consider sending in an article.
Memorial for Renee Anderson
By Steve and Bonnie Robertson
Renee Anderson was born on February 14, 1955 and passed away on June 27, 2020. She is survived by 2 sisters and brother-in-law. She grew up in the small town of Richville MN which has a population of about 600 people. She attended various different public schools throughout her grade school, junior high, and high school years. Public school was difficult for her because of her lack of vision. People with disabilities were not mainstreamed through public schools as frequently at that time. Consequently, she was often bullied and pushed around during those years. She had to fight for survival, which probably led to her seemingly rough exterior.
Her parents moved to Washington state during her last 2 years of high school. She attended Washington State School for the Blind those last 2 years where she was much happier. Renee had many jobs throughout her life. She worked in a potato plant and a turkey plant when she lived in northern Minnesota. After moving to Minneapolis, she worked as a dish washer. She also worked in a daycare center for a few years. She worked as a respite aid for several years where she made 2 lifetime friends due to the kindness of her heart. She received training in the Business Enterprises Program and was a vender for many years. Lastly, she worked as a PCA for Sarah Siegel, a former A C B M member.
Renee enjoyed life. She joined A C B in 2009. She was active with the Blind Bowlers for many years. She had many hobbies including: crocheting, making jewelry, and building pottery. She was a wonderful friend to Steve and me. She helped me clean our house and we always went out to eat afterwards. I enjoyed shopping with her. She loved shopping at secondhand stores and department stores. She was also a terrific grocery shopper. Overall, she was a marvelous friend and will be greatly missed.
Anyone wishing to donate in memory of Renee Anderson, please send donations to:
The Marshmallow Foundation
1478 Mallard Street
Detroit Lakes MN 56501
Also, there will be no memorial service until restrictions are lifted and more people will be able to attend
Bonnie and Steve Robertson
COSORI Smart Wi-Fi___33 Air Fryer 5.8QT
(100 Recipes), Digital Touchscreen with 11 Cooking Presets for Air Frying, Roasting & Keep Warm, Preheat & Shake Remind,
Works with Alexa & Google Assistant,1700W
Food Lady and Hungry use this air fryer several times a week and love it! The app is accessible, and they have it programmed to use with their Alexa. They named their unit “Bob” from the movie “What about Bob?” and then Hungry just asks the lady device to start “Bob” and she asks “at what temperature?” and then he usually says” at 400 degrees for ten minutes: and she says “Dot” which they have not figured out why she says that. The air fryer immediately starts and stops when the ten minutes is up. Food Lady has used the iPhone VeSync app successfully as well.
They have owned their unit since December 2019, and it is still working great!
• The COSORI Smart Wi-Fi___33 has arrived on the Kitchen scene! The first air fryer can now be controlled and monitored with your mobile devices. Special improved
ergonomic angled display provides better viewing, without bending over. Slimmer footprint fit on your countertop and save your space. With the Smart Wi-Fi___33
COSORI is taking your meal preparation to new levels of convenience
• Wi-Fi___33 & Alexa & Google Assistant Enabled: Remotely control your fryer through the VeSync app or through voice commands with Alexa or Google Assistant.
Enjoy control from anywhere to schedule, adjust, and monitor the progress of your meals. Get a head start on dinner by scheduling cook times up to 4 hours
• Over 100 Recipes: Find over 100 original pre-programmed recipes in the VeSync app to get you started, with new recipes being added weekly. Find even
more recipes from Cosori users themselves in our online community
• Large Dishwasher-Safe Basket: Our 5.8-qt square basket can fit an entire 6 lb. rotisserie chicken or make enough food for 3–5 people. The nonstick basket
is removable and dishwasher safe, made with PFOA-free and BPA-free basket materials. Product Dimension: 11. 8*11. 8*12. 6 in; Basket Dimension: 9*9*3.75
• Want to eat healthy, or give the gift of healthier eating? Give the gift of 85% less oil, with fewer “deep-fried” odors lingering in the kitchen. Enjoy
the same delicious, crispy textures and taste as traditionally fried food
• Easy to Use: Cook your favorites using 11 built-in, one-touch presets: Steak, Poultry, Seafood, Shrimp, Bacon, Frozen Foods, French Fries, Vegetables,
Root Vegetables, Bread, Desserts, and a Preheat option. Uses presets manually, or pick a recipe in the app and the settings will automatically adjust
• Cook Faster: Cook your meals in less time than it would take in a conventional oven, but with crispier and tastier results. Constructed with safety in
mind, the air fryer is ETL listed and FDA compliant with Automatic Shutoff and Overheat Protection features. The cool-touch handle and button guard prevent
accidental detachment and touching of hot surfaces. The original air fryer accessory set is also available for use with this fryer: just search for “C158-6AC”
• Requirements: This smart air fryer requires a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi___33 network to operate with the VeSync app. The fryer can only be used with a voltage of AC 120V,
60Hz, which only applies in the US and Canada
Go to amazon.com or smile.amazon.com if you are interested in supporting a charity.
Air fryer salmon
A super simple recipe
Perfectly cooked salmon which is a little crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.
Get two filets of a wild caught salmon.
If your salmon is frozen, either thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or place the salmon packets in a bowl of cool water for about ten minutes or until thawed.
Remove the thawed salmon filets from their packaging and place them skin side down in a glass dish and pat dry with paper towels.
Brush each of the filets with a little bit of olive oil.
About a half of a teaspoon or so for each filet.
Sprinkle the filets with just a bit of sea salt, garlic powder, and a little bit of ground black pepper.
Note: Optional to spray your basket with some cooking oil, avocado or olive or other kinds.
Take the salmon filets from the dish and place them in the basket of your air fryer.
Note: Some air fryers need to preheat at 380 to 400 degrees for five minutes prior to putting the salmon
in the basket.
That is what Food Lady did.
After you have preheated your air fryer, you can cook the salmon for about 7 minutes at 385 or 400 degrees.
You can check them at six minutes to see how cooked or crispy they are.
This is easy with most air fryers to just pull the basket drawer out and then push back in and the cooking will continue from where it left off.
You can use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature done at 145 degrees.
When done you can serve them with a little bit of fresh lemon.
ThermoWorks RT8400 Digital Talking Thermometer
Food Lady and many other blind cooks recommend this thermometer.
• Press the button, it says the temperature!
• Great for the sight-impaired or multi-taskers
• Use it when you cannot read the display
• Super-Fast reduced tip reads in about 5-6 seconds
• Big LCD digits
• Hanging clip
• 0.1-degree resolution
• °C/°F setting on back
• Range: -58 to 572°F (-50 to 300°C)
• Designed in Utah by ThermoWorks
The Digital Talking Thermometer is not a novelty! This digital pocket thermometer is a serious measurement tool that reads temperature with extreme speed
and speaks the temperature readings at the touch of its single large button.
Reg price is $39.00
, but they are having a 15% off site wide sale currently.
Dreaming of iPhone 12 and iOS 14
By Morgan Watkins
I cut my own hair last week. I purchased the Elite Pro electric hair clippers through Amazon and unpacked the much anticipated and quickly sanitized cardboard box. My overly long, unruly, very silver hair felt yucky and gross. It was time to shed the extra weight. I plugged in the clippers, stripped off my shirt and sat on a low plastic footstool over the tiled kitchen floor. Now, I was poised and personally empowered to do great damage. This was going to be fun! I drove those clippers across my locks like a 1965 Ford Mustang. What was the worst that could happen? I could leave a skid mark or two. Luckily, only my wife of forty years, who expects the unexpected from me, would witness the carnage. No one else would ever know. Hair grows, and I am not going anywhere. We have been in solitary confinement for more than a dozen days.
It has been odd spending the last twenty-one consecutive weeks avoiding any other human contact. Admittedly, I am glad we chose to stay safe, to stay at home during the pandemic, but what a strange way to live. I used to be somewhat of a “people person.” Now, I share every moment of every day with my incarcerated wife and my temporarily retired guide dog. We go nowhere and see no one. We live in the shadows. Nowadays, we jump and scramble like cockroaches on the rare occasion when someone rings our doorbell. Who are they? What are they doing here? Are they going to step on us? How dare they approach our house. I want to bellow through the locked door, “I’m 65 years old. Now back off!”
In truth, we have adapted rather well. Life in the stir is all about routine. I know exactly how many calories we ingest every day. Exactly. I know how many eggs I will eat for breakfast. One. Slices of wheat toast? Two. We wrap up every day with a carefully pre-planned dinner and two small glasses of boxed red wine for me. As a treat, one plain, unbuttered, and unsalted tortilla is a late-night snack for us both. Rinse and repeat daily, forever.
Despite the days melting into weeks and months, we do not waste the time. Every day, my wife gets focused on her projects and I drop into my comfy chair. I have important stuff to do. I read AppleVis, play my mandolin and listen to Audible books. And, then I get serious.
On the coffee table next to my chair are two Apple Magic keyboards, a Belkin charging pad, a Mophie battery, AirPods, AirPod Pros and two iPhones. It is where I go to play.
My primary computing device is an iPhone XR. I run iOS 13.6 and stay in that environment if I want to avoid surprises. I am keenly aware and accustomed to its short-comings and bugs. I love many features of iOS 13, in particular the ability to redefine some VoiceOver gestures, but problems with the keyboard and text editing still make me crazy.
Now, when I want to throw caution to the wind, I pick up my retired iPhone 8. I have installed the latest Beta of iOS 14 on it and I have had a chance to start building a relationship with the new operating system. I have no idea of what will be present and what will work when iOS 14 is finally released, but I choose to be hopeful. If everything works as advertised, this could be an overly exciting upgrade.
Part of the reason I am so pleased to have both an iPhone 8 and an iPhone XR is that they are roughly the same dimensions of the purported 5.4 inch and 6.1-inch iPhone 12 devices. I have no idea if the rumors of specific iPhone 12 models are true, but no one is here to tell me different. Of course, I would not likely open the door, even if they dropped by.
My ponderings about the possible upcoming iPhones have had a lot to do with how well they might fit into my hand. In a few ways, I really do not like my iPhone XR. I really enjoy what it can do, and I have no problem with its performance, but it is big, completely fills my shirt pocket and plasters itself against my chest like a hot brick. The iPhone 8 is a much more comfortable fit. It is almost quaint. However, I use new customized four-finger gestures all the time and my digits do not always land squarely on the smaller screen. The iPhone 8 feels as cramped as an airplane bathroom. Only cleaner. So, if I had to make the purchasing decision today, I would probably order one of the much anticipated 6.1-inch iPhones. The one thing I know that I will not do is order the unannounced 6.7-inch monstrosity. I am not interested in an awfully expensive hot slab of anything. Think small, or smaller.
While we sheltered in place, I have rediscovered my AirPods. I love them, again! When I started wearing hearing aids, I thought my AirPods were doomed to being dumped on my pile of old Book Ports and wired headphones. However, being limited to hikes inside my own house and only dressing up to visit the kitchen, I have plenty of free time to try new things. I have happily found that both standard AirPods and AirPod Pros will still fit securely to my ears even while I continue to wear my Oticon Opn S 1 miniRITE hearing aids. Although the Oticon aids make it possible to understand my wife during our confinement, they are not always perfect with VoiceOver. They often develop wacky connectivity issues when I also Bluetooth my Apple Magic Keyboard to my iPhone. AirPods always blissfully work perfectly with my keyboards. I have also discovered a richer music experience when I let my AirPods get involved. I had assumed for many months that hearing aids could not live symbiotically with AirPods and AirPod Pros. I was wrong. Sometimes, just letting the hearing aids listen to the outside world while the AirPods narrate books or play music is quite pleasant. And, iOS 14 promises to make my AirPod Pros work even better as they can be customized for my hearing loss. Good accessibility is good business.
I know that we may be staying on Lock Down for many months to come. However, I am not alone or bored. I research with my iPhone. I read and write and play music with my iPhone. I stay in touch and I stay entertained with my iPhone. If the planet must contend with this viral mess, thank goodness I have an iPhone. There may be a dozen or a score of dozen days left in our self-imposed exile, but I will put the time to good use. I will play with my iPhone and let my hair grow out.
My View of 2020 Convention
By Patty Slaby
A Pathway to the Future was an excellent theme for the Virtual Conference and Convention. Although I had a little apprehension about how it would work, I am far from the only ACB member. I found it to be informative, enjoyable, and expertly presented. I found it to be very accessible by using my laptop, Victor Stream, my Alexa devices, and the phone. I recorded the tours because I could not wait for the podcasts. The sessions were outstanding and a few that stood out for me included: LUA sessions, BRL sessions, The Smart House evening presentation, the transportation, ADP, Microsoft, and general sessions and I gained a great deal of knowledge. I really enjoyed the ACBF sessions especially the Helen Keller Museum and camp stories. The tours were truly informative and enjoyable. I have been to many of the sites but cannot believe how much information I acquired. The White House and Mount Rushmore stand out for me. I missed seeing and visiting with friends, but the community calls help with some of that. I did not however miss standing in line to eat, waiting for food, waiting for elevators, getting lost or the dog relief. I missed helping Sharon as well as she enlightens me every year. I enjoyed the morning sessions prior to General Sessions with Debby and Tony and their speakers. I am hugely impressed with the success, the number of attendees, the money we raised (the auction was something I am glad I chose to attend) and the professionalism that was portrayed. I have been to more than 30 on site conventions and never have enough time to even get to about one third of all the events. A huge thank you to all who made the week possible with all the fun and knowledge.
Yarn, hook, and needle
Chemo Caps, A Joy
BY PHYLLIS CAMPBELL
They are indeed a joy, both for the giver and the recipient. I think most of us feel, what almost amounts to a feeling of guilt when we hear about someone who has been diagnosed as having cancer. We are aware of the blessing of our own good health. “If we could just do something!”
Chemo, among other unpleasant things, often causes the hair to fall out, to the extent, that it is simpler to shave the head. Enter the chemo cap, whether
the person has scant or no hair. This is a joy to give, and a joy to receive, but . . .
There are, as with most things, rules that make the gift more pleasant.
First of all, there is the choice of material. That bare scalp is sensitive, and the yarn must be super soft. If you use a wool blend, it is advisable
to make sure that the recipient is not allergic to wool. If this is a friend or relative, ask. If you are knitting for a charity, make sure that the cap
contains the fiber content, and washing instructions are helpful. Below is a list of yarns that are appropriate for your cap. You will probably find some
of your favorites.
• Bernat Baby Coordinates
• Bernat Boa
• Bernat Cotton-ish
• Bernat Satin Yarn
• Berroco Comfort Yarn
• Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece
• Caron Simply Soft
• Cascade Fixation
• Debbie Bliss Cashmerino
• Knit Picks Shine Sport
• Knit Picks Shine Worsted
• Lion Brand Fun Fur
• Lion Brand Homespun
• Patons Silk Bamboo
• Plymouth Encore
• Red Heart Soft Baby Steps
Note that these are only suggestions, and by no means the only appropriate yarns.
Pattern, to is important. It is a good idea to avoid patterns with holes. Again, try to find out the recipient’s preference. I did a cap for a friend,
who wanted a lacy cap, so as with most things, there is not a hard and fast rule here. The only rule that I suggest you follow to the letter, is to avoid
bumps where possible. Remember that sensitive scalp. A good suggestion is reverse stockinette, stockinette with the bumps on the right side of the fabric.
Seams are also a no-no. Knit your hat in the round to avoid this.
Color is certainly a matter of preference. Neutral colors are nice. They will go with anything. Still, it is nice to be a bit frivolous. Choose bright colors,
that might suit the person’s personality, or dainty colors for those, who might be in that mood.
A couple “never” suggestions. Never, never present items if yours is a smoking home. Harsh? I do not think so. Patients receiving chemo, have compromised
immune systems, and do not need someone’s smell of smoke to add to their problems. If you have pets, check to see if the recipient has an allergy to dogs
or cats. If you are knitting for a charity, consult them first.
Below is a simple pattern for a knit chemo cap. It can be dressed up or down by choice of color, a pompom, fancy button, use your imagination.
Apologies to the crochets. I could not find a pattern for a crocheted cap. Please, if you know where we can find one, let us know.
Knit Head Hugger
Designed by Janelle Schlossman
Click on chemo caps
Materials: • Size 7 16″ circular knitting needles
• Size 8 double pointed needles
• A few oz. Worsted weight yarn
With size 7 circular knitting needles, cast on 88 stitches.
Round 1: Knit
Round 2: Purl
Round 3: Knit
Round 4: Purl
Change to size 8 double pointed needles. Divide stitches between three needles.
Rounds 5-30 K.
Round 31: Knit 9, Knit 2tog (decrease) around.
Round 32: Knit.
Round 33: Knit 8, Knit 2tog (decrease) around.
Round 34: Knit.
Round 35: Knit 7, Knit 2tog (decrease) around.
Round 36: Knit
Round 37: Knit 6, Knit 2tog (decrease) around.
Round 38: Knit 5, Knit 2tog (decrease) around.
Round 39: Knit 4, Knit 2tog (decrease) around.
Round 40: Knit 3, Knit 2tog (decrease) around.
Round 41: Knit 2, Knit 2tog (decrease) around.
Round 42: Knit 1, Knit 2tog (decrease) around.
Round 43: Knit 2tog (decrease) around.
Cut yarn leaving a 12″ tail. Thread yarn end through the remaining 8 stitches. Draw tight and sew closed. Weave in loose end.
(Note) If the bumps seem too harsh, hat can be turned inside out. Just remember this when you fasten off.)
Message From New Treasurer
By Patty Slaby
Greetings ACBM Members, I am serving as your treasurer for the next two years. Here is my contact information and I will update if there is a change. If you have questions, please contact me.
837 Jefferson Street
Arcadia, WI 54612-1727
Landline (608) 323-3614
Cell: (715) 497 9849
***Bits and Pieces
Here is a series by Kelley Armstrong. Series name A Rockton Novel.
The first book is: City of the Lost>, DB84679
Summary: Casey Dunkin, a former detective ends up in the Yukon, a haven for people running from their past. This could be more dangerous than the life she left.
A Darkness Absolute, DB 87032
This Fallen Prey, DB90264.
Watcher in the Woods, DB94101.
Alone in the Wild, DB 98597.
Recommended by Barb Appleby
The next meeting of the Minnesota Christian Fellowship for the Blind is on Saturday, September 12 at 1:00.
The conference call number is 1(701)802-5408 and the code number is 6592171.
The Twin Cities Blind Audio Dart League will decide in October on their starting date.
The blind bowling league will make the decision in December on their starting date.
Board of Directors
President: Marian Haslerud, Minneapolis, MN
(Final term ending in 2021), Phone: (612) 206-5883
Vice president: Michael Malver, Minneapolis, MN (First term ending in 2022), Phone: (612) 267-7047
Secretary: Janet Dickelman, Saint Paul, MN (First term ending in 2021), Phone: (651) 428-5059
Treasurer: Patty Slaby, Arcadia, WI (First term ending in 2022), Phone: (608)863-8561
Abby Winters, Minneapolis, MN (First term ending in 2021), Phone: (320)266-0233
Barb Appleby, Maplewood, MN (Final Term Ending In 2022), Phone: (651) 238-0015, E-mail: email@example.com
Nancy Schadegg, Richfield, MN, (Final Term Ending In 2022), Phone: (612) 798-5178, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Catalina Martinez, Minneapolis, MN (first Term Ending In 2021 to Complete Jane Lund’s Term(612)227-3011, email@example.com
Colleen Kitagawa, Richfield, MN (First Term Ending In 2022), (612)869-8584, firstname.lastname@example.org