March 2022 Chronicle

March 2022 Chronicle

kicks & Giggles: Editor’s Note

By Debra Whitt

       My name is Debra Whitt and I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the new editor of the Chronicle. I’d also like to thank our president, Naomi Soule, for giving me this wonderful opportunity. I know I am following in the steps of some really great past editors, and I will attempt to continue the high standards set by my predecessors. I would like to encourage my readers to send in suggestions concerning articles they might like to see in future issues, or even some jokes, riddles, or helpful hints to share. I hope you enjoy this edition of the Chronicle, and I look forward to producing many more issues in the future.

Remember! Join the MCB for a fun time on March 12th at 2:00 p.m. for the auction!  Just for kicks and giggles, here is a riddle to ponder while you read the Chronicle. See if you can figure out the answer by the time you reach the Chronical Comical section, where you can find the answer.

If I had four eggs
And a thief game me three
And my rooster laid five more
How many eggs do I have?

President’s Report

By Naomi Soule, President

As I write this article, many of us are recovering from the winter storm. I hope all of you are safe and well. It has been busy these past few months. We are planning a lot of activities for this year. Start planning to attend the MCB Auction on March 12. We have some great items for you to bid on. I will be bidding on a few things for sure. You will be getting more information as we get closer.

ACB's Leadership and Legislative Meeting will be virtual this year. Chip Hailey, Kay Malmquist, and I will be attending, along with our Education and Advocacy Chair. Speaking of legislative issues, we will have had our Education and Advocacy Zoom call to discuss the bills that our Education and Advocacy Committee voted to support. Lobbying at the Missouri Capitol will be virtual, and your affiliate representatives will be sent a list of state representatives to contact.

MCB will be at Power Up April 4-6 in Blue Springs. MCB will have a booth in the exhibit area. During the conference, both Chip Hailey and Denny Huff will be conducting breakout sessions.

The Convention Committee is working on the 2022 MCB Convention which will be held in Saint Louis in October. You will hear more as plans materialize.

Take care and be safe.

Affiliates Reporting

AGAPE Council of the Blind

By Wilma Chestnut-House

       Good day to all MCB members! All good things have been happening with AGAPE. As I stated in our last issue of the Chronicle, I thought that we might be starting this year off with our first male president in the 26-year history of AGAPE. Well, it has officially happened. Mr. Patrick Patton is now our new President. Patrick has been “Member of the Month” and received “The Darrell Lauer” award. He has great ideals and plans for our affiliate. This is going to be an exciting time for us.

       Ronnie Dowell is our new Vice-President and Treva Patton is our new treasurer. We welcome our new officers! 

       We have four new members: Jenetra Perry, Carla Greene, Kathryn Warren, and Mike Isreal. We welcome them also.

       At Christmas time we gave a hearty food basket to Mr. and Mrs. McRoberts. We did not give the traditional Christmas meal. Instead, we gave food that would probably take them into the first two weeks of the year.

       Great news!  AGAPE was chosen to host the 66th State Convention this year to be held in St. Louis. The theme is “All Things Western.” For Friday night, along with hospitality, we will be hosting an auction and a night of trivia. We are asking individuals and/or affiliates to donate something for the auction. If you want to donate, please call me and let me know what it is that you have. My number is (314) 873-9022.  

       If you would like to participate in “All Things Western” you can wear your best western gear to the banquet or just come and check everyone else out. There will be a prize for the two best dressed people. More information will come later. Thank you in advance for your donation!

Blind of Central Missouri

By Alicia Starner

       As we brought this year to a close, we were blessed to meet in-person on December 5, 2021. We shared a delicious catered meal and celebrated the joy of the holiday season at the Celebration Center in Sedalia. After months of isolation during the pandemic, it was nice to be able to come together to celebrate Christmas. Sadly, we lost one member shortly before Christmas. We will all miss Kenny Carter. He was known by all for his love of music. He was active in his church and owned and operated his own business for many years. Rest in peace, Kenny. I am sure the piano in heaven is in perfect tune now that you are there to make sure the music continues to play.

Delta Area for the Blind

By Wanda Matlock

       Hello to everyone from Delta Area! On November 30, the members of Delta Area, along with a few family members and friends, had a Christmas party at Suzie’s Bake Shop in Sikeston, Missouri. We like to have our Christmas party in late November so we can keep the month of December open for our members to concentrate on what they need to do to spend time with their own families.
       We are happy to report that our affiliate was blessed again this year to have the funding to adopt two families for Christmas. One family is from New Madrid County and the other family is from Scott County. We received very nice thank-you cards from both families. Having the means to assist a family in need just warms my heart.

       Our affiliate continues to work on our page on the MCB website. So far, we have our mission statement, place, address, and time of meetings, as well as our contact information. We are in the process of sending in pictures of past events and will continue to send in pictures of events going forward.

       This year marks the 40th anniversary of Delta Area. Yes, Delta area has been around since 1982! I would very much like to have a big celebration, but with everything going on right now, we will just have to see how everything goes. Whatever we decide to do, we want to be as safe as possible.

       At our January 25th meeting, many items were discussed. One item in particular was that our membership, along with the MCB Adaptive Technology Grant Program, were able to assist a member with the purchase of a new computer. Those of us that need adaptive equipment are fortunate to have the Adaptive Technology Grant Program and other programs that MCB offers.

       After our business meeting we treated ourselves with pizza, chocolate chunk cookies, and drinks. If anyone is interested in attending a Delta Area Meeting, we meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month at Concordia Lutheran Church on Park Avenue in Sikeston, Missouri. If you have any questions, please contact me at (573) 379-3880 or

       From our affiliate to yours, we wish you a very safe and happy springtime!

St. Charles County Council of the Blind

By Marjorie Petrofsky

       I hope everybody had a safe and happy holiday. Our November meeting was in-person for the first time in a year and a half. It was nice to see everybody, but there is a lot to be said about sitting in your robe drinking coffee!

       Our Christmas party was also in-person at Amis restaurant in O'Fallon. The staff was friendly, as always, and the food was delicious. We had an amazing time. Kim ad Johanna outdid themselves again.

       We had a gift exchange and plenty of goodies. My son Jarred and I ended up with two ten-dollar gift cards to Applebee’s with some finagling. Guess where we ate dinner the next day?  There were plenty of goodies to go around and we all went home with plenty of candy and snacks. Our January meeting was also in-person. We discussed upcoming elections and officer nominations. We were able to do our 50/50. To everybody, stay safe and remember that spring is just around the corner!

Springfield Service Club of the Blind

By Vince Sobris

The Springfield Service Club of the Blind is now accepting applications for the Guide Dog Assistance Program.  Missouri residents who are the current handlers of guide dogs obtained from legitimate guide dog schools within the United States may apply.  To request an application for the Guide Dog Assistance Program, email the Springfield Service Club of the Blind at  Handlers will need to provide the following required information as part of the application process:

1) Full name of guide dog handler;

2) Name of guide dog;

3) Name of school where the guide dog was issued;

4) A list of all resources requested by the handler to assist with the guide dog’s medical expenses, if applicable;

5) name and phone number for the veterinarian currently treating the guide dog. 

All applications and distribution of funds are subject to club approval.  There is a $500 lifetime benefit for the Guide Dog Assistance Program for each approved guide dog.  This program will consider the distribution of funds for medical necessities only.

Library Users of Missouri

By Darrel Vickers

The goal of Library Users is to support the Wolfner Memorial Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Also, to promote literacy and the use of public libraries by persons who are blind or visually impaired in Missouri.

Our officers are President Kerry Smith, Vice-President Rhonda Jones, Secretary Donna Siren and Treasurer Susan Sanderson. Our members are comprised of people who love to read and are committed to literacy for all. We normally meet once a year in person at the MCB convention. We have other conference calls as needed. We also host the library users’ breakfast at the convention. If you would like to become a member, contact the MCB office for an application.

One of the ways we support Wolfner is by donating moneys for prizes for Wolfner activities such as the Winter and Summer reading programs. Contact Wolfner for more information.

Wolfner Library is a free library service for Missourians who are unable to use standard print materials due to a visual or physical disability. Materials are mailed to and from library patrons at their homes, postage paid. There is no charge, whatsoever, to the patron. Currently, over 8,000 Missourians actively use Wolfner Library.

The library's collection includes fiction and nonfiction audio, braille, and large print books for all ages. Over seventy (70) magazine subscriptions are available, and the library loans playback machines to those using audiobooks.

Contact Wolfner at (573) 751-8720 or toll free (800) 392-2614. Send email to or visit their web page at

Books You May Like

At the Edge of Honor DB73883

Macomber, Robert N. Reading time: 9 hours, 31 minutes.

Read by Ray Foushee.


Florida, 1863. Peter Wake, a fifth-generation New England sea captain, joins the Union East Gulf Blockading Squadron stationed at Key West and takes command of an armed sloop. Wake and his crew patrol the tropical coasts and islands of Florida, Cuba, and the Bahamas, as they battle the Confederacy. 2002.

There Plant Eyes: A Personal and Cultural History Of Blindness DB104014

Godin, M. Leona. Reading time: 12 hours, 49 minutes.

Read by M. Leona Godin.


A history of blindness across art, literature, and culture, exploring how blindness has been used throughout time as a metaphor for both ignorance and transcendence. Through detailed analysis and autobiographical examples, the author presents connections to the science of blindness, accessibility developments, and humanity's larger understanding of the world. Includes supplemental material. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2021.

The Girls In The Stilt House: A Novel DB105779

Mustian, Kelly. Reading time: 9 hours, 58 minutes.

Read by Johanna Parker.

Historical Fiction

Mississippi, early 1920s. Ada promised herself she would never go back to the Trace, to her hard life on the swamp and her harsh father. Matilda, daughter of a sharecropper, is from the other side of the Trace, doing what she can to protect her family from some locals. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2021.

Will DB105577

Smith, Will; Manson, Mark. Reading time: 16 hours, 19 minutes.

Read by Will Smith.

Stage and Screen

Smith tells his story of going from a West Philadelphia kid to one of the biggest rap stars of his era, and then one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood. But he also talks about the impact of fame on his family and how he gained balance and inner happiness. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2021.

The Boys: A Memoir Of Hollywood And Family DB105473

Howard, Ron; Howard, Clint; Howard, Bryce Dallas. Reading time: 13 hours, 21 minutes.

Read by Clint Howard.

Stage and Screen, Biography of Entertainers, Biography, Bestsellers

In a joint memoir, brothers Ron and Clint Howard share their experiences coming of age in Hollywood. With two supportive actors for parents, the brothers both found early success on TV shows as children--Ron on The Andy Griffith Show and Clint on Gentle Ben. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2021.

At The Edge Of Honor DB73883

Macomber, Robert N. Reading time: 9 hours, 31 minutes.

Read by Ray Foushee.


Florida, 1863. Peter Wake, a fifth-generation New England sea captain, joins the Union East Gulf Blockading Squadron stationed at Key West and takes command of an armed sloop. Wake and his crew patrol the tropical coasts and islands of Florida, Cuba, and the Bahamas, as they battle the Confederacy. 2002.

Until next time.



Committees Reporting

Multi-Media Committee

By Denny Huff, Chair

       Greetings! Let me first thank my committee members for their help in working with the various kinds of MCB media. Kim Vaughn takes care of the Twitter and Facebook accounts. Terry Nord will be assisting with the sound system at the convention. Chip Hailey does something, but I haven’t quite figured out what yet. Just kidding, Chip! He actually helps me with Meet the People of MCB, the Information Line, and the MCB website.

       The MCB Information Line is up and running at 90% capacity. We have nine mailboxes available to us, which includes the MCB Chronicle audio version, Meet the People of MCB, MCB Calendar of Events, ATI monthly call, MCB Programs, updates on the Education and Advocacy legislation, Resources for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the 2021 In Memory, and a recording of the most recent MCB Board meeting. The number to call is (773) 572-6387. At any time, while listening to a mailbox, you can press 0 for more options. We have had 21 callers in the past two weeks. In order to get the update announcements about the Information Line you will need to subscribe to one of our email list serves, posted below, or just call each day to see if there are any updates.
       Our email listserv continues to grow. We have 97 members on the Missouri-L list and 87 members on the chat list. If you would like to subscribe to either one of the lists send a blank email to for the Missouri-L list and for the chat list. There are several other lists that are sponsored by MCB, but these are the only ones that are open to the public. If your affiliate or special interest affiliate would like to have your own email listserv, please let me know and I will be glad to set it up for you.
       Our website has gone through a complete overhaul. Our webmaster, Lauren Fleter, has done an outstanding job making our website attractive while maintaining its accessibility. If you haven’t visited in a while, I encourage you to check it out at Of course, Virginia is always at work updating and adding information so it's always up-to-date.

.      If your affiliate or special interest affiliate would like to have a website extension off the MCB site, please let me or Chip Hailey know. You would be able to use this website to advertise your affiliate and direct people to it for more information about your affiliate.

       I hope that all of you have listened to Meet the People of MCB. At the time of this writing Chip and I have interviewed thirty-three people including our office manager, Virginia Drapkin, the director of Mind’s Eye radio, Jason Frazier, and even Santa Claus! If you haven’t been interviewed yet, just hold on! Most likely your time is coming. We are approaching 2000 callers to Meet the People and that is just since April of last year. To hear Meet the People of MCB you can call our information line, or if you have an Echo device you can say, "Alexa, play Meet the People of MCB on Apple podcast." We try and release a new interview each week, so check the information line every Thursday for the latest.
       If you would like to assist with the multi-media committee, I’m sure we can find a place for you. The committee is responsible for our email lists, the information line, our website, Meet the People of MCB, Facebook and Twitter, and the sound system at the convention, along with making sure that everyone has access to hearing what is going on in MCB. Just let me know if you would like to help. Thanks for your time.

Important Bylaws and Resolutions Reminders

By Janelle Edwards

       Proposed bylaw amendments and resolutions must be submitted to me by July 15 by two MCB members, an MCB committee, a regular affiliate, or a special interest affiliate.

       If a regular affiliate does not have a member on the bylaws and resolutions committee, or the member has changed, the affiliate's president must notify the office about which member will represent the affiliate by September 1. A change may be made later in some circumstances.

       My contact information is in the Chronicle insert.

2022 Convention Update

By Jesuita Tabor, Convention Coordinator

       The convention will be October 6-9 at the Sheraton Chalet Westport. The phone number is (314) 878-1500. The current room rate is $103, or $121.53 after tax. Reservations are now open. Due to the possibility of hotel staff and volunteer shortage, please plan accordingly. I encourage convention attendees to sign up for all MCB meals due to the increased cost of hotel meals. The Library Users breakfast and BRL luncheon on Saturday are open to everyone at a cost. A Friday night hospitality meal and Saturday night banquet meal will be open to everyone at a cost. More information is forthcoming. 

MCB Convention 2022 Information

By Wilma Chestnut-House

       Hey Y’all! Welcome to the Annual MCB 66th State Convention for 2022, hosted by the AGAPE Council of the Blind in St. Louis, Missouri, home of the notorious Jesse and Frank James. The convention will be held on Thursday, October 6 through Sunday, October 9, 2022. It will be held at the Sheraton Chalet Westport. The address is 191 West Port Plaza Drive in Westport Plaza, MO 63146. We will have a number of sessions that weekend inviting all MCB members to discuss resolutions, bylaws, legislation and all other issues. Come out and make your vote count!

       Registration will be from 1 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 6.  An MCB board meeting will start at 7 p.m. and you are welcome to sit in and see how it works. On Friday, October 7, registration starts at 8 a.m. and goes to 12 p.m. It will also be from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m. The opening session starts at 1 p.m. on the same day.

       On Friday night, we are hosting an auction and a night of trivia. Bone up on your trivia concerning all things western: TV shows, real and TV cowboys, outlaws, and the cities they lived in. There will be prizes for the winners. 

       On Saturday, October 8, after conducting all MCB business, get prepared for the banquet. This is when we can dress in our best western outfits. There will be a band with the main focus on country music and a little bit of blues and R&B thrown in. We will have a boot-stomping, hat- wearing, cowboy-boogying good time! Giddy up y’all!

Member-of-the-Month Committee

By Wanda Matlock

Hello to everyone from the Member of the Month Committee. Do you know someone who has been an inspiration or who has done something special? These are the type of nomination letters that this committee would like to receive.

We know there are many people in MCB that have worked very hard behind the scenes and we would like to shine a light on these hard-working members.  Please remember, that only one person will be chosen each month but we will hold on to additional letters for future consideration. We look forward to receiving many nomination letters.

The committee members for the Member of the Month are:

Bob Jaco from United Workers of the Blind, Nancy Hodson from Queen City Council of the Blind, and Wanda Matlock from Delta Area of the Blind.


Missouri Council of the Blind is initiating a Member of the Month program to recognize those who have given of themselves and have made a difference in their community or assisting the blind. Each month the Member of the Month Committee will select an individual from those nominated by any member of MCB. Now is the time to show appreciation for someone who has been an inspiration or has done something special.

Qualifications for the award:

  1. Must be a member of MCB in good standing to nominate an individual.
  2. Nominee must be a member of MCB in good standing.
  3. A blind member may be nominated for service to the blind or for service to their community even if it does not affect the visually impaired.
  4. A sighted member must make a positive contribution in assisting the blind.
  5. Monthly nominations will be held over for later consideration.
  6. The MCB Member of the Month Committee will select the recipients.

All nominations must include:

  1. Name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and affiliate name of the nominee.
  2. A short paragraph telling what they have done and why you believe they are deserving of the award.
  3. Name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and affiliate name of the person making the nomination.
  4. Nominations may be in the format of your choice.
  5. The recipient of the award will receive a certificate and a $25 Gift Card. Monthly award recipients will be recognized at the MCB Convention banquet in October and of those recipients, we will honor a “member of the year” with a cash award of one hundred dollars.

Send nominations by mail to Wanda Matlock, Committee Chair, #11 Five O Drive, Portageville, MO 63873-9115 or by Email to

Summer Camp Report

By Beverly Kaskadden

What a winter we are having!  As I write this, a winter storm is predicted.  Just imagine sitting on the Cobblestone Porch with friends.

Summer camp applications along with the Guidelines will be sent out to affiliate Presidents soon.  Camp Committee will be working diligently on cabin placements.  We want to make the time at Cobblestone enjoyable for everyone. 

If you have not attended Camp before and have questions, please contact me.

We still have funds in the Otella Robeson account for those who are eligible according to the guidelines.  This information is on our website and will be included in the Camp packets.

Camp dates for 2022 are June 6 thru 12, August 1 thru 7 and August 25 thru 28.

If you have any requests, please note those requests on your application. I do hope to see many of you in June, and August.

Adaptive Technology Grant Committee

By Darrel Vickers, Chair

Hi Everyone, I hope all of you are doing well.

I want to take a minute to give you an update on our technology grants and provide an overview of this great program for those of you who might not be aware of it and how it works.

Missouri Council knows how life changing, certain types of technology can be to a blind person. We are also aware the cost of this type of technology can be expensive and may be out of reach for some people. Therefore, MCB provides the adaptive technology grant. Each year MCB sets aside moneys for technology that blind persons of Missouri can apply for, to help offset the cost of adaptive technology.

For MCB members, MCB will match dollar for dollar for most types of adaptive technology with a $3000 limit over any five (5) year period. Any blind resident of Missouri who is not a member of MCB can also receive a grant, but we will match 25% of the total cost with the same $3000 limit.

2021-2022 Funding: We began with $40,000 this year.

We began accepting applications for new grants on November 1.

As of this writing January 31 we have approved sixteen (16) applications and have spent $13,179.00.

I am very proud of Missouri Council for having this program. Not just because we can help with the cost of the technology, but because we can really make a difference. This is especially important for those who are just beginning to travel the path of vision loss.

The grant application and guidelines can be found on our website at or by contacting the MCB office at (314) 832-7172. You can also contact me anytime.

This is a wonderful program and I encourage you to take advantage of it if you need to.

The adaptive technology committee is made up of four members: Darrel Vickers (Chair), Kim Vaughn, Belinda Turner and Nancy Lynn.

Vets News Line

By Darrel Vickers

I want to take a moment to talk about benefits for Veterans who have or are losing their site. If this is you or you know a veteran this information could help please share it with them.

As some of you may know I am a Navy vet. I began losing my sight while I was in the service. Over a twenty-year period, I lost my sight except for a little light perception.

But my eye condition is not service connected so I thought I was unable to receive medical VA benefits.

Then a friend, Denny Huff put me in contact with another Vet like myself. After talking with him I realized the VA wanted to help me even though my condition was not service connected. At the time I really did not think the VA could do anything for me. But Morris encouraged me to just contact the VA anyway.

So I got the name of what the VA calls a vision coordinator and got the process started.

After I had a full physical, eye examination and a chest X-ray I was placed on the schedule to go to the Heine's Blind Rehabilitation Center in Chicago. This was one of the best decisions I have made.

Heine's is a first rate facility and every member of the staff is great. Each program is customized to the Vet's needs and desires. In my case the number one thing I wanted was orientation and mobility training. I had a cane but never had any formal training.

I was there for six weeks. I always thought I could get around pretty well. I soon realized after a short time I was wrong. I met a couple of guys who had recently lost all of their sight. Although I had been using a cane for at least fifteen years they were helping me get around and they had only been using a cane for a few weeks. By the time I left I was helping other people.

They will purchase equipment such as a computer and other adaptive devices. Another thing all your health care cost are paid with no co-payments. Please do not let fear prevent you from taking advantage of this wonderful facility.

They have a very comprehensive rehabilitation program including O and M, computers, living skills and so on. They have a full woodworking shop, machine shop, music classes, etc. It is not just all work and no play. I attended a Cubs game, went sailing, played golf and many other things.

I also made some new friends and even after ten years a couple of guys and I are still very close.

I have been there twice more since 2011 for new equipment and a couple of weeks’ refresher.

I could go on and on but I need to keep this article short.

List of VA facilities with a Vision Coordinator in Missouri:

Kansas City

Kansas City VA Medical Center

Paul Clary-Archuleta, 816-861-4700 x56924

St. Louis

John Cochran Division

Jennifer Bach (Acting), 314-652-4100 or 800-228-5459



Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital

Lauren Swift, 573-814-6000

Poplar Bluff

John J. Pershing VA Medical Center

Erin Shaw, 573-686-4151 or 888-557-8262

Remember your loss of sight does not have to be service connected. You served your country.

Another organization you may want to consider joining is the Blinded Veterans Association.

Please contact me if I can answer any questions.


Take Care, Darrel Vickers, USN AMM Third Class PO

How Missouri Got its name

By Barb Brueggeman

Submitted by Denny Huff

       What's in a name? That which we call Missouri, by any other word would likely still be mispronounced. (apologies to Shakespeare).
       Some place names are easy to figure out. People moved to the New World from York or Hampshire in England, and where they settled became New York or New Hampshire. Or the name came from the desire to honor someone like Queen Elizabeth I, known as the Virgin Queen (Virginia) or Charles I's wife (Maryland). But how did we get the name "Missouri"?
       In 1673, Father Jacques Marquette and explorer Louis Joliet, traveled down the Mississippi River. When they reached another river that came from the northwest, Father Marquette noted on his map that a large tribe of native people called the OuMissouri lived upstream. That name was given to them by the Fox tribe, and in the Fox language means "people with big canoes."
       The mighty river which flowed into the Mississippi eventually was named after the tribe that lived along its banks. It became the Missouri River. Later, when settlers came, the area became known as the Missouri Territory and in 1821, when the territory became a state, it adopted the name Missouri.
       When they made the decision, I wonder how they pronounced it, because arguments about how the name should be pronounced are still going on, most hotly among Missourians themselves.
       In 2002, there was a poll conducted at the Missouri State Fair on the proper pronunciation of the state's name. MissourEE won out over MissourAH, 74 percent to 26 percent. A survey taken by the Automobile Club of Missouri shows that 66 percent of Missourians prefer the "ee" ending, and shows the different usage is split along geographic and age lines. Neither survey settled the argument and you still hear the name used both ways—sometimes by the same person in the same sentence.
       And if that's not complicated enough, anthropologists suggest the name should have been pronounced "May-sue-ray" all along. Like we needed another option added to the debate. Happily, that one hasn't caught on with anyone else.

Think before you drink

By Debra Whitt

Recently, I saw an article about bottled water in the March 30th edition of the Readers Digest. I began to dig a little deeper into this subject and came up with this article. I thought others might find this information as interesting as I did.

One of the first things I discovered is that bottled water does, indeed, expire. Just as many other common perishables have an expiration date, such as dairy and meat, so does water. As it turns out, it isn’t the water quality you should be worried about; it’s the plastic that the water comes packaged in: usually polyethylene terephthalate (PET). PET is used for retail bottles, and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is used for water cooler jugs. These plastics will leach into the water or liquid contained within the bottle after the expiration date has been reached. Additionally, when exposed to heat (including sunlight), such as from being left in hot cars or storage trucks, the rate at which the toxicity contained in the plastic can leach into the water is accelerated. 

Unfortunately, there is more! The porous plastic in water bottles can cause the water to accumulate odors, as well as jeopardize the water quality. Not only can these toxins affect the taste of the water, but they can create a serious health hazard. They are disruptive to the endocrine system, causing reproductive issues, various cancers, and neurological problems, as well as damaging the immune system. Using a BPA-free bottle would eliminate this issue, but not the growth of bacteria, especially if you’re using a metal bottle which heats up quickly, encouraging the germs to multiply.

       Many bottled water companies print a standard two-year expiration date; however, this is a rather arbitrary number. There’s no precise way to predict exactly when the water in the bottle is no longer good to drink. It stands to reason that the longer the bottle has been in circulation, the more likely it has been exposed to heat or has started to generally degrade. Even a new plastic bottle, that has been in a hot delivery truck for hours, can already have adverse and toxic compounds present in the water when first delivered to the grocery store. It is also strongly recommended not to reuse those plastic water bottles over and over. Unfortunately, this is something that many people do! I am guilty of this I am sad to admit.

       Additionally, it’s certainly not advisable to share your bottle with someone else, especially individuals with a reduced immune system, such as transplant patients, those undergoing chemotherapy, or people living with HIV. This is, in essence, exposing them to contaminated water.

       The best recommendation for bottled water consumers is to drink it reasonably soon after you buy it. Don’t expose it long-term to intense heat or keep it too close to any household chemicals. Also, refrigerate it once it’s open. If you follow these guidelines, your bottled water should be perfectly safe.

Note: It’s a common myth that bottled water is cleaner than tap. Both have to meet exacting hygiene standards, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. And up to twenty-five percent of bottled water is drawn from the main water supply anyway, per the natural Resources Defense Council.

Have you Heard of Hyponatremia?

On the topic of water, here is another interesting piece of information I came across in my research. I am sure that most of my readers, like myself, have heard over and over again how we need to drink more water, and that drinking enough water on a daily basis is absolutely vital for our bodies to function properly. But have you heard that there is a point when too much water can be bad for you? Yes, I was skeptical of this too. My first question was, “How can anyone drink too much water?”

Drinking too much water can lead to water intoxication, also known as hyponatremia, causing the inside of cells to flood and swell due to abnormally low sodium levels in the bloodstream. This can be equally as dangerous as dehydration, especially if the brain starts to swell. According to my research, the brain can only swell about eight to ten percent before it reaches the skull and pushes your brain stem out!  In severe cases, water intoxication can lead to debilitating health problems such as seizures, comas, and even death! I know this sound shocking, but keep in mind that this is the extreme side of the drinking-too-much-water pendulum. Knowing the signs of hyponatremia will help avoid these extreme scenarios!
       While most people probably know the signs of dehydration, I doubt many know what the signs of overhydration are. Some of the symptoms of overhydration can actually look a lot like those of dehydration.  When you drink too much water your kidneys become unable to get rid of the excess liquid, and water starts to collect in the body. This can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms, often including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea as well as a throbbing headache. Additionally, noticeable swelling or discoloration in your hands, lips, and feet can be a sign of hyponatremia. Additionally, if you notice you are feeling tired and fatigued throughout the day, even though you are drinking lots of water, your body may be clueing you into the fact you are consuming too much of a good thing.
       Now, before you put that sparkling glass of water on trial, remember—you are in control! The best way to know if your body really needs more water is to be consciously aware of whether or not you actually feel thirsty. Humans, like all other animals, have built-in mechanisms to help protect them against many types of harms. One of these mechanisms is thirst. Thirst is everybody’s individual monitor that lets them know if they need more water. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, and you tend to drink lots of water, then try cutting down on your water intake to see if it helps. Of course, if you are concerned then you should seek medical advice.
       One popular myth I discovered while delving into this topic is the belief that a sure sign of drinking enough water is when a person’s urine runs clear. Will it surprise you to learn that this is not so?  Healthy urine should be straw-colored to transparent yellow. Urine with no pigmentation at all may be a sign that you’re drinking too much water. While we have all heard that the “rule of thumb” concerning water consumption is eight to ten 8-ounce glasses daily, in actuality this can vary depending on a person’s height, weight, gender, and activity level. In fact, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine recommend that men get a total of 3.7 liters per day and that women get 2.7 liters. That’s 125 ounces (15 ½ cups) for men, and 91 ounces (11 cups) for women. I am beginning to feel water logged! Who knew? I certainly didn’t!
       Another sign that might clue you in to whether or not you are drinking too much of a good thing is your urination pattern. According to the Cleveland Clinic, most people urinate between six and eight times a day. If you find yourself urinating more than ten times a day, which can include frequent trips to the restroom at night, this could be a sign you are consuming more water than your body needs. To help cut down on those frequent trips to the restroom during your valuable sleep time, try having your last glass of water a couple hours before bedtime. This will give your kidneys time to filter the water through your body, thus having a more restful and undisturbed sleep.  Who doesn’t want that?
       Of course, other causes of frequent urination can include an overactive bladder or high caffeine consumption.  It can also be a warning sign for health conditions such as diabetes or insipidus.  This would be a medical diagnosis, so consulting your physician if you have concerns is definitely the right thing to do.
       I doubt that most of us have given much thought to our water consumption. Whether or not we are drinking a recommended amount of water is not on the top of most people’s “To-Do” lists. Just remember, having a healthy, fully functioning body is all about balance. In the end, listening to your body is the best thing you can do for it.  When in doubt, call your doctor.  Hopefully, they can take time away from the water cooler to answer your questions.


OCD: A Monster of the Mind

By Shaelyn Butler, age 13

       Everyone knows that monsters do not live under people’s beds. But could it be that there are monsters that live in people’s heads? One day, in the summer of 2018, a little nine-year-old girl lay awake being attacked by a monster in her mind. It wasn’t a monster she could see, but she could hear it telling her over and over that something wasn’t right, that she was breaking rules, and that something bad was going to happen if she didn’t fix it. That little girl was me, and though we didn’t know it then, the monster was a mental illness known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD. What I know now is that OCD is very common. The International OCD Foundation states that around one in 100 adults and one in 200 kids have this mental health condition. But the numbers are likely way higher, due to undiagnosed cases. In short, our world is filled with victims of a mind monster. It is valuable for everyone, even those who do not suffer, to know what OCD really is and how to treat it. After all, there are many misconceptions about this monster, and the more people really know about it, the more they will be able to help those who struggle with it, such as myself. There are many important things to know about OCD, which can mostly be summed up in a few categories: its definition, its themes, and the ways to gain liberty from it. Let’s get right into this true story of what to expect from a monster inside one’s head.

       In order to have any understanding of OCD, we must simply know what it is and how it works. If OCD isn’t a real monster, then what is it? Well, it is a type of anxiety disorder. John March, MD describes it as an illness in the brain, a hiccup in the brain’s programming that causes a ton of unnecessary fears. So what sets OCD apart from other anxiety disorders? To understand that, let’s take a look at OCD’s full name: obsessive-compulsive disorder. The O in OCD stands for obsessive or obsession. In everyday language, it is common to hear people say stuff like, “Oh, that musical is awesome! I’m obsessed with it!” But, for people with OCD, an obsession is not a good thing. Rather, an obsession is an irrational fear or worry that drives a person crazy! According to clinical psychologist Dawn Huebner, our minds are like mail sorting systems, carefully weeding through all our thoughts. When a person has OCD, their mental sorting system puts all their “junk mail,” or obsessions, in the save pile! One of my first major obsessions was feeling required to clean up every little crumb that fell on the kitchen floor! I wasn’t worried about being clean; rather I was afraid of not doing the right thing. I felt panic rising at not knowing if I was following my mom’s rules, even though it was not a rule! This is where the C in OCD comes in: “compulsion.” A compulsion is any ritual or action that a person feels compelled to do to get rid of the anxiety caused by their obsession. For the kid who stresses about germs, their compulsion might be to wash their hands. For my obsession about crumbs, my compulsion was to ask, “Hey Mom, do I need to pick up this piece of food?” That might not sound too bad. But here is the catch: this only made the fear go away temporarily. As child therapist Natasha Daniels explains, giving in to compulsions is like feeding the OCD monster. Soon it will come back, stronger and scarier than before, and the cycle will begin all over again! Eventually, obsessions get out of control, and compulsions can take over people’s lives. So I wasn’t just asking my mom once about crumbs. I was asking her all the time, constantly seeking reassurance, and never being ultimately reassured. That is what OCD is: an anxiety disorder consisting of obsessions (aka fears) and compulsions (aka rituals or urges) going round and round in a scary, seemingly unstoppable circle.

       The next thing to know about OCD is that it has many different themes. The average person tends to think that if someone has OCD, their anxiety must be related to either germs or a need to have everything neat and tidy. But guess what? Contamination and cleanliness are not the definition of OCD; they are simply two of the many “themes,” or categories of obsessions that somebody may have. A Book About OCD by Holly Duhig explains several common OCD themes, such as harm OCD or religious OCD. Some people wrestle with just one OCD theme; others struggle with many. I have had quite a number of differing obsessions, but my main theme is called scrupulosity or moral OCD. This means that my fears revolve around breaking rules, upsetting others, and being a bad person. Also, handwashing and tidying are not at all the only existing compulsions. Other physical rituals include tapping, checking, and performing tasks over and over again. Furthermore, not all OCD rituals are obvious, as Natasha Daniels teaches in her online practice. One overlooked compulsion that I dealt with bigtime was seeking reassurance for things I already knew. This meant I was constantly asking questions like “Is this okay?” or “Am I doing this right?”, even though these questions had already been answered multiple times. Avoiding certain things can also be a compulsion. Finally, there are mental rituals, like trying to figure things out that, ironically, can’t be figured out. Obsessions and compulsions come in many shapes and sizes, and OCD looks different for everyone, though the cycle is still the same.

       Now that we have learned about what OCD is and the many different types, there is one more question: is there any hope for OCD victims? Are they doomed to suffer the traumatizing obsession-and-compulsion cycle forever? Though OCD is a monster, the good news is, it can be fought and triumphed over! There is hope! Although there is medication that can help, there are also several techniques used to weaken OCD’s power. I have learned many of these from child therapist Natasha Daniels’s online videos. The first step is simply recognizing when a thought is a “junk thought” or obsession. OCD likes to hide, meaning that often people with it doubt that they have it or that their worries are obsessions! So, spotting OCD is half the battle. The next step is ignoring the lies that OCD whispers and resisting the compulsion it wants you to do. This is way harder than it sounds. It certainly seems ridiculous to be preoccupied with something such as accidentally cheating, or having the right amount of fun. But for a person with OCD, thoughts like these seem real and terrifying! However, once one ignores OCD for a while, the feelings of fear will begin to fade away. The final and most difficult form of battling OCD is ERP, which stands for Exposure and Response Prevention. This is the most effective type of therapy for OCD! In all simplicity, ERP is just a fancy term for facing one’s fears. For example, if my compulsion is to avoid talking to anybody because I might possibly get them sick, I should challenge myself to face my fear by marching up to a friend and maybe even giving them a hug! The thing with OCD is, it never completely goes away. But just as listening to obsessions and performing compulsions causes OCD to grow, ignoring obsessions and not doing compulsions causes it to shrink. So yes, there is hope, and by using these techniques to battle obsessive-compulsive disorder, a person can shrink it so small that it no longer has control of their life.

       Obsessive-compulsive disorder, as I have told you, is a specific type of anxiety disorder that I have. I have been learning about it ever since I was nine when we first discovered the monster in my mind. The defining characteristic of OCD is a repeating, ongoing cycle of obsessive thoughts and compulsive rituals that cause its power to grow. There are many different OCD themes; various compulsions also exist, meaning it is not just about handwashing and tidying up! And although it can be a colossal challenge, it is possible to battle this disorder and gain freedom. That little nine-year-old girl is thirteen now, and though she still deals with unreasonable worries and feels the urge to perform compulsions at times, she has come so far by understanding and battling OCD. I don’t obsess anymore about breaking possible rules, and crumbs on the floor no longer freak me out! Remember, understanding OCD is important even for those who don’t experience it, because there are a large number of people who do. We can grow in compassion as we grow in understanding. Thank you for listening and discovering that mind monsters do exist, but that they do not have to win in people’s lives.

Healty Happenings: The Daniel Diet

By Debra Whitt

       We are four months into the New Year and many of us have already begun our New Year’s Resolutions, as well as tossing in the towel and trashing them. That new piece of exercise equipment we got for Christmas is now an alternative clothes hanger. Or, during the night it found its way to the basement and is now being used as a high-rise condo for spiders and other unmentionables. Perhaps it found its way to the garage and is now enjoying a new life serving as the center piece for your dust collection or propping up luggage and an assortment of Christmas boxes in the corner! Additionally, those New Year’s diets we began, promising we would be looking really good in our swimsuits by June, have now been trashed along with all the supplements, pills, elixirs, and diet plans we had every good intention of following. I do believe, however, that it’s never too late to start over. If you are like me, you may find yourself starting from scratch several times before finally following through with your good intentions. Then again, maybe you just admit to yourself “enough is enough” and reach for that chocolate bar of comfort or that highball glass filled with your favorite adult beverage. And of course, you promise yourself that it will be different next year.
       Now that I have put a realistic face on such diets, I would like to explore some of them over the next year in order to better educate my readers, as well as myself, concerning the various diet options we hear about but don’t really understand, that is, unless you are one of the strong individuals who have already delved in these waters and come out with the benefits you expected. Let’s begin our exploration with the Daniel Diet—or, is it just a fast? As a side note, I feel if it’s something you do short-term or has the word “fast” in it, a fast it must be. This is the case with the Daniel Fast, which typically lasts for three weeks. A “diet,” or as I prefer to say, a dietary change, focuses on an ongoing change in your diet regiment. You decide to give up soda permanently in a diet, rather than temporarily as in a fast. After delving into this quandary of proper word usage, it appears the two words can be used interchangeably. However, I will leave that choice up to my readers and just provide you the “meat” of the thing.
       The Daniel Fast has grown in popularity over the past few years, starting in 2019. This short-term fasting approach is actually based on a passage in the Bible. Unlike other fasting methods, the Daniel Fast restricts what you can eat rather than when you eat. It's essentially a vegan diet without any sugars, refined carbs, caffeine, or alcohol. Ouch! That puts me out of the running, but for those with more fortitude than I have, let’s explore more.
       While the Daniel Fast has been shown to improve some risk factors for metabolic and cardiovascular disease, larger randomized studies over a long time period are needed to draw more conclusive results. The Daniel Fast is a method of spiritual fasting based on the prophet Daniel's experience fasting, according to the book of Daniel in the Bible. There are two passages specifically that the Daniel Fast is based on: 

  1. "Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables [pulses] to eat and water to drink." Daniel 1:12
  2. "In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled." Daniel 10: 2-3

       From this experience Daniel was said to gain knowledge, wisdom, spiritual understanding, favor, and even better appearance (Daniel 1:15-20) in addition to answered prayer and spiritual insight (Daniel 10: 11-12). So, the idea behind the fast is that you would set aside other foods and focus on eating plant-based meals as an act of worship and sacrifice.

       Since Daniel followed this regimen for three weeks, this is the recommended time frame for the fast. This length of time is based off of Daniel's decision in chapter 10 to deprive himself of "pleasant food," meat, and wine for three weeks while he sought God in prayer. While the Daniel Fast might seem restrictive, it is only for three weeks. If nothing else you have an opportunity to test your “self-control” during this time period, which is something I believe everyone would benefit from developing.
       So what can you eat on this type of fast/diet? The only acceptable foods explicitly listed in the scripture are water and vegetables. However, the term "pulse" is used in the King James Version, which means "bean or seed grown for food." Fortunately, for those like myself who feel the need to have a little more variety in their culinary choices, this addition gives us the ability to do so with a clear conscience. This allows us to add whole grains, fruits, and other plant-based foods since everything else is off limits! This means, of course, that soda, chips, cookies, candy, Starbucks, McDonald’s, KFC, Outback, and most all of the delicious foods we feel we can’t live without, are off limits. But I did say this would be a good opportunity to develop our ability to have more self-control! It also has the added benefit of cleansing our bodies. For many, this would probably be the first time, and maybe the last, some type of body cleansing was explored. I am always up for trying something new! How about you?
       Here is a more comprehensive list of foods allowed on the Daniel Fast:

  • Whole grains: Barley, brown rice, buckwheat, farro, grits, millet, oats, popcorn, quinoa, rice cakes, rye, sorghum, spelt, whole wheat, whole-wheat pasta, and wild rice. 
  • Beans and legumes: Black beans, black-eyed peas, cannellini beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), great northern beans, kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, pinto beans, and split peas.
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, natural nut butters (no additives), peanuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, pistachios, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, soy nuts sunflower seeds, and walnuts. 
  • Vegetables: All vegetables whether fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned. 
  • Fruits: All fruit whether fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned (so long as it doesn't contain added sugar). 
  • Oils: Oils can be used minimally, but not for deep-frying. 
  • Herbs, spices, and seasonings: Includes salt and pepper. 
  • Soy products: All soy products including tofu. 
  • Unleavened bread: Whole grain breads made without yeast, sugars, or preservatives. 
  • Water: Distilled, filtered, sparkling, spring, and mineral waters allowed. 
  • 100-percent fruit juice: Natural, 100-percent fruit juice is allowed but should be had sparingly.

And here is the less-fun list of what you can NOT eat on this fast/diet:

  • Animal products: All meat, dairy, seafood, and eggs.
  • Sweeteners: Agave nectar, artificial sweeteners, brown rice syrup, brown sugar, cane juice, corn syrup, honey, malt syrup, molasses, raw sugar, sugar, and other syrups. 
  • Leavened bread: Bread made with yeast. 
  • Refined and processed foods: Foods that contain artificial flavorings, artificial preservatives, food additives, white flour, and white rice. 
  • Deep-fried foods: All fried foods. 
  • Solid fats: Butter, lard, margarine, and shortening.
  • Chocolate: Milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate syrup, and cacao.
  • Some beverages: Alcohol, coffee, and other caffeinated beverages

       While I love my coffee, tea, chocolate, and occasional glass of wine, this diet would be difficult for me since I have a love of dairy. I have tried to work my way from mostly vegetarian towards vegan, however, I will admit I am a failure in this regard.
       There you have it folks: the Daniel Diet in a nutshell! For those deciding to take the plunge and give it a try, I have included an approved recipe for granola. I chose this recipe since granola is a great “pick-me-up” snack as well as a yummy addition to other foods. I hope you enjoy!

Daniel Fast Granola

  • ¼ cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cups pitted dates
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup roasted almonds
  • 1 ¼ cup quick cooking oats
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Grease a very large sheet pan.
3. In a very large bowl mix together the rolled oats and sunflower seeds.
4. Place pineapple juice and coconut oil in a microwaveable bowl and melt, roughly 1 minute. Remove and stir in vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
5. In an electric blender place the dates, almonds and pineapple juice mixture, pulsing for about 15 seconds to combine. Then pour this mixture into the bowl with the rolled oats and sunflower seeds. Stir well, thoroughly mixing. A wooden spoon works well.
6. Add the quick cooking oats and mix well. Then pour entire mixture evenly onto the greased baking sheet.
7. Bake for 2 ½ hours.
8. Remove and stir in raisins and cranberries. Return to oven and continue cooking for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
9. Let stand for 30 minutes before dividing up into portions. You can portion this into snack bags to have on hand for a quick snack or take with you to the gym for an after-work out snack.
Note: If you are not following the prescribed Daniel fast, you can add 1/3 cup honey to the pineapple juice mixture after removing it from the microwave, stirring to thoroughly incorporate it before adding it to the sunflower and rolled oats mixture.

Kitchen hints & secrets

Don't Let Brown Make You Frown

       I don’t think anyone likes eating brown guacamole, but as anyone who enjoys this delicious treat knows, once you have made it, it is a given that it will be brown the next time you take it out of the fridge. While it won’t hurt you to eat brown guacamole, who would want to do so if they didn’t need to? It turns out the answer is already in our kitchen, and it's good 'ol H2O! Topping off your leftover guacamole with water keeps air, at least in part, from being able to penetrate the guacamole and turn it brown. This should work for up to three days. If you are like me the guacamole won’t be in the fridge that long anyway. Place your guacamole in an air tight container. Take a spoon and press it firmly down into the bowl, pushing out any air bubbles. Very gently pour ½ inch of water on top and seal the lid. Place in the fridge for up to three days. When you are ready to serve it again, simply remove the lid and carefully pour off the water. Then stir thoroughly. It should still have its pretty green appearance and taste yummy!

       Here is a quick and easy recipe for basic guacamole:

  • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 average size tomato, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

       Mash the avocado in a bowl, add remaining ingredients, and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

       Note: you can use a lemon instead of the lime and leave out the garlic, if desired.

       For more of a Mexican flair, make this version:

  • 2 Avocados, pitted and mashed until creamy
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 2 TBS. fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

       Mix all ingredients together and thoroughly combine. Cover and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.

       Hint: If you hate having to fight that roll of plastic wrap when trying to place it over something, try keeping your plastic wrap in the freezer. Yes, this really works! Once you take it out to use it, you do have to be a little fast before it warms up and begins to get sticky again, but it is a lot easier to deal with when you need it.

No More Cast Iron Woes

       Do you have a cast iron pan that has become rusty or coated with cooked-on food? Well, don’t toss it just yet. Here is how you can restore it back to its former glory.
       First, you should give the pan a proper once over. Small service pitting and rust is okay. However, if you find deep gashes or pits then it is time to say good-bye. For those skillets that have been hidden away for a while in your kitchen and don’t quite look as if you would feed your dog with it, you should do the following to repair it. You will need;

  • Equal parts of white vinegar and water
  • Scouring pad
  • Steel wool or sponge, as well as paper towels
  • Dish soap—and yes, I am familiar with the dire warnings concerning dish soap and iron skillets.

       If all you have is a little rust, you can skip the first step. For pans with heavy rust build-up or cooked-on foods, place the pan in a sink with equal parts white vinegar and water. Let it soak, checking frequently to see if the solution is doing its job and breaking this down. This could take up to eight hours in some cases. When you notice the rust is breaking down, remove it from the solution and wash with dish soap and scouring pad. This is when elbow grease comes into play.

      Note: You must make sure you keep an eye on the pan while it's in the solution and remove it at the earliest possibility, since just walking off and leaving it soaking for hours could harm the pan. The vinegar, if left on more than needed, can start to create pits in the pan’s surface.
      After scrubbing it back to its former glory you should dry it thoroughly, then place it on your stove burner over medium-low heat for a few minutes until it's completely dry. At this point you can remove it from the burner and season it by pouring 1/2 teaspoon of high-temp oil (flaxseed, vegetable, or canola) into the warm pan. Use a paper towel to rub the oil all around the pan, inside and out. When completely dry and cool, it is ready to be put into action.
Oil alone isn't responsible for that well-seasoned pan's non-stick surface. Instead, a process called polymerization is the reason cast iron pans become increasingly nonstick with use. Polymerized oil combines with the porous surface of the pan to create a harder, smoother surface on top of the skillet. It takes more than soap and water to remove this seasoning, but soap can remove excess oil that's left on the surface of the pan after cooking. This is oil you'd probably wipe away with a paper towel anyway.
       Now, back to the discussion concerning whether or not you should use soap on your iron skillet. I remember receiving my first iron skillet when I got married. Along with it came dire warnings to never let soap touch my skillet. To do so was tantamount to engaging in a cardinal sin—the clouds would open up and the heavens would shed tears for my transgression. Well, I have since discovered the basis of this fear, and like many myths, it does have some truth in it.         Back when most soaps were made with lye and vinegar, washing your iron skillet with soap was a big resounding "no!" This type of soap would indeed strip away oil and could remove seasoning. But today's soaps, especially ones that are made with eco-friendly solutions, are often too mild to remove seasoning. So today, you most certainly can use soap on your iron skillet. However, this does require certain steps to make sure you don’t end up rusting your iron skillet.  If you do wash your brand-new iron skillet with dish soap, the worst that will happen is that you will strip off the first layer of seasoning put on at the factory. However, the durability of that coating is not consistent. But, if you want to wash it right out of the box with soap and water, you should season it before using it.

The Chronicle comicals

       The name for this section was inspired by Denny Huff. Thanks Denny! I hope each of you find something to laugh about since laughter is the best medicine. By the way, I believe this phrase was prevalent in the movie, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I guess it could also be called Chronicle Cuckoos. Shall we vote on it?

A Valuable Lesson

A mother was tucking her five -year-old son into bed, and she started to tell him a nightly bedtime story from the Bible This night it was the story of the prodigal son. The mother told her son how the man in the story had taken his inheritance early so he could leave home and see the world.

Unfortunately, the man spent it all on wild living until he had no money left. Then he had to work on a pig farm where he couldn't even afford to eat what the pigs ate! Then the man remembered his father and went back home to ask for a job and forgiveness. His father welcomed him home with much joy!

After the mother finished the story, she asked her son what he had learned from it. He immediately replied, "Never leave home without your credit card!"

The Indian Chase

A stage coach was traveling down the road when the guy riding shotgun saw a band of Indians chasing them. The driver asked him, "How far back there are they?"

The shotgun said, "Heck, I don't know. I can't judge distances."

The driver said, “Well, how big do they look?"

The shotgun held out two fingers about 3 inches apart and said, "About this big."

The driver said, "Well don't shoot yet, they're too far back."

A little farther down the road the driver said, "Now how far back there are they?"

The shotgun said, “I told you, I can't judge distances."

"Well, how big do they look?" asked the driver.

The shotgun held his hands about a foot apart and said, "About this big."

"Well, don't shoot yet, they're still too far back there,” said the driver.

A little farther down the road the driver asked, "Now how far back there are they?"

The shotgun was annoyed. "Dag nabbit, I told you, I can't judge distances!"

The driver asked, "Well, how big do they look?"

The shotgun held his hands about 3 feet apart and said, "About this big."

To which the driver replied, "OK!  Go ahead and shoot!"

"I can't shoot them now!" cried the shotgun.

"What do you mean you can't shoot them now? Why not?" asked the driver.

“Well,” replied the shotgun, holding up two fingers again, ‘because I've known them ever since they were this big!"

A Little Spat

A doctor and his wife got into a verbal argument one morning. As the doctor left for work he turned to his wife and spat out, “And by the way, you’re not even good in bed.”

Later in the day he felt guilty for his hateful words and decided to call home and apologize. The phone rang and rang. He hung up and then tried the call again. Again, the phone rang and rang. Just before he was going to hang up his wife answered the phone, out of breath.

“What took you so long to answer the phone and why are you out of breath?” asked the doctor.

The wife replied, “I was in the bedroom and had to run down the stairs to catch the phone before it stopped ringing.”

“What were you doing upstairs in the bedroom this time of day?” asked the doctor.

“I was getting a second opinion.”

Close the Curtains

While a woman was taking a shower her husband came into the bedroom and opened the curtains to see what was going on in the neighborhood. When the woman got out of the shower, entering the bedroom, she noticed that the curtains were open and she was exposed to anyone that cared to look. She cried out, “Close those blinds quickly, Joe, before the neighbors see me naked,”

“Don't worry Ann,” said Joe, “if the neighbors see you in that state, they will quickly draw their own blinds!”

A Little Food for Thought

A good speech needs a good beginning and a good ending, and they should be as close together as possible.

If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

If you fail to prepare you are preparing to fail.

Carl Sandburg, an American author, had this to say about how to have a happy marriage: “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half shut afterwards.”

An Egg-celent Riddle

Here is the answer to the riddle I posted earlier. I hope you all had time to figure it out!

If I had four eggs
And a thief game me three
And my rooster laid five more
How many eggs to I have?

This riddle requires careful reading! Your first thought may be that this is a simple math problem: Just add four, plus three, plus five, and you have 12 eggs! Wait, is that it? That seems too easy. Reading the riddle again, you might get stuck on the third line. Whoops! Roosters can’t lay eggs, so those five eggs are impossible. So is the answer seven eggs?

Another popular answer to this riddle is one egg, but that answer is incorrect. We get to one egg by starting with four and then getting confused about the thief. Why would a thief give you three eggs? But that detail—that they’re a thief—is only there to throw you off: They don’t steal three of your eggs (giving the answer of one), they give them to you. So how do we get to the correct answer to this egg riddle?

The answer to the “If I had four eggs” riddle

The answer to this riddle is… three! I have three eggs. It all hinges on one very important word: If. If I had four eggs… implying that I don’t actually have them! That’s right, those first four eggs that we all took for granted are actually just an eggcellent fantasy (sorry). You have four imaginary eggs, but then a kindly thief happens by and gives you three. (Maybe the eggs came from their own chickens, rather than off the back of a truck?) Roosters can’t lay eggs, so those five are impossible, which leaves you with a total of three eggs! Sometimes, egg dreams do come true. Or close enough. Thanks, thief! Honestly, this whole thing casts some suspicion on your moral fiber. Maybe you should find some new friends who aren’t thieves. Or you can get some chickens of your own to keep your rooster company. Then, you can have all the eggs you want!

Note: Some of the items in this section might have already been heard, but a good laugh can always stand to be repeated. I would like to encourage any budding comedians with jokes or riddles to send them in and share with our readers. Until next issue, find lots of opportunities to smile! 

Save and Swap

       This is a new section I hope to build on over the next year. This will give individuals the opportunity to post items they have to swap or sell, along with their contact information. It will also allow individuals to let everyone know about a new product or a special offer their business is offering for MCB members. Disclaimer: The editor retains full discretionary authority in determining if a submission meets the purpose of this section for posting. Other than posting the item or offer, the Chronicle does not endorse, encourage, or promote any product or offer. The Chronicle will also not act as a negotiator or mediate for either party in any misunderstanding or disagreement which might arise among the two agents.

GuideLights and Gadgets Offer:

       GuideLights and Gadgets is pleased to offer the following specials exclusively for MCB members throughout the month of March:

(1) Ten percent of all combined leather products purchases; totaling $50 or more
(2) Fifteen percent off all dog related merchandise for purchases totaling $50 or more;
(3) Our Talking Medical Products bundle (infrared non-contact thermometer, blood pressure meter, and oximeter) for $130.00 plus flat rate shipping of $18 anywhere in the United States; or order 2 of these items for $100 including shipping.


(1) Orders must be placed on or before March 31, 2022;
(2) Discounts are only within categories, and categories cannot be combined to reach the $50 minimum;
(3) Shipping is set at flat rate charges of $10 unless otherwise specified, or if the items require packaging in a larger than standard bubble envelope, the flat rate charge will be $18.00.
To place orders:

Call Barry Scheur at: (617) 969-7500 or email

You may also call KaeAnn Rausch at (781) 286-1696 or email her at Check out our website for other great bargains at


The next issue of the chronicle will have such offerings as an article about butter vs. margarine and some interesting historical facts. Also, I will delve into what the Mediterranean diet is all about. There will be an article about Clare McLaughlin, the creator of “Seen-Unseen” which is now an international art appreciation event for blind people. Clare hosts this event the last Friday of each month, via zoom platform. You can register for the next event by contacting her at To find out more about this project, go to:

Also, remember, you can support the MCB by using Amazon Smile the next time you go shopping on Amazon, by choosing Missouri Council of the Blind as your preferred charity. A percentage of most anything you buy will automatically be donated to the MCB. You only have to shop and they do the rest!




October 14, 2021

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by President Naomi Soule. Joe Morgan said a prayer. Recording Secretary Joe Morgan called the roll. All officers and directors were present. Affiliates not represented were Allied Workers for the Blind and Lake Stockton Area Council. Naomi welcomed on line listeners. Chip Hailey asked that we have a moment of silence for Steve Schnelle.

The agenda was approved. The Minutes for September 23, 2021 were approved.

Treasurer's Report: Checking account balance is $24,714.17. Raymond James accounts $4,108,008.16. this balance also includes funds which were in US bank. Denny Huff asked at the last board meeting what we spent in 2019/2020 according to the statement we spent $261,547.63.

Consultant Update: Kay Malmquist reported that a meeting had been held with Eugene Taylor and there was some haggling over how much he would get and when but an agreement has been worked out and we will have a meeting with him on Monday, October 18th. He will start working on November 1, 2021. They will talk to him about our priorities and exactly where we want to go and to make sure that everyone is on the same page. So far it looks like everything is coming together very nicely. Eugene will be speaking to us at the convention on Saturday. The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Joe Morgan Recording Secretary

November 11, 2021

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by President Naomi Soule. Joe Morgan said a prayer.

Recording Secretary Joe Morgan called the roll.  All officers and directors were present.  Allied Workers for the Blind were not represented. Naomi welcomed all online listeners. The agenda was approved.

The Minutes for October 15, 2021 were approved.

Treasurer's Report: Checking account balance was $24,259.83. MCB Interest account balance is $243,227. Freedom account balance is $1,883,993. MODGI account balance is $1,814,244. MCB MODGI account balance is $266,685.  Total assets are $4,208,149.

Linda Gerken asked how much money was collected in the 50-50 raffle? Carl Chapel reported that $695 was raised with half going to the winner in California.  Debra Whitt reported that $60 was raised from Pirate Booty Bingo.

Naomi said they met with Hunter, our financial planner, and it was a very good meeting. They plan to have another meeting before April. Information will be sent out before so people will be able to call in and participate. Although some people called in on this meeting, they hope to have more call in on the next meeting.

Consultant Report: Eugene Taylor was on the call with us as a guest. Eugene said that he has set up appointments with the Board at the executive level. He has completed three initial interviews and is trying to help people understand what he is doing. Questions can be directed either to board members or to Eugene. The interviews will take 30 minutes to an hour.

Approval of Committee Chairs: Jack Lenk read the list of committee chairs. Daniel Lagoo moved that the list of committee chairs be approved. The motion was adopted. Jack Lenk moved to except Jesuita Tabor's resignation as convention committee chair. The motion was adopted.

Wilma Chestnut-House brought a request from Agape Council of the Blind to host the 2022 convention. No other affiliates have offered to host it. Jack Lenk moved to except Agape's bid to host the convention in St. Louis next year. The motion was adopted. Daniel Lagoo asked that reps go to their affiliates and try to get someone to serve on the Scholarship Committee. Other announcements were made. A motion was made to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 7:46 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Joe Morgan Recording Secretary

January 11, 2022

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by President Naomi Soule.

Joe Morgan said a prayer. Recording Secretary Joe Morgan called the roll.  All officers and directors were present.  All affiliates were represented.

Naomi welcomed online listeners.

The agenda was approved with 2 additions, closed session and Treasurer’s Report were added.

The Minutes for November 11, 2021 were approved.

President’s Report

Naomi reported that things are ramping up and she will know by next week if the ACB midwinter conference will be virtual. A decision will be made at the ACB Sunday night board meeting. The convention chair did not work out and Jesuita Tabor has accepted the role of convention chair for this year. The Board voted to ratify her with no objections. Naomi said that out of the blue she got a call from a woman named Kelly Weber and she let her know that her grandfather who was blind had been a lawyer and her grandmother also had passed away recently and they were looking for a way to distribute funds so she told them all about Missouri Council of the Blind. They discussed different things that they could get involved with and she mentioned the MCB Scholarship Program. Naomi scheduled a meeting, which included Chip Hailey, Kay Malmquist, Daniel Lagoo and Jack Lenk. Kelly told the story about their grandfather and mentioned to them that they could do a scholarship for a blind individual who is going to law school. They talked about the criteria and will meet as a family on January 21st after which the committee will meet with them to discuss the plan going forward.  MCB received the $25,000 check last week. Depending how it goes, this could go on for a few years. Chip as public relations, will help with the search for applicants. Also, the ACB convention will be in Omaha Nebraska and will be both virtual and in-person.

Treasurer’s Report: The checking account balance is $39,370 which includes $25,000 for the scholarship. The total assets as of December 31st is $4,255,914. One account that has a balance of $14,000 is donated funds for which MCB only receives the interest and it will be moving to the next recipient in the not too distant future. When this happens, it will look like we lost money but we did not.

Member of The Month Guidelines: Chris Dickey, our parliamentarian read the new member of the month guidelines. Wilma Chestnut-House moved that the guidelines be approved with the changes made. A roll call vote was taken and the vote was unanimous.

Multimedia Committee Report: Committee Chair Denny Huff reported the information line is up and running and is doing very well. Meet the people of MCB recently interviewed Tom Armstrong and this week Denny and Chip will interview Bunny Maginnis. Lauren Flener who is with Taylor Accessibility is now the new webmaster for the MCB website. She charges $25 an hour.

Convention Report: The contract has been signed for the Sheraton Westport Chalet hotel for this year’s convention. There will be a convention meeting later in January. Also, there will be a checkbox on the registration form to allow our pictures to be taken.

Eugene Taylor’s Report: Eugene is working on a 7-step process. He is now working on step 2 which is our situation. He has interviewed several board members. Also he knows some people outside the organization so he can ask questions as to how the organization is working for them. He said that a lot of good ideas are being brought to the table and everyone is passionate whether about a project or a committee or about something specific or generally to a person he has found out with every person he has worked with everyone has a passion for the success of MCB. He thinks that people need to be more engaged and he also talked about some of the feedback he has received from the people he has interviewed. He plans to interview more people. He took questions and comments from the Board. Naomi said that there will be a meeting with Eugene and a date will be announced so that people can share ideas.

Personnel Committee Report

       The Board went into Executive Session to discuss personnel issues.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:08 P.M.

Respectfully submitted, Joe Morgan, Secretary