Helpful tips for 2019 – something for everyone

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plethora of tips that cover a wide range of topics.
All of our tips are designed to help you save time, cut down on your
research, and help you get ahead.
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Helpful tips for March 2019

In this issue:

General tips
Articles of the day
From the pages of Donna’s travel diary

Now you can subscribe to “‘Let’s Talk Tips”‘ which is my monthly resource
for the most current and reliable
informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.


General tips
Courtesy of the research team at

We start with scams of the month:
All of these pertain to those seeking to travel.
It appears that Britain seems to be very susceptible to these.
* Be very careful when you book your holidays online as scammers are setting
up bogus websites and they include photos and images from other legitimate
They double book and even triple book customers and at the end of the day
these ressorts do not even exist.
* The same goes for booking flights on line.
Be very careful when you use travel agents online because scammers are now
using travel websites to set up their own bogus websites to book bogus
Do your research thoroughly when booking online.

Okay, some useful info about golden retrievers and golden labs.
Contrary to popular opinion, these two breeds of dog are different in
several ways the most important being:
Energy, digestive system, and processes.

Right then, some important info for those who are afflicted with dry skin.
It is better for you to use a product that is thick in content.
Jars of cream and not lotions contained in bottles with pumps or other
regular bottles.
The thicker the cream the better it is for you.
Best to apply after showering or having a bath.

Pneumonia shots?
They cannot protect every single strain of pneumonia.

Here’s a useful tip for if you are thinking of using fabric softener on
your towels:
Best not to try doing this as it is very difficult for the towels to absorb
the fabric softener.

Some useful info about wines?
Red wine goes best with red meat.
White wine goes best with fish.

Plantains? Here is a tip about this sweet tasting vegie!
It is loaded with vitamin B6.

About the aircraft and favourite places for germs to hang out?
Their favourite places include headrests, tray tables, and armrests!
Let’s not forget the bathrooms!


Articles of the day
Chosen by the Business Desk team

A Dan Thompson contribution

Date: September-04-14 9:49 AM

Today’s article was published in 2010. However, I believe techniques
mentioned Are not time specific. It is considerably useful to be remindedhow
to carry
out tasks many think of no big deal or even learn for the first time. The
techniques are beneficial for youth and on into the autum of our lives. God
bless and have a great successful, faith filled day.


by Carol Woodward, former Homemaking Teacher

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Austin, Texas

February 19 2010


by Carol Woodward, former Homemaking Teacher
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Austin, Texas

Revised March 1998

Marking Clothes

Coordinating one’s wardrobe can be accomplished with the following

A. Safety Pins

This method uses small safety pins to identify colors in clothing.

Let the students make up their own system for colors and their positions. It
involves placing a safety pin in a specific hidden spot for each color on
each garment. For example:

. For shirts – tail, side seams, cuffs (side w/button or side
w/hole), middle inside collar, under collar points, middle back tail

. For pants – waistband to match the position of color on matching
shirt (e.g., blue shirt with pin on left front tail and matching blue pants
w/pin on left front waistband)

. For socks – on top at the back or front, outside on instep (a
preferred method is to pin matching socks together with a large safety pin
when they are taken off, washed, and put away; then unpin when socks are
worn; to match a special pair of socks to a piece of clothing, pin the socks
to the piece when taking them off and wash with the garment)

B. French Knots or Yarn Knots

This method is similar to the use of safety pins, marking in different area
for different colors.

The students should decide on the code used. The knots could stand for the
Braille color names, for numbers, or have different shapes (e.g., squares,
triangles, circles).

Note: Most people have more clothes of one color than another. The prevalent
color could be identified with no pins or markings. For clothes which
coordinate with several colors, such as plaids, mark each color in the
appropriate spot (e.g., left front for blue, side seam for green).

C. Commercially Available Products

Maxi Aids, PO Box 3209, Farmingdale, NY 11735,
phone 1-800-522-6294 or 516-752-0521, fax 516-752-0689:

. Do-Dots: These clear plastic braille buttons (1 male, 1 female)
snap together easily and nondestructively through hem, cuff, or collar. One
side of the button tells you the design (light, dark, print, plaid, stripes,
plain). The other side tells you the color (45 different colors). A
braille-coded key to the abbreviations is included. They are in packages of
100 for $51.95.

. “Say What”: Made of strong plastic, these tags are reusable by
changing the desired information on a removable label. Each kit contains 10
tags and enough 1/2 inch braille tape for 23 labels. The tags measure 1 1/2″
x 5 3/4″ and cost $4.95.

. Match Makers: Special plastic covers with large tactual dots are
bonded to nickel plated safety pins. Count the number of dots to find
matching clothing. 200 pins are available for $37.50.

Independent Living Aids, 27 East Mall,
Plainview, NY 11803, phone 1-800-537-2118, fax 516-752-3135:

. Thick Sock Locks: These plastic squares with gripper holes will
keep socks paired in the washing machine, dryer, and sock drawer. They are
in packages of 20 for $1.75.

Lighthouse Enterprises,
36-20 Northern Blvd., Long Island City, NY 11101, phone 1-800-829-0500, fax

. Teflon Scott Tape: This tape can be brailled on a slate, cut to
size, and sewn into clothing items. The tape is 1/2 inch wide and 5 feet
long and costs $2.95 per roll.

Maggie’s Sew Free Buttons, P.O. Box 54,
DeWitt, NY 13214

Threading a Needle

A. Self-Threading Needles

Self-threading needles have two holes, one of which is open. The thread is
placed across the top and pushed down through a slit into the second hole.
There are several hand positions that can be used to thread the needle while
holding it in your hand. The recommended method is to place a pin cushion on
the table with the needle stuck straight into it. This allows two free hands
to hold onto the thread. Wrap the thread around the two index fingers and
use the thumbs to locate the position of the needle in the pin cushion, then
push the thread down onto the needle. A disadvantage of self-threading
needles is that the thread pulls out of the slit in the needle very easily.

B. Wire Needle Threaders

Wire needle threaders can be purchased in packages of three for about $1. To
use this, push the triangular shaped wire through the eye of the needle, put
the thread through the triangle, and pull the wire back through the needle
with the thread. These may be difficult to use for some students because the
wire has to be pushed through the eye of the needle first and the wire may
bend or a student may not find the hole in the needle. My students like to
wrap the thread around a straight pin and stick the straight pin through the
wire loop. This gives the student something stiff to stick through the wire
triangle instead of the limp thread.

Dental Floss Threader Wire Needle Threader

C. Dental Floss Threaders

Dental floss threaders can be purchased in packages of 20 from the drugstore
for about $2 – $3. My students prefer these threaders over the wire needle
threaders because they are stiff enough to easily thread into the eye of the
needle and the loop is flexible, unbreakable, and large enough to feed the
thread through. The loop is pulled through the needle from front to back.

Using Scissors

To teach a student with visual impairment how to hold and use scissors:

1. Put the scissors in your own hand and let the student feel the hand
position and the cutting movement (hand-over-hand, student’s hand on top).

2. Let the student hold the scissors and put your hand around the student’s
hand to help guide while cutting (hand-over-hand, teacher’s hand on top).

3. Let the student practice cutting on raised line paper until the student
is able to cut along the line.

Note: Some students’ hands are too weak to cut through two thicknesses of
fabric. Let these students cut one thickness at a time. Electric scissors
are sometimes helpful.

Patterns and Fabrics

A. How to Make Your Own Patterns

For students who have poor tactual discrimination, I recommend making
patterns out of heavy brown paper or butcher paper, using conventional
tissue paper patterns as guides or creating your own:

. Outline the edges with a 1/4 inch line of Elmer’s glue.

. Mark the straight grainline arrows with a strip of 1/2 inch
masking tape or brightly colored labeller tape.

. Put a strip of masking tape folded over the paper edge to identify
the lay on the fold.

. The crosswise grainline arrow can be marked with a strip of
masking tape with staples at each end.

. The bias grainline can be a strip of masking tape with staples
lengthwise along one side of the tape.

. Use staples to identify the location of notches. For beginners, I
sometimes omit the notches completely to avoid confusion.

. To identify darts, make a heavy glue outline and put a staple at
the point and at the two ends.

Note: The pattern number, size, and pattern piece could be marked on each
pattern piece in braille or large print.

B. Adapting Conventional Patterns

1. For tactual markings:

o Before trimming any excess margins off tissue paper patterns, put an
Elmer’s Glue line on the cutting lines. Let dry overnight. To keep the
tissue paper from sticking to the counters, I put scotch tape on the wrong
side of the pattern piece along the cutting lines.

o Mark these patterns with masking tape as described above.

o The student should be able to tear off the excess margins outside the
glue lines before pinning the pattern on the fabric. Otherwise, I cut off
the excess margins outside the glue lines.

Note: This is the method that I use in my clothing classes. You will need
plenty of counter space.

2. For visual markings: Use a color broadtipped felt pen and retrace all
the cutting lines and special markings, such as darts, dots, and pocket
placement lines, etc. It is easier to do this before the excess margins have
been cut off of the tissue paper pattern. I usually ask the students what
color is best.

C. Patterns Available for Visually Impaired Users

Fingertip Patterns, 155 North Bellaire Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky 40206.

These patterns are specifically made for the blind. All of the markings are
in braille. However, the paper used is similar to butcher paper and it is
sometimes difficult to feel the edge of the paper when cutting the fabric
(no glue lines). I understand this company has pattern catalogs available
per request. For a fee, an adapted pattern can be made if you send a
store-bought pattern to the company. Unfortunately, it takes over six weeks
to get the pattern back.

D. Buying Fabric

Students should be encouraged to learn to differentiate textures and weaves
of various types of fabrics (e.g., cottons, double knits, wool). A trip to a
fabric store should include opportunities to tactually explore fabric.
Describe the characteristics of different fabrics verbally to the students.
Help them pick a pattern, or practice soliciting help of a sighted person,
and practice buying the fabric and all the sewing notions needed, and paying
for the purchase.

E. Transferring Patterns Fabric

Make all necessary adaptations (e.g., glue lines or colored felt-tip lines).
From this point on, the student should be able to lay out the pattern (using
the masking tape grainline arrows as guides), pin the pattern to the fabric,
and cut out the pieces. For beginners, I recommend simple projects, such as
an apron, tote bag, poncho, skirt with elastic in the waistline, pants with
drawstring or elastic in the waistline or a “torn project” (where the
student tears out the pieces rather than cutting out the pieces). I strongly
recommend that the fabric chosen be a woven polyester and cotton fabric.

Only special markings such as darts, dots, pocket placement lines, or
notches need to be marked on the fabric. Darts can be identified by placing
a small safety pin at the point and at each end, where the staples were on
the adapted paper pattern . When the darts are ready to be sewn, the safety
pins are replaced with straight pins. I sometimes have my beginners trace
the pattern markings with a tracing wheel on tracing paper, in addition to
the safety pins, so they will be familiar with that technique.

Machine Sewing

A. Pinhead Guide

The use of a pinhead guide helps the blind student sew straight. Place a row
of straight pins horizontally onto the sticky side of a piece of masking
tape. Let the heads of the pins extend over one side. Place another piece of
masking tape with the nonsticky side directly over the pins. Stick the
pinhead guide to the metal slide plate on the sewing machine.

The placement of the pinhead guide may vary depending on the task (regular
seam at 5/8 inch, staystitching at 1/2 inch, topstitching at 1/4 inch). A
notched metal seam gauge, similar to a 6-inch ruler, but with indented
notches at each half-inch mark, can be used to aid the placement of the
pinhead guide. Most sewing machines come with an etched line on the metal
slide plate that marks the 5/8 inch regular seam line. Most students can
feel this line and place the pinhead guide on it. When beginning to sew, the
fabric is lined up with the first pin on the pinhead guide (which is even
with the machine needle).

B. Metal Seam Guide

Most sewing machines have a screw hole to the right of the needle for a
metal seam guide that functions like the pinhead guide. These metal seam
guides are also available in a magnetic form. I prefer the screw on type
because the magnetic ones tend to move out of position. Some of my students
use a combination of the screw on type seam guide and magnetic guide (or
pinhead guide) in order to make a longer edge for the fabric to move

C. Needle Finger Guard

This is a small 3-sided metal bar attached to the sewing machine on the same
bar as the presser foot near the needle. It is a safety device to warn the
user that the needle is close by. The finger guard is pulled down in front
of the needle when sewing and pushed up to the left of the needle when
threading. Most new sewing machines have a finger guard.

D. Seams

Have your students pin the pieces of fabric together with straight pins
parallel to the fabric edge with the points of the pins pointing toward the
needle of the sewing machine. This makes it easier for the student to pull
the pins out of the fabric and it gives the student a better idea of where
the stitching line will be. I recommend using pins with large colored
plastic heads. Beginners should practice sewing two pieces of Braille paper
together first, using the metal seam guide to sew straight.

E. Darts

If the darts were marked with safety pins, fold the dart in half by making
the safety pins even. Replace the safety pins with straight pins and put a
straight line of pins from the wide end to the point by using the seam gauge
or ruler as a straight edge. Place the pinhead guide directly in front and
in line with the needle and presser foot. Start at the wide end of the dart
(at the fabric edge) and begin stitching, holding the pins in the fabric
flat against the pinhead guide and remove the pins one by one to the point
of the dart.


Mark the length desired with a pin. Measure the fabric to be turned up with
the notched seam gauge and pin up the entire hem. Press the pinned up hem.

A. Sewing Hems with the Sewing Machine

Whenever possible, use the sewing machine to sew in hems. Use the metal seam
guide or pinhead guide, placing it as far from the needle as the depth of
the hem, and stitch.

B. Ironing Hems with Stitch Witchery

This is an iron-on adhesive, mesh-like material available in strips or by
the yard. The strips are easiest to use for hems. After pressing the hem up,
remove the straight pins and place the Stitch Witchery between the fabric
and iron.

C. Sewing Hems by Hand

Thread a needle using a double thread. A single thread comes off the needle
too frequently. Hold the hem in one hand with the thumb on the pinned hem
edge. With the other hand, put the needle through the fabric until the point
just touches the index finger and then push the needle back up through the
fabric. Position the thumb so that the first stitch is on one side of the
thumb. Now take the second stitch on the other side of the thumb. Continue
around the hem, using the thumb as a guide for the size of the stitch to

Ironing Clothes

A. Safety Techniques

Teach the student how to turn the iron on and off, the positions of basic
temperature settings, how to add water to steam irons, how to set the iron
down when it is hot, and which parts of the iron get hot. With a cold iron,
show the student how to hold the iron correctly. Teach students to put the
iron down by keeping the forearm straight out with the elbow next to the
body. To find the iron again after putting it down, trail up the ironing
board on the side closest to the body or find the cord and go up the cord to
the handle.

B. How to Iron a Shirt

* Iron the collar first by putting the collar wrong side up on the
ironing board with the seam on the outer edge of the ironing board (side
away from body). Hold it in place with your hip and pin the corners of the
collar down with straight pins, then iron. Remove the pins.
* Iron the shoulders and, if applicable, yoke by inserting the tip of
the ironing board. Hold at the collar and at the bottom of the yoke or pin
the yoke down (with the collar closest to your body). Remove the pins.
* Iron the sleeves by finding the underarm seam and folding along that
seam. Pin the sleeve to the ironing board and iron. Push the iron sideways
toward the collar to feel when the side of the iron reaches the armhole seam
(and avoid ironing the collar again). Remove the pins.
* Iron the body of the shirt, starting with the button side of the
front. Pin the tail of the shirt down and hold onto the collar as you iron.
When finished ironing a section, unpin it, slide the far edge of the shirt
at top and bottom toward the edge closest to your body to position an
unironed section. Pin this unironed section down and iron. Continue in this
fashion around the shirt. When ironing the body of the shirt near the
armholes, slide the shirt so that the end of the ironing board is sticking
inside the top of the sleeve. This will keep the shirt flat on the ironing

Folding Clothes

A. Folding Shirts

First button every other button and the cuffs, if applicable. To find the
top of the shirt, put your hand inside the top of each sleeve. Shake out the
shirt holding onto the top of it. Lay shirt face down on a table with the
collar to the left. Pull the sleeves out to the sides uncreasing the body as
much as possible. Bring the body of the shirt close to the edge of the
table. Put the index finger side of the left hand next to the collar (right
side of shirt), fingers pointing to the shirt tail, and fold over right side
of shirt. Fold the right sleeve lining it up lengthwise with the shirt.
Repeat for left side of shirt. Bring the tail end of the shirt up to the
collar to fold in half lengthwise, or fold in thirds by bringing the tail
end up one third and then fold again in half.

B. Folding Creased Pants

By holding the bottom of each pants leg put the seams together, making sure
the inside seams are touching. Hold the bottom of the legs and put under
your chin. Bring the waist of the pants up and fold in half, or hold on to
each end and bring hands together.

Hanging Clothes

A. Hanging Shirts and Dresses

Put the hand inside each sleeve or armhole and slide the hanger in. Button
any top button to prevent the garment from sliding off. Line up either the
tag on the shirt with the hanger hook or the shoulder seams with the hanger

B. Hanging Pants

Crease the pants the same way as when folding pants. Lay the pants flat on a
table with the pant legs out in front of you. Slide the hanger under the
pant legs, almost to the crotch, and raise up off of the table.


A. Washing and Drying

Most washers and dryers have various types of settings. If possible, mark
the settings for regular and permanent press with glue dots, puffy paint, or
Hi Marks. Do not overload the washer or the dryer! Teach how to sort clothes
according to color and type of laundry and how to measure detergent.
Remember to put the detergent and bleach into the washer with the water
before putting the clothes into the washer (it is a good idea to swish the
water a few times to dissolve the detergent). To avoid ironing, take
polyester clothing out of the dryer before completely dry and hang up, or as
soon as the dryer stops, hang up the clothes quickly.

It is not recommended for blind students to use bleach in their laundry. If
bleach is to be used, then use it only on white cottons (make sure the
student knows about different fabrics). An alternative would be a detergent
with bleach safe for colors.

B. Stain Removal

Stains or spots on clothing must be found or identified by a sighted person.
The stain should be marked with a safety pin, or if the spot is large
surround the spot with safety pins. Use a prewash or stain treatment and let
it soak for a few minutes. Then wash the garment with the

other laundry in the washing machine.


How to Get Rid of Ants

I have included several resources for identifying types of ants, behaviors,
baits and differences
Differences Between Ants and Termites for readers to check out. There are
very helpful brief articles regarding each specific type of ant at each
link. Hope this helps someone in this ant season.

First identify the type of ant, then pick the correct product to remove the

Household & Carpenter Ants:

Ant baits and
insecticide sprays are two popular methods for household ant control.

More information on ant baiting can be found here;

More information on non-repellent insecticide can be found here:

Baiting and insecticide spray can be combined for the most effective
treatment if a non-repellent spray is used.

Ant Baits: Ants require two types of food cycles to thrive. The cycles are
referred to as the sweet cycle and the grease/protein cycle. There’s no easy
way to tell which cycle an ant requires at any given moment. Using both
protein and sweet

More information on
protein and sweet
baits can be found here; protein and sweet
baitsis the most effective method to bait ants.

Non-Repellent Insecticide Sprays:

Sprays such as
Taurus SC (Fipronil 9.1%) are preferred for ant control. The ants
cannot detect its presence and crawl through the treated area. The
insecticide kills the ant slowly so it has plenty of time to track the
insecticide back to the nest.

Fire Ants:

Preventive Fire Ant Control: Preventive treatment with

Bifen LP granules is the easiest method to control fire ant populations.

Existing Fire Ant Infestation: If fire ants have already infested an area,
then a
fire ant bait is required
to get rid of the infestation.

more information on ordering and using

Bifen LP granules is found here: and

A video explaining ant behavior. Kinds of ants and demonstration of how to
get rid of ants can be found at the link below.

Once arriving at the page mentioned below, locate the “play” link and hit
enter or click on that link.

Resources regarding several types of ants found around homes are provided

*Small Sized Ants
(Inside and Outside)

Argentine Ants

Description: fire ant
Fire ants

Ghost Ants

Leafcutter ants

Description: Description:
odorous house ant
Odorous House Ants

Pavement Ants

Pharaoh Ants

*Large sized ants:
(Inside and Outside)

Carpenter Ants

Fire Ants

10 Top Things to Know About Fire

Ant Baiting Tips for Ants

Differences Between Ants and


From the pages of Donna’s diary
Your traveling electronic kit

It never hurts for you to have a handy dandy electronic traveling kit along
for the ride on your journey. Would it not be better to be well equipped as
opposed to having to fret over technology?

With this in mind, I have some suggestions for you to include in your
electronic traveling kit.
Here goes.

For your electronic kit:
USB drive, mini power bars, hub,
A converter if you are going to a country that uses a different power
mini or pen light, a small night light,
a small battery driven clock.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan enjoying my travels.

To learn more about me, visit

On your next trip you could enrich your down time with some of my audio
mysteries. Take them with you wherever you go!
In the car, on the plane, on the bus or train, at the beach, anywhere!
Affordable, portable, (computer or i device) and you could either purchase
or Subscribe for unlimited access to my library at
and you can now take advantage of our free downloads here.

If you enjoy podcasts then check out my weekly one called take another 5!
From recipes to apps, and from mystery moment to tips for entrepreneur and
scam alerts!
Available for download at

Now you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
‘Let’s Talk Tips’ is your monthly resource for the most current and reliable
informational tips available in the areas of Technology, Nutrition, Media,
Business, and Advocacy.

Follow me on Twitter @accessibleworld and at author_jodhan
And like me on Facebook at and at

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