Helpful tips for November 2019

Hello there and welcome to our monthly feature of all kinds of tips.
We at the business desk are pleased to bring you our monthly feature of a
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.
So go ahead and read on.
This week we bring you our monthly tips.
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From the business desk team at
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Helpful tips for November 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

Scams of the month:
Be ware of those automated phone calls telling you that a strange payment
was charged to your credit card and that you need to press 1 to learn more.
The automated voice asks you to press 1 in order to connect to a live agent.
If you do so you can simply save yourself by hanging up as soon as the live
customer service rep comes on the line.
Chances are that this call originated from somewhere in India.

Another phone scam that offers you life insurance and they are claiming to
represent the Royal Bank of Canada.
Do not fall prey to this call.
This is not an automated person but rather a live caller seeking to garner
your personal invitation.
Simply hang up!

Then there is this one!
You receive a phone call from the fraud department of the Visa credit card
company telling you that your credit card has been compromised.
The give away here is that the caller is outside of Canada.
Their origin is probably from India.
Just hang up and go about your business.

With the holiday season now upon us, here are some tips for casseroles and
we Thank Melanie Mama Peach for sharing these with us.
Casserole Tips
Here are a few great tips to help make your casserole making endeavors
as simple as can be.
* Because generally a casserole takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 2
hours to bake, you ought to consider using dried herbs in dishes which
require longer cooking (more than an hour) rather than delicate fresh herbs
which tend to lose their flavor when exposed to extended periods of high
* When reheating casseroles, it’s best to defrost them in the refrigerator
overnight. If that isn’t possible, cover and reheat in a 350 degree oven,
allowing almost double the baking time. To test for doneness, insert a knife
or a wooden skewer in the center of the food, if it’s hot to the touch when
removed trust that it’s hot throughout.
* To freeze an unbaked or fully baked casserole: begin by lining a
casserole with heavy-duty aluminum foil, leaving enough of an overhang on
all sides to cover and seal the food later. Assemble the casserole, laying
in the lined pan and either freeze the ingredients until solid or bake and
cool to room temperature then freeze (it’s not necessary to seal it up for
this short freezing time). Once the casserole is frozen, use the excess foil
overhang and seal airtight. Double wrap the foil wrapped casserole in
freezer proof plastic bags, label, date it, then freeze until ready to use.
(Meanwhile, you can use the casserole dish for other purposes.) To thaw,
remove the wrapping and place the frozen food back into the dish in which
it was assembled or baked. Defrost and reheat or bake as recipe instructs.

A useful tip to know about when deciding to give treats to your dog.
Chocolate is not good for your dog neither is peanut butter.

Okay, if you want to make sure that your pots and pans are free of grease
after being washed then try this tip.
before washing take a dry paper towel and wipe the inside of your pot or
This would help to get rid of most of the grease before you put said pot or
pan into the water.

How to avoid having lingering smells in your home after you have cooked any
type of seafood?
You need to cook with a bit of vermouth which can definitely help to stiffle
those lingering odours.


Articles of the day
Chosen by the Business Desk team

Contributed by Dan Thompson

The positive power of plants
Lily of the Valley named the nation’s happiest plant at RHS Chelsea exhibit
with our garden ambassador and TV gardener
David Domoney.
Experts came up with a simple online test that revealed how your favourite
plants can reflect your personality.
The quiz then formed part of a unique experiment at this year’s RHS Chelsea
Flower Show.
In the months leading up to the show, thousands of social media submissions
from gardening-loving Britons created a distinctive
shortlist of the UK’s 100 top ‘happy plants’.
David Domoney
then asked people to choose the 20 that make them the happiest – and learn
what they say about their personality
in the process. Five categories reflect each individual’s choices, telling
them whether their ‘plant personality’ is classic; romantic;
relaxed; bold or cheerful – and what that means.
The top-20 ‘happy plants’ then featured on plasma TVs at an exhibit (which
won a Bronze medal) in the Science and Discovery
zone the The Great Pavilion at RHS Chelsea.
On top of each TV was a facial recognition camera which scanned the faces of
visitors as they look at each plant, recording eye
movement, expression and engagement. This software used these and other
measures to calculate which plants are the most
David added: “It’s amazing how much sense of well-being and happiness the
sight of a simple plant can bring.”
The objective of the public experiment, sponsored by the Horticultural
Trades Association’s National Garden Gift Vouchers Scheme
in conjunction with David Domoney and gardening charity Thrive, is to raise
awareness of the positive impact plants can have on
people’s lives. #PosPowerofPlants
Experts have long acknowledged the power of gardening to improve people’s
lives and health, be they recuperating from illness or
struggling with long-term issues.
Sir Richard Thompson, (pictured right at the exhibit) ex- President of the
Royal College of Physicians and Patron of Thrive said:
“Just looking at a garden is scientifically proven to improve recovery time.
Patients do much better after surgery if they look at
‘green things’ and they get out of hospital quicker.
“If everyone was encouraged to do a bit more gardening, you can well imagine
how that would affect obesity rates and reduce the
stress of the NHS.”
The good news is that health professionals have an appetite to find out more
about alternative treatments like ecotherapy, of which
gardening forms part of, and many would be prepared to refer patients to
social and therapeutic horticulture programmes like the
ones offered by Thrive.
visit the link below and then click or press enter on the link labled as
“Take the quiz now!” to find your ‘plant personality’.
I attempted to insert the quiz below. However, when visiting the link for
takin the quiz, my screenreading software would read the
choices. All I could get read were “bullet graffic.” So sighted assistance
is needed for taking the quiz.


Contributed by Dan Thompson
National Coffee Day, September 29 2016

Belowis lots of information about National Coffee day, facts about tea and a
place to get free coffee only today if you call or order via email.

What’s the one thing you always do right after you get up in the morning?

If you’re anything like me, probably one of two things:

1. Drink coffee.

2. Drink tea.

And you and I are not alone. More than half of Americans drink tea, and more

three quarters drink coffee.

Don’t worry. I’m not going to tell you to stop drinking coffee or tea. I
believe both can be

quite healthy, in fact…

Coffee has been shown time and again to boost metabolism.

Many teas are rich in antioxidants, among other things.

Plus, both drinks just taste so good…

What I am going to tell you is how to make your coffee or tea better. Much

You see, thanks to some unfortunate industry practices, there are currently

serious pitfalls to both of these beverages…

And you’re about to find out how to get around these pitfalls… in the most
delicious way


Let’s start with coffee.

(NOTE: If you only drink tea, you can scroll straight down to the tea
section below.)

With coffee being one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world,

question has come up time and again:

Is it healthy?

And a sky-high pile of research answers this question with a resounding

Studies published in medical journals like Neuropsychobiology and

Psychopharmacology have shown coffee to increase energy and improve


Studies such as one published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
in January of

2004 have shown coffee to increase fat metabolism.

So, the consensus is in: if you love coffee…keep enjoying it!

But there is one big danger with mass-produced coffee: what you put IN it.

For example, just 3 spoonfuls of Coffee Mate French Vanilla liquid creamer —
one of

the most popular on the market — adds over 100 calories to your mug of
coffee in the


And ALL of those calories come from refined sugar and trans fat — generally

considered the most unhealthy fat in existence.

So, if you’re going to cream your coffee, real cream is a better option —
organic if

possible. And if you must sweeten it, try real maple syrup or raw sugar.

But the better option is just to drink better coffee and skip the fattening
additions… or at

least make it so you don’t have to add as much of them!

Did you know the coffee you get in stores has often been sitting in bags for
weeks or

sometimes months? Not only that… It’s often poorly roasted (read: burnt to a

And the resulting brew is a bitter, harsh beverage that needs additions like
sugar and

cream to be drinkable… and like I said before, THAT’S where you run into


Coffee is supposed to taste sweet on its own, and it does… if you get
truly fresh, high-

quality coffee.

And it’s actually pretty easy (and inexpensive) to get it. You have a couple
of options:

1. Get your coffee from a local coffee shop run by people that get
their beans in

fresh and roast them in-house… and know what they’re doing.

2. Order your coffee online from a company of passionate coffee
experts that

specialize in fresh, precisely roasted coffee.

The first option can be fun adventure. Get some friends together, and go
explore the

coffee shops in the area!

As for the second option, I can certainly help you there…

In my quest for the perfect cup of coffee, these are some of the best online

I’ve found:

Coffee Fool is my personal favorite. Reasonably priced, super-skilled
roasters… Plus,

every Friday, they do storewide sales!

Blue Bottle, one of the fastest-rising coffee companies in the country.
Found in many

gourmet restaurants, they’re a bit pricier than Coffee Fool, but absolutely

Olympia Coffee. Meticulous about every aspect of coffee-making, pretty much

Olympia rolls out is delicious. That’s why it’s the priciest of the bunch.

There are plenty more, such as Stumptown, Intelligentsia, and PT’s Coffee…
so if you

want to taste the good stuff, it’s definitely available to you.

And no… I’m not affiliated with any of these coffee companies. They don’t
even know

who I am!

I just enjoy their coffee, and I wanted to show you some of the options out
there that

blow store-bought coffee out of the water!

Now let’s talk about tea for a minute…

Some of the problems with tea, unfortunately, are more dangerous than with

Two main factors can make certain teas a minefield for your health:

1. Tea is often heavily sprayed with pesticides.

2. Most of the time, tea leaves aren’t washed before they’re put in
tea bags.

The resulting pesticide residue leaches straight out into your hot water
when you brew

these teas and drink them.

And we’re not just talking about trace amounts here…

Several independent studies have found pesticide levels in mass-produced
teas to be in

excess of both U.S. and European Union safety limits.

Two such tea studies were recently done by Greenpeace in cooperation with an

international DAkks-certified testing laboratory. One of the studies was in
India, and the

other in China.

The India Study found pesticides on 94% of the teas tested… 60% of them

levels OVER the European Union safety limit.

The China study, meanwhile, not only found pesticides on ALL the teas

66% percent of the teas contained at least one of three globally banned

methomyl, fenvalerate, and endosulfan… all considered unfit for human

India and China are the two biggest producers of tea on Earth, folks. They’re
where we

get most of our tea!

And yes, much of that heavily sprayed tea makes it over here.

Celestial Seasonings, one of the biggest tea brands in the U.S., was

independently tested by consumer watchdog groups.

When the results came back, 91% of their teas were found to have pesticide
levels over

the U.S. limits!

In fact, Celestial Seasonings has reportedly already received two warning
letters from

the FDA about quality control.

And what about higher-end teas?

Well, Teavana teas were also tested by the same groups, and 100% of their

contained pesticides.

Not only that… 77% of their teas had pesticide levels in excess of European

safety limits… and 62% contained endosulfate — one of those 3 globally

pesticides I mentioned earlier.

The sad fact is… many of the popular brands of tea you see at the store have

similarly called out for pesticide content.

That’s why most of them are also loaded with added flavoring to cover up the

quality of the tea.

So, given the shocking state of the tea industry, if there were ever
something I’d advise

you to go organic on, tea is it.

After all, organic standards take the guesswork out by prohibiting the use
of pesticides


Personally, when I found out the startling truth about tea, I scoured the
market for

organic brands I could trust.

Here are the three I’ve found that I trust the most:

Numi Tea, my personal favorite. CEO Ahmed Rahim is very outspokenly critical
of the

state of the tea industry. Numi is all-organic, with strict quality
standards across the

board. Plus, their Aged Earl Grey is the best I’ve ever tasted, hands down.
I could drink

it all day!

Rishi Tea, another outstanding, all-organic company. They’re very open about

they source each tea from. Plus, their traditional Masala Chai Tea Blend
probably my

favorite chai. And I’ve tried a lot of them.

Traditional Medicinals. Focused in green and herbal teas, this all-organic
brand is

zeroed in on medicinal qualities of tea, such as clearing sinuses, aiding
digestion, and

just plain relaxation. On that note, their chamomile lavender tea is

Same as with the coffees, I am NOT even remotely affiliated with any of
these tea


I just happen to like them… and I wanted to share with you a few brands I

trust after doing quite a bit of research.

All these teas, by the way, are readily available for order on their company
websites and

on Amazon if you don’t see them at your local store.

Not to mention, if you order them online, they’re generally not much more

than regular teas are at the store!

And as to taste…

These organic teas are nuanced, beautiful, and delicious.

So…whether you’re drinking fresh, perfectly roasted coffee or beautifully

organic tea… your mornings hopefully just got a whole lot better!

Source: Food Truth Letters series,

National Coffee Day:

WASHINGTON – Java lovers, rejoice! September 29 is National Coffee Day–
though some of you might be surprised to learn that not EVERY DAY is
National Coffee Day. Local coffee shops and chains around the DC area are
offering FREEBIES or coffee deals to celebrate the roasted bean, and as you
might imagine, we’ve got a list of where to find it.

Here are a few places offering free coffee for on Thursday, September 28:

Peet’s Coffee & Tea

The return of the deal! Score a free medium cup of drip coffee with any
fresh food purchase.

Click here to find a location

Celebrate National Coffee Day. Free Ship Sitewide*. Thurs. 9/29 ONLY! (800)

Email Us 24/7


promo image

Peet’s Coffee & Tea

Email us 24/7 by visiting the link below.

Common and perhaps little-known facts on two of our most treasured
beverages: Coffee and Tea.

Coffee and Tea Facts from Belly Bytes

Intro to Tantalizing Tea

A beverage prepared by infusion of the young leaves, leaf buds and
internodes of varieties of Camellia sinensis and C. assamica, originating
from China. Green tea is dried without further treatment. Black tea is
fermented (actually an oxidation) before drying; Oolong tea is lightly

Among the black teas, flowering Pekoe is made from the top leaf buds, orange
Pekoe from first opened leaf, Pekoe from third leaves, and Souchong from
next leaves. Earl Grey is flavored with bergamot; lapsang souchong was
originally produced by burning tarry ropes near the tea during processing.
Up to 30 percent of the dry weight may be various polyphenols that have been
associated with protection against cardiovascular disease.

*Tea Facts

Cup of Tea with Lemon

?Tea was originated in China and then was introduced to Japan.

?Mexican tea is called Epazote.

?Teaseed oil is oil from the seed of Thea sasangua, cultivated in China;
used as salad oil and for frying.

?Iced tea and coffee can be greatly improved if the ice cubes are made of
coffee or tea instead of water.

?You can avoid cloudiness in iced tea by letting freshly brewed tea cool to
room temperature before refrigerating it. If the tea does become cloudy,
pour a little boiling water into it until it becomes clear.

?For a new taste in tea, add a small bit of dried orange peel to the teapot.

?The Island of Celon is the world’s leading producer of tea.

?An experienced picker can pluck about 40 pounds of tea leaves a day.

?Salada Tea and Bigelow English Tea time are two of the highest caffeine
content teas. They average about 60 mg. of caffeine per 8 ounce cup.

When drinking tea, never use polystyrene cups with lemon.

?When drinking tea, never use polystyrene cups with lemon. The combination
of the hot tea and the lemon will corrode the cup away releasing carcinogens
into your drink. It will actually eat right through the cup.

?Tannin, found in tea and red wine may interfere with the body’s use of
iron, thiamin, and vitamin B12.

?At present there is no risk factor related to drinking tea and heart

?Black teas are the most popular in the U.S., importing 130 million pounds
per year. The yearly consumption is 35 billion servings.

?Iced tea was first created at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St.

?One pound of tea will brew approximately 200 cups (200 teabags).

?The U.S. imports approximately 72 percent of its tea from India.

*Classifications of Tea

Black Tea: Turns black due to oxidation. This is the best quality tea.
Includes Organic Assam Tea, Ceylon, Darjeeling, English Breakfast, Keemun,
Lapsang and Lapsang Souchong Tea.

Green Tea: Oxidation is omitted. The natural color is green. Two main
types: Basket Fired and Gunpowder Tea.

Oolong Tea: Semi-processed, makes the leaves partly green and brown. Two
types: Formosa Style Oolong Tea and Organic Tea Jasmine.

*Outdoor Tea Facts and Tips

1.Tea bags, new or used, can be placed on the soil around plants in garden
beds and planters to fertilize. Cover the tea bags with mulch. Every time
you water the plants, the nutrients from the decomposing tea leaves work
their way into the soil. You could also use instant iced tea. Mix up a quart
according to directions. Don’t add sugar or ice. Use the solution to
fertilize your plants. Or, sprinkle the powdered mix directly on the soil.
As the tea decomposes, the nutrients work their way into the soil.

2.Water azaleas with cold, strongly brewed tea to increase nitrogen content
in the soil for healthy leaf growth. You can also split open tea bags and
sprinkle the leaves on the soil. If preferred, you could use instant iced
tea mix in place of the brewed tea.


Cups of coffee

?Coffee manufacturers do not have to disclose their method of

?Brazil has experienced two major frosts in 1994 that destroyed over 1
billion pounds of coffee, approximately 10 percent of supply in the entire
world. The result was an increase in the price of coffee worldwide.

?The United States consumes about one-third of all coffee worldwide,
approximately 400 million cups per day.

?The only coffee grown in the United States is Kona coffee, which is grown
on the island of Hawaii. The coffee is grown in volcanic soil and has the
richest coffee flavor in the world.

?Black salsify is a hardy perennial sometimes used roasted as coffee

? If you give up coffee and are drinking two cups a day or more, you will
probably have withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, nausea and possibly

?The safest way to prepare coffee is to boil it in water instead of
filtering it. This is the way it is prepared in the Scandinavian countries.

?Mocca is a mixture of coffee and cocoa used in bakery and confectionery

?Mocha means a few things: 1.A variety of arabica coffee

2.Flavored with coffee

3.In the USA, a combination of coffee and chocolate flavorings.

?Fresh roasted coffee beans are usually packed in non-airtight bags to allow
the carbon monoxide formed during the roasting process to escape. If the
carbon monoxide does not escape, the coffee may have a poor taste.

?The Swiss Water decaffeinated process is the safest. Check decaf labels.
Other water processed methods are not as good.

?The freshness of a cup of coffee only survives 10 to 30 minutes in a coffee

?Coffee will taste better if you start with quality cold water, not hot tap

?Purchase only unbleached brown coffee filters. The chemical digoxin is used
to bleach filters white and may leave a residue.

?Dripped coffee has almost twice the caffeine as instants.

?Beverages that contain caffeine may cause your skin to become dehydrated
and promotes premature aging.

?The polyphenols in coffee and the tannins in tea may reduce the amount of
iron available for the body to use. One cup of coffee consumed with a
hamburger reduces the amount of iron

?The polyphenols in coffee and the tannins in tea may reduce the amount of
iron available for the body to use. One cup of coffee consumed with a
hamburger reduces the amount of iron absorbed by approximately 40 percent
tea by 90 percent.

?Caffeine takes approximately 30 minutes to affect your brain and lasts for
two to six hours.

?Two cups of coffee will cause an increase in hydrochloric acid in the
stomach for at least an hour.

?Coffee reduces the healing time of ulcers.

?One cup of coffee or one cigarette will cause a rise pressure in blood.

?Caffeine may affect zinc ?Caffeine may affect zinc absorption which may
adversely affect the prostate gland and possibly reduce sexual urges in some

?Withdrawal symptoms will appear if caffeine is discontinued. These usually
start with headaches but only last for three to five days. The cells become
dependent on the caffeine.

?If you consume more than 300mg of caffeine a day, it can over stimulate the
central nervous system and may cause insomnia, nervousness, diarrhea and
increase your heart rate.

?Coffee drinkers have a higher incidence of heart disease; however, there is
no positive proof of a connection. It could just be that the percentage of
coffee drinkers is so much higher than non-coffee drinkers, this is the way
the statistics play out.

?Caffeine causes chemical changes in cells that cause excess triglycerides
to be released into the blood stream.

?Caffeine reduces the ability of the body to handle stress.

?A dash of salt added to coffee that has been over cooked or re-heated will
freshen the taste.

?Coffee trees originally came from Africa.

?The first people known to actually drink the beverage known today as coffee
were the Arabs who would not allow the beans to be exported. They were
finally smuggled to Holland in 1660 and then to Brazil in 1727.

?Opened coffee cans should be stored in the refrigerator upside down. The
coffee will retain its freshness and flavor longer.

?Leftover coffee and tea can be frozen in ice cube trays then used to cool
hot coffee or in tea or other beverages.

?Tiramisu is an Italian dessert made from coffee flavored sponge or biscuit
filled with sweetened cream cheese (mascarpone) and cream, doused with

?For a fast cup of coffee, have a cup of fresh coffee in a sealed container
in the refrigerator. Coffee will warm up and have an excellent taste.

?Hills Brothers Coffee was the first commercial company to sell vacuum
packed coffee in 1900.

?Coffee trees require 70 inches of rainfall per year.

?Ground coffee oxidizes very fast and coffee is best purchased in vacuum

?Americans consume 4,848 cups of coffee per second, 24 hours a day.

?A coffee tree produces approximately one to twelve pounds of coffee
cherries from a six year old tree.

?Approximately 2000 coffee cherries are required to produce one pound of
coffee, the crop of one tree.

?The U.S. is the largest consumer of coffee. About three billion pounds are
used annually.

?When reheating coffee, never boil, as this will cause an undesirable

?Coffee is a significant source of niacin.

?Viennese coffee: Ground coffee containing dried figs.

Source for Common Coffee and tea Tea Facts

Coffee and Tea Facts from Belly Bytes


From the pages of Donna’s diary
Paying at a restaurant

Today I’d like to focus on paying at a restaurant after you have just
enjoyed a marvellous meal. Too often, we fail to take the necessary
precautions in order to protect ourselves from having our credit card and
debit card numbers stolen from right under our noses.

As blind and vision impaired persons we need to take that extra precaution
in order to do this and I have some tips for you. I just want to make sure
that you stay safe after your meal.

Okay, you have just enjoyed a sumptuous and delicious meal and now it is
time to pay.
You can pay either by cash and if so just make sure that you keep your
wallet out of sight as you remove your cash.
or you can use the good old Credit card or debit card.

For either of these two methods be sure to enter the pin number for yourself
if the keypad is user friendly for you.
If not, and if you are presented with a touch screen, you need to request
assistance at the service desk to ensure that your info is protected.

Chances are that the waiter may be very trust worthy but one never knows who
is watching from another table.

I’m Donna J. Jodhan enjoying my travels.

To learn more about me, visit

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