Christmas Party Fun! (independent living skills series 30)

I was excited for today; it was the last day before Christmas break, and the school’s annual Christmas party.

When I first arrived at the center my Orientation and Mobility teacher exclaimed, “Wow, Amanda you must really be excited for the party.” “I am,” I said as I quickly put down my purse.

I could tell by the buzz around me that everyone was excited. However, there was still lessons that had to be attended. I, along with another classmate, was assigned Orientation and Mobility. Since we only had to attend class for an hour, we requested that we go get coffee at our local Starbucks. When we got there, I went and ordered first. I ordered a small Hot Coco. My classmate ordered a hot tea. Since my teacher does not care for Starbucks, we went through McDonald’s so she could order a drink for herself.

We still had some time to spare before we had to go back to the center so we went on a tour of Pensacola as I commentated the sights, so my classmate could enjoy the ride.

Once we got back to the center, the food was cooking and my teachers, staff and classmates all enjoyed each other’s company. Soon it was time to eat and there was a lot to choose from. We had home-made chilli, mini hot dogs, sandwiches, etc. I got a little bit of everything.

All of the staff, including the teachers and my classmates enjoyed their lunch and each other’s company. After we had all finished eating we played Dirty Santa. The rules of the game are simple, each player gets a number and picks a gift or they can steal a gift that someone else has opened. One by one each student got a gift from under the tree. I got a Starbucks gift card and I was hoping that no one was going to steal my gift. No one was stealing until one student decided that he didn’t like the Starbuck’s coffee mug set, so he stole a chip dip bowl. That set off a few steals which included my Starbuck’s gift card. I was sort of disappointed. I ended up with a Chick-Fil-A gift card. In the end everyone enjoyed the gifts that they received.

It was a great day, one that I will enjoy memories of for years to come.

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Christmas party fun!

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Author’s note: Hey everyone, don’t forget to join me Saturday, December 22, 2018 at 6 p.m. for a live Q and A. https://www.facebook.com/AmandaGeneN/ I hope to see everyone there.

 

 

Cooking Pizzas and an informal luncheon (Independent living series 27)

It was a busy day at my school; we all met in the technology lab for a class meeting. Our cooking teacher told us that members of the public would be taking a tour of the school and then having an informational luncheon. Pizza was on the menu. Our teacher divided us into two groups: those that would be helping prepare the pizzas and those that would be staying in the technology lab. I was asked to help cook.

Once we were in the kitchen my teacher went through the ingredients. He then organized how the 16 pizzas were going to be cooked in a timely manner.

It was time to start preparing the pizzas. The first pizza was made by our teacher. First, he added a little bit of olive oil to the crust, then he added about a teaspoon of pizza sauce, then he added a little bit of oregano and pepper. The final step was to add the cheese.

The students then got their own pizzas. I made a pepperoni pizza. The olive oil was slippery as I spread it on the crust. Then I added the sauce, oregano and pepper. I must admit I felt like I added too much oregano. Then came the cheese. Once I finished adding the cheese, I asked my teacher if my pizza looked okay; he felt that I missed a spot and I needed to add a little bit more cheese. I did. Once that was finished, I added the pepperoni. I felt like my pizza looked good. Once the rest of the students finished their first pizzas the teachers took our finished ones and put it to the side. Then we all started our second pizzas. This time we had a rhythm to getting the pizzas ready. It was more like an assembly line as we passed the ingredients around and helped one another as needed. We really do have a great group of people in our class. The last pizza I did I needed help pouring the sauce, so my teacher helped me. Preparing the rest of the pizzas was easy. Once the pizzas were finished the teachers were able to put them into the oven to cook. The students were then able to sit and chat quietly about the class party and other topics of interest.

Soon it was time to eat. During the luncheon, the public got to experience what it is like to eat while totally blind because they were wearing blind folds. One of the members of the public asked, “How do I pour my drink?” As I watched, I wanted to go up to him, introduce myself and show him how it was done. However, I let him figure it out on his own. While we were eating our director talked about the five programs and how they had an impact on the community.

I wanted to stand up towards the end and talk a little bit about what the program has meant to me. As a student, I can honestly say that these classes have helped me grow as a person. I can cook, use technology such as my Alexa, and ZoomText, and I can travel independently. With the help of the dedicated staff and teachers, I am no longer relying on my grandfather as much as I used too.

The director emphasized the fact that most of our funding that runs the school comes from donations from the public.

Once lunch was finished all of the staff and students cleaned up. I have to admit I enjoyed the pepperoni pizza better than the cheese pizza.

Then we went back to our lessons. I had Orientation and Mobility. Three of us worked on sighted guide and how to shoreline when we were doing routes. It was a great day.

 

 

 

 

Cooking Quick Chilli (Independent Living Skills Series 26)

I had to be picked up by my computer instructor due to my bus pass being expired. I got to the center with some of my classmates early enough to have a chat before class. Today, before we started our lessons, we had a class meeting. The class has decided to have a pot luck/gift exchange party before Christmas break. Over the next week we will decide who is going to bring what to the party. I’m excited to have some fun after all the hard work we put into our lessons. 😊

After our meeting, my teacher, classmate, and I went into the kitchen to decide what to cook. Since it was a cold day, I suggested we have soup. Quick chilli was on the menu. We quickly got a school car and went to Publix. When we got to the store, I found out that my favorite chocolate chip muffins were on special. Buy one get one for free at the price of $4.99 was something I could not pass up. After I had gotten my guilty pleasure we went to the deli and picked up two loafs of Italian bread; my classmate and I got to choose two types of meat for sandwiches. I chose Black Forest Ham and my classmate chose sliced Boars head chicken.

We then moved on to the seasons section. We decided to get the McCormick Mild chilli spice, then we reviewed the ingredients that we would need for our dish. We would need meat for the chilli so we headed over the meat department and we picked up one pound of 90% lean hamburger meat. Then, because we were getting lunch for the rest of the students and staff we went and picked out two kinds of chips. I chose a Mexican style chip that could be enjoyed with both the chilli and the sandwiches, and my classmate chose a regular flavored potato chip.

The last two ingredients that we needed for our chilli was a can of tomatoes and a can of Pinto beans. Since they were in the same aisle, we were able to find them quickly. Once we had all the things on our list, we checked out quickly and headed back to the center.

While my teacher got ready for our lesson my classmate and I sorted our groceries, and we washed our hands. Once our instructor was able to join us, we were able to get cooking. First, we made things easier for ourselves and gathered all our cooking equipment. The first step in cooking was to open our meat. I learned how to open a package of meat without getting the juice or raw meat touching my hands. Open it on the side and then peel the packing back. We browned our hamburger meat on medium heat for about 20 to 30 minutes. Then we drained the grease by putting the meat into a colander and draining the grease into a small bowl. We then put the meat into another pot and we added McCormick Mild Chilli spice to the meat. Then we stirred the meat and spice together. We then added the tomatoes and beans to the meat. We let the ingredients simmer for ten minutes. Once the chilli was done cooking the staff and students made sandwiches, and we enjoyed the chips and chilli.

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Chilli I made @independence_for_the_blind yesterday.

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An Interview with Anna Adams (Guest Blog Post #5)

Hi Everyone, I got the pleasure of interviewing my friend Anna. She is the fantastic blogger who runs Walk-N-Rolling With Spina Bifida.  Many thanks to Anna for allowing me to be featured on her website and for allowing me to interview her. Don’t forget to check out her website 🙂

  1. What is your name? Anna Adams
  2. Age? 34
  3. Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging? Laura Tellado
  4. Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?help the community and fishing
  5. Name a bad habit that you have? Talk too much lol
  6. Name your best quality? I never judge and I am Always there for others
  7. If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why? Jean Driscoll
  8. What is your college major/Minor? It was graphic design
  9. What school (college or university) did you go to? Seminole State College
  10. What is the title of your blog? Walk N Rolling With Spina Bifida
  11. When and why did you start your blog? 2 years ago , I started my website to give everyone with a disability an opportunity to be heard
  12. Where do you see yourself in five years? Hopefully having my own 501c non-profit organization
  13. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?Spina Bifida
  14. How does your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) effect you on a daily basis? I can’t walk . I use a wheelchair. I am also incontinent . I also have memory issues due to Hydrocephalus.
  15. What do other people feel about your visual impairment(of other disability that you may have)? I don’t have a clue
  16. If you had to give one piece of advice to others about having a visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) what would it be? To always be positive . Never give up .

Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)

https://www.facebook.com/WalkNRollingWithSpinaBifida/

https://m.facebook.com/groups/632321793544956

If you would like to do an interview swap or  if you would like to be featured on my blog please feel free to email me at: amanda@amandagene.com

 

A Day of Thanksgiving (2018)

This Thanksgiving I want to share with my family, friends and followers what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving. First, I’m so thankful for my family, especially my grandfather who has helped and continues to support me. I cannot say thank you enough for my grandpa. He has taken care of me since the age of sixteen. Without you grandpa I would not be where I am today. You have helped me get an education that years ago I never thought I would have. You are my encouragement when times get hard and you remind me to get back up and to continue to fight my battles. I am also thankful for all that I do have. I may not have reached all the goals and dreams I want to achieve in life yet, but I am thankful for this amazing journey that I am on.

I am thankful for the sight that I do have. It may be tough having Nystagmus at times, but it is not impossible to live with. Thank you to my friends who have Nystagmus that have taught me that just because you have Nystagmus does not mean you have to let it control you.

To my dog: Duke thank you for making me smile and laugh, and for reminding me not to judge a book by its cover… inside there is love and a kind spirit.

To my friends: without you life would be so dull. You make me laugh smile and enjoy life. A special thank you to my best friend, who also happens to be my editor. Thank you for your encouragement as I grow both personally and professionally.

To my followers: without your support I would not have made it this far in my freelancing journey. No matter if you follow me on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest your support and encouragement to keep trying is amazing.

I hope that each and every one of you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving and I will see you guys next week.

 

Making Pimento Cheese (independent living skills series 25)

I was excited to get back into the kitchen at school. My teacher, classmate and I went into the kitchen and she told me all about the Pimento Cheese ingredients and where to find them when you are at the grocery store. After this, my teacher helped my classmate open a package of cream cheese. We left it on the counter. We got out our cutting boards and cheese graters. I chose the black cutting board and silver grater because the contrast of these two items are easier for me to see better. My teacher went over the different sizes of panels; we used the largest and medium-sized ones.  She showed us how to grate the cheese. I found that grating is simple.

Once half of our block of cheese was grated, we went to the medium-sized panel. I had problems with my panel because of the way my cheese was ending up. Instead of getting grated my cheese was getting smashed into the holes and getting stuck. I had to switch to a handheld grater. Once all of our cheese was grated, we put in all it one giant bowl.  The next step in our lesson was to practice using a measuring spoon to measure our miracle whip and softened cream cheese. Once it was all measured out, we added these ingredients to the bowl. We mixed all three of the ingredients together.

In the morning, our principle ordered pizza for lunch  for all the students and staff. Our pizza was delivered right on time.  The pizza was delicious and all the students and staff enjoyed this treat. Once we cleaned up from lunch, including some of our dishes from our lesson, we got back to it.

We added the Pimentos to the bowl. Then we stirred the cheese. It was time to clean the carrots that we were going to use to dip our cheese with. Cleaning the carrots was easier. My classmate peeled and cut half of the carrots. Then it was my turn. I had never cut carrots into slices before so my teacher had to teach me how to do it. What made this easier to remember was how I rocked my knife back and forth to cut our homemade pizzas. This was the same kind of process.

Lastly, my teacher placed the cheese on a plate and added some of the carrots. We then had a small discussion on how to plate cheese, vegetables, and crackers for a party.

My classmates, teachers and I all enjoyed our snack. It was a lot of fun making this simple snack.

Next week I will be learning how to make chicken salad and chocolate dump cake.

Redeeming my failure to ride escalators (independent living skills series 24)

I really wanted to go to class because I wanted to see my teacher before she left to go on vacation. I got to school before my other classmates. Before we got our assignments for the day we had a class meeting. The meeting was to remind us to take the bus to school whenever possible.

After the meeting, my teacher and I went to the mall. I quickly found my landmark and took off towards the escalator. Since going up is easier for me I was able to get on with ease. We stopped and looked at the new items of clothing that were on sale for Christmas. They sure had some cute things.

Then I had to face it! The down escalator. My teacher got behind me, and then said to me, the more you wait and psych yourself out the worse it will be; it is not that big of a deal. Just get on and ride. That’s exactly what I did.

I got on and got off with ease. Once that was done I had to navigate through the mall to get to the food court. When we got there, I looked at the many options for meals; I decided to have tacos.

I had three hard shell tacos with hamburger meat, rice, beans, cheese and avocado. For my drink I had a coke. My tacos were crunchy, and I loved the avocado.  My coke was refreshing.

After lunch, we went to Dillard’s. On the way back, I saw a candy stand. I got some lemon drops and some bubble gum. Yum!

While I was mind mapping to get back to my original landmark, we looked at more Christmas clothes. I bought a red, long-sleeved top that has a Boston Terrier on it. Below the dog it says Santa Paws.

Once I had made my purchase we left the mall and went to Target. All I got there was a candy bar. We then went and drove around looking at what beautiful Pensacola has to offer before returning to the center. It was a great day.  For the next two weeks I will be doing cooking lessons.

I would like to also address some questions on when I will be graduating from this program. I am set to graduate in March; however, I can request that I finish early. To do this, I must prove to my instructors and caseworker, that I have the confidence and that I have mastered the skills that are posted on my Individual Employment Plan.