Remembering the Animals, we love this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a day filled with flowers, candy and perhaps a date with your loved one. If you are single and do not have a partner perhaps you have an animal such as a dog, cat or other furry friend. You can still make Valentine’s Day special by spending time with your pet.

You can show them a little extra tender loving care by taking them for an extra long walk, or by playing one of their favorite games. Duke, my three-year-old Pit Bull Terrier, loves going on long walks and he loves to play games such as tug and fetch. Seeing Duke wag his tail at full speed while going for a walk and playing his favorite games sure does bring a smile to my face.

You can serve them an extra special treat for a snack or a special meal in a toy. If you have a pocket pet you can let them out of their cage for longer than normal and give them an extra treat too. Duke loves his meat flavored milk bones and one of his meals served in a Kong toy.

After a long day of walks, games and meals remember to have a special evening together by just having a cuddle or maybe watch some tv together. Duke loves cuddles and to watch tv.

If you do not have a furry friend of your own remember that there always are animals in need at your local shelter or rescue center. I am sure the dogs, cats and of course, the humans could always use your support. Perhaps you will be able to save a life by finding that perfect pet to call your own on this special day.

Duke and I will be spending the day together doing all the things he loves.

No matter how you are spending this day, I hope each and every one of you and your pets have a great day.

 

 

The Flawesome Award

Hi Everyone,

I have exciting news to share! I have been nominated by my friend Carol who runs The Invisible Vision Project, for the Flawesome Award.  Be sure to check out Carol’s work because she is an amazing writer.

This award is to share with others that we all have weaknesses and then share how we can improve our weaknesses and turn them into strengths to become a better person. As always, there are rules with the award:

  • Link back to the original creator of the Flawesome Award: Sophia Ismaa
  • Recognize the person who nominated you: Carol
  • Display the award
  • List three flaws and turn them into strengths
  • Nominate 10 people

Here are three flaws that I have:

  1. I get to angry to fast

I get quite angry very quickly over little things. I can turn this into a strength and become a better person by slowing down my anger and thinking about the problem and how to solve it.

  1. I have Dyslexia

This means that I struggle with writing and reading at times. I can turn this into a strength and become a better person by using my technology and becoming a better writer by working on my writing and reading.

  1. I worry too much!

This is one big problem that I have that affects myself and my family. I have been in therapy before and it has helped some, but it is up to me to continue to work on this weakness. I can turn this into a strength and become a better person by using the techniques that I was taught in therapy.

I would now like to nominate 10 people for this award:

  1. Glen (Well_Eye_Never)
  2. Luke Sam Sowden (LukeSamSowden)
  3. Holly (LifeofaBlindGirl)
  4. Rebbecca Writes (BeckieWrites)
  5. Hannah (Hannah19168315)
  6. Chelsey (viblind)
  7. Stephanae (BoldBlindBeauty)
  8. Ourblindlife (ourblindlife)
  9. Krist M (EnglishWithK)
  10. Charlotte & GD Layla (blindseyeview)

 

There you have it, the Flawesome award! Thank you again, Carol for nominating me! 😊

 

O & M Trivia game on Alexa and Google Assistant Review

I was on Facebook scrolling through, seeing what was going on, when I came across a friend’s post about a new game was on the Amazon Echo, and it is also available on Google Assistant. The free game is called O M Trivia. The game tests a players knowledge about Orientation and Mobility (O and M ). I was eager to try out the game and to see what it had to offer.

I had trouble finding the game by using my voice, so I had to use my Alexa App to enable it. The game can be played by a single player or by a group of four, and there are three levels of difficulty: beginner, intermediate and advanced. I had previously completed Orientation and Mobility; I am now in my refresher course. I thought this game would be a breeze. I was wrong.

I found the beginner level quite easy to achieve the correct answers. The second level, intermediate, can be tricky for someone who has been in O and M if they are not paying attention to the question. 😊  The final level, advanced, is difficult in itself and I highly recommend the level for anyone who has completed their Orientation and Mobility training. I personally found that this game was difficult to navigate, and I do not think this will be on my top favorite games. However, I feel that the general public can learn a lot from this game, in the way of its content, even from the advanced level.

Please note, the game or any of the products I have mentioned has not been sponsored.

 

Interview with Nicola (Guest Blog Post #7)

Hi Everyone, this month I got the pleasure of interviewing Nicola. She has a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and blog. Many thanks to Nicola for allowing me to interview her and for allowing her to interview me in return. Do not forget to check out her social media accounts and her blog.

What is your name?  Nicola

Age? 40, although deep down I think I’m an old lady.

Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging?

My mum has been a big inspiration to me.  She was a single parent and taught me how to be me.  As for blogging Sass Wyatt of Thinking Out Loud and Alice of Notebooks and glasses are my biggest blogging inspiration.

Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

When I have some spare time on my hands, I enjoy watching movies and tv shows. I’m a huge sci fi fan and enjoy shows such as Stargate Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who and many more.

Name a bad habit that you have?

A bad habit of mine is that I am an over-thinker and worrier.

Name your best quality?

I’m terrible at listing my qualities.  If you were to ask my husband he would say that it is my kindness.

If you could interview anyone living or dead who would it be and why?

This is a toughy.  Michelle Obama, she’s a kick ass woman.

What is your college major/Minor?

My degree was in Communication studies.  Looking back I should have chosen a more specific topic to focus on.  Communication studies covered a lot of different areas.  I wish I could of went for journalism or PR instead.

What school (college or university) did you go to?

Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. At the time it was a college/university as it didn’t have the right number of students to be just a university.  Now I believe it is a full fledge uni with a bigger campus.

What is the title of your blog?

Nicola J Ogston – Parenting in Pain.

When and why did you start your blog?

I originally started blogging in an attempt to stave off boredom.  I wasn’t able to work anymore, which meant I was stuck at home alone and lonely.   I wanted to share my experiences with the world, then I became a mother and wanted to share what it is like parenting in pain.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Ideally, I would still like to be writing and sharing my journey as a chronically ill parent.  A big dream of mine is to write a book, probably fiction but a book for other chronic ill parents would be something I might do.

What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?

The main cause of my visual impairment is something similar to Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy (FEVR).  Although no one else in my family has the condition.  Therefore my ophthalmologist hasn’t been able to give me an exact diagnosis.  My condition has some of the traits of FEVR, however I was born with it and from what I know it is a progressive condition.

As well as my visual impairment I suffer from chronic costochondritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, hypermobiity as well as depression and anxiety.

How does your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) effect you on a daily basis?

My visual impairment makes it difficult to read signs, directions of food packaging, small print and sometimes my mail.  As for my chronic pain conditions, they make day to day life very difficult.  Getting out of bed, off chairs, walking and carrying things can be extremely painful.

  1. What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)?

I think that my close family and friends feel that it is part of me and understand the struggles and challenges that it may bring.  There are however some people who don’t understand my conditions and act like if they can’t see it, it’s not necessarily real.

  1. 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?

The advice that I would give, would be to don’t be afraid to ask for help and support.  Take the time to explain to loved ones what your condition is and explain that although you might not be able to do the activities you did before or spend as much time with them as before, you are still the same person.

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

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/nicolajogston

FB https://www.facebook.com/nicolajogstonblog/

Instagram http://www.Instagram.com/nicolajogston

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/nicolajogston

 

Amanda Gene Tries UK Candy

“I need an Aero bar-I am craving English candy!” I posted to my Facebook page. Seeing my status my friend, Sara wrote me a private message saying she would have some goodies delivered.  I excitedly checked the mailbox every day, and one cold evening it finally came.  I ran into my house full of excitement!

The next day, I created a YouTube Video.

Like most YouTuber’s I decided to do a surprise dip; picking one item at a time. The first thing I pulled out was not candy, but a Nystagmus Network wristband. The details on the band really pop! It looks so pretty.

The second item was an Aero’s bar that was peppermint flavored. For me, personally I am very particular about how strong the flavor is when I eat this flavor of candy. I was so surprised how light and delicious the flavor was. I loved how light the bar was. The next two items were a light blue Nystagmus Network wristband and a white Nystagmus Network wristband. They are really pretty and I will be wearing them with joy. For those of you who do not know what the Nystagmus Network is it is an amazing charity that provides support, and research  for those who have Nystagmus ,an eye condition where the eyes move rapidly either vertically or horizontally or sometimes in a combination of the two, and their families.

The next candy I got was a Dairy Milk bar. I have heard about them on YouTube as well as hearing my friends talk about them.  The candy was sweet and it reminded me of the Hershey’s candy we have here in the states, however this bar was a lot sweeter. Which I loved.

After finding another awesome Nystagmus Network wristband. I got a Milky bar. I was surprised that I liked the white chocolate because I generally do not care for white. This candy bar was sweet and very easy to chew. I really liked it.

After pulling out another Nystagmus Network wristband I pulled out Werther’s Original Hard Candy. We have these in the states, and I like them. I am going to share these with my grandfather because this is one of his favorites.

After pulling out my last Nystagmus Network wristband I pulled out my last item. A Bumper Bag. This bag has a mixture of different candies. Since lemon is one of my favorites, I tried a piece of that. The texture reminded me of our Laffy Taffy candy. The piece I tried from the Bumper Bag was bursting with flavor.

Thank you again, Sara for my candy and wristbands.

Author’s note: none of the candy brands nor the Nystagmus Network has sponsored this blog post or my YouTube video. Please feel free to check out the awesome Nystagmus Network charity anyway! 😊

My Thoughts on the Bird Box movie and The #Bird Box Challenges

I found out about this movie and the Bird Box Challenges When I watched YouTuber’s Joy Ross’ video, Talking about Bird Box and demonstrating the audio description feature! Since I had never watched a movie, on Netflix, using audio description before I decided to check it out. I liked being able to see the movie better because of the audio description feature, however I did not like the film as a whole because of the content.  The movie is about people who cannot leave their homes without taking off their blindfolds.  These creatures who are outside are dangerous to these people.  If the people go outside without their blindfolds, and they see the creatures these creatures will tell the people to kill themselves. In general, I do not watch action-based movies that often. I know that some people may like the movie and that is fine.

Furthermore, I do not care for these Bird Box Challenges.  The Bird Box Challenges are where normal sighted people are wearing blindfolds and doing daily tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, ect., because the general public are trying to experience the world like a person who is blind or visually impaired.  So far from what I have seen of them, people are getting hurt by doing unsafe things. I feel that these challenges do not give the general public better understanding of what it is like to be visually impaired or blind. I would rather the general public get a better understanding by gaining correct information, and there are several ways that you can do this. First, you can read blogs, not only can you read my own content, such as my latest Christmas Party Fun (Independent Living Skills Series 30), to find out what training is really like for someone who is blind or visually impaired, but you can read a great blog, that my friend, Holly wrote, What do blind and visually impaired people think about the Bird Box Challenge?, besides Holly and I there are other great bloggers who share their experiences on what their lives are like. You can ask questions about different eye conditions the next time you go see your eye doctor.  You can even experience what it is like to be blind in a safe way, such as taking workshops at local training centers. Lastly, you can reach out to other blind and visually impaired people to ask questions; you can reach us on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, ect. Remember, I am open to questions so do not hesitate to ask. 😊

I rather the general public have correct information then to try to figure it out on their own and get hurt in the process.

Ten Worst Things about being blind Molly Burke Response Blog Post

Recently YouTuber, Molly Burke, did a video called, 10 WORST Things About Being Blind!. Even though I am not completely blind, I have low vision. Some of the things Molly mentioned in the video I cannot relate to. However, some of them I can, and I would like to explain some of my own personal experiences within the topics that Molly mentioned in the video.

  1. “Feeling vulnerable”- I feel this a lot when I have my white cane out. Especially, when people think that I am faking or that I am using it without the training that I have had. I have two stories to share, to explain what I mean, the first one happened when I was at the local college, I had just come out of the restroom, and a classmate said she saw a man walk into the woman’s bathroom and a few minutes later come back out. Since we did not see any sign of him being a staff member, we wanted to report it. I went with my classmate to report it, the staff member refused to listen to me saying, that I was blind and could not see; therefore, I did not know what I was talking about. I explained that I had low vision and that I could see some. I felt like I was not heard. I am not sure what happened after it was reported.

The second story I have to tell is from the same school. It was raining, and I had to get a paper towel to wipe my hands and bag. I needed to travel to the next building; and I knew that I was going to be needing my cane. I got it out, and finding that it was wet, I wiped it down. I left the restroom, and started to go my way when a student looked at me with shock. She had seen me before without my cane.  She was polite and asked me why I needed my cane sometimes and other times I did not. I was able to explain my condition. I do not mine when people ask questions, and are nice about it, however, I hate it when people say, “You have glasses; you’re faking it.” or “You do not have any training with that thing.”  Another thing that makes me feel vulnerable is when I have my cane out and I am traveling by myself. Even though I do not qualify for a guide dog, I feel that I would be safer. I remind myself that there are good people in this world, but I still have to be careful. I even feel more vulnerable while I am waiting for the paratransit bus; especially if it is running late.

  1. “When people, in general, expect less of you,”- This one really hit home for me. From the time I was young until all of my disabilities were diagnosed and I was getting the proper treatment, there were low expectations by my teachers and doctors. I held a higher standard for myself by getting a regular rather than a special diploma and getting a college degree. I have dreams of getting my master’s one day. What is worse besides the educational system is society. Let’s be real, in the video, Molly states that society has low expectations for people with disabilities because there is a lack of education about blindness. I feel that way too especially when it comes to employment. Society, I feel from my own personal experiences, expects us to either have crummy low wage jobs or no job at all because of the barriers that we face.

I feel low standards from my caseworkers. Last year, Division of Blind Services wanted to drop me all because of lack of employment placement. I had to appeal their decision because I felt like I needed more help with daily living skills. It hurt, even more, two years ago when I did a vocational assessment, and the summary of the report said to give up on the job search due to my many health issues. I refuse to do that because I see my full potential in gaining self-employment. The last and final point I want to bring up on this topic is how my family treats me. They refuse to learn about my conditions and how I can reach my potential. I have set higher goals for myself rather than giving up.

  1. “Accessing information and education,”- This one hit a nerve. Because until I was diagnosed with my visual impairment and started getting large print some of my school work was very inaccessible. I can remember that my mother used to either read my homework out to me or write notes explaining that I could not see my work. This, in turn, would make my teachers upset. Even in college things were not as accessible as I was hoping they would. I took a computer class and because the disability office had problems getting the book in a proper format I struggled. I passed my class but just barely. Thankfully, at the end of the term, I received Kurzweil 3000 which is a text to speech screen reader.
  2. “Having to rely on other people”- This one hit me right in the heart. Probably more than any other topic. I lack the ability to drive and I either have to rely on public transportation or friends and family to take me to where I want to go. When I was younger, I dreamed of being able to hold a restricted driver’s license. My eye doctor was not sure what my future held for me and there was hopes for better treatment and advancements in technology. In recent times, I am learning how to become independent by taking lessons on cooking, technology aids, and travel.
  3. “Lack of employment opportunities”- This one I can relate to as a person who has been looking for employment for five years. Finding a job is not easy. I agree with Molly when she states that its easier to build your own success then it is to prove it to other people.
  4. “Being more at risk for sexual abuse and violence”- I feel strongly about this topic because I know a few people who have experienced this themselves.

I am sure there are more topics that can be talked about when it comes to having a visual impairment, but I think I can agree with Molly that this is a good place to start talking and how to improve these topics and more for the community.