2019: More Movement, Patience and Positivity: June edition

June has come and gone. I really used this past month to work on myself.

Movement-This is the first pillar of my theme for this year. Not only is it a reminder for me to exercise and to lose weight-which is an ongoing battle-but this pertains to movement in life. That is why, along with a friend, I worked through a self-help book. This book helped me work through my past. Now I no longer have to carry my past, and I feel happier and calmer. Along with working on myself I continue to work on my writing and my channel. I am still working on my Secret Project. It is slowly coming along. I finally bought an attachment for my microphone, and I feel that it has improved the quality of my videos.

Patience is the second pillar of my theme for this year. It is a value that I am still working on. To be honest, sometimes I feel stuck with my goals. Because I have felt this way, my friends and grandfather have been reminding me that I have to keep working on my goals until God moves me to the next season of my life. This gives me peace knowing that God will move me in his time and at his pace. Yes, it is okay to have patience.

Positivity is my third pillar of my theme for this year. I really had to get friends and family to remind me that being positive is going to make life easier. For example, Duke got a rash and grandpa and I had to take him to the vet. I was really worried about Duke. However, the vet was able to give him some medicine to help him feel better. He is now back to his old self. I am also very happy that SANE: Changing Mental Health for Good posted a photo and one of my blogs to their Twitter page. Life is good. I am eager to see what July brings.

Remember I believe in each and every one of you. You can achieve your dreams and goals one day, one step at a time.

Interview with Alexis Read (Guest Blog Post #12)

Hi everyone,

Today’s guest post is from my friend Alexis. Alexis runs a Facebook page all about her guide dog,  Yankee.  Be sure to check out her Facebook page to learn more about Yankee.  🙂 Thank you Alexis for being a guest.

  1. What is your name? My name is Alexis Read
  2. Age?: I’m 37 years old.
  3. Who has inspired you the most in life and your blogging?

My teacher of the Visually Impaired, Phyllis LeDosquet, inspires me as she was such an excellent teacher. Her teaching inspired my work with others with vision loss. When Phyllis was my teacher, she taught skills and concepts using real examples. For example, when I didn’t know about sizes of fruit in late elementary school, Phyllis took me to a grocery store to show me various fruit. She also had a brilliant idea when I was so negative. She had slips of paper where each negative comment was written. Phyllis had all of these comments on one side of the desk. As each comment was read, Phyllis explained why the trait is positive. She then moved the trait to the opposite side of the table. This activity helped me develop my own teaching tool for a 10 year old student in the summer of 2003. Another person who inspires me is a man from Louisville, KY. He’s blind and has a variety of physical disabilities. His arms and legs are unable to be bent so he’s unable to walk independently. He plays the piano and trumpet as well as sings. He has a message of positivity and setting achievable goals. His PAT acronym is something I use regularly when setting goals. PAT stands for perseverance, passion, patience, attitude, and trust.

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Photo of Alexis and guide dog Yankee.                                                                                          Photo credit: Vicki Curtis Stoner. She’s a local photographer.
  1. Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? In my spare time, I enjoy reading, playing with my guide dog Yankee, and listening to music. Some of my favorite authors include Jodi Picoult and John Grisham. I also enjoy learning more about forensic science.
  2. Name a bad habit that you have? A bad habit is using scientific words with people who aren’t familiar with the terms,
    If I could meet anyone living or dead, I’d love to meet Patrick Henry Hughes. This is the young man from Louisville described above.

6. Name your best quality? My best quality is my attention to detail.

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

If I could meet anyone living or dead, I’d love to meet Patrick Henry Hughes. This is the young man from Louisville described above.

  1. What is your college major/Minor? I have a BA in psychology and English literature with a minor in German. These degrees were obtained from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. My master’s degree is in vision rehabilitation therapy. I obtained this degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI.
  2. What school (college or university) did you go to?
  3. What is the title of your blog? I don’t have a blog, but my guide dog Yankee has his own Facebook page. I decided to start this page because I thought it would be fun to write from his perspective.
  4. When and why did you start your blog?
  5. Where do you see yourself in five years? I hope to be working at a university with students with disabilities. This would be very rewarding because I believe college education is important for individuals with disabilities.
  6. What is the name/cause of your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)? My vision loss was caused from optic atrophy and nystagmus.
  7. How does your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have) effect you on a daily basis? I have more central vision than peripheral vision. I use a guide dog for independent travel. He’s a sweet and smart yellow Lab. I use screen reading technology to access the computer and my iOS devices.
  8. What do other people feel about your visual impairment (or other disability that you may have)? Others appear to accept my vision loss, but acceptance isn’t a universal theme. There are people in Society who seem not to accept people with disabilities. Society’s ignorance is the biggest barrier to success for those with disabilities.
  9. 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? If I could offer any advice to others with disabilities, I’d advise young people to find a field they enjoy and that has good job prospects. I also would advise people to have good blindness skills like daily living, travel, and assistive technology skills. Being competent in the skills of blindness will serve you well in life.
  10. Where can other people find you on Social media (Please list and provide links)   www.facebook.com/YankeeGuide



– What caused your visual impairment? The cause of my visual impairment is a condition called congenital Nystagmus. I also have Night Blindness and I have light sensitivity.

– What can’t you see? I can’t see details that are far away very well. I also struggle to see small print and my computer when I am not using ZoomText.

– What can you see? I love to see my family and friends and the day when it is sunny outside.

– What is your favorite piece of technology and how do you use it? I love my Amazon Echo. I got my Echo last year. I love it because it helps me with keeping up with my shopping lists. I also use it for spell check.

– What do you want the sighted world to know about visual impairment?  That just because I wear glasses that does not mean that it will fix it. Right now, there is no cure for Nystagmus.

I would like to tag the following people to complete this challenge:

  1. Glen
  2. Chelsey
  3. Holly

International Nystagmus Awareness Day (2019)

Nystagmus is a medical condition that many people haven’t heard of before. Nystagmus is an eye condition where the eyes move in a vertical, horizontal and sometimes circular pattern. There is no cure and it can impact someone’s life in many different ways.  I was born with Nystagmus. I am not alone. I have met many people who have Nystagmus.

Over the past year I have learned one very important lesson. Nystagmus can be challenging, but I can live a full life despite having it.

Some of the challenges I have had are bullying.  I can not drive. But I have learned there are other modes of public transportation that I can use to be successful. I use accessible technology to access the computer, printed materials, etc.

Nystagmus has made me more positive. It has given me the motivation to do well with my education. I received my regular rather than my special education diploma. I received it with honors too. In college I earned my degree in journalism. I feel passionate about helping parents, children and the general public better understand Nystagmus. That is why I decided to start my own business to help others learn about Nystagmus and how to live a full life despite this. I post information related to Nystagmus on my blog, Facebook page, and YouTube channel.

The public can also support the Nystagmus Network. This charity helps people with Nystagmus. They are also working with different networks to better improve the quality of life and we hope one day a cure.


The symptoms I felt before going into Therapy

I can clearly remember the pain that I felt before going into therapy. These symptoms were both physical and emotional. The physical signs I had were a rash on my belly, arm and behind my ear. I had tried all different kinds of over the counter creams and lotions. Some of the creams only helped a little bit. It never went away. I kept scratching which made the rash worse. I was under a lot of stress because my dog, Noodles, died in March. On top of that, I was in a temporary job that I did not care for because their was a lack of public transportation and accommodations.

I had wide spread body pain. I hurt all over my body. The only thing that helped some was a hot bath, which also made my rash hurt.

When it came to the emotional pain, I had waves of sadness and hopelessness. I had very little motivation, and I was crying a lot. Since I was having so many problems my family and friends encouraged me to see a doctor and to get a referral to see a therapist.

It took me a year to get the courage to make a doctor appointment. The reason I did not want to go was a fear of getting a bill that I could not afford.  While I sat in the waiting room, I was shaking. I feared that my rash was uncurable. However, my biggest fear was the stigma that went along with getting help for mental health.

When I actually got into the exam room my anxiety went even higher. I felt like I was either going to throw up or start crying. When the nurse came in I started spilling out all of my problems from the pain from my rash to the pain I was having from the heartbreaking past I was feeling. The nurse was caring. She sat down and listened to me. She let me get all of my nervousness out of my system before she even did the exam.

She asked me some questions about my health and gave me a simple exam. Before I left her office, she gave me a prescription for my rash and a referral for counseling. She gave me some strategies to help me cope and to start feeling better on my own until my first appointment.

When I left the office, I felt good that I had reached out for help. I just had to wait a few days before I would be getting a phone call for my first appointment.

Author’s note: I am not a medical professional. I am just sharing my own personal experiences. If you are concerned about your physical or mental health please seek proper medical care.

Amanda Gene Tries Crisps (potato chips) and chocolate from the U.K.

I was very excited to bring back, by popular demand, another Amanda Gene tries video. I decided to try some more chocolate and crisps (potato chips) from the United Kingdom.

The first thing I ordered for this video was a pack of four Flake candy bars. I got them from Amazon for $4.58 with free shipping. I have tasted other candy by Cadbury before so my expectations were high. The taste of the chocolate was smooth and very sweet. I enjoyed it. The texture of the bar does live up to its name Flake. I highly recommend this candy bar to anyone looking to try something new. I will order more if I have the chance.

The next thing I ordered was a variety package of Walkers Classic Crisps. I ordered them from Amazon for $4.95 with free shipping. The flavors I bought were Ready Salted, Salt & Vinegar, and Cheese & Onion. The first flavor I tried was the ready salted. This flavor reminded me of the plain lays potato chips we have here in America. To me there was nothing special about them, however I did enjoy them. The next flavor I tried was salt & Vinegar. I think they were good; however, I would not want a steady diet of them because of the strong lingering taste of vinegar I had in my mouth once I finished them. The last flavor I tried was cheese & onion. This was my favorite flavor. For me this is a flavor that I cannot find here in the States. The cheese flavor really made an impact on the onion. I would definitely order the cheese & onion flavor again.

I enjoyed tasting these chips and chocolate from the United Kingdom. Let me know what other treats and from what country I should try next by leaving a comment down below.

Author’s note: The links provided in this blog post are nonaffiliated with me in any way. I provided them in case you want to order your own treats. 😊

2019: More Movement, Patience and Positivity: May Edition

May has certainly flown by. It has been a fast paced but fun month.

When it comes to movement, I certainly have been making some strides. I have slowly started getting my weight in the right direction and I am happy to report that I only need to lose three more pounds. I know with hard work and dedication I can lose the weight I need.

I have also completed my Hadley School for The Blind and Visually Impaired course “Going Places.” I even did a YouTube Series on the subject. Be sure to check my series out!

I have been published and paid for one of my works! You can read my article here.

This month my grandpa had his birthday. A good friend of ours organized a birthday party for him. I enjoyed helping my friend prep for the party by going grocery shopping and cooking some of the food. My grandpa enjoyed his birthday party. He enjoyed the lunch we served and chatting with our friends.  All of our friends had a fun time at the party. The food was delicious.

When it comes to patience, I have learned that hard work does paid off. I am currently working on a special project for parents whose children have Nystagmus. I am excited to work through this project; I want it to be the best project it can be. Therefore, it is going to take time.

I have learned to be patient with myself when it comes to editing my videos because I am having some problems with the software. I believe that I have found a solution to the problem which is so easy. I enjoy making YouTube videos. Be sure to subscribe to my channel.

Lastly, I learned that being positive and having positivity makes all the difference in the world. I have been meeting my goals when it comes to my Facebook, YouTube and Blog subscriber count.

Remember to set your goals and achieve them. ! I believe in each and every one of you. 😊