All posts by Naomi

About Naomi

I am a writer and Christian educator who works in several genres with a specialty in materials for persons with disabilities. The Long Road Home Romance Collection includes one of my books (11/14), and I just finished the first draft of a Quick Look handbook to help persons who teach an inclusive classroom. I love playing and listening to classical music, fishing, doing family things, and, in spite of my non-interest in identifying birds, have come to name them because of my bird watching husband, Bob. My children and grandchildren, because of their expertise in different fields, have broadened my lens for looking at the world.


At last! Amazon has my Quick Look for Volunteer Emergency Responders in stock, so my friends in the disability community can spread the word that it is available. This book will save lives as well as provide a safe and comfortable rescue zone for both the rescuer and person in need of help. The title page listed on Amazon needs a tweak, but that is out of my power. It lists the author as Naomi Mitchum and Naomi Mitchum.  There have been many days when I  tried  to clone myself and was unsuccessful, but finally the power structure at Amazon did it! Yahoo! One of me is going fishing while the other works.

On the local scene, our teens and friends group of Circle of Friends is doing a talent show next week, and it promises to be the best ever. Best part is that they learned a lot about their natural talents before they put the show together. There will be singing, playing, dancing, basketball shoots and many other events. I’m told it will be live streamed, but to get it you have to have a personal link known only to parents and friends.  Our number of students keeps growing, so the set up takes many  chairs.  The drama group of adults is preparing a wonderful Easter play. We do have fun, and every week we realize that we are a big family within a family. Next time I will tell you about our theme Bible verse this year.

Helping Persons With Disabilities to Safety

Disabilities often change rescue procedures. New statistics tell us that in the United and States and Canada, one in five persons has a disability. In light of the many storms and major emergency events in the last three years, volunteer responders as well as parents and caring individuals must know how to quickly procede in helping  them to safety and how to protect them after rescue.

This is the theme of my new book Quick Look for Volunteer Emergency Responders, A Guide for Aiding Persons with Disabilities that will be available on soon.  Soon could mean two or three weeks if I’m lucky. This is my first brush with marketing a book myself, and it turned into a steep learning curve, and I wouldn’t have made the last image step without my son, Paul, who pulled me out of the last throes of despair. If you have never listed a book on Amazon, you would be amazed at the number of screens you must look at simultaneously or else print them out.  Finally (since my big screen computer is injured), I printed out 26 pages to use as work sheets.

On a lighter note, the big Houston storm today did not flood me. Good news note is I get my big Mac back tomorrow and a great guy is going to get the half a million files transfered to it. Yes !  Yes! Yes! Look for the sunshine of my smile down this way.

Emergency Rescue of Disabled a Priority

Emergency Responders Need Ways to Help Persons Who Are Disabled.

A disaster or emergency happens every day somewhere, and volunteers who work with persons with disabilities can now find aids to keeping those persons safe and calm. My new book Quick Look  For Volunteer Emergency Responders, A Guide for Aiding Persons With Disabilities will go on sale in two or three weeks from Amazon. com.  Handling the business end of publishing is new to me, so I had to take my time and do a LOT of learning. All my previous writing was handled  and promoted through a publisher, and this time I am the publisher called Ramps’nthings Press. This book is not a money maker for me, but will help a lot of people when it is used.  Mishandling of emergencies is not with malice; it is because no one knew what to do both during the emergency and afterwards.

Caregivers for persons who are homebound will find suggestions for keeping their charges safe, and anyone working with persons with disabilities will find tips on dealing with seizures.  Then there’s the matter of power outages, and we all know nothing is more scary than a completely black room or building, so there are suggestions on dealing with this. Maybe I’m prejudiced, but I think this book is fantastic and will sell fast.

Who makes accessible refrigerators?

Only one accessible refrigerator-top-freezer appeared after two full days of shopping. Kenmore makes an ADA approved one. It will be delivered this week after I have a formal funeral for my thirty year old GE with door ice maker that served me crushed or cubed.  I love ice!!!  The new Kenmore does not offer this feature, but has an ice maker within the freezer.  I kept repairing my old ice maker for years hoping that manufacturers would get the message, but, alas, we are the minority voice, and I understand that top freezers are not their best sellers. Any of you wheel chair users out there fallen into the bottom drawer freezers?

On other fronts, last Monday’s big Houston storm fried my external hard drive, modem, etc and got my internet as well as my entertainment center and one phone. In the transfer to my lap top for a while, I found some old, overlooked comments from some of you. I apologize, and will get back to you immediately.Experts say that lightning skips around, and now I believe it.  The hail also got my roof, so I am starting 2012 with new equipment.

Parking Can Be A Handicap

My message today is for the person who wrote a message for me on my car’s rear window, the person who doesn’t understand how hard it is to park a van with a wheelchair ramp.
There are never enough spots, and there are almost never van parking spots with eight feet of slash lines to let me get out of the van. When I have to circle the lot again and again, I wait until two regular spots open up and I park across both of them at an angle giving me two things: 1 enough room to get out of the van and 2. to prevent anyone from parking next to me so I can’t leave when i want to. Did that today at the grocery store where there were plenty single slots. This tells me that I didn’t prevent anyone from getting a space, but that the man who wrote on my window is a grump.

Since sitting low makes me invisible to drivers, I took my life in my hands wheeling through traffic coming and going. When I got back to my car,  someone had written, “Great job parking” on one side of the window and “Wash me” on the other.  Had my car detailed three days ago, you know, the day before it rained.

I have a suggestion for the man who didn’t like my parking. Instead of getting your finger dirty on my window, try writing the owners of the malls to get them to provide more parking, and get city council to regulate how the stripes and slashes can be painted. Wouldn’t take much time. Maybe two years. There is a lot to be said about it, and many ears are closed on the subject.

While I’m on the subject: the worst parking is Houston Town and Country Post Office that has absolutely not one van parking place. Forest Park Westheimer Funerals have a few parking slots, but no place to park your wheel chair in the chapel or the mausoleum except the aisle. (Guess who goes down the aisle.) Additionally, there is only one, crude ramp to make any graves or services accessible.  How do people get by with this?  I chose not to buy burial plots there, but I think they didn’t notice.

Just finished my Christmas shopping, so I’m thinking of going down to Car Masseusse to get my car cleaned up again so as not to offend anyone.

Circle of Friends Christmas Party

Chapelwood Circle of Friends leaders know how to throw a Christmas Party.

It was fun. The food was delicious thanks to Chapelwood’s kitchen ministry. If you looked in the room, you’d see that everyone looked alike with Santa helper hats, one of the party favors. There was a gift for everyone that showed the light – a blue flashlight with Circle of Friends emblem on the side.

A troupe of cultural dancers performed amidst tables in the round. They had three costume changes appearing each time in even more colorful dress than before. The finale of flamenco dancers had everyone clapping and staring in amazement at the footwork and beautiful black sombreros.

Student highlights throughout the evening were phone calls to Steve, master of ceremonies, from Santa who said in his first call that he was from over Abilene. He checked in periodically with news of where he was, and he talked to persons in the audience with questions and personal instructions.  Finally, he arrived with gusto.

AT the end there were sad faces because we do not meet again until January, but mostly everyone went home on high wearing a hat and with a ready flashlight to light the ways to cars.

If you interact with persons with disabilities

If you interact with persons with disabilities and you are Christian, this message is for you.

Sometimes you see spiritual change and discipleship happening; sometimes you don’t, but take heart, you are making a difference. You are a witness to the light of God through your actions and by way of teaching and interacting with others. During this season of the year when the light of the world came, why not take time to thank God for your participation and celebrate what you do?


He came quietly

No kingly trumpets

No fireworks,

Only light

The heavenly hosts

The angel

The star

So it is with our students

Jesus comes quietly

Week to week

Day to day

In ways we cannot see

Or hear.

Celebrate with thankfulness

Your role as God’s model

And helper.

The Light at Christmas

The light of Christmas bathed the Circle of Friends with the spirit of light last Wednesday. First the Chancel  Choir led by Tom and Andrea Jaber caroled the group, letting them join in on some songs. Then Reverend Dennnison led the adult and teen groups in a worship experience where they participated with the sounds of the Christmas story. She told the full version in a simple way that began with the census and ended with the meaning of Jesus as the light of the world. An adult student told his leader that for the first time, the Christmas story made sense. He was filled with awe. Our students understand a story on several levels: One, it is a wonderful story, or Two, it is a story set in the time of Jesus with real people, or Three, some students understand what the story means in their lives.  On any level, it’s okay, AND THEY “GET IT.”

This week we have our annual Christmas party with gifts for everyone and special entertainment. We adjourn until January 4, so people can go on vacation while the leaders also have a vacation.

Artists in Action

Artists in Action, Chapelwood’s newest program for teens and friends who have graduated school, is off to a fabulous start. It meets every Monday morning. Creativity of the students and leaders is unbounded and very impressive.  Their goal is to give back to the church and community and to have fun doing it. Persons who are homebound and persons on sick lists other places are the recipients of their art cards. If I were a photographer, I would post a picture of their amazing creations. The leaders with great tenacity got it off and running without the help of two leaders who were in the hospital at the time.

I was very ill for a long time with two hospital stays, a lot of pain and much pain medicine IV that put me in la-la land. Well on the mend thanks to Bob, my constant bedside companion, who kept me grounded to earth out of la-la land. Thanks also to the pigeons on the roof tops next to my hospital window and the window washers who entertained me with their safe antics. I could DO nothing but watch, making me revise my advice in the MOBILITY PLUS article to walk fast, talk fast and wheel fast.

Now that I’m slowed down (Bob says everything is relative to “slow”) I will cut out public speaking and concentrate on sitting at my computer to write for Circle of Friends and disability sites.

Make way for a new book

I’m clearning out the office to make way for a new project, a book to help volunteer first responders safely aid persons with disabilities. Got my ISBN and bar code and the book will be out soon by Ramps’nthings Press. Look for QUICK LOOK FOR VOLUNTEER EMERGENCY RESPONDERS. If you’re not a responder, you should get it anyway to help your comfort zone, and your church and CERT group will surely need it. We all think emergencies don’t happen to us. but they do.

Cleaning involved sorting and throwing away 50 years (count them!!! I may  be old!) of materials I wrote for teaching workshops of many kinds. Things like how to use music in Christian education, teaching practices, teaching children with disabilites in mainstream classrooms, the use of drama in teaching, and my then specialty, how to work with middle school students — the list goes on. It was like a walk in time as I remembered where I taught it and some of the great people who attended my  classes across the country. It was also a walk in time through educational practices and the terminology we use. Progress has brought us in full circle as  in my church where the children’s groups are converting from rotation system to the contained classroom with team teaching. In nomenclature, we have gone from saying “disabilities” (My book, YOU CAN DO IT, HOW TO TEACH PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES) in the seventies to “special needs” in the nineties and now we are back to saying disabilities.  All of this is about intentions: How do we help them learn about and experience God and how do we call it a comfortable name.

This file and box cleaning included throwing out three big boxes of the Texas Methodist Conference job I did for so long, some of which I kept for reference. All you guys who worked with me on that, I will say, “We made a slow but radical difference!”