Friday, December 31, 2010

Use the Library

Use your Library to Live Light and Save

By Debra L. Karplus, MS, OTR/L

Libraries have changed greatly over the past few decades. No longer are they sterile places that only have books to borrow and where one must be silent. When was the last time you heard a librarian say ‘shhhhh’ to a patron? Many of today’s libraries have become gathering places for families and friends to enjoy a cup of cappuccino with a freshly baked fruit filled muffin, attend an interesting lecture, or check out a wide variety of media. Typically your home real estate taxes support your local library; so why not spend more time at the library and get your money’s worth. You will be surprised at the dollars that you can save.

Borrow instead of buy; it always stretches your dollar.

How many books do you purchase that you only read once, or maybe you do not read then at all? The library is a great way to explore a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction topics. Many libraries will even special order a book that you request, or obtain it through the library system that they are part of with neighboring libraries. And, if you find a book to be especially useful, you can ultimately buy it online at a discount.

Going to a movie at your local theater can be expensive, especially if you bring the entire family or go in the evening. Even video rentals are not free. But many public libraries have free videos and DVDs, in excellent condition, that you can borrow of popular movies, educational films ‘how-to’ ideas like home improvements or cooking, and more. Next time you are at the library peruse the media section. You may be pleasantly surprised to see how extensive the collection is. The same holds true of the CDs, with anything from popular music, Broadway musicals, classical music and other genres.

How much do you spend each year on magazine subscriptions? Generally, you read a magazine once, especially if it’s a timely news magazine; and eventually you need to take it to the recycling center. It’s likely that your library subscribes to the magazines that you are receiving at home. Cancel those home subscriptions, and spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon in a comfortable library chair reading your favorite magazines in the periodicals section. Magazines for teens and younger children are also at your library.

Utilize the free computer and databases at the library.

Most libraries have a section or room filled with computers for the public to use. Many libraries are even wired for free wifi. Bring your portable computer and you are ready to work or study. What a great place for your children to do their homework! Additionally, libraries often subscribe to databases that you don’t have at home. For example, if genealogy is your passion, the library may have online newspapers from other towns, birth notices, specific immigration websites and other electronic sources to find helpful information.

Entertain your children in the library’s kid section.

The weather outside is terrible and the kids are becoming restless staying at home. Why not head to the library. Children’s departments have become lively places for children to play and interact. Besides books for all aged children including even the very little ones, you are likely to find toys, puzzles and games, also. And check the library’s calendar of events. Many libraries have daytime or bedtime story hours and a variety of other age-appropriate activities.

Attend free adult and family-oriented library programs.

On a given evening or weekend afternoon, interesting, informative and fun programs are scheduled at the library. A banker or financial planner may be giving a free lecture about retirement savings. A published author could be speaking about her upcoming novel. A well-travelled local teacher might speak about a recent trip to China. Or possibly a chamber group is entertaining library patrons with some selections from Beethoven pieces. Why spend money at symphony hall when you can be enjoying these and many other free library events!

Spend a little money at the library for big savings.

Many libraries frequently discard older books, magazines, CDs, videos and DVDs. They do this by having sales, with bargain-basement prices. Some even sell bag loads of books or other materials. Inquire if your library will be having a sale; or volunteer your time to help organize one.

You are probably already paying indirectly for goods and services of you local library. Plan a library visit with the family when you have a block of time. Give yourselves a tour of all that is to be offered. The library can easily become a regular favorite family spot with savings galore. Check it out.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Head Lice: a poem

Head Lice Are Not Nice

By Debra L. Karplus, MS, OTR/L

You learned in school, that bugs are cool. They have a body, six legs and a head.
Also called insects, bugs living outdoors are quite well fed.

But in your house, much smaller than a mouse, bugs find crumbs to make a meal.
Some bugs fly and others crawl.
But watch out for the ones that bother you, because they are the worst of all.

Mosquitoes spread diseases, so it’s best to avoid their sting.
To avoid itchy mosquito bites, stinky bug spray may be the best thing.

But the grossest little critters may be crawling around your head.
Tiny little head lice are the bugs that you should dread.

You won’t know that you have them, until your head begins to itch.
Short hair, long hair, blond hair, brown hair, it doesn’t matter which.

If your scalp gets real itchy, get your mom to take a look.
She can learn what head lice look like from the Internet or a picture book.

You don’t need to see the doctor if your hair gets full of lice.
Most kids get them at least once, hopefully not twice.

The best way to de-lice your hair is with special shampoo or fine-tooth comb.
Mom will also need to clean sofas and pillow cases, and other fabrics in your home.

BUT, since head lice, are not nice, it is best to follow this advice…

Since you never know who might have the little critters in their head.
You must be careful at sleepovers where you put your head in bed.

Many kids get head lice from other kids at school.
Don’t ever put on someone’s hat, even if it looks real cool.

You might think your hair looks messy and you want to fix it in a rush.
But don’t be tempted to use someone else’s comb or brush.

You can even get head lice in your hair from lying on a rug,
Or even if your hair touches lice-infested hair when giving a friend a hug.

Just remember that head lice are not nice, so be sure to follow this advice!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Formation of NASA

The Formation of NASA

by Debra L. Karplus, MS, OTR/L

Space travel has always had a presence during your lifetime. But, prior to the late 1950s, space travel existed only as science fiction. Long before there was Mr. Rogers, that mellow Public Television gentleman from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, who always wore a cardigan sweater and pacified you daily, there was a livelier Mr. Rogers, a fictitious character whose neighborhood was outer space.

The idea of space travel was fiction before the formation of NASA.

Ask your parents or grandparents about Buck Rogers. They’ll recall that Buck’s exciting adventures were chronicled, starting around 1928. This Mr. Rogers heroically travelled in space and became part of pop culture through novellas, comic strips, a radio show, movies, and finally, a television series.

Competition with Russia was the motivation for establishing NASA.

In the 1950’s, Russia and the United States seemed to be in constant competition, not unlike today’s sixth graders trying to wear the coolest athletic shoes. In 1957, when Russia launched Sputnik satellites into space, this rivalry focused on a race to space. Consequently, on October 1, 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Act (NASA) was signed into law by United States President Dwight Eisenhower (Ike).

The purpose of the formation of NASA was to do scientific research and stimulate public interest in aerospace exploration. In 1961, one of the priorities of newly elected President John F. Kennedy (JFK) went far beyond exploring space; he declared in a speech early in his term that by 1970, man should go to moon, land there, and return safely. This planted the seeds for the NASA of today. Despite the untimely death of JFK, the space program maintained momentum.

The different NASA missions have each had specific research goals.

There have been several NASA missions, each with unique goals. Some of the most well known early missions have been Mercury, Gemini and Apollo.

The Mercury Space missions occurred from 1961 to 1965 and included two unmanned missions and seven manned missions, ending with MA-9. Mercury missions were intended to be manned, orbit around the earth, question man’s ability to function in space for longer than 24 hour duration, and return man and the spacecraft safely to earth. Alan Shepard was one of Mercury’s first astronauts. In 1962, John Glenn was the first person to orbit around the earth. Mercury missions lasted from fifteen minutes to thirty-four hours.

The twelve Gemini missions occurred from 1965 to 1968. Virgil “Gus” Grissom was one of the first Gemini astronauts. Neil Armstrong manned Gemini 8 in 1965.Gemini missions were the bridge to moon travel and explored the concepts of weightlessness, rendezvous, and docking. Gemini missions lasted from five hours to fourteen days.

Seventeen Apollo missions occurred from 1968 to 1972 each lasting approximately one week. The goal of the Apollo missions was to fulfill Kennedy’s dream of landing a man on the moon safely. Six of the Apollo missions accomplished this, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17. Kennedy would have been smiling on July 20, 1969 when Neil Armstrong on Apollo 11, walked off spacecraft, set a small American flag on the moon and stated “one small step for man, one giant step for mankind”.

The malfunction of the Apollo 13 caused some injuries, but thankfully all three astronauts, led by Jim Lovell, arrived home alive. This aborted mission was the subject of the 1995 major motion picture, not very creatively entitled, Apollo 13. Scientists are still not superstitious about the number thirteen.

Women can be astronauts, too.

Though the names you hear about on the early space missions are all men, woman have done much of the work on the ground in the space race. Since NASA’s inception, female scientists have made great strides both at Washington DC’s NASA headquarters and at Cape Canaveral, on the east coast of Florida, where most launches occur.

Sally Ride was the first American woman in space. She was on Challenger missions in 1983 and 1984, and has spent over 343 hours in space. In the 1980s and 1990s, of the 94 NASA flights, 57 had at least one female crew member. The 28 flights from 1995 to1998 had 22 flights with at least on woman on board. So, women are indeed catching up in America’s space program.

Space travel may be safer than driving on the highway, but there have been

In the more than fifty years since the formation of NASA, sadly there have been three major tragedies where astronauts have been killed in space. Probably a coincidence, but all have occurred in the month of January. Despite the overall success of NASA missions, it received much criticism after each of the calamities.
The 1967 fire on Apollo 1 during launching killed Gus Grissom, Roger Chaffee, and Ed White who were trapped inside the capsule. This set the space program back approximately twenty-one months. Over one thousand changes were made to the design of the capsule, as a result of this fire.

It was unusually cold on the 1986 January morning when the Challenger exploded on take-off due to gaps in the seals. All seven astronauts died instantly including teacher-in-space Christa McAuliffe. Pieces of the spacecraft hit the ground as it disintegrated.

The most recent fatality from the space program occurred in 2004 aboard space shuttle Columbia. During the flight, pieces of foam on the spacecraft became dislodged and created a hole. Debris was found in Texas and Louisiana. All seven astronauts died from this disaster.

Can NASA survive in today’s economy?

The world is very different today than it was when the space program was launched. Priorities in the United States are no longer the same as they were fifty years ago. The terrorist attacks of September 2001 threatened budget cuts to NASA. Today’s economy is volatile. Personal and financial safety are number one concerns. A new administration in Washington plans to make life better in American homes, but there’s been little mention of the space program.

NASA is still alive and kicking with more space missions planned and great hopes for understanding the universe, other planets, weather, clouds and the earth’s atmosphere and life beyond earth. Hopefully, there is room in our lives today to dream big and explore the larger world. Perhaps, living in places outside of the boundaries of planet earth might hold the solution to some of the problems of today’s world.


1. Would you like to be part of the space program? Would you prefer working on the ground at NASA headquarters or would you rather travel in space? Why?

2. Which seems more interesting, the space program of the early years or space missions to the moon? Discuss some reasons.

3. What would your life be like if you lived on another planet? What would you do for a living? How would you spend your leisure time?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

About Service Dogs

Service Dogs for People with Disabilities

By Debra L. Karplus, MS, OTR/L

Your family dog, Snoopie, seems like the smartest animal you’ve ever seen. He is loyal and gentle, and does many cool tricks that you friends’ dogs cannot do. One day, you brought him to visit the nursing home in your town and all the people there loved Snoopie and enjoyed petting him and having Snoopie sit on their lap. But if your grandpa acquired a disability, would Snoopie be able to work as a service dog and help grandpa get around and perform daily tasks?

Training is different for a service dog than for a family pet.

Service dogs are specially trained animals that help people who have physical and psychological disabilities. Blind dogs, hearing dogs, seizure-alert dogs, and mobility dogs are just a few of the services that these working animals provide. They’re individually trained while they are puppies, with advanced training as they become older. Their training is specific to the disability they will work with, such as blindness.

Services dogs are not therapy dogs, and they are not pets.

Because service dogs are considered to be working dogs and are not pets, they must be treated differently. You don’t want to pet, talk to, make noises, or feed a working dog. Therapy dogs are not the same as service dogs. Therapy dogs are often pets that are seen helping in therapy settings such as hospitals and nursing homes.

Certain qualities are desirable for service dogs.

Herman Shepherds, Labrador and golden retrievers make good service dogs because of their size, temperament, good health and long life. A working dog must be trainable and must not have uncontrollable behavior. It can’t be aggressive and must be safe to take into public places. It must not be easily distracted by noises. Being able to follow verbal cues and hand signals is a must for service dogs. Eight years is generally the working life of a service dog. After than, they retire and can become someone’s lovable pet.

Service dogs can be professionally trained or owner trained.

Programs employing professionals who train service dogs exist around the United States. These experts are familiar with dog training and with disabilities. A professionally-trained service dogs is certified when the training is complete, though certification is not a requirement. There are also owner-trained dogs, a less expensive training option.

Public places that don’t allow pets, allow service dogs.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 expanded rights of people with disabilities. It allowed public access for working animals. Don’t be surprised if you see a service dog in a restroom, hotel, school, shopping mall, taxicab, airplane, concert or sporting event.

People with disabilities each have their own service dogs.

To get a service dog, a person must first establish that they have a disability that would be helped by having a specially-trained dog. They next must contact an organization that has service dogs. is one of many websites that has access to service dogs. You can learn more about working dogs on this website.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

About Arbor Day: for kids

Arbor Day: a Holiday to Celebrate Trees

By Debra L. Karplus, MS

Apple slices covered with peanut butter are a delicious snack. Apples grow on trees, as do peanuts that make peanut butter; many other tasty foods we enjoy also come from trees. Our houses have frames made of lumber that comes from trees. The trees around our homes keep us cool in the summer. Logs in the fireplace, cut from trees, split, and seasoned or dried, help keep us warm each winter. The wooden chair that you are sitting on is a product from trees. Even the paper in this magazine is made from trees! We don’t often think about the many ways in which trees are part of our lives. Many things that we use in our in our daily lives come from trees. But, imagine a world with no trees.


Jules Sterling Morton is not someone you learned about in your social studies class. You are not likely to find his biography on the shelves of your school or public library. Most of us have never heard of him. But Morton’s hard work is the reason we celebrate a relatively unknown American holiday, Arbor Day. A journalist and later a politician from Nebraska, who lived 1832 to 1902, Morton later became a United States cabinet member as the Secretary of Agriculture. He wanted people to set aside a special day each year to increase the awareness of trees, and for people to be able to recognize the many varieties of trees. The first Arbor Day was celebrated April 10, 1872, as a result of Morton’s hard work. Over one million trees were planted that day. Since 1872, the history of Arbor Day has spread far beyond Nebraska. Now all fifty states celebrate Arbor Day at some time of the year.


Arbor Day is an annual celebration of trees and is dedicated to the planting of trees. You probably will not see it on the calendar because, though the National Arbor Day is on the last Friday in April each year, when you celebrate Arbor Day depends on which state you live in. It varies because of different climates and planting seasons nation-wide. For example, Florida, whose state tree is the Cabbage Palmetto, celebrates Arbor Day on the third Friday in January. So does Louisiana; its state tree is the Bald Cypress. South Carolina, whose state tree is also the Cabbage Palmetto, celebrates Arbor Day on the first Friday in December, making it the latest Arbor Day in the United States each year. These southern states having a winter growing season while Northerners are experiencing cold weather. When is Arbor Day celebrated in your state? Do you know the name of your state tree? Does this tree grow in your neighborhood? Can you identify it?


Trees are celebrated in other many other countries, such as Australia, and in different cultures. Japan has a Greening Day. In Israel, Tu Bish Vat, is a national holiday for planting trees that was established centuries before Jules Sterling Morton of Nebraska was born. Jewish people in the United States acknowledge this sometimes forgotten religious holiday, which occurs in January or February, and often plant trees or raise money for tree planting. Honoring trees and their fruits is actually mentioned in the Bible in Leviticus 19: 23-25.


The Arbor Day Foundation is a national organization committed to providing information and resources to encourage the celebration of Arbor Day. Its mission is to “inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees”. You can become part of this goal by treating existing trees with respect and by helping to plant new trees. For example, ask your parents if your family can plant a tree in your front or back yard, such as a fruit tree that you can enjoy in after a few seasons. Organize a group at school or at church to plant a tree on Arbor Day to beautify the landscape. Dedicate the new tree to someone who has made a difference in your community. Perhaps you can even organize a hike through your local park and learn to recognize trees and leaves of trees that grow in your area. Whatever your age or wherever you live; there are activities you can do to celebrate trees. Use your imagination to create new ideas for Arbor Day awareness n your neighborhood.

Going green is an idea we have heard and read much about during these past few years. What better way to make your town more environmentally friendly than to expand Arbor Day into an exciting a holiday as perhaps Fourth of July, Halloween, or even Christmas! Become the Arbor Day leader in your area.

Monday, December 6, 2010

History of surnames?

I continue to delve into our family tree. I am wondering when people started using surnames.


Teaching Tots to use Tools

Check out my latest article on Dollar Stretcher

Tots & Tools

I welcome your comments!

Explaining Disability to Children

Wheelchair Wonders

By Debra L. Karplus, MS, OTR/L

There’s a new student at school who uses a wheelchair. You’ve never seen a kid in a wheelchair before. You probably thought he couldn’t do much. But as the semester progressed, you noticed that he rode the bus, attended physical education class, participated in field trips, and went to the same parties as you did. He was a regular kid who everyone liked because he had a terrific personality and a fun sense of humor. He even earned better grades than many of your classmates!

Wheelchairs have been around for centuries. They became more common in the early 1900s after World War I. Their design has changed noticeably over the years.

People use wheelchairs for many different reasons.

Whether someone has weakness in their legs or difficulty with balance or coordination, a wheelchair is a helpful way to move short or longer distances. Sometimes people are born with problems that make walking difficult, such as a disease called cerebral palsy. Other people become injured or acquire a disease or disability later. Wheelchairs are used by people of all ages. Perhaps your grandpa uses a wheelchair. Sometimes little kids use a wheelchair. Because kids grow, they may need a bigger wheelchair after a few years.

Not all wheelchairs are the same.

Try on a friend’s eyeglasses and you will have difficulty seeing through them, even if you need glasses. Everyone’s eyeglasses are a little different. The same is true of wheelchairs. They have a variety of features. People with special jobs such as an occupational therapist or physical therapist are experts at deciding what features are needed on a person’s wheelchair. They understand disability, and measure the person for their own special wheelchair.

Some people have strong enough arms to move or propel their own wheelchair. But other people require a motorized wheelchair, operated by hand controls, which works because of a special battery underneath the seat. Wheelchairs are different heights depending on the size of the person. Taller people have chairs with larger wheels. Some wheelchair backs are especially long if the person needs to rest their neck on it. Some wheelchair backs even recline. The seat and special cushion come in many sizes, and there are a variety of fabrics and materials for seat cushions.

Depending on a person’s ability to get in and out of the wheelchair by themselves, there are different styles of removable armrests. Additionally, there are a variety of leg rests; some can be elevated, and some swing out of the way. Many of the foot pedals have straps to help the person correctly position their feet. Most wheelchairs have brakes on both sides to keep the chair from rolling away. There are other fancier wheelchair features such as a drink holder or pouch in the back to hold things like a sweater or notebook.

People who use wheelchairs can do most of the same things as everyone else.

Don’t be surprised if you see someone getting out of the driver’s seat of a car and getting into a wheelchair. People who use wheelchairs can drive cars and vans just like your parents do. People in wheelchairs go to school, have jobs, and go on vacations, even on airplanes. People who use wheelchairs get married, and can usually have children, just like your parents did.

Recently, wheelchair sports have become popular. Wheelchair racing and wheelchair basketball are fun sports to watch, and wheelchair athletes have upper bodies that are very muscular and fit. Perhaps someday you’ll have the chance to attend one of these sporting events.

Some people who use a wheelchair have become famous for great things they’ve accomplished.

A person can become very successful even if they use a wheelchair. Franklin Roosevelt, president from 1933 to 1945, served longer than any other American president, and did many noteworthy things. World-famous violinist Yitzhak Perlman still plays beautiful music today.

If you are lucky, you’ll have the opportunity to make friends with someone in a wheelchair. Or maybe you’ll visit your grandma at the nursing home and find that her roommate, who’s in a wheelchair, is a fascinating storyteller. People in wheelchairs can have wonderful lives just as you can. Open your heart to people who look different from you.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Waltz King: for kids

Johann Strauss, Jr., the Waltz King

By Debra L. Karplus, MS

When your father wants you to become a businessman but you are passionate about something completely different, what do you do? Why not become a great composer. That’s what Johann Strauss, Jr. did.

Johann who?

We’re not talking about the harpsichord Brandenburg Concerto gentleman; that was Johann Sebastian Bach from Germany in the Baroque Era of the 1600s. Nor was this the genius who was writing symphonies and operas at age twelve; that’s Mozart. Remember him from that Amadeus movie. And what about the deaf guy who wrote those nine symphonies and Fur Elise, a recognizable little tune that any former student of piano can probably still play. That was Ludwig Van Beethoven. He never even heard most of his compositions, except perhaps in his head. Like Mozart, Beethoven was from Vienna, Austria. So was Franz Schubert whose Eighth Symphony remained “Unfinished”. Franz Joseph Haydn, composer of 104 short but sweet symphonies, was also Viennese.

In America, the mid 1800s was a time of unrest and a time of change.

In the mid 1800s in America, a Civil War was about to begin between the North and the South. People were building railroads, heading to California in covered wagons to pan for gold, owning slaves, and singing songs written by Stephen Foster like Oh! Susanna and Camptown Races. A lawyer from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln was about to become President of the United States. The American flag waved its approximately thirty stars, one for each state at the time.

But, in the mid 1800s in Europe the cultural arts were flourishing.

Across the Atlantic Ocean in Europe, Vienna, the capital and largest city of Austria located along the country’s eastern edge toward the north, was known as a cultural arts center. Paris, France may have been the hub of Impressionistic painting, but Vienna was the place for music in the mid 1800s. The Alps are in the south west portion of Austria, but Vienna is said to have lovely countryside of rolling hills. The movie The Sound of Music was filmed on location in Salzburg, Austria, just to the west of Vienna. Austria is a relatively small country surrounded by Germany and Czechoslovak to its north, Italy to its south, Hungary to its east, and Switzerland to its west. Much of the music from the Classical Era was written in the late 1700s and 1800s in Vienna. The Austrian city’s reputation for fine music dates back well before the 1700s; the renowned ensemble of the Vienna Choir Boys had its inception there in 1498. It is truly amazing that they have been around so long.

The Strauss Family was well known as composers and performers, specifically of the waltz.

Johann Strauss Sr. (1804 – 1849) was a conductor and a composer known as “Father of the Waltz”. He hoped that young Johann Strauss, Jr. (1825 -1899) would pursue a banking career. Mrs. Strauss, however, secretly encouraged their oldest son to learn to play the violin. She arranged for one of the musicians in papa’s orchestra to give her son music lessons. At age six Johann, Jr. composed his first waltz. By the time he was 19, he had formed his own orchestra. And over the course of his lifetime he composed approximately 170 waltzes, among the most famous being “he Beautiful Blue Danube” (1867) and “Tales from the Vienna Woods”. Be sure to get the CD from the library and listen to these sometime. You will undoubtedly say “Oh, yeah, I’ve heard that before!” Strauss also composed some operettas, including his most popular “Die Fledermaus” (1874), translated as the flying mouse, or the bat, as well as others. He also wrote numerous polkas, marches, and gallops. He may have composed over 500 works. For most of his compositions, Strauss used a full orchestra, complete with strings, woodwinds, percussion, piano and often a harp.

It is said that father and son were rivals, and that after the death from scarlet fever of the senior Strauss, young Johann became even more popular than his father had been. Johann travelled to many places including Russia, Poland, Germany, France, and Italy, where he was genuinely welcomed and his music was well received. He later befriended Romantic Era composer Johannes Brahms who was born in Germany but settled in Vienna. Richard Wagner, composer of the famous opera Der Ring des Nibelungen and numerous other operas, was a great admired of Johann Strauss.

Johann Strauss’ two younger brothers, Josef Strauss and Eduard Strauss, were also composers but remained relatively unknown musically. Johann’s first wife was a singer. His second wife was an actress who allegedly was not particularly fond of her husband’s compositions.

This waltz family of Strauss’ is not to be confused with Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949), a German composer of the Romantic Era, best known today for Also Sprach Zarathustra, the music that most people recognize as the theme for the movie 2001 A Space Odyssey.

The waltz became a popular dance form in the 1800s, thanks to Johann Strauss, father and son.

The waltz evolved from A German dance form, the Landler. The German translation for the word “walzer” is “roll, turn, or glide”. After being performed in an opera in 1776, it gained popularity in Vienna. It was the Strauss’, father and son, who wrote the music that made the waltz the popular dance that it was in its beginnings, and is a favorite for ballroom dancers today. The waltz has an easily recognized sound characterized by moderate triple (¾) time rhythm (one-two-three, one-two-three), with an even tempo and emphasis on the first beat.

Darkness falls on the last dance.

Johann Strauss, Jr. died of pneumonia at age 73. He was in the process of composing his only ballet, Aschenbrodel (Cinderella) at the time of his death. Throughout his lifetime, he was known as the “The Waltz King”. The legacy of “The King of the Waltz” lives on and is the favorite of both audiences and musicians. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra frequently performs the many works of Johann Strauss, Jr.


1. What do you think your life would be like if you lived in Austria in the 1800s? What would you do for a living? What would you do in your leisure time? What would your house be like? Describe your family.

2. How might Johann Strauss,’ life have been different if he and his father had had a better relationship? Who would have become the more famous Strauss? Why?

3. If the waltz had not been developed as a popular dance, would the Strauss’ still have become famous? Why?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wood Heat: useful info for kids

Sources of Energy: Home Heating or Cooking Food with Wood can be Good

By Debra L. Karplus, MS, OTR/L

Whether you live in a warm or cold climate, you probably don’t think much about staying warm and comfortable indoors during the winter months. When the temperature inside becomes too chilly, the furnace in your house quietly does its magic, by clicking on. A device called a thermostat is set by your parents, to regulate how cold they want the inside of your house to be. Many families set their thermostat at approximately sixty-eight degrees. Ask mom or dad to show you the thermostat and furnace at your house.

Americans stayed warm indoors by burning wood indoors, before furnaces were invented.

Before homes had furnaces, people often heated by burning wood. Fireplaces became popular during the 1600s. Cast iron stoves proved to be a better, more efficient way for home heating. Benjamin Franklin who lived from 1706 to 1790 discovered and created many important things, including the wood burning stove. Americans started using the Franklin stove during the 1740s. The wood burning stoves of the 1820s allowed people to cook delicious food on top of them or even inside them.

Today, some families use fireplaces or woodstoves to stay warm.

People in many parts of the country still burn wood indoors, in addition to using their furnace. It helps save money, especially when you find free firewood in your own neighborhood. You may be surprised at how plentiful wood is! Sometimes tree cutters, called arborists, are trimming trees along your street. After a storm, especially if it has been windy, there may be fallen wood on the ground that can be used for burning.

You can have the warmest heat by choosing the right firewood.

Firewood needs to be dried, or seasoned. This means that there should be no moisture inside a log. Sometimes it takes a few years for wood to season. Unseasoned wood does not burn easily, produces little heat, and makes the inside of your chimney sticky. That’s why many people do not like burning wood from pine trees.

Firewood from certain kinds of trees creates more heat than others. Woods that are considered to be hard woods, such as hickory, oak, or maple, burn the hottest. Soft woods such as birch or willow produce much less heat. Learn what kinds of trees grow in your area.

Sitting by the fireplace or woodstove is a relaxing family activity. Whether you are playing board games, reading, or doing your homework, the cozy warmth of an indoor fire feels good and is a wonderful source of energy. Stay warm this winter!

There are activities you can do in your own neighborhood to help people stay warm inside.

1. Find out which families have a woodstove or fireplace and help locate wood piles near home. Be sure the wood is really free and is being given away.

2. Pick up twigs after a storm, and use string to tie bundles. Twigs make great kindling, small sticks necessary to start an indoor fire. Maybe neighbors will even buy your bundled wood!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Genealogy for Kids

Here's an article I wrote to help children get started in family tree research. I hope you enjoy the article. Pass it along to a child.

Creating a Family Story Scrapbook
By Debra L. Karplus, MS, OTR/L

Learning about your family history, genealogy, has become a fascinating hobby for many people. Your parents can tell you about themselves; your grandparents can share about their parents and even their grandparents. The Internet has made it easy to gather information, dates and places, of births, marriages and deaths, of people many generations in the past.

Most exciting about family tree discovery is writing the stories you hear about ancestors. Learn to become an expert interviewer, and you can create your family history. Bring paper and pencil to your next gathering. Begin asking questions; phrase them so that answers are not simply “yes” or “no”. You’ll be impressed at how well you can get people talking! If you can’t think of any good questions to ask, use some of these to get started:

What were you like when you were my age?
What family holidays, traditions, or activities did you enjoy?
What do you remember about your childhood bedroom?
What did you like about school?
What fun things did you do with friends? What made you laugh?
What childhood goals or dreams did you have?
What is your favorite childhood memory?
How did you meet your husband or wife?
What was your occupation and why did you choose it?
What places have you visited?

Talk to as many relatives as possible in person, on the phone, or by email. You are certain to collect interesting family tales. Before long, you’ll have enough family stories to create a scrapbook. Decorate it with family photographs and drawings. This project can become a finished project or might be ongoing, as you get more family members talking.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Dollar Stretcher newsletter subscribers:

Check out my article about Bartering in the December 2010 newsletter that was just mailed.

I welcome your comments

Writing about Writing

  •, 2014, 08/01, Magazine Writing Business
  •, 2014, 12/01, Writing Opportunities
  •, 2015, 01/16, Teaching Writing Classes
  •, 2015, 03/01, Query letters
  •, 2015, 04/01, Marketing Agent
  •, 2015, 05/06, New Markets
  •, 2015, 07/20, Growing an Idea Bank
  •, 2015, 07/20, Online Presence
  •, 2016, 07/18, SEO-Friendly Writing

History, genealogy and research articles

  • Ancestry Magazine, September 2008, Still No Bill
  • Champaign County Historical Museum Newsletter, Summer 2007, House with a Life of its Own
  • Family Chronicle Magazine, Mar/Apr 2014, Canadian Jewish Genealogy
  • Grand Magazine, Nov 9, 2012, Genealogy with your Grandchildren
  • Inside Glenview Magazine, December 2013, Genealogy Glenview Style
  • Prime Life Times, November 2013, Getting Started in Genealogy
  • Untangling your Jewish Roots, on

Writing for children or about children

  • Essay writing for a major national testing organization
  • Fun for Kidz Magazine, Friends with Disabilities, the visually impaired student at school, July 2013
  • Grand Magazine: Debbie's Secret Diary, Feb 25, 2013
  • Grand Magazine: Fun in Hamilton County Indiana, Jun 11, 2013
  • Grand Magazine: Fun in Hamilton County Indiana, Jun 11, 2013
  • Grand Magazine: Letter Writing, Jan 23, 2013
  • Grand Magazine: Mothers & Daughters, Mar 29, 2013
  • Grand Magazine: Nursing Grandchild, Apr 29, 2013
  • Grand Magazine: Poem for my Grandson, Feb 27, 2013
  • Grand Magazine: Safety at Grandma's, Feb 25, 2013
  • Grand Magazine: Volunteering, Jan 23, 2013
  • Grand Magazine: Bullying, Jan 3, 2013
  • Grand Magazine: Children's Museums: Jan, 3, 2013
  • Grand Magazine: Creative Writing w/your Grandchildren, June 27, 2012
  • Grand Magazine: Don't let your Grandchild Make you Sick, June 7, 2012
  • Grand Magazine: Fun in Central Illinois w/Grandkids, July 7, 2012
  • Grand Magazine: Fun things to do at Grandma's, June 4, 2012
  • Grand Magazine: Genealogy with your Grandchildren, November 9, 2012
  • Grand Magazine: Gift that keeps on Giving, June 26, 2012
  • Grand Magazine: Girls Just Want to Have Funds, July 7, 2012
  • Grand Magazine: Grand Times at the Public Library, July 7, 2012
  • Grand Magazine: Homespun Activities w/your Grandchild, June 27, 2012
  • Grand Magazine: School Pictures, Jan 4, 2013
  • Grand Magazine: Substitute teaching, Feb, 20, 2013
  • Grand Magazine: Vegetarian Grandchidlren, July 13, 2012
  • on Creative Writing Class for Children

Therapy publications by Debra Karplus

  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2004, 09/06, OT Bedside Manner Could Use Improvement
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 01/16, OT: Then & Now
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 01/20, Why Occupational Therapy?
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 01/27, Yoga & OT
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 02/04, Wheelchair Wonders
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 02/10, Home visit safety
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 02/17, Cursive writing
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 02/21, Grandmotherly advice
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 02/28, Mainstreaming for Special Ed
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 03/10, Disability Etiquette
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 03/17, Equestrian Therapy
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 03/24, Advertising OT
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 03/31, Lessons Learned
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 04/08, President with a Disability
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 04/14, Wheelchair Evolution
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 04/21, Favorite Patients
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 04/28, Rural OT
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 05/05, Bipolar Disorder
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 05/12, Splints
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 05/19, Willard and Spackman
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 05/27, Industrial Evaluations,
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 06/02, Presentations to Students
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 06/09, Insurance rules!
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 06/12, Working vacation for OTs
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 06/16, Drivers Ed and OT
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 06/23, Male OTs
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 06/30, Recruiters
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 07/07, Tattoos
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 07/14, Eleanor Clarke Slagle
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 07/21, The ADA
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 07/28, PhD in OT?
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 08/04, Handicapped parking
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 08/11, Squeamish OT
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 08/18, Gardening (tomatoes)
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 08/25, Manual Muscle Test
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 09/02, Medical Marijuana
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 09/08, Defining OT
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 09/15, Dress code
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 09/22, OT training?
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 09/29, Travelling OT
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 10/06, ADHD & OT
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 10/13, Stigma of Little School Bus
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 10/20, Malpractice
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 10/27, Disability Resource Expo
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 11/03, Voting & disability
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 11/10, PRN work & holidays
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 11/17, Staying well at work
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2014, 11/24, Service Dogs
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 03/18, Confidentiality
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 04/09, Disability & Mr Magoo
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 05/19, OT and Wii
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 05/26, COPD & OT
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 06/16, Singing & OT
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 06/23, Father's Day reminder
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 06/30, Online OT?
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 07/07, Choose health career & debt
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 07/13, Lou Gehrig's Disease
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 07/20, Backpacks
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 07/28, Fishing & ADA
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 08/04, Give credit
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 08/10, Getting along
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 08/17, Mindfulness
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 08/26, Aquatics
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 08/31, Fall prevention
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 09/09, Mom's advice
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 09/16, Respecting disabled
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 09/22, Laughter Yoga
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 09/30, Bike helmets
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 10/16, Joint pain & baby boomers
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 10/27, Helmets for falls
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 10/30, ALS eliminated
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2015, 11/10, Wheelchair sports
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2016, 01/12, English Learners
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2016, 01/18, Therapy on wheels
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2016, 01/26, Body mechanics
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2016, 02/01, Chair yoga
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2016, 02/08, Stroke & memory
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2016, 02/17, Spinal stenosis
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2016, 02/22, Explaining disability
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2016, 03/03, Health fairs
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2017, 01/05, OT for daily tasks
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2017, 01/09, Aging in place
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2017, 01/20, Reflections one-handed
  • Advance for OT Practitioners, 2017, 01/26, Dog OT
  • American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 1994, Older Adults with Developmental Disabilities
  • American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June, 1989, Activites Handbook and Instructor's Guide
  • American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 1994, ADL Evaluations in Long Term Care Facilities
  • Grand Magazine, June 12, 2012, Your Grandchild with ADHD
  • Grand Magazine, June 12, 2012, Your Grandchild with Asperger Syndrome
  • Grand Magazine, May 11, 2012, Your Grandchild with a Physical Disability
  • Grand Magazine, November 12, 2012, Grandchild with Developmental Disability
  • Grand Magazine, October 8, 2012, Your Grandchild & Special Education
  • Item writing for a therapy testing organization
  • Journal of Rehabilitation, July 1994, Invaluable Guide to Life after Stroke
  • Occupational Therapy Forum, April 3,1989, Wheelchair Accessibility
  • Occupational Therapy Forum, July 22,1994, Psychosocial Impact of Stroke on the Family
  • Occupational Therapy Forum, May 29,1989, The Self-Employed Occupational Therapist
  • Prime Life Times, 2014, 03, Working with an OT
  • Prime Life Times, 2016, 03, Bathroom Safety at Home
  • Prime Life Times, 2017, 02, Tasks One-handed
  • Prime Life Times, 2017, 05, Aging in Place
  • Prime Life Times, 2017, 06, Preparing for Hip Surgery
  • The Therapist in Business: an Introduction to Private Practice, a book published by Cross Country, 2005
  • writer for National Board Certifying Occupational Therapists (NBCOT)

Family, home and lifestyle articles by Debra Karplus or Lee Doppelt

  •, Finding Free Firewood
  • Back Home Magazine, November 2008, Scavenge for Firewood
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2009, 09, Your Kitchen: a Food Factory
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2010, 02, Food plus Family plus Friends
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2010, 03, Avoiding Layoffs
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2010, 04, Benefits of Volunteering
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2010, 09, Free Firewood
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2010, 10, Dumpster Diving with Panache
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2010, 11, Home Safe Home
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2010, 12, Bartering
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2011, 01,Those Who Can,Teach
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2011, 02, Tots & Tools
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2011, 03, IRA or Roth
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2011, 04, Resale Shops
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2011, 05, Get Paid for Research
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2011, 06, Roadside Assistance Plans
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2011, 08, Managing your Banking
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2011, 09, Cutting Back on Tree Trimming
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2011, 10, Should You Be Alarmed?
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2011, 11, Non-Traditional Housing
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2011, 11, Opting for Co-ops
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2012, 01, Be a Smarter Patient
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2012, 03, Save Money with a Motorcycle
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2012, 04, Farmers Market Selling
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2012, 05, Habitat Store
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2012, 05, Mulching
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2012, 06, Seven Habits of Frugal People
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2012, 07, Magic with Molasses
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2012, 07, Rain Gardens
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2012, 08, Senior Discounts
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2012, 08, Work at Home
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2012, 09, Composting
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2012, 10, Finding Cheap Airfares
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2012, 10, Soybeans
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2012, 12, Income from Direct Sales
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2013, 02, Mattresses
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2013, 03, Discount Airlines
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2013, 09, Baby Toys to Make
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2013, 10, Affordable Fences
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2013, 10, Buying a Chainsaw
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2013, 11, Cast Iron Cookware
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2014, 01, Carpeting purchase
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2014, 02, Community College
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2014, 02, Home Safety Improvements
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2014, 03, Income Tax Preparation
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2014, 03, Kale
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2014, 04, Lawn mower purchase
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2014, 05, Pet Sitters
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2014, 06, Car Rental Free
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2014, 06, Care Management for Elderly Parents
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2014, 07, Selling Stuff Online
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2014, 08, Services at Reduced Cost
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2014, 08, Zoo & Garden Membership
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2014, 09, Washing Machines
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2014, 10, Catering Cheap
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2014, 12, Flowers sent
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2015, 01, Auto loans
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2015, 03, Buying smart
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2015, 03, String trimmers
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2015, 06, Wedding out of town
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2015, 06, Who pays?
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2015, 07, Driveways
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2015, 08, Lottery playing
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2015, 09, Rent-free living
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2015, 10, Frugal or cheap?
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2015, 10, Winter clothes
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2015, 12, Dental scams
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2015, 12, Housing for adult kids
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2016, 01, Frugal not Poor
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2016, 02, Free college
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2016, 02, Retirement employment
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2016, 04, Self employment
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2016, 09, Lottery
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2016, 09, Moving experience
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2016, 11, Drapes & Curtains
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2017, 02, House for sale
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2017, 03, Garden labor-free
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2017, 03, House purchase
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2017, 04, Bicycle Maintenance
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2017, 04, Refrigerators
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2017, 05, Homeowner's associations
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2017, 06, House Won't Sell
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2017, 06, Rain Barrels
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2017, 07, Dehumidifiers
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2017, 08, Blenders/food processors
  • Dollar Stretcher Magazine, 2017, 10, Rent out rooms
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2009, 12, Simplify Your Financial Life
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2010, 06, Special Breaks for Aspiring Teachers
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2011, 05/11, Essential Appliances
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2011, 07/04, Water Problems
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2011, 08/22, Vegetarian Diet
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2011, 11,11, Gutter Cleaning
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2012, 01/10, Buying Tires
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2012, 01/10, Wood Heat
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2012, 02/06, Nursing Home Insurance
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2012, 05/07, Uses for Palletts
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2012, 09/03, Wedding Planners
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2012, 10/22, Reading Cheap
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2012, 11/18, Mystery Shopping
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2012, 11/23, Make Money by Blogging
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2013, 01/24, Meals while Travelling
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2013, 02/13, Auto advertising
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2013, 02/25, Vacuum Cleaners
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2013, 05/06, Breastfeeding
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2013, 05/31, Travel Insurance
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2013, 07/05, Spices & Health
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2013, 07/20, Emergency room visits
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2013, 07/23, Bicycle Shopping
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2013, 07/23, Home Project Management
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2013, 07/23, Kitchen Stoves
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2013, 07/23, Lawn Alternatives
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2013, 08/16, Sorghum sweetener
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2013, 08/19, Generosity & Frugality
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2013, 10/08, Lighthouse Lodging
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2013, 10/10, Raising Backyard Hens
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2013, 12/06, Bed & Breakfast at your Home
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2013, 12/16, Gym Membership
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2014, 01/15, Bed & Breakfast, your home
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2014, 01/29, Grow Sprouts
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2014, 02/20, Garden plot rented
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2014, 03/28, Baby Food Homemade
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2014, 04/04, A New Roof
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2014, 04/11, TV Studio Audience Participant
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2014, 05/19, Flying with Babies
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2014, 06/09, Home Inspections
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2014, 06/16, Baby Boomer Financial Timeline
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2014, 08/04, Childcare
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2014, 09/12, Chimney Care
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2014, 09/29, Service Auctions
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2014, 10/02, Luggage
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2014, 10/14, Grocery savings
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2014, 10/17, Sell your home
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2014, 12/08, Back to the Land
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2014, 12/16, Baby strollers
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2015, 01/15, Mobile Homes
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2015, 03/01, Basements kept Dry
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2015, 03/23, Group Travel
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2015, 03/30, Shoes purchased
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2015, 04/13, Millionaires
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2015, 04/20, National Parks
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2015, 05/04, Foraging
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2015, 06/01, Home mobility equipment
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2015, 06/22. Funerals
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2015, 07/06, Car sharing
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2015, 10/19, SAD Light Boxes
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2015, 10/19, Snow removal
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2015, 11/09, Rewiring an Old House
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2015, 12/28, Gym equip at home
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2016, 01/18, Quit stressful job
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2016, 03/07, Estate sale income
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2016, 03/21, Disability-friendly home
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2016, 04/06, Class action suits
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2016, 05/16, Pet transport
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2016, 05/23, Backpacks
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2016, 08/01, Silver Sneakers
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2016, 10/03, Arthritis Devices
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2016, 11/07, Crawl space
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2016, 11/28, Malt
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2016, 12/11, Television purchase
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 01/09, Cruises cut rate
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 01/30, Beekeeping
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 02/20, Piano tuned
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 03/06, Transport Motor Homes
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 03/20, Garage door
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 04/17, Train travel
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 04/24, Asbestos removal
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 05/29, Sofa purchase
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 06/05, Friends & financial advice
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 06/05, Heating ducts cleaned
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 06/12, Power washing
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 06/26, House won't sell
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 07/03, Age in Place
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 07/10, Dehumidifiers
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 08/01, Injury prep
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 08/21, Dog walker
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 09/18, Car seats
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 09/25, Radon
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 10/02, Goose control
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 10/09, Car purchase
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 10/16, Lists to save money
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 10/16, Mold solutions
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 10/30, Money-smart preschoolers
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 11/06, Golf cart transport
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2017, 11/17, Pet for family
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2018, 01/29, Frugal in suburbia
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2018, 02/12, College online
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2018, 02/19, Tutoring service
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2018, 02/26, Cruise ship job
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2018, 04/02, Sunglasses
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2018, 05/14, Sibling disparity
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2018, 05/14, Sibling disparity
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2018, 05/21, Cookers in kitcher
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2018, 05/28, Roommates
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2018, 06/18, Retreats reduce stress
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2018, 06/25, Selling creations
  • Dollar Stretcher, 2018, 10/08, Vaporizers and humidifiers
  • Inside Glenview Magazine, 2014, 01, Going Vegetarian
  • Inside Glenview Magazine, 2014, 03, Finding the Right Firewood
  • Inside Glenview Magazine, 2014, 04, Growing Sprouts
  • Inside Glenview Magazine, 2014, 05, Bake your own Bread
  • News-Gazette, 2012, 11/04, Places to visit, Lake Superior
  • News-Gazette, 2012, 11/25, Places to visit, Salt Lake City
  • News-Gazette, 2013, 06/23, Hamilton County Indiana
  • News-Gazette, 2013, 08/25, Traverse City Michigan
  • News-Gazette, 2014, 05/25, Boulder Colorado
  • News-Gazette, 2015, 06/19, Minneapolis-St.Paul
  • News-Gazette, 2015, 09/20, Galesburg Illinois
  • News-Gazette, 2015, 10/18, Omaha
  • News-Gazette, 2015, 11/15, Iowa's Lincoln Highway
  • News-Gazette, 2015, 12/20, Illinois Great River Road
  • Prime Life Times, 2013, 12, Museums in Champaign County
  • Prime Life Times, 2014, 01, Mahomet, Illinois
  • Prime Life Times, 2014, 02, Great Second Chances
  • Prime Life Times, 2015, 08, Choral Union
  • Prime Life Times, 2018, 01, Mahjong Madness

FICTION by Lee Doppelt

  • Mr. America Mirage, novella by Lee Doppelt, available on

Entrepreneur Interviews

  • Young Money, 2010, 03/30, Amos Winbush of CyberSynchs
  • Young Money, 2010, 03/23, Rob Carpenter of Friendgiftr

Business Editorials

  • Business Week Magazine, 2006, 10/09, Launching a Career
  • Fortune Magazine, 2008, 07/21, Hoist by our own Petard

Money, Business & Careers

  • Entrepreneur Briefing, available on
  • Forbes: 2012, April, Sell at the Farmer's Market
  • Young Money Magazine, 2009, Spring,Getting the Government to Pay for College
  • Young Money Magazine, 2009, Summer, Business of Loan Forgiveness
  • Young Money, 2008, 11/19, Is Being an Entrepreneur Right for you?
  • Young Money, 2008, 12/10, The ABCs of Substitute Teaching
  • Young Money, 2008, 12/11, The Election, Change and You
  • Young Money, 2008, 12/24, Six Ways to Avoid those Extra Baggage Charges
  • Young Money, 2008, 12/29, Who will Prepare your Taxes this Year?
  • Young Money, 2009, 01/05, The Basics of Stock Market Investing
  • Young Money, 2009, 01/14, Find a Stock Broker
  • Young Money, 2009, 01/21, What's the Best Credit Card for You
  • Young Money, 2009, 01/28, Community College or University?
  • Young Money, 2009, 02/03, Study Abroad
  • Young Money, 2009, 02/18, Fix, replace or repair
  • Young Money, 2009, 03/18, Six Ways to Raise Money Savvy Kids
  • Young Money, 2009, 03/25, Job Benefits
  • Young Money, 2009, 04/08, Worried About the Future? Get Covered
  • Young Money, 2009, 04/16, Beginners Guide to Dividends
  • Young Money, 2009, 04/23, Find a Government Internship
  • Young Money, 2009, 04/29, FDIC
  • Young Money, 2009, 06/03, Investing in Gold
  • Young Money, 2009, 06/11, Beyond Student Loans
  • Young Money, 2009, 07/01, Filling out a W4 Form
  • Young Money, 2009, 07/02, Being an Occupational Therapist
  • Young Money, 2009, 09/09, Background Checks
  • Young Money, 2009, 09/16, Obama health reform
  • Young Money, 2009, 11/16, Funds for Online College
  • Young Money, 2010, 01/06, Guide to Getting into Politics
  • Young Money, 2010, 02/24, Live & Work in your College Town
  • Young Money, 2010, 03/24, Career & Personality Tests
  • Young Money, 2010, 05/28, Travel Destinations
  • Young Money, 2010, 06/08, Work & Travel
  • Young Money, 2010, 06/23, Become a Certified Coach
  • Young MOney, 2010, 07/01, Become a Better Public Speaker
  • Young Money, 2010, 07/06, Career in Law
  • Young Money, 2010, 07/08, Your Credit Score
  • Young Money, 2010, 07/10, Choosing the Right Checking Account

National Gallery of Writing Publications

  • #1501828 A Career in Law
  • #1501106 Adapting to Adaptive Equipment
  • #1501931 Write an Excellent College Application Essay
  • #1408918 Superior Camp Experience for Children
  • #1501325 How to Keep Substitute Teachers Happy - Spending -- Finance

Yahoo! Finance: Investing Picks

Yahoo! Finance: Most Popular