Thursday, December 31, 2009
2009 has been a better year for me than 2008 was. I have been on a personal healing journey and have seen relationships restored and friendships renewed. It's taken me awhile but I've finally realized the simple message the angel (below) carries is true. True for me and true for all of us.
I'd like to say thank you to everyone who has had a positive impact on my life these past twelve months. I'm feeling more hopeful about the future than I have for a long time.
Happy New Year, everyone!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Best Amazing Race for recaps
Luke Adams is the first deaf contestant to run the Amazing Race.
He and his mom, Margie, finished 3rd.
Best Video posted from YouTube
No one else ever hears. An
Tingling that rings
Secret soundtrack of my life.
Tinnitus is by speakuplibrarian is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Best HOH Funny
What I heard at a golf outing: Did you know Paris Hilton is in Scotland? What was actually said: Did you know the British Open is in Scotland?
My 2009 Blog Mantra: "To Live Out Loud and Not Fall Silent"
I lived up to this with 188 posts throughout the year.
Speak Up Librarian Blog Visitor Stats:
January 2009 - 10,000+
December 2009 - 33,000+
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Originally uploaded by 1001things
Did you know that playing with loud toys poses a risk to a child's hearing? If not, here's some facts you may want to know.
The Pennsylvania Public Interest Group recently released their 24th annual report outlining toy safety guidelines for parents and citing examples of currently available toys that may pose potential safety hazards. They offer these common sense recommendations for parents when in comes to loud toys.
Specifically, the report cites the following toys as being louder than recommended when tested by their organization.
The complete report entitled Trouble in Toyland can be downloaded here.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
"Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), hotels and motels must provide effective means of communications for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing to ensure that they have an equal opportunity to enjoy the goods, services, accomodations, and amenities offered."
- TTY: A hotel must provide a TTY on request for use in guest rooms. Per the U.S. Department of Justice guidelines, a hotel needs to have a TTY at the front desk and have trained desk staff in handling TTY equipment.
- Closed Captioning: These guidelines also specifically mention having closed captioning available for guest room televisions. But be aware that they don't specify a need for staff to be trained on accessing this equipment feature.
- Visual alarms connected to the building's emergency alarm system: Only required to be present in a certain percentage of guest rooms. Be sure to ask for this when placing your reservation.
- Visual notification devices for alerting deaf and hard of hearing guests to incoming telephone calls and door knocks/doorbells. Again this is required only for a certain percentage of guest rooms. Presumably they would be available in the rooms with the visual alarms, but it would be a good idea to discuss this as well when placing your reservation.
The information in this blog post comes from the ADA Business Brief: Communicating with Guests who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Hotels, Motels, and Other Places of Transient Lodging which can be accessed on the web through this link. Further information on the ADA is available at the U.S. Government's ADA website.
If you find yourself not accomodated at any hotel, you have the right to file a formal complaint following the guidelines stated here.
Thank you to Danielle who provided me with this information so I could be a more informed and better accomodated traveler.
Wishing all of you safe travels this holiday season!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
These Christmas tree shaped cookies are decorated with cinnamon candies. Some of them melted during the baking process. My son and I decided those were the ones we'd eat. Mmmm.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The wonderful smells in the kitchen.
I took a week off of work and I've been
busy baking. Here's what I've made so far...
White Chip Chocolate Cookies
[recipe from Hersheys]
house. It's very rich, almost like a brownie.
bread and I decided to try my hand at these cookies.
cookbook] These classic cookies are easy to make
and there are no unusual ingredients to buy.
Then it's on to making more traditional Christmas cookies: gingerbread men, cookie press cookies, and sugar cookie cutouts. We also like to make chocolate covered pretzels for Christmas too. Fortunately, this year my teenage son has shown a great interest in helping me bake and has been willing to help clean up afterwards. Of course he (like me) enjoys sampling the goodies. Cookies taste best hot out of the oven.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Not an inviting seat tonight.
Outdoor Christmas light closeup.
Don't the Christmas tree lights look nice
with the snow on the branches?
One of our bushes alight in the night.
Our Christmas tree Advent Calendar
is getting more decorated by the day.
Last weekend my husband got our outdoor wreaths and lights up. Tomorrow we will put up our Christmas tree and decorate it as a family. The school Christmas concert is this weekend. I've got most of my Christmas shopping and writing of Christmas cards completed. Next up - baking Christmas cookies.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
For those who missed the episode, despite an early lead, Brian and Ericka ran in 3rd. The brothers came in 2nd. To my disappointment there was no final challenge that required any recall of events that took place during the course of the race. I hope the producers will bring that back for future seasons.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Cheyne & Megan finished 1st and won TVs.
Sam & Dan finished 2nd.
Brian & Ericka to their utter amazement and relief finished 3rd.
Who do you predict will win the million dollars? I'm staying with my early pick of Cheyne and Meghan. In that blog post I wondered what the dating couple's racing dynamic would be like when they landed in the back of the pack. Well, that never happened. They've consistently been front runners. They have also been a refreshing change from the usual dating couple who go on the race to test their relationship. I've enjoyed their sweet interaction and will be cheering them to the finish line.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
3 cups flour
1 1/4 cups oil
2 cups pumpkin (I use Libby's in the can)
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg or ginger
Mix together all ingredients and bake for 1 hour at 350. Makes 2 loaves.
This year, I'm hosting a Thanksgiving gathering for 10 at my house. I'm looking forward to it very much so that's where I'll be putting my effort this week, cleaning and cooking. See you around the blogosphere after the holiday.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Megan and Cheyne came in first winning a trip to Hawaii. The brothers came in 2nd and the Globetrotters came in 3rd. There was tension between the dating couple and the Globetrotters when Megan made an offer for the teams to work together and Cheyne ditched them soon afterwards. Hey, this late in the game, it's every team for themselves. However, Sam and Dan risked attracting some bad karma by bribing Erika and Brian's taxi's driver to take them instead of waiting for the married couple to finish their detour task.
Overall the show wasn't too exciting tonight. The best part was watching the brothers try to navigate a kayak through a whitewater course, arguing all the way, and inevitably tipping over into the water. That was laugh out loud entertaining.
Do you think married couple Brian and Ericka have any chance of catching up to the other teams? Will Sam and Dan pay for their dirty play?
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Time to get out the rake.
My town offers leaf pickup service twice each fall
for residents who rake their leaves to the curb.
In the backyard, we cover the flowerbeds with leaves.
Leafless Lila Tree - It reminds me
of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree.
Another surprise find - a still vibrant violet.
Last look at lovely autumn.
Rusty closes his eyes against the cold wind.
Can you tell he's lost weight?
I'll be watching the sky now for signs
of the first snow of the season.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Typically, people get into blogging by reading blogs. Most blog readers are not bloggers, they just enjoy visiting and reading/listening/viewing content that others create. And this is great: blogs need readers. Some people, after lurking for while, start contributing to the discussion by writing comments to other people’s posts. This is even better: blogging requires participation. Some blogs becomes like coffee shops: nice places to visit and hang out, where one can listen to stories and chat with friend.
But best of all is having your own blog, because you have the chance to create something that is yours, on which you have complete creative control, and at the same time is public. This is the true power and beauty of blogging: a blog is something you create and take care of, like a garden, and other people from all over the world can visit and enjoy. Antonella Pavese
I love her image of a blog as a garden, don't you?
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Lately I've been reading Christian fiction author Beverly Lewis' series Abram's Daughters about a Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Amish family. These entertaining stories are filled with faith and family and storylines dramatic enough to rival a soap opera. I highly recommend them to you.
By chance, I happened across a charming children's book in my library last week about two Amish girls and a peacock called Just Plain Fancy by Patricia Polacco. I highly recommend it to you as well. You can learn more about this book and related learning activities about the Amish at the author's website.
Where I grew up in the Midwest, encounters with the Amish were not unusual. I remember during my school days being outside at recess time and seeing horse and buggy carriages pass by with their cautionary orange triangle symbols attached at the back. Family names of Troyer, Yoder, Miller, Schlabaugh, etc were common in the area. Reading these books brought back these memories to me. They also reminded me of two humorous encounters I have had with the Amish.
One time when I was a young girl my family went to an Amish restaurant. I was hungry and ordered a hamburger. When it was served to me, I reached out for the condiment bottle on the table and poured what I thought was ketchup onto my burger. Then I noticed the Amish waitress's surprised look. "That's apple butter, miss." Oops. I hurriedly scraped it off as my sister laughed at me.
Several years later when I was in college and working as a substitute teller during the summers, I was assigned for a day to a bank branch frequented by the Amish. Since, the bank had trained me to ask for identification every time I cashed a check for someone I didn't know personally, when an Amish man handed me a check to cash, I automatically asked him for his driver's license. The man just stared back at me wordlessly until the light dawned on me. You don't need a driver's license for a horse and buggy! Oops - major faux pas. Fortunately the teller next to me rescued me and approved the check for cashing.
Have you had any encounters with the Amish? My British readers may be interested to know that the Amish refer to anyone outside of their community as the "English".
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I've just been corrected once again by a reader. The system uses both a human captioner and voice recognition software. See the comments section for more details.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Meanwhile the other teams were solving a mystery at the headquarters of the Blackheads society. They had to locate a candleabra with a numbered tag which gave them a room number where they would receive a scroll. The trick was the scroll turned out to be blank. Teams quickly figured out they needed to hold the scroll up to their candle to reveal their next destination. Well all the teams except the Globetrotters. Flight Time thought the trick was to rub a crayon on the scroll to reveal the message. Pretty soon he figured out he needed to use heat instead. With their trouble on this task and their difficulty deciphering the briefcase code, I am wondering how they will cope with the final challenge that usually requires puzzle solving ability.
When Gary and Matt finished their sauna speed bump, Matt took the task. He struggled a bit since he didn't know what a candleabra was. During the commercial break my family switched to a different channel and we missed seeing how he figured that one out. Hopefully by recognizing the word candle inside of candleabra.
At the Detour teams had a choice of playing mud volleyball or using a slingshot to hit a target. Megan and Cheyne, the Globetrotters, and the brothers all chose mud volleyball. Brian and Ericka were forced to choose the slingshots when no more volleyball courts were available. Matt and Gary also chose target shooting when they arrived later.
On the way to the Pit Stop there was a scuffle between the brothers Sam and Dan and the Globetrotters. The bad feeling between the teams seems to have escalated. Their encounter reminded me of Jen and Luke's clashes last season.
1st place: Cheyne and Megan
2nd place: Sam and Dan
3rd place: Flight Time and Big Easy (Globetrotters)
4th place: Brian and Ericka
Sadly, father/son team Gary and Matt were eliminated. I will miss seeing them as they were one of my favorite teams.
Next week's elimination will lead to the final three teams. Predictions, anyone?
Friday, November 13, 2009