Dear Reader

This blog is no longer active as of 2017.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Win a Year's Supply of Hearing Aid Batteries

Wouldn't it be great not to have to purchase hearing aid batteries for a whole year!That could be you if you're the lucky winner of Steve's giveaway.

The rules of his blog contest are simple. In a blog comment, answer two questions and leave a suggestion on how you think his website could be improved. The two questions are 1)How long have you been wearing your hearing aids? 2)What type do you wear? Relax. There are no wrong answers. The winner will be picked randomly.

This contest is open until February 21st. Don't delay, enter today. I did!

Click here to enter.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

In Case You Were Wondering....

In case you were wondering, I thought I'd provide my regular readers with a few updates on topics I've posted about over the last year.

First of all, I didn't get the job I tried for recently. I never heard from the library but I did hear from a coworker that someone else got it and the online job posting has been removed. Oh well. I have mixed feelings of disappointment and relief. I really appreciate all the supportive comments I received when I questioned myself as to whether or not I should have applied for it.

Some of my neighbors (photo #4 that means you) still have their Christmas decorations up. We had a warm spell last week so I don't understand what they're waiting for...Valentine's Day?

I gained weight from all my unabated baking during the holidays. Back to the treadmill again.

My ALS fundraiser has netted $10 - all from the commissions on gifts I gave coworkers for Christmas. This fundraiser is still active and I'm not giving up on it.

Although, no one has purchased a Speak Up for Equality t-shirt yet, several of my other Speak Up Librarian Shop designs have sold. I looked into bringing the t-shirts to the HLAA conference in Milwaukee but the costs are too great for such a small enterprise. I may just have to try wearing a shirt there and hope it will be noticed. I was blessed to receive some free publicity in the Chicago ALDA newsletter and pass out flyers at another local hearing loss support group meeting. Thank you to everyone who has bought a shirt. I appreciate you!

My support group's efforts to get more open caption film showings at the theater hasn't netted results. I attended an open caption screening of Couples Retreat recently with my husband and we were the only two in the theater. So I can't blame the theater manager for not being more responsive. I will continue to thank the theater manager and/or staff for having the open caption showing each time I attend. Though, I have to admit I'm not committed to seeing a film just because it's captioned. The movie has to be something I would enjoy seeing, especially when the only showings are on a Tuesday and Wednesday night once a month.

At work my colleague the Web Goddess and I got sidetracked from our goal of making library workshops more accessible through captioning. Hopefully we can get back to that idea now that we have the software we need and the major project we were assigned to has been completed. Stay tuned on this one.

Last, but not least, is an update on the Illinois Senate bill to mandate health insurance coverage for hearing aids. The bill is still alive in the Senate and has now been introduced a second time. It was recently featured in this Herald-News article.

Did I miss anything? Let me know.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Work Window Wednesday: Snowy View

This was the view outside my work window on January 8. Last week the snow had all melted away but this week it has returned - though not quite as deep as in this photo!

I really enjoy having a window near my cubicle. It's great to be able to get out of my enclosed space and see what the weather is like outdoors. Although you can't tell from this photo, my window looks over the front entrance of the university so there's always something to see. Sometimes someone will look up to see me standing at this window on the 2nd floor and wave. That's my cue it's time to get back to work!

Monday, January 25, 2010

I am More Than a Number!

When I got my most recent credit card statement, I found a small charge I didn't remember making. Oddly it was dated for Christmas Eve. Hmmm... I checked with my family but they had no knowledge of the charge either. My credit card was not lost or stolen. It was right in my purse where it belonged. What should I do?

I talked with customer service representatives at the credit card company and my bank. I sent an email to the website associated with the charge. Then I had an inspiration. I did a Google search on the website address and the word scam. Uh oh, there were results. I felt sick when I clicked and saw the number of other people who had discovered a similar charge on their credit card statements. I called my credit card company back right away and stopped the card.

Apparently my credit card number had been "compromised". What this means exactly, I don't know. But somehow, someway, someone got access to my number. Whether this was through an unscrupulous salesperson who assisted me with a legitimate transaction or whether this was the result of computer hacking, I don't know.

I do know I felt bad about it. So bad I backed away from being online for awhile. I needed to remind myself of all the situations in my life that require interpersonal interaction. Where I'm known as Sarah and not just a number or words on a screen.

Have you ever felt this way?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Photo Fun for Friday: My Draft Blocker

Drafts from under the doors can be a problem in an old
house like mine. But look at the solution I've found!

Sometimes I think Rusty curls up there to prevent
us from leaving the house. What doggy thoughts do
you think he might be thinking about in this photo?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Watermark your photos for Free with Picmarkr

I received an email this week asking how I watermark the photos I post on my blog. Here's the secret: a wonderful website called Picmarkr. This site allows you to resize photos, add the text you want, and then instantly download the marked photos. There are a variety of text options and text placement positions available to get the look you want. You can process up to 5 photos at a time. Best of all, this website offers this service FREE of charge.

If you want to watermark an unlimited number of photos at one time or create a custom watermark template, then the PicMarkr Pro option would be the choice for you. There's a free trial available if you want to test drive it before purchasing.

For bloggers, I can't recommend Picmarkr high enough.

[Disclaimer: I have no association with this website other than the use mentioned in the first paragraph.]

Being Realistic or Selling Myself Short?

A friend pointed me in the direction of a job in my town that pays significantly more than what I make now at my job in another town. When I first looked at the job notice, I dismissed it outright because the position would require more interaction with the public than I have in my current situation. Then I looked the ad over a second time and realized that on paper I have all the qualifications they require. I got to thinking...Perhaps the acoustics in that library would be better than where I work now. Hmmm....was the only thing holding me back [gulp] me?

I decided to send in my application after all. When I was writing up my resume and cover letter, I realized that I had accomplished quite a bit at work recently and that cheered me up enormously. I'll have to wait and see what response I receive.

How has your hearing loss impacted your employment prospects? Do you think it would be better to stay in a job that requires less interpersonal communication or would it better to go for the better paying job close to home and then ask for accomodations if needed. Each option has its pros and cons. Let me know your thoughts.

Update #1
Here's a selection from one of the comments I received so far that I found particularly inspiring: Don't ever let your hearing stop you doing something you really want to or need to do. - Mog

Update #2
I didn't get the job. I never heard from the library but I did hear from a coworker that someone else got it and when I checked the online job posting had been removed. Oh well. To be honest, I have mixed feelings of disappointment and relief. All the same, I really appreciate all the supportive comments I received when I questioned myself as to whether or not I should have applied for it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Liz's HOH Forum

Update: This forum is no longer available.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Photo Fun for Friday: Icicles

Baby, it's cold outside! Stay warm, everybody.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Naked" at the Information Desk

The snow that has been hitting other parts of the U.S. arrived here yesterday. We're expecting accumulations up to 13" before this storm front passes by.

This morning I got up early to go outside and shovel my driveway. It was quiet as all of my neighbors were still sleeping. Rusty kept me company as I shoveled for the next 45 minutes. When I was finished he had accumulated about an inch of snow on his fur! I gave him a good brushing with my mittens before taking him indoors with me.

Then it was rush, rush, rush to get me ready for work and my son ready for school. I knew it would take us extra time driving this morning and I needed to get to work by 8:00 a.m. as I was on the opening shift at the information desk. Once we were underway, I was relieved. Until I realized I had forgotten my hearing aids, that is.

Oops. Well, there was no going back today. We simply didn't have time so I would just have to muddle through somehow. And I did. I didn't mention my lack of hearing aids to anyone at work. I did give alot of people a squinty "Huh!" look throughout the day.

There wasn't much activity at the library early this morning due to the weather and the fact that classes haven't started up again so that was a lucky break for me. One time I didn't hear a soft spoken female patron and she had to repeat, rephrase etc. until I deciphered that she needed to borrow a pen. Charades, anyone?

Several of my patron interactions today involved making change which is pretty easy to figure out when you see someone approaching with money in their hand. There were also the usual mechanical malfunctions which people had no problem raising their voice to tell me about, heh. Calmly, I unplugged the balky machine in question and plugged it back in. That is when the problem wasn't the machine operator, heh.

Throughout the day, I noticed that once people speaking to me moved beyond a certain distance from me, I could no longer hear them. I gestured to draw them in closer. When I got home from work, I fell asleep for an hour and a half I was so tired. Now I really appreciate just how much my hearing aids help me.

Have you ever forgotten your hearing aids?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Humor at Work

Scissors and Stapler
Originally uploaded by

My coworker was delighted to find her stapler today and said out loud, "There you are! I haven't seen you in six weeks!" I called back to her, "I thought it might have run off with my lost scissors."

Friday, January 1, 2010

Photo Fun for Friday: Backyard Snow Scenes

In winter my garden wears white.

Brrr. Too cold for a picnic today.

We won't be having fires in the fireplace anytime soon.

I think bare branches are beautiful in winter.

A fern peeks through the snow.

Another green spot in the white landscape.

Rusty stands on our frozen pond and
drinks water from a hole in the ice.

Rusty loves the snow! His newest trick
is to catch a snowball in his mouth.