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Friday, February 26, 2010

Flowers for Friday: My Valentine's Day Bouquet

My blog has been flower deprived lately,
so I'm posting some closeup photos I
took of my Valentine's Day bouquet.
I am really looking forward to spring and
another season of flowers. Aren't you?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Apparently I'm NOT Musically Inclined

Megan of Hearing Sparks recently wrote about some interesting music tests she found online. Ever the optimist, I thought I would try it out and discover that maybe, just maybe, my hearing loss isn't as bad as I think it is. Well, that didn't happen. I flunked the tests royally. Actually, it shouldn't have been a surprise to me. I've noticed a big difference lately in my ability to listen to music. Honestly, it's something I no longer enjoy. Music just doesn't sound "right" anymore. I've even stopped singing in church because I'm no longer confident I can stay on key.

If you'd like to take the tests for yourself, you can find them at Jake Mandell MD's website. Dr. Mandell is a radiology resident, music and neuroimaging researcher, and electronic musician.

Like Megan, I thought it would be interesting to have someone with normal hearing take the tests so we could compare our results. My coworker John was happy to oblige. After the first test, he commented "This was harder than I expected." Dr. Mandell designed these tests to be challenging.

Tone Deaf
My score: 69.4% Rating: Low-normal performance
John's score: 86.1% Rating: Very good performance

Adaptive pitch
My score: At 500 HZ I can differentiate 2 tones 18 HZ apart. Rating: Possible Pitch Perception Deficit Ranking: 0 percentile. Yikes!
John's score: At 500 HZ he can differentiate 2 tones 7.8 HZ apart. Rating: Normal.


My score 56%. Rating: Below normal performance. Score of 60% indicates normal performance and 55% and below indicates possible rhythm perception or memory deficit.
John's score 64%. Rating: Normal performance..

AMVI [Musical intelligence]
My score: 35%. Rating: Below normal performance.
John's score: 76%. Rating: Very good performance.

I'm glad I had John take the tests with me. Otherwise I might be tempted to dismiss them as faulty. I guess I'm making the right decision to refrain from singing in church after all.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Making Plans for Milwaukee

I'm planning to attend my first HLAA Convention this summer in Milwaukee. Will you be going?

Read more about HLAA Milwaukee here.

LOL - I was filling out the registration form when I thought to myself, where do I mark it that I need accommodations? [As I've done when attending work conferences.] Then it hit me, the whole conference will be accessible. Duh!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sign Language for Everyone

Today my hearing loss support group had a fun meeting. We got together to watch the DVD "Sign Language for Everyone: How to Talk to a Person Who Can't Hear" starring Anthony Natale.

If you haven't seen it before, this video is a friendly introduction to American Sign Language. Throughout the film, Anthony teaches signs to some new hearing friends who imitate his signing with various degrees of success. At one point, a girl unknowingly signs condom instead of month and a warning appears on the screen to be careful how you sign, heh. The video also educates viewers about deaf experience through vignettes on what it's like to shop in a store alone as a deaf person and what it's like for a hearing friend to use relay telephone service for the first time. I especially enjoyed the scene where Anthony explains that "Yes, he is allowed to drive!"

While watching, I was pleased at the number of signs I already knew and enjoyed practicing them and learning new ones. I noticed almost everyone else in the audience doing the same thing. At the end of the film, we raised our hands and moved them in silent applause.

If you'd like to see the video yourself, you can find order it online here at To learn more about Anthony Natale, you can visit his official website at

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Additions to My Blog Reading List I Highly Recommend

Eh? What? Huh? written by Elizabeth AKA (e. Her blog is devoted to hearing loss issues. She has written recently about ASL interpreted videos, common misconceptions about hearing aids, and rear window captioning. I've enjoyed seeing photos of her hearing aids decorated with various kinds of stickers.

Hard of Hearing Canadian is a blog about coping with late deafened hearing loss. Just started in January of this year, the posts are right on target and very practical in nature. You will also find cartoons and book reviews on this blog. I know I'm looking forward to reading the title A Quiet World: Living with Hearing Loss that was highlighted in one of the reviews.

Stuck in Two Worlds is another recent entry in the blogosphere. She writes about what it's like being "a hearing impaired person trying to live life in the normal hearing community". Stuck in two worlds: those of the deaf and the hearing, an emotional place where many hard of hearing people find themselves. Not deaf enough, yet not hearing enough either. Torn.

Life with a Hearing Dog written by Cathy and Bosley who describe themselves as a middle aged broad and a young yellow lab. With all my affection for Rusty, how could I not fall in love with this blog? It is funny with lots of real life stories and photos of Bosley.

Hearing Sparks written by Megan, a married 23 year old woman from Arizona. She has bilateral progressive sensorineural hearing loss and is "using this blog to share details about my life with hearing loss, as well as interesting news about accessibility, advancements in audiology and other sciences and a little bit of geeky stuff, too." Whenever I read Megan's blog, I feel hip, fresh, and up-to-date.

Cacophony to Symphony written by the even younger PinkLAM is a look at a teenaged girl's life with cochlear implants. I have been awed by her drive to get the best education she can despite the obstacles placed in her way. Her self advocacy for accomodation is a model for us all.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Day

My son and I were extraordinarily happy to find out we both had a snow day today! No school and no work. Hooray! It wasn't just the amount of snow causing problems, there were also high winds. Here's what my backyard looked like this morning.
Nearly 10" of snow was my measurement.

Our flower boxes are neatly filled with snow to
the same level as the deck railing. The hanging
baskets we never took down are capped with snow.

Our flower beds are tucked in snugly with a
heavy blanket of snow.

The wood pile has been nearly buried.

No outdoor dining today.

Pond? What pond?

But look, we have blue skies overhead.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Valentine to Friendship

I heard this song on the radio for the first time while driving to work this morning. When I got to my desk and googled "I Will Be Your Friend" by Michael W. Smith, I found this beautiful video that includes the lyrics. I couldn't wait to share it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I Couldn't Have Said It Better

I'm not much of a football fan as you can tell. I've approached Super Bowl Sunday different ways in the past. One year I opted out completely by watching chick flicks in the basement while my husband and son watched upstairs. Once I attended a Super Bowl party but was bored out of my mind. Other years I've tried following the action alongside my family in the living room but I've never yet managed to endure, I mean watch of course, cough cough the whole game.

My best Super Bowl TV viewing experience ever was when the Chicago Bears faced the New England Patriots in 1986. I happened to be in London on a school trip and watched the game in the TV lounge of my hotel. It was really amusing to hear the British commentator explain the football action. He seemed to understand the game about as well as I do. There also seemed to be an underlying bias against the New England Patriots. Hmmm, couldn't have anything to do with their team's name or that little war a couple hundred years ago...Surely not. But best of all the Bears won.

This year I will once again try to be in the same room with my son and husband as they watch. I'm arming myself with a cross-stitch project and will probably venture online if I get too restless. What will you be doing for the Big Game?

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Heart-y Recipe* for Sausage Lovers

Sausage Bread Ingredients:
1 pound ground sausage
frozen pizza dough
1 bag shredded mozarella cheese
parmesan cheese
sweet basil

Thaw frozen pizza dough and roll out.
Preheat oven to 350° F.

Brown the ground sausage. Drain the fat from the pan.
Transfer the sausage from the pan onto a plate lined
with paper towels to absorb a bit more grease.

Spread the sausage out onto the rolled pizza dough.

Next add the shredded mozarella cheese.

Sprinkle sweet basil, oregano, and parmesan cheese on top.

Roll up the dough.

Tuck the ends under and pop into oven.

Bake at 350° F until golden brown 20-30 min.

Slice and enjoy!

*I called this a heart-y recipe since I'm sharing it
near Valentine's Day, not because it's heart friendly.