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Friday, April 30, 2010

Flowers for Friday: Juxtapositions

This tulip's colors remind me of the sky at sunset.

Lovely pink tulip set against a hosta backdrop.

One year we planted a lilac bush as a
Mother's Day gift to me.

I love the delicate fragrance of lilacs.

These ferns and bishops weed make a
visually interesting border combination.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Flowers for Friday: Magnificent Magnolia

My neighbors' magnificent magnolia
tree in full bloom two weeks ago.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Bit of Heaven on Earth Day

I received this indoor decorative wind chime recently from a dear friend. What made it even more special was I had just read a beautiful blog post by Elizabeth on wind chimes. Do you know what wind chimes sound like? The laughter of angels according to one second grader she teaches. You can read the full story here.
I believe the angels laugh at us. Do you? Have a blessed Earth Day, everyone.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wearing a Hard of Hearing Badge

I won this badge from Liz for a contest she sponsored on her forum (no longer an active site). It reads "Hard of hearing. Please speak clearly." So far I've worn it twice at work during my reference desk shifts. It's fairly small and discreet. The only people who commented on it were two of my male coworkers.

Even though, I had my hearing aids reprogrammed, I am still having trouble hearing people at the reference desk. Sigh. I'm hoping that by wearing this badge, I will feel more confident about asking patrons to speak louder. I also hope that I can just point to it if I have a patron who persists in speaking softly or misinterprets my need for a repeat. I hate being thought of as stupid. The ideal badge would read something like "Absolutely brilliant person here who just happens to have bad hearing. Willing to help you but needs to understand what you are saying first." Heh, what do you think?

Until that one becomes available, if you would like to order a badge like the one Liz gave me, I found it online at Hearing Concern Link. There is also an American store online at Zazzle.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Who Knew?

Iceland's Disruptive Volcano
uploaded to flickr by

Who knew when I was planning my summer vacation trip to London last January that a volcano eruption in Iceland three months later would imperil my plans?

At this point, I'm watching the situation closely to see how the airlines and the tourist industry in the UK handle the crisis. Fortunately, my trip is still a ways off, but unfortunately, volcanoes are unpredictable and this one continues to be active. There is also the threat of a nearby volcano erupting next.

I feel very sympathetic to all the travelers who are stranded as well as frightened of the possibility of that happening to me.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Flowers for Friday: Tulip Time

Which color is your favorite?
All of these tulips are blooming in my own garden,
thanks to my husband who planted all the bulbs.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Clean Slate Approach to Hearing Aid Programming

Recently I have been hearing some voices on radio and television as "tinny". There seemed to be a ringing sound behind the words they said. Concerned about this, I made an appointment with my audiologist to find out if perhaps my hearing aids needed repair or reprogramming.

I was assured right away that there was nothing broken with my aids. So I asked my audiologist if my hearing aids could be reprogrammed back to the settings they had in the beginning. I explained that when I first got them, I had trouble coping with fan noise and another audiologist had done some "creative programming" to solve the problem. It worked but ever since then, I have never heard speech as clearly which is my number one reason for wearing hearing aids. I've had various tweaks and volume adjustments done in the three years since and I was certain my current programming was pretty far off of what the original settings had been.

The audiologist thought that was a good idea. She erased my current programming and used the manufacturer's software to reset it to the profile recommended for my hearing loss. When I put the hearing aids in my ears, though, I couldn't even tell they were on until I tapped on the mics. The audiologist fixed that by increasing the gain twice. Much better.

Driving back to work, I was able to keep my hearing aids in the first program (for quiet environments) even with the window down. This is something I haven't been able to do for a long time. Previously the sound of the road, other cars, and my own car's engine always made me uncomfortable so I would turn the aids to the second program (for noisy environments). I also noticed that the jangling of my keys hanging from the ignition bothered me a lot less.

Back in my cubicle at the library, I was happy to discover that I could continue to wear my aids in the first program. Usually I had to have them set to the second program due to an unpleasant sound they picked up from a nearby mechanical closet. With this new programming, I didn't hear that noise at all!

When I saw my son that evening, I was very pleased at the sound clarity of his voice. Lately he had been very frustrated by my frequent misunderstanding of his speech and constant requests for constant. Later on I surprised myself when I had a conversation in my driveway with a neighbor past twilight when it was too dark even to see her face clearly. In times past, I would have avoided a situation like that at all costs.

Today while walking in to work, I looked up and saw a seagull flying overhead. Then I heard its wings. I was so amazed. I had been really certain that my previous experience hearing a bird's wings had been a once in a lifetime experience.

Tomorrow I will have a shift at the reference desk. That will be the litmus test. I'm trying to stay hopeful that I will hear better there, although I have to admit some of the distracting noises in that area continue to sound loud to me.

If you're interested, here's a printout from my audiologist visit that shows my new settings. You can click on the photo to view it larger.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Flowers for Friday: More Daffodils and Hyacinths

These photos were taken in my yard and at my workplace. Photos #1 and #4 are my favorites.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Soggy Doggy Easter Egg Hunt

Rusty meets the Easter Bunny
but is distracted by all the other dogs.

The field before the egg hunt has begun.
The rain doesn't dampen the dogs' enthusiasm,
but it's tricky for the owners managing a leash, an
umbrella, and an Easter basket. My friend held onto
Rusty so I could snap this photo of Rusty getting
into position for the start of the egg hunt.
That's one soggy doggy!

I managed to retrieve 5 eggs for Rusty. He was
alot more interested in sniffing other dogs, the wet
grass, and trees than the plastic eggs. Back in the car
we opened the eggs and found dog treats inside.

This event was a fundraiser and was attended
by about 100 diehard dog owners. Naturally,
the rain stopped as soon as the hunt was over.

I want to especially thank my neighbor who came
with me even without her dog and made the day
much more enjoyable with her company.

Friday, April 2, 2010