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Sunday, May 30, 2010

'Show Us Your Hearing' Photography Competition

Hear the World is sponsoring a photo competition with a chance to win a Polaroid 300 and have your photo featured in the award-winning Hear the World magazine! To enter, submit a photo of yourself or a friend or family member posed with one hand cupped behind the ear. You can see photos of famous people who have modeled this "Pose of Conscious Hearing" at this link on the Hear the World website. You can submit your photo and read all the contest details here.

Hear the World is an initiative sponsored by Phonak. Their mission is to raise awareness of the consequences of hearing loss and provide information on prevention, support, and solutions.

Good luck!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Hearing Aid Care in Summer


A reader wrote to me yesterday and asked for tips on taking care of his hearing aids in the summer. With sunny days and rising temperatures in the forecast, this is a timely topic to discuss.

Two basic things to avoid with hearing aids are heat and moisture. Where I live in the midwestern United States, the summer months bring increased exposure to both of them. Fortunately we can be proactive in protecting our hearing aids.

I found two resources online today that I found useful. As always, readers, if you have any advice or personal experiences to share, you can brighten my day by adding a comment to this post. notes there are additional risks to hearing aids in summer from the increased humidity in the air, moisture from body sweat, and potential for accidental falls into swimming pools. This site recommends using a paper towel or napkin to wrap around your hearing aid. If you plan to visit an amusement park, take along a zippered plastic bag to keep your hearing aids safe on water rides. To read the complete article which includes links to available products that may help, click here. points out that excessive moisture can cause distortion, static, and other problems. Helpfully the site offers some common sense tips for combating moisture including these:

  • Open the battery compartment at night to allow air to circulate.

  • Wipe your hearing aids with a tissue as needed during the day.

  • Do not leave your hearing aid in direct sunlight.

  • Do not attempt to dry an aid with a microwave or hair dryer.

To read the complete article, click here.

My reader was particularly interested in keeping his ear molds dry. My hearing aids don't come with ear molds so I don't know what might work for this. I found this site that explains how to clean hearing aid ear molds. Does anyone else have any tips for him?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Let's Ask Mr. Dyson

I was quite amused today to read this article online today: How would you solve a problem like Eyjafjallajokull? I've always liked that song from the Sound of Music and applying it to my current obsession, the infamous Iceland volcano, while admittedly a mouthful, is catchy.

For quite some time now, I've thought the solution to the problem was pretty obvious. Call in Mr. Dyson, of course. For those of you who don't know the name, he's the engineering genius who created a line of vacuum cleaners known for their suction. You can read more about him here.

Surely, he would be up for the challenge of creating a volcano capacity vacuum with a super absorbent ash filter. In the article I mentioned before, someone suggested we ordinary folks get out in force with our standard vacuums, but I think that idea falls short. An ash cloud of this magnitude requires an expert, don't you agree?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Flowers for Friday: Mothers Day edition

My husband bought me this
New Guinea Impatiens
for Mother's Day.

My family spent the day at my parents' home.
Here are some photos from their yard.
Snowball bush
Lily of the valley
My mom had these darling pansies
for me to take home.
For dessert she served sherbet
molded in the shape of flowers.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Celebrating My Friend's Milestone

A close friend of mine just purchased her first home. I was so excited for her! This was a major milestone and I knew just how I wanted to mark the occasion. My girlfriend is a huge fan of Jimmy Stewart. So I put together a housewarming gift basket with bread, salt, and grape juice for her along with the home blessing from It's a Wonderful Life on a card. She loved it!

[You can click on a photo to see it larger.]

On Tuesday I took a day off of work to drive out to where she lives and deliver my housewarming basket. I was really excited to see her new home for myself. As I was getting the grand tour, I was pleased to see the cross-stitch gift I had made her last Christmas (to encourage her during her house hunting) prominently displayed in her kitchen.

That was the perfect excuse to bring out my most recent cross-stitch project, finished at 11 p.m. the night before, and give it to her as an early Christmas present. My friend likes Mary Englebreit's style, so I knew she would like this Christmas stocking. It says "All Hearts Come Home for Christmas." My girlfriend took it right out to the living room and showed me how she would hang it on her fireplace come next December.

Then it was time for furniture shopping. My girlfriend wanted me along as "sales person repellant" so she could shop in peace. I had never thought of myself as repulsive but she explained to me that sales people hover over buyers on their own but will leave two or more people in a group alone. That made me feel better... But there was one salesman I just couldn't resist! His name is Teddy and he's a standard poodle who spends his days in a resale shop. See how cuddly and affectionate he is.

After we had been to three stores, we found just what she was looking for in a place we hadn't planned on going to but that was located next to one of the other stores. My friend needed some chairs for her living room. As soon as I saw this one, I just knew it was perfect for her. In fact, I thought perhaps she already owned one like it, the style seemed so familiar. LOL, it turned out to be me that owns the chair - it's in one of my husband's man areas of the house. Anyways, my friend loved the chair and was delighted to find a pair of them on sale for a very reasonable price.

I'm happy to report that my dear friend has bought a home that's just right for her and I look forward to seeing how she decorates it and makes it her own. Thanks for sharing this special day with me via my blog.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Watching a Film in ASL

Tonight I had the unique opportunity of viewing the ASL film Gerald at an event sponsored by a local deaf organization. I had never watched a movie entirely in ASL before. This film was audio free - no sound whatsoever. I found myself liking that aspect a great deal. Whenever I watch a movie that has been captioned with the sound effects included, I am distracted by the fact that I didn't hear the sound mentioned. I will ask anyone watching with me, "Did you hear that noise?" It was a relief not to have that distraction tonight. In fact, I didn't even mentally fill in the sounds either. I just embraced the quiet and felt drawn into the experience of someone profoundly deaf. All the characters in this movie sign. Some speak and naturally I found myself reading their lips. Fortunately for me and any other viewers who are not fluent in ASL, the film is subtitled in English.

The plot was compelling. Imagine that as the son of a single mother all your life you had longed for family connections. Now just when you are about to be married, you discover your mother hasn't told you the truth about your father. Even more pressing is the fact that you have an autistic grandfather who is about to be evicted from his nursing home. Would you be willing to take him into your home and care for him even at the risk of losing your fiancee? That is the dilemma faced by the main character.

I recommend this film highly. You can read a synopsis of Gerald and view its trailer at this website. To read more about the making of the film, specifically the parts played by the principal and middle school students of California School for the Deaf, check out this link, [a PDF document].

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

The stork "delivers" me. Ha, ha.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Holland Michigan Tulips

Fields of tulips at Windmill Island Gardens

Tulips surround boy and girl figures at Dutch Village.

The garden beds have numbers displayed so tourists
can purchase bulbs from Holland (Europe) of the tulips
they like best. Photo taken at Dutch Village.

At Windmill Island Gardens, I'm standing next to my
favorite of all the varieties I saw today. I didn't
purchase any bulbs but I am holding a gift shop
bag containing a souvenir Delft thimble.

For years, my husband and I have been talking about
visiting Holland, Michigan during the Tulip Time festival.
We finally said that this spring we would do it. Who could
know that May 8th would turn out to be a cloudy, chilly,
blustery day? We went ahead with our plans and had a fun
day in spite of the weather. I'm sure these tourist locations
would have been much busier if it had been a nicer day. If you
would like to see more photos of our day in Holland, Michigan,
I have posted them to flickr. Click here to see them.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My Vacation Nightmare

I have become obsessed with Eyjafjallajokull, the Iceland volcano that first erupted and shut down European airports for days in April. Lulled into thinking it had calmed down, I had actually started to relax and breathe easier when it sent up a new ash cloud this week which drifted over Ireland. Since then I have been compulsively checking Google throughout the day to see what the volcano's current status is. That's how I came across this video by the Corrigan Brothers which expresses my frustration and worries about my upcoming London trip exactly. [Unfortunately, it's not subtitled, so I have included the lyrics below. I find the song plays best LOUD and on full screen.]

Ohh watching the weather get windy
Blowing the ash down towards me
Planes on the ground are not going
We can't go tooing and fro-ing
A friend of a friend he got stuck there
An airport the far side of no where
Credit card maxed out and NO CASH

La-ah-ah, lalala la la la
Ah-ah-ah, lalala la la la
ANOTHER friend he took a bus trip
5 days to drive across Europe
He got to the ferry port Monday
The ferry had sailed out on Sunday
A friend of a friends stuck in Greece is
The economy's falling to pieces
He needs to get out of Athens
Before something the eventual happens

La-ah-ah, lalala la la la
Ah-ah-ah, lalala la la la

Ohh watching the weather get windy
Blowing the ash down towards me
Planes on the ground are not going
We can't go too-ing and fro-ing
La-ah-ah, lalala la la la
Ah-ah-ah, lalala la la la

And if there's anyone left out there
Who needs to get back in the air

I found these lyrics here.