Dear Reader

This blog is no longer active as of 2017.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking Forward to the New Year 2012

Happy New Year!

I wonder what 2012 will bring? I'm hoping for some new adventures, but I want to stay closer to home this year. Here are some of the activities I hope to experience this year with family and friends:
  • Snowshoeing - I have never tried this winter sport. What's lured me in is that I can rent a pair for $10, go at my own pace along a trail, and then exchange the snowshoes when I'm finished for a large hot chocolate!
  • Taking a tour of Quilt Gardens. I have a friend who adores quilting and I love flowers so it seems like a perfect fit for us. I can't wait to photograph these gardens.
  • Giving canoeing a second shot but with someone other than my son who refuses to get into a canoe with me again, ha ha. For those who don't know the story of our previous experience, you can read it here.
  • Travelling to the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Wisconsin. This is something my husband and I have talked about doing for a long time. I'm hoping to organize it as an outing for my ALDA support group. I think the visual spectacle will be something we deafies can enjoy.
  • Participating in the reindog parade, of course.
What are your hopes and dreams or even plans for the New Year?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Switched at Birth Returns January 3

During my holiday break, I'm watching the previously aired episodes of Switched at Birth in preparation for their winter premier. Did you know they are now available on Netflix?

Beginning January 3 the series begins anew on ABC Family channel. It will air Tuesday nights at 8:00 p.m. Eastern and 7 p.m. Central. An all day marathon of the first ten Switched at Birth episodes will precede the premier. If you are like me and do not have the ABC Family channel, episodes are available later on the show's website and on Hulu.

What do you think will happen next on the show? Will Bay and Emmett stay together?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Rusty's Christmas present

Viewing tip for HD videos: To avoid experiencing lag time, click play, then pause to allow the video to download completely. Once the grey bar has reached the end, the download is complete. Now click play again and the video should run without interruptions.

Santa must not have heard what happened to Rusty's old dog bed.

I'm sure it's hard to believe, but he chewed it up. Ha, ha.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Reading

Public Library Christmas Tree 

To keep my spirits bright, I've been reading library books with a winter or Christmas theme. Here's what I've read so far: Aunt Dimity Snowbound by Nancy Atherton, Wreck the Halls by Sarah Graves, and Christmas Wishes by Debbie Macomber. I'm in the middle of A Crossworder's Gift by Nero Blanc. I still have yet to read Decked With Folly by Kate Kingsbury and Murder for Christ's Mass by Maureen Ash. All of these authors are new to me.

I was lucky to find so many seasonally appropriate books at my local library. It's a nice way to finish out my year of reading. Have you enjoyed following my reading list? Should I do it again for 2012?

Closeup of Ornament on Library ChristmasTree

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Blog Award and an Announcement

I've been awarded the Leibster Blog Award by Liz of Cats and Chocolates. Thanks so much, Liz. This was quite a surprise to me. I had not realized she was a long time reader and I had not been to her blog before. To my delight, we have common interests like reading, animals, and chocolate. She is deaf and interested in sign language, BSL in her case. Please stop by her blog and give it a look soon.

Now I have the responsibility to pass the award on to 5 other blogs worthy of your attention.
[Dramatic drumroll] And the winners are:

Now for the announcement. Since November I've been taking an online web design course. The class has gotten the wheels in my head turning on how I might improve my own website, Speak Up Librarian blog.
I'm thinking about making changes during the break after Christmas and before New Years.

If you have any opinions on what you like to read here and what you DON'T like to see here, drop me a comment. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Christmas Treat for Dog Lovers

Nothing says holiday like a good old fashioned reindog parade. A what? You ask. A reindog parade, you know, that holiday tradition where you dress up your dog and parade him in front of the townspeople. Okay, I'll admit it. This was new to me too this year. But it was a lot of fun,especially when the dogs shook off their costumes. I made a video of the event to share with you. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holiday Gift Giving Idea

I saw this display at a public library. I thought it was such a lovely idea that I took a photo with my cellphone so I could share it with all of you. This library has taken books in like new condition, tied them together with a festive bow, and placed them for sale.

It would be a simple idea to copy. Most libraries have donated books for sale. You could bundle together books by one author or even group books in the same genre, like romance or mystery. Stop by a craft store for a ribbon bow and you are good to go with a thoughtful gift that will also benefit your local library.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Oops! Not Again!!!

1/365: ..oops :o(

I took my hearing aids out Friday night and noticed an ear dome was missing. Uh oh. It had stayed behind in my ear!

An ear dome is the tiny tip that fits inside the ear canal.


Regular readers may recall that this same thing happened to me once before, almost exactly a year ago. That time an ENT doctor removed the stuck ear dome. Because it was evening this time, I had to go to extended care hours at a local clinic and see a regular doctor.

Fortunately, the staff on duty were able to find an instrument they could use to safely extract the tiny piece. It was a two person operation. The nurse held a lighted otoscope, while the doctor used one hand to stretch my earlobe and the other to gently pull the hearing aid part out of my left ear. The doctor was surprised when he saw how small it was. I assured him that he had gotten "all of it" and that I was good to go.

I was so thankful they were able to remove it. They had warned me if they couldn't I would have to go to the emergency room of a nearby hospital. If that was the case, I was going to wait until Monday and see my audiologist. I would have done that in the first place but I remembered being warned last year that not removing something stuck in your ear as soon as possible can lead to an outer ear infection.

Today I visited the audiologist and got a replacement part. I was also given spares and shown how to replace them myself. From now on, I'm to put new ones in once a month. I am also trying out a smaller sized ear dome. I hope this never happens again. Yikes. I'm starting to feel as mishap prone as Jerry Neumann.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Laid Back Guide to Hosting a Holiday Meal

I've done a traditional Thanksgiving meal before and I have the photos to prove it. But this year I took a different approach. Possibly a saner approach, definitely more laid back.

Since the end of October I've been recovering from a virus and haven't had the stamina or energy to do much more than work, drive my teenager around, and sleep. (You may have noticed my blogging dropped off for a while.) So I asked my husband if we could do things differently this Thanksgiving. He was all for it and the success of our holiday this year is due to him. Thanks Rob, for all your help getting the house cleaned up and entertaining our guests!

Here are our tips for a hassle free holiday meal:
  1. Have your guests come to you. Not having to travel definitely makes the holiday easier from the beginning.

  2. Have your guests bring most of the meal with them. Our guests brought dinner rolls, salad, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and a pumpkin pie. We contributed the meat, beverages, and additional desserts, which were all store bought.

  3. Rotisserie chicken

  4. Substitute rotisserie chicken for turkey. Simply pick up at the store shortly before your guests arrive. This was Rob's idea as he knows I don't like turkey much. He bought three of these chickens.

  5. Use decorative paper products instead of dishes to make your clean up easier. As we don't own a dish washer and have to do it all by hand, we estimate we saved at least two hours of dish washing time.

  6. Kids table

    Adults table

  7. Schedule your meal for supper rather than lunch, so you can spend the morning in your pajamas watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

I enjoyed this holiday much more than the fancier, labor-intensive feasts I'd hosted previously. This year I sat among my guests instead of at the end of the table and heard more of the conversation. I still didn't get it all but Rob filled me in later on the parts I missed. When our guests were leaving and Rusty got up on the table to snag some pie crusts, I didn't even get upset. Just laughed it off as "oh that dog". Then instead of commencing a massive cleanup effort, Rob and I relaxed on the couch and watched movies.

I know this style of entertaining isn't for everyone and I don't know if we'll do it again this way or not, but it sure was a great change of pace. Hope your holiday was a safe, happy, and delicious one.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm Thankful for You, Deafies!

I'm using deafies as a term of endearment and as inclusively as possible. Some of the people listed below are hard of hearing, some are deaf, and others hear just fine. But all touched my life in some way this year and deserve a Thanksgiving shout out.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to

ABC Family for airing Switched at Birth.
Andy and Ben, the CODA brothers, for making me laugh.
Ann for joining ALDA and being a wonderful friend.
Bill L. for never giving up on me.
Carol P. for your willingness to drive any distance necessary.
Cleo for your encouraging emails.
DJ for seeing me through a scary time.
Gary for knowing how to get there.
Gene for loving me. I hope you continue to dance.
Gordon for reminding us that silence is golden.
Guy for showing us how to speak up effectively.
Jedediah for starting me on a reading marathon.
Jennifer G. for fitting me.
Jim the Librarian for your entertaining book reviews.
Joe L. for looking out for me.
John N. for Quiet Signs of Love.
Jonathan for stopping on your way home.
Kim for making ALDAcon in Indy happen. You rock, girl!
Linda for hunting elks with me.
Liz for a friendship that gets better and better.
Louise for your generosity and marvelous e-cards.
Marsha K. for believing in me when I had doubts.
Oticon for LA and my Agil Pros.
Rebecca for being the person I would like to be someday.
Sally S. for teaching me about resiliency.
Sixth grade class of Fernando Centeno G├╝ell for giving me a sign name.
Teri S. for being the best project partner ever!
Tess for helping me improve my signing.
When writing a post like this, it's inevitable that someone deserving is unintentionally omitted. So I want to thank ALL of my blog readers for your support of Speak Up Librarian and all the places my blog has taken me this year.
In conclusion, I want to single out three very special people: Jennifer Alberstadt, Dylan Dunlap, and Don Sims - my fellow Oticon Focus on People Awards winners. They inspired me with their stories and I've been looking forward to sharing them with you. I hope you enjoy the following captioned video produced by Oticon.

Happy Thanksgiving, deafies.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Deaf Writer and His Deaf Character: A Review of Deaf Sentence by David Lodge

Deaf Sentence by David Lodge isn't a new book. It was published in 2008. It was new to me, however, and I have reader Joe from Washington State to thank for bringing it to my attention. Joe wrote to tell me he enjoyed my blog and tell me about this book.

While I was reading the novel, I couldn't believe how similar the narrator's experiences with misunderstanding loved ones and coping with wearing hearing aids were to my own. I wondered how David Lodge got it so right. Well, the answer should have been obvious. David Lodge has a hearing loss himself. The British author discusses his hearing loss journey which began in his late forties and continues on into his seventies in this article from the Daily Mail.

When interviewed by The Book Depository, he was asked directly if Deaf Sentence was based on his own experiences. Here is his reply:
"The portrayal of the central character's deafness is closely based on my own experience, and it is exceedingly unlikely that I would have thought of writing a novel about this condition if I hadn't suffered from it myself. From my late forties I was afflicted with gradually worsening high-frequency deafness, the most common form of hearing impairment, which makes it difficult to distinguish consonants, especially when there is a lot of background noise. The character of Desmond's father is also closely based on my own father who died in 1999. He was also deaf, as a result of old age, but wouldn't wear a hearing aid, so communication between us was often difficult."

Deaf Sentence has lots of funny bits which will make you laugh, particularly if you or a loved one has a hearing loss. Some tender family moments are also included. To add some drama and suspense, there is a subplot about a young female graduate student who is writing a dissertation on suicide notes. For reasons of her own, she puts Desmond, the main character who is a retired linguistics professor, in compromising positions. For reasons of my own, I skipped over some of those parts to allow me to enjoy the book. Do you ever do that?

If you've read the book yourself, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. As always, keep those book recommendations coming.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gotcha, Mom

I don't usually think of my son as a CODA (child of deaf adult) , but we had two moments recently that were rather CODAlike if you will. The first one happened at the public library. I went there to pick up my son. He was sitting in a comfy reading area in a far corner with his nose in a book while waiting for me. When we got in the car, he told me that he could hear me as soon as I came in the room. "How?" I demanded. "You were jangling your keys," he replied. Oops.
Another time we were riding in the car and the song "Staying Alive" by the BeeGees came on the radio. My son had never heard it before. Well, at least not sung by them. His only previous exposure was my annoying habit of singing triumphantly, "ah, ah, ah, ah, STAYING ALIVE" when I managed to make it safely past his hotels while broke in a Monopoly game. Listening to the song with him, I realized that "staying alive" were the only two words I knew of the song. Then, I made the mistake of telling him that. He said with a deadpan look, "Really, Mom. Did you know this song is about a guy on the run from the cops?" "No!," I said in surprise thinking back to John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Hmmm, I didn't remember that from the movie....He interrupted my thoughts with a decisive, "Gotcha, Mom!"
Maybe there should be a new acronym. POHC - Parent of a Hearing Child. I think I may need to start a support group....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Twitter and a Test to Alert the Deaf Community in Case of Emergency

If you live in the United States, have a Twitter account, and would like to participate in an evaluation of FEMA's emergency alert on November 9th, please see this blog post by Xpressive Hands: Deaf Eye: Do Emergency Warnings Catch Yours.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

ALDAcon 2011 Day Three

Now that Halloween is over, I can get back to blogging about my experiences at ALDAcon. Last night I was too busy at the front door, keeping Rusty in, while handing candy out to costumed children to continue my story.

On Friday, convention goers had an exciting event to attend - Julius Caesar - the first live captioned play to be held in Indiana. History in the making, people! But alas, not for me. What I didn't mention before is that I was coming down with a nasty cold. So, I missed out on the play in order to get some additional, much needed rest. I heard rave reviews of the performance and the captioning from those who attended.

I wasn't the only one at ALDAcon who caught forty winks. I couldn't resist taking this photo of a dog who drifted off to sleep during one of the presentations. Yes, dogs are a common sight at ALDAcon. Service dogs, that is. I saw at least seven different dogs. They really made me miss Rusty more.

At lunch on Friday, the vendors were thanked and each were presented with a medal in keeping with the convention's racing theme. Then Rebecca Herr spoke on the subject of volunteering. I was excited about the chance to hear her speak at lunch and again the next day at a workshop. She has had a wide range of volunteer roles both in the nonprofit community and in business related organizations. Her passion for service is unmistakable and the interpreters and CART providers hands were flying as they kept pace with her words. In addition to sign language translation, for accessibility, each speaker who addressed us either at meals or at workshops, had their speech transcribed onto a large projector screen. This is known as CART which stands for Communication Access Realtime Translation. You can see a sample in the photo below:

After lunch, I attended a class on beginning sign language taught by Tess Crowder. As many of you know, I have already taken a university course in sign language a few years ago. This was a refresher for me. I found it helpful and fun. I've been thinking about taking a class again to learn more vocabulary.

Then I took another rest so I could attend the evening's big event, the I. King Jordan Banquet held at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. As I mentioned before, I came to ALDAcon as a last minute decision. So hopefully that excuses the fact that it never occurred to me that this banquet might be a dressy affair. I had nothing Cinderella worthy in my suitcase. If I'd been feeling better, I probably would have gone out and bought a dress, but I was in no shape for shopping. I went in my jeans and hoped I wouldn't stand out.

The room was lovely and the meal was exquisite. John Waldo was honored with the I. King Jordan Award for his legal work in making movie theater captioning a reality. Within two years time, movie theaters across the country are expected to be showing captioned films due to a class-action suit John participated in on behalf of ALDA, Inc. That's something we all can celebrate. Well done, John.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

ALDAcon 2011 Day Two

My day began with continental breakfast and a newcomer's meeting. I enjoyed this event very much. It was informal in nature. Longtime members of ALDA and representatives from the ALDA board introduced themselves briefly. Then, we newbies took our turns introducing ourselves. When it was my turn, I mentioned that I write a blog, and one of the regional directors asked me the name of it. When I replied, "Speak Up Librarian", he smiled and told me he reads it. Nodding his head, he added, "That's why you look familiar." What a great start to my day! I was also blessed to meet two ladies in particular. One who had come by herself I made a special point of introducing myself to. It helped that I grew up near where she lived. As we talked we found we had other things in common as well. The other lady recently joined my ALDA Chicago group so I was delighted to meet her. Hopefully, she will be someone I can see again after the convention is over.

At the convention's opening session, race car drivers and cousins, Jaki and Tomas Scheckter were introduced. Jaki lives in South Africa. He has a hearing loss and has bilateral cochlear implants. His cousin Tomas arranged for him to get these implants at a hospital in Indianapolis. He even raised money for the operations. The Gift of Hearing Foundation also donated money. Today Tomas is a board member of the Gift of Hearing and Jaki is on the board of a similar organization in South Africa that raises money for children to receive cochlear implants. They told us these stories and then shared with us how exciting it is to be a race car driver. They explained how adrenaline rushes through their bodies during the race and afterwards leaves them feeling drained and empty. They love it and wouldn't choose any other occupation.

Jaki and Tomas Scheckter

Next, we had a luncheon which featured Patti Spitler as the keynote speaker. Patti worked for 23 years as a news anchor and entertainment reporter at WISH-TV in Indianapolis until she retired for health reasons. She has Meniere's disease, a permanent and progressive condition that causes dizziness and vertigo in addition to severe hearing loss. Her therapy dog, Louie, helped her overcome the isolation she experienced after retirement. Recently, she has returned to the television business with a new show that she hosts called Pet Pals. She is also a spokesperson for Hear Indiana.

Patti Spitler and interpreter

Then I attended two workshops in the afternoon. The first one was called "Living with Deafness: Positive Self Advocacy and Career Success". It was taught by college professor, Dr. David Baldridge, who is researching the workplace experiences of the deaf and hard of hearing. The second one was titled "The Resilient Self: Surviving and Thriving Through Your Deafness". This session was taught by Sally Skyer of NTID.

Here are a few photos from the Exhibit Hall:

The CapTel display. Many of the 
booths featured assistive technology.

The Scheckter cousins graciously signed our program
books and posed for photos at the Gift of Hearing table.
Learn more about this nonprofit organization here.

Each sponsor was given a trophy.
Wasn't that a nice touch?!!!

ALDAcon 2011 Day One

It was a last minute decision for me to attend ALDAcon (the annual convention of the Association of Late Deafened Adults) in Indianapolis. I had never been to an ALDAcon before and I had been holding out because I still felt guilty about being away from my family during my trip to Costa Rica last February. I gradually changed my mind after working on the program book and reading the descriptions about the wonderful events and workshops planned. I realized I would really be missing out and began to wish I had decided differently. Then, a miracle happened. The event's program and planning chairs emailed me and offered me a scholarship to attend in exchange for the hard work I had put in on creating their convention program book. I was thrilled to accept their offer.

I got involved with the program book at the request of Kim Mettache, the planning chair. She is the president of the Northwest Indiana chapter of ALDA which hosted this year's convention in Indianapolis. Kim's group was the chapter which introduced me to ALDA a few years ago. Over time I have become more involved with the Chicago chapter, but I have always stayed in touch with my friends from the Northwest Indiana chapter. Several of them are also members of the Chicago group too. Kim is one of the most energetic, upbeat people you could ever hope to meet. I was glad to be able to help her out even though I had never taken on a project like this before.

Fortunately, I had the assistance of Terri Singer, program chair, who did much of the work herself. My responsibility was for arranging the ads and converting the book into Publisher format for the printers. It sounds easy enough, but in reality it was hundreds of emails, several technical glitches to overcome, and many hours on the computer before the book was complete. Terri told me I really needed to come to the con and see it in the hands of the convention goers. She was right. When I was there and saw people using the book to plan their day's activities, I felt really glad that I had been a part of making it happen.

Capitol Building as seen from my hotel room

I drove down to Indianapolis Wednesday afternoon. I arrived in time to check in, meet my roommate (arranged by Terri), and grab something to eat at the mall attached to the hotel. As I was on my way to the food court, I ran into my good friend Jen and her mom. We joined up and had dinner together. Then afterwards, we all attended a convention sponsored captioned showing of The Big Year starring Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black. The movie was a light hearted look at three men's attempt to see the most different types of birds in a year. Apparently it's based on a book and is a real competition among birders. I had never heard of it before myself. In the theater I saw several of my ALDA Chicago friends and other people I knew. The captioning was terrific. The theater had moved up their installation of captioning technology to have it ready in time for the convention and generously donated tickets so we attended for free. Bravo, Regal Theaters.

Back at the hotel, I turned in for a good night's sleep and took a moment to contemplate my own Big Year. So much had happened to me since I had joined ALDA Chicago the previous October. Through accepting the position as Social Chair for the group, I had grown as a person. I had organized outings for the group, attended board meetings, learned to navigate and administer their website, and met many new people. I had been to Costa Rica with Discovering Deaf Worlds. I had been chosen as an Oticon Focus on People Awards winner and been to LA. Yes, this has definitely been a Big Year for me. The Association for Late Deafened Adults had been a big part of it so it was only fitting that I ended my year at their convention. I was coming full circle I thought to myself as I drifted off to sleep.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Having Fun with Elkhart County's Elk Art

I hope you've enjoyed my series on the elks I "hunted" at Elk Art on Parade. I want to finish with a few fun photos taken during the day. My lovely friend Linda who drove me all over Elkhart County was feeling camera shy that day, but she was sporting enough to snap these photos of me interacting with the art.

So far I haven't mentioned that we had a rainy day for our "elk hunting expedition." But the raindrops didn't stop me from having a great time. This elk titled "Simply Spring" was one of my favorites. This is what the artist Nikki Long said about it:
"I wanted my Elk to represent the bond we feel toward the friends and family in our lives but was finding it hard to translate that into art. So, I decided to ask the women in my life to pick their favorite flower to represent themselves and their family. In the end, I hope to look at each flower and have a beautiful reminder of them and how much they mean to me."

Dubbed "Rooted from the Heart, this elk was my other favorite. I figured this elk with its many wonderful values had something to tell me about how life should be lived. This is what the artist said about the concept for this elk:
"My plan is to locate one or two elementary school children from every elementary school in the county, and an equal number of seniors to help paint the design. The idea behind this lies in the Heart as the root of our community. Each child will paint a heart with a tree growing from of it, signifying growth and their branching out into our lives and community. Inside each of the hearts, elders will paint words of experience, compassion, guidance and love, thus displaying the wisdom that they have to offer all of us, and especially within a family setting. It is my hope that our bright red elk will capture the attention of passersby, even from a distance, and invite them to come and be inspired, to treat each other with kindness and respect, and demonstrate the love that each of us has to offer here in Elkhart County."

Check out what was written inside its ear!

What can I say? When I saw that this elk wore the same
shade of lipstick that I do, I just couldn't resist!

I took this final photo. I was pleased to be able to capture the American flag unfurled in the background of this patriotic elk called "Made in the USA - RV Capital of the World". Elkhart is known for being a manufacturing center for recreation vehicles, also known as RVs.

I hope you've enjoyed this series of photo posts. To see more of my Outdoor Art photography, visit my flickr page.

Speak Up Librarian Goes Elk Hunting part 3

"Pop Art", intersection of
Jackson St. and Johnson St., Elkhart
I took this photo out the car window!

"Strength, Stamina, Agility"
Matterhorn Conference Center, Elkhart

"North, South, East, West - Home is Best"
Elkhart Municipal Building

"We're Going Places"
as seen at Goshen Public Library
This is a travelling elk.

"Heart of the Midwest"
Indiana University Health, Goshen

"Rooted from the Heart"
Old Bag Factory, Goshen

"Sweet Corn, Indiana"
Bullard's Farm Market, Elkhart

"Garden Elk"
Walker Park, Elkhart

Cummins Park, Bristol

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Speak Up Librarian Goes Elk Hunting part 2

Each photo is captioned with the title the artist(s) gave the elk as well as its location. All of these ones were in the city of Elkhart, Indiana.

"Congratulations, Elk Art", Christiana Creek Country Club

"Grow Up Great", PNC Bank

"Mr. Elk Goes to the Lerner", Civic Plaza South

"Hart of Harmony", Central Park

"And the Beat Goes On", RiverWalk

"Matty and the Bird", Civic Plaza North

"Simply Spring", Wellfield Gardens

"Botanical Garden", Wellfield Gardens

"Healing Heart", Havilah Beardsley Home

"Native American Tribute", Elkhart Clinic

My Elk Hunting Expedition in Elkhart County, Indiana

My Souvenir T-shirt

I recently visited Elkhart County, Indiana to see Elk Art on Parade. All around town, life size fiberglass elks, decorated by local artists, were on display. In November, the elks after being exhibited for five months, will be auctioned for charity. The proceeds will go to Child and Parent Services (CAPS), Elkhart County's non-profit child abuse prevention agency.

According to the Elk Art on Parade website, the elk was chosen because
When a calf (baby elk) is born, it spends the first year of its life with the herd. The entire herd takes responsibility for nurturing and protecting the calf for the first year until it is able to care for itself. This model is what we desire for Elkhart County’s children; a community where everyone takes responsibility for nurturing and protecting its young. CAPS continually strives to engage the community in keeping our young protected and nurtured.

Not to mention that elks are the symbol of the city of Elkhart as shown in the photos below:

Elk above the entrance to the Municipal Building

Elk on the pavement outside the Municipal Building

Elk on the side of a water storage tank

Elk logo at a country club

It was a lot of fun driving around town looking for the elks. I had a map of their locations, but better yet, I had a friend driving who had located them all beforehand.

I thought this one that proclaims "Greetings from Elkhart County" was the perfect starter. In my next two posts, I'll share a few favorite photos of the elks. You can see more photos of what I saw while experiencing Elk Art on Parade at flickr.

"Heart of the Midwest", Goshen, IN