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Monday, February 27, 2012

I Want All My Friends to Read This

Today a dear friend handed me an article cut out from Sunday's newspaper. The clipping was a My Turn story by a hard of hearing woman. It began

Imagine yourself in a country where nobody speaks your language. It becomes a necessity to rely on your other senses and hone your powers of observation...Each situation is stressful: Will you be a participant or an observer?

In twelve paragraphs, author Terri Goldstein eloquently describes what life is like for a hard of hearing person, someone who's not deaf but not quite hearing either. She writes about having to plan carefully for social success all the while dreading the inevitable gaffes that are so very mortifying. She even spells out exactly the kind of friend needed to make communication less stressful.

After reading the article, I wrote a quick thank you email to my friend saying, "I wish all of my friends could read it!" Fortunately, they can as the story is available online through the LA Times. I highly recommend this article to you all.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lenten Opportunity

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent in the Christian faith. At church last night I picked up a sheet of recommendations on how to observe a Holy Lent. Reading through it I noticed that the adoption of a Lenten discipline is strongly encouraged.

To be honest, I'm not a very disciplined person or even holy minded* for that matter. But in spite of my failings, I've decided to use Lent this year as a new way of experiencing my faith - through ASL. My church doesn't offer sign language interpretation, but I often find myself thinking about how the beautiful words of the liturgy might be expressed in ASL. During Lent, I'm going to look online and see what I can learn.

My first goal is to learn the Lord's Prayer in ASL. I found the video below on YouTube. If you know of any other websites or videos that would be helpful, please let me know.

*Doesn't it seem strangely funny that the sign for devil was chosen as the thumbnail for this video of the Lord's Prayer?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Visual Valentine for You

My valentine to the readers of Speak Up Librarian:

 About the making of this video:

This short movie is another one of my experiments in visual expression. I've seen similar slide shows on the internet set to music. I chose to have no audio track for this one and to use visual effects instead to provide interest when the photos change. As I accept my hearing loss and focus less on the sounds around me, I have found there is a beautiful world of colors, patterns, textures, and contrasts for me to discover and appreciate. I hope you enjoy the photos and have a happy Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cooking from Scratch: My Friend's Cookbook

I had the pleasure to attend a book signing for my friend Ann's recently published cookbook called Cooking from Scratch. Ann was encouraged by a close family friend to write down her wonderful recipes and her philosophy on why cooking from scratch is the best method.

When she started compiling the cookbook, she found she had to make her recipes over and over until she had the instructions thoroughly written out. She knew how to make everything by heart and how to add a little of this and a little of that to make her dishes come out right but she needed to spell it out for the rest of us.

Ann's book contains some gluten free recipes which was of interest to many at the book signing. It is also formatted so that it will stand up on the counter rather than lie flat. Another extra is the cooking related stories by various authors sprinkled throughout the book. You can read more about Cooking from Scratch on the book's website. I know I'm looking forward to trying her 60 minute dinner rolls recipe.

The ginger snaps and chocolate chip cookies she brought to the book signing received rave reviews. Congratulations, Ann!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

J88 Driver's License Designation

After I heard about J88 through this news broadcast, I had it put on my drivers license. In the process of getting my new license, I asked about having my Restriction F for hearing aids removed. I was told if I could pass a vision test, I could have it taken off as the restriction requires a motorist to have 2 outside mirrors and can also apply to drivers with visual problems. I had no problem passing the test. Best of all, my new license was given to me free of charge.
Here's more information on the “J88” — Deaf/Hard of Hearing Driver’s License courtesy of the Secretary of State's A Guide to Services: Serving Senior Citizens, Persons with Disabilities and Veterans.
“J88” is a notation on a driver’s license that alerts law enforcement officers before approaching a vehicle that a motorist is deaf or hard of hearing. Following is how the “J88” notation works:
  • Request the “J88” notation be added to your driver’s license at any Secretary of State Driver Services facility. “J88” will appear on both the front and back of your driver’s license.
  • Include your driver’s license number on your vehicle registration to link the two together.
  • If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer, he/she will run your license plate or driver’s license number, and a “Deaf/Hard of Hearing: Uses Alternative Communication” message will appear. The officer will then know to use alternative communication.
  • You must request the “J88” notation. No forms or Secretary of State personnel will ask you to include it on your driver’s license.

What do you think of this program?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sweetest Dog Ever

Sweetest Dog Ever

Rusty - after getting into a pound of brown sugar
that was left on the table.  Look at that guilty face!
My husband came home and caught him in the act.
He even had pieces of the plastic wrapping stuck
in his fur. Incredibly, he wasn't sick afterwards.