Monday, July 31, 2006


I heard another "new" sound yesterday. I went to Ohio this past weekend to visit relatives and to go to a family reunion. As I was cruising on the highway, I heard bugs hitting my car! I hadn't heard that before. I'll add more to this later because I'm exhausted and need to go to bed. . .

Monday, July 10, 2006


I've discovered a new sound that I don't like. . . .locusts! I have been hearing them for the last few nights but knew they weren't crickets or birds. It is a rather piercing sound. They sound like wheezing bugs with really bad asthma! Jason came home tonight and told me what that sound was. . .more later. . .

Friday, July 07, 2006

Just Me and My Husband

Steve and I recently had pictures taken for the church directory. Here is the result! (Our kids were not home and unavailable for a photo session.)

(Isn't he sweet?!!!)

A Rose from my Garden

"Won't you come into the garden?
I would like my roses to see you."
~ Richard B Sheridan 1751-1816

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

July 4th

"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism." Erma Bombeck

Today is the 4th of July. I thought I would start off with a quote from one of my favorite humorists, Erma Bombeck. Erma lived in my hometown of Dayton, Ohio and I think my mom read every single one of her books. I read them, too, as well as her column in the Dayton Daily News, and loved her quick wit. Now that I think about it, I think Erma helped Mom keep her sanity through some of her difficult times. Laughter is truly good medicine! I still have Erma's books and should get them out again.

Some more hearing joys: Fireworks and music are great together! Steve and I went to see the fireworks on Saturday night but we saw them from a distance on purpose to avoid the crowd and traffic. We have a "secret" place in downtown Maryville that is high and overlooks the city and that is where we parked. I brought my knitting along and Steve played his video game on his phone until dark. (Our kids tell us we are "boring old people" but we are quite content to relax and sit with each other!) When the fireworks started, I could hear every pop, crash, boom, and bang even though we were several miles away. The best part was the music on the local radio station in the car that was synchronized with the fireworks show. I even recognized the Star Spangled Banner as it played on the radio and knew when the show was almost over. Our viewing spot turned out to be a perfect balance to listen and watch at the same time. If we had been right underneath the fireworks, it would have been too loud for me and would have drowned out the music on the radio. So, we enjoyed the show and I enjoyed my "independence" of hearing for 8 months!

I'm still discovering "new sounds" but they are gradual over a period of time. My hearing journey seems to level off and then it takes off again in spurts with a new sound or discovery. And then it plateaus again. I'm beginning to feel like a normal hearing person like everyone else and forget that I have a hearing loss. It's amazing how the smallest or simplest changes have made my life a little bit easier. Several weeks ago on Father's Day, Marissa and her boyfriend took us to see the movie, "Cars." I wasn't really crazy about going to the movie theatre again because it is still difficult to understand EVERYTHING without close captioning. I still prefer to watch movies at home. But, watching a show forces me to practice without it and I wanted to spend some time with the family. To my surprise, I was able to hear and understand "car lips" and caught words and phrases here and there. I even heard, "Where is McQueen?" as well as several other phrases. It was enough to help me understand what the movie was about. The movie was a cartoon, which helps because the animation makes the storyline easier to follow. Also, one thing that I did was to switch my processor to the telecoil setting (the one I use for the phone) and the sound in the movie theatre came in much better with the surround sound system. I'm wondering if the theatre has a special "loop" for telecoil and I just happened to discover it. When sounds are too loud or distorted for me, I just switch to telecoil. It seems to work better than the BEAM program in some situations (I do this in church, too.) By the way, the movie is GREAT! It's a wonderful movie for ANY generation. You have to go see it!

Talk Radio: I've been listening to talk radio in the car when I drive. I have NO CLUE what the subject matter is but I'm doing it for auditory practice. I do catch words and phrases here and there. Numbers are the easiest. I hear phrases like "thank you for joining us today", "and now," "I can't believe. . ." "the next song. . ." "brought to you by. . ." - just to name a few. One of these days I'll be able to enjoy a whole program. I've downloaded several Podcasts to my iPod and practice listening to those as well. The advantage to that is that I know what the subject matter is.

Auditory therapy: Still working on k's and t's. I seem to have trouble with them at the BEGINNING of a word (tab - cab, take - cake, tan - can, tap - cap, etc) because I don't have any vowel sound clues. But I get them with no problem at the END of a word (back - bat). When Susie, my audiologist, reads to me I'm understanding most of what she says. (Remember, I'm not reading her lips.) She only has to repeat a word or sentence once or twice if I don't get it. She still slows down her pace for me but is slowly speeding up a little. She found a good website for auditory practice called Focus on English and I work with it at least once a day.

I need to stop and make some Snickerdoodles for Brad before he goes back to Virginia today. Those are his favorite cookies! He flew home on Sunday for two days to be with us for the holiday weekend. It is nice to have him home again. I'll close this entry with a verse from Psalm 33:12, which sums up my 4th of July weekend. "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind: from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth. . ."

P.S. (Added later. . .) When I tried to let the dogs out before going to bed, they refused to move. No amount of coaxing could get them to go outside. Then I heard some "popping" sounds. Neighborhood firecrackers and fireworks! Riga and Maddie do not like them at all (they're afraid of storms, too.) I even heard the fireworks IN the house - it sounded like popcorn popping!