Month: March 2012

Spring flowers after showers

Yesterday I found spring flowers hiding in the lee of a building while out walking the dog.

Amazingly enough, these photos were taken with my Apple iPhone 4S, then edited with Snapseed while on the iPhone and uploaded with the Snapbucket app.

Remind me why I have three digital cameras and a computer full of programs to manipulate digital photos.


It’s a dog’s life…cookies

I know that the dog is too spoiled when I take one of his specialty sandwich type cookies, twist them apart, offer him the one without the sweet filling on it in exchange for responding to a training command and he eyeballs me as if I am insane.

There is no response to “come” no lying on the floor in response to “down.”  He’s suddenly become deaf as a stone. He simply stares at the bare cookie half in my hand with disbelief in his eyes.

A minute later I twist the halves back together and his highness then deigns to do some training tricks in exchange for the entire cookie.  And to think that my old farm dog would come for kibble.

Meetings for the deaf and hard of hearing…

Generally speaking, there really aren’t any, unless I pay $45 an hour (portal to portal) for an interpreter – and can get the one I understand the best.

This week my local bar association is (once again) meeting in a bar for a social. Not only don’t I drink, the hubbub creates white noise blotting out any chance of hearing anyone.  I won’t be attending.

The last time I went to a local bar association “training” it was in a room off to the side of bar/pub and the noise was incredible.  I sat on a stool just to the side of the speaker (a judge), tried my best to speech read, and heard about a third of what she had to say.  Fortunately, there were printouts I could take back and read.  My local bar association doesn’t charge much for association dues so the concept of asking for a terp at all events has never crossed my mind.  It would bankrupt the association, unlike the state or Federal bar associations.  Still, I find myself quite frustrated.  I have not paid my dues this year and am pondering whether it is worth it to do so.

At hearings I can put in for Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) and I do fairly well in very small venues (administrative hearings, etc.) however as a long-time member of a 12-step program I find coping nightmarish except at the one Open AA meeting I found with interpreters. I figure a meeting is a meeting and the steps are the steps and as a non-drinker anyway I’m in a good place. :^)

Being Hard of Hearing can be very isolating.  It is like being dropped into a foreign land where you don’t understand the language – although hearing dishes being banged together always seems to come through loud and clear.  I find going to meetings online (chat rooms/typing) is the best method, but again, it is isolating because a part of fellowship is actually being in the presence of living, breathing people.

What to do, what to do… hmmmmmm

Adventures in cooking

A few days ago a friend of mine sent me a link to a youtube video about making baked eggs wrapped in bacon topped with cheese. Of course, the video makes it look easy and yummy.

This morning I got out some bacon, noticed it was thick, Applewood smoked and low sodium. What was I thinking when I got it? Oh, it was probably on sale. I browned it, noticing it sure had a lot of liquid that was not fat. Hmmmm

The dog jumped up and snagged the empty bacon wrapper on the counter and took off with it like a bolt of lightning. Because I’m not sold on dogs eating paper and plastic, we engaged in a game of “keep away” since even treats and the suggestion of trade did not work. Finally I poured some dog food in the bowl and poured some of the bacon liquid in there and that got his attention so I could get the mauled bacon wrapper.

By that time the first batch of bacon was brown without being crisp and set out to dry on some paper toweling. I was taking pans out of the oven and realized the light bulb was a smashed wreck in one of the pans. Note to self, turn off power to the oven before attempting to remove screw in bottom of bulb with needle nosed pliers to avoid zap!

Got out eggs, the super-jumbo ones I get from the local butcher shop and ponder if they might be just a tad too big for this particular use. Set aside. Get largest cup muffin pan. Spray with cooking spray, set aside. Pour bacon grease into refrigerator container, put second batch of bacon in the pan.

Line muffin cup with bacon strip torn in 2 for the bottom and one around the outside. Crack egg into muffin cup. Watch egg white run out of muffin cup and onto the glass stove top. Pause to get damp sponge. Check fridge. No smaller eggs. Shrug. Repeat process, pausing to rinse egg whites out of sponge on a regular basis. Note to self: Next time consider getting smaller eggs ahead of time. Finish cooking bacon, pour out all grease into chilled container. Sample small piece of left over bacon. Hmmmm, no flavor. Look at empty dog dish and wonder if I just fed him a tablespoon of flavorless grease. Shudder.

Salt the tops of the eggs, hoping it will make up for the flavorless bacon. Top with jalapeno jack and Mexican style shredded cheese. Ponder chances of tasteless bacon working. Place in 400 degree oven.

Fifteen minutes later … take out four baked eggs with puffy cheese tops. Looks just like the video. Attempt to remove said baked eggs from the stick-free pan. Ponder if neighbor has jack hammer I can borrow. Finally extract eggs, leaving heavy crust around the top of the muffin cup. Place pan in hot water to soak. So much for stick-free pans.

Cut into egg. Dry as dust. Note to self: 400 degrees for 15 minutes is waaaayyyy too long. Flavor – dull and lifeless. Note to self: reduced sodium bacon = bad idea. Eyeball dog. Can’t feed him any more right now or he’ll urp. Consider bathing eggs in salsa on the reheat.

Not something to serve to company.

It’s a party…what did you say?

Tonight I went to an open house for a law office.  The office comprises an entire floor in a building and there were rooms full of food, tubs of beer, and in the back was karaoke.

Outside the air was cool, but not cold, the wind was rather pleasant and except for the cigarette smoke (gag, hack) it would have been a very nice place to hang loose. But life being as it is, I ventured in to congratulate the new office owner.  She was in a conference, which I am guessing was not actually on the agenda, since she was missing her own shindig.

The further into the office I got the louder the noise, Until I got into karaoke land and realized that I could distinguish absolutely no sound other than pounding music. People walked up and talked to me and even lip reading was beyond me.  I just stared around for a minute or two, contemplated unplugging the speakers, and then had an “Elvis has left the building” moment.  I was over my head. So I left.

I am told that the hearing can’t hear either. Which begs the question of why anyone would bother to go somewhere they are effectively deafened. Boggles my mind. Before I accept an invitation to such an event again I need to consider whether I need an ASL interpreter and then if the terp could hear anything to interpret.  That’s a question, isn’t it?

Everything makes noise

This is not a news flash to most folks.  The thing is, I simply do not remember what it was like to be a fully hearing person.  I lost the hearing on my left side when I was 18 months old and the hearing on the right has been edging down ever since due to nerve degeneration. My hearing is at the lowest it has ever been since I got clipped on the noggin and all this got started, yet thanks to my new Phonak BTE my world is alive with sound.  This is both good and bad.

When the little dog in my life – the one with who does the enormous full-throated Cujo imitation – let’s loose when I’ve got my aid in I find myself in full startle response.  Just how high can I levitate off a chair? And where did that sound volume come from? He can’t have vocal cords long enough to do that, can he?

That strange noise at the top of the stairway was my roomie’s cat hissing at the dog. I never really understood how weird a hiss sounded like before. It is like something you’d expect from some alien thing invading our world. Well, on the other hand, maybe they did. We did used to worship them as gods at one point.

I was going crazy trying to find out what the noise was in the bathroom until I finally realized it was the wall clock ticking off seconds. And that unclassifiable sound? Why that’s the hot air being forced up the vents from the furnace.

And my roomie wonders why, when I am at home, I sometimes take out my hearing aid and, like Braveheart, scream “Freedom!”