To pee or not to pee, that is the question..

Have you ever noticed that when you take a dog out to use the “outdoor bathroom” that the dog has to sniff and turn around 10 times and then decide another place is better?  And sometimes decides it doesn’t smell good enough to pee so they refuse to go and then get hysterical when you reach the door – so you have to go back out again?

Just once I’d like to see a human walk around the house, sniffing the floor the walls, the curtains, and find their way to the toilet. Then there could be a sniffing crisis if the seat was up – or down.  Walk around the bathroom with nose to the base of the toilet

“Hey! this isn’t clean enough!”

“I can smell bleach here!”

“What’s that blue stuff ?”

“To pee or not to pee, that is the question.  Whether ’tis nobler to … “

Oh for Goddess sake, would you just go? 

But no, hearing or deaf, sighted or blind, we humans simply bumble our way into the Water Closet, the Bathroom, the Lavatory, the Toilet – and we sit upon the throne and then leave.  Perhaps we should make the same ritual out of it that dogs do.  Imagine the lines at sporting events.


It’s all perspective in the end

I “hear” hearies railing about how deafies don’t listen and deafies railing about how hearies drive them nuts – and then there are the HoH who consider themselves “hearing impaired” which the Deaf find offensive since they are merely deaf, not impaired.  There are the Deaf enough to be Deaf Culture and the deaf who are not Deaf Culture and then the Deaf who are idolized for coming from generations of Deaf parents and grandparents.  The Deaf find the deaf annoying and usually are totally anti-CI and then the CI crowd finds the Deaf who don’t believe in CI’s to be old sticks in the mud.  So there!  Sounds like life happening.  🙂

What brought up this stream of consciousness is Baby Dog.  I take ‘Kinley out to “potty” several times a day.  Unlike some areas of the country, we have lots of bugs – honey bees, wasps (some absolutely gigantic!), and also bumblebees.  Now, bumblebees are the giants of the bee kingdom, in general.  And when they are bumbling from one clover flower to the next they can give Baby Dog quite a start.  I got to thinking.  That bumblebee is as big as her nose.  Maybe a bit bigger.  Can you imagine a bumblebee as big as YOUR NOSE flying up to say “Hello!“?

Yeah, me neither.  No wonder she jumps and runs.  If I had a bee that size come over to bid me a good morning I’d probably wonder if this were Jurassic Park or something.  It is bad enough with the wasps that are the size of half-dollars (I kid thee not).  They occasionally terrorized the 17 year old granddaughter when she tries coming in the front door.  I didn’t believe her until I saw one myself.

So, as with virtually all things, it is all a matter of perspective.  From my perspective she is just perfect, but I think from her perspective she’d like to be a bit bigger than the bumblebees.

Note:  Follow the link to learn more about the bumblebee.  They are really quite remarkable creatures!

Fun things about being hard of hearing

I was listening to a some commentary and swore to Buddha I heard the person refer to reviewing a “tit sheet.”  I admit to sitting there, stunned for a few moments, until I realized the speaker was talking about a “tip sheet.”  It could have just as easily been a “tit sheep” I suppose.

The bottom line is that those of us with hearing loss in the “speech banana” (see below) part of the audiogram usually have problems getting some easily confused words.  It may seem clear as a bell to a fully hearing person, but for those of us with hearing loss it is as confusing as they’re, there, and their to those who  have no idea how to use the words.

I’ve just discovered that “trunk” shouted from upstairs and around the corner could as easily be “bunk” and requires a trip upstairs and around the corner to figure out what’s being asked of me.  And even when I figured out it was “trunk” I thought it was about a car rather than a cedar chest.

And so life goes…

Eh?  What’s that you just said? Maybe it would be easier to just text…  I’m now green with envy since I know someone with a CI who now has only “mild” hearing loss whilst I’m not a candidate for a CI.   😦

Nod to for the speech banana graphic

Hiking HoH

Today was so nice out the dog got walked twice.  In fact, I awoke early and did the first tour of the neighborhood while the sky was still brightening – and also took some photos for the photoblog.  Later the roomie took the dog on another peregrination of the local streets.  About 10 a.m. I decided to take him for a longer walk so we drove to Weir Hill.  I should have just walked, but then I’d have had to lug his carcass home because he’d poop out by the time we got there – as in he’d be unconscious with his body wrapped around my neck whimpering “Take me home!”  I have to get his stamina up. Anyway, I figured it was early enough not to run into many dog folks.  So I decided – what do I need a hearing aid for?  You’d have thought I’d have learned from the store experience.

So, we’re walking up the hill and Duke the dog is doing his “Oh, my, other dogs have been here – let me smell!” thing and I’m trying to be accommodating while still going UP the hill.  Then, in the splendid silence that is my world I realized the dog is freaking out.  As in – there is something in the leaves and pine needles.

Wiki media – brown common garter snake

It was a nice size tan garter snake, minding it’s own business.  Probably Duke scared the poor thing out of a year’s growth.  I wondered if I’d have heard rustling of leaves or something rather than just realizing the dog was about ready to levitate off the ground.  I’m not really worried about rattle snakes here, but then I got to wondering if they actually have them in New England.

Back to working our way up the hill, which is basically on paths that appear to have been developed by spring runoff and other walkers/hikers – pretty much the kind of path you need to pay attention to unless one wants a broken ankle.  And since my daughter broke her leg/ankle in four places (and dislocated it in about as many places) this time last year I was looking where I was going.  SURPRISE!  Fortunately the big wet dog was nice and happy to see us.  Big overgrown waterdog pup.  So was the second one.

I wonder how much noise these dogs and their owners make when you can hear?  Do hearing people know other people are coming? I suppose so.  

The last dog was a lovely Alaskan Malemute – one of my favorite dogs of all time.  Lovely bitch with impeccable manners.  I was trying to talk with her owner when suddenly he didn’t have any voice and I realized he was totally out of range (which is a few steps or just turning away).  Oh, well…

Got back to the car, fished the hearing aid out of the case, put it on and wondered what I missed by hiking half-deaf.  Tomorrow is another (better hearing) day.

Sugar cubes, handkerchiefs and horses

As a HoH kid growing up in rural Idaho I quickly discovered that I could relate to animals – especially dogs and horses – better than to most people. Why? Well, because horses and dogs don’t talk with words, they talk with their entire being – as if they were deaf.  You can read ears, tail swishes, quivers, and snorts or growls.  They are total communication creatures.

I never really understood why I got along so well with farm animals until recently. I’ve been reading two books sort of simultaneously. One is Zoobiquity and it talks about the treasure trove of information Veterinarians have on medical problems that relate to the human animal as well as all the critters they are trained to treat.  The other is a book called Animals Make Us Human by Temple Grandin.  I  highly recommend these books for the physical and emotional insights provided.

In particular, the Grandin book explains to me why I was largely so simpatico with dogs and horses.  They communicate in ways I could see and respond to. As a HoH kid I was very attuned to behaviors rather than words – to expressions.  To this day, I remember faces far more easily than names.  I learn how to get places by landmarks rather than written directions (turn left, go 1/4 mile, etc.).  I see seasons change – don’t need a calendar to tell me when to plant or harvest.

When I was in my mid-teens I realized that I could train my colt to perform tricks.  I’d already taught his dam (mother)

Thanks to Superwoman 79, photobucket, for a good likeness of my former colt.

to drink out of a soda bottle by holding it between her teeth and lifting up her head so it drained into her mouth.  Cute trick, but in this case I decided to do something Gemini could make a name for himself with.

It began with a sugar cube and a handkerchief.

First I presented him with a sugar cube – beloved by all horses (although not particularly good for them).  And he lipped it off my palm with great gusto.  Then I put a bandana on my palm and put the sugar cube on it.  In a little while I folded the handkerchief over the sugar cube and he learned that either a red or blue bandana equaled a yummy sugar cube.  I started sticking the bandana and sugar cube in an easily accessed pocket.

Soon, every time he saw a farm worker with a handkerchief in his back pocket that little horse would sneak up, lip the edge of the bandana and sort of nudging the guy with his head in an affectionate manner until he could get a corner of the handkerchief with his teeth and pull it out.  Then he’d lift his head and trot off, waving the bandana like a flag.  Triumph!  And sometimes he’d curl his upper lip back in a horse laugh.

Just shows what a HoH kid who is into behaviors can pull off with one little sorrel half-Arabian colt and a Quarter Horse mare.

Like Grandin says, animals make us human.  🙂

ASL Meetup #2

We missed David from Deaf In Prison tonight.  Seems he was tied up somewhere.  Hope, not literally.

Someone asked me this week if I was concerned about going to heavily populated areas because of the risk of being bombed.  I responded that I cannot live my life in fear.  That being said, when I was with a customer this week who was lugging a black backpack I locked it in the car trunk once he didn’t need it in the store – no point in scaring the natives.

Anyway, we had a good turnout at the Meetup and I reflected on how relaxed I am there.  I am still learning and sometimes I don’t “get” the sign, but just as I do for others, people finger-spell the word for me.  It is so relaxing to be somewhere I can understand what is being said.

12 people there tonight (myself) This panoramic function is sort of fun.

It’s also interesting because no one tries to talk over someone else.  We only have two eyes so we have to take turns talking.  Doesn’t mean there can’t be more than one conversation going on because we have enough folks to have various conversations going on, but no one jumps in and interrupts unless it is to say, “excuse me” (moving between two people to go somewhere) or flapping a hand at someone to get their attention for some reason.  In some ways sign can seem rude (like the old sign for “fat”), yet on the other hand, people don’t talk all over each other like hearing people do.

One gal and I wondered if the reason we have such a hard time with names is that we don’t recognize voices the same way hearing people do.  Then a hearing signer said she has trouble with names as well.  There goes that theory.  🙂

We continue to be a fun mix of the deaf, the hard of hearing, the hearing, and people who want to learn to be ASL Interpreters. Who knows, maybe someday you — dear readers — will end up signing at a Meetup somewhere and thinking, “Wow, this is just totally cool and neat.” 😉

Out with the old, in with the new

Apparently it was time for an update.  I was bored silly with the grey on grey of the prior theme.  Granted, it did focus on the text, but… this one has a bit more verve to it.  And I admit that I am color starved this dreary spring. So, voila! We now have red and blue as well as a bit of beige to make the words “pop.”

Speaking of “in with the new,” I’ve been using my iCom more now that I replaced the charger cord.  For those of you who are not sure what an iCom is, it is made by Phonak (maybe other brands have similar items – I dunno) and it can be used for a variety of things.  I can listen to iTunes using the iCom and my bluetooth hearing aid.  Only the sound isn’t all that loud for places like the gym.  And, I admit, that sometimes I do something – bump something – and suddenly I’ll hear The Eagles wailing “Desperado….why don’t you come to your senses…” and start looking around to see where the sound is coming from.  So, mostly, I avoid the musical functions I can access with it.

The iCom really makes life better for me when I am on the telephone.  Since my only phone is my iPhone that means I am one of those annoying people who do talk on their cell phone in public.  And I’m Hard of Hearing and trying to talk loud enough for the iCom to pick up my voice.  You get the picture… And to make it worse, there is no headset hanging off my ear with a flashing light.  I sometimes see folks with what looks like a large metal beetle on their head and they’re talking to themselves – but the metal beetle has a flashing light so I know they are on the phone.  Not so with me since my hearing aid does not come with a flashing light to indicate a connection.  And, honestly, I think I’d rather not have an LED flashing in my ear.  No, I just look like a well-groomed street person talking to herself.  Except I have the iCom hanging around my neck.  Not exactly a fashion accessory and I’m sometimes asked what the heck it is – a fair question.  At least I’ve never been confused for a mad bomber as I once was while wearing a different type of FM loop system.  Things are less stressful at the Federal Court these days since apparently bombs and iCom are not closely associated.

The only problem with the iCom is that it eats up battery life in my hearing aid like batteries are free and it runs out of steam fairly rapidly.  I’m not sure how to keep it charged during the day and I don’t have the money to get multiple ones.  I suppose that’s a problem for another day.