Monday, September 28, 2009


Hi All!

First - a comment on the carpet cleaning. It went very well even though our carpets were not very dirty (thanks to Hubby!). The whole no bare feet thing . . . I am not sure why you can't walk on the carpet in bare feet. Maybe the oils from the feet? Maybe it was Hubby overreacting? In Hubby's opinion, it is because your bare feet attract more dirt than rubber soles. Who know????

Yesterday I had quite a busy day. First I went to the New Life Deaf Fellowship church. I met my friend Beth and her boyfriend, Zach - who is deaf, and Beth's mother, Gina. After church we went to eat at a very good Mexican restaurant - whose name I totally forget! I was very happy because I had been craving a good Mexican meal for a while.

It was a fun time talking to everyone and getting to practice my sign language skills which seem to be a bit wild lately. That is probably because of the funk I have been in for a while. A funk really keeps the brain from working correctly!

After I got home from lunch I headed back home to get my grocery list together to go to the grocery store. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Then it was back home to get everything put away and pick up Hubby to go out to eat at Boston Market and shopping at Sam's Club. However, we ran into a slight roadblock! Apparently, Sam's closes earlier than we realized on Sundays so . . . it was closed! There went my plans to buy cups and napkins for work! I will have to see if I can get to a Sam's today between lunch with my friend M and class tonight. Keep your fingers crossed.

Well, as exciting as this blog has been (I know, I know! I need to do something more exciting in my life!), I am going to have to post now so that I can get ready for my luncheon date and class.

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and have a terrific Monday!


Voice Update: Still working, still working. My voice has a few more breaks in it that I would like - right now the main "culprit" seems to be the "hard t" sound. It is even worse when it is combines with some other sound that I can't identify as in the word two. More exercises and more massage!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Clean Carpet!

Hi All!

The Stanley Steamer Carpet Cleaners are in the house!

As you may or may not know, Hubby is a bit . . . shall we say . . . overly concerned about cleanliness. He is the real cleaner in our family and one of his "pet peeves" is the carpet.

While choosing the carpet for our house, Hubby wanted a really light beige color - almost white. I was trying to go for something much darker - so it wouldn't show dirt - but I was over ruled. At the time, I told Hubby that we could have the lighter carpet but he would be in charge of vacuuming (I have bad associations with vacuuming which I will have to blog about some other day). Hubby agreed.

Much to my amazement, Hubby has been true to his word. In fact, he vacuums almost every single day. Much of this is due to the fact that we have two medium/long hair cats who like to spontaneously shed clumps of hair. Our carpets are always pretty darn clean.

However, about two or three weeks ago, Hubby began to look at the carpet and mutter under his breath. Then, I started finding coupons for carpet cleaning companies on the kitchen island. A while later I found print outs of carpet cleaning company information on the printer.

Knowing that Hubby likes to mull things over before actually discussing them, I didn't say much. One evening, Hubby asked if I thought the carpet needed cleaning. Having already noticed the clues about what he was thinking, I smothered my instinctive response of "I don't think they need cleaning - they look good to me!" and instead responded with, "Well, it has been ten years so they probably could use it."

That was the right response since Hubby had already made up his mind that we needed the carpet cleaned in our living room.

Well, today the carpet cleaners are here. As I type they are cleaning away. The cats are shut up in the master bedroom with some catnip to soothe them and I have freshly cleaned, rubber-soled shoes for when I need to walk across the newly cleaned carpet.

Apparently, you can't walk in bare feet on cleaned carpet. Who knew?


Voice Update: Going pretty well. If I try to speak too loudly it isn't a good thing but . . . I am still working on it! Did I mention that at the hockey game this week I couldn't talk too much - the background was just way too loud. I ended up having to talk in Hubby's ear. Frustrating but I think that is going to be the way things are for the rest of my life.

Friday, September 25, 2009

55, Foggy, and Friday!

Hi All!

Well, it is finally Friday! Not that this week was particularly difficult but, it did come with its own set of "issues." However, I survived them all and am now sitting here blogging about Friday!

In a while I will head off to the Deaf Action Center to see my friends and to spend some time signing. As usual, I will probably leave the center in a better mood than when I got there.

Let's hope so anyway since I am in a funk. A 55 degree, foggy, Friday funk. All I want to do is curl up under the covers and sleep the day away. And I am not really sure why.

But - did I mention that it is 55 and foggy? In Texas in September?



Voice Update: Did some more vocal work yesterday but not enough -as usual. *sigh*

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Class Dynamics

Hi All!

Whenever you get a group of people together, it is always interesting to see how the group dynamics work. Usually one person - or maybe a small core of people, depending on the size of the class - emerges as the " leader." Others show their "flare" for following. And then there is that one person (again - maybe more if the group is bigger) who just naturally gravitates to the bottom of the pile.

In addition, you can have the clown of the group, the mother of the group, and ,many other roles.

Sometimes it takes a person's absence from the group to reveal his/her true role in the group dynamic.

Last night, I discovered the role of Frack in our class dynamic. He was absent from class last night and, let me tell you, it made quite a difference! Last night we actually learned things! We worked our way through the written material pretty steadily with the occasional divergence into clarifying conversations and discussions. Amazing! I actually left class feeling like I had accomplished something instead of like I was ready to kill someone!

Frick even fell in line. She was much less distracted and much more focused. Yes, she did wander off into her own personal "la-la land" once or twice but . . . much better than when Frack is in class.

Interesting, don't you think? Now I am just trying to figure out what Frack's specific role in the class dynamic is . . . distraction?


Voice Update: Okay - no more dilly-dallying! I am stepping up my vocal exercises. No more putting it off. Every single time I am in the car I do those darn exercises before listening to anything on the radio. At every red light I massage. I will whip this voice into better shape. I will!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Hi All!

Yes, Hubby and I went to the Star's hockey game last night and it was fun (except for the killer headache I had been fighting all day and which REALLY didn't like the noise and flashing lights at the game!)!

I whipped out my camera and took some shots - not very good because I don't have a terrific zoom or a professional behind the lens - but . . . fun!

First of all - TWO Zambonis! These huge machines fascinate me. In fact, the last time I went to a hockey game I had to come home and hit the computer to find out just how the darn things work. They are fascinating to me!

Next up - TWO inflatable blimps! A chili pepper from Chili's and a burrito from Chipotle. I kept waiting to see them fight in mid-air but, alas, it never happened!

My action shots are a bit blurry but . . . we had good seats. Not right on the glass but we could see everything!

Including the fights. In this one, one of the officials got taken down in the scuffle!

One shot I wanted to get all night was when an entire line change happens and the players swarms over the boards. This is as close as I got!

Again -an example of my action photography!
I have good shots of another fight that happened in mid rink but I think that is enough hockey for one day.
I just love saying that word!
Voice Update: So-so. I am having some allergy issues so that means drainage and THAT means my voice is struggling. However - since I don't have to work today (YEAH!) I can catch a nap and hopefully be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for class tonight. My first time going to class this semester without rushing to leave work. Wow. New experiences!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Because I Like to Say "Hockey!"

Hi All!

Well, I survived Monday - even with work and class! Yeah! I will admit that it was a LOOOOOONG day! Work wasn't bad but I am so ready to be done with this temporary gig. Let's all pray for L, okay?

Class. Well, class was . . . okay. Henry, the teacher, finally told the class that he doesn't mind if we are behind on the actual "written stuff" as long as we interact with each other in ASL and have "real life" conversations. I can tell you that we have a LOT of those in our class! In fact, last night we had so many that we didn't even finish one half of a "written" lesson!

That frustrates me a little but, I am trying to just "let it go."

It was interesting that Frick singled me out in class as the "only person who controls herself and doesn't go off on tangents during class." What could I say? That I think it is a huge waste of time to go off on tangents (usually about politics in this class thanks, in large part, to Frack!) when there is work to do? That I don't mind having discussions as long as it is related IN SOME WAY to what we are supposed to be learning? That I would rather complete everything first and THEN have a discussion?

Oh well. Letting it go. Letting it go. Letting it go.

Breathe in . . . .let it out.

Okay. Let's see . . . .

Did I tell you that it is only 66 degrees this morning? No? Well, it was! I was actually a little chilly when I started my walk! It felt so good to start out on the chilly side instead of the hot and sweaty side! Now, by the end of the walk I was sweating but . . . that is good, right? Yeee-haaw!

Tonight Hubby and I are going to a hockey game. It is preseason but - it is free! We got free tickets from our car shopping experience this weekend (at least we got something!). So - we are heading to the hockey game tonight.

Hockey is something that Hubby and I enjoy. When we still lived in Cleveland we went with some regularity to the minor league hockey games. The games were a blast and a half!

Since moving to Texas, we haven't seen too many games. Primarily because we have a major league team in town - the Stars - and, to be honest, the tickets are just a bit pricey! However, tonight we get to indulge!

Why, you may ask, do Hubby and I like hockey? Say the word hockey a few times. Go ahead - I'll wait.

Doesn't it feel nice to say hockey? It is a fun word to say! That, my friends, is why we like hockey!


Voice Update: Doing okay. My neck is "tight" and this morning my allergies seem to be acting up resulting in some pretty huge sneezes which make my throat hurt! Rats, rats, double rats!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Light Switches and Lettuce

Hi All!

Yesterday was a weird mix of busy and lazy for me. Hubby and I headed to church in the morning (well, the late morning), came home and I vegged. I ended up taking a nap! Then, I woke up and hit the ground running!

I went to the grocery store. I cooked a pork roast for my lunches/dinners this week. I washed dishes. I sewed a new little pouch for my sunglasses. I planted kitty grass. I planted lettuce. I talked to my friend from Ohio.

What's that? Oh - yes. I planted lettuce. I know it is fall but, since it doesn't get that cold in my neck of the woods, I thought I would try to grow some lettuce. Normally, it gets too hot in the summer here for lettuce to do very well. Fall seems like the perfect time to grow some of the leafy, green stuff. I will keep you updated on its progress.

While I was doing all of my busy work, Hubby was busy himself. He is replacing all of our normal light switches with "rocker" switches. You know, the kind that you just click one end of the rectangle to turn it on and the other to turn it off! They look fabulous. However, they did make my indoor work a bit "interesting" because to install them Hubby turned off the electricity! I felt almost like a pioneer working in the dusk. However, my electric stove and my electric refrigerator were still working - on different breakers than the lights!

That is pretty much what happened around here this weekend. We did go shopping for a new car again - again no luck but . . . we are getting closer!

Today I go to work and class and hope that things are fabulous! I have decided that Frick and Frack - while really needing a good swift kick - are just going to be ignored. They are NOT worth the time I am spending on them!


Voice Update: Doing okay. Having some breaks - due to stress?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Good Morning Neighborhood!

Hi All!

Come along on my walk this morning! It is a nice, cool morning.

The sun is just making its appearance as we head down the street.

The "golf ball like" mushrooms.

One of my "fairy circles."

This isn't really dew - just from the sprinklers - but it looks neat, all the same!

Another "fairy circle!"

Some of our wild sunflowers!

Morning Glories drape all over this wrought iron fence.

Magnolia seed pods. Aren't they weird?

A dragonfly held still to get his/her picture taken!

It looks like Fall is coming!

Another mushroom which has "opened."

Sort of pretty, isn't it?

The rain also has brought out the fire ant mounds. Don't step on those!

Heading towards the back yard to water the flowers, I stop to take a look at my cactus. It is looking pretty good, don't you think?

It has a neat texture on it!

A Moonflower bud. I love how they spiral!

Look who is waiting for me to come in the door!
How did you enjoy the walk?
Voice Update: Doing fine but still a bit crunchy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mushroom Circles

Hi All!

Happy Friday to everyone!

I am moving in a sort of slow motion this fine morning. I didn't sleep well for some reason - kept waking up about every hour or so - and now my body is trying to tempt me back to bed. However, I want to head to the Deaf Action Center this morning so I am fighting it!

Another side effect to the lack of sleep is that my brain isn't functioning at its normal level. There are about three different ideas for blogs running around up there but, somehow, nothing is coming out correctly so . . .

Let's talk about mushrooms!

Lately, we have been getting more than our usual share of rain in this area. I have lost track of the total but it is more than 8 inches now. This unusual moisture content is causing an explosion in the wild (and probably poisonous) mushroom population. There are mushrooms practically everywhere.

As I was walking this morning, I took some time to enjoy the mushrooms. They start out as little golf ball shaped things. Then they grow into elongated golf balls and eventually, they open like tiny umbrellas into their more traditional mushroom shape. Not only that, but, in several yards they are organized in neat, almost perfect, circles.

While I have absolutely no clue as to why mushrooms would grow in a circle, I seem to remember something about rings of mushrooms being called "fairy circles" or something similar. This tickles my fancy. Imagining tiny fairies creeping out in the night to frolic and party in these mushroom circles. Maybe they sit on the mushrooms when their minuscule feet are tired from dancing and watch the others continue the fun. Miniature fairy babies might sleep under the canopy of the mushrooms, exhausted from the festivities.

Can't you almost see it?


Voice Update: Doing okay. I still need to do some more work on my massage - my throat is a bit crunchy these days. Also, I need to work on my "t's" since I have trouble with words with an initial t sound. The work never stops!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Peter Principle

Hi All!

From your comments on yesterday's post, I am relieved to know that I am not the only person who was unaware of Acorn prior to the past election! However, at the same time I am a bit amazed that so many of us have never heard of such an organization when President Obama was involved with Acorn before he was elected and before he was running for President. How exactly did HE get involved?

Oh well!

Yesterday was a pretty good day. At work, L told me that she was good coming in alone so I can have today off! Yeah! In fact, we are now entering a phase where I don't have to work unless she has a doctor's appointment or chemo or is sick. Sounds good, doesn't it?

So . . .. what will I do with my day of "freedom?" I am thinking I might spend some time at the ASL lab and then take a nap. Doesn't that sound like a lot of fun?

Speaking of ASL - class last night was . . .okay. Frick and Frack (formerly Gabby and New Mexico) were a bit better but still in rare form. Frack was saying before class that he was frustrated because Henry picks on him so much. He said that he thought the reason was because he wants to eventually teach ASL as a second language. I told Frack that I thought one reason was that he didn't really pay attention to the rules. When he asked me what I meant, I said that he was always talking in class (very bad!). He immediately became defensive and said that Deaf people talk all the time. Wow - I was just trying to help and he gets defensive. Hmmmmm...... At least I noticed that he tried to not talk as much in class last night!

As for Frick . . . she is a mess. She is constantly talking in class - her favorite phrase is, "What? What did he say?" Then she does poorly on an assignment and immediately launches into self-deprecating mode. Talk about annoying!

I have got to find a way to deal with my feelings (anger and frustration) towards Frick and Frack so that I don't let them ruin my class experience. Suggestions?

Okay - the main point of today's point isn't work or class. It is The Peter Principle. Heard of it?

Personally, I had heard of the Peter Principle on and off in the past. I had never really understood it or cared to understand it but, I had heard the phrase. Yesterday while walking I finally got an introduction to what exactly the phrase stood for.

Apparently a man named Peter came up with a theory about why businesses go from doing really well to struggling. He named it . . . The Peter Principle! The theory goes like this. A business hires good, skilled people to do their main work - for the sake of our discussion, let's say it is engineering. The engineers work and since they like their work and understand their work, they do well. In fact, they do so well that they are often innovative. Some of the workers stand out so the management rewards them with a promotion. At first this is a good thing. An engineer is promoted to a group leader. He/she still is working in engineering and understands everything that is going on. He/she is a good group leader and still likes the work because it is still engineering.

Next, the management sees how good of a job the group leader is doing and promotes him/her to project manager. Again, this job is still in the engineering area so the person continues to do well. Again, management notices and decides to promote the person. Now he/she is in charge of the entire engineering division. While this job still is in engineering it is becoming a bit more difficult for our person because it is more about dealing with the people and management than with actual engineering but, he/she still does well in the job.

Are you still with me?

Okay - so the person gets promoted again and takes the promotion because of the extra money. Now the person is further from engineering and is basically just doing management. Something that our person never really trained for or wanted to do when he/she began working. Management is a bit out of the skill set our person has so he/she struggles with it. In fact, he/she is pretty darn bad at the whole thing. However, since management never "demotes" people, they just leave him/her there. Doing a middling to bad job.

Because the person is doing a bad job the entire company begins to suffer. Multiply our one person by ten or one hundred and you end up with a company with MANY people in positions they are not good at. Do you see how this can cripple a company?

Did I explain that clearly enough?

Anyway - the end result is people in high management positions who don't know what in the world they are doing.

After many years in the education field it occurred to me that THIS is exactly what happens in education! Good teachers are "promoted" to administration and then don't know what in the world they are doing. Instead of "demoting" them back to teaching, the system simply keeps promoting them until they are in the upper levels making decisions for the entire system - decisions which they make while not knowing what they are doing!

No wonder education is messed up!


Voice Update: Doing okay. Not nearly as good as I would like but maybe some extra rest will make all the difference!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Missing Acorn

Hi All!

This morning was a glorious day for a morning walk! The temperature was a cool 69 degrees and there was a lovely breeze blowing. The birds were singing and flitting from tree to tree while bunnies hopped along searching for tasty edibles. I honestly enjoyed my walk!

Today is another "early" day for me. That means I head to work early and then scoot to class for the evening. Doesn't that sound like fun? At work, L is managing to come in more and more so . . . there is a dim light at the end of my work tunnel! Maybe someday soon I won't be working every week but only when L has Chemo. Keep your fingers crossed!

Okay - I am NOT political by any way, shape, thought, or means. I was just watching the news last night (mandatory while Hubby "comes down" from the day so he can sleep) and saw a story on Fox News about a pair of young people who went from city to city visiting Acorn offices. They posed as a young prostitute and her "pimp" asking for help getting a loan to set up a brothel. No - really!

Anyway, the couple had a hidden video camera and now are releasing video of the cities where Acorn workers had no problem helping to fund a brothel - even one with underage girls in it. Now, to be fair, I have no clue if there were Acorn offices in which the workers reacted with shock and denied the couple help. The only video which is being shown is the video of the Acorn workers helping the couple come up with ways to hide the true purpose of the house. Shocking to say the least.

That, the whole shocking part, isn't my purpose for blogging about Acorn. What I want to say is this: While I know that I am not politically aware, I do hear a lot because of my husband's habit of watching political shows on television. However, before this past Presidential election, I had NEVER heard of Acorn! Now I learn that there are offices in cities all over the country. I learn that they have a finger in many, many pies when it comes to helping communities.

My question - how in the world did I miss this? Did I miss newspaper ads from Acorn offering assistance to the poor? Did I miss seeing Acorn working with people in the aftermath of Katrina and Ike? Did I miss the billboards, the news spots, the prominently placed offices off erring assistance? How exactly does Acorn let its presence and its services be known?

To be fair, I don't hang out in low income parts of the city but really - I want to know how Acorn spreads the word as well as just what Acorn's mission statement is. Okay, okay - I know I can "google" it but . . . have you seen Acorn around in your town/city?

Maybe I am just missing the obvious!


Voice Update: Doing fine. Not really in a mood to think about it though. Feeling just the slightest bit fractious today!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trisha's Wrapped Salad

Hi All!

I survived yesterday with work and class! Sooooo happy! Work was a bit busy because one of the therapists had a death in the family and will be out all this week. That means that I "get" to call all her clients for the week and reschedule them. Not too much fun for my voice!

Class was much better than last week. Henry, the teacher, finally started to make Frick and Frack (formerly known as Gabby and New Mexico) toe the line. In fact, Frick was a bit put out when she got reprimanded in class. Gee - if you don't like it - don't break the rules! Because Henry was reigning Frick and Frack in - we actually got a lot done in class last night. Hooray! I hope it only gets better.

On the kitty front - all seems well injury wise but, Skor is acting a bit odd this morning. He didn't come into the bedroom at all last night/this morning and then kept his distance from me all morning. I wonder what is up with that!

Okay - time for some more Ohio pictures. This time it is food. While in Ohio, I helped put dinner together even though Mom cooked. One day Mom asked me to make the salad. I was in a feisty mood so I tried something different and came up with this.

Now - the color is a bit off because of the clear plates, the lighting, and the brown table but, it looked really good in real life!

This creation is Trisha's Wrapped Salad. It is very simple to make. You take one complete lettuce leaf from iceburg lettuce and place it in a bowl or on a plate so that the lettuce itself forms a bowl. Then, fill the lettuce bowl up with all your favorite salad fixin's. We used sliced beets, Feta cheese, carrots, cucumber, tomato, shredded lettuce, and mushrooms. When everything is inside, roll the lettuce bowl up like you would a burrito. Turn it over so the seam is on the bottom, top with shredded cheese and dressing and . .. . voila!

It tasted exactly like a regular salad but was more of an adventure to eat. We sliced it with knife and fork and then munched. The home-made croutons were added at the end around the edge of the plate since a good salad always needs something crunchy in it!

My dad thought that we should put the dressing inside the wrap and then put the entire wrap in a pita. Mom thought we should leave the seam side of the lettuce up since it was the greenest part of the lettuce leaf and had more color. Personally, I liked it like this. However, I think the variations would be just as fun!


Voice Update: Had a real speech therapy session with Susan yesterday and she really worked on my throat. It was just a little bit tight! Now things are better but not quite where they need to be yet. I need to really work on my exercises and massage - something I didn't do too well last week because I was stressed out!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Amazing Alpacas

Hi All!

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. Here it was wonderful (in my opinion)! We have gotten over 7 inches of rain in the past four or five days. Since I love rain, I have been enjoying things but not everyone feels the same. Another good thing is that the rain has brought our temperatures down quite a bit. Instead of being in the mid to low 90s it has been in the upper 70s and low 80s. Quite a refreshing change!

There is a down side though - the damp weather is helping allergy season (even though the season seems to last all year) get off to an early start.

I am gearing up for another work week - still no word on when/if L will be coming back full time. Of course, since she is having chemo she probably won't be full time for a while. At least she is coming in now and again to help out. That means less for me to do! I don't feel nearly as guilty about leaving early on Mondays and Wednesdays for class when I know she is helping out!

Speaking of class - I am NOT ready for class tonight. We are working on a story using multiple meaning works. The class went over the list of words while I was in Ohio so I don't know all of them. Hopefully I will be able to spend some time in lab before class figuring them out!

Okay - here are today's Ohio pictures. They are all taken at Hubby's sister's Alpaca farm in central Ohio.

These ladies are all "expecting." They are in the "maternity ward" of the farm so that when they have their babies they can get help if they need it. If they were in with the other Alpacas, it would be hard to locate them if/when they needed help. The white girl in the center was a Grand Champion a couple years back. Now she just needs a bath!
Speaking of babies - a baby girl was born while we were there. We got to watch the whole process which was both amazing and disgusting at the same time. This little bundle of joy isn't that little - in fact she is almost a month overdue. The poor momma had some trouble getting this big baby delivered but, luckily, everything turned out just fine.

Here is a proud momma with her little girl. They were kind enough to pose for me. The baby is only a day old.

While I was watching the baby decided to get a little snack. There is just something so compelling about baby animals nursing.
Oh no - Skor is chewing on his left front foot. I hope it is just litter caught in there and not a sign that he cut his foot! I will have to investigate!
Voice Update: A bit rough around the edges but . . . getting slightly better. Hopefully this week won't be as stressful so my voice can get ahead!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

College Vs. University

Hi All!

I just finished a survey from my college, Mount Union College. If you have never heard of Mount Union, you must 1. not be from Ohio, 2. not follow division 3 college football, or 3. not have asked me where I went to school before!

Mount Union is a small, liberal arts college in Ohio which is well known for its championship football team. The football team has won something like 10 of the last 12 division 3 championships. They are considered a real "power house" in division 3 football.

The college is located in the middle of nowhere - sort of. It is in Alliance, Ohio and let's just say that when I was in school there, Alliance was NOT the rocking place. That meant that the college kids had to come up with their own entertainment. That was fun even though it was just a bit . . . boring.

The survey I just finished was part of the college's research to determine if it should change from a college to a university.

Personally, I think it should stay a college - university sounds too big and impersonal to me. College sounds intimate, academic, and interested in the students.

What do you think? Does it make a difference in how you think of a school if it is a college vs. a university?


Voice Update: Doing okay but less stress could be a good thing!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Don't Forget . . .

Hi All!

Just wanted you to all take a moment and remember 9/11. Please pray for the families who lost loved ones and pray that such a tragedy never happens again - anywhere in the world.


From My Parents' Deck

Hi All!

It is FINALLY raining in my neck of the woods! YEAH! Yesterday it started raining in the afternoon/evening and kept going on and off throughout the night. Then it started again this morning! So far we have had almost two inches of rain. Believe me - it is much needed here.

An added bonus was that I love rain and sleeping while it is raining. Hearing the rain on the roof is so restful to me.

Unfortunately, I didn't sleep well last night despite the rain. Frustrating!

On a more calm and restful note, here are some pictures I took while relaxing on my parents' deck in Ohio.

I tried to be a bit "artsy" and get my feet and the scenery - it didn't work but I love the scenery anyway!

Mom and Dad enjoy watching the birds and so they always have food in the feeders. The birds never fail to put on a nice show. I spent a lot of time trying to get shots of the birds from my recliner (a really neat lawn chair!) but my camera didn't have a great zoom so most of the pictures were blurry.

Some shots - like this one - came out pretty clear. This bird is getting in position for the "finch feeder." It has thistle seed in it. In the background you can see the suet feeder too.

A pretty nice close-up, I think! I couldn't catch the bright yellow one (the male?) but this one stayed still long enough for me to catch him (her?).

My friend - the "other" Tricia - HATES sparrows. I think they are pretty!

Another shot of what I think is the same yellow finch. Maybe he (she?) wants to be a model!

The Chickadees really like the "finch feeder" but this was the only half-way decent shot I got! They are such fun little birds!

Of course, Sammy was with me on the deck checking everything out! He pretty much ignores the birds but the squirrels and groundhogs get him up and looking! Mom and Dad tell me that once Sammy ran out onto the deck and ducked his head under the rails . . . and just kept going. The deck is probably about 7 feet tall. Luckily, Sammy didn't get hurt. He IS a lot more careful about running up to the edge of the deck though!
That is it for another Ohio moment!
Voice Update: Doing okay. Still not at my best. This week just tired me out - between work and class - and my voice reflects that. Oh well!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sammy In Motion

Hi All!

Well, it is FINALLY Thursday! It has been a LONG week for such a short week! Things have been going on at work which haven't made me too happy - even though Linda has been coming in a couple times a week! YEAH! Anyway . . . . I thought I would show you some pictures of one of my favorite dogs, Sammy.

Sammy is my parents' dog and he is just a bundle of energy. One of his favorite things to do is to chase his ball around the yard. It is such fun to watch, I thought I would let you in on the fun!

Dad started this play session by tossing the ball to Sammy on the deck. Sammy got right into action and bounced the ball back to Dad. Pretty impressive when you realize that Sammy only has one eye!
He likes doing this and barks and "smiles" and jumps for that ball! However, the real fun starts when Sammy gets down in the yard! Dad throws the ball and Sammy chases after it rolling the ball with his nose all over the yard. Occasionally, he manages to stop the ball and get up on top of it to try to bite it.

Here is a blurry action shot of Sammy chasing his ball. He has such fun!

Sammy has gotten the ball and is now trying to bite it. Somehow the whole biting thing just never works but Sammy still tries and still has fun!
Isn't Sammy a cutie?
Okay - I need to vent just a little bit about class. If you don't want to "hear it" just skip the next couple of paragraphs, okay?
As you might know, I am in ASL (American Sign Language) 4. This is a high level class and is only for people who are serious about ASL and probably interpreting. The class is supposed to move quickly and cover a lot of material including the linguistics of ASL (that is the study of the language - how it works, etc.). On the first day of class Henry, our teacher, told the class that it was a serious class and that he expected a lot from us in the class. He came right out and said that if you weren't serious about the class that you should drop it. Pretty clear, right?
Well, apparently, two member of our class didn't get the "hint." There is a man and a woman in class who just don't get it. One of the "cardinal rules" in ASL classes is that you DON'T talk (or "voice" in ASL talk). You are expected to communicate only in ASL all the time unless there is some serious reason you need to talk (like an emergency, etc.). Also, it is considered very, very rude to voice in front of Deaf people if you know ASL since they are not able to hear you and can not join in the conversation.
This man - we will call him New Mexico- and this woman - we will call her Gabby - they both blatantly break both the "cardinal rule" and are extremely rude. They constantly voice in class both when they are signing and when they aren't.
This is sooooo distracting for the rest of us who are trying to seriously work on ASL. It is hard to concentrate on sign language when you are hearing English - after all, they are two different languages! Imagine trying to speak Spanish to someone who is speaking English to you - not easy OR fun!
So we have New Mexico and Gabby both talking in class. Annoying. Now - add this to the mix. We had an assignment due last night. We have known about it since the first night of class and have had two weeks to work on it. The project involved watching a video in ASL and voicing it. We also had to "interpret" what the voicer said. Confusing? Let me try to make it clearer.
On a video screen a video is running of a woman signing a story in ASL. One student watches the video and voices what the woman is signing. Another student stands with his/her back to the video screen and signs what the voicing student is saying. Is that as clear as mud?
Anyway - the assignment wasn't easy. We all knew that. We all knew what it would involve. We all had two weeks to prepare. Of the seven members of the class, three of us (including me) were not in class at all last week (due to illness for two people and my visit to Ohio). However, the three of us all still managed to prepare for the assignment. New Mexico and Gabby? They did NOT prepare.
They were the first pair to voice and interpret and let me tell you - it was just plain sad! They didn't know the story and did horribly. Then the excuses started rolling. "I was nervous." "I have never interpreted before." "I can normally do better - I don't know what is wrong with me tonight." "That is the worst that I have done in my entire life."
Blah, blah, blah!
No one in the class has interpreted before. Everyone was nervous! These two just made me plain mad. In fact, the entire class was mad!
My friend C and I were the second pair to do the project and we, while making our fair share of mistakes, blew New Mexico and Gabby out of the water. WE had prepared! WE take the class seriously! WE don't waste time in class voicing and asking questions that aren't on topic. WE seriously wanted to kick New Mexico and Gabby's collective butt!
Why do people even join class if they aren't going to take the time to prepare? Why do they voice when it is culturally rude and just plain wrong? WHY do I always end up in classes with these people?
I ended up talking (in ASL of course) to Henry about them and told him that I was frustrated because I am serious about ASL and the two of them really distract me from classwork. I also said that while I understood their being nervous, etc., that I had prepared despite being gone for a week.
Okay - vent over! Have a fabulous Thursday!
Voice: Doing okay. Not as good as it should be but . . . it has been a stressful week. I did get a massage from Susan yesterday. She is so wonderful!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Let's Discuss Lunch!

Hi All!

Well, I was going to show you more Ohio photos today but Blogger just isn't working with me today! So . . . let's see what I will talk about . . .

Today is another "early" day for me. What that means is that I go into work early so that I can leave early and go to class. Going directly from work to class means I have to plan and tote my dinner with me. This is always a problem for me since I don't plan ahead too well. Hopefully, today will be different.

Last night I had to vacuum pack some chicken breasts (we buy in bigger quantities and then vacuum pack and freeze for later) and I decided to just cook some of those buggers to make myself some dinner for tonight.

I plan to take some shredded chicken (cooked and shredded last night) and to make a wrap with mayo (light, of course), lettuce, and cheese. Add to that a small apple and some carrot sticks and . . . voila! Instant dinner. We will see how that works for me. There is a refrigerator at work I can put my dinner in so it will stay cold - it should work, don't you think?

Also, I made a batch of meatballs. I LOVE meatballs. I also LOVE the meatball song (if you haven't heard it - check out "One Meatball" on YouTube and you will find a couple versions of it)! These I made basically for breakfast and some lunches this week. I might freeze some but am still trying to decide on that course of action. I may just eat them all up!

How exciting is this post? Are you all asleep yet?

I hope everyone has a fabulous Wednesday!


Voice Update: Ugh. I am still speaking but it is a lot of effort and since my mood isn't that great either . . . I really don't want to think about it today.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ohio View - Someplace Different

Hi All!

I am just in from my morning walk and nothing much has changed over the week I was away! Luckily, the temperatures are a bit more agreeable - it was only 74 when I woke up this morning - but I was still sweating when I got home!

Today I will be heading off to work for the first time in over a week. It will be interesting to see how things went while I was away.

Well, I have a few more pictures to share with you this morning if you can stand it! This time the view is slightly different - a farm!

My parents own the family farm in Port Washington, Ohio and I think it is just a beautiful place to be during the summer.

This is a shot of the farm house, out kitchen, and spring house from up on a nearby hill. You can also see part of the roof of the barn at the lower edge of the opening in the trees. I was riding in the gator (a neat four wheeled vehicle) with Mom and decided to get this shot. Until this year it was difficult to see all of the buildings because large pine trees were blocking them. However, the trees were removed this year and now you can see everything!

One of the things I like the best is riding/walking through the forests which run through the farm. I remember walking through them when I was a young child. It was always an adventure because you never knew just what you would see. Also, the forest is very cool in the summer heat!

A local farmer, Tom, farms some of my parents' farm. He has corn in the upper fields. Lots of corn!

This shot just speaks to me. Trees, open fields, and corn. Country life!

All of this land and not another person in sight. Breathing room!

You can see the road from the top of this hill - also the fields across the road where there is a natural gas well.

Hi Buddy! This is the farm's ornery goat. He is enjoying the new fenced in enclosure that was recently put up. Hopefully, there will be some more goats to keep him company soon. Dad is working on it.

A view of the farm from the front porch of the house. Mom is on the lawn tractor, Dad is somewhere in the picture trimming, and my Uncle Ken is also in there somewhere watching everything that is going on.
The lake is a great place to feed the fish - it was stocked with fish a couple of years ago and they are fun to feed. The fish will follow you around the pond as you feed them.

This is Sammy in the back of the gator. He hitched a ride with Mom and me as we toured the farm. Being raised on the farm for the first two or three years of his life, Sammy really likes getting out and about the farm. He cools off by swimming in the lake. Of course, that means he has to have a bath before heading home in the car!

A different view. This one is from below the lake looking up at the out kitchen on the right and the spring house on the left. The farm is such a beautiful and peaceful place to spend time. However, Mom and Dad do a LOT of work when they are at the farm!
That is it for today's tour of the family farm. I hope you enjoyed it!
Voice Update: I am doing pretty well even though my throat is a bit tight this week. I don't know that I am really looking forward to going to work to answer the phone but . . .