Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Even for the times I don't want to listen- thank you God for my hearing!

Yesterday Madi's softball team played against the ladies at the Texas School for the Deaf.  This always proves to be an evenly matched contest and this year was no different.  The scores are traded back and forth each inning and they played the full seven.  I am always impressed by the team's ability to communicate in the fast paced movements of the game.

I find myself watching not only the girls playing but watching the crowd.  It was then that all that goes with language and hearing dawned on me.  When one can't hear, it is not only sound they can't hear, but the subtleties of the spoken word.

Think first about a private conversation.  If I want to have one with you, we can turn away from others, lower our voices and carry on "as if" we are alone.  When you speak with your hands, everyone who knows the language is privy to your conversation.  And I was thinking about this from a teenager's perspective, as well.  There were many young people watching the game, sitting with their friends while the adults were sitting on other bleachers.  All it would take is a glance (or hard stare depending on sight requirements) and you would know exactly what your child was talking about.  It seemed such an invasion of privacy.

Then I thought about all the nuances of "tone".  When I speak to my kids, they can tell much more from my tone than from my words, what I am really saying to them.  I wondered how you would explain a whisper to someone who had never heard sound?  Or even a yell?  I know definitively one could explain to and be understood but would it seem very foreign?

When I was 14, I babysat three kids for the summer.  The youngest who was six at the time, Craig, was deaf.  I managed to pick up bits and pieces of sign language over the summer so I could communicate with him directly but also relied on his older sister and brother.  I still remember when he would get mad at me, I would be so frustrated because he would not look at me.  A reminder that when one can't hear, you need their cooperation to communicate.

And I know I think too much but then I realized the impact hearing loss would have on an entire family.  Despite all the times we "selectively" choose not to listen, we certainly can still hear what's going on around us.

Madi was born with no hearing in her right ear and 17 years later, if we aren't paying attention, we still try to get her attention on the wrong side.  One time when she was little and I was saying something about her to someone else, she said, "I can hear you, I've got ear".  Yes, singular - so she was very aware of what she could hear with.

So while I think too much, this is what I know for sure.  While we all can't hear the same things, and some of us that can hear, don't always listen, I am surely grateful that regardless of our circumstances there are many ways to communicate so we all are heard!

Until next time,

your pal,


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My latest experiment..ME!

Card carrying believer
I have never been one to shy away from trying new things and throughout life, I have participated in many "fads".  Of course, at the time, I thought they might be here to stay and some have fared better than others,

My first "perm" was when I was about 22 years old.   Everyone was getting their hair curled and I decided my hair wasn't curly enough.  My step-mom was a beautician so we had easy access to just about anything "beauty related" but what I didn't understand was that it didn't guarantee "beauty results".  When I arrived home and got out of the car (my hair barely fit in the front seat) my sister Junie, who was then about 17, started singing "On the good ship, lollipop".....   Before she got any further, I burst into tears, ran into the house and locked myself into the bathroom for several hours. My hair had not calmed down before I came out.

Not all my experiments have involved physical self humiliation.  You will remember past blogs where I shared my sense of adventure and journeyed on the road less traveled (short cuts) only to arrive hours after I was expected.  My famous last words then (and still now) are "I just wanted to try a new way".

And how about cooking foods a different way.  Now here I tend to be a little more successful.  Either that or my family knows which side their bread is buttered on.  Wait, now that I think of it, there have been several items that I thought got RAVE reviews yet never made it back on the rotation.  HMMM.

 Which brings me to now.  I am on Day 11.  Of what you might ask?  I am doing the WHOLE30!  This involves clean eating and saying no to all things processed, dairy, grain, sugared, etc.  I think you get the drift.  In a nutshell - I HAVE NOT HAD ANY PEANUT M&M's OR COOKIES FOR 11 DAYS!!  And, one more item of significance, I have not weighed myself since Day One.

For those of you who know me even slightly, I have an unhealthy relationship with food, body image, weight, numbers, steps, counting, liars (oh, I guess I don't need to list everything).  This particular plan has taken a level of commitment and discipline that I started basically on a whim.  My daughter Marissa (who may or may not have some of the same issues) did a serious study of this plan and decided to commit to it.  She also decided it would be fun if I COMMITTED TO IT ALSO.  Well, misery loves company.

Since I believe I can do anything for 30 days (or 28 as they case may be), I signed up.  It may be the best experiment I have ever done.  Certainly better than the perm and the opportunity to get lost on this venture is minimal,

I don't know what's right for you but this has proven to be an eye opener for me.  If you are struggling with your relationship with food (and I guarantee you a relationship is involved) and food is winning, I encourage you to open this book, or google WHOLE30,  This could be your next experiment.

Until next time,

your pal,

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A settling of accounts

Bonus week!!!
Dateline is my favorite TV show.  And 9 times out of 10 it ends with resolution.  The guilty person is caught and a sentence is doled out.  It is never a stranger but always, always, someone the victim trusted!  Reactions vary.  Some of those left behind profess joy, others relief and some claim satisfaction during sentencing.  What no one ever gets is "things the way they used to be".  No one gets a "do-over".

Isn't that the only way things could truly be made right?  If the offender  - any offender - could be caught, tried and convicted, and then life could return to the way it was.....before the crime happened. What a wonderful world this would be!  Murders wouldn't just be solved, they would be undone.   Kidnapped children would be returned - unharmed.   Terrible suffering could be undone and maybe we could take it one step further - the memory of the events could then be erased also.

What about "white collar" crime?  There are a trail of victims left in the wake of these greedy crimes, too.  Pensions disappear, people lose their jobs....or "resign"...sometimes at the hands of one or two people who have their own agenda to protect.  Truly, money (and power) must be the root of all evil.

One of my favorite sayings is "The greedy pig gets slaughtered".  And sooner or later, the day comes when it is time to pay the piper.  Sometimes it happens in this world, sometimes not until the next.   But I am a firm believer in treating others as you would want others to treat you.  

Have you ever noticed that people who have difficulty trusting, are people who can't be trusted?  And those who think everyone are liars, generally tell the biggest lies?  You tend to expect from other people, those things you do yourself.

Once upon a time, I believed that those in responsibility who professed the same values that I did, were honest people, being honest with me.  I believed this because I was being honest with them.  I also believed those same people held the truth in high regard.

In the infamous words of Gomer Pyle, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me".

Yet much later and from a distance I see a half-hearted attempt of the settling of accounts.   And for a few minutes, I voiced satisfaction!

But in reality, the damage has been done.  There is no going back.  At best we can hope for no future abuse of power or negligence of duty.  There will be no remorse if there is even ownership of errors.

I don't always know why the chips fall as they do, but this much I know for sure;  In the end, my chips all fell "lucky"!

Until next time,

your pal,

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The year of the "8's"

Still crazy, after all these years
I remember when I found out I was pregnant with Madison.  One of the first things I did, was figure out how old I would be when she turned 18.... 58 years old!  It seemed like "light" years away and I wondered how she would feel about having such an old mother.  After all, when Megan turned 18, I was 38 (and Madi wasn't even born) and when Marissa turned 18, I was 45.  By then Madi was a 5 year old. Yes, I participated in delivering children over three different decades.  And I haven't even added in my kids through marriage.

I did the same type of ruminations when I returned to school for my degree.  When I started, I had no idea had long it would take because I was committed to doing it "the old fashioned" way.  I wanted to really attend college - no on-line courses for me, I wanted the real deal experience.  This was back in 1993 and I still had Megan and Marissa at home.  I would have been 36 years old.

Calling my sister (Katy) to complain (who knows what age at this point, but certainly after Madison was born), that I would surely be 50 years old before I ever finished college, she paused a minute and replied, "well, you will be 50 years old anyway, you might as well be 50 and finishing college."  It was then that I realized that it wasn't about the age one would be at all.  It was about attaining the goal.
I'm smiling at you!
As it turned out, I graduated with my bachelors in 2002 so I was only 45 years old.  I managed to get that done just prior to Marissa turning 18 and Madi starting school.  And of course, I wasn't done, Since I still had time on the clock, I decided to go for my Master's.  And I finished that in 2005 - age 48!!

So now I am 58.   And guess what?  58 is NOT OLD?  I am still behaving just as (hmmm...what word am I looking for... poorly?, too strong.  silly?  no, too frivolous.  irreverant?  Sounds close......   Anyway, you get the drift...I am still me.

So, if you are planning on doing something, don't let your age stop you.  Or what your age will be. As I have discovered, you will still be you, whatever happens.

Until next time,

your pal,

It's never too late to do the "right" thing

Even this is my opinion! What is "the right thing"?  Many times over the years, I have heard people say "I want to do the...