Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Little Bit of Everything


The last few days have been a whirlwind of activities. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get family swimming passes for the summer yet. The girls loved going swimming at the public pool last summer. Sure, it was crowded, but they had fun. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do that this week.

Flare played Four Square with the neighborhood kids. I told her I thought she only “hung out” with them. What do you call “playing” Four Square? Her retort? “Being bored.” LOL. (Refer to last post.) She even had “night games” planned, though it ended up being hosted by the kid across the street. She called a few classmates over to play, too. Her friend likes to poke her in the ribs because she liked to hear her squeal. So I teased her and started calling her "Pillsbury Doughgirl." ;) (Speaking of which, she did help me make lasagna for supper. Thanks, Flare.)

Flare picked up her new and used books for the upcoming school year via the Hubbymobile. Hubby went with her to select books with the aid of a knowledgeable helper. I couldn’t believe that the tally ended up close to 300 smackaroos (it sure made me feel like I was smacked by a few roos...). I was floored. I don’t even remember what the books cost when I was in high school. I do know that the books were more expensive for me at the college. I guess I just didn’t expect it to be that much at the high school level. Oh, well. We can resell the books if she keeps them in good condition and doesn’t mark it up. Thanks, Hubby, for taking her there and helping her. I appreciate it.

The other day, we went out to a restaurant and had a sit down meal. Hubby had asked me what I wanted to drink. I said I would have a wine cooler. After we sat down at a table, the waitress stood across the table from me. I thought she was taking orders. She was looking right at me and talking. All I could see was the bright light from the window and her lips moving in wide, exaggerated movements. (Sigh. I am a poor lip reader, though I have been told that I was probably better than I thought I was.) Still, there are still a lot of people out there that think “fish lip” talking is better for a person with hearing loss to understand. I was lost. I looked at Flare and Hubby blankly. She was definitely talking to me. What do I do? Bluff? Guess? I caught “or don't you want anything else?” or something like that. So I said that yeah, I didn’t want anything else.

Hubby immediately said something I thought pertained to the order. So I said that yeah, I’ll have the usual. Hubby again said, “They don’t have the usual."

Huh? No Poorman's Lobster?

He said that they didn't have any wine coolers, what else would I want to drink?

Something that simple was so hard to understand? Ugh. Well, that doesn’t happen that often when we do go out to eat. We don't go out to eat that often anyway. Again, I thought it she was taking orders and it didn’t seem to fit. I always ordered Poorman’s Lobster at almost any restaurant I go to. That’s my “usual.” Not the drink. (Though I still don’t see why I would have to have a “drink” when I am not much of a drinker anyway. My siblings are beer guzzlers. I am around a lot of beer drinkers. I just don’t drink that much. Believe me, whatever I drink just buzzes to my head. I am perfectly happy if I never have another alcoholic drink again. I just feel obligated to have one. I’ll get amusing looks because I prefer water or a soda to alcohol. I do drink occasionally, but it’s probably only four times a year. I do like jello shots, but I am glad I don’t have them regularly. ;)

All I want to say here is that if any of you come across a person with hearing loss, don’t exaggerate your lip movements. Just talk like you always do, just a wee bit slower and clearer. (Not louder, please. It just increases the distortion.) If we don’t “get it” the first time, or even the third time, please just rephrase it another way. If I am stuck on a word, use a similar word. Words like "yep" and "nope" are hard for me unless the head nods or shakes to help me determine which word it is.

Yesterday, we were all going to a nearby family-friendly festival. To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to it. It was HOT and muggy. The last couple of years, I was bumping into people, even though I was being guided holding hands with one of the kids or Hubby. People just “expect” that you see them and move out of their way. Granted some were conversing with another person and wasn’t looking where they were going and WHAM, a shoulder is whacked or a heel is stepped on. Lately, the bright sun has really been bothersome for me. It hurt my eyes to look in the direction of the sun just to face another person. I would get intense headaches that would take the rest of the day to dissipate. So when I was asked if I wanted to go, I had the opportunity to say that I really didn’t want to go. All people do is walk around getting drunk or stand around chatting with people and getting drunk (okay, maybe not everyone is getting drunk) while the kids played on stuff like rock climbing, bungee something on a trampoline, face-painting, and so forth, all for *free*. There were some competitions going on with people playing volleyball, soccer, softball, etc. Bands were playing in stragetic locations for added entertainment. It was kind of like a fair, but the entertainment was free and there were no stuffed animals for prizes for games.

I was glad I got to say home. A couple of hours later I was really glad; we were expecting stormy weather. The others returned after an hour or two out there. So it was a short trip for the kids.

Onyx really surprised me. She was pacing a lot, but she didn’t really shake so much like she did the last time we had booming thunder. (It takes a really loud CRACK of thunder to make me jump, though.)

Now that Onyx is a year old, Hubby got her new dog food. She ate up all the Puppy Chow. The day after she got her new dog food, she was eating grass and threw up in the living room carpet. (She was acting sick before that happened, too.) The weather was ominous, and I wanted to be back in the house, ready to bolt for the basement.

I was wondering if the new dog food affected her system, but Hubby didn't think so. We were feeding her half a bowl of her new dog food at a time, because she woofed it down in ten bites. She really likes her new dog food.

Hubby rented some DVDs. Hubby set up Spiderman 3’s close captioning with the TV’s. I don’t like the DVD’s closed captioning. Sure, the words are bigger on the screen, but there’s no black background. I see the movements in the background; it’s harder for me to read it. (Remember, I have depth perception problems.) Thanks, Hubby for setting it up that way. Then today I watched Love Actually. Unfortunately, Hubby couldn’t set it up with the TV’s captioning. So I had to deal with dizzying captions. (Hey, Beth, when the part where Hugh Grant did his dance routine came on, I got up quickly to do some serious boogie-ing and guess what? Angel was out on the front porch talking to two of her friends. They could see me through our picture window. Needless to say, I was one “hot” mama-redfaced. LOL!!)

When we had relatives over to visit, I moved the dining table around and put the side up that was lying flat against the dining room window/wall. The way we had it set up, only five people could sit there. This way, with it all out in it’s glory, we were able to seat six people. I started to really like the table like that. It opened up the dining room in a way. I wasn’t looking forward to repositioning it back to it’s original location. Today, Hubby put a leaf out of the table (it has two leaves/sections to make the table longer) and put one end back down, but left it there. Yay. Did he know that I liked it that way or did he just decide that for himself? In any case, I’m happy with it.
Yesterday, I noticed two things: One, I set the timer because I had something baking in the oven. I took the timer with me so I could always hear it go off. (If I leave it by the stove, I never hear it unless I am in the kitchen.) I had to be told that the timer went off. That’s strange. I usually hear the timer buzz.

Two, I usually can hear Onyx bark. Again, I was told that she barked. Huh? For some reason, yesterday was just not a good “hearing” day for me unless I was just too busy concentrating on my thoughts or the TV.

We had relatives visiting on and off this week. It was great seeing them
That’s it.



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At Mon Jun 09, 06:29:00 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Love it that you got up to boogie with Hugh! Kind of hard not to, isn't it?
Thanks for the tip about lip reading - so much I don't know.
Life sounds busy and good there - as it should be...

At Mon Jun 09, 09:16:00 PM , Blogger Kila said...

Wow, long post. But I like them that way ;)

We didn't make it to the festival on Saturday or Sunday. It's really too bad about the weather shutting things down both those days. All the hard work by everyone... and so many organizations depend on the money they make at that festival.

That is a lot for the school books! Adds up fast!

I rarely drink alcohol. I did Saturday night, just to be social, at a wedding reception we were at. Can't remember the last time (before that) when I drank alcohol.

Thanks for the tip about speaking to someone--not to exaggerate. I hope next time goes better for you!

At Tue Jun 10, 09:32:00 AM , Blogger Shari said...

Beth-Gotta liven things up sometime, even if I embarrass myself. Glad the lipreading tip helped.

Kila-I thought it may have been too long a post. Most like it shorter.

Glad that the lipreading tip helped. Then I know that it will make it easier for those of us with hearing loss.

At Tue Jun 10, 10:03:00 AM , Blogger Amrita said...

You are a brave lady. Love, Amrita

At Tue Jun 10, 04:00:00 PM , Blogger Shari said...

Thanks, Amrita. I just look at it as taking it one day at a time, every day. I just "do." :)

At Thu Jun 12, 11:33:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Shari -- I could relate to a lot of this! :-) People talking sloooowwwerrrr just cracks me up. It makes it IMPOSSIBLE to lipread, doesn't it?! My aunt was doing that to me. Actually, she's the only one who slowed down so dramatically when I asked her to repeat herself, thank goodness, but I had no idea what she was saying.

When a waitress takes my drink order, I always order pop. I don't think I've ordered alcohol in years, actually! It just makes me so sleepy...I guess I'm getting old. :-)

Aren't HS books expensive?? My hubby was horrified because in Michigan, where he grew up, he never paid for books. The state pays for them. The most we ever paid was $190, when Eric was a Freshman. By his Junior year I got wise and found out you can get a list of the books for each class, including the ISBN -- it's available from the school by the beginning of August. Then I order them used from Amazon or -- usually they don't cost more than $1 plus Media Mail shipping! Plus we get to sell them back to the school at the end of the year. :-)

It saved us SO much money -- I'm going to be doing that for all 4 years of my daughter's HS education. I just wish they released the list in July instead of August, since the kids start school usually by Aug. 26 or so.

~ Wendi

At Fri Jun 13, 08:35:00 AM , Blogger Shari said...

SS-Thanks for the tip on the books.

I'm sure all of us with hearing loss deals with similar situations such as people talking sloooowwweeerr. I don't know which is worse, that or the really wide exaggerated lips.


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