Thursday, January 25, 2007

My Hearing Aids Are Reality

Well, yesterday was the day. I got my hearing aids. They feel very strange in my ears and will take getting used too.

The audiologist explained lots of things to me, but it is very strange to be actually experiencing these things. He told me that I would be hearing things that I had not heard in a long time or had never heard before and that they would sound very loud and intrusive. He said that it would take several days for my brain to sort things out and begin learning to ignore the everyday sounds that people with normal hearing no longer pay any attention too.

So, my brain is all of a sudden processing information about sounds that I have not been aware of before. I got in the car after my appointment and as I pulled out of the parking lot, I was hearing a loud rhythmic clicking sound. I was very confused and could not figure out what it was, but then it stopped. As I pulled into the turn lane, the noise came back. Turns out that it was the turn signal! I had never known that the turn signal in my van made sound.

Every squeak of a floor board sounds like the house is falling down around my head. I turned on the dishwasher and the refrigerator turned on. I had to leave the room because t sounded like a train was coming through my kitchen. And my poor husband - he took the packaging off a DVD and the crinkling sound of the cellophane was so loud that it just about blasted me out of my skin.

This is all very disconcerting. I hope the process of retraining my brain to hear goes quickly! Chocolate will definitely be required! A lot of chocolate!

"Write a real letter, not just an email" is the chocolate wrapper wisdom of the day.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Completed Pincushion

It's here! A completed project!

I am happy with the way my pincushion turned out. As I mentioned before, some of the techniques learned in this class still need practice, but, overall, I am happy with what I learned. I enjoyed working with the linen. I had not done machine embroidery on linen before so it was a good thing to learn.

I keep on taking classes because I figure that, if I am going to have one of the upper-end sewing machines, I should learn as much as I can about it's capabilities. Besides, it's fun to learn all these neat things.

The pincushion has three pieces, a little "pillow," a back piece with buttonholes, and a front piece with buttonholes. It gets sandwiched together and a ribbon woven through the buttonholes holds it all together.

Direct from the chocolate wrapper... "Decorate your life."

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Pincushion - In Progress

One of my current ambitions is to stop creating UFO's. I am determined to complete the small projects that get started in the classes I take.

Last Sunday, a group of us got together to help out our friend Kim. Kim will be teaching a class at the upcoming Husqvarna Viking national convention. She needed us to test her directions for accuracy and ease of understanding.

Our first task was to learn how to build the machine embroidery design in our software. This was really fun! We learned to use the entredeux stitch to create the look of handmade Fil Tire.

After we built the design, it was time to stitch it out.

I didn't get the pincushion completed in the time allowed, but I had the opportunity to work on it with Kim at the shop's "Fuzzy Slipper Night" (an open sew, sew-until-you-can't-see-straight, with refreshments provided). We learned how to make corded scallops. My scallops are a bit uneven - I'll need to practice a bit more. The back of the pincushion is completed. Tomorrow, I will sew the scallops on the top, trim my jump stitches, open the buttonholes and weave the ribbon.

I am determined to complete this and not create another UFO! Now that I have told you about this, I have to get it completed or prove myself to be a real slacker.

Chocolate wrapper wisdom for the day - " Sometimes one smile means more than a dozen roses."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Caitlin and Missouri Ice

We got an email from our daughter Caitlin, who attends Truman State University in Missouri. She included some photos of the ice in her area.

While she is hurting from a fall on the ice yesterday, she is making it to class and took these photos today. Fortunately, the ice in Northeastern Missouri has not been as bad as it has been further south. Caitlin says that the sun managed to come out and melt things just a bit.

Caitlin tells us that when you shake the fir trees the iced needles sound like wind chimes.

Two of Caitlin's stuffed animals, Tipsy and Snibbly, have their own blog. Mostly it is about life at college with Caitlin. They are currently in a puzzelment about the ice.

My worry has been relieved! I need chocolate to help me recover. (Don't you love the process of rationalization!) The chocolate wrapper says "Send a love letter today." I should send one to Caitlin - Mom loves you, hopes you feel better, and hopes you don't fall again. Maybe I should have another piece of chocolate in sympathy for her pain. (Rationalization again.)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Thanks For The Support

I have to say thank you to those who have posted comments and emailed me offering encouragement and support.

My hearing aids will arrive next Wednesday. Tom, my gadget happy husband, is impressed with the technical information and is very curious about how they work (typical). I am getting hearing aids made by Siemens, the Centra model. I do know one person who has these and she is very happy with them, so I am encouraged.

Yes, Susan, due to the coming Valentine's Day holiday, there is still plenty of chocolate on the shelves for everyone else in Naperville! But I have to admit to eating plenty of chocolate in recent days.

Speaking of Chocolate... Today's Chocolate wrapper (yes I restrained myself and only had one!) wisdom is "Laugh uncontrollably... it clears the mind." Oh yes, I needed that!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Life Has Been Chaos

Well, life in 2007 has been chaos. A horrible virus knocked me flat over the New Year's weekend and was very difficult to recover from. Part of that was my own stubborn fault. I was determined for several days to "get back to normal and get things done." This just led to total exhaustion and secondary infection (ear and sinus infections) that were not nice and put me back to bed. A one week recovery became close to 3 weeks.

Somewhere in all of that, I managed to complete Aiden's baptismal gown (see post on December 2, 2006). I forgot all about taking a photo of it before I gave it to his parents, so I am waiting to see if anyone got a nice photo that shows off the gown.

Also, as a result of recent (and not so recent) problems, I just spent several days with the hearing specialists and the audiologist. The end result of that experience was being fitted yesterday for 2 hearing aids. To be very honest, what little vanity I have was terribly offended at the idea of having just turned 54 and needing 2 hearing aids in order to have a life resembling normal. Basically, I'm just not old enough to be in this situation!

My more practical side has begun to kick in and be more reasonable. I am beginning to wonder if I remember what normal hearing is like. If my life is improved, it will all be to the better and my vanity will recover.

Now, I am two weeks behind with "Take A Stitch Tuesday" and my UFO project is sitting here making me feel guilty for not starting on it yet and my block for the Crazy Quilting for Newbies Round Robin is sitting here waiting to be sent out. Tomorrow, I begin my life again at the slower speed with lots of naps that my body is demanding.

Needless to say, coping has required copious amounts of CHOCOLATE! The chocolate wrapper wisdom of the day tells me to "Go to your special place." Getting back to that special stitching place in my mind and my life will be good.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Unscheduled Blog Vacation Caused by ISP Problems

I hope everyone had a great New Year's!

My birthday on December 30 was good, if you ignore the fact that I turned 54! Daughter Caitlin cooked dinner and I got books to read, DVD's to watch and clothes to wear from my family. I also got the unintentional gift of a very nasty cold from my son Kyle. It laid me real low for about a week. I do wish he had left that cold down at the University of Illinois!

With the New Year came problems with my Internet Service Provider that had me very frustrated! Things seem to be getting back to normal (cross your fingers Teresa), so I can get back to posting.