Thursday, February 23, 2012


Until my ears went wonky from an infection 12 days ago, I didn’t give much thought to my hearing. Having always had tinnitus, I’d learned to block it out. Other than that, I have excellent hearing. Now, however, the lack of it has become hugely significant.

I haven’t ventured out of our apartment since Spouse took me to the E.R. last Sunday. Vertigo makes me stagger like a drunken sailor and I still have no strength from two weeks of low-grade fever and virtual fasting. Of course, it would be nice if I’ve lost weight, but I’d gladly give that up to get my hearing back to normal.

A positive development I discovered last evening is that I can croak out a few words. At least now, if someone phones, they won’t think I’m rude or playing games by not talking. The cicadas and locusts are still playing their Rhapsody in A Sharp Major, so I’m not too worried that eventually my hearing will return.

The isolation of low hearing is worse than I ever imagined. I miss being able to hear the kettle when it boils, Spouse’s key in the lock when he comes home, kids chatting in the hallway and all the other little sounds of life.

Closed-captioning on TV is helpful, but often confusing and frustrating because speakers talk too fast for the captioning to keep up with them. Everything about life is so much faster now. If a person doesn’t have all her senses up and running, she’ll miss out.

I don’t mean to complain. My problems are miniscule in comparison to what’s going on in the rest of the world. Being somewhat confined by this temporary health dilemma has given me more (too much?) time to think.

My beloved nephew/godson Alex is hearing impaired. Thanks to state of the art hearing aids, he lives a pretty normal life. Of course, his awesome family deserves more credit than they’ll ever get.

The medical community at Children’s Hospital, here in D.C. kept him alive and supplied the platform on which he could build a life. His family and therapists took it from there. His ingrained exuberance for life keeps him going and his intellect is truly amazing.

Having said all that I wonder if, when he takes out his hearing aids to go to bed, does the silence bother or comfort him. Being impaired really bothers me, but I suspect Alex just goes with the flow. He’s such a cool little dude.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Inspiration from cough drops.

Thanks to a previously mentioned sinus CATASTROPHE, I've been consuming large quantities of cough drops, trying to tame a strident, decidedly unladylike hack!

Usually, I go for the big bag of blue, individually wrapped drops near the drugstore cash registers. Having run out, I asked Spouse to pick me up a bag. He was happy to especially considering that he hasn't been getting much sleep lately. [When I figure he's been tortured long enough, I leave our cozy bed and take up the recliner in the living room. I'm sure the neighbors on that side really appreciate this. Not.]

During long hours trying to snatch a little sleep, I frequently reach for my Kindle. A wrapper from the previous night's attempt at rest was lying on top of the Kindle. Only then I did I notice that Spouse had gone all out and invested in Hall's Cough Drops. Wow - he really does love me!

Noticing some sort of printing I hadn't seen before, I unscrunched the wrapper.

People: Hall's cares about us!!

Like pats on my back, I was told to "Go get it" -- "You got it in you"-- "get back in the game" and "keep your chin up." Under the Kindle lay yet another paper pep-talk which I eagerly unscrunched to glean it's inspirations. Here's what I read: "Let's hear your battle cry" -- "bet on yourself" -- "the show must go on. Or work." -- "put a little strut in it."

How very thoughtful that Hall's thinks enough of it's coughing, sore-throated, customers to offer even more help to get us back on our feet! Just as soon as I can make a sound other than (       ) I'll give out with a big ole YEE-HAA and strut m'self raght back into the game!!  Yep!  feelin' like Dolly Parton!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Crickets and Cicadas in February

Ever since the advent of a nasty sinus infection last week that's pretty much all I can hear -- inside my head. Flocks of sparrows make themselves known from time to time, chirping to the rhythm of my pulse.

I have never known life without tinnitus which started before I was old enough to remember ear aches. For a normally carefree little girl, who lived and breathed the outdoors, the intrusion of ear infections were cruel and extremely painful. Mom tried every known treatment at the time, including dropping warm ear oil into the affected ear. Eventually, the accumulated oil temporarily robbed me of hearing. Considering how I loved to compose music on my Mom's piano, this wouldn't do.

I remember climbing onboard a train with Mom to go into Chicago to see a specialist. It was such a shock and kinda embarrassing when he syringed out clump after clump of groadies. I had become used to the muffled sounds around me, so everything suddenly became too loud.

My early middle ear infections were supposedly due to short eustachian tubes. At the time, I must have been thinking, well, dummy doctor, why don't you just stretch them! Apparently, that was an idea whose time would never come.

So, here I am decades and decades later feeling and hearing like my head is in a bucket, filled with billions of trapped crickets, cicadas and sparrows. Thank goodness for good novels to distract me from those overbearing, rude critters!

Oh, and happy St. Valentine's Day. If you could see and hear me right now, you'd understand how very much I appreciate Spouse's unfailing love. It ain't been pretty 'round this neck o'the woods!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How to Get Rich Quick

People have been trying to come up with schemes to make money easily and quickly for generations. Many have failed or didn't pan out, e.g. Ponzi schemes. A heretofore private group strategy recently has been revealed and is causing quite a stir. This select group has a membership just over 500 men and women and is headquartered right here in the Nation's Capitol!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen you, too can take advantage of this legitimate stream of income, funded by American taxpayers. Simply get yourself, a family member or best buddy elected to Congress. Yes, indeedy, this method works like a charm and has brought previously unthinkable wealth for those smart enough to take advantage of it.

Earmarks are a key element in this scheme. Yeah, I know that sounds like some sort of birth defect, but it is actually a very effective and proven way of steering millions of tax- payer dollars to benefit friends and family and even yourself.

Historically, earmarks have enabled average Americans to improve their standards of living, property values, personal incomes and so much more. All it takes to benefit from this scheme is to have a member of Congress tag on to a piece of legislation your desired earmark. This might cost you a campaign contribution but if you want to have the river next to your waterfront cottage cleaned and protected without having to shell out huge amounts of your own wealth, it's worth it. Why, you could even get a bridge or airport built for your own convenience even if no one else thinks it's needed. Seriously! It's been done!

Another sure bet is getting to know as many lobbyists you can. They represent every imaginable business and pleasure industry as well as foreign countries and have bottomless pockets of cash. They are very discreet when distributing baksheesh. It's all done under the table at a fine, Washington restaurant, watering hole, golf club, or an exclusive resort is some exotic locale. It's all about using your new-found influence in the most lucrative way.

Another advantage of befriending lobbyists is that they will actually help you and your staff write legislation. Yeah -- free editorial help! I think this is part of what has riled- up the Occupy people. They'd like a piece of the action: maybe working in the legislative or investment industries which sometimes are confused because of their similar ethical standards. Sadly, these protesters weren't savvy or loose enough to play by the rules necessary to get those jobs. [Personal ethics can ruin employment opportunities.]

So . . . what are you waiting for?! There are billions out there just waiting to be earmarked and it's so simple! Oh, and don't worry about actually having to work hard. That's what Congressional staff are for. All you have to do is vote when it's time and applaud or scowl with fellow party members during Presidential addresses.

Count yourself lucky that there are only a few, diligent, caring and conscientious members of the Senate and House who might try to get in your way. They're out- numbered considering the complete Capitol Hill Package. Lobbyists, special interests groups, wealthy contributors, and so on have become indispensable to members of Congress. Whatever a member needs, they can get at cost or with a nice discount! It's as easy as scratching your own back ;-).

[Drat -- my tongue is stuck in my cheek!]

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dumb Luck

I have no idea how I accidentally got my old blog page back, YIPPY!!

I was having so much trouble getting it fixed on my own p.c. that I tried Spouse's laptop and voila -- I hit something right!

The new blogger format still baffles me to a degree, but now I think I'll be able to figure it out and work with it.