Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hearing Loss

Having an ear infection for the last 2 weeks has given me a new view of hearing loss. My hearing has been gradually decreasing over the last 10 years anyway, but nothing like having both ears plugged. This is not something a hearing aide or tin horn will help. It will take more visits to doctors and possibly tubes. I'm now on my second course of antibiotics.

Human voices are a combination of sound frequencies. Some of the frequencies get past the fluid in my ears and some don't. That makes it very difficult to understand words. I have very little practice in reading lips. Background noise and multiple voices make it difficult to concentrate. By the end of my work day, I am exhausted just from trying to pay attention to and make sense of my surroundings.

Often, people's body language contradicts what they are saying and hand motions that don't match the words can be quite distracting.

Rules I've learned:
1) Be sure you have my attention.
2) Be sure I am facing you while you are talking. If you are behind me, I may not hear you.
3) Speak clearly and loudly. Don't over-exaggerate your words.
4) Please be patient. I am not being rude. I just want to understand.

I think every situation we encounter in life is an opportunity to learn. This is teaching me a lot!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Winter in Iowa

Winter has officially arrived in Iowa. We have had a few flurries, but last night we got our first real snow storm of the season. It amounted to only 2 or 3 inches, but the 50-60 mph winds made it feel like a lot more. We have a 3 foot drift in the front yard with bare grass on the north side of it. There is a car in the ditch across the street. I guess he hit the drift in the road too fast!

I think God sent me to Iowa so I could survive the hot flashes of menopause.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Sisters Come

I'm driving my Darling Husband crazy this week. I'm being Roger (my younger brother -- another post -- probably many, but later) Roger always got excited when I was coming to Salt Lake to visit. He drove the family crazy with "My Sister Comes -- 3 days!" while holding up 3 pudgie fingers... Once, my niece, Chris, was really fed up with it. She saw him brandishing the 3 fingers and said "I don't want to hear it!" He answered with, "3 sisters - a Lydie, a D'Ann, a Squeak." He was great at diverting and improvising!

Anyway, I'm getting excited because my sisters are coming to Iowa next week. I bought the movie 'Bridges of Madison County' to watch and then we are going to Madison County to see the covered bridges.

I'm excited!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


At work, we are encouraged to talk with our residents about their lives. The latest note is to talk to them about spring and summer -- to help them to know the season. Also, having them reminisse about what they used to do helps us know how to help them be more at home. The idea is that we are their friends, not just care-givers.

At supper this evening, I was asking one of my ladies about summer and what she did. She didn't have much to say, so I told her about the swing Daddy made for us.

He got 2 telephone poles -- they seems to be about 40 feet long! (my guess now is that they were about 10 feet) Then he connected them with a 4x4 beam with the swing bolted into it with heavy chain and a swing seat of rubber. He dug 2 deep holes in the back yard to plant the swing. When he dug the holes, there was water in the bottoms of them. It seemed to be an underground stream. I wanted to look closer, but I wasn't allowed to. I think I was about 3 or 4 years old.

That was the biggest swing in the neighborhood! It stood until I was in my 20's! Daddy also used it for his pulleys for pulling engines when he worked on cars. I wonder today if that was his main intent and the swing was for us when he wasn't working on the cars?

Daddy was great. I was sure he could do anything!

Telling my lady about the swing and the water in the holes helped her recall her early years and the well at the farm. She said that water was the best, and always cold.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Memories !

At work yesterday, I heard a little girl who was visiting her grandma counting. "Ninety eight...Ninety nine...a Hundred...a Hundred and One...a Hundred and Two..." It brought back the memory of my Second Grade teacher, Mrs. Oler. She taught us that "it is NOT a Hundred, it is One Hundred, and numbers do not have 'and' in them. It is One Hundred One."
I know I'm OLD because I often wonder why they don't teach it that way now and what are they teaching the children.
I'm happy I have lived at the time I have. I know that my dad felt the same way about the way we were taught and the time that he lived.
He passed on in 1976. I wish I had been closer to him and I wish I had know him better. He is my standard of honesty and partly to blame for my warped sense of humor.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ice cream to keep clean?

Block 2
When I learned to talk, everything started with "Hhh". Since I thought my name was Squeaky, I pronounced it Hehe. Middle name May became Hay. Last name Gayler became Hayler. It got plenty of laughs and I just thought people thought I was cute. I was a gullible child.
My favorite ice cream was straw berry. Knowing this, my mother always ordered a strawberry cone for herself, too. She would eat most of hers and turn to me and say "Look, Mine is the littlest." Being the youngest child at the time, I thought little things were for me. So! I would trade her. Soon, she would turn to me again and say, "Look, mine is the littlest." I would trade again ---and so on. Later in life someone told me she was helping to keep me clean. Yeah, sure!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Once upon a time....

Block 1:
One rainy Saturday in Salt Lake City, an adorable baby girl was born at the LDS Hospital. (ME!) The roof was leaking and there were buckets to catch the water. Is it any surprise that my mother had a post-partum infection? She ran high temperatures for several days after I was born. My father had to take care of me when he was home from work. I was such a good baby. I knew my mama was sick, so I didn't cry. I squeaked! By three days, my Daddy had named me Squeaky. I didn't know I had another name until I started school.

I had older brothers and sisters -- plenty of them. But, that's something else. When the older siblings were at school, I had Mama to myself. We enjoyed each other. Mama would sit at her sewing machine -- She made all of our clothes, except socks and drawers. -- I would sit on the floor beside her, playing with Molly B and Pinky Lee -- My doll and monkey -- which I still have.

We listened to KSOP -- The country radio station in Salt Lake. I still love country music because it makes me think of Mama.