Saturday, February 27, 2010

india gate blog

so, i am in new delhi, india with lynn for the next 10 days to purchase more "lifestyle" goods for india gate. consequently, i will be spending the next couple of weeks on the india gate blog. check it out.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Very Own Office

While the parents were here, we tackled the hall closet. I so wish I had taken a before shot because this closet was a mess. Everything that did not have a place in the house was shoved in this closet. I was totally jazzed when I found some toile wallpaper at a discount. I think toile is such a timeless pattern. I have never gotten tired of it. It took Daddy, the best wallpaper guy around, under 2 hours to paper the whole closet.

When he finished, we knew that it could never go back to being a closet. So the idea for a small office took hold as Mama and I pulled things around the house for the new space. The table started off in the entertainment room and then behind a sofa before being recruited as a desk. The lamp came from the guest room. Doesn't the shade go so well with the paper?

I am currently working on a funky collage to hang over the desk. In the collage there is a pink crown, so when I found this Alice-in-Wonderland clock on sale at Walmart, I knew it had to go home with me.

One of my favorite things in the library is the pen holder that my grandmother made for my father when he was a young man.

Across from the desk is a shelf for all of my books and files. I have not yet arranged it completely, so those photos are another day's project. Although I adore my Hous, I am thrilled to have my very own office!


I just had to make a note of today's encouragement before the day got away from me.

Although I have been able to talk with Mama and Daddy on the phone with great success, it has been harder for sister and me. For some reason, I don't understand her as easily as I do the parents or my brother-in-law. This bothers me because sister and I share a closeness that is unique. Not only did we go through the rites of passages that bonds sisters for life, our relationship has been refined and forged into a steel bond through different cups of suffering. However, our geography separates us and these days we rely mostly on text messaging.

My desire to chat with her via phone is king.

If one knew her character and the kind of person she is, there would be an understanding of why this is so important to me. As I type these words, I am reminded of a story that I love to tell. When we were quite young, there was a boy in our neighborhood who was making fun of my speech impediment. My sister picked up a rock and threw it at his head. Sent him to the hospital to get stitches. He never bothered me again. That moment of time is seared onto my heart. I have never gotten over it.

That kind of a love. That deep loyalty. That warrior spirit for justice. That reflection of Christ.

There is no sister like her.

She has been under the weather, so I called to check on her. I was not expecting much of the conversation- just a hi-feeling-better-great-love-you-bye type thing.

We talked for close to 20 minutes.

We talked about her doing flowers for a party that she hopes to attend tonight. We talked about a guy in our church who'd lost 30 percent of his hearing. We talked about her sleeping 11 hours last night.

I got it.

I got the whole conversation.


Tears of joy.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Super Bowl

Hope to get new office space pictures put up this week.

Sunday night we watched the Super bowl with our Community Group. I was standing in the kitchen putting a pizza in the oven when one of the girls asked me a question behind my back and I answered her without thinking. Since I totally was not expecting her to chat with me with my back turned, I was surprised that I got it. We did a victory dance right there in the middle of the kitchen! My family and close friends all should be paid big time for all the work they do in constantly testing my hearing!

Three things happened yesterday that were so encouraging:
First, I was over a friend's house for our bi-weekly workout program with the P90x video series. I was able to understand several things he was saying without looking at the video. It was cool to be able to relax a little bit without having to simultaneously coordinate my limbs and read lips.

The P90x series? Six degrees of painful. I forgot to check but surely it comes with a guarantee of having a body like Jillian Michael's in just three days.

Second, I just started the music appreciation component of Rehab and it has been tough, tough and tough. I have not even been able to move past Level 1. When I wore hearing aids I loved instrumental music and classical music because I could make out the different instruments. Now, they sound different. For instance, I am struggling to differentiate between the flute and clarinet. Yesterday, while driving in car, I put in Steve Green's Always: Songs of Worship and as I listened to Majesty and Indescribable, I was able to pick out a few instruments and understand a few words!

Thirdly, one of the things that my brain is learning is the art of masking. People with normal hearing naturally mask, which is the ability to ignore irrelevant noise to tune in to more relevant noise. For example, when I am at Bible study, I struggle to ignore the noise of heating unit running so that I can hear the speaker. The chicks in my group tell me although they hear they hear the unit, they just don't notice it. That is completely incomprehensible to me. How do they ignore something that is making me half crazy? So want to be there someday! Anyhoo, last night when my Hous arrived home, I was in the kitchen, standing next to boiling water and as he was climbing the stairs, he called out that he was home. I totally got it! Over the noise of boiling water!

The biggest encouragements of all has been the ability to chat on the phone daily with my family. For that alone, it is so worth the trials and hard work of this path.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Too tired to think of a title.

My parents are here for the weekend and we've had a grand time. Last night it was out for Mex and then a movie by the fireplace. Today we worked on installing shelves in the library closet. Actually, Daddy did all of the work while Mama and I made a Costco run.

Costco + Saturday= nightmare. The store was like Christmas Eve. It took us almost TWO hours to pick up a few items. Just like Dante's river of boiling blood in Inferno, I could feel the violence rising in me - ever flowing with an increasing desire to obliterate anyone in my path with my basket in my quest to get out of the damn place.

No one got hurt.

I really am trying to work on my cursing.

Hearing-wise, today I have been struggling with a buzzing sound and distortion. Another headache. Another struggle with finding the daily encouragement. But at a little before midnight, I decided to check the online cochlear implant community before going to bed. I received such an encouraging, encouraging note from a new friend.

Love this God that I serve so imperfectly.

Friday, February 5, 2010


One of the benefits of keeping my expectations reigned in has allowed me to experience freedom in unexpected ways. For instance, last night I met up with a girlfriend for a margarita and during the course of our conversation, she received a phone call she had to take. Normally, I would just turn my head to give her some privacy while at the same time listen to see if I could understand part or any of her conversation. But since I have been trying to teach myself to relax and give myself a break regarding speech discrimination, I just turned my head and focused on other things. The place was noisy so I was totally caught off guard when I clearly heard the last two sentences before she ended the conversation. So encouraging. Such a sweet reward and confirmation to just, as Elisabeth Elliot would say, "do the next thing." Just to keep moving forward on the path; my hope will not be cut off.

Thursday's encouragement was that I heard an airplane fly over while I was in the house! Have never heard that before in my life. We may be moving...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Yesterday was my first full day of normal activities. I went to Bible study and then on to all day meetings with my business partner and two of our clients. I did not get home until 5 pm and had a terrible headache along with a complete brain freeze. Hous and I were supposed to go out to dinner but all I wanted to do was take off my processor and climb into a hot tub with a nice glass of red wine. However, something had to be done about dinner and since we were totally out of frozen pizza, it wasn't looking good. As I started looking, I realized we had some honey-baked ham that some friends of ours brought us when I had my surgery. I had frozen the leftover ham, and all I had to do was caramelize it in pan and microwave some veggies to go with it. We had a delicious meal with very little preparation. Needless to say I could have kissed those friends a thousand times over.

This morning I was just thinking about how appreciative I am of my friends and how some acts of kindness goes a long way. So many people called, brought food and gifts, and sent emails and cards. How wonderful it is to be loved. How more wonderful is it to love. I get so wrapped up in my own life that I don't always love well. Watching my friends in action inspires me to be a better friend. To purposefully put love in action.

Yesterday I struggled to hear the speaker over the heating unit while in Bible study but was not disappointed afterwards because I entered with low expectations. :-) However, I received the daily encouragement while on my way home from my meetings. A friend from church had texted me to schedule a lunch date and instead of responding via text, I called her on my cell phone. Got every word she said except for one sentence at the very end of our conversation! We were both so excited!!! It is getting better each day!

Giddy up.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Barking Frog and Mountain Climbing

I find myself these days having to purposefully look for daily encouragements. There are some days where at the end of the day I literally have to pray for my eyes to be opened in order to see the day’s encouragement. It’s not that I have regret getting the implant. On the contrary, I am slowly seeing the possibilities of this implant.

The possibilities are thrilling as well as maddening, for patience is not one of my stronger virtues.

It isn’t enough that I have been able to chat with Mama on the phone everyday without much of a problem. Or that I am discovering new environmental sounds weekly. Its just that there is a need for me to pipe down. Take it down a couple of notches. Start drinking on a daily basis. More specifically, to restrain myself from rushing ahead with inflated expectations.

On Saturday night, my Hous performed the dedication ceremony for our godchild which was held at the parents’ home. It was a lovely and intimate candlelight service by followed by a dinner that lasted several hours. Because of my recent successes with the phone, I had high expectations that I would be able to follow dinner conversations better. There were 10 of us around the table and while I knew I would miss some things, I was pretty jazzed about how well I was going to do.

Let’s just say that by the end of the night I learned two things:

I have quite an extensive fantasy life.
Barking Frog is a red wine, not a misunderstanding on my part.

I was pretty frustrated by the time we got home and through the lens of disappointment, I could not see the daily encouragement. We built a fire and settled in to our movie. Halfway through the movie I got up to stoke the fire and my implant started hissing. As I moved upstairs to get the remote control to troubleshoot the problem, the hissing stopped. I came back downstairs and it started again. Seeing the confused look on my face, Hous informed me that the hissing I was hearing was not the implant but the fire.

Come again? Fire hisses?!?! I thought it just popped and crackled but apparently it also hisses when wood has not been well seasoned or if there is water on wood. Who knew?

I had never heard the fire hiss before. With disappointment, I duly noted this was my today’s daily encouragement. Hous subtly made the point that although I’d hoped that today’s encouragement would be something with conversation, I don’t get to choose my daily encouragement. A fire hiss is no less of a celebration than a conversation.

He’s right.

And I finally understood why: In the same way that a mountaineer savors his conquest of the peak more abundantly after a hard climb punctuated with small victories and setbacks, how much more would I delight in the mastery of speech discrimination if I lived each moment of the journey?