Sound Tsunami

Day two.

Day two of trying on newbie hearing aids. To my surprise, really, it’s something of a sound tsunami.  Really.  They warned me about this, the audiologist did, the net/google searches did.  But did I believe them? Nah.  I thought they were talking about people with different kinds of hearing issues, like profound loss.  Evidently, they were talking about me too!  Seems that my old brain has gotten quite used to not hearing a lot of the background sounds and now those same sounds…..are SO loud! And there are so many!  I mean, my house is a ridiculously loud place!  No wonder I managed for so many years, not realizing I was missing stuff, because there is just SO much to hear, here.  Seriously, little boys, dogs, machines, beeping of ovens and dishwashers and microwaves and alarms, little wild boys, teen girls, dryers, washing machines, faxes, little hollering boys, snoring dogs, and oh my goodness, smoke alarms when grilled cheese sandwiches are attmpted by an almost 9 year old, dishes in the sink.  Oh my! Dishes clanking and clattering in the sink like machine guns next to my head.  Duck!

It’s a tsunami of sound. I’m trusting that my brain is still quite agile enough to sort through it all and start ignoring the inconsequential bits and ratchet up the important parts: boys sneaking about, oven timers, muffled ponderings from the back seat, teens needing a heart to heart.

And, so far, truly, despite the wall of sounds….I DID hear my Gabey ask me a great question from the back seat of my gigantic car yesterday (with no one needing to repeat it to me), and I did have a private quick convo with my eldest girl that was actually, um, private and in low tones.  Whoa.  So, I can see some possibility of benefit here…..

So, for now, I’m aurally surfing the tsunami as best I can.


It’s weird, wild and, just maybe, a little wonderful.

Bionic Ears.


So, today is the day, the day I ‘test drive’ a set of hearing aids.

I’m excited, nervous, hopeful and a little conflicted.  I wrote about the whole genetic kooky glitch, here.  See, I told my dad about it the other day; that I was about to try ’em out.  And he was kind of surprised and not sure about it…because, of course, he never did.  Get aids, that is.  And, so, what with it being him and all…by which I mean the stoic, stick it out kind of ‘tough old bird’ kind of guy…. he’s not impressed with the idea.  It seems.  He wasn’t negative, really.  But, in his life, he doesn’t feel the need.  I get that.  But his life is quite quiet.  Mine.  Quite not.

So, I feel that by at least giving it a go I’m trying, at the very least, to be fair to my kids, to my family.  I’m trying to at least satisfy my perfectionist curiosity….and see if they can make a difference.  I’m hopeful.  In the best case scenario, they’ll make a marked and better difference for my hearing and responsiveness.  In the worst case, they will be useless or just make everything worse.  Yeah, because my household is SO loud that maybe having hearing assist is actually NOT the thing I’m really wanting, eh?  Maybe there is a certain bliss in not hearing it all.  I could make that argument and run with it.  Ignorance might well be, often, bliss.

But, here I sit.  Now.  Typing at you and with my little high tech computers tucked up behind my ears.  And I have had them on for a few hours now.  And man, is it LOUD here!  I’m getting tired, actually.  The audiologist warned me that I might be so.  That it might be just TOO MUCH SOUND at first.  I psshawed; thinking, “No way.  I hear most everything, it’s just I can’t understand some of it.”  But. Oh my goodness.  She was right.  Just the “Bing” on my cell phone that alerts me, you know, “you’ve got mail“….SO loud.  I asked her if it sounded LOUD to her? She smiled.  Said, um, no, normal.  Oh.  Me, my voice…I sound like a loud Minnie Mouse.  That’s unfortunate.  At first, as we twiddled with settings, every turn of my head crackled in my ears, oh dear.  She fixed that, hurrah.  At first, it sounded like we were both in barrels, then holding a microphone, really close.  Fixed, hurrah.  After a while, we got it leveled out, we hope.  So, with some instruction, she sent me out.

I went to the  market.  Because I’m a european by my habits, I suppose, and find I have to go most every day (meaning, the kids are still eating me out of house and home and produce doesn’t keep, nor does it get the chance to and oh my goodness how many clementines and bananas can one family go through in a week?????).  Anyhow, it was my first real test drive.  It was…ok.  It was NOT like putting on a new glasses rx and feeling a biblical relief.  “I can SEE!”  It was not like I had superwoman hearing and could hear the bagger gossip across the store (not that they DO….).  It was just kind of like, more, somehow.  Not only amplified either.  Just kind of like more sounds altogether with some standing out, sharply.  She warned me that it would take my brain time to adjust but it would.

So, at this point, I’m waiting.  I might take them off for a while, just to take a break.  But, as my college boy points out….I’m quieter too.  My voice is.  Aw….. I know!  But that right there might contribute to lowering the overall sound volume in the house, soon.  Now, it feels very loud.  My goodness those small boys are noisy.  I suddenly feel rather old….  So… opinion on these hearing aids is on hold.  It’s just a test drive, after all.  I want to love them.  I’m not sure, yet.  But it’s day one.  If I DO love them, I’m gonna get em in a REAL color instead of the basic tech gray.  I figure if they help me out and cost the big bucks…I’m not gonna try to pretend they don’t exist (but also not gonna put a neon sign on either…it’s all balance, right?).

So, there it is.  I have ear helps.  I’m not sure yet if they are – helps.  I suspect they might be.  But am not sure. I’m hopeful.  Uncertain.  And…a little tired. They still feel a little weird, physically.  I cannot imagine having the little ones INSIDE the ear canal, yikes.  But I trust that I’ll stop being so conscious of them, soon.  At any rate, maybe this will help me not feel like I need to shout so much, right?  Maybe it will help me be a stealth ninja mom and sneak up on my kids who are sneaking…..ok.  Maybe not.  But, for today, for this month, I’m test driving some baby bionics.  Some teensy weensy mini computers on both my ears….too bad they don’t vacuum and make cappucino’s too……

50 for 50

So, it’s my 50th birthday today.  Yeh, I can hardly believe it myself. I surprise myself every time I catch a glance in a passing window, wondering why my mom is tagging along.  Oh wait…..

But, instead of focusing on some of the mournful aspects of turning officially 50 (body changes oh my…)…..I want to mark this day with my own personal list of 50 things for which I am grateful.  I want to put up this list for me (to mark as my memory goes, sooner I fear rather than later); it is not anywhere close to all encompassing, it will not list every person because that list would probably be endless and my memory is going so I wouldn’t remember the names and then I’d get all stressed out and, well, you get the idea…..

It’s my birthday and I’ll list as I want to.  No particular order or relevance or profundity – mundane and inane and momentous included.  It’s barely a scratch of the surface of the goodness in my blessed life.  Just as with people, impossible to list every thing to be thankful for.  Comments will be closed because this post/list, really, it’s for me to officially recognize all the bounty of goodness and wonder in my life.  

Now, today at 50, here we go….

50 for 50:

  1. My family: husband, each and all my kids.
  2. My mom and dad and sister and brothers;  my nieces and nephews.
  3. My Godchildren.
  4. My faith and my church, the Catholic Church and all that comes with it: the saints, the smells the bells the big perpetual global prayer that unites us all, the eucharist and the simplicity and beauty of this mind blowing truest thing.
  5. my friends, old, new, virtual and in real life….don’t know what I’d do without them/you. close ones far ones near and dear and darn ones……
  6. raspberries and blackberries
  7. coffee, espresso, iced coffee
  8. Vanilla almond milk for my iced coffee
  9. the warm soft early summer air in the south before the air turns heavy dripping with humidity later
  10. the beach, any and all
  11. Carlsbad, perhaps my favorite place, anywhere
  12. novenas
  13. the rosary
  14. the Dominican Provence of St Joseph
  15. my bulldog sitting next to me as I read
  16. spending much of my childhood riding my horse all over
  17. horseback rides with my dad, both the long trail rides through the desert and the local walkabouts around the neighborhoods
  18. sitting out in the ocean, beyond the breakers waiting for the next set on the boogie board as a teen
  19. yakking in the sun with girlfriends who are (still) like sisters as we waited and teased each other (or they teased me) for being scared for the next set of waves
  20. figuring out, finally, how to make really good homemade bread/boule with a crunchy crust and a soft airy inside
  21. watching my kids, especially my big boys, devour the bread I make
  22. singing badly in the car to old songs just to aggravate the kids, as needed
  23. having run a few marathons, having loved running a few half marathons
  24. college. grad school. all of it.
  25. reading, forever my favorite thing
  26. electronics and our convenient world; the net, iphones, email
  27. e-readers, the kindle and ipad for the liberating ease of use and portability
  28. routines of stretching for helping my body age and transition
  29. girls night out, especially when it involves my sister
  30. wine and lemon drop martinis
  31. the “love letters” my son makes me: books and songs and pictures
  32. saturday night standing date night with my tom
  33. movies, especially going OUT to movies
  34. hearing my kids play music and sing
  35. listening to my kids play the music and sing downstairs in the living room as I lie above them drifting to sleep in bed
  36. late afternoons at the beach as the sun starts sinking lower and the crowds fade off and the sand starts to cool but the last bites of conversation or being are still being savored
  37. late afternoons at the pool watching my kids swim and reading as the heat of the day ebbs away
  38. prepping and making a sunday dinner as tom takes the kids out on boat and the house gets quiet and I can prepare a simple ‘feast’ to mark the best day of the week
  39. sundays
  40.  my family still being connected despite all of us being different and in different places, we are and will be there for each other
  41. watching my nephews graduate from college with my sister
  42. a baby, especially my babies, falling asleep on my chest
  43. the difficult events in my life that have scared me, tested me, indeed darn near or indeed broken me…because I healed stronger.
  44. being able to give an assist, however small, to others who’ve found themselves struggling with the same or similar events or issues
  45. the Liturgy of the Hours
  46. telling my kids jokes that only their dad and I get, sharing the high fives with him
  47. making sure my kids know I’m a laugh riot
  48. the smell of tom’s neck and his arms around me
  49. bubbly water, bubbly anything
  50. waking up to face this next era, knowing that life is beautiful, challenging, and all gift.


My dinner with Buzzi….OR, Notes to a waiter…

Ruth Buzzi, that is….

Ruth Buzzi in her famous "Old Lady" character....

You see, last night Coffeedoc and I got all gussied up and drove downtown to a lovely  fancy restaurant.  We were celebrating our 25th Anniversary and we were just happy to be out of the house and be able to have an uninterrupted conversation and enjoy some a nice delish quiet dinner.

And so we did…we arrived a bit late, per usual, and we were escorted to a quiet corner table.  As we perused the menu and wine list, it happened.  The server said to me, upon pouring some water, “Here you are Young Lady.”  Really.  No big deal, right?  Hmmm.  But then, he brought my wine…and said it again!  Now, I’ll let that go, if the speaker is older than me…say, someone around the age of my father (who is now 80).  I immediately looked over at Tom, who was seemingly captivated by the menu.  So, I shrugged it off.  But, and this is the part where I must have unwittingly morphed into Ruth Buzzi… this waiter began to use that phrase with almost every turn of attention to us.  Truly.  And of course, only to  me.  Because somehow this young pup (I am now pulling out all of my old fogey lingo since I am old enough to have perfect strangers patronize me) thought that it was somehow charming to continue to refer to me as “young lady.”

Now, many of you might think, “Gee, what’s her problem? That’s not so bad, don’t get your panties in a knot…”  But, if you are thinking that, I’d lay dollars to donuts (another fogey phrase…) that you’re YOUNG!  And while I may very well be staring down the barrel of fifty (that’s the rumour at any rate…), I haven’t yet really started considering myself officially, really, OLD.

But now, thanks to this young waiter….I feel like a rickety old crone.  I know it shouldn’t make me feel so, but, it does a little bit.  Gee willikers.  Maybe we old gals are touchy….  Now, we still had a really lovely romantic dinner.  My sweet Tom helped distract me from the patronizing waiter.  I only mentioned wanting to deck they guy once, I think.  But I have to say, to all you servers out there (and I can say this because I DID wait tables for years in college) if you want to keep your customers in a good mood….don’t try out some faux debonair “young lady” comments on anyone older than  you.  It just doesn’t play like you think it does.  Not suave, not cute.  Really.  Makes us old gals a little hostile, even…or at least THIS old gal.  Ahem.  He still got a good tip, because it was our anniversary.  But if it wasn’t…… I’m not deft with the quick comeback.  I so wish I was, because today I have a number of them.  But, since I’m now officially an old doddering crone….I’ll probably forget them.

I’m off to buy a hairnet…..

Landing in Kona...we OLD GALS get around!

Forget that…I”m going back to Hawaii…