Thursday, October 31, 2013

October 31, 2013

Today Was A Treat, Not A Trick!
October 31, 2013

Sorry there was no posting yesterday, but it was a long, busy day.  We left the house where we are staying at 7:15 in the morning and returned at around 10:00 last night.  The class I took was very well taught and interesting.  I got part of the project done, but did not finish it.  The particular one I selected to make was more complex than most.  It is over 3/4 done, but still needs work.  My friend, Tiny arrived late from Austin where the weather was bad.  In the evening the displays opened and we shopped until we dropped.  In fact we left before they closed.  We stopped to pick up supper on our way home.  Long day.

As far as my hearing, the most interesting thing was that before class I talked to the teacher and told her I might not hear everything in class and if she saw me doing something wrong, to please tell me,  I told he about my Cochlear implant and she asked if I knew sign language because she did and could sign to me.  I don't know sign language.  I asked why she learned it and she said she signs at her church.

I was able to hear her in class!

Again today we left the house early in a pouring rain.  It rained much of the day.  Today was for shopping.  Tiny and I had a good time looking at fabric and new tools available  to help quilters work more quickly and accurately. 

Following the shopping we met our hosts at the dining room at the Houston Aquarium for supper and it was very good.  We had eaten there a couple of times but they had not, so it was a treat for them.

The hearing seemed to get bad during the evening and I am glad they will be sending a new sound processor next week.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October 29, 2013

Amazing Audiologist Visit
October 29, 2013

The trip to Houston today called for a very early departure from home in order to be at the audiologist in Houston by 2:00 this afternoon.  It was a good trip up and there was spare time before the appointment to do a little shopping at Lifeway Christian Bookstore and Wal-Mart.  There was also time for lunch at Chick-fil-A. 

The visit with the audiologist was almost 2 1/2 hours long.  A lot was accomplished.  There were a couple of real problem areas I was dealing with.  One was using the phone.  We probably spent 45 minutes to one hour working on the phone issues.  We made a lot of progress and among other things found a glitch in my sound processor where I get too much static when trying to use the T-coil setting when using the phone.  The audiologist, Sherri Taxman programmed another sound processor to my settings and let me try it.  There was a difference.  She will order a new sound processor for me and it will arrive already programmed to my settings,  Awesome!

Another area where I felt things might not be working right is the "Focus" setting on the remote that I use to adjust the sound processor.  In testing that in the "sound-proof booth" today, it seemed as if that setting wasn't doing what it should, so maybe the new sound processor will help.  There were many other areas we worked on and it was a very successful visit.

The rest of the day was spent registering for the Quilt Festival and having dinner with wonderful friends.  At the Quilt Festival, I was able to get a pass to take a rolling cart on the display floor so I would not end up carrying too much weight with my weak arm.  A note from my doctor took care of that.

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013

Another Nice Autumn Day
October 28, 2013

For so many mornings I was waking up very early.  Now I am making up for them and making a habit of oversleeping!  I asked my husband why he didn't wake me.  He said he knew I had been waking  too early so he just let me sleep.  Nice thought, but I had much to accomplish today.

Before going to the office, I went to the bank.  I had trouble hearing the lady teller and used my remote to adjust the sound processor and it got much better.  Once I got to the office, I spent the day doing end of the month activities since I will be out of the office for a few days. 

The day was filled with routine bookkeeping activities and nothing out of the ordinary.  That is not all bad.  Ron was out on one job and some errands for his mother.  He offered to let me leave early once he finished his errands, but I really needed to finish my chores.

The evening was spent on packing, doing a little cooking, and having an online chat with Bob and Vickey.  It had been too long since I had talked to them.  I finished most of my packing and am about ready to call it a night and get to bed so I can get up early.  I have an appointment in Houston tomorrow with the audiologist in the early afternoon. 

Wednesday I am meeting a friend in Houston for the International Quilt Festival.  She has joked on my blog from yesterday about our conditions.  I have the hearing problems and she has vision problems.  We may be an interesting pair at the festival!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

October 27, 2013

Sundays Are Special
October 27, 2013

Sundays are always special as we gather for worship services with those who love the Lord as we do.  This morning was a reminder of the fact that the church is not really a building, although we use the term that way.  The church is the individuals who make up the body of believers.  We had a great service this morning with our youth minister preaching as the pastor was out of town today.  It is Pastor Appreciation month and we have a great staff of pastors to honor.

In our Bible Study class I heard pretty well.  When you don't hear well, there are times you don't get too upset about it - like if a child is screaming, or if there is just a lot of noise, but there are other times you really want to hear what is going on.  Today was one of those days.  One of the men in our class, had been asking prayer for for his daughter-in-law.  She had been battling breast cancer and seemed to be losing the battle.  A few weeks ago, the doctors called in hospice and took her off life support and told the family she had very little time left.  He continued to ask for prayer for her.  A couple of weeks ago, she began to ask for food that she had not been able to eat and gradually started gaining strength.  A new doctor came on the case and sent the hospice workers home and told him he would call them if he needed them.  He suggested she get up and talk a walk outside in the beautiful weather.  Three days ago she was released to go home and is continuing to gain strength at home.  She has children at home who need her.  God has given her more time with them.  What a joy it was to HEAR him share this answer to prayer.

Our daughter-in-law invited us to come to their house for lunch.  She and I stopped by the store on the way to her their house and picked up things to quickly prepare a lunch of Sloppy Joes.  Our little granddaughter entertained us endlessly throughout the visit.  The older girls had gone home with friends, so it was the boys and the baby.  The older boys are great, kind helpers and we all had a wonderful time with good food.
After Ron and I left Jeff's house we took a drive up the Military Highway, which follows the river up the valley.  Things have changed a lot since the last time I had been up that way.  Then we headed home, stopping briefly in Mom's neighborhood on the way to drop some things off at her neighbor's house. 
There were NO birds in the yard this afternoon.  I guess that hawk that has been around is back.  I spent a little time in the yard and then began to gather things for a couple of classes I will be taking this week in Houston at the International Quilt Festival.  I will be taking two all day classes and doing my fabric shopping for the year.  Fun!  A friend will be meeting me there and I will be taking one of the classes with her. 
Packing still needs to be done for the days in Houston, but I think I will do it tomorrow morning.  For over 25 years I have attended the Quilt Festival in Houston as often as possible, attending lectures, taking classes, and shopping.  Last year I took 4 classes and decided I would never take another one because I just could not hear well enough.  It was hard to admit that I just could not get enough out of the classes with my limited hearing.  My Cochlear Implant was activated the first week of July and the registration for classes came in the mail a few days later.  I quickly signed up for two classes knowing that I had a new chance to hear again!  The classes still may be a struggle due to being in a room filled with sewing machines going at full speed and happy women (and a few men) chattering, but I expect to be able to hear better than I have the last few years.  I will let you know.  One class will probably be very large and it may be hard to hear in that setting, but that is the one my friend will be taking with me, so that will help.
In an earlier blog, I may have mentioned that our oldest grandson is taking a writing course on line in conjunction with his home-schooling. Each week he has been sending in a segment of a story he is writing and had given me a copy of the work he has submitted so far.  This evening I sat down and read it.  I then passed it on to Ron and we are both very impressed with his writing skills and imagination.  He thinks he wants to be a writer and we think he is well on his way - at 15 years old.  Amazing!  The writing coach in this course is asking for short essays and he is sending chapters.  She is encouraging him to aim for a novel.  He is an avid reader, mostly of the classics, and is enjoying the challenge.  I love being able to hear this young man as we discuss his ideas!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

October 26, 2013

A Great Day to Be Able to Hear!
October 26, 2013

This was a very good day!  It was made even better by the fact that I could hear!  What a blessing.  The only negative all day was that I woke up really early.  It allowed me to get a lot done, but another hour or two of sleep would have been nice.  I did get three loads of laundry done, some yard work done, hummingbird feeders washed and filled with fresh mixture, hair washed and dried, windows in the sewing room washed and shined, dish washer unloaded and loaded, and an errand run, all before 10:30 this morning.  The hummingbirds were active as were two of the Golden-fronted Woodpeckers.
Female Golden-fronted Woodpecker
The shrubs were filled with sparrows waiting a turn at the feeders.
The ever-present ducks were present.
The green and the blue Budgerigar enjoyed the feeders.
After those chores, I headed to the grocery store and got a few groceries and the items on a list of cleaning supplies the house keeper gave me just before I left.  As I have mentioned before the same lady works for Ron's mom.  We talked for a while about the recent surgery his mom had to remove a skin cancer.  She must go back in a couple of weeks and have more removed on the same spot.   That is going to be hard on her.  It brings back my having to have my second elbow surgery to try a different way to solve the problem.  When the second surgery is required, your mind keeps going back to the date of the first surgery and you feel you should be healing more quickly.  The doctor says this is not a serious type of cancer, but that it goes deep.  Please keep her in your prayers.
When I got home I ate a quick lunch.  The next hour was spent photographing birds in the yard.  I had so much fun.  A few days ago I shared that we had a couple of Budgerigars - one blue and one green.  When I looked out after my lunch, there was a beautiful white (very pale blue actually) one in the tree, looking in the hole occupied by the others. 
Before long he was joined by another blue Budgie (Budgerigar).  What a treat to watch the four of them flit around the tree.  I was not able to get all four in one photo, but here are a couple of photos of three.
Just before I put my camera away, this Bewick's Wren posed for me.  He (or members of his family) have lived here for at least 8 or 10 years and I have only a handful of photos of him.  These little birds hide very well.

I had received a Facebook message a few days ago from a friend from my growing up years.  Her name is Jaynelle and we were a year apart in school, but we were in many church activities together.  We became Facebook friends not too long ago, but had not seen each other for about 50 years. Something special about Christian friends is that even when you have been apart for years, you still have so much in common.  She was in town with her sister who was here for a class reunion.  Also a cousin had come with them.  Jaynelle and her cousin Sandra came for a visit for a couple of hours and we had a great time walking down Memory Lane.  Sandra had attended another church while we were growing up but has been a part or church in more recent years before they moved out of the area.  Some of our children had been in school together.  What a blessing to be able to carry on a conversation with them.  I could hear Jaynelle very well.  Sandra was on the side without the Cochlear Implant and I had to ask her to repeat several things, but it was a very nice visit!

One interesting thing was that family members of theirs had raised Budgies and they were able to educate me on the way to tell the sexes of the Budgies.  According to them, the green one is female.  The white one is a male.  The blue one with a white face is female and the blue one with the yellow face is male.  They enjoyed watching the birds for a while before we sat down to chat.

A Green Jay came to show his colors to the visitors.
After they left, our son Stephen called and we had a good talk.  I was able to hear him well today.  As I said, it was a very good day!

Friday, October 25, 2013

October 25, 2013

The Ducks Are Winning!
October 25, 2013

At first light this morning, I looked out the sewing room windows and the male Golden-fronted Woodpecker stuck his head out of his hole in the tree to see what he was missing.  Their hearing must be awesome.  When they have nested in an old dead tree in the front yard, the male would jump out of the hole when my key would turn in the lock to open the front door from inside.  He would quickly fly off leading me away from the nest.  I don't know what noise he heard this morning, but that head quickly popped out of the hole.  Oh, to have hearing like that!  I am in awe!

As I headed out to fill the ponds, I looked out over the water and was surprised to find NO ducks!  I thought to myself, "Maybe I am winning!"  While the hose was filling the pond I turned back toward the house and a movement caught my eye.  I looked up to the roof and there they were!

For a minute I stood there watching them as they inched a little higher up the roof to the peak, and as the picture shows, there were 7 of them.  After suggesting that they leave, I turned back to move the water, finding 12 more had flown in and landed in the water, while my back was turned, waiting...

As soon as the feeders were filled this small group flew up on the bank and headed my way while the others stayed in the water until I had gone back in the house.  Do they hear the feed sack rustle, the back door swing open, smell the food, or just know I serve good, free food at my house?

Our oldest grandson was at the office today so I used that as an excuse to pick up donuts on the way to work.  I tried to keep him busy and he did get several things done for me.  We talked a lot.  I have mentioned that he loves to write and he is taking a writing class via his computer.  He has been submitting weekly installments of a story to the teacher.  Today he brought me a copy of these first five sections.  I am  looking forward to reading them this weekend.

I love visiting with this great young man and it is so nice to not have to ask him to repeat everything he says!  I am so thankful to be able to hear him.  With my Cochlear Implant, the hearing is not perfect in all settings, but the one-on-one conversations in quiet settings are great.  Yes, there are times I do ask him to repeat, but not like I was the last few years, even before the loss in January.  It is an amazing change.

About 1:00 our second oldest grandson arrived from spending the morning with his other grandmother, helping at her business.  Both boys are picked up most Friday afternoons at 2:00 by a man from our church who takes them to study computer repairs, electronics, web page design, and several other very useful skills.  It was wonderful to visit with both of them today and HEAR what is going on in their lives.

After they left, Ron left for an appointment with the skin doctor.  He had a bunch of spots burned off and I expect he may be uncomfortable tomorrow.  I think I mentioned a little over a week ago that Ron's mom had to have a skin cancer removed.  It was rather large and deep.  The doctor says it is not a very serious one, but is deep and in fact the pathology report say he needs to remove more, so she will soon face that.  She has had a lot of pain with the work already done.  Please remember her in your prayers.

When Ron got back, I left to take a deposit to the bank and to pick up a prescription for my mom before I took her to the airport to meet my sisters for a trip together.  From there I went to meet Ron and our friends for the usual Friday night supper.  We had a good time visiting, but the restaurant is noisy, or the acoustics are just bad, but I find any restaurant is a challenge for my listening skills.

I did have one customer that I talked to for a  long time this afternoon about hearing problems.  He mentioned that he didn't know if we would be open this afternoon.  That probably means he had come by one of the days we were closed for medical reasons.  So I told him that we had been forced to close often this year for assorted medical needs.  I told him that I had gone deaf in January and at once he started to tell me how much trouble he has hearing.  He was delighted to find someone who understood the struggles he has.  Isn't that true of all of us, no matter what our struggle is?  We want to know someone understands.  When it comes to struggles with hearing, I do understand.  When it comes to struggles of any kind, God understands. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

October 24, 2013

A Day Seeing Progress
October 24, 2013

Today I could actually tell a difference in the strength of the arm that had the broken elbow.  I was  able to open the car door with it for the first time since the second surgery on that arm.  There is still pain, but there is also a little improvement there, too.  I don't have constant pain, but rather a shooting type pain that is pretty overwhelming when it comes.  That was better today.

Another change I thought about on my way home from work this afternoon is that it has been quite a while since I have had one of those spells with the very loud noises in my head.  There had been times when my head would seem to become a loud echo chamber.  I hope those episodes are gone for good!  So I think I should class this as a very good day!

When I went out this morning, I counted 13 ducks waiting for me to go away so their breakfast buffet could be enjoyed.  I have not had too many other birds the last few days, but apparently that is due to the hawk that is hanging out in the area.  I have seen him in the yard several times.  Late yesterday afternoon he was in the tree right by the sewing room.  Not good!  I guess the ducks are not frightened by him.  There were a few doves, and early this morning a few sparrows, but that was about all.  Hibiscus blooms were just starting to open.
I stopped by the church on my way to the office.  One of the ladies in the office asked how I was doing and we had a nice chat.  When I got home today I had a beautiful handmade card from her in today's mail.  I have been blessed to receive a few from her in the past and am honored to have gotten this one today.  She is so talented!
At the office I waited on customers for a good bit of the day as Ron was out on a couple of jobs.  In between the customers, I did a little filing, a little bill paying, and other such exciting chores. 
I spent some time on the testimony I will be giving soon.  When Ron was in the office, I went to the bank and later to the post office to mail a package. 
Again, it was a beautiful day and for the first time in a while, the mosquitoes were not attacking me when I was outside, so when I got home from work I spent about 30 minutes working in the yard.  It felt good to be outside working.  I trimmed a couple of bushes and hauled the clippings.  The hibiscus plants are blooming beautifully.  The ducks continue their battle with me. 
There was a Facebook posting from my daughter-in-law Vickey's nephew who is in the A Cappella choir at Stephen F. Austin University, saying that his choir concert this evening would be streaming live on the computer.  So I set up the feed and watched it to see how my musical hearing would do in that format.  The answer is "not very well".  As I have mentioned, I do best with familiar music and all of these pieces were new to me.  Watching the concert was nice and I am glad I tried, but it would have been interesting to see how I did with something I knew.
Our son Bob and I chatted a couple of times this evening and even though he had to repeat several things, it was good to talk to him.  As stated earlier, this would have to be classed as a good day! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October 23, 2013

Feeling Yucky!
October 23, 2013

Today started out as a beautiful day!  Actually, it stayed beautiful all day.  I just got to feeling bad this afternoon, so I didn't think it was a great day.  The duck wars continue.  As soon as it was daylight, the ducks gathered just off the edge of the bank, out in the water waiting for me to go away so they could come in for breakfast.  They just sit and wait.  Morning, afternoon, whenever I am around, they head to the water and wait.
Looked who popped out of the hole in the tree this morning! 

I was a little later going to the office than I had intended.  Ron had an appointment this morning to go give an estimate on a job.  He mentioned that, only he forgot to tell me what time.  When I arrived at the shop, the men waiting to take him to the appointment were there.  A salesman was there, and so were several customers.   Oops!
After taking care of several customers, the salesman and I took care of an order.  He is so impressed with the change in my hearing.  He is delighted I was able to get the Cochlear Implant and always has a variety of questions about it. 
My arm is better today.  The change from day to day can be amazing.  I am beginning to wonder if some of the pain earlier this week was weather related.  It still hurts to type, but in general, the rest of the time has been better.
After he left, I took care of some shop paperwork  and then started on that project I was working on last week.  The project is preparation to speak to a group of women at our church on November 4.  It is a Monday evening and I will be giving a testimony about some of the things that have gone on this last year with my hearing loss and Cochlear Implant.  If you are in the area and would like to come, it is open  to the ladies.  Just let me know and I will give you time and location.  I would be delighted to have you come.  The theme for the evening is A Chocolate Affair - A Sweet Time of Fellowship.  There will be a time of refreshments, visiting, music, and my testimony.  Much of the day was spent revising, editing, and praying about what to share. 
I wonder how they ever thought of me for this themed evening - A Chocolate Affair.
About 3:00 when Ron returned from his job, I told him I wasn't feeling very good - I think my lunch didn't agree with me (that's what I get for trying to eat healthy).  I came home and ended up sleeping for a couple of hours.  Then I continued the duck wars in the yard.  There were 9 of the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks working on cleaning out the feeders.  I chased them back into the water and after a little bit they decided to leave the area.
The rest of the day I spent reading and relaxing.  It is going to be a long winter with the battle of the ducks!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October 22, 2013

Seeing the Doctor
October 22, 2013

This morning I was up early and did some cleaning for quilting group tonight before I went to an 8:30 appointment with the orthopedic surgeon.  Ron and I both really like this doctor and his wife (who helps in the office).  While the doctor was looking for an old x-ray at one point, I got to visit some with his wife.  She is helping her daughter make a baby quilt for the daughter's baby due the end of the year.  I invited her to quilting tonight, but she had to work late.

Before seeing the doctor, the x-ray technician did weight, blood pressure, etc. and updated the information in the computer - as mandated by the government.  He had taken my blood pressure before asking those questions and it was high - if he had taken it after the questions, I might have maxed out the machine.  Why do they (he must get this information) need to know if I own or rent my home?; how many people live in my house?; who they are?; etc.  I was not a happy camper.  I really had trouble hearing the technician.  He speaks fast, softly, mumbles, and with an accent.  He had to repeat everything he said to me.

Then the technician took 4 x-rays of the elbow.  The doctor came into the x-ray room while I was waiting for them to be sure the x-rays were good.  The doctor asked how I was doing.  I told him I am an impatient perfectionist.  I told him that things were going fairly well but that I have a lot of wrist pain, especially when I type.  We returned to the exam room where he checked my progress.   I am making progress.  He was pleased with the elbow extension and inward bending.  He made some suggestions - including buying a different keyboard for the computer.  He went looking for the wrist x-ray from a few months ago and that was when I got to visit with his wife.

He had the technician do some wrist x-rays and said the pain seems to be from some bone deterioration in the wrist from non use.  He said that should get better as I use it more and to expect the arm to continue to get better with time.  I am to see him in six weeks again - no more physical therapy.  I need to do the exercises on my own regularly. 

It was 10:15 by the time I got to the office and Ron had needed to leave for an appointment he had, so he had just locked up and put a sign on the door, "Back in  1 Hour."  A few minutes after I got there, my friend Rhonda stopped by after walking and climbing steps at the football stadium behind our office.  While she cooled off, we had a nice visit.  She had been out of town for a week, so we had some catching up to do.  For many years I have really had a hard time hearing her, but now I do pretty well if there aren't a lot of other noises around.

Ron got back a little after noon.  I ran an errand to the convenience store down the street and traffic had pulled over for a couple of police motorcycles and a patrol car with flashing lights and sirens rushing toward town.  A block on past the convenience store were several police cars.  I wasn't sure I wanted to be out and about!  Turned out part of it was due to a house fire in an empty house.

At the office I waited on several customers, one of whom wanted me to let him use my machines so he could cut his own keys.  NO!  I wonder when he goes to the meat market if he asks to be able to cut his own meat.  When we think we have heard it all, we find we haven't!

Ron was out again in the afternoon on a job and once he got back I left a little early to go pay the utility  bill and come home and get ready for quilting.  There were four of us at quilting, including me.  It had been so long since we had been together that we ended up mostly just visiting and catching up.

After the quilters left, I talked to Bob and Vickey a long time while they typed.  It had been several days since we had visited.

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013

Six Weeks Since 2nd Elbow Surgery
October 21, 2013

Sometimes looking at a calendar can be helpful.  I thought it had been longer since my surgery to replace the radius cap in my left arm with an artificial one.  Six weeks is better than the seven that I thought.  Seems so long ago!!  I got so discouraged this morning with the lack of progress.  I see the doctor tomorrow so we will see what he says.

Yesterday I mentioned that I hate to take naps.  I slept too long yesterday afternoon, and then ended up not going to sleep until 1:30 this morning and woke at 5:30.  Since I was up early I got several things done before I went to the office and then got sleepy as soon as I got there.  We did have a rain shower during the night and one this afternoon.  We are expecting another one later tonight. 

It was slow today at the office and Ron was out for a while on a job.  I did one of the listening exercises for the Cochlear Implant on consonant sounds, and did better on it than the last one I had tried.  I then did some Immersion Reading, which I also did when I got home.  There are two tiny filters on the sound processor for the Cochlear Implant and I got Ron to change them for me tonight. 

One of the nice things that happened today is that a friend who grew up in the same church with me dropped me a note to say she will be in town this weekend and would like to get together.  What a treat!  The years of growing up in our town, our schools, and our church were very good years.  There are lots of good memories of time spent with good friends.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October 20, 2013

Celebrating With the Birthday Lady!
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Exhausted last night, I think I was asleep by 10:00.  The only negative was waking at 5:00, unable to go back to sleep.  I was able to take care of things in the backyard and hear the birds happily starting their day.  It was a bonus that the early morning was cool and crisp and the hummingbirds were active.
I was able to get a lot done before we headed to Sunday School.  David's family joined us later for church.  In Sunday School, I was able to hear Ron well as he taught a very good lesson.  But once I got to the auditorium, I really had trouble understanding the pastor.  I did change the settings with the remote for the sound processor, and it helped, but still wasn't great.  
Today we celebrated our daughter-in-law Barbara's birthday.  This celebration may not have been unique or creative, but it was just great to get to celebrate together as a family.  Barbara is married to our son Jeff, who is our second son.  They are the very proud parents of our seven grandchildren.  Our son David (our 3rd son) was here for the weekend with his wife, Diana, and Diana's niece and nephew who live with them.  What a fun time we had all weekend!

For lunch, to celebrate Barbara's birthday, we decided to go to Chili's.  I enjoy their food, but the place is noisy.  It was very hard to hear my daughter-in-law Diana, right across the table from me.  It was 1:10 when we arrived at Chili's (needing a table for 15), 2:10 when we got served, and 3:10 when we left.  The kids were tired after being up late the night before, but they all behaved wonderfully and we all had an enjoyable lunch.

We came home and David loaded up the car while Diana and I took some photos of the birds.  She had taken some great ones of a Green Jay and a couple of other birds this morning.  The Budgerigar (budgie) pair showed up together.  There is a green one that I think is the male since he has been scouting for a home for a couple of weeks.  The other is a beautiful blue, and I assume that one is the female.  She has been around a few times, but today is the first time I have photographed her.

You may recall that a few weeks ago the male budgie kept checking out the hole the woodpecker was digging  in a tree, and that the woodpecker let him know the place was taken.  The budgie found a damaged place in the tree and tried to climb in it, but it did not appear deep enough.  Today I saw him climb in and disappear.  That hole is just below the bird in the photo above.  The female is on a nail supporting a hanger for a hanging basket.  I have considered moving it but they seem to be using that wire coming in and out of the hole.  I don't know if he has been working on the hole when I wasn't around or what, but he was trying to coax the female into the hole.  While I was watching, she looked in and checked around it, but didn't go in.  She may have done so later. 
In this photo, the male is just coming out of the hole.  The hole extends down from where his tail is in this photo.  I hope they stay and raise a family there.  This is right out my sewing room window.  I will have a front seat for watching them and the woodpeckers.
When we got home, I had gone out in the yard to check the ponds and the pair of budgies flew and landed in a tree above me.  I heard them!  I HEARD them.  What fun they are going to be.

The hummingbirds were also very active today and noisy.  I could hear them calling to each other - or yelling at each other - not sure which.  I continue to enjoy watching and listening to them.  Diana has a new camera and I think she had fun trying it out on the birds. 

After they left, I checked my email and settled in the recliner for a nap.  I woke up at 9:00 this evening!  That is why I hate naps!  Now it is midnight and I am wide awake!

October 19, 2013

Relaxing Family Fun
October 19, 2013

David and I stayed up late talking the evening they arrived.  Everyone slept late - except me.  I got up early and started baking Ron's birthday cake which is his favorite: German Chocolate.  I make it from scratch and have been doing this for his birthday for over 45 years.  I am so glad it is his favorite, because it has become my favorite, too.

It was 9:00 before anyone else was up and later than that before the majority were up.  Once everyone was up, Ron picked up Shipley Donuts for breakfast and it didn't seem like long after that before it was time for lunch.  During the morning, once I had finished baking the cake, I took care of the ponds and feeders in the yard after noting some warblers on the waterfall.  What a delight to spot a new bird on the waterfall and as an added bonus, he is so colorful!
This beautiful little bird is a Northern Parula.  I hope he remembers where we live and will continue to visit in years to come.  There was a delightful variety of birds in the yard including the Wilson's Warbler pair, two budgies, a Canada Warbler, a Yellow-breasted Chat, and two little warblers I didn't identify, as well as the ducks, sparrows, Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, assorted doves, and a host of hummingbirds.


Diana spent the morning on the computer doing some work for school and taking occasional breaks to do some crochet work that she does so well.  David and Ron went to visit Ron's mom. 

After lunch, it was time to watch the Aggie football game.  It was a long, hard-fought game, but in the end, the clock ran out for the Aggies and they lost by a narrow margin.  By the time the game was over, we were very late to supper at Jeff and Barb's.  I watched much of the game on the kitchen TV as I baked daughter-in-law Barbara's birthday cake.  Barb's birthday is Sunday.
Our grandson Jacob wanted to make a cake for Ron's birthday, so we had lots of desserts.  The evening was fun-filled.
It was also filled with LOTS of laughter and "sounds" with all the kids gathered together.  There were times that the sound sensors in my brain were on overload.  There were piano duets:

Teasing, tickling, dancing, chasing, giggles...
But at times the sounds were all a little overwhelming to me.
I am so thankful that I have my Cochlear Implant, so that my day wasn't spent just watching people's mouths move with no sounds reaching my ears, but there were times I wished it could better deal with the myriad of assorted sounds coming all at once.  Hopefully continued practice will help my brain deal with it.  I have been told a second implant would help a lot, but Medicare will only pay for one and the cost of a second is not feasible.
Ron and I came home before too late, and left David and Diana and the kids to have time to visit with Jeff and Barb.  I was asleep by the time they got home. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

October 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, Hubby!
October 18, 2013

Ron's Birthday Supper
The family is celebrating Ron's 70th birthday tomorrow night, but tonight we went to supper with friends.  When the waitress brought his order, I told him all it needed was a candle on top.  Don't you think it would have made a good substitute for a birthday cake?  He only made it half way through his supper.  Same for me.  I wish restaurants would serve smaller portions!
When my husband got up this morning, I told him, "Happy Birthday!"  I did not have my Sound processor on yet so he wrote me this note. 

A couple of years ago, our youngest grandson woke up on his birthday morning and his mother wished him a happy birthday.  He told her, "It's not my birthday until Grandma brings me my present!"  Since then, that has become a family joke.  Sweet memories.

Early this morning I took care of things in the backyard and enjoyed seeing this Great Egret fly in low as he headed to the edge of the yard to watch his breakfast swim past him.  I had not see him in his usual spot for a while and was glad to see him arrive this morning.
Our oldest grandson was at the office with us today.  It was nice to have him there and I kept him busy with a list of chores.  I always enjoy the time with him and today was no different.  We discussed his home schooling, the stories he writes, my lack of imagination, current events, some very touching stories that went around on Facebook this week, and several other interesting topics.  It is great to be around a 15 year old who will talk to his grandma.  It is great to be able to hear him!  Without my Cochlear Implant there are so many blessings I would be missing!
With the Cochlear Implant, my hearing is so far above "deaf", but there are still many times I struggle.  The customers today really put my hearing to the test.  My grandson admitted that we had a very mumbling bunch of customers in the office today.  Even a repairman who came to work on the alarm system really mumbled.  There were a couple of times my grandson looked as confused as I was about what they were saying.
Ron had an appointment this morning with the orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Olson.  The doctor was pleased with Ron's progress and said the incision to relieve pressure on a nerve near his toes was deep and will continue to give him a little discomfort for a while but that it was doing well.  He still has trouble with a heel spur, but so much of the pain is diminished from the other problems.
We joined our friends for supper and had a nice visit but the noise was a problem for me.  After leaving there I went to the grocery store for a few items and got gas for my car on the way home.  Our son Dave and his family should be arriving soon.  They have not been here in a long time, so we are really looking forward to their visit.
Oh, I did finally give Ron his birthday gift!  He has received several cards and phone calls.  I think he is having a good start to a weekend of celebrating.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

October 17, 2013

The Duck Wars Continue
October 17, 2013

I mentioned the Black-bellie Whistling Tree Ducks in the blog posting for yesterday and explained that I am not bothered by one pair, but the dozen I chased out of the yard yesterday was too many.  Today it was 25 I urged to get in the water and three more met them there.   I had chased the 25 into the water and then started filling the ponds, birdbaths and feeders.  I walked out toward the water and there they were back in the yard trying to hide behind a palm tree. 

So again I chased them into the water. And another group joined them.

On the edges of the group I spotted a pair of Mallards and three Common Moorhens.
In all the commotion, I disturbed this Green Heron that has lived out back for years and years.

They eventually gave up and most of them flew away.  I finished my yard chores and returned to the house.  I just happened to be home for the afternoon. I had asked the housekeeper to come today in place of Saturday since we will be having company.  I do enjoy seeing the birds; I just hate for the ducks to tear up the yard.

Ron had been in and out of the office all morning on assorted jobs and to check on his mother.  I waited on customers, paid bills, filed paperwork, and checked inventory.  Early afternoon I headed home.  During the afternoon besides the yard chores, I baked cookies and cleaned.

Just about the time my helper left I was looking out at the waterfalls and spotted the Wilson's Warbler pair.  Earlier I had seen the black and white warbler.  Such treats!
Male above and female below.
The area that was so sore in my arm yesterday was better during the morning but got bad this afternoon again.  I had very little time for listening practice.  During the evening I had another conversation with Bob and Vickey using the phone and the computer.  Another long day and I still need to do a few things this evening.