"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive." Anaïs Nin

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Nets Kids Dancer Defies Odds Despite Hearing Loss

I had the privilege of meeting the inspiring Vako Gvelesiani and his family this summer in New Jersey at Oticon's "Focus on People" Awards. Vako won the award in the category of "Student". His mother sent me the link to Monday's (Dec. 28, 2014) issue of "Today's News" which covers Vako's story of dance. This young man has a bright future and I think we'll be watching Vako shine for a long, long time!

Brooklyn Nets Kids dancer defies odds, performs despite hearing loss: http://www.today.com/news/brooklyn-nets-kids-dancer-defies-odds-performs-despite-severe-hearing-1D80393097

Left to right is Susie Chambre, winner in the "Adult" category, Vako Gvelesiani, winner in "Student" category, Joyce Edmiston, winner for "Advocacy" and on the far right is Susie Ternes, winner of the "Practitioner" category.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Captioned ASL story "The the Night Before Christmas"

This is a repost of one of my favorite videos from Christmas of last year, 2013.

Here is a delightful signed and captioned account of "The Night Before Christmas" posted by Sheena McFeely.. Isn't she adorable? Be sure to check the second video for "9 Reasons This Little Girl's ASL Version is so Great" at the bottom of this post!

Happy Christmas!Here is a delightful signed and captioned account of "The Night Before Christmas" posted by Sheena McFeely.. Isn't she adorable? Be sure to check the second video for "9 Reasons This Little Girl's ASL Version is so Great" at the bottom of this post!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Sh** Hearing People Say (Things You Don't Say to Deaf and Hard of Hearing)

Rikki Poynter shares with us some of the things people have said to her over the years regarding her deafness. Many deaf people, and people with hearing loss have heard these, and many more in their lifetime. I don't have such witty remarks to share as this young lady, but I admire her spunk and that she freely expresses what she thinks.

What comments have been directed to you, and how did you respond?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Photo of Bandon Beach Sunset by Gary Edmiston

This sunset at Bandon Beach, Oregon was captured by Fabulous Husband, aka HipFotoGuy, Gary Edmiston -  you can contact him at hipfotoguy@live.com for prints. He's also on FaceBook 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

52 Reasons to Visit Breathtaking, Benevolent Bandon by the Sea, Oregon - guest post by Sherrill Gray

Founded in 1873 by Lord George Bennett of Ireland, the quaint coastal town of Bandon, located just 90 miles north of the California boarder, may be referred to as the “Hub of the Southern Oregon Coast”.  Historically, known for fishing and timber opportunities; today’s modern Bandon is filled with an abundance of breathtaking scenery, benevolent residents, unique cultures, family recreation and historic venues. Its sights and shops are all within walking distance of charming Old Town, which makes it the perfect place for strolling, shopping and dining while you're on holiday. If you haven’t put this coastal town on your Bucket List, you might be missing out on more than you think.
1.    Go Fly a Kite: If you’re looking for a day of fun at the beach, flying kites is an affordable activity the whole family will enjoy and Bandon’s beaches are a kite flyers' paradise.  Pick up a kite at the Koffee N Kites Shop located in Old Town.
2.    Let’s Go Fishing: Sideline Guide service is comprised of years of river fishing along with dedication and research that has earned Craig Paulsen the reputation of the go-to guy. Novice or experienced, Craig welcomes all anglers. www.sidelineguide.com .  If you’re interested in a Deep Sea Fishing Adventure.  Give Ken & Phyllis Butler a call at Prowler Charters and book a seat on one of their sea worthy vessels. They will make your day on the ocean a memorable one.  All gear is supplied. 325 1st St SE (541) 347-1901
3.    Visit a Winery: The Foster Family is popular for their cranberry wines at Sea Mist Winery. They take pride is using all locally grown cranberries from their own 32 acre farm and are happy to host tours to curious guests. www.seamistwine.com
4.    Play Golf: Bandon has gained much recognition due to its beautiful golf courses.  Bandon Dunes Golf Resort offers a five star experience.  You will also find an array of other amenities at the Dunes Resort including overnight accommodations and fine dining. www.bandondunesgolf.com .  Bandon Crossings Golf Course is home to “18 Unique Experiences. Named one of the 10 best new courses of 2007 by GOLF Magazine, it is gathering a loyal following as it offers both great golf and great value.  www.bandoncrossings.com  
5.    Turn Trash into Art: Washed Ashore is a local and internationally known non-profit, community based organization, with a mission to educate and create awareness about pollution through art. Witness for yourself the massive sculptures of sea life, made from marine debris. This is a great experience for the whole family.  www.washedashore.org 
6.    Visit a Myrtlewood Factory: Zumwalt’s Myrtlewood  gifts made from the rare Myrtlewood tree, indigenous only to Northern California, Southern Oregon and Israel, are unmatched in their elegance and will be treasured over the years. www.zumwaltsmyrtlewood.com
7.    Pet a Wild Animal: Just 7 miles south of Bandon is West Coast Game Park Safari,  home to over 450 animals and birds representing 75 different species.  Walk and talk with the animals. This is as up close and personal as it gets. www.westcoastgameparksafari.com
8.    Eat some Chocolate: Coastal Mist Chocolate serve up a full line of artesian, European desserts, pastries and a Chocolate Lovers Club. www.coastalmist.com   Bandon is Oregon's cranberry capital, and for 50 years Cranberry Sweets has been combining cranberries and chocolate.  But don’t take my word for it ~ they offer samples to everyone. www.cranberrysweets.com
9.    Pick a Blueberry; David Leff at Twin Creek Ranch Blueberry Farm welcomes folks to come visit his blueberry haven. Pick your own or buy them picked.  David takes pride in his naturally grown berries. Give him a call to schedule a tour. (541)404-4262.
10. Tour a Cranberry Farm: Bandon’s cranberry industry dates back to the 1890s, and produces 500,000 barrels annually. Faber Farms offer free educational tours daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Call ahead at (541)347-1166 or visit www.faberfarms.com
11. Visit a Lavender Farm: Lavender can help you relax & gain clarity as you take the next steps toward the rest of your day and the Lavender Lady Farm promises all natural products made from sustainably grown lavender. www.lavenderladyfarm.com  
12. Taste some Oregon Jam: Misty Meadows Jam has been making jam and other condiments in Bandon since the 70’s. There are so many flavors to choose from, all made with locally grown fruits and berries. www.oregonjam.com
13. Visit a Museum: The Bandon Historical Museum is dedicated to preserving, interpreting and sharing the wonderful heritage of Bandon, the Coquille Valley, and southwestern Oregon. The museum is open seven days a week from 10:00 to 4:00 PM.  www.bandonhistoricalmuseum.org
14. Take in a Show:  Check out play schedules for the Sprague Theater at www.spraguetheater.org  or The Bandon Playhouse Theater at www.thebandonplayhouse.org.
15. Stay at a Beachfront Inn: The Inn at Face Rock is an ocean view retreat for the beach lover and those just looking to be pampered. www.innatfacerock.com  
16. Tantalize your Palate: Bandon has a plethora of specialty eateries, from Fresh Seafood to Italian Coastal Cuisine. Check out the few listed here. www.allorowinebar.com. www.lordbennett.com. www.theloftofbandon.com .
17. Say Cheese: Face Rock Creamery specializes in making premium, hand crafted, gourmet cheeses from start to finish. Stop by and watch their Creamery Technicians work and enjoy sampling. www.facerockcreamery.com
18. Walk the Boardwalk: Located on the waterfront, the Famous Bandon Boardwalk is an artsy adventure. Visit sea sculptures scattered along this riverside promenade.
19. Visit a Lighthouse: Coquille River Lighthouse was erected on February 29, 1896. Discover what an amazing role this majestic structure played in the history of this seaport community. www.lighthousefriends.com
20. Bird Watch: The Bandon Marsh Refuge is renowned for its excellent shorebird viewing opportunities. Birdwatchers visiting in the spring or fall can expect to see thousands of native species. http://www.fws.gov/oregoncoast/bandonmarsh/index.htm
21. Take a Stroll:  Bandon's Old Town shopping district is a feast for the senses. Click the link below for an interactive map of the city. http://www.bandon.com/downloads/BandonOTMap.pdf
22. Visit a Marina: The Port of Bandon is a stopover for commercial, sport and ocean going cruisers providing fuel and marine pump out capabilities. Contact the Port for mooring information. www.portofbandon.com
23. Grab a Donut: Bandon Baking Company has been satisfying customer’s cravings for over 14 years. Year after year, tourists return for their wholesome sweets.  www.bandonbakingco.com
24. Expand your Wardrobe: Located at 92 SE 2nd Street, Devon’s Boutique boasts a nod for storefront excellence by the Oregon Main Street program and multiple shoppers-choice awards. www.devonsboutique.com    For a more casual flare stop by Black Horse Boutique, located at 385 N. 2nd Street is where you will find a wide variety of apparel and great prices.
25. Personalize a T-shirt: Gibson Graphics is a local screen print business that specializes in personalized shirts, hats, jackets and team wear. www.bandonshirts.com
26. Read a Bestseller: WinterRiver Books is an independent bookstore located in the heart of Old Town. This expansive bookstore offers a relaxing atmosphere and a unique selection of children’s books, cards, music, games and reviews on all the new arrivals.www.winterriverbooks.com
27. Horseback on the Beach: Enjoy a guided North Beach trip along the Pacific Ocean on horseback while taking in tide pools, majestic rock views and caves. Call Bandon Beach Riding Stables for reservation (541)347-3423
28. Check out Local Artists: Second Street Gallery featuring over 89 artists and art companies primarily in the Pacific Northwest.  www.secondstreetgallery.net.  Offering workshops in: kelp basketry, jewelry making, glass fusing, or more, the Sage Place is the place to let your creative spirit play. www.sageplacebandon.com.   Riverside Studio located at 346 Riverside Dr. specializes in pottery & basket weaving and frequently offers classes. Call for details on class schedules. (541)551-0071
29. Buy some Wool: The Wool Company has an ever growing product line of Alpaca, Merino, Cashmere, Angora and Shetland wool yarns. Beautiful organic cottons, scrumptious silk blends and mink yarns are also available. www.woolcompany.com
30. Go Camping: Bullard’s Beach State Park & Campground is nestled among shore pines and well protected from the strong ocean breezes. This large park, just two miles north of Bandon, has access to dunes and beaches. Take a walk or bike ride on a paved pathway to the beach.  Don’t forget your binoculars!
31. Grab an Ice Cream Cone: Located at 130 Baltimore in Old Town, The Big Wheel General Store is home to the Fudge Factory, and the best ice cream in town, they offer every flavor you could think of and a few more.
32. Board a Pet: At Riverview Kennels canine and feline clients enjoy spacious, comfortable runs, fully heated facilities and many other comforts. Open 7 days a week.  Check out vaccination requirements  www.riverviewkennels.com
33.  Collect a Gem: Jail House Rock is located at 570 2nd St. Here you will find unique jewelry and one-of-a-kind gems to purchase, or you can design your own. You might even find a pet rock!
34. Rent a Bicycle:  South Coast Bicycles is a full-service cycling center and carries something for everyone and for all ages. Rent a bicycle for a day, weekend or week, with single and multiple-day special rates. www.southcoastbicycles.com.  They also provide you with a route planner at www.twowheeloregon.com.
35. Take a Glass Art class: Bryce Dimitruk’s Vines Art Glass Gallery offers beautiful works of art from hand blown glass ornaments to one of a kind vases and sculptures. Visit their website for class schedules www.vinesartglass.com or call (541)347-2652.
36. Buy some Leather: The Cobbler's Bench offers quality shoes and clothing. Purchase  new leather or take your old leather in for repair. www.bandoncobblersbench.com 
37. Eat Vegan: Better known as the “Organic Wine Press” Pacific Blues has been serving organic cuisine and wines for years. They cater to specialty preferences and offer indoor or outdoor seating. www.organicwinepress.com
38. Watch a Parade: Bandon’s Cranberry Festival is an event that began over 60 years ago to pay tribute to the community’s No. 1 agricultural crop. It’s a weekend affair and takes place the second weekend in September annually.
39. Browse a Gift Gallery: The Spirit of Oregon, located at 112 S 2nd is not short on unique gifts featuring handmade pottery, sea baskets and animal sculptures.
40. Order a Cheesecake:  www.chubbygirlcheesecakes.com
41. Buy Fresh Seafood: Bandon Fish Market  provides locally caught seafood, delicious smoked fish, fresh shrimp, oysters, and Dungeness crab, caught in season, visit www.bandonfishmarket.com
42. Shop Exotic: Check out Tribal Artifacts and Exquisite Indigenous Treasures at Bandon’s most exotic shop The Gypsy Wagon.  www.bandonwagon.tumblr.com
43. Capture a moment: PortraitEFX offers customers a National Brand Photographic Network with Local Touch and Care, they bring decades of high-volume photography and marketing experience. Call Gary Edmiston of South Oregon Coast portraitEFX at (541)982-9393 www.soc.portraitefx.com
44. Get Pampered at the Spa: Vicki G's Salon & Day Spa offers a variety of spa treatments to provide you a healthy, relaxed, revitalized sense of calm and wellness for your body and soul. www.vickigspa.com
45. Pick up a Souvenir:  Bandon Mercantile ensures a wonderful shopping experience with exceptional customer service and high quality merchandise at great prices. www.bandonmercantile.com.  Bandon Card & Gift Shoppe, located in Old Town has a collection of general gifts, wind-chimes, wind-socks, cards, tee shirts, collectibles, jewelry, holiday ornaments & figurines. "A unique collection of gifts for all seasons”.
46. Have a picnic: Bandon State Natural Park awaits the beachcomber, the explorer, the artist and the dreamer. Located along Bandon's Beach Loop Road, there are several locations with easy beach access, picnicking and unsurpassed views.  www.oregonstateparks.org
47. Visit a Toy Store: The Toy Room has a large selection of baby gifts and toys, Klutz, Think Fun, Melissa & Doug, games, dress-up, wooden toys, kites and magic kits. Something for kids of all ages.  Call 541-347-9783 for store hours.
48.  Go Crabbing: The Port-O-Call will make sure you have everything you need to crab off the docks, fishing licenses, crab pots, fishing poles and bait are always available. Weber’s Pier, provides access to 360 feet of a concrete crabbing dock. Bring a chair and get ready to spend a wonderful day of family fun crabbing for delicious Oregon Dungeness Crab.  www.tonyscrabshack.com/port-o-call/  
49. Eat a Famous Fish Taco: Tony’s Crab Shack is located on the Bandon Boardwalk draws folks from all over the state to enjoy their friendly atmosphere, fresh seafood and the salt air of the mighty Pacific Ocean. www.tonyscrabshack.com  
50. Go Kayaking: South Coast Tours will take you on an adventure paddle in the Wild Rivers Coast estuaries.  Go fishing, wildlife viewing or just simply enjoy the experience of gliding across the waterways. Check their website for rates and availability.  www.southcoasttours.net  
51. Visit a Fish Hatchery: Visitors can view and feed large rainbow trout in a show pond, and can observe the spawning of salmon and steelhead October – March. Bandon Fish Hatchery is located at 55212 Fish Hatchery Road, Bandon, OR 97411 (541) 347-4278
52. Catch a Sunset: The perfect ending to a perfect day, overlooking the beach, viewing majestic sea stacks, and the smell of the Pacific Ocean.  There’s nothing more mesmerizing than a sunset at the Oregon Coast.  

      Today's guest post is written by Sherrill Gray. Sherill is a native Oregonian who is passionate about Umpqua Valley wines and craft brews. She and her husband Doug own and operate Gray Ghost Tours, a wine and brewery tour business in Roseburg. Sherrill publishes a monthly online news letter, The Umpqua Valley Crush and is Chapter Director for Girls Gone Grape Southern Oregon, an organization that is community driven by women.

Sherrill Gray

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Snippet of What It's Like to be Deaf

There is a fabulous interview with this gentleman after the clip. He discuses not only what it was like to be temporarily deaf, but also how people he worked with started to treat him differently.


I have been incredibly blessed these past few years to have family and friends who understand my hearing loss and are respectful and patient with me. I wish this were the case for everyone.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thank you, Veterans!

On this Veteran's Day, we honor and thank those who have served, and continue to serve our country.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Lip Reading Challenge: Guest Post by James Story from Chums

I want to thank James Story for graciously accepting my request to share what Chums has created. Chums challenges us to 4 different lip reading exercises. Read about the challenge and see how well you do.


As part of UK Deaf Awareness Week in May, Chums launched an interactive lip reading challenge to test people and see how well they could lip read ten videos of different people speaking directly to a camera. All you need to do is select one of four possible answers to identify what was said. The challenge is also timed, so you get to see how accurately you can lip read as well as how long it takes you to work out what’s being said.

Lip reading is a fundamental method of communication which you may think is quite easy. However, as you’ll see, when people speak less explicitly you may end up taking longer than expected to work out what our volunteers are saying. The challenge was made to cast a light on some of the difficulties that those who are deaf or hard hearing face every day.

So far, the challenge has been a massive success. More than 9,000 people took the challenge during Deaf Awareness Week and since then more than 13,000 people have took the challenge and shared it with their friends. With roughly 1 in every 500 people in the US being functionally deaf, we’re pleased to help raise awareness and invite you to take part in the lip reading challenge to test your skills and see just how well you do! Take the challenge here http://www.chums.co.uk/blog/?page_id=601

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Albuquerque New Mexico and the Petroglyph Monument

After our visit to Roswell, we headed north up to Santa Fe. I had spent time there with my parents back in the 70's. My mother and I LOVED the city, the culture that has been preserved, and especially the architecture. We visited museums and spent much time in the Old City.

I was amazed how much the city had grown along the outskirts. It looked so different from what I remember from my visit decades ago. I wanted to visit the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, but to our dismay, the streets were too narrow and there was no parking for a large RV, let alone one towing a car like we are. We decided we would have to forego this as one of our stops, and opted to head over toward Albuquerque.

We pulled in to the KOA campground around 8 pm. It had been a long drive, and we decided to stay one night and then head on over toward Flagstaff, Arizona in the morning.

Starting late in the morning, we headed out of Albuquerque and saw the sign for the National Petroglyph Monument. Gary suggested we stop at the visitor center and take a look around. Bear and I were looking around at the items in the center when Gary said, "Let's go. There's a trail up to the petroglyphs we can hike just a little ways up the road."

RV parking is just outside the park, and it was just a short walk in to where the trail begins. The park ranger reminded me of Wilford Brimley, the actor in "Cocoon". He took a look at Bear and began to tell us the park rules. He said we had to stay on the trail, don't touch anything, watch out for rattlesnakes, mean squirrels and the mean men at the top with clubs and guns. (There weren't any - he just wanted to tease Brody and paint a picture of the wild, wild west. :-)

This is what we climbed. It looks like it's smooth and easy, but it is a fairly steep and very rocky climb.

Here are a few photos I took with my iPhone of a few items along the trail of Boca Negro Canyon.

We climbed up Boca Negra Canyon Peak and had a stunning view, not only of the petroglyphs along the steep rocky terrain, but an awesome view of the Rio Grande Valley and the Sandia Mountains on the other side of the canyon.

If you tilt your head a bit to the left, you can see the shape of the heart.

Next post will feature the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest