Month: August 2014

My COOL KID

My daughter, Greta, I have bragged up in the past.  She is an amazing girl and I love her with all my heart.  Does she have tween attitude and eyes that roll…you bet, but she is a wonderful daughter and so proud of her.  This past county fair Greta won two grand champion ribbons for a couple projects that deal with hearing loss.  She was interviewed this past week and this is article that was written.  I am so proud of this COOL KID.  

Meet the Cool Kids

Education Takes Grand Prize: Greta Lundquist

By Rachel Janis, staff writer

Eleven-year-old Greta Lundquist stands before two large trifold poster boards, fashioning a welcoming smile as onlookers peruse the Swift County Fair in Minnesota. Her poster boards—one entitled “Being Hard of Hearing,” and the other, “My Visit with Tani Austen, Starkey Hearing Foundation”—capture curious eyes, and Greta confidently answers questions and explains why she is there.

The soon-to-be sixth grader actually has normal hearing, but because her mom was scheduled to be fitted for hearing aids at the Starkey Hearing Foundation’s office, Greta accompanied her and received the opportunity of a lifetime.

And as she proudly showcases her two poster boards at the fair, she can’t help but to think about that special day—sitting one-on-one Tani Austen, co-founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation, for an interview.

Greta’s mom has moderate to severe hearing loss, while her six-year-old brother has mild hearing loss. While interviewing Tani Austen, Greta heard a very familiar story. It happened that Tani, too, became aware and interested in hearing loss at a young age, when Tani’s mom first received hearing aids. Tani, along with William F. Austen and a group of dedicated workers, eventually went on to fit more than 100,000 hearing aids to people in need each year through the Starkey Hearing Foundation. The Starkey team helps people all over the globe, such as in Kenya, Honduras, and Israel. And that day, Greta got to interview Tani and learn all about the projects and missions the foundation has completed. One thing Greta learned was that “anyone can work on a hearing mission,” whether you’re hard of hearing, deaf, or hearing.

Greta took this to heart and decided that she wanted to educate the Swift County fair-goers about the deaf and hard of hearing community—not only to honor her mother and brother, but to bring awareness to the general hearing population. “It is not just people in nursing homes who are hard of hearing,” Greta reminds us.

Greta’s informational poster boards won her two blue ribbons and two Grand Champion ribbons at the fair.

It felt great teaching her audience a little bit about what it’s like to live with someone who’s hard of hearing. She has to make sure she’s facing her mom when talking to her, and if they’re in a noisy shopping mall or a busy café, Greta just has to wait until they get to a quieter spot. Their home is also a little bit different than the average household, fit with a few more pieces of technology, like a captioned phone and TV, assisted listening devices, and a plentiful amount of hearing aid batteries just in case.

“Try wearing earplugs for a day and you might get a little bit of an understanding of how hard it is,” Greta advises. “It is frustrating [for me] at times, but… just because my mom may say, ‘Not now,’ or, ‘I can’t hear you right now,’ doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to talk to me. We just need to find a better place.”

Hearing loss doesn’t hold this family back. It may be seen as a struggle or a conflict sometimes, but hearing loss is something that can easily be managed and even embraced. Greta hopes to participate in a hearing mission someday alongside Tani Austen and the Starkey Hearing Foundation. As she clutches her Grand Champion ribbons with pride, she knows that she can make a difference, giving a voice to those who aren’t able to hear.

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How Do You Define deaf?

A very interesting read…makes you think of all the labels out there. What to use and when and why to use them.

SayWhatClub

I just came across this post last week that asks about the definition of deaf. You can find more replies here http://alt.newsgroups.archived.at/support.hearing-loss/201105/11051917641.html

 “Greetings – I just had to complete an on-line training course in “Diversity”. There was a question that asked what preparations should be made for an interview with a person known to be deaf. The answer included having a hearing loop ready. My response was that a hearing loop would/could assist someone like me with a hearing impairment, with suitable aids, but not someone who was deaf, because my understanding of the word deaf is that it means total hearing loss – the same as “blind” means total loss of sight as opposed to a visual impairment. I’d be interested to see responses about how others describe themselves – i.e. deaf or hearing impaired.”

I don’t mean to pick on this person. If anything, I see both the…

View original post 493 more words

County Fair

Every year as the thermometer creeps up and the nights get a little shorter we have a wonderful event that our family fully loves….The County Fair.  We are not a family of livestock or crops but we love the fair for the neighbors we will see, the hard work of our community members and our favorites the 4H and open class buildings.  

Both kids are in 4H and this is a big deal getting all the projects put together and then going to the fair and judge them.  Greta brought 8 projects to the fair.  She came home with 8 blue ribbons, 2 grand champion ribbons and a honorable mention.  I think that is pretty good for an 11 year old.  Henry is in Cloverbuds and he brought with 4 projects and came home with 4 ribbons.  

Chad and I entered open class which is always a fun thing to do and so different from year to year.  Chad entered a welded candle holder and got a second place ribbon.  I entered a variety of items and got a variety of ribbons from first to 3rd.  Here is our 2014 fair experience in pictures….

Henry’s judging and his ribbons

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Greta’s judging and ribbons

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A sampling of my ribbons

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A great time was had at the fair and not even two full days after the fair has been done we are already asking ourselves the question…WHAT SHOULD WE MAKE FOR NEXT YEAR?

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A Job

Never Give Up

Today I have a feeling in my soul that hasn’t been there for a long time, contentment.  I have struggled with a hole in my soul that I wanted to fill with work.  I want to work and help support our family.  

I have worked since I was a little girl.  I had a daily paper route that was a 5 day a week afternoon paper.  That was my first work experience and it taught me hard work, determination and discipline.  I babysat a ton then moved to waitressing all through high school.  In college I always took a full class load but always worked at least 30 hours a week also.  Work was important to me, it always has been.  

When I moved from the Twin Cities to the small town in Rural Minnesota I left my full time job of 10 years.  This was hard but also a good time to reconnect to my husband, my small daughter and we then had our son.  I have done little jobs here in town.  I worked at a local floral shop, a cashier at the grocery store and my main job as a substitute teacher.  Both kids are in school all day I need more, my soul needed more, my family could use more.  I have tried so hard this past year to find another job.  A job that I could count on hours and also feel I can make some sort of difference not just keep the peace in a classroom for a day.  I interviewed for a few jobs in town…NO.  I applied and interviewed for so many jobs at school….NO.  I needed to change the direction I was going.  What to do, I know I have certain limitations with my hearing.  Answering phones all day would not be a good fit for me.  Numerous people talking all around me also not a good fit.  

This weekend is my first hours working as a PCA, personal care attendant.  I am excited, happy and at peace.  I am earning money, I am helping a fellow human being, my needs are being met by being a productive citizen.  I believe this will be a good fit.  I know where I will be working and when I will be working.  I love the stability, I love knowing a paycheck will be coming.  I won’t be rich but my soul is feeling alive.  

How to ask

caution hearing loss

When to ask, how to ask, and who to ask.  These are all question that flood through my mind when I realize I am not getting what I need at an event or in a situation.  I will be an advocate for my children, and for a cause until the end of time but how do you become an advocate for yourself?  I had made a New Years Resolution that I was going to stand up for myself and make sure I can get what I need.  This post is my public display that I am not holding up my end of the bargain.  

I will tell people I am hard of hearing.  People may ask how much loss do you have, I will tell them I have a moderate severe loss and what that means.  I am open with that information but I don’t say what would make this conversation easier on me.  I have discovered that is incredibly hard in my book.  People hear the words hard of hearing they see hearing aids and they assume all is fixed and you can hear just fine.  WRONG so wrong, I need you to face me, I can’t have a noisy fan or other noise around.  I am not proficient in speech reading or in sign so I have to rely on the residual hearing I have.  

I have had a few instances that have come up recently that I should have spoken up to enjoy the experience to it’s fullest.  I didn’t speak up and ask anything and for that the fault all lies on me and my pride, or fear, or whatever is festering with this issue.  

Last night my daughter and I attended a movie at a little country church that is used for an outreach ministry in our area.  I attend a Bible Study at this church and it is a place of incredible peace for myself.  My daughter and I got to the church and got our popcorn and drink and settled in to watch the movie, Heaven is for Real.  Watching a movie in a candlelit century old church was magical.  It was a beautiful thing watching the movie on a sheet being held by clothespins strung across the front of the church.  What would have made the night better is if I could have heard the dialog.  I maybe heard 10% of the movie.  When I watch tv at home I either use closed captions or I stream the movie through an assistive listening device that goes right to my hearing aids, I love this option, I usually use both.  

surflink media

Did I ask for captions…NO.  Did I come early and ask to hook up the assistive listening device to the movie which would have taken two minutes…NO.  Why, I guess I just don’t want to draw attention to this issue.  I did bring my portable streamer unit.  I tried it but it mainly picked up the fans and I just got an amplified Charlie Brown teachers voice effect for the dialog of the movie.  I had a great time last night seeing friends and neighbors but I just had this kick in the butt feeling why didn’t you say something or stand up for yourself.  

I need help in this area.  I need a shot of confidence that I deserve to understand what is going on the same as everyone else in the vicinity of me.  I came home last night and my husband said to me, “Bet you couldn’t hear the movie tonight.”  No I couldn’t, he keeps telling me nobody cares if you ask, there may be three other people there that missed this line or that and maybe wouldn’t have minded captions.  

I need to learn how to do this at events like this or even a movie theatre.  It is just easier to watch a movie at home and not have to ask.  This is a huge learning curve I have found.  I don’t like to ask for something normally so this is just way out there for me.  I need to shove back my shoulders, hold my head high and get the idea drilled in my head that I deserve it.  

This I guess would be my New Years Resolution part 2 of just ask, stand up for yourself, you are worth it.  

stand up darling