Super Bowl 2017

Super Bowl in America is like an unofficial holiday.  Snack food is on display at all the stores.  People are asking you who are you cheering for this year.  Parties are held, bars are full and friends and families get together.

A few weeks ago I told my husband I wanted to host a party this year.  We used to attend a yearly party with friends.  I have great memories of those parties.  Kids playing, food galore, guys watching the game, and lots of laughter.  He agreed to the party and I got started trying to organize my small soiree.  I decided to make a turkey and we would have shredded turkey sandwiches.  Other food would be brought so I wanted the main dish type food covered.  We cleaned the house, made sure we had enough seats, made the food, and got excited.

I am not a football fan.  I will watch a game more often now in my life since my husband and son are interested in it.  My son is 8 and he is going to play for the Seattle Seahawks some day.  Just giving everyone fair warning we may may have to brag a lot when that happens.

There was something different this year than going to other get together’s or parties.  It was hosted at my home.  A person with hearing loss can have great anxiety when with a group of people.  I used to think this was unique to me but after finding my tribe I have learned I am not alone on this topic.  I enjoy socializing with people but that first step out the door going to a social event terrifies me.  If it is a home party, a meeting, or even church I feel like I could be physically ill.  Knowing when I am in a group of people my hearing for comprehension drops like a rock.  I try to answer the most obvious questions but that can often be wrong.  I think they asked, “How are you?” I answer, ” I am great how are you doing?” they do a little laugh and then re-say their question which was not what I answered at all.  I feel my cheeks burn and I am embarrassed and feel stupid.  I probably shouldn’t feel these emotions but I do.  I am human and that is what I feel.  Being in a group of people, like a Super Bowl party there is laughing, kids yelling, TV is on, a few different conversations going on.  It is darn hard to focus on one conversation and follow.  Saying all this I had a great time last night.  We had enough food I could have fed the whole block.  We had a great turnout.  We were missing a few due to illness, darn germs.  There were a few times I just checked out.  I faced the TV and watched the game and was amazed how into the game I got.  It was a nail-bitter that is for sure.  I was able to escape to my kitchen, or my room for just a few minutes if needed.  The Lundquist 1st Annual Super Bowl Party I believe was a success.  I hope our guests equally enjoyed the company of friends and fellowship.  Next year is already on my calendar.  It will be a big deal next year as it is held in Minneapolis.  I am excited and so relieved that the night went well.

I was cheering for the Falcons but it was a good game and it held your attention until the bitter end.  Football, Food, Friends, and some funny commercials was a great end to the weekend.

A Burden

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I have a woman’s name that is lying heavy on my heart.  I just learned about this woman yesterday.  It consumed my thoughts all day.  Let me back up and I will explain.

I arrived at work yesterday.  I am a personal care attendant in a private home.  Dr Phil was on the TV when I arrived.  I have never been a huge Dr Phil fan but I watch it and more often than not I can get pulled into the episode.  Dr Phil had a guest Bethany Storro, a woman who survived having acid thrown into her face.  What makes this shocking is Bethany did this to herself.  A failed suicide that had to be accompanied by horrible pain.  When she realized she wasn’t going to die, and made a huge personal mistake, she said she was attacked.  She said someone did this to her, a big mistake.  She didn’t point out a certain person but she gave a description.  She later retracted her statement and took the blame for the act.  She was charged and went to court were fines and time were given to her.  This is where the story ends in the newspapers.  I researched more on Bethany yesterday and what I read was horrible.  She was told to die in these articles.  She was called dumb, idiotic, ugly and deserved to die.  When did common human decency go out the window.

That was the back story, now why this is lying on my heart.  Bethany had a speech impediment. I could hear it and thought maybe acid near her mouth might have caused this.  Dr Phil did more questions and was very kind with Bethany.  It then was brought out.  Bethany is hard of hearing.  She has a deaf accent.  She poured her soul out with Dr Phil that because of her lack of hearing she has always felt like a burden.  This brought instant tears to my eyes.  She felt like a burden for her lack of hearing.  This ripped at my heart.  How was she raised? Did she have parents that advocated for her? Did she have a mentor to show her that life can be good? All these questions swirled in my mind.

I work as a deaf/hard of hearing role model with Lifetrack in Minnesota.  It is a new groundbreaking program that pairs a family that just got a diagnosis of hearing loss for their precious child with an adult who has hearing loss.  They can learn and see that this isn’t a dark road they have to walk alone.  These kids can do anything.  These children can grab the brass ring like any other child their age.  Deaf and Hard of Hearing kids are not a burden because they can’t hear.  I have attended many Hands and Voices events and I see children that are full of life and energy and promise not a burden.  These children are tought to self advocate.  A very hard skill to learn for anyone but they are learning it young.  Skills that will take them far.  I have learned so much from these young children to young adults, they are remarkable.

Bethany of course has mental illness on top of her hearing loss but I just sense it all was a cumulative effect from her hearing and her speech.  Did she learn to self advocate, did she have adults that advocated for her as a child?  I look into my own life again with a son that has an IEP (Individual Education Plan).  He has had an IEP since age 3 and we know he will have one for sure for the next 3 years to 5th grade.  We have tried to do the best for him.  He doesn’t have huge issues but every smaller hurdle he has we have been there with him.  From a fluctuating hearing loss, to being on the Autism spectrum, to learning disabilities.  We are helping him and trying to teach him how to self advocate for himself.  Advocating as an adult is hard, you put yourself out there and exposed.  It is daunting at times but so valuable and needed.

People are not a burden.  People need a hand at times, people need help. We have a job as a fellow human being to help them.  Bethany ended the interview with saying she was sorry.  She was sorry for the pain and problems she caused.  Dr Phil had the perfect response, you don’t need to apologize there is no need.  You have a hearing impairment which lead to speech problems.  You never felt like you fit in.  You now have a burned face and still show your face and get out there.  You are brave and you have grown.  Now Bethany can read lips and says she still see’s people saying she is ugly, she is stupid, and she should have died.  Please have compassion people, this world would be so different if we can just remember no one is perfect and we are not a burden.  We all have a purpose and we are all wonderfully made.

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A New Year

A new year has seemed to creep up on us. 365 days seem to be a long time but when living, working, and enjoying life a year is fleeting. The holidays were a great time of family. We traveled across the state to spend time with my family. We had a wonderful time visiting with everyone. I had a realization when visiting this time. It wasn’t home. Yes my childhood home and early married life. This time it felt like a visit not coming home. When driving back to the land of the flat that was home. It was like I was outside looking in. I enjoyed my visit but it no longer seemed like a place I want to go back to. We have established a life on the other side of the state. In saying that we had a great time. We shopped, visited, went out to eat. We went to a morning movie complete with recliner chairs. That was a first for Chad and I. It was quality time with family. 

I took each child individually and we did a little early morning exploring. Greta, I took her to downtown Stillwater. We drove around and checked out the ice castle that was being built. 


Henry I took to the Bayport park to check out the St Croix River. This was a place I spent almost everyday. I swam in the river everyday and we played on the ice in the winter. One of my favorite spots. 


Christmas Day was at my grandmas house like everyday since ever. We have moved up in technology. This year was a group selfie picture. 


Always a great time with everyone. Christmas Eve was at my parents house. I absolutely love watching the kids with their cousins. 


We travelled back and headed to the farm for the Lundquist Christmas. Again a very fun gathering. I can truly say I am very blessed with having 2 great families. 


Now we are in 2017. I am not a big one to make resolutions. I at least don’t say them out loud. I want my family to be healthy. That is a big one for this year. I want more unplugged times also. Games, reading, and outside time. I have taken knitting up again. Greta is playing here ukulele she received from us. Henry is planning World War 3 with nerf guns. Chad always has his nose in a book. Just need to make these things more prominent. 

So the year marches on. Henry is in basketball and bowling. He is my sports lover. Greta is in knowledge bowl, speech and numerous other activities. We are busy and that is good. 

I wish you all a happy New Years! 365 days will go fast. 

Christmas

Christmas is almost here. A favorite time of year for me. I love the time to gather with friends and family. Times to see the beauty of the lights that are strung on houses and trees. I love to see the beauty that surrounds our saviors birth. 

With living in a larger house this year comes with putting up a larger tree. I am in love with the tree, the lights and the majesty. Ornaments that my children had made look beautiful. 


I have hung a few Christmas or winter pictures around the house. 




Outside is decorated also. We took an afternoon and filled and decorated milk cans. I love these old milk cans. Brings that vintage feels to an outdoor display. 


I am ready for this season. Presents are wrapped, cards are addressed. Christmas program practice is underway at church. This year I am helping the kids sign Silent Night. It should be a beautiful performance being done in sign language and being sung. 

I want to thank you all for taking a moment to read my blog. I want to wish you all a merry Christmas. I hope you all feel the peace of the season. 

Battery Power 


Have you ever seen a hearing aid battery?  They are tiny, very tiny, and they are responsible for so much. I started with a size 10 battery. Then went up to a 13 and my current pair of hearing aids use size 312. That is a lot of batteries. I have accepted hearing loss. I have found my tribe. My tribe is composed of wonderful people from the deaf/hard of hearing community. They are funny, fearless, understanding, loving, they are what true friends and family are made of. In saying all of this there is one thing that just stuns me. My understanding is completely controlled by a small little battery. Ok that isn’t totally true. I am very visual and use lipreading and visual cues, but that battery plays a large role. 

Last weekend my husband and I attended a yoga class together. First off I never dreamed that would have happened. Chad agreed and we had a wonderful time. It was time for the two of us together with a wonderful yoga instructor at Empowered Living Company. Sorry for going on a little tangent but had to say how proud of my husband for attending with me. 

Before class, we just got to town. Yes we are rural and “get to town.” My hearing aid battery died. Ok no problem I have this new 16 pack in my purse. Well this took some time but this is truely what happened. Every battery was dead! I checked the package, expires 2018. This is so frustrating. Now my understanding in this yoga class just went to very low. 

Class went well. Great teacher that is so visual. Chad was great, a couple times we were laying and I didn’t have a clear vision line he told me or showed me what we were doing.  I should have advocated for myself instead of using my husband but I don’t think he minded. 

This made me really realize how dependent I am on these tiny batteries. It really boggles my mind. I am not sure why, why is this my big hang up? Why is a battery something that baffles me, causes anxiety that can come out of no where? A lack of a battery or one that works can quicken my heart, cause sweaty palms and make me want to skip what ever I was going to do. 

I contacted the battery distributor and have a new pack coming in the mail. Will I ever buy that brand again, no. I know a bad batch can happen but I won’t take my chances again. 

I will go on. Keep those precious batteries with me. I keep the old ones in an old Ball jar that was my great grandmothers. I am getting quite the collection. My family has told me having to use technology or a battery is almost like being a cyborg. I guess that is a compliment. For now it is placing great importance on a tiny silver disk. 

My DNA


A couple months ago I decided to find out what ethnicity I may be made from. This morning I opened my email and there were the results. Staring me straight in the face. I didn’t have any huge surprises but there were a couple countries listed that I didn’t expect.

I grew up knowing I was about half German and half Swedish. For the most part that is how the test came out. But I had a few little surprises.

Here are the results

Europe West 42%- This is comprised of France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.

Scandinavia 42%- This is comprised of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Baltic States

Europe East 8%- This is a surprise to me. Countries comprised of Poland, Slovakia, Czech, Austria, Russia, Hungry, Slovenia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Bosnia, Croatia

Then the little percentages come- as little as they are they still fascinate me.

Ireland 3%- I was always told I was a small part of Irish. So this was a good confirmation.

Italy/Greece 2%- Surprise

Northwest Russia 1%- Surprise

Great Britain 1%- This was a surprise I thought it would have been higher.

Caucasus 1%- This was a surprise. Countries comprised of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine and Romania.

So over all I knew the big amounts. I had a friend in high school that always said I had gyspy eyes. So when Romania showed up a couple times maybe that is true. It is fascinating and I am so glad I did this test.

If you are interested in your ethnicity here is a link and you can get some money off.

http://refer.dna.ancestry.com/s/tnzo6

Working on ME

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At the end of last school year I received a card, I should say my husband received a card in the mail from his employer.  It was a program that assisted you in healthy living and changing habits and losing weight.  Chad wasn’t interested in the program but I was so I signed up and it has been great.  Everything was online, even a scale that they sent me sends everything through WIFI to track your progress.  I happened to start the program the week we moved to our new house.  So it was truly new beginnings.  I have a lot of weight to lose.  Not that extra 10-15 pounds you hear women complain about consistently.  I have told very few people I am doing this program just because of fear of failure and how much I need to lose.  I am not using shakes, surgery or supplements.  Not that these things are wrong but I wanted to try and make life long changes.

I have finally had a few people come up to me and ask if I have lost some weight.  I am a tad over 50 pounds lost.  I have a lot more to go but I am proud of the progress I have made.  I notice I have more energy and buying a couple new pieces of clothes have been fun.  I hope to keep a slow and steady pace for the future.

I have been walking more and more.  I want to add in some strength exercises so a kettle bell was just purchased.  I am excited to be able to do more and more and my kids are excited to go with me and walk with me.

A good friend of mine has reintroduced me to yoga.  I did yoga when I was in college and really enjoyed it.  A couple weeks ago we went to a yoga session in Morris.  I loved it!  I kept waiting for it to get really hard to the point I couldn’t do it but that wasn’t the case.  It was a meditation yoga and I was able to do the full class.  I would love to go back to that class once or twice a month.  Last night we went to a regular yoga class in town.  Oh my, I made it through but it was so tough.  I am not in shape.  I have about zero balance so doing these things in class I felt like I was going to die.  I finished the class, let me tell you there was more than once I wanted to get my mat and walk out the door.  One thing I really learned last night is I am not at that level.  I need beginners yoga and work up to that.  Yes I pushed myself and I got a good work out but I felt lost and extremely awkward the whole class.  In saying that I am proud I stuck with it to the end.

To add to the stress of trying something new is trying to understand what the instructor was saying.  Squaring your body with the mat and turning to watch her talk was tough.  A lot of times her back was to us while she talked or her face was down to the mat while talking.  Add in some music playing- if you are deaf/hard of hearing you get it.  You aren’t going to get anything out of what is going on.

I will try again.  I am not sure if it will be that class or a more beginner class.  I won’t give up.  I give huge virtual hugs to my friend, Beth.  She has been such an encourager.  I don’t think I would be where I am now if it wasn’t for her.  She is always giving me a compliment or a little push to do something more.  I am very thankful she is in my life.

So I will keep walking, and working.  I love cooking and canning and that works great for this because I can make my family food with no preservatives, no dyes, no added items.  I am changing my whole family without their direct knowledge.  My youngest who used to be so picky has learned to love grilled chicken that was marinated in a light italian dressing.  My oldest loves to cut all kinds of veggies for a stir fry.  My husband who was a 6 cans of soda full of sugar guy, is down to 2 cans a day and one is diet.  It is slow baby steps but they say slow and steady wins the race.

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