The Craftiness of Deaf Blind Hobbits!


Sam is truly skilled at making these prayer ropes, and I hope you all will repost these on Pinterest or Facebook and let him know how truly beautiful they are, not just because it’s made by a deafblind man, but because they really are wonderful creations.  He isn’t too sure about it, but I am pretty sure they are awesome.

The Valley Of The Sham – Guest Poem by My Hobbit

The Valley Of The Sham

I saw The Great and Secret Show
Lost in the Valley of the Damned
Got past the shame and saw the Sham
I loved the Demons, I loved the Whores
The Light of God shone through the Doors
Caught in a rabbit Trap I never made
My Soul transmuted beneath the shade
The Fire burns, it burns so well
I never knew your Heaven was my Hell.


Last night the Hobbit and I went to a fund raiser/auction for girls camp for my daughter.  The Hobbit and I were talking (in ASL) and some missionaries came up to us and asked “Which one of you is deaf?” using the sign at the same time.  Turns out he is a CODA serving a mission here in Houston, and not in the ASL mission.  He was very nice and excited to use his skills.  He said he felt as if his skills were fading just over the time in his mission with the hearing.  We told him all about our recent CODA experiences and talked all evening until the girls started doing their theatrical sketches.  He was a very nice kid and we had a great experience talking to him.

I wasn’t going to post at all for a few weeks, let things die down, but this is my blog about my personal experiences and it has, for the most part, been positive and uplifting.  It was good to have a positive experience with  CODA after everything that has happened the last few weeks.

There will be no comments on this thread, but if you liked it, please like the post, and if you didn’t like it, please just go away and find another blog to read.  Thanks.

Spring is Bustin Out All Over!

This Spring has been early for us, with such a mild winter, the early planting went much better than anticipated.  Cherry tomatoes…

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And the Nasturtium is really taking offMarch 2013 027

And then there’s the catnip:

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I finally got around to a project I’ve been wanting to do.

Here’s the before of our south wall of the master bedroom:March 2013 064

And here’s the after:

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The cats seem to really like it:March 2013 070

The back yard is really coming together nicely and here is the view from the magic window:

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We also did our yearly outing to take pictures in the bluebonnets:

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I adore the flowers in the hill country

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Wizards and Dwarves and Hobbits…OH MY!

Went to see the Hobbit with my hobbit last night.  EXCELLENT MOVIE!  I can’t say enough about it except… WHO KNEW DWARVES COULD BE SO HOT!!!???hobbit_dwarves1

If I didn’t already have a super sexy hobbit, I would totally be swooning over Kili and Fili.  Srsly.

Go see this movie.  It is better than the book- and you know I love the book.  It’s on my top ten list.  Try not to fall in love with a dwarf because we all know it’s all about the hobbit.

And don’t tell my hobbit about this post…


One lovely blog award

A big thank you to Lipreading Mom for nominating my blog for the One Lovely Blog Award!

There are five guidelines for accepting this award:

1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.

2. Paste the award image on your blog, anywhere.

3. Tell them seven facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award.

5. Contact the bloggers that you have chosen to let them know that they have been nominated.

Seven facts about me:

1. I am a published non fiction writer dying to break out and into being a fiction author.

2. I don’t watch tv. If I watch a series it’s usually old and on Netflix.

3. I’ve always been a good Mormon girl.

4. I visited ireland a decade ago through the kindness of a friend, the love of her husband for her and a touch of providence. I had been studying it as a layman american of irish decent for years and want to return to Ireland so bad it hurts.

5. I think my writing has improved four fold over the last ten years and none of it due to any higher learning institute.

6. My father is a surveyor. I had to work for him growing up. I swore I would never be a surveyor. I’m still not a surveyor.

7. I swear it is my lot in life to always be the second in command who has to lead because the commander is incapable. I’d like to actually be commander, but it’s clear god doesn’t think I should be.


The next part of the award is nominating 15 other bloggers:

15. The London Flower Lover – Since my visit to Europe over 10 years ago in spring, my appreciation for European Flora has increased and this site keeps it alive.

14. Diedra Alexander – what can I say? I like people that like me.

13. Topicless Bar – I’m not sure you could call this a “lovely” blog, but if eclectic is your thing, this is it.

12. Cute Overload – There is nothing more lovely than cute critters.

11. Jill of All Trades (expert of none) – anyone that can understand when one needs to be serious and when one shouldn’t be, is lovely to me!

10. Neither Here Nor There – I picked this blog because he regularly posts beautiful videos.

9. Fabulous Realms – Hardly even need to list a reason here, the name says it. I love myth and fantasy.

8. Clotid Jam Cracker – I read it for the pictures 🙂

7. Supermom Plus – Because being a mom is lovely = being a supermom is really lovely, but being a mom I can relate to is even better.

6. Silent World Seniors – I just so relate to them… in a hearing way.

5. Adventures of a Deaf Adult – she’s already been nominated by someone else, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do it again, right?

4. Feminist Mormon Housewives – I think this kind of feminism is lovely.

3. Gardening – Livejournal is teh suck, but this is a great community blog.

2. I Can Haz Cheezeburger? – This site saves the sanity of all the politically weary, so it is definitely lovely. I consider it a photo blog of happiness.

1. The Middlest Sister – I love paper art, especially like thist, so this is my #1 draft pick for Loveliest Blog.

Occasionally Roguish – a short story

He had a lazy eye. That’s the first thing I noticed about him. It wasn’t that his eye was looking off into the west when he approached me in the grocery store. We were in the baking goods aisle, surrounded by flour, sugar and spices . His slight wall-eye was made even more noticeable by his Elizabeth Taylor violet eyes. His face was pleasant enough. He had this Matt Damon ‘just handsome enough but completely clueless’ thing going for him, and I fully expected him to talk in elongated, slightly slurred, two word sentences like that puppet in the movie about the Film Actors Guild (or F.A.G.).

“Excuse me, Miss,” he said, waving his hand slightly to get my attention or make sure that I knew he was talking to me. “Do you know where the tunafish is?”

There is something about me and the way I look that makes complete strangers come up to me and ask me for directions. I have been on walks and had people pull up to ask me how to get to the pharmacy, or where was such-and-such street. In the store I attract lost children, bachelors and married men on their first grocery trip for the wife.

I must look like a human GPS station.

“Down the next aisle,” I tell him, pointing to my right. “At the end.”

He smiled and nodded. “Thank you.” And then he was walking away.

I really didn’t think anything more of it, or him. Like I said, people come up to me all the time and ask me directions and I don’t remember all their faces, or what they asked for. I was a single mother, recently widowed, with a feisty two year old on my hands every hour I wasn’t working. Except the weekends that I sent my daughter, Katie, off with my mother for a child-free mental vacation. And you know what I do with my child-free time? Run errands. Grocery shop. Sleep. I do the things that I can never seem to get done while Katie is with me.

My father says I look haggard and says that life has made me hard. But I don’t think that is the case, or people wouldn’t come up to me in the store and ask for directions. You don’t ask someone who looks overwhelmed for anything except “Can I help you?” At least, that’s my opinion.

I stood in the checkout line, having put all my items on the belt, making sure I got extra wipes for sticky fingers to keep in my car (on the floor beneath the carseat). I saw a bright yellow romance novel on the rack and picked it up, turning it to read the back.

“John Conner is a devilishly handsome rogue with a secret.” It read.

I admit that I love a good romance novel. They are an easy read and fill my head with what I wish could be between a man and a woman. But I have never met a ‘rogue’ that wasn’t perfectly content with staying a rogue.

“I’m tired of devilishly handsome rogues and of their secrets,” I mumbled to myself, putting the book back in it’s place.

“How about “the normal looking guy with an unusual shopping list” instead?” A voice behind me asked.
I tuned and looked, seeing the same wall-eyed man who had asked me for directions to tuna. He had a much folded and wrinkled sheet of notebook paper–frayed edges still hanging on for dear life. The print was so large and black that it had bleed through the paper. I could have read it from fifteen feet away. It read: “chicken nuggets, peanut butter, tuna, ice cream.” His cart was filled with just those four items, but filled none-the less.

I tried not to laugh as soon as he put the first jar of peanut butter on the belt behind the partition, but I had to say something to counter his remark.

“Interesting combination.” I motioned to his cart, wondering if four family size bags of chicken nuggets would get frostbite before this obvious bachelor could finish them off. He wasn’t overweight, or not obviously so. He looked fit and healthy, and it did make me wonder how children and bachelors can survive so well on such an unbalanced diet.

He blinked up at me, his wall-eye moving just slightly to his left while his other eye focused on me. He squinted for a second and then lit up with recognition. “I found the tuna!” He pointed at what had to be 30 cans in his cart.

“I see that,” I said, amused.

He continued to put what he could on the small space left for him on the belt. The cashier was moving forward at a steady pace, checking out the customer in front of me with a steady beep, beep, beep of the upc scanner. “Yeah,” the wall-eyed man said, not looking at me while he kept loading the belt, building a tower of peanut butter and tuna, “My nephew is coming over this week and all he will eat is chicken nuggets, tuna, peanut butter and ice cream.”

“Have you tried giving him yogurt?”

He stopped loading the belt to look up at me.

“They have kids yogurt in kiddie flavors…”

He was still looking at me and it was a little disconcerting. I know I am not UNattractive, but I have never made a man stop and stare, not even my dead husband, who married me because he was very practical and wanted an equally practical wife. I had on sweat pants, a BYU tee-shirt and an old, favorite sweater that was just as comfortable as my old, favorite tennis shoes.

My hair was up in a pony tail, to keep it out of my face. In the two years I had been a widow, I hadn’t cut it once. At first that was because I just didn’t care. I really was, like my father had said, hard. But I had an infant and my husband had killed himself on that stupid motorcycle. He had to have it, you know. He was a tall, thin, geek with pale blond hair and amber eyes, but he thought he was a sex god while on the motorcycle. It still made me angry. It was the only thing he had been completely impractical about, and it killed him.

Anyway, back to my hair.

By the time I actually cared about my hair, it had become a habit to put it back in a pony tail, or banana clip and just leave it alone. I would braid it for church and let the long, chestnut rope of hair fall to the middle of my back like a tail.

That morning I had been too lazy to even put it up in a pony tail. I must have looked like I just got out of bed, with my sweats, unkempt hair and no make-up on. Until the man looked at me so closely, so deeply, I really hadn’t cared. But now I felt self conscious.

I saw his hand move up and then down as his mouth opened to say something.

“I’m mostly blind,” he said, starting the conversation in a new direction that made me want to squirm in my shoes, “and sometimes in less light, all I can see are shadows. But there are people who have a sort of ‘glow’ about them. Like a golden halo.” His voice was soft, and I couldn’t help but notice how rich it was and how it made my spine shiver when it softened. “You have it.”

I smiled.

That was the best line I had ever heard come out of a man’s mouth. It may have been the truth, from his point of view, but in the back of my mind, it was still a ‘line.’ I blushed, none-the-less, and felt my cheeks tingle and burn.

“So, do you like romance novels?” he asked.

If it was possible to blush more with your cheeks completely flushed, I am sure I accomplished it.


“I do love to read something quick, easy and entertaining at times,” he replied, almost hinting that he also liked read aforementioned manuscripts.

It was my turn to look up and stare at him.

“Try Julia Quinn,” he said to me, as matter of fact as any man might suggest a Tom Clancy novel to another man. “She has some historical romance that’s pretty good.”

I blinked, stunned.

I had never met a man who admitted to reading romance novels.

“Or you can try Nora Roberts if you prefer modern romances.” The checker had started on my goods and asked me for my savings card, but I was too busy staring at the man to give her any of my attention. “That’s where I started. And then, naturally, I had to move on to her J D Robb stories. She’s not a bad writer for someone so prolific.”

He kept talking. He went on and on until we were talking about all of our favorite novels, focusing on historical romance.

Little tidbits leaked out while we walked slowly out of the store. He attributed his prolonged bachelorhood to his blindness. I explained my early widowhood while saying how much I hated antiheroes and how tired I was of stories about ‘rich rogues.’

“I’m definitely not rich,” he said in response, and then he smiled. His smile was dangerous, and maybe even a little wild when coupled with his wall-eye. “But I could be a rogue if the situation called for it.”

“Why would you want to be?” I asked.

“Because every woman wants one.” His smile turned crooked. “If that wasn’t true, there wouldn’t be five billion romance novel covers with the word ‘rogue’ in the title.”

I laughed. “You have a point.”

“The point is to be just enough of a rogue to attract a woman, and enough of a man to accept that you can’t act like one if you want to keep her.”

“That was brilliant.”

We exchanged email addresses, but I swear to you, I was in love with him by the time the Dial-A-Ride disabled bus came to pick him up and load his seven bags of chicken nuggets in.

I stood with my full cart, watching the minibus pull away from the store front and wondered if anyone had ever wrote a romance novel about an occasionally roguish, mostly blind man falling in love with an ordinary looking woman at a checkout counter…

Saving the World One Backseat at a Time

I have two kids under 13 and when we go to weekly activities night at the church, I buy fast food because there is just no time after work before I have to leave to beat traffic, to make a good dinner.  This, unfortunately means that there are… ‘leftovers’ in the back seat.  These food fossils can make my car smell pretty raunchy.

I have fibromyalgia and when I have a really rough week with exhaustion, I come home for lunch and take a nap.  I live close enough to work, thank the Maker, that I can take a 20-30 minute power nap.  It really helps. But during these times, I don’t have the time or energy to do less ‘needful’ things, like clean the car.  My husband, however, knowing this, chips in and does these little, wonderful works of  service for me.Flea Breeze

This week during lunch he went in to take on the car (especially the backseat).  When I came out, he was holding a bottle I knew was flea spray:

“What are you doing?” I asked him (in ASL, of course).  “You know that is not cleaner?”

“Oh, yes,” he said. “I know.  I just was trying to make your car smell better with Febreeze.”

“That is not Febreeze.  That is FLEAbreeze,” I told him, spelling it out and then making the sign for bug.

He laughed.  “Well.  Your car is clean and completely flea free.”

I nodded my head, though I’m not sure how many fleas the kids brought into the car.

“You can blog about this,” he said, generously.  “How my husband flea proofed the back seat of the car… It’s one of those blind man skilz.”

And so… I did.

Things I Do That Don’t Really Make Sense

There are things I do for my hubby that sometimes seem silly to do for a blind man but are really quite normal for any other couple. I will blog them as they occur to me. Today I thought of one.

1. Put on makeup before I get home from work.

I am not sure why I feel it appropriate to redo my makeup just before I come home. It is habit now. Once I did my eyes like super dark and smoke colored thinking that he should notice that much contrast. But he didn’t. I still do it everyday. He knows me by my touch when I come on the room, but it is never bright enough in the room for him to see me. I don’t think he would be able to tell if it was. He notices my hair if it changes, do maybe I will dye it blue.

Natural Man Is An Enemy To God … or the benefits of being married to a blind man

Today at work we were joking how Michelle Obama could probably, literally, and legally, kick the Presidents arse.  We speculated that she kept him in line pretty well, but there were moments like these:

that you really can’t be to sure about.

In defense of the President, the only male involved in our conversation said,what many men  say about events like this, “It’s a natural male reaction.  You can’t blame him for looking”

Women have heard the “it’s natural” argument being made not just by men, but by lady shrinks who think that if a woman just understood and accepted a man’s ‘nature,’ everything would be better.  Why should women accept a man’s nature without comment?  Do men accept, without complaining, PMS, menstruation, not wanting sex, headaches, nagging, or anything else that comes ‘naturally’ to women?

I have heard this argument given through my first marriage, but now I am married to a man who is above that nature.  My husband doesn’t complain much about my nature  (or at least he’s smart enough not to let me see/hear it) and–here is one of the perks of being married to a blind man–he can’t see well enough to ogle women in public.  Sometimes he can barely tell if it’s me when I’m four feet from him, so he’s definitely not looking at the women as they pass by.

This isn’t to say he wouldn’t like to, or that he doesn’t enjoy watching scantily clad women in movies even though he has to sit with his nose on the screen to see them and can’t possibly see both cleavage and exposed midsection at the same time unless there is some miraculous split screen.  I’m just saying it is SO much work for him to try and be a ‘natural’ man when it comes to ogling women, that he seems perfectly satisfied to let me be his focus when it comes to that ‘natural’ urge.

I do appreciate this and in return, I try not to be as ‘natural’ around him too.  AND… I never make him buy tampons.

Still, I can’t tell you how reassuring it is that when my husband says “you are the most beautiful woman I know,” that he is not just judging my looks – because he’s mostly blind – he’s judging me on those things a woman often vainly hopes a man will judge her for: What’s inside.