Feb 11 2013

How easily most of us read these words and are able to immediately relate. Listen to what? Shout out what? What should we communicate and when should we do it?

There are so many people who can easily “listen up” or “shout out,” the phrases have become cultural idioms in the English Language. Idioms are phases that have an accepted use other than their literal meaning. And so, “listen up” means “pay attention” while “shout out” can literally mean to “shout out” or just to “pass the word around” and tell everyone you know. But, people who have hearing and speech problems cannot always either listen up or shout out. For them, these simple directive phrases, can cause frustration and fear over the inability to express feelings while communicating effectively.

When I was a kid, there was nothing more exciting than staying home from school to watch a space launch. We all knew of Astronaut John Glenn and in February of 1962, it was all anyone talked about. He orbited the earth three times and became a national hero. Later, after his outstanding military career, he became a Senator from the State of Ohio, serving in Congress for twenty-five years.

Senator John Glenn’s wife Annie hid a debilitating secret.

With the name “John Glenn” being household word for most of my life, I thought I knew everything about him. What I didn’t know was his wife, Annie Glenn, was emotionally suffering for most of those years while her husband was in the limelight. She severely stuttered and was extremely fearful of interacting with anyone outside the Glenn family. She did not get help until she was fifty, but then became fluent after attending a treatment program at HCRI in Roanoke, VA. Now Annie and John Glenn are dedicated to publicly sharing that no one has to isolate themselves due to speech and language inabilities.

John and Annie Glenn encourage all stutterers to get help.

There are many, varied communication treatment options and modalities available, along with innovative outreach methods. The American Speech-Hearing-Language Association or ASHA, found at ASHA.org, is a proactive organization  reaching out to insure help is available for everyone with hearing, speech and language problems. ASHA.org provides a Professional Search Tool Page with easy access to audiologists or speech-language therapists. ASHA’s intent is all inclusive, stating that,  in order to enable Communication for a Lifetime, “The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is committed to ensuring that all people with speech, language, and hearing disorders receive services to help them communicate effectively.”

John and Annie talk about stuttering being treated into fluency.

Hearing loss and speech difficulties do not always begin at birth or in childhood, but may commence at any stage of life. Many people, who become speech, hearing and language disabled later on, live for years not understanding that their sensory functions are slipping away. Those who have had stokes may not be able to fully communicate to their previous level of proficiency overnight. Those who have difficulty speaking, who stutter, have trouble swallowing or keeping their balance when they walk, may be too shy to reach out for help, feeling overwhelmed by perceived obstacles.

ASHA headquarters in Rockville, MD.

So, listen up and shout out to those who might need professional help to ease their inabilities to speak fluently, having any one of a number of speech, language or communication challenges. Shout out to inform others who might need emotional support to get help for themselves. And, listen up, if this is something you, yourself need. Don’t wait to get help. Opportunities for physical and emotional healing abound. They are there for the asking. Get Help…Don’t Wait!

With the wealth of resources listed on the ASHA.org web site, it is reassuring to know anyone who has speech, hearing and language challenges can find help in the privacy of their home by clicking on the Professional Search Tool Page. Thank you, ASHA.

I wrote this blog post while participating in a campaign by
BOOMboxNetwork.com on behalf ASHA.org and received payment
for my participation. All opinions stated within are my own.
I believe in and support the work of ASHA.org

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Filed under: Functionality,Head,Uncategorized — admin @ 7:41 am Comments (1)
Nov 29 2012

Needing some time off without the time, money or energy to go?

Don’t feel left behind. Go on a virtual vacation. I’ve been going on them for years, since the 1980s. I find the whole experience very rewarding, refreshing and recreational. And, when I say recreational, I really mean re-create-tion-al.

Once I began to understand quantum string theory and the fact that we live in a virtual holagram,  I said, “Hey! What the heck.” Nothing really exists and we’re all just movies playing in somebody’s mind, so I might as well focus on the somewhere else I’d rather be. It became easy to fine tune the existence channel, heading out to parts of my brain, unknown. So easy. It was a Woo-Woo and a Win-Win!

A virtual vacation world is waiting for you.

I’m amazed at how many people don’t know about meditation tapes. I say tapes, because all this was big in the 1980s when the mediation tapes actually were tapes, but I really mean tracks. Recorded mediation tracks can consist of instrumentals without talking or music with an overlay of guided mediation. I enjoy both, depending on my mood and where I want my mind to go.

So, before I introduce you to some of my all time favorites, check out this great mediation site, where they are so hep on sharing mediation options, they have free downloads. It a virtual smorgasbord of alternate realities, only a click away. Also, on this meditation site they explain, better than I can, why easing the mind every day can lead to higher activity levels, better performance and improved quality of life.

Here’s a wordless thunder storm with its soothing rain.

I love the nature tracks which take one to waterfalls, tropical jungles with calling birds or by the ocean. Usually they are without voice overlays. Listening to a few of them, you will become an expert on whether they are just playing a loop of repetitive sounds or whether the whole cut is original from start to finish. The thunderstorm experience above, is a great track that plays non-repetitive sounds, so it sounds fresh and real.

Just Google meditation or guided meditation to gather a bevy of sources and styles, including Tara Brach, Fragrant Heart, Audio Dharma and a host of other choices. YouTube is also replete with a selection of videos. Once you arrive in the meditation area, there will be more than anyone could hope to listen to in a month.

Guided meditations help people sleep better.

What’s my favorite guided mediation album of all time? Sanctuary Island by Robert Gerzon. I love it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to it. This one does have to be purchased, but it can easily be downloaded and you’ll be comatose before you know it.

So, get listening, get traveling. Run those imaginations wild.


Filed under: Head,Mind Gym — admin @ 1:04 am Comments (1)
Nov 24 2012

Wow! Let the audio-visual Thanksgiving weekend continue. Can’t seem to stop.

Today as I was “penny hiking” around YouTube, I came upon some of theBritain’s Got Talent 2012 summary clips. I like these much better than watching the TV show, because you see the best of the entries. While the regular talent shows go on too long for me, with me feeling awkward for those contestants reaching above their performance level. The summary clips spotlight the accomplished entries who could become professional entertainers.

Best of all, I love the shows where Simon Cowell receives his come-uppins, the ones where he is quick to judge a person on their appearance. He doesn’t seem to understand, even at his stage of the game, that talent and physical presentation are not necessarily connected.

So, maybe, if you watch TV often, you’ve seen this and it’s old hat, but today, I was left spellbound by the spectacular shaming of Simon. See what you think:

 Charlotte and Jonathan in audition.

Charlotte and Jonathan in the Semi Finals

Charlotte and Jonathan in the Finals.

From Wikipedia:

“Jonathan Antoine (born 13 January 1995) and Charlotte Jaconelli (born 24 August 1995), known collectively as Jonathan and Charlotte, are an Englishclassical crossover duo from Essex. They finished as runners-up in the sixth series of Britain’s Got Talent in 2012, being beaten to the winning post on 12 May by dancing dog act Ashleigh and Pudsey.[1] At the time, they were aged 17 and 16 respectively. Despite not winning, the young duo were offered a £1million record deal by Simon Cowell on his record label Syco. They have since released their album Together which reached #5 in the UK Album Charts. The album was released in the USA and Canada on October 30, 2012.”

Boy! Watching this uplifting story and listening to Jonathan & Charlotte sing was just what I needed to witness today. Such a miracle of creation.

Neither Jonathan nor Charlotte were born before 1995.

Filed under: Head,Vision — admin @ 4:02 pm Comments (0)
Nov 12 2012

Every now and then, one just has to stop and think about things.

I find life very challenging now. There is much unrest and people are questioning things that have never occurred to them before. With questioning comes fact finding and research to see what paths one should take, what course of action is best, or whether the prudent thing to do is nothing at all.

While it is easy to see this lack of a firm direction as chaotic, it is also one of many options and opportunities. A while back, I was confused and wondering about things in my life, and as I often do to get my mind off of of my troubles, I went and took a “Penny Hike” on YouTube.

Penny Hikes were common when I was a kid. We walked up the street to the corner and flipped a penny. If it was heads, we took a right turn. If it was tails, we took a left. It was amazing and fun to see where we ended up, walking round the neighborhood passing the time with a best friend, maybe getting a Popsicle on the way. They were a whole nickel, but worth it, once in a while.

And so, one day on my aimless Penny Hike on YouTube, I used the mouse to click on videos at a whim, seeing where they would lead, having no directing purpose or intent. It was much like people flip open a sacred book while shutting their eyes, pointing a finger to the page to select a passage to read. I traveled around YouTube in the same way, seeing where my higher self would lead, going right or left on a whim, as I watch a number of short clips to clear my head.

Will you look what I found, both in one day, when I couldn’t quite cut through my problems? Isn’t it amazing? One after the other. After watching both of these videos, I had put my problems back into their proper perspective. Nothing seemed insurmountable.

This Korean singer was on the streets from the age of five on.


In “Part 1 – Finding Freedom,” the underwater wheelchair enables
Sue Austin to go on a dream like exploration of an underwater world.

Spiraling up and out of myself when feeling down, thinking of others overcoming worse situations than mine makes me thankful. It helps me calm my thoughts into a more productive mindset. I just had to share my two new “uppers” and am so interested to know if these videos speak to you in the same way they do to me.

Filed under: Attitude,Head — admin @ 3:03 pm Comments (0)
Nov 08 2012

We pretty generally follow the routine. I was raised to do so. So, was my husband.

But, what does one do when the routine isn’t working? What happens when the way things have been done, since, like, FOREVER, is no longer producing the desired effect? At least not in its place and time, for a certain person. And what if that person is your child? And what if the routines are the grand institutions of public and private education? Thirteen years ago, neither one was working for us.

When faced with such a problem, what does one do to remedy the situation? Just sit there and watch? Or, take the bull by the horns, remove the child from the school system and begin to home school? Thirteen years ago, that was our nightly topic of conversation. And thirteen years ago, home school we did.

And today, thirteen years later, the day we have been moving toward for so long was here.

Tonight, it is over. Our home schooled students have had their first college interviews.

I decided to do this post today, when I read “I Am Done with My Child’s School,”by Jeanne’ from Sippy Cups and Booze. I was in agony reading the post and picturing the sad depressing situation, not to mention the life of her poor son. It’s scandalous what is done to young people in the name of education.

In our case, to give an example, the child had been writing both upper and lower case letters since they were three years and some months old. At a private school, we went for our October Parent/Teacher conference when he was in the fours class and were told he was a problem because he couldn’t write his letters.

“Wow!” I said, biting my tongue, “He’s known both upper and lower case for over a year.”

“Well, she said, “I’ve seen no evidence of that, what-so-ever.”

I replied, “That’s strange, as we went out to dinner last night and he wrote both upper and lower case on the place-mat at the table.”

“Well,” she continued, “It’s a shame I can’t look at the place-mat *snicker* to see that he can do them.” (Do you believe the snicker?)

“Oh, no problem,” I replied. “We have it right out in the car,” and my husband retrieved the place-mat to share it with the woman.

And. She. Said, “Oh! These are very good. Do you mind if I have this to put in his folder?”

That’s when I couldn’t hold back any longer.

“Let me get this straight,” I said, getting ready to build up to a crescendo, “You’re his teacher and have no idea he can write his letters, both upper and lower cases? And, your remedy for the situation is to put this place-mat from a restaurant in his folder?”

I mean, wouldn’t you think she would be motivated, at least in front of us, to work with him and see where the misunderstanding had occurred? No, it was “place-mat in folder.” Check in block. On to the next thing not to teach him.

She said something back to me, but it was so idiotic, I’ve repressed it. That incident was the first of many other peculiar situations finally leading us to home school. But, we lasted until the next year where, after thirty days in a public school kindergarten, we went to the Board of Education, took them out and never looked back.

Now, tonight, with it behind us, it was the best thing we could have done for this child that, years later, took first year Latin at age seventeen at the University of Maryland with sophomore to senior college students and got the highest grade in the class.

I have to wonder if Mrs. What’s-her-face might want to put THAT in his folder.

Why not? She didn’t teach him Latin either.

Don’t expect me to be nice.

Filed under: Attitude,Head — admin @ 3:33 pm Comments (0)
Nov 07 2012

In case you’ve been wondering…

…NEVER schedule out-of town travel for college interviews after one or more parents has served as an Election Judge the day before. It is ill-advised and will break up the family. The seventeen and a half hour day with few breaks is a killer, while being nice to so many people is also taxing.

One may be intent on civic duty and be saluting the flag with hand over heart, but the reality of serving the public is harsh and unforgiving. Serving is a sacrifice. Somehow, I never fully understand the term, unless I’m the one making it. Then I find myself thinking, “Gee, this is hard work.”  “Gee, I wish I’d known that before I signed up.” “Gee, I’m not completely sure I’ll do this again.”

But, serving on the 2012 Elections yesterday, that civic-ally victimized mindset didn’t rise to the surface. I was sorta’ surprised. There I was in my glory, decked out in my official Election Judge badge, using my voice of authority to tell voters not to use their cell phones and in my element of bossing people around. I was rather enjoying it.

Checking voters in, I could bellow, “Yes, you may pass Go!, Collect a Voter’s Access Card and vote electronically like a good little voter,” or “No! There is a gross breach of the records in your Board of Election entry, so you’re going to have to slither over to Table #2 and write out a Provisional Ballot.

Having been in such control, why was I frazzled when, waking up this morning totally exhausted, I was unable to comprehend we have to have to have kids in the next state, dressed to impress, tomorrow at, say it with me, 1:00pm for their college interviews?

Was I out of my ever loving mind?

It all seemed so easy, like tracing the AAA map with a finger, not understanding that every inch on the paper map equals 500 miles and eight hours driving on the actual road. In the same way, the little squares in the datebook are right next to each other and it’s no trouble to write “Election 2012” in one square with “Go to (the State of) Virginia” on the next.

So, it is late. I’m the only one responsible for pulling it all together and making sure the family shines. But, I just keep looking at the bright side. With any luck at all, we can unload these mouthy, not quite adults, on an  unsuspecting, out-of-state, academic institution, and on Friday, I will be able to stay in bed at least until 8:00am.

Wish me luck. NaBloPoMo!

Filed under: Attitude,Head — admin @ 3:36 pm Comments (0)
Nov 06 2012


Running out the door to the polls.


Serving as an Election Judge.


Was there until 10:00pm setting up. (who knew I’d have to do THAT?)


Have to be back this morning at 6:00am.


Hopefully, I’ll be back tonight in time to post, but if not……





Filed under: Attitude,Head — admin @ 3:38 pm Comments (0)
Nov 05 2012

When I joined BlogHer.com on November 24, 2011, NaBloPoMo November was almost over.

It was not a problem keeping up with posting everyday, because I had just found this wonderful communithy and was full of posts to share.

But, whoa! The discipline of doing it everyday for a whole thirty days or so, well, I don’t know if I have it. I have never sucessfully complete a whole NaBloPoMo month, although I always sign up for it and love displaying the nice badges at the end of my posts.

Always gardens to tend.

The beauty of it? I don’t mind that I haven’t done what I said I would do because, NaBloPoMo is very forgiving and never nags me or points fingers. It just sits there lovingly amused as I try the next month for perfection and…never…quite…make it.

Always grass to cut.

But, now, having met Melissa Ford at BlogHer ’12, I got the BIG scoop on NaBloPoMo’s signature month, November. There are PRIZES! Did you know that? I didn’t! Yes, PRIZES for posting everyday throughout the month of November, if you’re lucky enough to win the Tuesday and Thursday drawings. Wow.

Here’s the scoop from Melissa, so you can see for yourself:

“About those prizes… We will have two prize draws per week for people on the blogroll on Tuesdays and Thursdays that will be announced in the Friday roundup.  Prizes include free passes to BlogHer conferences and Voices of the Year e-books.  You need to have blogged every day up until that point in order to win.  These prizes are just a thank you for participating in this big blogging celebration; for writing for writing’s sake and doing it as a community.” 

So, now I am really, really, REALLY trying to do NaBloPoMo. To see if I can do it. To get into the swing of doing it and to get out there, making my intentions known I am taking my Internet business seriously. Oh! And, yeah, for the PRIZES!

SunbonnetSmart hunkered down.

YOU can still sign up for this month’s NaBloPoMo, but today is the last day. November 5th, 2012, is the deadline. So, get a move on and get posting! It’s lots of fun.

NaBlogPoMo helps writers get over writer’s block by sharing prompts and comraderie. Come join if you haven’t already. Get this nifty badge for your own.

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Nov 04 2012

2012 National Political Conventions


Press credentials for magazines, newsletters, non-daily newspapers, and online publications for the National Political Conventions are handled through the Senate Periodical Press Gallery. All correspondents interested in obtaining credentials should first read and review the rules and regulations of the Periodical Press Gallery.

Only one designated person per organization should complete an application.

If you believe that you and your publication qualify for convention credentials, begin the application process by clicking on the appropriate link below:

  • Domestic Publication Application Instructions
  • Foreign Publication Application Instructions

The Senate Periodical Press Gallery is not responsible for applications submitted to the incorrect gallery. Please make sure you are applying to the correct gallery:

Senate Daily Press Gallery (If you work for a daily print organization).

Senate Photographers Gallery (If you are a photographer).

House Radio/TV Gallery (If you work for a web page and have significant technical requirements for streaming video and audio).

If the Periodical Press Gallery has not received an organization’s application by the deadline, it will not be honored.

Reminder: All correspondents wearing a convention press pass must be engaged in the gathering and reporting of news, dress in professional attire, and adhere to journalist standards of integrity and conduct at all times. Organizations are responsible for all credentials issued to them and for the conduct of anyone holding their credentials.  http://www.senate.gov/galleries/pdcl/conventions2012.html


A Press Pass. Wow. A Press Pass.

Even though I had been to BlogHer ’12 with a bunch of journalists, lawyers, nurses and doctors also acting as BlogHers, I don’t think the magnitude of our BlogHer accomplishments hit me until I saw BlogHer Kathryn Finney’s photo of BlogHer Editor-in-Chief Stacy Morrison recording Newt Gingrich’s reply at the Republican National Convention in August, 2012. There she was, and all I could think of was,”OMGoodness! She’d have to have a Press Pass to do that.”

Good ol’ Stacy and good ol’ Newt.

Yes! Of Course! What was I thinking? She’d have to have a Press Pass to do that. Did I assume that the professional women of BlogHer would what? Sit across the street at the donut shop to cover the goings-ons at both national party conventions by interviewing passers by? No way. They had Press Passes with entitled status at the National Party Conventions.

It’s just that, until I saw that photo of good ol’ Stacy, I was not completely initiated into what BlogHer has in a national presence. An organization begun in 2005 and primarily championed and managed by women has a national presence on the level of the New York Times, The Chicago Tribune and The Washington Post. BlogHer.com can demand and qualify for a Press Pass. That’s a “Wow” with a capital “W.” When I saw Kathryn’s photo of Stacy and Newt, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Wonderful, wonderful bricks.

So, now that the National Elections are going to be on Tuesday of this week, it’s time to further recognize our BlogHer Lois Lanes who have accomplished that of which women in my childhood could only dream, covering national conventions as full fledge reporters “to gather and report the news.”


The 2012 Republican National Convention was held in Tampa, Florida during the week of August 27-30, 2012 in which delegates of the Republican Party chose the party’s nominees for President and Vice president for the November 6, 2012, election and, most importantly, BlogHer.com was there!

August 27, 2012  Stacy Morrison  Newt Gingrich: What Women Need, the GOP Can Deliver

August 28, 2012  Erica Holloway  At the RNC: Romney Restoring GOP’s Faith on Economy, Leadership

August 29, 2012   Kathryn Finney  RNC Day 2: Down to Business

August 30, 2012  Julie Ross Godar  Condi Urges Education Reform. Could It Really Create Jobs?


The 2012 Democratic National Convention was held in Charlotte, North Carolina,from September 4 to 6, 2012, in which delegates of the Democratic Party chose the party’s nominees for President and Vice Presiden in the November 6, 2012 National Election, and, most importantly, BlogHer.com was there!

September 4, 2012  Grace Hwang Lynch  (PICS) DNC Day 1: Welcome to Charlotte

September 5, 2012  Heather Barmore  DNC 2012: Let’s Talk Education, Already!

September 5, 2012  Mona Gable The Women’s Revolution at the DNC

September 6, 2012  Joanne Bamberger  Democrats Relocate Tonight’s Big Party: Will It Dampen Enthusiasm?

These are just a sample of the articles sent back from the National Party fronts. And, don’t forget that BlogHers Denise Tanton and Rita Arens acted as Home Support coordinating efforts to give the teams in the field what they needed to finish the job.

It’s so easy to be proud of BlogHer and all of the many thousands of people, mostly women, that work to live and live to work the writing life contributing to BlogHer.com

And it is so easy to point with pride at the women with Press Passes that now cover the news. I’m glad we’re to the point where it’s often taken for granted.

Filed under: Head,Vision — admin @ 3:43 pm Comments (0)
Nov 03 2012

An investigative tribute to the unseen journalists on BlogHer.com, part 2.

In my November 1, 2012 post, The Marvels of Self-Editing, I explained I grew up in the 1950s when newspaper reporting employment options for women were scarce. That’s why I appreciate all of the opportunities freely provided by blogging and BlogHer.com.

In my subsequent post, BlogHer’s Lois Lanes, I explained how impressed I am by all the professional journalists at BlogHer, including BlogHer’s Editor-in-Chief, Stacy Morrison.

Now, I have to tell you about how amazed I was by all of the writing talent at BlogHer ’12, where many top journalists mentored BlogHer attendees during popular learning sessions.

I attended many of those sessions on Friday, August 3rd, and Saturday August 4th, at The Geek Bar and The Writing Lab. I was impressed by the sharing from many professional women who graciously gave first hand knowledge from their years of experience. I had a wonderful time and learned a great deal in only two days.

The lobby of the BlogHer ’12’s Hilton New York.

I met Mona Gable at her The Writing Lab session of Crafting an Interesting Interview. Sure, I’d seen Mona’s name out and about on BlogHer. I knew she was a “biggie,” but I did know how big until my Writing Lab group was talking to her and she revealed she blogs for The Huffington Post. Then, I looked up her BlogHer profile when I got home and realized she has quite a resume. “Wow,” I thought, “I was sitting at the same table as Mona Gable!”

Jan Ziff enthralls her The Podcast Toolkit devotees.

I took Jan Ziff’s class on The Podcast Tookit. What an experience that was. She has her own company, Sound*Bytes, and is heard nationally on CBS Radio every week. She was a trooper in explaining the steps to do a podcast. In addition to lots of information on technique, she showed us different types of microphones and demonstrated podcast software.

 The grand ballroom was a grand meeting place.

Melissa Ford, our BlogHer NaBloPoMo fearless leader, instructed us in how to effectively create content in her class, How to Use Blogging Prompts. She was warm and nurturing to her fledglings as she shared the importance of writing to get the creative juices flowing. She is a published author with her two books, Life from Scratch, a novel about blogging, and Navigating the Land of If, a non-fiction book about infertility and pregnancy loss. What a treat it was to meet Melissa after staring at her avatar for so long on BlogHer.com.

A BlogHer ’12 marquee along with the Voices Nominees.

Julie Ross Gabor was full of surprises when she taught us her high profile course, Credible, Well-Cited News and Political Writing. In addition to lots and lots of great information, it was fun to learn that Julie was a contestant on the TV game show, Jeopardy!

These four professionals were just a smattering of the talent seated for two days, in six sessions located in ten meeting and conference rooms at the Hilton New York. What a mighty gathering of professionals, all intent on giving their best to each BlogHer ’12 attendee.

Why, writing this, I can’t wait to see what is offered at BlogHer ’13 in Chicago. It is a pleasure to be associated with such high powered women. I just love being around these BlogHer Lois Lanes.

Tomorrow: BlogHer’s Lois Lanes Show Press Passes

Filed under: Head,Vision — admin @ 3:50 pm Comments (0)
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NaBloPoMo November 2012