Halloween may be scary October 28, 2020

Halloween has been a safe activity for children and adults. Allowing trick or treaters to don costumes and masks to experience the dark while getting treats from smiling neighbors. Its been a traditional day for children to look forward to. This year, parents are racking their brains to provide a safe Holiday. Some neighbors are putting out treats on a table in the middle of a driveway. Others are participating in Trunk or Treat during the day. Still others will turn their front lights off during the early evening. This is real fear. The corona virus will change this holiday celebration as well as others to follow.A day that should be filled with fun can be really scary.No matter what your choice it will effect our children.I believe that children can be masked with their costumes to prevent virus spreading. Walking with your children to point out safe treats areas. Finally , households can watch the trick or treaters from a social distance with masks to comment on costumes and greet their parents. Let’ us think about a safe Halloween and leave the scary practices off the streets.Wishing you a happy and safe Halloween.

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O scary night

The moon is brightly shining.

It is the night of really scary stuff.

We are all in fear ,for the virus to catch us.

Do we follow recommendationthat doctors request.

Packaged treats for kids can be handled safely.

With masks and distance.trick or treating can be done.

copyright 10/28/20

October 27, 2020 Can’t See the Forest For the Trees

I have talked with several aquaintances in the last several weeks. They are complaining about the politics and the upcoming election. Predicting that if their party is defeated on November 2nd, there will be economic collaspe, rioting and the need for military intervention to maintain social order and security. All this even without the Carona Virus.I listen to their laments trying to understand their concerns and fears. I just don’t get it! Do my friends think so little of the American people and the democratic system to have so little confidence in us to fear the worst?A look back in our country’s history will show that we , as a people , have been at many crossroad and flurished. About every 20 years or once in a generation such a crisis has occured.From our country’s founding up to the bombing of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, we have been faced with chalenges.Whoever becomes our nation’s leaders will have a long road to heal the nation. It is up to each of us to do our part to heal ourselves and our communities. Why wait? Lets start today before the votes are counted to go forth greeting each other with kindness. We know that not all of our choices will be accepted. Instead of throwing our hands in the air and giving up, let us strive to work with the newly elected by phone calls, letters and email . This helps to know the people’s needs.I hope that we can see the importance of the whole forest and not focus on individual trees. Trees come , grow and disappear but the forest remains.

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America

All must stand together.

Merging to become one people, under God.

Each has the right to an opinion.

Rights that can compromise.

Individuals stand joined as one nation.

Can we put aside our differences?America

Copyright 10/27/20

October 22, 2020 Musical Notes

All of the kids in my family were expected to learn to read music and play an instrument. We had a piano in our home so the instrument of Choice was to learn that first and if there was an interest, then another instrument could be included in the instruction.I started my lessons with a wonderful older woman , Miss Helena Christian, who had been taught at Juilliard School of music. She was very patient with all of her students.I tried to learn to read the notes on the score but I had distortion when I tried to read the Bass cleft. I had sufficient vision to read the Treble cleft. I learned to memorize the chords while I read the melody line.My teacher realized that I would never be able to read both clefts at the same time. She bought me a music book that had the words and guitar chords above the melody line. I was able to play most of the songs in the book.She struck a bargain with me. If I learned the fundamentals of music on the piano, she would teach me to play the guitar.During this time I started to sing along with my music. She listened and put aside a part of the lesson time for singing lessons.I went from dreading the piano lessons to looking forward to each weeks lesson.With some insight and understanding my teacher was able to modified my lessons to get the best result and pleasure in playing music.I will always be grateful to that teacher, and others who took the time and allowed me to learn in my own way.

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Music

Notes with words

waiting to play aloud,

explode with joy

carolaspot@aol.com

Copyright 10/22/20

October 20, 2020 Technology and an Old Brain

Tech versus an old brainWe live in a wonderful time when there are many assistive devises to help blind people with mobility, identifying, labeling and using computers and smart phones. All this technology can be confusing to an old brain.The other day I was using my smart phone to participate in a blind teleconference. My phone lost the phone page just as I was asked a question. I had to hang up and redial. This took several minutes. When I finally returned to the conference, I told them that I had technical difficulties . The whole group understood. We all have had difficulties with assistive devises.I have a blue tooth speaker that talks into my hearing aids. But I have found that if I an too close to my husband who is also using a blue tooth listening devise I will get a echo of his book. It sounds like gibberish because he plays his books very fast.I have used my I-pad to look up recipes and information. Usually I ask the assistive helper Siri to find the information. Many times Siri misunderstands and can’t locate the information quickly. When I finally locate the correct web page, I find that I must sign up for access to a website. I have not learned my limits. I have recently signed for a virtual eyes program, digital tags to use in the kitchen and a recording devise that will help me with locating and storing my patterns for knitting . I can just see this happening , I go to find a yarn color that has been tagged. The tag tells me the yardage, weight and material but not the color, is’t a number rather that a color. I get the recorder to find a pattern and find I must listen to several hours because I forgot to insert titles and bookmarks for each pattern. I go to get the phone to find the printed pattern in the book. The apps reads part of the pattern but starts over when it thinks that it had a better angle for the document. When it finally reads the pattern it makes little sense because the knitting abbreviations make no sense to the program. II find that would be easier to get my husband to help me. But I am determined to be independent . Technology takes a lot of time and effort I hope that this old brain of mine can handle it!

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Technology

Too much to grasp

Easy for others, not for me

Could I use a cheat sheet

Hovering over the latest devise

Nothing is staying in my brain

Others use assistive devices

Lots to learn and remember

Old brain in cells are taxed

Grasping concepts with lightening speed

Yeah

Copyright 10/20/20

October 15, 2020White Cane Awareness Day

I am sharing a guest post that I wrote last year for the”Handy Uncapped Pen.com” This a personal coming to terms with using a white cane. White cane evolutionI , we have a love\hate relationship with our white canes . When first given a cane to use we reject it.Yet Usually we get into a situation where we find that is better to use the cane .My incident came at a fast food restaurant . I was eating lunch with my family. During the meal I got up to use the restroom. I bumped into several tables on the way to the wall where I felt my way to the restroom. I repeated the feeling and table bumping until I was back at my own table. When we were ready to leave, I unfurled my folding cane with several loud clicks. As we were exiting the restaurant I heard one of the employees remark,””I thought she was drunk!” To be seen as drunk or blind , I would rather be blind.Eventually my orientation and mobility instructor convinced me that I would be safer with the white cane. I was a novice working the cane. When with my sighted guide I would hold the cane in a defensive position . If I became nervous I would swing the cane wildly in front of us, people would part like the Red Sea in front of Moses. I believe that they were worried about being struck by my wild antics with the cane.Eventually, I learned the two techniques of bouncing the end from to side to side or dragging the end of the cane from right to left. Both cane movements were coordinated with walking .When we traveled to Scotland I had good cane use but the novelty of a white cane user convinced the pedestrians to give us a wide berth, some people were so intent to get out of our way they jumped into doorways or off the curb .As I gained confidence and training in cane use I never left home without it. Even with a sighted guide, I still hold my white cane at the ready.When walking with my daughter I was using my cane and talking to her. Unknown to me ,she veered us directly towards four young men walking in a line. She stopped the end man and asked,”Don’t you see this lady is blind she will not get out of your way!”. He mumbled a “Sorry”? I quizzed her about the incident and she replied that they needed a lesson about others in their environment.I have made peace with using my white cane and never leave home with out one. People still want to help me cross streets or grab my elbow to propel me forward because they see the white cane , not me. With patience I explain what I can and can not do. By interacting , I help people see the person behind the cane. **********

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It is my companion

my friend

folded in my purse 

to be unfurled

at a moment

ready to guide me

where I need to go long or short

fiberglass or wood

you serve me well

if others 

would pay heed

to the white cane

Sent from my iPad

Daddy Bruce October 7, 2020

Today would have been my Father’s 101 birthday. He was known by many names. Dad, Bruce, Mr. Turnbull and Mr Northville. But my favorite title was coined by my Brazilian sister Adelia,”Daddy Bruce.” He answered to all of them but his favorite was the use of Dad. He was delighted when my husband chose to call him Dad. John said it was a term of respect and love.Dad loved parties especially when they involved his birthday. Large celebrations were held on his 90th and 95th birthday. At the 95th, he made a toast hoping all would be present for his 100th celebration.Though he was not here physically, I feel his spirit and love of life every day.I look at my brothers, nieces and nephews noting a love of growing plants, telling jokes, and enjoying friends and family.Personally, he taught me to be generous with my time and gifts. Dad nurtured a strong faith in the Lord and Creator. He blended Baptist, Methodist and Catholic doctrines into his personal belief system.On one of the last visits with Dad before he passed. He said,”I don’t know how you do it… getting around blind!” “I tried and ran into the wall and couldn’t find the bathroom.” He went on to say, ”But you are always smiling,keep that joy.” I could have said the same about him . He was always full of joy and life.For my part, I will keep the joy of you as my Dad in my heart. Thanks, And Happy Birthday Daddy Bruce

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Old GrowthOld Growth is precious.Densely packed withrings of knowledge.End of a line,But not quite…Though the old tree. is gone,The seeds remain.Not exact copies,but having the strength of core.
They grow strong and tall.Encircling the memory of the stump.

Carol Farnsworth
carolfarn@aol.com

copyright 10-7-20

Slippage October 6, 2020

My husband had a medical issue with a piece of calcium that lodged in his brain after his aorta valve split. This caused issues with his memory. Consequently, he is my eyes and I am his memory. John will ask me if I remember this or know where an item is kept. When he loses an item in his workshop, he will buy another. This sometimes results in more that one item.I was confident in my memory until last week. I was looking for the steam iron. I was sure that it was on the high shelf between the washer and dryer. I hadn’t use it for many months but I went down to retrieve it.I looked. There was no iron. I searched all the shelves in the basement including the storage boxes on the shelves. No iron.I enlisted my husband’s aid as we searched the whole house. No iron. Finally, I had to have an iron so I opened Amazon to look for a replacement. I found that I had 20 dollars credit and the iron I wanted was 18 dollars. I ordered it and it arrived on the weekend.Yesterday morning, I was putting away bath towels and found the pile had fallen over. Picking up the towels to replace then on the pile, I discovered the old iron on the shelf. I have no memory of putting it there or bringing it up to the main floor. Do you wonder what I will do with two irons? Taking a clue from my husband, I will keep then both, at least for awhile. One upstairs and one in the basement. As we age we all have a little slippage now and then.
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Slippage
I remember my deceased parents birthdays,

But I can’t remember my daughter’s birthday.
I remember to take a list to grocery shop,

Then I leave it in the car.
I remember to call in for a group conference.

But I forget the correct number
As a senior citizen,I should expect a bit of slippage.
Copyright October 6, 2020

Sent from my iPad

Meet the Blind Month October 1, 2020

October 15th is white cane day . This is my attempt to entertain and educate my readers while raising awareness of the blind and their canes.Stick WorkI have a habit of referring to my white cane as my stick, using the cane is stick work and people that use a white cane are stick people. This has given people overhearing my conversations with my husband a chuckle.I love to go out to the mailbox in a fresh layer of snow. The sounds are muffled and there is a small resistance against the tip of the cane. In addition my husband smiles, watching the snakelike path form on the driveway.I have found that the cane is a great way to find my husband when he tries to speed up while shopping or at church. He will often do this behavior when he has an audience watching . They laugh while I reach forward sweeping with my cane to find him.I use the white cane as a walking stick when traveling rough terrains. I have traveled up Mt.Hood, over rapids on a log bridge and through rainforests. I give people we meet pause when they realize the stick is a white cane and the person using it is a blind person in a place they don’t expect.This was brought home when my family was walking on a horse trail in the Sierra Mt. Range. My daughter and husband wanted to climb a large rock formation to get a view of the river. I stayed on the narrow trail to wait their return. We had not seen any travelers in 3 miles , so I was surprised to hear a group approaching. I called to them to go around and I stood on the edge of the trail. The walking stopped but I didn’t hear any voices until my husband yelled, ”She is blind don’t you see the white cane?”. The group that I heard approaching was a small group of horses and their riders following a guide. The guide was motioning for me to get off the trail. The guide did a double take when my husband called to her. He helped to get me safely get off the trail and as she passed she said ,”Welcome to Wyoming “.I love broadening people’s expectations of what a blind traveler can accomplish !
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Stick work
Not a dance,coordinated moves left to right and back again.Steps move opposite of the cane.I walk forward with safe confidence
copyright October 1, 2020

Hearing Without Listening September 29,2020

This past weekend, I was at a social event when both of my hearing aid batteries died. To my chagrin , I didn’t have any replacements with me. I was forced to concentrate on the speaker, asking questions and paraphrasing other’s words to understand their meaning.It was hard work but I found that working at listening to others without thinking of an argument or answering remark helped to understand others.In the sermon this week Father Len talked about a priest that he lived with and discussed points of view. This older priest would remark ”Could you put more words around that statement?” This way he was showing interest in another’s point of view and showing he wanted to understand. It also gave the speaker time to explain a point and dispel negative feelings.On my ride home, I thought about the lesson of hearing and listening to others. We as a people and as individuals could learn to listen with our whole being to other’s point of view. Questions for clarification and paraphrasing others to understand their message. Hearing without listening leads to complacency. When I entered my home, I first found and changed my hearing aid batteries. What a relief to hear easily again! I will try to remember the lesson of working to hear others with my mind and heart wide open.********************

I can hear the wind in the trees.But, I can’t hear a call for justice.I listen to my favorite tunes.But I fain to listen to the chants in the street.My baby cries and I respond.But the soft cries of strangers I choose not to hear.Selective deafness pulls apart our nation.Remove the plugs of complacency.Listen with our hearts.

Copyright September 29, 2020

The Intrigue of Politics September 24 2020In this election year, politics has simmered to a boil. As I listen to the rhetoric on both sides, I try to discern the kernels of truth amount the chaff. I wonder why people run for an office. I have to look at my own family for part of the answer.My Dad was interested in his home town. He became involved in the planning commission and the Northville city counsel. he wanted to help make the city a better place for it’s citizens.Near the end of his life, Dad encouraged my younger brother Brian to run for mayor of Northville. He wanted to help with the planning for the growth of his city. Three months into his term the Corona Virus hit the counties of Wayne and Oakland hard. Mayor Turnbull and the city counsel had to shut down the businesses, implement safety measures and keep the citizens informed by townhall virtual meetings. He was right person , for this time in history.As I listen to the candidates, I can’t find a clear shoice. Both candidates are caught in playing the political game while looking after their party’s agendas. Where is the concern for helping the citizens?Our country has now passed the 200,000 number of lives loss to the virus . No moment of silence or morning for each of those citizens. They were Mothers, Fathers, and children. They were part of us.Now We have an opening on the Supreme Court. President Trump wants to nominate and confirm a new judge before his term ends. He has the Constitutional right to do so. I wonder about the moral right to install a judge during an election where voting has started. The agenda is more important than the wishes of the people.My brother won his position with more than 70% of the vote. Why can’t our president do the same.I hope as I write to my House and Senate representatives that they try to put the party’s agendas aside to vote for the people’s wishes.********************
Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg has left the stage.

This small woman with a quiet voice,

has commanded our attention,

on and off the bench.

She has said,”Fight with all your strength,

but do it in a way that others can join you.”

She remarked,” hatred, jealousy and envy are useless emotions to get a task done.”

The quote that I loved was,”sometimes it is good to be deaf, not just with your spouse, but also with your colleagues .”

At 87, Ruth has bowed and left the stage.

Her final request is to wait to replace her.

But she will never be replaced

Copyright 9-24-2020

Sent from my iPad