Well, it finally happened, my I Phone died. It was slowly going but I helped it along. My blue tooth was disconnecting during use and I had delays launching apps. This didn’t prepare me for no phone service.
No problem, right. Just go to the friendly Verizon store for replacements. We found that the phones we had would not be supported after January of 2023. John and I both liked the size of the 6se. We were showned a mini 13 which was close to the size of our old phones.
We had to order them and they would take two days to come.
We went in Friday to get the new phones. Then the fun began.
Thought the salesperson downloaded existing programs into each of our phones. I saw a long learning curve in my future.
First was facial identification. How do you take a picture with just voiceover as a guide? I gave up and used the old password.
The second hurdle was switching to another app. I have to swish several times to close an app. and get to the password page.
Next I had to pair my blue tooth with the new phone. I use a blue tooth devise to talk diredtly to my hearing aids.
After 24 hours, I was able to send and receive calls and messages with my new phone. But I use the phone for much more that that. For one thing, my email was not recieved. Even on the I Pad the emails stopped on Saturday.
We found that many sites that we had used seamlessly for years, had to have double verification to work. Even Bard wanted double verificattion. A real pain when you are blind.
Now to the fall, I was trying to work on my phone and I started to walk it into where I thought my husband was. On my way, there was an open door. I hit the door and fell on my tiled kitchen floor.
Pain in my back alerted me that I had done something stupid. I lay there for a couple of minutes to allow the pain to subside and take time for assessment.
I crawled to the table and hoisted myself into a chair.
Taking a cocuple of Tylenaos, I asked John to drive me to Urgent Care. They were busy with three other falls. My fall was the only one that happen indoors. I was told that I would have bruising and my lumbar was compressed.
Off we went to The Emergency room at the hospital to assess my spine to see if there was a pintching of a nerve.
I was there for 9 hours, then sent home. My nerves seemed fine. After repeating the answers to many medical staff , did I have feeling in my lower body .I reported, yes and I can feel my urine on my vagina. The nurse turned red but the doctor was nonplussed and muttered good.
I awoke with an upset stomach and have to rest as much a possible.
So forgive me if my emails and calls ar a little slow. I am healing.
Today is my 30th wedding anniversary. Last week, one of my writing friends wrote a story about her wedding day. My experience was much different than hers. I thought I would share eloping to Las Vegas.I had a large wedding for my first marriage, including the church, bridesmaids, wedding gown and reception. When I was asked a second time, I wanted just a small gathering of immediate family. My family had different ideas.My parents were scheduled to rent a place in Florida. My Mother informed us to get married before they returned. John’s Mother didn’t need to travel to Vegas to see us married.Anger boiled in me ,” Does no one want to attend?”John wisely made plans with a website, Weddings are us , where he designed a ceremony just for us.We booked a room at the Excalibur resort. He said that the ceremony location would be a surprise.At the last minute, my brother Brian joined us at the Detroit airport. He was flying out a day early with a stop over in Vegas to see his sister wed.We picked up a rental car and went to dress for the wedding.I had bough a knee length chiffon dress in apricot. John had a peach colored shirt. We drove to city hall where there were cattle fences for the large number of couples getting marriage licenses on Valentines Day. We were the only couple there getting a license and hurried to the chapel. It was a white clapboard little church. It was named Graceland. It had nothing in common with Elvis except bearing the same name as his beloved home.Inside, there were two men watching a college basketball game on television. One of the men arose to see if our papers were in order. He was the manager of the little chapel. The second man was a tall black Pentecostal minister. This the wedding coordinator picked when I said I wanted a religious minister.My brother served as witness, and photographer. We joined the minister in the front of the tiny altar. There we had a long reading from the book of Ruth. I stifled a giggle because I was carrying a little Ruth in my belly.We exchanged rings and after one last attempt to extract some extra funds by offering a faux leather folder to hold our marriage certificate. We went outside to have Brian take some more photos.We all returned to the hotel where Brian asked us to take him back to the airport in the morning.Neither John nor I couldn’t sleep. We got dressed and wandered down to the casino. There was not a soul except cleaning people but the slots were humming and ringing bells as if the ghosts of the evening past were still pulling handles and losing.We walked up and down the strip and found a early breakfast place before the sun rose. Back to the hotel, we checked out and dropped my brother off at the airport for his flight to L.A.We were packed and ready for our honeymoon. What was our destination? Death Valley, “how appropriate,” I thought.
Simple Giftswarming cold feet on a winter’s nightsmelling fresh bread baking in the ovenHolding hands and cuddling on the couchGood conversation and the gift of laughter as we age these are the simple gifts of love and marriag
Today is the birthday of Susan B. Anthony, abolitionist and suffragette. She was born into a Quaker family in 1820 in Adams Massachusetts. From an early age, Susan distributed anti slavery pamphlets and collected petitions for equal rights for all freemen and slaves.
After the civil war , she turned her enegries to work tirelessly on the behalf of women’s rights.
In 1856 she became the chairperson for the anti slavery society in New York.
Ms. Anthony and her three siblings continued to form rallies to promote rights of all people.
Susan was arrested once for disturbing the peace and fined 100 dollars. It is difficult to believe that this diminutive person, was a power house of a speaker.
Once she was asked, what the B stood for in her name. She replied, “I had an uncle named Brown but I adapted the Initial to have my name stand out.”
Susan B. Anthony continued to work towards womens right to vote up to her death in 1906. Her leadership paved the way for the adoption of the 19th Amendment in 1920.
As I wonder about this historic figure, recall the inequalities that are still present in our society today. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is still being challenged in the courts and workplace.
Equal rights for LGTB, mentally ill and and those people living in poverty continue to be marginalized. Different ethnic groups are targeted for hate crimes.
Then I think that Ms. Anthony took the long view of change working with one person or group at a time. Like Susan B. Anthony, we may not see the results of our efforts, but we must commit ourselves to change and support others in our world…one person at a time.
Hello! This week, “Friday’s Fantastic Finds” takes great pleasure in presenting Carol Farnsworth, author of Leaf Memories.
Hello Carol, we’re happy to have you here in Patty’s Worlds today. First, in your own words tell us a little about you.
Hi, my name is Carol Farnsworth and I’m pleased to be interviewed for your Featured Author of the Week segment.
The creative world has always been a part of me. I have been an actor, singer, dancer, pianist, and artist. I’ve won awards for the In Sights annual art contest for the past four years.
When I lost my sight completely, I turned my attention to writing. I learned to appreciate nature and use my other senses with my memories.
With two hip replacements, I could no longer walk the woods I loved. My husband John and I explore nature from a tandem bicycle. We have been a tandem team for over 20 years.
My daughter has been a help and a source for writing material. The book, “Leaf Memories,” cover photo is of my daughter Ruth playing in a pile of leaves. The poem with the same name is about playing with her.
Where do you live?
I live in a small village outside Grand Rapids, MI. My husband and I have lived here for 25 years.
Who are the special people in your life?
In addition to my husband and daughter, I have a special friend that I call my Brazilian sister.
Do you have any pets?
I have no pets of my own, but thanks to my daughter, my husband and I have three grand-kittens.
What keeps you going? I mean, like what inspires you and keeps you moving forward in your work?
Finding the humor in daily life. Being blind, there are many times when funny things happen to me. When I helped with support groups for the newly blind, I saw their despair that life was over. I approached them with the humor from my own life, so they could laugh and not feel hopeless.
What is your favorite song?
My favorite song is “O It’s time to Start Living” from the musical despair. The song is upbeat and inspires the listener to start enjoying life in whatever stage they’re in.
What is your favorite movie? Feel free to list multiple titles.
My favorite movie is Ghost. I love the idea that love is never gone even after death. I also love a good cry.
What is your favorite book? Feel free to list multiple titles.
I don’t seem to be able to name a favorite book, but historical fiction is my favorite genre. I love a good suspense story. I enjoy Dean Koontz novels which always tell the story of good taking a beating but coming out on top.
What is your favorite food? Feel free to elaborate on all your favorites.
Anything spicy. I enjoy trying many types of hot sauce.
What is your favorite quote?
“If you are going to be anything, be kind.” – Dr. Seuss.
This is something that we all can strive for.
What is your favorite affirmation? Does it in some way relate to your work?
Instead of worrying about situations that happen, I try, where possible, to use them in my writing.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
When people talk to the sighted person and not to me, it makes me wonder if they do not see me. Occasionally I will say “I can answer that” or “ask me,” but often they will still defer to my sighted companion.
What do you think your best strengths are, and how do they help you in your work as a writer?
My empathy for others and my sense of humor helps me connect by way of both conversation and writing.
What are your weaknesses, do they hinder your work, and how are you making them stronger?
Usually there are several projects on my burners at once. Trying to give enough time to each project sometimes means I’m not doing my best. I need to learn to say no.
What is your dream for the future, and how does it relate to your work as a writer?
I hope people who read my work get as much joy out of reading it as I did when writing it, and may they get an inkling of what it means to be blind.
What is your preferred way of communicating and how can someone best reach you if they should wish to buy from or work with you in some way?
My preferred way to communicate initially is email and should anyone wish to reach out to me for any reason, they may write me at: email@example.com
Before you go, is there anything you’d like to add about yourself or your work that I’ve not asked?
I must say, I’ve enjoyed interviewing with you. You’ve provided some wonderfully thought-provoking questions.
I would like to close with the introduction to my book.
Thank you for the opportunity to share a bit of myself and my work with your readers.
From Leaf Memories
I have always loved walking in the woods. I usually explore with my husband or daughter to act as a sighted guide. They find flora for me to touch.
When I had some vision, they would point out fauna—a deer, or a bird taking flight. At those times, I was lucky to see the white of a retreating deer or hear the sound of wings in flight.
When I became totally blind, I developed my senses of touch, hearing, smell and taste to see the world.
I incorporated visual memories to complete the picture.
After two hip replacements, I could no longer walk the woods I loved. My husband and I became a tandem cycling team. This allowed me to experience nature in a different way.
I wrote this chapbook of poems after I lost my sight. I found there are many ways to enjoy nature, such as using your hands to explore, along with your other senses.
Rain distorts the reflection in the pane.
I contemplate my twisted hold on reality.
Memory of the visual world changes with age,
reforming like a deck of shuffled cards.
The rain forms tears from heaven.
They water our souls and spirits.
I take a card to see what memory is on top.
Building a story around the thought.
That story is my new reality.
About the Author
Carol has worn many hats: speech pathologist, musician, dancer, actress, artist, and traveler. Now she has turned her hand to writing. Carol and her husband, John, have lived in a small town in western lower Michigan for the past 30 years. They have one married daughter and three grandkitties.
Carol started to write essays and poems in 2018 to tell about the lite side of blindness. Her blog, https://blindontheliteside.com/, puts a humorous spin on living with blindness. While she has experienced a gradual loss of sight all her life, Carol still sees the laughter and joy in living.
Her writing has appeared in Avocet, Plum Tree Tavern, Magnets and Ladders, Breath and Shadow, Spirit Fire Review, and The Handy, Uncapped Pen. She is a regular contributor to The Blind Perspective and Newsreel audio magazine.
My brothers will agree with me that our Dad was quite a storyteller. Brian , the youngest brother would add, “and some of his stories were even true!”
The following is from my imagination. Bruce did marry my mother, who was a Catholic. Family lore states that Dad’s family wasn’t happy and threatened not to attend. The rest of the story is a could have happened. Enjoy.
Bruce visited his family at breakfast. This was the best time to catch his family together. Clearing his throat as he put down the cup of coffee, he stated, ” I am getting married …to Rita… next Saturday… at the Catholic church.”
His Mother, aunt and sister started to speak at one time. “What is that? You can’t marry a Catholic! I won’t step into a Catholic church!”
“No one in this family will attend!”
Bruce’s Dad quietly stirred his coffee.
Bruce angerly retorted,” Well I am getting married you are invited whether you come or not is your decision!”
He banged his cup of coffee, spilling most of the contents. He rose and left without a goodbye.
I sit on the table after Bruce filled me with coffee. He added cream and two spoonfuls of sugar. He stirred my coffee but didn’t drink. He finally took a sip waiting for a pause in the conversation. I was placed on the table while Bruce talked about a wedding and inviting the family. I heard many angry voices of women. I only caught a word here and there. “What…you can’t…in a Catholic church, no one will go!”
Bruce rose quickly spilling my contents on the table. I was picked up and plopped into the dish water. I couldn’t hear what was said then. Later, I asked the large blue cup that Cliff always used what happened.
Cliff continued to stir and drink his coffee until the rest of the family became quiet. Picking me up to put in the dish water, he quietly stated, “The car will be in front of our house an hour before the service, to drive anyone who wants to attend.”
Next Saturday, Bruce was surprized to see his whole family in the front pew of the church.
When I was being trained by the Michigan Dept. of Labor to adapt my skills as a visually challenged person, I met individuals from across Michigan. We had classes, meals and counseling sessions with most of the participants. One young black man didn’t engage with others and at the first of the month, he disappeared for over a week.
During one of these times, I overheard two older black gentlemen discussing this individual.
“He is gone again!”
“Well, he is just a n—–!”
interrupting, I ask, “Why are you using that word?”
One of the men replied,”You can’t use it, but we can, if he acts like a n—–!”
I learned later that this client had been shot in the head during a robbery and lost his sight as a result of the injury. He was require to attend the rehab school by the state. When he received his disability check in the mail, he cashed it and took a bus back to his home in Detroit. When his money was gone, he returned to the school.
I am relating this story because we have different rules for people in our ethnic group. I am Scottish and Polish. I can call another individual in my ethnic group a stingy Scot or a feeble minded Pole. Why do we make such distinctions? If it is wrong for some people it should be wrong for all.
By stating, “We can call this man a n—–, but you can’t.” This widens parameters between groups and highlights differences rather that similarities.
By questioning the two older gentlemen, I hope that they may consider their conversation could be overheard and judged by others. I learned a lesson that day. By making derogatory remarks about any ethnic group , we isolate rather than unite us as one people.
Since that day, I have ceased my own ethnic jokes and have questioned such remarks from others. We are not perfect but a little thinking before speaking can go a long way to start the healing in our communities.
As my Mother would often tell my brothers and myself, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
As Dean Martin crooned in his 1959 album called Winter Romance, “O the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, so since we’ve no place to go. Let it snow.”
We have about 4 inches so far. The snow is expected to continue until later this evening. It is interesting to notice the landscape change to soft white contours. The little birds can’t find the seeds on the ground and porch. They take turnsor fighting to attack the suet cake for seeds.
I plan on sitting with my husband, John by the fire. and knit another felt animal. I am currently working on a German Shepard.
Even writers need a day of rest once in awhile and Mother Nature is providing it today.
Do you remember the movie, “Ground Hog Day?” Well, I am sitting in a hospital room awaiting surgery for a broken bone. I have been here three times before. But it is not for me but my husband John.
In early October, we did a fall simular to Arty Johnson a comidian on the show, “Laugh In.” He rode a tricycle and fell on his side. John and I fell off our tandem bike the same way.
When moving slowly and making a sharp turn, the tandem bike’s balence becomes unstable. We made a sharp turn to the left and then had to make a 180 degree turn the other way. We went down on the edge of the road.
I hit my head, cracking my helmet into two pieces. I tucked in my body to have the bike take the blow. I had bruised ribs but no other injuries.
John wasn’t so lucky. He mustt have put his arm out to cushion his fall. He hurt his left arm.
Being a male, He reasoned that he sprained the elbow and it would get better with time. The arm did seem to improve slowly.
During the next two months, John put up and took down Christmas lights, drove and did normal activities. Except for occasional pain and weakness, he had no complaints..
During the Christmas holidays, he noticed that he couldn’t extend his left arm. After two xrays and an MRI, the prognosis was that he broke the end of the radial bone by the elbow. The bone was still broken and would not heal .
So here I am. At the support position for my husband. He was given a nerve blocker and his left arm was dead weight. The surgery will take three hours and some time in recovery, but he should be able to go home tonight.
As for myself, I have located the numbers on this room. It is in braille. The bathroon is across a open hall. I have eyeballed my way my path. If I stick my head or foot out of this room, an aid is at my side. I am sure the staff don’t want to have a blind woman wander around. I can comply with their preferences for awhile.
So I sit here and wait to be the supportive partner.