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

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September 22, 2020 baby Memories

Warning Graphic descriptionsLast week, the Extended Turnbull clan welcomed a new baby into the family. Cole William Turnbull weight in over 8 pounds and 22 inches in. length. The eleventh Turnbull of this generation.When I think of a newborn, I recall my own daughter’s birth.I was old for being a first time mother. I was 37 and a career woman. Many of the women my age at work were taking fertility drugs to conceive. I thought ,”Well, if it is that hard to get pregnant, I guess I don’t have any worries.” How wrong I was.I was dating a friend of my brother. He was not thrilled but we talked, discussed and decided to marry in a small ceremony. For the first five months of marriage, I stayed and worked ninety miles away from my husband John. We saw each other on weekends. He was amazed at the changes I underwent week by week.Half way through the pregnancy, he teased saying ”You aren’t pregnant, , you’re just fat.” The baby started to move her butt from the left to the right pushing a bump along the way. I looked at him and replied “Fat doesn’t do that!”We were signed up to take lamaze classes. John found a kindred male soul who was a veterinarian of large animals. John was a dairy farmer. They started to recall calf birthing when the calf had to be physically turned before birth. Other couples were getting anxious and the teacher had to ask the guys to keep their birthing stories to themselves .In the ninth month, I retired from my job and moved to the west side of Michigan. The nursery was not even started. I wanted it done. I reasoned,”That baby could come at any time. John papered , painted and put together all the furniture. He watched as I hung up outfits and selected the one to take to the hospital with me. Later he mentioned that I reminded of a hen nesting as I sat crosslegged in the middle of the nursery.We had several false labor alarms. I was told that I wasn’t ready and I was given some juice and sent home. We finally had a doctor appointment and she reported that I was in labor.We went to a different hospital due to a perceived problem with the baby. the rooms were filled so I was to wait on another floor. John read me ”All Things Great and Small.” The next day we were given a pre-labor room. John was to time my contractions and coach my breathing.I fell asleep between sets of contractions. At one point I was holding my breath and John told me to breath.Finally, It was time and we were wheeled to the real labor room. There were two doctors, and three nurses, John and myself. When the head crowned,I spoke,”I want to feel the head!” All activity stopped.”I can’t see the mirror I am visually impaired” A nurse found a surgical glove and put on my right hand. I was thinking,”The head is covered with mucus so why cover my hand.Ruth was born at 11:59 pm. ,she was 7 and one half pounds and 17 inches long. They started to clean me and I noted the water was cold. You can feel that? Yes! I reminded that I was having natural childbirth.John went to the motel and I was given a semi private room to catch a few hours of sleep before the real parenting began.******************** 
Who will you become?So. small and delicate.But you showed your angerAs you scooted away from a needle.Your large eyes were mirrors to your soul.Your head was haloed by an inch of black hair.You are a beauty!copyright September 22, 2020

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Lets try again

Sisterhood September 17, 2020A sister can be defined by a blood relation or a close female friend with common ground. I have no blood sisters but I consider two friends as my sisters . Adellia is one of those friends.Adelia Inagaki, an exchange student from Brazil. She was brought up on a rice farm in the interior of the country. She arrived in January of 1974 to begin a six month stay in my hometown of Northville.She was hosted by a family that had younger children. The local parish put an request in the bulletin that an exchange student needed a ride to mass. My parents answered the request and met a 16 year old girl of japanese heritage. Slight with long black hair and glasses that magnified her large brown eyes, she displayed a calm, shy demeanor.My parents fell in love with Adelia and found she had experience very little of the country except going to high school and babysitting for her host family. My parents picked her up on weekends and took her places to visit. Niagara’sFalls, Mackinaw Island, Greenfield village and museum, and Bell Isle in Detroit . They wanted her to have as many experiences that a normal teen would have.This is were I stepped in. When I met Adelia, we were close from the start. She confided that she would like to have a date with an American boy, but there was little chance for that happening at school She was placed in classes that were advanced so she was not with boys her own age.I had a boy friend in the Ann Arbor area and I enlisted his help. He had a friend age 19 that was 5 foot 2’’. He had not dated much so he was happy to be a date for a beautiful Brazilian girl.I don’t remember if the boys picked us or I drove to Ann Arbor. I do remember that we played pinball, walked around Unversity of Michigan’s campus. We ended the day at a restaurant named Bicycle Jims. There we had lunch and shared a pitcher of beer. I didn’t even think of Adelia being underage for drinking in this country.Adelia got her first date and I think her first kiss.Over the passing years we wrote letters to each other with the news and events in our lives. Adelia has returned to visit three more times. Once, she brought her Mother to stay with my parents. Another time She and her husband Todd, stopped ,taking a detour from a longer trip to visit and introduce her husband to my parents. The third trip was to Florida to see my Dad in Tampa. My husband and I went down and drove Adelia and her friend John to where ever they wanted to go. Since my husband was also named John we called Adelia’s friend Brazilian John. We visit the Dali museum, the beach, restaurants and shopping. We picked up several other friends from Brazil from the airport and took them to their hotel. We treated the group to lunch and Brazilian John found thet he loved pancakes. He ordered this every chance he got.Over the years, we have written fewer letters due to the slowness of the mail service in Brazil. We now email more with news and events in our lives. Adelia also posts photos on Facebook ,that my husband shares with me.Tomorrow is Adelia’s birthday. I won’t tell you her age but we have been sisters for over 45 years. So to my Brazilian Sister,” feliz AniversárioSisterhoodMore that blood,dearer that life,We bridged language, cultureTo become more than friendsbut sisters,To my South American sisterBlessings,your North American sisterLove you!copyright 9-17-2020

Sisterhood September 17, 2020A sister can be defined by a blood relation or a close female friend with common ground. I have no blood sisters but I consider two friends as my sisters . Adellia is one of those friends.Adelia Inagaki, an exchange student from Brazil. She was brought up on a rice farm in the interior of the country. She arrived in January of 1974 to begin a six month stay in my hometown of Northville.She was hosted by a family that had younger children. The local parish put an request in the bulletin that an exchange student needed a ride to mass. My parents answered the request and met a 16 year old girl of japanese heritage. Slight with long black hair and glasses that magnified her large brown eyes, she displayed a calm, shy demeanor.My parents fell in love with Adelia and found she had experience very little of the country except going to high school and babysitting for her host family. My parents picked her up on weekends and took her places to visit. Niagara’sFalls, Mackinaw Island, Greenfield village and museum, and Bell Isle in Detroit . They wanted her to have as many experiences that a normal teen would have.This is were I stepped in. When I met Adelia, we were close from the start. She confided that she would like to have a date with an American boy, but there was little chance for that happening at school She was placed in classes that were advanced so she was not with boys her own age.I had a boy friend in the Ann Arbor area and I enlisted his help. He had a friend age 19 that was 5 foot 2’’. He had not dated much so he was happy to be a date for a beautiful Brazilian girl.I don’t remember if the boys picked us or I drove to Ann Arbor. I do remember that we played pinball, walked around Unversity of Michigan’s campus. We ended the day at a restaurant named Bicycle Jims. There we had lunch and shared a pitcher of beer. I didn’t even think of Adelia being underage for drinking in this country.Adelia got her first date and I think her first kiss.Over the passing years we wrote letters to each other with the news and events in our lives. Adelia has returned to visit three more times. Once, she brought her Mother to stay with my parents. Another time She and her husband Todd, stopped ,taking a detour from a longer trip to visit and introduce her husband to my parents. The third trip was to Florida to see my Dad in Tampa. My husband and I went down and drove Adelia and her friend John to where ever they wanted to go. Since my husband was also named John we called Adelia’s friend Brazilian John. We visit the Dali museum, the beach, restaurants and shopping. We picked up several other friends from Brazil from the airport and took them to their hotel. We treated the group to lunch and Brazilian John found thet he loved pancakes. He ordered this every chance he got.Over the years, we have written fewer letters due to the slowness of the mail service in Brazil. We now email more with news and events in our lives. Adelia also posts photos on Facebook ,that my husband shares with me.Tomorrow is Adelia’s birthday. I won’t tell you her age but we have been sisters for over 45 years. So to my Brazilian Sister,” feliz AniversárioSisterhoodMore that blood,dearer that life,We bridged language, cultureTo become more than friendsbut sisters,To my South American sisterBlessings,your North American sisterLove you!copyright 9-17-2020Sent from my iPad

September 15 2020

Cooking by touch

I have always enjoyed cooking. Combining several ingredients and adding heart to make delicious food is a joy. But as I lost vision I had to become creative with my methods.

Like fast food restaurants, I have a box of disposable gloves in my kitchen drawer.

When I am combining wet and dry ingredients , I test the texture of the dough\batter to see if it is correct. I often use my hands to mix the drier dough. I love to feel the mixture between my fingers. I guess I didn’t get enough PlayDoh time as a child!

When making pie crust, I have been known to place the flour, salt and spices on a table . Then I put a indentation in the middle of the dry ingredients . Into this I pour a mixture of oil and cold water. Then I mix the pile until it is a soft dough. It is a great feeling.

After rolling the dough between wax paper, I will peel back the top piece of paper to feel the dough to make sure that there no thick spots. When ready, I use the wax paper to lift and flip the crust into the pie pan.

When cooking on the stove, I have a different challenge. How do I know if there 

is a rolling boil. I lean over the pan and listen for the bubbles bursting. This tells me that the pan is at a rolling boil.

When baking , I will use my sense of smell to tell if a item is close to done. I will use a talking thermometer to do the final testing.

I am a sloppy cook at times but I keep my messes confined and clean them up quickly.

When guest are invited to dinner I have become the entertainment as they watch me move around the kitchen and present them a great meal.

My husband keeps telling me my cooking would make a funny video but I know that he is proud of my abilities and he benefits from the results.

Hamburgers and fries anyone?

**********

**********

I don my plastic gloves.

Mixing dry and wet ingredients ,

To form a soft dough.

I roll, stretch or drop dough on baking sheets.

Pop the sheets into the oven.

Then wait……..

the aroma of cooked biscuits tantalize my nose.

I pull them out for all to enjoy.

copyright September 15,2020Cooking By Touch

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September 10, 2020

Lemonade with a Punch
My Dad was a tease and trickster. He wasn’t mean. He liked to play jokes. Sometimes they backfired. This happened when his Grandmother Turnbull was visiting one summer.It was a hot and Dad offered Grandmother Turnbull some cold lemonade. Along with the fresh squeezed lemons, sugar and water, he added a shot of vodka.Grandmother was a good Baptist and a tea totaled all her life. Now in her 90’s, she had never tasted liquor.Dad, brought a tall glass of the lemonade to Grandmother and waited to see what she would be her reaction. It was a hot day,. She downed the lemonade in several large gulps. Dad was surprized and asked, ” Would like another?” She replied,”Yes!” While he went to get another drink, Grandmother fell asleep. Dad carried the small woman up to a bedroom.The next morning, Grandmother awoke and asked,”When is dinner?” When told that she slept through dinner and all night. She was puzzled. “Grandmother, maybe you were tired from your trip.” Only my Dad knew the truth and he kept quiet.Later, Grandmother remarked,”That was the best lemonade that I ever had!”
*******************.

Laughter
Laughter is fine
If a person knows
may backfire

Copyright Sept 10, 2020

The Starfish August 8, 2020

In this time of unrest and uncertainty, I recall an ancient Hawaiian story about starfish. Indulge me if you have heard it. I think it bears repeating.Once a wiseman or a Kahuna who walked the beaches in the early morning to meditate and commune with great God. Ka-Ne. He was hoping for a message for his people as their troubles. One morning, at sunrise, He saw a figure in the distance, dancing a hula to praise the sun. He thought, this must be another Kahuna. He hurried toward the person, but when he drew close , the person was not an adult, but a child. The beach was covered with thousands of starfish. The child was bending down, picking up a starfish and throwing back into the water. Over and over , the child repeated this task.The Kuhuna watched for a long time and finally exclaimed, ”Why are you throwing the starfish into the waves?” The child paused in the task to reply, ”The starfish have washed up on the beach and will die if they are not returned to the water.” The Kahuna said, ”There are thousands of starfish and only one of you. You can’t possibly makes a difference!” The child smiled and bending down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the waves. Turning to the Kahuna the child said,”I made a difference to that one!”When overwhelmed by problems, we can make a difference, one person at a time.”from a traditional Hawaiian story”********************

BStarfish
They have five pointed armsto navigate waters andsearch for preyBut when washed ashorethey are helplesslike a newbornGive a helping handby picking themUp from the sand, and tossing into the wavesso they may live another day.
copyright August 8, 2020

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Rooted in Theater August 3, 2020

When I was a child, I loved to perform for friends and family. I would sing, dance or recite poems. I had a solo in first grade in a Christmas pageant. i was curious about the old P and A theater in my home town of Northville.i would attend the matinee movie on Saturday afternoons. The ticket price was 35 cents. Before the movie, the owner would pick tickets and the children checked the numbers on their tickets. I was selected to compete. Each child was given a balloon and asked to blow it up until it burst. I didn’t want to break my balloon so I lost but I still had my balloon.I wondered what was behind the movie screen. When I was a teen, I saw a friend taking out the garbage from the back of the theater. “Doug, could you show me the area behind the screen?” He replied,”I guess, but there is not much to see.”The door to the area was just inside the back door. I stepped up into the old vaudeville stage. There was a tall area filled with ropes and pulleys for hanging backdrops. My feet made prints in the dust on the stage floor. After turning in a full circle, I asked if there were dressing rooms. Doug pointed to stairs on one side of the stage. I slowly descended to find three rooms lit by single light bulbs. The largest of the rooms still had hooks on the wall to hold costumes. The other two rooms had doors. I imagine stars and names on each door. The old theatre changed hands and the new owners wanted to refurbish the theater to it’s use for live productions. Northville’s community theater was started.In my 20’s I joined this group and performed on this same stage. Now the floor was refinished and the dressing rooms were updated with lit mirrors, makeup tables and a lounge area for the actors to relax while waiting for their cues. In this space, you could clearly hear what was said on the stage. While the Corona Virus has silently the stage , the theater waits for people to gather again in the red velvet seats.
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Waiting

The smell of greasepaint The laughter of the crowda tapping batonAre silent nowawait a virus’s demise
musicians, actors and stage handsall are quietstanding in the wingsThey hope for a rising curtainand a chorus to sing

Lost in My Own Yard August 31,2020

I have heard several of my blind friends talking about becoming disoriented in their own neighborhood or yard. Last week this happened to me.I will go out to get the mail at the edge of our property. I usually follow the driveway and then tap along the edge of the road until I get to the mailbox.On this day, I didn’t have my shoes on because I wanted to feel how lushness of the grass . he was so proud of it. I didn’t take my smart phone because I was just going to the mailbox. I decided to cross the lawn to feel the lush grass beneath my feet.What I didn’t know was there was a truck parked in the road in front of our home.When I walked diagonally to find the road by the mailboxes. I found the truck instead. Thinking this was my neighbor’s vehicle , I turned left to find the street. Instead I found that I was on the grass again. I tried to listen for traffic noise but there was a street repair crew making noise a few doors down. The thick grass made walking difficult and I silently swore to myself for not taking my phone. I heard a quiet voice from several feet away , ”Do you need help?” I replied “Yes!” A small woman came beside me. “Where are you going?” I replied, “I am trying to find my house.” She asked,”Do you want to take my hand?” “No, give me your elbow.” She asked for my address to make sure I was at the correct house. “What were you doing?” she asked . “I was trying to go to the mailbox and I became lost” I admitted. “Did you get your mail? I said no and she offered to go and get it for me .”While she was gone, I felt my way to the garage door. When she returned, she noticed I was beside the door. “She said “It’s closed.” “I know how to open it with a code,” I replied. I thanked her and opened the garage.I went inside and placed the mail on my husbandschest. I was very discouraged and wondered what went wrong.My husband explained what could have happened. “There is a car in the road before our mailbox. What you thought was our neighbor’s car was this vehicle, You set off in the wrong direction and couldn’t find the driveway or the road.”I felt slightly better until he asked,”Did you have your phone?” I felt chagrined . Now when I go outside, I take my normal route to the mailbox. I will take my phone because you never know when you will need a helping hand. ********************

Fuzzy Forecast
I spot a Fuzzy worm sunning on the stone wall,black and sporting a brown stripe on his back.The thickness of the brown marking is predicting a harsh winter.
I wonder if he is storing the sun to take with him when he snuggles under the fallen leaves. There the furry caterpillar awaits Spring’s sunshine and warmth.