Tuesday, December 21, 2010

ASL for DeafBlind Community

I have been advocating the use of ASL for everyone. Deaf babies, those who have been CI'ed and especially for the DeafBlind community. I hope you will enjoy this vlog I made and understand why I am very passionate for my beliefs.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Been MIA for quite a while..

Dear friends,

I've been away from blogging for quite a while. Good friends would follow up with me and ask if I was okay, etc. I appreciated those words of encouragement from those special people. Dealing with depression isn't easy especially when it is a daily basis. I am just blessed to have a wonderful husband who understands and supports me rather than tell me to "take a pill and go lay down". He listens to me and gives supportive rapport.

I am also very blessed to have three overly-affectionate furkids (my little bums) I call them. They just make their place on me or besides me. Currently, Mosey is snuggling besides me under my blanket and Lil'Bit is under the pillow that's supporting the laptop. Hannah is all curled up in her little carrier (minus the door) and she snoozes there when she wants to be quiet.


In this picture, Mosey is curled up on the corner of the couch, LilBit is tucked in a circle on the pillow and wee Hannah just loves to be cradled on my chest. She will walk across the laptop to snooze on the laptop for the heat or sit on the laptop and expect me to pick her up to be cradled like a baby. Yes, they're my little bums as I love spoiling them & they love/demand to be spoilt. It works out just perfectly!

Lil'Bit has a Maman, he loves her so much and will follow her everywhere. Maman is my sweet and close friend named Christina.

A reason for my being MIA is my Sjogren's as it really does hinder my physical abilities to walk and be active.

Sjögren's syndrome (pronounced show-grins) is an incurable, autoimmune disease that affects between 200,000 and 400,000 Canadians. Nine out of 10 people are women - typically over the age of 50 years.

In Sjögren's, the body's immune system attacks the moisture-producing glands. Lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) then attack and destroy these glands causing painfully dry eyes and mouth. Sjögren's can also cause dryness of the skin, nose and vagina. It can affect organs such as the kidney, gastrointestinal tract, blood vessels, lung, liver, pancreas and central nervous system. It is an all invasive disease. 

Sjogren's website - source 

Sjogren's has been debilitating my physical well-being as it is very painful to move around about. I am blessed to have understanding friends who will do alternative plans so we all are included in having an enjoyable evening. Bless their hearts!

Christmas is around the corner and today was the Santa Claus Parade in Toronto, ON.

 "Parades are set for this evening in Ottawa, Barrie, Orangeville, Bradford, Kingston and Cambridge."

Bundle up dear ones, it's going to be a chilly one today and afterwards as Winter is arriving!!

Tactile smile,
Patty oxox

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pictures of my life

Hi dear friends,

As you all know I've been using this blog as an outlet to express my feelings. There are times I will pour my feelings into this blog and there are times when I leave very little entries.

Lately, I've been through emotional highs and downs known as depression. It's hit me very hard like a sledgehammer. I find it very hard to pick myself up in the morning unless I set myself up for a strict schedule. I'm at the library and I'm enjoying the beautiful view I see. The trees are dancing with the wind and the clouds are drifting ever so slowly. I love this part of the summer; Indian summer to be exact.

I can just get lost in those "dreamy days" and I love those dreamy days because it helps me recollect my feelings.

I want to share something that I've struggled with growing up. Depression. It was very hard dealing with depression and the only easiest way to cope with depression was to self-comfort myself by over-eating. I'd eat sweets and hide the wrappers out of guilt.

A close friend caught me by finding a bag filled with empty wrappers, naturally she was shocked and worried about me. Out of natural defense, I denied doing this which made things worse. I could have easily admitted doing it but I just couldn't do it.

A nervous breakdown resulted after a series of self-sabotage acts and a marital breakdown. This stirred up the dark demons which unleashed a lot of words that I regret saying and do wish I could take them back.

This has awakened me to another side of me that I didn't realise existed within me. This also made me realise I truly needed pyschological counselling. I did have pyschological counselling which I really benefitted from and will need to go back to it. I benefitted from pyschological counselling on so many lengths & I was so proud of my healing.

I healed within and outside; emotionally. Socially I was aware of how my negative actions ostracized myself from my peers and mentally I gained coping methods which enabled me in so many ways. I matured as an adult and the inner child within me had closure.

I have the gift of the present moment and I do not need to look back in the past because the future is important.

For this I dedicate the pictures of my life to my families and my friends who have impacted my life in so many ways, I love you all.

Patty oxox

An insight into my life

Monday, July 26, 2010

Been away for a while...

Hi dear ones!

How are you all doing?

I am doing good and have been away from my blog for a while. I've had no internet at home & we chose to cut off our internet as finances are quite rough for us at the moment. It was either the internet bill or the groceries. We need to eat so it's the internet that had to go.

The summer rolled around with quite an unexpected twist of venegance; the hot-hazy and humid days arrived! I was so sick with several days of vomiting and diarrhea, hubby was so worried and we had to get an air conditioner so I could cope with the heat wave. It's been over 3 weeks now with the heat wave Toronto's been having now. I've improved from the vomiting/diarrhea thankfully from hubby's tender loving care. I truly thank him for being there for me. *bows to hubby*

I am at the library at the moment and will leave a longer journal entry the next day or two. My apologies.

I want to leave a shout-out to Sherry at Word Salads for her words of encouragement! Thanks girl!!

Tactile love to all!
Patty OXOX

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Beautiful therapy

I'm sick at the moment; bronchitis. Meh!

I'm very lucky to have beautiful therapy! Mosey, Hannah and Lil'Bit just heals me with their love.

I have a quilt on top of me and they all just gather around me.

These are my babies.




Take care dear friends!

Patty oxox

Friday, April 23, 2010

He's here.. The Deaf Pianist!!

A Purveyor of Pleasingly Pianistic Pyrotechnics of Ragtime Music….and of life, too.

All of my life I have been active in and doing many things such as sports, music, enjoying the great outdoors, camping and just having fun in doing the things I love. Of course there is a certain pride and feeling of accomplishments to be on a winning team. Who wouldn’t? Like being on a little league baseball team where we won a championship game, for example. Or be on a soccer team where we won two state championships in a row in Washington State. I did well in wrestling by winning 2nd place in a wrestling tourney. Other sports I’ve done well include basketball and baseball during my elementary and middle school years.  Soon my enthusiasm in sports took on the form of weightlifting where I began in my sophomore year in high school.  This continued on for 27 years culminating at the peak of my form by winning 3rd place in the under 200lb category my first ever strongman event in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the May of 2006. Who knew I’d get to the point of flipping 500lb and 800lb tires, and pull a 12,000lb truck? (see http://kokonutpundits.blogspot.com/2006/05/my-first-strongman-competition.html). I’ll certainly have something to tell to my grandkids someday. And during my college days as a graduate student and afterwards I spent several years training in the Japanese martial art of Aikido which is an exceptionally hard art to master. I have been thrown into walls breaking them, attained numerous injuries, including a 7 stitches knife cut in my right hand in one of my rare moments of slip-up in a self-defense exercise (for experienced students only) but we all had a good time laughing over it at the emergency room with my Sensei (instructor) and advanced students. We all pretty much experienced similar injuries. It goes with the territory on learning this hard art of Aikido. I don’t mind trying out in certain sports for fun like one time at Gallaudet University did I try out for the baseball team did I make it for the 2nd base and short-stop positions but turned it down. I just wanted to see if I could make the cut.  Education was priority number one at the time. Though I took great delight in beating out my (accomplished) racquetball instructor during one semester of racquetball class I took while I was a student at Gallaudet. I believe I was the first student to do ever have done that though I never played racquetball before. After signing up for the racquetball course did I find out later how derisive the teacher was. I soon had the goal in mind hopefully wipe that smile off his face and the teacher’s attitude towards his students. I succeeded at that after a racquetball final exam by beating him at his own game….racquetball. After all that, I have pretty much retired my sporting days to focus on my new career which began at the age of 7.

My music began at the age of 7 when my fingers first touched the black and white keys on our first piano in my parents’ house. I begged my Mom and Dad to get a piano because I wanted to learn how to play the piano thinking it was cool to have a piano. Of the three of us siblings, my younger sister and older brother, I was the only one who continued to practice on our piano. Over the years I had fun performing at piano recitals though many did not realize that I was deaf/hh. In my early teens I discovered ragtime though when younger my first piece was a simplified version of “The Entertainer” - a widely popular and recognizable Scott Joplin ragtime piece. My love for ragtime stayed with me even while as I was absent from ever touching a piano during my college days and while raising a family that took away much of my time the opportunity to even play on piano on a regular basis. But that didn’t stop me from reading books and collect information, ragtime sheets and more. The internet over the last several years has made it easier to learn about ragtime, the people (new and old), the history and the music. My time finally came in December 2008 when I bought myself a piano.  I decided upon a goal to get back into ragtime with fervor and become the first known deaf/hh ragtime pianist. It will take some time, gradually and slowly for sure. I am already capable to make this happen.

When I have a goal, I set my mind to it. It won’t be easy to be an accomplished ragtime pianist. This will indeed take some time since I started my long hours of practicing last year starting January 2009. I’ve been absent from my piano much too long. My fingers and hands would require getting used to playing the piano on a constant basis. Just like when it comes to sports or exercising, one has to build up to it until so you can practice for hours and not have your fingers get tired. At first I was sore and felt clumsy playing it, my coordination was a bit off but with gradual practicing and finger exercises I was finally able to get to the point of practicing 4 or 5 hours a day if I wanted to. Though my normal, ideal, amount of time is about 2 to 3 hours a day. It takes time to get the proper hand/eye coordination in place, have your brain adapt more fluidly to reading piano music sheets, getting the dynamics down correctly, knowing where to place your fingers and hands without looking, learning to listen to the notes and make sure they sound right, get the timing down, using the right amount of application, getting the right melody, and so on…..done automatically. For me, it takes even more practice to get it down right while others are a pure natural at playing the piano. I may be a “natural” in some sense but it sure doesn’t feel like it...yet. There is a 25 year gap I’ve got to catch up on. Though my sight reading on new music sheet pieces are becoming easier nowadays though by no means I can whiz right though them.  There are thousands of ragtime songs out there, many of them available over the internet.  I collect them for my growing ragtime portfolio. My goal is to play as many of these songs as possible, even memorizing them. I’ll eventually move into more early Jazz pieces (e.g. Jelly Roll Morton) and stride piano (e.g. Fats Waller) someday soon. For now, it’s all ragtime and lot of catching up to do.

I already have a ragtime blog called “Ragtime Piano!” which can be found at: http://ragtimepiano.blogspot.com. You can follow me there. I’m always keeping an eye open for any deaf/hh pianists out there, too. So far, I already have a company that will sponsor my trip to Missouri to attend the week long Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, Missouri (seehttp://ragtimepiano.blogspot.com/2010/04/raggin-my-way-to-scott-joplin-ragtime.html ). I have performed in front of an audience in Portland that takes place once a month. Since I am a member of the Portland Ragtime Society, I plan to continue with this since it will help my performance skills in front of a live audience. So, don’t get surprised if you hear my name mentioned someday as a deaf ragtime pianist.

I have many accomplishments in life, sports, education, music and such; I continue to move forward looking for new things to tackle. Accomplishments and goals are what keep life interesting and challenging. Instead of making excuses, think of a goal you want to try and accomplish. Don’t set your sights too high but make your goal a manageable one. Once you’ve succeeded in accomplishing your goal set another target and go after it. And make it a fun and challenging one while you’re at it, too.

*I am so honoured to have Mike McConnell as a guest blogger and want to really thank him for writing this entry. *