Monthly Archives: July, 2011

Pono Tokioka of Lihu‘e fired a 73 on Friday to finish fourth overall at the United States Deaf Golf Championships played at The Golf Club at Yankee Trace in Centerville, Ohio. Beth Tokioka, Pono’s mother, is traveling with the Kaua‘i High School golfer and said in an email, if he finishes within the top six, […]

Sri Lanka’s deaf march for equal rights, jobs Forbes AP , 07.29.11, 03:12 AM EDT COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka’s deaf are marching through the streets of capital Colombo to demand equal rights and social recognition. About 1000 protesters from the Sri Lanka Central Federation of the Deaf have joined a …

The Nonprofit Quarterly July 28, 2011 Ruth McCambridge July 27, 2011; New York Times | A front page article in the New York Times on July 27 describes the intensification of disagreements among parents of deaf children in Indiana regarding their education. As many of you will already know, there are different ideologies about deafness […]

Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, NY) Written by James Goodman Staff writer Joan Stone knew how to bring out the best in people. During the 13 years she served as interim dean and…

Toledo Deaf Club President Terry Struve said the club, a gathering place and source of information for the area’s deaf community since 1936, has fewer members and a key office tenant is moving out. THE BLADE/LISA BERNHEIM Published: 7/28/2011 Adams Street group faces tough times Toledo Blade BY TRACI TILLMAN BLADE STAFF WRITER After 75 […]

daveynin/flickr The Atlantic Wire Rebecca Greenfield Jul 27, 2011 Future deaf Americans could do a lot less signing and a lot more speaking. Cuts in Indiana could slash budgets for state schools for the deaf, forcing some children to attend “mainstream” schools, where they have less exposure to sign language. Sign language advocates are outraged. […]

Is Technology Killing Sign Language? Gizmodo The NY Times has an interesting report on technology and sign language and it’s actually becoming a contentious debate (as things tend to be when there are parents involved). On one side there’s people who follow ASL (American Sign Language), …

No More Sign Language?

July 27, 2011 | 4:25 PM State Impact (Indiana) By Ben Skirvin The New York Times reports on protest over proposed changes to the Indiana State School for the Deaf which could eventually lead to the elimination of American Sign Language in favor of technology. Wikimedia Politicians have seen plenty of demonstrators outside the Statehouse […]

Sprint Relay   “It’s so NOW! Go ahead, make that Sprint Mobile VRS call!” Click here to see the fun Sprint Mobile VRS video commercial – that will explain how to use the Mobile app and VRS from your Android phone. Learn more, go to www.sprintrelay.com/smvrs. Find us on Facebook Forward to a Friend Click […]

Boston Herald By Kyle Cheney / State House News Service Tuesday, July 26, 2011   The Disability Policy Consortium filed suit today against MassHealth, contending that the Medicaid agency that insures more than 1 million Bay State residents has failed provide disabled applicants with adequate communication options. The suit, filed in …

Retraining Taste Buds

The carrots I hold in my hand are fresh from a local garden. They’re dirty and have wild bushy green tops. I wash and peel the carrots then pick up the knife. I have a long way to go until I can maneuver this utensil like those chefs on the Food Network, but I’m getting better. Faster.

I cut the carrots, chop the onion, dice the celery, slice the mushrooms and throw everything into a skillet with water. While the veggies are steam sautéing I boil tri-colored pasta in a medium pot and steam spinach in a small one. I add tomatoes and tomato sauce to the skillet. When the pasta and spinach are ready I add those too, along with garlic and oregano.

My husband, Ron, wanders in the kitchen.

“What’s for dinner?” he asks.

“Italian Skillet Casserole,” I say.

He leans over my shoulder and investigates the simmering dish on the stovetop.

“Almost all veggies,” I point out.

Cooking healthier foods has been challenging in certain ways, but one thing I completely forgot about when I started this new path is that my husband can’t stand vegetables. He’ll eat certain items (broccoli or beans or salad) because he knows they’re good for him, but he would prefer them as a side dish, not the main dish.

But it just so happens that his company is having a Vegetable Challenge this summer.

So perfect timing.

I scoop out the meal into two bowls, light some candles, and sit down.

It’s delicious, and I look at Ron to see what he thinks. He’s pushing a piece of onion, a hunk of tomato, and a mushroom slice to the side. “I can eat them when they’re small, but these big pieces…” he shakes his head.

“You need to retrain your taste buds,” I suggest softly.

He’s a good sport so he takes a huge spoonful, onion chunks and all, and gives it a go. He likes it. This truly is one of the tastier dishes I’ve made, and when I’m done I push my bowl aside and lean back in the chair.

“Hey, what’s that?” Ron says, peering into my bowl.

“Nothing,” I say.

“Uh-huh,” Ron nods, smirking.

Okay, okay. So I really do consider myself a vegetable lover, but I’ve always struggled with cooked carrots. There is small pile of them left. I guess we both have some retraining to work through.

Child’s Pose

Alone in a cabin in the mountains, I put the kettle on the stove. My husband left yesterday to return to the city, and I have a few days to myself before more relatives arrive. I want to take this time to better develop my “home” yoga practice.

After hot oatmeal, tea, and a refreshing shower, I’m ready. In the past, I would quickly find myself intimidated or overwhelmed at the thought of practicing yoga without a teacher and other students, but I recently read an article that put me at ease. It suggested starting with one pose – just one – and building from there.

One pose?

Well. In that case, Child’s Pose.

So that is what’s on my agenda as I walk over to the blue mat rolled out on the floor. It seems appropriate to “open” my practice, so I sit with my legs crossed and chant three Oms (can you believe it – no other voices to drown out mine).

Then I got on my hands and knees and folded back into Child’s Pose. I stayed in the active position instead of the passive position.

I’ve always loved this pose. A wonderful stretch. Also – and I’m not sure if the yoga experts would agree here – but to me it feels like a gratitude pose, bowing down and saying Thanks. Finally, it’s a relaxation pose – not just for the body, but for the mind.

I try to let go of my worries. I can hear the fire crackle in the woodstove behind me. I feel it’s warmth on my back. I sink into the Earth as the tops of my feet and the palms of my hands press into the ground. After a few minutes I lift my head. For awhile I turn around and gaze at the yellow flames through the woodstove’s glass door.

Not bad for my first day, I think. Tomorrow I’ll really shake things up with Child’s Pose and Tadasana. Š

Silent Mind

My life is full of words. If I’m not writing an article, I’m writing in my journal. If I’m not blogging here, I’m blogging here. If I’m in the shower or walking the dog or cooking a meal, I’m “writing” in my head. Other times I’m reading books (more words) and magazines and newspapers.

Mostly, this is good. I love words. But I realize it’s also important to empty my mind of the 26 letters of the alphabet that are constantly buzzing around in various arrangements in my head.

We live in a world with constant noise: TV, construction, motors, whirring coffee machines – even tranquil spas and yoga classes play music. What’s that about?

Anyway, as part of my home yoga practice, I’m trying to incorporate a time to be silent. I’m not chanting a mantra (more words) or telling myself, “When this is over I need to write that thought down!”

Of course it seems our brains are always full of thought (at least my female brain is…my husband swears he’s thinking of “nothing” if I ask him. Actually, since I’m on the topic, what do babies think about? Can you have thoughts without language?)

Anyway, sitting in silence is an attempt to empty my mind…and to simply experience the quiet. A need that my bloggy friend Kathryn describes as a part of our days that is sorely missing in these times. It’s nice to invite it back into my life.Š

Special Occasions

The street is cleared of traffic, the tents are up, and the vendors are selling summer squash, cherries, and herbs. It’s the second week this season the farmers’ market has been open in town, and my husband escapes from the office so we can enjoy lunch together and wander by the open-air booths. We buy bread (baked from scratch) from one of our favorite vendors and discuss what we can grill, cook, and drink over the next few days.

As we walk, I start thinking about how I’ll be spending a lot more time at farmers’ markets this summer than I have in the past – it’s easier to find local, sustainably-grown food here than at the grocery stores. I’ve always enjoyed farmers’ markets, but I’ve tended to reserve them for “special occasions.” When I lived in Los Angeles my friends and I would load up with market goodies before going to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, or for a picnic at the beach, or if we had guests coming to town.

With over 3500 farmers’ markets in the United States (visit LocalHarvest.org to find one near you) there are plenty here on the east coast where I currently live. I’ll be visiting more of them over the next few days to get a feel for the ones I prefer, talk to vendors, and gather local meat, eggs, and more fruit and veggies. I know I have my work cut out for me this summer as I learn how to prepare meals, can tomatoes, and make my own salad dressing. But taking the first step and creating the intent to eat clean is one of the biggest hurdles. Besides, it feels good to realize that what used to be a “special occasion” will now be a part of daily life.

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