My blog turns 5 today!

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5 years ago I launched my blog. My original thoughts behind this blog would be to help people understand my deafness and perhaps, a little deafness education. (see #5)

5 year blog

As I  was reflecting this morning on what to write, I decided to highlight 5 things that have touched my life in the last 5 years:

1.

img_25572013: the year I launched my blog was also the year my daughter Kristine got married to her amazing partner Alain. Not only are these two super amazing people, they are also amazing role models on what great relationships should be. There is lots of love of course, and also resilience (they attended different Universities for the first 4 years of their relationship), their respect for each other, they support each other in everything they do (Alain has never missed attending one of her races) and they treat each other as equals.

2.

img_25592014: I turned 50 this year and had the amazing opportunity to travel to Italy for a 4 day Duvine cycling adventure in Tuscany. Cycling  through Tuscany really allowed me to see the countryside and all that it has to offer. The picture of me above was taken as we were stopping for lunch at Villa Loggio on day two of the tour.

Andy believes that everyone should have the opportunity to travel the world by bike and to focus on the simple pleasures: enjoying food grown right where you eat it on the farm, spending time talking with a grandmother whose memories are a treasure trove, and experiencing the uncommon, authentic moments that make travel meaningful. ~ Andy Levine, Founder & CEO

3.

2015: The year my life would change forever as I became a grand-maman. As her Doula, I held space for my daughter as my grandson Gabriel come earthside. This in itself was an amazing experience and I felt so honoured to be present during his birth, did you know he was born in the caul.

In medieval times the appearance of a caul on a newborn baby was seen as a sign of good luck. It was considered an omen that the child was destined for greatness!

4.

2016: The year I fulfilled a life-long dream of owning a great dane. The hobby farm I lived on as a child had two great danes living up the hill; a fawn and a black one. I always found these dogs so majestic and vowed to own one!  I first saw George’s profile on the Danes in Distress Facebook page and decided to put in my adoption application. He was a senior (6 years old) and looked like such a gentleman. On July 1st, 2016 I drove to Toronto to meet him. We clicked straight away and I decided to take him home. Did you know that George  alerts me to the smoke alarm? This in itself is a true testament that we were meant to be together.

5.

2017: October 27th, 2017 I said goodbye to my 15 year old Hearing ear dog Walker. I knew it was time and that he could not possibly make it through another one of our cold Canadian winters. Although it was a hard decision to make, it was the best decision for him.  What exactly do hearing ear dogs do?

Hearing Dog Guides assist individuals who are 10 years of age or older and who are deaf or hard of hearing to detect sounds they are unable to hear on their own. They have been taught to distinguish sounds, make physical contact with their handlers and lead them to whatever is making the noise; be it someone at the door, an alarm clock, or a ringing telephone.  Since 1988 graduates of the Hearing program have gained an increased sense of security knowing that they will always have a link to the world of sound through their Dog Guide. This allows handlers to be more at ease in their home environment. ~ Lions Foundation of Canada

 

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Walker – Reflections on death

Walker with his big brother George (July 2016)

It has been one year since you crossed over the Rainbow Bridge and not a day goes by that I don’t think of you. It was difficult during the first little while. I kept seeing you everywhere, almost like your spirit was still with me.

In the last couple of days, my grandson Gabriel has been asking about Walker. My sister made this painting a few years back and it hangs in my dining room. This kind of caught me by surprize as I hadn’t realized the one year anniversary of his death was soon approaching. I found this article helpful in talking to toddlers about death, it is important to stick to the facts.

I miss you Walker! Thanks for being so devoted to me for over 15 years, you will never be forgotten! #GonebutnotForgotten

Walker (right) with his brother Willy who is also a Hearing Ear Dog. (2003)

Walker (left) with Kelso his best buddy during our 2 weeks of training at the Lions Foundation of Canada in Oakville, Ontario (2003)

Walker always loved to eat out of George’s large bowl. He had his own, but for some reason this was better.

Looking forward: Not long before Walker passed, I discovered George could alert to the smoke alarm which was a great comfort for me. The smoke alarm has gone off a few times accidently during cooking and every time George has responded with great enthusiasm, actually, if he could eat the smoke detector, I think he would!! I am still trying to teach him to bring me outside afterwards; we’ll keep working on that, but there is no doubt that I would ever be in danger during a fire, that is for sure!

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Hearing aid woes

My right Oticon hearing aid stopped working yesterday…all of a sudden I could hear…tock, tock, tock in my ear. I knew that didn’t sound right, so I took it out and did my best to trouble-shooting the issue…I blew in it. Ha! That is the extent of trouble-shooting I do, I leave the fixing up to the professionals at Davidson’s Hearing Aid Centres.  

Imagine you are getting ready for work and discover something is wrong with one of your shoes…and you cannot wear it….I know, I know seems absurd to have only one pair, but stay with me here. You cannot function and go to meetings with only one shoe, well, you can but you will perhaps have a hard time getting around and people may give you strange looks, etc… 

Well, I cannot function with only one hearing aid, and now I’ll have to tell people in meetings (who may not even know I wear them) that my hearing aid is broken. For the record: I am still uncomfortable with the whole “Hey, I am hard of hearing” announcement during meetings. I am thankful that today was a quieter day at work with only one meeting and guess what? The sky didn’t fall when I made my announcement. #Thankful #Encouraging #SpeakUp #Deafgirl

 

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World Hello Day

Today is the 45th annual World Hello day! Anyone can participate in World Hello Day simply by greeting ten people. This demonstrates the importance of personal communication for preserving peace!

You can view letters from people ALL over the World, participating in World Hello Day over the years.

Here is how you say hello in American Sign Language (ASL)

 

Bonjour, Hola, Hello, Ciao xox

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7 Rules to Follow If You Want to Live a Life Without Regrets

This is an awesome article! #noregrets

1. Do ridiculous things = like diving! My first check-out dives were in the Saint Laurence in 2012, the following weekend I was diving in Miami. My favorite diving location so far is Grand Cayman (Ocean Frontiers). I am hoping to be diving in Costa Rica sometime soon. (Remember, I am totally afraid of water)!

2. Choose the job that will teach you the most = sometimes taking on new challenges stretches us a little, do it anyway! I have learned so much in my current role.

3. Steer clear of charlatans and the toxic = if you can’t stay away, try to limit your exposure and ensure you stay grounded!

4. Value the quiet moments = staying grounded is key…a walk in the forest will do it for me! (especially when I have George with me)

5. Have a philosophy = just be kind to others #kindnesswins

6. Don’t compare yourself with other people = just don’t

7. Think about death = because it happens to all of us…even our pets. Just lost my 15 year old service dog two weeks ago.

https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/7-rules-to-follow-if-you-want-to-live-a-life-without-regrets.html?cid=mustread0

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Goodbye buddy!

Happy Puppy!

Walker 20 March 2002 – 27 October 2017

Today I said good-bye to my very best buddy. Walker and I have been together since September 27, 2003. For those who don’t know, Walker was my Hearing Ear dog (retired) from Lions Foundation of Canada Dogguides.

Even in these last few years where he was quite blind and deaf, he never faltered and always wanted to be by my side.

I will always, always cherish your love and devotion over these last 15 years! You were a true rockstar!

Thank you Aylmer Veterinary Clinic for providing a peaceful and loving environment for him.

RIP sweetie babes #RainbowBridge

 

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A little Kindness…goes a long way!

My friend Marcey posted this picture on Facebook the other day and it made me think about how a simple gesture can make a difference in someone’s day .

That same day I was talking on the phone with a colleague at work as we are collaborating on a project and his last comment before hanging up was” I really enjoy working with you Michèle”. This really made my day and made me realize that all those ‘little’ extra kind things  really do make a difference.

Now go make someone’s day….happier!

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2017 Pet Valu walk for Dog guides

This years walk is September 24, 2017 and the donation link is live:

https://www.walkfordogguides.com/locations/walker.cfm?ID=3388&EventID=1209

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Home Sweet Home

There is no place like home!

Home can mean many things but is certainly not limited to a physical location. Home is where you spend time with those you love and cherish…Home is family.  To me,  Home is also where I feel grounded. 

One of my favourite movies of all time is The Wizard of Oz (which prompted me to buy that pillow)….but it also makes you think…what is home?

The best explanation of the English idiom “There’s no place like home” is “Home is unique” or “Home sweet home.”

The phrase originated in this poem:

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home

A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there

Which seek thro’ the world, is ne’er met elsewhere

Home! Home!

Sweet, sweet home!

There’s no place like home

There’s no place like home

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Welcome Spring!

Here’s to warmer weather and hopefully no more snow! Continue reading

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