Distinguished Member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by BrDevon

  1. I spend the 31st reflecting on those who have passed, particularly in the past year (and this year, there have been a LOT of them). The 1st, I rejoice for those who no longer suffer - give thanks for the lessons that I can take from those I have lost, and pray that they are at peace. Generally, I wear black on the 31st, and grey on the 1st, but that is not always done, due to work requirements or other restrictions. No one should have lived in vain, and this is the time of year I honor those who are no longer in this life.
  2. Assistive devices are rarely exemptable, and the main criterion is is it ONLY used for the tax exempt purpose, or depending on the locale, MAINLY for the tax exempt purpose. A cane, walker, or wheelchair would not qualify in most areas because you would need it to get to the ministry task, but you also need it to get from it. Glasses, usually a no because you can use them elsewhere. The safety glasses example is the only one I can think of, and then, usually one is asked to leave them at the workplace. Your best advice would be to ask a tax professional. Most H&R Block locations would be happy to tell you if you qualify for an exemption - in my area, most will answer basic questions at no charge, provided you are not interrupting a tax pro from preparing a return and not giving them a list of questions.
  3. The more I think about it, the more I remember one of my lines that I used to use a lot when I ministered to this one lady who has been dead a few years: she had her questions about the various ways one could believe and who was right, and so on... I explained that if I was going to be of any true service as a member of clergy, I would have to let her in on the the two secrets: I personally believe this way, and it works for me... and I have no proof, it it only my personal belief. I then looked at her with a gentle smile and said "and that is why they call it FAITH instead of FOR SURE." In my own belief, we will find out the real answers from our creator(s) after death. Until then, we have to kind of guess, but have nature and this really great book some folks wrote thousands of years after the main character died, and then was tweaked by so many editors that it's anyone's guess how much of the original is still in the version we know. But I have come through the years to accept I can only believe the way I do, I can not prove anything. I think this is the hardest thing for anyone to accept from either extreme - those who think all is lost if they do not believe 100 per cent as told to, and those who believe nothing. For either, they have too much invested and too much to lose if they are wrong.
  4. Not trying to play favorites, but I think Mommy has the best way to go on this one. You are being honest (not sure), respectful (Grandma believes this, I'm not sure, Daddy doesn't believe), and not bashing anyone, but stating it in an easy to digest and matter of fact way. The key here is to get the other two on board - Grandma can be a great ally if she can take the high road (this is what I believ so far as to explain why, in a neutral way - not from a standpoint of "right" or "wrong", but just this is what I believe, while repectfully reinforcing that Mommy is not sure, and Daddy doesn't believe, and that's okay, too. Daddy needs to do the same, but it would be better to be more neutral (I just don't believe, and Mommy is not sure), than to sound dismissive using words like "made up" or "rediculous". My parents were hard core believers in Christianity, and while my father has passed, he never wavered, and my mother, still living, is still firm in her faith. Both made me attend church as a kid, but they also gave me one major kindness: they never forced me to believe. What they always said to me is "while you are young, you will go to church because we want you to know what we believe. You will have to decide what you believe (or don't) for yourself. They encouraged me to speak openly with their clergy, and even allowed me to attend services at the local temples with my friends (I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood). I became fast friends with all the clergy in my home town, and discovered to my joy that our paths were much more similar than different. I have left the Episcopal church of my youth, because I found many things within the denomination I could not abide (too much politics and infighting), mostly things that distracted from the core of the faith. At the end of the day, I do believe in the Holy Trinity, and the basic Anglican tenets and can recite the creed without a conflict of conscience. These things work for me, but I do not impose that upon anyone but myself. I applaud your decision to raise a respectful child who will find her own way. I have no doubt that you would allow her to attend church if she asked you to allow it, and would have an open discussion about it if and when the time came. There is nothing wrong with your truthful position and statement of "some people believe, but I am not sure, and Daddy does not believe". It is fact and presents the idea that it is okay to find your own path, and that you will love your daughter no matter where she finds herself called - that is the most important part of all. No one deserves to think for a moment that they can only be loved if they follow a certain path.
  5. Why settle for water when you can change it to top shelf stuff? Can you imagine if liquor stores existed in biblical times? Store Manager: Jesus, we're running low out here. Jesus: Just get the jugs and hand me another vat of water....
  6. Somewhat off topic, but amusing... I don't know if it's a national brand, but around here, there is a pain relief patch product called salonpas. Everytime I see or hear the name, I smile a bit because it makes me think of my buddy's talent for massaging away migraine headaches with his double-sized "Salon Paws."
  7. Beats heck out of interpreters at 58 dollars minimum for a session (29/hour minimum 2 hours per interpreting session). The next hurdle is getting voice recognition to the point where it can be used to process spoken words into video of Sign. We are closing in on decent voice recognition, though... a few years back, SIRI was just a dream in an Apple developer's mind. Granted, SIRI doesn't "understand" everyone, and some of the errors can border on the comical to the tragic, but it is a far cry from the voice recognition systems of just a few years ago. I would not be shocked in the least if we soon read headlines that a SIRI ap for Sign has been developed, at least in a beta mode. In the meantime, I have known plenty of people who use Dragon or similar voice recognition software to type memos and communicate with cowrokers because it is faster than actually writing or typing notes when one does not know how to Sign. I am still an advocate for offering Sign in public school right beside English. Producing students fluent in two modalities will allow much greater access to Deaf and Deaf-blind students, and is less expensive in the long run as compared to providing interpreted classrooms and other accommodations.
  8. I miss my furry friend more than words can say. He was the one creature who always listened when I signed. We kept a similar schedule, so it was I who woke him in the morning. He used to greet me at the door after my overnight shift and do the happy dance, since it was breakfast time. After a nice meal and some fresh water, he would rest in my lap or next to me for some snuggle time, and after some time to digest, he would follow me to the computer room where I would skim through the priority email. We would have some time for play, usually a game of kitty soccer - his favorite game - and then it was bed time for a nap. I would get up in the afternoon, we would play some more, until we both were ready for another nap, then up again for dinner, more cuddles and more play time. He was not spoiled for attention, that one. He went blind in his right eye, not that one would ever have known it, and he took great comfort in sleeping with his body running the length of my arm and leg, resting his head in the crook of my right elbow. Somehow I think he reasoned that he was safest that way - something would have to climb over me to get to his blind side. It was several months before I could sleep well without that furry face lightly resting on my arm. I hope there is truth in the rainbow bridge because there might not be a lot of humans I want to meet again, maybe a handful, but I really miss this cat.
  9. To all who survived the rain, and all who have no umbrella: there are more of us than anyone knows. Stay stong, this storm will pass and the sun will shine once more.
  10. While archaic language may be flowery and overly ornate, it also serves another purpose - it forces the reader to slow down, even if only slightly, to take in the words. When one is reading for devotional purposes, it is a good thing to slow down and consider what one is reading. It serves little purpose to read for enlightenment if one does not think about what is being read. Seeing words is not the same as reading, and certainly not reading to understand.
  11. Those with hearing loss and deafness tend to be the forgotten society amongst Americans. Especially overlooked are those who have lost hearing later in life after they have developed fluency in English. It is automatically assumed that if one can speak cleary it follows that one can also hear - definitely not the case. My generation will face a lot of grief as they lose their hearing in the aging process, since we were born in the height of the Audism movement, and only the very wealthy or poor had ready access to Sign. The former as a choice, and the latter as the choice of the state, who did not want to bear the expense of trying to teach those branded not worthy how to speak. While I am happy to be fluent in English, I am not pleased that it came at the cost of learning Sign or being fluent in Sign. I firmly believe that Sign should automatically be taught in all schools as part of a balanced language arts curriculum, and all should be taught and encouraged to learn to speak as well as they can. I realize not all can or will learn to speak or sign proficiently, but to be able to communicate with the widest range of people one can will only serve to open the most opportunities later in life both in education and through one's professional life. To deliberately deny anyone the opportunity to learn a language or a culture seems a form of discrimination, whether intentional or not. As an aside, I had a very nice couple check into the motel last night, both Deaf. I happened to be chatting with the desk clerk on duty when they came to the desk looking for what choices of restaurants were nearby. They were quite pleased when they noticed my hard of hearing logo pin (I always wear it at work), and when I was able to provide them a list of the area restaurants, based on their taste, and provide them directions. They were prepared for the usual routine of breaking out the pen and a notepad to do the inevitable exchange of notes. I was happy to save them the time and effort and to make their stay a little more comfortable. I hope they stay with us if they choose to visit the area again. I am trying to get word out there that we offer a Deaf friendly property. It is sad how few hotels and motels do.
  12. Culturally, "Big D" deaf usually refers to people who are born deaf, have deaf parents or are otherwise integrated into the circle known as the deaf community. "Little d" deaf simply refers to the loss of hearing to the point where unassisted, one can not hear, or even with assistance (hearing aids, amplification) making sense of what is heard is difficult and one must rely on other cues. Hard of Hearing, of course, is the loss of hearing to the point where it starts to affect one's ability to easily communicate or understand what is being heard.
  13. September is Deaf/deaf and Hard of Hearing awareness month (Specifically the last week of September is Hearing Loss awareness week). Three cheers for our peers who don't hear. (Fine... you come up with a better rhyme )
  14. Two friends suffer loss: Hearts lay bare exposed to grief - "I'm sorry" 's not enough.
  15. Well, it doesn't take the work of a prophet to know if you buy seafood on a highway underpass in the summer, you might become violently ill. A lot of what we take for common knowledge was not as common then.
  16. FTD uses Hermes as it's mascot to show the speed of its floral delivery. Does it have an Asian presence? Do they refuse to deliver in Europe (or lose your order?) Dunno... but it would be a funky coincidence if the above was the case. And we know practically nothing appearing in Walmart wasn't originated in Asia, so that one is a probable, too. How much european goods are sold there? Can't say I recall any in quick memory (that's Target that is French, right?).
  17. Ahh yes... it isn't a party without some "cat-fetti" thrown around. My friend used to like to bat toilet paper rolls until they were dust. The basic toys are the most fun. Cats have incredible imaginations if their humans allow them the freedom to use them, and nothing demonstrates how bright and clever they can be like watching them fully engaged in play.
  18. Having worked at a veterinary hospital, I can tell you unless the little one is "flossing" with them or snacking on them, the occasional milk "ring" is usually harmless unless you have other issues. The plastic is much safer than the hard plastic that "jingle balls" are made from. Those splinters are sharp. Milk jug plastic is much softer and the odd chewed fragment usually passes with the digestion process. The more hearing I lose and the more Sign I study, the more I remember my pal. He went deaf at a fairly early age (I always suspected it was a side effect of one of his meds, but that is beside the point). As his hearing went, I started signing when I spoke to him, and once he was totally deaf, it was just natural for me to sign everything I said to him. Anyone who thinks that a companion animal can't learn Sign, guess again. His favorite game was "Kitteh Soccer", using a cat sized soccer ball (his favorite pattern. He would not play with any other sports styled balls). The object of the game was to bat the ball past your opponent. Bonus points for shooting it between the legs. At some point, he learned when he scored to sit up on his hind paws and do a "fist pump" with one of his front paws when he scored. But if I got one by him, and it didn't happen often - he was a pro - he would flatten his ears and have such a look, like "I let you have that one, but that's all you're getting!" Our official name for the soccer game was made up of the signs PLAY and KICK. His face would light up like a kid in a toy store when I would sign "wanna play kick?" I'm sure he lives in a world full of sunshine filled window sills and bright soccer balls where he can PLAY KICK to his heart's content. Maybe he can hear the birds singing again - who knows until we get there? Hopefully, the rainbow bridge exists, and one day we can resume our daily matches.
  19. Hang in there. The pain does wear off eventually (I hear the body just gets tired of telling the brain it hurts so it gives up complaining - same thing as a whining kid, and holds out about as long!) You're a survivor, man. You'll get through this one fine, too.
  20. I hope you packed the Woolite for that trip. I can only imagine how long it took to fix your look after that.
  21. Picturing the surfboard....
  22. One of my favorites, as is this:
  23. When my now-departed best fuzzy friend was young, I was working at my first nursing home gig. They were redecorating two wings of the building, and to the joy of my pal, that meant lots of odd-shaped small scraps of commercial carpeting. Bright colors!, Low nap to scratch on but not catch claws! Kitty Bliss! Little scraps were small enough to carry around from place to place, but were large enough and intact so no fears of swallowing. They also made great batting toys, some body-sized ones became nap mats. I let him use his imagination and play with his toys the way he chose. It was fun for both of us, because it showed me his imagination and how he liked to play. We had a lot of fun with various smaller pieces, batting them across the kitchen floor. I wish I had a video of the joy in his eyes, the one time I turned a larger carpet remnant nap side down on the kitchen floor, let him sit on the back and then slowly gave him a ride, bending down and slowly and scooting the carpet across the laminate floor. He was like any other kid on a sled, minus the snow. I swear he was giggling after the rides. He also, like most cats, liked to hide from time to time and to explore, so I used to bring home the boxes that the vinyl exam gloves were cased in. Just the right size for a cat. Good for napping, playing, and from time to time, there might be a little surprise inside (like a toy or a treat) just to stimulate interest. I used to love coming home from that job and seeing him dance at the door like a child. You could see the look in his eyes: "did you bring me a present?" And after a long day at the office, I loved coming home to play with my kid. He could always count on me for a game of kitty soccer or whatever caught his fancy. One item that seems to make a good batting toy for smaller cats is the plastic pull strip that holds the plastic cap on a quart or larger plastic milk container. You know the strip that you peel so you can take the cap off? One day I opened a container of milk, accidentally dropped the pull strip, and for the next few hours, we had the latest and greatest in batting toys. He was so fond of these, I often found them in his bed or napping areas where he would carry them and keep them near. My former roommate and I actually kept a small box that our guys learned to keep their toys in. Of course, they would sometimes take a toy or two to bed, or leave a couple out for later, but they always knew if they couldn't find a toy, it was in the toybox. Pretty soon, they learned to put their own toys away. I had great furry kids. I wish I lived in a situation that was conducive to having them again, but my living quarters are too small, with not enough fresh air and sunlight for a little one, and the safety issues of living as I do so not make it a good environment for a small one. Their safety is much more important than my selfish wants, and to have a little one living here would be selfish and destructive indeed.
  24. My grandmother always said the pain was good. It meant she had to be alive, because dead people don't hurt anymore.
  25. Let's see... Okay... how about this list? Food /Cuisine (overall) Dessert Candy Beverage Season of the Year Pizza Seafood (if you partake) Meat (if you partake) Vegetable (if you partake) Fruit Real Heroes (the ones that were/are alive) Non-Real Heroes (fictional character types) Cartoon Character Variety of Chocolate Hard Candy Jello Flavor Kool-Aid (or similar beverage) flavor Ice Cream flavor