My Week: Tone Deaf

Last Sabbath as I was playing the organ for church, I noticed it sounded like some of the notes on the piano were just a shade sharp. Or maybe the organ notes were a bit flat. At any rate, the organ sounded right to me but the piano sounded like it was out of tune. I knew that neither instrument could be out of tune. The organ is electronic so notes can’t change pitch. The piano technician we are blessed to have as one of us keeps the piano in tune. It had to be me.

Through the week, I’ve noticed that everything sounds off-key. It isn’t all the notes, just certain ones. When I rebound, I watch an episode of Andy Griffith. Each one is 25 minutes long which makes for a perfect session, time-wise. The theme song is almost uncomfortable to hear, it’s so discordant.

Years ago, I was asked to teach a young woman to sing. She couldn’t “carry a tune in a bucket” and it was hoped I could help her to at least stay on the right note even if she didn’t learn to sing beautifully. I had to give up. There was no way. Now I know what it means to be tone deaf. I can’t be sure when I sing that I’m singing the right note. It sounds right to me but what the young woman was singing probably sounded right to her, too. I told the pastor today that it’s disconcerting but, in reality, it’s distressing, disturbing and downright disheartening.

I searched the Internet to try to find an answer and found this that seems to fit my condition to a “T”. I put it into a discussion I’d started on Facebook where I’d “tagged” one of my friends who owns a hearing center. She disagrees that I have diplacusis and I hope that’s true. She insists the right aid would go a long way to fixing my hearing problems. Again, I hope that’s true. I plan to make an appointment with her this week. I had planned to wait until after the first of the year but times a’wastin’.

During the week, I went to the Apple House and got two more boxes of oranges. The first time, I told the girl to give the free head of cabbage to the next person who wanted to buy one but I took the next one to give away myself.

Tuesday was the day I went to town. I was glad I didn’t wait until Wednesday. It was already like a zoo.

DS1 and his family left for Indiana Wednesday night to spend some days with his mother-in-law and what family could make it. I guess everyone did because he said all the grandkids were there. His MIL is feeling better but the outlook is still bleak.

My neighbor/cousin invited me to have Thanksgiving dinner at her sister’s house. She said I wouldn’t need to take anything but I got myself in gear and fixed dressing, mashed potatoes and cashew gravy. I don’t think they would have been missed had I not taken them. I’d counted 18 of us and then some more came in. I don’t know what the final total was but two tables were full and people were eating in the living room.

I came on home after I finished my meal so I could call DD. We had a good visit for almost an hour. She’d bought more clay and wants to really get into crafting her own pottery. She has a wheel merm gave her for either her birthday or Christmas. I don’t remember which. Where they are, she can’t set it up so it’s stored. She asked me what I was going to do the rest of the evening. I figured I’d maybe watch a movie. We said our good-byes and hung up.

Thursday is when I update my church group on Facebook. After I finished that, I didn’t want to stay up late enough to watch something as long as a movie so I chose something shorter. My Internet connection was so slow I had to keep reloading the page and it got to be very aggravating. Something had to be done.

Unplugging the modem and router and plugging them up didn’t help. I went to the AT&T web site and couldn’t log in. I’d forgotten my password and there was an alert on my account that said it couldn’t be reset via email. There’s a chat link on the page so I clicked on it and waited. Sunny came online.

I kind of got the idea that Sunny is a female but I don’t know for sure. Anyway, Sunny got my password reset and I was able to log in. Then I asked her (we’ll assume Sunny is a her) if I could upgrade to a higher speed. I’m already paying $37.95 a month for access but I was willing to go a little more if necessary. She said yes, I could get U-verse. Now, when I’d checked that a few months ago, it wasn’t available here. According to Sunny, U-verse Internet is but TV isn’t. That’s fine. I don’t want TV. What are my options?

Well, I could get 24mbps for $44.95 a month plus $100 for the modem plus a one time $149 installation fee. Could I self install? No. A tech would be required. I couldn’t save the installation fee. Were there any other options? Yes, I could get 12mbps for $29.95. However, I could self install for speeds lower than that. What are they? 6mbps for $24.95 a month and $99 for the modem. 3mbps for $19.95 a month and the same for the modem. Well. I could get speeds four times what I have now for $13 less a month. That would eventually pay for the modem. But wait! There was more! After 30 days, I would qualify for a $100 reward card. Did I want to sign up? You bet I did!! And I did.

I was so excited I had to call DD and give her the news. Because of the time difference, she was still very much awake. I went to bed around midnight.

A tech is scheduled to come out on Wednesday to check my line and make sure I have a good signal. Since the innards of the box outside were replaced after the tornadoes came through, I doubt there will be a problem. If there is, it will be their problem and not mine.

I spent a lot of yesterday calling and chatting with questions that seemed to come up every few minutes. I had called to tell DS1 (DS2 could care less about my Internet speed) and he mentioned data caps. Uh-oh. I hadn’t thought of that. I knew that Verizon’s data cap had caused one of the women at work some real problems. It was back to the computer and phone.

Yes. There’s a data cap of 250 GB per month. If it goes over that, my speed will drop from 6 to 3. There would be no extra charge. That was what the tech on the phone told me. I called DS1 back and told him. Well, that wasn’t bad. That’s a lot, really, and he doubted I’d go over.

Searching the WWW, I found that if I go over for each additional 50 GB there would be a $10 charge. It was chat time again. Yes. That was correct. BUT, I have a 150 GB cap on DSL and I have yet to go over. I even asked the chat person to check and she verified that I hadn’t.

I did the little calculator thing to see how many gigabytes I might use in a month and it came in at under 20. That leaves a lot of wiggle room. So…I’ve already gotten the notice that my modem has shipped. It’s coming UPS and I have a tracking number but it isn’t showing any activity yet. Surely it will get here before Wednesday.

The weather turned COLD last night. There was ice in the pan of water on the deck and frost on the windshield of my car. The temperature got down to 24 before it warmed up to 40. I wore my coat today for the first time this season.

Church was spent trying to hear what was going on. I keep sitting closer and closer to the teacher but all four of them speak softly—and it isn’t just me who thinks so. Now, it isn’t just volume. It’s also clarity. My ears did clear a little during the service but not enough.

One of the ladies got a netbook so we stayed and, sitting in the car, I was trying to show her how to use it. It wasn’t the best of situations. There are a number of places in town that have free WiFi but I knew not many of them would be where we’d want to go on Sabbath. Then I hit on getting Genese to tutor her. She’d already met Genese so it wasn’t like they were strangers.

We went to the nursing home and I asked Genese if she would mind and she said of course not. There wasn’t much else she could say with both of us standing there. Bless her heart. She was put on the spot. She does like to help people, though, and help her she did. When I left, she was explaining things I hadn’t thought of.

The other day I was thinking of this picture of Genese and tonight it popped up on my little “preview” thingy when I pulled up my blog. I clicked on it and here she is.

Look at that smile!

Genese did have some sad news. One of the long time residents of the nursing home had passed away. He’d been there most of the time I worked at the hospital and I’d watched him decline. It got to the place he was just existing so I’m sure that it’s better he’s at rest.

Another thing about Genese is that she’s currently slaughtering me at Wordscraper. She sets up a board and somehow makes it so I don’t get any good letters. Right now, I have one vowel and seven consonants and Vanna is nowhere in sight.

Well, Twinkle has located a mouse. She was walking around with it and I had little enough sense to say, “What do you have?” She proceeded to come over to show me with me yelling, “NO, NO! That’s okay! Don’t come over here!!” She must have opened her mouth to say something because Mousie got away. Again. And now the whole cycle will repeat.

7 Responses to My Week: Tone Deaf

  1. Joanie Crosby November 25, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    I’m so sorry about your hearing problems Tommie, I can relate to the not being able to hear part as I was experiencing that last summer, but the part about it changing how you hear music, that is just awful! I will be praying that your friend will be ale to help you.

    • Tommie November 25, 2012 at 11:52 am #

      Mary Jane, I’d need more info to be able to help you, anyway.

      I know you have trouble with your ears, Joanie. I can be thankful mine isn’t painful. Please do keep praying. Thanks.

  2. Mary Jane November 25, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    I’d like more speed on my computer, but also want TV. Maybe we can talk sometime about possibilities,but you know how little I know about such things. So maybe I should just keep what I have…

  3. Lila November 25, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    Your hearing problem comes as a complete surprise to me! I hope you get satisfactory help that is REALLY satisfactory! Genese looks like such a nice person to have as a friend, even if she does slaughter you.

    • Tommie November 25, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

      I’ve been following Mary Jane’s progress (and sometimes regress) with her aids. I did tell about being, for all intents and purposes, deaf a week ago last Wednesday. My ears got almost back to normal and then the tone deafness started. And I hope I can get help, too. I’d posted about it on Facebook, as well.

      Genese is an amazing person. I’m blessed to have known her for all this time. I trained her to do accounts payable when I was finally allowed some help after working long hours for many weeks. That was around 20 years ago. I’m managing to catch up on Wordscraper but it may not last long.

  4. Genese November 26, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    I read your sweet comments today when our friend came by with some questions about her computer. Thank you Tommie. I know my life is richer because you are part of it.

    If worse comes to worst and your hearing goes, I can teach you sign language. I hope that’s one thing you never need from me, though. Praying for a solution for you.

    You know it’s ‘no holds barred’ in Wordscraper. I have to take any advantage I can get.

    • Tommie November 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

      I so appreciate your helping her and I know she does, too. Thank me for what? Making you work??

      When DD was in the first grade we went to Helen Keller’s birth place and got material on sign language. We learned the alphabet but that was about as far as it went. I don’t remember all of it but that was 27 years ago.

      Yes, I know. We both play to win!

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