Vegan Bliss Tote Bag

I think this design is great. It's beautiful, it's simple, it's bright -but subtle, and it's message is awesome. This tote bag has been selling a lot lately. So happy!
(It's only $14.95 and you can check it out by clicking on the image...should take you right to it! You can also get this same design on just about anything else, including t-shirts and larger bags)


The Solitude of Self - in honor of Women who fought for our rights!

Picture of 1913 Suffrage March, New York City
Courtesy of the Library of Congress
In honor of the election "season", and in honor of progress, and in honor the four courageous women who got us to where we are today; I want to share with you "The Solitude of Self". 
     Elizabeth Cady Stanton served as president of the National American Woman's Suffrage Association for twenty years.And association founded by Stanton, Susan B. Anthony & Lucy Stone in 1890. This is the farewell speech given by Elizabeth in 1892 when she resigned at the age of 77. Elizabeth Cady Stanton served as president of the NAWSA for twenty years.
     The woman's suffrage movement lasted for nearly a century. Please see the end of this post for more links. Educate yourself! Take no right for granted. People fought passionately for these rights. People gave their lives for your rights. And girls: GET OUT & VOTE! Please and Thank you!

Elizabeth Cady Stanton "To deny political equality is to rob the ostracised of all self-respect" quote
Such is individual life. Who, I ask you, can take, dare take on himself the rights, the duties, the responsibilities of another human soul? ~Stanton

The point I wish plainly to bring before you on this occasion is the individuality of each human soul; our Protestant idea, the right of individual conscience and judgment; our republican idea, individual citizenship. In discussing the rights of woman, we are to consider, first, what belongs to her as an individual, in a world of her own, the arbiter of her own destiny, an imaginary Robinson Crusoe, with her woman, Friday, on a solitary island. Her rights under such circumstances are to use all her faculties for her own safety and happiness.
Secondly, if we consider her as a citizen, as a member of a great nation, she must have the same rights as all others members, according to the fundamental principles of our Government.

Thirdly, viewed as a woman, an equal factor in civilization, her rights and duties are still the same—individual happiness and development.
Fourthly, it is only the incidental relations of life, such as mother, wife, sister, daughter, which may involve some special duties and training. . .

The strongest reason for giving woman all the opportunities for higher education, for the full development of her faculties, her forces of mind and body; for giving her the most enlarged freedom of thought and action; a complete emancipation from all forms of bondage, of custom, dependence, superstition; from all the crippling influences of fear—is the solitude and personal responsibility of her own individual life. The strongest reason why we ask for woman a voice in the government under which she lives; in the religion she is asked to believe; equality in social life, where she is the chief factor; a place in the trades and professions, where she may earn her bread, is because of her birthright to self-sovereignty; because, as an individual, she must rely on herself. No matter how much women prefer to lean, to be protected and supported, nor how much men desire to have them do so, they must make the voyage of life alone, and for safety in an emergency, they must know something of the laws of navigation. To guide our own craft, we must be captain, pilot, engineer; with chart and compass to stand at the wheel; to watch the winds and waves, and know when to take in the sail, and to read the signs in the firmament over all. It matters not whether the solitary voyager is man or woman; nature, having endowed them equally, leaves them to their own skill and judgment in the hour of danger, and, if not equal to the occasion, alike they perish.

To appreciate the importance of fitting every human soul for independent action, think for a moment of the immeasurable solitude of self. We come into the world alone, unlike all who have gone before us, we leave it alone, under circumstances peculiar to ourselves. No mortal ever has been, no mortal ever will be like the soul just launched on the sea of life. There can never again be just such a combination of prenatal influences; never again just such environments as make up the infancy, youth and manhood of this one. Nature never repeats herself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another. No one has ever found two blades of ribbon grass alike, and no one will ever find two human beings alike. Seeing, then, what must be the infinite diversity in human character, we can in a measure appreciate the loss to a nation when any class of the people is uneducated and unrepresented in the government.

We ask for the complete development of every individual, first, for his own benefit and happiness. In fitting out an army, we give each soldier his own knapsack, arms, powder, his blanket, cup, knife, fork and spoon. We provide alike for all their individual necessities; then each man bears his own burden.

Again, we ask complete individual development for the general good; for the consensus of the competent on the whole round of human interests, on all questions of national life; and here each man must bear his share of the general burden. It is sad to see how soon friendless children are left to bear their own burdens, before they can analyze their feelings; before they can even tell their joys and sorrows, they are thrown on their own resources. The great lesson that nature seems to teach us at all ages in self-dependence, self-protection, self-support. . . .
In youth our most bitter disappointments, our brightest hopes and ambitions, are known only to ourselves. Even our friendship and love we never fully share with another; there is something of every passion, in every situation, we conceal. Even so in our triumphs and our defeats. . .

We ask no sympathy from others in the anxiety and agony of a broken friendship or shattered love. When death sunders our nearest ties, alone we sit in the shadow of our affliction. Alike amid the greatest triumphs and darkest tragedies of life, we walk alone. On the divine heights of human attainment, eulogized and worshipped as a hero or saint, we stand alone. In ignorance, poverty and vice, as a pauper or criminal, alone we starve or steal; alone we suffer the sneers and rebuffs of our fellows; alone we are hunted and hounded through dark courts and alleys, in by-ways and high-ways; alone we stand in the judgment seat; alone in the prison cell we lament our crimes and misfortunes; alone we expiate them on the gallows. In hours like these we realize the awful solitude of individual life, its pains, its penalties, its responsibilities, hours in which the youngest and most helpless are thrown on their own resources for guidance and consolation. Seeing, then, that life must ever be a march and a battle that each soldier must be equipped for his own protection, it is the height of cruelty to rob the individual of a single natural right.

To throw obstacles in the way of a complete education is like putting out the eyes; to deny the rights of property is like cutting off the hands. To refuse political equality is to rob the ostracized of all self-respect; of credit in the market place; of recompense in the world of work, of a voice in choosing those who make and administer the law, a choice in the jury before whom they are tried, and in the judge who decides their punishment. Think of . . . woman’s position! Robbed of her natural rights, handicapped by law and custom at every turn, yet compelled to fight her own battles, and in the emergencies of life to fall back on herself for protection. . .

The young wife and mother, at the head of some establishment, with a kind husband to shield her from the adverse winds of life, with wealth, fortune and position, has a certain harbor of safety, secure against the ordinary ills of life. But to manage a household, have a desirable influence in society, keep her friends and the affections of her husband, train her children and servants well, she must have rare common sense, wisdom, diplomacy, and a knowledge of human nature. To do all this, she needs the cardinal virtues and the strong points of character that the most successful statesman possesses. An uneducated woman trained to dependence, with no resources in herself, must make a failure of any position in life. But society says women do not need a knowledge of the world, the liberal training that experience in public life must give, all the advantages of collegiate education; but when for the lack of all this, the woman’s happiness is wrecked, alone she bears her humiliation; and the solitude of the weak and the ignorant is indeed pitiable. In the wild chase for the prizes of life, they are ground to powder.

In age, when the pleasures of youth are passed, children grown up, married and gone, the hurry and bustle of life in a measure over, when the hands are weary of active service, when the old arm chair and the fireside are the chosen resorts, then men and women alike must fall hack on their own resources. If they cannot find companionship in books, if they have no interest in the vital questions of the hour, no interest in watching the consummation of reforms with which they might have been identified, they soon pass into their dotage. The more fully the faculties of the mind are developed and kept in use, the longer the period of vigor and active interest in all around us continues. If, from a life-long participation in public affairs, a woman feels responsible for the laws regulating our system of education, the discipline of our jails and prisons, the sanitary condition of our private homes, public buildings and thoroughfares, an interest in commerce, finance, our foreign relations, in any or all these questions, her solitude will at least be respectable, and she will not be driven to gossip or scandal for entertainment.

The chief reason for opening to every soul the doors to the whole round of human duties and pleasures is the individual development thus attained, the resources thus provided under all circumstances to mitigate the solitude that at times must come to everyone. . .

Inasmuch, then, as woman shares equally the joys and sorrows of time and eternity, is it not the height of presumption in man to propose to represent her at the ballot box and the throne of grace, to do her voting in the state, her praying in the church, and to assume the position of high priest at the family altar?
Nothing strengthens the judgment and quickens the conscience like individual responsibility. Nothing adds such dignity to character as the recognition of one’s self-sovereignty; the right to an equal place, everywhere conceded—a place earned by personal merit, not an artificial attainment by inheritance, wealth, family and position. Conceding, then, that the responsibilities of life rest equally on man and woman, that their destiny is the same, they need the same preparation for time and eternity. The talk of sheltering woman from the fierce storms of life is the sheerest mockery, for they beat on her from every point of the compass, just as they do on man, and with more fatal results, for he has been trained to protect himself, to resist, and to conquer. Such are the facts in human experience, the responsibilities of individual sovereignty. Rich and poor, intelligent and ignorant, wise and foolish, virtuous and vicious, man and woman; it is ever the same, each soul must depend wholly on itself.

Whatever the theories may be of woman’s dependence on man, in the supreme moments of her life, he cannot bear her burdens. Alone she goes to the gates of death to give life to every man that is born into the world; no one can share her fears, no one can mitigate her pangs; and if her sorrow is greater than she can bear, alone she passes beyond the gates into the vast unknown.

From the mountain-tops of Judea long ago, a heavenly voice bade his disciples, “Bear ye one another’s burdens”; but humanity has not yet risen to that point of self-sacrifice; and if ever so willing, how few the burdens are that one soul can bear for another! . . .

So it ever must be in the conflicting scenes of life, in the long, weary march, each one walks alone. We may have many friends, love, kindness, sympathy and charity, to smooth our pathway in everyday life, but in the tragedies and triumphs of human experience, each mortal stands alone.

But when all artificial trammels are removed, and women are recognized as individuals, responsible for their own environments, thoroughly educated for all positions in life they may be called to fill; with all the resources in themselves that liberal thought and broad culture can give; guided by their own conscience and judgment, trained to self-protection, by a healthy development of the muscular system, and skill in the use of weapons and defence; and stimulated to self-support by a knowledge of the business world and the pleasure that pecuniary independence must ever give; when women are trained in this way, they will in a measure be fitted for those hours of solitude that come alike to all, whether prepared or otherwise. As in our extremity we must depend on ourselves, the dictates of wisdom point to complete individual development.

In talking of education, how shallow the argument that each class must be educated for the special work it proposes to do, and that all those faculties not needed in this special work must lie dormant and utterly wither for want of use, when, perhaps, these will be the very faculties needed in life’s greatest emergencies! Some say, “Where is the use of drilling girls in the languages, the sciences, in law, medicine, theology. As wives, mothers, housekeepers, cooks, they need a different curriculum from boys who are to fill all positions. The chief cooks in our great hotels and ocean steamers are men. In our large cities, men run the bakeries; they make our bread, cake and pies. They manage the laundries; they are now considered our best milliners and dressmakers. Because some men fill these departments of usefulness, shall we regulate the curriculum in Harvard and Yale to their present necessities? If not, why this talk in our best colleges of a curriculum for girls who are crowding into the trades and professions, teachers in all our public schools, rapidly filling many lucrative and honorable positions in life?”. . .

Women are already the equals of men in the whole realm of thought, in art, science, literature and government. . . . The poetry and novels of the century are theirs, and they have touched the keynote of reform, in religion, politics and social life. They fill the editor’s and professor’s chair, plead at the bar of justice, walk the wards of the hospital, speak from the pulpit and the platform. Such is the type of womanhood that an enlightened public sentiment welcomes to-day, and such the triumph of the facts of life over the false theories of the past.
Is it, then, consistent to hold the developed woman of this day within the same narrow political limits as the dame with the spinning wheel and knitting needle occupied in the past? No, no! Machinery has taken the labors of woman as well as man on its tireless shoulders; the loom and the spinning wheel are but dreams of the past; the pen, the brush, the easel, the chisel, have taken their places, while the hopes and ambitions of women are essentially changed.

We see reason sufficient in the outer conditions of human beings for individual liberty and development, but when we consider the self-dependence of every human soul, we see the need of courage, judgment and the exercise of every faculty of mind and body, strengthened and developed by use, in woman as well as man.
Whatever may be said of man’s protecting power in ordinary conditions, amid all the terrible disasters by land and sea, in the supreme moments of danger, alone woman must ever meet the horrors of the situation. The Angel of Death even makes no royal pathway for her. Man’s love and sympathy enter only into the sunshine of our lives. In that solemn solitude of self, that links us with the immeasurable and the eternal, each soul lives alone forever. A recent writer says: “I remember once, in crossing the Atlantic, to have gone upon the deck of the ship at midnight, when a dense black cloud enveloped the sky, and the great deep was roaring madly under the lashes of demoniac winds. My feeling was not of danger or fear (which is a base surrender of the immortal soul) but of utter desolation and loneliness; a little speck of life shut in by a tremendous darkness. . . .”
And yet, there is a solitude which each and every one of us has always carried with him, more inaccessible than the ice-cold mountains, more profound than the midnight sea; the solitude of self. Our inner being which we call ourself, no eye nor touch of man or angel has ever pierced. It is more hidden than the caves of the gnome; the sacred adytum of the oracle; the hidden chamber of Eleusinian mystery, for to it only omniscience is permitted to enter.

Such is individual life. Who, I ask you, can take, dare take on himself the rights, the duties, the responsibilities of another human soul?

Source: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “The Solitude of Self” The Woman’s Column, January 1882, 2–3. Reprinted in Ellen Carol DuBois, ed.,Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: Correspondence, Writings, and Speeches (New York, 1981).


Recipe Review: 15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta

Each week my Sister in Law- Heidi, my mom, my cousin -Jasmine and I choose recipes to experiment with. We have been picking 2 main courses and a sweet treat. But there are no rules that it has to be this way. Click -> to read More about our weekly recipe project. To participate, you can join our group on facebook {www.facebook.com/groups/recipeteam/} or leave a comment with your own review and recipe suggestions. We recently created this facebook group so that we could share with friends outside of our family group. Please join us!

I started this weeks kitchen adventure with the 15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta. I admit, this one left me skeptical. I mean, I like me some avocado. But that is usually as guacamole, or chopped in salad with a zingy dressing. But as a pasta sause base? I wasn't too sure I would like it. However, I went forth as a brave young (ha!) soldier.  
     I followed the recipe with no changes. I used regular {wheat} shell pasta.
  • Blending the lemon, garlic and basil, touch of sea salt and the olive oil. I'm with Heidi on this one. With the richness of the avocado, the olive oil could easily be replaced with water. 
This review is as quick as it was to make this recipe. It was a breeze to make. Only took as long as the pasta took to cook. Everything was tossed together and served right away.

The verdict: DEEEEELISH! This pasta was outta-sight tight! Before I got a chance to try it, the hubby was exclaiming it's awesomeness. He had a huge serving and wanted me to make it again the next night. Even the littles ate their generous portions. The avocado disappeared into the lemon, garlic and basil and just became the creamy in the creamy goodness of this dish. This recipe is quick, simple and can easily become one of the redundant meals that we add to our rotation. If I had more than 2 thumbs, they would all be up! 

Heidi's Recipe Review: New Orleans Red Beans & Rice, Crock Pot

I stuck close to the original recipe for this: I soaked the dry beans overnight and I used 1 T "Slap Ya Mama" Cajun seasoning instead of 3. I also used 1/4 of a jalapeno. Also, I didn't use any sausage.

Other than that I followed the recipe.  

I have mixed reviews on this dish. I love red beans and rice and I love the crock pot for home cooked meals on busy days. But, unfortunately the two do not mix. Now, don't get me wrong this made a wonderful bean dish that we all enjoyed eating, but it was not authentic red beans and rice. Red beans and rice breaks down and basically forms a bean gravy this did not, even after cooking on high the whole day. I think if you are in the mood for authentic read beans and rice...stick to the stove, but for a nice pot of beans by all means crank up the crock pot!  


Recipe Review: Chocolate Mousse

     Each week my Sister in Law- Heidi, my mom, my cousin -Jasmine and I choose recipes to experiment with. We have been picking 2 main courses and a sweet treat. But there are no rules that it has to be this way. Click -> to read More about our weekly recipe project. To participate, you can join our group on facebook {www.facebook.com/groups/recipeteam/} or leave a comment with your own review and recipe suggestions. We recently created this facebook group so that we could share with friends outside of our family group.

     This week's sweet treat was Chocolate Mousse. Use your own recipe. I have made vegan chocolate mousse in the past, but while I was making Falafel Pie a al The Vegan Stoner, I noticed that The Vegan Stoner also has a recipe for Chocolate Mousse. I figured I would just make this The Vegan Stoner week! 

Chocolate Mousse a al The Vegan Stoner
Recipe Link: http://theveganstoner.blogspot.com/2012/02/chocolate-mousse.html

Gonna get right in to this...

  • For some reason, I can't keep a bag of chocolate chips in the house without someone busting into them almost immediately and without me being in the room to bust them.  I made up the difference with some super dark chocolate that I had in the cupboard. (Why couldn't the thief just eat that?) I don't own a microwave, so I use the double boil method. Slow and low. 
  • Meanwhile, I blended the tofu with milk. The recipe calls for soy cream, but I used Blue Diamond Almond Coconut milk. The recipe also calls for coco powder, and even though I have that, I opted for the Dark Hot Chocolate mix that I have. 
  • The last change that I made was this: When blending the mousse, I added 1/2 of the melted chocolate to the mixture. 
  • After layering the vanilla graham cookies on the bottom, then the sliced strawberries, and drizzled the agave (just a touch), I added the mousse, then the melted chocolate on the top. 
Verdict: Oh my goooooooooey goodness! This was so incredibly rich and delish! One change that I would make is that I would maybe not layer in the strawberries, as they leak and the next day the cookies are a soggy mess. That isn't entirely bad, I know, but not too appetizing. I would also make these in smaller portion sizes b/c it is so rich! All in all, a BIG hit and two thumbs up from chef mom.

Eleven misconceptions teachers should know about children with hearing loss

By Janice Schacter Lintz

Janice Schacter Lintz

(1) People with hearing loss are older adults.

According to NIDCD and the Better Hearing Institute, of the 36 million people in the United States with some degree of hearing loss, only 30% are 65 or older.

(2) A child who responds to sound does not have a hearing loss.

Hearing loss is a spectrum. The child may hear certain sounds but not all sounds.
Any child who has delayed speech, responds to sounds inconsistently, is inattentive, displays behavioral changes, or responds incorrectly to simple basic questions should have his or her hearing tested. Parents know their children, and their concerns should be taken seriously. An audiogram, which is not an invasive procedure, should be administered. Newborn screenings are now required, but hearing loss can develop later or the newborn screening could have a false negative outcome.

(3) Having a late-diagnosed hearing loss is the same as being born with a hearing loss.

There is a significant difference between hearing loss that occurs after versus prior to the development of language. Children whose hearing loss occurred before they developing language can develop coping skills such as lip reading, but they do not have the benefit of hearing normally while learning to speak. The sound of their voice may be different, their language may be missing in nuance, and learning vocabulary may not come naturally to them.

(4) Hearing aids and cochlear implants restore hearing to normal.

A person does not obtain “normal” hearing by wearing a hearing aid or cochlear implant (CI), and using them is not the same as wearing glasses.
Hearing aids increase the volume of sound, but they do not significantly improve clarity or they do not function well in noisy locations. They can slightly enhance clarity by raising the volume in certain frequencies.
The benefits of cochlear implants vary widely, from providing almost normal hearing to giving wearers access only to environmental sounds. Communication ability depends on such factors as the individual’s hearing history, the length and onset of deafness, and age of implantation.

(5) With hearing aids or CIs, children can usually hear everything that is said in class, and if they can’t hear something they will advise the teacher.

Many children with hearing loss perform well in class, so teachers and staff sometimes forget the child has a hearing loss. This does not mean that the child hears everything, even when the child appears attentive.
Students with hearing loss may sometimes respond correctly, yet still be missing important information, especially in subjects such as science and math, where unfamiliar words may be used and the information cannot be gleaned from the context of the sentence.
It is tiring for children with hearing loss to listen intently for a prolonged period, so they should not be chastised for zoning out during a discussion. Children are unlikely to raise their hand voluntarily if they think they didn’t hear something, and they may not realize if they miss critical information. It is burdensome to ask to have information repeated, so the student may simply smile and nod instead. Children with a hearing loss who have a cold or allergies may have fluid in their ears that further impacts how well they hear.
To avoid some of these issues, teachers and students need to face the child with hearing loss and not the blackboard when speaking. Directions should be repeated and written down. Speech should be at a normal pace, since speaking very slowly distorts speech.

(6) Increasing the sound volume on a hearing aid will enable a child with hearing loss to understand what is said.

Increasing the volume is only part of the solution, since doing this can distort the sound quality. Yelling and over-articulating do not help, because they distort the natural rhythm of speech and make lip reading more difficult. A person who can hear normally cannot determine if speech is clear enough for a person with hearing loss to understand.
To obtain sufficient clarity, people with residual hearing may require sound to be transmitted from the microphone directly to their ear via an assistive listening system such as an FM unit. Sitting close to the speaker can assist the listener (and facilitate lip reading), but is not a substitute for an assistive listening system for a child with residual hearing. A child with a more severe hearing loss may need real-time captioning (CART) or a note taker.
A student with hearing loss should be placed in a classroom with the least amount of background noise. Carpeting and other soft materials such as tennis balls on chair legs help to absorb echoes.

(7) Children who wear hearing aids or a CI for their hearing loss do not need an FM unit as well.

People often incorrectly expect a child with hearing aids or a CI to hear normally and understand everything that is said. Therefore, they assume the child will not need an FM system or a teacher of the hearing impaired.
Many teachers do not realize that children with hearing loss sometimes pretend to understand so as not to draw too attention to themselves.
If a child misses something, the teacher may think he or she just needs to pay better attention. However, even with the best hearing aid or CI technology, additional support is often needed to create a level playing field for children with hearing loss.
When a child uses an FM unit, it brings the voice of a speaker who is equipped with a microphone directly into the child’s ear. This should enable the child to understand the teacher, who has a microphone. However, he or she but may be unable understand what other kids in class are saying, so FM-system microphones need to be passed to anyone who speaks. The child can only hear the person with the microphone and speakers who are very close to the microphone. The closer the speaker is to the microphone, the crisper the sound is.
The child may be able to hear without the FM system when the environment is quieter. But even in this setting, the teacher should have a signal to indicate to the child when it’s his or her turn to read in a read-aloud situation. It can be difficult for a child with hearing loss to follow what other children are reading aloud, since he or she is reading the text and cannot watch the other children’s lips at the same time.

(8) A child who can understand what’s said in small group settings won’t have a problem watching a movie or video without captions. If the film or video has captioning, the child does not need it hooked up to his or her FM system.

All videos and films should be ordered with captioning. This will also benefit children with auditory processing and other learning disabilities.
Even a child with hearing loss who can hear in small group settings will need the film’s sound brought directly to his or her hearing aids via an FM system to eliminate background noise.
Captioning alone for a child with residual hearing is not effective access. Providing a reasonable accommodation that allows a child with residual hearing to listen to the presentation enables him or her to receive the benefits of sound (e.g., being able to recognize voices as loud, soft, angry, happy, sad, or singing voices).

(9) People with hearing loss are dumb, stupid, mute, have intellectual limitations, and are bound to be unsuccessful.

People with hearing loss have the same range of intelligence as the general population. People with untreated or inadequately treated hearing loss or in noisy locations may respond inappropriately because they have not heard what was said. They do not require slower classes just because they have a hearing loss.
Often the expectations for a child with hearing loss are too low. Children with hearing loss succeed, and may not require special education, when teachers and others provide appropriate and effective accommodations.
There are sometimes delays when the telephone relay system is being used due to the time needed for transcription. Those who are not familiar with relay service may assume that the additional time is required because the person with the hearing loss is not intelligent.
People with hearing loss often have difficulty obtaining employment because of the misconception that they are capable of doing only simple tasks. This attitude dates back to when remedies for hearing loss were few or nonexistent. Today, a person with a hearing loss is fully employable and should not be placed in vocational classes just because of a hearing loss. Many students with hearing loss attend top universities
Children with hearing loss may be self-conscious, embarrassed, or shy about their inability to hear well. Teachers should be supportive, and schools need to be sensitive to any stereotypes by students or teachers. Name-calling is bullying and should be handled accordingly.

(10) Children with a hearing loss are born to parents who have a hearing loss and use American Sign Language (ASL).

About 2 to 3 out of every 1000 children in the United States are born deaf or hard of hearing. Of these, 90% are born to parents who can hear.
Hearing loss spans a broad spectrum from mild impairment to complete deafness, and not all people with hearing loss communicate the same way.
Communication depends on a variety of factors, such as the degree of hearing loss, whether a hearing aid or cochlear implant is used, the age at which the hearing loss occurred, the level of auditory training received, and the nature of the listening situation. The majority of people with hearing loss do not use sign language.
Some people with hearing loss read lips and others do not. Lip reading, also called speech reading, is most helpful as a supplement to residual hearing, since many speech sounds are not visible on the lips. When speaking to someone with hearing loss, it helps to face the person. Many people can pick up visual clues even if they are not proficient at lip reading.

(11) People with hearing loss cannot learn other languages.

People with hearing loss are capable of speaking or signing in multiple languages. A person with a hearing loss should never be discouraged from learning another language.

Janice Schacter Lintz is the Chair of the Hearing Access Program, which she started in 2002 because of her frustration with the artificial barriers placed on children with hearing loss. She is the mom of Arielle Schacter, an 18-year-old with a severe to profound hearing loss who is about to enter her freshman year at Brown University. 
(Prepared and copyright protected by The Hearing Access Program, 8/1/12 Janice Schacter 917-975-5642, Jschacter@nyc.rr.com)


And they were all yellow...

Colorado has three seasons: Green, Yellow & White. We have officially entered the Yellow season. 


Recipe Review: Lasagna Bites

     Each week my Sister in Law- Heidi, my mom, my cousin -Jasmine and I choose recipes to experiment with. We have been picking 2 main courses and a sweet treat. But there are no rules that it has to be this way. Click -> to read More about our weekly recipe project. To participate, leave a comment with your own review and recipe suggestions.

Vegan Lasagna Bites a la Crustless Quiche A Week & Everything Inbetween
Recipe Link: http://quicheaweek.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/vegan-lasagna-bites/

I changed this recipe up all over the place, all the while, sticking to it's basic concept. Does anyone want to guess what I put inside? (Tob, Heidi, Mom, you know you know!)
  • First, the ricotta. I cannot afford pine nuts. And if I could, the hospital would come and take them away in lieu of payment towards our outstanding balance. Instead, I used tried and trusted cashews. I think walnuts would have been good too. I did add basil to my batch. Easy peasy!
  • My filling consisted of sauteed kale (I shredded it into tiny morsels), grated zucchini (ding ding ding!), diced onions and garlic.
  • I used jar pasta sauce.  
  • Unlike Heidi, who uses no oil, I did spray my sheet pan before I assembled/baked. Although, I suspect that may not even be necessary. Even with out a silicon baking sheet.
  • Assembly was pretty straight forward. Deceivingly simple. I did use a touch of water at the corners to help them stick together. I did not brush the tops with olive oil, nor did I spray them with oil. They browned up just fine. 
  • Verdict: This recipe was really good, really pretty simple, versatile; You could pretty much put anything in these bad boys.  I would like them with some Italian sausage (Tofurkey or Field Roast). Two thumbs up, we will make this again. I may just stick them in a cupcake pan and fill them and bake them instead of folding them, for an even speedier version!


Recipe Review: Falafel Pie

Each week my Sister in Law- Heidi, my mom, my cousin -Jasmine and I choose recipes to experiment with. We have been picking 2 main courses and a sweet treat. But there are no rules that it has to be this way.

Sometimes we all cook them all and sometimes we just will get around to making one or two. We all end up doing different things, either because we don't have or don't like a particular ingredient. Maybe we have extra items in the re-fridge/freeze or cupboard that need to be used up. Sometimes we just forget something at the store. Or we are inspired by the recipe to go an entirely different direction.

I have found this project pretty fun. I have also found that it's taking some of the redundancy out of meal planning. And it get's me in the kitchen with the kiddos (homeschool holler!) trying those drool-icious re-pinned pinterest recipes that I probably would otherwise never try.

Lately, I have extended this project outside our our little family group. So because our family facebook group is a closed group and we cannot share what is going on, I decided that I will post my recipe reviews on my blog so that I can share and other's can share their experiences in the comments section here!

So here goes!

Falafel Pie a al The Vegan Stoner
Recipe link: http://theveganstoner.blogspot.com/2012/03/falafel-pie.html

I pretty much followed the recipe.

  • I only had one small cucumber from my garden so I used the entire thing in the sauce and didn't add any extra slices to my layers. 
  • I diced the tomatoes for ease in eating. I would like to do what Heidi did and add some diced red or green onion as well, next time. A little extra cucumber, diced, would be nice too, but with the sauce, it wasn't necessary.
  • Even though I used plain yogurt (WholeSoy), I found it sweet. I added a bit extra lemon juice and some spike to mask the sweetness. I think I would add a little bit of dill next time as well. I just learned that there is an unsweetened version of this, but I'll need to request it at my store.
  • Verdict: This recipe is a keeper! So easy and it keeps in the fridge well. Two thumbs up!

Sorry that my photography isn't great. Lighting is tricky in the kitchen with my old school 3GS iPhone. Maybe Santa will get me 4S for Christmas...

Oh, forgot to mention that the green you see if bits of broccoli. I had a tiny florette on my broccoli plant in my garden that was about to bloom. It needed to get consumed so I diced it up and sprinkled it on top for color :) NOT a significant addition to the recipe.


  • About 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born deaf or hard of hearing.   I am the lucky mama who has one of each! 
  • Over 90% of these children are born to parents who can hear.   
  • The Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind offers ASL classes to the public, you can contact them directly for information. The next session of ASL classes begins April 7th, 2012. I think they are from 5:30-7pm.
  • You can contact your local (or state) school for the deaf for information on classes in your area. Often times these schools have outreach programs where an ASL instructor will come to your house and work with your family. Or you can just find out when and where they are offering classes.
  • Why ASL? Watch this video :)


Cake Duchess Maple Pumpkin Pie for the win!

Cake Duchess Vegan Maple Pumpkin Pie
I don't usually bother with pumpkin pies because we have so much food and the hubby makes a fruit (this year it's blueberry) pie. It is typically more than we can handle. But this year, my friend Phae Rae sent this recipe to me and it inspired me to bake! This recipe is very easy. I made this pie last night so it could have overnight to set. Sophie and I took mice size slices out last night to try (with soyatoo, of course). WIN! 

Link; http://www.cakeduchess.com/2011/11/vegan-maple-pumpkin-pie.html?spref=fb


You know you live in the Rocky Mountains when...a photo essay

Not all seasons are created equal.

Fall really gets the short end of the stick.
It's definitely the shortest season we have. Winter is the longest.
The yellow season. Then the white season. With a blip of the green season in the mix.

It takes more than an hour to make the round trip to the nearest "convenience" store.

Slow going. Some slippin' and slidin' here & there...but home safe and sound!

p.s. That is not my house. I live to the left up the road, but I love this view of the remnants of the yellow season,  Crystal Peak and the snow -the white season. I'm sure my occasional neighbors won't mind.


Candy is Dandy

Photo from "My Vegan Creations"
My Vegan Creations Spooky Halloween Cupcakes
Candy is Dandy... When it's vegan! (har har har) OK, so I'm lame. I can't even come up with my own halloween originals. Please forgive me and trust me when I say that my eyelids are being held up by toothpicks and that it's been a v e r y l o n g b u s y w e e k. thank you for understanding. :0)
Anyhow...here is PeTA's list of vegan halloween candy. Please vote with the one thing that actually counts: the bottom line: cold hard cash. If you buy candy that does not support cruelty to animals (even if accidentally) It makes a difference!
This list includes very common and easy to find mainstream candies like dum-dums, dots, Jujubees, Sour Patch Kids, Twizzlers & Zots!
PeTAKids.com Vegan Candy List
About.com has a family crafts page on great halloween activites and party games like the eyeball hunt game, candy corn relay race, phantom ghost letter surprise, and more.
About.com Halloween Party Games

and also on About.com: A Healthy Halloween?
Vegan Halloween tips, sugar-free alternatives to trick-or-treating