Bluetooth Rocks!

Like most long-married folks, Buck and I have little jokes together. One of ours is that since I can't see and he can't hear, it's a good thing we found each other. Actually, I can see up close okay, but you wouldn't want to be on the same highway with me if I was driving without my glasses. I'm quite near-sighted, plus I have this weird astigmatism that makes it difficult for me to tell which lane oncoming vehicles are in.  Just imagine if you saw a driver lower their window, cover up one eye and inch slowly into the road. . . . yep. Other drivers get out of my way.

Buck's hearing impairment has worsened steadily over the years. He's a scary-good lip reader, but we are always on the look-out for new technologies that will give him bionic ears. He wears high-tech silver and black behind-the-ear digital hearing aids made by Phonac. We have a conference-style phone at home that makes it possible for him to have a comfortable conversation, but cell phones continue to be frustrating. Most cell phones these days are  "hearing aid compatible," but in our experience, that hasn't meant much.

The newest, "bleeding edge," hearing aids can now be bought with built-in Bluetooth capabilities that can enable wearers to connect to cell phones, IPods, televisions, and other wireless devices. Hearing aids are very expensive, however, and so we were hopeful of finding a device to improve Buck's cell phone experience and "bridge" him over for another year or so while the latest greatest technology gets even better. As the huge baby boomer cohort enters the age of diminished natural hearing. . . well, you can assume the problem is going to get solved a lot faster. Suddenly, hearing aids aren't just for Granddad anymore. Plus, these days, almost everyone is wearing something on their ears. Hearing aids come in sexy colors now, too, just like Bluetooth headsets.

Buck's audiologist, Dr. Jennifer Reeves Sylvester, did some research for us. Enter the Artone Bluetooth Loopset, made by Westone. It's a nifty looking black and silver Bluetooth pendant on a black cord that can be worn over or under a person's shirt. It pairs with a cell phone, and the audio goes straight into the hearing aid wearer's ears, in stereo. And, at $167, it's a real bargain.

We were skeptical, but it works! So, today, we went out to Best Buy and bought a Plantronics Voyager Pro headset for me. I've never used a Bluetooth ear piece with my cell phone before. I am surprised how much I like it. Best of all, my voice is delivered via Bluetooth through Buck's hearing aids with perfect clarity. It's exhilarating to whisper to each other into the air and have the endearments arrive clear as pillow talk.

We hung out for awhile at Best Buy looking at gizmos. Now that we have the Bluetooth loopset template, we are looking at all sorts of wireless devices in a new way, with an eye toward using them to extend and enhance quality of life and independence. We even began to "blue sky" ideas for a new, smaller house that is truly a gee-whiz electronic cottage, with acoustics, lighting and computer design tailored to keep us plugged into this remarkable world until the day we matriculate to some other form of energy.

A Lot of Puppy in Them

Maggie turned ten last month. Buck took her to the veterinarian yesterday for annual vaccinations. I needed to stay home to meet the AT&T high-speed internet repairman, and so gave Buck a handwritten note for Dr. Cher.

  1. Re-check lipoma on Maggie's neck.
  2. Clip nails.
  3. Look at two small growths on her face and a larger, irritated-looking one on her back.

Getting old is hell.  Why is it that skin tags, age spots, moles, no hair in the right places and too much hair in the wrong places are part of the process? Buck was a lifeguard on Pensacola Beach back in the day. Great summer job for a handsome young stud. But skin has a long memory . It can turn surly in life's winter and become the enemy.

Maggie was a youthful athlete, too, winning a wall full of ribbons as a Field Trial champion. But she is not immune from the gray hairs and skin growths that come with longevity.

IMG_2816 Just look at that beautiful bod! Buck and Maggie both still have a lot of puppy in them. There is nothing sweeter in the world than having the love of an old dog.

Still Unwrapping My Gift

IMG_2613

The vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and walnuts was delicious. The Kaluha was a special treat.  But the man. Oh, that man, the one who said, just last week, "You are beyond adorable," yes, that man, he is my gift. I must have done something really good in a previous life.

A word about writing before I go to sleep:  now that I know what I want to be when I grow up, I'm looking forward even more to the next 58 years.

Sweet dreams, my friends. 

These Are The Boys My Mother Warned Me About

Bill, Tommy, Buck & Roy

My mother would have had a fit if these boys had lived in our neighborhood. She would have locked me in the bedroom and put bars on the windows.

Luckily for her, (not me), they were teenagers in 1953 Pensacola when I was still a curly-haired baby in Miami. 

Bill, Tommy, Buck (yes — that Buck) and Roy were hot-blooded young studs on the hunt. They pursued girls, of course, but also fast cars, faster squirrels, and contraband watermelons (so the story goes) to cool in Pensacola's Carpenter's Creek — back when it was still a sparkling spring-fed swimming hole instead of the drainage basin it got turned into.

Three of the four were in town last week for a high school reunion out on Pensacola Beach. 

A few nights before the big bash, Bill, Roy, and Roy's beautiful dynamo of a wife, Bette, came out to the woods for dinner. Roy's a helluva cook and he and I had a blast collaborating on dinner.  

. . . But that's a whole 'nother story.