Monday, January 15, 2024

Success With Fake Signing

Sunday began under cloudy skies, and it was -10°. The house, however, was toasty warm. I find it very easy and wonderfully worthwhile to feed the fire through the night. I love not having freezing cold hands for much of the early morning. Come Tuesday, we’re predicted to be back in positive temperatures. Hooray.

At 10:00 I took Her Highness for a long forest walk because I wanted her tuckered out in the evening. Although Karen and Gavin invited Sheba to their house, it’s my first social event ever with them, and I reckon that’s best done without her. So, I was committed to getting her outside a lot through the day.

In the afternoon, the sun came blazing out. It was gorgeous to look outside the window, and it was gorgeous to be out in it too, in my polar jacket. It was only -1° at 2:00 when HH and I went to Rollo Park to play fetch in the snow. I’d been meant to video chat with my theatre friends, but my speech was so, so poor, I chose not to participate. Plus, I needed to ‘save myself’ for the evening with Karen and Gavin.

Every time I heard an email arrive, I was hoping it was Karen cancelling, but the visit and dinner stayed on. I had to go. I really like the people, but I don’t really know them, and I was nervous about spending time with new people and my poor speech. But I was crazy to be nervous because I had an extremely nice time. Karen does beautiful work; her studio is spectacular, and she and Gavin and warm, welcoming, wonderful people.

I sped home. After only a brief separation, I wanted desperately to be reunited with Sheba. I am emotionally dependent on her; our bond is very strong. When I got home, I fed the fire and loaded the hearth with wood to use to keep the fire going through the night. It’s an essential requirement in this mighty cold weather.

I studied sign language (ASL) in an intense program. Remember that regular readers? It was a couple of eyars ago and I’ve forgotten it all. I completed a year of the program in four months, but I had to pay people to practice with me. I had no friends who knew ASL. Instead, I have become a master of gesture and mime. I have become pretty good at communicating with people with my own invented signs. It helps when I’m fake signing to someone imaginative and bright, and that’s what happened at the medical clinic here this week when I went for a Tetanus shot. I wanted to know how long the shot protected me. That’s a difficult question to ask without words. When I had the doctor's eye, I drew a question mark in the air as my sign for “how,” then I made a little bouquet of my fingers on each hand and touched my hands together (see photo) before pulling them apart in a straight line (my fake sign for “long”), then I used one hand to mime giving myself a shot in the arm (“vaccination”), and finally I used both arms to make a strongman pose (“strong”), and the doctor said, “Ten years.” I was stunned by our success; I left her proud and thrilled.

It's still cold. It’s -7° this morning, but the end of this extreme cold is coming. Rain is predicted for Thursday, but today will be another clear cold day. I’ll be reading by the fire. 

Christina limbata is a species of scarab beetle in Costa Rica.

Noble Rhubarb grows high in south Asian mountain regions.

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