Morning glory blooms

17 07 2020

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Morning Glories





Double Late Tulip ‘Orange Princess’

1 05 2018

Double Late Tulip ‘Orange Princess’ (I’m hunting bulbs these down for my garden!) They’re simply stunning blooms–love the green streaks that run through the orange and yellow. This particular shot isn’t heavy on the green striations; I’ll share one that shows more of this color contrast. This was shot with the new Nikon D850 and the Nikkor 105mm micro lens.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Orange Princess Tulip x2





Time to get back into the garden with your camera!

2 04 2018

It’s that time of the year again. Time for garden photography! Learn my tips for capturing beautiful shots in gardens with Nikon’s Learn & Explore series:

https://www.nikonusa.com/en/learn-and-explore/a/tips-and-techniques/how-to-grow-your-garden-photography-skills.html

Leaves





Re-post: Nicole as muse

17 12 2017

I have always loved the images I captured of my friend Nicole in this session taking many moons ago…I think I was trying to turn her into a forest fairy or something to that effect. She was always a great subject for photographs! I’m watching a Creative Live class with fine art photographer Brooke Shaden and am inspired to do more of this type of portraiture. Anyone out there want to yield to my creative whims? Sing out now and come on down!

Notes: This was pre-digital days, shot with a Nikon and Fuji slide film. For lighting, I used a torchiere lamp (yes, a lowly torchiere). Her clothing was simply swaths of satin and netting. I did her makeup, but her beautiful hair was inherited—Goldilocks is what Michael nicknamed her. I added the border in Snapseed just for effect.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Nicole Garden Fairy





Cover shoot: Hearing Loss Magazine

10 05 2017

Photo © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

I photographed Don Doherty at the Iwo Jima memorial in March for his cover feature of the May/June 2017 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine. I design and photograph for this bimonthly publication of the Hearing Loss Association of American (HLAA).

Doherty is a retired Marine Corps combat Veteran (1965-1987) who lost his hearing in Vietnam. He has worn hearing aids since June 1970. He has worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs for more than 20 years, and is currently the Education Specialist for the National Chaplain Training Center which serves in excess of 1,100 Department of Veterans Affairs Chaplains at more than 153 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers nationwide. His specialties include education, chemical dependency, mental health, post-traumatic stress and compassion fatigue. Doherty is the incoming chairperson of the HLAA Board of Trustees.

Join the Hearing Loss Association of America!
Do you have a hearing loss or know someone who does? Consider membership in the Hearing Loss Association of America. All memberships include discounts on hearing-related products, convention and special event early bird discounts, AVIS and Alamo car rental, and the award-winning Hearing Loss Magazine. Sign up for membership here.

_____________________________________

Don Doherty’s Service Career Didn’t End with the Marine Corps—It Really Just Got Started

by David Hutcheson, editor, Hearing Loss Magazine

Merriam-Webster defines service as “contribution to the welfare of others.” Emphasis on others. Don Doherty epitomizes this definition. His military service career spanned 22 years. He lost his hearing from exposure to the dangerously loud environment of war when he served as a combat infantryman in Vietnam from 1966 to 1967. After Vietnam, his hearing loss forced him into more administrative roles within the Marine Corps. He used that time to educate himself and learn the skills that would carry him through life, most notably skills as an educator and counselor— skills that allowed him to continue serving. But in both his military and civilian careers—and even now, in retirement—he is the living embodiment of what it means to serve others.

Read more about Don’s service to others through his military and civilian careers in the accompanying article. Although, his “paying career” is really just the tip of the iceberg; he has been a strong advocate and supporter of people with hearing loss for many years. But his passion and dedication to serve others goes far beyond that. Don has many years of experience working with different boards and organizations in Virginia. He is the former American Academy of Medical Administrators state director for Virginia and West Virginia; a two-term commandant, senior state vice-commandant, and state judge advocate for the Marine Corps League.

While working at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA; he retired in 2016 after 25 years there), Don spent many years working on behalf of people struggling with chemical dependency. But that wasn’t enough for him. He served as chair of the Virginia State Standards of Practice Committee; a member of the Board of Directors for the Virginia Council on Alcoholism; and is also a former member of the Virginia Attorney General’s Task Force to Combat Illegal Drug Use.

In 1997 Don received the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Award. This prestigious award recognizes people “whose lives model the giving spirit and unconditional service to community, nation, and humanity.” Past recipients include Presidents Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, and luminaries such as Bob Hope, John Glenn and Mickey Rooney. Don is in good company.

And this doesn’t include his work on behalf of people with hearing loss. Don’s long-time involvement with HLAA includes roles as president of the Virginia Beach Chapter; Virginia State Chapter coordinator; and member of the Board of Trustees. His work continues outside of HLAA; he is a member of Hamilton CapTel’s Heroes with Hearing Loss program and is a certified peer mentor through Gallaudet University’s Peer Mentorship program. Now, at the end of June, we look forward to Don stepping into his newest role as chairperson of the Board of Trustees. A lifetime of service continues.

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

HLM MayJune 2017 Cover Small

For This Marine, It’s Service Above Self

DON Return to statesAt the close of HLAA2017 Convention, Don Doherty will assume the role of chairperson of the HLAA Board of Trustees as Meg Wallhagen’s term comes to an end. Don has been involved with HLAA for more than 20 years through the Virginia Beach Chapter, and has served on the HLAA Board of Trustees for three years, most recently in the role of vice chairperson. We thought Hearing Loss Magazine readers would enjoy getting to know Don better as he transitions into his new role. A retired (but lifelong!) Marine, the theme that runs throughout Don’s inspirational journey is service, first to his country, and then to others.

by Don Doherty

Greetings HLAA members! I would first like to say it is my honor and privilege to represent you—our members, our friends and supporters—as chairperson of the HLAA Board of Trustees. I truly believe we belong to the greatest organization in the world dedicated to helping people with hearing loss.

HLAA helps members communicate more effectively through information, education, support and advocacy. I know firsthand the struggles that many individuals with hearing loss go through, but I also know the success that lies on the other side of that. You see, I have a hearing loss as well—a bilateral, sensorineural, profound hearing loss. I have worn at least one hearing aid since 1970. I thought it would be of interest to share some of the highlights of my journey that have brought me to where I am today.

Service to Country Begins in Vietnam
I grew up in the small borough of Woodlynne, just outside Camden, New Jersey. After I graduated from high school I realized I needed a new start in life. Coming from a patriotic family in which all of my uncles served in World War II, I decided to join the Marine Corps. On January 29, 1965 I became the first family member of my generation to serve as a Marine.

After basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina I was assigned to the infantry. My first assignment brought me to Camp Pendleton, California where I joined the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, First Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force. We were formed into a Battalion Landing Team and went by ship to the 1st Marine Brigade at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

By this time, the 7th Marines had already landed atChu Lai, Vietnam and we knew we were soon to follow. Leaving Hawaii in 1966 we went to the Philippines for jungle training and were soon steaming by ship off the coast of Vietnam.

Our Battalion made the first assault on the Rung Sat Special Zone, a 300-square-mile swampy area about 22 miles south of Saigon. An Army Times article at the time referred to it as “a special kind of hell.” The Rung Sat Special Zone was a Viet Cong (VC) stronghold and it was our job as infantrymen to find the well-hidden enemy hideouts and drive them out of an area they knew well, but that we knew nothing about.

That operation was difficult and dangerous. But on that one and many to follow, the common denominator was noise—loud noise. Whether it’s from rifle fire (up to 155 dB), machine guns (159 dB), grenades at 50 feet (164 dB), recoilless rifles (190 dB), artillery (178 dB), or jets (140-150 dB), the military combat (and even training) environment is one of hazardous noise exposure zones.

I didn’t know it at the time, but each time I fired my weapon I was damaging my hearing. You might ask, “Why didn’t you wear earplugs?” Wearing earplugs meant we couldn’t hear the enemy, especially when it was dark. The fact is that hearing conservation wasn’t a major focus during the war. Today there are earplugs that block the sound of high-level blasts from even reaching your ears, but back in Vietnam earplugs were just not an option for infantrymen.

Getting My First Hearing Aid
After completing my tour in Vietnam I was stationed at the Marine Barracks in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I knew I had some problems with hearing but I was in denial that it was affecting my job as a Marine.

One day my command learned that I couldn’t hear as well as other Marines, particularly low voices or whispers, and especially at night. I will never forget the colonel who called me into his office and read me the riot act for not being able to hear. He loudly stated I had no business being in the Marine Corps if I couldn’t hear. I was devastated. I loved being a Marine and I was good at it. I was a staff sergeant (E-6) at the time, and the fact that I attained a staff noncommissioned officer rank in only five and a half years was a sign of my competitive nature and desire to succeed.

I decided to re-enlist after Vietnam. I wanted to be a career Marine. I made a commitment that I would do everything in my power to show the Corps that I could succeed.

In June 1970 I was medically evacuated by air from Puerto Rico, and after many stops ended up at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital in Pennsylvania. I was assigned to a ward with about eight other sailors and Marines. Within a few days we were sent for a hearing assessment examination. A medical doctor took my history and did an ear exam. From there I was sent to an audiologist and had an audiogram, which confirmed my hearing loss. They also took an impression of my ear for the mold I would wear. The next day I was told I was going to have a behind-the-ear hearing aid ordered.

While waiting for the hearing aid I got a bodypack amplification device. It looked like a 4×6 inch fanny pack with a tube going up into a device with a hook which attached to your ear. It had one knob on the top that you could use to adjust the volume. When I first heard the sound from this device it was almost painful. I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear all that noise.

I didn’t know it at the time but I was in an aural rehabilitation program. It was modeled after similar successful programs following World War II. I was given training in a variety of areas. We had education classes on how we hear, types of hearing loss and how hearing aids could help for some of that loss. We also had classes on basic lipreading and how to cope in noisy environments.

In our groups we talked about “bluffing,” where we pretended to hear something, like a joke, and laughed just because we saw others laughing. One interesting exercise I remember was listening to a Bill Cosby comedy act (on a 33 rpm record) with the group. We listened to several of the humorous stories on the recording—but nobody laughed. Then the facilitator gave us a script to read which contained the words. The record was played again and I remember laughing so hard it brought tears to my eyes. The lesson I learned from that exercise was that I needed help to understand what was being said, and that bluffing was not the answer.

When we started the program with our new devices we would take short walks down the hall, and eventually progressed to venturing outside the hospital onto the noisier city streets where we learned to find meaning behind the background noise.

My hearing aid arrived in about 10 days, and we all gladly ditched the bulky bodypacks. We went back to the audiologist to have our new hearing aids fitted and adjusted, and then had another audiogram and went through speech testing again. From this point we wore our hearing aids everywhere and discussed any problems we would be having in a group setting. Some minor adjustments might have been made but this was the aid we would keep. We were issued only one hearing aid—mine was for my left ear.

Finding Success as a Career Marine, Even with Hearing Loss
I spent a month in aural rehabilitation and then had to go through a Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) to determine whether or not I would be discharged from the Marine Corps. My medical doctor recommended discharge but I appealed to the PEB and was allowed to stay on active duty with the provision that I would have to be retrained into a different military occupational specialty that did not involve exposure to loud noise. This meant I had to leave the infantry.

I retrained into the administrative field. I did everything in my power to be the best administrator I could be, but I was always fearful there would be an instance when I couldn’t hear well and it would lead to discharge. I persevered and was able to adapt to many different “hearing” situations and environments (such as heat, wind and rain).

I started taking college courses and advanced in rank. I served in many duty stations in the U.S. and Far East. I studied hearing loss on my own time and learned many of the skills I still hold today, particularly as a counselor and educator. For the last five years of my military career I served as a counselor helping Marines overcome problems associated with drugs and alcohol.

I retired from the Marine Corps as a Master Sergeant in 1987. I was able to complete my associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees all before I left active duty. On my first visit to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) after retirement I was issued a second hearing aid, for my right ear.

I don’t think my military story is unique. Today, one in three service members who served in Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan has a hearing loss. Hearing loss and tinnitus are the top two disabilities that veterans receive compensation for through the VA.

Sadly, many members of the military with hearing loss are afraid to bring it up or seek help for fear that they won’t be as competitive, won’t get promoted, or will be seen as a liability. Even outside the military I wondered whether I should wear my hearing aids during job interviews or just show that I could do the job better by wearing my hearing aids after being hired.

DON Red ShirtA Long Career of Service to Others
My experience and education opened the door to a civilian career in chemical dependency. My first job following active duty was as a clinical director for an adolescent and family treatment center in Dallas, Texas. Within six months I was the administrator of the facility. I was transferred to Chesapeake, Virginia where I facilitated the construction and operation of a new program. But when insurance rules changed in the early 90s, large nonprofit programs could no longer afford to stay in business as the costs became too high to operate. I was laid off just before our parent corporation shut down operations for the whole nine-facility organization.

From there I worked as an assistant director for a homeless shelter and as a trainer for a marketing company. In both of these jobs I was still was very conscious of my hearing loss and developed many new strategies to make sure I was in the right seat or could see the person I was speaking with. My greatest difficulty was hearing the telephone and understanding what was said. The stress of working with a hearing loss can be considerable. Psychologically, I would isolate and tend to avoid large groups, especially in areas with loud background noise. I still had a lot to learn about hearing loss.

In 1991 I began working for the VA in Hampton, Virginia. For my first two years I was in a long-term spinal cord injury unit. I was then transferred to mental health where I worked on the conversion of a 30-day inpatient alcohol treatment program to an outpatient system that was able to treat all forms of drug and alcohol abuse.

In May 2000 I accepted a position as an education specialist at the National Chaplain Training Center at the Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center. We provided training for approximately 1,000 chaplains at 153 VA medical centers throughout the country. I loved the chaplains and staff I worked with, and especially appreciated the many chaplains who visited our live-in school and attended our many course offerings. In June 2016 I retired from the VA after 25 years of service.

The Psychology of Hearing Loss
The psychological impact of hearing loss is much like the grieving process. In college, I remember reading about the stages of grief or loss. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was a Swiss-American psychiatrist who, in her book On Death and Dying, first talked about the five stages of grief a person might go through when faced with a terminal illness or following the death of a loved one. These five stages are also applicable to someone with hearing loss.

Stage 1—Denial. Someone in denial might not be willing to accept the facts or reality of the situation. People with hearing loss sometimes stay in denial for years before
seeking help.

Stage 2—Anger. This can be anger directed at themselves or others for suffering the loss. A person with hearing loss might get angry at a spouse, friend or even a doctor or audiologist who is trying to help.

Stage 3—Bargaining. In this stage a person could try to make a deal or compromise. I remember telling my wife soon after I received a hearing aid that I’ll wear it at work because I have to, but I didn’t want to wear it at home in the evening.

Stage 4—Depression. The signs of this depression could be sadness, regret, uncertainty or even fear. Those of us with hearing loss may tend to isolate to avoid these feelings.

Stage 5—Acceptance. The final step in the grieving process is acceptance. For people with hearing loss this means you finally and fully know that you need your hearing aid or cochlear implant to communicate, and you accept this new reality in your life.

Not everyone goes through these stages in order, and you can even regress, but the important thing to recognize is that acceptance of your hearing loss is a process, and takes some time to accept.

Hearing loss is stressful for the one who has it, but it can be especially stressful for family members. I remember in my marriage all communication stopped when the lights went out. Whatever had to be said had to be said when the lights or hearing aids were on. I used a large clock radio with the volume set as high as possible to ensure I would wake up. It worked for me, but my wife never did get used to waking up that way. Parties and social functions were limited, as were crowded restaurants.

Wearing a hearing aid is tiring; it is a daily struggle to hear and understand. A family makes many mistakes in the communication process that could be avoided with the right information. It’s not that we weren’t listening to the audiologist; it was more that we didn’t know which questions to ask.

A Lifetime of Service Continues—Now Through HLAA
This knowledge gap is what led me to the Hearing Loss Association of America. Following my retirement from the Marine Corps, my civilian job required a lot of traveling. I stayed at many hotels across the country, and invariably the hotel was ill-equipped to deal with a guest who had a hearing loss. Wake-up calls didn’t work because I couldn’t hear the phone without my hearing aids, clock radio alarms weren’t loud enough, and even one of the hotel staff beating on my door didn’t faze me.

To make sure I would get up, I took to sitting in a chair next to the clock radio or alarm with both hearing aids on catching what bits and pieces of sleep I could. It was this problem that led me to my first SHHH (Self Help for Hard of Hearing, which is what HLAA was known as then) chapter meeting in the 90s. I had seen a newspaper ad for the local Virginia Beach Chapter and decided to check it out.

The meeting had a speaker on hearing aids, but the real value for me was the question and answer session that followed. I explained my problem and that’s when I first learned about a vibrating alarm clock. I was overjoyed. I would have never guessed that such a device even existed. It was encouraging to be in a room where everyone had a hearing loss and where most people wore hearing aids. I also learned about captioned telephones, which could help me both on the job and at home.

That first meeting was another life lesson; there were technologies out there that could help me. I knew then I needed to make time to attend meetings and get as much information and education as I could about what products were available and which ones seemed to work better than others. Even then HLAA was leading the way in supporting people with hearing loss as well as being a consumer advocate.

Rising Through the Ranks Again— Just Not in the Marines
As I attended monthly chapter meetings I realized what a valuable and supportive forum they were. I began to take a more active role, assumed positions of leadership, and did everything I could to bring the message of help and hope to as many people with hearing loss as possible. I enrolled in an HLAA Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) training session and leadership training for chapter leaders.

I have been the HLAA Virginia Beach Chapter president for many years. We have an energetic and vibrant chapter and have helped many people over the years. We were also one of the pioneer chapters that supported and advocated for open captioning of Broadway shows at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk, Virginia. We work with the Norfolk Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities and Access Virginia, a captioning advocacy group.

Chapter members attend performances as a group and are so overjoyed just to see a Broadway show and understand what is being said. The Virginia Beach Chapter also supports people with visual impairment in receiving verbal information about what is happening on stage. We also take trips to the movies and use the new captioned glasses. But mostly, we support each other and have fun doing so.

I have been on the HLAA Board of Trustees for more than three years. I have served on many committees, and most recently as the vice chairperson. Two years ago I proudly accepted the HLAA Keystone Award for my unending work on behalf of people with hearing loss.

I am now proudly stepping up as chairperson of the Board, where I will be able to continue my service to HLAA.

These are exciting times for people with hearing loss. There are many developments and changes on the horizon, and these changes are all for the benefit of you, HLAA members. We will continue to lead the way as the voice of the consumer and to effect change. Our current focus is on implementing the recommendations of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS), and most recently, pushing for the passage of the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017.

As chairperson of your Board of Trustees I will continue the good work of HLAA Founder Rocky Stone and my predecessor, Meg Wallhagen. I am dedicated to helping our organization grow and prosper. The Board of Trustees is comprised of a diverse, highly-educated and motivated group of professionals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to support the HLAA staff and our members in every way we can. We do not take this responsibility lightly. There are still too many people with hearing loss who want and need help, but don’t know about us, the critical work we do or the support we can provide. I am also making a personal commitment to working with, and for, our nation’s veterans to ensure that everyone who has served our country knows that we are here for them. I hope to see you in Salt Lake City in June. Semper Fi.

Don Doherty, M.A., Ed.S., is the incoming chairperson of the HLAA Board of Trustees and lives in Moyock, North Carolina. He can be reached at chairperson@hearingloss.org as of the end of June.





Last week to see my exhibit at Green Spring Gardens!

18 10 2016

Be sure to sign the guestbook to enter your name in the drawing for a free gallery wrap canvas photograph from my exhibit! I’ll have photos from the reception in the next post.

Garden Muse Exhibit Postcard





Summer inspiration

1 07 2016

Inspired by summer and the beach (Polaroid transfers created from my favorite 35mm Fuji slides)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Beach Transfers





Hearing Loss Magazine covers…who will grace the next issue?

29 06 2016

It has been an honor to photograph every one of these “cover models” for the Hearing Loss Magazine. Every story is different but they all deal with hearing loss and how these people thrive despite the challenges.

WEB HLM Covers to JulyAug2016 FLAT





In the studio: Ann

22 06 2016

Ann Rancourt is the new National Walk4Hearing coordinator for the Hearing Loss Association of America.

I used my Westcott Eyelighter Reflective Panel to add a little twinkle to her eyes and a glow to her skin (she has gorgeous skin to begin with!). I love the results, so I’ll be incorporating it into future portrait sessions. (I am gadget girl after all—so don’t you judge me!)

Good review of this gadget with sample photos: http://fundydesigner.com/tip-westcott-eyelighter-review-for-headshots/

I got mine on sale online but you can save $$$ and build a similar one using this tutorial I found online: http://www.diyphotography.net/build-diy-eyelighter/

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

WEB Ann Rancourt Portraits





A burst of color on this very gray day…

19 11 2015

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Cindy Dyer Samples





Cloudspotting

11 11 2015

Perhaps it’s the lack of tall buildings to block the view, or maybe the weather patterns are different in the region, but the skies in Texas are just spectacular (and nearly every day they offer up something worth photographing!). I shot a plethora of sky vistas and cloud formations while I was in Texas for my niece’s wedding in October. This one caught my eye in the parking lot outside a Vietnamese restaurant in San Antonio. I immediately saw a face and thought, “Einstein!” I shared the image with my FB friends and the conversation took flight. My favorite response was from my FB friend and fellow blogger, Erik Gauger. He described in detail what he saw and then used his creative skills to bring the figure to life. (FYI, I’ve blogged about Erik’s gorgeous, award-winning photography/narrative/nature/travel website, but in case you missed it, check it out here: http://www.notesfromtheroad.com/)

iPhone 6, processed in Snapseed © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Einstein Cloud webCloud Conversation





Fred & Honey in Hearing Loss Magazine

9 11 2015

My dear friend Fred and his beloved Honey made an appearance in the November/December 2015 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, which I design bimonthly for the Hearing Loss Association of America.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Fred & Honey Spread





Photography featured on Nikon’s website again!

26 10 2015

So exciting! My photography is featured on the Nikon website again in their Learn & Explore series. Check the feature out below:

http://www.nikonusa.com/en/learn-and-explore/article/ic7egnag/one-shot-stamps-of-approval.html

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 9.23.47 AM





On Assignment: Kitchen remodel by Cross

17 10 2015

Cross Beige Kitchen© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





On Assignment: Kitchen remodel by Cross

17 10 2015

Nunn Kitchen© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Hearing Loss Magazine, September/October 2015 issue

7 09 2015

Sarah Wegley graces the cover of the September/October 2015 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, which is published bimonthly by the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). Sarah is a librarian and was a Strategic Communications Intern at HLAA earlier this summer. She recently received her MA in Communications. We had a fun photo shoot at a local library in Alexandria for her feature article in this issue. Special thanks to my friend and long-time HLAA volunteer, Hollace Goodman, for assisting on the shoot. Check out Sarah’s blog here: http://speakuplibrarian.blogspot.com.

Sarah Cover

Speak Up Librarian, by Sarah Wegley

Until nine years ago, I had no idea I had a hearing loss. I assumed the quiet world I knew was the same one everyone experienced. I don’t really know when my hearing started to fade, but my blissful ignorance came to an abrupt end the day I missed an alarm bell ringing at work. Yes, it took a loud and embarrassing wake-up call to get my attention.

I was at the library calmly going about my business at the information desk when an emergency exit door on a far wall was opened by accident triggering a steady high-pitched noise. Because the key for turning the alarm off was kept at the information desk, it was up to me to go turn it off, but I didn’t because I could not hear it.

After the alarm continued sounding for several minutes, a supervisor came to see what was happening. She did not realize I could not hear the noise. Even worse, I didn’t realize I could not hear the screaming noise! As I walked with her toward the exit door, I began to hear the sound but it wasn’t as jarring and uncomfortable as it had been in the past. Something was wrong. I called an ENT office for an appointment as soon as my desk shift was over.

The doctor saw me the next day and ordered a hearing test. When the results showed I had permanent hearing loss and needed hearing aids, I was stunned. How could this be? I was only 40 years old with no family history of hearing loss. Despite my shock, I immediately ordered a pair of hearing aids. There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to do all I could to hear and continue working.

Confirming My Hearing Loss—The Misadventure

Getting used to my hearing aids and accepting my new identity as a person with hearing loss proved challenging for me. I decided to get a second opinion which is generally a reasonable action to take. In my case I ended up getting undeniable confirmation that I did not hear as well as I thought. However, that knowledge didn’t come from the ENT; it came from my own misadventure.

I had never been to this doctor before and was unfamiliar with his waiting room setup. When my name was called at the exact time of my appointment, I was impressed. The nurse called out my first name “Sarah” and when I approached, she remarked, “The doctor’s going to see what the problem is.” That sounded reassuring. Then, she led me into an examining room which looked surprisingly like my optometrist’s. Hmmm, I thought to myself, maybe he has to share his office space because his is being remodeled…. The nurse left the room before I had a chance to ask.

Next thing I knew there was a small commotion in the hallway. Even though I wasn’t wearing hearing aids, I could discern someone saying, “You called my name.” Uh-oh. I went out to investigate. I found the nurse speaking with another woman and a doctor.

I asked the nurse if she had said, “Sarah.”

“No, I said Vera,” she replied.

Oops. The doctor turned to me and said, “Are you here to see the hearing doctor?” I nodded.

“Good!” he replied.

Crushed, I returned to the waiting room hoping no one there was aware of my faux pas. As it turned out, the doctor I had come to see was running behind schedule and I was too impatient to wait more than an hour. I told the receptionist untruthfully that I would reschedule my appointment. I couldn’t wait to get out of there! I never returned, choosing instead to stay with my original ENT.

After that fiasco, I had to admit to myself I truly had a hearing loss and needed to get on with adjusting to life with hearing aids. I found I had many questions as a new hearing aid wearer. As helpful as my audiologist was, I often felt unsure about things between office visits. I longed to know if what I was experiencing was normal. One of my greatest worries was what the outlook would be for my future. Would I be able to continue working? Would I lose all my hearing within a short time?

Sarah in SweaterTurning Online for Help and Finding HLAA

I didn’t know anyone in the same situation who I could talk to about these concerns. I turned to the Internet to learn more about living with hearing loss. There I discovered people sharing stories and advice on websites, forums, and personal blogs. I began to relax once I found others online who were coping with hearing loss.

Eventually, I realized I could not keep what I was learning to myself. As a librarian, I wanted to help others find this information so they would not feel as lost as I did initially. I decided to share the resources I discovered along with my funny hearing mistakes on my own blog. Thus, began my new persona as “Speak Up Librarian, the hard of hearing librarian who will never tell you s-h-h-h.” I had no idea at the time how my blog writing would change my life.

At first, all my friends with hearing loss were people I knew online, mainly other bloggers I met through DeafRead (deafread.com). Then, I learned about the Hearing Loss Association of America and found a nearby chapter that hosted their meetings in a library where I used to work. Since I knew right where the place was, there was no excuse for me not to go. Attending my very first meeting I knew I had come to the right place. When I entered the meeting room, the greeter looked directly at me when she spoke. I found a seat next to Julie, a woman around my age who also wore a hearing aid. She and I became friends and discovered we had more in common than hearing loss.

Through my involvement with the HLAA Northwest Indiana Chapter, I made more friends and took my first baby steps in advocacy. One of the desires this group had was to increase access to open-captioned films at a local theater. We became inspired to pursue this goal after hosting a chapter meeting with speakers from Fifth Freedom (fifthfreedom.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping disability support groups learn how to make a difference in their local areas. I wrote a letter to the theater manager requesting more showings than the two per month on weeknights that were currently available. I explained that without captions, I missed parts of the movie dialog and that I wanted to be able to attend a film on a weekend with my family.

Experiencing Accessible Theater

I never received a response to my letter; but that did not deter me from promoting open-captioned movies on my blog and learning about other communication accessible theater options like Rear Window® Captioning and closed-captioning devices. One exciting evening I went into Chicago with my newfound support group friends to see a play. At the theater, we had two captioning options available to us—looking at the script projected onto a side wall or looking down onto a portable closed-captioning device on a stand placed on the floor by your seat. Julie and I took one of the stands and positioned it between our seats so we could try out both options and see which we liked better.

Even though it was annoying to have to turn my head to see the words on the wall, I found I could not stop reading them. I told myself the volume was loud enough that I could just watch the action on stage but I found myself watching the words nonetheless. It was so much easier than having to listen and figure out what was said! I didn’t like reading the much smaller print on the portable device and its brightness level also bothered me. However, Julie preferred this captioning option so I was glad we had given it a try. This experience and others with captioning at live performances and the movies reinforced for me what a difference it made to my enjoyment of theater when I was able to read the dialog and understand what was being said.

Sarah with bookThe ABCs of a Big Idea

A few years later, I took my advocacy efforts to a higher level. In 2012, I spearheaded a national campaign called Show Us the Captions to educate people about the new closed-captioning equipment (Sony’s Entertainment Access Glasses and the Dolby CaptiView Closed Caption Viewing System) available at movie theaters.

My big idea was along the lines of the Great American Smoke-out sponsored by the American Cancer Society: What would happen if people all over the United States with hearing loss went out to the movies on the same day and requested communication access? 

At the time, I was unaware of HLAA national and chapter activities in promoting cinema captioning, including work with major theater chains, but I knew there had been past lawsuits to require theaters to provide this access. I wanted to be part of a second wave of advocacy of getting people out to the theaters to:

A.  Use the devices that had been acquired.

B. Show the theater staff what the faces of hearing loss look like.

C. Express appreciation for the improved accessibility.

I chose to plan the event for a date in November, a month with a holiday associated with thankfulness and spending time with family and friends.

The first cinema I chose for the project was located a 30-minute drive from my home. This was because when I started the campaign I had no idea that my own neighborhood theater had CaptiView devices available. Once I learned this I realized the word was not getting out to the public if someone as informed on the subject as I was had not known this. I became even more motivated to spread the news.

Getting Others Involved

To make my Show Us the Captions event a national one, I partnered with Lauren E. Storck, Ph.D., of Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning (ccacaptioning.org). Together, we worked at getting individuals and organizations across America involved. I created a Facebook page, flyers, a slideshow, a publicity website, and a Google map showing participating theaters. Lauren posted updates on the CCAC website and our Show Us the Captions Facebook page. Both of us answered many emails from people who were interested in joining us.

Over time we expanded the idea from people coming out on a single day to any time during the month of November so we could increase the number of people involved. One group even used the first week of December. Within the Chicagoland area, I organized six locations for November 17, 2012, with the help and support of the Association of Late-Deafened Adults Chicago Chapter and the HLAA Lincoln Park Chapter.

Ultimately, Show Us the Captions had participation in the United States from California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia. Because CCAC is an international organization, we also had people join in from France, England, and Australia. Hundreds of people engaged with this advocacy campaign! This fascinated me so much I wrote my first graduate school research paper on the potential of websites and social media for nonprofit organizations’ advocacy communication.

Wanting to Learn More about Communication Behavior

Concurrent with my work on Show Us the Captions, I had started graduate school at the university where I worked. I became inspired to go back for a master’s degree in communication studies after reading Bruno Kahne’s Lessons of Silence. In this article, Kahne describes his unique training program that uses people who are deaf to teach corporate executives how to communicate more effectively. They don’t do this by learning sign language. Instead, Kahne and his trainers teach better interaction behaviors that are common in Deaf culture.

After reading about Kahne’s work, I realized the significance of the behavioral changes I had made and continue to make as I face communication challenges on a daily basis. I began to consider how experiencing hearing loss had made me become a more attentive and strategic listener.

For example, if I am going to a work meeting, I make sure to arrive early so I can figure out the best seat for acoustics. For a lecture this is often a front row seat directly in front of the speaker; but in a small group session, it might be sitting closest to the person who called the meeting or next to the person with the softest voice. Reading the script of a play in advance is another habit that helps my comprehension. When traveling, I prepare myself for new situations by looking at websites to familiarize myself with background information. This makes me feel more comfortable knowing what I can expect when I arrive.

When communicating interpersonally, I have learned that most people speak on subjects important to themselves. I need to be cognizant of this because my brain will often make hearing mistakes if I assume people are talking about what is uppermost in my mind at the time.

Here are a few examples of my mishearing: fat and accurate instead of fast and accurate, bad eggs instead of mayonnaise, and A-bomb instead of Avon. For a listener with hearing loss, it’s easy for a conversation to go astray.

By returning to school, I hoped to further my knowledge of communication dynamics as well as to hone my writing and speaking skills so I could be a more effective advocate. This past semester, I combined these interests when I created a workshop on “How to Communicate Effectively with Adults Who Have Hearing Loss” for my Communication Training class. One of my primary goals was for participants to experience what hearing loss sounds like. I thought this could increase their understanding of the listening challenges involved. On the day of my presentation, I had a great turnout with 19 people attending. My target audience was hearing people and eight of my attendees were friends and family members of people with hearing loss. Because CART was provided, their loved ones with hearing loss could attend with them. Feedback from the participants showed their workshop experience had been meaningful and helpful which made all the work I had put into developing it worthwhile.

Sarah with DogInterning at the HLAA Office in Bethesda

This summer I had the marvelous opportunity of volunteering at the HLAA office in Bethesda, Maryland, as a communications intern. I will receive six hours of college credit upon my completion of 180 hours of service, submission of a comprehensive internship report, and presentation to my peers and professors. HLAA does not have an official internship program in place, but I made arrangements with Executive Director Anna Gilmore Hall for working there when I attended Convention 2014 in Austin. I’m glad I made that request because my experience in the Washington, D.C. area has been an incredibly enriching one.

In addition to my daily work of copy editing, writing, and researching, I participated in a staff meeting where Convention 2015 was reviewed. I also had some enjoyable times outside the office touring Gallaudet University with HLAA staff member Lisa Devlin; making a pilgrimage to the Library of Congress with HLAA volunteer Hollace Goodman, visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where I met military therapy dogs, Annie and Archie; and attending two celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

(Photo below, right: HLAA Executive Director Anna Gilmore-Hall, Sarah Wegley, and Barbara Kelley, Editor-in-Chief of Hearing Loss Magazine and Deputy Executive Director of HLAA.)

HLAA StaffYou might be wondering what is next for me. When I complete my degree, I want to make a career change. Last year, I was asked where I hoped to be five years from then. I responded, ‘I see myself working full-time devoting my energy and creativity toward making the world more accessible for people with hearing loss. I want to work with great people for a cause I strongly believe in.’ HLM

Sarah Wegley, M.L.S., is a library operations associate for Digital Metadata and Web Services at Governors State University. She is responsible for management of the university repository, digital collections, library website, and library portal site. She has a master’s degree in Library Science from Indiana University and expects to complete her second master’s degree in Communication Studies in spring 2016. She lives in Chicago Heights, Illinois, with her husband, Rob, and two golden retrievers, Blondie and Melody. They have one son, Charlie, who is serving in the military. Sarah has been writing about hearing loss since 2006 on her blog, Speak Up Librarian. Contact her by email at speakuplibrarian@yahoo.com.





Laurel in white

2 09 2015

From my 35mm slide archives…the lovely Laurel, circa 90s

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Laurel in White





Moss-covered lava rocks in south Iceland

17 08 2015

From the Iceland archives (June 2014), moss-covered lava rocks in south Iceland. This place was hauntingly beautiful—I felt like I was on another planet! I love the light in this shot—storm clouds in the distance, sunlight breaking through in the foreground.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

MossyRocksVertical





Seen & Heard: Larry Herbert

8 07 2015

Larry Herbert is profiled in the Seen & Heard column of the July/August 2015 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, published by the Hearing Loss Association of America. I photographed Larry at Convention 2012 in Providence, Rhode Island.

LARRY HERBERT, Richmond, Virginia
Born May 24 in Portsmouth, Virginia. Larry says, “I’m a Baby Boomer!

Larry joined HLAA in 2010 and has been a member of the Augusta, Georgia and Central Virginia, and Greater Richmond, Virginia Chapters.

Larry S&H

MY HEARING LOSS…moderate-to-severe sensorineural hearing loss, from my maternal grandmother’s side of the family. I first realized my hearing loss when I was in my 40s, and I have worn wear hearing aids for about 15 years.

SAGE ADVICE FOR SOMEONE NEWLY-DIAGNOSED WITH HEARING LOSS…go to hearingloss.org and read HLAA’s materials on getting hearing aids. Get a copy of your hearing test so you can
shop around.

TECHNOLOGY I USED 25 YEARS AGO…sitting in the front row when I was in graduate school

TECHNOLOGY I USED 15 YEARS AGO…texting with my father, who couldn’t communicate with me over the phone. He used a pager dedicated to texting.

TECHNOLOGY I USE TODAY…hearing loops, personal FM system, Bluetooth streamer

TECH DREAMS…a smartphone with a telecoil; accurate, real-time, voice-to-text translation for captioning; teleaudiology with my audiologist, including remote tweaks; wireless, automatic charging of my devices by harnessing the electric power already in my home; a “universal ear”

TECH PET PEEVES…the high cost of hearing aids, hearing health care professionals clueless about the benefits of telecoils and hearing loops

IN YOUR DREAMS…a dance with Julianne Hough or Cheryl Burke (from “Dancing with the Stars”)

FUNNY HEARING LOSS MOMENT…I thought someone had stolen my golf clubs when they had fallen unnoticed (and unheard) off the back of my cart.

BUCKET LIST…participate in Starkey’s Hearing Foundation mission, join the Peace Corps

BEST THING ABOUT BEING AN HLAA MEMBER…the annual HLAA Convention—getting to know HLAA members and leaders, the workshops, exhibits, and visiting different parts of the country

TECHNOLOGY FAILED ME WHEN…thinking a hardware upgrade would have no effect on setting up remote captioning for my chapter meeting—WRONG!—then frowns from my fellow chapter members

TECHNOLOGY MADE ME CHEER WHEN…I texted with my nearly deaf father before I had the Palm Treo, the Blackberry, and the iPhone.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?…a Major League Baseball player

FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY…summer vacations at the beach, listening to the sounds of Ricky Nelson

IF YOU COULD SIT NEXT TO SOMEONE ON AN AIRPLANE WHO WOULD IT BE?…the late Arthur Ashe, tennis champion and humanitarian

SOUNDS YOU LOVE…beach, blues, and country music

SPARE TIME…I dance—Carolina Shag, West Coast Swing, and the Hustle.

PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED THAT…I was a teacher’s union executive and a tennis instructor.

MY FRIENDS WOULD SAY I AM…congenial, curious, and compassionate.

I SIMPLY CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT…books, chocolate, my iPhone, iPad, dancing and hearing assistive technology.

MY THREE FAVORITE POSSESSIONS…sunglasses, La-Z-Boy, and my iPad

THESE DAYS I’M LEARNING…some ballroom dances—rumba and foxtrot.

HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED?…a good friend and father

MY GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT…two great sons

“I love the personal stories about members in Hearing Loss Magazine. Give me more readable (lay person perspective) tech articles and edginess—you asked!”





The Traveling Water Lily Forever Stamps Project / Installment #11

24 06 2015

For Installment #11, at the top we have my friends Gay White (Little Rock, AR) and her sister Wanda Titterington (O’Fallon, IL), and friend/fellow photographer Ruth Ann Lowery (Arlington, VA).

My friend Betty Ferguson continues to recruit stamp collectors, beginning with Joanne, Joey, Leonard, Mary, Sue #1 and Sue #2, and Tom (all from Denton, TX).

THE ONES TO BEAT TO WIN A FREE GALLERY-WRAP CANVAS: Sue Cummings Titterington (27), Kaarvand Ferguson Betty (24), Steve Stroupe (14), Kathy Muchemore (7), Judy Schefcick Martin (7), Martha Biz (7), and James F. Williams (5).

Installment #11 flat





The Traveling Water Lily Forever Stamps Project / Installment #10

16 06 2015

Thanks to all the participants who continue to submit to my “Traveling Water Lily Forever Stamps Project.”

For Installment #10, my friend Betty Ferguson continues to recruit stamp collectors: this time, her “grandbiscuits” Cameron (Fort Worth, TX), Brian (Fort Worth, TX) and Chase (Denton, TX).

My FB friend Diane Berkenfeld sent her trusty gnome out for the task (Melville, NY).

The next 14 fine folks (including two from “across the (water lily) pond!) were collected by my FB friend (that guy in the water lily baseball cap) Steve Stroupe (McCalla, AL): Ellery Curtis (Hoover, AL), Charlie Curtis (Hoover, AL), Olivia Curtis (Hoover, AL), Steve’s son Daniel Stroupe (Tuscaloosa, AL), Motel McCready (Gulf Shores, AL), Karen Thatcher (Indianpolis, IN), Sonia Cruz (San Antonio, TX), Trevor Cole (Manea, England), Tammy Craver (Atlanta, GA), Nymphaea ‘Colorado’ (College Station, TX), Viktoria Clark (Chatteris, England), Nelumbo ‘Maggie Bell Slocum’ (Franklin, NC) and Joseph Dewberry (New Market, TN).

Rounding out Installment #10 is my friend Marisa Sarto (Los Angeles, CA).

Installment #10





Save the date—Saturday, July 11

12 06 2015
Water Lily Stamps lorez

DC/VA/MD FRIENDS! Mark your calendars for the annual Lotus Asian Cultural Festival at Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens on Saturday, July 11.

FOR MY PHOTOGRAPHER FRIENDS: the park opens at 7:00 a.m. (yes, that’s early but it’s also most likely to be less crowded AND a tiny bit cooler temp-wise).

JOIN ME FOR SOME PHOTO TIPS! I’ll be giving a brief photo workshop/tips & tricks session from 9:00-9:30ish.

THE FESTIVAL officially kicks off at 10:00, followed by a Water Lily Stamp Dedication Ceremony at about 10:20.

BUY SOME STAMPS! The USPS will have a mobile postal store by the curb at the entrance to the park where they will be selling the Water Lily Forever Stamps (in case your local post office doesn’t have them available). Be sure to buy some, take a selfie holding them and send them to me via email or FB so you can be part of my ever-growing Traveling Water Lily Forever Stamps Project!
A HEAD’S UP: Water lilies and Lotus like to bloom during the HOTTEST period of summer, so dress cool, wear a hat, bring water, cover yourself in sunscreen and stay cool!




Monarch on zinnia

1 06 2015

Just uncovered this never-before-shared gem from my archives—overlooked in the cull of hundreds of butterfly images from the Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD a few years ago.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

MonarchLightPinkZinnia





Seen & Heard: Dave and Carrie Welter

29 05 2015

Dave and Carrie Welter are profiled in the Seen & Heard column of the May/June 2015 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, published by the Hearing Loss Association of America. I photographed Dave and Carrie in Austin at Convention 2014.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Dave&Carrie

DAVE WELTER   Augusta, Georgia / Born August 7, 1936 in Lorain, Ohio

MY HEARING LOSS…I don’t have a significant hearing loss.

I FOUND OUT ABOUT HLAA…from my wife, Carrie.

SAGE ADVICE FOR SOMEONE NEWLY-DIAGNOSED WITH HEARING LOSS…Join a chapter of HLAA and learn all you can learn.

DISADVANTAGES OF HEARING LOSS…it separates you from the real world.

ADVANTAGES OF HEARING LOSS…You don’t have to sit through boring lectures.

BEST THING ABOUT HLAA…information available on the website

I LIKE BEING INVOLVED IN AN HLAA CHAPTER BECAUSE…I am able to help people with hearing loss communicate better.

FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY…driving a 1935 John Deere tractor when I was five

THE BEST GIFT…my wife

THE FIRST THING I BOUGHT WITH MY OWN MONEY WAS…a college education.

THE HARDEST THING I’VE EVER DONE WAS…say good-bye to my 16-year-old brother when he died.

HOBBIES…wood-turning, fishing, vehicle restoration, historical preservation, etc.

MY LITTLE KNOWN TALENT IS…turning wood trash into treasures.

I WISH I HAD A TALENT FOR…playing the piano.

I HAVE A WEAKNESS FOR…good beer.

I COLLECT…wood stumps, burls, walnut, cherry and any other beautiful wood.

IF I HAD TO DO IT ALL OVER, I WOULD…become more focused on my family.

YOU’VE WON A $1,000 SHOPPING SPREE TO A FAVORITE STORE…I would go to Highland Woodworking in Atlanta and buy woodworking tools.

FIVE JOBS I’VE HAD…mix mud for a plasterer, dig ditches for a plumber, lay brick, cut trees, and professor of cellular biology and anatomy

MY FRIENDS SAY I AM…can’t divulge that

BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD…my one-way wood lathe

I HAVE A FEAR OF…not getting my chores done.

EVER MEET ANYONE FAMOUS?…President Eisenhower

MY LONG-TERM GOAL IS…to live to 114.

I’M CRAVING…a Red Bull.

GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT?…taught a lot of students human anatomy

_________________________________________

CARRIE WELTER

Augusta, Georgia / Born August 21, 1942 in Statesboro (Bulloch County) Georgia

MY HEARING LOSS…I inherited it from my father. When I was in the fourth grade a hearing test revealed a mild hearing loss, although I probably had it from birth. In my mid-thirties I got my first hearing aids and now have bilateral cochlear implants.

I FOUND OUT ABOUT HLAA…I got a notice about a chapter meeting in nearby Aiken, South Carolina, with Pat Pennington as the organizer. I truly found my place.

SAGE ADVICE FOR SOMEONE NEWLY-DIAGNOSED WITH HEARING LOSS…Acknowledge it, accept it, join HLAA and do all you can to communicate with others.

DISADVANTAGES OF HEARING LOSS…misunderstandings, loss of communication

ADVANTAGES OF HEARING LOSS…selective hearing—great excuse!

BEST THING ABOUT HLAA…meeting others with hearing loss and their families and friends

I LIKE BEING INVOLVED IN AN HLAA CHAPTER BECAUSE…I can help people with hearing loss at the local level, one-on-one.

FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY…happy family gatherings eating boiled peanuts, drinking Coca-Cola® in the hot summer, swimming in the river and eating fried chicken on our river picnics

MY FIRST MEMORY OF BEING REALLY EXCITED WAS…learning to swim at the river at age four.

THE BEST GIFT…my cochlear implants

THE FIRST THING I BOUGHT WITH MY OWN MONEY WAS…a 1963 Comet.

I LOVE THE SOUND OF…birds, which I can now hear with my cochlear implants.

IN MY SPARE TIME…I never seem to have any

I MOST DEFINITELY AM NOT…an artist.

HOBBIES…scrapbooking, gardening and hiking

I WISH I HAD A TALENT FOR…playing the piano.

FAVORITE PLACE TO BE…the mountains with their splendor

FIVE PLACES I’VE LIVED…just Georgia

FIVE JOBS I’VE HAD…Christmas wrapper, 45-rpm vinyl record salesperson, library clerk, English teacher and school media specialist

MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME…about God.

MY FATHER TAUGHT ME…to be honest.

GET ANYTHING GOOD IN THE MAIL LATELY?…Hearing Loss Magazine

BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD…my cochlear implants

I HAVE A FEAR OF…the unknown.

I REALLY SHOULD…stop and smell the roses.

I SIMPLY CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT…my Dave.

THREE FAVORITE POSSESSIONS…my sight, my hearing, and my mind

MY MOTTO IS…serve others.

GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT? learning that I am not defined by my hearing loss—my hearing loss has made me stronger





The Traveling Water Lily Forever Stamps Project / Installment #7

27 05 2015

Thanks to all the participants who continue to submit to my “Traveling Water Lily Forever Stamps Project.”

For Installment #7, we have (hairy) Harry White (Little Rock, AR); friend Betty Ferguson (Denton, TX); Ashley Polk-Sutherlin (owner/artist at Stephano’s Fine Art Gallery, Little Rock, AR); Dolly Parton (Pigeon Forge, TN), new FB friend Paula Biles, owner of About the Lotus, http://www.aboutthelotus.com/ (Bradenton, FL); owner/artist Stephano Sutherlin of Stephano’s Fine Art Gallery (Little Rock, AR); Eual (Hoquiam, WA); Harry & his mother, Gay White​—my friend Sue Cummings‘ aunt and Former First Lady of Arkansas—(Little Rock, AR); friend Debbi and her brother Paul (South Pittsburg, TN); friends Joe and Karen Wyatt (Alexandria, VA); friend and fellow Emmylou Harris fan Jim Slattery​ (Washington, D.C.); garden and lifestyle TV personality/author P. Allen Smith at his Moss Mountain Farm outside Little Rock, AR; Lori (Tacoma, WA); Marge (Hoquiam, WA); friends Pam, Nancy and Ft Eyre​ (Hot Springs Village, AR) at Moss Mountain Farm this past week; friend and fellow photographer Alex Solla (Trumansburg, NY); Teddy (at Moss Mountain Farm in AR); friend and HLAA member Molly Corum​ (Tampa, FL); and finally—during his whirlwind trip around the world in Great Britain, Paris and Italy (without even leaving Vegas!)—my longtime friend (met him in the first days of AOL a gazillion years ago!) Bret Keisling​ (Harrisburg, PA)

Installment #7 smaller





The Traveling Water Lily Forever Stamp Project / Installment #6

20 05 2015

Thanks to all the participants who continue to submit to my “Traveling Water Lily Forever Stamps Project.”

For Installment #6, we have Dan (Texas), whom I met through FB and who happens to be wearing a really cool shirt with giant koi on it (how’s that for a nod to ponds?); my cousin Deanna (Georgia); my friend Hollace (Maryland); Joni (Couers Fleurs Farm in Kentucky)—I met Joni’s brother, Gary, when I was photographing one morning at Kenilworth and now I’m FB friends with him, Joni and her husband, Ed (all of whom have beautiful gardens that I want to photograph); Tammy (Georgia)—who is my cousin Deanna’s best friend AND, after some family history research last year, I have discovered that Tammy’s husband Darrell is actually my cousin, so that makes Tammy not just a friend but a cousin-in-law! (Is there such a thing?); Tammy used the stamps today on mail for their family business, Merritt Heating & Cooling; and last, but certainly not least, Elizabeth (Texas), whom I met on FB.

Installment #6





Elise and Jackie

8 05 2015

The lovely Elise Williams and Jackie grace the cover of the May/June 2015 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine! I photographed Elise and her family (father James, mother Irma, sister Tess and brother-in-law Chris) in San Antonio, TX earlier this year.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

HLM MayJune 2015 Cover





Waterlily stamps featured in Washington Post gardening column today!

9 04 2015

(Reposting due to glitch in link!)

Author Adrian Higgins writes about his pond and references the waterlily stamps in today’s gardening column in the Washington Post! Click on the link below to read the entire column.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/is-having-a-fish-pond-worth-the-effort-yes/2015/04/07/3726c5b8-d8b5-11e4-8103-fa84725dbf9d_story.html

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 12.07.27 PM





It’s that time again! Revisiting “How to Grow Your Garden Photography Skills”

5 04 2015

It’s that time again! Time to get out your camera (and your macro lens, if you’re fortunate to have one!) and get out in the garden to start capturing images of early spring flowers. (And if you don’t have a tripod, please get one. As much as you may not like toting one around, they are instrumental in capturing really sharp macro images; trust me on this!)

In my front yard garden, I already have purple crocus in bloom and the Hellebores have been blooming since February (hardy and eager plants, those Hellebores!). The tulips will probably be in bloom in a couple of weeks.

In September 2011 I was interviewed and featured on the Nikonusa.com website about photographing gardens. Since the weather is getting warmer every day and early spring flowers are making their appearance in our part of the country, I thought I’d share the article and accompanying photos with you again! Click on the link below:

http://www.nikonusa.com/Learn-And-Explore/Photography-Techniques/gr35ffdt/all/How-To-Grow-Your-Garden-Photography-Skills.html





Ruby (aka Roswell or Lemur Eyes)

4 04 2015

From the 2013 archives—this is my sister Debbie’s younger cat, Ruby. I prefer to call her “Roswell” (isn’t it obvious why?) or “Lemur Eyes” (again, obvious). I also call her “Alien Eyes.”

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

LemurEyes lorez