Friday, April 20, 2012

Nerd Alert, Nerd Alert

         This morning I was glancing over my browser headlines, when I stumbled across this interesting article. It's about a woman regaining her voice after a significant trauma 35 years ago. If you have some time, take a few minutes to read it. Sometimes, I'm simply amazed at the quality of life with all of the advances in technology. 

Silenced for 35 years by a crushing injury to her throat, Jan Christian is regaining her voice, thanks to several complex surgeries and some jet-engine technology.

But the Kentucky woman isn’t simply speaking for the first time since she was a teenager. She’s singing in her church choir. She’s giving her dog commands. And she’s re-learning the art of tact: words that enter her mind should not always flow out of her mouth.

“I’m still trying to swallow the fact that I can talk, that people can hear me - I sometimes have to pull my foot out of my mouth now. You know: ‘Oops, I said that out loud?,” Christian told Her new voice is hoarse and raspy but clear and gaining strength.

         Her original voice was lost – she thought forever – when a car in which she was riding rammed into a telephone pole, causing Christian’s head to jerk forward and her neck to collide with the dashboard. The impact flattened the cartilage enveloping her vocal cords, preventing the cords from vibrating via normal airflow, blocking the cords from making noise.Since her accident at age 17, Christian only could mouth words or communicate through hand signals and facial expressions. About two years ago, a stranger in a grocery store heard her struggling to speak and handed her a business card for Dr. Sid Khosla, an otolaryngologist and head of the Voice and Swallowing Center at the University of Cincinnati, first reported.She soon allowed Khosla to examine her throat with a scope.
          Several weeks later – after Christian “made a list of the pros and cons” of doing the surgery – Khosla transplanted muscle and fat from the inside of Christian’s cheek to rebuild the vocal cords in her neck. He has performed that procedure about 25 times, according to media reports. His medical aim was to allow air to glide over those revamped cords. And, according to his patient, Khosla’s theoretical model for that vocal blueprint:  a powerful airplane.

        “The doctor learned how to do this procedure by studying jet engines – how the air flows inside of those engines,” she said.
        After the operation, Christian had to remain silent for eight months to allow her restored throat to heal. Later, Khosla teamed Christian with a speech therapist at University Hospital in Cincinnati.
“It was the therapist’s first day on the job. Dr. Khosla said, ‘Make her talk.’ So I think she was kind of stressed. No pressure or anything,” Christian recalled with a giggle. “The first thing I could really do was just make the sound, ‘eeee,’ I couldn’t get a word out at that point.” As she slowly re-learned how to move air over her vocal cords and control her breaths, her first words finally came – in the form of a question: “Did you hear that?” she asked the therapist.
      “It used to be very painful to speak. There’s no pain now,” says Christian, 53, a resident of Alexandria, Ky. “In that moment of my first words, you have every feeling in the book. There’s joy and happiness. And you’re scared. Just everything all at once. Your emotions rise all at once. And then all you can do is cry.
“I didn’t realize it would be such a hard road to learn to talk again,” she added. “But my doctor said there’s no reason why my voice shouldn’t continue to get stronger.”
       On Easter, she sang her in church choir. Now, she is taking singing lessons with a coach who is teaching her more about air placement and air control in order to improve her musical pitch and delivery. As evidence of her fresh vocal muscles, she paused during a phone interview Wednesday to scold her dog.
“Drop it! Drop it!” Christian said. “Oh, he’s got a bug in his mouth. I hope it’s not poisonous. Drop it!! OK, he dropped it.”

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Awkward-Awesome Thursday...

 Oh, hey friends.
 It's been so long since we've talked. And I've really missed you! Work, work, work has kept me feeling like some crazed bumble bee you can't swat- buzzing around all over the place. But, now that I have a minute, let's catch up, shall we?


- Attempting to drink a gulp of Mtn. Dew but having it just run out of your mouth. Whilst others watch you.  Yes, a fine example of motor planning, indeed.

- Christian Grey. See also: Awesome.

- Learning that some things are completely beyond my grasp and beyond my control. This week, especially, has been profoundly trying. I feel like I'm on a beach, wearing my coconut bra and hula skirt, watching a tsunami wave grow and grow. Rising up to pelt the daylights out of me...But you know, sometimes, the only way to deal with things is not to run but just go right through them. Weather the storm as best as you can, and then pick up the banged up pieces later. I think I'll tighten my coconut bra straps tighter, now.


-Shhhhhhhhhh... Don't tell. Back around Christmas time, a good work pal and I popped into a local store. On a TOTAL whim, she grabbed a job application.  And then grabbed one for me, too. Apparently, I was to be her "wing man" and fill it out also. Well, we both got the job. Gulp. Was I looking for a 2nd job? No. Had I even considered doing anything else, even part-time? No. What's that you say? Where are we? I'm not sure I can tell you. But I'll let you guess. Here's a hint. It starts with an "A"........and rhymes with "Thropologie".

- Man, I am digging sequins lately. Yes, Tina-Turner-back-up-singer-Proud-Mary-Keep-on-Rolling sequins. I've wanted an all sequin T-shirt or blouse or... something for awhile, now. Just a little over the top bling. So when I found this sequin moto jacket from MJR sales, I knew it was perfect. And for 14.99? Bingo.

- A side note about MJR sales. This lady turned me onto the site. Basically, they take over all of Express' and Victoria's Secret's (and a few more brands) leftovers and re-sell. For a much cheaper price. My new moto jacket will be from Express. Bras, undies, shoes, dresses, men's, you name it. You just gotta dig around, though. You're welcome.

-No really... shhhhhh... shhhhhhh... if you are looking for a new book series: Fifty Shades of Grey. That's all I'll say.

-  From one of my sweet families, beautiful burnt orange tulips and a kind word, on the last day of therapy. It's the little things, I tell ya'.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Morning Indulgence: Everyday Hotel Luxury

Remember my good pal, Hillary, from Hillary Butler Fine Art? She has a re-occurring Monday theme about the little indulgences that we can ALL participate in and feel good about. Great idea, if you ask me.  She was so kind enough to invite me to post a week ago, so this week, I wanted a chance to return the favor. If you haven't done so, take a peek at her brilliant work! Take it away, friend...

Monday Morning Indulgence: Every Day Hotel Luxury
In my former job life, I coordinated an annual conference in which my husband and I got to stay at the opulent Peabody Hotel for a few evenings each spring. Once we stepped into our room, we were greeted with a fruit and cheese plates and champagne, a king-sized luxuriously soft bed with crisp white linens, and a spotless bathroom ready for a long soak in the deep claw foot tub. Each evening, I would sink into the world's most comfortable bed and not move until morning. Honestly, I looked forward to sleeping in that bed more than any other luxury at that hotel. And then we had to come home. After a few years of this bedding let down, I clued in to the fact that I too could posses the same luxuries in my bedroom that a five star hotel did. And so I went to work! I purchased a memory foam pad at a nearby Big Lots, bought 400 count white bed linens, fluffed my three, yes, three feather comforters, and moved my white duvet to the top comforter. My inspiration for the over-sized painting over the bed came from a hotel in San Francisco that featured rooms with over-sized dramatic paintings leaned against the walls, which transformed these tiny rooms into bold works of art that livened up the room in a huge way. My inspiration was the current watercolor print movement that blended into the ikat pattern that was emerging. I used bright turquoises and pops of cadmium as a bold contrast for this piece in the room. I now look forward to sinking into my bed each night without any twinges of sadness that I'm not at the Peabody. If only my bedroom came with room service, though...

Additional luxuries I like to add to my bedsides upon days I like to feel extra pampered:

Beautiful, Inspiring bedside reads such as the newly released Penguin Classics
  | Linens with a 400 Thread Count or higher (Egyptian Cotton is always a plus) | Small arrangements of fresh cut flowers. Look to your backyard for floral inspiration- even pretty greenery can suffice when you need a burst of freshness.

Thanks for the tips, Hillary. Here's hoping we can all make our beds a bit more luxurious!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I'm Shutter-ing: Part Deux

A few weeks ago, I attempted to share  a shutter project. A pal of mine was looking for a certain  je ne sais quoi over her....ahem.... toilet. With a good slap of gray paint, we knocked them out in no time. Now, TA-DA!  They are hanging up, making her loo ever so lovely!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Perhaps I'll Play, Too: April Photos

I stumbled across this the other day.

 As a habitual good sport, I think I'll play along, too. If anything, it will encourage me to actually use the camera on my phone. Welcome to the 21st century, Linds.

Day 1: Your reflection

In a rush for work, I randomly checked if this look "worked" together like it did in my head.
Do you do this, too?? No? Well..uh..ok then. Me neither.

Verdicts still out-  a bit bunched at the top and a bit nautical, but I kept it on anyway.

Day 2: Colour

..Or lack thereof. As you can see, I have a special place for nudes and pinks. They make me weak in the knees.

And because Picasa is being janky, that's all I got for now.

Nautical | Everybody, Everywear

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Break Wrap-Up

Spring Break, I miss you already.

Jerry's Sno Cone runs, middle of the night readings with my Santa Clause blanket over my head, over indulgent groceries and Beale St. after hours.

See you next year.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Looking for me??

...wait, that's not me.
I'm hiding over at Hillary's blog today. Hillary is a dear, old friend. I mean, we go w-a-y back. Think: white shoes and ankle socks in 1st grade Sunday School. A wickedly talented Memphis artist, she has a fan-TAB-ulous eye for art and style. Check her and her beautiful pieces out. I promise, you will love her, too!! 

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