Snow, where for art thou?

Global warming is such a touchy subject for the rich.  After all, people who try to save the planet are, in effect, stopping the rich from stuffing their pockets and bank vaults with funds from the benefits they reap, while destroying air, land and water.

Finland has barely seen snow in the last couple of years, compared to the mountains of it, which would appear in every outdoor area that was not covered by trees, when I first moved here from Australia.

The rooftops of all the homes around me do not have a single drop of snow on them, regardless that I live in the northern parts of Finland.  It worries me, especially now, that birds which are natural to Siberian regions, are currently being spotted here, in Finland, showing that even the coldest of places are being struck by heat-bug, which is Global Warming.

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I hope and pray that the backwards, inbred, thinking-challenged folks who believe that global warming is a myth (the rich who believe money out-values life, itself), wake up and smell the roses… but the way things are going, roses may also soon become a thing of the past.

To those of you, whose feelings have been hurt by these socially-sensitive comments, please empty your pockets, and recharge your soul at the door… as I slam it on your way out.

Love and peace,

Rosie xx

Deaf Awareness – Why it matters

Today, I was almost killed when a snow plow driver came within an inch of running over me at full speed.  As I jumped out of the way, I noted the frown on his face which slowly turned into a grin.  It brought back memories of the amount of times people have shoved me out of the way, assaulted me and generally assumed that I didn’t care enough about their lives to listen to them screaming, honking or venting.  Sadly, it doesn’t even occur to them that the person they are behaving so badly towards might actually be DEAF and not hear you.

Imagine living in a world without sound.  I am not bothered by the silence.  It is peaceful, and doesn’t stop me from communicating.  I use a computer to type, the internet highway to keep in contact with family, and ASL (American Sign Language) in the peace and safety of my own home when communicating with my hearing husband.  It is bliss.  The only time it becomes a nightmare is when other people find humour in roughly grabbing you from behind, silently shouting up close at your face as you smell their rancid breath, or even being assaulted and kicked off a bus because your ticket didn’t beep properly.

Even WITH sound in your life, those things would be rather daunting.  The only difference is that you would actually know what the hearing person’s adult tantrum was all about. For some reason, some people assume that if a person didn’t hear them, then that person is ignorant, arrogant and deserves pain, shame and humiliation.  We do not deserve any of those things.  Nobody does.

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When the incident happened this morning, the snow plow driver drove off while still grinning, not caring that the Deaf woman he had almost just killed out of sheer delight was still shaking in shock and fear at her front door.  I guess he had beeped his horn and I hadn’t heard.  Common sense would have told him to hit the brake, not the accelerator.  It would have told him to slow down, not speed up like a muppet with a stupid grin on his face.

Please, if you are speaking to somebody and they don’t hear you, don’t get up close and talk with your mouth wide so the person you are talking to can see and smell what you had for lunch.  Don’t push people forcibly out of the way because they didn’t ask you to let them by.  Don’t be one of those people who are selfish, arrogant, self-centred and more.  Use your head.  Use your brain.  Those of us who are Deaf cannot understand your anger or your determination to have fun at our expense.  We feel.  We laugh.  We cry.  The only thing we cannot do is hear.  Please respect us, so that we can respect you in return.

Happy new year, folks.

Rosie xx

Diabetic? Come to Finland to die.

Finland – a land of beauty, of stunning and unique animals which blow the mind and of the Midnight Sun.  Forever breath-taking to visit, Finland touts itself as being at the top of the ladder when it comes to human rights, education and health.  While this may be true for those they deem as “normal,” Finland once again shows its true colours in regards to their disabled, terminally ill, chronically ill and low income earning citizens.

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I first noticed the change in how the Finnish government treated me when I lost my hearing.  After dealing with a corrupt health system a few years back, by way of an Audiologist who was unable to determine the cause of my deafness, therefore decided that I was fine and able to hear, I was no longer treated like a valued member of society, but rather as a “We’d rather you not be seen nor heard from, as you are useless to us” Finnish citizen.  As a result, I wrote a book about the corruption and the disgrace that is Finnish health and human rights system.  I followed this up with a book for Late Deafened Adults (worldwide), titled How to Be Deaf, in order to prepare those  who lose their hearing later in life for what’s to come.  As a result, many Deaf people worldwide have expressed their thanks, nodding their heads in agreement that they have, indeed, suffered the same audism and surdophobia in their neck of the woods.

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As a Diabetic, I rely on lower priced, subsidised medications just to keep me alive.  Today, I am informed by KELA (the powers that be, who decide the fate of “insignificant gnats” like me) that my essential, life-saving medications are now my problem.  Not only am I a profoundly Deaf, legally blind Finnish citizen who is forced to work from home (I have been physically assaulted by a bus driver (I didn’t hear him speaking to me), must pay for my own interpreter at job interviews and no employer risks the extra burden of “broken” employees), but I am also a burden to the country because of my health.  Without my Diabetic medication, I end up back in hospital.  Most recently, my blood sugar dropped to 2.7, I was passed out (at school and at the hospital) and hospital staff had to warm up my body just so they could get my blood flowing enough to take my blood sugar numbers.  Yes, Diabetes is a life-threatening illness, which is affected by food, water, stress, illness and more.

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I am also a Chronic Asthmatic, and without my essential five-different-types-of-medication-per-day, I stop breathing.  The first time I developed pneumonia, I requested to have an oxygen tank at home for times when I simply cannot get enough oxygen into my body.  This request was immediately denied, as the powers that be worried that the Australian-Finn, bed-ridden at the time of the request, might use it to make a weapon.  Although I barely make it through each day and night due to severe breathing difficulties and I go through a lot of medication to try to keep my asthma at bay, I know it is just a matter of time before that letter arrives – where I must bear the cost of all those other medications – and when it does, this blog will tell the world the reason why I can post no more.

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Finland, you may treat your strong and healthy well when it comes to health services, but those of us who are Deaf and/or disabled are dropping like flies, thanks to your labelling us as of such little worth to your ideal, perfect human being.  Shame on you.

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Please understand that we are not all equal.  We are not all clones of your ideal human being.  Those of us who are Deaf simply cannot hear.  We can do anything you can do – sometimes even better than you can do it – but we do not hear sound.  Those of us who are disabled and require assistance to get through life, while doing everything we can to contribute to your “perfect way of life,” are forced to hide in the shadows.  We may not be athletes, we may not clean your home or cook your food or even service your cars, but we do contribute silently, working as hard as we can to ensure that your way of life is maintained.  The least you could do in return is allow us to survive.

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Please do not get me wrong.  Do I love my country and the people who live in it?  Yes, I do.  Do I love and respect the laws of this country?  Absolutely.  Have I learned the language and culture of your country in order that I do my absolute best to fit in with Finland’s way of life?  I surely have.  (Not so easy when you cannot hear).

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So please tell me this:

Why, when I am so ill, must I wait for an interpreter to become available in order to make a doctor’s appointment?  Why do doctors refuse to use a pen and paper when dealing with Deaf people?

Why must we bear the cost of our own medications, when pharmaceutical companies make the cost so incredibly high?  While you do not control that cost, surely you can absorb some or all of the cost, in order that we maintain our sub-standard way of living.

Why must Deaf and disabled tolerate the open discrimination of your bus drivers, nurses, doctors, so-called medical specialists and the powers that be?

When I was diagnosed as Deaf, I was threatened with deportation unless I agreed to be butchered with the forced surgery of a Cochlear Implant.  After standing up to the Audiologist who made this threat, and telling her I have chosen to learn sign language instead, she suddenly could not determine any reason for my deafness, deeming me fit and well with nothing wrong with my ears.

When I spoke too loud at KELA’s office in Tampere, I was threatened with police arrest if I did not leave immediately.  I am Deaf.  I cannot control how loud I speak, unless I forcibly whisper.  As I was at the office that day to BEG for the right to have a translator at doctor’s appointments, I was horrified.  The police of Finland, since that day, have advised me personally that they wish that they had been contacted – so they could’ve arrested the idiot who wanted a Deaf person arrested for speaking too loud in public.  

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I hope that you reconsider forcing the Deaf and disabled to bear their own costs of basic needs, whether it be in the form of translation, medication or human rights.  Please, Finland, become the country that you portray yourself as to the rest of the world – not just for those you pick and choose, but to the Deaf and disabled as well.

Terveisin and Regards,

Rosie

PS:  Regardless of your ill treatment of those of us who you see as less than perfect, I wish to take this opportunity to say Hyvää Joulua / Blessed Yule to you and your families.

A Cat Safe Christmas

Katzenworld

Now we are on the countdown to Christmas, many of us will be putting up the tree and decorations over the coming weeks. Your cat may also find this time of year very exciting and even come up with some novel games like “Climb the weird indoor sparkly tree”, “play with the pretty Christmas decorations” and “eat the lovely goodies that our humans thoughtfully left out for us“.

Veterinary practices usually see a big increase of poorly pets over the Christmas holidays, with illnesses ranging from stress and tummy upsets to more serious problems such as intestinal blockages and accidental toxin ingestion/poisonings.

Remember to check the holiday season opening times of your veterinary practice and who is providing emergency cover over night and on the bank holidays. If your cat needs medication or a prescription diet, make sure you have enough to last over the festive…

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How to Enjoy Working from Home When You’re a Cat Parent

Katzenworld

Around October 2014, my husband and I adopted an adorable gray and white kitten we named Arya. Around the same time, I started working from home as a writer.

Sure, my timing could have been better. It’s not easy to stay focused with a cute kitten running around. But it’s not impossible.

After two years of working from home, I’ve collected a few tips that ensure a more productive day, keep your cat from destroying expensive office equipment, and help you both enjoy each others company to the fullest.

1. Build scheduled play sessions into your day

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One of the perks of working from home with a cat is that you have your buddy with you all day.

But your cat probably doesn’t understand the concept of “work.” To her, you’re available full-time for games.

If you decide to ignore her natural instincts to play, expect trouble. Instead of playing…

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Pet Health Matters

There are so many pet owners around the world.  The responsible ones ensure their pets see a vet regularly, even if just annually for a checkup.  Sadly, many pet owners take for granted that the advice they are given at any veterinary surgery is gold, much to the suffrage of their pets.

As a veterinary nurse, I saw many animals rushed into the surgery due to neglect and abuse, but also encountered many who had suffered the ill effects of “advice” given by novices who are too embarrassed to simply admit that they do not know the answer, nor were willing to seek out advice from people who do.

Worming, for example.  Many people want the cheapest, quickest and easiest way to worm their pets.  They ask a receptionist, without giving the required information needed.  As a result, you might end up with a spot-on method of worming for cats.  This is fine if your home only has one cat, as spot-on is toxic and is applied between the shoulder blades of the cat, ensuring that they cannot reach that area and ingest it.  If you are a TWO cat household (or more), however, the only types of worming you should be seeking out are tablet form or paste (get ready to have your clothes and face covered in it when the cat spits it out).  While giving a tablet to a cat may not be as simple for new pet owners as giving a tablet to a dog would be, you can always book an appointment and ask a veterinary nurse to administer the tablet for you.  But you must always ensure you receive THE RIGHT ADVICE from the people who have been trained to give it.

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Some veterinary surgeries (although thankfully, not many) will actually offer ill advice, knowing that the pet owner will need to return for a remedy to bad reactions of what they have sold or offered in advice.  A friend of mine’s cat recently ingested spot-on worming treatment while bathing their litter mate, after which, the cat stopped eating, walked like a highly intoxicated drunk, could not be in places with light, etc.  My advice was to give both cats a bath IMMEDIATELY to remove the spot-on liquid from their fur, before advising her of the lethal effects of spot-on treatments in multiple pet households.  When the same vet was contacted the following day, it was recommended that the cat be brought in for blood tests, brain analysis, tests for organ failure… with prices through the roof.  Such veterinary surgeries should be shut down for willingly endangering the lives of animals in order to profit from the dangers they had introduced to the home.

My advice to all of you, regardless of the type of pet you have (whether furry, scaly or bald), is to ALWAYS do your homework.  Do not be afraid of second opinions.  And always be sure to give your vet or veterinary nurse ALL of the information, regardless how insignificant you might think it is.  If your pet has been sick in the past, has a family history of an illness, lives with another pet who has been sick in the past, or simply lives with other pets in the home… as well as whether your pet is indoors only or is permitted outside, a good vet will not get bored with your input.  They will make careful note and ensure that your pets receive the best advice and the best treatment, each and every time.

Blessed Yule to you all, and have a wonderful December 🙂

Rosie xx

Cat Adoption

Great advice for potential cat parents!

Katzenworld

Hi everyone,

Today we’ve got some important tips for you all from Andrew Bucher Chief Veterinary Officer at MedicAnimal:

There are couple of things which make this blog relevant to readers. Firstly, in November we begin to think about Christmas and what presents we can potentially buy for friends and family. There is also ‘National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week’, an opportunity to support the wonderful work that local shelters provide to unloved and uncared for animals. Finally, this November also saw the launch of the film release of ‘A Street Cat Named Bob’, a heart-warming and true story about homeless busker James Bowen and the relationship he strikes up with Bob, a stray cat.

There is an opportunity to adopt a pet at any time of year, but as a trained vet, I’m cautious to remind readers of the commitment and costs of buying or adopting around Christmas. I…

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I love the word “AWESOME”

I really love the word “AWESOME.”  The reason for this is quite simple, really.  It describes today.  My really awesome day.

With winter only a few weeks away, I have been feeling the blistering cold on my skin each time I walk to the front of the property to check the mail.  Likewise, when I sweep the terrace or rake the back yard, the wind makes me pick it up a notch or two.  After making things pretty, I sit and watch the wildlife gather.  This is something I am not quite used to, having lived for so long at the top of a high-rise apartment building.  Now that I live on ground level in Utsjoki, I get to see Finland from a whole new perspective.

For the past month, I have watched as red squirrels gather up the nuts I leave outside in the squirrel box.  They come down from the trees, run across the fields, climb up to their box and lift the lid (the front is thick transparent plastic so that the squirrels can see the nuts but the birds cannot steal them – not even the woodpeckers!), and they reach in and stuff their gob full of nuts.  With cheeks bulging, they run down to the ground, find a spot and bury their bounty.  At first, I thought this was pretty silly, especially when my friends and family in Finland said they are insane, since they can never find their nuts again after they do it.  But today, I discovered how wrong they were.

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While straightening up the dining room, I looked out the window and saw a squirrel.  Instead of sitting up on the squirrel box, he was sitting on the ground, digging to his heart’s content, and every little hole he dug produced a nut.  This little guy (whose fur is now going extremely grey due to the snow) gorged himself on the treats he had spent the previous month burying.  It was truly hypnotic to watch, and even the cats couldn’t stop staring.

Each time a sparrow, blue tit, yellow tit, magpie, duck or crow got too close while he was feasting, his tail would quickly and violently whip back and forth.  I remember just once, back in my hearing days, seeing that happen when I had inadvertently disrupted a squirrel on the ground.  I was walking from the bus stop to the apartment, not realising that there was a squirrel gathering up his buried nuts.  I walked past him too close (perhaps one metre away) when suddenly, from the corner of my eye, I saw a bright red, fluffy tail thrashing back and forwards as a very loud and angry chattering came from the beautiful little ball of fluff which had just run up a nearby tree.  It was the only time I have ever heard a squirrel, but that tail whipping still brings up the memory of that day.  The squirrel in the back yard today did quite a lot of tail whipping, scaring away any beast that came near it while it ate.

The other thing which blew my mind today was the speed at which tiny birds can eat sunflower seeds.  I discovered recently that sparrows and tits like those seeds even more than they like the big balls of fat, breadcrumbs and bird seed which go into their ball hanger (sorry if that gives men a painful visual – but I truly mean a wire spiral hanger which holds these balls that the tiny birds love to feast on).

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Until last week, I had been treating the birds to fat balls and bread crumbs.  I discovered that the larger birds enjoy the bread crumbs, while the smaller birds devoured the balls.  I then decided to load up the 1 litre hanger with sunflower seeds and hang them in a place above the garden where the falling seeds will happily grow into new sunflowers next spring.  One litre.  Seriously, I FILLED this container to the brim yesterday afternoon and hung it in just the right spot.  The sparrows and tits completely ignored the balls and went for the sunflower seeds, almost as if I had just produced the birthday cake at a party.  But this is not what surprised me the most.  This morning, the container was empty!  I thought it must have broken at the bottom so I went and checked.  No breakage.  Just lots of hungry birds, grateful for the super-yummy-licious snack.

As a large fresh bowl of water was on the ground, the squirrels and birds also quenched their thirst – something they will soon only be able to do with snow, as the temperature freezes the bowl of water each night.  I try to put it as far under the terrace awning as possible, though, in the hopes of prolonging the water’s unfrozen state.

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So this morning, I sat and watched my snow-filled yard as the wildlife feasted madly, not caring that on the other side of the triple-glazed windows were two cats and a human who were unable to stop staring at how amazingly awesome they are.

Rosie xx

How to avoid a car cat-astrophe

Katzenworld

The colder months are rolling in, which means that cats everywhere will soon be looking for warm, dry places to stay when they’re outdoors. Unfortunately, cars are often prime targets.

There have already been reports of cats climbing into engines this year. Back in June The Telegraph reported that a kitten had survived a 300-mile journey in a car’s bumper, at the beginning of September the BBC reported that a cat had survived a 60-mile trip under a van’s bonnet and, very recently, Lookers wrote about a customer who had found a cat in his engine.

Of course, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened, and it’s unlikely to be the last. But, there are a number of precautions you can take to stop your car from being involved in a similar catastrophe. Here are our tips.

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Provide an alternative source of shelter

Cats are only going…

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Twisted & Turned

Possibly the expressive, most accurately described way to convey just how it feels when you suffer from Depression, Agoraphobia with Panic Disorder, Social Phobia and PTSD. Throw in a wad of OCD and you are in damp cloth overload.

Navigating to Presence

Twisted and turned, first in one direction then the other, that is how you wring out a wash cloth.  Squeeze and turn as hard as you can and the water drips out, until you are left with a damp cloth.  That is how I feel on days when anxiety is high, I’m low from depression, and all my senses are in a heightened state from PTSD and panic.  From head to toe I feel like I’m being twisted and turned.

There is a sadness that underlies and amplifies these emotions and symptoms.  As I rive in pain, both physical and mental, from all the overwhelming emotions twisting and turning inside me,  the only release is the tears that fall; water from the wringing.  It leaves me as tired as that old damp cloth.

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