Thursday, September 23, 2004

Of Squeaky Voices... Burnt Toast... and Fire Alarms

Well, I found out last night that it is not just a missing voice anymore. I have a sinus infection, ear infection and upper airway rattle, so they pulled out the antibiotics to clear it up and I am sure that I will feel much better when they kick in. It was really hard to drag my dragon butt out of the toast cave of the bedcovers this morning and I am still fighting the urge not to crawl right back in there...

I did have to share one funny episode before I forget to get it on paper. Monday was so awkward trying not to use my voice. Every time the phone rang, I had people doing a double take because they were sure they had the wrong number. I even let the answering machine pick up a few calls because I could barely make a squeak and the doctor had stressed NOT using the voice unless it was an emergency.

That came as I was trying to prepare garlic toast to go along with the past dish I had prepared for supper. I got the last of the bread ready and stuck it under the broiler, when the girls yelled that Nipper (our Dwarf Hamster of 2 weeks) was doing something cute, so I rushed downstairs to see. You have to understand that I have been wanting a little cute rodent of my very own for quite a long time now and she was being particularly adorable.... so I forgot all about the garlic toast until our alarm system went off!!

Here I was with both girls freaking out as this piercing whistle sounds and the panel starts yelling “SMOKE DETECTED.... FIRE....EXIT NOW” in a machine voice around the shrill beeping whistle. My girls, instead of helping open doors and follow typical fire safety patterns are both crouching over Nipper’s cage trying to soothe a now totally startled and freaking out hamster.

I bolt upstairs to open back door and side door, hoping that what little smoke there actually is will clear and that the thing will stop its noise, when I notice that our phone is automatically dialing out to the alarm company like it should. The only other time it did this, they rolled the engines from the fire hall near us and the firemen looked quite grumpy that it was overflowing Lipton’s chicken noodle soup and not a big blaze to fight.

I lunged over to the counter to grab my cell phone to call the alarm company, since the main line is tied up with the system dialing out, and get through to some operator who is trying to make out what I am saying over the din of the alarm.

At this point, what little voice I had cut out and I began to squeak and sound very much like a teenage buy at the worst of their voice change. I am trying to explain that there isn’t a fire... but just some burnt toast, but the operator is having trouble understanding me and keeps trying to reassure me that help will be on the way. Did my voice sound as if I was being overcome with smoke? I decide to force the voice a bit and manage to say “THERE’S NO FIRE!” just as the other phone rings and Nick walks through the open door. Luckily, his voice was fine and he told both operators that everything was under control.

The firemen never did show up that night, the hamster got over her trauma, Nick made new toast and I didn’t have to answer any questions about how my day went!

Monday, September 20, 2004

A Dragon With No Voice!

Well, after speaking with two classes of High School students about what it is like to have a career as a Graphic Designer/Illustrator, I seem to have misplaced my voice! The two girls had been battling colds last week, but the oddest thing is that I feel fine... I just can’t speak above a low growl!!

Luckily, Nick has kept the silent wife jokes to a minimum! I have warned the girls that if I hear them fighting upstairs that I may clang pot lids instead of bellow, but for the next 3 days the dragon is on “voice rest” instructions from her doctor and musn’t talk if at all possible.

In other careers (or closer to teaching in Toronto) this might have been a disaster, but I have just been sitting quietly this morning listening to musicals (Cats & Phantom) as I tidy the last box of paperwork bits, receipts that need to get in their proper files and general clutter in the office. How nice it feels to be tidy and organized again!!! I know that each time I vow I will keep it like this... and hope springs eternal that this time might be different.

I don’t need my voice today. My hands are working enough to stitch on a model. I will have to speak a bit with Bethany since she can’t read my notes yet... but the dragon can still type her blog!!