About Me

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My husband tells me I am a makebate. So, what's wrong with that? I love to write. I have 2 great kids and 1 grandson. I'd love to say I am "retired" but really, who retires from life? Shoot me a question, comment, rant or rave. They are all welcome here. Love dogs, my family, and most of all, debate. Pro NRA, conservative and a right wing lady.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Nesting as a Grandmother

So, the impending birth of our first grandson, Christopher Corry, is just around the corner. There is quite a bit to do before this little fellow arrives on the scene.  After all, its "nesting" time here at the McArthur household.  I am sure my husband will enjoy this aspect of pregnancy.  Lord knows, I do.

So, what's with nesting?  Do any of my readers know of its origin?  Throughout history, it seems that women about to drop a baby go through a phase of psychotic cleaning.  For someone like me, who needs help in cleaning every hour of every day, nesting has its advantages and rewards.  I am finding items that I thought I had lost long ago.  I am still searching for my Irish Sweepstakes/Bond ticket.  It's gotta be somewhere in the house.

Nesting - apparently occurs near the end of pregnancy.  These unrealistic tendencies come to fruition about a month before a baby arrives.  A soon to be mom will go on a cleaning rampage.  Not just a wipe of the swiffer or a spray of Windex, but a frenzy that resembles sharks tearing into chum.  In late November 1983, while I was awaiting the birth of my now pregnant daughter Eryn, I actually cleaned the ceiling.  Yes, that's right - the CEILING!  I couldn't help myself.  It was like I was possessed by Mr. Clean, and was searching, literally chasing the dragon of Mr. Clean.  Then there was the removal of anything that sat idle for more than a few minutes.  The bathroom vanity annoyed me, the base of the toilet needed to be pristine.  I became obsessed with cleaning doorknobs and door hinges.  It was like Martha Steward on steroids.  Santa Barbara was getting a fall cleaning, and I was the master mind behind it all.  Whew,  I am exhausted just thinking about it.

Now, with our first little grandson about to make an appearance the first week of October, I find myself, as a grandmother, beginning the ritual of deep cleaning. I just finished ripping the bed apart to wash the frame,  bleach the mattress pad, iron the bed skirt, and spray Febreeze on every viable surface within a 10 mile radius.  And as I had mentioned a few days ago, on Facebook, I have had a hot date all weekend with Murphy's Wood Soap, Windex and Pledge.  My husband is west, near Brown's Park, camping with the dog, and I am on a mission - a cleaning, nesting, frenzied mission to clean.  Laundry is spinning, and the ironing  board is up, and I will begin to starch and press the bed linens to crisp perfection. 

I wonder if my daughter is experiencing this bizarre ritual yet?  Has she looked around and decided that all light bulbs in Southern California need to be cleaned?  What about the rail in the closet where hangers hang?  Have the window screens come out, and are they being soaked in water and peroxide to ensure complete dust removal?  Its enough to drive any sane man out of his mind.  No doubt my husband will return home tonight, 3 days of dirt with him, and walk into the house and turn on his heel, thinking... "Oh no, Ann has flipped her lid..."  or maybe he will thank our daughter Eryn for having a baby, and having our home in pristine shape.  It's not like our daughter is going to come to Colorado and give birth to Christopher Corry on the kitchen floor - although it is clean enough!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Safe Sex - Really?

Now, before the smut runs rampant through your brain, hold on to your panties.  The title of the blog might lead you down a road - a road you are not supposed to be on.

One of my daily routines is surfing the Internet.  Reading Fox News, conservative bloggers, the Drudge Report, anything and everything that might relate to politics, world events and then, and only then, do I look at the more frivolous nonsensical crap, like Yahoo trending, or human interest stuff.  The shit... yep, that's right, I said it... S-H-I-T - that is considered news today is, simply put, amazing.

The other day, I came across an article regarding Jane Fonda.  You know her, "Hanoi Jane", who really should have been tried for treason back during the Vietnam era for her disgusting display on anti-American antics with the North Vietnamese.  Shame, shame.  I don't care how many Golden Ponds you've starred in, or who you have been married to - treason is simply treason.  There are no excuses, well unless you are so greedy that you think publicity means selling your soul to a  communist.

Lately, news coverage has been bordering on voyeurism.  I've got enough crap going on in my life than to see headlines about congressman who love to use their "smart"/dumb phones to photograph their penile shortcomings in gym mirrors, or dress up like Tigger the Tiger, or tap their shoe on a bathroom stall - "Hey can you spare a square" or cheating on their cancer stricken wives with a blond ding-a-ling photo journalist, or using smoking cigars as some sort of pleasure tool.  Come on, really?  Is this what our world has come to? Remember the good old days where sex was kept in the dark, or at the very least, behind a red door?  As the world economy hovers between dire and dismal, are journalists (or Penthouse letter writers) desperate that what other people are doing in their bedrooms, or out in public, is really folly disguised as news?

So, Jane Fonda.  Apparently old Janey-girl has started to give advice about having a healthy, invigorating sex life at age 73.  Well, thank you very much Jane.  Between the nausea I feel every time B. Hussein Obama opens his pinheaded mouth to the absolutely disgusting picture of you having healthy sex at age 73, my never ending diet might just have some light at the end of the tunnel.  Can you imagine your parents sitting at home, playing cribbage with the neighbors, and saying... "Oh we are so proud of Johnnie Journalist, our son, who went to Harvard, earned a degree of higher education", only to then find out that sex smut stories are what million dollar education bought them?  

Society has enough on its hand fighting a terrible economy.  Are we really so desperate that news outlets can't find something more meritorious to write about then some over the hill celebrities who think and actually believe, that all of America wants and/or needs to know about their sex life?

The other night the Republicans gathered and began the saga of the debates.  I'd love to say that I was sitting on the edge of my chair, glued to Fox News, watching 10 or so candidates banter back and forth about what they are going to do to fix the mess we are in.  Sadly, I fell asleep at 1930, and missed the entire thing.  The next morning, I watched the highlights - and was really irritated by the notion that some journalist had enough in the nut sack, groin area to ask Michelle Bachman if she was going to be subservient to her husband.  Are your kidding me?  Oh all the questions in the world that a serious news man could ask.. this dim watted light bulb wants to know about subservient candidates?  What is the world coming to?  Again, the question borders on the bedroom. I am not voting for a candidate because she is a woman, man or whatever.  I am looking for someone who can help get us out of the mess created by a bunch of morons in Washington, D.C.

Well, I better get going, I think I hear my husband calling me - and that means only one thing - Ha ha... its my turn to do the dishes!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Living as a Feline in the McArthur House

Having lost my job of 11 years as a medic, my life has taken some rather bizarre turns of late.

I was denied my unemployment.  And truth be told, I suppose it would not have really taken it, as I feel that if you have a body, mind, etc, then you should be out in the work force - no excuses.  I have the same attitude about people who collect any type of assistance, or, in today's jargon, Entitlement.  Everyone seems to think there is Entitlement around every corner, in every one's back pocket, and living in every town, USA.  Hell, some people might even have some bizarre notion that Entitlement is sold at your friendly neighborhood drug store, next to Condoms and Birth Control  Oh wait - those two items need to be mandatory for everyone on the Entitlement planet.  So, I guess now you know how I feel -really!!! 

So, I get up 3 days a week, at 0330, and go to my part time job, as a baker.  I've done so much in my life.  I just never thought that baking would be what I was doing at 47, and at the jumping off point of becoming a grandmother.  But, I am baking.  Thank God, and all the gluten angels, that I have Celiac Disease, or I would be a plump at a Christmas goose... tasting, hell eating everything I prepare.  The local gourmet grocery, just 2 blocks from my house, has been a place I have frequented for the last 18 years.  I am not only a customer, but an employee.  I have worked there on and off for the past few years.  You get to know the people that work there, and also all the locals that come in every single morning for their latte or one of the muffins I bake.  In a world of no brainers,  the baking does require some enhanced knowledge of how to manage your time, multi-task and critical thinking.  All in all, its a pretty good gig.  In fact, here it is - 0900, and I am done for the day.  Muffins, muffins, muffins!

And here I sit, at my left arm attachment mode, the computer, facing the television, watching Fox News, and reading blogs, scanning the Internet for stories about military, politics, health issues, headline news and my 3 email accounts; one of which is for job hunting, one for the HOA and one just because.  I keep pretty busy.  If I could make a living doing all of this, I guess I could be wealthy.

When I return home from work, I find myself looking at the pets and wondering, "What is it that you both do all day long?"...Are you enjoying each other's company?  Do you run in circles, chasing tail (no, not that tail) and getting in trouble.  We actually leave Fox News on for the dog and cat, just in case they need to have the up to date headlines of world as it turns. 

In particular is the cat, Mickey Finn.  If ever there was s source of free entertainment, our kitty is just that.  Poor Mickey Finn.  He has a few strikes against him.  Finn is about 2 years old.  He is all black.  I read somewhere that black cats are more likely to be euthanized because stupid people out there think black cats are some type of reincarnated "witch", or they are "evil", or "scary" !  People - listen up.... Black cats make great pets.  And if you get them from your local animal shelters, they will be forever grateful.  All animals from local animal shelters know they owe their lives, all 9 of them, to their human rescuer.

Now, as for Finn, well he's "special".  And I do mean special.  He is a survivor.  Apparently, the story goes that he and his sibling Moses were born with pano-leukopenia, which is a neurological and respiratory disorder.  Cats appear to have ataxia, which in a human speak-ese would mean that they look like they are punch drunk.  Hence, Mickey Finn's name.  You know, someone slips you a "Mickey Finn" in your cocktail, and you are the headliner in a one cat comedy show.  Finn spends his days, I presume, running sideways through the house, chasing imaginary bugs, fairies and even his own shadow.  He is not stealth, but rather a goof of sorts.  He is constantly hungry.  And I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that he runs to the food bowl whenever someone gets up.  He really thinks that some food will fall from the sky, and miraculously appear in his dish.  Finn also has a deep affinity for Casey, the dog.  Crazy.  Of course, Casey the dog could care less, and so Finn does everything in his power to put his tail in Casey's face at every chance he gets.

Finn's brother Moses lives at Pet Kare Clinic.  Moses also shares the same abnormalities.  Crazy walking patterns, cough and sneeze, wheezing, and runny nose problems!  Out of a litter of 6, only Finn and Moses survived.  For that, they are indeed extra special.  Yes, I love my pets.

So, as I sit here and spin my wheels after getting up at 0330 to bake, and getting home at 0900, I am fortunate enough to be able to take a glimpse inside the life of my pets, and think, "What is it like to be a feline in the McArthur house"?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Fine Art of Snobbery

Okay - I admit it.  Way back, when I was a young girl in pig tails, we had a nanny.  We also had a housekeeper.  They weren't black, they weren't white.  They weren't from an eastern block country.  They were Hispanic.

After watching the movie, "The Help" today, I found myself in a quandary of sorts.  I detest racism, bigotry and ignorance.  If you want to turn my stomach into knots, use the "N" word, and it will send me in 20 different directions of how I can somehow slip crazy glue into your mouth, in order to save the world.

But, I got to thinking about Carmen.  Yes, I am pretty sure her name was Carmen.  She was a gem of a girl.  I remember her from the early 1970's.  It might have even been the very late '60's.  I even have a vivid recollection of a photograph (actually one of many) where Carmen is a part of the picture of the Irish crew of Gartlan kids, lined up on some family outing.  There is one of Carmen holding my hand, as we stood in front of the Santa Barbara Mission.  Seeing the picture in my mind today, I believe it was probably the very late '60's, as I was adorned in some hideous '60's styled outfit, plaid or checkerboard print of sorts, with knock knees and 2 ultra blond pigtails.  There are a few other that stick in my memory as well.  Carmen in a pink polka dot bikini.  Nothing too racy, of course.  Just some Austin Power-ish fab swimsuit, and all the children with her, while we were at the summer house in Ventura, CA.

There were 4 of us kids in the house.  All within 5 years of each other.  I was the eldest.  I had to set the example, or so my mother told me.  I always detested that I would be considered an example, simply because I was a hellion, and always in search of the perfect way to be disobedient.  Why on earth would you lay a guilt trip on a kid by making her an example?   I do recall the night my parents were having their wedding anniversary party, and someone in the house; I believe it was my Auntie Ruth, said, "Oh, your mother is off to the hospital with your Dad and they are having a baby."!!!!!     "Jesus H. Christ", I thought in my mind - another sibling.  Great.  Like a present or something.  And sure enough, the next morning, I believe (if memory serves me correct) Carmen came into my room and informed me that I had a new baby brother.  In fact, that baby brother just celebrated his 43rd birthday on August 8th.  Happy Birthday Michael!

At any rate, I suppose that my mother and father must have been overwhelmed with having 4 kids, so close in age, and all very young, a big house, and so many social obligations.  My mother had a housekeeper who came once a week, to clean.  Of course, we were instructed to "pick up our bedrooms prior to 'cleaning lady' coming"  - I guess we must have been slobs.  I always found irony in having to clean my room before the "cleaning lady" came.  Such was the life of a 60's housewife, having bridge parties, smoking cigarettes, and having someone look after your own children and clean your house.

Now, don't interpret this to mean that my mother was in anyway incapable of cleaning.  She's a master at it.  I owe all my cleaning habits to my mother.  I suppose my poor husband is reading this and thinking to himself... "are you smoking dope, Ann?" - the house is a mess.  And actually he is correct.  Our house is a mess.  On any given day you can find some cat hair wafting around, or get up from the leather sofa only to realize you are heavily coated with the dog's hair.  And, I have been known to toss my clothing on the floor, where they will pile up for a day or so, until I get some bug up my ass, and decide I need to tidy up.  I have been known to iron my bedsheets and even my husband's shirts.  Nothing says "I love you honey" more then a freshly pressed shirt.  And I get a feeling of being on vacation at the Hilton when I see my bed made with lavender scented bedsheets.  Since I gave up drinking, some things just tend to excite me more, I guess.

At any rate, Carmen and the cleaning lady - where were we?  Right.  Snobbery.  As I was watching the movie today, I realized that there was a little, tiny, minuscule level of snobbery at our house.  It's not that we were raised with any amount of pretentiousness,  but that in that generation, having help was not out of the norm.  I can't recall what the cleaning lady or Carmen had for lunch, or what they were paid.  I don't even know what happened to them.  For this, I feel remorse, as they were part of our lives for a few years.  Does that make me a snob?  In the movie The Help, one of the main characters recalls vividly, in full blown techni-color, what her black, southern maid was like.  The words of wisdom the maid put into her mind.  For the life of me, I feel slightly irked at myself for not remembering more about Carmen.  She is in the family photo albums, for bloody sakes.  What ever happened to her?  Did she marry, have a family of her own?  Was she truly from Mexico, or some other country of spanish origin?

My grandmother is a very wise woman.  She is a great lady.  One thing I know about her is that she is proud.  And she possesses an overwhelming sense of couth!  She would never make some assisine request of someone, when she is able to do it herself.  So, I hope I have inherited those genes.  I've got 2 hands and a brain...somewhat intact, which is always important to have.  I often think that if I had all the money in the world, and not a care to fill my day with, would I employ some one to help me with housework, or shopping?  Am I that kind of woman?  Nah, nope, nada.

I may be menopausal, and even a bit vain.  Sure, its a great dream, something to run through my head, but I just would not have it that way.  Carmen, where are you?  I wish I had taken more time to dig deeper about you, who you were, where you came from and what became of you after you left my parents' employ.  I want to thank you though for holding my hand at the beach, telling me stories and most of all, allowing me to be a little girl in pigtails.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Debt - Who's Your Daddy

Debt.  Most people have it.  Most people don't want it.  Most people avoid it like the plague.  Today the S & P dropped 634 points.  Pretty damn dramatic.  Wow, and here's a news flash - ITS ALL THE TEA PARTY'S FAULT - well, at least that is what yahoos Kerry and David Axelrod are saying.  Who knew?  I just thought it was poor spending on the part of the country, the politicians and the team leader.

One of the news pundits made a comment about a true leader will own up to the faults that occur under his term.  I'd believe that to be an accurate statement.  However, the leader of a now, AA+ credit rating, seems to think otherwise.  He is still reading from the yet, still stagnant and repugnant speech of "blame everything on George W. Bush"... and "its everyone else's fault, not mine."  This guy misses nothing.  Sharp as a stick!

Now, I am certainly no financial wizard.  Ask me to balance my checkbook, and I am going to shrink like a violet, and run for the nearest hot house.  It is beyond me.  But - and here it is - I do have enough intelligence to realize that if you have only so much money, then you don't go out and buy high priced vodka on a beer budget.  Of course, in my case, still being sober, I'll make the comparison of settling for a Hersey kiss instead of a hunk of Godiva Chocolate. 

I have never held public office, nor would I want to.  The biggest decisions I make are as the President of our local HOA.  I can't fathom how the morons in Washington, D.C. are so dense that they do not know that if you do not have a dollar, then don't buy a bar of soap for $1.25. And furthermore, you don't bend over in the shower, if you drop that expensive bar of soap. Our  HOA is doing fairly well.  We get bids for work that needs to be done, we evaluate all bids, we decide on who is going to give us the best deal, and we make a decision.  I'd love to see a brand new parking lot, but the reality is that our Association simply doesn't contain the amount of money necessary to improve such a luxury.  Some of the people in my Assoc. really want to have the esoteric appeal of a nicely paved parking lot.  But, when you break it all down, we simply can't afford it.  Wow, what a novel idea.

Maybe I should run for office? 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Paying the price for FREEDOM

What do the military do for us?  Jesus - Where do I begin?  One quick thought runs through my mind at this very moment - protection of our freedoms, everything which is held dear in this country.  Our defense - the United States military - and every sacrifice - comes at the cost of someones son or daughter sitting in a sand hole, trench, rainy night, scorching middle east day,  36 hour guard watch, MASH unit, infantry regiment,  basic training, running in the sand on a beach, pushing yourself beyond the limits of your physical limitations, heat stroke, dehydration, missing appendages, flag draped coffin, TAPS playing, sacrifice.  

What do we give our military?  Some of us give gratitude. Some wave a flag at a celebratory welcome home event.  Some salute their comrades.  Some pray non stop for the cessation of war.  Some give their time to the USO or Wounded Warrior Project.  Some pay for peace.  These are the patriots of this country; those who realize and truly appreciate the dedication of our military to serve and stand because they believe in something greater than themselves.  

Now, I am not in the position (although I wish I was) to decide other peoples' patriotism.  Actions speak louder than words in most cases.  And for that, I am grateful that the current administration in our country as well as their sycophants, have actions that are shouting volumes from the highest levels...

A hip hop party at the White House.  Listen, people are entitled to celebrate their birthdays however they wish.  But, one should consider that in times of recession/depression, trouble, war, etc, etc... that appearances can speak to the high heavens of the caliber of persona at the White House.  I know, I know - it's all too clear that I hold great disdain for the current POTUS.  His arrogance overwhelms me to a point of feeling physically ill.  I get a headache listening to him speak.  Anger seeps through my veins at his utter discontempt for our nation. Does he even care about the morale of this country any longer?  

The following is a short list of pinheads who attended a bash for the POTUS on his 50th birthday.  " Among the guests, from the entertainment and sports world: Wonder, who performed (he is one of Mrs. Obama’s favorite artists) as did Hancock, Whoopie Goldberg, Ledisi, Tom Hanks, Jay Z, Hill Harper, hoops stars Charles Barkley and Grant Hill, and football great Emmitt Smith.  From government and politics: former governors Bill Richardson and Tim Kaine; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi; White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley; senior adviser Valerie Jarrett; former First Lady Chief of Staff Susan Sher; and two of Obama’s closest Chicago pals, Dr. Eric Whitaker, University of Chicago Hospital vice president, and The Parking Spot President and CEO Marty Nesbitt."

These minions are entitled to spend their days as they wish - far be it from me to say otherwise.  But, it just seems to me that our POTUS and his pals need to be a bit more attentive to what's going on in the world around them.
Today, as I was researching the names of people who were in attendance for the POTUS' recent birthday, one thing really bothered me.  I was unable to find the names of the patriots of the United States Navy (all 31 of them) who were tragically murdered by the Taliban in a Chinook Helicopter accident in Afghanistan.  That just strikes me as offensive.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Talking to God, the Saints and all occupants of heaven

As a Catholic, we are raised to believe that our prayers are answered.  Mind you - all prayers are answered, however sometimes they just may not be the response we are wanting or searching for.  Being raised Catholic takes some serious motivation.  Listen, I am all too familiar with the guilt factor.  I was raised on it.  Not only was I raised IRISH, but Catholic.  It was a double whammy.  Now, I wouldn't trade it for a mile...or even a million dollars (hmm, wait a minute a million. well maybe) but sometimes being raised with a dogma that talks incessantly about guilt, purgatory and heaven (yes, hell gets covered in that, too) a poor girl can get confused and begin to wonder which end is up.

I was never one for the confessional.  I have met only 1 priest in my entire life with whom I felt comfortable enough confessing my sins.  Well , make that two.  Fr. Ernest and Fr. Tom at Holy Name Catholic Church in Steamboat Springs.  I suppose it has something to do with meeting them later in my life, when I felt I was not under scrutiny.   Ironically enough, my very first time in the confessional, with a priest at St. John Eudes in Chatsworth, CA.  turned out to be almost too terrifying to go through a repeat performance.  We had attended CCD at St. John Eudes, and going through the Sacrament of Penance was pretty serious stuff.  We had to prepare for several months, and finally came the day when you would stand in a line with your fellow classmates, and anxiously await your turn to enter the mysterious dark room, with the padded foot rest, magic screen, and the little light on the outside of the room that indicated to outsiders that you were in laying a load on a priest.

What I disliked most about the confessional part of my religious upbringing was that I always felt like I was being judged.  Most of the priests I was raised around were old fellows, who took guilt to a whole new level.. I realize they were doing their jobs, acting in lieu of Christ, but I couldn't get past the idea that they were friends of my parents, and would then turn around and tell my parents the list of sins I might have committed.  You know, sitting in the confession, with a note pad that said "Ann Corry Gartlan" and all the mean things I might confess to.  The first time I received the Sacrament of Penance, I lied.  How's that for a first time admitting of sins?  It isn't that I did not have some grievance to get off my chest, but I just couldn't bring myself to 'fess up to it - to some guy who would undoubtedly turn right around and ask my parents to tip heavy in the offerings on Sunday, and he'd give a list to them.  So, I made up some wild story of teasing my sister.  Which, actually was the truth - I teased her, she teased me, in fact the Gartlan kids were notorious for their teasing, poking fun and getting into mischief. Nothing ever too serious, like arson, stealing, or hurting other kids - just plain old fashioned siblings encounters.  I felt it ridiculous to confess to something that seemed too trivial.

Then there were the punishments after the confessional.  I was too young and immature to appreciate the cleansing of one's soul, or the merit in reciting the Our Father, Hail Mary of Act of Contrition, a hundred times over...if I was not really, truly remorseful for whatever it is I had committed a few hours earlier.  Lets be honest - sometimes you just need to tease your sister, or tattle on a brother.  It's part of the upbringing of siblings.

Fr. Ernest and Fr. Tom are different.  I did some major confessing to Fr. Ernest before going under the knife for spinal surgery.  I suspect I wanted all my bases covered in case I received just a little too much anesthesia.  Fr. Ernest even came to my hospital bedside and administered the anointing of the sick to me - boy, I must admit I felt like I was on the road to the recovery after that.  Fr. Tom is just about old enough to have heard Jesus Christ's confession (if Jesus had been in the business of committing sins).  He is an old Italian, from New York, and although he does not like the New York Yankees, I can see past this little error in his thoughts and truly appreciate that he has dedicated his life to counseling our poor, lost souls and setting us down the right path.  He's just the real deal.  I went to him one day, a few years ago, and I was just about as low as a gal can get. I was upset with my husband, feeling alone, desperate, angry and just about at the end of my rope.  I spilled my guts to Fr. Tom.  He hears confessions the old fashioned way, which I prefer to this new age open confession; I like my little bit of security that comes from the little screen that covers my face.  Well, poor Fr. Tom took it all in, heard my confession, in between the sobs (yes SOBBING) and absolved me of the sins I confessed to.  After that, I sat in one of the back pews, started in on my penance of Hail Marys, and Fr. Tom, God bless him, came out of the confessional, and gave me a little pat on the back as if to say.."you did alright, Ann". 

Now, of all the times I have sat in a confessional, one thing does still weigh heavy on my soul - just how does that little light come on? and what happens if your priest becomes hard of hearing?