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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hot Shot, Baby!

I live in the midwest. Need I say more? It's absolutely
freezing and there's enough snow outside to drown in. Honestly,
I am not a real fan of winter.

It's the perfect weather for staying indoors in front of a fire,
sipping on a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Can you just picture
me sitting here with a blanket over my legs as I try to stay
warm in these frigid temps?

Reality check. I'm deaf-blind. I can't cook. I don't get hot
chocolate unless someone is around to make it for me. Not such a
cozy picture anymore, huh?

that I am deaf-blind and that I don't cook are two facts that
aren't exactly related. Many people who are deaf-blind do very
well in the kitchen. There's no reason a person who is
deaf-blind can't cook.

The truth is.... I don't like to cook. I didn't like to cook
when I could still see and hear. I don't like to cook now.
It's just the way I am.

I am a queen when it comes to using the microwave and toaster.
Does that count as cooking? Maybe. Maybe not. I do okay,

My real weakness is hot liquids. I do not like to make tea or
hot chocolate using a microwave. The cup gets too hot. More
often than not, I end up burning myself. Or I manage to heat up
soup and then spill it all over myself as I try to carry the bowl
to the table. It's just not worth it.

So that's why I can't make my own hot chocolate.... until now.

When I went to the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) a few
years ago for vocational and technology assessment, they insisted
I also had to do independent living. I wasn't pleased but I
stuck with it. They showed me some neat little devices and toys
to help make cooking easier. The one thing I really liked is
called a Hot Shot.

It's quite simple. You pour a cup of water in the device. Plug
it in. Wait a few moments, then press the button and the heated
water comes out right into your cup. The cup itself is not
heated so it's much safer than using a microwave to warm up
water. You can make coffee, tea, oatmeal, cup of soup and
anything else that is made with hot water.

Unfortunately, it's taken over two years for me to get my hands
on my very own Hot Shot. I didn't get one for Christmas like I
had hoped. Apparently Santa decided I was a bad girl and didn't
deserve nice toys.

But I am lucky. I have friends in high places. I was talking
to a friend recently who is a professional in the field of
deaf-blindness. I happened to mention the Hot shot. She knew
what I was talking about. She actually had a few that she
picked up during her bjtravels. She offered to send me one of
them and I gratefully agreed.

So, first, let me thank my secret friend for her kindness and
generosity. I am totally pleased at how this turned out. Thank
you so very much!

Well, the Hot Shot arrived in the mail. Getting my parents to
help me set it up was another story. Things are pretty crazy
around here. We still haven't even put away the Christmas tree
yet. Setting up a kitchen device just isn't a top priority.

But it is. It is for me anyway. Maybe I'm just impatient. Or
maybe I'm cold and want some hot liquid in my belly. In any
case, while my family was out tonight, I set up the Hot Shot all
on my own and figured out how to make it work.

So here it is in the year 2010. I'm 36 years old and I'm
celebrating having just made my first cup of hot chocolate in
eight years. It might sound pathetic to you. For me, it's
another step forward

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