A hearing book and the cookbook is out!

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Recently a friend asked if I had made a book about my hearing experiences. Yes! In 2003 I made a one-of-a-kind book titled “Book Of Days And Ears”. It measures 3 inches tall 6 inches wide and is one inch thick. When fully opened it is a smidge more than 12 inches wide. The leather covers and the pages are hand sewn together with a Coptic stitch. This book binding style allows for page expansion, letting me sew additional elements into the binding and do thick collage applications on the pages themselves while still enabling the book to close.

Book of Days and Ears begins July 31 2003 and ends Oct 10 2003. It is a diary or journal style book with the date stamped on each entry. The entire book took place when we lived in Oklahoma and the main content, the overall “plot”, of the book is dealing with my hearing aid issues over the span of 3 months, trying to contact the hearing aid company and fussing with the mean dragon lady who worked there. The other staff were nice (nicer than others I’d encountered in Oklahoma) but during visits I had to get past dragon lady first. Here are just some of those pages.

Part of how I dealt with the hearing issue saga was through various art projects which I recorded in my book: paper marbleling sessions of which I sewed samples into the binding, letterpress and block printing project samples were glued onto the pages, art exhibits were documented by collaging parts of the event announcement on a page or actually sewing the event flyer into the binding. Here are a few of the art project related pages.

Of course in and amongst the pages shared above there are visits with friends, the death of a mentor/friend (the book artist and author Shereen LaPlantz), visits to bookstores and restaurants. And board games like backgammon which are ways to interconnect with people that don’t rely solely on the spoken/heard word. Here are a very few examples of this kind of page entry.

Here’s a video flip through of Book of Days and Ears https://youtu.be/2It3Vjl_Eao and me talking about it. You can see some book pages not pictured above. Did I mention that I talk about the book in the video? No, I couldn’t hear myself talking. I showed the video to my wife for sound checking prior to putting it on YouTube. Brave and cheeky of me eh? πŸ˜†πŸ˜

Fast forward away from 2003 Oklahoma to present day 2022 in Washington state and as I wrote last post… my current hearing aids stopped working and I visited a local hearing aid center, Vancouver Hearing Aid Center. Things are vastly better now: there is a button and a window in the hearing testing area, there are zero dragon ladies to deal with (Wow! An absence of mean dragons!!!), my supportive spouse is allowed to be with me and clear time tables, contact information etc details are given in written form! It’s almost as if they recognize that their clients might not hear well! Imagine that?! Anyway, I am still profoundly deaf just as I was in 2003 and as I was at age 8 see the hearing test chart below.

Very loud drum roll please!! The cookbook I’ve been illustrating is now available! It is titled Kim Cooks Sue Draws and can be gotten in person at Chef Kim Mahan’s culinary Class Cooking which is part of the winery Burnt Bridge Cellars. It is also available for shipping or as a downloadable pdf file from this link https://www.blurb.com/b/11301105-kim-cooks-sue-draws

Progress has happened on my upcoming illustrated poetry book for Storyberries! Here are a few of those original pages.

I have finished the 3D block now and titled it “Dogs On The Block”. More photos will be taken, it will be varnished and delivery to the Caplan Art Designs gallery arranged. So more still to do.

This current hearing aid repair season (Ha!) we’re playing dominoes as well as reading books each evening. So I’ll leave you with the action packed photos below and see you next Monday!

12 thoughts on “A hearing book and the cookbook is out!

  1. I really admire your stoic and buoyant attitude to adversity. I think it is great that you have a long history of using art to help you process your thoughts and feelings about situations and that those then serve as a record of that period in your life. Fingers crossed the hearing aid saga doesn’t last too much longer.

    1. Thank you for your kind response! In 2003 it was very practical to have a specific record with dates etc when battling the dragon. As for the hearing aid situation in the present day – I have prior experience with this hearing center and they did what they said they’d do… so I’m reasonably certain that barring something unforeseen the given 3 week timeline will be accurate. Today marks the end of the first week… but who’s counting πŸ€£πŸ˜†. Seriously though I’m doing my best to cultivate a good attitude as the time will pass more pleasantly that way. I have had a few attitude slippages, not hearing is so darn frustrating, but my goal is to get through more pleasantly than not. 🀞Thank you again!!!

  2. Thank you for sharing Book of Days and Ears. Boo, hiss to dragon ladies working in any kind of healthcare setting. I’m glad that your current hearing aid experience was dragon-free.

    Those three egg fellas, each with a differently-bad toupee, are looking pretty sozzled.

    1. Thank you for looking at Book of Days and Ears! And for your kind comment!! Boo indeed to dragon ladies!! At the time in 2003 I was glad that there was only one dragon. It is unbelievably nice to currently have a dragon-free experience!!

      Yes, the toupee challenged eggs are indeed well and truly pickled!!! πŸ˜†πŸ€£πŸ˜†πŸ€£ Gosh I had such fun coming up with these recipe characters for the cookbook! πŸ˜†πŸ€£

      1. You’re welcome! Is there an actual recipe in the book for pickled eggs? (The idea of pickled eggs has never appealed to me. But that could be because the only time I’ve seen them is on a general store counter in a big jar, looking as if they’d been there since 1925.

        1. No pickled eggs in the cookbook but there are Scotch Eggs! And the ones I’ve had in restaurants were decadently yummy…
          And yes, I hear you pickled eggs seem rather nasty to me too. Scotch Eggs on the other hand are quite nice.

            1. I’ve not tried to make them myself but I’ve had them in some local pubs. The look a bit ugly on the plate but are quite yummy- it’s basically sausage around a boiled egg – like a small breakfast sandwich, sauce on the side to dip it in, but without any bread. In my experience it went well with an Irish coffee when I wanted something to eat but not too much.

    1. Thank you!! I appreciate your comment about my books!! And I’ve wondered that too… especially after we moved away from Oklahoma and to Washington state there seem to be fewer dragon ladies in the PNW. πŸ€” Or at least I’ve encountered fewer… In Oklahoma it almost seemed that dragon ladies performed the role of bouncer outside a nightclub. Except these dragon ladies were bouncing on behalf of healthcare… πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

Thank you for reading and sharing encouragements!