Category Archives: blind blunders

A Cardboard Box Tried To Eat Me

A webinar jinxed me. More specifically, a Can Do Multiple Sclerosis webinar. I found these webinars after David mentioned wanting some ideas for dinners (he’s a great cook), and I went searching for foods good for MS to add into our stir fries.. I certainly never meant to change his diet when I moved here, but he became intrigued with my management of cholesterol without medication, noticing that he felt better physically when he ate the stuff I eat. I have sworn off red meat, sadly. I feel like death warmed over after I eat it. Ah, the joys of getting older. Bye bye bacon.

Ro, I thought this post was about how a webinar jinxed you.

Ok yes, yes. So I listened to the latest one and it was about sleep and MS. These webinars are super informative, reinforcing a lot of the stuff I’ve learned about MS on my own over the years, either online or by adapting stuff to suit my needs. So a lot of it is sort of reeducation I suppose. the webinar mentioned often how important sleep is, which I think most of us know, but they brought up something interesting I hadn’t thought of, which is fall prevention. Of course, if we’re over tired or fatigued, we’re at a greater risk of falling. I’ve done pretty well avoiding falls, even with MS Induced vertigo and blindness. I don’t have a lot of problems with sleep, knock on wood, the biggest one being having a hard time getting back to sleep sometimes after I have to get up and answer nature’s call. They went through an awesome relaxation exercise, and recommended doing that during the night when insomnia hits. As if my body wanted me to practice, I couldn’t fall asleep right away that night after getting up, but unfortunately, I was too sleepy to have the energy to practice the relaxation exercise. Is this a chicken/egg issue? I put my current falling asleep audio book on under my pillow and eventually fell asleep to the dulcet tones of Alan Cumming reading Scott Westerfeld’s LEVIATHAN trilogy. I’m nearly done with the third book for the umpteenth time. I wonder what my next comfort, fall asleep listen will be.

I didn’t feel tired or unrefreshed when I woke up yesterday. We went about our usual lazy Sunday, and when I fed Jayden, I noticed that I’d need to empty dog food from the new bag into his food container. the box from Amazon had been sitting behind my desk for a week. I laid it flat, cut it open, and carried the thirty pound bag into the kitchen, leaving the open box on the floor.

David offered to pour the bag of food into the Vittles Vault but I assured him I’d been doing it for years and had a system, and I do, but after bending over, slowly filling the container to capacity, my back barked at me and I told David that ok, he could do it next time. We had a laugh over Jayden waiting for permission to snatch up the spilled kibble on the floor and I left the kitchen to return my scissors to my desk drawer.

Ok class, who remembers where I had opened the Amazon box containing a thirty pound bag of dog food?

Why do falls seem to happen in slow motion? Remembering it now, I can see myself walking as if in quick sand, my left foot encountering the box on the floor, my hands slowly coming up in front of me, scissors in the left one. I can hear my thoughts, how far am I from the computer? Shit, don’t break the computer, don’t fall into the desk with the computers, where’s Jayden, don’t want to fall on him, oh he’s in the kitchen ok falling falling falling.

the scissors didn’t enter my mind until after the fall was complete. Perhaps the part of my brain that controls my left hand was nice an alert, more so than the short term memory part at least.

I even swore in slow motion. David can vouch for that. He heard the whole thing from the kitchen and said I seemed to fall in steps. “Oh fuck…oh fuck….oh fuck!”

After I landed and took stock, realizing I had landed half inside the box, crushing the other half, I burst out laughing, imagining the scene in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, where Jim Carey is snooping in the storage closet at the mental hospital and tries to hide in a box. He’s wearing a pink ballet tutu and high top shoes and ends up sprawling out of the box as it gives way around him. I couldn’t stop the hysteria. David came in and bent down to feel my position and after being certain I was ok, gave me a hand to get up. But I discovered that my left leg was folded into the box and I couldn’t stand, so I began laughing even harder and pulled his hand down to show him how I was trapped. He got my leg free and pulled me up and it was then that I noticed the scissors. That could have been very bad.

David asked if I was sure I was ok, because the laughter had sounded like a combination of mirth and pain. I took a physical inventory and sure enough, my left hip was not happy. Upon further reflection, I think the hysterical laughter was a bit of an emotional pop. It’s been a sad couple of months for David and his friends, since one of them has been dying. We received word yesterday that his friend had passed on. I never met him, but feeling the love and sadness from those who knew him, I knew he had been a special person. It’s an odd thing when a death watch is over. You’re filled with sadness with the knowledge that the person you love is dying and then when it’s over, there’s a sense of relief, and then guilt over feeling that relief. None of this was about me, but I felt David’s pain, and had for months, so I think I just sort of popped when I found myself trapped in a cardboard box. Emotions are powerful and strange things.

So, the webinar jinxed me. I obviously don’t believe that, but you know how when someone injures themselves in a really stupid way and their friends are like, you should say you got into a fight with a guy who wouldn’t give up his seat to a pregnant lady or something rather than admit you were playing Pokemon Go and ran into a tree.

Jayden Quirk

Sometimes after feeding and relieving Jayden, I get back into bed for awhile, and other times I get up and sit at my desk. Jayden always goes to his bed after he’s fed and relieved. We only have one dog bed, and we move it back and forth from the bedroom to the spot under my desk where he can be near me. Sometimes I forget to move the bed when I sit at my desk, and this morning, I was reading Twitter when I felt Jayden beside me. “Oh! You want your bed?” I went into the bedroom for it, Jayden trailing behind me. I put it under my desk and he curled up happily. It always warms my heart. It’s the simple things, everyone. Don’t forget to let the simple things make you happy.

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Filed under Amazon, Audio books, blind blunders, funnies, humor as coping skill, Jayden, jayden quirks, spoons, twitter me this

Accidental Olive Oil

A total lifestyle change can mean many things. It can mean no more drinking alcohol or caffeine, the cessation of smoking cigarettes, getting plenty of rest, adopting frequent exercise, or changing ones eating habits for the better. I’ve now done all of these. Except stopping caffeine. Coffee is my last vice. Nothing could make me give it up. Well, unless it threatened to kill me, I suppose. *Twitch*

Something I’ve learned about myself in my late thirties, is that I dearly enjoy living. In January after some physical symptoms I was having stumped my neurologist he sent me to my primary care physician, who decided to check my electrolyte and iron levels, and added a cholesterol test to my blood work as an afterthought. A few days later, I received a letter informing me that my cholesterol was high and my doctor recommended meds. I had a decision to make. I did not want more medication.

High cholesterol was most likely not what caused the symptoms I was having in December. My PCP narrowed it down to seasonal changes and needing more water. the more water thing flummoxed me since, other than black coffee, water is all I drink. But, turned out I needed more. I’m grateful my doctor added that last minute cholesterol test that day. She’s thorough like that and that’s why I love her.

When I received that letter, I made an appointment with her to discuss my options.. I wallowed for a week, eating everything I knew was bad, and then I hit the internet and taught myself about cholesterol and how to lower it with diet. I decided I would do it naturally because I did not want more medication. I’m on enough, thank you very much.

What I learned was that everything converts to fat. Duh, right? But that there are good fats and bad fats and hiding fats and hiding sugar which converts to fat and packaging labels lie and cholesterol raising ingredients are everywhere and man, it’s a dangerous world.

So basically, if I wanted to stay away from more medication, I would need to prepare all my food from scratch. Well, I told myself, here’s the push you need to finally begin preparing your own food.

I’d known for awhile that this had to happen, that the way I was eating was terribly unhealthy, like Frozen dinners (even those referring to choices that are healthy or cuisines that are lean) or fast food burgers that B picked up on the way home from work,yum. I would try and order the healthier items when we’d do take-out from restaurants, *cough* labels lie, but I was fooling myself, desiring the easy way out.

You know that phrase, nothing worth doing is easy?

In the weeks leading up to my doctor appointment, I began eating foods I prepared. I had a left over box of pasta in the cabinet so I would sauté fresh veggies and toss them with olive oil and pasta. I changed my frosted mini wheats for Quaker Old Fashioned Oats. None of that quick, packaged stuff with the yummy fruit. Remember those hidden sugars? Nothing processed for me, baby. I switched to 1% milk for my oatmeal and added raisins and honey. I made fruit salads with apples and grapes in non-fat, plain Greek yogurt for lunch. When I went back to my doctor I had lost seven pounds in two weeks.

I told her all the dietary changes I had made. I explained about exercising on week days. She congratulated me on the weight loss and said what I was doing was working. No pasta though. That converts to sugar which converts to fat and up goes your cholesterol. She said I could have a side of pasta sometimes. Who wants to put in the work of boiling pasta for a side dish though? Not this girl. I finished the box of pasta and bought no more.

My doctor was concerned that nothing I had mentioned included protein, so I added chicken to my list of things to learn to cook as well as beans. I now make hummus from scratch. I make it so from scratch in fact, that I buy five pound bags of raw chickpeas, soak them, and boil them. I want to know exactly what is in my food. I don’t trust those lying labels any more than I trust a lot of lawyers. This is my health, and if I’m going so far as to not take a drug that many people take and trust, I’m going to be serious about lowering my cholesterol another way.

*Cough* Except for dinner on weekends. Hey, a girl needs french fries sometimes.

Is this where olive oil comes in? Not yet. Well sort of. We are at the part of the post that involves olive oil, yes. Just not french fries.

Another thing I’ve changed about my life, is the addition of podcasts. I read something somewhere about podcasts being an excellent source for story ideas and examples of dialogue. That was my intention when I began listening to podcasts, to jot down dialogue ticks from listening to real people speak, and to add to my well of ideas. Who knew that learning more about the world would be so rewarding? That has been a welcome side effect.

My weekday routine now includes listening to NPR’s Fresh Air every morning while I prepare and eat my oatmeal, make the bed, and clean my teeth. Yesterday, I had to fast before going to get my blood drawn. It was the first check of my cholesterol since the lifestyle change. I’ll get the results next week. Hash tag fingers crossed. (I wrote out the words hash tag because I’ve taken to saying them when I speak, in case you were wondering, which you probably weren’t.)

Since I didn’t eat my oatmeal for breakfast yesterday, I didn’t listen to Fresh Air, so I listened to it today while I prepared my oatmeal. Every day while it’s cooking I grind beans for a cup of coffee and grab my agave nectar, almonds, and Greek yogurt. I cook raisins in with the oatmeal so they’re nice and plump, and doctor the mixture when it’s done nuking.

When I pulled the yogurt out of the fridge, the container felt as though there were liquid in it. I knew I was running low since tomorrow is grocery day, and sometimes yogurt gets a bit liquidy. (My Mac is telling me that liquidy is not a word, but on my blog, it is.)

the microwave beeped and, like always, I added a spoon full of yogurt to the hot oats. My attention was drawn away from the episode of fresh air when the spoon didn’t feel nearly as heavy as it usually does when full of Greek yogurt. I shrugged and tipped the spoon over the bowl.

It was then that I thought about the old Greek yogurt container in which I keep my olive oil, in the cabinet. I keep my oil this way so that I can ladle it out with my aluminum measuring spoons, bent in such a way that they are miniature ladles. I was taught this technique by a rehab counselor when i was newly blind. I’d pour my liquids into a cup, ladle the needed amount with the measuring spoon, then use a funnel to pour the liquid back into its container. Oil is such a mess though, that I simply keep it in a yogurt container I can easily ladle out of. I keep salt in an old butter container. Cinnamon, too. Just level off with the flat edge of a butter knife.

Luckily only one spoonful of olive oil made it into my oatmeal. I added my two spoonfuls of Greek yogurt and a handful of almonds, stirred it all up, and prayed. I could taste the olive oil, but just barely. I bet anyone who didn’t know it was there, wouldn’t taste it. I thought hmmm, if I ever need to add even more olive oil to my diet than I already eat, I can just add a spoonful to my oatmeal.

How the olive oil got into the refrigerator right in front of where I keep the Greek yogurt, I’ll never know. It’s kinda like the day after my Y2K party, when I found the milk on the counter, and the scissors in the fridge. Only these days, I’m completely sober.

If I have any readers left after my unintentional hiatus, tell me, should I tell the story of setting my pants on fire while cooking chickpeas?

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Filed under blind blunders, blind tips, coffeeholic, doc, gratitude, humor as coping skill, num num food

What the Actual Blog?

I started the actual first draft of my actual first novel in an actual Pages document today. How’s that for typing many actuals? I was asked by a friend if I would be blogging my writing journey so why not? My plan is to make writing as much of a habit as it used to be when I was blogging regularly so now is as good a time as any. Especially since no baseball is on.

So a couple years ago I heard about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) way too late to actually participate. There’s that word again. NaNoWriMo happens in November at the same time as NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) which I’ve done every ear since starting this blog. When I heard about NaNoWriMo I thought it was a really cool idea so I decided to start writing a novel just for S &G’s. I think I wrote furiously for about ten days and ended up with over fifty thousand words, whoa it’s raining again, of a young adult novel. I developed characters and a plot and a setting, basically just free writing and not fixing typos or editing anything. I opened random text documents to jot down brain storms. I ended up shoving all the documents in a folder and forgetting about it. Those pesky characters I developed had different ideas though. They never left me. Their lives and the story have been simmering in my brain ever since. When I suffer from a bout of insomnia, I revisit them and the little New England town I had set them.

At the beginning of this year, I did a little work with a company called Project Starfish. What I learned after attempting to work in the business world is that I want to write. For real. I want to write and be published and earn money with my creativity. I want to do what I love, not just what I might be a little bit good at. Very few people get the opportunity to dive in to something they love at a later stage in life, so I’m grabbing the bull by the horns and going for it. I’ve known for months that this was the plan. I also knew for months that B and I would be moving into a house. My hope was to find a house to rend with three bedrooms so I could turn one into a room in which to write. I’m currently sitting in that room now, and I absolutely love it! The window right by my desk is open a crack and the soundtrack to this blog post is the rain falling from the roof. The house was built in the 1950’s so it has the old style crank windows. I love it! the house has such character and this room has already aided my creativity.

Today I pasted a very rough few paragraphs of the new opening to my novel from Text Edit to Pages, which I purchased months ago after deciding to commit to writing. There was something pivotal about doing that, since all my previous writing has been done in Text Edit which is a very basic app. Pages is a powerful word processing app. It gives word count! I used to paste my work into an online wore word counter and keep a tally of words haha!

I now have an actual (there’s that word again) polished and edited beginning of a first chapter. Four hundred and eleven words to be exact. I’m really doing this this time! It feels right. Here’s to the beginning! Just read this back to myself and I am soooo not gonna polish these posts. Let’s keep that to the novel, shall we?

Oh, let me include a brief video I took today of the little stream behind my new house. This stream inspired the new beginning to my novel on Saturday when it was dry and I fell into it. Best bruises and scrapes ever! This beginning is so much better than my first one. I don’t feel like getting the embed code so have the direct link when my book is published, people can see the inspiration for the opener yay!

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Filed under blind blunders, video, weather, writing, youtube

M-O-O-N, That Spells I Can’t Think of a Title

This morning I had to moderate a spam comment that slipped through my filters. This made me realize just how neglected my blog has been when I had to log in to WordPress to spam the comment. When I opened my Twitter client I tweeted that thought and wondered if maybe I would write a post today. And look what I’m doing!

It’s not really a surprise to me that I’m writing a post. My baseball season is over. Baseball itself isn’t over but to me it is since my beloved Rays were knocked out in the first round AGAIN. I almost rather it had been to the Texas Rangers again and not the team that must not be named. Anyway, it seems that when baseball is over my mind frees up or something. I should look back at previous Octobers and see if the posting increased haha!

Next month is NaBloPoMo so I’ll begin posting daily then. Perhaps posting now is a way to begin warming up. I have TONS of book posts to write. I mean TONS. Audible started this daily deal thing. An audio book a day at a ridiculously low price. I started keeping a tally, not allowing myself to spend any more than I was on their buy three credits for the price of two deal that I was partaking in every month. I had to set a limit for myself or God only knows how much I’d spend on the daily deals. My tally resets when I get my monthly credits. This credit period I got ten books for the price of two credits. I’d say that’s a pretty awesome deal!

These are good books their offering, too. When they introduced the daily deal they said something like, we hope you’ll take a chance on a book you might not have before. I most certainly have done just that. So yeah, needless to say there are a lot of book posts I have yet to write. I’m reading totally freely now that I have an abundant supply and don’t have to limit myself. I’ll also finally be signing up for books for the blind now that they’ve gotten current and have an iOS app. Though I still like the “normalcy” of buying books and collecting. Call it something I don’t want to give up from my sighted days?

Jayden is fine and we’re both excited that the weather is cooling off. Summer hibernation is leaving! Yay! I had a really really really bad summer. My health took a turn this year with regards to weather and it was not fun. It was getting nearly impossible to control my pain. I managed to push through until monsoons ended but something will have to be done before next summer. I’m just glad I’m on the other side of it and now it’s time to get back to being active again.

I’ve been doing quite a lot of baking. I don’t know what started it but one day I was like, I want home baked cookies. My mom and I always had stuff on hand to bake cookies when we felt like it and I realized I didn’t have any of that anymore. I hit Amazon. My first batch of Ghirardelli chocolate chip cookies didn’t come out all that great haha. Mom and I always made the recipe on the back of a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips. B had picked up the milk chocolate. Good, but not right. It was a good thing I made that first batch while B was home because I did the old sighted thing of not actually putting ON the oven mitts, just kind of holding them. My thumb touched the rack and I dropped the mitt. In the oven. Yeah…lesson learned haha!

I’ve since made several different kinds of cookies. Mom and I always loved snicker doodles so I looked up some recipes online. I decided on this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. They are delicious! Even B ate them and he’s the pickiest eater on the planet. Anyway, I’ve since tried Sally’s peanut butter cookies and OMG YUM! I think those are my favorite so far because they satisfy the sweet tooth and I can’t eat many because peanut butter has protein and protein fills you up. I ate the last one yesterday so I might need to bake some more today. *grin*

I had also made some oatmeal raisin cookies since my friend Erik said those are his favorite. The recipe I found wasn’t one of Sally’s though. They were good, but I’m going to try one of Sally’s. She’s my new favorite person.

Oh, shhh don’t tell, but I gave Jayden a tiny piece of peanut butter cookie. That’s the first time I have ever done that but he LOVES peanut butter haha!

My friend Carol says she’s developing a doughnut instead of a muffin top so I’ve started saying I’m developing a cookie. Yeah…really need to incorporate exercise back in if I’m to keep up the baking.

Exercise hit a huge snag over the summer of misery. The zombie runs I love so much had gotten downright painful. Jogging around the house is my only option and it was killing my knees. I want to get a little trampoline to jog in place on. I really think that could do the trick. That’s no excuse for not doing TRX or Pilates but I was already in so much pain I didn’t want to add even the good pain of exercise. Time to ease back in.

Ok, I think this has been a decent update for my one reader who hasn’t left hahah! Kidding kidding. I’m fairly certain the posting will increase big time now that my Rays have begun their off season. *sob*

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Filed under accomplishment, Adjustment to blindness, Amazon, Audio books, baseball, blind blunders, Jayden, mom, monsoons, num num food, plugs, spoons, treat for me, twitter me this, weather, workouts

How Not to Spill Coffee on Your Electronics Part Two

Today’s lesson is brought to you by Logitech, Folger’s, Otterbox and Cheerios.

I know it’s exciting when you’re about to start getting ready for an outing with a new friend, especially when you’ve been stuck in the house for awhile. You’re enjoying your morning routine of reading Twitter and drinking Folger’s Black Silk coffee though you are careful not to drink coffee as fast as normal so hopefully you can avoid several pit stops while out with your new friend. With so many things on your mind it’s easy not to notice you set your coffee down on your iPhone.

Luckily your iPhone is encased in a nice Otterbox case, though it’s not waterproof. Probably the reason you didn’t notice where you set the coffee down was because the rubber on the bottom of your huge travel mug nicely gripped the rubber of the Otterbox. Because of this you have no idea that the coffee cup is just barely balanced on the phone, teetering precariously next to your Logitech wireless keyboard.

You begin thinking of your chocolate Cheerios and what you’ll wear for the day and you need to check the time. You always check the time on your iPhone. Which is barely under your coffee cup. Which is right next to your Logitech wireless keyboard.

At this time let us pause and review how not to spill coffee on your electronics.

Do not just grab your iPhone and quickly pick it up. Sure, you don’t know the coffee is there, but it might be a good idea to check first. If you do quickly pick up your phone, be very grateful the cup was nearly empty. (It is normal to have a flashback of the movie ‘License to Drive’ when the styrofoam cup lands in the scary driver instructor’s lap and Corey Haim is cowering in fear and the instructor holds up the cup and says, “the cup…was empty!”)

If you do hear your cup topple and touch the wet table and begin cursing it is definitely a good idea to switch the keyboard off quickly, (Thank you Logitech for having a nice on/off switch there) picking up the keyboard and turning it over while holding it above the plastic TV tray nearby so as not to pour coffee from the keyboard onto the iPhone which you haven’t checked yet, oh and the carpet.

After coffee is poured out of the keyboard which luckily only got wet on the caps lock side, oh please don’t let caps lock be stuck on, run it over to the kitchen and lay it upside down to dry, vowing not to touch it until you return home hours later. You might want to make a mental sticky note that the keyboard is on your breakfast bar so you don’t almost set your new lamp on it later.

Return to the scene of the crime to check on your iPhone. Be grateful it is not wet. Also be grateful your headphones were not on the table along with your iPhone and keyboard like the first time this happened.

Go about your day, get home, switch keyboard on and pray. Be grateful it works. Type a post with it the next day. Wonder if you will ever write part three. Realize this is probably a given. Along with part four. Probably even ten eventually with how much coffee you drink.

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Filed under blind blunders, coffeeholic, fellowship, humor as coping skill, iPhone, num num food, random stuff, twitter me this

How Not to Spill Coffee on your Electronics

I know it’s exciting to buy the matching memory foam back cushion to your awesome memory foam bum cushion. You’re excited to put it on the chair and start getting used to it. This is all perfectly fine if it’s the only thing you’re doing, but the chance of an accident increases the more things you have on your mind.

Example 1: Your labrador knows it’s almost dinner time and you’ve just gotten back from the quick errand in buying the back cushion. Your dog is, as a result, at your feet and jumping up every time you move. Trying to strap on the back cushion and ignore your dog is challenging, especially when you really, really love your dog.

Example 2: You are waiting for your man to call to ask you what kind of soup you want after he’s made the salads he’s buying for dinner at Sweet Tomatoes. The fact that the phone might ring any minute has you distracted and you’re hoping you’ll get the back cushion on in time to feed and relieve your dog before dinner arrives.

Example 3: You really shouldn’t go all day without eating. Being hungry always, always magnifies clumsiness and brain fog.

Just one of those three examples are really all you need to equal a disaster, especially if you’ve left a full cup of coffee on the coffee table. Next to your wireless keyboard. And your wireless headphones. And your iPhone.

Now, it’s possible that if you hadn’t been so distracted, you would remember where the coffee cup was when you heard your man’s ringtone. Then again maybe not. And it won’t matter if you use a fat travel mug with a lid on it, because the force with which you’ll hit the cup with your arm while kneeling near the table fastening the back cushion will pop the lid off, spilling your entire cup of coffee on the aforementioned electronics. It will be a good thing, you’ll think later, that the cup had sat awhile and was only slightly warm.

Don’t bother double tapping your iPhone to answer the call. If the screen is warm with coffee, it won’t register. Quickly rub the phone on the leg of your jeans, your expensive jeans, to dry the screen. Who cares about the coffee stain, your phone is more important. Answer the call.

If you have a home phone, don’t panic that he sounds like he’s talking under water, or coffee. Well, it’s ok to panic a little. Simply call him back on the home phone and settle on the same soup you had last time. You’ll be too worried about electronics to care about soup.

After you hang up, don’t bother with paper towels. No really. Are you listening? Get a bath towel. Just trust me. Also, if you feel tears welling up in your eyes, give yourself a pep talk as you grab the bath towel. Say this to yourself. “Don’t cry, just don’t cry. Crying won’t help anything. Just clean this up.” You’ll think you’re silly but it works. Tears won’t come and you’ll perform more efficiently.

Don’t be surprised when you turn the wireless keyboard over and hear coffee pouring out of it. Spread the towel down on the table and lay your keyboard upside down on the cloth. It’s ok to test if it still works, since you’ll want to turn it off. You’ll be amazed when it works. You’ll test it later, after you’ve left it to dry on a paper towel. Paper towels work ok for this part of the scenario.

You might find that you can wring coffee out of the ear cushions on your wireless headphones. Make sure they’re off and gently squeeze with the towel. Hang them to dry on your desk.

Don’t be alarmed that your iPhone still smells of coffee after you’ve dried it. It should work fine, as long as you dry it off quickly, which you did while picking soup using the home phone.

Feed your dog, take him outside, enjoy your dinner when it arrives. If you’ve been nursing a back injury, lean on the heating pad while you eat since you’ll probably feel a new pull after racing around the house in a panic grabbing a towel after paper towels did nothing.

After your belly is full, test your iPhone some more after eating. Breathe a sigh of relief that you can hear phone calls. Test your wireless headphones. It would be a good idea to turn them on before they’re on your head or else you might scare yourself as you flip the switch. It’ll most likely turn out ok, but you never know.

Fool around with your seat cushion some more and begin writing a blog post. Consider checking your keyboard, but make the wise choice and let it dry upside down overnight. It did work after you poured coffee out of it, but it’s better safe than sorry.

Thank your lucky stars that so far, everything is ok with your beloved electronics and your Macbook wasn’t on the coffee table, otherwise you’d be returning the back cushion and selling your soul to afford new devices.

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Filed under apple Inc, blind blunders, coffeeholic, cool product, gratitude, humor as coping skill, iPhone, Jayden, silly girl

Workouts, spoons and gravity

Workouts are back in full swing again after my schedule and fatigue levels put it on hold for a bit. The funny thing about exercise and spoons is the whole vicious cycle thing. When I don’t do it, the fatigue worsens. When I’m too fatigued, I can’t do it. Chicken? Egg?

So it’s difficult when a wrench is thrown into the works which keeps me from exercising because it sets off the vicious cycle. Lose lose.

When I get back to the gym, I take it easy for the first two times or so and then I’m so rejuvenated that I dive in head first and go balls to the walls. That’s what I did yesterday and ouch today. Lactic acid anyone?

I love it though. While my upper body is screaming in protest at me today, I’m loving it. What started as conditioning to get ready for guide dog school has become a way to replenish the spoon drawer and boost my self esteem big time.

I’m sooooo close to my target weight of 150. I fluctuate between 155 and 157 at every weigh in. These last few pounds are just pesky little creatures, probably because I still enjoy In and Out burger.

I love that I’m not ashamed to admit my weight to the world. I mean, I lied on my driver’s license. Who doesn’t? If I were to get a new ID today though, I’d tell the truth. So awesome!

I used to think 150 was way too heavy for a girl. Now that I know more however, I understand the difference between muscle weight and fat. I have a lot of muscle on my body, something I’ve never had before and I love it. I love the strength I have today, in spite of my illness. I used to feel so weak all the time and just took it as par for the course.

What I’ve learned though, is that the more strength and muscle I have, the less likely I am of falling and the more ability I have to fight, should that kind of situation ever arise. Of course I hope it never does, but knowing I have the ability to defend myself has taken so much fear out of being a blind woman out in the world and all its evils.

Why am I rambling about this? I don’t know. I was pouring coffee and my arm cursed at me for daring to make it perform in such a way and I decided to write. I’m also trying to get back in the habit of writing on a more regular basis, and it’s been fun to track my weight and success in the gym, so I decided to do a little update.

Should I finally reach 150, you’ll probably hear my screaming from the gym all the way in Florida.

As I read this back, I remembered I wanted to admit I did fall somewhat recently but it was too funny. I’ve only fallen twice since going blind. The first time was at a meeting with a friend. I misinterpreted her “ok” as “sit” so I did. On the floor. That taught me to always feel for a chair first.

The second time was a few weeks ago. I was sitting on my desk chair backwards, adjusting the back cushion straps and when I stood up something happened I wasn’t going to stay upright. I thought the couch was there so I gave into the law of gravity and let it take me, expecting to sit on the arm of the couch. Instead, arse met carpet between the couch and the coffee table. All I could do was laugh.

I definitely still get clumsy, but I shudder to think how much worse it would be if I didn’t have strength and conditioning training. Yikes.

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Filed under accomplishment, Adjustment to blindness, blind blunders, coffeeholic, funnies, spoons, workouts

Doggy Diaries – Year ago recap 16 – Mismatched shoes

Hahaha I had forgotten about the mismatched shoes from this day last year. It was a Sunday, our down day, and I was going home in a week. I decided to take Jayden to the play area and one of the staff informed me I had two different colored shoes on haha! That never happens here at home, but I had two pair at school and wile they felt different, I think I was probably so fried it didn’t register.

That Sunday, two members of the fellowship brought in a meeting for me and the other guy in recovery, and I had a massage later. There was mention of the coffee cup debauchle and video I never uploaded. There was also high hopes of going to the gift shop, but I never made it. That last weekend was the start of the intense home sickness, I know that. I was so close to going home, yet so far away.

Today Jay and I went for a long walk and stopped in at the office to find out about the model apartments they let guests stay in, since my friend Erik will be visiting in April. I had completely forgotten that guests of residents can stay in the models for a few days. I let Jayden get a treat from the manager now, so he was happy.

I’m glad we see the vet tomorrow because he was walking much more slowly than usual. His nails are really long, too long. The vet will clip them and I’m wondering if this feet are tender since his nails have gotten too long. I don’t care how much we work, they don’t stay filed down like the vet at GDB said they would haha. Maybe those dogs that walk two miles every day because their person works, but not Jay.

I scheduled a cab to get us in the morning, so I hope that goes ok. I was going to try a different company, but they’ve changed names, so when I asked on the phone the guy was rude. Ok, you don’t get my business then. Going with the one I took last time and hope I get a nicer driver. I also requested a van since those are more comfortable with a guide dog. We’ll see how it goes.

Gonna make some more phone calls and work on my crazy squares, which I’ll write another post about someday.

Oh duh, forgot that I wanted to include something B did recently, because it’s along the lines of the shoes. Last weekend I was in so much pain I was crying on the couch and B asked if I needed to go to the hospital. I said no and to make me laugh he said, “good, because your socks don’t match and I can’t be seen with you like that”. Definitely made me laugh. I knew they didn’t match but they were around the house socks haha!

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Filed under blind blunders, Doggy Diaries, GDB, Jayden, on this date, working dog

Doggy Diaries – Office Odyssey

It’s been awhile since a Diaries post, mostly because there just hasn’t been anything really new or exciting to write about. Last month was such the emotional hangover kind of month that life just kinda seemed to be put on hold, aside from the normal workouts and such.

This week has been about being in recovery mode from the latest emotional blow and then holy weather Batman, did it get crazy here in Southern Arizona. Highs in the thirties? Huh? Waking up to seventeen degree weather and a wind chill of one? Where were we??? Even Jayden, who loves to sniff and dilly dally after relieving, was pulling me to the door. It was crazy, and the weather change didn’t help my physical recovery from the emotional roller coaster.

Then the unthinkable happened. Jayden destroyed another Kong and I didn’t have a backup. Oh no!! He is so used to his frozen treat in the afternoon that for the last two days when I’ve locked Timmy up to take Jay outside, he gets all excited, only to be disappointed when we come in and I have no frozen Kong for him. I think it’s been good though. It’s shown him that routines change even though his mom is very set in routines haha.

Today it was finally warm enough to get out. The cold is much better for me than the heat, but when it’s cold, my body is so stiff it doesn’t move very well. I got a massage last night though, so today I was much looser and there was a package for B waiting at the office. I waited until the afternoon when it would be warmest and called the office to make sure someone would be there. No answer. I waited and called back. No answer. I know sometimes they just can’t get to the phone so I decided to set out.

We stopped at the mail and then headed toward the office. Jayden’s pace was quick and he was all bouncy. Yay work! We got down to the office and the door was locked.

I actually looked at where that little fake clock would be. You know the one that says, will return at blah blah blah? Yeah, I tried looking at it. Um, yeah I’m blind. You knew that, right?

I tried the door to the clubhouse which was open so we went in and I sat on the chair by the door, thinking I’d hear if anyone came back. I thought I heard the door so we went outside. Nope, false alarm. I decided to use the bathroom in the gym so we walked back through the clubhouse. I heard the door open behind me.

“Hi, is that Sam?” I ask.

“No, Sam’s in there, I live here,” came a male voice.

“Oh Sam’s back?” I ask.

“No…no one’s there, you’re going into the gym”

“Yeah, I’m gonna use the restroom. Did you happen to notice what time they’ll be back?”

“Yeah, it says 1:45 but it’s like, 2 now.”

I was glad he had noticed the little fake clock thing that I had forgotten I couldn’t see.

After I used the restroom we went back to the office door. It wasn’t too cold there, being sheltered from wind and there’s a doormat so we sat to wait. And wait. And wait. At one point another resident jogged up and said, “no one’s in there?”

“Nope,” I said when I really wanted to say, yeah they’re in there, I’m just hanging with the guard dog.

A little while later the gym guy came back out. “Still waiting?” I would have loved to reply, “Oh no, no, got my package, it’s just cozy here.”

I thought about going back home but I didn’t want to leave again once I got home and I had already waited for thirty minutes. You know when you’re watching a really terrible movie, but you figure you’ve already wasted an hour, you might as well see it through? Plus it was really nice to be outside since it was no longer the arctic desert.

I had to use the restroom again. Yes, I know. But I had been drinking my afternoon coffee. You know when you go out to eat, and you go use the restroom, how awesome it is to return to the table to find your food has arrived?

The door was unlocked when we came back outside. The manager asked if we’d waited long and I assured her it was ok. I wanted to inform her she was an hour later than her fake clock had claimed, but I didn’t.

We chatted about Jayden while I crammed B’s package into my backpack and then started the trek home.

Jayden’s pace was fast again and it felt like we were flying home. I knew he thought he’d be getting a Kong and felt bad. I gave him a Kong Wobbler instead and then sat on the floor to call Carol. All of the sudden Jayden was running all over the house. I could just hear him thinking, outside! I was outside! I walked! It wasn’t freezing! Outside! Yay! Run run run, bounce off me, run run run, boing boing boing.

The boy went bonkers. You’d think we hadn’t worked in a month hahaha!

So that’s the latest. I told B Jayden wanted a new Kong since we sat around for an hour waiting to get the package, but truth be told, I really enjoyed it. It was normal, to be working Jayden. I swear Jayden is the only constant in my life.

We’re gonna go out again tomorrow, just because I’m as stir crazy as he is. And that my friends, was the end of our week long winter. 😉

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Filed under blind blunders, coffeeholic, desert life, Doggy Diaries, Jayden, jayden quirks, relieving, silly girl, spoons, Timmy, weather, working dog

Doggy Diaries – Long time no blog

I don’t know how many times I’ve had to write a monster post because I’ve been slacking haha! This falls under the Diaries though I’m sure there will be talk of all things.

Where to start? Maybe I should look at where I last posted. Ah, ok memory jogged. I love having a blog to keep track of memories. 🙂

So yeah, the last time I really wrote about life was when I was feeling a fatigue coming on and I wasn’t sure if I’d make goalball practice. I did indeed miss practice that Saturday. The pain that Friday night was just getting increasingly worse so I cancelled my ride and called Lisa, then proceeded to crumple and dissolve into tears. I hate it when my stupid disease has to give me a big reminder that I’m sick.

Weather was definitely the cause of it all. We got hit pretty hard over the following days, but luckily it was the start of cooler weather. Yay!!!

I went to Gamma’s that Sunday for her birthday lunch and my dad and uncle went as well, which was really nice. My dad had yet to meet Jayden, wow. He’s not much of a dog guy, but my uncle sure is. Jayden had a blast with him and went for a run around the whole house, causing much laughter from the three of us. Dad had already left. My uncle also got to see Jayden jumping straight up in the air and side to side when I asked if he wanted a banana. Fun!

I worked out that Monday and just didn’t have the stamina I’ve built up. It was rather disappointing, but I’m sure it’ll come back. Tuesday, we had our lesson with Dave. I just was able to keep lessons with Dave by the skin of my teeth. Due to budget constraints, many O & M services have been cut. Luckily, I fall into the “safety” category, meaning I still have things to learn to keep me safe. IE, still need to learn new routes with Jayden. The summer months really set us back because we had to do things in pieces, so most of my routes have not been done in their entirety.

Tuesday was fun because we had an O & M student come along to observe. She’s working on her masters in O & M and just moved here six weeks ago. She’s a teacher for the visually impaired, but wants to get out of the classroom and into nature. This was her first time watching a guide dog team learning a new route. She’s off to the Seeing Eye in New Jersey in a month to spend a week there. Awesome! I told her she has to do a Juno walk. She asked a lot of questions and had a good time.

It was the perfect lesson for her, since I had chosen this walking path I want to learn since it’s cooling off. This was not easy for Jayden. Just like the rules of traffic, you must stay on the right side and not cross the yellow line. Jayden wanted to shoreline on the left. It was getting quite difficult to keep him from drifting and I could not stay in good follow position. Dave usually follows my lead and lets me brainstorm, so I tried the gentle leader. Distraction wasn’t the issue so that didn’t help. So I took the GL off and told Dave to tell me the moment Jayden hit the line. Dave would give the word, I’d give a correction and ease Jayden towards the right. I had the keep the leash out the whole time. He was doing better, but still not staying on our side of the path all that well. We turned around and walked on the other side, and this seems to be the way to do it. You can start out going clockwise or counter clockwise, and Dave had suggested going counter clockwise since that’s what he does when he guide runs. However, I think clockwise is the answer since after Jayden was staying on the correct side better, we realized I was in a safer place walking that way. Going the other way, we were much closer to traffic.

So it was great for the student to see how a new route is worked on. She got to see that there is a good deal of scoping out the situation, if you will, and then letting the team work together to decide the best way to tackle it. The student had a great time and when we got back home, I deharnessed the boy so she could say hi and Dave gave Jayden a good loving too. I explained to her that it’s a personal decision for the handler to allow this, and that in our first few weeks home, I didn’t. But Jayden knows who he is bonded to now, so I let people say hi a lot more, but only when he’s naked.

Normally Jayden just eats up the attention, but he knew that after he works, he gets a frozen Kong, so he just wanted to get inside hahaha!! The student got a kick out of watching him perk up when I asked if he wanted it.

I don’t remember what day it was, but I know it was before the rain because it was hot. I had the bright idea to go get the mail. It was hot but not as hot and I’ve been itching to be able to leave the house when I feel like it, no matter the time of day. It was some time after 4pm, I remember that. Actually I think it was a Monday because Dave was here the next day. So it must have been about two weeks ago. Anyway, we went to get the mail and I guess I wasn’t paying attention on our way back. We do that route so often that Jayden knows it no problem so I must have zoned out. I was in the remaining recovery from the first goalball practice I think. Anyway, I don’t know how I figure out that we were lost, but we were majorly lost. Hmmm. Probe out. That curb feels awfully high. Hmmm. It’s hot. Jayden, find home. Walk some. Stop, probe out, a curb. I can’t relay step by step what happened, but I started getting really hot and freaked out and of course I didn’t have my phone. I told him to find home and he started taking me to doors that weren’t ours. I am lucky enough to have a “warning track”, a bump on my sidewalk. There was no bump. Eventually Jayden walked us under shade and we stopped and I called out, “is anyone there? I’m lost.” Nothing. Of course no cars came or went to help me out by sound. I couldn’t get a read on traffic. I couldn’t concentrate. Finally I just took a deep breath and listened. Ok, traffic is on the wrong side. It’s distant traffic, but an audible landmark just the same. I walked into the sun and it was on the wrong side. Ok, I know more of where we are now.

Then, the heavenly sound of the yip yip dogs!! Oh, yip yip dogs how I love thee! And my they were close, coming from inside their house. Nice! I know they live catty corner to us. Ah…thank you yip yip dogs! I turned in the right direction and told Jayden forward. Once we got over closer to home, he knew right where we were. When I felt my warning track I was so happy and when Jayden got us to the door, I collapsed on the ground and hugged him and gave him a jackpot kibble. After we got in, we both chugged water and collapsed into a heap in the foyer. What an adventure!

I told Dave about it the next day and we still don’t know what happened. It must have just been the slightest deviance from the path that I didn’t feel. It all worked out though. It was the first time I’d used the sun to help me navigate. I remember way back in the beginning of the O & M lessons when Dave tried to tell me about navigating by sun. I told him I didn’t want to rely on the sun because what if it was cloudy? Good point, but man, that sun comes in handy.

I’ve still been working on fall cleaning, and it actually feels like a hint of fall in the air. Jayden and I are doing more walks now and it’s awesome! I haven’t been spending as much time on the computer. I’m pretty much keeping up on your blogs, even if you don’t see me commenting.

I’m not gonna talk about baseball. I just can’t do it. The Rays play in about two hours. That’s all I’ll say.

I did a blind blunder on Thursday. I had to clean because baseball was upsetting me, so I did the patio doors and then went outside and swept and cleaned up the back patio. Now that it’s cooling off, we can actually go back there. Before, there just wasn’t a point to going back there. Since I hadn’t swept and stuff, I hadn’t taken Jayden back there. So I got it all cleaned up and took Jayden out on a long leash. It’s not fenced, so I can’t let him be free. He sniffed a lot and marked a spot and then he wasn’t moving so I went to reach out and see if he was hunched and that’s when it happened.

Pain. The weirdest pain. Kinda like when an ice cube hits an exposed nerve in your mouth. What had I done? Wait, it’s wet. My hand is wet. Oh no. What happened. The top of my hand was bleeding. I had felt something ram into my hand. I stuck my hand on my pants leg and got Jayden inside. I rinsed my hand and there was this knot forming on the top of my left hand, towards the outside, just under the pinky knuckle. I forced myself to stay calm and got out the ice pack. I sat with my hand on the ice pack and texted B clumsily with my right hand, letting him know what had happened but I thought I was ok.

I had explored the area off my porch with my cane before taking Jayden back there. It had been just dirt. What I failed to remember was that there is an agave plant between my patio and the tree. My cane must have just swept right under the jagged protruding leafs. When I had reached out, the thing had stabbed my hand.

When the game was over I called Carol and she looked up agave to see if they’re poisonous. I wasn’t having any strange symptoms, but just wanted to make sure. Turns out if you get pricked by an agave, it causes the blood capillaries to rupture. I had figured that was what had happened, because I had seen that back when I was a phlebotomist, and the knot that formed looked just like when I had grazed a vein. It seemed like ice and pressure was doing the trick though. Yesterday it was pretty sore but today it’s pretty much fine, though there’s still a little knot there. Carol came over yesterday and noticed a blood spatter on my pink Croc. I can’t believe how much it bled from just a tiny little prick haha!!

Carol spent the whole day here yesterday which was awesome. She had come over in the morning for coffee and we actually got to sit out on my patio. Before we knew it, it was noon! We just didn’t feel like stopping conversation so I just made more coffee and we stayed outside. It was brilliant to be outside for so long and Jayden was just lounging out there with us. As the sun moved, Jayden scooted into it and had a sun bath. It was the nicest day!!

She’s coming back on Monday so I can go get B’s birthday present. His birthday is Friday. His dad is coming for a visit from West Virginia! I can’t wait!

I think that’s about it.

I’m really looking forward to the blog carnival. I’ve decided what I’ll write for it and it’s a story I don’t think I’ve shared here before, so I’m excited to get to work on it.

Oh yeah! Congrats to L^2 and her new guide dog, Mr. J!

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Filed under baseball, birthday, blind blunders, coffeeholic, desert life, Doggy Diaries, dogs, family, Gamma, Jayden, Orientation and Mobility, weather, working dog