Category Archives: Doggy Countdown

Doggy Countdown – Oops

Yeah. Oops. I’ve been frustrated this week because all my preparations came to a screeching halt with this fatigue. So this morning I was feeling better and the bedroom really needed vacuuming. So I attempted that. But the stupid thing isn’t working well, so it was a waste, and it wore me out. Oops. I did mange to move some stuff around though, to clear the space for the bedroom tie down. I just needed to move my hamper so I can use the dresser leg. It really is the perfect spot. So that’s done.

Then I needed to roll up and secure the duffel bag Georgie lent me to pack in case I need an extra bag on the way home. So I got that done, and that was making my arms ache. Before that, I had looked at my travel computer speakers, re-learning how to fold them up, and looking to see what size batteries it takes. Then I checked out the batteries in my talking alarm clock. I know the dorms have clocks, but I’ve heard horror stories about them. My clock is something that Miss A had, that her son gave me after she died. So I want to take it. Plus, it’s super easy to set.

Then I wanted to check out the text cd that has class lectures on it, to make sure they’re the same ones I already listened to and they are. But I’m really rusty at braille, so trying to read the labels made my brain mush lol!

So I’ve just got guest speakers and the clicker training cd to listen to, and I’m done with those. I like that they send the lectures ahead but, well, most of it doesn’t make much sense haha. I’m sure it will make more sense hands on.

So that’s all I’ll do today as far as any work goes. This is driving me nuts. Sometimes I can get right back to work when a fatigue is letting up and other times it just sets me right back. Tomorrow is planned as a fairly busy day, which I will cancel if I have to.

Ok, back to doing nothing 🙁

12 days!


Filed under braille, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, pooch preparation, She loved her salad dressing, spoons

Doggy Countdown –

I was really conflicted about writing a post now, or waiting until later when I might have more energy or something to say. But I won’t relax until today’s post is up, so I’m just writing a quick one. I sure hope the rain San Rafael doesn’t do this to me the whole three weeks, but I talked to Carol and we talked about how it’s really the constant pressure change of weather here. So hopefully I’ll adjust to the weather and be just fine at school. I’m pretty sure I will. I can feel the pressure change here in my ears, because it changes so much. I might be down for the first day after I get there, but I’ll snap back quickly. Plus the motivation will be even greater, and like Carol said, endorphins are a huge pain reliever/energy booster.

13 days!


Filed under Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, spoons

Doggy Countdown – Airline and insurance

The fatigue monster is back today, so this will be short. I have all these posts I want to do, but oh well. Hopefully I’ll have some good brain days to practice more videos.

I called my state insurance today and I’ll be covered in CA, so no need for travel insurance, yay!

Then I called the airline to pick my seats. I was told I had to pick my seat. So I called. It’s US Air, but I don’t think their customer service folks are in this country. The Silicon Sally part sounds all clear with normal volume and then the agent comes on and I can barely hear nor understand her, and she’s really quiet. She said I already had seats. I told her I was told I have to pick seats. She said yes, I can change them. Alrighty then. So we struggle to find my information and finally I can change my seats on the return trip to bulkhead.

Ugh. Just those two phone calls wore me out. That and I paid my cell phone bill. I’m spent. I want my spoons back.

13 days!


Filed under Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, pooch preparation, spoons

Doggy Countdown – Six words for Insert

Mimi explains where this came from in this post.

I commented, thinking of 6 words to describe Insert, and my words were:

Mystery. Future Eyes. Absolutely in love.

That’s all I’m posting today as my workout took all my spoons today. I think another storm front is moving in. Back to the couch I go, with coffee and lectures 😉

14 days! Leaving in 2 weeks from today!


Filed under coffeeholic, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, Insert, plugs, spoons, weather, workouts

Doggy Countdown – A nurse, a writer, and trash, oh my!

Man today has been busy. I got back a little while ago from Gamma’s, did some chores and got caught up on email and now I’m finally getting the doggy countdown post in for today. There are days where I’m almost afraid I won’t get it posted.

Anyway, this morning while I was in the shower getting ready, I missed the call from the GDB nurse. Everyone on the list said it gets even more real when you start getting the phone calls! I was really shocked to get one on a Sunday. I called her back, but she was on the phone. So I was getting ready and she called back. Sweet! Man, they think of everything! She started going through the information she had and she said, “multiple sclerosis made you blind?” So I had to tell that story. Then she said, “but you’re not on any medication?” I explained that no, I’m not. I used to be on injections that I gave myself every other night. I decided to stop taking them. They didn’t stop me from going blind. I didn’t want to inflict pain on myself anymore, and the morning after, I always felt like I had the flu. So I stopped them. You think I have bad spoon days now? It was nothing compared to when I was on that stuff. I felt like hell all the time. I decided quality of life was more important. If I have another attack, I’ll deal with it. But there’s no guarantee those injections will stop an attack anyway. I could hear in her voice that she thought that wasn’t a good idea. And, if I get any comments scolding me, guess what? They won’t get published. It’s a personal decision, one I often think about. But, they didn’t stop me going blind, so I stopped them. It might not be the right decision, but it’s a decision I made. I’m going to be seeing a new neurologist and I’ll be discussing alternative treatments with her. So the nurse seemed to understand this after I explained it. She went down a possible list of ailments and when I told her that sometimes my knees realy hurt in the rain, she paied extra attention to that, recommended good shoes, which I have, and asked what I take for that. I told her ibuprofin. She asked if I have chronic headaches and I told her I get migraines if I’m low on caffeine. I said it wrong. What I meant was, caffeine helps the migraines when I get them. She asked if I was on medication for those. I told her no because I really only get one severe one a year, if that, and I pop ibuprofin the second I feel a twinge. I was starting to fear she’d tell me I couldn’t come because I’m not on any meds lol.

She then asked about balance and fatigue issues and I explained that it happens, but I’ve really noticed a difference since exercising regularly and eating better. She asked if I was active and I said yes. So, I guess I passed lol. It was rather intimidating. She also recommended travel insurance, since medicaid usually isn’t transferable state to state, so I’m gonna get that.

Beyond that, she really didn’t tell me much I didn’t already know. Oh, she sounded like I drink too much caffeine. Wow. Carol, if you’re reading this, I totally related to how you felt at the dentist.

I was really impressed when she said, “I see you’re in recovery. Will you need to get to meetings while you’re here?” I told her I was going to look up contacts in the area, and she said they already have them. They already have them. They already have numbers of people in the fellowship who have come to take students to meetings. Wow. That. Is. Cool.

So B and I left as soon as I was off the phone to go to Gamma’s. We had a nice visit. It’s my last Sunday before I leave, because we’re going over on Saturday for my Uncle’s birthday. And the Sunday before I leave, I’ll be packing. So the next time I’m at Gamma’s on a Sunday, I’ll have Insert! Wow!

Ok, so the writer part of my title. You’re probably thinking I mean an author type writer. Nope. I totally have not blogged about this little piece of news, ops. And because of that, I’ve kept it from Carin. I almost slipped on the list but caught myself.

So Friday when I got home from being out with Dave, there’s a knock at my door.


Hi, it’s the post lady!


I open the door.

You have a package.

I’m not expecting one, is it addressed to me?

Yeah, it’s a big one from…

She tells me who it’s from.

Oh! It’s my braille writer!!

So yay! I got the Perkins braille writer that Carin found for me on one of her lists. These things are way expensive and I got a steal on it. The guy went blind 6 years ago, learned braille, and then lost sensation in his fingers. So he sold me the brailler. Carin had found out that I was looking into buying one and she put her feelers out and got a hit at once. So, now I’ve gotta play with it. I’ve only used one sparingly. I want to wait until I have a good chunk of time to sit with it to play. Wooo hooo! I have such amazing friends. L literally gave me the cardigan off her back last week to wear with my dress for grad. Wow. And Carin has never met me and she immediately ran to find me a brailler. Sweet.

And now trash. You know, something about doing the laundry yesterday had me wanting to go everywhere today haha! So when we got home I had some groceries and needed to clean out the fridge. I filled the trash can and told B I was walking it down. He always takes care of the trash, so I just always let him. But I wanted to do it. So I was walking to the trash when a neighbor said quietly, “I don’t want to startle you…” I stopped and said hi and she went on to explain that her little shihtzu rescue dog is amazed by me. Usually the dog runs when anyone is outside, but when she sees me, she stands at the door and watches. So I knelt down and put my hand out palm down, and felt the slightest brushing of whiskers. She was sniffing me timidly. I guess she never gets close to anyone but her person. Awwww. I told the lady about Insert and she said that’s so wonderful. We stood chatting for a bit and then I said I’d better get back or my boyfriend would worry. So I dumped the trash and went back to the apt.

Then B made out our checks for the electric bill and I was like, I want to walk that down. Haha! So I took it down to outgoing mail. Part of why I wanted to do that was to scope out a potential relieving area. Plus, it was so lovely out! There was a light, playful breeze tossing my hair about my face a bit. My skin could feel the slightest bit of chill in the air. It was warmer today then it has been in quite awhile, and it just felt so good to be outside.

So, that was my day! Now it’s time to edit and publish and return a call I couldn’t answer this morning. Yay for busy days!

15 days!!!


Filed under Adjustment to blindness, braille, cool blinky stuff, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, dogs, family, fellowship, Gamma, GDB, gratitude, Insert, pooch preparation, sobriety, spoons, weather

Doggy Countdown – Grooming

Well, I’m sure Insert is getting groomed, and the all important pre-dog day bath is right around the corner, but I’m not talking about dogs getting groomed today.

Actually, it’s me haha! One of the last things on my checklist is getting myself groomed. I’ve been wondering when and how that would happen but wasn’t really stressing about it. Then my friend called this morning and asked if I want to go Friday to get a mani/pedi. Sweet. I told her I need a brow wax and a hair trim too, so she said it’ll be our day of beauty.

I’m not really all that high maintenence when it comes to looks. I usually let my hair air dry and then it’s usually tied back. I don’t do make-up except for special occasions. A few years ago, a friend got me in to eyebrow waxing and I’ve been doing it ever since. I could never pluck because it hurt way too much. So it works well to have someone else quickly inflict the pain and then I’m good for 6 weeks haha!! I also really enjoy pedicures. It feels great and then I don’t have to worry about my toenails for 6 weeks. I finally did have to break down and trim them last week because they were driving me nuts, but it’s really hard to do blind. I rarely get a manicure, but I think I will just so my nails look decent for the trip and so they’re filed nicely. I hate jagged nails and they distract me, so I like having someone else take care of them.

So, I’ll get that checked off the list. I like getting groomed all in one day because then I don’t have to worry about it for awhile. I also then don’t have to do much on a daily basis, since for the most part, I feel I look alright when everything is trimmed and neat.

So, really the last thing to do is call the airline and pick a seat, which I still think is weird. But I have to make arrangements with them anyway to allow B past security. I called the airport since I figured that would be their thing, but nope, it’s the airline. Whatever.

I should be washing all the school clothes today, and then those can get packed. Oh yeah, still need to wash the food container and dog bowls. Keep up with the general maintenence of the house, and I’m good to go.

I gotta finish listening to the lectures too. I mostly listen while I’m eating. Today I listened to the lecture on leaving the dog alone. It’s done by the same guy that is all monotone. He’s like, preparing your guide dog for alone time. Hmmm. Alone time? What’s the dog gonna do? Hmmm. Then he’s like, your guide dog is used to being with people all the time. What a lucky dog. Hahaha!

The lecture on dog encounters almost made me cry. They vividly explain a dog attack and it freaked me out. Then they explain how to call 911 for help. They said 911 won’t think a dog attack is an emergency, so they said to say “I’m blind and I need help. My certified guide dog and I have just been attacked by a dog and we need help.” Then they tell you to demand that the officer write up a report. Scary.

I can’t believe I leave in 2 weeks from Monday. Wow! Time is ticking on by so fast!

16 days!!!


Filed under Adjustment to blindness, Dog Day, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, dogs, guide dogs, Insert, pooch preparation, silly girl

Doggy Countdown – A++

Dave picked me up this morning for our lesson and asked if I had any ideas. I told him no and he said he had one. He wanted to take me to an intersection and not tell me which one it was. He said there is an anomoly there and he wanted to see if I could figure it out. He said it was kind of a test haha! No pressure.

So we started driving and I tried to pay attention to turns but I’m a chatty Kathy in the car with him. I kinda thought I knew where we might be, but as soon as we stepped out I knew it wasn’t where I thought. I thought he might be taking me to a T intersection, but I could tell this wasn’t one.

So he did Juno Dave again and took me to the corner. He did tell me we were on the southeast corner. I listened for about twenty seconds and said, oh there’s a leading left turn arrow for southbound traffic. He just laughed. He was sooo hoping to fool me haha!!

So I was indeed correct. He went on to tell me more details. He said this is the only intersection here like that. For traffic going south and turning left, they have a leading left turn arrow. For traffic going north and turning left, there is no arrow at all. For traffic going west and turning south, there is a leading left turn arrow. For traffic heading east and turning north, there is no arrow. Huh? I asked him why that was and he had no idea. Just stupid planning lol! Then he told me which intersection we were at and I was able to name the store on the northeast corner, so he was happy. He also showed me the pedestrian buttons and how they are on the same pole for both directions.

We worked the intersection, me listening and telling him forward. There was one time that there was this huge idling truck and there was no way I was going to walk with that surge, because I couldn’t tell if he was going straight or not. Dave was pleased. Then, at the next crossing, I listened and said forward and he didn’t budge. I said, did you just disobey me? Haha! He wanted to show me what the intelligent disobedience would be like. He said I was correct in my command, but he saw something he was unsure of and disobeyed, like a dog would. At the next crossing, again there was a loud truck masking my blocker car noise so I didn’t go. Again Dave was pleased.

He said where blind people get hit is when they rush. He said never, ever rush. If you need to listen for a few cycles to really get what’s going on, do it. Leave plenty of time before an appointment. Don’t rush. And that’s why he knows I’ll be a good handler. Because I won’t rush. As we were heading back to the car he gave me an A++ for the lesson today. He said he’s had people who have been cane travelers a lot longer than me, get completely confused at that intersection. So, yay!

I had to laugh because he said he’s looking forward to finding out how he did preparing me. I told him I feel totally prepared. The only thing I think about is having to take Insert to relieve first thing in the morning, and getting out of bed at 9 for the last relieving hehe!

I’ve got a few posts for today, one about a creepy guy at the meeting, and then hopefully some more iPod experimentation. I’ve already decided that for the rest of the day I’ll be chillin on the computer, rather than getting some stuff done that needs to get done 😉

17 days!


Filed under accomplishment, Adjustment to blindness, blind tips, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, guide dogs, Insert, Juno walk, Orientation and Mobility, pooch preparation

Doggy Countdown – iPod craziness

I’m not even going to go into details but I wanted to get a countdown post in now before I get sucked back into trying to figure out the iPod videos. It’s a really, really long story that needs it’s own post. Like, really long. So I think I might just have gotten to a point where I might be able to post a video and I have to try a post to try it. If it comes out embedded please don’t hate me blinks. I will make sure I make it accessible at some point. I just need to test it now to see what I’m up against. I know this is cryptic, but I’m mentally spent, yet addicted to mastering this stuff. Technically this video stuff should not be accessible to Voiceover users, something Apple confirmed after our 2 hour conversation, which is something I can’t accept. So as the Apple guy put it, I found a way to do it that is a really backwards way to shoot a horse. His words. But, Apple will be working on this. Ok I wasn’t going to get into this lol! I’m gonna try uploading a video of Timmy. Insert, see how much I love you? I’m about ready to disown Apple just for you 😉 Not really hehe.

18 days!

K, testing.


Filed under accessibility, advocacy, apple Inc, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, Insert, proud geek, Timmy, video

Doggy Countdown – In happy tears

So I’ve mentioned before about how happy I am that the decision to get a guide dog has led me to meet so many amazing people. I’ve just grown to care about my “blogger family” so much, that I so look forward to reading about everyone’s lives. I was just getting around to catching up on blogs today and I came to a blog I follow about a woman with twin girls and a husband who is in the military. I’ve just really fallen for their family and I think that if I were ever a mom, I’d be a lot like her.

The military always pulls at my heart strings anyway, so to read about a mom left in the states while her husband goes off to protect our country, reading the emotions surrounding being separated, the daddy missing the girls grow up, though with the amazing technology we have he can tuck his daughters in at night over the internet, wow. Doesn’t that make your eyes mist up?

I’m not gonna link to the post I read today because I like to ask permission, especially with such big news type posts and I didn’t ask her because I had to come over here and blog right away. I was just so emotional haha!

I was reading her latest post and I was all confused because she’s talking about going to an airport. And then she tells the guy in line behind them at security that they’re picking up daddy. I was saying out loud, is he home? Is he home? I thought he wasn’t due back until closer to Valentine’s Day. Then there’s a picture (which she does great descriptions for) and it’s a picture of her husband getting off the plane with the girls running to greet him.

Oh tears! Oh happy tears! Military reunions always got me when they were on tv and I haven’t seen those images now for so long. I felt like I was there today, reading this post.

This is just another amazing family I now know, all because I decided to get a guide dog. I know this post doesn’t talk about how I’m feeling about my dog per se, but getting to be a part of these lives is a reward I never imagined when I decided to add a dog to my family.

19 days!

Oh PS – If I ask her and she says yes, I’ll do another post with the link.


Filed under Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, family, gratitude, misty eyes

Doggy Countdown – Again with the no title

Well, after the shopping excursion yesterday, I haven’t been up to much. I got sucked into a new techie geek thing but I’m not ready to blog about it yet because it’s got some quirks I’m not happy with.

I entered the trainers’ phone number into my phone in case I have to call them from the airport. So, yeah, accomplished that. But nothing else lol. New techie things keep me from life haha!

I still gotta call the airline to pick my seat. Aside from that, there’s not much left to be done.

Heading off to a meeting in a bit with Kevin. That will be interesting. Apparently the meetings have been sucking. Hopefully it’s good. It’ll be good to get out anyway, after feeling like hell last week.I think I’m having some allergy issues now. My ears keep feeling plugged up. I purposely didn’t take a Zyrtec today to see if they felt yucky and they do. So since the Zyrtec helps, it must be allergies. It’s too early for that!

Anyway, that’s about all, folks 😉

20 days!


Filed under desert life, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, fellowship, proud geek