Category Archives: Insert

Doggy Countdown – Rain, rain and more rain

The title pretty much says it all. Lots of rain. Lots. We went to Gamma’s yesterday for my Uncle’s birthday, and I really thought I was gonna be feeling pretty good. I was feeling great in the morning and into the afternoon, and then I took a shower. Lately all my showers have been exausting me. I think I need to do baths this week. I wonder if the bathrooms at GDB have tubs, or just shower stalls? Prolly just stalls.

So joy. I was already getting fatigued just getting ready to go. It didn’t let up. We went to Gamma’s and I was pretty low energy. We came home and B said, oh it’s gonna rain all day tomorrow. Oh. Gotcha. That’s why. I was able to push through all that stuff on Friday because it was sunny. Then more rain is moving in, which leads to pressure change. No wonder. I woke up this morning to constant rain. I guess AZ is trying to prepare me for CA.

I e-mailed Lisa this morning because I think I’m skipping my workout again tomorrow. My shins hurt. My shins! I sure hope I didn’t get shin splints after Friday. Dave had mentioned that I was picking my feet up well, and the GDB nurse had said that people get shin splints at school because they pick their feet up more working a dog. They offer Yoga for that, I think every Tuesday. So I’ll finally get into Yoga, sweet! But, yeah I think I’ve got shin splints, or at least mild ones. It hurts when I walk. Also, I was going to do laundry today. But, it’s pouring. And my gym clothes are dirty, and I only have one set.

See in the old days, I would have ignored all these blatant signs telling me to stay home on Monday and do my preparing. I’m not gonna ignore all this now lol! I actually feel hungover. That is not a fun feeling when you’re sober awhile. I think I’m dehydrated, so I’m drinking lots of water.

So that’s my sob story lol. Yesterday I asked B if I’ve been acting depressed, because I know depression causes fatigue. I’ve experienced the depressed fatigue, and it’s different, but I wanted to make sure. I know I’m not always the best just of my own mental health. He said I’ve been fine. I told HIm I’m gonna get depressed if I don’t start feeling better hahaha!

Quite honestly though, I really think this all just means I’m supposed to take it easy this last week before I go. I’m listening to my body and my gut and I really think that’s what it means. It’s not necessarily a bad thing that I’ve been down. I think my body knows what’s coming and is now conserving. I couldn’t see that when the fatigue first hit, but I really think that’s what’s up. So I’m gonna listen and just do what I need to do this week.

By this time next Sunday I’ll be all packed and getting ready to go!!! Wow!!!

I’m hoping to upload a video later and then write about the iPod, and I really need to practice that so I can get plenty of video of Insert!

8 days!!!


Filed under Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, faith, family, Gamma, GDB, Insert, Juno walk, laundry, pooch preparation, sobriety, spoons, weather

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 – Target and a dream

There’s been this thread on the email list about grooming sprays and stuff and I never even knew there were such things. So I figured I’d look into that after I get home and settled and such. Well, it inspired a dream last night. I knew I was going to Target today to get the stuff for the trip and I dreamt that we were looking at grooming sprays and I couldn’t decide. Then I forgot the spray and was freaking out haha! Just a little quick dream, but I thought it was funny.

So today I went and worked out, which went much better. I haven’t mentioned it here because I didn’t want to worry anyone, but I’ve been getting really dizzy when I work out. I told Lisa about it and she told me to eat peanut butter. Then last week I talked to Glenna bout it and he asked what I eat before working out. I’ve been eating oatmeal, but I wanted to get back to drinking instant breakfast made with soy milk. He said that sounded like a good idea. So I got the stuff this weekend, and had my Silk Vanilla soy milk with chocolate Carnation instant breakfast. Yummm. Energy out the yin yang and I didn’t get dizzy. In fact I worked harder. I increased my reps on everything and am now up to 3 sets of 38 decline sit ups. I was screaming on the last set and people in the cardio room thought Glenn was torturing me lol! So it was a great workout. I came home and had a pb and j sandwich on wheat bread. Definitely better than oatmeal for breakfast and popcorn for lunch haha!! Oh yeah, I had Silk chocolate soy milk with me sandwich yummm.

So L came to pick me up to go to Target and she brought her lunch so I told her all the stuff I wanted to get. Wow. A lot lol. So we went to the new super Target.

My plan was to buy 2 packages of Hanes men’s undershirts, black. Ah, foiled. The only black ones they had were crew neck and I hate those. So we looked at women’s but they didn’t have anything suitable either. So, I was gonna get khaki pants so I would have ckaki pants for a black dog, and black pants for a yellow dog, as was suggested here. While looking for pants, L found these kick ass sweaters. They’re pullover with those little pouch pockets with this funny neck. I think she called it a cowl neck. You can draw it up like a turtle neck, or wear it loose. So I got 2, one gray, one pink. Then we went back and got the mens black tank top to wear under the sweaters. It’s perfect, because I get hot indoors, so I’ll be able to layer this way. I also got a nice sports bra. This will be great for workouts, but also for training so I’m comfy. I’ve got plenty of jeans already. So, I’ve got all my clothes. We also got a pair of sweatpants to throw on to relieve Insert and to lounge around in. Yay! So enough clothes.

Target has a most excellent travel section. Anything you want, in the right size. So I got Herbal Instincts shampoo and conditioner. I got these when I went to WV too and I like them because the bottles are different, so you can tell them apart. I got lotion and sunscreen, toothpaste, q-tips, ibuprofin and hand sanitizer all in those wee small bottles. Sweet!

I wanted to check out the pet section to see if I could get my dog bowls. The whole time we were there, L would just kinda say things she saw to jog my memory. We ended up getting some refills for my wet jet since they were on sale, that 3 in 1 washer sheet stuff, a candle and this scrubbing bubbles stuff she recommended. So that stuff isn’t for the trip, but stuff that’s handy to have.

So we got over to pet supplies and she says “oh, a pop up dog kennel”. What?? Really??? How much??? 24 bucks. Collapsible dog kennel for dogs up to 75 pounds. I wasn’t going to get a kennel because I don’t know my dog, but it’s been weighing on my mind, what if I need one? And for 24 bucks I couldn’t pass it up. We’ve also been talking about those on the email list, so I figured it was a good thing. They had the bowls I wanted, so I got those too. yay!!!

Oh yeah, duh. I forgot. When we were looking at khakis, she said there was a really pretty wrap dress. Originally I was gonna get a wrap dress for grad, after Carol suggested it. So we looked at it and I tried it on over my clothes lol. L said it’s a medium green color, so either black or yellow will show up fine. I didn’t want to have to worry about shaving, but I’d rather not pack 2 kinds of pants that I won’t wear. So, I got the wrap dress. Then I said I needed a cardigan, but she was wearing one and told me just to borrow hers. So I borrowed her black cardigan and I’ve got black flats to wear with the wrap dress. None of it will take up much space, and the dress will fluff in the dryer just fine. Yay!

I think that’s about it. We were so done by the end. Oh yeah, I got zip lock bags. Those are a must for traveling. We went and checked out and the guy had no personality. By that point, we were so loopy we were walking around talking like Cartman. Well, L was, and it was cracking me up. I had to buy feminine products and she was talking like Cartman saying she hadn’t put the regulars in the cart and I said in a Cartman voice, something like, how dare you not put the pads in the cart and she was laughing because a man was walking past as I said that. So when we got to the clerk with no personality, he kinda killed our silliness. But not for long lol.

We went to Starbucks for mochas and my instant coffee for the trip and that helped fire us up a bit. I was like, crap I forgot batteries! So we stopped at Walgreens for those and then we were finally done. Oh yeah, the Starbucks chic asked if I wanted to donate a dollar for Haiti and I said sure and she got way, way excited. Like, over excited. Like, no one had said yes. Ok, if I can afford Starbucks, I think I can afford a dollar for Haiti. By the time we got to Walgreens I had finished the venti iced mocha. It was like, a 5 minute drive. So I said I was half tempted to go back for another since the Starbucks people were so nice, and I thought it would be funny, but we didn’t go back tee hee!

So we got all my stuff inside and hung out and then she left. I put all my travel stuff in zip lock baggies and put those in my zipper travel bag thingy that goes in the suitcase. Yay!

It’s all feeling much more real now that I’ve got all this stuff. Soooooo exciting!!!!! Can’t wait till I start putting stuff in the suitcase!!!!

3 weeks, 21 days, holy cow!


Filed under coffeeholic, cool product, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, dream, fellowship, gratitude, Insert, pooch preparation, silly girl, workouts

Doggy Countdown – Insert’s the name

Most of the people on my e-mail list have signatures that say their name and their dog’s name. I have about 11 signatures that are chosen at random, and after I got my class date, I made one that says my name and then “and *insert doggy here*”. So today someone said everytime they see that they think of Insert as the dog’s name. So guess what? For the next 3 weeks and 2 days, my dog’s name is insert haha!! Actually 3 weeks and 4 days since I won’t find out Insert’s name until the 27th. =D

I don’t have much else to write today on the doggy front. There is a discussion on the list about poop bags, which I haven’t given a whole lot of thought about. I have a drawer full of grocery bags for when we get home and then I figured I’d decide on what to use after that. There have been several suggestions on the list about actual poop bags, or using produce bags, or whatever. So I’m sure it’ll be fine when we get home. Someone said don’t even worry about it till then, so I’m not hehe.

B took his car in today to have everything checked for his road trip. I have to say that his car has renewed faith in Ford for me. He bought that car brand new in 2002 and hasn’t done much in the way of up keep. He gets regular oil changes, but never had the spark plugs changed in all these years. There is a Break Masters down the road a piece and he got a coupon for the mother of all car checks. After calling around a few places, Break Masters was best. It’s somewhat within walking distance, so he dropped it off and then walked home. I had to laugh because he’s never walked to our place before and didn’t realize what a hike it is. Yup. And I’ll be doing that walk pretty much daily lol.

He had to start laundry when he got home, and when he arrived in the laundry room, someone had used all 4 machines and then never came back. He left and I washed some dishes and he still wasn’t back so I was grabbing my cane to make sure the hike hadn’t given him a heart attack, when he called me from the laundry room to tell me he was waiting for the person. I begged him not to get in a fight because I really don’t want enemies here lol. He assured me he would make them feel guilty in a nice way. I told him just take the clothes out of the washer, who knows how long they’ll be. So that’s what he did. I think it was actually two people who filled the machines and never returned, because when he went back to put his clothes in the dryer, only two dryers were in use. People can be so inconsiderate. I try to think that maybe they just got a phone call or something and aren’t just jerks. I used to always set a timer when I put my clothes in so I was back the second they were done.

I’m still not doing my own laundry. I’m gonna get those washer sheets on Monday and then I need to have B or someone show me what buttons are what. So maybe next weekend I will be doing it myself.

Aside from that, I don’t have anything else to write. It’s a nice relaxing day here today. It’s chilly out, but I think the rain has stopped for the most part, and it should be sunny tomorrow. Yay!

23 days!!! Wow!!!!!


Filed under Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, Insert, laundry, pooch preparation, silly girl, weather, white cane