Category Archives: no no sightie

A Creepy Guy Adventure

Kevin picked me up for the meeting last night. We went in a bit early, because we always sit in this one corner. B and his friend have sat in that corner for years, so I started sitting there too. Apparently the night before, a weird guy was sitting there, so Kevin wanted to make sure we got it. So we went in and sat and I saved the seat in the corner for B. There was this guy talking a little loudly and started chatting with Kevin. He said something about, this is so and so and she’s a woman. Kevin’s like, yeah I can tell. I got all settled in my seat and Kevin and I were chatting.

Right before the meeting started the guy goes, does she know how pretty she is? Kevin goes, I don’t know, ask her. I’m like, me? Guy goes, yeah what’s your name? I tell him. Then he’s like, you’re pretty. I’m like, thanks. And the meeting started.

B’s friend got there and took the corner seat on my left so Kevin was on my right. B got there so Kevin moved over for B to sit next to me. The meeting is going, and the creepy guy brings up a topic. Then someone else brings up a topic. The floor is open. Creepy guy shares right away on the second topic. Alrighty then.

So the meeting is going and I guess creepy guy doesn’t like silence. Everytime there was a break in sharing, he had to fill it. Dude shared 4 times. 4. We only share once. I don’t know why the leader didn’t say anything.

Oh and the last time dude shared, he said he had 46 years sober. Right. Sorry, don’t think so. If you’ve been around 46 years, you know we only share once in meetings.

So at the end of the meeting, we stand to hold hands and pray and I hear, wait, I wanna hold your hand. B has my right hand and is pulling me away and dude is like, I just wanna hold your hand. The whole time I’ve got my left hand firmly at my side haha! B goes, sir! And then he calls his friend and I call his friend and I say to the guy, sorry, I have a thing about strangers. This was a blatant lie. I don’t care who’s hand I hold in meetings, but the way he went about it…

Our friend is usually my wing man and he’s gotten between me and strange guys before. So I scolded him after, telling him he was a bad wing man. Well, before the meeting, Kevin had put a bunch of chairs in front of the corner chair as a joke so our friend had a hard time getting out to get to me hahaha!

So we left and went to pick up food and we’re going inside and B stops in the doorway so we’re half in, half out. I hear him say, go ahead, and then a guy goes, I’m not leaving. B says, well, we’re coming in, I need to read the menu. And the guy acted like it was a big pain to let us in. B’s like, she’s blind. And then under his breath he’s like, more creeps.

We order and are waiting for food and one of B’s old friends is there so we chatted with him and then left after we got our food.

We’re walking across the parking lot and B goes Geez! And kinda halts. I’m like what????? He’s like, this guy, idiot, and keeps walking. I asked what the guy was doing because I had heard a car, and then I thought I heard B say get in the car, but he has to unlock it. He’s like, are you ok? I’m like no just get in the car! So I explained that I thought he was telling me to get in the car and I didn’t know what the guy was doing and after creepy guy and rude dude I was a little wigged out. I guess the guy was just driving stupid.

So yeah. That was my weird adventure last night.

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Filed under fellowship, no no sightie, random stuff, sobriety

Doggy Countdown – This nesting gonna kill me

Ooooh I really want to document today but we’ll see if my exaustion permits it haha! Got my coffee, wo we’ll see how it goes.

I realized yesterday that I’m totally nesting. Just like a pregnant woman does. I’m getting everything ready, cleaning, organizing etc. There have been things I’ve wanted to accomplish for quite awhile now, even since before going blind. The redecorating is a good example of that. All that is almost done. Once I get my towels washed on Saturday, that stuff will be complete.

A major issue around here since I went blind, is keeping things contained. Not my stuff. B’s stuff. Papers, magazines, mail, whatever. It litters the breakfast bar and the coffee table. If things are too close to edges, I knock stuff off all the time. A few months ago when my rehab teacher was coming over, she gave me some pointers. Like having trays around for B’s stuff. Trays will keep it contained, and it would make things much easier to move for when I’m cleaning. I never got around to getting them. So a few days ago I remembered about the trays and looked on Amazon, even though I wasn’t due for a purchase until next month. Oh well. I need those. So I got 6 stackable Rubbermaid trays made for an office, and a large serving tray for the coffee table. I got the stackable trays today. That was freakin fast lol! So I ended up using 4 for B’s side of the breakfast bar, and got all his papers shoved in there. I really don’t even thik he needs all that crap, but I don’t know what it is, so in it went. I used 2 on my side for my purse and sunglasses haha!! The large serving tray will be ideal for the coffee table and his papers, magazines and remotes. This is good, because all that stuff is whithin tail reach. So I can’t wait to get that.

I got ahead of myself. I had an adventure cleaning before the trays arrived, so when they arrived, it helped ease me out of frustration.

First, I got everything up off the floor starting at 8:30 this morning. I moved the coffee table so I could really get to the area around and under it. I started vacuuming. I’m pretty sure the canister is full. But I have no idea how to remove it. I vacuum my entry way and clean off the hair around the brush. I have so much ahir, that I have to stop after every room and clean it off the brush. The carpet isn’t feeling completely clean. I move into the living room. Same thing. I think that damn canister is so full that it’s just kicking stuff back out. Ugh. I need to tell B to please empty it when he uses it. I always clean off the hair after I use it, but he doesn’t. Arg. So I put the vacuum under the counter so I can have him empty it when he gets home.

Then I need to do the floors. So I move the chairs and the trash cans and the cat food and then the stupid water thing we have just sucks. It’s one of those refilling ones, but you just kinda set the bottle in there. It sucks. Youc an’t move it. So I get my popcorn bowl and throw the whole thing in there and stick that in the sink. Then I went over the whole floor with my dirt devil thing with the hose (different vacuum). I gave up on sweeping last time I did the floor because it just didn’t work. So I did the kitchen and the bathroom, then I got my new Swiffer Wet Jet. It definitely works better when the floor is vacuumed or swept. I swiffered the hell out of all the tiles. Then I got the dirt devil thing again and went around all the edges in the house, where fur and whatever else likes to collect. In the bedroom, something got sucked up. A cat toy I had missed I think. I got a whire hanger and stuck it in there to clear the blockage. Luckily it wasn’t stuck in the hose. While feeling around doing the edge around the tv, I discovered that I don’t know how the hell B hooked up the tv. Now, when I hook something, wires go behind things so their out of the way. Not hanging in front of the table, around table legs, and behind it. What??? There are wires everywhere. That has to change. Not to mention all the hats falling from seemingly everywhere the vacuum touched. Hats. Everywhere. I finally get done and put the vacuum up and I’m pulling the coffee table back when smash.

Oh shit.

No.

Not the popcorn tin.

No no no.

Yep. Lid not on properly. It spilled. Popcorn. Spilled. At this point I screamed B’s name.

I clean up the popcorn the best I can and texted him telling him the popcorn died because he didn’t have the lid on tight and it got knocked over since he keeps it under the coffee table. He told his co-woker and she hit him for me.

So that is getting thrown out, and nothing like that will ever live on the floor again, especially not when I have my dog.

This is when the trays came, so I was happy to put those in their spot and shove all the crap he refuses to go through in there. Can’t wait for my coffee table tray.

Oh! I forgot to mention the bad Helen Keller joke I did to myself. Several times. I forgot I moved the chairs to do the floors. So the first time I ran into it with my knee. The second time I was getting ready to kneel on the floor and caught the corner of the chair with my arse. Owwwww. I’m sure there are a couple bruises. Not to mention scraping my arm on the drawers in the kitchen.

I am taking a vow. Here. For you all to see. I must, I absolutely must, vacuum and do the floors once a week. I have to. Putting it off and then trying to get them nice in once day just doesn’t work. It’s that, or pay someone to do it.

So, Tuesdays and/or Thursdays are my days to do the floors. I will blog if I do them. Can someone please, please hold me accountable until this becomes routine? Pathetic, I know, needing to be held accountable to get in the habit of cleaning. But hey, it’s worked with the exercise.

I’m so grateful I’m in this nesting phase, trust me. I want to get everything I want done before the dog comes. A lot of this probably never would have happened if I weren’t getting a dog, and it’s gonna be so nice when it’s done.

Ok my body is killing me after typing lol. This might not have been the best day to clean because it’s rany and that always makes me hut. I can’t gurantee that I’ll edit this beast, so if typos remain, so sorry.

33 days!!

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Filed under Adjustment to blindness, Amazon, coffeeholic, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, gratitude, no no sightie, pooch preparation, rant, silly girl, spoons, weather

Doggy Countdown – Whatever comes to me

I am exhausted haha. I can’t believe how busy this week has been. It’s not like I did a ton, but definitely more than usual. Just getting back into the swing of things after the holidays I think is making me tired. Having chosen to write a post every day until I go to school, I’m always thinking about when I’ll have time to blog, which has actually been harder than you’d think, to find time. Right now I’m waiting for L to come pick up the old tv, which will be nice to have that out of my way. But she said she’d be here around 3 and it’s now after 3 and I haven’t heard from her. Thought I might as well start writing now in case I get a last minute ride to a meeting like yesterday.

Anyway, wanted to mention the fake service dog. I don’t remember what day it was now. Lish texted me asking if all service dogs have some kind of identification. I told her yes, and she said there was a liar liar at Taco Bell. Apparently someone had a dog in there, telling Taco Bell it was a service dog. I told Lish she ought to say something to the employees, because they just said ok and let the dog in. I guess it was whining and begging for food. Then, I went to the meeting, and someone had a dog in there. We used to have a sign that said only service dogs allowed, but it got lost. So Kevin, knowing my issue, told the leader. She didn’t know what to do and I said I’d announce it, but others heard and told the girl she had to leave. I guess she had a little dog in her freakin purse. She said she had been there before, and that’s what happens when rules aren’t enforced. Some people sounded like they didn’t like it, so when I got called on to share, I worked it in, why we can only have service dogs. Explaining that service dogs are trained, and the handler has legal rights, and non trained dogs can distract the service dog, etc. After the meeting, some guy actually admitted to me that he pets guide dogs, knowing he shouldn’t. I told him don’t. He said he only does it when they’re sitting. I told him don’t. I don’t even have my dog yet and I’m running into silly sighties already.

During the middle of my writing that, L came with some really nice people who took the old tv. The guy was really nice, asking if he could move the chair, then once they had taken the tv out, I heard him ask L to put the chair back so I’d know where it was. Ah, good sightie, good sightie haha! My sensory issues kicked in a little and as soon as they left I jumped in the shower and got dressed before finishing this up. Kevin called and I’m going to the meeting in a bit.

I guess my postal service and FedEx rant will have to wait.

I did escalators with Dave today. I was his first student ever to do up and down in the same day. I wanted to make sure to get those in before I go to school. When he showed me tricks, they were a cinch!

Got my dog bowls and they were the wrong ones. I’ll write about those tomorrow too. Oh, but got my L^2 prints and Carol was here and she said they’re lovely. That will get it’s own post tomorrow.

Tomorrow won’t be a crazy day, at least I hope not. I’m freakin exhausted haha!

39 days? 38? Herm.

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Filed under accomplishment, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, dogs, fellowship, gratitude, guide dogs, no no sightie, Orientation and Mobility, pooch preparation, rant, spoons

doggy Countdown – The mall and cats

Yesterday’s shopping experience at the mall made me afraid that I hate people. Do I hate people, or just people at the mall? I told B, I’m so used to talking to people online, that I rarely get annoyed and end up thinking that I love all people. Then I get out there and, freakin idiots, everywhere. Everywhere! In the parking lot, walking down the halls, whatever. At one point we’re walking through Sears and I hear people not speaking English up ahead. I’m not trying to be racist, but that’s what I heard. A huge group. B says “excuse us”. Jabber jabber jabber. They completely ignore him. So I start tapping my cane and finally they get out of the way. Then we’re going to get on the elevator and a ton of people got on, and they’re trying to urge us to get on. No really, we’ll take the next one. Oh but there’s plenty of room. No, thanks, we’ll wait. Seriously people, it’s one floor. B said there would have been this tiny sliver of space for us. Then when we’re done with Sears, we’re walking towards the food court and these people walk really close to me and one of them actually wacks my cane. I said, someone just wacked my cane. B says who? and turns around. I guess someone was looking back, but no apology. Last year we went to a mall in WV. It was crowded. No one bumped into me. One woman did and fell all over herself apologizing and we had a laugh. Everyone was so nice there. Not here. People here drive me nuts. I’m realizing that I’ve been pretty sheltered since going blind. I go to Saavi and meetings and Walgreens and for now that’s about it. Holy cow. Ok, that was my rant, now I’ll get to fun stuff.

When we first arrived at the mall, we walked through the doors and I smelled food. So I figured out we came in the food court. I asked if we came in the door on the right. I can still kind of remember it from my sightie days. I wanted to pay attention, because my dog and I will be going to Cinnabon when I take her there in the summers. So I let my nose guide me to Cinnabon. Success! We will definitely be going in the middle of the week at like 10am. I will never go to the mall on a weekend again. Not gonna rant again, promise.

We go to Lady Footlocker and I tell B I want a salesperson’s help. He’s like, they’re busy. I’m like, ok, look for cross trainers. They’re not labeled like that. Ok, look for waterproof. Um, here’s a pair like your pink ones. My pink ones? Yeah, the pink ones with the laces. I have pink Crocs, not pink tennis shoes. After feeling the shooe he handed me, I know he’s talking about my tan Sketchers. Pink? Haha! So the salesgirl comes up and I ask for water proof shoes. She’s like those are really hard to find. I’m like, ok, got any cross trainers that are mostly leather? I explain that I’m going to San Rafael to get a guide dog and it’ll rain. Oh, I understand. Well I’ve got these Nike’s here, mostly leather. It’s about the closest I have to waterproof. Ok, what color? One black pair, one white pair. K, can I see the black? Sure, want me to measure your foot? That would be fab. She measured my foot. She was great. Such service. Talked to me and not to B. Brought out the shoe. Asked if I wanted insoles. Um, I don’t know. Why don’t I put one in one shoe and you can try them and see. Ok. Slides shoe on. Slides other shoe on. Wow. Comfy. I want the insoles. She says she thinks they’ll help with all the walking. We pay and she says have a good trip and Happy New Year. Keep that receipt, come back every 3 or 4 months and we’ll replace the insoles. Wow. Ok, so I live in Crocs. Know what those are? Those rubber shoes. They got popular among medical staff and then took off. They’ve got those clogs with the holes in them. I wear those in the winter and the Crocs flip flops in summer. These Nike’s are almost as comfortable as my Crocs. I wore them to Gamma’s today. Can’t wait to work out in them tomorrow! They’ll be great for school!

At one point while she was getting the shoes, B handed me the display to feel it and was telling me it was all black. I hear a man say, is there a men’s Footlocker? Then B whispers to me, does it look like I work here? I’m like, well, you were showing me the shoe hahaha!!

We looked at suitcases at Dillards, way overpriced. I looked at black undershirts. 30 a packet of 3. No thanks. We went to Sears and that’s where my rant started. Plus, they had the heat cranked up and it was so freakin hot. The suitcases felt really flimsy. So I don’t think I’ll bother with a new suitcase.

We were leaving and I wanted a Cinnabon so we stopped off and then were headed out. There were some teens behind us and one of them laughed just like Butthead. No joke. So B and I stifled laughter until we were out of the mall.

We came home for a bit and then I put on my red dress and some makeup for the Melting Pot, for my birthday dinner. It was great as always, but we’re pretty sure our server was high. He put wine in the cooking base. Um, the one we ordered had no wine. Oh, ops, let me take that away. He explained the cooking times. Then about the tongs. Then explained the cooking times. Yeah. When we were looking at the menu, B asked what salad I normally get. I said, I think it’s the California blend? He laughed and said, that’s weed. It’s the California salad. So after the server explained the cooking times twice, I said he had a little too much California blend. Later the server was a little more normal and I said he drank the wine.

So the shopping and dinner wrapped up my birthday. Holy crap I wrote a lot and haven’t even gotten to the cats.

I’m really getting nervous about leaving the cats. I know they’ll be fine. We left them last year for 9 days when Spinelli was brand new. I was already nervous about me leaving for 3 weeks and coming back with a dog, and Now B will be gone for 2 of those weeks. He’ll be back for the last week I’m gone. II just always have had a hard time leaving my cats. When B and I first got together, we went to Sedona for a week and I hated leaving Combat. The reunion was so amazing. I had a few friends watch him. When we went to WV last year, my one friend watched the cats. But she’s not a cat person. And this will be for a longer time. And she’s been kinda weird with me lately. So I’m nervous to ask her. I can’t think of anyone else though. I’m sure it will be fine, and she lives in the complex so it’s really ideal. But They’re gonna be so lonely without us. They’re gonna wonder where we are. Last night the usual cat dance didn’t happen. Timmy curled up next to me on the bed, and when Spinelli came in, she curled up next to him. I fell asleep with my arm across timmy and my hand on Spinelli. This morning, I swear Spinelli didn’t want me typing. She was crawling all over me and meowing. What are they gonna think when I’m gone? Oh man. It’ll be fine, I know, but I’m dreading it. I will sob the day I leave. Always do. And then when I get to the airport I’ll be ok. And then midway through the trip I will freak out and need an update on the cats.

The time is just gonna fly. It already is. I can’t believe it! Oh! Today my Gamma says, I have a problem with the dog coming over. Oh? Yeah what if he poops in the yard? I can’t bend over to clean it up. Oh. I have to relieve the dog, no problem, I can pick it up. Haha! She’s so cute.

Ok, wow I wrote a lot. Time to edit and post. Oh, I’m craving Eggo’s. Carin, know why?

44 days!!!

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Filed under birthday, cats, Combat, Doggy Countdown, Doggy Diaries, Gamma, GDB, guide dogs, no no sightie, pooch preparation, rant, Spinelli, Timmy, white cane, workouts

My buddies, my pals, my canes

Thursday October 15 is White Cane Day. President Lyndon Johnson made October 15 cane day, in recognition of the blind and safety. How cool is that? I feel like I should buy my cane a present…instead, I thought I’d write about them, since there are stories of 2 canes in my life.

My first cane was bought for me by my best friend, this time last year. I can’t be certain of the month, but I know it was in or before November. After I went blind, I heard about Saavi – Southern Arizona Association for the Visually Impaired. Friends kept urging me to call, but I wasn’t ready. My grandma’s old exterminator had gone on to learn to be an orientation and mobility instructor in Texas, and he still kept in touch with her. When he found out about me, he gave grandma the number and contact name of a woman at Saavi. She told me she would give it to me when I was ready.

So when my friend bought me that cane, and brought it over, I was intrigued. It was a 5 fold, and she showed me how to unfold and refold. It had a pointed tip on the end. We talked about going to the park and playing with it. I played with it in the house, but didn’t really know what to do with it. I had seen movies where people tapped sticks back and forth, and that was the extent of my knowledge.

Upon finding out what she had done, several people told her she should send it back. I hadn’t gotten it yet; she ordered it online. I thought it was a wonderful gesture, but people told her she should send it back, that I needed proper training with it, it might not be the right size, etc. She called me in tears and asked if she should send it back. I told her no way. I told her even if it was the wrong size, it was the first cane, and it was from her. I wanted it.

The day after it arrived, I called Saavi. And that is how my journey began, how I came to start my “blind training”.

I kept saying “my cane, my cane”, and it was during the 2008 presidential elections. John McCain was running, and everytime I said “my cane”, it sounded like “McCain”. Sarah Palen was always calling McCain a “maverick”, so the cane was named Maverick hehe.

I began preliminary O & M lessons with Dave. He came over, looked at the cane and it was the right size. He recommended a roller ball for the end. It was a ball about the size of a cue ball that affixed to the end of the cane, for constant contact with the ground. I happily agreed, wanting the best possible. Dave had also brought a cane from Saavi, in case Maverick didn’t work. He told me to keep it as a spare, and I stuck it under the cabinet.

I used Maverick for wow, like, 6 or 7 months. I loved it! the only thing was that it was really hard to unfold after a lot of use. The joints would stick and I had a hard time undoing it to fold. I would lubricate the joints with chapstick, and it helped a little.

A few months ago, my friend Stephan at Saavi started his O & M and one day I ran into him and his O & M instructor. He said something about how Stephan had gotten the self lubricating cane and I thought, huh? I asked if I could see it, and the joints came apart so easy! I said I wanted one of those, and the instructor said its all they use. I realized that cane I had stuck under the cabinet was probably one of these.

So I told Dave I wanted to try that one, and I was also envious of Stephans tip. He had a mushroom tip on his cane that was much smaller than my roller ball, which made a lot of noise. Dave brought over a smaller roller ball and we put it on the other cane and went for a lesson. I loved it! The cane is lighter and I am able to pick up more through it. I really liked the smaller ball, because it was quieter. It also picks up more. The big roller balls are good for beginners, or heavy terrain like hiking, because they roll over more than the small balls, and the pencil tip gets jabbed into cracks and such.

So I retired Maverick and broke the news to my friend. She said it had fulfilled its mission, because it got me to start getting help, and she’s absolutely correct. Maverick now lives under the cabinet, and it has the smaller ball on it, so its my backup. My current cane is Mav 2. Though I usually just say, my cane.

Words cannot express how using Maverick started my soul healing. I could “see” again. When walking in my complex, I heard echos from the cane if I tapped it, and I could tell where buildings were. I felt shorelines and “saw” the sidewalk.

Maverick opened my eyes again. Its only been recently that I’ve really stepped up the training with Mav 2, in preparation for a guide dog. Before that, I would use the cane primarily to get arond Saavi without help, and a few times out with friends. Now I’m definitely doing more with it, and relying on it a lot more.

When I’m doing human guide, I hold the cane for identification purposes, to alert the sighties that a blind woman is coming 😉 It works like a charm. For the most part, the waters part and my friends and I are able to move with ease. It also helps alert me to curbs and steps, even though friends alert me, I like having my cane there to help with that stuff. Dave loves it on our lessons when he watches cars all but stop and give us a wide birth hehe!

Anyway, I just wanted to talk about my canes. With all the talk of guide dogs, I have neglected my first best friend here. And every blind person must have top notch cane skills before getting a dog, so my cane deserves recognition.

Oh, I read another blog and he sometimes gives tips to the sighted, and I like that. So one of my tips regarding the cane. Never ever grab the cane. Its happened to me a few times, and I hate it. Its like grabbing the steering wheel of someone’s car when you’re not the one driving. Big no no 🙂

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Filed under Adjustment to blindness, advocacy, fellowship, no no sightie, Orientation and Mobility, white cane