Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Great things about being blind. Accessible technology right out of the box.

I have loved technology and how it has helped me to stay equal with my non-disabled friends and colleagues. I've been lucky to obtain funding and have money for some technology which can be very expensive if you have to buy it yourself. Up until recently, the technology I used was specialized. I couldn't walk into a store and buy it. I had to send it back to fix it. Last winter, I got an ipod touch. Totally accessible out of the box. The apple store people set it up to talk for me. Yesterday, it crashed. I paniced a bit. I have used it so much. I went to the apple store and he fixed it very quickly. They were courteous and kind. Knew what voiceover software is and fixed it easily and quickly. It had been refusing to talk but now chatters on. I am so grateful that I can walk into a store and get service for my technology just like everyone else. It's about time!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Great things about being blind. Special anniversary.

Ask any guide dog handler and they will tell you what day they met each of their guides, what it was like, what the dogs did. It is like Christmas. A special day we call dog day. Excitement crackles in the air and nervousness too. You are bringing together two live beings. Is it the right match? Will the dog like me? Will the team work? What will the dog be like? The first time, it was pure excitement and nervousness for me. Each subsequent time, excitement tinged with sadness as one partnership ends and another begins. One year ago today, I met the tiny shiny Tulia. Sad in my heart for the loss of a nine year partnership, but excited to meet a new furry guide. And she came into my life bouncing and wagging. She stole my heart right away. She does that with everyone. Thank you Tulia for this year. For your calm, steady work. Your wagging happy self. Your love and care for Gia as she aged and died. Your joyous nature. Your great work. I love you. Let's raise a biscuit to the Tulia and many more wonderful years together.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Great things about being blind. Calming of the wind.

We were lucky and did not get pounded by the hurricane that has raged across the U.S. and parts of Canada. However, it was very windy yesterday. someone asked me a question about what disorients me and what makes me afraid. In some ways, that is wind. Wind makes it very difficult to hear. If you can't hear when you are blind, you don't hear traffic approaching, people approaching. It disorients you a little and you may not be sure quite where you are. all you hear is the sound of the wind. Or things blowing around. So, we set off for a walk yesterday but I found the wind hard to travel through and disorienting and since it was just a pleasure walk, we returned home. Today the wind is calm and I hear all things again. A friend describes the wind as a blind person's fog. It is in many ways. I like to hear the wind when I don't have to travel in it. Wind in the trees, wind howling when you are safe inside, wind on a beach near the ocean, all lovely. Wind on the street when you are trying to navigate your way about, not so lovely.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Creating a world for your stories.

I am in the midst of creating my one woman storytelling show at the moment called, Flying through the dark. I wrote frantically and furiously, recorded myself extensively, and now am taking some time to try to explain my world to others. The little things. How do I know who walked into a room if they didn't talk? by their walk? By the smell of their perfume? How do I move from one place to another? How do I read traffic? How do I experience light and dark? As with anyone else, my world is normal to me. To explain it to others, I sometimes need to think very carefully about what I do and how I do it. Not that the show will be filled with long explanations on this but I want to put the right words in at the right time. This is so fascinating! Tough but ultimately rewarding I am confident in that.

Great things about being blind. Echo location.

Yesterday, a friend and I were talking about echo location as she heard about it on the radio. That is where some blind people seem to be able to figure out things in their environment by clicking their tongues and hearing the sounds bouncing off objects. I am probably not explaining it well. As a kid, we called this facial vision as you kind of felt in your face when there were objects around you. I have it. don't know quite how I got it. It doesn't seem to be as involved as some people have but I haven't consciously practiced it. I do sense in my face when there are objects near me. People, trees, garbage cans. I can also sense door ways as I walk along a hallway. Open spaces and when building start up again after a parking lot. I am going to try to work on this skill more and see what happens. I'll keep the blog posted too.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Great things about being blind. Dog transitions.

My third guide dog was a wonderful golden retreiver named Gia. We worked together as a team for nine years. Last year on August 26, we took our final walk as a working team together. Gia was almost 11 and had slowed down a lot. Work was harder but still doable. As we walked those familiar steps up our block, tears ran down my face, slipped from under my sunglasses. A woman asked if I was lost. I shook my head. Not physically lost. How would I learn to love and trust a new dog? I kept Gia in her retirement and you all know if you've been reading, that she died of cancer this past winter. but, even as I thought, how can I love another dog? In bounced my current guide. She is one of the happiest most joyful dogs I've ever known but also is calm and confident and self assured. And our hearts open up and expand and love a whole different being. So, a great thing about being blind is having dogs that expand our capacity to keep loving new beings. Thanks to my four wonderful guides for that.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Great things about being blind. Moving things around in the dark.

The other night, while some parts of our province were experiencing tornados, we did have heavy rain and strong winds in the middle of the night. I heard them and got up, went downstairs to check the windows and what was around them. I closed both living room and kitchen windows, moved a few things away from beside them, cleaned a tiny bit of water on the floor, and all without turning on a light or waking up people or dogs. Eventually, my guide dog came down and wanted to play and we played a bit in the dark before going back to bed. Stay safe all in this hurricane season.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Performing tonight in the story slam at the bytown museum.

Since we started our story slams in Ottawa bout a year ago now, I'm quite hooked on them. The competition is fun but not essential. The fun part is hearing all of the stories, the audience reactions. Also, because you get time penalties if you go over five minutes, you get lots of practice in shaping stories for that amount of time. There are benefits to that for sure. You get to know what stories will work in that time length and what stories will not. You also get to have a repertoire of stories that are short and easy to pull out if you are asked to give people a five minute tale. Come to the bytown museum for 7 PM tonight thursday August 25. Admission is free and the tellers will all be wonderful and all telling stories that mention our city in some way.

Great things about being blind. My wonderful neighbour.

My neighbour rang our bell the other day to tell me that she had found a ten dollar bill near our door. I hadn't noticed it missing and maybe it wasn't mine but it was folded like I fold my money, so perhaps I did lose it. Whether or not I lost it, I took it. She could have just grabbed it but she didn't. She is very awesome. Our canadian bills do have some identification marks on them but I still fold them each differently and also place them in different parts of my wallet. I have no idea how it ended up there but I have it now. What should I buy with it? Tulia says dog treats dog treats!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Great things about being blind. Audible bus stop announcements.

A few times in the past few weeks, I had to go to an unfamiliar destination on the bus. This has gotten easier than it used to be for me. For one thing, traveling with a guide dog makes these trips easier and more fun and adventurous. also, our bus system here now finally has audible announcements of each stop. No more worrying about whether or not the bus driver will remember to tell me where my stop is. I just listen for the announcements and get off when I need to. I still need to ask sometimes but not nearly as much. Of course, with any technology, these announcements might not always be working but it is nice to be able to be even more independent when riding the buses.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Great things about being blind. Reading at the movies.

Yesterday, three adults, three guide dogs, and a four-year-old boy all went to the movies. I know many people don't think blind people go to movies but we do. And our guides do. We arrived at the large group of theatres. My friend and I went to see the last Harry Potter movie which we both liked. My guide dog Tulia snored very loudly through much of it. My friend's husband and young son went to the smerfs. The boy liked it. the man was not so impressed. So, while his son was enjoying the movie, he read his audio book, checked his e-mail and twitter feeds. I thought this was great. Only a blind person could do this at the movies. He used his iphone that is totally accessible with screen reading software built in.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Great things about being blind. The power of storytelling.

Yesterday, at a storytelling event, I heard a very riveting story by a wonderful storyteller. I know it took great courage to stand up and share very personal autobiographical material with a group of people. Courageous on two fronts. First, courageous for creating it, making it a performance, an entity, and next courageous for perofrming it in front of us. For giving it life. At the same event, another friend told me of a harrowing experience she had while rock kimbing a few weeks back. When in the midst of it, she was asked to tell a story. They wanted to hear a story. This is her story and I won't share more of it without permission. but, it just reminds me how much I love storytelling and the whole wonderful storytelling community.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Great things about being blind. The moving tobogganing hill.

They say that about 90 percent of what a person learns comes through his/her eyes. This is why it is difficult for children born blind as I was to learn if they aren't given the right opportunities. I am so grateful to have come from a family that let me explore, explained things, and didn't put barriers in my path. The other day, after writing about the rides, I was reminded of something that happened when I was very little. I don't remember this. My mom took me on a toboggan (americans call them sleds I think) down a little hill near our house in the wintertime. I loved it. When we got to the bottom, I said, "Turn the hill on again mom." I had thought that the hill under us moved and the toboggan remained still.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Great things about being blind. Blogging and storytelling.

Those of you who have seen my storytelling performances know that much of my storytelling material comes from autobiographical stories that I create and perform. When I started this blog, I planned to write every day for a year one great thing about being blind. And I have done it so far. I wanted to do this to dispel some of the myths about disability. I hope I am doing this. But, I never thought how blogging could provide me with great story ideas. They work hand in hand so nicely. Blogging is not a hardship. In fact, I now have three blogs. My great things about being blind blog, my storytelling blog, and a blog written by my guide dog. See links below as I am crossposting this to all three blogs. Am I a blind blogaholic? Quite possibly! Do I mind? Not at all. Great things about being blind. My storytelling blog Tulia's guide dog blog

Friday, August 19, 2011

Great things about being blind. Please don't be silent.

The other day, my guide dog and I were approaching a door to get into a building. It is a door we often use. A woman was there holding the door open. I do appreciate politeness as we all do I am sure. However, she held the door without telling me she was holding it. As my dog brought me up to it, I put out my hand to grab the handle and ended up touching her chest. She yelped, I moved back. She said, "I was just holding the door for you." I said, "Thank you but next time could you mention that you are holding the door?" She stamped off and didn't hold the next one. Sometimes I wonder why sighted people get all quiet when a blind person enters a room? Are they watching me intently? Do they not know what to say or do? Rule of thumb, talk to me. Tell me you are holding the door and then I wion't grab at any part of your body. And thank you to the majority of people out there who give wonderful descriptions and are very polite.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Great things about being blind. The pirate ship.

Yesterday, I wrote about the bumper cars. As I said then, I've never been great at rides. They make me feel queezy. My brother once tried to convince me to go on a rollercoaster that went upside down by saying that since I was totally blind, I wouldn't even know when we went upside down. Neither of us believed that of course.
So, one time, as an adult, a friend asked me to go on that pirate ship ride. It is a long boat like a swing which swings up and back and forth until I guess you feel like you will fall out.
Well, I finally went on it. As the ride got higher, she started grabbing on to me. I didn't feel much. It just felt like a swing. I didn't feel like I was going to fall out or anything.
an advantage of being blind I guess. By the end, she could hardly walk as she guided me out. I was walking fine and feeling okay. Yay for blindness.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Great things about being blind. Riding the bumper cars.

I was reading an article about rollercoasters yesterday.  I didn't know there were so many kinds of rollercoasters.  Reading the article though made me a little queezy.  I don't do well on most rides.
The one ride I always liked was the bumper cars.  I got to drive them.  And bump into things.  On purpose!
One summer, I was running a camp for blind kids.  We went to our local fair that summer (called the exhibition here) and as we walked over, the kids talked about all of the rides.
Especially about driving the bumper cars.
I was pretty excited about that too actually.
The kids were much more adventurous than I was and went on all kinds of rides.
We got to the bumper cars.
There were enough volunteers and staff for one sighted person for each blind person.
When we got there, the man in charge of the ride asked,
"who is in charge here?"
"I am." I said.
"I hope you aren't going to let these blind people drive the bumper cars?"
"I am actually."
"You should not."
And then he said the thing that I will never forget.
The thing that still makes me laugh and shake my head in wonder to this day.
He said, "Well.  They might bump into something."
"Yes." I said and waited for more.
But no more came.
The kids were all crying now.
"I thought you said we could drive the bumper cars."
I went around to each pair of kid/volunteer.
I whispered, "Get in the cars.  And once they start, let the blind people drive.  What is he going to do?  Stop the ride?  Accuse us of wreckless driving?"
So, that is what we all did.  Myself included.
yes I too was a rebel and drove those bumper cars.
And yes, I bumped into things.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Great things about being blind. Easier to do research.

I have been doing a lot of research for some historical storytelling for two upcoming shows. One is historical stories this week at the bytown museum on Thursday august 18. The other one is a christmas show about 500 years of christmas so researching into historical christmas material.
Before the internet, research was not easy for me. I had to find people to go through books and read things into a recorder. I still sometimes need this. but, a lot of research and reading can now be done by me independently on line. I am and have always been very curious and eager for knowledge so the more I can learn by myself, the better I like it. Thanks internet, blogging, e-mail, and what did I ever do before I had all of this technology?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Great things about being blind. Back to the driving range story.

As I said in a post last week, I know that there are many excellent blind golfers but I am not one of them. I talked about how much we loved the golf course by our cottage. For walking on and playing tag on at night. One time, several years ago, I went with friends to a driving range to try to learn how to hit a golf ball. They gave me a few pointers and then went off to practice their swings and their driving and puting. I had a whole bucket of balls beside me and a tee and a club. I put my first ball on the tee, touched it, lined the club up with it using my hands, and swung. I missed. I missed again and again. Finally, I hit the ball a glancing blow and it went off the tee but only moved about six inches from the tee. This went on for about ten minutes. I had that full bucket of balls we had paid for but still the same ball on my tee. I started laughing which did not help matters. Sometimes I hit the ball but the furthest it rolled away was about a foot. I finally ended up lying on the grass laughing and laughing.
The people next to me said I was having quite a good time but was I using all of those balls in the bucket?
I said I didn't think I would be using very many of them.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Audio description of sports.

There are some sports that I enjoy watching. Sports that are well described like track events and swimming. There are sports that are boring or difficult to watch. Visual sports like tennis. I thought about how congenitally blind people can often be not very physically active. They are not necessarily encouraged to try sports. but also, they don't know what those sports involve. They can't see a down hill skier and how fast they move. They don't know what a shot put is like or how someone flies over a high jump. They don't know what a speed skating oval looks like. The best way to get blind kids active is to introduce them to all kinds of activities and get them participating. Also, make sure those around them (families, teachers, and others) know that activities can be done. But, also audio describing sporting events such as the olympics will provide enjoyment for those of us who love to watch sports. All of us. Those who have been blind since birth or acquired blindness at an older age. So many athletes say they were inspired by watching the sports on tv. Here's hoping that watching olympics and other sporting events becomes even more accessible in the future.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Great things about being blind. The animals in the forest.

I went with some of my family last night to the cottage where I spent my summers all through my childhood. Being there is wonderful and peaceful and brings back great memories. This morning, as my guide dog and I sat out on the deck quite early, I heard a rustling noise in the forest. It sounded like quite a big animal. a deer perhaps. They have been known to appear there quite recently. But no! When I asked if anyone saw anything, they saw a tiny chipmunk. Now the chipmunk has a tiny little voice and is small but its rustling sounded big. Perhaps these animals rustle themselves in the forest leaves to sound larger and more imposing than they are. This isn't the first time I've thought a squirrel or a rabit or chipmunk was something considerably larger. On another note, thanks all for the wonderful comments and blogs. Keep them coming. On the topic of blogs, I have two additional blogs besides this one. One is written by me about storytelling things. The other is written by my guide dog tulia from her point of view. Here are their links. Kim Kilpatrick's storytelling blog tulia the guide dog's blog

Friday, August 12, 2011

Great things about being blind. Imagination.

I heard the term meteor shower yesterday. It got me thinking.
I've been totally blind since birth and of course have never seen a meteor shower. So, I started thinking about it. The words themselves sound wonderful. Meteor shower. The picture in my mind is sounds raining down on me in the dark. Sounds like high clear bells, like little wind chime sounds, like high clear singing notes, all falling around me. Beautiful sharp clear sounds falling all around me in the night. I don't know what a meteor shower looks like but it sounds wonderful.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I have two new blogs on word press

I have two new blogs on wordpress.
One is Tulia's blog.
This is where she writes about being a guide dog.
You can find it at
The other one is just for storytelling posts by me.
I will continue to post those here as well though.
It is at
Just checking to see if wordpress is more accessible than blogger.
BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Great things about being blind. Great question. How do you know when your guide dog needs to retire?

Yesterday, someone asked me about how I knew gia (my last guide dog) was ready to retire last summer. If I couldn't see, how would I know these things. I talked about feeling her slow down, her hesitancy on stairs, how she seemed more nervous of loud noises, how she slowed down and seemed confused when things got crowded or complicated. They asked, "but how did you know without seeing it?"
This happened at a storytelling gig I did for seniors.
I thought a lot about it.
Good questions really.
How did I know?
Of course her pace slowed down in harness when we walked together.
Also, she didn't pull as much or as hard. She would stop and bump me with her head if things seemed difficult or confusing. She would startle a bit if a loud noise occurred just ahead of us or more often behind us. She would also sometimes pause for a moment when moving from shade to sun. The combination of the feeling of the movements in harness and knowing her as I did for all of the years we were together, I knew. In the house, she didn't go up and down stairs as much and did so more slowly. How did I know? By the sound of her walking paws, the jingle of her collar. It makes me think that when I am storytelling and doing autobiographical stories, I need to use those descriptive words to make sure others know how I perceive the world. A well chosen word here and there will bring the point across. Thanks for the great questions yesterday.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Workshops in the fall.

I have been asked again to teach a six week (3 hours per week) storytelling workshop in the fall. It will be on Monday afternoons from September 26 for the next six weeks. If anyone is interested please contact me for details.

Great things about being blind. Game of golf?

There are many very good blind golfers out there.  I am not one of them.
The first time I was interested in a golf course, was when I was quite small.  Our cottage was on the edge of one.  I liked to walk across the grass in my bare feet.  The grass was a bit longer but then the grass on the greens was so short and soft just like moss.  I loved the feel of that.  There was also a sand trap with very soft fine sand that I liked to touch.  My dad used to pay us for golf balls we found so (especially after rain) we would crawl through ditches and bushes looking for balls.  At night when it was dark, we played tag up there because it was open and there was nothing I could bump into as we ran.  We did it at night without flashlights, so everyone else had the same vision as me.  Which was not much vision.  In fact, I may have had an advantage because I had all of my other senses working.
Tomorrow, I will tell about my visit to the driving range.  It is funny!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Funny incident in the park.

Thought you might like this little incident.
I was supposed to tell stories to adults in the park today for a local community health centre. It is a volunteer gig but it is close by so I did it. Got to the park to learn that the magician for kids had to cancel. I was supposed to tell stories to adults and came with some but they asked if I could tell to the tiny kids instead. Had to tell totally different stories but it was fun.
Here is a little incident that happened.

Great things about being blind. Cruelty to birds?

There is a big international tennis tournament being held at the moment in Canada.  I don't follow tennis or any of the other racket sports.  They are pretty visual to watch I imagine and I don't really understand them all that well.  When I was about 12, my older brother and I were watching the commonwealth games.  I will confess to being olympic watching mad.  Especially swimming as I was a compettitive swimmer.  But other sports too.  Track and other things like that.  Anyway, badminton was on when we were watching.  They kept talking about hitting the bird and all these things about birds.  I tried to puzzle this out for a while.  Then I burst out with, "That is so mean!  Why doesn't the bird just fly away?"  "What bird?"  "The one they are hitting."
My brother couldn't stop laughing about this for hours.
Later, he found a friend with a badminton bird and let me feel that it was a tiny non-living thing!  See what images are in your head when you can't see what is on tv?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Great things about being blind. A very special braille card.

I was busy all day today so didn't get to blog this morning.  On our way home, I picked up and iced coffee, (it is very hot) and as we walked along, I pondered what to blog about.  I had a few ideas but none of them seemed overly inspiring.  When I reached home, there was a box in our mailbox.  What a wonderful surprise.  A box from Tulia's first family to wish us a great upcoming first year anniversary of being together.  Inside the box was a bag of yummy treats.  Well, I assume they are yummy to dogs.  She hasn't had one yet but they certainly got Tulia's attention.  Also, a black lab statue which is wonderful.  As I kept feeling around inside the box, I found a card.  I was so surprised, delighted, and touched, to open it and find I could read it.  Yes, it is in braille.  Saying happy anniversary to  us and a few more sentences.  Ending with, We love you both!  The rest was great but the brailling of the card was super special to me.  It is so wonderful to be able to read cards in packages easily and effortlessly.  this gesture is extra special to me.  Thanks Tulia's first family.  Tulia was their first pup to raise.  The first one may well be harder to give up than others.  But, I suspect whether Tulia was their first or their fifty first, she would be a tough pup to let go.  Thanks for raising her, for helping her grow up, for letting her go, and for all of your friendship now.  You are awesome!  We love you all.  How did you get the braille done?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Great things about being blind. The wonderful describers!

This is a big thank you to my friends yesterday who described things to me.  When you are blind, finding good describers is wonderful.  We were at a friend's wedding reception today and it was held in her back yard.  Several  of my friends and former work colleagues  were there and did a wonderful job of describing things to me.  What people were wearing.  What the yard looked like.  How the tables were set up.  What food was in the buffet.  And they did it so naturally and without me asking them.  Thank you to  you for being friends to me and naturally knowing what I needed to know and telling me.  I'm so glad to have such wonderful, fun friends in my life.  Thank you.  I love getting everyone's descriptions and then forming my own pictures.  It is interesting too because different people provide different descriptions of the same events.  So, I get a multitude of images.  Thank you for that.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Great things about being blind. Blind bowling anyone?

Someone asked me about other games besides darts after I wrote about that the other day. I have tried bowling. There are blind bowlers who are incredibly good. I am not one of them. Mind you, I don't practice it regularly and could most likely improve if I did. I have bowled maybe a handful of times. I ended up once with a prize for the lowest score. but, the thing I remember best about bowling with colleagues from work at a charity event, was that my guide dog at the time, yellow lab Margaret, was lying by the bench. I didn't attach her to anything and thought she would stay where she was. But, as soon as she saw the balls rolling, she leapt up and chased them down the alley. She was lucky not to get hurt. She ran down the alley after those balls and colleagues of mine had to chase her and bring her back. I kept a firm hold of her leash after that for sure. So, yess, I have tried bowling and other similar games. More about them in future days. Thanks for your continued support and links. Will post some of them in future days.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Great things about being blind. The sound of a laugh.

I guess that some of you sighted folks like looking at people.  Okay, I'm sure all of you like it.  You like the smile someone has or the shape of their face or whatever it is.  I can't speak to that.  But I love hearing great and varied laughs.  I heard someone laugh yesterday.  I have no idea who she is.  But her laugh made me think that she loves life and it would be fun to talk with her.  This, of course, may or may not be the case.  I heard the laugh from a distance as I was walking along the sidewalk and thought about how great it was.  I love hearing friends laugh in the audience when I am performing.  Then, I know they're there by their laughs.  Happy friday.  Keep laughing.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Great things about being blind. Darts anyone?

After my blog post about board games and cards the other day, someone asked me about other games and toys people had around the house.  It made me think of darts.  For some reason, I really wanted to learn to play darts.  We ended up with a plastic board with darts that weren't sharp so we could practice.  I wasn't really all that good.  However, the playing darts trick came in handy in University.  One night, a group of us were at a very crowded pub.  I mentioned something about playing darts and so we went and took over the dart board.  The dart board was located in a small separate room.  It was jammed with people.  When I came in and held the darts and people were pointing me in the direction of the board, the room went quiet.  When my friends went and tapped the board to show me where it was, the room cleared.  We had that room to ourselves all night.  Any time someone showed any chance of coming in, I was handed the darts.  It worked every time and it worked many many times.  So, if anyone want to go to a pub with me and clear the place, let's play darts!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Great things about being blind. Nicknames?

I am collecting links submitted to me by my blog readers to post here.
thanks to those who have sent me your blogs too.
I'm enjoying them and will post all soon.
Well, I've heard it all now.
I was out in public yesterday and called my guide dog Tulia Tules which I sometimes do.
this woman said, "Your dog's name is tools?   What a terrible name for a dog."
I said, "Oh no it's not so bad.  You can call her tool box or tool kit or power tools."
"What an awful name."
A part of me thought I would tell her that a hardware store like  Canadian Tire or home hardware or home depot had sponsored her and needed to call her Tools.  But, I didn't.
I kind of like power Tules though.
All day yesterday I was calling her tool box and tool kit and laughing my head off.
doesn't take much to keep me amused does it?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Great things about being blind. The people who read this blog.

It is amazing to me how many people from all over the world are reading this blog.  Thank you so much.
Hearing your comments is wonderful to me.
If any of you have links you would like me to share with others, send them to me and I will try to share them.
It is amazing to meet people from all over the world with similar interests, interesting jobs, and great ideas.
Thank you so very much.
Here is an audio few words from me.
Blog audio intro (mp3)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Great things about being blind. Board games and cards.

Someone asked me a question about whether or not blind people can play board games and cards.  I have played them ever since I can remember.  Some were bought specially made and some we adapted ourselves.  Braille playing cards do exist.  I buy them sometimes but many times I actually braille my own decks with a sighted person reading the cards to me first.  The suits are marked with c for clubs, D for diamonds, etc and the number or letter like J for jack and K for king.
A great thing about this is that you can literally hold your cards under the table and no one sees them.
I had an adapted chess set.  I'm terrible at chess.  Black pieces were flat on top and white pieces had a little bump.  They were shaped in the characters they were and the board had raised squares and little holes.  The bottoms of the chess pieces were pegs which sat in the holes.
There is a braille scrabble game which I have.  Letters are brailled as well as print and the board is labeled with double word, triple letter etc.
We had a braille monopoly game and several other games I can't remember.
but then we adapted a few board games using tape to mark the board, braill labels, and brailling cards etc.
Most games can be adapted.
The only game I really can't play is pictionary.
Thanks for the great question.