Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sorry for what?

Yesterday, we went briefly to the mall so that I could get some pants hemmed and fixed. I don't like braving the boxing day crowds that much but we did it anyway. I left my guide dog home as it was so crowded and went sighted guide. I went into the change room and put on my new pants, came out and stood on the step so that the woman could see them. She pinned them up and then asked me to turn sideways to see the mirror. I was not sure if that meant she wanted me to see the mirror or if she wanted to see it. I turned sideways anyway. The length felt good to me so when she asked if that was okay, I said yes. then as I reached for the wall ! touch it and orient myself, I think she finally realized I was blind. She said, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." This happens a lot. It got me thinking. She probably was embarrassed for telling me about the mirror. Yes, but I find those things funny and refreshing actually. Was she sorry I was blind? Not sure! Was she sorry she didn't realize I was blind? Not sure. She had given me good service and was very nice and respectful so I saw no problem.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Snow and kindness

We have had a lot of snow here. It is still coming down. Early this morning, I put on coat and boots and took the guide dog out. Winter travel can be somewhat challenging. When it is snowing, it muffles sounds. Cars sound quieter. People's footsteps are quieter. there is something peaceful about that but it can be challenging too. Also, banks of snow at driveways and corners make it challenging to move about. We had taken a short walk and I was coming back home when I met someone I don't know well but have chatted with before. She said how great my dog was and that she was watching closely as we walked and looking back at me to make sure I was okay. I'm not sure that was what she was doing actually. She probably was but she might have also been saying, "Hurry up. Let's get inside." then, she passed me a dog biscuit and said she knew she could not feed or interact with my dog in harness but she wanted her to have it. Snow, kindness, christmas spirit. What could be better than that?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Performance on saturday dec 22 at the diefenbunker

This is one of the most interesting gigs I've ever had.  In celebration of not the end of the world.
See link here for more.
You survived the end of the world!
Join the Diefenbunker's Survivors Brunch on Saturday December 22, 2012 from 10:00am - 12:00pm
Just in case the Mayans were off by a couple days, it's best to join me in the safety of this underground nuclear blast shelter for brunch on December 22nd, 2012 from 10:00am- 12:00pm.
Myself and my fellow Ottawa Storyteller, Mary Wiggin will recount tales of survival and near encounters with the devil, while you enjoy a brunch buffet provided by the Swan at Carp.
After brunch, the Museum's guides will lead your through a special "11 Steps to Survival" Tour. Each guest will also receive a special limited edition Diefenbunker Survivor's Gift.
Cost: $25.00 per person | $15.00 per child
$45.00 per couple
Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Please call 613-839-0007 or email or visit us in person at 3911 Carp Road.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The reason to walk through the slushy world.

Yesterday we had freezing rain. Last night we had rain. Today we have snow. I was working on some stories and other paper work. I was going to stay in working on it but felt I needed a walk and my dog did and so we set off. It was very slushy and wet and a bit icy on the sidewalks. My dog wasn't happy with her boots or the slush really. I considered turning back after a bit but needed to get a few things and so kept going. I'm glad I did. After picking up a few things, I took a short cut through a building and as soon as I opened the door, heard the live sounds of a wonderful choir. We stood and listened for a while. What a good choir they were and what a nice surprise. Loved it and made the trip home enjoyable as their songs and harmonies stayed in my head!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happy birthday to my wonderful guide dog.

Where does the time go. My little Tulia guide dog is 4 today. Already? She is such a great dog! Everyone loves her and she is a great worker and lots of fun. I wish it was sunny for her birthday. She loves that. But it is cold and cloudy. We had a game with her favourite squeaky ball and now she is curled up in her bean bag bed.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New canadian bills

Today I found in the bank machine, my first ever new $20 bill. It is very different feeling. But the raised bars that indicate which bill it is are much more pronounced and I believe they won't fade like the old bills did.
So glad!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Three funny things done by the dog!

My guide dog is a character. She has always been a character. I always love having guides with great senses of humour and great self possession and she has it all. So, yesterday, she did three funny things. I was out for lunch with my mom. We entered the restaurant. Mom was guiding me and Tulia was walking beside me but not working. As we passed a table, she gently placed her little black head in a lady's lap. She's never done this before. The lady let out a little squeak but then said how beautiful Tulia was. How much she loved dogs. Tulia then sat down right beside my leg. "Did I do that? did I?" After a while, it was pretty funny. Next funny thing. After the lunch, I was home and went looking for my slippers. Who was lying on them both warming them up, yes it was the Tulia. They were nice and warm when I put them on. Next funny thing. All weekend I have had internet trouble. In fact, 2 times my mac computer shut off by itself. The internet was not working. I was about to call my service provider and also apple about my mac. When, I discovered that one of the many dog beds around here, had moved slightly and was up again the wall where a plug to the power bar was. so when Tulia would flop herself down on her bed, she ended up turning off power to the computer and also to the router. Problem solved. Moved the dog bed over.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The dog's memories live on.

It has been more than a year and a half since my third guide dog Gia died. And more than two years since we worked together as a team. But still she is remembered. This morning early, Tulia and I were out for a walk. A man said good morning to us with a cheerful accent from somewhere like Jamaica or one of those lovely warm islands. Then he asked if my other dog had died. he said he used to see us all of the time. He said she was such a nice dog. Then he paused and said, "All of your dogs are nice." Tulia was sitting beside me as we chatted and she tilted her head and leaned it on my leg. I'm sure she was giving him the look she does with everyone. "I am the cutest dog ever! Isn't that right?" On another note, I was with someone who has early stage dementia the other day. Tulia sat with her head on his leg. He said, "This dog has the kindest eyes." Later, he asked the nurse where that nice dog was.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

International day of disabilities.

Yesterday, December 3 was the United Nations day of persons with disabilities. I reflected what a long way we have come even since I was born. There were no computers for us when I started school. I had a brailler, a large and heavy typewriter and braille books. I never dreamed of apps or touch screens or GPS navigation that talked. But, even though technology has hepled me immensely, still the things that I still have with me every day are not high tech. My guide dog. My cane. My orientation and mobility skills.