Monday, September 30, 2013

Back to the blog. guide dogs and more.

It has been way too long.  I miss blogging and must get back to it daily.  I love it but also it really gives me great ideas for storytelling tales and also helps me to keep writing.  I love writing.

Two of my friends are getting new guide dogs very soon.

One guide dog died last year and the other one is retiring after many years of faithful service.

So, today, I am grateful for all of my guide dogs.

Getting a new guide dog is such an emotional rollercoaster.

There is of course excitement.  That feeling of christmas day.

But sadness as you miss the old partnerships.

On dog day, (yes we call it dog day) I always remember all previous guides.

It is like they are all there with me.

So there is a sadness.  An anxiety, will this work out?

So many emotions.

My current guide dog (guide dog number 4) is laying here by my feet in the sun, snoring peacefully.

I have grown to love her snoring although at first I thought I would never get used to it.

I hug her and thank her for all she does.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

performing tonight at nuit blanche in Ottawa.

tonight, I am involved in a very interesting project.

Painter Karen Bailey painted 6 storytellers and 1 guide dog.

She is exhibiting all paintings and the storytellers will take turns telling stories in front of the pictures.

I will be on hand between 7 and 9 PM tonight.

 The project is called “Speaking and Still,” am innovative co-presentation by artist Karen Bailey and the Ottawa Storytellers(see and, running from 6:30 p.m Saturday to 2:00 a.m Sunday morning.  

Karen was fascinating for me to work with as we talked a lot about the similarities between our art forms and she described all visual things in words I could understand.

I thank her for that.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Back to school. How things have changed.

How school has changed in just a few short decades for people with disabilities.

I started my school career at Carleton University.

NO I wasn't a genius.  It was a special pre-school for kids with disabilities.  Maybe other kids too.

I went there first when I was three I think.

yesterday, as I moved with my guide dog through the very crowded halls of Carleton, I thought about that.

I was moving through the carleton halls to go and co-host our radio show "Welcome to my world" a show by, for, and about people with disabilities.

I would have thought it was very cool then that I was hosting a radio show.

I always loved the radio, records, radio plays, music, and sound.

When I started school, there were no talking computers, fancy braille displays, smart phones, or tiny recording devices.

books were not available electronically.

I learned to type on a huge typewriter.  I could not proof read my work although the touch typing I still do and am doing right now in fact, is most useful.

I learned to braille on a huge and heavy perkins brailler and although I don't use it often, I use braille on my braille display all of the time.

I used huge tape recorders to have people read books and articles and input music for me.

Now  I use my phone or a tiny recorder that fits in my pocket.

Although things have changed and evolved gratly, still those basic skills I started to learn at CArleton all those years ago, still help me every day.

Knowing how to navigate my environment using sound cues, touch, smell.  Reading and writing braille, touch typing, advocating for myself.  All of these skills are the same and still so very important.

The link to our blog where the radio show link is is