Apr 03 2014

Welcome to April

Well, this year just keeps getting better and better.

Sadly On April 1, 2014 at 2:10PM my awesome guide dog Noah was put to sleep. The hard was that I received a call the day before to let me know that although he definitely was sick, he was doing ok, not great, but ok. Then the next day, April 1st he had to be put to sleep.

James and I had just finished joking about Noah and I was remembering the first day I got my boy. I took the call pretty hard even though I knew the call would come sometime before he reached his 5th birthday. However much I knew it was coming, I still didn’t want that call.

my awesome Prince Noah you will live in my heart always. I miss you terribly. Rest in peace my golden boy!

Now, lets switch gears to a lighter note.

I am now registered for my summer courses at Carleton University. I’ll be taking Childhood in the Global Context from May to June and then July to August I’ll be taking a course in Canadian Studies. Ha, I keep forgetting the name of that course.

I’ve had a chance to communicate via email with my May to June instructor, and she seems pretty nice. Although I’m nervous as hell I’m looking forward to class starting. Now my july to August instructor is MIA and have no idea what to expect.

It’s challenging now learning Carleton since I’m learning it with a cane, but if it wasn’t for learning parts with Noah and already being comfortable about getting around I’d probably hesitate more and nervous about getting lost around there, lol. I mean Carleton is like a small city. So much to learn and so many ways to get turned around. But OMG, I’ll be sooooo glad when I have that dog by my side again!

I still wish I could start this year overhand change the events of some things, but onward I go to see what else is in store.

Mar 26 2014

GDB phone interview

Well, this afternoon I completed the next step on my new guide dog journey.

This afternoon i had my phone interview with Guide Dogs for the Blind and it was pretty painless.

Patty kuehn is the person I spoke with and seemed very nice. The questions were pretty standard about where I go, my health, if I can afford to take care of a dog, things like that. I did discover though that it’s very hard trying to pick a route and describe it over the phone. Usually I just get up and go and don’t think about it. But in the end all went well and I’m on to the next step along my journey. Making sure medical reports and mobility reports get over to the school and waiting for that awesome home visit.

The paperwork is easy and I can get that done next week and faxed back over to them.

The hardest part now will be waiting for the home interview which could be up to 8 weeks away, *sighs*

Now that I got the process started and mentally keep telling myself it’s time to prepare for that new dog I don’t want to wait, lol.

So, GDB grads, stop being strangers, what the heck is the home visit like. Those that live in Canada, spill your guts about Chuck!

Mar 22 2014

Am I getting another dog?

As I mentioned in a previous post it’s not easy retiring a dog at the best of times. A little over a week ago I had no choice put to retire Noah because I found out he had cancer. It was quite a blow and a shock. I took it extremely hard and blamed myself and wondered if I could have done anything different to prevent this. No, I’m still not over the shock, but I’m also not beating myself up. That’s a little progress.

Well, the purpose of this post is to address the question I keep getting asked, “am I getting another dog?”

I didn’t realize how much this question bugged me until Noah. I think it bugs me more this time because Noah had to retire due to illness. But I’ve seen that since Noah that although people mean well, some people just don’t think before asking this question.

I had one person ask me 1 minute, yes I said 1 minute after I handed Noah over to the vet tech from Canadian Guide Dogs I had to fight really hard not to snap at or hit the person that asked. I just handed off my dog and you saw me hand him over and how upset I am, why ask, “so are you getting another dog?”

Now over the last week I’ve been asked this question over and over, but the timing of the question wasn’t as thoughtless, but still hard to take. Also, the ones that have asked over the past week remember to ask about how “I’m” doing before falling right in with that dreaded question.

So, to answer the question, “am I getting another dog” the answer is yes. Sadly though I’m having to also pick a backup school just in case Canadian Guide Dogs doesn’t have a match for me before I throw my cane under a train or the next winter.

In doing research I didn’t realize how many schools use “guidedogs” as their domaine name. Talk about confusing.

I have started the guide dog journey already and one huge reason is Canadian Guide Dogs where I’d love to get my next pup is a small school and they are seasonal. Come December or the first huge snow they close up shop until Spring. So I needed to start things rolling just in case I get lucky and another match comes up before then. The other is even with bigger schools there’s the application process which can take a while. By the time there’s a match for me I’ll emotionally be ready to give the new dog my attention. I can only do this part in stops and starts since I start crying all over again, *sighs*

There are several schools I’m looking at, the top one being Guide Dogs for the Blind and much to my surprise I actually already have my phone interview on Wednesday afternoon. I’m also thinking of Guide Dog Foundation The biggest reason I’m looking at these 2 schools is that they have a short class time and I won’t have to miss too much school. I know more from GDB than I do GDF and so far I’m able to learn more about GDB, so yeah, looking like it may end up the backup school.

so, I’ve answered your question of “am I getting a new dog?” I’ll keep you up to date on how things are going. Unlike with Noah I can blog about this process and what I think and feel and shhhhh, don’t tell the new dog, but compare him or her to Noah.

I know, I know, not suppose to do that, but well, you know.

Thanks again to everyone that have been supportive during this time. I greatly appreciate it and Noah if someone reads this to you, I love and miss you!

Mar 20 2014

Love always Prince Noah

Retiring a dog is the hardest thing to do in the best of circumstances. But having to say bye to one due to illness, cancer at that is so much harder for me.

This morning I got my final visit with my awesome Prince Noah and it tore my heart into a thousand pieces. It made it even harder cause he was so excited to be home and play with his toys, cover the floor in water and act like the nut he is. But he definitely was still not Noah. Andrew, the trainer that brought him by said even just looking at him you can tell something was wrong.

Noah has been one hell of a guide dog that I received shortly after moving to Ottawa and it will just not be the same without him.

Not quite 3 years and I already had to let him go. Neither of us agreed to this deal.

When I reminded him of our agreement of lasting until he was 11, he rewarded me by beating me with his tail, *sniffs* what a dog.

I then told him he had to tell Canadian Guide Dogs to hurry and find me another dog just as good as he was and he snorted at me…Guess he didn’t like that idea?

My Shout Sister dancing Noah I will love you always and wish we didn’t have to say good-bye. But now this chapter in our life has come to an end and I send you on your way with loads of love and dog food.

as for me I guess it’s time to start on a new dog journey as I curse this blasted cane!

May and Prince Noah one last time

Mar 19 2014

The clothes line

It is the poem at the end that’s the best.

THE BASIC RULES FOR CLOTHES LINES: (If you don’t even know what clotheslines are, better skip this.)

1. You had to hang the socks by the toes…NOT the top.

2. You hung pants by the BOTTOM/cuffs… NOT the waistbands.

3. You had to WASH the clothesline(s) before hanging any clothes – walk the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.

4. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang “whites” with “whites,” and hang them first.

5. You NEVER hung a shirt by the shoulders – always by the tail! What would the neighbors think?

6. Wash day on a Monday! NEVER hang clothes on the weekend, or on Sunday, for Heaven’s sake!

7. Hang the sheets and towels on the OUTSIDE lines so you could hide your “unmentionables” in the middle (perverts & busybodies, y’know!)

8. It didn’t matter if it was sub-zero weather….clothes would “freeze-dry.”

9. ALWAYS gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes! Pins left
on the lines were “tacky”!

10. If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item.

11. Clothes off the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.

12. IRONED??!! Well, that’s a whole OTHER subject!

And now a POEM…

A clothesline was a news forecast,
To neighbours passing by,
There were no secrets you could keep,
When clothes were hung to dry.

It also was a friendly link,
For neighbors always knew
If company had stopped on by,
To spend a night or two.

For then you’d see the “fancy sheets
And towels” hung upon the line;
You’d see the “company table cloths”,
With intricate designs.

The line announced a baby’s birth,
From folks who lived inside,
As brand new infant clothes were hung,
So carefully with pride!

The ages of the children could,
So readily be known.
By watching how the sizes changed,
You’d know how much they’d grown!

It also told when illness struck,
As extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe too,
Haphazardly were strung.

It also said, “On vacation now”,
When lines hung limp and bare.
It told, “We’re back!” when full lines
sagged,
With not an inch to spare!

New folks in town were scorned upon,
If wash was dingy and gray,
As neighbors carefully raised their brows,
And looked the other way.

But clotheslines now are of the past,
For dryers make work much less.
Now what goes on inside a home,
Is anybody’s guess!

I really miss that way of life,
It was a friendly sign
When neighbors knew each other best…
By what hung on the line.

Mar 15 2014

The hardest day of my life

Dear Noah.

Today was the hardest day in my life pal. Telling you good-bye and knowing that it could be for good. Taking you to the vet and hearing that it is a strong chance you have cancer ripped my heart in so many pieces. Knowing that there’s nothing I could have done to prevent it so the vet says, still makes me feel like shit. Even though i was upset and crying you still were more concerned about me you silly furry mutt and kept giving me your paw and giving me kisses.

It’s very strange this time being home and you’re not here with me. I can’t tell myself this time it’s because you’re off with your puppy raisers and will be home soon. I can hope that the vet was wrong and the school will find something that’s not life threatening and that you’ll be that tough dog you are and get back home soon and wondering what all the fuss was about.

I had to let your other favourite home know what was happening and that was a call I never dreamed I’d have to make. They are sending you well wishes too Noah and send you all their love.

I tripped over one of your rope toys and started crying all over again. Oh my Noah I’m so so sorry I failed you and how I wish you were home. Please know I love you pal and can you make a surprised recovery? Shout Sister Choir all send their love too and the healing song to both of us.

You’re already greatly missed!!

I LOVE YOU NOAH
May

Mar 13 2014

Track after years away

One of the many things I discovered about Carleton university after I started learning my way around campus and making contacts since I’ll be starting there in May is the fact they have a track team, yay!!! I have not run track for years and years, definitely not since I moved to Canada, but now I have the opportunity.

On Tuesday night I had my reintroduction into the track world, *smiles* I am seriously wondering though, will I never find a sport where practice is not over a hour away from my house, *groans* Nice weather not so bad, but ugh, cold snowy weather, yeah, no fun!!

Anyways, Tuesday night was just a little meet and greet and to get a feel for what the team is like and how they work with blind athletes. Find out what costs are involved and all that important fun stuff.

The cost for the first year is like 730, *groans* but luckily that doesn’t have to pay in one shot, *whew*

I really need to find my dream job to pay for my expensive ventures.

The biggest thing for me when I join the Ravens will be getting use to depending on my guide for running or for field events depending on my own sense of timing so that I know where things are, for example when I try long jumps or triple jumps, whew, this is going to be fun!! In the states when I was on the track team it was different. we didn’t run with guides, but like had a cable type deal to slide our hand across for certain type running events. Now for the long distance running they had a guide, but different technique there too.

For the field events like long jumping those that were totally blind did so by standing on the platform and then jumping.

*gasps* that won’t be that way now!!! I have to make sure my stride is always the same and know where the platform is so that I know when to jump, um, or trip and go flying, ha!

I don’t need to say that the thought of that is completely terrifying, but I’m soooo looking forward to it. If I can jump out of a perfectly good airplane I should be able to do this, right? Right?

Well, for now it was suggested that I get use to the whole running idea again, get comfortable and a routine going and then start throwing in the new things. So, here’s to my new adventure or a return of track!

Cat

Mar 03 2014

My road to Carleton University

Whew, I’m like so so far behind on this post. So much to update on and more to come later this month.

I mentioned that this summer I would be making yet another school change. This time I’m heading to a bigger ocean and I’m completely terrified. My confidence is definitely not high as far as school goes. Algonquin College and I aren’t the best match. The last 3 years I spent arguing with or frustrated with them. But, that time is coming to an end and a new huge chapter is about to begin. so lets tell you about it.

Starting in January, i started learning my way around Carleton University and man that is one huge confusing campus, *whew* I thought getting use to Algonquin and their ABC system was bad, but nope, Carleton definitely has me a bit nervous. I have to get use to names now instead of letters. I’ve already mixed up building names and It’s March and I still managed to get lost in the library, lol. What will it be like when I start in May? *snicker*

Near the end of January I applied to Carleton to become a special student and begin my journey to becoming a Carleton student. I figured I’d start as a special student instead of falling right into the program, get my foot in the door and hopefully a successful start.

So, I went with the quickest way and filled the app out on campus, hate waiting when I don’t have too, *smiles* and oh no! I hear,

“We moved over to a new system so it might be a while before we start processing summer registrations.”

*gasp* no no, this can’t be. ah well. Wait I must. So, I stuck in my head that I won’t hear anything until at least mid-February.

Ha, boy was I wrong. On February 3, 2014 I became a Carleton special student. *whew* I’m on my way now! Now I can really get things moving that needed me to have a student card to do so.

Go through the steps to be put into Carleton’s system, *check* OMG, their site took some getting use too, lol
Set up my Carleton email, *check* Yeah that’s all I needed, yet another email to watch. Whew, good thing it’s an easy one.
Register with the PAUL MENTON CENTRE so I can get all the disability support stuff, *check* Hmm, my worker um, well . . .
Still learning/getting lost around campus, *check* but boy it’s so much fun!
Making connections before I start in may, *check* i’m doing good, don’t you think?

Well, whoops, can’t move any further on what I’d like to do until I’m registered in the actual summer courses. Bah, boo hiss! I have to wait until March 27th for that. What is this world coming too?

Ah well, the waiting hasn’t been a waist. I’ve had loads of fun getting to know my way around Carleton as I’ve said. Thanks to one of the Shout Sister Choir members telling me about projects some of her students in the Industrial Program at Carleton are working on, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting students and getting their take on Carleton and overall still nervous as hell, but getting a tiny bit better.

Another awesome thing I found out is that Carleton has a track team and I will be going next Tuesday to see what their practice is like and maybe join after I get settled in I miss being involved in some kind of sport and I haven’t done track things in years and years, so I’m looking forward to this. It will be a new experience for me since for the running events I’ll have a guide and I’ve never quite gotten the hang of running with someone. Hmm, definitely can’t wait to see how that plays out. More news on this next week.

As of today, I still have 2 huge steps:

get financial aide switched over from one school to the other. Hope I don’t need my student card for that, *sighs* better find that out.
get my student card. Is it March 27th yet?

More on my Carleton experience as it comes. Hopefully this time not like months from now, *smiles*

Cat

Feb 16 2014

The battle begins, part2

Well, while I have a moment to think straight and not emotionally torn up inside let me give an update.

In a previous post or 2 I mentioned that I had to take a step I did not wish to take of fighting my ex-inlaws so that my daughter could come here to visit instead of me going there. At the end of this month hopefully the first court date has been set. February 27, 2014 at 10AM. It’s only tentative because they could still get lawyers and then draw the process out even longer.

Do I feel horrible that things had to go this way, of course, but more for my daughter because for whatever reason the adults in this situation on that end of the scale pushed things in this direction. They are choosing to be selfish and out right ignore her. Why? Who knows.

i have not mentioned names in any of the post regarding this situation, but those that know me know who is involved. I also ask that you do not mention names for privacy reasons at this time if you decide to make comments on this thread as I go through it.

I’ll let you all know what happens as they progress.

Cat

Jan 30 2014

Denny’s 1380 Clyde Ave. review

OUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME!

1380 Clyde Ave, Nepean, ON K2G 1Y7
(613) 226-9284

We have been going to this Denny’s on an extremely frequent basis since November 2012 and to this day we are still made to feel welcomed.

if you are blind or visually impaired they do have menus for you. Things change all the time so it being up to date is questionable. James and I are blind and we’ve seen this a few times. Usually we just go on the website and pick what we might want if we’re going for something new. So keep that in mind as an option. If you go the website route to pick what you’d like to try out the menu layout is a little confusing, but manageable and I don’t think everything is listed on it or worse case the website has something but your location does not. Keep that in mind as well.

The service is excellent, starting from the moment we walk in the door. The hostess if they know us greets us by name and takes us straight to our section. For those that don’t know us, they are usually told by some other person that works there or our usual server himself of where we like to sit. Even if he isn’t on that day they make sure to let us know.

If you are a regular diner as we are you won’t even have to place that drink order if you get the same thing all the time. The moment you sit down and your server knows you are there you’ll have that great drink in front of you in no time. Don’t worry if you’re not a regular. They won’t forget about you, promise. Give them 5 minutes or 10 if it’s really busy and they will be right with you.

Now you’re hungry and everything is smelling great, “oh, what to get?” The choices are many! If you’re not too sure what you’d like but have some kind of idea, your server will help with suggestions. If you are lucky and get “Derik”, (sorry if I spelled your name wrong) he’ll definitely “hook you up” as he likes to say.

Sadly you may get your order and it’s not exactly right, but never fear. If it is the mistake of the server either they heard wrong or got distracted and forgot an item or the fault of the cook for some how adding too much salt to your nacho meat it can be corrected for you or at the least you’ll get a discount on your bill. Now this does not mean go in and purposefully mess up an order to see if I’m telling you the truth, *smiles*

Sighs, it’s time to pay that bill, but oops, wait a second. Sadly this location does not take debit! *gasp* It’s 2014 someone really needs to fix this oversight. So cash or credit here. They do have an ATM machine if you need to withdraw cash however.

Now I’m sure there’s probably someone out there that has not had a good experience with this Denny’s, but our times have been more positive than negative otherwise we wouldn’t keep going there. So come try out the service yourself and see what you think. if you happen to be there on a Tuesday or Thursday, 6AM to 1pm, Friday through Sunday from 7AM to I think 2Pm ask for Derik, he’s awesome! Tell them that Lady May and Sir James sent you and we say hi!

Cat

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