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Showing posts from December, 2015

Must be time for the end of 2015 review...

Well, hasn't 2015 been an interesting year?

I would describe it in one word as 'unexpected'.

I didn't expect to be losing even more vision this year and getting the process started for getting a guide - and then being matched with a dog before Christmas. I've been very impatient since I went to the assessment stay in June, but this time last year, I honestly hadn't even made up my mind to take this step. I thought it was twelve to eighteen month process before June, so this has - in reality - happened much faster than I expected it would. Only eleven days to go!

I didn't expect that I would not get back to doing braille after last summer's hiatus. The pace of this year ramped up a lot from last year in the PhD. I always thought I'd get back into braille classes in February, but by the time February came around I knew I would not be able to practice as much as I needed to. I'll be getting back into it in 2016 as I am steadily seeing the increasin…

The force is strong with him...

Yesterday the Grumpy Old Man and I took the boys to the movies.



We don't go to the movies very often as it is so expensive. We hardly ever go as a family, maybe once or twice a year, it is easier on the pocket to send one of the boys with friends or for the GOM and I to go on a movie date.

The whole family wanted to see Star Wars, though, so we decided to splash out. Erik had already seen it when it first came out, as he was invited (and paid for) by a friend. Despite this, he was probably the most keen out of the lot of us. He actually had a sulk attack when we refused to pay the extra $29 to go on Monday! The kid has no impulse control.

So, we managed to sit on Erik's enormous enthusiasm for twenty-four hours and booked tickets for 1.45pm yesterday. Uncharacteristically for us, we ended up rushing to get ready and out of the house (usually, in this household, when we have an outing planned, we tend to all be ready an hour early - the boys out of excitement, and the GOM and I…

Two weeks until guide dog school!

After last night's (early this morning) anxiety post, I'm back just a few hours later to say TWO WEEKS UNTIL GUIDE DOG SCHOOL!


Harlem's puppy raiser posted this picture of him nine days ago on Facebook (don't worry, I didn't use my mad stalking skills to access her account, this is a public photo). Gosh, he's so lovely!
I'm still anxious about becoming a handler. I have stomach pains from the anxiety - a sort of cramping around my diaphragm, this happened when I presented at the conference in New Zealand as well. I've been trying (all night, next to no sleep) to focus on the good stuff - the not scary or intimidating stuff - like having so much more independence. I've seen a few videos of handlers with their dogs and they get about so confidently. They walk so fast and with confidence, not second guessing every step. I'll be able to go to new places with feeling like I might trip and fall at every step.
Losing my vision has been so taxing. Liter…

The Christmas Wrap up...

Where did that last week go?

Into the vortex that is Christmas. It has been a whirlwind of business, but a lot of fun.

We have been cat sitting a friend's cat, while she and her family are on holidays. This has been a great preparation for us getting the dog - even though cats and dogs are very different. So, what have we learned? We've learned that...


The Grumpy Old Man has not watched enough you tube videos about cats pulling down Christmas trees. His mother's cat NEVER attacked the Christmas tree, so he couldn't understand the level of anxiety the horsemen and I had about this happening. Thankfully, this cat has been well behaved and has only made half-hearted attempts to play with the decorations and always left them alone when we shooed her away.
Animals shedding in spring and early summer is definitely a thing, and black rugs are out! After vacuuming our lounge room rug three days in a row, I finally gave up, rolled it up, and passed it on to Mr14 for his room. He …

I need to clear my head... You have been warned!

Hi guys,

I've been a bit quiet recently, and I'm sure some of you are thinking here we go again, she's gone AWOL.

No, no, life has just been very business - it's always busy, with four kids, PhD, MIL, various skills training for vision loss, yeah, it's always busy - but actually, it's been a bit more busy, lately.

I took a trip to Canberra to spend a couple of days with good 'ol Robbie before he deserts me flies off to new adventures in Europe and Asia for the next year or two, or maybe more. Robbie managed to walk me ragged while we were in the nations capital - I still have a very sore blister on one of my toes ten days later, I may have to amputate. One day we walked over 50 000 steps. The last 30 minutes of that walk were sheer hell! We were both concentrating on putting one foot in front of another just to get back to our Airbnb apartment. We soaked our tortured feet in the pool - which was icy - for about ten minutes and then sank into the couches ins…

More than equal...

I was talking to someone yesterday, explaining a little of what it is like to be a person living with a disability.

In this day and age, people feel they very aware. Political correctness has found its stride and we are ablaze with righteous anger over the way women are treated in society, and over the plight of asylum seekers - and as an extension, all people of colour. We are up in arms over the destruction of the rain forests, and the consumption of palm oil, and the threat to orang-utans, and bees, and whales (you should have seen the looks I've gotten over my carrying a seal skin bag - ask me about it, I'll explain to you why I bought it).

Yes, we're becoming very aware and it is benefitting many.

The introduction of NDIS is one way to acknowledge the people living in our society who live with a disability, but it actually doesn't recognise the micro-prejudices we live with every day. I just saw this video and it says a lot.


The reactions of the 'able bodied&#…

Oh my dog!!!

A happy, happy post this time!




Okay, look at these lovely puppies - aw, aren't they sweet. I bet they made you smile! You're welcome. Their names are Heather, Hamish, Harlem, Hudson, and Harold. They grew into fine young canines, didn't they?

This middle puppy, Harlem, he grew into a very big and very beautiful dog - the most beautiful of the litter, I'd argue...



Of course, I would argue that because I'm a bit biased because, well, because he is MY dog now.


Introducing Harlem 'Polar Bear' Dal - his trainer nicknamed him polar bear for obvious reasons. He is currently 17 months old. By the time I bring him home, at the end of January, he'll 18 or 19 months old (I don't know when he was born, exactly, just yet). He is very friendly - came up for a kiss straight away, even though he doesn't know me. He walks at a brisk pace for the most part, which suits me to a tee. He's big which is exactly what I was hoping for!

Team training starts on Janua…