Monthly Archives: March 2015

Puppy Update

It’s been a while since I did an update on life here at Puppy Central and the comings and goings of our guide dog puppies. Last year we seemed to have wall-to-wall puppies for boarding, with only a few breaks between to grab some time away. Not that we’re complaining, as we adore every moment – well almost. So I thought you might like to know what’s been happening to our little charges:

WoodyRemember Woody? Well, he went into training and took to it like the proverbial duck to water. At first the trainers had problems with his recall. He was never one to come back when there was a better offer around, like another dog to play with. But they managed to train that out of him and he is now a qualified guide dog. His new owner adores him and they have made a lovely team. Well done, Woody!

UshiThen there is our lovely Ushi. She was a sensitive little girl when she was small, but matured into a confident little lady. Like Woody, she qualified fast. Now she is working with a lady who recently lost her husband and older guide dog. She says that Ushi is her precious companion and it seems the two are inseparable. Ushi still has her lovely smile to greet people, and is much loved.

Whispa 7 months Sept 14What can I say about our lovely Whispa? Other than AJ spoils her when I’m not looking? Well, she is very spoil-able, and such a sweetie. Whispa is due to go into advanced training in June. Like Woody, she also has problems with recall but I’ve every confidence they’ll be able to train that out of her. She was recently spayed and didn’t have too good a time of it. We couldn’t free run her until she was healed, of course, and she struggled to cope with the lack of exuberant exercise. She is a high energy girl and loves to run and play. Having got the all clear from the vet, she is now happily off on her adventures in the fields and woods again. We’re hoping for another visit (or several) before she goes off to training.

photo0809Then there’s our little princess, Vivvy. Our cheeky girl! Nine months old now and too adorable for words. She’s always up for a cuddle and a play, but can be a stubborn little madam. I love her with a passion.  She’s just come through her first season, so is due to be assessed for advanced training in a couple of weeks. The only problem will be her sensitivity to noise. She gets worried about unusual or unexpected noises and backs away. The problem is that she doesn’t react to any noises in particular, so it will be difficult to pin down. She also shies away from going into the pet store, and makes a dreadful fuss about it. We’ve got our fingers crossed that she might grow out of it.

Sandy, Beauty, and Emily are all in training and appear to be doing well. So no doubt we’ll have good news about them soon.

We’re so proud of all our little charges. They do such an amazing job.

Happy birthday, Dad!

ja 2My father turned 88 yesterday. He’s in poor health and wheelchair bound, but he has such a strong spirit, it’s astounding. We call him the Energizer Bunny because he keeps going and going and going, something we’re grateful for.

What I’d really like to blog about is the relationship he and my step-mom have. They’ve been married for 38 years and had a bunch of good years, then things kind of deteriorated for a while. What I find interesting is how they are now. Both have significant health issues and live in assisted living facilities. Different facilities, mind you. Both have varying degrees of dementia, my step-mom sadly quite a bit worse than my father.

Dad says it’s good for them, that they don’t live in the same place. Yet he calls her about 4 times every day. Each Wednesday, Dad schedules a local shuttle service to take him to my step-mom’s facility, where they get two hours to spend together. And sometimes, we take him by to see her.

They are like newlyweds, holding hands, smiling, and simply sitting there gazing at each other. It’s adorable. The fights are all gone and maybe those memories with them. I don’t know. I just know that somehow, through all this mess of medical condition tacked onto medical condition, they found the beginning of their relationship again, the newness.

And I think it’s about the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. So happy birthday, Dad. Ain’t young love grand? 🙂


Science Fiction of Yesterday

With drones in the news these days it has made me think back to when I was a kid and read Sci Fi comic books. So many images in those books could be actual photographs in todays world. Some that … Continue reading

Spring Has Sprung…Babies are in Bloom!! by Valerie J. Patterson

I guess a long winter can be good for many things.  When the weather is harsh, the wind is stinging, and roads are icy there are so many activities you can get caught up on.

There’s knitting or crocheting a blanket.  Making your way through your To Be Read pile.  Shampooing your carpets.  Sorting through your closets.  And, of course, shoveling all that fluffy snow!

Oh, and there’s building snowmen or snowwomen or snowbears!

You can settle in for some serious movie watching–the classics or new releases.  Your pick.  How about making those fabulous recipes you’ve clipped from magazines or newspapers and stored in your recipe file just knowing you’d eventually make them and wow the family with your gourmet finesse?

Of course, there’s also cuddle time on the sofa with the love of your life.  There’re lazy naps on winter-gray weekend afternoons.  And there’s making a pot of your favorite soup and enjoying it with a freshly baked loaf of bread.  A kettle of tea.  A mug of hot cocoa.

Or, you could be like two of my nieces and participate in an activity that will bless our family with two beautiful wee ones just in time for Thanksgiving!!  Two of my little sister’s girls will give her grandbabies this November!  Who said nothing good comes from 14 inches of snow?

From now until Thanksgiving, I expect that I will be busy shopping!

Until next time, may the flowers that bloom in your garden color your life with joy!

At long last, below is a picture of my Paint & Praise painting.  It’s called The Spirit Tree, and I so enjoyed painting it!

At long last, here is a picture of my Paint & Praise Painting!!  It's called the "Spirit Tree", and I so enjoyed painting it!!



My friend Lavada and I met on-line several years ago.  We became instant friends (almost like sisters).  One day we decided we should meet in person.  Because we live two-hours apart we decided on a cute little restaurant half-way in … Continue reading

Root Canal, Anyone? 

I’m a big ole baby when it comes to dental procedures. I come by it naturally since the dentist my parents took me to as a child in Virginia was later convicted of fraud. He’d attended one year of dental school and then faked his diplomas. Ouch.  He hurt me over and over since I had to have six teeth pulled because my jaw was too small to hold them all. 

So, I DO go to have my teeth cleaned every three months now because I went over seven years once as an adult without a cleaning and that did some damage to my gums- I couldn’t bring myself to sit in that chair and man, I paid a price for that since I had to do a deep tissue cleaning which was painful and they only did one quadrant a week because of that. 

Deciding I never wanted to go through that again, I’ve been diligent for the last 20+ years in going in even though it’s like all the circles of hell put together for me. I’ve had one root canal in the last 10 years and found out later – much later- that it wasn’t necessary since the real cause of the issue then was an old filling that had cracked up near the root. The guy kept telling me I couldn’t still be having pain because I’d had the root canal. Um, hello? I think I’ve been in this old body long enough to know when something hurts! 

This brings us to today. I’ve been in pain for four weeks now – it’s gotten so bad that I can’t even breathe on that side of my mouth much less eat. I’m breaking down and calling for help but I sure don’t want another root canal that isn’t a solution.  I’ll have to insist on a Valium or maybe six before I let them stick that nasty torture device called a rubber dam in my mouth again.  Claustrophobia and dental phobia are two things that really don’t work out well together. 

How’s your week? 


Yikes – I’m late

Sorry to be late with the post today.  I put a reminder on my calendar….for today not yesterday.  (Head hits desk) The month of February was busier than I planned.  A trip to Manresa Castle in Port Townsend at the … Continue reading

The Ides of March

P1100908This is my poor little shamrock plant that needs watering more often than any of my other plants…and I keep forgetting that. But it always forgives me and continues to hang in there, even if it’s not exactly full and lush.

So I was searching out information about the Ides of March and came across a Smithsonian blog that was both depressing and fascinating. Since it wasn’t my plan to talk about depressing stuff in this blog, I’ll simply add the link for anyone interested in ten reasons to beware the Ides of March. 🙂

Smithsonian Blog

Next, I hit for some information. I suspect most folks know that the Ides of March is forever connected with the assassination of Julius Caesar, which happened on March 15, 44 B.C. However, the Ides of March became a phrase much earlier, around 753 B.C. when a ten month calendar began with March. Ides refers to the full moon, which at that time was around the 15th of the Month. So the Ides of March initially marked the first full moon of the new year. Being a moon child, you all probably know I’m a softy for any lunar reference.

FYI – the full 365 day Roman calendar was instituted in 46 B.C. when Julius Caesar made the year 365 days and set it to begin on January 1st. I had a hard time pulling this all together in my head, by the way, until I remembered that B.C. years would go backwards, not forward. So Caesar could change the calender in 46 B.C. because he didn’t die until 44 B.C. Duh. Sometimes, my brain just can’t wrap itself around things that aren’t part of my contemporary world. I guess that’s why I don’t write historical stories, eh?



When I think of a marathon I usually visualize running. Webster’s dictionary defines the word as a 26 mile foot race or any endurance contest. Word defines it as lengthy or long-winded or epic. Recently I have been on a … Continue reading

Blessed Week 

This will be a short post because I’m having a wonderful time with my son! As I think you all know, my oldest son has his master’s degree in sustainable architecture and works in Providence, Rhode Island. He moved there on January 31,  2014 and due to vacation schedules and various other issues, he hasn’t been home since. It’s a 20 hour drive to get here so obviously, people with sense and limited time, fly. 

Anyway, he’s here on a visit until Saturday morning and I’m taking every minute I can to hog his time. I’ve been nice enough to share him with his dad and grandparents as well as his friends but I’m trying to soak up every minute. 

My younger son comes home from college tonight for 10 days of spring break – I don’t know what I’ll do with both my adult sons in the house together for the first time in over a year- probably OD on joy. But what better way to die, right? 

Enjoy your week!