Thursday, September 30, 2010

How do you B.B.Q?

Want to know what we have been up to lately? Besides school that is.. This past weekend Darrell and I volunteered at a public outreach event on Saturday. We set up a kissing booth at a scrapbook store named 'Scrapbook 911' here in San Antonio. It was the last day of a silent auction that has been going on for 3 weeks. Since we didn't have Bob, Egypt tagged along with us cause she likes giving kisses. Surprisingly not a lot of people passed through, most people stayed inside the entire time we were outside. Scrapbook 911 was also having a 'garage sale' type thing where they were getting rid of a lot of old stuff to make room for new stuff.

a photo of our table with a sign hanging off of it. It says heavy petting 50 cents, kissing booth 1 dollar
Do you like our sign?!

Of course its the dogs that get the heavy petting and give the kisses.. no one would pay for these guys lol. 

picture of a plastic guide dog with a puppy at her feet, it is a giant piggy bank for people to donate into
Our piggy, well doggy, bank. 

I won two things that night - one a double sided wall hanging that I will one day fill up with pictures... the other a CD case made into a little book that says me and my bff on the front and room for a picture inside. I was pretty happy with the stuff I went home with.

One side of my wall hanging, there are six panels all decorated in bright colors and there are spaces for pictures on each
My wall hanging - side one! 
the second side of the wall hanging, it is decorated in the same style but different designs
Side two! 

Picture of the front of the CD box, its decorated with bright colors and a little bird, it says my and my bff with bff being really big and taking up half the front
BFF book :)

the inside of the cd box, one side has a bird with a quote from Henry David thorough that says Be true to your word, your work and to your friends. The other side has a place for a picture
The inside space for a picture. 

That pretty much made up our Saturday - we went and saw that movie "Easy A" it was pretty funny - I'll recommend it lol. However on Sunday, we had plans to go over to Ernie's house. He is the volunteer coordinator at GDTx, he and his wife invited us over to hand out and so Ernie could help Darrell learn how to barbecue! Darrell is always talking about how he wants to get a barbecue pit but neither of us really know how to barbecue so it was pretty exciting for Darrell to get a chance to learn. Ernie is visually impaired as well so Darrell was good and ready to get a lot of tips from him.

We first started out with temperature - which Ernie said was pretty much as hot as you can get it. He had Darrell use the tongs to scope out the space on the grill. See how big it was and what not. He then had Darrell check out the raw meat, letting him figure out how it felt when he grabbed it with the tongs. After Darrell got a good feel for his surroundings and what he was working with Ernie had Darrell put the steaks on the pit. They then shut the lid and we sat around and hung out for awhile lol. We were sitting outside and chatting when Ernie drew our attention to the pit. You could hear the pit start to sizzle as juices fell onto it from the steaks. That meant it was time to flip them over.

Darrell flipping the steaks on the barbecue pit
He pretty much made Darrell do all the first steps by himself. 

Ernie guiding Darrell's hands to the steaks and showing him how to get under them
Ernie helping Darrell work the steaks away from the grill.

Darrell had a few issues with this part because the first steak stuck to the pit and he ripped it a bit. With the second one though Ernie taught him how get the tongs under it and move it back and forth to unstick it before he took it away from the pit. He assisted him with flipping the rest and then we hung around and waited some more. They checked the steaks after a bit and were able to tell if they were done by touch, which I believe is what most people do anyways so no big differences there.

Close up of Ernie assisting Darrell with the last steak, he's guiding Darrell's hand and helping him scrape the steak away from the grills
Helping :) 
We had a great dinner with steaks, baked potatoes, salad and an amazing dessert of strawberries with a chocolate brandy sauce (I think) and whipped cream.

We're planning on fajitas next because Ernie hasn't learned that one yet lol.

So, how do you B.B.Q?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Its about that time folks!

Poppy is going in for an ultrasound today! She is supposed to be due on the 9th so, I decided its time to start that competition to guess whats in the belly!!!!

Poppy laying on the floor, her belly is a bit bigger than her chest now
What do you think?!
So here is how its going to work:

  • Everyone is allowed 1 guess only!!! 
  • You're guessing for number of boys and number of girls. 
  • I'll hide all the comments until the competition is over and the first to guess the correct numbers wins! 
  • If no one guesses the correct numbers then the closest will win! 

Poppy and celia in a big wooden box with a little door in the middle. The box is about 2.5 feet high and measures about 6 by 3 feet
Lots of room in that whelping box for lots of puppies!!!! 
I still don't know what I will give away yet - maybe a leash, or a collar, or a bag with your dog (or whatever you want if you don't have a dog) on it... Suggestions are open and I will publish those. 

Competition will close on the 8th! If Poppy happens to give birth before that I'll close it then - happy guessing!! 

Poppy sleeping inside the whelping box, her back is against one side of the box with her head in the corner facing the ceiling
Getting comfy! 

All pictures are courtesy of Tracy (Poppy's Midwoof!) or Michelle (Poppy's other Midwoof!)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Summer Camp

I miss Bob and am currently pretending he's away at summer camp. I write him letters daily and like to think he's having too much fun swimming, riding horses and making smores to respond...

I forgot I had this picture - one day Darrell was playing with Bob and I don't know if Bob just got tired of it or what but he pretty much gave up and just hung there all floppy and limp. He's so funny - he never fights back no matter what you do to him - its not like we provoke him or anything but he puts up with a lot of random stuff.. such as Darrell holding him like this...

floppy bob
Bob was funny - he would go from this to looking up at me - figure out I wasn't going to help him and then flop back over again - I think he was trying to play the "pathetic" card..

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A new look

So - some of you who know me on Facebook have probably already seen the pictures but for those of you who haven't I wanted to share some big news!

I would like to pre-apologize because there is nothing in this post about Bob - this post is all about Darrell and his eyes. Or new eyes is more like it because Darrell got prosthetics!

So, for those of you who don't know, Darrell has had multiple surgeries since he was very young and due to this he has suffered some trauma to them. They have become flat and shrunken over the years and it causes him some discomfort from time to time. Also, due to the loss of volume his lids are now too big for what he has left. So they often don't close correctly and they don't lubricate his eyes completely when he blinks. He also will not go out without his sunglasses on because he knows his eyes are misshapen as well as his right eye cocking off to the right.

Because of his uncomfortableness with his eyes physically and the visual aesthetic we decided to start looking for some solutions. We came across Scleral Shells and decided those were the way to go. Scleral Shells are a type of prosthetic that allows the eye to remain where it is (other prosthetics require the eye to be removed) and it will sit on top of it under his eye lids. It is a large acrylic cover for the front of his eye. Almost like a giant, solid, hard contact lens.

So, you may be wondering what lead to the initial decision to look into prosthetics. Well, it all started when Mother's day came about and Darrell decided to give his mom some photos of himself. So, we went out to a pretty church and decided to use their huge stone wall as our background. All was going well until I told Darrell that his pictures would be much better if he wasn't wearing his sunglasses. I wanted them to be more personal and sunglasses just don't give you that. Well, he resisted at first because he was embarrassed but I told him they were for his mom and she loves him just like he is so he took them off and we had a great time with Darrell making funny faces and having fun with it. We gave her the pics and she loved them of course! However the fact that he was reluctant to take off his sunglasses really bothered me because if you can't be yourself in front of your family then who can you be yourself in front of? That got us looking into the prosthetics - Darrell was ready to run with the idea from the start.

Before: These are pictures from the Mother's Day Photoshoot - you can see how Darrell's eyes aren't rounded anymore and more flat on the front. He also has no irises - his right one was removed when he was 13 and the other was removed in 2007.
Click to play this Smilebox collage
Click to play the slideshow! 

So, after a consultation  and demo fitting with Dr. Wenske, and Ocularist that works here Darrell was all set to get them the very next day - however complications ensued like they always do. First he needed the go-ahead from his cornea specialist as well as a way to pay for them because custom made prosthetics that fit into your eyeballs perfectly are not cheap! When insurance turned down the request we turned to D.A.R.S. or the Texas Department of Assistive Rehabilitative Services - they did agree to pay due to the discomfort it was causing Darrell. However they wouldn't be able to do so until September - well its September and we got em!

So, he had his first appointment on Tuesday where the doctor took a mold of his eyes by using the same process that dentists use to take molds of your teeth. So yes, he pretty much squirted this goopey stuff into Darrell's eyes and let it set there for a minute or two until it was hard, took it out and had an impression of Darrell's eye. After that he was able to make the body of the prosthetic and he spent the next 2 hours running back and forth adjusting them and making sure the pupils would line up correctly when Darrell looked straight forward. There is a bit of more coolness in this part because Darrell's right eye looks off to the far right when he's looking straight forward so instead of lining the artificial pupil and iris up with Darrell's natural one he made him one that lined up with the other one when he looked forward. So after those few hours he had another patient to attend to so told us to come back later and we could watch him paint the irises. So we did. We went back and watched how he used powdered acrylic paints (the same that nail salons use to give you acrylic nails) and map pencils. Then we were told to come back on Thursday and he would have them ready.

The Process: These are pictures of the procedure. There are pictures of the doctor injecting the goop in his eyes, the doctors paint/coloring work station and Darrell with the blank prosthetics in, those are just white and made him look kind of crazy haha.
Click to play this Smilebox collage

So, its thursday so we went back and got them - when Darrell first put them in the right one was very off. Darrell looked like he was looking up and a bit to the center while his left eye looked straight ahead. So the doctor had to take it out and go and adjust it. He did this a few times  until it was good so that left Darrell's left eye lids a bit swollen when we left. I still think that iris looks a bit off but it has gotten better since the swelling has gone down. The doctor said he wasn't going to worry too much yet about the aesthetics of it. He's focusing more on comfort at the moment. Once Darrell gets comfortable with them and his eye sockets adjust we'll go back and he'll make more adjustments to get them looking perfect. The whole process will take up to about 6 months because every time they get adjusted Darrell will have to get used to it and perhaps get adjusted again. But he should be done by 6 months.

The Prosthetics! Various pictures of Darrell with his brand new bright blue eyes! Theres one from the car, a few from home and a few from the sushi place we ate at for lunch!
Click to play this Smilebox collage

Here are the prosthetics in Darrell's hand

His left one is much bigger than the right, you can't really tell but its much thicker. 

If you would like to see more pictures and captions of the whole process feel free to visit my facebook album by following the link below.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bye Bob!!!

Bob was dropped off this morning at GDTx - he'll be gone on his swap for about a month - meaning he'll come back at 11 months old. Wonder what changes will come!

Bob laying on a dog bed with his big knuckle bone in his mouth
Can I pack this?!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Applying his knowledge?

So, I'm just sitting here, uploading pictures onto facebook and Bob comes over and decides to park himself under my chair - think he's trying to apply his knowledge?

Bob with his head and feet under my dinner chair, he's just chillin
So comfy under the chair!! lol

Bob laying on his side with his upper body squeezed in the tiny space between the table leg and my chair leg
Then he shifted... I guess he liked this position too..

By the way - Bob will be leaving me for about a month to do his swap (I'm currently not getting a replacement though) I have saved some stories and will hopefully be able to give plenty of updates while he's gone - wish him luck!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Down Stay

Bob at my favorite pizza place. He was put on a down stay while I went to refill my drink. 
Bob under a table that Darrell and a friend are sitting at
Bob not even worried about me leaving him under the table.. he was more interested in Darrell's jiggling foot.
Bob at academy while Erin and I looked at shoes.
Bob in the middle of an isle with an open shoe box and erin's purse next to him
He was more interested here but did very well. 

Do you live in San Antonio or Austin? do you like music?

If you answered "yes" or "kind of" to either of these questions then check this out! Haha sorry for the cheesy line. Anyways, in about a month there will be a concert in Austin and proceeds will go to benefit the Pawsitive Approach program at Guide Dogs of Texas!!! Yay!!!

Whats better than that? Dogs and music - hello thats all you need! Oh, the best thing about it - while they last there are "Pay what you want" tickets!

Here's a bit of information about it - more can be found at the website if it looks interesting!

Join legendary producer and DJ PRINCE PAUL,
Freestyle Fellowship member and lyricist extraordinaire ACEYALONE, 
king of the Yonkers underground OMEGA JACKSON,
and Seattle's regressive hip hop genius V1RUS
for some of the slickest intelligence you'll ever hear on any stage.

But wait, there's more! Austin's own SYLLABLE is hosting a midnight freestyle cypher on the inside stage with the crew from Sound of Syllables Hip Hop Open Mic Night! Enjoy the sights as well as the sounds - lovely ladies from The JIGGLEWATTS and BLACK WIDOW BURLESQUE add special sparkle to the celebration all night long.

Music starts early, doors at 8:30p.m. 
General Admission tickets only $20 / $25 day of show.

Oh and I was going to post some pictures of Bob practicing his down stays in random places but blogger won't let me load anything.... is anyone else having this problem? 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What the heck is in there!?

Poppy the yellow lab laying on her side on some tile floor. She has no definition in her stomach area, basically she is starting to look like a barrel. But a very cute barrel
I think I want to start a little competition... With Poppy's puppies lol. I think I am going to open the blogger floor to guesses about how many puppies Poppy is going to have. However since simply guessing a number will be waayyy to easy I think I will do the first person to guess the correct amount of each boy and girl puppies. Sound good? FLoor isn't open yet - I'll get back to you at a later date - along with the prize - whatever that will be. For now we'll all just sit back and watch the belly grow :)

Photo courtesy of Tracy from Facebook who is also Poppy's 'raiser' type person (what do you call the breeder peeps?)



Ok, I have been trying to post this since last weekend but none of the pictures would load. So sorry  - here you go :(

Sooooo... us here Texans have been experiencing a lot of tropical storm Hermine the past few days. Do you know what that means? That means Bob has discovered how much fun rain is... Well, not all rain really... just the big drops that come rolling off of the rooftop. Regular rain doesn't bother him - just those big big drops. 
Bob standing in the rain shaking his head off. His ears are blurred out as his head goes back and fourth
This is the only one that would load - so sorry..

For example, when they hit him in the head he looks up in order to retaliate. He retaliates by opening his mouth and trying to destroy the very next water drop that dares to hit him on the head... when his teeth are tired of biting nothing he gives up and tries to catch them on his tongue. Its funny because when he is working in the rain he looks really depressed and just kind of goes with it.. but when he's supposed to be potting he's not having it haha. Maybe he remembers the snow flakes from when he was a tiny puppy, before he even came to Texas. He doesn't think its as much fun here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blindfolds and Burritos

Sorry it has taken soooo long to post this up but last Monday (the 30th) Guide Dogs of Texas hosted an event. They invited us all to a dinner where we can go and spend an hour behind a blindfold and try to eat like a visually impaired person would. This is a very typical situation for a client going to Guide Dogs of Texas. Its a very homey environment and volunteers come and cook lunch and dinner for the client everyday while they are in training. It was a very interesting experience with mixed reviews but we all got through it without too much damage.

One of the guide dog instructors guiding a blindfolded woman down a hallway.
One guest receiving sighted guide on her
way into the dining room. 
So, we were pretty much blindfolded right when we got to the door, they didn't want to give anyone a hint at the setup of the dining area because a client wouldn't know when they first got there so why should we lol? My group sat at the normal dining table at the facilities. They had set up another table for the other guests where the sitting area is. There were 4 staff members there; Sandy, Sarah, Kim and Lawrence, they walked us in while at the same time giving us a little demonstration and instruction of sighted guide. We learned some tips on how to properly perform sighted guide and I actually learned a lot. I mean, I did it with Darrell for the first year and a half of us dating but it was different being on the other end of it, some of the techniques I just naturally did with him they told us about and we also learned a few others.

 Anyways, while we waited for the rest of the guests to arrive the staff got us our drinks and explained how the dinner would work out a bit more. It was odd to sit there and not really have anything to do - I kept checking my drink and making sure where it was. The conversations was a bit strained at times as well. It was very quiet there for a while. Some people wanted to talk but the conversations just never really took off. Some people wanted to be left alone completely. My friend Chris for example later told us that he started to feel very claustrophobic and didn't like the experience much at all. He was also in the chair that everyone walked behind so I'm sure that didn't help with his trapped feelings.

two guide dog instructors stand by our table where there is 5 of us blindfolded, well darrell isn't but the rest of us are
Sandy giving us tips on how to best handle the meal.
Our friend chris sitting there with his forehead semi resting in his hand, he is somewhat bent over the table and looks stressed
Chris already feeling awkward while people walk behind him. 

Erin sitting next to Darrell at the table, they both have drinks in front of them and Erin is laughing
Erin and Darrell waiting for their chips. 
 After more guests started to arrive we were able to get on with our meal. Chipotle donated chips, salsa and burritos so that was our meal - I was really happy when I found that out :)
View of our table as a guide dog instructor spoons some salsa onto my plate, in the corner you can see Erin serving herself chips from a big bowl that was passed around
Sarah serving me some salsa. 

The salsa was honestly the hardest thing for me to eat. It was more like pico de gallo so it was very scoopable. I wound up using my plate as a barrier to stop the stuff from falling off. I would lift up the edge of it and fold it a bit (it was a paper plate) that way I could feel just how much pressure I was putting against the salsa with my chip. It worked out ok - others had more luck by using their fingers but I don't like using my fingers and wanted to try and not use them as much as possible. Obviously with a burrito it wasn't practical so hands were used there but everything else I tried to keep my fingers clean.
me using my plate as a border so my salsa doesn't fall off while I try to scoop it
See me using my plate?

close up of a woman's hands, she is using two chips to get her salsa onto one of them
 Here was another technique. One lady used one chip as a sort of utensil to help her scoop her salsa onto another one. We hadn't gotten utensils yet at this point so it was a very involving task lol.
me sitting with my dessert plate in front of me trying to eat my jello
 After all the chips and burritos were eaten we were given dessert. I had brought mini cheesecakes in foil cupcake sleeves, Sarah had made these amazing orange chocolate cookies - which afterward I saw were white and dipped in chocolate and drizzled with the orange stuff... when I was eating them my mind told me the entire thing was chocolate and had chips in them - not the case haha. They also had a challenge dessert for us. Jello with bananas in it - this one was hard and I did unfortunately get my fingers messy haha. I was trying to not let it flop off my spoon - ah well... thats what napkins are for I guess.

Erin eating her jello, she is placing a big chunk of some on her spoon
Erin obviously has no problem using her fingers haha. 

Bob under my legs looking back at the camera with a depressed look on his face
I didn't get a burrito :(
Oh, did you know Bob was there the whole time - I was actually really worried about bringing him.. I didn't know if I would get stressed and freak out but he did really well. He pretty much acted like he normally does when we go out to eat. He was really excited when we got there because there was a GDTx client there with her dog but he soon figured out he couldn't say hi and calmed down. Not until we were leaving did he go sniff crazy on the carpet - I was just waiting for it.. puppies can't resist the GDTx carpet haha!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


There are a few different ways to induce Euphoria... Some people exercise, some people do yoga and meditate - some people use opium.. Yeah, I said it - opium - the drug. Do you know where opium comes from? Poppy seeds. That is why they tell you not to go and eat a poppy seed bagel right before a drug test because you're likely to test positive. Opium induces feelings of euphoria when used but I know of a much better (legal) way to induce euphoria. All you need to do is get yourself a puppy - specifically  a puppy from Poppy's litter (one of Poppy's seeds *wink*wink* haha).

Poppy, a yellow lab, running in a field of grass with her ears out to the side and her long tongue flopping out of the right side of her mouth.
Poppy running in the GDTx grass -
I heart her face. 
So you may be wondering who this Poppy is that I speak of huh? Poppy is Guide Dogs of Texas' very first and at the moment only brood bitch (excuse the technical term/bad word...) and she's pregnant! They just found out yesterday!!! She had an ultrasound yesterday and no one has told us how many she has yet (they might not be able to tell at the moment) but apparently they are the size of a pencil eraser!

Poppy still running in the field, her cheeks are all the way back and her face looks very wind blown
I heart this face too :) 

Anyways, GDTx is gearing up and ready for its very first litter. For all my out of town/state readers I hope you'll wish them luck and for all my in town readers or people who wish to help out - this is a big leap for GDTx and they're needing help more than ever now. As always, volunteers are always needed and now they are in need of puppy items if anyone wants to donate stuff.

Here is a (long) list of all the things GDTx is always looking for and would really appreciate - think of the puppies!!!! Grab a puppy and get those euphoric feelings revved up and help us out! I'll keep you updated on all of Poppy's news as it comes to me!

Well... I just searched for a good 20 minutes and I can't find my list... I'll get it up for you as soon as I get it emailed to me again haha. While you wait you can try to make out the inner workings of Poppy's uterus:
An ultrasound of Poppy's uterus, there is a bunch of grey fuz and a dark round oval up in the top left center of the picture.
Does anyone really ever understand these things?

P.S. Poppy's uterus picture was stolen from Michelle's facebook page - just so she doesn't sue me for copyright or something ;)