Joy Jar

P1040284A fairly normal week other than adjusting to Zodiac’s departure. It is nice that things have really warmed up and summer is on its way.

  • taking a nap
  • talking with my dad
  • sunshine
  • Casey’s 3rd birthday
  • Dune and Beacon snuggling
  • Dune’s personality
  • hiking with Dune
  • Bill getting home
  • email and photos from Waffle
  • snuggling with Dune
  • finishing planting my garden
  • Apex’s 5th birthday
  • getting a hair cut
  • raising Zodiac
  • dejunking the house
  • a one dog household
  • finishing Volume 6 of “Our Family”
  • growing things
  • hair out of my eyes
  • finishing watching the RootsTech feed

Pupdate – Apex, Banta, Casey, Waffle & Yakira

We have had news from several of our puppies over the last couple of weeks. It always makes my day when I see something in my in-box from one of them.

Apex on the cruise to Alaska


Today is Apex’s 5th birthday. He is getting a doggie cake made from dog food, fruits and veggies. It is vet approved. Photos will be coming later of his celebration. We also got a few photos from their recent trip to Alaska. What a lucky dog!

Glacier Bay National Park


Two years ago Banta was in class. Mark said last week “Banta has been an awesome guide, even with some of her stubborn traits.” They enjoy participating in 5k and 10k walks on many weekends during the summer months. They are doing a 10k in Bolder this weekend.


Casey’s 3rd birthday was yesterday. And last year at this time she was in class preparing for graduation with her handler. My how time flies.




Earlier this month marked two years since we first met Waffle. And this week I got an email from Carole and Waffle, including photos.

Waffle is doing wonderfully! She is incredibly smart and likes agility and playing with other dogs. She also has quite an independent streak like to go off exploring on her own whenever possible.

Waffle and Tucker


Last month I got an email from Diane and Yakira. They have had some adjustments as a team, which is normal. But with adjustments they are back to being a happily working team again.

Pupdate – Zodiac

from Zodiac’s puppyhood book

No news on Zodiac this week. He hasn’t made it to the phase report yet but I didn’t see any of the pups that were on the truck with him either. He should show up next week, unless the holiday weekend disrupts things. But in many ways no news is good news at this point. A phone call would be a really bad thing. It could only mean that he was career changed.

At this point I would expect that he is getting adjusted to the routines on Guide Dogs for the Blind’s campus. They usually have a kennel mate and Zodiac will have a canine welfare technician to make sure he is healthy and happy. The will also be doing medical exams and he will have walks and playtime.

Above is the first spread in Zodiac’s puppyhood book. I’ll post one spread each week along with an update on how he is doing in training. Here is the text for that page:

Most puppy raisers think their dog is the cutest, but of course they are wrong, Zodiac is really the cutest puppy ever! He was a very solidly built. At 13 months he was 65 lbs. even though he isn’t a very tall dog. I expect he will put on a few more pounds as his muscles continue to develop. Zodiac has matured into a very handsome nicely put together dog.

Questorming for a Story Project

DOABLE Sidebar DToday I found an article on questorming by Daniel Tenner on Here is what he said about applying questorming:

As the saying goes, asking the right questions is half the battle. This is what questorming focuses on: questions. The objective of the game is to ask as many questions as possible, in a free-flowing, unscripted way, about the topic. Much like with brainstorming, there are no bad questions in the initial phase – anything goes. As the storm of questions grows, it provides a map of your current understanding of the topic, and some clear next steps for deepening that understanding.

Daniel Tenner then gave an example of using questorming on “How can I write a book?” I’ve adapted his example to doing a story project because there are many similarities. Here is what I came up with:

  • How can I do a story project? or What should I do for my story project?

And free-flow from there:

  • How can I not do a story project?
  • Are there activities hat will increase the chances of me completing a story project?
  • Are there things that I absolutely must do to complete a story project?
  • Are there things that, if I do them, will guarantee I don’t complete a story project?
  • What are all those things?
  • Do I need anyone else’s help to complete my story project?
  • Is it possible to complete a story project without any help from anyone?
  • What are all the key things that need to happen before a story project is finished?
  • What does it mean for a story project to be ready?
  • Is a story project ready when I decide it’s finished, or are there other factors?
  • What are clear signs that a story project is not finished?
  • Are there some story project that can never be finished?
  • Can I do something to make sure that my story project will some day be finished?
  • What could I do to ensure that my story project will never be finished?
  • Why do I want my story project to be finished?
  • What do I want out of it?
  • How does that relate to whether it’s complete?
  • Who am I doing this story project for?
  • Do they have any impact on whether it’s complete?
  • Can I find out if it’s finished from the perspective of its audience, before actually publishing it?
  • Do I even need to publish my story project?
  • Are there ways to share my story project so that it can be improved repeatedly?
  • Are those ways better or worse than traditional ways?
  • Why?
  • Are there benefits to sharing my story project in the traditional way, vs a more modern approach?
  • Which is better to match what I want out of this story project?

I hope this give you some thoughts on your next story project? There are lots more questions to be questormed and not all questions that you come up with are actually helpful in moving your project forward but some of the questions you think of will be very useful in coming up with a meaningful story project.

Have you every used questorming? I haven’t yet but will soon. The closest I’ve come to questorming is talking with my dad about a book he read called “Change Your Questions, Change Your Life” by Marilee Adams.

Brainstorming Story Project Ideas

DOABLE Sidebar DA great way to come up with ideas for your next story project is by using one of the many brainstorming techniques. Traditionally brainstorming is done with a group but the same principles can apply to an individual. Here are a list of different variations of idea generations with links to explanations on Wikipedia:

There are other theories on idea generation and problems solving. I came across another one that I’m curious about called Questorming. I want to try out some of these techniques on my next project. Besides questorming I’ve got to try some of the mind mapping applications on the internet. I’ll let you know how it goes.

What are some of the things that you do help you generate ideas and problem solve?

So Many Stories, So Little Time

DOABLE Sidebar DAre you one of those people who has tons of ideas for story projects but can’t decide which one to do first? I’d start with making a list of all the projects you are thinking about doing. You might also make a few notes or comments about each of these projects and what you envision. Next be honest with yourself about how much time and energy you have to spend on your story project. Here are some ideas on some question to ask yourself that might help you decide which story project to do first:

  • Which one would be fastest?
  • Which one do you have all the skills needed to complete it?
  • Which one do you have all the resources (images, documents, etc.) you need to complete it?
  • Which one sounds the most interesting?
  • Which one do you find yourself thinking about the most often?
  • Which one would need you to learn something that you have wanted to learn?
  • Do any of these projects involve interviewing a person who may not be around much longer?

If this is your first story project be careful about making it such a big project that you get overwhelmed and don’t get it done. If you have successfully completed a few story projects than maybe it is time to challenge yourself. My advice is to trust yourself and your intuition as to which story project is right for you at this time.

Finally share your decision with someone who will be a supportive friend in holding you accountable to completing your project. If you want you can share it with me. I’d love to hear about your story project.

Blog Revamp – New Content Plan

Arriving at your intended destination is more likely with a plan. So I’ve made an adjusted content plan for my revamped blog. The funny part of this plan is that I’ve already messed it up by the two earlier post today (Pupdate & Joy Jar). I guess it just reminds me again that plans are important but just following the plan is not the goal. The plan is a means to an end and not the end. So when needed adjust your plans. That doesn’t mean that plans aren’t important. They just need to stay flexible. That is enough rambling. Here is my plan. Now you will be able to see how closely I follow it. I’m sharing it for two reason. Accountability and if you aren’t interested in the kinds of stuff I’m posting a certain days you won’t have to use your valuable time checking what I’ve posted that day.

  • Mondays: My Stuff Monday – my current, past and future projects
  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays: focus on the DOABLE approach starting with step one: decide for the rest of May and June
  • Fridays: Pupdates – info about my puppies
  • Saturdays: Joy Jar

Since this is my third post today, I’ll might just wait until Monday to do my first “My Stuff Monday” post. But who knows, I’ll see how the rest of my day flows.

If there is something you would like me to post about, let me know and I’ll figure out a way to fit it in.