Joy Jar


  • learning
  • Jordan River Parkway Trail
  • getting girl’s camp planned
  • wild flowers
  • my “wall”
  • the power of music
  • feeding mom and dad
  • yummy food
  • finding the names of Dune’s littermates
  • puppies at play
  • air conditioning
  • ice cream
  • an understanding husband
  • Sunday
  • electricity!
  • Dune comforting Volt
  • my computer
  • $2 per yard fabric
  • air conditioning

Thoughts on Dog Leashes


Earlier this week I was discussing dog leashes with a friend. When we had a pet dog we always used a basic nylon leash or a retractable. After raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind for several years I’ve become spoiled by good leather leashes. I still love retractables and we use simple nylon leashes around the house but for anything else there is nothing like a good leather leash. When we got Apex we received this cool leash with two clips and an extra ring so the leash can be long or short. If you’ve never tried one of these I highly recommend them. A fellow puppy raiser has started making them, so if you are interested go to her website. The type we use with the puppies is the versatile dog leash.

Pupdate – Dune


I haven’t posted about Dune in a long time. She is doing great and started to look like a grown-up. She is entering those teen years and developing a few little rebellious behaviors but nothing too bad. I finally found out all the names of her littermates yesterday when the GDB littermate book came out. Here is what I now have on the Bosworth/Cava litter born 11/11/2012:

  • Deanli – male
  • Disco – female
  • Dixie – female
  • Drexel – male
  • Dune – female
  • Durham – male
  • PADS Penny II – female

They are all yellow. You probably notice that one names stands out. Penny was donated to Pacific Assistance Dogs Society in British Columbia, so they named her. A number of young puppies were donated to PADS at the same time as Dune’s sister Penny. I found this cute video and there is a good chance one of these yellow labs in Dune’s sister Penny.

It is a regular practice of many of the service dog schools around the world to exchange puppies or breeders to help everyone have better genetic diversity. You may not remember but Yakira’s dad (Pike) on loan to GDB for six months from Austrailia and her mother was the result of a female donated to a school in Holland and then one of her offspring was sent back to GDB. Casey’s (Dune’s aunt) dad (Jay) was donated to GDB by an organization in Korea. I find the pups pedigrees very interesting.

I’ve neglected getting photos taken of Dune. I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t taken any pictures since Zodiac left more than a month ago. Time to make it a priority and stop putting it off.

Pupdate – Zodiac

Zodiac has always been attracted to sounds and somewhere along the way he learned that the doorbell usually meant something interesting was about to happen. When Zodiac hears the ding-dong, he gets all excited, barks a couple of times and runs to the door.  I then ask him to step back from the door and wait calmly for me to answer it. With maturing he has made progress and the last few days he has done much better than average. Hopefully he is out growing this behavior.

Zodiac is still in phase 1 this week. I can’t help but be a little disappointed. There are three reason I can think of why he is still in phase 1:

  • he is have trouble with something in the training
  • he is sick
  • his trainer didn’t update his status

Next week’s report will probably give us some clues. There were two other dogs who stayed in phase 1, which might help the theory that the trainer didn’t update their status. I’d love Zodiac to be a guide dog but even more than that I want him to have a happy life. If being a guide dog will make him happy, I all for that. If he wouldn’t be happy being a guide dog, I’d like him to find another career.


Battle Field History Apps

Battle Apps for the Civil War

Our local news had an interesting story about smart phone apps for several of America’s famous battle fields. I wonder what it would take to make similar apps for important places and events in our own family histories. Wouldn’t that be cool!

Here are links to the story I saw

And here are some other news stories from the NeoTreks website:

If you could put together an app for a story project what would you do?


Your Story Coach

I found a new blog today that looks great for helping with all the writing aspects of a story project. It is Your Story Coach. I’ve only scratched the surface of what Tami has to offer but it is wonderful. Here is an example.

“I encourage everyone to write stories from their lives instead of writing their whole life story. Life story implies a chronological retelling of your life from birth to now, but writing stories from your life is more like telling stories at the kitchen table.

Many people take writing too seriously and worry about “doing it right.” Believe me, your family would rather have something from you rather than nothing at all—even if it’s not perfect! Writing your stories should be fun and easy. Here’s my formula:

  • Keep your writing relaxed and informal.
  • Write in your own voice—the way you talk.
  • Don’t worry about grammar and punctuation. You can always use spell check and grammar check on the computer.
  • Write your life in “small bites” of two- or three-page stories so it’s not too overwhelming.
  • Keep your audience in mind—your aim is to inform and entertain.

By writing short, two- or three-page stories from your life, a picture of you will begin to emerge. Before you know it, you’ll have a stack of stories to share with friends and family.”

I can’t wait to explore more of Tami’s blog. I’m sure I’ll be sharing more from Your Story Coach in the future. Pop on over to her blog and see what I mean.DOABLE Sidebar B


The Story Rug

Illustration by G. Bjorn Thorkelson

I was reading “The Friend” (a children’s magazine published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) recently and I just had to post this story here. It features a rag rug made from old clothes with the idea that each piece of cloth reminds the rug maker of memories and stories from their life. What a great idea for a story project!

The Story Rug

The Story Rug

By Kay Timpson

(Based on a true story)

Who knew so many stories could be wrapped up in one rug?
We as the children can seek out our loved ones, preserving their names and their memory (Children’s Songbook, 90–91).

Katy skipped along the sidewalk toward the big oak tree at the corner of her street. The old tree made Nana’s house easy to find.

As usual, Nana was sitting in her living room, quietly braiding and sewing strips of bright cloth. The polished wooden floors of Nana’s house were decorated with beautiful rugs that Nana made herself.

“Hello, honey,” Nana said as Katy came in. Soon they were talking about what Nana called the “old days.” They looked at black-and-white photos together. Katy especially liked seeing the clothes and hairstyles her relatives wore when they were younger.

“Things were very different then,” Nana said with a sigh. “You know, we didn’t have cars or TV or cell phones.”

Katy couldn’t even imagine having to walk everywhere. “What did you do for fun, Nana?” Katy asked.

“We loved to sing together. We would gather around the piano in the evening and sing our favorite songs. Sometimes we’d sing ourselves hoarse! It was such a fun time.”

Nana looked off into the yard as if she could rewind the years and watch them over again.

Katy sat next to the coiled rug that spilled off of Nana’s lap. She traced the careful stitches with her fingers.

“I’ve been thinking,” Nana said slowly. “How would you like to make your very own braided rug?”

Katy jumped up and clapped her hands.

“I would love to, Nana! Can we start today?”

Nana chuckled. “Well, there’s something you need to do first. Go home and gather up old clothes that we can cut into strips.”

Her eyes twinkled as she leaned toward Katy, her voice quiet as if she were sharing a secret.

“That’s what makes the rug special. Because it’s made of clothes, the rug can tell the story of your life. Each braid is like a chapter in a book about you. Looking at the fabric of an old dress can help you remember the places you wore it and what you did when you had it on.”

Katy’s eyes widened. She pointed to the rug Nana was braiding.

“Do you remember all about the cloth in this rug?”

Nana smiled. “You bet I do! This red piece is from the dress I wore when you were born. I remember pressing my nose to the glass window in the nursery to get a closer look at you. You were still all pink and wrinkly.”

Katy and Nana laughed together as Nana continued to tell Katy stories from the rug. As soon as Katy got home that night, she and Mama set aside old clothes that Katy could use for her rug.

The next day, Katy took the cloth to Nana’s house. Nana showed Katy how to cut the fabric into long strips, braid them, and sew the braids together.

Every day after school Katy went to work on the rug at Nana’s house.

Little by little, the rug grew. As the days went by Katy learned many of Nana’s stories by heart. Some days she was the one who told stories to Nana.

One day, after adding a blue strip of cloth that used to be a favorite pair of jeans, Katy rubbed the palm of her hand against the colorful braids.

“Don’t you think that rug is about done?” Nana asked, looking up from her work.

“Not yet,” Katy said with a smile. She never wanted this time with Nana to end.


Our Days at Adams Mill Road

I put together this book for group of women (one of them is my mom) who had been roommates in the 1950’s in Washington D.C. They are a fun group and have stayed in contact for more than 50 years. Many of them contributed photos, letters and stories from their days at AMR. It is kind of amazing that 10 young women could get along so well in one household. But they did and formed a kind of family.

Do you have friends or roommates from you young adult years that you still keep in contact with? I have a few but not very many. Keeping in contact with people is not one of my strengths. Those I’m still in contact with is because they are good at in not me.

Joy Jar


  • double dog walk
  • time with family
  • yummy sweet treats
  • making progress on publishing “My Grandma Mary”
  • chatting with friends
  • helping Mom and Dad
  • ColorNote app
  • good dinner
  • spending time with Kim and Noreen
  • swooping swallows
  • pleasant breezes
  • red-winged black birds
  • lime yogurt
  • Dune doing good in her kennel
  • sound of birds under the overpass
  • Dune and Clifford playing
  • Zodiac in phase 1
  • lemonade
  • happy dog
  • visiting Virginia
  • getting my shelves cleaned up
  • phase 1

Pupdate – Zodiac

Zodiac is very zealous about life and sometimes it comes across as stubbornness. I’ll never forget our first day together. He was exploring his new house and decided he wanted to go into the spare bedroom. This is our cat’s territory and off-limits to the dogs, so I picked up his puppy leash and stopped him. He didn’t like that and pulled harder to go into the room. I think we spent 10 minutes with Zodiac trying to go forward into the room and me preventing him. To his credit he learned his lesson and we never had that battle again.

Zodiac is finally in phase one! It seems like it has taken him forever to get there. He has been gone a month now so it has been awhile. But he is finally moving. If you want to know more about what he is learning go to this post on phase one. I finally got around to ordering Zodiac’s official portrait for our wall today. I’m excited to add his happy face to the other five pups that are already up there.