Off to Girl’s Camp

I was hoping to get some post done ahead for this week but I didn’t even come close to making that happen. I’m heading off to girls camp for the week. It is for girls 12 to 18 from our church congregation. I’m co-director again this year and I think we are ready but there are lots of little things that are still a bit up in the air. I’m trying to have the attitude that I’ve done what I can so now I just have to adjust to things as they present themselves.

On the family story side of things, we have asked the all the girls and leaders to be ready to share a story at camp. It can be from their own lives or their family or a distant ancestor. It is going to be interesting to see how that works out. I hope it will be a powerful thing for everyone. I’ll let you know how it goes when I get back.


Joy Jar

P1040284A few low spots early in the week but mostly it has been a good week with some great high spots.

  • Zodiac in phase 6
  • peach pancakes
  • blueberries from Boring, Oregon (that is where Zodiac is training to be a guide dog)
  • tender mercies
  • “My Grandma Mary” on Amazon
  • eating veggies from our garden
  • learning new things
  • teaching my dad to use a computer
  • a colt in the field
  • Dune enjoying her bath
  • fresh peaches
  • cooler temperatures
  • being mostly ready for girls camp next week
  • helping out a friend
  • getting help from friends
  • new wireless keyboard and mouse
  • new Crocs
  • Banta’s birthday
  • sharing veggies from my garden with my neighbor
  • walking with Dune and Lisa

Pupdate – Banta

Banta at 5 months – photo by Lisa Thompson

Today is Banta’s fourth birthday! She has been a guide dog for over two years now. I’m sure that spunky little girl had a great day today. It is hard to imagine Banta ever really growing-up, but I suppose it is possible. I sent birthday wishes her way earlier today. Happy Birthday Banta!

Pupdate – Zodiac

Zodiac is now 3/4 of the way through his formal harness training to become a guide dog! This week’s phase report has him in phase 6 of 8 phases. The next class in Oregon starts on August 5th. It is unlikely that he will be “class ready” by then but the following class he probably will be. Then the challenge becomes finding the right partner for Zodiac. He needs just the right kind of handler, one that can appreciate his love of life and exuberance and being jumped on occasionally. I’m expecting it to take a while for him to graduate.

Zodiac has always had a zest for life. He is a fun-loving boy and loves to be out doing things, going new places and making new friends. Zodiac is sure that everyone he meets is just as happy to meet him. He is ever the optimist that something fun is just around the corner. I love the happy light that is typically in Zodiac’s eyes and his exuberance for life.

Phase Six: Urban Challenges

Obedience and Distraction Training
Continues as in phase 5.

Advanced Guidework Training
Dogs work in both residential area without sidewalks
and downtown urban areas with challenging environments.
Focus on working the dogs at a pace and pull that is appropriate for a client.
Instructors commonly work each others’ dogs to continue to develop and monitor consistent responses of each dog in various environments (formal, casual
and during guidework).

NEW! Sidewalkless Technique Introduction
Dogs learn how to work in areas without sidewalks or reasonable shoulder on which to walk. The travel
line is the left side of the street facing oncoming traffic. Dogs learn how to respond to intersecting streets
and parked cars along their travel line.

NEW! Platform Edge Intro and Exposure Work
Dogs learn to avoid significant drop-offs that mimic
subway and rail platform edges.

NEW! Light Rail, Subway systems
Dogs practice edge avoidance when train is absent, and boarding/riding on available trains.

Obstacle Course Progression
Continues as in phase 5.

Pre-Matches for Select Clients
Dogs are identified for applicants with special needs
or requirements in a Guide Dog.

Socialization Programs
CWTs continue to focus on kennel enrichment and
relaxing time away from guidework lessons (community run, grooming, play sessions, campus walks, dog massage, Reiki).

Leash relieving exposure on cement begins.
(from Guide Dogs for the Blind)

Organizing, as simple as cake

I love Kristin’s analogy. I’m going to try this the next time I feel overwhelmed. (It might even be tomorrow.)DOABLE Sidebar O


Organize Professionally

Some of my clients have a lot of difficulty visualizing how they are going to finish organizing because they feel overwhelmed and defeated.  I say let them eat cake!

Have you ever tried to bake a cake without a recipe?  Maybe those geniuses on Top Chef

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“My Grandma Mary” on Amazon!


I just checked on Amazon and “My Grandma Mary” is there and available for sale! It is amazing to see it there for real. I Just had to share this milestone in family stories here. Plus we got it done by Pioneer Day, which is July 24th. The day that Brigham Young and the first batch of Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. I seems like a fitting day to complete this step of my journey to learn about Mary Taylor and share her story.

“My Grandma Mary” update – hidden pictures

So I’ve official finished editing “My Grandma Mary” and now we are just waiting for the box of books I’ve ordered to print! I’m so excited and nervous as the same time. That takes me to the next step in the Doable approaching to telling your family stories, link. This book brings a whole new area to learn in sharing it with a broader audience.

One of the fun things about this book is that we have put hidden images throughout the book that represent other stories from the Martin Handcart Company that we didn’t put into the main storyline. The book refers to this blog for help in finding these images. I decided to do 4 levels of hints. The first level of hints in under the “My Grandma Mary” tab above and the rest I wrote as post that you can see below. I have links to these posts of the “My Grandma Mary” tab. Hopefully that this will work well in helping those who get stuck finding all the images. Some of them are really pretty easy but some are much harder. DOABLE Sidebar L