My still neglected blog and our first open house

I can’t believe another couple of weeks have passed since I updated the blog. Time is flying by – the big news since the last entry is my place is finally on the market!

Talks

I had a lovely talk at an after school care program on Monday. They were very well behaved and attentive, especially considering they had been at school all day. There were lots of great questions including one that I hadn’t been asked before – How would I feel if I got my eyesight back? I really wasn’t sure how to answer.

CLO work

Last week was a huge work week, it included – some filming for a Guide Dog project, a trip to Gundaghai, two pre-school talks, two days in the office, an interagency meeting and staff meeting. No wonder this poor blog isn’t being updated, Wiley and I were exhausted by the end of the week.

My CLO role is probably going to be winding up soon. The position needs to be full-time which I can’t do as I have my speaking role to consider. I am hoping another part time opportunity will open up for me but at the moment I am just taking things day by day.

House sale

Saturday after a long walk with Wiley I spent a couple of hours cleaning my little home from top to bottom in preparation for the first open house. Wiley and I needed to vacate while people were walking through. To fill in the time we took a slow stroll – Wiley loved it as he stopped and sniffed every bush and tree. It was a nice way to fill the hour or so. I hope whoever lives here after me appreciates the beautiful mountain as much as I do. I am really going to miss walking there when we move

On the whole it was a successful start to the marketing with five people coming through. Unfortunately no offers have been forthcoming but it was nice to know people were interested enough to come and have a look. There is another open house scheduled over the Easter long weekend. Fingers crossed more people are interested enough to have a look through.

Weekend happenings

It’s Easter – a great time to catch up with my gorgeous family, not to mention the perfect excuse to eat some chocolate. Wiley has a bag of roo tendons and a new toy as his Easter treats.

Walking catch ups. We have not one but two walking dates lined up with friends and their dogs. Wiley will love having doggy companions to walk with. The exercise will also be good to help offset any chocolate consumption!

Playing with my GoPro camera. I am going to dedicate some of the weekend to play with my GoPro camera. I want to work out the best way to capture Wiley at work.

Massage for Wiley. Hopefully Wiley will enjoy a massage sometime over the weekend.

Open House. More cleaning – fingers crossed there will be an update with a I’ve sold my house’’ post very soon J

Just because he is adorable – here is a photo of my boy taken on one of our car trips last week.

Wiley in the car

Wiley in the car

Contracts have been signed

It is all systems go, on Friday I signed a contract with the Real Estate agent, engaged my solicitor and had an EER inspection done. Assuming there are no hiccups getting contracts drawn up my place should be on the market mid March.

At the moment I am equally excited and apprehensive. I am not looking forward to keeping the house in a show ready state, especially as it means putting away Wiely’s toys, dog beds and water bowl every time I leave just in case someone want to comes through for a look. I hope it sells reasonably quickly so I can start the search for our new home.

Last week was my busiest week at work to date. I was in the office Monday to Thursday. There is lots happening at the moment which is great as the day flies by. I can safely say Wiley’s best day was Thursday. We hosted a farewell for our regional manager who left late last year. Lots of people turned up along with six or so dogs, including Wiley’s friend Morgan the service dog. I think he enjoyed having some canine pals around the office, he and all the other dogs were very well behaved.

I realised today that summer is officially over as today is the first day of autumn. I am looking forward to the crisp mornings and cooler days.

I don’t have quite so much scheduled next week, it will be nice to have a chance to run a few errands in town.

Tears, farewells and homecomings

The last week has been a busy and emotional one. On Friday my better office half – the wonderful Jo- had her last day at work. I confess to being teary as we said our farewell’s, I am really going to miss having her around the office. She was incredibly efficient and always so much fun to be with. Work will not be the same without her.

I think Wiley could tell something was up as he was a little subdued all day. I am sure he was picking up on my emotions as he certainly didn’t understand that Jo wouldn’t be there next time we went into work.

On a positive I have plans to head down to Jo’s new coastal location with some of the other girls in the office for a ladies weekend (Wiley included of course!) Walking along the beach, shopping and a weekend with friends is something I am already looking forward to.

I spent several day at my parents as Dad was having a medical procedure and was going to be in hospital overnight. I am very happy to report everything went well and he is happy and healthy and back home. The main reason I went to stay was to keep mum company and help out with dog walking and other heavy lifting tasks that Dad is on strict instruction to not do for the next week or so.

While we were there I gave Wiley a bath as it was a warm day and i could bathe him in the garden. Despite a few issues with a hose fitting he seemed to enjoy himself. He did the biggest zoomies around the garden once I had towelled dried him. He then slept on the lawn in the sun for a couple of hours.

I have been a bit of a dog walker this week as I have also been walking Haggis my friends dog each mornings she is still off her feet after surgery. The few days I was at mum and dads she had other friends come around to help out so he didn’t miss out.

Work has been busy as I’ve been trying to get on top of things before Jo left. Now she has gone I will be spending even more time in the office. It will only be for a few weeks until someone new is hired.

Thankfully I only had one talk last week, anymore would have been hard to fit in. Wiley and I went to a great After School Care group. The kids were all so lovely and very keen to see Wiley work and also pat him once his harness came off.

Despite lots happening Wiley and I have still enjoyed some gorgeous morning walks, including meeting up with a friend and his dog which is always fun as Wiley loves walking with company.

We also managed to fit in Wiley’s doggy massage, he was very relaxed while his massuse worked on his tight back leg muscles. I am going to try and keep up with regular appointments until we have moved and he no loungers has to negotiate a steep flight of stairs several times a day.

The happiest part of my week was visiting my sister and niece. They have just returned from their overseas trip. They had a wonderful time, although I think they would have liked to stay a little longer. I have only heard the tip of their holiday stores so am looking forward to hearing more about their adventures. As soon as work slows down we will arrange a sisters and nieces brunch.

I am hoping to meet the real estate agent sometime this week so I can sign contracts and find out what else I need to do. I am getting quite excited.

Lighting Talk and office work

It has been an interesting and productive week. Monday in particular was a very long day.

Wiley and I walked into the office a little before 10AM . We had a meeting to attend plus I wanted to start doing a handover with Jo as she leaves next week. I enjoyed my day at work as there was lots to do so the time passed quickly. Whenever there were a few minutes to spare I worked on the finishing touches to a speech I had to give that evening.

A little after 5PM, Karyn, our Acting Regional Manager and I hit the road. We were due at the Australian National University around 5:30 to give a talk to lighting engineers, architects, landscapers and other urban designers about the importance of good lighting design for people who are vision impaired.

Traffic was a little congested so we were a few minutes late. I get anxious when I am running behind schedule and as I hadn’t had time to prepare the talk as much as I wanted I was nervous about the evening ahead.

I was also daunted at the thought of giving a talk to professionals. The theme of my presentation was how light affects the functional vision of people who are vision impaired.   I explained that light can be both my best friend and worst enemy.  Glare can totally blind me, I frequently have to close my eyes and occasionally need to cover them to stop bright light from reaching them. In the most favourable conditions light enables me to make out vague shapes thanks to contrast between objects.

I think the talk went well, I was stumped by some of the questions which were quite technical but thankfully Karyn was there to answer the tricky ones. After my talk there was a very interesting presentation by a professor who knew everything about how eyes work,  lighting design and industry standards.

It was an enjoyable, interesting but late evening – we didn’t get home until 9PM. Wiley and I were wiped out and pretty much headed straight to bed.

Wiley handled the extra long day really well, I took his dinner and bowl into work so he ate before we went to the talk. He also got lots of opportunity for wee walks and as he had a long walk Monday morning he was content to sleep most of the day.

Tuesday was a much needed rest day, Wednesday was focused on house preparations.

First off was a shopping excursion. With my parents help I bought a new blind and doona cover. I let my mum choose the colours as she is much better at interior design than I am. My ever practical and helpful Dad fitted the new blind on my kitchen window.

All I need now is to take the treadmill downstairs and bring up a sofa and I will be able to get someone in to take photos. Things are progressing well.

Yesterday was another work day. The plan was to spend more time with Jo, unfortunately she wasn’t well so Wiley and I ended up manning the office. It was a very quiet day so I worked on some public education initiatives for cycling groups, shopping centres and dog clubs.

I am looking forward to the weekend. Wiley has another massage booked in and I have plans to catch up with friends.

Change is in the Air

The theme of the week just gone is ‘change is in the air’

Selling Update

I am making good progress getting my place ready to sell. Sometimes I get anxious when I think of Wiley and I living somewhere new and unfamiliar but then I remind myself of how much he will enjoy some outside space and the confidence in my decision returns.

This week my wonderful BIL has made great progress fixing the ceiling in the garage. My lovely parents have bought me some new blinds for the kitchen and bathroom and more items have left my garage with hopefully more leaving this afternoon. I have moved the rower from my bedroom down into the garage and re-arranged the bedroom furniture. I have also tidied up the outside of the house.

On my list of things still to do is – install the blinds, get the fan fixed, move the treadmill into the garage, have the carpets cleaned and borrow a sofa for my lounge area (at the moment the treadmill is where most people would have a sofa).

Once all that is done I can sign contracts with the real estate agent, engage a solicitor, get all the required inspections and paperwork sorted and have someone come and take photos for the sales listing. It sounds like a lot to accomplish in a few weeks but I am hopeful my lovely little home will be on the market sometime in March.

Work Update

If I thought life was changing at home it is nothing compared to the speed with changes at work. At the end of  last year our Regional Manager resigned, then early January one of the Orientation and Mobility instructors was offered their dream job so they have also left. That leaves two positions that need filling.

For me however the biggest change is that my better half Jo is also onto new adventures. I know the decision to go was a hard one for her but it is most certainly the best thing for herself and her lovely family. Of course I fell to the ground and sobbed when I heard the news, – ok that didn’t actually happen but it is what I felt like doing!

Life without Jo in the office will be a little less rosy with fewer cathartic belly laughs, not to mention her efficiency and general awesomeness will be missed at work. It also means that my position needs to be reviewed.

Job sharing has worked well but with staff vacancies, a more extensive roll out of NDIS and other operational considerations I believe the ACT office would be better served with a full time Client Liaison Officer. A full time role would prevent me from fulfilling my responsibilities as a PR speaker so it isn’t something I would consider, consequently my future in the office is uncertain. I do know that change is inevitable and although it is scary it can also lead to new and unexpected opportunities.

Wiley of course is oblivious to everything that is happening around him, he lives and enjoys each day for what it is without worrying about what will happen tomorrow, next week, month or year.

To illustrate just how unfazed by work changes Wiley is, here is a photo of him happily sleeping under the desk while I work.

Wiley asleep under my desk at work

Wiley asleep under my desk at work

I am trying, perhaps a little unsuccessfully, to emulate his relaxed attitude. At least I am comforted with the knowledge regardless of what lies ahead each day will start and end cuddling Wiley and whatever happens he will be by my side.

A new collar for Wiley

Last year I purchased a new working collar for Wiley, along with a new cooling collar. There was an issue with unavailable items so I only received the order this week. Wiley’s new collar is a martingale, it is like a normal collar but has a chain which can tighten the collar without putting any pressure on the dogs throat (unlike check chains).

The standard collar issued by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is a fabric martingale. I wanted one with a chain as the sound and feel gives me a better idea when Wiley is turning his head. That helps us work more smoothly together and I can reinforce and reward Wiley for not looking around for food.

The lovely local Guide Dog instructor lent me a martingale with a chain so I trialled it before I invested in one myself. Here are some photos of the collar on and off Wiley.

Wiley's brown leather collar

Wiley’s brown leather collar

Wiley's new brown leather working collar

Wiley’s new brown leather working collar

Wiley modelling his new working collar

Wiley modelling his new working collar

Wiley wearing his new collar

Wiley wearing his new collar

We are not using the collar at the moment as I need to buy a new tag to fit it. I don’t want Wiley to head out the door without proper identification. I have ordered his new tag and hope it will be here sometime in the next few days.

Last week was a busy one, with two days at the office plus some extra time spent on work projects at home. In between work commitments I continued with my selling preparations. I have engaged a real estate agent, spoke to a photographer, cleaned out the garage and kept adding to my list of things that need to be done before it is listed for sale. I also heard from the electrician, they are sorting out the warranty details then will come over to fix my fan.

Wiley seems unfazed by all the cleaning and sorting, as long as his bed(s), toy box, nylabones, kong and food ball are around he is happy.

Home appraisal

It has been a hectic couple of days. Sunday was my youngest nephews 18th birthday so we dropped into my sister’s place. I am not sure why him turning 18 makes me feel old but it does. Sunday was also a big cleaning day. I decided to get a real estate agent in to value my property so I wanted it to be spotless for their appraisal.

Yesterday was even busier. It started with a talk to a wonderful groups of young students in a school holiday program. They were very attentive when I was talking, asked lots of thoughtful questions and were very respectful when they came up at the end of the talk to pat Wiley.

Next up was a couple of hours of filming. I think Wiley likes being in front of a camera. He is on a very frequent reward schedule as what we are doing can be repetitive so I need to keep him motivated.

After we got home from filming I called our Regional manager to discuss the project I have been working on. I finished up with the phone call and had 15 minutes to take Wiley for a wee walk and get changed before heading out the door to dinner with the delightful Jo and her equally lovely husband.

We went to a cafe at the Gungahlin town centre, the food was delicious and the portions were huge. Best of all was the company, lots of talking and laughing – a perfect evening. It was a big day, both Wiley and I slept very well last night.

Today started with our favourite bush walk with our favourite walking pals. Then Wiley got to chill out while I did some more housework as I had an appointment with an agent at 10:30. It is a buyers market in Canberra at the moment, not so good if you want to sell but very good when it comes time to buy. I now have an idea of what I can expect my current place to sell for which means I can do some sums and figure out what else I could buy. I’m not looking forward to moving but I am looking forward to Wiley having a wee garden to play in and no stairs to worry about.