Thought Wheel

From the mind of Ann Chiappetta

Alexa, Open ACB Mainstream

| Filed under blindness Poem

For the past two months I have been fortunate to work with a group of dedicated and talented artists, musicians, audio technicians, writers, and performers. We are part of the Friends in Art special interest affiliated of the American Council of the Blind www.friendsinart.com . Prior to working together and completing a two-hour showcase, we lost our president, Lynn Hedl suddenly earlier in the year. Then Covid hit and our convention shifted from an in-person performance to a virtual one. Shaken, but intrepid, we supported the virtual show and received over 30 auditions. But the show must go on, and Lynn would have wanted us to forge ahead and make it happen. So, we did. Tomorrow night the showcase airs on ACB Radio. Direct your digital assistant to listen and kick back and enjoy some wonderful songs, poetry, comedy, spoken word performances, and instrumentals all for your listening pleasure.
Thank-you, Mike Mandle, Nancy Pentagraph, Roland Pentagraph, June Lenk, Peter Altschul, Derek Laine, and Jason Castonguay. WE DID IT!

We hope you enjoy the show and if you want, hit us up for feedback at showcase@acbradio.org
To play the ACB Radio Mainstream channel, say “Open ACB Radio Mainstream.”

To play the ACB Radio Mainstream West channel, say “Open ACB Mainstream West.”

To play the ACB Radio Cafe channel, say “Open ACB Radio Cafe.”

To play the ACB Radio Community channel, say “Open ACB Radio Community.”

To play the ACB Radio Live Event channel, say “Open ACB Radio Live.”

To play the ACB Radio Special Event channel, say “Open ACB Radio Special.”

To play the ACB Radio Treasure Trove channel, say “Open ACB Radio Treasures.”

Something During the Covid Pause

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs writing

I’ve got a few things going on which I will share in another post. But I wanted to share a fun moment with my guide dog, Bailey. The pictures are of the mask with the logo of Guiding Eyes for the Blind taken by an Aira agent. It was less than five minutes of fun, but it keeps me smiling even though the smile is hidden by the mask. Enjoy!

Annie with pink mask and Bailey  close up

Ann and Bailey on bench: Both looking straight on

Over the Rainbow Bridge

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs

Verona Chiappetta

This image requires alt text, but the alt text is currently blank. Either add alt text or mark the image as decorative. Verona and I on a bench outside


November 24, 2006 – May 31, 2020
Guiding Eyes 2V406
Beloved pet and retired guide dog, black Labrador retriever, Verona, died today of natural causes and expired peacefully with compassion and care with the assistance of a veterinarian, surrounded by her loved ones.
Known as Happy Pants to the Guiding Eyes staff instructors during training, Verona has forever touched the lives of her puppy raiser family, her handler and family and countless others.

Verona worked as a guide dog and as a therapy dog for trauma patients. After retiring from being a guide dog, she helped children read through a program for the Good Dog Foundation.

Verona’s favorite pastime was watching the waterfowl on Greenwood Lake and walking in the woods. She loved cats and other small animals.

We will miss her soft, velvet ears, gentle kisses, and good nature. Thank-you, sweet girl for being the best canine ambassador, for helping Jerry hunt the turkey and keep him company upstate. Most of all, thank-you for helping me learn to fly.

Over the Rainbow Bridge

There is a place of rainbow dreams, of lush green grass, and silver streams. It brings me comfort to know you’re there, playfully romping without a care. Always happy, the freedom to roam, peaceful, joyful in your new home. You never criticize, you never judge, you were always there for me to love. Though you live on in my heart I know, it’s just so hard to let you go! I know someday we’ll meet again, you’ll run to greet me, my best friend. Together forever we’ll finally be, over the rainbow, just you and me…
Verona's face with snow on her nose

Self Advocacy and Poetry

| Filed under blindness Poem writing

I don’t usually post poems here because submission guidelines for other magazines will not accept an author’s work either previously printed or posted online. But I just have to share this one. Thanks for reading and please share it with others who love to read and write poetry.

The inspiration for this poem is self-advocacy; I’ve learned that standing up to bureaucratic requirements, what I call nonsense, often wears down the complainant resulting in the complainant dropping a case. It also re-traumatizes the person each time the person must respond to filing deadlines, written statements and affidavits, as the person must, to an extent, relive the experience to be witness to it.

This poem attempts to express the resolve and power of circumstances one must choose to endure when planning to grab the rope of advocacy and pull back, often against a much bigger and stronger opponent.

Tide
By Ann Chiappetta

Hard packed sand softens
With each step, like thoughts
Yielding Cool and unbidden under foot

Sun Descending, I walk from east to west
Sea water surges
Scours away thought-foot prints

Hope and resolve walk beside me
I persevere, unable to alter the course.

Though the dunes rise to the left and waves
Grab and pull My limbs on the right

I stay the course.
Tears taste like the tide
and like the wet ambition of the fisherman’s net
ego escapes, pours back into the sea.
2020

International Guide Dog Day!

| Filed under blindness Guide dogs

Ann and yellow lab guide dog Bailey
A message from Guide Dog Users of the Empire State (GDUES)
April 29, 2020

It’s International Guide Dog Day, a day set aside to recognize the work that our loving and loyal canine companions do for us every day. Each year International Guide Dog Day is celebrated on the last Wednesday of April.

It takes a village to raise a puppy and help it gain the necessary skills to become a guide dog. Every year staff and volunteers from training organizations around the world breed, raise and train guide dogs and partner them with blind handlers. Our dogs are our heroes, and today is a way to let others know just how much we appreciate them.

Now that we have raised some paws and wagged a few tails to celebrate, we also want to share what it is like to be blind and out in public with a guide dog. During this year of worldwide crisis GDUES wants to share a few tips about how you can help people who are blind maintain social distancing.

When you see a guide dog team, please don’t pet, feed, call or distract the dog. Speak to the handler. It is important for the public to know that guide dogs don’t know about physical distancing. Our dogs are trained to move around obstacles, not to stop six feet away from a door, or in line at the supermarket or pharmacy. It’s important to understand a blind person using a white cane or a guide dog cannot always accurately measure distances or see lines on the floor.

Since we might not hear you come out of the store as we go in, a quick “Hello,” would help. Or, “Hi, you are at the end of the line.: or “Hi, you can Move up a few steps,”. When passing a guide dog handler outside, saying hello will help us keep required physical distancing by hearing where you are in relation to us.

We want to follow the same health and safety precautions as everyone else, however, we might require a little more information than normal. We are all in this together.

The mission of GDUES is to advocate for and support guide dog teams living and working in New York State. Learn more by going to www.gdues.org

Pop Up Studio

| Filed under blindness writing Writing Life

Okay, folks, I am listening to your requests, 😊 Many of my friends wanted to know how I stepped into this home-grown recording studio thing in order to get my books on Audible. Ingenuity is born out of necessity, and my project objective was to create soundproofing without making it permanent.

The first step was to record and get feedback on the audio quality with my headset and office with the door closed. The feedback was received, suggesting softening the echo and also the background noise. I set in a chair near a window and the office door being closed did not shut out enough apartment noise, either. I tried a blanket over my head like a human tent pole but while it was better, it was hot and uncomfortable.

I was speaking to a writing friend and mentioned my dilemma and she said her husband uses moving blankets and hooks them to the wall. Amazon had two for less than $50. One draped over the curtain rod to cover the window and the other we rigged to close-off the desk area from the wall nearest the door to my desk. It works well and has made recordings better.

The photo is of my office desk, chair, pc and headset and the blanket strung across to act as a noise barrier using s hooks and metal posts. The blanket can be taken down, folded, and stored until it is needed.
This image requires alt text, but the alt text is currently blank. Either add alt text or mark the image as decorative.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

Zoom helps pass the time

| Filed under blindness writing Writing Life

Hello all, I just wanted to share some thoughts during the C19 crisis. By now the likelihood that each of us has lost someone or knows someone who has contracted C19 is a reality. My heart feels it and my mind is distracted with worry. I know I am not alone in feeling this way, if you are reading this take some comfort in knowing we as a community understand what it means to be experiencing these unprecedented times and that you are not alone.
Taking in our current situation and communication limitations, due to physical distancing, I became a Zoom account user and below is the link to my first recorded meeting. The host is Patty Fletcher of Tell-It-to-The-World Marketing and Business Assist. I hope it is a novel distraction from what is going on right now.
https://tinyurl.com/tjqjgrm

Guest post on Rough Drafts

| Filed under blindness Fiction writing Writing Life

Hi folks, author and blogger, Debbie De Louise is hosting me as a guest blogger. Please visit
Guest Post by Fellow Pet Lover and author/Poet Ann Chiappetta

Featured Member on NFAA

| Filed under blindness Fiction Relationships writing Writing Life

I was selected as this week’s featured member of the Nonfiction Authors Association. Check out my interview here:
https://tinyurl.com/vm3u5v4