Thought Wheel

From the mind of Ann Chiappetta

How to assemble a Coffee Table

| Filed under Guide dogs Relationships

Place unassembled box flat on floor. Chase off dog who decides to lay down on it.
Open box; chase off dog trying to play with Styrofoam.
Empty box, and let cat play in box while dog lays down on the top of unassembled tabletop on floor.
Begin to read instructions while dog two enters room to investigate.
While making progress on assembling table, cat plays with paper instructions and tries running away with the paper. Dogs decide to kick back and watch human struggle with cat who has now taken screws causing human to curse and look for missing screws.
Finally, after accounting for all hardware scattered by cat, add legs to table bottom while avoiding cat trying to jump onto unfinished table.
Ignore dog one still laying down on as yet unfinished tabletop.
Ignore partner typing this all for others to read.
Wish for the day: furniture that comes already assembled.

attracted to elastic

| Filed under Relationships

April handed me a soft elastic band the other day.
:What’s this?” I asked.
“I found it outside, it’s something I think you might like to use,”
I fingered the soft band, imagining it could be used for tying back a curtain or for my unruly travel bag.
“Thanks!” I said, and realized I was just like a crow, attracted not to the “sparkly” but to the “practical”. My daughter knows me so well, and I love it. Flap-flap, caw-caw!

Poetry Evening Recording

| Filed under Poem Relationships writing

Hello folks,
This is a follow up to my recent poetry reading which took place September tenth. I want to thank the people who attended, making the time to listen to it. I also wish to thank my cohost, Jason Castonguay and my audio editor, Lilian Yves.
Click the link to listen, to share, and feel free to leave a comment or contact me with your feedback at anniecms64@gmail.com .

book cover white rocks beside patterns of sand

Under the Bed

| Filed under Relationships

close up of May dog

May dog face close-up

From May the dog diaries. Subject: stashing stolen goods. Yup, folks,

she’s a sneaky one, this dog with derpy ears. While playing in the living room with the other chia pets, she drops the tug rings and goes for a flip flop, then when Jerry tells her to drop it, she runs past him and dives under the bed. We know better than to attempt to lure her out, after all, it’s a game and she loves it. Sigh.

Jerry calls her bluff and drags the entire bed from the wall and she leaves, choosing a bone and finds a place to chew it. Sometime later Jerry reports that a half dozen empty soda bottles, a chewed up pen, and the stolen shoe have all been found and removed. Until next time.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 1

Weekend Paper Warriors

| Filed under blindness Relationships

Here’s a halfway rhetorical question: what are weekends for? Since I don’t mow the grass, it could be anything. Scrubbing out the tub, maybe? Or, cleaning the shower with a toothbrush? Nope, guess again.

Hopefully some of you readers got it right: cleaning out my desk and file cabinet. Do I hear horrified screams and moans of dismay? BWAHHaHaHa!

First, a disclaimer: I am blind and do not like the task mostly because I require a set of eyes, usually my intrepid and reluctant hubby, Jerry. I avoid it and let it pile up, which is counterproductive. Okay, so then there are the extra tools, a braille labeler, scissors for trimming the labels, paper clips, stapler, accordion folders and four feet, er, inches of unfiled paperwork. Now, this is where I panic, and Jerry pulls up a chair and begins reading.

It really wasn’t that bad, except for when the accordion folder fell on its side and the paperwork that I had already filed, all slipped out into a messy pile and we had to start over. I lost page one of a five-page eye report and misplaced Bailey’s new vaccination record and Jerry found it in the trash pile. I still don’t know how that happened.

Eventually we finished and Jerry shredded to his heart’s content. It’s therapy for him, bless his soul. 😊And, that, dear readers, is how we overcame the insidious demigod of reams.

Kitten Training 101

| Filed under Relationships

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Noodle the kitten is developing into a well socialized domesticated feline. April, our daughter, took the time finding just the right kitten. He is mellow, confident, and is advancing in his training. The photos show Noodle in a harness and leash and sitting in a grocery cart. Before anyone cries out that this is not a service animal, allow me to say it was a quick and necessary exposure for him and he passed with flying colors, taking it all in and staying in place.

Noodle rides in the car in his harness, walks willingly into a cat carrier, (most of the time, lol) and has no fear of our dogs. Why is Noodle being trained like this? Our goal is to provide him with experiences so if one day he accompanies April on a plane or train, or when she moves or Noodle has to stay with us for some reason, Noodle will be calm and unstressed. He even is being trained to play fetch and is walking on his leash. Let’s say he is the kind of cat who might believe he belongs with dogs.

May dog is his cuddle buddy and Bailey has learned to tolerate Noodle and not play bow and bark at him. As for Papa, he is still giving the kitten the feline stink eye but lets the kitten eat from his bowl and get close without becoming evil kitty. The difference between Noodle and Papa is that Papa was traumatized as a kitten and Noodle wasn’t. This allows him to be more open to new and unusual experiences.
What’s the saying? Cats rule and dogs drool?
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Stories From the Heart

| Filed under Fiction Relationships writing

Stories From The Heart – Tonight, July 8, 2020

Join us for an on-the-air book launch with authors Alvin Billings, Ann Chiappetta and Robert McNally.

http://betweenthecoverstv.com or http://facebook.com/betweenthecoverstv

Alvin Billings, launching his new release “Bronx Brat” – This is the story of Bernie, a Brat born and raised in the Bronx His story unfolds in the Bronx of the 1940s and 50s—a colorful mosaic of Italian, Irish and Jewish families. Local parks (especially the Bronx Zoo and Botanical Garden) were peaceful oases from crowded Bronx apartment houses. Bernie was highly intelligent and sought adult-level knowledge in local libraries. Bernie’s escapades were in the tradition of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. He showed both bravery and bravado by saving his Dad’s life at age ten. That same year, he joined a secret American branch of the Haganah to send guns, disguised as toys, to Israel. They were packed with greeting cards to Israeli children. Finally, a shocking family tragedy confronted Bernie as he reached adulthood and entered the working world, never to live as a Bronx Brat again.

Ann Chiappetta, author of “A String of Stories: From the Heart to the Future” – A demon deer and a ghost cat. Sibling rivalry and sexual awakening. Self-image and self-confidence. The chance for an offworlder to breathe free at last on a new planet. Those are just some of the diverse themes of these remarkable stories. Some endings are happy, some are sad, and some are intriguingly open-ended. But once you step inside the author’s world, you cannot emerge unmoved. This collection includes general fiction, science fiction, suspense, and paranormal pieces.

Home Page

Robert McNally, author of “I Had Jelly on My Nose and A Hole in My Breeches: The Memory of A Boy on his Dangerous Journey” – This is the memoir of a modern-day Huckleberry Finn who delighted in youthful romances and wild adventures. The author has many interesting stories about the 1930’s and 40’s. For instance, one evening in 1945 he and his friends built a fire in a parking lot. The next day they returned to the area only to discover something terrible and startling in the burned-out fire. The adventures are exciting, humorous, and well worth reading. You’ll have the feeling you are right there with him. Let the author take you on his dangerous journey.
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Bubble Wrap from May the Dog Diaries

| Filed under Relationships Writing Life

close up of May dog

May dog face close-up

My office opens into the living room. I hear much of what happens from my position, including when things are not what they seem. Today, unbeknownst to me, may decided to investigate the empty box on the couch. I was oblivious, typing away at some project or another. I heard bubble wrap popping sounds, then May hauling ass into the metal crate. Hmm, I thought, I wonder what mischief she’s gotten into now? I got up and grabbed the I.D. cane and used it to sweep around and found the errant bubble wrap. When I picked it up it was wet with dog slobber and had holes in it. I started laughing, picturing May trying to chew it and getting quite a surprise, hence the popping sounds and her jumping into the crate like she got a bit of a shock. Silly dog!

Catnip Anyone?

| Filed under Guide dogs Poem Relationships

Our daughter, April, moved out six months ago. We are now empty nesters, at least most of the time. Wouldn’t you know it, April and her partner, Danny, decided to practice parenting by adopting a kitten. His name is Noodle because he loves to eat ramen noodles.

He’s now about eight weeks old and is black with a little white patch on his chest. He’s at that funny stage where he runs sideways and gets scared after he gets up on something, cries until he’s rescued. Adorable.

Right now, as I write this, he is stalking us around the Livingroom, shooting out from under the furniture and popping at our ankles or doggy noses, no claws, thank goodness. Papa is not sold on the little black demon, mewing his distress. He is getting used to Noodle, though, coming up and sniffing him. May wants to mother the kitten, sometimes a little too much and Bailey is just a huge doofus who doesn’t know his own strength of curiosity. We caught him trying to nibble a tiny paw, so he is on the watch list.

Noodle loves boxes and the laser pointer is the only way to get him out from under the bed when we want to catch him. We are careful with it, as the dogs also love the laser pointer.

I think with time Papa and Noodle will get along. We are not forcing interactions and taking it slowly. He’s a lucky little kitty and he is already well socialized, likes to ride in cars, goes willingly into a carrier, and has come to trust our dogs.
Play
By Ann Chiappetta

Ebony kitten stalks its prey
Amid discovery of
each day. Fearless hunter dives
tags the target, then
hides to find another.

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Noodle in a box looking up at the camera.

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 2

Home is Where the Bark is

| Filed under Guide dogs Relationships

Sometimes one of the dogs does something that is funny and openly undignified., at least that is how we humans view it. We love them for living in the moment and finding opportunity to fulfill their doggy drive for affection, comfort, and sustenance. Below is a photo of yellow lab Bailey foregoing his training, and his timing is perfect.
PD: Bailey sitting on the bed behind Annie, who is also sitting on the bed eating a yogurt. Bailey’s head is on her shoulder, staring fixedly at the yogurt.
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