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.”

Beach Book Blowout

| Filed under writing

Starting July 1 all my eBooks will be 50% off at Smashwords. That’s right grab a title or two. From short stories to poetry, why not go check it out?
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AnnChiappetta
Sale ends July 31. Thank you for supporting independent authors.

book cover white rocks beside patterns of sand

White tail stag deer standing majestically in forest.white daisies on black background bordered in red phot by C. Romanek

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

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!

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

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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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

Hot Sauce Mystery

| Filed under writing

Jerry could not find the Cholula hot sauce, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholula_Hot_Sauce#Brand_name, the main brand we use in our home for spicing up dishes. It wasn’t in the cabinet, the basket on the counter, or in the fridge. Using his powers of thinking like May the Dog, he armed himself with the flashlight of discovery and excavated under the bed in April’s old room, finding the intact glass bottle. Now, the mystery unfolds even further, folks. Why did May take the hot sauce off the counter and where is the decorative wooden sphere that fits over the screw top of the bottle?

We haven’t found it, to be continued.

close up of May dog

May dog face close-up

by Ann Chiappetta | tags : | 0

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