Thursday, April 30, 2009

4 days Till Camp

Just 4 days till Camp

Camp is getting closer. After seeing the lung specialist we went to pick up a few things at Walmart. I think I am all set for what I need for camp and can't wait.

Tomorrow we have physical therapy and lunch with a friend. My granddaughters are coming tomorrow night so their folks can have a date night. It should be a good day.

I am tired despite a good nap and off to bed early it is 8:00 here. Wishing you a good day... Emma and Mary

4 Days

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

5 Dqys till Camp -31 years of Marriage

Today is our Wedding Anniversary - the 29th. We have been married 31 years. Greg worked so we snuck in a small celebration tonight when he got home. We went to Applebees and had appetizers and time together. A fun break as it is close to our home.

Today we had counseling (yep Emma and I tee hee) and then rode the Metro Mobility bus for an hour to Physical Therapy. The PT is really only 20 min away but the pick up riders along the way this time and dropped off ones. But I can't complain as I get door to door service. Emma is noticeably uncomfortable on the bus when she needs to be on the floor. This driver would not allow her on the seat and with other riders that made sense. She gets so nervous. The hour must have seemed long to her.

Metro mobility could not take me home due to their scheduling being booked. My friend Tonya picked me up and took me home. I invited her daughter and Tonya to have supper with me. We had Turkey Soup. Yummy. Greg made the broth and I finished the soup. We enjoyed it. We watched some tv and talked too.

I need to get to bed because we see the Dr tomorrow. This time the lung specialist. We have to get up earlier than usual. Emma seems ready for bed too.

More tomorrow....please pray for our friend Mark. He had a bad heart attack today and they don't know if he will survive the night. We won't know more till tomorrow. We are very upset and sad.

Have a good day, Mary and Emma

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

6 More Days till Camp

It is a beautiful day today and Emma likes that and so do I!!! I am so proud of her great behavior. I am offering a bit more food rewards off and on during the day to reinforce skills. She is so good that sometimes I can go a long time without many snacks at all but then she has times when I need to remember that food is her paycheck. No one would want to work never ever getting a paycheck. Emma just is a bit more perky and focused when i remember to have treats now and then. It keeps her guessing - is there a treat this time?

I do use low cal snacks. Charlie Bears work well but I sometimes buy other types and then I break them into smaller pieces. As a big treat I bough her some peperoni smelling sticks but break it into peices that are like small thin tootsie rolls. She takes it eagerly it doesn't have to be big. Normally I am more careful about things with lots of colorings and artificial things...but this time.....

We went to water exercise - I had to be gentle due to my back and my MS and asthma. Emma did great. Home to rest and now home for the evening.

Wishing you a good day. I hope it warms up a bit for camp but as I pack have taken into consideration it might be cool or warm - MN weather can be tough to predict. We will know more with the Sunday forecast for the week.

I have one cane that is easier for Emma to pick up for me. I can't find it - though I know that is strange. I asked my friends and kids if I left it in their cars or something? Most times I need my cane so you wouldn't think I could misplace it but I do..will look around. It has a strap she likes to grab to lift it - I should get another like it as no one wants to use the same cane all the time if you don't have to ha ha. My foldable one broke bummer.

When I pack I make a list of what to pack for Emma also - water - food measured out per meal - extra treats/kibbles for rewards, blanket, brush, poop bags (no delicate way to say it), food and water bowls, toy...what am I forgetting seems like something??? Well I have a few more days.

Hope you are having a good day - Mary and Emma

Monday, April 27, 2009

7 days till MS Camp

Oh my gosh bad timing - my back is soo sore - but better than last night yeah.

We rested a lot today but did go to book club. We had an interesting but short discussion of our book this time. Staggaford Flood was the name by Hassler. Then we talked a lot about the cognitive challenges with MS, and having a sense of humor helps...and other things about MS. Most of us also went to lunch and a place that had a lunch special menu. Yeah for that.

Later in the day we went for a quick trip to cub for groceries with Greg. Emma got some walking in as it seems like I always go from one end to the other when we forget things. We were not getting a lot so did not walk every aisle. Her favorite part was I bought some puppy treats for her.

It suppose to be warmer and warmer this week heading for 60's. Emma and I will like that.

We were suppose to go to an event at my brother's on Sunday - a birthday party. It is cancelled but this makes me feel bad. My brother asked me not to bring Emma. He didn't say why. I don't know if part might be not wanting her in his car and/or house? He was going to pick me up. Greg said maybe it is because his living room is so small for several people and a dog and his porch if it is warm enough for that. My sister won't let me bring Emma in her car or house or even yard (she lives on a small lake).

I know Emma has been very good and stayed on her blanket when she has been there. I just wonder if they realize what Emma means to me though I have tried to tell them? My friends all welcome Emma (I see them more than my siblings) and my kids also. Well I will have to honor their requests for now. Both my sister and brother use to be dog lovers. My sister's husband doesn't like dogs at all so that is her excuse. The time wasn't right to ask my brother why he feels that way.

Well I hope at camp everyone is okay with having a service dog in the cabin. One year I had someone deathly afraid of dogs. I kept Emma close to me. Then at the end of the week she said it was nice to see such a nice dog.

Off to bed. Try not to feel bad and put my worries aside....Mary

Sunday, April 26, 2009

8 More Days till MS Camp

I was just too tired to write on Saturday. We did a few errands and I got myself a sleeping bag for camp. I took a very very very long nap after our outings. I think I get a lot more tired now than before Thanksgiving and all this lung stuff. Probably a combination of Asthma and MS? I see the lung specialist again this week.

I am so excited for camp. Tonya just called. She will be my roommate. We were discussing what to bring for healthy snacks, and drinks too. I bring bottled water for Emma and I. I bring a bit extra food for her to eat usually as treats due to the extra exercise she gets around the camp with me on my scooter. I hope I can relax and forget other worries for the week. We will be gone Monday-Friday. The schedule includes a nap time and I hope that will be enough time for me to nap. Otherwise I might have to skip some activities to rest - and you hate to miss anything at camp. It is super fun.

I signed up for a boat ride (Tonya will watch Emma while I do that), basket weaving, tye dying shirts (I plan to do two for my granddaughters, outdoor cookout, learning to make appetizers and another craft thing. You don't always get first choice but there were fun selection. In between times we rest, talk (a lot) with new and old friends, play cards or scrabble, enjoy the outdoors and so on. In the morning and evening Emma and I take a long walk around the camp. We both enjoy the sights and sounds.

It is so busy with other people that our walks, our naptimes Emma enjoys. I have to remind people not to pet her while working and now we do that in the large group in the camp rules meeting that starts the week. I have not checked the list but I think there will be at least 2 other helping paws dogs there at camp. Last year it went so well everyone was very considerate. When off duty in the cabin, with me supervizing I do let the women in my cabin pet her at times. Emma keeps a keen eye on me these days. She knows they need my okay to pet her. There is one woman who can't seem to obey that rule when she has been in my cabin before or it I see her at events. She will be at the August camp this year which is just as well for Emma and I. She was not always considerate of the rules for working dogs and it was annoying.

I have turkey cooking and it smells so darn good. Anna, Becky, Justin, and Dan are coming to eat with us. Greg is working till midafternoon. We are keeping the meal simple but it should be very very yummy. It will be nice to see them and to visit for awhile. They lead such busy lives I never know how long they can stay, but my focus will need to be on enjoying the time they are here. I have time to rest a bit before they arrive.

We sure need the rain. It has stopped for now but we could use a gentle rain all day but will take what we can get. The trees are showing their green buds and this rain and then the sun will bring them bursting out. I love spring. I love the changes in the earth as green emerges in the soil, as trees bud out, grass turns green again. Spring is wonderful time of year I think. Yes even on rainy days.

Hope your Sunday goes well, Mary and Emma
Yesterday Emma often wanted me to wake up. I would to take her out and play a bit. Now today I am up and she is snoozing away. How funny.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Soloist

Emma dozed through the movie but I found it very interesting. I recommend seeing it though it at times made me cry. The acting is superb I though and it is a true story. I didn't know that fact. It gives a real face to the reality of homelessness and also to mental illness.

A friend of mine volunteers at a place in Mpls called Peace House. It is a safe place for mentally ill people to come to spend some time. I think it is open about four hours a day. I don't know all the details but I know there is a need for this place. Too many mentally ill people have been released from state institutions or programs only to find themselves searching for a safe place to belong. This movie made me want to learn more about the program. I know they rely on donations to keep going and for food to serve and share.

This movie will get you thinking about life and its challenges. You also hear a lot of Beethoven music.

Emma and Greg are napping but I got up before them. What is wrong with this picture ha ha. Normally I am the one snoozing with Emma. I guess she is tired from being outside.

Even as I say that she would be at my side in a heartbeat if I called her. She is "off duty" for the first time all day and naps are allowed.

No grandchildren tonight to occupy my time. I miss them. The Twins are on so maybe that will be good to watch? Go Twins.

Mary and Emma


I can't count I guess.
Or was over anxious??

Today we had physical therapy. Emma watched and I did the exercises to evaluate my strength, stamina, and exertion ability. Interesting and the time flew by. she told me how she thinks I should modify the water exercise program for right now to see if that helps avoid both the chest pain, arm pain, and fatigue level.

I am going to rest a bit and then go to the movie The Soloist. Emma of course has been at my side all day. It is a nice day so far (may rain later) so we might just have me sit outside to rest. I can read - sounds like a good idea to me. I might write more later.

Wishing you a good weekend --- Mary

Thursday, April 23, 2009

9 Days Till Camp

Wow 80 degrees, a wind but that is okay - keeping me from being too hot. We went to water exercise. I had to stop due to chest discomfort. Took my asthma meds which helped a great deal. Spent time outside with Emma and we are headed outside again!!

Emma sometimes you are so stubborn. We have been practicing getting the cane off the floor and she is doing so well. So today in public we tried it after lunch. She would NOT pick it up. She looked at me like what are you talking about? I was so frustrated as everybody was watching. Then they looked away and she at least attempted the cane. She couldn't seem to figure out where to get it in her mouth (where to grab the cane). We will keep practicing. See this happens because I got lazy and didn't have her fetch the cane...mostly because I can often set it up against a wall and don't need het to get it.

Emma really ran a lot outside. A neighbor dog was out on the other side of the fence. That dog is a pit bull and normally barks and sends Emma flying back into the house. This time they didn't bark at all. They would race toward the fence and then run around in there yards and do it again. Almost like they were playing. No agression by the other dog. I do keep a careful eye out for Emma. Normally we go in if the other dog is out. They often check too and don't let their dog out if Emma is out.

This time we are going out in front. My friend Jan is headed over and we are going to shop for new sheets for my bed. We also will stop for a pop and chat for awhile.

Wishing you a very good day, Emma and Mary

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

10 Days Til MS Camp

I talked to Tonya who is really excited about MS Camp. We will be roomates. I can't wait. I hope we get nice weather.

Today Emma and I spent a lot of time waiting. We had counseling. Then metromobility bus to where I had an afternoon appt for physical therapy. I brought a book since we arrive over an hour early. Then we waited over an hour til Greg could leave work to drive us home. I had a book to read but it still seemed long to me...very long.

Emma was very good. The Physical Therapist specializes in MS patients and has extra training. She says they have a lot of service dogs go through there but Emma is the best dog ever. She helped me two years ago when I had problems with dizziness. This time she is trying to help me deal with my left side weakness. We hope to improve things though I can't expect miracles. MS progresses and she could see more weakness on my entire body than in the past. She keeps lots of written records to docuement things.

I was tired and napped of course. She said the muscle weakness meant the muscles had to work harder so was not surprised that I felt more fatigued than normal - whatever normal is. I go for two weeks twice a week and then to camp. After camp I go once a week for about a month depending on how things go.

Emma kept a watch out while we worked on my muscles. I had to lay on a table while Sharon moved the limbs, feet and hands to evaluate things. Then we moved out to the main room. Emma very willingly stayed in a drop stay in the smaller room. Sharon said not all dogs are willing to do that but it was helpful as there were other people working in the main area. We weren't out there long. Emma is so good to stay on her blankie. I was so proud of her.

At home it was nice so we did get outside. Tomorrow it is suppose to be 80. We have water exercise but will also get outside. I want her to get her exercise. It will be nice but I have to work not to get too hot. With MS for me once it gets that warm you can have trouble with your nerves. They don't conduct as well if they get too hot. It varies but most my friends with MS would agree that over 78 or so they see a difference. Still I like summer, flowers, green grass etc.

We need rain and they predict a rainy weekend. We need the rain but hope it is nice for camp. I think we would still have fun though even with a rainy day there. That has happened. But past two years I think we have mostly good weather.

I am thinking how fun it will be to see old friends at camp. I also think of the volunteers who give their time to make it possible for us to go to camp. The staff too put so much into the work of camp year round to make it all go smoothly.
I am grateful to those individuals.

Emma is showing me she can pick up my cane now. I just got out of the habit of asking her as often I can lean it against a wall or something I can easily reach. We are practicing now with my different canes and she is doing awesome. I also am having her pull my purse closer to me and lifting it as much as she can so I can get it. I am finding with books in it or today a bottle of water also sometimes I pack it so heavy that is a chore but she gives it her best shot.

MS Camp friends you may have seen this pic before - I have another one but can't seem to get it to work.

Hope your Thursday goes well - Mary and Emma

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Team Training

Team Training began for Helping Paws this week. Team Training is when the dogs begin training with their new owners before moving in with them and beginning their life together. Hurray for the dogs on this journey. Tiga's son Charlie (Judy Michurski foster mom to him, Tiga and Emma) is one of the graduates. He will be with Tyler a high school student in Iowa. Hemi is going to be matched with a student who is going to be in College next year. (Cathy helped us fence the yard and was his foster mom). Both Judy and Cathy will have only a few days after their dogs leave before taking on new puppies to train.

Hats off to the wonderful foster parents who train service dogs. They take puppies for 2.5- 3 years to train and socialize them. They go to weekly classes and have homework weekly. They open their homes and hearts to these puppies. I am told this time when they go to team training is both exciting and difficult. The goal is of course to raise a dog that will move on to be a wonderful service dog - and yet saying goodbye is a happy/sad moments. My thoughts are with the foster parents who in the next three weeks will see their dogs venture off to new partners.

Then there are the volunteers preparing for puppies. How exciting is that. I just can't believe how awesome the volunteers are in this organization. This a busy time for staff, volunteers, foster families.......I wish them all happiness. May God Bless them for their hard work and committment.

I recall with Emma how exciting team training was. In some ways I was a nervous wreck. I wondered if she would like working with me, could I learn all the things that she knew? Was I taking her away from the loving Michurski family? Would she like us and learn to be part of our family? Each day their seemed to be so much to learn and practice with the dogs. I would get tired due to the MS. I wanted to absorb all the things the staff were trying to teach me. There was reading to was so draining yet exciting. I knew those weeks would be so important to my life with Emma.

I think we all worried if we would bon with our dogs. Now three and a half years later Emma is my best buddy. Where would I be without her presence every day. Every moment of every day is better because of her presence in my life. I treasure her.
She gets me outdoors, she helps me feel more confident in public, she watches over me, she is so in tune to my needs. In short I can't imagine life without her.

So today join me in saying a prayer of thanks to the foster families or send positive thoughts their way. They give a wonderful gift to fortunate individuals like myself who get service dogs.

Mary and Emma wish you a good day. It is suppose to warm up here. Today was windy and cool compared to past days.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Picture This

You will have to picture this in your mind. We went shoe shopping with daughter Anna, Rosa, Emma, Greg and I. It is a drive from Rosa's to Albertville and she fell asleep. Emma fell asleep on Rosa. We couldn't get a picture but it was adorable.

Put a smile on my face

Check this out

This is the wonderful puppy blog of Tiga's grandchildren. One of these puppies will go to live with Tiga and the Michurski's while being trained.

The Back To Bed Dog

I have mentioned it before but today it was so cute. Emma woke up at 7 to eat. Our alarm clock is her kisses most days. Then she goes outside to greet the day. Then she rushes back to hop into bed. She loves to snuggle in "her blanket". We keep one on top of our covers for her to cozy into. Then whether I go back to bed or not - she wants to snooze. Some times Greg gets up with her so I am already in bed. Sometimes I am up and join her. Okay most times. I read or snooze a bit. The joy of being retired.
She just looks so darling. Today it is cloudy and rainy so a perfect day to snuggle.

We will be home most of the day. Greg is off and we have some little projects to work on. We might do one quick errand to get stamps and move a few things. Like always it seems I have laundry to fold and put away but just one load (yeah). Emma is now awak and ready to work however she is needed.

For those who wondered - Emma's pal Tiga is doing just fine. Charlie one of her son's is starting team training with his new owner today. He will be working with Tyler who is in high school. The wonderful Michurski family will be starting with a new puppy that is Tiga's granddaughter or grandson. Have you checked out this puppy blog? I will post it. One of the darling puppies will go to the Michurski home where Judy, Tiga, Tori, and the family members will help train him/her to be a service dog..
thanks Michurski's.

Better go get something done...Mary and Emma

Sunday, April 19, 2009


The temp barely reached 51 today so after the warmer days it felt cool. Emma and I went with Greg to Walmart and also went outside several times today to play or hang out. When it was nap time I couldn't find her. I called and her the tingle of her charms on her neck and found her already in bed. Not only that she was warmly snuggled in a big blanket and looked at me as if to say "I'm all set when are you joining me?" I had to laugh. Yes if I called her again she would have come to me obediently.

Tonight Greg is at work and I am trying to muster energy to finish a load of laundry and do some dishes. Emma and I are enjoying that it stays lighter at night...feels so nice to have more "day - time". Hope to get the scooter going so we can start taking walks each day. Would be good for both of us I am sure.

Emma is fun to take places. Little children love to wave and smile. Many adults comment on how beautiful she is and absolutely everyone today honored the rule to not pet while working. Once in awhile you have those who say they can't resist. More and more I find people are educated about the need to not pet working dogs and/or ask permission. Today no one even asked to pet her which was good - we were working. I practiced some of the positioning skills since we had plenty of time to do so.

We had a good day. I better go and see what I can accomplish before we head to bed early. I seem to be so tired - do I always say that? Nothing really exciting about the day which is fine by me.

Love from Emma and Mary

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Yesterday was such a busy day for Emma and I yet relaxing too. My friend Tonya and her daughter were here most of the day till 3. We talked and talked and laughed. Emma got to go outside and it was fun. Due to a mixup a friend came to take us to a movie though we had decided to stay home. She understood but I talked to her a bit before she took off to go to the movie with other swim group friends. After school (no nap) we went to meet Jan. We celebrated the end of the week at happy hour. Nothing alchoholic just lemonade and an appetizer to share. More chatting.

Then I needed a nap before dinner. Greg made an awesome chicken with vegtables stir fry dish. We then dropped a bike and stroller off at Mike and Tia's house. We picked up Anna who lives near by and brought dilly bars for all. The girls were in their jammies.

The girls were happy to see us all. Rosa got really excited and was pretty active. I hope we didn't rile them up too much before bed. Tia and Mike were very welcoming and we didn't stay long.

Today it is noticeably cooler (could use a light jacket) compared to yesterday. Rain is predicted for tomorrow and is badly needed. We are headed to my daughter's to drop some things off.

Time to go....EmmA IS EXCITED



Friday, April 17, 2009

A Day With Friends

We are tired tonight but doing okay...will write more tomorrow. Had time with friends today...Mary and Emma

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Great Day to be Outside

This is one of my favorite old pictures of Emma. Today she spent lots of time outside. We were in the yard for hours with Rosa and Sophia. Over two hours I think. Well Emma was thirsty and brought this bowl to me and dropped it at my feet. Well there was just a bit of water in it so a few drops got on the floor. She just looks lie "come on I need water NOW".

The yard clean up after Emma made great progress also. Yeah for that. We have to look again tomorrow to see if we missed any poop but it seems all cleaned up. Yeah for that.

We went to water exercise and rested. The girls came and played outdoors with us. Rosa and Sophia blew bubbles a long time and Rosa kept wanting to impress Emma. Emma watched them all but didn't try to catch them as I think Rosa wanted. But they all had a good time - Grandma too. Never too old to enjoy bubbles.

They also played on the swing set playground. Nothing fancy but it entertained our children and now our grandchildren. Warmed my heart to see them pretending and playing together. Where did the time / years go??

I chose this picture of our Easter flowers because it was a gorgeous day here. No need for coats or sweaters. Tiny green plants are barely peeking out of the earth as if to see if it is safe to grow. I can't wait till when we can actually plant flowers.

Please pray for my friend Kathy's mom who is ill. It is late here and I am tired. Emma and I are ready for bed after we took the girls home. We had a great evening.

Greg hopes to be off tomorrow but has a little bit of work that he can do at home on the computer. Will be nice to spend time with him.

Have a good day - Mary and Emma

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Smiles from Ear to Ear

Yeah writing this on my new computer --- bigger screen, it has a camera on it (didn't even know that) great sound too....color me happy....trying to forget the IRS bill.

Emma is looking at me funny with the music so loud. I want to test out the speakers. When I normally use the computer music is quieter and soothing and she goes to sleep easily. When i need a lift for Chores I am all about the Beach Boys!! My kids grew up cleaning the house to the Beach Boys - hard to complain when you are singing.

Greg got all the files transfered to this computer. A reminder to me that I should back up files especially photos more often.

I have no idea how to use the camera and i guess i photo has an update so will learn new things.

Still nice outside better get Emma outside again. Tomorrow it is suppose to be high 60's almost 70. A good thing.

Can you just imagine me smiling???? I need this computer to keep my morale up....Mary and Emma are smiling

Hi from Emma and Mary

Good News - New computer will be set up today for me
Great News- Big monitor

Bad News - Still owe IRS money - check and return in the mail ugh it was a lot

Concerning News- Breathing problems today - wheezing you can hear easily _ I squek
Will not see specialist for two weeks - just keep using inhalers -

Good News - Swimming tomorrow , nap, and then Rosa and Sophia are coming for dinner and to play (hopefully outside)

Good News - Has a great Easter with my family

Good News - Emma is enjoying the outdoors and having fun with me outdoors

Not so fun - still cleaning up the poop in the yard

Have a Good Good Day --- still using the lap top where I cant see so excuse spelling....
Mary and Emma

Monday, April 13, 2009

My beautiful Granddaughters

MS Camp in 21 Days

After the fun yesterday I am still smiling - I think Emma is also. We went to a very Beautiful, Uplifting, Joyful Easter Mass at our church in Maple Grove St. Joseph the Worked. there has been a new bigger church for several years but this is the first time I have been there when it was so packed. Often on Easter we go to St. Lawrence Neuman at the U of M where Greg works. We really enjoy our new copastor Father Don Piche who at one time was Greg's boss. He talked about finding joy despite these troubling times. He didn't dismiss the problems of unemployment, etc but that we also should count our blessings. Instead of just feeling bad about these things reaching out to neighbors to help one another. It was very inspiring. I am not doing it justice.

We had our children and granddaughters for brunch. That was really enjoyable. Greg was the main cook but Tia made yummy bisquits, Anna helped make the salad the day before, and the others took turns helping in some way. One lamb was in the oven and another on the grill. Ham was made the day aheah and just reheated. Cheesy pototose, vegetables - lots of food. The lamb on the grill was stuffed with goat cheese, spinach, and garlic. I don't eat lamb but it was a huge hit. Melted in their mouth they said. they ate plenty of all at brunch. I will make lentil soup with the ham bone. Greg is making lamb stew with the leftovers.
We always have containers ready to send home leftovers for those who one refuses.

I needed a short nap. Guess what I did? I fell asleep briefly in church. NEVER in my life have I done that. I was embarassed but no one seemed to notice Greg just nudged me. So I got home and took a short nap while he worked on food, he woke me when I needed to help. Then after the meal we put away food and loaded the dishwasher and rinsed things off. Then I got in a chair and fell asleep almost. The kids insisted I take a short rest and promised to wake me. They did wake me to play games and enjoy the rest of the afternoon.

I don't know why I needed those extra times to nap. We were going to go to the sunrise service but slept through the alarm (both of us)> Emma didn't even wake us when the alarm went off. IT was very crowded at church and she of course was awesome. A few if the little children call her the church dog.

Today Greg is off. We finished dishes and put things away. Then we even cleaned out a cupboard to move things around. We did some laundry and sorted some headed to Goodwill. IT was a very productive day. IT is 4pm and I haven't needed a nap I do what I can, than sit and read and then work again. Greg i working really hard on other tasks too. Seems like there is plenty to do.

Emma helped with laundry of course. Too bad she doesn't do dishes. That would make my day ha ha. I enjoyed going outside and sitting while she played. It is very very very nice outside in the sun.

As we moved china from one cupboard to the china cabinent we also move some holiday decorations. I still remember fondly some of the students who gave me various things. I wonder is students realize that so many we still remember. On facebook a few students have found me or I have found them - fun to see how they are doing.

I better get back to work. We plan to do two errand before supper also. Cleaning lady is tomorrow so have to be sure all things are put away.

Hope your day goes well - Emma and Mary

It appears to be the logic board on my computer. We are brining it in Wed? we hope to have them look at it. I dont' know if it will be the cost of repair or if it will mean a new computer is more appropriate!! We have to pay in more to taxes than I budgeted for so not good timing at all. Property taxes due in May...ugh ugh ugh.

MS Camp in three weeks...yeah for that

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter - Happy Spring

We are off to church but I wanted to wish you Happy Easter and Happy Spring.

Our entire family willl be here. Those married have in-laws in town = so we are doing brunch and they will go to the other side of the family later in the day. So glad this works out. Though of course having them the entire day would be fun but we are glad they can come - Sophia too.

May the day be a good one for you.

Emma and Mary

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Sleepover

Friday was so much fun with the girls - that we decided (Sophia and I) to ask if it could be a sleepover. What great fun.

Coloring Eggs was a blast. Emma just rested while we did that. Rosa age 29 month thought it was great and Sophia age 9 also. I only wished i had boilded more egg because they had such fun. Greg worked in the morning Friday and again at night but he was home to help create these master peices.

The girls played Barbie for hours too. Rosa loved putting shoes on the barbie and clothes. Both of them can play using their imagination. one hit is Becky, my daughter, one time received a Barbie in a wheel chair. If memory serves me right we were at something with an informational booth about disabilities. When I asked where to purchase such an item it was given to us.
I will let you know if Becky tells me another version of the story (she is more likely accurate than I am).

the girls played so nice. They even did little "shows" for me. They sang and acted out things. They have play microphones. They are plastic from Target and great fun. Springs inside the microphone create the louder song - no batteries or electricity. Best cheap toy we ever purchased.

We also had movie fun.They laughed and laughed through Herbie Fully Loaded and we also watched the dvd Bedtime Storied. I think Greg and I liked Bedtime stories as well as they did. Rosa fell asleep during it though. It is more for a bit older kids.

I couldn't possible tell you about all the fun. I will try to add pictures later.

Sophia layed on pillows and a sleeping bag during the movies. Emma loved laying with her. At her feet or at her feet. But when Sophia got up for something Emma wanted to be on the sleeping bag and took the whole space. She likes both Sophia and Rosa. When we went to bed she wanted to be between Greg and I like normal but that is for Rosa. Emma settled at the base of the bad. We all slept great.

The fun is not over. They are here til Greg gets home from working Sat am. The past three days are so busy for the church workers. There Daddy, Mike and Greg are working at church. We found some interesting cartoons and they slept late. I hope we are headed outside for a little bit (front yard not back yet) plus we having some new special markers to use. They have toys and things to keep them occupied.

They also like to help bring Emma outside. Emma and I like having them around. Today I have to nap, and also I want to set the table and we have some food prep. Believe it or not we plan to go to sunrise service at 6:30 am. Any bets on if I can get up that early? Even Emma is use to getting up at 7 when Greg feeds her and takes her out and then heads back to bed with bed. Having Greg do that so I can sleep till 8 or 8L30 is great for me. IT does NOT seem to confuse Emma. She will mind Greg but she knows I am the main boss and that I am her partner. We are a great teamAf

After the girls leave (about noon) I will give Emma extra attention. Even last night before the girls went to bed. I brought Emma to the bedroom. She layed with me and wanted me to pet her - even her tummy (that is not often on the tummy) that really helps her not act jealous of Rosa. Through out my time with the girls I take time to give her extra petting and love. Plus she cuddles up sometimes to Sophia and lets Rosa hug her.

wishing you a happy Easter Weekend. All my children will join us for brunch...Mary and Emma

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wishing You A Great Day

Emma and I are enjoying a sunny day. We hope temps get up to high 40's or 50. Really I wish is was 70 but this is the best we can muster today in April Last year there was snow on the ground when we had Easter in March.

Today is Good Friday. I am not sure about what time we will go to church. Last night Emma was so well behaved at church and Rosa too. Today I am babysitting Rosa. Sophia will come later tonight to color easter eggs with us. Mike and Tia will have some alone time. I love time with the granddaughters and I think Emma does also.

I normally have some ideas on hand for playing with Sophia and Rosa. We picked up a movie she wants to see, I have special new markers, paper, playdough, and books. I always like to have some ideas in mind. It's the teacher in me, or because I did daycare, While doing daycae I did plan ideas for the day's activities, this added variety to our days, and also sometimes allowed me to do things that were more like a pre-school. I also hope Rosa will nap - that means I will nap (unless Sophia changes her mind and comes this afternoon also)...the only bummer is I don't have all the back yarded clean of poop so they can't play out there yet.

When I pull my blinds off Emma has a place she can lay in the partial sun on my couch. Is she part cat ha ha. They also loved that. Lately i miss my cats. We have no plans however to get a cat. Emma is just fine for us. Emma and I were tired after swimming and being out last night so slept so late today.

I don't know if we will have time to write tonight ...I anticipate that we will have a fun day. We will color eggs also but not till Grandpa Greg is home.

Happy Easter to All...Mary and Emma

We go to camp in 30 days!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Holy Thursday

Today is Holy Thursday when we remember the celebration of the Last Supper in our Church. Emma and I will be at the special Mass tonight.
We have water exercise today too. We hope to meet up with Jan after school too...a busy day.

My computer is not working. I am using my husband's. He uses his laptop at wiork and home. I may not blog as much till it is fixed. I am so bummed about this. His is not the big screen so in many ways not as handy for me to use.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Yeah for Friends

What would we do without friends. The picture is of myself, Karen, and Tonya. Karen is in bookclub, and MS Swim Class with me. Tonya goes to Camp and sometimes to Swim. Both offer me support, laughter, a shoulder to shed tears and someone to help you in life. I treasure that so much.

Today Emma and i started the day off with a friend who came to pick me up for a medical appointment. First we went to breakfast and that was such fun. Emma was very good. The temps are warmer so we were outside more. It might be 60 by Sunday which will feel like a heat wave. i need so badly to go out and scoop poop. Maybe tomorrow? I hate that part of spring.
The Easter Bunny might have to hide plastic eggs in the front yard if I don't get that done this week.

We slept a lot Tuesday. I took a nap after swimming and then went to bed by 7:30. I did wake up a bit when the Twins in the 9th with two outs scored two runs to win the game. Greg was supposet go but cracked a tooth and was in horrible pain. The dentist couldn't get him in till morning so he came home and had a pain pill to take. Ouch he needs a crown. I also need a crown but the tooth doesn't hurt yet. Ouch on the pocket book.

Emma and I found this day flew by as we did small chores and i cooked dinner. Greg likes to cook so does it most the time. i enjoyed doing it today and am trying a new recipe. He is such a great cook though i can't beat his touch. Anyway it smells goo (slow cooker) and i am getting hungry smelling it.

Emma is my special friend of course. She is so good to be with. i really love her and how much happiness she brings to each of my days.

We heard Judy (Emma's foster mom) and Cathy (a person who helped with our fence) are both getting puppies to train. I think this will be a fourth time for Judy. She had Emma, the Tiga (Emma was like a mom to her) Charlie (Tiga's son) and now will have another one. Judy will have to tell me but I think it might be a grandson/daughter of Tiga's this time??? Anyway that is just super.

What to see puppy blogs? If you havent' check them out look at

We even called an old frined I haven't talke to since Dec or seen for over a year. We had a very nice visit by phone.

Wishing you warm friends to help on the journey,

Mary and Emma

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Zoo

A tired Rosa fell asleep on the last part of the monorail - she did a lot of walking though we had a stroller. She was too excited to be in there much. She loved it and we loved being with her. She sat in my lap part of the bird show - fun.

Sophia is growing up too fast. She was an awesome big sister so kind and helpful with Rosa. We have to see if we can see her more often she is just growing up so fast.

Mike walking with his girls. I thought it was so cute.

Emma looking at all the people, animals and so on.

A Day At The Zoo

Highlights or Our Day

Arrival - The walk from the handicap parking/drop off was cold, windy and a bit long. I did not have my own scooter. Next time I will be sure to bring my own due to this fact and for a motorized scooter you have to pay and limited number available. We got there as it opened so easily got one to use.

Emma's first reaction - snow monkeys are a big exhibt just off a lobby type area. So many people, so much noise, a bit overwhelming for Emma so I warm her up. We do a few cues and treat her. Then up to the snow monkey glass with the kids. She had a short, low volume grr and I think Oh My Goodness how is she going to handle the animals?

We Proceed - We decide to go see the fish. Emma is right in step. Again we do some cues with food reinforcement. You can tell by her body language (tail, etc) that she is okay with the situation now. There are so many children who are interested in Emma. As we move from the exhibits or even watch fish or animals I have to have eyes open for wandering children who approach Emma. I don't want to run them over and I dont want Emma pettted without my permission or poked.

We Get into the hang of things. Fun looking at the dolphins, seahorses and so many things on that side of the zoo. We choose to stay indoors today due to the temps. I can relax and also enjoy Rosa, and Sophia. Emma is doing great. The only hitch is we go to the monrail and I had to do some walking from where you leave the scooter to the tickets and gosh it seems far though it isn't. Maybe they would have let me drive up there but not sure. Oops the train is too full to take us even though we waited a bit in line. So back down we go.

Bird Show was are next big event. We go by little chicks in cages and things and Emma handles it fine. Bird show as free flying birds and I wonder how Emma will be. She was thrilled to lay down on the floor in the theater. She slept through owls near my head level and other birds that fly on command. It was fun. Some of the birds are 30 years old and the same ones we saw when our kids were little.

A few more animals and then lunch. Mike and Tia brought sandwiches for us all. Those whio have been walking are happy to sit. Emma is happy to drop and rest under the table. Relaxing. Lots of children in this area who admire the dog and are very respectful.

Minnesota Trail - This is semi-outdoors so cool but we have jackets. Still cool, Beavers, Otters, Porcupines, Puma', and other large and small animals are there. We enter and there is a big noise Emma jumps and is shaking she is so scared. The culprit the wind hitting some plastic against the plexi glass between us and the animals. We thought it was the animal but Greg figured it out. Her only big distraction is the grey wolf. It has a bigger area and she could smell it before seeing it. She wants to smell as I coax her to keep going. She can't see the fox. Later she can we think see the fox and she is fine. Her body language showed a bit of concern when she first smeeled but it went just fine.

So you see how the day went. I was worried but Emma handled it well. We did go all the way to the other side of the building to go on the monorail which the kids liked. It lulled Rosa to sleep though at the end. Emma was again glad to lay down.

We were there six full hours. Can you imagine how tired Emma was? Though we did sit some, had water for her and she got potty breaks.

The cute thing is many young mom's would say - all these animals and they are most curious about the dog. A few times we were in situations where I let kids and moms see Emma close up. I soon would have a small gathering as I answered questions. Emma handles it so well that yes with my permission and in these little groups I might let the kids pet Emma but with mom's permission, my careful watch and guidance.

One woman saw us at the end and said you made my son's whole day. We never saw a working dog and never at the zoo. We met one staff person whose wife use to volunteer for helping paws but didn't get a name. Emma was a good ambassador for service dogs. When I do these mini demonstrations I remind children and parents never to call the dog, or try to pet the dog while working. I explain I have Emma resting and she looks to me to say "its okay" and then she knows it is okay to let others come that close to her.

More tomorrow on this Mary and Emma

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Emma likes the April Snow

Emma likes the April Snow but not many other people. The good news is it is melting fast. We only got about enough to cover up the grass, Emma and I are doing laundry this afternoon before and after are nap.

I have been practicing with her picking up my new(used) purse. She struggles some but I think I just plain have it too heavy. I cleaned it out and she can lift it higher to me from the floor up to me if I am sitting in a chair. I think Emma likes certain textures better than others. I notice that when she "brings me the blanket". I have different blankets I use for her when we go places - this is where she lays. At the Y we use a towel. Certain ones she will pick up more enthusiastically than others. Her most favorite is getting so worn looking. Towels are not her favorite but she picks them up for me. A handy trick at the Y and also in the bathroom ha ha.

She is doing great at picking up my newer cane. There is a strap on it and she uses that when she can. She is such a great dog.

Better go fold that laundry...Mary and Emma

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday means time to rest for Emma and Me

Saturday - we slept late and also hope to nap. It is almost noon but I want to write early. We are celebrating Anna's birthday with her tonight. A party was canceled due to my hospitalization and health which was planned for a month ago. I want to feel good tonight. Her siblings already celebrated withher the day of her birthday - so tonight it is just Greg, Emma and I. We will have her all to herself and look forward to that time.

Can you believe Easter is a week away. I am hoping all our kids will be here but not sure if the timing will be right for that. They all live in town though. Usually they all end up being here at least part of the day and also play games.

Emma is tired today too I think. It is cloudy here. She didn't seem interested in being out long this morning. She cuddled up as I read a book. I hope to mostly rest today as truly I got way too tired yesterday.

My breathing is still causing problems and uncomfortable to get out of breath so easily. Emma's help with chores, picking up things and such means more than ever to me.

Camp is just a month away.

Hope you have a good weekend...we will write more if I can think of anything creative, fun, funny to say. hang with me as I will also try to get my camera into action and get some photos of Emma and other aspects of life. After breaking my cell phone I got a new one. I keep it on me at all times and that makes me feel safer. Greg agrees on that one.

More soon after a little more rest....Mary and Emma
Should this be Emma and I?

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Tired Team

Friday night? It is almost midnight. We were at an event at Greg's work and though it was fun (he made dinner for almost two dozen) and insightful I am bushed. He had to stay a few hours for the clean up and other things. Maybe we should not have gone as I am so tired I could cry. Will sleep in and nap tomorrow for sure. Nice people to listen to though.

We were home all day and Emma is doing okay. I just wanted to assure you we are fine. No wonder I rarely go out at night and don't often go to events at the church he works at. HE worked from like 9 am all day (I got a ride from my son over). With my health and stamina we just can't handle the hours. As staff there is always lots for him to do. A good thing as he likes his job.

Sorry does this make any sense.

Mary and Emma

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Big Smile

Rosa's Smile makes me happy. Looking at the photos on my computer (I should organize them) and I just had to smile when I came across this one. Wishing you a happy day...Emma and Mary

Emma Wants To Help

Emma has been super today. One task I rarely ask her to do is get my purse. Mine is sometimes heavy. Well today I asked her to get it and she did great. . . even though it was heavy. I did then clean it out so it was easier for both of us. She just took up the task so easily. She always works well for me but there might be a day here and there (not often) that she needs prompting. Today she is just in a great mood and helping with so many things. I even tried my book club book bag that is heavy and she tugged that over to me (It had books in it). What a super dog. She is at my feet this minute wanting to do more. When i am done I am going to practice with my cane.

I find a cane is something she sometimes has a hard time with. She will grab it and then move it wrong and it jabs her in the mouth if that makes sense. I am practicing how to hold it and step by step encouraging her to do it in a way that is not going to hurt her. This one has a loop on it at the handle if she prefers to use that.

I forgot to tell you that Tuesday at Water exercise she had to lay right next to the pool due to some things going on there. I mean she was about a foot from the edge where I was. Maybe two feet but close. She was just as wonderful as ever. She did not try to jump in or get off her towel. I am just so proud of Emma.

Sometimes I realize Emma could do more than I ask. One thing I want to use my abilities so sometimes I will pick something up or like grab my own purse for example. But when I need her to do it well she shines. Lately i have needed more help on everything and she has done great.

Sometimes she has her "dog moments". I for example dropped a paper plate. Well i asked her to get it and it had falled upside down. Well she attacked it like it was the challenge of her life. It took her awhile to get if flipped and it kept sliding on the wood floor as she tried to grab it. She finally got it and grabbed it with her mouth. I had turned away for just a bit knowing she would probably grab it and bring it to me. Well no she was going to grab that moving thing and she did, and she grabbed it again and again till she had much of it shred into pieces. She was quite proud of conquering the moving plate and one by one delivered the pieces,

If I had not been distracted I could have said "enough" and "bring" before it was in pieces but secretly I laughed. She so seldom gets into any mischief. What a good dog she is.

The other thing I have to acknowledge is how stupid I can be. I went with a friend grocery shopping and to panera's yesterday.
I went out in the yard with Emma before we went and she surprised me and didn't go to the bathroom. So we shopped for awhile and decided to stop and just grab a beverage and chat before going home. Well once there Emma would not behave. She laid down under the table and then got up. Then she pulled on the leash and was in the aisle. Some woman were trying to get her attention so I thought that was the problem. I explained she was working and had her go down under again. She again pulled. Well you know what she needed but I didn't. Finally I took her outside and the poor dear had to go to the bathroom so darn bad. How on earth did I miss that? Anytime she won't obey that is typically the problem. Sorry Emma.

The Helping Paws Wag, Walk, and Run event is coming up in May. I will have details soon on how you can support Emma and I in this activity. Depending on my lungs and MS we hope to participate. We will collect pledges to support Helping Paws in any case. Collectively we really did a great job helping last year. Even a $5 donation is great as many did that or more last year.
More details soon. I might have the words in the wrong order for the name? i will check that out.

Sadly I am still having breathing problems that cause difficulty in daily life but coping. Due to MS weakness i will be starting physical therapy in a few weeks. If the diabetes doesn't improve they might put in a insulin pump...I am also trying to loose Emma helps me cope with all of this...

Hope you have/had a good day - Mary and Emma

I better take some more pictures to share.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

We are OK

I am not sure why but I am very very tired. Went to water exercise yesterday and then slept. Got up for dinner and then slept some more!! today we went to my counselor and yes we will take a nap. Hoping to get a few things done too?

Emma is enjoying the small amount of snow we got - maybe an inch? She loves it. She is being just great.

More later