Beautiful day = Beautiful results

purina walk signThank you to everyone that came out to the walk and also those that sponsored me in this year’s Purina Walk for Dogguides 2015. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and it was so nice to reconnect with some of my friends.  Throughout Canada the walk raised $1,195,201.70 pretty impressive!! In Ottawa we raised a total of $15,038.30 which is equally impressive considering there were 32 registered walkers (online).



Beautiful walk along the river







9 week old yellow lab.





cute puppy2

Being a puppy is exhausting!


A much needed drink during the walk. It was a beautiful day!










Some of my amazing lady friends and our guides: (L->R) Nadia, Me, Angele and Lise

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Purina Walk for Dog Guides – Sept 27th

Purina logo

Walker (my Hearing Ear dog) and I will take part in the Purina walk for Dog guides on September 27th, 2015 . We have participated in this walk many times and look forward to meeting new people and their Guide dogs and pets and also making new friends.



Why walk and support Dog Guides:

  • To help provide Dog Guides at no cost to the growing number of Canadians who need them. Thanks in part to the National sponsors, 100% of the funds raised from this walk go directly to Lions Foundation six Dog Guide training programs.
  • To enjoy a fun day out in your community. Walk with your friends, family and co-workers. The event is pet friendly but you don’t need a dog to participate.
  • Everyone is welcome – all ages and abilities – and you are not required to complete the route to participate.
  • Everyone is a winner! The money you raise goes towards this important program and you could earn an incentive prize.

Walker and I have been together for 12 years this month and it has been an incredible journey for both of us. He is actually due to retire soon and I plan on giving him a most relaxed and comfortable retirement in my home.

We would love your support. Here is a link to our fundraising page:

Thanks again and hope to see you there.

Michèle & Walker 🐾

Walker - HED


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Captiview at the Movies

Tonight I was finally able to enjoy a big theatre experience with captioning! We went to see The Monument Men at Cineplex Southkeys and I was thrilled to be able to watch the movie with captioning. You see, when I watch a movie or TV I miss so much of the dialogue without captioning on. It can get pretty tiring and frustrating to rely only on lip reading. On the other hand, it’s sometimes funny and embarrassing when people around me all start laughing as I have no idea what was said.

I had tried the Captiview system once before, but it hadn’t worked. Not wanting to miss the beginning of the movie I had just turned it off and then returned it after the movie. I’m so glad I gave it another try tonight, it was so worth it!

CaptiView is a Closed Caption Viewing System for hearing impaired movie audiences.

The CaptiView system transmits and receives AES-128 encrypted closed captions on a wireless band frequency. With an 80 meter signal range, CaptiView can be used from ANY seat in the theatre. The CaptiView system consists of a small, OLED display on a bendable support arm that fits into the theater seat cup holder. The high contrast display comes with a privacy visor so it can be positioned directly in front the movie patron with minimal impact or distraction to neighboring patrons.

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Flash Alerts

I recently inherited an iPhone from my daughter and was having a look at all the accessibility features when I stumbled across LED flash for alerts. Just like my home alerting system when you turn on LED flash for alerts you get a bright alert when there is an incoming call. I don’t normally hear the phone unless the volume is maxed out (even at that, it’s basically a hit and miss), so when a call came in tonight the flash quickly caught my eye and I was able to grab the call. So glad I did because I got to share in someone’s amazing news!!

There are many more features available here.

So how do you make technology work for you?

Watch this!!

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Traveling Safety tips

I was reading my friend Edwards blog today and thought I would share this valuable information.  Having been in a full-fledged house fire at the age of 12, I am well aware of the dangers of fire and am always very inquisitive and alert to my surroundings while I’m away from home.

This section really hit home: Most of us do not pay attention to the hotel’s fire suppression system but trust me this one is important. Make sure your room is equipped with a smoke detector and that each room (and the hallways) have visible sprinkler systems. In many countries the fire response teams are not as fast, well equipped or trained as in North America.

11 years ago I was paired up with my first Hearing ear dog.  Walker and I are a great team, and should there ever be a fire, he is trained to alert me (by jumping on me, barking) and then take me outside. Pretty cool eh! I do however, have as back up plan at home. Walker is very close to retirement, so last year I installed a home alerting system which makes me feel quite safe.  We must always be diligent when away from home.

Read Edwards full blog here.


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Merry Christmas!

Merry ChristmasChristmas time is always a very happy time for me. I love spending time with my family and extended family. On boxing day we are all gathering at my home to spend the day together. It’s really nice to be able to do that!

We’ll exchange gifts, catch up, hug and laugh. Life is good!

Here are some great communication tips for big gatherings (applies to grown ups too):

  • Keep your face in view
  • Speak clearly
  • Avoid background noise (not going to happen, but nice to keep in mind)
  • When all else fails – use Sign Language

Hope you and yours have a wonderful family Christmas…..if you know of a neighbor that is alone, invite them over! (I’ve done that before and it is such a treat to be able to make someone feel loved and welcome PLUS, it’s hilarious to watch them fall asleep on the couch after a turkey dinner).

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Laughter is the best medecine

A friend was celebrating his 50th birthday and we were invited to join him, along with a bunch of friends for an evening at Absolute Comedy on Preston street. We had no idea who was headlining, but we sure had some great laughs.

Joe Bronzi was the 2nd act and he specializes in unplanned comedy, he makes it up as he goes, he was absolutely hilarious. He finds humour from everyone’s life, quite naturally. I found myself laughing uncontrollably and it felt really good!

When was the last time you laughed, like really laughed that you had tears in your eyes? According to the Mayo clinic you can relieve stress with laughter, it’s no joke!

The Short-term benefits:
A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:

Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Read the entire article here.

Check out Joe’s Unplanned in Ottawa on YouTube

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Michèle’s Helpdesk

I was at a customer appreciation evening  tonight hosted by my realtor Adam Mills @ottawaishome. As I was handing out business cards and trying to drum up business,  I got into a conversation about computers. Did you know support for Windows XP is ending on April 8, 2014? What does end of support mean, read this.  If you’re running Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3) after support ends you will not receive all important security updates for Windows, you’ll need to upgrade to a later version, such as Windows Vista,  7 or 8.  In the IT corporate world a lot of businesses have successful made the transition to Windows 7…we are in the process of doing that at my office.

All the end of support dates are listed here. It’s always important to stay up to date with all the Service packs.

Windows support

What do I do when I finish helping my guy  or someone else with computer stuff,  I always say “Thanks for calling Michèle’s helpdesk”.

Remember to stay up to date and as always contact me if you have any questions.

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Updates and more updates

bonjovi songIt all started with my good friend from Cary, NC posting an awesome video of the BonJovi concert last night. I had gone to see him for my birthday this past February.  I really love BonJovi, he puts on an amazing show! I listened to the video and decided to go to iTunes and buy the song…problem #1 – I was on my computer and it asked me to update to 11.1, so I said sure (sarcastic smirk here). Later in the day I decided I would synch up my Apple devices, enter problem #2 – I decided to upgrade my iPad to IOS 7…yikes bad news. The first error 3004 led me to believe my MS Vista patching was out of date. So I updated and rebooted and updated and rebooted, ran out to do some errands, came back and updated and rebooted again #sigh. So once all the patching and security updates were done and I still got the same error, I turned to the Apple community and lo and behold – it’s a known bug!! So off to the Apple store I go tomorrow.
So what do you do in a high frustrating and stressful situation? I was aware of my frustration level, I had given my guy a I’m in a grrrrr mood text before he god home and just kept at it. Life is tough sometimes, don’t lash out you’ll only feel bad later. Be aware, talk about your frustration. It sure helps.

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Empty nest – Letting your babies go and handling change

Cory's apartment painting

I helped my son paint his new apartment last night. We had a really fun time and I admit to hitting the ceiling only a ‘few’ times with the roller 😉

It never gets easier for me to see my kids move on, moving out, getting married….etc I’ve always loved being a Mom so much, it feels so empty without them. But again I’ve never really done really well with change, and then I think again, I HAVE!

Cory's apartmentEveryday something is always changing in our lives, from our jobs to the type of coffee we make in the morning. The important thing is that although we can’t always control the change, we can embrace it and honor it. I dropped everything last night to go help him paint, because for me, that’s what love looks like. I also didn’t want to miss this opportunity to connect with him and see for myself how he’s living his life. We had many talks last night and I am so proud of him for having a strong opinion on things, but NOT forcing it on everybody else. He’s a well rounded young man! (Proud Mama moment)

So when things aren’t quite perfect (ie: paint on the ceiling) embrace life, take a deep breathe and take it one day at a time.

I highly recommend reading Who Moved my Cheese, it will help you see change in a different light and enjoy life with less stress and more success.  (I got the teen version for my step-daughter last year).

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