Category Archives: Beginnings


Struggling to find the words

I’ve started so freaking many posts over the last couple weeks.  More than once I just couldn’t find the time to finish.  More often, I couldn’t find the words.  I can’t put two coherent thoughts together most days right now. … Continue reading


Ending 2015

Good grief, here is it, already New Year’s Eve.  I’m looking out onto the empty wet street replete with garbage (it’s garbage pickup day, and it looks like our neighbors had a good Christmas).  I wonder which one of them … Continue reading

It’s all in the timing…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOkay, There comes a point where I have to remember to shut up and listen. I know I realize this periodically. Life has been reminding me of that quite a bit lately.
This morning, I sat waiting for the lift bridge and for not one but two freighters to go through the Cuyahoga river. I realized that I live in a city replete with lift bridges and drawbridges… and with a river like this there comes the necessity of occasional pauses in the day’s hurry scurry, helter skelter bull…$%^&… There are times where a pause is just a pause and the pause is exactly what is needed. Time enough to watch the smoke stacks of the boats make the bend… to hear the birds and the metal on metal screech whine toot of the trains… to see the bright yellow canary in a bright yellow flower… to take a slow deep breath (or twenty or thirty) and relax. Was I late? Yep. Was it all good? Yep.
It’s funny… I had just gotten off the phone with my mom when I got stuck in traffic. We were talking about being where you need to be… where you are supposed to be… and… thoink… duh…
I was hired at US Steel because Ida Flynn told me that I was GOING to go test for the Internship at US Steel the ONLY semester I could actually qualify the ONLY week I could actually test (given that we went on vacation) in a college career that was end to end in 2 years and 4 months. Yes it is possible. Yes, I regret not doing it slower because my QPA would have been better. I swore I would never work in a big city. I worked in downtown Pittsburgh. I was department lead for the Y2K project with 12 contractors and I had an incredible implementation. It was such a good job that I was “rewarded” with being transferred to the iron range of Norther Minnesota. Which is beautiful and where I saw eagles and heard loons and I watched the northern lights.
I was told when I left US Steel that I would regret it. I don’t. It’s ironic.. .the boats that fascinate the crap out of me now are the ones that left the port of Duluth carrying Ore… the pellets we made that came from the dirt we blew up. I don’t regret it. I miss the northern lights and listening to the lakes freeze in November, but I don’t regret either going to MN or moving from MN. I learned how to be an Oracle DBA in Mt Iron and that backup and recovery are the most important parts of the job.
I left there for Amarillo. SMALL company… friendly town. I was hired as a DBA despite having no REAL DBA experience, because I was trainable. Turns out Trisha was right. I am trainable. I learned to be a good DBA and I learned (in 900 hours in 3 months) to be an Apps DBA. It meant I lived my dream of publishing a book and it laid the groundwork for the next steps. The company was acquired by a huge company in Chicago and I went looking for not Chicago.
Poof… Austin… BAD company to start out with… then Oracle… then another company where I lost myself. Where I learned that I have the ability despite RA to bust a move and walk a half marathon or four. My first I hurt so bad I almost quit yards from the finish line. My second, my son medaled me despite the flu. My third bear and squirrel girl did with me… and I thought I was going to not make it… and I walked in with my son and (even though I still don’t think I’m anything special) I became his hero. And because I understood what forever conditions mean, I was able to cope when my daughter got Epilepsy, when my son got epilepsy and when my son got Sjogrens… and when friends ended up with RA, I was able to be there, to tell them that it is not the end of all normal and to get their butts into the doctors. It took some time for me to get my head around the fact that Autism isn’t the end of normal, it is just a different normal and that sometimes when you get answers to all of the hard questions in your life you can take a deep breath and relax and be your own beautiful self. I’m incredibly proud of my little boy who just took a deep breath and became himself.
And now, here I am. Because I was incredibly frustrated with being told how worthless I was I started looking for elsewhere to be. Because I was scared that the 412 area code on my phone meant that something was wrong with the family I answered the call… and despite not believing that I was in any way qualified I took the chance. Despite getting horribly mixed up in the first phone screen with contact information, I made it through that. Despite feeling like I blew it by not knowing current technology in my first technical screen, I made it through. Despite throwing up all over town my all day interview went remarkably well. And despite being terrified of leaving my baby behind in Texas and moving half way back across the country and not knowing if I would let myself and my family down, here I am. I am in the Cleveland Clinic medical system. I am back near “home”. I have found a house that was waiting for me. I am settling into a job that I really enjoy.
I am where I need to be to help family understand. I am where I need to be to allow my little girl to find her wings and to allow my little boy find his feet and his wings. I’m so very proud of my babies.
Looking back… looking around… looking at everything… I realize that I am right where I am meant to be. everything is working exactly as it should. My job is to breathe… to be kind to myself and to quietly do the needful.

I love you mom… I’m listening…


The Next Adventure Begins

Sitting in the living room family room den thing where I have been hanging out an inordinate amount the last week.  Fringe is on TV.  Showered and dressed… hobbit feet propped up on the coffee table.  A couple hours from now I head to the airport.  Electronics are all charging, just so I’m covered for the next 12 hours.  Packing is all done.

Ecuador, here I come.

Not sure why this trip feels so huge to me.  I mean, I know that it’s my first international flight alone, even though I won’t be alone alone… we are traveling as a herd.

The altitude scares me.  Not like Everest would (even base camp) but I know that I’m looking at a headache for the next few days and that won’t be fabulous.  I’m all packed with as many medications as I can think to take.  I know I will miss something.  It is inevitable.  I wonder if the change in altitude will piss off the RA.  I know exercise, for the next few days at the very least, is out.  But will there be any interesting side effects to the ouchies or swellies?  I guess time will tell.

WHY is my iPad update taking so long?  None of the other updates took this long… sigh…

The remnants of last night’s Sheetz coffee is feeling very friendly this morning.  I wonder what Ecuadorian coffee tastes like.  I wonder what interesting food will present itself.

I wish I remembered more from Pitt Spanish.

I wonder if I will “get” to see a volcano erupt.  2 weeks… and it has been move and more active since February… I’m betting I might get so see something.

I want to explore.  But I doubt I will have much time for exploring.

I’m looking forward to being actively involved in SIT.  I’m not sure what to expect or to what degree I will be engaged.  It is a functional thing.  But I will be a part of the team… the incoming team… but also the bigger Quito team and the bigger Sherwin team.  I’m nervous but I’m excited.

The adventure begins… wonder what the next two weeks will hold.

Making a Fist

069I found out, yesterday, that my inabiltiy to make a fist right now is (most likely) attributable to tenosynovitis. Given the way it presented (one finger on one hand) the Rheumy was kind of surprised that I have it.
She sent me down to get blood work and an x-ray (nothing broken, apparently), called in a perscirption for prednisone (I’m taking 40 mg for a few days and it seems to be wroking, at least way better than 20 did… it’s not all better, but way better… I’m not wanting to chew nails at any rate) and I’m to call her back tomorrow.
So this morning, I’m nearly able to make a fist (nearly… way closer than yesterday when my finger wouldn’t even bend).
That said, I’ve decide that today I have a reason to make a fist and do that whole WOOHOO thing fist pump knee raised.
I signed up today to make this blog my actual registered URL (and the payment went through this time). So from now on, I will not only be on the WordPress URL (, I will also, officially, be at
I’ve tried this independently before. I think it’s way worth the money to have done it this way, and the URL is mine as long as I want it to be… for a small annual fee.
so I want to do the whole woohoo thing
I guess I will have to do it with my right hand, rather than my left, at least for another day or two!


When Does Late Night Become Entirely Too Early Morning

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Yesterday, I could blame it on the dog.  This morning… it’s my thoughts racing and chasing and my inability to stop them. And the achies that have settled into my hands. It is with great regret that I think of … Continue reading

2013… It was quite a year

Sitting here… the quiet of the house is settling around me.  I’m watching the jobs running at work… running at work.  I’m half way packing for the Disney trip.  I’m contemplating the past year.

It’s been an eventful one.

Just a year ago Adam had his first seizure.  I remember the panic in Brenden’s voice when I got the call.  I remember helping laying Adam down on the couch as the post ictal overtook him and he slept… he turned 21… he came out.  He tested the waters of dating, gotten burned a little.  Found love a lot.  This afternoon I watched him dance for the first time in sixteen years.  The last time he danced was in kindergarten… he cracked his lip open when he fell… fear of the pain of dancing, tonight, was overcome by  Over The Rainbow by Israel “Iz” Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole and Travis.  The dance was incredible.  The smile on Adam’s face even more priceless.   He’s grown in his art.  I need to find a way to encourage him to chase that dream, and his writing.

Nearly gave up on the Austin Half Marathon.  I hurt so bad.  I felt so alone.  The volunteers have no idea how many times they kept me going.  I wasn’t last.  I did finish.  In retrospect it was less awful than it seemed at the time.  But… it woke me up and taught me a lesson.   I need to listen to my body when it is bitching at me and not put off being completely honest with my doctors.  I need to rely on myself to get through and get by.  At the end of the race, when you cross the finish line, it’s not about when you finish, it is all about that you finish.  And that is one horrible hill in Austin.

I watched my (adult) children grow and bloom.  I watched them struggle.  I watched them become more and more.

I saw the pride on my little girl’s face when she finished the Austin half marathon in Disney Half Marathon time with ZERO training and a knee that was hurting about a million.  I watched her grow as a photographer and find her voice.  Now if I can just help her find her confidence.

I grew friendships that mean the world to me.  I realized what it means to have a best friend.  To be a best friend and what not being able to talk to your best friend and share the stupidest things with them means.  I have laughed and cried and worried and prayed and realized that it’s awesome to have someone to share with.

I have seen black spaghetti, beautiful multi-cultural places of worship and laughter… I fell in love with noodle soup (pho) and the amazing real places that we’ve seen.  This world is an amazing place.  It is full of truly amazing people.  I struggle even more now than ever before with the bigotry, ignorance and intolerance that I see in the world.

I’ve struggled with my health.

I’ve struggled some with work.

And… the coming year is starting out exciting and frightening and depressing.  I hope I’m up for the challenge.  I hope everything in 2014 turns out to be a wonderful adventure.

Catching Up With Life

Okay… so… I’ve been kind of missing in action for most of the last month or so (more than that maybe… ).  I can sit back in the quiet of right now and maybe get just a bit caught up.

Right now, I’m sitting in a hotel room in Strongsville Ohio.  It looks like this is going to be home (the town, not the hotel) in the very near future.  I’ve been working through interviewing for a new job and getting the new job, and now the whirlwind of relocation planning.

I’m out of spoons right now, but I’m pushing on.

It’s raining.  It has been raining for two days.  My hands are just a little bitchy right now.  I took a couple napproxin.  I’m hoping it kicks in shortly.

I got my corral placement for the Disney Half  I’m in Corral “N” out of “P” corrals (why do I feel like I’m back in high school algebra?).  I’m starting to really think the race is going to happen.  I guess (given that we leave for Disney in 10 days I better start realizing it.. and packing).

So… here I am… looking down the barrel of a brand new job.  One that I’m actually really excited to be tackling.  It’s intimidating.  It’s daunting.  It’s exciting.  I can do this.

I’m also looking down the barrel of my son not moving with us.  He intends to stay in the town where we live now with his (incredibly cute and very good for him) significant other.  Adam worries I will hate Travis for Adam not moving.  Not going to happen.  Travis is good for Adam.  I will worry (a lot) but I’m not going to hate him for it.  Travis is worried about Adam and not moving with us.  It does my heart good to see them together.  I will get through this.

I’m sitting here, nursing a cup of cold (from last night) Sheetz coffee.  I’m thinking about the fact that it is nearly Christmas and the holiday season has passed me right by.  From a few days before Thanksgiving (when I went to my face to face interview) to a few days before Christmas (today… yesterday…) blink and it was gone.

I’m facing the coming months with excitement and tears.  This will be THE single hardest move I’ve made yet.  I’m working hard to convince myself I’m up to it.  I know I’m up to it.  I’m still trying hard to convince myself I am.

I’m sitting here in the quiet.  My fingers are tingling.  My knuckles are achy.  My companions (Courage the dog and my rainbow puzzle piece monkey) are comforting my heart.

I can do this!  I can’t wait to make an offer on the house.  But… mixed feelings…

The Eve of Distruction

Well, technically, the eve of the spring semester for the kids at college, but you know… it all kind of seems like the same thing.

Mondays and Wednesdays are going to be an adventure.  Two different campuses, with work about 33% of the way between the two campuses.  Drop Squirrel Girl at campus 1 at 7, Drop Skinny Butt at the bus stop a mile or so from work, work, make sure Adam gets to the bus stop by 4, hopefully leave work at 4 (pager week this week… I REALLY hope I don’t run late) pick him up on the way up to pick her up then home.

Neither of them is going to have a great Monday/Wednesday either.  He has absolutely no time between classes.  She has ten minutes down time between 8 am and 4:30 pm.  She is going to have to carry her book back pack as well as her camera bag backpack.  It’s going to be a long semester.  BUT I think it is going to be kind of an exciting semester!  I’m looking forward to what the semester brings.  Wonderful new pictures, boosted self confidence for them both.  I think it will be a good spring.

Something tells me that supper time twice a week is going to be kind of late and very  “inhale everything that isn’t nailed down”.


A Bright Shiny New Year

So, here I sit, January 2, 2012 looking back and looking forward. I’m trying, this morning as I wait for coffee to finish so I can warm my cold achy hands around the cup, to decide if there is anything … Continue reading