Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's almost WHAT?!!!

Sheesh! Where has this year gone?? I just realized yesterday that Christmas is next week.

.....Next week, Peeps!!!!


My shopping has been done for awhile now--but mentally I am not prepared for this event.

I'd say, "where did the year go" but really, I'm so ready to put this difficult year behind me.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving.

CHOMP well.

Embrace those you love.

Resist poisoning those you don't.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Captured Moment

On a whim I used my iPhone to record my Mom as I sat by her bed. She couldn't respond to me but I wanted to bring something back to my siblings so they could feel like they were there with me. I recorded my hand holding and stroking her hand as they were the one thing that remained familiar to me. I panned the iPhone eye up to record her face and then back to my hand holding hers while my thumb stroked across her 85 year old knuckles.
I did not realize that I was capturing her last moments of life. That a few hours later she would slip away from this world.

Now I find myself playing that video over and over. It is infinetly precious to me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Walking Ajijic

LV and I went for a walk yesterday, into the heart of the village Ajijic. The place my Mother had made her home for the past 15 years.

The walk was laborious as the streets were made of large rock cobblestone. But the views...beautiful.

The Mexican people love color. All the houses from grand to shacks were painted in warm yellows, greens, reds and blues.

Red, orange and purple flowers crawled up and peeked over colored stucco walls while large cactus stood as prickly sentries.

It was a mix of old world and new. A Mercedes zoomed by us, as the dust settled an old man in a horse drawn cart clomped past.

We sat and had dinner at a little restaurant/bar along the shore of Lake Chapala. We sat outside on leather woven chairs and sipped our drinks at a tiny table covered with a festive Mexican table cloth.

We feasted on fresh guacamole, warm tortillas and melted cheese appetizers. Then gorged ourselves on steak strips, melted cheese and onion pieces that simmering in bubbling mexican sauce served in a large volcanic rock bowl.

For awhile the grief was pushed backwards and my mind fought hard to push through the numbness that has held it prisoner. It was a welcome respite.

We took our time and ambled slowly back to our hotel. Tired and dusty we plunked on the bed and rested our weary bodies.

I am thankful for the momentary peace. And for my wonderful LV who pushed past my fears and talked me into taking Chanda. (my beloved camera).

Monday, November 07, 2011

Time Frozen

Today I went to her little home.
The world was frozen in time while I walked amongst her things.
Schedule reminders. An unfinished book.
Her glasses lay amongst her notes on her desk.
And every crevice. Of her home in Holland. Us kids growing up.
Silly nicknacks.
The only sound while I walked around in what had been her life--was the ticking of her kitchen clock.
I stared at it angrily. How dare it keep ticking after her heartbeat had stopped.
The memory of stroking her face before the funeral man took her away was still brutally etched in my mind.

I found notes to us kids. One in a pretty chest by her kitchen willing it to me.
"To (me), the best daughter a mom could ever have"

I felt my insides tremble--my inner batteries faulter as my strength waned.

Lord V called softly to me to stop. To let it go for today.

To recharge.

So I did. And I am. Recharging--to begin again tomorrow.

She is Gone

She has passed on.

I woke up multiple times last night--each time I whispered a prayer for her Jesus to take her.

3:30 this morning He did.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Final Moments

I sat holding her hand. It was the only thing that remained the same on her.
I sang songs to her. Spoke in Dutch to her. Told her i loved her.

Romantic dramas show people weeping at the bedside of dying family members--pleading for forgiveness or offering forgiveness of their own for past circumstances.

You know what? I stared into the face of the woman who raised me. Who filled my 46 years with angst. And the words of forgiveness were just so shallow. So meaningless. So trivial.

It was no longer my mother laying there. It was a person who shared a history with me and was now at the final moments of her life.

My brain said, "I forgive you"

My heart moved my mouth and spilled out every word of comfort it could offer...and when it ran out of words--i found myself singing to her. Songs she long held dear.

Her face turned toward me and her breathing softened.

In that moment i realized the shallowness of grudges. The trivialness of angst.

In the end you only wish peace.

A Few More Hours

A few more hours and I will be in Mexico, holding the hand of EWO.

Last night was difficult, gathering up the pictures that were the slideshow of her life.

It was odd to view them with adult eyes instead of through the eyes of her child.

I saw for the first time, EWO as a woman, living her life...raising her children.

I remembered posing with her for a lot of the pictures...knowing that the smiling family looking into the cameras eye was just that...a pose.

But it was the pictures of a young, ambitious, adventurous EWO--before she became my mother...that pierced me.

What would it be like to be 85 at the end of your life...and have another gather your photo's. Images of your life...what would that someone see of my life?

Thursday, November 03, 2011


Today was a good day.

Things still loom heavy for my trip to EWO in Mexico...but today there were no emails, no phone responsibilities weighing me down.

It felt good to have a quiet lull in the emotional storm that has been my life of late.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Grief Trumps All

A few more days and then I will be with EWO.

News today is she has brain cancer and a very short time to be here on this earth.

I find all the bad history I've tried so hard to rid my insides of--washed away in the tidal wave of grief.

Good, Bad, is all gone.

I only think now to be able to reach her side before she passes so I can bring her comfort.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tiny Gifts

I was thinking yesterday that I could not recall a picture of EWO laughing.

She has a wonderful sense of humor. Wicked, childlike, quick.

All the pictures that have been taken of her over the years have been of her posing. Self conscious and reserved.

This morning I opened my email to find a letter from her brother in Holland. It was filled with encouragement and support...

and he had attached two pictures.

One. Was of EWO laughing.

It touched me.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mexico Bound

Lord V and I are headed to Mexico within the week.

So much planning, so many emails, so many phone calls...

Once the hotel and plane reservations were made the stress eased off a bit.

Final arrangements with our cellphone company this morning to allow us use of all our international features without losing our shirts. Complete.

Now we wait for the date to leave. To fly to the one who raised me. To smooth out the finishing edges of her life.

No matter the history, it is a hard thing to see the eminent end of ones parent.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Deep Breath

Tis officially the weekend.

Thank God.

I need a moment to catch my breath.

To not be responsible for anything or anyone but myself.

This has been an unbelievable week.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


My brother called me yesterday afternoon. EWO has suffered a series of strokes. She asks often if her husband has called...and thinks I am 17 years old. Obviously she has lost a few years. My Father has been dead for 8 years now and I am 46.

When I was 17 I had left home. The last of her adopted children to leave her poisoned home. I did feel responsible for her and hadn't learned I could step away without being permanently tied to her, so I often called her after I had left home. She kept mentioning this to the Doctor. How her daughter would be calling her because she called her all the time.

The sadness this information brought to me was mixed with an oil spill of guilt. I am sad that the independent life of what made EWO is now done. Relief, guilt, sadness swirls around inside me.

I will be flying to Mexico soon, to close up her home and box her mementos. Her friend who has been caring for her is coordinating with me on choosing a care home for EWO to live in.

This wonderful friend who has watched over EWO since my dads passing. Who has dropped everything to run to EWOs aid when called. This Saint...told me EWO said to her, "you know I like you. I hope you know that. But I don't like spending time with you."


I am sad...but the guilt is being sopped up quickly by the empty sponge she installed inside me so many years ago.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oh Siri

Lord V got up at 3am to order my new iPhone 4s the minute they became available...which causes my heart to sing:

Oh Baby, how do I love Thee? Let me ask Siri to count the ways.

"Dear Siri, how much do I love Lord V?"

Kat, I do not understand Lord B

"Lord Veeeeee"

I do not understand Lord B

"Lord Valtimore"

I have located Baltimore


I have found 12 Lord places in Baltimore

"no no NO! Lord Veeeeee....oh nevermind!"

Kat, I don't understand nevermind


Friday, October 07, 2011


Dear Creepy Middle Aged Man who shared the elevator with me this morning,

I do not like you, Creepy Middle Aged Man

You who tried to block me from keying in this morning so you could go first.

I do not like you, Creepy Middle Aged Man

You who slithered in the elevator with me and then stared at me the entire ride up--the whole three floors.

I know I looked like I ignored you but I was really plotting girl punching you in the my head.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Blows the Cobb Webs off the Blog

Phew! Look at the last date of my last post!


I've been neglectful.

Let's see. Updates.

No-longer-mini "MiniWarrior" is in 8th grade now. He stands 5'10 tall and clomps around in size 11 man shoes.

I find myself staring at him, fascinated by this half man that has poltergeisted (that is SO a word!) my MiniWarrior, stretching out his skin so he towers over his Momma.

I know it's a poltergeist because now when I ask my sweet MiniWarrior to do something for his Momma his adorable high pitched voice drops 4 octaves and something garbled and growly spews forth sounding like "Whatever" followed by a hissing "Kahhhhhhhhhh" sound that causes his eyes to roll back in his head and his shoulders to lurch and hunch in torturous spasms.

I'd call an exorcist but I'm afraid that something gruesome will flop outta him and consume me in my sleep.

Lord V is doing grandly. Well, now that his funny bone has healed. Which he broke while riding his bike up a hill.

"What the &%$!" I hear you ask?

Yes. His funny bone. Which, if it wasn't so sad, is quite ironically hilarious because he is a man who prides himself on his witty puns.

Puns so bad that a groan from deep inside ones large intestine will roll its way out and up, spewing out of your mouth in a gravelly monster sounding moan.

I gotta admit. It's a skill I admire.

So yeah. His funny bone is all healed now, except his can't quite straighten his arm.

"My life as a Superhero is doomed" He says. "I'd be flying in circles 'cuz of my bum wing."

"See?" He says, thrusting out his arms in a flying Superman pose.

I laugh and shake my head. He's still the man of steel in my eyes. Bum wing and all.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I knew him only from the pages of Blogland.

For 4 years he faithfully followed my blog smattering my comment box with humor and encouragement.

His name was Bob. I referred to him as Bob-a-roo. Bob seemed too plain a name for such a warm, wonderful human being.

I received the news tonight I knew was coming yet it speared through me.

Bob lost his fight and slipped from this world.

I cannot imagine not seeing another post from him.

I cannot fathom not ever seeing his name pop into my comment box, never failing to bring me a smile even on my darkest of days.

He will be missed.

God. Will be missed? I miss him already.

I know life has to end at some point but I was not ready to lose Bob-a-roo.

My friend.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tiny Thank You

A few days ago, I let the dog out for his morning bathroom break. I followed behind him to guard against any rogue coyotes that might view him as a snack. We had seen a couple of coyotes slinking around in the daylight hours...quite alarming as we had, up until the sighting, allowed our little Bichon to roam the back yard, unguarded.

While waiting for the dog to do his business, I noticed the hummingbird feeder had gone dry. I unscrewed it from its tree tether and filled it with red hummingbird juice and reattached it to the tree.

A few hours later, armed with my hello kitty blanket, a soda and a People magazine, I snuggled into the chaise lounge on our terrace to soak in some afternoon sunshine.

The wind had a bite to it, hence the hello kitty cover, but the sunshine felt divine on my flu/cold/plague body.

Deeply immersed in my People magazine (it was the photo shoot of the royal wedding *girl squee!*) I became aware of an odd little squeaking noise. It sounded like a cassette tape being quickly rewound (for those of us old enough to remember what those where...).

I peered over my magazine to find a tiny hummingbird fluttering in front of me chirping away!

I stared at it for a moment in amazement. It was so close I could have reached out and touched it.

"chitter chitter chitter" it said. Its wings fluttering like a fan blade set at high speed.

"Your welcome" I said. And the hummingbird zoomed off.

I sat for a moment while my brain tried to catch up with the moment. I had the odd feeling of being in a waking dream.

Did that just happen? My brain asked.

That was so freaking awesome! The forever child who lives inside me answered and pumped her fist in glee.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Reflections from my Sick Bed.

I have been ill this past week. After 2 visits to the doctor the diagnosis is "a bad virus". Prescription? Gatorade.



And it worked like a miracle drug.

I feel myself beginning to crawl out of the pit of sickness back into normalcy.

I am still coughing like my body is trying to turn itself inside out.

I'm still terribly weak and cannot quite fathom how I am going to survive an entire day at work tomorrow...

But, I am on the path to wellness.

You know the strange thing about being ill? Everything around you becomes skewed.

The little things take on more meaning. The things you thought were so important, you find were just burdens you put upon yourself and really didn't need to carry.

I think this revelation comes when you are forced to stop moving. Forced to lay still for hours at a time with nothing left to do but reflect.

I know as soon as I am fully well again I will be embracing life full speed again and these fleeting insights will get shoved back into a memory drawer.

But today, today I am too weak to move faster than a snail on a bed of gravel.

Today I shall document my reflections for my busy self to read when I am well again.

Dear Busy "healthy" Self:

Sunshine is divine.

The feel of it soaking into my skin feels better than the sip of an iced mocha I spend trudging through lines of people and traffic to acquire.

Time is relevant.

Rushing full tilt to try and ring every precious minute of a day makes the day seem shorter and less pleasurable.

Spending an hour laying still, drinking in a story a clever author has spun seems to suspend time.

Why is that?

These are the revelations I have come to today.

I shall try to remember this when I am well and chasing life by its tail.

But for now, I must crawl back into my sofa nest and reflect while my body twists and heaves to remove this dreaded virus from its pores.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


She has gone to her friends house. For how long, I don't know. Perhaps for the duration of her visit? I hope...

She didn't say goodbye and LV said she was oddly distant when MW came home from school.

Considering it's been a year since she's last seen him, I have to shake my head at her.

Many MANY kudo's go to my beloved LV for enduring 2 days with her while I was at work. He is a clever man and eased my stress by totally "getting" her proliferation of lies she weaves like poisoned threads.

I did not for one moment feel I had to backtrack through conversations he had with her while I was out of defending ear shot. I know with all sincerity that LV knows me, understands me to my core being and not only loves me but likes who I am.

Do you know how precious that is? How dear?

The quiet peace of our home is restored and the balance of gentleness and goodness is settling around me filling in the cracks she left behind.

I love my life.

I love my little family.

I love the home we have built together.

I love...being able to breath again.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Jagged Thoughts

It is late but I don't want to go to bed.

If I go to bed it means today is officially over and I'll awake to the day I dread.

She is arriving tomorrow evening.


She is 83 now. So old. So many years of life.

She plans this arrival on the day after Mothers Day.

I don't want to celebrate her being my Mother.

I don't want to hurt her...but how does one say, "I don't want to think of you as my mother?"

I spend every day of my life squashing memories of the time she wore that label and had me under her control.

I did not feel this anger. This sadness...this disgust until the day I held my son in my arms for the first time.

Every year that passes (in raising my son) opens my eyes to just how horrible of a "mother" she was.

I fight with my entire being to prevent my son from feeling pain. My soul lights up when he laughs and his eyes dance with happiness.

I kiss and hug him as often as he will let me.

I cannot understand how a Mother would feel or do anything less for her child.

But she is 83.

She is at the ending years of her life.

And I cannot make myself say the words to her I feel rolling around inside me like jagged pebbles.

I cannot hurt her.

As she has so often hurt me.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Lives Within a Life

I do not believe in reincarnation...but I do believe we live many lives within this one fragile life we have been given.

In my 45 years on this earth, I have been many different people.

A baby known as "the non thriving one" who became the "foster one" who then became the "adopted one".

The adopted one who became the possession of an odd menagerie of other "adopted ones" mashed into one unit called "family".

Finally grown, I left the mashed adopted family unit and became the "American girl" who lived on a tiny island in Holland. I was the "foreigner who became Urkish."

Later, I moved to college in Minnesota and became "the college girl".

Then later, the "young married girl" who married her college friend.

I was "the nanny" of a beautiful baby girl who grew into an adorable little girl.

I was a "Minnesotan".

Fleeing the harsh winters of Minnesota I drove to the Northwest and became a "Washingtonian".

I searched, found, embraced and became "the found one" when I reconnected with my birth family.

I discovered, rejected and became the "divorced one" when I discovered the one I loved--was busy "loving" multiple others.

so many lives...too many to list...

now I am living a life I do not wish to lose.

I do not wish to change.

I am Mom. Lover. Friend. Daughter.

But life moves forward.

Endlessly forward...

Until it stops.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

6 Minutes...

It seems I have blinked and another week slipped by.

How quickly the time flies. How fleeting the friableness of life.

I watched a video of the Tsunami in Japan. It was 6 minutes long.

In that 6 minutes buildings and homes were wrenched from their foundations and tossed about like toys.

6 minutes.

The time it takes you to run to the bathroom during a commercial break, fix yourself a snack and plop in front of your favorite show.

We toil, we gather, we create.

We laugh, we love, we yell, we debate.

We live quietly or with great passion.

And do all this now with the knowledge that in 6 minutes everything we have worked for. Everything we know can disappear.

We are no longer innocent. The tragedy in Japan has taught us, the observers, the frailty of life.

6 minutes.

How many of those have I wasted on:

Silly arguments




I think I am going to make a vow. That for 6 minutes each day I shall:

Devote myself to working on a project I have procrastinated on.

Sitting down and playing Mario's with my son.

Sitting down beside my man and listening to something he is fascinated by.

Kneeling on the floor and giving the dog a belly rub.

Picking up a toy and playing with the cat.

Pausing for a moment and calling a friend just...because.

6 minutes.

For those whom have lost all in that fragile bit of time.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Darkness presses against the windows of the family room.

Frogs are croaking love songs from the terrace fountain.

The fire whispers a lullaby inside where I and the ones I love are finishing up our day.

It is the end of my weekend. I am packing my mental bags and getting them ready for the start of my work week.

One more item to do and then I shall close the book on this weekend and crawl inside my flannel sheets and close my eyes.

Spring forward. Time change today.

I feel a tingle of happiness that Spring is rounding the corner with Summer a few car lengths behind.

Winter is hanging on though. She blew around today stomping her feet and beating against the freshly budding trees.

She is moody...for she knows her time is short.

I share her moodiness. I am clinging to the last dredges of my weekend trying to wring the last few moments from it.

But it is time.


Time I am off to bed.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


It's raining.

The Columbia River is speckled with fishing boats filled with soggy hopeful people.

The coffee pot is chugging its final chug. The inviting smell of fresh perked coffee wafts from the kitchen and into the family room enticing me.

Two birds squabbling over something just smacked into the window with a alarming thud. They swooped away again in a dizzy drunk man wobble. I'm much relieved.

Both my men are sleeping. Gabby Abby sits beside me staring out the window and chattering at the birds.

The dog is snoozing on the sofa, nestled in the folds of my Hello Kitty blanket.

The day yawns before me. Things are still wondrously quiet and peaceful. The morning is still mine alone.

Soon the sounds of life, family and love will fill the walls and my day will officially begin.

But in this moment. It is as if my world is holding its breath. Time is suspended.

And I am floating on a soft cloud.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Rain Rain Rain and more Rain...

I awoke to the sound of rain dancing against the windows of our home.

I scampered out of the house and made a run through the pounding rain to my truck.

I drove to the Park and Ride while it slashed at my windshield and swooshed against my tires.

I flicked open my umbrella and darted from my truck to the Bus.

I sat in the bus on the way to work while my sodden umbrella dripped against my pant leg.

I clambered out of the bus and splashed into a puddle on my Portland bus stop.

I slogged through the down pour hunkered under my umbrella to the train stop.

I rode the train while my umbrella left a trail of water trickling down the aisle of the train.

I splashed through the rain soaked sidewalk and into my building.

I walked with my umbrella covering my boss and I as we trudged to Starbucks for our morning coffee.

I spent the next 4 hours wiggling my toes in my soaked tennis shoes while I plinked data on spreadsheets on my computer and sipped my coffee.

I tugged on my coat, grabbed my gym bag and hid myself beneath my dripping umbrella as I headed out to the gym on my lunch hour.

I stood under the shelter of my crying umbrella while I awaited the train.

I dropped my iPhone and watched it bounce in a stream of water running along the sidewalk.

I left the shelter of my umbrella to rescue my phone and shook the rain from my hair while I sighed with relief that my phone was unbroken.

I slogged back from the gym to work through the sodden streets of Portland and sat in my cubicle wiggling my toes in my soaked tennis while making a note to wear boots tomorrow.

I exited my work and splashed through the streets to my bus stop.

I stood in a miserable line of umbrella sheltered humanity while we waited for our bus to take us home.

I sat in the bus reveling in the heater blowing on my water logged feet.

I wiped condensation and fog from the window and stared at the water splooshing and splashing on the ride home.

I pulled up and trudged to the front door of my home and stood shaking the day from my shoulders in the entry way.

Now I sit in warm socks while the fireplace is dancing with warm orange flames.

Lord V sits reading while the cat lays curled upon his lap like an orange blanket and the dog lays snoring on the sofa.

The rain slashes against the windows but I don't care.

I wiggle my warm toes against the carpet beneath my feet and I can't help but...


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Golden Moments

It's Midnight.

The house creaks around me as it settles in for the night.

My little family is asleep.

The animals are softly snoring, dreaming of bacon, large balls of string and fields to romp in.

My eyes are tired but I find myself reluctant to let go of this peaceful private time and trudge onward to bed.

These are the golden moments of my life. When nothing pressing demands my attention. No stress is rumbling in the recesses of my belly.

A weekend of family and friend time lays ahead of me and I am gloriously content.

Much loved.

And blessedly happy.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Rock. On!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bah Humbug...

By the time I dropped MW at his Dad's and turned my truck towards home, the sun had hidden itself behind drizzle clouds.

The Winter winds picked up and my plans of tromping through the Japanese Gardens moved to my future "TO DO" list.

No problem. I had a back up plan in case it rained. Liam Neeson's movie UNKNOWN opened this weekend so Lord V and I headed out at 2:30 to go see it.

There were only 2 seats left (sigh) so we bagged that plan.

Undaunted we headed out to Borders books. I didn't buy a book though as LV gave me a Kindle for Valentines Day and I'm so in love with it I didn't want to buy a book that I couldn't read on my new device.

Next we stopped at Beacock Music store where I snagged a Guitar book and then home again.

I tried out my new book (not impressed) then went online and found some "how to play the Blues" videos on line and shazam! I'm so in love! that is my new thing I am trying. The thing I pulled off my dream list and exposed to the light of day.

I bought an Acoustic guitar and am learning the Blues!

I. LOVE. It! I'm so glad I took it off my hidden list and made the big purchase.

Thanks for the encouragement, Peeps :)

Y'all are a grand bunch of Bloggy friends!


Another surprisingly SUNNY day here!

Lord V and I are going to head out to tromp through the Japanese Gardens in Portland today.

CHANDA field trip! :)


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The List...

You know that list you hold in the secret place inside you?

The one you pull out and ponder from time to time.

You know, the one that starts with, "Someday I'll...?"

I pulled an item off my list today and exposed it to the light of day.

I think I'm going to erase it off my "Someday I'll..." list and move it to the

"Today I began..." one.

I'm not ready to share it yet. It's still my secret.

I think I shall keep it in classified status until I am sure it can endure sunlight exposure ;)

What made me pull it off my secret list?

This quote that someone had carved into the side of a building downtown Portland.

"Friend, it's time to turn the corner and find where you began. Begin again with all you lost but never forgot."

Wish me luck, Peeps.

I'm taking a brave step forward.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Job

An official week has been completed at my new job and...

I LOVE it!

After a grueling 16 years I find myself smiling when I wake up in the morning and smiling when I'm stuck in the rush hour commute home.

I keep looking over my shoulder waiting for the "bad" thing to happen where I will lose my happiness but so far? So far, it just keeps getting better.

Good good times, Peeps. Good good times.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gabby Abby High Queen of ....


U keen nawt resist mwah. U keen nawt!

Monday, February 07, 2011

I can haz internets?


Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Fog

The fog descended last night like a giant eraser, removing all color and replacing it with a white palette.

Beyond the border of our yard we could see nothing but white.

This morning it still lays thick around us but images are slowly appearing like an unfinished painting.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Culprit

I was stricken last night with a horrid tummy ailment. I assumed it was from the codeine medicine I took in the afternoon...but now I suspect the flu had been looming and the codeine spurred it into action.

This morning I awoke thinking I may yet survive and was tentatively cooking up some rice cereal to fill my fragile tummy.

The water had just begun to boil when a horrible retching sound came from a corner of the family room behind me...

Gabby Abby, our little red bulimic kitty had deposited her breakfast on the carpet.

My tummy clenched and rolled and I found myself once again a prisoner on the sofa for the day :(

She does look a wee bit guilty, doesn't she?


Friday, February 04, 2011

New Job Goodness!

So I'm starting a new job on Monday.

Normal hours. (no more 4:30am wake ups)
No working holidays (BOOYA!)
No working Weekends (Woop woop!!!)

I'm so looking forward to my first official Sunday off in 16 years!


Bring. It.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


MW chatting with his Cousin about EWO (evil wrinkled one)

MW: Do you like EWO?

Cousin: um...yeah...

MW: She's kinda mean.

Cousin: um...yeah...

Cousin: She tried to make me eat a raw onion.

MW: Ew. A raw onion? Why?

Cousin: She didn't want to make me dinner.

MW: That's weird.

Cousin: She's really old.

MW: and wrinkly!

Cousin: (giggle) yeah...

MW: She's got deep fried skin!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Autism: The Fight for Normalcy

When MW was 3, his Dad and I took him to a child psychologist because he was having anger issues in the head start program he was in.

We didn't know he was Autistic then, but I had been reading anything and everything I could on his symptoms and had met a lady online who had an Autistic daughter and had gently pointed out that she thought MW might also be Autistic.

Within 10 minutes after meeting and working with MW, the child psychologist told us without a doubt that MW was Autistic.

My first reaction? Intense relief.

I had been arguing and fighting with Doctors since he was 18 months. I knew something was "off" with him. I had been repeatedly told that he was "precocious" "high strung" "manipulative"...etc.

Now that I had a diagnosis I could work towards getting MW specific help.

First, I had to learn what Autism meant. I already knew the symptoms of it through dealing with MW's behavior...but I had to learn what he was experiencing inside his head so that I could understand and help him.

For those whom have followed my blog, you know a bit of our journey.

One of the milestones in MW's and my life was a question I asked the psychologist.

MW could not be outside the house for longer than 20 minutes a day. I had to get everything done in that space of time. Every errand had to be condensed into one stop.

Back then they did not have the mega super stores they have now where you can basically get all your shopping done in one store.

Taking MW with me on my errands was a nightmare. He would cry and scream primal screams the second I stepped into a store. I would spend a good hour preparing him for my entry into a store to try and prevent the screams.

Along our journey I had learned that over head lights and sounds were extremely invasive on his nervous system. Close your eyes and think of walking into a supermarket. The bright lights, the clanging of cash registers, the raised voices of people. The intercom system announcing specials of the day. Now imagine the filter in your brain that closes off the nonsense noise is broken. You see, hear and smell everything.

MW's endurance of the overwhelming flood to his nervous system was about 20 minutes a day. That is all he could handle before he shut down and screamed in agony.

I asked the psychologist if MW would ever out grow the inability to be outside the home for longer than 20 minutes a day. She told me, "No. He would probably never get past that 20 minute mark."

I couldn't accept that. I wouldn't accept that for him. What kind of life would he have?

I started taking MW to the Mall. One stop shopping that had multiple shops inside with their different sounds, lights, environments.

I would entice him to go further and further into the mall with, "Let's go get some ice cream at the ice cream shop." Or "Let's go get a toy at the toy store" Or "Let's go look at the cool sword shop".

Little by little he stretched and his system learned how to adjust to the different sounds and smells.

When he was 5 and wanted a new pair of flashing tennis shoes I took him to Target directly from daycare and tried to find him some.

Target did not have them. I braced myself for his screams of frustration...but the screams did not happen. He was calm.

I gently asked if he wanted to try Payless which was right down the road. He surprised me with, "Yes Mom. Let's go there."

I packed us back in the car and drove to Payless. They didn't have the flashing shoes either. I slumped inside knowing MW would have been pushed past what he could handle and steeled myself for his raging frustration.

It did not come.

When I told him there were no flashing tennis shoes, he calmly accepted the news and patiently waited while a store clerk measured his foot and found him a cool pair of tennis shoes that didn't have lights in them.

I paid for our purchase and headed out. Halfway home it hit me. We had done it. We had shopped for an hour and a half and he hadn't screamed! We had gone to multiple stores and MW hadn't cried. He had compromised on an item that he had been fixated on...and he had not fallen apart.

We. Had. WON!

We had taken that 20 minute diagnosis and had crushed it. It was the proudest moment of my life.

Now we face another hurdle.

MW is 13.

Right now we are faced with another diagnosis.

A psychologist had told us that MW loses concentration every 15 seconds.

He is very good about bringing his focus back...but he loses it..every 15 seconds.

This means someday:

He will not be able to drive.

He won't be able to go to College.

He won't be able to hold a real job.

He won't be able to live on his own without help.

MW is starting to realize this.

The other night he lay on the couch and said, "Mom, I want to have a real life. I want to be able to drive. To have a good job. To go to College. I want a real life."

It tore my heart in pieces.

He left the room and I put my face in my hands and cried.

Lord V came in the room and saw me crying. I told him what MW had said and we both sat with heavy hearts, aching at the unfairness of it all.

It was so damn unfair. So unfair that this beautiful boy could not have the same life that we all take for granted.

Later that night I took MW to his once a month Autism game night, where he got to hang with other Autistic kids while parents talked to each other.

I talked about what MW had said. How he wanted to drive and have a normal life and how it broke my heart.

Each parent shook their head and shared in the heart break. They threw up their hands and said, "What are we going to do?" "What is going to happen to our kids?"

I left that night without an answer.

But, this morning I awoke with a new resolve.

I'm done crying. I'm finished.

I am not going to accept this lack of life for our precious MW.

I. Am. NOT.

I'm done sitting on the sidelines. I am not going to accept this new diagnosis.

We are going to fight. MW is going to beat this.

He will drive.

He will have a good job.

He will live successfully on his own.


He is too precious. Too wonderful. Too amazing to accept anything other than the best life he can possibly have.

I won't accept anything else.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Morning Show

I dropped MW off at school early this morning and headed towards the gym and my hour of torture.

While paused at a stop light the sun peeked through the fog and illuminated the sky in a brilliant shower of swirls and colors.

I found a little dirt road that faced towards the sunrise and pulled my truck over.

I hopped out with my Iphone clutched in my hand and scrambled up a dirt embankment so I could try and capture the suns show.

It. Was. Spectacular.

A few more of the pictures can be see here: a kats eye view and haphazardkat365

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Two Claws UP!

Lord V and I watched a really good movie last night via Netflix Play it now.

Movie: The Maiden Heist (2009)

Stars: Christopher Walken, William Macy, Morgan Freeman and Marcia Gay Harden.

It was sweet and LOL funny in a very subtle way.

The actors were wonderful in their understated roles.

It was a movie you had to watch closely to catch all the subtle movements of the actors that once you see them, they do not fail to leave you laughing in surprised delight.

They obviously had a lot of fun in their roles.

I absolutely loved this movie!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Blank Pages

My 3rd grade teacher once handed us a blank sheet of paper and told us to draw anything that came to mind while she played "The Nutcracker" on the old classroom record player.

I remember closing my eyes and immersing myself in the beautiful, magical notes of the song.

I longed to fill my blank page with the images the song swirled inside my head but I could not. I was a woeful artist.

That blank page and my inability to create anything adequate on it haunted me for years.

In college I thought: Well I can't be an artist so maybe I can become a writer and describe the images trapped in my head.

I wrote a couple of books over the next few years but the colors and images inside my head were still trapped. The blank page continued to haunt me.

I turned my efforts to fill that page with photography.

My first attempts were as inept as my drawing skills. I chopped off peoples heads, one of my fingers were always in the shot, I snapped billions of pictures where only a handful were passable enough to pin to a family album-but I felt something stir inside of me.

I kept shooting. And shooting. And shooting.

Digital cameras caught on and started quickly replacing film and I was suddenly free to shoot as many pictures as I wanted.

I became a mad woman. I took pictures of everything and slowly the blank page that haunted me for so many years began to fill with the swirls and colors of my minds eye.

When a writer or artist is asked: How do you find the time to do what you do? How do you do it?

I understand their answer.

You write because you cannot not write.

You draw because you cannot not draw.

I don't go anywhere without some form of camera. I've become known as "the picture taker".

My page is less blank these days. I'm obnoxious in my passion to fill it with my images but have found nothing but support from family and friends in my pursuit.

Thank you Mrs. Traci for placing that page in front of my 8 year old person.

and thanks to my friends and family for your sighs and patient smiles as I make you all pause so I can take one more shot. Just one more. more...

Photo blogs of mine:

Vita non est vivere sed valere vita est

Mobile City: Iphone Images

A Kats Eye View

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Monsters and Angels Among Us

I watched Datelines video clip of the woman who had brought the little 9 year old girl to meet the Congresswoman Giffords in Tucson.

How horrible would that be--to be the person responsible for another person child--and then to lose her in such a monstrous way?

We have been saturated with details of that horrific day.

The crazy young man who loaded his guns and snuffed out the lives of strangers because...because he could.

And the heroic people who fell upon others to protect them from the bullets, giving their lives so others could live.

What thin line separates us from monsters and angels?

I am sad, Peeps. Sad for the parents who lost their precious little girl.

Sad for the woman who covered her face during an interview and wept at the loss of the little one she had been entrusted with.

How do they ever come back from such a loss?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A House of Sickness

MW was sick yesterday with the flu. He seems to have rebounded today but I find myself with the hung over feeling of on coming flu :(

Will I be able to keep my date with the gym?


Friday, January 21, 2011

Found: Lost Pictures of New York Blizzard

This video is heart warming. And as photography is a passion of mine--it has an added warm meaning to me :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011


It's official. The Holidays for our little family is officially over.

Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthdays are finished for awhile.

Playtime is over. It's now time to embrace the meat of the year 2011.

I have made a considerable dent in my New Year resolutions but I still have major goals to work on.

A mini goal I have for the rest of this month is to hit the gym every day until February 1st.


I am already shuddering under the burden of that goal...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


It is my Friday, Peeps!!

For those of you who's Wednesday is just a Humpday (the 13 year old in me giggles that word) who are experiencing bitterness at my rubbing in the fact today is my FRIDAY *cough-rub rub-cough*...know this...

My days of having Wednesdays as my Fridays is soon coming to an end. BOO! :(

After 16 years I am moving from my Engineer position to an Admin position with another group...provided they finally send me my offer letter *mutter*...

Normal hours: no more getting up at 4:30AM for long 10 hour days.
Normal work days: Monday-Friday. No more weekends and no more Holidays :D

I'm tired, Peeps. I'm feeling my age and am ready for some normalcy.

It does seem odd to leave the group I've been in for the past 16 years, but I'm ready.

I'm embracing change, Peeps :)

A dawning of a new era.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

365 captured moments: New Blog

I have borrowed the idea of capturing 2011 with 365 snapshots.

Cuz I needed ONE more photo blog to keep up, right?! :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tomorrow He is 13...

Happy Birthday to my Mini Warrior.

I shall hide my Mom promised ;)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

MW Celebration

Today MW and his stepbrother celebrate their birthdays.

His official birthday is not until Tuesday--but as they are both in the same classroom at school and therefore share the same friends, it's easier to do the combined birthday bash of bowling/arcade playing/package ripping/cake eating/soda swilling goodness!

My baby is turning 13, Peeps.


I shall follow MW's command of:

"Now Mom...I'm growing up. No crying at my birthday!"

and swallow my Mom tears (at least in his immediate presence)

There shall, of course, be pictures.

( be continued)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Shh! Don't Wake The Man Child!

It's Saturday, my morning to sleep in, but my eyelids sprung open at 6:49am exposing my eyeballs to a brand new day.
I toyed with the idea of forcing my eyelids to recover my eyeballs but it was too late. My eyeballs told my brain, "HEY! A new day!" and my brain sent my hips, knees, elbows and spine out on the highway of "Get the hell up!" I did.

And here I am, sleepy, creaky and un-caffeinated, hiding upstairs in my Hello Kitty office because there is a soon-to-be-13 man child that has a blood hound nose for freshly perking coffee and...god help me...

once awakened the beast will begin his daily regiment of "let's break Mom with 3 billion facts and questions squished into the time the coffee finishes perking".

Which pretty much goes like this:

Hey Mom?


Which do you like best. Mario or Luigi?


I think I like Mario better because he's shorter and plumper than Luigi and has a bigger mustache.


Do you think Mario is plumper than Luigi?


Hey. That's-a not-a nice-a! I'm-a not-a fat-a!

Yes-a you-a are-a!

I spit fireballs at you!



Thats-a what-a you-a get-a for-a calling me-a fat-a!

Momma-mia Mario is-a spitting fireballs at me-a!


Hey Mom?


Who do you think eats more mushrooms. Mario or Luigi?


I think Mario because he's fatter.

Do you think Mario is fatter than Luigi?



Well-a you are-a!

How-a rude-a!

I'm-a not-a rude-a!

yes-a you-a are-a!

No-a I'm-a not-a!

Mom! Do you think Luigi is rude?


Hey Mom?


Hey Mom?


Hey Mom?


Hey Mom?


Do you like Mario in red overalls or blue overalls?


God. Help. Me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's Very SPLOOSHY Outside!!

The cold snap is finished and the %$#! blessed Northwest rain has returned!

I darted out on my lunch time and snapped a few iPhone pics of Portland in the rain.

Go HERE: for more pics :)

Beats snow. Gotta say that!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy 1-11-11 !!

When I was little I was a dedicated night owl. My mother would insist I get to bed by 7pm thinking I would get 10-11 hours of needed childhood sleep.


I used to lay awake hour after hour and amuse myself by watching the digital clock numbers tremble then slide and click into place.


222 was always the last one I would see before I drifted off to sleep.

My mother would wake me up at 6am and be fanatically worried that I had some terrible blood disease because I was exhausted after a supposed 10 hour sleep :)

It would never do to tell her I lay awake all night. That would get me a clout across my head for failing in my sleep duty.

I do find it humorous that after all these years I am no longer a night owl. Now the latest I see the clock is 11:11 and then I'm off to drool land.

Happy 1-11-11, Peeps :) Do something special today.

I command thee! ;)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Let's take this journey together...

We've made it through the first week of 2011.

How's everyone's New Years lists coming?

Given up yet?

Crossed anything off yet?

I've crossed of a couple of major things off my list this week.

I still have huge ones to accomplish yet.


I paused last night to capture this sunset pic to remind and mark this day...the first week of January 2011.

It's done, Peeps.

51 more to go.

What will we accomplish. What will we all have seen over the next 51 weeks?

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Sweet Baby Boy of Mine

On the Saturday nights I have my son, it is a ritual of ours for me to leave a note for him on the kitchen table and to go upstairs (before leaving early for work on Sunday morning) to kiss and hug him goodbye--as he goes to his Dad's on Sunday before I come home from work.

I lumbered upstairs at 5 this morning to hug and kiss my sleepy boy goodbye.

There in the soft glow of the animal lamp beside his bed he lay sleeping. He was curled up with his arms wrapped around his battered stuffed cat, Butterscotch...and for a moment I saw the little boy that has all but disappeared inside a rapidly growing teenage body.

I felt my breath hitch. I was running behind on heading out to work but I stayed for an extra moment and just breathed in the sight of him.

I slunk quickly downstairs and grabbed Chanda then crept back upstairs and captured the moment with a quick flash of Chanda's eye.

He stirred and I quickly hid Chanda behind my back. He is in the stage of hating having his picture taken--but my Mom's job is to capture his childhood.

This is the last week of his 12th year of life. He turns 13 in a week. An official teenager.

He stresses me out. He gives me grey hair. He makes me spew Mother phrases at him that I swore I would never use...

But. Dear God. I love this boy. With every cell in my being.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Slaving over the New Years List...

One of my things I put on my New years list was to move my photos off of my laptop and secure them onto external hard drives.

2 days later I am finally done with that chore!!

Over 50 THOUSAND photos...gah!!

389GB of space used.

How do I even start sifting through all those photos and organize them??

*flops on the floor exhausted*

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Day 4 of the New Year

How's the New Years resolutions going? Scratched any off yet??

I made an ambitious list this year and have found that as the days pass I have not scratched anything off it, only added to it!

God help me...

I have determined that this year I am not going to sleep walk my way through it. I'm going to embrace each and every day that blooms into life.

I predict an exhausted Kat by 2012 ;)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Evening Sunset Via iPhone :)

More HERE:

A really nice ending to my day :)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy New Year!

And the Sun rose on the 2nd day of the year 2011 spearing shards of light into the sleepy workers eyeballs as she stood warming her bowl of grits in the break room of work.

Happy New Year, Peeps!

We were so exhausted from our Christmas that Lord V, MW and I chose to ring in the New Year at home with just our little family. No company. No running to and fro...just...relaxing.

It was really nice :)

How was your New Years Celebration?