Charlie The Navigator

January 13, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Charlie 

This morning Charlie and I were outside waiting for his bus, as usual.  And it got to be late, then later, then – “Ok, I’m calling dispatch, ’cause it is like way late now…” 

It turns out that the main road the buses are dispatched onto before heading out to their routes was basically a parking lot due to an accident or something, and it was going to be at least another 20 minutes before the bus got there.  So I decided just to drive Charlie to school, which was cool.  I had somewhere I had to go after he left, anyway.

So we headed out, and I realized I had to go on the same road that was basically a “parking lot” to get him *to* school.  I was a little bit worried, but I figured the traffic wouldn’t be a dead stop going both ways, and I was going the opposite direction the bus would have been, so figured it would be fine.

So I headed to that road, and on the way I passed an interstion of a road which, in the past, I had suspected would be a “short cut” to Charlie’s school.  But I’d never had time to really go exploring, so I didn’t know for sure.  But as we passed the intersection, Charlie said, “Mommy, you’re going the wrong way.  That’s the way to school – you passed it!”  Aha… so that is a shortcut from our house when going that direction after all!

The next intersection was the gridlocked one in question, and wow – it was a parking lot BOTH directions!  So I turned around and headed back to the street Charlie told me to turn onto and headed that way.  When I got to the street his school was on, I wasn’t sure if we were to the left or the right of it at that point, thus didn’t know which way to turn.  So I just asked the six-year-old navigator which way to go.

He said to turn left, and he’s always been good about knowing what city we’re in when we’re out & about and when we’re close to Donna’s house, etc., so I decided to believe him.  Plus, he had been that way before on the bus, and I hadn’t – so it made sense he would know.

And he did!  It was so cool, because he was so proud of himself.  Thanks to him, we got him to school on time (a little early, even) and he had the best day at school!  He was telling his one-on-one aid about how he knew the way to school and told Mommy and everything and just seemed so happy and proud.

When he came home, his daily report showed that he had had a really good day at school.  Maybe I should set up little easy-to-win challenges for him in the morning from now on.  Just to get him feeling good about himself and excited about the day.  It certainly seemed to make a difference today.

Plus, I was really impressed he directed me to school!  We probably would have sat in traffic for at least a half an hour if it weren’t for him being aware and knowing how to get to school. I was proud of him!

Just A Litte Update

December 22, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Just Life 


Wow, it just keeps snowing.  It let up enough to take Charlie to Donna’s to spend the night on Saturday, with plans for him to stay over Saturday and Sunday.  But now the weather is looking like getting him back tomorrow is going to be a challenge!  I have to do it, though.  He is driving her nuts.  LOL  If you’re not used to being around him all the time, two days in a row with him can be a bit much.  So I’m committed to getting him back tomorrow, for her sanity.  Plus I miss him!


The Savage Garden by Mark Mills – A story that started out a bit bland at first, but that has turned into one of amazing imagery and intrigue. It’s a murder mystery dating back 400 years and the setting is a garden. The garden is laid out in a very deliberate way, offering clues, to the keen eye, as to what really happened. Especially enjoyable if you love Italy and Renaissance art.  🙂


All of my favorite/regular clients have had work for me this month!  I love working on their sites and the fact that so many of my clients become my friends.  The work is very varied, and one of the jobs affords me the opportunity to learn aMember for WordPress!  So I’m especailly enjoying that.


Feeling really good about life.  Life seems to be finally normalizing.  I have a few different streams of steady income, which has been the basis of my nerves (or virtual nervous breakdown) for so long. Not knowing how to provide for Charlie.  Now my business is getting really regular and on the verge of thriving, and Donna has had a lot of work for me as well.  So I feel like I can concentrate on living instead of just trying to survive.  It helps me enjoy quality time with Charlie (since I’m not a nervous wreck all the time) and helps me get other neglected areas of my life sorted out, such as time for myself and working on my friendships.


I’ve cut out seeing Nicholas entirely.  This has been a long time coming, but as many of you know was a difficult thing just to “cut out.”  He’s been a part of my life, and Charlie’s too, since Charlie was 9 months old. It’s for the best, as I’m sure each person in my life would agree (and probably cheer). Among other things, there was no way I was ever going to move on and find someone new with him in my life, and there was no future for us beyond what we had already achieved – which was mostly just fighting about our relationship. It wasn’t good for either one of us, and it’s over.


This next year is going to be about building my business, working with Charlie on his challenges, and probably moving to Redmond or Bellevue.  Bothell is a bit too far out of my usual stomping grounds for me, plus this townhome is a little bit too expensive for me.  My lease is up May 1st, and I plan to move then.

I also plan to start to get my life back a bit, with more time for “me.”  I’ve just been taking care of Charlie for so long and nothing else, that I really lost myself a bit.  I hope to socialize more, repair some neglected friendships and make new friends.

I also want to take a vacation next summer.  Charlie loves the movie “Homeward Bound II” – the live action movie with the “two dogs and one cat” as Charlie says!  It takes place in San Francisco, and he said, “Mommy, is there a Golden Gate Bridge in Erf?” (which means “Earth,” which to him means “Is there really such a thing as a Golden Gate Bridge, or was that made up for TV?”)  And I told him yes, and he said, “Can we go there someday?”  So I said sure, we can go on vacation next year.

Next year I won’t have been back to San Francisco for 8 full years, and I think it’s time I did.  There are a lot of “hauntings” there – That’s where I spent my teen years well into my twenties, and it’s where my Mom still lived when she died.  The few times I’ve been back, I’ve seen her everywhere I would go, there.  And so, so many memories, good and bad, everywhere.  Massive nostalgia – so much history.  It was so overwhelming I just haven’t wanted to go back.

But I did love it there, and I would love to go there with my own kid and show him around.  Show him the fun things I used to do, places I used to go, where I went to school and lived.  I think it would be a good thing. And to show him that there really is a Golden Gate Bridge “in Erf.” LOL  There’s also someone there I’d like to say hello to, my first and favorite client – or as he says, “Client-Schmient” ’cause we’re friends now!  That would be awesome, right Brian?  🙂


I’ll leave you all with this video I took out my front window today – Snow and more snow!

The Blog Is Back

December 13, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Just Life 

I’m still working on the re-design, but I’m happy enough with it to get it going again!  So there’s no putting it off – Time to get blogging again!

Last night I was supposed to go see my friend Brad play piano at Studio Seven in Seattle.  I was really looking foward to it for several reasons, the biggest two being that I’ve never seen him perform before and this was the only night Donna could babysit Charlie for the whole holiday season, and I wasn’t going to get to go out at all otherwise.

So I was very happy yesterday to be going out – made my preparations, wore a brand new nice sparkly outfit, all of that stuff.  Took Charlie to meet Donna at Chuck E Cheese in Bellevue at 4:15, and the traffic wasn’t even that bad getting there – so far……  But then….

I wanted to be at the club when they opened at 5:30 so I could hang out with Brad a bit then see him play when he went on.  He was the first one on at 6:00 p.m. (It was a Starbucks showcase of several different musicians), so I absolutely had to be there by then.

So dropping Charlie at 4:15, I felt pretty good about being at the club between about 5:30 and 5:45, even with Friday night traffic (it’s normally about a half hour drive or less with no traffic).  But it was not to be.  My entire evening took place in my car!

Stalled vehicles and other problems on I-5 in Seattle caused severe problems on both 520 and I-90, and I spent TWO HOURS in my car on the freeway and never got out of Bellevue.  I literally got on the freeway at 4:15 and got off the freeway at the very next exit 2 hours later.  Thus missing the performace.

I was supposed to be back to pick up Charlie by 7:15, so I couldn’t even go to the club and see any of the other performers either.  I drove back to Chuck E Cheese, picked up Charlie, and drove home in terrible traffic.  Not the evening I had planned!

Fortunately Donna has said she can babysit on the 20th, and I have a few different things I can do that night, so the entire holiday party season isn’t a bust!  And I’m sure I’ll get to see Brad perform at some point.  If you’d like to see him play, he has a video up on YouTube here.

Other than that, I’ve just been working hard – Business has been steady, if a bit slow.  Fortunately my hosting sales have been good, which is something I’m really working on increasing.  I really like that aspect of it, and my customer service skills are really a big part of why people choose me for hosting over some big company.  It’s high-quality hosting and the servers are not “oversold,” so it’s a really good choice for WordPress installations.  I didn’t mean for this to turn into a sales pitch, but if you’re interested in hosting, here is my hosting sales page:  Blog Solace Web Hosting

Charlie is doing ok in school but still having a lot of problems.  I’m encouraged by the attitude of his new teachers and prinicipal, though.  And he has an appointment at Children’s Hospital in January (finally) for further neurological testing, so hopefully that will help narrow down what his actual probelms are and the best way to help him.

Other than that, I’ve just been using Twitter a lot.  I realized I was Twittering so much, I might as bring back my blog.  So I did!  That badge in the upper, right-hand corner has my most recent “Tweet” in it and links back to my Twitter updates.  Add me if you Twitter!

All Over The Map Today

October 22, 2008 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Just Life 

Today started with my alarm not going off!  So Charlie missed the bus, and I had to take him to school.  When I got to school, they asked Charlie which lunch he wanted – the chili or the chili-cheese wrap.  Having never had either of these contraptions, he wasn’t sure what to say, so he just chose chili.  He took his admittance slip and went to class, and I headed back home.

When I got home, my phone rang and it was the Special Ed coordinator of Charlie’s school.  She was letting me know that they agreed to all the things I wanted for Charlie if I was going to allow him to move to yet another new school.  Including a visit to the new school with his principal before the move, a  one-on-one aide, increased speech therapy and a new I.E.P. meeting and new I.E.P.  So now it’s official – Charlie will be going to a new school on Monday.

I decided to go to the new school to get the registration/emergency notification paperwork filled out ahead of time.  I forgot my directions that I had printed out, so I pulled into a Tully’s parking lot and scammed some Wi-Fi and got the address and directions off the ‘net with my iPod touch.  Better than driving all the way back home!

Anyway, while I was at the school, the principal and Charlie’s new teacher happened to be free and asked me to join an impromptu meeting.  I met with them and told them all I could about Charlie and his history, what to expect, etc.

And regarding the move, interestingly they both seemed to be on my side.  That moving him was a bad idea, and for all the same reasons.  And didn’t believe the solution was solid.  I was encouraged by how much time they took to hear about Charlie and how genuinely concerned they were.  I was also encouraged that I was dealing with reasonable people for a change.   Hopefully it will be a smooth transition and the true start to Charlie’s 1st grade and making a lot of progress this year.

After that I drove back home via Woodinville and got some $2.89/gal gasoline at Arco and headed home.  When Charlie’s bus arrived, he told me he was very hungry and wanted a snack because the chili was “too spicy.”  I suspected that – why would they feed kids chili?  I think that’s really weird.  So I got him a snack and some water for the car and then took him to Bellevue to my sister’s so she could take him to Chuck E. Cheese – and here I sit – kidless in a quiet house, writing in my blog!  For the next hour, anyway.  Yay!

So today I went from Bothell to Redmond to Bothell to Kenmore to Woodinville to Bothell to Bellevue and back to Bothell.  Fortunately the scenery was gorgeous and the day was sunny and bright, showing off all the colors of the autumn leaves.  So while I’d rather have taken a walk in it, at least I got to enjoy it from my car.  And at least since I had some annoying errands to do, I got to enjoy the journey.

And on the subject of “locations,” I have had some interesting hits to my blog lately, according to sitemeter.  Two hits in the last week from the Waterloo in Europe and one today from the Waterloo in Canada.  What is the universe trying to tell me?

The only thing it makes me think of (besides Napoleon and the palendrome that goes “Able was I ere I saw elbA.”) is this:

Which, of course, also makes me think of this:

So like I said, all over the map today!  Waterloo, too!

Winter In West Des Moines Iowa 2007 – Reliving The Nightmare

October 8, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

Here is a video I took while driving from Charlie’s daycare to my home in December of 2007.  This is what it was like during MOST of the 15 months I lived there, due to what everyone told me was the worst winter there since 1929 or something.  HIDEOUS NIGHTMARE FROM HELL!

And this wasn’t even the worst part.  This was just one of the first snows that I thought would come and go.  I had no idea I would see no relief until the next APRIL.  And even then it snowed two or three times in April.

Anyway, one of the most amusing things about this video is the white pick-up truck coming towards me from the other direction with a red snow plow attached to the front of it after I make a right turn.  Apparently just about anyone can make money in the winter by attaching a snow plow to the front of their vehicle and scraping out parking lots and things.  I found it an iconic testament to the misery of living there…

I’m not sure why, but it seemed like something out of a David Lynch movie or something.  Anyway, here is the video:

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