50th Birthday Trip Booked


Charles and I have been talking about booking a trip to commemorate my birthday for weeks. We’ve scoured websites and websites and websites looking at various places and tonight . . . we did it.

I’ll keep you in suspense for a little while on just where we’re going, but I can tell you it’s outside of the continental US, but in one of our time zones and is not Mexico. Not that we have anything against Mexico.

We don’t travel much and this trip will be quite a bit different from our trips in the past to Spain, Botswana, and London and I’m so looking forward to a little time away.

Now . . . what to pack?

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32 days until 50 years

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Whether I like it or not the big 5-0 is virtually around the corner. I look in the mirror and don’t quite see a middle-aged woman, but here I am – 49 and counting.

When you look up what is considered middle age Wikipedia’s definition reads, “Middle age is the period of age beyond young adulthood but before the onset of old age.”

WHAT?! OLD AGE?!!!! That sounds awful and just way worse!

I mean I had my first ever hospital stay in December 2013 and that replaced my left hip, so I’ve always joked that I’m good for another 100,000 miles. Right? Never had a broken bone, chicken pox, measles and yet my first big foray into hospitalization was a hip replacement, so I should really have lots of living in front of me, I’d think.

But the reality is I know that I’m marching faster towards death than birth. I understand that it’s possible for me to live to 100 years and beyond, but does that sounds like an exciting goal? I also get that we’re living in an amazing world of technology and perhaps by the time I creep up on 100 that we’ll be able to live to be 150. Can you imagine that? And what if I just decided to slow it all down and just put myself in a big cryo-freezer and stop the aging process altogether? Okay, I’m joking. Totally joking.

And yet here I am . . . on a countdown to 50. No stopping it now.

So over the next 32 days I’m going to dust off this tiny blog and spend a few moments each day reflecting back on my 49 years and what I’d like to accomplish in the next 49.

Thanks for following along.

You Want Me To Drive

In Welcome to TexasTexas, we drive our cars and trucks. For the most part I think those of us born and bred Texans LOVE driving our cars and trucks. Sure the larger cities have public transportation options, but here in Austin, it’s NOT New York.

Have a candidate in the office interviewing today who’s spent most of his adult life in the New York area.

He was a couple of minutes late. No worries, really.

Then he told me he got lost in our parking garage. “I drove to the basement and I thought I was following the right exit sign, but I ended up at the back of the parking garage.”

Hmmm . . . to get to the parking garage he had to drive past our building . . .

You’re not in the big city any more my candidate friend.

Searching for an Inside Sales Development Rep for Zenoss

Would love to know if you have someone that would fit this job at Zenoss.

Located in our Austin, Texas office. Zenoss is delivers unified IT monitoring and analytics for the modern datacenter. Some of our customers include: Rackspace Hosting, Sungard, Orbitz, and VMware.

Read more about our solutions at http://www.zenoss.com

Fall Is In The Air

Over the last couple of days we’ve been able to welcome cooler temperatures here in Central Texas and it’s such a nice reprieve from the hot summer days. I’ve added a few new projects to my daily routine since I last posted.

But first up, Charles’ health is so much better than it was in July. He still lacks the full energy that he used to have and gets tired after one day of working around the house or fixing up an old ’68 Mustang for a friend of his. So the routing seems to be one day of work, next day rest. But overall he’s feeling good which is perfect. We return to his doctor in a few weeks for a follow up.

In May, I started a little side hobby as a Jamberry Nails Independent Consultant. It’s never going to be my goal for this to take over as my full time job, but it’s bringing in a few hundred extra dollars and that’s never bad. I pay closer attention to my nails and the nails of others that I come in contact with for sure. I also have a chance to interact with people I may not have interacted with much before and chat about all kinds of silly topics like nail art. It’s fun. I’d love it if you checked out and LIKED my Facebook page – http://facebook.com/girlsgirlnails

We started a little garden about a month ago as well. Well, Charles tilled up a couple of rows in our backyard and I planted some plants I’ve never tried, but thought I’d enjoy. Right now we’ve picked tomatoes and I’ve baked some yummy kale chips and I’m looking forward to seeing the Brussels sprouts and broccoli start to form. The plants are huge, so we must be doing something right.

We spent Halloween evening with the kids and grand kids in Ft. Hood. Emma was Elsa along with a million other little girls and Cory was the cutest Olaf. And next Halloween there will be one more little boy to tag along – grand baby number 3 is due in March.

So what has you enjoying this shift of seasons?

Simple Distractions and Spiritual Support

God's PlansDay 5 of sitting in the hospital as my husband, Charles recovers from pneumonia. Boring, but necessary stuff and so thankful he’s improving every day.

At the moment we’re both sitting on our laptops. He’s hanging with his schmancy gamer boy headphones and I have my fantastic, noise cancelling ear buds. Now every time a nurse, tech, housekeeping or the flurry of other people who constantly intrude into our little room open the door I jump.

I rarely listen to music while on the laptop. I like to have complete concentration or maybe I’m old enough that it simply takes everything I have to concentrate on what I’m doing. Either way, today is a nice reprieve with good music flowing, fantastic wi-fi signal and we just asked the Tech if we could possibly move to a larger room so we can spread out and she’s making it happen.

The entire team of caretakers here at St. David’s North Austin has been phenomenal. I couldn’t have asked for a more attentive and genuinely caring staff. They listen well and respond promptly.

Charles’ doctor gave us a litany of details this afternoon describing how they are treating his pneumonia and why it took Charles’ feeling close to death before they were able to run the right tests to see it. In fact, Charles had a chest x-ray performed on Tue., July 22, but wasn’t admitted until Sat., July 26. Oddly reassuring that other health professionals really weren’t falling down on the job, but still not something we’d wish on anyone.

And I can feel it. I can honestly physically feel the prayers family and friends are submitting on our behalf. Last night I had a sweet voice-mail from a dear friend, just as I hit yesterday’s breaking point. Boys may not understand this, but I suspect many women will. I was walking away from the hospital completely frustrated with the slowness of progress, frustrated that beyond my husband’s health there’s a slew of other things that I must take care of now completely solo and I simply can’t be in that many places at once. I honestly don’t know how single parents do it. And then I listened to my friends voice-mail. She left it as I began bawling my eyes out and hyperventilating and thinking I needed to get it together because I couldn’t drive myself home like that.

Thanks to those that remember to lift us up at whatever time you think of us. We will make it through this and life will go on . . . it’s just not super fun in while we’re in the middle of it.

And Then There Are Days Like This

Never Lose HopeThere are people that think I share absolutely every detail of my life on social media and while I do share a bunch, I really do not share it all.

Obviously, there is the very mundane, everyday occurrences that are withheld, such as what I had for lunch aka every non-Twitter person’s joke for why they don’t Tweet. Then there’s the chronological rundown of every millisecond of my daily life. Believe me that would only rate a yawn. I don’t post about every silly thing my dogs do and you’ll rarely catch my frustrations.

I like the pieces of my life that I do share publicly to be more positive in nature – or at least 90% of the time. Mind you there is the other 10% where I spout about my traffic angst or my exhaustion with life in general, but I consciously try to keep the whining to a minimum.

And then there are days like my last few.

For those of you who know and adore my husband then you already know he’s not a public facing soul. Not that he isn’t at all. The fact of the matter is that he actually has a rather vast following on a very private forum. His friends loved living vicariously through his online persona. He was online for years before Facebook or Twitter were ever invented.

But, even without his prompting, I rarely post about him on social media channels. In fact I rarely share about our lives. Our life is more less private.

The last few days I have been deeply focused all of my efforts on my husband’s well being. It has my mind reeling with a mile long need-to-get done list. I’ve called and spoken and private messaged more unique friends than I have in quite some time. I’m learning, as I suspect one does when a loved one is ill, who the solid friends really are and at what lengths they would go to support you.

Coming back home after an excruciatingly long and emotionally draining, but productive work week in California only to find my husband hospitalized, I’ve had to instantaneously switch gears and go into 100% caretaker, translator mode. It has been challenging to say the least.

So thank you so much for the Facebook likes, comments, messages, the texts, emails and phone calls. It appears my little social media world is just as invaluable as I always expected to be.

Thank you everyone – you mean the world to me – I am blessed.

Advice for University Students

It’s already the end of April and for many of the university students I’ve been conversing with over the last week or so they are about to start or finish finals. If they’re lucky or worked hard at it, they’ve either already found an internship for this summer or already secured their first job post graduation. If they haven’t, time is quickly becoming their enemy.

According to the 2014 Internship & Co-op Survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers:

  • 96.9 percent of responding employers plan to hire interns and/or co-op students in 2014.
  • Employers choose schools for recruiting interns and co-ops based on academic majors offered, perceived quality of the programs, and past recruiting experience at the school.internship-pic
  • The average hourly wage for interns at the bachelor’s degree level is $16.35.
  • The average hourly wage for interns at a master’s degree level is $22.50.
  • Employers made full-time offers to 64.8 percent of their interns
  • 79 percent of interns accepted a full-time job offer with their internship employer

For parents this may be eye-opening, for students this may be completely new news.

My professional job deals with hiring both interns and soon to graduate university students in Computer Science fields, so some of the statistics are a bit different, but none of the information is surprising.

When I was studying at my university I always held a part-time job and didn’t know many people who had serious internships, let alone paid internships and since I always had a job it was hard for me to fathom going somewhere to gain experience without a paycheck. Times have changed though and the greater majority of what I refer to as legitimate internships are not only paid, but offer experiences and learning opportunities far beyond getting someone’s coffee.

So, if you have a student in your life have a frank conversation with them and make sure that they are planning out their summer breaks in such a way that it will benefit them in the long run and encourage them to take internship shopping seriously. I promise it will benefit them so much more than just getting a job for extra cash.

Declaring 2014 the Year of Better

2014 Better

Over the last week I’ve watched online as friends and family proclaimed what their resolutions would be for the year 2014. Several people started by declaring words or phrases that would be important to them in the new year and I liked that much better than saying I’d do this, that or the other. But what would my word / words or phrases be?

I’ve decided on these:

1. Better – I want to better myself in multiple areas including:

Be a better wife and helpmate to my husband.
Be a better employee.
Be a better friend.

2. Focused – I want to determine what’s are the most important things in my life and really put a laser like focus on them

To do this I will have to add the third and final word to my new year which is:

3. Purge – I want to rid my life of all things that are unnecessary and in the way

I’m also wanting to blog more and I suspect those posts will center around these three areas during the coming months.

Excited to get this New Year started.

Not Much Can Happen in a Week

UPDATE: I actually typed this with a headache that started when I woke at 4:30 am. Ended up having a migraine for the entire day and didn’t actually go back to work until the next day.

I’ve had many people tell me that they don’t know how I do it.

The it they refer to is that they seem to think I’m on the go a lot and that I sleep very little. Nothing could be further from the truth, although online I seemingly sleep little. The reality is that during the working week I do tend to stay up later than most and on the weekends when I can I hibernate every chance I get. Nothing says weekend more to me than being absolutely lazy and watching some Bourne flick. (Not sure if you know this, but given any Saturday or Sunday you WILL find a Bourne movie on cable. Guaranteed.)

But this week has been quite different and really not much has happened.

Last Wed., Dec. 11 my husband and I arrived at Seton Medical Center at 4:30 am. The hospital doors aren’t even open then. We had a nice security guard buzz us in. We waited for a little while until they admitting lady started taking peoples information. After they called my name we went back into my post op room, undressed, changed into a super glamorous hospital gown with ventilation, bagged up the clothes I was wearing, laid down in the hospital bed as a nurse began taking my vitals and on his second attempt finally started my pic line in my hand. Ouch! First time I had ever had a pic line and I knew immediately I wasn’t a big fan. The area still hurts a week later.

I had a few meet and greets with the anesthesia nurse, the anesthesia doctor, my doctor and then at 6:30 am the two nurses came in – one was talking to Charles telling him it was time for him to go to the waiting room, the other nurse was speaking to me and telling me she was going to put something in my pic line . . . and I woke up in a different room, in a different hospital gown totally groggy about 5 hours later. I was to learn later that the drug they gave me was pretty much the same thing as the date rape drug.

I remember nothing. Five hours of my life totally disappeared.

Which I guess is really fine. They gave me an epidural, which was really one of the things I was least looking forward to, but I don’t recall it. They said I was speaking, but couldn’t really tell me what I said.

It took some time from when I began to awake for the hospital to have my room ready. Once it was, they wheeled me down halls and to my room all the while I was still semi-awake. Too many turns for my liking though and just as we entered my room I started vomiting. Fun stuff!

Charles arrived in my room a bit after I did. I spent the next couple of hours between awake and half-asleep. Started posting on social media by 3:45 pm that day and had already started the process of getting out of bed and taking a few steps.

We left the hospital by 4:30 on Thur., Dec. 12.

A week later, my new hip is on the mend. I had a few people come to visit at the hospital, friends and family sent me gifts for my short stay, at home I’ve had meals and flowers delivered, a few friends come by to check on me, met with my at home physical therapist twice, and most importantly become a walker super-user.

My husband has been at my beck and call and I’ve been working hard at not checking work email and resting up.

Today I return to work – albeit from home. Anxious to see what I’ve missed in a week.