My Broken (dislocated) Finger

Which finger got banged up?

Yep. That’s the one. My ‘middle’ finger… (On the right hand.)

And it has me wondering if I should attend tomorrows high school track meet?

Son high jumps and pole vaults. He also runs, sort of. (They put him in if they need another person in a relay, or something…)

nick high jumppole vaultPerfect events for Son. He’s been flinging himself about since he could stand on two feet. A freshmen, he never pole vaulted until last month. He gave it a try (no training, or experience) and quickly jumped 10 feet. He regularly swings up over 10 and 11 feet, using his trusty (or at least we hope it is!!) pole.

I doesn’t look so trusty when it bends and he’s ‘flying through the air with the greatest of ease…’

Last Saturday was Cold. And windy.

It was one of those track meets where only a parent will stand out there. And there I stood, out on the football field, watching Son high jump. I was wrapped up like a burrito in a giant, fleece blanket. My arms all wrapped up IN the blanket.

When high jump was over, I shuffled back toward the bleachers and tripped over my blanket. My hand smashed into the ground. Hard.

I got up and continued walking–As I walked, I pulled off one glove. Then the other…

hand copy Sh#t! My middle finger was headed in two directions. Where it met my hand, it was going left. But the top half definitely wanted to go to the right.

What to do?

I trudged up to the press box, to get my daughters car keys. I had to borrow her car because mine is stick shift. I drove to our local family doctors office, waited an hour for the x-ray tech to come in. (As always, I had a book in my purse.) Then I got nerve blocks in my finger, so they could yank it back into place. The finger was also broken, and the tendons and ligaments are a tad bit banged up.

Luckily, I got back to the track meet in time to see Son pole vault.

But for most of this week, my hand looked like a paw. Fingers, knuckles and hand were swollen to nearly 2x the size of my other hand–and a bit purple. There are three fingers on the hand that were jammed. Probably, I won’t ever be putting rings on those fingers again–unless the knuckles return to their normal size.

And yes, I type for a living with my job at The News Herald.

My goal this week? I just wanted to be able to hit the comma. Who even thinks about reaching the comma, with their middle finger? I didn’t until this week. And it would be great to be able to hold a pen…


Aunt Kate: These things happen to us. Things that don’t HAPPEN to other people…


Friend: You went down? All the way to the ground?

Me: Yes.

Friend: I’m sorry…(apologizing because she couldn’t stop herself from laughing in my face…)

Me: Go ahead and laugh. Everybody else has been…


Co-worker: THAT’S THE STORY? You’re going to have to come up with a better story.

Me: One where I don’t look like an idiot??


Lastly, Daughter teased me when I couldn’t do things; grip a pen, brush my hair properly, etc.

Darling Daughter: It’s a finger, you have nine more of them!!

(Son and Daughter both thought that was hilarious)

Darling Daughter: Be careful you don’t stub a toe. That might really sideline you!!

I restrained myself, but I really wanted to stick my finger in the air. To help my circulation, of course. So the blood didn’t rush to my swollen hand, and make it throb. Not because I wanted to signal the kids.



I’m a little apprehensive about attending the track meet.

Last week, Son was 10+ feet off the ground. And I got hurt, putting one foot in front of the other??

Plus, I’ll be out in public. Which means the beating I’ve taken all week is bound to continue. And I get it. I give those around me plenty to make fun of. I know they can’t help themselves.

Probably, I’ll go. But I’ll be really, really careful…

Or as careful as I can be.

I Got (another) New Job …

the news heraldIt’s time for this blog, because the phone calls, texts and emails have started.

“You haven’t posted many blogs lately. What’s going on?”

Well…a job change.

Perhaps a change in my career path? (Using ‘career’ loosely, of course!!) And it’s been a whirlwind. I wasn’t looking for a new job, it just happened.

My jobs sort of flip-flopped…

I used to blog for The News Herald and work in sales/marketing for Taylor Made Home Care.

Starting last week, I work for The News Herald and I’ll continue to blog and do special projects for Taylor Made.

I’ve been a blogger for The News Herald for about 3 years. This past year, I’ve been the Marketing Manager at Taylor Made Home Care, a job I loved because I helped people–and because its owner is a wonderful woman, who inspired me daily.

For me sales/marketing felt like ‘socializing.’ I continually met others who shared my passion for helping those in need of companion care, or senior services. I went into local medical centers, hospitals, senior centers. I attended meetings, discussions given by area providers of senior services; such as The Alzheimer’s Association and The Lake County Council on Aging. And my eyes were opened to an enormous web of people/organizations that are on hand to service our elderly community. Working at Taylor Made changed me, for the better. I’m aware of things that I would never have known about.

newspaperMy new job?

I’m working full-time in the Editorial Department at The News Herald. In the newsroom. Which is incredibly cool, because I’ve wanted to work at our local newspaper since I graduated college. Working at a newspaper has always been on my bucket list. When the opportunity seemingly fell from the sky, I was torn. However, if I’ve learning anything in the past several years, I’ve learned that we sometimes have to have faith, to follow the path in front of us, simply because it’s there and it feels right. Even if its difficult, or scary.

Luckily, Taylor Made is on Erie Street in the heart of downtown Willoughby–and about three minutes from my office at The News Herald. I can still  be a part of the business that I so enjoyed.

The strangest part of my new job? 

Being in a newsroom on the other side of a news story. As disaster struck in Boston yesterday, I saw it from another angle. From the inside in some ways.

What’s going to be challenging?

I’m known to break grammar rules–especially in this blog. Look what arrived on my desk? God help us all as I try to get a handle on writing rules and style used by The Associated Press.


(Stop laughing MB, Darling Daughter and the others who beg to edit my blogs for grammar…)

Some of the perks?

I now work in an environment where social media use is encouraged. And reading is part of my job. Oh happy day!! In fact, just outside my office door, The News Herald (and another newspaper) are sitting there when I arrive at work. Free!


 What exactly am I doing at The News Herald?

At the moment, I’m writing obituaries and will soon be doing the announcements–and from there, who knows?

Just another adventure. Because nothing in my life ever stays the same for more than 10 minutes.


 Want to reach me at The News Herald?


Choosing a College (Ugh.)

Darling Daughter is nearing the end of her senior year. The process she’s traveled to choose a college has been filled with special moments. Darling Daughter has 24 days until May 1st. (All high school seniors must choose by May 1st)

May 1st looms like Doomsday in our house…


Out for lunch last week with Daughter and Aunt Kate:

Aunt Kate: Where does your Dad think you should go?

Daughter: Doesn’t matter. Don’t care what he thinks.

Aunt Kate: What about you? (Aunt Kate looked at me)

Daughter: I don’t care what she thinks, either.

Aunt Kate looked a little stunned…

Me: I’m fine with that. She’s the one who has to go to college.

(The sooner the better…)

Aunt Kate: But what if they’re paying?

Daughter: Still doesn’t matter. I’ll find a way to pay, if I need to.

Me: Her dad and I wouldn’t do that, anyway. Wouldn’t withhold money to sway her.

Darling Daughter wasn’t being snotty, but she’s been struggling to make a good decision. Her Dad and I will support that choice–And do our best to contribute to the cost.

When Daughter responded to those questions, I thought…”Good for her. She knows her own mind—she has backbone, confidence and strength in her convictions. She’s willing to stick with her decision and what she thinks is right for her, no matter what that costs her.”

Truthfully, that makes me more comfortable sending her off to college. College is expensive—I want to send a child who wants to go badly enough to incur the cost. Even if the cost is to her. Badly enough to step up and tell me where she wants to go and why she wants to go there.

Many will disagree with me. They’d argue I know more than she does, that I know what’s right for her.

Maybe. Maybe not. Yes. I’ve got experience. But its MY experience. I need to step back and let Daughter accumulate HER own life experiences.

Those who have known Daughter since birth know that she’s strong, has always known her own mind. Convincing her to do things has never worked. (Or at least not with good results…)

There would be hell to pay if I tried to talk her into a college or major—and she hated it!! I can’t imagine the next 30 years of holiday’s, or shouldering the blame for the job she despised. Because it was all my idea?

No thank you. I’ll let her decide. Others with strong-willed children will understand.

Georgetown1imagesCAAF7IS2Funny story…

Or maybe NOT so funny. About 15 years ago, Aunt Kate’s good friend had two boys–both graduated from college. One from John Carroll University. One from Cleveland State University. Both studied accounting. At the time, Aunt Kate’s son was set to attend John Carroll—an expensive, private university.

Aunt Kate: Please tell me that the one who graduated from John Carroll is doing BETTER…

Friend: Nope. They’re both doing the SAME.

Both were equally successful, earning similar  salaries. Even  though one chose Cleveland State, at a fraction of the cost of John Carroll–the private university.

The newest decision-making tool?


A giant dry erase board. It’s 3 feet x 5 feet. Daughter dragged it home last weekend after talking with a family friend. I was in bed, sleeping and was jolted awake by the sound of the board slapping up against my bedroom wall. Darling Daughter launched into an explanation. I blinked. Hard. (More than once…) Tried to pay attention…

Don’t get me wrong, I was grateful for the parenting assist, but I probably didn’t need the details at 1:00 a.m…

What’s on the board? SWOT diagrams. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats for the colleges still in contention. (Thankfully, some schools are crossed out…) There’s also the ominous Red Box that changes daily,  showing the countdown to May 1st.

I’m considering a bonfire on May 1st. We can toss ALL college pamphlets, brochures, letters, scholarship notices into the fire pit and light it up.  Maybe roast some marshmallows in honor of the occasion.

From there, we’re not looking back…

The past few weeks have been tense. When I speak, I annoy Daughter. When we make eye contact, I annoy her. My breathing is more than she can tolerate. This is unusual, we typically get along wonderfully well.

Just recently, I’ve learned that other parents are in the same situation.

Perhaps we parents should swap children. I could send Daughter elsewhere and take in somebody else’s child. We could stay with this plan until May 1st, when all children would return home to peace and harmony.

I cannot believe I didn’t come up with this simple solution sooner.

At least I know what to do in a few years, if Son goes through this phase…