Living and laughing with a disability - cerebral palsy; ordinary life, extraordinary circumstances.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Our old home...POOF!

Jodie and I lived in three different places during our first three years of marriage.  Friend Sam still razes me on that.

In 1992 we moved into a brand new manufactured home.  We bought the home in McMinnville and chose all the amenities inside.  We had it moved into Baseline Woods in Aloha, no, it was Beaverton, no, it was Hillsboro.  The cab company refused to send us a cab...they said we didn't exist.

Memories...Jodie and I sitting at the kitchen table with our 3-paneled corner window drinking coffee and watching the world go by...

...Management telling us to clean our lot from the wood scraps left from the home installers.  Boards were frozen to the ground.  Old man Frank across the street came over to help.  Franked talked to management for us.

...Jeff and Crystal next door with their little girl.  Jeff live for the Fourth of July.  He was a pyro!  The neighbors gathered a potluck under our carport.  Jeff lit off his arsenal of fireworks.

...The retired neighbors on the other side.  She was skeptical of having a disabled couple next door.  Watching our every wasn't hard with as close as the homes were together.

...A favorite memory of mine...Jodie and I had come home for lunch from our jobs at Child Welfare in Hillsboro.  Brother-in-law Ken came by and surprised us with pizza.  Ken was a bigger than life kind of guy.  He was in sales...he could smooze with the best of them.  He fought a brain tumor with grace until that December day in '94.

...The day Jodie told me that something felt different.  She thought she might be pregnant.  My immature faith: "No, God wouldn't do that to us."  I bought more pregnancy tests.  Friends Brad and Lori came over.  Lori gleefully came out and said "Troy, your going to be a papa!"

In July of 1995 we move to the eastside of Portland.  Jodie's mom ran a daycare and we knew we'd be needing that.  We moved into another manufactured home...this one on it's own lot...however micro it was.

Progress moves us on, but memories never abandon us.

Polygon Northwest plans housing complex for former Aloha mobile home park |

Sunday, January 13, 2013

One in the can!

I just finished a website for a friend of a friend at work.  He has a fishing guide service.

Brad was paying pretty big bucks for an old-style FrontPage website.  I moved it to the WordPress platform...modern, easy to use, very professional.  Check it out:

I discovered how wonderful Nextgen Gallery handles photos.  From my previous work, handling photos and photo galleries has been somewhat tricky.  Nextgen was easy to use and the photo galleries look great.

A couple tricky things I did in this project.  One, I used a fishing template I found at a online fishing magazine.  To get the slideshow in the top part area of the template took me hours...ok...days to figure out.  By trial and error I finally got it!

Another feat was that I designed the website on a subdomain for the client to see, then I helped the client move the domain "" from their old host over to GoDaddy, where I was able to forward the nameserver to my webhost, then I moved the WordPress site I had made on the test subdomain over to the domain.

And it all worked!

Technical stuff, I know.  I felt a huge sense of accomplishment.  I now know that I can successfully walk other clients through this tricky process.

Anyway, my prices are low and I work hard to make the website exactly how the client wants it.  I also maintain the website for you.  Check out my portfolio:

If you need a website, please send me an email with details of what you need.  I will let you know what I can do for you and give you a bid.

Help me expand my portfolio.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Radical love hits Child Welfare offices

Steve Duin: A revolution in Portland's foster care |

I work for Child Welfare.  My day job.  When I started with Child Welfare 23 years ago I knew as little about the agency as you probably do.  My first job was typing up dictation and handwritten notes from caseworkers. I quickly learned the ugly truth that bad things are happening not just to kids across the country or Wacross town.  It can happen to kids anywhere.

I moved up from typist to Title IV-E eligibility worker.  IV-E is a stream of federal funding that covers a large portion of the costs associated with kids in foster care.  I spend my days reading case notes, narratives, court orders and financial screens to piece together IV-E determinations.

Caseworkers have the tough job.  They work hard to make sure kids are safe.  The hope is always to get enough services in place that kids can go back home.  When that cannot happen the best, safe, alternative is found.

Some days workers return from court sad.  Their careful planning overruled by a judge.

What these churches did to transform our waiting rooms into more of a family room shows that they realize that kids and families going through trauma are not just an agency's responsibility, but the community's as well.

Even further, the kindness these churches showed our workers by turning our lounges to places of comfort goes beyond reason, down to the washing of feet if you will.  For an agency where bad news can be a front page story in a flash, and  good news can be few and far between, with very little notice - this kind of love is, well, radical!

Thank you...