Monday, February 8, 2010

about me

Oh yes, I forgot to note that I am nearly blind from birth. I have a rare genetic eye disease known as liebers Congenital Amaurosis. It was not diagnosed until I was about 9 or 10, which drove my mom crazy. I did not find out until a number of years had passed that I was quite lucky because with this disease, I could have also been deaf and/or mentally retarded. I insisted on doing everything my sisters did, including riding horses, climbing trees, riding bicycles, and even driving a tractor. I grew up surrounded by animals and music which helped me stay sane as I was quite an outcast in school. This blog would not be complete without mentioning my very besets friend, Pat. He was cursed with Cystic Fibrosis and had a mild learning disability , but we had a lot of fun together acting out Star Trek plots and the like. Thinking that it would improve my social standing in high school, as most 16-year-olds don't play Star Trek, I tried to not associate with him quite as closely, though we never fought. I can only imagine now how mean I must have seemed to him. I was still an outcast. He was removed from the public school system, and worked at some maintenance jobs, as well as helping his dad farm. Unfortunately He never saw his 30th Birthday. It seems that nature can sure be crewel. I could write a whole blog entry on Pat, and maybe I will someday. I went to a regular public school in the small town of Adrian except for my senior year. I went to the local community college in Ontario Oregon and got my Adult High School Diploma. The people there were so much more excepting and mature. I was earning high school and college credits at the same time, which I thought was pretty cool. I think you can only do that under certain circumstances now. The highlight of my summers was showing rabbits at the Malheur County fair. I look back now and realize that I could have probably had champion stock if I would have played my cards differently, but I decided to do everything on my own, avoiding the bickering 4H leaders and made a lot of mistakes. Oh well, live and learn, I suppose. I miss those rabbits a lot, but don't know if I would have the time to take care of them now, plus there's no way could have them in my mobile home park. Raising rabbits for slaughter seems kind of crazy now. I got quite attached to a couple of them. Shortly before I left home I was diagnosed with epilepsy, which is no fun. My mom explained later how she cried and how worried she was as I started having seizures in June and left for the big city of Portland just 2 months later. That was in 1985. I think that I became quite a pain in the neck for her.

After going to the sound recording school called Recording Associates, and realizing that wasn't going to work, I went to Portland Community College for a while until a depression set in and I lost interest in schooling as well as my Pell Grant. I worked at Industries for the Blind for a few months until I found out that I was pregnant. Oops, there goes another career that I was going to persue. I had decided to become a massage therapist but decided that I would stay home with my baby for the first few years of his/her life and I didn't want to forget everything I learned. I realize now that there was probably a way around that, but again, hindsight is always 20-20. My daughter is now 20 years of age, and will soon be an assistant manager at a Sally's Beauty Supply store nearby. She has also graduated from Image Designers, a local cosmetology school, as an esthetician. She still needs to take her state boards.

In the summer of 1991, while crossing a very busy street near our apartment, with my daughter, Elise in my baby pack, I was struck by a car and suffered a broken ankle which needed emergency reconstructive surgery, as well as a broken collar bone and a hairline crack up my shin. How lucky Elise and I were to be alive. After a lengthy wait, a settlement was made with the driver's insurance company, and I purchased the manufactured home where I currently reside with my husband Steve, Elise, and my critters; a dachshund mix, four cats, three of which are Elise's, I might ad, :) a guinea pig, and a couple of birds. One of the is a canary and the other a parakeet. They live in the same cage which is downright strange. I guess nobody told them that a canary and parakeet aren't supposed to be room mates or even like each other, but they insisted on sharing their lives together.

I currently work at a call center since getting laid off from another in 2008 where I had been for 9 years. This center specializes in fund-raising. Though the pay isn't good, and we've had quite a battle with the software being used, it's rewarding. I've missed a lot of work due to my adaptive software not working hand in hand with the company's. My husband, Steve owns a CNC routing business near downtown Portland.


  1. My name is chelsea stark i'm a Visually Impaired photographer. I enjoyed your blog. And like to invite you to post on my blog. I have created a blog called Blind all around the world.
    This blog is a group of blind or visually impaired people.
    Who want to share about their life experiences as a blind or visually impaired person. We would like to inspire more blind and visually impaired people to talk about their lives and their experiences. If anyone would like to be a part of this blog. Please send me a message using the contact form on the blog.
    Thank you Chelsea
    E_Mail me at

  2. Hi Carlene, I think your blog is great, it was very eye opening to read about what you do in your life. I was very surprised to see that you are almost blind. I don't know if you have heard about it, but there is a great new blind goggles that will help you, or any other blind person, to read text. You should check them out: