About the tagline
Mom developed Alzheimer’s Disease. It took away her language. She could vocalize, but it all came out as repetitive sounds. This seemed particularly cruel as she had been a photo journalism major and was well-spoken. One day as my father sat holding her hand or maybe he was combing her hair, mom pulled out a monologue of sorts, simple vocalizations with no detectable words, but she was quite serious. Finally, at the close of this monologue, she looked up at my dad and he heard her say quite clearly, “…and that’s all I’m going to say about that.” Those were the only clear words anyone had heard out of her in years. Those were the last clear words we ever heard from her. They were so perfect, so mom, this is one of the nice memories from that whole experience.

About the blogger

Self-portrait of shadow in hat

Lou Nell Gerard

Lou Nell Gerard’s Fixies Adrift won Gold in the Three Cheers and a Tiger Mystery Writing Contest and was published in the Toasted Cheese Literary Journal (June 2014). Other published work includes Wetlands’ Role in Water Quality Enhancement (City of Bellevue, WA Stream Team News Splash, 1989) and Secret Dreams, (Rider Magazine, Women’s Forum, 1986). Those along with this blog reflect her enthusiasm for motorcycles, road trips, movies, music, plays, paintings, books, environment, and cats.

She considers a large part of her education was on the road. Her family trips between Washington State and Texas were as much about the process and places as about getting there and those met along the way. Her father planned a different route there and back each year and as soon as he saw an interesting road, he’d say, “I wonder what’s down there?” and off they would go. She developed her love for landscape, geography, geology, and road trips and has never lost it. When the family moved to Alaska for three years, they drove up the Alcan Highway when it was still “a road less traveled” and largely unpaved. She remembers meeting an elderly gentleman who was one of the original construction crew for the highway. He had stories to tell. When they returned to Washington State, they drove down in the winter. A beautiful, if cold, contrast to their trip up, filled with ice fog and a Northern Lights show virtually every night. Another quite unexpected bit of her education was learning Greek dance while in a full-length leg cast at her dear friends’ Greek wedding.

Lou Nell worked in the software industry for 27 years commuting by motorcycle rain or shine. There her writing focused on feature specifications. Her passion in technology revolved around the creation of accessible software and ensuring programs produced output that was accessible. She was a presenter at ATIA, Assistive Technology Industry Association and at CSUN, California State University, Northridge Assistive Technology Conference two years running. She holds three patent awards, two of these reflect this passion for accessible software. Keyboard Accelerator (2005) improved keyboard accessibility and provided a means to easily reveal keyboard access keys by way of key tips; XML Patterns Language (2002) formed the framework for a tool which would check web content for accessibility; and Auto Thumbnail Gallery (2001) enables a user to easily and automatically create a photo gallery of thumbnail images on a Web page.

She received an Inspiring Girls Now In Technology Evolution Certificate of Appreciation for her participation in DigiGirlz Day.

Lou Nell is a graduate of the University of Washington (1989) with a BA in Geography with an emphasis on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Resource Management.

Born in Port Angeles, Washington, Lou Nell has lived in Anchorage, Alaska, in and around the Puget Sound region in Washington, the bulk of that time with her husband, Klee, in Kirkland, Washington for 40 years. Lou Nell and Klee are now settled in Ashland, Oregon with their three cats, her muses, Little Bear, Louie, and Valè.

Three kittens on cat tower

My Three Muses

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