Wednesday, November 26, 2008


for little guys...

for big guys...
for my Buddy...
for friends...
for little girls...
for a place to sleep at night...
for kids that play together...
for cousins...
for old dogs...

and yes, even new ones...

Monday, November 24, 2008


I reconnected with an old friend today! Yay! I saw her son was on Face book so I sent him a message asking if, indeed, he was her son. He answered back and then I noticed that his mom requested that I be her friend! There were a lot of women with her name, so I wasn't sure who was who when I did the search.

I knew this woman when I lived in Wisconsin with my first husband. She is originally from Paris and her husband is from the south of France. Anyway, she would have these wonderful dinner parties and we would have the best time. They moved to Prague and then to Dubai. I did visit her once in Prague. I spent a week with her. It was between marriages and I took a friend with me to Prague. He hated traveling so it was a good thing we went together. We found out we were not for each other. I mean, I would almost rather travel than do anything else. Then they moved from Prague to Dubai one summer. It was the summer Kendall was 11 months old and my in-laws were taking us to France. I knew that Sylvie visited France every summer so I called her in Prague to see if we could set up a rendezvous in France. Yes, they would be vacationing in the French Alps for a couple of weeks. So, at the end of my trip with my husband's family, Kendall and I stayed a few extra days. My in-laws put me on a train in Paris and I took a 3 hr ride to Geneva, Switzerland. I sat by a woman who spoke no English and I couldn't speak French. I relied on the kindness of strangers to help me with the stroller, luggage, etc. I was so naive when I planned this trip to see Sylvie and her family. I had no idea how hard it was to travel by train with an infant. So, Sylvie and her daughter met me at the train station in Geneva and we drove an hour to the Savoie Region. They had rented a chalet. It was magical being there and seeing Sylvie and her family again. I was there for Bastille day. Three days later, I headed back to the train station and on to Paris. My in-laws met me at the station and we stayed in the Hotel Luxembourg. I flew back to the U. S. the next day.

I am a people person. I feel like I can never have too many friends. And then there are those people I never want to lose touch with. And when I do lose contact, I feel sad. I thought I had lost contact with Sylvie forever.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fun Weekend

I love having house guests. And to go to the football game, too, made this weekend a nice one. Pete's old friends from school (he's known one from even high school) made the trip to Happy Valley this weekend. Chris and Anh Schluep and Mike Skoglund arrived Saturday afternoon. The traffic was heavy coming into town so they arrived later than they had planned. We did make it to kick-off, however.
It was snowing at the beginning of the game. Above, they are using leaf blowers to move the snow during a time out. This is something that one must only see in the north! HA!

It was so cold! The lady next to me gave me some hand/toe warmers. I stuck them in my shoes because my toes were numb! We had great seats--on the 45 yard line.

This picture was taken right after Penn State won . They are Big 10 champs. I think I am still thawing!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Indiana Connor and the Quest for Candy

I have some clever friends. One of them is fairly techy. Her kids were bored one day so she decided to make a video. I thought it was so funny and she said I could share it here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday. She is 70! She doesn't see 70 to me (whatever a seventy year old is supposed to be like). She loves Razorback sports, especially basketball. I can remember when she turned 40. She didn't like that birthday but I think she has been OK with all the other big ones.

My mom is one of the wisest women I know. I have learned a lot from her example and I'm blessed to have her. She made sacrifice after sacrifice for us kids growing up so that we never felt like we were missing out. If she was having a bad day, I never knew it. She was brave and strong during her time with breast cancer and became stronger for it.

When I was a kid, she was the softy and we walked all over her. I think I only saw her get mad a handful of times. I wish I could be more like that. I'm not too old to try to be more like my mother. I know that to this day, whatever I need, if she can do it, she will without complaint. Happy birthday, mom! I love you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The picture of health? Not really...

This was going to be my year. I was going to get in shape and get the house in order since one kid is in school and the other is in preschool 3 mornings a week. Pretty presumptuous, huh? Yep, I'm guilty, but not of presuming these last few months were going to be my way. I'm guilty of taking my health for granted.

I've been through a divorce. That sucks. But, dealing with a medical problem sucks worse. Until last August, I was doing everything my way and not thinking of eating right, exercising, etc. And then, sickness struck. Originally, it was my gall bladder. A stone passed, supposedly, but I will never know for sure. What I do know is after my blood tests came back with elevated liver enzymes, my mind started questioning what was going on. So, what does a haus frau do all day when she has symptoms and a little information? Yes, you guessed it--you "google it". And when your search words are elevated liver enzymes, abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, the thing that keeps popping up is Hepatitis C. I was shocked. Who, me? I do work in health care and with blood. I was a phlebotomist years ago in college and had a needle stick. But, really?

Days later I get a letter from my family practice doctor that says to come in and talk about my blood test. YOU BETTER BELIEVE I WILL. I went in and we started talking. He thought I had a virus and blah, blah, blah. I had to ask. "When I google all of this, chronic hepatitis C keeps coming up. Could it be that?" His reply, "You just don't fit, but I will order the blood test."

The other thing I'm guilty of? Prejudice. In health care, there is prejudice with certain diseases. At least there was for me and evidently, for my family practice doctor. He said I didn't fit because the majority of Hepatitis C infected people in the U.S. are IV drug users. The other common ways of getting it are from a blood transfusion before 1991 and occupational exposure.

So, the past few weeks I've had some tests done and visits with a GI doctor. I even went to Boston to see an expert. There is good news to all of this. I have a genotype that is not common in the US and it has an 80% chance of responding to treatment. And if all goes well, I should only have to do it for 6 months. Pills in the AM and the PM and a shot once a week. The side effects might be really yucky for a while, but in the end, it should be worth it. I most likely will start treatment the end of December/early January.

Why did I spill my guts about this? I've never been good at having a poker face and even in blogging, I've found that if there is something really weighing on my mind, it eventually has to come out. I can't explain it, I'm just that way.

Some other good things about all of this? I've found out that I have a lot more friends than I ever realized. I've had so many friends offer to help in any way they can. I am amazed and humbled. I am so blessed.

I made the mistake the other day of saying things happen for a reason. What I should have said is... And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Winter has arrived in Happy Valley. I think today the highs were in the upper 20s F or maybe low 30s. But, winter arrived a few days ago for me when I started sleeping with my socks on! And wouldn't you know it, but I waited until yesterday to take some sweaters into the dry cleaners. I am such a procrastinator.

And today I got my 45 yard line tickets for the Penn St./Michigan St. game. Woo hoo! It will be a chilly one--the forecast is for snow and in the 30s. Oh well. I'm sure being smooshed (not sure how to spell that) in there with 110,000 of my closest friends will keep me warm! Some of Pete's friends are coming for the game, too. I love having company.

Well, I'm off to read some more of my new book. So far, it's great!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kendall lost her first tooth Friday night! The tooth fairy came, as well. I didn't feel old when she went to kindergarten, but for some reason, losing her first tooth---Now, that makes me feel old!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Free falling...

Have you ever experienced Free fall? It was the summer of 1999 for me. I was dating a guy after my marriage was over. He and some friends wanted to go sky diving. I tagged along. Four of the guys did the static line. I opted for the tandem jump. I wanted to experience the free fall. I jumped from 11,000 feet and experienced about 30 seconds of falling to the earth. It was without a doubt, the most exhilarating thing I've experienced. The wind rushing past your ears is something I won't soon forget. To feel like I was jumping from the safe, known entity of an airplane into a world that can be frightening at times. I remember hearing this song and thinking "wow, I can relate." I had been in an awful marriage and finally was free. I was vulnerable, but free. I heard this song today on the radio and it still makes me think of how far I've come.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Eat, Pray , Love...

I just finished Eat, Pray, Love. I really liked it and was captivated until the very end.

Now, any suggestions for another fast read? I don't want a heavy read right now with the holidays coming up.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

about me...

I got this meme from Auburn Kat.

Where is your mobile phone? In my purse in the kitchen.
Where is your significant other? Dropping Kendall off at school and then out in the woods (It's a federal holiday and he is off work).
Your hair color? brown with some gray.
Your mother? In Harrison, Arkansas
Your father? In southern Arkansas deer hunting
One favorite thing? chocolate covered Brazil nuts
Your dream last night? I don't remember
Your dream goal? to be out of debt!
The room you're in? kitchen
Your hobby? cooking
Your fear? not being able to take care of myself as I age
Where do you want to be in six years? On a round the world trip!
Where were you last night? On the interstate driving back from Boston
What you're not? eloquent
One of your wish list items? cookbook holder
Where you grew up? Fayetteville, Arkansas (Go Hogs!)
The last thing you did? filled my coffee cup
What are you wearing? PJs
Your TV? Curious George
Your pets? Buddy, the cat. Cody, the black lab. Lilly, the tyrant (oops, I meant puppy).
Your computer? from best buy. windows, blah blah blah
Your mood? discombobulated
Missing someone? nah
Your car? Toyota corolla
Something you're not wearing? earrings
Favorite drink? coffee, coke zero
Your summer? not long enough
Love someone? of course
Your favorite color? green (after all, my name is Kelly)
When was the last time you laughed? this morning
When was the last time you cried? I got teary eyed last week, but a real cry, it's been a while

Friday, November 07, 2008

Random and disjointed.....ha ha.

This is totally random today. Heck, I really have no idea why I'm blogging. But here is a picture of the kiddo's from the other day. Pete was burning some stuff and the kids were hanging out with him.

It's Friday and I'm so glad. I usually sleep in on Saturdays (wow! 8am), but tomorrow we are driving up to Boston. It seems I've been thrown some curves regarding my health and I have an appointment with a doctor up there on Monday. We'll hang out with Pete's parents for the weekend.

And if you have a Williams-Sonoma near you, walk, no run to it and buy this Maple Pecan spread. I bought this a few weeks ago in Harrisburg when I drove my mom to the airport. It is so yummy on toast.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A new day.

The first time I ever realized that the "N" word was bad was in second grade. I had moved from an all white town to a college town. My family was originally from rural, South Arkansas but had been living in Northern Arkansas for a few years. I was the only one born in that part of Arkansas. And I would be glossing over things if I didn't mention that my family (extended and some close) were bigots. I'm not proud of this fact, but that's what it is, a fact.

I was new to this school and was out on the playground with my friends. We were doing Eeny many meeny moe when I inserted the "N" word and everyone gasped. I stopped and innocently asked, "what?" "You said ______." I realized that day that it was a bad word. When I saw my parents after school, I
brought up my new found enlightenment. It didn't go over well for a 7 year old to be correcting her dad. I think that was the beginning of mine and my dad's strained relationship. And I know that we can't pick our parents, nor would I pick anyone different, but we can make decisions for ourselves. I do love my parents and am thankful for all the good things they have taught me in my life. I'm sure no one has perfect parents and I'm proof that it is difficult to always be the best parent.

In 7th grade English class I met a new friend. Her name was Tiffany and she was Black. We sat by each other and really enjoyed each other's company. One day the teacher gave all the students "money". She had written words on the chalk board like wealthiest person, smartest person, tallest, strongest, etc. She had written all kinds of values on the board and we were to bid for them. The one I bought was "to rid the world of prejudice." I remember Tiffany saying to me,"I'm glad you bought that one." Yes, Tiffany, I wish I could really buy it to this day some 27 years later. I've struggled with the notion that someone is better than someone else simply because of color.

I voted for Obama. I am a registered Republican but I like the party of years ago. The party of Lincoln, our greatest president. I am for responsible government but a government that treats everyone like the valuable person they are. I am for peace, another reason I voted for Obama. I like McCain but I feel like we would have continued to waste lives and money in Iraq longer if he had been elected. I feel like those innocent Iraqi lives are valuable, too.

It did not matter to me that Obama is Black or mixed-race. He just seemed like the right person. But for those people who have dealt with prejudice because of their color, I'm happy for you this day. I'm happy for my children, too. I hope this is a new day for us all--A day to rid the world of prejudice.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Pumpkin roll dessert....

The public schools were out today for an in service which meant Kendall and I hung out together until Clayton got out of preschool. We then met the play group at the bowling alley. The bowling alley lost partial power so we left and went out for ice cream. It was sort of a crazy day but ended nicely for me with a scoop of chocolate almond ice cream on a sugar cone.

I'm hosting play group tomorrow (yikes! I have got to clean this house!), but did manage to make a new dessert that I've been looking for an excuse so I could make it.

Pictured above is the cake. It is really thin and I am spreading cream cheese frosting on it. Below is the finished dessert. It is called a pumpkin roll. I can't wait to taste it. I don't know why, but this year I have a hankering for pumpkin flavored desserts.

I found this dessert in my Southern Living cook book. There are pecans in the batter and then you roll it up as soon as it comes out of the oven. The white stuff is powered sugar.

I have another picture from this evening:

I can only imagine what is going through each animal's head.
Lilly: Dang door.
Buddy: Thank goodness for that door.