Friday, August 16, 2013

What a Year Already!

Well I intended to post more regularly but real life has a way of changing your direction at the most unexpected times.

Not long after Christmas 2012, my middle brother was placed in hospice care.  We lost Tommy this past March and it has been a life changing event for me. Something I really didn't expect, the way it affected me really has thrown me for a loop. I didn't really see it at first but I recently realized that I have sunk into a depression of sorts, how deeply is a relative thing, some might say it's bad and others might say it's not so bad, just grief.

Normally I am a bit of a tidy freak...not so much a neat freak as much as I like my home to be clean and tidy. "Lived in" is okay as long as it isn't a mess! Well, I took a good look around my home and realized that it IS a mess! I also noticed that I have become a hermit of sorts and have cut myself off from friends and the little family I have left. I have gained weight, started smoking more than normal and my sleep has gotten way out of whack! This just cannot continue! This isn't the person I used to be. I miss my brother even though he could be a royal pain but I know he would be cussing mad if he even thought he was the reason I have changed so much! Shoot, even my yards look awful and THAT is my biggest pet peeve...I love yard work even more than crochet!

Today starts my change back to the person I was before we lost Tommy. I am going to work on getting my crochet projects caught up and finished, post on at least a weekly basis and get my home and yards back in shape!

So please bear with me as I climb out of this silly hole I have dug for myself and rejoin life. If you don't see me posting, shoot me an email and fuss at me...kayellen2 at yahoo dot come (spelled out because I don't want spam/bots to catch it!)

You can find me on Facebook as well...

Also on Google+ ...

It's already after 5 AM and I haven't slept. I have my grandsons over for the night and better grab a nap before they wake up. Hopefully I can nap again later and make it about 10 PM tonight ...maybe this will help put me back on a good sleep schedule.

God's Brightest Blessings to you all! See you soon.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hello Again

Once again I have allowed time to slip away and failed to post since August. Sigh.. I have no excuse other than things slip my mind more often these days. I am going to try to remember to post more often...honest!

I am currently working on my grand children's Christmas gifts, which are slowly but surely progressing. I am really going to have to get busy if I hope to have them done by our family get together. In the works are 3 super heroes, a couple of magical beings, bears and babies, plus some long promised scarves to get done. So you see, blogging might have to take a second seat for now.

Oh, this weekend my son in law shot a 5 ft long Rattle Snake that was next to their porch. Their German Shepherd alerted on it. She is such a good dog.!


My daughter skinned and cleaned it, froze the meat and has plans on tanning the skin to make a coin purse for herself and her hubs a belt. Gotta love living in the country!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Boy oh boy!

I have grumbled and groaned (though "grown-ed" would work and an alternative to "Groaned" LOL), about my weight for months and months. I have asked Don to purchase exercise equipment I **think** I will use, then don't, bought a peddler that I use off and on and have growled to myself about how i wish I were close to a gym. So what do I do... I buy some video's!  (Stop laughing)... these actually look like something I will do because there isn't any Jumping or high impact stuff to kill myself with or torture my legs. It's simply walking, stretching. ...shhhhhh stop giggling!!

I used to be pretty dang active, especially 5 years ago when I worked with elementary kids in the gym all day at school...since then... I have practiced the fine art of the butt and belly spread. Trying on clothes yesterday was depressing and deflating..though not where I need deflating!  Anyway.. we shall see how this work out,  works out. It should be here next week.

Also coming up for me is my long awaited trip to see my brother in Salem, MA., at the end of this month! I am so excited because it has been 18 years since I last saw him. A long time!  I have pictures to down load to CD, pictures to hunt for, for my brother, plus clothes to buy and a list to make and bags to pack.

Once I get home in September, I will have about 10 days to plan on what I am taking to our annual family reunion...this reunion is for my late husbands family that I have known and loved for 39 years. They are just as much a part of my family as any blood part has ever been!

After that, it's planning and cleaning for Thanksgiving a month later and then planning and cleaning for  Christmas a month after that. Then 4 days later is my hubs birthday and then 23 days later will be my birthday...Whew! That is busy for me, but it will be nice to have so much family time in a 4 month period!

I am on pins and needles wanting this to get started already! LOL

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Relax, Breathe

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let us down, probably will.
You'll have your heart broken and you'll break other's hearts. You'll fight with your best friend or maybe fall in love with them, and you will cry because time is flying by,  so take too many pictures, laugh too much, forgive freely and love like you've never been hurt.

Life comes with no guarantees, no time outs, no second chances. You just have to live life to the fullest, tell someone what they mean to you and tell someone off. Speak out, dance in the pouring rain, hold someones hand, comfort a friend, fall asleep watching the sun come up, stay up late, be a flirt and smile until your face hurts.

Don't be afraid to take chances or fall in love and most of all; Live in the moment because every second you spend angry or upset is a second of happiness you can never get back!

Author Unknown        

On another note... I received a not from Hannah's dad. Robert Irvine came through for her. It happened during her week of Chemo. He sent her a package.  
Hannah's dad wrote in his email:  

"Hannah got a package today from Robert Irvine..
It had a book, photo, t-shirt and apron..
Thank you so much !"

How awesome is that!  Chef Robert Irvine made a child smile and renewed my hopes for celebrities! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Someone posted this on Facebook today. What is your answer to the question?

When I read it, it brought to mind many thoughts. It reminded me of the life I have lived and what it was like to come from a childhood less than acceptable, teen years that were disjointed and unguided to an adulthood that was a jumble of moves, marriages and bad choices. Living through one lesson only to repeat it because I  simply didn't realize that was what I was doing....doing things the same way and thinking things would turn out differently....the accepted definition of crazy or insane. That was me.

Then I corrected that line of thought and really looked at my life and this is what I finally came to realize.

I've never seen but one road; it is usually the one with deep pits and huge hurdles and personal sacrifices; it's the one that taught me to survive and get beyond the hardest parts of my life. The parts that ONLY God helped me through. The one that even my own family could not see me, but distant cousins placed in my path were able to lend a helping hand at the roughest patches. I did survive that road and I am eternally thankful for it because it brought my children to their mates, gave them knowledge and survival skills that only a stumbling mother can give. For that...I am thankful!

I may have made bad choices as a mom. I may have chosen a rough road to carry my children down but I did it all with the best of intentions. With the thought of getting them raised with the best of my ability and with them knowing that I tried the best I could to give them a better life than I had. Yes I stumbled, I fell and I failed to reach a goal a time or two but we all made it through. Maybe a little rougher than I'd have wished us to be, but dog gone it all we made it!

My three grew into strong willed, strong minded, self supporting, productive adults. The kind that are sensitive to the elderly, weak and down trodden. Adults that know what it is like to not have things others have but are thankful for they do have. 

My three are are awesome kids who, despite a gypsy like childhood, became stable, hardworking, ethical adults. They are married with children or simply married. The ones that have children are raising them right, giving them true, educated and wise guidance. Teaching them from my and their own life experiences.

The one that isn't a parent is just as loving and caring to children, the elderly and will stand up and let their thoughts be known should someone attempt to inflect some injury or injustice to themselves or others.

As I said my three kids are awesome. Whatever I did to bring those attributes out in them, whether it was those rocky, bumpy pitted and hurdle filled roads I took them down, or maybe the people that entered their paths briefly or permanently, that helped shape them into the wonderful people they have become is beyond me. I am just thankful that despite it all THEY survived! 

THEY are who mattered most and who give me my every breath and beat of heart! Whether they ever know it or not, they gave me life even though I am their mother.

God granted me three precious, perfectly formed, healthy blessings. God helped me through my mistakes, through the hard times in life and helped me carry my Blessings to adulthood. God knows how many times our life could have changed for the worse but he slipped his hand in and deflected many an arrow. 

He gently swayed my steps to place us in a less dangerous place, took those who could and did hurt us out of our lives and then pushed me forward. I'm sure he was hoping I would find the right path each time he nudged me, I am just as sure that I made him shake his head, as any parent does when a child is learning to walk, stumbles or falls, but the fact that he NEVER gave up on me,  that he continued to protect my children from my bad choices and missteps in life tells me he knew what he was doing. Otherwise I might not have made it this far with all three of my kids or my own life.

I am so thankful that the bumpy, pit filled road did not defeat me and that I am here where I should be. A wife, a mom and a very happy Grandma! 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Today I wanted to share with you my favorite comfort foods.I happen to love cabbage seasoned with bacon and one day I thought it might taste good with some Kielbasa. It DID!

After a few dishes of this I thought it might taste even better with tomatoes and onions....Yep it did. Then the winter holidays came. We had our annual Christmas get together with all the trimmings. As is always the case we had leftover 7UP and Sprite (the kids drink),

For New Years Eve I always make myself a pot of cabbage so I began cooking my newest Cabbage recipe that I had been tweeking over the past year. I noticed that there was about 2 cups of 7up left that had gone flat so I though..hmmm wonder what it taste like if I added the 7UP...Oh Yummy! It tasted pretty darn good. It has become my favorite Go-To cabbage dish when I am cooking for myself. (Hubby doesn't like cabbage unless it is raw and in slaw form, silly man!)

This is now something I save for a rainy day or a soothing dish when life is out of kilter and of course for New Years Luck! It is easy to make, the ingredients are easy on the budget and it's healthy...or at least mostly so. I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to tweek it to your liking and Please, if you do tweek it..leave me a message..I would love to try out your additions!

Kayellen's Homemade Cabbage and Kielbasa 


1 Tall sided fry pan or a dutch oven
A few Paper towels or a cooling rack and one paper towel
One zip lock baggie
1/2 - 1 head of Cabbage
1 large sweet onion
1 package of Kielbasa (skinless) sliced in rounds and quartered
2 large ripe Tomatoes ( par boiled and skinned) then quartered and halved
6 slices hickory smoked bacon (chop 3 slices into bite size pieces)
2 Dashes of 7UP or Sprite (Optional)
4 cups or so of Water
Season to taste with Salt and Pepper (though the bacon should have plenty salt)


Wedge, Core and Clean cabbage,  then rough chop for bite size pieces, place in colander and set aside.
Cut tomatoes, set aside
Clean and Cut onion in half and then small wedges
In a tall sided pan, slowly  Fry 3 slices of bacon crisp using medium low heat, place on paper towels and pat tops to remove excess fat, let cool, place in baggie and crush (with hand or rolling pin) for a garnish;  open baggie to keep from building up moisture, set aside. Drain and strain remaining bacon fat from pan (reserve strained fat for seasoning your cast iron.) DO NOT clean pan.

In same pan, slowly sweat onions until slightly tender yet not fully cooked. Add your Kielbassa and lightly brown each side. After onion and Kielbasa is cooked, add one dash of sodapop to deglaze the pan. Add remaining chopped bacon. Add chopped Cabbage and just enough water to cover cabage. Add tomatoes and season lightly. Bring to a boil then lower heat to a soft boil. 

Cook for about 10 minutes,  the cabbage should be slightly wilted, stir gently.

Give it another 10 minutes and taste, season, taste and season agian if needed. Lower heat to a simmer.
At this point you can cover the pan/dutch oven so that the liquid remains and serve as a soup dish or leave uncovered and allow liquid to reduce for a less soupy dish.

Once cabbage is tender, remove from heat, taste, season and taste again;  add the last dash of soda pop for a mildly sweet flavor.

Pour into a pretty serving bowl, place on  your table with a small bowl of your cooked bacon bits to use as a yummy garnish.

Serve with fresh bread, rolls, cracker or what ever you little heart desires. I usually eat it as is.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Crochet and Remembrance

God Rest Andy Griffith
Today we read about the death of one of  Hollywood's greats. The loss of Andy Griffith is a sad note in Hollywood history.  . His story is so much more news worthy than the Tom Cruise crap or any other celeb in the news. 

Andy Griffith was a true Hero to many children growing up in my generation, he was someone to be looked up to. Someone whose life was lived with self respect and honor. You never heard ugly rumors about him like you hear about today's generation of actors. 

The mold was was broke after his generation graced this earth. Gone are the days of true chivalry, integrity, the respect men had when speaking in front of women or standing up and accepting their duties as men, fathers and role models. 

Rest in Peace Sheriff Andy!

Crochet Time

This is the pattern I have been working on called, Prairie Star. It has that age old hand patchwork look that I love so much.

Prairie Star Afghan 

So far this is what I have gotten done, 

This is an Entrelac Afghan that looks similar to this in design but not color.

Entrelac Afghan 

This is what my version of the afghan looks like so far, 

Ever since I was a child I have loved all things hand made. Especially quilts. There is something inherently comforting and homey about snuggling under a handmade quilt in the winter time. It brings back many sweet memories of my grandmother and moms. Moms = my natural mother and my grandmas cousin who was my foster mom for a few years and whom I looked on as my mom for the rest of my life. They are all gone now but their memories remain.