Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Monday, December 31, 2007


Dave gave me a GPS for Christmas. It's really actually very cool. If I go to the GPS' website, I can download Mr. T - so he can tell me I'd be a fool not to go left in 500 feet. I can also download Gary Busey... Who tells me that if I get bored, I should honk at geese. Thanks, Gary Busey.

Ok. So I don't know too much about GPS systems - except that two of my co-workers have one. They say they're not actually great for directions- but are life savers for when you get lost and need to get back to a route you recognize. Their story: Both went to New England (from PA) in separate cars. Both left New England at the same time. One followed MapQuest directions home. The other decided to use the GPS... The one using MapQuest got home 2.5 hours earler than the other - because the latter's GPS guided the car through Brooklyn during rush hour.

Let that be a lesson to you.

Ok. So I haven't actually gone anywhere lately where I've needed the service of a GPS, but I've been playing with it - and some funny things have happened. First, I programmed it to guide me to work. Now, of course, I've been at my job for several years, so I know how to get there quickly and painlessly. The GPS took me a different route - and a pretty crazy one at that... through center city... turning, twisting, sauntering through the city as if I had all the time in the world... It's not even a route I like - but the GPS was very polite about the whole thing - "Turn right in 500 yards. Then. Make the second left." It did reach it's intended destination... but that's not the weird thing about it.

For some reason, because it's hooked up to a satellite, and because it's speaking in a pleasant voice - I feel like it knows other things - things besides routes, right turns, and where Le Cirq is located... I feel like it's watching me. I feel like it's someday going to tell me that I'm not wearing my seatbelt - or I should have used my turn signal... Or that I shouldn't be on the cell unless I pull over... Or I should be on my cell calling my mother...

It's a strange thing I do - anthropomorphizing global positioning systems... But seriously - if it knows there's 500 yards between where I am and the exit I need to take off of route 78, why wouldn't it know other things?

I am so paranoid right now...


Happy New Year Everyone! And remember! You're never alone - because some GPS can always find you - and help you find a circuitous route home.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Puppies!

My sister's boyfriend's Dog had puppies. Believe it or not, these little critters, despite looking like baby panda bears, will be Shiz Tzu's.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Martha: Out Voted

Every year, I get this picture in my head of what this year's perfect Christmas tree should look like. Every time I stroll past a cover of Martha Stewart Living Magazine, I get little bursts of inspiration: Color scheme, things to do with ribbon, florals - whatever. Last year, I even went so far as to purchase an on sale lot of MarthaStewart glittery Christmas balls in purple, hot pink, silver, and pewter:I was going to do a royal purple tree - with purple roses (live...), purple ribbons, purple stemmy-things and the glitter balls...
However, the same thing happens to me as happens every year. I get these great ideas, but then - when I retrieve my Christmas decorations from the attic, I get all holiday-mushy. In those boxes are a collection of precious family memories - handmade ornaments, gifts, things that remind me of good friends - and all the stuff that gets Martha out voted time and time again (this year, I almost went out and bought all orange and red ornaments to match my new dining room... I'm not gonna do it. See for yourself:
This was carved by my father - I have a lot of these - but you get the idea. I can't not hang them on a tree!
This one was painted by my mother during my "I love snowmen" phase (I still love Snowmen - but as this is the ultimate snowman, I don't feel the need to add to the collection any longer):
And speaking of ultimate Snowmen, this is the last craft project Jason and I ever did together. When I unwrapped him today, well - it was a nice moment:
The next few were made by my grandmother - These are the things that remind me of the beautiful side of one cranky and tough-minded woman:
This one is especially fun to me -as Grandma couldn't find any extra ribbon to tie the hanger on with - so she used a rubber band... I can't get myself to fix it.
My other grandmother used to hang this on her tree every year... Wait, let me rephrase that. This ornament hung on the tree that she kept decorated and just covered up and stored in the basement from January through the end of November:
My favorite part of the tree is the star. My father made me this after I complained that he gave my family's traditional Christmas tree star to my sister (proving once again, that I wasn't his favorite... sigh) - I like this one just as much, if not more:
Then, there are the series of Christmas tree ornaments that just make me laugh. This one is from my mother - and is part of a larger series of "Weird Things People Who Work For Urologists Receive." One of the drug reps gave her this - and she gave it to me, because I would be the only one to ever really appreciate it:
This one I originally bought for my friend, Karen. I liked it so much I had to go out and buy another - so I could keep one of them:
This is another one I purchased - although I didn't mean to... A friend got this for me as a gift - and the moment I opened it, I dropped it and shattered it... So I ran out and bought a replacement. I have such guilt!
This one came from Germany, brought to me by my friend Mark. When you do as it says - where it says (push me), it yodels. This was the first year that Dave saw this... He just laughed and laughed:
Then there's the peace sign, painted by my friend Donna. It's from a roof slate from the chapel of the camp we used to work at:
Then there are the armadillos - This one is my favorite because it's just so goofy:
Then there are a few from my childhood - Which means it's getting old...
Here's another one my Dad made. It's so cute - and one of the first things he did when he learned how to carve:
My mom painted this one...
I have two of these - my aunt made them, and they're just so cool.
And - just to seal the deal that I'm not doing a Martha Stewart tree, I bought two new ornaments this year - This one marks Dave's and my first Christmas in our house. I'm not really one for keepsake ornaments, but what's a more appropriate gift for a honey-bunny?
This one is just plain pretty -

Do you see why Martha can't beat my tree?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Not Going Gently into That Good Night...

It's that time of year again. I don't mean to sound flip, but enough with the dead people already. December 9 marks my second year without Jason - I miss his little giggle - how he covered his mouth, made wide eyes, and shook his shoulders...

My niece is having her bad year this year. She lost her grandfather (my sister-in-law's father), and two of her friends were killed in two separate car-related accidents. One was driving, the other was hit and while standing on the corner, waiting for a school bus. The latter was her dance partner in her choral group.

I talked to her in the middle of the "anger" stage in greivng. "Kelly, why can't some stupid kid die? This one was going somewhere with his life!"

I didn't want to be callous, but the truth is - we don't get to pick. To everything there is a season... and all that. I felt awful telling her that... because it's a truth that just too hard to bear - a reminder that we're all powerless over the inevitable... that fairness and justice are concepts we don't understand - and that - life is sometimes just unbearable and there's nothing we can do...

Nothing that is, except be thankful we got to know the people for the time we had them.

I guess I'm feeling this way because concurrently, two of my dearest friends flew in from Kansas last week. My friend's father, Myron died at age 72. I didn't know him well, but because John and his family are so close, it was a sad, sad time for me. I kind of lost it at the funeral... Myron was a Korean and Vietnam Vet. The local vets came in droves. At one point, they surrounded the casket, (In formation) and saluted. It was so moving. During the service, John and his sister spoke - a feat braver than I can imagine - of their dad... John told a stories of how his father had gone to Korea at age 17... how he never spoke of it until very late in life - when he went to local colleges and high schools to talk about the life of a soldier:

"He said they always asked him if he'd ever shot anyone. His answer was always, 'I'm here, aren't I?'"

Then there was the other side of Myron - the husband. He'd known his wife early in life as the girl next door. They lived in adjoining row homes, and their bedrooms were separated by a wall. He claims he'd been sleeping with his wife for years before they ever married. How sweet is that?

Then, when John described for the crowd gathered his "birds and bees" talk: "I was fifteen years old. My father walked into the kitchen and asked, "Do you drink?" (No, answered John.) "Do you do drugs?" (No, answered John) "Do you like girls?" (Yes, answered John.) "Ok then." And with that, Myron walked out of the kitchen.

Last week, two people walked out of the lives of people I care deeply about - and my words to my niece are haunting me... "We just don't get to pick." They're too true to be comforting...

People who leave us just dig a hole in our hearts - The holes never really fill up - we just grow accustomed to them in our own ways.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Feeling Like I've Missed You All

...For not writing sooner, but things have been incredibly hectic. I guess I could start at Thanksgiving, where I cooked for 13 people... It was fun to have the troops all come to my house. Preparations - since I never had the space to cook for 13 before - were a little hectic, with different kinds of results...

Like this one: I sent Dave out for two items: A tablecloth and paper plates (I just don't have matching plates for 13, so I figured Chinet would be Oh-so-elegant... ) He came back... with red and blue plastic plates with compartments.

"Look hon! Compartments!" said Dave.

"Um. Honey. That's really not Thanksgivingy, but maybe..."

"You don't like them?"

"For picnics, they'd be great - but Thanksgiving?"

"Oh. I like 'em. They have compartments."


"Look at my tablecloth. It's white with shiny designs!"

I don't need to tell you that I didn't really care - but let the record show that the shiny designs were Poinsettias... Dave had purchased a Christmas Tablecloth.

"It's lovely." I just let it go. If I didn't tell anyone, no one would notice... So the only person I told was my mother... Which meant one thing. My mom is kind of the hub of family information - so maybe my choice wasn't too wise.. because...

My sister came bursting into the house exclaiming, "Lemme see the poinsettia tablecloth!" She runs to the table. "Yep. Poinsettias!" My sister is not known for her cooth. This is the same sister, who during my wedding toast, decided to tell my and Dave's entire family that I didn't really like him romantically when we first met, so what can I expect?

"Yes, Gwennie, poinsettias. Can you help me in the kitchen a sec?"

You have to cut her a break - she did make a lovely salad with roast vegetables.

I started Christmas shopping. I think I actually ordered the same set of presents twice... so I'll have to sort that out later.

I like the whole giving presents thing - so this time of year is one of my favorites... You know - when Thanksgiving is over and it's actually OK to hear Christmas songs... And it snowed this weekend. My town (the 87th best place to live
according to Forbes - or Money Magazine) looked lovely and white for about four hours...

I'm excited about hearing Christmas music... I even met Santa Claus yesterday at the outdoor lifestyle mall. It was the coldest dampest blustery-est day this year... He and his three teenage assistants stood shivering by the outdoor gas fireplace, not at all surprised that no parent would bring their kids out in such crazy bad weather - not even to sit in Santa's lap.

I kind of wish I could have found some hand warmers - like the ones they sell in fishing stores... It would have been nice to give Santa a little gift to warm his heart - and fingertips.

In other blustery news, Today, my recycling bin blew down the street and is seriously M.I.A... The second time in recorded history that I've lost a recycling bin.

But deck the halls anyway! And speaking of which, my father brought over a wreath he made me... It's got pine and holly, but no berries or bows. "You have berries in your back yard, so you can do that - and you're on your own for the bow. I'm fresh out."

So I guess I'll have to deck the wreath too!