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.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


My backyard, despite my non-gardening abilities, managed to do this:
AND this:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Moving toward Miracles

So my mother has been suffering a medical anomaly for the past few years. Her symptoms were really odd - and she experienced no pain - but really wanted to get the problem taken care of... Doctors were confounded... They had no idea what was wrong with her - and not a clue where to find out... One unsuccessful surgery later, she finally spent some time talking to a family friend who's a surgeon. He didn't know what to say to help her, but knew this great doctor who might.

So Mom and I trecked off to another state to visit a new doctor (My mother was unhappy about this - because she hates travelling... but I told her, "Mom - go to the miracle - don't wait for it to happen to you.") Seriously, it took us three hours or so to get there (and would have taken even LESS time had I not gotten lost.)

Anyway, this doctor was fan-freaking-tastic. He was so nice to my mother and asked her a thousand questions about her back, her surgery, and all that. He even at one point, tied her shoes for her after looking at her feet... in all, a completely polite, intelligent, and amazingly cool guy. He said he'd find it hard to believe that she wasn't in pain except he'd met one other person with the same symptoms... He couldn't explain why she was going through what she was going through, but committed himself to helping her find out... And he's been great.

My mother left feeling - if nothing else - that she at least wasn't crazy. I said I'd support her and drive her wherever she needed to go... She continued to explain to me that she didn't like traveling (oh, my aging Momma! If I didn't love her so much, I'd strangle her!)

Anyway, months have gone by - she's had tests upon tests - and finally she had an appointment with a doctor near where I live.

She called last night:

Kell's Mom: Guess what? I have a diagnosis!
Kell: What? You're kidding.

She then described the very rare condition the doctor believes she has. He showed her online - a photo of a gentleman who has this disorder - and showed her (gasp!) what happened to the guy after treatment... And oddly enough, the treatment is a relatively simple series of IV treatments... All that could possibly happen right near his office - right near my home (about an hour and a half away from where she lives).

K'sM: It would mean I'd have to travel to get treatments for five days. I told the doctor I'd have to think about it...
K: You could stay with me you know... We have a lot of room you know...
K'sM: Yeah. When I got home, I thought "What a dope I am! Why didn't I just set it up then?"

Yeah, Mom. Way to move toward that miracle... even if it's slowly!!!!!

She then mentioned that she'd have to schedule it carefully... Both of my sisters are graduating college next month - and she'd be darned if she was going to miss them... But at least she's starting to see things my way.

Yay, Mom!

Monday, April 14, 2008


I've been in the house for about a year now - and am only beginning to decorate. Let me know what you think of my new artwork...

Note Dave doing some light reading... tee hee.

Anyway, Dave really inspired this painting/collage. I had only thought so far as I wanted four canvases above the couch painted the same color as the walls (found the paint in the basement when we moved in) - I asked what he wanted and he said, "Paint an old mic on its side." So I did. Then I thought it would be cool to add feet. The only trouble is, I can't really paint, so I had Dave model for me - and photographed his feet and legs... Then, I printed the photos out on all different neutral-colored paper and cut and pasted the collage. I then painted some details in... and voila! I'm an artist!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Famous Eagle Scouts

This is the preamble to the following post. I need you to know who some famous Eagle Scouts are - so you'll understand my new-found enthusiasm for scouting...

From Hollywood: Steven Spielberg actually got interested in filmmaking while working on a merit badge. Also - James Stewart who reminds us that every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.
From Politics: Bill Bradley, former NBA player and New Jersey Senator, and Gerald Ford
From SPACE: James Lovell and Ellison Onizuka - Astronauts scouting the universe
From Literature: Wallace Stegner and Harrison Salisbury - both Pulitzer Prize winners
From Business: Ross Perot: Thrifty founder of EDS, entertaining Presidential Candidate - drove the same car for many, many years.
As Seen On TV: Walter Cronkite, John Tesh
From Medicine: Dr. DeVries, who transplanted the first Human Heart.
From Secret Files: William Sessions, Former FBI Director

Read on:

If I Had a Son

My Brother was an Eagle Scout. His son is a scout. My nephew is a scout. I know the scouts have been controversial in past years - but I'm about to give them a ringing endorsement... I freakin' LOVE the scouts. How could you NOT love an organization that is cranking out the future business leaders, boyfriends, co-workers, good friends, and maybe even husbands for your daughters who prescribe to the following code?


A Scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is part of his code of conduct. People can depend on him.
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.
A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
A Scout looks for the bright side of things. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for unforeseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals. He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

A few years ago, my brother asked me to go come and read stories to his scout troop. Before I read, I listened as my brother (who isn't always the KINDEST, FRIENDLIEST, or MOST COURTEOUS), delivered the following to his littles: "You know, boys, I was very very proud of you for the way you behaved at our dinner last week. You were all very POLITE and I was very pleased with you. However, I am very disappointed with you - because of the way you've all been treating (the assistant scout leader, a teen) - She has just as much authority as I do - and you are to treat her with the same respect.

That kind of blew my mind in the best kind of way- because this was not the way I view my cranky brother (sorry, bro, but the truth is the truth!) - It was actually really good for me to see him in this capacity - because it kind of reminded me of my relationship with him when we were young... about the time he got his Eagle Scout... (funny memories of that dinner include a lot of long-winded, well-meaning community leaders, and my sister - who unknowingly told my father a hot pepper was a cherry...)

Fast forward a million and a half years - I was invited to a friend's son's Eagle Dinner.... One. My friend Elizabeth and I sat at dinner with two 17-year old Eagle Scouts. And we actually had a great conversation with them. Previously, both Liz and I both worked with teens - and we were not accustomed to this kind of chatting with that age group - we were used to the following code of conduct: A TEEN IS:

MANIPULATIVE: Teens tell the truth that best suits them
LOYAL: Teens are loyal - but not necessarily to the right people at the right times... I know I'm not telling the whole story here - but that is another blog entirely.
NEED LOTS OF HELP: But deny this until they want someone to write their term paper.
FRIENDLY: Selectively, and not across the board.
COURTEOUS: Selectively - when they want something.
CHEERFUL: When receiving something.
NOT-SO-THRIFTY: I can honestly understand this - because when you don't make your own money, you have no idea of the VALUE of that money.
BRAVE: without understanding of consequences (This is proven - it's not me making a stuffy, 37-year old bitch... This is science. Ability to predict/consider consequences don't develop until early to mid twenties....)um. Cross-reference with the fine line between BRAVE and FOOLHARDY.
CLEAN: Mostly, not an issue -
REVERENT - I can't even comment on this...

Ok. Fast-forward to yesterday. I was doing a project that involved videotaping the Pinewood Derby. Picture about 200 people in an auditorium... Lines of kids having their Pine Wood Cars measured and weighed by older scouts... Fathers bragging about the cars "THEIR CHILDREN" designed (honestly - some of these cars took multiple engineering degrees to develop)... The thing is - all the boys - were active and excited - but none of them got out of hand. No one broke anything - they all listened to their leaders, they all paid attention, they interacted with the adults... It was kind of mind blowing.

So. Viva La Scouts... If for no other reason, when their human nature does kick in, we can always remind them of their code: Um, Jimmy? A scout is CHEERFUL. I'm going to have a long chat with my step-daughter this week - about what to look for in a man... Here's the list:

1) Must speak well of his parents
2) Must be straight
3) Must have career goals
4) And Please, please please... make sure he was a scout.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

It's All Coming Back To Me

Today, I had a situation where I needed some information... So I called a man I used to work with - at the company I used to work FOR. I'd long forgotten his extension, so I used the company phone directory... It instructed me to "Dial the first few letters of the person's first or last name."

The guy's name was Eric... So I "dialed" E-R-I-C.

The first choice the directory gave me was for another Eric in the company. It then said if that wasn't the person I was looking for, I should press the pound key. I did so.

THEN - it gave me the next prompt. A *very* familiar voice came on: Kelly (last name), Extension 340!!!!!

It was me. Even though I haven't been employed by this company for FIVE YEARS, I still had a mailbox...

Curiosity overcame me - and I hung up, and called back - just curious enough to wonder if I had any five year old voice mails... I mean - wouldn't you? I could have had a message from the President of Saudi Arabia... The late Charlton Heston - or even (gasp) - my old boss...

Unfortunately, I couldn't remember the password.... so my quest ended then and there... But how funny is that?