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7.16.2015

Throwback Thursday - Shelling Peas


Recently I was talking with Sarah about things I remember when I was her age.

One thing that stands out VERY clearly is shelling peas. Sometimes green peas, sometimes black-eyed peas, sometimes purple-hull peas, but definitely sitting in the dining room, a basket or bushel of peas in front of us while we shelled peas.

I remember doing it at home with my mom and brother, when it was too hot outside to go play and we'd sit and watch television, one of our five or six channels. Sometimes we shelled peas at my grandparent's house, either inside or on the back porch where my Grandpa's chair always was.

Sometimes we shucked corn. Sometimes we shelled peas, but the peas are what I remember most, and it's a happy memory.

It kind of makes me want to find a farmer's market, get my hands on a bushel, and teach Sarah how to shell peas. (Then I remember I don't have freezer space and come back to reality.)

But it's funny how the simple things that don't feel like much when they're happening wind up being the things that stick with you on a hot July afternoon, when you've moved a few hundred miles away and find yourself nostalgic for your childhood.

7.10.2015

Five on Friday - Podcast Edition








1. Around the Table Podcast 
      Jaycee and Maggie talk about things that make me laugh, make me think, and make me wish we were sitting together having a conversation. The tone is warm and welcoming, funny and honest, and just makes me feel better when the episode is over, even when it's a tougher topic.

2. The Popcast, aka, Knox and Jamie
     Full disclosure - Jamie and I were on the academic team together in school, so I've been privy to how funny she is for a long time. Well, not THAT long, let's be clear, but long enough. Even when I find myself on Team Knox (introverts have to stick together, yo!) It's just fun and light, and even when they deep dive, it's entirely appropriate. Caveat - do NOT listen to the Hanksgiving episode. Just trust me, and know that you owe me a cup of coffee for saving you.

3. Beyond the To-Do List 
     Erik has a great rotation of guests covering all sorts of topics, and while I'm still fairly new to following this one, I look forward to new episodes and am catching up on old ones. The guests and their individual topics are varied, but I always learn something, and it's presented in a way that doesn't leave you feeling like you've been lectured on what you're doing wrong, but inspired to take away something positive from each episode.

4. Open Paddock
     I would be completely remiss in my wifely duties if I didn't mention Open Paddock. My brother started out with them several years ago, and Open Paddock is how he got to fulfill his dream of attending the Indianapolis 500 with a press pass. I'll be forever grateful to them for that. My husband John is now a regular contributor, and recently edited his first episode. If you're into racing, check them out.

5. Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!
     Looking for a hilarious hour of... well you never quite know what you're going to get when you listen, but you can rest assured you will laugh. Peter Sagal is one of my favorite hosts, and I'm growing fonder of Legendary Anchor Man Bill Kurtis, despite my continued fondness for Scorekeeper Emeritus Carl Kassell. No surprise, my favorite portion is "Lightning Fill in the Blank."

6.30.2015

Courting Controversy

Oh no, she's going to talk about same-sex marriage... nope.

Wait, then she's going to talk about the Confederate flag... nope.

Economic upheaval in Greece? Lucky you... nope.

Yesterday the internet saw the completely epic fail that was the #AskELJames tag on Twitter.

Someone at Twitter HQ and on EL James' PR team decided a fabulous way to promote the next worst thing in "literature" was to create a hashtag - #AskELJames - and open up Twitter for all the amazing, contextually appropriate questions that would arise from fans of questionable fan-fiction masquerading as naughty novels for whoever the heck the target audience for EL James is.

At any rate, it imploded into a beautiful mess. Schadenfreude at its finest. People asked if she was waiting for Stephanie Meyer to answer the questions first so James would know what to write. People asked what she hated more, women or the English language. People asked why she blocked survivors of domestic abuse with genuine questions about the content of her books.

Naturally people also asked about completely unrelated things - when she thought a car park in the UK would be repaired, did she favor the Libs in this election, what were her thoughts on the unrest in the Ukraine, all of which went without a response. She did answer questions about the new Magic Mike movie, what her astrological sign was, and what part of writing her new book made her cry (spoiler alert: it was not realizing what she had done and crying tears of remorse.)

I know people love these books for some reason. I'll fully admit, I have not read much of any of them, but the excerpts don't make me feel like I'm missing anything. She is probably laughing all the way to the bank, when she's not rolling around in a Scrooge McDuck vault of money.

Until then, I'll leave my questionable reading to A Song of Ice and Fire. Nothing like a little bloodthirsty medieval-esque kingdom building to take your mind off things.

6.15.2015

Hope



Do you not know?

    Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

    the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

    and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary

    and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,

    and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the Lord

    will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

    they will run and not grow weary,

    they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

This is one of those passages that comes to my heart when I have one of "those" days - you know the ones. The unexpected news that can leave you nearly literally without speech.

I found myself today with a dear friend in my heart, just nearly completely without the words to even know where to start praying. I still am not entirely sure what to do, or how to help.

There is hope in the Lord. There is a place to renew our strength. Someone to walk with us who never gets tired, who never stumbles, who carries the load for us, and probably carries more of it for us than we'd care to admit, when we try to carry it all by ourselves.

And there is hope in friendship. In the old ones that seem to get taken for granted. The ones that feel as comfortable as your favorite old sweater. The new ones that are just tiny little bits of warmth, but that will grow into something familiar and loving and kind.

6.10.2015

Choices



What I'm learning, as I get a little older, is that we always have a choice. People like to tell themselves they don't have a choice in this or that matter, but the fact is, we always have a choice. There are difficult choices, painful choices, choices that involve no "good" outcome either way. However, it's our choices that make us.

Sometimes people won't understand the choices you make, and will assume you're allowing things to happen out of fear, or pressure, or even a bit of ignorance. It's okay. They don't live your life and they don't understand the logic behind your choices. Being able to explain is fine, just understand not everyone will get the why behind what you choose. 
But the most important thing I've found is that joy is something I have to choose as often as is possible. Not happiness. Happiness comes and goes. But joy is something deep down in your heart. Joy is what sustains me when I stop and think too long about certain losses, or situations, or start wondering why things have happened the way they have. 
That unshakeable joy that comes from faith and love and confidence in someone and something bigger than me, who holds me and the people I love in his hands, when I'm not always certain I can hold myself up. 



Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:2-5

6.09.2015

"Insert Alliterative Word Here" Tuesday



Nothing really "goes" with Tuesday, except tacos. I've decided to make blogging a priority, if nothing else to help me with a creative outlet and encourage me to keep writing, even when I'm not sure what to say.

To that end, a completely random list of non-related items, in no particular order:

  • So, Game of Thrones had Stannis do THAT. I will not even type/speak it here, because it still pains me. The book purist in me believes Book Stannis would never, ever, in a million years do THAT, and I kind of want to go find the showrunners and ask what they were smoking when the decision was made. On the other hand... Danaerys the Dragonrider? Yes, please and thank you!
  • My new nightly "treat" is a spoon of Biscoff spread after Sarah goes to sleep. John is still working two part-time jobs, so the treats have to be carefully considered from both a budgetary and caloric standpoint. But it's kind of nice to have that little scoop of sweetness all to myself. 
  • I'm in the progress of switching from coffee to tea, and cutting back on the amount of caffeine I'm consuming each day, in addition to generally working on cutting back on portion size and making better choices. I can't say for certain how much is the other part and how much is all the green tea, but I honestly feel physically better now than I have in a while. Further updates to come when I have more than just a "feeling.
  • We're finally drying out here in Houston. While the San Jacinto River flooded, we didn't really have any issues where we are in Kingwood. But it's been nice enough to go to the pool after work a few times, and I'm hopeful the greenbelt trails will be dried out soon. I'm just a bit anxious about snakes right now, so Sarah and I haven't been for too many walks. Sub-point - things Kelly hates? Snakes and spiders. 

Here's to improved content as time goes on, and better writing. But you have to start somewhere. Thanks for sticking with me while I get where I'm going. 

6.08.2015

National Best Friends Day, aka I Still Haven't Found My Gulley Day



For those of you who may not have had the pleasure of reading the Big Mama blog, Melanie Shankle is a hilarious writer who I just love reading. (Now, if you are looking for high adventure, you may be disappointed, but I personally think trying to figure out dinner, and road trips can be pretty fun.)

Her latest book, Nobody's Cuter Than You, is a story of friendship, to put it simply. Real, honest, long-lasting friendships that endure longer than some marriages, longer than kids, longer and truer and more substantial than most any other relationship in your life.

Melanie's best friend is Gulley. She and Gulley became best friends in college, and it's lasted all these years. They are more like sisters than best friends, it seems, and have a bond that makes me envious.

I've had friends come and go throughout seasons and stages of my life. Some I regret allowing to slip away. Some I probably pushed away. Some are gone because of my own insecurity and fear of opening up to someone else.

I'm grateful for the friends I do have, and am working on strengthening those relationships. I may not have a Gulley, but I hope and pray one day I will. Until then, I'll work on being the best Kelly I can be, and looking for those true heart-sisters, and be open to the people God puts in my path.