Monday, October 31, 2011

Women Living With Arthritis

     Still resting up from my 4 day all girls vacation to Pigeon Forge TN.  Great time, stories to come.  For now, just want to let you know about a special section in a local magazine that came out today.  The magazine is called Today's Woman and the November issue features a section on women living with arthritis.    As one of those women, I am very proud to do my part in educating the public on just how hard it is to live with this disease.   Millions of people live with this disabling, debilitating disease and 60% are women.  There are over 100 forms of arthritis.

     If you would like to read the article here is the web address:
                          http://issuu.com/todayswoman.com/docs/todayswomannovember2011/38 

     There is also a video that goes along with the article.  The web address for it is: 
                             http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDiJxXQ-gTg&feature=share


    
     Please enjoy the article and help us spread the word that arthritis is not just something that everyone gets as they get old.     It is a real disease that strikes all ages, including children, and can be very serious.   Thanks for reading.

Until next time...that's my view.
Kat






Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Little of This and That

    Today I don't really have a story a even a single theme for my blog.  Just some things I want to get off my  chest.

     First, I would like to address all you bloggers who blog about your weight loss.  I so admire your openness and honesty.   My weight has always been a problem that I preferred to keep private.  I guess I've always been embarrassed to talk about it; as if it wasn't right out there in the open for everyone to see.  And it certainly isn't one of those problems that is going to go away if I ignore it.   Don't I wish!  Even though I recently lost 25 lbs, I still have a longggggggg way to go.  Unfortunately, a stressful 3 months has blown my mindset and determination right out the window.  I have to find a way to get it back.  All of you are my inspiration.  With your help, I plan to find my "want to" again and get back into the losing game.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, for sharing your trials and triumphs and for showing me that there is no shame in wanting to get healthier.  I love you all!


     Secondly, I wanted to let you know this will probably be my last blog for this week.   I am going to be a little busy and I'm not taking my laptop.    I am so excited!   Eleven women are going to the Smokey Mountains for a girls only vacation.  We are leaving all the hubbies and boyfriends at  home while we stay in a luxury cabin in the mountains....laughing and shopping, laughing and shopping...and did I mention shopping.  Can't wait.  Four whole days of no responsibilities.   Hopefully, I will come back with lots of funny stories and pictures to blog about next week.  And don't worry, this is Smokey Mountains....not Blood Mountain!


     Lastly, but not least, I want to wish all my friends, old and new, near and far....



Until next time....that's my view.

Kat

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Favorite Christmas That I Don't Remember

     Recently, someone asked me what was my favorite Christmas memory.  Believe it or not, my favorite is one that I really don't remember much about.  No, I'm not crazy (well, maybe a little, but that's beside the point).  Let me explain.

Picture it:  It's a cold Christmas Eve, 1957; pitch dark outside on a secluded farm, miles from the nearest neighbor.  Inside the cozy little farm house was the family - Momma, Poppa, Big Sister, Little Sister, Baby Sister and Grandad.    The family had recently moved in with Grandad following the death of Mamaw.  This would be their first Christmas in the country.

      Big Sister and Little Sister could hardly contain their excitement about Christmas.    They were busy hanging stockings and singing Jingle Bells when, suddenly, there was a loud knock at the door (There was no chimney).  Nearly jumping out of her skin, surprised by the unexpected noise, Little Sister exclaims "Who's that!", and runs toward Momma.  "Well, I don't know", says Momma with a silly grin on her face.  "Why don't you go to the door and find out?"  Little Sister doesn't really think this is a good idea, but with encouragement from Momma and Poppa, she reluctantly heads for the door one step at a time.

     Finally, reaching for the doorknob and turning it as slowly as she can, she pulls the door open, but not too far.   Holding her breath and peeking around the door, she suddenly burst into excited screams and jumps up and down.   She can't believe her eyes...she must be dreaming!

It's Santa Claus! It's Santa Claus!  He's here!  He's here!

     Okay...so it wasn't really Santa Claus, but to a 4 year old (almost 5!) he was as real as it gets.  I would find out years later that it was my Uncle Gordon, who is no longer with us, but that dark Christmas Eve night to a starry eyed little girl he was the real deal.  He was Santa Claus!

                       

                       
Little Sister with Santa
                                                                                        
      Chances are, it probably didn't really happen this way, but, like I said in the beginning, I don't really remember much about it.  Thank heavens someone took pictures so I can imagine what it was like.  After all, I was only four.  

Until next time...that's my view.
Kat

                                              

Friday, October 21, 2011

Families Are Like Puzzles

     
     My Dad's favorite hobby is working jigsaw puzzles.  It would be impossible to guess how many he has completed over the years.      Some start out as a few pieces, others have 1000 pieces.  Some may fall into place easily and take only a short time to complete; others take him months of diligently working to fit all the pieces together.   In the end, he has a beautiful work of art.


     Families are much like jigsaw puzzles.    Some made up of many individuals and some only a few.   Of those individuals, no two are alike.  They may be straight laced like the border that provides the guidelines of the family; or, they may be a little square, like the cornerstone that keeps the family grounded.  Then, of course, you have the various shapes and sizes of the interesting family members who keep things lively and a little difficult at times.  


     Like a puzzle, a family requires all these components to make a complete unit.  Families have a way of fitting together, in spite of individual differences, to form a unified circle of love, support and harmony.  That doesn't mean  they always agree or that everything comes easy.   But when chips are down, family comes together.  And in the end, you have a beautiful work of art.
My puzzle, worked by Dad, Sept. 2011

Until next time...that's my view.
Kat











Monday, October 17, 2011

Surviving Blood Mountain

     One of the blogs I enjoy reading is called Simply Suthern (http://simplysuthern.blogspot.com).  His post today called The Honeymoon and the Deliverance Gang brought back memories of a trip to Atlanta Georgia a few years ago.  Picture this:

      It was February and seven women set out in two cars to go to an Avon leadership conference in Atlanta GA.  With GPS thing-a-ma-jigs in both cars we feel perfectly safe and sure of finding our destination.   We head south on the interstate, stopping here and there along the way until mid-afternoon when the GPS tells us to turn off onto a 2 lane side road.  Against better judgement, we decide the GPS is supposed to know the best route so we take a left and off we go.

      Things go along smoothly until it starts getting dark.  Next thing we know it is pitch black and we are in the middle of nowhere land.   We haven't seen a town for miles and few houses.  Suddenly, that little box tells us to turn and we turn onto this rough narrow path that looks like we are driving through the middle of a junkyard.  When we finally get back out on a 2 lane highway there is not a house in sight, it is so dark you can't see anything, it is now snowing hard, none of us could get a signal on our cell phones and even On Star was out of range.  Talk about scary!    And all the while this irritating little box tells us to proceed.

     Around midnight we finally reached a civilized town, although, at that time of night it looked pretty deserted and snow was falling harder.  The only place in town that was open was an allnight convenient store.   As if we didn't already feel like we were in the middle of a nightmare that we couldn't wake up from, things were about to go from bad to worse.  We walked out of the nightmare and right into a B movie horror film.

       The clerk in the store looked like one of the characters right out of Psycho or Deliverance.   We told him where we were trying to go and he immediately proceeded to scare the living daylights out of us.  "Noooooo", he screeched.  "The only way to get there is over Blood Mountain and there's no way you women can make it over that mountain at night!  Roads are slick and you'd slide right over the edge!  No one makes it over the mountain at night!  You need to get a room in the motel just down the street!"  (Visions of the Bates Motel put us all in a panic.)  We decided we would take our chances with Blood Mountain.

      As fate would have it, our guardian angel appearred out of nowhere.  While Bubba was trying to get us to go to the motel, in came a truck driver who overheard the conversation.  He was headed over Blood Mountain.  Assuring us there was no danger he said we could follow him and he would lead us to our destination.  He gave us his cell number so we could stay in contact in case of a problem.  Without any doubt we knew he was our guardian angel sent to rescue us from some terrible fate, never to be heard from again.

      Sometime in the wee hours of the morning we arrived safe and sound at our warm, cozy cabin located at the resort where we were staying.   The conference was good, but not what made the trip memorable.  For the rest of our lives we will be able to say...we survived Blood Mountain!


Until next time...that's my view.
Kat




Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy

     This handsome man is my dad.  When I was small, like all little girls,  I thought I had the smartest and most handsome dad in the world.  But, unlike all those other little girls, I really did have the smartest and most handsome dad in the world.

    Whether he was helping me build a cabin out of Lincoln Logs, or research a topic for a science project in the Encyclopedia Britannica, he was always there to help.  He was my first and my only real hero.

     Dad was in the Navy in World War II; a radio operator in a naval air bomber.  Both his brothers were killed in the same war.   After the war he married my mom, and the rest, as they say, is history.

     Yesterday, we celebrated 90 years of my dad's life (even though his birthday is actually Tues, Oct. 18) and it was a wonderful day.  It was so awesome to see him happy, visiting with family and friends.  He was the man of the hour and he loved every minute of it.    



     















     Dad deserved to enjoy this day.  Since we lost mom in July he has had nothing but change; learning to live alone after 66 years of marriage, cooking for himself, adapting to a new apartment, making new friends and reconnecting with old ones.  Not an easy task for any of us, let alone someone his age.  But dad is strong.  He has coped very well.  

      This 90th birthday celebration was more than just a birthday party.  It was a turning point for our family.  It was a realization that life could go on without mom; something we had all been afraid of.  Family celebrations and holidays will never be the same, but they can still be good and we can still enjoy them.  And what better way to test those unknown waters than to celebrate the life of the man who has always been our quiet strength.





Dad, this is for you.  I love you. You are still my hero!

Happy 90th Birthday!




Until next time...that's my view.

Kat






Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sisters...Bound By Love

Williams Sisters around 1968

      Sisters...what can you say about them.  I can think of a lot, but, I will try to restrain myself.  I will start by introducing mine as pictured above.  Front row left we have the oldest, Jane, best described as the Momma Hen.   Front row right we have the youngest, Tina, the Home-body.  Back row left we have the first middle child, me, Ms Independent, and last, but definitely not least, on the right we have the second middle child, Brenda, Ms Tell-It-Like-It-Is and Take No Bull.

     It's funny the stages you go through when you grow up with sisters.  The differences in our ages had a lot to do with the varying degrees of involvement we had in each others lives.  Jane is the oldest, I came along 7 years later, then 4 years after that, Brenda, and 4 years after that, Tina.  In the beginning, my first memories are Jane and me playing on my granddad's farm, then me spying on Jane and her boyfriends.    Jane got married when she was barely 16 leaving me as the oldest child at home for the next several years.

      In this stage, the three of us younger sisters were close until I began to outgrow them, wanting my own friends and space.  When I got to high school  they were still in grade school so we pretty much grew apart.  As soon as I graduated I left home, worked for a year and then got married.  During this stage, Jane and I lived close together in KY and grew closer.  Brenda and Tina, both still in IN also grew closer.  At times, it seemed like we lived in 2 different worlds.

      But then, just as God intended, things came full circle and we all grew into the sisterly relationship that was slowly blossoming all those years.  Suddenly, age differences no longer created a problem in relating to each other.  We all shared the same interests...love, life, children, etc..   We now were not only sisters, we were friends; the best of friends.

      Sisters share a bond that is there from birth, even before we realize or recognize how strong it really is.  Through life, death, disagreements, competitions, children and getting old our love is always there; like a band of steel that can never be broken.  We are always there for each other, no matter what.

      My sisters are the most important people in my life, following my husband, son and grandchildren.  I know they will always have my back and I will have theirs.  What more could you say about sisters?

Bound By Love

Though I didn't choose them, back when my life began.
The bond that formed was surely set by God's own hand.
The years have only deepened this special love we share.
We've laughed and cried and through it all, I've always known they care.
No person, deed or crisis could tear this bond apart.
My love for my three sisters comes straight from my heart.


Tina, Brenda, Me, Jane
Until next time...that's my view.

Kat


















Sunday, October 9, 2011

Enjoying a Beautiful Fall Afternoon

     Last Friday afternoon I spent a leisurely afternoon just enjoying the beautiful fall countryside.  I drove through southern Indiana to a very popular farm known for it's good food and family fun.  The farm, known as "Huber's" is a long drive to the middle of nowhere, but well worth your time.  I hope you enjoy my pictorial tour as much as I enjoyed my adventure.                          
The Lake, complete with ducks
Pulling up to the Farmers Market
More pumpkins and gourds than I've ever seen
An Amazing Farmers Market
More pumpkins
Even more pumpkins
Talking Tree
The Winery
The Ice Cream Parlor
Farmer and Mrs Hay Bales
Entrance to the Children's Fun Farm



Gardens next to the restaurant

     Peace and love to all.  I hope you have a wonderful season, whatever that may be in your part of the world.   
Until next time...that's my view.

Kat

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sorry, Please Try Again

     They're everywhere you look.   Blaring on the TV, radio, magazines, gas stations, casinos, computers, retail stores, entertainment venues, in your mailbox... no matter where you go.   You probably run across one or more every single day.    And now they are even in my healthy cereal box.   What is it? 

Contests & Sweepstakes that almost guarantee to make you rich!

     They play on our weaknesses, knowing that we all want to get rich quick.  I mean, who wouldn't want a few extra thousand dollars.  I wouldn't turn it down.  It would sure make life easier on us poor farmers.  So, when possible, and feasible, I buy their products, read their stories, buy their tickets, or whatever it is I must do to win the grand prize.

     Don't worry, I'm not going to hold my breath.   I am more of a realist, after all, so I don't  really harbor any unrealistic notions that my ship is really going to come in.  But the way I see it, life can't always be all about realism.  Sometimes it's fun to dream and fantasize a little.     I dream of winning just enough money to live comfortably and my husband to not have to work so hard.  Is that asking so much? 

      So, the next time my cereal box says to look inside to see if I'm the instant winner of thousands of dollars I just know I'm going to open it up and see...

Sorry, Please Try Again!

Until next time...that's my view.

Kat


Monday, October 3, 2011

His Daily Bread

     My husband is spoiled.  Don't get me wrong, it is my fault, but, none the less, he is spoiled.   Not in the ways you may be thinking.  He really is a great husband...very loving and helpful.  But there is one thing in his life that has him very spoiled and he's not likely to change anytime soon.  That thing he would never give up, you ask?

His homemade sourdough bread.

     For several years now, probably 12 to 15, I have made 3 loaves of homemade sourdough bread every week.  The only exceptions have been a few times following surgery or some other health issue (such as a broken ankle) that prevented me.  Sometimes even then he would get my sister to help him bake it so he wouldn't have to do without.  You could probably count on one hand the number of loaves of bread we have bought from a  grocery store.  What can I say, the man loves his bread!

     It's really not a big deal.  Considering the pleasure he gets from it, it is a small sacrifice on my part.  Actually, I enjoy making it, but don't tell him. 

Believe it or not, this is how it starts.
One morning a week I feed this jar of starter.  I got my original starter from my mother-in-law.
That evening I remove 1 cup of starter to mix my bread and return the rest to the fridge.






Once I have mix up my bread dough, I place it in my large bread bowl to rise overnight.








The next morning I punch down the dough and divide it into three loaves.

I brush each loaf with corn oil and let rise most of the day.







When the loaves have raised they are baked, removed from oven and warm tops are brushed with butter.







And there is nothing better than fresh bread right out of the oven!






Such a small price to pay to keep a happy hubby!


Until next time...that's my view.

Kat