I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be,
but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see.
— Douglas Pagels

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Big Fat New Years Eve Blog

Hard to believe that 2009 is less than four hours away! Those who have followed my other blogs over the years know that it's time to review my 2008 resolutions! Here we go:

1. Lose a minimum of ten pounds. I not only lost 10 pounds by April, I lost 13 more by October for a total of 23 pounds!

2. Complete all Certifications in progress and pursue further education. I received my Bob Ross teaching certification on January 25th! It's one of the greatest things I've ever done for myself and I look forward to teaching forever. As for my Microsoft certification, I complete all of my classes, but dropped out of the certification because Microsoft 2007 was released shortly after, and I hate it. had XP and Office '03 been the mainstay, I would have stuck with the certification. Instead, I enrolled as a Freshman at Bishop State College for General Studies.

3. Find an acceptable job while striving for a permanent career. I completed several temp jobs throughout the year, and I managed to get established as a painting instructor. Unfortunately, it barely pays a dime, so I am still in dire need of a job.

4. Get involved (and/or stay involved) in one or more ministries and charities. I stayed involved in all of my charities, primarily A Million Thanks, Homespun Helpers, and Penelope House Family Violence Center.

5. Be more health-conscious, make good choices, and improve my overall well-being. Thanks to Team Scheffy, I found the support and encouragement that I needed to make this happen. I reached my weight goal and improved my Basic Metabolic Panel numbers as well as cholesterol and triglycerides which are now in normal range. Considering my genes, this is practically a miracle!

6. Increase my level of social and organizational skills. Becoming a painting instructor brought me out of my shell quite a bit. I still need to improve upon my casual face-to-face interaction, and find friends in my city.

7. Read more, write more, and learn more. I certainly did this thanks to attending my first full semester of college.

8. Be a better friend and relative. This is always on my list, and I never really know how well I've done. I think there is always room for improvement, at least for me.

There you have it. As for 2009, I decided that I wanted to do something different this year, so I have four goals that will be "mainstays"...those that I put on the list every year. Then I will have six goals for the coming year. Here they are in no order of importance:

The Mainstays

Maintain a healthy weight and keep blood panel numbers at an acceptable level by living a healthy lifestyle.

Stay involved in one or more charities/ministries.

Read more, write more, and learn more.

Be a good friend and relative.

Goals for 2009

1. Continue my education, either in college or with Bob Ross, Inc.

2. Find stable employment and reduce debt as much as possible.

3. Go to church regularly and/or schedule a weekly Bible study.

4. Utilize my time more wisely by developing routines and following a schedule.

5. Have a piece of art in a show or fair.

6. Try at least a dozen new recipes.

That's it! I'm going to do my best to achieve every goal on this list. Now one more thing...a friend suggested that I think about and post a few accomplishments, because remembering the good things that occured over the past year is a healthy and free dose of therapy. Great idea, Marilyn...thanks!

This year, I:

Went on my first road trip alone to a place I had never been before, and loved it!

Made my childhood dream come true by training in the Bob Ross painting technique!

Successfully taught eleven painting classes this year!

FINALLY completed my first semester of college even though I was very ill from a kidney obstruction, resulting in two surgical procedures. I managed to finish the summer semester with a 3.75 GPA!

Makes me happy. :) God willing, I will accomplish much more in the coming year. In conclusion, I hope everyone has a safe, happy, and prosperous 2009!

(You have the turn the volume WAY up to hear me...sorry!)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Migraine part deux

Ya'll should see me right now. I have a migraine patch across my forehead, and two salonpas patches on each side of my jaw. Heh! I look dumb.

Migraine became unbearable last night. I checked my blood pressure and it was high, so I called the doc office this morning.

"She can see you if you can get here within 30 minutes".

"Well, I live at least 30 minutes away, so it would be a little longer than 30."

"Ok well I'll have to give you the next available time then. January 7th."

January 7th...as in over a week from now. So I had to switch to plan B. I crawled out of bed and went around the corner to Walgreens, where I picked up my blood pressure meds and some migraine patches. I'm broker than broke again, thanks to Avapro which is over $2.00 a pill. When I do finally make it back to the doc, I'm going to insist that she switch me to a drug that comes in a generic form. She didn't want to do it last time I asked, but unless she gives me Avapro free of charge from now own, it's going to have to be changed. Paying $50-$80 for 30 blood pressure pills is a crying shame. I hope and pray that our new president will follow through with his promise to improve health care costs. Honestly...this is a serious problem in our country.

Anyway, I digress. Mentholated patches galore. My face is on fire, but I don't care. I'm sitting up now, attempting to eat something that I hope I'll be able to keep down. Unbelievable how debilitating migraines can be. As of right now, it looks like my New Years Eve will be spent at home, in bed. No big deal though...I've certainly been through worse. Over the years, I've lived on people's sofas and love seats, and even found myself sleeping in a car one night in 25 degree weather. I'll never forget that and I'm thankful that I now have a bed to call my own. May God bless those who don't.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas has come and gone...what's next?

Well, I survived on no sleep and managed to have a good day. It was so dang hot outside...I ended up changing into a t-shirt and jeans before it was over with. Didn't feel like Christmas at all. And now this weekend, it's supposed to freeze again. Welcome to the Gulf Coast.

I had a very busy day in Grand Bay and Pascagoula. Went to four houses and didn't have a minute to spare. The gifts that I received were thoughtful and very useful...a lamp, two drinking mugs, thick house slippers, a pretty blanket, a couple of canvases, a cool bulletin board/photo holder hand made by my sister, a knitted handbag from my friend in Iowa...yay. I love handmade and practical stuff. I also received a little bit of money from family and friends and I thank you all very much. It was badly needed and will be used for food and gas.

I planned to spend some time at Penelope House's drop off location today to donate some stuff and see what I could do to help, but I was too late again. Sometime soon, I will schedule a time to do some volunteer work. I was in no condition to work yesterday, running on no sleep and with such a crazy schedule, but it will happen soon. I will make sure of it.

So I can't believe we've come to the end of 2008. This is the week that I analyze my resolutions for the year and decide whether or not I'm a failure at life. Then I come up with more resolutions to lethargically strive for in the following year. I'm wondering if I should revamp this annual tradition in some way. It's always the same thing...revisit the 8 resolutions I made, tell whether or not I achieved them, and make 8 more, some of which are the same as the year before. I think I want to do something different this time...suggestions?

I'll always make goals and resolutions, because it gives me something to strive for with a deadline of one year. I think it's a healthy thing to do. Finding the motivation to get out of bed and function with a purpose in mind is always good.

Well friends, I hope you all had a good Christmas. So what's next for everyone?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Back with a vengence

Day 2 of one of the worst migraines I've ever had. Darvocet is the only reason I'm able to sit up and type without throwing up, but there's no way I can get up and function in this condition. My Christmas plans may very well be down the drain.

I'm so tired of this. Something's gotta give.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thoughts, and a recipe

I'm applying for two jobs that I found first thing in the morning. I am extremely qualified for both, so cross your fingers for me!

Put a small dent into my to do list today...almost done unpacking and sorting, got some of my paintings out of the way, and on my way to Craigslist now.

This recipe is a little late, but worth going out and buying turkey for it...I made it the day after Thanksgiving in 07, and will make it again as soon as I can.

Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

1 cup grated carrots
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 14 oz cans chicken broth
1 12 oz can low fat evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice (you can use a combo of wild with brown or long grain, it's all good)
1 to 1 1/2 cup(s) diced cooked turkey

Melt butter in 3-4 qt saucepan over medium heat and add carrots, mushrooms, celery, and onion; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until veggies are tender.

Stir in flour, and gradually add broth and milk, whisking until blended. Bring to a boil, then stir in rice and turkey. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6 people. A 1 1/4 cup serving is 240 calories.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Down for the count...

My body is absolutely freaking out on me again. Sometimes I think the pain is going to drive me out of my mind. I don't have a dime to go to the doc for further tests, but somehow I've got to figure this out. Social security won't listen to me without a well defined, incurable diagnosis, but nobody wants to give me a job when they see how physically incapable I am. So what in the world am I supposed to do? It's hard to feel hopeful when there is no relief in sight, especially when the refrigerator and gas tank are empty. I'm going to have to ask my stepdad for help again, and that's really depressing.

Nevertheless, I am going to try my best to function and get some things accomplished this week. I still have a lot of unpacking to do, and have to prepare for my upcoming demo. Thank goodness I won't be on my feet for that...they are setting up a table for me to sit at with my table top easel. That's a relief.

As far as volunteering at the shelter on Christmas Day, the only way I'll be able to do that is if I'm given a sit down job. I'm going to ask and see what I can do. If it works out, it works out. If it doesn't, I guess there's next year.

Things are going to get better. Somehow, they will.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mission (Unexpectedly) Accomplished

I subbed high school Botany today. We watched How The Grinch Stole Christmas. *YAWN* Yes, I do believe I have had my share of movies in high schools this year. I like the 'ol Grinch, and I even like High School Musical, but after the 3rd or 4th round, I'm over it, peeps.

After school, I went into midtown Mobile to drop off stuff to Penelope House Domestic Violence Shelter, but the drop off location was closed. Almost a wasted trip, but I decided to stop in Naman's Market and ask if they knew where I could find Muffaletta bread. I have been looking for Muffaletta bread in Mobile for two years to no avail. But voila, the ladies at Naman's pointed me to a tiny international food mart down the road that I didn't know existed. The business is so small, they prefer cash and charge a fee to swipe your credit card! Ha! But I struck gold with this little joint, because not only do they sell Muffaletta bread, they also had fresh ground garam masala and cumin, which is something that I was also looking for. Eureka!

When I have money, I'll go back and actually BUY the stuff!

Off to bed. It's nearly midnight, I have class tomorrow, and still have to do some tweaking to "Blue Winter" before I teach it at 2pm. Procrastination at its finest.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday Rambling

I finally completed inventory on all of my Bob Ross class supplies. So now I know what I'm looking at as far as ordering in the near future. Here's hoping that I'll somehow have the money to do so. Next class is Saturday, and my all day demonstration is the following Saturday. I'm going to see if my cousin/assistant Tyler is available to take a few pics and some video on these days. This Saturday, I'll be giving two of my students a Joy of Painting attendance certificate for completing a dozen classes. We'll probably have some goodies too.

I came home from Pascagoula to find a raccoon hanging out in the driveway. Turns out that he's a regular visitor, along with his wife and kids. They eat cat food with the rest of the animals that come strolling up to the porch each day. I've decided that we're a soup kitchen for strays.

Speaking of soup kitchen, I'm hoping to find a place to volunteer on Christmas morning. I think I'm going to call Pascagoula's soup kitchen, Our Daily Bread, and see if they have something for me to do. I'm sure they'll be serving food on Christmas Day, so I imagine they need assistance of some kind. I emailed Penelope House Domestic Violence Shelter to see if they needed a volunteer but the email bounced back to me. Oh well, I'll be going down there on Friday to drop off clothing so I'll just talk to them when I get there.

I'm still looking for a part time weekday job. There is just nothing out there right now, not something that I'm physically capable of doing anyway. I hope something will come up soon. I've got to find something asap, as I am several months behind on bills at this point. I'm really hoping that the gig at Hobby Lobby will turn into a nice part time job. With their schedule, it's not going to be easy, but maybe I'll get lucky and have at least 10 students a month. Ultimately, I need about 40 to make it, but I'll take whatever I can get.

The weather is yucky here right now. They are saying that we could actually get snow flurries over the weekend, which only happens every four or five years on the Gulf Coast. It's not really like real snow, it's more equivelent to slushy ice that you would find in a snow cone. But we coastliners think it's cool nonetheless. I'll have the camera ready in case it happens.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ranting and Raving

Mercy, what a day! I couldn't begin to tell you how much walking I did! I had a good class and their paintings were super. Mine...well as I was finishing it I accidentally touched the mock matting and it ruined the painting so I ended up stripping the canvas right then and there. Ha! Oh well...it was fun anyway and when I got home, I painted again! I just love it. Next class is next Saturday.

In other news, I've gained a few pounds because my diet is crap. I'm broke and living on peanut butter sandwiches and ramen noodles, with the occasional canned or frozen dinner thrown in. I look forward to having a stove and oven soon as well as getting out of this slump somehow so I can buy decent food again. I was floored when I went to the grocery store (the ONLY one in town) the other day. It is extremely limited...no hummus and pita chips here, peeps. But the thing that got me was that a lot of their food was more than DOUBLE the price of city stores. Campbells soup? 60 cents at Walmart in Mobile, 1.40 here. Turkey burgers 4.98 at Walmart in Mobile, 8.95 here! And CEREAL...oh...my...gosh. At Walmart it is 2.98...here it was 6.09!!! FOR A BOX OF CEREAL! And in the country ghetto at that! Calgon take me away...

Sadly, there was an INCREDIBLE DIFFERENCE between the price of healthy food vs the junk. And people wonder why this area of the country is number one in obesity? I've been telling people for years why that is the case...those below the poverty level (which is the majority in this area) can't afford to commute to the nearest big city for groceries, and most of the time we don't have the funds to buy the good stuff anyway. This little podunk grocery store is the perfect example. I feel like writing Congress, but what's the use?

Sorry...I guess that is my rant of the week! Tune in next time to hear Kelli rant about something else that this country does wrong. KIDDING! I thank the good Lord that I live in the land of the free.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Note To Self

Never ever again break open a softgel supplement and put it into your food with the expectation that you won't be able to taste it.

Nastiest chili I've ever had in my life just now. My tongue is traumatized. One slice of bread and two glasses of Sunkist later, my taste buds are still cursing me.

Today's Score:
Reality - 1
Kelli - 0

Monday, December 1, 2008


Just got back from Hobby Lobby. My all day demonstration is set for December 20th. My first workshop is scheduled for January 17th! Weeeeeeeee!

I am very lucky to land this position. Why? Because their current acrylics instructor is also Bob Ross certified, but chooses not to teach it. You should have seen the shock on my face when the class coordinator told me that. Anyway, she asked me to bring a painting to display in the store, and be ready to demo on the 20th! I am so there!