Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hurricane Isaac Update

I'm fine at my house, but there are tornadoes and damage all around. Flooding is increasing and people are being rescued only minutes from me. This storm is a repeat of Hurricane Georges in 1998. It is sitting on us, dumping hard rain and spawning tornadoes constantly.

Thanks for continuing to pray for all affected. Pictures and articles coming soon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Hurricane Isaac Album

Not terribly exciting thus far, but here is the link to my Hurricane Isaac Facebook album.

The storm has reached 80mph sustained winds, but hasn't made landfall yet. We're getting only the feeder bands right now, so the weather is a bit sporadic.

My body is already flipping out over the barometric pressure, and I awoke from a nap today in partial paralysis. This might be a long week.

I am bombarding Twitter and Facebook with updates, as well as my usual random banter. Feel free to follow me @ugottafriend.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Testing via text message. Blah blah blah. HOWDY! Isaac has shifted but is still headed my way. I will be on the wors

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EDIT NOTE: So that was me testing the blog from my phone. There is a significant character limit, as you can see. Boohiss.

At any rate, what I said was that Isaac has shifted and I will be on the worst side of the storm. However, I believe I will be fine. I am mostly nervous for my family and friends in severe flood zones. Where I am concerned, the only issue is what the barometric pressure will do to my body. It is a terrible trigger of HKPP episodes, and seeing as I've been having serious episodes lately, I'm a bit concerned about my breathing, swallowing, etc. I'm stocked up on potassium, so that's all I can do. I'm as ready as I'll ever be.

This storm is taking an almost identical path to Hurricane Katrina, and oddly enough, it will arrive on Katrina's seven year anniversary.

Please pray for the Gulf Coast to have minimal damage.

Thanks! Talk to you soon.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hurricane Isaac & Yours Truly

As of this morning, Hurricane Isaac is expected to make a slight western turn and land right on me. See the letter "H" where it reaches the shoreline? I am directly, completely underneath it on the Grand Bay...the Mississippi/Alabama state line.

Here is another map. I'm underneath the number "2", which means they are saying it will be a Category 2 storm by the time it reaches me.

Things just got a little more serious. We can't afford a direct hit around here, that's for sure. I don't want anyone to have to deal with it, though. It's just one of those times when you don't want to go through it but certainly wouldn't wish it on somebody else. It could very well change track again tomorrow, but it's pretty much guaranteed at this point that I'll get some part of it, if not the eye.

We are making preparations around here, but I never evacuate. You can expect updates from me as long as I have a way to do so. I won't have internet most likely, but I may still be able to send texts from my phone. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @ugottafriend, which is where I will send most my updates. I will send texts to Facebook also, and possibly one here to the blog if I can figure it out.

It's going to be an interesting week. Thanks for any and all thoughts and prayers.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

On Weather Watch!

I am right smack in the middle of that cone, friends.

I'll keep ya posted!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Martie Duncan's AL Restaurant Tour

It's Alabama Restaurant Week, and Martie Duncan of Food Network Star is currently touring the great state to sample dishes at our many fabulous local restaurants. She invited us along, and I was so thankful to have been able to join her at one of the locations! We had a great time!

Martie keeping everybody on Facebook and Twitter in the loop while Caroline from Alabama Tourism helps everyone prepare to dig into this wonderful fried seafood platter!

Chef Stuart Donald of Wannabe TV Chef was there! So cool to meet him, and he is definitely the guru of all things food and food television. Super sweet, too!

Wintzell's amazing gumbo!

Wintzell's "life-changing" bread pudding!

Martie & Me

Martie with Chelsea, who is a rockin' culinary student! I met her on Twitter literally minutes before meeting her in person. Social networking is a pretty awesome thing! Best wishes, Chelsea!

The whole gang!

My crutches were within my reach, if anybody was wondering. I try to let them go for pictures, especially if I intend to have my arm around somebody. I'm not used to having cane in both hands so I'm still trying to figure this kinda stuff out.

Everyone was fabulous, and it was a fun, much needed outing for me. It's hard to believe that I've only known Martie a month. She is exactly as I expected...a very grounded, funny, genuine Alabama girl who feels like family from the moment you meet her. Truly the life of the party! Food Network would be doing themselves a favor by bringing her on board. Honestly...they're crazy if they don't. They will be hearing from me about this again. Fair warning, FN! :-)

Thanks everyone for your kindness. I had a blast!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Random Ramblings

I want to catch up on blogging, but there are so many things I should be doing that are more important. So, I haven't been blogging much.

The Olympics were pretty awesome. Team USA, you made me proud.

Now that the Olympics are over, I'll be changing the channel back to Food Network.

I'm upset that I'm not starting back to college next week. I'm mad that I worked so hard to get a degree and now I'm being denied the chance to make a life for myself because of my disability. I cope well some days, other days not so much. I've been pretty depressed lately. Angry.

I told myself that I would regroup this week by trying to get organized and get some things accomplished around the house. It is difficult, but I'm finally seeing a tiny bit of progress.

I, non-fiction nerd extraordinaire, have fallen head over heels in love with a fiction TV show. That is a very rare occurrence for me. I will blog about it soon.

I'm thankful that I can drive several days a week at the moment. I don't take it for granted. I have one heck of a farmer's tan, though, due to the summer sun roasting me like a turkey while I'm in my car.

I still end up flat on my back every day in spite of being somewhat functional for a few hours. I don't know how to balance my activities to avoid crashing. I'm not sure there is a solution. I'm just talking about completing basic every day tasks here...stuff that has to be done. It's not like I'm running around like a mad woman. I'd just like to be able to take a shower, cook, clean, and go out in public without my senses screaming or muscles melting down...please and thank you.

Evangelist Billy Graham is in the hospital. I love that wonderful man and I wish he could live another 93 years.

I went shopping for rolling walkers last week. They're expensive. I didn't buy one, but I know I need to get one eventually. Have I mentioned that I've only been on the Earth for 35 years?

Social Security just now processed my new application, and they are already pissing me off with their careless incompetence. I'm going to try to have a respectable conversation with them tomorrow. Wish me luck.

I have REO Speedwagon on repeat in the CD player. It's all I've listened to for days.

I hope and pray I can get around well enough to take a couple of road trips later this year. I want to go back to Marietta, as well as attend an aunt's wedding reception on the LA/TX state line. Fingers crossed that I can do this somehow, whether it's hitching a ride or whatever else it takes.

Speaking of road trips, I removed the blog entry about the Periodic Paralysis convention, but the ChipIn is still active on the right side of my blog. I am not comfortable asking for donations, but set it up by request of friends who want to help me get there next year. Visit it, ignore it, do with it as you wish. Thank you kindly.

I've completely derailed on my diet. Derailed, crashed, and burned to an unrecognizable degree. My to-do list includes sorting through my freezer and pantry and getting back on track with a daily meal plan and schedule. I don't know why this is so challenging for me, but it is. I will win, somehow. Stubborn you read me? Come in, Stubborn Kelli. Please.

I'm disappointed in many of the charities that I emailed. They just aren't responding even though they told me they would, but I can't wait any longer. I will proceed with my eBook without them.

Baby Jo went on her first flight this week. Big girl! In other news, her Aunt Kelli has never even been on a plane. Sheesh.

Speaking of planes, I'll be posting my bucket list soon. Stay tuned.

Everybody on the interwebs is welcome to follow me on Pinterest!

Back to the hospital in three weeks. Some hope would be nice.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Dream That Will Never Die

Bob Ross, Inc sent me this video about a week ago...

I thought it was a cute tribute...very sweet. Well done, PBS.

I almost ugly-cried watching it. God knows I would give anything to be able to return to teaching. I miss my students and my life as a Ross instructor more than anyone will ever know. I've needed to pack up and put away my supplies for over a year now, but I can't bring myself to do it. Maybe this week. I don't know.

Leaving the corporate world to teach people how to paint like Bob was the craziest and most joy-filled thing I have ever done. Like him or not, you can't deny that he made people happy. He truly did, and still does today nearly 20 years after his death. As for me, it was an awe-inspired wish that began in kindergarten. At the ripe old age of five, Bob's technique was the most incredible thing I had ever seen, and I remember thinking I would never be able to do something so magical.

I am humbled to tears every time I think about my journey. Following my dad's death, abandonment and divorce, Hurricane Katrina, an accident that tore my leg apart, changing my life forever...all of the above in a 13 month span...then the relapse and serious decline from systemic disease the following year...I've been through a stress-laden wringer that is sometimes hard to believe. When I was forced to resign from my jobs, I knew the clock was inevitably ticking, and I came to a quick conclusion: life is short, people. Too short to merely exist. Too short to not follow your dreams. Too short to not do what you've always wanted to do. Too short to not do what makes you truly happy.

I am grateful for the experience, although it ended much too soon. I will never forget that little girl in 1983, being introduced to The Joy of Painting on PBS, wishing I could do something like that, and in spite of chronic illness by the grace of God, twenty-five years later, actually doing it. A childhood wish, granted. How lucky am I? I will remember forever.

It may be over now, but the blessing remains. Bob gave me a dream that will never die.