1–10 of 91 entries in the category: Uncategorized

The Canyon

November 2nd

On this trip into the Grand Canyon, we took the South Kaibab trail from the South Rim. It is the shorter route to Phantom Ranch at 7.4 miles, but it is considerably steeper. We hadn’t ever taken this path before, and it happened to be an extraordinarily windy day. There were parts of the trail that were terrifying.

Of course, it is still the Grand Canyon. Every turn, each 15 minutes with different light on the rock, makes the view new and breathtaking. (Or, we were just breathing really hard from all the hiking. Either way, you end up light-headed and in awe.)

Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend trip October 2017

Look at that crazed, happy man. Have I mentioned how much he loves hiking? (I love it too, but I give him a hard time that when we visited Mexico City, it didn’t hurt to look at art. Or eat good food.)

Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend trip October 2017

Top of the trail. Look how innocent and clean we are. Four hours later, we pulled into Phantom Ranch.

Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend trip October 2017

I’ve said this before, but it is worth repeating: this lodge is a magical, wonderful oasis at the bottom of the canyon. If you get the chance to stay there—and the process is a complicated lottery because of the limited space—do it! The meals are simple, served family style in the lodge at picnic tables. The cabins have bunk beds that are comfortable and clean. The showers are hot. The rest is fantastic. Plus, you can imagine how interesting the people are who come to sit for a minute, either to stay or just to get a snack from the canteen.

We met people from all walks of life. The runners—just stopping to refill their water bladders before heading to another rim. Those on horseback, many of whom looked like extras from City Slickers, especially when they dismounted and tried to walk post-ride. And then there were those like us, who hiked down to hang out for a couple days. We sat at the picnic tables outside, eating apples and sipping lemonade and making up the back stories of the hikers who just arrived.

My niece loves to play games as much as I do. We played more hands of Rummy and Trash than I can count. We sent postcards (via mule!), ate Oreos by the sleeve, and told silly stories. We also woke up early Saturday morning to watch a meteor shower, stars shooting across inky black heavens—quite the way to bring in my 38th year.

We took the longer Bright Angel trail on the way out, about 10 miles of winding switch backs. The last mile, after you can see the edge of the Canyon but you are still not quite there, is the longest 15 minutes of your life. It could be the tourists toddling by, downward, with their ice cream cones and cups of coffee. It could be how good those tourists smell, and the realization you likely smell like a raccoon. It could also be how heavy your feet feel after 10 miles of up, up, up.

The bar in the Bright Angel Lodge has soft chairs, cold wine, average guacamole, and air conditioning. It is glorious.

It was another wonderful adventure with this crazy family of mine.

~K

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Today

September 9th

I’m having a hard time coming up with thoughtful things to say around here these days. I regularly ask myself why I love writing a blog. And the answer is always the same: Doogie Howser.

Who doesn’t remember Doogie sitting down at his incredibly technologically advanced computer at the end of each episode to come up with the witty moral of the day? I loved that show so very much and was insanely jealous of Wanda.

So, Doogie. Basically, I like the idea of having a place where I can drop off all the thoughts I have about my passions. Right now: yoga, the desert, helping refugees in the Middle East, fall knitting, cooking and meal planning, my family, and of course: Nelson. Always, Nelson.

They say the blog is a dying art. And that may be generous. Most of the super huge blogs I’ve read over time are slowly retreating. (Dooce, Kottke, et al) I hope I’m newly invigorated to write here and to continue to cherish the community it has created.

~K

 

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Gentle Giant

July 10th

IMG_9852

 

 

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Blog Down! Blog DOWN!

July 1st

Hey all,

Lots of stories and photos to share, but we at africankelli.com are having a few technical issues. Mainly, the blog and Flickr are fighting and I can’t figure out how to get them to JUST GET ALONG ALREADY.

As such, hang tight. The nerds are on the case.

If we don’t chat before — wishing all my American buddies the best 4th ever.

 

Peace, puppy dogs and fireworks,

Kelli

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She Makes Hats

May 8th

My friend Robyn recently released a book chronicling her quest to knit 10,000 hats for those in need. Newborns, the homeless, veterans — anyone with a cold noggin who could use an act of kindness. The memoir tells a bit of her story, and what led her to such a large creative endeavor.

Knitted cap

Of course this is right up my alley. Robyn and I have been supporting each other’s blogs for nearly a decade. She is a doll, and so much goodness should come her way.

I’ve seen the book and it is a beauty, not surprisingly. So — if you are interested in supporting a crafty, lovely woman whose passion is helping others, please consider picking up her new book. It is nearly as fantastic as she is.

Five out of five bananas, absoloodle. Congrats Robyn!

~K

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Metamorphosis

November 15th

I dragged myself to the Golf Fore Africa event in north Scottsdale this week. It had been a long week; I’d already taken time off of work to attend a different lunch-time event and was behind. Always behind.

Poor. Poor. Me.

Butterfly

I have been ass dragging for months. I entered the ballroom with 400 other women, drowning in self-doubt. I promised myself I’d find the friend who invited me, make polite conversation, and not let my tires screech upon escape. For someone who has little to no problem with public speaking, wading into a sea of socialites has always made my palms sweat.

These women were former beauty queens, retired professional athletes, local business mavens. One at my table mentioned after a dozen other accomplishments, “Oh, and I’ve been appointed several times by the President to serve on boards.”

To which I asked, with a mouth full of salad, “President president? Like THE President?”

She patted my hand and smiled, too kind to laugh.

Thankfully, in that sea, I did find a few familiar faces. Women who had served on non-profit boards, volunteered at the community garden, and others who I’d met at smaller events. I took a deep breath and tried to shake myself out of this funk.

It wasn’t until Mary Fisher took the stage that my pathetic self-pity fell away. Mary Fisher, who I watched in 1992 bravely stand before the Republican National Convention to tell the world she had HIV, and she wouldn’t be discriminated against.* Mary Fisher who went on to change public health policy on HIV, become a renowned artist and do fantastic work in Africa. Mary Fisher, who I often wondered about. Is she still alive? Is she still making waves?

Read More →

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La vie en rose

September 27th

Baby hat for Layla

Baby hat for Layla

Baby hat for Layla

I started this post a few days ago to talk about how sweet babies are and how much I love knitting and now it is late Friday and I’m exhausted and ready for a “Holy-shit-we-made-it-a-year-cocktail!!” with the Mr. Yeah. I know. That went by fast for me too, never mind it also involved two cross country moves, three states, far too many moving boxes, two new careers and one very annoyed, pampered pooch.

Phew.

Mazel tov, salud and cheers to all,

Kelli

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Reading: Polite Society

July 3rd

My friend Colleen published her first book this year, Polite Society. Collen’s book itself is gorgeous. Hardback, with gold script across the front, each chapter starts with a hand-drawn illustration. The physical presence of the book itself makes it worth the $32 price tag.

But of course, you should read it. Polite Society is a look into a family’s life in suburban Oregon. The aging teacher who lost her husband at a young age. The grandmother unexpectedly raising her grandchild. The little girl whose imaginary friend is Bob Barker.

Colleen's visit

I enjoyed the story, and of course I am bias. Colleen is a wonderful person and I understand the nail-biting anxieties that come with self-publishing your first baby, waiting for the reviews to come in. The story is so much of you. Your paper-thin ego wants nothing more than to hear it is great.

Colleen: this is a great story! And I am so proud of you for pushing forward and finishing. I will keep this beauty for ages.

 

Cheers,

Kelli

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Word Count Wednesday. Kinda.

January 30th

Southern California

I’ve got a lengthy list of excuses. Can I add those to my word count? How about this: I’m in the thick of writing this novel. I’ve added 3000 words this week, and it feels good. I’m in my groove. Next week will be better, with more words and progress.

In the meantime, how great was time on that beach? So great!

~K

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How You Like Them Apples?

August 15th

Remember how I said the apple trees in the neighborhood were going crazy? Thanks to Roman law, I ended up with about 25 pounds of large crab apples last week.

I love me some free fruit.

Add about 5 hours of cooking, boiling and labeling, and voila: apple butter and curried apple chutney:

Canning

Canning

Canning

Canning

Canning

Canning

Things learned from this canning adventure:

1. The food mill featured above was worthless. I had to return it. So, the apple butter has some seeds in it. I suppose I’ll only hand it out to those who don’t mind a little extra fiber with their breakfast.

2. I could use a good food mill.

3. This curried apple chutney recipe from the traditional Ball canning guide makes a TON of food. I canned some 14 jars of chutney, and it made the house smell wonderful.

4. Apple butter in the Crockpot is a great idea, but be wise that it will burn overnight if you aren’t careful. Better to start it first thing in the morning and keep an eye on it during the day.

5. Cheese and rice, my pantry is now full of apple recipes. Considering one more round to clean up all the apples falling in the yard: apple sauce.

6. Who wants to come over for some apples?

~K

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