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Showing posts from June, 2006

After six states and 2500 miles, I'm back from my trip to New England. It was awesome. It's different driving with a friend than driving with your spouse and two kids (all which have extremely small bladders). No, it's WAY different. Even though we drove a lot of miles, we took our time, we noticed the scenery, and more importantly, we got off the interstate.

Taking the road less travelled started in New York when we decided we needed to see Lake Erie. We got off on a highway and drove by the most amazing wineries. Field after field of grapes--in New York! When we finally made our way to a beach so we could stick our toe in the lake, we saw several people lying, fully clothed in the sand with no beach towels. As Shirley snapped my picture, I noticed the enormous dead fish inches from my feet than the dirty factory just yards away. Hmmm…I wondered the rest of the trip if we should've checked to see if those supposed sun bathers were breathing.


I'm leaving tomorrow on a road trip. I'm going with my 4th grade teacher Shirley Snapp. She is retired, single and has no children so her schedule is much easier to work with than other friends in similar mommy boats like me. Plus, she is a hoot. Her laugh is loudly uninhibited and completely contagious. Last year I convinced her to accompany me to Portland, Oregon to visit my brother and we had a ball. I'm not sure when I've laughed that hard. This year, I convinced her into another trip but I allowed her to choose the location. Tomorrow she's picking me up and we're driving to New Hampshire, Vermont and possibly Maine. She wants no itinerary, no hotel reservations just her and I on the open road ready to pull over and check out anything that interests us. Shirley loves the off-the-beaten path points of interest. Last year, she made my brother pull over to see the second tallest cypress tree in the world. Not the first, but the second.

As much as the …

Atlanta has always had a special place in my and Monte's heart. For me it was where I developed into a post-college adult, made a name for myself in my career and fell in love, all in the steamy hot, magnolia-scented, southern drawl of a fast growing city.

Monte and I met at the corporate office of Waffle House. He was in risk management and I was in corporate communications. I wrote him into my Waffle Chatter newsletter as a reoccurring character called Safety Man. As glamourous as it was to have my own column called Dear Karmen along with a hotline for questions that drunk grill operators would call and leave lewd messages on at 3:00 am, after a year I had to get out of the Waffle House. It wasn't until I was picking up my last paycheck that Monte revealed his love for me. But I moved back to Indiana anyway and left all my belongings in a storage unit in Atlanta (Monte's idea).

Oh, how I missed the city, and the way it empowered me to spread my wings. In …

I am an equal opportunity ice cream eater. It was brought to my attention that my earlier blog on ice cream was not fair and balanced. While I do love my cheesecake ice cream at Graeter's I do have other local/national favorites that I failed to mention. It was also brought to my attention that I needed to try out a new shop that has been doing some very inventive things with ice cream. Of course I was game and we tried it Sunday after an afternoon of yard work. Oh my! I was intrigued with Jeni's shop the second I walked into the Grandview location with its milk glass bottle lights (from Jeni's own collection) and the barn siding wall salvaged from an Ohio farm (that she planed and brought back to life with stain). But bring on the ice cream! As a family we probably sampled 10 flavors before deciding on our combinations (2 flavors are encouraged as they work together to please the palette the same way fruit does in a good Chardonnay). This…

My daughter Ellie announced to us the other day that when she is 16 she is going to drive a "vertible" (convertible) and be on American Idol. She's 3 and she's not at all embarrassed to share her dreams.

My other daughter McDaniel did a presentation in front of her first grade class where she announced that she wants to be an illustrator and author of children's books. No self-consciousness whatsoever.

When I was elementary school age I used to write articles all the time, some illustrated, and post them on our refrigerator for all to see. This had nothing to do with homework or school, just something I would do for fun. My uncle was visiting once and commented on one particular article I had written on a theory of why the dinosaurs became extinct. Not only did he read my writing crudely tacked to our harvest gold fridge with large alphabet magnets, but he said he actually learned something new. I was glowing! Thirty years later that memor…