country music

My niece, Kelli Schulenberg is a country girl, through and through. She loves living in the country and would love to raise donkeys. Unfortunately, right now, she and my nephew Barry Schulenberg don’t have any donkeys, but I think it would be cool if they got some. I know that every little kid in the family would love to ride a donkey or even just feed them. Donkeys can be so sweet. Of course, they can also be stubborn. They are a bit like kids that way, I guess. It’s just par for the course.

Kelli loves country music, and attends as many concerts as she can each year. That said, I guess you know that she has seen lots of country music stars in her lifetime. I’m not sure who her favorite star is and maybe that’s because she has so many favorites that no single singer exactly stands out…at least not to me anyway.

Kelli has two “men” in her life. My nephew Barry, who she married on January 31, 2004, and their dog, Scout…who she calls Sheriff Scout, because he is always on duty and ready to pounce. Of course, about the only thing Scout will ever need to “pounce” on would be a rabbit who is brave (of foolish) enough to get to close, or enter the yard, in general. Scout rules the roost, and Kelli will confirm that story for sure. Scout has tons of toys, and “needs” them all out at the same time…apparently. Scout is a source of joy and laughter to Kellie and Barry.

Kelli loves the outdoors and especially hiking and bicycling, which go hand in hand with the fact that she loves Summer the best. In fact, if it weren’t for cross country skiing and snowshoeing, Kelli would have absolutely no use for Winter at all…and as to the wonderful Wyoming wind…well, she’s definitely not a fan…but they, how many of us really are. Kelli loves the mountains and camping, which is no fun in the winter either, Spring, Summer, and Fall, with a heavy emphasis on Summer is right up her alley. Kelli and Barry go camping as much as they can in the Summer. They especially love camping in the Big Horns, but they also like Colorado for camping places. Kelli is an outdoor girl who loves lots of fun outdoor activities, and all things country. Today is Kelli’s birthday. Happy birthday Kelli!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My nephew, Barry Schulenberg is a mechanic for the State of Wyoming. He comes from a long line of mechanics, in fact. Barry spent a lot of his young years hanging out with his grandpa, my father-in-law, Walt Schulenberg, who had spent most of life as a mechanic. Barry wanted nothing more than to be just like his grandpa. A large portion of Barry’s life has done just that. He is a mechanic, he lives in the country, and he’s married to his best friend, Kelli. He likes to travel, and enjoys Country music. Barry is a lot like his grandpa.

Barry is a hard working man. He works on his property in the country. In the summer months, Barry works to keep the brush around their place cut, so that there is less chance of fires getting to their house. It was a strategy that protected their home a few years ago, when a fire raged around them, but missed their house. The winter months find Barry, along with his uncles Bob and Ron Schulenberg, cutting wood to heat their homes. Barry and Kelli have a large incinerator-type of stove that heats their whole house. Barry can fill it up and it will heat the house for several hours.

Of course, life isn’t all about working. Barry and Kellie have lots of activities they like to do. They do a lot of traveling, and often attend concerts on their travels. And speaking of concerts, they have been to see a lot of country music stars. Their travels have taken them to a number of different states. They also love to hike. In fact, that is probably the thing they like to do more than anything else. Unfortunately, in Wyoming, hiking is not a year-round activity, so they also go snow shoeing, skiing, and 4 wheeling…which can be done year round, of course. In addition to all of that, they regularly work out at one of the local gyms. All this is a great way to stay healthy. All in all, Barry and Kelli are two very active people, and that keeps them healthy. Today is Barry’s birthday. Happy birthday Barry!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My niece, Kelli Schulenberg is a lot like me when it comes to Winter’s cold…we don’t like it. It interferes with a lot of the things we want to do, like hiking, long beautiful nights, green trees and grass, and most of all…warmth. Winter is hard for a Summer girl. It’s almost like an invasion of privacy…blasting into your life, seemingly overnight, and while we usually have some warning…it really needs to be about ten years longer!!

Kelli is the type of person who really doesn’t like to have situations, circumstances, or seasons to interfere with her plans. I think we can all relate to that. Hiking is difficult to do in the winter, so my plans get waylaid in the winter, but Kelli and her husband, Barry go snowshoeing, so I guess her plans aren’t quite as waylaid as mine. Nevertheless, things like icy roads are a huge nuisance. They make it hard to travel and everything takes longer. I think she and I would both just stay home in front of a fireplace with a nice cup of hot cocoa…if we could.

Kelli loves music and concerts…Country music, of course…although she might like some of the other genres too. She and Barry often travel to go to different concerts, which is nice, because it lets them see the sights along the way too. Their concert tours have taken them to lots of great places, and with the concerts, they had something fun to do during the trip.

Kelli and Barry have hiked in a number of places, including Casper Mountain, of course. Kelli’s mom, Mary Wages runs a campground in Colorado, so they go see her and get some hiking in there too, but wherever Kelli and Barry travel, they try to find a trail to hike on. Hiking is such a great pastime, because you get to see places that you just can’t see from a car. You are out in nature and the fresh air, and sometimes you even get to see some amazing wildlife…when they aren’t hiding from you that is. Today is Kelli’s birthday Happy birthday Kelli!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

img_5632img_5633My niece, Kelli Schulenberg, who is married to my nephew Barry Schulenberg, reminds me in some ways of my dad’s family. She has a bit of a call to the open road sometimes…ok, most of the time. Kelli and Barry often travel to go to concerts, because they love country music. My husband, Bob and I used to travel to national bowling tournaments and then take a week to make a vacation out of it, so I can relate to that kind of traveling. It’s a great way to see the country, and I think that is what Kelli and Barry had in mind. In fact, it’s possible that if it weren’t for Kelli, Barry might not have traveled as much as he has, but I could be wrong about that. Maybe it’s Barry’s idea, or maybe both. Either way traveling to various concerts has allowed them to see a number of great places. Kelli has an eye for photography too, and her pictures of their travels allow her friends and family to follow along on their journeys.

Kelli and Barry are avid hikers, and they love the outdoors in general. If it’s summer they hike, and in winter they snowshoe and cross country ski. They are often joined by their moms and other family members. In fact, hiking is something many of us in the family love to do, so sometimes, we are quite a crowd, but there is nothing wrong with that. Nevertheless, Kelli doesn’t mind the occasional solo hike either. And now that cell phones take such great selfies, we all get to go along on those solo hikes too. Hmmmm…is it still a solo hike if we all go along? Of course, my guess is that they may not be solo hikes anyway, since I expect that Kelli and Barry’s dog, Dakota gets to go along on some, if not all of those solo hikes.

Probably the one thing that Kelli has always wanted, but doesn’t have yet, would be her beloved donkeys. Kelli img_5635img_5634loves them, and really wants to raise them. I can see that, because the donkeys are a highlight of our trips to the Black Hills. Maybe that dream will come true for Kelli. I hope so. I think donkeys are so sweet, and it would be fun to have some in the family. The rest of us might just have to make an occasional trip all the way out to Kelli and Barry’s just to pet the donkeys. Or maybe she would hope we wouldn’t. That could be a lot of people, after all. Today is Kelli’s birthday. Happy birthday Kelli!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

305847_10150339247813757_899770574_na13912898_10153975579118757_1424051429268159450_naIf there is one way to describe my grand niece, Katie Balcerzak, it would have to be that she is all about the kids. For a while she was a pre-school teacher, and in many ways I think that was her dream job. It takes a very special person to teach school, whether it is pre-school, high school, or home school. Kids can be a handful, whether they are your own or someone else’s, and not everyone can take on the task of teaching these young minds the things necessary to succeed in this life. Katie and her husband, my grand nephew, Keifer Balcerzak don’t have any kids yet, but I can see them having several some day. Right now Katie has to settle for loving on the children of friends and family.

Katie has a great sense of humor, as anyone who has ever looked at some of her posts can see. Katie’s humorous side didn’t really surprise me nearly as much as some of her other interests did, however. Being a history buff, I have gotten used to the idea that I may be an odd duck, especially when compared to people younger than me, but Katie likes the history channel, and some of the political ideas that I have are her ideas too, but I won’t go into those here, because this is a birthday post, and not a political debate. She likes country music, which makes her ok in my book too, because I guess, like my parents expected, I outgrew rock music, and traded it in for country music along time ago. I would rather listen to music I can sing along with.
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Katie is the kind of person who makes friends to last a lifetime, and she has friends from as far back as her Kindergarten years. These are close friends too, not just Facebook friends. That is the kind of friend everyone wants to have…whether they realize it now or not, because friends that last a lifetime are true friends, who will walk with you through all of life’s trials and all of life’s rewards, and let’s face it, we could all use more of that kind of friend in our lives. Today is Katie’s birthday. Happy birthday Katie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Luckenbach babyKelli is my nephew’s wife, and has been a part of our family for almost 10 years now. She has always liked the idea of living in the country and raising donkeys, but lately she is focusing her interests on country music and traveling to concerts. Kelli has a blog, called Thoughts From A Gypsy Soul, and she writes about her travels, and her latest favorite songs. Check it out if you get a chance.

I think Kelli is right when she calls herself a Gypsy Soul, because she really wants to live somewhere in the South, probably Texas. Some people just don’t like the cold weather of the north, and Kelli is one of those people. I don’t know if her dreams will ever be realized, because, somehow we seem to end up where we are supposed to in life, I think, but time will tell how this turns out for Kelli.

Kelli is a kind soul too. During my sister-in-law, Brenda’s recent hospitalization, that lasted about a month, Kelli was a regular visitor. Her smiling face brightened Brenda’s days, and mine too. Whenever we were there together, we shared many laughs, and it was a lot of fun. Kelli has a great laugh…it’s fun to be around her when she is laughing a lot.
Remember the Alamo
Kelli has a fascination with celebrities, and the royal family in particular. She would love to be related to them, and recently with the connection I made to the Schulenberg family to the Spencer family, she can now say that she is a cousin of Princess Diana and the rest of the current royal family, so that dream has finally been realized. I am still looking for a connection from her own side of the family, but haven’t found one as yet. Maybe, I will soon. Kelli hails from Reading, Michigan, and my family came from the Great Lakes area too, so you just never know. Today is Kelli’s birthday. Happy birthday Kelli!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!

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