Friday, August 22, 2014

The first episode of the Internet Hit Series: 'The Barbie and Ken Show'

Hi! This is the third take, believe it or not. There is just not much I can say about it....LOL... Let me know what you think. Ha!

BarbieCrafts.com is back and running

Sit down and stay awhile!

My Barbie Crafts.com blog is back and running.  I did a bit of housekeeping on this blog, but it is still in progress.  I was going to move much of the personal drivel off of here, but I intended up keeping some of it!
Sometimes, I feel like I want to reduce some of the personal information that I have accumulated online.

I want this blog to be my little piece of home on the web where people can always find me. I am hoping to share what I have written each day with you here. Of course, you can find all of my columns at Examiner under the tab at the top under the title.  I have removed the live feeds on the sides. (I have already gotten complaints....but it was just "little cousin" and she will get over it.) lol!

I have been very consumed with my new devotional site.  If you haven't seen it, check it out.  It is called "A Quiet Place for Women."  You can always find it in the sidebar of this blog, or you can subscribe and have it delivered to your email.  Just enter your email address in that little blank under SUBSCRIBE.  You will be sent an email to click confirm that you really did subscribe.

So, what have I done today? Here's a list.



  1. I started the day with an entry in my devotional blog.  It was called, "I'm Only One Person
  2. Next, I got an article done for Stackstreet.com. At this time, it is featured on their frontpage. It was called, "Living Life with Only One Hand."
  3. Next, I wrote an article for my Knoxville Social Media Examiner Column:  'Tech-savvy terrorism: Parents of James Foley got warning emails
  4. This article for Bubblews was a deep one!  There's a New Flavor of Tootsie Roll Pop!
  5. Another really journalistic achievement on Bubblews:  What do you put in your chicken salad?
  6. Here is one of my celebrity smart aleck articles from the night before:  Kim Kardashian Book of Selfies:  Why buy the cow?


Well, be sure and check back here every day for the links to what I have written around the web. And, remember, if you will, to purchase your Amazon Products through my Amazon Store at the side of the page. I get a little commission, and I appreciate it!

Barbie



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Which 'Sesame Street' character are you?

(Photo credit:  Commons.Wikimedia.org)
You might be surprised to know the "Sesame Street" character with whom I most identify. You might guess Cookie Monster because of my love for sweets. You might guess Big Bird because, well, I am big, loud, hyper, and sometimes really annoying.

Yes, my big pink crocs do look like Big Bird feet.


Today, this petite lady visiting someone at the nursing home told me that she liked my "big old shoes."  She said that she had always wanted to wear those "big old shoes," but she couldn't. (Well, aren't I lucky? And, that was just the look I was going for!)

Anyway, I digress.  Since childhood, I have always identified with Oscar the Grouch.  As Ernest always said, (NOT HEMMINGWAY, but as in SAVES CHRISTMAS) "Are you surprised?"

You might think because I am always goofing around, laughing and talking to literally anyone who will listen to me, that I am a real "people person."  The truth is that I have to push myself or I would just crawl in my trashcan and shut the lid. (I always wondered if he had a television down in there!)

I do truly need quite a lot of time to myself, possibly more than most people.  I would be happy to just go about all my interests and hobbies with little interaction with others for days at a time.  It's not pretty but it's true. That is part of who I am, but I don't want to be a curmudgeon.  Tonight when I went to read my customary Bible chapter, this is where the ink pen was.
Proverbs 18:1 (New Living Translation)

1 A recluse is self-indulgent, snarling at every sound principle of conduct.  
Well, there you go! Choosing to never interract with others is a form of selfishness! When you choose to give of yourself to others you are looking outside of yourself. There are so many ways to be giving, and I was thinking about that when I read this section of Proverbs.  The power of a gift is described in Proverbs 18:16.

16 Giving a gift works wonders; it may bring you before important people!
Nobody is immune to a gift, and, again, a gift can take many forms. Anything you do for someone with no expectation of return is a gift. We will have warmer relationships with people if we have a spirit of giving about us.  My Bible reading for the day was so good, I read ahead in Proverbs 19.

 6 Many beg favors from a prince; everyone is the friend of a person who gives gifts!
For some reason, I always thought these verses about giving gifts applied to bribes, etc... Suddenly, the meaning was different. When we forget about trying to be "even-steven" with everyone and become more giving, the whole playing field changes. By giving to others, we are turning situations, relationships and everything over to God. As we give, again in many ways, to others, we are not seeking our own good, but trusting God to do that.

Proverbs 20:22Don't say, "I will get even for this wrong." Wait for the LORD to handle the matter. 

Wow, this is all new material for me. The most wonderful thing is that we can know that we will come out ahead when we are giving to people instead of just self-centered. Read what Proverbs 19:17 says about giving to the poor.

17 If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD -- and he will repay you! 
That pretty much says it all. I want to be less self-centered and selfish and more giving. It's a whole new way of thinking, isn't it?

Love,

Barbie




Friday, July 25, 2014

The mundane and the magnificent














   You might wonder what I am reading right now. (You might not give a flip, either!) It might surprise you that I am reading Eerdman's Handbook to the History of Christianity. Ok, I do have a serious side! Eerdmans' Handbook to the History of Christianity is very interesting, and I have learned so much. It literally starts at the beginning of the church. If you like history, you will love this book, especially the history of the various kings, popes, etc...

I bought my copy at a yard sale for a dollar, and I also later found a companion book:



Eerdmans Handbook to the Bible

(If you purchase through my Amazon link, I do make a small profit. Full disclosure!)

Something I have found interesting is that there were so many clashes of opinion, even as far back as the early Church.  I have heard a lot of people talk about why they don't go to church, saying that they would like to go to church where people didn't disagree about what color the pews were going to be, etc...They will often mention that the Early Church didn't have disagreements, but they could not be more wrong.

If you transplanted yourself back in the earliest days as the Christian Church was trying to get established, there were many issues that required a serious meeting of the minds to nail down the church's belief system. It may not have been something trivial that they were discussing, but there were so many issues that define the Christian Church that were maintained by those who dug in and refused to compromise the Gospel that Jesus Christ had left them as caretakers of. So there was not just a quiet peace even in the earliest stages of the Church. They had issues like what actually constituted the "Trinity," and the true essence of the Savior's humanity.

So, if you are using disagreements as a reason not to go to church, it is hard to make a case that the church will always see things the same way.

I also learned that the song, "HOLY HOLY, HOLY...Lord God Almighty. " is a staple from the earliest churches. The saints would have almost all known the words to that hymn. It is also how heaven is described as worshipping God.

I was driving down the road today, and the words to this hymn came up in my mind:

"..... who wert and art and ever more shall be." Could anything be more beautiful and true?



Thursday, July 24, 2014

"The rain, the park and other things"

Lots of deer grazing near Warriors Path Park
Once again, I use a reference that only my readers over a certain age will recognize. (The Cowsills...circa 1969.) Today it really, really rained. Many roads, like ours, had water covering them. Our creek was running really hard, and it sounded wonderful. Our next purchase is some seating for down at the creek...Jeanni picked up her chairs we were babysitting for her!
Jeanni's antique metal chairs on her mom's porch

The creek, in case you missed it. 



Max really does not like storms. We have Noaa weather radio, and Max knows what the word "severe" means.



The silly dog loves to look at you upside down. The kids think he has some weird dog dyslexia where he sees upside down. Lol. I can't imagine my life without the silly old lug.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

I made a pot of Creamy Tomato Basil Soup tonight.  Here is a recipe I published on my Knoxville Cooking Examiner column several years ago.  Tonight I did not add parsley or milk, only sour cream, a few tablespoons of sugar, a bit of olive oil and the Basil. (salt and pepper)

My daughter loves this, and, since she was sick, we decided to take her some. She called as she was leaving work, so we told her we would drop it off, but not come in, which we NEVER do unless invited. We usually travel to her house through a State Park. Tonight, we could not believe the deer that were everywhere!  One place there were at least 8 or 10, maybe more.  I snapped some photos.


  After we got through the park, coming home, we were travelling down Fall Creek when a deer jumped out of the hill next to the road and almost hit us!  It was followed by two more. They jumped over a large white fence into the yard of a beautiful house and stopped to graze!  I miss the deer who lived on our mountain at the other house.

Stay tuned for blog changes

Barbiecrafts.com  will be changing a bit over the next while.  You will notice today that I have added a new advertiser, Zulily. My blog has mainly been a place to post my Examiner articles so people can find them. It has been my home on the web, so to speak. I am hoping to make it a bit more profitable so that I will be able to spend more time here writing. I have had several people share with me how much they enjoy my blog and the Bubblews blips that I write. That is truly my favorite type of writing to do, but a girl has to eat!

In the next few weeks, there may be some changes both visually and editorially. Hopefully, there will be more regular, possibly daily, content added. 

One thing is for certain: I have to get back to work.  I have spent the past few months engulfed in my mother's health situation, but the reality of financial obligations is pressing me to return to regular hours in my writing. Please don't be offended if I am not as "reachable" as I have been. It's back to the grindstone for this goofy girl!

Thank you for reading, and be sure and check the blog more often.  If I am not updating it, you have my permission to let me have it! I do have a lot of irons in the fire in the next coming weeks. I have even accepted some new work on top of what I already have.

Really, I will have to limit my Facebook time to get more writing done.  Do you ever feel like you get on there and re-emerge an hour later!?  This was on Facebook, and I thought it was so funny. (The attribution is on the meme.)



Love to all! Meet me here tomorrow.

Barbie


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Not my monkeys!




photo from Morgufile



I read an old Polish proverb on Facebook this morning, and it went like this:

"Not my circus, not my monkeys!"
The Facebook meme included something about getting involved in other people's "stuff." It is good advice when it comes to sticking your nose in somebody's business or getting involved in other people's drama. Sometimes you get your nose cut off!

So, how do we reconcile this old Polish saying with a more recent American pop song, "He Ain't Heavy; He's My Brother!"





I get a lot of good-natured ribbing and a little constructive criticism from time to time about getting involved with other people's lives more than I should. My daughter thinks that this probably shouldn't always involve random people in stores, etc...  My little cousin (Yes, she is little in size and stature, but not character as you see I quote her a lot!) thinks that perhaps I should not always try to get involved and "help and change" things myself but pray for people more. Of course, they have a point.

I guess it is not feasible to go around trying to adopt other people's monkeys all the time. And, it increases your stress factor when you assume liability and worry for a circus that is not your own.  And, if we are honest, sometimes we try to take over a circus for which we are not qualified. I really know nothing about primates.  (Alligators, yes.)

I do know bunches of stuff about dogs. The most important one is that you can't teach old dogs new tricks. My tombstone will probably look something like this:




Love, Barbie


P.S.  Speaking of dogs,

You might want to read about my Granddog, Fenway, jumping in the creek.  
















Thursday, July 17, 2014

Friends

Jeanni, Donna and I at Manna Bagel two weeks ago
Today I have to go with my mother to an appointment, and then I shall whizz home to pick up husband to go to funeral home visitation for my dear friend Betty Necessary. (You can read the article I wrote for Examiner about "The Betty and Ralph Show" here.) It's not maudlin, as you will see.

I was thinking today about what to write about for my blog without sounding very sad and dismal, which I am not. I was quite devastated at the unexpected news of the death of my friend, and I cried for hours. But, it seemed that God impressed on me to get up because it was NO Accident. Neither was my friendship with Betty.

Neither were my other wonderful, supportive, amazing relationships that God has brought into my life.  I am truly blessed with friends and a cousin who could only be described as Godsent to me. Yesterday my cousin drove a gazillion miles to come to my house, and then she drove me another gazillion miles to Betty's house to take some food.  (Of course, she is now terrified to ride with me!  A person just goes the wrong way on a street one time and people get all upset about it....)

You see friends in the photo above who are just too dear for words. I have other friends, both locally and far, far away who mean so much to me. I am talking heart-to-heart, carry your burden, call you in the middle of the night friends. How blessed I am!  My collection of friends is indeed more precious than the most priceless collectables I could amass. All of them are one-of-a-kind, and some of them are even downright quirky.  (If the shoe fits.....)

It sure is sad to say,"Goodbye," to Betty. However, I shall be thankful that God brought her into my life in a NOT ACCIDENTAL way 4-5 years ago.  I shall treasure the friends (and cousin) that I have now. They are definitely, just like Betty, a gift from God.

With love,

Barbie

Saturday, July 5, 2014

What is chasing you?


Claude Monet Claude Monet Woman Seated under the Willows 1880 Painting
O.K., most of you probably thought a bear was chasing me or something.  No, sorry.  LOL!

My husband and I went to a few yard sales on his day off Friday. On the way home, he ran in a plant nursery, and I decided to rest in the nice morning sun. I cranked back the seat, reveling in the therapeutic sunshine and uncharacteristically cool morning. Oh, how wonderful it felt to lie there and do absolutely nothing but enjoy the blessings of the day.

I have been so exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally during my mother’s recent ordeal. I have started trying to “clean out” her house, which I have previously written about on Bubblews. I feel sometimes like my head is going in circles, and sometimes I think I just run, run, run to avoid thinking and feeling all the things that are haunting me. So much that has always been a constant in my life is changing, and it is frightening, frankly. So, it was probably providential that I was trapped in a car and had to relax and rest.

Reclined in the seat, I glanced to my left and saw the New Living Translation Bible I bought at a yard sale earlier. It was lying in the back floorboard. I opened it to where a sticky note had been used to mark an important place. Here is what was highlighted:

“Trouble chases sinners, while blessings chase the righteous!” Proverbs 13:21 NLT 1996

 This immediately caught my attention because I had never seen this verse translated this way before. I am not a Bible scholar, by any means, but I have spent my entire life immersed in my Bible (s) and have a comfortable familiarity with much of what’s in there. If you are familiar with the Living Bible and the New Living Translation, they often take a tiny bit of license to add a current cultural flavor to the story without changing any facts. I have since done a bit of online research, comparing translations, etc… It appears that even some later versions of the New Living Translation (NLT) now translate this verse as follows:

"Trouble chases sinners, while blessings reward the righteous." (They use no exclamation point in this sentence.)
Proverbs 13:21 NLT

I kind of like the idea of blessings “chasing” me. 

Lying in the warm sunshine, glancing in a $.50 Bible translation, in a tiny little 2003 Dodge Neon with a dinted hood, something truly amazing happened. The God of the Universe met me there! He didn’t assign me any new name or anything like he sometimes did when he appeared to people in the Bible (Abram/Abraham, Saul/Paul). I am still just plain old “Barbie.”  I did, however, receive quite a spiritual spa treatment in the warm sunshine. God, who MADE THE SUN, set it at this unusually comfortable setting, and while I was receiving the warmth, I was receiving a warmth inside, too. 

It occurred to me that I should slow down more often so the blessings can “catch” me.

10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10 NIV 

I am so glad He chased me down yesterday.


Still Barbie, but blessed