Monday, December 22, 2014

Blog is moving: Please Change your bookmarks

This blog is moving!

Hi! 

I guess this finds you busying around trying to finish those last-minute Christmas details. Just wanted to let you know that "One Woman Who Writes" is moving to a slightly different blog address after Dec. 27. Be sure and change your bookmarks so you can find me!

Here is the new link, which doesn't work yet.   www.barbiecrafts.blogspot.com

I hope your Christmas is wonderful. 

Barbie


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Friendship: Loyalty and Love

This morning, I am in a good place. My tummy is full of food brought by loving people. More importantly, my heart is full of love from the friendship and comfort of so very many people who love me ( for some odd reason! lol) and loved my mother. I don't think there is anyone who feels as blessed as I do this morning, regardless of their circumstances. My mother was one kind of amazing! I am thankful to God for her life and the miracle of the last ten years which were actually borrowed time. I am at peace.
There are so many people who have blessed us through this time, but I want to just share one very touching story today. I will probably share many more as I go. This one is so sweet. Most of you know I was very worried about my son, who had been very sick, finding out about his beloved grandmother "DEE" while on the road. There was absolutely no way he and his girlfriend could make it in for the service by the time we told him. The afternoon of the service, we received a text message.
My son's best friend for so many years was coming to stand in for him. My mother adored Elliott and had spent so much time with him over the past 20+ years, but especially the past few years at our previous mountain-top house for Friday night "Hootennanies on the Hill."
Elliott had called and spent hours on the phone during the night's drive the first night my son found out. They had shared memories, and it meant so much to my son to spend this time with someone who also loved his grandmother.
Our son informed us that Elliott was worried about me. (I think a certain son was, too.) Elliott wouuld be standing in for Kenny at the funeral home. We were all very touched; my daughter and I cried.
When the time came, he arrived right on time and shared his condolences. He stood within 3-4 feet of me the entire time, then he quietly took a seat for the service, not in the family section, I realized when it was too late to change anything. He is so humble, and he would never have sat there without being asked.
After the service, we were at the front to continue to receive more friends' love and greetings. It was not really a formal line, but wherever I moved, I would catch a glimpse of my son's friend's tall shadow in the corner of my eye...always just 3-4 feet from where I was.
Just like my son would have been.
After everything was done, as we were loading flowers in the car, a voice asked, "What can I do to help carry things?" Out at the car, I glanced to the right, and there he was, my son's sentry, just waiting in the wings in case I needed him. He never left the parking lot until I was ensconced in the passenger seat of our car.
There were so many people who showed such incredible love to our family, but I must say that I shall NEVER, EVER forget Elliott Smith. He has always been there for my son through thick and thin, and Monday night, he was there for me, too. We love you, Elliott. Debbie Smith raised a real good one there.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Well, I forgot to get a photo of the food. We had a wonderful dinner.I thought I would post some photos of my decorations. Happy Thanksgiving.  I love this holiday...you will noice only one nod to Christmas...I added some glitter fruit to my kitchen wreath. They cosr a quarter each at a little shop.





















Happy Thanksgiving: And, the holidays begin!


Just a moment to say, "Happy Thanksgiving" to you and yours. Hope the day brings warm, happy memories with family and friends.

Many will be hopping off to do shopping today, but I doubt I will do that.  After family leaves, I will bring another meal to the nursing home to eat with mother, who doesn't know it's a holiday, I don't think. This is the thing I find the hardest with her situation.

I did a good portion of my Christmas shopping online yesterday with free shipping!  If you intend to order from Amazon, please forgive me for asking if you would mind to purchase through my affiliate Amazon link? It is always located to the right of the blog. I will post it here to make it easy!  If you go through this link, I will make a small commission.  Thanks in advance.

My Amazon Affiliate Link



Thanksgiving Dinner
I did most of my Thanksgiving Day dinner tonight. One of my favorite recipes is the Lucille Marshall Macaroni and Cheese Recipe.  Here is that link.  
It turned out beautifully for tomorrow.

Here's tomorrow's menu.


  • Turkey breast, cooked by hubby.
  • Baked dressing with apples, pecans and onions.
  • Spinach dip and crackers
  • Hot yeast rolls rising on counter now!
  • Red Jello....plain red Jello
  • Deviled eggs
  • Cole Slaw
  • Macaroni Salad
  • Sweet Potato Souflee with candied pecans on top
  • Green beans
  • corn
  • mashed potatoes
  • two kinds of canned cranberries
  • Homemade Guacamole from Miss Kaye's cookbook
  • Baked Beans
  • PUmpkin choco chip pie made by daughter
  • PUmpkin butter made by daughter
  • Rice and brocoli
  • Cheese slices




Little tip:  Mix up spud flakes, but microwave a few baked potatoes. Scoop the insides into your spuds and mix.  Makes them taste homemade!


Well, it's 3:51 a.m.! I better get some sleep!  Love to all.

barbie





Shop Amazon here!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tap Dancing World: You don't know how far you've come (or gone) till you get there

Yes, that's an odd title. Yesterday, I was visiting my mother at the Nursing Home. One of the CNA's said it was Laxative Day. Joy! She said she loves working that day!

Running for cover, I was waiting for my mother in the lounge where a program was airing that had clips from old musicals with Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Having just done a writing assignment the day before about Frank Sinatra's songs, I watched a little closer. (Top 10 Best Frank Sinatra Songs.)

I found myself mesmerized by the whole thing. They were tap-dancing with top hats and canes, singing the bounciest of numbers, etc... (I have to say my favorite musical piece was Frank Sinatra singing "Ole Man River."  If you haven't heard it, Google it.)

Anyway, while I was standing there like a zombie hypnotized by the tap-tap-tapping of the old soft shoes, I suddenly snapped out of it with a jolt.  Was that another universe?

Wow, there was a time when the scenes they were showing were not anything strange or alien to me. How things have changed!

I had sat mesmerized before the television set the night before as protesters destroyed a city, wondering what this meant for the future of our country, as the flames spread. From now on forward, is this how our nation will function? So many questions have been tap-dancing through my head after seeing these scenes in Ferguson and around the country.

These starry-eyed tap dancers singing about "love" and "marriage" really didn't live in an easier time. There was a major world war going on, and news stories met them each morning of friends and family being killed on foreign soil. They lived on beans because meat was rationed. I know these things because my mother often shared her memories of living through it. My father rarely shared much of his memories of his time in the trenches, but there was enough to get a feel for what it did to him.

Yet, this was the tap dancing generation. Maybe it is people who have changed, not situations.
"The Greatest Generation" probably was.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Barbie and Ken's nighttime adventures: Same crazy people in a different town

Yes, I went out in public like this!

It's a long story, really. (But, of course, you knew that!) I will try to cut it short. It's late and I need to go to bed for a long day of my church job, visiting the nursing home and cooking for the Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow night at church. It's 1:40 a.m. now!

Well, it started with a tree. When my daughter was in college, she hit a tree with the car I am driving. It was amazing she did not get hurt. It was a rainy day, and the road to her college was quite curvy and slick. The officer told her he would sometimes work 6 accidents on that street when it rained. 

Anyway, my husband and son repaired the right side of the car which was terribly damaged. Several years later, something tiny that they didn't replace came loose and started making a HORRIBLE roaring. It appeared to be the engine...but it was in the right side. It has been going on for months and months. It was much worse noise on the passenger side, so when we went on our 45 minute drive (one way) to church, I wore my husband's hearing protection he bought for power tools. 

I don't think it's supposed to do that!

My husband and son were looking at the car one night, and I looked out the bedroom window down in the driveway. Oh, my! The hood was open, and my son was pressing the gas pedal. The whole motor block was going up and down! Apparently, the motor mounts were bad.

At this point I was afraid to drive it. If I had to go to the store, I took the Explorer, which has a broken thingie in the wheel bearing or something. (People have accused me of hitting the bumps in the previous driveway too hard.) You can only go 22 miles an hour in it...It's like having a flat almost...this will be a more expensive repair. It was ok to get to the  Market down the street if you didn't go at a busy time. I accidentally came out of there at 5 p.m. one night. I had traffic backed up all the way into town!

So....

My poor husband has replaced motor mounts, some other mount, and another thingie...he has spent countless hours under the car. Nothing changed each time. So, after much research, he determined another whatchamacallit needed replaced. He went to the junkyard. I waited in the car. I was fascinated by the little painted building in the parking lot. 

It appeared they have just slapped a little paint from the bottom of almost-empty cans on this little building.  Oddly, I liked the concept. Anyway, he came out with this hub assembly thingie he says it needs. That was a few weeks ago.

Fast forward.

 The part was missing a part. So, he went back after work on the way home. He loved recounting his adventures that night. The guy said, "Come on with me." He said he climbed in a car that had a cracked windshield. The outside was covered in mud, and the inside was covered with oil. My sweet husband is one of those khaki men. He always wears light-colored khakis. 

He said he was trying to hold the door closed, and the car took off. He said they went sailing over the hills out thru the junkyard. He said it was like a roller coaster ride. He wasn't sure the door would stay shut. The thrill ride came to an abrupt stop, and the guy said, "Here we are at the Dodge Neon section." 

That might have been a glorified description of the place he found himself. The guy said my husband had received a PT Cruiser part when what he needed was a Neon.  So, he was going to get the Neon part off when he realized he didn't have a hammer. He called for another junkyard man who soon came bouncing over the hills in another junkyard car. He had a hammer.

So, he got back in and braced himself for the ride back. He came home quite amused and quite flattered that they said they could trust him to bring the other part back. They didn't charge him.
Our son remarked that they looked at the pickup and determined they would see him again soon...and often.

A slight hiatus

Then he was sick for a week; he was very miserably sick. His company has no sick days, and you are actually penalized for missing. So, he went to work, came home, and crashed. Today, he decided to get back to the car. He was under it for 10 hours, lying on the garage floor. At one point, he said it didn't look like he could put it on. I came inside and prayed.

After a while, he let me know things looked much better. He took a break for chicken and dumplings I made for him. Several more hours after dinner, he got it fixed and took a spin around the neighborhood. He couldn't wait to see if the loud roaring that had been so much of a source of discontent and hearing loss had been taken care of. He arrived back and wanted me to go for a ride. I asked where we were going! It was already 10:30 p.m. 

We just took off,... I should say, we took off in silence!  Pure, perfect silence interrupted only by the purr of the 4 cylinder engine. He had fixed it!  My smart, talented, dedicated, determined husband (who was sick to death of hearing me whine and nag for 3 hours on Sunday) had managed to fix it!

 Did I tell you we were invited to Alaska?

This is part of the story, sort of. I do a lot of writing about Alaska reality shows, and I was contacted by a website/agency that had an author they thought I might want to interview. After a few exchanges, they mentioned my husband and I coming for a 3 week stay next summer in exchange for my writing about my "adventures." 

Well, it probably won't happen for a variety of reasons, one of which being that I won't fly. We would have to drive, and I am not sure the car would make it! 

Also, more importantly, I don't have any socks. I don't wear socks.When we were helping my daughter and her husband move, it was a terrible snow. I was in shoes with no socks. My feet were freezing and I borrowed a purple pair of socks. I do have them. 

Our new house is a bit colder than we are used to, and I wear slippers most of the time. Anyway, last night I bought a pair of socks with grippers to go up and down our steps. I have since decided they make me miserable, and I have taken them off. (All the reasons I have never worn socks, but they also hurt my toe and foot.) Did you notice I think in pink? 





I had these socks on when my husband asked me to go for a ride, so I grabbed my trusty pink crocs and a little sweat jacket and left. 
I still cannot believe I went out in public like this!


He was sure that Kroger in our new town would be open until midnight. We were famous for prowling around our 24-hour Kroger in our other town all hours of the night. We have missed that since we moved. We are also a bit more careful about being out at night in this bigger city. Anyway, we quietly tooled over to the Kroger. Ken kept saying that he just couldn't believe how quiet it was. (I am really not thinking it was the car being quiet he was talking about. I always did a whole lot of NAGGING about the car...even to the point of tears at times. It was so loud that it hurt!)

Kroger was open 

We went in the front door, and my hubby asked the lady what time they closed. When she said they were open 24 hours, we started celebrating! She looked a little amused, but she wasn't too friendly. I don't guess she gets it that the nighttime cashier at our other Kroger knew us by name and asked about family members, etc... We sometimes had long political discussions in the middle of the night. This lady didn't seem to get it.

Of course, I stopped to snap the above photo in the lobby where the buggies are, and she was watching me. She probably thought we were certifiable!


Anyway, we were thrilled to know we can go do our middle of the night Krogering like we used to. We laughed thinking about how happy we were to find out this news; most people probably wouldn't really find this that exciting. And, sometimes, it is nice to be where "NOBODY knows your name!"





Friday, October 31, 2014

A celebration of Fall today




My little scarecrow couple are still standing. 
Hello! Today was Halloween, and I love celebrating Fall. I am not a big fan of the gore and guts part of Halloween, but I love pumpkins and Fall Leaves!  I adore Fall Leaves.When my husband went to rake them up, I almost cried. So, he took the leaf blower and blew them into piles and sections so that the whole yard wasn't covered. I suppose this weekend he will remove them completely. :-((
The creek is surrounded by leaves.
I bought a lot of candy for trick-or-treaters. This was our first holiday in the new house, and I anticipated a wonderful Fall festival type of time where I would meet my new neighbors, etc...I bought more candy than I could really afford this week, and I divided it into little pumpkin treat bags with silver ties.

I had looked so forward to this time, but no trick or treaters ever showed up!Then the doorbell rang and my daughter brought my Granddog over in his costume.

My Granddog Fenway was dressed as a Ninja Turtle


He moves so fast, it is hard to get a photo! He is just a blurr! 
Then, we got two other trick-or-treaters. The little boy and girl from up the street braved the rain to come trick-or-treat us. I was thrilled! The little boy introduced themselves to me. They were the sweetest little cowgirl and Spiderman I have ever seen. Whast well-mannered kids!

I snapped this photo of the Fall beauty coming into my neighborhood today.
By the way, some of you might be interested to know that my mom won the Halloween Costume Contest at the Nursing Home. She was thrilled absolutely to death. 

I bought a few things and made her the "Tooth Fairy."The only thing is that I forgot to take a photo!

Here is how the conversation went:

Mom:  "I had the best afternoon in my life today!"Me: "Did they like your costume?"Mom: Well, they must have because they VOTED ME #1"

It was a fun day; I am just glad I finally had a few trick-or-treaters.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Teresangela Schiano Memorial Scholarship Fund to honor Bristol's 'Tiny Dancer'


I was truly honored to be part of this effort to honor the daughter of a dear friend. 



Teresangela Schiano as Clara in "The Nutcracker" with Bristol Ballet (Photo Courtesy of Schiano Family)
Former Bristol resident Teresangela Schiano spent most of her years in Bristol dancing with Bristol Ballet. She won the hearts of many who had seen her dance so exquisitely in “The Nutcracker” through the years. After her untimely passing on March 8, 2014, a standing-room-only crowd gathered to remember her life. Seeking to honor her memory for years to come, family and friends decided to establish the Teresangela Schiano Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Bristol Ballet Company. Read More and view a slideshow of Teresangela's ballet career HERE>