Friday, September 26, 2014

'Holey Walls, Batman!': DIY Misadventures

My neighbors have a goose habitat in the front yard. Look how big the babies have gotten!

I purposed today to spend an active day working around the house, getting some much-needed decorating and straightening done. My blood sugar is stubbornly refusing to come down, and I was waiting for a call from the doctor about what to do regarding meds.

I have decided to be "more active" and get off social media so much. I am spending limited time at the desk working on my actual work. I started the day with a jaunt to get the newspaper at the mailbox. I stopped to snap some photos of the neighbors' goose family on the way.  They have a goose habitat with a big lake, etc..  These geese were little babies marching up and down the street just a short while ago!

Oh, by the way, I am trying out that Okra in a glass thing that has spread across Facebook as a "cure" for diabetes. You soak okra all night in a glass and drink the liquid in the morning.  We will see!



I also put a lot of okra in the freezer today. Our dear friends share their vine okra with us, and we eat a lot of it.



DIY DISASTERS

Well, my husband banned me from painting by myself many years ago. Before you judge him, I must say it was well-deserved and a GOOD THING! He came home to a Hot Pink Enamel Bathroom. It was all the paint I could find downstairs. We had been making and selling Barbie Doll furniture.  Oh, my, it was a mess!

I think that he will hide my hammer next. I actually think that he had hid the hammers in our early married years. He used to say that I used "railroad spikes" to hang things. My daddy gave me my own hammer around 20+ years ago with his pet name for me, "Puggy," written on it. I still have it, and it means the world to me. However, after today, I suppose I should hide it myself so he won't find it.

Well, what did I do? I was trying to hang a bathroom medicine cabinet that we have had for a long time. It is a nice, pretty cabinet, but the pressing need to hang it was not cosmetic. I needed to get lots of "junk" off the sink counter. I just could not wait till my husband got off work.


I borrowed my son's studfinder, which was quite a learning curve to start with. (If someone is on the other side of the country and has no idea you are using it, is that still "borrowing?")

I think I do better with the knocking method my dad taught me. I had a pencil to mark the studs, but I laid it down somewhere. My hands were full, so I grabbed a black eyeliner off the sink and used it. Of course, the big clumps of raven black eye pencil didn't help me any! I think I failed to do the thing where you go from the other side to determine where the stud starts and ends.

Remember Laurel and Hardy and the piano?

This cabinet was very heavy, and it was also quite wide. It was very awkward to handle to try to hang it. There were two holes in the back to slide onto the nails.  Here I was trying to get this big mirrored cabinet onto these two little nails while climbing around the toilet. ( I hate saying that word online.) After attempting several times, removing and re-nailing the nails, I had created  a long snake-like set of holes down the wall!  The cabinet's holes were exactly 16 1/4 inches apart, but I could never get it to fit the nails, I realized I was getting nowhere! And, I had some really pretty black swinging scuff marks on the wall where I almost fell with the weight of the huge cabinet.

So, I took boxes of photos out of the hall closet and stacked them up on the sink to hold the cabinet. I moved the cabinet off center from the toilet  placing boxes to get it to the right height. Then, I just opened the doors up and nailed the silly thing to the stud in several places. I just did away with the official "hanging holes."

It looked right good, but the issue was all the ephemera that surrounded the pretty cabinet!

There were pencil marks and big black clumps of eyeliner pencil. There were big curving black scuff marks on the wall. They looked like big arrows pointing to the area, and all that was lacking was a sign that said, "BIG DIY DISASTER HERE!"

One of the nails that actually did hit a stud had to be removed when I decided to move the cabinet over the sink area. It didn't want to come out, and it pulled a big  hunk of plaster with it!  So, I decided the best thing to do was to just hammer the big, huge nail in flush to the wall.  There were all these little lines of nail holes where I had made attempt after attempt to find the stud, too.  Those were interesting!

Man Psychology:  I could teach a class!

I could just imagine the criticism I would get when he got home. So, I decided to use a little creative conversation. I told him it was "Less Than Perfect."  This is the way he talks about the mistakes in the wood floor in the kitchen. He always says, "Even though it is less than perfect, it really looks good, doesn't it?" 

Well, it really does! And, I am thankful for all the hard work he put into the floor. He still lacks a little trim, though, and there are a few gaps that look bad. (I was hoping he would think of those!

Little Cousin was right!

My little cousin refers to my husband as "The Saint." This is not because he is particularly pious or anything, but because he has lived with me for 33 years and not committed any act of violence against me.  LOL.  She is right.

After supper, he went down in the garage to get some stuff, and then he came up and disappeared into the master bathroom. When he called me back there to see, I was stunned. Not only had he hid my "small errors," but he had painted the wall a fresh, crisp white.  He did take time to remind me that that "one nail" would take some more attention to fully cover it up.

I guess that was for all the "reminders" I have given him that the kitchen floor is still not technically finished. Yep, he's a saint.

P.S.


After supper, I decided to hang these two beautiful little pictures that I got at a garage sale. I was going to hang them in the foyer, replacing the coat of arms plaques, moving them behind the den bar.


So, I went to take down the coat of arms and remove the huge nails. THEY WERE STUCK IN THE STUD!  Of course, when I didn't need a stud for the small coat of arms plaques, I had hit a stud.


Trying to remove the huge nail, I damaged the wallpaper right there in the foyer!  There were big impressions from the part of the hammer where you pull a nail! 
So, what did I do?  I just got more nails and hammered them in above the damaged area.  Presto! No worries!






Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Playing with Fall decor and a "Dare" for you!




Hi! I hope you are enjoying this beautiful almost-Fall day. I had intended to accomplish a lot of writing and work on websites, etc... that I am wayyyyy... behind on. However, that just hasn't happened. I started out hanging sheers on the windows in the living room. They look so much better. I got those tension rods that don't require nails for $3.00 a piece at Dollar General. I hate hanging those white rods with those tiny nails you can't ever hold onto, etc...


Then I decided to work on my Fall wreath which I had not been very happy with. Here is a pictorial of the wreath, which hangs inside a glass storm door and must be thin. I don't use an over-the-storm-door hook because I like to open the front door and see out. We don't have windows in the foyer.

I had done this wreath with clip on flowers from Michaels when we first moved in. So, all I had to do was unclip and start over.










I found some really pretty Fall clip-on flowers much cheaper at Dollar Tree.  They were two to a card for $1.00, and I also picked up a roll of cheap ribbon.









I never quite liked it, however.  It just didn't "pop" like the blue one had. During the night, I was thinking about it.  (Yes, those of us who don't sleep ponder such weighty matters during the night...)
It needed some black! It needed black to pick up the other trim colors. And, I had some black flowers and the black polka-dotted bow that I removed from the other wreath. This is where clip-on flowers come in handy. Here are some  clip on flowers on Amazon.

I am pleased with it now!


I added a painted metal vase of yellow silk tulips to the top of the milk can. They were $1.00 at a yard sale. 




Now, my next Fall Decor project is to replace this twig wreath. I have a heavy oval grapevine wreath to hang out here. I made this twig wreath for Spring from twigs I picked up in the yard and wired together.




Here is a wreath I made for a friend's birthday a few weeks ago.  I really like the look of the straw, although it does shed a lot. 


Margie's wreath


Now for the dare....

We are having Shipwreck Casserole for dinner.  It is one of my family's favorite dinners. I posted the link to the recipe on my BarbieCrafts.com Facebook page, and a few of my friends had the gall and audacity (LOL) to post the equivalent of "YUCK" as a comment. 


Here is the recipe on Knoxville Cooking Examiner. 



Now, I am DARING you to try it and post the results on the BarbieCrafts.com Facebook Page. (Be sure and "like" it while you are there.) I can almost guarantee that your guys will LOVE it.  If you want to really wow them, double the ground beef and tomato soup. OH, my! Yes, it's probably a bit high in fat. (LOL)

Well, thanks for reading. I have been a bit remiss in updating this blog. My new devotional blog comes first. Have you read it? The link is on the side of this blog.


Thanks!

Barbie



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Life used to be simpler when it didn't "beep" all the time...

I need one of these phones....


One of my friends remarked tonight that she had told her husband she wanted to get rid of the cell phones. She liked it better when people called you, and, if you were there, they got hold of you. The constant access can be very stressful, especially if you are a person who requires a lot of "quiet" time. People always seem to be surprised that I AM one of those type of people. 

The constant digital surveillance of your life is also annoying if you do your work at home. I hear my writer friends complain a lot about this; they are already working around the constant interruptions from their children (and often the neighborhood children, too.) 

Another group of people who are annoyed by the cell phone and the house phone are those of us who sleep at odd times. Oddly, I fit into this group, too. I often sleep until mid-morning if I have not had good sleep on my Bi-Pap machine or have been up working through the night because I didn't get it done during the day. 

It seems now that I am getting awakened at the crack of dawn, (8 a.m.) by doctors, dentists, insurance folks,  and others calling me with issues regarding my elderly mother. Half the time, I am so out of it, I don't even know what they are talking about.  Yesterday, I got a call on my cell phone from a bank who seemed to know all my business. I think they thought I was drunk.  I told them I would give the number to my husband. It annoyed me they had my cell number. Today, at 8 a.m. when I was in a deep sleep, I got a call from my mother's dentist about tomorrow's appointment. 

Somehow, when my cell phone rings, it feels much more like a personal affront; someone is in my space. I am not very nice when someone has my number without my permission.

I have some stupid setting messed up on my Kindle Fire Tablet, and it now beeps every time an email comes in to either of my main accounts. Now, I have got to take time to get that fixed before I throw the tablet in the creek.

I don't know.  Maybe I should toss the phone and tablet in the creek? I will keep the PC because a girl has to work!

By the way, are you searching for links to what I have done lately?  I hope so! I moved those off the sidebars hoping to raise my search engine rankings. (Little Cousin may still not have found my articles!)


Here is my first article for Examiner's new acquisition AXS.   It is pretty interesting because it is about the show, "Snake Salvation" that used to come on Nat Geo. There is a local tie.

I wrote an article about Sarah Palin which has garnered a LOT of comments. Last time I looked several days ago, there were 192 comments. I also got a letter sent to my editors which appeared to have been from a Palin family member or close friend. They forwarded it to me.  It was very interesting.  

Here is an article I did on Stackstreet.com.  It is called, "Millenials, your teachers lied to you."

Don't forget to bookmark this blog on your computer, too. 







Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Come on in!


Come on in!
Hi, and thanks for dropping by!

It's been a busy time, and I have not gotten to write on my blog as much as I would like.  I have undertaken a Women's Devotional Blog called "A Quiet Place," which I have put as first priority.  (Even then I have not made it every single day, but I have been close!)

I still have several columns for Examiner, along with a few other endeavors, so I stay busy! Today and tomorrow are allotted to appointments with my mother who is in a nursing home. I did drop by to see my "GRANDDOG" today.

Fenway tilts his head when you talk to him.
In the course of things, I fell and hurt my back playing with him on the steps.  He is adorable, but a bundle of unbridled electric energy! He is a 4-month-old Yellow Lab.  Our black lab has half "HEE-HAW" Hound in him to be much calmer. Sometimes I have to poke him to see if he is alive!


What have I been writing lately? Here are a few of the recent things:

This was a very distressing article about a mob attack at the Kroger in Memphis.  I thought about it a lot when we went to Kroger tonight.  "A Shocking Video shows Memphis Teen Mob Attack"

This article is quite interesting and even exciting for the Bristol area. They are considering making Bristol and Washington County, Virginia part of the official Lewis and Clark Trail!

Bristol Tennessee Police Department is hosting a drug take-back program on September 27.

This one was kind of funny.  I couldn't resist it. This woman stole a lot of eyeshadow.  Well, you have to see for yourself!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Quick and easy soda scones are great with a cup of coffee: Made with Coke!

Soda Scones:  Copyright 2014 Barbie Crafts
These are a bit different from biscuits, but you will love them! These slightly salty scones are the kind of thing you will keep in an old cookie jar to have with coffee in the middle of the morning. They are so easy, and the fact that you use Coke is kind of neat, too.

Ingredients:


  • Coke: 1/2 cup very fresh and bubbly
  • Flour:  2 1/2 cups
  • Butter or margarine:  1 stick
  • Oil:  1/3 cup
  • Sour Cream:  1 cup

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Melt margarine in microwave.
  3. Measure the flour into bowl.
  4. Add Coke and mix well.
  5. Add oil and mix some more.
  6. Add Sour Cream and mix.
  7. Spoon dough by medium-sized balls onto well-greased cookie sheet.
  8. Spread remaining margarine over top.
  9. Bake until lightly golden, watch for burning. 
  10. Remove from pan immediately with spatula.

Fix a big pot of fresh coffee!






Thursday, September 4, 2014

"I've seen fire, and I've seen rain": 33 years of it!







In about half an hour it will be our wedding anniversary. We have been married 33 years. That is a long time and a lot of life experiences shared together. It would be idyllic if I could tell you it was all buttercream icing and rose petals strewn along our way, but that would not be true.  And, if it were, I don't think we would have the bond between us that we do today.

We have been through the richer and poorer, in sickness and health stuff. We have been abundantly blessed, too. But, I think the struggles are what truly brings you closer and forms the tapestry of your relationship. Oh, sure, much of the struggles we bring on ourselves as we learn the correct paths to take. However, it is much better to learn together.

After 33 years, he still called me Tuesday to tell me he missed being home with me after the holiday weekend. I missed him, too. Why?

Is it that old "magic" that they sing about? No, that old "magic" only works in the movies, and it often doesn't last till the popcorn's gone.  Lasting 33 years takes much more than that.

I think that it is something supernatural, however. A good marriage is a blessing of God. I am thankful.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

'Climb Every Mountain'



Yep, that's me sitting on that red Target ball. I finally convinced my daughter to snap a photo of me on there. I had wanted to sit on that big red ball for years, and when we moved to another town, she finally consented!

This red ball photo started a phenomenon in a private Facebook group I am in, and everyone is posting them. We have done a background photo for the group, of course, it is changing as we get more shots.

One of the group members asked why we were doing this again because she had forgotten.  I had to think a moment, and then I remembered it had to do with doing those things that we always wanted to do! (And not caring about what people think in the process.)

This "Climb Every Mountain" thing got me in trouble a few weeks ago. I wasn't going to tell anyone, but my husband has insisted on telling literally everyone everywhere we go, so I might as well.

I have had knee, leg and foot problems for quite some time.  I had gotten a brace that was recommended by my friend Jeanni that worked amazingly! I was no longer riding in the "Old Fart Cart" when we went to stores. Not totally perfect, but I was doing much better.

We went and bought a screen door at Lowes for our back door the other week. I enjoyed walking around the store for a change. After we came out, Ken was loading the door onto the truck, and I told him I would return the big blue cart thing.

OK...Here's the scoop.  For months, I had been teasing Ken about giving me a ride on that big blue metal wood cart thing. It looks like so much fun.  So, the brilliant idea came to me that I would ride it back to the front of the store while nobody was looking at me outside.  Ken was busy securing the purchases in the truck.

I was in such a good mood, and I decided to just get a running-go and treat it like a Scooter, jumping on with one foot.  Well, that's what I did.

The problem was that I jumped with my right foot, also the one with the bad right knee.  I landed on that cart, and the pain was excruciating.  So, I fell backwards off the cart, but didn't hit the ground, luckily.  I froze and screamed bloody murder.  Everybody in the lot was looking, including my horrified husband, of course.

I was barely able to get back in the truck with Ken's help. I had a setback and had to recover again, although not as bad this time.

ON the way home, I texted "Little Cousin" who asked how my knee was doing.  (It had been so bad I could not go up and down the stairs.) When I told her what had happened, her response was basically the "title" given in the family to the experience:

"Some People Never Grow UP."


Yeah, I guess she is right.




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!