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> 







Tuesday, October 28, 2014

'Duck Dynasty' Jep Robertson hospitalized for seizure

Allie  Ghatour Digital Art

Jep Robertson is the youngest of "Duck Dynasty" Robertson brothers, but he had a
seizure episode that almost took his life on Oct. 19. He was hunting at the time it occurred. You can read more about it here on my Duck Dynasty Examiner Column. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Well, maybe we won't watch that show anymore for awhile...




That is what my husband said when we got in after 1 a.m. last night. We had been watching marathons of Alaska State Troopers and Northwoods Law the past few days. After being pulled over by police twice in one week, we have about decided maybe the whole thing isn't so entertaining after all.

We did NOT shoot the MOOSE!

That's what I started to scream at the officer with his head stuck in the window last night.

But, first things first, I will briefly tell you about police encounter #1 this week. We were just leaving church on Wednesday night. We were headed home, not driving too fast because we are having a noise issue with the motor, and it is unpleasant. Husband has replaced motor mounts, etc...  Anyway, we soon saw lights flashing behind us, and my husband pulled over.

The officer was a bit gruff as he told us we have a low-beam headlight out. (As though we planned it in some fashion.) He then asked for my husband's license, and he asked if the address is correct.  "Well, no," my honest hubby said. He had changed it online, but he had never printed out the corrected form to carry because at the time we were out of printer ink!

The officer was gone to run the info, and I was furious that this simple thing is probably going to cost us a lot of money. I would like to tell you I was very sweet to my husband about his oversight about the license...................................................................

Shortly, the officer returned and said  he has another call coming in and was going to just let us go with a warning to fix the light. (which we did)

We were very, very thankful and felt as though we got a break. I was talking to Little Cousin when we were pulled over, and she texted me she was anxious to know what happened.  (She was probably getting ready to bake me a cake with a hacksaw in it!)

Monday, Monday

Our son was home around 23 hours when he had to leave. He was in a hurry leaving, and he forgot something very important. He called around 10:30 p.m. while we were watching "Northwoods Law" reruns, stretched out on the couches. I had taken three benadryl that afternoon to get the swelling in my throat to go down. (I do that with allergies some times.)

He wanted us to meet him somewhere, and it was agreed we will meet over near the biggest factory in our region which is near a paper plant where he picks up paper to take out West.

We decided to leave before he called so we could take our time on the 30 minute trip over there to that part of the city. I did NOT want to go. (It makes me nervous to see my son driving that big truck.) I was very drowsy and tired from the Benadryl, too.  But, the husband really wanted me to go.

So, we arrived over in that part of the city around 11:45 p.m.  We are pretty unfamiliar with the area,  and the male in the car decided that the best thing to do was cruise back and forth until we heard from our son. I wanted to just go to the place where he was going and wait there. In his MALE mind, using his MALE logic, it made sense to hubby to not drive way over to that paper factory but to meet him over on this side of the highway. So, we drove up and down the roads, at midnight, near this big factory....very slowly.

Well, the female in the car pronounced this the most stupid thing she had ever seen. After sarcastically inquiring, "What part of this stupid idea makes sense to you," she reclined the seat all the way back and closed her antihistamine-drowsy eyes.

Well, this is familiar!

The glow from the all-too-familiar blue lights was whirling around the interior of the car, I looked up to see my husband sitting there with the most ridiculous look on his face. It was actually quite surreal.  "What have you done?" I asked, knowing for doggone-sure he wasn't speeding!  "I don't know," he said. Well, I knew!  He was probably pulling us over for repeatedly (and stupidly) cruising this major road by a very, very large factory at midnight which probably had surveillance by the gate!

The officer stuck his whole head in the car.  He wanted to know if we are alright! He pulled us over for DUI!!!!  He said we were doing 25 mph in a 50 mph zone and that usually indicated someone was intoxicated.  He then pointed over at me, and he said, " You were all sprawled back flat."  I just said, " I was tired." LOL.  I didn't say I was under the influence of Benadryl.

We proceeded to tell the officer, who was actually very nice and the son of a truck driver, this whole stupid story. It sounded even more stupid when we put it in words. I knew we probably looked either very stupid or very suspicious.

He said he could tell we were not intoxicated. I told him I was a church organist and my husband was a song leader. If we were, we would lose our jobs.

How about that license?

It is important to note that we have had printer ink for quite some time. Just saying.

Yep, of course, the officer asked for Hubby's license. Under my breath, I told him not to say anything about it being the old address. The officer  was gone for the LONGEST time.  Oh, I was livid to think that he still had not printed off that little paper showing the change of address.  I would like so very much to tell you that I was very sweet to my sweet husband.........................................................................

Finally the officer returned, and he never mentioned the address! He kindly sent us on our way. We told him he would see us on the side of the road at some point when our son called.

I cranked the seat back and turned toward the window.

Next thing I knew my husband was screaming, "OPEN THE DOOR! OPEN THE DOOR!  HAND HIM THAT BOX!"  I saw my son outside the window...handed it to him, and it was over.

The next thing we said to each other:

Me:  I am sorry. (Picking up the controller to the bedroom tv.) ,

HIM:  Well, Maybe we won't watch that show anymore for awhile....


I did get a text that said,

"Thank you all so much for doing that for me.  I love you both."

He's a pretty good kid.  Oh, his dad's pretty wonderful, too.... 







Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My Scarecrow Adventures: If I only had a brain!





Little Cousin said, "You really should write comedy. You are really funny." But, as my husband remarked, "People think you make that stuff up! The sad thing is it's true." I am not really writing, as I told Little Cousin, but just recording what happened in my life and in our home. Just the facts, Sir.

Foddershocks, haybales and scarecrows

I have wanted a Fall Display with haybales, mums, scarecrows, etc.. for many years. In our new house, I had looked forward to a beautiful Fall season, but the leaves on our many tall trees seem to be just drying up and falling to the ground. I still wanted to do some Fall things in the yard.

Michaels had these big Scarecrows on bamboo poles on sale over the weekend VERY cheap. They had boys and girls, and I left to quickly run get some on Saturday afternoon. My husband was finishing the trim on the kitchen floor. I had fallen up the steps earlier, and I was a bit sore, but thought I would be O.K. to go to Michaels. (I have never fallen down steps; I fall UP.) It was a LOOOOONG time before I returned home, and, of course, there was a good explanation as to why. (There always is!)

The Girl's dress had to match the Boy's overalls!


Photo:  Barbie Crafts



I carefully picked out the scarecrow couple I wanted and carried them inside to pay. Right here is where I made my mistake. I decided to shop a bit, so I got a buggy. It was a challenge to get these long-polled kids into the buggy, but I did. I needed a wide load sign, though.

I was going back through the store, and I ended up in the yarn. I have started knitting again. Anyway, I ran into one of my favorite high school teachers, and she was talking to this lady. We all stood and talked a few minutes, and she made her exit. I remained there with this other nice lady discussing sock yarn, etc... Then it went to depression and divorce.... She had had a very difficult time.

I am not a psychotherapist nor do I play one on TV

I take a lot of flack from my family for how I quickly develop these relationships with total strangers. They say that I share way too much information. Little Cousin says I get way too involved and try to fix things for everyone.  It is true; I do.

During the approx. 45-minute conversation, people would come up the aisle, and I would have to apologize and tell them I would move my "family." Finally, I got to the front of the store to check out. After I went through the EXIT, I realized I had been in there so long I had forgotten where I had parked, and the lot was full.

Photo:  Krosseel/Morguefile


Wandering Vagabonds

So, if you had pulled in the lot that afternoon,  you would have seen a scruffy-looking woman walking up and down the parking lot with a shopping cart with two huge scarecrows, perched like children hanging out of the buggy. (They were still much more well-behaved than the two real ones I had!)  

I finally found my car and was trying to fit the buggy up to the back door when the lady in the vehicle next to me started to open her passenger door to get out. I said, "Wait just a minute until I can get my "kids" in the car. She grumpily replied with something I couldn't understand. I backed the buggy out from between the cars and she got out. She was elderly, and she was wearing a portable oxygen tank. She looked at me, and then chuckled. Her dog had started barking at the scarecrows through the window.

I backed out, trying to see around the passengers, and my mind was already flipping through files of the single guys I knew who I could introduce to this lady, divorced after 32 years. Suddenly, from somewhere, I could hear Little Cousin telling me that I get way too involved with people's situations. I should just pray for her, not try to solve it all myself. (How does she do that?)


So, I got home. Within a hour or two, all the kids were here. We were outside on the front porch, and I had a cup of coffee. I was sharing with them about why I was so long at the craft store. I began sharing bits and pieces of my conversation with the lady in the yarn department. My son's girlfriend laughingly remarked, "Well, at least she doesn't know where you live."  Everyone laughed. One of my kids, who knows me better, asked me if I told her where I lived.

Well, actually.....

My new friend lives in our neighborhood!  

There was a group eye-rolling from the people on the porch.

Crocs or just clumsy?

To change the subject, I was going to go in and get a sale paper with boots to show my daughter and son's girlfriend. As I was coming back up the steps with the paper and the coffee, I fell. I fell up the steps....for the second time in a few hours.

Coffee went all over the marble floor on the foyer, and the stone edge went up in my rib cage. I was sure this time I had broken something.

My daughter, the nurse, was screaming at me about the crocs before she ever got the door open to help me.  She has repeatedly told me that they get more emergency room cases from Croc accidents than anything, it seems.

Fortunately, I was ok, but quite a bit more sore and getting sorer.  Sunday, I was an aching mess.



Those Sneaky Straw Children

Monday morning brought some bad storms to our area. We watched my little adopted children bending in the wind, and we worried they would not survive. They were still standing after the storm, and I was so proud of them.

That is, until my son's girlfriend and I were leaving to see my mom. Lo, and behold, those two little rascals had decided to just shun the neighbors across the street. These neighbors are the ones who have not been friendly and don't seem to be celebrating the fact we moved in.  (Just guessing about the ones across the street, but the neighbors on the sides have been very, very nice.) Now, it appears I have purposely shunned them with my scarecrows!

My Scarecrows must be Amish. They are shunning my neighbors!




My daughter's neighbors brought her pie. I don't think I am going to get a pie.







Image Credit: Unless otherwise noted, Morguefile

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.