Sunday, January 30, 2011

Barbie Is In The News Again.....

I read this news tidbit in the Financial Section (?) this week....

Ken Tries to Win Barbie Back by Valentine's Day

by Parija Kavilanz
Friday, January 28, 2011
The celebrity toy-couple that shocked the world with their split after 43 years together could be reuniting this year, but only if 'Sweet Talkin' Ken' succeeds in wooing Barbie back.
Ken is on a mission this year. He wants Barbie back.
He's sporting a new Justin Bieber-like look, and a new name: Sweet Talkin Ken.
And he's not holding back in his quest to woo Barbie back — by Valentine's Day.
Here's the scoop.
Don't be surprised if you see billboards in New York and Los Angeles with Ken professing his renewed love for his ladydoll, declaring "Barbie, you are the only doll for me."
Even better, "Barbie, we may be plastic but our love is real."
Ken and Barbie fans may also have picked up on the famous exes flirting on Facebook, or noted that Ken checked in on Foursquare at the famous Magnolia Bakery in New York to get special cupcakes for his favorite girl.
Ken's thinks he's the ultimate boyfriend but Barbie fans will have to wait a few more weeks to find out if he succeeds in his quest.
Breakup that rocked the world: Ken and Barbie shocked their fans — and the world — when the doll world's "golden couple" went splitsville in 2004.
The couples' romance began 50 years ago when they met on the set of their first television commercial together in 1961.
When they unexpectedly split, their PR reps said both Ken and Barbie needed to spend "some quality time apart."
Even celebrity dolls' relationships can crack under the constant glare of the media.
More skeptical observers called it a very clever publicity stunt aimed at reviving sagging sales of Mattel's most iconic brand.
Barbie was slowly but surely getting knocked off the toy shelf by her funky hip-hop nemesis at the time — Bratz dolls.
So Mattel needed to spice up Barbie's game. What better way to do that than through a carefully crafted split up with Ken?
It brought Barbie a lot of attention.
Mattel repositioned Barbie as a single, independent woman and used the split with Ken to extend the Barbie brand to clothes, perfume and other merchandise that would also appeal to older consumers.
Did the gimmick pay off?
Barbie sales in the United States have improved over the last few years. Now maybe if she decides to take back her "arm candy," Ken could help Barbie become this year's queen of dolls. 

Those of you who have read my blog from the beginning know that I love Barbie. Well, I love MY Barbie. I am not one of those ladies (and some men) who collect them and go to yearly Barbie pink-world conventions and gatherings. 

For my Barbie posts (which were pretty funny, in my opinion) you can go here to read Barbie Is 50, Mother's Day Barbie, (Mothers Day Barbie actually talks more about menopause!) , Menopausal Barbie and What A Doll!.

Regarding this disturbing new article.........

I'm sorry, but Ken just does not do it for me and I do not think he is worthy of Barbie at all! ESPECIALLY with what the news article calls "a Justin Bieber haircut"! 
Once again I give a photo of Ken and a photo of G.I Joe. Who would you choose?

Sorry Ken, it's time to give up okay? You had better find another Valentine this year. Just sayin'.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Been Writing

Follow Friday 40 and Over
I have posted this before while I was trying to figure out a direction for my book idea. It feels so weird to hear myself say (or write) "my book". (Going after a dream, only the next few years will tell if I succeed.) But I've been working hard on tweaking it and doing so has helped me fine tune my goal and see it more clearly. 
So, here is a possible prologue or intro for the book 'Recovering Church Lady'. Most of you know that I am a believer so be warned, my faith is the emphasis of this writing.    ......................

I never watched Saturday Night Live, the home of a popular fictional character called The Church Lady. I see the old reruns of the show now and think it is hilarious and very entertaining. But why didn’t I ever see this comical spoof of an uptight, smug, holier-than-thou elderly church lady?

My only answer can be that I did not watch the Church Lady sketches because……….

Well, because I was a church lady!

I know! Ironic isn’t it? I wasn’t elderly, but I was afraid of anything that looked at or portrayed the church in a negative way. I knew that the church lady sketches were making fun of “my people” and that was totally unacceptable.

I was a busy mom and even busier churchwoman who was involved in multiple church committees and jobs of all kinds. You name a department of the local church and I either organized it or was a  “pillar” of it. My life was centered around the local church with very little “worldly” interaction.

So I declared this TV show  off limits in my home. Besides that, it came on past my bedtime!

I look at her now. Enid Strict is full of self-righteousness and judgment. She feels it is her job or mission to point out sin in other people’s lives. She sits behind her desk in her round collared purple church suit with pursed lips and wagging finger and calls down damnation on anyone who breaks the rules she lives by.

She makes me laugh, but she also makes me very sad. Sad, because I know her. Sad because I recognize the fear that motivates her.

The Church Lady had a little dance she did on her show called the “Superior Dance”, but she did not feel superior, she felt afraid. In her mind God was an extremely difficult and unreachable being who set up a series of unreachable standards that were requirements for entry into Heaven. The idea of a friendship with God here on earth was not even considered. Life was all about getting the points piled up by doing good here, so that we will be issued a ticket that said, “Well done, you may enter your reward.”

I too, have spent many years working for God. More than a few of those committees and Bible studies I was involved in had little to do with my friendship with God. They were expectations put on me by myself and by others. Wouldn’t God love me more if I did more for Him? Is that such an unreasonable motivation?

The truth is that God loved me long before I was introduced to Him. He thought I was amazing before I was a senior pastor’s wife who spent ridiculous numbers of hours on the phone getting the women’s ministry event organized. God delighted in me without taking into account all the wonderful work I did for Him.

But why? Why in the world would the great Creator of all things care about me just as much before I shivered at six o’clock every morning for two years praying in the church sanctuary? Didn’t He love me at least a LITTLE bit more when He saw that sacrifice?

You can be sure that the church lady in us believes that I made some pretty big points on those mornings. Every minute spent on my knees or pacing and praying was definitely adding up in His big book of good deeds. What about missionaries? They give up the comforts of a civilized society and move to remote, dirty places to tell strangers about God. Surely missionaries will be hearing some extra hearty welcoming praise as they enter Heaven!

I am no longer a “church lady”. The striving to be holy and pure is gone. The fight to appear perfect so that I don’t become a “stumbling block” to others is over. My mission to live by the rules to gain the love of God is done. To continue would be the same as the poor little hamster who runs with all his might on his spinning wheel, getting nowhere.

I am loved, accepted and delighted in by God. He is not waiting until I get it right. He is not looking at me with hope in His eyes for what the future-me will become. God is pleased with me today, now, in all my ordinariness and goofiness!

Is there some “church lady” in you? I will be exploring this whole question and letting you in on my journey to being a Recovering Church Lady.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday (Almost!)

Yes I love our cat Tony, but he's got some serious evilness in him!
We blame it on his 17 years, but he's always been mean.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

At Last!

Okay people, I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about a new find I came across today! You are going to thank me and then immediately get on your computers to order these too!

I am so sick of eating yogurt every morning and exercising at least once a month faithfully. My dinners and lunches are not usually very healthy but with all that yogurt and strenuous exercise you would think I’d be a skinny mini by now!

Anyway, my worries are over once and for all. No more eating only five slices of pizza when I really want eight. No more leaving the sour cream off my baked potato and getting by with just enough butter to make the bacon bits float along side the gravy!

In the paper I came across this ad that will change our lives. These are panties with tiny BUILT-IN MAGNETS that …………

“Are believed to:
BOOST Metabolism
IMPROVE Circulation
RELIEVE Body Aches and Pains”


“Hundreds of Powerful Healing Magnets”

At only $12.97, I would say that is a steal. If you do not need to lose some poundage in that particular area, the same company will sell you these…….I won’t be ordering them.

They add some lumps for you!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What Works For You?

Today I determined to make a change in my normal, somewhat passive style of spending time with my sons. As empty-nesters we have never wanted to be the kind of parents that make their kids feel guilty about not coming over enough. I have been out of my childhood home for about 34 years, but when I do spend time at my parents home, the first 20 minutes are always filled with complaints that I don't come often enough!

The four of us a few years ago.
I do not want to be that for my sons!

The trouble with the fear of being too demanding is that we find ourselves being too passive about our desires. Both my sons and their lady-loves live in my area. I know what it feels like to have one of them live out of state for a season and you never know when that could happen again. So, I need to grab this opportunity and enjoy having them live close by.

I know that many of you have grown kids and grandkids living far away and it is painful and sad. You want to be involved in their lives and be able to enjoy the wonderful people you have raised!

It would be silly for me to let this time get away from me. We are busy, Writer Son and Sassy Bride are busy, Rocker Son and Girlfriend are busy people. It would be very easy to remain passive about socializing with them, and that would pretty much mean it will not happen except for Birthdays or Holidays. 

So, today I made a decision to invite the boys and their girls here for pizza and a game night once a month or once a week, whatever. I don't know how often, but I do know that it needs to be a regular set time, otherwise it will not happen. 

Actually I learned this intentional-friend-time idea from Writer Son. He has always seen friendship as  a very important thing to value and be serious about. He started setting up certain days to spend with certain friends each week way back in High School! 

 I desperately do not want it to be an obligation thing, you know? So far, I know they like to be with us, just want to keep it that way!

What do you and your grown kids or you and your parents do together on a regular basis? Any ideas out there for me? Hubs and I used to eat Sunday dinner with my folks when they lived in the same town as us. Do I decide and then invite them, or should I put out the suggestion and we all figure it out together?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

From Son To Husband

Was I eating something? Was I cleaning my teeth???

I mean really? I'm not mad at her, what is wrong with me??
I guess that some of us are just not meant to be photogenic. I can browse through my friend's Facebook photo albums and sure enough if I'm there, it looks like I am sleeping, or eating or wish I was somewhere else. And if I KNOW my pic is being taken, it looks even worse.

As you look at the photos above you may be able to understand why I am not really begging my son and his new wife to hurry up with the OFFICIAL wedding pics. I want very much to see their loveliness but I am dreading what will be put online with my name under it.

♥ ★ ♥
In other news, Hubs and I had our first dinner at my son and daughter-in-law's little newlywed apartment last night! As Hubs hung up the phone, we just grinned at each other and I said, "I can't believe our son just invited us to dinner at his home!". Even as we drove there it felt surreal and sweet.
We walked in to a crazy mess of a place because the moving company had delivered all their belongings from Texas the previous evening. They have been here since January 1st, just camping out in an empty apartment! So Writer Son and Sassy Bride were thrilled to finally have their wedding gifts and furniture around them. 
But they had been busy and most things were put away as they proudly opened cupboards and closets to show us. I helped Writer Son clear the dining room table off and set it for our first dinner in their own home. Sassy Bride was spinning around the tiny kitchen whipping up a delicious meal. 
It was so cute to hear them work together.
"Hey we can use the bamboo place mats!"
"Where is the box of silverware?"
"No, here let me chop the onions."
W.S. kept opening boxes and telling me how much he loved the bowls or the dish towels inside. He held up a dish scrub brush that looked like a colorful daisy and commented on how great it was! This is a whole different side of my first born that I have never experienced before!
As we ate the yummy meal he said he never knew that getting practical house stuff could be so fun. Hubs shook his head and said, "Wow, you really took a sharp turn from buying comic books to buying a couch huh?" Ha! I pretty much just sat there and smiled a lot.
I did not really know how to help or to sit and be served. When I began to take my dirty dish to the sink, they both jumped  up and said, "No, it's our turn, you guys sit and be company ok?" So cute.
Writer Son and Sassy Bride really do compliment one another. Where one is weak the other is strong and they seem to be very aware of their differences and how they complete each other. I loved watching them together in that little cozy place. 
Hubs and I drove home in silence as we wondered about this new place we are in with our kids. It's a strange and unknown land and hopefully we will figure out how to be what they need without being more than they need.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Don't Want To Throw Beloved Mac Against The Wall....

After two hours of looking online for a freelance writing organizer system and then creating my own and filling it in, I then somehow managed to not save it! 

So now I am taking a breather ( in order to protect my Mac!) and enjoying a delightful plate of orange-ness! (Cheddar cheese & orange slices) And of course, procrastinating by blogging about it to you.

Ok, back to work.

Monday, January 10, 2011

And You Thought Halloween Was Over?!

Did this sweet photo catch your eye in the Blog Reader?
Apparently costume or theme parties
are popular all year round now.

This is Rocker Son & Girlfriend.
I saw this on Facebook and I left RS a cute comment under it......

"Dexter party or spaghetti party?"

He answered......

"Zombie party mom."
I could see the eye-roll between the lines.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

And This Little Chair Is Juuust Right!

Today I get home from work and immediately see signs that someone has been in our home while we were gone all day.

  • The TV cabinet is wide open.
  • There is an open newspaper on our kitchen table.
  • There are crumbs on the kitchen counter.
  • My tablet has been fiddled with.
  • The bathroom toilet seat is up.

Have we been burgled? Has some random stranger broken in and enjoyed a snack while watching TV and reading the news?


Our empty nest, described so gaily a while ago has had a visitor. 

Writer Son, so cheerfully anticipated and welcomed has spent part of his morning doing their newlywed laundry at the nice comfy home he grew up in rather than the gross apartment laundromat. 


How do I feel about this? It did make Hubs and me smile and chuckle at each other knowingly when we realized who the intruder had been. Hubs called Writer Son, saying " Someone's been sitting in my chair. Someone's been eating my food!" Hubs tried to sound all gruff and angry but ended up laughing and telling Son that he is welcome to do laundry here anytime. 

And yes, he is welcome.....but....I'm not crazy about the messes he left. I know, they are small and I could sound petty, but if you go back and read my list of the perks of being an empty nester you will see that I really like coming home to a house as clean as I left it. Would he leave those crumbs in someone else's kitchen? (Maybe, because it does seem that men have an eyesight disfunction on these kinds of things.)

Hmmm, still pondering this weird season. Parenting an adult is a road that is full of twists and turns, delights and frustrations. My kids and their loves are adults. Hubs and I are still parents to them. Interesting new place we find ourselves.

We are watching the newlyweds gets stressed about finding the right furniture and fridge. The need for perfection is difficult to watch. They look at us like we are speaking Hebrew when we laughingly tell them about our apple crate side tables and curtained doors. Sassy Bride actually said, "I can't figure out why everyone smiles as they tell about how poor they were when they first got married!" haha! Oh dear!

This is gonna be interesting.

Writer Son in either Fiji or the Philippines a few years ago. Funny guy!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tap-Tap-Tapping Away.....

Today I was a writer. I did not create a nice big juicy blog post for you, but I did spend several morning hours tapping away on my Mac. 

I routinely scan several different writing job sites and Craig's List looking for opportunities that fit me. I subscribe to a great site called Writing For Dollars  that sends out the names and descriptions of current magazines and e'zines that are looking for articles and writers.  I often read the items out loud to Hubs because it is funny to see the crazy variety of specialty magazines out there! Mennonite Brethren, boating, hunting, quilting, Indiana history, turtle raising and elderly dogs are just a few of the topical magazines being published and read by millions.

Last night as I sat in front of the TV ignoring the sounds coming out of it, I came across a likely web job that I could do! So this morning I happily spent a few hours cleaning up two previously written articles of mine and attached them to my email application to this new web site that wants consistent writers to make up their staff. I also included my resume of jobs and writing experience from the last twenty-five years. Who knows what will come of it. 

I also wrote and sent off an article for the one online job I already have that is guaranteed to paypal me some small $ for anything I send them. 

It feels really good to accomplish a few small things like this. I call these days my Writing Wednesdays because I intentionally stay home from my normal day job just to write. I know that not every one can do this , but it's not like we are making enough for me to do this. We are in bad shape in the income department. But I am determined to try and I/we are willing to continue to cut corners every where we can to pursue my dream. I am very thankful that Hubs is not complaining about this venture. Our job is a shared ministry job and he feels it when I am not there with him one day a week. 

A sweet blog friend of mine asked me to describe my writing area and habits. Shawna (I Am That) has inspired me so much and she is also pursuing her talent for painting even though she is a young mom of little ones! 

I have a laptop, so I have written blogs in nearly every room except the bathroom! In the summer I love writing outside but the sunshine reflecting off the computer screen can be annoying for any length of time.
But for the past year or so I have written from a comfy couch in the living room overlooking a large window to the front yard. 

Recently in order to make my serious writing times more intentional, I have moved to our guest room where it is quiet, the chair is comfy and I can spread out my writing stuff. My "writing stuff" is the main reason I moved out of the living room.  I like to have a pile of my old journals, pens and tablet and bible near by for reference while I write. All those things were starting to make the living room look like a messy college student's nest. I got tired of cleaning it up every night. So now in the guest room it can all stay spread out around me from one day to the next. 

Shawna also asked how I felt while I wrote. I believe that it is probably very similar to how she feels when she paints. Even if she gets interrupted and has to stop to wipe a runny nose or break up a kid fight, there is still a wonderful energy and excitement when you find yourself really "doing it!" 

The sense of creativity is delicious and addicting. I love searching for the right word or constructing a paragraph that makes sense and conveys a mood and atmosphere. I always feel better after writing. Even if the thoughts I shared were negative and complaining, there is a certain therapy to writing that feels very healthy. 

My piles of journals are evidence that writing is part of my identity, like it or not. Paid or unpaid, I am a writer. Last night Hubs laughed at the sound of my constant tap-tap-tapping away on my laptop and I just looked up at him and said, "It's what I do."

There, you got a blog post out of me after all!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pictures Are Not Words

Yesterday as I was changing the color on this blog, I also made the text section wider so that it would not be such a long skinny space for my words. But as I was looking back over my recent posts to see how it looked I noticed a disturbing trend.

I have been letting pictures do my writing for me. I am not one to set up lots of rules for my blogging. I learned a long time ago, before blogging, not to set up strict rules for journaling either. I just wrote in my journals whenever and whatever I wanted. I filled about three large baskets of journals over the years by just letting it be fun and not harsh at all. 

I know that lots of bloggers have certain days to write certain subjects, and goals are good, but like new years resolutions, they can also become confining and self-condemning. Why do that to yourself?

Having said that, I am not happy to see that I have been posting photos rather than describing my life and my observations to you. I love a post with pics, so that is not a bad thing, but it has become a lazy thing for me. In this new year I am promising myself that I will use words more than photos to share myself with you.

See my writing chair, in my writing room up there? It is my happy place. I do have to go to work most days of the week when I would rather be in that chair tapping away on my beloved Mac. I am already staying home from work on Wednesdays to write. Who knows what my schedule will be by the end of 2011. 

Today is the third day of a brand new year. I will be fifty-six next month. It is time to do things my way. And my way is the write way! Ha! I am such a witty one aren't I? On your mark, ready, set, let's GO into this new year our way!