Saturday, January 14, 2012


Speaking of cats, this is a blog I originally posted in 2010 about Brisco, the award-winning cat. I had it on my old Yahoo "Pulse" blog which they have discontinued, so I thought I'd post it again here:

He won! He won! Well, not first prize, but my kitty picture won second place in a photography contest!

The photo above shows my entry on exhibit at a local county fair last week, among 50 some other cat pictures. I was so hoping it would win a ribbon—any ribbon—just so I could call Brisco my “award-winning cat”. And now I can! Woo hoo! I took the picture in April 2009, before we had even decided to adopt him. He didn’t even have a name yet—I had labeled the picture “gray kitten” You may recall that we found him and his siblings under our deck when they were only a few weeks old, born to a neighborhood stray. We kept Brisco and his brother Bowler (their sister was snatched by someone else in the neighborhood, grrr). I used to play with those kittens for hours outside, waiting until the day they were old enough to take away from their mother and bring inside for good. Brisco loved batting at yarn, and I snapped this during one of his playful moments. What a cutie he was, posing so nicely!

I had never entered a photo before, but decided to take a chance and submit this one. Besides the ribbon, I won five whole dollars. Of course we spent more on that for gas driving back and forth to submit it, attend the fair, and then actually pick up the prize money and ribbon. And then there was the cost of ink and photo paper for printing it up…not to mention the $3 bottle of water (well I ran out of my own and was thirsty!). Oh well, I wasn’t in it for the money—I was in it for the fame and glory. I’ve never won a ribbon before! Next year I’ll have to enter one of Bowler or of the two of them together, so that hopefully my other cat can have his 15minutes of fame.


Doesn't this want to make you go take a nap??

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Holy moley! It's hard to believe that yesterday afternoon I was outside with the grandkids and running errands, wearing jeans and a short sleeve t-shirt and not the least bit cold, especially in the bright sunshine!

They warned us snow and cold was on the way, and they were right! Here's Brisco looking out the window earlier today, and then another shot a few hours later. I think the snow has stopped for now, although it might start up again.


These gorgeous collector dolls are a tribute to Princess Diana, and made by Franklin Mint after her death in 1997. The taller one is porcelain and the smaller doll in the blue suit is vinyl. The clothes are replicas of actual outfits she wore. I bought these used from eBay recently and just love them; I think they are a beautiful likeness of Diana!


Here are Betty and Veronica, the famous characters from Archie Comics. These Barbie-sized dolls were made by Mattel a few years ago, and come with little matching note pads. Veronica's skirt is a bit short, but I think they are cute girls! I love reading Betty and Veronica comics--especially "Betty's Diary"!


I'm a Freak! And I Love Dolls!

I received a long, nasty email today from a pot smoker who said, among other things, that I am a freak.

"You look at everyone that smokes pot as a freak, but really lady YOU are the freak," he said. "You and your husband both, with your blatant sobriety and your voluminous doll collection."

Ha! I get such a kick out of these things--pot smokers who think that I think that anybody who smokes pot is a "freak", and then he honestly believes anybody who doesn't smoke pot and/or drink alcohol is a wacko. He told me he smokes pot every day and will defend it forever.

Anyway, if he thinks I have a "voluminous" doll collection by just what I've posted here on my blog and videos, he'd be shocked if he knew just how many dolls I have! There are literally thousands! Most are packed away, of course (I wish I had room to display them all!). But it astounds me that I show just a few of my dolls online and people think that I have this HUGE collection. What I've shown is just a drop in the bucket.

In any case, I shall continue showing some dolls here on my blog. Surprisingly, according to my "stats" page, I get alot of traffic from people online looking for doll photos and information--especially reborn baby dolls! So here is a picture of my reborn baby Becky in her new tu-tu that she got for Christmas! Isn't she adorable?

Monday, January 09, 2012



Happy New Year! I hope you are having a great 2012 so far. And yes, this means you.

Here is something I wrote several years ago about the dangers of smoking cigarettes. I have usually published this on Father's Day but thought I'd repost it now, especially since pot smokers online always accuse me of not taking a stand against tobacco. ("Alcohol and tobacco are legal but I don't see you speaking up against those! They kill people and cigarettes cause cancer and deaths! Marijuana kills nobody and is good for you! Your a hypocrite!" blah blah blah, and usually followed by or intermingled with the worst profanity you ever saw). Anyway, I've written numerous blogs against alcohol but for now I'm just reposting the cigarette one. Hope you enjoy it and please pass this along to anybody you know who smokes.


I’m sure you have seen them—the employees huddled outside the store on their break with cigarettes in hand; the young mother smoking outside her car while her child waits in his car seat; the middle-aged man taking one last puff and throwing his ciggie butt to the ground before entering the restaurant; the pretty young lady in the car ahead of you, flicking her ashes out the window. They’re all over, people who smoke. Every time I see somebody doing this, I think of my father, who spent his last days hooked up to an oxygen tank due to chronic emphysema after years of smoking. I always wish I could tell these people what he went through, and how they are endangering their health. Maybe they already know that smoking is bad, and they just don’t care. But I do think far too many people, especially the younger ones, may think they are “invincible” and aren’t even considering what repercussions their habit could bring.

Like many from his generation, my father began smoking in his teens, probably as a way to be cool or to fit in. Most people then were not aware of the dangers of this practice, and it was more socially acceptable. Ricky and Lucy smoked, Rob and Laura Petrie smoked, The Beatles smoked. Even my mother lit up a cigarette occasionally to be social. I myself experimented with tobacco in my teens, to be bad and rebel. Luckily I was smart enough to realize I did not want to become hooked, so I soon quit. So did my mother, when I was a kid.

But my father kept smoking, year after year. The above photo shows him in his early 30’s in 1956, just before I was born. You can clearly see the cigarette in his hand, along with the smile on his face. This man would soon become the proud father of a daughter (me) and a son, born a few years later. He enjoyed a long career as a plumber and pipe-fitter, even owning his own business for a number of years. He actively pursued hobbies such as golf, bowling, and fishing. He especially looked forward to his annual fishing trip with a buddy. There was nothing he liked more than being out on the lake, with fishing pole in hand. All this time, he smoked. As he got older, I remember him switching to pipes. I’m not sure if he thought this was safer or not, but he was still inhaling the smoke. But he continued to work and stay active.

However, probably starting in his 60’s, his health began to deteriorate, especially going downhill in his 70’s. He was diagnosed with emphysema, and had a hard time catching his breath. He blew his nose almost constantly. He did stop all smoking, including the pipes, but by this time it was too late—the damage had been done. I knew he was not doing well, but even so, I was stunned when I visited him one day and found him hooked up to a portable oxygen tank. It held enough oxygen to last for a couple of hours, and he had to lug this thing around with him everywhere he went. Needless to say, this severely limited his mobility. No more golf or bowling, and fishing was out of the question. It was all he could do to fix himself a meal. He suffered several other health problems as well, probably caused or exacerbated by smoking, and finally passed away the end of 2005 at age 80. Even though he lived to a fairly “ripe old age”, he may have lived even longer and certainly with a much better QUALITY of life during his senior years, had he not been dependent on tobacco.

Do an online search for “dangers of smoking” or any similar combination, and you’ll come up with all kinds of sites with lists of common and not-so-common maladies linked to this habit: lung cancer, mouth and throat cancer, heart disease, bladder cancer, bronchitis, emphysema, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, early menopause, the list goes on. There are a lot of really bad things smokers have to watch out for. Even second-hand smoke can be a danger, causing far more lung cancer deaths than other sources of air pollution. Not to mention smokers pay more for insurance and increase health care costs for everyone.

So, if you smoke, stop. If you are thinking of starting, don’t. I have a hard time figuring out why people still smoke at all considering what we know today. Yet they do. I don’t know what it is, if it’s a “smoking gene” or the desire to fit in and be cool, or youngsters try it to rebel and end up hooked, or what. It is probably all these things. But I just think that more people, especially youngsters, should be aware of what can happen as you age. Death is inevitable, but we can take steps to stay healthy for as long as possible. We are not all invincible as many young people believe. My father is proof of that.