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message 1: by Barbara (last edited Sep 12, 2012 11:39AM) (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments A year ago yesterday, we brought home our Doberman Pinscher puppy, Francesca 9/11 Sweetie. In the morning, we gave her a Spider-man chew toy. Oh, the music she has made during the past year with the those in the past year as she makes them squeak! She also gutted it of the filling by days end. Even those toys which claim too be nearly indestructible are easy for her to dismantle should she put her mind to it. There have been a few that she has favored so much to keep longer. Somewhere between all of her chewing, she has won our heart this past year.

message 2: by Pierce Withers, God these plastic people. (new)

Pierce Withers (spottedbloodyhyena) | 161 comments Mod
So sweet.:3

message 3: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments Thank you! You should have seen her a few minutes ago twirling Spider-Man around with her paws while she lay on her back.

message 4: by Pierce Withers, God these plastic people. (new)

Pierce Withers (spottedbloodyhyena) | 161 comments Mod

message 5: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments Last year, there was flooding in the Midwest and some people in my area sustained a lot of damage. It touches my heart when I see the efforts of people in our community working to help their neighbors who were in the flood zone. I am grateful that my family was on high enough ground that the flood itself was not a threat to us.

This year, there has been a drought in my area. When we finally got rain, it was too late for the corn crops. I hope they were able to salvage other crops. My family has beautiful flower gardens and we watered to keep them vibrant but did not water or lawns, which went dormant during the dry spell.

What a difference a year makes. I sure hope next year there will be just the right amount of rain in due season for good crops without any risk of flooding!

message 6: by CJ (new)

CJ | -481 comments sad that it missed the crop season, but at least the rain came back

message 7: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments Yes, it was such a relief when the rain came!

message 8: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments My picture could have been next to Teen Angst in the dictionary. I planned to go to college, but feared that I would not do well given the fast pace of the courses and the vast material covered. I didn't think I would ever hold a job due to my somewhat spacey nature.

With such a low bar of expectations, my life has been so amazing to me! I studied hard and did quite well in my courses at the University receiving mostly A's an more than a dozen A+'s when it was all said and done.

But more important, I learned that I really enjoyed learning abstract subjects.

I enjoyed the classroom discussions. When I graduated, there was a void to fill in my life of meaningful discussions. Once I was online, that void was partly filled.

As for employment, I am grateful to say that I have done well with inbound telephone including my current job of taking hotel reservations from home for a major hotel chain.

I realize that I am probably more than twice as old as most of the people here. I was invited to join this forum so I hope you all don't mind. I do NOT exchange messages with youth who I do not know their families as I think that is good policy in this day and age. However, I like open discussions online where I can hopefully have input from time to time that might be helpful.

message 9: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments My sister and her husband came by today. It hadn't seen her in person since she donated 10 inches of her hair to make wigs for people undergoing cancer treatment. I think it is the third time she has donated. Her hair seems to grow very fast. Well, I think the consensus is that her new look is a good one.

message 10: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments Sports were very important to my family when I was growing up. My first basketball teams and softball teams may not have won a game and that seemed to be okay with my parents. Later, I went on to play for successful Basketball teams. This was at the YMCA. I started out playing softball in Little League and later played for a city league, which traveled a lot on the weekends. I enjoyed going to basketball and softball clinics. One of the clinics that I attended was held at Boys Town on a weekly basis. I also attended a clinic at Creighton University. My best pitch was a drop ball that I think had a curve too. I was never too good at the rise ball. My change up was sometimes pretty pathetic, but I think it was a good trick to have once in a while. When I first started I was very wild and sometimes the ball would go over the backstop. By the end of my career, I could pitch the ball wherever the catcher placed her glove for the most part and we often pitched the corners. I think I traded a lot of velocity for accuracy.

I liked making friends through sports. Sometimes the team would come to my house to practice. We had cardboard on the floor in the living room and later the basement where we practiced sliding. Everybody did that, right? I was fearless when it came to sliding.

I liked just playing catch with someone and love the rhythm of the throwing and the pop in the glove. On my last team, we had a pretty showy warm up return where we threw full arm, part arm, did crow hops, and were even on our knees for a portion. It was almost like a dance to see us in motion.

For basketball, I learned a jump shot at a pretty young age. It did take me a while to actually score in a game. The first basket that I ever made was from 18 feet out and pure net. I was also a very good defensive player in my later career. My team and I would full court press the other team man to man to the point where they often had the whistled called on them for not passing in time. I would also steal the ball from them when they were dribbling and I think also block passes.

My brother played baseball, basketball, and soccer. He loves baseball so much that he blogs about it at

My sister played softball, basketball(on varsity), and Volleyball(think on varsity). She continues to play in sand volleyball leagues with her husband.

My parents are both very athletic. I am not as naturally athletic as as my parents or siblings. I am not in the competition of it all like them. I like Sports for fellowship and for mastering and skill but I would rather have a good time than win provided I was on a team that felt the same.

message 11: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments I do think there is something to be said for finishing at the top of your career. :) But I hope you can find an activity or sport that you like, Crystal.

message 12: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments That's fine. But there may be something out there that you make think is so much fun that you might be missing.

message 13: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments Today I am writing about journal keeping. I highly recommend it. When you look back at what you have written over time, you can see growth or be reminded of earlier insights. I enjoy reading a lot of online journals or blogs and getting to know the authors. Your writing skills improve as you write more. Plus, it can be very rewarding to find your voice. I am drawn to personal writing and insights and recall the first time I saw a piece in a magazine in such a personal and insightful manner. I don't know if I was majoring in Communication at that point, but the style really spoke to me. In college, I did take News Writing and Reporting, PR, and editing. I sort of lived out my dream in high school when I took those classes. While I have no goals to ever be paid for my personal work, I do have goals to improve in ability and style. Yet, I don't wait for a certain level, which may or may not come before sharing with others. It's fun to share. Yes, this is a hint to others here to maybe start their own blogs!

message 14: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments very good!

message 15: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments Well, I encourage to write a journal from time to time even if you want to keep it private and not share here. :)

message 16: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments I love it when my own neighborhood seems like a postcard with all of the Fall Foliage. While we are in the Midwest, we have a lot of mature trees in my area that range in hues of yellow, oranges, and reds. Some trees are still green. I can just look out windows and see postcard worthy scenes. I used to live somewhat near the Poconos in Pennsylvania. While I was there, I felt like I needed to pinch myself as the hills/mountains? dense with trees were so stunning in the Fall. I could close my eyes and see the trees still in my mind's eye with their splendor.

message 17: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments It's own stunning beauty, Crystal!

message 18: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments I know there are times when the desert blossoms and I have been told it is something to behold too. I'm so glad I'm in the Midwest right now rather than the East Coast. I hope everyone who participates in our group is safe.

message 19: by Pierce Withers, God these plastic people. (new)

Pierce Withers (spottedbloodyhyena) | 161 comments Mod

message 20: by Pierce Withers, God these plastic people. (new)

Pierce Withers (spottedbloodyhyena) | 161 comments Mod
How can Catus Juice taste good!

message 21: by Pierce Withers, God these plastic people. (new)

Pierce Withers (spottedbloodyhyena) | 161 comments Mod
Ask Saka from Avatar he has though.heheheheheh .

message 22: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments I hope next year will be the year of the beautiful blooms in the desert!

message 23: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments In my life, supportive people have made all the difference. At work, we have people that we can call if we have a question relating to a hotel reservation we are booking for a guest or a technical person. I have had so many patient people walk me through things through the years. I also have had amazing supervisors. My clergy at Church have also shown exceeding kindness. I shudder to think what may have happened at points in my life if I had not been met by such kindness.

message 24: by Pierce Withers, God these plastic people. (new)

Pierce Withers (spottedbloodyhyena) | 161 comments Mod
This blog intrestest me.Im gonna make one now

message 25: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments That's great to hear, Kara!

message 26: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments It was a foggy day. It wasn't as dense as could be but it did not let up. Foggy days can be good days to reflect. While I so favor sunny days, it's nice to have a foggy day now and then.

message 27: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments I believe fog is clouds come down to our level. It depends on how dense they are. It can have an almost magical look at times(especially if it is in the hills or mountains(depending on altitude when I lived in PA). It can be so thick that you can just see a few paces ahead of you. In some ways, it can be like glasses that are fogged up. I think you might be able to simulate fog in a shower or steamer. It certainly can create a mood when you see fog.

message 28: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments Change, change, change.... That's one thing about the weather lol.

message 29: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments I know that I often give the weather report here rather than tell my deepest feelings lol. Well, we had a dusting of snow recently that didn't really accumulate on the pavement a couple days ago. It was the way I like it with the trees having snowy branches and the ground with a pretty good covering. Today we are getting some real accumulation. I think it is probably already 5 and 1/2 inches with more expected to fall. They said it is the good stuff for snow men and everything. Well, I am the one who will probably shovel this and I don't thin this is the easiest snow for that.

message 30: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments Well, I was rather anxious last night and this morning as I thought I would have to shovel the walk prior to work and also work some overtime prior to my normal shift. I checked late the night before and early morning for the overtime that might be weather related as I feel it is important for me to do my part as someone who works from home if others have trouble getting to work or if some at home may be without electricity. We had something pop and the lights blink and the t.v. came on but did not have an outage--much to my relief. I got up early to check and still no extra time. But I was so tired. It was decided that would would pay to have the walk shoveled. Fine by me. It was cold. I like to work when it is just barely at freezing. I went back to sleep for a while as their was no overtime posted. I very much needed it as I try to be in the most mood and to be alert so that I can service my customers well.

message 31: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments I take calls where I book hotel reservations or answer questions relating to hotels. I work from home for a major hotel chain. I worked in the building for many years and still keep in contact with some friends from the building and have made friends with others who work from home too.

I like to see Christmas cookies and their myriad of designs.

message 32: by Pierce Withers, God these plastic people. (new)

Pierce Withers (spottedbloodyhyena) | 161 comments Mod
This year christmas died for me .I dont know if im enjoying it as much as I used to.

message 33: by Heba (new)

Heba (hebalp) | 11 comments MashaAllah Barbara you seem a very mature person and a hardworking, diligent, and determined person. I think that those are qualities I need to improve in.

message 34: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments Kara, maybe you should get the book that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas that is a Chicken Soup for the Soul" Christmas version. There are so many stories to put you in the mood that it would be good to read next year after Thanksgiving. I am sorry that your recent Christmas Season was not filled with joy and wonder. I do hope you are having a good start to 2013. Crystal, I am glad that you Christmas was better this year than the previous but sorry it was not very good. I hope for a very blessed year for you too. Heba, that is very kind of you to say. I do have my challenges and yet I have a happy life in many ways. I have always believed that discipline is important even when it is hard to keep going.

message 35: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments Yes, it is good to realize that you can have a good Christmas even if you don't have the same excitement as you did in previous years. I remember being a pretty small child and going into my parents room and getting on their bed and proudly informing my dad that I did not wet my bed(a rare occurrence at that young age). I think I felt Santa would be extra happy for me. My mom must have been done stairs putting the finishing touches on Christmas...

message 36: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments Yes, culture does make a difference. Both of my parents love Christmas.

Does your family have any special Japanese traditions that you enjoy, Crystal?

message 37: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments Those are wonderful traditions. Some who I went to high school and College with has taught English in Japan. It sounds like she had great experiences.

I like how Asian culture has so much respect for their Elders. We can learn a lot from their customs. My niece is married to a man who is of the Hmong descent. He is a wonderful husband and father to 3 small children under the age of 5. I like to look at their pictures of their New Year's celebration, which are community events where they have entertainment and people often wear traditional garb such as robes with coins.

message 38: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments I miss seeing new blog posts or comments here in the blog section. I am sorry if sometimes I try to give the benefit of my mature years in a way that may sound preachy. Life is so full of a wide range of wonderful experiences. I do hope that all of us can avoid the ones that cause regrets. I don't have any real experience in finding a significant other as I am single. I do think it is better to be single than to be with the wrong person. No comparison! I have a lot of interests and love to read. I guess that is why I really like it here!

message 39: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments Crystal, I didn't just meant that I missed seeing you. I miss seeing everyone. Only a half hour on a computer sounds so much healthier than my lifestyle. However, I do need to be in front of a computer for my day job(but am not allowed to surf the web on that computer).

message 40: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments No, need to apologize. :) Must fill my brain with marshmallows lol! We are expecting a blizzard tomorrow. I won't be disappointed if it misses the whole USA!

message 41: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments Snow in Crystal's area! Yay!

I had a very good annual review for my work. As I am so dysfunctional when it comes to life skills(live my parents), I really try to do very good at my work and with my writing. I try to be productive in the ways that I can be productive. I am so grateful for positive feedback. And the raise is nice too. :)

message 42: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments Thank you! I write for enjoyment. I don't think I could stop writing poetry if I tried(most of it is bad). I have written a few poems that I really like and it's not like you can control it or anything. I have blogged on and off for years. I currently share blog posts at my sister's blog. I do it as a volunteer and don't plan to ever be paid for my work. It's fun because I do get to meet people when I interview them. Some of them even keep in touch. I actually like the process of writing a lot and much of what I write in my head never makes it to paper. It gives me something healthy to focus on whatever I am doing including yard work or other activities.

message 43: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments It's still there under the blog section of Ignite Your Creativity. I know sometimes it will only display part of the blogs and then you have to click on blog to display more.

Thanks for asking to see my poetry. This is a work that is in a family history book that my cousin has compiled. I wrote it a few years ago.

Do caterpillars wonder why they crawl on the ground while older family members fly?
Do they wistfully await for wings with colorful patterns like they have seen?
Do they think of the day that is coming soon when they will emerge as a butterfly from a cocoon?
Do butterflies think of memories stored and they frolicked and crawled among leaves that are no more?
Or have the butterfly and the caterpillar figured out the secret how of looking forwards and backwards while living in the now?

I can only do good with rhyme and meter if it comes naturally. I can't count syllables. I enjoy different styles including abstract work so I would like to see some of your work. :) I enjoy writing whimsical types of poetry myself.

message 44: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments Thanks!

message 45: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments beatiful metaphors and use of imagery.

message 46: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments :)

message 47: by Pierce Withers, God these plastic people. (new)

Pierce Withers (spottedbloodyhyena) | 161 comments Mod
Thats cute (reads two weeks later)

message 48: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments Thanks! Isn't it great how being online is a great way to reach people when they have time. When I call people on the phone, I so hate to interrupt. I'd much rather have them read something at their convenience even if it is weeks later. Of course, some things are very time sensitive and I would call for that.

message 49: by Pierce Withers, God these plastic people. (last edited Apr 27, 2013 10:46AM) (new)

Pierce Withers (spottedbloodyhyena) | 161 comments Mod
I don't like talking to people on the phone idk why shyness, just dont want to :/
Oh your welcome..

message 50: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bkbsmiles) | 108 comments Ring. Ring. I know you are both home lol.

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