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FOTO PHRIDAY: Galtinburg

To be perfectly honest, I wanted this post to have a holiday feel. I was searching for a picture of my gramma sitting in the rocking chair in our house, with Christmas bows stuck in her hair. But, well, apparently that picture doesn’t exist.

In the search, I instead found pictures of my most recent trip to the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. I went with my future husband.

Gatlinburg Attractions, circa 2001

Gatlinburg Attractions, circa 2001

I know it was big news that Dolly just raised $9 million dollars for the victims of the recent wildfire victims in the Gatlinburg area with a country music telethon. But I am sure they can always use more. I know what it is like to struggle to pay my utility and mortgage payment. I can’t imagine how I would cope if my car, house, and everything in it was gone in an instant. If you can spare a few dollars, won’t you please contribute: https://dollywoodfoundation.org/

I believe Dolly Parton is one of the greatest human beings that ever lived. I can’t wait to meet her one day and tell her that in person.

I guess this post is holiday-themed after all, in the spirit of giving and such.

I can’t believe it has been 15 years since I was last there. We will have to plan a return trip. I recommend you do too.

COMING SOON: Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom!!!

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POEM – kissing a grizzly bear

I got chicken
stuck behind my back tooth
I got Good Charlotte
Playin’ on my radio
Maybe I should be doin’
more with my life
But I feel like it’s almost over anyway
26 and I’m dying more everyday
One more day and I’ll fade away.

I go to work
To zone out all day
I lose myself everyday
In a caffeine and sugar haze
You think I am punching numbers
But I’m writing songs and drawing houses
And rhyming my life away
The days just seem to go faster that way.

Someday I’ll drive home
the wrong way down a one way street
Someday I’ll write a poem
that my honey will think is real sweet
Someday I’ll drive out West
to kiss a grizzly bear
Someday I’ll get brave
and get 1990s Winona Ryder hair.

They are all risky
But someday I won’t mind
I will wake up and realize
This is my one and only life to find.
–JLF
10/7/02

One of very few pictures of me when I got short Winona Ryder/Mandy Moore hair, around Fall 2005.

One of very few pictures of me when I got short Winona Ryder/Mandy Moore hair, around Fall 2005.

Well, it seems there are at least TWO pictures...

Well, it seems there are at least TWO pictures…

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
The Wind Could Blow a Bug – AVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It NEW RELEASE!

What I Learned This Week – 9/21/14

I have ALWAYS wondered who sings the songs during the chase scenes on the TV series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?

Many years ago, I bought a CD called Scooby Snacks, which included all the great chase songs, such as “Daydreamin'”, “Love The World”, “Recipe for Love”, and my personal favorite, “Seven Days a Week”. But the liner notes never listed who actually sang the songs. I am sure it was never in the dude’s original contract to be compensated for any further release of the songs. He never could have known in 1969 that people in 2014 would want to listen to his music on CD, mp3, DVD, etc.

Scooby Snacks CD

Scooby Snacks CD

The magic of Google always impresses me.

I just typed in the song title+Scooby Doo, and within a minute, I learned this week that the guy who sang all the songs above is actually Austin Roberts.

According to Wikipedia, Roberts also sings the THEME SONG to Scooby Doo, Where are You?. [Note: If you are not an expert Scooby-phile, I will let you know that there are many, many versions of the Scooby Doo theme song. But “Where are You?” is the first, and one of the best.

Roberts has worked steadily all these years, primarily as a songwriter, and is almost as old as my mom.

Here is a video of “7 Days a Week” in action:

This week I also met Teddy Roosevelt. Wow, in the last three weeks I have had my picture taken with two past presidents (the other was a Lincoln statue in Gettysburg).  President Roosevelt even gave my son the “teddy” bear he is holding in the picture.

President Theodore Roosevelt, M, and me

President Theodore Roosevelt, M, and me

I have been just a little obsessed with the 7-part documentary that PBS aired last week, The Roosevelts. You can still watch it now at http://video.pbs.org/program/roosevelts/ [Expires 8 days from now].

What I Learned This Week – 2/9/14

This week I learned that my family and I have very different personalities.

We spent a little family time at Build-A-Bear (or cat) Workshop this week. All the animals we picked out are very different. But I think the ones we picked out represent us all very well. It would be fun to psychoanalyze us by our choices. See the picture below…

Our Build-A-Bear creations (l to r): Rainbow (my son's), Hootchie Mama Hello Kitty (mine), Lloyd (my husband's)

Our Build-A-Bear creations (l to r): Rainbow (my son’s), Hootchie Mama Hello Kitty (mine), Lloyd (my husband’s)

FYI–If I get 20 different people to comment on this post, you will all be rewarded with a video of Hootchie Mama Hello Kitty twerking!!!

Quite the incentive, huh? Send over your friends and family! All are welcome here! (Except Negative Nellies! That is why my mom has no idea about my blog. Shhhhh!)

Barfey

Barfey. Other kids have a teddy bear. I have Barfey.

Old Barfey in foreground.


He started off as a little white stuffed dog with brown ears from the Hallmark store in the mall, made by R. Dakin. My mom said she named him after one of the dogs in the Family Circus cartoon strip. My mom bought him for me so long ago that I can’t remember. Barfey was just always there, for as long as I can remember.

I loved him so much he became tattered and dirty. And of course my mom, being the woman she is, resolved this by buying me a replacement Barfey–AND THROWING OUT THE ORIGINAL. She snuffed out a young stuffed animal’s life, just as it was beginning. I was so young that I didn’t know enough to protest. And while the second Barfey was the same dog made by the same company from the same store in the same mall, this one had a brown body and white ears! Leave it to my mom to not even bother to color match.

Barfey was my favorite stuffed animal. I slept with him every night. If we went on a trip, he went with us.

Here if my VHS copy of The Velveteen Rabbit, Hanna-Barbara 1985


There used to be a show on Saturday mornings called ABC Weekend Special. They showed family cartoons and movies. One of my favorites was a cartoon of The Velveteen Rabbit, based on the book by Margery Williams, from 1985, made by Hanna-Barbara. (One of my other favorites was a mini-series called Cougar–I actually managed to find that on DVD!) It always made me think of Barfey. That maybe he loved me as much as I loved him. That maybe he too was on a quest to be real, as was The Velveteen Rabbit.

The Velveteen Rabbit, Hanna-Barbara 1985
[In the nursery closet]
Rocking Horse: Real isn’t how you’re made. It is a thing that happens to you. Love makes you real. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become real. Once you are real, you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always. You can’t be unreal again.
Bunny-Rabbit: Oh, I want very much to be real.

I also imagined that the stress that Barfey went through as I slept with him at night and tossed and turned was probably similar to the torture that The Velveteen Rabbit endured as well.

The Velveteen Rabbit, Hanna-Barbara 1985
[In Robert’s bed]
Bunny-Rabbit: Look out, you’re flattening me.
I can hardly breath.
Ouch, I’m not a football.
Easy now, don’t move. Ooo-ooo.

When I was in fourth grade, I got the Chicken Pox. I was scared because I didn’t really know what that meant. (And they proved to be quite uncomfortable.) I clutched Barfey tightly for comfort during this uncertain time, as my mom called her nurse friend for information. Something occurred to me while she was on the phone, and it scared me more than being sick. Thinking back to The Velveteen Rabbit and the rabbit’s fate after Robert’s sickness, I asked my mom if Barfey was going to have to be burned since I was holding him and I was sick. She laughed at me and told me “no”. I was relieved. And pissed that she would find my question amusing.

As the years past, Barfey got shabbier and shabbier. He was made with ground nut shells. This helped him have more weight and stay in bed at night better than other stuffed animals. But by now his nut shells had turned into nut dust. His eyebrows looked ready to fall off anytime. And my, how his nose dangled from his cute brown muzzle! So, I followed the precedent that had already been set–I bought a replacement Barfey. This one had a yellow body and brown ears. (It was as close as I could find to original Barfey’s color scheme.) My mom’s first impulse is to throw things out the second she no longer has a use for them. My instinct is to keep everything. I kept both Barfeys. From here on out, they would be known as:

All the Barfeys from my scrapbook


Original Barfey = 1st Barfey (no longer with us)
Old Barfey = 2nd Barfey
New Barfey = 3rd Barfey

But New Barfey was not an adequate replacement. Not only because he lacked memories, but also nutshells. He was young and bounced out of bed too easily. New Barfey always struck me more as a stuffed animal, rather than the “real” aura that Old Barfey had. You looked into Old Barfey’s eyes, and he talked to you. Or, at least, to me.

Once I moved out on my own, I developed a fear (remember, I love to worry) of losing my Barfeys, such as in a fire or tornado or volcanic eruption. When I discovered Ebay, I found people who had Barfeys to sell. They were easier to locate when I discovered that his Dakin birth name was “Drooper”. (What a bad name!) I even ordered a few use Barfeys to have as spares. But they are not the same. There experiences were with other children. They are packed away in a drawer upstairs, while my Barfeys have a revered position of honor in my bedroom, on a high shelf, well out of reach of dogs and toddlers. Although, I did finally get a baby “Drooper” that I always wanted and my mother would never buy me. Yes, the design was so popular they even made mini ones.

Barfey is so popular, he was on a greeting card (see far left). Gibson Greetings, Inc.


At the same time I was trying to find a way to keep Barfey with me forever, I was also trying to figure out what tattoo I could get that I would never get tired of. (Do you see where this is going?) So, shortly after my 30th birthday, I had Barfey tattooed on my ankle. I wanted him to look furry and cartoony. I think it turned out wonderful.

My Barfey tattoo


As I continued to age, I felt bad that Barfey had no children in his life anymore. My green-haired friend’s niece, who was fond of me and I of her, gave me a friendship necklace. I put it on Old Barfey, to keep him connected to the wonderful childhood spirit. But, alas, she has now grown to adulthood herself.

The Velveteen Rabbit, Hanna-Barbara 1985
Robert: [to Nanny] He isn’t a toy. He’s real.
Bunny-Rabbit: I’m real. I’m real!

I have never outgrown stuffed animals (that will be a future post). I still find comfort in stroking Old Barfey’s nappy fur and feeling his nose gently rock back and forth. And he probably looks a fright to anyone but me. But I have given him so much loving, that to me, he is REAL. Like The Velveteen Rabbit.

The Velveteen Rabbit, Hanna-Barbara 1985
[By the incinerator]
Nursery Magic Fairy: I watch over all the toys who are worn out from too much loving. I will take you away and make you real.
Bunny-Rabbit: But I am real.
Nursery Magic Fairy: You were real only to the boy. Now you shall be real to everyone.

Fun Trivia Fact: Barfey co-starred in the 1978 movie Long Journey Back with Stephanie Zimbalist.


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