Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Have a Merry Christmas

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas with an abundance of joy!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Calista's Diary Entry - Ice Ice Baby

Dear Diary,

This winter has started off with a bang!  We have had another winter storm that has covered us in a sheet of ice.

The trees are covered with ice and the branches are bowing and breaking under the weight.  The power lines are covered with hundreds of icicles.  Thousands of homes and businesses in our community are without power, and many are dealing with property losses due to trees falling on roofs and vehicles.

Road conditions have been hazardous, so we have not gone anywhere since Friday.  On Saturday, we lost power to our home.  We put our perishable food items into an ice chest and placed that outside.  The fireplace was our main source of heat and light.  We had candles and flashlights and cell phones for light (which we tried not to use much so that we would not run down the batteries).   My grandmother is here, and she cooked breakfast in a cast iron skillet on coals from the fireplace, and taught my mother how to make fireside stew.  We played bored games - I mean board games, and we talked a lot.  

Today I was ready to get out of the house.  I was beginning to feel trapped.  When I asked if I could go out, my grandmother jumped in and said "Don't go out there!  You could fall and bust your head wide open!"  My mother asked her not to say such things.  My mother let me go, telling me to be very careful and not to go far.

We have some impressive icicles on the house.

I don't recall ever seeing a cactus covered in ice before.

Bob saw me outside and asked if I wanted some company.  Of course I said yes.

I would be in SO MUCH TROUBLE if my parents saw me climbing this tree!

At least I wouldn't be in trouble alone.  Bob and Calista sitting in a tree... 

That's all, just s-i-t-t-i-n-g.  :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Blogging on the Go

This is my first attempt at posting to my blog from my cell phone. Here are my dolls at work feeling festive.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Memorable Movie Moments

Here is my version of some memorable movie moments. Can you name the movies? 

1. "Here's looking at you, kid." 


2. "You told Harpo to beat me!" 

3. "I see dead people." 

4. "I want you and that young man to tie that knot. I'ma pray for you. And I want you to hold on to God's unchanging hand. 'Cause he helped Joshua fight the battle of Jericho! Yesssss! He helped Daniel get out the lion's den! He helped Gilligan get off the island!" 

5.  "NO WIRE HANGERS!!!!!" 

6.  "And I eee I eee I will always love you!" 

Give yourself 10 bonus points if you get the answer to #4 without Googling it.

I know that this is a blast from the past for a few of you.  Play along anyway.  If your memory is good enough to remember these all these years later, you deserve some points.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Calista's Diary Entry - Snow Day

Dear Diary,

There was a bad winter storm here, so school was closed today.  Yay!  I spent time hanging out with friends from school.

Kana and Briana Joy tried to make a snowman, but the snow wouldn't pack very well.  Their snowman looked pretty sad.

Dominique threw ill-formed snowballs at people.  Skipper was not amused.  Eventually, we all ganged up on her and threw snowballs that mostly fell apart before they hit her.

There was a layer of ice under the snow, so we had to be very careful when walking around.  Kiara nearly slipped and fell.  That would've been embarrassing for her (but funny for us).

The best part was that I got to spend time with Bob.  We spent some time just walking and looking around.  Everything was really beautiful with the layer of snow.

We made snow angels.  :) 

Today was a really great day.  Don't get me wrong, I like school, but I have to say that getting an unexpected day off was great.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Calista's Diary Entry - We've Got Spirit

Dear Diary,

I remember when I first made the Junior Spirit Squad, I was so excited.  Back then, I really worked hard to be the best that I could be on the squad, because I almost didn't make it.  I felt like I had something to prove.  I have gotten so much better and I am so proud of myself.  But as time has gone on, I have started to have mixed feelings.

My body is changing so fast, and I really have started to feel self-conscious wearing my uniform in front of everyone.  We have to wear our uniforms to school on game day, and we sometimes perform at pep assemblies in front of the whole school, as well as at the games.  My uniform seems to have gotten tighter and shorter

When I'm performing, it's like I can feel the boys staring at me.  I don't feel comfortable with that at all.  I heard one of the boys say that I have "more bounce to the ounce."

Plus, I am so much taller now.  I don't look like I belong on the Junior squad.  I feel like I look much older than the other girls now.

A while back, I told my mother that I wanted to quit the squad.  She asked me why, and I told her that I just do.  I did not feel comfortable with telling her all of my reasons.  She told me that I can't quit.  She told me that I had agreed to something, and that I needed to stand by that agreement.  She told me that she and my dad had made an investment in me with this activity by purchasing everything that I need, and that I have an obligation to them to see this through.  She told me that I also have an obligation to the other girls.  She asked me what they would do if I suddenly quit the squad.  I shrugged my shoulders.

She told me that the others are depending on me.  She told me that I am part of a team, and that sometimes I may have to do things that I don't want to do for the sake of the team, in order to make us stronger.  She told me that I also have an obligation to myself.  She said that I have put in a lot of hours and a lot of hard work, and that I owe it to myself most of all to see this through.  She told me that if I choose not to try out for next season, then that's my choice.  But she said that I definitely need to finish this season.

At first I was upset with my mom for not letting me quit, but then I really thought about what she said.  My mom is right.  I gave my word, and the other girls do depend on me.  And I depend on them.  I remembered how excited I was when I found out that I had made the team, and I tried to feel that way again.  The other girls have helped me so much, and we have all worked so hard.  I won't let them down.

So what if I'm showing more skin than I used to.  So what if there's more jiggle when I wiggle.  I'm going to do these moves and do them well!

And I have to remember all of the ways that being on the squad has been beneficial to me.  I've learned to dance and move in ways that I never knew before.  I have become physically stronger and more fit.

I have become more flexible.  I have become more confident and less shy.

 But the best part is that I have had the opportunity to be involved in an activity with my best friends.  We have spent so much time together, and we have had so much fun doing this.

For a while I thought that I would just do this until the end of the season, and then I would not try out again.  I've really thought long and hard about this.  Tryouts are coming up, so I needed to make a final decision.  I've decided to try out again.  Really, tryouts are just a formality.  The Varsity squad had their tryouts recently and all of the same girls are on the squad, except for the ones who are graduating.  I expect that me, Briana Joy, and Kana will all be on the Junior Spirit Squad again, and I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, November 29, 2013

JLS Marvin

My teen girls are very thankful for this recent arrival.  Ever since reading D7ana's blog post about the JLS dolls, I have been wanting them.  But the shipping charges to have them shipped from Great Britain were cost prohibitive.  Until now (for Marvin).  There is currently a seller on eBay who is selling Marvin for a very reasonable price and only $6 to ship from Great Britain to the United States.  I hope that some of Marvin's band members will be able to join him here soon (for cheap).

Here is Marvin still in his box.

And here he is out of the box.

Here is a close-up of Marvin.  I thought about Squarepeg78 and smiled when I inspected Marvin because not only is he showing teeth, but he has indentations so that you can see each individual tooth.  For anyone who is creeped out by dolls with teeth, be forewarned and do not enlarge the photo below.  Marvin's lips are nearly as red as his shirt.

Marvin is wearing a red hooded top, khaki pants, some grayish short boots, a brown belt, and a green wrist band.  I like that his belt is removable.  The clothing is good quality and well stitched.  His feet are about the same size as Ken's and they can share shoes.

Marvin is 30cm tall.  Here is a height comparison with other teen male dolls.  From left to right, here are American Teen Benjamin, High School Musical Zeke, Marvin, S Club 7 Bradley McIntosh, and Flavas Tre.

Marvin immediately started looking around for pretty girls and found Lena, but he's a little too short and too young for her taste.  She said that they can just be friends.

That's okay, the guys know plenty of girls that they can introduce to Marvin.  Here are some of the group enjoying some day-after-Thanksgiving snacks (I guess they already ate the turkey sandwiches).  Marvin's knees do not bend, so he has trouble sitting down.

Here's a closer look at Marvin's body.  Let's see, how can I put this delicately...  Marvin has a little something extra.  Not much, but enough that he stands apart from my female dolls (and the vast majority of my male dolls).  Other than that, there are no surprises here.  Marvin can stand on his own.  He has no articulation at the elbows or knees.  His arms and legs move forward and backward only.  His head moves side to side.

Here's a side view.

Marvin convinced me to finally open my Justin Bieber fashion pack.

The fashion pack contains a hoodie, a pair of jeans, shoes, sunglasses, and a laptop.  The quality of the clothes and shoes is really good.  The sunglasses are okay, but don't look right on Marvin.  I like Marvin in his Justin Bieber clothes better than I like him in his own clothes.

I really like the laptop.  My teens will have a good time using this.

My overall impression of Marvin is that he is a good sturdy doll that can withstand child's play, and he is good for collectors as well.  I am happy to have another ethnic teen male doll in my collection.  I wish that he had more articulation, and that his lips were less red.

He is a nice addition to my collection.
Boyz n the Hoodies

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Calista's Diary Entry - Thankful

Dear Diary,

Today I was asked to set the table for our Thanksgiving Day dinner.  I've never set it by myself before, and this was kind of a big deal for me.

Oprah says that "love is in the details", so I wanted to make sure that everything was just perfect for my family.

We used the good plates and the good silver.  I went online and looked up setting the table for a formal dinner to make sure that I was doing everything right.  I also added some personal touches.

 Before we brought out the food, I sat down for a moment alone to reflect.  At Thanksgiving dinner, my family always discusses all of the things that we are thankful for.  I wanted to get my thoughts together.

Even though things may not always go my way, I know that I am blessed.  I am so thankful for my family and friends and for all of the love and support that I have in my life.

I am thankful for those who encourage my creativity.  I'm thankful for those who read my words and who have kind things to say.  I am thankful for those who offer criticism and push me to strive to improve.  I am thankful for those who can identify with my struggles.  I am thankful for those who laugh at my jokes.  I am just so very, very thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Obitsu Harry

My girl dolls have been in an uproar.  The number of girls here exceeds the number of boys, and they have been demanding that I add more boys to my collection to make things right.  I am sympathetic to their plight.  I went to my Bin of Forgotten Dolls and retrieved a Mattel Harry Potter head that had been languishing there for years.  This head came to me in a box of other dolls from a fellow collector.  I decided that it's time to give Harry a body and have him officially join the collection.

I decided to order an Obitsu body for young Harry.  I had been hearing about these bodies for years, but never had an occasion to purchase one since they do not make brown bodies.  I purchased a 21cm body in flesh tone (my only choices were white and flesh).

 The body came with 3 extra sets of hands, and 4 different neck connectors of various sizes.  With 28 points of articulation, this figure is extremely pose-able and is by far my most articulated child figure.

I needed to change the neck connector in order to get Harry's head onto the body.  This was not a problem.  The neck connectors are attached with a small screw.

I removed the screw, detached a larger neck connector, and attached that neck connector to the body with the screw.

With the larger neck connector in place, I was able to easily attach Harry's head to the body.

Here he is with head attached and fully dressed.  He is wearing his original shirt and pants.  The pants are a little too short for him now.

I was trying to get him to change clothes, but all he wanted to do was hang out with his new friends.

Here is a height comparison.  Pictured below from left to right are:  SIS Julian, Mego Our Gang Buckwheat, Mattel Todd, Harry, and Dave Cub Scout. 

I think that I should have purchased a taller body for Harry.  He has a very boyish face, but his head is kind of on the large side, so I think that he could pass as a teen.  I thought about giving this body to my White Todd doll and purchasing a taller one for Harry, but the Obitsu body is too pale for Todd.  I will keep Harry on this body for now, but he may grow a few centimeters in the future.

As happy as my girls were about the new arrival, I think that my boys were even happier.  I have so few boys that some of my short men stand in for boys every now and then.

*Shaking my head*  Boys!  They will not be satisfied until someone breaks a limb.

My overall impression of the Obitsu body is that it is a good purchase for the money.  The body is flexible and sturdy, and it is easy to swap out the neck connectors and hands. I wish that this company (or another company like this) would make brown bodies.  I am so impressed with this body that I wanted to purchase more for some of my other White dolls (male and female), but this "flesh" color is too pale for all of them.  So this will be my only Obitsu for a while.