Friday, December 3, 2021

What A Year 2021 Has Been!

 Well that may be an understatement! You see, I live in Clarkston, Michigan in the USA. You may be seeing on the news in your part of the world the breaking story of the latest school shooting in the US. My house is just 13 miles from the Oxford High School were the shooting happened. We have friends who have family attending this school. My 21 year old daughter ran track while in high school and she attended track meets at this school. This is just too close to home. There is a cloud of shock and depression hanging over the surrounding communities. Today, there was a list of at least 20 area schools who have closed their doors for the remainder of the week due to threats being called into these schools. Most unfounded. Thought to be funny by those sick enough to call in the threat. The shooter is a 15 year old student who attended Oxford High school. 4 students lost their lives ages 14 to 17. 7 more victims are recovering from their wounds, some still in critical condition. Hundreds more who feared for their lives as they barricaded themselves in classrooms. Sad beyond belief. You ask yourself how this can happen. Why does this happen. My heart is heavy and breaks for the families, the community, our friends and neighbors. It is hard to think about anything else right now.

My last post was in June of 2021 where I posted about my Signature Barbie Looks doll aka Victoria. After that, I posted a photo on the Barbie Collector Facebook page showing my collection of all 6 dolls in which I had multiples of each doll. Anyone that knows me at all knows that I do a lot of rebodying and I did order 4 of each doll and surprisingly was able to get most of what I ordered. However, I was shocked at the hate comments I received. It was as if I had single handedly caused the worldwide shortage of these dolls and I was responsible for the hundreds of people who did not place orders until late in the game and thus had a hard time getting their hands on them. Note, that there were many who had posted getting up to 10 of each doll, yet I was the one to receive the hate. I removed my post and the detestable comments and went silent on doll posts after that and lost some enthusiasm for blogging too.

But here is a photo of my dolls from that line.

L to R: Jon, Kit, Victoria, Lena, Elle, Sean

But let's take a step back a bit. Coming out of 2020 wasn't easy. We had been living in a sort of isolation, not attending family or other functions. My eldest daughter had gone back to work to help closeout a factory that was planning on closing their doors in February of 2021. She accepted the assignment as they offered her a lucrative retention bonus to stay on until the doors closed. My youngest who worked at an emergency vet clinic, also went back to work in the last quarter of 2020. I kept the home fires burning, but we were careful around each other being diligent to wearing our masks even when around each other as they were out in the public.

At Christmas time (2020), we noticed that our cat, Jasmine, seemed to act a little bit weird, sometimes losing her balance. We took her to our local vet at the first available appointment in January 2021 and had her checked out with blood tests and a full workup, but they said she was OK, but may be having the beginning of something neurological. Shortly after that, she began falling against the wall as she walked and she was losing weight. Her breathing was labored. We knew it might be something very serious. Hannah, who worked at the emergency vet clinic, decided to take her to work to have them check her out. The first thing they told us was that she had a heart murmur, which our vet did not detect. The emergency clinic also noted the she was having breathing issues so they xrayed her lungs. The vet looked at Hannah and said "maybe we should get your mom on the phone". The vet then told us that she had very advanced, fast growing lung cancer. Not treatable, not curable. All we could do was give her palliative care, but that she maybe would live another month or two. So on February 18, 2021 we took her home with some meds and spent everyday doting her with attention, but she deteriorated rapidly. After only about 2 weeks, her breathing was so bad that we knew we could not let her suffer any longer. On March 4, we had to say our final farewell to her. We had our beautiful little angel kitty for 14 years. It was so hard on everyone! 

Goodbye sweet Jasmine!

While all of this was going on, the COVID vaccine became available and I was able to get my first dose on February 9 and my second dose on March 9. Because my daughter's were working in jobs where they were in contact with the public, they were also able to get their vaccines in the spring. Things started to go back to a bit of normalcy. I continued to buy dolls! Here are a few of the dolls that I purchased in 2021.

Custom OOAK mother and baby from "All The Little Dolls" on Etsy

Mizi Adonis Men

Two 2021 Fashionista guys dressed in The Fresh Squad outfits.

Another Ken Fashionista in a Fresh Squad outfit and Shero Alex Morgan (soccer player)

Wave 1 of the Barbie Extra Dolls

More Fashionistas

More Fashionistas

OK, so maybe there were more than a few! LOL! I will post more about my dolls in future blog entries. There are more coming for sure!

During the pandemic isolation period in 2020, I did put back on some of the weight I had lost in 2018 and 2019. But, in May, I renewed my efforts and got back on my healthy kick. To date, I have now lost 81 lbs since my original start in 2018. My goal is 100 lbs, so I am doing pretty well towards that goal! 

With my daughter at summer camp

Letting my hair show its natural curl!

My youngest daughter, Hannah, delayed her sophomore year of college due to the pandemic, but in August, we moved her to an apartment at Michigan State where she has now begun her sophomore year of college. 
Here she is with her best friend Baily (the blonde girl) in their new apartment on moving day

In September, I caved in and allowed my eldest to get a cat with the provision that the cat is her total responsibility. She buys the food, takes it to the vet and the cat moves with her when she moves out next year! Here is her cat named Mushroom!

She is a cute kitty (sshh, don't tell my daughter I like her!)

One last pet item, which is a little sad too. We found a lump on the left rear flank of our 12 year old dog, Carly. Since she is prone to having benign lipomas that the vet has said were not necessary to remove as they come back, we were not too concerned, but decided to get it checked out. This lump turned out to be a type of malignant mast cell tumor. Because she is otherwise healthy, we did decide to have it removed along with a very large lipoma. I am happy to report that she is doing well after having surgery. we are still waiting on the pathology to see if it has spread, but we are feeling optimistic. I am not going to post surgery photos as they are very graphic, but here is a photo of her before surgery.

Carly sharing her bed with Mushroom!

Well, that brings us up to date! Mostly! Christmas is right around the corner and I am sure some new dolls will sneak their way into my collection. I will try to post a little more too! I hope all of you are doing well. God Bless!



  1. I can't even imagine what the climate must be like in the aftermath of the horrendous school shootings. Something really needs to be done to control the causes of these acts. More and more we hear about school shootings and folks involved in gun battles in public places. This should not be the norm.

    I'm so sorry about the loss of your cat. Glad to hear Carly is doing well. I hope the pathology results are promising.

    Congrats on your weight loss. I've been on a healthy track as well and have almost reached my target weight. Thanksgiving derailed me a bit, but I remain focused.

    It's sad that people, even in the doll world, can be so mean about someone else's doll purchases. I've often purchased duplicates, one to remove from the box and one to keep in the box, but I rarely post about this because I know how some people can react. Such silliness among grown folk.

    You've had a nice doll haul this year. Continue to enjoy your dolls.


    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! The school shooting has been a nightmare for so many around here. It was just horrific. I just don't understand it. All I can do is pray! I have decided not to let unkind words from some others in the doll community take away my joy in my dolls. You will see more from me!

  2. Hi Phyllis! Is great to hear from you again. I don't watch the news often, but I did hear about the shooting. It must be terrifying to have such a thing happening so close from home. Having to deal with Jasmine passing must have been hard too. She was such a gorgeous cat. On top of that, we're living in this "unprecedented times", so I totally understand not being in the mood to post.

    Sorry to hear that you got so much hate. Sometimes people on the Internet can be pretty nasty. I'm one of those people that thinks that if you don't have something nice to say, then don't say anything. I think a lot of people are pressed because scalpers create a false scarcity by buying multiples, which I know is not the case with you. But that's still not a reason to be hateful to those buying multiples for customization purposes. To be fair, I would have bought multiples of some dolls had I been able to afford to do so. Probably not 4, but maybe a second one of a doll or two for rebody purposes. So far I just got the one with the afro hair, because she was the one I was truly interested in, and from the second wave I just want the one with the short hair. The others I just don't care enough to pay full price.

    Glad to hear that you and your family are doing well and staying healthy. Luckily Carly is doing well now, and her and Mushroom seem to be getting along. Happy that Hannah managed to go back to college in somewhat normal way. I think I remember reading about her high school graduation and the whole issue with the dress.

    Wish you a lovely Christmas time with your loved ones and a happy new year!

    1. Thanks and I will try not to let some unkind words from others keep me from enjoying my dolls and sharing my collection!

  3. Hello Phyllis,
    Glad to read one of the new posts.
    It is sad to see the shootings in schools. In my area, since we lifted the lockdown, there have been a lot of shootings in the city center. I won't name the name of this famous city, even I have serious questions about whether we should move.

    I am sad to hear about your little cat and also happy to hear that your generous family has welcomed a new cat. Welcome to your family to your new cat.

    The world of collections is special at times, why say bad things to each other when you can't get certain dolls? I too had ordered 4 of the 6 since June 16 at the regular price. Me it is the company which canceled my order in September. I recommended everything at three times the price, I was frustrated after the company because I have the funny impression that it is wanted by its companies which have a lot of power.
    I do not know if you have seen the three new models that have been added to this collection, this one I was able to order only one at the regular price.

    1. I know it must be hard for you to get the dolls you want sometimes. I don't know where you are exactly, but if you ever want me to get a doll for you, I will do it and just have you reimburse me for my cost of the doll and shipping.

  4. I am so sorry to hear all of this. But yes, these pandemic years have been quite stressful in one way or another. I too, have been following all of the news surrounding the Oxford High School shooting. It's just one more instance of the pandemic of gratuitous hate that's been spreading throughout the US. I don't know where it will all end--but I do hope it will end. In the meantime, I feel so bad for those four families who lost their children...and so close to the holidays makes things even worse.
    As far as the hateful comments surrounding your doll purchases....again...I do not understand such childish behaviour. One of the things I generally credit the doll community is for the wonderful people that make up this hobby. While it's true that we have been, over the past two years, infiltrated by speculators who buy up quantities of dolls then resell them at ridiculous prices on eBay, I would hope people would be able to tell the difference between those folks and the collector who, for numerous reasons, choose to have duplicate or multiples of the same doll. When I first started collecting, I bought the Barbie SIS dolls each time I ventured into Target. Let's just say, there is a really big family of these dolls residing in my dad's house!!! But in any case, you know who your online dolly friends are and we will always be there for you. I look forward to seeing more posts from you in the coming year. P.S. That's a mighty fine collection of Barbies you have there!

    1. Thank you so much! I do know that I have friends in the community who know me and get that I like to rebody and customize dolls and I am grateful for that! I do plan on keeping up on posting in 2022!

  5. So good to see a post from you Phylli.

    I do not watch the news, however a friend shared that horrible story with me. My prayers are with the families of the victims, the perpetrator and family and the students, faculty and family and friends of that school. That was totally awful.

    People can be so mean. One would think that doll people are happy go lucky because of the nature of our hobby. Please keep doing you and enjoy yourself. Buy what you like, when you like. I have been called a hoarder of dolls. My opinion is that it is my money, my space, so carry on and mind the business that pays you, because I surely don’t. Do what brings you joy.

    I am so sorry to hear about your lovely fur baby. Pets are like family.

    Congratulations on your weight loss. You look great!!

    You have a beautiful collection of dolls. Love them!!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words. I have been doing some customizing with some of the "extra" dolls I purchased, so I hope to share some photos of those soon.

  6. So nice to hear from you, Linda! I have decided not to let the naysayers get to me. I am going to do what I love with my dolls and I am happy to share my collection with other genuine enthusiasts and doll friends. Glad to be able to count you among them!

  7. Thanks for the updates and I don't usually comment on posts but I really enjoy what you do with your dolls because I'm not brave enough to do it myself. In my mind, this doll community is really my real life friends but y'all don't know it lol. I'm sorry to about the bad things that have happened to you and that has affected your family also. I wish you the best from this moment forward and patiently awaiting to see what you post next!

  8. Hi Phyllis,
    I'm so sorry to hear about this horrible shooting being so close to home. It's just awful to think that people would actually do this. I'm also just so sorry to hear about the loss of your cat. I lost my 16 yr cat back in Feb of 2019 and I still miss him so much as he was with me for so long. We've since gotten 2 new cats and I feel so happy that they are both such lovely lap cats, but there was just something about my old one and I will always miss him! Your daughter's new cat is very cute! Congratulations on your weight loss as well! I love seeing the photos and it looks like your daughters are doing well. I'm glad to see that you are still collecting and enjoying your new dolls!
    I hope you have a wonderful New Year!

  9. You post is nice. Willing to know more details about it if possible. The Doll Shop

  10. It looks like you have added a ton of new dolls! I have only added a three of the first wave of the Looks dolls and only two of the second wave. BTW, your cat looks a lot like my cat Rocco that died. Rocco's ears were shorter. I have seen many cats that are this same gray tabby. While watching a show on lions and how they were able to to tell the cubs apart and ID them as adults, they looked as their whisker patterns. They said that they didn't change as the lion got older. I wondered if this is the same for cats?

  11. Hi Phyllis,
    Just dropping by to see how you're doing? It's been a while since we heard anything from you, I do hope you are still collecting and enjoying your dolls.
    Big hugs,