Time with Grandma

I love one on one time with my grandchildren. Usually my granddaughters choose to spend a one on one time day with me for their birthday. (I give them the choice of a gift or the day with me.) They’re pretty smart. They know that one on one time usually includes shopping and food, so they know a bargain when they see one!

I hope you’ll enjoy this video of my time with Maggie Moo a few weeks ago!

What are your favorite memories of time with your grandma? Let me know in the comments below!

Tweet this please:

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Making memories with grandma! What are some of yours?

Testimony Tuesday featuring Amy Clipston

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I’m so excited to have found Amy Clipston!

Amy’s story is profound. And I was thrilled when she agreed to an interview. So, grab a cuppa, lean back, and enjoy the show!

Amy’s next book will be out in June!

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And be sure to check out her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks

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Tweet this: She saved two lives with one of her kidneys!

Words from the abyss

I stare at the page. No, that’s not right. I stare into space. Into nothingness. Empty of anything but anguish. The mere thought of lifting my hands to the keyboard, exhausting. Thinking thoughts that require more than automatic muscle movement, overwhelming.

If you’ve never experienced grief this strong, you cannot know how this feels.

The blankets are my shelter. Like God’s wings, they hide me from outside forces that take too much glaring effort to face.

Exhaustion. The exhaustion is much, much more than being tired. It’s the lack of will to do anything but sleep, stare, sob, and sleep again.

I wonder if God feels this way over children He’s lost. And if He does, how His mercy is even deeper and wider.

My thoughts are stuck in a thick goo of anguish. Anguish isn’t the right word. It’s much more than despair. It’s pain, squared by pain times itself, over and over and over again. An exponential abyss of dark, infinite hell.

I know now why they wear black when they grieve. This is so much worse than death. So much worse. And I. Can’t. Find. My. Way. Out. This yawning void sucks me down with each strain toward the light. Each small advance thwarted by the constant shadowy reminder of the cause of the torment.

The only escape is death. But death doesn’t come. With bodacious irreverence life marches on with trivial duties. Make the bed. Brew the coffee. Feed the cat. Sort the socks.

Why do people go on as if nothing has happened? Why does the sun continue to shine? Why do the stars and moon mock the darkness?

I must think new thoughts. I must put praise on my lips.

No. No energy. My mind is too full of intrusive sorrow. I cannot be a hypocrite today. To pretend I’m okay when I’m clearly not is too heavy a burden. Today I can’t paste on the smile, stick out my chin and write pretty prose.

The blankets. So soft. So comforting.

The cat purrs. I close the laptop. Close my eyes.

Tomorrow will come.

Maybe there will be new words tomorrow.

Will 2016 be better?

I don’t want to be a downer, but 2015 for me was the pits in many ways.

But guess what?

God is still on the throne and Jesus is coming soon!

Will He come in 2016?

Who will be elected president?

If you listen to the doomsayers, it’s going to be a defining year and danger is just around the corner. But our eyes aren’t to be on the storms and waves around us. Our eyes are to be on Jesus. And the safest place to be is in the center of His will.

My prayer for you for 2016 is that you will hunger for more of Him, and you will feast your eyes on Him, so that you will live in perfect peace.

-Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,whose mind is stayed on thee-because he trusteth in thee.Trust ye in the Lord for ever-for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.-Isaiah 26-3-4

 

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Tweet this: Our eyes are to be on Jesus & the safest place to be is in the center of His will.

Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Busy Writers (Or at least for this one)

I love writerly gifts. But most of the time, my friends and family haven’t a clue what such things are. I may leave my computer open to this post in case Mr. Himself walks by…

Here are my top 10 picks this Christmas in no particular order.

Number One:

 Jane Austen Action Figures and anything Jane Austen.

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Such as this,

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this,

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and this.

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Just because I love all things Jane Austen. And these are absolutely frivolous and uniquely writerly and readerly.

Number Two:

Stickers for my laptop. Such as this NASA one.

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It’s cool for people to think I’m a rocket scientist when I’m out in public writing. Then again, the astronaut sloth sticker might clue them in to what I really am.

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Or the  NASA “I need my space” one.

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Seriously, though, this one is perfect.

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As is this one. And you can’t beat the price! Okay, forget the gifting. I’m getting these myself.

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Number Three:

I am in total love with this gift idea! It’s a Moleskin notebook in a Moleskin gift box! How perfect. No need to explain why any writer wouldn’t love this one, right?

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Number Four:

Altwork Station.

Source: endgadget.com

Source: endgadget.com

When I make my first million I’m so getting one of these.  You’ve got to see this for yourself! (Watch the video. You’ll be putting this one on your list, too.)

Number Five:

Bookends. I have so many books. I’m never without a need for bookends. And since I’m really into elephants, I love these little guys.

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Every writer can use a nice set of bookends

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or even a cute bookshelf!

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Number Six:

Movie passes!

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Fiction writers love movies. Mainly they like to go and rip apart every scene, dissect each word, analyze the dialogue, conflicts, and more. Sometimes they want to sit in a movie alone and savor every morsel. Writers are weird. You might want to get the passes for them  to go to the movies alone unless they happen to have patient friends who understand. Or you have a unique writer friend who’s an extrovert. Unlike me. It’s not that I’m anti-social. I’m just an in-her-head-all-the-time kind of gal. Okay, fine. My kids think I’m anti-social.

Number Seven:

A vintage typewriter. Just because. Personally, I’d love to have a pink one:

pinktypewriter

 

pink

 

Or this one from my childhood. I can still remember its smell!

typewriter

Source: http://goo.gl/OmyMrA

And if the below picture is really a thing, please, please, please, someone show me where I can get this one!

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Source: http://stillcracking.com/want-one-2/

It does look like you can make your own according to this website, but a circuitry aficionado I’m not. However, I’m a writer, and there’s nothing a writer loves more than dreaming–besides caffeine and chocolate. Which brings us to

Number Eight:

Our own caffeine station. Deborah Raney has one I absolutely love! Mine would lean more toward tea, diet Mt. Dew, milk (with a Splenda — you’ve got to try it! It’s like a legal milkshake) and water. I don’t drink coffee. But I don’t mind those who do because I love the smell of it. Wouldn’t a little station in a cozy home office be wonderful?

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How cute is this???

Number Nine:

Our own private lair.

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I have a huge Pinterest board dedicated to this (with over 600 delectable images!).  I’d love my own little cabin in the backyard. But Mr. Himself is hesitant to create such a thing because he’s afraid I’d never come back in the main house.  He might be right about that. (See Number Six.)

Number Ten:

Contracts. Lots and lots of contracts.

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If I haven’t hit on anything your writer friend or family member might like, you can check out this amazing Etsy list here. There are plenty of things there any writer would love. And I like shopping at Etsy because it supports independent creatives like me.

What are your top ten Christmas wishes (besides peace, health and unicorns)? Is there anything on my list you’d like to have, too? Weigh in!

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Please tweet: Top 10 Christmas Gifts for busy writers! What’s your pick?

To my dear readers

Dearest Most Darling Reader,

My website hosting is weird. Half the time it doesn’t let me in to blog. In its eagerness to protect me from hackers it even blocks ME! And the server people don’t work on weekends (when I have more time to blog) so by the time I’m allowed back in to work, my inspiration has flown to the land of missing socks.

That is part of the reason why I haven’t had a post recently. The other reason is that my husband, Mr. Himself, is in the Philippines doing missions work and I have total care of mother Ellen while he’s away (she lives with us). I spent most of the day yesterday in the ER with her. I also have total care of my twins with autism and another son with bipolar.

I live the life of a circus mom. Seriously. I also have four dogs and two cats. The fact that I’m still walking in an upright position without severe twitching is a miraculous thing.

Mother Ellen is home now, doing well, and Mr. Himself comes home in a few more days. But, of course, the interruptions won’t cease. Along comes the holidays. Not to mention I am doing 60 hours of observation at the local school for part of my degree requirements. (I’m getting a degree in Special Education.)

Does life ever slow down?

No. I don’t think it does.

Leave me a comment and let me know how chaotic your life is right now so I don’t feel alone!

And if you could click on the little twitter bird over at the left and help me spread the word, I’d be most appreciative.

Love,
Karla

How I Get It All Done (Sorta)

Waste your time--waste your life.Like you, I’m insanely busy. Sometimes I feel as if I don’t even have time to breathe. This can make writing hard. Not only for finding time to write, but having the mental clarity to write.

It doesn’t get easier as we get older. We need a lot more brain support in terms of exercise, nutrition and supplements. I was sharp as a tack until I turned 40 and then I realized how fallible and fragile this thing called life is. And I don’t know who told me parenting adult children was easy, but I have a hunch they didn’t have adult children.

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Most of you know that I’m a full-time pastor/pastor’s wife, full-time college student and “full-time” writer. That is, I spend at least four hours a day on my writing career. (Often, I spend much more than that.) As a pastor I spend at least 40 (ahem, to 60) hours and my college homework gets squeezed in there in between it all.

On top of that I’m a Mom, grandma, wife, daughter-in-law to my mother-in-law who lives with us and has Alzheimer’s. My candles are pretty much melted. If I don’t keep track of my tasks, they don’t get done.

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Here’s how I do it.

My first favorite item is my physical planner notebook, The Planner Pad. I love this planner because it not only gives me a full calendar view but also lets me plan by the week and day. Now, I also use a digital planning system as well, but it’s different than this planner, and I’ll get to it later. This physical planner helps me write out my week by hand in order to internalize it.

Here is a pic of my calendar page for the month of September 2015 (it’s not nearly as pretty as the video).

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And here’s the “funnel” pages I use each week to categorize and prioritize my activities. This is the one for this week. It will fill up more as the week goes along.

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Now, if you watch the following video, you’ll see I don’t use the funnel pages correctly. For some reason I want to put my specific times on the middle part of my page instead of at the bottom. What you’re supposed to do is break down the tasks in the middle of the page and then schedule specific times for them at the bottom. I tend to just schedule appointments at specific times on the middle of the page.

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Our lives are so interrupted that I get discouraged if I write something like, “blog from 9 AM – 10 AM.” No sooner will I write that than someone in this house or at the church will have an urgent need. And then I feel even more frustrated. Since I’m a little too task-oriented in life as it is, the way I do it works for me so I don’t become resentful.

The Planner Pad does have a digital planner. But I don’t care for it because it’s not all on one page. That’s why I use KanbanFlow on my computer instead of planner pad.

I like this system because I can see every segment of my life in one glance. (The column on the far left, “Chris” is a part-time consulting job I do. Nothing going on this week. Yay!)

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An example of a week (incomplete)

I can also create a whole new board for a specific task.

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I can also break down the week and tasks into “Do Today” and  “Do This Week” and really, any type of column I want. And if you delegate a lot of things on your list (I don’t) then you can add a name and photo to the task. (I don’t usually bother with the photo thing but did it to show you here.)

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I’m a bit addicted to Zulily and tumblr…

The drawbacks of this system is that there isn’t an app for the iPhone. However, you can still access it via the web. Still, I’m not sure why they haven’t created an app. But for me, this works because I usually only use it when I have my computer on and open. (And that’s most of the day.)

It also has the promodoro timer!

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I can keep track of time spent on different tasks or make myself focus for different stretches of time with the timer. And it will also keep statistics for you. To learn more about the different details, watch the video below.

I’m still learning how to use different colors to code urgency or type of task. For me, just getting the tasks down (brain dumping) is a huge relief. And I like being able to drag the task tiles over into the “done” column. There’s a lot of satisfaction in that!

This system was actually developed for collaborators designing software. I absolutely love it for juggling the different roles I play in life.

What system do you use to stay on task?

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Would you be so kind as to share a tweet?

What do you use to stay on task?

In Which I Passed Through a Portal on the Day of the Blood Moon Whilst Buying Chicken

seriously

Yesterday was a troubling day.

Not only was it the day of the last of the blood moon tetrad, which was also supposed to usher in the end-of-the-world-financial-zombie-apocalypse (I’m not saying it still won’t), but I also passed through a portal that was most certainly at least ten more years away. I’m convinced this blood moon thing did something to speed up time. Read on to discover why.

vortex

It all started so innocently, as I’m told such things do. I was in the drive-thru buying some lunch for Isaiah and myself following the morning church service. Our house was full of guests (the evangelist and his fiance and a dog named Stella and the rest of our brood).  Since Isaiah and I were feeling poorly, we were on our way to a friend’s very quiet house to rest in quiet tranquility.  (Thanks, Christopher!)

Thinking a bit of chicken would perk us up, we waited in the looooooong  line that is our local southern fried chicken establishment. (It’s not that the lines are long, it’s just that this particular eatery always has extremely slow service).

Finally, I pull my car up to the window to pay for our order.

http://www.shapingyouth.org/fast-food-chains-are-slowly-getting-healthier-yum/

Source: http://www.shapingyouth.org/fast-food-chains-are-slowly-getting-healthier-yum/

It looked innocent enough. Little did I know it was a portal to that dreadful place all women are convinced they will never pass through.

But I was wrong. It happened. Just like that. Right there in my car, wearing my Sunday best.  A handsome teenager sucked me into the vortex with seven devastating words:

  1. Would
  2. You
  3. Like
  4. The
  5. Senior
  6. Citizen
  7. Discount?
saywaht

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I took the selfie pic (below) of me this morning in my car, still perplexed that I had been so abruptly pulled into the whirlwind of senior citizenry. I’m still convinced it was a case of mistaken identity. (So, I may or may not have edited the photo to blur out a few wrinkles…there aren’t that many…,right? Right?)

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Shouldn’t there be  some sort of warning before this happens? A summons delivered to your door by the sheriff? A text that asks you to enter a code for an option to delay said crossing over? A simple phone call?

Instead I’m now suffering from post-traumatic-they-think-I’m-antiquated-disorder.

Ahem. Just for the record? This is old:

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Source: http://www.old-picture.com/american-legacy/005/Old-Car.htm

This is not.

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Thankyouverymuch.

Now, excuse me while I call a plastic surgeon. Aging gracefully isn’t in my DNA. This girl’s going into it kicking and screaming.

Would you be so kind as to tweet?

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Shouldn’t there be a warning before they suck you into the senior citizen vortex?

How KarlaAkins Passed Through a Portal on the Day of the Blood Moon Whilst Buying Chicken

 

Are you still here?

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Congratulations!

I think.

I mean, if you’re reading this right now, it means you’re still here and the world hasn’t come to an end. Or, if the rapture has occurred, and you’re still here, then it’s not congratulations that’s in order, but some advice on how to make it through tribulation.

The safest place

Today is the first day of autumn. It’s also a day that many have predicted will either usher in disastrous change for the world, the tribulation, or the rapture.

Many believe the return of Messiah is imminent, including a prominent Jewish Rabbi who is urging all Jews to come home to Israel. He believes that at the end of the sabbatical year the Messiah will return. The end of that year was September 12, 2015. So far, I haven’t seen Messiah, but expecting Him to come any second is how we’re supposed to live. I have eagerly awaited His return since I was a small child.

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Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky; Souce: beforeitsnews.com

Sept. 22-23 is Yom Kippur., or Day of Atonement. It is also the beginning of the Year of Jubilees. Some find it ironic that the Pope is coming on the holiest holiday of the Jewish people because they won’t be able to participate in the arrival. They also find it a tad coincidental.

Others believe that today marks the beginning of tribulation based upon calculations of Daniel’s 70th week. 

Countless books have been written about September 2015. 

Even Isaac Newton wrote about Messianic predictions surrounding September 23, 2015.

CERN was also supposed to have a major colliding event today, but all references to it have been removed from their website. Now they claim that the machine has been powering up since June 15 and nothing unusual is happening today. They’ve even removed the CERN calendar that used to be available. Coincidence? Is there something to hide? (If you don’t know about CERN, you can learn about it and science’s search for the God Particle here and here.) If you want to get even more freaked out, just type “CERN September 23, 2015” into the google search engine. Go on. I dare you. Just set aside about a year to read it all.

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Now, if that’s not enough to freak you out, check out the SESAME project. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

sesame (n.)Look up sesame at Dictionary.comearly 15c., probably from Middle French sisame and directly from Latin sesamum (nominative sesama), from Greek sesamon (Doric sasamon) “seed or fruit of the sesame plant,” a very early borrowing via Phoenician from Late Babylonian *shawash-shammu (compare Assyrian shamash-shammu “sesame,” literally “oil-seed”). First as a magic password in 1785 translation of Galland’s “Mille et une nuits,” where it opens the door of the thieves’ den in “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.” Phraseopen sesame current since about 1826. (Source: http://www.etymonline.com/).

Just asking here, but what portals, exactly, are they trying to open?

Pope Francis; public domain image

Pope Francis; public domain image

The Pope has a lot of engagements in the United States in the next few days including addressing the United States Congress. It is the first time in history that the Pope has ever done so. On Friday he’s addressing the United Nations. Interesting? I think so. There will also be an inter-faith service at the 9/11 museum on Friday. Hmm.

September 27 – October 5 is the Feast of Tabernacles. On the 28th is the 4th blood moon of the recent tetrad.  If you haven’t been studying the blood moons at all, this website will get you up to speed. I’m fascinated!

Some people have linked the budding of the fig tree to the birth of Israel. And 2015 marks 67 years since its birth. In Matthew 24:32, Jesus says this:

“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”

A very ripe fig

A very ripe fig

Muslim clerics are predicting the return of their Mahdi in September 2015. An old prophecy written by the Islamic prophet Ali Bin Iben Abi Talib says that just before the coming of the Mahdi, a tall black man will rise up to take command of the West and he will command the most powerful army on earth. Let’s see…tall…black…West…Obama?

Barak Obama, President of the United States

Barak Obama, President of the United States

DiscoveringIslam.org:

“The Messenger of Allah [sallallahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam] informed the Companions of everything that would occur until the Day of Resurrection,” the website reports.

“Based on our numerical analysis of the Quran and Hadith, the official beginning of the End of Time and the coming of the Imam Mahdi will most likely be in 2015 (or 2016) and Jesus Christ (p) will come down from Heaven to Earth in 2022, in-sha Allah (if Allah is willing).”  (Read more.)

Whatever is going to happen, as I said before, the best place to be is in the center of God’s will. Could this be the beginning of earth pains? Will the dollar collapse? Will there be a global currency? I don’t know. I only know how to prepare spiritually. I have limited resources to prepare physically.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee- be not dismayed; for I am thy God- I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.Isaiah 41-10

One thing’s for sure, we need to be awake, watching and prayerful. We must know the heartbeat of God so that we won’t be tricked. False Messiah’s will come. And God has called His Children to know the difference and share the Truth with others.

 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”  Ephesians 6:12.

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Tweet this: Are you still here or did you get left behind?

Do I smell like old books and glue?

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I have a new hobby. It’s YouTube. Not in the way you think. I listen to lectures on it while I work or as I fall asleep. Anyway, I stumbled onto a video the other day (while watching a commercial for handbags when I wasn’t listening to a lecture) of a young man in New York City who sells high end handbags. He was explaining what types of people carry which handbag.

He described someone who carries a Chanel handbag as being “an old lady who smells like old books and glue.”

According to a so-called expert, women who carry the iconic Chanel Handbag smell like old books and glue.

According to a so-called expert, women who carry the iconic Chanel Handbag smell like old books and glue.

And I had to wonder–do I?

I love old books! And I do have a lot of glue because I’m a homeschool Mom and now a grandma and there’s nothing I enjoy more than doing crafts with the girls.

EEEEEK!

Okay, let’s get one thing straight. I’ve never carried a handbag worth more than $100. I’m not sure I’ve ever carried one worth more than $50 (if I have, it was given to me). I do invest in a good business roller bag for my computer because I take my laptop/office with me everywhere I go. When I got my financial aid last spring I sprung for this one:

But handbags? I have never understood the need to carry one that cost more than my car.

Check this out.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, this handbag is the most expensive one on earth. It weighs in at $3.8 million dollars. Now, maybe I have a poverty mentality, but if I owned a handbag that expensive, I’d sell it immediately and buy a few schools in underprivileged areas or something. I can’t imagine carrying something so expensive, can you? Having said that, I imagine that anyone who actually owns something like this has fortunes in the billions of dollars, so maybe them carrying this purse on their budget is like me carrying one that’s a few hundred dollars. Maybe. I don’t know. Can’t wrap my mind around it.

But back to glue and old books. I know for a fact I don’t smell like that because a lady at church the other day told me I smelled like a “very distinguished woman wearing diamonds and pearls.” I’ll take that! (For the record, I’ve been wearing a very inexpensive body spray the past three or four years that people always compliment me on. If you want to know what it is, email me.)

What do you smell like? What handbag do you carry? (And yes, guys, this is relevant because the trend is for guys to carry them. Okay, maybe only in New York City or Paris. Not so sure you gun-toting, red-blooded, Mid-American types are into that. Yet. Wait a generation.)

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Tweet this: Would you pay $3.8 M for a handbag?