Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Travel Alert

We have another rock slide in North Carolina right at the Tennessee border  that has traffic routed on another road.

In 2009 we had a rock slide that wiped out both east bound and west bound traffic on I-40 for months and months. It came down on the westbound side at mile marker 3 and went across all four lanes of traffinc so east bound traffic also had to be sent around it. The current rock slide is in the same area but not exactly at the same mile marker.

If you are driving a semi it is best for you to not try to go the detour at mile marker 20 as it is a very narrow and windy 2 lane road. The state of NC is asking you to get off at Asheville and take I-26  to I-81 then you can pick up I-40 at that point. For people heading east bound on I-40 you will just reverse the above directions.

They have not given a date for having it fixed but they did say it was because of the rain we have been getting and the fact that some of the big boulders shift on their own and then when it rains it starts a slide. This section had been inspected while they were fixing the 2009 slide and it was reported on the news last night that this one had been spiked and netted to avoid this. This one is totally unexpected as they checked miles of the mountain in 2009 both east bound and west bound and the netted most of it.

At the same time of the 2009 I-40 rock slide there was also one on highway 64 which was just a 2 lane windy road going through the gorge toward Tenn also. So if you were in Tenn and wanted to go east you would add 2 hours to your trip time. If you were in NC and wanted to go to Chattanooga, TN you were in for a shock as this one was not advertized as much as the other one was. We got caught in that one as sometimes we would take the gorge road just because it is such a beautiful drive.

We usually go to Knoxville and pick up I-75 going north. So we could not get there either way and being adventureous we got used to taking some backroads which was kind of nice as we saw things we would have never seen at all if there was no slide. What truly amazed me is that one time we went up and over the Smokey Mountain Parkway and came out at Pigion Forge. Now the parkway is also a 2 lane highway and it is well traveled with many turnouts you can use if you get tired of the traffic pushing you around some of the curves.

We had just pulled out onto the road again when we had to stop the motor home (pulling a car) as all traffic was stopped in both directions. My first thought was a wreck, howeven when we got out to see what the hold up was we were told someone saw a bear and wanted to get a picture of it. Now I am thinking to myself here is this guy running up the mountain trying to catch a bear for a picture and the guy has no idea that bear will kill you and eat you for lunch. There was about an hour wait as monkey see monkey do......and there were lots and lots of people going up to help this guy get his picture. Is it really worth your life or the life of those trying to help you just to get a picture of a bear? At the visitors center you can buy them and it is not like this bear is gonna say "come here little buddy and I'll hug you while your friends get a picture". That was our last trip taking the motor home over that mountain.

To wind up this story that started out to be a warning about the road closures turned into a lesson on bears. Here they are black bears and usually hungry. The main thing I want you to be aware of is if you are taking I-40 east or west you should check it out first. The length of the closure is unknown.

Thank you my friends for reading this blog and I hope it helps some of you. And if you cannot get where you want to go well just stay on your computer and on OLA and visit my store at and get in on some great deals as I am having a 50% off sale until February 8th at midnight EST

Barbie's Beginnings

Ruth Handler was the woman who came up with the idea of Barbie after watching her daughter play with paper dolls. She noticed she gave the dolls adult roles. At the time, dolls were styled as infants. There weren't any adult dolls for little girls to play with. Ruth suggested the idea to her husband Elliot, a co-founder of the Mattel toy company but at that time, he was not enthusiastic about the idea.

Ruth came across a German toy doll called Bild Lilli in 1956 when she was on a trip to Europe with her children. The doll, adult figure, was the type of doll she had in mind so she purchased three of them. One was for her daughter and the others she took back to Mattel. The Lilli doll was a "blonde bombshell, a working girl who knew what she wanted and was not above using men to get it." The doll first sold in Germany in 1955 and even though it was sold to adults, it became popular with children. They enjoyed dressing her up.

When Ruth returned to Mattel, she reworked the design with help from engineer Jack Ryan. They named the new doll Barbie after Ruth's daughter, Barbara. The doll made its debut March 9, 1959 at the American International Toy Fair in New York.

The first Barbie was sold with a zebra stripe bathing suit and was available as either a blonde or a brunette and they had a topknot ponytail. Charlotte Johnson, a Mattel fashion designer, designed Barbie's clothes. The dolls and clothes were first produced in Japan.

The doll was marketed as a "Teen-age Fashion Model" and underwent many changes over the years with the most notable change in 1971 when the doll's eyes were adjusted to look ahead instead of the demure sideways glance.

I remember the Barbie doll after it came out. I had to be about 10 at the time. The doll I had was a brunette with short fluffy hair. Even though I was a little older, I played with her for several years even trying to make new fashions for her. I wish I had held on to her! I really haven't seen a doll like her since.

The closest I came was this little beauty from Pwittsstuff.

Her hair is a touch longer than the doll I had but she really resembles my Barbie. The eyes, of course, look straight ahead instead of to the side.
Barbie is still a wonderful doll for little girls to dream with and for grown women to collect!
Here at, we have a lot of different Barbie dolls, Ken dolls and more!

So, whether you are looking for the fashion doll for your daughter or enjoy collecting these beauties, check out! We have a lot to choose from!

And if this isn't what you are looking for, check out our store, KornKountryTreasures!

Thank you!


Here is one of my favourite German musicians: PETER MAFFAY.
Video 1 (Karat & Peter Maffay)
Video 2 (Solo)
Born in Brasov, Romania, the son of a German (Transylvanian Saxon), he was 14 when his family relocated to his parents' (West) Germany in 1963. In the same year, he started his first band, The Dukes. After completing his education and working for Chemigraphics, an art manufacturer, Maffay worked in clubs, where he distributed his music.Peter Maffay's career started with the publication of his first single, "Du" (You in German). It was the biggest German hit in 1970 and brought Maffay instant fame. With the album Steppenwolf in 1979, Maffay became a major music star in Germany. The album sold 1.6 million copies, making it the best selling LP at that time. In 1980, the album Revanche (Revenge) broke his previous record, selling 2.1 million copies.Maffay holds the German record for the most number one ranked singles in the single and album sales charts, including 12 albums. In addition, most of his studio albums reached the top ten. He also holds a German record for most albums to have sold over one million copies, with 14. His latest album,Laut und Leise (Loud and Quiet), became the fourteenth.Altogether, Maffay has sold over 35 million records. Since 1980, each of his 13 tours (roughly every 2 years) has ranked among the three most visited attractions each season in Germany, with nine of them ranked first in that category.Maffay also created a string of fairy tales about a little green dragon named Tabaluga, which was spread out onto five albums. The piece was also turned into a musical. Maffay went on tour individually with Tabaluga & Lilli in Germany; he later released a live album, DVD and live TV broadcast. The tour included Peter Maffay, Alexis, Nino de Angelo, Rufus Beck, and Carl Carlton among others.In 1998, Maffay created an album in collaboration with artists from all corners of the world, including Aboriginal singers and musicians from Israel, called "Begegnungen". Julia Neigel, another famous German artist, is one of the musicians he usually works with in lyrics and singing in duets. She wrote two of his top singles - "Freiheit Die Ich Meine" and "Siehst Du die Sonne", a cover of Michel Polnareff's "Le PoupeƩ qui fait non".He also starred in two films directed by Peter Patzak: The Joker in 1986, and Captured in Yemen in 1999. In addition, Maffay played a supporting role in the feature "The Polar Bear".On 12 March 2011, Maffay received the Steiger Award (Germany).
Peter Maffay is active in politics and sometimes inserts his own political stances into his music. He is a peace activist, and in 2005 he performed a concert for German ISAF troops in Afghanistan. Maffay also donates to projects for traumatised and abused children. On the Spanish island of Majorca, he established a ranch where traumatised children from all over the world can have a free two-week holiday to help them cope with their problems. For his social commitment, he received the Bundesverdienstkreuz in 1996, and, in 2001, he received an award called "Goldene Henne" ("The Golden Hen").Peter Maffay has been married four times, has a son and lives with his family on a farm on Majorca. One of his hobbies is motorcycle riding. In 1972, Maffay was severely injured in an accident after crashing his Harley Davidson. Later in life, he crossed the Sahara Desert several times on an off-road motorcycle.
Since the beginning of Maffay's musical career, Carl Carlton has played guitar in many projects. Likewise, for many years, Bertram Engel (drums), Ken Taylor (bass) and Jean-Jacques Kravetz (piano) have worked with Maffay as well. Some time later, Jean-Jaques Kravetz brought his son Pascal Kravetz (guitar) with him into the fold. In 2004, Frank Dietz, Andreas Becker, some of Maffay's friends from the band left to pursue other projects. The newest addition to the band is the Hamburg guitarist, Peter Keller.