Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

Answering machines in the 80’s, Ghetto DIY, and other thankful things

Hi friends! Today, I’m going to tell you about answering machines in the 80’s, Ghetto DIY, and other thankful things.

Some of the other thankful things include that my amazing friend Rachel, from Tao of Poop wrote a great post. Then, she reached out and asked me for some drawings to go along with it. Don’t ask her how long it took me to deliver them. Instead, go see this hilarity about raising a toddler. There’s some naked happening (don), in case you need further incentive.

I’m uber excited to have my “What it feels like to be a special needs mom” words featured on Mamapedia this weekend. They totally rock and I’m grateful that they contacted me about publishing on their site.

I’m thankful that I’m not alone in not having a crafty sewy gene and that there are others who participate in Ghetto DIY projects. The following project was masterminded and created by my friend J. I’ll call her that because there’s a J in her name. I mean, I wouldn’t call her J when speaking to her or anything because that might be awkward, but for the purpose of this project, J works. Anyway, here’s the ear part of J’s Pete the Cat costume. She made it for her son on Halloween. His costume was the most adorable and unique one in all the bunch.

Pete The Cat Hat

For you crafty types, I know you’re dying to get down and dirty with this DIY project and are likely chomping at the bit to get started. Here goes.
Needed items:
One hat
Two Styrofoam wedges shaped as triangles
Blue paper
Duct tape

Then, simply assemble! I texted J to ensure that I accurately provide the important details:

Text msg for DIY


Not to rub it in or anything, but the fabulous Julie DeNeen of Fabulous Blogging knows thousands of bloggers, and I’m her favorite. Close enough, anyway. Whatever. Seriously though, she listed me in the top 10 and while I’m pretty sure that she did so in error, I’m more than very thankful that she included me in her best of bloggers list.

Have you heard about the delightful duo Stephanie and Jessica? They created The Her Stories Project – a full initiative that will be releasing a compilation of friendship stories in book format December 1. I’m thankful that they included my never-before seen words and am excited to share their website. It includes a Friendship Wall. You can win a book by entering photos of you and your friends. Check it out!

And to Margarita Mommies who were so kind to share my crappy singing Caillou post!

Now, about those 80’s answering machines. Once, when answering machines and voice mail were what they were, we relied on leaving voice messages for one another. There was no texting and nobody had cell phones. When you were planning on meeting your friends somewhere, you had to set up the time and place beforehand and hope that you weren’t so late that they’d left by the time you got there.

Caller ID hadn’t even been invented yet. However, by utilizing the awesome technology of the 80’s (and 90’s, actually) answering machine, we were able to effectively screen our calls because we could actually hear the caller leaving a message while she was doing so.

Having unique and cool voice mail messages was a bit of an art form. My roommate and I had one that we sung, in helium voices to the tune of Little Bunny Foo Foo. It went like this:
Boo, Woo, and Arthur Duke are hopping from the bus stop.
Come pick us up now and take us somewhere cool.
And if you don’t, we’ll turn you into a

Later, other roommates and I had one that went something like this:
Hi. Hi. Hi. (each of us said a different “Hi”)
(something totally mind-blowingly clever that I can’t remember because I’m like Sam from Cheers in that I need a song to jog the brain juices)
Thanks. Thanks! Thanks. (each of us said a different “Thanks”)
Bye. Bye! Bye! (and again – a different voice for each “Bye.”)
Trust me, it was cool and adorable and you have no imagination at all if you can’t see that.

Anyway, at one point, this was the voice message you’d have gotten had you called me:

“Hi, you’ve reached the official voice mail of Kristi. I screen calls because sometimes, people call me and I don’t want to talk to them.
If I don’t call you back, it’s you.”

I’m thankful that I had the great experience of the latest technology back in the 80’s and also thankful that I’m no longer such a bitch. Today, I just hit “decline” on my phone and they never know.

Oh and I totally want to talk to YOU! Just, er, you know, sometimes I’m in meetings and stuff…



Ten Things of Thankful
 Your hosts

  • [email protected] - Thanks for the answering machine flashback. Who didn’t sit there and listen to the message before answering. It kind of makes me miss those days….and congrats on your blog being recognized. Woo.November 17, 2013 – 5:57 pmReplyCancel

  • meeshie - The best thing about those answering machines was being young enough that it wouldn’t impact my future when I put dumb crap on it. 😉

    I had one message that told everyone I had been abducted by aliens and I think my husband had one that offered sex to anyone who called when he was a teen. lolNovember 17, 2013 – 6:26 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Jamie,
    Kindof makes me want an old-school answering machine, too! I miss those days as well…

    HAHA to it not impacting our futures! Good point and one that I hadn’t thought of! Love the aliens one and the one that your husband put up as a teen! Awesome.
    November 17, 2013 – 6:43 pmReplyCancel

  • Considerer - You have been round and about this week, and it’s lovely that people are sharing your words and your particular brand of crazy-awesome (those outtakes! oy!) and I’m so happy that you got chosen as one of Julie’s ‘must-reads’ – that’s very cool 🙂

    The answer machine and I are NOT friends. Nor are voicemail and I. Once upon a time (before I figured out how to turn off the voicemail option), mine said “Please don’t leave a message, because I’ll never listen to it – just ring me again”

    My dad taught me a very important lesson which has stuck – the phone is for MY convenience – not yours. And I have no problem sticking it on silent and letting people drive themselves crazy being unable to get hold of me. Because they’ll get me in the end, if it matters enough.

    And if they can’t get hold of me and I’ve not showed up, well – the police or the hospital will let them know if something terrible’s happened.

    I’m a callous, non-phone-liking person, and I love your bitchy message 😉November 17, 2013 – 6:44 pmReplyCancel

  • Kate - I totally wish I had that sewing gene! I am a DIY fail!!November 17, 2013 – 6:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Considerer,
    Crazy awesome is good. Um. right??? I love the “I’ll never listen to it – just ring me again” message. That’s perfect!! The lesson that the phone is for our own convenience and nobody else’s is priceless!

    Me too. Sigh.
    November 17, 2013 – 7:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Angel The Alien - I remember when answering machines first came out… my uncle was the first in the family to get one, and when we were having some family gathering at my grandparents’ house, we all took turns calling his phone number so we could listen to the message!November 17, 2013 – 7:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Hall - You know what I’m thankful for? That I’m not the only one OLD ENOUGH to remember those answering machines! LOLNovember 17, 2013 – 7:54 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Listen, you know what I think is more memorable than answering machines of the 80s? It’s that we used to rent VCRs. Or, was that just in our little corner of SE TX? Seriously, our children will gape open-mouthed when they realize that someday.
    Love, love, LOVE Pete the Cat. My button, my button, still got my belly button!November 17, 2013 – 8:38 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - Ah, I miss the old answering machine days. I shared one with my sister and we would make a whole night out of getting it right. It had to have the right song and both of us had to sound so amazingly cool and mature.
    Needless to say, we still couldn’t get it right to this day if we tried.
    If we tried.
    And what’s this? Everyone is realizing how amazing you are all at once? That’s how it works, right?November 17, 2013 – 8:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Rachel - I am so honored to have your fine creativity on my blog and to be included here with such fine company as Jennifer Hall and 80’s answering machines! Danke!November 17, 2013 – 8:53 pmReplyCancel

  • christine - Thank you for reminding me to update my answering machine message.
    Yes…we still have an answering machine. Sit down for the next part. We still watch movies on a VCR. We do, though, have remote controls.

    Yay to HerStories!!! I can’t wait!November 17, 2013 – 9:26 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Angel Alien,
    That sounds like a blast!

    HAHAH me too!

    I used to rent VCR’s too. I remember going to Blockbuster a LOT!!!

    I’ll bet you two were adorable doing your messages!

    Ditto, friend. Thanks for hosting my stupid-looking drawings.

    FOR REAL??? I’m so jealous!! I want to record the message!!!November 17, 2013 – 10:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie @ Mommy, for Real. - You’ve had such a great week! I am heading over to see your post at Rachel’s now- can I book you next?! Please!

    Also- I totally miss recording clever answering machine messages with my roommates. We were SO cool. Congrats on such a great week, and thanks for the HerStories shout-out! We are getting really close…November 17, 2013 – 10:49 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Steph,
    YES! I think I told you like a billion months ago that you were next. It just took me stupid ages to get Rachel hers!! And OMG on the whole answering machines thing!!!November 17, 2013 – 11:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - I will admit I am jealous of your shout-out by Julie…but congrats, you deserve it! And as for that answering machine message, love it! I may put that as my new cell phone voice mail message…November 18, 2013 – 9:49 amReplyCancel

  • don - Your friend’s cartoon ass was totally hot stuff! G$ used to be pretty adept at pulling the shirts of women who wanted to hold him (which was everyone because he’s always been handsome as fuck), down until boobage could be seen! He’s a boob man and he rocked at getting those things out! ahem, anyway.

    Yes, answering machines ruled back then, except for when your dumb ass pressed the playback button while your new lady visitor was there and your current girlfriend’s message was all “where were you tonight and you’re such a dick’ and what not. Crazy ladies…November 18, 2013 – 10:09 amReplyCancel

  • Bianca @ Track Pants and a Tot - You definitely got the old school answering machines down! I swear you drew the exact model my aunt had! Hope you join you guys on your next 10 thankful things.November 18, 2013 – 10:54 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Emily,
    I actually felt a little bit douchy bragging about Julie including me but honestly, I was shocked and so happy! HAHA to using that on your cell’s voice mail message! I’d do it too but people that I don’t call back might get on to me….

    Thanks. It’s easier to draw a hot ass than to have one. Love that G$ used to expose all the boobies. Smart kid. Yeah, having the new lady listen to the just-dumped one pretty much sucks.

    I sortof miss those old school machines!
    November 18, 2013 – 12:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Diane - Thanks for the memories! I also remember when “Call Alert” first came out. Too bad I usually lost one or both of the callers. Haha!November 18, 2013 – 12:44 pmReplyCancel

  • Chris Carter - HA! Everything here- simply brilliant as always Kristi!!

    I TOTALLY remember the answering machine- and all the different messages we would leave!! SO funny!!

    YAY for you being out there always and getting “noticed”… Hip Hip HOORAY!!!

    XOXONovember 18, 2013 – 3:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Dyanne @ I Want Backsies - Oh, the answering machine. I had a code-a-phone, I was so cool. Remember trying to save a message from “him” and carefully setting the tape each time you reviewed messages? Or having the tape screw up altogether and get caught in the machine, and you just KNEW you missed something vital because of it?November 18, 2013 – 9:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Shay - You are just ON FIRE, girl!! So proud to be able to call you one of my favorite cyberpeeps. 🙂November 18, 2013 – 11:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Lanaya | Raising Reagan - It’s amazing how answering machines are almost a thing of the past. I love ours. I use it to screen everybody. One because I don’t want the latest cruise deal and two because I really just hate talking on the phone.
    And could you be any more of an awesome blogger?? I’ve seen you all over the internet you amazing woman you!

    Lanaya | xoxo
    http://raising-reagan.comNovember 18, 2013 – 11:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - Out One Ear - As usual, you are so frickin’ funny, Kristi. As creative as you are, I’m sure ALL your voicemail messages were hilarious. And congrats on all the guest posts you’ve been doing recently. You rock.November 19, 2013 – 8:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Sandy Ramsey - Wow, are you getting around or what?! That is so totally awesome (since we’re going with the 80’s thing and all…).
    I still have an answering machine but only because we have a landline for our computer and to give the number out for those really annoying sites and stores that will ask for a phone number and you must not give them your cell. It is ignored, sad to say. It has had 2 messages flashing for about two months now….November 19, 2013 – 8:59 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzy - Muddle-Headed Mamma - Congrats on being featured in so many different areas arounf the blogosphere! I’m also a big fan of your unique and funny blogging style:) Thanks for the trips down memory lane regarding the answering machines. Ah, those were the days. I remember when having an answering machine was akin to having an iphone5 these days!November 19, 2013 – 11:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Kevin Dickson - I threw away my last answering machine in 1993, but kept the cassette tape, which I found the other day.

    I’m going to listen to it in my car and relive those times when people liked me! Maybe you’re on it!December 5, 2013 – 12:39 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Kevin,
    Was I on it? Haha! You crack me up. And why does it not surprise me that your car still has a cassette player?December 5, 2013 – 10:41 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Dianne!
    Mee, too! Awesome! I lost both callers, too…

    I miss them now.

    Back at ya, sweets!

    A code-a-phone? So cool!!

    I love that you still have one. And screen calls.

    Thanks so much!!

    Hee hee to it flashing for two months now! Guess they weren’t emergencies!

    You’re right! They were like an iphone 5 now. 🙂
    December 5, 2013 – 10:46 amReplyCancel

  • Mike - This was so frickin’ awesome, Kristi! I have to share this story ala Blondie’s “Hanging On The Telephone” that this post made me think of. I had been single for a long time and a lover entered my life and was going to house/dog sit for a week while I was in Yellowstone snowmobiling. Circa those answering machines.

    I had girls calling all of the time. NO, I’m not super hot. It’s just the way it was. Always chatty girls and I liked their friendship and occasional you know what. But ironically, SHE was SUPER HOT. Still is.

    On Day 2 of the trip I was able to get to a payphone to leave her an “I love you” message while she was at work.

    The recorder clicked on to this message (her name is changed because she’s still a friend to this day), “Hi, you’ve reached Mike’s answering machine. I’m Veronica, his girlfriend who is fucking his brains out. Leave a message at the beep and he’ll get back to you. Have a great day!”

    Got a letter from my grandmother (who lived 5 miles away) when I got back. She had called the house and hung up several times. Petite little lady from the South with the drawl, innocence and everything.

    She wrote briefly, “Hi honey, ya’ll need to call me when you get back. Keep getting the wrong number and some young lady talkin’ about trains. Love, Grandma”

    True story.

    LOLOL!!! Funniest shit ever…March 2, 2014 – 2:42 amReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *



CommentLuv badge

N e v e r   m i s s   a   n e w   p o s t !