In Memory of the Sweetest Sister, Loretta Lynn Barley



It is with deepest sadness that I must inform you that my dear big sister Loretta Lynn Barley was granted her angel wings on December 1st, 2011. She was 33 Years old, soon to be 34 this December 22nd. Pneumonia may have took her, but god now embraces her.

Lori Lynn was the rock of our family. She was a joyous girl. She had down-syndrome, but this did not stop Lori from making a major impact in the lives of many. She succeeded in school, went to prom, participated in special Olympics, and graduated from High School in 1997. 

She was a jubilant sister. She loved music, drawing, board games and crosswords. She enjoyed watching her favorite television show, Days of Our Lives. Lori was a cheery and bright girl who never complained and always had something to give.

I love my big sister. My heart dropped and a river of tears began to flow when I received the call at 4:33am on December 1st that the my best friend and sister had passed away. I no longer live close to home, and had not seen her in a while before her passing. My heart still aches at the fact that I will never see my joyous, happy, and cheery sister ever again. No longer will I be able to go to her for a smile, laugh or giggle. No longer will I be able to play games, watch movies or listen to music with her.

Although my heart in full of woe, I understand that she is no longer in pain, and is in a much better place. I imagine her kind smile, and contagious giggle looking down on all of us as she listens to music, eats snacks and goodies, and dances to her favorite songs. It is comforting to know she is at peace.


I love you Loretta Lynn Barley. Your little sister and family miss you very much! Hope you are enjoying heaven! ❤ 



My Down-syndrome Sister Lori And The Quest To See Her Once More.

My loving sister Loretta

My loving sister Lori and I

This is a photo taken a little over 2 years ago of my sister Lori and I. She has downsyndrome, and is quite possibly the sweetest girl ever. She is 34 years old, and surpassed her life expectancy by 12 years. I am currently in a situation where again, I have no money and no means of getting back home to see my sister when it matters the most. She hasnt been doing well lately, with a string of pneumonia attacks, blood infections and various other things.

Let me tell you a little bit about this amazing girl and sister. Her number one attribute is that she was a walking, talking jukebox. We love to play a random song(it doesnt matter what time frame it is from), and have her tell us exactly what artist did it, what the song name is, and what album it is from. Lori also is just fond of music in general, she will start singing and dancing when you play a song. She also was amazing at drawing unique pictures with only shapes and colors. Lori even loved to write, although sometimes the words were a little jumbled, you still get the point. Lori loved hats, she doesnt have hair, so her favorite accessory to her wardrobe was HATS! She had over 75 hats at one point, and all looked great on her cute little head. She loved getting visits from family, she would always prepare them with hugs, kisses and cards she made for them before they came. Lori was fond of visiting the beach, she loved the ocean air and being out in public which she did not to get to go out into very often. And the last and number one thing Lori loved was food! Lori loved all american food. Pizza, burgers, steak and ice cream. If Lori was given vegetables, she would feed them to the dog, or say she was full right when she made her way to the vegetables. Lori was not your veggies kind of gal.

Now Lori sits in the hospital, with a respirator and hooked up to machines. She is still conscious and able to speak, but her condition is deteriorating and she is slowly losing the ability to speak. No more does Lori adorn herself in her famous Hat collection, instead she has the option between 2 hospital smocks. No more does Lori have access to the good eats my family used to make her, instead she has the choice between hospital food and….hospital food. Lori likes to listen to music on the radio in the hospital, but no more is she our famous family jukebox like before. Instead she can nod at what is played to her, and maybe, occasionally mumble a word or two at what is being played. No more can Lori be the talented artist and creator of magical shapes and objects, this is due to the fact that rheumatoid arthritis has plagued her fingers and she is no longer able to pick up a crayon or marker. And it is sad that no longer is Lori able to shower you with love, kisses, and affection that you could once so famously expect when she greeted you with her kind face. Now Lori is unable to move her arms, and is bedridden for the rest of her life because she is unable to walk anymore. You now can expect a crooked smile from Lori, and maybe a word or two of excitement at who is visiting her.

This is the slow deterioration of my beloved sister that I have heard from afar, I have yet to see just how much my dear sister has fallen ill to. The last time I saw my sister, she was able to hug, kiss, and speak fluently. Im sure it would break my heart to see her in such a condition, but it needs to be done. But how can such desperate and required thing be done when no money is to be had. You cannot do anything without money anymore. I cant even get a car loan to go see her because my credit is in terrible shape from school loans. All that should be possible, is not. Instead, the sad fact is that I have to sit and watch my sister from a distance(of 5 hours) slowly disintegrate to her eventual death.  I dont know when it will be, but I have to face the sad, and teary eyed fact that it will eventually happen. And my biggest hope and wish is that I will be able to see her just once before she ascends into whatever high place she will be welcomed into.



I wash my Clothing in the Sink


Yep, its sad, its true, and its blatantly obvious that I am either lazy, poor, or something is broken. Well, the fact is, I have no money to do my clothing at the Laudromat, I dont have access to someones washer and dryer, and the best option to not smelling like shit is to do my laundry in the sink.

I learned it from the best. I grew up in a poverty stricken, low income family who constantly resorted to this method of doing laundry. If it worked for my family, its good enough for me.

When people tell me I smell good, I tell them I wash my clothing in the sink and their faces immediately drop to the extent of them judging me like I am some meth-head drug addict who spends all her money on crank, booze, and cook materials. WRONG. I am just a gal who easily can sustain herself by not having access to modern amenities,  and im BROKE!

So for any of y’all out there who are embarrassed by washing clothing in the sink or shower, ITS DIGNIFIED! It shows you are not trash, but high class! Heck, at least you are even washing your dang clothing in the first place! It shows you are not lazy, and you choose to not walk around smelling like a giant turd. You are the same as everyone else, and you save money too. So go get em, show them that you are no different than them….jerks. Dont judge me!

My sad realization that I have no money, and alot of talent.

ImageYup, this is just me…painting, on a paper plate as a palette. My name is Ashley Henry and I am a Pittsburgh area artist. I am poor, unemployed and trying to get by with what I have.

Its a shame, I dont like being unemployed. I have applied and applied for even the simplest jobs and don’t receive a phone call back. In order to myself to progress as an artist, I have to make money for submission fees.


I try, I hope, I pray(Im not even religious) for a saving grace to get me at least off the bottom of the toilet bowl to the toilet seat. I would even be happy with that. But with these rough economic times, and the worst job market yet for artists, I have to make by with what I have and what I can get.

This blog shares my struggles, gripes, bitching(I will refrain as much as possible), and moaning about what obstacles I will cross. But one cannot let it ruin their life, you just gotta keep trying. Keep trying, keep kissing ass, until one day you are guided to the light.

Im just gonna sit here, eat peanut butter(this is all I have to eat) and keep my mouth shut(because I cant open it due to the peanut butter). This is my strategy so far to get by. I am a coward for now, but I hope to be great.