Sunday, January 27, 2013

there's something about mary

I've started this post at least three times now.  Writing about my mother is not an easy task.  She is strong willed, and raised three daughters who are just as strong, in different ways.  I wanted to give her something for her birthday, on Christmas day, then decided that writing about my mom goes way beyond a birthday post.

Mom grew up in the Great Depression.  Something that is foreign to most people from the current generation, and is only familiar to my generation because we were told, over and over, how hard the Depression was.

Born on Christmas Day because of a fall my Grandma took on the ice on her way to Mass on Christmas Eve at midnight, mom made her way into the world, and was kind of puny from the get go.  Little did anyone know, she had mettle that would get her through birth and childhood, and into adulthood.
Mom had dark hair, and green eyes, and I can only imagine her as a child.  I have a vivid imagination, but because of the relationship I have had with my mother, I never really thought of her as a child.  She has always been the iron willed woman in my life, the one who was controlling when I was a teenager, so much so that a couple nights before I got married, when I foolishly thought a curfew didn't matter and arrived late (very late) home from a date with my soon to be husband, mom met me at the door and set my ears on fire with her words.  I still remember those words:

"As long as you live in my house, you will live by my rules.  Until you are married, those rules stand."

This was also the same woman, who told me on my way out the door on June 9, 1970, that she didn't want me to feel pressured to get married.  It was my choice, not because she didn't want me at home.

My mother has always been a dichotomy to me.  Someone I could never quite figure out.  Someone who I felt rushed headlong into divorce, and yet managed to raise us, and fix TVs and do plumbing when the need arose.  A woman who depended on no one to provide for her, or her girls.  A woman who taught us our work ethic, and that anything worth doing was worth doing well, and doing right.  A woman who reinforced this by dumping our dresser drawers in the middle of the floor in a pile if they weren't neatly organized according to her standards (yes, she inspected everything).

Mom was a woman I was often angry at, or hurt by.  I often thought it was because she didn't understand me.  For many years I held a lot of resentment and turmoil inside me, thinking that mom didn't really understand me, and that she was a selfish person, basically.

But now, in the past year or so, I think about other things.

About the times when I was living and working in California, driven to the brink of insanity by my sister, and mother was the voice of reason.  She never took sides.  She just listened to me, and counseled me, and made me see my sister through her eyes.  And made me realize this sister was part of me, part of my heart, and that no amount of aggravation would change our love for each other.  My mother, the person I thought had the most unreasonable temper of us all, turned out to be the person who balanced me, and centered me, who made me realize that with all our warts and imperfections, we are still all special.

All these thoughts, and feelings, jelled suddenly the other day, when Stevie Wonder brought an envelope to me at work, from my Uncle Jack.  I opened it and saw this:
Mom is on the left.  I just stared at it.  And felt like I had been hit in the chest with a brick.  When Steve left and I was alone, I began to cry.  I turned the photo over, and saw the date on the back of it.  1943.  Mom was in the eighth grade.  That is her on the left.

Suddenly, I realized.  Mary is much more than just my mom.  She has lived a life, a long life.  She was a child, and a young girl, a young woman and mother.  A woman of substance and strength.  And now she is an elder, and someone I relate to in more ways than even she or I realize.

There's something about Mary.  Something that is hard to understand, and impossible to label.  So I won't try.

I'll just say thank you Mary.  Thanks for everything.  There are no more words than that.

Except I love you. is good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Friday, January 25, 2013

hafta yoga

This has been a month of firsts for me...I had my first first skin cancer...and tonight I got to try my first yoga class.

I'm hooked!  I loved it from the first [attempted] pose to the relaxation at the end.  Took a coworker with me...I believe it always pays to share the pain.  As soon as the instructor turned on her little battery operated candles, and turned out the light, I knew this was going to be my type of exercise.

After all, there is nothing better than exercising in the dark, is there?  No one could see my face turning red as I struggled to stretch and pose, or see my muscles quivering in complaint about being stretched like dry rotted rubber bands.  And only I could feel the sweat I knew no one could see, running in rivers down my face.

Of course, that sweat was partially caused by wearing the clothes I had left in my office for the yoga class I was supposed to start last week, when it snowed and we couldn't get there.  I had long sleeves and pants, knowing it would be cold that night.  It was much warmer I was overdressed.  I also found out some other valuable things about yoga tonight:

1. You don't wear running shoes.  You don't run in yoga.  You barely move in fact.
2. It takes longer to put shoes back on sweaty feet than it does to do the whole class.  (My friend applauded when I finally got them on.  I didn't know hand claps could sound that sarcastic.)
3. The fact that your muscles turn to jello after the first exercise you have had in years contributes to the fact it is hard to lift your sweaty leg and shove your sweaty feet into your shoes.
4. Your butt tends to stick to the mat.  When the instructor says slide this way or that on your butt, she is the only one sliding.  The rest of the class is stuck like glue to their mats.
5. Every time you stick your butt in the air and do some kind of dog walk pose, you move farther back on your mat, until your feet end up on bare floor.  It is yoga magic.
6. The music is soothing.  It is nicer to sweat to soothing music than to loud rock and roll.  But it also makes it harder to crack a joke in the middle of class when you are struggling to hike your butt in the air.
7. You can fake it in yoga, and still fit in.  At least half the class is faking at any given time.
8. It is hard to tell what the instructor is doing when you are laying on your back and she is laying on her back, and you see nothing but the ceiling.  This is when faking it comes in handy.  She can't see you either.
9. You should always do the tree pose first, before your muscles turn to jello.  After almost an hour of posing, you have no balance left.  Zero.  Zip.  Nada.  You spend your time with your foot going up and down like you are stomping out a fire.
10. It is easy to fall asleep during the relaxation period at the end.  Sleeping in a room full of strangers is the easy part, and your reward for all the sweat and jello muscles.

The nicest thing said to me was by the lady next to me, who told me I did better than she did, and she had been doing yoga for years.  That was all it took for me...compliments and fake poses...I was sold.

I have found my niche... :D is good.~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Thursday, January 17, 2013

bread and milk

Today it snowed in Alabama.  And the locals did what they always do during snow:

1. Panic about running out of bread and milk.
2. Panic about getting to work and school.
3. Panic about getting home from work and school.
4. Panic about when the snow will melt.
5. Panic about whether the bread and milk they have hoarded will last for two days.

It never lasts more than a couple days at best.  I live in the deep south after all.  The place that feels like it is three inches from hell in the summer isn't going to get cold enough in the winter to freeze for long.

The snow was a lovely break from the rain and flooding we have had lately.  There was still a good bit on the ground when I got home, so I shot a few photos with my iPhone and Big Girl.  And I didn't run out to buy bread and milk.

Stevie Wonder had already done that. is good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

winter doldrum, haiku

its softness layered
in merciless somber tones
muting moods and thoughts

 is good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

the color purple

I couldn't help myself.  It was the color purple drawing me like a magnet.  What happened was as inevitable as breathing.

We were having a run on mice.  Or rather, they were having a run on us.  Stevie Wonder told me last night that there was half a hamburger bun missing from a pack.  In his words:

"It looked like a whole damn family of mice was eating here."

I told him I thought I had heard the patter of little feet the night before, but just decided not to investigate.  We discussed it and decided to set two traps.  The first trap snapped while we were all watching TV.  (The National Championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame, in case you haven't heard about it ad nauseum by now.)

Stevie hollered "I heard it!  We got one!"

You'd think he had just bagged an 8 point buck.  (That is deer in redneckese.)

He investigated, got the body, and I did the clean up.  (We have developed our own CSI routine for dealing with DBs - dead bodies.)  We reset the trap (he reset, I provided the cheese.)

Nothing else.  We all knew that mice are not monogamous.  But no more snaps.

Until Steve had just gotten in bed.  I was washing my face in the bathroom and Wretch was in the other end of the house getting ready for bed.  We both heard it snap.  Wretch found the DB.  I hollered at Steve to go get it out of the house.

He said "I am NOT getting out of bed to get rid of a DB!"

I said...

Oh yes you are.  GET YOUR ASS UP NOW!  I do NOT want a DB laying in my kitchen all night long!

He cussed and groaned but got up.  I followed him to the kitchen to make sure he didn't throw it in the garbage.  He went outside, then came back in and we did our recheese and reset routine.  He bent over to put the trap in the floor.  By my pots and pans.  That was when I saw them.

He had on purple drawers.  His butt looked like a grape, and there it was just stuck up in the air....

Then I did it...the unthinkable.

I goosed him.  He screamed and cussed and his head shot up.

Right into my pots and pans.  He cussed me some more as I melted into a puddle laughing.

Wretch said "what's going on".

I said through my laughing "I goosed your dad and he banged into the pots and pans."  Wretch started laughing as loudly as I did.

Steve stomped off to bed.  His last words were:

"That isn't a damn bit funny."

Oh yes it was, Stevie Wonder.  I'm still laughing about it. is good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Monday, January 7, 2013

don't do that!

I knew it was going to happen before it did.  My sixth sense warned me.  I should have been prepared.

We were in bed, and I had to the bathroom.  After I finished, I headed back to bed.  Even though I can't see six inches in front of my face without my glasses, I had traversed this path for 38 years.   I noticed the empty spot on Stevie Wonder's side of the bed, and knew he had the same urge, and had headed down to the other end of the house, to his bathroom (the queen always has the closest accommodations, hence Stevie having to travel to go).

I turned back around to go get a drink of water.  As I rounded the corner of the hall into the living room, I saw it.  Him.  Stevie Wonder.  Right in my face, almost nose to nose.  At the same time he saw me.

That was when the startle reflex kicked in on both of us.

"@#$  $@&%" Stevie Wonder hollered.

"SHIT FIRE" I screamed at the same exact moment.

Then we both started laughing, and I fell back against the wall guffawing as I peed in the floor.

When I said "SHIT FIRE I JUST PEED IN THE FLOOR" he started laughing louder.

And so did I.  Sometimes you just can't laugh enough. is good.~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter