Monday, December 24, 2012

you said what?

Getting old presents a real challenge in communicating. Every day Stevie Wonder and I struggle to communicate in a way that is conducive to maintaining our relationship. In other words, we try not to piss each other off too much. Somedays are more challenging. It all depends on what is being said, and what we think is being said.

Most of the time we are alone in our daily struggle. Sometimes we have a witness. Which may or may not be a good thing. Today it was a good thing.

I was headed to the kitchen, and Stevie Wonder said "getting laid at Christmas is an awful thing." That is what I heard. So I turned and replied to what I thought I heard.

Me: Getting laid at Christmas is bad? Why do you think that is a bad thing?

Wretch started laughing at this point...that should have clued me in...

Stevie: NO! I SAID getting laid OFF at Christmas is an awful thing to happen!

Me: oh...

I think we may have to start drawing pictures for each other...

~life is good... cath
I am @jonesbabie on Twitter

Friday, December 7, 2012

john and the sunset

I got home before dark yesterday, and unusual thing for me at this time of year when the sky darkens so early.  As I turned into the road leading home, I saw a beautiful fiery sun and clouds that were ablaze with the reflection from it.

I raced into the yard, jumped out of my car, and ran toward the house.  Stevie Wonder was standing on the porch watching me and asking what was wrong.  I told him breathlessly nothing and I would explain in a minute.

I knew every second counted and the sun would be gone quickly.  I grabbed Big Girl and ran back outside, and then out of the yard and back up the road, trying to find a higher spot to shoot from.  I turned back around when I reached the optimum spot and realized I was just seconds too late.  I took several shots, but the sun was behind the horizon by then.

Then I heard a small voice.  Not the voice in my head, a child's voice.  Faint, from a distance, saying the same thing over and over.

"Hey Grammy!  Hey Grammy!  Hey Grammy!"

I looked toward the end of my house and could just see him coming.  John.  The youngest grand.  On his electric four wheeler.  Riding toward me.

He got to the edge of our yard and climbed off his four wheeler and ran to me.  He hugged me and I kissed his face that was covered in the dirt he had played in all day, and then he noticed I was taking photos.  He started counting the trees I was shooting, then noticed the leaves in the road.  And the fun was on...

I started shooting as rapidly as I could, trying to grab seconds so I could adjust the settings on the camera, but John didn't slow down.  Finally I gave up and just did the best I could.  We played in leaves for a while, until I felt a mosquito land between my eyes and bite me.  I decided it was time to head home then.

John was not happy.  His Play-Doh face turned upside down and he turned on the drama.  I had to call for reinforcements.  Gramps.  Because Gramps and John have a special bond.  That guy thing.  Gramps had to threaten to pow pow his diaper (John's words for a butt spanking) before John finally gave in and went home.

Sometimes you just don't want the day to end. is good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Thursday, November 29, 2012

the holes in my heart

Grandma, Grandpa, and the Aunts, Unc and Mum
When we are young we think we are immortal.  Death is unknown to us, and we think it can't touch us.  Every now and then, when someone we know dies a young death, we are shocked into feeling our mortality for a moment.  Then the shock passes, and we move on, busy with living our lives, and not wont to dwell on death and the uncomfortable thought that maybe we too, are susceptible.

Then middle age hits, or in my case, older middle age.  (Because who truly knows what middle age is as the population lives longer every year?)  And suddenly, we are losing people we love, that we never thought would leave us.  But they do.

Tonight I found out another person I loved has passed from this life.  Aunt Judy.  And though I have thought of her over the years, I never thought she would pass from this world.

Before her passed my other mother, my mother in law, of whom there will never be an equal. Before my other mother was Aunt Joan.  And before that was my dad.  Before him my wonderful Aunt Irene.  And before that was my father in law, my other dad, John B.  Before that was my Grammy.  Before Grammy was my Grandpa, and my Grandma after him, and before that was my step mother, a gentle soul who showed me kindness and love when I was so homesick I thought I would die.  There have been other family members and loved ones, but these people impacted my life and changed me as a person.  And with their deaths, I changed again.

I have lost, but I have also gained.  And learned life's most valuable lesson.
my sisters laughter and love is contagious

Live every moment.  Be aware of those moments.  Once gone, they cannot be regained.  All you will have left is what your mind and heart capture in memories.

Don't waste a single moment.  There will be no chance to relive them.  So live them, savor them.  Open your eyes and look.  Feel.  Taste.  Smell.  Touch.  And love each moment, each day as though they were your last.

My life is better for having Aunt Judy and my other family in it.  They can't be replaced.  Aunt Judy was unique, there was no one else like her, and never will be.

They have left holes in my heart that can never be filled. is truly good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

clash of the tight-ans

Thanksgiving was different this year.  In our family it is always a bit different but we manage to hang on to several traditions so it seems a little less bizarre.

There is the traditional turkey and dressing.  You can read about how that usually goes for me here.  This year was no different.  Turkey, dressing, and we divided up the sides with everyone making what they usually specialize in.  Macaroni and cheese and deviled eggs for Wretch.  Jen did the beans and potato salad, and threw in a couple of pies.  I did the  turkey and dressing, and pies.  (I cheated and bought the pies.  I reasoned that wasn't really cheating when you work, that was being organized and thinking ahead, something I lack most of the time.)

Wretch called me the night before Thanksgiving.  She was sick, I mean really sick.  I could hear her slinging snot on the phone.  I cringed, hoping I wouldn't catch it just by talking to her.

Wretch: Mom, do you think I should be making deviled eggs?
Me: Why not?
Wretch: Because I am sick and I thought someone might catch it if I handled eggs they put in their mouth.
Me: Not unless you get snot on them.
Wretch: Really?
Me: Yes, if your nose is running, put some toilet paper up both nostrils, then wash your hands really good with soap and water, and don't touch your face while you are making the eggs.  It should be ok then.
Wretch: Ok. (She was laughing about the toilet paper, but it is an old trick I learned years ago.  Moms don't get time off for sickness when they have little kids.)

Then Jen texted me asking for a recipe for Lemon Ice Box pie.  WTF?! I was thinking, I haven't made one in years, and I was at work.  Did she expect me to pull the recipe out of my ass?

I did the next best thing.  I Googled a recipe and texted her back the link.

So far, things were going smoothly.  Too smoothly.  The hair on the back of my neck told me it wasn't a good thing.  My karma was going too well.

My karma did a 360 on Thanksgiving morning when I was running late (as usual) and trying to get ready.  It had taken me three hours to get headed to the shower after puttering all over the house.  I picked out some cute cable patterned tights, a black skirt, and a black top to wear.  (Everyone knows if you wear black on Thanksgiving you can eat twice and much and your bloated stomach won't show.)

I got out of the shower, lotioned up all over per my usual routine, then started to put my tights on.

That was when the war began.  I put my foot in one foot of the tights, and pulled it up.  All the way up my thigh.  Then I lifted my other foot and tried to put it in the other foot of the tights.  That was when I realized that I couldn't get my foot up high enough to get in the top of the tights that were located around my hips, because to do that would have required the agility of a gymnast.  I tried jacknifing my foot as high as I could get it, got the tip of my foot stuck in the waist of the tights, and fell back against the glass door of the shower, sliding all the way down to the floor.

I stood back up, pulled the tights back down around my ankles, then stuck both feet in at the same time.  That worked.  By now I was sweating.  Not a good feeling when you just got out of the shower and are standing in a tiny room with steam still hanging in the air around your head.

I pulled the tights up.  Then realized my feet were located about midway in the calf of the tights, with the feet trailing off in the floor, empty of human flesh.  So I grabbed the tights at the feet and started working them up my legs.  That was when I discovered the split nail I didn't know I had and snagged the tights.

I cussed a bit at that point.  Then realized it didn't matter, those tights were going ON my butt no matter what.  So I kept pulling, and snagging, pulling and snagging.  They were finally up, all the way up, I thought.

Then I realized the crotch was down around mid thigh.  I could wear them like that, but I would walk like a duck all day.  So I snagged and pulled some more, and finally the crotch was on my crotch, the feet were on my feet, and the rest was somewhere on my legs.  I looked down proudly.

The cable pattern on the tights was doing a grotesque twisted thing around my thighs and calves.  I did a few more snag and pulls, and then realized I had managed to twist the right leg of the tights and put it on backward, because it was digging into my crotch like a rubber band thong from hell at that point.

I took the right leg part of the way down, and snag/twisted it back around all the way to the foot, then pulled it back up and stood for a minute as I caught my breath.

They felt pretty good.  I could breathe and move I realized.  I looked down at my legs in trepidation.  That was when I noticed that I had pulled some spots so thin my skin was showing through the opaqueness of the opaque tights.  I pondered about redoing them again for about a half second, then said f*#@ it and finished blow drying my sweaty body and hair, got my skirt and top on, added warpaint to my flushed face, and hair gel to my limp hair, and headed out the door.

Valuable lessons learned about tights:
1. Never apply lotion right before you put on tights.  They stick like glue to your skin.
2. There is no exhaust fan big enough to suck the humidity out of a bathroom.
3. Tights should be put on in a public, dry air place.
4. Don't buy tights with a cable pattern that has to line up.
5. Put both feet in at the same time unless you enjoy popping your hips out of joint.
6. Remember that during a clash, the tights usually win.

Next Thanksgiving, I am wearing velour. is very good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Sunday, November 25, 2012

she's all that and more

I am a Type B personality.  They don't come more laid back than I am.  I am the one who got lost in Disneyland when I was a kid.  The one who got lost at the State Fair as an adult.  The one who gets caught up in what is going on around me and totally forgets everything and everyone but the moment.  The one who can read a book in a noisy crowd, and tune everything and everyone out.

Two of my kids are a bit like me.  One is the polar opposite.  My oldest, Jen.  The accountant who loves numbers and organizing.  The kind of stuff that makes me break out in a sweat.  Her twins were going to be like me I decided before they were born.  The type of people who would experience the world completely, and not try to organize it.

Duncan is sort of like that.  Since he was put on medication for ADD he has become focused and is a different boy.  He can finish tasks now, but that doesn't mean he likes doing them.  The art stuff that is.  He did do a great job on his birdhouse, but I think he saw it as a chore.

Oh well, that leaves the girl.

Maddie has drawn pictures since she could hold a crayon.  They have gotten more intricate as she got older.  I chortled to myself in glee when I saw that.  Ok, here's the one who will be like me I thought to myself.  I loved her drawings, and had all these plans in my head for helping develop her into an artist who would set the world on fire with her talent.

Then she started making lists.  Of everything.  And I cringed.  That smacked of her mom's OCDness.  I thought I might be wrong.  So I kept encouraging her art.  And she drew, but she was making more lists than drawings.

Being the optimist that I am, I refused to give up on Maddie.  The boys were all lost causes, but I still had hopes and dreams for the girl.

Until Jen told me about the project they worked on for her Brownie Troup.  Something about healthy snacks.  What struck me was that Jen was trying to make Maddie be neat with the art part of the project, to protect her expensive table from glue and glitter.  Maddie decided to do it her way, and they got into an argument.  Jen told me she didn't realize how much Maddie is like her (which means she isn't like me) until she saw her at the Brownie meeting and watched her getting her fruit ready to be made into kabobs.  She showed me the photo and asked me what I noticed.  Now I may be Type B, but it jumped right out at me.  Right in my face.  And my despair climbed as I hollered:
She's got that damn fruit lined up perfectly!
Jen started laughing out loud.  Then I started laughing.  If you look at the photo, you will notice Maddie is the ONLY girl with her fruit organized.  Grapes lying side by side, not end to end, pineapple lying end to end, and a banana in the middle at the top and bottom to divide the fruit.  Even the look on her face is intensely OCD.  She is doomed I thought to myself.

As I left the next day, I noticed the orange tree poster.  Perfect.  I just sighed.  Then I remembered the letter Maddie wrote to her mom after their argument during the project.

The last line is what I noticed.  The one right above I love you.  It said: "besides, it doesn't have to be perfect."

There is still a faint little glimmer of hope burning in my heart for Maddie.

I just hope her mom doesn't snuff it out. is really good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Thursday, November 22, 2012

giving thanks

Nothing deep on my mind today, no wisdom to share or funny story to make you laugh.

Just me, being thankful.  For my family, for my job and home, for the joy and beauty I see all around me  and the ability to be able to capture a small part of it through my camera lens and on a canvas.

Thankful for being able to occupy my small space on the blue marble.  What a marvelous ride it has been.

I am thankful for what is right in the world.  We see the negative and ugliness of humanity and what we are capable of every day.  But we are also capable of astounding goodness, and I see evidence of that every day all around me, and I am thankful to be witness to it.

For social media (YES!) I am thankful.  The people I have come in contact with, and learned from, and laughed with, and marvelled at, have been an epiphany for me.  I am glad every day that I stumbled across Twitter, Blogger and Facebook, Instagram and Flickr, Tumblr, BlogHer and Stumble Upon.  What amazing things I have seen and learned, and shared.  I am a better person for it.

For you who take the time to stop by and read my thoughts; and those of you who take the time to make a comment that brightens my day.  For all of you, I am thankful. is truly good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Sunday, November 18, 2012

hostess, i'll miss you

Ok, they aren't healthy.  They contribute to tooth decay and elevated blood sugar.  But Twinkies have been around for longer than I have been alive.  Invented in 1933, they have been a staple in kids lunch boxes for years, and every time I opened my lunch box and saw a package of Twinkies, my day was a bit brighter.

Now they are gone.  Forever.  There have been imitators, but nothing ever came close to a Twinkie for me.  I was surprised to hear that Hostess was liquidating, due to decreased profits and a union strike that could not be resolved.  In our health conscious society, it has become harder for makers of high sugar products to continue to make a profit.  Competing brands didn't help either.  For many years Hostess was the king of the baked goods market.  Do you remember Wonder Bread?  I do, and ate it for years when I was a kid.  Now we avoid processed white flour products like the plague.  The thing I remember most about Wonder Bread was that they advertised how nutritious it was and that it helped build strong bodies.
It is a fact of life that nothing is static, and things change.  But still, I was a bit saddened to see part of my youth gone forever.  To try to capture one last bite of that youth, I sent Stevie Wonder on a Twinkie hunt yesterday.  It was too late.  Even in remote areas Twinkies were sold out.  There was a run on Hostess products by people who were feeling nostalgic and a little panicky, like me.  In fact, everything Hostess was sold out, except for this:

Yes, all that was left was fruitcake, and it looked and felt like it was left from the holidays last year.  That was probably why it was the only thing left.  Stevie Wonder brought it in and held it out in his hand like it was  precious metal, and he had found the mother lode.  I am not a fruitcake lover, but I snarfed most of that down like a dying man having his last meal, and enjoyed every bite.  It wasn't a Twinkie, and it wasn't about Twinkies at that point, but about enjoying the end of an era.

Goodbye Hostess.  I'll miss you. is good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Thursday, November 15, 2012

sky gazing

Every night I drive into my yard after work, step out of my car and look at the sky.  I am a cloud watcher, a sky gazer.  And one of the most beautiful views in the world is in my own front yard.  The sun sets to the right of my house, and there is a clear view of the nearby woods, silhouetted against the setting sun.

Tonight, as I often do, I spent a few moments just watching the sky.  I live in the country, so there were no noises, and it was eerily silent.  Even the dogs weren't barking their usual greeting from the back yard.

And so I stood, and looked.  I get a bit melancholy this time of year, and I was a bit sad as I looked at the sky.  But as I stood, and marveled at the beauty of the clouds and colors, I felt my spirits begin to lift.  Suddenly I feel as weighed down by mortality, and an inner peace began to take over. I pulled my iPhone out of my pocket, and shot a photo of the sunset, almost as an afterthought.

As I stood and continued to look, breathing in the crisp coldness of the autumn air, I realized that I wasn't me, I was part of a bigger whole.  A small microcosm of something so perfect, and that everything was as it should be.

Slowly I turned and walked into the house, feeling renewed.  Centered. is very good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

when you least expect it

Sometimes, instead of hearing gloom and doom on the local news, you hear something different. Tonight was one of those nights. While reporting election results and analyses about why this person or that person won, there was a story about a commissioner elected in another county. He won by 51%.

There was a small hitch in the results though; the person who won died three weeks ago. But he was still on the ballot. It must be cheaper to leave a dead person on a ballot than to reprint it.

The reporter interviewed several people at their homes in the county. No one seemed to be aware of the candidate's demise. That leads me to draw a couple of conclusions, totally based on my own thoughts. Nothing scientific about it.

1. People don't pay attention to the obituaries anymore. That may be because there are fewer papers in print these days.
2. People are dedicated to their party of choice. Even if you die, you can still be elected.

The best part of the reporter's story was the woman in a wheelchair with a sandwich in her hand, sitting in her doorway. The reporter told her the person who won had died three weeks earlier. Her head whipped around toward someone in the house and she hollered:

"Did you hear that? I voted for a damn dead man!"

I think I am going to run for President after I die. I may have a good chance of winning.

life is good... cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Thursday, November 1, 2012

john and the butterfly

I was at home today.  Unusual for me during the week except I had been to the clinic yesterday with the crud.  The doctor kindly decided I needed to be back on my feet fast.  (Wait, I'd already been on my feet all week!)  So he had the nurse give me a shot and I got three prescriptions.  There were two problems with this.  The first problem was the shot contained a steroid.  Steroids and I don't deal well with each other.  The second problem was that I didn't find out there was a steroid in it until it was going in my hip.

The end result was I had no sleep last night.  Felt worse today, and called in.  Then slept and did paperwork at home all day.  A crummy way to spend the day.  John was up, and Steve was keeping an eye on him.  His mom is sick and she had gone to see the doctor today.  (Not sure if this whole originated with me or John, who had a runny nose last weekend and had been dispensing fish kisses to everyone.)

John came up and beat on the door.  He'd been outside helping his Gramps fix the lawnmower, and was covered in dust.  I looked out the door and saw butterflies all over my flowers.  John saw them too, with a two year old's amazement.  Sick or not sick, I saw a photo op, and grabbed Big Girl and started shooting.

This is what I got, almost unretouched.  Just some minor light changes, a vignette edge added, and some extraneous details cropped out of some of the photos.  I think these are the best raw photos I have probably ever taken.

Maybe I ought to only take photos when I am sick.

 is good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Monday, October 29, 2012

mystic memories

I was busy the other night cleaning out some old files, rearranging my rec room so it would be less of a wreck.  The room serves as my computer room, art room, exercise room (read: mostly unused treadmill in a corner), and office.  I had scored a wonderful filing cabinet with deep drawers at work last week, and was busy emptying some of the baskets and boxes I had filled with my things.

I was listening to music, and just humming along.  Then I found some things from my dad's memorial, back in 2000.  Funny, I thought the memorial was on August 17.  For years that date has been fixed in my mind.  It was August 18.  How odd, I thought.

I was musing about that when Into the Mystic by Van Morrison started to play.  And I remembered a night, almost 7 years ago, when I was staying with Jen after the twins were born.  The twins weren't sleeping, and at 2 AM, we each had a baby in our arms in the living room, and this song was one of the songs we danced to.  As I remembered, I could feel it as though I was there again.

I found the memories swirling in my head as I listened to the music.  Wishing Dad could have seen his four great-grandchildren.  Wishing they could have known him.  I see him in them sometimes, the nuances that go almost undetected.  I see him.  And smile.

Ah, the memories.  Life is sweet... is good.~cathfind me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Thursday, October 18, 2012

book review: diary of a submissive

The following is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club, but the opinions expressed are my own.

When I signed up to be chosen to read and review Diary of a Submissive for BlogHer, I didn't really expect that I would be chosen.  I'd tried several times to be chosen as a reviewer, and was always just a smidgen too late tossing my name in the hat to be a reviewer.  I saw the announcement, and decided to jump in.  My family and I were headed for a two week road trip to the west coast, and in the back of my mind I figured I would be too late signing up to be chosen as a reviewer.

Wrong.  I got the email, and was thrilled, then realized that the book would be delivered while I was GONE.  I had my daughter in law checking the mail every day, and was going to get her to overnight it to me.  But it didn't arrive in the time frame I needed it to, and so I knew when I got home I would have just three days to read it and write the review.  I hate pressure when reading, but I had committed, and steeled myself to do it.

We got home at midnight on Saturday night.  I decided I would just peek in the book at the first few pages then go to bed.  At five in the morning I was still reading...

And reading.  I was mesmerized, fascinated and could not put the book down.  The book is sexually explicit, but that didn't put me off.  What I found fascinating was the psychological aspect of it.  Sophie Morgan, the author (writing under a pseudonym since this is a true story) takes the reader inside the mind of a submissive, someone who has had an unremarkable, stable upbringing.  Sophie discovers her submissive nature in college, and her book chronicles her journey into the world of domination and submission, of pleasure and pain, a world not for the faint of heart.  It lays out in detail how relationships unfold, change and grow when there is a darker side to the relationship.  Outwardly, Sophie leads a "normal" successful life.  In her private life, she reveals a side of her personality that is anything but a woman in control.

For me personally, I found the book fascinating.  It was impossible to put down until I finished it, and that was in one sitting.  For anyone with a curiosity about alternative lifestyles, and sexual proclivities, who is comfortable with graphic descriptions of sadism and masochism, this book can open your eyes.  Sophie Morgan does an excellent job of making you understand what makes her tick, in an unrepentant way.  Diary of a Submissive is not the first book of this genre to be written, but the fact that it is a true story, written in an insightful way makes it a compelling, interesting read.  I recommend it.

For more information about the launch of Diary of a Submissive, and to follow the discussion, please click here to go to the BlogHer Book Club Page, and join the discussion! is good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

tag i'm it!

A couple months ago (has it REALLY been that long?) Janine over at Reflections of a Redhead, a fellow blogging friend and part of my favorite group of bloggers (check out the BLOGS+ tab at the top of the page for my PBAUs buddies) decided to hit me with a game of tag.  I meant to answer immediately, but life got in the way, and I had one of the busiest summers I have ever had in my life.  Life has a way of leveling out though, so I am going to answer her challenge to me now.  I decided since so much time has passed, that it would not be fair to pass the tag on, so y'all are off the hook. :D

The rules:
Wait, I'm not passing this on, so there are no rules.  Wow.  That was incredibly easy.  I like no rules.  This is going to be fun.

Wait.  Now I have to answer Janine's questions.  Answering questions about myself is not an easy thing to do.  I'd rather know more about others, and am always curiously watching the world around me.  But, in fairness to Janine, I will answer the questions she listed in her post.

1. What is the thing that makes you want to get out of bed every day?
I can't wait to see what the day holds, whether it is work, or my art or photography, or chasing the grands, every day is a brand new start.

2. What do you tell yourself to get through painful, difficult or challenging times?
I have a personal mantra, and an escape plan.  I've always had them.  My mantra is "this, too, shall pass" and reminds me that nothing remains the same in life, and moments pass into other moments, whether they are good moments or those challenges that make you wonder how you will survive them.  My escape plan is still there, but I have never had to use it.  Maybe because I always had it!

3. What can you look back on and remind yourself you were successful at, or were strong enough to come through?
That would have to be graduate school.  Within a six month period, my daughter got married, I had major surgery (a week later), and my dad died a couple months after that.  It was the worst period of my life, and I tried to quit school, but two wonderful friends, and an instructor who wouldn't allow it, pulled my butt through that period of pure misery, and taught me what friends are really about.

4. Look around you at this moment and choose one thing to smile about or be thankful for.  What is it?
My sisters and daughter, mum and even Stevie Wonder.  Familia.

5. If you could do anything at this moment to make yourself happy, what would it be?
I would freeze this moment in time with my family, along with all those moments of my life, and relive them over and over.  Like reruns of a favorite movie.

6. Do you have a special place, real or imagined, where you go to in your mind or reality to regroup, seek peace, or just be?
My favorite thing to do is to grab Big Girl and head to my yard, usually late evening.  As I take pictures of my world, I gain a new appreciation for the microcosm that is my part of the universe, and how unique life is, in all its wonderful forms.

7. Has there been a particular book that you have read that inspired or motivated you to seek your potential?
Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose changed my life in a profound way. It challenged how I thought, and how I existed in every moment of my life.  Astounding.

8. What childhood fable, fairytale, or movie stretched your imagination and sticks with you to this day?
Although I loved books and read everything, and Grimm's Fairytales made an impression on me, it was National Velvet with Elizabeth Taylor.  It was the story of determination, and the power of believing in yourself, as well as the power of a woman's determination.

9. What is your favorite form of art and artist (anything you consider art qualifies).
This is one I can't answer.  I love all forms of art, and the creative spirit, which exists in many forms, including the written word, the fine arts, and music.  I have a passion for it all.

10. Do you have a personal anthem, a song, that reminds you of who you are and want to be, that represents the ideal of you?
Anything by Tina Turner.  She is an icon to success in the face of adversity, and believing in yourself.

11. What did you experience while answering these questions?
I realized how much I have to be thankful for, and that life is an adventure I look forward to every day I wake up.  And gratitude to Janine for nominating me for this game.  I have never been good at games, but I am always willing to jump in and try.

Thanks Janine, you inspire me! is good. ~cath
  find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

happy birthday to a beloved sister

The birthday girl Vix having a glamham-it-up time today...we decided we'd go for pedicures...and off our little piggies went...

 We had to pick out colors first...decisions, decisions...
 Wretch in contemplation...she makes sure hers are done to piggy perfection...  

dooj and her camera, and vix has hers too...

stevie wonder gives up, he's outnumbered
Then the laughs start when we get back to Vix's and try to take photos to share, and I end up getting photos of Dooj taking photos of Vix taking photos of...
our feet...
not the strangest thing we've ever done by any means...

Stevie Wonder horns in...

dooj and wretch

wretch having the last laugh

 is good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Monday, October 1, 2012

happy 65th birthday stevie!

Wretch decided to surprise Stevie Wonder for his birthday on Saturday, September 29th.  No cake, (because he is watching his figure).  But he had to have SOMETHING special.  This was his 65th birthday, after all!  The year he gets to start drawing Medicare!  So she gathered up all the party stuff she could find, including a tacky birthday hat and horn, some streamers, a birthday table centerpiece, a Happy Birthday banner, and a giant cardboard pink flamingo (don't ask where that came from).  And then, to make sure he was surprised by it, she stuffed in all in the cab of the truck he had just spent a week getting ready for our BIG TRIP.  Front and back seat.  Stuffed.  Full.  

I was up all night, and it was lucky I was, or Wretch and I would have slept through the surprise.  But I was finishing some laundry, and he came out of the bedroom, and dropped his suitcase, fully packed, with a loud plop in the middle of the living room.  To let me know that he was ready at 3 AM just like we had all decided.  Wretch was buried in the bed, and I was one of the walking dead at that point, a zombie on two legs.  But I had my eye on him.  And predictably, as soon as he knew I had seen he was ready, he picked up his bag and headed to the truck.  The truck that was stuffed full of tacky birthday decorations.  

As soon as he went out the door, I ran to the bedroom and screamed at Wretch to "GET UP GET UP!  he's out at the truck and you are going to miss the surprise!  GET UP!!!"  She raised up slowly, then I could see her come alive.  Probably the fastest she had ever awakened in her life.  (We called her Oscar the Grouch when she was a kid because you didn't dare approach her until she had been up at least an hour, or she would gripe you to death.)

We ran to the front porch.  Steve was loading his bag.  Then he came back by the truck, and that was when he saw it.  I had the presence of mind to grab my iPhone, and take a video.  Not realizing until after it was all over, that all you could see was headlights, and hear our voices.  And Gabe baying when he heard the party noise.  So turn your volume up, and listen...because you sure won't see anything. :D is good. ~cath
  find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

the art of communication, and other stuff

One of the funniest things I have observed in my lifetime is how kids learn to communicate.  From that first "dada" to " Dad can I have the car tonight?" they spend their whole lives trying to get their ideas across to parents and grandparents in a way that will score them what they seek.  My grands are no different, and a couple recent incidents proved that to me.

I got a call the other day.  Normally this would be fine, but I had a busy week at work and had laid down to catch a quick nap in the early afternoon on Saturday.  Just as  drifted into lala land, my phone rang.  Because I am on call on the weekends, I had to answer the phone.  I was not a happy camper.

It was Maddie.  Practicing her phone skills.  On me.  When I least felt like assisting her.  But because I adore her, I decided I would make the effort.  And I did.  Sort of.

Maddie: hey Grammy!
Me: hey Maddie.
Maddie: whatcha doin?
(I hate this question, usually from Stevie Wonder, when it is obvious what I am doing because he is standing looking at me.  Then I realized Maddie couldn't see me, so I calmed down.)
Me: well I was taking a nap.
Maddie: where is Gramps?  (this was when I realized it was Gramps she wanted to talk to and I was her second choice.)
Me: he went to town to do some shopping.
Maddie: oh.
Me: what are you doing?
Maddie: well I am sitting here watching TV and decided I was going to call and see how you and Gramps were.
Me: oh.  (At this point I am done assisting her with her phone skills and I let dead air take over.  I am going to kill this call with silence.  I also hear Jen snickering in the background on the other end.)
Maddie: (after a long pause) well I guess I will let you go Grammy.  Tell Gramps I called.
Me: ok Mad I will.
Maddie: oh, and tell him I love him!
Me: ok Mad I will.
Maddie: and umm...I love you too Grammy!
Me: I love you too Mad. Bye.
Maddie: bye!!

Maybe you are thinking I failed at facilitating this conversation, but as sleepy as I was, Maddie was lucky I did more than grunt a few "uh huhs".

That same weekend, Steve and Jim double teamed me and set John in motion.  John loves to give kisses.  He sucks in his cheeks and makes big fishy lips, and will smack you with those fish lips, right in the mouth.  No cheek sugar for this boy.  I usually love to get these fish kisses, but on Saturday, Steve had John in the garden, and gave him a tomato, which John proceeded to eat, like an apple.  By the time he made it to the house, he had the tomato in a death grip in his hand half eaten  There was tomato juice puddled in his hand, and running down his arm I noticed.  The juice was dripping on the carpet I noticed.  Jim came in the door right behind John.  I was sitting on the couch. 

Jim: give Grammy a kiss John.
SW: yeah big boy give your Grammy a big kiss.
(This was all the encouragement John needed.  I looked up at his face as he came toward me.  And noticed tomato juice and seeds on his face, dripping off his chin.  I draw the line at second hand food, and threw my arms out and said "NO!" in a loud voice.  It was pure instinctive reaction.  And I saw John's mouth drop open in shock and disbelief.  And dismay.  That was when I realized he had never been denied a kiss.  And at the same time I realized I wasn't going to be the first one to tell him no, and make him cry.)

Me: ok, come give Grammy a kiss... (I braced myself)
John: ok! kiss!  (and he proceeded with a big grin and gave me a big wet kiss, which left me with tomato juice and seeds on my face, dripping off of my chin...)
Me: oh that was the BEST kiss ever!  (ok, sometimes a Grammy has to lie to salvage the conversation...and all this time Jim and SW were laughing their heads off, enjoying it all a bit too much.)

What a Grammy won't do for her grand up sleep and hygiene for them...that is dedication...

I am adding this last picture because it means so much to me...a recent trip Jen and I made to California.  She was on business, and joined me at my sister's house, then we flew home together.  Usually I am flying solo, so this was a treat.  So was watching her purchase a blanket and pillow, then realizing she had to inflate herself when we got to our seats.  Priceless. :D is good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

the most unkindest cut of all

Marcus Antonius:
For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel.
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar lov'd him!
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
Quite vanquish'd him: then burst his mighty
heart. . . .
Julius Caesar Act 3, scene 2, 181–186

When I think of this passage of Shakespeare, it isn't treachery and murder I think about.  
I think about my hair.  Specifically I am thinking about a week or so ago, when we were getting ready to go to Stevie Wonder's family reunion.  I thought I was in pretty good shape hair wise, until the weekend before when Wretch came to spend the night with us.  And made the comment that started me down the slippery slope of hair doom.

"Mom I liked your hair better when you had it spiked.  When you wear it like this, you look like you have old lady hair."

I'd left my hair a bit longer the past two cuts.  Just for a change.  I thought it looked snazzy.  Until Wretch's comment.  Then the night before the family reunion, I looked in the mirror and saw...

...old lady hair...  I was going to leave it alone, I truly was.  

But I made the mistake of storing my hair scissors on the bathroom sink.  Right in front of my eyes.  I thought maybe just a trim.  Then I remembered the scene in The Banger Sisters, when Susan Sarandon throws off the yoke of middle class humdrummity she has mired in, and gives herself a choppy cute hair cut.  With a pair of scissors.  I thought to myself if she could do it, then so could I.  I grabbed the scissors and started cutting.
I forgot one small detail.  The Banger Sisters was a movie.  Pretend.  Fake.  Susan Sarandon didn't cut her own hair.  Some expensive Hollywood hair stylist did it and then they put the scissors in her hand to make it look like she cut her own hair.  It was faked to look that way.  But that never entered my mind at the fateful moment I picked up the scissors.  All I could see was the end result.  That I would miraculously be able to take no training or talent in hair design and turn it into a cut that looked like it cost a fortune. 

I chopped on it.  Then chopped some more.  I noticed it was uneven and so I evened the sides up.  I cut the back by feel.  Blind.  Without looking at what I was doing.  By the time I finished, it didn't look too bad.  I put plenty of hair goop and sprays and stuff in it and the next day at the reunion it looked passable.  Sort of.  If you didn't look too closely at the holes in it.

The problem for me was that for the next week, I kept trimming.  Here and there, I would notice another spot.  So I would trim a little more.  I became obsessive with it.  

My hair gets shorter every day.  Stevie Wonder offered me the dog clippers yesterday to finish it off.

I huffed and gave him the nastiest look I could muster.

I just wonder how I am going to grow enough hair to have for Vix to beautify me when I get to California in two weeks.  She's going to kill me when she sees it.  Right after she laughs in my face. is good. ~cath find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Saturday, September 15, 2012

granny pigs and wooden teeth

Today I realized that my future son-in-law Michael, and his daughter Hailey fit in just perfectly with our family and our skewed view of the world.

We were sitting on the couch, lined up like ducks in a row. I was stretched out on the lounge chair, semi-awake. The discussion between Michael and Hailey was about someone's guinea pigs, and something about a rabbit, and someone kissing either the rabbit or the guinea pig. My ears started listening at that point. This is just the kind of conversation I hear around here all the time. When Michael said something about the rabbit being put in the same cage as the guinea pigs, and one of the guinea pigs biting another guinea pig and making it squeal, I added my two cents worth.

Me: one of our kids used to call them granny pigs.
Michael: (laughing) granny pigs...
Me: Maddie you need to brush your teeth when you finish that tootsie roll pop.
Maddie: (smiling at me with blue teeth) why?
Me: because your teeth are blue.
Maddie: so is my tongue.
Me: Maddie! You only get one set of permanent teeth and they have to last the rest of your life.

Gramps decides to help me convince her at this point.

Gramps: yes Maddie, if you don't take care of them, you end up having to get new teeth like me. I have had several teeth replaced you know.
Maddie: (rolling her eyes in an I know it all and you can't scare me into brushing my teeth kind of way) YES, I know Gramps, you got a gold tooth, and a wooden tooth.

At this point Steve and Michael look at each other and burst into laughter. I roll my eyes and realize my whole attempt to teach serious dental care to Maddie just went out the window. is good. ~cath

Friday, September 7, 2012

caesar's glory

 {this moment} - A Friday ritual.  Photos - no words - capturing a moment from the week.  A moment in time I want to capture, to savor and remember.

“This Moment” is a ritual I found on Pamanner's Blog, via Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama.  Check out their blogs, and if you are moved too, please leave a link to your Moment in the comment box below.

 is good. ~cath  

find me @jonesbabie on Twitter