Tuesday, January 31, 2012


This will be my 313th post published since I began blogging almost 18 months ago.

But more importantly, after three failed attempts to complete a month of daily blog posting, this will be my first time crossing the finish line.  How does it feel to succeed? Dang good.

Thank you NaBloPoMo, for making me:
Push the outside of the envelope I was tucked so securely into.
Stretch my creativity.
Set goals and stick to them.
Feel empowered.

An added bonus: discovering some marvelous new blogs. And the feeling of camaraderie that comes from sharing feelings and thoughts with other people who shared the same January Beginnings boat with me. It was nice to know what others were thinking, and how they were dealing with their own goals.

Thank you to all of you who take the time to read my simple thoughts. It's a nice feeling to know that I am not spewing words into a void.

Gratitude. A lesson learned as a child, and reinforced this month.

Thank you.
~cath xo
Twitter @jonesbabie

Monday, January 30, 2012

beauty is deeper than skin

I am a woman who doesn't spend a lot of time on skin care. You would think that at my age I would be interested in preserving what bit of youth still lingers around the edges of my face. A face that is beginning to resemble a paper bag that's been folded one too many times.

Most of the time I can't be bothered. I don't even use any kind of cleansing cream. Usually I just shampoo my face in the shower while I wash my hair.

But yesterday I was in a mood. Usually that type of mood means I end up "adjusting" my haircut. Yesterday I decided that I was going to give myself a facial instead.

Just because I don't use them doesn't mean I don't collect beauty products. I have quite a nice little collection of face goops which have promised me over the years to:

1 erase lines
2 tighten skin like a facelift
3 shrink pores
4 peel away dead skin and erase 10 years
5 brighten skin
6 make skin soft as a baby's butt

(I never could figure out what #5 meant, but I envisioned my face lighting my way to the bathroom at night like a lightbulb.)

I lined up my selection. That was when I made my first mistake. I decided that if one product worked well, then using three would just triple the benefits.

I started with a facial peel. This was a tube of goop that smelled like Elmer's school glue, and felt like it as I smeared it on. I didn't bother reading the directions. I mean, you just smear this stuff on, let it dry, and peel it off. Easy peasy.

Easy peasy if I had read the directions that is. (Mistake two.) The directions that clearly stated not to use it around the eyes or hairline. The eyebrows are part of the eye, and are hair. I discovered my mistake when I tried to peel it off and ended up almost brow less with bald spots in my eyebrows. I also managed to pull out some of the hair on my head, where I had smeared the goop too close. Just what I needed. A higher forehead on a face that already looked like a space alien.

I should have quit, but I have the stubbornness born of my genetic ties to my mother, and after the screams died (mine) and the laughs died (Stevie Wonder's), I forged forward to step two.

The microdermabrasion scrub. Simply put, it's a jar of sand and goo mixed together that enables the user to scrub dead skin away. What I didn't realize was that I had just peeled that same dead skin away with the Elmer's Glue. It went on nicely. A thin layer the directions said (you better believe I wasn't going to skip the directions again after round one) spread evenly on the face. Let it dry, then wash off in circular motion with a warm wet wash cloth.

Yarright. The harder I rubbed, the more skin I scrubbed away. I was beginning to feel like an onion being peeled, layer by layer, wondering if there would be any onion left.

Finally, I got it all off. And my skin DID feel smoother. Like a baby's butt. Well, that is stretching the truth, but it did feel better. That was when I made my third mistake. I decided I could fine tune my new skin with a chemical peel. I mean, c'mon, how much skin could I peel off by rubbing a little cotton circle lightly over my face.

A heck of a lot of skin, evidently. I didn't really notice anything to begin with. A couple hours later my face started to itch. Then it began to burn. Hours later, it had settled back down. I took a quick look in the mirror on my way to bed.

And saw a glowing red reflection staring back at me. My face looked like I had been laying in the hot July sun for hours. I just shut the light off and went to bed. Right after I threw all the face goop in the garbage.

From now on I'll stick to cutting my own hair, with a good supply of hats on hand.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

clouds and memories

I am thinking of a good friend tonight.  She recently lost her father.  It brought back thoughts of my own father, and how his loss left a hole that can never be filled, for all the people who loved him.  And that is what I am trying to convey with the haiku I offer tonight.  Life is like clouds.  We see the beauty of the clouds, and then we are left with their memory, and all that they were, for that fleeting instant of time.

This is for you Brenda.

~cath xo
Twitter @jonesbabie

Saturday, January 28, 2012

the grown up day

I was born in the Chinese year of the dragon.  Additionally, this year the element sign is water, which is also my element.  Because this is my year, special things have been happening to me, and around me.  This is for my grands.   It's a fractured tale, but it's my tale and I'm sticking to it.

Once upon a time there was a Gramps and a Grammy.  They loved their grandkids and loved to have them visit, but once in a while Grammy and Gramps liked to have a grown up day by themselves.  This was so they could spend some special time together and have some grown up fun.

the beautiful day
One weekend the day was so beautiful that they decided to get out and have some fun.  They talked about lots they could do, and finally decided to go to the state line and buy some lottery tickets.  Because this was Grammy's year, the year of the dragon, and she was going to win the lottery and build everyone in the family their own castle.

So Gramps spent the day before the trip washing his new truck, and polishing it, and cleaning all the mats so not even a blade of grass or speck of dirt could be found in it.  It was so shiny it looked like a new red apple sitting in the front yard.  

On Saturday morning Gramps put the bum's rush on Grammy to get her ready and out the door, even though she only took thirty minutes to get ready, and even though it had taken that shiny red truck eight hours to get ready.

They left the house and drove to the big city, stopping to get Grammy some of her special Starbucks tea.  Gramps got himself a big cup of coffee too.  They drove on down the road to buy the [lottery] ticket that would give them a pie-in-the-sky life.

Gramps' pants
A little way down the road, Gramps tried to set his coffee in the cup holder, and missed, even though it was a big cup holder.  The coffee bounced on his lap, then rolled down his leg, leaving a trail of hot coffee all the way down his left pants leg.  Grammy tried not to laugh, she really did, but she just couldn't behave like a Grammy should, and she laughed loudly as Gramps said some really ugly words.  (Gramps got coffee on his left sock too.)

They rode a little farther, and got to the place where they sell those special prize winning tickets that have Grammy's name on them.  Just as they exited the highway and turned into the parking lot, Grammy's tea fell off the top of the center console where she had accidently left it, and it rolled down Gramps' right leg, leaving a trail of tea stains.  Grammy made sure not to laugh this time, because she was afraid Gramps might get really mad at her for not having her tea in the cup holder.  By the time the truck stopped, there was a big puddle of tea in Gramps' freshly cleaned floor mat.

the real food place
Gramps got the special ticket that was going to make Grammy a rich woman, and found out that the store didn't have any paper towels in it.  Not one single roll.  So Gramps had to use his special window cleaning cloths to mop up the tea.

After he got finished, they rode to a nearby store to buy Gramps some new pants.  Then they drove back to the big city, and went to a nice restaurant and had some really good food.  They enjoyed the real food because they had been eating cardboard dieting for weeks.  After they finished their real food, Gramps took Grammy to the movie.  It was a very exciting movie (the kind men always like with lots of action).

Grammy and Gramps had so much fun being grown ups that day.  And Gramps learned an important lesson.

Never put the bum's rush on Grammy when she is getting ready to go out, or hot tea and coffee will always fall on your side of the seat.  Every time.  Because this is the year of the dragon, and Grammy's turn to laugh.

She didn't laugh too much though, because Gramps got her a second cup of her special hot tea on the way home.  Starbucks Tazo Chai latte.  And it never left her hand.

The End

Friday, January 27, 2012

a see you soon girls! moment

{this moment}- A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
“This Moment” is a ritual I have adapted, 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.

~cath xo

Thursday, January 26, 2012

how do you do, haiku

I've been asked more than once how I come up with the haiku photos that I create.  I started thinking about  my creative process, and decided to try to explain how these get from my brain to my blog.

There is no mystery really.  Most creativity starts with a spark, and this is true for me.  Sometimes it is something I see, sometimes something I hear, an emotion.  Or maybe a thought.  It starts small, and grows.

For the haiku I did last night, it started with frustration.  All month, I had been posting every day as part of a blogging challenge.  Then suddenly, last night, my well of inspiration dried up.  I thought about it.  About the fact that I couldn't think of a single blessed thing to write.  And that was when the first lightening bolt hit my brain.  (That is what an idea feels like to me...a big ZAP right between the ears.)

I would write about not being able to write.  Then I thought about it...(thinking does play an integral part in creating for me).

It needed to be terse.  Brief, and able to convey my agony at the void of creativity...

Now wait, I was creating.  But it wasn't what I wanted to do...it was a stop gap.  So I could meet my deadline, and not stress over it.

So I thought of the words that would put my emotion into type.  And I remembered how on fire my mind was with ideas at the beginning of the month.  And then I thought of how the ideas had come faster than I could write them down for the first three weeks.  I put the first words down, and started rearranging them and changing some out.  Haiku to me is more than 5, 7, 5 syllables.  It is a feeling, an ability to take words down to the bare bones.  Raw emotion, ideas that are spit into the wind one word at a time, and digested bit by bit as the reader takes them in, feeling the thought of the writer, and understanding.  Haiku for me is an aha! and the best ones I have read can sometimes literally slam me back like a physical blow.

At the same time I was writing the haiku, I was thinking about a photo that would enhance the visuality of it.  It had to be a balance, a complement.  The words and photo must carry equal weight.  As though one could not exist without the other.

Last night, when I first posted the haiku, I used a different image.  But the image I used didn't sit well with me.  It didn't convey my anxiety, my frustration.  I thought about it in my dreams last night, and this morning when I got up, I changed the photo.  And knew as soon as I added the words, that it balanced.  And this is what I ended with:

When I finished it, I realized the void in my brain wasn't empty after all.  In my creative furor the stop gap I was trying to fill the void with, became much more, and I didn't even realize that I was creating.  It just happened.  I focused on the steps of the process, and forgot my anxiety.  Suddenly the frustration was gone.   And everything balanced for me again.

And that is what haiku is for me.  Balance.  Creativity, idea, construct, all come together in the end.  A piece of my thoughts, to share with you.

~cath xo
Twitter @jonesbabie

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

hint of spring

This morning as I stepped outside, anticipating a cold blast of air, I was surprised. Instead of the cold breath of winter, I felt a zephyr breeze caress my cheek, hints of spring to come.

I love these mid-winter mornings. I have to remind myself that days such as this are transient, a foreshadowing of future mornings in a season still unborn.

These are the mornings that get me through the cold spots, those arctic blasts and winter storms that make me want to curl up and hibernate my way through winter.

These mornings energize and galvanize me. And make me long for more.

How do you get through winter?

~cath xo

Monday, January 23, 2012

he was doomed

The daughters were here this weekend. That should have been a warning to Steve. The girls think like me. Steve was outnumbered from the start, and doomed.

We were talking about Chinese New Year. This is the year of the dragon, as well as the sign of water. My year. It's all about me this year. We were discussing the possibilities that might be possible with this once in 60 years occurrence.

Then Steve asked the fatal question.
"What's my sign?"

Jenny said "you're the sign of the pig, Dad".

Steve said "I'm a pig? I'm a pig".

I looked at the girls, smirked and said "I've known you were a pig for years".

The girls started laughing out loud and Jen hollered out "you backed right into that one dad"!

Then Wretch zoomed in for the kill:
"yep dad, you know what you say...hitting a deer is bad, but if you run into a hog with your truck, it'll really do some damage. You just got hit."

By this time the girls and I were all rolling in laughter.

Steve was just looking at us in disgust.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

secret sister moments

 They rush to the window when they hear a commotion.  Leaping onto the couch, they pull back the blinds and peer out.  The dogs clown on the front porch, begging for their attention with goofy barks and funny faces.  They watch the dogs, laughing together as the youngest attempts to capture the clowning on camera.  They laugh and talk, oblivious to the world.  Caught in a moment of laughter and secret sister smiles.

I watch them and for a moment, if I blink and imagine, they are small girls again, the youngest following the eldest's lead, miming her big sister's actions, because big sisters know best.  I am lost for a moment in my reverie, watching them.  Seeing them not as women, but as my little girls.  I want to save this moment, this memory, and grab my camera and start taking photos.  They don't notice me at first, and I smile as I watch them.

The moment is sweet, and lasts for just a few brief minutes, then they notice me, and holler, turning in unison to make faces at me for capturing them with their hair mussed up, and in their sleep wrinkled tee shirts and fleece pants.  "Oh MOM!" they shout, but it is too late.

The sweet moment is mine, captured for me to look at and remember.

Such is the stuff of my life.  Moments of sweetness dispersed among my daily routine.

~cath xo
Twitter @jonesbabie

Friday, January 20, 2012

a fez-tering moment

{this moment} No words. Just a moment I want to share. A memory of one moment in my life. If you like it, please feel free to share a link to your moment in the comment box below.

PS...as soon as I have an Internet connection, I'll add the links back to the wonderful blogs I found this prompt on. Until then it's just me and the iPhone and a crummy half 3G connection in between storms. :D

PSS here are the links I promised:
{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.

~cath xo
Twitter @jonesbabie

Thursday, January 19, 2012

finding the sponge

Duncan made a project this past weekend. He told Gramps what he wanted, and Gramps helped him. I drew the "A" and hot glued the beads down. Duncan wanted to add the pencils and books because "A" stands for the University of Alabama. He worked very hard to color within the lines. When he finished he was very proud of it. Maddie did one for her class that was almost identical. Minus the books and pencils.

Monday the twins took their projects to their respective teachers. Both teachers liked them. Duncan's teacher liked his so well she put it on display in the hall.

And that night they told their Mommy about it. And Duncan, who has Attention Deficit Disorder and is barely passing in first grade, beamed. Then he called us to share his news.

You see, his sister absorbs knowledge like a sponge, and Duncan is still looking for his sponge. Monday, Duncan took a step toward finding it. It's there, and I am betting he will find it.

Go Duncan, Go!

~cath xo

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

paperweight, heartweight

Paperweights do more than hold paper. They hold a spot in our lives. Weight in our heart, and memories for a lifetime. This is my Grammy's paperweight. I look at it and am awash in memories of time spent with my Grammy. Is it worth money? No, but it is priceless to me. Because inside, are all the myriad moments spent with my Grammy, time that is beyond measure and price, trapped like a genie in a bottle. Released by me when I hold it in my hand and remember. What holds your memories?

~cath xo

Monday, January 16, 2012

i had a dream

me and vix
When I was a child, I dreamed as a child.  I thought the world was a perfect place, and life would always be perfect, and happy.  My world was solid.  I would grow up and be an artist.

Then the 1960's happened, and suddenly the world turned upside down.  No longer was it expected that girls would grow up and get married and have kids, or have careers as teachers or nurses.  Suddenly, there was a paradigm shift, and the world burst open like an overripe melon, a new world emerging from the seeds it spewed forth.

That new world was terrifyingly beautiful, and exciting.  It was also filled with tense emotions as the older generation struggled to understand my generation.  In the 1960's I learned that it was possible to be the President of the United States, and still die a violent death at the hands of a madman.  And I watched as a politician and a preacher taught that the world could be a better place, a peaceful place, and tried to make it so.  And I watched in horror and sorrow as they also died violent deaths.  Did I lose faith?  Did I lose hope?  

No.  It would have been so easy to do that. But I watched, and listened, and learned from what happened.  And as I grew up, I realized that we all have dreams.  We all have hopes.  And most of us do want a better world.  It is essential human nature to hope.

I also learned that there was more out there in that world than just growing up to be a wife and a mom.  There was change happening, and I was part of the generation of change.  So what did I do as I learned these important lessons, the ones about tolerance and acceptance, equality and change?

I became a wife, and a mom.  You are probably laughing at that line, because I had much higher hopes than that.  Even funnier, down the road, in mid-life, I became a nurse.  I backed right into the stereotypes I didn't think I would ever really become.

Then somewhere along my path in life, I became enlightened.  I realized the big lesson.

Change starts at home.  Teaching my children about peace, racial tolerance, and equality started from the day I first became a mom.  My children watched me and learned from me.  And I realized that if every mom did that, the change would happen.  The world they inherited might be a better world.

Change doesn't always happen in big, sweeping surges.  Sometimes change happens one day at a time, one lesson at a time.  Quietly, and stealthily, it happens.  From mother to child it happens.

I am not trying to gild the lily, or paint pretty pictures and platitudes.  I know that our world is far from perfect.  But I also know that with small steps, and a belief in dreams, change can happen.

One day, and one child at a time.

I still have that dream.  Rest in peace, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  I heard your words, and believed.  And still believe.

Twitter @jonesbabie

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

evil grammy wins

Today was the typical day with the grandkids. Well, almost typical. Except for a couple of things. The kids were crankier than usual. And so was I. It was a foregone conclusion something would happen.

The kids wouldn't go out. It was pretty outside but they wanted to stay in and fuss. The only game they wanted to play was "hit the enemy" using light sabers, which meant someone was going to get hurt. Even though they had their 4 wheeler helmets on to prevent head injuries. (Their idea.)

After about the third crying jag from them, they were too whiny for me anymore. I proceeded into the bedroom and started reading the riot act to them. I noticed the bedspread was stuffed between the wall and the bed. I squeezed back behind the bed and started ranting even more about the mess.

Then I turned, took a step, and fell across the car booster seat I had forgotten was behind me.

And went down like a ton of bricks. I started hollering in pain, the kids panicked and ran screaming for Gramps, he came running in, and all eyes were on me as I rose up from the floor like a ghost rising from the grave. And their eyes were bugging out as if they WERE seeing a ghost.

We all stood looking at each other. Then I hollered as loud as I could "GET OUT! I DON'T WANT YOU INSIDE!"

I closed my eyes for a brief instant, my leg throbbing, and when I opened them again, they were ALL gone, including Gramps.

And THAT is how an evil Grammy clears the house out for some peace and quiet.

~cath xo
Twitter @jonesbabie

Friday, January 13, 2012

a get to the root of it moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual.  A single photo - 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.

~cath xo
Twitter @jonesbabie

Thursday, January 12, 2012

the wheel of fortune

my little car last winter
It was close to dark last night when I left work. I was tired because I'd been awake since about 3AM. I got in my car and eased it slowly into gear and out of the parking lot. Just another evening I was thinking. I was looking forward to getting home and relaxing.

Then I noticed a noise. Normally I am listening to music as I drive. Last night I just wanted quiet while I drove. So that was why I noticed the noise.

Right rear. Weird rubbing grinding sound. I haven't been married for over forty years to a mechanical genius without learning something. 'Bearings' I said to myself. 'Or a tire' I pondered aloud.

So I babied it all the way home, as the noise gradually got louder and scarier. I told Steve when I got home to have a look. It was dark by then, so he waited until the next morning.

That was when he saw it. A slit ran about 8 or 9 inches around the outside edge of the tire, and the innards were poking out some.

I had been minutes from having a major blow out. But the tire held.

I think my karma has turned. And the year of the dragon has started early.

Either that or my guardian angel is a grease monkey. :D

~cath xo
Twitter @jonesbabie

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

love to my daughter

I know you are struggling now. Take a deep breath. This too, shall pass. Remember also to love and praise yourself. You are a good mother, much better than I was to you. It will all come about as it should, in its own way, in its own time. Trust. Yourself, as well as your child.

And pray. There is power in prayer. I am praying for you both.

mom xo

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

changing what's real - googly eyed


Stumbling around the blogging cybersphere this morning, I ran across an interesting post.  A challenge of sorts, to take a photo and edit it and share your post.  Just my cup of tea for a rainy Tuesday morning when my brain is devoid of ideas to blog about.  My brain is never devoid of ideas about photography or painting.

So I offer my first blog post on photo edits.  Maybe this should have been posted on my art blog, but I tend to keep that one to things that pertain to the studio that my sister and I have.  Since I share a lot of photos here, this is where the post will go.

Thanks to Anna from The Other Side of Anna for thinking up this interesting prompt. If you take photographs, and like to dink around with editing tools like I do, visit her blog and join in the fun.  She has a place to add your post link, and the name of the showcase gallery is Changing What's Real.  It begins at the start of the month, and the deadline is the end of the month, so no stress there, plenty of time to add your ideas and creativity.  Sharing is what helps us all to grow as artists, after all. :D

Today I am sharing a photo my sister sent to me.  This photo has significance for two reasons:
1. The ornament is one I crocheted about 20 years ago
2. It still makes my sister laugh when she looks at it (she says it looks like me)

watercolor pencil

PW 70's
colorsplash 2


This was a fun day.  I like finding new things to do.  It stirs the creativity in me.  Thanks Anna for a great idea and way to share!

~cath xo
Twitter @jonesbabie

Monday, January 9, 2012

he said, she said

I started this exercise and diet routine to make myself into a healthier person.  Somewhere along the way, it turned into a competition.  Not only is it a competition, but we have involved Tessie the Terrible Treadmill, who's getting the worst of it.

Every morning, Stevie Wonder climbs on the treadmill, opens the blinds on the window, and kicks the treadmill into a steady speed.  For thirty minutes he gazes out the window, and his brain goes into another dimension.

My routine is a bit more complicated.  I am a fussier athlete.  In order to get on the treadmill I require:

1. girly shoes (with pink accents)
2. music (not just any music, but rock music)
3. new spandex exercise capris with rhinestones on them
4. a timer (I don't want to spend one more second than I have to on Tessie)
5. a sweatband to match my spandex exercise tights (a girl can't have too much bling)

So every morning, while I prepare, Stevie Wonder climbs on, does his thirty minutes in silence, and climbs off a healthier person, basted in his own juices.

Then I get on, scan my music and decide which songs to play in which order.  It makes a big difference, because if I start out with the fastest song (like the one I shared here) I won't last more than 30 seconds.

Next, I adjust the speed on the treadmill to the slowest possible slug-crawling-speed and start.  When I started I lasted 3 minutes.  And that is stretching it.  I wasn't icky sweaty, but I did sport a nice glow.

This morning I climbed on.  I am too bored to just walk, so I kind of dance around on the treadmill, as I gaze out the window.  This morning as I danced gracefully around the treadmill, I decided to kick the speed up a notch. I was feeling great, and thought I was ready for the next level of competition.

As I twirled my hands around and rocked out on the treadmill, I got my left hand caught in the ear bud cord on my iPhone, and accidentally jerked it off and sent it flying off behind me on the treadmill.  I panicked, afraid I had destroyed the iPhone, and turned around to look behind me to make sure it survived the fall.  I forgot I was still moving on the treadmill...but Tessie didn't.  She promptly threw my ass off the back of the treadmill, and I landed on top of my precious iPhone.

I grabbed the iPhone, dusted the bunnies off my butt (they tend to hide under the treadmill), and climbed back on like a determined bull rider.

Ten minutes and two songs later, I climbed off.  OK, so I counted the three minutes it took me to pick myself up off the floor as part of that time.  I figure as long as I was moving, time was clicking.  I was so proud I hollered out my time to Stevie Wonder.

Steve came into the room, climbed on Tessie silently, and did 35 minutes.

I hate him.

Twitter @jonesbabie

Saturday, January 7, 2012

ch[ai]ming in

Before Christmas I made a commitment to have better health. Diet, exercise, and whatever it took to get me to my goal. My goal was not to wear a size 2. The goal was to feel better, be healthier, and have more energy.

But I was lying like a rug. I was seduced by the very foods that put me into slug mode, and I kept backsliding into the abyss I was trying to haul myself out of.

Then ten weeks ago Stevie Wonder started dieting. I was so happy he was concerned about his health and ready to commit to a lifestyle change. I knew all the principles of dieting, so I joined him as his diet buddy.

(Even though I had already failed my sister-in-law as her diet buddy, as well as numerous friends and other family members over the past several years.)

Stevie Wonder is 50 pounds lighter and 2 sizes smaller as of this writing. And somehow I've lost 15 pounds and a size along the way, even though I have not been as stringent and dedicated as SW has.

But I've had some successes along the way.

This is the first holiday season in my life that I have lost weight and not added more on.

I noticed I don't have the joint aches and pains I was having. And I have more energy.

I can think clearly and with better purpose. My brain no longer lives in a carbohydrate induced coma.

But I miss my Starbucks chai. Like the phantom pain from an amputated limb, I can feel it, as if I had a steaming cup sitting solidly in my hand. Until today, I had not had any for two long months. No chai.

Then Stevie Wonder did the unthinkable today and bought me one. I got to the truck with it, and just held it in my hands for a bit, savoring the smell, feeling the heat from the hot liquid seep into the muscles of my fingers and hands, making my hands almost glow with the warmth.

Then finally, that first sip. Oh my, it hit my tongue and my taste buds exploded with remembered ecstasy. It was even better than I remembered. Like a wine connoisseur I could pick out the nuance of each spice, from the peppery start to the cardamom and vanilla-honey finish.

Ahhh. Too soon, it was gone. Drained, the cup sat there staring at me forlornly as though saying "what now"? And I had no answer. It will be many weeks before I indulge again. The memory of that perfect cup of tea will be all I have to cling to, until the day comes when I can indulge once more. Someday.

I'm keeping that cup so I can sniff it like a junkie and dream my Starbucks dreams.

Friday, January 6, 2012

a blink of the eye moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual.  A single photo - 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. 

Twitter @jonesbabie

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

harry back cake

We celebrate almost anything in our family with cake.  It's a big joke because the grandkids expect cake, especially on "birtdays" and holidays.  Our cake celebrations have been going on for years.  I remember one time in particular.  Back in 2005, I decided to do some travel nursing.  Little did I expect to be doing it for most of the next 4 years.  The family decided I needed a big sendoff...of course that meant...cake.

It was all hush hush.  (Back before the grandkids could spill the beans about cake ...or anything for that matter... we did a pretty good job of keeping secrets.)  This particular cake was supposed to remind me to come home, and that I had a loving family waiting for me with open arms and tears in their eyes.

It didn't quite work out that way.  Steve got the cake.  That was the first mistake.  He had asked the young lady to put "Hurry Back Cathy" on top.  She did.  She couldn't spell.  That was the second mistake.  He looked at it when she handed it to him and what he saw was:

"Harry Back Cathy"

He mentioned it to her, and the young lady asked if he wanted her to redo it.  He stood looking at it, then said....

"Naw... she'll like it just like this."

That was the third mistake.  He brought it home and we all had a long laugh over it.  The story of the Harry Back Cake became an inside joke in our family.

Months later, when I returned home between contracts, the family decided to [surprise!] get me another cake.  And this is what I came home to:

Once I got past the ugly [baboon butt] red all over it...I saw the words...and started laughing...loudly...

I'll always be Harry to my family.  What a thoughtful bunch they are.

~cath xo
Twitter @jonesbabie

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

treading lightly

Today I began my trek toward better health in earnest. I have a finite number of years left on this earth, and I really don't want to spend them as an invalid.

This is not just a New Year's resolution, or goal. My aim is to change habits. Habits that have not become so damaging to my health that changing them will have no effect on me.

Every year I have made the same old resolution to lose weight and exercise. And never stuck to it. Because I never made it a habit, just paid lip service.

Today is a new beginning. I started the change in eating habits weeks ago (yes, that's right, and except for a short detour during the holiday, I did pretty darn good).

This morning, after a couple of false starts and some vicious shin splints, I climbed on Tessie the Treadmill. My legs are kind of bitchy about it tonight, but I survived Tessie.

Tomorrow Tessie and I go for round two. I'll let you know who wins.

~cath xo
Twitter me @jonesbabie