Friday, July 31, 2015

jump back

dahlia, watercolor, pen & ink
I think I had something really good to say.  But, like so many thoughts lately, it left.  When your brain gets too busy, it tends to do that you know.  Lose things.  Thoughts.  Gone.  As someone once said: if you can't remember it, then it wasn't important.

I have a renewed interest in art lately and spend much of my time there, drawing, painting, and photographing things that catch my eye or mind.  It takes less brain effort for me to do that.  It is my comfort zone.  Where I have spent most of my life.  Especially a good spot when thinking takes too much effort.

But I am jumping back in.  Life has a way of cycling like that.  You're in, you're out, then back in again.

Along the way I have been making decisions.  There is too much online that is distracting to me. I am going to be trimming my life, weeding out what I don't really love, and I mean LOVE, doing online. No more saying yes when I don't want to do something.  I have been stretched too thin, and find that when I dabble in too much shit, I end up creating shit. So I will do what I feel most passionate about.

The first thing I have done is separate my Instagram accounts.  My @jonesbabie Instagram will be the everyday shots of my life, stuff that is don't spur of the moment.  For my art, @cathyjonest will be the account I use.  I decided it is time to dig deeper into what I am capable of and want to do.

So there it is.

Come along if you like.  Because I found out yesterday I am going to be around.
don't hit that sun! is something fun for you iPhone app called Prune...a simple game with no just prune trees...yes there is a point and you can lose your trees, but no mad dash to win, no hyperagitated tensed up feeling...just....relaxation...a truly minimalist zen game... is good. ~cat
i am @jonesbabie on twitter

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

just face it

Two prompts for the Friday Reflection for June 10, 2015 caught my eye. Prompt #1 was a quote by Lauren Bacall, who said "I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that." At my age and with my experience in life, writing about my face would be easy peasy. A bit too easy. So I decided to add another prompt into the mix and combine them for a twist on the Friday prompt.

Prompt #2 was look through my photographs and choose one to write about. This is the photo I chose:
That was me about 4 weeks ago, on the morning of my first surgery for breast cancer.  I say first, because I found out that a second surgery was needed a couple weeks after the first one, and that was not an easy prospect to face. In this photo, I was positive, and just ready to move forward. Who doesn't want to get past something like breast cancer and move forward?  Being positive was easier with that first surgery. The second surgery was more difficult, because negative thoughts began to creep in and take over my brain.

It was hard to overcome those negative thoughts. I am not a negative person by nature, and won't whine and bitch about what was going through my mind. I won't give a lot of advice about the experience either. There have been tons of articles written about breast cancer and survival, etc. Sooner or later I will write a more personal post about my experience, so that maybe someone else who is diagnosed with breast cancer and starts combing the internet for information, will come across my little post and have a few questions answered.  But that time isn't now. I am not ready to dig that deep into my thoughts.

So I will focus on the photo of me.  Sans makeup, it shows me smiling, which is something I do most of the time. I have had a mostly good life, a magical life, with just a few life bumps along the way. Until this year, when I seem to be traveling a mostly bumpy road. Since January I have had to deal with things that are new and difficult for me to comprehend and work through. I have gotten past some, and some are still happening. I've decided that the best thing to do to get through a year like this year is to just take one day, one step at a time. To look forward too far is to sabotage where I am right now. And to look backward with regret is a waste of energy, because nothing will change, and again, it sabotages where my life is in the present. It prevents me from working through what I am dealing with at this moment in time.

So I will drag out my copy of A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle one more time, and thumb through it, and regain some insight into my mood and way of thinking, which lately has been self defeating. I will do this because I am that positive person my dad had a big influence on. I have that strength in me, waiting to be tapped into. I will do it because I am a get it done type of person, and not possessed of a victim mentality. 

I will continue to depend on my family, reconnect with old friends, make new friends, stay connected with my sisters (who were the first best friends I ever had), and find joy through my art and photography. I will tap into the strength inside me to overcome and deal with anything and everything, and it will show in my face.
My face, my eyes. An open window to my soul. isn't always good, but it is always real... cat
i am @jonesbabie on twitter

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Photography is an extension of every thought that I have. - Trent Parke

I love social media.  Where else can you have conversations with people who fire your own imagination to new heights through an ongoing exchange of fresh ideas and innovations?  For years I have watched people online who brought their own thoughts to life through their art, and by sharing their work inspired me to areas of thought I would never have experienced without the exposure to social media.  This has been what has driven and influenced my own work.  I am passionate about art in all its forms.  The one thing that makes being human unique is the ability to experience and enjoy creativity in forms too numerous to mention.

As a child I got that exposure through books, then movies and television.  With the advent of the computer age, there has been a veritable explosion of sharing, at a speed that is mind boggling.  I can't say mind overload is unique to social media and computers, because even as a young child I would read so much so fast that my eyes would go blurry.  The main difference between past and present is that I am now more keenly aware that there is no way to experience it all.  For someone who loves to see and do new things, this has created anxiety and sadness at times, the fear that I will miss something, the knowing that I do miss so many things.

But juxtaposed against the anxiety and sadness at what I can't see or do, is the joy I find in everything that I get to ex[experience and learn.  The joy greatly outweighs the negative emotions, and keeps me pushing myself to use my imagination.  The joy that has led me to try to capture my life and thoughts, to share with others, but most especially for my family to have.  I find a lot of comfort in the thought that someday my grandchildren, and their children, will be able to see what I saw, and know me through what I have done.  That is my hope.

It is why I write my thoughts, and put what I see and think on canvas and in photos. It is an extension of me.

Just my thoughts....

...imagine life is good, and it will be... ~cath
i am @jonesbabie on twitter

tunnel vision

Been looking at this tunnel for months now.  This year hasn't been the best, but I really can't gripe much, because it could be worse.  Yes, things can get worse.  I've had those years too.  It's been a while since I felt like pieces of the sky were falling, and hitting my head, but this year has taught me that it is time to bring out the safety helmet before the next piece of sky whacks me.

I don't mean to sound negative, and I am sure that there are plenty of oh woe is me blogs out there, and I am really not that type of person.  Mostly I've been numb and just not dwelling on this cancer in my breast.  I am good at avoiding stuff. When things get tough, I have a knack for just not thinking about a problem if there is nothing I can do about it. I have to say, this problem has given me pause though. Time to think about where my life is, where I want it to go, and things I haven't done that I want to do.  We all think about things that way sometimes, right?  I mean, I know I can't be the only person who has felt these things.

I feel like I have kind of skipped all those stages of grief that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote about, and just went straight to numb. As numb as the armpit and shoulder where the lymph node was removed.  I'm glad for small things, like finding out this cancer has a 94%ish cure rate, and that the lymph node was negative.  It almost makes me feel ashamed for feeling this numbness.  But it is there, and I can't make it go away, so I am focusing now on the light at the end of the tunnel.  And allowing myself to be numb for the moment.  Thinking as I watch the clock tick away and the hours go by until this next surgery later this morning to remove the cancer cells that were missed, and that the tissue biopsy revealed.

So I look at Goliath and wonder what it will be like to have a breast with a crater in it, dread being put to sleep and the loss of control over my own body, dread the discomfort and pain afterward because I am so effing ready to be well again, and not this recovering surgery patient.  I want my effing life back, things back to normal.  I have SHIT TO DO.

So, hurry up sunrise, and let's get this show on the road.  I have a life to live.
the light at the end of the tunnel
 My parting shot is a favorite Pink song, that exactly fits my mood right now...(alert, explicit language)...
Is there anything in life BETTER than rock and roll???? is good, dammit, so raise your glass!!... ~cath
i am @jonesbabie on twitter

Monday, July 6, 2015

favorite places and spaces in my mind

tea time
The prompt for July 3rd that caught my eye at Friday Reflections has had me thinking for days.  How could I pick one favorite place?  There have been so many of them.  I think about all the places I have traveled, the things I have seen and done.  How could I possibly whittle it to one favorite?  Janine Ripper at Reflections From a Redhead described her favorite place so colorfully, I was ready to pack a bag and leave right then.

But picking my favorite place?   It finally dawned on me.  The place that is my favorite of all is....
the grapes of cath

my mind

That's right.  All the places I have visited, the things I have seen, are all trapped in lovely memories.  They are stored away, like a filing cabinet full of cards and photos, and I can revisit and think about them whenever I want to.  This ability to pull memories and close my eyes and be there is something I have always done.  It is especially helpful right now, at this moment in my life when there is so much going on with so many people in my life that I often wonder what will happen next.

watercolor, pen & ink
Today, I have pulled out a memory of one of those places.  My sister Vicky's back yard (garden for those of you who don't call a yard a yard) and one of the most peaceful places I have ever been.  It is a place I can sit quietly, looking at the flowers, birds, bees, and listening to the breeze blowing gently through the trees, stirring the leaves to a soft rustling sound.  It is a place I have painted, photographed and long to be when things are overwhelming.  It is my morning refuge, my favorite place to drink my tea and think about all the vagaries of life.

vix, watering her plants
It is a place I return to at least twice a year...and where I will return once more in October of this year.  Until then, I have my memories, filed away in my mind to pull out and relive over and over whenever I feel a yearning for peace and quiet.
morning in the garden

the perfect rose is good. ~cath
i am @jonesbabie on twitter

Sunday, July 5, 2015

finding the glass slipper

It's been a bummer kind of week.  I have a not fun week coming up next week, and I was mulling it over in my mind this week, and getting kind of cranky in the process.  Then I went to the movies last night with Wretched Daughter, my youngest, and one of my nieces.  We had been planning to see Magic Mike XXL, and I wasn't sure what to expect.  The first Magic Mike movie had been ok, but was a bit on the heavy side, taking itself way too seriously.  This second time around it was played lighter, more for laughs, and about ten minutes into the movie we were having a great time.  The script was a good match with the acting, and there were some classic lines in the movie.  There were also 4 women sitting in the row in front of ours, having as good a time as we were.  I think we were all stomping our feet, hollering and dancing to the music at times.

And as I watched the movie, and laughed with the girls around me, I forgot all my worries and just enjoyed the moment.  And what moments those were!  The music was good, the guys were luscious and the best part of the movie was Joe Manganiello's hunt for the perfect glass slipper.  To find out what that means, you will have to see the movie yourself.  I'm not about to spoil it.  As far as I am concerned, gorgeous Joe stole the show.

When the movie was over, the women in front of us stood up, and the one closest to us said "come on, we are headed to Atlanta to a male review.  We can be there in 2 1/2 hours."  When the three of us started laughing loudly at her tone and sound of determination, she grinned at us and said "y'all are welcome to go too".  We were still laughing when we went out the front door on our way home.

Life isn't perfect, but there is always something good to focus on, and something to make you laugh, if you let yourself find it. is good when you spend it laughing. ~cath
  i am @jonesbabie on twitter

Thursday, July 2, 2015

ambulance chasing

June 26, 2015 was an important day for Stevie Wonder. Due for the first checkup since nearly dying in April when his pacemaker had to be replaced after an epic failure to pace his heart (read about it here), he was understandably nervous because he had developed atrial fibrillation after the new pacemaker was placed in his chest.  His recovery from the second surgery was a bit rough compared to the first time.  I tried to reassure him that he was doing ok, and just had to give himself time to heal.  He was a bit whiny about the whole thing in my opinion, but I think that was because my patience was thin from dealing with my own breast cancer and surgery, which was taking place almost simultaneously to what Steve was enduring.

The twins were staying with us for a few days, so they went with us to the clinic. We were going to wait for Gramps to get all his tests finished, then go eat a late breakfast. We left at the crack of dawn for an hour long drive to the clinic. Duncan used the seat belt as a hammock for his head so he could sleep.
Duncan in a head sling
As we walked into the clinic (it was attached to the main hospital), I was explaining to Maddie what an echocardiogram was and the way I watched Gramps heart beating on the monitor when he was in ICU, before his pacemaker was put in. Her response to what I felt was a brilliant description was: "Disgusting!".
the long wait
 As we sat waiting, we talked, and I played a few games of checkers with the kids. Time hour, then two. As we began our third hour of waiting the kids were about to mutiny from hunger and thirst.  So I took them to another part of the clinic to get some juice and a snack.  As I was digging money out of my purse to buy juice for the kids, Maddie (who was standing near the hall) uttered the fateful words: "There goes Gramps".

I figured she meant he had walked past and was headed to the waiting room looking for us.  I said as much, and that was when she lowered the boom: "No, he wasn't walking, he was on one of those rolling tables."

"WHAT?" I said.
"He was on a rolling table Grammy."
At this point I looked a little panicky because I was caught between putting a $1 bill in a machine for a snack for Maddie, and taking off after the gurney. Maddie made my mind up quickly when she said: "I don't need a snack Grammy!"
So we took off down the hall. The hall took several turns, like a snake. Maddie had run ahead to scout Steve's location as I brought the rear up with a still sluggish Duncan. She would get to one turn, I would shout at her "CAN YOU SEE HIM?", she would shout back "YES I CAN", and then we would advance to the next bend in the hall.

In my mind the whole time was that SW had collapsed during the stress test, and they had come looking for me to tell me they were transporting him to wherever they needed to go to fix him, and couldn't find me because I WAS BUYING EFFING SNACKS FOR STARVING GRANDKIDS.

After what felt like a mile of scouting, reporting and running, I ran out of steam as I made it to the last bend and saw the end of the gurney and a nurse waaaaaaaaaaaay down the hall just going out of sight. I decided we would go back to the waiting room and wait until someone found us and told us the bad news.

So we sat there, they split Duncan's honeybun and drank their juice and I fidgeted like I had ants in my pants. About an hour later, Steve walked in the door of the waiting room.
bubba gramps
WALKED.  I jumped up and almost shouted at him "ARE YOU ALL RIGHT?"
He looked at me like I had lost my mind and said "yes".
I said "did you go by on a gurney about an hour ago?"
"No" he said.

Then it hit me.

I had been chasing a stranger down the halls of the hospital. I asked Maddie how she knew it was Gramps on the gurney. She said: "because he had white hair and was wearing a mask like Gramps does when he is sleeping."  Steve saw my face and knew something was up, so I had no choice but to tell him what had happened.

He started laughing.

He was still laughing 4 hours later every time someone called to check on him and he got to tell the story again.

an anticlimactic end to the morning, at Waffle House
I thought I had finally lived it down until Steve said a few hours later:

I would have loved to see what happened if you'd caught that gurney and saw you'd been chasing a stranger down the hall.

Steam started coming out of my ears at this point.

I am now the victim of another Steve story, which grows with "embellishments" every time he tells it. is like chasing gurneys, you never know where you are going or what lies ahead. ~cath
i am @jonesbabie on twitter