just my thoughts

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nightlife is the bright life

Reminiscing tonight after seeing something on the television triggered a memory for tonight’s photo response to the NaBloPoMo prompt, NIGHTLIFE.

When Jim (our middle child) was about 4 or 5 years old, we were eating dinner and talking when we noticed that Jim had gotten quiet.  We looked at him and started laughing.  He had fallen asleep in his chair, with a half eaten chicken leg still grasped in his left hand, his arm dangling at the side of the chair. As we laughed, it led to another “Jim story” from about the same time.  Steve got up before daylight one morning to find the refrigerator door standing wide open. Lying on the floor in the light cast from the open door was the red rind off a piece of bologna, an empty cheese wrapper and an empty soda can. When Steve checked on Jim, he found half a piece of bologna laying on the pillow beside his head.  He asked Jim why he had left the door to the refrigerator open. Jim’s response: “because it was dark and I was afraid I couldn’t see to get back to bed.”

Nightlife in my house revolves around the family refrigerator.  The welcoming gleam of the interior light provides security in a darkened room, foods and treats to scavenge, and drama after a big family meal when we struggle and fight to find places to stuff all the leftovers. Then there is the unsolved mystery of the light. Is it on all the time, or only when the door opens?  Even Jim still hasn’t figured that one out, 37 years later.

(Happy Birthday to my sweet Sneezer, who turned 42 on May 25.)

…life is good. ~cath
i am @jonesbabie on twitter

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food for the soul

Food. The prompt for today from NaBloPoMo on day number 29. Fitting that today the focus is food. I wondered if I had any photos of food worth posting. I’ve taken some doozies, and some $%*&ed up shots too. Minions and Marmite (#20) figured high on my list of considerations. Then I saw the photo, and the food became secondary. It was not the focus of the photo for me.

ragu with rotini, served on my Grammy’s dishes

It was the dish it was served on. Food keeps the body going.  But love and memories feed the soul. I ate many meals on the Franciscan apple dishes shown in the photo. Years ago, I acquired my mom’s and Grammy’s dishes. So old that many of them say “made in California” on them. Later dishes say “made in the USA” on them. I have both. I don’t own any that say “made in England” which is where they are manufactured now. Mine came from my childhood, and I am of an age that the dishes are close to being antique. A fact that does not faze me one bit. I can close my eyes and remember so many meals, so many conversations. The strep throat I unknowingly had as I struggled to eat chili, each bite setting my throat on fire. Learning to eat squash and like it. Talking to Grammy as she washed dishes, watching her rub each plate dry with embroidered dish towels.


Many memories.  Memories that will last longer than the food that is served on those plates now. Food served to my family. Plates that are hand washed by me now. Plates and memories that are a common thread of love that runs through my family, from generation to generation.

…life is delicious…   -cath
i am @jonesbabie on twitter

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man vs. nature

NaBloPoMo, day 25: NATURE. My take on the prompt. Man makes his mark, nature slowly wears it away. We rush through our busy little lives, and miss the point of living. Surrounded by beauty, we are trapped, blinded by petty human struggles. It’s not too late to open your eyes, and truly see the beauty that is nature. I challenge you to take a moment every day, and look around you.

…life is good. ~cath

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upside down

Life is upside down right now, for the forseeable future. There are a few constants, but many of the things in my life I thought I could count on, have suddenly changed. So I forge ahead, finding my way, day by day.

Day 24 NaBloPoMo prompt is: UPSIDE DOWN. How fitting, and what a perfect description of my life at this moment in time. Life is never static though, and so I take a deep breath, and wait…and wait…for the change to come.

…life is what it is… ~cath
  i am @jonesbabie on twitter

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friday reflection: the funniest thing I saw this week

This week, the +FridayReflections prompts offered a chance to go back to previous weeks and write about something we had not used as a prompt. Since I missed a few weeks, dealing with other things, I looked back and the prompt I wanted to write about jumped right off the page and into my head:

What was the funniest thing you saw or heard this week?

If you saw what I posted yesterday you will see a photo of a 10 year old boy smiling. If you are very observant, you will notice his tie. His mother noticed it the second she saw him from the other side of the room. Here is the story behind the tie:

Jen called me the other day to share something. I had been feeling a bit overwhelmed, dealing with one thing after another in my life. I was beginning to feel as though a day wasn’t going to dawn that didn’t bring some major thing to endure with it. So I was half ass listening to what Jen said at first. She told me about Awards Day at school for the twins, and their accomplishments. I was proud of the kids, no doubt about that, but still miserable in my own skin. Then she told me about Duncan. 

This year not only did they receive awards for accomplishments, the twins also graduated from elementary school to middle school. So graduation was a big thing for them. Jen told me she sent a tie, shirt and jacket with Dunc so he could dress properly for such an important occasion. She arrived from work just in time to see the ceremony.

And being a mother, she noticed it right away. Dunc, who didn’t hold his bottle until 3 days before Jen weaned him off it, and didn’t dress himself until he was well over 5, had dressed himself. Jacket, shirt and tie in place. Except for one thing.

The tie was INSIDE the neck of his shirt. When she saw it, Jen started laughing. Then she fought the urge to do corrective dressing and let him wear it like it was. 

I was laughing as loudly as Jen while she told me this. I could just picture it, and when I did get a picture from Jen, it was exactly as I imagined. And…the tie was RED, which meant it REALLY stood out.

A bit later I was struck by the real lesson. It wasn’t the laughter, although that was medicine for my soul. It was the fact that Jen got it. She understood what was important that day. It wasn’t the tie. It was the fact that Duncan, the boy with ADD who had been failing the first grade, was graduating on the A/B honor roll.

And THAT is more important than a red tie inside a shirt.

…life is good. ~cath
i am @jonesbabie on twitter

Today is day 23 of NaBloPoMo over at BlogHer and the prompt is OUTSIDE. I was stumped about it until we stopped at a traffic light today. Stevie Wonder said “look what is painted on the outside of that guy’s truck!”  I saw it, and as we passed by I shot this photo. Little bit of editing (I couldn’t be me without tweaking a photo with an app), a caption, and here is my take on the prompt (and also the funniest thing I saw besides Dunc’s tie):

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day 19: vintage treasures

Seems a good night to sit back and think about family, memories and smile as I look at the photos I took for today’s prompt over at NaBloPoMo.
I took a look at Instagram at the #NaBloPoMo photos posted (I am still red with embarrassment at my failure at the #bokeh prompt a few days ago). App obsessed me figured I would take a photo, then vintage it up and post it. Then I noticed that people were posting some very meaningful photos of vintage things. I realized it was time to get away from app edits, or at least edit something that was TRULY vintage. I looked around the room. The only vintage thing I saw was Stevie Wonder, and I don’t think he would have appreciated my humor at posting a pic of him with the hashtag vintage. So I sat down and pondered. I was thinking when my gaze swung around to my corner china cabinet, which is not filled with china because I am a simple girl at heart. It is loaded with things given to me over the years, and also my Grammy and Mum’s #Franciscan ware dishes. The reason I love those dishes is because every meal I ate as a child was from either Mum’s set, or Grammy’s set of apple dishes. So I leaned in, shot the coffee pot (or is it s carafe?) and then of course, being me, edited it with the Camera+ app and am posting it.

You see, for me, vintage doesn’t mean old. It means loved. Treasured. And those are the most precious, priceless things of all.

…life is to be treasured… ~cath 
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

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day 17: surreal

NaBloPoMo’s photo prompt for today is surreal. Day 17 and I am still going strong.
I did post twice one day and skipped another I think. But timing is not my strong suit. I can meet deadlines, and have managed to get three degrees and finish a course for certification in another area. But when I am doing something creative, and my brain is full of ideas, organization exits my brain through my ear.

On a lighter note, I spent an afternoon this weekend catching up with an old friend. We realized as we talked that it had been years since we last met, and I was shocked at how much time had passed. We decided before we parted that we would meet once a month to spend time chatting, and not let so much time pass.  

Life can be very surreal, and time that is gone cannot be regained. My sisters and I realized that when our dad died in 2000. This past year I have been so preoccupied chasing other things that I let a year (a WHOLE YEAR) pass without seeing my sisters and my mum. I can’t get the time back, but I can refocus on what is important in my life. Even though there are days I want to isolate and just daydream, I miss the connection with my family when so much time passes.

My photo for today is a shot of the end of our road, with special effects added from one of my favorite sci fi apps, #AlienSky. Lots of fun to play with, and my idea (being a Trekkie) of what is surreal for me.

…life is surreal… ~cath 
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter