just my thoughts

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contrast, day 18

I look at each day’s blog prompt at NaBloPoMo and wonder if I can find something suitable.  Today it is contrast.
 I spent several hours tonight in an online rapid review for the wound care course I took.  To prepare me for my certification exams.  That I haven’t studied for because right now, at this moment, I have bigger fish to fry.  So my life is a big study in contrast at this point.  And here is the photo I chose to portray that contrast with:

the swan

This is my study in contrast. Do you have any contrasts in your life?  I have an abundance right now. But somehow, I can focus on that swan, and it all levels out.

…life is whatever you make it… ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

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nablopomo photo day 14 and 15

the road from home, early morning

It’s been a busy, overwhelming kind of week, so I combined the NaBloPoMo photography prompts sun flare (day 14) and black and white (day 15). A picture is worth a thousand words, the saying goes. So these should be good for about 4,000, on a day when I feel more comfortable with a photo than a written word.

Have a good weekend.  Look at the sky and feel the ground beneath your feet. 
my office, early morning sun flare
approaching storm at sundown

view from my office, early morning fog

…the best is yet to come….cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

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my last friday, friday reflection: why do i write?

This week I chose to use the question “why do you write?” as my Friday Reflections prompt.

It’s no secret.  I write for my grandkids first, and family second.  That anyone reads my blog still amazes me.  I mean, how interesting can the things I write about be, really?  Unless you all read it for the same reason I read lots of blogs:

To get a glimpse of how you think, feel, and be a part of your world/life for a brief time.

I was reading blogs long before I was writing one (which is almost 5 years now).  I hope that when my grandkids are older, they read what I have written and say “oh yeah, I remember that!” and that through my words, poetry, and photographs they will remember me, and someday tell their kids about me.  I think of my blog as a series of letters, published publicly, but still so very much like personal letters I would write to them.

I feel that if I capture just a portion of my memories and daily life, then I have left something of myself behind.

As a child I used to think that only people with huge talent, who were creative and famous in their lifetime, really made their “mark” on the world.  Then I read about people like the artist Vincent Van Gogh (who comes immediately to mind), whose talent was not appreciated until after he died.  Now I am not intimating that I am that talented, nor do I expect to be noted for what I have created during my lifetime.  But what I did want was to leave some kind of stamp behind, something tangible that my family could touch, read, feel, to let them know I was here.

And so my blog happened.  I have painted since I was a child, and been a seriously amateur photographer for many years, but the urge to blog surprised even me.  As time went on and my thoughts meandered all over the place, I thought I would eventually run out of things to say.  I have slowed down a bit from that first furor to capture as much as possible of my thoughts, but I still feel the urge to write, except in times of great stress, when my brain just sort of shuts down.  Eventually, the stress passes and my thoughts start to flow again.  Life is dynamic, and so I realize even as I go through dips, that they will pass, and my thoughts will come again.

Writing, for me, is like the ebb and flow of life…

…and life is good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

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sisterhood award and odds and ends about me

Recently (well, it’s been longer than I realized) Janine Ripper (Reflections From a Redhead) nominated me for Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.  It’s been a while since I participated in this kind of blogging camaraderie, and I have been working off and on to complete this for several weeks, as I adjust to a new job and some personal things going on in my life.  Here are my thoughts and answers to Janine’s well thought out questions.  Thank you for thinking of me Janine!

Blogging is, for most people, an intensely personal experience.  It is like wearing your underwear on the outside of your clothes.  You feel exposed, worried, and anxious that your underwear will hold up against the scrutiny of the world.  It is also, in my belief, a form of self therapy.  By talking about things you feel strongly about, or have experienced, you go through a cathartic effect, and this helps you to better understand yourself.

So today I will experience catharsis as I reveal a bit about the me in Just My Thoughts.

1. Why did you start blogging? I started blogging because of a compulsive need to share a wonderful experience with my great niece and my sister (her Grammy).
2. What do you love about getting older? I still make mistakes, but I make fewer.  That must mean I have learned a bit from life as I have aged.
3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?  Probably England, on a hill overlooking the sea, where I would drink tea and paint or take photographs all day.  (This comes from my obsession with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which I first read when I was about 10.

4. Kids or no kids? There is no right or wrong answer.  For me, kids.  Can’t imagine my life without them.  Because of them, I have something better than kids.  I have (drumroll) GRANDKIDS.
5. Where do you want to take your blog in the future?  My blog started out with a desire to share a family experience, published on the internet so that family would have access to it.  From there it went to the desire to record (mostly) family experiences, so that my grand kids would have something to remember when they get older and have grand kids of their own. I feel very passionate about leaving something tangible behind for my grands, so that the thread of love I feel for them will be their for their kids and grands to read and experience.  Having written for almost 5 years now, I have begun to feel the need to record more of my photography and haiku poetry for them.  This is the other side of me.  So I see my blog having more posts in the future aimed toward sharing my painting, photography and poetry.  I would still throw in an occasional blog post about a hot topic or current event/news.  My blog is always going to be eclectic.  It is the way I am.
6. Are you a folder or a scruncher?  A scruncher until the Catholic guilt takes over and then I fold as my mum taught me to…and say a couple Hail Marys to atone for the slip up.
7. What are you most grateful for?  Truly grateful?  For waking up in the morning, and starting each day as an opportunity to grow and learn.  I always wake up wondering….what’s next?  
8. What are you most looking forward to in 2015?  I have a new job, some new training that may lead in another direction at the same time, and endless possibilities to experience new things.
9. What’s your favourite song? Why not share the you tube clip?  I have no single favorite song, but the one sticking in my mind right now, that I heard recently and downloaded is this one.

10. What is your guilty pleasure? Ice cream…specifically Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia.

Now it’s taken me so long to reply to Janine she has probably thought I’d forgotten this lovely award. It was hard to choose who to nominate because I know so many awesome bloggers, but I chose a few and hope you will have a look at their blogs.  
So I am nominating:
Jerened’s Blog who always leaves me feeling calm and centered

Joy and Mary, two other people who are part of my PBAU family:
Catharsis down to earth advice and life skills from a smart woman
The Adventures of Cilgin Kiz a woman with a true spirit of adventure

and a few blogs that are part of my PBAU family, and new to me:

Here are the ten questions:
1. How do you deal with stress?
2. Why did you write?
3. What do clouds mean to you?
4. Your favorite comfort food?  And why?
5. Do you have a favorite quote? 
6. Name one person who influenced your life and briefly tell why.  (Alive or dead.)
7. What one thing in your life would you change if you could?
8. Your favorite color and why?
9. Where would you live if you had a choice?  Why would you live there?
10. Why smile?

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



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