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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

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


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my best photo

Today is the last day of May and the last day of May NaBloPoMo. Thirty one days ago I started this daily blog prompt centered around photos. One reason I joined the blog prompt over at BlogHer was that I had not been writing much for an extended period of time, for personal reasons. My focus was elsewhere, and I couldn’t seem to focus on writing, photography, drawing or painting.

Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt is: your best photo. I thought about that one for several days now. It is hard to pick out my best photo. I thought about all the photos I had taken that I felt demonstrated an increase in my skill as a photographer. Then I thought about what is important for me to share with my photographs, and the answer came to me.

Plain and simple, I think the most important thing I can convey as a photographer is emotion, or the story I am trying to tell. I chose this photo to share. It was shot quickly, not the technically best photo I have ever taken, but I see it now, and I feel strong emotion wash over me. It is a photo of my daughter holding my granddaughter’s face in her hand. In Maddie’s eyes I see pure love. And I know, because I took that photo, that the love in Maddie’s eyes is mirrored in her mommy’s eyes, and felt through the touch of her hand.

Total devotion and love of a child for her mother, and a mother for her child. Unplanned and blurry, this may be the best photo I have ever taken. It is certainly one of the most important moments in my life. Captured now, forever. That is the magic of photography.

Life, lived moment by moment, photo by photo. Shared. Experienced.
My best photo.

…life, lived, is your best photo… ~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.

concoction

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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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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the sugar in my lemonade

I was going to write something pithy and wise today, the day before Mother’s Day, about something that would be so important it would change your life forever.

Forget that. I do good to put two sentences together. So I decided to respond to the +FridayReflections prompt of who has impacted my life for the better. I could say something about my mum, because it is almost Mother’s Day here in the USA. She and I haven’t always seen eye to eye, but she did contribute one important thing to me. She gave me a backbone of steel, and the belief that I could do anything I wanted to do. 
But the people I want to talk about today are two of the most important people in my life. Throughout my whole life, they were there for me. During hard times, lonely times, times when I didn’t have an answer, there they were. They didn’t always have the answer either, just as I often didn’t have it for them. But they loved me unconditionally, and without judgment. Even when we disagreed, it was always with the understanding that it was ok to disagree, and that it would not affect our trust or feelings for each other. I think of them every day, and especially today. 
They are my sisters, Vicky and Debbie. The sugar in my lemonade.
Vicky, Debbie, and Cathy
day2

We have another side too. A raucous, wicked side that lets us make fun of each other, laugh at each other, and gives me a feeling of zest and joy that last for days. Yesterday we were texting each other, asking Vix if mum’s gifts we sent had gotten there. I just KNEW I was gonna have the most unique gift. I had thought this through, plotted, and planned it so that I would be mum’s favorite daughter by Mother’s Day. I sent flowers:

day 1
Vix Gave mother flowers:

We were both texting back and forth, pretty proud that we had made mum happy.  Then Dooj’s GIFT arrived and Vix sent me a picture:
that is a balloon on top and chocolates too
Our text chat then proceeded along these lines:
Vix: the #$&%@ has outdone us Cath. LMAO.
Me: how dare she do that! I think that $(#*#@$ balloon is a $%*#&@$ bit over the top. 
Dooj: LMAO
Vix: is that the one you wanted Dooj, or is this arrangement too small?
Dooj: lolololol
Me: you sure you didn’t tell them that was for a funeral Dooj? It’s big enough to cover a casket.
Dooj: lololololol…I did tell them no lilies but I’m not going to tell Mother that.
Vix: Momma is getting a kick out of these comments. She did say it was big enough for a funeral. I told her if she kicked the bucket before Sunday (Mother’s Day) we would use it.
Me: lololol.
Me:(to Vix) I hope Dooj’s flowers die first….
Vix: lolololol….
I have a secret weapon though…today mum got these:
Score one for the big sis…
NaBloPoMo photo prompt day 9 is: Light

…be positive…the best is yet to come… ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter


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throwback thursday

way back in about 1986

Maddie was looking through some photos I had posted online and found one of my kids and me in about 1986.  She identified everyone in the photo but one person, and asked me “Grammy, who is that?”  I told her it was me, and she repeated her question two more times in disbelief.

She finally said:  You’re as little as your kids!
I said: well Maddie I was a lot younger then, and the kids had mostly gotten as big as me (with the exception of Wretch, who was about Maddie’s age).  (No way was I going to comment on what she obviously meant, which was that I was THINNER.)

Then Duncan started in: that’s you?  that’s YOU?  THAT’S YOU???
*sigh*
Me: Yes Duncan it is me.
Duncan: You look like you need to be married.
Me: I was Duncan, to Gramps.  That’s why I was as LITTLE AS THE KIDS…I got married when I was a kid…(sort of…I was 17).  🙂

Gramps, me and some of the kids and grandkids in fall 2014

Link up any Throwback Thursday photos you would like to share, in the comments below.

…laugh, life is good! ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter