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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


accepting this

With life in an uproar lately and much going on, I found that I needed some down time…time to think, get my mind in some sort of order and stop the chaos it was becoming.  So I took Friday and Saturday off, and vegetated…spending most of both days turned inward, thinking about things.

It’s a refreshing thing for the spirit, and something I do instinctively when I see I am losing my center.  I spent the days thinking backward, and remembering people I loved who are no longer part of my life, but remain in my heart.  This was not time to be thinking about what I needed to be doing, but to think about what brought me to this spot in my life.  The influence of the people I have met, people I have known, and how they have made me a better person.

I think what started me on this path was a piece of paper I found stuck in my box the other day at work, inconspicuous at first.  I thumbed through the mail, tossed it aside to read later, and plunged on into my work day.  That piece of paper lay there for a few days, then one day while I was taking a break and drinking a cup of tea, I rummaged through the papers on my desk, and came across it again.  This time I picked it up and idly began to read it.

As I read the page with my name written on it, the hair stood up on the back of my neck.  It was as though this had been written to me personally, and it hit my gut so hard I sat straight up in my chair.  I reread it again, then again, and was stunned by the simple truths it held.

The person who sent it knows me very well, even better than I realized, and she knew I needed to read this:

Thank you Dolly.

And thank you to all the women and mothers in my life, who have added such dimension and richness that it is hard to convey the value in humble words.

Happy Mother’s Day to my mother, and my sisters, my daughters, and my friends.  You are all the lights in my life.

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


you can fix anything with duck tape

I am OCD about some things.  For me to admit that is a big confession.  But the reason I am OCD about some things is because if I wasn’t, I’d be doomed.  I was reminded of this not long ago.

Driving to work one morning recently, I was a bit distracted.  I had several things on my mind, and was trying to make a mental list of all the things I needed to do.  I had pretty well worked the list out in my head, and decided to run by the pharmacy on my way to work.  Actually, it was two pharmacies.  Stevie Wonder and I use different pharmacies, for the same reason we use different banks.  But that is another story.

While I was picking up my prescription, I decided to pick up some makeup I needed, rather than try to make another trip to buy makeup.  That was my first mistake.  When I start looking at makeup, or anything that causes me to use the unorganized side of my brain, it means there is a conflict.  In my brain.  Because you can’t daydream and organize at the same time.  Not with my brain anyway.

My mind started to drift as I looked at the new products.  I grabbed my standard mascara, and picked up some nifty eyebrow pencils, and then I saw the lipsticks, and started trying to decide what color to get.

That was the beginning of the end.  I was on limited time, so I was feeling the pressure to make a decision.  I was trying to add up what the cost of all this beauty paraphernalia was going to cost me, and then head back to pick up the prescription.  My attention span was starting to drift.  I got my prescription, headed to the car, and then across the street to Stevie’s pharmacy to get his prescriptions.  I drove through the drive through at that pharmacy, then headed to work, still making good time.

I got to work, dropped my keys in my purse (my second mistake), cracked my window just a little to keep the heat from building up, then got out of the car to go around and pick up my purse and bag of makeup goodies and carry them in.  I pushed the lock down and slammed the door shut.

Have you ever done something, made a mistake, and felt like you were standing back and watching someone else do some dumb ass thing in slow motion? 

That is how I felt as I watched the door swing shut.  Just as the door went “click”, I realized that I had locked everything in the car.  I had changed my routine and made that last dumb  move and shut the door, without making sure I had my keys in my hand.

Now I had a problem.  Stevie Wonder was out of pocket, so I couldn’t call him for help.  I walked into my office, and started trying to arrange to get someone to break into my car.  Then my mum surfaced in me.  She raised me to be independent, and that attitude, along with being married since the Stone Age to Stevie Wonder the Tool Wizard, made me decide I could deal with this myself.

I thought about how to approach this.  This was the planning stage.  Like making a blueprint in my head.  Once I figured that out I assembled my tools:
1. a flexible steel yardstick
2. a paper clip
3. duct tape

Now if you live in the south, you know most of us call it duck tape.  That is just the way we roll.  This tape is so versatile that it should be a staple in all emergency kits and households.  I assembled my tools and taped a paper clip to the end with several pieces of duct tape.  I proceeded to the car, slid the yardstick down inside the window and flipped the lock open on the third try.

Three things saved me that day:
1. duct tape
2. determination
3. leaving my window cracked that crucial inch

I never crack my window, but I did that day.  For the same reason I dropped my keys in my purse.  I was thinking with the left side of my brain.

Sometimes being unorganized works out for the better.

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