just my thoughts

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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 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

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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

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


the art of communication, and other stuff

One of the funniest things I have observed in my lifetime is how kids learn to communicate.  From that first “dada” to ” Dad can I have the car tonight?” they spend their whole lives trying to get their ideas across to parents and grandparents in a way that will score them what they seek.  My grands are no different, and a couple recent incidents proved that to me.

I got a call the other day.  Normally this would be fine, but I had a busy week at work and had laid down to catch a quick nap in the early afternoon on Saturday.  Just as  drifted into lala land, my phone rang.  Because I am on call on the weekends, I had to answer the phone.  I was not a happy camper.

It was Maddie.  Practicing her phone skills.  On me.  When I least felt like assisting her.  But because I adore her, I decided I would make the effort.  And I did.  Sort of.

Maddie: hey Grammy!
Me: hey Maddie.
Maddie: whatcha doin?
(I hate this question, usually from Stevie Wonder, when it is obvious what I am doing because he is standing looking at me.  Then I realized Maddie couldn’t see me, so I calmed down.)
Me: well I was taking a nap.
Maddie: where is Gramps?  (this was when I realized it was Gramps she wanted to talk to and I was her second choice.)
Me: he went to town to do some shopping.
Maddie: oh.
Me: what are you doing?
Maddie: well I am sitting here watching TV and decided I was going to call and see how you and Gramps were.
Me: oh.  (At this point I am done assisting her with her phone skills and I let dead air take over.  I am going to kill this call with silence.  I also hear Jen snickering in the background on the other end.)
Maddie: (after a long pause) well I guess I will let you go Grammy.  Tell Gramps I called.
Me: ok Mad I will.
Maddie: oh, and tell him I love him!
Me: ok Mad I will.
Maddie: and umm…I love you too Grammy!
Me: I love you too Mad. Bye.
Maddie: bye!!

Maybe you are thinking I failed at facilitating this conversation, but as sleepy as I was, Maddie was lucky I did more than grunt a few “uh huhs”.

That same weekend, Steve and Jim double teamed me and set John in motion.  John loves to give kisses.  He sucks in his cheeks and makes big fishy lips, and will smack you with those fish lips, right in the mouth.  No cheek sugar for this boy.  I usually love to get these fish kisses, but on Saturday, Steve had John in the garden, and gave him a tomato, which John proceeded to eat, like an apple.  By the time he made it to the house, he had the tomato in a death grip in his hand half eaten  There was tomato juice puddled in his hand, and running down his arm I noticed.  The juice was dripping on the carpet I noticed.  Jim came in the door right behind John.  I was sitting on the couch. 

Jim: give Grammy a kiss John.
SW: yeah big boy give your Grammy a big kiss.
(This was all the encouragement John needed.  I looked up at his face as he came toward me.  And noticed tomato juice and seeds on his face, dripping off his chin.  I draw the line at second hand food, and threw my arms out and said “NO!” in a loud voice.  It was pure instinctive reaction.  And I saw John’s mouth drop open in shock and disbelief.  And dismay.  That was when I realized he had never been denied a kiss.  And at the same time I realized I wasn’t going to be the first one to tell him no, and make him cry.)

Me: ok, come give Grammy a kiss… (I braced myself)
John: ok! kiss!  (and he proceeded with a big grin and gave me a big wet kiss, which left me with tomato juice and seeds on my face, dripping off of my chin…)
Me: oh that was the BEST kiss ever!  (ok, sometimes a Grammy has to lie to salvage the conversation…and all this time Jim and SW were laughing their heads off, enjoying it all a bit too much.)

What a Grammy won’t do for her grand kids…giving up sleep and hygiene for them…that is dedication…

I am adding this last picture because it means so much to me…a recent trip Jen and I made to California.  She was on business, and joined me at my sister’s house, then we flew home together.  Usually I am flying solo, so this was a treat.  So was watching her purchase a blanket and pillow, then realizing she had to inflate herself when we got to our seats.  Priceless. 😀

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


my social disease

First posted on 2/10/2011, this social disease has grown to monstrous levels I fear.  I have added Pinterest to share and reshare all those to-die-for ideas out there, Instagram to share all those to-die-for photos I take, Hipstamatic (more photo sharing), Stumble Upon so I can discover more things to share, and Google+ to share the stuff I share on other social media.  There is Twitterfeed to share the blogs I love, and I have just begun to delve into Empire Avenue.  I am not sure what the heck that one is about.  But I have accumulated hundreds of thousands of “eaves” because people I don’t know buy shares of whatever it is I am selling.  This is beginning to look like a twisted convoluted jungle.  Is there an end in sight?  I am not sure.  Some days I feel overwhelmed and wonder what I would be doing if I wasn’t using all this social media.  Then I see something new, and it sparks the creativity in me, and off I go in another direction.  So the adventure continues… 😀

I am amazed at social networking.  At how everything links together, how we can communicate every thought (Twitter), connect with friends and family, their friends and family, and the friends and family of the friends and family of ours and theirs (Facebook).  I can chat online in Facebook, and on MSN Messenger or Yahoo Messenger with different people.  At the same time.  I am a multitasker you say?  Well yes.  But I was a multitasker before all this, the person in my family who could read a book, watch television, and talk on the phone at the same time.

Confused?  Well so am I, with how these programs all overlap and tie in to each other.  I have 2 laptop computers (a mini for travelling and its predecessor that was just a bit too heavy to lug thousands of miles while I was working in other places), a desktop computer, and an iPhone.  Between these I have downloaded and used:

1. Twitter- computer
2. Hootsuite- computer (for Twitter)
3. Hootsuite- iPhone
4. Tweetdeck- computer
5. Tweetdeck- iPhone
6. Twittelator- iPhone
7. Facebook- iPhone
8. Facebook- computer
9. IM Pro- iPhone (ties Twitter, Facebook, and MSN Messenger together in one app)
10. MSN Messenger- chat
11. Yahoo Messenger- chat
12. Paltalk- yakkity yakkity yak…

Then there is Blogger for the two blogs I write, Flickr for the photos I take, Google Reader for reading all the blogs I follow, Networked Blogs for linking most of those blogs together.  And the list goes on.

If I had to draw it, it would look something like this:

Pretty shocking isn’t it?  And I am sure I have forgotten a couple {dozen} programs I use occasionally.  I find that what started out as one small program has blossomed and runs the risk of becoming a runaway train with no brakes.

So I try to limit myself somewhat.  OK, I’m lying.  I limit my time with Steve…I mean I give him some time every day.  That is why it takes me a bit of time to catch up on my day off, to overdose on the computer, which is usually on Fridays.  And of course that means that after a hard day on the computer, being social with everyone who I can get to interact with me, I need my Friday night #wineparty on Twitter. 

I may sound whiny, but I am not whining.  I find some fascinating people on here (with the occasional horse’s ass appearing and getting squashed with a click of my mouse).  But for the most part, my online experiences have been so positive that I get the warm fuzzies thinking about it.  And look forward to tomorrow.

Friday.  My day to be social.  To let my disease run amok.  Will this social disease ever run its course?  Well it hasn’t in the hmmm, almost 10 years since I discovered my first interactive chat and file sharing program (Direct Connect, or DC++ as we called it).  And I still keep in touch with some of those friends I made years ago.  Wonderful people.

So I would say I am happily terminal.  But I am also colonized with the germs of this social disease.  So watch out, if you come in contact with me.  You may become contaminated with the same disease.  But no worries, you’ll have lots of company.  On Twitter, Facebook, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Blogger, Flickr, and blah blah blah….

See you in cyberspace.  Live long and prosper.



being kreativ, la segunda parte

Tonight I finish the lists I started yesterday…that would be 5 more blogs I follow along with 5 things about myself.

First, the blogs…
6. The Titanic Swim Team– written by Steve Harris, I picked up the blog by clicking on a link on another blog (see what I mean about checking out those blogrolls!) and have been following him as he and his wife spend several months in Honduras volunteering with Mercy International to build homes for the poor.  It has been a fascinating story, and you have to love someone who can live in rustic conditions and still manage to post blog updates.  Check it out.  You won’t regret it.
7. Derek’s Home and Business Blog– I have gained some really good tips reading this blog.  Tech stuff for adding things to my blog, and all kinds of things related to social media and business…he writes in a relaxed down to earth style, and adds some nice personal touches too.  Give him a spin and a comment if you enjoy his blog like I do.
8. Angus Wilson Studio– I found and liked this person’s Facebook page.  One of those recommendations you get on the little old side bar you mostly ignore.  Only I didn’t that day, and I am so glad.  The artist in me loves his style…crisp lines, vibrant colors, he reminds me of my favorite Impressionist Van Gogh, but puts new life into the method.  Take a look and see if you don’t respond to his art….
9. Rabin Photography: “One Million Tulips“- this is a photography blog…with stunning photos…it is one of the blogs I have followed the longest, and his photography speaks volumes.
10. Some Days or Now– this is one of the first blogs I followed, and if you follow the link you will see why.  Deanne is on hiatus from blogging I believe to focus on herself, but if you read her last entry and watch the video, you will see why I found her blog so captivating and touching.

I hope you enjoy the blogs I shared…there are many more, and after sharing these I will try to add a link to some of my posts so that you can check out other blogs.

I have to tell you 5 more things about me.  It would be easy to share the positive things, but I am going to track down a different road and share some not so positive things.  If I am going to share, I feel I need to share the warts on the behind of the fairy princess…

6. I can be cruel to my family at times.  I feel safe and loved, and this unleashes my tongue in a very bad way at times.  I have come to believe that it isn’t always ok to say what you think to your family because you think they are stuck with you and should take it.  It is just too easy to forget that and say some things that cut.  Case in point, I said some things recently to a well loved sister that still haunt me.  We talked things through and have moved on, but I will have to chew on this a while to absorb the full lesson from the pain I caused her.
7. I am a dynamo at work, but can be a real slug at home.  Home is like a cave to me and at the end of a work week I just want to hibernate.  But unwinding that much makes it hard to wind back up the next week for work…I seem to have a hard time finding a productive middle ground.  Of course when the grandkids come, sluggo comes alive.  There is no vegetating with 3 kids 6 and under.
8. Horror movies and roller coaster type thrill rides give me a rush of adrenaline that makes me physically ill.  I feel like a monster.  That is why I never worked in the ER or ICU as a nurse.  I hate adrenaline rushes.
9. I don’t want to end up like my favorite grandmother, dying a slow death from dementia.  It was the fear she voiced to me most often, and it was what happened to her ultimately.  I have seen too much dementia, and I would rather die fast and suddenly than to linger. 
10. I kick walls when I get angry.  Luckily I have a boss who lets me vent like that in his office, and if I do it here at the house, I make sure I don’t leave scuff marks or holes in the wall.

So now you know some of my blog loves, and some of my warts.  This was a bit hard to write, but I hope you enjoy what you have read.  Or that at least you aren’t disgusted.  😀

We all have warts, we all like different types of blogs and have different interests, and that makes life a challenge sometimes.  But I think it is what spins this blue marble we live on.

And maybe, just maybe, I have learned a bit more about myself by putting these thoughts into words.  Thanks to you all for reading.