just my thoughts


Leave a comment

talk the walk

My sisters were walking up a flight of stone steps recently, oblivious to me watching them as they walked upward, heads together, chattering away. It was a gorgeous sunny day in California,and we had stopped at a winery. I watched them talking, noticing how the sunlight danced around them, creating a halo of light around their heads. It was a special moment for me, and I snapped them as they continued to ascend the stairway.

Today is day 28 of NaBloPoMo, and the prompt was ACTION. Although it can be portrayed many ways, I chose to use this photo of my sisters and include a haiku. The action may be more subtle, but the light, the contrast, and their movement is action in any sense of the word. How do you portray action in your photos? 

I used three apps to edit this photo. Snapseed (my #1 app), VSCO cam, and Color Cap for the text. Three more days to go in this month’s challenge to blog daily. It’s been uphill at times, but sometimes it helps to have a goal and routine to help deal with the unknown factors in life that pop up.

…life is full of action… ~cath
i am @jonesbabie on twitter


Leave a comment

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


2 Comments

where is your nose and lip?

my missing nose and lip

I love photography and technology.  They are my addiction.  Put that together with my iPhone and the myriad apps out there, and you have a recipe for disaster.  Or a family joke.  For me, today, it’s the latter.

My sister Vicky loves to tease me about my photo edits.  Especially when I take a selfie and tweak it.  It’s all in good fun, and we always have a laugh about it.  One thing my sisters and I can do is take a poke in fun.

Today I am poking her.  Her latest comment about this photo I posted to Facebook was: “where’s your nose and upper lip?”

 Obviously it’s in edit limbo.  But I got to tweaking some of her Facebook photos and decided to return the favor and put hers in the same place mine went. 🙂

 So, here’s to you my favorite middle sister.  Your beauty shines through it all, because it radiates from your heart.

where’s your nose and lip?
vix and dooj

…nothing compares to sisters. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter


4 Comments

concoction

Last night I cooked supper for Steve.  I had been trying a recipe I didn’t have time for during the holidays, so I decided since I had dessert, I would really shock the s**t out of him and cook a main course.  I am a simple person when it comes to cooking.  I believe in using the fewest pots possible to make a meal.  I measure my success in cooking in the amount of dishes I DON’T dirty…weird I know but since I have never had a dishwasher, there is a method to my madness.

I looked in the fridge and saw some leftover cheese dip I had made.  Aha! I thought to myself, I’ll make a concoction and save pots and be thrifty at the same time (i.e., using leftovers and not throwing them away), in effect killing two birds with one stone.

con·coc·tion
kənˈkäkSHən/
noun
  1. 1.
    a mixture of various ingredients or elements.
    “a concoction of gables, shingles, stained glass, and towers inspired by English medieval houses”
    synonyms: mixturebrewpreparationpotion

    “a concoction containing gin and vodka”
    “a strange concoction of folk pop and Gregorian chant”


So I took the cheese dip out (it had ground beef in it, always a starting point for any concoction), boiled some noodles (it was either noodles or spaghetti pasta, and I felt egg noodles would be more aesthetically pleasing).  Then I tossed them all together in the same pot I had boiled the noodles in (after draining off the noodle water of course).  Voila, dinner and dessert and I didn’t even break a sweat.

As I made the concoction, I thought about how the word came into being in our family.  It is a word my sisters will understand the moment they see this post.  What does this word mean to me?

It is how I learned to cook.  When I was about 13 or 14, my mother was on a journey of self discovery.  She was a good cook, but never wanted anyone helping her in the kitchen, and so I knew nothing about cooking.  Somehow, when mom and dad divorced and mother went to work, I chose the task of cooking for my sisters and I.  Don’t ask me why, because it was long before I knew about Julia Child.  In fact, I didn’t even know how to boil water.  That was the first thing I learned to do, and it was about that time I started drinking tea.  I had tried coffee with milk and sugar but mom had told me that if I was going to drink coffee, I had to drink it black.  So that stopped my coffee drinking cold, and I fell in love with tea.  Milk and sugar of course, which for some reason didn’t offend mom’s sensibilities.  It’s a habit I still have.  

After I learned to boil water, I began to think of ways to cook something we could actually eat.  I decided to started with ground beef.  That was almost always the base for my concoctions.  After that I tossed in whatever we had in the pantry.  But the magic began the first time I spotted the spice rack and decided to “spice” it up.  I knew spaghetti had spices, and so did a lot of other recipes.  I wasn’t working with a recipe, so I decided to just let my imagination guide me.

My sisters will say straight up that my imagination caused epic failures much of the time. There were times what I cooked was delicious, or at least palatable.  Then there were the times the girls thought I was trying to poison them. 

I can hear them laughing as they read this.  What started out as an experiment in learning for me, brought us all closer.  Along the way, we learned to rely on ourselves, and that we could do anything we set our minds to.  An attitude that persists to this day in all three of us.

What a memory.  What marvelous times we had, and we didn’t even realize it at the time.

See you soon Vix and Dooj…and I’ll make you a concoction while I am there.  I’ve improved just a bit over the years. xo  

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


5 Comments

my best friends forever

All our lives, but especially since adulthood and separation from each other, my sisters and I have been connected by an invisible thread.  I can be thinking about one or both of them, and I’ll get a call.  The same is true of me calling them.  It can’t be explained and I am not trying to.  It just exists.

Dooj mentioned something on Facebook the other day about needing to stay offline because of something the doctor had advised.  I saw it and left a humorous but sarcastic comment on her Facebook, then started worrying and decided to leave a message on her cell.  Immediately after I did that I called the middle sister, Vix, to see what she knew.  She usually knows everything that is going on.  Sure enough, she did.  But the first words out of her mouth were:

“I’ve been thinking a lot about you the past few days.  I knew you’d call.”

Bingo.  The connection.  There it was again.  We talked about Dooj, she reassured me it was probably nothing to worry about, and we chatted on for a while, catching up on our daily lives.

Eventually Dooj called back, and reassured me as well.  It seems we share a similar medical condition right now, caused by the type of work we do (a lot of computer work).  We compared treatments, discussed it, and before we ended the conversation, she mentioned that she was sending me a little something, as well as sending a little something to Vix, and my daughters.  I really didn’t think anymore about it until yesterday.

Steve and I heard people talking in our front yard after dark.  This is alarming, because we know our neighbors and live on a dead end road.  When we checked, it turned out to be the FedEx person, who had trouble finding our house (NOT the first time that has happened).  She gave Steve the box and he handed it to me.  “It’s for you” he said.  I couldn’t figure out why I would be getting a large box since I wasn’t expecting anything (my memory of the conversation with Dooj having failed at that point).  Then I opened the box:

As I unwrapped and opened the things inside, I was overwhelmed.  Then I read the note Dooj had put inside:

She knew (both sisters did) that I’d been going through a tough time, one of the hardest of my life.  It’s affected my mind, and my body, and made getting through many days a challenge.  I haven’t elaborated to my sisters, but they knew.  Because we know each other.  They sensed my needs without a word from me.  How do I know this?  Because the very same day I got the box, this arrived in the mail from Vix:

The card was the hug I needed.  I felt last night that I had been hugged by both my sisters.  They knew.

They DO know.  I don’t know what I would do without them.  They are my best friends, my rocks.  The only way I can express how I feel is with the words from a favorite poem of mine, by e. e. cummings:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you


here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart


i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
                                                   -e. e. cummings

Thank you sissies.  I love you Debra Kay and Vicky Lynne.  Always and forever.

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


2 Comments

girls’ moment


 {this moment} – A weekly ritual.  A photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A moment in time I want to capture, to savor and remember.


“This Moment” is a ritual I found on Pamanner’s Blog, via Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama.  Check out their blogs, and if you are moved too, please leave a link to your Moment in the comment box below.

life is good…
~cath
Twitter @jonesbabie