Saturday, July 24, 2010

My Work of Art

In the last year Angela has started doing flowers for weddings and such and I have beheld arrangements that stop my breath, or stop my steps as I study each bud and petal and marvel at her genius in flower design. This year I've luxuriated in blooms.

Angela is on vacation now and the house is bereft of flowers. I took to my yard in need of a flower fix. I picked a few "Double Delight" roses and placed them in the glass bottles I've saved for fifteen years, as their shape and hue delighted me. These glasses are a permanent fixture in my kitchen window, mostly empty, but often filled with a few flowers or leaves of the seasons.

So, today I placed the roses in their places above my sink, looking out through my window. Joy crept through my veins as a truth rang out. These humble arrangements throughout the years have given me greater joy than even the most marvelous of compositions. They have brightened my spirit, enlivened my senses, and soothed my sometimes heavy soul. Countless times I have come to my window, either purposely or by chore, and I am caught by a joy though simple, is pure and lasting.

Angela is the "Monet" of flower art, and I am a child with her tempura paint, and though I delight in the artist, I am content with my painting.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Favorite Quote

I ran across this quotation one day years ago and my heart recognized the truth. This is my favorite quote of all time and because I keep losing it and then having to search for months, I am putting down on a blog so I'll always have it when I need it. I hope it will find another heart for it's home by my pasteing it here on these pages.

I love you all.


Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and

try to love the questions themselves . . .Do not . . . seek the

answers, which cannot be given you because you would not

be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live

the questions now. Perhaps; you will . . .gradually, without

noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.


Letters to a young poet

Norton 1934, 1935.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

We Are Not Birds Of Prey!

It happened! The best parental lecture I've ever heard or witnessed, happened in my home Sunday morning. I hear all you nay sayers out there thinking, "couldn't match the lecture of '04.......ya da ya da.....," whatever, I know what I heard and I can't deny it.

I'll lay out the setting for you:

James and Chase bored
James and Chase invent new game - "Battlefield"
James winning battle every time, duh, he's 3 years older
Chase no longer happy and attacks with full strength, (note: although he uses teeth, kicking, slugging, etc., for some reason doesn't pull out the scratching this time.)
James unfortunately doesn't use any of the above, but scratching - hence - he's the one that is in trouble. (note: burdens of a first child, to be addressed in different blog.)

Now to THE moment - Angela sees scratches and calls the boys in for the umpteenth lecture on how fighting isn't okay! But this time she pulls a real zinger out of her repertoire,


Unfortunately I can not give you the rest of the story. My twisted mind immediately took off for the computer, although I haven't written a blog in over a year, I knew in that moment inspiration had come at last.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Paralyzed With Awesomeness"

A favorite saying at our house, originated by James, of course, but usually used by Chase, goes something like this..."Hey, Grammy come'ere quick, you GOT to see this, you'll be "Paralyzed With Awesomeness." So I started thinking shouldn't everyone in their life have many many moments when they are totally "Paralyzed With Awesomeness?"
Sadly at that particular moment I couldn't think of anything. Pretty ungrateful for a 50ish woman. But then....Haloween happened and Weston came down from Utah with his parents, and the three kids got ready for tricks or treats, and I saw them there sitting on the couch. Ninja Warrior, Cuddly Bear, and (my favorite costume ever) Pollen Jock. And indeed, I was Paralyzed With Awesomeness.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My First Uluru Moment

For Christmas Roy got a giant book with different wonders of the world. As he was flipping throught the pages he uttered, "Ayers Rock, (pronunciation with a long A). James as he was pausing in his passing of presents looked over Bompa's shoulder and amazed me for now and for all times with, "I believe Bompa, it is pronounced "Iyers Rock also known as.....", he then lowers his voice when he notices people have stopped in their unwrapping and are looking at him quizzically. Ben encourages him, "What, James, also known as what?"

He then opens his mouth and utters..."Uluru."

Then he's off to the next present. Meanwhile we all look around a little bewildered, until somebody, I can't remember who, gets up and goes to research on their own. A few minutes later we quietly, without embarassing James, pass around our new found knowledge. (Apparently not so new to James)
Uluru,(pronounced oo-la-roo), is in fact a giant rock, 5 miles around and who knows how high somewhere in the middle of Australia. It is called "Ayers Rock", (yes, the "a" pronounced as a long "i") and the Aborigines call it Uluru.

Whenever anything happens in the rest of my life, where I learn something absolutely unheard of yet amazing....I will call it an, "Uluru Moment."
Thank you James, you never fail to amaze and entertain me. I love you, you little Uluru, you.

Do You Have It In You?

We recently watched "The Wizard of Oz" with the grandboys, and Chase has really taken a fascination to the whole thing. Last night he went into my room put on some red sandals, Roy's cowboy hat and came out with,"I'm the Wicked Witch, now I need a broom." But when Angela found a facsimile of a broom, Chase looked resigned and shook his head, "No, mom...I can't be the Wicked Witch, I just don't have that laugh in my body."
Perhaps it says something freudian about my character, but I DO have a wicked witch laugh in my body. It has been coming out since I was a little girl, scaring my animals and friends, then later when I had children....some were mesmerized but shaken and would ask for it again and again; and some flat out, would shut any book with a witch in it, afraid I might let loose. Angie told Chase to ask Grammy if she had a wicked witch laugh...the result...his eyes widened as he shrunk in size and has not asked me again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Big Bess

Look at my new PINK beach cruiser!!!! I am sooooo excited, I got a bicycle and I haven't ridden a bicycle in about eight years. It even has a basket! Because it's a girl bike, I can ride it in my skirts/jumpers and I feel just like the Wicked Witch of the West, carrying away "that little dog ToTo", I can even hear the I pedal away.
The one problem - the last time I rode a bike I crashed spectacularly - body flying over the handle bars - landing head and chest first with such speed the I hit and bounced a few times before I stopped. It was ugly. I replay it often in my head, and not only was it ugly, it was pitiful.
I really haven't ridden a bike much, even when I was a little girl. What caused the accident was when I tried to move from the road to the sidewalk, I sort of leaned a little to the right, (kind of like changing lanes) only this doesn't work for bikes, I found out belatedly.
I know you are thinking, "What kind of idiot is this?" Yeah...well...I don't have a real answer for that one. Many people including my husband have often wondered what transpires in the mysterious realms of my mind. pink enthusiasm...first ride around the block...
You guessed it, I didn't even make it around the block before I crashed (this time an embarrassing crash in front of the road workers, but no bodily harm)
This is where my hero comes in. BEN! Yes, my son, with great patience, and enthusiasm coached me for the next hour on how to ride a bike. Within the safety of our little "Willows Neighborhood" I cruised and recruised the streets until, even the road workers could see that I had, if not mastered, at least become competent on this PINK cruiser. I LOVE IT!!!! No kidding, I am sooooo jazzed, excited, giddy and over the moon for "Big Bess" - my new PINK bike. And for my hero - Big Ben.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The flies that circle in my house are not as cute as the fly on the above pencil, and hence the violence which befalls them will not be as shocking if you try and picture those nasty, black, germ filled buzzing insects that fly into your food or eye. And we all know where those sticky, prickly feet have recently been; does fecal matter come to mind? (a new phrase used by my second son to annoy me)
"Hand me a Towel!", I scream, when I see that sickening menace. As if by instinct, I grab the closest towel, or piece of cloth that I can put my hands on and then I take to flailing about with uncontrolled passion. The cloth smacks the kitchen counter and knocks down the mixmaster, the loaf of bread, and assorted utensils.
Unsuccessful - Curses!
I next whomp the window sill, knocking down my beloved shells, beloved crystals, and beloved Tiffany glass rendering. You see, even my treasured collections are not safe when the almost insane frenzy of murder overtakes me.
Unsuccessful - Rats!
Don't worry, no loss of worldly goods will stop me on my quest for...
at this point Roy pins my arms to my side and eventually calms me as he persuades me that he has a better record than me, and so I resignedly pass the towel.
The fly is killed, time passes, and the next day I hear-
"Hand me a towel!", Chase, my 3 yr. old grandson bellows. Oooooooh what joy consumes my bosom knowing that important traditions are being passed along.

Friday, August 1, 2008

An Elated Grammy Kate!

Weston Joshua Earl is here on earth. He came two weeks early, weighing 6lbs. 4oz., and he looks just like his proud papa. He has a strong spirit of peace and something else I can't put my mind around, but when you hold him in the night when everythings quiet, the strength of feeling is almost palpable in the room. Getting to know this little lad will be a joy!

Emily and Josh are thrilled and Emily has a hard time unwrapping her arms around her treasure, although she is generous in sharing, I can tell she feels empty when he's not tucked up against her - probably cause for 9 months he's been tucked and smushed and it's natural for both of them.

I'll e-mail a site where everyone can look at more photos - cause of course, he's gorgeous.

Thank you for everyone who has been so kind and sweet to my Emily, I feel so blessed to know others care and look after her.
Love All of You!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Sorrowful Obsession

I have a need to make things better. Consequently, I often act impulsively to fix, or heal, and live to regret it. I "take on" a needy family, befriending them only to learn down the line that their problems are too complicated to ever resolve, but have unwittingly created their unhealthy dependence on me.

I once jumped out of the car to rescue a beaten prostitute, hauling her into my van not knowing her pimp was tailing us and more importantly, that she was mentally unstable, as she stripped to show us her weapons of nails and broken glass. Another time I jumped out of the car on a freezing winter day to give my coat to a coatless pre-teen on her way to school, only to scare her to death as she thought I was trying to kidnap her. (the fact that she spoke no English didn't help)

So, you are probably getting the picture. Dogs are another object of my sorry obsession. Every dog we have ever owned has been in need of rescuing because no one else was crazy enough to take on the load of problems. Poopie (we did not name him), a 11 year old beagle with serious mental problems. Jimmy, neglected from birth, the vet advised us to take him back. Muffin, who was sooo mentally slow, we ended up giving him to the crazy neighbors next door, which was a punishment no living thing deserved.

There are countless others, but the last and saddest attempt at being a savior involved my beloved dog, Captain Tanyon. Captain Tanyon was 9 months old and terrified of everything and everybody. He crawled in on his belly and quivered out of reach. Instead of choosing one of the six, healthy, socialized and happy puppies crawling all over me, I took home Tanyon. I was advised by two experts to return him. No matter what I did, they feared he would turn into a fearful/aggressive dog. I was convinced my love could conquer all. I did not conquer anything, but my heart. I loved this dog, as I have rarely loved anything other than my children and grandchildren. Tanyon, in turn, adored me. Other than Roy, he tolerated everyone else and took a immediate dislike to Ben. The whole relationship was so unhealthy that everyone, even an amateur psychologist could point out the potential disaster. Everyone, except me.

Long story - short...Tanyon turned on my grandson James, biting him twice. We returned Tanyon to the breeder and my heart has seemed empty every since. As Tanyon foamed at the mouth, in terror, sensing what was moments away, I felt my obsession had done more harm than good for all involved, especially this dog as he looked at me with pleading eyes to save him once more, only this time I couldn't. There is a lesson to be learned here, but I'm too bruised to learn it quite yet.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

water balloons and bubbles

I know it's been a long time, but here goes...

Summer officially begins for me when Chase
demands, "Time for water balloons, Grammy?", actually it started at 2yrs with, "Ga,Ga, boons, Grammy?" and, at 3yrs, is now, "Gwater bawoons, Gram?"
Also blowing bubbles is high on the summer, have tos. This year Angie got a fancy balloon gun that was loads of fun. Jumping on the trampoline with a sprinkler squirting underneath saved us on our first 100 degree days.

Whole days can be spent in the backyard with a small trickle of water, a bucket to catch it, and hundreds of water balloons filled-then broken, filled-then broken, filled-then broken. But this year our starting day began with a slight deviation from the norm. After tens of balloons met their demise throughout the yard, Chase suddenly took a liking to a baby orange balloon. He cradled it and then paced around the yard searching, until he found just the right spot, under the base of a fern. He gently placed the gwater bawoon, with a..."you wait right there, kay?" Then with his head and arms leaning against the cherry tree, he started counting...."1, 2, 3, 7, 12, 5, 6...weddy or not, you be caught!" Amazingly, Chase searched everywhere in the backyard, until at last he found the orange gwater bawoon right under the fern..."Oh, there you are," he exclaims with a giggle . The giggle at the end is what sealed this experience as one of my favorites.

So.....what are you up to this summer?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Meet Eve

After waiting over 30 years, since I owned my first home, I finally planted an Acer Palmatum, or, Japanese Maple. Around the corner from my home is a beautiful maple tree, that in the spring puts forth a "born again" green, lacy leaf that delights me. I pick one every spring and put it in between glass, mount it, and proudly display this essence of spring in a frame. After several years of this rite of spring, my children asked me, "Mom, why do you keep displaying a marijuana leaf in our front room?" How would I know? I've never even seen marijuana, unlike my experienced children. Yet, even though they protest, I still continued displaying my beautiful spring leaf. And now I have one of my very own, NO, not a marijuana plant----a maple tree.

You'll think me extremely silly, but I even got teary eyed when it was finally planted. I'm somewhat romantic and sentimental about nature, and this toddler tree will mature into a majestic and mystical specimen, just "ripe for the imagination", as Anne of Green Gables would say. In fact, Anne would probably christen this tree something like..."Flora of Emerald Isle"...but, I've decided to call her "Eve." Kathy, the tree expert, explained to us that this particular specie of tree is the mother of all the hundreds of varieties of Japanese Maples. Every new specie is a graft from this type of maple. Wow, my tree is the mother of all the maples, I shall call her Eve.

Friday, March 28, 2008

James and his phrases.

James is my wonderful and very Einsteinian grandson. One of the best parts of my day is hearing some of his unique phrases. For example: I'm driving down the road and he says with a sigh, "I live in dread of Thursdays." Did I mention that James is 6 yrs. old? Apparently Thursday is an early day and he dislikes getting up early. On another drive, when Grammy (me) was getting him to school late out came, " I absolutely loathe getting to school late, you know. "Yes, loathe, was the word he used.
He cracks me up. But today when I was walking through an empty and quiet house, I noticed a note written by James, on the floor, with no hint of what it was, or whom it was to.


was alone----on a page-----with the discarded pen underneath.
It was a little eerie, cause what 6 yr. old knows that phrase, and what would a six year old be "readily admitting?" Was he getting ready to beg his little brothers forgiveness for teasing him (who can't read/ so perhaps a bad theory)?
Or was he ready to admit to some dark secret he's been keeping for days and can only admit to by writing and leaving the note, anonymously, in a random spot? Yet, at the last minute, he can't make the full confession, hence - WHAT? READILY ADMIT WHAT??? The suspense is torment.

Living with James, is anything but dull. If only I could transfer a few of his brain cells to me, I'd be tossing out phrases with the best of the phrase tossers. (phrase tossers? is that a legit term?)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Who Are We Really?

When I purchased this azalea plant
every bloom was a deep fuschia, and it bloomed for two years as a fuschia azalea bush. Then one year I noticed a lighter pink bloom. "How exciting," I thought, "...what a fabulous plant." The following year - white blooms. "Now wait a minute. Is this a schizophrenic azalea bush?"

Every day I walk by this fascinating bush and enjoy that one plant displays three distinctly different colors, and I wonder at the cause. Is it the soil? Too acidic? Too alkaline? Or is it the root system? Or perhaps the cause is in the very DNA of the plant. (Assuming of course, that plants have DNA). As my mind tends to do, I started drawing life metaphors from the sight before me.

It is always interesting when I visit Utah because most people know me as the "Cathy" they saw growing up, aka, the fuschia bloom. I'm now in a blinding white stage, but I realize I went through a light pink stage also. Also, many of the close friends in California are used to my light pink personality, and have failed to pick up the subtle clues that I am definitly more white these days. To defy all logic, my children look at me and see an orange bloom. My very own flesh and blood fail to see any pink, white or fuschia, and insist I'm through and through orange.

What I find to be my own personal truth, is although I may have been all three colors at one time or another, I'm ultimately a little of all of them, occasionally bursting forth with a major pink day, or surprising myself by the whiteness I displayed in a situation, where, dog-gone-it, I thought I'd given up that white mentality. Remember in Disney's Pocahontas, where she sings - You can't step in the same river twice, the rivers always changing, always flowing...Right On!...come to think of it most of my life philosophies can usually be summed up by Disney songs. (After raising 5 children I spent way more time with Disney than I did with Freud ) Ahhh...I to "The Tale of the Changing Blooms", who knows, maybe my children do know me best and next spring, sure enough, I'll walk out my front door and I'll behold a vibrant orange azalea.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Having fun in Paris

I can't think of anything more beautiful or joyful than my Abigail in "I'm full of life and I've just got to leap" mode. I wish all of you could see what a beautiful dancer she is. I feel soooo guilty that I never put her in dance classes, she has a gift. She moves with perfect feeling to music. And besides, she's got the best booty for shaking I've seen, since Beyonce. She's a little shy though, so if you see her, don't come right out and ask her to shake it for you. You are gonna have to warm her up with some good music; talk about nature, art, and poetry, then - bang - you'll have her doing anything you want - (of a pure and refined nature, of course)

NOTE* This blog, is not meant for any young men looking to court said booty shaker.