Welcome!

Welcome to my blog. Thanks for coming! One day I hope my little piece of internet real estate will be home to lots of family photos, pictures of my scrapbook and card art, with some random thoughts and memories posted on a somewhat regular basis. Mostly my world is very predictable, but occasionally some excitement will find me, so visit often. Who knows what useful (or useless) information you may find here.

cathyb

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

ScrapMania

Finally- Two weeks after the fact- I'm getting some photos posted of our Girls' Trip to Highlands. DJ, Del, Barb and I left Wednesday afternoon and headed up the road ("up" being the operative word here.) You know how when you're driving around in the mountains and you look waaaaay up and see houses perched at the peak of the mountain? Yep. That's where we were. Up and up we drove, around swervy, curvy, hairpin turns, far into the clouds, until finally we arrived at our turnoff-- just a teeny little one-way road that was at least a 70 degree grade. Well, maybe 30-45. Anyway, it was a very steep, very narrow road (driveway-like). After a trecherous few minutes, we arrived at the house safely, to find it quite frigid inside. We promptly bumped up the thermostat, and were a little nervous when we heard all manner of noises coming from within the bowels of the heating system. Reminiscent of our last trip (where we had no heat at all the first night on another cold winter weekend), we crossed our fingers and prayed that the furnace would hold up. Slowly but surely the icicles melted off our noses and by the next morning we were quite toasty. Come morning, though, we started taking turns bringing in firewood (that Mr. Robert so wisely insisted we take-- Thank you, Mr. Robert!!!). There's a marvelous wood-burning stove in the basement, and we got a fire going pretty early. Once, when it was my turn, I realized that I had locked myself out of the house. I knocked... to no avail... everyone had gone back to the basement. Fortunately, I had my cell phone with me. Fortunately, Delores had her phone in the basement. Let me tell you, it was quite chilly out in the elements in just my jammies. I shudder to think what would have happened if Del hadn't taken her phone downstairs. I could have been gone for days before they missed me. Just a frozen statue on the porch. But at least I was wearing cute jammies. Oh yeah... did I mention the weekend attire? It's very easy to pack (at least our clothes) for our scrap weekends. Anything goes. But usually it's jammies and sweats. I took one pair of jeans and one shirt to wear home and four pairs of jammies. (We do bathe and change into fresh clothes/jammies/sweats) Now. Onto the good stuff. Oh the scrap crap we took on our trip!! We had enough stuff to open a store, I believe! Amazingly, we didn't even take all the stuff we own!! The reason we like to go to this place is because of the huge basement. I shot this first photo sitting at my table in one corner of the basement. There were six of us scrapping, and we all had our tables set up around the perimeter of the room. DJ, Del, Barb and I had our own tables, while Debbie B. and Tangela set up on the ping-pong table. The pool table in the center of the room served as a catch-all and a place for quickie projects. The best thing about this setup? Work as long as you want, walk away from the table and leave the mess until you're ready to come back. Go upstairs and have a snack, a shower, a nap... whatever. Ahhh... this is the life!! And did I mention the snow? We had snow on our last trip too, but it was pretty much gone by morning. This time it snowed a little bit Saturday night, (first photo), then Sunday morning we got up to this.... Isn't it beautiful? It was a MOST fabulous weekend, and we're already looking forward to next year. I love these women so much and it was great to be together for a few days to relax and recharge. Not to mention work on our scrapbooks! Between us all, we got around 200 pages done. That's a lot! DJ and Delores finally convinced me to use the Cricut, and oh my goodness.. now I'm addicted too. I had no idea. (Which is exactly why I have refrained from using it all this time. I can't afford one, can't justify buying one, and didn't want to want one!) It is a right dandy little contraption, though, and Tangela figured out how to use the software that goes with it, and, well... let's just say it's amazing. Thanks a LOT DJ and Del!!!

Here are a few more photos of our trip. You should be able to click on the pictures to enlarge. You'll notice one girl not scrappingm but sitting on the sofa reading. Umm Hmm. That's Marty. This was her first time going away with us. I'm not sure if we inspired her to take up scrapbooking, or if we scared her off for good. She was too busy watching out for bears to get very serious about SBing, though. At any rate, we were delighted to have her along this time. Especially me, because of the amazing trick she introduced me to! Click on the arrow underneath the first photo for a quickie video of the snow falling. You can also hear the neighbor's dogs barking. (Or was that mountaintop wilderness coyotes??)
video
The last photo is all of us girls together. L-R Marty, Delores, Debbie B, Tangela, DJ, Barb and me. (Tangela is standing barefoot in the snow.) Can't wait til next year!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Imogene

By the time I post this, Imogene will probably be in kitty heaven. She was one of the sweetest kitties I ever knew, a lovely gray tabby, and I am so sad to learn that she was to be put down this morning. She was the co-owner of my neighbor JJ, (you know, kitties always think they are the owner and we are their pets) who lived across the street from me when I lived in Winder. She and her litter-mate-brother Fitzgerald moved onto my street a couple of years after I moved in, and we became fast friends. Tommy, JJ's husband, was owned by a lovely Holstein bob-tail kitty named Frizz, who sadly had to be put down last year. Now there's just Fitzgerald to keep them company. Imogene was a diabetic kitty, and it was my pleasure to take care of her insulin shots and special needs when JJ was away. Around four years or so ago, they packed up and moved out to Arkansas, where they bought a little farm, where the kitties had lots of room to roam and play. JJ called me yesterday saying that Imogene had steadily declined, and seemed to be much worse on Friday. She has befriended a veterinarian out in the wilderness country, who has been very attentive to Imogene and came out on Friday and gave her some fluids. She had perked up a little by Saturday, but JJ knew the time had come, and called her friend to arrange for euthanasia this morning. Tommy and JJ never had any little human children, so their four-legged balls of fur have been their babies. Folks who do not have pets just don't get it. Even though I had my own human child, I still always loved my kitties and it grieved me deeply when I would lose one. Imogene was a sweet, gentle, playful, loving little kitty who was happiest curled up in JJs lap, or on her pillow at night. The only thing she asked for was a sparkle ball to bat around when she felt like it, and JJs unconditional love. Sweet little kitty, I hope you are at peace now. May your kitty heaven be filled with sparkle balls! JJ, you'll be okay-- it will hurt for a long time, but you were a very good "pet" for her for 16 years, and though it was a terrible thing to go through, it was the merciful thing to do. I hope you can feel my hugs. I'm thinking of you today.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How Great Is Our God

Wow. A friend of mine sent an e-mail with a link inside. Most of you know that I don't play the "forward" games, and often I don't click on links to funny little stories, simply because I don't have time. (And quite honestly, rarely the inclination.) This particular friend is a woman I met about 12 years ago when I was doing an on-line Bible study class. It was the neatest thing. We'd go into a private chat room, and our leader would give us Scripture. We would take turns "reading" it by typing it into the text box. (Being a transcriptionist, I was the fastest typist, and they loved it when it was my turn to "read"!) Anyway, it was incredible, the cyber friends I made from all corners of the nation, and we "met" every week. The friend I mention above lived in Atlanta, and after phone calls and private e-mails outside of Bible study, we became good friends. I invited her to come stay with me one weekend. My mom just about had a duck. She told me I was crazy-- this woman might be an axe murderer.. and I had to promise to call her and check in with her to let her know that I was indeed still among the living, and hadn't been torn limb from limb by this mad, crazed woman I met on the internet. So we laughed it off and she called herself my axe murderer friend for a long time. She married a minister and several years ago they moved to the cold, frigid northeast- somewhere in Pennsylvania, I believe, to pastor a very small church. The farthest thing from an axe murderer I could imagine, Joyce is a very deeply spiritual woman whose faith has carried her through many heartaches and hard times. Now they struggle with pastoring a very small church in a non-affluent region, and they have truly learned how to live on God's provision, and have trusted Him to supply their needs. All that to say this.... if she sends a link and says it is awesome, that's enough for me. Today I had a little listening time on my hands while cleaning my room, so I clicked on the link to the YouTube video. Awesome doesn't begin to describe it. If you, in any way, are interested, amazed feel reverant to the majestic creations of the universe, you'll enjoy this video very much. It's not a hellfire/brimstone, shame-on-you, send-me-money kind of preacher video. It is very scientific in nature, and even if you are not a believer, I think some of the astronomy and biological information will be interesting. I was enthralled with the videos (there are five separate ones, each from 8-10 minutes long). I invite you to take a look, and be awe-inspired as I was. It's really cool.
Let me know what you think.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Girl Talk

Get it? The content of this post will discuss a particular undergarment worn by females. If you are a male reading this, and you think you might consider it inappropriate, please feel free to stop reading now.

The brassiere. The Bra. Second-Base Covers. Over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder. Bray (long a sound- as per Daddy Bill). Ta-ta toter. Binder (from the movie Trouble With Angels). Boobie Baskets (from the movie Madeline). The Wonder Bra. Hooter Harness. Flopper Stopper. Boob hats. Whatever you choose to call this female version of a jock strap, there are many styles and versions from which to choose. Some women complain about them, and have said they surely must have been invented by a man. I rather doubt that, as most men would probably prefer we did not wear them. At any rate- necessary as they may be, I was recently introduced to an alternative use of this mostly unseen garment. My daughter will often drop Corey's pappy (pacifier) down the front of hers while nursing. (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that {in case you don't know this already} there's all manner of specialty bras, including those for nursing mothers.) This allows her to quickly retrieve said pappy and poke it into his mouth when he decides he is finished nursing. And while that is a very clever use of the bra, the one I recently discovered trumps even that. As you know, I work from home in my pajamas. As you may or may not also know, several months ago, I disconnected my land-line phone. This means that I must keep my cell phone handy, especially while I'm on duty. My jammies do not have pockets. Which means I must be careful to take my cell phone with me any time I am away from my desk. Can you see where I'm going with this??? While on our scrapbook retreat, my dear friend Marty kept patting her sternum one day, and when I asked her about it, she told me she had tucked her cell phone in her bra! What an AMAZING idea!!! I can't believe I didn't think of that myself, what with the pappy-in-Whit's-bra thing! I was so excited that I immediatly tucked my phone into the abyss of my brassiere, where it remained nice, cozy and warm for the duration of my scrapbooking-pajama-wearing weekend. And it works perfectly now that I'm back at home, working in pocketless oblivion. Just don't be alarmed, if you ever stop by and catch me in my jammies, if at any given point in time my boobs start ringing and vibrating. Don't panic or call 911. It's just the phone. Thankfully, I'm eligible for a phone upgrade in March, and I'm hoping to find a phone that doesn't have one of those little stick-antenna thingies....

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Oath Heard Round The World

I paused from my work for a moment today, and turned on the TV just in time to see VP Biden take his oath, and a few moments later, President Obama take his. I was very surprised to find myself all choked up. I did not vote for him, I am still very wary of his platform, and I still think our nation hasn't seen the worst of our troubled times. However, I am an American, and today I was able to look past the things that bother me and realize that, like it or not, Mr. Obama is now the leader of our country, and I must respect his position. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you already know my political views, and my observations on the role race has played in this election, so I won't elaborate here. I will say, though, that watching these two men accept their positions and take their oaths, I was compelled like never before to pray for them individually-- for their protection, for their wisdom, but mostly for their willingness to be malleable in the hands of God so that they may govern to the best of their abilities, in the manner that is best for our country. And I did just that as I watched them being sworn in. Oh yes, I found President Obama's speech quite riveting, and though the cynic in me questions some motives and sincerity, I pray that he will stand true to his promise to "faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God." Okay, so at least Obama added the 'so help me God' part, and that is commendable. But (cynical again) I can't help but wonder if he just did that to placate all the folks who have given him a hard time about some of the things he did/said during his campaign. Oh well, I guess I'm just glad he did it... for whatever his reason. Yeah, we get the whole thing about the slaves building the steps to the capitol and all that. Now, I'll be the first to admit that today was definitely an historical occasion. And I can see how the black population is very, very excited that, as he said in his address, a man who 60 years ago wouldn't have been served in most restaurants, can now be President. Yes, that is incredible. But what I do NOT want to have to listen to for four (or probably eight) years is talk of Civil Rights this or MLKs dream that, so that it becomes all about a "black" thing. When I think of our former presidents, I don't associate them or their terms as "white" presidents looking out for and lauding all things white. For a while, it is only natural that he will be referred to as America's First Black President (though in reality he is only half black). I hope, though, that in time he will become known for what he does (good or bad)... that he will be judged not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character. The vote was counted, and now the oath has been taken. It is time to become a united nation, as much as possible, and stand strong against those who would strive to oppress or destroy us. A house divided against itself will fall, and America will do much to further her own demise if we can't get our act together and face the rest of the world with a more united front. Let's pray like never before that our leaders will make the best decisions for our nation. And let's all try to be better people right here at home, in our own towns and neighborhoods. May God Bless America!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Hammer Heard Round The World


Shh... listen... what's that I hear? Lo and behold, I do believe it is the tap, tap, tap of Mr. Buddy's hammer! We were so disappointed last week when construction was delayed by rain. Then this week, the predicted sub-freezing temperatures resulted in another delay. However, this morning Mr. Buddy says that he will have time to lay the blocks and let them "set" before the temperature drops tonight. Yippeee!!! Of course, this means I had to make a frantic dash about the house, blazing a trail through baby swings, bouncy things, and all manner of infant/toddler paraphernalia, to make way to the bathroom, in case the fellas think it's too cold outside to use a tree. Then there's the sorted laundry on the bathroom floor that must be concealed in the closet, and I'm assuming they might deserve a fresh, clean hand towel instead of the sleeve of my sweatshirt.... you know, those kinds of things to take care of. Alas, for the next 30 minutes, maybe, the floor in the den is cleared of rattles, musical toys and stuffed animals, and the bathroom is presentable. Okay, fellas, if you gotta go, let's do it soon, before bedlam takes over again.


On a sad note, Leyland has strep throat again. She was acting a little lethargic most of the day yesterday, and about 3:15 crawled up in Whitney's lap, pointed to her ear and said "Mommy, hurt", and she felt a little feverish. Off they go to see Dr. Bo, fully expecting the diagnosis of an ear infection. Much to our surprise, the Rapid Strep test was a raging positive, even before the usual amount of time had lapsed for the test. More of the bright pink bubble-gum flavored amoxicillin. I am very happy to report, though, that she slept good all night, and this morning has no fever, and seems to be her usual precious little self. Thank You Jesus for that!


I'm in the throes of multitasking today and tonight, as the final preparations are currently under way for the girls' trip tomorrow. We're all so excited! Hopefully we won't have to go out into the woods to scavenge for firewood this time. Last time we went, the furnace was on the blink, and it was freezing cold. We were finally able to build a fire in the wood-burning stove in the basement, and we were toasty in no time. It will be nearly dark when we arrive, so hopefully the house will already be warm. My to-do list for tonight is quite long, and I suppose I'll be burning some serious midnight oil. That's half the fun of going somewhere, though... the anticipation and the gettin' ready part!


Anyway, just wanted to let you all know that the Extreme Makeover: Carport Edition, is officially under way!! I'll post progress photos as we go along.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Potty Training 101

Diapers, Diapers, Everywhere! Stacks of clean diapers, trashbags of dirty diapers, and always two little bottoms covered with diapers. Well, most always. Leyland has taken to removing her pants and diaper during naptime, or when she doesn't want to go to sleep at night. Sometimes we find her nude from the waist down. If we find her in this state in a timely fashion, and can get her to the bathroom, usually she will cooperate and tinkle in the toilet instead of her bed. This is a good thing. She got an Elmo potty chair for her birthday, but the only thing she was interested in doing on it was "reading". She would ask for a book, and sit there for a while and "read". Once she communicated to me that she wanted some tissue paper. I gave her a little bit, and sure enough, she went through the motions of using it, dropped it into the potty, then two seconds later picked it back up and blew her nose in it. (No, she had not tinkled in the potty, so it was still dry!) Later she decided that she wanted to sit on the big potty, so we got her one of those little adapter seats with princesses on it, and now when she gets on there she doesn't want to get off. We've had some success, but still a very long way to go. The other day, Whitney called me out of my office to come take a look at what she found. She had left Leyland sitting on her little adapter seat, feet propped on the Elmo-potty-chair-turned-step-stool for just a minute, and when she returned, this is what she found:

What A Ham!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sorry About The Layout

I uploaded and arranged the photos in the post below on my laptop. Looking at the post on a different computer, it doesn't look the same. The pictures and text are moved around. My painstaking task of making a perfect post... POOF... gone! So, if you find the text difficult to read and the pictures don't match the text, that's why. I suppose different computer settings will also make a difference. Sorry about that!! Hope you'll try to read/view it anyway!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Vintage Christmas Memories

Well, now, I believe I did promise some old photos, specifically one of a snaggletoothed CathyB (or CathyW at the time) standing in front of a scraggly Christmas tree with curlers in my hair. Well, here it is! Actually, this was one of our more abundant Christmas trees. I remember when my dad cut this tree down and brought it in- it completely filled the set of double windows that looked out over our back yard. Our den is on the back side of the house, though, and passersby going down Broad Street were unable to enjoy our decorations. We solved that issue, in a most "modern" way. We got us one of those silver aluminum trees. Very sparse branches. We hung fuscia-colored balls on the tree. Then, we plugged in this floodlight thingy that had a plastic disc on it, divided into four colors. Yellow, Red, Blue, and Green. The light shone on the tree, the disk would rotate, and just like magic, the entire tree would subtly change from (yep) Yellow, Red, Blue, and Green. We were so proud! Sorry, I got off on a tangent there. Special memories, you know. Warm and fuzzy feelings. Okay, so here I am standing in front of this monstrous tree. So huge, that we didn't have enough decorations to even begin to cover it. Never mind, though, we had those perfect old-timey lights to hang on the branches. You know the ones I'm talking about. They fit the little night-light bulbs. I loved those lights, even though they were so heavy, they always made the branches of our tree sag a little bit. My daddy would hang them on the "inside", as opposed to the outside edges, as the branches were stronger there. This was probably our fattest, most hugest tree ever. Most of our trees were really scrawny. So you will see that my own current personal, pitiful, Charlie-Brown tree comes from a very long line of pitiful trees of Christmases past.

This photo shows a very fat and wide, but very sheer tree. I think the idea here was for Daddy Bill to enjoy the Christmas tree without obscuring his view of the street outside from his favorite chair by the window. I think it worked. I'm sure he didn't miss a thing because of this tree!




And there's a 4-year-old little me in

front of this tree!


Here are a few more of our poor little trees and vintage photos. But you know what? I absolutely loved it that my dad would sometimes let Michael and I go with him into the woods to find a tree, cut it down, and bring it home. I carry with me the memory of how the tree filled our home with the scent of cedar, and how the lights thrilled our young eyes and hearts. One year, when I was married to Randy, I decided to try to re-create that childhood magic by purchasing a large quantity of those lights, and hanging them on our tree. That lasted for about 10 minutes after he got home. Ever the conscientious fireman, he made me take them off the tree and return them to the store, because they are "so dangerous" and "get so hot". Well, umm, yeah, they do get very hot. So I guess (just like how we survived the the days of no car seats, airbags or childproof outlet plugs), we should be extremely grateful that we didn't burn down the house every year at Christmas.
Probably the most longstanding family Christmas tradition has been the Christmas-Eve dinner at Mom & Dad's house. Every year that I can remember, and probably even long before that, Aunt Joyce & Uncle Gene would come to Mama Nay & Daddy Bill's house to spend the night on Christmas Eve. About supper time, we would all gather for the annual chicken-stew feast. Around the table would be Mom and Dad, Michael and I, Mama Nay, Daddy Bill, my great-grandma Grandmother, Aunt Joyce & Uncle Gene. Daddy Bill was just a big kid at heart, and always couldn't wait to "open a parcel". So began the tradition of exchanging little token gifts on Christmas Eve. Thin mints, chocolate covered cherries, knee-high socks, LifeSaver books, etc. It wasn't what the parcel was, it was just the anticipation of opening it. After dinner, we would sit around and talk, while Michael and I kept a close eye on Guy Sharpe's Santa Radar, and made sure we went to bed long before he was due to arrive in Statham. Of course we were too excited to sleep, and many a time poor mom and dad had to stay up wayyyy later than usual- only to be awakened by our eager little voices the next morning at an ungodly early hour. Even as we grew older, we kept the tradition, and though we didn't worry about the Santa Radar any more, it still was one of our favorite events of the year. As I look back with such fond memories, I am thankful for home, thankful for family, and thankful that even though Grandmother, Mama Nay & Daddy Bill are no longer here to celebrate with us, we still hold to the tradition of chicken stew on Christmas Eve. I remember the first year I was married to Randy. We spent the night at mom and dad's on Christmas Eve, but earlier,we spent the late afternoon and evening at the Bennett's, forming a new family tradition. I was excited to be part of a new family, but it still broke my heart to miss Christmas Eve chicken stew with my folks, and I had to be very careful not to let Randy see my tears. At some point, Michael and Uncle Gene began a fierce competition to see who could give the ugliest, tackiest gift. It was a hoot, and the highlight of the evening. After many years of this, with the gifts getting uglier and tackier each year, they finally agreed that they had indeed already exchanged the ugliest and tackiest of gifts EVER and could no longer top one another, and gave up this tradition. Those two found some doozies over the years, that's for sure. Christmas of 2009 found us yet again around the dinner table at mom and dad's. Though we were missing Grandmother, Mama Nay & Daddy Bill, the new generations of our family help to fill the void. There are now grandchildren, great-grandchildren and in-laws to fill the empty seats. The Circle Of Life.
Thank you for indulging me in a moment of Christmas nostalgia. May you find as much joy remembering your Christmases past as I do.
Oh, and please try not to laugh too much at the snaggletoothed, curler-headed, 10-year-old version of yours truly.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Christmas 2008

Well, finally! I have some Christmas photos to post! Aren't these the sweetest little things you've ever seen?
(Click any photo to enlarge)
?
Below are a few photos from the Bennett Christmas at Nany and Pawpoo's on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.

Below: The Watkins clan gathered on Christmas Eve for candlelight communion at the church, chicken stew for dinner, and family time around the tree opening gifts.

Below: Looks like I didn't get very many photos of the family on Christmas Day. It was a smaller-than-usual gathering of the Dunahoo clan, but it was great to be together.
And for your final viewing pleasure, a few shots of the Santa Chaos that ensued at 409 when Mary came to visit. Santa very cleverly delivered the children's gifts to GiGi and Pop's house, and Whitney and I delivered them to the girls after their baths on Friday evening. A grand time was had by all.


It was a wonderful Christmas, overflowing with love and togetherness. I am so thankful for such a fabulous family with which to share the holidays.