Fun at the Beach!

The Weekly Photo Challenge is “FUN!”

I recalled a very small photo of my dad and my aunt at the beach.

My guess is that the picture is from the late 1940’s.

It’s a bit grainy because the original photo is quite small.

Dad is on the bottom left, and Aunt Esther is on the top right.

It’s a simple black and white snapshot but when I look at it I see my dad, aunt and their friends running at the beach and wading through the water.

I imagine the vibrantly colored swimsuits worn by my aunt and her friend, Angie. Highly stylish!

They climbed atop shoulders and laughed as they tried maintain their balance.

My dad and his friend (his name’s not known) probably boasted about who was strongest.

I think the other reason I enjoy this picture so much is that we don’t have many pictures of my dad at a young age.

For me this picture is rare and very precious.

It captures my dad and his sister as teenagers who were simply having fun.

Cathy's dad, her aunt and their two friends are having fun at the beach! Circa 1940's.

Cathy’s dad, her aunt and their two friends are having fun at the beach! Circa 1940’s.

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Posted in 2016, Uncategorized

Look Up…and Pause…

The Weekly Photo Challenge is “Look Up.”

The flag flies at half-staff to honor those who recently lost their lives in Dallas Texas.

It has been a somber week.

I told my husband that my mind can barely fathom all that’s occurred.

Admittedly I have no answers.

My deeply introverted soul is still processing this.

I grieve.

Violence…tragedy…sorrow…

Perpetuating…spiraling…

While I was driving this week I looked up…and paused when I saw a flag at half-staff.

Once again…half-staff.

This image stayed with me, almost like an imprint.

For many reasons there has been too much mourning.

We live in a world with many shades of gray, yet we are often challenged by absolutes.

I am far from perfect at maneuvering through all this.

Still, somehow, we all must move forward.

I am a realist, so I am cautious.

Still, I remind myself to act with kindness…

To act with patience…

To act with respect…

To act with peace.

 

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Posted in Uncategorized

Six, Six and Twelve (Curve)

The jumbo…the dreadnought…the grand concert…

Cathy's twelve string and two six string guitars have a different demonstrations of curves based on body design.

Cathy’s twelve string and two six string guitars have a different demonstrations of curves based on body design.

The pickguard… the body…the sound hole…the pegs…the inlay…the bridge…a handlebar (it’a classic!)

Close-up of Cathy's twelve string. There is a balance to the design that adds to the beauty of the instrument.

Close-up of Cathy’s twelve string. There is a balance to the design that adds to the beauty of the instrument.

The tuning pegs…the heads as they sweep to the neck…

Small details such as the curves at the top of the head stock demonstrate the care that goes into each instrument.

Small details such as the curves at the top of the head stock demonstrate the care that goes into each instrument.

The outline, the shine, the design…

There are times when it's hard to determine which one to play...so why not have some fun and just try them all out? :)

There are times when it’s hard to determine which one to play…so why not have some fun and just try them all out?🙂

It alls adds to the experience…

Cathy rehearses. Her living room becomes a stage. This six string has a bright, clear sound.

Cathy rehearses. Her living room becomes a stage. This six string has a bright, clear sound.

…the depth of what I feel…

No rehearsal this time, just a relaxed moment with a sweet sound.

No rehearsal this time, just a relaxed moment with a sweet sound.

…when the sound rings in me and through me…

The sound from the twelve string reverberates up the ceiling and into the stairwell. When you want to be heard this is the one to play!

The sound from the twelve string reverberates up the ceiling and into the stairwell. When you want to be heard this is the one to play!

The weekly photo challenge is Curve

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Posted in 2016, Uncategorized

Celebrating 63 Years – Congratulations Mom and Dad!

This year Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May.  

Coincidentally the date is also May 3oth.

Sixty-three years ago, Memorial Day was on a Saturday.

My father was on leave from the military.

The date was May 30, 1953.

The day my parents were married.

5--30--53

The maid of honor was my mother’s best friend, Rae.

The best man was my father’s brother, my Uncle Lupe.

They made a lovely wedding party. 

Don’t you agree?

M & L Wedding Rae Lupe

It’s time to CELEBRATE!

Happy 63rd Anniversary!

6 L & M

Congratulations Mom and Dad!

With much love from “all of us.”

May 30, 2016

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Posted in 2016

Spare – Saticoy

The Weekly Photo Challenge is “Spare.”

I thought about a photo from the family gallery that shows a point in my father’s childhood during the 1930’s.

My dad is on the left. My Uncle Lupe is in the center. My Uncle Chito is the little guy.

When I asked him about the photo all he said was, “That was in Saticoy.”

Saticoy was a small rural community in Ventura County, California.

It was one of a number of places my dad’s family lived so that my grandparents could work the fields.

Times were lean.  As you can see they were of humble means. Perhaps that’s the reason he doesn’t say too much about it.

There are very few photos of my dad as a child, so I’m particularly pleased to have a picture of him playing.

There wasn’t really a camera to spare.

Cathy's father and uncles rides their bicycles in Saticoy.  Circa 1930's.

Cathy’s father and uncles rides their bicycles in Saticoy.  Circa 1930’s.

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Jubilant – The Finish Line!

The Weekly Photo Challenge is Jubilant!

I decided to post a recent photo where I’m standing by a Finish sign.

If you know my story then you’re aware that I’ve been on a journey over the past three years to improve then maintain my health.

One of my primary goals was to strengthen my right leg as I’d been struggling with chronic pain and injuries for more than 20 years.

I may not be jumping for joy in this photo, but I was proud, albeit humbled.  After a lot of hard work, and continued dedication I achieved a milestone that in the past was, at least in my own mind, unattainable.

On March 26th I ran, not walked, my first 5k! I was ecstatic that my legs, and especially my right leg, were strong enough to complete the race!!

This photo also reminds me when the going gets tough that I can make it to the end of other challenges. I made it to the finish line once and I can do it again!

…and yes, I’m looking forward to running another 5k…

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Posted in 2016

For Some of Us, Every Day is Autism Awareness Day

April 2nd is designated as Autism Awareness Day.

I decided not to post on that day. You see, for some of us, every day is Autism Awareness Day.

If you know my story, then you know a couple of years ago my husband and I became our daughter’s legal guardians. She is 20 years old, autistic, and developmentally delayed. Her vocabulary is extremely limited. To say life can be a challenge is often an understatement. Still, over the past 20 years we’ve managed as best as we can with numerous health care, and, social service providers. We lean on each other, and we’re committed to do what we can to care for our daughter.

I decided to write a few posts this month about simple, everyday happenings. Our daughter has allowed my husband and me into her world. I can’t really express what’s on her mind. I can only hope to give you a glimpse of what she experiences. We love her very deeply. As you may imagine, she’s also quite unique.

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Cathy's teapot.  She finds the dragonfly scene relaxing as she sips her daily tea.

Cathy’s teapot.  She finds the dragonfly scene relaxing as she sips her daily tea.

“My daughter has become a tea drinker,” my husband lamented incredulously.  I just laughed. Then shook his head and laughed along with me.

Deciding to drink a cup of coffee, tea, or some other beverage is an activity that most adults take for granted. You brew your own, or you pull up to a window and order some variation of a large, fully-leaded with extra something.

So, while my husband is coffee, I am tea! That said, I often make his coffee in the morning. I love to do that for him!

Our daughter doesn’t generally make those choices. Around 5 years ago she was finally able to say the word, “juice” which is a catch-all for something to drink. Perhaps at some point in the future she’ll learn more words. Language is always a work in progress.

So, what kicked off the tea drinking?

At the start of this year the three of us were trading colds and coughs. We were also dealing with severe seasonal allergies. Overall we weren’t doing very well.

Cathy's daughter begins morning tea time.

Cathy’s daughter begins morning tea time.

I grew up on the receiving end of my grandmother’s home remedies. She brewed tea and added lemon and honey to sooth the throat and help clear the sinuses.

I made some and offered it to my husband. Surprisingly, he was open to having a cup.

We decided to give the brew to our daughter. We let the hot tea cool a bit, then asked her to sit down at the table.

She touched the cup and drew her hands away. I told her it was hot, but she needed to stay sitting down so she could drink it.

The "Rudolph Cup"  has become a daily staple.  The tea is just as tasty even if it's not Christmastime!

The “Rudolph Cup”  has become a daily staple.  The tea is just as tasty even if it’s not Christmastime!

We used a ceramic Christmas cup that was given to her as a gift a few years ago. It’s red with Rudolph on one side and Santa on the other. For her, the season doesn’t matter. She could enjoy Christmas items at any time of year.

We tried to show her how to pick up the cup by the handle. She didn’t respond to that, so she rapidly tapped her fingers repeatedly against the warm cup until she was able to hold it with two hands.

Tea time can often finish with a gulp!

Tea time can often finish with a gulp!

Trying to gulp it, she swallowed then threw her head back. Then she shook her head rapidly from side to side, her hands tense. We told her to slow down and relax. She wasn’t going anywhere, and she needed to finish her tea. She tried it again. She began to sip it.

Over the next few days we continued to give her tea in the morning and the evening. It seemed to help sooth her throat and loosen all the junk in her chest.

The following week I made her other types of tea. My husband asked why I was still doing that since she was feeling better.

I noticed in the morning she’d come to the table and take a few minutes to drink it.

Often during the week tea time was followed by an appointment with a therapist so the pause was a good thing.

In the evening it was a way to wind down just before bed time.

It was now part of the routine.

My husband commented about our daughter becoming a tea drinker, because he saw me stocking the pantry. There seemed to be some flavors she was enjoying so I figured she should have her own supply.

It may not seem like much to most people, but for us, introducing a warm beverage to our daughter was one more sign of progress, one more advancement for her. Years ago this could have left all three of us exhausted and frazzled.

Not this time. Instead, we were pleasantly surprised!

Cathy's husband is coffee, and she is tea. They live very happily together!

Cathy’s husband is coffee, and she is tea. They live very happily together!

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Posted in 2016

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