Category Archives: Cathy Chats

Watercolor Iris Mother’s Day Card

Puritan's Pride Vitamins

Good morning, kittens & dawgs! This week I’m sitting things out for the most part in Blogosphere. I need a little regroup time after last month’s exhausting but fun and rewarding challenge. You’re invited to read my A2Z Reflections post.

Yesterday I was swamped with catch up and I had an appointment with ENT doc. We’re going to give the nasal spray another month before resorting to surgery. This means my hearing continues to be limited and it’s a total annoyance but if this inconvenience prevents the need for a hearing tube then hooray!

During the April A to Z challenge, my flame for drawing grew. When I sketched my Iris picture, I knew I wanted to use it as a Mother’s Day watercolor design for my mom. I ordered Strathmore watercolor paper from Amazon after finding out regular cardstock (with mom’s bday card) buckles badly when using watercolors.

After I sketched my image, I used a Micron #02 pen to outline then erased pencil marks before applying Kimberly watercolor pencils and a dab of water. The watercolor paper worked beautifully as expected with no buckling. I’m a happy girl! The cool thing is this paper is manufactured in the USA (see upper right corner). Here’s a close up of my card.


I liked how the design turned out and decided to use it for DD#2’s upcoming birthday this Sunday. Yeah, her bday falls on Mother’s Day this year. Isn’t that neat?

Now moving on to a bit of mewsic!

I can’t recall how I stumbled upon this morning’s featured mewsician but that doesn’t matter.  Susan Wong is truly a “China Doll” born in Hong Kong. She spent several years in the land down under as a child with her family but after graduation, she moved back to Hong Kong. Her genre is classed as easy-listening with smooth jazzy vibes and if you’re like me then you’re going to enjoy her sound.

 

Facebook: @Susan Wong
Twitter: @susan_wong
Instagram: @officialsusanwong

 

Last week while catching up with missed A to Z posts, I was visiting Toni from Wandering and Wondering who was playing along with Airing My Laundry (click button) in “Hey, It’s Okay!”

This is what the hostess says… I got this idea from Glamour magazine. You can link up any day of the week. All you have to do is make a list of what you’re okay with. Simple! Please do not link up a post that has nothing to do with “Hey, It’s Okay”. It’s rude.

Hey, it’s okay if DH chooses to indulge me how every he wishes on Mother’s Day weekend. It doesn’t have to be anything grand because love shines through and there’s no amount of money that can buy that. 😘

Let me finish my chat session by joining Les from Ink Interrupted for Tuesday Coffee Chat this with this morning’s prompt: It’s my birthday and Mother’s Day soon… what should I do?

Contrary to the way some mothers feel, Les, I think Mother’s Day is best spent with the children.  I’m sure you’re like me on this score, too.  Enlist left brain to take you and the kids out for a picnic lunch in a beautiful park where you can watch them play while photographing those magical moments as a family or snapping the occasional picture of a beautiful flower or friendly critter or whatever strikes your fancy. Indulge yourself with something sweet like a scoop or two of ice cream. That’s the way I would go but choose something that’s special to you. After being out all day, get some take out to take home to spend a leisurely evening with the family.  Oh but wait, it’s your birthday, too! Start dropping hints (a good way to drop hints is to send him today’s post URL from my site or others playing along) now for left brown to help the kids bake a cake for you and offer suggestions for gifts of pens, a writing journal, color pencils, or your favorite ground coffee or tea.  The possibilities are endless. I’m sure your family already has plans for you and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was along these lines. Happy Birthday and Mother’s Day to you, dearie! 💕

That’s a wrap for this morning. I’m hopping over to Stacy’s for Random Tuesday Thoughts and you’re welcome to join me if you want. The rest of the week and maybe the next two, I’m talking it easy to regroup after the April A to Z Challenge. Not to worry, if you leave your footprints here on my site, I will follow them back to you. I’ll see you soon!

I hope you’ll hop & link up tomorrow for not-so Wordless Wednesday.

 

Have a terrific Tuesday!

 

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5 Ways To Take It Easy + #TuesdayTunesation with @WeAreGroves

Puritan's Pride Vitamins

Good morning, kittens & dawgs! If you’re like me after last month’s exhausting A to Z challenge then you’re ready to take it easy. Here are five ways to do just that, take it easy.

  1. Give yourself permission to unplug from the Internet for a week or two or longer if needed. A blogging hiatus can do a gal or guy wonders!
  2.   Tackle a much-needed house chore. That seems like an odd way to take it easy but failing to do things around the house mounts when spending the better part of a month engaged in Blogosphere so actually knocking a big project off my to-do is energizing.
  3. Indulge in your favorite passions. All winter and spring I’ve neglected photography for various reasons some which include preparing for my Art Sketching Through the Alphabet theme but finding myself behind the lens refreshes my mind and when I can’t do this then I like to create photo art with existing photos.
  4. Visit with a friend. This doesn’t have to be a face-to-face either. Two ways I’m trying to reclaim to stay better connected with long distant friends is regular phone conversations or to write a lengthy letter to keep her in the loop of my life, both of which are refreshing.
  5. Listening to mewsic.  You know mewsic is a big part of my life, as it yours and that’s probably what brought us together in Blogosphere in the first place. Mewsic is soothing and relaxing to the spirit even if it’s an uptempo, get-to-your-feet mewsic. Mewsic empowers the soul!

How do you take it easy?

Speaking of mewsic, let me introduced to you new-to-me band I heard on ReverbNation in February. This group got my attention with their song Ender (#3 on below playlist).  Why does this song sound familiar and yet not I haven’t heard it before? Turn up your speakers and perk your ears to Groves!

 

If you want to learn more about Groves, BestNewBands interviews the group last September.

 

I’m joining Les from Ink Interrupted for Tuesday Coffee Chat.  She’s prompting us to finish this sentence, If I had could go anywhere today…. I would head to the mountains with a cooler filled with cold soft drinks, snacks to munch on, and camera in hand to capture some beautiful scenic shots.

But…this isn’t going to happen until DH gets his visual bearing straightened out.  Although his retina is now completely attached he has little depth of field and the vision in that eye makes everything kinda greenish tint.  He needs two more surgeries (one to remove the oil bubble from the retina re-attachment procedure & cataract surgery) and then new glasses. Despite these problems, we’re very happy he can see with that eye. Years ago a person would lose their sight because they didn’t have a way to fix it.

That’s a wrap for this morning. I’m hopping over to Stacy’s for Random Tuesday Thoughts and you’re welcome to join me if you want.

 

Did you vote in yesterday’s 3-Way Take It Easy #BoTB showdown? Please take a moment to listen and weigh in the fun!  I hope you’ll hop back tomorrow and link up with me for not-so Wordless Wednesday.

 

Have a terrific Tuesday!

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Lucky Charms + #TuesdayTunesation with @JamesMorrisonOK

Puritan's Pride Vitamins

Good morning, kittens & dawgs! Tuesday Tunesation featured mewsician is new-to-me.

James Morrison is an English singer/songwriter who rose to fame in 2006 with his début single, “You Give Me Something” (song number three on the above playlist) peaking at #5 in the UK and #1 in New Zealand. It became a hit in Europe, Australia, Japan, & Iran. I find his soulful, rock style is rather nice and easy to listen to while writing posts or reading others.


 

This month, I putting together multiple daily posts into one.  I don’t know if this will make life any easier while I work on my April A-Z posts but that’s my hopes.

I’m joining Les from Ink Interrupted for Tuesday Coffee Chat this week and this morning’s prompt: Where are your Lucky Charms?  It’s St. Patrick’s Day this week, whether you are Irish or not, do you have any special totems or symbols of your culture?

Me Lucky Charms are in the cupboard, lassie. Where else would they be? 😉

 

I know you’re talking about cereal but I couldn’t resist being my usual silly self with this prompt.  When DD#1 began her junior year in our homeschool high school I knew I didn’t want to get our kids the typical class ring and that’s when I began thinking about our Irish culture.  That’s when I found this not-so-expensive Claddagh rings with our daughters in mind from Creative Irish Gifts.

We got DS one from the same site but either they no longer have it or I’m not remembering what it looked like.  He had a masculine style Claddaugh ring.

Many, many years ago when we use to get our annual Christmas bell from Helix Pewter & Copper just before they closed their business door for good DH got me small Claddaugh windchime.  I think it’s meant to be hung on a Christmas tree but I have hung by a cord from the ceiling.  It makes the slightest tinkling sound if I blow on the chimes.  What I’d like to get is a horseshoe to put on our door. While I am not superstitious, I do like the legion behind the hanging of the horseshoe of good fortune and is a sign that keeps Satan away, otherwise, I just think it’s a nice Irish decoration.  I bet I could find an old horseshoe at my in-laws’ place. I’m gonna have to look the next time we visit. 😉

That’s a wrap for this morning. I’m hopping over to Stacy’s for Random Tuesday Thoughts and you’re welcome to join me if you want. I hope you’ll hop & link up tomorrow for Wordless Wednesday.

I hope you’ll join me at midnight and link up with my mid-week meme not-so Wordless Wednesday.

 

Have a terrific Tuesday!

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Encrypting Hard Drives, Purging Duplicated Files, Cloud Backup, and Blog Fixes

Good morning, kittens & dawgs! I took much of last month off from blogging. It wasn’t nearly as restful as I had planned. I had too many things on my plate to deal with to enjoy the time away.

One major thing we did was encrypt three external hard drives. This isn’t a two or three-hour job or even an all day job. This took us two weeks (maybe a little longer) to complete. Before encrypting each drive, we had to move files to a different HD and sometimes two because encrypting deletes everything on that drive. The good news is these drives are now more secure.

While DH took care of the encrypting process, I decided to set up a private Flickr account (you can get 1TB of free cloud storage if you have a Yahoo email account, which I created just for this purpose) to store my digital photos in the cloud. Having three extra physical devices to back my files to is great but HD can fail. We went down that path about five years ago and it was horrible to get things recovered.

Uploading photos to the cloud is slow going. That was a perfect time for me to purge duplicate files on my computer and external HD. Over the years, we got in a bad habit of keeping more than one copy, sometimes two or three copies of the same file. All we wanted to do was make sure to keep my files safe but doing this eats up storage and causes confusion. I got a good handle on my documents and photos but I’m sure I need to do another sweep to make sure I didn’t miss something.

The last thing I had going and still am in the midst of working through is my blog. I have a lot of broken links. My British blog buddy, Steve recommended an app called Broken Links. I’m still trying to figure it out but it is quite useful in pointing out links that need my attention and after all the repairs get done then this should be an excellent resource to keeping my blog in tip-top shape!

We only managed one trip to the mountains in all this mess. The colors were at their peak in the upper elevations and while they weren’t their best, it was still an awesome, amazing day. You’ll have to come by tomorrow to catch a peek on not-so Wordless Wednesday.

coffeecats

I’m joining Les from Ink Interrupted for Tuesday Coffee Chat this with this morning’s prompt: How do you handle your failures?  Are you a crawl back into bed and wait for it all to pass kinda person?  Or are you a jump immediately back on the horse sort? The way I handle failure depends on how well I’m handling other things in my life. Generally, I take screw ups pretty well. I just chalk it as a lesson learned that practice makes perfect, and I need to try, try, try again sort of mentality but sometimes a gloomy gray cloud hangs over my head. We’ve all been there like we are now with DH out of work. There are days I find I struggle with to keep from sinking and I hang on to God’s reassurance that He’s in control. I remind myself of other times when things were bleak and find gratitude in what we have. Although things aren’t comfortable right now, I know there are others in worse shape than us and so I pull myself out of my pity party, dust the seat of my britches off and climb back on the saddle. A person’s attitude can make or break you. I prefer to tackle my failures head on and make life better, instead of being defeated, weighted down, and depressed.

That’s a wrap for this morning. I hope you’ll play along in today’s Revolution #BoTB showdown. and follow along as I visit Stacy’s for Random Tuesday Thoughts. Don’t forget to return for a glimpse of our fall colors in tomorrow’s edition of not-so Wordless Wednesday.546-tuesday-cat

 

 

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Rubbing elbows with #Mayberry_Days stars, Part 1

Good-afternoon, kittens & dawgs! I have the most amazing mews to share with you. Last Friday, we went to the 26th Mayberry Days in Andy Griffith’s real hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina.

We arrived at the Andy Griffith Playhouse and Museum shortly after 9:30am. The proclamation ceremony was underway somewhere else, which gave us an edge, but still here were 100 people or less waiting when we got in line. Rain clouds loomed over our heads all day and occasionally light sprinkles fell on us, but the good mews is that was about it.

Anywho, first-time celebrities and biggest names to take part in the annual event were Clint Howard (Leon), Barbara Eden (Ellen Brown – Manicurist), and Bruce Bilson (TAGS Asst. Director). We wanted to see everyone, but it was the announcement that Barbara would be there that made us decide to make the three and half hour trip.

Once we got to the entrance, we immediately noticed Bruce Bilson and Clint Howard seated. Unfortunately, soon after someone whisked Mr. Bilson from the room.

Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from these celebrities. Would they be grumpy and short-tempered? You know, doing this whole thing out of obligation. Imagine my surprise when I saw Clint’s magnet personality in action. He talked with each person streaming by as if he knew that person all of his life.

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As if on cue, Clint turned at the right instant for me to get this shot while he chatted with DH.

Clint is a great conversationalist and super easy to talk to.  I didn’t know he was part of the Mayberry Family, but I do recognize the cute little kid that he was from those days after searching the web. I remember him mostly from Apollo 13. He has done a host of TV series, animations, and big screen productions over the years. I thought it was interesting to learn that he was the voice of Roo in 1977 The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

 

Andy_Griffith_Barbara_Eden_Andy_Griffith_Show

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Mayberry had one manicurist, Ellen Brown, the lovely Barbara Eden. I had all but forgotten that she was a part of American’s favorite hometown. I’m sure like most of you, I know Barbara best as the enchantress from I Dream of Jeannie.

I vividly remember wanting to live in that bottle or better still polishing it between my hands so I could ask her for a wish. Boy, that sounds like a good idea about now! Barbara Eden’s character mesmerized me. I mean, what kid isn’t with magic involved, right? Oh yeah and she’s gorgeous! 😀

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It was a wholesome, fun show for the entire family despite her controversial attire. That’s kinda funny to think about today, but in the mid-60s this sorta thing got frowned on. lol

The long wait was nearing an end. Enthusiastically, I stood on the other side of the table facing Barbara Eden. No doubt with a star gazed look in my eyes. With my hand outstretched, she took it (Oh, my Cathy!!) as I introduced myself, then DH to her.  I was wearing a t-shirt that she read aloud, “Everyone loves a Tennessee Girl,” and without missing a beat continued with, “Yes, everyone sure does!

At 84 years young, Miss Eden is ever bit as beautiful as when I first met her on my parents’ TV set in the late 60s.

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A flattered Barbara. DH said, “We still dream of Jeannie.”

All I can say is this gal’s dream finally came true!

I’m joining Les from Time Out For Mom for Tuesday Coffee Chat and Stacy for Random Tuesday Thoughts. We met more celebrities, but at the risk of making this post any longer, I decided to break it up. So, I invite you to join me on Friday for Rubbing elbows with #Mayberry_Days stars, Part 2!