Dusty Dreams

There are about nineteen days left in 2016. I never make New Year resolutions, but I do always look forward to what may be in store for us/me in the upcoming new year.

Ever an adventurer……

My future at this point is rather swelling with fear  anticipation. Last Thursday was the last day of my son’s semester at University and that marked the last day of me caring for my three year old grand daughter. I have watched her pretty much full-time for the last three years and her sister, now in kindergarten, since shortly after she was born.

I have mixed emotions. More on the side of taking the dreams off the proverbial shelf and dusting them, throwing away some, creating new ones, OR curling up on the couch and watching NETFLIX for a while……. a long while.

I do love changes. They actually wake me up and make me feel more alive. But know, Dear Reader, that I am extremely human (as opposed to being simply human ??) and I am terrified of what I am to do.

I see this change in life as another adjustment. As a loss in some ways. The girls are only just over an hour up the road. I have already FaceTimed them twice. But I shall let this minor grieving time have it’s way in me and I know that I will see my future, my new roads and dreams more clearly as the days go by and as I finish up a series in NETFLIX.

Have a Great Holiday Season!

Cate B


More Sunflowers

I posted the other day Field of Dreams.  I loved seeing the sunflowers so much that I packed up a lunch and diapers and potty chair and husband and took our grand daughters to see them.

The pictures say it all.


cate b

Wrapping Up 2014 and the Last Five Years

Well, here we are, at the very last several hours of 2014 – it is 10:33 AM as I write this.

It has been a year for me!  My husband and I were living in another town.  An area where we moved around a few times since February of 2009.  Trying to find a place we felt safe and comfortable in.  It was big city compared to where we lived on the east coast.  Most of all we were trying to find another type of place to fit into.  Jobs, people, organizations.  Seemed that each time we got involved with something it either decided to leave the state or decided they didn’t really need us in the capacity we needed or desired with them.

Our two remaining single sons met their lovely ladies and both married while we were wandering there.  We couldn’t be happier with these new daughters.

We gained a lovely grand-daughter in 2011, another in 2013 and a great grandson in this past November!  Such joy!

Part of the wandering in our spirits involved me going to The Burg (where we presently live) four days a week to care for Lovely Lucy while her parents attended the local University full time.

Sweet Lucy.  I love her with all my heart.  They moved twice that summer and then into the University apartments – which really should be remodeled or something.  It was a tough time for the then two-year-old. Moving and then parents both going to school. Daycare was not going to work – not a great place for insecurities.  So, I, Uma, came down four days a week to love on her.

It was a tough year in some ways.  Little sister was born in October.  More insecurities for us all.  I slept on a few different beds and longed for my own.  But my heart grew more each day to stuff those two girls deep inside of me.  I know my heart grew when I had my own kids.  But when grandkids came along – my heart grew even bigger!

We knew we had to move to The Burg. We found a cute house to rent and started over again – again.

What a difference.  Our grandson, from back east, came home with us last summer and spent about month with us.  I missed him terribly when we moved to the mid-west.  He spent two weeks in our old town and helped move us to The Burg, and spent a couple of weeks there.  Such a treasured memory.  I cried when he went home.

School began in August and the two wee lassies came to my house each day.  What a difference!  Not only was I sleeping in my own bed at night, but these girls went home each day to mom and dad and you could see the happiness in their every move.  They feel our home is their second home.

Lu just spent the night last night and the maturity and security in her is astounding.  Our Lord is so good.  Kids need their routines and their family.  Nothing wrong with daycare…..but they do need to be ready for it.

So here we are, in The Burg, and the new year looks promising.  We have never felt so relaxed and at home since leaving the east.  Why did it take so long?  I look back and see a time of waiting, a time of preparing.  We don’t always see it while we are in it.  But once things begin to fall into place those times of waiting and wondering begin to fade away.  They were important and necessary. I believe that all we do is for us to grow and become better.  Not bitter.  Better.  To me, it is part of Hope.  Hope is real.

As I enter this New Year I am excited for what my journey holds.  I wish for you all to look at your life as a journey.  It makes those tough times a bit easier.  It is all for us to grow as human beings, to be better humans.  When things hit you, stop and look at them.  You, at that very moment, have a choice.  Will you choose  to be better or bitter?  Will you choose to glean all you can from the situations?   It doesn’t always make it easier and rarely do the issues go away.  Just choose to go through to the end.  It will end.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year – 2015 – may you prosper in all areas of your life!



cate b

Love Hurts

It’s been about three weeks since we moved into our new town and our new place that we call home.  It has taken me awhile to post with all the unpacking, cleaning and getting things into working condition.

As I have posted before, I have the privilege of helping our youngest son and his lovely wife with their two fantastic daughters while they attend University full time.  That is why my husband and I moved to the small mid-west town that we affectionately refer to as The Burg.

When we found this rental we were getting a bit anxious.  We had been looking for months to no avail.  We had a planned road trip vacation to the east coast coming up the end of June into July and wanted to secure a place before we left.

Well, we did.  And we are thankful to our God for this home.  The Burg is a small college town.  The University takes up a good portion of the center of town, so you will see many students living, well, everywhere and anywhere that will take them outside of dorm living.  It was hard to find a house with a fenced yard for the dogs that wasn’t trashed by intellectual  a house full of students with landlords that really don’t seem to mind.

Aside from securing a home before we went on vacation, I had it in my head to move in a couple of weeks after returning. I wanted our thirteen year old grandson – who was returning with us to Missouri until the first of August – to see where we would be living and to experience our new location.

More on the area next time.  Now for the real reason I’m writing this post.  Love.

Almost fourteen years ago, I had the most amazing experience of my life.  My oldest son’s wife invited me into the birthing room for the birth of her third child, the one who came home with us this year from vacation.  The one I mentioned above.

During his mom’s pregnancy, I talked to her womb often.  I basically said. “Hi.  It’s okay.  I’m here.”  When the moment came and this wonderful little boy popped out into this strange world – he cried.  The nurse took him over to the other side of the room to wash him and weigh him and so on.  He was lying there on a table just crying his lungs out.  I walked over to him and said, “Hi.  It’s okay.  I’m here”. And he stopped crying instantly.  We bonded for the second time at that moment.

This incredibly talented and big hearted boy and I became very close from that moment on.  When we left the east coast, five and a half years ago, my heart tore and cracked.  I didn’t think I could do this journey without him near me.  I was wrong.  My friend Jesus was there every step of the way for both myself and this young lad.

Every time we visit our family there I cry when we leave.  So you can see how important it was for me to have him see where I would be.  So he could have a visual.

Well, on August first, he left me again.  My husband did too.  They flew away together and my husband had business so he was gone for a week.  I thought that it would be a fast moving week because of all the unpacking and such that I had to do.

It was rough.  Here I was in a new town and just the dogs to talk to.  My buddy went home and the tear in my heart hurt.

When I had children my heart grew.  But when I had grandchildren it got stinkin’ big!

I never knew I could love so much.  I never knew that true love can hurt so bad.  We lost a daughter and our hearts exploded.  But our hearts heal.  The scars are there and the cracks and the wounds and cuts are there.  I do believe that these things make our hearts stronger and even bigger…….. if we allow.

There are times I want to close the door to loving someone.  To getting close to friends or loved ones.  I know it’s because I don’t want to hurt if they leave or when they leave.

Driving through town today we saw many parents leaving their kids at the University for the first time.  I saw it on their faces.  It was all too familiar.  You are happy for them and their adventures but your heart is aching and cracking a little as you say goodbye.

It’s part of life as a human.  You have, you have not.  You love, you get hurt.  You give and you take.  We do have a choice.  We can choose to love so much that it feels like the earth flew off it’s axis.  Or, we can decide to with hold love – giving and taking it – so that we will not hurt.  That’s the worst.  I know.  I’ve tried both.  I’d rather risk the hurt than never have loved.

Alfred Lord Tennyson said it well:

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

If you have read any of my previous posts you know that I do like adventures.  So here I am, once again, beginning a new adventure.  The University begins classes this Tuesday.  The little lassies will be over to Mammy’s house and we begin a new school year adventure together.  I write this with a tear in my eyes thinking of the journey I am on with these grand daughters.  To be able to be such a part of their life is amazing.  Just as I am a part of my grandson’s life.  We still have that bond – even though he is entering his teen years – I am his Uma and will always be.

Keep your hearts open, my friends.  Love is there, around every bend and in every step we take.  I hope you choose to take the love.

The Glory of Love

You’ve got to give a little, take a little
And let your poor heart break a little
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love

You’ve got to laugh a little, cry a little
Before the clouds roll by a little
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love

As long as there’s the two of you
You’ve got the world and all its charms
And when the world is through with you
You’ve got each other’s arms

You’ve got to win a little, lose a little
And always have the blues a little
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love

As long as there’s the two of you
You’ve got the world and all its charms
And when the world is through with you
You’ve got each other’s arms

You’ve got to win a little, lose a little
And always have the blues a little
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love




cate b


It’s Summertime!!! – My Memories of The Jersey Shore

I decided to take you all on a journey of my summer adventures and memories from an older gal who was born in the early 1950’s.  Are you ready?

I was born in the northern part of New Jersey, USA to two parents and an older brother by three years.  I do not remember that town or house because we moved when I was toddling to what Jersey-ites refer to as – The Shore.

We moved into a starter neighborhood – small and simple ranch style homes for those just starting out in the world of home ownership.  I wonder if my mom thought she would spend the rest of her life in that home and neighborhood.

It was a great place to grow up.  Neighbors were friendly and life was simple.  Unfortunately for us, we experienced a tragedy when I was four-ish.  My dad had been ill and passed away that summer.  The photos I have prior to his death were all smiles and good times.  After, such sad faces.  It was hard on my brothers and I (we had a little brother after moving to this home, four years younger than me) and of course, my mom.  She found herself widowed very young and with three children and no close family near by.

But prior to the sadness, summers were awesome.  As I said before, I was quite young and memories of the beginnings of this new neighborhood were by photos and some in my own head.  I remember everyone talking about a mustard colored house.  French’s color of mustard.  It was closer to the shore and I know we had a small boat that we would take out crabbing while staying in that little house.  I do remember being clothed in a life jacket and sitting in the boat with a basket or two and being told to, “Wave to the mustard colored house” as we sped by.  I remember bringing crabs back and mom having a pot of water hot and ready to toss them in. Yum

Life went on.  Summer time meant that my older brother and I got to go across the street and slip into the woods behind our friend’s house.  The Woods! Oh how I loved to play there.  There was a creek that meandered through and was shallow enough to wade in the cool clear waters.  I remember trails and trees that became my home away from home.  I remember going through to the other side and coming out in tall grass that was named – “The Parkway Grass”.  It got it’s name because it ran along a small hill aside the Garden State Parkway (a toll road that ran the length of New Jersey).  There we could sit in the grass and not be seen.  There we could run and trip on a rock that was actually a box turtle that we always took home to feed and cared for.  Poor turtles.

I can still clearly picture The Woods in my mind.  One of the best things about it was that we rarely ran into another person.  I remember only once seeing a man walking on our trails in our Woods!  My mom had no reason to worry about us being in there all day.  Year after year.  We came running when we heard her clapping her hands for us to come home.

So, this weekend is known as Memorial Day Weekend.  Memorial Day falls on Monday – always the last full weekend in May.  It is a day to honor and remember those who served and are serving in our Armed Forces.  But it also marks the official opening of SUMMER!  Pools open, beaches open, sales happen!  Barbecues are fired up.  Ahh.  Summer.

Once I started school my life revolved around summer vacations.  We were out of school from sometime in June until early September.  Beach time, woods time, baseball in the backyard and cookouts and s’mores!

As I grew and became a parent, again my year schedule revolved around summer vacation.  Four kids later and then some in college – summer vacation. Living in a tourist, beach town – summer vacation.  And now, watching grand daughters while parents go to Universitysummer vacation!  I love it.

I will end this segment here.  Next time I want to talk about the traditions of dress codes drilled into my northeastern upbringing that took me a very long time to break.

Until then, enjoy your first weekend of summer.  And PLEASE do remember our servicemen and women, those before and those now.  I am grateful to them for protecting our nation and serving us and sacrificing so well.

Here is my mom and my brother and me – the cute little one – on the beach prior to our move there.

Beach Time
Beach Time


cate b



Now that I have the honor and the privilege of caring for two of my grandchildren, I have the time to really look at the miraculous event of new-born babies and human growth.  It is amazing.  When I was pregnant, I knew that a human being was forming in my womb.  I read a lot about the process and the birth and what I could possibly expect.  I was as ready as I could be ahead of time.  But pregnancy and childbirth and child rearing is a hands on, learn – as – you – go type of thing.  I think it is best to be prepared and not go into it blindly.  But the real learning is in the trenches.

When grand parenting comes along and you are able to be involved in their lives, it is a whole new ball game.   It is a wonder – wonder |ˈwəndər|nouna feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable : he had stood in front of it, observing the intricacy of the ironwork with the wonder of a child.• the quality of a person or thing that causes such a feeling : Athenswas a place of wonder and beauty.• a strange or remarkable person, thing, or event : the electric trolley car was looked upon as the wonder of the age.• [as adj. ] having remarkable properties or abilities : a wonder drug.• [in sing. ] a surprising event or situation : it is a wonder that losses are not much greater.

The trenches are furnished and comfortable.  You get to hand the child over to your child and just watch and wonder.  You see how all you went through has paid off.  You see your “baby” handle their babies with love and patience and things you tried hard to instill in them (and occasionally wondered if it worked, only to find out it did!).

Looking into the face of a few week old baby and seeing traits of your family and their mother’s family is indescribable. What a miracle.  All parts put together in such a way to form a totally unique individual.

Now begins the part where the parents, grand parents, and others who influence this newly formed human being, get to mold and shape them the way they were meant to be.  The bible states in Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go (and in keeping with his individual gift or bent), and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  Seems that a lot of bible believers think this is limited to raising them into their beliefs.  While that may be true, the verse implied that we should keep with the way each child is bent, their individual gifts.  Here is where the work begins.  Who is this little person that was inside us and made with our love together?  That all gets unfolded as their lives grow before us.  Finding their gifts and the way they are can be difficult.  It means to pay attention.  I marvel when I see a small child act a certain way that can be so easily misconstrued.  Sometimes their behaviour can really mean – hey, look at me, I really love horses – or whatever the case may be.

I hope my husband and  I did well in this area.  I’m sure we weren’t perfect at this.  But I do know that I have spent much of my adult life trying to be free and find my “bent” and gifts in this life.  I was raised to be like my parent.  I think it was easier for her, a single mom, to raise me to do things her way and her way only.  It was hard growing up under that.  I do not blame her.  She did the best she could and what she knew.  What that upbringing did for me was to teach me to think for myself and therefore help my children to be their selves.  I relate very closely to the little girl in the Disney movie Brave.  I just didn’t and couldn’t fight for myself as a child.

So, as a grand parent, I can do that for my grand children.  It is pure joy to speak life and hope in them.  I want nothing more than to see them know who they are and to grow into who they were made to be.  It is truly a Wonder!



Second to Last


It is the twenty-ninth of November and do you know what that means to me?  It is my next to last blog with the blogher.com thirty-day blogging challenge.  I have posted once a day for twenty-nine days.  It really wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.  I don’t think some of my posts were up to par, but that is what these types of challenges can do for you.  They cause me to look at what I accomplished and therefore what I can change for the future.

And today, the day after stuffing myself with Thanksgiving food, I am like unto a SLUG.  I am so tired and sluggish as I’m guessing many Americans are today.  I did not go out in the dark of the wee morning hours to stand in line to buy a greatly priced item on the Black Friday sales ads.  Nor did I sleep in a tent in the Wal-Mart parking lot or any other parking lot.  No, I arrived home from my son’s with my grand-daughter at about eight o’clock last night and the two of us put on our jammies and cuddle up in front of the television to watch Elf with Will Farrell.  Great movie.  I tucked her into bed and an hour after that I climbed into my bed and two hours later the poor dear woke with a fever and sniffles.  I’m beat.  The good news is that she only has a mild cold and has gone home to her own bed and here I am rambling on to you readers.

Tomorrow I will bring you my final post of this challenge.  I promise it will be more interesting than this one!

Sleep well or good morning…… wherever you are, Friends!


wingedprisms (cate b)


Hello!  I took a break for a few weeks.  I came down with a cold-type sickness – first fever in about twenty years – house guest arrived for a week and then my son and wife were moving and grand daughter had to spend three nights with us.  So, when that week was over I started nursing my sickness.

Now the season is changing – even though it’s about ninety-six degrees outside – I will be going and watching little Lucy a couple of days a week in campus housing at UCM and she will come home and spend the night with us.  Busy times but enjoyable.

So, here is a song – a little sad but full of hope for all you need it……..


cate b

Chocolate Cheerios and Jason Mraz

Being a grandparent is amazing.  I never knew I could love so much.  Having the four children I gave birth to was pretty amazing also.  Each one was a bundle of unique personality that I just adored.  I still do.  But a grandchild……. a whole different ballgame.

You hold them for the first time and look deep into their eyes and wonder ….. who do they look like?  There’s a bit of everyone wrapped up into this little human.  They change almost daily in their looks and their personalities unfold just as fast.  I was blessed to be in the birthing room for our third grandson’s birth.  When he cried and cried laying there on the table waiting to be measured and cleaned up I went over to him and said, “It’s OK.  I’m here”, exactly as I would tell him when he was in his mother’s womb.  I did that two times after his birth and both times he stopped crying.  He knew me.

Our fourth grand child is the first girl grand child.  She is two years old now.  I talked to her in the womb also thinking I would have the same rapport.  No.  She cried for me for the first six months of her life as I cared for her a few hours each day.  I tried not to take it personally.  Then one day she came over and smiled and loved me.  It is an awesome feeling.  Now, she sings with me and plays with me and snuggles and argues.

girl-singing-10390228She tends to prefer songs with a good beat to bop up and down to.  She know what she wants.  Jason Mraz is a favorite of hers.

She spent the night the other day.  When I entered her room here is what took place:

Me: “Good Morning. Lovely.”

L:  “I have Cheerios?  Chocolate?”

I girl after my heart…… cheerios that are chocolate.  Of course I said yes.  My kids never ate cereal like that – but nothing is too good for my grandchildren.


We now wait excitedly for another grand daughter who will arrive in October!  Who is she?  Will she look like me?

What will be her favorite treat from Mammy and Papa?

Love your family and friends – they are priceless.  There is much to be learned about life through our families and friendships.  There is much to be learned about ourselves.  I love that.  I love them.


cate b

My Ode to Grandparents


 My husband and I became grandparents while our 2 (out of 4) youngest were still in High School.  Our oldest son married a wonderful gal who already had 2 sons of her own.  He has since adopted them and they have a third son now.

 At the time I did not feel like a grandma.  Most of that was due to the fact that I was still a “mommy” with 2 in school.  Also, having been a child of the 50’s – that’s 1950s to those of the present century – our grandparents were mostly gray-haired, bun wearing, large dresses and Mr Roger type sweater wearers. Whole different image back then.

(here is a picture with our oldest grandson at his High School graduation)

We now have a 4th grand child, she is just turning a year old.  We moved half way across the country 3 years ago and had to leave the 3 boys behind – their parents wouldn’t let them come with us….. whatever.  I miss them greatly.  But since arriving here the last 2 have married and our youngest and his lovely wife have given us a grand-daughter.  I have the privilege of caring for her at least 4 days a week.  I hesitate here.  I love spending time with her.  I laugh, I cry and it’s all good – but it does make me miss my boys back east.  But this “Ode to Grandparents” isn’t about me and all the joy I experience with mine.  This is for the fellow comrades who find themselves in situations that caused them to be “parents” again.  For whatever the reasons they have to raise their grandchildren – I lift my hat to them.  Heck, I bow down at their feet and if I could I’d give them all their dream vacations.  And I am serious.

I turned 60 in the fall.  I’m stiff when I don’t want to be and there are many days I want to stay in bed and read a book or two – if it didn’t hurt to lay down for long periods of time.  I’m not working now just because I don’t want to even though another income would be welcomed.  But that does allow me to take care of the little girl.  In her short illustrious life she has actually spent the night with Mammy and Papa 3 times.  The first time I ended up on the couch with a restless baby on top of me and absolutely NO sleep.  The second time we shared the guest room double bed so Papa and the dogs wouldn’t be disturbed or disturb us.  It was going well until about 1 am when I gave her a bottle of goat milk while lying next to me in bed.  She sucked so hard on the bottle that the nipple collapsed into the bottle and deposited goat milk all over the mattress and herself.  Of course I had NO extra clothes for her so I ended up wrapping her in a blanket and cuddling her, which apparently that is all she wanted anyway because she promptly fell asleep till morning.

The third time was just this past weekend.  Much progress has taken place.  Except ……. she caught a cold – on MY watch!  I almost panicked but we got through it after I drugged her lightly (don’t worry it was infants Tylenol).

Times have changed.  Children today experience way too much heartache in this world.  I thank you parents for sacrificing so much to give your loved ones the help and assistance they need.  They are our future.  We need to preserve and take back what was lost between generations.  We need each other.  All ages working together and supporting each other is a huge part of life.

God bless you.


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