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Sunday, March 29, 2015

To Dye For

I never liked that saying...
Oh such and such is 'to die for'

However, as a pun...it works!
So here is to DYE for.

Cloth diaper with the two parts of a canning jar lid tucked inside.
Held in place with thin copper wire.
Tossed into the dye pot with rain water, onion skins, a rusty horseshoe...etc.

Maybe other stuff, I don't remember now.
In fact I forgot all about it until I got a message from Jude today.

When I went to look, there was not even any water left.
It has been pretty hot around here!

*Click on images to enlarge
Dye Pot

One Side

Another Side
Interesting results.

Photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2015

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Another Day, Another Direction, Another Knob

9 minutes off a main road, on the other side of town.
A brief respite recently into trees and green.

This is directly across the valley from the Knob we hiked to.
This was not a hiking day, just a short drive.

Enjoy the views!

Knob

Beautiful green

Gracing the hillside

Close up

Breeze and shifting light

Square knob!! 

Thick mud

Mudscape
Well, now I've recorded views from three sides of this valley.
Maybe I'll have to plan a hike for the last direction!

It's supposed to get hot here again.  Oy

Hope your week is filled with goodness.
~Nancy

Photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2015

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hope Help Healing (a day of support and rememberance)

Yesterday an anniversary no parent should have to 'celebrate'.
For how does a parent celebrate the  death of their beautiful 12 year old son?
So, it was a day to miss and mourn and remember.
It was a day to hold one another gently.
For as the year anniversary arrives, each one has moved through the year of 'firsts' 
in their own personal way.
Together.  Alone.

Today was a day to come together to raise money & awareness & support.
2015 Walk/5K Run for Kids with Cancer

That these two days fell around the Spring Equinox ~ feels hopeful.

Super Brother awaits the announcement to begin the walk

Families start the walk
 More than 1000 people joined the walk in the beautiful California sunshine.  
You can read more here.
Campus Sculpture
 The walk is held at our local community college, a wonderful campus.  It has grown so much over the years since I worked there.  There are several new sculptures, new learning programs and a new vineyard too.

Campus Vineyard

I am given a new blue Michael Hoefflin Foundation Bracelet.  It says, "hope help healing".
In our bright green Team Christopher t-shirts, red Angels hats, red photographic buttons and green ChangeWorks
bracelets...we make up a colorful group of friends and family.

If you choose to read the work of the ChangeWorks group (follow the link), I'm sure you will be as impressed as I am with these young people, who are working so hard to get the word out there about this awful disease.

Christopher's spirit lives on in each of us.
The Christopher Effect 

Photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2015 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Homage to Green and Trees We've Known

Thursday night I came home to a poisoned stump where the apricot tree once stood.  While I realize that this had to be done as it stood right next to the house as a grand homestead to many termites, I can't begin to tell you the sadness I felt.
It was not a sadness for only this one tree, which over most of the last 15 years has given us the Most Excellent tasting apricots ever(we often had to fight the squirrels and birds for them), but the sadness is for the loss of yet another friend.  So many neighboring trees are now gone.
Friday morning this song came into my head.  Mostly the line about "all the leaves are brown"

                                                                                                                                                             

Being my mother's daughter, I of course hummed my own version.

"All the world is brown, the trees have gone away..."

This spurred a trip down memory lane.

*Please note: I've left the photographs smaller this time to help the page load faster (there are a lot of pictures!).  As always, click on photo to enlarge.
Circa 2000 in the front driveway
 My old neighbor had such a green thumb.  One year she casually threw sunflower seeds in the dirt, along the driveway.  It was this narrow piece of earth between asphalt and block wall, that she was able to bring to life.  It was so beautiful!  That's my Mama and sister with me.
Green world
 It was so green back then!  In the far back, there was ivy that covered the fence.  That's the little apricot tree in the right front of this photo.  That's the boy and the man after having a catch.  Some of you may remember when all the trees on the left came out.  They were Italian Cedars.

The fam at Thanksgiving
 This picture has the Cedars and some of the old neighbor's property.  The way it was.  I love the old school auto-timer quality to this photo...and the fact that my grandson is running off!
Her back property used to have fruit trees and all sorts of growth in wild abandon, along with an old pick-up truck and a boat!  You can hardly tell this is in town!

Porch
The growth in the back has been removed, so we can see all the way through to the neighbors.  We miss the privacy and the green.  But we still love the "back 40"!  At this point of the driveway, on the neighbor's property (on the left) stood a very old walnut tree.  It's long gone now.

Flowers and friendship
In these two photos you can see the garden area at the base of the apricot tree. One year a friend and I planted it together (you can still see the wild green in the back 40!).  Every year we enjoy the bulbs returning.  They were here when I moved in and I have never learned their name.  It did not seem to matter in relation to our enjoyment.  They have thinned out a lot over the years as first the owners added some shrubs and then I added rock rose, lavender, and rosemary.  I love the smells out there now!

Bulb garden way back when

2015
Bare
This is what it looks like today.  Missing the 40 year old apricot tree and all of the others, including all the elm trees that once lined the right side of the back 40.
The garden area, where the apricot tree once stood, is lush with the plants I've chosen (except the bulbs, which I like and those red leaf plant shrubs, which I don't care for as much).  The funny (she says with sarcasm) thing is that on any given gardener day, I will come home to find all of the plants in this area (and all of the ones out front too) deeply pruned into square shapes.  I prefer them to be rambling and more natural.  Others seem to like boxes.  (((sigh)))

Bare to the bones
However, I do try to look for the positive...and I do love the sense of big sky back there.  It makes for great sunsets!  The bulbs are up again right now and add some nice splashes of red.  The rosemary smells divine after we water.  But, we'll forever miss the tree's fruit and shade.


This morning I awoke to the sounds of saws!!  "No, no, no" I screamed in my head!!

Tree trimmers
Yep, there they were on the other side of my neighbors.  Trimming or removing?  I hardly dared to ask.  I scanned the skyline all around and discovered birds high atop many of the trees.  They must have been thinking, "There goes the neighborhood!"








And I count my blessing that the neighbor on one side keeps planting, while others continue removing.  I enjoy a view of her orange tree from my shower.
California Dreamin' indeed!

 I hope everyone has a great week.  If it holds disappointments, I hope there is some sunshine sprinkled throughout as well.
~Nancy

Photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2015 (and earlier)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Reading David Whyte and Sharing Baribie Clothes

Today I found interest in reading this Brain Pickings piece about David Whyte.
You all know how I love his words, his work.  Today what I found interesting came from these two points:
  1.  So many old and new friends alike have mentioned, fairly recently, about finding the time to do the work, self and partner aspects in their lives.
  2.  I have said over the years, probably even here, that I am 'seeking balance'.  This piece gave me a new way of thinking about that.  A way that is resonating with me.
What do you think?

And on my second thought for this post.  I've wanted to share these and finally have photographs to do so.  These were made by my Nana Nell, the mother of my birth-father.  I've had them since I was a young girl.  I think I have found a new home for them.  You know how I like to do that too!  So satisfying to pass material possessions along to others who can enjoy them!  For some reason, they make me think of Deanna, who knits and loves beautiful things.  The coat was always my favorite and only looks a bit mishapen because it has spent the last 50+ years on Barbie!!
Ken has worn his sweater all these years too, it helped hold his arm on.
Which actually is a funny (maybe in a tragic way) story.
Ken's arm used to fall off all the time as I played with him or tried to dress him.
I was not a small girl of patience.  I used to get so frustrated!
In fact one year when I was very small I put on my Hanukkah list:
New Ken arms and head
I think this is so funny and telling of who I was, how our life was.  Ken was fine, except for his dumb arm, which would not stay on and his head, which had lost much of its fuzzy hair.
Therefore, that was all I needed, the two parts that were not working.
It was also the year I asked for a:
Pebbles cradle
Again, I had a doll I adored and did not need Pebbles (from the 1960's Flintstones cartoon), just her cool cradle!
Crazy, huh? 

Anyway, please enjoy the precise, tiny, beautiful knitwear of my late grandmother.

~As always, click on photograph to enlarge~
Beautiful coat with teeny-tiny white buttons
Skirt and top.  Skirt has a tiny tie on the back.
Ken's 'tennis' sweater
Glitter dress with beaded bow
This last dress is the one I am not 100% sure she made.  The inside seams look to be professionally finished (maybe).  I know you can but those beaded items, like the bow here.  So, possibly she made the dress and added the bought bow.  I've put a word out to my sister to see if she remembers any more of the story.  I also don't remember if she has similar clothing or different ones.

Here are my vintage Barbie & Ken.  
I am hoping they will soon have a good home to go to as well.
I've had a good long turn with them and am happy to pass them along.

Barbie in her official Barbie dress, Ken in swim trunks!

It was so fun to look at them again after their long stay in an Ebs Tennis shoes box.
I am reminded how I always thought short hair, dresses and high heals = a "grown up lady" (my words as a little girl).
Of course between the decade and the fact that my Mama dressed just that way as a Jr. High school teacher, it makes perfect sense (to a child's mind).
I wear my hair long in pure rebellion!
I am also struck by their facial expressions.
The photo below looks like a mug shot!!
That or the faces of two people, long dating but with marriage issues!  ha
The Happy Couple
Have a lovely weekend all,
~Nancy


Photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2015 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Go North Old Gal

I was lucky enough to head up North last Saturday 
to visit friends & former sibling students and their family.
These children I once care for as infants and young toddlers are now 10 and 12 and both amazing human beings.  I feel so blessed to have the relationships with them and their parents continue for all these years.
We still share a bond.
We enjoyed a good meal and a nice walk.

Some of you may remember the beautiful butterfly post from years passed.
The butterflies had already traveled on, but the gardens, trees, smells and ocean views were as lovely as always.

The trip through one of my favorite valleys and up the coast was alive with spring green, bright sunlight and our sparkling blue-green ocean.  
Breathtaking!

I wish I could bring you along on such a glorious day.


Anyway, here is a short photo journey.


A tiny hummingbird nest rests on the lights under a an awning on my friend's patio.
Now, that's a tiny house!!

A neighbor's garden, already a riot of color.





Don't these look like stitches?!!
AKA a Kantha Succulent!



 See that short trail in the ocean?


Here is a closer view.  I loved the brightness of the green in the dimming light of day.

 Sunset on the water.  Sizzle.
This weekend it is supposed to be about 94 degrees!
It's only March, I'm not ready for summer.





That's what SoCal looks like!

All sunshine, all the time.

Monday at work, I got to watch these two doves smooching it up in the tree by my car.
So sweet.



May your coming days be filled with this much love, friendship and beauty!
~Nancy


Photos by Nancy A. Erisman ©2015