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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Seven Months

It's been about 7 months since the 
Big Move.

SEVEN MONTHS!!
How can that be?
We've discussed how much like 'home' it feels, or not.
We've created new patterns for weekly tasks.
We've hung out together.
And in the end, that is really what matters to me these days,
hanging out together.
 ⇆
I still have some unpacking and sorting and discarding to do
~she says with some embarrassment~ 

I guess that part never ends, does it? 

There still remains to be 3 things I'm not wild about.
  1. The upstairs neighbor with lead feet
  2. Not being able to walk straight outside.
  3. Laundry Day
 Other than that, we're fine enough.
Here is what laundry day looks like:

 It IS a nice room.
6 washers, 6 dryers
 The problem for me remains the scents and process to avoid them!
You can see my small gathering of weaving materials.
It was a weaving day this day.
Sometimes it is a reading day or a phone call day.

I wait upstairs in the lounge area, 
so I can switch my laundry into the least offensive machines.
It takes up a chunk of time on my weekend,
but then it is all done at once!
Ready for the work week.

How mundane my life must seem.
How it feels.


The lounge area and the view.
Sometimes others are doing laundry or watching TV in the lounge.
Usually, two particular neighbors with the ball game on.

Usually I am alone, except for the few strange encounters with neighbors.
There was the neighbor who seemed friendly enough, until he went off about Muslims.
I'll leave that there, except to say, of course I did not agree and I'm glad to have NOT seen him since.  Then there is the neighbor in a wheel chair, who pushes himself around...talking to himself and anyone who may listen, in rather snarky, aggressive tones.  Odd does not begin to describe.
I have learned about myself, that I have a hard time feeling compassion when I feel unsafe.
And there was the day that the upstairs lead foot neighbor came into the laundry room, started his laundry, then wiped down a white plastic chair with a wet paper towel and plopped himself down to STARE at me as I folded my laundry.  I quickly dropped the undergarments into my laundry cart.  He lives ~right around the corner~ from the laundry room, but yet there he sat.
And the ball game watching lady always has something to say, even if she is nice enough.
"Oh you're finally finished with your laundry!" as I head back toward the elevator.
Her voice rises and emphasizes on the "finally".

I didn't ask for, nor need a commentary on my laundry efficiency!
There is air conditioning, which I am grateful for.
And there is a view, which carries me away.

 Somewhere in the back area there lives a small hawk 
that cries out in the mornings as I leave for work.
I've yet to see it, like I could the hawks at the old place.
But, I can hear it and imagine.
Just the calling carries me. 

And the Crows!
There are so many crows around here!
I see some every morning as I head out.
They make me smile.

In other, maybe equally boring news.
I'm reading a new book.
 I'm pretty far into it and have mixed feelings at this point.
Has anyone out there read this one.
Please share what you thought, 
for I'm not sure if it is him and his writing or me and my state of mind.
  
Yesterday was my niece's wedding.
I took only one photo with people in it!
There were so many 'smart' phones and hired photographers,
gracious knows my photos were not needed!
I did take one of them right after the ceremony and  it came out blurry!
ha
 A horrible picture, but their smiles are forever in my mind's eye.
I was interesting in textures and light.
Grab a drink wall, which was later a grab a goodie bag wall
Room divider
View from the balcony ~ The Fashion District, Downtown LA
Plenty of glassware in the SoCal sun

Part of the table decor. Anyone know what this is?
 
Last, but not least, I treated myself to a new little desk and chair.
It is small and has only one thin drawer, so I can't collect more stuff!
But, I now have a place to get my financial life organized,
instead of trying to sit on the edge of my bed! ha
I added the old Carson Valley 'pogonip'
photograph to this wall.
I love being able to look up at it and remember from my days up North.
I remember for two weeks straight, as we were preparing to move back to California,
the Carson Valley was socked in with a valley wide pogonip.
My EX was working up in Tahoe, where it was brilliant blue skies.
Yet, I was home packing, with two babies under the age of three 
and solid , gray, frozen skies!  It was wild!

New desk, chair and pillow

May your mundane tasks contain some interest and gratitude. 
May life's big moments provide time for small reflections.
May possibilities come in the most surprising ways.
xo

Photographs by NAE ©2019  

Monday, September 9, 2019

Woke Early

I was awoken early by a stream of thoughts
One after the other
Some in great detail
Mostly stress-filled and followed by minutes of
 brainstorming problem-solving solutions

It was quite circular, to say the least

Anyway, an old conversation came to mind
An old uncomfortable conversation

Then this thought:
"When someone is drowning, you don't throw them an anchor"

Yep, that's true
A flotation device would be a better choice, eh?



Just thought I'd record that thought here, so I may remember that I thought it.
Not that I've been a big anchor tosser in my life,
but it is a good reminder, yes?

May kind uplifting words come your way as you move through your many days.
xo


Saturday, September 7, 2019

Patches of Life

                                                   The Avett Brothers - Head Full Of Doubt/Road Full Of Promise      

This has been a tricky year.
I've posted recently about some of that 
and it really helped to hear from so many of you.
I just don't seem to be able to find my writing/posting rhythm this year.
But, I keep trying (hence the silly grape post!)

I guess this post, which has been in draft form, partially written, for weeks is another attempt at moving forward.

It is old and new
It is focused and scattered
It will probably be somewhat interesting and also boring.
It is life as I know it.

Today we drove by a building that has been many things over the years and although we drive by it weekly, today I was reminded of my Daddy.  You see, it used to be a restaurant called Hamburger Hamlet, a place he used to take my kids and I.  He loved their chili and I love their onion soup fondue.  I've never really enjoyed that dish anywhere else.  It is so strange when random memories pop up and take you back to a time and place with particular people.

This happens to me at times, but certain people show up less and less.
Is this a part of aging?
The filtering of your life?

Sometimes I wish I'd remember more or better and other times, I'm glad for the forgetting.  It helps.

Below is an old writing that a past conversation with Dee reminded me of. I remember that time.

Nightmare Remembered
     It’s us.  Her and I. Together.  We are together somewhere in a large body of water.  I see our bodies submerged through a distorted view of an underwater vision.  We’re struggling.  Our legs pedal as our feet flick out in sudden movement.  Dog-paddling they call it.  But we’re not going anywhere and our heads are below the surface.  We’re drowning.  She’s drowning.  And I’m following right behind her.  I see myself flailing towards her.  I touch her arm and try to get her to the surface.  I can’t.  I try pushing her up by her bottom.  I can’t.  I keep trying.  Over and over, anyway I can think of.  Nothing works.  In between attempts I work my way to the top, gasping for air, only to go under again.  I’m determined.  I’m terrified.  How can I save her and myself at the same time?  I don’t want to die and I won’t let her.  Finally, with an exhausted final struggle, I push her up from beneath.  I force myself up and into the sunlight.  I did it!  Faces in the moist air, we’re drained, we’re alive.  I did it.  I wake up.
NAE ©'98-'99

There are many ways to drown.  There are many ways to resurface too. Some ways work better than others or work better at different times or for longer periods.  There's always that shift, that ebb, that flow.  To learn that you can go with the flow, that you can shift On Purpose, becomes a real gift.  To be able to practice that is a bigger gift.


On the bedroom windowsill
Beads, cleaned out, bagged and ready to go
Childhood Flintstones jelly jar glass
I cleaned out some more things recently.
Things that somehow made the move, nut that I don't need.
The three antique canning jars on the windowsill hold tid-bits...
wooden thread spools, a few antique clothespins and some fossils 
(found by J.).  These three are the last of my once large collection of canning jars.
The blue ones were the first to go.  These were saved for their uniqueness.
the fact that they were square or had a name not usually seen or a checkered pattern - reminding me of a honeycomb feeling.
And the little bird food tin, which I've always loved.
The jars can go, I'll have to keep his fossils and I still enjoy the vintage clothespins, but I guess they can go too.  I'm not sure what I need to keep anymore!
The beads are by the door, ready to go...if I could figure out to where! ha


The glass was mine.  It says "The Flintstones - Fred and Barney play golf".
I seriously must have read that a million times, sitting at the table eating a meal.
I'm considering where that could go too!

It is so funny how little I want or need these days and
I see these things and get excited about them...for someone else!
Dana could group those jars as a part of funky centerpiece on a table set for brunch with other cloth friends or a casual get together!
My great niece could drink morning orange from the Flintstones glass!
See how that giving and creative part of my brain works!


Old Stuff
A vintage Noxzema jar filled with tokens of my 1968-1970 self.  
Gas station astrology tokens, happy face buttons, sealing wax seals 
(a peace sign and an "N") and what is left of the beads I had...
bought at a totally groovy bead and stuff store.  
I can still see the trays of beads to chose from!

More stuff in the jar
Stamp and comic saved by my writerly mother
All in one place now
Everything in one box
The beads and other 'stuff' all in one box now, the stamp and cartoon in another.
I am sure I have more of my mother's saved cartoons.  This makes me think of Dee and her sister's clippings.  My mom used to cut out the 'book review' from the LA Times and tuck it into the book she'd purchased.  We found many a yellowed copy imprinted on the front pages of a book of hers.




Unique fruit at the store.  For whatever reason, we didn't buy any,
but instead marveled at the strange look!



The newly experimented with wider bag, done and gifted.


 AS ALWAYS
CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE

 Another one, done and gifted. 
It is wider as well.
I like how it turned out.


 The loom stills empty the past few weeks, 
but I am planning in my head 
and hoping for the energy and inspiration to get it going again.


For now, I am surrounded by things to take care of.
paperwork, financial and work related
cleaning out and organizing of 
personal belongings, paperwork and financial life

I treated myself to a simple, one drawer desk to help with this.
I figured if it only had one drawer, I couldn't collect too much more stuff,
especially as I've worked...am working to get rid of things.
Always.


I'm trying to feel empowered, but I'm really just feeling confused.

 In the meantime, I commute and wonder at our current world.
I've thrown away the blue scraps of paper...my daily motor home count.
They've all been moved off...to somewhere.
The street is empty and cleaned of their ever existing there.
I wonder at where they are now.
I know they are somewhere, on another city street.
Temporary homes.


And I wonder about the man, who was laying on the sidewalk as I drove to work last week.
A man - sleeping, passed out or worse.
A man with no belongings.
A man with no community around him.
Just a man, face up to the morning sun.

I called 911.
But I will never know.
There is much I will never know these days.

I unpacked this tiny mother figure, thinking I may pass it on.
But the teeny-tiny carved wooden baby was gone.
I could not find it in the box anywhere.
Baby.
Gone.

This seemed fitting somehow.



Shoe detail

New shoes

Zipper on the side
 ↔

As I  close for the day, I'll leave you with two pearls of wisdom
(yeah, right)
They just fell out of my mouth as words often do.
In speaking of someone who tries to be optimistic, to a fault...
I said she just 'spreads sunshine on shit'.

True.

Then today in speaking of someone I used to know,
I said that he was 'thrifty to a fault, which he probably learned from his folks.  
But, on them, it just looked cheap.'

Also true.


May your days be filled with variety, words, growing wisdom
and many treasures ~ new and old.
May you feel my thanks as you read this wacky journal-type post.
Again, true.
xo 

Photographs by NAE ©2019  
 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Going on a Bear Hunt

I was on that library binge,
now I'm not.
Read all of them but BURN,
which I got to Chapter 26 when I discovered it was overdue.
That goes against my strict policy 
of not paying for things I don't have to. 
So, I returned it for another day.

Tried another book by the Man Named Ove author (can't think of his name)
but I couldn't get into it, returned it.

Now I'm back to re-reading old favorites.





Song of the Seals is well...
what do you call a chick flick book?
Is there some sort of cutsey name for that too?
That's this book.
Good story and romance and...
It has become a comfort book, as I've read it half a dozen times.
There's a Northern California, seaside town, she is an artist (painter)...
drama, love and a not completely happy ending,
but happy enough.

I'm on the AKR book on the left there now.
Again, I've read it more than twice already.
I even started my own version about me ☺
I've probably already posted it here before (I like it that much!)

Today while reading it, I read this quote:
"The only way out, is through"
~Robert Frost

Which all at once felt like it applied to everything lately.

Like 'just going' coined by our beloved Jude 
(sorry for being an invisible participant this time around).

Then on the way home, I was surprised to come upon this...






This time, there was no way 'out' and no way 'through'.
The whole street, blocked for an end of summer fair.
I had to go around through the detour streets,
 filled with families heading that way.

As I drove, I thought...sometimes you just have to go around and get on with things.

Then, much later at home, my brain landed on the child's chant about
Going on a Bear Hunt ~
You can't go over it
You can't go under it
You can't  around it
You have to go through...the trail, grass, water etc.
And right into the cave with the bear!

⟲  ⥁  ⟳  ⥀
Which led me right back to where I started.
I guess you really do have to go through it.

(((sigh)))

May your days be filled with options and surprises and lots of comfort.
xo 
Photographs by NAE ©2019

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

My Life as a Vine-wrapped Grape


My life...
as a vine-wrapped grape.


Entangled
Tight
Binding

 Entwined
Holding
Restrictive
 Bulging
Juicy
Confining
Sweet
Delightful
Delicious

May you find ways to see through the tangle 
and find the tasty morsels of life!
xo 
Photographs by NAE ©2019

Saturday, July 20, 2019

TOO MUCH: Weary, Faith, Hope, Change and #littleman

NOTE~ Yes, I know this is a lot of photographs.  It is my way of telling this story.
Yes, I know this is a depressing story, but it is mine of late and it is also my blog.
You may go away now if this is not of interest to you.
(I say with understanding and kindness, as I get it)
This is me having to get this off my chest in one way I know how.
I have always said, and will repeat:
I treasure each and every one of my blogland peeps.
You guys are true, salt-of-the-earth people.
You engage, challenge, and lift me in ways you may never fully know.
You accept and love me in ways I deeply appreciate.
So, thank you for all of that.
Carry on.


                                        Mavis Staples ft. Ben Harper - Change                

Hazel's comment on a recent post of mine...
Michelle's use of the word 'weary'...
Saskia's return... 
Liz and Jude...going...
Mo's providing Moon beauty...

~all prompts for me to record some of my own recent feelings, as best I can~
They are not pretty

Daily drive, landfill on the left
Pretty good shape!

3 Turtles keep me company

There is a little two year old at work who has been discovering
too much.
Sometimes it is water or soap.  Sometimes it is a particular kind of toy or sand.
Sometimes it is the noises around him.
"Too Much!" he says.

I agree.
There is too much politics, unrest, unkindness, illness, arguing, 
bitterness, threats of violence and violence itself.

There is too much imbalance of powers, poverty, homelessness,
Too Much cages and babies taken from their families.

Too many lost or broken or both.
Too much negative.
Too much heavy.
Too much change, of not the good kind.


I tried to sleep and this phrase keep popping into my head:
frying pan, frying pan
little man in a frying pan
burn his feet, ain't that neat?
falls to seat, ain't that fun?
little man can't even run

I even drew #littleman


My heart breaks for the #littleman, trying to survive, trying to get by.

There are too many stories...
in the news, from those I know...deep in hearts (mine included).
(I drew that too)


Barely able to see the story patches, I've been wearing lately.
The weight is astounding.



I keep looking for the light.
I'm usually pretty good at finding slivers of light.

Teeny glimmers are all that have appeared.
A couple of work changes, reversed - improved upon...
a cause for guarded relief and begrudged gratefulness.

This song above, heard on my commute, 
a slice of rebellious, stomping foot in place calling out ENOUGH.
Demanding CHANGE! (The good kind of course!)

Nice trees, work car?

Sometimes I consider that I could drive a different, 
less in your face route to work.
But, I would not forget all  #somefolks are still out there, 
with me just on a less upsetting road.
If this was the only 'news', maybe I would consider that.
But, to me it is merely a sign of these times.
There is so, so much more.







These non-mobile mobile homes are filled with men, women, pet dogs
bicycles, ATVs, dirt, dust and grime.
Broken bits of furniture, car parts and trash.
They have folks that sweep the sidewalk or don't, 
work on their vehicles and go off for the day (to work?)
There are tarps.  Lots of tarps that cover the roofs, broken windows 
(there seems to be lots of those too) and spaces between their home 
and a nearby wall or fence (AKA shade tarps).
This is but one short stretch of road where the mobile live.




In my car, my own home away from home, on my lunch break 
I manage to sort bags of buttons.
Dividing my collection by about half.  
Because who needs so many buttons anyway? 

I sort and search.
I seek to find.

I haven't been weaving or stitching the past few weeks.
Or letter writing, although I've got a mental list going for that!

I make life decisions phone calls from my car.
The kind of phone calls no one really likes to make.
Then I make the return trip.







At night, in bed I read little novels. 
Escape books, for enjoyment and to get tired enough and to ward off dreams.

I've read some fair, good or great books. 


I'll read BURN next.  I am part way through A MAN CALLED OVE.
I have finished the others and they are back at the library, 
so someone else may enjoy them.
CALLING MAJOR TOM was a fun one to read with all the celebratory remembering of the Moon Landing going on right now.  He actually is on his way to Mars, but there is lots of Space Oddity tie-ins and such!  BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE and A MAN CALLED OVE are both by the author whose book I read first: MY GRANDMOTHER TOLD ME TO TELL YOU SHE'S SORRY.  He has a very unique way of phrasing and word choice.  One of those authors I find myself thinking in their style. 


I try to stay off the news these days.
I return to continue and/or consider FB and it's vile owners/operators. 
I try to let the unkind comments and some of the stories go.
I would love to walk again, but the air quality and my asthma say "NO WAY!"
I look for new tools in this old toolbox.
(toolbox below!)
TV game shows in the toolbox!

 ↔

And, as you guys know, 
I guess I wouldn't be me if I didn't keep trying to circle back around 
to some kind of light and love.
It'll get easier.
It always does.
It's just taking a while this time.

Work parking lot heart leaf!

May you get through your hard times,
enjoy your better times and
try to always remember love.
xo 
Photographs by NAE ©2019