Sunday, January 21, 2018

Books, Paper and Letting Go

While home all of those days while my eye healed,
I wasn't able to do too much.
Much to my disappointment, as I thought the recovery would be much easier.

So, there has been no sewing, very little book reading 
(somehow the computer is easier to read) and no making of any other kind.
But, the thing I COULD do, which needed to be done, is clean out files and household or work related paperwork and go through my large book collection.

I am so ready to get rid of more, so that is what I did.
File after file after file...I shredded.

I love that this picture is blurry.
That is how it feels.  I've lost count of how many bags filled!

This leads me to a mini-rant.

When I opened the file drawer to pull out that file, the one you don't need in case you get audited, the 8 year old one,  I noticed some of the other years, 
I had saved more than I thought I had!  WHY?

Mmmm  Grrrr  I guess I always get caught up in the what do I NEED to save year to year.  Do you save charge card or utilities bills?  Some paper you always have to save.  FOREVER! 
Oh, how I dream of being one who so easily tosses ANYTHING she doesn't want.  
Audit-Shmadit, what's that?  

And really what is with all this PAPER???  So many bags filled!  
Such a waste of resources and time.
What if you live in a TINY HOUSE?  
How do you store the so-called 'needed' 7 years of PAPER? Huh?  
I so badly want to shred it all!!!  All of the housekeeping paperwork, all of the teaching paperwork...all, all, all!  

Photo by NAE ©2018

And don't even get me started on all of the PAPERCLIPS!!!!!!  I still have zillions of my mom's (my sister and I split them, because they are useful, right?  Can't just throw away something useful!)  But of course, I will never, ever use all of these, even half of them!  How many darn pieces of paper does one need to hook together?
If you don't have the PAPER then you don't need the PAPERCLIPS!

My other project has been the books in the big bookshelf, on his bookshelf...
in every room of the house.
I have so many unread books.  While Dee's reading goal is so inspiring, I know I just don't have the time and some of the titles just don't interest me like they once did or I've decided I probably, truthfully won't read some titles, even if I feel like I 'should'.
A subject may interest me, but not in a deep, read a whole book kind of way.

I think it is time to let go and move on.
This is particularly hard for me coming from a book family and loving books as I do.
To make myself feel better, I try to pass them along to those would like - love them? actually read them?
As I mentioned in my last post, I have an extra copy of 

I also have the following books, ready to go.

and more!

Then there are a few on writing or grammar, mostly belonging to my mom.


Then there are a bunch of art/quilt books.
Great and like new!

If you'd like a book, just let me know, sooner rather than later.
As soon as I've gone through them all, there is a wonderful non-profit here that will pick books up from your home.  They then give them away at local events (Week of the Young Child celebration, our local Pow Wow, etc.)

So there you have it, cleaning clutter.
Paper and Books...wait til I get into the studio and tackle Cloth!
Back to work.
Take care, Nancy

Monday, January 15, 2018


At my sister's suggestion, I read the poem below.  It is a part of a collection of Edna St. Vincent Millay's work gathered in a book we each own. 
The book is:
Our copies have a different cover, but basically this is it.

I was given this book by my mama when I was 10.5 years old.
I didn't feel ready for it then.
As it turns out, I'm still not sure if I'm ready for it, 
or if I just don't do poetry well.
Especially long poems, written in ways that need dissection. 
I don't really have the patience.

I admire those like Michelle that do love poetry.
I think as an English teacher's daughter, I thought I should like this stuff more.
My mom did.
I still have many of her poetry ~ teaching & private collection books.
My sister has many others.

Anyway, here is the poem that was offered up to me, perhaps you will enjoy it.
If not, I understand.
Thanks go to my sister for pointing the way and to Dee for inspiring me to try something new and maybe not clearing my shelf, through reading...
but reading one poem in a book I've had for many years!
(BTW~ I have an extra copy of this book if anyone is interested in it!)

May you also be inspired in some new way,

PS I return to work tomorrow.  Hope I'm ready!

Photo by NAE ©2017

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950).  Renascence and Other Poems.  1917.

2. Interim
THE ROOM is full of you!—As I came in
And closed the door behind me, all at once
A something in the air, intangible,
Yet stiff with meaning, struck my senses sick!—
Sharp, unfamiliar odors have destroyed
Each other room’s dear personality.
The heavy scent of damp, funereal flowers,—
The very essence, hush-distilled, of Death—
Has strangled that habitual breath of home
Whose expiration leaves all houses dead;
And wheresoe’er I look is hideous change.
Save here. Here ’twas as if a weed-choked gate
Had opened at my touch, and I had stepped
Into some long-forgot, enchanted, strange,
Sweet garden of a thousand years ago
And suddenly thought, “I have been here before!”
You are not here. I know that you are gone,
And will not ever enter here again.
And yet it seems to me, if I should speak,
Your silent step must wake across the hall;
If I should turn my head, that your sweet eyes
Would kiss me from the door.—So short a time
To teach my life its transposition to
This difficult and unaccustomed key!—
The room is as you left it; your last touch—
A thoughtless pressure, knowing not itself
As saintly—hallows now each simple thing;
Hallows and glorifies, and glows between
The dust’s grey fingers like a shielded light.
There is your book, just as you laid it down,
Face to the table,—I cannot believe
That you are gone!—Just then it seemed to me
You must be here. I almost laughed to think
How like reality the dream had been;
Yet knew before I laughed, and so was still.
That book, outspread, just as you laid it down!
Perhaps you thought, “I wonder what comes next,
And whether this or this will be the end”;
So rose, and left it, thinking to return.
Perhaps that chair, when you arose and passed
Out of the room, rocked silently a while
Ere it again was still. When you were gone
Forever from the room, perhaps that chair,
Stirred by your movement, rocked a little while,
Silently, to and fro…
And here are the last words your fingers wrote,
Scrawled in broad characters across a page
In this brown book I gave you. Here your hand,
Guiding your rapid pen, moved up and down.
Here with a looping knot you crossed a “t,”
And here another like it, just beyond
These two eccentric “e’s.” You were so small,
And wrote so brave a hand!
                            How strange it seems
That of all words these are the words you chose!
And yet a simple choice; you did not know
You would not write again. If you had known—
But then, it does not matter,—and indeed
If you had known there was so little time
You would have dropped your pen and come to me
And this page would be empty, and some phrase
Other than this would hold my wonder now.
Yet, since you could not know, and it befell
That these are the last words your fingers wrote,
There is a dignity some might not see
In this, “I picked the first sweet-pea to-day.”
To-day! Was there an opening bud beside it
You left until to-morrow?—O my love,
The things that withered,—and you came not back!
That day you filled this circle of my arms
That now is empty. (O my empty life!)
That day—that day you picked the first sweet-pea,—
And brought it in to show me! I recall
With terrible distinctness how the smell
Of your cool gardens drifted in with you.
I know, you held it up for me to see
And flushed because I looked not at the flower,
But at your face; and when behind my look
You saw such unmistakable intent
You laughed and brushed your flower against my lips.
(You were the fairest thing God ever made,
I think.) And then your hands above my heart
Drew down its stem into a fastening,
And while your head was bent I kissed your hair.
I wonder if you knew. (Beloved hands!
Somehow I cannot seem to see them still.
Somehow I cannot seem to see the dust
In your bright hair.) What is the need of Heaven
When earth can be so sweet?—If only God
Had let us love,—and show the world the way!
Strange cancellings must ink th’ eternal books
When love-crossed-out will bring the answer right!
That first sweet-pea! I wonder where it is.
It seems to me I laid it down somewhere,
And yet,—I am not sure. I am not sure,
Even, if it was white or pink; for then
’Twas much like any other flower to me,
Save that it was the first. I did not know,
Then, that it was the last. If I had known—
But then, it does not matter. Strange how few,
After all’s said and done, the things that are
Of moment.
            Few indeed! When I can make
Of ten small words a rope to hang the world!
“I had you and I have you now no more.”
There, there it dangles,—where’s the little truth
That can for long keep footing under that      
When its slack syllables tighten to a thought?
Here, let me write it down! I wish to see
Just how a thing like that will look on paper!
“I had you and I have you now no more.”
O little words, how can you run so straight
Across the page, beneath the weight you bear?
How can you fall apart, whom such a theme
Has bound together, and hereafter aid
In trivial expression, that have been
So hideously dignified?—Would God
That tearing you apart would tear the thread
I strung you on! Would God—O God, my mind
Stretches asunder on this merciless rack
Of imagery! O, let me sleep a while!
Would I could sleep, and wake to find me back
In that sweet summer afternoon with you.
Summer? ’Tis summer still by the calendar!
How easily could God, if He so willed,
Set back the world a little turn or two!
Correct its griefs, and bring its joys again!
We were so wholly one I had not thought
That we could die apart. I had not thought
That I could move,—and you be stiff and still!
That I could speak,—and you perforce be dumb!
I think our heart-strings were, like warp and woof
In some firm fabric, woven in and out;
Your golden filaments in fair design
Across my duller fibre. And to-day
The shining strip is rent; the exquisite
Fine pattern is destroyed; part of your heart
Aches in my breast; part of my heart lies chilled
In the damp earth with you. I have been torn
In two, and suffer for the rest of me.
What is my life to me? And what am I
To life,—a ship whose star has guttered out?
A Fear that in the deep night starts awake
Perpetually, to find its senses strained
Against the taut strings of the quivering air,
Awaiting the return of some dread chord?
Dark, Dark, is all I find for metaphor;
All else were contrast,—save that contrast’s wall
Is down, and all opposed things flow together
Into a vast monotony, where night
And day, and frost and thaw, and death and life,
Are synonyms. What now—what now to me
Are all the jabbering birds and foolish flowers
That clutter up the world? You were my song!
Now, let discord scream! You were my flower!
Now let the world grow weeds! For I shall not
Plant things above your grave—(the common balm
Of the conventional woe for its own wound!)
Amid sensations rendered negative
By your elimination stands to-day,
Certain, unmixed, the element of grief;
I sorrow; and I shall not mock my truth
With travesties of suffering, nor seek
To effigy its incorporeal bulk
In little wry-faced images of woe.
I cannot call you back; and I desire
No utterance of my immaterial voice.
I cannot even turn my face this way
Or that, and say, “My face is turned to you”;
I know not where you are, I do not know
If heaven hold you or if earth transmute,
Body and soul, you into earth again;
But this I know:—not for one second’s space
Shall I insult my sight with visionings
Such as the credulous crowd so eager-eyed
Beholds, self-conjured in the empty air.
Let the world wail! Let drip its easy tears!
My sorrow shall be dumb!
—What do I say?
God! God!—God pity me! Am I gone mad
That I should spit upon a rosary?
Am I become so shrunken? Would to God
I too might feel that frenzied faith whose touch
Makes temporal the most enduring grief;
Though it must walk awhile, as is its wont,
With wild lamenting! Would I too might weep
Where weeps the world and hangs its piteous wreaths
For its new dead! Not Truth, but Faith, it is
That keeps the world alive. If all at once
Faith were to slacken,—that unconscious faith
Which must, I know, yet be the corner-stone
Of all believing,—birds now flying fearless
Across would drop in terror to the earth;
Fishes would drown; and the all-governing reins
Would tangle in the frantic hands of God
And the worlds gallop headlong to destruction!
O God, I see it now, and my sick brain
Staggers and swoons! How often over me
Flashes this breathlessness of sudden sight
In which I see the universe unrolled
Before me like a scroll and read thereon
Chaos and Doom, where helpless planets whirl
Dizzily round and round and round and round,
Like tops across a table, gathering speed
With every spin, to waver on the edge
One instant—looking over—and the next
To shudder and lurch forward out of sight—

    .    .    .    .    .    .
Ah, I am worn out—I am wearied out—
It is too much—I am but flesh and blood,
And I must sleep. Though you were dead again,
I am but flesh and blood, and I must sleep.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Further Update


 Aren't these glasses fly?!
These are the "fit over my regular glasses" glasses from the hospital.
They are nice and dark and cover a lot!

Today, I was able to wash my hair for the fist time since the surgery!
Yay!  It is the little things, isn't it?

While home this past week, I was able to see the sunlight in places I usually don't.
I was so taken with the string of "moons" falling down the wall.
Spreading out on the fan as well.
I took many, many photos.
Just enjoying the moment.

We were able to go out walk-about today.
Well, sorta.  We went for a block walk, looking for the owl tree.
I saw a photo by a neighbor of this tree.

And in this tree, there lives an owl!

So, we went looking to see if we could find it.
But, alas it was not home.
We'll look another day.

When we returned the moons had floated onto the TV stand.
Photo by NAE ©2018
 In between the resting, healing, grocery shopping and now a short walk...
in between I've been cleaning out and shredding every piece of paper 
I can lay my hands on!!!  But, I'll save that rant for another day!
May you find the small delights in life wherever you look...
and shred what you don't like, want or need!
Take care,

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Surgery Update

Hello all.
For those of you who haven't seen my updates on FB...
just a quick post to say...
doctors said all "went well" and I am now in he healing process.
The surgery was  NOT fun.
The healing is NOT fun, but it is coming along, bit by bit

I will not post photos 
(yes, I have 'em as it is the only way I can track the changes)

I will not post details (it was way worse than I was expecting)

I'm just glad it is done and hopefully I will never need to do this again!

Oh yes, and please wear your sunglasses! Protect your eyes!

Here is something silly to look at until I can go walk about again.
Maybe he needs sunglasses!

Photo by NAE ©2017

May you all be well, heal well and move past anything icky very quickly!
Take care now, ya hear!
Here is the link to the eye condition: pterygium

Monday, January 1, 2018

Steppin' Out

This title kept popping into my head as I've been walking this past week and we have a new year ahead of us all ready for stepping out!
We took a short hike in our nearby wilderness area, where we often go.
Even though this is not a new area, I always make new discoveries.
 I've also walked my own neighborhood again recently.
It has been a long time.

In between, I've been starting the new year letting go of old stuff.
For as often as I've written those words, you would think that I would have nothing left!
If only that were true!

So, anyway, let walk together, shall we?
First, we'll hike.

Patchwork car in the parking area!
More locks discovered!
These things fascinate me still!
Look at all the tumble weeds!  Still super dry here.
Stay Gold
Tree Love
A single lock on the way out
A short hike, with many photos!

Sometimes I think taking photos is my favorite creative expression.
I especially like that they leave no trail, to speak of.
I rarely print any of them.  I store them in my computer, leave them on the memory card for a time and put them here.
I share and enjoy them in my own lifespan.
Then if they go when I go, well that's fine by me.
There is no mark I feel compelled to leave.
I am merely traveling through.

Sometimes I do that in my neighborhood too.

"my" my neighbor's!!
Rose and Stone
Fallen oak, cut end
River rock, still my favorite
One pole, 5 woodpeckers!
Extra large tree
Pomegranate on neighbor's porch
So, there you have it.  The little things noticed as I move out and about.
The little things worth noticing, I think.

As I greet another year, I look forward to more noticing...
with my same old, repaired eyes! 

UV damage
As I welcome the year ahead, I begin it with a small surgery to repair
UV damage from all this wonderful sunshine and a long lifetime!
I'll have a patchwork eye soon!

As i greet 2018, I reflect on what is important to me...
what I'd like more of in my life...
what I'd like less of.

As I greet another year, I look forward to more noticing...
with my same old, repaired eyes!

May your year be filled with all you love,