Friday, March 30, 2018

Considering Control and Vision

Upon arriving home tonight,
I was greeted with a beautiful moon at the end of the driveway, 
sitting above the homes.

And then there was the thought of how I'd wanted to capture my neighbors orange tree, 
just before total dark.

So, I grabbed my camera and tried to photograph what my eyes see.

Flash off.  Flash on.

The moon photo is bright and blurry.
You can't see the dusk of it at all.
Just fuzzy.

The orange tree did not fair any better.
The (ugly) slump stone wall turned out bright!

This is not how it looks to me as I view it from my shower window each night.
There was no deep blue dusky feel to it, at all.
Back when I first moved in the 'wall' was a chain-link fence with bamboo covering it.
Honeysuckle (a favorite) vines tumbled over the top, bathing me in their sweet fragrance.
I called it my "Gilligan's Island Shower" back then.
Now I'm greeted with the sweet smell of orange blossoms and hanging fruit instead.

None of this shows.
It remains in my imagination only.
But, firmly so.

You look....
3-30-2018 ~ Moon

3-30-2018 ~ Orange Tree
In the end, I landed on the idea that sometimes you just don't have the control 
you would like to have to communicate the things you want to share.

Which led to, sometimes things don't need to be shared.
They can be held in your heart, just for you.

Which led to, sometimes you can just quietly be in the moment,
especially in our fast-paced, overly documented world.

Which, I of course documented.

Such is life. 

May you share what you like, hold some secrets in your heart
and embrace satisfaction, even if it doesn't all go as you
envision it will.

Photos by NAE ©2018

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Urgent Care Experiment

Today while in the new Urgent Care,
I did a little experiment.
Holds your hands in front of you, palms up...
Mentally assign a + and a - to each hand.
For each + or - raise that hand a bit.

Okay, ready?
It is the pros and cons game.
I've been doing this since I used it as a tool to help my young daughter
work through processing things.

- Change is hard for me, I like the familiar

+ It is a beautiful new facility
+ New = Clean!!
+ It is close to home
- Parking is only available in a structure, 
not my preferred parking 

+ "State of the art" technology (it seemed, what do I know!)
- Have to learn all the new technology 
and new procedures 
that I will have to interact with
+ More services now available closer to home
+ Same connection to all of the other local facilities
-I will have to figure out the 
two pharmacy locations 
for refills in the future
+ Same or better Urgent Care services for my area
+ Potential for growth of services
+ Always grateful  to have very good medical coverage

 Drop your hands back down to your sides and give 'em a good shake.
Take a nice breath in...and out.
Repeat after me: 
Shake it off, go with the flow, you have no control anyway

*Click on photos to enlarge, not that they are interesting enough for that!!*
Peaceful Entrance
Then I had time to sit and wait and look around to get my bearings 
(that liking the familiar thing)
Pocket door
There are bays and rooms.  The rooms closed off with pocket doors.
I'm a sucker for those (and dutch doors, Mr Ed style).

Extra privacy and a "screen" to...?  View x-rays?

Really cushy place to lay down, if needed

Foot controls: Steer, Brake
I wonder if the staff needs lessons on how to steer and brake this thing!
Many things remind me of recent work trainings
or just look familiar from work (like the gloves)

Patterns & Light art shot
As usual, I see the patterns, textures and fiber materials
from a cloth world perspective

Rolly desk and "Sharps' container
 Something new that the nurses and other staff are getting used to is entering all of the information on a small tablet, instead of a regular traveling desk-top computer.
Super sensitive touchpad makes their work more of an adjustment. 

Who else remembers when there was a pocket outside the door where staff would drop your paper chart for the doctor to grab on his/her way in?
Oy, I'm dating myself!!

Equipment reflected
So much of the equipment is now in the room,
sterilized in a bag and ready to go (like a 'breathing treatment' mask etc.)

Automatic water at the sink and a hole in the counter to drop
the trash straight into the trashcan.
I laugh at myself for noticing that the counter area is built to the precise size of this particular trashcan.
What if "Rubbermaid" stops making these?
Is it a 'standard' size?
And why not an automatic soap dispenser too? (going with the germ thoughts here!)
These little thoughts come from being involved
in my Ex's construction family for 17 years.
Hold habits DO die hard!

Lobby Art Installation
While waiting for medication in the general lobby area,
which has some new name I can't recall,
I notice an art piece on the wall and go to check it out.

Supporting young children through the arts!


Flowers for Hummingbirds
On my way out I see hummingbirds at these flowers,
but couldn't manage to capture them in a photograph.
They are fast, but I felt calm.

Diagnoses: Asthmatic Bronchitis (the usual)

May you find what you need to stay in good health.
May you roll with the many changes in our world,
or at least tolerate them with grace.
May you find peace and calm, no matter what.

Photos by NAE ©2018

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Next in the Mail

These two will be heading off in the mail next week.  They are my contribution to

Please head over to the link and check out the pages of information.  You may be inspired to make two X's of your own.

I made the bottom one first, using the removable cross stitch fabric.  I chose this method because I like cross-stitch and this was a way to put it here on the muslin.  Plus if you imagine a couple of O's with them...well, you've got hugs and kisses!  As I worked, many thoughts floated around in my head.  I thought of many people I know/knew who may have gotten those XX's placed on their medical charts.  In thinking of them, I considered how many lives they would touch.  How each person deemed not worthy of living was loved by many.  Many little X's make up the bigger ones.  Every life touches another.  Every life is made up of many who love that person deeply.  As in other projects, I wrapped the XX's in the blanket stitch, my symbol for a loving hug and sense of security.

finger paint XX's
The second set I made was created using what I think of as my finger paint fabric.  Bought on a road trip in 2010, one in a set of many colors, it has always reminded me of the finger paint art of young children.  I've known many children over the years, children who may have had XX's at the bottom of their medical records.  The red here touches my heart.  The marks that look like finger painting led me to reflect on the idea that fingers have a fingerprint.  Each one of us, as  individuals with our own unique fingerprints.  Each of us with our own strengths and weaknesses.  each of us whole in some ways and broken in others.  Each of us worthy of our lives.
I used this same red fingerprint/paint cloth on my contribution to the Hearts for Charleston project (follow the link on the labels of this post).  This fabric runs deep.

I'm posting this on a day when the youth in our country came together to inspire all of us in the world.  The youth that used words and their power to shine, for us all.
Because we all deserve this life.

May you find love, meaning and compassion in your days.  May you shine.  May you thrive.

Photos by NAE ©2018

Monday, March 19, 2018


Here I am considering what is important.

I guess it goes hand in hand with clearing out stuff.
First you look at, embrace the memories, consider where or if it fits in your current life,
and decide.
Keep or let go?
Then you listen to the news or try not to listen to the news.
What changes with each new BREAKING NEWS?
Usually nothing, sorry to say.
Just think of the guns in America issue...
ranting, raving, tears
then nothing.
If our government couldn't do something after Sandy Hook...
need I say more?
⇱     ⇲
My head and heart are in a tired and grumpy place.
I keep searching for the positive...
touching base with nature...
loving what and who I love...
doing what I love.

But, I'm having a hard time not feeling let down, by people, by circumstances,
by our country.
There is so much that is important,
yet the media is stuck on a porn star.


I did a deep cleaning, looking at and honoring of my treasures shrine.
All the tokens from my cloth people, plus other trinkets,
crammed into this space.


The top of the old 'bar counter', which belonged to my mom and birth-father, 
bought in the early 1950's.
Early American style with a copper top. 

You can see J.'s bowl in there among the many gifts or things I've had/made.
A wood flute and feathers.
Photo was taken before Michelle's beautiful pomegranate print made it into the collection.
Although there are many letters from her.

I sat and read each letter and touched each item.
Important things.
Below you can see clothmakers cloths on the big bare wall behind the TV.
I can see all of this every night as I relax, watching Public Television 'murder shows'.

Dee, Grace and Jude
Hanging Jude's latest was a quick clothespin moment, connecting it to Grace's, 
mostly because the push pins wouldn't push and I didn't want to fool with more driftwood (having a how much driftwood is too much driftwood moment).
But then, yes...connected.
How much I really like that.

Els, Jude and Saskia
I can't begin to tell you how much joy is brought to me through these cloths and gifts.

These are the things that matter.
The important things.

Before deciding to write this tonight,
I re-read some old (really old) posts while looking for something.
I was so touched to realize how long we've been here together.
Some of you visiting the trail since the beginning.
It has been years!
That is amazing.
So, with all of this in mind,
I want to say thank you...
for coming here...
for the conversation...
for caring...
for the gifts and/or the gift of your friendship.
  ❤ ← ❤ →   ❤
You matter to me.

PS Maybe I'll get to cleaning out the drawers and cupboard
on the old 'bar counter' soon!

*As always, click on photos to enlarge*

Photos by NAE ©2018

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Blooming and Packing

Bloom on the Mama Rose

Today was spent writing, preparing packages for mailing and working on a new weaving.
New Blooms
 J. told me he was walking out back when something just barely caught the corner of his eye...he very slightly turned his head and POOF one of the first mystery bulbs of the season opened up!  How cool is that?!

I took a break and stepped outside upon hearing the cries of my hawk.
The clouds really caught my eye.
I took many more photos than just these, trying to capture what I saw.

Then my eye fell on this old thing-a-ma-jig.
You met it here a long time ago.
I'll look for that post later and edit.

UPDATE:  Here is the link
for the goofy item above!!

Anyway, most of the color has faded from so much sun over the years.
I am heartily considering tossing it into the garbage.
It barely looked like cool art or anything of any purpose when I first made it.
Now, well now it is just faded and ugly.
That is, of course, until I looked at this photo 
with our beautiful blue sky in the background! 
I could almost like it again.  Haha

UPDATE: My eye is almost completely healed, only a bit red.
I still have to use the artificial tears (which I keep calling 'liquid tears'!) -
but the dry eyes is not new and an easy thing to adress.
I also am still wearing my "fly" glasses (given to me in the hospital) 
over my regular glasses.
They provide great coverage, were free and cheap to replace.  
I did some research, so I'd be ready or in case I want to order extras now.
In case you want it too, here is the link to Solar Shield.
However you do it, wear your sunglasses!!

And with your sunglasses firmly in place,
may you always remember to look up at the clouds,
listen for the birds,
and watch for the flowers to burst into bloom...
it's that time of year after all!

Photos by NAE ©2018 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

neek - let her go (official audio visual)


For tonight's music post....
I introduce you to my talented niece!
She wrote, played, snag and produced!
What a girl ☺ 

For a completely different musical experience, head on over to Jenclair's place
                           and have your heart lifted!             

May you discover music in your days that fills 
you with all of life's emotions.

PS Tried out larger type today.  What do you think?
It helps my eyes for sure. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

30th Anniversary, well sort of


When you sign on to google, if you do...
you'll see the Google logo designed to celebrate the 30th anniversary of "Pi Day".

Around here we've taken note of this day ever since my 34 year old daughter was an 11 or 12 year old, somewhere around 5th or 6th grade.
6th grade, I think.

That was when her upper grade classroom pod (4 classes) studied Pi.
They learned about it through experiments, surveying those they knew - to learn What they knew about Pi and by having a contest.
All of this culminated on March 14th, Pi Day, 
with real pie from Marie Calendars!

The contest involved what her teacher called a "bumper sticker" of Pi.  It was about the size and shape of a bumper sticker and held line after line of the numerals in Pi.
176 digits in all.
The students were told 'whoever memorized the most Pi would 'win'.
What they would win I no longer remember.

But, my girl took on the challenge and went out to recess.
She came back with the first 4 lines memorized!

Her teacher couldn't believe it!
He told her the 'if you memorize the rest of it over night, I'll just die'.

There was her motivation.
Of course, not really...she liked this teacher.
But it was a challenge, so her being her...
she took it!

She came home that night with her 'bumper sticker' and
went back the next day with all 176 digits firm in her brain!

The four upper grade teachers went on the mad hunt for 'more Pi' for her.
They presented her with an 8.5 X 11 page of tiny printed Pi!

Off she went, to memorize!
Within two weeks, she memorized something like
470-something digits!!

Everyone was shocked and amazed and wowed!
I was proud.
What a memory!

She (of course) won the contest, hands down.
At the Pi Day celebration, she recited it in front of all the upper grade students 
and a few scattered parents.

She COULD NOT understand what all the fuss was about...
why I wanted to video tape her reciting it...
why everyone talked about it...
why I told her grandparents.

It was just something she did.

Years later, she understood our amazement better.
She explained to me that she memorized it in sets of three.
add on 3 more digits...
add on 3 more digits...
add on 3 more digits...
add on 3 more digits...

and so on.

One year later on 3-14, I video-taped her again.
She still knew way over 200 digits.
Two years later, she still knew the original 176 digits! 

I have never been able to wrap my head around this
(and yes, I don't care for this phrase, but it fits here).

Other things I just couldn't get:

When watching the video of herself, she corrected a 
mistake somewhere within that 400+ digits! 

When getting in the car one night,
she looked at the digital clock saying, 
"Oh man!!"
When I asked her what was up, 
she said that it was 9:24.


And off she went into her memory of those numbers, carrying on from that point,
somewhere in Pi!


Happy Pi Day to you all and to my girl the most,
because she brought Pi alive for all who knew her!

May all of your memories be sweeping and sweet!

Saturday, March 10, 2018


Run River North - Growing Up
There's a fight to be won
For the love you find at home.
There is work to be done
Before you rest your weary bones.
Finding peace don't come
To everyone I know,
So I will love in this life
Until I finally have to go.
Said I will love in this life
Until I finally have to go.
Well I know I have lived
Just a wrinkle of my life,
And I hear so many times
It'll be over if I blink twice.
Please forgive if I don't walk
Off that plank stuck in your eye.
I've got my life to love
And I'm here to take what's mine.
I've got my life to love
And I'm here to take what's mine.
Growing up child
Is just a matter of time,
For giving all you've got,
So won't you dance under the sun.
Growing old
Feels like you're giving up your soul.
I'd rather give it freely
To the ones that I call home.
I ain't scared, no not afraid
Of the world in front of me.
I found my way without your help
With a broken family.
I'll take my breaks with my sins,
I'll do as I do please
With my friends 'til the end,
There lies my loyalty.
With my friends 'til the end,
My lies, their loyalty.
I used to close my eyes
To what stirred under my bed,
Now they're open wide
To the monsters in my head.
Instead of claws, they whisper lies
Sinking fear in quiet steps,
So I will fight in the light
'Til I give my final breath.
Oh I'll fight in the light
'Til I give my final breath.
Said I will fight in the light
'Til I give my final breath.
Oh I'll fight in the light
'Til I give my final breath.
Growing up child
Is just a matter of time,
For giving all you've got,
So won't you dance under the sun.
Growing old
Feels like you're giving up your soul.
I'd rather give it freely
To the ones that I call home.
Growing up child
Is just a matter of time,
For giving all you've got,
So won't you dance under the sun.
Growing old
Feels like you're giving up your soul.
I'd rather give it freely
To the ones that I call home.
Growing up child Is just a matter of time,
For giving all you've got,
So won't you dance under the sun.
Growing old
Feels like you're giving up your soul.
I'd rather give it freely
To the ones that I home.

 I shared the song from my last post, No Hard Feelings,
with a twenty-something co-worker.
She told me she had a song she'd planned on sharing with me.
This song above is that song.

What I have found interesting is that due to her age and place in her journey, 
this song really speaks to her.
And in the lyrics, I remember some feelings from my younger years.
But, I also feel that I don't feel like growing old = giving up your soul.
Really just the opposite for me.
Growing old feels more like a coming home to your authentic self.
I also considered those who have been 'home' to me over the years 
and how so much of that has changed...and how we get to decide who is home.
I remember needing the "right" to that in my 30's.
I know feeling the pain of others employing that "right" now.
And I thought a lot about Jude's considerings of home...well ALL of OURS considerings!

And the line of 'dancing under the sun'...does that only apply to youth?  
I think not.  I still have many moments left under the sun.
We continue to grow, evolve.
Or not.
But we can still dance.

On another perspective note: At the dentist this morning, the receptionist is also
named Nancy.  We commented on our shared name, 
with me saying how it is not too common nowadays.  
She told me how her grandfather named her and how she loved her name.
Her face lit up!
That led me to multitudes of thoughts/feelings (AGAIN!) about my name.
But, that is another post all together!
However, I will say that our conversation 
left me feeling refreshed and delighted that 
she had such good feelings about her name.
What's in a name?

May you enjoy whatever you call yourself,
while you dance under our sun...
and our moon too for gosh sakes!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

No Hard Feelings (From The Motion Picture “May It Last: A Portrait of th...


I heard this in the car today.  I'd been reading over at Liz's
about her story bag, filled with memories.  This led to a link to an old post of Grace's,
which I remembered so clearly upon rereading it.

And then this song came to me, giving me even more to ponder.  So, I have been.

I like this song, this band.

I'm too tired for any more tonight.  A very bare-bones post.  Nothing eloquent or mind-boggling (wait, are any of my posts like that?!  haha)...just sharing.

Sharing seems to be one thing I'm really able to do.
I hope you enjoy this song too.

No Hard Feelings
When my body won't hold me anymore
And it finally lets me free
Will I be ready?
When my feet won't walk another mile
And my lips give their last kiss goodbye
Will my hands be steady?
When I lay down my fears
My hopes and my doubts
The rings on my fingers
And the keys to my house
With no hard feelings
When the sun hangs low in the west
And the light in my chest
Won't be kept held at bay any longer
When the jealousy fades away
And it's ash and dust for cash and lust
And it's just hallelujah
And love in thoughts and love in the words
Love in the songs they sing in the church
And no hard feelings
Lord knows they haven't done
Much good for anyone
Kept me afraid and cold
With so much to have and hold
When my body won't hold me anymore
And it finally lets me free
Where will I go?
Will the trade winds take me south
Through Georgia grain or tropical rain
Or snow from the heavens?
Will I join with the ocean blue
Or run into the savior true
And shake hands laughing
And walk through the night
Straight to the light
Holding the love I've known in my life
And no hard feelings
Lord knows they haven't done
Much good for anyone
Kept me afraid and cold
With so much to have and hold
Under the curving sky
I'm finally learning why
It matters for me and you
To say it and mean it too
For life and its loveliness
And all of its ugliness
Good as it's been to me
I have no enemies
I have no enemies
I have no enemies
I have no enemies

Songwriters: Timothy Seth Avett / Scott Yancey Avett / Robert William Crawford
No Hard Feelings lyrics © BMG Rights Management US, LLC

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Pottery as Gifts or Stuff

Along with my recent theme of letting go of

I've decided to come to a decision about these two pieces.
I made these free-form bowls with melted glass and marbles
back in the early 2000's when I was taking pottery classes
through the adult education department.
Blue Glass
Musty Glass surface
Crack goes around the outside

I made many of these bowls.
One I will not let go of.  It belongs to J. and is a favorite.
A second larger one is here too, another one I really like,
beautiful glass and a one day (when I finally do it) driftwood handle.

Beautiful outside

Musty, dusty cracked glass

Unclear glass
One was gifted to someone a year or so back.
It was a favorite too.
I gave one to my daughter and one to a friend I used to know, as a graduation gift.

I had an absolute ball making them, especially looking for glass bits 
to melt during the second firing.

But, I won't be making them again.  
That class resource is no longer available.
Pottery was a bit too much for my elbows, even back then.

So then there are these two. 
Two I was never real happy with.
Didn't like the way they came out.

Marbles Melted

The thing with CLOTH is that if you don't like it...
seams can be removed
pieces can be cut
other cloth can be added
(and so on, as Jude has taught us)

But with fired clay, it is set.
Cracks don't go away!

Blue Glass

Gift for a friend
 I loved making these out of the sample package, all earth colors 
- clear glaze only - beautiful glass inside -
I used to make "diversity hands" out of this sample package too.
They hung from ribbons and have all been gifted.
Melted beach glass
This one above, this one that was gifted, I love.
But, what to do with these two I do not love?

Here are my thoughts/choices:
→ Throw them away.  Bye-Bye!
→ Keep them 
(I keep thinking of Wabi-Sabi the ugly like that cactus J. saved)
→ Gift them to someone who does not think they are defective or ugly (as I do)
→ Or????

Honestly, I keep going back to just tossing them.
Not everything one makes is grand.
That's okay.
We don't have to keep it all.

 May all of your decisions be fairly easy.
May all of your gifts be appreciated.

Photos by NAE ©2018