Saturday, December 29, 2018

How DO We Learn

 NHK World Blends - Smooth Criminal

NOTE: In school lesson first, then homework to practice.  While in life, the lesson comes after the event.  The practice comes tangled around lesson after lesson, many the same, repeated many times.

This was a thought, quickly placed here, so I'd remember it when I went to write this post.
Instead, I don't really remember where I was going with that idea (but, I do remember an algebra teacher who gave the homework and taught the lesson the next day, which led to a big FAIL or becoming a skilled cheater, writing the answers as he went through each problem.  I of course chose the later, only to end up with the former on test days!  Lesson not intended learned!) 
Not really remember the train of thought I had going only led to the thought of 
How DO We Learn?  and then, How DO We Remember Those Lessons?

After 40+ years as an educator and almost 60 as a human,
 I am confident about some things and I still have questions.
   Many Questions.

How do we move forward through those lessons
remembering them and making ourselves and our lives
and the lives of those we are connected to
better, stronger, richer.

Perhaps these questions come as we close one year and begin a new one.
It is always a time of remembering for me.  
Remembering, sitting right alongside of reflecting, planning, planning not to plan
hoping, wishing, dreaming, clearing...
and so on.
California Winter

May the changes of season, year, time, place and growth
all remain favorable in your world.

PS I hope you enjoyed this video, discovered on our new favorite channel!
It took me a few minutes to make the connection to the original song, as I came in a few minutes into the video.
Here is Michael's original: link
I also hope my next post makes more sense than this one!

Photographs by NAE ©2018 

Sunday, December 23, 2018


Hang Massive - The Secret Kissing of the Sun and Moon [ Official Video ]

This Thursday past, a plan was percolating
Words were forming
Ideas floating, shifting, merging...

The folks at the library corner, 
the ones with a new Christmas tree,
were up early that Thursday, preparing for their day.
One man sweeping the sidewalk around their homestead.
Their home.
They're home.

This noticing each day...wondering...

That same night, homeward bound,
Come to their corner only to find...
They Are Gone!!
Every single person living at that corner for the past many months,

The only remaining hint of their camp, a blanket and a wheelchair.


Why?  How? 

The Winter cold and coming "Holiday" closing in.
Perhaps they were offered beds in a shelter?
Perhaps law enforcement moved them along?

A bag of clothes/shoes by the front door and plans of others 
that were to be pulled out and dropped off to them.  
They'll find a new home now.
People and donations.
New Home.


Next, this Friday past, still Gone
Wheelchair gone.
Now all that remains, a folded blanket on a piece of cardboard.

Who folded this blanket?
Will someone use it next?

The emptiness, the silence of this corner is profound.
The sadness of lives misshapened, threatened, lost 
is stifling. 

All of this noticed in the weeks between 
gratitude and Holiday.

All of this noticed.


May your own days be as you like them.
Empty or Full...
you decide.

I wish you all the very best of enough.

Photographs by NAE ©2018 ~ Taken on highway 5, Northbound  

Tuesday, December 18, 2018



I stopped in the bookstore to pick up
for J.  A fun read for us both.
I love the cover, where it says:
"The Original Farmer's Almanac
'Useful, with a pleasant degree of humor'"
Who couldn't use that?!
Anyway, I had no plan to purchase a book for me, as I am reading two right now.
But I saw this one and well, you know how it goes.
Maybe you can't judge a book by its cover, but said cover can sure reel you in!
Anyway, you pick up the book, just to glance through it,  
and something catches your eye,
your curiosity, your heart.

That's what happened to me.
So now I'm also reading this little treasure:
I'm only on page 32 and already finding it so thought provoking.
I've been sent on one of those 'one thought leads to another' adventures.

My thoughts moved from silence to "quiet" as it applies to introverts...
and this book,
(which is probably in my recent books post).

This led me to remember this delicious children's book:
 I've always loved the clever ideas presented here
about all the different kinds of quiet.

Of course, "Silence..." is beginning to talk about more that the 
sounds of silence...
which leads me to this song Sounds of Silence.
In the book, Kagge mentions silence in nature,
the silence within...
There are lovely passages, a quote and ideas to ponder 
(the best kind, right?!).
While reading I reflect on that old quote I love
(probably already place on this blog somewhere!)

"Everybody should have his personal sounds to listen for -- sounds that will make him exhilarated and alive or quiet and calm" ~Andre Kostelanetz

So, if you have personal sounds, do you have personal silence too?
I do.

The complete absence of sound when I quiet my breathing in the deep dark of night, for those moments when the world disappears.

The split second when you drive under a freeway overpass in the rain..
the rain stops suddenly.
And even if your radio is on, for that moment hanging in time, you hear nothing.

Lastly, I consider as I become more reflective as I age, do I also become quieter?
I think my mother did.
Her voice barely above a whisper while ordering in a restaurant.
Was she also more familiar with the silence within?

Looking forward to page 34.

May you find places of pondering and silence,
Photographs by NAE ©2018

Sunday, December 16, 2018



Xavier Rudd - Spirit Bird (Bing Lounge) 

Over the past years, I've become much more of a learner.
Global, small details, expanding on solid knowledge, new ideas introduced.
All of that.
I am convinced that it has to do with the internet and the ease of learning.
I won't pretend that I actually Know much more,
but I have so much looking and growing.
Becoming deeper and wider.

Lately music has been a focus, as you can tell by the number of posts 
that include a song video.
We've been enjoying more music over here.
What I find on the web, what he listens to on the 6-in-one player 
and what we sing on the road!
Music, a wide band woven into the journey of life.
I know someone who can't believe folks that don't have books around their home.
Yes, I know what she means.
I believe that too and I believe it about music.

At work, some folks don't know who Smokey Robinson & the Miracles are!
Say what?!

I was recently asked to listen to a Bob Dylan bootleg cut and report back which I liked better, this one or the original we've heard all these years.
By being open to doing this, I learned two things about me, that I really already knew!
1. Of course I would fulfill this request, and straight away...I'm that kind of friend.
2. I prefer the 'original' 9 times out of 10.  Once I am comfortable, once something is engraved in my brain, that's what I like - the familiar.
(Does this totally contradict how I began this post?  Mmm...human nature!)
Anyway, with old music I like to sing along, know whats coming.
With movies, same.
So please don't remake The Wizard of Oz or redo Knocking on Heaven's Door -
adding some caterwalling!  It doesn't jive for me!
My comfort zone is the familiar, routine.

So, back to the learning part of this post.
While up North in November, we went on two local tours.
The first one was to The Luffa Farm,
where we learned how luffas are grown, harvested and later reproduced.
I was one of those folks who thought a luffa was a sponge and never thought too much more about it.  But they are not! 
We learned much of the information that is included here,
but we were also told that these wonder beasts can be put in the dishwasher or washing machine (no dryer) for cleaning.
Pretty amazing!
Ready to be cut down ☺
An inside view
Ready for more pealing
Home to many!
Along with a tour of the farm, time to purchase in the tiny shop, 
we were able to explore the nearby areas of growth and whimsy.

J. thought this was pretty funny
I love these types of signs!
J. converses with a neighboring pig ☺
This smelled so yummy!
Time to save some bottles!
Consider us educated!
Door to shop

Flower bed. Ha

Tea party

Another day, we were off to Olea Farm 
to taste olive oil!
With toothpicks and tiny cubes of bread, I tasted a variety of oils.
Who knew there could be so many flavors?!
Not me of course ☺
They of course had oils etc. for sale.
I bought a tin of seasoning for a gift.
If you go to their link, you can look, shop or watch the video of the process!
It reminded me a bit of Dee's house take down, as I wondered what those little trees must feel going through that big, bad, loud machine!
Anyway, it was fun to go do something in the vein of Huell Howser, 
something we'd never done!

The tasting room
Hearts wherever we go!
Traveling Mill
Groves far and wide
The road in and out
Looking back, Bye now!

More recent travels and discoveries soon.
May your days be filled with journey, music and learning fun!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Random Thoughts Two

He stands, very short, cropped hair
arms crossed over his thick chest, arm muscles large and defined
Legs in a strong, wide stance, boots firmly planted
He stares out into the far away middle distance, somewhere towards the horizon
All the while, his tiny dog defecates on the green grass at his feet

Neighborhood wild turkeys, roadblock on my way to work!

In the crowd at library corner
A new woman joins the men
She sits, both legs tucked to one side
Her hair in various stages of dye
Her expression and her eyes far away
Someplace else
Yet, here she sits

Road trip goat ☺

How many people really do it "my way"?
Everyone has some regrets.
I have many.

A good listen about what and how we remember...
and how it may not be exactly what we think it was!

Ukulele heaven

Today, while out on an errand, I wondered if the local Hallmark store
had received their 2019 FREE pocket calendars in yet.
I usually pick mine up in the Fall, to make sure they don't run out.
Back when "day planners" were all the rage, I used to joke
that if I couldn't fit it on my FREE Hallmark Pocket Calendar,
I didn't need to be doing it.
I have never wanted, nor enjoyed a super busy life. ☺
Anyway, today as I was driving there, I thought,
"What if they quit making those pocket calendars?  Then what?"
I've used one almost ever year since 1971!!
I pulled into the parking lot, only to discover that the whole store is gone!
Not to worry though...
I've found two more Hallmark stores in this Valley!

Goals not met:
1. To be able to function without carrying a purse.

I'm reading Michelle Obama's book Becoming,
which I am truly enjoying and highly recommend.
There is this quote: "Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result." (pg. 43)
This sent me on a slew of thinking! 
What could that have meant to my development, those those I know, 
to those I've taken care so, so many?
And then there was the paragraph photographed below, which sent me instantly to thoughts of my mama.  She used to tell me of the feeling of the first time she flew, being of the generation (for the most part) who had the luxury of travel flying for pleasure and so on.  
I wanted to call her up and read her this passage, which so well describes that feeling of taking off.


The folks at the library corner now have a Christmas tree.
No decorations, no lights (of course)

Homeless? man crossing the street with his shopping cart.
Lightly pulling it behind him with one finger.
Middle of the street lets go and looks back at it,
as if he is expecting it to follow him all on its own.
he takes a few steps and then reaches back and
again, lightly tugs it along.
They reach the curb and he claims leadership,
pushing it up on to the sidewalk. 

Here is a good listen, heard on my commute.
making ink 
An interview with Jason Logan, who makes ink from neighborhood finds.
Here is another link to Jason's work, with photographs.
I'm pretty sure I'd love this book, purely for the beauty of it!
And if you want to EAT the black walnuts...
there's a link
for a black walnut pound cake!

May your days be filled with the random thoughts born from noticing.
Born from listening...
and loving.  



Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A Worthy Project

If you've not yet seen/participated in this project...
check it out!

Never forget, Never repeat.

The words "Grace is Free" embellish a white quilt covered with pairs of red X's in the background.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Rhythms of Life

                                                                                   FOLI (there is no movement without rhythm) original version by Thomas Roebers and Floris Leeuwenberg

 Movement with Rhythm
Rhythm with Feelings
Movement ~ Rhythm ~ Feelings

I thought I'd shared this here, maybe yes or no.
Maybe it was on FB or sent to my Brother-in-law, who was a drummer.

Well, no matter it is here now.
Isn't it wonderful?

My own life has had its rhythms based on movements and feelings.
Ins, outs
Up, downs
Pains, contentment's

all of it.

Woosh, woosh

Jingle, jingle, jingle

Mooo, Mooo
Cough, wheeze, cough

Scritch, scratch, pick, prick







In your every breath...
every beat of your heart...
May you know love, feel love,
see beauty,
touch kindness, 
hear laughter,
smell nature
and taste the wonder that is life!

Woosh, woosh
Jingle, jingle, jingle
Mooo, Mooo
Cough, wheeze, cough
Scritch, scratch, pick, prick



May your days be filled with the rhythms of
friendship, joy and 

Photos by NAE ©2018 ~ Central Coast, CA