Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Blank Slate

AKA: Do Over
AKA: Lost, Gone or Missing

blank - ready for a cross-stitched name

Well, here I am again.
A couple of things happened over the past couple of days,
one led to the other.

First, I was asked to make another Christmas stocking
for the newest family member to the family you met back here.
This caused me to start pulling the needed materials out.

That is when I discovered that my old cardboard cutting board did not make the move somehow.
It is almost silly how sad this made me at first, but it did.
I had this fold-up pre-marked (grid) cutting board since 1981, when I purchased it, along with cloth and other materials, so I could make a baby quilt for a friend.  That one was the first of many, for many friends, for many new babies.

As it was, when I last saw it, the cardboard cutting board had a million pin holes and dots of fabric paint, from when I'd punch the point down to get the paint flowing, so I could make faces and such on Christmas stockings!

I wonder what else is missing from the move?

cutting the batting, using a plastic lid as a cutting board - not ideal

Perhaps this stitching will pull me out of my rut.

   The great advantage of being 
                                                        in a rut is                                                         

that when one is in a rut,

one knows exactly where one is.

- Arnold Bennett

Blurry, but ready

May you have what you need and some of what you want too
May you not loose too much or miss too much, 
but hold your memories as you need too.
Photographs by NAE ©2019

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Peace Train

Today J. mentioned this song

So of course, I dashed off to listen.
I was a fan of Cat Stevens back in the day.
I remember my young self singing along with Peace Train and 
Moonshadow and Wild World and...

 ☝We also noticed a beautiful rose on the Mama bush ☺☝

After listening to the above song,
I went down the song trail with train themed songs that often pop into my head.

The Traveling Wilburys ~ End of the Line

 Music is such great therapy! 
Sometimes I just go on listen binges, either on You Tube or with
a few different programs or TV channels.
Today we watched several Ken Burns: Country Music series.
Man, that old stuff is great!
We also enjoy Axes TV for all of the in depth
1960's -1970's shows they do.
 My Jr. High self is keeping the peace going with this old choker!

When I used to do my long commute, on days when I was bored to tears, I would try to think of as many songs as I could under a certain word or theme.
Song about Birds

You get the idea!

Freight Train

Anyway, today it was trains.
You can do this gathering of songs quite easily using the internet,
but I rather like racking my brain or
having others play along!

Last train song for today:
Casey Jones
One of the times I heard this song was
on our way back to NV after our baby shower.
I looked at my EX and said, "What about Casey?" ~
as we had yet to confirm a name for our unborn child.
After some back and forth, the name stuck.

I didn't tell him that story for years, until he was grown.
He laughed saying did I think he'd become a drug addict from the song?!

Anyway, may you have peace for days and music for a lifetime.
Photographs by NAE ©2019

Saturday, September 21, 2019


Celebrating the International Day of Peace 2019

Sent with a lovely gift from Liz (more about that later).

Today, in regards to peace, my first thought...
the one I pondered today:

What does peace mean to you?

 Peace in the heart...
Loved ones who care and show that love.
Thinking of a couple of friends in need of better health.
One you know, Valerianna, and one you do not.
The one you do not know taught me of too much ammonia in one's blood.
Thinking of Elena and Valerianna with love and light...
with wishes for wellness and peace
 Peace for the past ~ peace for the future
Thinking of those in my past, making peace in my heart
Thinking how the future will form, hoping to carry peace with me
 When the world shows its prickly side...
peace in acceptance, adaptation, and adoring
Adoring others
Adoring our capacity to embrace change
Adoring ourselves first, when the world shows us different
Peace when the light shines
Peace when it does not
Peace in the waiting, in the searching and in the reaching out
 Peace for the world...
for our earth home...
for all of the peoples and creatures near and far

May you wear peace in your heart...
in your mind and spirit...
May you wear peace on your sleeve ~ the ones you roll up when you get to work

Peace be with yo
Photographs by NAE ©2019 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Seven Months

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

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!
 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.

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.

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.


 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 working to get rid of things.

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 daily motor home count.
They've all been moved 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.

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'.


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.

Photographs by NAE ©2019