Thursday, August 27, 2020



This is my mama singing.
She was about 13 years old.
There are others from six years later.
My sister and I discovered the records after my mama passed away.
We didn't even know they existed...
but they sure did, along with the others that other family members recorded.
We wish we could have asked her for more of the story behind these.
I love her voice. I really love her voice.
Every time we hear "Good Morning" from "Singing in the Rain",
J and I agree it sounds like my mama.
My sister remembered the story of how mom wanted to join a band,
and was set to do so until my Nana said 'no way'!

The record skipping and crackling is such a part of the charm,
don't you agree?

Eventually, what was learned about how these were made is explained here: 

(Don't ya just love online research?!)

From this site: Audio-Restorations
  • Homemade record speeds can vary from 78, 45  and 33 1/3 rpm.
  • They were made using a home record maker similar to the one shown to the right. (picture not copied here)
  • Years ago, some stores had a little recording booth you could go into and record yourself, these were called "automat" recording machines.
  • Many of these records were made during WWll and the Korean war as letter-records (" Your Man in Service" ).
  • USO records were generally branded " USO" , " Pepsi" " GEM" or  " Coca Cola".
  • Other brands include Recordio, Wilcox Gay, Voice-O-Graph, Silvertone, Federal Perma, Audiodisc, Duo Disc and many more. 
  • The titles and artist's names are generally hand written on the disk. 
  • Often there is more than one hole in the disk, sometimes as many as four. 
  • Some records are made of metal, some are cardboard. Some have a layer of "black paint" (lacquer), some are colored red or green.  
All are very noisy and require specialized, extra care and professional experience to achieve a satisfying and safe transfer to CD. 

Our family chose to record their version of popular songs,
mock interviews with each other and re-worked holiday songs, 
with heir own personalized lyrics.
What a fun find!
What a great time I've had creating this.

Here are a couple of original versions, if you'd like to listen.

1941 Amapola

1946 The Hut Sut Song

It is funny, but I'm so used to hearing my mom's sweet voice all of these years,
that I really like her version best! Only a little biased, right?!

My Auntie's did a an equally wonderful version of Delores.
I have no idea which version in her day inspired her, 
but she and my mom LOVED Frank!
So, that's the one I used here.  
Maybe because she was older, 
her voice was so much deeper, fuller than my mom's.
Hers was beautiful as well.

Lastly, I happened to notice the following song while on You Tube,
and I just couldn't resist putting it here too.
My mom sang this to me and then to my children.
I loved it because I loved the word play.
She loved these nonsense songs, so of course I did too! 

Mairzy Doats

I'm so glad to finally finish this video started so long ago.
I still have a few others I'd like to wrap up while this computer still works.
I'm grateful for a dying computer to kick me into gear.
I'm grateful for the time to play.

May you find and use your inspiration where you can
May you embrace nonsense now and again
May you sing! 

Photographs by NAE ©2020

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Burnt Out

Today we went to the Honey Farm.
To get some honey, thus supporting this local business,
but also to GET OUT. Period.

I think the fires, air quality and tech issues have put me over the edge.
I'm burnt out of being IN 
I'm burnt out of the terror, horror...lying, fear tactics, projection techniques..
the distractions, the forcing of New Norms down our throats and
no one actually doing anything to change any of that!
I'm burnt out on people Standing By
I'm burnt out of people Acting Out in ways that don't help or heal
I'm burnt out

Of course it is not as all dramatic as my writing sells it as.
But, I've found that I can only stay inside of a 700 sq ft apartment
for so long, where my choices are bedroom (bed) or living room (couch).
So he took me for a drive today and man that was nice.

Then I asked if we could drive by our hiking spot 
to see the damage from the fire of August 3rd.
Maybe not the best idea breathing wise, but oh well.
I had a mask and we could just drive away home if need be.

But, ya know what...I had to.
Driving up to the parking area you could see the charred hillside.
We decided to step out for a few minutes and hiked about 
100-200 yards up the trail.
The air seemed no worse than at my house,
but we didn't push our luck and went no further.

This is the general area of Same Rock Found Twice.
As, I've recorded in the past, 
the Rock trail is on the right of this mountain
The acorn trail is to the left.
We walked up the easy, flat acorn trail.
So, I'm still wondering how far back it burnt on the Rock side,
and if Rock could somehow be found again with everything burnt away.

I've included some links below, if you want to see "Before" photos.

What we saw today:

Getting the large view from the parking area

We start with locks, always

New signage has been added since our last hike

Trail in, Rock's old home over this hill, to the right

The green is missing!

Fire area

Blue skies through charred branches

Burn patterns

Tumbleweeds almost taller than me

You can see this area in links below,
but it is barely recognizable.

I know brush areas (and forests too) need to burn
periodically, but it still makes me sad to see.
I do know it will grow back.
Within one to two years, it will be green again.
There will be life again.

There will be life again.



This was from the Rock side of the hill. I'm only including it to give a sense of the general area and to make a point. In 2-2018, I was in need of hope. We were thinking how bad things were with what this administration was doing. This almost struck me funny in a super sad way. What WAS happening in Feb. 2018? So much has gone on since then, it is hard to keep track. Besides the political landscape (that feels as bleak as the one above), there is the pandemic, weather (storms and heat and fires), unemployment...
Okay, I'll stop

2-18-18 Same rock found twice

More for record keeping for me, perhaps.
But I had to see and record.

I'm dealing with new computer issues,
so if I'm late to respond or even more invisible online, at other blogs,
that's why. Bear with me.

For now, I can blog on my computer and email on his.
If anyone has a tip on how to unfreeze an iPad,
I'd greatly appreciate it!
It will do absolutely NO swiping! 
Can't shut it off
Can't unlock it to get in

Okay, usually I try really hard to 
circle back around to some sense of positive
Mmm...what have I got up my sleeve today?

May you find sweetness where you can
May you find strength when you can
May you figure things out however you can

Photographs by NAE ©2020

Friday, August 21, 2020

Grumps, Part Two ~ Not Entirely the Same

Okay, so part two
with a lift ☺

Still a tad grumpy, but not as much at all
Still, bad air and a headache...
but really not too bad.

Part of the grumps yesterday came from this:

This has been our view
With one bedroom window and one living room sliding glass door,
our view is so limited

But we find things to look at and enjoy.
We watch and feed/water the birds, squirrels and lizards
I try to avoid the wasps!

A while back, we noticed the trees beginning to brown
What's wrong we wondered?
These trees, planted on the other side of the wall,
belong to the neighboring senior building.
Not our responsibility.  
Nothing out there is our responsibility in this apartment.
That has its good and bad points.
Mostly it all still feels so different.
The lack of land, nature is...
well, its a lot.

 So, I've busied myself with studying the 'dreys' of the squirrels,
wondering if that really is what I see out there. 

Yesterday morning, I woke to noise.
Lots of noise.

Stepping out into the bad air, 
I see the tree cutters.
I don't say 'trimmers' on purpose, as this was no mere trim!

The pine quickly disappears and reminds me of an old poem I wrote.
At that time, a neighboring house had caught on fire, twice, and the surrounding 
pines were being removed.
I loved those trees so.

(click on photo to enlarge and forgive the drama of a teen mind!)

 Anyway, it was a noisy rude awakening,
coupled with the continued (all week)
hammering, drilling, sawing from upstairs...

I just wanted some peace.

I went into the darkened bedroom to take a phone call and
when I came out...
this is what I saw

 Every tree gone!
Some of you may recall when this happened to all of the trees
in the 'back 40' of our old place.
What is it with us and disappearing trees?!

View standing, facing sliding door.
It is so much brighter in here now!
Brightness is nice, but more welcomed when there is not a heat wave!
I can hardly imagine what it will be like when our sky is blue and not 
the gray of wildfire smoke.

I am glad to actually see more sky,
I've missed that this past year+.
But, I now feel like I'm in a fishbowl as I sit on the couch.
It is hard for me, all this close living.
Yet, I remind myself to be grateful for all I have...
especially now as others are being evicted due to the covid crisis.



 Do you see what I do?

All the squirrels are "Ritchie"
There is Porch Ritchie, the one who came first.
There is Ragged Ritchie, the one with the battered tail.
There's the third Ritchie too.

All the lizards are "Bill" 
and I have no way to tell them apart, except for size.
This was a teeny Bill
This morning there was a large Bill

I sound like I've lost my mind! haha
One must find their own entertainment, distraction and humor
during this time.

With that in mind,
this is Debbie, one of many Debbies.

About a month ago, Debbie was living in our sliding door.
Yes, you read that right...IN our door.
She'd built her home in the stationary bar in the sliding door.
In and out of the little hole she'd go, all day long.
For a couple of weeks, 
I tried to figure out where the darn buzzing was coming from!
You can't believe how loud a wasp in a metal post is!
It was driving me nuts!

Finally, I figured it out and got pictures to prove it!
This Debbie needed to go!
J. of course wanted to go the non-kill way.
I did too, but the thought of my sensitivities reacting to a wasp sting...
Oy! Bee stings swell me up for weeks.
He put tape over the hole, hoping she would find a new home.
She really didn't and she was MAD!
We no longer left the door open, even in the heat.
He had to finally take matters into his own hands.
Debbie didn't die, but she didn't return to this hole.

There are lots of Debbies that live and fly down the corridor.
I wonder where their homes are, 
but I am fine as long as i can use my door again!

Now, I wonder where the birds and squirrels will live too.
The Bills will probably enjoy more sun on the wall.

Life is full of trade offs,
she says knowing it's an old cliche.


My mail bag is full again.
After this, I'm taking a break though, 
so this will be that last mailing  for a while.
(except for VOTE postcards, I think)
 I feel a drop guilty about over-working the post office, she says sheepishly.
But, I also have faith in our postal service.
Fingers crossed!

Usually, I don't post my photos of the combined items,
as I feel like it is a more personal communication
between me and the recipient
and I like them to be surprises.
But, I've not shared the personal message and these recipients don't come here, 
so I'm calling it okay to change my own routine.

I absolutely love creating these!
I have a couple dozen photos at least, so I can remember many of these!
Each one is specific for the one getting the mail.
made and meditated upon for that special someone.
Colors, themes, photo locations...all designed to be a part of the message.
Creative me really loves planning and appreciating how these come together
Sometimes the materials speak before I can even think!
I'm grateful.


In other making...
This creation was knit by my mama about 40 years ago!
Isn't it sweet?
I feel like it has taken me years to really appreciate how she could do this.
One of the packages in the mail bag holds this treasure, going out to my grandson.


She brought it to the baby shower, still on the needles.
This was so her!
It's hard to tell in 1980 colors, 
but I'm holding the knitting directions, she is holding the sweater on its needles
and that disembodied arm is holding the blanket my sister crocheted.
Everything in those light baby pastels of that era.
Thanks mom! Thanks Amy!


Years later, it was my daughter's turn to get a homemade treasure.
She was four at the time.

Isn't this the most precious sweater ever!
That wooly sheep is just the best!
Again, I don't think I really appreciated how talented my mom was.


When today's world is such a bother,
I can always visit favorite memories of the past.
So with that thought, I leave you with this yummy recipe.
My mom used to make this in her 1970's bundt pan.
My sister has it now.
Almost makes me miss my cooking days!

May you fight hard to find and remember the good
May you hang onto it when you can
May you love folks when they're here and miss 'em when they're gone
Photographs by NAE ©2020

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Thoughts of Villans, Heros and Presidents

The Princess Bride (12/12) Movie CLIP - To the Pain! (1987) HD

I'm in a rotten mood
The powerful speeches of last night get swallowed up
so easily in the news of the day.
Fires, air quality, concern for others...
the list feels endless.
I keep trying, searching for beauty, humor, like-minded souls,
but it has been hard.
Now they want teachers to be "essential workers".
Arrests, that end in pardons
...the list goes on and on.

I'm very tired of it all.
I come here to record, to inspire positivity in my own attitude, to...?
I wonder why I bother sometimes.

But, I do bother.
So, here I am.

First, fire update, Lake fire only.
It's gotten hard to find recent information.

 I've had this book for years, since my mama passed.
It belonged to her.
Something about it, made me recall it always.
I've wanted to share it and never have.
But, now I am.
It is not truly timely, but there is an essence here.
 (There are a lot of pages, I hope it loads for you. Click to enlarge)


 It is 103 degrees right now, at 5:25PM
we had a little outside news that won't help with that heat,
but I'll save that for another post since this one is so long.

May you find something to do, share, give...
even when you're grumpy.
May those actions life your grumps,
even just a little.
May you hope for better days
and take actions to find them.

Photographs by NAE ©2020