Monday, August 30, 2021

Welcome to my Madness!

So the latest CMB choice went like this...

I finished off the deep plum-purple, which we planted today (but more on that later in the post) and thought I'd choose another good warp yarn and use it up. Silly me decided that I'd use up this GIANT skein of Spring Green. I've been weaving a lot! 

Here are the first seven. J. and I made guesses as to how many this extra large skein will make. Based on the fact that the plum-purple spool made 4 bags, I said 30 and he said 20...we both revised and I said 42 and he said 30. I've made 7 and it remains a very large skein of green yarn. Now there's a he said - she said story! 

I started with blues, purples, white and other greens and then moved on to add other colors. The colors are so hard to capture, but the skein itself and the first 2 bags are the closest. It is a bright, happy green.

Would you like a look-see?

Scroll down!

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2

4

6

7

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The lessons learned this time around are pretty simple.

1. Using "Christmas Colors" don't necessarily show up as such if the colors are muted or placed in certain order or are mixed-up in a particular way. Also, for this project, if the colors do scream "Christmas", that's okay, as many folks celebrate that holiday and they may love that the bag represents that. Everyone likes something different or in their own way.

(In bag number 5, that is a very dark green with the reds, white and green)

2. Even the tiniest bit is useful and adds something to the whole. So adding a teeny scrap that you randomly pick up, really does matter. I could go all philosophical on you all, but I'll leave that for now. Suffice to say, everything/everyone matters.

(Example: the small bit of red on the first side of bag 7) 

❤ 

The photo below shows choices of colors/yarns to add in, a generous gift, thoughtfully put together by Liz (Thanks again Liz!). I used up Kathleen Smith's (of MA) red/green in this batch & the hand spindle spun Andean cotton by Sandy in Hawaii. Thanks go out to them both, along with happy thoughts that they, unknowing to them, are a part of this project. Great!

Dee sent a box of yarn too, so soon she'll be showing up here too! Yay! Thank you so much Dee, especially for some sturdy 'good warp' yarn!

Below that is a staged photo of my weaving tools, past & present and the original instructions (which I stopped using years ago) and loom sticker, which stayed stuck there all of this time! The day of the workshop, all of the years ago, I purchased the loom (a 10 dent), a long needle (used to run the weft threads through the warp, over-under, over-under), and the smaller needle (used to weave in tails, other bits, close the sides and attach the strap). I also bought the beautiful crochet hook and the gorgeous wooden fork (used to push the threads down as I weave). The crochet hook never worked out, because as pretty as it is to look at, it is a nightmare to use (so uncomfortable). Of course this fact does not matter as I forgot how to crochet that tail in anyway and have since devised a loop in and out thing. The fork too ended up not being a great tool as the prongs are so thick (but it feels so good in my hand!), which leads to the child's fork. Yep, that one belonged to my children when they were young, but I don't use that one now either, as it too easily snagged the fibers. I now use my fingertips and fingernails to beat down the yarns. Good enough. I still put the smaller needle in and out of it's little package many times as I work, as it helps me keep track of it. I smile when I see that package that came with two needles, as my friend and I split the purchase, because we really only needed one each. That ended up being just right for all of these years. It has been enough.



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Today we went out to plant the four deep plum-purple CMB. It was 90-93 degrees out there, so a bit hot, but not awful. We went to the old hiking spot, the left side of Same Rock Found Twice and location of an acorn search for Peggy of Denver, so many years ago. We've hiked here so much over time. In fact, this is the spot we planted the very first CMB. All four were left early on the trail in. Today we talked about how fun it would be to see someone stroll out wearing a CMB as we are getting back into the car. But, not today. Today we left with 4 deep plum-purple bags swinging in the breeze.







On the way home we stopped to take a photo of this brilliant bush. I've been seeing these around town recently and they catch my eye every time!

For those of you playing along, the current CMB count is: 

Made: 42

Planted: 35

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

May you find things that feel good and do them as much as you want/need to.

May you live a colorful life.

May you embrace familiar trails.

xo

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2021   

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Good Things

To start with, I'll just say that it is HOT here today. The porch thermometer got up to 110 (even if the news claims something different!). It is now down to 100 at 6 pm . Dang.

Needless to say, I didn't go out planting today!

Additionally, there's a fire south of here. It's not close, about 85 miles away. It's called the SOUTH fire. So far, about 700 acres burned and 4 homes destroyed. The BIG fires up North...man, it's hard to imagine the amount of loss. Today my research found the article below.

Here is an informative article on Fire + Drought = Bigger Fires

Heat + Poor Air Quality = Home Day (So what else is new?!)

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The top two photos were me trying to capture the very deep plum-purple color of this yarn. I have so much trouble with lighting. Anyway, this group of bags almost used up these beautifully deeply colored yarn. 

When I make the straps, I measure off on my arm. It takes about 6-almost 7 arm lengths. I've gotten to be remarkably accurate with this arm measuring method! I measure out 6 and then add on some more. They are almost always the same length, even if the 'tail' piece (left to use in sewing the strap to the bag) is Not measured and different all of the time. Fascinating, that sameness. This quad batch has one a bit bigger, as I had warped the loom with an extra two strands and decided to leave it be. I tend to like the smaller bags, but both are okay.

That white is just about gone and the deep plum-purple is down to 6 arm lengths. As soon as I dig out a new warp thread, I'll probably use these up.

In addition to size preference, the lessons from this batch were two, one on technique and one on life.

First of all, I figured out how to solve the problem of what to do if I've left too short of a 'tail' when warping the loom. Yes, another 'tail'! This one is used to stitch the bag closed, so as I ready the loom, I plan ahead by leaving that bit of extra to use for this purpose. Anyway, the last plum bag had one tail to short to completely close it down one side. I merely added a knotted long enough strand and use it instead. Problem solved!

Second of all, I've had this deep plum yarn for years and years. I think I got it in WY on our 'big road trip' in 2010. I have loved it. It's made from Bamboo and is so soft. While I've been using bits of it here or there, I've mostly saved it because it is beautiful and precious. Why? Because it is beautiful and precious, right? Then I decided it that old adage, the old cliche of using the beautiful things, and Ya can't take it with you and so on was good enough for me. If I really want/need some deep plum bamboo yarn in the future, I can go looking.

~Why not give the world my most beautiful things?~

They are just things after all.

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As writing this, I have the KCET Special "This Land is Your Land" folk music special on (I have lots of down time waiting for my computer to unfreeze). I just listened to Barry Maguire sing "Eve of Destruction". With today's news, all I could think is how much changes, yet stays the same.

Last thought, I heard from one of our old clothmates. She is now a nurse, on the front lines through this pandemic. My heart is with her as she works to save lives. If I could send her a whole sack of these medicine bags, so she could pass 'em out to anyone who may be lifted. Please think of her too.

 

May you stand strong, but allow yourself to slump when needed

May you share your goodness with the world around you

May you hold the hearts of others within your own

xo

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2021  

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Shopping, Planting, and Covid & Climate Change

 

An interesting way of looking at today's outing. My pandemic pants fit, not super comfortable, but they fit. But, they're mostly jeans (except for 2 "weekend" pairs) and they're HOT to wear these days of triple digits. So, with the thought of how difficult it is to find pants that work on my shape and I may need to dress to leave the house more days than not. Eventually. I thought I'd start looking early. 2 stores = No luck. I also wanted thinner socks. The heating up our planet does not work for me and my feet! I'm just always hot (temperature) these days and I wouldn't mind being a bit more comfortable. So off I went. This would normal, pre-pandemic not be worth the time to type it, but these days, I don't do even the tiny bit of shopping I used to do, not even when I need something. But, there I stood, thinking of how crazy my Nana used to drive my mom at her requests of 100% thin cotton socks, roll down cuff. I wish I had hers now! I came home pants-less and sock-less and wondering what happened to the good old days of clothing I liked and cooler temps?

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On the way home I stopped to plant a few CMB, 3 to be exact.

I went back to 'bridge' trail head we were at on Sunday. I've often given in to my strong curiosity about weather the bags have been picked up. I guess I like to know. I've made a choice to not plant a bag in the exact same spot. I will return to the same trail heads as they often fit in with my other criteria (not on camera, no one around to see me planting...).





When I got there, a man was under the covering, in the shade, stretching. Only one car was in the lot. I was a bit wary being alone. I'm usually home or out with J. these days. It's funny how what we do/don't do shapes us. The past years, especially the past pandemic time, has made me less trusting (with good reason I think). These reactions are so odd to me as I used to be far more independent in those ways. Anyway, I told myself that this path is frequented by bike riders and runners, so all would be well, but still I went in on a dirt path nearby. 

I walked to the bridge and across it, looking for bags all the way. Of the bags planted Sunday, one was left. It's funny that the one left was the one which seemed the most easily seen, in my opinion.  At the end of the bridge, I sat on a boulder and watched two hawks circling in the smokey sky. On the way back, I stopped to look in a few spots. As I stood there, the stretching man came by. We said hellos & asked the typical 'how are you?' from across the paths. He responded with words and tone that said he's just 'hanging in there'. He said, "Ya know, just putting one foot in front of the other".  Instantly my heart became soft, less wary. I hung back to see if he'd find the bag across the bridge, but it was too far to see. So, I planted one across from me, next to the walking part of this trail. I picked one out that maybe had a message to lift him if he found it.  I did the same thing as I headed out...on a post nearby his stretching spot. At my car, I wondered about this plant that we've seen in more and more places recently. Then I was off again, for one more stop.



~~~~~~~~

The next stop was over at the trail where the horse lives. This called for a different kind of courage. It is empty over there. There are snakes possible. There are mammals possible. this is not my usual hiking alone kid of spot, but I was driven by the desire to know if the last bags planted there had been found and the desire to not completely give in to these days. The bags left here were on a side trail. I wondered if they'd been noticed. I started out, taking the walking stick he leaves in the car. A little protection couldn't hurt, right? I planted this bag (with another trail rock inside) just a bit up that same side trail. The other two were gone. Out of the 31 one planted, I have only seen one still on the trail, but there may be others that I haven't checked on. That's a lot of good (?) vibes out there. It was, of course, so darn dry out there and the air, so poor that I couldn't see the mountains across the valley. However, my breathing did just fine and my spirits rose. I did not see any snakes or large mammals, but I drug or pounded my walking stick along with me, just in case. ☺ I did see a lot of fresh horse droppings, which was a comfort and some other kind of scat, which was not. Heehee Almost back to the gate, I saw a flurry of wings as many birds landed right in front of me. By the time I got the camera back out, most of these tiny creatures had flown away again. 

Just a moment in time.







As I wrote this post, I listen to J. practice and record an ancient song of his titled "Big Hair"...while also watching Benise on  KCET's Strings of Hope.

No this was not confusing ;) Anyway, he is quite the show man and musician, every move coreographed.  This one got stuck in my head (and may have Marti dancing!)


 link

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Last but not least musical note, the world says a sorrowful goodbye to Charlie Watts

 The fact that he was 80 and just came off touring earlier this year floors me.

link

May you share cheer, honor sorrow and be brave when you can.

xo 


Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2021 

Monday, August 23, 2021

Once Upon a Time

 Once upon a time, there was a day. Then there was another day and another one after that.

Sunday...a short walk and the planting of 6 CMB.

I still have 3 ready to go. It's tricky to plant on the sly on the weekend. 

We went to the Free Christmas Stockings & previous CMB planting location, walking in from the trail head and over the bridge. We'd been here before, many years ago.

These 'rusty' bags are hard to see on the wood posts. Folks will have to be observant!

That may be tricky as well, since we saw many people whizzing by on bikes!

I haven't woven for a few days. I may have binge woven myself out for the moment. We'll see.

Only three photos this time, so you may have to really search. How much is enough anyway?


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Sunday...when she was asked about the state of our country, it being able to heal...there was this:

"You cannot heal from trauma while you are still being traumatized"
~Mary Trump
8-22-21

Ah-ha!

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There was this article in my inbox, the ever-present conversation on self-care...of ways to get through...

The Power of Upward Spirals 

Who knew there was the opposite of spiraling down?! Ha. How comforting, but more intentional work in my opinion. Like a set of spiral stairs or a spiral slide on the playground, it's always more work going UP!

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Note~ We're at 80 degrees yesterday & today, moving back into triple digits during next week. The weather man actually said it would be getting drier! Sorry to say, this made me cackle out loud. I mean, really??? Right?! Oy.

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I read this little book the other day. It once belonged to my son. I believe I always liked it more than him. Anyway, all of my researching on the Tataviam rock reminded me of this little book. It was so well thought of when my children were young. So I read and then went off to learn more! The author lived with the Navajo Nation and seemed to put a lot into getting that right. Reviews from teachers often raved. I discovered in depth lesson plans available online. But, there were a few things that stood out to me and had me thinking twice.  The biggest was that the best friend of the main character was Jewish and that was treated with a different level of respect. As stated by the main character, neither boy is very involved in their cultural traditions or active spiritually...they are more 'observant'. I didn't have a problem with that, what rubbed me the wrong way was the depiction of this boys family as being both cheap (parents) and flashy with their money (grandfather). I was actually surprised he got that so wrong, but it was written in 1988. However, this was the reason I went looking online and nowhere did I see that mentioned. There was also an odd misrepresentation of the Memorial Day Holiday and the cover illustration. Throughout the book the importance of certain plants was threaded. Pinon, sage, yucca and cedar. Now, maybe I'm just getting too picky in my old age, but really?! So easy to say put a sage bush on the cover or to tell other 'cute' family stories that don't have the characters hoarding free sugar packets! I still like the book, just not as much as I had remembered it, and I think these critiques of mine could be an invitation to more conversation in 2021. Sigh. I would be hated as an editor and a lousy writer as I strive, strive, strive.

It seems my old favorite books like this one and The Egg and I look very different from today's eyes. Mmm?

May you keep thinking and refreshing your vision

xo

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2021

Sunday, August 22, 2021

The "Tataviam Indian" Rock

 

 


I found a home for the old "Indian Rock" now renamed The Tataviam Indian Rock".

*NOTE: All information in this post is pretty much from the site: SCVHistory.com

"Tataviam Indians, a small group of speakers of a Takik dialect (Uto-Aztecan language family) were present in the Santa Clarita Valley by AD 500, around the time of the introduction of the bow and arrow."

We took it to  Heritage Junction, a place I've gone for years.

 Of course I went searching for information. I found this old 1991 video 

I so easily could have been there with my kids. I do recall going to this event at least one year. The part that was a strange to me is I remember it as going to the Pow Wow (this is where we always go, Hart Park) and it was embellished with all of these other parts (sheep sheering, kids activities, rope dancing...). But, it was really a "Heritage" event with Order of the Arrow Boy Scouts dancing as Native Americans. Yuc. When history is an embarrassment...or worse. At first I thought the video was just days-gone-by, kind of charming. I thought of Hazel mentioning spinning again as I watched the spinning wheel. But then came performance gunslingers and bar room fighting and dance girls...and racist treatment of the "Mexican" fellow...all while the crowd cheered on. I feel like I did when I found out my old town was a 'sundown town'. Ironically, J. (who IS part Native) was kicked out of the scouts for refusing to cut his hair. A crazy world, now and then. Not surprising that I landed back at appropriation again, but ugh.

Boy Scouts, Order of the Arrow  

Also located at Heritage Junction (and briefly seen in the video), is the Mitchell Adobe. I took my kids to Hart Park on a day the workers were there mixing adobe to help with the restoration project. They had a big area, holding straw, mud and cow droppings, which they mixed together with their bare feet. My young children thought that was amazing! 

Anyway, the History website has a zillion links to articles, photographs, videos. I've spent time looking.

The gentleman who received the gift of the rock let me know that it would be going to the Tataviam tribe itself. This pleased me very much. It will be where it belongs. I believe he said their headquarters, but may learn more when I get the paperwork documenting the donation. They will also measure and weigh it. We've been wondering how much it weighs! If it does not end up at the tribal headquarters, perhaps he meant the Tataviam Interpretive Village. We'll see.


He took a nice photo of me (glasses off, I look so different!) before we left. Thanks Leon for accepting this gift and making the donation such a pleasure.

Parking lot prickly pear. I am feeling about as old as this plant looks!

 

On the way home we dropped off two medicine bags. Today we went and dropped off 6 more at a different location (but I'll save those pics for another time, if at all).


May you find places and ways to belong.

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2021  

Thursday, August 19, 2021

What Matters

 Three rainbow(ish) bags went out in the mail, possible comfort, possibly nothing. One may never know. But, doing what feels kind & right is a good thing, yes?



 Anyway, I used rainbow like colors because these went out to the family of young Tagan, who I made the Covid Memorial Quilt block for recently. Her name and birth-death dates are woven right into each bag.



I hope they provide something needed, even just a little. Her block is now up on the website.

You can go to the (page 2, bottom)  Covid Memorial Quilt website to see Tagan's block posted there, among many others. In fact, someone else made Tagan a block (page 3, row 12, far left, with a photo of Tagan on it) I hope when they are placed into a panel and sent off to be exhibited, they are close enough for her family to go see them.


Over the past weeks, at Jude's and Deb G's and elsewhere and in comments...the things we share and how we do so has been a topic.

This is one I haven't shared, but has been sitting heavy in my heart since I first heard of this tragedy for this work family.

Words can not express, can they?

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

Rainer Maria Rilke 
 
 


 I'm still weaving and planting bags. I eventually used up the rust yarn, seen here as the warp strap. 9 patch of recently woven bags, 13 total. That was a lot of yarn! Playing with the weft colors is a fun time of creativity. Each time I use up a yarn, I feel excited to move onto to more explorations. The white and yellow are also used up. As I use them up, it gets tricky to find strong warp yarns, but so far, so good.  It's amazing how much yarn makes a big ball and how little I use in each bag! I'll be working with this one for a while!

We went and planted bags on Tuesday and Wednesday...it rained!! Well, more like heavy mist for a long while, but still Moisture. I hope the bags fared okay. I have a sackful of bags to take out.
Total count: 31made, 20 planted...that leaves 11 ready to go out (not counting the 4 rainbow bags, one of which has been gifted).
 
One planted up the Canyon, past the Power Plant, near the big metal frame we discovered.
Three more planted at the entrance near the hike in the riverbed. It's always funny to me how they look so hidden in plain sight from afar, in a photo.


 
Trying to balance things out with the lighthearted
discovered during the Olympics viewing (yes, this sat as a draft forever!)
 
May you find ways to sooth your heart and the hearts of others
May you honor the hard
May you also welcome the easier
xo 
Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2021