Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman





Friday, March 30, 2012

A Little Bit of Heaven

It's a beautiful spring day here in the Sonoran Desert. I'm sitting outside Starbucks with a large green tea; iced and sweetened. The sky is a beautiful blue without a single cloud, the palm fronds are dancing lightly in the breeze and the temperature is near to perfect. I like to call this weather "no-feel" weather because it is so perfect it doesn't feel too warm or too cold.


I love spring. The desert is coming to life and bright colors are everywhere. My favorites are the giant saguaro and their crown of flowers: the Arizona state flower.
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I tend to go in spurts with things I'm involved in and using. For example, I love my Remains of the Day journals (Mary Ann Moss class) but sometime I forget about them.
I brought mine along today and am loving looking through it and even writing on a sky blue envelope:
The page also had a picture of a saguaro. How cool is that?


Here's the outside of the journal.  The inside pages have tabs and pockets and places for all the bits and pieces of paper and writings that I come across.

Before I left the house I stuck a partial pad of stationary in the back to write ideas and some writings. While in the process it occurred to me that I have lots of these stationery pads that don't get used anymore . . . because sadly I don't write letters like I used to.
So that colorful pad is now in my purse, lighter than a book
and the individual sheets can be put where they belong:
shopping lists
poetry folder
short story ideas
essay ideas
art ideas
I'm excited about this because when I work in journals these things tend to get "lost" and now not  only am I saving my shoulder some weight but those ideas will stay in front of me.

From simple things come great ideas and some organization.

I hope.

Happy Spring.



Monday, March 26, 2012

Something New

I'm always amazed with the things writers come up with and how many forms of writing there are. I think "new" ones are being invented every day.

One of my favorite sources for writing ideas is my friend. C. B. Wentworth. The other day she posted about something I never would have imagined or even wanted to, Math and Writing. Math? You can read her post here. She calls this mathematickles and they really are fun.

I've tried a few:

big brown eyes + wagging tail = puppy love

hot chai + laptop = writing day

craft store + time to browse = creative ideas

Well, no, they aren't going to go down as great literature or make me a poet laureate. But they are fun.

Share a few of yours in the comments or make your own link back to here.

Have a
fun + relaxing = GREAT DAY.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Writing Day

Spending the afternoon at Barnes & Noble with a hot chai and my writing friend. Inspiration is flowing, just not in my direction it seems.

I was here yesterday morning for the book discussion on The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister. The facilitator asked each of us to rate the book from one-to-ten which is always interesting. We have a wide variety of people in the group and the answers ranged from 3 to 9. I gave it a 7.

This was a good easy read and thought provoking. It made me want to head for the kitchen and make something or just eat. I always tend to get the munchies when I read anyway.

As part of the discussion we told stories about our own cooking mishaps and I had a humdinger, which just happened while the kids were here. To tell the story I have to back up a bit.

Everybody loved my Great Grandmother Nellie. My memories of her are vague but my sister being ten years older and the oldest of our generation remembered her well. Nellie had a set of berry dishes that managed to go through the years without a single chip. My aunt told me that as they were growing up each one of the kids was so afraid they'd be the first to break a berry dish.



The dishes went to my sister and now are mine. There are 12 small dishes that fit into the serving bowl like a puzzle. It reminds me of a pineapple.
I decided that while our daughter and grandsons were here we needed to add the next two generations to the use of the dishes. So I went and bought a bunch of strawberries and cut them up, added sugar and let them set in the fridge for the afternoon.

That evening after my daughter made her speciality chicken and dumplings I couldn't wait to serve up the strawberries.
They tasted a funny to me but nobody said anything. I kept trying to figure out if there
was something wrong with them and then suddenly it hit me . . .
instead of adding sugar to the bowl I had
grabbed the salt canister.

Salted strawberries.
I will never live that one down.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Blustery Day

As other parts of the country are getting ready to welcome Spring on Tuesday here in Phoenix we are getting at taste of winter; including hail.

It rained all night and off and on all day. I couldn't work in the garden so I finished the taxes and just as I was putting them together to mail the hail came  . . . there must be a connection.

I didn't get a photo of the hail but here's some of the dark clouds:

 And another view in the opposite direction, towards the
McDowell Mountains.
I've been busy finishing things. An article to the Tombstone Times and a book review to the journal of the Wild West History Association.
I resigned my post as editor of the Phoenix Writers Club newsletter, the Stimulus. I just want to move on to other things for awhile.

Another Inner Critic is going out into the world this week.
So all-in-all a productive week.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Book of Days

I'm in the Book of Days program with Effie of Wild Precious Studios. I'm learning so much but have sadly fallen behind. Effie has developed her BOD over the past few years. It is an altered book which we are supposed to work in every day. Even if just a doodle or a few words. Her introductory videos for doing the cover was amazing.

Here's mine:

 I took a used hardbound book from the thrift store and tore out every third page or so. Then, using Effy's instructions, used paint, gesso, photos, ephemera, a sticker, and distress inks to decorate the cover. The photo of me was one of those where I held out the camera and snapped myself. There were many rejects but I'm happy with this one.

"Calm" is my word for the year. It reminds me to keep calm, don't overreact, let the little things go, and just go with the flow.


Effy does various videos during the week for how to do various spreads. I'm doing some of my own things. This particular spread is a collection of bits and pieces collected during the week, or sometimes just a few words about each day. I have done every day so far this year.

This spread is from the talk I gave at the West Valley Genealogical Society in January. One of my favorite topics is Buckskin Frank Leslie (on the left). He was quite a character who made his mark on early Tombstone, Arizona.
On the right is Elvis, it was his birthday.
As you can see, there are no rules. It's just fun and gets me arting every day.
If you would like to learn more about Effy you can visit her here:
Enjoy your day and think about keeping track of those little things that happen in some way.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cool Arizona Day

The kids and grandkids were here all last week and all the energy threw me for a loop. I just can't seem to get back into the swing of blogging after all the stuff happening the last few months.

Today is cool for us here in the desert and there is a cold wind blowing. I'm at my favorite Starbucks in a a comfy sweater and jeans sipping a hot chai. Feels wonderful.

Brendan, Alex and Jessica at the stingray exhibit at the Phoenix Zoo.
They really enjoyed our weather especially when they heard the schools were opening late one day because there had been four inches of snow in their home town.

Papa and Brendan bonding.
Papa and Son-in-law bonding. lol
The boys in Cave Creek learning a bit about the Old West and desert plants.

That's all for now.
I have lots of art to share so stay tuned.
And have a Glorious Day.