Tattered Past

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

Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Doc & Kate: Legends and Lovers"

Last night a group of us went out to Pioneer Village (http://www.pioneeraz.org/)for a dinner/theater program featuring our friends, Wyatt and Terry Earp. Terry is a playwrite and actress who has written a series of plays based on Wyatt Earp, "Doc" Holliday and their women. They have performed them all around the world. (http://wyattearp.biz/default.htm)

The play was held in the old opera house. Wyatt (Yes, that really is his name and he is related)opened as Gentleman "Doc" Holliday and kept is all entranced with his story. Then Terry played "Big Nose" Kate in her later years, looking back on her life with "Doc." Both plays were moving and there were many tears at the end.

As for me, I have the Tombstone bug again, and we are planning a weekend trip. I'm also anxious to get back to work on my research into the lives and legends of the Old West.

Wyatt and Terry are an inspiration to us all. Their energy, dedication and talent have touched so many people. I like to think I've inspired a few people in my time.

Going out to Pioneer reminded me of our Girl Scout leader days when one of our troop's service projects was to go out and plant rose bushes around the Victorian house at Pioneer. The girls were then able to learn how to make old fashioned toys at the old church. It was a beautiful day.

We all have our own talents to share. Sit down and make a list of the things you might be able to share with others. Even if it is just one person you will have made a difference.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Remains of the Day Journal

I have been happily sewing and scrapping this week. I signed up for the Remains of the Day Class taught by Mary Ann Moss. (http://dispatchfromla.typepad.com/remains_of_the_/course-description.html)

I learned about this class through the Sketchbook group on Yahoo. This group was formed when a bunch of us involved in Sarah Whitmire's Soul Journaling (http://www.souljournaling.com/)group signed up for the ArtHouse Co-op Sketchbook Project. I found Sarah's class by Googling "art journaling."

What a whirlwind this has been. Just like life. One thing leads to another and another and another. Sometimes we forget to take a step back and catch our breath. Especially when the whirlwind is a positive thing like art journaling has been for me.

I "finished" by scrappy journal. The basis anyway and now will fill it up. But first it's time to take a step back and get back in touch with some other projects, including a "One Color" piece of art for the ArtHouse Co-op.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Today my great, great nephew, Trent, turns six months old. He was three months early and because of modern technology, great doctors, a wonderful mother, and lots of love he is doing fine.

My daughter took the photo of him holding his mother's finger when he was still to tiny to be held. I loved it so much I asked a friend to write a poem to go with it. It all fell together in a mixed-media collage I titled "Hope."

Trent is a signal of hope. Just having this baby with us gives us hope for the future. We had to have hope that he would be okay when he arrived so very early and so very tiny. We continue to have hope he won't have some of the problems premies have.

We have to have hope the world will be a better place for him to grow up. That he will be able, one day, to make a change in the world. Perhaps something big, perhaps something small. He will make a change.

We all make changes in this world. One tiny step at a time. One smile, one kind word, one moment of reaching out to someone else.

I try to perform at least one Random Act of Kindness everyday. Picture this tiny hand reaching out to his mother and all those people in the world reaching out for a bit of kindness. How can you help?

What is your hope?

Monday, February 22, 2010


Don't you just love that word? You don't hear it much but I think it is such a funny word. Sometimes I get excited about a word. They just strike me in a different way. Sometimes it's how the word sounds, sometimes the meaning, and other times how a certain person says it. Like "pocket." It is such an ordinary word but some people say it really neat and there's also the little hint of mystery of what's in that pocket?

Well, back to gobsmacked. That's what I was when I wrote about my computer woes and received a comment from Brian at Qwest. They must have some search thingy that watches for people who write about their company so they can do damage control or whatever. But he actually read my post and commented on things other than my problems. I just sent him an email so I'll be curious what he has to add.

I do have the problems solved with the desktop but I still have issues getting my wireless to work on the laptops. Mostly, just haven't had time to work them out. Qwest has been really helpful but there is a big communication gap in that I don't know enough computer talk to really answer their questions. Frustration on both sides.

So today one of my goals is to get that issue resolved. I also have to write my article for the "Tombstone Times," work on a handout for a talk I'm doing at ASU on writing memoirs, and maybe go shopping a bit. My treat for getting these things done.

How can you treat yourself for a job well done?

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Internet Failure

I was reading up on my favorite blogs on Valentine's Day and suddenly I lost my connection. I did all the usual; check cables, close and reconnect, reboot the computer. Nothing worked.

So I called Qwest and they decided it was the modem and said another one would be delivered on Tuesday. Tuesday? I would be without Internet for the rest of Sunday, Monday, and possibly most of Tuesday? Could I do that?

Okay. Breathe. I can handle this.

I didn't handle it very well. I tried doing visual journal pages (a couple of which you can see above.) I read. I complained. I patted my computer as I walked by feeling lost.

And I realized how much this has taken over my life. It seems so sad. I never thought I would be to this point. Oddly, what I missed the most was my Blog. I don't post as often as I'd like but when I couldn't post I felt so out of touch.

In the meantime, my daughter called to tell me my friend, Lydia, became a grandma (she saw it on Facebook.) Jessica is in Washington and Lydia and the grandson are in Florida. Now how sad is that?

Like it or not the Internet is taking over our lives... and it's up to us to make that a good thing by sharing our highs and lows, dreams, inspiration, victories and the wonders of every day life.

And to welcome new life and hope into the world.
Welcome Hayden. Congratulations Lydia and Family.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Valentine's Day is tomorrow but I already received a wonderful surprise from my daughter and her family. A dozen beautiful tulips.

When they came I panicked. All my pretty vases are in storage during our remodeling. What can I do with these flowers? Then I spotted a recent thrift store find, a white mason jar looking vase? jar? I'm not sure. In the tulips went and frankly, I love them this way.

When I called to thank Jessica we laughed about not having a vase and when I told her about the jar she said that it sounded perfect. She knows my taste. So here I share my jar of tulips and they couldn't be more beautiful.

Thank you, Jessica, Matt, Alexander and Brendan. What a lovely surprise.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

If my mind was a house...

Sometimes visual journal pages don't turn out quite like we want. They never seem to look right in a scan but I told myself I would post this "no matter what." Part of accepting my own creativity.

Be Brave.

If your brain was a house...

At my Writers Inspiration Group this week the leader presented us with the following prompt...

If your brain was a house what would it look like?

I started to describe a little cottage with a neat little British garden but realized in the first sentence that although that may be how I wish my brain looked it certainly doesn't.

Then a picture of the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California came to mind. Perfect. I have been there twice and was completely enchanted both times. It is a huge Victorian style house built by the widow of the owner of the Winchester Rifle Company. She believed in spirits and had many contacts with psychics of the time. One of them told her she had to have seances every day and that if she ever stopped building she would die and the Indians would torment her. She fired that psychic but hired another. She hired a crew of builders and for the next 30 some years building went on in her house twenty-four hours a day.

Daisy Winchester also believed she could fool the spirits by having staircases that go nowhere, doors that open only on to walls, secret panels and cupboards upon cupboards.

That describes my mind so well. I have thoughts and ideas that go nowhere and some that get lost in the planning. Thoughts and memories that are hidden away in cupboards and others hidden in cupboards behind those cupboards. There are open areas like the skylights and ornate windows and dark areas like the basement.

My goal this week is to make an art journal page using pictures I took on one of my visits to the Winchester House. I will share it with you soon.