Tattered Past

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

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Remember When: Mom's Dishes

My mother loved to cook and bake. As the holidays approached smells of cinnamon
and fudge filled the house.

One of Jessica's strongest memories of the holidays at her Nana's was this dish loaded with sweets.
She'd stand by the table and stand on tip-toes to see all the wonderful foods. Mom made divinity, fudge and peppermints. The rest of the table would have cookies, pecan pies, pumpkin pies and more.
Over the weekend Doug and I did some baking. We haven't been able to do this for years because of a bad oven. We also have to keep it down because of Doug's diabetes.

Pumpkin bread to share with friends.
And one of my favorites, Scottish shortbread petticoat tails named after the shape they are baked in. They aren't very festive but they've become one of my special traditions.

One of the genealogy blogs I follow Olive Tree Genealogy has hints on writing memoirs and then publishing them on Lulu.com.
Go take a look at the gift book she made for her children.
Thank you, Lorine.
Seven Memoir Prompts:
Make note of your favorite holiday recipes.
Tell about climbing a hill or mountain.
What is/was your favorite candy?
Do you save all the holiday paper and ribbons for future years?
Write about roller and/or ice skating.
Write about a visit to Santa Claus?
Have you ever built a snowman?



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Remember When: Snow

Just the thought of snow makes me cold. Living in Arizona most of my life I haven't had to deal with it on a daily basis, just occasional visits years ago. Now I avoid it like a plague.
Here's a photo of two of my uncles at my great grandmother's house in Fowler, Kansas.
A photo of my grandparents' house in a nearby town.

I'm glad these are just pictures.
Just a couple of weeks ago friends and people I came across were complaining we hadn't had any cold weather and it's hard to get into the holiday spirit with shirt-sleeve weather.
Saturday, as we were shopping I heard complaints about the rain, over-and-over. One worker at the grocery store was ranting about why all these people were coming out in the rain to shop. Huh?
I guess his floors were getting messed up. Not to mention his attitude.
Whether it rains or shines, snows or blows,
our attitude is our own responsibility.
I've been trying to decide where to go with this blog. I wasn't sure the memoir prompts were going anywhere. Until I got this comment from fellow writer, Mary:
"I completed a 200 page composition book tonight. The first entry was "Sept 4th Childhood Toys" before that I was only writing the occasional check or a food shopping list. I wouldn't have done this if it hadn't been for your prompts and this blog being so interesting. Thank you very much for helping me find out that my life experiences were worth reliving. Now I'm off to put my first words into Book Two, I hope you continue to share prompts and please know that your efforts here are appreciated."

Congratulations, Mary. And Thank you. I will be keeping the memoir prompts but they will be on Tuesdays with my "Remember When" posts. Other then that, I don't know. Stay tuned:

Seven Memoir Prompts:

How has a friend impacted your life in a small way?

Describe a restaurant you often went to as a child/teen.

Write about snow days.

How did you get to and from grade school and/or high school?

Describe something you consider beautiful.

Tell about overnight guests.

What is your favorite holiday movie?


Monday, December 17, 2012

Walking In The Rain

A couple of weeks ago I sent worry stones to each of the grandsons. Alex is carrying his in his pocket and loves the calming effect. Brendan is using his as a 'treasure' and keeps it in the 'treasure box' I made for him a couple of years ago.

Jessica was a little afraid Alex would loose his so I told her we would get more. Saturday, even though it was raining off and on all day and rather cold, our first hint of winter here in Phoenix, Doug and I headed to Old Scottsdale to find some worry stones.

It was wonderful. Walking up and down the streets in jackets and knit caps, dodging raindrops, and popping in and out of stores if something caught our eye was reminiscent of shopping in the downtown area of my home town in Kansas. It felt wonderful and I actually picked up some Christmas spirit.

One shop owner invited me in his jewelry shop to meet a lady from Canada who was browsing his store. (I was kind of hovering by the door waiting for Doug to get out of the car.)  I told him I needed worry stones and he made some suggestions on where to find them.

I thanked him and we headed for the Mexican Store, where we were headed anyway.

This is a marvelous over-stuffed store where you can find all kinds of things. It has been on this spot for years and always seems to be busy.
I bought seven worry stones, one in the shape of a heart, which I'm keeping for myself.
Since we were enjoying the day so much we roamed around through some more shops and Doug found himself a tee-shirt that says something like:
"If a man makes a statement in the middle of the desert and his wife isn't around is he still wrong."
I said "YES!"
I later told him I was going to write that on the bottom, but of course I wouldn't. (or would I?)
 Across the street was this marvelous display of yard art.

I want to get a bunch of the sunflowers to put along our back fence. 
Across the street from that was more sculptures and the marvelous little pathway that begged to be explored (but not in the rain.)

Sometimes we forget the most wonderful places are right in our own back yard.
Or that the best memories come from taking the time to walk in the rain.

Monday, December 10, 2012


We watched the movie "Neverwas" on Netflix streaming last night. It was amazing. A little hard to follow at times but we both want to watch it again.

It is about a psychiatrist who leaves his job at Cornell to go to work in a small institution where his father had once been committed. His father had written a famous children's book that seemed to change lives. At work the psychiatrist meets a schizophrenic who knows more about the book than the doctor himself.


It is always a joy to come across a movie that you've never heard of and yet it touches your in places deep inside. I feel like I've been looking for Neverwas for quite some time now.

Let me know what you think.

P.S. My shopping is officially done and now I can get back to writing. I'm planning some changes in my blog and its content so stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Remember When: Handcrafts

For as long as I can remember somebody in our family has been doing handcrafts. Grandma could knit, tat, crochet, and quilt.

My great niece, Liz, has taken over where she left off and has also taken up  loom knitting. Here's her loom with a bamboo/silk yarn.
She made me this bag to put my journal in.

It feels so wonderful.
While I was in Colorado she taught me to loom knit.

I had found the loom at Goodwill before I left so I'm working on a larger scale.
I ended up with a very long, heavy scarf that I may never use here in Arizona but I sure enjoyed doing it.

It took about a day and a half.
I don't know what's next but I found some really soft yarn that reminds me of denim.
Now I just have to remember how to do it.
The best part is we made new memories around handcrafts. What memories have you made?