Tattered Past

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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Remember When: Christmas Memories, 2013

Over the years as the kids have gone to other states and finances have become smaller we've pretty much ignored Christmas. We buy for the kids and then send off the packages and then we share a quiet meal at home after phone calls. We don't exchange gifts because seriously there isn't anything we really need. 

We do get a present for Maggie. She gets so excited. This year it was a stuffed sheep and a bone in a bag. She was so happy she ran around the house with the whole bag in her mouth. 

She eventually got it open and is now inseparable from her sheep. 
(Note her Christmas bandanna. She has one for all occasions and loves them.)

Doug did a standing rib roast on the grill. It was fantastic. He likes me to take photos of his masterpieces. 
I didn't notice until I downloaded this one that his Goofy coffee cup was in the background.

I've been trying to find time to put together a Remains of the Day journal for 2014 and 
since Doug was watching a movie I sewed. 

I love making these and using them. I made them for the kids, too.

The inside front cover with a little calender I found on line. I couldn't figure out how to 
attach it so it just fits in a pocket. 

A couple of the scrappy inside pages.
Yes. A nice day. No stress and good food. Who could ask for more?

Memoir Prompts:

Write about  your special memories of this holiday season.

Do you have special homemade ornaments? 

Do  you prefer an e-reader or a real book? 

Write about a special pet memory.

Which would you choose? Gingerbread Latte, Peppermint Mocha or Caramel Brulee Latte?

Do you enjoy crossword puzzles?

Write about trees.

I'm not planning on continuing this series in the New Year. I have other ideas.
Stay tuned. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Painting Cats and Dogs

I'm trying to do more and more hand crafted items for gifts. The hard part is waiting for the holiday to come and go so I can share them with my blogging friends.

This year I was inspired by some paintings I saw to make little acrylic paintings for my friends and family.

The first one is for a friend who has cats. She is also a big tea drinker. 
This one has it's own little stand. It was so fun. The little dots on the blue background 
don't show up too well in the photo.

The dogs were for my family members. Although there are cats in the family we tend to be dog people.

 This one took a couple of tries to get it the way I wanted it but once I had the what
 I wanted going it was fun to bring some personality to the pups.

They are all a combination of acrylic paints and acrylic ink with a dip pen.

I also made some journals but I forgot to get photographs.

I enjoy making things for the special people in my life. 

I wish them and you, Dear Readers, the greatest of New Years.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Remember When: Snow Days

I spent the first thirteen years of my life in southwestern Kansas. 
I had to walk miles and miles . . . er . . . 
four or five blocks to school. 
This is my sister. She left Kansas to go to Colorado. 
She always wanted me to move up there and she'd tell me it wasn't that bad. 
Then she'd tell me about having to go out and break up the ice in the stock tanks and being 
snowed in and wearing thermal underwear on a daily basis.

My great grandmother (far left) lived her early years in Illinois and made the trip to 
southwestern Kansas when a young girl. 
This photo includes five of her six grandchildren. My mother is on the far right.

And here are two of my uncles. I think it says "Winter of 1940."

Here's winter where I live now. 

Which would you choose?

Memoir Prompts:

Write about walking/riding to school. Did you pass any interesting places?

Write about building snowmen or snow forts.

Did you lick ice sickles or eat snow? 

Do you prefer gloves or mittens?

Do you remember driving around town to see the Christmas lights?

Have you ever gone skiing? Where? When?

What is your favorite holiday television show?

Don't forget to visit my writer blog here.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Remember When: Magic

Last week I met my "Artday" buddy, Barbara, at Paradise Valley Mall to share lunch, conversation and art. We are both working on tangles.

I'd forgotten there was a carousel there. As I waited for her to arrive I watched the children and parents enjoying the color, music and magic that only carousels provide. I tried to decide which animal I would most like to ride on; a prancing black horse, the turtle, the seahorse, the pig, the giraffe. I couldn't decide. I did notice there was only one unicorn on that carousel and every little girl that had the chance chose that magical unicorn.

This carousel is on the wharf near Pike Place Market in Seattle. I can remember one in San Diego and of course the one at Disneyland. They always make me smile.

Which animal would you choose to ride?

Memoir Prompts:

Write about all the carousels you remember.

Write about a special carousel memory with a parent or grandparent.

If you've been to one of the Disney parks; what is your favorite ride? Has it changed over the years?

If you came across a carousel tomorrow would you ride it?  Explain.

Are you afraid of heights? Speed? What rides, if any, scare you.

Write about the last book you read.

Do you prefer bright colors, pastels or warm colors?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Phoenix Pioneer Cemeteries

On my quest to spend more time around our home town and get to know its history we went to a membership drive for the Phoenix Pioneers' Cemetery Association. We are now card-carrying members.
This is the 1897 Smurthwaite House; headquarters for the organization.

The house was beautifully decorated for the holidays. 

 Upstairs are the offices and records gathered by the volunteers. 

I knew one of the early members, Marge West, who did constant research on the cemeteries, the pioneers and the people buried in these downtown Phoenix cemeteries. 
 Time has taken a toll on the graves and the monuments. 

The cemeteries are surrounded by modern buildings and streets.

Some graves are little more than piles of rubble. Long forgotten.

There are modern monuments to soldiers and others. 

If you live in the Phoenix area consider helping to support its history. 
You can learn more here.

If not in Phoenix, perhaps there are similar programs in your area.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Remember When: Musical Memories

Over the weekend we went to the Musical Instrument Museum in North Phoenix. It is amazing. I've heard so  many people say that but the word doesn't come close to describing the place itself.

You can get some idea of it here.
We didn't see the special event of
Women Who Rock. Even so, we
spent five hours pretty much
moving right along.

The highlight was the piano John Lennon used to write "Imagine." It was also the 33rd anniversary of his death so there was some emotion there. I pretty much grew up with the Beatles and still love their music, mostly the older stuff.

 Another tear was shed at the John Denver display. It contains the guitar given him by his grandmother on which he learned to play. We saw him in concert a couple of times; most notably a benefit concert which he played and sang by himself (no backup band) for over two hours. It was in a huge place but it felt so personal.

Galleries include The Artist Gallery (Lennon, Denver, Elvis, Roy Orbison and so many others), Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Europe, North America and the Mechanical Music Gallery.

Here's my husband in front of an automated band. The drums and other things move and play.
I had no idea bagpipes came from so many countries. "A World of Bagpipes."

I took around 170 photos so you, readers, will be seeing many more as the weeks go on.

For now think about musicians who have stood out in your life. 

Memoir Prompts:

Describe how you felt when a favorite musician was lost to the world and how you remember them?

Did you grow up amid specific cultural music? 

Describe any musical instruments that have been handed down in your family? Did you learn to play?

Describe a museum that really stands out in your mind.

Did you play an instrument in school? Do you still play?

What is one of your favorite songs? 

What instrument would you like to learn to play now?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Remember When: Jogging

Jogging memories that is.
Here I am at about 2 1/2 or 3 years old. I don't have any idea
who the lady is. Probably a friend of my mother.
This was the "green house" where we lived when my parents divorced. I don't
remember the house but since we moved just down the street I saw it for
many years and it was green for as long as I remember.
I once told my mom I remember a chest of drawers near the back door. She said that made sense since that was where my toys were. The back yard was in common with the church yard next door. My Great Uncle Bill lived on the other side and was the pastor of the church.
We also had that couch for a long time. It was pink. Those little shelves are still in the family but somebody did a poor job of painting them white. Those must be my daddy's shoes by the door. I never noticed them before. Since I don't have any memories of him that touches my heart.

Putting these photos on the computer and blowing them up is helping my memories. There aren't any family members left to fill in the gaps but pictures are worth a thousand words.
Memoir Prompts:
Find a photo of you as a child and write about all the things you remember.
Do you remember going roller skating at a local roller rink?
What are your favorite Thanksgiving leftover recipes?
How and where were your toys kept?
What is one of your proudest moments?
Do you prefer pie or cake? What flavor?
Write about window shopping with a friend of family member?