Tattered Past

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

Friday, January 31, 2014


Some Inner Critics are now on their way across the country. 
I forgot to zip all their mouths before I packaged them up.


Tomorrow we are heading up north to join the Verde Valley Spirit Seekers on a cemetery hop and a some ghost hunting. Here's some of my equipment I used last summer. Time to dust it off.


Thursday, January 30, 2014


I have to admit I'm a little disappointed that only two people commented on my 500th post. Thank you Ladies.

A few years ago I was in an online miniature club called the Green Sock On Left Foot On Tuesday Club. GSOLFOT. It was a zany, crazy group named after the organizer saying that it would be easier to get people to comment on blogs than to get them to wear a green sock on their left foot on Tuesdays.

Well, as far as I know the group is still around but I've moved on from making miniatures. I made some great friends. The issue is still there. I have to admit that I don't always leave comments and I"m going to rectify that. Even one word is like a pat on the back to bloggers.

So without further turning this into a soap box, I'll get to the winner(s). I decided since only two made comments Terri and Deb will both receive an Inner Critic. I'll need addresses. Enjoy!

I was talking to a friend about how she always comments on the comments she receives on her blog. She said, "Well, they take the time to comment so I should answer them!" Agreed. So if you do comment make sure and come back. I will answer.

Have a great week and tune in for more prompts on Tuesday. (Yes, I seem to have a thing about Tuesdays.) LOL

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mom and I and Prompts

After finding the photo of me on my Dad's shoulder I thought this photo with my Mom would be fun. This time I think I'm around a year old. Everybody always said how pretty Mom was.

She also had a pretty voice, I can almost hear her singing Jesus Loves Me into my ear. That was much later. She comforted with Vicks vaporub and that smell still makes me feel warm and loved. Her homemade potato soup was a must when i had a sore throat and tummy ache

Soon after we were married my husband I both got the flu. Bad flu. We were living in an old house in south Phoenix that only had a wall heater and little, if any, insulation. Mom asked what she could do and I put in my request for potato soup.

Sure enough Mom showed up with a tea jar full of her soup. By the time I answered the door she was standing on at the foot of the porch steps. She wasn't taking any chances on getting that bug. Even after about 35 years that is a special memory and we wish for another jar of Mom's soup. I never did learn how to make it her way and don't even want to try. Sometimes memories are better than replacements.

What memories do you have of special things your mother (or somebody else) did when  you were little?

One word prompt: Fads

Friday, January 24, 2014

Celebration and a Drawing

Here it is, my 500th post on Blogger. Although I've slowed down with the number of posts per week I have stayed with it and I'm so glad I did. So many positive things have happened. I've grown in many ways and I have made many new friends.

As a thank you and to celebrate this hurdle I am offering a Zip-It Inner Critic to one special reader who leaves a comment to this post. I will put the names in a hat and draw out one lucky person.

For new people; a Zip-It Inner Critic is a stuffy with a zipper who's mouth you can literally zip so you can get on with your writing, art, or just facing life's everyday challenges without the nagging inner voice that tells you that something or other can't be done, or you aren't good enough, or it won't work.

That thar's a covey of critics.

And one up close. 

So leave a comment below about Tattered Past and I will put your name in the hat.

The drawing ends on Wednesday night (January 29) and the winner will be announced next Thursday.
Be sure I have some way to contact you.

Have A Happy, Mindful Week!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Nostalgia and Prompts

I was thirteen when we moved to Phoenix from a mid-size town in Kansas. A shy girl, I had finally made some close friends and felt like I finally belonged. I did not want to leave my home, my school or my gang of friends. As the only child at home and Mom thinking there would be more opportunity in a bigger city where other family members had settled my protests were overruled. Even the wonders of the city (which I think I secretly found exciting) were not going to change my mind.

We lived with my grandma for a bit and then moved into a one bedroom apartment next to the elementary school where I would spend the last two months of 8th grade. I hated every minute. Grandma and my aunt and uncle took us to many sights around the valley including Town and Country Shopping Center where they had this huge Phoenix.
Yes, that's me. I wish the colors were better. 

I now look back on my teen years in Phoenix with fondness. I even learned to love the desert. Now I belong to quite a few groups on Facebook. One from my high school, one for Vintage Phoenix and another for memories of growing up in Arizona. (Yes there is one for growing up in my hometown in Kansas, too.)

This phoenix bird comes up quite often as a favorite memory of Phoenix in the '60s. I'm anxious to post it there. 

What are some things you didn't appreciate while growing up but now look back on with nostalgia? 
Do you have pictures to share?

Word for the Week: spelling

Stay Tuned: Two contests are coming up to commemorate by 500th post and again for reaching 150 followers. I hope you will be here to share these milestones with me. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Baby Days and Prompts

On Sept. 12, 2012 I posted the beginning of my "Remember When" posts. I've been doing them every Tuesday since. I know some people have been with me throughout the series and I thank all of you. I love to inspire people in many ways and when I hear what I'm doing is helping I'm a happy blogger.

Recently at a workshop at the Desert Foothills Library in Cave Creek, Arizona author Patricia Brooks stressed how important it is to hand write things down. It embeds that thing firmly in your mind. That is a proven fact. I also believe that hand writing your memoirs takes you deeper into the subconscious to bring those memories to the front. I don't know if that's true scientifically. It sure works for me.

I'm going to continue with the prompts with different format. I will write a story about a memory I have, a photo or one of my ancestors. This will be the main prompt for the week. I will also give you a word to write for delving into memories. You can use this word to write from directly and to make lists of things that come to mind. Lists lead to more ideas, more prompts, more memories. It is a constant work in progress.

Not all the prompts will work for every person. We are from different cultures and generations. Do the ones you can. There are no rules except to keep writing. One reader and her mother are working on the prompts together. Isn't that wonderful?

So here we go with more memories:
Sometimes a photo doesn't have a memory. That's me sitting on my Dad's shoulder. I have no idea how old I was and I'm terrible at guessing baby ages. Any guesses out there? I thought maybe three or four months and my husband thought a year. He might be closer as it sure wasn't winter in Kansas or wherever.

I don't remember my father so seeing him with me gives me a warm feeling. From other photos I think we were visiting one of my aunts in Wisconsin. They are all gone now but I try to keep piecing things together.

Find some photos that give you a warm feeling. Why?

Word for the Week: Recess

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Remember When: First Grade

Yep, that's me. Sometimes I think my Mother hated me from the things she did to my hair. She was always cutting, curling or leaving me in rollers. I actually have pictures of me in those old brush rollers.
I'm sure these were pin curls. Wound around her finger and flattened with a bobby pin. Might not be so bad if she hadn't parted it down the middle. I distinctly remember the bowl on the head haircuts. sigh.

We all try. My own daughter has reminded me of a few of the bloopers I made over the years in dressing her. No, I won't show pictures. 

E. E. Morrison Elementary School was an older school, even then. It has since been torn down. My teacher was Miss. Groh who got married the next summer. I don't know if she continued teacher. She was blond and pretty but for some reason I didn't like her and was even a bit afraid. 

As a child I was afraid of a lot of things. People, attention, being on the playground, getting hurt, I was extremely shy and withdrawn which the other kids picked up on and this led to a great deal of bullying. 
But, I survived. The bullying, the pin curls and the playground. 

I've written a great deal in my journals about these things and it does help. Putting it "out there" does too. 

What were your fears as a child?

I'm still working on some new ideas for the memoir journaling. In the meantime, writing about your childhood fears should keep everyone busy. Try going grade by grade. They did change over the years.