Tattered Past

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

Monday, January 19, 2015

Reading Challenges and BOOKS

I love challenges and when this reading challenge came across Facebook I had to take it on. You can find it here.

This challenge contains a list of types of books such as:

*A book from an author you love that you haven't read yet.

*A book your mom loves.

*A book with magic.

*A book you were supposed to read in school but didn't.

Some of these I won't be able to do because I don't know a book my mother loved and I read all the books I was supposed to in school. At least as far as I remember.

I have already read these:

*A book with more than 500 pages. The Glass of Time by Michael Cox.
*A book you can finish in a day. Inspiration Sandwich by SARK.
*A book by an author you've never read before. Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson

I am also in a monthly book discussion group and have challenged myself to read 67 books this year on Goodreads. Luckily many books will fit all three.

I joined the book discussion group a few years ago to challenge myself to read a broader range of books. It's worked. I've read a very wide variety of books. Some I loved and some, well, not so much.

Books are not dead and I honestly believe never will be. Reading is good for you. How can you challenge yourself to find the time to read more? What books are on your list to read?

If you have a great book you'd like to share please list it in the comments. I'd love to hear about them.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Kansas Winters

I lived in Kansas until I was thirteen. Yes, I had to walk to and from school in the snow. It wasn't fun and I don't miss it one bit.

I was talking to my massage therapist yesterday and she said, "I'd rather sweat than shovel." We were discussing how people in Arizona complain about the summers but they are shorter and easier to deal with than the winter most of the country is having.

This photo is from Montezuma in southwestern Kansas. I don't know the year but I'm sure it was a common sight.

The article below was cut out and saved by my great grandmother, Nellie Keith Martin. The date is February 7, 1956 but the story is from 100 years before that. 

Basically the story is that Miss Martha Perkins, about 16 years old, went to visit her brother-in-law and on the way home it started snowing, hard. She was on foot and lost her way a mile from home and took shelter in a deep bushy ravine. She was able to build a little house out of weeds and spent the first night without food, warm clothing and fire.

The next morning she started out again but went the wrong way. She wandered through the day sometimes in four feet of snow. That night she built another weed house where she lay for days. Finally a search party found her. She had been lost in the storm for four and a half days in weather reaching 17 to 20 degrees below zero.

Somehow she kept herself awake during that time fearful that if she fell asleep she would never wake up. The prognosis was that she would totally survive although at the time of printing they weren't sure if she would loose some toes.

Here's another Kansas winter with my great grandmother standing in front of the family home with five of her grandchildren including my mother on the far right.

Imagine all the winters she saw during her lifetime first in Illinois and later in Kansas. I'm glad I don't live where it snows and am certainly glad I don't have to deal with the cold as she did.

Did you grow up or do you still live where there are heavy winter storms? Do you have stories to tell of your own or somebody else's struggles with living in that type of weather?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


 I love journaling and art. 
Art journaling is the best of both worlds. 
This year I am starting off with four art journaling projects. 

These are the books I am using. 

The top one is made from the front and back of two old hardbound books. The binding is fabric and hand stitched. This is the first time I tried this stitch and I'm rather happy with it. The pages are folded sketch paper.

The second one is a Strathmore Mixed Media spiral bound journal available at most craft and art stores.

The third one is another hardbound book but I left the covers alone and just went through and pulled out a number of pages to allow for paint and collage. 

The bottom one is a "PaperBlank" I found at Goodwill. The person who donated it had only written on a few pages, notes from some seminar, so I just covered those up with other paper and away I went. 

This page is from the hand bound book on top. This is for the Daisy Yellow Prompt60 challenge. 
It is a collage of papers, stickers and washi tape from my stash. I still have to do the journaling around the edges. You can learn more about this project here.  

This is a doodle mandala from the same project. It was a lot of fun. 

The Strathmore book is just for me and I have no plans for it. I think it is necessary to
have a play book and this is it. There isn't anything in it yet.

The bottom book is for the 30 Day Prompt challenge by Lisa Sonora. I didn't take a photo of it because it is just writing although I add a little doodling and maybe some color to the edges. 

The last book is the white one. It is done on regular book pages which I cover with paint, collage or whatever. It is for Journal 52 which is done once a week for 52 weeks. I did it off and on last year but hope to do better this year. 

This prompt was "Pathways" and I copied what I wrote unedited below. The photos came from an old gardening magazine I found at Goodwill.


I love the look of pathways that lead to unknown places -- even if it's just around the corner.

We follow many pathways during our lives -- we can usually only guess what is around the corner.

We can follow with confidence and wise, informed decisions.
When there is a division or "Y" in the path we have to do our best -- find the way that will lead to peace and harmony and help others along the way.

Along the way it is also important to stop and smell the roses and to be appreciative of the beauty and joy around us. To greet even the rough places with gratitude.  (1-3-15)

Write about your pathways and how some of your decisions have affected your life.