Friday, March 7, 2014
Saturday, February 15, 2014
|Heart Snowman at Harvard Business School|
|Carson and Nori at Harvard Business School|
Carson in front of old Stock Exchange Ticker
Mixed emotions of a weary and joyful traveler.
Early November I made travel plans to take my youngest on the “college tour.” I booked flight arrangements as cheaply and efficiently as a miserly C. P A. for Boston, New York, Minneapolis, Austin and D. C. (We can drive to San Francisco) Each stop, like a book tour, arranged around my son's winter and spring holidays. Little did I know in November that I would overlap my chemotherapy appointments.
I am sticking to the schedule. Having a next stop gives me a light ahead. When I’m running, I make a goal on the horizon and bargain with myself to keep going until that certain tree. Breathe, do the work, and soon I find myself there. The body forgets the pain. The mind achieves the goal. The willow bends it branches behind me in inspiration.
The highlight of our journey, thus far, was seeing my sister teaching her class at Harvard Business School on Valentine’s Day. It may not be your usual expectation of romantic endearment. I was proud of her and joyful that my seventeen year old could get a picture in his mind of that tree on the horizon. What we demonstrate is more important than what we say. My greatest accomplishment is my children.
Show your heart today ~ snow geese guide each other well ~ fly in the first rung.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
It is Christmas season. I like to make something to share with those around me. The memory of mistletoe in a plastic baggy sold by Boy Scouts at a tree lot forever ago inspired this post.
I am a hiker of the canyons. Local mountains have oak and sycamore trees that are hosts for mistletoe. They appear low enough to pluck but- I know better.What appears within reach from a distance is going to be a project. In Wyoming we used to shoot them down with a 22 to stop the parasite from weighing down apple trees. Here in California, I don't think the rangers would let me go without some monetary fine for shooting in designated natural areas.
In my mind I am still sixteen. I decided to climb the sycamores and knock down mistletoe for my project. The first attempt failed. An owl watched me without laughing.
My second trip I was prepared. I brought my ten essentials and: climbing rappelling ropes, a scythe for cutting and a short pole. The trick was to appear as any normal hiker ( using the stick like a walking aid).
I got up the tree easily but dropped the cutting tool in the first attempt. Wish I brought extra paracord to tie to the moon shaped cutter and just toss it over a branch before I started my second ascent. The scythe would be hanging ready like a Christmas ornament if only I had more rope.
After successfully gathering the green boughs I quietly carried them to the back of my car. It began to rain. Rain in California is a blessing. I placed the branches and leaves on my front porch to enjoy the clean off from the mist that evening. To my surprise the next morning the mistletoe had begun to turn light brown. Within a day it turned charcoal.
There must be some secret emerald glycerin those Scouts used... I brought the branches into the garage and experimented with left over gold and silver metallic spray paint. I wasn't that pleased with the first results.
I had some plaster of Paris in the craft bins, some glitter, iridescent modge podge and old grocery bags for the next part of my "project." I believe mistletoe is poisonous or so the Nordic legend with the arrow goes, but that's another story... I covered my kitchen counters and saved a few trimmings to keep the mistletoe from sticking to the paper.
See how dark and brittle it became in two days--
Old paint brush, recycled plastic container and recycled plastic spoon and fork. Keep the spoon dry and use the fork for stirring in the plastic cup. I ended up using my hands. Using my fingers was better because I could judge the plaster to be more liquid than toothpaste and firmer than cream. I did not measure. This is fun not work.
Above is a photo (all pics from my iphone) of my snowy white and green mistletoe. When they dried they were less fragile. I saved even the brown paper- I will use it as wrapping paper. The stencils of the mistletoe on the brown paper were graceful. The shadows of the mistletoe on my printed papers (saved from when I printed two parts of the Bible for my son Carson's school project) might also make some pretty cards.
If you receive one of my funky crafts this Christmas you will know they are made with love and a process like no other. My Pinterest friends would be proud. When I get them into glass ornaments I will post some more images.
I read this formula that if you sell something on Etsy that costs X 2 plus labor X 2 = wholesale value. I spent a little on gas driving there but all my materials are from recycled things or left overs. But my time well that's priceless times twoFor more mistletoe stories, Nordic lore, Christmas meaning of mistletoe - The Farmer's Almanac is very helpful
In case you need a home mortgage : http://eaglehomemortgage.com/carolinegerardo/ baby needs new shoes for Christmas
Monday, November 25, 2013
The aroma of rosemary and turkey roasting filled the house. They celebrated Thanksgiving on the weekend to accommodate in-laws, outlaws and parenting schedules. Great Grandmother's quilts covered the tables. Over the chatter of voices, Kitty continued to listen for his car. Cocktail hour passed, and the hors d'oeuvres disappeared. The ache in her knee wasn't barometric pressure, it was the answer to her prayer about facing reality. He wasn't going to walk through that door.
"Lets hold hands when we say grace." Kitty's eldest Marie put out her small hand.
"Thank you Lord for all our blessings..."
Kitty's blonde hair was scrambled into a knotted bun. She did this to keep it out of the way. After dinner was finished she loosened the rubber band over the sink. A single bubble from the Dawn dish soap floated into her tresses. She could see it in her reflection of the window over the sink.
Iridescent like the beginnings of a tear drop, the bubble remained and did not pop. Kitty made one more wish prayer that he might just show for desert.
When the apple and rhubarb pies were passed Kitty felt as if barbed wire encircled her rib cage. Then something opened her heart. A drift wood log jam down stream broke apart the worry and loss. Here at the table sat those who she adored, and those who loved her back.
"Thank you all for coming. Amen."
Monday, September 2, 2013
Kisses for Seamus Heaney and
another Irishman I love.
After Sleeping on the stairs of Notre Dame- wake stiff hipped from love,
before huddling under the Tour Eiffel break baguettes in the morning light,
allow the crumbs to scatter like dandelion kites spreading sparks.
Put raspberries on fingertips - point as if they were wands, command them.
Moments snap past –
are they shooting stars or air support from Camp Pendleton?
are they shooting stars or air support from Camp Pendleton?
Sounds of kissing before battle or passing daily gesture should be the same.
But they are not-
I make a digital image of your lips pressing upon mine.
The French say when prone.
Holding the emotion in the circle of my palms.
I cuddle into your lean torso for safety.
You’re a swan with a flickering of LED police lights.
Is that sand or bread crumbs in your bed?
A trick Aurora Borealis but just as magical.
Can we feed the birds the specs of joy?
Embrace me as if it is our last moment.
poem copyright Caroline Gerardo