Thursday, October 19, 2017

Dust To Dust Poem

Hamburger Obituary

Dust to Dust Poem
This week two deaths, wait for the third,
thud it makes that drum ba dum bum ching sound,
bad timing of humor hits me on the back side of the head.
For thirty years I assumed In and Out was expensive.
Never bought double double, bucks for hamburger meat dread,
held a grudge because I blame them for my father’s early death.
Snuck greasy wrappers in the outside bins under grass clippings.
I’m no devout vegan, in and out of vegetarian; offer homemade
barbeque, and my diet opinions remain on wind's silent breath.
Be polite, endure high cholesterol, drink your mojito, and smile.

Ear tagged cattle roam, luxury grazers on thousands of acres.
I asked on Instagram to name bobby calves and got snickers…
A calf lives carefree, except for howls of lard coyotes at night.
Spring ends ship to Japan for viagra sexual power in this breed.
Last year, calf went down, that’s what the cowboys say, right.
Mamma cows, yes, a group of them, say shiva with the baby.
Injured or dead don’t leave one behind, may heaven comfort.
The bulls are kind, keep family that humans divorce, discard.
Ghusl washes like sunlight on a clothesline, to constellations.

Funerals make me nostalgic.
Old loves run my mind.
What did I do wrong?
When did you give me the crucifix I wear?
Why no mention when the gold clasp meets the cross?

Time for a Hail Mary.

Vibhuti from the funeral on my face,
 as the priest does on Ash Wednesday.
A haboob before white linen sheet.
Wipe off the dirt on my forehead?
No worry
I'm in Heaven
and soul full of grace,
can't wait to see you again.

Dust to Dust sticks to smoky tallow.

Caroline Gerardo copyright ©  October 18, 2017 
photographs and poem all rights reserved "Obituary"  

Monday, October 16, 2017

Those I Chose at the Lakes

Those I Chose

What Wildfire destroys, nature patches
First herbs, hickory, and oak of ashes

Oxidation burns revolves 
Volatilization dissolves

Leaving vapor in drought
Sequoia seeds heat sprout

Those I Chose

Memoir of Loves might fail
Lies scurry under deep trail

Rest spins the wheel
Time does not heal

Sun howls, moon climbs
A witness to heart crimes

Those I Chose at the Lakes
to give time to grow 
to love every

Caroline Gerardo
Those I Chose Poem
poetry and images copyright
©  October 16, 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017

Book Covers I love

Blue book splines
Jean Paul Grenwalt's company  Book Arts

Canadian BOOK binders


Sunday, October 8, 2017

House Of Stone

House of Stone Poem
Arroyo toad snuck in nights.
Amphibian trying for days.
Art in screen porch orchids
at home late scurry freezes 
a kit fox back for chickens?
another prowler in stables?
automatic mass weapons?
abandoned  house of stones
accept still scorpion hides
all ur envy green is whites
As from tower waterfalls
and fear runs no oceans.
I'm not afraid of bears.
Lord wash all my sins.
Alzheimer memories 
all toads in rat traps.

Notes about today's poem
Arroyo toads are endangered but there's a number of them on the ranch.
January's rain conjured their ancient eggs. They were active in spring,
our days are warm but they know it's fall. Nights grow longer, and
evening starts at 6:50 in town but 6:20 here as the mountain blocks the southern
sky. The toads hunt for a place to stay for the winter. In the summer one got caught
in a rat trap, daughter nursed his bum leg. Funny to care for all types of creatures
you will think.These toads are toxic to humans and animals, can cause death by touch.
He healed and released, haven't seen him since August; but a couple
of his girlfriends hop in the greenhouse/ screened porch at night.
Like you I saw the suffering in Vegas, my work organized a thank you
note program for first responders. If interested contact me. Thousands of people,
as Mr. Rogers might say if here, the helpers, saved lives need us to risk picking them up and
healing the poison.
Images are from my last trip to Iceland.
Much love and don't be afraid of the bump in the house.
A madman a terrorist checks into a hotel with a golf bag
of ammo and we mourn his mean acts.
I wont be stopped.
All rights reserved copyright  ©  Caroline Gerardo October 7 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Life flux trembles 
Name him madman
Label doesn't heal
Time doesn't heal
Steam burns then disappears

Evil conjure symbols
Call her witch
Label doesn't heal
Time doesn't heal
Steam rises and disappears

Crush ancient vessels
Dance upon shards
Time doesn't heal
Steam disappears.
Stirs energy.

Caroline Gerardo Steam Poem copyright  © October 2 2017 photographs of geothermals in Iceland and all rights reserved. Reference to Las Vegas Sunday

Monday, October 2, 2017

Battle Born

Battle Born

Nevada Flag


say rosary

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Jet Stream Poem

Jet Stream Poem

Nature tracks historic direction
A breeze balances temperature 

Protest is an unalienable right
Censorship leads dictatorship

Newton defined the law
Acceleration to a Nation

Plug waterfall with desire
Cease speak mouth-piece

Pretend forces wind whip
Crow fly atmosphere night

Player take knee for injured
Concussion sparks a hot air

Caroline Gerardo  ©  copyright September 28 2017  all rights image and poetry reserved

Friday, September 22, 2017

Hug For North Koreans

Drifting to sleep an idea enters my prayers.
I want to get a travel VISA to North Korea to
share loving gestures, hand out candles and
hug everyone.
지난 밤에 표류하는 표정이 나의기도에 들어간다.
나는 북한에 여행 비자를 받고 싶다.
사랑스런 제스처를 나누며 양초를 나누어주고
모두를 안아.
jinan bam-e pyolyuhaneun pyojeong-i nauigido-e deul-eoganda.
naneun bughan-e yeohaeng bijaleul badgo sipda.
salangseuleon jeseucheoleul nanumyeo yangcholeul nanueojugo
moduleul an-a.

Caroline Gerardo copyright September 22 2017
images from Mission in California
If interested I have interior videos of art, sculpture, gardens and fountains of 21 missions in California. I'm against glorifying King Charles of Spain or the Jesuits or the Franciscans who
abused natives, but fascinated by the history and artifacts which few seem to treasure

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Hepatitis A





Caroline Gerardo © copyright September 20, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Composting Without Buying Anything. 

Recycle what you have and layer in variety. Compost builds healthy soil. Compost saves money on fertilizer, watering and reduces landfill piles. 
So here’s the step by step easy peasy tips and tricks to compost:

Make a cage to hold the compost pile vertical to allow air exposure, and easy to slip off and use the bottom soil.
Any farmer or junk collector has mesh gage wire in a junk pile that they can't give away. If you don't happen to hoard this go post on Craigslist or Freecycle and surely several souls will happily allow you to pick it up. Remember to bring gloves. I never seem to get them on my hands before I start although there's a pair in the back of the truck, in the mud room and garage.
This is best a 4 foot tall, or 5 if you are tall enough to handle it with a width of about three feet diameter. This should be easy for you to move on your own. I'm tiny but strong. Use your judgement as to maximum size. A compost heap taller than four feet and wider than five feet takes longer to cook and then you may need a back hoe... On the opposite scale if it is too low (needs height of three feet) it won't warm up. Natural heat burns the weed seeds and sterilizes the end product.
A fat column of compost that can be easily lifted or moved is my goal. I like a round one. Tie it with wire or ribbon or grocery store wire vegetable ties.Tie it with whatever you have in those craft bins in the garage or toolbox.
I'm speaking of  about the size of a narrow trash bin that your mother could lift. You can add a center empty column of mesh as a stovepipe chimney to allow air inside.
Welded wire used wire used fencing with posts and clamps that came from a rusty heap is great.
Picket fencing with wire inside will work, as will wooden stakes wire or tied together.
I've used sign posts and the wooden pickets from political signs after elections.
If you desire, it can be a pretty wattle fence but I prefer lightweight that I can handle.
Wattle is easy to weave and is attractive looking if you decide to put a bin close to your kitchen.
Why close to the kitchen? Because you bring vegetable scraps and coffee grounds out to add to the bin. Make it easy. If it's not simple you're going to give up. Not to worry much, if you go on vacation or get too busy the pile may cool and dry or become soggy in the rain. Begin again and think opposite of the problem is the fix. A bin should not lean up against house structure to attract bad critters inside.
I have chickens so mine allows them to snoop but not topple it over.

I have 3 compost bins, as I have acreage. One is small near the kitchen for coffee grounds, tea that steeped (without bag or string or staple) green vegetable peels and paper towels. Every month or so I move this to layer into the larger bins down on the meadow.

Ready to build the bin:
Clear an area of ground. Dig the soil loose about six inches. Lay some old logs that will fit inside the hoop. Place wire hoop on the soil around the logs. Put a center chimney of wire for air vent. Fill the donut ring with layers of different materials. Think lasagna. Cover the top to keep water in and my chickens who will be snooping out of the bin. Later I allow them to stir the mix about once a month I lift the wire, allow them to dig and stack it back. In the summer in three months the bottom will now be all dark rich soil and the pieces mostly unrecognizable.
Old wood logs form the base to hold moisture and make a footing frame for the compost then layers of leaves, grass and weed clippings, chicken manure, clippings of clover, egg shells, occasional un-printed paper goods torn up, small amounts of wood fire ash that has cooled  (a cup a week or less),
You can use any green or brown dry waste you have in balanced amounts- one part green and three of brown. Green is peels of cucumbers, slimy lettuce, old fruit, not citrus, grass, coffee or tea grounds. Brown is leaves shredded, weeds broken up, shredded paper that’s not color printed, dryer lint, and even wood chips (chips like all solid or larger pieces are slower to break down).
Waste from chickens, bunnies, herbivores such as hamsters, cattle, and less extent horses can be used to add nitrogen. These need a minimum of 190 days aging in the pile in warm weather.
In the meadow I have two compost bins- one I include weeds and the other is no weeds. I move the bins after each three/four month period. Below is rich soil with worms ready for planting.
If compost smells like ammonia add a little soil and more brown or dry material.
Don’t shock the cooking pile with a huge quantity of one thing.
Keep damp not soggy.
In an urban area: you may ask neighborhood coffee shop to save the grinds, a Nektar store to save green peels, be creative. You are offering to pick up their trash and reduce the cost of dumping.
Raccoons and mice may be attracted to the smells. Because my chickens free range the mice fear the birds during the day. Also, my girls clean up the grubs a raccoon desires. Raccoons tear the whole thing apart looking for that one peach inside. I don’t use traps or poisons, just clean up the mess and thank them for stirring for me. Keep it organic.
Even though the center of my compost might be a hot 140 degrees I disturb it by allowing my chickens to rip through it for bugs. They eat the weed seeds, ants and bugs I don’t want. They also eat some of the worms and I guess I could modify this procedure but it gives them a wild party - joy that makes me laugh.

If someone sells you a plastic bin that has an electric spinner and the packs of clean straw and starter magic please refrain and send good money to the Salvation Army. I saw and advertisement on a Gardening website today that composting is a science, but not rocket science. Composting is easy.
If your pile is too dry, it will be slow, but no worries, it can be boosted by adding a layer of green. 1 part green 4 parts brown dry. Put a shovel of your regular soil, ground dirt on top and water the top to be like a sponge. Excess water runoff - use in a watering can as a fertilizer and pest control for existing plants. This is called compost tea.  too wet because you forgot to cover it in the rain? Add more dry brown leaves... 
Have fun composting

Caroline Gerardo copyright September 20 2017

Monday, September 4, 2017

DACA Barn Poem

Remove boots to air out the dogs
Hike in cotton grass full of snakes
Remove  silica mask before algae
Examine motivation of authority
Remove makeup before retiring
Dig foundation,  find gold coins

Ask why President ends DACA
Play a tuba Bonerama to protest
Ask if children's LEGOS murder
Sing when opposition speaks hate
Ask if castle crumbles from time
Discover treasure in true hearts

Remove slippers before dancing
Draw symbols to free joy souls
Remove stain hiding in the barn
Send children to abandoned life

Caroline Gerardo poem and images all rights reserved © copyright September 1 2017

Friday, September 1, 2017

Pink Sky

Pink sky

Pink sky over ocean

Pink sky over sea ~ waves wear on toes holding ground ~ this moment is ours.

I'm just a Mom who raised children on her own, hosted family gatherings for 40, and find joy in everything. I work long days, then I'm creative. There's great people around me. Tide like sound of chewing and cranes constructing I hope brings happiness and awareness.

copyright  ©  Caroline Gerardo August 2017

Iceland Airplane DC Crash Site

Sólheimasandur’s big tourist attraction in Southern Iceland made
me sad. It's not the airplane crashed upon the black sands, it's the tourists who disappoint. I saw young men pulling pieces off the plane, and carrying spray paint cans to decorate with icing. Travel opens eyes.

Pass Skógafoss waterfall on the Ring Road 1 - look for flashing yellow lights. Parking area is on the ocean side. Parking is free. Wear warm clothing, it's windy. Follow the yellow road reflector plastic markers about three miles on black gravel. Stay on the marked road. This is private land. Do not trample on plants, many are endangered. 

In 1973 this Navy DC-3 crashed in southern Iceland. 
It won't will last past 2020. Tourists take pieces, climb on it, and make holes in the walls to climb up top. 

I share this with you and sigh. Information on the internet can
be fabulous; but; however; instead; in this case it's people that aren't so fab.
Photograph copyright ©  Caroline Gerardo August 28 2017 Do not use without my permission all rights reserved

GPS coordinates: 63.4912391,-19.3632810

Need driving directions, how to read the signs, what side of road and much more

read here

Thursday, August 31, 2017

How to Drive In Iceland

Tips for driving in Iceland. Signs, road hazards and how to safely

see Iceland by car, SUV or camper. I'm travelling with my daughter who
shoots landscape photographs. the weight of her camera packs is like a bowling ball collection. I'm catching pictures and enjoying the waterfalls with cell phone and old Nikormat.

Methods to travel to choose from:
Bike rentals with tent. Too dangerous for us on the narrow roads.
Hitch hiking is too risky for me but many young people wore backpacks and had their thumbs out.
Bus tours. Cringe. Ugh, reminds me of cattle call with no freedom. The majority of tourists choose the bus tours. It's easy. The itinerary is planned. See the things everyone else sees.
The Blue Lagoon was nice but it is low on my favorite places in Iceland. Reminds of Disneyland. 

After research we decided to rent a car. A vehicle that also serves as a 4 X 4 camper
was an excellent choice to be able to travel to everything and be on our own schedule.
You only need a valid driver's license for your home state and a bit of courage to drive
as a tourist in Iceland.

We rented a camping two seat car from Ku Ku camper. They were fabulous!
The vehicle was a new Subaru with a futon back that folds down to sleep two persons.
The car was beautiful. No problems for driving Iceland. They 
supply a basic cooking kit with two pans, plastic plates, dawn washing soap
and pieces that fit neatly in the area where back seat passenger leg room area. You drive.
Renting a car in Iceland is not cheap; but hotels are double the price of comparable 
in the United States. We were free to travel the Ring Road (1), and visit gravel roads into the less seen waterfalls of the island. Having a car that we slept in allowed for unlimited schedule. We stayed in a couple hotels- Hotel Berg (excellent six stars) At  the glacier at Jökulsárlón temperatures overnight were below zero.Our bodies were chilled from hiking so we stopped in to Hotel Smyrlabjorg (expensive three stars). Also stayed at Foss Hotel (expensive one star) Skuggi Hotel (moderate 4 stars).  

Here is my list of tips for driving round Iceland. 
My daughter navigated in advance and printed our plans on paper. We took turns driving. She used WAZE for GPS and it works well. MAKE SURE YOU RENT A portable WIFI that plugs in battery to your vehicle. The Subaru has five or six "ports" or lighters to plug in phones and the WIFI. Bring your home vehicle lighter plug in and extra cords in case you lose them. Hotels and restaurants have European plug ins which are not universal to American technology. I bought two extra batteries and memory cards for a digital camera. Daughter brought 80 rolls of film, four cameras and nine batteries. Don't want be caught with a dead camera.

Roads are well marked with simple signs but Iceland does not repeat the signs. Look at the pictures on the sign and understand in advance what it directs. It is not necessary to be able to read the language. The pictures tell you what to do. 
The weather changes in minutes. Winds pick up fast. Keep to the posted speed limit. Allow those in a hurry to pass.
Icelandic police uses cameras and mails you a ticket. We never saw a police officer in twelve days but the crime rates are amazing low in this country. 
If the sign shows falling rocks. Look to the left and that mountain slide may deliver so be careful. If the sign shows man on horseback, you will see Icelandic horse riders crossing the road. The horses reside on most farms. They are not always fenced. When you see the sheep sign it means the sheep are roaming and crossing the road at will.

driving signs Iceland this one says YOU are on camera for violations
Signs with image of a camera do not mean this is a good place to take a photograph. This sign is also offered with front facing camera picture.
Translation: you are on speed trap camera ahead.
We found WAZE (now owned by Google Maps) useful in reporting speed camera traps

Places of interest to take a photo are a blue sign that looks like a snowflake or flower. Stop at these. Find parking and take your pictures.

Iceland sign gives route number left City name center and kilometers distance to drive on the right
Sign above shows on the left the number of the road and on the right how many kilometers to the location

This road sign is helpful it indicates there isn't a town for a while. If you vehicle is on half fuel, time to fill up to the top. Better to be safe. Iceland does not have Triple A and few or no tow trucks in rural areas. Tourists generally don't stop or have a gas can to assist.
Iceland driving sign for reindeer in the road
Above sign indicates reindeer crossing. A variety of animal signs are used in Iceland. The road signs are serious warnings. There are no second chance warning signs. Icelandic drivers must be self sufficient. Also there are sheep crossing signs- the sheep do run alongside the shoulder and dart out into the pavement. If you hit a farm animal you are responsible to pay for the animal. Car insurance usually doesn't cover the big damage. Hitting a live animal is traumatic to passengers and the living being. Icelandic horse riding or loose horses also will be indicated with appropriate animal images. Domestic animals and farm animals may spook when you drive near them. For heaven's sake don't steal the signs. 
Common Iceland drive sign for one car bridge

One lane bridge   Einbreid bru
Yes, one lane bridges are VERY common in Iceland! Car closest to the bridge has the right of way. Okay how do you figure that out? When in doubt give the right of way. Backing up on a one way bridge can end in car in river with dead passengers. Use your brights to blink. 

Always drive with lights on- day or night it is the law

Above is Dangerous curve to the left. This sign also flips to the right

Blind hill =  BlindhaedThe road is coming to a hill and it will be difficult to see oncoming traffic. self explanatory sign with image of 

Do not pass - solid white line just like homeRoads are narrow. If you rented a two wheel drive economy car don't dream you can get up enough speed into the wind.
When passing use your blinkers -right indicator light

Road closedThese signs are for your protection, DO NOT ignore. Don't die.

Pull off/passing space
Spaces when the road is tight or perhaps it’s a one lane tunnel (those exist in Iceland!), there will be a blue sign with a white “M” that means a pull off ahead. generally these are poorly marked. Do not stop in the middle of the road to take a photograph. Find a farm gravel outlet and park off the flow of traffic. 

Flat tire from off roading? Damage to wheels and tires by flat or under inflated tires is pricey and you will be waiting a day for someone to help. Flat tires are not covered by insurance.

Hold your door. Do not open all the way!! Doors are damaged when opened in extremely windy conditions. In a storm, expect winds at 50m/s (112 mph). Yes,this force can knock you to the ground.

Losing traction on gravel roads is common where the asphalt road suddenly turns to rocky dirt road and the driver has not reduced speed to compensate for this. I live four miles from a paved road. For me driving on gravel has regular cautions- ridges in the road shake your spine and the car to ultimate stress. You don't want to break down. Go 15 miles an hour or slower if the car trembles. Of course your car won't be in miles per hour, go 24 kph or less. Allow others to pass. When another car is coming in opposite direction, move over, slow down, even stop if dusty. There is no shoulder. Often the shoulder is water, a slope or a life threatening caution.

Yellow circle with red = Don't tread, right Do not try it. The signs are not emphatic. Many places in Iceland are dangerous and unlike the U. S. no emphasis 

Iceland has many Roud-abouts. Enter with caution. Pay attention to the other drivers and yield. 
sites to see as a tourist in Iceland here

Okay that's enough. I will post more about the trip soon. Was I too cautionary to frighten you off? I recommend driving in summer months.