Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Home Made Gifts

I gathered organic herbs from my garden
Orange, rose petals, ginger and tangerine peels- 
cut in thin strips and dry on an elevated screen
to allow air to dehydrate for 4 days (house smells
Chop the peels and ginger into small pieces

Christmas Tea Recipe ~
Combine in large bowl:
Orange peel, ginger, rose petals, cinnamon, pinch of thyme,
allspice, rooibos and green tea.
Fruits and roses are 1/8 portion, spices 1/16 
Homemade and heavenly tea steeps 3 minutes in boiling
water and use the waste for compost

The label is above.

If you didn't get your package in brown paper...

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas letter

feb2011savannah 112
Must not have your correct address.
Last I wrote it returned to sender.

Taking the wallpaper down.
Endangered Lady Gouldians danced
on roses in kitchen and family room.
You hated on the toile.
Men saw it as grandmotherly.
Realtor says remove all toys.
Cried not when fingers bled,
at snow white walls superior
to silly frills that create happy.

It won't be my home anymore.
Owners mow heirloom climbers.
Petals look unruly, roll out sod.
Take photos when it's sold.

We have a tiny tree
fuller than a Charlie Brown's,
popcorn strung, cranberries
and cuties with cloves in patterns.
Quite opposite my giant jeweled
Christmas tree of gold.

In the garden hangs a popcorn ball
with peanut butter and thistle seeds.
Care for the song birds.
French braid never gets old.

Christmas wish to your happiness.
I miss you all.

My children grow stronger.
Teaching them to fly.
Academy of independence.
Keep your sense of direction.
Stay the course for joy.

With Love,
Caroline Gerardo 2015 Christmas Poem

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Scion Wood For Heaven Novel

trees fruit grove cut down

I wrote 69811 words towards a next novel in November. 

#Nanowrimo doesn't produce fruit that is ripe, 
now I have to prune, graft and water.
The book is unfinished. 
Next step - rough edit and outline review. Then line review.
Then speak to characters and check scene events. 
And then the revision. Next share with beta readers.

It's about life after suicide. 
A bit of heaven, finding beauty in culled wood.
I lost these photographs and had one image on my iphone4.
Accidentally today I loaded an old memory chip - and there were 
fabulous images of my youngest, our college tours of the Northwest 
and these Corot and Van Gogh (esk) images of 
this Fallawater apple orchard shorn down. 
Ever had a memory chip ghost old images layered?

Heirloom and extinct varieties of fruits are of interest to
an off the grid gardener.
Apples are not genetically replicated by seed planting.
The mother's genes partially contribute to a new tree.
Like roses - field testing takes time.
Grafting replicates an apple variety.
Cider made from this fruit is amazing.

When I was seven I was in a Johnny Appleseed play.
I was John Chapman with a pot on my head. 
If you know the title of the play, please let me know,
I can't recall.
The folk hero spread the Harrison apple.
An apple now extinct, used to make hard cider,
and applejack brandy, laced with his own versions
of Christianity and sustainability.
Prohibition ended the varieties of apples and 
many of the Native American medicinal herbs
he used to distill.

Now the trunks become sweet aroma firewood. 
Branches are beautiful in wreaths,
but the grafters waited too long. 
Did they flame up in a blaze where sparks touch heaven?
Like my current work in progress a haunting image that is part
of us - earth, fruit, life, death and joy.
Sparkler in dead chill ~ winter scion clings to heartbeat ~ we connect in veins.

Taking submissions for title ideas
The Orchard End
Caville Blanc d'hiver
White Winter Wood
Scion Wood
Scion Wood For Heaven

P.S.: Scion is not referencing the car ---
 "young shoot or twig of a plant, especially one cut for grafting or rooting as in new life."

Also welcome your thoughts.
All my heart to you.
Thank you for reading 
Copyright 2015 images Caroline Gerardo
piles of scion wood shorn

scion wood cut down grass wildflowers poem caroline gerardo

apple trees cut down

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Stop A Bullet

Stop a Bullet
Bullets for Allah round
After four tours says,
"One hundred magazines on the black market."


AK15 modified AK abound
No license required, 
"Buy my Korean military Brutus."


Stop bullets rebound
unwilling submission,
"Offer education and a loyal wife."


Join the song surround
Call of ManKIND,
"Understand, pray for and seek the enemy."


Caliph banner found
Rocks smash heads,
"Mecca Medina and Jerusalem are ours."


lockheed, boeing, bae, 
raytheon, eads, northrup, finmeccanica,
"gun manufacturers don't create problems."

Zealot takes your crown 
Seek solutions,
"welcome refugees, secure their future."

not bend or deviate 
Stop the bullet before wound,
"save youth before they recruit."

Poem for solutions.
What are the answers?
CVE action against ISIS, IS is not working.
Assassins Creed image licensed by 
Ubisoft as is often used for recruiting 

Be not weary and faint-hearted, crying for peace, 
when ye should be uppermost 
(Shakir, "have the upper hand") 
for Allah is with you,"

12/6/2015 Copyright Caroline Gerardo

" لا تكن بالضجر و ضعاف القلوب ، والبكاء من أجل السلام ، عندما أيها ينبغي أن تكون الأولوية ( شاكر : " لديها اليد العليا " ) إن الله معك "

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Beach Stones Pounding the Keyboard

I'm working hard. 
Writing the first draft of next novel at 5:00 AM and 
getting into office early.

Sharing a couple beach photographs from each of my sister's homes.
Different views: one in Northern California and one Southern but
both have rocky shores. Below Capo Beach Road you can't see the
submerged pebbles and rounded stones; but I have bruises on my legs from the
waves pounding them. This section of Beach Road the ocean appears innocent from above,
but the sand has been eroded. This I'll save you from the purple images.

Same thing with typing each word on the keyboard...
Are you doing Nanowrimo? I'm past 12000 words for November. The
story is taking the lead, and characters waking me up at night.
All my best.
Hey check Audible in the next 9 days the mono version of reading
the Lucky Boy will be released

Friday, October 30, 2015

Nanowrimo Starts 1st Draft

Signed up for NaNoWriMo today. 
I wrote two drafts with this crazy method before.
My theory being- type the words and get it done.

They ask for 50000 words but that’s not a novel – a draft should be 120000+ to slash and erase down to 90000.
My target is 90000
Right now my last book, The Eco Terrorist is in submission and I’ll give it the month.
Was completing an audio version of two prior novels, but the recording is slow and it seems the best my vocals can do is two chapters a sitting. I want it to be live without much edit polishing to sound the same as when I do an actual reading. Those projects are going on a shelf.
I work full time at a demanding job, and need to support my family all by myself. This is a risky proposition to put 1600 hours into a first draft of a story I’m not so sure about. The novel is about suicide or surviving near death by choice by someone I love dearly. Going to be written in first person and will surely be dark.
I don’t believe the lady at the register of Chic fil a is reading my books (you know the sweet one who asks you if you will be fine dining with “us?”) Why do I find that smugness of sweet so offensive?
 asked me recently again why someone with such a cheerful outward appearance has a penchant for thrillers and dark topics. IF you can come up with a light hearted come back please let me know.
With this I tell you I won’t be as quick on line and probably all my fun on Pinterest will be put on hold. I still have the giant house to sell, so craft projects are only a messy daydream to be enjoyed by pinning ideas.  
Please please leave me a comment send me a paper letter as I’m going to be up at 5:15 and working for 3 hours then closing mortgages all day and back home at 7:00 to get three more hours in for 30 days. I forget about, those videos for my mortgage banking job and painting daughter’s room by myself- Until December
Update tonight 3509 words today and outline 500 and story board started
I pushed and got my ACX audible  version of The Lucky Boy finished this morning
I won't have time to promote it and do Nano

Novels written by C G

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Empty Nest

Grief in the plan.
Children's solo guardian: expect change.
But doesn't fit, jeans sizes small. 
Throw out expensive pair or work on body?
Dropped off my son to college four weeks ago.
I didn't cry.
Kept brave.
Days slip stolen by menopause and hackers.
Found lotto tickets never checked.
Liquor store guy says, "old- if you won they won't pay."
Book of Isaiah 65?
Don't offer food and wine to the gods...
bribery spoils luck

Fortunate to adore my children.
Guiltless give them everything.

Pack up worry ~ it weeds no garden.

Revisions on the next book finished.
Begin the next story.
Please Stop by, 
share abundance of zebra striped tomatoes.
I'll give you a bag. 
Pick the herbs you need.
Sage, basil and thyme in gemstone colors.
Just don't call me an empty nester.

Caroline Gerardo
poem October 2015
Nest in the woods

Sending your children off to fly on their own

The rail road path ahead in life

I have a photo of my two on this whale when they were toddlers. Here they are now 2015 in Santa Cruz California

Hike to the waterfall north of Big Sur

On the way  home from dropping off at college hike
Caroline Gerardo Empty Nest Poem
copyright 2015

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fountain of Memory

Sad that my baby is off to college stirred with joy for his
Everyone tells me their own university stories,
sharing in the memories of those days when 
faces, ideas, and libraries were new.
Why do we relate as humans to our own flow?
Is it universal water we drink?
Working through revisions on the last chapters of novel in progress.

The grinding each word is coming to an end.
What editing tools have you purchased? I've tried a few.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Henry Miller and Emil White

Letter to Emil White from Henry Miller
They did enjoy a long life- 80 and 88

Henry Miller's typewriter image above.
Hear it clicking and the return jamming?
What would it be like for you to press hard on each key
pounding out every word, then to trash the pages with errors.
No spell check, no copy and paste no easy edits...

Come to my rescue as I complete 3rd revision 
How are you writing?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Collector of Rain

yellow coastal wildflowers caroline gerardo and wire
Collector of rain,
tea cups, heirloom seeds and roses.
Fill orange Home Depot buckets.
Job is a raucous fight where I smile.
Home is for sale
where does wind lead?
Son leaves for college in days.
Birthday is on September 11th?
Sit while I brew lavender tea.
Hummingbirds sip with us, 
 Siberian Wallflower blooms.
Monarchs chrysalis in the canyon.
Who will care for my bees?

Caroline Gerardo copyright 9/14/2015

It's raining tonight. After two years of drought the sound of rain in my bucket retention system is a dance. Wish I had another week for editing, but my  schedule is demanding.  I hope you are well. The photograph is the beginnings of new butterflies in the canyon below my house. I planted milkweed and salvia for the monarchs and there are thousands of them collecting food and doing what makes them happy. Poem above untitled for the moment, perhaps "Welcome Change" 


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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Born to Build Something Wonderful

A post to my daughter September 10th. 

"You were born to build something wonderful!"

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ebay Selling Plymouth Rock

Down Sizing using ebay. This is an adventure with people who have rocks in their brain.

I'm selling stuff on ebay coordinating with clean sweeping my house (selling the big house
where I raised my children all by myself).

Ebay is a microcosm of the real world. Commerce, work, and some nuts lurk there. It's not easy. The process of photographing, uploading, packing, shipping and answering questions takes time.
There was a time when I was rich.Twice a year I would donate ten bags and ten boxes of stuff to the Salvation Army and be rid of clutter. I no longer need a write off. I want to earn a little dough for son's college extra account.
 Here's why it's hard:
 1.  Hat pins that were from turn of the century. Some were in need of a good silver polish and some needed a couple jewelry welds. I took ten photos of them and sold as one lot. There were actually twenty seven in the photograph. A woman bought them. She complained that I didn't ship them fast enough ( I shipped according to the ebay estimate for United States Postal service. Ebay Always underestimates the cost of shipping by fifty percent. I lose there.) I had not said I would overnight them. I sent out the same day I got paid in pay pal. But the pickle is buyers send their money by credit card and there is a lag day or two for me to see the money. She also complained that some were not as pretty as in the pictures, and that some were missing. I come to find out this woman has a store and she re-sells what she buys on ebay... whatever ...
2. Listed an iphone 5. I took pictures of the cracked corners of the glass and mentioned in detail that they buyer would have to go get a new glass put on. The cost to "reglaze" or whatever the correct term is ... is about $125. I discounted the price of the phone by $130 from other models listed. The guy who bought it sent me two nasty messages before he recieved the phone. The day he opened it he started emailing me his demands to give him my apple ID and password. Next he wanted my ATT user and password. I told him "no". Then he sent messages with curse words. I don't offer returns but told him to carefully pack, insure and ship the phone back for a full refund. He complained to ebay that the phone is - what did he call it? "jail breaked." I looked up the term. No idea how or why someone jail breaks a phone. This was a lie to be able to keep the phone AND get a refund from me. 3. Oh and the crook who bought the Matisse poster...

I have a piece of rock. Years ago when my grandparents were alive my Grandfather chiseled a piece of stone off Plymouth Rock. Today the rock is down deep in this encased showcase so that people no longer take a little bit home. If I list the rock on ebay will my deceased Grandpa be in trouble with park rangers? Will some nut out there send me personal swear messages about the pebble? My stuff is just stuff. I think I am going to put that on my ebay home page. No guarantees.

Magic rock for sale. Once touched by Pilgrims near Massachusetts Bay. Was also washed by the same Atlantic Ocean where the Kardashians once swam... Touched by a poet who needs to get rid of stuff
Thanks for reading

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sustainable Gardening ~ Cherry Tomatoes

organic cherry tomatoes caroline gerardo
      My Gardening Theories

     Grow Valuable Fruits and Vegetables—choose your favorites that are expensive. Don't pay high prices for food you can bring in to the dinner table right from the garden

 Heirloom varieties can be traded for free that aren’t available at    garden stores. 
     There are many sites here are a few I use
Local gardening societies are a great place to start. Allow a percentage of your heirlooms to go to seed and trade dried seeds at online seed banks for free. 

 Sustainable gardening is about the big picture without buying lots of equipment. 
Year over year my garden production varies. One season a glut of zucchini pops up. Then you bake zucchini bread and share, find new recipes for the bundle crop, give them away, add to spaghetti sauce and save the seeds that are desirable to someone else.

 Create a long growing season. Build recycled cold frames. 

     Be creative with plastic liter bottles in a sunny window to start your seeds while it is still cold outside. 
     Build tunnels, cloches and other devices to stretch the season and grow food. That goalie net the team is throwing away plus some plastic make a free plant shelter. With a little recycled materials get a head start on spring salads by at least two months.  Note: be careful using wood that is treated or painted prior to 1978 which may have lead or chemicals that will leach into the soil.
     Extend your fall crops by using row covers to protect them from frost and deer. Old windows tossed by a contractor are useful lean-to shelters.
     Grow crops in the temperature and season they prefer. 
     Cold-tolerant greens and root crops for food production can start indoors in late winter and Fall.
     Find some early-bearing fruit and berries—Grow June-bearing strawberries and early raspberries. 
     Don’t be stuck planting only one type or breed. Ask other gardeners in your area questions about the varieties that are successful. Ask for cuttings.
     There is nothing sweeter than fresh berries picked, rinsed and eaten right away. 
     Berries are God's antioxidant. My family eats them so fast I never have any left to freeze or make jam. 
     Freeze in simple ice cube trays to add to drinks or tea. 
     In the fall, there are late-ripening raspberries that fruit.  
     I’m fond of trading or gifting fresh fruits and vegetables. 
     Once you begin, friends and family reciprocate with things that surprise you.
     Grow natives and foods suitable to your climate zone. 
     Some crops will be easy to grow in your area while others can be a challenge. 
     Soil type also determines what will grow where you live. I have two compost piles. They are upright wire cages that I dump all garden waste that doesn't have disease, and any plant material that is not oily or meat kitchen waste. 
     After two years of adding compost I changed my soil to rich earth that doesn't need to be watered as often. 
     I don't add fertilizers. This saves money. My local coffee shop saves grounds to amend my soil.
     Acidic coffee grounds transforms my soil that tends to be alkaline and clay. 
     After two years of digging in compost and rotating, my soil sustains a huge variety of fruits and vegetables with no fertilizer and no chemicals.
     Grow beverages—Mints, sage, raspberry leaf and nettles make delicious and healthy teas.  
     Mint is hardy in my climate I have to be careful not to let it take over. Keep mint in pots.
     In Southern California it is easy to have fresh lemons – I have Meyer, Lisbon, Ferminello St Teresa 
     St. Teresa is my favorite for the smell of the fruit and flowers. 
     Picking a lemon off one of my trees and squeezing into salad dressing, a sauce or drink gives me joy. 
     The fruit is never touched by pesticides. Yes sometimes they get bugs but I wash them off with water or squish. Lemons stay fresh on the tree longer than in the refrigerator.
     I wish I could grow apples and cherries. I planted them at two different homes with meager success. 
     We just don’t get enough cold. Right now I’m experimenting with avocados because we enjoy them so much. 
     Unfortunately it will take my seedlings seven or eight years to bear fruit. Patience is part of the fun.
     Perennials such as asparagus, rhubarb, and bunching onions are easy. These keep paying you back every year.
     Cherry tomatoes in yellow, lemon and red are the easiest fruit producing plants. 
     The seeds of fallen fruit and that which birds nabbed will spread. Cherry tomatoes could save us in a disaster. 
     Culinary herbs maybe started from cuttings or gather seeds from friends. Cut off the bottom leaves and put in
     a mild window (not full sun) in sand and cover with a used plastic milk bottle inverted. Keep moist and in weeks you will have new plants. Transplant gently and don't shock the life out of them - move to a bit more sun.
     Thyme (my favorite) dill, basil, rosemary, sage, parsley and mint grow in most any summer garden.
     I cultivate a couple types of thyme and sage. Bees love them. 
     When brushing past herbs in my garden the perfume is heavenly.
     In the summer months I grow enough for my family to have fresh vegetables daily. 
     My kids try anything. They grew up pulling weeds and napping under peach trees. 
    They have the love of gardening. 
    One of life's special things is the taste of a tomato warmed by the sun, rinsed off in the yard and popped into your mouth.

I wish you every happiness. Eat healthy, enjoy fresh.
grape arbor organic sustainable gardening
 Concord and Albarosso grapes above
below some photographs of my children
daughter under grape arbor

picking organic apple caroline gerardo

daughter holding pumpkin in my garden sunflowers

handsome son in garden corn stalks drying for seed caroline gerardo

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