Scotch Pride

Marilyn Armstrong:

I couldn’t help myself. Laird Morrie and the gang are TOO cute

Originally posted on lifelessons - a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown:

img_64411 My name is Laird Morrie and I’m the ruler of all you survey.

Version 2 This is my princess.  We’re about the same size.

Version 5 As you can see, my brother Diego is twice my size

IMG_7906 And although it looks like he is killing me in all of these tussling  matches,


IMG_7913 In fact, I always come back for more.  More often than not, I am the aggressor.  More often than not, the bigger dog wins.

IMG_7916 Yet still, I remind myself, I am royalty.  And I pounce again!

DSC07911 This is Frida, one of the three ladies of the house.  Here she maintains her distance.

IMG_3937 This is the other non-human lady of the house. Neither of these ladies likes me much, for I like their dinners entirely too much. Sometimes I jump up on the ledge of the wall and reach up to dine on what this lady leaves behind. Sometimes I dine on it before she’s…

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I know you think you are helping people by trying to get everyone to close on holidays, but it isn’t necessarily the right thing. It might be the right thing for you … but what about me? What about the people next door? Are they just like you? Same holidays? Same available choices? Same kind of family? Same religion?


When you promote a work ban on holidays, consider that many folks don’t have families. These are people who are grateful to be working. Moreover, there are many individuals and families who count on the extra money they can earn by working holidays.


Not everyone is equally enthusiastic or sentimental about traditional celebrations. There are plenty of people for whom Christmas,Thanksgiving, or Columbus Day are non-starters. They have their reasons and they are entitled to them.


Not everyone has someplace to go and a warm, fuzzy family to share with. It’s wonderful to be grateful for what we have. It’s also good to be mindful that not everyone is equally or similarly blessed … and not everyone celebrates the same holidays.


And. Even those who celebrate the same holidays do not necessarily celebrate them the same way you do or on the same dates.


I was delighted when Ellin offered to write some pieces for Serendipity. Good friend, passionate animal advocate, gourmet cook … a women who has done a lot of living and has made the best lemonade out of life’s lemons.


by Ellin Curley

I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of time travel. I’m particularly fond of the fantasy of going back in time, knowing what you know now, and changing some pivotal moment in your past. I used to wish fervently for this fantasy to become a reality so I could undo some of my Top 10 “mistakes” and bad judgement calls. Many of those involved my first husband – like deciding to marry him and deciding — multiple times — to stay with him when reason told me I should leave.


I’m a logical person. The problem with this fantasy is I would have to accept the drastic changes in my personal time line which would inevitably flow from new and improved life choices.

The biggest and most obvious change is obvious: if I didn’t marry my ex, I wouldn’t have my children. I can’t imagine life without them, so, scratch that option.

If I leave him after I have my kids, life still changes so dramatically the odds of my ever meeting my current husband are virtually nil. I’m not prepared to give him up. He’s the best piece of luck I ever had, the best decision I ever made.

What this adds up to? I seem to have reached a point in my life I never thought I would achieve: at peace. Knowing all the crap I went through led me to where I am now. Made me into who I am.

My husband and I often talk about how, without the angst in our past, we wouldn’t have appreciated each other when we did meet. We’re pretty sure we wouldn’t have gotten along nearly as well without having had to pass through the sturm-und-drang of our first marriages.

It turns out I don’t really wish my past would go away. Not anymore. I wouldn’t have minded it being a bit easier, leaving fewer scars. Even so, I’m content with where I am and who I’ve become. Whatever the price I paid, it was worth it.


If you are a women, discovering you don’t have suitable clothing for an upcoming event is a crisis. I don’t care how old you are. Since retirement, we go to so few events where anything dressier than yoga pants and a tunic is required that I don’t have “dressy” clothing.

Nonetheless, it happens. Someone invites us to an affair that requires dressing up. Not jeans. Not yoga pants. Not clogs. Not sweats. Real clothing. Without dog hair and lint.

Photo by Bob Mielke

Photo by Bob Mielke

Garry needed a tie and jacket. He has that. I needed a dress. Which I ought to have, but somehow, don’t. It’s one of the baffling things  in my life, how clothing I am absolutely sure I own isn’t there when I go looking for it. Pixies again?

So in answer to Garry’s question: “Do you have anything to wear to the wedding?”, I bought two dresses. One from Land’s End, another from J.Jill. Both arrived in time, but Land’s End won.

Shoes were a whole different problem. I eventually found the missing “box shoes” for which I searched, but they were higher than I remembered. Too wobbly. I wasn’t sure I’d make it down the stairs and into the car, much less to a wedding. I thought maybe I’d skip the falling down and breaking my hip part of our evening out.

Fortunately, in another box in a shady corner of my bedroom were a pair of new lower heeled dress shoes in go-anywhere black kid. Oh yeah.

Garry found his dress shirt and a brand new tie he’d bought, but never worn. Matching shoes and pants. The you-can’t-go-wrong-with-Harris-tweed jacket he bought in Dublin — on our honeymoon — and being Garry, it still fits just fine.

It was heart-warming and touching to be at the wedding of the woman who had been our flower girl when we were married — 25 years ago. Congratulations, Melissa and Christopher. May your marriage be long and rich with happiness.

And thank you, Bob Mielke for this great picture of us in our glad rags!



Once again, WordPress is offering to rehome us to not one, but the two cities of our choice. This is easy for me. I’ll take Jerusalem, golden Jerusalem of my heart … and my home town, New York, New York (it IS a wonderful town).

Where I used to live.

Where I used to live.

I assume you’ll be offering a package which includes  attractive housing options as well as first-class plane fare on demand. I expect appropriate home furnishings and a fashionable, yet comfortable wardrobe along with a generous stipend.


That would work for me and my husband. You are paying his way too, correct? All my good friends and close family are coming too. Not leaving them behind a second time. Once was more than enough to last this entire lifetime.

Naturally, suitable transportation will be provided at each location. You know … cars, taxis, limos as needed? And support personnel? Cleaning staff, cooks, personal assistants? Dog walkers?

 (AP Photo/Preston Stroup)

(AP Photo/Preston Stroup)

This is going to be our reward for a long life of hard work and challenges no one should have to face, so I’m expecting great things.


Thanks for your kind offer. I’m won’t bother to pack my bags. Your people will be in touch with my people. They can make all the necessary arrangements. Have a good day and thank you again.

I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.


As a passing thought, would you consider a third option? Perhaps a charming Caribbean Island state? St. Martin? Aruba? One of the Virgin Islands? Plus an occasional jaunt to Europe. I’m not greedy, but if you’re paying …



What type of popular candy you do not like to get?

I’m not a big candy eater. I like York Peppermint Patty, but not much else.

Does pound cake count?

Does pound cake count?

So I guess you can not give me any of the popular candies and I’ll be fine. When I was a kid, I loved candy, but that was long ago in a galaxy far, far away.

What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $500? 


Camera equipment and related software.

Where do you eat breakfast?

Coffee. A lot of coffee. While checking email and comments on my laptop, in the living room.

kitchen art view horizontal

coffee vanilla

With some low-fat, low-calorie crunchy cookie thingies. They are made by Barry’s Bakery and they are delicious.

They also don’t make me feel guilty. Or fat.

Would you rather ride one of the worlds longest zip lines or bungee jump one of the highest in the world? This will come with a 5-day all expense vacation.

The zip line, when I was much younger and a great deal more agile (and healthy) might have been fun.

I wouldn't mind a trip back to Coney Island.

I wouldn’t mind a trip back to Coney Island

I’ll skip the zip line and the bungee jumping. Please give the vacation to whoever is actually up for the challenge.

In other words thanks, but no thanks.


In my late twenties, we had friends in their 50s. One day I asked Betty at what point she had felt “grown up.” By then, I was thirty-ish, working full-time, raising a son, taking care of a home and married for ten years. I figured I ought to feel grown up.


Betty looked at me and said “I’ll let you know when it happens.”

When I was a kid, I remember wondering when I’d feel grown up. What the “magic moment” would be. Through my working years, I never fully stopped feeling I was pretending to be an adult. I did adult things, had adult responsibilities. I was a mother, a boss, a career person. In charge of forming my son into a responsible citizen … but I felt like a child myself.

Having a child made me responsible, but not mature. 

Now, I’m a senior citizen. I’m grown up. I don’t know when it happened or why. I never noticed the transition, but  I’m not pretending anything. I’m just me, whatever that means.

It didn’t change anything. Funny how things work out.