We can’t call for help. The Police wouldn’t even file a report. They’d smirk and call it a domestic matter. We’re senior citizens, living alone, with three furry kids. We’ve tried to be good parents, but sometimes good love turns bad.

This is the carnage from “Duke”,  our newest family member. Duke is about 15-months old. He’s brought new life into household, lighting a fire under Bonnie and Gibbs,  our Scotties who’d settled into the lazy life.

Duke’s energy is something to behold! He can leap over the baby gates in our house in a single bound. He bounces off walls while chasing toys at a dizzying pace. Look —  it’s … SUPERDOG!!

The price of living with Superdog is commitment to patience as he demands constant attention for most of our awake hours. You can’t ignore Duke. He won’t allow you to dismiss him. If you do, you’ll pay! This is a dog from whom lack of attention brings in-your-face barking … into which Bonnie often enthusiastically joins.

TV? Reading? Thinking? Not while the two of them are going at it.

Duke is on a mission to dismantle the wooden basket that contains all the doggie toys. The toys have been tuned up like some two-bit felons in a small town Police interrogation room. Those toys, like most two-bit felons, won’t rat on Duke. They’re scared. Scared big time!

Duke makes it clear what he’ll do to squealers. He’s methodically chewing through the wooden basket. I’ve cleaned up the crime scene several times in the past two days. No flies on Duke!  He just returns and continues to destroy the basket, leaving little pieces scattered across the floor, just in case we don’t get his message.

Marilyn has ordered chewy toys, a last-ditch effort at getting Duke to turn his life around.

It’s down to a few desperate hours. Will the chewy toys arrive in time? If not, this grisly scene could be the epitaph for a loving couple who tried to save a puppy from going nuts.


It should be glaringly obvious …

Last night, I spent the entire time scratching. Sometimes, my itching rash of unknown origin goes into “flare” mode. Although I have in my possession every possible kind of antihistamine, cortisone (both the real deal and the jazzed up chemical variety), vitamin E in its pure and mixed-with-aloe forms, and several varieties of zinc oxide (cornstarch, talc, cream) — plus the you-wouldn’t-believe-how-expensive natural stuff with a bit of every known plant life in it — the only thing that helps is furious scratching until I am bleeding and look I was dragged on cement.

The problem with all this is not that I will die from an overkill of itchy rash, but that I can’t sleep when I itch. I drift off for bits and snatches, but I’m up again a little while later, smearing or powdering something on my skin. It was one of those nights when I tried everything , followed by scrubbing down and starting again.

I have no idea what brings these fits on, though I suspect it might have something to do with stress. What kind of stress? Well, there’s impending nuclear war with North Korea. The end of medical care. A hole where money our used to be. Why would any of that be stressful?

At around five in the morning, I took everything in my medicine bag that might help me sleep. Not a lot of anything because we have dentist appointments this morning and I only had a few hours, but I though even three hours of sleep would be better than none.

I heard Garry get up at around 7. I was in a dull haze, optimistically hoping for a little power nap before getting up. Until the soft beep-beep-beep of the alarm reminded me the time had come. Too soon, too soon.

Half an hour later, I realized I was blind.

Blind? Why am I blind?

Ultimately, I recognized I wasn’t wearing my glasses. How can you give a hostile glare to life without glasses?

Garry found my glasses and poured me another cup of coffee. I should be ready to glare any minute now. Meanwhile, it’s absolutely gorgeous outside. Warm (but not hot or sticky) and a perfect powdery blue sky. Hard to really glare at that, but I’ll give it my best shot.


Share Your World – August 7, 2017

What was the last URL that you bookmarked or saved?

Wunderground.com. It’s the local weather station. Local for everyone, actually because it’s based on everyone’s private little weather station in backyards, fields, and other non-official places.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

I often get better information from them for my immediate area. The bigger weather stations give me the weather for the region, generally Worcester or northern Rhode Island … but we live some miles away.

Even a few miles and the weather can be surprisingly different. It may be pouring  five miles up the road and sunny here. Or vice versa, of course.

Do you believe in the afterlife?  Reincarnation?

I don’t know. I really don’t know. I stopped thinking about it because I haven’t the slightest idea. No one has come back from the other side to tell me, so … until then? I haven’t any idea.

If you were or are a writer do you prefer writing short stories, poems or novels?

These days, blogs are fine. I’ve written technical manuals. Instructional books. One novel. Lots of short stories. Mountains of letters.

Whatever I’m writing, it’s the right thing for me to write. So, for now, this is the right thing for me to write but maybe next week, it’ll be something entirely different.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

Nothing inspired me this week. A few things genuinely pissed me off, but that’s not what you want to hear. So we’ll stick with “sorry, not an inspirational week.”


It’s been fun since the election watching the right-wing press, mostly lead by Fox News, bend themselves into evermore twisty and convoluted pretzels as they try to explain the latest gaffe/scandal/complete act of idiocy coming out of the White House. It’s remarkable how the specific issues change, but the bottom line — stupidity! — remains in place.

For those (increasingly few) of us who thought behind the stupidity might be some bizarrely complex plot? Nope. Just more stupidity — and probably paranoia, dementia, narcissism … and maybe he hears voices in his head.

The Dunderhead-In-Chief keeps admitting he does things, like, I don’t know. Like, give up code word “intel” to the Russians. In the Oval Office. Admitting that he fired an FBI Director because he was being investigated by the FBI over his connections to Russia … to the same Russians!  You know, stuff like that.

Hey guys, the CIA just told me some really cool stuff. Wanna hear it?

His defenses all boil down to: “He can do that if he wants to, so there” and “It’s Obama’s fault!”

This is nothing new. If we’ve learned anything in the last four months it’s that no matter how crazy we think things will be, they’ll be even crazier. We also know that the SCROTUS M.O. is to distract today’s scandal with a worse scandal tomorrow.

So, the question becomes, where does he have left to go? What scandal could be worse than today’s? Wait, I got it. He actually shoots somebody on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to prove he wouldn’t lose any of his supporters.

SEAN HANNITYBreaking news. President Trump just shot a man on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Secret service agents immediately pounced on the man and wrestled him to the ground.

SEAN HANNITY: Here to discuss this breaking story we have Senior White House Adviser Kellyanne Conway and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Kellyanne, let’s start with you.

KELLYANNE CONWAY: Well first off I think it’s very unfair the way the fake news media have been saying the President shot a man on Fifth Avenue.

BERNIE SANDERS: But he did! He shot a guy! On Fifth Avenue! On live TV!

What the hell?

KELLYANNE CONWAY: That’s one way of looking at it. I didn’t see the President shoot a man on Fifth Avenue. I saw the President save a man on Fifth Avenue.

BERNIE SANDERS: Save him?? From what?!

KELLYANNE CONWAY: Radical Islāmic Terrorism.


KELLYANNE CONWAY: And besides, the President was elected in the largest landslide in the history of the world. So, he has the right to shoot anybody he wants.


KELLYANNE CONWAY: Well, he can order drone strikes. He can send troops into war. He can launch missiles. In every case, he’s killing somebody. So why can’t he just take out a gun and shoot a man?

SEAN HANNITY: Hmmm. That makes sense. Executive privilege.

BERNIE SANDERS: NO IT DOESN’T!! Well, actually, it makes a little sense … No! What am I saying??! This is still crazy! He shot a guy to prove that none of his supporters would leave him!

KELLYANNE CONWAY: That’s ridiculous. He was saving a man from Radical Islam. Every White House aide agrees with me.

SEAN HANNITY: This just in: President Trump told Lester Holt of NBC News that he shot the man to prove none of his supporters would leave him.


SEAN HANNITY: This also just in. A recent CBS/NY Times Poll says that President Trump has not lost any of his supporters. 85 percent said, “The guy had it coming.” The other 15 percent said “The guy probably had it coming.”

And so it would go. Full confession. This idea is not new. Google “George Bush ate a baby” and “George Bush Saves a baby”.

Everything old is new again. Just dumber.