JAMAICA, FAREWELL – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Tropical

Living on the “right coast,” the Caribbean has been our go-to tropical islands. Garry was addicted to Bimini. I didn’t go as often as he did, but I loved St. Martin and later, St. Thomas, Aruba, Antigua … and most particularly, I really loved Jamaica.

Maybe it was the coffee? By the time Garry and I were able to spend time in the Caribbean, I had pretty much given up buying souvenir tee-shirts, but on the other hand, I came back from Jamaica with four pounds of pure Blue Mountain coffee beans. It was the best coffee I ever had in my life and I still dream about it. Well, you know what I mean. Daydream. Not night dreams. My night dreams are way more complicated than coffee.

Also, there was something about that island. When we landed (by cruise ship) in Jamaica, we had already learned to not buy the pre-packaged tours from the ship. Go ashore and find a guy. Because there was always a guy who would pop you into his cab and if he liked you (we were always very likable on cruises), he introduced us to his mother, family, the places at which he really ate. The food was amazing and served in someone’s backyard on an old wooden table with folding chairs.

He showed us where to find the best coffee beans for a couple of dollars a pound, rum so strong no one could drink it — not even Garry and he could really drink! — and the beaches only local people knew about.

We spent two days on Jamaica and when we had to leave, I stood at the railing and watched Jamaica disappear around the curve of the earth. I wanted to go back and never leave.

I still want to go back. Jamaica was the island that called to me.

RDP #7 – PURPLE FLOWERS, PURPLE HAIR, PURPLE HAZE – Marilyn Armstrong

PURPLE FLOWERS, BETTER SWEATERS

Purple is the color of half the stuff leftover for clearance sales! Enter the annual purple sweater of the year.

It really is. Orange and purple. I know because during the poorest years of my life, those were the colors of all my shirts and sweaters. They were the only things left in my size. Eggplant, aubergine, pumpkin … whatever it was called, it was orange and purple.

I’ve always like dark purples and sometimes, the more lavender or red-violet purples, but there have been a few that were just a bit overly intense for my neutral mind to fully grasp. Orange is an okay contrast color if the rest of what I’m wearing is dark brown or black, but other than as a nightgown, I have a little more trouble with orange.

To wear that is. I absolutely love it as a Jack O’Lantern!

Purple is the color of the Mayflower, the classic iris, lilacs (sometimes more lavender, but close enough), and the spots that float across my eyes if I look into the sun for a moment.

For a brief few days, I vaguely contemplated dying my hair purple, but fortunately, no one shared my enthusiasm for the project and it died off on its own.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/fjwWjx7Cw8I?rel=0

Let me add just a little nostalgia for long ago years when drugs were fun. Not something you took to make the pain in your back ease away. Not only was this quite the song of a generation (to be fair, it was not one of my favorites; I was more “Judy Collins” than “Jimi Hendrix”), but look how young they are! My granddaughter is older. I was that young too, but it’s hard to remember. Fifty years have passed. Fifty.

Purple Haze! Not just a song, but a crazy, mad state-of-mind … for about 12 hours with a residual fade of four more, give or take a couple. Oh, those really were the daze.

RDP #7 – PURPLE

Purple is the color of half the stuff leftover for clearance sales! Enter the annual purple sweater of the year.

Welcome to the Ragtag Community Blog.  This is the place where all our Ragtag Daily Prompts will be located, so it should be much easier for everyone to play along.  We are indebted to Leaping Toes from Oh Border! for establishing the Ragtag Community Blog for us and for you.

Without further ado, here is the Ragtag Daily Prompt for Thursday, 7 June 2018.  We invite you to post something related to purple

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A PROMISE OF A PHOTO A WEEK, BUT NOT A NIGHTMARE – Marilyn Armstrong

I post pictures all the time, but a nightmare is not an image I want to post. I don’t have any nightmare pictures and am disinclined to create any. In this case, I don’t think you really need to worry because there are lots of photography prompts and I participate in as many as I can.

Almost the end of the road and nearly night – From Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge

We are not going to run short of photo prompts. Even without one from WordPress, there are plenty. My favorites include all of Cee’s weekly prompts. They have grown enormously in popularity. If you haven’t tried them, you should. She also does a daily “flower of the day” prompt — all year-long. Check her out at Cee’s Challenges.

Paula has a couple of her own, both weekly. She also gets a well-earned response. She does Thursday’s Special and another on Sundays which varies from week to week.

My favorite is still the annual Changing Seasons. Max at Cardinal Guzman managed it for three years. This year, SueLeslie is managing this wonderful monthly photo project.

Following is information about it:


About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge, originally hosted by Max at Cardinal Guzman. 

SU LESLIE has taken over hosting duties this year, and if you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

* Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
* Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
* Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

1 – Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month

2 – Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

3 – Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to Sue Leslie’s post, she can update it with links to all of yours.


I  mourn the loss of a prompt as widely viewed as was WordPress’s weekly photo prompt, but there are many photography prompts. Find a few that suit your style and remember, there are always more.

Columbine and spiderwort – My garden in May

If someone wants to start another prompt, I’ll participate, but photography for me is not like a writing prompt. I can write to almost any word, even if I have to look it up so I know what it means … but I can’t take pictures like that. We live where we live and there are things we don’t have. I’ll never be shooting palaces or medieval cathedrals because I live in New England. We don’t have anything much older than a few hundred years and there isn’t much of that.

Giant Thistles – Flowers of the Day

There are more challenges. Lest I almost forget, Nancy Merrill has a weekly prompt, too at Nancy Merrill Photography. I think her next one will be up tomorrow. She always has some beautiful work and picks great subjects.

June is one of Becky’s square photograph months. The subject is “roofs” or for you Brits, “rooves.” Or eaves or ceilings. The only criteria are that the picture is square. Check it out on The Life of B.


Since I’m currently participating in this one, here are the rules:

Well, the theme is ROOFS (or rooves if you prefer!). Your roof can be;

A – any type, any condition, any size, and in any location.
B – it could be a shot across rooftops, of one roof like today or even a macro
C – you might prefer to spend some time under the eaves and in the attic, or enjoy the view from above as Brian has already done today.


Then, pingback to Becky and voilà!  Squaring pictures is more challenging than you think and not everything likes being square. I have one of the entries up today.

Old houses along the dock in Rockport, Massachusetts – one of this week’s squares

“Nightmare” is not a photography subject, at least not for me. I shoot rivers and mountains and flowers and sometimes, buildings and people and dogs. Beyond that, it’s not my thing.

Don’t give up. There really are a lot of photo prompts. Everywhere on planet earth. As Douglas Adams used to say:


“DON’T PANIC!” 


A PRACTICAL COURSE … – Sue Vincent

“…am I missing something?” The frantic voice on the phone made it quite clear that he really hoped he was…
“There’s a grey ring with symbols on it. Turn it to the one with parallel lines.”
“Okay, done that.”
“Then, above where the ‘U’ shaped bit of red plastic is, there is a red slider. Push it to the right.”
“Whew… That’s got it. Thank you!” He hung up to deal with the piscine emergency and, while I threw on some clothes to go and join him, it occurred to me that this was a really useful example of one of the exercises we use in the Silent Eye to build awareness.

The gadget in question is nothing interesting, nor is it one I own, but it isn’t something I have to think about either; operating a hosepipe is just one of those things you do on autopilot. I cannot recall ever having particularly examined the fancy nozzle-that-does-everything-except-feed-the-cat, but I was, thankfully, able to conjure its image in sufficient detail to be of use.

I am lucky in this respect; my imagination and memory work with visuals and, while I may be utterly useless at remembering anything to do with numbers these days, what I have seen I can usually picture with clarity. Part of that is just down to how my mind functions; where some people remember the spoken word accurately and others have a gift for recalling numbers, I tend to remember what I have seen. Except numbers. But part of it too is down to training.

I have been working with the Mysteries for nearly half a century. Early in my studies, it became evident that there were two basic choices open to anyone seriously following that path… study for knowledge or study for application, and it seemed to me that the two needed to work in tandem.

While you cannot put into practice what you do not know, and therefore knowledge is necessary, the acquisition of knowledge alone serves no purpose unless it is used, except to satisfy the hunger of the inquiring mind and foster understanding. But as real understanding comes only with experience… so the most practical course would be to learn all you can, extrapolate the practical uses and apply them. And, as the lessons learned studying the Mysteries must be applied to life, it is through your own life that you learn.

Right from the very beginning of my own studies,there were exercises in awareness, even though, ironically, I did not realise it at the time. From simply visualising your room as you drift into sleep, to noting new details in familiar places, or playing memory games with yourself… they were simple enough exercises. It is difficult to gauge the cumulative effect, especially if your mind works best in pictures, until something makes you take note.

The hosepipe was an insignificant example, but the clarity with which it was brought to mind was striking. Places I have visited once, maybe thirty years ago, are still very clear. I drive thousands of miles on obscure roads and seldom look at a map… and if that kind of thing is a practical result of my studies, then I am happy to have spent so much time on ‘awareness’ exercises.

Continue reading at The Silent Eye

via A practical course…

JUNE IS SQUARE – ROOF 7 – Marilyn Armstrong

It’s that time of year again and squares are back! 

We used to go to Symphony Hall to hear the Boston Pops concert every December.

Every corner of Symphony Hall is architecturally marvelous and photogenic, but the ceiling is especially beautiful. There is so much going on up there, with lighting and sound equipment as well as lights, decoration, and some delightful architecture.

Boston Symphony Hall Pops Concert


Well, the theme is ROOFS (or rooves if you prefer). Your roof can be;

A – any type, any condition, any size, and in any location.
B – it could be a shot across rooftops, of one roof like today or even a macro
C – you might prefer to spend some time under the eaves and in the attic, or enjoy the view from above as Brian has already done today.


See you tomorrow!