Topically Distracted – Judy Dykstra-Brown

I’m reblogging this because today, I got a post sent from one of these at 11pm tonight, nearly 24 hours after it was sent. I don’t know what’s going on with WordPress’s mail, but comments are not showing up and their mail is very slow. Sometimes several days slow. I hope they get their act together because they are becoming a serious frustration in my life and probably yours, too.

lifelessons - a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

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Topically Distracted

When WordPress put us out to dry,
turning a deaf ear to our cry
not to suspend the Daily Post,
I think it disillusioned most.
Yet, so many rose to hear our plight
that now I labor day and night
to fulfill the prompts they host.
I fear offending if I don’t post.
So though outside the air’s a balm,
the flowers lush, the scene all calm,
I feel my obligation’s rush.
I feel each lined-up prompting’s crush.

Each jostles to be first in line
like a regular at opening time.
So though outside it’s tropical,
and therefore very topical,
I cannot feel the scene before me.
Sun, trees, water only bore me.
Even the palm trees do not sway.
No wind  rustles them today.
And though the prompt is “tropical,”
my mind is stuck on “topical.”
I must admit that I’m distracted.
With prompts, I fear…

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RDP #13 – SMORGASBORD – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP #13 – Smörgåsbord

Finally, I can spell it! This is one of those words that has permanently escaped the grasp of my spelling.

I don’t have much to say about it, especially since the places that used to serve it seem to have disappeared. These days, we have “buffets,” also known as a huge table full of food, much of which I don’t like.

So I will pass on what my father said about “smorgasbord.”


Go for the expensive food first. They always put the cheap, filling food — potatoes and rice and such — at the beginning. By the time you get to the good food at the end of the table — where they have the shrimp and roast beef — you are already full. Eat the good stuff first.


I always go for the good stuff first. Just as well. I fill up really fast!

MIRROR, MIRROR – Marilyn Armstrong

The Most Beautiful of Them All?

I never — at any point in life — looked in the mirror imagining for a moment that I was the most beautiful of all. All what?

I knew I wasn’t the most beautiful anything. At my best, I was interesting, sometimes eye-catching. Frequently just different. I never looked like everyone else, except maybe all the other members of my family.

I remember going to my uncle’s funeral, looking around and seeing me, me, me, me. Everywhere. Some version of me. My cousins, aunts, parents. Everyone looked a lot or a little like me.

Now, I look in the mirror to see if I pass. Do I look truly hideous or just kind of old and tired?

I don’t look anything like I used to look. My face is a different shape. My hair is different. My eyes have sunk deeper into my skull.

Humans don’t always look the same, you know. We evolve. That’s how it’s possible to look exactly like your father when you are three, but exactly like your mother at 30 … and remarkably like your uncle at 50. It should be obvious if you stop and think about it. If we didn’t keep changing, we would be born with an old, adult face. Which you must admit, would look pretty strange.

I’ve now passed the point of looking like my mother. By the time my mother was my age, she was dying. Which I, apparently, am not. Garry no longer looks like his mother or his father, but some peculiar combination of both, depending on what look he has on his face.

I suppose I don’t know what to make of me anymore. At least other people still recognize me when they see me. That’s something, right?

The Scholar in the Kingdom of the Mouse, II: The Ben Sharpsteen Museum

Interesting in a lot of ways, especially that it was (ironically?) Disney with whom Stewart worked. I remember the television shows very well, especially the movie about the fire which was based on Stewart’s book.

the EARTH ABIDES project

You might think scholarship is boring.  Dull as dirt.  Best reserved for those in the monastery or the ivory tower.

You’d be wrong.

Scholarship is an adventure, a  treasure-hunt.  And the quest brings surprising and unexpected discoveries – which usually lead to new treasure.   Researching the George R. Stewart biography, for example, I discovered that famous writers like Stephen King and Wallace Stegner and William Least Heat Moon, musician and composer Philip Aaberg, scientist Dr. James D. Burke of JPL, and Jimi Hendrix were influenced by Stewart’s works.

Walt Disney was also a great fan of Stewart.  He even hired Stewart to work at the studio as a consultant.  Stewart discussed ideas with various studio personnel; then submitted a report about the potential for American folklore films and educational films.   Stewart’s recommendations went to Ben Sharpsteen, legendary Disney producer and director.

In preparing materials for donation to the

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SHARE YOUR WORLD – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World

If you could choose any person from history to be your imaginary friend, who would it be and why?

Eleanor of Aquitaine. I know absolutely nothing about her personally, except she outlived almost everyone else in her time.

She got pissed at her husband, so she raised an army to dethrone him. AND she survived more than a decade imprisoned and came out ready to fight. Sounds like my kind of gal.

The 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s: Which decade do you love the most and why?

I loved the 60s. The music, the attitude, our enthusiasm for change. I liked US — the people. I even liked the movies. Not so much television, but I didn’t watch much TV. It was pre-cable and television was mostly rolling video and snow. With rabbit-ear antennas. Also, we were young and everything was fun.

The 70s were baby and child rearing years for me. Also, a lot of work. Full-time work, motherhood, and housework.

The 1980s were Israel and I sometimes wish I hadn’t left. Whatever is wrong with Israel, it might be worse here. Then, I should give that more thought. I’ve been gone a long time. I really have no idea what things are like there now. It might be a lot worse than I remember.

Working in California from Boston – Dawn of a new age in telecommuting

Let’s see. 1990. Back in the U.S., marrying Garry, Martha’s Vineyard. Lots of work. Lots and lots of work. Long hours of work and a lot of learning to do.

Definitely the 1960s. And Garry was there, too. In fact, all my current friends were around back in the 1960s and we were young.

When you die, what do you want to be remembered for?

Nobody is going to remember me. I doubt most of us will be remembered past our grandchildren and that is the way of normal human life. I’m not trying to create a monument of my life.

You know what makes you memorable? Being a really great leader, being a very bad leader. Being a mass murderer. Leading an army to disaster or triumph. The rest of us pretty much disappear and that’s okay.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I barely remember the past couple of weeks. There has been SO much going on between Garry’s upcoming cochlear implant, getting hacked, rebuilding the computer, dealing with fraud investigations and forms … and other stuff. It’s just been really busy.

A lot of stuff got dealt with, though and I’m happy about that. Stuff got fixed which was broken. Some work got finished. I’m hoping that by the time Garry goes in for his surgery, most of the rest of our business will have been taken care of.

JUNE IS SQUARE – ROOF 13 – Garry Armstrong

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

An old red barn (circa 1750) and a roof

It’s also the museum in River Bend park by the Blackstone Canal.


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!

SPIDERWORT – Marilyn Armstrong

Flower of the Day

They are true blue, but for some reason no matter what camera I use, show up as purple. Something about the way the light hits it. I finally got them back to their natural color, which is a rich, cornflower blue.