DARTS, MUSEUMS, AND THE BEGINNING OUR OUR SUMMER PUSH … Marilyn Armstrong

#FOWS – Museum and #RDP 39 – Dart

What do these two words have to do with anything I have to say this morning?

Nothing that I can figure out. Maybe you can find the link I’m missing, but I can’t. This morning is a bit rushed for us. I’m hoping traffic is okay.

This seems like a reasonable place to say what’s about to happen, so bear with me.

Today is Garry pre-op day at UMass Memorial. In less than 2 weeks, it’s going to be surgery and a lot of weeks of checkups, adjustments. and evaluations. Mostly, it means (for us) a lot of running back to and from the hospital until finally, the magic comes together and all is well with the world.

This is the moment when I have to begin to pull away from this blog for a while. Between one thing and another, we are going to be going through a busy time. I don’t want to feel like a failure if I can’t meet my quota of blogs I’ve read, comments made, photos I’ve taken, and posts produced. For a while, the world will have to somehow turn without me giving it a twirl. I suspect it will do just fine.

I’ve been blogging with almost machine-like precision for six years. I hope I can take a break and you all won’t abandon me. I will try to keep up (within limits), but this is not going to be my best summer for creativity.

We’ve won’t be traipsing to museums, though I do very much enjoy them and I’m not planning any dart-throwing in the foreseeable future. I’ll try to comment when I can and you are all in my heart.

Wish us luck and may this summer be warm, full of joy, and smelling of flowers!

PANASONIC LUMIX DMC FZ1000 – Marilyn Armstrong

I got a new Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ1000 (25 – 400mm). I got it at a good price.

I’m pretty sure it’s a great camera, except it isn’t at all what I thought it would be. I expected it to be pretty much an upgraded version of the DMC FZ300 — which was an upgrade to the FZ200.

But it’s something else and I’m not entirely sure what.

It’s got a whole new plethora of things it can do, most of which I didn’t know cameras could do.

So last night, while “Singing in the Rain” was playing the TV, I was doing what I usually do with a new camera, especially those which come with either none or entirely useless manuals.

I was taking pictures of anything on which I could focus. While exploring the whole focusing issue — which in this camera is significantly more complicated than I’ve ever seen — I found something called “point focus.”

“I wonder,” I said to myself, “What this can do.” So I flicked it on and aimed it at Gibbs who was sitting in the middle of the sofa. This was our living room in television mode. Meaning there’s almost no light except for the TV and two 40-watt lamps at opposite sides of the room.

The computer (I mean camera, but maybe I really mean the camera’s computer) narrowed in Gibb’s nose, enlarged the area, focused and told me it was going silent because dogs don’t like noise. How did it know I was shooting a dog?

I took a few pictures. They came out  — well, you tell me. Not bad, considering Gibbs was moving, the light was low, and the lens is only f2.8.

The camera then gave me a little onscreen lecture about — I kid you not — babies, dogs and camera noise — and how you should set your camera on silent when shooting them. Also when you are in a place where you don’t want them to notice you.

In slightly better light

Who knows what other secrets it holds?

Stay tuned.

THE LOVE OF THE WATER – BY ELLIN CURLEY

What is it about water that so many people find endlessly fascinating and soul soothing? People pay top dollar to live in homes that have a view of water – any water – ocean, lake, pond, marsh, stream. Prime vacation spots are often on, in or near the water.

I love the sound of our backyard mini waterfall. I can also sit and look at it for hours. The sound of waves lapping onto the shore have been recorded innumerable times for relaxation tapes, sleep aids and comfort for newborns.

 

People also love the feel of water; pushing through the fingers, falling onto the hand, resisting a closed palm, like in swimming. People walk with their feet in the water at beaches and swim anywhere they can, both under the water and on top. There are a plethora of gadgets to help you play in the water, from inner tubes to noodles, paddle-boards, beach balls, etc. There are also too many water sports to even try to list.

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There is a theory that our obsession with water is rooted in our time in our mother’s womb. As fetuses, we float in the uterus in a protective amniotic fluid, gently rocked as our mothers move. We may even hear the sounds of swooshing water. Which could explain the universality of humans’ love affair with water.

But it doesn’t explain why only some people seek the water in many different aspects of their lives.

Personally, we choose to live in the woods — but we own a boat. Listening to water slapping against our hull is our version of Nirvana. Our boat is big enough so we’re not close to the waterline when on-board.

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So we have an inflatable dinghy that we drive around. In that, we are as close to the water level as you can get, like in a canoe or a rowboat. I can’t resist putting my hands in the water and opening my fingers as we ride through the water. I love the sound of the little boat pushing through the water, punctuated by the percussion bursts of waves breaking against its sides.

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I don’t have any earth-shattering conclusions to make. I’m sure there are research studies out there on the subject. It’s just that I’m on my boat enjoying being on the water and wondering why it is so satisfying for me. I had a swimming pool and a pond during summers growing up but no one in my family went to beaches or liked boats. We were city folks who ‘roughed it’ in the countryside of Fairfield County, CT during our summer vacations.

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So I have no family history or childhood memories to fall back on, except the pool and the pond. Maybe that, combined with my primal connection with amniotic fluid, is enough.

DAYLILIES – FLOWERS OF THE DAY – Marilyn Armstrong

Lilies of the Field and Garden

We got all our lilies by digging them up in the woods and from along the road. There were a few in the garden, but there were thousands of them everywhere, so we took some. We also took spiderwort and redistributed Solomon’s Seal from deep shade to more sunlight where they have thrived.

Of all our replanted wildflowers, my favorites remain the daylily. 

They are bright and tall. On a good year — like this one — they stand taller than me. Of course, I’m so short it’s nothing special being taller than me, but you get the point I’m sure.