WORLD SHARING: V 07.23.2018 – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World – July 23, 2018

In regards to puzzle what’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, word search, mazes, logic or numeric puzzles, something else, or nothing?

Puzzles used to be crosswords, but it’s hard to find good ones anymore. They are either way too easy, or way too hard. I like ones that are challenging, but not impossible. I used to be a serious devotee of the crosswords in the New York Times, but the guy who wrote them passed on and no one else has done nearly as well with them.

These days, I settle for almost any word game. Again, most of them are either far too simple or close to impossible. Otherwise, I can play pretty much any card game including bridge and any board game, even digital versions. But mostly, I haven’t had any time to play anything lately.

I feel just a little bit like a hamster on a wheel. I keep running and the wheel keeps turning. I sure hope I’m at least generating some electricity!

List at least five favorite treats and it doesn’t necessarily have to be food.

Sushi is always a treat unless it’s really bad. One of this week’s more astonishing moments was when Owen and I went to the cafeteria and discovered that they had three REAL LIVE JAPANESE SUSHI CHEFS preparing FRESH sushi. At UMass Memorial Hospital cafeteria.

You could have knocked my socks off.

It was one of the strangest meals of my life: perfect futomaki … and a great cup of New England Clam Chowder.

You got two treats right there. Great New England Clam Chowder — there are several other types of clam chowder including New England, made with milk or cream. Rhode Island, made with a sort of spicy broth, and many others which use some kind of broth or a tomato-soup base.

They all include clams and potatoes, though. Which makes them some kind of clam chowder. New Englanders might challenge that assumption.

In the rain – Photo: Garry Armstrong

Other treats? That depends on the season, the time, my mood, and what’s available. In the fall, I’m thrilled by the change of color of the foliage. A lot of times, the treat is the opportunity to photograph something sublime.

On a good day, it’s getting out of bed and realizing nothing hurts! That’s a very BIG treat.

Clean — for at least 10 minutes!

Vacuuming the rug and watching the dog hair vanish and realizing the rug really isn’t gray, but actually, is a black background? That’s a treat!

Waiting to be put on the bed! These are great AND not expensive (Amazon).

Fresh, brand-new percale sheets are beyond a treat. They are a luxury. Nothing feels as good as they do, especially if you have just taken a hot shower.

What is your favorite type of dog? (can be anything from a specific breed, a stuffed animal or character in a movie)

Terriers and hounds are my favorites, though, in the name of continuing our sanity, we have moved on from hounds and have two black Scottish Terriers, Bonnie and Gibbs. We also have a very strange cross-breed named (by Garry so don’t blame me) The Duke after “Mr. Tall In The Saddle, Duke Wayne.”

Crazy Duke



Duke is not tall and doesn’t ride a horse. No one knows what he is, but the consensus is that he is a cross of two Asian breeds, possible both purebred. An accidental love match of maybe a Chin and … a Lhasa Apso? Something mid-size because Duke is just about 35 pounds of wild enthusiasm, stubborn determination to do it his way, and a passionate eagerness to be the family’s Top Dog.

Lucky neither Bonnie nor Duke is a fighter. For that matter, lucky for everyone Duke is stubborn and smart, but not a fighter. If we were more agile, Duke is a dog who would like being trained.  He needs a job and unfortunately, we don’t have one for him.

I suggested he rewire the house, but Garry didn’t think that was such a good idea. I can’t imagine why not.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?

Right before Garry’s surgery, we took Duke and Mr. Gibbs in for grooming. Duke had never been groomed. He isn’t a dog who really needs it. A regular brushing and the occasional bath would do it for him. Or, as the groomer said, “He is a once-a-year customer.” Gibbs has finally calmed down and stopped giving them a really hard time, but that’s okay since Duke tore the place down.

Busy clipping

But when they came out and after I tried not to faint from the price (it takes at least two people to work on Gibbs and it took three for Duke!), they felt delightfully soft and clean.

And they SMELLED good, too.



We live in a have a country full of shallow, if not outrightly stupid people.

They watch “the news” and believe it’s all lies because an orange-skinned bloke says so. As a woman whose husband was a television news reporter for more than 40 years, I’d like to point out that not ONCE in his entire career did my husband haul his tired ass out of bed at all hours of the day and night so he could get up to fabricate lies for the public.

He made mistakes now and then — but not very often — and sometimes made the wrong choice about what story to cover, but never at any point in his long career did he intentionally lie to the public. Moreover, none of his colleagues lied to the public either.

Note that I do not include Fox in this discussion. Whatever it is they are doing at Fox, the news is not it.

The news has always been as truthful as the people who do the job can make it. Are there errors? Of course. Reporters are human beings and we are imperfect, but none of the errors was intentional. It wasn’t lying. Errors are not lies.

What Trump does? THAT is lying.

Garry was never told to tell lies. He was occasionally asked to omit something, but he didn’t do it even when asked. Garry tells the truth and so did his colleagues.

And the other reporters, photographers, directors, and producers? They told the truth, too.


Reporters are not liars. They work their asses off trying to spread the truth to the dunderheads who too foolish to listen.


The news is as true as the people who research and write it can possibly make it. Do they make mistakes? Yes, but they correct themselves and apologize. They don’t erase the truth about a president. Only another pathological liar, like our so-called president, could do that.


The news IS the truth. If you are don’t believe reality, you are going to live with something worse, if you aren’t already. We are on a razor-thin edge between what we used to think was freedom and a plutocracy or oligarchy — if we haven’t already crossed that line. Time will tell us soon enough.

Shallow people are stupid. I don’t mean they have a “low IQ.” I mean they are too limited, lazy, selfish, and foolish to find out the truth. It’s so much easier to believe bullshit, isn’t it? You don’t have to read. You don’t need to research. You don’t need to know anything.

You can roll along, believing whatever the current blowhard in power tells you. That’s how we got where we are and that’s how we will keep rolling down the long grassy slope until we become one of those infamous shithole countries.


Traveling to Martha’s Vineyard By Boat

Our friend, Deb, takes her boat to Martha’s Vineyard every year and lives on a mooring there for at least a month. This is her happy place. She can telecommute – so she’s very lucky, too.

Recently divorced, she can’t make the 140 mile trip on her 40-foot power boat by herself. So we volunteered to go with her and get her there safely. It’s great to see friends living their dreams.

This is Deb’s boat, Reverie


Deb’s radar tower was damaged. It was supposed to be fixed weeks ago. It wasn’t. We couldn’t make the trip without radar. Endless delays left her with a promise to get it fixed by 8 AM this morning – two hours before we wanted to leave! Miraculously, the marine repair crew came through this time and we were ready to roll on time.

Deb and Tom at the helm

We headed out in beautiful, sunny weather and enjoyed glossy seas the whole way. We drove for 8-½ hours, with Tom and Deb taking turns driving the boat.

Underway, leaving CT

We picked up a mooring at Block Island and watched an awesome sunset over the water. Then we cooked a late dinner. The only mishap of the day was some spilled butter in the oven from the peach cobbler. The cabin filled with smoke and we had to open the doors and windows to keep the smoke alarm from going off.

Sunset at Block Island


This morning, Deb took her dog to the shore in the dinghy for a walk.

Deb and Rosie in the dinghy

She came back with award-winning, amazingly light and airy donuts from a well-known local donut shop. We were looking forward to these donuts since the last time we had them! These donuts made the 8-½ hours on the water worthwhile. That’s how good they are!

We enjoyed a quiet morning on the water with our coffee and donuts.

We stopped to get gas before we headed out so we got a glimpse of the Block Island waterfront. The rest of the day was as beautiful and calm as the day before.

leaving Block Island

While we are underway, I love lying down on the sofa and feeling the vibrations of the engine. I also get to enjoy the gentle rocking of the boat as she moves through the water. The sounds are wonderful too. — the hum of the engine and the lapping of the waves against the hull.

The lapping of the waves is even more pronounced and soothing when we’re on a mooring. They lull me to sleep at night.

Sailboat we passed en route to Martha’s Vineyard

We get to Martha’s Vineyard and search for our mooring in the mooring field. It’s beautiful to see all the boats dotting the water. The houses on shore all around us are beautiful too. Taking lots of photos!

We decide to go to town for dinner. There’s a water taxi that takes you to shore if you don’t want to use your dinghy. The taxi drivers are very skilled. They maneuver their boat sideways next to yours and line up the boats so you can get on and off the taxi without falling in the water. The drivers are also super friendly. You always seem to end up in a conversation with other riders as well, so the whole experience is quite engaging.

Deb getting off water taxi

We end up at an atmospheric crab shack right next to the water in the harbor of Edgartown. Our view is a ‘parking lot’ for all the dinghies that people drive to shore from their boats in the mooring field.

We have a fun dinner and watch some TV when we get back to the boat. Lovely, but uneventful.

Tom and me at dinner

DAY 3 – Travel Day

After a relaxing morning, today is all about getting home without a boat.

Our trip will involve many different modes of transportation and close to six hours. First, we take the water taxi to shore where we get a land taxi to the ferry depot on the other end of Martha’s Vineyard, in Oak Bluffs.

After close to two hours on the high-speed ferry, we pick up our rental car and drive the two plus hours home. We stop at our marina to pick up my car, which we left there when we boarded Deb’s boat.

High-speed Ferry

And we’re home! Great, frenzied greeting by the dogs after two days away. Now we’re back to normal after a successful trip.

And I can go through all the pictures I took and sit down and post my blog!


Fandango asked the question yesterday and I realized, it’s a more important question than whether or not we keep or get rid of the orange baby-knapper now or eventually.

It’s about America. It’s about keeping watch. Making sure the many “bad guys” don’t take over.

Make no mistake. There are plenty more where he came from. They may be slicker-of-tongue and brighter than he. They undoubtedly have better grammar and hopefully, a better grip on reality, but they are no less evil. No less mean-spirited, cruel, or rapacious.

Our need to keep watching the state of the state should never have ended. We forgot. Life got comfortable. We relaxed and let things slide.

Now we know better. We need to keep watch. Regardless of how long it takes us to extract ourselves from this disaster, we can never go back to figuring “it’s just fine” and paying no attention to what’s going on in the ranks of power.

We will always have to keep watch, because there’s always some asshole lurking in the wings, waiting for his or her chance to become our king or whatever he or she decides to call him/herself.

When we un-elect the big orange one, there will be another and another and another. That’s the reality. We just weren’t paying attention.

And when we get rid of “him,” how long before everyone goes back to sleep and it happens again?

Fifty years is the usual cycle.
That’s how long it takes us to forget the last disaster. 

I can see the future. I guarantee, it will happen again and will never stop happening as long as the people who live here think their government has nothing to do with them.