BUYING A NEWER CAR – Marilyn Armstrong

Photography: Garry Armstrong

This is a yarn. A nice story about being able to move from an older to a newer car. It has kept us really busy for the past couple of days, too. Meanwhile, on Friday, Garry’s going to get his new gear.

Life is definitely getting in the way of art!

Side by side, old and newer.

Someone quotable (a friend’s father maybe?) said that the best second-hand car to buy would be two or three years old with about 20,000 miles on it. And by golly, that is exactly what we got.

Parlay in the lot.

To be fair, the car we were trading in wasn’t a piece of junk. Visually, it was in exactly the same shape it was when we bought it three years ago — from the same dealer. We’d only added another 12,000 miles during our three years of ownership making it a six-year-old car with fewer than 60,000 miles on it. Someone’s going to get a bargain.

During the long waits while the car was getting spiffier for us, we spend a lot of diner time.

Parts were beginning to wear out. They weren’t wearing out from hard use. Winter is rough on cars in New England. You can count a cars year as 1-1/2 for each calendar. One winter … and the rest. The Jeep was six-years-old and we still owed money on it. If I was going to owe money, I thought something a bit newer might not be a bad idea.

We needed two things from anything we buy. It has to be reliable and it needs 4-wheel drive. I was beginning to feel we needed a newer car, but it had to be priced at the same cost we were already paying. There’s no “spare money” lying around.

The new one, also a Jeep, is a Renegade in a color Jeep calls “Orange Crush.” The Renegade is a bit smaller than the Patriot, higher on its wheels. It’s also a bit “truckier” and it is from 2015. It has a mere 28,000 miles on it.

It will be big enough for we two, but not good for luggage if there are more than two people in the car.

So, with the shuffling of papers, we got a newer car. This little honey was right on target for us — price and type and even the color. It has almost white upholstery so we’ll need seat covers.

Also, there’s no CD player though there is a connection for a USB machine. I’ll have to see if it works. It even has one of the fancy rear-view cameras to help keep us from banging into things.

We have the newer car. And we got it done before winter, too.

FOWC with Fandango – Being (without Nothingness)

RDP #82 – YARN 

Tail Gunner Joe just one of many unsavory ghosts guiding Trump – Reblog from THE SHINBONE STAR

“Neither (McCarthy or Trump) has any problem throwing around unfounded accusations of treasonous disloyalty by important people engaged in conspiracies with mysterious Russians. They themselves are always immune.” It’s heartwarming to know that “the good guys” are back accusing all us “bad guys” of bad behavior. What a pity they never felt obliged to include themselves in that mix!


Joseph McCarthy covers the microphone while having a whisper with Roy Cohn.

Tail Gunner Joe McCarthy is back in the news. He is a former Wisconsin chicken farmer, an occupation he once shared in common with Nazi SS Leader Heinrich Himmler. Both were dreaded for their viciousness. McCarthy gave himself his nickname for his time in the Marine Corps in World War II, occasionally manning the twin machine guns in the back seat of a Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber.

Tail Gunner Joe in a Dauntless dive bomber.

Both men rose to the highest levels of government by destroying their perceived opponents. Himmler murdered them in secret, McCarthy pummeled them into mush during hours of Commie-baiting Senate hearings shown on grainy black & white television. People liked news raw in those days.

President Donald Trump was nicknamed “Cadet Bone Spurs” by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), an Iraq War veteran who…

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Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge

We went photographing the other day. It was definitely a farm day. Not all farms are equally friendly to guests and some of these pictures require no further explanation.

It was certainly an interesting day for shooting, from the super-friendly Ironshoe Farm to the farm around the block where they are always friendly and by the way, do you need a kitten or half a dozen?

And then, there was the other one.

Kitten anyone?

The contemplation of photography

Not all farms are as friendly as others. This one, not so much …

Probably not so friendly

Does this sign mean “weapon”? 

Farm stand at Ironshoe Farm



SHARing my WORLD – AUGUST 20, 2018

Which tastes better: black or green olives?

Yuck, ick, feh. I don’t like olives, green, black or any other color. I also loathe anchovies. Slimy salty nasty stuff. Yuck, ick, feh.

What’s your favorite room in your home?

The living room with the bedroom coming in a solid second. But I really like most of the rooms. It’s just that we don’t use all of them anymore.

This house is bigger than we need.

What fictional family would you be a member of?

Fiction family? How about the Plantagenets? Can I be Eleanor of Aquitaine puleeze? Raise an army, live a really long time when everyone else is dying before me? So that all the people who hated me are long since deceased before me?

Orchard house where the Alcott (March) girls grew up. It’s in Concord, Massachusetts

Other than that, I could be one of the March sisters. Guess which one?

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

We bought a newer car. More to come on this, but it was fun. Also, there was something unpleasant happening in the rear end of the older car. Possibly the differential or maybe more bearings. Whatever it was, expensive.

But now, NO problems. We have a three-year newer car for the same price and it only has 28,000 miles on it and … it’s so very ORANGE.

The Orange Renegade! You can see the red Patriot through the window.


Sometimes, I answer questions. There’s no reason why. I used to answer all the quizzes in magazines, too. I never knew why I did it since I never thought the questions were enlightening. It was like doing a really easy crossword puzzle.

So here are some questions and my answers. Feel free to write your own answers. Or not.

1. What bill do you hate paying the most? 

I hate paying bills.  That’s pretty much global. The bigger the bill, the more I don’t want to pay. But to be fair, I don’t have any particular personal hatred for a particular bill. They are all just bills.

2. When was the last time you had a romantic dinner? 

The only romantic dinner is sushi — eaten OUT.

If I have to clean up or cook or even think about cleaning or cooking, it’s not romantic … just extra work.

3. What do you really want to be doing? 

Visiting New Zealand, then Australia, then Hawaii. After that, Europe with a strong emphasis on the wine country of France, Italy, and the stone circles in the British Isles.

4. How many colleges did you attend? 

One — from which I graduated.

5. Why did you choose the shirt you have on? 

It was on the hanger in front of me. I wish I had a better reason.

6. Thoughts on gas prices? 

Gas is just one of those things. You need it? You buy it. When the price goes up, we travel less. It’s like electricity and heat. A utility.

These days, we don’t travel more than we have to anyway. Our long drives across the roads of America appear to be over.

7. First thought when the alarm goes off in the morning? 

No alarm. Not in a long time. We use an alarm only if we have to get up really early and that is always because of some medical thing.

We do not make early appointments if we have any other choice.

8. Last thought you have before you go to bed? 

I don’t have one. One minute I’m listening to a book, the next thing I’m waking up to go to the bathroom.

9. Do you miss being a child?


10. What errand/chore do you despise the most?

I’m not really thrilled about any chores or errands, but I think cleaning clogged drains is the most disgusting.

11. Up early or sleep in?  

Late to bed, late to rise. It’s the best part of retirement — along with not working and not using an alarm clock.

12. Pet’s names? 

Bonnie, Gibbs, and The Duke.

13. Favorite lunch meat? 

Roast beef. But I’m also a very big eater of leftovers. I get tired of sandwiches.

14. What do you get every time at Wal-Mart? 

I don’t visit Wal-Mart, though I do order non-perishable food from there. They deliver and one of the things they deliver are sports drinks. I drink quite a lot of them because that’s what I have to drink due to a blood sodium deficiency. Crates of drinks are pretty cheap there. They are also shockingly heavy, so the delivery is a big help.

15. Beach or lake? 

We live in a river valley.

16. Is marriage overrated? 

It depends on who you are married to. Or were married to. Or are planning to marry. There are good ones, bad ones, and a billion mediocre ones.

17. Ever crashed your vehicle?

Banged it up. Gotten hit by other vehicles. Crash? As in hard enough to make the car no longer drivable? I think once, but I’m not sure. I don’t know if any accident I’ve had has totaled the car. Garry has totaled at least one — and unfortunately, the car he totaled was mine. I really loved that car, but it probably saved his life.

Warning! Ice on a twisty, unplowed and unsalted road can cost you more than your car. If he hadn’t been in my Acura, he might not have been around to tell the story.

18. Strangest place you’ve brushed your teeth? 

Probably a grass hut in the Sinai desert.

19. Somewhere you’ve never been but want to go?

New Zealand. Australia. Hawaii. Paris. Rome.

20. At this point in your life would you want to start a new career? 

Hell no.

21. How old are you? 


22. Do you have a go to person? 

What does that mean? Go to for what?

23. Are you where you want to be in life? 

I’m old. I’m alive. I’m not dying of anything I know about. My husband is alive and pretty healthy. We’ve got dogs.

At our age, I don’t think it gets better than this.

24. Growing up what were your favorite cartoons? 

We weren’t allowed to watch TV as kids so that a non-answer.

25. What do you think has changed about you since you were a teenager?  

Everything. What hasn’t changed might be a better question.