FRAGILE HANDS – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Fragile


UPDATE!

I was going to try and write, but with the brace, I can’t. I keep trying but get more wrong keys than right. Sorry! Crepuscule will have to wait.

Note: Solved the problem. Removed the brace. The hand really HURTS.


Funny how this works. Just yesterday I was offering advice on pain in hands and wrists from essentially overusing of these critical muscles and nerve bundles.

Our hands are what make it possible to do the small, precise work involved in most of the activities we pursue. Music, typing, knitting, sewing, cooking, pottery. Unlike the long muscles in our legs and arms and even our hearts, our hands (and feet) consider of hundreds of very small, intricately connected muscles that are absolutely essential to complete the ordinary tasks of life.

Typing this, for example.

Last night, my right hand and wrist went into OH MY GOD THAT REALLY HURTS mode. This is not the first time by any means. I’ve been pounding piano keys, typewriters and computers since I was a very small (like four years old) child. I painted, drew. I chop food and I carved wood. I quite literally don’t know what I would do without my hands.

I’ve also been working on a computer since the early 1980s. Constantly. For work and for play. Until very recently, I still had my piano, but I could only play it for maybe five minutes until the pain was so intense I had to stop. I finally sold my piano because it was just sitting there getting dusty. I had to admit my days of playing were finished.

You notice how rarely you see people my age who are concert (classical) pianists? This is because we all develop arthritis in our hands. My piano teacher had it and her older sister could no longer play. Arthur Rubenstein played anyway, but eventually, the pain got to be too much.

When I sold the piano, it was an admission my days of making music were over. For good. Add that to the endless hours on a computer keyboard and my hands are a mess. I have pretty extensive arthritis in both hands and carpal tunnel issues in both wrists. In theory, I could the carpal tunnel fixed, but I’m not really up for surgery these days. Also, that wouldn’t take care of arthritis which is the bigger problem.

Usually, one hand hurts more than the other, for no special reason. Whichever hurts more gets the ice. When I was trying to practice the piano, I had ten minutes of practice followed by half an hour of icing on both hands.

I was like a pitcher who doesn’t want to give up baseball, but my curveball isn’t cutting it and the fastball will never happen again.

Garry asked me what he could do for me.

I said nothing, but there was something I could do for myself. I turned off the computer and put it on the shelf. That’s what I can do. I can give my hands some time off and with a little luck, after a few days or a week, they will be better.

I’ll try to write when I can, but I’m not going to comment on everything and I can’t write a lot. I shouldn’t be doing this, but I don’t know what else to do. Not writing seems too weird.

Take care of your hands. They are fragile. If you push them too hard, they won’t work. No kidding.

Hands are fragile, even if you aren’t old!

THE COPIOUS JOY OF MUSIC WE LOVED – Marilyn Armstrong

THE COPIOUS JOY OF THE MUSIC WE LOVED


From the group “Three Dog Night,” written by Hoyt Axton, this has to be the most joyful noise to come out of a radio during the 1970s. It still makes me want to dance!



LYRICS:
Jeremiah was a bullfrog
Was a good friend of mine
I never understood a single word he said
But I helped him drink his wine
And he always had some mighty fine wine
Singin’ Joy to the world All the boys and girls,
now Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

If I were the king of the world
Tell you what I’d do
I’d throw away the cars and the bars and the wars
Make sweet love to youSingin’ now,

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me
(INSTRUMENTAL INTERLUDE)

You know I love the ladies
Love to have my fun
I’m a high night flyer and a rainbow rider
A straight-shootin’ son of a gun
I said a straight shootin’ son of a gun

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me Joy to the world

All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls

Joy to the world
Joy to you and me

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Now Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me

Joy to the world All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me …

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF STORMS – BY ELLIN CURLEY

The news has been inundated recently with reports of Hurricane Florence, which is bashing North and South Carolina. I’ve always wondered why so many people refuse to evacuate when the government tells them to. And why people don’t adequately prepare even when they’re told exactly what to expect.

Hurricane Florence

I read an interesting article on this subject by Robert J. Meyer in the Washington Post on September 12, 2018. He addressed the psychological issues at play when people face an impending natural disaster. The article is called “Why do people stay put during hurricanes? Here’s what psychology says.”

Despite endless warnings and specific information and suggestions about what to do to stay safe, lack of preparedness is responsible for most of the property damage and loss of life in major storms. “…lack of preparedness…is caused by cognitive biases that lead people to underplay warnings and make poor decisions, even when they have the information they need.”

people shopping to prepare for hurricane

Failure to evacuate resulted in 40 drowning deaths in Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Surveys showed that only 20% of residents had a preparedness plan. And that storm was hyped up the wazoo! It hit my area so I know! We even took our boat out of the water and planted it in the parking lot of the marina to minimize the likelihood of costly damage.

What goes wrong in these situations? Here are some of the cognitive biases that lead us astray in natural disasters.

Excessive optimism is the first cognitive bias that kicks in. People understand that many residents of their area will be affected. They just don’t believe that THEY will be negatively affected. Others rationalize that they survived other storms without preparation so why not this one?

Hurricane Florence in North Carolina

Herd thinking also comes into play. If neighbors aren’t preparing then there’s no social pressure to do more than the basics.

Myopia is another key psychological factor in lack of adequate preparedness. People are short-sighted when it comes to spending money or expending energy on preëmptive actions. They focus on the immediate cost and discomfort, not the more abstract future benefit. So they cheap out on preparedness measures and take the easy way out.

Amnesia also colors people’s anticipation of a natural disaster. People tend to remember the facts of a past storm, but forget how awful it felt to live through it. Memories of emotions fade faster than memories of facts. So reminding people how bad it was the last time seems to have limited effect.

Sound decision-making is impaired by inertia and simplification. People who are unsure what to do, often do nothing. That’s the principle of “inertia at work.” Simplification results in people doing just a few of the many things necessary to be adequately prepared. The thinking goes, “I’ve done three out of twelve things to be safe so I should be okay.” In Hurricane Sandy, 90% of residents bought supplies – but only enough for ONE DAY without power. Woefully inadequate and unrealistic! We were without power for six days, and we were lucky!

The article concludes that the key to better preparedness in the future is accepting the reality of these destructive cognitive biases. We can’t change them so we have to work around them. We have to design preparedness plans that accept them and anticipate them. For example, give people ORDERED lists that say “If you’re only going to do three things, these are the three things you should do.”

Science has increased our ability to predict hurricanes and other natural disasters. But science can’t reduce the human and property damage done by these weather events.

Psychology is the key to helping people make better decisions when they are faced with nature’s destructiveness.

AT WORK IN BLACK AND WHITE – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: People at Work

I think this will forever remind me of the group “Men At Work” who was very popular in the 1980s. Particularly in Israel, where I was living at the time.

Now. About pictures. I don’t have a lot of “work” pictures. I always intend to fix that, but when I see men working, there’s always an issue of finding somewhere to put the car while I shoot … so …

Working on Gibbs
Preparing poles is the largest part of raising a tepee
Building a new set of back steps to the deck
Working!
Working – VoiceScapes
Working the blizzard

 

PINK VASE AND RED ROSES – Marilyn Armstrong

Pink Vase With Red Anniversary Roses

Today was beautiful. Yesterday was friends, food, and too many desserts. And today is equally lovely. I’m glad because Florence very slowly coming up the Atlantic coast. By the end of the week, it’s going to be a mess. They aren’t expecting the kind of rain they are getting in the Carolinas, but it will be a lot.

With our rivers already full, four or more inches of rain will mean flooding all over the valley.

That’s the thing about living in a river valley. We are a dip in the geography waiting for rain. Born for water, there’s nowhere in the valley you can live where you are far enough from a river to not be in danger of flooding. Even when you can’t see the river, it’s there. Behind the trees, behind the ridge. On the other side of the railroad tracks.

Meanwhile, I’ve decided I don’t really need a gas stove.

My anniversary roses