FOWC with Fandango — Balcony

I am standing on my deck. Let’s call it a balcony for today’s purposes. The railing isn’t high. I’m looking down at the ground below and realizing that I’m not enjoying this anymore. Blogging, that is.

I barely have time to read anyone’s writing and have even less time to write my own. I get hundreds of emails a day and am so frustrated by the deluge that mostly, I delete everything and read almost nothing.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Part of it is the problem are morning “posts.” These used to be about something. They were stories and musings and sometimes memories about life and love and feelings. Sometimes they were angry or frustrated, but always they were personal and had some meaning, at least to the author. Now I read them and they are exercises in “how many ‘prompted words’ can I fit in this piece and still have it make some kind of sense?”

The result is that these pieces have no heart to them. They are nothing but plays on words. They have no soul.

I haven’t been much participating with them. Every once in a while, in the name of trying to be a good sport I give it a try, but to me, it’s vapid and silly. Many of the offered words are words I avoid when writing.

I  don’t want to do it anymore.

On top of not wanting to join in, I don’t even want to read them. They don’t say anything to me. With a few notable exceptions — the few people who write about a single thing — it’s like reading a comic strip, but not funny.

Striped by shadow

Maybe it’s the fault of WordPress or maybe it’s the political nightmare of the past couple of years … or possibly it’s the political nightmare of a lifetime. For me, if I can’t write what I want to write, then why am I writing?

I am left with a decision: to keep going my own way. Do my own thing (whatever that is!) … or throw in the towel. The former probably because I will write regardless and it might as well be for an audience. But fewer pieces and only if I have something I think it worth saying.

It’s square and our deck is also the roof of the storage area beneath it.

I didn’t start to blog — or continue for 6 years — so I could fit words into a puzzle alternating with rants about our universal political nightmare or the failure of Earth’s people to maintain a world in which we can thrive.

Short of urging people to vote, what more can I say? Shall I live the rest of my life in rage at the evil of the world? Shall these last years of my life be stolen by the people I hate the most?

I think not.

This morning, I unsubscribed from all the news sheets. They will find me anyway. They will sneak in under the door and through the closed windows. Of course, there’s always breaking news at CNN and I can go and sit in their Situation Room and ponder the day’s hysteria.

It isn’t that that I think everything is okay. I think nothing is okay … but I cannot live in a boiling kettle, brooding on the ills of the world. Maybe if we all come together and work at it, we can all fix it. Together. Collectively. But individually? Not a chance.

So I lean on the balcony and realize, there’s no point in falling, intentionally or not. I wouldn’t die of it. I’d just be injured and miserable.

Whatever time we have remaining, I hope it hangs in there as long as I have to live. I hope our representatives — yours and mine — remember they aren’t in it for the money. They are supposed to keep the world a place in which it is worth living.

As for morning prompts?  Have fun kids. Puzzles are one way to pass a day.

SHARING THE WORLD – Marilyn Armstrong

Welcome to Share Your World for the week of October 15th!   This week’s questions include some food, some whimsy, something opinion-based and one, just because.

Share Your World  10-15-18 Questions:

What’s the biggest screw up in the kitchen that you were responsible for?

So many, I can’t even begin to list them. Before I learned to really cook, the number of inedible meals I produced makes me shutter.

Now seriously, does anyone have just ONE kitchen disaster? Aren’t there at the very least, a series of them until either (a) you get it together with the cooking thing, or (b) you realized you will never get it together and go entirely to frozen things you can cook in the mini-oven or microwave?


My mother moved to “If you are that hungry, cook it yourself,” and considering her cooking, we made it ourselves. Even when we were kids, it was better to do it ourselves. She was a truly appalling cook.

What, in your opinion, makes people believe absurd conspiracy theories?

Too many hours of watching Fox News. And being Republican.

In 40 years what will people be nostalgic for?

An earth to live on.

Is a hot dog a sandwich? 

Meat between bread? Why not? I think these days, they call it a “roll” because it’s in a bun.

What wonderful thing happened to you this week that you’d like to share?  It can be a gratitude moment or something that just made you feel very happy at the time or made you laugh.

It was not a laughing sort of week. Sorry.

LET IT BE – Marilyn Armstrong

As did many others, I thought a few people might develop a conscience and a spine and not put Kavanagh on the Court. We thought someone might use their head for something other than a hat rack and realize jailing children was immoral. We thought they might hear the kids who had not been shot at their own school, hear their voices.

They didn’t do any of these things.

So we have an immoral drunkard Supreme Court Justice, babies in jail, lots of dead kids, and jailed babies many of whom may never find a home.

It didn’t happen. No spines, no consciences.

There’s only one thing left. Vote.

Please vote. Make sure all the people you know who can vote and have their heads outside their asses vote too. Drive people who need a lift to the voting place.

To put it simply, this is it. We’re out of time. The world has a dozen year to repair itself before we can’t stop the descent of Earth into…? I don’t even know what we will be if we can’t stop the planet’s destruction, but sometimes, being old has some advantages. I won’t live to see the end.

Pogo – Walt Kelly – 1971w

We can’t fix everything, but we can give it our best shot. We can do our best to try to talk to people who are still able to listen — and there aren’t many of them left. Everyone is dug into position. I don’t think there are a lot of minds we can change. If nothing else, these past two years have ossified the minds of everybody. We all need to unfreeze our minds. A lot of things need changing — fast — and we have to forget there is a box and think in new and different ways.

To all my younger friends, everyone does the best they can with the world they inherit. No generation gets a map showing you how to fix things. For each of us, the world is a different place with unique issues. What worked for us probably wouldn’t work today. Moreover, even when you get it right, your “right” isn’t permanent.  You can pass the “right” laws and un-pass them before your not-yet-born kid makes it to kindergarten. There is no forever.

Governments and countries are not forever. There is no Roman Empire, though it lasted a long time. FYI, the Roman Empire began with the crowning of Gaius Octavian Thurinus in 31 B.C. and fell to the German Goths in A.D. 476, for a total of 507 years. The Byzantine Empire, Rome’s eastern half, did not fall until the Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople in 1453.

What happened to the Assyrians and the Babylonians? How about the Philistines or the Greeks? Or, for that matter, the British? Empires and governments come and go and this country is very young. If we were to end right now, we wouldn’t even make the historical timeline. We haven’t been around long enough.

Nothing is permanent. Not governments,  politics, religion, or morality. Not culture or society. We reinvent ourselves over and over. Good times, bad times. That’s just how it goes.

My generation can’t fix it. I’ll vote as I have always voted: liberal and democratic. But after that, it’s up to other people. If they don’t vote, we will lose. History happens. Each of us is part of it, like it or not. Be a good part of history. Do the right thing. Vote. We have a planet to fix.

And don’t forget to think before you vote!

I’ve been waiting to find intelligent life on earth. I’m still waiting.

MEN AT WORK – Marilyn Armstrong

Weekly Photo Challenge: People at Work

And finally, the big guys — my son and his friend Dave — came and installed the door. It took months between one thing and another, but it got done. Phew.

Waiting for installation


The supervisor checks to make sure it’s being done right

Just about ready



Yup, it’s a door!

Looking out, much better light

Definitely a door!

Don’t forget the dogs

Two doors — one for humans, one for dogs

And finally, painted. Good job, guys. Brilliant guys.

Men at work, door installed, dog door ready. Great job! Thank you and again, thank you!