HOME BAKING – #WRITEPHOTO – Marilyn Armstrong

Delicious in the Snow – #writephoto

It was the third blizzard in only two weeks. The children had gone back to the oven where at least it was warm. They were tired of snowmen. The snowmen were tired of being snow people. At least two of them were banging on the front door, knocking relentlessly with their frozen, mittened hands.

She couldn’t let them in. They would melt. No matter how hard she tried to explain it to them, they didn’t get it. They just wanted to warm up. It could be very difficult to argue with snow people.

Actually, everything was trying to get into the house, by door, window, chimney or duct. The squirrels were lined up on the deck. Eating birdseed, but they clearly wanted something more solid. Also, maybe a nice cozy bed near the fireplace.

The bears hadn’t been hibernating like usual. Maybe there had been too many warm weeks mixed with the bitter cold ones. They’d been up and around. Hitting the trash bins with a vengeance. She was pretty sure they wouldn’t mind being her personal bear rugs as long as they got some of her baked goodies.

Worst of all, everything that walked, flew or crept was eating her house. That was the biggest problem with having a house made of gingerbread. No matter how solidly you sealed it up, anything with a mouth could gnaw its way in.

She sighed. Back to the kitchen. She needed to bake a new piece of roof and a replacement front step.

A woman’s work was never done.

FANDANGO’S PROVOCATIVE QUESTIONS: MORALITY? – Marilyn Armstrong

Fandango’s Provocative Question #3


Interesting question, especially interesting because of the connections made by the questioner. There are some leaps made in the questions that suggest from whence cometh the questions.

I do not need a source for a belief in objective morality. Any form of belief is faith. That is the nature of belief versus a provable fact.

And why would I need to choose whose morality is correct? Is there a standard? If you believe morality is subjective, does that inherently mean that you are subject to someone else’s rules or dogma?

Since when?

The nature of a belief is faith. If you don’t believe in God, your belief cannot be proven as true or false. Your lack of faith is as faith-driven as any religious devotion. Unless you have provable evidence and facts, all belief is faith. Bummer.

I believe fundamental morality, knowing right from wrong, is part of our DNA. Failure to know right from wrong is a signal that something has gone wrong with your mental wiring.

Good and evil are not research areas. Moreover, I don’t believe in anyone’s “concept” of morality. I don’t subscribe to rules or dogma.

I have never followed rules and I hate coloring books. Too many lines. That’s probably why I’m poor. It’s also why Garry is poor. We didn’t follow the rules.

Oops.

See my frequently republished story: The Meaning of Everything.

WHO COVERED WHO? – Rich Paschall

Both Sides, Rich Paschall

Rows and floes of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

Judy Collins is still performing “Both Sides, Now.”

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all

Judy Collins was the first to release the Joni Mitchell composition”Both Sides, Now” in 1967.  The following year it was released as a single, climbed the charts and won a Grammy Award for Best Folk Performance.  It is a staple of Collins performances to this day.

In 1969 Joni Mitchell included the song on her album Clouds.  It has since been recorded by a long list of big name artists.  In 2000, Mitchell released a new recording with an orchestral arrangement.  In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine named “Both Sides, Now” one of the top 500 Greatest Songs of all time.

The 1960’s era Collins record was a bit faster paced and more of a “pop tune” than the folksy performance shown above with the Boston Pops. It has been reported that Mitchell disliked the popular Collins hit single.

But now old friends they’re acting strange 
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained 
In living every day.

“Both Sides, Now” by Joni Mitchell © 1967 Gandalf Publishing Co.

CONTINUING THE CHRISTMAS CACTUS TALE – Marilyn Armstrong

More Christmas Cactus – FOTD – 11/30/2018

We didn’t really have sunshine today, though they promised it. But at least it wasn’t dark and gloomy all day. So I took some more pictures of the cactus developing.

I remembered today that sometimes, instead of a standard but, the end of the cactus turns red and then becomes a flower. So there is more than one kind of bud on a Christmas Cactus. If someone has a good biology background, I’d like to hear about this — how one plant has two ways of creating a flower.

Fully opened flower
All the buds … and notice in front the one red segment. That too will flower.
And some of the back deck, too
Buds!

Still more cactus

THE CHANGING SEASONS: NOVEMBER 2018 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons, November 2018

Photos by Marilyn & Garry Armstrong

If you don’t think climate change is real, this has been a good month to check your sense of reality. Autumn started September 20th this year and since then, we’ve had 18 inches of rain, 9 of those inches in this month. November. Not generally a particularly wet month for rain or snow.


This is the autumnal part. Some of these were shot by Garry Armstrong, the rest by me.


And we’ve had both, as well as a bit of brilliant autumn. We were in Connecticut when the first snow came down. We came home to snow, then the temperature rose. It rained and then the snow melted.

First snow of the season!


At the beginning of the month, we still had fresh roses growing in the garden.


And then, the plants came down from their hooks and the bird feeders went up … and suddenly, the world was full of hungry birds!


My Christmas Cactus is blooming, my bird feeder is attracting literally flocks of birds. The rivers have risen to their peak and any significant additional rain will cause at least minimal flooding.


It’s been a wild and crazy month with icy cold, warm rain, heavy wind, snow and usually one sunny day at some point in the week. Or at least half a day, or a few hours.

We’re not supposed to get more rain — or snow — until Sunday, by which time it will already be December. Crazy month!


About The Changing Seasons


The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.

If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  1 – Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month

2 – Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

3 – Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

   1 – Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month

  2 – Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

  3 – Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to Su-Leslie’s post, she will update it to include your links.

UNAWARE OF THE CONTRAST – Marilyn Armstrong

It’s amazing how subtle changes to your body can be. The best way I can make sense of it is to contrast the way I feel now compared to how I felt this time last year.

It’s an enormous difference. I’m constantly exhausted and I barely have enough energy to get up from the sofa and get to the bathroom, which is barely a dozen feet away. And all of this because I’m anemic and I can’t take iron pills. They make me sick. I should have known that because recurring anemia has been part of my life since I was a teenager.

The problem is, it didn’t make a big difference in my life when I was a lot younger. I had a natural amount of energy which these days, I lack. So I’ve been dragging myself around for a few months, but I realize that anemia in a person nearly 72 is not a minor anemia in a 22-year old. It’s bad for my heart which has had quite enough to put up with and it makes things that hurt even more painful.

So instead of taking pills, I’m going to have to arrange for intravenous iron. The good news? Probably just a few infusions and it will all be set right. The bad news? Do I have a vein anywhere that will accept the needle?


You know they’re nuthatches because their natural position is upside down.


I’ve always had difficult veins, which my unlucky granddaughter has inherited. For her, the very idea of an intravenous anything is so terrifying she’s ready to leave town. I don’t have the choice of running for cover, so I hope that they have someone who is really good with a needle and can find a vein — NOT in my hand or feet, thank you — that will accept an infusion. The last few times, they wound up using my throat and that was not fun at all. I’m hoping it won’t come to that.

So, I made a doctor’s appointment. I’m hoping that if I get over this hoop, that maybe I will feel more like a human and less like a sack of rocks. You kind of know when the first thing your husband asks you is “How are you?” that you haven’t been looking well. I do not feel lovely.

I made an appointment for tomorrow and we will sort it out. I don’t have to be happy about it, though.

RDP Thursday – UNAWARE

FOWC with Fandango — Contrast

BOOK REVIEW: CHRISTMAS EVE DAUGHTER – A TIME TRAVEL NOVEL by Elyse Douglas

The Christmas Eve Daughter: A Time Travel Novel
by Elyse Douglas

As a time-travel story, this is not quite it. The story absolutely includes time travel, but it’s what we in the science fiction world refer to as “tourist time travel” where there is no technology involved and no “other world” surprises, either. Time travel is not what the story is about, but rather simply a means of “getting there and back.” It’s just transportation, not the storyline.

In this kind of tale, the ‘traveler’ steps through a (suddenly appearing out of nowhere) wormhole or discovers a magic medallion, a lantern, a piece of clothing, a special page in a book … and miraculously finds her or himself in the past. After which, it’s time for romance.

Everyone lives happily ever after.

This being book two in the series, happily ever after is interrupted by the discovery that the man who came from the past has a previously unknown daughter. Will the magic time-travel lantern work one more time? Can the beautiful couple from modern New York go back in time and rescue the young woman?

This is not science fiction. It’s a romance novel with that includes time-travel. In fact, the formula for the book is identical to every romance I have ever read, except instead of traveling to a different physical location on Earth, the characters — all of whom are beautiful — travel through time.

As a former editor of the Doubleday Romance Library, I know a formula when I see one. As this kind of writing goes, the book is silkily written and well-edited. Very clean. If you are a fancier of romantic fiction, you will like it. It adds just a hint of “magic” to a traditional story.

Elyse Douglas is a good writer with a smooth touch. If I were still editing the library, she would get my vote.


About Elyse DouglasChristmas Eve Daughter: Time Travel Novel by Elyse Douglas

Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the husband and wife writing team of Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse began writing poems and short stories at an early age and graduated with a degree in English Literature. Douglas began writing novels in college while studying music at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.  He traveled the world as a professional pianist for many years.  He has also worked as a copywriter and corporate manager.

Some of Elyse Douglas’ novels include The Christmas Eve Letter (A Time Travel Novel), Christmas for Juliet, The Summer Letters, The Christmas Diary, The Summer Diary, and The Lost Mata Hari Ring. They live in New York City.

Website: www.elysedouglas.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/douglaselyse
Facebook: www.facebook.com/elyse.authorsdouglas

Buy Christmas Eve Daughter: Time Travel Novel by Elyse Douglas

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