EYEBROWS? Marilyn Armstrong


I have to admit I don’t have a lot of eyebrow jokes or actual eyebrows. In fact, I hardly have eyebrows now. I did (I think), but they turned white and a lot of them fell out. Turns out, the hair on your head is not the only hair that falls out.

Recently – Photo: Garry Armstrong – Note eyebrows. I used a pencil so they would show. Otherwise, they are white — or just plain missing. AND they are two different shapes. The left one is barely there at all and it’s straight. The right one is curvy and some of the hair is still not white. It’s hard to get really excited about it.

I never really got into eyebrows much. I suppose it’s the glasses. Who can see eyebrows through the eyeglasses?

I still own makeup. I noticed the other day I have not used it in so long, it has dried up. I suppose, no matter how expensive it was, I might as well throw it away. The company that made it went out of business, too, so saving the fancy containers is pointless — one more useless item clogging up my life. Maybe I’ll dump those slippery winter boots too.

I think I’ll go do that. What a good idea, self!

Oh, things to get excited about. While we were at the funeral the other day, I was admiring someone’s hair which was hanging loose. I couldn’t wear my hair loose because we’d be out with the cameras the day before. I have to tie my hair back when I shoot because otherwise, there’s always hair everywhere, including the lens.

I commented that once I’ve pulled my hair back for a day, that’s it. I can’t let it loose because the hair band leaves a dent.

“AHA,” she cried. “I have something for you!” She took this funny, elastic coiled wire off her wrist and gave it to me, saying, “It never leaves a mark on your hair AND it doesn’t pull half of your hair out when you remove it.”

Absolutely true.

So for all you long-hairs out there, try these. I found them on Amazon, but if you live in a real city, they probably have them in the drug store and probably cheaper, too (though the price of hair bands has always been much higher than logic says they should be). We ladies noticed our husbands, all of whom are largely bald, didn’t seem as fascinated by the conversation as we were. Hair is a huge topic for long-haired women. Maybe for short-haired ones too.

Kitsch Spiral Hair Coils: They come in a lot of colors: brunette, red, clear, black, and more.

I suggested the lads let their hair grow, but they seemed to find that funny. I told Garry if he grows his (he has a lot, just not on top), that I’d learn to make those teeny tiny braids and he would look so terribly cool all the guys would envy him.

Not for eyebrows, though, unless yours are really bushy.


FOWC with Fandango — Crosshairs

I know what crosshairs means today, but I got to wondering where the term came from. So I looked it up.

So it turns out it was originally a scientific term that came to be associated with gunnery.

I’ve never owned a gun with crosshairs, probably because the only two weapons I’ve ever owned was a 22mm-target rifle that belonged to my first husband and which only took one bullet and was used for competitive target shooting…

And — a Red Ryder BB rifle. They still make them and they look exactly like the one in “A Christmas Story.” They have a nice heft to them, though shooting them is an exercise in artillery. They don’t have enough power to shoot straight unless you are standing two feet away from your target, so you have to calculate the arc of the pellet. It’s really an exercise in calculus or is it geometry? Trigonometry?

We used that to slaughter paper plates with it in our backyard. I think Owen swiped it. Which was only fair since I just liked looking at it, but he enjoyed trying to actually aim it and hit something.

These days, the word is used rather casually to mean “I’m watching you carefully,” as in “I’ve got you in my crosshairs.” Not something I’m likely to say.

I don’t know that I’ve ever used the term myself, though I’ve heard it used in a thousand or two television shows. There are a bunch of shows on these days that could probably use “Crosshairs” as their title, especially “SWAT.”

Do the leveling things on a camera count as crosshairs? They aren’t hairs. They are software. Sort of crosshairs — in a virtual way.


Back in the day, I played bridge. In those golden olden days, “no Trump” was a bid. It didn’t have extra meanings. Just a contract bid. Three no trump equaled “a game.” Seven no trump was THE bid, to take every trick and the high card of the led suit won. Even a two of clubs could take a trick.

I loved playing bridge. I learned to play when I was a kid and by the time I was a grown-up, I was an addict. I never played tournaments and I never played for money. I played because it was the most intense game in the world (I’m sure chess players might disagree). But the thing about Bridge is that it’s a team sport and the aggressive energy involved is intense, especially between partners.

No one ever argues with their opponents, but everyone fights with his or her partner.

It’s also an equal opportunity game. Man, woman, or any version of in between, it absolutely doesn’t matter. Where you are coming from or going to, all that matters is how well you play.

Bridge is as addictive as drugs. Maybe even more so because there’s nothing illegal about playing Bridge. All you need is a partner and another couple to make a foursome. A table. Four chairs. A bit of light. Pretzels, too.

I used to play bridge a lot. I was one of the crazed players who didn’t think there was anything unusual about watching the dawn rise over a hand of cards.

The entire time I lived in Israel, playing Bridge was our prime form of entertainment. There were people to whom you couldn’t usually talk. If you think today’s USA is divided, Israel was really divided. Between the super religious and the absolutely non-religious, there were more hot topics to avoid that you could shake a stick at. Talking to people you didn’t know well was like walking through a minefield.

But if they played Bridge, somehow, you could ignore all the other disagreements because when you played bridge, what you talked about was Bridge.

And that could be quite enough of a battle without bringing in politics, religion and all that entailed.

Bidding. Contracts. Great games you remembered. Hilarious games. Weird games. Bridge players have their own sense of humor, which has nothing to do with anything except Bridge.

When Garry and I became a serious thing, I was appalled to discover I’d finally met a man who really — no kidding — didn’t know a diamond from a club.

He had never even played poker.

How do you make it through basic training in the Marines without learning to play poker? At first, I hoped I might convince him to give it a try, but it was soon obvious it wouldn’t happen. Garry doesn’t play games unless they involve movies or sports.

He is a vicious Trivial Pursuits player, but that’s it. He doesn’t “do” games.

I tried playing Bridge online. In those early online days, you had to pay to play. I played Bridge during lunch hour at work. I had played Bridge at college instead of going to class. You don’t interrupt a good game for a class!

But playing Bridge requires you have at least one regular partner and having a spare is a good idea, too. Playing with our spouse as your partner is dangerous for many reasons, but a single bridge player is like a car with three wheels.

It doesn’t roll.

So, as time moved on, I yielded, realizing I was never going to play bridge again. I have since met other reformed Bridge players and we talk, yearn, and dream of the old days. The long nights with pretzels and cards. Icy cokes and occasionally, beer nuts.

That was a good life!

Trump was the top suit for which it helped to hold all the aces. I’d probably be embarrassed to bid these days.


I use all kinds of plates and dishware as decorative elements all over my house. It makes sense in the kitchen and dining areas, but I also use them in my bedroom and bathroom and in my bookcases.

This is an arrangement of prints and plates on my small bedroom wall

On the large wall of my bedroom, I used a mid-century mirror from the Algonquin Hotel in NYC as the centerpiece. I surrounded the mirror with prints and plates to create a large vignette across the entire wall.

Long shot of the wall

This is my ‘toilet room’, as you can see by the toilet paper holder in this decorative vignette

This is a decorative baker’s rack used to display plates and chatchkus in the bathroom

Whimsical teapot and teacup in my bookcase

Teacups and matching dessert plates used with bookends to create a fun moment in my bookcase


Blooming Red Cactus Flower – FOTD – 05/10/19

Just as the pink ones died off, the red ones bloomed. It’s been a really big year for cactus flowers. I don’t think I’ve ever had them bloom so frequently or so plentifully.

How about a few pictures? These are all macros. I got revved up and changed the lens!

Amazing, eh?

That’s some cactus flower!

A bloom and a big bud

The color is perfectly red. Or is it scarlet?