FOWC with Fandango — Debut

We hung the feeders on Sunday. By Monday, we had birds. Tufted Titmice and Chickadees and a few woodpeckers. Also some little ones I think are some sort of sparrow or finch. They are all rather beige now, it being winter coat season.

The birds are all shy now and fly away as soon as they see me by the window, but they will relax as the year moves along. Yesterday, I finally hoisted my rig onto my shoulder to take a few pictures of our Massachusetts State Birds, the Black-Throated Chickadees.

I know the birds are busy because the level of seed keeps dropping and I’m pretty sure when I put fresher food in the feeders, they will be even happier. This is the last food from last winter and it’s a bit stale.

Still wondering what to do about the squirrels. The suggestion is to put squirrel feeders at least 15 feet away from the bird feeders to distract them from the feeders — and some of the designs are hilarious and I’m sure the squirrels are pretty funny as they figure out how to get the corn out of the hole or the big jug or the roof flap.

The problem is that 15 feet from the bird feeders is the woods and once the snow falls, I can’t get to the woods. So I’d be able to feed them until December or thereabouts, but after that, I’d be snowed in and they will promptly take over the feeders.


They will do that anyway. I don’t see any reason why they should stop with their food and not move on to finishing the food in the feeders. Food is food is food.

They are such greedy guts!

SHARING THE WORLD – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World 9-23-19

It has been a bumpy ride recently. The good news is that we are getting 2/3 of the house fixed and with a little luck, the last piece in the spring, The bad news? The weather is weird. Instead of getting colder, it’s getting warmer.

Chipping Sparrow

The bird feeders are back up and the birds are visiting. Not as many as last year, but it has just begun, As the year progresses, we’ll have a better idea of how many bids we’ll have. Right now, I’m seeing a lot of Titmice, Nuthatches, a few winter-colored finches, two different woodpeckers. They are still very shy. They get less shy as the season progresses and they are more familiar with us.


When was the last time you face palmed?

I honestly have no idea. Not recently for sure.

If there were commandments for the modern-day world, what should (could, would) some of them be?  Get creative!

Greed is NOT good. It is the single destroyer of the best parts of our world and always has been. Always will be. If you are rich, can you ever be rich enough? When does the rest of the world get a shot at a decent life? How much is your greed killing us all off?

Greed is destruction and it is ugly. Take what you need and leave the rest. We all need and deserve a decent life. No one needs billions. Moreover, whether you have one or two billion is not going to make you more or less happy!

What did you Google last?

Bottlebrush. Mine wore out and I need a new one. Since then I googled “52 mm lens cap” because I need one. Exciting, eh?

When is censorship warranted? Ever?

I think spouting hatred should not be legal. But I understand those who disagree. It IS illegal in many other democracies for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that inflammatory language tends to wind up with inflamed people. Rioting. Lynching. Murder. Encouraging it has not won us any friends, either.

But, as I said, you don’t have to agree with me. That’s just how I feel about it.

Gratitude is an attitude.

I agree. I also think that not everything we feel is appropriate for posting. Some of it is private and personal. I actually have a good deal for which to be grateful but it is not (in my opinion) suitable for sharing. Sorry.

TIME AND TRAVEL – Marilyn Armstrong

First of all, no one can travel to the future unless they are returning from the past. Everyone who’s anybody knows that. It hasn’t happened yet, so you can’t go there. You can’t go sometime if it never occurred.

nasa time machine

One-way time travel sounds ominous to me regardless of direction.

You mean I can’t come home? Ever? I have to go forward or backward and it’s a final decision? Without any hope of returning to my time, my friends, family? My world? In which case, no thank you. That’s too high a price to satisfy a bit of curiosity.

With all the issues of the present, this is my time. It is where I belong, for good or ill.

THE STRETCHY BITS – Marilyn Armstrong

“Oh,” said the doctor on television. “It’s just a strain. Nothing to worry about.”

I always laugh, without much mirth when I hear that and you hear it often. If a bone isn’t broken, if your head hasn’t been bashed in, no one had a heart attack or brain aneurysm, it’s “No big deal.” Most people break.

I do not break. I stretch. I have never broken a bone — not counting my big toe which I broke diving into the water with my toes pointed, something I only did once. Talk about stupid.

I’ve done a ton of damage by stretching, banging, bruising and generally disarranging parts in and around some kind of joint (knees, fingers, feet, ankles, chest, shoulder, wrist, etc.). You non-medical people might be surprised at how many joints we have, many of which are really tiny.

Nonetheless, it’s official. A sprain is no big deal because all the doctors on television said so. We nod like good viewers.

Strains, sprains, and pulls are harder to heal than breaks. Bones usually heal, but cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscles may heal and then again,  maybe won’t. All those stretchy pieces are in places that can’t be conveniently set. Ribs. Chest walls. Joints. Knees, hips, backs, groins. Ankles, feet, hands. Spines.

You can’t wrap these human parts in plaster or whatever they are using these days because the parts to which they are attached have to move. You break a small bone in your foot — common among hikers, skaters, skiers, runners — and while you can put a boot on the foot or a brace on the knee, you can’t lock it in place. It has to move because there are attached things that need to move.

We are all connected with strings

Your chest needs to move because you need air. When I was just out of the hospital, I asked how long it would take my sternum to heal.

“Three months,” they said.

Five months later I asked, “Really, how long before my chest heals?”

“Six months,” they assured me.

Five years later, it has not healed. The truth is, you can’t make it heal. There’s no magical medical voodoo that will make anything heal. Bones usually heal — but not always. Those stretchy bits are even less cooperative.

Anatomy. Knee Joint Cross Section Showing the major pieces which make the knee joint. I had the meniscus removed years ago. That was nothing. A bandaid!

When I tore all the ligaments and tendons on my left knee — just about 50 years ago — they wrapped me in plaster from thigh to ankle. I was young and everything healed except the anterior Crucis ligament — which has remained torn. Only surgery will fix it and the surgery doesn’t always work. It was considered a 50-50 bet when I was in my 20s and I turned down the option.

Maybe they’ve improved how they do it now, but since they can’t make my chest heal, I’m betting it’s the same story now. They just work with different equipment. They won’t even try to fix the stretched ligaments in my right shoulder. Healing is slow at my age.

I don’t get repaired. Instead, I am told I have to be more careful.

Exactly how careful can I be beyond how careful I already am? All it takes is a shoe catching on a rug, a damp spot on the floor, a dog underfoot, or getting tangled in my own feet. Garry fell trying to put on his pants and all I did was hit a slightly damp patch on the linoleum floor. We weren’t trying to climb mountains or run the marathon.

Design of the shoulder (Garry had this surgery)

Strains may not kill you, but they sure can limit you. It took me years to remember to not fully extend my right arm or it would dislocate the shoulder. More years to remember to put my feet down carefully so my knee wouldn’t slide out from under me. One error, one little fall, and you are back where you were.

It is extremely frustrating, not to mention painful. But really, the pain is less of a problem than the aggravation. There nothing you can do but let that piece of you rest until it decides to feel better.

I’d like to point out that a strain is not less painful than a break or a sprain and is far less likely to heal properly. Strains are like taking the elastic in your pants and stretching it beyond its ability to come back to the correct size. So you either have to replace it (in a human being, that’s called surgery) or throw your luck into the strength of a safety pin.

I often believe we haven’t been strung together with sturdy enough materials. I know I could use a major restringing.