Photographs: Garry Armstrong

I don’t hate hunting season because I cried when hunters killed Bambi’s mother. Though I did cry and I personally can’t shoot things even if I like the way they taste roasted with some rosemary and garlic. No, I hate hunting season because the people with the guns are not nearly careful enough about not shooting near homes and other populated areas.


Every night between now and the middle of November, I hear the guns. Bang. Bang. Bang. I worry every time my dogs are outside and I continue to worry until they come home and no one has a hole somewhere they shouldn’t.

I always will remember,
’twas a year ago November,
I went out to hunt some deer
On a mornin’ bright and clear.
I went and shot the maximum the game laws would allow,
Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow.
I was in no mood to trifle,
I took down my trusty rifle
And went out to stalk my prey.
What a haul I made that day.
I tied them to my fender, and I drove them home somehow,
Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow.
The law was very firm, it
Took away my permit,
The worst punishment I ever endured.
It turned out there was a reason,
Cows were out of season,
And one of the hunters wasn’t insured.
People ask me how I do it,
And I say, “there’s nothin’ to it,
You just stand there lookin’ cute,
And when something moves, you shoot!”
And there’s ten stuffed heads in my trophy room right now,
Two game wardens, seven hunters, and a pure-bred Guernsey cow.


I don’t object to hunting on principle, at least not if you eat what you kill. Trophy hunting makes me queasy and killing endangered species should be a felony. But so should polluting the air and water. Let’s be fair. Anyone and everyone who is working industriously to destroy our planet for a few extra bucks or so they can hang a head or antlers on their wall? They need to experience suffering.

Otherwise … if you hunt, aim carefully. Please.


As Michael Valentine Smith used to say, “Waiting is.” Because we are all waiting for something or someone.

Bonnie and Gibbs are waiting for me or Garry to give them their next treat.72-bonnie-scotties-10172016_08


I’m waiting for Garry to rise and shine.

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It’s my day to see the doctor, so he is waiting for me.

Death cust serv

The guy with the scythe is waiting for all of us … and Halloween is just around the corner!




Photos by Marilyn and Garry Armstrong

Uxbridge is an old village, one of the oldest in the area.

From BlackstoneDaily.com:

uxbridge-map-cemeteryThe Uxbridge area was originally known as Waucantuck or Waucantaug from the Indian word Waentug meaning “place near the waters”. On April 22, 1662, a large parcel of Nipmuc Indian land was purchased for 24 pounds from Indian Great John.

This parcel included land that is now known as Milford, Mendon and Uxbridge with the Village of Waentug located in the Ironstone Village area of South Uxbridge. In fact, this was one of the 14 Indian Praying Towns established by Christian missionary John Eliot who translated the Bible into the Indian language.

Another village was apparently located between the West and Mumford Rivers, but in 1676 these settlements joined Indian Chief Metacomet, aka Philip, in burning the village of Mendon as King Philip’s War permeated the region. By 1700, the tribe was lost due to intermarriage, war, and sickness. In 1727, the early English settlers separated from Mendon. The Town was incorporated as Uxbridge, probably after its sister city, Uxbridge, England.


The oldest still intact building in the village is the John Cornet Farnum House, built around 1710, where the first Uxbridge Town Meeting was held on July 25, 1727. It’s directly across from the Prospect Hill Cemetery where Garry and I found ourselves and our cameras on a beautiful day in early October.

Farnum House, 1710

Farnum House, 1710

On the other side of the cemetery are the remains of Bernat Mills, a huge wooden mill complex which burned down six years ago.

The Prospect Hill Cemetery predates the Revolutionary war and many of Uxbridge’s soldiers from that war are buried there.

There has been vandalism in the cemetery which I totally don’t understand. I have always hated vandals, but cemetery vandalism to me is the worse kind of mindless destruction. In this case, you are not merely disrespecting the dead, but destroying history. Why would anyone do that? It’s generally assumed the vandals were drunk.

I’ve been drunk. I’ve been stoned. At no time ever did I consider destroying some tombstones for any reason. It never crossed my mind — or the minds of anyone I know.


The leaves are still changing. We have at least one more glorious week. With a little luck, several.


Share Your World – 2016 Week 42

If you wanted to de-clutter where you live, what room / space would you start with?  (And why, if you’re feel like admitting to it.)

We have been gradually decluttering for several years, but it turns out that two people our age tend to have a LOT of stuff … and if you are me — someone who collects stuff like pottery, dolls, teapots, art — or Garry, who got tons of awards and miscellaneous souvenirs of the many places he’s been and people he met … well … we really have so much stuff. Decluttering is a room by room thing. It’s more of an existential attitude.


Step one is not buying books. They were our downfall in our earlier years. Some people can’t pass a music store. We were helpless in bookstores. We also had to tell everyone in our lives to not give us anything that requires room in a closet, floor space, wall space, or shelf space. Pouncing on anyone who looks or sounds interested with “You can take it with you, please … enjoy it … really … we don’t need it!!”


We have given away thousands of books and I’ve given away or sold hundreds of dolls. I’ve given away half my antique Chinese porcelain and if I could find more people who appreciate it, I’d rehome even more.



I’d love to clean out the room that was my office, but it now mostly a storage area. But I can’t figure out what to do with the stuff that’s in the room. It’s mostly boxes from computers, lenses, cameras … and a couple of empty suitcases that don’t fit in the attic, but I can’t get rid of because that’s our “good” luggage.


Then, there’s the gigantic oak desk that’s full of old tax papers and other stuff that I have no use for, but I’m sure if I get rid of it, I will suddenly realize it was important. Garry’s office is pretty much the same. I think of it as extended storage space.

If you want to remember something important, how do you do it (sticky note on the fridge, string around your finger, etc.), and does it work?


I put everything important in my computer calendar and set up reminders. It also goes on the white board on the refrigerator AND on the paper calendar. Moreover, I tell Garry so at least there’s a chance that one of us will remember. Between one thing and another, we don’t miss much.

If you could create a one room retreat just for yourself, what would be the most important sense to emphasize:  sight (bright natural light, dim light, etc.), hearing (silence, music, fountain, etc.), smell (candles, incense, etc), touch (wood, stone, soft fabrics, etc.), or taste (herbal tea, fresh fruit, etc.)?

My whole house is a retreat. Really, it is. Most important? Comfortable furniture. Secondly? Soft lighting and a lot of art. Painting, pottery, carvings.

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I love textures, colors, shapes. I don’t understand blank walls. I couldn’t live like that.

If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?

Just where we come from … if anyone knows. I’m not all that fascinated with my personal family history. I know genealogy is a big thing these days, but I really don’t care much. And weirdly, neither does Garry. We are not in step with the rest of the world.


What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I’m grateful for the gorgeous weather and the amazing autumn we are having. I’m looking forward to more of it!


The phone rings. “ANSWER ME, ANSWER, ME ANSWER ME. URGENT!!!!” but I ignore it. It goes away and there’s no message. Obviously not all that urgent after all.

The dogs want a biscuit. “NOW, NOW, WE ARE STARVING! WE MUST HAVE SOMETHING NOW!” but I take my time, breaking a bigger biscuit into smaller pieces. They eat and are begging for another with the same urgency — as if they had received nothing. If you are a dog, the next biscuit is always an emergency.



The mail arrives. Two envelopes are pink, telling me that they contain URGENT MESSAGES … but they are addressed to “Homeowner.” I think maybe they are exaggerating the urgency.

Everything is urgent, but most of it is not merely not urgent, it’s not even of minor importance. The only mail marked “urgent” is junk mail which I will throw away, likely without opening or reading it. Now that we use “NOMOROBO .com” … those urgent calls from automatic dialers are intercepted after the first ring. The world goes on. Urgency is reduced to a ring and a half, one robot answering another’s call.

If no one is sick, no one needs an immediate trip to the emergency room? It isn’t urgent. The only true urgency in life is getting to the bathroom on time!

Otherwise? It — whatever it is — can wait.



In nature and in architecture, we see patterns repeat. And that is the subject of this week’s Black & White Sunday Challenge.


Looking across from living room through French doors to deck in late afternoon …

Sepia and shadows ... the deck with sun coming from the west

Sepia and shadows … the deck with sun coming from the west

Boards. Nails. Texture. Sepia.

Boards. Nails. Texture. Sepia.