SQUAT? – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Saturday – SQUAT

Squat. Once upon a time, it was a thing. Now, it’s “fall on your ass” time. A squat and a collapse are indivisible.

I go down that low? I fall over. Unless I have something solid with which to pull myself back up? I’m going to stay there until someone comes by to offer me a hand.

But the dogs really enjoy having me on the floor. They consider it the most fun they’ve had all day. Maybe all week.

I am less enthusiastic.

THE EXTERMINATOR AND ME – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Thursday
THE PUTRESCENT EXTERMINATOR

I had a disturbing and rather depressing (brief) conversation with the exterminator a couple of days ago. He happily reported that we had killed (poisoned … yes … we poisoned them because we tried all the nice ways of getting them to move on and they came right back) as well as the big carpenter ants. It doesn’t mean we won’t get more mice or more ants because we live in the woods. It’s a package deal. You get to live in Hobbiton, but you also get the critters who live in the woods.

I mumbled about living in a more civilized location and he pointed out that I’d just be exchanging ants for cockroaches and mice for rats, which didn’t sound like all that great either.

MY kind of mouse

I remember when we lived on Beacon Hill — yes, snobby little Beacon Hill — and we had the worst, biggest, healthiest cockroaches you have ever seen. They came with the 300 years old house and I swear they had been living there for all 300 years, too. We had all our things gassed in the moving truck so we wouldn’t take them with us to the new house.

We got two healthy young cockroaches in the donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts, so we killed the roaches and stopped buying donuts. I think we totally lost all taste for donuts at that point.

We had plenty of ants when we lived in Boston, but no rats or mice. Ants are ubiquitous: no matter where you live, the ants will find you. On the other hand, we also had cats and I suspect they took care of the other problem.

When we moved out of Boston into the country, we merely exchanged critter for other critters.  Our conversation, the exterminator and me, moved on from what kind of critters were going to take up residence in our house to how likely we were to get into a nuclear war. He was an unenthusiastic Trump guy and to my amazement, we had a relatively civilized conversation. He wasn’t trying to convert me and I wasn’t trying to convince him. He pointed out that in such an event, ONLY the cockroaches would survive.

You can’t kill roaches.

wall.alphacoders.com

When Garry worked at Channel 7, they suffered from rats. Big, mean hairy rats from the docks. The station was pretty close to the water. The rats used to walk calmly up the marble steps, slide under the door and ramble on into the station. It was a bit breath-taking. They weren’t afraid of any of the people watching them stroll up the steps, all our mouths literally hanging open.

Garry knew about the rats, but he said the two-legged ones were really worse than the four-legged ones and sometimes, he had trouble telling the difference.

In the spring, I’ll have to sign up again with the exterminators. It is one of the unavoidable things about living in the country. If you ignore the critters, they multiply and eventually, you realize that you are but one, while they are many. Rich or poor, if you live in the country, things that live out in the wild will want to share your warm and cozy home.

Pick your exterminator with care and remember, you cannot rehome mice. They always come back.

COME AGAIN ANOTHER DAY – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Tuesday: Rain

Yesterday, when Garry was getting his ears tested, he commented that the sound of the rain was really bothering him. It was so LOUD.

The wet and rainy ride to vote

The audiologist said that it was bothering everybody, that she didn’t ever remember so much heavy rain, so continuously. I said that I thought that something was wrong with the house, that suddenly there was so much noise until I realized that a cloud had broken open and all the rain in the heavens was pouring down on our roof.

We have now had more than 20 inches of rain sing fall began and it’s not over yet unless it gets cold enough to be snow and that’s an even more formidable — if less noisy — weather pattern to contemplate. Last year, we got three blizzards in two weeks. That isn’t normal. One blizzard … maybe two … in a season is normal. Three in two weeks? Really?

Say what you want about climate change, I don’t think we are waiting for it. I think it’s here. This is the “new” weather. Unpredictable. Even our sharpest, smartest meteorologists no longer are able to give a reasonably definite forecast for as much as a day or two ahead.

It might rain. It might snow. It should get colder, but maybe not. Wind? Possibly but maybe only on the Cape or further north. They really aren’t sure because weather patterns are not doing what they always did before. We could (more or less) predict weather because it followed known patterns based on the seasons.

We aren’t even getting all the seasons now. Spring was never big here in New England, but now we aren’t getting autumn either and that is a serious loss. It didn’t ever last long enough, but it was the best weather of the year and certainly the most beautiful.

And just for thwarting, this was our trip to Connecticut. I don’t have any graphic software here so … this is just the way it looked through the front window …

No more predictability. While (overall) the world is getting hotter, the wild swings of weather mean that you may get hotter summers, but you also get buried in snow and ice at the other end of the cycle. Climate change isn’t one thing. It’s everything.

It doesn’t merely rain. It pours. We don’t get breezes. We get violent wind storms. Weekly or even more often. There’s no more “rarely” in weather. Everything is ramped up. It’s super snowmageddon or violent tides. Floods, drought, fire, mudslides. Everything is the biggest, worst of its kind until the next one which is even worse.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

It won’t get better unless we fix it and I’m not sure we will fix it. How do you get all of humanity and its governments united on saving their planet? How can you get so many people to agree on anything? Ever?

Our exterminator was here today. He assured me if blow ourselves up, the only living thing on earth will be cockroaches. That didn’t make me feel better at all.

SINGING ALONG – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP- Sunday – SING


When I was in college, I had a nice “little” voice which could occasionally sound pretty good — on a good day if something was in the right key. I have a deep voice for a girl and as I was a music major for a couple of years, I got used to hearing “girls on the right, Marilyn and the boys on the left.” My voice fits better with the guys.

At the Boston Pops

As I got older, I apparently spent too much time shouting and lost most of the voice I had, but I still love the sound of singing, especially duets. There’s something about the interweaving of high and low voices that is a delight to my ears.

EXULT YOU STARS AND SHINE UPON ME – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Saturday – EXULT

I don’t think I’ve had a lot of exultant moments in life. Happy? Absolutely. Funny, joyful, fulfilling? Definitely.

Probably the closest I’ve come to “exultant” is when I get a really great picture of something or write a piece of which I’m particularly proud. That’s pretty much it.

Exultant sounds like winning the lottery. I’ve never done that, either. But you never know.

Maybe I should buy a ticket.

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

BRILLIANCE: ME OR THE LITTLE RED BIRD? – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Wednesday – BRILLIANCE


It’s hard to know who’s the brilliant one — bird or photographer? The bird is red, which is brilliant … but I got him looking incredibly cute, so does that make me brilliant, in a different way?

There was not the usual cloud of birds around the feeder this morning, but there was one very pretty little red finch that somehow I managed to get pictures of. He is awfully cute.

He’s giving me his “good” side!
I wonder if he will eventually be entirely red?

Small, red, and I just know I could teach him to hang around. I’m not sure how, but I’m sure I could. Somehow.

Peek-a-boo!
Is this cute or what?