WORLD SHARING … IS IT ALMOST THANKSGIVING? – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World 11-15-18


What’s the most ironic thing you’ve ever witnessed?

I’m not sure that “ironic” is the right word here. Twice I’ve been in dangerous places and the dangerous people carefully got me to a safe place, but that’s not ironic. Just … surprising.

Let’s talk turkey.  Pro or con?   If pro, which part do you enjoy most?  Is it for Thanksgiving (American Style anyway) only?

I think I’ve had more turkey than I ever wanted. Part of it is that I like dark meat and there’s almost no dark meat on turkeys these days. It’s all white meat. Too dry. I spent a lot of years of eating over-cooked turkey. The bigger the turkey, the dryer it was.

Lots of joints on this former turkey!

Some could have been ground up and used for beach sand. Even fresh, unfrozen turkey became food I was required to eat. I always liked the side dishes better than the turkey, especially cranberry sauce. And the pies! Actually, just give me the cranberry sauce and a side of three or four pieces of pie.

If you’d like, share one thing you wish you’d said to someone else, but now you’ll never have the chance.

Call it failing memory. I don’t remember anything. I don’t have a single thing I wish I’d said because either I don’t remember if I said it — and if I do, I don’t know what would have happened had I said something else. The future is a mystery.

What odd smell do you really enjoy?

I have almost no sense of smell, but if I stick my nose into a rose, that’s nice. I guess that isn’t odd unless you find a bee in there.

Thankful November … share a story or time when someone did something really great for you.  Alternatively,  share your gratitude moments during this past week.

Leaves are everywhere!

My son hired a cleanup crew to get the leaves out of the yard. I feel downright blessed!

Q & A – AS LONG AS THE COPS AREN’T ASKING – Marilyn Armstrong

I Love Questions Unless the Cops Are Asking Them

The latest is Melanie over at Sparks From a Combustible Mind, who was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Congratulations Melanie.

She then wrote, “Anyone who wishes to answer some or all of the questions here, you’re more than welcome!!” And since I am “anyone,” here are Melanie’s questions and my answers.

Note: I’m ALSO anyone! So there!


1. Which season fits your personality best — spring, summer, fall, or winter — and why?

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Fall, usually. This year hasn’t been great but still, definitely my favorite season.

2. If you were to choose a well-known axiom or slogan for your life, what would it be?

The truth is easier to remember than a lie.

3. If you were a color, which would you be and why?

I get hung up on this. Do you mean a color I would wear? or just BE? What color is my aura?

I have no idea if I have an aura, much less its color. I don’t honestly think I can answer this because I like a lot of colors, depending on what they are being used for. Many colors I love, I won’t wear. For sheer color, I think turquoise. That clear bright blue you find mostly from Arizona mines.

4. What’s a skill you learned when you were young that you still use today?

Touch typing. I think it is the only genuinely useful skill I learned in school!

5. What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given?

“If they ask you to make an instant decision, say NO.” I wish I’d stuck to it more.

6. If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be?

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Stephen Colbert,  and Connie Willis. And if I get a fourth, Jim Butcher.

7. If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it?

Listening. I’m an audiobook junkie.

8. What was the most embarrassing thing you have ever done while on a date?

While trying to cut up the steak, it slid off the plate and onto my white silk blouse. I never wore white silk for any event where eating was involved. And I never ordered a steak with bones.

9. If you were the eighth dwarf, what would your name be?

Sneezy Too. I sneeze a LOT. I can sneeze an entire evening away.

10. Where is the last place you’d be caught dead? Aside from the cemetery, of course!

Mountain climbing.

THE VERBING OF NOUNS – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Prioritize


Once upon a time in a land far, far away, you got your priorities in order. You set priorities. You decided what was your top priority, then you could change your mind forever but at least you knew there had been a priority.

You did not prioritize because the word “priority” was a noun. A noun was a thing. An item. A name. An object.

Marilyn as writer

One day, back in the 1970s or thereabouts, we ran out of grammar and punctuation. No one taught grammar in American schools. They hadn’t taught it is so many years that I had only learned grammar as an afterthought.

So it continued until we had the National Whatever-They-Were-Called-Back-Then exams that were supposed to determine what we did and did not know. I got amazingly good grades on everything, probably proving that all the teachers who called me an under-achiever were right on target.

I was much more interested in painting in the art room and reading books than doing “workbook” assignments. I, in fact, did not do workbooks. Once I discovered you could “fail workbook” for not coloring in the attached pictures, I thought “This is really STUPID” and flatly refused to do it. Rather than battle me to the death, they sent me to the art room which got me out of the way. No one was actually worried about whether I was getting educated. I apparently was educated enough to think the curriculum was stupid.

Remember this one?

I also refused to bother with the official school “readers.” I had already read them. In the second grade, I’d locked myself in the wardrobe closet (it was the size of a small bedroom and had lights) and read all the readers up through sixth grade.

Mrs. O’Rourke was furious and called my parents. My mother felt if I had read all the schools readers in less than two hours — in the closet in second grade — that they weren’t giving me an adequate education. For all practical purposes, they didn’t have a clue what an adequate education might be. I spent a lot of time in the art room.

All of this was fine until the high school sophomore year standardized tests when it was discovered no one in the super high IQ group, in which I was reluctantly included (high IQ, low grades), got better than a 60% score on grammar. Not a single one of us.

Louis B. Schuker, our principal called an assembly of The Smart Kids Expected To Go To College. He said we had all gotten grades of 98% or higher on every test they threw at us — except grammar. So the following year would be devoted to grammar. For all of us, even if we were planning on nuclear physics in our near future.

Jamaica High School

Thus during my junior and senior years of high school, I learned grammar — possibly as part of the last New York public school students to formally learn it. One of the things I learned is that you can’t just turn a noun into something else because you are too lazy to use the word properly.

It was hopeless. I might have gotten two years of parsing sentences, but the rest of the world didn’t parse.

The result is that today, we communicate with little tiny pictures known as “Emojis” and think “prioritize” is a real word. I guess it is a real word now. Everything is a real word, including Emoji.

Our language has no class. That’s why kids don’t talk to each other. They don’t know how.

A TEST FOR FRIENDS – Marilyn Armstrong

 

RDP Thursday – FRIEND


Does anyone remember for what litmus paper actually tests?


Litmus is a water-soluble mixture of different dyes extracted from lichens, especially Roccella tinctoria. It is often absorbed onto filter paper to produce one of the oldest forms of pH indicator, used to test materials for acidity. Blue litmus paper turns red under acidic conditions and red litmus paper turns blue under basic (alkaline) conditions, with the color change occurring over the pH range 4.5-8.3 at 25 °C. Neutral litmus paper is purple. Litmus can also be prepared as an aqueous solution that functions similarly. Under acidic conditions the solution is red. Under basic conditions, the solution is blue.


I’ve yet to determine the “litmus test” for anything other than PH balance.

Like in a tropical fish tank. You need to know the PH of the water or the fish will die. As for friends? There are no tests. All my best friends became best friends because we liked each other, enjoyed each other’s company. Shared a similar taste. There was no test. We hung out and sort of “stuck.”

Really good friends and one excellent dog

People and life aren’t a formula. There’s nothing which indicates the potential quality of a friendship, the probable value of a relationship, the likely longevity of two hearts that resonate to each others’ rhythms.

Garry and Harvey Leonard

I’m sure I’d never pass anyone’s “friend test.” Probably, assuming I could create one, not even my own. I don’t believe in standardized tests. Not in the schoolroom and certainly not in relationships.

As for standard litmus testing, I’m pretty sure I have a pH.

Really old friend.

If an actual litmus test were applied, I would definitely pass. Everyone would pass a litmus test because … (drumroll, trumpets) … you can’t fail a litmus test. There’s no correct answer and no passing grade.

“Throw that bum out! His pH is way too low!”

If my mother was any kind of judge, I’m too acidic, though there are days when I feel solidly alkaline.

Since surviving my brief fling at youth, I have opinions, but I don’t test. I have standards. I won’t argue with stupid people. I’m referring to folks who combine blissful ignorance with strong opinions. I suppose there are a few other points, political, intellectual and social (don’t chew with your mouth open), but no test. I like people or I don’t.

To put it another way, I like what I like and I have no idea why. I don’t want to analyze it. Does that make me a loser? Or, as they say on Facebook, a looser?

I’ll bet my problem is when I have nothing to say, I say nothing. That’s gotta be it!

If you want to be my friend, I promise you’ll never have to pass a test of any kind. Not a litmus or any other test. My love and loyalty are test-free, organic, and earth-friendly. All that’s required is genuine affection and a modicum of respect.

QUESTIONS? ANSWERS! – Marilyn Armstrong

I stole these from Fandango, though they originally came from Sadje, at Keep It Alive.

Sadje posed 11 new questions that he thought were good and so did I. So I stole them. Though, to be fair, I was invited to steal them.

1. How long have you been blogging?

Six and a half years.

2. Do your friends and family support you in this?

Yes, actually. More than that, they participate and actually read my stuff! How rare is that?

3. Which is your favorite time of the day?

Sunset and the middle of the evening.

4. What would be your dream vacation?

A few relaxing weeks at a cabin in the mountains. Or winning the lottery. Either, both will do nicely.

5. What genre of movies you like best?

Usually comedy, but by no means always. I kind of like a lot of different things. If it’s well done, I’ll watch it. On TV. The movies don’t have a “pause” for bathroom breaks.

6. What do you wake up to?

Barking dogs. Three barking dogs. When that doesn’t do it, body slams against the bedroom door usually get me moving.

7. Are you a morning person?

Used to be. But since Garry is a night guy, I’ve shifted around so we’re on the same schedule.

8. What motivates you?

Like — to go to the doctor? My Google calendar. To take my medications? A desire to remain alive. Cook dinner? Garry looks hungry. Write? Anything and everything. Pictures? Something that catches my eye.

I could go on and on, but I think I’ll stop now.

9. How do you think your friends see you?

One tough old bird with a serious OCD problem.

10. What would be your idea for saving the environment from pollution?

Get rid of the GOP and get serious about fixing it. Like right now would be good, though a dozen years ago would have been better.

11. Happy or peaceful, what’s more important?

I think they come together, kind of like a horse and carriage.

Having brazenly plagiarized Fandango’s plagiarization of Sadje’s questions, feel free to copy the questions and answer them on your own blog. Be sure to link back to Sadje’s originating post here so that she gets the credit she deserves.

SHARE YOUR WORLD – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World -10-22-18

QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK

Credit for this first question goes to Teresa of The Haunted Wordsmith.   She asked for TEN books, in her challenge, so the SYW folks got off a bit easy..)

Name two books that have influenced you and share how.  
O Jerusalem: Day by Day and Minute by Minute, the Historic Struggle for Jerusalem and the Birth of Israel by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre

I first read the book when I lived in New York. It’s a great book for anyone who likes history. But later I read the same book when I was actually living in Jerusalem. When they wrote “… and then they charged up the hill …” and I looked out my living room window and realized — that WAS the hill. Suddenly, I realized there’s a no comparison between wars fought thousands of miles away and a war fought in your backyard.


Angelique, by Ann Golan.

I was 13 when I first read the book and in my fifties when I read the last one that had been translated into English.

With all the power of Crown and Church arrayed against her, Angélique finds a way through every imaginable personal tragedy and emerges victorious. Bowed, but never beaten, her defeats are temporary setbacks. Her triumphs change the world.

She is deathlessly beautiful, but Angélique doesn’t win the day using sex.

When she leads, she carries a gun and a sword. She will kill in defense of her own and does. She fights for her family, her home, her beliefs, her rights.

She became much more than a fictional character to me. At a time when female role models were few and far between, Angélique was fearless. Unstoppable. No simpering lady of fashion, she was tough. Smart. She suffered the worst life could dish out. She faced down unspeakable challenges. And there were casualties. She became a kind of mystical image of perfection for me. A dream woman whose feet were firmly planted on the earth.

In your opinion, where is the line between art and not art? 

I don’t think there is a line. Each person has their own version of “the line” between what is and isn’t art, but it’s not a real thing. It’s just where each individual puts it.

This doesn’t mean that I like everything. I don’t. There are many things deemed artistic that I find repulsive, even ugly … but I don’t define art.

Two Acoma seed pots

But on the other hand, if someone gives me a museum, I know what I wouldn’t put in it!

Trivia for Halloween:   What item is banned only during Halloween from 12am October 31st to 12pm November 1st in Hollywood California?   

Silly String. And I don’t know why either.

What is something that really annoys you but doesn’t bother most people? 

Stupid people. But that bothers a lot of people. People who use bad grammar — but that hardly makes me unique. Actually, I don’t think I have an answer for this one. I think I get annoyed by the same stuff that annoys most people. The only difference is that I write about it.

Instead of our usual gratitude question, I’m posing this one for this week: What or who in your life brings you the most joy?

Garry. Maybe it has always been Garry. He aggravates me, annoys me, frustrates me. He’s the soul of my soul and heart of my heart.

SHINY HAIR: WHAT’S THE SECRET?

RDP Monday: LUSTRE

A friend of mine, also suffering from thinning hair, pointed out that at least my hair is shiny. It’s the result of insanely expensive shampoo and conditioner, a carefully chosen hairbrush … and unmitigated luck.

I don’t have a lot of hair … but by golly, it has lustre.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

The secret — other than the wildly expensive shampoo and conditioner? A very soft hairbrush, wash it ONLY when it is really dirty … like once a week. When it was a lot longer (waist length) and much thicker, I washed it every two to three weeks because the longer it gets, the more fragile it becomes. It was explained to me that the hair at the bottom was the oldest hair on your head.

For example, if you have been growing your hair for four or five years, even with regular end trimming, the hair at the ends has been around for four or five years. It is essentially dead, so treat it with great care.

Also, when your hair is that long, it takes a REALLY long time to dry and when I was working, I had to have a strategy. Wash hair Saturday morning and by Monday, it would finally be dry.

I had a best friend who was a hairdresser and always reminded me to NOT WASH YOUR HAIR EVERY DAY.

Your hair is supposed to have natural oils in it. The first time you let it go a few days, it feels weird, but after a while, it all settles down, so unless you’ve been gardening, running, or seriously exercising, your hair doesn’t need a daily scrubbing.

Of course, there are people who have fantastic hair that never seems to thin and always looks great no matter what they do to it. Sadly, I’m not one of them.

The other thing? DNA. You just have to have “that kind of hair.” I may not have a lot of it, but it is shiny.


Note: My hair is always tied back except when I sleep. When it was very long, it was always in a braid, including when I slept.

Why? I take pictures and my hair is fine. A little tiny bit of wind gets it into everything. It covers my eyes so I can’t take a picture because I can’t see anything. It gets tangled with my glasses. It sticks in my teeth. It’s hard to tell who sheds more — me or The Duke.