TEMPER, TEMPER! – Marilyn Armstrong

“Temper, temper!”

That’s what grownups used to say to us when we got angry about whatever it was about which they weren’t angry. I don’t think people say it anymore.

There are so many things to get angry about. I think I’m more puzzled by people who don’t have a temper and seem to think “Oh, everything will work out fine, dear …” Like some kind of mentally deranged auntie who thinks a cookie and milk can solve everyone’s problems.

I say it to me, though. Because there really are so many things to get angry about. Unlike days of yore, everything is important.

Cuts to Medicare will make it less likely we will get proper medical care and considering we aren’t getting any younger, that is a terrifying prospect. Reductions in Medicaid — what we call “Mass Health” — will mean more sick people everywhere. Other cuts will ensure more people living in the street.

In this climate, people freeze to death.

Our desertion of any attempt to control the environment bodes ill for everyone living thing, no matter where they live. If you can’t breathe now, wait a couple of years and you will really be choking.

Temper, temper!

I try to keep it in check because otherwise, I’ll be ranting and railing about everything. We are living on a planet spinning backward, trying to recapture the “perfection” of a time that was anything but perfect. Some kind of mental breakdown is convincing people they should go back to those non-existent days when we lived in a world of smiles and rainbows.

Except we didn’t live there. We just saw it in the movies and on television. I certainly didn’t live in it. I guarantee Garry didn’t live there either.

The world has always been terrifying. All these things going on are intended to make the world safe for the 240 remaining Very Rich White Men. It will not make the world safer for me, you, or anyone we know.

All of us struggled to make a decent life. Everything happening now will increase the struggle and make life harder for us.

FOWC

MISCELLANY OF ODDBALL PHOTOS FOR CEE’S CHALLENGE – Marilyn & Garry Armstrong

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge

With a mere hint of Narcissism

I was reading through Rich’s story of ye olde days of vinyl records and remembering when we had probably a thousand pounds of them — between all of mine and all of Garry through 30 or more years of collecting — and how getting rid of them was really easy after they were all soaked when the basement flooded.

As for narcissism? Regard this and ponder the word and its meaning:

As I was remember fancy sound systems with speakers all of the room so you’d get the sound “just right” — if you sat right in the middle of the room which was pretty much impossible because there was inevitably a table or something else already in the middle of the room.

While thinking about this, what should pop out of the bottom drawer of my night table, but …

One Sony Walkman

I was pondering whether I should call a  museum and see if I could get a few bucks for it … and whether or not it might work, assuming there wasn’t an exploded battery inside it. I had to take a picture of it anyway. I mean — who has an almost perfect Sony Walkman anymore? I remember when this was THE device to have. Before cell phones and a thousand versions of listening thingies, this was the one to have. Now, they are trash. So goes the world.

And then, Garry found this one. What is most interesting is the question: you mean, we have water slides in Uxbridge? Where?

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Waterslides?

I also took a picture of what has to be the very last cactus flower.

Finally, the very last Christmas Cactus flower

On one of the many long rainy days of the past couple of months, a wistful picture of the Duke, looking out the window into the gloppy, muddy yard.

Duke on a rainy day

And finally, a laboring gardener, optimistically assuming that we are going to have a summer … if it stops raining. Any day now …

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Happy Sunday. Since I started writing this, we have had rain and sun, rain and sun. Right now, sunny … but I see the clouds coming back so soon? Who knows?

PICK A WORD FOR A PICTURE – MAY 2018 – Marilyn Armstrong

THURSDAY’S SPECIAL: PICK A WORD IN MAY – Y3

From Paula:

It’s time for another Pick a Word themed photo challenge. This is where you may choose one, or more or all of the offered words and interpret them through photos. I hope that you will find them challenging and inspiring enough.

And the words are:  iconic, propagation, cleaved, zoomorphic, marginal


And here are my “pictures and words” for Paula’s (Lost In Translation) Thursday Special challenge. I think I got them all.

In a naturally cleaved tree, you can see an old American eagle nest.
The hosta are propagating like mad as the weather warms
Zoomorphic – A healing bear fetish
Marginal – the sunken spikes long the edge of the harbor
The Superstitions – iconic rocky mountains in Arizona

jupiter najnajnoviji

QUESTION FOR THE SHARING WORLD – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World – May 7, 2018

If you were given $22 million tax-free dollars (any currency), what is the first thing you would do? 

Same as last time. Pay off the house. Possibly knock it down and build one more suitable to our needs.

Home, now

Help out my friends and family who need it. Take a really lovely vacation for which someone other than me makes ALL the arrangements.

Hire a cook and people to clean the house. Get my hair cut by someone who won’t scalp me. Get more Bomba socks!

In what do you find the simplest of joys?

Pretty much all my joys are simple. I’m not sure what a complicated joy would be.

I’m just happy when all the bills are paid and nothing is broken or breaking down.

What would be your ideal birthday present, and why?

I want that vacation, but I want someone else to take care of it. ALL of it. Reservations. Tickets.

Literally everything from leaving home to returning. I don’t want to worry about money or travel connections or whether or not they will let me have a bottle of shampoo on my flight.

Spring dog with window
Spring window, with dog

Usually, when all is said and done, this means staying home.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? 

This was not a very smiley week. I was grateful to finally have normal weather and some sunshine.

A flower or two would have been grand, but the leaves are coming out, so if we aren’t bright with color, at least we are green. Each time I look out the window, I see the leaves have gotten bigger. Spring is happening in a huge hurry, trying I think to make up for all that lost time!

Happy birthday, Owen!

A DAFFODIL-FREE GARDEN – Marilyn Armstrong

I went out and I was absolutely SURE the daffodils would be blooming.

Nope.

The oak trees are thinking about blooming

Everyone else’s daffodils are blooming. Everywhere I look, I see azaleas and blooming trees. Apple and cherry and all that. But not here.

Bud on the Rhododendron

I went out and I took pictures. The trees are beginning to put out leaves and we have some violets and those little purple flowers and there are at least half a dozen buds on the Rhododendron. But nothing else.

I’m sure it will burst into some kind of frenzied blooming any minute now, but not yet. Definitely, not yet.

ODE TO FOUR SEASONS – BY ELLIN CURLEY

Winter generally sucks in New England. But for me, there is also a bright side.

I love wearing my favorite winter sweaters. I love boots and I feel very fashionable when I can wear high boots over my jeans. Another thing I look forward to in winter is coats and scarves. I have a terrific wardrobe of colorful, textured scarves, many purchased at craft shows over the years.

So I’ve established that I like the variety of clothes that seasons provide. I would get sick of wearing the same clothes all year. If I lived in Florida or California, in order to get variety, I’d probably spend a fortune each year buying clothes. Now I spend very little on clothes because the four seasons (really three – winter summer and in between) give me ample variety in my wardrobe.

Another reason I don’t mind winter – once I’ve put on my beautiful outerwear,it’s not all that cold outside. People talk about the horrors of winter as if you had to go outside everyday wearing nothing more than your pajamas!

Snow is wonderful if you’re dressed to play in it and enjoy its beauty.

I have to confess that I’m not a heat lover or a sun worshipper. In fact, I get physically ill in severe heat. For me, it’s worse when it’s very hot than when it’s very cold. I can’t protect myself from the heat outside by taking off more clothes. I can only go down to tee-shirt and shorts or a bathing suit without getting arrested for indecent exposure. If I’m still roasting in those outfits, I’m screwed. But in winter, you can always put on more sophisticated winter wear. For example, you can put on ski clothes and go out and ski down a mountain in the freezing cold.

So I hate heat and can dress appropriately to stay warm in cold weather. What else do I like about having seasons? The variety itself enhances my life. I appreciate spring and summer because I live through fall and winter. I don’t take green trees and flowers for granted because I live through colored leaves, bare trees and the winter wonderland of snow-covered landscapes. I wouldn’t want to live in winter 12 months of the year any more than I want to live in summer all year round.

But for the three months winter lasts, I can appreciate what it has to offer. For example, we often have a fire going on winter nights. I love that. My husband and I enjoy our Jacuzzi more in winter. Friends seem to have more time to come over and hang out with us in the winter. I think it’s because they’re not outside doing whatever they do in summer (play golf, swim, take long walks, go on hikes, work in their gardens, etc.)

I’m lucky that I really love where I live and don’t dream of moving elsewhere. If I did move, it would probably be to another place that has seasons. I just can’t imagine a life without watching the leaves turn red, yellow and orange.

I can’t imagine a life without getting to watch grass grow, flowers bloom and leaves suddenly come out on trees, every single year. I can’t imagine everything in my environment staying the same, stagnant, year in and year out. Maybe it’s a lack of imagination on my part, but I’m happy dealing with a world that changes four times a year.

SLEEVES, SHOES, AND BELTANE – Marilyn Armstrong

SLEEVES, SHOES, AND BELTANE

We are in a hurry. For us. Doctor appointment in a couple of hours. On days like this, I have trouble getting dressed. I try to put on a tee-shirt and I can only find one sleeve. The other seems to be missing. I can see it. It’s there. But for some reason, my left arm absolutely won’t find it and when finally, my shirt is ON my body, the shirt feels funny. Because it’s backwards.

The pants were new. Rather than trying to find a pair in my chest of drawers — so over-packed with stuff for every season  (because I can’t climb up to the attic anymore), I went for the new ones. I could find them AND I knew they probably were not covered with dog hair.

Everything else is covered with Duke’s fur. The Scotties don’t shed much. They stink (they need grooming, but I need $100 or is it $110?) to get it done, but at least they don’t shed. Much. Duke’s long white hair, on the other hand, has a positive sticking power that’s right in there with tape.

Tape. That’s the stuff that sticks to every except the package you are trying to attach it to. It writhes around your fingers. When you give it a tug, it splits four ways to Sunday and there you are, trying with your stubby little fingernails to get it even so you can use it.

It wouldn’t be that hard except when Duke was just a little younger, he gave it a few hefty chomps. Thanks, Duke! You’re our guy.

Finally, I could only find one shoe.

I am certain I went into the bedroom wearing both. I can’t imagine I limped down the hallway a clog on one foot, the other in a sock . Since I’d found one shoe, surely the other was nearby. But time was short.

Wildflowers in an empty field in upstate New York

Eventually, I put on an old pair of L.L.Bean shoes I bought in Freeport, Maine maybe 15 years ago. They still fit find and look pretty good — if you don’t look too closely. Somehow, Tinker missed finishing them off in her years of determined effort to chew every shoe I owned.

I’m dressed. Black yoga pants. Serendipity tee-shit. Black sweatshirt. Half socks — it’s going to be warm. And I have coffee. Meanwhile, WordPress would like to know how they did “fixing” my computer. I told them. “Pathetic, useless. Out of touch with your customers. I did it myself but you are taking credit when in fact, you actually did NOTHING.”

I wanted to wear sandals, but this is the first warm day this year. I need a week of warmth to feel ready for sandals. I don’t want my feet to be disappointed if I have to return to real shoes.

My day has begun.

Today is Beltane. I remember, back in elementary school, for the first four years we celebrated Beltane with a little festival and a genuine (built ourselves) Maypole. The girls danced, but only the sixth graders. I was too little and too young.

By the time I was old enough to participate, the school had transitioned into some meaningless modern event — and no Maypole. No more Beltane. I have yet to do my Maypole dance. Probably not this lifetime.

Happy Beltane to you all! May your day be filled with joy and sunlight and flowers and hopes for a brighter summer and warm, flowery days to come.