AUTUMN AFTERNOON AND AMBER SUNLIGHT #14 – Garry Armstrong

Day and Light

It was one of only a few golden autumn days. I had gone into town for a haircut, but I’d also taken the camera. It was a beautiful day with the sun at its most golden amber. I took a few pictures. Eventually, I took a lot of pictures. It was so lovely, I couldn’t stop.

Sunny Autumn afternoon in downtown Uxbridge

The old library in the autumn sun

Sunshine on an old church

Along a road in fall. This photo is not processed. It’s straight out of the camera.

We didn’t have much autumn, but I think I managed to catch the best of it. Maybe next year, it will be better? We can dream.

SPRING HAS SPRUNG, THE GRASS HAS RIZ. I WONDER WHERE THE FLOWERS IS? – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Friday: SPRING

The birdies are blooming in breeding colors and there are buds (but no leaves or flowers) on bushes and trees. What is up really?

Bugs are up. Ants are up. Birds are nesting and beginning to breed. The temperature is finally swinging around and while we will get some more cold days and night, we aren’t going to get a long month of deep freeze weather … or at least so we hope.

Back from the south, Carolina Wren

I’m waiting for a flower to appear outside. We have giant amounts of forsythia, but they don’t bloom much because they are at the edge of the woods and there’s very little sunlight there. A lot of our bushes bloom very late and some no longer bloom.

Nuthatch who never gets dizzy upside-down!

Our fearless deck squirrel

My personal favorite odd couple …

The winds of winter took down a lot of trees and I’m pretty sure our giant lilac tree has finally been squashed flat. It had taken several hits before, but I think this year, it’s a goner. I would like to be wrong. I guess I’ll know soon enough. At least by the middle of May, if not sooner.

Another odd couple — Carolina Wren and Goldfinch

Down the trees stalks the Nuthatch

Our Carolina Wrens are back and the Goldfinch have turned bright yellow and gold. Young squirrels have come up and hanging around for hours, picking up pieces of seeds that have fallen from the feeders.

Bright little birds!

Red and yellow, oh my! Better than flowers!

It is not quite springtime in the Valley as it is in other areas, but for this part of the world?

Maybe not flowers, but definitely colorful!

This is spring. Or kind of springlike. More or less springish. We are working on it.

I wonder where the flowers is?

AND THE COLOR IS PINK! A PHOTO A WEEK CHALLENGE – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Pink

I have a particular favorite color of pink for clothing and it’s the only color pink I wear that isn’t a nightgown or underwear.

Hot pink.

I use to wear black and put a hot pink blazer over it. It looked great. Red works too, but hot pink has class. Otherwise, you won’t find pink in my furniture or even my sheets. I admit a few doll dresses are pink, but with dolls, you can’t entirely avoid pink. It’s a doll color.

And then there are flowers:

 

BLUE AND YELLOW – SKY, SEA, FLOWERS AND AT LEAST ONE BIRD – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Blue and Yellow

Photos: Garry and Marilyn Armstrong

Some of these have gotten a little too complicated for me. The one with color and it has to end in A? Nope, sorry. I’ll be very interested in what everyone else comes up with, though. I think it’s that I’m not feeling well and feeling definitely cranky.

I’m really not sure how much material I have, but I’ll give it a try! Let me start with flowers because, for me, most color starts with flowers — or birds!

Then I take a look at oceans and skies. You just never know about that.

Yellow and blue on Rt. 201 to Skowhegan – a bit impressionist!

And what about those Arizona mountains? Gotta be something there, right?

Blue and yellow daisies

Yellow stone Arizona desert – Photo: Garry Armstrong

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Yellow boat and blue water!

Bluewater and yellow leaves at the Mumford Dam

You can’t stop a determined blue and yellow Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse – Blue and yellow bird!

Blue jeans and a yellow gymnasium floor

Early morning in Vermont – a blue and yellow time of day!

FASHIONISTA? ME? SERIOUSLY? – Marilyn Armstrong

I need to start out by pointing out I will not wear anything that isn’t comfortable. Gone are the high heels, tight anything (skirts, pants, sweaters, forget it!) and in is anything elastic. Even my jeans are elastic. If it doesn’t stretch, I don’t wear it.

I hate “dressy” events because I don’t own dressy clothing. I did, back when we were both working and Garry had events to which we were required to go, but now? I have some dresses, but I can’t wear shoes to go with them. And pantyhose? Seriously?

We’ve invented telephones that rule the world, but we can’t do better than pantyhose?

That being said, don’t expect much from this!

Daily Topic Subject – Fashionista!

Q1] How important is colour in your life?

In my life? Color is important. Not so much in my clothing, though. I wear grey, black, tan, taupe.

Occasionally red or orange … and navy. Not a thrilling palette. But the house has color — in pictures and statues and pottery.

Q2] What is most favourite colour to wear?

Denim.

Q3] Is there a colour that you wear that brings the best out in you and in others – in so far as compliments?

Photo: Garry Armstrong –

Black.

Q4] Are you a person who likes to overdress for the day or are you a follower of the credo, less is more?

I don’t OWN fancy clothing anymore. I can’t wear dressy shoes — and I can’t balance on high heels.

So overdressing is unlikely. If it requires that level of dress? I probably won’t go.

PQ5] What are five of your best items of clothing that you simply couldn’t be without? [and l don’t mean underwear/socks]

Sleep tees in the warm weather and flannel nightgowns in the winter. And don’t knock socks. I have the world BEST sock collection.

Q6] Do you dress for the season, as in colour wise, or just throw on whatever is warm and practical?

We live in New England. I have hot weather clothing, warm weather dress, cool and chilly weather clothing, cold weather clothing, very cold weather clothing, brutally cold weather clothing, and arctic-level clothing.

PQ7] If you were going for an evening out and the dress code was ‘smart casual’ what is your ideal outfit and why?

I tell them I was sick and not go.

Happy anniversary!

Garry might go alone, but if he had to wear a tie, I doubt he’d go either.

Q8] If you were having to attend an important meeting or appointment and the dress code was smart – what would your outfit be then?

At my age, I don’t have those meetings or appointments. If they are my age, they are also wearing sweatpants.

Q9] How many pairs of shoes do you own, and what is the breakdown [as in casual, smart, evening, leisure]

More boots!

I have maybe 20 pairs of shoes, 10 of which are really old and I don’t actually wear them but they aren’t worn out, so I keep them. Mostly, I wear sandals in the summer and Uggs in the winter. In between, I wear SOCKS.

Q10] Do you have classic clothing or classic items in your wardrobe that you have had for years and never go out of fashion if so name three?

I consider it classic. Others might say I’m a slob. Sweatshirts, tee-shirts, and jeans. I’ve been wearing this same clothing since I was a young teenager. Oh, and I have not one but three Navy Peacoats.

Q11] Are you into plain colours, wild colours or outlandish designs or a mixture and which do you favour more?

Plain. Elastic. Washable. Dryable.

PQ12] Do you have a favourite quote with regards fashion or design – if so what is it?

No.

Q13]  Knee high socks, ankle socks, shin socks or no socks?

Ankle socks with sticky bits on the bottom when I’m in the house. Knee high in the winter and if that isn’t warm enough, it’s too cold to go out.

Q14] Can you see the connection between colour and music and if so does it influence your dress code for the day in any way?

Not really. I wish I could say yes, but really, no.

PQ15] If you are going out somewhere special and want to listen to some music to put you in the mood whilst getting dressed up, what do you listen to? [Provide link please]

I don’t think I’ve EVER done that.

Q16] How often do you buy new clothing for the season or the year?

When I try to put on the nightgown and my finger goes through the fabric, I figure I probably need a new one. Also, as I get older and everything droops, I have to buy different sizes.

I’m also getting shorter (we shrink with age), so that’s a factor. But otherwise? I have winter and summer clothing. This is New England. It’s all about the weather.

Q17] Remember tie-dye from the 70’s was it a thing you followed, bought into or worse, how do you feel about it now?

Nope. Byt the time tie-dye was in, I was a mother working full time. I missed that whole dressing thing.

Q18] What is the brightest coloured item of clothing you have in your wardrobes/drawers?

I have an orange dress.

Q19] What is the most expensive item of clothing that you have in your wardobe? How often do you actually wear it?

I have a deep winter coat from Land’s End that cost me about $250. I wear it when the temperatures fall significantly below zero (Fahrenheit, NOT Celsius).

PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?

No.

Q21] Is being ‘fashionable’ important to you, or is being comfortably attired  more so?

I like not looking like I just crawled out of a ditch, so clean matters. I only wear the hairy, dog-hair covered stuff at home. The dogs do not care. And anyway, Garry is similarly attired.

COLOR IN OCTOBER – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Wednesday – COLOR


Autumn is languidly considering the possibility of dropping by any day now. The rhododendrons are blooming again … simultaneously with the ones in Sydney, Australia. How weird is that? And my roses are still very much in bloom.

Our own maple tree and it’s one red branch.

The trees? Except for some older maples, meh. Lots of yellow and a bit of orange, but mostly, green. Lighter green than August or September, but still undeniably green.

Douglas

I don’t think we’re going to have much of an autumn. Maybe we’ll get a few great days before it rains again and they all fall off overnight — which is what happened last year.

Bright yellow maple – Douglas

River Bend

It’s the extra month of summer we’re getting. Summer used to be finishing up by late August and quite crisp by the end of September. It’s the nighttime cold snap that brings the leaves into full color and we haven’t had that. We’ve had a few chilly nights, but all of them have been raining.

And rain is the other thing the ruins autumn foliage.

We had to get to the medical lab this morning for bloodwork — me and Garry. Which meant no coffee or English muffins. I took a camera anyway.

I figured there might be a bright tree somewhere and sure enough, right across from the medical building, one huge — old and beginning to die — maple. An interesting mix of brilliant color and naked dead branches. I like the way these half-dead trees look. Good juxtaposition of color and nothingness.

At River Bend

So as of October 10, 2018, these are the colors. This should be full peak autumn. Typically, Columbus Day is peak foliage season. I’m not sure we will actually have a peak foliage season or even a couple of days of it, but here are the bright trees to date.

From New England to you. Color.

YESTERDAY, WE FOUND A HINT OF FALL – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Saturday – FALL


Yesterday, in the rain driving to the doctor, we kept looking for fall. We could see touches of it here and there, but given that it is already the end of September, it should have been everywhere.

One autumn tree in a sea of green

But today, with the temperature just right. The rain has finally finished and the sun is shining. I live in hope. If we look, I’m sure we will find a little hint of the fall to come.

So, just so you know what might be on its way, these were all taken in mid-October. By the river, on our own street, near the dam in the middle of town.

It’s coming. I can smell it in the air.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

So this post is a bit early. It’s not autumn yet. Not for another week. In this region, mid-October is generally peak and the week before is delicious — as is the week after.

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

Photo: Garry Armstrong

I won’t give up until all the leaves have fallen, I promise.

This is MY season!

ROSY MANCHAUG – By Marilyn Armstrong

Rosy Manchaug


Although we usually photograph the dam in Manchaug, the area is known for it’s rather large and deep pond and an annual rubber duck race held there.

From the pond come a lot of streams, not all of which have names. They don’t run long distances, either … which is perhaps why they don’t have names.

Impressionist and bi-tonal Manchaug dam

This dam is near a mill. All the dams are near a mill because that’s why the dams were built — to power the mills. I don’t know what the mill is being used for now. Probably some kind of industrial space. The old stone mills were built very well and may well last nearly forever.

But the area also has some apocryphal history, that a Native chief was drowned in that stream having fallen from the pond above it. It’s a long drop and the stream isn’t very deep, so I can’t imagine many people would survive the fall.

Antique Manchaug

When we first found the dam — actually, it was Kaitlin and me who found it the first time. We were wandering around looking for something to photograph when I heard the rushing water. Not every dam is beautiful to photograph, but Manchaug is different. It’s not part of the Blackstone River … just a narrow neck of the pond formed into a dam that drops straight down to a stream.

The stone mill

Right next to the stream, there’s a pre-school — directly between the old stone mill and the stream. Until recently, they didn’t even have a fence to keep the little ones from falling into the water.

The Pre-School – Photo: Garry Armstrong

While I understand New Englanders tend to be pretty tough, a pre-school, dam and a rapidly running river seemed a bit extreme. I’m glad they built a fence.

Processing

Essentially I’ve been using monochrome formatting to get the pink tones into these pictures. Although black and white is the “typical” format for monochrome, it is by no means the only one.

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Marilyn is pink, too

You’ll find many formats some of which use many colors and others based on two primary colors, as well as bi-tonal formats that use a wide range of colors.

Our software gives us hugely increased access to filters and processing techniques. We can create antique-style photographs using pastel tones. We create “damaged photographs” and pictures that look as if they were created on glass plates or made with silver.

Pink is one of the more difficult colors to find, but by golly, I found it!

ROSY ROCKS AT MANCHAUG – By Marilyn Armstrong

Rosy Rocks by the Dam at Manchaug


Garry and I have no sense of direction. Manchaug used to be a town, but it didn’t have enough income to keep itself going, so it parceled itself out to Douglas and Sutton. Maybe Uxbridge too, but I’m not sure about that.

Thing is, the river that runs through Manchaug which is one of the many tributaries of the Blackstone and is part of the valley’s watershed, but most of it is a big pond … and the pond is located in Douglas.

We tried to find it today, but even though we followed the sign and we could hear the water, we couldn’t find it. It was in the woods somewhere, hiding. It isn’t the place we usually go when we shoot pictures of the dam anyway.

After driving around for a while, Garry said he was pretty sure he’d seen a sign on 146 that said “Manchaug.”

I said, “sure, why not? We aren’t accomplishing much driving around in circles in Douglas.”

So we got back on 146 and sure enough, there was a sign for the Sutton version of Manchaug, but once you got off 146, there were no signs at all. I said I thought it had mentioned Whitins Road, so why didn’t we just stay on Whitins Road and maybe the dam would appear?

We found it and the little Manchaug Post Office, a personal favorite of mine because how many post offices have hand-painted signs, right?

We took pictures of the dam, pictures of the pond, pictures of each other and the classic shot of each of us taking pictures of the other.

Slightly mauve rocks at the base of the dam in Manchaug

I got into an obsessive mode with the water falling on and flowing over the rocks at the base of the dam, so I figured one of them was going to have to be pink. Because there was a lot of water rolling over the dam … the most water I’ve ever seen in that small river. The rain has come this year.

Garry wanted to know where I’d seen pink rocks and I tried to explain the whole square pink picture thing to him, but he lost me somewhere around square and pink. I think I got a nice mauve motif going on this one.

The rocks at the base of the dam in Manchaug in slightly blushing pink. Most importantly, we actually found the place! Yes, we found it!

And that was our day. How was yours?

WILD STRAWBERRIES – By Marilyn Armstrong

Wild Strawberries 


I’m going hunting for a proper square pink picture. It’s not the pinkness that’s the problem. It’s the squareness. I have oodles of miscellaneous pictures full of pink … but most of them aren’t square.

These are wild strawberries. We used to have a lot of them, but this year, not so many. The strawberries are tiny but incredibly sweet.

SOMEDAY MY PRINCE WILL COME – By Marilyn Armstrong

What Sleeping Beauty said


At some point in her young life, Kaitlin acquired a pair of Pepto-Bismol pink Sleeping Beauty lamps for her bedroom.  For some reason, she never cared for them … but I did. I don’t have room for two end tables, so I use one of them, but have a second in reserve, just in case.

Not only are they pure Disney, but they glow in the days and say “Someday my prince will come.” It’s a little unnerving, honestly, but today I realized that there’s nothing pinker than a Disney Sleeping Beauty bedside lamp. It is totally pink.

SWEET SUE – AN AMERICAN CHARACTER DOLL IN FINEST PINK – Marilyn Armstrong

Sweet Sue – I made the hat myself 


American Character was never as popular a name as Tony or Madame Alexander … or for that matter, Barbie or even Ginny. But American Character dolls had the sweetest faces for dolls of that period.

Their best-selling doll was “Sweet Sue” of which this is an original. She was extremely popular from the early 1940s until the end of the 1950s when high-heeled fashion dolls became the trend.

Okay, let me rephrase. The doll is original. Her hair is original, but her clothing shredded. I bought her a made-to-order dress. I also made her a hat because Sweet Sue always wore a hat and usually one with flowers.

Quite a few of these days came through my world and most of them, I sold, but this one, because she was not as valuable since her clothing was not original, I kept for my own. She lives on my dresser along with two Cissy dolls from Madame Alexander and one Princess Elizabeth (as in the child queen of England), also by Madame Alexander.

I have many other dolls in the room, but Sweet Sue is a favorite, with her lovely face and gentle smile.

Also, the hat is pretty cool, isn’t it?

MEET PINK CISSY FROM MADAME ALEXANDER – By Marilyn Armstrong

Pink Cissy – Madame Alexander


This is Cissy by Madame Alexander.

The dress is an original, designed and sewn by a talented woman who wanted the outfit to look just like one her mother wore to church in the 1950s. The dress under the coat perfectly matches the coat, scarf, and hat.

Meet Miss Cissy by Madame Alexander. She is wearing a homemade outfit cut from an old dress I found at the Salvation Army and sewn by an exceptionally talented seamstress.

She is an original Cissy except for her wig which is not right. Usually, you can buy replacement wigs for old dolls who wear wigs, but not for Cissy. Nothing was available anywhere. I could not find an appropriate replacement wig for her, so she is wearing a wig that at least fits her head, but is absolutely the wrong style.

Otherwise, she’s one of the original fashion dolls and quite a beauty. Also, most definitely pink.

ALL THE SHADES OF RED – CEE’S FUN FOTO CHALLENGE – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Red


Red roses on our bushes

Red Elvis at Imperial

Red Begonia hanging on the back deck

Red barn, red tree, Autumn in Sutton

Scarlet Cardinal

Red mouse, silver computer

Red restored antique truck at Hannaford

And of course, the Red Sox — still in first place in the Eastern Division.