OUR HANDS – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Hands

Like the Back of My Hand,” this has backs, fronts, and slightly sideways hands.

 

JAPANESE MAPLE: CEE’S FLOWER OF THE DAY IS A LEAF – Marilyn Armstrong

Japanese Maple – FOTD – 05/24/19

We had a couple of truly lovely days, so I took some pictures. I should have taken more pictures, but for at least a part of the day, I was helping trim the garden. We have a ground cover that has taken over the fence to the degree that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to open or close the gate.

And the Japanese maple looks so lovely in the sunshine and since we raised it from when it was a seedling, I’m proud of how beautiful it has become.

I love the shape of the leaves!
Sunlight on green leaves

THE WHITE AZALEA – Marilyn Armstrong

Azalea – FOTD – 05/23/19

When we moved into this house, there was one bedraggled Azalea trying to stay alive in front of the house. It never got any sun and it was too close to the foundation, so it didn’t grow and never bloomed.

This year, for the first time, it actually bloomed with more than a single flower. It’s not brilliant, as Azaleas go, but it has come a long way since we transplanted it. It’s a full-sized bush, even if it doesn’t produce a lot of flowers.

A blooming white azalea! Ours! Golly!

AND SUDDENLY, IT’S ALL GREEN – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Wednesday – BREATHTAKING

It’s gray, rainy, cold and the world is made of mud. No hope of flowers because it still feels like the end of winter.

Then, suddenly, the sun appears and you get a couple of warm day and the world explodes in color. Breathtaking barely describes it. It’s like a new world, a new planet. The sky is blue, the birds are singing. Of course, the squirrels are still eating all the seeds, but the lawn got mowed, the dead bushes are gone, there’s a tall fence to keep Duke in the yard where he belongs … for today, at least, the world is just perfect.

Garry went out and took pictures yesterday. Me too. I got serious about birds. He got serious about Uxbridge. There are so many pictures, I have barely had time to scrape along the edges of the more than 200 pictures from just yesterday. Call this “Breathtaking Sample 1” with more to follow!

From Garry Armstrong, the village and neighborhood:
Photo: Garry Armstrong – This picture is my favorite.
Photo: Garry Armstrong – The brand new crossing sign in the middle of town.
Photo: Garry Armstrong – At home in the woods
Photo: Garry Armstrong – The crossroads of Uxbridge
Photo: Garry Armstrong – The perils of not having a newspaper or even a radio station — we didn’t know there was a vote — or for what!

From Marilyn Armstrong, more birds and a squirrel.
The determined squirrel
Cowbird with Hairy Woodpecker – sharing!

WHAT DO YOU READ? – Marilyn Armstrong

So let’s say you’re at the airport. Your flight is delayed for six more hours, and none of your electronic devices are working. Out of juice and all the plugs are taken … and there’s no free wi-fi. Oh no!

How can you pass the time? Those chairs are too uncomfortable for sleep and you’re too old to use the floor.

I don’t believe it. You really don’t know what to do without electronic devices? You are lost without your cell phone? Really?

If you don’t have an instant answer to this, perhaps we come from different planets. I would reach into my carry-on and pick out a copy of The New Yorker or National Geographics. I could take a walk to the nearest shop (airports are full of them) and buy something to read. A newspaper maybe?

Yes, they still print them.

And the Kindle, with books already downloaded, is like carrying a whole library with you wherever you go.

If all else fails, I might consider chatting with other passengers who are waiting with me. I have had some of the most interesting conversations of my life in terminals, waiting for planes, trains or buses. Although I know you usually text, the organ into which you insert food has a dual purpose and can be used for conversation.

Despite rumors to the contrary, direct communication between living people can prove a pleasant — even enlightening — way of passing the hours. If you’ve never tried it, this would be an opportunity to expand your world! I strongly recommend you give it a try.

You really need to think about this? Seriously?

I’d probably be taking a few dozen pictures too. Airports and the people in them make great subjects. I don’t take pictures using a phone. In fact, I don’t carry a cell phone (what? say that again? You heard me … I don’t carry a cell phone).

I use a camera, a device dedicated to taking photographs. I carry enough spare batteries to get me through two weeks without electricity, so I don’t care what anyone says.

My camera WILL work, no matter where I am.

SHARING THE WORLD: A BIRTHDAY AND COLLEGE! – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World 5-20-19

Is it better to suspect something (bad or hurtful) and not know or to have your worst fears confirmed by sure knowledge? 

I’m happy in my ignorance on a personal level. I don’t want to know who is gossiping or talking behind my back. If I know more, I might have to do something about it and I prefer not to do anything about it. Gossips and backbiters always get taken down eventually. It always catches up with them.

I also think that people who confess their sins and destroy a relationship are selfish. Whose ends are they serving? Sometimes, please — shut up.

My son turned 50!

Politically and for most other things, I want accurate information.

What makes you laugh aloud? Crack up? Laugh until your sides split? When was the last time you had a great big belly laugh?

Things that are funny. “A Mighty Wind,” anything made by the Monty Python group. Marx brothers. And my friends.

Do you suppose Noah had woodpeckers in the ark? If he did, where did he keep them? Apologies to the Darwinians in the crowd…this is merely for fun, okay? 

Presumably, there were two of everything and woodpeckers are part of everything.

Here’s the cake to prove it! What a great cake!

Why is “Charlie” short for “Charles when they are the same number of letters?

It’s a nickname. Now short would be calling Garry “Gar” or me “Mar.” Or Jeff for Jeffrey, Gene for Eugene. I like nicknames better.

What happened in your world this past week that made you feel thankful, joyful or grateful? 

Congratulations Kaitlin.

My granddaughter is finally starting college. Joy to the world!

Congratulations Owen!

And my son turned 50 (ouch on MY side … it’s hard to pretend to be young when your kid turns 50!).

DRINKING THE NEWS – Garry Armstrong

Manhattan in the mid-’60s.

I was a newbie newsie at ABC News. The kid reporter among guys who’d worked for Ed Murrow and shared tall tales about Mayor LaGuardia, Governor “Beau Jimmy” Walker, Tammany Hall grifters, speakeasies, Jazz and an era that had gone with the wind before I arrived.

I was plopped in the middle of middle and old-age, usually White guys who took no notice of my skin color unless they were talking about Joe Louis, Lena Horne, or Jackie Robinson. The jibes were about individuals — not marked by race, sexual preference or religion.

Sometimes they laughed about “pretty boys” but that usually was about fellas who were light on work effort and heavy on looking good on camera.

The bartender and owner who was usually an Irishman. He ran the local numbers game and was an off-the-books source of loans if you were short. He usually broke up the noise if the conversation bordered on trouble.

He nodded at me. It was an inference: “Hey, watch it. The kid is here.” Not sure if I appreciated being a greenhorn among the grizzled guys. Lots of famous faces came in, usually tired, looking for a little respite and no hassles.

I absorbed the stories which, years later, became woven into my own tales. Funny thing, most of the chatter, although fueled by booze, was intelligent, sharp, witty and observant of the times.

A decade later, I was in the world of Boston bars. I became a familiar face, popping up on the tube pretty much every day. Chasing bad weather and bad hombres. The conversations were animated — VERY animated if they concerned the Red Sox “Curse of the Bambino”, and another pennant lost to those damn Yankees. There were rumors about lobbyists greasing the pockets of certain pols, queries about the availability of “Tommy, The Torch” and his crew

Whispers about “Whitey” and the latest bloodbath in territorial “hits.” Now, I knew who was who and played dumb when asked for the inside stuff. There was always a fresh drink to maybe loosen my tongue. No, there was never enough booze for that.

There were the lawyers in their rumpled suits, complaining about Judges they swore were in the pockets of people who went unnamed.

There was a bar near Fenway Park which gave me the greatest joy. Baseball players, sportswriters and sports wannabees came and went leaving us with a goldmine of baseball info. Once I was “in.” I was “golden.”

I loved kicking back the rounds, swapping stories with no fear of insulting anyone. Pesky “pilgrims” were quickly shown the door before they became the source of brawls. Many “tips” were turned into legit stories which solidified my notion that I was working.

It was a bar where religious leaders could bend elbows with wiseguys and, sometimes, you couldn’t tell who was who.

Those were the days, my friend.