THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD: KUDOS TO MARTHA KENNEDY – Marilyn Armstrong

Sunshine Blogger Award

I don’t do awards. Except occasionally, I find the questions intriguing and decide to throw my hat in the ring. Except I’m not nominating anyone because so many people I know really dislike getting nominated, I’m just not going to stick my foot into the trap again. I still have scars from the last attempt.

Martha wrote some really good questions that are worth answering, so that’s what I’m doing. Anyone interested should definitely go to Martha’s post, copy the original questions, and take it away!

Here are YOUR questions

1. What made you decide to write a blog on WordPress?

What made me decide to write a blog was that I’d been following a couple on WordPress and I had to sign up with them just to have a conversation. Of course, this automatically gave me a blogging space. I didn’t really think very hard about blogging because I had never wanted to do it … but I had some space. And I had a few thousand photographs that no one ever saw because they were on my hard drives and would never get printed.

I didn’t actually think about the writing part of the exercise at all. I just figured I’d post pretty pictures. Technically, I started in February of 2012, but really, I didn’t write or post anything until May and that was one single post. The next month, I posted maybe half a dozen times.

Then something happened. I realized blogging was exactly like writing letters and I used to be one of the world’s great letter writers. Between editing material about air pollution, the spread of Hepatitis B in Israel, and reusing water for crops and raising carp, I wrote letters. Mostly I wrote to Garry who had a full drawer of my letters when I got back from Israel.

I should have saved them, but when we were moving, I dumped everything we didn’t absolutely need. I later regretted it but gone is gone.

So I started writing letters on my blog. Various subjects. Political. Funny. An occasional book or movie review. Opinions on this and that and sometimes, bits of fiction. And I posted pictures with the stories, so I sort of got to do both things, which was good. My best hobby combined with what was left of my profession.

Why WordPress?

I had already landed there. I had signed up when I started following other bloggers and it was free, so why not? I didn’t get serious about it for a few months, but it was an explosive time on the web. It was right in the middle of Obama’s second run for office and everything online was hopping and crazy. There also weren’t nearly as many bloggers then as there are now. I picked up a lot of followers pretty quickly.

After a while, Garry started writing pieces when he felt like it. And Rich started contributing and eventually, Tom and Ellin pitched in.

As it turns out, WordPress is pretty much the only game in town right now. Blogger (Google) has just as many problems and lacks the easy communications you get with WordPress. I originally thought I’d go find another place to do this again, but I have realized that I don’t want to do it again. Once was interesting and fun. Another would be work.

2. You’re writing a blog post and you find it taking on a direction of its own. Do you assume control or do you follow it?

Most of my pieces take on a life of their own and I follow faithfully. I’m often surprised where my posts end up, too. Sometimes, all I have is one good line and the rest just falls into place.

It’s getting the typos out that really kills me. I’m such an awful proofreader.

3. What are your goals as the writer of a blog? What do you hope for?

I really never had any goals. I write anyway, whether I have a blog or I’m just writing. I have always written, even when I had no one to read it. I might as well blog because at least a few people do read it. Also, it has really improved my writing.

Having no goals to begin with, I have none now. I like to write and I love the friends I’ve made online. They matter to me more than I imagined possible.

4. Describe the best day you’ve had in the past twelve months.

Yesterday when the birds stayed put and I got some great shots. The best day before that was the day we went to the movies.

A flock of Goldfinches
Cowbird and House Finch

Before that, the day they installed the new shower.

Looks pretty good!

I think every day I wake up still breathing is a GREAT day.

5. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why? What experiences would you hope for?

I’d like to go to England and see Sue Vincent and the great, ancient stones. I’d like to go to Switzerland and have tea with Pat and Australia and New Zealand and Utah and drive through the Rocky Mountains.

I don’t think we are really going anywhere except down to the river, but Paris would also be very lovely. Because it is Paris.

6. What was the worst road trip of your life? What happened?

Any trip I took with my parents as a child. They were ALL nightmares.

7. How much time do you put into your blog? Do you write every day?

I write every day. Even when I have decided NOT to write, I can’t help myself. That seems to be what I do.

8. Do you write to a daily prompt? Why or why not?

Sometimes if I can think of something to go with them. But I often have my own ideas of what I want to write and when I do, I don’t bother with a prompt.

I do use a lot of photo prompts. They help me find uses for many of my archived pictures.

9. What’s your favorite post? Why? Please share. 

https://teepee12.com/2019/01/31/my-best-year-1969/

Titled: MY BEST YEAR -1969

I think I’ve rewritten is half a dozen times at least and I’m sure I will again. It brings back happy days when everyone was young.

10. Is there a book, film or person (or animal) that inspired you and changed your life? What or who was it? How did it have such a profound effect on you?

Angelique by Anne Golan.

11. What advice do you have for someone who has just started writing a blog? What rewards has it given you that might inspire someone else?

If you enjoy it and if you are having fun, don’t give up. Everyone starts slowly. A blog needs time to find its place in the online world.

I really don’t have any questions to add. There have been so many question-asking blogs this year, I feel like I’m questioned and answered out. I do apologize. I think since Martha put so much thought into HER questions, you should definitely use hers!

7 AND THREE-QUARTERS NUTTY – REBLOG from “A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!”

chocolate-2202056_960_720

7 and Three Quarters Nutty

Gobbledy gwook and wackadoozies! Duckwittery and blongos, krazy with a capital Z and mango madness – l know, like what on earthlings are you on about alien? We come in peace or is it little pieces or maybe even just peso’s? It’s irrelevent really when you think about it, and silly if you don’t, but there are questions, and then there are questions, so without further ado here we are again with 7 and Three-Quarters Nutty back again to continue with Season one – downright quizzical fun!

There are no rules, no tagging, so if you want to reblog or share, by all means, feel free to do so. The only request l have is to include a pingback (address is: https://aguycalledbloke.blog/2019/02/03/7-and-three-quarters-nutty-4/) so l don’t miss out on any of the battiness! Failing that, by all means, please feel free to simply answer the questions below.

7 and Three-Quarters Nutty Created by A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!


 

How Bizarre!

Don’t just answer these questions with quick one word answers, but give them some thought! Throw yourself into it. Note: Throw your SELF into it. Not me: YOU. Because I’m just passing this along. 


If you could morph two animals to make one super animal, what two animals would you choose? Why?

What are three items you could buy together at the grocery store to make the cashier laugh?

If animals could talk, which would be the rudest?

What kid’s movie did you think was too scary when you were a child?

If you were arrested with no explanation, what would your friends and family assume you had done?

Which is by far the smelliest cheese?

What’s been one of your funniest nicknames?

What would be the worst “buy one get one free” sale of all time?

If you were held at gunpoint and told that if you didn’t impress them with your dance moves you would be killed, what dance moves would you bust out? [Video link required]

In the event of the apocalypse, what three places are you going to first to gather supplies?

How do you feel about putting anchovies and olives on your pizza?

What would be the creepiest thing you could say while passing a stranger on the street?

What are the three best things about you that you wouldn’t put in your bio on a dating profile?

Answers please on the inside of the outside external side to inside lip of Pythagoras!!


I thought the questions were interesting, but I don’t feel like answering them because anything in which someone talks about dating is coming from a different universe than mine.

As for you, feel free to answer here (in comments) — or answer on your own blog. Don’t forget to include a link to Rory’s blog (https://aguycalledbloke.blog/2019/02/03/7-and-three-quarters-nutty-4/) !

SHARING MY WORLD BUT WHERE IS MELANIE? – Marilyn Armstrong

SHARING MY WORLD: WHERE HAS MELANIE GONE?

Once again, it’s back to my reader to see where my posts have gone. I knew my email had dropped suddenly. I was so relieved at not having a thousand emails a day to cope with, I failed to realize that half the people I follow are missing, too.

Good old WordPress. They never stop sharing their technical problems with their customers!

QUESTIONS:


What’s the closest thing you’ve experienced to real magic?

I can’t say it was the birth of my son because that was a 23 hour, absolutely EXHAUSTING labor that I thought would never end. If I’d had a proper obstetrician, it might have worked out better. As it was, I was so tired by the time he was born, I think I didn’t wake up for three days. They don’t call it “labor” for nothing.

For real magic? It was being close to death one day, having a vision during the night when the great voice from nowhere told me I was not going to die, then waking up the following morning well enough to go home.

Also, this Cardinal is pretty magical too!

Despite the years passing, it remains magic because it WAS magical. My minister, who really felt I should seriously consider religion as a viable option because he asked me: “What do you want? God to drop by with his social security card and a passport?”

I thought about it and said: “Yes, probably.” I’m that skeptical. But it was magic. Skeptical I may be, but I’ve been pulled back from nearly dead twice … possibly three times. I’m not as sure about the third time … that may just have been really excellent medicine at work.

Who is the messiest person you know? And why? 

My daughter-in-law. You had to live with her to really feel it.

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?

God? If you want to prove your might to me, please smite you-know-who in the big white house. Do that, and I WILL believe!

What benefits does art provide society? Does art hurt society in any way?

I think a house without art isn’t home. Art takes you out of yourself and makes the ordinary beautiful. I love art. Paintings and pottery, dioramas and rugs, tapestries and tatting. I love writing and photography and music. I love everything except screechy operatic sopranos (sorry — not a fan of opera).

Qing dynasty rice bowl, typically used by field workers. The blue chicken is a cultural thing. The bowl is almost 200 years old — and it isn’t even close to my oldest pieces of pottery.

You know in China, they had art even for rice peasants? Because they believed everyone needed art. I own some of it and these are among my favorite pieces. Rice bowls decorated with colorful chickens and big clunky horses from the Tang period ridden by servants. For servants to put in a place of honor.

What’s something positive you’d like to share?  Can be a smile, a joke, or music..anything that gave you a lift this week!

I’m really, really glad we bought that thing to keep ice off the windshield. I only wish I’d bought a garage too.

PROVOCATIVE QUESTION 10: THE CHOICES WE MAKE – Marilyn Armstrong

Fandango’s Provocative Question #10

This week’s provocative question is about the choices we make and the actions we take.


“What is more important to you, doing the right thing or doing things right?”

To me, these are unrelated questions.

Doing things right is a work kind of question. Doing the right thing is a moral choice. One course of action doesn’t replace the other.

You can do both or neither, depending on the circumstance, but I honestly can’t imagine a situation where doing things right would make doing the right thing impossible.

I literally can’t imagine that as a choice. When would that kind of event occur? Under what circumstances?

PROVOCATIVE QUESTIONS – NUMBER NINE … Marilyn Armstrong

Fandango’s Provocative Question #9

And the question is: 

“As a blogger, do you enjoy ‘virtual relationships’? Do you consider them to be real?”

If you don’t like virtual relationships, you probably shouldn’t be blogging. Blogging is about writing, photography, art … what you are into. But as much as it’s about art — whatever your version of art is — it’s also about the people with whom you develop relationships. Online.

Are they real? Many of my online relationships feel more real than my “real” relationships. I spend more time with online friends than with real live friends. If it weren’t for the distances involved — in some cases literally the other side of the world — I’d be there for coffee or whatever in the morning.

When one of my “online friends” goes missing, I worry. Many of us are pretty senior, so when we go missing, everyone worries about injury or even death. Then we need to track that person down, which is why anonymous bloggers are terrifying for those of us who actually care about the people. If they go missing, we have no way to get any information.

Anonymous is also a hard person to get close to. Just saying.


As for the other question: 

“What are you struggling with the most right now?”

In equal measure, money, health, and what is left of the ecology of the world. Which is all wrapped up in current politics. In our hateful politics where hatred, arrogance, and cruelty is our biggest and best weapon.

Money and health are personal issues. They concern most retired people of a certain age, but the politic horrors we are going through? They are stupid, unnecessary … and they make everyone’s life just a little — or a lot — worse.

I don’t know how I wandered into this nightmare country that is supposedly mine. I don’t recognize this world. I don’t recognize this government. I don’t understand how Americans can allow such horrors to be supported by their government. Whatever this is, it’s not freedom. It’s wrong on every level.

It’s entirely possible I don’t want to understand.

I’m also stressed for time, but all things considered, it’s a minor issue.

FPQ
FPQ

CHRISTMAS QUESTIONS – Marilyn Armstrong

A Few Christmas Questions


From:  MELANIE B CEE


Feel free to answer the questions and tag 3 bloggers to do the same if you are a person who tags. Personally, I’m not a tagger. It makes me very uncomfortable. Free will and all that, so if you want to answer the questions, please do. Also, a teeny tiny request: “It’s a Wonderful Life” is one of my favorite movies, so try to avoid telling me how much you hated it, okay? 
Which is a famous Christmas Ballet?

The Nutcracker, of course. And how many times have I seen it!

Which country first sent Christmas Cards?

England. It was Charles Dickens who got it rolling. He really made Christmas “big.”

Pigs in blankets are what?

Cocktail wieners. Not a personal favorite.

Between 1647 – 1660 who banned Christmas in England?

Probably the Roundheads (Puritans). They banned anything that might be considered fun.

How many candles are there in a traditional Advent Wreath?

No idea.

In “It’s A Wonderful Life,” what is the name of George’s guardian angel?

Clarence, but he didn’t have his wings yet. And he loved Mark Twain.

Bill & Hilary Clinton switched on the Christmas tree lights in Belfast in 1990, 1995 or 1996?

I don’t know. Actually, I didn’t know they did it at all.

What is the birthstone color of someone born on Christmas day?

Blue. There are four of them, but turquoise is my favorite.

Which English actor starred in “The Muppet Christmas Carol”?

Michael Caine?

What Dr. Seuss character steals Christmas?

Surely the Grinch. He’s still stealing it. Forever and ever. He never learns.

TRUE, FALSE, OR NUTS? – Q & A – Marilyn Armstrong

Strange Questions and Weird Answers


Fandango got the questions from Melanie who got them from Rory. I stole them from Fandango. Now, you are welcome to steal them from me.

Rory’s rules were that you’re supposed to answer the true or false questions the wrong way.

“Don’t answer the questions the right way!” his rules state. And the questions are not just true or false questions. They’re true or false and prove it questions.


Well, here are my answers. Are they true or false? These days where truth is in short supply, you might need a special prosecutor to figure it out.

1. Camels store water in their humps? True or False & Prove It
Lawrence of Arabia

It’s not exactly water. It’s kind of watery. But the camels like it.

2. Snakes only close their eyelids when they sleep? True or False & Prove It?

I have not spent sufficient time with lizard-type snakes to know, but human snakes ALWAYS have their eyes open … and on your wallet.

3. The saber-toothed tiger (Smilodon) was exterminated by Neanderthal man? True or False & Prove It?

The Smilodon was not a saber-toothed tiger. He was the original smiley face. Have you ever seen a smiling saber-toothed tiger? Neither have I and I rest my case.

4. Leonardo da Vinci employed hundreds of craftsmen to build his inventions? True or False & Prove It?

He never worked out the airplane, so I’m gonna say, not really. He meant to get it all done, but he was just so overbooked, he didn’t finish it.

5. The carpet python can hunt in complete darkness? True or False & Prove It?

False. My carpet has no python.

6. Big Bertha was the nickname given to German zeppelins? True or False & Prove It?
Not Big Bertha

False. Big Bertha was my great-aunt. I am named after her. My true name is Bertha and I’m pretty sure I can prove it. Pretty sure.

7. In the 17th century, Wall Street was located on the border of a Dutch colony?  True or False & Prove It?
Wall Street

False. Wall Street is the access road to the Chinese “Great Wall.” My GPS told me so and I always believe the GPS.

8. Yeast must be added to the grapes to obtain alcohol?  True or False & Prove It?

False. All you need are the feet of sexy young women. Many television shows depict this, so it must be true. Right?

9. Zeus is the male god behind Creation? True or False & Prove It?
The really big planet named Jupiter

False. It was Jupiter. He also made the planet Jupiter and was the original designer behind the ring of Saturn … and that dinky little car that was wildly overpriced. Jupiter should be ashamed.

10. For a long time, milk was a luxury? True or False & Prove It?

I loathe milk so it couldn’t possibly be a luxury. Yuck.


Melanie asked two additional questions.

A)  On Good Friday in 1930, the BBC reported, “There is no news.” Instead, they played piano music. True or False & Prove It?

True, but really it was an advertisement for the unrealized entertainment potential of radio. They hadn’t yet discovered advertising.

B)  There really was a Captain Morgan. He was a Welsh privateer (a legal pirate) who later became the lieutenant governor of Jamaica. True or False & Prove It?

The Captain never died. He is alive and well if a bit loopy. He has stayed drunk since the mid-1600s which might be a record if anyone is keeping them.


From Fandango:

1) “Truthiness” is the word Donald Trump coined to counter allegations that he’s a pathological liar. True or False & Prove It?

Nope. The only word he created was “covfefe.”

2) “Papa Doc” was the nickname given to Ernest Hemingway when he removed a harpoon from the fin of a great white whale. True or False & Prove It? 

Papa Doc was not a doctor and he definitely wasn’t Ernie. Papa Doc was more of a mass murderer. During his time in “office” (he was the father of “Baby” Doc), the largest export from Haiti were corpses. He liked killing people.

Seriously. Corpses.

Now, about my questions:


1)   What kind of dog do you call this? Please provide paperwork.

2)  Is there any such thing as climate change? Prove it.

You are more than welcome to use these questions and add to them. Just please, remember to not tell the truth. It would only confuse the public.