We voted today and now what is left is holding our breath and hoping it will all work out. I also got to actually see my doctor. Mostly, we talked about why inhalers cost so much, how tired we are of COVID and how we have no choice but to deal with it, no matter how tedious it is. Some of us do not have a choice. Then we talked about pain — mine — and how as far as I know, there’s nothing I can do about it. Nothing at all. Pain management, but that’s difficult since opioids make me sick, so what I’m taking (Tramadol) is pretty much as good as it gets. Which isn’t, sadly, very good.

It was the old High School. Now, it’s the new Middle School.

I said: “Given how bad it is now, I dread to imagine how I’ll be in five years. And my luck being what it is, I’m probably going to live forever just to keep my chronic ailments from disappearing.” So he told me the story of the supposedly oldest woman in the world — 129. He doesn’t think she is quite that old, but admits she is definitely very old. She says her long life is God’s revenge because in all her life, she can only remember two happy days in her life.

Garry shooting autumn foliage

Two days out of 129 years? That’s pretty bad. I can remember a lot of happy days, even recently, though it gets difficult as the pain keeps getting worse and I wonder how I’m going to keep managing. He wants me to go to this very special pain clinic near Boston, even though it’s very inconvenient. Because, he says, they seem to work miracles even with people like me who have pretty much given up hope. I said “What the hell, I don’t have anything to lose as long as they don’t try to give me drugs I can’t take.” The worst it can do is nothing.

And now today’s questions, which are heavily overshadowed by the day that went before them.

A Guy Called Bloke” asked this one last Saturday on a random question post he wrote: “How many people in real life or on social media (including WordPress, which has become a rather social media site) do you consider good enough friends to help you ‘hide the dead body?”

I would say three or four, except they all live terribly far away. This probably makes burying the body difficult, but they are for the most part, really good at giving emotional support. This is almost as good as burying the body and to be fair, I don’t have any unburied bodies lingering around so I’m probably good.

Are You Ready To Order?   What Are You Having (craving) right now?

Something that will make me hurt less. This is one of those days when something — rheumatoid arthritis? fibromyalgia? regular arthritis? — is making absolutely everything hurt. Yet tomorrow, it may be much better. There is absolutely no figuring why I have these really bad days, though the fibromyalgia is probably the most likely candidate because of its vagueness and unreasonable lack of reasons for showing up at all. It isn’t connected to anything that happens in the “real world.” It just drops in and makes you feel like hell until one day it goes away. For a while.

How’s the weather in YOUR neck of the woods?

Our home in the fall

Beautiful. No, seriously. It’s sunny, chilly at night, warm by day. It’s fantastic weather. Of course, we need rain, but in the meantime the weather is delightful.

There has always been something. Before there was something, there was only nothing. Which do you think is more likely?

I don’t have the slightest idea. I have no concept of nothing, so I figure there was something, but different — whatever it was or wasn’t.


Share Your World 10-5-2020

How can it be the tenth month of the year? What happened? Oh, right. Everything happened. This was the year that was in every sense of the world.

Whatever became of “National Brotherhood Week?” It was a week and then it went away. I guess we just didn’t have sufficient support for it. Today it would be a national joke. Maybe it always was.


When was the last time you tried something new?  How did that go for you?

I am in the midst of learning Mexican food. Not “real” Mexican food because I live in Massachusetts and “real Mexican” would require at least a cookbook and we are weak on that. A quality Mexican (not Tex-Mex) restaurant — remember restaurants? — would be helpful too. It gives one a taste to work from. An oral idea, so to speak.

I used to cook a lot of Chinese, but I think I wore out the whole Chinese thing so now, it’s Mexican. At least the ingredients are easier to find. The joy of Burritos and Fajitas. Today, it’s fajitas. I should probably check and make sure I have all the ingredients. When what you make for dinner — and you don’t even like cooking — is your the most creative part of your day, something is missing in your life.

But the pizza last night was GREAT.

What’s the most sensible thing you’ve ever heard someone say?

Pray to Allah but tie your camel.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

Today I feel like about 742. I felt like a few hundred years younger yesterday, but who knows what tomorrow might bring?

Fun  CREEPY Halloween Question: Have you ever seen a ‘fresh’ corpse (aka dead body)?

Yes, but not voluntarily. Some homeless person froze to death in my parking lot when I lived in Lynn. It was not a joyful moment.



Sharing My World 9-28-2020

Where do you feel most at home? Please be more specific than “at home, doh” please. It could be a room in your home, a person, a location.

The left side of the reclining loveseat. It’s where I have all my “stuff” attached: battery chargers for my cameras, my computer, my computer backups, all the things into which everything else plugs. It’s where I sit where I write or process photographs … or write while Garry watches television (baseball I watch, football not so much).

Me and a camera, two matching Scottish terriers, and sunshine through the picture window.

It’s where I store the bills that need to be paid or other paperwork I need to address. If I put it into a drawer, I’ll forget it completely, so it has to be out. There are also both telephones — the  wi-fi phone that hardly works anymore and the cell phone which (mostly) works. A couple of cameras, a small pad so I can write up a grocery list. A container with all my CD cards in it. Antique Chinese porcelain bowls full of pens and my spare eyeglasses. A hat that says “Make America Intelligent Again” and a variety of paid bills that ought to be filed, were there anywhere to file them. This is my corner. I call it “home.”

Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car?  

If my spine agreed, which sadly it won’t, definitely, absolutely, a horse. Lacking that, I’ll just stay here on the loveseat, if that’s okay with you.

What song would you sing on “Karaoke Night” (if you were forced to do so)?  

I have spent my life avoiding Karaoke night. Fortunately, there aren’t any in this town and Garry isn’t a bar crawler anymore.

Which place — University or life experience — best prepares you for life?

Well it sure as hell wasn’t college! That prepared me to become an academic — which I didn’t become, though I wouldn’t have minded. But I don’t like teaching, so it probably wouldn’t have worked out well. I can teach, mind you and when I did it, I was pretty good. But there was no joy in it for me. It required too much concentration on people. I am much better at concentrating on facts. Concepts. Ideas. People are harder for me. I get tired of focusing on people. It’s how come I never was “a boss.” I didn’t have that “boss’em around” temperament.


Share Your World, HP 9-22-2020

Roger’s Magical, Mystical Questions 

Have you ever driven the wrong way on a one-way street? How did this come about?

Yes, but the no-entry sign was in Hebrew and I hadn’t learned to read it yet.

As a kid, did you ever decide to run away? Did you have a plan? Take a pet? Sandwiches?

I thought about running away, but it was pointless. Where would I go? I had no money and my family would just send me home because they didn’t “get it.” Children living in abusive homes rarely have a family that gets it.

My mother eventually got it, but by then, I was a teenager and I moved out of the house soon thereafter and never went back, except when my mother was dying of cancer.

You suddenly found you have a hidden talent for playing a musical instrument. What musical instrument do you hope that accompanies your talent? Any particular song?

I already play the piano and the guitar (badly). I would have liked to play the piano better. I played pretty well, but pretty well isn’t good enough, not in the classical music world.

Do you accessorize with jewelry? There was an opal necklace (cursed) and Slytherin’s locket (also cursed) in the Potter story. Have you had any heirloom jewelry passed down through the generations? Is it more ‘keepsake’ or do you wear it on occasion? (Hopefully, yours was not cursed?)

I inherited a lot of jewelry from my mother and I still have most of it. I don’t wear it much because it’s fancier than the way I dress. I’m kind of denim and sweatpants. My mother was more taffeta and everything matched. And fit perfectly because she made all her own clothing. Different generations. It is beautiful jewelry, but it’s not quite me.

Melanie’s Ordinary Muggle Questions:

What ingredients go into YOUR favorite salad?

Itty-bitty tomatoes, a few mixed greens, sliced cucumbers. Not very exciting. Oh, maybe some cooked, chilled asparagus, if it’s available and raw spinach can make a nice touch too. But I don’t like strange un-saladly things in there. If you have hard boiled eggs, make deviled eggs. If you have leftover chicken, make chicken salad or chicken soup. And I don’t like very crunchy stuff in salad, either. I like your basic green salad with tomatoes and cucumbers. Sorry to be so boring.

If you care to, share something that really irritates you.

Technical help where they understand nothing. I have more understanding of the technical material than they do. I can’t even explain the problem because they don’t understand what I’m talking about. it’s infuriating.

What are your favorite ‘lounging around the house’ items of clothing?  Now that a lot of people ‘lounge around the house’ waiting for the all clear in respect to Covid being shown the door, have those lounging items changed?

It depends on the day. Right now, it’s jeans, a long-sleeved shirt, and a denim jacket. Dangly Navajo earrings and a couple of rings. But there are slobby days (and cold days!) and then it’s all sweatpants and sweaters. If cold enough, maybe another sweater and a blanket, too. I wear a lot of long skirts and dresses in the summer because they are comfortable and cool.


Share Your World 9-7-2020

Roger’s Magical, Mystical Questions

What happened to cause you to discover ‘bullies” were real?

My father was the ultimate bully and then there were the mean girls at school and the odd boy bully along the way. After my father, though, the rest were a piece of cake. When you were scared to death as a baby, the rest are easy pickings.

Eavesdropping- When given the chance, how often do you eavesdrop?   (this may be a similar question to what some folks said they’d do with an invisibility cloak)

I don’t eavesdrop. Also, as a side note, I really wish people would stop shouting into their cellphones in public places. I wonder if they realize how much private information they are exposing by doing that.

Escalators, at one time, were the ‘next big thing’. When was the last time you rode an escalator?

Logan Airport, January 2016. I don’t think there are any escalators in this part of Massachusetts, We don’t have big malls on multi-levels in Worcester County. They have never been popular around outside Boston. They were more popular in New York but New York is a very vertical landscape.

Have you ever ‘let’ someone win in a sports competition or a board game? How did it turn out?   

My granddaughter was three. It was Candyland. We saved the “teaching experience” for later years.

Melanie’s Muggle Questions:

Do our fears start with our DNA?  (Credit to Rory)

Some do, some don’t. Fear of falling for example, is built into babies and many other infant creatures, including snakes. Fear of unfamiliar people and being surprised are all DNA.

If you could have your hair any colour for 24 hours, what colour would you choose?  (Credit to Sandmanjazz) 

I like my hair white. I wish is would stay whiter, but there’s a lot of iron in our water, so it turns it a bit brassy yellow as it grows out.

When do you think a person gets old?  (Credit to Rory)

When they lose their jobs and get Social Security. Also, realizing there is such a thing as a “senior discount.” I’m ready for any discount at any age. I think there should be many many more senior discounts on everything.


Share Your World – With A Twist 8-11-2020

The Harry Potter – Part 1

I’ve read all the books AND seen all the movies … but honestly I don’t remember what thing was in which book or movie. There have been many books since Harry Potter came out, so essentially, they’ve formed a collective “lump” of Harry Potterish data. If I don’t get any answers correct, blame those other intervening books which have distracted me from the Harry and the gang.

Share Your World Meets Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Because of the state-wide quarantines many of the local SPCA’s are having an influx of animals. You have decided that you would love to have a new pet. Would you go the normal wizardry route and pick an owl, a cat, or a toad? Or would you become a more eccentric wizard (like Hagrid, the games keeper) and seek out a three-headed dog, a dragon, or a unicorn? Please explain your answer.

Capturing the unicorn

Unicorn, absolutely. Preferably one in full color with a lot of magic!

Neville Longbottom was gifted a Remembrall. This was a glass ball that would assist you in maintaining memories of things that you often forget. What would you want your Remembrall to help you remember?

I would like it to remind me why I went into the kitchen and what I intended to do while I was there.

Professor Dumbledore gave Harry Potter an invisibility cloak that Dumbledore said was from Harry’s father. Now, you have inherited a cloak with similar powers. Would you use it? When?

Probably not. At our age, we are invisible anyway.

While cleaning your attic, you have discovered the Mirror of Erised. (“Erised” is “desire” spelled backwards, as if reflected in a mirror) The Mirror of Erised is a magical mirror, which, according to Professor Dumbledore, when you gaze into it, it shows the “deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts.” You have chosen to look in the mirror. What do you see?

Something that will make my arthritis better so I can do things … like walk! I’m long past the desperate desire stage of life. I just want enough money to maintain the house and to NOT be in pain. And may I please extend that to all my friends and loved ones!

Moving on to the more “normal” (whatever that means) world sharing section, from the inimitable Melanie.

Welcome to Share Your World – Part 2

Would You Rather Live 120 Years That Are Comfortable But Boring, Or Live Half As Long, But Have An Exciting Adventure Packed Life?

I’ve already done exciting. Now I’d like some peaceful. And I don’t see why it has to be one or the other. You can do both and I think most of us do.

What’s Something That Overwhelms You?

The incredible stupidity of my fellow citizens.

What Do or DID You Take For Granted?

That we couldn’t be stupid enough to actually elect Trump. Having elected him, actually worrying that he might get re-elected? If we as a nation so extraordinarily stupid, we probably deserve this moron.

Please feel free to share some gratitude moments or thoughts you’ve had recently.  This section is entirely optional.

The orange Cardinal came back and let me take his picture. It doesn’t sound like much, but these days? That’S a big deal. Life is not what it used to be.



World Sharing in early August and where is the contractor?

i suppose no one should be surprised when a contractor fails to show up to give an estimate. Even if you hire them, there’s never a guarantee they will show up for work, or if they start the work, that they will finish it. Or, if they make a mess of it, will come back and fix it. Dealing with contractors is a crap shoot and I’m pretty sure that this is internationally true. What is rare is when you get one who is dependable, bills you something similar to the estimate, and does good work. It’s still a disappointment. You wait and finally, you realize he isn’t coming. Or at least, not today.

So here are this week’s questions:

What will finally break the Internet?  Do you believe it can be broken at all?

I don’t think you can break the internet. It’s not a thing. No cord. You can’t snip it or shatter it. You can make it difficult to access or make the signal you need to get to it unavailable — or so expensive people give up. You can simply stop broadcasting the signal — like they do in North Korea. But break it? I don’t see how.

What are some ‘red flags’ to watch out for in daily life?

Trying to do business with a company that has been in business for fewer than at least five years. Especially mortgage companies who have a very flighty record. I got a whole workup for a mortgage for which I never applied. I got a list of places I could apply to and I specifically did NOT choose this one, but they don’t seem to care. I also got a tee shirt from the Audubon Society that I never ordered. Go figure.

What’s the silliest thing someone has argued with you about?

Nothing. I’ve had arguments about absolutely nothing. Alcohol might have been involved.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve found lying on the ground / side of the road?

That should be an easy question, but honestly, I can’t think of anything I’ve found on the side of the road that I didn’t drop myself and had to go back to retrieve.


We are waiting on the appraiser to finalize this refinance which is pretty much set to go, minus the appraisal — which i think went pretty well. It takes about a week for an appraisal to come through and it’s just been three days, so I’m in waiting mode. It’s the pits. I’ve got contractors who want to start working and until the refinance comes through — or doesn’t — I’m just hanging on a hook and swinging with the wind. It is my least favorite activity.  At least we’re paid through August for the boiler, so at least THAT can start on time. But if I lose the contractor for the backside of the house, he won’t be available for another couple of months.

So that’s where WE are. Waiting for the other shoe to drop — or not. I think it will. I have a good feeling about this, but a good feeling isn’t the same as money in hand.

Meanwhile, temperatures are up around 100 degrees with humidity to match, at least through tomorrow. After which it will drop into the 90s or maybe high 80s. This is the time of year when it usually is the hottest and most humid. A good time — in any other year — to vacation near the ocean. Get those cooling ocean breezes! Even the birds don’t want to come out. It’s too darn HOT.


Are you a clean or messy person?

I am painfully neat, but I was a very messy child. Proving that you actually CAN grow out of childhood habits. The dogs and the rest of the family are not nearly as neat as I am. So I try not to leap out of me seat every time something is out of place.

If I asked you to describe yourself in five words – what would they be?

I think I’m too old for five words. But writer would be one of them.

Do you enjoy being out in nature?

It depends on the temperature and the bugs. I am happier on cooler days, very unhappy on days like today which are extremely humid and very hot and full of mosquitoes and flying jaws. I have to admit, though.

The Blackstone Canal

My tolerance for things like outdoor toilets has diminished. I like comfortable beds, good wi-fi, and fresh coffee. I camped when i was younger but these days? I want my bed!

What could you spend all day talking about?

Anything, pretty much. I can talk the hind legs off a donkey when i’m in the right mood. But if I’m NOT in the right mood, i find myself trying to remember how to talk. I love talking about history, politics, and the last book I really loved. Climate change. Our appalling government. Science fiction. Bring up the right subject and I’m on it.

As for gratitude: I’m holding my breath for this refinance. I also have a plan B if it doesn’t work out, but I need things to move a little faster, please! I hope by the autumn I’ll be able to actually go out without worrying that the next person I meet might infect me! That would be a big piece of gratitude.


Share Your World 7-21-2020

Life is getting weirder and weirder. it is so weird that I’m at a loss to even describe it.  In all of my bizarre imaginings, I never imagined this life we are living and apparently will continue to live for the foreseeable future. Seeing friends this week, we all realized that this could REALLY be the new normal for us. All of us. We are retired, so it’s not that different from day to day … yet somehow, it is different and I’m not entirely sure how. Just … different.

Where do you not mind waiting?

At this point, I simply don’t mind waiting … except maybe for traffic jams when rubberneckers are the reason for the tie-up. And even that isn’t so bad. We just turn up Sirius and sing along. If I’ve learned nothing else, it’s that you can’t hurry traffic. Yelling at them doesn’t make them move any faster.

What is in your fridge right now?  

Honestly, I’m not sure. Half-and-half, ginger ale, sports drinks (because it is REALLY hot). Some incredible desserts we brought back from Connecticut. Yogurt. Salad makings. Many small containers with biologic experiments within. I’m afraid to look.Two peppers i really need to use tomorrow. That reminds me — I have to defrost something for tomorrow. I’ll be right back.

Okay, so tomorrow is boneless chicken thighs and something else.

If you could speak only one word today, what would it be?

I don’t think there IS one word. You’d have to ask me something. I can’t decide to answer anything that occurs with one word. And in the middle of a refinance, it would probably be a really bad idea anyway.

Would you rather be trapped in an elevator full of men with BO — OR — be locked in that same elevator with three wet dogs? 

I probably wouldn’t even notice the dogs. My whole house smells like dog. We are very doggish.

Back when we had three dogs … just three months ago!

Please feel free to share something good about last week.  

We seem to be getting a really good mortgage with money out to get the boiler repaired AND fix the back door and maybe something else. Amazing because the banks wouldn’t give us a $7,000 zero percent mortgage. I really don’t get it.


Share Your World 7-8-2020


In your opinion, what’s the closest thing to real magic?

Software. I know how it is written. I have written some myself. Nothing fancy, but enough to get a grip on how it is done. I have worked with databases (a lot) and designed databases.

But why does it work? Why do written words tell a machine to do anything? I’m not arguing about it’s functionality. Obviously it works and we get all kinds of aggravated when it doesn’t. But why on earth should a series of written commands make my computer function?

If it isn’t magic, it’s pretty close to it!

Where is the worst smelling place you’ve been?

The New York City subway. I grew up in New York and over all, many parts of New York are pretty stinky. By the time I was back on a subway, it had been more than 30 years since I’d ridden one.

It was overwhelming. Between the noise (people were talking on cell phones — how could they hear ANYTHING?), the crowding (body to body), and the stench … well … I’d forgotten how evil it was.

What are some things that you’ve heard in your own life, which sounded like compliments but were actually insults?

For a fat girl, you dress really well.

What incredibly common thing have you never done?

Rode on a Boston subway (the “T”). I took buses occasionally, we drove when we could — and mostly, we walked for miles rather than take public transport. We lived in the middle of town, so most places were within a mile or two at the most. Besides, with alternate side of the street parking and two cars, it was safer to grab a cab than ones own car.

Please feel free to share some gratitude that you experienced during the past week! 

They are now publishing a county-by-county index of COVID cases. Our area of Worcester county is running very low,levels – about 2.5 cases per 100,.000 people. I’m not even sure we have 100,000 people in Worcester county. If we are careful, we may just come out of this alive.

A LITTLE WORLD-SHARING – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World 6-29-2020


Must we have evidence to know the truth?

I do. How about you?

How much control does a person have over their life?

As much as fate allows. Depending on how rough your road happens to be. It depends on whether or not you have talents that are useful in the game of life. It doesn’t hurt to suffer an excess of good health, either.

What is gravity and how does it work?

Gravity is what happens to your body parts while you age. You see, the ground pulls at you all the time. This is to keep you from flying off into space. But it pulls at everything else too. Breasts, butt, jowls, arms and more love the earth and want to move there. We buy things devices to prop them up or we go to surgeons to revive them, but I think I’m in favor of lying on the ground and not moving until someone makes me.

Can a person be happy if they have never experienced sadness?  How about vice versa?Don’t be silly. We know when we are happy and we know when we are sad. Even newborn babies know this and they have no experience at all.


Share Your World – 6-23-2020


Have you ever ‘dined and dashed” (i.e. eaten the meal and then run out the restaurant door without paying)?

No. Who does that?

Have you ever been in a car accident and either left the scene of the accident (providing it was a fender bender and not serious) or denied culpability for causing it when you did, (if it were minor or serious)?

No but I’ve been the recipient of that behavior not once, but at least half a dozen times. It isn’t okay, kids. Really, it isn’t.

(Oldie which has been asked many times before)   Have you ever found a wallet or purse or some money (over $20) in the street and just taken it, thinking ‘finders keepers, losers weepers?   Or would you be ‘good’ and hand it in?  

No. I once found a twenty on the street and gave it to a homeless guy.

What was the last thing you stole or shoplifted?   If you never ever considered doing that, tell us your secret! 

I think I was a young teenager. I took a  pair of undies, then I went and put them back. I’m not built for the criminal life. 🙂

I’m glad I’m not supposed to act happy or appreciative. I’m kind of miserable and don’t think I could come up with an answer.