This week, Melanie said: “This week, instead of gratitude/thankful for question(s), I’m asking romantic, squishy booby hug, possibly sappy and overly sugary QUESTIONS about love.”

I’m here to say at our age, don’t be silly. Holding hands, hugging, kissing … you know, the normal stuff … but the rest of that is for the “hot to trot” or “I’m in LOVE” crowd. Worse, we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day and never have. So we’ll just have to make do with the rest of the questions!

And finally, I’m not comfortable with these questions anyway. They just aren’t “me.”

Anniversary roses

What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend?

At home with good movies and each other … or with friends doing the same but as a foursome. Good weather helps!

Who do you admire most in the world?

In the world? I really have no idea. I admire a lot of writers and artists and athletes. Actors, directors, inventors. Who do I admire most? Honestly, I haven’t the slightest way to know that.

 What do you regret not doing?

Not much. Wish we’d gotten to Paris and Japan, but otherwise, it’s been a pretty good life. I regret not getting filthy rich, though given who I am, I can’t imagine how that could have happened. Some of us were not born to collect great wealth.

If you see a puddle on the ground, do you walk around it or over/in it?

If it’s little, I’ll step over it. If I can’t avoid it, I’ll tiptoe through it. Are there any other options?



Sharing Your World

I don’t mean to be difficult, but these seem awfully similar to ones I answered the other day. So if I sound repetitive, it’s because my opinion has not changed since a few days ago.


1 – Are you thin or thick-skinned?   Are you easily offended or tend to let it just roll off your back like a duck does with water?

If you are trying to offend me, you’ll have to go all racist on me and I will definitely be offended. Short of that, if you are a hard-ass Republican and want to build a wall to keep brown people from seeking asylum, I’ll probably get pretty hostile. Actually these days, Republicans, in general, give me a rash.

2 – How important are morals in a healthy society? What are the most important morals for citizens to have?  (Credit to Rory for this question)

I don’t think morals matter. I think doing the right thing is important. And I don’t think you need a religion, dogma, or a church to know right from wrong.

3 – What will your epitaph be?

Damned if I know.

4 – I don’t admire either/or questions much, which is why you won’t see ‘em often.  Today is an exception)  French toast, pancakes or waffles?

Whatever. As long as it’s real maple syrup on top.

5 – As for what I’m grateful for? 

It didn’t snow again.


It’s from Melanie, but she forgot so now it’s from Rory. Got that? Good.

Here we go!


1] What are your strengths and of your strengths – how have they helped you throughout your life?

I write well and I have a good eye. They got me a profession and a hobby which have seen me through life and have kept me entertained too.

2] What are your weaknesses and how have they or have they hindered your successes in any way and what have you done to overcome them to rue your day?

I have a temper and it’s a lot of work to control it. But as I get older, it’s not as difficult as it was, at least in part because I am not forced to spend nearly as much time with morons.

3] What makes people believe absurd conspiracy theories or alternatively are all conspiracy theories absurd? Use the answer which sits best with you.

I have no idea. I assume ignorance combined with stupidity. I don’t listen to these idiots and when they show up in my Facebook feed or comment on my blog, I bar them or ban them without half a second of thought.

The flat earth — according to Terry Pratchett

Anyone who believes the world is flat does not deserve a minute of my time. There’s enough crap going around without dealing with those idiots too.

4] How important are morals in a healthy society? What are the most important morals for citizens to have?

We don’t need morals. We need to understand the difference between right and wrong. I think most people are born knowing.

I think it’s part of our human DNA to know right and wrong, good and evil. We don’t need a god, religion, or dogma. We need to do the right thing.



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!


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.

WORLD SHARING – Marilyn Armstrong

First, our tiny bit of news, then the rest.

One of the dogs ate Garry’s mouse. It was a Logitech mouse, not the furry kind. He or she didn’t totally destroy it … just enough so it stopped functioning.

A little bit of gnawing makes the USB go down.

I did warn him about putting his computer et al where any of our dogs can conveniently grab a small piece, but Garry never believes me until the item needs replacement. At least mouses are cheap. It could’ve been worse.

It was just the mouse,  not the computer. It’s not that our dogs are big chewers, but a dog with nothing to do? Well, that looks interesting. Let me put my jaws around it and see what happens. Since it didn’t squeak or try to run away, it got dropped for something more entertaining, but one chomp was enough.

Another has been ordered. Nothing can kill a Logitech mouse except too frequent dropping — and a dog with teeth.

And now for the rest of the story!

Questions This Week:

Did you have to help out with chores when you were growing up?  If so, what were you assigned to do?

Yes. Dishes, general house straightening — but first, foremost, and worst of all (and I hate it to this day) ironing. I really hated ironing. I only got good at it when I started collecting dolls and had to iron their tiny dresses. At least I knew what an iron is and how to use it.

Have you ever researched your family tree?   What do you know about your family’s roots? 

Slightly. I don’t have enough information to get very far.

What’s your cure for hiccups?

Holding my breath, then swallowing at the same time. It usually works.

What makes you roll your eyes every time you hear it?  Either figuratively or literally?

Grammar! FEWER, not LESS as follows: If you can count’em, it’s fewer. If you have to scoop it with a shovel, it’s less. There are always fewer people, not less.

There may be fewer GRAINS of sand, but less sand overall.

Share gratitude, a positive moment or experience from 2019 so far.

Birds. I really love my backyard birds.

Otherwise, it hasn’t been a great year. Trump’s government shutdown is going to delay tax refund checks … which I was counting on to help repair the house. And meanwhile, all those miserable people wondering how they are going to make the mortgage! Horrors.

I don’t think this counts as a positive moment, experience, or something for which anyone should feel gratitude. Sorry about that.


Share Your World 12-31-18

Writing this on the last day of the year to be published on the first of the new one, so it is the last and the first. May everyone’s New Year be full of joy, laughter, health, and hope!

For the parents in the crowd:  What would be the absolute worst name you might give your child? If you’re not a parent (I’m not), then what’s the worst name you could give your pet?

I really can’t think that way. Anything his father would have given him would have been the worst name. He was fond of obscure Celtic names that no one has used in at least 200 years. Owen was a compromise.

Final house finch — Red in front and yellow in back? Is he a cross?

I let Garry name the pets. It’s safer that way.

What mildly annoying curse might you wish you could curse annoying people with?

Mildly annoying? Why bother? If it’s not VERY annoying, it’s not worth your breath!

What’s the weirdest thing you did as a child?

I was such a weird child. I have no idea. I was just weird pretty much all the time.

Last birds of the year

Do you believe things happen for a reason or are random?

Things happen for a reason or randomly. Sometimes a little of both. I think we tend to make reasons for random events because we can’t bear that something so awful happened for no reason at all.

And finally, in the spirit of New Year’s:   What’s a resolution (if you make them, I don’t) you’re making for the New Year?   How confident are you in keeping it a reasonable amount of time?

I don’t do resolutions. If I was going to make one, it would be that I make it until the next one! I sincerely hope I make it.

SHARING MY WORLD – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your Merry World 12-10-18

What’s the worst topping you could put on popcorn?   (credit to Teresa for this one)

Anything other than salt and maybe butter. But I can’t eat it anymore. Too slivery for aging gums.

In what country did Silent Night originate?

I was sure it was Germany, but am now told Austria. Go figure, right?

WARNING! The following question is NOT meant to start a fuss.  It’s merely a good discussion question in my opinion.  Most everyone knows where I stand on this. If you feel like arguing about it, please give it a pass.) We’re all adults and sensible ones at that.  We can be mature about such things, right?

How would you react if there was irrefutable proof that God doesn’t exist? How about if there was irrefutable proof that God does exist?

I wouldn’t believe it regardless. You can’t prove (or un-prove) faith. It’s an opinion, yay or nay. Unless God personally drops by and shows me his a photo ID, it’s faith.

What is the scariest non-banned item you could take on to a plane?

I haven’t the slightest idea. I’m not even sure what IS banned and I have no intention of traveling by plane.

Which version of the holiday celebration do you and your family enjoy?  By this I mean do you follow Jewish traditions with Hanukkah; Christian celebrations with Christmas and (for those over the pond) Boxing Day; or some other festivities that I’ve overlooked?   Please do share with everyone!  I truly feel that this sort of question lets us know a little more about our fellow bloggers without getting too personal (i.e. revealing too much of private lives, which some folks prefer to keep private.)

We just have a little tree. We watch old holiday movies. Garry loves Christmas Eve church, but it always gets held right at dinner time, so we never get there. Which is a pity, because regardless of religion, I love Christmas Carols and know a ton of them. I learned them for Glee Club in elementary school. That was before we weren’t allowed to learn anything with religious content. I didn’t even know the songs were Christian. I just thought they were pretty.

Actually, thinking about it, I know more religious music than most people because, as a music major, I spent years learning Gregorian chant and other early Western music. I’m sure I had my mother very worried.

If you study music, an awful lot of it is religious. Western music started as chanting and “grew up” in churches. When you study music, it’s a long time before you emerge from religious music to “modern” music … and a lot of our modern music is based on old church music too.

I don’t think anyone should be forced to follow anyone else’s religion, but I also think trying to remove all traces of religion from the world is silly. You can’t do it. Religion and religious thought are woven into the way we think. It’s organic. Nor do I think there’s any reason why you can’t believe in god or gods — and yet be a scientist or mathematician. I have never understood why one thing negates the other.

Not all of the things we believe are Judaic or Christian, either. There’s a lot of much older stuff woven into modern thought. There are many reminders of more ancient religions which are part of “modern” thinking.

Sorry for going on so long. This was what I studied in school. It began with music but moved into religious philosophy. I wrote papers about it. I still dream about it.

The near decade I spent in Israel was no coincidence. Despite what I may have said, my travels had nothing to do with how many times I read “Exodus” (the novel by Leon Uris, not the second book of the Torah).

I needed to be there. Because I needed to understand. Things.