Do you prefer a bath or shower?

These days, I’d go with a shower because I can get into the bathtub, but I’d need the jaws of life to extract me from it. Going down, gravity is on my side, but up? The Universe is against me … so I’ll stay on my feet, thank you very much.

But, if it’s available, can I please have the bathroom in this picture? I copied it from Cee’s site because I’m in love. I could live there full-time. Maybe add a bookcase, a small laptop. I’d never come out. That is a bathroom to die for.

If you had an unlimited shopping spree at only one store, which one would you choose? Why?

Amazon. They have everything. You can buy a house and a car and everything else on Amazon … and have two-day delivery too.

If you could be one age for the rest of your life, what age would that be?

I think I’d be me about ten years ago. When I was thin, but not emaciated. Before cancer and heart disease, but old enough to have a real brain in my head.

Marilyn - at Loch Gill

I’ve gotten smarter with age, even if I can’t remember anything. Maybe that’s why I’m smarter.

List at least five movies that cheer you up.

  • Murphy’s Romance (James Garner, Sally Field)
  • Casablanca
  • A Mighty Wind
  • My Favorite Year (Richard Benjamin, director (and it’s really about Mel Brooks and Errol Flynn) … and when I wrote Woody Allen, I was thinking of Radio Days, which I forgot to include and which Woody directed)
  • Tombstone (Righteous violence … YES!)
  • Rustler’s Rhapsody
  • A Little Romance
  • The Wind and the Lion
  • History of the World, Part I
  • The Americanization of Emily

There are so many more I could add. Really, anything that makes me laugh will cheer me up. Above and beyond, any movie with good performances and a well written script will make me happy. As long as it isn’t too “noir.”


From one year ago … and just as true now as it was then!


I must have been brought up wrong. I was misled. I believed working hard and doing my best was the key to success. For decades, it was true. Then the world changed — and I learned otherwise.

Many (most?) companies no longer tolerate excellence, much less encourage it. Excellence upsets the balance of office relationships. It makes less talented workers uneasy. They take your excellence as a personal affront. It makes bosses nervous, too, because they are often less competent and knowledgeable than the people they supervise.


Out in the marketplace, it’s dog-eat-dog. To be a contender today, you should drink the company Kool-Aid. Fit in with the company culture. Be careful how well you do the job because excellence stands out, and that’s dangerous. People who stand out get laid off first (or never hired at all).

Don’t complain. Turn out volumes of work and keep your head down. Worry about quantity, not quality.

Smile. You’re sure to make it to the top.

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This is a challenge from PhoTrablogger. He created it to help us all find beauty in the ordinary things in our lives.  The challenge is find beauty in mundane things. Frame them beautifully. Upload the photographs. Send him a pingback by including the URL of his original post in your challenge post.

Robbie at twilight in the summer

Robbie at twilight in the summer

Late light on a summer afternoon

Late light on a summer afternoon


I want to go on record as saying that shooting pictures of black dogs in a low-light living room is hard. Especially when the dogs don’t coöperate. To be fair, even with full coöperation, they are always difficult to shoot … even in good light.

Two Scotties in antique colors

Bonnie & Gibbs

They have eyes. Sometimes I can’t find them, but I know they are in there.

Both Bonnie and Gibbs are scheduled for a proper grooming next week. In the meantime, these are two funky terriers. They do not smell quite as bad as they look, though Bonnie is definitely on the ripe side. I’ll try taking more pictures after their trip to the salon — later today.




The horror and shock I’m reading and hearing on social media about emails from Democratic National Headquarters are so hypocritical that they’re almost funny. Almost.

This is a dreadful election, maybe the worst in US history and we’ve had some pretty bad elections. That being said, I’m not shocked. No one who has been paying attention for the past forty or fifty years … or read any American history has a right to be surprised, much less shocked.

This is what our political system has always been. The major parties decide who their candidates will be and then do anything and everything to make sure it happens according to plan. It’s how the system works. It has not substantially changed since George Washington was selected (not elected) to be the first President of the United States.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil

is for good men to do nothing.

Edmund Burke

Everyone knows how political parties behave. And what they do. Both parties do the same stuff within their own parties and to the other party. Occasionally (Watergate springs to mind) — more often now with email, hackers, and social media — someone gets caught. Mostly, not. Frequently, this behavior is an open secret, so it never makes the news. It’s just “business as usual.”

Fast forward to 2016. Politics has reached a brutal pinnacle. We accepted this as a norm years ago and have participated in the system by choosing to abstain from involvement (“it’s somebody else’s problem”) or by actively encouraging it. Either way, no one has clean hands. No one is holding the moral high ground of righteous indignation.

Nonetheless, I see everyone acting like “OH MY GOD! Look at this bad behavior! We’ve never seen anything like this before.” Really? Have you been living under a rock?

This is part of the show, part of the game. If someone gets caught with his or her hand in the proverbial cookie jar, whoever didn’t get caught gets to play innocent victim. In my opinion, there is no such thing as an innocent politician. Probably not in any country and certainly not in this one.

Failing to acknowledge that all politicians are or have been part of the same system makes the system impossible to change. Bernie Sanders is no babe in the woods. Like everyone else, he has always known how the game is played. He has played it too.

I repeat for the record: This is how it has always been. We’ve tolerated and encouraged it. We’ve found it amusing. Justified it. Turned it into TV shows and movies. It’s been the favorite fodder of late night comedians as long as we’ve had late night comedians. It’s time for the next act of our national theater: Innocence Offended. We pretend this is something that “happened” while we weren’t looking and therefore, we (the people) are not responsible.

We are all responsible. This is our system. How ironic that one party has decided the antidote to ugly politics is even uglier politics.

We find comfort and sanctuary from the terrible truth by telling each other and ourselves we didn’t know. Which isn’t true. We all know. Knew.

You can’t right wrongs by perpetrating more and greater wrongs. Just because something is legal and constitutional does not make it a good idea — or right. Time to end the hypocrisy. Stop pretending. Accept responsibility for a system we all share.

Let’s take a pass on the moral indignation and deal with reality. Until we do, nothing can change.



I am currently binge-watching a show called “Outlander” on Starz. I’m late to the game on this one.  It is in its second season and has legions of loyal fans.


It takes place in the lush and magnificent Highlands of Scotland and the time period switches back and forth between 1945 and 1745. I am a huge time travel fan so this is a big draw for me. However the butterfly effect is totally ignored. No attention is paid to the fact that the main character would be changing the timeline right and left as she went through each day two hundred years in the past. This is not an intellectual or theoretical endeavor.

The story centers on a married, British WWII nurse who is sucked back in time to 1745 Scotland. She ends up married to and madly in love with (in that order), a young Scottish gentleman who has a price on his head by the British occupiers.


For me, the key to “Outlander’s” success is that it focuses narrowly on these two main characters – the nurse, Claire and her 1745 husband, Jamie. The subsidiary characters have few plot lines of their own. They are almost exclusively seen with and in relation to Claire and Jamie, which intensifies the viewers’ connection with them. They are both richly complex and appealing characters, played by extraordinarily talented and attractive actors. They are riveting to watch and their fascinating relationship changes and deepens as time goes by.

sexy cover

The show highlights period costumes and period customs. There is also plenty of romance, nudity and beautiful sex scenes. The writing is fantastic although the heavy dialects often make it hard to understand all of the dialogue. The balance is spot on between high drama and intimate moments; between politics (at all levels) and personal relationships; and between heavy, dark plot lines (including lots of sword fights) and humor and humanity.

On top of everything else, the theme song is permanently stuck in my head as well as my husband’s. The melody is a lyrical old Celtic tune and the lyrics used here are based on a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson. The song permeates the lush background music and adds atmosphere throughout the series.

I’m usually circumspect about what I recommend to other people on TV, especially when it requires an investment of 16 hours, just for the first season! However, the variety of people who have extolled this show to me makes me confident that it will appeal to a wide range of blog readers as well.


If you’ve already seen it, tell me what YOU think of it. If you watch it in the future, you’re in for a real treat.