ANOTHER CRAZY DAY – Marilyn Armstrong

Another day at the doctor tomorrow — and I have a ton of paperwork to deal with. Of course, I could skip all the paperwork and just stay with the same healthcare company, but I really should switch.

It’s just too much. Can I retire? Oh, wait. I’m already retired. Can I REALLY retire this time?

Taking an hour for some pictures!

It’s still beautiful, but it is raining. It’s not a huge storm, but it will bring most of the leaves down. They were falling like a brilliantly colored snowstorm yesterday and a day of rain will make a lot of trees rather naked. Not completely, but more than today.

it’s just going to be one of those weeks and I’m sorry. I can’t seem to stop running. I need better running shoes. I need better running FEET.

AHOY AND AHEAD – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Ahead

We got a notice from our BOA branch, which is right next door to our grocery store that they are closing the bank. This is a total pain in the butt and basically means, unless we can bank in Rhode Island while living in Massachusetts (not always easy or even possible), that we should change banks.

You cannot begin to imagine how much I don’t want to change banks. It isn’t that I have some fierce loyalty to BOA. I don’t. They’ve never done me a favor and basically, I don’t like them. But they are very convenient — or until now, have been very convenient. And I have ALL my payments lined up with them so I have very little to do on a monthly basis. Which is good because I’m not a great money-tender.

There are other banks in town, but not many and I’m more than a little dubious about them. The rest are all at least 15 to 20 miles away … or more. So we are off to the bank to try and see what we can work out. IF we can bank in the nearest town with a full-service bank (North Slaterville, RI) and keep the rest of the arrangement, I’m okay with that. If not, we have to start setting up at another — probably equally inconvenient bank — then move all of our electronic deposits to the new bank, get new cars, set up all those payments again. Not a thrilling prospect.

JUST when you think you’ve simplified your life, it comes around again. So first, we’ll go in, make a deposit (it’s cash — I do NOT do cash in an ATM!), talk to the manager (who’s main favor to us was giving me a fabulous recipe for making homemade (cheap and delicious) humous.

Then, to the dam in the middle of town and maybe up to River Bend for some pictures before this glorious Autumn ends, It’s at peak now, so it’ll just be a few more days before it starts downhill to November, which is its own sort of Autumn — the bronze age, as it were — and finally, real winter by the middle of December — if it doesn’t snow first.

So once again, it’s another one of those weeks. Doctor appointments (two of them, both mine) and the “gutter repair” people (tomorrow — they are having a sale and maybe, just maybe, we can get ONE more thing done before the snow flies. Which could literally be any day now. We have had pretty heavy snowfall as early as September. Last year, it didn’t show up until my birthday in March, but after that, we were in it to our asses until May!

I’ll do the best I can to be here, but I can’t believe I’m supposed to be retired.

I am moving ahead. Ahoy there world — this elderly lady is dashing around trying to keep her life, such as it is, on track.

I have to point out to the bank and Garry and I are 149 years old. We deserve a break!

BEFORE THE WINDS BLOW THE CREATURES MUST EAT – Marilyn Armstrong

There’s a story to go with these pictures. It’s one of my “Is my mind really going? Should I be taking something or stop taking something?”

I got lucky. I had the camera, I got a nearly perfect focus on the birds, the squirrel and then the chipmunk showed up too. It was the last golden leaves of Autumn. I took more than 100 pictures which I rarely do in the house.

This was a really busy day. I was running up and down to see how the contractor was doing and all three dogs were barking like mad.

And a Downy Woodpecker

Owen was coming in and out, bringing his stuff back. And my stairlift goes down ONE flight. I have to haul ass on the other stairs … and I’m off my pain meds because my body needs a break or at least, it sure feels like a break.

Looking for a few seeds?
Oh, look! I found a few seeds!

In the middle of this, there were all these creatures on the deck and I had a camera. They were incredibly cute and for once, I got the focus just about perfect — most of the time, anyway.

The Tufted Titmouse wants some food, too …
It’s all about the seeds. Really.

I thought about putting this post up later in the week, but it seemed so “now-ish” what with the storm coming and all the leaves coming down tonight.

Here is the story.

I took all these pictures and I did what I do … more to the point, I did what I thought I always do. I took the chip out of the camera and stuck it in the card reader in my computer. Then I watered all the plants (I’ve been intending to do it for a week), moved some money so I could pay the contractor, realized I’d run out of checks, realized I still had checks from when I first opened this account but I had to find them. (I did.)

I swear this squirrel was attached to the feeder from first thing in the morning until after dark. He NEVER stopped eating.

Somewhere in this process, I lost track of the chip with the pictures. I looked through every chip I own. I checked to make sure I really did take the chip out of the big Olympus.

Finally, my last hope, I looked in my mini Leica — which is the one I used to take pictures of the doors and the contractor — and there was the chip. Apparently, I pulled the chip out of the reader and stuck it in the other camera. I have no memory of doing it, but obviously, I did.

I keep saying miracles happen. I consider this to be one of them.

HOME FOLIAGE AT AUTUMN’S PEAK – Marilyn Armstrong

Foliage At Home – October 15, 2019

Today was another lovely day. Did get to go anywhere and half the time I was intending to spend taking pictures, I spent cutting down wild grape vine. That stuff is STRONG! It’s like the heavy rope you use on boats. Fortunately, it snaps when you double it up, so you can get it pulled off. It was trying to choke our Japanese Maple tree and I couldn’t have that!

Sassafras in Autumn
Woods by the road
Autumn at home
Vines on the wires
Aldrich Street

 

IT’S ALWAYS SOMETHING – Marilyn Armstrong

I was definitely feeling better.

For one thing, I noticed the house needed cleaning which I hadn’t noticed at all for the previous six weeks.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

There are more birds every day at the feeders and this morning, there was a big gray squirrel swinging from the wires. It appears that most of the birds have come back. I even saw a little Goldfinch the other day.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

I think I missed Autumn. To be fair so did everyone else. I was thinking “Okay, but maybe I can finally get out of the house and do something.” I’ve been stuck in the house feeling really crappy for weeks and it seemed like a couple of days more and I’d be almost normal again.

That’s when Garry broke a tooth. I think it’s in his upper jaw and the doctor concurs. Talk about a lot of pain. I broke that tooth about 15 years ago and it was really bad. I ended a vacation to come home and go to the dentist.

During the two days ago from when I was beginning to feel better and Garry broke his tooth, he seems to have developed infections in one ear and a lymph gland infection too. He’s on the biggest dose of Augmentin I’ve ever seen as well as muscle relaxants, plus some impressive pain killers. Not surprisingly, he’s also sound asleep.

It’s cold today.

I don’t mean a little chilly. It’s a two-sweater kind of cold. Maybe it’s the dampness because it’s also raining. It was this cold last week, but it didn’t feel this nasty.

I finally gave in and turned up the heat to 67 (from 65). My bones were rebelling.

I feel more than a little put upon. I can’t get well from one illness before the next thing wallops Garry? Is this some kind of competition? It ain’t fair!

Meanwhile, Autumn has gone missing. There are yellow leaves, but no reds or orange. We’ve lost that delicious fall weather with a bit of cool snap in the air, the crunching of leaves underfoot — as well as the color. If ONE season had to go missing, why did it have to be the one I like most?

On the street where we live.

I did discover that hemp seed oil makes Bonnie stop barking without putting her into a stupor, so that’s good. In fact, she likes hemp seed oil so much, I could give her the whole bottle and she’d lick her lips and ask for more. I think the other two dogs are getting jealous.

And so it goes. The doctor today and the dentist tomorrow. Are we having fun yet?

Still water and the rush of the dam

Nonetheless, hope remains alive. We have one bright red leaf on our maple tree out front. A single scarlet leaf. It’s a promise that no matter how miserable it is now, it will get better. That red leaf is a promise of more and better to come.

These photographs are here to remind us of Autumns we used to have, back in those golden olden days.

JUST A FEW MORE IMPRESSIONIST BIRDS – Marilyn Armstrong

There were new birds including some I don’t think I recognize. Except that the moment I picked up the camera, they vanished. Just like last year. I played peekaboo with a Cardinal and then there was a big gray and white bird … NO idea what he or she was.

Also, a variety of woodpeckers, which seem to be the only birds that hang around the feeder long enough for me to get a picture. There are always a few Tufted Titmice dashing up to the feeder, grabbing a seed and flying up to the branch of the nearest tree plus the odd Chickadee. Except I didn’t get any shots of them, either.

If I could convince my aching body to crawl out of bed earlier, there are hordes of birds in the morning. They line the fence and the limb of the tree that overhangs the deck. Pity I can’t seem to get any of their pictures.

I guess you’ll just have to (ahem!) … TRUST ME.

NOTE: I never trust anyway who says “trust me.” I figure if I need him/her to tell me, I’m already talking to the wrong person. Especially when that person is a contractor.

HOW MANY MAGNANIMOUSES MAKE UP A CONFUSION? – Marilyn Armstrong

Magnanimous but Confused

It is a beautiful day. Cool, comfortable, with a shining sun and no rain predicted. It doesn’t mean it won’t rain. It just means it’s less likely to rain than if they had predicted rain and anyway, it’s less like to rain as hard as it might if they had assured us by email and television that rain was coming.

Nuthatch

Basically, rain is always coming. The only issue is when it is coming and how hard it’s coming and how muddy the dogs will get.

Hairy Woodpecker

The birds really love the rain. Or maybe they don’t like hunting for food in the rain, so they love our feeders in the rain? Last night, by the time we got home, it was nearly dark, but there must have been a dozen birds squabbling over who should get the best seed.

Chickadee

I pointed out to them that the seeds were essentially all the same because they all came from the same big bag of black sunflower seeds mixed with shell and hull free food. I’m still trying really hard to find ways to have birds and not have as big a mess to clean up.

There were maybe two dozen birds all in a flying battle for seeds this morning. I still don’t recognize one of them. I think it’s a female and it’s mostly beige and brown with nothing particularly obvious in its design. The Hairy Woodpecker came back and as soon as he left, the Downy Woodpecker came by. There were half a dozen Nuthatches, something red (House Finch?) and a big Cardinal. He was there last night, too. And the usual woodpeckers.

Downy Woodpecker

I took pictures. I haven’t looked at them yet because I’ve been reading, commenting and drinking coffee, but they are up next. I haven’t quite gotten my sharp fix on the birdies yet. Need more practice.

Days like this leave me feeling magnanimous because it’s so lovely, but very confused since it’s really a confused mess. I decided to magnanimously enjoy the chaos. With a camera.

Nuthatch

That’s how I know I’m getting better. I can actually lift up my camera with the big lens on it! Oh yay!