GERANIUMS WILL GROW ANYWHERE – Marilyn Armstrong

FLOWERS OF THE DAY – HANGING GERANIUMS

I was wondering how well the geraniums would do on our deck since we don’t have a lot of sunshine. Answer? Fine, thank you. I grew geraniums like this in Israel in full and incredibly hot sun … and they will also grow here, in dappled shade.

I guess you can grow these pretty much anywhere. I haven’t tried growing them inside and I suspect that probably wouldn’t work out. But you never know.

The whole plant on one of our sunny days
Macro time!
Not the favorite flower for bees. They prefer the begonia and the wildflowers in the front garden.

INHERIT THE WIND AND THE SCOPES TRIAL – Marilyn Armstrong

INHERIT THE WIND AND THE SCOPES TRIAL

Because the words spoken by Spencer Tracy in his summary to the jury are truer now than ever before, it’s a good time to remember “Inherit the Wind” and the Scopes Trial during which the future went on trial.

When the jury was polled, the future lost.


scopes trial image 2The Scopes Trial, officially The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes and typically referred to as the Scopes Monkey Trial, was a famous trial in  1925. In it, a substitute high school teacher — John Scopes — was accused of violating Tennessee’s Butler Act, which made it unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school.

The trial was deliberately staged in the town of Dayton, Tennessee to attract publicity. Scopes was unsure whether he actually had taught evolution, but he purposely incriminated himself so the case would have a defendant.

William Jennings Bryan argued for the prosecution, Clarence Darrow for Scopes and the defense. The trial publicized the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy. This pitted Modernists — who believed evolution and religion were reconcilable — against Fundamentalists, who believed the word of God (as revealed in the Bible) was the encapsulation of all human knowledge.

scopes trial image 1

Scopes was found guilty and fined $100, though the verdict was overturned on a technicality. Despite all the publicity and hoopla, the issue was never truly settled and remains a political, religious and emotional issue today, which doesn’t say much about our ability to advance our society.


Fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy, and needs feeding.

It’s a great line from a great film based on an historic trial that settled nothing and left the controversy between science and creationism alive and well, as much of a political hot potato today as it was 100 years ago.


Inherit the Wind (1960), was directed by Stanley Kramer. Much of the script was taken from the actual transcripts of the 1925 trial. With a few minor changes of name, fundamentalism has morphed into creationism. We are stuck in the same conflict today.

PACKED? CHECK. CAR GASSED UP? CHECK. READY, SET, GO! (CHECK) – Marilyn Armstrong

All checked off and ready to go …

So why aren’t we gone yet? Because I need some coffee first. I don’t go anywhere without the coffee. It’s a thing.

We’ll be away for a few days. The dogs will be here and Owen will be keeping the place running well.  It’s not going to be much of a vacation year with all the stuff going on, so this is probably as close as we are going to get.

Just a few days with Tom and Ellin, then home again.

Heron in the water of the Blackstone canal …

Meanwhile, please do not get upset if I miss a few comments or fail to post. It is going to be an exceptionally busy summer, so this is about all the time off we’ll get.

I have new posts scheduled. Moreover, I’m sure I’ll find something to say, one way or the other. I always seem to find a few words lurking in the atmosphere.

Have a fine few days and I’ll see you all on the weekend.

CEE’S FUN PHOTO CHALLENGE – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Horizontal Line(s)

Horizontal dock from the muddy edge of the river.
Light snow on the deck
Red lights and horizontal lines
Horizontal wires

REPELLING THE BRIDGE – Marilyn Armstrong

SURVIVING JONES INLET IN A VERY SMALL SAILBOAT

Gwaihir, my 16-foot Soling was a doughty sloop. Built of fiberglass, aluminum and a bit of teak for deck, rails, and hatch, she lived in my basement through the off-season. I lovingly painted her hull and lavished layers of varnish on her brightwork.

I co-owned the little boat with a moody guy who lived on a shallow canal on the south shore. A Soling is easily launched from a trailer, but it was convenient to keep her in the water. If the tide was with us we could sail. Sometimes, even with the centerboard up, with a draft of just 16 inches, there wasn’t enough water at low tide to go anywhere without getting stuck. So we waited for the tide to turn.

My husband had grown up on the water, had his own sailboat from childhood. He was completely unafraid of the ocean. Bad weather, good weather, it didn’t matter. He loved sailing.

A drawbridge spanned Sloop Channel under which you had to sail to get to the Atlantic Ocean. Our little boat was just a bit too tall to go under the bridge if it were closed, but to get the bridge opened, you had to make an appointment and you had better be on time. If you were in a sailboat and hadn’t lowered your mast, you could not sail under the bridge. You had to lower your mainsail and use your outboard motor. Our little boat’s mast was just 27 feet, but it was a foot and a half too high.

There are strong tides in Sloop Channel. It can be hard to navigate, especially under sail. Moreover, a 16-foot centerboard sailboat is not ocean-worthy. Maybe if the ocean is flat, it might be “doable,” but it would never be a good idea. Each time my husband insisted we sail out to the ocean, I spent the voyage with my heart pounding hoping we didn’t become a statistic, a cautionary tale of poor judgment on the sea.

Did I mention that my son,  a toddler, was with us? Did that deter my husband, his father? It did not. His father had sailed the family boat through the eye of Hurricane Carol with him and his sister aboard. He was not about to be deterred. By anything.

This day, we planned to drop the main and use the outboard to power us under the drawbridge. We hadn’t made an appointment, so the bridge wasn’t going up. Too bad. That was my favorite moment when they stopped traffic in two directions so our little sailboat could pass beneath.

This day was beautiful with a brisk following breeze. The tide with us. We skimmed smartly over the water towards the bridge.

“Uh, Jeff? Shouldn’t we drop the mainsail? The bridge is coming up awfully fast … really … look … it’s right there.”

By the time the words were out of my mouth, Jeffrey bellowed the immortal words every sailor wants to hear: “PREPARE TO REPEL BRIDGE!”

The bridge was on us. I was at the front fending off the bridge with a fiberglass boat hook, while our captain tried to start the outboard and simultaneously drop the mast before it snapped.

Sunrise Rockport

Fortunately, he dropped the main first and started the engine next. We got a little banged up, hitting the cement pylons as we bounced under the bridge. No problem. We still had a mast.

Eventually, the engine came to life and we had power, sort of.

I had successfully repelled the bridge. On this day, the ocean held no terror. I had fended off a bridge. I had no more adrenaline with which to be afraid. It was just another sunny day on the Atlantic Ocean.

JUNE IS SQUARE – ROOF 20 – Marilyn Armstrong

It’s that time of year again and squares are back! 

Serenity — The ship in the marina

Well, the theme is ROOFS (or rooves if you prefer). Your roof can be;

A – Any type, any condition, any size, and in any location.
B – It could be a shot across rooftops, of one roof like today or even a macro
C – You might prefer to spend some time under the eaves and in the attic, or enjoy the view from above as Brian has already done today.


See you tomorrow!

PHOTO CHALLENGE – Marilyn Armstrong

Photo Challenge for the insufficiently challenged – Organized

Organized dishes 
Organized (but so heavy I’ve stopped using them!) chili bowls