PAULA’S PICK A WORD FOR JULY 2018 – Marilyn Armstrong

THURSDAY’S SPECIAL: PICK A WORD IN JULY – Y3

You are wrong if you think I forgot about July’s Pick a Word challenge. I’ve just been too busy to see the last week’s entries, but I will get to that soon. For now, here is the July’s mix for you:
canicular, splash, feathered, marine, scenic


And here are a few pictures to go with it. Canicular reminds me a song my mother used to sing “Canicule, Canicular.” The song never made sense to me and still doesn’t. But I think it was about a small railroad that went up a mountain. It was hard to tell.

My mother never remembered lyrics, so she’d sing the song’s title over and over, but never sing lyrics that made sense. I remember all the melodies and some very odd words.

Ogunquit shore
Canicular — If you don’t think this is narrow, try hauling a bag of groceries up past the lift chair!
I love the waves on the shore, but usually, my camera doesn’t like it nearly as much. Let’s hear it for water-resistant cameras!
Feathered 
Photo: Garry Armstrong – About as scenic as it gets!

HOLY MOLY ROSES! – Marilyn Armstrong

FLOWERS OF THE DAY – THE ROSES, OH THE ROSES!

When I went out and spent a day cutting the roses as far back as I could, I thought they might not grow this year. I was so wrong. Wow, I was very wrong.

The roses were a little late in getting started, but they have covered the bush. They look like the rose bouquets that cover winners of the Derby.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many roses on a bush. It is the first time the roses have ever outdone the daylilies!

ELEMENTS IN TRACES – TOM LEHRER AT HAHVID – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP #35 – TRACE ELEMENTS

No one said it better than Tom Lehrer and now, he’s going to sing it again. For me and you and all of us. Trace element. Elements.

All the elements. In song. With a piano. Thanks, Tom! Excuse me. That would be Dr. Lehrer.

SPEAKING OF CURTAILING – Marilyn Armstrong

Curtailment without elimination is a process

In difficult times, some people go on the stump. They give speeches. They carry signs. They march. They sign petitions and attend meetings.

I write.

Of all the things I can do, writing is on top of my personal list. I never know (does anyone?) if the stuff I write reaches anyone. Speaks to anyone. Changes anything, but I like to think it does. Sometimes. Maybe, now and again, I get someone to think about something they otherwise would have ignored.

Always writing has a “reaching out” quality in it. For me. I know there are a lot of writers who seem to spend their words exploring their inner selves and I respect that, but that ain’t me. I need to reach out.

Moreover, I don’t write because “blogging is fun.”

I started writing as soon as I could hold a pencil and form words. I wanted to write from the moment I knew there was such a thing in the world and I haven’t changed my opinion since. If I didn’t blog, what else would I do? I’m not a novel writer — I’ve proved that repeatedly.

Regardless, my need to write is powerful. These days, I write a blog, but I always wrote something. I need to find a balance where I can be friends, write, and also have a non-computer life. I just have to figure out how to leave a little time and space to get other things done. I suspect this was easier when connecting wasn’t as easy as it is now — and we didn’t have the power of the universe in our keyboard.

By the way, I also give excellent driving direction, just in case you are planning to visit.

POPULARITY: UPS AND DOWNS by Marilyn Armstrong

Recently, I got “set up” with Instagram. Assured that I could be very popular on it, I set up a password and was left still baffled by how come I can’t use one of my laptops. I don’t have an iPhone and I’m not really comfortable on my mini iPad. But no matter. I could work it out.

All I need to do, is want to make it work. Which I haven’t done.

Assured that I could be very popular, I realized I wasn’t sure I wanted to be more popular. I think maybe I’m entirely popular enough. I feel obliged to respond to commenters. As it is, I barely have time to do anything but work on the computer.

When I have a busy day that requires I do outside stuff — like shopping or cooking or spending the day on telephone hold — I look at my “inbox” and there are hundreds of new emails. I know I won’t be able to even open them, much less answer them. As bedtime rolls around, I delete almost everything, saving a few things that I really want to read and hope I’ll find time for.

Tomorrow is another day. Another few hundred emails will show up. If I leave today’s stuff until tomorrow, I’ll be buried. I may never dig out.

So is that the only reason I don’t want to be “more popular?”

Not entirely. To me, at least, popularity is responsibility. People in my world — online and off — expect me to respond to them, to answer their comments, to pay attention to what’s going on in their world — and rightfully so.

Except — I’m out of time. I can’t do it.

I can not do one thing more than I’m already doing. I’m stretched thin. Of those hundreds of daily emails, I’m able to read fewer than half. I barely have time to entirely read even the few I open, much less thoroughly read anything. Of the (too many) blogs I follow, I read maybe a third of them on a good day. On a less good day during which I’ve got other obligations than computing, I may not get to anything. I find myself at midnight looking at a mass of unopened emails and knowing I can’t do it. I’m tired. All I want is to read for a few minutes and fall asleep.

I’ve run out of conscious hours.

Too much of something is very similar to nothing at all. Having mountains of material to read and being unable to spend any time digging into it is very much like not reading. The result is nagging guilt. This is not what I had in mind.

I don’t want to give up on the people I follow, but I’m in over my head and that’s without adding anything more. So no Instagram for me. No more anything. Garry’s surgery is two weeks away and I’ve got to find time to deal with him and me and our lives. Everything else will have to wait.

Being more popular is not what I need.  What I really need is more time!

DAYLILIES – Marilyn Armstrong

Flower of the Day – July 2, 2018 – Daylily

I got a new camera today. If I should ever figure out how to properly set it up, I’m pretty sure I will love it. It is very similar to the one I gave to Garry, but it has a larger sensor and the lens is only 25 – 400 mm. Garry’s goes from 24 – 600 mm. Otherwise, the cameras are very similar, though mine is heavier. In fact, it’s as heavy as a full-size DSLR.

I have not figured out why it is so much heavier. It’s got a 1″ sensor, but how much could that possibly weigh? I think the lens is a bit bigger, though also shorter. Maybe it’s the body. It certainly feels sturdy enough.

I spent several hours today trying to find specific information in their so-called manual. I found some of the information I wanted, but not nearly enough. There’s no index, so I don’t even know if the information is in the manual at all.

There are functions which are not explained at all. I don’t know what job they perform,  so being asked to set it “on” or “off” is meaningless.

You can see Garry back behind the garden, chatting with the dogs.

I really wish they would do a better job on the documentation. I know it’s futile for me to say that, but I spent a lot of years working hard to make the books I wrote correct and accurate. These flimsy half-assed “documents” offend me.

PEST PEEVES: ABOUT THOSE MOUSES … Marilyn Armstrong

PEST PEEVES? WE HAVE PLENTY!

We started out humanely. Traps to take them out to the woods without hurting them.

They strolled back inside as soon as they were let go. It was obvious our kindness was not reciprocated.

We gave up nice and put out real traps. We knocked off a few dozen mice, but enough survived (they only need to have two) to proliferate. They set up housekeeping in the walls and under floors. By the time we were inspected this year, there were hundreds of them hiding. Everywhere.

So much for Mr. and Mrs. Nice Guy. It was time for open warfare.

Unfortunately, Bonnie and Gibbs lack Divot’s devotion to vermin killing.

We declared war. We eliminated them in the attic and on the floor where we live, but they still have found hiding places in the basement. We may never be entirely free of them, but at least we can keep the numbers down. They make an awful mess of the house if you let them.

2005 – Divot

We have not won the war, but we never stop fighting. The weapons are out, the battle-lines drawn. They have us on sheer number, but we have better weaponry. They are losing, but they will never entirely lose because a mouse can sneak in through an amazingly small space.

Back when we had Divot, our first Norwich Terrier, she used to kill the mice by the dozens and pile them up by the foot of my desk. She thoroughly enjoyed the hunt and the kill. I’m pretty sure I didn’t fully appreciate her efforts. Oh Divot, we could use you these days. I hope you are happily hunting in the hills over the bridge.