We had to go to the dentist because my tooth has been really painful. As it turned out, I have an extraction coming up. The alternative — since this tooth already has a crown — would be drilling through the crown, hoping the crown doesn’t splinter and that there’s a nerve underneath on which to perform a root canal. If not, have it extracted anyway, thereby paying $1400 for the root canal that didn’t happen plus another $300 for the extraction. I decided to have it removed. It’s time for a couple of partial bridges. The good news about the dentist is his office is next to the Mumford River.

Who put the Windsor chair atop the dam?

I think in honor of our high school graduates, the town has strung American flags all across the bridge over the river. It makes a beautiful vision of a small town on a perfect summer’s day. The flags were interesting and the river is beautiful even as low as it currently is … but who put the chair up there?

THE CHANGING SEASONS, JANUARY 2020 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons, January 2020

This hasn’t been a normal January. We had no measurable snow and only 4 out of 31 days have been lower than average January temperature. Every other day was higher than average bringing this month in as the third warmest recorded.

Most of my pictures this month were birds. Without snow to make the landscape interesting, there hasn’t been much to photograph. Glad I have the birds!

At the very end, I realized my Christmas cactus is blooming again and my big purple orchid is about to bloom too.

Orchid ready to bloom
I almost missed it!
Icy small canal off the Mumford Dam
Wide view of mid-winter on the Mumford

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.

If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version 1 (Photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version 2 (Choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to Su Leslie’s original post, she can update it with links to all of yours.



It has been a warm January, the warmest since 1932 and the third warmest since the beginning of the 20th century. Today was the first day that was colder than average in a couple of weeks. Tomorrow? Who knows?

We had a dental appointment and that office is right next to the Mumford River dam, so on the way out of the office, I stopped for a few pictures. There was ice in the small canal, but the big waterfall was as full as I’ve ever seen it for this time of year.

This is a thinly iced small canal that ran from the Mumford  River to Bernat Mills across the road. The mill burned down 9 years ago, but the remnants — chimney and front section — have been saved for the memories.
Chilly Mumford Dam with the sign for our Christmas events still waiting to be removed.

And so on a cold but not bitter day at the very end of January, here is the river and it runs to the Blackstone and then down to Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Water

Our valley is full of rivers. Mostly, it is full of the Blackstone which winds its way down from the Worcester hills to its end in Newport, Rhode Island. Incidental to its biggest river, are several substantial tributaries including the Mumford in the heart of Uxbridge and a few others.

Hard to say if they are creeks or smaller rivers, but lots and lots of water from tiny little streams, to large lakes, to big shallow ponds beloved by swans and geese for nesting.

Red kayak by the Blackstone
Paddling up the river
Bridge over the Blackstone
The dock at River Bend
Great Blue Heron
Shiny canal in summer
Autumn at the lake in Webster
Blackstone Gorge – Photo: Garry Armstrong
Spillway on the dam
Manchaug – Photo: Garry Armstrong
Upward at Roaring Dam


Weekly Photo Challenge: Peaceful

I live in a peaceful valley and I hope it remains peaceful. We’ve got our share of troubles. Not much work, relatively poor as places to live go. But we live in beauty, sometimes so much so I am amazed that somehow I ended up living here.

Stairway by the falls
Falls in the sunshine
Peace in our valley
Closeup Mumford Dam

Not being religious — or even Christian — I have to admit a great love of Gospel music. This is one of my favorites and it sure does fit the “peaceful” challenge. The singer is Jim Reeves. Elvis also sang it beautifully. I could not find a good quality recording of it. Johnny Cash also sang this very well, but again, the recordings were poor quality. This one is just fine.



I have to take a break. Not a one day break. I need like three or four days of almost no work that requires using my right arm. I have a bad tendon in the shoulder, not to mention a massive number of repetitive motion issues — and it hurts a lot. There isn’t much to be done about it because everything is also encased in arthritis, but it is making my life a serious misery.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

I spend most of the night trying to find a comfortable position with a variety of cushions, pillows, bed angulation. Nothing helps. It hurts less when I’m up and about, and more when I’m lying down. The weight of my arm pulls it out of the socket and all hell breaks loose. Also, lying on my back puts my unhealed chest off-center. It crunches each time I draw a breath which is both uncomfortable and sometimes, surprisingly painful. I need to work all this stuff out.

The lack of sleep alone is getting me.

It doesn’t mean nothing will get posted. I have an intentional backlog of posts that require little more than checking for correct dates and spelling, then posting. But I have got to let this arm have some rest. That means no lifting heavy stuff — pots and dishes and buckets for floor washing.  And vacuum cleaners.

If I deal with this now, I might actually get my arm back. If I don’t, it will be in permanent pain which I am not enjoying at all.

So I’m finishing my standard posting for the time being and trying to give my arm some time of low stress. This is also going to require that Garry figure out how to cook enough to keep us alive. I’m tired of hearing how he can’t do it.

He can do it. He just doesn’t WANT to do it.

I am also going to have to find a way to shave some money out of the budget and get someone to come in — maybe once a month — to do the heavy stuff. Floor washing and vacuuming and dusting. The house is basically pretty neat and reasonably well-kept, but we are too old to spend even a day doing the heavy work. If we are too old now, we are not getting younger. Time has had its way.

This isn’t goodbye. It’s a temporary withdrawal in the name of keeping my right arm functional. Being a righty, that’s not a real option, either. I need that arm. I’ll probably put some pictures up. I know I shouldn’t be hoisting a heavy camera, but it’s spring. What can I do but take pictures?

Meanwhile, I’m waiting for the golden years. Maybe a few brass ones and a hint of copper?


In the Park on a Sunny Tuesday -FOTD – 05/08/19

It was warm and sunny today and we grabbed the chance to get out and take a few pictures. Which turned out to be about 500 pictures between the two of us. The flowers came out lovely.

It was late in the afternoon and the light was perfect. Actually, pretty much everything came out close to perfect — and by the time we went home, most of the trees had grown new leaves.

All they needed was one warm sunny day.

Pink tulips
Snowballs along the river


Weekly Photo Challenge: Magical Places

The Blackstone Valley Historical Corridor is a series of connected parks in and around the Blackstone River Valley. There are dozens of little, medium, and large parks.

The parks surround many dams, ponds, and lakes. There are bicycle paths, picnic tables, even a few areas where you can swim and many where you can kayak.

Everywhere there are benches, facing the falls, the lakes. My particular favorite place is on the Mumford River (a branch of the Blackstone) in the middle of Uxbridge.

October on the Mumford – 2013
October on the Mumford – 2018
On the Mumford – 2017

I love living in a town in which a river runs through the middle of town. Like Paris with the Seine, or London on the Thames.

Manchaug dam on the Blackstone – 2018
Roaring Dam – Blackstone on the Blackstone River – 2017
Blackstone Gorge – Photo: Garry Armstrong

I have a lot of pictures of the dams, many taken in the fall because it’s the best time for pictures. Maybe not this year, but most years.


I was supposed to post something. And I completely forgot. We got into going to get the long-lost car key — not like just getting your key copied at the key store anymore — and then I stopped to take some pictures at the dam and continued on to the grocery.

Then I unpacked the groceries, started the chili, decided to process the pictures … and realized I never got around to posting anything at all.

So here are a few pictures from the Mumford dam in the middle of town. It’s pretty. It’s not the kind of bright and colorful you might expect. So many leaves fell off during the past three days of pounding rain — bright green leaves falling — so even trees which are changing are doing it in pastels. Not going to be a great autumn.

By the time the leaves change, there won’t be any left on the trees. Tonight, the weather is supposed to drop into the 40s — which is normal for this time of year. But after all this prolonged warm weather, it’s more than a dollar short and weeks rather than days late.

Meanwhile, the chili tastes weird because I put in the wrong beans. I don’t believe I did that.

I think I am mentally on “off.”


A Photo a Week Challenge: Water

Living surrounded by water, to no one’s surprise, most of my pictures involve water. Water in lakes and ponds, water flowing over fall and dams. I don’t entirely know where to start.

Dams? Streams? Ponds? Ocean?

I suppose, this being the Blackstone River Valley, it would have to be the river, its dams, canal, tributaries, ponds.

Photo Garry Armstrong – At the Canal
Photo: Garry Armstrong
Photo: Garry Armstrong
At Whitins pond …
At River Bend
Blackstone Gorge – Photo: Garry Armstrong
Bridge over the Blackstone
Summer on the Mumford
Swans in pairs on the pond
The dock at River Bend
September by the Blackstone

I think I’ll stop now. Because there really are so many … not to mention volumes from Tom and Ellin’s boat and marina. And of course, the beaches and docks …


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Birds

Birds are my best pictures and also my Waterloo and not so rarely, my worst pictures. These come out great or awful, depending on pretty much everything from the camera’s lens to my shaky hand, to whether or not the bird has other stuff on his agenda.

When I am lucky, I get great bird shots. If I am a bit less lucky, they are fuzzy nothing pictures. These are the better ones which I went back and reprocessed. The reprocessing took me a lot longer than I imagined.

Having run out of time and it’s a lot later than it should be, I’m showing only two birds — the Cardinal in the snow and the Great Blue Heron by the Mumford River.


WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: GLOW

Glowing trees above the dam
Autumn foliage on the Mumford River
October leaves in the park
I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2017