TIME TO SHARE MY WORLD AS AUGUST ENDS – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World – August 27, 2018


Is summer almost over? How did this happen? I’m not ready. Hold back the snow … I’M NOT READY!

Do you prefer eating foods with nuts or no nuts?

Do I like to put nuts in my food?

Not unless the recipe calls for nuts and to be fair, other than pine nuts, I can’t think of a recipe that requires nuts. This is not to say I don’t like nuts. I particularly love cashews (though someone assured me cashews are really a fruit, but they sure do crunch like a nut).

This kind of peanut?

And then there are pistachios. There was a time, when I lived in New York with my first husband, when we found a place in lower Manhattan where they sold five pounds of in-the-shell pistachios (with green tint or not) for $10. We would take them home and eat all five pounds of them in a day or two.

My fingernails would be sore from prying open pistachios. The were empty shells everywhere, too. Behind every sofa cushion on in every corner, nut shells.

Can you overdose on pistachios? I’m pretty sure you can’t because if you could, I’d have already done it.

Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?

Until people started asking this question online, I never thought about it. If they were open, that was okay. Closed? That was okay too. I don’t have a thing about it. I don’t care.

Open closet

I never thought demons were hiding in my closet. Unless you count my father, of course.

Are you usually late, early, or right on time?

I was always early and Garry was always late. These days, we are almost always slightly early, depending on traffic.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? 

We got a new-er car. I’m still tickled pink about it. Or, in this case, tickled Orange Crush.

HIDING OUT – Marilyn Armstrong

I would like to say the home wasn’t always like this, but that would not be true. Home has always been my hideout.

From the first time I finally I got a place of my own, it has been my staging area. This is where I put on the bells, whistles, and makeup I needed for the outside world.

That was back in the early days when offices required we come to work all “dressed up.” Towards the end of my working life, they didn’t care if you showed up at all, as long as you got the job done. A big improvement. I still feel like home is where I “stage” myself for the rest of life.

300-hearth-oddballs-inside-120217_066

Home is where the comfortable furniture is. It is where the dogs hang out. It’s got my kitchen, so it’s the place where I can cook. My books live at home so I can cozy up with a Kindle.  Or maybe a camera or whatever I find interesting.

Now, more than ever.

It used to be where I came home when the day was done. Now it is where I am unless something else takes us away for a while.

Home is the good place. My place.

RDP#80-RETICENT – ME? – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP#80-RETICENT

Ever since WordPress decided to abandon helping us, we’ve been scrambling to find ways to reach out. It’s harder and more complicated. There are too many choices with small audiences compared to the more global reach WordPress had. It’s to be expected, but it is not making our blogging lives better.

I’ve been trying to keep up.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

I can’t if I want to any other life at all. I have no time for anything. I try to fit my own thoughts into prompts by other people and it works sometimes, but often not. I have always followed Cee’s prompts, and Nancy Merrill and Paula for photographs. But I can’t keep up with all the writing prompts. Firstly, because I don’t have that many different things to say. And there’s a lot of stuff going on around here.

Garry’s getting fitted for his new super-gear. We have company. We are also buying a newer car (not new). Our Jeep is 6-years old and wasn’t new when we got it, so we are moving “up” from a 2012 Jeep to a 2015 Jeep Renegade in a color my son says is “Orange Crush” (it’s a “Jeep” color), assuming the financing comes through.

When WordPress dropped its support for customers, it made a royal mess of things. They are also messing with the software. I have a lot of trouble with photographs now and can’t make mosaics (most of the time). Overall, they dropped us on our heads.

I resent the way they have behaved. Kowtowing to their “assumption” that we can just “get it together” without any support is poor business and just plain wrong.

I wanted to keep up with everyone, but I can’t. I can’t write so many original pieces daily and I don’t want to. Three pieces, two late at night and one geared to a prompt in the morning is pretty much my level. When I try to push beyond it, it becomes a job with me as the mean boss.

I will write what I can when I can. When I miss your prompt, it isn’t because I don’t care. It’s because I have other stuff I need or want to do. There has to be time to do stuff I want to do, not only what I feel I need to do.

Life has intruded on blogging. Winter will come and I will have more “at home” time as the snow closes in. But for now, I need to pull back and breathe. If I get fewer views, life will go on.

I will try to comment when I have time to read, but finding time for reading, as well as writing and photography is more than I can currently handle. I am sorry. I’ve done my best, but it’s not enough.

FOWC with Fandango — Kowtow

DO OVER

What Would You Change?  by Rich Paschall

If you could do your life over, what would you change?  Would you choose a different career?  Would you choose a different house or apartment?  Would you consider living in another town?  Another part of the country? A foreign country?

Would you travel more?  Would you see other towns, other regions, other countries?  Do you have adventures that remain unfulfilled?  Do you wish to do more exciting things?

Here’s a big one for you to consider.  Would you change your mate?  Would you have more or fewer children?  Would you stay single or get married, depending on what you current circumstance is?

Contemplative

Many people like to say that they would not change a thing.  They would do everything the same way.  Some say this defiantly so, as if defending the life that they have led.  That may be just a front, however, for certain family or friends.  Would we really do things the same way?

No matter what we insist to others, we all have made mistakes that we regret.  Would we not change these mistakes, if only we had the chance?  Would we not make better choices if we had the chance to choose again?

Do you recall a statement that you said you wish you could take back because it was insensitive?  Do you recall the gossip that you took part in, only to realize later that it was just a way to put down a coworker, neighbor, or family member that you just did not like at the time?  Wouldn’t the passage of time make us wise enough to refrain from such things?  If we took part in these things with the knowledge of our lifetime in front of us, would we not take a different course?

Perhaps you have seen the article, frequently reposted on social media (I have seen it a number of times, anyway), that talks about The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. These were collected by a nurse and published in a book.  It is summarized on Collective Evolution website. The list indicates that if these people could live their lives again, they would not take the same paths.  When they looked back from death’s door, there was plenty to change.

Top on the list was having the courage to live your own life, rather than that which was expected.  As we grow up, there are expectation of parents, grandparents, other family members, teachers and even our communities about what we should do in life.  Our roles are frequently defined by others and we, as loyal children and friends, take the path expected of us.  Would we now decide on “The Road Not Taken?”

Every male patient wished that they had not worked so hard.  They missed family events or other adventures while they worked extra hours.  From the perspective of the end of life, the choice was clearly a wrong one.  Yes, many need to work harder to support their family, but did we choose work, when another choice would have been better on a particular day?

Many wished they had the courage to express their true feelings, or that they had stayed in touch with old friends, or that they allowed themselves to be happier.  Perhaps they regretted all of these things.  So I ask the question again, what would you change if only you could?

If time and health are on your side, then you can still do many of the things you missed earlier.  You can still make amends for bad choices, thus undoing some mistakes of the past.  Of course, we can not now change everything, but that is no reason to be sad about the past.  We can use what we learned to move forward with better choices.

I think the desire to make up for missing some things in the past is one of the emotions that gives rise to the “Bucket List.”  Of course, you may put things on the list that are new to your thought processes, but how many of the things you would list now would actually be things you feel you missed out on in the past?  Is there some adventure you should have pursued in the past that you can still do now?

While there are many decisions I regret from the past, and some that I regret now actually, I have one basic problem with a “Do Over.” If I had made different choices in the past, would I still end up in the same place? You see, there are many things about the present I like as they are.  If I had gone a different route, would I eliminate some of the things I like about today?  Would some of my close friends be missing?  Of course, I would not know they were missing if I had gone another way.

Friends meet up in Strasbourg
Friends meet up in Strasbourg

My jobs in recent years have allowed me to make new friends in other countries.  In fact, one of my best friends lives in France.  We have travelled to France, Germany and England together as well as much of the USA.  I can not now imagine a life that does not include him.  I never thought of these travels or friendships when I was young, so I could not have consciously made the choice to end up where I am.

Because of my love of my current adventures and friends, I guess I really do not want a “Do Over.”  I just hope the knowledge I have gained from past mistakes will allow me to make better choices in the future.

From where you are right now, do you wish to go on with the knowledge you have gained, or would you rather have a “Do Over” realizing it may take you to a different place?

SHARING MY WORLD WHEN HALF THE YEAR IS DONE – Marilyn Armstrong

SHARING MY WORLD WHEN HALF THE YEAR IS DONE

You can have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what is it? Sushi? Scotch Tape?

I’ll go with money on this one. Unlimited money would buy me a lot of sushi or sticky tape.

Teleportation or flying?

Teleportation if available. Small, non-commercial aircraft otherwise.

Would you rather live where it only snows or the temperature never falls below 100 degrees?

Snow. I don’t like snow, but I’d melt in that kind of heat. Not to mention that I have lived in that kind of heat and it was all the time. Winter in the middle east is not bad. A lot of rain, but between the rains, it can be quite lovely.

One hundred degrees all the time? No thanks. In that kind of heat, I’d never leave the house at all.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  

Not a smiley week. I discovered there was another $4500 in what is now being called “identity theft.” It has all been covered by the credit card companies, but now I know the names of all the cops. I can even spell their last names.

HIDING BEHIND MYSELF – Marilyn Armstrong

#FOWC — Hidden Identity

When I first started blogging on WordPress more than six years ago, I was still very into the book I wrote, so I took as my online address part of the name of my book and I called myself “Teepee 12” because the book is called “The 12-foot Teepee.”

A couple of years down the road of blogging, after I’d broken through and had an audience and all that, one day I realized no one knew my name. Everyone called me “Teepee.” I had never intended to be anonymous. I’d been writing publicly since I was a very young woman, so my name was published in a lot of places. If I’d sought anonymity, I should have done it a lot sooner.

So way back then, I switched and started using my own name. Why? Because I got really tired of being called Teepee. The book became old news and I seriously wish I’d taken Serendipity as the address for this blog because it would have saved me from WordPress’s shenanigans when a couple of months ago they decided to not bother to protect site names anymore. I’ve had to dig myself out of that hole. If my address had matched my site name, it wouldn’t have been an issue, but they were different and Serendipity was no longer an option.

So I had a secret identity entirely accidentally. Which was silly because I was at that point still a published writer under my own name, so having a secret name as a blogger while publishing as myself in magazines seemed a bit peculiar.

Thus I became me. A lot of people decloaked and became themselves at that point. It turned out that being yourself made you no more of a target than not being yourself because any hacker who wants to really know who you are will find out quickly enough. I could do it, but I don’t want to bother.

Hacking is like, you know, WORK. And as Maynard G. Krebbs used to say: “Work is a 4-letter word.”

Amen, Maynard. Amen.

CEE’S SHARE YOUR WORLD – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World

If you were to pack a basket for picnic lunch, what would be in your basket?

First of all, I’m not an enthusiastic outside eater, not matter how nice the weather is. At the beach, there is sand and everywhere else there are ants and flies. We used to cook on the back deck at the Vineyard. One day, a seagull swooped down and stole the steak directly from the grill. Hot coals and all. Now that is definitely chutzpah.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Did I mention the wind? On a perfect day without a trace of wind, the moment you put down that paper table-cloth, there will be a wind and the rest of the meal will be trying to keep the paper plates, cloth, even your plastic forks and spoons in place.

Georges Seurat

I love old paintings of elegant picnics, but the picnics in my life have not been elegant. Mostly, they have involved swatting bugs, finding stones to put on everything to keep it on the table — if you have a table — and generally eating as fast as possible to get it over with. Maybe there were fewer insects in The Old Days? Or maybe … they just ate the bugs.

Please enjoy your picnic. Take pictures, too. I’ll love the photographs, I promise.

On a vacation what you would require in any place that you sleep?

Cleanliness. Working bathrooms. A non-sagging bed with a mattress that was replaced this decade.

And a convenient place to park so we don’t have to haul all our stuff up stairs and elevators while walking to a third story unit.

There are many motels that do not “get” the whole “handicapped” thing.

If you were to buy a new house/apartment what is the top three items on your wish list?

No stairs. A flat backyard. Easy to clean. Two garages — one for the car, the other for everything else. And lots of really BIG closets. Oh, did I mention an eat-in kitchen?

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  

This was one hell of a week. I’m really glad that Garry will get his ear fixed and give him hearing for the first time in his life. I hated getting hacked and have spent the rest of the week replacing everything on my computer. So there was the good part — Garry will hear! And the not so good part — I have had to completely rebuild my computer.

Long term, Garry’s hearing is definitely the better part! By next week, I’ll have beaten back the last of the hacking, but once repaired, Garry will hear forever.

041514 sywbanner